David A. Schwinghammer
· Soldier's Gap
· Fisher of Men, Chapter 8
· Honest Thief, Tender Murderer, Chapter Eight
· Mengele's Double, Chapter Eight
· Bereavement Blues
· Fisher of Men, Chapter 7
· Speed Dating With 'Janeane Garofalo'
· The Cynic
· Honest Thief, Tender Murderer - Chapter Seven
· Mengele's Double, Chapter 7
· Mengele's Double, Chapter Six
· The Nuclear Option
· Empty Mansions, book review
· Pilgrim's Wilderness, book review
· WWII Cartoonist, book review
· Write Yourself Into a Corner, book review
· Roanoke Island, book review
· Billboard Theology
· Baghdad Without a Map, book review
· Into the Wild, book review
· The Zookeeper's Wife (review)
· Alumni Game
· Girls Who Wear Glasses
· The Do Drop Inn
· Ode to Neve Campbell
· Jacks or Better 101
· Never My Love
· 3 O'Clock
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Blogs by David A. Schwinghammer
So Far Right They're Almost Left
4/22/2012 9:07:39 AM
Newly elected conservative Republicans have seriously
Mary Franson, Minnesota state legislator, said recently that Earth Day was a pagan holiday. Previously she compared Minnesota’s food stamp program to feeding the animals. State senator Michelle Fishbach moved to make scientific attempts at therapeutic cloning a felony. Therapeutic cloning is an attempt to develop organs outside the body; it uses techniques similar to cloning animals. That’s where the resemblance ends. If Michelle Fishbach needed a transplant, she’d be first in line. The Topeka city council has gone so far as to repeal its domestic violence law in order to avoid the cost of prosecution due to a budget crisis. Remind you of anything? Let’s sacrifice 30,000 lives a year so gun fetishers can have their 2nd Amendment rights. Recently one of the students wounded (four times) in the Virginia Tech shooting, along with thirty or so other students and sympathizers, went to Washington D.C. to try to get senators and Congressmen to sign pledges to make guns harder to get for terrorists, felons, wife beaters and the violent mentally ill. He could not get one signature. Another legislator in Florida would have the non-violent mentally ill be able to buy a gun. Give them an inch and they take a light year. The following are some other questionable GOP tactics that do nothing but make the country move divisive and put us on the road to Third World status.
1. The GOP fundamentalist base. These people believe the Earth is only 6,000 years old and that dinosaurs existed during the time of Noah. There’s a Creationist Museum in Kentucky where dinosaur replicas coexist with humans. A group of religious zealots would like the state of Kentucky to loan them money to build a Noah’s Ark Museum to go with it. Rather than require a Voter ID, it might be time for a literacy test prior to voting.
2. Embracing the Tea Party. The Tea Party tried to shut down the government when President Obama asked to raise the cap on the national debt. If he hadn’t, the credit rating for the country would have gone down, and your IRA and 401K would have plummeted. Again. Most of them are up for reelection, except for Mario Rubio and Rand Paul in the Senate. You have another chance to send them home crying and gnashing their teeth. Rand Paul was quoting the Cato Institute when he said private businesses should have the right to deny service. The Cato Institute is run by the Koch brothers who were notorious during the Wisconsin demonstrations against denying negotiation rights for teachers and other public service workers.
3. Gun Lobbyists. Hunters and sports enthusiasts should want to separate themselves from gun fetishers and paranoid nut cases. Hunters and skeet shooters don’t need semi-automatic weapons. At least I hope not. The Mexican cartel buys 80% their weaponry from American gun shows through straw buyers, thanks to deregulation.
4. Anti-global warming. One would think that Congressmen would not want to take a chance that human activity contributes to climate change. Some scientists predict coastal flooding by 2050 if not sooner. Meanwhile the GOP insists that global warming is cyclical. In reality this stand is a reaction to Al Gore’s Nobel prize. Cap and Trade is perfectly logical, and big business should want to do it just as they finally embraced smoke stack scrubbers and catalytic converters to prevent acid rain and smog. Better than trying to do business under water. One of the repercussions of the GOP appeal to fundamentalists is science bashing. Teaching evolution in the schools is a target; sex education; stem cell research etc., etc. These are the same people who put Galileo under house arrest.
5. Targeting Unions. Without unions this country would be in poor shape. We’re down to between seven and twelve percent, depending upon whom you ask. Unions help families buy houses, cars, clothes and other products, thus helping business. Without them we have a bunch of minimum wage workers who can’t afford their rent. We also won’t have any teachers. How do you attract great teachers by paying them less and taking away their negotiation rights? The biggest union in the country is the NEA. There are 100,000 teachers in Wisconsin and most of them showed up at the demonstrations against Scott Walker’s union bashing.
6. Opposing financial reform. How do you do this when you are responsible for the mortgage debacle? Because you’re against regulation? Where did deregulation get us? The GOP would have us believe there’s a difference between George W. Bush and Mitt Romney. Actually he sounds like George H.W. Bush with his trickle down nonsense.
7. Immigration. Between twelve and twenty million illegal aliens now live in the United States. The GOP would have you believe we can deport them all. The Dream Act was a start to solving the problem, but when you believe the Grand Canyon was created by the Flood in the Bible, you only have room for rich white folks. These people need to read the base of the Statue of Liberty. In reality it’s all about the prediction that by 2050 whites will be a minority.
8. Super PACs. Corporations are people. When do we find out who these people are? For that matter, when do we get to see Grover Norquist’s donor list?
9. Stance against Progressivism. The root word here is progress. The alternative is to stay the same or revert to the 19th Century when women were denied the vote, blacks were held down by the Jim Crow laws, and families sent their children to work in sweat shops. It appears the GOP is headed that way.
10. “Drill Baby Drill”: Anybody who’s ever changed the oil on his car knows that this stuff can mess up the atmosphere pretty badly. And what do you do with it when you’re finished? Sure some gas stations take the stuff, but they’re as rare as hen’s teeth. A hundred years from now there won’t be any oil. The GOP seems to be saying, “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” Just like when they’re up to their necks in sea water, they’ll deal with that and not very well. One would think that there are grandfathers among the GOP politicians. Don’t they care about their grandchildren? Republicans are now crying about the pipeline from Canada which will cross the sand hills of Nebraska as well as pass over its ground water supply. They swear engineers can virtually guarantee there will be no spill in tornado valley, just as British Petroleum engineers and the shipbuilders who constructed the Titanic insured there would be no disaster. We now have an excess of oil in the United States. Oil imports are down; yet the price of gasoline is closing on four dollars a gallon. What do oil billionaires do? They close down the refineries and export oil to South America. We must have renewable energy, and we should all be working on a solution, not just the democrats.
11. Iraq. Republicans are now saying we should do whatever it takes to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Wouldn’t Iraq be the ideal buffer state if they had a stable government? Who ruined that little plan?
12. Distorting the national news. George W. Bush paid a conservative columnist to support “No Child Left Behind” in his column. Michelle Bachmann spends more time on Fox News than she does in the House of Representatives. The owner of the Fox News channel, Rupert Murdoch, just got caught hacking into private citizens’ cell phones; yet the talking heads on the station claim the federal government is too intrusive. Do you really believe he hasn’t done the same thing in America? The national news media is as objective as they can be. Why would they cover someone who thinks the moon is made of cheese and little green men landed in Arizona? Right wing conservatives believe Obama is a Moslem and that his birth certificate is fake. Why would you report that? A fair and balanced network? These people learned their approach from Joseph Goebbels and Big Brother in Orwell’s 1984: Black is white, good is bad, and smart is dumb.
13. Sarah Palin. It’s hard to believe someone in the party didn’t say, “What if McCain has a heart attack?” This woman tried to give a concession speech after Obama was elected. It’s all about her.
14. “No new taxes” pledges. They were initiated by Grover Norquist who was involved in the Jack Abramoff lobbyist scandal. They have done more to cause gridlock in Washington than anything else. Moderate is now a dirty word among GOP strategists.
15. Dirty Tricks. Remember Donald Segretti during the Watergate scandal? Andrew Breitbart made him look like an amateur. Sure Breitbart died of stupidity, but that other tool James O’Keefe, who tried to bug Mary Landrieu’s senate office, is still out there wearing his grandmother’s fur coat (as well as her under things).
16. Rush Limbaugh. Apparently his portrayal of a Georgetown law student as a prostitute who should show us her sex tapes if she wants free contraception didn’t quite do the trick. Last I heard Rush is still on the air. But at least he has competition, coming from Mike Huckabee, a kinder and gentler version.
17. Attack on Planned Parenthood. This organization has done more than anyone to decrease the number of unwed mothers in this country. The alternative seems to have escaped the minds of Republican leadership. More unwed teens means more welfare, which they claim to be against.
18. Rewriting history. The Texas School Board would give Jefferson Davis equal time with Abraham Lincoln.
19. Abortion. If you’re serious about eliminating surgical abortion, dissemination of the Morning After pill would appear to be the solution. It prevents conception. No babies are harmed. But no. Your religion won’t let you do that. We’ve seen this before when the pope refused to allow contraception in AIDS-ravaged Africa (He has since relented somewhat).
20. Education. “No Child Left Behind” was a farce meant to make it harder for educators to do their jobs. Apparently nobody talked to actual teachers. They hate state tests. I know, I used to be one. Critics also talk about how American education doesn’t measure up against countries like Finland. First off, Finland is about the size of Montana and only around five and a half million people live there. They have also fostered an unusual respect for the teaching profession. Akin to the respect we have for, say, American Idol winners in America. In Germany students take a test in ninth grade to determine whether they will go to a vocational school or be set on a course to enter college. Our plumbers and electricians must endure four more years of Shakespeare and algebraic equations. Also I’d be willing to bet that most of the countries we’re compared to don’t even try to educate all of their people, including special ed. students. I’d also like to see the test samples. Just exactly who is taking the test? Are average American students competing against the cream of the crop from other countries the size of Montana or what? A Republican alternative would be home schooling or private school tuition. In other words, they like them dumb. It’s not a coincidence that Mississippi is a red state. Let’s get real here. Republicans want to drive a stake through the hearts of teachers unions, who tend to vote democratic and work to get democrats elected.
21. The Marriage Act. So far no state has rejected a constitutional change to make marriage apply only to men and women. It’s already a law in most of those states, but the GOP is afraid a judge would declare it unconstitutional. Minnesota has a chance in November, 2012, to show the country we’re not homophobes. It really doesn’t matter. The constitution doesn’t say “All men are created equal, except for gays.”
The word “conservative” means “stay the same”, and we all know that’s not going to happen. Conservative politicians like to claim that they’re more patriotic and freedom loving than democrats, but that didn’t stop them from treating Mexican American citizens like foreigners or from bugging suspected terrorists without a court order. Conservatives have misinterpreted the Boston Tea Party (Sam Adams must be spinning in his grave) and implied that founding fathers like Jefferson and Hamilton would support their views. I shudder to think what Hamilton would say about them.
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