Tag Archives: evolution

Stuck in the middle

I noticed during my reading this morning that someone else — maybe Andrew Sullivan? — had beaten me to the punch on this one, but I’m gonna say it anyway.

The purpose of the debt debacle is to gather ammunition for an impeachment.

Frankly, I’m surprised the whackadoodle House hasn’t already done that. Guess they’re setting it all up just in case Obama wins a second term and they get their expected majority in the Senate. #seenthismoviebefore

It’s been clear since the Clinton presidency that Republicans, especially the wackier end of their spectrum — which is about all that’s left now — do not see any Democratic president as legitimate. Look at the crap they pull. Lying about Al Gore’s statement about the internet. Swiftboating John Kerry.

They’ve had a hard time with this president. The Kenya thing hasn’t gathered much traction. He’s not getting blow jobs in the Oval Office. What better to do than trash the economy completely and let him take the fall, right out the door.

Isn’t that what they said in the very beginning? That they wanted him to fail? Nothing about wanting the country to succeed, just wanting this particular president to fail.

That’s just the Republicans in Congress, of course. The rank and file have other ulterior motives, most of which are egged on and stirred by the Congresscritters and their bosses in the right-wing hit media. The rank and file, they’re just rabble, y’know, but rabble can serve a good purpose when you get ‘em all stirred up with lies and fearmongering. The not-even-below-the-surface racism is a sure-fire hit.

Add my beloved see-no-evil-hear-no-evil-speak-no-evil colleagues to the mix and you have the most dysfunctional country in the world this side of Somalia. In the civilized world, the main response has been one big “WTF.”

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear. There isn’t a debt crisis. That’s wholly manufactured by the right, spread by the media and bought lock, stock and barrel by Democrats. Making this Custer’s Last Stand is a little like having a huge argument over whether to pay the water bill while the house is burning down.

So while all this political posturing goes on, Americans are still out of work, have no insurance and are sinking in this morass of an economy launched on the downhill fast track by Ronald Reagan.

See, here’s the thing. Government revenues are down because the rich skate and because unemployment is high. Spending is up because we’re fighting three wars (at least) and unemployment is high.

The rabid see the common denominator there — unemployment — and thinks the answer is to cut social services. The rest of us see the common denominator and think, “We need to raise revenues and cut out these bullshit wars.”

Three percentage points. From 35 percent to 38 percent. That’s all letting the Bush tax cuts for the rich would do — raise the rate three points. And that’s not on all the rich’s income. That’s only on income above $250,000. That’s why it’s called “the top rate.” But the Republicans can’t let go of this “raising taxes” meme — because it works on the rabble, who will never hear that the United States has one of the lowest tax rates in the world.

They won’t hear it because they only listen to the echo chamber that echoes their own views uncritically. Easiest way in the world to control a significant number of voters.

Speaking of echo chambers, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it so finely tuned. For days, it’s been harping on Obama — “where’s the plan,” say all the pundits, the presidential cabinets and the rabble that completely lacks any ability to think for itself because, apparently, that’s socialist. Never mind that it’s the job of Congress to come up with the plan.

When the House passed Boehner’s debt bill the other day, my inbox was full of press releases, by Twitter stream full of tweets — all talking about Obama’s supposed “lack of leadership.” I may actually agree on that one, but not for the same reasons. After all, what do they think all those meetings were?

As I’m writing this, the players announce they have a deal. It pretty much sucks, all the way around. Who’s surprised? Rock, meet hard place. It could be a whole lot worse though, and it could be a whole lot better. And, of course, the echo chambers are in full force. The Republicans are declaring victory except where they aren’t, and the progressives are declaring Obama a complete and utter failure worse than George W. Bush and possibly Herbert Hoover.

Just a little note on that and then I’ll get to my real point: The spending cuts don’t go into effect until 2013, the very same day the Bush tax cuts for the rich are set to expire. Let’s see what happens between now and then.

Now, my real point. Progressives, this is something we are just going to have to learn to live with: We will never, ever, ever get legislation we can approve of unconditionally. Ever. Never. Not. Gonna. Happen. Know why?

Ever heard of the bell curve? It looks like this. And in the case of society, the bell curve is constantly in motion. Moving forward. Progressing. Always. At times the people on the curve move backwards, or regress, but the line itself — forward.

So what you have is progressives out on the forward end of the curve. There aren’t very many. As you get closer to the center, there are more people on the line. Then once you pass over the very center, the numbers decline again until you get to the Tea Party, where, again, there are few.

So, you say, shouldn’t progressives and Tea Parties get their way about an equal percent of the time, seeing as how they are roughly in equal numbers?

Well, no. And here’s why:

Remember, the line is moving forward, into the unknown. Progressives are driving that forward move. The Tea Partiers are back there at the end of the line trying to at least hold it still and if possible pull it backwards. They get more of what they want all the time because of a) inertia and b) fear of the unknown, both products of the vast middle. But, because society does march ever onward, progress happens regardless. Just considerably slower than any of us want. It’s the evolution of humanity.

So, anyway, back to my original premise, that this whole mess is about impeachment or some other way to delegitimize the presidency of Barack Obama. It’s what they do. They hate Democrats, liberals, progressives, progress, change, open society, growth and especially people of color and queers. It’s who they are. Obama may not be much of a progressive, or even a liberal sometimes, but he’s a pragmatist about where we are. And here we are, stuck in the middle.

 

 

Oh, evolve

The great evolutionary changes of this epoch are in the mind. No, I don’t meant you’re imagining them. I mean they’re taking place in the extraordinary workings of the nerves and synapses of the brain.

It’s a little like growing up. Kids start out with no ability to reason. Gradually, they learn. They learn that hitting their friends to get what they want isn’t a good idea. They learn that Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny aren’t real. They learn that everybody’s parents aren’t just like theirs.

Some kids take longer than others to learn. Some kids never do — they get stuck somewhere, for some reason, and never become wholly adults. You know the type. You’ve seen them at 40, angry at the world for not giving in to their every demand, blaming everyone but themselves for their ills.

They’ve never grown up, never evolved past that time in the distant past when their parents gave them everything because they were too small and helpless to fend for themselves. And now they see anything good and decent happening to and for other people as a direct affront to themselves, to their own deep-seeded feelings of inadequacy.

Society, humans — we grow up too, as a group. But since we’re made up of individual humans who are all at different levels of growing up, the group doesn’t mature all at once. The group has to wait for its individual members to push it to the next level. Kinda like how sometimes, when we’re younger, some parts of our bodies grow faster than others. Look at kittens, with their giant ears. They’ll “grow into them” the way a human child might have exceptionally large feet at 8 and “grow into the them” by 12.

We humans are “growing into” a new (for many), more cooperative and compassionate way of looking at the world. We’re evolving, becoming more human.

The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer says firefighters in Tennessee, who stood by and watched a house burn to the ground because the homeowner hadn’t paid a $75 fee, did the “right thing,” the “Christian thing.” If that’s the Christian thing, or even the right thing (which it most definitely isn’t), then I want no part of it. It’s not the human — the humane — thing to do.

Fischer says critics “have fallen prey to a weakened, feminized version of Christianity that is only about softer virtues such as compassion and not in any part about the muscular Christian virtues of individual responsibility and accountability.”

Really? I say the firefighters who just stood there — and the fire chief who ordered them to — have fallen prey to a cynical, inhumane version of humanity that is only about having no virtues at all and not in any part about the very human virtues of compassion and a desire to help out your fellow man (and woman).

Those firefighters, and their chief, are still children. Their decisions weren’t about “individual responsibility and accountability.” They were about screwing the guy who didn’t play by the rules they set up. And that takes us to whoever it was who devised this system. Those guys are nothing but playground bullies. They turned their backs on Gene Cranick when he said he’d pay them anything if they’d save his house.

The firefighters responded to the call in case the fire spread to any neighbors who did pay the fee, which it did, and that fire they doused. That guy had given them his lunch money, bought into the protection racket the other children of Obion County put in place.

The right thing? In whose world? Oh, right. The conservatives’ world. The one where everything should be privatized because wealthy businesspeople know best how to run the world. And if you don’t agree, well, you’ll lose everything you own when your house burns down.

Kinda like not voting for an extension of unemployment benefits in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

More evolved people would never have set up such a system. They know that society functions best when its individual members band together. In smaller groups, order can be easily maintained with consensus decision-making. But as the group gets larger, some kind of governing structure needs to be in place.

The founders of the United States put in place a pretty good system. Sure, it’s flawed, as were the founders — although they were the most evolved people of their day. But now the less evolved have grown up enough to learn how to circumvent the protections put in place by those men. They’ve learned how to convince other unevolved people of the “wisdom” of their ideas, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

We, on the other hand, can’t stoop that low. We just can’t. Once upon a time, we could. Once upon a time, the left had no problems lying or instigating violence to get what it wanted. But we’ve grown up since then. We can’t do that anymore, because it’s wrong. Just like standing by while some poor schlump’s house burns down.

It’s evolution, plain and simple. Cro-magnon man won the race with neanderthal man. Progressives will win the race with regressives. But there’s no reasoning with them — they lack the ability to reason. They can’t see what we can see, just like somewhere out there are people who see far more than we can, who have evolved beyond our comprehension.

It’s a small world for the unevolved. Every indication of change is a threat. They band together tighter and tighter while we expand our horizons and look beyond the immediate. They look to myths and legends to answer questions we know have answers in science and knowledge.

Humans have progressed and still are progressing, always will. But every human society must contend with those too fearful to go forward, those who would much rather go to back to times they think would be easier — when answers came from some higher place and humanity didn’t have to think for itself or look beyond immediate families or tribes for protections. Because other families, other tribes, were too threatening.

We don’t live there anymore, and we’ll never go back, no matter how hard they try. They can only make things harder for themselves — and for us.

No wonder they don’t believe in evolution. It’s the one constant thing, the one thing they can’t bear to contemplate.

Next up, I take on the New World Order, and the NWO wins.