Gerald (Jerry) Zezas

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Symbol of Southern Pride

Since the murders in South Carolina have restarted the discussion about the Confederate Battle flag that flies in South Carolina and other places, I decided to try to understand the claims of its proponents that it is a symbol of southern history and pride.

Here is the history of the Confederacy in 4 sentences:

They were a group that wanted to no longer be American. They wanted to secede from the union that was formed after a decades-long struggle with Britain. Also known as traitors.

They were a group that embraced slavery and the subjugation of human beings for the purpose of personally profiting from their forced labor and treatment as animals. They claim that their secession was for economic reasons. Yes, the economics of slavery.

They are an area of the country that was humiliated in a crushing defeat by northern troops. This was after the south started the war when Confederates bombarded Union soldiers at Fort Sumter, South Carolina on April 12, 1861. Yes, they attacked an American military fort. That’s not what most people consider a patriotic act, but rather a treasonous one.

They are a failed government, a failed society, a failed way of life, founded on antediluvian Victorian principals which were patently rejected by the rest of the country.

Well, at least now we can all understand the source of their pride.

This Is No Longer Even A Challenge

On March 3rd of this year, Rudy Giuliani, ex-mayor of NYC, Republican Presidential candidate and 9/11 Tourette syndrome poster-child, said, “Putin decides what he wants to do, and he does it in half a day. That’s what you call a leader. President Obama has to think about things first”. http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/03/03/on-fox-giuliani-praises-putin-hes-what-you-call/198316

Soon after on Fox’s The Kelly File, Fox strategic analyst Ralph Peters referred to Putin as a “real leader” who, unlike Obama, “believes in his country”.

Another conservative pundit praised Putin because “he likes to hang out with his shirt off and tells the West if you mess with me I’ll kill you all.” Even half-term, half-wit Sarah Palin compared the conservative’s hero with President Obama and said, ”people look at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil, and our President wears mom jeans and equivocates.” (How ridiculous! Since when does Sarah Palin use words like “equivocates”? I’m still trying to figure out what “refudiate” means.)

Another Fox analyst said, “In Putin, you’ve got a big strong guy, muscular and shirtless on a horse who wrestles tigers, (they have horses who wrestle tigers?) while the President wears mom jeans.” It is unclear why conservatives are obsessed with mom jeans, whatever they are, but it is likely an effort to compare President Obama’s diplomacy-first foreign policy with a big shirtless leader who subscribes to the George W. Bush foreign policy of pre-emptively invading sovereign nations; the conservative’s idea of a “real leader.”

Yet, as of now, the ruble has plummeted 50% against the dollar this year, both Apple and General Motors have suspended sales in Russia because of staggering inflation (remember when we were supposed to get that?), Russians are once again finding themselves on food lines and Russia is a pariah among nations due to its invasion of Crimea and Ukraine. Leadership, bitches!

Oh and, in case you hadn’t noticed, oil is down almost 50% (remember when high oil prices were blamed on Obama? We’ll take the praise now for the low prices, thank-you), the Dow is approaching 18,000 and the American economy is booming. But Obama keeps his shirt on and wears mom-jeans. Oh yeah and he, ahh, err, “thinks about things first”. What a wimp, am I right? I mean, who wants a leader who thinks?

Hmmm, I wonder who’s on Fox today? Maybe Dick Cheney telling us he’d torture again in a minute, Mitt Romney telling us how bad a job Obama is doing on the economy, and Jeb Bush (with his wife, who is a Mexican immigrant), telling us how all those Mexicans should be sent home. Or, maybe Marco Rubio (who’s parents are Cuban immigrants) will tell us why its un-American to help Cubans, (you know, as compared to Iraqis, Syrians, Israelis, Afghanis and everybody else).

Yup, Fox reports and you decide. They report reductive, fear-mongering, racist scare tactics, and my Repub friends decide to keep watching and believe everything they say.

To all you people who conveniently forget all the things that are said on Fox that are ignorant, fact-challenged and just plain old lies, don’t worry. I’ll keep reminding you…

Because as long as you keep watching and believing, someone needs to.

Aren’t you tired of listening to these idiots who continue to treat you like one?

Of Torture and Drone Strikes

Surprise! Fox “News” can’t stand when anyone reminds them how Dick Cheney and his lap dog (you know, George “Cowboy” Bush) genuinely destroyed so many good aspects of this country.

Now that the torture report is out (you know, the one released by a committee of 8 Democrats and 7 Repubs), they are tripping over themselves trying to find some, any, equivalency between what everyone but they agree is torture and Obama’s policy of using drones to kill enemy soldiers.

It amazes me when I see their glib and self-satisfied looks after they ask a question that their own synaptical processes are too slow to figure out an answer to and so assume that no one else could. You know, someone other than those who work at Fox.

So, last week, when one of these dweezels equated purposeful torture with unintended casualties in a war, everyone else in front of the camera assumed that there simply couldn’t be any counter-argument to that premise, and sat there looking like Little Jack Horner after pulling his thumb out of the Xmas pie or, in other words, quite self-satisfied.

The premise that these gray-matter deprived yuck-yucks had missed was that there are alternatives to torture. Many alternatives. Police use them all the time to get information from criminals. John McCain, himself a Repub but also a torture victim, has said time and again that the result of most torture is that the victim simply tells his antagonists what they want to hear, rendering it useless.

Drone attacks, on the other hand, are not done frivolously or when there are alternatives. They are done in the course of war when an enemy has been identified and the drone is chosen out of all the available alternatives (soldiers raiding a village, as an example, risking their lives and an equal amount of innocent lives). They represent trained military personnel KNOWING who they want to kill and a calculated risk that others in the area will be killed.

Furthermore, I defy anyone to say that Barack Obama has shown any tendency to kill without concern for civilians. If you believe Fox “News”, he is the weakling who worries too much about others. Those interviewed on their shows have gone so far as to call him a Muslim sympathizer, so you’d be hard pressed to prove that he has little regard for human life, especially those of civilians in combat areas.

But I know that any demonstration of this level of erudition or even, you know, thought, makes their viewers return to their regular habits of watching The View, Saturday morning cartoons or their favorite televangelist, which is why Fox goes out of its way to avoid any semblance of it.

The amazing part is that these spokesmodels are still so umbilically attached and so feel the need to defend the political disasters of the Bush/Cheney cabal that they actually defend, on television, the torturing of human beings. They seem to delight in saying “well, if you get to kill them with drones, we should get to torture them”, as two schoolchildren fighting over who gets the larger portion of desert might do.

Sorry, I take that back. That was an unfair disparagement of schoolchildren.

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