Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Rightwing lunatics with a national platform are now calling for a military coup in the U.S.

From Crooks and Liars:

From John L. Perry at Newsmax:

There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America's military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the Obama problem. Don't dismiss it as unrealistic.

America isn't the Third World. If a military coup does occur here it will be civilized. That it has never happened doesn't mean it wont. Describing what may be afoot is not to advocate it. So, view the following through military eyes:

Did you get that? Perry doesn't advocate a military overthrow of the Obama administration, he's...just sayin'. Does anyone doubt that we'll see "military coup" signs at the next tea party? Mr. Perry believes he has the pulse of our military, but his assumptions go beyond the pale, straining the limits of credulity:

Top military officers can see the Constitution they are sworn to defend being trampled as American institutions and enterprises are nationalized.

They can see that Americans are increasingly alarmed that this nation, under President Barack Obama, may not even be recognizable as America by the 2012 election, in which he will surely seek continuation in office.

They can see that the economy ravaged by deficits, taxes, unemployment, and impending inflation is financially reliant on foreign lender governments.

I realize that pretty much 100% of my posting of late has been exlusively about how insane the conservatives of this country have become since Barack Obama became president. But I can't really seem to help myself. At first, I thought it was going to be fun to watch. Now, I just sit back and watch with dispair. I hadn’t realized how low what passes for rational discourse by what passes for rational adults could go. And, I am absolutely positive that it will continue to decline.

I just saw at Talking Points Memo that Newmax has taken down this post. And, of course, the author of this piece of dreck comes out with the same old song and dance. He wasn’t advocating a military coup. He was just talking about the possibility. Yeah. Uh-huh.

I just don’t get what these people think they are seeing. What could President Obama possibly be doing that would somehow justify a military coup? What? What has got these people so upset that they truly believe that the President of the United States is “trampling the Constitution?” What causes them to weep during townhalls and state that they “want their country back?” President Obama wants to make sure that everyone in the country has adequate healthcare coverage and that the current system doesn't drive the huge deficit even higher than it already is? That the President is trying to save the economy from going under like the Titanic after it hit that iceberg? What? Yeah, I understand all about racism masquareding as political protest. I understand sore losers who think that Republicans should win every single election. I understand people with an overblown sense of entitlement being upset when they see those entitlements slipping away from them. But really. Some of this stuff is absolutely crazy.

I have a question for these asshats. Well, I have several hundred, actually. It was somehow the end of the world when Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks said, while performing in London, that they were ashamed that President Bush was from Texas. But it’s O.K. to have web based polls to vote on whether Barack Obama should be killed? It’s O.K. to talk about secession from the country, which is about as un-patriotic as one can get, I would think. It’s fine to openly discuss the possibility of a military coup? Je-ZUZ. But the question I was thinking of is this. If somehow conservatives were successful in removing Barack Obama or getting him to step down, would they then be satisified with President Joe Biden? That would somehow make everything O.K.?

Captain Picard grabbed from Watertiger at Dependable Renegade.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Glenn Beck is given the key to the city in Mt. Vernon, Washington.

He also addressed a crowd of “about 7000” at Safeco Field in Seattle. I was very upset when I learned that Beck was from around here, Mt. Vernon being about 45 miles north of here.

I am not sure what it is about the Pacific Northwest that produces lunatics. However, I am convinced that we have more than our fair share. There was Ted Bundy, of course. He started his killing spree about 15 minutes away from where I work. And there was the Green River Killer, who worked about five miles away from where I work. And, more recently, there was the Washington D.C. sniper, who lived in Tacoma and actually bought his high powered rifle he used to pick off innocent people around D.C. while hiding in the truck of his car, specially modified for that purpose. And there was the lady (I believe she was a female) who wanted to kill her husband, so she tampered with a bunch of bottles of Tylenol, laced them with arsenic and put them back on store shelves, all to hid the crime of killing her husband. I also think the lesser known (nationally) Hillside Strangler in Spokane was originally from here. Ann Rule has made a good living writing about horrific criminals from here, including a book called the I-5 killer.

Personally, I think it has something to do with the weather here. Oh, much of the year, there is not a more beautiful place in the country. The mountains, forests and water make for some spectacular vistas. But the winter is another story altogether. It’s always overcast and dark, usually raining or in the process of either stopping or starting to rain. Everything’s always wet and slimey. It gets dark at about 4 p.m. It’s really damn depressing in November. That’s my theory anyway.

Now, what has all this to do with Glenn Beck? I’m just rambling, as I am certainly not trying to say that Beck is a mass murderer worthy of another book by Ann Rule. However, it is my contention that Beck is certainly rather unhinged. You only have to watch him on television or listen to some of his rants on his radio program to come to this conclusion. I think speaks volumes about our society today that this guy has both a national television and radio audience, he has a large and passionate following and he makes tons of money for the corporations he works for. In any sort of sane universe, this would not be so. Beck would be another nutjob wandering the streets, maybe down in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, yelling that the end is coming, and most people would try very hard not to make eye contact.

But no. This guy was given the key to the ciity of Mt. Vernon yesterday. Mt. Vernon is a nice little town. It is one of the largest growers of tulips in the world after Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands. It’s a nice rural smallish city with a hometown feel. And their mayor goes and gives Beck a huge honor.

Now, this is not to say that this all went off without any protests. I understand the town of Bellingham, in protest, gave a key to their city to Jon Stewart. According to this story in the Seattle Times, there were several hundred people who showed up to protest. I thought briefly about doing it, but quickly arrived at the conclusion that it was pointless. There is no arguing with a crazy person, and his supporters, who are all convinced that he is speaking “The Truth.” There’s nothing so pointless as arguing with true believers.

I just wanted to point out this paragraph from the story in the Seattle Times. It’s really too bad there wasn’t a picture of this.

Early Saturday evening, outside McIntyre Hall, Beck's supporters and critics mingled and occasionally broke into debate. Cars and trucks paraded down the street, with honking and jeering. One group made an enormous sign playing off the Mad Hatter pouring a cup of tea, only their sign said "Mad Hater" — a reference to Beck and the national "tea-party" protests.

This doesn’t really explain whether this group was a bunch of Beck supporters or protesters. If they were protesters, it was a good play on a theme and right to the point. However, given the atrocious spelling of the Tea Party protesters, there’s a good chance that this was a sign from Beck’s supporters and they didn't have a clue.

Photo from the Seattle Times. I particularly like the lady dressed up as the Statue of Liberty. Yes, I can see how someone calling the first black President a "racist" and "someone who hates white culture" and who helps circulate the rumor that President Obama desires to round people up based on their political affiliation and put them into interment camps is symbolic of liberty and freedom. "Give us your tired, your poor, your insane masses yearning to destroy everyone who holds opinions different than theirs..."

UPDATE: I would like to thank Bill Moyer, who is the Director of the Backbone Campaign. This is the organization that was responsible for the Mad Hater protest sign this last weekend. He was kind enough to comment on this post and give me a link to a photo of the sign that, unfortunately, the right-leaning Seattle Times didn't see fit to include in their print or web edition. Here is that photo. Thanks again to Mr. Moyer. Great sign. Perhaps I should have gone after all. It looks like I could have done some nice networking with non-insane people.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A very angry, anonymous video blogger (with a very cute accent) takes apart Kirk Cameron.

Please check out this link. This is really funny and really good at the same time.

I didn't realize that Kirk Cameron (who was hardly on my radar anyway) is now somehow the spokesman for creationism. Watch this lady take him apart, piece by piece.

(One of these days, I am going to take the time to figure out how to download You Tube videos and embed them directly into my posts here. But, until then, just click the link. It's worthwhile.)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Republican Party = Old Confederate States of America?

Certainly seems that way to me. Now, we have some actual polling data that sort of confirms that. From Daily Kos via Washington Monthly.

Look closely. See? That's like a whole lot of people who don't live in the South that don't look too favorably toward the Republican Party.

Oh, wait. That graphs seems to have left out Hawaii and Alaska. I am sure that will balance things out…. Not.

I really am curious about how long this situation can sustain itself. I really don’t think a one party system is healthy for the country. Will the sane, moderate conservatives (and liberals, for that matter) ever put together a viable alternative to the Republican Party? Could we go with version 2.0 of the Bull Moose Party? We certainly have our present-day version of the Know-Nothing Party.

UPDATE: Thinking about this graph got me wondering. I certainly trust Markos at DailyKos to hire someone that will use very scrupulous polling methods to come up with data like this. However, this does seem a little too far in the way of people not trusting the Republican Party. Those are huge numbers. I am wondering if those are really reflective of reality. For example, the deep south, I would have thought the numbers would have been about 80% Trust Republicans and 20% Doesn't Trust Republicans. From what I hear about places like Arkansas, I am not sure this graph really reflects the true feelings out there. But, it is hopeful. If everyone in the "Doesn't trust Republicans" camp either votes Democratic or doesn't vote at all, then maybe 2010 isn't looking as dire as it is currently sounding for the Dems.

"God, I LOVE gruel!"

"I wonder if da peeple of Californiya wood like it too?"

This here is what's known, in common parlance, as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.

From Crooks and Liars:

Tammy Bruce, last night on The O'Reilly Factor (talking about President Obama):

Bruce: But ultimately, it comes down to his inability to govern, and the fact that he seems to have, it seems to me, some malevolence toward this country, which is unabated.

Yeah. Anytime President Obama does or says ANYTHING, the conservatives mobilize their shock troops, who go absolutely bat-shit crazy. Insane people, egged on by conservative pundits such as the aforementioned O'Reilly and Bruce, freaking out, carrying guns to town hall meetings, certainly demonstrates President Obama's "inability to govern" and "malevolence toward this country", doesn't it?

What are these idiots looking at that allows them to come up with such harebrained conclusions that President Obama hates white people or has "malevolence" toward the country that just elected him President? That is just so insane... You know, it used to be that people trying to sell a lie would have to at least make it somewhat plausible. Now, they just pull anything they feel like out of their butts and spout it on national television.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


“Let’s get out of here, Scoob! It’s that horrible fiend, the obamanible Healthcare Reform Ghost! He kills old people and little dogs, and he’s also a socialist!”

(I assume that everyone remembers how every single episode of the original Scooby Doo ended, with the monster/ghost being unmasked to be one of the main players in the game who had an interest in scaring everyone off. Now, who might that be….? This sort of ruins the joke, explaining everything, but sometimes I am rather obtuse. I hate being the only one who gets one of my jokes.)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

No one ever said that protesters had to make sense.

From The Denialism Blog, here's a fine picture from yesterday's "9/12" rally, which was to protest... something. Apparently, a lot of people don't think that everyone in the country should have access to health insurance whose company can't just drop their coverage for whatever reason they want. And there are some people who don't like deficits. But only under a Democratic administration, of course. Deficits were fine under George Bush. And some people apparently don't like Muslims. Or Hitler. Or socialism. Or communism. Or fascism.

But what the hey, it seemed like a nice day to have a mass demonstration. Did you know that Freedom Works (run by ex- Republican majority whip Dick Armey) was a big sponsor of yesterday's demonstrations, and they were actually charging other organizations for participating? So I heard on Rachel Maddow. Yep, really a grass roots affair.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

New photo from the updated Hubble Telescope.

Since we seem to be on a space kick, both real and fictional, here's a newly released photo from NASA taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Astounding. This photo is a Portrait of Stephan's Quintet, also known as the Hickson Compact Group 92. Please check out this link to see more photos.

You know, there is an analogy for something in here somewhere.

Friday, September 11, 2009

In memory of those no longer with us.

Some amazing photos from the last Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station.

Notice the person in the space suit working on the ISS in the fourth picture. Look directly at the center of the picture. He is rather difficult to see if you aren't looking. That must be quite a rush.

UPDATE: When I said "last" in the title of this post, I didn't mean "the last mission." I meant, "the most recent." The last one should be coming soon enough. I will have a post in the near future about NASA and the future of the U.S. in space.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

I wonder what the next right wing freak-out will be after Obama’s speech to students?

I am just in awe of how insane certain elements of this country are. (By "certain elements", I am referring to the 20% of the population who is hard core conservative and willing to believe absolutely anything about a Democrat, no matter how ridiculous, and pretty much 100% of the wingnut bloggers and radio/television hosts, along with most of their guests.) I am not going to rehash the whole discussion. I am sure everyone knows about it already. (If, on the other hand, aren’t an American and don’t know what I am talking about, well… I would forget about it. It isn’t worth your time to understand.)

Here’s a link to a web video on Crooks and Liars on a segment that Keith Olbermann had on his show. (I believe I have the ability to embed videos on this blog. However, since I have never tried, I am not really feeling up to trying it now. Just click the link.) It’s a short compilation about the crazy things that many right wing media personalities said about Obama’s speech. I mean, these folks sounded unhinged before the speech itself. Now that it is over, they REALLY look insane. But you know how it goes. Tomorrow, everything will be forgotten, no one will ever express any embarrassment or contrition, and they will all move on to the next “issue” they can get outraged about.

The absolute craziness aside, the hypocrisy is stunning. I remember a time, not that long ago, where wearing a T-shirt or holding a sign that contained anything critical of the Bush administration or their policies (e.g., No War In Iraq!) could get you arrested if you happened to be in the "wrong place", such as a public store in a mall or within sight of a presidential motorcade. Yet, these lunatics can get on national TV and call the current president a racist, compare him to Hitler, say he isn’t really an American citizen, say that he is willfully destroying our country, that he desires to set up detention camps for conservatives… Insane.

These people are also quite willing to forget about or attempt to rewrite very recent history. One of the latest boogiemen seems to be the “czars” within the Obama administration. The conveniently forget that Nixon started the concept and it was used and expanded under every president since then, including Republican presidents, including “St. Reagan.” They pretend they don’t remember that Republican presidents, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II also addressed school kids, without any sort of freak out happening, even when Reagan used the opportunity to push tax cuts.

I don’t know if racism is really at the heart of the Great Pandemonium regarding President Obama, as many leftist bloggers are suggesting. No doubt, some of that is true. I tend to think, however, they would have done this freak out no matter which Democrat became president. If Hillary Clinton was president instead of Barack Obama, I firmly believe these idiots would be doing their best impression of Dwight Frye as Renfield in the original Dracula (he was the bloke that went insane and kept eating flys and spiders) to try to destroy her. The target itself doesn’t really matter. It’s the fact that a target exists.

I am past the point of anger and frustration at these lunatics. I think I have now officially reached despondency. I don’t see these people ever pulling back, ever changing their tactics. Their entire reason for existence is to destroy “the enemy.” When their enemy is the democratically elected government of the United States, it seems this country has no chance whatsoever to actually ever address any of the myriad of problems that we face. Everyone is too busy reacting to and fending off the Beserker hoards.

What a country…

(Great visual image copped from Watertiger at Dependable Renegade, link at right.)

Sunday, September 06, 2009

You have GOT to be kidding me!!

It’s as if the financial institutions of this country didn’t learn a single thing from the very recent almost complete meltdown of the economy that started with repackaging very suspect housing loans as financial instruments by which lots of people thought they could make lots of money, without really thinking about what exactly made up those financial instruments. Now, we have these same people doing this (via Balloon Juice):

After the mortgage business imploded last year, Wall Street investment banks began searching for another big idea to make money. They think they may have found one.

The bankers plan to buy “life settlements,” life insurance policies that ill and elderly people sell for cash — $400,000 for a $1 million policy, say, depending on the life expectancy of the insured person. Then they plan to “securitize” these policies, in Wall Street jargon, by packaging hundreds or thousands together into bonds. They will then resell those bonds to investors, like big pension funds, who will receive the payouts when people with the insurance die.

The earlier the policyholder dies, the bigger the return — though if people live longer than expected, investors could get poor returns or even lose money.

Well, not only does hoping that people die earlier than later so the buyers of these instruments can make lots of money seem extremely immoral and unethical, it would seem there are quite a lot of ways for this to go wrong, such that even MORE institutions lose lots of money playing around in things they don’t understand.

It’s also incredibly tone deaf. These people seem to have no understanding of the world that is going on around them. As I said, people are buying up these insurance policies for the sole purpose of making money, and (it goes without saying) as much money as possible. To do that, they really want the actual people holding these policies to die as soon as possible. Which would mean, if, say, someone who had a big stake in these kinds of financial instruments ALSO had a controlling interest in either a large healthcare organization or a insurance company, it would seem that there would be a huge incentive for those companies to REALLY start withholding medical coverage and denying insurance claims.

But Obama has “Death Panels”, and that’s all that matters, I guess. Obama wants to kill your grandmother…

This country is insane.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Well, I'm going to spend my day indoctrinating the impressionable youth of this country.

I'm going to spend the day officiating some high school volleyball. Officiating high school sports is something I do to get out of the house in the fall and winter and to be "someone else" than that person who always goes to work and sits at that desk. But, of course, I am going to CONTINUE to use the opportunity to indoctrinate our impressionable youth with evil, liberalistic secularism, such as playing by the rules ("No. See, when the ball lands OUTSIDE the lines, it is called "out" and the other team then gets the ball."), respecting one's teammates, coaches, officials and opponents, being able to accomplish something (such as playing varsity sports in high school) only after many long and hard hours of practice and putting your priority list into place that supports your desires. You know, all that evil stuff that Republicans apparently hate.

If I discover that if anyone on the court has parents that are Republicans, I am, of course, going to give them a Red Card. Because that is what us liberals do.

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Second Amendment, applied to today's society.

Commenter Snorghagen at Sady, No!, pegged this absolutely correctly. Here is the updated reading of the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is quite clear on this subject:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of demented reactionary whackjobs to keep and bear arms to prevent imaginary attacks from non-existent boogeymen shall not be infringed or questioned or anything and they can do whatever they want and it’s all totally OK because if anything bad happens it was the other guy’s fault anyway.

How else can we explain these nuts who bring loaded guns, including assault rifles, to town hall meetings?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The darker side of Walt Disney.

Here, Walt poses with the original prototype of his Phased Plasma Proton Blaster. After plans were dropped to use this prototype in THE SHAGGY DOG to vaporize Tommy Kirk, it was later sold to Warner Brothers in a lot sale. It was later used on screen by Wily E. Coyote and also Marvin the Martian.

Photo still of Invisible Invaders, from the B Movie Graveyard.

"It's like weighing a calf twice a day, but never feeding it."

I recently realized that most of my posting of late isn’t really about politics. It’s about my continuing astonishment and anger about how stupid Americans are, as a people and as a society. Certainly, there are very large numbers of very intelligent and articulate people in the U.S., of all shapes and sizes, genders, and political persuasion.

Some people, including myself at times, might mistake my meanderings and rants at this blog to be against Republicans or conservatives in general. And I, no doubt, help confuse this issue with how I label those I am complaining about. Truthfully, I have absolutely no problem with people who have different opinions than I do. I may not understand why people don’t see things the same way I do, but I accept that this will always be true.

What I do demand, and what is at my heart of my discontent with today’s society, is that everyone start from an easily agreed to set of facts, and then they apply logic and deductive reasoning to those facts. And that is what is missing today. That is what I am really upset about. I don’t care if a Republican or a Democrat is being a dumbass. Anyone taking liberties with logic and coming to your (desired) conclusion first and then finding “facts” to support your decision is wrong. Just flat-out wrong.

So, with that, here is another aspect of our society that really has me worried. That is, our society is setting the latest generation of young people loose on the world without educating them. I mean, really educating them. Memorizing facts and learning to take tests is not education. Education is teaching young people to think logically and methodically to solve problems. That is true whether you are talking about a physics problem or figuring out how to lay out a term paper. Kids need to know what the scientific process is and how it works, not be made to memorize the periodic table. You will always have access to a periodic table if you need one. You will rarely have someone around who will help you walk through an exercise in problem solving. Kids need to have an understanding of history and why that history is relevant. They do not need to memorize a bunch of names and dates that have absolutely no relevance or even context in their lives.

Teachers have it tough. They are underpaid, underappreciated and overworked. I am not bashing teachers. Administrators, maybe, get some of the blame for the poor job, collectively, that schools do when they turn out masses of undereducated people who are not prepared for life in open society. Administrators can certainly make some bad decisions regarding priorities and staffing. Those in charge of setting policy, such as mandatory testing without understanding the reason behind that testing, are absolutely part of the problem. Those who control the purse strings are sometimes to blame, sometimes not. There is little that school administrations can do if the community they serve doesn’t fund the school adequately. There are many culprits, it seems. There is no one person in any single school district that you could point at and say, “This is all your fault!” It isn’t set up like that. Yet, the results are the same and they are getting worse.

Here is part of an article I found (h/t to part-time posting partner Philm Phan) on SFGate on this subject. The author explores this subject and comes to some very unsettling conclusions. I hope this guy’s friend he was talking with is just being really over-the-top about this, because I certainly am not happy with some of his observations.

I have this ongoing discussion with a longtime reader who also just so happens to be a longtime Oakland high school teacher, a wonderful guy who's seen generations of teens come and generations go and who has a delightful poetic sensibility and quirky outlook on his life and his family and his beloved teaching career.

And he often writes to me in response to something I might've written about the youth of today, anything where I comment on the various nefarious factors shaping their minds and their perspectives and whether or not, say, EMFs and junk food and cell phones are melting their brains and what can be done and just how bad it might all be.

His response: It is not bad at all. It's absolutely horrifying.

My friend often summarizes for me what he sees, firsthand, every day and every month, year in and year out, in his classroom. He speaks not merely of the sad decline in overall intellectual acumen among students over the years, not merely of the astonishing spread of lazy slackerhood, or the fact that cell phones and iPods and excess TV exposure are, absolutely and without reservation, short-circuiting the minds of the upcoming generations. Of this, he says, there is zero doubt.

Nor does he speak merely of the notion that kids these days are overprotected and wussified and don't spend enough time outdoors and don't get any real exercise and therefore can't, say, identify basic plants, or handle a tool, or build, well, anything at all. Again, these things are a given. Widely reported, tragically ignored, nothing new.

No, my friend takes it all a full step — or rather, leap — further. It is not merely a sad slide. It is not just a general dumbing down. It is far uglier than that.

We are, as far as urban public education is concerned, essentially at rock bottom. We are now at a point where we are essentially churning out ignorant teens who are becoming ignorant adults and society as a whole will pay dearly, very soon, and if you think the hordes of easily terrified, mindless fundamentalist evangelical Christian lemmings have been bad for the soul of this country, just wait.

It's gotten so bad that, as my friend nears retirement, he says he is very seriously considering moving out of the country so as to escape what he sees will be the surefire collapse of functioning American society in the next handful of years due to the absolutely irrefutable destruction, the shocking — and nearly hopeless — dumb-ification of the American brain. It is just that bad.

Now, you may think he's merely a curmudgeon, a tired old teacher who stopped caring long ago. Not true. Teaching is his life. He says he loves his students, loves education and learning and watching young minds awaken. Problem is, he is seeing much less of it. It's a bit like the melting of the polar ice caps. Sure, there's been alarmist data about it for years, but until you see it for yourself, the deep visceral dread doesn't really hit home.

He cites studies, reports, hard data, from the appalling effects of television on child brain development (i.e.; any TV exposure before 6 years old and your kid's basic cognitive wiring and spatial perceptions are pretty much scrambled for life), to the fact that, because of all the insidious mandatory testing teachers are now forced to incorporate into the curriculum, of the 182 school days in a year, there are 110 when such testing is going on somewhere at Oakland High. As one of his colleagues put it, "It's like weighing a calf twice a day, but never feeding it."

But most of all, he simply observes his students, year to year, noting all the obvious evidence of teens' decreasing abilities when confronted with even the most basic intellectual tasks, from understanding simple history to working through moderately complex ideas to even (in a couple recent examples that particularly distressed him) being able to define the words "agriculture," or even "democracy." Not a single student could do it.

It gets worse. My friend cites the fact that, of the 6,000 high school students he estimates he's taught over the span of his career, only a small fraction now make it to his grade with a functioning understanding of written English. They do not know how to form a sentence. They cannot write an intelligible paragraph. Recently, after giving an assignment that required drawing lines, he realized that not a single student actually knew how to use a ruler.

It is, in short, nothing less than a tidal wave of dumb, with once-passionate, increasingly exasperated teachers like my friend nearly powerless to stop it. The worst part: It's not the kids' fault. They're merely the victims of a horribly failed educational system.

Then our discussion often turns to the meat of it, the bigger picture, the ugly and unavoidable truism about the lack of need among the government and the power elite in this nation to create a truly effective educational system, one that actually generates intelligent, thoughtful, articulate citizens.

Read more:

Here’s a statement that captures the essence of today’s conservatives.

From Huffington Post:

The conservative movement did not believe that Barack Obama could get elected, and like a beast who is cornered and threatened with its own mortality, it is raging. Nobody could have imagined the conditions today last year when everyone was frantically Googling Sarah Palin; that she and McCain would have been roundly defeated, that the country would have elected Barack Obama, that she would not even last one term as governor, and that such ugliness would have awakened in American politics.