Patriotic Bachmann Renounces Suisse Citizenship

Michele Bachmann is so loyal to the constitution that she renounced her citizenship; her Swiss citizenship that is.  Her husband’s parents are Swiss, which entitled her to dual citizenship.  She claims some children in her family wanted to become dual citizens.  Actually, being a Swiss citizen would have enabled her to run for public office.  I’m not sure she speaks a language other than Middle Western English, which is not one of the official languages of Switzerland as far as I know.  Switzerland is the country with CH stickers on its cars – which by the way stands for Confederation Helvetica – and the country beloved for its cows, chocolate and banks.  Were she to be elected, my guess is that she’d promote pink slime, try to privatize the health care system and  make English the official language.

It is strange that she would want to be associated with Switzerland, one of  those “socialist style” European countries.  Switzerland has near universal health care with an individual mandate.  For the Swiss, Bachmann’s pursuit of citizenship and quick renouncement was all a bit of a joke.  As reported in the Atlantic, one Swiss commenter said, “we have enough loonies in our country already”.  The article went on to say that the Swiss felt she might have gotten on well with the far right People’s Party, known for its xenophobia.

Unfortunately, it looks like Michele Bachmann is here to stay in the good ‘ole US of A as a rabid member of the Grand Old Tea Party of NO.

Will Students Get Out the Vote for President Obama?

This was one of the articles I saved from my New York Times news feed for comment:

Students Lose Enthusiasm to Fight For Obama Again

This may be true but only a problem if students don’t vote, but I think they will.  Many students and recent graduates are involved in the various Occupy Movements.  They may have lost their enthusiasm for the President, but who else would they vote for?  Certainly not any of the front running Republican candidates.  The corporate pizza guy, Herman Cain, said of the Occupy participants: “they are trying to destroy the greatest nation in the world.”  Gingrich declared them “destructive, hostile and anti-civilization”.  Mitt Romney argues that corporations are people, with rights, and presumably feelings too, a stance that will surely not garner many Occupy Movement votes.  I don’t think Ron Paul cares a thing in the world about income inequality, but he has gone on record as supporting the protesters if they are against “crony capitalism”.  While the Occupy Movement would like to dismantle practices that have led to the growing disparity of wealth in this country, Ron Paul would like to dismantle the government.  I don’t think this is what Occupy folk have in mind.

As Laura Flanders asserted on Up with Chris Hayes today, if the Occupy Movement is going to be as successful as the Tea Party, they need to start backing political candidates to take the fight to Congress.  And I assert that otherwise, all that youthful energy, the camping out, the sign making, the demonstrations, proclamations and organized chants, the arrests, the occupations, will have all been for naught.


New Country for the Ultra Right

I was thinking…something I do from time to time…about how the ultra extreme wing of the Republican party including many who identify with the Tea Party movement held the country hostage in the debt ceiling negotiation. On the Situation Room with Wolf Blizter Fareed Zakaria explained that the debt ceiling negotians were un-American in that the Republicans’ negotiation tactics were and I’m paraphrasing Fareed here: “you either do what we want, or we’ll blow the country up”. As he further explained, this is un-American in the sense that an unwillingness to compromise is against the principles of government and democracy as laid out by the founding fathers, a government with shared powers that was meant to govern by compromise or consensus.

I’m getting tired of a small band of ideological radicals telling me what is best for the country and saying that it is the will of the people. Bullshit. Will of the country? How can this be when the approval rating of Congress is 14%, the lowest in the history of the U.S.

Sometimes I feel like we are in the midst of a Civil War of ideologies. It seems that a small but vocal element wishes to live without a government….god fearing anarchists. Maybe that’s extreme but maybe not so. Why don’t these folks create their own country. Buy some land from Montana – I’m sure they can spare a few thousand acres if the price is right. This could be a haven for those who wish to create their own government, if they chose to do so. The founding fathers and mothers, if women are allowed, might adopt the following principles:

  • Freedom of religion, as long as it involves Jesus.
  • Church and state are one in the same.
  • Freedom of speech as long as the speech is without opinion.
  • Guns, Guns, Guns.
  • Drill baby Drill.
  • No taxes.

Only the facts can be spoken. And the facts are these:

  1. Climate change is a hoax.
  2. Man never stepped foot on the moon.
  3. The world is only 1,000 years old.
  4. Darwin was a Marxist devil.

I don’t know how this new country will generate revenue as the citizens will be against taxes. I guess it will be run on the principle of volunteerism. Volunteer fire, police. What sort of government would emerge is an open question. It might be a theocracy in which case it could collect tithes and offerings to build roads, and schools. It could also attract lots of industry who could pollute with immunity, transact business without any regulations or oversight, free to make unlimited profits without regard to the community or its workers who of course would not be allowed to unionize.

The country would need a president, and I have some possible names. Mitch O’Connell, Sharon Angle, Sara Palin, Michelle Bachman, Christine O’Donnell, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor. Supreme Court, if they chose to go in this direction could be made up of Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, the Koch brothers, Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush and Rush Limbaugh.

Good luck!

Tea Party and Energy Policy

A Happy New Year 1867, A Happy New Year 1917

After some of the worst man made disasters in modern times, it’s hard to believe that the Tea Party still wants to dismantle regulatory roadblocks to expanded drilling and mining.  I thought “drill baby drill” was the most embarrassing catch phrase to come out of Sara Palin’s mouth and would be put to rest after the BP oil spill that nearly destroyed the Gulf Coast.  I was wrong.  In fact, according to an article in the New York Times, key Tea Party leaders are upset with Republicans for not standing tough during the lame duck session and for not selecting Tea Party members for important leadership positions.  The New York Times referenced an opinion article in Politico in which co-founders of the Tea Party Patriots, Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin expressed disappointment in the Republicans appointee of Fred Upton to head the Energy and Commerce Committee saying that Republicans “are not serious about expanding the nation’s energy producing capability”, which they claim America is desperate to do.  To achieve this, regulatory roadblocks would have to be dismantled and safety concerns dismissed. Is this really what Americans want? Do most favor the reckless plunder of our natural resources with little attention to human and environmental costs? Have they forgotten about the deadly mining and drilling accidents of 2010 that could have been prevented had there been more regulatory oversight? Are Tea Party activists aware of the economic and environmental impact of deep water offshore drilling? Do they know that the fishing industry of the Gulf Coast may never recover from the BP oil spill?  I think they do and they don’t care.   But the Tea Party does care about the special interests of the oil and gas industry whose profits they seem duty bound to protect.


I have never been to a tea party rally, nor do I plan to attend one, but if I ever do, I’ll bring my camera and notebook and a couple of signs.  One would be END CORPORATE WELFARE and the other, STOP FLUORIDATION.

I imagine the signs would generate a lot of debate.  I might even be slapped around with tea bags for demanding that big business stop begging for subsidies and tax breaks.  I’d be branded a socialist for daring to interfere with free market capitalism. The key word here is free, and not free to you and me.  Corporate loopholes guarantee a free market where the business class have free reign.

My STOP FLUORIDATION sign might win some supporters and keep me from being forcibly removed from the rally.  Now, I’m really not against fluoride being added to the public water supply – the sign is simply my admissions ticket to the rally.  I’m actually not a big fan of tooth decay; never have been.  But apparently, there are people out there who don’t mind occasional tooth rot.

Fluoride is as American as apple pie, or so I thought.  I was surprised to learn that only 61% of Americans have access to a fluoridated public water supply.   Some communities have sufficient quantities of naturally occurring fluoride in their groundwater and don’t need more.  Other communities though, have flat out rejected fluoridation schemes for a number of reasons including perceived health risks, the costs associated with its implementation and for the reason that toothpaste is sufficient to fend off tooth decay.  But by far the most interesting objections focus on conspiracy theories that link fluoridation schemes to government plots to stupidify the population to facilitate mind control.  Extreme elements of the tea party might find a way to blame Obama, or Obama’s father, or argue that because Obama has not stopped fluoridation projects, this is evidence of his socialist tendencies. “Obama is trying to take away our right to tooth decay…live free or die,” they’d say.  “What do we want?  TOOTH DECAY.  When do we want it?  RIGHT NOW.  I can see the poster of a water bottle (which by the way would not likely have any fluoride in it) with a picture of Obama wearing a white oxford shirt with a hammer and sickle emblem on the front pocket.

Just so you know, if you thought you were getting fluoride in your bottled water, think again.  Almost all commercial spring water contains no added fluoride, though you can find some premium waters that do.  If you drink bottled water and do not have access to fluoridated water, you’d better brush your teeth six times a day and whatever you do, stay away from Mountain Dew.

For those of you against fluoridation, might I suggest also protesting the addition of chlorine to pool water, preservatives and flavor enhancers to food like salt, which might be iodized (oh, no!).  And take a stand against the sinister DEET chemical in bug repellent.  And say no to seat belts and vaccinations because the founding fathers would not have had it any other way.  Well, except maybe John Adams who knew a thing or two about disease prevention.

Tea Party – It’s all in the Signs

What is the Tea Movement?  What are they all about?  As far as I can tell, they are radicalized Republicans who subscribe to the just say no platform of the party.  From the signage at the Tea Party rallies, protesters mainly target Obama and have done so with seething attacks that are often racialized and laced with conspiracy theories.  Some of the signs are ludicrously nonsensical (Obama compared to Hitler) or suggestive of something that is simply not true – that Americans have lost all freedom, that Obama is a Muslim, a socialist and not a U.S. citizen.  In all my years, I have never seen such hate and disrespect aimed at a sitting President.  This is truly unprecedented, alarming, unpatriotic and bordering on sedition.

I’d like to briefly comment on some of the signs from various Tea Party events documented on Wikimedia.

Taxed Enough Already – then why not favor a tax cut for the middle class? Obama does.

Dissent is Patriotic – I couldn’t agree more.  But dissent requires civilized debate, not crazed yelling.  Fomenting conspiracy theories, disrespecting the President and general rabble rousing is not patriotic.  And simply saying no, is not dissent.

Obama’s Plan White Slavery – not much to say about this one except it smacks of racism.  In fact, Obama’s policies provide a safety net for all Americans who are unemployed and health care for the millions who are uninsured.

Free Market not Freeloaders – the suggestion here is that the government should have no role whatsoever in providing for the general Welfare of the country and its people.  Actually this is the purpose of the government as laid out in the Preamble of the Constitution.   An unregulated free market is what got us in this economic mess in the first place.  The problem is that too many big corporations are still freeloading by not paying their share of taxes.  If I ever attend a Tea Party rally, I will bring a sign that says End Corporate Welfare.

No Socialism, Keep America Free – on this, I’d say go to school and study history.  As to freedom, America is free; if it weren’t, there’d be no rallies, or elections.

Where’s the Birth Certificate – where’s your birth certificate?

My Budget Can’t Afford Your Deficit – who did you vote for in the last two Presidential elections prior to 2008? The deficit is a legacy of Republican plunder.

Jesus is Lord not Allah – Christians worship Jesus; Muslims, Allah.  We are still free in this country to practice any religion we want and free not to practice any if we so chose.   And for the record, not that is matters to me, Obama is a Christian, not a Muslim.

I’ve Had Enough Change We Can Bereave In and Now We’re Broke – Well, you should have thought about that when you voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004.  We’ve been broke for a long time, and change is the only way back to solvency.  Encourage your party to participate in policy making rather than simply being the obstructionist party of no, full of slogans, bereft of ideas.