AMERICA

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. . . is not Barack Obama’s security state.  It’s not the government in Washington owned and controlled by corporations.  It’s not the majority of morally insane stooges of the plutocracy currently sitting on the Supreme Court.

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America is you and me, we the people — with the power and the duty to take our nation back from the deranged criminals who’ve hijacked it from us.  It’s a mission we must undertake, by any means necessary, out of obligation to our past and to posterity.

THE VOICE OF AMERICA

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So when we think about the nation we think about our country, we think about our home, we think about the people living in it and we think about its values. When we think about the state, we’re thinking about an institution.

The distinction there is that we now have an institution that has become so powerful it feels comfortable granting itself new authorities, without the involvement of the country, without the involvement of the public, without the full involvement of all of our elected representatives and without the full involvement of open courts, and that’s a terrifying thing –- at least for me.

That’s Edward Snowden speaking in a new interview in The Guardian.  We’re so lucky that we still have American citizens like this, though they seem to be in shorter and shorter supply.  Their enemies, like Barry Obama, are the real traitors, and belong in jail.

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If you think that Barry Obama represents this country, represents America, represents you, you’re living in a dream world.  Barry Obama represents a totalitarian corporate state of which you are merely a dispensable subject, with no rights beyond those he chooses to grant you out of the goodness of his heart.

Read the whole interview here — it’s long, but essential:

Snowden Speaks

With thanks for the link to PZ . . .

THE PEOPLE

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The people of any country are ultimately responsible for the actions of their government.  Any alternative view is horrifying — suggesting that people are sheep, in thrall to whatever political faction happens to get control of their state.  People do act like sheep all the time, but they cannot evade moral responsibility for this.

If the state is armed but the people are not armed, this offers an excuse for ovine behavior.  This excuse is not acceptable.  The people of every morally responsible state must remain armed, and prepared to resist an immoral government by force of arms.

PAGAN IDOLATRY

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Treating corporations as people is not just a misinterpretation or misapplication of The Constitution, of laws, but actually demonic, an example of mental and moral degeneracy so profound that it negates the very idea of a humane society. It’s the flip side of treating some individuals as less than people — which the Supreme Court also did once, in the Dred Scott decision.

Treating corporations as people is a form of pagan idolatry that would have astounded and horrified even the commercial-minded Protestants who founded this country.

Click on the image to enlarge.

HELL ON EARTH

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It’s not much comfort in the short run, but a consoling thought for the long run that the family which owns the Hobby Lobby retail chain is going to Hell.  Technically it’s already in Hell, but someday it will realize it and be suitably surprised.

No one should object to their beliefs.  This is America, where arrogant, mean-spirited nuts have always had a home and, God willing, will always have a home.  If the Hobby Lobby family wants to believe that IUDs are a form of abortion, in defiance of common sense, who are we to judge them?  I myself believe many things that defy common sense, and I don’t think that’s anybody’s business but my own.

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But wanting to impose one’s beliefs on others is something else again.  Wanting to do it in the “person” of a legal abstraction called a “corporation” is shameful.  Corporations are not people.  Corporations created by closely-knit families are not people.  They don’t have God-given rights.  Only people have God-given rights.

Wanting to stand before God as a corporation, asking God to love and uphold you as a corporation, is sinful and blasphemous.  It defines you as an inhabitant of Hell.

All people of goodwill should pray for the souls of the family that owns Hobby Lobby, and for the souls of the Supreme Court Justices who have a habit of ruling that corporations are the children of God.  The state, Caesar, creates corporations — God alone creates human beings.  God and Caesar are not the same — never have been, never will be, as a great teacher once reminded us.

HOW WOMEN AGE

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Our culture doesn’t set much value on the beauty of older women.  As a result of this many women as they age resist the work of time, dye their hair, take knives to their faces, in a ghastly, hopeless effort to keep looking young.

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It’s madness, of course, because older women can be extremely beautiful, and not just beautiful the way an old faded photograph is beautiful, but beautiful the way an old wine can be beautiful — intoxicating, and arousing.

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I once ran into Tanaquil Le Clercq at a party in New York in the 1980s.  She had been a principal dancer at The New York City Ballet in the 1940s and 1950s, wife and muse of its founder George Balanchine.  She was still stunningly beautiful.  My friend Kevin Jarre was with me at the party and he leaned over to me and said, “Look at that woman, Lloyd.  She makes me . . . tense.”

He meant that she aroused him as an erotic being.  She was at the time about 60 and confined to a wheelchair.

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren is ancient by modern standards — in other words, my age, 64 — but her volatile intellect and energetic idealism make her erotically alive, a desirable woman, while the exhausted cynicism of Hillary Clinton is reflected in the crumbling of her face, which is starting to look like the crumbled face of Jan Brewer, the mean-hearted governor of Arizona.  These are not women you’d want to take home with you, even at 3am after a long night of drinking.

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I just saw an interview with Sissy Spacek from 2012 and felt that she was far sexier at the age of 62 that she had ever been in her so-called prime.

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Let’s be frank here — I’m not talking about the beauty of older women as an abstract value, I’m talking about fuckability.  Our culture has a sick and perverse notion of what constitutes fuckability in a woman.  Many older women, who grow bitter and cynical and desperate before their time, pass beyond fuckability.  Tant pis.  Others keep their fuckability alive.  Our culture needs to be more alert to their erotic power.

A CALL TO ALL SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF LIBERTY

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Preserve the Constitution, break the crony-capitalist grip on Washington — these are the only goals that matter right now.

You can afford to vote for any politician who takes strong positions in support of these goals, even if you disagree with them vehemently on other issues. You cannot afford to vote for any politician who takes weaselly positions on these goals, even if you agree with them enthusiastically on other issues.

Don’t get distracted — keep your eyes on the prize, which for the moment is nothing less than the survival of the American republic.

THE END OF CRONY CAPITALISM

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I’m not a fan of Ralph Nader, but he’s just published a new book, Unstoppable, which argues that a powerful new political alliance could emerge between those on the left and those on the right who oppose the crony-capitalist state, another word for plutocracy or oligarchy.

So far the Crony-Capitalist Democratic Party and the Crony-Capitalist Republican Party have implemented an ingenious strategy for preventing such an alliance.  It involves getting the left and right to argue about hot-button issues to divert attention from the plutocratic agenda of both parties.  Corporate America, which owns the government, doesn’t care what label politicians wear as long as they do its bidding.

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The Crony-Capitalist Democratic Party has supplemented this strategy in Presidential politics by trading on the glamor of electing the first African-American President, and will soon substitute for this the glamor of electing the first female President.  Obama and Clinton are both spokesmodels for the plutocracy — something the plutocracy hopes Americans won’t notice.

The big hot-button issues at the moment are gun control, gay rights and abortion.  Americans are deeply divided on these issues, which can arouse passions that drive rational thought, and even practical self-interest, from the mind.  Is there any way around this?  Can anti-oligarchic citizens on both sides of these issues find enough common ground to form an alliance against the oligarchy?  Could they even decide to put these issues on hold for a few years in order to take the country back from the corporations?

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Well, liberals might face the simple fact that a comprehensive reform of gun regulation has no practical hope of being enacted any time soon.  We might be able to close the gun-show loophole — something a large majority of Americans across the political spectrum support.  Could anti-corporate folks on the right brave the wrath of the NRA and join with liberals to support this?  Maybe.

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Abortion rights are under grave assault at the state level in certain places, but there’s very little that can be done about this on the Federal level.  Abortion rights will be preserved in principle as long as Roe v. Wade holds, and it will probably hold for a long time to come.  National leaders are not going to have much effect in this area, one way or the other.  Could those on opposite sides of this issue face up to those facts and agree to disagree on the underlying values involved?  Maybe.

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Gay rights is a movement that is now irreversible, largely due to the rulings of courts.  Gay marriage is becoming legal in one state after another and will inevitably be legal or at least recognized everywhere.  That battle has already been won, or lost, depending on your point of view.  Could conservatives accept that fact in the interest of an alliance with those on the other side of the issue?  Maybe.

And maybe an agreement to sidestep the hot-button issues is the only hope we have of creating a movement to take the government back from the corporations.  It’s worth a try.

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I suggest a summit meeting between Rand Paul and Elizabeth Warren in Belle Fourche, South Dakota — the geographic center of the fifty United States.  Surely they both must realize that they have more in common with each other, in terms of what a Federal official might accomplish, than either of them have with Hillary Clinton or whatever corporate stooge the Crony-Capitalist Republican Party puts forward to try and stop Paul.

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Slaveholders and abolitionists once made common cause to support the Constitution — an excruciatingly painful compromise, but one worth it in the long run.  What men and women have done, men and women can do.

LITTLE MAN

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I’ve always thought that Chris Christie was a mean-spirited sort of jerk, but I’ve never hated him the way many progressives seem to hate him — until now.

There’s something about the George Washington Bridge scandal that nauseates me. It’s just so shabby, so arrogant, so petty, so ugly. I realize it doesn’t rise to the level of misconduct of a Barack Obama, but there is something magnificently, grandly evil about Obama’s attempt to gut the U. S. Constitution during the course of his two terms in office.

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Even the Tea Party’s willingness to wreck the U. S. economy rather than accept political impotence has a kind of expansive lunatic folly to it that is impressive. But the GW Bridge scandal is just sad, pathetic, the work of people who have the souls of insects.  The whole thing sickens me.