Please Cut the (Glenn) Beck!

Let me start off by pointing out that, as you will see from the bulk of my posts on this blog, I am a happy, shiny liberal, when compared to many in the progressive blogosphere. This country has been one of the greatest in the history of the world. We have experienced a higher standard of living than any other country in the history of the world. And for a long time, we were the only country in the world which at least tried, on paper, to create an actual meltimg pot out of our population, albeit as long as you weren’t too incredibly brown.

And we are still making progress in many ways. This country is becoming increasingly tolerant of more and more people and cultures and even sexual preferences, and our laws have kind of forced people to at least give people a try whom they wouldn’t normally even talk to. In many respects, people have more rights now then they had back in the olden days. This, despite of the neocons running the country, and doing their damnedest to reverse all gains made during the civil rights era.

But we are not the same country we were. In some ways we are better, but in many other ways, we are worse off. Our economy used to float all  boats, and now, it barely floats any. The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer, but that’s not even the worst part of this economy; the worst part is, the people in charge don’t care. They think it’s a good thing that large companies control nearly every business there is, and prevent entrepreneurship to a very large degree. We are no longer the largest economy in the world, and we are in serious danger of becoming little more than a marginal economy. We spend more money on "defense" than every other nation on Earth, combined, and yet, we show remarkable weakness, except in our rhetoric. We cower in fear at the slightest provocation, and we have become all too willing to give up our rights, just to buy what certain people tell us is a little safety and security.

The bottom line is, this country should still be great, but the
neocons are taking us to the cleaners. They steal our tax money and
give it to people who don’t need it, they give their buddies tax
breaks, while saddling us with mounting debt, with no plan to pay it
off. They make us less safe, but talk big. They have urinated on our
Constitution for 28 years, and it’s time we called them on it, and said
something about it.

I am sick to death of big mouth neocons who find nothing better to
do that whine about liberals all day, and ignore the damage their own
people are doing to this once-great country. And here’s a perfect

Glenn Beck is typical of the wingnut preachers. He’s a former
alcoholic and drug addict, who thinks his experiences make him better
than anyone else. Here’s a hint, Glann, they don’t. Here’s a guy who,
in typical wingnut fashion, thinks everyone else is weaker than he is,
despite the fact that most of us were able to make it through life
without ever turning to alcohol or drugs in any significant way.

So, I’m cruising around the CNN site, and I see this piece:

Commentary: What’s right with America? Plenty

In this piece, Glenn (or more likely, Glenn’s ghost writer; I’ve
heard him speak) cites an editorial that few people ever saw, from the
Philadelphia Inquirer, in which the author suggests that the United
States shouldn’t celebrate its independence this year, because our
Founding Fathers would be ashamed of what we’ve become. Beck, of
course, disagrees with that sentiment, and I can’t say I disagree with
him. That sort of thing is over the top, and besides, one of the great
things about this country is the fact that the people have the power to
change it whenever they want.

No, what bothers me is the "What’s Right with America" section.

See, there are a lot of things "Right with America." For example,
we’re still free to say pretty much whatever we want, as long as we
don’t say it within half a mile of a Republican. We are able to post
blogs like this one, and promote them to anyone we want. And as neocons
like Beck, Hannity and Limbaugh will find out soon, when things get too
far off the track, the people have the power to pull them back. And
like I said; it’s a struggle, but this country is becoming more and
more tolerant, and is actually showing signs of fulfilling its promise
of everyone being equal.

Did Beck cite any of those things as being what’s right about
America? Oh, hell no! No, instead, Beck cited things that are
definitely not right with America, and claimed that everything was just
fine, that his neocon handlers have done a wonderful job, thanks, and
that there is no reason to change a thing. The following is directly
from his column:

right with America? How about the way we educate our children. Sure, I
complain a lot about left-wing professors and how some wealthy private
universities hoard their billions while charging obscene amounts for
tuition, but the truth is that our universities are always ranked among
the best in the world.

Students aren’t fleeing America to go to college in Japan,
India, or China — it’s the other way around. We open our colleges and
universities to more than 80,000 foreign professors, scholars and
educators a year and we have more students in college right now than
those three countries combined.

Where do I start here?

The United States still has the best public school system in the
world, despite the fact that the neocons have been trying to kill it
for 30 years or more. It’s local systems and individual states that
have kept the schools on track, despite increased meddling from the
neocons running the government. The only problems with schools has
traditionally been the uneven funding levels, and neocons have made
that worse. Inner city schools, that were severely underfunded back in
the day when local school districts had to depend on property tax
revenues, used to have the federal government closing some of that gap.
And while they get more funding now than they used to, the neocons have
been cutting, cutting, cutting for 30 years, and no one has tried to
make up for the previous decades of shortfalls.

Now, we have the neocons attacking schools again, with their
lamebrained "no child left behind," which uses standardized tests to
determine which schools are doing well and which aren’t, and actually
PENALIZING those who don’t meet the standard. When liberals ran the
system, our literacy rate doubled, the number of high school graduates
soared, and reading levels went through the roof. Numbers have only
been flagging since the neocons in the federal government have seen fit
to insert themselves into local school affairs.

What’s right with America? Our world-class universities don’t require
you to have an elite family name or Rockefeller-type wealth to get in.
We don’t care about your race, gender or nationality. You just have to
be smart enough and work hard for it. What a concept, huh?

It’d be a hell of a concept, if it was true…

No one would even begin to suggest that our
university system wasn’t one of the best in the world. But because of
neocons’ attempts to starve the system, it is much more difficult for
students to get into a university, and students now routinely graduate
and enter the workforce saddled with a six figure debt, before they
even pay one dime in taxes. And over the last eight years, the amount
of money available to prospective students by federal financial aid has
dropped precipitously, at the same time they’ve cut direct aid to those
universities, and cut money allocated to states, thus requiring states
to increase tuition. Our kids may have a greater ability to be accepted
at a good university, but the neocons have made it more difficult to
actually afford it, and have insured that one entire generation will be
in debt up to its eyeballs, even without including the high taxes
they’ll be forced to pay when the national debt comes due.

right with America? How about the way we treat the less fortunate? With
no help from our government, Americans gave a record $306 billion to
charities last year alone. We give twice as much as the next closest
country and, relative to the size of our economies, we give 1,000
percent more than the French.

This has always been
a great thing about this country; our ability to give money to others
less fortunate. Unfortunately, that’s become more necessary, because
the government isn’t doing the right thing when it comes to our tax
money. America the country has become one of the stingiest in the world
under the neocons, which is why charitable giving among individuals has
been so strong; it’s had to be. Still, I don’t completely disagree with
him on this one.

right with America? It’s not just the wealthy who are generous.
Two-thirds of American families making under $100,000 a year give to
charity. Compassion is ingrained in our culture like no other.

See above. Apparently, Beck had to mention this one twice, to make up for the boner he’s about to make below.


What’s right with America? How about our supposedly third-world
health care system? We spend more on health care per person than
Switzerland, Germany, Canada, or any other country you can think of. Do
we still have problems? Absolutely, but don’t fall for "the grass is
greener" crowd; every country has health care problems.

Fully 20% of our population only has access to health care if they are
deathly ill. We spend twice as much on health care per person because
of inefficiencies within the system. This is the only country in the
industrialized world in which people have to go to an emergency room or
urgent care to get their child treatment for a cold. This is the only
country in the industrialized world in which someone can die because
some private insurance bureaucrat can nix an operation, over the order
of a doctor. This is the only country in the industrialized world in
which the individuals with insurance pay an average of $14,000 per year
in medical insurance payments for their family, even though they only
make $50,000 per year. This is the only country in the  industrialized
world in which someone can work all of their lives, and pay into the
system all of their lives, but get sick at the "wrong time" and lose
everything they worked for. This is the only country in the
industrialized world in which getting sick can send you to bankruptcy
court. And it’s the only country in the industrialized world in which
people who want to pay into the system are not allowed to, because
they’re deemed too likely to use health care.

We have the best doctors and the best medical facilities in the
world, and yet thousands of people die every year for lack of
treatment. Worse, many people with insurance are not treated properly. To have such great doctors and medical personnel, and still be 37th in the world in key health statistics, points to a serious problem. To spend more money than anyone else in the world, by far, and be 37th in key health statistics, points to a serious problem. And that one person dies because he or she is denied medical care for lack of ability to pay, is nothing short of shameful.

And I would note that the biggest problems other health care systems have stem from the abuses within our system.Yeah, that’s right, many of the problems in other health care systems can be traced to our stupidity when it comes to health care. But I’ll get to that in another column.

(By the way, Glenn… How’s your recovery from botched ass surgery coming?)

What’s right with America? We love our country. World Values Survey
found that 77 percent of Americans are very proud of their nationality.
That puts us in a first place tie with the Irish. Australia was next
and no one else was really even close.

This has to be the stupidest of all. I’d be willing to bet that, if you asked Iraqis if they were proud of being Iraqi, 77% would say, "hell yeah! Now get the hell out of our country!" If you were to ask Germans as late as 1944, you’d probably find at least 77% of them proud of being German. There is nothing wrong with being proud of the country of your origin, or of the country you adopted. I’m very proud of my country, and I love it. That’s why it pisses me off so bad when people like Beck and his compadres urinate on what this country’s about.

This asshole Beck has sat and watched, and joined his fellow "entertainers" in pissing on the Constitution, and pissing on everyone whose political views don’t match theirs. They have stood by as President George W, Bush has screwed us every way but Sunday. He supports an ideology that makes victims of the strong, refers to the weak as parasites, and considers war the only way to protect our democracy. He advocates for an administration that has been robbing us blind, trashing our reputation around the world, and has shown nothing but incompetence for eight years, and he readily calls anyone who disagrees with him "unpatriotic."

See, I’m proud of my country, which is why I think we owe it to this great country to call them as we see them. People like Beck and his ilk are a urine stain on America, and little more. I will protect their right to say the stupidest things possible, and my right to call them idiots.

That’s what’s right about America…

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