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Truth To Power

the strong do as they wish, and the weak suffer as they must

Archive for July, 2011

The sad life of Bobby Franklin

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Cobb Rep. Bobby Franklin found dead in home

EAST COBB — State Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-east Cobb), who was found dead at his home just before noon on Tuesday at the age of 56, had complained about chest pains on Friday.

I am ashamed to say that my first reaction to reading about the death of Georgia Representative Bobby Franklin wasn’t exactly admirable. Clarence Darrow said it best: “I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.” I’ve written about Franklin before here. I wasn’t kind to the man back in January, because he didn’t merit any. As I wrote then, legislators such as Franklin- or Michelle Bachmann- are completely useless when judged solely on the amount of actual work they produce, but as cheerleaders for “the cause” they are stellar. Bachmann mounts a presidential bid based on nothing more than being photogenic and quotable. (Much like our current President…). Only a nation as opulent as ours can afford, as I said then, “The luxury of nonsense”.

Franklin was a theocrat, who stated on his website the following: Representative Franklin has been called “the conscience of the Republican Caucus” because he believes that civil government should return to its biblically and constitutionally defined role. . For that alone he shows himself to be unworthy of holding elected office; there is no “biblically defined role” for government- in fact, its one of the tenets this nation was founded upon. If Bobby Franklin wore a turban and spoke Farsi, then the likes of Herman Cain would run him out of town on a rail, because evidently Franklin believed that there should be no separation of church and state.

But this is not meant to belittle the dead, but rather to share what struck me once I got past my initial reaction to this man’s death. This devoted Christian died alone, with no family near him. He had been divorced for quite a while, and his children were grown. It was only when he didn’t show up for church (after complaining of chest pains) that people began to wonder, and eventually police had to enter the house, finding him dead in bed.

That is sad. Sad for a man who clearly thought his life’s calling was to be an advocate for God via the legislative process. A man who believed us to be a Christian nation, despite all evidence to the contrary- and the law. How a man chooses to spend his life is his business, and if he wants to be a legislative Don Quixote, “forever tilting at windmills” so to speak, unable to achieve anything of note in his chosen profession, well, that was between Franklin and the voters of his district. A district that I lived in briefly and thankfully escaped, feeling trapped by pious pricks lauding their wealth and looking down their noses at anything marginally different than the habits of the swim/tennis communities that sprawl across this part of metro Atlanta. They kept electing this guy, year after year since 1996, and got little to nothing for it. He passed no real legislation, instead spending his time with attaching anti-abortion riders to other unrelated bills, attempting to return Georgia to the gold standard, and introducing legislation to change the language of rape cases from “victim” to “accuser”. Rather unchristian behavior, it seems to me, but since I’m not one, I can’t really judge his faith except in comparison to others. Folks such as Hosea Williams, legislator and minister who fed thousands each year at a massive Thanksgiving buffet, or Jimmy Carter, who builds shelter for the homeless.

Franklin, as far as I can determine, did nothing such as this. He devoted his life to being, essentially, an easily dismissed buffoon known more for idiotic- and unconstitutional, don’t forget- attempts at lawmaking, instead of using his faith and public office to actually do something, anything for those in need. No, Bobby Franklin was more comfortable with the judgmental aspect of faith, not the charitable. He was much like the former co-worker who I watched for three days during the horror of Katrina attempt to get a semi full of Gideon bibles to New Orleans. When I finally could take no more and asked why didn’t he try to get a truck full of say, WATER to those poor people, he was deeply offended and replied “People need bibles too!”. Not as much as they need food and clean clothes, you self-serving shithead. I imagine Franklin would have sided with my Gideon co-worker, unfortunately.

The Catholics say “Faith without works is dead.” And it died alone in an empty house, after achieving what, exactly? Now that is sad.

“A trend of lying and cheating in this country”

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

So sayth Bill O’Reilly…who then goes on to prove it.

Look, once the public school system embraced secularism, Moses and his crew with the Ten Commandments were banished.”

For the record- something you’ll never rely upon Fox News to provide, but just so we’re clear, the event to which Captain Morality is referring to is the Atlanta school cheating scandal, in which 178 educators were found to have changed students answers on standardized tests in order, in part, to qualify for federal cash via programs such as No Child Left Behind. No students have been cited as participating– a fact that O’Reilly and his minions undoubtedly knew. But never one to let mere facts get in the way of his culture warring, O’ Reilly lays the blame for the scandal on, you guessed it, not enough Jeebus. Not the drive to compete in the score-oriented, students be damned world of “teaching the test”, not the immense ego of Superintendent Beverly Hall and those under her who wanted to shine in the academic world for higher salaries, none of that. Nope, it was because we didn’t teach kids about Moses.

The funniest part of this is, of course, that O’ Reilly blathers this nonsense as his employer, Rupert Murdoch, stands poised to watch his media empire crumble- because he cheated and lied. The entire reason for the existence of Fox News and the rest of the Murdoch empire is to funnel cash into Rupert’s pockets. If he has to gin up a few wars for the United States, paint Obama as a “jobs killing Marxist” or delete the voicemails of a dead girl, if it made Murdoch- and those contemptible enough to work for him money, well, that was all the morality necessary.

But it really gets good when the contractually required airhead blonde starts to babble:

“I think it’s getting worse,” Crowley remarked. “I think with the proliferation of media, too, you get an echo chamber where kids out there, okay, see people in authority, whether it’s the president, whether it’s members of Congress, Anthony Weiner or Barack Obama saying I’m going to cut the deficit my first term and blows it out of control. Or if they see O.J Simpson walking away committing a double homicide, getting away with it, Casey Anthony. They are learning the lesson of what they see out there in the culture. They are constantly thinking, ‘Hey, I could get away with it too.’

Let’s take a glance at this unremarkable for Fox statement:

I think with the proliferation of media…” The Murdoch media empire is the largest on Earth, so the “echo chamber” was by design. A carefully crafted house of falsehoods, slander and criminal activity- to sell newspapers and TV ads.

“Anthony Weiner or Barack Obama…O.J. Simpson…Casey Anthony” Lets link in the viewers minds Democrats and murderers, just in case you hadn’t been watching the previous 23.5 hours of the day. Of course, no mention of the lies of George “WMD” Bush, John “Hush money for mistresses” Ensign, or the score of other GOP lying sacks of crap.

“They are learning the lesson of what they see out there in the culture.”
To wit, it’s ok to lie a nation into war, torture isn’t really torture, and if you raise taxes on the top 1% of the population, the world will end, but teachers, cops, and infrastructure, they’re expendable, and if you happen to bring this up, you’re engaging in “class warfare”.

“They are constantly thinking, ‘Hey, I could get away with it too.’” O’Reilly, how about you ask Dr. George Tiller about that one. Oh right, you can’t- in part because you ramped up the rhetoric about “Nazi stuff” and how Tiller was a “murderer on the loose”…until he wasn’t anymore, right Bill? Or perhaps Glenn Beck’s obsessions that in part drove Byron Williams to try and start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU. “I would have never started watching Fox News if it wasn’t for the fact that Beck was on there. And it was the things that he did, it was the things he exposed that blew my mind.”

Indeed, we have a trend of lying and cheating in this country. You can see it in every waiting room, on every wall of televisions in every Wal Mart. It’s called Rupert Murdoch and Fox News. O’ Reilly, heal thyself…or step off the edge of a building. Either would be a good start to eradicating this “trend of cheating and lying.”

The Shock Doctrine comes home

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

I was fascinated to read Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine and its gripping saga of “disaster capitalism”, which can be quickly summed up as “making money out of misery”. Born from the ideas of legendary economist and poster boy for selfishness, Milton Friedman, you basically create a situation wherein a large amount of money is needed for basic survival, and offer it- with strings. The strings include privatization of natural resources, suspension of regulations relating to business, and usurious interest rates. From the 1971 coupe in Chile to the fall of the Soviet Union, the first guys on the scene (because they generally stage-managed the event to begin with) are carrying calculators, keeping a running total of just how much is available, and how cheaply can they get it. Of course, you needn’t create the disaster- your basic Katrina or tsunami will work just fine to give the money men an in, it only matters that the society you’re attempting to rob blind be on its knees- or at least, they think they are.

Welcome to America, the firesale, 2011.

If you were to only listen to our national media, you would think this country consists of nothing but unemployed losers getting tossed out of their house. We apparently don’t have the money to fund police in Texas, or women’s healthcare in New Hampshire, heck, the entire state of Minnesota is seemingly too broke to even stay open.

Its all bullshit, of course.

Our country is grotesquely wealthy- or at least some parts of it are. Defense contractors are doing swell, and nobody running a hedge fund seems to be using WIC vouchers to get their pate’. House Republicans- who raised the debt ceiling seven times under George Bush – suddenly don’t want to pay out the money they themselves voted to spend- which sounds mighty close to dereliction of duty to me. They are abetted by Goldman Sach’s boy at the top, Barry O, who is hectoring irate Democrats to shut their yaps about chipping away at Social Security, despite the fact that Social Security has absolutely nothing to do with the debt limit, and is fully funded until at least 2036.

When I read Klein’s book, I found it fascinating to watch how countries reacted to getting raped and robbed, and wondered what America would do. Apparently, we haven’t noticed yet, since a white girl killed her baby or something. Of course, we didn’t say anything when families from the Lower Ninth Ward were loaded into buses during Katrina and scattered across country, so that developers could walk off with their property for pennies. We didn’t say much when that pasty white fuck governor in Wisconsin, with a Koch brother’s hand on the back of his head, stripped the public unions of what little power they had, and forced the state into economic turmoil simply to give tax dollars to his rich backers. By the time the recall process up there finally works, he and his buddies will be sitting pretty on the wealth of his citizens, and we’ll have yet another failed state on the flag. Doubt that will matter much to the likes of Eric Cantor, who will actually make money if the US defaults on its debt– which, to my way of looking at it, is enough to force him to step down immediately. Then again, we have a court system stocked with theocratic jackwads from Liberty U and big business buttsuckers like “Who Me, Corrupt?” Clarence Thomas, so our recourse ain’t gonna be via the courts.

There’s always voting, right? Funny how the very people most likely to be effected by this faux crisis are the very ones most at risk for losing their right to vote, funny that is, until you realize that people actually sit down and write laws to keep the elderly, the poor and minorities from exercising their most basic right in this nation. Despicable. And even if you manage to vote, what will it get ya?

Barack Obama.

Oh, it was change all right. Instead of getting fucked by the right, you get sodomized by the left. He’s not a Marxist, he’s worse- he’s a Friedman. When our nation faced a economic crisis brought about in large part by uncontrolled defense spending and lax regulations of Wall Street, what did he do? Started more wars, and tossed bags of cash at bankers. Instead of actually doing something progressive about health care, he gave us mandates- and hints at raising the benefit age for Medicare.

I drive around metro Atlanta and see cars already sporting “OBAMA 2012” stickers, and I just have to wonder…does the man actually have to come into your home and hold you up at gunpoint before you get it? The Shock Doctrine leads, apparently, to the Stockholm Syndrome.

An errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill.

Friday, July 8th, 2011

These three possibilities provide a kind of Rorschach test for one’s views of the administration – Obama is either a Manchurian progressive, the capitulator-in-chief, or is cunningly playing the game two steps ahead of the crowd.”

Funny, isn’t it, how people scramble over themselves to attempt to “understand” the actions of Obama. From DADT to his latest salvo, the “putting everything on the table” – including that previous “third rail” of Social Security- the left keeps wringing its hands, wondering where that progressive icon you convinced yourself you elected went.

Ha.

First, while he might have mouthed appropriate leftist statements re: gays, or Iraq, or torture, he’s a politician. Hence, it’s all bullshit, fed to fools, in order to fill time on TV. He meant exactly none of it- or some, who knows, but in any event, all of that stuff are simply fringe issues to why he was hired. Because you and I didn’t “elect” Obama, he was hired to do a job by money. Marlon Brando said it perfectly in Apocalypse Now:

You’re an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill.

That bill is your money. It’s the taxes you spent on roads that never get repaired. It’s the taxes you paid that fund wars that enriches money, and money only. It’s the deductions from your paycheck every week to Social Security, soon to be pilfered. It’s the bill due for the off-shoring of our manufacturing base for the short-term gain of money. Money is simply hoovering the last scraps off the table of America like a glutton at an all you can eat buffet.

Corporate profits are way up, tax rates are at the lowest since the ’50s, the stock market is rosy- somebody is making money. Your money. Democrats reacted as expected to the floating of the Social Security notion, squealing in impotent outrage at the latest turn of the screw against the common man. But its all sound and fury, signifying nothing. If money wants social security gutted as yet another slush fund for hedge fund operators to gorge themselves on, so it shall be. Be thankful he hasn’t written an executive order nationalizing your 401k. Of course, he might wait until you blinded, “better than the GOP at least” lemmings re-elect him to actually steal that, but he will.

And to this notion that Obama is somehow a better option than say, Michelle Bachmann? Sure, he might not want to outlaw porno and put gays actually in jail, but otherwise? He’s jailed more whistle blowers than Bush, raided more medical marijuana facilities than ever before, and decided one afternoon to wage war against Libya all on his own. He should be impeached, of course, but if we didn’t bother to try against the Bush/Cheney regime, we certainly haven’t enough sac to try it now.

Our nation since Reagan has become an increasing cruel and insane place. I’m ashamed- and somewhat fearful- that I live amongst people that would strip women and gays of basic rights, that would shut down an entire state to give more bags of cash to money, and on and on. But I’m more afraid of those who will continue to defend the insanity. Our nation isn’t broke, it’s been robbed.

“As through this world I’ve wandered, I’ve seen lots of funny men;
Some will rob you with a gun; And some with a fountain pen.”

Obama was hired to hold the pen. Nothing more, nothing less.