Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I have nothing to say

And I am saying it.

This just in: Aside from saying nothing, I also have nothing to add to the nothing I just said.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Screw Liberté, No Égalité and WTF is Fraternité?

First the French government went a bit mad about the Burqa and decided to ban it.

Some former French goverment, it seems, also saw fit to have a French Constitution too and this burqa ban has now raised questions of constitutionality and concerns about personal freedoms and religious stereotyping.

It turns out that even though the burqa ban is still a current state policy, they have laws which suggest this kind of minority persecution is such a bad idea that it's 100% illegal to tell a person not to wear a hat because it covers your face unless of course you're on a motorcycle.

Now sections of the French public and the French government have certainly not stopped bashing on Islam in general using the burqa as an emotional lever, but just because you have one minority to pick on doesn't mean you have to stop there. There's just no good reason to sit still on other issues of prejudice when you have people like the GOP running parts of Europe.

Instead, as well all know, it's also time to start bashing another minority. It's an old minority everyone loves to hate. Both Hitler and Stalin felt they should be wiped out. A lot of modern Europe seems to wish they'd succeeded.

Yes... Gypsies, or Roma as they are now called. All over Europe wherever there is wealth the poor are moving in, so a flood of migrants from east to West has the West struggling to know how to handle it. So, it's time to "do something" about them.

Them means the conspicuously poor, the people it's been popular and okay to hate for centuries.

Hating on gypsies is a popular and quite an old European sport dating back centuries: In Italy they've already started demolishing gypsy dwellings, bulldozing poverty stricken shanties and forcing people to disband and flee. Indeed there's talk all over Europe of deporting the Gypsies.

The problem with that being, the Eastern European nations they migrated from are now actually EU member states and their migration is completely legal and they have complete legal status in France, Italy, Germany, Austria, pretty much all of Europe excepting Switzerland.

As such, it's actually against the European Union constitution to deport citizens of one EU country who are originally from another EU country based on the fact that they're poor.

That's the European Union law. But meh. Fuck them.

There is activity though. This AP story says,

"Organizers said demonstrations were taking place in 135 cities and towns across France, and others were planned outside French embassies in capitals such as London, Brussels and Bucharest."

It is excellent to know that so many people taking to the streets all over parts of Europe but that raises the question of why more people did not attend and moreover why other countries like Italy, with the same kind of illegal policies are not witnessing the same kinds of rallies. One rally in the Czech Republic in May boasted a whopping 200 or so people.

I'm not we're claiming we're perfect. It's almost - though not quite - analogous to the Arizona law and the Federal jursidiction over issues concerning Constitutional rights of people to walk around without the concern of racial profiling.

Arizona should find out that it has absolutely no legal standing to enforce its laws, since that's clearly the case.

So too in Europe member nations should be held to their own central constitution. This is going to be a show of how the EU constitution really fails to be enforcible.

So states can behave more or less as though the EU constitution doesn't exist when it suits them.

The same prejudicial policy of deporting the Roma is being touted all over central and Western Europe, with varying degrees of political support. What stands out though is France has a recent history of picking on minority issues to divide the culture, a GOP trick.

France has not got Italy's problem of pandemic corruption dating back two thousand glorious years, nor does it have a total bastard like Silvio Berlusconi as leader.

Sarkozy has many flaws no doubt, he's notoriously vain about his height for one thing, but the French guy with short man syndrome is nothing like the Mafia media baron trying to keep a country's media hostage while his ministers flee, having serial affairs with multiples of women and musing on which players belong in the Milan Football Team.

It's something which might be expected from Italy in other words since the place has not really enjoyed a stable government since Marcus Aurellius was Emperor and today it is more or less Berlusconi's private bidet.

The French, on the other hand, have been real pioneers in advancing social welfare and have created a large network of human rights organizations and activists.

Paris erupts into regular student protests and semi-regular student riots. Most of the time it's a progressive society and it appears - from the outside - to even tolerate the German tourists. And the British.

So, what the hell happened to France? Why are the protests so small when it comes to Gypsies? And why is there all of this anger and resent to human beings - why is this such a hot button issue in Europe of today?

So here's what I'm really leading too. Does France need a hug?

I'm personally volunteering to hug Sophie Marceau. As many times as it takes to make France see reason on this issue. I am very dedicated to this selfless and important cause. I think you will agree that this is a wonderful plan with a high chance of success.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What is Altruism?

My sister read Rand's The Fountainhead and was completely revolted by her bleak vision of human social interactions. She portrays all acts of kindness as acts of pure selfishness in the end. In Randworld, altruism is a form of glib selfishness.

So, the warm inner glow of personal pride which comes from another person's well being, though it came at your own expense, well Rand says stop that shit. Grow up. Be selfish and unapologetic. You can see why the Cons eat it up.

My sister, like many, found Rand revolting and yet she found that idea of altruism as connected to selfishness as hard to escape, even though it didn't seem a very nice view of the world she was rattled by it. She and I have talked about this a lot over the last few years. Finally I think I made a breakthrough. This is what I wish I'd said, not what I actually said which was even longer winded and even less coherent.

Whatever selfishness is, our relationship to it is somehow linked to our survival.

The feeling of warmth most people feel when helping another person at cost to ourselves is a form of natural, biological reward. Endorphins! Party in the brain! Just chemicals. No morals. No ethics, just natural selection giving us a buzz for doing something helpful to others at our own expense.

As I really did say to my sister - she is the least selfish person I know really - just think like a selfish person for a moment and experience the actual difference.

Suppose that a person is unconcsious in the water. A selfish young man says to himself, I won't jump into the water to save them because I'll get my new Nikes wet. That's not a very good reason, so they begin to find others. It's not my job, Hassellhof's babes should show up any moment... The person who is selfish does things purely in their own interests and then rationalizes why afterwards.

Meanwhile a sick old granny who can barely breathe and is scared of drowning herself struggles against the waves to pull the person from the water. She acts before a lot of thinking has really taken place and only after is she at all likely to try and rationalize her behavior.

So who is actually the more selfish? The sick Granny who will have the reward of knowing she risked her life to save another or the guy who was too worried about his shoes and feels the smaller warmth of having spared his Nikes from the water? How is this supposed selfishness being assessed in different cases, in other words?

It's like something Typo said elsewhere about words and the definitions we give to things. They really matter and here we have a classic instance of human compassion being depicted as this terribly wrong thing which - in Randworld - really stems from the need to feel a biochemical reward.

Well imaginary Granny scenarios are contrived. Here's the thing that clinched it. I went all Godwin's law on her.

I said something like, what about the selfishness of those who hid Jewish friends during the holocaust as compared to the selfishness of those who turned their 'friends' in?

What was their relative reward/risk table and payout in a game that's lose lose and where win win means they all get to live?

After 6 months of keeping a secret family that can get you killed, did it still seem like a warm glow all the time? This idea of selfishness in the midst of altruism stems entirely from one hidden assumption: all acts of altruism are assumed to be about as complex as a grandfather spoiling a child absolutely rotten because it makes the grandfather feel good to see the child happy.

Once that kind of example is used to set Rand's bleak themes into motion, it's never questioned and more examples like it follow where there really is a questionable relationship between action and reward and the motives. If all you see is that pattern, it's not a really useful and open way of thinking about the vast complexity of human relationships.

It was nice to have this quiet discussion with my sister, gentle and thoughtful as always, but this time a real breakthrough. Her sense of relief was palpable. She cracked her way through the illusion Rand creates by thinking and thinking and thinking. My sister got that problem beat. It was great. She could see: hang on a moment, this is just wrong. Something about this whole way of valuing behavior in such black and white terms is absolutely wrong.

It was a good time to shut up and say no more.

I loved watching her relief. I mean I can think of no other word for what I saw.

It wasn't like some earth shattering thing, but she clearly was never happy with this idea. She kept bringing it to me to kind of debate it, sometimes for hours, so I figured either she was hoping to change my mind or hoping I would change hers and I saw my answer to that when she seemed to kind of take a step back as the Rand on her back, spitting its poison in her ear for about two years, fell silent for a moment.

I had one more argument held in reserve. Something I was thinking about. I mean my sister forces me to debate this so I end up contingency thinking and preparing a line of argument for the next round. I don't think I'll ever have to say it. But here it is anyways.

Note also that people who are actually psychopaths or narcissists do not have any response of warmth for an unselfish act. They don't report having any happiness associated with acts of kindness to others. The endorphin trigger for being, you know, nice because being nice feels nice... well it just ain't there.

Since they get no biological reward for cooperations where they break even, let alone where they lose out, they just don't and can't behave decently to anyone, except because of conventions. They need some conventions to "fit" into society at all but they never actually trust anyone with anything at all so they don't ever bond to others or feel emotions that we take as normal.

Those are characteristic traits of anyone who is actually unable to act altruistically, indeed they often learn to feel reward for acts in which other people suffer harm.

The person I've just described is the person Ayn Rand holds up as the norm. If anything Rand's philosophy and view of the decent human motives as all selfish at heart, tells you about Rand herself and not the normal human being.

As a footnote, I feel very selfish indeed for helping my sister to see a new path through the stupid maze Rand led her into. It's been maybe two years of talking about this every few months.

There's no question that blogging about my happiness really is a selfish thing, but blogging about my wonderful sister and her remarkable intellectual honesty also makes me a happy Smiley.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Guy's Guide to Predicting The Future

This can be the hardest part of the process.

A good mandrake is a root which is in the form of a human, appearing to have arms and legs and often genitals too, it offers the vegetable equivalent of a human life force in mythology so digging up large plants to find a really good mandrake can take years.

Important tip for baggers: No, it's not enough to get ahold of some tree root and just lop bits off until it looks like a mandrake, the roots have to form themselves into a human shape. Duh.

If the root is large and stable such that it appears to stand three feet tall on its own feet, upright, and it also appears to have an Olympian sized dick, this is definitely the mandrake you have been looking for all your life and together you can rule the world.

Well almost. You just need one more thing. But first here's Bill with the Weather.

A mandrake on its own is not really enough to get the prophetic juices flowing.

It can be tough facing the fact that you cannot simply become an infinitely powerful prophet without some spiritual help. Many mandrake owners cling on to the hope that somehow they can make this thing work alone. For years they waste a perfectly good mandrake and cannot get anywhere with their prophecy and instead of taking flight into real truth or real power, they remain stuck and lost in their careers as "journalists".

The right guru for you is someone who can help you and your mandrake secure your rightful inheritance and summon your deeper inner powers by a short marriage ceremony between all three of you, you your mandrake and your guru.

Noobie Tip: have plenty of blood ready because the marriage contract is quite long.

After the document is signed and dried and then entered into the dark lord's registry on, your guru should immediately have some very sage guru-like advice to offer and the spell of your old life broken, you will find your whole existence suddenly transformed.

Once you have taken your mandrake and guru into marriage and no other, you will be all seeing and all powerful and will not really need a whole lot of financial advice. But because I feel strongly about the cashflow of prophets, there is one piece of advice I have to offer: Goldline.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Passive Resistance and The Global Peace Effort

I had the strange idea that I should write a book analyzing war and peace and current trends in both. So far I've got an outline, a few chapters written and a few others researched. I have a long way to go but I'm working on it. 

I was having this conversation with Adonai just a few days ago and it was about peace and optimism. I said that I thought it was very weird that so many people in the peace movement also subscribe to this kind of war fatalism. "We must protest. But war," they will say, "is really inevitable. We're doomed to have wars. We're flawed as a species," so the argument goes, "and the MIC have the upper hand. But we have to try don't we?"  

Adonai said he thought that attitude looked schizophrenic. I think he's right, though it's not the word I'd have chosen.  I've long been an optimist about the longer term chances of smashing the MIC in times to come, so I cannot subscribe to war fatalism and I don't believe anyone should.

We're told it's a childish fantasy. I'm told that all the time. I think to overturn that illusion, that a child thinks it's possible to make progress against the war machine, it's not enough to blog a few times or whatever, you have to lay it all out in a really flat and level way. It's such a big reply that it's easily a book sized project and I'm keen to put a lot of time into this.

Here is the first draft of my introduction...

We are at war with the idea of war.

It is a strange war, where one side has no weapons at all. It is a borderless war with no geographical frontiers and no nationality to offer. It is a global battle for the future. The stake is our life on earth and nothing less.

The peace movement must win this war against war if human beings are to emerge out of savagery and ignorance. The peace movement must win and we must win by preaching and using non-violence and passive resistance. That is the only way to victory.

We may not ever grow to like the more insane generals and we may not ever personally approve of CEOs of corporations manufacturing weapons, but these are only people and not the real enemy. The real enemies of the peace movement are old human fears and modern human ignorance, they are the roughly one hundred million landmines buried under our planet's soils, the over 7,000 permanently active and armed nuclear warheads aimed at our cities, the tools, the corporations themselves, the institutions and weapons of war, the basic causes which perpetuate it.

We must know our real enemy, not the people in uniforms carrying the weapons, most of whom are surprisingly nice people, but instead the follies which lead to wars in the first place. If we address the causes of war, if we can change the relationship between war and business, if we can change the relationship we have with media and war, if we change the international dialog on war, we can begin to really treat the disease of war and not  persist in attacking so many of the symptoms.

A lot of activism in the peace movement comes from a few hundred thousand very committed people, scattered across the world who all really see a more strategic vision and many of them might not attend a rally in two years while working for peace for a significant fraction of their lives. The world has an interconnected movement of high profile, highly motivated, very educated and persistent people who, mostly, think the same way about activism: you take it into your own hands.

If you believed much of what was said in the mainstream media, however, the peace movement is the same thing as the anti-war protest movement; mostly populated by old and young hippies, some bearing joints and others with guitars as well. It is a fringe of idealistic kids and dreamy retirees, bored and looking for something to do. Peace is, by implication, the deluded aspiration of a small and radical group, who will inevitably move from one lost cause to the next.

To a large extent the peace movement has not done enough to state its own case and dispel the mythology of being that aimless movement of stoners living in some fantasy land.

We must end that public perception of the peace movement as a fringe band of bleeding hearts if it is ever to gain a more mainstream acceptance.

We should, then, carefully examine the aims and successes and the cumulative effect of the last century of the peace movement on global politics, the benefits of peace to economy, trade, stability. We should look at the institutions already built, the nations already changed by peaceful mass action.

To give the international peace movement full credit for its achievements also means winding back the clock of human history. There's ten thousand years of recorded military history and to see how new and recent and effective (as well as ineffective) the peace movement is, it's important to compare the wars of old to the wars of today.


Any suggestions or reactions would be welcome.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Knig's Beck Poem

Knig's Poem

The Legend of Bagger Beck 

T'was the night before Beckmas 
And all through the den 
Not a creature was shifting money offshore 
Not even The Glenn.
the crosses were burnt on the lawns with care 
in hopes that saint becky
soon would be there 
the baggers were all snug in their beds
while visions of gold danced in their heads 
with ma in her uniform and me in my hood 
we hoped that we'd get em, get em all good 
when out on the mall there arose such a clatter 
i sprang from my bible to see what was the matter 
i tore up the constiution and looked for an answer 
out on the drive way was a black panther 
i sheek and i cried dear god they are here and
all i could do was become wet with fear 
the brothers they said to me right there and then 
dont hate us for being one of them
we dont come to hurt you or make you afraid 
we doe look for white women just to get laid
we come to show you that were people too 
and your not in charge nor us of you 
so I blamed obama and called the man 
and said i need help round up the klan 
but the panthers they chuckeled and shouted with glee
why your just a bagger and no threat to me 
so they got in their cars and drove away 
go eff yourself brother, respect MLK

URGENT UPDATE: Read one of Knig's latest poems here

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nuclear Bomb Tests 1945 - 1998

It's something I found quite remarkable. I watched this with a friend who showed it to me. We were talking about war and peace and I said that I was still optimistic. So many people are working on peaceful solutions to military problems. We hit on the topic of nukes and the test ban treaty, something I consider to be a vital step in world peace.

This video, I think, makes that point very very clearly. It's 50 years of using and testing nuclear bombs in 14 minutes. Sometimes diplomacy can have an enormous effect.

Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody

Just because.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lord Troldemort Must Go Down

Newsflash: Beej Is A No-Good Stooge

All popular websites have their own trolls. The Huffingtonpost has many. One of the strangest is Beej.

Until recently that was just a name which I associated with a vast array of different socks. Some socks last only a few minutes. Others seem to last longer and rather than abuse other posters for no reason they seem to reserve their comments for someone they call "Bare-E".

A quick look at their website the Huff-Watch confirms that Beej takes the Huffingtonpost as more of an obsession than the rest of the other posters put together. It's an experience that starts off as weird and kind of impressive and then the more you look and think about the scale of the effort and the kind of intent as well and impressive turns to scary, creepy and OMFG.

Beej's creepy stalkerish website contains a vast but confused and tangled array of archives and links. There's screenshots of all kinds of things from HP. So while we're over there posting, Beej is sometimes just taking screen shots and uploading them to his vast, vast blog. The following is from Beej's site. Here in fact.

(1) What is Huff-Watch's beef with HuffPost?
  • Generates false/misleading news headlines regarding important public affairs
  • Consistently applies an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic bias to news stories concerning the Jewish state, and to notable Jewish public figures, then reviews, approves and decides to publish user comments containing hate, libels and conspiracy theories against Israel and Jews
  • Uses its considerable influence in an arguably subversive fashion, and to advance a radically left-wing, anti-Israel, Islamist*-sympathizing agenda (*for a definition of Islamist/Islamism, see Section 3)
  • Enables and protects the most egregious, pathological violators of its Comment Policy and Terms of Service to essentially "live" on the site for 12-20 hours a day, in some cases, for years --- while censoring and banning non-violating users, on a minute-to-minute basis 

So, to Beej's first point... that's my beef too! So where are all the Beej Huff-Watch articles on bad journalism?

There's a score of old HP headlines which had no bearing on the content of the article. Beej must have a hundred screen captures of that kind of thing.

Headlines which are the complete opposite of the content of the article? Or how about the HP-Geithner obsession? How about Ariana's constant fascination with her TV appearances as main article topics?

So if that's Beej's first beef, then... how come the most commonly used tagged word in Huff-watch is "antisemitic"? It's true. He tags his own posts and the tag he uses the most is antisemitic. It's right there on his own site.

The HP is not, so far as I can tell, a rag guilty of engaging in any anti-semitic views and palming that off as news. It is certainly not always pro-Israel and for that I am glad. HP is guilty of some really terrible journalistic practices in the race for clicks and placement in Twitter and Google searches. But it is not guilty of anti-semitism as a rule.

Anyone posting comments expressing any kind of prejudicial hatred have their comments removed and in time their profiles go as well. Real anti semites, and I have seen several, are simply not tolerated on HP. I believe in freedom of speech. I also accept liability. HP simply cannot allow posts of that kind to remain and nor can they tolerate anyone who logs in to simply post those kinds of hate-filled comments to have an account.

So when I look at Huff-Watch I think... what's the point of all that work? What would happen if the Beej ever used that work ethic for something useful?

Now, unfortunately, Beej has also taken on a friend of yours. A truly funny man with a large wit and a fearless trust in his audience, has been personally singled out by Beej for special treatment.

I also learned recently that a certain peaceful kitten was also singled out by this person for special rough treatment.

I do not know any real details about either case. But right now our favorite beagle needs your moral support. Please visit his blog here and leave a comment.

(Thanks to Claude for the heads up!)

This has appeared on the southpaw blog.

"Southpaw just got a call letting him know that, for now at least, the government is not seeking to interview him regarding hate speech–which I take for the moment as a sign that they will not be proceding into a First Amendment arena with him in the very near future. "
So it's looking like the Beej loses this round.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Obama Auto-Slammings To Continue

The Whitehouse is gently floating rumors that Obama has slammed himself for his lack of action on slamming himself before.

A source who knows the President's opinions on the President's opinions has categorically said, on the record but off the radar, that in the President's opinion he needs a good auto-slamming. Our anonymous source wanted it to be clear that their opinion of the President's opinion of the President's opinion was a matter of "a girlscout's honor and therefore also true too, yep you betcha, uh-huh."

Obama's decision to slam himself now and not sooner has raised eyebrows in the Smilingtonpost's extensive Anonymous Source Network (ASN).

One anonymous source with a very raised eyebrow indeed said, "Obama's slamming of himself now is happening too late. Like so many other things Obama's done, it lacks that certain deciderness we're all looking for in a president. He should have slammed himself on January 20th, 2001 when Bush took office."

Other unnamed sources have confirmed suspicions that earlier rumors about previous gossip was true. So we can expect Obama to slam Obama on Obama's position on everything, for some time.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I Blame Obama

I always feel much calmer
Once I've blamed Barack Obama

I blame him for the morning
While I'm still freshly yawning

I blame him for the day
Soon to be underway

It's just fun to blame Obama
for my every little drama


Friday, July 16, 2010

The Republicans Are Fucking Stupid: A Status Report Part (II)

Funding Teabaggers 
Everybody knows that the GOP have a personal stake in courting the batshit crazies.

Yet they have a lot of registered voters who are somehow also every day members of society.

So before looking at GOP stupidity in further detail, let's meet a few GOPers and try to learn from them how it is that they can look at the GOP and say, yes, I think voting GOP is fun and it might be suicidal but that's how I roll.

Meet Kellie C. She visited the Republican Faces web and liked it so much she uploaded a pic and an answer to the question of why she's a Republican.

She writes incoherently about issues close to her own heart... God,  guns, Republicans and common sense and all of that in a pretty short reply.

The Republican Faces web is a sad tribute to the long term effects of right wing jingoism.

There's a whole lot of small government means freedom stuff as you'd expect.

The thing which most struck me was how many of these people seem to really believe that Republicans share their own values. Values was a strongly repeated signal.

Now I know that these are the people preselected for the GOP website. So people are careful to write things they think are wanted for the website and the GOP are careful to select the faces and replies they most want to see representing them.

But at the same time, they are presumably real people and presumably they really wrote this stuff.

So why did you become a member of the GOP, Heather T.?

Sure. We all know how good the GOP are to public school teachers.

What a load of Title I bullshit.

If this woman (B/W photo) is teaching your kids, she's teaching them how to reply to a reasonable question with a completely empty response.

Ok. Insulting people from a website who cannot answer back is fun in a Perez Hilton kind of way but it's not an answer to the question, why does anyone, even insane people, why do any people at all vote for Republicans? 

It's odd that it doesn't answer the question. That's the very question they were responding to. This is why I bring it up in the blog before raising questions about the baggers.

So why do people vote Republicans into office? Here's my theory.

What's most strange to me is that the baggers should be so openly supported by the right wing.

After all, the larger the tea party became, the more they started to push back on the GOP as an actual social force looking for some kind of political voice.

Since they were a right wing invention, since they came to have a large right wing population, and since the GOP were less popular than ever before, that was the obvious time to aid and abet in the creation of a political opposition???

The gain was likely to be seen as haranguing the President through a kind of surrogate movement.

By encouraging that, feeding it, the GOP went on to create a kind of bad national joke which, even more weirdly, took time, energy, donor money and further divided an already divided house.

The GOP has had a very tough time since Obama came into the Whitehouse. He's signed a breathtaking number of reforms into law. The GOP have had to fight a lot of reforms, calling on a lot of donors.

In Feb, 2010 the GOP were already rumored to be in financial trouble.

After all, they even by then they had aleady spent vast sums of money fighting anything and everything.

That trend has continued as more and more reforms pass under the President's nose and become law.

You add to that the division over the Chairman. Steele is hard to remove. He's not willing to go, not competent to stay and he's the guy holding the purse strings of the party. They don't even like him.

So the GOP, limping into an election year facing more and more reforms, going mad spending, decided to create a surrogate which would cost them money and possibly even voters.

These GOP clowns are the economic conservatives?

That is all the proof anyone could ever need that America still has a rich vein of stupid to offer the world. We've not exactly cornered the market in stupid, but we've sure got huge stockpiles.

We are definitely capable of being a stuporpower, like in the old Bush years. I'd rather not go back to the dark times, but sometimes it seems like we're still walking on that edge.

But then when I look at the baggers I think, nope. We went over that edge a while back.

The Tea Party, one of the weirdest inventions in US political history and destined to be laughed about for decades to come.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Republicans Are Fucking Stupid: A Status Report (Part I)

The Just-Say-No Boxing Tournament
If politics is like boxing, the GOP (in the Red Corner) have an interesting strategy.

Run to the Blue Corner and punch like fuck while shouting,


Obama's tendency is to move to the center at the very outset. By now "Nobody" is surprised when Obama stands at the center and leans left and right.

And by "Nobody" I mean those trolls who listen to Limbaugh or Hannity, O'Reilly and so on. Anyone with as their homepage instantly qualifies.

Those are the only people on the entire planet who think of the President as a bona fide Marxist, always fighting against the ropes in some fabled, mythical Blue Corner. They are the only ones surprised when he does and says things which sound moderate.

In this imaginary Blue Corner, Karl Marx is team manager, Vlad Lenin is Obama's personal training Czar. Mao's got big money on the game and he keeps saying, "keep moving to the left until you hit Beijing."

So the GOP size up the opposition, who is standing at the exact center of the ring and they charge to the Blue corner, punching and screaming.

Let's have a little lookie at their scorecard so far...



No to trials of GITMO detainees on US soil.

The GOP won that battle so easily and such little has happened ever since the first rounds, that the President basically scored zero real hits in that entire contest. After a hopeful beginning and a few more rounds of stalemates, Obama's push to hold trials in New York were finished off.

On the issue of the detainees and their human rights, Obama all but dropped his gloves. He ran from the Blue Corner like a thunderbolt hoping, perhaps to use political capital he didn't have and he got resoundingly pounded to the mat by the GOP before he reached the center of the ring.

It was to be one of the very few GOP victories to come along so easily.
Very few had really expected a lot of legal traction on the matter of trials for suspected terrorists. After all, they'd been tortured and illegally detained. Their legal status was and still is impossible to resolve.

That's not because Obama is inadequate as a President, nor because the Justice department is inadequate.

It is instead because Addington and Cheney had almost eight years to create a legal Gordian Knot and tie it around GITMO.

The bastards did a great job too.

So with a predictable failure under his belt, the second big match up was really the first big test for No Drama Obama.

Healthcare was a major title, a gruelling tournament involving 50 states, two branches of government, a divided Democratic party and of course the party of No. Few believed there was any chance of any success at all. It had never happened before. Many Presidents had tried. Most had not even bothered.

The party of No is, however, utterly predictable.

Once again, the GOP took on the same weird strategy of swinging wildly while running at Obama in the Blue corner. And due to a lot of flash photography from the media the President took a lot of hits from the right which should definitely have been aimed at the Congress.

The seemingly simple Single Payer system went out in the early rounds. Here again Obama tended to retreat to the center of the ring. Candidate Obama had supported the Public Option, that turned out to look like it was more political support rather than actual support.

In the boxing ring where it might count, Obama dropped the Public Option like a weight he didn't need.

He didn't really punch all that hard for key parts of his own reform. Perhaps his dodging the punches strategy by dropping his reforms was meant to court the blue dogs in his own party. Perhaps it was because he couldn't support it after all. His lack of effort was disappointing to many on the left who had imagined it was a promise.

The party of No, of course, stood firm and went instead for the threat of a filibuster. When that failed, they block voted against everything.

We reached John Boehner for comment and he explained that this would bring on Armageddon.

Now in his finance policy, Obama is boxing closer to the Red corner, if anything.

He has, after all, relied almost entirely on the advice of known conservatives. Bernanke and Geithner both of whom come ordained from the right wing's most beloved and hallowed ground, the Ivy league.

As extra resume buff, they've both lived and worked in the holiest parts of Wall Street too. Their invisible right wing hands are all over Obama's Marxist economic policy.

So Obama is at the center and drifting further right on the issues of Wall Street. Meanwhile the right wing is still off in that Blue Corner, trying to smash the fuck out of thin air.

On the issue of finance reform there was, obviously enough a lot of right wing attacking partly because there was no real defending to be done. There were a lot of bitchin' punches thrown too, no doubt. But since every last slug was aimed at the ropes, rather than the President, the GOP scored zero real hits at all in the later rounds.
So once again the party of No went with their familiar, vuvuzela-like chorus of "filibuster" and "No".

That was, of course, a completely expected move and the GOP certainly didn't let their fans down.

An orange person was interviewed and they assured us that this new law was like taking out an ant with a nuke.

This has to rank as one of the stupidest political positions ever taken. So here's the Barton approach. Defend the Red Corner when he's covered in tarballs.

BP: The oil company trying to repair the leak, the company now drawing oil out of the well and making cash from it... This is the oil company which is responsible for destroying a region of ocean larger than Vienna. A lot larger than Vienna in fact. It's a plume now the size of Austria...

That poor oil company, BP, shouldn't be held liable.

That means, in polispeak, "I'm open for business and hunting for Big Oil Contributions.". That is defending the Red Corner and what it looks like.

The President was wrong to take a 20 billion check for victim relief. That is punching at the Blue Corner.

This is Barton's position?  No wonder he looks like he's choking on his own brain.

Well, not to be shy about it...
Republicans are fucking stupid

They box like absolute lightweight babies. They have no idea who their opponent is nor how to find him when they're missing him by trying to pin him down where he isn't.

Obama has moved the agenda to the center every last time. The GOP don't fight for the center. They defend the extreme right and attack the extreme left and never pass through the center of American life.

So Obama's given them right wing economic reforms to chew on - after a total financial meltdown no less - and the GOP voted no. They even threatened filibuster on every issue.

So to people at the center the choice should look pretty clear. Vote Republican and swerve hard right and get more NO, or vote left and get someone who can work at the center and push through actual reforms.

The folks at the center should be delighted with Obama.

His much noted drop in popularity is unlikely to come from the Right where he was never liked and never will be.

It is unlikely to be from the center where people mostly do not blame him for the economy or the oil spill or any other thing he didn't cause.

Instead, Obama has courted the center position time and again.

I suspect that a lot of the shift in the polls is from the people on Obama's left who are wondering who they elected sometimes. They're already looking for other options because Obama seems nothing like the progressive he appeared to be as a candidate.

Looking back Obama was very careful to promise little while saying Americans should demand it. He said many times that people had to demand change. He talked about people being the force for change and he talked about that starting in communities.

When he was asked what people should do, supposing he was elected, to continue to help him create these things, he said to continue in the community, to press the government for what you want, to hold his feet to the fire. So to some extent, Obama is the people's President because he responds to their forces and he's said as much. 

There is still vast potential for bigger changes in the US, but with Obama in the Whitehouse, the people have to become more active in their demands for it.