Obviously, I haven’t been posting about the momentous financial and political (interconnected anyway) events of recent days.
To keep my head and heart as sound and sane as I can, I’ve been spending more time than I even usually do with the arts—poetry events, music performances, movies, books, (hopefully soon a few galleries and museums)—and making my own.
It helps, I recommend it. I’ve received a lot of calls and emails from people who are angry, disturbed, disheartened, and all the other forms fear takes including just plain frightened, over the events on Wall Street and in the presedential campaign.
I’ve also been bombarded, as I’m sure you have, with all kinds of emails and links and articles etc. with ever more emerging facts about more lies from Palin and even more disappointing reversals and denials and flip flops and lies from McCain.
The fact that the BIG LIE technique works is obvious or Junior wouldn’t have been able to steal two elections, they would have been landslides in favor of the other guys. And the polls would be showing another landslide for Obama and Biden.
But we know it works. It’s working right now in China, where the younger generation has no political freedom but still feels the Chinese so-called “Communist” system should not be questioned or criticized and has become one of the most nationalist generations in China’s history. The same can be said for Russia, two places that mastered the BIG LIE technique.
Palin has said in her one interview in the weeks she has now been running for vice president, that Georgia, the country, should be protected by NATO even if it means a fighting war with Russia.
Somehow we were able to avoid a nuclear holocaust with Russia over their missiles in Cuba aimed at our cities, but we can’t avoid it over a country on their border they have a dispute with. Nor can we avoid the hypocrisy of Cheney claiming no civilized country can be allowed to invade another country, um, except if its us and we’re invading Iraq.
At least China has been smart enough to not start any wars outside its borders in the past fifty years and so has been able to husband its recent financial gains (much of it thanks to our gluttonous consumerism and debt) in ways that allowed it to rebuild Beijing, a lot of it in the last months before the Olympics, turning it from part ancient ruin and part “Communist” blocky utilitarian but ugly 20th Century city into a 21st century architectural wonder with an efficient mass transit system etc., while the USA under the Republicans who supposedly put “country first” can’t even rebuild a couple of small neighborhoods in New Orleans in the years since they failed that city in the first place.
Or the fact that Palin is seen as an emblem of patriotic and Christian rectitude, but we all know if Barack and Michelle had a seventeen-year-old daughter who got pregnant by a black teenage boy who bragged on his MySpace page that he liked to take guns and “shoot shit” and that he liked lots of ladies and didn’t want to get married—wait a minute, didn’t a black boy the same age, who didn’t brag about philandering or shooting guns but in fact was a local well-loved football star, get sent to jail for getting his steady teenage year younger girlfriend pregnant? Yep.
It’s a disgrace that a lot of people don't understand or even know all this and more, but it’s a result of a public educational system (and unfortunately in terms of colleges a lot of private educational institutions as well) that does not teach logic and how to reason and to think for yourself and how to avoid being manipulated by propaganda (whether corporate or political party or government generated), let alone history (a friend of mine taught his first college art class a few days ago and told me when he started talking about the Middle Ages he saw blank expressions on their faces so asked if anyone knew when the Middle Ages were, and only one student raised her hand, and when he pointed at her said “Back in the caveman times”) etc.
This is partly because of the lack of respect for the teaching profession and the underpayment for their services, which began under Republican administrations (as I’ve pointed out before by Nixon’s and his hatchet man Agnew’s relentless attacks on the “elitism” of the well educated and the rightwing anti-tax proposition 13 in California that led to property taxes not being used for public education there anymore—which reduced their public educational system from one of the finest to one of the worst, it’s no accident that where the rightwing Republicans are most actively supported is in states with public educational systems that rank near the lowest) that began classifying teachers as a “special interest” as if paying the people who teach our children is the same as giving oil companies that were doing just fine on $50-a-barrel days giant tax breaks even when they’re making over $100 dollars a barrel.
For those who consider themselves “liberals”—which despite the rightwing Republican propaganda means to be in the center in terms of political movements and beliefs—part of the reward is in living a life based on humanist principles, like the golden rule to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” including people whose styles and accents and ethnicities and looks and sexual orientation and jobs and etc. are different from yours, and even animals and all living creatures as well.
That’s actually the revolutionary idea that Jesus introduced into his own society and times and others have into theirs over the centuries. To live by that as best we can is its own reward. And that includes exposing Palin as the kind of hunter that believes its good sportsmanship to shoot defenseless animals from a helicopter and to deprive polar bears of their habitat if it will enrich oil companies even more, etc.
But it also means not calling Palin dumb or people who support her stupid, like Bill Maher has a tendency to do.
Palin didn’t get to where she is just on her smile and sarcasm. She understands the power of that smile and her looks and her image as a “hockey mom”—but she also understands politics, at least as its practiced in Alaska, and she understands maintaining power, replacing competent professionals in most of the top jobs in the state with loyal friends who have no experience for those jobs or understanding of democratic governance and therefore never question her orders—sound familiar?
Like “Brownie” and all the other incompetent political hacks Junior appointed to head government agencies that in most cases was a deliberate attempt to make those agencies impotent so that they wouldn’t be regulating the products and practices and industries they were created to, but instead would give them a pass so that people will die as a result and no one will be held accountable, and financial institutions will crumble and no one will be held accountable—was anyone at Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae fired? Let alone fined and/or jailed? Etc. etc. etc.
No she's not dumb, she’s politically and instinctually savvy about power, as Junior is, they’re just not intellectually curious. They have their beliefs and they understand their party’s politics and how to intimidate the media and even the Democrats into backing off any criticism or attempts to put any restraints on or try to control their drive to gain and maintain power.
Palin isn’t frightening because she doesn’t know zip about foreign policy or government or even obviously the Constitution or Bill of Rights or our country’s history, she’s scary because she knows how to get power and keep it, like Junior, but is even more to the right than he and Cheney on many issues and like Junior and Cheney doesn’t care to involve herself in a lot of important issues or even to ask experts but prefers to take the direction of handlers (Rove and now his minion in McCain’s campaign, and others even further to the right) otherwise there wouldn’t have been that quote from Westbrook Pegler in her speech, a man that despised any aspect of democracy that allowed anyone to the left of his neo-facist theories not just to govern or influence government but to even be allowed to live!
Robert F. Kennedy says it better: “Fascist writer Westbrook Pegler, an avowed racist who Sarah Palin approvingly quoted in her acceptance speech for the moral superiority of small town values, expressed his fervent hope about my father, Robert F. Kennedy, as he contemplated his own run for the presidency in 1965, that "some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow flies."
It might be worth asking Governor Palin for a tally of the other favorites from her reading list.”
Pegler also wanted to see FDR and Harry Truman and even Ike suffer and die for not living up to his rightwing theories.
That’s who she, or according to all accounts, her handlers chose to quote, and if elected and she ascends either through the next election or through replacing McCain if anything happens to him, that’s who will be directing her in office. And McCain is even worse because he knows better, or once seemed to. But he too will be beholden to the furthest rightwing of his party and either through his own defects or failings or just through the pressure of needing them to stay in office and keep not just the party faithful but the party rightwing oligarchy satisfied, he has proven during the course of this campaign and before, as Palin has, that they will do whatever it takes to gain power, including misuse the power they already have.