Archives for posts with tag: Centrist

Unless you actually fit the definition of a “Conservative”:

1: a person who believes in the value of established and traditional practices in politics and society : a person who is politically conservative.
2: a: one who adheres to traditional methods or views
b :a cautious or discreet person.

Sadly, most “conservative” Americans bear little or no resemblance to the agreed-upon meaning of the word. Some examples:

Number A: The “Reagan Revolution”. Helpful hint: there is no such thing as a “conservative revolutionary”. Real conservatives abominate the very idea of radical change. So all you NRA machine-gun nuts, anti-abortion screechers, morals policemen and theocrats are not one damned bit conservative.

Letter 2: Intentional ignorance is not at all “conservative”, because existing knowledge is something built up over history, and thus part of our intellectual tradition. People who pretend that facts are debatable are not conservative; they are radicalized f***wits.

Thirdly: real conservatives respect the Constitution and its amendments. They do not advocate sedition, the violent overthrow of the government, secession, or unconstitutional disenfranchisement and/or discrimination against women, LGBT citizens, or non-whites.

And shut up with the “words can mean something different to me than you” horses***. The word means what it means, and all the NeoCons are doing is rebranding themselves so that people won’t see them as the violent, hateful, extremist, treasonous scum that they are. By changing the meaning of the word, a’la Orwell, the Raging Righties in Their Tightie Whities are trying to (and succeeding at) conning the populace into supporting them as they slowly slice our government’s throat.It’s lying, propagandizing, anti-American crap.

The crowning irony of all this: it is the Liberals who are actually trying to stop the right-wing, libertarian, teabagging revolutionaries from burning down and blowing up our democracy. Yes. Liberals (along with the few true centrists and other antidisestablishmentarianists remaining) have become modern America’s true conservatives, because they fit the definition.

Ain’t that some f***ed-up s***? But not as f***ed as all the douchenozzles who lie when they call themselves “conservatives”.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

This blogger wants to know why: with so many people unemployed; with businesses in need of capital; with war abroad and terrorism at home; with our nation’s infrastructure crumbling; with our information security ineffective; with censorship and surveillance rampant; with the very rights of our citizenry at risk; with deficits going ever upwards;

Why then, oh why, is the House of “Representatives” spending so much time and money  on “The Four G’s”?

God is omnipotent and does not need their help, Guns are widely available, Gays are already hugely oppressed by any measure, and Gynecologists don’t need a roomful of windbags to tell them how to practice medicine.

Get off it, people, and take care of practical matters.


Mr. Blunt and Cranky

People often tag politicians with labels that may or may not fit.  Sometimes they are exaggerations, sometimes they are accurate, and sometimes they leave one scratching one’s head.  Following are three definitions, and two Prexies to whom one or more of the labels have been applied:

Nazi:  shorthand for “National Socialist German Worker’s Party”; believed in the inferiority of Jews, Gyspys, Blacks, and pretty much anybody who wasn’t  a lily-white Aryan; also that when in doubt, ask yourself “What Would Adolph Do?”

Communist: member or supporter of the Communist Party; believes in a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

Socialist: An advocate or believer in socialism; a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

A whole helluva lot of people used to call Gee Dubya Bush a Nazi. Pretty clearly, he was not (yes, yes, we all know about the family history. Mr. Blunt and Cranky’s paternal grandfather used to run factories that made tanks in WWII, but he can neither build nor drive a tank himself.  Not everything gets handed down via DNA, ya know.), but people said it anyway, even though it was and is patently obvious that he is not a Nazi.

Quite a few people call Barack Obama one or all of the three. Pretty clearly, he is not.  If he were a Nazi, he would have to consider himself at least half-inferior. If he were either a commie or a socialist, he wouldn’t have kept the piles of money he has made over the years. Nonetheless, people say it anyway, even though it was and is patently obvious that he is none of these three things.

Disliking politicians is a venerated and longstanding practice, and this writer likes to think he does it well. He also likes to think he picks labels that actually make a wee bit of sense, and that match up with the actual meanings of the labels. But then, Mr. B & C rarely watches network “news” programs and never listens to the pundits on talk radio, so he has an advantage in that he gets less propaganda and fewer lies crammed into his skull on a daily basis.

Plus, he reads a friggin’ dictionary when he wants to know the meaning of a word.

Next time: What do they mean when they say “never”?

So it seems that Americans Elect has no one to elect and so is folding its tents, skulking off into that not-so-good night. The only thing that surprises this writer is that AE is surprised. But then, a bunch of beltway boys and elitist dweebs cannot be expected to truly understand what the majority wants; so Mr. Blunt and Cranky must admit, he was wrong in expecting them to have spent time on Planet American Reality in the first place.

Americans Elect operated under what they called a “premise”, and most of us would call “an un-researched assumption”: that what all we poor, unwashed Centrist Independents want is a budget-cutting demon who is socially moderate.  If you’re an out-of-touch member of the punditocracy or a frustrated party apparatchik who is looking for a less extreme candidate, you could be forgiven for thinking so – it is frequently heard inside of your echo chambers, after all. But maybe you should have stepped outside the bubble and asked some real Americans what we think, because it turns out we are not so simple and monolithic as you imagine.

Leaving aside the absurdly quixotic nature of what these fools say they are trying to do (change the way we elect our Prexies overnight via the Interwebbie thing); their understanding of their target audience is so far off the mark, it makes Dick Cheney’s marksmanship look good. Two things to explain: Centrists are not all alike; Independents are not all alike.

Centrists come in all flavors, and can pretty much include anyone who isn’t clinging to the extreme ends of the wings; hoping their nuts don’t loosen too much, lest they fall off completely. There’s center-left, center-right, and so on. If you’re not Lenin or Limbaugh, you might be able to attach a “C” to your identifier, at least for some audiences. So, there is a whole rainbow of Centrist possibilities to consider, and to apply a narrow definition as AE did is beyond pig-ignorance.

As to Independents, Mr. B & C can do no better than to quote Hermey and Rudolph: “Let’s go be independent together!”  Yup, the very idea of an “Independent Party” is so ludicrous, it was a punch line in a 60’s kiddie cartoon. Unified Independents? C’mon, pass around whatever it is you’re smoking, let us all have a hit.

This writer loves the idea of a Centrist President, and maybe he can vote for one before he croaks. But it won’t happen because a bunch of pissed-off policy wonks and partisans play at being Centrists. It will only happen when a plurality of Americans reject the partisan premise, and focus instead on that old-timey “we the people” idea.

Next Time: Legislators Gone Wild (Not porn. [Well, maybe it is.])

Mr. B & C

When someone isn’t sorry for something they did, there is a typical pattern to their “apology”: something on the order of “I’m sorry YOU blahblahblahbittyblah”. When someone is sorry for something they have done, the pattern is more along the lines of “I’m sorry I blahblahblahbittyblah”. We have all been on the receiving end of both types during our lives, no doubt, and know this well.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky was on the receiving end of one of the insincere variety lately, and to the offender’s “I’m sorry you’re upset” replied “I’m sorry you’re an asshole”. What struck him at that point was that the perp didn’t realize that they had done something wrong in the first place, but most certainly did realize that they had just had a non-apology delivered back to them.

Some people are so disconnected from society that they don’t empathize with others. Some, for whatever reason, have never learned that there are consequences for actions they take – for themselves and those that are injured by said actions. They sometimes place so little importance on the feelings and value of other humans that they may not even remember harming them in the past.

When Jane Fonda behaved in a hugely and stupidly insensitive, near-treasonous fashion (to put it mildly) during the Vietnam war, she refused to apologize for years, and when she did, her first attempt at an apology was of the insincere sort; small wonder that many Vietnam veterans despise her to this day.

Mitt Romney was recently called out for his behavior during high school, and like Fonda, issued a non-apology: “I’ve seen the reports, not going to argue about that; I did some stupid things in high school,” he said. “If I hurt anyone I would be very sorry for it and apologize for it.”

Breaking it down – It obvious that someone was hurt (via the word of multiple eyewitnesses, some of whom were participants in one event), so why the hypothetical “If” and “would”? Mitt (like many other deliverers of false apologies) has just shown that he doesn’t even remember having done wrong, and clearly doesn’t feel remorse for the wrongs that he has done.

If one were the victim of such actions, one would not be appeased by such greasy insincerity; indeed, the average person would be even angrier with the perpetrators after being treated in such a manner. In both cases, most of the media gave them a pass, but lots of Americans haven’t, because we know bullshit non-apologies when we hear them. Both Fonda and Romney would have been better served by showing an honest understanding of the error of their ways, and simply saying ‘I did wrong, and I am sorry. How can I make amends?” As would we all.

Mr. B & C

(Link to pile of badly-written crap)

As one might expect, there are some extremists who worry about losing this or that electoral contest this fall. Among those wackjobs we find the Greene County VA Republican Party, whose newsletteradvocates armed revolution should Obama win re-election in 2012. You’ll find the ignorant screed (penned by the editor himself) on Page 7, in the lower right-hand corner.

This newsletter’s editorial staff are clearly crybabies, possessed also of seditious, violent, un-American tendencies (and the apparent absence of Spellcheck).  Come on, grow up. And if you lose, fight harder and smarter next time. But don’t act like terrorists and start a war if your stupid, useless political party loses a single race to the other stupid, useless political party.

Newsflash to all extremists: you are not entitled to a 100% winning record. No one is. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. If you aren’t sufficiently mature to understand this basic fact of life, this writer suggests you ask Mommy to buy you a new binky.  You can then go cry in a corner, muffling the inane talk of violence with your pacifier.

Mr. B & C.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky loves hitting the buffet line for meals. He can pick what he likes and leave what he dislikes (cholesterol and sodium content taken into account, of course [in case his doctors read his blog]) to place upon his plate. Lots of green leafies, lean meats, spicy stuff; and cheese, oh yeah, gotta have the cheese. Yum.

Of course, what works for his belly does not work for everything. When it comes to the law, few of us would have much luck with the constabulary if we picked and chose which laws to violate and which to obey. But it is a favored pursuit among some wingnuts when the Constitution is on the menu.

Case in point, Number A: The Loony Lefties who want to ban guns in the United States, and conveniently downplay the Second Amendment. Sorry, Chuckles, the Constitution is an all-or nothing package deal. You don’t like it, buy yourselves an island and start your own country.

Case in point, Letter 2: the Raging Righties who want to discard most of the post-Civil-War amendments and go back to the old version of the Constitution that, well, helped to enable the Civil War. It might sound logical to the Uptightie Whities, but this writer would prefer that we not have another such conflict, especially in an era of nuclear and chemical weapons. See above note regarding islands.

The Founders were a bright bunch overall, and knew that their work might need updated in the future; thus the amendment process. Anybody who wants an amendment can work to get one through the process. It ain’t easy, but it has been done, more than a few times so far. They did not, however, provide an option for selective application of the Constitution. One more example of their smarts, one which also provides an example of how dumb a lot of extremists are these days.

We live in a nation of laws. This citizen would prefer some laws be removed from the books, but recognizes that the Constitution and laws that are derived therefrom cannot be ignored. Unlike the three-bean salad at the salad bar- that stuff is nasty, and this buffetphiliac gives it a wide berth.

Mr. B & C

Waaaaay back in the day, Moses told Pharaoh the contents of the cans of whoop-ass that would be opened if he did not free his slaves. Pharaoh said to himself “Awwww, he doesn’t really mean it”, and Egypt’s ass got well and truly whooped upon. Can after can, until Pharaoh showed his belly and let em’ go.

In the early decades of the last century, a disgruntled political prisoner wrote Mein Kampf, announcing his agenda and intentions for after he got out on parole. The parole board said to themselves, “Awwww, he doesn’t really mean it”, and nearly half the planet’s asses got well and truly whooped upon.

After Watergate, an influential conservative wrote the Powell Memo, detailing how Righties would whoop the asses of the Lefties. The Lefties said to themselves, “Awwww, he doesn’t really mean it”, and the Left’s collective (pun intended) ass got well and truly whooped upon.

Flash forward to the present day: Romney and Obama are the both of them a-runnin’ to be the Prexy. Both of them are telling us what they will do if they get into the Oval Office, so maybe we had all best learn from history and listen this time around.  Short form: Romney will kiss the institutions and whoop ass on the individuals, and Obama will kiss the individuals and whoop ass on the institutions.  (They have each said as much about their agendas on more than one occasion, albeit not in this writer’s blunt and cranky phraseology.) Listen to both of these  yahoos, and vote for the vision you prefer come November.

Just don’t, PLEASE, for the love of God, say to yourself “Awwww, he doesn’t really mean it”. Not unless you have one helluva cushion for your ass.

Mr. B & C

Mr. Blunt and Cranky grew up in a small American town that was surrounded by farms – hence he grew up with lots of farm kids and has known lots of farmers. When times get tight, they either go under, go deeper into debt, or “diversify their business offerings”. This last usually means “Agritainment”: you know, hay rides, corn mazes, press your own cider, pumpkin-painting, all that sort of thing. It doesn’t typically get in the way of growing/raising food, and helps bring in some much-needed green and folding to keep the farm solvent.

News used to be, at best, a break-even sort of media operation, sometimes even a loss leader that was subsidized by entertainment divisions or tax dodges. It wasn’t expected to make money, and the only “news” outlets that did turn a profit were supermarket-checkout tabloids that really were not considered to be news at all – scandalous entertainment was their line. For quite some time, the serious news outlets looked down their noble honkers at these rags and scoffed at the notion of “for-profit news” as oxymoronic, or even plain moronic.

In the waning days of the 20th Century, American media (due to regulatory changes and market pressures) started looking to news as a profit center. Away went the stuffy insistence on balance, objectivity, research, depth and all that sort of boring old-timey stuff – going from 2 to 24 hours of news a day meant lots more expense, lots more airtime and lots more advertisements to sell. In order to turn a profit and stay in business, news became “Infotainment”: however, unlike farming, Infotainment DOES typically get in the way of broadcasting news. This frequently means that the quality of news that is delivered suffers.

Why does it suffer? Because ratings now drive content in the quest for ad revenue – revenue is now the primary driver of “news”, because the validity of any and all media operations is now based on profit rather than, well, the value of news items. Turn on any cable news channel, and you will find a large percentage of the time devoted to pundit circle-jerks, special-interest segments, and other fluffy bits of speculation and opinion. You will find a dwindling amount of time spent on the reporting of news, and very little depth when such is reported. This is understandable – a screeching pundit who peddles offensive, sensationalized twaddle gets more buzz and can thus sell more ads at a higher price than some avuncular gent in a suit, calmly reading headlines. Understandable, but disturbing.

I shall up my blunt game here: The value of news is now based solely on advertising revenue instead of the truth and relevance of said news to its audience. No one in profit-based (that is to say, almost all of it) media gives one tufted titmouse if we want or need information – they only care about what information they can make a buck from. And all those “liberal media” or “conservative media” memes: well, as my uncle used to say, they could wash a lot of hogs. If any rational business entity were to lose money on promulgating one viewpoint or another, they’d drop that ideology faster than Gingrich would a sick wife. It’s all about the money, honey.

And who is to blame? Perhaps shadowy Reaganauts, Commies, or evil media barons? Nope. ‘Tis we the consumers who have created this monster. If we all watched non-commercial news for a few days, the for-profit infotainment peddlers would change their products to match, so fast it would make your head swim. By allowing ourselves to be gulled by marketers, we have been complicit in the creation of the current paradigm: one in which a supermarket tabloid or porn magazine can sometimes beat the “serious” news outlets at their own game (really? Hustler and the National Enquirer out-reporting Fox, MSNBC and such? Yes, really).

If THAT doesn’t demonstrate to us the decline of the media and hence the degree of suckage in the news, nothing will.


Mr. B & C

The Supremes are backstage, discussing and preparing for their Big Show, when they shall ponce on out in their matching outfits and belt out their next hit: “ACA, Live or Die”. However, from what we all saw at the final dress rehearsal in March, there are reasons to worry about the show (and the reviews).

All right, enough with the showbiz simile, let’s bring the blunt, focusing on three big areas of concern.

1] Justice Scalia not only hasn’t read the bill on which he is to rule, he doesn’t want to – says it’s too much work. How do you render a decision when you don’t know the facts? You make stuff up. The idea that our Supreme Court will create judicial precedent using a toolbox composed of laziness, ignorance and preconceptions does NOT help this writer to stay in his happy place.

2] Silent Clarence’s wife has made over a million bucks from companies with an interest in the outcome of the case, which means ol’ Clare himself (being married to her and all) has seen over a million bucks come in from those litigants. But he has not recused himself. Seems like a pretty blatant conflict of interest, but D.C. has become so beholden to the green and folding that no one seems to care that a sitting “justice” is in a position to make money off his rulings. That is some scary stuff, folks.

3] The question of “who is in the market” is central to the case, and it seems like a slam-dunk – EVERYBODY is in the market, even if they are healthy (just ask Ulrich the U.). I mean, DUH, everyone gets sick or injured now and again, and rarely do they know of such events in advance. Thus Congress has the power to regulate via the commerce clause. But the justices (all of whom have used health care, and should thereby know better) were acting as if there were some question about who was in the market. Can we please cut back on the crack at judicial hookah parties?

But as bleak the outcome and dire the potential for an act of judicial activism that would rival Bush V. Gore (in which the Supremes previously usurped the powers given exclusively to Congress, and said Congress rolled over and showed their pale, quivering bellies); as much as partisanship, sloth and greed do seem to indicate that the court will screw the majority of we poor citizens; there is a glimmer o’ hope.

During questioning, two justices in particular (Roberts and Kennedy) seemed to grasp the notion that the Commerce Clause of the Constitution applies because, well, it is effing obvious that it does. If even one of them rules on that logical basis, we’re in and the health care industry has to let the light shine in on its hitherto hidden financial practices. Otherwise, wellwhatthehell, might as well shut down the Legislative Branch and send them home, since the Supreme Court will have taken over the job of making law.

Next time – Damfino at the moment, but in this crazy-arsed world, there is sure to be something to blog about.

P.S.: Mr. B & C actually worked in the health care field for a fair few years, and on the financial side at that, so he speaks from experience when he doth so bloggeth.