Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hypocrite? Huh?

It's happening again.
Michael Moore has a new movie, Capitalism: A Love Story, and the mouthbreathers are in full Greek chorus mode before they even see it (read the comments in response to the above linked story).
As I understand it, Michael Moore is a hypocrite because he's rich and he criticizes the supply side economics the U.S. has practiced for the last three decades. If Moore were heavily invested in the stock market and criticized it in his film, that would be hypocrisy; however, he isn't heavily invested in the stock market (or so he says). He's made his money in filmmaking, rather than investing.
There is also the point that FDR was more wealthy than Moore and much more critical of the wealthy exploiting the poor. Rich people can have shame about their peers' exploitation of the poor, and poor people can rabidly defend rich peoples' rights to exploit. I don't know why seniors on fixed incomes and working poor people rally around the half-assed economic theories of clowns like Limbaugh and Beck, but I don't think they are hypocrites for doing so.
Moore is candid at all times about his politics, and he uses his films to advance those politics. You know that going in, just as you pretty much know what you're going to hear when you tune into the aforementioned Limbaugh and Beck.
This is yet another example of a trend I'm noticing more and more at the day job: anti-Obama/anti-Democratic reactionaries who cannot bear even the existence of conflicting ideas. I run one letter to the editor defending Obama and a reactionary will scream bloody murder about liberal bias. I run a letter to the editor opposing Obama and I might get one response from a liberal objecting, with much more civility, to an assertion made against the President.
I don't really despair over this; it's mostly a symptom of slow, but steady, decline of the George Wallace/Richard Nixon/Ronald Reagan voting bloc. Our political culture is comprised of pluralities and this one is dying out, in part due to age but primarily because working class whites are slowly coming around to the realization that they have been fucked hard by corporate flunkies posing as Reagan's heirs. The smaller the group gets, the more shrill the diehards are going to be.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

No idea

I had no idea just how oppressed insurance companies are.

Paul Springman, an appreciation

Paul Springman went to sleep Sunday night and woke up in a much, much better place. Hopefully, he's sitting at the bar in the ultimate K of C council, drinking his third or fourth stein of Stroh's and taking pride in what and who he left behind.
The lapsednewsguy owes his grandpa a lot, which is sort of surprising considering that we couldn't have been more different. I run my mouth about everything, while my grandpa (whom I always called Hans for some reason) usually held his tongue unless it was really, really, really important. He endured the Great Depression and the slaughter of World War II in the Pacific and was grateful for the chance to raise his family and have a home. I still seethe because my boss fucked me out of a raise eight years ago.
He came home from the Pacific and worked for his pop at the family grocery store as a meat cutter. When Pop died in the early 50s, the grocery store succumbed to supermarkets, the suburban exodus and more than a few unpaid accounts receivable. Hans moved on to plumbing. He bartended on the side, too. By the he was 40, he had seven kids and a wife at home. He never laid in bed with a cold and often nodded off as he untied his boots after a long day on the job.
I can honestly say that the only mean words I ever heard from him came when he and Grandma fought (which wasn't rare and never amounted to much) and when I would get in a hurry on a jobsite and cut a piece of PVC too short.
He was a guy whose respect you treasured, not because his standards were high but because he did things the right matter how long it took. One of the great honors of my life came on my graduation day from IU, when he braved the steep home stands of Memorial Stadium to watch me get my bachelor's degree...about three weeks before he finally got the hip replacement he had been putting off for a decade.
Alzheimers took his mind and spirit away and, to be honest, I grieved that loss years ago and was glad to hear yesterday that his body finally followed along.
Hans wasn't perfect; no man is. I could probably come up with a list of his faults if I thought about it, but they would pale in the his totality. Anyone who knew Hans was better for it, me very much included.
Rest in peace, Hans.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


So Pres. Carter said that some of the rabble rising up against every fucking thing Obama does is rooted in racism?
I awoke in my very comfortable hotel room this morning to hear MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and company pooh-poohing the former president for making the most obvious point in the history of American political discourse. I'm guessing Scarborough is behind the whisper campaign at and other mainstream outlets pimping him to run for President in 2012, so he doesn't want the rednecks and mouthbreathers to think he doesn't agree with them.
There are teabaggers genuinely concerned about our nation's finances, to be certain, but they are inextricably tied to others who can't stand the idea of a charismatic black man in charge and they are doing everything they can to dehumanize the president in the eyes of the public.
The loyal opposition, which hounded Bill Clinton incessantly for eight years (as was their right), used to be a very effective harassing tool for the corporate Republican establishment. The problem today is that rabble is taking on a life of its own and the corporate Republican masters are losing their control. The way things are going, whomever wants the GOP nomination in '12 is going to be the teabagger candidate (Palin and Huckabee leap to mind).
A teabagger candidate would be Nirvana for Obama. They would be lucky to crack 35 percent in the election and Obama would cruise to reelection.
My only fear is that some teabaggers would get so distraught that they would try to foment armed rebellion, on the mistaken assumption that the (white) people secretly support them. They would be wrong, of course, and only succeed in becoming martyrs to a cause rooted in fantasy and ignorance.
One Timothy McVeigh was despicable enough; a thousand would be a senseless tragedy.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Attack of the Mouthbreathers

I know how much you must miss the lapsednewsguy, but he is anything but lapsed these days. The day job has been busy and will send me on the road for most of this week. I shook things up a bit at the paper recently, but it's too soon to tell if it will do any good.
In my quiet moments, which usually come before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m., I am almost too bummed out about the general drift of things to put together any post resembling insight. I grew up in Indiana and still don't understand why some working class whites are so upset about having a black president. Make no mistake, my friends; this health care hysteria is shoddy camouflage for racism, plain and simple.
I used to get mad at the attention lavished on mouthbreathers who rant incessantly like spoiled children when they don't get their way (or win elections). Now all of the air time just depresses me. I almost hate living in a country that rewards people for being willfully ignorant.
The solution? Ignore the crybabies and do the right thing. The brilliant James Howard Kunsler make that point in his column this morning:
The most dangerous illusion, of course, is a belief that we can return to a hyped up turbo debt "consumer" economy -- and perhaps the most disappointing thing about Barack Obama, is his incessant cheerleading for a "recovery" to what is already lost and unrecoverable. The man who ran for office on "change" doesn't really have the stomach for it. But, of course, events are in the driver's seat now, not personalities, even charming ones. I'd venture to say that if Mr. Obama thinks he's seen a crisis, and gotten through it, then he ain't seen nothin' yet. We are for sure not returning to the kind of credit orgy that made the last twenty years such a nauseating spectacle -- of which, by the way, the misfeasances and wretched excesses of Wall Street were just one manifestation.
Some theorists out there say that economy follows mood, not vice-versa, and that the anger and sourness on display around the USA, in events like the weekend Washington march, is a clear sign that tectonic shifts in the structures of everyday life are sure to follow. There are too many truly good and intelligent people in this country, to leave our fate to the Palins and the Glen Becks. But the good people had better man up and start telling the truth with some conviction that the truth matters.