Risk Rap

Rapping About a World at Risk

The Party of Values, Thoroughly Bankrupt

Republican’s fancy themselves to be the party of values.  They profess to love God and country.  They believe themselves to be the real Americans.  They are the absolute definition of righteous patriots.  They see themselves and their families basking in the light of a celestial exceptionalism.  They occupy the center of a universe anointed by the invisible hand of free market capitalism, governed and sanctified by the benevolent love of their heavenly father, Jesus Christ.

Their values are based on a fundamentalist foundation of the King James Bible and the US Constitution as it was originally conceived and authored by the Founding Fathers in 1787.  They are resolute in the belief of the correctness of their interpretation of this hallowed literature and remain adamant in how the instruction of these sacred tomes should be applied and implemented to shape and govern our Federal Republic.

If you question the basic supposition of their position they will tarry your thrust by questioning your love of country and your belief in God.  Those same questions must be asked of them.  The virulent defenders of the cross and crown of liberty consistently undermine the spirit of both. They serve the corporate objectives of church, military and industrial institutions that have formed an unholy alliance to rule and exploit the hearts and minds of an enslaved consumer market that cannot discern the difference between political liberty and a have it your way experience at Burger King.

America’s political ignorance is a poverty exploited by the oligarchs; giving them full sway to control and manipulate the levers of power to secure and advance selfish interests.  They cloth their motives in priestly robes, medal adorned military uniforms, Rotarian flannel suits and Joe “the wannabe” Plumber overalls feigning a martyrdom of being crushed by the menacing liberal elites by standing for the values of free markets, Christianity, class mobility and a military spreading the global march of democracy.

The GOP presidential debates provided some telling political theater of how the party of values advanced the cause of individual liberty and governance informed by moral precepts. In one session a gay officer serving in Iraq asked the candidates “now that DADT has been repealed and gay service personnel can serve in the military would they support  same sex marriage”.  The gay serviceman unselfishly serving his country in a theater of war was roundly booed by the uber patriots sitting in the audience before Rick Santorum piled on and asserted not only would he not sign a same sex marriage bill into law, he would also reinstate DADT.

In another session the question concerning the mandatory requirement to purchase  health care insurance was raised.  The moderator asked a hypothetical question, “if a person failed to purchase insurance and required a life saving procedure who should pay?”  One of the more compassionate conservatives shouted “let him die”.   This was undoubtedly the same guy who condemned Jesus for healing on the Sabbath.

Another high water mark of GOP moral turpitude occurred when the debate moderator questioned Rick Perry about the State of Texas position as the leader in capital punishment executions.  The audience erupted in cheers.  The United States is home to the worlds largest penal colony with an inmate population that exceeds 2,000,000.   This belies the myth of the United States as the land of the free; particularly for the people of color who account for the largest proportion of the inmate population.  This is good news for the free marketeers as the privatization of prisons is a growth industry.  The profiteers of misery require the judicial apparatus of the states to maintain a prison occupancy rate of 90% to assure profitability for private investors.  The threat to a fair trial has never been more at risk.  This is a business opportunity right up the GOPs free market alley. The devaluation of the rule of law an unfortunate consequence.  The value of money trumps the grace of justice.

The GOP’s deep investment in the culture of death mirrors a country thoroughly committed to the continued militarization of the economy regardless of its cultural cost.  Republicans eagerly beat the drums of war and use the poetry of destruction  to articulate a cutesy point.  Remember John McCain using the melody of  Barbara Anne to sing, “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran”  The neocons ate it up.  The peacemaker may be considered children of God,  but in the GOP the business of war and righteous crusades are divine.

Republicans pledge undying fealty to the Constitution and the rights of citizens.  One would think that this would encourage vocal opposition  to President Obama’s Executive Order to execute suspected combatant citizens without due process in respect  to the right of a trial by a jury of their peers.  Not a single word has been raised against this grievous violation of a basic constitutional protection.  Where are all the freedom loving, constitution waving Teabaggers?  It’s a natural extension of Republican’s refusal to recognize the full civil rights of  citizens.  As in the case of LGBT civil rights, the GOP’s vision of America protects civil liberties only for select citizens they deem worthy.  The rights of the republic’s citizens and the rule of law be damned.

It is in this light that we can understand Rush Limbaugh’s misogynistic characterization of Sandra Fluke as a slut.  Dehumanizing a group of people as “the other” or “less then”  because they hold a contrary position is a dangerous sedition that undermines democracy.

Democracies need its citizens to reach an informed consensus to function.  Consensus requires dialog to assimilate disparate views from multiple viewpoints and perspectives.  This presupposes that the participants in the discussion recognize and value the rights of citizenship for all participants in the dialog.  The highest value in a secular democracy is respecting the equal rights of all citizens.  Without this value democracies crumble.  Our democracy is in shambles.

This weekend Rick Santorum sat upon the alter at the Greenwell Baptist Church to accept the endorsement of Pastor Dennis Terry for the upcoming Louisiana primary.   After laying his hands on Santorum to bless his candidacy,  Pastor Terry delivered a sermon that spewed fire and brimstone onto the reprobate head of our secular democracy.  “America” he said “was a Christian Nation ruled by Christ the King.  He said American’s don’t worship Buddha, Allah or any other false Gods.  He said American’s worshiped the God on High, Jesus Christ.  And if they don’t like it they can get out.”  As a Christian I can’t tell you how much I loathe this blatant bigotry.  Jesus was all about inclusion and tolerance and I’m sure he would make short work of this Pharisee.  As an American citizen, I can’t think of a more ignorant and damaging characterization of  America’s promise and the democratic values it professes to uphold.

GOP wunderkind Paul Ryan, yesterday unveiled a budget that assiduously accounts for the price of every tax loop hole, generous corporate welfare allocation and tax reduction for the wealthy while demonstrating a chilling indifference for slashed social programs and its impact on human beings.  Republican’s know the price of everything and the value of nothing.  The party of values is thoroughly bankrupt.

Music Selection:  Sen. John McCain, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran

Risk: democracy, values, political culture
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March 20, 2012 Posted by | Bible, Christianity, conservatism, culture, faith, gay rights, goverment, Iran, LGBT, McCain, Obama, politics, prayer, religion, republicans, values | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

American Evita

sarah-palin-legs-photoIs Sarah Palin the friendly and ever so lovely face of a new American Peronism? Is her resignation from office as Governor of Alaska the first step and necessary precondition of her coronation as titular head and leader of a new political party? Does it signal her desire to lead a movement that embraces the growing number of disaffected middle class Americans perplexed about their plunging standard of living and growing obsessively angered with insolvent and impotent government institutions inability to arrest the decline?

Everyday the institutions of government and constitutional law are being delegitimized by raucous Tea Partyers, abortion doctor assassins, family focus fanatics and political miscreants waving birth certificates screaming that they want their country back. We wrote about this back in October.  Please allow me to quote from our McCain’s Know Nothings post of 10/11/08.

“Sarah Palin’s masterful use of the rhetoric of division and suspicion “who is Barack Obama?” has stoked the ugly side of America’s political angst. The lipstick wearing attack dog has done her job well. She has skillfully tapped into voter sentiment that is frightened about their economic security, fed up with the self serving lies of our political leaders and furious about their powerlessness to exercise control to stop the radical changes occurring in their lives. The stasis of Bush Republicanism is being washed away in a tsunami of world events that is accelerating the pace of change and cultural transformation. Palin promises to change our inability to arrest the changes that are overwhelming Americans. Sarah’s minions just want it to stop. They want it to go away. They want it to stay the way things always were. America is on top. God is in his heaven and all is right with the world. They will accept nothing less then our full entitlement to the birthright of our American Exceptionalism; and unlike Easu we will not sell it or be tricked out of it by a fast talking Jacob that goes by the name of Barack.”

Sarah, “the barracuda” has a whole mythology springing up about her even as her pronouncements concerning vigilant hockey momdom (daughters teen pregnancy), pit bull fighter to the end (resignation as governor), irascible maverick (support of bridge to nowhere), impeccable governance ethics (improper use of state government funds) all paint a very different portrait of the super girl from Alaska. Her identity as the all American girl, who worked, rose and battled an establishment with nothing more then moxie and good old values has captured the hearts, support and imaginations of “real American’s” willing to fight against those seeking to undermine the values and ideals of our uniquely God blessed land.

Palin’s timely resignation stole the limelight from the Michael Jackson funereal spectacle; a nonstop orgy of media affectation that refused to let MJ’s troubled soul depart in peace.  Sarah’s announcement was a perfect foil and counterpoint to the ghoulish parade. Sarah’s photo op complete with overall fishing waders offered conclusive proof of how the still Governor of Alaska was working hard serving the needs of her constituents as her abandoned term of office was coming to a close. Sarah’s image of pulling in the nets bursting with sockeye could not have provided a more dramatic contrast to seeing MJ’s body bag being offloaded from a helicopter and placed into a ambulance for a trip to the Los Angeles morgue. It confirmed for her followers that Sarah’s way is filled with truth, light and a great catch as she stood beaming at the center of attention of a country obsessed with celebrity and a media that affirms their personal ethos du jour.

One of the reasons cited by Sarah for her resignation was that she was constantly under attack by the establishment. Sarah’s victimhood elicits empathy and a deep sense of identification from her countrymen. Middle America’s sense of victimization is quickly becoming its defining pathos.  Home foreclosures, job losses, bankruptcies, community instability and spiraling taxes are combustible issues ripping apart the social fabric of America’s middle class. The crushing pain is being expressed in a growing chorus of cries that Sarah’s political antenna is accurately attuned to. In turn, Sarah’s minions understand and validate her victimization that they believe she will overcome and triumph if she remains true to real American values. Persecuted Christians exhausted from the prolonged war on Christmas feel her pain. Family value proponents that yearn for a constitutional amendment to define marriage so as to exclude civil rights for the LGBT community are down with Sarah. Uber patriots who are convinced that terrorist lurk in the quiet shadows just off Main Street remain willing to cede their civil rights.  They also express a solid conviction to prosecute endless global wars as the only means to eradicate the terror threat  staunchly stand with  Sarah. Real American’s who live in a geography of anywhere USA that is not urban; or resides in an existential state of multicultural exclusion support Sarah. Those who are terrified by the hard edges of modernity and the difficult manageability of our complex society are arming themselves to the teeth to protect themselves from its ghostly specter take a cue from gun toting Sarah. And as Sarah’s supporters scream “drill baby drill” as a rallying cry to defend an expiring mode of life based upon the insatiable and unsustainable consumption of natural resources requiring the imperial projection of power and environmental degradation mindlessly shout “Sarah, Sarah, Sarah”.

Sarah, our self styled, self proclaimed maverick.  American’s steep themselves in the mythology of the outside gunslinger taking on established power elites to effect change. But I sense an alarming correlation that is closer to Leni Riefenstahl’s “Triumph of the Will” then Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”. Individualism counts and boldness wins out in the end in Sarah’s political morality fairy tale. But I see little in the actual trajectory of her career or her political pronouncements that suggest that she is an unconventional politician willing to lay it on the line to take principled stand against the power elite. Sarah’s principled stances are driven by political opportunism rather then courage.

Yes, Sarah is a perfect victim. White, hockey mom from the rural region. Liberal elite city slickers hate her for who she is. But as Sean Hannity is fond of saying, “let you hearts not be troubled” because as the world continues to hate America for it’s values Sarah remains on watch.  She is a sentinel of our arsenal of democracy protecting the common folk, Joe six packers and wannabe plumbers. This woman who rose to heights in this male dominated world got great legs, sports a nice dew and is quick with a wink and a smile.  She has seduced America and as national dissatisfaction grows with governmental institutions unable to address economic malaise and cultural deterioration, nationalistic sentiment and Sarah’s popularity will rise.  Unlike our current President, Sarah is American to the bone. Palin’s physical place of birth may have been Idaho; but her resignation as governor may have born her again as a new political force to be reckoned with.

You Tube Music Video: Madonna, Don’t Cry for Me Argentina

Risk: politics, Peronism

July 23, 2009 Posted by | Obama, Palin, politics, recession, republicans | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Wasilla Hillbillies

It is said that success has a thousand fathers and failure is an orphan. So its not surprising that as the McCain campaign came to its blessed end no one wanted to be blamed for the train wreck. Indeed the professional class of campaign elites that handled the failed republican bid for the presidency was looking to pin the progeny of McCain’s homely orphan on someone. Sarah Palin was again called to the service of her good party to take one for the team.

Much is being said about the Wasilla Hillbillies plundering Neiman Marcus from coast to coast. Much is being said about Palin’s confusion about weather Africa is a country or continent, what North American countries are NAFTA signatories and her refusal to prep for TV interviews and the resulting gaffs due to the lack of preparation. Fair enough. However I believe that most American’s couldn’t answer those “tough” questions by the liberal gotcha media and given the chance at a free coast to coast shopping spree would act in a similar if not more covetous fashion.

What really must be asked is who is responsible for anointing Sarah Palin to assume the office of VP? McCain’s Country Firsters, whose unfathomable depth of love for country is understandable only by God, insisted that Ms. Palin was the best person to sit in the office one heart beat away from the presidency. The Country Firsters erected the cult of Palin to solidify its right wing base and appeal to a broader populist mass of hockey moms, Joe Six Packers and Joe the wanna be plumber. The Republican Party does this every four years. At election time, the party of power and privileged elites comes before the electorate like a wolf in sheep clothing. They play on populist sentiments and fears. They viciously attack democrats as lesser American, non Christian, unpatriotic liberal elites whose sole purpose is to excessively tax the salt of the earth working people to send welfare checks and social assistance to the slackers of society.

Now that the election is over the republicans have no need to curry favor with the lower class rabble whose votes they need to remain in office. The deification of Palin is a cold slap in the face of an electoral sector that allows itself to be beguiled by a political machine to support a program that is painfully at odds with its own self interest.

Palin’s deification also signals a badly split republican party. Mitt Romney for example, has the social conservative credentials to appeal to Palin’s peeps with the glaring exception of his Mormon faith. The rejection of Romney as a suitable candidate speaks volumes about the religious bigotry rampant within the Republican Party. The Christian Rightists will righteously eat their party’s own out of bigoted zeal while rejecting apostates communion wafers offered at the Lord’s Table by mainstream Christian denominations. This party needs a reformation. Perhaps a Martin Luther will surface and nail a new 95 Thesis on the door of the RNC.

You Tube Video: Granny Sings “She Wants to Go Home”

You Tube Video: The Beverly Hillbillies Original Trailer

You Tube Video: The Beverley Hillbillies Theme Song

You Tube Video: Weird Al Yankovic, Money For Nothing

Risk: social class, party politics

November 8, 2008 Posted by | class, culture, McCain, Palin, politics, pop, republicans, TV | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Centralia PA

The high water mark of the Confederacy was achieved at the Battle of Gettysburg along Cemetery Ridge on the afternoon of July 3 1863. Here the futile and costly charge led by Confederate General George Pickett ended the hopes of the secessionists to extend the war north of the Mason-Dixon Line. It also signaled the beginning end of the Confederacy and their hopes to dismantle the Union.

November 19 will mark the 145th anniversary of the Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. Lincolns speech is revered as an oratorical masterpiece. It ably conveyed a free people’s resolve and reverence for a representative democracy and the price free people’s must pay to secure the grace of liberty.

I bring this up because the great state of Pennsylvania is again a high water mark in the presidential battlefield of this historic election. Pennsylvania is the battle ground state whose electorate may decide who sits in the office of our next president. And as the candidates jaw on about Joe the Plumber, Six Packin Six Packers and the sacred patriotism of Hockey Moms, I hope voters continue to consider the environmental degradation that has visited this region too such terrible effect.

The town of Centralia is a scant 101 miles northeast of Gettysburg. Centralia was founded in 1840 and its residents have made a living mining the coal along the Reading Seam for over 100 years. Today however, Centralia is a ghost town. It had to be evacuated due to an underground fire that has been burning for 40 years fueled by the coal that once provided the miners and residents of the town its livelihood. The experts predict that the inextinguishable fire will burn for 250 years and its toxic emissions and danger of ground cave ins have made the town along Highway 61 uninhabitable.

The devastation of this environmental industrial disaster should be a prime issue in the campaigns of the candidates along with occupational safety, environmental protection, the provision of health care and jobs for these distressed areas. Unfortunately as the Bush Administration continues to allow strip miners to operate with impunity without regards to any environmental safeguards the devastation and degradation of small towns like Centralia will remain a real threat.

I ask my fellow countrymen in Pennsylvania to consider your vote and turn back the tide of ignorance to the real issues confronting our nation. Environmental degradation and ecological risk is a real threat to our livelihood and well being. Ask the former citizens of Centralia. Today’s video shows the devastation of the once small town of Centralia accompanied by great guitar work by Mr. Winter.

You tube Video: Johnny Winter Highway 61 Revisited

Risk: environmental, brownfield remediation, mining

October 27, 2008 Posted by | Bush, elections, environment, rock | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reality Bites Back

If you build the foundation of your house on a pile of sand, when the water rises it will fall with a great crash.

Wendell Phillips reminds us that “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” That vigilance demands that we examine the proclamations, actions and behaviors of the people running for office. As free people endowed with the grace of liberty we must hold up the proclamations and representations of people seeking office to the light of truth. Every free person must scrupulously examine the candidates and the evidence they offer so as to confer our vote to those who most closely represent the ideals and aspirations we desire for our community and country.

When a candidate comes before us claiming to be one of the common folk and bases a good measure of their candidacy on proclaiming their commonness to appeal to popular sentiment it is fitting if we examine their conduct and actions to see if their claims ring true when held up to the light of truth.

Sarah Palin, the self proclaimed hockey mom is not as common as she would like American’s to believe. Ms. Palin is a skilled politician who knows how to trade on her political currency to advance her career. Ms. Palin’s selection as McCain’s running mate was a cynical attempt by a stagnating campaign to enlist a willing media to derail the electorates attention from the substantive issues painfully confronting this country.

More has been written and debated about the sexism of people who raised questions about Ms. Palin’s qualifications then elucidating a coherent and complete response to those questions. My belief is that the Republican Party could have surfaced a more competent and capable candidate to assume a role that is one heart beat away from the presidency of the United States.

More has been made of Ms. Palin’s opponents elitism and urban chauvinism then a thorough examination of her insistence that real American’s reside on the Main Streets of small town America. My belief is that this is divisive. It does not build national unity and is harmful to a necessary national consensus that democracies require in order to function. Ms. Palin’s demonization of opponents does great harm to our republic.

More has been spoken about Ms. Palin’s claim to be a leading proponent of Maverickanism. Americans would be well served to examine her program to determine the extent of its divergence from the current administration. My belief is that Ms. Palin advances a program that remains subservient to the interests of large oil companies and big business and is fully wedded to the continuation of the policies of the current administration. Does the slogan “drill baby drill” sound familiar? This country has been rudderless and bereft of any effective leadership under two successive republican administrations. We need a break from SOP. We need a transformational president. (AKA A Real Maverick)

We must also ask, “when is a hockey mom not really a hockey mom?” Do all hockey mom’s spend $150K on clothes? This nation’s hockey moms are rarely seen in fancy leather jackets and very slick dress suits replete with fine complimentary accessories. Today, the majority of hockey moms are hoping they can afford the fees and expensive equipment that participation in hockey leagues requires. Hockey mom’s hope they have the extra dosh to fill up the tank to drive their worry and work weary self and child to make it to the rink for a 6:00AM Saturday morning ice time. Your Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue suits might just be enough to get you kicked out of Hockey Moms United USA. It certainly will get you a membership into the uber elite Waldorf Des Rothschild’s Social Club.

The other recent pillar of the McCain campaign has been the emergence of Joe the Plumber. Joe the Plumber is not a licensed plumber. Joe the Plumber is a laborer who is on the lam from the Arizona DMV for skipping out on a bunch of parking tickets. Joe the Plumber is not in any position to buy his bosses business and it appears that his hope to make a $250K salary remains a very long longshot. But incredibly enough John McCain holds this guy up as a poster child for unfair taxation. McCain’s argument is that sometime in the future if Joe the Plumber buys a business and makes $250K he’ll have to suffer a 3% increase in taxes.

McCain’s incredibly incomprehensible and disingenuous campaign is dangerously crowned by the destructive robocalls that shout Obama is a socialist, a supporter terrorists and is eager to fleece the middle class of America and give their money to the people who don’t make money. I don’t know from what planet McCain has just arrived from but if he’s spent any time recently with the middle class of America he would well know that 8 years of unbridled republicanism has already fleeced the treasure of the middle class and is now in possession of the monied interests that the republican party slavishly serve.

Most dangerous and cynical of all is a McCain campaign flyer put out by the RNC insinuating Mr. Obama’s terrorist ties. It shows an airplane and a picture of Obama ostensively guiding a crew of terrorists to fly into a building to continue the rein of terror and bring down Babylon America.

McCain has been flying this flag for months. I would ask McCain if he and his campaign have evidence concerning Mr. Obama’s support of terrorist activities to bring it to law enforcement officials so American citizens can be protected from the devises of this pernicious subversion. Thats what true patriots are called to do Mr. McCain. Mr. McCain’s fear mongering, character assassination and attempts to question people and groups love of country and patriotism is a sick pandemic that the real enemies of this republic encourage. And like the Hockey Mom Sarah Palin and Joe the Not Yet Plumber, Mr. Obama the terrorist is a well crafted fiction in the senile mind of sedentary campaign bordering on political dementia.

I welcome the conclusion to McCain’s ugly campaign. Built on sand, existing as a fictive sand castle in Mr. McCain’s mind it is hoped the election will wash away this nonsense in a tide of an affirmative mandate for real transformation.

Music Video: Temptations, Just My Imagination

Music Video: Windmills of Your Mind

Risk: truth, voter distrust, political ambivalence’s, electoral alienation

October 23, 2008 Posted by | culture, elections, McCain, Palin, politics, RnB, soundtrack | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet Joe the Plumber

The GOP has injected another populist caricature into the election campaign. Joe the Plumber joins Hockey Moms and Joe Six Pack as the holy trinity on whose rocks the Republican Party will make its stand.

Joe the Plumber from the swing state Ohio sounds like he could be from Jersey. Joe the Plumber said he wants to buy his bosses plumbing business. But Joe the Plumber doesn’t like Obama’s tax plan because he thinks it will force him to pay higher taxes on a $250,000 salary he hopes to earn someday. I don’t know of many plumbers that are making $250K a year. Many small business owners don’t have to take a salary or pay themselves a distribution from the profits of the business if it pushes them into a higher tax bracket. Joe the Plumber should see an accountant.

But that is not the point. Joe the Plumber wants to start a business and hire Joe Six Pack. Joe Six Pack needs a job so he can make car payments on the Chrysler minivan that his Hockey Mom wife drives to get the kids to practice.

Every four years The GOP seems to rediscover the common folk with a slew of populist rhetoric to run cover for their trickle down economics. The trickle down economics that have been practiced for the past 8 years have led to the abysmal economic mess we are now fighting to overcome.

McCain’s disingenuous socialist insinuation of wealth redistribution belies the fact that generous unfunded tax cuts, entitlement giveaways and unbridled corporate welfare have all been hallmarks of the recent GOP legacy. A kind of socialism for the rich.

This legacy has contributed to the broken down minivan in Ms. Hockey Mom’s driveway and the inability to afford the kids participation in the way too expensive hockey league. All this has left Joe Six Pack crying in his beer over his lost job and his resetting mortgage rate that he won’t be able to make payments on.

Obama’s tax plan will not discourage small business capital formation. On the contrary, Obama’s plan will reduce the tax burden on the middle class so they can hire Joe the Plumber to replace the old hot water heater and repair the leaky pipes under the kitchen sink. Duct tape just ain’t doing it anymore.

So with all the extra income in the hands of Joe Six Pack and Ms. Hockey Mom they will have the money to spend with Joe the Plumber and he will finally be able to buy that business from his boss.

Joe the Plumber should really be in the tank for Obama. Another GOP administration may forever flush away the possibility of Joe the Plumber’s dream of owning his own business.

Music Video: Plumbing Song, Weird Al Yankovich

Risk: small business taxation, capital formation, tax policy

October 16, 2008 Posted by | elections, McCain, Obama, Palin, politics, pop, republicans | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment