Sunday, August 12, 2012

ayn ryan

Yesterday morning, Romney announced that Paul Ryan is his choice for VP, and will be his running mate for the 2012 Presidential election. Yes, Willard Mitt Romney thinks that this blue-eyed, pitcher-eared, rising Conservative superstar of the beltway and Tea Party darling is the best choice to be one heartless beat away from the Presidency. Ryan, only 42 years old, is an avid fitness enthusiast, was born into wealth, but used his father's Social Security money to pay for his education at Miami University of Ohio (Miami, Ohio? Wow). He lives in Janesville, Wisconsin, in an historic house which is overseen by the National Park Service (whose budget he'd love to see eviscerated). In college, he worked summers as a salesman for Oscar Meyer, driving the weinermobile (I'm not making this up). Other than being a fitness instructor, weiner-driving is his only private sector experience. He began working on Capitol Hill for a string of inconsequential conservatives directly after graduating with a B.A. from Miami of Ohio. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1998, and has been giving hard-ons to Conservative oligarchs ever since with his unscrupulous, Machiavellian, throw-granny-to-the-curb budget proposals, the first of which, "The Path to Prosperity: Roadmap for America's Future Act of 2008" found only eight sponsors and did not move past committee. Ryan's followup alternative budget plan proposed lowering the top tax rate, introduced an 8.5% consumption tax, imposed a five year spending freeze, and also proposed phasing out Medicare! Additionally, Ryan has taken to having attendees, who challenge or disagree with his position, removed from his town hall meetings and arrested

(There are many more disturbing and interesting facts about this ├╝ber-schmuck to be uncovered, and lots written about him if you care to look around. I'm giving just a very cursory overview here. His lunatic budget proposals alone have been the source of countless news stories. Now that he's been chosen as Mittens' running mate, I'm sure there'll be no getting away from the info rolling in on him. If newspapers were still the business that they once were, I imagine the presses would be on fire!)

Ryan has said that "The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand", and "I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are, and what my beliefs are. It's inspired me so much that it's required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff"


A Randian philosophy is one that paints altruism as being inherently evil. This malevolent belief that empathy and the caring for others leads to collectivism and socialism is the corrosive untruth that lies at the sociopathic heart of the new Conservatism. Claiming Ayn Rand as one's ideological hero is a pseudo-intellectual rationalization for personal, childish, selfishness at the expense of all others. 

What's delightfully interesting here is that a large swath of the Conservative voting block is fundamentalist Christan. Aside from Ryan being Catholic, a wholly unchristian denomination in the eyes of any evangelical (I'm not even mentioning Mittens' Mormonism, or Rand's rabid atheism), it isn't possible to embrace Ayn Rand's philosophy of selfishness and the all-loving and forgivng teachings of Jesus at the same time.

Rand, a self-righteous sociopath with a strident and poisonous tongue, referred to the poor as refuse and parasites, while holding up millionaire moguls of industry as moral heroes. Jesus dedicated his gospel and his life to serving those less fortunate than himself. With all due respect to Mittens, Paul Ryan, and the entire Republican party, it is simply not possible to claim both of these platforms. Right now, it is quite clear which one they've chosen.

Monday, August 6, 2012

unamerican exceptionalism

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion and spiritual practice founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region of India. The word Sikh translates as discipline or student. It is the fifth largest organized religion in the world with almost 30 million Sikhs woldwide. It is also one of the most steadily growing. The Sikh system of religious philosophy is known as Gurmat (wisdom of the gurus). Harmandir Sahib (the Golden Temple) is located north of Dehli, in the city of Amritsar, near the Pakistan border. The kitchen of the Golden Temple feeds up to 100,000 people a day, for free, regardless of background, religion, caste, or creed. In the temple's Langar Hall, all people sit and eat together. Punjab, India is the only region in the world with a majority Sikh population.

Yesterday morning, a gunman walked into a Sikh temple in Oak Creak, Wisconsin, a suburb south of Milwaukee and opened fire, killing six worshipers and wounding three others. The mayhem ended when one of the first police called to the scene shot the gunman dead.

Why did a thing like this happen? Maybe this happened because the idiot gunman believed that these worshipers were Muslim (If they ain't Christian, it's all the same, right?). Maybe it happened because they have brown skin and wear funny hats. Maybe this happened because good ol' gun-totin' Joe had grown tired of seeing his white, blue collar, good-ol-boy community infiltrated by towel heads from other countries who wear weird clothes and speak with silly accents and eat funny smelling food. Maybe this happened because in certain parts of the U.S. of A. the words anti-American and terrorist have become synonymous with foreigner, or liberal, or educated, or same-sex marriage. 

Ultimately, violent tragedies like this happen because of ignorance and bigotry. The only thing that these peaceful Sunday morning worshipers were guilty of being is the worst thing that anyone could possibly be: different. It's surprising that hate-fueled bloodbaths don't happen with more disturbing regularity in light of contemptuous, divisive, elected officials like Michele Bachmann, Alan West, and Jan Brewer, and the incendiary, hate-fueled vitriol that they spew in the name of America and of Jesus. Couple the cacophony of blasphemous hate-mongering with fanatic delusional readings of the second amendment, and we discover the perfect recipe for domestic terrorism and hate crimes. 

As the dog days of summer approach, and the Republican convention ramps up amid ceaseless imbecile cries of  "U.S.A!, U.S.A!, U.S.A!" I fear what may be lying just up ahead. I can't help but think that Chick-fil-A appreciation day was only a small preview of the moronic malignancy that's rapidly infiltrating this once great nation. A huge overhauling of firearms regulations notwithstanding, until the disturbed lunatic antics, the likes of Bachmann, West, Brewer, and others are censured and condemned, we should expect to see a rise in domestic terrorism and hate crimes wrapped in a star-spangled cloak of patriotism. The sad and ironic truth is that these self-important fabricators are precisely what they've accused others of being: anti-American and unchristian.