Member since: Tue Jul 10, 2012, 05:40 AM
Number of posts: 714
Number of posts: 714
I write a blog of dark humor - Goblinbooks.com
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I am exactly the kind of liberal who agrees with Bernie Sanders. There's no doubt in my mind. I want a government that rejects corporatism. I want a government that's not beholden to banks and investment companies.
At the same time, eligibility in a general race is crucial. There's no doubt in my mind about that. We're looking at a GOP running on platform of bigotry, willful ignorance, and meanness. More than usual, even.
I don't want to be the guy who turns down the chance to vote for a solid liberal. And I don't want to be the guy who hands the election to Ted Cruz or Donald Trump. I have plenty of places where I part ways with the Hillster, but she is worlds better than the guys on the right.
My feeling right now is I want to give Bernie a chance. That's how I think of it. He needs to prove to me that he can win in a general election. He needs to get solid match-up numbers, and hold onto them, and he needs to be competitive in all the states that will decide this thing. He can't just have a strong showing among Democrats. I need to see how he gets to 270, before I give him my vote in the primary. I haven't figured out exactly what that will look like, and any opinions from DU would help.
I'm not voting third party, voting a write-in, staying home, or any of that protest stuff. No. I'm a Virginia voter, and my state is not a lock.
But I'm willing to be surprised here. There was a time when no one thought Barack Obama could do it either.
Posted by paulbibeau | Thu Oct 29, 2015, 07:03 PM (17 replies)
We're in a tough spot in this country. Republican citizens are worried about the economy and America's place in the world, and they're struggling to cope with social change. They're looking to their presidential candidates to take charge. Watching the debate tonight, GOP voters will be trying to figure out which contender shows them the kind of leadership they crave - specifically the kind that's indistinguishable for having an actual full-blown case of rabies.
They want Reaganesque boldness, sure. But also Reaganesque agitation and mental confusion. Plus, across the board, people in the party are all seeking a new, more intense level of unfocused aggression.
Donald Trump comes closest, and that's why he's the front-runner. Trump might actually have rabies, and if so it's likely he's contracted it from one of his supporters, many of whom seem as if they're about to be trapped and decapitated by animal control officers. This quality Trump has - the unapologetic energy and determination of a squirrel trying to scratch his way out of a fireplace flue - is something Jeb Bush has always lacked. But Ben Carson is gaining on Trump, partly because even though he acts in a manner that is deliberate and thoughtful, which turns off movement conservatives, Carson expresses opinions and concepts that make him seem like he's in the last stages of the disease, in which nothing but palliative care is possible. The more of him Republicans see, the more they like.
If the other candidates want a chance, they're going to have to take clear and even risky steps to connect with the TV audience. Look for Ted Cruz to lunge at one of the moderators. Look for Chris Christie to develop flecks of spit at the corners of his mouth - more than usual. Look for Marco Rubio to furtively glance at his water bottle as if he's about to drink it, before knocking it off the podium in disgust. These are the signs that will show you they're serious.
Republicans want an outsider this season. A maverick. They want the kind of candidate who threatens the establishment, the media, and pedestrians in the street, particularly if they can't run very fast. These voters are determined to send someone to the White House who will reject the old, easy ways of getting things done in Washington. They want someone who doesn't compromise on values, mostly because he or she doesn't have a functional nervous system or control of their actions. And tonight that's exactly what you're going to see from a GOP winner.
THE BLACK BOOK OF CHILDREN'S BIBLE STORIES is about faith and loss, and a haunted house hidden so well you didn't notice you'd been living there your whole life. BUY IT HERE.
Posted by paulbibeau | Wed Oct 28, 2015, 08:12 PM (7 replies)
As you probably know, The Federalist, which I hate-read regularly is a website for conservatives. Yesterday, I spent some serious time trying to convince their readers that slavery was actually a bad thing. And yes, I went back. I am like a dog returning to its proverbial vomit.
Speaking of dogs and vomit...
A more recent piece at The Federalist is about how Christians shouldn't believe that dogs go to heaven. The author, Dominic Lynch, uses the theology of Thomas Aquinas to make the case that regardless of his sweet temperament and playfulness with your kids, Sparky has nothing but the eternal night of oblivion ahead of him:
Indeed, animals and humans both have souls, but the difference is massive. Human souls, Aquinas says, are ďsubsistent,Ē meaning they are eternal, even after bodily death. Aquinas contends that animal souls do not have that eternal property, so when animals die their soul does not carry on.
We're in a weird time in America, people. The frontrunner of the Republican party has picked up endorsements from the white supremacist movement, and he's threatening to close down the religious sites of people he doesn't like. A sizable portion of GOP candidates want to get rid of the 14th Amendment. Their bigotry and paranoia about gay people is a known in scary and disgusting detail.
Now, they're going after dogs.
Where does it end? It doesn't. I'm convinced of it. There is no bottom. The task ahead of the conservative movement is to explore every permutation of what can be expressed by the word "asshole." And then they'll make up new ones.
I, for one, don't want dogs to have to live in a heaven that contains Republicans. No. Maybe oblivion is better after all.
NOTE: Links at my blog. But how much of the Federalist do you really want to read?
Posted by paulbibeau | Wed Oct 28, 2015, 01:58 PM (34 replies)
I hate-read The Federalist, which is a website for the right wing in America. And every few days over at that publication, they put out a piece whose only purpose is to make white people feel good about themselves. They rail against people who want to attack the Confederate flag. They say Ta-Nehisi Coates is overrated. The point of these articles is to soothe the kind of people who see the culture slipping away from them.
I pointed this out on a comment thread. Sometimes I just have to pick a fight with these folks. I'm not proud of it. Anyway, a fellow mammal known as "An Observer" responded. His argument was that white liberals are all just playing at having a conscience. We're moral posers.
I've seen the way you people act. You get points for one-upping each other on how much crap you can talk about white people. Do you think we believe that you really believe that?
It's not a completely crazy observation, right? How serious, really, are we liberals about making things fair in America? Is our guilt an act?
I told AO that he was missing something (I'm assuming he's a he. Also, I'm also assuming he's straight, white, and has a couple of blue blazers in his closet). I told AO that liberals admit to the ugly side of American history - white American history - because we want to fix things.
First he rattled off a list of the achievements of white American culture that make them awesome:
We gave loads of other people running water, electricity, modern medicine, literacy and a life expectancy beyond thirty-five years. We are the best thing that ever happened to them. We gave them buses to ride, toilets to use, and a water fountains to drink from. Nobody ever thanks us, but that's fine.
I responded that you couldn't just call the advancements of modern western culture something "we" gave "other people." (Including people of color in this country too, remember. We were talking about white folks.) The Enlightenment and everything after, particularly in the Americas, was founded on slave labor and on the suffering of Native American population. That's not a politically correct platitude; it's a fact of history. Here's what I wrote...
READ THE REST (WITH ALL THE LINKS) HERE.
Posted by paulbibeau | Tue Oct 27, 2015, 08:59 PM (3 replies)
I think it's important to preserve the past and these current Benghazi hearings are part of that. We need to collect mementos of them and bury them in a time capsule so we can unearth them in 10 or 20 years to see how Benghazi hearings have changed.
Won't that be interesting?
I think it's weird to think what the Benghazi hearings will be like in the time of my children and grandchildren. There will probably be a whole new crop of Republicans attacking Hillary Clinton, and they'll probably have conspiracy theories we can't even imagine. Maybe they'll air it in 3D, or use some kind of virtual reality program to illustrate their accusations that Hillary Clinton is an al-Qaeda operative or devil worshipper, or whatever the hell they'll be saying by then. It's hard to guess exactly how it will pan out.
We definitely need to wait awhile before we open the capsule though. I mean, we know there will be Benghazi hearings in about five years, assuming the Republicans run their presidential campaign on what's shaping up to be an actual white supremacist platform... and then get beat so bad people are actually crying on Fox News. You know they'll want payback, and that means extra Benghazi hearings.
READ THE REST HERE.
Posted by paulbibeau | Thu Oct 22, 2015, 03:38 PM (0 replies)
Look, I'm a Virginian, and I've followed Jim Webb for a long time. People are worried he's mad enough to run as a third party candidate, but it's not a real threat. Webb's just mad right now. He's going to go out, fight a few bears, maybe knock one of them down, shake this thing off, and get back to writing his next novel.
If you know anything about politics in this part of the country you've seen it before. Webb doesn't think the party represents people like him enough. Hell, maybe he's right. I'm a pretty traditional liberal, but I understand there's a populist wing of people who are churchgoing gun owners and maybe support the military in a more uncritical way than I do. It's a cultural difference and a sign of our strength. I, for one look forward to having Webb back in the conversation, after he's punched out a massive grizzly, stumbled home in a bloody daze, and slept for a day or so.
I say all this with respect for the man. Honestly. I disagree with him on many issues, but you have to appreciate his integrity. When Webb argues about how the cost of war is borne by working people like him, you know he's actually lived this truth.
The bears respect him too. When they gather for their traditional fight with Webb, they all do this kind of ritualized bow to him just before trying - always unsuccessfully - to tear his throat out so they can rub his blood into their coats and carry the scent to their young. I've seen video of it on NatGeo, and it's quite inspiring.
Anyway, Jim Webb may have been Secretary of the Navy under Reagan, and he might try to strangle wildlife instead of supporting Greenpeace... but he's still pretty much a Democrat.
It's a big tent, people.
Posted by paulbibeau | Wed Oct 21, 2015, 10:35 AM (10 replies)
As you know the Speakership positionís just opened up, and many people in the Republican party want Paul Ryan to take it. Heís getting closer to agreeing, but he has misgivings about it, because the main duty is to have lunatics kick you in the crotch.
His reluctance is understandable.
John Boehner gave up after years of genital abuse that left him physically and emotionally crippled. Ryanís a young man, and he might run for the presidency. Itís hard to see how this could really be a good move for him.
The lunatics who deliver the savage crotch-kickings are actually from the partyís Unhinged caucus. Itís a large, powerful group, and theyíre famously cruel. Some analysts say Paul Ryan should take the job if he can get a guarantee from these people that they wonít deliver their testicle stompings with their characteristic frequency and brutality. But I donít think any promises from these people are reliable. I guess Iíve always believed that old proverb: Lie down with lunatics, get up with crotch-kickings.
Many people say heís the only one who can unite the party, and that he ought to accept the job out of loyalty. But how compelling is that argument? Should you really be loyal to the kind of party in which people will crowd around you cheering as you clutch at your manhood, coughing blood and pleading for mercy? Of course this kind of thing is what you sign on for when you join the Republican Party. But no one says you have to volunteer to be the main victim.
Now, a few of the scrotum-punters themselves say Paul Ryan ought to stay out of the position so they can nominate one of their own. The idea is if they get their way they'll stop this kind of extreme groin violence altogether. But they're really, really enthusiastic about doling it out. Can you see them just giving it up? Can you? I didn't think so.
Personally, I have mixed feelings. On one hand, watching a major government branch devolve into an ugly spectacle of pain and dysfunction upsets me as an American. It can't be good for this nation, and it could easily mean serious trouble for our domestic policy and the integrity of our economy. On the other hand, I would really, really like to see Republicans kick each other in the crotch for a long time. Man, I don't know if that would ever get old.
Whatever happens, we'll all be watching.
Read "My Novel's About A Futuristic World Where Americans Believe In Science" on my blog. Thank you.
Posted by paulbibeau | Wed Oct 21, 2015, 09:37 AM (3 replies)
Posted by paulbibeau | Mon Oct 19, 2015, 02:17 PM (15 replies)
The Kepler Space telescope has discovered a profoundly exciting and disturbing phenomenon: a distant star surrounded by a collection of matter - what may be a "swarm of megastructures" created by intelligent beings. It's still way too early to be sure, and there are a number of hypotheses, but scientists are eagerly investigating the possibility of a technologically advanced civilization which would have its own version of a Republican party fighting to destroy all its technological advances.
Just think of it. Up there in the sky is a species capable of creating orbiting platforms so big they can be seen from light years away - no doubt harnessing the power of their star - while a sizable portion of their own people probably reject solar power and want to defund the entire program. They must know things about the history of the universe and the nature of spacetime which would revolutionize our understanding, and they probably have nutjobs that don't believe any of it, because they favor a literal interpretation of whatever collection of dusty scrolls they're still carrying around from the time they huddled in their alien caves and worshiped one of their moons. Every one of them has access to the kind of knowledge our most brilliant scientists dream of... and they have a bunch of jackasses with fake degrees appearing on their version of the Fox network trying to act like they've collected new data that proves the moon-god's tale of how their planet formed is actually a competing theory and not a bizarre intellectual relic.
They could teach us about advanced medicine and how to deal with the damage your civilization does to the ecosystem, as well as how to deal with the baffling idiots who think all of that is an enormous conspiracy. They could show us how to make a stable global political arrangement so different groups can live together - and what to do about the kind of hideous freaks who favor war and deregulation so extreme it brings suffering and death to millions in order to enrich a small percentage of their population. There's much we could learn from each other.
Assuming they haven't already killed themselves.
NOTE: Read "Okay, Which One Of Us Is The BAD Guy With The Gun?" on my blog.
Posted by paulbibeau | Thu Oct 15, 2015, 11:34 AM (6 replies)
I know you're all impressed with what Jim Webb said last night about killing that commie who chucked a grenade at him. I just want to go on record and make sure you know that when you elect me, I will kill many, many more people than Jim Webb would kill. A Trump presidency is going to be a bloodbath. Count on it.
We're going to kill people with our foreign policy, and we're going to kill people domestically - right here at home, so you can watch it on TV. We're going to have the biggest, most impressive gold-plated record of ending human lives you've ever seen. And I know I'm running against a member of the Bush family, which kind of raises the bar. But I'm serious. You'll be amazed how many people we manage to kill.
A guy like Jim Webb kills them one at a time - by himself. He's into artisan killing, like some goddamn hipster. I'm going to have the entire government murder people on an industrial scale. And you know with me in the Oval, private companies will be getting in on this game as well.
Sometimes I act like there are wars I don't want to get involved in, and sometimes I say I could get along with Putin. But none of that means I'm going to hesitate to annihilate entire communities. That's a promise.
Thing about Webb is... sure, he's a tough guy. No one's saying he isn't. And he's probably seen his share of combat. But I am an actual sociopath. It's a whole different level. I literally don't feel anything when I cause people to suffer or even die because of what I do. Sometimes I have to remind myself not to stab my friends. Seriously. How do you think I got this far?
Anyway, when you elect Donald Trump, you know you're going to get two things: A guy who will run the most belligerent, incoherent and dysfunctional administration in modern US history... and a guy who has experience catering to every sick and depraved whim of the most brutal and idiotic segment of the already brutal and idiotic US population.
On Day 1, it's going to look like Mad Max out there. And I'm just talking about my healthcare policy. Don't think President Trump is going to get outdone by anybody when it comes to paying the Reaper.
And by the way... the guy Jim Webb killed wasn't even an American! He was some foreigner taking the violent death away from a US worker. That is going to change when I'm in charge.
READ: "How To Steal Your Kids' Halloween Candy And Get Away With It" on my blog
Posted by paulbibeau | Wed Oct 14, 2015, 03:34 PM (3 replies)