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Friday, May 29, 2009

Liberalism, Conservatism, and Insanity

Or

That’s The Stupidest Thing I’ve Heard In a Long Time

- even in the bastion of Neocon central, i.e. South Central Palinville, Alaska.


Saw this in Wasilla yesterday:

image

* Note: Clicking on the picture will take you to Jarbina.com where you can purchase a T-shirt with this phrase for $17.50. (Also note: the T-shirts are tight and form fitting, so if you’re built like the typical Neocon they’re going to make you look queer as Ted Haggard in a wet t-shirt man-boob contest. You should probably order a baggy XXXL. Think of the children. Just sayin’)

The bumper-sticker was affixed to the approved neoconmobile, a Ford pickup, complete with rust, a pit bull mix with spiked collar, beer cans, and gun rack – though the weapon in the rack appeared to be a Daisy BB rifle (Seriously, WTF is this? Alaskan Redneck Lite?). The bumper-sticker was prominently placed next to the requisite “Abortion is Murder,” “Marriage = 1 Man + 1 15-year old Cousin” (Ok, it might have said “1 Woman” there was dirt on it and I couldn’t quite make it out), “NObama," “McCain/Palin” and, as required by law in Wasilla, Alaska, the mandatory National Rifle Association sticker. The only thing missing was Jesus and a pregnant under-age local politician’s daughter.

Liberalism is a mental illness.

This phrase, of course, comes from the title of a book by ultra conservative font of verbal vomitus and host of radio talk show The Savage Nation, Michael Weiner, AKA Michael Savage (apparently conservative test audiences began hyperventilating uncontrollably and secretly visiting Castro Street bath houses when first exposed to The Weiner Nation, hence the nom de guerre). A self proclaimed combination of Plato, Henry Miller, Jack Kerouc, Moses, Jesus (yes, Jesus), and, um, Frankenstein, Weiner is nothing if not humble. The book ended up on the NYTimes Best Seller list, in the top ten no less, which just goes to show you that conservatives will buy books other than the bible and Guns & Ammo, as long as they are bound in vellum made from the warty skin of Charlton Heston’s massive scrotum and printed in bitter black inky tears collected from members of the Michigan Militia.

The book, Liberalism is a Mental Illness, doesn’t explain or provide proof or references from actual mental health experts on why liberals are certifiably nuts, Savage manages to aptly dodge that little burden of proof. Mostly the book is 272 pages of frothy spittle about why gays, the ACLU, feminists, immigrants, lawyers, liberals, the courts, and most especially the Goddamned Muslims should be imprisoned or worse. Sort of like a “bathroom reader”, Liberalism is a “bunker reader,” i.e. something neocons can toss off to in the root cellar by the flickering yellow light of their generators while clutching their AR-15’s in one hand and themselves in the other.

But it makes a catchy phrase, doesn’t it?

Liberalism is a mental illness.

Let’s review shall we?

Generally, liberalism divides basically into two categories, Cultural and Social.

In the US, Cultural Liberalism is a view of society that stresses the freedom of the individual. Generally people that are culturally liberal believe that:

- All religions, including none, should be tolerated, i.e. religious belief is a personal issue – providing that said religion does not infringe on personnel freedom (Liberals might “suffer a witch to live” for example, but not if she sacrifices neighborhood children on a pyre to the Earth Mother. However, liberals aren’t going to let Christians burn witches at the stake or press them into piecrust under large stones either).

- While all religions, including none, should be tolerated, religion itself has no business in government. Period. Religion is between individuals and their God, gods, or other such mojo. Government is an agreement between people, God has nothing to do with it – just the same as with legal contracts which are enforced by law, not the Divine. What’s the phrase? In God we trust, all others pay cash.

- They believe strongly in freedom of expression, and are opposed to censorship. For example, those of us in uniform used to say, “I don’t agree with what you said, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” That, exactly that.

- They believe that family and marriage and sexual orientation should be left up to individuals and that no lifestyle is inherently better than another, again providing that said lifestyle does not harm individuals or involuntarily restrict personal freedom as defined by the affected individual him or herself.

(Holy crap! That sounds a lot like the, gasp, Constitution!)

Social Liberalism is a view of government that believes strongly in personal freedom, but acknowledges the reality that the majority of citizens cannot fully benefit from an advanced and crowded and expensive society without at least some assistance. That assistance being things like, oh, education, law enforcement, public services and safety, enforcement of human rights, welfare - no not Welfare, but rather that which could include medical, unemployment, retirement, and emergency services of some kind, not always and not all the time and not for “free” and not without restrictions, but there when you need it because if the strong do not help the weak what’s the point of society in the first place?

As a group, liberals tend to believe that:

- peace is better than conflict and that diplomacy is preferred over saber rattling and that national pride is not a reason for going to war.

- we are stewards of the Earth, not its owners, and that wantonly destroying the life-support system without replenishment is a bad idea, especially since it’s the only one we have.

- we have a moral obligation to take care of the less fortunate members of our community, society, and world – even if it means that we have to tax people to do it. Liberals tend to believe strongly that it is immoral for children of the richest nation in the world to starve to death or die from neglect or lack of care. And yes, many liberals believe that it might have been better if some of these kids hadn’t been born, or at least that their mothers should be the ones to make that choice.

- and that, here in America at least, we are capitalists, but like anything else capitalism must be regulated so that a tiny minority doesn’t end up with everything, including goods and power and money and services and education, to the determent of the majority (not that that’s ever happened, mind you. Lately), i.e. we are a civilization, not a mob.

There’s more, of course. Much more. Infinitely more, in infinite variation. But that’ll do in broad outline. And I’m obviously simplifying things drastically. It’s not that cut and dried, it never is. Liberals hardly share a unified vision and social compact, and in point of fact if there’s any group that liberals vehemently disagree with more than conservatives, it’s other liberals – such is the nature of individualism and personal freedom. Exhort people to think freely and differently, and they will.

Now, certainly, some extreme far left Liberals seem to hate the human race and would kill us all to save the bunnies. They are provably a tiny minority. These people are probably insane to some degree of obsessive maladaption.

Some far left Liberals are socialists and/or Marxists – even if they don’t realize it. Some of them believe that all wealth should belong to the state and the state should care for every citizen in equal measure from cradle to grave in some kind of idealized hippy utopian wet-dream. They don’t know or don’t care that wealth can be created, or seem to understand that wealth is not intrinsically evil in and of itself, nor is there anything noble or enlightening about poverty. They seem to think that eliminating wealth will somehow eliminate poverty, when just the opposite is demonstratively true – and in fact history shows repeatedly that when individual wealth is universally redistributed the result is not a universal middle class but rather universal poverty without the concentrated wealth to do anything more than maintain the slowly decaying status quo. These people ignore the lessons of history, specifically that socialism carried to extremes leads directly and inevitably and inexorably and without fail to tyranny and a complete loss of that individual freedom they value so much. These too are a minority. I don’t know that these people are insane per se, but a number of them are clearly deluded and engaged in self deception.

Some less far left Liberals seem to think that if we all just held hands and sang Kumbaya and gave Osama a pony all men would magically become brothers through the miraculous power of rock and roll and we’d all live in an endless Age of Aquarius like a worldwide Burning Man Festival. These people do not understand that no country would survive more than a day past the demise of its military. And they simply cannot seem to grasp that most people are bastard flavored bastards with bastard filling and little bastard sprinkles on top and without the constraints of society they would rapidly shed the thin veneer of civilization and slit your throat for the change in your pocket (What? You don’t believe me? Go visit any country in the current Horn of Africa, or the Congo, or Haiti of five years ago, or Cambodia of 30 years ago, or right here in America in the Watts Riots or Southern lynchings or the witch trials and get back to me. Go on, I’ll wait). These Liberals are also in the minority, some are clearly in need of help, most are just supremely ignorant – and a number are simply stoned and have been since the 60’s.

But the vast, vast majority of liberals are not afflicted with mental illness and I find it more than a little disingenuous and more than a little hypocritical, and more than a little mentally ill, that ultra-conservatives would label liberalism, all liberalism, as a mental defect.

Is desiring peace over war, diplomacy over conflict, life over death, a mental illness?

Or is the belief that killing people will solve your problems a sign of mental health? Shooting doctors to save children, using murder because you didn’t get your way in court, is that rational? Is beating a gay man to death because you believe a supposedly loving Son of God who spoke passionately of peace, love, and tolerance wants you to commit murder, is that sane? How about declaring war on false pretexts, knowing that the pretext is false? How about persisting in the rightness and righteousness of that war, despite having it abjectly demonstrated to you that the justification for it was a lie? How about the complete and total inability to admit error based on blind patriotism or the inability accept criticism or to perform critical and objective self analysis? Last time I checked denial and delusions of grandeur and the willingness to do violence without regard for the law were sure signs of mental illness.

Is the desire to understand others a mental illness?

Or is xenophobia a trait of the mentally stable? How about constant hatred, fear, and paranoia? Hatred of those that are different from you, fear of the unknown, paranoia that everyone is out to get you? How about basing your entire worldview on that hatred, fear, and paranoia? And persisting in that worldview even when it is shown to be abjectly false and utterly wrong – say like the belief that gay marriage somehow harms traditional marriages, despite all evidence to the contrary and in fact cannot be shown to have harmed children or destroyed American values (whatever those are) or in any way whatsoever to have impacted even one traditional marriage in the slightest fashion. And when confronted with this simple fact, actually concoct fictitious anecdotes and fabricated justifications solely in order to persist in this irrational hatred? The mental wards are full of dangerous nuts like this. What about blaming and hating and calling for the extermination of the people of a particular religion, because certain members of their belief system did you harm? Is genocide a sign of sanity? When Hitler and Stalin and Amin and Milosevic did it, we said they were crazy, but when conservatives such as Limbaugh and Coulter and the savage Weiner call for the extermination of Muslims that’s a sign of sanity? Why then not call for the extermination of Christians after Timothy McVeigh committed a heinous act of terrorism against Americans? No, that would be crazy, wouldn’t it?

Is the desire to know the world a mental illness? Is a thirst for understanding a mental illness? What about a belief in those things you can see, feel, and touch? The quest for knowledge? Is that a mental illness?

Or is mental health a belief, without a single shred of evidence, in angels and demons and fairies and invisible beings who live in the sky? Is mental health a denial of hundreds of years of scientific advancement - backed up and reinforced by multiple disciplines and error checking mechanisms – in order to maintain a persistent belief that the Earth is 6,000 years old because a book written by stone-aged sheep herders and translated and edited dozens of times is deemed to be the literal word of God and utterly infallible and utterly without human error and true in every regard despite numerous and glaringly obvious contractions and demonstrably false statements – such as the Earth is flat or that a man could live inside a whale or that two of every kind of animal lived within walking distance of Noah’s house. That is, of course, what sane people do, isn’t it?

Is the desire for personal freedom a form of mental illness? Were our ancestors, those men and women who fought against tyranny, who forged this country, who spoke passionately of law and liberty and justice for all, who wrote the Constitution – were they mad?

Or does the rational mind believe that doing evil is acceptable, as long as you mean well? Is torturing another human being something that sane people do? Is torture something that sane people want their government, or their military, or their nation to do? Are sane people proud when their government tortures humans beings, creates secret prisons, and disappears people? Truly, is that what sane people think? How about the failure to see the contradiction in claiming to be for smaller government, and yet being responsible for the single largest increase in government growth since the founding of the country including a massive new internal secret security apparatus? How about claiming to be fiscally responsible while driving up the single largest debt in history in order to prosecute a war started on false pretext – and then blaming the debt on somebody else? Is that sane? Are denial and shifting the blame and rationalization the marks of sanity?

Is a desire to protect the environment we all live in a form of mentally illness? Is making sure that our children - those same children certain conservatives are willing to kill for - have a world to grow up in a mental illness?

Or is wanton and rapacious consumption of resources without regard for the consequences the viewpoint of a rational and mature civilization? Do rational people go about systematically destroying their food supply and contaminating their drinking water? Do they? Do sane people regard demonstratively limited resources as bottomless and infinite and endless, and do nothing to plan for the future except party like it’s 1999? If an astronaut died because he deliberately fouled his suit, poisoned his air, and shit in his food supply would we say he was sane? But doing the same thing on a global scale is, right?

Is a desire to help others a sign of mental illness? Is it? Is compassion and a sense of justice mental illness?

Or is rationalizing poverty as the just station of the poor and thereby beyond our responsibility the sign of the perfectly functioning mind? Is killing to ensure children are born, and then claiming that you have no further responsibility for them rational? Is waving the flag and marching in parades and beating the ever living shit out of people for not being patriotic enough to suit you, but seeing nothing wrong with letting tens of thousands of Americas go without decent jobs or a living wage or adequate food or shelter or medical coverage or education sane? Is it?

Is a desire to see all citizens equal before society a hallmark of mental illness?

Or Is a fanatical belief that you are superior because of your race or sex or religion or income or station or car or home or looks or job or inheritance or the state you were born in or luck or overblown sense of entitlement make you sane? Does it? Is a sense of smug superiority a trait of sanity? Is a belief that your own shit doesn’t stink, that you can’t make mistakes, that you are marked for destiny, that you are God’s chosen one, and a belief that all others are inferior and consequently get what they deserve because of it – is a God Complex sanity? How about if you believe that you are “Plato, Henry Miller, Jack Kerouc, Moses, Jesus, and Frankenstein all rolled into one – but you’re too afraid to use your own name when you make that claim? Is that sanity?

If Liberalism is a mental illness, then Neo-Conservatism is the bugshit, barking at the moon, lead paint swilling, self mutilating, piss drinking, dirt eating, kidnapped by space aliens, playing with invisible friends, gibbering in the land of de Nile, born again shut in the closet and covered in your own shit, screaming wackaloon of mental disorders.

Liberalism is a mental illness, my ass.

In fact, just the opposite is true: attempting to resolve conflict without resorting to violence, promoting tolerance within broad and reasonable limits, seeking equality for all, protecting the world we live in so that we can go on living in it, and taking care of the weak and the less fortunate are the hallmarks of the mature and the rational and the healthy and the sane mind.

And in point of fact, these very things are the founding principles of nearly every mainstream religion, but most especially Christianity – Jesus was the ultimate Liberal. If you claim to be a Christian and you’re a NeoCon then you are a Goddamned hypocrite.

These are the founding principles of every major conservative service organization, from the Masons, to the Elk’s Lodge, to the Boy Scouts of America.

And these are the founding principles of the United States itself.

Liberalism is what sanity looks like.

No wonder Neocons don’t understand it.

83 comments:

  1. Ah, Jim, there you go again, and I'll happily go with you. I could not have said it better myself.

    By that definition, seems my family and most of my friends are insane...and loving it.

    WendyB_09

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  2. And in point of fact, these very things are the founding principles of nearly every mainstream religion, but most especially Christianity – Jesus was the ultimate Liberal.And yet right-wing Christians can't seem to get that. Perhaps because they have problems thinking for themselves, or actually reading the Bible.

    Sigh.

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  3. Is desiring peace over war, diplomacy over conflict, life over death, a mental illness?

    Of course it is. If you're a 'ho for the military industrial complex.

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  4. What you said.

    Neo-Conservatism is the bugshit, barking at the moon, lead paint swilling, self mutilating, piss drinking, dirt eating, kidnapped by space aliens, playing with invisible friends, gibbering in the land of de Nile, born again shut in the closet and covered in your own shit, screaming wackaloon of mental disorders.
    The best line EVAH. I must be mentally ill, but I'm no wackaloon.

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  5. The best line EVAH
    Maybe, but frankly I've got to say that I'm pretty proud of:

    ...vellum made from the warty skin of Charlton Heston’s massive scrotum and printed in bitter black inky tears collected from members of the Michigan Militia.
    It took me ten tries to come up with "warty." Like a large toad. Warty.

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  6. Now Mr. Wright you just had to go and spoil all thoses militant necons good times but presenting a well thought out balanced and firm founded argument, you should play nicer if you keep making sense they might get a headache

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  7. For a while I've been meaning to make myself a bumper sticker that says:

    God Hates Babies!
    Psalm 137:9

    To wit, here's the passage:

    "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones."

    There's also another quote that says more or less the same thing, that smashing kids' heads against the rocks is something worthwhile, but I can't pull that ref up at the moment.

    I'd like to make another, but I'd be afraid that it would take off:

    Proud to be an ignorant Christian!

    But, oddly enough, some of the most liberal and accepting and all-around good and progressive people I know are in fact fundamentalist christian, but they belong to a very tiny liberal fundie church, not one of the big multimedia ones. They have no interest whatsoever in converting anyone else, and are in fact very hesitant to talk about their beliefs as they think that it's personal and private. They're also wonderful people and great fun at parties with a fantastic sense of humor. And they tend to vote Dem and get suspicious when "church leaders" tell them how to vote.

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  8. That's... damn... yeah. Friggin' poetry, Jim.

    I liked the bugshit barking part, too, though 'warty' has a really funky ring to it.

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  9. Jim,

    Most eloquent. And visual.

    One wonders when the scales will drop from their (so-called, God-fearing conservative) eyes?

    Perhaps never.

    BTW - you heard that the UK banned Mikey Weiner's entry into the kingdom? Personally, I'm not sure what is more entertaining: Mikey's inclusion on a list of fanatics not allowed to enter Britain or the fact that he is demanding that he demand's Hillary treat him like any other outraged American citizen!!!

    Just how much money do we get to charge Mikey for wasting State Dept time to sort out HIS mess???

    SP

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  10. SP,

    Yeah, I knew Weiner was one of only ten people banned from the UK. He's pretty proud of that too.

    I think it the ultimate in hilarious hypocrisy that he's demanding that that Hillary Clinton fix it for him.

    The guy is an asshole.

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  11. Can open... worms EVERYWHERE! And we love you for it.

    And I think it's hilarious that an ultra-conservative is banned from England, which is practically the mother-ship for them (you know, except for all those socialist ideas they have about medicine and welfare and the dignity of labor). Plus the historical irony (what became the conservative party favored England, what because the liberal party favored France) of it is especially delicious.

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  12. Word, baby, word.

    BTW, I've long thought Weiner/Savage was certifiably batshit insane. It's a wonder he doesn't wander into traffic.

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  13. I'd love to read this book, but don't want to give this scumbag my hard-earned money. It might be entertaining for the laughs alone.

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  14. I like this article because it does a very good job of explaining what a liberal is SUPPOSED to be, and in fact what a majority of the rank-and-file liberals are. Unfortunately, liberalism, as it is represented in government, is not like that at all. Since that is what most of us see, it is what most of us base our opinions on.

    The problem with the current form of liberalism is that it tries to force others to be that way. It tries to steal from jack to help joseph. You will find that most people are more than willing to help the less fortunate, if they choose to do so on their own, or if they are politely led to it so as to think it was their idea. But when I am barely keeping my own head above water, how dare you tax me more to pay for the problems of others? A man must be allowed to ensure that his own house is in order first.

    That is where the problem lay in modern liberalism, and why so many people are against it. My rights end where another's begins, but that works in both directions.

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  15. Cipher (and catchy handle that) I don't necessarily disagree with any of your points.

    As I pointed out in the post, Liberalism taken to extremes is a form a tyranny.

    But so is Conservatism when taken to extremes, and in fact I think conservatism gets to tyranny and mental illness a whole lot faster than liberalism.

    And I personally think that while it can be demonstrated that big Ell Liberalism has its share of craziness, NeoConservitism is made up almost entirely of extremism boarding on insanity.

    For a neocon to call liberalism a mental illness is the pot calling the kettle black in a major way.

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  16. The following was received via email, I decided to publish it. If LeRoy in Clinton, Maryland has a problem with his ignorant illiteracy being made public he's welcome to come to Alaska and do something about it. He's welcome to bring Jesus with him:
    ___________________________________


    Dear mR. Jim Wright…

    You are STUPID do you know that? You have OFFENDED every veteran in the county with your curse against Jesus and GOD. You STUPID LIBS are all the SAME. LIBS ARE mental ill SICK IN THE HEAD, you know that?!! Your wrong with your HATEFUL thinking you should be ashamed for saying that VETERANS ARE DUMB FOR GOING TO WAR. That is there job STUPID. if it was up to me I would draft you to the army so you could learn what it is like to be in WAR maybe then you would have proper RESPECT FOR JESUS AND THE HERIOC SOLDERS. But you are so STUPID that you probably wouldn’t learn would you? You would probably let the terrorist loving arbs (THEY DON’T EXCEPT JESUS AS THERE SAVIOR!) just get killed and then you would understand too late not to call solders STUPID just because they are not geniuses doesn’t make them STUPID you are the STUIPID one. YOu ARE PROBABLY HOMESEXUAL TOO AND WISH al solders should be TOO. That is a SIN in the eyes of the LORD!

    STUPID people like your STUPID should be killed so that you don't have ignorant kids as if a HOMESEXUAL LIB like you could even have kids that is just sad. But that's WHY STUPID LIBS live in ALASKA right? So that your safe away from people who would do what should be done.

    I will pray fOR YOUR TO DIE SOON SO THAT YOU WLL STAND IN FRONT OF JESUS!!! STUPID LIBS! YOurs in JESUS NAME AMEN.


    _______________________________

    It took me a while to figure this one out and I'm still not sure I've got it. Near as I can figure, I used the word "disingenuous" which LeRoy understood to mean "Not A Genius" and somehow divined that I meant soldiers are stupid.

    Of course, if I'd ever served in uniform or, you know, been to war, I'd probably have more respect for the military. Silly me.

    I said it in the post, I'll say it again here: Neo-Conservatism is the bugshit, barking at the moon, lead paint swilling, self mutilating, piss drinking, dirt eating, kidnapped by space aliens, playing with invisible friends, gibbering in the land of de Nile, born again, shut in the closet and covered in your own shit, screaming wackaloon of mental disorders.

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  17. Egads. That's some fine incoherent ranting you've got there. ;)

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  18. Can't spell, can't type, can't read. Three strikes and ol' LeRoy in Clinton, Maryland is out!

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  19. Wow Jim! You're so offensive! And I never knew you were part of the secret homosexual agenda. Did you get the toaster yet?

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  20. I know it is late, but I just found this place.

    Re LeRoy

    Is he aware that Jesus is the third most venerated person in the Islamic belief system? I think, but don't know that #2 is Abraham but may be Moses.

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  21. Well, my favorite part is that bit about liberals and Alaska - liberals like Sarah Palin I guess he's talking about.

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  22. Jim...
    I do want to point to Heston's history -- the guy was pro-union and in many ways liberal aside from his position on firearms. He deserves better than to be pilloried for a two-dimensional view of a complex life.

    Other than that, I think you should have titled this, "Liberalism, NeoCons, and Insanity" as there are principled and thoughtful conservatives out there, too. Mike Huckabee comes to mind. It's useful to note that there _are_ thoughtful conservatives, and it'd be nice to find someone who can do their positions justice in the same way you have done justice to the Liberal ethos (and thank you; I'm going to be referring to this essay for the next several years).

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  23. Phil7son

    The title of this post was constructed with malice aforethought as a deliberate insult.

    I used the word "conservatives" rather than "neocons" on purpose - just exactly as republicans lately tend to lump all liberals together, usually under the pejorative "libs," and talk with hate filled spittle about how they are the enemies of America.

    Conservatives cry foul when all conservatives, including the neocons and the batshit crazies and fundies and the birthers and the born agains are all lumped together - but see absolutely nothing wrong with lumping all liberals together under the banner "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder," and calling them, their neighbors, the enemy.

    Goose, gander, pot, kettle, and so on. If conservatives find this post offensive, maybe they should give a thought to that fucking offensive bumper sticker before they slap it on their SUV, and before they quote that offensive jackhole Michael Savage and other offensive vomitus like Limbaugh, Coulter, and Beck.

    I tend to choose my words and my insults deliberately - the title of this post is such.


    As to Heston - I agree that the man wasn't evil, he was a hell of an actor and a fairly decent human being. But he was the gun crazy head of a gun crazy organization who said some pretty damned gun crazy nonsense. I didn't pillory him, I simply used him as the butt of a joke. He's dead, he doesn't care.

    I understand that there are thoughtful, intelligent, and reasonable conservatives out there. I'm related to a bunch of them. A bunch of them read Stonekettle Station, many comment here. Most of my friends are thoughtful, reasonable, and intelligent conservatives. Hell, for most of my life I was a registered member of the Republican Party - but the Party has been taken over by the bugshit, barking at the moon, lead paint swilling, self mutilating, piss drinking, dirt eating, kidnapped by space aliens, playing with invisible friends, gibbering in the land of de Nile, born again, shut in the closet and covered in your own shit, screaming wackaloon of mental disorders. Reagan was the worst thing to ever happen to the GOP - he brought the fringe into the center, then they ate the party alive - the end result is the recent glorification of mental midgets like Sarah Palin. The GOP is not evolving, they are devolving. They have become the party of hate, fear, paranoia, anti-science, anti-this, anti-that, and ignorance. Frankly I'm sick and tired of their bullshit, the constant trumpet of "They're stealing our country!" Well, it's NOT their country. It's our country, all of us.

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    Replies
    1. Yes ! Yes ! Yes ! Yet another finely crafted article that gets out the fileting knife and Down to the Bone.

      Delete
  24. I'm a consitutionalist/conservative, but still got a good laugh.

    Your summary of the normal liberal, doesnt sound liberal at all (certainly does not line up with the Obama incarnation), but everyone has to join a side I guess.

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    Replies
    1. Thats because Obama is a moderate Republican. Shows how far the Reich has drifted right.

      Delete
  25. ...oh and I enjoyed most of it, except when you turned mental and started in with the bush lied bs. (there are warmongering statements from every high profile democrat on the scene before curious george was president, he simply followed through with the rhetoric.)

    im not inclined to give to turds if he cherry picked what he used as his selling points, any educated and moral person doesnt argue the just desserts shoe shine boy earned and recieved.

    anyway, funnny stuff, keep up the great blogging.

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  26. Brav
    fucking
    Oh

    Great article, and I agree, the best line by far was
    "...vellum made from the warty skin of Charlton Heston’s massive scrotum and printed in bitter black inky tears collected from members of the Michigan Militia."

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  27. Thanks, Paul, glad you enjoyed the article.

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  28. Applause! Applause! Standing ovation!

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  29. When are conservatives like "anonymous" going to notice that Obama is Not a flaming liberal, and it was little George who gave the first huge wad of cash to the finance industry with no strings attached? Obama imposed strings. I haven't seen conservatives rounded up and sent to the Gulag yet. Bible thumpers from the God squad are still hassling the rest of us unrestrained. Obama actually supported the idea of forcing Americans to be customers of the private health insurance industry rather than fight hard for a public plan that would wipe that parasite industry out. So what's with the references to that radical liberal (leftist) Obama?

    I'm much more radical than Obama when it comes to wanting to wrestle our country back from international corporate interests, the out-of-control criminal justice system, and overreaching tyrant Federal Justice Department turned into the conservative rights own goon squad, so that our government can work for and represent we, the people, again!

    Why is it liberals are the ones who have to keep reminding conservatives that ours is a democratic republic and not a monarchy or dictatorship?

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  30. Bookmarking this for later use to make whackaloon heads explode.



    wronc: what the whackaloons are

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  31. Hi Jim,

    I just found this as a link on "America: You Keep Using That Word"

    If that Anonymous person is still around, they may want to check out the 60 Minutes from 3/13/11, where the guy who said Saddam had WMD's admitted he lied.

    I too am a former member of the GOP; former, because they have done everything to disenfranchise me they could possible do, short of actually airing a public lynching of a person of color, though would hate to give them any ideas.

    The Wackaloon's as you called them, BTW love that phrase, passed grandma's house about 300 miles back, they are so far around the bend, that they no longer realize they left the path and are in uncharted territory.

    Hopefully the SANE Conservatives can reign in the Wackaloon's with reason and truth, though I have my doubts that they will accept it.

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  32. As the wife of a former Marine, I can just about hear you speaking these words aloud. You've got that indefinable way with the lingo that in part comes from previous military experiences, IMHO. Can't tell you how much I am enjoying reading your posts - which I found for the first time today - thanks much for saying what we'd all LIKE to be saying, and so eloquently!

    Cheers!

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  33. What a GREAT post! I hope it eventually makes its way onto the pc screen of every REAL American, i.e, Americans that still love their country more than a political party, that still love American ideals more than some self-serving political ideology, and that still love American freedom, fairness and justice more than ignorance, hate, arrogance and corruption.

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  34. Thanks Jim, my CGhesire cat is grinning off the hook!

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  35. Loved it all! Excellent, as usual, and that email was hilarious as was that "Huckles" is a great conservative!

    I also used to vote mostly Republican till 2000. That's the only credit I that I will give Bush for. He totally woke me up and made me pay attention.

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  36. Oh, man, you've got a new fan! Glad I found you.

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  37. With all due respect: Costa Rica gets by without a military. (I understand they have a national police force that carries some of the functions of a military.) I think the world can go a good deal farther than we have in ratcheting down the cycle of militarism. It may not be able to happen all at once, since countries have militaries because other countries have them, but that's still the direction to go. If that makes me a hippie (still, after 40 years, the worst thing one can be called), so be it.

    Most people are generally OK, depending on the conditions in which they live and their level of self-awareness. It's just that enough of us aren't OK to make the difference. Life is, you'll notice, generally not like an L.A. riot. Civilization isn't a "thin veneer", it's just not impenetrable--not something to take for granted.

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  38. @Louis Cipher:

    No, liberalism does not try to "steal from Jack to help Joseph". You're assuming that the laissez-faire capitalist economy is ipso facto a PERFECT distributor of wealth, when it plainly isn't. There has to be some structure in place to assure that those on top don't keep all the wealth. It's not Jack paying to help Joseph, it's Mr. Moneybags On Top who's never gonna miss it.

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  39. Oh I'm in love with this one! Keep up the great work!

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  40. re: LeRoy from Clinton, Md

    Oh my gawd!!!

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  41. "Some less far left Liberals seem to think that if we all just held hands and sang Kumbaya and gave Osama a pony all men would magically become brothers through the miraculous power of rock and roll and we’d all live in an endless Age of Aquarius like a worldwide Burning Man Festival. "

    HAHAHAHA! I know those people! That's why I haven't been to Burning Man in 15 years... but I would fight for their right to party. If you really want to blow a conservative's tiny mind show them this video The People of Burning Man They'll totally freak out. Point out to them that that is what FREEDOM looks like. This is America!

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  42. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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  43. For both this post and the one that went viral, thank you (and for your service, as well). I riffed off your viral post in my poltical blog, because it's important -- vitally important -- to define what loving America *is* as well as what it isn't. I've added you to my RSS feed. Thank you again for your beautiful statements

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  44. Along with some of the other commentors I'm also a former Republican, and I find myself in agreement with the idea of social liberalism. Culturally speaking I' fairly conservative on some issues and liberal on others.

    Thank you for what you wrote and for your service to your country.

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  45. It's funny how you got mad about Conservatives talking shit about Liberals, and then you go on to do the same about them. Talk about hypocrisy. True Liberals are accepting of everyone, Conservatives included. I have found calm listening and a mature conversation to be one of the easiest ways to end a Conservative rant, because if they keep raging, it just becomes obvious who is in the right.

    It seems like a lot of people reading your blog could take this to heart.

    Anyway, great post in the humor department!

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    Replies
    1. You need to read Jims piece on how trying to discuss things rationally with the irrational is a complete waste of time and effort.

      Most of the hard Right Reich have zero interest in discussion or common ground. They're crazy, and will stay that way.

      Delete
  46. Found your blog via a friend. Thank you for putting into words exactly what I want to say when confronted with random conservative talking points.

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  47. The majority of conservatives are not neocons, just like the majority of liberals are not marxists. To be able to recognize the subtleties and limitations of one group without being able to acknowledge the subtleties and limitations of another seems counter to the point you are trying to make.

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  48. Before anybody dismisses those hold-hands-and-dance-around-a-pole liberals at Burning Man as useless or soft please recall that they go camping for the week before Labor Day on a salt flat in Nevada. I know people who bicycle there every year.

    If you can put aside their language (which is crap, I admit) and look at what they are doing they are shockingly tough and effective.

    My sole criticism.

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  49. Now that was one of the finest rants I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It makes me smile to see that there are still sane people in the world who are actually paying attention to what has been going on in this country for the last 20 years or so and that shit has gotten out of hand. Also I really, really hate Glen Beck, he's such a douche.

    Keep up the good work, you definitely made a fan of me with this one.

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  50. I'm amused, we seem to think alike. I did a rant like this one a few years back:

    http://pecunium.livejournal.com/183316.html

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  51. WOW! is just about all I can say to your rip-roaring, last-5-paragraphs finish. Keep up the good work .. your blog is now bookmarked and I will visit early and often

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  52. The majority of conservatives are not neocons, just like the majority of liberals are not marxists. To be able to recognize the subtleties and limitations of one group without being able to acknowledge the subtleties and limitations of another seems counter to the point you are trying to make.

    I can't improve upon this anonymous post. So I'll just second it.

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  53. @dcedeno, @anonymous - I agree, and have so stated on more than one occasion. You have to read all of my stuff, not just single posts. This post was already long enough, without repeating things I've said elsewhere.

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  54. The paragraph beginning with "Or is xenophobia a trait of the mentally stable?" reminds me of H.P. Lovecraft, and the mental issues he experienced.

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  55. lightfootletters.typepad.comJune 19, 2011 at 7:21 AM

    Lightfoot Letters
    The word conservative or progressive are relative terms. Liberalism has some basic core principles:
    Attitude, philosophy, or movement that has as its core concern the development of personal freedom, popular sovereignty, right of rebellion against oppression, free markets, free trade, and the exercise of free will. One of its central theses has long been that a government's claim to authority is justified only if the government can show those who live under it, that it secures their freedom, concerned to protect their life, liberty and property. The government that governs least governs best. Freedom of conscience, limited government that does not try to re-distribute wealth or goods. Benefits and burdens are distributed justly when government allows every individual the freedom to do what he chooses to do for himself and others. Suitable for a freeman...tolerant of views differing from one's own...of republican forms of government...favoring reforms as in religion, education ect; specifically, favoring political reforms tending toward personal freedom for the individual...distinguished from progressive as connoting more conservatism. Individual freedom is the natural state of man, as men were created free. Implies emancipation from what binds the mind or will. The roots of liberalism is the individualism of John Loke and John Mill. The idea that the best society is one which individuals are free to pursue their own interests as each chooses without causing harm to others. Noble, generous, free from prejudice.

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  56. Wow. Perhaps there is hope after all that rational thoughts can make a difference in this Republic. My fervent desire it that all of us can each take responsibility in his/her own life and make a difference in the life of the whole. That was what I was taught. And once I get it about how to help myself, I also can lend a hand to my neighbor.

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  57. Have you been to Burning Man? Its a grand time!

    Lisa

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  58. I haven't been, but it's on my bucket list. Looks like a blast.

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  59. Burning Man is an ongoing refutation of the conservative claim that "liberals are wimps."

    In the hottest month of the year a bunch of artists, musicians, crafters, tinkerers and like-minded folk pack up and move to what is effectively a salt flat for three to seven days.

    Amenities are porta-potties, no-shade, dust, sand, wind, blazing days, cold nights. Bring your own water and everything else.

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  60. Do it! it will not disappoint.

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  61. Bravo Jim! I can't tell you how happy I am to have been introduced to your blog. I had just about given up hope for finding intelligent life out there. You have restored my hope. Keep up the great writing and ranting! It's awesome.

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  62. Holy Buckets!

    Thank you Internets for bringing me here.

    Fine work! Thank you for the sanity. Thank you for your service to our country.

    Blessings,
    Amanda

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  63. I also have to chime in with the absurdity of using Kumbaya and Burning Man in the same sentence. Burning Man is a punk berating you with a megaphone for looking like a hippy standing in line at a porta potty even though you and 100 of your friends put together military-level organization to convoy 2000 miles from home with tools, generators, construction material, computer milled parts, computers, satellite uplinkes etc, while next door four guys are launching coordinated napalm jets 400 feet in the sky, dudes showing off their illegal overpowered legends, and hundreds of federal law enforcement people wandering how all these admittedly high folks manage to pull off stuff they don't even understand and fewer people get hurt than at any college tailgate party. And there probably is a camp somewhere where people are singing Kumbaya, or making little robots that sing Kumbaya while being dipped into a pool of live sharks that they managed to bring to the desert, because that's what freedom looks like. Just sayin'. You should probably go.

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  64. There's a fundamental mistake here in associating Marxists in any way whatsoever with Liberalism. Marxism/Communism is an ULTRA-CONSERVATIVE ideology promoting aristocracy, exploitation, slavery, and genocide. It has no connection whatsoever with anything progressive, humane, or liberal. Conservatism is, however, very closely connected to Marxism and Communism. The modern Conservative movement originates with crackpots claiming to be privy to the laws of history and economics, and who believe that any crime or lie that serves their ends is justified. This is just Marxism re-packaged and re-branded. The only difference is that "market" rather than "dialectic" is the magic word used to justify immorality. The "left-right" notion is nonsense. Conservatism and Communism belong together ideologically, and both are the polar opposite of freedom.

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    Replies
    1. Phil, I get the feeling you're REAL popular at parties. Do your conservative friends/families heads explode when you say that? I bet they do.
      Personally, I found your website very thought provoking. Same goes for Stonekettle Station. I think Jim should be on TV every night. Yes, I realize I'm four months late with the reply, but I just recently found this website from a link from C&L.com.

      Delete
  65. The Militant HippieDecember 11, 2011 at 3:20 AM

    *Blinks at Phil* ...Have you actually READ the Communist Manifesto? Communism/Marxism is the polar opposite of the political spectrum from Conservative in philosophy and organization, even if the end result is often the same as Fascism (which would be the polarized opposite-end philosophy on the Conservative side). The really interesting thing to me is that both forms have a lot of similarities in their root philosophies: both hardcore Communism and Fascism espouse the virtues of highly regulated, centralized government, with massive social control over the people.

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  66. OK, I've been reading your site now for quite a while and can't figure out how this little gem eluded me all this time. I'm one of your "Texas readers" and love the way you think. Thanks for your service to our country and by that I mean both your military service and this blog. Both are invaluable to a free thinking democracy. Well done Jim.

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  67. I have only recently found this blog, and I am very happy to have done so. I am really glad that this essay exists, having just had "you liberals" used as an insult against me. This is just what I needed to read after that. I look forward to reading more here.

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  68. In the gospel according to Ayn Rand, Jesus decides it's just not his cross to bear. Shrug.

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  69. I literally JUST found this gem of a blog (I was introduced by way of America: You Keep Using That Word... and it's companions), and I have to say, Wow. Just...WOW. This will sound a bit silly, but the first thing that popped into my head was "How is this guy reading my mind from all the way across the country when I haven't even had the thoughts yet?". ...You know, reading back over that, it sounds VERY egotistical, but I can't think of how to fix that without changing the base meaning.

    I do have something I disagree with, though. Or is mental health a belief, without a single shred of evidence, in angels and demons and fairies and invisible beings who live in the sky? Call me a dreamer, call me insane, but yes, yes I think it is. Or, more accurately, I don't think that said belief is an indicator of mental illness. Child-like, yes (and I don't think that's a bad thing to be, but that's a whole other kettle of fish). Over-imaginative, maybe. Mentally unstable, no.

    A child will believe, wholly, utterly, and with only the mere mention of a possibility of its existence, that there is a monster under the bed or in the closet. Likewise, said child will be soothed with a Flashlight of Monster-Shooing shone in the appropriate spot, or a small bottle of Monster-Be-Gone Mist sprayed around the room.

    Who would call that child insane? Actually, please. Don't answer that. I don't want to know you.

    And I've run out of words. -Jade

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  70. BEAUTIFUL rant. Just beautiful.

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  71. Owsome!
    Thanks for doing this. Worth reading for the laughs alone, but your writing (and the many reader comments) gives me new hope that we might just survive these nut job TEAbaggers. We just need your "voice crying in the wilderness" to be heard by more people.

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  72. This makes perfect sense. If I'm EVER up your way in Alaska, I'll stop by with some fresh berries from down here in FLA. Between us, we seem to have the country covered.

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  73. Funny and well-put. As another military veteran, I'm permanently incensed to have my service coopted by the neo-cons. And my religion. Thanks!

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  74. Great article.... I am new to your work but must say that I love all the articles I've just read. Can't wait to read more! ;)

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  75. "Is a desire to protect the environment we all live in a form of mentally illness?" - I know it's picky but occasionally the grammar Nazi in me surfaces - I think you meant "Is a desire to protect the environment we all live in a form of mental illness?".

    My grammar Nazi, now satisfied, will submerge ... till the next time...

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