Thursday, February 25, 2010
Below is a column by Huffington Post founder Ariana Huffington. Now, I will admit Huffington is a democrat, and probably considered a liberal in the grand scheme of things. But she's certainly been quite critical of the Obama administration.
Read it and decide for yourself. The world isn't black and white. And the GOP isn't really the party for the little guy, despite what the tea-baggers would have you think.
REPUBLICAN STRATEGY DESTRUCTION AT ALL COSTS
by Airana Huffington, Huffingtonpost.com
It takes awhile to make sense of the entrails of the Republican Party, partly because they are just so toxic, but also because it's actually difficult to comprehend that an American political party can so deliberately sabotage its own government and nation.
But after observing their behavior and their policy of, "Just Say No" -- sometimes to their own suggestions, one can only surmise that they long ago left the business of governing and have instead agreed to a covert game plan of destruction while simultaneously playing an overt game of seduction with the American public. The seductive part of their plan is the one more familiar to the public -- constantly talk about what the people want to hear. No more taxes. Defend the country. Go Conservatives. Minimal government.
Meanwhile, the depth, width, and long range planning of the Republicans' dark strategy should have every American shaking with terror, especially since it is picking up momentum once again.
As I observe the constant aggressive and non-cooperative behavior of the Republican Senators that is so outlandish as to border on choreographed (if not near-treasonous), it's blatantly obvious that the long term Republican agenda is to sabotage this Democratic administration so successfully as to make it appear responsible for all the failures of the Bush administration while simultaneously preventing this administration from accomplishing anything on its own merit, even to the detriment of the good of this nation.
If their plan succeeds -- and it's certainly gaining ground, unfortunately -- the Republicans have a good chance of returning to the White House. How tragic for this nation to find itself returning to the dark days of "rule by fear". Just picture Cheney and Rove laughing behind the scenes. That one image alone should be enough of a reminder as to why the American people should wake up and recognize these political spell-casters for what they really are -- corporate loyalists with Fascist leanings.
That Republicans honor corporate loyalties over their loyalties to the Constitution are beyond question and these policies became publically official with the passing of the recent Supreme Court ruling last month. With that ruling, Republicans have succeeded in outsourcing our own government, as corporate interests are international as well as national. That ruling alone makes their Tea Party gatherings a real head scratcher, as the last folks in line for any Republican benefits are the common folk, which largely comprise their army of modern day Brown Shirt Tea Party hysterics.
If these people could only see through the real agenda of the Republicans, they would realize that they are merely being used as upstart noisemakers, no more than public distractions to create havoc for the Democrats. They actually believe that the Republicans are on their side, listening to their issues and protests when all the Republicans want them to do is make noise. Listening is not part of the Republican bargain. Don't they get that? Why don't these people remember the Bush/Cheney administration?
Bush and Cheney were the closest Americans ever came to being ruled by dictators. Don't these people get that the Republicans are against health care because they are fundamentally against any and all forms of assistance? If they could take away Social Security and Medicare, in all likelihood, they would. How is it possible that these Tea Party Brown Shirts do not understand that in supporting the Republicans, they are in fact supporting their own demise?
How soon these people forget that they have lost their jobs and homes and are continuing to lose both because of Republican de-regulation policies (among other policies) that the Republican House and Senate could have stopped - but didn't. Why? Because common folk do not and never will matter to the Republican Party any more than the Constitution does. Just review what the Bush/Cheney administration did to our Constitution for proof. They took a weedwacker to it. One more Republican administration and the coup will be complete. Wait until these Tea Party Brown Shirts gather and try protesting if -- God forbid -- the Republicans get back into office. They'll be met with police armed with weapons and the Patriot Act and that will be the end of those little social gatherings, or would they be called "uprisings" then?
Certainly the Clinton administration added to the deregulation debacle but let's face it, the inspiration and fuel behind these policies picked up steam under the Bush/Cheney administration. The Democrats have their own list of sins against the American system, to be sure, which is long and historic, without a doubt. But by comparison to the present agenda of the Republicans, the greatest crime that the Democrats are presently committing is that they are not doing the job that they were sent to Washington to do - which was to represent the Democratic agenda and take on those Republican bullies.
Next, we have Sarah Palin, one of the more covert schemes of the Republican agendas. What makes Sarah part of Republican covert strategy? Simple-Sarah doesn't even realize that she is being used by the Republican brain trust as their Vamp distraction - the poor thing. She actually thinks she has something to offer this country when, in fact, even her own party is probably laughing at her behind the scenes. She is the Republican Court Fool, an idiot mouthpiece who writes notes on her hands in order to get through an appearance and lacks the insight due to an over abundance of vanity and ambition to realize that her own party intends to toss her to the wolves as soon as her usefulness as a Vamp distraction is done. Anyone who doubts this has only to wait and see.
Now that the Republicans have good looking, smooth talking Scott Brown, they are not going to risk their money on Palin again. No way. As soon as they no longer need someone to make outlandish, ridiculous, uneducated, near-illiterate statements that cause controversy, they'll ship her back to the big A. Republicans are known for being ruthless but when it comes to Sarah, ruthless is fine with me.
That the Republican tactics are working is not surprising, though it is unfortunate. Given that the Democrats had the majority in both Houses and the White House, they still have acted like the minority party since Obama's swearing in, bullied by the Republicans, unable to get their policies and agendas passed. Compromise is one thing but the Democrats have turned compromise into an act of apology for winning this past election. As for those so-called Blue-Dog Democrats, why don't they just admit they lack the backbone to be anything at all? Lieberman certainly comes to mind.
One has to wonder if the browbeating the Democrats took under the Bush/Cheney years so battered them that they forgot how to stand up with dignity and represent their party. Or perhaps they are just old, useless cowards, incapable of doing battle any more or are they waiting for their President to end the politics of compromise and repeat the disrespect for Congress that Bush/Cheney turned into an art form? Perhaps it's a mixture of all the above. In the meantime, however, we are left with a blockade in Congress that has gone well past the critical point. How do we proceed?
As much as we Americans have this cultural tendency to want to detach from the past as quickly as possible and get on with a new future - in this case, in the form of a new Presidential administration -- sometimes such detachment lacks all wisdom. I heard a discussion among newscasters just the other day, for example, in which they bantered about whether the war in Afghanistan had "officially" become Obama's war, meaning, of course, that the nation could now shift all blame and anger from Bush for starting this massive debacle to Obama. These half journalists/half pundits decided that, indeed, the time had come to declare Afghanistan "Obama's War". If nothing else, such a decision would certainly get Republican support and fuel their much needed media controversies.
Surely the American public cannot and, in fact, should not be allowed to forget that this nightmare of a war begun under false pretenses by a president obsessed with oil and his ex-president father combined with a paranoid and devious former vice president is not just "one of those problems" another president just inherits and manages to resolve within a year. But that's exactly what suits the Republican agenda: Make this war look like Obama's failure, not ours. And while you're at it, make the economic crisis and the housing crisis look like they started with Obama instead of the truth -- that he inherited more Bush/Cheney crises that need years to resolve -- not one year.
No doubt President Obama has made several decisions in his first year that he would not make again now that he sees the consequences and now that he also realizes many in his own Congress want to see him go down. How tragic if not borderline treasonous is that? If his administration had chosen to investigate all the crimes of the Bush/Cheney administration in public view, perhaps that would have made these Republicans a bit more cooperative. But since that's just a pipe dream, maybe the Democrats should mirror some of the Republican strategy. When the Republicans say, "NO", the Democrats should yell back, "NO WAY". You are not getting the White House back and you are not turning this nation into a complete corporate state in which the Constitution is a thing of the past. The Republican creed of "less government" is in truth one of "corporate government". Their covert destructive policies need to be publically exposed again and again until even their Brown Shirt Tea Party minions can understand that this party is fundamentally dangerous to the future of this nation.
It's not French.
You don't pronounce it "Chat-roulee". It's "Chat-Roo-let," a combination of chat and. . .well, roulette. Which is exactly what it is: you enable your computer's web cam, click on the website, push "play" and you're connected randomly to another netzien somewhere in the world.
Call it the "anti-Facebook." There's no social network here. Many of the folks you'll encounter are scary. Anti-social. Foreign. Or naked. (But that's usually men. Women like to keep their clothes on, usually.) It's disturbing, definitely. Like watching a car wreck. But it's also like a Lay's Potato Chip: betcha can't watch just once. Internet writers are raving about it.
These on-partnerships are dissolved at the click of a "next" button, and the dice are rolled again. It's completely anonymous. Mostly fleeting. You probably won't develop any long-term friendship with anyone on here (and maybe, you should be glad for that). You might develop some phobias involving penises. There's lots of those on there. Apparently, a good percentage of human males are proud of what God gave em. And there's no registration or age verification, which is a bit worry some.
In a couple hours of just randomly clicking through Chatroulette (without a web cam--I guess I'm either just shy or too much of a voyeur), it seemed as though most of those on the site were either:
- bored young men
- bored young women
- groups of titillated teenagers
- hand-written messages of the "show me your tits" variety
- middle-aged men proud of their masturbatory technique
- people of undetermined age or sex wearing interesting masks
The strangest glimpse was of a naked man wearing a Richard Nixon mask pleasuring himself. One stop showed a still-life scene of a bathroom shower, empty but for a ripped shower curtain and a spray of blood on the shower wall. And others danced, made faces, flipped the bird, or played music. One couple made love, though I wasn't too sure that wasn't just a porno film captured on web cam.
After a bit, I dipped my toe in the chat waters and attempted to engage a few folks in conversation. Since I didn't have a web cam, most dropped me. But I did trade messages with a middle-aged man in China (we didn't speak each other's language, but he smiled when I typed "Yao Ming), two college students in Turkey (who agreed there were "too many dicks on here"), and a college student in Taiwan studying Japanese and English who was fearful of Red Chinese military buildups. After awhile, it became sport to try to get a reaction from people with my initial message: "This is the FBI!" or "Your wife knows you're on here!"
I guess it's only a matter of time until this site--which supposedly sees upward of 30,000 computers hooked up to it at a time!--implodes, either under its own traffic, some legal issue related to use by minors, or advertising. Already, a few Chatrouletters are somehow linking their web cams to advertising messages. And some are calling it the one event that will open the door to widespread on-line video conferencing for the masses.
This is the Wild West of the internet. So far, anything goes. You can get away with anything, it seems, and there is no consequence of doing so. If you're a little brave, give it a look. But be warned. And by all means--keep your kids away.