The “Good Progressive”

Now in its sixth season the CBS legal, political drama “The Good Wife” is still one of the best reviewed and critically acclaimed series on TV. It is also very Progressive and it is not afraid to let this be known. The series is based in Chicago, the protagonist Alicia Florrick is the wife of now governor Peter Florrick who in the start of the series was a disgraced States Attorney facing charges of corruption and an infidelity scandal. Taking cues from the Clinton and Eliot Spitzer scandals The Good Wife’s creators Robert and Michelle King have woven a series that demonstrates Progressive thinking and displays it for the country to see.

The characters in the show seem a checklist of constituencies for Progressive.  It features Alicia Florrick, the good wife who gave up a promising law career to raise a family and help her husband’s political career, later she stood by him when he was plagued by scandals. Peter Florrick disgraced DA who fails upward, into the Governor’s Mansion, Eli Gold the Jewish lawyer and fixer, a gay brother, a bi-sexual investigator whose methods are questionable, the only Black recurring character was according to the show the largest and ruthless drug-dealer in the city, in this season he is implicated in at least 3 murders.

It is no wonder that Progressive leaders from Valerie Jarrett, Gloria Steinem, Bill DeBlasio and Donna Brazille (3 times) have made cameos on the show but aside of showing how Progressive thinking works in TV land it also shows how easily discarded their principles are. In this season of the show Alicia is running for District Attorney’s office making the show more political than in the past not that the show lacked that aspect before. If you want to see Progressive ideas and thoughts acted in action this is a great place to start.

There has been an uproars in Conservatives sites about Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist who was instrumental in not just devising Obamacare but in ensuring that the CBO (to whom he is one of its academic advisers) would score it positively.  At the same time he was instrumental in hiding the taxes that were hidden as fees to dupe the people into supporting the bill.

If that was not bad enough, he is seen gloating about how successful he was at this. The condescending attitude he displays rather gleefully as he spikes the football is infuriating to not just Conservatives but to many others including some supporters of the law.  For an economist he puts partisanship above his trade as he is quoted as saying in this Esquire Magazine interview from  November 13:

“What I don’t get is these stupid governors who are turning down the Medicaid expansion,” he said. “This is preposterously stupid. First of all, your low-income people get health-insurance, and you get billions and billions of dollars of stimulus in health-care spending. For example, there are one million uninsured Floridians who are below the poverty line. The federal government is saying we’ll pay to insure them, and, in addition, we’re sending billions of dollars to you. And Rick Scott says no. There is no basis for turning this down except to put your political agenda ahead of the needs of your state’s citizens. They say they’re worried about the federal deficit? Why? They’re governors, for god’s sake. This is one of the criminal failures of our political system. It is an enormous failure.”

He arrogantly sees as a failure for Governors, not all of whom were Democrats of not accepting “Free Money”, but it is really free money? Of course not, and no matter how creative he was in designing the law nothing can hide that. After 2 years those same Governors would have to find the funds on their own to cover the new expensive entitlement program, which seems to be ACA’s only success, expanding Medicaid enrollment. All the other promises decreasing premiums, keeping your doctor, budget neutral have all fallen by the wayside and the law in not fully implemented, yet.

In the The Good Wife, Alicia can sermonize about standing by your man, pretend she is not an atheist, defend a notorious Drug Kingpin, only to drop him as a client because is now a liability as she runs for office of DA, because  everyone is innocent until proven guilty. The show also excuses the illegalities of their own investigator, who bribes, intimidates, break-ins, steals, etc., does anything that she can to help her employers win their cases. The end always justifies the means.

The Legacy Media or MSM as I like to call them, has circled their wagons around Gruber. As Allahpundit reported here:

Those in the center-left press who have deigned to debase themselves by addressing a story of interest to conservatives insist that there is nothing much to see here. Not only was Gruber’s admission that the ACA was designed to hide its true costs and impact on the American economy already widely known, they say, but that the American public is generally to blame for Gruber’s mendacity.

They hate it when they have to hurt you, so don’t make them do it.

The Progressives and only them know what is good for you. The American people are too stupid to understand the nuances of such policies, so it is necessary to lie and hide the effects of those policies. The same can be said about other pet projects of Progressives, Global warming, immigration, minimum wages, unions, common core, etc. They know what is best, they need to get over on those stupid Bible Thumpers as Gruber is quoted on one of the 5 videos that have surfaced so far, the end justifies it.

Progressives wanted Health Care Reform, they got reform, that it has helped some people there no doubt. That it has hurt many others there is also no doubt, that it will negatively affect more people than those that have been help time will tell. As Eli Gold tells Alicia paraphrasing; “Americans don’t want the truth, they want nicely staged events where we tell them what the truth is”. That is how Progressives view Americans a gullible audience waiting to applaud their dressed up product, nothing more.

 

Bread and Circuses

 

Elections are here.

The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens… which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it… which for the majority translates as ‘Bread and Circuses.’

‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader—the barbarians enter Rome.”
Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein was a science fiction writer along with Isaac Azimov and Arthur C. Clarke were considered the “Big Three” of science fiction writers. He received 7 Hugo Awards presented for the best achievements in science fiction or fantasy works. He was described early on by Asimov as a “flaming liberal” but he went through a conversion displayed in his later novels and short stories. He recognized the reformation that the country was experiencing and he was critical about it. As a science fiction writer you not only try to envision and predict the future but to notice societal trends. You then utilize those trends to estimate the impact on society.

Bread and circuses was not a new concept, throughout civilization those in power have sought to prevent revolt, as well as distract the populace by ensuring they were fed and entertained. HIstory is littered with invasions, wars and conflicts over resources that one group had and another lacked and desired. Diplomacy was useful but one thing about diplomacy was the agreements rarely produced lasting resolutions, in many cases they only set up or were the cause of the nest conflict. The UN is ineffective because of this, we ignore it at our peril.

With the advent of democracy or representative governments as the de facto mode of governance in the world, particularly Western Civilization this is even more important now. The shift of power or the appearance of a shift from the centralized absolute power of the hereditary monarchs which prevailed until the 18th century to the representative democracies or constitutional monarchies of today has meant that those who can provide the bread and circuses for their people will continue to rule.

Today giving people what they want, though not necessarily what they need dominates every election in this country. Offering of bread ( free health care,  welfare, housing, higher minimum wages, college tuition, etc.) or  the circus(legal marijuana, abortion on demand, gay marriage, immigration, school reforms, etc.) decide elections. Little if any consideration is given to the long-term consequences of what is offered or given. Giving people what they want or convincing enough that what is offered is what they really want is used to gain, expand and maintain power by both sides.

Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.”
Robert A. Heinlein

There is plenty of evidence of this; You have Union groups that force non-Union members to pay fees. You have gay groups that have managed to get the government to force others to host their weddings, make their wedding cake, take their photos despite the religious objections of those people. Now as has been done in Europe a couple is trying, with local government help, to have a Reverend officiated a gay marriage or face fines or jail.

We see this in the opposition to Voter Id laws; These laws are almost universal around the world, yet in US they are bitterly opposed. One of the main arguments is that minorities will be disenfranchised by these laws. As the witnesses for the DOJ recently testified:

It’s also the case that — well, yes, so it would, empirically more likely affect African Americans. Also, understanding within political science, that people who register to vote the closer and closer one gets to Election Day tend to be less sophisticated voters, tend to be less educated voters, tend to be voters who are less attuned to public affairs. That also tells me from the literature of political science that there are likely to be people who will end up not registering and not voting. People who correspond to those factors tend to be African Americans, and, therefore, that’s another vehicle through which African Americans would be disproportionately affected by this law.

Translation we need same day registration and voting because blacks are too ignorant or civic minded to register to vote beforehand. The words disparate impact, discrimination, privilege are used to hammer others who do not agree to consent with their views. If that fails threats of violence in the form of riots or physical violence are used. This was evident in 2010 during the Trayvon Martin Case, that forced the State to press charges against George Zimmerman, will it work this year in the attempts to charge Darren Wilson in Ferguson?

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”
Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

The effects of battling Global Warming are starting to felt in this nation, despite the fact that the World has not warmed in over 18 years. Policies implemented to combat CO2 production the bogeyman in the AGW theory, has meant that people are paying more for electricity and heating costs. In healthcare, the new Obamacare law is now also making healthcare unaffordable for many, the opposite of the law’s intent, while not denting the number of uninsured.

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”
Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

The Federal government has been printing money at a furious pace, this policy of Quantitative easing (QE), has meant that the rich have gotten richer while those in the Middle has stagnated. Trillions borrowed to pay for TARP, Porkulus and the millions now in the welfare system will mean that future generations will be socked with a huge bill to pay.

The middle class is the hardest hit, while the poor receive assistance from the government to ease or shield them from the results of such policies and the rich can afford it, it is the middle class which bears the brunt. Obamacare has truly become a tax-hit on  many families who are now paying thousands more in healthcare while receiving little or in many cases less coverage or benefits.

Food prices which is not used to calculate inflation, have soared. Ground beef prices are almost 40% higher than 4 years ago, bacon is twice as expensive as 4 years ago. In some instances the prices increases have been hidden by smaller packaging. A 5lb bag of sugar is now 4lb for the same or higher price. 16oz cans now contain 12oz, etc. But even this can’t hide that the cost have risen while wages have not.

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

Robert A. Heinlein

This is the reality we face, history has proven this time and time again. We can ignore history and keep saying to ourselves that we will get it right this time, until this time comes and goes and then we realized were did we go wrong? The answers are and have always been in front of us. We keep trying to re-invent the wheel but forgetting how the original used to work. Petty differences are the circuses used to distract us. Petty new rights are the bread used to attracts us, yet neither makes the wheel work any better or go any faster but boy can they be use to maintain their power.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
Robert A. Heinlein

Amen.

 

 

 

Indulgences, forgiveness and moral excuses

Progressives see religion, especially Christianity with disdain. The see those who follow religion as superstitious ignoramuses who are either mislead or worse Conservatives. But for all the disdain and loathing that Progressives aim at the religious they sure like to misuse and misinterpret religious doctrine for themselves.

Take the use of indulgences, what are indulgences? From the Vatican site:

“An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.”

“An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin.” Indulgences may be applied to the living or the dead.

In Medieval times indulgences were paid to the Catholic Church to wipe/minimize or atone for the sins committed during their lifetime. This doctrine as with many others got corrupted to the point the indulgences were sold to the highest bidder. Doing penance for your sins, if you could build a new wing to the cathedral an official certificate would be given for your penance. Your parents are long dead but they may not have been able to receive last rites or a confession to be absolved of their sins before dying, you could now pay or buy an indulgence for them and spare them the suffering in purgatory or in some cases Hell.

Moderate Muslims, How do we define that?

Kabul University 1970s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before the 9-11 attacks by al-Qaeda on the US, there have been many who have postulated that a modern Caliphate lead by groups like the Islamic Brotherhood would be that answer to the problems in the Middle East. The thinking that this would unite the Muslim Arabs into a Confederation that would bring stability and prosperity under Islam to the region. This is a change from the Pan-Arabism movement in the early part of the 20th Century, a Socialist minded movement that reached its peak once the Egyptians under President Gamal Abdel Nasser adopted it as official policy. Pan-Arabism as the movement was called had socialist roots, supported by the Soviet Union and some European Socialist countries was a failed attempt to re-establish a Caliphate though this early modern version was leftist ideologies not as the earlier versions which were based on theological basis.

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Kabul University 2012

The movement was gaining adherents but the defeat against Israel in 1967, started its demise. Though the leaders of the movement were ideologically Socialists, Israel was used to whip up sympathies among the less ideologically inclined. One thing the Pan-Arabism movement and the newer Islamic based movements is that they both agree, we, the West is the enemy. Western society is incomparable with their Eastern and religious tendencies. It is ironic that the only truly Western country in the Middle East is Israel, though the Leftist leaning academia and Media are always attacking. It is these same intellectuals that are influencing official policy and don’t pass an opportunity to inform us that Islam is the Religion of Peace, that most Muslims are Moderate and if that fails they try to convince anyone who would listen that the extremist are not really Muslims but just fanatics.

15sims_CA0_600

An example of a caning session in moderate Indonesia.

As we gear to once again intervene in the region, it is important to understand that there is an underlying issue that try as many are is the problem. This is a struggle not only of which religion will dominate, not just the area but the World, it is a struggle of two competing philosophies: East vs. West.  The theological conflict started long ago with the creation of Islam, when the Arabic tribes banded together under the Islamic flag and invaded Christian, Jewish and Persian lands. They swept West across North Africa and into Spain only to be stopped in Southern France they also invaded West past the Levant into Anatolia, into the Balkans until they were stopped at the gates of Vienna.

Some pro-Islamists like to call Westerners, Crusaders an allegory to failed attempts by European countries to regain their Holy Lands or at least access to them. Forgetting their own excursions into other territories and their own atrocities. Like the enslaving and trade of Western women and men. The very word slave though its origins date to Roman times was used to describe those from those countries that were enslaved by Roman and later Muslims raiders. Much like they did centuries later in Africa ages before any European.

The ideological conflict is more recent, a result of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of Socialist thought throughout Europe and the rest of the World. The weaknesses of the Ottoman Empire were already evident, even before then. Fundamentalist in Ottoman Empire had already made their presence felt. Late in the 18th century, a Wahhabi rebellion had to put down, when the House of Saud, whose descendants would later establish and rule Saudi Arabia, joined with the radical cleric Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, and rebelled against Ottoman rule. Among its main complaints; that the Ottoman Turks were too westernized and it version of Islam was impure, full of idolatry and Western influence.

The origins of Fundamentalist Islam are old, they can be traced to the teachings of Sheikh Ibn Taymiyyah who died in 1328, and who wanted to return to earlier interpretations of the Qur’an and the Sunnah and who viewed any adaptations after the first 300 years of Islam as unnecessary and a deviation from true Islamic teachings. Modern fundamentalist movements, Wahhabism, Salafism, and Jihadism all borrow heavily from his teachings. One of his teachings was the opposition to giving undue religious honors to Mosques or other religious antiquities, other than the holiest one in Mecca and Medina, which is the justifications that the Taliban borrows to destroy the Buddhist sculptures in Afghanistan, the destruction of Tomb of Jonah in Iraq by ISIS or its promise to destroy Karbala, the Shi’as holiest shrine.

As the West became more influential and powerful, we also have become more secular. This is hampering our understanding of Islam as we look at it and compare it to Christianity. Most Leftists can tell you the evils of Christianity, the danger of allowing Christian thought in schools, Christian thought of abortion, birth control, etc. Too many see Christians and by extension any who ascribe to a religion as innocent, ignorant or just plain deluded for believing in superstitions.

Palestinian Woman Stoned for adultery

Still others who believe in Christianity or other religion including Islam are unwilling to accept all the tenets of the religion. They view religion as something that can be adapted to the changing society, adopting or dropping those tenets that conflict with their views. They will willingly blind themselves of that which they may find objectionable or use false equivalents to justify their lack of acceptance.

True enough most Muslims are not looking to subdue the West and to convert all infidels to their religion. They prefer to live their lives quietly and worship their religion the same way that most others do. They do not seek or act with the same barbarity and view many things that are committed by Fundamentalist with horror and despair. I know quite a few that feel that their religion needs to embrace its most peaceful messages. Many wish and pray that the Fundamentalists would just go away.

 

Full disclosure, my best man at my wedding 23 years ago was from Bangladesh and Muslims and is still my best friend and my younger sister converted to Islam about a decade ago, her husband is also Muslim. I do not have hate towards Muslims but I do have reservations about the overall ignorance about their religion by so many people. The ignorance about the fact that while many oppose slavery, female circumcision, polygamy, honor killings, stoning, caning, suicide bombing, beheadings, etc. they are allowed and even encouraged by proponents of their religion.

 

Islam and the Decadent West

Many Muslims view the West as vulgar, decadent, lacking morals, worshipping false idols and in need of salvation. This is a view that many others also share, and I am not talking about religious adherents but even atheist. They also believe that Islam is the way to salvation and it is their duty as Muslims to ensure that will happen. Are they the silent majority of Muslims, the Moderate ones who are just waiting until Western society just falls apart so that they may pick up the pieces and establish order under Sharia Law?

Perhaps, but their acceptance of things which are viewed so barbarically in the West, will mean that whether a majority or not their acceptance even if it is by silence will put them in conflict with us. Is not that they are wrong in some respects about the West, it is not that despite what many would like to believe our involvement in the ME is causing the rise of ISIS or other fundamentalists groups. The issue is whether we as a society are willing to accept that which Muslims accept and will adapted ourselves or whether we will defend our Western philosophy or freedom and those liberties which believe in and live by, even if we have forgotten what those are. Or are willing to give up on those principles and devalue life.

Are there Moderate Muslims? I guess it depends on what the definition of a Muslim, is.

 

 

 

 

 

Reality Bites… but some keep Believing and keep getting swept away

The World is again full of turmoil, that is not surprising. What should be surprising is how of it could have been avoided, but wasn’t. One of humanity most innate instincts is that of surviving. As a result we have an affinity to learn find out what the mistakes were and what caused them. For instance, early man had to learn that fire burns, that some animals were unfriendly, same with some other groups of humans. We had to learn how to plant crops in a way that we would reap the most benefits. We learned which plants we could eat, which to avoid, how to cook some that would otherwise kill us. We learned not to cross rivers after torrential rains, how to make metal instruments, etc. All was done through trial and error over the millenia. We learned to build cities, to fortify them and then to write things down so that future generations would benefits from their knowledge.

Here we are in the 21st Century, today the combined knowledge of thousands of years of humanity is available at your fingertips in the internet but in many ways we are still that primitive man trying to cross that swollen river, despite the lessons of those that got washed away. As a result we have to re-learn the lessons again and again. No, we can not cross that river but we keep believing that if we turn this way or that way and if we do it diagonally or more slowly we will get to the other side.

Current events are just examples of getting swept away by the currents. Vietnam which for decades dictated how our foreign military policy would be conducted, taught us great lessons that should have prevented us making similar mistakes in the future but we forgot those lessons and are now having to re-learn them. The reality is in war there has to be a victor and the enemy must be vanquished, otherwise we will be doing it again or ultimately losing. Fighting half a war means winning half the victory.

After the costly victory in Vietnam in January 1973, and yes I said victory, we had destroyed the North Vietnamese’s ability to make war but we did not vanquished them. While we promised the South Vietnamese that we would support them with military aid, not troops, we reneged on that promise. The North Vietnamese on the other hand got lots of assistance from China and the Soviet Union, when they launched their Spring Offensive in 1975 the South Vietnamese ran were defenseless and collapsed, granting a real victory to the North who vanquished the South by re-uniting it with the North into communist united Vietnam. The lessons were clear, a war is not won on half measures, our refusal to attack the North directly dragged the war for years at horrendous human cost. Once we changed our tactics the North sued for Peace but we did not follow through we left a divided Vietnam and a South Vietnam which had been devastated by years of fighting to fend for itself.

During the First Gulf War we applied the one lesson from Vietnam and went in with a large force, not incremental increases of troops that was the method in Vietnam, we quickly and overwhelmingly won the contest. But we did not vanquish Saddam, instead we watched as he vanquished those that tried to rise against him after the hostilities with our forces were finished. As we did in Vietnam we failed to vanquish the enemy, all the while we ask Iraqis to fight against Saddam, and left them defenseless once he turn his attention to them. We went back to Iraq, deposed of Saddam but after the country was pacified we again left the country to its own devices, we ignored the rising river of resentment of the new Iraqi government by the Sunni population which had backed Saddam. Reality is biting us again…

Reality is biting us in Africa as well, for years the State Department ignored the actions of Boko Haram and refused to call them a terrorist organization despite the many attacks against Christians and the violence against all things Western. In Libya we assisted helped to depose of Gaddafi without much tought what would happen after, now Libya is a failed state that resembles Somalia in that different Warlords control different areas of the country. Not to mention the issues in the Ukraine, the civil war in Syria, Yemen, the aggressiveness of China and Iran obtaining nukes.

It’s not just other parts of the World, but domestically that reality is biting us hard. Obamacare is train wreck, we have an artificially inflated stock market that is due for a large correction, unemployment numbers hide that millions have left the workforce and millions more are working part-time or underemployed, green energy is a costly fraud, Veterans are dying for lack of care, the NSA is spying on all of us, race relations are worse now, and our President loves to golf.

Little thought was given to what the Islamization of Northern Africa and the Middle East would do. What the takeover of 1/6th of the economy would do to our country, or what would happen when we retreat from the World. The theory seems to be that if we all gave up something that we all would be happier. A common redistributionist thought but taking from Peter to pay Paul has never worked. Making more countries Islamic Republics is not going to deter those that see us (the West) as evil or make more inclusive, it does the opposite. Providing health insurance at an inflated cost will not make people healthier, but it will incentivize many to do less and ask for more. Leaving a vacuum on the World’s stage is not going to make the World love us more, but it will allow others to fill the space to our detriment.

These lessons are not new, we have thousands of years of history behind us to teach us. Is not that we have lost the instinct to find out what went wrong or why but we have lost the ability to learn from the past.  We have become so smug that we live in the 21st century that we feel that can ignore the past as we create our future. We feel that we can cross the raging rivers, no matter what evidence there is that we can’t.  This transcends ideology whether Right or Left or Center. Innovation another great human trait, that has gotten us to were we are, only works if we listen to those voices from our past to help us guide us into the future.

 

Tea Party “is” responsible for the IRS, VA, Benghazi and other scandals

The Tea Party, or a better description the Tea Party movement, is responsible for the scandals that plaguing the Obama Administration, by bringing to the forefront the problems that afflict our government; cronyism, incompetence, size, mismanagement and size. Its populists message made inroads with people and appealed to voters across, racial, political, income and age lines.  It was this disenchantment that a young Jr. Senator from Illinois was able to tap into the Presidency over the more senior and experience opponents; first in the Democratic Primary against Hillary Clinton and then against long-time Senator McCain both Washington insiders.

The origins of the Tea Party Movement or TPM  are difficult to place, since many groups have claimed to be Tea Party Patriots or a variation, many in commemoration of the original protest that gave its name the Tea Party of 1773, a protest against the Crown’s taxes in the colonies. The current TPM really started to take shape as a protest against the Bush Administration, in particular the then proposed TARP program and the  Bush Administration expansion of the Federal government in 2008.

In 2009, with the new President Obama and its expansion of the TARP, to the bailout GM and Chrysler as well as the Stimulus Bill and later the proposed Health Care overhaul bill, while mired in a recession flamed the TPM into a National movement. The TPM held massive rallies throughout the country and in the mid-term elections of 2010 many candidates supported by the TPM were elected into Congress over Establishment politicians. Those gains in 2010 and the earlier victory of Senator Scott Brown at the beginning of 2010 to replace Senator Ted Kennedy who had died cemented the TPM as a legitimate force in National politics. Brown’s election was extremely important as his election would provide the Republicans with 41 Senate seats, which would have been enough to sustain a filibuster of the Obamacare bill in Congress.

Senator Brown’s election was important in other ways because it forced the Democrats to find ways to thwart the TPM and its populist movement. It also marked the departure of how the MSM’s media outlets covered the TPM. The TPM’s strong opposition to the Health Care bill, the Stimulus and other policies of the new Administration was from that point on in the MSM’s (Main Street Media) eyes one driven by racism, homophobia, xenophobia,  Hellenologophobia, anti-government, anarchists or just plain crazy people. One example of this is the Media’s reporting of the protests outside of Congress on the day that then Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and her entourage of Democratic Leaders including many from the CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) marched in with her oversized mallet to commemorate the passage of the Health Care Bill. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) and other members of the CBC would claim that protester spat on him as they hurls racist slurs at him other Congressmen, despite the dozens of MSM cameras and hundreds more of others that were recording the event, none have corroborated his accusations. Breibart even offered a $100,000 reward for any video or audio that corroborated the claims, needless to say the reward was never claimed, in fact all the video footage disproved the claims. It didn’t stop the MSM from reporting the claims as factual, to this day many point to that non-event as proof of the TPM’s racism, just another instance of the MSM’s false but accurate reporting that become vogue when reporting about the TP or non-Democrats for that matter.

The TPM was becoming a powerful force in politics, one that could upset the delicate balance our 2 party system had developed through the years. To the Democrats it was siphoning support from those fiscally responsible Democrats still in the party, even though the party itself had taken a sharp turn to the left. To the Republicans they faced the possibility of it being consumed by the movement, upsetting the things as they are of the Establishment. Both parties have profited from government largesse, the Democrats would get funding for their social engineering and the Republicans the Defense and breaks for corporate entities. Both could go home to their districts and “bring home the bacon” from Washington and use it to get elected and re-elected. It was something that both would tout endlessly about  during the election season by incumbents and opponents if one failed to deliver. The TPM was looking to upset that symbiotic relationship between the parties, they had to be stopped.

In the beginning the Republican Party was happy with the Tea Party as it added life to their ranks who had been demoralized after the Bush Administration, they had lost both Houses of Congress and the Presidency and seemed lost without a clear message for the future. The TPM gave them a boost that they sorely needed, but it became apparent that the TPM was not going to be puppet of the Establishment Republicans, in fact the TPM would go just as hard against them as they would against the Democrats.  If the movement was to be stopped the Democrats would have to get involved to help and they did utilizing their allies in the MSM, Hollywood and some Republicans to bring a stopped to the TPM.

The Media’s reporting of the TPM changed, rallies that were once looked upon skeptically now were reported in negative connotations, the attendees where under reported, the racial make-up of the attendees was analysed, income levels, intelligence, etc. The TPM was put under a microscope, in the 2010 Mid-terms any Tea Party supported candidate was vetted rigorously, after the elections much was made about those that lost but very little was said about those that one, which far out-numbered the loses. The TPM candidates were often vilified, their statements were often taken out of context and portrayed negatively, but all of this was not enough to stop the wave that saw the Republican party from retaking one half of Congress putting the stop brakes on the Obama Administration Agenda. It was clear that the TPM needed to be stopped or 2012 would be another bad year for the Democrats.

This is why the TPM is responsible for the scandals that would follow. The Obama Administration and the Democrats Congress in had a very pro-Government Agenda. They sought to pass legislation that would radically change our country. From climate change regulation, to gun control, health care, financial regulation, etc. all would consolidate power on the Federal government. To the Democratic leadership, name the problem, more government seemed to be their solution. This of course was contrary to the TPM’s message, that saw too much government intervention and spending as the problem. To accomplish this the Administration and the Democratic Leadership set about in motion several actions to prove the not only the need for government intervention but that it could deliver the goods.

Fast and Furious– To prove the need for stricter gun control, it revived a Bush Administration program that was intended to track guns purchased in the US and sold to Mexican Drug Cartels, only this time the amount of guns would be much larger and no attempt would be made to track the guns across the border, we also would not notify the Mexican authorities of it. The hope was that when those guns would turn up in Mexico and traced back to the US, it would lend impetus to gun control legislation. This led to these guns being used to kill at least 2 US border agents and hundreds more dead in Mexico, including several massacres in Mexico.

Solyndra and others– To prove that the government could stimulate and replace the use of fossil fuels, millions of dollars were given to Solyndra and other renewable energy companies most have ceased operations, a few are limping along but the program has been a colossal waste of taxpayers money.

Benghazi and Arab Spring To demonstrate the new approach to Foreign relations, the Administration backed the rise of Islamist factions in allied countries, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Syria and Libya, the rebellions in those countries have thrown them all into chaos. Secular Tunisia is in turmoil by the new proposed constitution based on Sharia Law, Libya is split in two and in a continuing civil war, Yemen has been split with large portions in control by al-Qaeda, Syria was plunged into a civil war that has more that 150, 000 dead and millions residing in refugee camps, Egypt rejected the rule of the Islamist with a coup by the military who now rule the country. Also worth mentioning the rise al-Qaeda related groups in Mali that required the intervention of the French, or Boko Haram in Nigeria and neighboring countries. In Benghazi the same groups that we assisted in overthrowing the government attacked our Consulate which led to the deaths of our Ambassador and 3 others. In Syria the rebels that we were supporting have now turned around and have conquered large portions of Iraq, possibly leading to the partition of the country into 3 different factions.

Ukraine and Russia– The “reset” with Russia has worked about as well as can be expected with this Administration with the Ukraine losing the Crimea and in danger of losing the Eastern half of the country after we supported the Maidan pro-Western uprising against its elected government. Russia is also supporting the Syrian government which we are opposing and strengthening ties with China.

VA scandal– The Administration pointed to the VA as the standard and goal of its Health Care ambitions, it paid bonuses to their officials for delivering the quality of care that showed how a government could take over the health system and provide a quality service. Instead those bonuses helped to incentivize a system that failed to perform and hid the results of its failure with mock lists when those waiting to receive care died while waiting to see a doctor.  At the same time whistleblowers were harassed and fired when they brought the failures to light.  Meanwhile millions were paid to the families of the dead veterans in settlements to cover their failures to provide care.

IRS scandal To prevent the TPM from spreading its message, the IRS was weaponized to prevent local groups of TPM and Conservative groups the means to organize as an entity. The groups were investigated, slow walked and people on donor lists were investigated and audited.  Unlike the DNC and RNC the TPM is not one national organization but a conglomeration of smaller regional entities working together. They also did not share a single platform as some shared some social goals but others didn’t. The end result was that the TPM was mostly silent in the run-up to the 2014 Presidential Elections, which was immensely helpful in the re-election of the Obama Administration. Without their local voices the TPM, and the marginalization of the “teabaggers” by the MSM it blunted and silenced the TPM.

There other instances of actions that were caused by the TPM but as you can see the Administration and Establishment Republicans have taken measures to quashed the TPM. Just yesterday Senator Cochran won the primary in Mississippi over a TPM,  Conservative challenger by depicting his challenger as racist and directly appealing to the black community for its votes.  One black pastor who helped to organize votes against Cochran opponent, was asked why he was supporting Cochran over his challenger, he said because he that his challenger Chris McDaniel was a tea partier and a racist so he was helping Cochran win.  Oh by the way he also said that he would work hard come November to elect the Democratic nominee.

Like I said at the beginning, the Tea Party is to blame.

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Little Lies

In 1987, Fleetwood Mac released the song “Little Lies” it would be their last top 10 hit in the US. As the song goes the singer would rather hear “little lies” than the truth. We as a country are willing to accept the fantasy, the little lies than to inform ourselves.

If I could turn the page
In time then I’d rearrange just a day or two
Close my, close my, close my eyes
But I couldn’t find a way
So I’ll settle for one day to belive in you
Tell me, tell me, tell me lies

We allow others to re-write history, to re-arrange events, to re-define people, all to conform, to get along, to not offend, to question lest we be labeled sexist, racist, extremist, Conservative, out of touch or just plain crazy.  In seeking this conformity we forget that Little Lies have a way of becoming Large Lies and that while that little lie does not affect you personally,  at this time, those big ones will one day.

Tell me lies
Tell me sweet little lies
Although I’m not making plans
I hope that you understand there’s a reason why
Close your, close your, close your eyes
No more broken hearts

It is easier to accept the lies, nobody wants to be heartbroken. It is hard to accept that you been duped, that you have been lied to , that the world is a dangerous place and it cannot fit into easy understandable, predictable and controllable ways. The real world is harsh, it is cruel, it has no pity and accepts no excuses or good intentions.

A few months ago, Ezra Klein former columnist for the Washington Post, got together with other writer and columnist to launch a new website Vox.com.  Its aim is to explain complex problems in a short column or a 5 minute video. I was awestruck that the idea, it was perfect for today’s generation. A generation that has the attention span of a 30 second commercial. At the same time I was floored that such an idea could get the backing he requested $10 million dollars and that such a thing was even contemplated. The sheer brazenness and arrogance of Klein and his collaborators to think that they would succeed at this venture was and is amazing.

I guess that is the whole point, we like little lies, as any attempt to explain complex problems so callously would entail. How else could think that explaining the Iraq problems, or the IRS scandal or even the Obama Administrations failures could be explained in such a short concise manner.

But, we Americans and most residents of what is call the First World are nothing but arrogant. We are so arrogant that many believe that not only can we affect the weather but the entire global climate.  We recede the oceans, save the whales and polar bears even if they are not in any danger from changes in the weather.  We have deified ourselves, that we know exactly what time conception occurs and the difference between a clump of cells and what would be a human being. We know that if someone is biologically a male but feels in his heart that he is a female that this is as it should be. I think therefore I am, I am a female or male then that is all there is to it. Biology be damn, after all with some hormone treatments and a little nip here or there we can be whoever or whatever we want to be.

This is how a little know Jr. Senator from the State of Illinois is elected to the Highest Office in the US. We know he attended Columbia and Harvard Law School but for someone who has been declared the smartest President in our history, we have no idea what his grades were.  Does anyone think today that if he was an ace student, considering how narcissistic he has been, that we would not be constantly reminded of how well he did in school? This was a pretty lie we told ourselves to at least justify to our selves voting for an unknown entity with really sharp creases and the ability to read a speech from the teleprompter.

Women told themselves lies about Sarah Palin, what “real” woman is still married to his high school sweetheart, 20+ years later. Is not like she attended an Ivy League school, she graduated from the University of Idaho, Idaho.  Palin not only worked but had more than 2 kids, one who had Down Syndrome. I know she was the youngest and first female elected to governor in Alaska but we know that there had to been some shenanigans for that to happen. Worst of all she was unabashedly a follower of that cult of paternalistic, gay hating, anti-abortion group of people; the Christians.

We were told that we could spend ourselves out of a recession, that we could “reset” with Russia, that we could negotiate with terrorists without detriment, that we could replace all of our energy needs using 13th century technology and solar batteries. We were told that we could create a new health care program which would insure everyone, but if we like our plan we could keep it, if we like our doctor we could him to and not only would it not cost us more but it would save us $2500 a year.

We were told that a YouTube video which few had seen, not only caused mass protests and riots in Egypt but led to the attacks on our Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, who were told we had help dispose of its leader to prevent him from defending hi self in a revolution. We were told that these people who were revolting were Moderates, who really liked us and would help the country.

We were told that a few rogue IRS agents in an office in Cincinnati were responsible for denying, delaying, releasing information on non-profits groups that would be opposed to the Administration. Now that we know that this is not exactly the truth, we are told that the e-mail communications of the lead official in charge of supervising this are lost due to a computer failure, but not just hers but 6 other officials which would also have been involved all suffered catastrophic computer failures so their e-mail communications are lost as well.

Too many have accepted the little lies, too many have made excuses, have attempted to clarify, to tell us that what we were told, was not what we thought but something else entirely.  Regardless many say it is for our own good, if it didn’t work it is not because of them, the liars, but those who resisted the lies, yes they are the ones responsible. Because it is not a lie if you believe in it, if you close your eyes, you can make it true.

That is why someone who has lived for 18 years on  residences provided free of charge, while earning 4 times the median family income can go on National TV,  and with a straight face claim that she understands what Americans are feeling, because after 18 years of receiving room and board from us, she was broke from debts she acquired to buy 2 new homes while waiting for multi-million dollars windfalls in book deals that were in the works.

This is how our President can claim to emphasize with single parent homes, completely forgetting that he grew up with his grandparents who paid for his elite private school in Hawaii while his mother continued to live in Indonesia. This is how a 6′ + tall young black male, Trayvon Martin on his 3rd 10 day suspension from school in a little over half the school year, can become the martyr for all young black males. How a portly short Hispanic man, of mix heritage can become the most hated man in the country and have part of his heritage brushed aside because it is inconvenient.  How his parents which had him bounce from home to home and who was left alone with son of his father’s mistress for the weekend are now the epitome of the perfect parents for our country.

Is not that politicians lie, that is expected to a degree.  Some lie by omission, some over promise, some lie our ignorance, some for expediency like I said it is expected to a degree. What I do expect is that there be consequences for continued lying.  That we could be more discerning and not so cheap with our trust. I hope that when little lies become big lies, that we stop reelecting those that abuse our trust, and it is not just politicians but the media, or anyone else.

It is up to us, to make that happen, accountability in government or anywhere else begins with us. As Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying

“The government you elect is government you deserve.”

H.L. Mencken said the same thing, but better:

“People deserve the government they get, and they deserve to get it good and hard.”

Tell me lies
Tell me sweet little lies