Smart Remarks: Twisted Teabaggers

Pennsylvania blogger Gil Smart nails the callous behaviour and rotten morality of the “Tea Bag Nation” recently captured at a dueling demonstration in Ohio over the contentious issue of healthcare reform…

The video footage featured in his clip really is quite iconic of the profound undercurrent hateful, selfish ugliness that seems to animate much of the OUTRAGE! characteristic of the so-called tea party movement that’s continually inflamed by crazed loons like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and that whole ilk of incendiary, misanthropic millionaire gasbags that populate the “right-wing noise machine.”

Thank goodness Canadian politics hasn’t become quite this toxic — yet.

Time to End Foreign Welfare

The question on this afternoon’s edition of “The Cafferty File” segment of CNN’s The Situation Room program was an especially provocative one; asking if, in light of the blatantly insulting snub by the reactionary government of Benjamin Netanyahu when Vice-President Biden recently visited that country, it was perhaps “time for the U.S. to get tough on Israel”

Not that it will ever do so given the entrenched power of the influential pro-Israel lobby (e.g., AIPAC and so on) in Washington, but maybe now would be a good time to revisit the idea of funneling countless billions of dollars each and every year to supposedly “friendly” client-states around the world.

Considering the heinous insolvency of the U.S. these days, wouldn’t it be prudent to critically re-assess the value of maintaining a far-flung global empire comprising more than 700 military bases scattered about all corners of the planet and backstopping truculent, nettlesome “allies” like Israel or repressive autocratic fiefdoms such as Uzbekistan or Saudi Arabia?

RMR Rant: CPC Double-Standard

It’s not what you know; it’s who you know in the PMO.

As always, a sense of entitlement, arrogance and hypocrisy inevitably accretes like so much greasy plaque to the arteries of whatever party happens to be in power — it’s almost a force of nature. Why, perhaps before too long, with their phony veneer of hardscrabble, grassroots populism finally stripped bare, we might actually once again be contemptuously referring to pompous, high-falutin’ “conservative elitists” without any sense of irony.

Carry On Cowboy

Surely, there’s something completely demented about casually strolling through a grocery store while openly slinging a loaded Glock semi-automatic pistol.

I don’t know about you, but I’d feel extremely creeped out being in a public space with a bunch of people packing heat, especially if they resembled anything like Nik Clark, the President of the Wisconsin Open Carry group featured in the piece, who seems at first glance to be an obvious steroid abuser…

Let’s suppose “Nik” was having the worst day of his life and went ballistic in the Piggly Wiggly for some harebrained reason after another shopper rudely jostled him with their cart in the cereal aisle. Things could get ugly pretty fast.

Revenge of the Conservative Sith?

Thomas Frank, author of What’s the Matter with Kansas? and The Wrecking Crew, interviewed on Bill Moyers Journal a little while back, spoke to Bill about President Obama’s calamitous inheritance and the wave of collective amnesia that seems to have engulfed American politics since the financial meltdown, as well as conservative attitudes towards regulation and government in general.

What’s particularly interesting here, especially from a Canadian angle, is speculation about how the conservative “article of faith” with respect to government being inimical to their so-called “free market” ideology, as claimed by Frank, might play out in the coming years as the Harper Conservatives attempt to wrestle with the enormous amount of additional debt they’ve managed to accumulate through their record-high deficits in order to keep the Canadian economy relatively stable — at least by comparison to many other G8 countries.

Funnily enough, an article appeared this morning in the Globe & Mail by that giddy twaddlepate Jane Taber, definitively stating that “Canadians think the best way to balance the federal books is on the backs of public servants, according to a new national opinion poll.” How convenient…

The poll asked which strategy Canadians felt was most effective to help balance the budget. Thirty-six per cent of the respondents felt that freezing government wages was the best approach compared to 3.4 per cent who felt that increasing personal taxes was the way to go. In addition, 20.5 per cent said that government and program spending should be cut, compared to 7.9 per cent who believe the GST should be increased.

The poll of 1,000 Canadians was conducted between March 6 and March 12. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

“Here we are again,” says John Gordon, the president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada that represents 165,000 workers.

“Every time the government gets into [trouble] they kind of ramp up the rhetoric and the Canadian public starts to believe them …” he said.

In some respects the government is almost too easy of a target and ridiculously corrupt “use it or lose it” departmental accounting practices don’t exactly help matters. Why not reward bureaucrats for saving money and incentivize a culture of conservative spending instead of penalizing them for it?

While no sensible person would object to fiscal discipline in government spending — something the Conservatives have conspicuously failed to exercise since taking office — let’s hope that purported deficit-cutting doesn’t become simply an excuse for reconfiguring the country according to a “conservative” ideology that mistakenly places notions of some imagined “freedom” above principles of socially-responsible government.

p.s. The first part of the Frank interview can be viewed here.

Team Canada at the White House!

Well, sort of… if only in the form of a hockey jersey worn briefly as the result of a lost bet by Obama’s press secretary Robert Gibbs.

I haven’t had any time whatsoever for blogging lately, but couldn’t resist posting this.

OMG! We’re All Al Queda Now…

Based on the intrepid investigative efforts of Fox News and Liz Cheney’s tax-exempt “Keep America Scared Shitless Safe” political action committee, extreme radical liberal MSNBC TV host “Rachel Bin Maddow” exposes the pervasive activities of a nefarious terrorist sleeper cell that’s alleged to have infiltrated all aspects of the American government and mainstream media.

I suggest that Liz Cheney and her cardiac-challenged father, former shadow-President “Dick” Cheney be immediately transported to Gitmo and ruthlessly interrogated with “enhanced methods” of questioning (which are not torture!) until such time as they fully disclose every detail of exactly what they knew and precisely when they knew it regarding this latest terrorist conspiracy.

Explaining Islamophobia

An excellent piece from The Real News exploring the complex ideological roots of Islamophobia as a mainstream version of so-called Dispensationalist theology positing a “pretribulation rapture” and eschatological “end times” perspective that’s been subsumed by neo-Conservatives and Christian Fascists over the past few decades, and which, ironically, shares a good deal of unfortunate commonality with anti-Semitic paranoia and bigotry once prevalent in Europe.

The op-ed article by Sener Akturk and Mujeeb Khan referenced in the video can be viewed here.