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Apr 24 2009

Patriotic irony

A few recent commenters asked what we thought about our idiot governor deciding that it’s okay to threaten to remove our state from the United States.

In case the adjective immediately preceding “governor” didn’t clue you in, let me elaborate. I may not speak for everyone here, but I think it’s ridiculously ironic. For most of the last administration, atheists, war dissidents, and other groups to which I do or don’t belong, have been casually tarred with epithets like “unAmerican” and “traitors” for criticizing a political administration, organizing protests, and mocking the president.

Yet now what have we got? We’ve had a new president for all of four months, and an extremely high profile Republican threatens an obviously, literally treasonous act, and tries to incite a do-over for the Civil War.

Ron Paul also also weighed in with his own inane contribution. Paul says:

“Well, they don’t know their history very well, because if they think about it… it is very American to talk about secession. That’s how we came in being. Thirteen colonies seceded from the British and established a new country. So secession is a very much American principle.”

Um, yeah. You know what? When America “seceded” from their status as a colony, it was because they hated Great Britain. In starting a revolution, they were most definitely committing treason against that country. They were traitors to Great Britain.

That’s not to say that I disagree with their actions, that’s just a fact. They made a political calculation that they could spit in the eye of their political leaders and win, and they did win.

But come on, let’s call a spade a spade. When a small minority of my state’s leadership declares that they want to leave America, they are actually, explicitly saying that they hate America, and they would like to commit treason against this country, in exactly the same manner as the founding fathers committed treason against King George.

And hey, if that’s what floats your boat, go ahead and hate America. Unlike some pundits, I’m not calling for anybody’s execution. I’m just saying, FUCK all of you people who ever accused some group or another of hating America and are now calling for a revolution against my country. Hypocrites.

Anyway, the governor of Texas doesn’t even have the authority to make us leave. The governor doesn’t have unilateral powers to decide what the state will do. So when the legislature starts passing stuff other than finger-wagging, then we’ll worry.

57 comments

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  1. 1
    Robert

    Amen!

  2. 2
    OjellO

    I’m sure you recall from Texas history that the Governor of Texas at the time of the start of the Civil War was Sam Houston — and Sam was against secession, so much so that he was removed from office.There is another brief note on this you would might be interested in — I read in a Civil War History book (a series of books by Allan Nevins) that said Sam won the election to Governor by carrying several key areas of the state, specifically it was mentioned that the German Freethinkers of Fredricksburg in Central Texas was key in helping Sam win. The Freethinkers were against slavery — so you there in Austin have a proud legacy. In the end the Legi was full of hot heads and appointed as Senator Louis T. Wigfall “…knowing that he was peculiarly obnoxious to Houston.” and secession soon followed.Now, on the other hand, I have to say that although I would not support secession for the cause the Civil War was fought over directly, I might be inclined to join in a fight to repeal the progressive income tax that in effect makes slaves of the most productive people for redistribution of their income — NOW that might be a fight worth having (insert the sound of the Rebel Yell here!!).

  3. 3
    Kazim

    Only in some wacky upside down Randian fantasy universe can members of the top bracket under a progressive income tax system be described as slaves.

  4. 4
    AtheistUnderMask

    I’m in a good spot: I hate the government no matter who’s in power. They’re all a bunch of lying, power mad assholes anyway.

  5. 5
    PersonalFailure

    Want to live in a tax free country? Move to Somalia, it’s just lovely this time of year.

  6. 6
    ls

    I’m not sure I quite agree with the stated reason for the 13 colonies breaking away from England. The grievances we had with the British crown were legitimate, in my view (taxation without representation, the other stuff listed in the D of I, etc) and so I think our secession, as it were, from GB was justified.That’s completely different in kind from, say, wanting to withdraw from the union just because you can’t stand people or groups that don’t act, talk, think, believe and look like you. Or because you want to practice brutality like slavery, racial segregation, Christian martial law or setup a society like North Korea, or something like that. Yeah, that’d be a little harder to justify.So I’m down with the idea that secession is an option BUT I don’t think it’s justified just because you’re a homophobe, athiest-phobe or Wallace/Helms-level segregationist, etc. such as your man Perry (and most of the TX govt. really) is. That really _is_ a hate-based imposition of your own views on everyone in your society. Something Perry and GWB never had any qualms about doing.But all that said, I think if your grievances are legitimate and truly describe demonstrably harmful actions being perpetrated by the fed, yeah, you have the right to secede. If you just don’t like non-christians, hippies, commies, kids, women, gays and persons of difference races…. er, no…. those don’t constitute legitimate reasons for secession….LS

  7. 7
    Kazim

    @AtheistUnderMask:Actually, that sounds like a maximally bad spot to be in.

  8. 8
    ls

    @AtheistUnderMask:Actually, that sounds like a maximally bad spot to be in.<Agreed, this is probably a little extreme. I do agree that hating, and wishing to defeat, one's enemies is the right thing to do, but it depends on determining that your enemy is in fact really your enemy.I'm sure if you did some digging, the Perry/Limbaugh justification for the enemy status of the fed. govt. would more likely turn out to be the Bill Of Rights rather than even a confused notion of taxation without representation.Their complaint would probably turn out to be little more than the discomfort of having to accommodate gays, non-whites, non-christians and whoever else isn't like them living in their neighborhoods, going to their schools and shopping at their grocery stores. In other words, the usual stuff we're accustomed to hearing from high ranking officials in the TX state govt.in such a case, you are your (own) enemy, not your government or the other people in your society you're so afraid of.If we lived in a place like North Korea, sure, hatred of the govt. (at least a quiet one) is probably rational. But in my view, hating the protections against church/state confusion, racial and other social discrimination and wanting to do away with the privilege of participating in the governance of our society are not rational. You have to be GWB/Ray Comfort-moronic, in fact, to maintain those kinds of views…LS

  9. 9
    Kazim

    @LS:Oh absolutely, their grievances were justified. This doesn’t negate that we revolted against Great Britain because we hated Great Britain. It just shows that we hate extremely defensible REASONS for hating Great Britain. If everybody loved Great Britain in spite of the inconveniences, then we wouldn’t have needed to become an independent nation.From our point of view, revolting against Britain was justified. From Britain’s point of view, obviously, we were traitors. This is the consequences of relative morality in action; both sides are absolutely “right” from their point of view, and all you can really do is explain what motivates each nation.In the American Revolution, Britain was the enemy. In a new Texas Revolution against America, America would be the enemy. That’s my point.

  10. 10
    Sparrowhawk

    Well said. It is so deliciously ironic that people like Glenn Beck, who have NO problem calling or insinuating that someone is unAmerican for a variety of stupid reasons, can talk about secession just because scaaaaaaary liberal is in the White House (and honestly, how fucking scary? I think he’s pretty tame). And yes, Glenn Beck has chimed in on this, and yes, as you can guess it is complete idiocy as usual. Sometimes I think maybe Glenn Beck is just some kind of weird conservative “gimp” who the Republicans have been brainwashing in a dark room ala Clockwork Orange, and they decided it’d be fun to release him a few years ago.

  11. 11
    Sparrowhawk

    http://www.texassecede.com/faq.htmAck! The stupid! It burns!

  12. 12
    Robert

    @ SparrowhawkI got through some of that website. The stupid does burn. There are many libertarian fucktards that actually believe that mindless dribble though, which is the scary thing.@Kazim and LSTo complicate the American revolution, consider this: The taxes were not as high here as they were in Britain and they were as a direct result to try and help Britain pay for the increasing cost of defending the American Colonies from the French and Native Americans. While I am certainly, to an extent, pleased with the basic structure that we live in today, and thus happy that we succeed from Britain, I think depictions of the system the colonies operated under before the revolution as oppressive are without merit (at least in terms of taxation). We paid less taxes than those in Britain, and we paid taxes solely to support the British armies buffering the frontier to protect us from invaders.Also, on the general subject of the tea parties, I thought FAIR had an interesting comment about the historical tea parties.

  13. 13
    OjellO

    In the Lincoln Douglas debates historians say Lincoln seized the high ground by denouncing slavery as a moral wrong and a tyranny indistinguishable from the divine right of kings. Lincoln declared that every slave, every person, everyone has the natural right “…to eat the bread which he has earned by the sweat of his brow.” Yes, indeed, Kazim’s philisophy is that of Lincoln’s opponent, Stephen Douglas, namely, they would leave it to “popular sovereignty”. The tyranny of the majority will determine how to divide up an individulals’ production. This is how we come to the situation were the bottom 43% of the income distribution pay zero, or less than zero, federal income taxes while the top 57% pay all the federal income taxes. Truely this is the Road to Serfdom (and to financial ruin). I’m sure Kazim looks forward to the day when the most talented and the least talented earn the same wage — let “Spread the Wealth” rule the day — “Slavery is Freedom” says Kazim!Yes, if this be the next “Civil War”, bring it on! (insert Rebel Yell, this time with a long rolling volley of those old Civil War cannons!)

  14. 14
    ls

    >In the American Revolution, Britain was the enemy. In a new Texas Revolution against America, America would be the enemy. That's my point.<Ah ok, yeah I definitely was not trying to negate that point. I'm only noting that the enemies in each case are deemed as such by the plaintiffs for vastly different reasons, such that the cases are basically not comparable.The situation of the American colonies vs GB is completely different than that of the state of TX vs. the US.The former had good justification for secession whereas the latter can only offer religious and frankly bigoted reasons for withdrawing themselves (and dragging every other Texan with them) from the protections granted by statehood. The hate is definitely there in both cases but the underpinnings are totally different….LS

  15. 15
    ls

    >We paid less taxes than those in Britain, and we paid taxes solely to support the British armies buffering the frontier to protect us from invaders.<It wasn't the magnitude of the taxes that was the issue – it was the principle involved. Namely, that the US colonies were being taxed at all by the British parliament but without having elected representation in parliament. This was a violation of the British constitution (the rights of Englishmen).also, GB clearly had no intention of reversing the behavior, even tho it was clearly against the law.So, in my view, the colonies had just cause for revolting and severing themselves from British rule. They didn't really have any choice.Again, this is totally different from TX's situation with respect to the US. They (and by they I mean Perry, etc.) don't have anything like this to justify secession, just the same old Klan style rants….LS

  16. 16
    ls

    >Yes, indeed, Kazim's philisophy is that of Lincoln's opponent, Stephen Douglas, namely, they would leave it to "popular sovereignty". The tyranny of the majority will determine how to divide up an individulals' production.<Er, no. You're describing a Democratic impulse which I don't think is Kazim's intent. You also seem confused about our form of government, which is not a Democracy. It's actually a Republic, which operates on signficantly different principles. Look it up.LS

  17. 17
    Hjorrdis

    Ok, so my comment will be controversial, but I gotta say it anyway. First of all, the tea parties were not about current taxes, rather the inevitable taxes that will come when we try to pay off this enormous debt the new administration authorized, and the gigantic interest accruing on it.Second of all, the Governor of Texas was not saying that Texas should secede now. It is partially a response to socializing the country, which many Americans believe is contrary to the American way of life and the constitution, and a certain memo released by the Department of Homeland Security which in many words essentially put every conservative and all Veterans on a watch list for terrorism. He was talking of the absurdity of what this Administration is pushing, and that if Texas really felt that the Administration was betraying the ideas in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, Texas may have to secede.I’m really amazed that people who call themselves Freethinkers would take someone’s quote so out of context. That’s often used against us.And lastly, don’t judge Rush Limbaugh as a bigot when you’ve never listened to him. Despite his religious views, he is actually quite the critical thinker. He is not a homophobe, a racist, nor does he hate us atheists. His personal opinion is that gay marriage would be unhealthy for our children, and that religion is a good thing for society, but he is far from a bigot. He also is a great defender of women’s rights, here and abroad. Don’t listen to everything the media tells you. The clip from the CNN reporter at the Chicago Tea Party should show you that.

  18. 18
    The New Atheist

    I just did a post on this myself, though not nearly as in depth. Needless to say, I agree with everything you’ve said regarding Texas’s treasonhttp://www.TheNewAtheist.com

  19. 19
    ls

    > I might be inclined to join in a fight to repeal the progressive income tax that in effect makes slaves of the most productive people for redistribution of their income<My heart goes out to all those billionaires I suppose, but what do you propose in its place?Besides, our tax system as it is is hardly progressive. Warren Buffett for example pays about 18% in income tax, but his receptionist pays about %30.LS

  20. 20
    ls

    >And lastly, don't judge Rush Limbaugh as a bigot when you've never listened to him. Despite his religious views, he is actually quite the critical thinker. He is not a homophobe, a racist, nor does he hate us atheists. His personal opinion is that gay marriage would be unhealthy for our children, and that religion is a good thing for society, but he is far from a bigot. He also is a great defender of women's rights, here and abroad.<Er, the opinion that gay marriage is "unhealthy for our children" _is_ homophobia and the claim that religion is a good thing for society is definitely NOT the product of sound critical thinking…..And I certainly don't see him on the front line of the fight for women's and minority's civil rights – never have and doubt I ever will….LS

  21. 21
    ls

    >Second of all, the Governor of Texas was not saying that Texas should secede now. It is partially a response to socializing the country, which many Americans believe is contrary to the American way of life and the constitution,<Er, so where was he while Bush and co. were sitting around letting the banks and the rest loot the national wealth? All those flights being booked to the Kaymans by all these exec's didn't provide a clue? Where were all those lobbiests getting all that scratch from anyway?I guess "socialism" is bad, but robbing an entire first-world economy blind and nearly to destruction, and turning the other cheek literally all the while, is good "stewardship of wealth"?We already know the results of doing nothing and "letting the market fix itself", the Great Depression taught us that. We've BTDT….LS

  22. 22
    Martin

    First of all, the tea parties were not about current taxes, rather the inevitable taxes that will come when we try to pay off this enormous debt the new administration authorized, and the gigantic interest accruing on it.You’re forgetting the whole “paying of the enormous debt the previous administration rang up, due to out of control spending and a ludicrous attempt to wage two endless wars while simultaneously cutting taxes for the wealthiest 5% of Americans” part.Look, there is simply no way to pay down the incalculable financial disasters left behind by Bushco without some kind of economic stimulus, and without taxes coming into play. The money has to come from somewhere, and unfortunately, given the fact that Bushco has already mortgaged all our grandchildren’s futures, well, it’s going to have to come from us. Obama’s team is doing what it can not to stick that bulk of the tax burden upon those Americans most hurting and least able to afford it. Most working class families will actually be paying less. But whining about “socialism” simply because he’s let Bush’s tax breaks for the top 5% expire is patently idiotic.And I love how it’s called “socialism” when it’s about giving working families a break, and “trickle-down economics” when it’s about cutting taxes on the hyper-rich.Anyway, didn’t it occur to any of these idiot “teabaggers” to look the fucking term up first?And Kazim is dead right: during Bush’s tenure, if a liberal even said one word against Bush, he was immediately condemned as an America-hater. And now those same right wingers are holding anti-government rallies? Hypocrisy is the right’s stock in trade.Second of all, the Governor of Texas was not saying that Texas should secede now.Oh no. He was just saying that he understood how citizens might just feel the need to take things into their own hands if they keep on being victimized by all this horrible liberal socialism that’s enslaving us. Or words to that effect.Which is, of course, not a lot different than Hulk Hogan saying that, of course, he doesn’t intend to murder his ex-wife, only that he understands O.J. Big big difference, naturally.As for Rush, look, the dude is just a showman. I honestly don’t think there is anything at all he really gives a damn about with any degree of conviction, except for A) Rush Limbaugh and B) Rush Limbaugh’s bank account. He says the outrageous things he says because he’s worked out that getting wingnuts riled up brings in the ratings and the money. Does he mean anything he actually says? Is he an ignorant bigot? He only “means” something as long as saying it is insanely lucrative.

  23. 23
    AtheistUnderMask

    Okay, you completely misunderstood what I was saying. Also, perhaps hate was too strong of a word.Let me rephrase: I don’t trust the government. Not completely, anyway. There are too many documented abuses of power for me to just give them my trust.Hell, we just got down with 8 years of documented abuses of power. I think my distrust is fairly well placed.

  24. 24
    Hjorrdis

    Whoa whoa… Yeah thanks for ASSUMING that I agree with everything the Bush Admin did. Just because they ALSO SPENT TOO MUCH, does not mean that it’s ok for the Obama Admin to SPEND EVEN MORE! I am a huge fan of Gov’t being as small as possible because what does bureaucracy ever do efficiently or correctly? The founding fathers were completely right in this aspect, and if you took the time to read their essays and books on the topic, you would probably have a good perspective of that. Socialism is the exact opposite.There are a ton of Americans who don’t even think the federal gov’t should have the power to collect an income tax, according to the original ideas behind the constitution. I personally don’t want the top 5% of Americans, who apparently will soon have the pleasure of paying all the income tax, to be the ones who have the biggest say in congress. Those who give the money have the biggest influence. Though I guess that’s totally lost now since the gov’t spends like money isn’t real. And guess what, taxing those big companies and the rich people more, reduces the number of jobs they can create!”Teabagger” is a term given to the tea parties by msnbc, to discredit the movement, and is a derogatory term and is not being used by anyone who actually went to a tea party. And having an opinion that many children raised in a homosexual family will have a more confused, more complicated, and less pleasant life is not make someone a homophobe. Especially since that person probably feels the same way about children raise in many other situations. And like I said, before you ASSUME you know something about Rush Limbaugh, LISTEN to his show. Thanks.There’s so much more to hit on, but I’ll let a few more people rip me apart for correcting the misunderstandings the media has purposely tried to encourage (parts of my initial post).

  25. 25
    Ing

    And like I said, before you ASSUME you know something about Rush Limbaugh, LISTEN to his show. Thanks.”Oh I have…he’s an anti-intellectual, hate spewing prick. This is the man who used to celebrate people getting AIDS with the song “can’t get no love no more” and flush callers he doesn’t agree with down the toilet. he’s not a free thinker. This is the man who made himself deaf with his drug addiction (all the while damning other addicts) and then went on to mock Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s and accuse him of faking his chronic disease. He’s the guy who said he hopes the president fails, causing suffering to the country as a whole, because he doesn’t like Obama. He’s the person who’s so strongly against environmentalism he encouraged people to throw garbage out their car window. He’s a pig headed tubby boy. In conclusion, I respectfully decline your offer for a smog enema. Before I forget, Anyone who says the upper 1% are “slaves” should try working 2 jobs just to make ends meet and living in a shit hole apartment. They should live in fear of loosing their ONE house rather than one of their houses. The rich are slaves” Hear that? it’s the hyperbole police coming to take you away to Exagertraze. Disregarding how “hard” the rich have it compared to us poor, when there are still people who are REALLY enslaved in this world, hell in this COUNTRY, calling Limbaugh a ‘slave’ is not funny or defensible it is insulting. It is demeaning to the degradation and oppression real people have forced upon them, it is insensitive to the real people who die being trafficked or beaten to death by their masters (such a case happened right in my home town last year). So yeah. Boohoo for the rich, we all have it rough, but fact is the “peasants” suffer far more than the princes. The fact that these people who care so much about the rich probably didn’t shed a single tear for genocides like Darfur sickens me to my stomach. …yeah..FUCK YOU, you greedy self righteous asshats.

  26. 26
    Hjorrdis

    Right, because typing obscenities helps support your argument. I’m not even going to bother.

  27. 27
    Ing

    Right cause that detracts from my argument.An obscenity conveys and denotes powerful emotion determined by context. To act like the word demolishes my argument is childish. If you can’t handle big boy words don’t bother the adults (I really appologize for the snarkyness of that but I can’t…ok I don’t WANT to phrase it any better). I choose to use said words because *I* do love america and like the fact I am not retrained by other people’s puritanical superstitious code concerning taboo words.

  28. 28
    NAL

    If Texas secedes from the US, maybe Travis County can secede from Texas.

  29. 29
    Ing

    “If Texas secedes from the US, maybe Travis County can secede from Texas.”Then Texas is eventually going to look like Europe will in 20 years with 31 countries (in Europe’s case one EU, England, and 29 former members of Yugoslavia)

  30. 30
    Kazim

    WD40:I think I’ve gleaned the meaning of your name, and you really need to stop huffing motor oil fumes. In the Lincoln Douglas debates historians say Lincoln seized the high ground by denouncing slavery as a moral wrong and a tyranny indistinguishable from the divine right of kings. Lincoln declared that every slave, every person, everyone has the natural right “…to eat the bread which he has earned by the sweat of his brow.”You’re an idiot. Lincoln fought against secession, and as a byproduct of emancipating the slaves, his administration also brought about the passage of the 14th amendment to the constitution. The 14th amendment granted the federal government more power by requiring all state governments to observe federal laws that they hadn’t needed to before. Yes, indeed, Kazim’s philisophy is that of Lincoln’s opponent, Stephen Douglas, namely, they would leave it to “popular sovereignty”. The tyranny of the majority will determine how to divide up an individulals’ production.I want popular sovereignty? You’re the one saying that states should no longer be under the jurisdiction of the United States constitution.This is how we come to the situation were the bottom 43% of the income distribution pay zero, or less than zero, federal income taxes while the top 57% pay all the federal income taxes.You’re an idiot. Show me in concrete terms how the bottom 43% pay zero or less than zero in taxes. Show your work, and please be sure to include payroll taxes in your calculation. Truely this is the Road to Serfdom (and to financial ruin). I’m sure Kazim looks forward to the day when the most talented and the least talented earn the same wage — let “Spread the Wealth” rule the day — “Slavery is Freedom” says Kazim!You’re an idiot, and that’s the most straw-filled strawman I’ve heard in months. Nobody has proposed that everybody’s income be the same. If you can’t stop frothing long enough to respond to what I actually said rather than a caricature, then why get involved in discussions with other people at all? Why not just continue this dialog you clearly hold constantly in your head?And again: Only in an upside down Randian fantasy does it make any sense to call top income earners “slaves” because the tax system is graduated. To do so is to trivialize and insult the plight of people who were actual fucking slaves, people who were not allowed to leave their small patch of land and were routinely beaten. You’re as bad as Ben Stein, when he compares evolutionists to Nazis and thus trivializes the plight of real Jews who were tortured by real Nazis.Oh, and did I mention that you’re an idiot?

  31. 31
    ls

    >There are a ton of Americans who don't even think the federal gov't should have the power to collect an income tax, according to the original ideas behind the constitution.<But if you were to also tell these folks that, as non-tax payers, they would no longer be eligible for any of the protections or benefits provided by the fed – including due process of law, civil liberties granted by the Bill of Rights, even the use of the interstate highway system – they'd probably cock their heads sideways not understanding what you were telling them.At that point you might then explain that if the fed govt. couldn't collect taxes, there basically wouldn't be a fed. govt. at all. They might sort of start getting the idea then.>And having an opinion that many children raised in a homosexual family will have a more confused, more complicated, and less pleasant life is not make someone a homophobe. Especially since that person probably feels the same way about children raise in many other situations.<Er, yes it does. It is an opinion that's based on nothing but their own prejudices about homosexuals. That's the definition of "homophobe". Their feelings about children raised in other environments could be based on something substantive – and those cases would be different of course.RL is therefore a homophobe. By definition (and yes I've verified this in the past listening to his awful radio show).LS

  32. 32
    Kazim

    Hjorrdis:“Teabagger” is a term given to the tea parties by msnbc, to discredit the movement, and is a derogatory term and is not being used by anyone who actually went to a tea party.Wrongo! They put it on their own signs!

  33. 33
    Ing

    I don’t have to since being form New Jersey and speaking as such disqualifies me…but I decided to do some quote mining. Now note these are out of context and I’m sure since Limbaugh is a saint are perfectly innocent” I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.”“Feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream.”“The most beautiful thing about a tree is what you do with it after you cut it down”“Women were doing quite well in this country before feminism came along”“When a gay person turns his back on you, it is anything but an insult; it’s an invitation”“If we are going to start rewarding no skills and stupid people – I’m serious, let the unskilled jobs, let the kinds of jobs that take absolutely no knowledge whatsoever to do – let stupid and unskilled Mexicans do that work”Take that bone out of your nose and call me back. * Response to a black caller he was having a hard time understanding in the 1970s when he worked under the name “Jeff Christie” on a top-40 music program in Pittsburgh, as quoted in Newsday (8 October 1990They’re 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares? * Of African-Americans, as quoted in “Limbaugh Brings Baggage with his ESPN BlabberAs I said yesterday, truce is an old Arabic word. Goes way, way back in Islamic-Arabic culture, and it means, “We will get you later.” He is exaggerating the effects of the disease. He’s moving all around and shaking and it’s purely an act… This is really shameless of Michael J Fox. Either he didn’t take his medication or he’s acting. “,….Yeah nice guy. Not at all bigoted.

  34. 34
    AtheistUnderMask

    Hey Kazim, what does Randian mean, or I suppose, who does it refer to?

  35. 35
    Ing

    @AtheistunderthemaskReferring to Ayn Rand. Historic promoter of selfishness.

  36. 36
    ls

    >Hell, we just got down with 8 years of documented abuses of power. I think my distrust is fairly well placed.<Lest we forget. GWB/Cheney weren't the first criminal team to head up the executive branch. True criminal abuse predates the last 8 years by a long shot.Watergate, for instance, was a very prominent test of the constitutional status of executive power, that was back in the early 70's. The truly lavish and crippling deficit spending on wars and useless weaponry began with the Reagan administration. Corporate welfare probably got its start before that, but certain began to accelerate under Reagan as well.Further rises in these subsidies occured under the Bushes.Small government conservatives my ass ;)LSLS

  37. 37
    AtheistUnderMask

    Is, let me clarify: I’m only 26. My presidents start with Regan and the only one I can actually still remember vividly is Clinton, since Regan and Bush occurred when I was too young to give a damn about politics.Ing: Thank you. I should have recognized that immediately. My first thought was the Amazing Randi, but that didn’t make any sense at all in context.

  38. 38
    ls

    >Is, let me clarify: I'm only 26. My presidents start with Regan and the only one I can actually still remember vividly is Clinton, since Regan and Bush occurred when I was too young to give a damn about politics<Well don't feel too bad – I started with Nixon when I was 11. We listened to the Watergate hearings and eventually Nixon's resignation speech on a "transistor radio". Reagan was the first true aristocrat to occupy the pres. in modern times (at least as late as I can remember) and did his best to transform our republic into an aristocracy. He ran up a $4 trillion bill in his efforts.Seems kind of small change compared to what the "small govt. fiscal conservatives" have cost us since, tho.PS. the only president to ever preside over a govt. surplus since the 50's was Clinton, a "big govt. democrat". Ironic….LS

  39. 39
    Hjorrdis

    Where to begin…Ing: I’m not saying you shouldn’t be allowed to say obscenities, just saying I lose all respect for you afterwards. You should be able to make your argument without expressing your emotions.ls: I specifically said income tax.Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution states “No capitation, or other direct, tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.”After the Supreme Court decision on Pollock v. Farmer’s Loan in 1895 which found the income tax unconstitutional,Amendment XVI was passed, stating “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” thus expanding the power of the legislative branch. Some wonder if the motives behind this amendment were just.I’m not sure how I feel on the topic, since I’m still doing research, but there are a lot of people who think it should be repealed.kazim: I’m sorry, should have added “to describe themselves” on the end of there. Of course they use it – to make fun of it. That sign doesn’t say “I’m a teabagger,” though.Anyway, most of these issues that we consider “big deals” wouldn’t matter at all if federal government were as small as it should be. They just wouldn’t have a say. Each state could decide for itself, and people could live in the state that promoted things that mattered to them. Of course, the Supreme Court would be there to make sure that human rights are honored.And one more thing Ing: There are a ton of comedians who also say derogatory things who aren’t considered bigots because of it. I won’t go into what he means with each of those quotes here since my posts are long enough anyway, but if you are interested you can e-mail me and I’ll discuss it further. There is a lot more than face value there.

  40. 40
    Ing

    Yeah no…Limbaugh is not a comedian though. most telling fact he’s not funny. Know who was funny George Carlin…but you don’t respect dirty word users. You’re VERY narrow minded.

  41. 41
    Ing

    Btw, know what made me start loosing respect for you? Not the words you used but the things behind them. When you can defend a blow hard who said “slavery wasn’t all that bad” and mocks people with diseases…not for comedy but to promote his political view. You can still like Limbaugh, but he is a bigot and is insanely disrespectful to anyone who doesn’t believe what he does. He says the same freaking stuff as Coulter.

  42. 42
    Kazim

    I’m sorry, should have added “to describe themselves” on the end of there. Of course they use it – to make fun of it. That sign doesn’t say “I’m a teabagger,” though.Nice try, Hjorrdis, but your chronology is all wrong. The first incident I ever heard of for liberals using “teabaggers” as an epithet comes from this Rachel Maddow clip:http://www.rhythmism.com/forum/showthread.php?t=79353And Maddow didn’t even coin the term, she was just boggling at the fact that a Fox News anchor was describing their activities as “teabagging.” I’m afraid you can’t pin the blame on MSNBC for coming up with the word. If conservatives were the first ones to use the words to describe themselves, even ironically, then they need much better PR people.

  43. 43
    ls

    >'m not sure how I feel on the topic, since I'm still doing research, but there are a lot of people who think it should be repealed.<The 16th doesn't confer any new powers of taxation, the congress had always had the power to levy income taxes. It just clarifies the cases where it can do so, looks like to me.Looks like it made it harder to evade paying one's fair share for the privileges and protections offered by our govt. "small govt" in modern parlance is usually only a euphemism for "small or big govt. where it benefits me, otherwise I don't care or prefer the reverse".I.e. the religious right prefers VERY big govt. when it comes to favors that benefit them, but small govt. when it comes to favors for its opposition.Definitely NOT conformant to traditional "smaller govt" propaganda….LS

  44. 44
    Kazim

    I’m not sure how I feel on the topic, since I’m still doing research, but there are a lot of people who think it should be repealed.Yes, there are. There are also a fair number of people who still believe that the sun revolves around the earth.

  45. 45
    Hjorrdis

    Look, there are liberal reporters listening to Rush just so they can grab that one line out of context that sounds bad for him. Maybe in the 70s, Rush was racist like lots of white people raised in the 60s (though I doubt it), but now, he’s definitely not. When he says “Slavery is not that bad” he means as an economic model. Morally, of course.When he says feminists hurt their cause, he means the extremist who go yelling hate-men propoganda, and make people dislike them, thus making people dislike their cause even more. And his comments on aids actually come from his viewpoint that people shouldn’t be having sex out of wed lock, something that would dramatically reduce instances of AIDs throughout the world. While this idea is pretty closeminded and hardly realistic, considering the society he was raised in, I can understand why he holds that viewpoint. I tend to be fairly patient with people, since I think that going out and calling people stupid, dumb, or bigoted for a couple things they said at some point in time is a fallacy. You could pull ten phrases from my lifetime that make me sound terribly bigoted, but I’m not at all. And also… just because I defend Rush doesn’t mean I agree with him. I defend people from a lot of causes that I have nothing in common with or completely disagree with.And to say I’m close minded because I lost respect for you when you used obscenities to strengthen your argument in a discussion is baseless. Maybe it’s the effect of the internet, which I very rarely have conversations on. In conversations with the company I keep, I would never use obscenities with someone I don’t know, especially if I were trying to convince them that my viewpoint on something was valid. Not that I don’t have a dirty mouth around my dearest friends or in bed, I just think people need to draw some lines about what’s acceptable and what’s not. And I am in no way a republican or a democrat. A conservative, yes, but both parties are far from being interested in what the people think or any form of conservatism. Maybe things aren’t as fair in a non-socialist society, but I’ve heard stories from my German friends about their time in east Germany, I’ve heard stories about the failures of Canadian and British healthcare from those friends, experienced the failures of the German health care system first hand, and I’ve studied a lot what makes those systems fail. Anything you give the government power over, politicians will USE to get more votes. And also, the truth is that the poor people in this country have so much more opportunity and quality of life than the rich people of many other countries.

  46. 46
    ls

    >Look, there are liberal reporters listening to Rush just so they can grab that one line out of context that sounds bad for him.<What's a "liberal" reporter? Someone who simply doesn't agree with RL is my guess. Either way, there seem to be a lot of those one-liners of his out there that "sound bad for him". RL is one of these guys that tries to pass himself off as a megaphone for the reasonable element among us. But on closer listening, it's just the same Klan-style ignorance with a little sugar-coating on top. You don't have to be Harvard Phd. to pick up on this either. >Maybe things aren't as fair in a non-socialist society, but I've heard stories from my German friends about their time in east Germany…<This sounds like an apology for the aristocratic ways that we just voted out of office in our govt. Just because the alternative to one particular evil is even more evil doesn't make the original evil less or or offer a justification for it. Ku Klux Klan morals and aristocratic economic principles are yesterday's failures; they should stay in yesterday, IMO, and we should get on with the business of cleaning that up. The current administration is doing the best it can with what it's got on its plate, IMO. No matter what is done at this point, it ain't going to be purty for a while.LS

  47. 47
    ls

    >Anyway, most of these issues that we consider "big deals" wouldn't matter at all if federal government were as small as it should be.<How small should it be?Weren't the Great Depression and our entry into WWII rather severe tests for the notion of a small, weak fed? I do think, BTW, that the the fed is too big, but I don't have a clear idea of how much smaller is enough.Finally, we need to keep in mind that exactly those who call themselves "small govt. fiscal conservatives" are the ones who've perpetrated (or at least presided over) the most extreme expansions of the fed. govt. in recent history. Ronald Reagan initiated and promulgated the largest deficit welfare program for the defense industry in the history of our union, all if it done during peacetime. He more than quadrupled the national debt during his term, which stood at about 4 trillion when he left office. Newt Gingritch's Contract With America, had it all been passed by congress, was one of the largest expansions of the size and power of the federal govt. all in one blow that I think I've ever read. It consisted of 10, that's right _ten_ bills that would have created an utterly bewildering array of new govt. agencies, laws and costs, with who knows how much other infrastructure needed to enforce it all. Newt, of course, describes himself as an ardent small govt. conservative. Yeah right….The Bush's exemplify similar expansions of even greater magnitude, despite their claims they follow conservative ideals.Finally, the theocratic impulses of these guys is no secret, nor is their appetite for govt. expansion and expense when it comes to perpetrating them upon everyone in our country. The conservative claims of the conservatives are largely lies and are in fact calls for the "liberal" policies of spending and govt. expansion they publicly condemn. So there's lots of this to go around…LS

  48. 48
    Wired For Sound

    Martin wrote: “As for Rush, look, the dude is just a showman. I honestly don’t think there is anything at all he really gives a damn about with any degree of conviction, except for A) Rush Limbaugh and B) Rush Limbaugh’s bank account.”I disagree. I really don’t think anybody could be insincere 3 hours a day, every day, consistently, for 20+ years. You’re giving him too much credit by suggesting he’s merely a canny entertainer. He’s the current spokesman for “conservatism” and if you’re against that concept, you should take Limbo seriously. People *do* listen and believe everything he says and we have to deal with that, not dismiss it as “entertainment.”

  49. 49
    AtheistUnderMask

    Andrew, I love how the Republicans view of decent leadership is Limbaugh as a spokesman and Palin for President.Seriously, how could anyone like that half retarded stump. She reminds me of Kristen Stewart’s character in Twilight.

  50. 50
    Ing

    And also, the truth is that the poor people in this country have so much more opportunity and quality of life than the rich people of many other countries.”If truth means generalized bullshit you use to not give a damn about others, than yes by all means go ahead.His view on aids that sex should be in wed lock…well guess what, the guy is an ASS for thinking that sex outside of HIS definition of marriage means that you deserve a deadly disease. Yeah “Maybe we should bring slavery back” doesn’t at ALL sound like he’s talking about it working economically. Yeah it’s the big bad liberals tearing down the saintly figures. Want me to back up the wambulance? Just like it was the liberals that made Limbaugh say the bad things…made him take drugs, made O’Riely sexually molest someone and made Glen Beck retarded. Your spin is rejected and is so laughable that I say we just get back on topic.

  51. 51
    Luis

    Some of the comments here remind me of that old quote (forgot by whom):”The problem is that the poor are paid too much, and the rich too little.”That pretty much sums up the mentality on display. When the government has the temerity to take some (stolen) wealth from the super rich and use it to avert social meltdown, that’s “slavery”. Right. So when half of Americans don’t have health insurance, when there are 2 million people in prison (a majority of them incarcerated for drug offences), when the population, even under the presidency of a “socialist”, has no say over how money will be used to benefit society during an economic collapse – none of this is sympomatic of slavery. But prevent a millionaire from buying another Lamborghini and suddenly “serfdom” is knocking on our door. We must evidently sacrifice everything upon the alter of that most fundamental human right: the accumulation of wealth. Anything that in any way interferes with that is deemed “socialism” – ignoring the fact that socialism has been pushed for the super rich for decades (while everyone else had to learn “personal responsibility” or some bullshit like that).You libertarian greed-mongers are flirting with succession because of progressive income taxation? Were you also thinking of dabbling in treason when Reagan was backing death squad regimes in Central America, underwriting Pol Pot-style atrocities in your name? If not, then shut the fuck up. Were you in an uproar when he intensified the bogus “war on drugs”, leading to a massive increase in incarceration (and an expansion of “big government”)? Gee, I’m shocked. See, the problem isn’t big government. The problem is that you want to make big government breathing down someone else’s neck, and use it for your own ends. When it’s being used to subsidise the arms industry through research funding to the Pentagon, when it’s used to bully other nations into grossly unjust “free trade” agreements (which, incidentally, have nothing to do with free trade), when it’s being used to slaughter Guatemalans or Iraqis, when it’s being used to imprison people for inhaling substances into their bodies, then its okay. But when the “talented and most productive” are “penalised” by having their wealth “redistributed” (wealth that they acquired mainly through the exploitation of other people’s labour, as well as stacking everything in their favour by buying the government, evading regulations through loopholes and outright fraud, owning the media, pumping billions of dollars of propaganda onto the airwaves aimed at persuading people to buy junk they don’t need, and establishing think tanks that formulate government policies), then it’s a sign that the end is nigh and that you’re about to become like East Germany. There’s just one thing wrong with this: it’s totally fucking retarded. Obama isn’t defending socialism; he’s defending your lives. If it weren’t for the federal government, the upper class would be lynched in three minutes (ironically, the federal government plays an enormous role in facilitating the theft that’s led to the anger and sense of helplessness, but keep on pretending that everything would so much nicer with “small government”. I submit that for you, it wouldn’t be). Your system has hit the fan, and now the capitalist state is trying to bail its constituency out of the mess. It can do that by simply giving money to the super rich and incarcerating people who don’t feel that it’s quite alright to hold “personal responsibility” up as an absolute virtue and act like saints when the system they’ve been indoctrinated to put all their faith in leaves them with nothing; or they can divert some of the grotesque wealth of the “most talented” (ie. the best expropriators of wealth) to help bail out the people who actually produce the wealth and have to worry about real things instead of whether they should buy a Porsche or a Maserati. The craven, slavish equivocation of the latter group’s woes (and as someone else said, my heart goes out to the unfortunate billionaire – NOT. There are far more worthy recipients of my sympathy) to that of the former is typical of a mandarin. Since you see your own ego-reflections in the accumulation of capital, since you so desperately long for money and possessions, since you want to get in on the gravy train, you end up elevating it to a virtual human right, as though everything else should be beholden to it. Truly a sick ideology, and it puts the biggest smile on my face when I see Bolivians, Venezuelans and increasingly Americans (who would learn a lot from Bolivians and Venezuelans when it comes to democracy) throwing away the yoke of free market fundamentalism. The neoliberal iron curtain is collapsing. I couldn’t give a stuff about your precious profits. Obama does, though:”The point that I’ve been trying to make consistently has been that we believe in the free market, we believe in capitalism, we believe in people getting rich, but we believe in people getting rich based on performance and what they add in terms of value and the products and services that they create. And it’s appropriate for us to have some regulatory mechanisms in place to ensure that we never have a situation where the government has to step in, or you’ve got taxpayers who are having to foot the bill for other people’s mistakes.”Like it or not, that’s what you’re left with. Admittedly, it’s not much of a consolation to those hoping for real “change”. It’s not much of a consolation to those who want to continue on Reagan-Thatcher binge-drinking, either, but then, that boat’s already sailed.It’s just a cold, mother-fucking fact of life that there’s no other way to “fix” your system other than through what you castigate as “socialism” (and even then, the inherent contradictions of capitalism will ensure that there will be another crisis). Everyone who isn’t a complete dyed-in-the-wool free-market faith-head understands this (once it’s sorted out and things are back on track, the pundits and intellectuals can get back to extolling the efficiency of capitalism and free markets). But on the plus side, Obama has no intention of significantly scaling back military spending, he will expand the “war on terror” to Pakistan (leading to the deaths of plenty more Muslims, all the better to make you feel safe), he is stone-walling on the withdrawal of troops from Iraq (thus making him complicit in Bush’s crimes), and he has said that he won’t seek prosecutions for CIA personnel who used torture on terror suspects (thus once again reaffirming American exceptionalism). Needless to say, he won’t even try to prosecute the Bush gang for their endless crimes and deceptions. Something tells me that Obama’s socialism isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Conservatives whine and moan about it, but Obama seems intent on constantly disappointing. So have a nice day and count your blessings.On another note, I hope that the American people will soon fulfil their democratic aspirations for a better life by emulating the example of poor peasants in Latin America by organising.

  52. 52
    Robert

    Lui,Great comments. And I am with you at the end, if we Americans had even 1/10th the commitment to democratic reform that has been shown by Latin America’s landless and peasant classes over the past 150 years, constantly fighting and organizing for reform in the face of impossible and deadly odds, the world would be a better place. We Americans have insanely short memories, and are too often willing to believe and accept the unintelligible chanter of pundits, and forget when they have been drastically wrong.

  53. 53
    Ing

    It is probably greatly telling how big a dork I am that the fact that there were exactly 52 posts had FAR more resonance with me than if there were 666. I guess my point is that a kick ass series written by comic super stars about Gods, aliens, and mad scientists forced to live in a commune together under the rule of a giant Chinese egg; that is mostly well written and edited has more intrinsic value to me than a poorly edited/translated mish mash of a bible.

  54. 54
    Ing

    I want to point out that while I agree…and thus am invalidated as a commie, I DO like capitalism WHEN IT WORKS. it fails because of externalities…mainly THINGS HAVE COSTS THAT ARE NOT IMMEDIATELY SEEN OR PERCEIVED. Take economics 101 if you don't get what I'm saying. I also just want to say that there are some rich folk who 'walk the walk' and more or less actually earned their freaking money, didn't inherit shit, oh and don't believe in giving their kids inheritance. Those people I will support. The country club fucks can go to hell…they didn't 'earn' it any more than modern day Christians are responsible for the crusades. Warren Buffet>>> Paris Hilton.

  55. 55
    Kyle S

    Re: RobertI wonder how much of our own relative luxury plays a role in letting the ruling class get away with too much shit.We may be chest-deep in debt, but a lot of us still have plenty to eat, hot showers every day, and 150 channels to keep us entertained. I’m not advocating that we live like peasants, but it’s eye opening to me that people across the Equator, many of whom may not be sure about their next meal, are willing to put their asses on the line to reform things.

  56. 56
    Tommykey

    And [Rush’s} comments on aids actually come from his viewpoint that people shouldn’t be having sex out of wed lock, something that would dramatically reduce instances of AIDs throughout the world. So tell me again what Rush was doing in the Dominican Republic with that Viagra?

  57. 57
    Jennifer Juniper

    Ohmygosh, ING! I was so with you through this comment thread (and many others) until you called "52" a kick-ass series!!!AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! The horror!!!!!

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