Monday, March 29, 2010


From a viral e mail I received:

"To all Tea Party members, I urge you to take the following pledge before it's too late. Please pass it on to fellow members:

I do solemnly swear to uphold the principles of a socialism-free society and heretofore pledge my word that I shall strictly adhere to the following:

I will complain about the destruction of 1st Amendment Rights in this country, while I am duly being allowed to exercise my 1st Amendment Rights

I will complain about the destruction of my 2nd Amendment Rights in this country, while I am duly being allowed to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights by legally but brazenly brandishing unconcealed firearms in public.

I will foreswear the time-honored principles of fairness, decency, and respect by screaming unintelligible platitudes regarding tyranny, Nazi-ism, and socialism at public town halls. Also, I pledge to eliminate all government intervention in my life.

I will abstain from the use of and participation in any socialist goods and services including but not limited to the following:
•Social Security
•State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP)
•Police, Fire, and Emergency Services
•US Postal Service
•Roads and Highways
•Air Travel (regulated by the socialist FAA)
•The US Railway System
•Public Subways and Metro Systems
•Public Bus and Lightrail Systems
•Rest Areas on Highways
•All Government-Funded Local/State Projects
•Public Water and Sewer Services (goodbye socialist toilet, shower, dishwasher, kitchen sink, outdoor hose!)
•Public and State Universities and Colleges
•Public Primary and Secondary Schools
•Sesame Street
•Publicly Funded Anti-Drug Use Education for Children
•Public Museums
•Public Parks and Beaches
•State and National Parks
•Public Zoos
•Unemployment Insurance
•Municipal Garbage and Recycling Services
•Treatment at Any Hospital or Clinic That Ever Received Funding From Local, State or Federal Government (pretty much all of them)
•Medical Services and Medications That Were Created or Derived From Any Government Grant or Research Funding (again, pretty much all of them)
•Socialist Byproducts of Government Investment Such as Duct Tape and Velcro (Nazi-NASA Inventions)
•Use of the Internets, email, and networked computers, as the DoD's ARPANET was the basis for subsequent computer networking
•Foodstuffs, Meats, Produce and Crops That Were Grown With, Fed With, Raised With or That Contain Inputs From Crops Grown With Government Subsidies
•Clothing Made from Crops (e.g. cotton) That Were Grown With or That Contain Inputs From Government Subsidies
If a veteran of the government-run socialist US military, I will forego my VA benefits and insist on paying for my own medical care
I will not tour socialist government buildings like the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
I pledge to never take myself, my family, or my children on a tour of the following types of socialist locations, including but not limited to:
•Smithsonian Museums such as the Air and Space Museum or Museum of American History
•The socialist Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson Monuments
•The government-operated Statue of Liberty
•The Grand Canyon
•The socialist World War II and Vietnam Veterans Memorials
•The government-run socialist-propaganda location known as Arlington National Cemetery
•All other public-funded socialist sites, whether it be in my state or in Washington, DC

I will urge my Member of Congress and Senators to forego their government salary and government-provided healthcare.

I will oppose and condemn the government-funded and therefore socialist military of the United States of America.

I will boycott the products of socialist defense contractors such as GE, Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Humana, FedEx, General Motors, Honeywell, and hundreds of others that are paid by our socialist government to produce goods for our socialist army.

I will protest socialist security departments such as the Pentagon, FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, TSA, Department of Justice and their socialist employees.

Upon reaching eligible retirement age, I will tear up my socialist Social Security checks.

Upon reaching age 65, I will forego Medicare and pay for my own private health insurance until I die.

_____________ _________________________
Signed Printed Name/Town and State"

[Here's another take on the same perspective.]


-K- said...

To me, this is a list of all the things for which to be sincerely grateful. This in turn makes me feel as if I've crossed over into a world where people like me are now espousing a conservative and traditional viewpoint in the face of people who are willing - in theory - do all the things mentioned in this list, which would be a radical change indeed.

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

What a bunch of got-nothing-better-to-do-and-need-to-whine-like-a-baby-total-hypocrits! Instead of standing out there making ignorant threat and endangering people and including their hard working representatives, why not put all of that energy into volunteering with disabled vets, or at a senior center, or bringing food and old clothing to the homeless, or helping build housing at home or in New Orleans or Haiti, or help out at the local school? - in other words, do something helpful and constructive, instead of doing something destructive, counterproductive, unhelpful, etc. etc. So called tea partiers, who need this buzz-word/catch-phrase to give them some sense of belonging to something which requires no thought but somehow gives false validation to complete losers, are the opposite of patriots. I will happily contribute to a fund to help get every last one of them out of my country and to a place, maybe somewhere in Africa or the far east or the tundra where they can live without the intrusion of socialist marxist, communist government.

Butch in Waukegan said...

I am struck by the main argument of this letter, addressed “to all Tea Party members.” Boiled down it seems very similar to what I used to hear in the ‘60s and ‘70s — they’re a bunch of spoiled brats, they should sit down and shut up, the government knows what it is doing. Or, as Mayor Daley said, “what trees do they plant?”

There’s no doubt that the right wing is running like hell to get in front of this parade and steer it in the wrong direction, and more than a few have fallen for their lies. The Gingriches and Armeys are working overtime.

After 30+ years of sterile political debate between two parties more alike than different, plus the bread-and-circus media, mixed with an inevitable strain of racism, it is no wonder so many are confused and ignorant.

I think it is important to understand that the vast majority of people are pissed and confused and groping for solutions. This includes Tea Partiers. A little understanding of the dynamics of our situation would help build solutions.

How many of these 260 people do you think might be Tea Partiers?

Ed Baker said...
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Miles said...

Dad, is this meant to be funny? I read it as a tongue in cheek outing of tea bag hypocrisy written by someone outraged by the inconsistency of the tea bagger's logic. The main problem I have with any rational dispute of the lying liar's lies is that it falls on deaf ears. It reminds me of a silly mock wrestling show I saw the other day (don't ask) where one of the commentators said "you don't hit a crazy person in the head, it doesn't do anything, you gotta hit him in the body". I'm not sure what would act as a "body shot" to the angry right, but pointing out their faulty logic with mockery continually fails.

There needs to be an even-keeled, daily oposition to their bullsh*t. See, I couldn't even go one sentence without letting my emotions surface. We need daily counter "talking points" from Obama.

I heard a stunning figure today from Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center on Democracy Now. According to a report they recently authored, there has been a 244% rise in "patriot" groups (which includes militias) in the last year and a half.

It is unforgivable how the angry right uses the mainstream media to stir this dangerous stuff up. Here is a link to the interview:

Miles said...

Oops the above link didn't work. The interview can be viewed or read here

Lally said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. And I hear you Miles (and Kevin and Robert). I passed it on actually from my friend Terry Winch, and he got it from someone else etc. I thought it made a point I was planning on doing a post on, the idea of what a country run according to what the rightwingers and their tea party brethren claim to want. Of course almost everything they say is contradictory of what they said a few second earlier etc.
As for Butch and Ed, I think it's pretty glib and easy and not very intellectually rigorous to constantly equate the Republicans and the Democrats as all just politicians in the same vein. That's like saying there's no difference between the Stone and the Beatles, they're both just rock'n'roll bands. Or as bad as what the tea partyers do when objecting to Ibana, they call him a socialist and a facsit (and Glen Beck explains to them with his blackboard, or whiteboard or whatever, why they're exactly the same. tell it to the survivors of Stalingrad. Yes, the Dems are susceptible to lobbyists and the seduction of power and the necessity for an eternal campaign to raise funds to counter swiftboat style ads etc., but DID YOU NOTICE THAT SOME MAJOR LEGISLATION THAT WILL HELP A LOT OF PEOPLE AND ACTUALLY SAVE LIVES has been passed since the Deams have been in the majority in the House and then the senate. I've been saying this since Nixon beat Humphrey but you'd have to completely ignore reality to insist that if Gore had won the election more obviously, i.e. the electoral votes in an overwhelming majority of states, people I KNOW would be alive today instead of dead in Iraq et-effin-cetera. It is a ploy and has been since Nixon of the right to propagate the idea that there's no difference between the parties, so that their rabid base will come out and though a minority win elections because the intellectually superior, supposedly, liberals and leftists have no sense of real political possibilities and realities so when the Dems don't immediately produce results in every area they think should be rectified immediately, they say a pox on both their houses and don't bother to vote or work for someone's campaign etc. I have numerous friends who have already given up on Obama because of the bank jive. Which means they would have given up on Clinton, Carter, Johnson, Kennedy, Truman and FRD had they been able to vote back then. And maybe they did give up on Kerry and Gore Carter's second term bid etc. I know I did, I gave up on Johnson because of Viet Nam, which I fought against in actions that risked my life. But I was wrong to work against Humprey when Johnson dropped out, because it enabled Nixon to win and go on to extend that war well into a future dominated by dirty tricks, death, and destruction, and sowed the seeds of the rightwing strategy of playing on working-class whites resentments toward the East Coast elite and Hollywood liberals and welfare dependent nonwhites etc. etc. etc.,

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

I understand that people are frustrated and want improvement. And I try to be tolerant, but what is intolerable is ignorance, hypocrisy and blind hatred. There's no room or time for it anymore. It's counterproductive to the improvement they claim to be seeking.

Butch in Waukegan said...

I think it's pretty glib and easy and not very intellectually rigorous to constantly equate the Republicans and the Democrats as all just politicians in the same vein.

To be precise, I don’t equate Republicans and Democrats. I believe there are marginal differences. Where I see a ditch you see the Grand Canyon.

Just about every day news comes out from the Defense Department, the Justice Department, the Treasury Department that show that Obama’s policies are not that much different from his predecessors.

Today it is from the Interior Department.

Tell me Mike, what would have been your intellectually rigorous response if this happened under Bush?

Ed Baker said...
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Lally said...

To be against certain policies of Obama's administration and/or the Dems in Congress is obviously not only justified but necessary. If it were up to me and possible to do a lot of things would be changed instantly, e.g. everyone would get Medicare, almost all our military would be withdrawn from around the world except for a few spots, and my choice would be places where intervention is seriously needed like The Congo etc.
But that would mean I'd have to be an all powerful dictator. I am grateful, and I suspect you are, that I'm not and that we live in a democracy, no matter how flawed it is in your or my eyes. Given the laws and the politics of the times we live in, not some fantasy, Obama and the Dems are accomplishing things beyond what most practical observers would have thought of as possible when he took office. Every economist I read from both sides of the political spectrum internationally predicted a much worse recession that we experienced. They were predicting another Great Depression OR WORSE! And it is clear from all the economic evidence I've read and listened to that if we had continued in the direction the previous administration was taking us that would have been true. Whether we like the bak bailouts or not, and I don't, they seem to have been a part of the solution that Obama and the Dems obviously pulled off. I and most economists still believe regulations like those under the discarded Glass Steagall Act (or however you spell it) should be reinstated, but judging from what Obama and the Dems have already accomplished my guess is that at some point that will be a possibility. For now, given the influence and control of the banking industry on Congress (last figure I saw was eight lobbyists for each member of Congress) the Dodd push is a step in the right direction though not enough BUT BETTER THAN STANDING STILL OR GOING BACK TO THE RIGHTWING POLICIES OF THE BUSH JR. REGIME. And so on Butch. We can discuss specific issues and policies and beliefs, but anyone who pushes the idea that there's no, or even little difference, between the Dems and Pubbies, as my friend at Daily trade calls them, is either not paying attention or willfully trying to delude people into believing that there's no point in voting so that the diehard rightwing base can continue to control more than their minority position should warrant.

Lally said...

As for Ed, that's a great book, one i admire as well, and a great alternative take on the history of that time. But, BUT Ed, Miller was a single man at the time who had spent most of the Depression in Europe and had no family, no wife and kids (as my father and all my uncles did at the time) to support and was or would soon be living the life of a writer thanks to the largess of patrons who believed in him. The people he encountered on that trip who were working class or poor were not STARVING TO DEATH due to policies initiated by FDR and the Democrats of that time, not because they had rich patrons who were willing to give them enough money to live on. They relied on the federal government which saved a lot of lives from being even worse than they were at that time. My father and mother and older siblings lost everything and were even "homeless" (i.e. without their home because they lost it though they had family that could take them in thankfully) for a while and loved and appreciated FDR and the Dems for saving their lives and the lives of many more poor folk who would have succumbed to the dire poverty that ensued when the Republicans were running the show before FDR and the Dems got in. We can argue about the policies like I said, which worked and which didn't, or what idealistic policies might have worked better had there been a way to implement them, but I will say again that pretending all politicians are alike is like pretending that all writers are alike or all poets or all singer/songwriters or all contractors or all carpenters or all cops or all etc. until we're in the kind of prejudiced territory that leads to all (any group) are alike and therefore can be dismissed or ignored (though in an interelated world like ours that is pretty much impossible with few exceptions these days) or worse, destroyed.

Ed Baker said...
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Ed Baker said...
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Lally said...

Hey Ed, I read your comments before you deleted them and dig what you're trying to say. I'm not attacking you brother, just saying things DO change and often for the better, otherwise me and my family would still be living in a thatch roof dirt floor shack in Ireland trying not to starve to death. And as for your "God" and "what's that white actor's name" comment (also deleted by you), the last time I saw "God" portrayed in movies he was played by Morgan Freeman, a "black" man, so yep, things do change.

Butch in Waukegan said...

I will say again that pretending all politicians are alike is like pretending that all writers are alike or all poets or all singer/songwriters or all contractors or all carpenters or all cops or all etc. until we're in the kind of prejudiced territory that leads to all (any group) are alike and therefore can be dismissed or ignored (though in an interelated world like ours that is pretty much impossible with few exceptions these days) or worse, destroyed.

Humans make sense of the world by creating categories. These categories are not solid-walled, but they are a convenient way to understand the world. It’s not possible to have an understanding of cops, carpenters, and certainly politicians without putting them in a category.

When I voted for Clinton twice I also believed the categories Democrat and Republican were meaningful. Events over the years caused me revise my opinion, to move the categories around, to fit the facts. No “pretending”, (a very belittling verb).

I can marshal quite a bit of evidence, just in Obama’s short stint as president, that justify my viewpoint, but one test of political opinions is the ability to predict future events. For instance you believe that the Democrats might pass some sort of Glass-Steagall bank regulations.

The facts are it was repealed under Clinton (pushed by his Robert Rubin-led coterie of Treasury officials), allied with Republicans (led by Senator Phil Gramm). A perfect illustration of my point. Obama’s Treasury officials are direct descendants of the Clinton team. That, and the lobbyists you mentioned greasing a Democratic controlled congress, makes this needed reform very unlikely.

The beneficial reforms of the ‘30s and ‘60s happened because there were large social movements outside the political system demanding change.

Rahm Emanuel believes that the Democrats should ignore the progressive part of their base, and this seems to be their SOP. Vote for us, is could be worse.

Time to challenge this paradigm.

Lally said...

Okay Butch, you win, the Dems are so bad and so much like the Pubbies we ("progressives" and "liberals" and other left of center Dems and Independents) should vote for Nader instead of Gore because certainly if Bush Jr. gets elected it won't be any worse than it'd be under Gore. Oh, wopps, that already happened.
And by the way, your opening statement in response to the lines from me you quote would seem to validate what I said rather than contradict it. If we "humans make sense of the world by creating categories"— as "a convenient way to understand the world" and "it's not possible to have an understanding of" cops, politicians, etc. "without putting them in" categories, then that just supports my point that "pretending" (the correct word for what the rightwing propagandists did and continue to try and inspire since first using the "not a dime's worth of difference" argument to get their people into office) Democratic politicians are the same as Republicans only hurts the left, because the right seizes the opportunity to push the idea that government sucks and politicians are all alike etc. to push their agenda and get their people into power, while the left gives up in despair because their vision of a perfect world doesn't get realized soon enough if at all though even under Clinton who you again argue was no different than a republican with his policies, which denies facts Butch, real people suffer real consequences of every stupid law and regulation and presidential fiat that is passed or repealed every day, and even if only a handful of people's lives are saved in the nuanced difference between Democrats and Republicans, as some see it (not me, I see the differences as very substantial) then it's worth it. End of story for me.