Thursday, October 17, 2013

Disaster Averted. Government Reopens

In the Cephalopod Book of Etiquette, it is considered bad form and bad Karma to rejoice in excess after a contest is over.  A boorish and uncouth winner does not ingratiate himself to a sore loser.  So I shall not gloat.

I shall not gloat.

I.shall.not.gloat, period (!)



  1. Replies
    1. Just frolicking in the surf. I promised not to gloat. Do you see me gloating?

  2. My feelings are far from rejoicing. Many conservatives feel they just didn't hold out long enough or didn't try hard enough. Remember Mitch McConnell before the last election said that the only goal they had was to make Obama a one-term president. That didn't work - so they brought the nation to the brink of disaster - and that didn't work.

    Since the back to back Bush terms, the Republican goal has been to have a PERMANENTLY established Conservative government. It is a calling, a mission, and the ends justify the means. I fear that for them, the gloves will now come off and things will get even more nasty.

    1. Robert,
      I recall 30 years of GOP rule as a goal of Karl Role. I also recall the Clinton years and how the ultra right wing used to hound them. It appears there is a certain faction that will not accept the legitimacy of any president, especially a progressive Democrat, unless the person is one of their own. For them, politics is considered an act of war minus the shooting.

      Nevertheless, demographics no longer favor the Republicans, and they know it. Which is why they are trying to restrict the vote through new voter ID laws in states they control. On balance, the ultra right cannot afford to further alienate the public; so I believe they are in a very tough spot.

      Will they treat politics as contest or conquest, that is the question.

    2. It's about conquest and always has been. Their concept of democracy is a different kind of power to different people, partly because of their special religious feeling of entitlement and because of their secular feeling of entitlement. There aren't enough of them to matter but for their power to enlist support from the people most likely to be injured by them.

      I think they overplayed it this time, but they'll be back and they'll be better at it. It behooves us not to feel victorious because when we do, we go back to our divisive and fractious ways, putting our endless secondary passions ahead of the necessary ones. Above all else, it's necessary to keep the anarchists, the corporatists, the Theocrats out of any kind of power at all. It should be as much our priority to expose, defeat, humiliate the berserkers as it is their priority to promote the power of the few.

    3. Captain,
      Reading the news this morning, I came across this report from AP: “Federal Shutdown Affected US in Ways Unseen:”

      Our food was a little less safe, our workplaces a little more dangerous. The risk of getting sick was a bit higher, our kids’ homework tougher to complete.”

      This is the same government the Tea Party regards as inimical – an over-regulating monster, a drag on commerce, a threat to their precious freedoms, a libtard-commie-socialist conspiracy that will heap ruin upon everyone. Perhaps the shutdown – as costly and damaging as it was – knocked the smugness from their argument. The shutdown demonstrated how government plays a vital role in setting the standards by which we live.

      The debate takes many forms. Recently at Shaw’s place, some of her right-wing readers shared the immigrant experiences of their forbearers as if to score a rhetorical point. Their emphasis on hard work and personal responsibility ignored the rest of the immigrant equation and their reasons for coming to America: Equality of opportunity and equality under Law. One would think a shared heritage would yield to an acknowledgement of shared values. Not so. This quote belies another agenda:

      Thanks to the Immigration Act of 1965 -- a deliberate ploy designed to gain permanent incumbency for the Marxicrats -- we've been plagued with the ominous guarantee of a non-white majority in the near future.

      This country was conceived, designed and developed by WHITE, PROTESTANT CHRISTIAN MEN and their wives. ;-)

      As long as we stuck to THEIR concepts and abided by THER ideals, we did very well. Once the "Progressives" won a large share of public confidence, we've been plunged into incessant turmoil, and a long series of costly battles, and an enormous increase in Self-Pity along with an increasingly gasping "Entitlement Mentality." Coincidentally, the national IQ has been dropping like a stone ever since
      ” (FreeThinke at 8:39 AM under this post).

      Despite a shared heritage, their agenda is not about representative democracy, equality of opportunity, equality under Law, ethics, morality, or intellectual honesty. It is about demographics and bigotry and racism and resentments that simmer just below the surface.

      Which brings me back to my point (above) in response to Robert: The American experiment in Constitutional democracy is a constant struggle to form “a more perfect union.” If the Tea rabble refuses to work within the system and decides to take their cause underground, joining the ranks of militia groups such as the Oath Keepers, they will find themselves afoul of the criminal justice system.

    4. Yes, they have their own view of history that simply can't be altered by facts. It's like Communism never died, it's like we didn't have to fight them for a 40 hour workweek and they didn't deport people for advocating a 5 day work week or sick pay or workman's comp. They're still traumatized by their ancient and irrelevant crusades.

      They are opinions that cannot be let go of and we can only hope to see them die off slowly by an unprecedented educational effort -- something they also oppose. But how can I hope when they still can't accept science or math or history when they contradict the paranoid faith?

      The Republic was conceived as part of Enlightenment progressivism, antithetical to the notion of god-appointed, god directed government they're selling and of course we all know that, but once again, we are an ignorant country rapidly growing more ignorant and more defensive of our ignorance as a cornerstone of our faith. You're dead right about their agenda and it's an age old agenda and perhaps you can say that intelligence developed in our ancient pre-history only because it lead to better weapons to defend against the tribal and authoritarian apes.

      Of course the sad joke is that the country was developed not by the agrarian philosophers of the 18th century but by the immigrants of the 19th and early 20th centuries, with their energy and inventiveness and tolerance of risk and change -- but unfortunately with some old world ideas about putting God back into the government. Jefferson, Franklin, inter alia loved science and saw our salvation in improvement in it.

      So I can't go over and read things from Free Stinky or any of those people. They rant about the national IQ because they're strictly middle of the bell curve and down types who have to pretend, but deep inside they know and that's why they're hostile. Arrogance is the offspring of inferiority.

      The people who really fuel progress, who promote what good there is in humans, what's creative, altruistic and what furthers the betterment of civilization and liberty have nothing in common with them at all. Hope and change? It's like sunlight to mildew. Personal liberty?

    5. Captain: “They rant about the national IQ because they're strictly middle of the bell curve … (skip) ... Arrogance is the offspring of inferiority."

      It depends upon the Bell Curve in question and how you define the word ‘inferior.’ My experience with them: I have NOT found ALL of them to be stupid and/or undereducated. In fact, some are intelligent, educated, or at least well read – albeit inside echo chambers of their choosing.

      What sets them apart: Highly disturbed and character-disordered personalities. They are ‘inferior’ within the context of ‘low self-esteem,’ of the kind that tries to overcompensate, a driver of clinical narcissism - hence the palpable arrogance that we so often observe about them.

      When you disagree with them, or point to holes in their argument, or fail to validate them, they resort to classical defense mechanisms such as denial, distortion, projective identification, or splitting to protect their frail egos.

      They cannot distinguish between feelings of grandiosity versus feelings of wretchedness. If you press them too far, or fail to place them on a pedestal (thus denying them the ego food they so desperately seek), they have a tendency to lash out angrily, as I have often observed in online conversations:

      FreeThinke: “ I'm NOT going to accept insolence, belligerence, specious twisted logic, mischaracterization of my motives, willful misunderstanding and outright mendacity as a proper response to anything I might have to say.

      FreeThinke: “YOU and your infuriating aura of insolence, haughty condescension, self-righteous bigotry, and imperious intolerance.

      Actual quotes! Saddest of all, they have no empathy for others, have little self-awareness, and lack the ability to see how others see them. In this sense, they are living vampires – unable to see their own reflections in a mirror.

    6. "In this sense, they are living vampires – unable to see their own reflections in a mirror."

      If they could see their own reflections, they would hate themselves even more. They are their own worst enemy. They just don't realize it. They do what they accuse others of doing.

    7. No, they're not all stupid, if you define stupid as a broad spectrum phenomenon affecting all cognitive function, but however you wish to describe intelligence there is more to it than stupid and normal. How many people at the level of Newton or Einstein can look at charts and graphs and data and fail entirely to see relationships or correlations the way Stinky here does? Perhaps genius has much to do with that ability while stupidity is blindness to the apparent. Everyone is resistant to letting go of cherished ideas, but his is beyond the normal range to a ludicrous extent. So perhaps it would be better to call it deranged than stupid, but it's a specific derangement - a specific inability like not being able to see colors or comprehend irrational numbers or to tell Chopin from a chain saw.

      Of course I was talking about the IQ curve. Does IQ measure intelligence? It's arguable both ways but it's hard to argue that the Republican who scores 80 isn't vastly different than the person who scores 180. I'm speculating that more of the former would admire Sarah Palin than the latter. Just speculating here, but although FreeStinky may be able to get through college and do calculus, he may be a few standard deviations away from people who seem more able to tell Scheisse from gneisse. I was in fact thinking more of people like the Rogue Governor or Joe the Plumber or those millions of tea partwits than of him. The ones who do their taxes every year but think they went up when they went down. The ones who think Blue Cross is the US government and that hurricanes are god's wrath.

      I think of the great masses of teaheads as being somewhat short of any measurement of genius. They certainly have been shown to be ignorant in a world full of available information and maybe that supports the dumbshit Republican hypothesis.

      But I thought vampires couldn't see their reflections in a mirror. This one seems to see himself with critical acuity but he doesn't realize it's him. Can anyone explain why the loudest and angriest see their own worst features in everyone else? He's absolutely the world's most perfect example of all the faults he sees in those who don't think he knows up from down.

      So if you prefer pervert, or lunatic or just deranged asshole to idiot, I won't argue. There are so many apt adjectives.

    8. Captain,
      With respect to the above, I am of two minds.

      Of a partisan mind, I have no regard for the character of people attracted to the weblog of subject commenter: Various and sundry misfits expressing various and sundry hatreds towards minorities (i.e. comment threads containing racist and anti-Semitic sentiments). Beyond their self-serving rhetoric, I wonder if these people have any moral compass at all.

      From a clinical perspective, one tries to bring empathy to the subject, but I can’t muster any. I’ve said too much already and feel uncomfortable saying anymore. Except for this observation - an unwholesome and improper infatuation expressed by subject commenter on the Internet. Not an intervention, yet this comment captures my concern.

  3. We note that medically, too much tea can cause prostate cancer, skeletal fluorosis, anemia,
    arthritis and kidney stones. Politically, we learn that too much tea produces a false feeling]
    of intelligence.

  4. Replies
    1. Shaw,

      Apropos of my comment above (at 10:45 AM, October 18, 2013), I thought it best to frame it here rather than at your place - in consideration and deference to you. Yet, even here, it remains a public comment for future reference.

      Kudos to you for keeping doors and windows open - affording us an opportunity to read attitudes and opinions that don’t get posted here – something we don’t do at the Swash Zone because we are an inky, hot-headed bunch – thus slamming the door on a resource for analysis and commentary.

      I have no illusions. The ultra right wing rabble will no more convince us than we will convince them; yet, we would know even less about them were it not for the valuable service you provide.

  5. Tom Tomorrow weighs in at the Daily Kos. Gotta love Bohner's tan!


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