Occupy Common Sense

I’ve said it before. I think the Occupy movement is amazing. It has the potential to change things for a lot of people. I WANT it to succeed. I WANT the landscape in America to change. It’s no longer possible for just anyone to simply work hard at a decent job and make a good living. Economic opportunity, which used to be our hallmark, has largely dried up in many areas of the country, and the “rust belt” is getting rustier and spreading. We have become far too dependent on speculation and bubble economy, and we’ve eschewed real capitalism, in which people make something or provide a service and get paid for it, for some pseudo-capitalist claptrap that’s based on the concept of taking money from someone for doing absolutely nothing, and giving yourself a bonus for thinking of it. 

In other words, I get it. Hell; I wrote about it more than a month before Adbusters came up with the idea of “Occupy Wall Street.” (Serfin’ USA?

And for a while, the Occupy movement was good. It was gaining strength, and it was spreading worldwide. But as I suggested might happen when it first started, it’s turning into a something of a mess. And it’s turning into that because there's no focus, and there is no leadership. By focus, I don’t mean one single solitary message; it can be a theme.  And when I say leadership, that doesn’t mean one person who tells everyone what to think or do. I’m talking about a brain trust that oversees where the overall focus is and tries to keep that on track.

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Why Joe Paterno Had to Go. Now.

There was no other choice. He had to go.

Joe Paterno was ousted last night. After 46 years as the head coach for one of the most illustrious college football teams in the country, after 15 years as an assistant, his record as a football coach was almost without peer. He helped mold the lives of thousands of Penn State students, both on and off the football field. After 61 years of service, he earned admiration as something of an icon by the school.

Even now, I am tempted to say, “No one can erase his record of achievement,” but I can’t bring myself to do that. No matter what good he did over the course of 61 years, he failed miserably at the one job, above all others, that we all have as members of society. He failed to protect our most precious and vulnerable asset when they needed him most; our children.

A few days ago, the Pennsylvania Attorney General released its grand jury report on the investigation into former Penn State Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky’s raping of children. Any of you who think I’m going overboard by saying Paterno squandered his legacy has to read this. We’re not talking about molestation here, which would be inexcusable enough; we’re talking about several cases in which Sandusky allegedly raped young boys, and ruined their lives. If you can read this report and not cry with rage, then you’re just plain cold hearted.  I’m all for letting the process work, and referring to Sandusky as an “alleged” pedophilic sick monster at this point. But unlike Joe Paterno, I insist he stay locked up until trial, just in case everyone telling their story under oath is actually telling the truth.

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Why We Have to Stop Arguing With Right Wingers; They’re Insane!

I saw this posted elsewhere earlier today, and found it interesting. It was posted by a hard core right winger; someone who thinks the Tea Party is just swell, that Obama is a Marxist Kenyan Muslim and that Bill Clinton and his wife are pretty much Satanic.  This list is representative of just how ideological most right wingers are, and how they think of those of us on the left. Not only are they wrong about what makes a “good liberal,” they also cannot think beyond the prism of their own ideology. They are completely enslaved by it.

I’m posting it in its entirety, and responding to each one, because this can be a learning tool. Ultimately, what you should learn is, there is no point in trying to convince these people you’re right. There is no point in arguing incessantly with people like this. Instead, speak to reasonable people; people who can learn that not everything they’re told is true. 


In order to be a Liberal …. 

1. You have to be against capital punishment, but support abortion on demand. 

First of all, not all liberals are against capital punishment. I obviously can't speak for all liberals, but the reason why I think  capital punishment is wrong has to do with a simple, basic problem; it’s not just.  The justice system is incapable of determining guilt or innocence with an absolute certainty, so an absolute penalty is just inappropriate. In our system, there are just too many mistakes; an irreversible penalty is just plain wrong. On the other hand, our prisons are mostly impenetrable, and it is possible to keep people in prison for life without a problem. What purpose is served by killing them?

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What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Got an interesting email today, from Jame Hamsher, at Firedoglake. Now Jane and I don't always see eye to eye, politically, but I think she's generally honest with regard to money. I also have no reason to believe the fundraising appeal in this email is in any way hinky, except for the language of the email itself. I'm highlighting the section I found strange:

Firedoglake Activist,


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Politics 101: Obama and EPA Rules; He’s Not Caving, He’s Saving EPA Rules

It sometimes amazes me how clueless many on the far left are when it comes to politics. Some seem incapable of seeing anything but the short game, and refuse to see the effect of an action on the long game. 

Politics is a game of calculation. Every action you take has an effect, and you must evaluate the effect of an action before you take it, because the effect of that action could have the opposite effect of what you intend. To simply do something because it's "the right thing to do" at that moment in time is often irresponsible, depending on the circumstances surrounding it. 

To demonstrate this, I’d like you to read a post entitled “The stupid politics behind Obama’s ozone cave,” for a blog entitled “Grist,” which is subtitled “A Beacon in the Smog.” This post is politically tone deaf.  Look at how it starts:

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Assessing Right Wing Assessments of Phony “Liberal Mythology.”

This was posted at The Weekly Standard this past week, and I found it interesting. This is kind of a microcosm of how the far right thinks liberals – or at least the folks they refer to as “liberals” – actually think. It actually reveals the level of delusion most on the far right suffer under, which is substantial. Keep in mind, according to his biographical blurb at the end, this guy has written a book about political campaigns. The first thing I learned about political campaigns was “know your opposition.” He obviously knows nothing about his.  

The article lists the top ten “myths” we liberals supposedly live under. As usual, this is posted in its entirety, with my comments IN RED. You can click on the article’s title to see the original.

Mugged by Mythology 

Liberals believe the darnedest things.

SEP 12, 2011, VOL. 16, NO. 48 • BY JEFF BERGNER

Sometimes talking with liberals is perplexing. You never know what claim they will make next or what name they will call you. Take David Axelrod’s response to Standard & Poor’s recent credit action: He calls it the “Tea Party downgrade.” Amazingly, he blames the United States’ loss of its AAA bond rating on the one group that has sounded the alarm about our fiscal crisis. How did the president’s leading adviser come up with a label so detached from reality? 

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The Professional Left is Killing Us; Example #1

Okay, if you want an illustration as to why the left can’t win an election, this is one major example. This post, from Daily Kos, received more than 1300 comments, so I assume that it was read/seen by a lot of people, although not enough to swing an election. But the complete and utter horseshit contained therein points to an understanding of politics that is so vapid, it’s killing us. And by killing US, I mean the progressive movement.

Now, I’m not picking on “MinistryofTruth” in particular; he/she/it is far too typical. But our side has to win elections, and we can’t do it if the loudest segment of our political side keeps on whining and pissing and moaning, and refusing to understand how to win elections.

The post can be found here. I pulled this, in its entirety, from the site this morning (August 29), and I’m not sure when the update was added. Follow along. As always, my comments are in RED.

Dear Hippy-Punching fanboys, this is BULLSH!T, if you want me to work to re-elect Dems, knock it off

by MinistryOfTruth

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Jane Hamsher — Are You NUTS???

This is, without a doubt, the stupidest fucking post I have ever read on a left wing blog. I left it intact, and added my comments, which are in bright red.  If Hamsher objects, she knows how to contact me.

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Everyone Should See This Short Video

Robert Reich is a genius. Pass this on to everyone you know who thinks the economy is complicated. It’s not. 


Breitbart Should be Ashamed. If Only…

It seems Andrew Breitbart can't handle criticism on his own blog, because he's blocked my comments there, so I'll put it on mine. More people will read it anyway.

If you consider yourself a journalist, or even just a truth-teller, and you EVER have this asshole on your program, or quote him in your news article, you should be ashamed. This guy is the uncle we all have and won't talk about, who has strong opinions about everything and everyone, and shares them with everyone, true or not.  Breitbart 2

Most of the shit he posts is made up of pure lies. Once in a while, he gets a fact right, and he actually expects us to believe everything else he's ever said, even when it's been proven wrong repeatedly. He was the linchpin in the James O'Keefe bullshit stories that brought down ACORN,  which were later proven wrong. He was the one who first proffered the story that Shirley Sherrod was a racist, which was proven wrong, and for which he's been sued. He keeps on saying things that are untrue regarding the Pigford settlement, and a lot of other things, too numerous to mention. (I've written about these bullshit stories and the one on NPR on this blog, HERE and HERE, which is one reason, I'm sure, why he blocked me on Twitter, as well.)

But as bad as he's been in the past, what he did today should certify him as a completely untrustworthy douchebag. 

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