TBT: The Brutal Truth

Friday, March 31, 2006

The AmericaBlog Bruhaha

As John Aravosis says, 9 months ago, he posted a rant accusing the left of fearing money. It drove me batshit but I let it slide. On the heels of his recent attendance of a media gala of which he posted pictures (one of which was of him hanging out with Katherine "Tits" Harris), John recieved some pretty nasty comments in his HaloScan. That prompted John to go all out for Round 2 of his "The Left Fears Money" rant. I won't let it slide this time so I'll have my take on that ordeal later this afternoon or evening.

I like John alot and think he's absolutely one of the most brilliant -- if not THE most -- brilliant bloggers out there. But he's offbase with his two rants. He needs some humble pie. However, so are some of those who complained -- they're just as fuckin' offbase and John is. So, both are getting an equal share of defense and burial by me later on (and I can hardly wait to sink my teeth into that Harris picture). Until then, Rip Van Winkle wants to waterboard my ass ...


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Delta Force Mastermind Blasts The Bush-Lord

Ret. U.S. Army Sgt. Eric Haney, a founding member of Delta Force and current technical adviser to CBS's "The Unit", sounds off like he's got a pair in an interview with The Daily News:

Q: What's your assessment of the war in Iraq?

A: Utter debacle. But it had to be from the very first. The reasons were wrong. The reasons of this administration for taking this nation to war were not what they stated. Tommy Franks was brow-beaten and ... pursued warfare that he knew strategically was wrong in the long term. That's why he retired immediately afterward. His own staff could tell him what was going to happen afterward.

We have fomented civil war in Iraq. We have probably fomented internecine war in the Muslim world between the Shias and the Sunnis, and I think Bush may well have started the third world war, all for their own personal policies.

Q: What is the cost to our country?

A: For the first thing, our credibility is utterly zero. So we destroyed whatever credibility we had. ... And I say "we," because the American public went along with this. They voted for a second Bush administration out of fear, so fear is what they're going to have from now on.

Our military is completely consumed, so were there a real threat - thankfully, there is no real threat to the U.S. in the world, but were there one, we couldn't confront it. Right now, that may not be a bad thing, because that keeps Bush from trying something with Iran or with Venezuela.

The harm that has been done is irreparable. There are more than 2,000 American kids that have been killed. Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis have been killed in which no one in the U.S. really cares about those people, do they? I never hear anybody lament that fact. It has been a horror, and this administration has worked overtime to divert the American public's attention from it. Their lies are coming home to roost now, and it's gonna fall apart. But somebody's gonna have to clear up the aftermath and the harm that it's done just to what America stands for. It may be two or three generations in repairing.

Damn straight.


Babysitting The Chimp-In-Chief

"Exactly what did the President know and when did he know it?"

That's been the burning question for a long time now and most of us in left Blogoistan allready knew the answer. The problem was getting Patrick Fitzgerald and the Republican-owned and operated, tax-break loving, defense contract collecting mainstream media to peel the onion. Fitzgerald has done a fine job and continues to do so although he's been relatively silent lately. Predictably, we can't say the same about the mainstream media. As a result, the following onion peel from Murray Waas where he shows quite clearly exactly what the Bush-Lord knew and when did he know it will again be predictably ignored by the MSM, leaving the spineless Democrats in Washington to continue collecting their $160,000-180,000 welfare check without rocking the boat too much ...

Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political adviser, cautioned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that Bush's 2004 re-election prospects would be severely damaged if it was publicly disclosed that he had been personally warned that a key rationale for going to war had been challenged within the administration. Rove expressed his concerns shortly after an informal review of classified government records by then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley determined that Bush had been specifically advised that claims he later made in his 2003 State of the Union address -- that Iraq was procuring high-strength aluminum tubes to build a nuclear weapon -- might not be true, according to government records and interviews.


The previously undisclosed review by Hadley was part of a damage-control effort launched after former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV alleged that Bush's claims regarding the uranium were not true. The CIA had sent Wilson to the African nation of Niger in 2002 to investigate the purported procurement efforts by Iraq; he reported that they were most likely a hoax.

The White House was largely successful in defusing the Niger controversy because there was no evidence that Bush was aware that his claims about the uranium were based on faulty intelligence. Then-CIA Director George Tenet swiftly and publicly took the blame for the entire episode, saying that he and the CIA were at fault for not warning Bush and his aides that the information might be untrue.

Translation: The Plame Leak, the withholding of the NIE, Tenet falling on his sword, all of it. Every single scrap of it was carefully orchestrated by Rove, Cheney, Bush, Hadley, and Libby to insulate the Waterboarding-Rich-Brat-in-Chief from potential media scrutiny -- scrutiny that would not only have blown his re-election but may have dragged them all down an impeachment/war crimes hellhole.

Note to Democrats: I hate to sound like the late Johnny Cochrane but when you've got a lying thief, you must impeach. Period. Fuck You. Next. But you won't. Why? Because your vote record for the war in Iraq as well as your current paralysis in the face of it all shows your own complicity in this nefarious, unethical, criminal, corrupt, complacent, complicit wet dream amongst the capitalistic Corportoracy that has resulted in more than 2,300 dead soldiers, 17,000+ wounded, a middle eastern nation in civil war, and an America completely alone all by itself surrounded by a third-world brimming with pissed off motherfuckers whose own leaders can annihilate our economy at the the drop of an I.O.U. ...

(Hat Tip: Crooks And Liars)


ACTIVIST WINGNUT ALERT: Scalia Obsensity Photo Released!

With a tip of the hat to AmericaBlog, the photographer that captured Supreme Court Justice making an obscene jesture in response to a reporter asking him a question has come forward, not only with his take of the story, but the very photograph Justice Scalia initially told him not to publish. The Boston Herald has the lowdown:

Amid a growing national controversy about the gesture U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made Sunday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the freelance photographer who captured the moment has come forward with the picture. “It’s inaccurate and deceptive of him to say there was no vulgarity in the moment,” said Peter Smith, the Boston University assistant photojournalism professor who made the shot.

Despite Scalia’s insistence that the Sicilian gesture was not offensive and had been incorrectly characterized by the Herald as obscene, the photographer said the newspaper “got the story right.” Smith said the jurist “immediately knew he’d made a mistake, and said, ‘You’re not going to print that, are you?’ ”

Scalia’s office yesterday referred questions regarding the flap to Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg, who said a letter Scalia sent Tuesday to the Herald defending his gesture at the cathedral “speaks for itself.”

“He has no further comment,” Arberg said.

Smith was working as a freelance photographer for the Boston archdiocese’s weekly newspaper at a special Mass for lawyers Sunday when a Herald reporter asked the justice how he responds to critics who might question his impartiality as a judge given his public worship.

The judge paused for a second, then looked directly into my lens and said, ‘To my critics, I say, ‘Vaffanculo,’ ” punctuating the comment by flicking his right hand out from under his chin, Smith said.

I've been around a lot of Italians and Sicilians, even dated a few and been taken home to meet the folks, have dinner, what have you. When that gesture is mixed with "Vaffanculo", it predominatly means either of two things. (1) "Go fuck yourself!" or (2) "Stick it in your ass!" Those are the most popular and, in my experiance, it's usually the last thing said in the whole house before the ass-beating right in the middle of the kitchen or across the dinner table. This isn't always the case among all Italians/Sicilians. Just among the most partisan.

But for a Supreme Court Justice to do this in reponse to a reporter who asked him if another recent outburst by Scalia regarding his stance on due process for war detainees justifiably raises concerns about his impartiality in an upcoming hearing is simply beyond the pale. Not only does Scalia need to recuse himself from that case but he also needs to step down from the bench entirely.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ranting On The Immigration Protests

Fixer's got some 'splainin' to do and he does it:

Ladies and germs, 'illegal' means you have broken the law of the land. I realize we have become desenitized to 'illegality' after dealing with the Chimp and his entourage for the past 5 years but the definition is the same. So, in dealing with illegal immigration, let's first get that fact straight. The illegals' first act of setting foot in this country is to break the law. An auspicious beginning.

Next, it is these same people who are making demands of the United States. I doubt, because I've researched it in anticipation of retirement outside the U.S., many other nations would even consider the wishes of folks who are not citizens, let alone in the country illegaly. A jail term at worst, deportation at best, are the current reactions by others toward illegal entrants. So when these folks march down the streets in U.S. cities waving flags of their own nations, making demands of our government, it naturally chaps my ass. Not because I'm a white boy and they're all brown, but because they don't vote and don't pay taxes (don't wave the sales tax at me, not when I pay close to $40,000 a year in state and federal income taxes). I don't give a damn if they're British, German, Indian, Asian, or Canadian.

Next, the jobs illegals take are not 'jobs Americans don't want to do'. They are jobs corporations don't want to pay competitive wages for. Not when they have a ready and willing pool of cheap labor just across the border. Illegals are being exploited, period. If corporations would feel some pain for hiring illegals, enough pain for them to feel it in the bottom line, they would change their tune, quickly.

The F-Man just hammers it with a 16 pound sledge. I find no fault with his argument at all. When it comes to how this issue has chapped his own ass, where I bleed and wince the most isn't from the justifications Fixer ranted and raved about. Nope, not all at all.

What really drives me out of my goddamned tree is in a country whose people witnessed the Bush Administration's belligerent "Scorched Earth" Neo-Con foreign policy completely destroy America's image as a tolerant nation with humble citizens, his constant claiming to be above the Constitution and above reproach from the American people via his "signing statements", his clear-and-cut disregard for human rights as he and his crony-shooting Veep jockey for not only the right but the privilege and honor to waterboard any random brown-skinned Arab they see all under the false and fraudulent auspices of Rightwing Conservative Christian fundamentalism, it all wasn't enough to break the camels back.

The Downing Street Memo wasn't enough, either. Neither was Russ Feingold's call for censure that made the Democrats literally run for the hills. All the reporting Anderson Cooper did on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and all the reporting he still does about all those empty, undelivered, tax-payer funded trailers sinking in the fuckin' mud wasn't enough. Dick Cheney and Karl Rove's obvious-as-all-hell criminal involvement in the Valerie Plame leak wasn't enough. The Dubai port deal wasn't enough. Diebold's election fixing wasn't enough. The lack of finding WMDs in Iraq wasn't enough. Darfur, Gitmo, and Abu Ghraib wasn't enough. Jack Abramoff wasn't enough. Tom DeLay wasn't enough. The two Alaskan bridges to nowhere wasn't enough. The outsourcing of American jobs wasn't enough. The widening gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots" wasn't enough. The lack of Big Oil not being sworn in for their Congressional testimony as opposed to baseball players wasn't enough. The incompetence of FEMA wasn't enough ...

To put it simply and encompass it all, the last 6 sorry years of a Republican "Culture of Corruption" walking hand-in-crotch with a Democratic "Culture of Complacency" has given millions of Americans a virtual solar system full of justifications to push the fuckin PAUSE button on their EverQuest/WorldOfWarcraft lives long enough to put on or participate in huge rolling protests and demonstrations within the largest cities in each state all accoss this country. Oh, but draft a dodgy immigration bill ... and suddenly 500,000 white, black, and brown people all over California finally recieve the fucking gumption to rise up off their otherwise dead asses, dust off a few Mexican and American flags they'd normally use for curtains, and take to the goddamned streets?!?

These protests tell me more about the priorites (or lack thereof) of the American people in general than it does about immigration. I'll leave it at that, because if I keep going, I'll be making more enemies than friends within left blogistan and in a big goddamn hurry ...


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

"Ownership Society" Recieves Marching Orders

Republican pollster Jan van Lohuizen, in a memo written for RNC chairman Ken Mehlman, warns that if members of Congress try to drive a wedge between themselves and Pres. Bush, it'd be akin to adding weight to an anchor. GOPers are "W Brand Republicans" whether they like it or not ... The President is seen universally as the face of the Republican Party … President Bush drives our image and will do so until we have real national front-runners for the '08 nomination. Attacking the President is counter productive for all Republicans, not just the candidates launching the attacks. If he drops, we all drop.

(Hat tip: Ms. Shakes)


"Wintergreen! Wintergreen, have you heard what they've done? They put Schiesskopf in charge of everything!"

Wintergreen was shrieking with rage and panic. "You and your goddam memorandums!"

"Oh, no," moaned General Peckem. "Is that what did it? My memoranda? ..."

"Because you ... transferred out and left him in charge. And do you know what he wants? Do you know what the bastard wants us all to do?"

"Sir, I think you you'd better talk to General Scheisskopf," pleaded the sergeant nervously. "He insists on speaking to someone."

"Cargill, talk to Scheisskopf for me. I can't do it. Find out what he wants."

Colonel Cargill listened to General Scheisskopf for a moment and went white as a sheet. "Oh, my God", he cried as the phone fell from his fingers. "Do you know what he wants? He wants us to march. He wants everybody to march!"

Joseph Heller


Saturday, March 25, 2006

Bush To Congress: "What Part Of 'As Long As I Get To Be The Dictator' Don't You Get?"

Just go read . By the end of it, you'll be thinking the same thing I'm thinking: Why in the flying, rat-infested, waterboarding fuck doesn't the Bush-Lord just run out into the White House Press Room clad in baggie pants and carrying a boombox, shove an IED into Scotty's stonewalling mouth, shout at all the reporters, "STOP -- Hammer & Sicle Time!!", and proceed to do the ol' Nazi Goosestep ala M.C. Hammer right outside onto the fucking lawn?!? He might as well -- all the shitbag journalists will happily fall in line behind him (especially those from the Bob Woodward Post) and it might just convince our George McFly Democrats to stop being bashful wallflowers (with the noteful exception of Obnoxious Joe Lieberman).

This punk-ass, fake Christian, Saudi oil bitch has asserted to Congress TWICE his prophetic suffusion of the Holy Hitler Spirit and his 1,000 year reign as the Potemkin King Of Kings and Lord Of Warlords is about to begin, where his Side-Prophet Of Profit Sheik Achmed Al-Octane will soon start baptizing the American masses with scorched earth fire and the boiling blood of all things liberal. Resistance at this point is probably as futile as a Tom Cruise marriage ...


Interesting CNN Poll

Check it out, peeps! Under A.J. Hammer's photo, there's a QuickVote poll:

Do you agree with Charlie Sheen that the U.S. Government covered up the real events of the 9/11 attacks?

The results are staggering -- 84% YES to 16% NO (as of this post).

As the wheels come off the Cheney Administration and "The Ownership Society"'s wagon, so doth peel the layers of whitewash.

(Hat Tip: Disco)


Perception Mismanagement III: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Dash To The Bottom

At the end of Part II, I said the following:

Let's face it -- a good portion of men and women in this country today have no fucking alternative whatsoever to be a "Deadbeat Dad" or "Deadbeat Mom" Why? Stay tuned for Part Three of this. I'll be happy to spill it out for you because by the Fathers Rights crowd selling out to Big Religion and the conservative media, and by the Womens Rights crowd allowing Lenore Weitzman to hock themselves out to Big Business the U.S. Government, you both in your boundless naivete have created your own undoing at the very cost of your own interests -- be they financial, personal, or political -- and, therefore, you both need to re-learn a very valuable lesson. The faster you do, the faster Kansas and the rest of the nation can.

It's the "boundless naivete" amongst both the mostly conservative Christian fundamentalist Father's Rights crowd and the mostly liberal feminists within the Womens Rights camp that I'll be dealing with this installment. And, rest assured, there's plenty of it to tackle so I'm just going to come right out with my promised Moe Howard ceremonial skull-cracking manuver which will break the monotony of both groups' boundless naivete. How so? Simple: by reminding them that the very reason why we've got a Republican "Culture of Corruption" along with a Democratic "Culture of Complacency" in this country right now is because of ...

*pulls ripcord showering the country with mirrors*


That's right, motherfuckers. This entire country has neglected to remind themselves of the very career choice that has done nothing more than spawn an entire city ripe with the all-time, undisputed, heavyweight champions of everything worthy of the title "Deadbeat" but, unfortunately, it is my opinion that the Fathers Rights and Womens Rights crowds has been the worst offenders, because, by sheer numbers alone, both of these groups make up nearly the less than 50% of the total electorate that still bothers to even vote anymore. Who famously said the following:

If everybody in this town had to leave because of chasing women ... you'd have no government.

That's right - A POLITICIAN! Barry Goldwater, to be exact.

Politicans have always been, always is, and always will be FUCKING DEADBEATS! Deadbeats because they've engaged in broadchasing long before any of us started the habit of breathing. Deadbeats for fucking them, whelping kids, then leaving them all hanging because they found a new broad to chase while using their power and influence to keep it all hush-hush. Deadbeats because the moment they get into office, they start fucking things up. Deadbeats because they don't really represent us at all and instead are nothing more than outsourced employees of the Corportocracy -- the same 5 or 6 dozen nefarious, amoral, multinational corporations who develope their sordid money-grubbing schemes in their boardrooms and whose lobbyists then plead, bribe, cajole, and threaten politicians to play stickball by selling the bullshit on us or else. Deadbeats who, in order to keep us in the dark from discovering it all as well as from pestering them with our petty grievances, must find a scapegoat that can be molded into being the cause of all of societies ills. Where such a scapegoat does not exist - don't worry; they'll be happy to djinn one up, over-hype and over-glorify the sonofabitch using the same old and tired justifications ("We got to stop [insert scapegoat here] before it adversely harms our children!"

The last 10-15 years has brought us a lot of motherfucking scapegoats that a bipartisan cadre of politicians claimed to be the next Great Satan. The 80s brought us "Judas Priest and Dungeons Dragons Will Turn Your Child Into A Leatherclad Wearing Goblin That Eat Kittens And Commits Blood Sacrifies Upon The Altar of Satan" quickly followed by "2LiveCrew Will Turn Your Child Into A Crack-Smoking, Gun-Toting, Mac Daddy Gangster With A Brigham Young Complex". The early 90s spawned the "Mortal Kombat And Vince McMahon Will Turn Your Little Billy Into A Spine Plucking, Child Killing, Suplex Machine With A Fetish For Having His Ass Kissed At Show-And-Tell" and in the past 6 years, we've had the "Grand Theft Auto And Vic Mackey Will Turn You Little Suzie Into A Car Jacking, Bald-Headed, Cop-Killer (Unless They Listen To Liberals -- In That Case, The Liberals Will Turn Little Suzie Into A Jesus-Crucifying, Troop-Bashing, America Hater That Wants To Smoke Osama Bin Laden's Pole And Have Michael Moore's Babies".

Every few years or so, these scapegoats get recycled.

Do any of them really give a flyin fuck about children? Other than their own, hell no. And neither does all the board members of the National Child Support Enforcement Agency (NCSEA) -- board members who include corporations whose vested interest is to keep the gravy train of business expansion going through those lucrative government contracts:
Policy Studies (PSI) -- Got Deadbeats? Toss us a couple million, Uncle Sam, and we'll help cuff 'em and stuff em! Got an overcrowded jail or prison because of our cuffin' and stuffin'? Ooops - toss us a couple more million and we'll take care of that shit, too! Round and round, here we go, it's a big shell game, wouldn't you know!

ACS INC. -- Processes more than 50% of the nation's child support payments ... but only helped 300,000 deadbeats find jobs since 1996.

PNMit -- I love these lines: "All information PNMit receives is kept strictly confidential. We guarantee this in our contract for services." Hey guys, was your company's involvement with the NCSEA part of that confidentiality agreement? If so, having your Vice President on the board kinda of blows your cover.

Meijer -- This blows my mind. Meijer's payroll manager, James R. Owen, is on the NCSEA board. Meijer is a decent-sized retail/grocery chain based in Michigan. They've got a store and distribution center right here in Monroe. Meijer and the UFCW union is notorious here on exploiting the entire 90 day probation process with new hires. The UFCW takes union dues out of their paychecks from the date of hire but they're not fully protected by the union until 90 days on the job. On the 89th day, Meijer terminates the majority of those new hires. Since the UFCW knows that most of them won't contest their union deductions, they end up keeping those deductions. I know this because Meijer fired me on my 90th day -- just 3-4 hours after I had signed my UFCW papers that officially welcomed me into the union on my lunch break. If this nefarious practice is still conducted by Meijer today, then it's possible that James R. Owen -- in his capacity as payroll manager of Meijer and a NCSEA board member -- is also helping the entire federal bureacracy create "delinquents", thus giving more credibility to Baskerville.

This is just a sample of some of the corporations that are in on this unconstitutional and uncivil racket -- a racket that's also supported by a bipartisan bastion of crooked, criminal-ass, deadbeat politicians from both sides of the aisle (how do would know your Senator or Congresscritter doesn't hold stock or a blind trust in any of these companies?). One particular document from a website I printed up two years ago but has since gone dark that bitched about Lenore Weitzman's bogus statistics said the following:

Where is the compensation -- the refund -- for all the fathers who have been massively overbilled (in some cases by more than twice than what they should been assessed) in child support as a direct consequence if this fraudulent "study", and when will these laws and "guidelines" be overturned now that the truth is known?!?

Oh, that barely scratches the surface -- what about the hundreds of millions of TAX-PAYERS -- be they a Christian conservative Fathers Rights activist, a progressively liberal feminist Women's Rights activist, or anywhere in between -- who were propagandized and bullshitted by deadbeat, punk-ass, broadchasing, backstabbing, projectionist politicians, craven and amoral money-grubbing corporations, and complicit media pundits into bankrolling what has turned out to be a 20+ year long, three-fold denial of Consitutional and Civil rights (e.g. father, mother, and their children) all under the guise of a fucking apocryphal scapegoat?!?

The silence to that question is deafening and I think its because, deep inside, we know the answer. To dignify that answer is to admit culpability on a mass scale that hits too close to home, especially for the Christian Conservative fundies within the Fathers Rights crowd and the Womens Rights feminists. Why? Because they each took the human rights values of preached by Jesus Christ and total gender equality espoused by Susan B. Anthony and sold them out at the same time politicians from the Reagan era sold America out of the realm of compassionate selflessness and into the quagmire of competitive selfishness: The Child Support system is just another of the many gadgets our bought-and-sold Corporatocratic government employed to distract the poor and middle class American people from paying attention to their ultimate goal of furthering the divide between the "haves" and the "have-nots" in this country -- be they man, woman or child, liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat.

By making the poor and middle class people fight amongst themselves over social issues -- be they real or imagined -- it has allowed the rich elite to run off with all the fuckin' money. That is why today, millions of American men and women have no real alternative to be "deadbeats" because when you take the unmitigated loss in our steel industry, our textile industry, and electronics industry, and every other industry where America lead the free world prior to 1970, and not will you have created a mad, mad, mad, mad dash to the bottom for every McJob and McDollar out there because of today's vast divide between the "haves" and the "have-nots", but that very divide and the decline of the dollar's purchasing power is going to directly or indirectly create the explosive atmosphere and justifications for divorce. It's not the lack of spirituality in the public square or gender wars -- it's economics and the errosion of the middle class.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, The U.S. Government -- under extreme embarrassment for their diabolical misadventure in Vietnam and under pressure from the rich corporate aristocracy who saw it all as a success -- had to do two things in order to keep justifying its unholy and inhumane rougery and tyranny not only all over the globe in the name of "Manifest Destiny" but also domestically via self-serving propaganda:

(1) Silence Christians that exposed and blasted capitalism as a false God.
(2) Silence feminists whom demanded financial equality under the dominion of capitalism.

Luckily for the U.S. government, the propaganda campaigns to re-manage the perceptions among Christians were well under way due to the growing influence of belligerent yet charismatic fundamentalists such as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Oral Roberts, and Donald Wildmon -- rich fraudulent Christians who benefited greatly under capitalism's dominion and had no qualms about shifting the blame away from Mammon (the Balaam of Capitalism and their true master) and onto progressive liberalism and secularism in a contrivance to filch even more personal wealth from the wallets of the unsuspecting naive residents of red-state Jesus-Land.

However, the U.S. Government didn't know what the fuck to do in order to re-manage the perceptions among feminists because of the fact that while men did indeed dominate the country as a collective, feminists trumped their dominion as autonomous individuals. In other words, every feminist was a one-woman libertarian militia whose partisan activism and glib tongue could strike fear and doom into politicians. Sadly, the government didn't have to do much to shut up the feminists because there was allready a growing whisper campaign among rightwing Conservatives and the forementioned Christian fundamentalists that blamed feminism for chasing fathers away and protecting and encouraging the expansion of the welfare state through divorce (mostly likely fueled by a twisted interpretation of the flawwed 1983 study by Frank Furstenburg and Reagan's "no-fault" divorce legislation -- legislation that even earned the ire of some feminists).

Once Wietzman spewed her bogus 73/42 statistic, everything was turned on its head. The feminists were duped but yet joined in the "deadbeat dad" bandwagon along with the politicians and the media whom to this very day continue to churn the "Deadbeat Dads Are Alive, Well, And Rich As Hell" meme to keep all the good little duckies lined up in a row.

And right here lies two instances of naivete that are common among feminists today: For one, in a country where the last 6 years have brought us the bursting of the dot.com bubble, millions of job losses due to outsourcing, the rise (and the inevitable bursting) of the housing markets, staggering inflation on the price of oil and energy, hurricane Katrina, the shutting down of numerous automotive plants, and Ms. Shakes's own recent blogging on the hellacious increase of people seeking emergency food assistance, they continue to assume -- possibly expect, maybe outright demand -- that all of these non-custodial "deadbeat" mothers and fathers can just heeble-hobble on over to the nearest tree, pluck off a few hundred bills, cram 'em in an envelope, and send it off to the lucrative Child Support collection bureacracy?!? At least, that's what I gathered from the rather callow words of Eponymous at Ms. Shakes's sandbox:

Eponymous: "I mean, she's the one who carried your child for nine months and bore it and you're bitching about a few hundred dollars a month?"

I could tear this and other things Eponymous said that gathered agreements within the Shaker community seven ways from Sunday but in the face of such callow disregard towards an honest human critical analysis, I must say we can forget the moon -- their tin-hats just sent them into orbit somewhere past Pluto!

The second instance of naivete stems from a harrowing cognitive disconnect about how the custodial parent spends their Child Support money. Although they say child support helps the children, I can tell you affirmatively that, aside from the children whose parents are gainfully employed by the federal government and corporate collection bureacracy, it doesn't help the deprived fatherless or motherless children at all, especially within middle and low income families (some of whom I'm convinced absolutely adore living paycheck to fucking paycheck). Why? Simple: the custodial parent typically doesn't treat those checks as child support. Instead, they treat it as reimbersements for their lifestyle. How so? Remember at the start of this series when I said my divorced sisters and brothers hate to see me coming? Observe:

CASE #1 -- one sister of mine is the custodial parent of 4 kids that I took care of through Michigan's "Relative Care Provider" program while she went to work. I can not count how many times -- SERIOUSLY -- how many times I walked into her place only to witness my sister slam her purse down on the kitchen table and bitch, "That asshole! I was hoping to get my child support check so I could go to bingo before work but noooooo!" Now, I have no use whatsoever for her piece of garbage ex-husband but you'd think she'd save that money for ... well ... CHILD SUPPORT! You know? Anything that benefits the children such as paying the bills, rent, etc. Nope. In her eyes, she'd let some of those bills go in order to hit the bingo hall (which means before she gets to the bingo hall, she'll stop at a store, cash the check, and immediately chuck $50 at the cashier for a cartoon of cigarettes and a stack of scratch-off lottery tickets). When she comes home from bingo, she'll bitch about either her electric or cable being too high. I got mad one day and took her on one of my "Critical Analysis Tours" which extended about as far as the boys bedroom. Our conversation went like this:

Me: "Tell me what's wrong with this picture."

Her "What? I don't see anything except for Harley (the cockatiel)"

Me "That's exactly the problem."

Her "What do you mean?!?"

Me "You don't see that there's two box fans running, that 100 watt lamp blazing, and a TV with a screen more blue than a smurf's ass because of the VCR -- all in just one room in your house where the only object that has a pulse besides you and I is that flying shithouse of yours on the curtainrod. Wonder how long this room been like this? That clock says 6PM. School gets out at 2PM. Do the math. Ready to see your daughter's room?"

Her "Oh, so I'm a bad parent now?!?"

CASE #2 -- my other sister is the non-custodial mother of 4 children - 3 girls and 1 boy. Her ex-husband turned the three girls against her via "parental alienation" in the early mid-90s. The alienation ceased the day my father died in my lap -- no matter how much brain washing her ex-husband did, those girls remebered and loved their grampa. Just before the old man died, however, my sister got a letter from the Friend of the Court where her ex-husband was requesting a child support hike. She could barely afford to live on her $9 an hour job as it was under her current payments and here he wants to jack 'em up. She called to ask why since the girls were well into their teens save for the youngest. His justification for the hike request was "because the bills are piling up and they need school clothes". This is from a guy who shacked up with a woman who has two kids of her own, are middle-class due to their dual incomes, and definately rake in some serious quid come tax-time. I agreed with her reasoning: two of the three girls were above the age of 15 and she felt, as their mother, it would be a good economic learning experiance for them to get summer jobs. A summer job at 14 did wonders for me -- I once blew an entire check at an arcade within hours, leaving me with no lunch money for two weeks. It never happened again. The stomach was a priority; Rastan and Punch-Out wasn't.

CASE #3 -- my ex-fiance came from a divorced family. She was only 10 and her kid sister was around 4 or so. Whenever their father (a great man) was employed, he paid his child support only for his ex-wife to use it to go gallivanting the weekend away out of town, leaving my ex and her sister to basically depend on their grandparents and friends for their needs. I should know -- I was one of those friends that would toss her cash to get groceries. As an aside, some of the old man's child support checks erroneously would go out of town to a woman with a simular name as his ex-wife. I told him, "Look at the bright side - maybe this strange woman is supporting her kids with your money better than your ex-wife would," and he cackled, "That's what I'm saying!!"

Now, it's possible that any feminists that read these personal anecdotes of mine may feel inclined to smear me for tossing members of my family under the bus. My only defense to that is simply what part of the words "the", "brutal", and "truth" don't they understand? Blood is indeed thicker than water, but that doesn't mean blood nor water doesn't deserve to ride baggage on the Greyhound every once in while -- friend, family, or foe. I get stuffed in there myself on occassion, so it's all good. Besides, I look at it this way: if I ever decide to run for public office (shoot me now, please), it's best that people can get the truth out me here. Otherwise, they won't ever be able to get it out of me over there.

Of course, feminists may very well argue that this entire series was unblanced as all fuck because I was more combatative towards them than the Fathers Rights crowd and they'd be right. However, there's a reason for this: I was a Fundy Fristian for 7 years and I know that nature of that mental block: TITANIUM! In other words, between the Culture of Corruption Republicans, Culture of Complacency Democrats, the Masculine Rights crowd, and the feminists, I feel like I'm banging my head against not just one but four fuckings walls and, at the onset of this series, I made what I hope is an accurate observation: the feminists are probably the mose receptive wall to my headbutts. That's not a dig on feminists at all - it should be compliment. I made this observation because I believe that the dialectic synthesis between Fathers Rights and Womens Rights is HUMAN RIGHTS! If this world was a little more real; a little more human, it would certainly be right world for eveyone - man, woman, or child.

I close this series with the following general advice for all non-custodial parents -- man or woman:

1) Don't Pay Child Support Through The System! Neither you nor your child(ren)'s birth certificate(s) have either the Halliburton logo or the Policy Studies logo. Besides, the federal government has demonstrated -- by the very corrupt and craven Republicans and the complacent and spineless Democrats -- that they're aren't even worthy of recieving your tax dollars let alone your child support payments. If Diebold and ES haxored machines can't be trusted to flush the cankerous masses right down the Potomac, then the only option for us is to starve it.

2) If/When you're released from jail for non-compliance, make a payment on your child support using jailhouse currency: Marlboros, Newports, Herbert Tereytons, license plates, etc. If the judge asks you if you're being a smart ass, sarcasticly reply, "No, your honor. If I was being a smartass, I'd be giving you a tattoo right now." You might as well pull a Larry Flynt and smear the judges, the clerks, the whole fucking lot of them. Afterall, you've done lost it all -- how much more you got to lose other than what's left of your life and time? Nothing. So go right ahead and smear away. Just don't kill 'em like those Republican fuckwads in the wake of the Schaivo Shitstorm threatened to do. That judge is more usefull to you alive than dead.

3) If politicians give you any shit, call them and leave the following promise on their voicemail: "A person who justifies blowing millions of dollars campaining for the privilege of a $180,000 job doesn't have the right to lecture me on a damn thing nor give me a civics lesson. It's the other way around, and if you ever forget that again, I'll remind you of it personally by defeating you in the next election, sending your sorry hide back to the hole you crawled out of." Notice I said promise up there -- threats are for the insecure, hence the reason so many politicians make 'em. Make promises instead and own up to them. It'll go farther.

4) If any great number of Americans give you a couple acerbic pennies for your thoughts or actions, remember that 70% of them at one time thought Saddam Hussein was connected to Al-Queda. So much for the quality of their thoughts, eh? In other words, don't count your critics; weigh them. Most of them are going to ammount to about 20 pounds of shit in a 10 pound bag at the end of any given day, anyway. Guaranteed.

5) If your child support check is late, don't call up your ex-spouse and complain. Instead, call your damned Senator. Hold the elected fuckers that collect six figure salaries and millions in bribes accountable not just on November 3rd but EVERY SINGLE GODDAMNED MOTHERFUCKING DAY! Look - our government clearly has a vested interest in deliberately delaying your child support check for any reason whatsoever. Why? Simple: so that you'll accuse and fight with your ex-spouse for not paying! The politicians and corporations who bought their asses loooooooove that shit because, by blame-shifting and creating scapegoats, your politician is off the hook and accountability goes with it. Unpeterbed by your pesky ass, they can go about "Official Corportocracy Business" such as waging wars, sending your kids to die in them, taking away your rights, rigging elections, plundering third-world countries with cheap labor of its natural resources, and further enriching themselves and their crony friends for the damned privilege. To them, you're just an ATM and a vote to hit up every few years. After that, those motherfuckers don't give a rat's ass about either you, your ex-spouse, or your kids.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Perception Mismanagement II: The Feminists

Starting with the Scooter Libby indictment, the blogosphere has taken delight at the White House Press Corp as it slowly ceased treating Scotty "Clueless" McClellan with the loving carress of snow mittens and instead broke out with the studded chain mail gauntlets. Being assailed daily with their questions to the point where the spitting of blood and teeth would have been expected (if not even further relished), Scotty choose to protect the incompetance of the Bush Administration through the tried and true act of stonewalling.

But when the subject of the U.S. government's own corporatized private industries of Divorce Encouragement and Endentured Servitude Via Child Support Enforcement rears up, we're left with no alternative but to realize Scotty McClellan would need the luxury of an entire third term in order to break the 10-year stonewalling record of the very sociologist whose math figures back in the mid 1980s brought on the perfect vehicle for politicians, in a non-partisan manner, to pull a Leo Strauss: "when no boogie man exists, one must be created". The sociologist was Lenore Weitzman and the boogie man politicians wanted to create were "Deadbeats":

Since its publication in 1985, sociologist Lenore Weitzman's "The Divorce Revolution" has had a critical role in shaping the national debate on divorce and its economic effects. In particular, the book's claim that in the year after divorce women's standard of living decreased by a whopping 73 percent while men enjoyed an increase of 43 percent caught the attention of pundits, legislators, and judges. This statistic has become one of the philosophical bases for deciding child custody and property division in divorce cases. It has also altered public perceptions of men, women, and divorce. It was cited hundreds of times in news stories, scholarly studies, and law review articles last year, and was regarded so clearly as holy writ that President Clinton cited it too in his budget proposal ... as part of his attack on deadbeat dads.

The only problem with this statistic, in fact, is that it turns out to be wrong.

That fact that Weitzman's statistic was about as erroneous as the Bush Administration's own claims of WMDs in Iraq isn't the real whammy here. It was her years and years of stonewalling:

As horror stories of a 115 percent disparity between men's and women's post-divorce standard of living made their way through the legislatures and editorial boards of the nation, Weitzman ensured the success of her 73/42 statistic by refusing to allow other researchers access to her data, claiming that she wanted to correct some errors in the master computer file before doing so. She had every right to do this, at least at first, explains Richard Peterson. "There are some norms that are generally accepted," he says. "If you collect data you have the right to keep it to yourself and not be required to share it with others until you publish from your data."

But when Weitzman's data files arrived at the archives of the Murray Research Center at Radcliffe College she had still not made the corrections, and what started as the exercise of her rights as a researcher began to look suspiciously like ten years of stonewalling. She reserved to herself the right to veto anyone from looking at the material and turned down Peterson's requests.

So, what exactly stopped Weitzman's stonewalling?

Her governmental mid-husband vowwed to cut her off:

It was not until a year and a half had gone by and the National Science Foundation, the organization which had funded Weitzman's research, threatened to declare her ineligible for federal grants in the future that she finally allowed Peterson to examine the data.

At the onset of this series, I did some searching to see how Lenore Weitzman's bogus figures and subsequent history of stonewalling are getting attention in the blogopshere. Most blogs from a Google-based BlogSearch that mention her at all are predominately written by those whom are either invovled in the Fathers' Rights camp or sympathetic to their cause. The same can be said with the paltry 3 blogs IceRocket turned up. Finally, I searched Technorati ... and hit a jackpot of anti-feminist, rightwing Fathers Rights / Christian Fundamentalist blogs. Conveniently missing from the equation is the ammount of actual self-professed or feminist-friendly blogs that damn and blast Weitzman's bogus findings and stonewalling. On the contrary, Technorati turns up one of Ms. Shakes' feminist friends -- Trish "The Countess" Wilson where her bringing up Lenore Weitzman in the first place tells me more about Trish Wilson than it does about Lenore Weitzman:

[These figures are similar to other figures about the drop in standard of living for divorce. For any trolls who are itching to bring up Lenore Weitzman, don't bother. Her 73% drop in income figure had long ago been corrected, and the various corrections came to a similar figure - 40%.]

Three problems with this. Right away, in Trish's eye, anyone that brings up Lenore Weitzman is relegated to being a "troll". The way I see it, liars and stonewallers don't deserve seconds thoughts; only their utter and complete destruction within the public square. If that makes me a "troll" or a "dirty America-hating liberal", fine by me. Truth talks - spin walks. Thus, in that regard, Lenore Weitzman and Scotty McClellan share much in common.

The only difference between them (genitalia be damned) brings me to my second problem: At least Scotty's destruction is happening on the political record via his capacity as White House Press Secretary. Not so with Lenore Weitzman. Regardless on whether or not she corrected her bogus figures, she can not retroactively correct how her figures appeared in Bill Clinton's budget (and subsequent presidential budgets or subsequent legislative measures that may refer to it) unless she is brought back under oath to testify before Congress. Then, and only then, can her revisions be recognized within the political record. Lastly, let's be realistic here: if George W. Bush's 2% victory in 2004 wasn't a "mandate", how in the hell can you claim 73% to be "simular" to 40%?!? I can't wrap my head around that at all ...

This apprehension among feminists in dealing with Lenore Weitzman leaves me to wonder does the proof of her lies and deceptive stonewalling along with the scriblings of Stephen Baskerville and the results of Sanford Braver's exhaustive $10 million dollar, 8 year long study currently heralded by the Fathers Rights crowd signify a long overdue equalization or does it all merely remind feminists of everything they had forsaken? Could the selling-out of Weitzman simply hit too close to home for the Feminists that allowed her to sell them out -- in much the same way Jeff Gannon hits too close to home with our sell-out corporate press or how "Mortal Kombat" hits too close to home with Sen. Lieberman, spine-plucker deluxe of the Democratic Party?

The results of another survey conducted by and published in the July/August 2004 issue of AARP The Magazine could speak volumes. In an article cover-titled "The New Divorce: Why More Women Than Ever Are Calling It Quits (And Why Men Don't See It Coming)", I find even more confirmation from the claims of Baskerville (except for one) and Braver. In this survey, the AARP asked 1,147 men and women aged 40-79 who experianced a divorce between their 40s and 60s questions relating to their divorces:

Deciding To Leave

The majority of midlife divorces are initiated by women. Don't believe it? In the AARP survey, 66% of women reported that they asked for the divorce, compared to 41% of men. And more men than women were caught off-guard by their divorce (the news blind-sided 26% of men, compared to 14% of women) ... Women often recognize the danger signs of a problem marriage than men do, says Howard Markman, Ph.D, co-director of the Center For Marital And Family Studies at the University of Denver ... "An impulse divorce is a very rare thing," confirms psychologist Constance Ahrons, Ph.D, professor emeritus at the University of Southern California and an expert on relationships and divorce. In fact, marital discontent can fester for years ... about 1 in 10 women ruminated [on divorce] for 10 years or more but this trend was more pronounced in women over age 60 than in boomers, who tend to decide faster, [according to Kate Vertrano, chair of the Elder Law Committee of the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association.]

Staying For The Kids

When contemplating divorce, many people bide their time to spare potential victims -- the children. Kids are the glue that keeps marriages together, for better or worse. That's particular true for dads: 58% of men -- compared with 37% of women -- cited their children as the top reason why they postponed a divorce for 5 years or longer. ("Not believing in divorce" was the second distant reason men waited; women's top reason for delay was financial worry.) But despite their best efforts to hold things together, more than 1 in 4 of the people in their 50s still had adolescent kids at the time of their divorce. "My overall concern was how the destruction of our family would play out in my daughter's life," reveals Jack Martin (not his real name). "My daughter was deeply affected by our divorce, and I worry about the impact that will have on her."

Why do men worry more about the children than women do? Because women take for granted that they'll stay close to the kids. More experts agree men of all ages have more to lose in a divorce, especially when it comes to the children. According to our survey, 42% of the men said their worst fears after the divorce involved their children, with most of these men worrying they'd lose contact with their kids. In comparison, only 15% of women had these fears. "For men, it's a well-founded fear," says Vertrano, "Men lose their children a lot.

Taking The Blame

In getting down to toaster-hurling specifics, most women in their 50s or older said the top three killers of their marriage were physical or emotional abuse, infidelity, and drug/alcohol abuse -- and they put almost all of the blame on their ex-husbands. On the flip side, most 50+ men said they simply "fell out of love" or had "different values or lifestyles." And a larger number of men (though not the majority) said it was their own fault.

The one thing neither sex would take the blame for, however, was an affair. Among people 50 and older who said infidelity caused their divorce, 93% of women and 78% of men said their spouse was the one at fault. In doing the math, it's obvious that many may be fudging the truth about who cheated, or may disagree with their ex as to whether the affair really did thier marriage in. This blame shifting may not be due to lying but rather a matter of perception, says Gottman. "It's not uncommon for someone to cheat and then blame their partner for it," he says. "If someone is lonely or feels their mate has lost all interest in them, they can rationalize that they were driven to have an affair."

Traditionally, men have been percieved to be the cheaters. However, while most research has suggested that men are more likely to stray, some say the gap may be closing. "Baby-boomer women are in the work world -- and that's where you meet that sympathetic person when you're having a bad marriage," Gottman says. "It's opportunity; not biology, and while men had a much greater opportunity for cheating in the past, it's far more equal now."

With this survey, the AARP confirms a number of things. First, it deflates Baskerville's idiotic notion that women/feminists are actively seeking to marry men, squirt a few kids, and then dump Hubby for the child support money. This notion is nothing more than the redefined and repacked "Welfare Queens Are Having Kids To Increase Their Benefits" meme that plays along the rightwingers even to this very day. It also confirms what Dr. Sanford Braver's study had allready uncovered during the 1990s -- that it's the women who initiate most divorces, and that the news stuns a great number of men. Braver also pointed out that men usually plead with their spouses to delay a divorce for at least two years. The AARP cites 5 years or more. Such pleading among men is more likely when there's children involved because -- thanks to 20 years of "politically correct" Lenore Weitzman-inspired, Leo Strauss-approved, Corporate no-bid contract-loving, bipartisan legislation -- fathers have much, much, more to lose in a divorce. In the AARP survey, only 37% of women cited the children as the top reason for postponing a divorce -- their top reason was money (or a lack thereof). Ducats aside, only 15% of the women actually feared losing their children. Translation? A majority of women walk into a divorce knowing full well the judge will fork over the kids, therefore they're taking that fact (and the children) for granted. Since there's no threat -- percieved or otherwise -- of them losing custody in the vast majority of divorce cases, women feel more secure in revealing other, more true-to-their-heart things as more of a concern.

It's a corruptive and complacent mindset that runs along the same lines as to how the Republicans score the majority of the military vote. Because they've got their "Patriotically Correct" propagandists (Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Rielly, etc.) all over Armed Forces Radio indoctrinating the troops with thier self-serving rhetoric, Republicans perceive no real threat to ever losing the military vote to the Democrats. As a result, the Republicans are taking the military vote for granted. They think the military vote is theirs lock, stock, and barrel so they -- like the very women who take their children for granted the moment they set foot in a courtroom -- rest on their laurels, let their defenses down, and openly reveal their more true, more inhumane, more downright insensitive thoughts, ideas, and motives because of their sense of security. And yes, by saying inhumane and insensitive, I mean it -- Womens Rights feminists are just as capable (and in some cases guilty as sin itself) of being just as completely insensitive and inhumane to the treatment of men as the more patriarchal bastards within the Fathers Rights camp are of women.

Also, the hemming and hawing over cheating and infidelity is really interesting and not necessarily because it blows alot of the old stereotypes out of the water. When people actually rationalize their infidelity, it just another way for them to absolve themselves of any guilt and responsibility for how their actions or reactions may have contributed to the breakdown of the relationship. If they're unwilling to take responsibility for cheating, then I don't see how they can be entirely trusted to seriously take the responsibilty of children without engaging into more rationalizations, hemming and hawing to absolve themselves of guilt or blame.

Here's something else the AARP Study reveals:

The percieved benefits of divorce differ greatly by gender. Women were far more likely than men to say that having their own self-indentity was a top reward. That made them a little gun shy of marrying again anytime soon: 43% of women said they emerged from the split against remarriage. Only 33% of the men said they wouldn't remarry.

Women are more likely to have a strong network of friends to support them after a divorce, explains psychologist Ahrons. Men typically don't. That makes men more vulnerable to loneliness -- the worst fear for both sexes in a divorce. It's telling that a third more men than women in our study had remarried after their divorce.

Men being more vulnerable to loneliness can also dovetail into worry, anxiety, and ultimately depression. With depression comes thoughts of suicide. I know those feelings of worry, anxiety, depression, and suicide all to well. I battled them early in my life and defeated them. But how my ex-fiance hurt me -- hurt me in a way no other woman could ever top -- brought it all back. And just like women who come from Christian fundamentalist homes are more likely to go through life undiagnosed (because Christian fundamentalism tends to look down on secular intelligence and medical science), men are also less likely to seek treatment for any simular psychological issues that threaten their health because of that entire stereotype that men are these big, macho lugs without those "girly" things called "emotions". Thus, they bottle up their depression, perhaps even engaging in an act of denial until ultimately they can deny it no longer. If they can't fathom anything to look forward to because everything that meant a damn to them in the first place was taken away, it's extremely possible that these men may see that the answer to all their problems are nothing that a handful of sleeping pills, some Vicodin, and a decent sized bottle of whiskey can't take care of (and that's if they want to be clean about it -- some of them may just say, "Fuck the drapes," and reach for the .45 or the 12-guage. So, that whole "the men were probably disturbed to begin with" arguement some of the more inhumane and insensitive feminists make is an argument that is way too simplistic -- so simplistic that the very inhumane feminists that would make such an argument tend to bristle when a Fathers Rights yokel uses it lambast women.

In the end, feminists would be well advised to adopt the following:

1)Do Not Underestimate The Fathers Rights Camp: They do indeed have some very compelling arguments that can no longer be ignored. Ignore them at your own folly. Granted, some of them may choose to bark at you but the last thing you want to do is write them all off as lunatic, rightwing Christian fundies. Some of them may very well be partisan moderates and libertarians who are sick and tired of the Christian fundamentalists and demogogic politicians holding dominion over the debate. You would do very well in trying to make natural allies with these men ASAP. Because if you don't, I'm sad to say the Christian fundies within the Fathers Rights crowd will eventually drown these more reasonable people out on their clear-cut way to victory ... and neither you nor I want them to be victorious. These are the FOX NEWS watching assholes who would love nothing more than to score this win, ban abortion and contraception as a bonus, and turn right around and claim the Holy Spirit told them to cash in on investing into the Acme Coathanger Corporation of America.

2)Drop The Jargon: I hate to be downright brutal but by framing your issues using buzzwords such as "Womenomics" and your penchant for exclusive lingo (e.g. "your child") instead of all-inclusive language (e.g. "our child"), you're doing nothing more than discrediting and disqualifying yourselves from the human rights program, as far as I'm concerned. A raging fire is quenched with water; not kerosene.

3)Clam It About "Deadbeat Dads": Oh, yes. Clam that shit right the hell up. Why? YOU'RE WOMEN! You're an entire class of people guaranteed NEVER to be a "Deadbeat Dad", just like those anti-abortion men in the Fathers Rights camp are an entire class of people that'll NEVER have an abortion. You have about as much of a clue what it's like to be a "Deadbeat Dad" as anti-abortion men have a clue on what's it like to choose to abort a fetus.

Let's face it -- a good portion of men and women in this country today have no fucking alternative whatsoever to be a "Deadbeat Dad" or "Deadbeat Mom" Why? Stay tuned for Part Three of this. I'll be happy to spill it out for you because by the Fathers Rights crowd selling out to Big Religion and the conservative media, and by the Womens Rights crowd allowing Lenore Weitzman to hock themselves out to Big Business the U.S. Government, you both in your boundless naivete have created your own undoing at the very cost of you own interests -- be they financial, personal, or political -- and, therefore, you both need to re-learn a very valuable lesson. The faster you do, the faster Kansas and the rest of the nation can.

Part Three comes tomorrow and, with it, both of your respective autonomies.

The sound of skulls cracking together will ring in the festivities.

One of those skulls will be my own ...


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Perception Mismanagement I: Fathers' Rights

Out of 6 kids, I'm the youngest of two brothers and three sisters. I also have two half-brothers from my Dad's previous marriage in the 1950s. Since his ex-wife was a drunk and very abusive, my father gained custody of the two boys but the hardships of being on the road as a musician and boxer forced him to sign custody of them off to his parents. As for my immediate blood brothers and sisters, my eldest sister has never experianced divorce. On the contrary, she experianced the pain of being widowed without children -- her husband Allen had so much love for Darlene that he couldn't bare leaving her with kids that he knew he'd never be alive long enough to see graduate let alone raise. Having been exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam, Allen was well into living on borrowed time when he and Darlene married in the early 1990s. He died as peacefully as possible last year in a Las Vegas VA hospital. I often miss his phone calls for Allen's Jewish heritage and New Jersey accent interspersed with Army lingo made his rants and tirades against The Bush Administration a natural riot.

Darlene is my opposite - I've never been married but I have 5-year old daughter. As for my other two brothers and two sisters, each of them has experianced raising kids post divorce. In other words, I grew up witnessing both sides of the "Deadbeat Dad/Deadbeat Mom" syndrome. I've seen and heard just about every single solitary excuse imaginable from them ... and they hate to see me coming. Granted, they love me as all hell because I'm their "baby brother". Oh, but when the subject of divorce/child support rears up, they immediate hush up amongst themselves when I come around. I play no favorites, hold no quarter, and won't allow their excuses and appeals for being treated in a special manner to narrow the debate. As a result, I end up pissing them all off. I intend to do the same between the Fathers Rights and Womens Rights organizations with this "Perception Management" series.

My biggest crime was believing alot of the "politically correct" jargon trucked out of the mouths of politicians from both sides -- Republican and Democrat -- since the Reagan Era up until the Bush era of today and never really bothering to investigate their claims (along with those from the primarily conservative Fathers Rights and the liberal feminist Womens Rights camp) until it effected me personally when I came home from work one night a few years ago expecting to see my ex-fiance and my then 7 month-old daughter only to discover they were both gone. Upon noticing a number of things missing along with a few suit cases, I knew something was up. When my eyes turned to the computer and noticed the monitor was in Sleep Mode which I do not allow (my extensive knowledge of computers has concluded long ago that Sleep Mode drastically reduces the overall lifespan of a CRT-based computer monitor moreso than leaving it on with a screensaver and since I abhor wasting electricity, a monitor in my presence is turned completely off when not in use). I realized all my answers laid there and, within the hour, I had them. She and my daughter were gone from my daily life and never to return. It was a day I knew was coming but didn't expect it would come as soon as it did. More on that later.

Anyway, not investigating the system is something that I kick myself in the ass over because it always seems that people only seek true enlightenment when disaster has allready gone past knocking on their doors and instead barges in and starts tossing shit around, leaving you devasted with a shitload of questions. However, had I truly investigated the cottage industry that is the Child Support/Family Law system earlier, my daughter Gwen wouldn't exist today -- I'd have no doubt sworn off any illusions of ever getting married let alone having children. Truth be told, I'd probably still be a virgin today (perhaps a fucking monk) instead of traveling 600+ miles to Athens, GA to lose it back in 1998.

Snark at that all you want but I still look back at my 27 years of virginity with a sense of fondness because, although I had more than enough opportunities to lose it growing up as a 70s/80s child, I was able to witness what losing virginity had done to the crazy fuckers I hung around with. My male friends would always whine about "not having pussy since x ammount of days/weeks" and I would just marvel at how downright pathetic it made them sound. These whines and whimpers would always start whenever some hottie would pass through the mall entrance while we all sat playing Euchre in the food court (which happened about every 3 minutes):

Nate: "Damn! Check that bitch out, Mike!"
Lymon: "Oh ... my ... dick!"
Nate: "Mmmm-hmmm, that makes my balls ache."
Lymon: "Outta be a crime to look that good ..."
Nate: "You said it. Oh, my fuckin' dick."
Lymon: *suddenly gripping the table* "JAY, I GOTTA GET LAID, MAN!"
Me:: "I need you to call trump before I slip into a coma."
Nate: "Shaddap, Jay ... ya 24 year old virgin!"
Lymon: "Just wait till you get pussy. You'll understand ..."
Me (noting Lymon's white knuckles): "That's what I'm afraid of ..."

I saw this and thought what a sorry and pathetic way to live -- to be reduced to gripping a shopping mall table mewling like a wounded buffalo about the lack of pussy before a public audience? If that's what pussy does to a man, I'm going to avoid it for the time being. Sure as hell didn't want to turn into these fools ... and thank God, I didn't. My spur of the moment venture out to Athens was more along the lines of being tired of seeing the same four walls, the same fuckin' small town where everybody knows your name (and holds your ass to account to any ammount of rumors and innuendoes -- be they true or false), same old moronic but otherwise lovable friends, same family members and their grievances, etc. and I just had to get away for a while. It was more out of lonliness and wanting a change of scenery before the same-old same-old drove me bananas.

It's the feeling of being lonely and perhaps a sense of feeling betrayed on a multitude of levels that I believe fuels the rage within the Father's Rights camp more than anything. After reading some of the writings by Stephen Baskerville, Dr. Sanford Braver, and others on the subject, I can totally understand why: the Family Law, Divorce, and Child Support industry is indeed a cottage industry that allows nefarious for-profit corporations to walk hand-in-hand with the tons of crooked government bureacracies for the expressed purpose of what Baskerville calls, "... the greatest denial of civil rights since segregation: the arbitrary and groundless stealing of children from their fathers", and the only children that are really benefitting from this smarmy bastion of state-supported domestic terrorism are the ones that were fortunate enough to have been born by those whom enjoy continued gainful employment within these inhumane capitalistic companies and bourgeois bureacracies.

My own outrage doesn't end there. When my own research on the subject confirmed much of Baskerville's charges, I knew right then that the only way disenfranchised fathers would ever gain even the slightest hint of a sympathetic audience in this country was through the Conservative/Christian media and only because of (1) their penchant for employing repetitious opinionated pundits and (2) "political correctness" has literally gone mad in this country over the past 20 years. In everything, the truth is always in the middle. But rightwing "Patriotic Correctness" and leftwing "Political Correctness" (along with the dominion of Capitalism) has compromised how information is delivered to the American people by their constant jockeying to "work the refs" in exchange for being granted the dominant view without a single shred of opposition. Thus, the truth is buried. Now more than ever, the various right and left bastions of corporate mainstream media have refs that either come pre-worked or can work themselves into a lather after a few bodyslams in the boardroom by the CEO and the shareholders, alleviating the workload (perhaps even the purpose) of spindoctors.

Even the phrase "political correctness" goes to show just how much the American government and its citizens have shirked not only the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but have also crucified their brains in order to accomodate it. It's amazing and damning that nobody ever pulled an Edward R. Murrow and said, "Wait! How can it be both political and correct at the same time?!?" Not at all. Nevermind that shit -- logic, common sense, and critical analysis out and image, smoke, and mirrors in.

We've already seen the effect of rightwing "Patriotic Correctness" in action by the very craven assholes of the Republican Party and President Bush's minions -- a cavalcade of 101st Fighting Keyboardists that spent the last few years lambasting anyone that didn't kiss Dear Leader's Neo-Nazi ass as un-American and un-patriotic (sometimes to the point where they'd caterwaul for a public lynching under the charge of treason). But while Bush was nothing more than a relatively powerless jester to his Jebus-King, often boiling his subjects in Texas tea with the occassional fricasseed Christian constituent, leftwing "Political Correctness" was ruling the roost doing essentially the same thing, blowing cigar smoke up the collective twats of America.

Unfortunately, having languished with the gibbering fruitcakes of the Conservative/Fundy Fristian Press has done much to adle Baskerville's worldview, especially with articles like "Can Your Kids Be Given To 'Gay' Parents?" appearing in WingNutDaily where he blasts feminists, "no-fault" divorce, and the overall system if gay people adopt children that was stolen from families.

Granted, I have no love for the Dept. of Social Services and never have simply because of my firm belief that if it collects a government paycheck, it's not to be trusted. However, I also have no love for people who deliberately milk gays and lesbians castigating them as "second class citizens" because that's not America and it's a direct violation of their Constitutional "pursuit of happiness". So, Baskerville is full of shit here. If anything, the only reason why the U.S. Government does not allow legally married gay couples to adopt children is because of money -- since same-sex couples can't procreate, the U.S. government won't have children to milk for monetary or political hay. Thus, they have more cash, votes, and power to glean from unsuspecting Red-State Christian Fundamentalist voters and citizens by playing the ol' sexuality card in the context of adoption. The day gay marriage and gay adoption is legalized in every state (and that day will come eventually just like womens and minority rights did at the behest of the status-quo) will also be the day the Government will tell Fundamentalist Christianity to take a hike because our government goes where the votes, money, and power goes.

Because of Baskerville's penchant of appearing in the Conservative/Fundy Fristian media, I'm left with no alternative but to immediately suspect that a sizable portion of the Fathers Rights crowd are nothing more than embittered, feminist-loathing, anti-liberal, anti-abortion, anti-women fruitcakes whom to this very day seeth over everything Susan B. Anthony and Rosa Parks achieved in this country. This infantestial sense of unmitigated rage and betrayal has driven Christian fundamentalists ever since Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, John Adams and the rest of our forefathers rejected not just the God of the Mayflower Pilgrams but every single God and Goddess imaginable since humankind has been able to devote consonants and vowels to them. Pat Robertson, Jerry Fallwell, and the rest of the "Just Us Sunday" brigade are nothing more than modern-day Cotton Matther and Father Coughlin clones. But not all within the Fathers Rights crowd are Christian Fundamentalists -- they very well could be ordinary poor and middle-class independents and moderates whose sense of betrayal and rage is geared more towards the continued perpetuation of the lies and deceits that instigated the mess in the first and continue to instigate the mess.

If all the appropriate tomes in history detailing militant Roman imperialism and Victorian European Colonialsm isn't enough, Kimberly Blaker's fabulous "The Fundamentals Of Extremism: The Christian Right In America" illustrates a monumental multitude of examples on just how rotten and diabolical belligerent religious fundamentalism is to the minds of an otherwise independent thinker -- be they man, woman, or child. In that regard, rightwing Christian Fundamentalism offers no real difference between Islamic Fundamentalism, Jewish Fundamentalism, or even Capitalist Fundamentalism. They're all enculcated with their own sense of entitlement that brags that it's the only one to be favored; the only one worth center stage on the ol' soapbox; the only one to be the dominant faction -- all the dissenters be damned. That makes them all inheritly intolerant from bow to stern and the only harvest they should reap from the American people is reciprical intolerance.

It's in this very enculcation of dominance and entitlement that concerns me deeply about the true motives behind Baskerville's predominately rightwing conservative Christian fundamentalist audience for these are the very people that would love nothing more than to re-enslave their unholy dominion upon ever single snatch, cooz, cunt, clam, quim, slash, and gash that was responsible for whelping them upon Yahweh's great spinning disco ball here in the first place. Each time Baskerville is quoted in a thread at Freeperville, there's also no shortage of these very same people ranting and raving about "feminazis", "international bankers", "welfare-queens", niggers and spics (usually masked by code-phrases such as "those people", "WOGs", "Zogs" or "them kind") while the less deserving white people they ladle with the moniker "trailer-park trash" and all of their children also seem to get schlacked with the "leeches/parasites" smear. Nevermind Jesus loves His WOGs, ZOGs, dogs and frogs. Nevermind that Jesus loved his "those people" and his "them kind". Nevermind that Jesus died for "feminizis" and would hold supper with "trailer-park trash" just as He would with anyone.

Such a level of open hostility tells me that at least half of the Fathers Rights crowd are the very type of insensitive pro-life lads that would actually use Bible scripture (or The Belle Curve if the Bible wasn't nearby) to justify telling their female wives/lovers whom had a sudden miscarriage while on the toilet and pleads to have a funeral for the fetus through a mask of tears, "Ahm nawt spendin' $4,000 tah bury that lil' shit! Flush heem -- it's cheapah," and then turn around and use more scriptures to claim feminists and pro-choicers are "child-butchering canabals". Nevermind that the fetal carnage he just flushed down the hopper will travel through the miles of sewer piping and end up at the local Waste Water Treatment Facility -- the same place where everyones shit-water, piss-water, puke-water, dish-water, bath-water, sex-water, and toilet-water gets chlorinated, purified, and recycled back down the watermains, through his basement Brita filter, into the tap-water valve at the kitchen sink he stands at 5AM every morning filling the ass-end of his coffee-machine with the retractable spray hose, and eventually into his own canibalistic fetus-flushing gullet (whose the canabal now, assclown?)

That brings me to my biggest worry with independent minded disenfranchised fathers who flock to many Fathers Rights / Men's Rights websites, Stephen Baskerville, the Conservative/Christian media outlets that publish his works, and the Fundamentalist Christian alliance groups: consistancy and continuity in their presentations has never been one of their strong points and could very well be as paper thin as is the "official" dreck pumped out of the various government bureacracies, corporations with vested interests in shoring up those multimillion dollar contracts, and any of the potential feminist cliques that desire to keep the system the way it is, especially those cliques that don't have children, vow never to have children, never been around children for a great length of time, and have never been or don't plan on ever getting married but nevertheless pretend they're experts on marriage and children (but probably wouldn't know what to do with themselves if they ever discover taking a liking to marriage or motherhood one day). I consider these as "Fundamentalist Feminists" because they're not much different than those Religious Fundamentalists who aren't homosexual, never been homosexual, never been around homosexual people for a great length of time, don't fathom being homosexual anytime in the future but nevertheless pretend they're experts on homosexuality (but probably wouldn't know what to do with themselves once they discover they've been repressing their homosexuality all along). Also, looking for consistancy and continuity in religion has always been a hard task because one has to really go out of their way to find a religious person that still retains an independent mind. Same with some of the Mens Issues groups, Freepers, and AM talk radio pundits that pidgeonhole all feminists together when feminism has about a dozen or more flavors (as opposed to the 22,000+ denominations of Christianity)

In the end, Baskerville, Wallerstein, Stroup, Braver, and a score of others have given the Fathers Rights camp more than enough ammunition for their cause but I'm afraid they're gonna have to do the following 4 things before their grievances can be taken seriously by the majority of the people:

1) Lose Baskerville and the Wingnuts -- there was no reason for him to bring up the gay issue in the context of Neil and Heidi Howard. Homosexuality has nothing to do with their plight with DSS. None whatsoever. His bringing up the gay issue was just nothing more than a demogogic attempt to get the Christian Right to rattle their sabres because the homosexuals won Massachusetts over in the marriage department. Plus his smearing of feminism in general is too passe -- Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and other loudmouth rightwingers have completely worn out the "damned feminists" meme just as much as the equally loud leftwing feminists have worn out the "patriarchal" meme. After hearing and reading it for over decade or two, it's time for better material and when I hear it today, I immediate tune out. If you have beefs with feminists who are being dishonest, name them and provide incontrovertable evidence that (1) they're actually feminists and (2) they're lying out their asses. If you can do that, then don't bother mentioning feminists unless you're defending feminisms core values of total sexual equality from a politically moderate position.

2) Prepare to lose the Conservative media -- they might have brought you to the dance but don't go home with them. As the Bush Administration and the GOP rode in on giving lipservice to Christian fundamentalist "values" only to see the hypocracy of those values gain a new light as the various scandals and overall imcompetence brings them all down in a heap of flames, the backlash is going to be damning. You're allready part of that backlash by continued association with the Conservative/Christian media. The rights of fathers should be a politcally progressive human rights issue just like Charles Fourier argued the same on behalf of Women's Rights. Progressivism is where you ultimately belong ... and since our current "progressives" in Washington are so complacent they couldn't pour piss out of a boot (lifting it would be too much of an effort), assailing them on your grievances would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Dead fish, more or less. Look at how much they fold up like a brown recluse spider at Karl Rove? Nuff said.

3) Shut the fuck up about about "no-fault" divorce: Seriously. When a man marries a woman that's physically or verbally abusive to him and the children, "no-fault" divorce gets you out of that mess. It's your salvation. The same goes for when a woman marries a man that's physically and verbally abusive to her and the children. As far as I'm concerned (and as long I draw oxygen and/or retain the privilege of voting), "no-fault" divorce is here to stay. Why? Because I'm convinced "no-fault" divorce is not the problem (more on that in Part III of my series).

4) Ditch the "anti-abortion" rants: Father's Rights organizations are men -- an entire class of people guaranteed NEVER to have an abortion. Why? Because YOU'RE A DUDE! I believe men should voice no opinion on the matter of abortion and are incapable of ever accurately theorizing what it must be like to abort a fetus because men aren't the ones that go to abortion clinics and make that decision. I'm a dude. Abortion means nothing to me because of it. Why? Simple: I'm guaranteed never to have one. The only time men flock around an abortion clinic is to either (1) protest its existance, (2) acting as a respectable escort to his wife/daughter seeking an abortion for whatever reason (fairly rare -- got to really go out of your way to find a man that decent but his decency is predicated on whether or not "spousal rape/incest" is the reason their wife/daughter is seeking an abortion) or (3) blow the sonofabitch up.

With all this said, I now turn my attention to the Feminists/Women's Rights ...


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Explaining the "Perception Mismanagement" Series Delay

In response to this and this at Ms. Shake's sandbox a while back, I had been working on a series of posts that would take both the Fathers' Rights and the Women's Rights activists to task, bashing both their heads together like Moe Howard had to do from time to time when his comrades would get out of line while also weaving my own story into the mix.

Unfortunately, the past week of juggling the responsibilities of getting Gwen off to pre-school due to my ex-fiance moving closer to me (but not in the same school district) took it's toll on my mother yesterday morning and she's currently shacked up in the hospital with a heart monitor -- while I was fixing breakfast and coffee, she was trying to get Gwen's school clothes out of the dryer and went down flat on her back as if she were drilled by Riddick Bowe. Took her BP and it was 80/60. Dangerously too low. Just got off the phone with her at the hospital and she's doing as okay as she can at her age.

Now, the irony here is anyone within either the patriarchal Father's Rights crowd or the feminist Women's Right's crowd reading this might be wondering what the fuck is a 32-year-old still doing living at home with his mother? They might feel compelled to snark that perhaps my being a "momma's boy" might explain the "ex" part in the term "ex-fiance". I'm used to such snarky shit but, in the end, those who snark are merely ignoring the bigger picture and when it comes to ignoring the big picture of how life in the gray areas of America is really like, both the Father's Rights patriarchs and the Women's Rights feminists rank right up there with the same corruptive Republicans and complacent Democrats this entire nation is plagued with today (and they had the past 40 years of practice of ignoring the big picture).

Ultimately, my intent with the "Perception Mismanagement" series is to show that we all have no alternative but to conclude that the issue between these two groups -- just like Republicans Vs. Democrats -- ultimately boils down to a picture of societal neglect as a whole both in thought and action and how that picture is percieved through the various distortions it goes through via the media. I'm merely one among millions of domestic casualities of such neglect -- casualties that don't descriminate between leftwing and rightwing, man and woman, young or old, child or adult, gay or straight, Liberal or Conservative, Feminist or Patriarch -- and it's a picture I intend to paint for TBT readers in the hopes that perhaps people will finally stop letting the lunatic, partisan fringe of both extremes (who like trained seals will swallow every ridiculous meme tossed to them) to dictate public policy for everyone else in this country and instead be forced to drop their biases, make natural allies, work their asses off to break the goddamned monotony, and get on with that democracy thing we somehow lost along the way.

Part One will address the dumbass dudes within the "Father's Rights" crowd.
Part Two addresses the bourgeois broads within Ms. Shakes' audience.
Part Three will deconstruct their mismanaged perceptions and attempt to rebuild them (if at all possible).

After that, TBT will either succeed in a transformation -- a transformation Fixer and Gordon will blow a testicle or two over -- or it'll go quietly in the dark just like this country. Witnessing my mother hit the deck, the Democrats abandon Feingold's ship of salvation, and reading Molly's latest rant has kicked me in the ass, inspiring me to reach my breaking point ...


Monday, March 13, 2006

Gore'd Out Of His Boots II

It's not Al Gore this time -- it's , courtesy of The Pasadena Weekly with a hat tip to Weasel News:

PW: Do you think that it’s possible the Bush Administration went into Iraq really believing that it was spreading democracy to the Middle East?

GV: Of course not. Why should they do anything like that? They go in out of greed. There’s been very little altruism in all of our history. We go into things for profit, and now that we’ve ceased to be any form of democracy, the people are not consulted about what their rulers want them to do. No war has been declared by that part of the legislative branch which is most democratic, that is most responsive to the people.

PW: So, it was just about oil and war profiteering?

GV: Yes. Meanwhile, we do not have a media that enlightens anybody about anything, and our public school system for the average person is pretty bad. We are quite uninformed about things. Therefore we are not in any position to make up our minds if they’re making good policy or a bad policy. First of all, no one will ask us what we think. And then if they say, “Oh, go to the polls,” we go to the polls and the election is stolen as in Florida 2000 and 2004 in Ohio.

PW: Do you think that the media is failing in this capacity?

GV: Get the tense right: It has failed.

PW: Has this president made this worse, by being so antagonistic to the media?

GV: Oh, who cares? He doesn’t run the country, a handful of corporations run it. No, this is not conspiracy theory, this is conspiracy analysis. The country is very tightly led with corporate goals which push out anything of a national nature. We’re out of it. It’s like being in a bubble. I’ve spent a great deal of my life living across the water, and someone said, “How can you follow American politics when you’ve had your house in Italy for all those years?” And I said, “Well, that’s the only way I can find out what’s going on in America, because the foreign press, at least in Western Europe, is quite good.”

PW: Corporate influence in politics seems more raw and apparent now than ever before.

GV: Of course it is. And it was all due to the “good luck” — those two words I have just used ironically — of 9/11. “I’m a wartime president! I’m a wartime president!” Well, he fucking well isn’t. He’s an accidental president. He happens to be put in by the oil and gas people to cut their taxes and then go in for preemptive wars against countries that are weak and that have done us no harm, like Afghanistan and Iraq. This was a godsend for those who would like to get rid of Congress and the courts and the Constitution. And they’re doing very well at it — very, very well. “Mission accomplished,” I believe, is what he said on the aircraft carrier.

Yeap, he flogged the fuck out of the flamin' Bush-Lord and the MSM, alright ...


Breakin' The Rules

Originally, I had a "No More Than 20-25 Links" rule with my blogroll because it was mainly for my own usage and convenience. I have too many bookmarks in my browser so I just springboard off to the others from my own roll here. Also, I didn't want to do what most blogs do and that's have a colony of them that just sprawl on forever. No offense to those blogs - it's just wanted to keep it short. Nice and neat.

Welp, so much for that shit. It's starting to swell like a malignant hornet sting on Karl Rove's ass (when "asses" and "Karl Rove" appear in the same sentence on this blog, rest assured I'm talking about the one at shoulder level) so the Ye Old Rule is about as dead as all Republican talking points. The additions are too numerous to mention -- severe weather in my area is forcing me to cut this post short -- but they fuckin' deserve to be there.



Glenn Greenwald:

With very few exceptions, national Democrats in Washington see the blogosphere as composed of uninformed, ranting, dirty masses who need to be kept as far away as possible. While they are willing to take your money, many of the Beltway Democrats see the vibrant activism in the blogosphere as some sort of an embarrassment, while others see it as a threat to their feifdoms. As The Times' review of Crashing the Gate makes clear, national Democrats -- although they don't seem to know it yet -- don't really have the option anymore of ignoring the blogosphere. Its power is growing inexorably and is going to influence the country's political debates one way or the other.

Many - if not most - national Democrats really are afraid of working with actual citizens, and are particularly afraid of having any involvement at all with the blogosphere. It's as though they think they need to remain above and separated from the poorly behaved, embarrassing masses. They actually have been scared away from working with the very people who they are supposedly representing and who are on their side.

Bush followers, along with their media allies, recognize the lurking power of the anti-Bush component of the blogosphere and -- for that very reason -- have been expending considerable efforts recently to demonize it as nothing but fringe, extremist lunatics who are political poison. Rather than combat that demonization, national Democrats -- as usual -- have meekly acquiesced to it -- even internalized it -- and are now intimidated to go anywhere near one of the very few vibrant, living and breathing instruments of political activism available to them.

Those three words "even internalized it" hammers the Democratic Party to that bigass "Culture of Complacency" stake I've been carrying on about here for some time in an accurate and poetic nature because, within the realm of human psychology, there's a proven pathological disfunctional condition that uses those same three words in describing the psychological turmoil of those whom suffer greatly from it:

Learned Helplessness is a well-established principle in psychology, a description of the effect of inescapable punishment (such as electrical shock) on animal (and by extension, human) behavior. The theory was developed by Martin Seligman through experiments going back to 1965.

"Learned helplessness" offered a model to explain human depression, in which apathy and submission prevail, causing the individual to rely fully on others for help. This can result when life circumstances cause the individual to experience life choices as irrelevant. Chemical dependence may also foster such a condition.

Environments in which people feel they have no control over what happens to them, such as prison, war, disability, famine and drought may tend to foster learned helplessness. An example involves concentration camp prisoners during the Holocaust, when some prisoners, called Mussulmen, refused to care or fend for themselves. Present-day examples can be found in state-run mental institutions, orphanages, or long-term care facilities.

Not all people become depressed as a result of being in a situation where they appear not to have control; in what Seligman called "explanatory style," people in a state of learned helplessness view problems as personal, pervasive, or permanent. That is,

* Personal - They may see themselves as the problem; that is, they have internalized the problem.
* Pervasive - They may see the problem affecting all aspects of life.
* Permanent - They may see the problem as unchangeable.

Translation: "We suck! We know it, we love it, and there's nothing you insolent, uncultured BLAHGERS are going to do about it, so neener fuckin' neener!!"

Like hell, we are. I hate to channel Stone Cold Steve Austin ... actually, I'm gonna sound better than Stone Cold. Attention, you spineless D.C. Democrat shitbags: The blogosphere is going to stomp an IED-sized mudhole into your asses, walk it dry, piss over the dried hole to make it muddy again (or request a raindance from the pissed off former clients of Abramoff), and then walk it dry some more.

The complacent Democrats in Washington are experiancing the very same three levels of "explanatory style" Learned Helplessness -- Personal, Pervasive, and Permanent -- that permeated the opposition parties of another republic half the world over in the early 1930s, creating the very vacuum of denial that paved the way for a ruthless, totalitarian dictator to come to power and propagandize the otherwise neat and peaceful people of Germany into becoming nothing but gibbering brainwashed peons defending their demonic liege lord. Like them, our Democrats in Washington KNOW that they fucked up, continue to fuck up, have internalized the problem of their complacency that allows Bush's own Hitler-esque belligerance to unfold in front of a global audience, witness it as affecting all aspects of human life (be it foreign or domestic), and believe -- absolutely believe -- that there's no remission of their guilt; of their unmitigated sin, and thus see it all as unchangeable.

As a result, the "dirty, insolent, uncultured" masses that comprise of the entire netroots, grass-roots and blogosphere aren't human beings to them but instead are merely walking mirrors, reflecting their own useless and pathetic hides back at them warts and all. Each time they see these masses, it's like a ball of chain lightning coursing throughout their ranks, delivering a well-deserved ZOT! to their conscience, instigating a paralysis that forces them to fold like lawn furniture, and play just as fuckin' dead as Seligman's dogs.

They can't stand it.

No matter how many times they lash out calling the walking reflective mirrors of the netroots a lie, it doesn't stop the truth of it from trampling them. They can not escape the reflection, either, no matter how many times they turn their heads nor can they bury them inside the millions of tiny grains of sand they've allowed the Bush Administration and the media to pound into permanent residence inside their own asses anymoreso than they can jump up with a bucket of war paint and slake the mirrors black -- the paralysis makes it impossible.

It's either "Lazarus, Come Forth" for the Democratic Party or they're fuckin' street pizza. Corrosion of conformity breeds cultures of complacency. Period. They're getting their quadriplegic asses replaced, especially if they don't back Feingold's legislation to censure Bush -- which is a big deal. It's the public dignification of what the Republicans recently found the courage to tell Bush behind closed doors over this Dubai ports deal (e.g. "One more move like this, goatboy, and you'll be flirting with impeachment!") and Russ wants to see if the Culture of Corruption would mind dignifying it all in a formal and public manner. They probably won't but I see this move as more of a test of whether or not the D.C. Democrats have a whit of testicular fortitude left in their convulsing carcasses. As for the the GOP, they won't hestitate to toss Bush and Bill "I Hope Iran's Not Listening But My Mouth Just Insured They Are" Frist under the bus in an attempt to keep their "permanent majority" dreams alive; no matter how craven and vain.


All puffed up with vanity
We see what we want to see
To the beautiful and the wise
The mirror always lies ...
Girls and boys together
Paint the mirror black
The mirror always lies ...

"War Paint"