Republicans in recent months have found a way to avoid (in their minds) looking like idiots regarding climate change. Rather than deny it and look foolish in the face of all the mounting evidence of its existence (we used to have a North Pole, now, not so much), they simply claim, when asked about it, that they’re “not scientists”. (John Boehner, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, and Rick Perry, to name just a few). This seems to satisfy their ilk, as if it takes a scientist to know the the polar ice caps are about 1/2 what they were only 20 years ago and that the carbon content of the air and oceans is about 4 times what it was in the same period.
But when asked about when life begins in the womb, their PhD’s from Whatsa Matta “U”. seem to come out for all to see. They can recite, chapter and verse, the entire biological process from when the man lights the cigarette to when the kid graduates high school. They are certain that, since fetuses have brainwaves and heartbeats, (you know, like every freaking living fish, animal and most insects on the face of the earth) that they must be living humans, (you know, unlike every freaking living fish, animal and most insects on the face of the earth).
So, to make this clear…They can’t describe what’s happening in front of their faces even with physical and photographic evidence, because that requires a “scientist”, yet what’s happening tucked up inside a woman’s womb is simple for anyone to understand. All you need are billboards that say “life begins at conception” with a picture of an adorable infant.
I might become a Repub soon. I think I might enjoy a life devoid of the burden of thought…
Small government and Texas secession advocate Governor Rick Perry of Texas wanted to close the CDC (Center for Disease Control) when he was running for president. It was the one he said he couldn’t remember at the debates.
Small government and Texas secession advocate Governor Rick Perry of Texas then complains when the CDC (you know, the one he wanted to shut down) doesn’t act fast enough to contain a disease that has spread beyond Texas due to incompetence on the part of a private hospital, regulations for which are under his control as governor of that state, all while he is on vacation in Europe. Yes, its a hospital. And it doesn’t know how to contain a disease. A hospital. But then again, we’re talking about Texas.
Oh and BTW, in case you wanted to blame this on the fact that Obama won’t put a travel ban in place, the man who brought Ebola to Texas came from Belgium, not West Africa, so this idiotic travel ban they talk about wouldn’t have helped anyway.
Then, when the CDC (you know, the agency he wanted to shut down) does step in, there has not been a case of someone getting Ebola from another hospital anywhere else in the country. Not One.
Sheesh. This is getting too easy.
Much has recently been made of President Obama’s “low” approval ratings. They are hovering in the 40% area, depending on whom you ask. That means that, out of every 10 people polled, 4 like the job he’s doing, and 6 don’t. The fact that roughly 50% of the country is Conservative Repub, it sounds to me like every Repub thinks he’s sucks at his job (quite predictably) and about 20% of Dems (or 1/5th) agree.
So, if I were to try to spin those statistics the way a Repub would, 4 out of 5 people who would be expected to like Obama…do. That’s about the same as the amount of dentists surveyed who used to recommend Crest toothpaste…but I digress.
Funny though, I remember quite a few presidents with much lower approval ratings, yet not nearly the strum und drang associated with it. Come to think about it, I’m not sure if more than 4 out of every 10 people I know would give me high approval ratings. But, again, I digress…
Obama’s approval ratings have gone from 69% in January of 2009 to 38% in August of 2012. Pretty good on the high and end, as we’ll see, not really so bad on the low end…
George “Rodeo man” Bush peaked at 90% within a week after 9/11 when the country needed someone to rally around, but sunk to 25% in October of 2008, when we realized that it really mattered that he couldn’t pronounce “nuclear”, and that he had promised to bomb Iraq’s harbors (it has virtually none).
Going further, we see Bill Clinton at 73% in December of 1998, right at the heart of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, but down around 37% in May 1993. Still not a bad spread compared to Bush’s 65 point swing.
George “Daddy” Bush went from a high of 89% right when he started the first Gulf War, (we do love to rally around those guys when they start killing people) and 29% near the end of his term in 1992. Yup, Poppy was even less loved than Cowboy George.
Then, (drumroll please) going back just one more presidential term, we have Ronald “Kill the Ruskies” Reagan, who went from 68% in 1986, down to 33% in January of 1983! Can you believe it? How stupid were we all not to worship the great dicta..er..President Reagan, who, according to legend, personally vanquished the Soviet Union with his mighty sword, lowered taxes, spent more on the military than every President before him combined, calmed the seas and colonized the moon, all while they assure us that his Alzheimers did not start till waaaaaay after his term ended. (Actually, the Soviets collapsed of their own weight due to a world-wide recession, too much military spending and lagging productivity. Reagan raised taxes and, many of us believe, was suffering from Alzheimers early in his second term. he did bloat the military as charged though.
But, if we read the numbers without benefit of my spin, we will see that every President, Repubs especially, had lower approval ratings than my buddy Barack. Sure, you say, but there’s another two years to go! Yup I say, and I agree that they might go lower. But before all you Repubs spike the ball about how “Romney was right” and all the other tripe I’m hearing bandied about, I wanted to remind you how bad your memories, of your own boys lousy approval ratings, are.
Ok, that’s it. As you were…
While doing research for my new book about racism from a white man’s perspective, working title Reluctant Racist, (coming soon to a bookstore near you!) I’ve come across a recurring theme that tends to be included in many conversations about race, as well as conversations in general regarding what people consider to be important. That theme is pride.
I’ve always been curious about pride, and what makes people proud. So many are proud of their heritage, skin color, relatives, ersatz accomplishments and other things that were forced upon them, or just really easy to do. During the aforementioned research, I’ve seen something called the Whiteness Project, whereby various white people talk about the problems they have with race, affirmative action and other pet peeves. Many of these people talk about their “pride” at being white. Hmmm.
I’ve never understood why people are proud of such fundamental things. I’ve never understood how people can be proud of things that they’ve had no hand in, such as their race, or nationality, or intellect, or sex. I’ve never understood why people assign their self-esteem to things that are so common, so pedestrian, so banal, as to have, in the scheme of things, such tiny significance.
If your life is so uneventful and so bereft of original thought or accomplishment, then maybe you’ll spend your time being proud of your skin color, something you had nothing to do with. If you’ve never done anything more complex than play a sport or go on rides at Disney World, I guess you’ll be proud of how far you can throw a football or how many times you can go on a roller-coaster without puking. Yeehaa!
If you’ve done nothing in your life of any consequence other than to reproduce, then maybe you’ll be proud of what a good parent you are, disregarding the fact that parenting is one of the least exclusive or original things done by humans. I’ve heard many people claim as a reason for pride the fact that they’ve raised children. Really?
Since there are approximately 6.5 billion people in the world, and it takes two people to make a baby, that means that parenting has been successfully done, accounting only for people who are currently alive, at least 13 billion times. If we take into account all the people who have ever lived, its probably in the trillions. (Except, apparently for Jesus Christ, but that’s a different blog post). There are few more common practices on earth than reproduction, yet we somehow think that we distinguish ourselves by partaking in it.
(Commencing slow clap)
There is so much more to discuss about this, but I could go on for hours. My point is, the world might be a better place if we were proud of things that we’ve actually done. Things that are truly difficult, things that take skill, education or are accompanied by genuine risk.
If you’re black, that’s no reason in and of itself to be proud. If you’ve marched in a rally where you risked arrest or were taunted by racists, now that’s something to be proud of, because that requires courage. But if you have a chip on your shoulder and spend your days just waiting for some white guy to knock it off, you’re an idiot, with apparently little to be truly proud of.
If you’re white, and you defended yourself against blacks who were physically attacking you because of your race, that’s something to be proud of, because that requires courage. But if you carry around a concealed weapon all the time because you fantasize about heroically defending your family from those black marauders who you believe are lurking around every corner, you’re just a coward who dreams of glory like a five-year-old. Confusing hatred for another race with pride in yours doesn’t make you smart. It makes you simple-minded. And just being white, or black for that matter, is a pretty lame excuse to be proud. I mean, is that all ya’ got?
If you caught the biggest fish today, you’re lucky, but there are billions of fish caught every year, and probably a few bigger than yours. If you raised the smartest kid in school, you should certainly be impressed with your child, but that’s not the same as being proud, because if you know anything about genetics, you know that you probably had very little to do with your kid’s IQ. It’s almost all in your genes, and you had nothing to do with those. But, if you have a child who is learning disabled and you stayed up with them and helped them get through school, you’ve done something to be proud of. That’s an accomplishment, not some affectation what helps you sleep at night.
The difference is whether you’re proud of what you are, or proud of what you’ve done. The first one is common, low rent and borderline vulgar. The second is, well, you know…
We shouldn’t fear a Repub victory in November due to the fact that if Repubs win majorities in both houses, they will no longer have anyone to blame for their malfeasance but themselves. Just imagine, John Boehner will no longer have Harry Reid to blame for his absolute lack of leadership of the Repubs in the Congress.
Even if they do happen to pass a bill, they will have to work with the President to ensure that there is bi-partisan language in it, since, once again, passing bills that don’t get signed will make them look ineffectual and stupid, Yes, even worse than they do now.
They will have absolutely no rationale for blaming democrats for not passing bills, something that they rarely do now. And if they pass any, and they have to fight the President to sign them, this fight will likely take place in the light of day, and on the news, rather than in the back rooms of Congress.
And if they continue to fail at governing, it will be quite evident in 2016, when every Democrat will be happy to point out their failures to lead, even though they had a majority in the Congress. That will be a big help to Dems in 2016, n’est ce pas?
Like I said, don’t fear the reaper, I mean the Repubs. And to my Republican readers, be careful what you wish for, because you might get it. And I don’t think I’ll mind one bit.
Am I the only one who’s tired of this contrived and overdone “niceness” one sees every time one goes to the store?
I went to the supermarket today. As I walk in two different people say “good morning” to which I feel obligated to reply. As I’m walking to the deli counter, I pass two others who greet me similarly and, since I’m not rude, I reply to them as well.
I get to the deli counter and two people behind the counter say hello to me. They each get their respective replies. I ask for Boar’s Head Oven Gold Turkey (its really good). One of the two who greeted me starts to slice it, takes the first slice and walks over to me to show me her handiwork, and ask if it is sliced sufficiently thin for me. Once more I have to respond with, “yes, its fine”. She then asks if I’d like it as a sample, to which I reply “no thank-you”.
At this point I’ve had to have short conversations with 6 people and reply to 8 queries regarding how I am, my personal turkey thickness preferences, and whether I want to sample the food that I’ll be eating in its entirety in less than 15 minutes. Sheesh.
Then, after she slices it, “do I want any cheese or anything else”. No thanks. (#9). “Did you know that the bakery department has chocolate chip yada, yada, yada…” Thank you. (#10). “Have a wonderful day”. Yes, thank you. (apparently in this particular Publix, having a nice day or a good day or a great day is not sufficient for their customers. They want you to have a wonderful fucking day).(#11). I’ve now accomplished getting one 1/2 pound of lunch meat that I don’t yet own, talked to 6 people, and had 11 verbal interactions.
So, finally free of the deli counter Nazis, I approach checkout, dodging behind heavy-set older women with oxygen tanks to avoid being asked how I am by the people who get paid to stock shelves.
At the checkout counter, I’m asked how my day is going, (#12), if I found everything I’m looking for, (#13), if I’d like to donate to a charity so that Publix can claim, in their advertising, that they give such and such amount to charities, without mentioning that they got the money from their customers, (#14), asked if I have my Publix loyalty card, (#15), and since I don’t, would I like one, (#16).
I slide my credit card through the slot in the terminal, then, after being asked if its credit or debit, (#17), then having to decide between paper and plastic (#18), and thinking that I have finally escaped, I’m accosted by the bag guy, THE BAG GUY, who asks, “can I carry that out for you?”. Yeah, that was #19.
I had to stop my train of thought (and is often a lonnnnnnnng train) almost 20 times to respond to people who truly, with all their hearts and souls, couldn’t care less if I lived or died, yet force me to either engage them or appear to be rude. All so I can make a freaking turkey sandwich.
I shouldn’t complain though. They were just being “nice”.