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Martin Eden

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 11,853

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I have mixed feelings about the MAGAverse dumping Trump

Of couurse the Orange Abomination needs to be relegated to the trash heap of history, but freepers and other assorted deplorables have not had their hearts changed by some Christmas miracle awakening.

No, they're just finally realizing Cheeto Jesus has become The Loser Guy. They will instead turn to DeSantis or whichever MAGA Messiah rises to become the standard bearer in the march towards the Christofascist America that is their heart's desire.

Dumping Trump will increase the likelihood of GQP success in the 2024 elections.

The greatest possible service Mango Mussolini can render our country is to stick around long enough to destroy the Rethug Party from within, increasing its toxicity with internecine warfare between establishment R's and loyal supporters of the Frankenstein monster they created.

Hate "has to be constantly cultivated"

That cultivation can come from within, or from deliberate manipulation by outside sources.

Individuals suffering psychological pain and fear are capable of becoming serial killers or mass murderers as their mental pathologies grow from early trauma and a lack of the sustaining human relationships we all need. Where love is absent, a person can cultivate hatred and turn it loose on others through horrific acts of violence.

John Lennon was onto something with "All you need is Love." We also need food, clothing, shelter, education, healthcare, etc., but it takes a special kind of inner strength and mental discipline (such as Rubin had) to keep your shit together in the absence of direct and sustained contact with human kindness and love.

It is a tragedy and a failure when children and people of all ages are abused or denied the nurturing all human beings need.

It is evil and destructive to society when ambitious politicians deliberately cultivate hatred pursuant to their own wealth, fame, and power. They know how to manipulate the insecurity, ignorance, and prejudice in their target audience by turning kernels of truth into crops of lies then placing the blame on "others" who are not like them. Add to that the unfettered access to high powered firearms designed for rapid killing.

Thusly we can at least partially understand the horrific plague of mass shootings in our country. Human psychology and motivation haven't really changed, but today's mass media and the internet have increasingly isoloated us from each other while multiplying the tools used by those who divide us against each other.

What is the solution? I don't subscribe to religion, but if we all made an effort on a daily basis to truly embrace what Jesus tried to impart to us we would have a chance to replace the cultivated hate with something better.

In order to get the love and kindness we all need, we have to freely give it.

TLG couldn't build the wall, but he built a Tower to his own Ego

That metaphorical tower is crumbling at its foundations, and its lone resident is beginning to realize it is in the process of crashing down.

Cheeto Jesus will not dwell quietly in the broken rubble of his giant yet fragile ego. He will rage, rage against the dying of the megalomaniacal image he constructed of himself.

In his malignancy and hatred he will lash out in nihilistic vengeance and take down with him, to the extent that he can, everyone and everything he blames for his own flaws and failures -- which he can never blame on himself.

But he largely will fail in his efforts at destruction, because the tower he built was being held up by the one thing he is rapidly losing -- real power.

He may for a while instigate a war within the Republican Party using the leverage of his brainwashed voting base, but the politicians who formerly kissed his orange ass will drop him like a rotting potato when fealty to The LOSER Guy no longer serves their interests.

Because that fealty was always transactional, by political creatures whose only principle is their own quest for power.

I had the same thought about the 9/11 hijackers

The pundits and politicians were calling them "cowards" but it takes a lot of courage to go into a foreign country, hijack a jetliner, and crash it into a building.

Pointing this out does not condone the terrorist act of murdering thousands of innocent men, women, and children. Nor does it lend any legitimacy to the warped poisonous ideology that misled these men into sacrificing their lives for a cause in which they obviously passionately believed.

The intelligent way to counter that poisonous ideology is not with simple minded mischaraterizations but with a deep dive into the history and current circumstances which drive human beings to commit such atrocities.

To understand them is not to justify their actions. On the contrary, the key to defeating an enemy is to understand his motivations and the context which gave rise to the poisonous ideoligy which has such profound influence not just on an organized terrorist group but on a significant swath of the population.

In our effort to better understand the situation which brought mass murder to our shores, we must not avert our eyes from our own actions overseas. An intelligent foreign policy that serves our best interests and national security requires regular reassessment of our past mistakes, current associations, and future geostrategic considerations -- while keeping in mind our highest ideals and how the United States of America can strive towards being that shining city on the hill that inspires others around the world to follow our lead.

I joined DU in 2002 while GW Bush and the PNAC neocons were manipulating the American people through a systematic campaign of misinformation into supporting an invasion of Iraq which was part of their written agenda before the 9/11 attacks.

We have seen the consequences of their misguided attempt to remake that troubled region by military force. The long occupation of Afhanistan and the brutal war in Iraq demonstrated the limits of American power, badly tarnished our image in the eyes of the world, cost us dearly in blood and treasure while inflicting untold suffering and death on the people who live there, and metastasized the cancerous ideology that gave rise to ISIS.

In our names the administration of GW Bush committed war crimes in a country that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. He, his vice president, and others belong in prison instead of leading lives of wealth and privilege.

I find it ironic that the daughter of Dick Cheney is now making a stand now to save our own democracy, but that is another matter and I've rambled on long enough this morning.

What REALLY turned me off to Bill Maher...

...was not that I sometimes disagree with him or that he's always a smug narcissist, but that he's often woefully unprepared to counter the BS spewed by some of the vile rightwingers he invites on his show.

Within the last year or so he had Steve Bannon on for his opening guest. Maher's questions were intended as "gotcha" traps, but Bannon's responses were rapid fire narratives that cleverly dodged the original question with the kind of seemingly valid points which all too often fool the uninformed.

Maher was overwhelmed and unprepared to counter the barrage of lies so he'd make an offhand remark, say OK, and move on to the next question only to get owned again by an evil propagandist who is clearly much smarter than him.

If I was Elvis Presley I would have shot the television.

I still see almost every show because my wife finds it interesting and entertaining compared to other such fare and we have some good conversations of our own about the content, but if it was up to me I'd flip the channel or read a book.

I've had enough of Bill Maher and pretty much can't stand him anymore, even if he is occasionally spot on or funny with his New Rules.

Social Security and Medicare are EARNED BENEFITS

I PAID for these earned benefits with deductions from my paycheck during my entire working life.

Republicans give huge tax cuts to the rich and get us mired in extremely costly wars of choice -- jacking up federal budget deficits.

Then they point to the budget deficits, put on their fake "fiscal conservative" masks, and argue that ENTITLEMENTS are bankrupting the government and must be cut back.

Remember Grover Norquist and his goal to "shrink government to a size that can be drowned in a bathtub"?

Republicans WANT budget deficits.
Republicans NEED budget deficits.

Budget deficits ARE ESSENTIAL to their LONG TERMS GOAL to DESTROY Social Security and Medicare.

Their policies futher enrich the oligarchs who finance their political careers, feed the military industrial complex, and jack up budget deficits pursuant to transfer even more wealth from working Americans to the super rich by robbing us of our earned benefits.

I like Neil Young a lot, but I disagree with:

"Both sides represented on the same program."

Giving equal airtime to the Big Lie of a stolen election, anti-vaxx conspiracy theories, and false narratives about CRT in public schools only serves to lend credibility to the destructive falsehoods we are struggling to overcome.

By all means we should have civil fact based discussions with different views regarding the role of government in addressing real problems and potential solutions, but only one side is currently rooted in reality and a pragmatic good faith approach to such matters.

Pavlovitz: I Don't Grieve Over His Cruelty. I Grieve Over Yours.

John Pavlovitz is a writer, pastor, and activist from Wake Forest, North Carolina. In the past four years his blog Stuff That Needs To Be Said has reached a diverse worldwide audience. A 20-year veteran in the trenches of local church ministry, John is committed to equality, diversity, and justice—both inside and outside faith communities. In 2017 he released his first book, A Bigger Table. His new book, Hope and Other Superpowers, arrived on November 6th.

I Don’t Grieve Over His Cruelty. I Grieve Over Yours.

I really don’t care about him.

I know you think I do, but my sadness really has nothing to do with him.

I know who he is—and more accurately, I know what he is.

I know that he is just a mirror.

He has simply revealed clearly the disfigured ugliness of the place I call home and the people I live here alongside—and that is the thing I grieve over. And this is not the mourning over a singular loss, it is a daily grieving.

I grieve when I see elementary school teachers dressed up like a border wall for Halloween.
I grieve when I see white a woman screaming obscenities at two Muslims teenagers at a stop light.
I grieve when I see a Jewish professor’s office littered with spray-painted swastikas.
I grieve when I watch a father of four being tackled by ICE agents outside immigration offices.
I grieve when I witness white high school seniors making a “Heil Hitler” arm gesture during class photos.
I grieve when I see the contempt from white friends, when young black men die at traffic stops.
I grieve when I find the most vile sickness on my social media feed, hurled toward people of color and women and transgender people.
I grieve when I hear professed Christian pastors calling for the killing of LGBTQ people.
I grieve when I see rambling, racist tirades on subway cars filled with families with young children.
I grieve when I see supremacist candidates being elected and re-elected.
I grieve when I overhear dehumanizing conversations from old, white men, about Democratic women leaders, in crowded cafés.
I grieve when I sit across holiday tables, and witness bigoted tirades that I’d have thought people I knew and loved were not capable of.

And though all of these things are undoubtedly emboldened by him and encouraged by him and celebrated by him—that is not the source of my despair. It is the reality that all of this vicious, toxic, filth that we are infected with today—is something you are largely fine with. The rising hatred is not alarming or discomforting enough to you, to move you to action or to speak against it.

Oh sure, you might inwardly twinge with discomfort at one or two of the most egregious offenses, but by and large you’re good with it all.

With your silence, as much as with your volume, you show me you are more with him than you are against him, that you are more like him than different from him—and that you and I are increasingly morally incompatible.

So yes, he is a mirror, and I am seeing you my countrymen and women through him.

That is why I grieve, friend.

That is why I don’t see America or my church or my neighborhood or my family the same anymore, and I’m not sure I ever will again.

The greatest tragedy to me, isn’t him. It isn’t that the person supposedly leading our country lacks a single benevolent impulse, that he is impervious to compassion, incapable of nobility, and mortally allergic to simple kindness.

The greatest tragedy, is how many Americans he now represents.

And that he represents you.


"sex education"

"Abstinence only" and reduced access to birth control will result in more unwanted pregnancies.

And more abortions, regardless of state laws.

This issue is, first and foremost, a means by which the malefactors of great wealth manipulate the gullible into voting against their own interests.

The oligarchy doesn't care a whit if pregnancies are terminated among the peasantry. The money changers in the temple are motivated to increase their own status and power.

My Response to the Election wasn't posted during the down time, so here it is now:

Since Tuesday I have run the gamut of emotions – shock, horror, disbelief, fear, anger, grief, and sadness. I am a 59 year old straight white male born in Chicago, yet I feel like a foreigner in my own country. I am having a very difficult time wrapping my mind around any reasonably informed adult of normal intelligence voting for a bigoted, misogynist demagogue so wholly unqualified and unfit to be President of the United States. Donald Trump is a sociopathological liar who took the already uncivil discourse of our national politics and dragged it down into a subterranean chamber of horrors from which any sane person should turn away in revulsion. He appealed to ignorance, bigotry, and the very worst impulses of the American people – and won.

I grieve for everyone who will be hurt by the grotesque fraud who will occupy the most powerful elected office on the planet. I grieve for our planet and all the living things upon it impacted by the degradation of ecosystems and climate change resulting from placing the avarice of fossil fuel extraction above the health of the environment which sustains life itself.

Part of me wants to turn completely away from politics, living what remains of my life as best I can without the anxiety and heartbreak of striving for economic and social justice only to see those hopes cruelly dashed upon the rocks of ignorance and hatred embraced by far too many in this once great land of ours.

Maybe, hopefully, the profound sadness I feel now will be replaced by a determined resolve to join with the millions of others who know this world can be made into a much better place for our children and the generations to come. Their future depends on us. Only love can, and must, conquer hate.
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