Loving Republicans give me a chance to practice cognitive dissonance

Over at Facebook, I read this conservative column titled, “Hating Republicans in Southern California” written by Brian Birdnow. It was a response to a liberal column printed in the L.A. Times called “Liberals vs Conservatives” written by Diana WagmanHere’s the L.A. Times link. 

In a nutshell, Wagman says she enjoyed the company of her vacation-home neighbors until she found out they were republicans. She describes how they were enjoying drinks and a poker game, until the mixed-race marriage duo admitted their allegiance to … bum bum bum … the Tea Party.

And Birdnow writes about Wagman encompassing the stereotype of the typical liberal with her typical views and exposes her for the hypocrisy of liking them until finding out their voting views. He blames her for the division of American viewpoints and perpetuating the ever-widening gap of discord.

What’s your problem, brablem? 

The problem I have with Wagman’s article is that she claims she doesn’t want to be friends with her tea-party neighbors and hopes that she vacations on the weekends in which her neighbors do not. But that’s what I love about Tea Party folks. Hell, my family sides with the Tea Party. I don’t care what people’s views are. When we’re being social, let’s be social. If you want to talk politics, let’s talk about it.

I don’t want to avoid you because we don’t share the same views. I want to embrace you. I want to find out what your thoughts really are. I want to help change your diapers. I don’t want to avoid you.

Since I don’t have religion, loving republicans is my way of expressing cognitive dissonance. I gotta do it somehow. Might as well do it with a living, breathing human being.

The problem with these discussions, from my experience, is that nobody gives a shit what I think. Tina and I rarely get the opportunity to express our views. So we nod and talk shit about it later.

Gosh, if you want to side with a group who thinks the president isn’t a “real” Christian, or he’s not a legitimate American, and that the government is too big and awful. If you want to have a party led by a bunch of men who openly don’t practice the values they preach, I’ll gladly sit down at a table and discuss the facts over a meal you bought with food stamps. No problem there at all.

The problem I have with Birdnow’s column was this line:

Certainly Ms. Wagman would argue that Rush Limbaugh should be censored, that Ann Coulter is a national disgrace, and that George W. Bush was the worst President in American history.

That couldn’t be further from the truth. I don’t think Limbaugh needs censorship. Coulter isn’t a national disgrace. Their expression of crazy paves the road for my expression of crazy. Tit for tat. And Coulter’s only a cunt if you let her be one. If you don’t like her, don’t read or listen to her. Same with me.

And George Doubleya wasn’t the worst American president.

Reagan was.

Double Honk. 

Just like Birdnow thinks we’re going to have poor people until people and government stop profiting from it (read: The Business of Poverty: Why Poverty Will Never End“), we’re going to have this oppositional discussion until people stop profiting from it.

[insert screeching tire sound here]

Did you go read that column that Birdnow wrote?

Go read it. I’ll wait. 

We’re going to have poor people until the government agencies and bloated bureaucracies that support poor people in this country are ended?

Shit. All this time I thought there was no end to poverty because Jesus said, “The poor will always be among you” (Mark 14:7).

My social working friends are all out making their millions peanuts helping the poor, you know, like Jesus did everywhere except Mark fucking 14 verse 7 when he was getting his feet washed with perfume by a woman the Catholic church declared a hooker and Rush Limbaugh would call a slut.

If conservatives really wanted to be conservative, they’d go 100 times more traditional than the Amish, and go live in the middle east like a bunch of robed lepers. They’d sell all they have, give it to the poor, and live and act like Jesus behaved and how he prescribed. But that would be too extreme, because secular life is exciting and modern advances are too attractive to actually be a traditional, Jesus-loving conservative.

But, Jer-bear, celibacy is too hard!

For the record, people can’t claim to be a conservative of traditional values and the only time those values are — kind of, but not really — expressed at the voting booth.

But I guess we’re going to have this problem of religious fervency until the church stops profiting from its adherents.

Am I right, or am I right?

A followup: the Republican debate in 100 seconds.

The Santorum saying his name part is, wow, just wow.

Even this clip is loaded with the fear-mongering. Check out Santorum’s inability to keep eye contact.

The only thing I’m missing is the shots of Gingrich sitting there with his pudgy arms wrapped around his round belly as he picked his teeth with his tongue thinking about his failed marriages.


Pulling our troops out of Iraq

The Internets are abuzz with news of the American military finally leaving Iraq.

How awesome is that.

What a great Christmas present for our military’s friends and families.

I loved this line from an article at NPR from the Associated Press:

The last U.S. soldiers rolled out of Iraq across the border to neighboring Kuwait at daybreak Sunday, whooping, fist bumping and hugging each other in a burst of joy and relief.

But the writer couldn’t leave well enough alone. The very next line reads:

Their exit marked the end of a bitterly divisive war that raged for nearly nine years and left Iraq shattered, with troubling questions lingering over whether the Arab nation will remain a steadfast U.S. ally.

The article explains that we lost 4,500 troops during the war and over 100,000 Iraqis. Not to mention the over 500 private military contractors.

It also says America spent over $800 billion from the US treasury. $800 billion?

Between dead and injured troops, dead and injured Iraqis, a price tag of $800 billion, and the toll the war took on American (and international) morale, goodness gracious alive I hope we made the right “investment”.

I’m having trouble, because my immediate reaction to this story was to post a big old shot of President Bush with the “Mission Accomplished” banner hanging behind him.

But I refrain. Our military deserves and demands our support. We should give them that respect.


Kottke: The Onion predicted the future

Official photograph portrait of former U.S. Pr...

Image via Wikipedia

I was reading back through Kottke’s blog, and I saw this gem about The Onion predicting the future 10 years ago. The Onion article is time-stamped JANUARY 17, 2001.

Kottke writes:

Published in The Onion more than 10 years ago after George W. Bush took office,Bush: ‘Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over’ is just getting more and more prescient.

Bush swore to do “everything in [his] power” to undo the damage wrought by Clinton’s two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers, going into massive debt to develop expensive and impractical weapons technologies, and passing sweeping budget cuts that drive the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street.

During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

“You better believe we’re going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration,” said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. “Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?”

They probably should get a Pulitzer.

The Language of Christianity

I hope you take the time to watch this video. The link above and here will take you away from Le Café.

I hope you let it challenge you. And I hope if you aren’t challenged, it’s because you know this crap information already.

And if you watch it and say to yourself, “This is from a ‘liberal’ news source. I don’t believe it.” I hope that you wonder why it is you think that’s a bad thing.

The world is full of lies, and this is probably another one of them.

Or maybe it’s not … bum bum bum.



From the Horse’s mouth: George W. Bush not concerned about bin Laden

This is just SIX MONTHS after 9/11. In response to a reporters question, President Bush tells the world that he is “truly not that concerned” with catching the man who murdered 3,000 Americans just six months and two days earlier because “we’ve marginalized him.”

Please note that he ALMOST says “I don’t know where he is, nor do I… (really care).” but catches himself in mid-sentence.

“He hides in caves while sending young people off to die.”

Via Cynical C

Europe puts the kibosh on Bush’s upcoming visit

George W. Bush, Forty-third President (2001–2009)

Image by cliff1066™ via Flickr

Some American’s don’t travel to Europe because they’re reverse xenophobes according to this CNN article. Many of these people don’t watch movies or TV with subtitles.

“It’s too much work to read through a movie,” they say while scooping up another handful of potato chips into their greasy fat hands.

George W. Bush won’t be traveling to Europe any time soon, because the douchebag could get arrested for crimes against humanity.

Ol’ Bushy shouldn’t feel comfortable leaving the ranch for fear of arrest.

Here’s the article in question.


Thanks, Luis, for the CNN article re: passports!

Barbara Bush for HRC’s NYers for Marriage Equality

Hey, don’t you love it when Republican President’s daughters stick their necks out for marriage equality? I do.

Check out the video below of Barbara Bush giving her thumbs up. Who knew such a dismal idiot could produce such a cute woman? I think I have a presidential daughter crush.

In other news, Illinois passed civil unions yesterday. That’s a good step in the right direction.

Ahh, progress. Ol’ Quinny can sign in 67% tax hike and then put a smile on my face with same-sex civil unions. I’m cognitive dissonance stricken.

God steered the election

The twenty ten election belongs to the republicans.

I’m not upset or angry. I’m not worried or destroyed. I didn’t wake up to the news and throw my coffee cup across the room. I am rather cynical about it, really.

On the election night in 2008, I was playing pool at my league match. The owner of the bar where we were playing had a conniption when Obama won. She shut off all the TVs and cried that America was going to plunge down the toilet. I am not blowing smoke. I had to call my dad, a life-long, staunch republican and have him talk her off the ledge at one point.

All of us who had voted for Obama tried to console her. She wouldn’t have it.

“We’ve been in the toilet for eight years,” most of us said. She wallowed in her sorrow.

During six years of Bush, I became more politically active. I became a rally-er. I started going to war protests and gay rights protests.

You may not know this, but I voted republican in 2000. At the time, I was still searching for who I was. I came from a republican family. Of course I was going to vote the way they voted. Despite being considered an adult, I had not yet formulated adult thoughts. When you grow up in fear of hell, being a republican is a no brainer. I didn’t want to be a “no-brainer.” I was taught that I had a brain, to use it, and being a staunch anything isn’t a smart way to be.

Long before I moved to Chicago, I was finding that I wasn’t all that conservative culturally.

From 1994 to 1999, I lived near Asheville, NC, which exposed me to diversity and ideas that the Yeshua Fog™ shunned. For the first year and a half out of college, I worked as a designer and an advertising sales person at The Black Mountain News, a weekly newspaper in a small town 25 minutes from Asheville. My favorite people in Black Mountain were two lesbians who owned a framing shop. Through their friendship, I learned a lot of ways culture and politics made their relationship difficult.

The more I met people in Asheville, the more secular humanist I became and less “Christian.” When you grow up in a Christian home and school, most things secular are painted as great evil. When you step outside of Christianity, Christianity becomes what it is, a Hieronymus Bosch painting, a scary, dreary place, where only one panel is beautiful and the rest is a scary nightmare.

My friends in Black Mountain invited me to their parties where I talked to professors and secular-minded people who encouraged me to dispel the myths and erroneous education from my youth. They didn’t say, “Hey, you should think such and such.” They basically said, “Hey, check out these books.” And I did. At first, there was confusion. But once I allowed myself to let go of what I was taught, and embrace what I taught myself, my mind became a more peaceful place.

I moved to Illinois in December of 1999, and after I figured out that a culture of diversity and an emphasis on humanity is much better suited to a guy like me, I registered independent.

My income didn’t work well during Bush’s economy. Yes, I made money. I saved and saved, but I was taxed to high hell. I used my accountant to help me keep as much as possible, but damn, it was tough.

Tina and I bought our condo during the peak of the housing bubble, and we’ve watched the value of our investment plummet because of economic pressures long preceding Obama’s presidency. I’m not blaming Bush. I am only pointing out that it wasn’t a surprise when the economy tanked.

You showed up late, tea baggers, and your name sucks (literally and figuratively)

I can’t figure out why the Tea Baggers showed up so late to the protest party. They should have been rallying and protesting while Bush was obviously flushing the toilet during his administration. They should have formed no later than 2006. As it is, their protests are way too late to have any credibility with me. Although, look who’s wearing the pointy dunce cap after last night, right?

At the same time, a republican coup is not as dismal as I might think either. Or you might think. I’m not worried. I’m fiscally very conservative. I don’t use credit, except to keep credit. My only debt is to my mortgage.

I run my business like a tight ship, and it’s the way I expect other people to run the government and their businesses. I can dream right?

Tax wise, I had an amazing year in 2009. I was looking forward to how the democratic powerhouse would turn out should they have kept power for the next two years. Tina and I seemed to have been reaping some benefits.

The difference between me and all the yahoos screaming about politics, about taxes, I consult my professional accountant. She helps me see what’s going on, and while people email, facebook and blog about complete nonsense, I drop my accountant a line and say, “Hey, what does this mean for me?” And she says, “Hey, it’s not what they say. Keep on keeping on. You’re doing fine.”

In my mind, you have to be a moron to let dismal propaganda ruin your day. You have to be a sucker to forward that stuff with any ounce of seriousness. To anyone who believes anything that arrives in their email box with a subject line that says, “FWD” followed by a bullshit line like, “Your tax dollars at work,” it’s likely bullshit.

What I’ve found is that it’s one thing to know people who forward; it’s another thing to not forward that malarkey.

This whole post came from the republicans taking the country back last night. Great job, republicans. I’ll pat you on the back.

If you don’t mind, could you tell your constituency to calm down now.