Saturday, May 21, 2016

What Rightwingers & Libertarians Mean When They Use The Words "Freedom" & "Liberty" (Thom Hartmann Rant #9)

The following is an excerpt from the 5/19/2016 airing of the Thom Hartmann Radio Program (edited for brevity and clarity by me). Thom briefly shares his thoughts on the abuse and misappropriation of words in the English language (prompted by a remark from a caller... which I have excised).

Thom: The words that I think are most abused are "freedom" and "liberty". These are words that have been appropriated by the Far Right to mean, basically, the freedom and liberty of the billionaire class... to do whatever they damn well please. [While] the rest of us are free to die like dogs in the gutter. If lose our jobs, if we lose our health insurance [there should be no social safety net programs there to help us]. I'm aghast at how these words have been appropriated by the [Right and by] Libertarians.

Taxing rich people to pay for government programs that benefit us all represents a "morally untenable position". Yes, people in the middle class (as well as those who qualify as the working poor) pay taxes, but much of the burden falls on the wealthy. Boo-hoo for them. That they make a majority of the money and therefore pay the majority of the taxes is so sad. They (rich folks) need the freedom to do with "their money" as they please.

Large corporations also need the freedom and liberty to pay low wages or export jobs to low wage countries (and import goods manufactured in these countries sans tariffs). Which is why the Koch brothers founded the Cato Institute (originally the Charles Koch Foundation) and consider themselves to be Libertarian (OST #61).

But the truth is that, if you "pull up libertarianism's floorboards, look beneath the surface... you'll start to get a sense of its purpose". Which is to serve the interests of the billionaire class. (The True History of Libertarianism in America: A Phony Ideology to Promote a Corporate Agenda).

This is something that Libertarianism and the modern Republican party have in common... freedom and liberty for the rich man... and serfdom for the poor man ("right to contract" in Conservative doublespeak).

SWTD Tags: Libertarianism, Thom Hartmann.

DSB #44

Friday, May 20, 2016

Not Able To Comment On The RNUSA Blog

This commentary concerns the blog Rational Nation USA. The screenshot (below) should given you an idea of a technical issue I'm encountering on this website that is preventing me from accessing the comment box. (Click image to enlarge).

As you can see from the image, the RNUSA website is appearing as a jumbled mess. Text that is supposed to be contained within the blog's lefthand sidebar is spilling over into the main panel. And (I'm guessing), that when I hover over the comment box, I'm actually hovering over the lefthand sidebar. Thus it is impossible for me to get into the comment box and type anything.

Meaning, that unless this problem resolves itself, I'm effectively banned from commenting. BTW, I did try 2 different browsers (Chrome and Firefox) with the same result. I also tried using my tablet, but the problem persists. It's possible the problem has something to do with the fact that my internet connection is currently being throttled because I've exceeded my monthly data cap (which I'll be able to determine when my monthly data allowance is refreshed Monday night), but I'm thinking this is a Blogger issue.

The sidebar on most blogs is on the right, whereas with RNUSA it is on the left. If the sidebar is on the right (where is should be) text cannot spill over onto the main panel. Because text, always being left-aligned, can't flow in that direction (can't flow over the main panel from the sidebar when the sidebar is located on the righthand of the screen).

I mention this in case the problem is not on my end, but some sort of Blogger technical issue. The blog host might want to move his sidebar from the left to the right of the screen. If this is a problem that other people are encountering and it isn't just me that can't comment on his blog (I'm saying).

On the other hand (if nobody else is encountering this problem), I guess I'll just have to wait and see if it resolves itself (after my allowance resets, or if the Blogger technical glitch is fixed). Whatever is causing the problem, for now I cannot comment.

For the record, I did notice this issue a couple of times in the past. However, after the page finished loading, everything that was supposed to be contained within the lefthand side bar was stuffed back into it. Currently that isn't the case... the page remains a jumbled mess even after it finishes loading.

DSB #43

Thursday, May 5, 2016

If gop Preznit Nominee Trump Promises To Appoint Ted Cruz To SCOTUS #NeverTrump Wingnut Author Tells Glenn Beck Then He'll Vote 4 Him

The following via the Cruz-supporting Glenn Beck website.

Ted Cruz's defeat on Tuesday may have pulled the plug for some in the #NeverTrump movement, but not for Brad Thor. The New York Times best-selling author joined The Glenn Beck Program on Wednesday [5/4/2016 to discuss the] "only one way that I will move out of the #NeverTrump camp... and that would be to put Ted Cruz into Scalia's seat at the Supreme Court". (This One Thing Could Convince Author Brad Thor to Abandon #NeverTrump by Jonathan. 5/4/2016).

"Glenn pointed out many people are arguing a vote against Trump is a vote for Hillary" and Brad Thor replied "Right — and no to Hitler was yes to Stalin"... so Trump is Hitler and Hillary is Stalin? And yet Thor would vote for Adolf Trump, if only Donald J. Hitler promises to appoint Ted Cruz to the Supreme Court?

Nevermind that this appointment is, constitutionally speaking, Obama's to make. Thor adds, "We've now seen who really stands with liberty, who is a constitutionalist and who is in this just for their own". Ha ha, he made a joke. But actually, no. That was no joke.

Anyway, who the heck is "Jonathan" (dude the article is credited to)? Damned if I know and damned if I care. Someone who works with Glenn, I'm guessing. Brad Thor (for the record) is "is an American thriller novelist [and] a member of The Heritage Foundation [who] has spoken at their national headquarters on the need for robust missile defense". Also, "Thor has said in interviews that he shadowed a Black ops team in Afghanistan in 2008 to conduct research for his thriller The Apostle [and, additionally] because of the content of Thor's thriller The Last Patriot, Glenn Beck predicted incorrectly that he might be assassinated by Muslim extremists".

Interesting, because (regarding assassinations) Thor said (during the Beck interview) "I think we will see unprecedented assassination attempts on Donald Trump"... which I doubt. Because (1st of all) he's very likely going to lose spectacularly to Hillary Clinton.

Secondly, the assassinating-types (extremist militia groups who want/wanted Obama dead) are Rightwing. I'm not saying that nobody will want Trump dead, but "unprecedented assassination attempts" against a White Conservative is stretching it bigley IMO. Keep in mind that under our first African American POTUS "the rate of threats against the president has increased 400% from the 3k a year or so under President gwb" (Source).

But back to Thor... he sez "far be it from me as an author to lay out the meaning of words, but perhaps the hashtag should be #NeverEverTrump... I mean, it can't be more clear than that. Never - you know, this is coming from the left. I thought no meant no to the left. Does never not mean never?".

Obviously (given the FACT that he laid out a scenario under which he WOULD vote for Trump) never must NOT mean never (to him). Hashtag should be #NeverTrumpUnlessCruzSCOTUS.

Audio: Snippet of Glenn Beck and #NeverTrump advocate Brad Thor conversation from 5/4/2016.

SWTD Tags: 2016 Election, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Glenn Beck, Hillary Clinton, SCOTUS, Ted Cruz.

DSB #42