Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Equal Time: A Tea Party Rebuttal

Kona Lowell is on vacation this week, recuperating from a freak bong accident. In a gesture of fairness, Konajournal has asked Tea Party Rangers of Texas president W. J. Earl "Junior" Smidgen to write this week's blog.

Frogstomp, Tx. You know, a lot of folks will try to tell you that the Tea Party don't have the fire it used to. Well, let me tell you what. Them folks should oughta come right down here to Frogstomp, but you better wear you some asbestos underwear cause it's fixin' to get hotter'n a stolen tamale!

That's right, the Tea Party is alive and kickin' down here and them fellers up there yonder in Washington better keep their heads down cause a dead bee can still sting. Yes sir.

Now I seen this feller other day sayin' how the Tea Party got somethin' against women. Well I'll tell you what. That ain't true, and you can hang your hat on that. My momma raised me up to be a genuine Texas gentleman. When I'm out boot-skootin' and pissin' a case of longnecks into the Trinity River, I treat whatever gal I'm with like she's a goddang queen. Hell, I treat 'em better'n my wife! I sweet-talk 'em. Women like that. I say, "You have a beautiful tooth, honeybabe" or maybe "You don't don't sweat much for a fat girl, darlin'" or "I'd rather watch you walk than eat fried chicken, sweet thing." Thataway.. And I figure, I got her drunk, I'll take her home.

But one thing I don't cotton to and that's female pastors. No sir. The Good Lord don't want us thinkin' about the pastor's titties when the preachin's goin' on! And that equal pay business, why that's crazy as Larrabee's calf! When Jesus wrote the Constitution, He said "All men are created equal." Didn't say nothin' about women. And that's a fact.

Now the other thing I keep on hearin' is the Tea Party is a bunch of racists. If that's true I'm a June bug. We got nothin' against them folks, long as they set their trot lines on their side of the river, know what I mean? What we got our fur up about is the damn liberals importin' this Obama feller from Kenya or Hawaii or whatever country he's from and making him a dang king. And that boy's slipperier than a pocket full of puddin'. You know what he's plannin'. That's right. He's gonna take all the white folks' guns and give 'em to them black folks and before you know it we'll all be eatin' chittlins and ham hocks and Randy Travis will be singing' that hop hip and dancin' around like a dang jiggaboo. And don't be tellin' me that there's like the "N" word cause it starts with a "J."

Anyway, the Tea Party stands for freedom. We just want to live the way our grandpappys did back there in them good old days, before everything went to hell on a biscuit. And if the government tries to stop us, they'll find out we're as serious as the business end of a .45. They may not remember the Alamo, but they'll by God remember Frogstomp. Yes sir.

©2014 Kona Lowell

You can hear a reading of this blog every Wednesday at 7 PM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

O. J. and the Neocons

Twenty years ago our entire nation sat glued to their TV's as a white Bronco led the LAPD on a surreal, slow-speed chase that began in Orange County and ended at the Brentwood estate of Orenthal James Simpson. After nearly an hour of negotiations, O. J. Simpson was taken into custody and the trial that would captivate and divide our country was soon to follow.

Simpson was of course accused in the grisly murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman and the trial was sensational not simply due to the horrific, over-kill violence of the crime, but because of the star status of the defendant. Simpson was a sports legend, a movie star and a charming celebrity pitch-man for Hertz and other companies and as a result of these achievements was wealthy and admired. Everyone liked O. J.

As the trial dragged on, it became increasingly evident to most people that Simpson was ridiculously guilty, so it was a stunned nation that watched the jury return a verdict of not guilty. Some of us celebrated, some of us were furious, but O. J. Simpson was a free man. But his life would never be the same.

And that strikes me as totally unfair.

Simpson, now behind bars in Lovelock Correctional Center for armed robbery and kidnapping, must feel really cheated when he sits in his 4 x 6 cell watching his little TV and daily witnesses fellow murderers, criminals and other noted assholes treated with respect, and even awe. They're not being hounded into self-destruction by the media and aggrieved family members. They're not being dragged into court. They thrive.

Take Dick Cheney, for example. Here's a guy who has the deaths of over 4,000 American soldiers on his hands, not to mention a few hundred thousand Iraqis, and he's allowed to pop up on the Sunday morning news shows and hold forth on foreign policy, a subject on which he has been consistently and astonishingly wrong, all while being afforded the veneration due a Churchill or a Lincoln. O. J. wasn't even allowed to simply yuck it up with the boys at ESPN about something he's a recognized expert on — football — even after he was found innocent. His career was finished.

Okay, it's true that Cheney did not kill all those people with his own two hands (as far as we know). But he did shoot an old man in the face with a shotgun, for which the victim publicly apologized profusely. And he did lie like a dog to jump-start a war that has now cost between 2 and 4 trillion dollars. And, like O. J., he has yet to admit his crime or repent for it. But O. J. is in jail, probably thinking, "Geez, I only killed two fucking people."

Or take Senator John McCain. Here's a guy who doesn't just want to attack two innocent people and slice them up, he wants to attack just about every country on the planet and slaughter millions of people with high-tech weaponry. And yet he's treated as a hero. Why? Because he was such a Navy ace he crashed 3 planes before finally being captured by the North Vietnamese? And it was there in the "Hanoi Hilton" that he was given the nickname "Songbird" by his fellow soldiers. No, it was not because he had such a lovely voice. Years later, he would work diligently to prevent POW/MIA families from getting any information whatsoever on their loved ones. But McCain is still treated like Audie Murphy by the media.

This must be hard for O. J. to take as he watches from his tiny cell. If a traitorous warmonger like McCain can be treated with entirely undue respect, why can't he at least do another Hertz commercial for cryin' out loud? He could update the one where he runs through the airport, but instead of leaping over rows of chairs, he sort of hobbles around them, complains about his bad knees and says "Renting a car doesn't have to be murder." Then he picks a white Ford Escape and drives off followed by several police cars. It would work.

But it isn't going to happen. War is war and murder is murder. So Simpson will watch as blood-drenched criminals like Cheney, McCain, Wolfowitz, Kristol, Bremmer, Feith and all the other neocon wobblefucks who were so gloriously wrong on the Iraq war once again populate the airwaves and spew the same bullshit that brought death and destruction and abject failure to so many. And people will believe them.

Sixty-six year old O.J. Simpson will be eligible for parole in 2017. My guess is he won't be released. But if he is, he won't be getting an invitation from ESPN to do color commentary. He won't have any movie offers. Hertz won't be calling his agent because he won't have an agent. He's done.

But Dick Cheney will still be talking, as long as donor hearts are available. And I think we can count on Dick to see that they are.

©2014 Kona Lowell

You can hear a reading of this blog every Wednesday at 7 PM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hope & Carry

San Antonio, Texas. Today Konajournal is on the road to look into the movement called Open Carry Texas and to try to ascertain exactly why these citizens feel the need to not only arm themselves but to openly display their weapons.

We are in San Antonio outside that famous shrine of Texas independence, The Alamo, where members of the movement have gathered. There's quite a crowd, but everyone seems to be behaving in an orderly fashion. Let's see if we can talk with a few of these well-armed activists.

"Hello, sir. I'm with Konajournal. I see you have a Glock there on your hip. Can I ask your name and why you are involved in the Open Carry movement?

"You bet. Trey Bugsdik. I'm from Waxahachie. Heck, we're just expressin' our God-given 2nd Amendment rights. It's in the Bible. If that ain't a fact, God's a possum."

"Of course. But don't you think it's a bit, well, outré?"

"You makin' fun of my name, son? Trey was my daddy's name."

"Certainly not! I meant... never mind. By the way, what kind of car do you drive?"

"Corvette, slim."

"Thank you. Thank you."

Well, that wasn't too productive. Let's see if we can talk to someone else. Ah, here's one.

"Sir, I'm with Konajournal. I see you have an AR-15 there. Can I ask your name and what brought you here today?"

"Yep. Lance Ratzwanger. I'm from just down the road a piece in Schertz. I'm here to show the government if they're fixin' to put me in some damn FEMA camp they're like to have dug up more snakes than they can kill."

"I see your t-shirt has the Obama "hope" logo on it and the word "carry." That actually is pretty clever."

"Huh?"

"Hope 'n Carry. Of course it would be funnier if you had a Cockney accent, you know, 'ope 'n carry."

"I don't get it."

"Never mind. By the way, what kind of car do you drive?"

"That big black F650 over there with the monster tires and the ladder leaning against her."

"Thank you."

Well, we're not getting any closer to understanding why these men feel the need to walk around with their weapons in the open. Let's try one more.

"Sir! Yes, you, with the flag. I'm with Konajournal. I see you have a replica of the Alamo's famous "Come and Take It" flag and a shoulder-fired rocket launcher. Can I ask your name and why you are a member of  Open Carry Texas?"

"Howdy. Billy Ray Verysmallpenis and I got more guts than you can hang on a fence, old son. That Obama don't know a widget from a whangdoodle if he thinks he can sashay down here and take our guns."

"You think he's going to do that?"

"Hell yes! That boy is as crooked as a dog's back leg! But that's why we keep our saddles oiled and our guns greased. My momma didn't raise no Moses Rose jackrabbit!"

"Okay, I don't even get that one."

"Where you from boy?"

"Hawaii."

"You sure you ain't some kinda Mexican?"

"Yes, pretty sure. By the way, what kind of car do you drive?

"That red Hummer with the super lift kit over down through there. Why?"

"Just curious. Thanks!"

"Adios, muchacho."

Well, sadly we have still not learned why these men feel the need to display their weapons in public, although there is the common thread of ostentatious vehicles and short tempers. But it wasn't a total waste of time. I did get to see The Alamo. Wonder if I should remind them how that one ended? Nah.

©2014 Kona Lowell

You can hear a reading of this blog every Wednesday at 7 PM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Support Our Troops (Except This One)

Washington, DC. In a normal world, that is a world in which the President of the United States is a white male, the release of a prisoner of war would be a joyous occasion for all Americans, regardless of political party affiliation. However, the prisoner swap that released Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, after 5 years of confinement in exchange for five senior Taliban leaders, is now overtaking the ersatz Benghazi scandal as the Republican screech-meme.

And yet, some people are shocked by this sudden fury directed at a lone, broken US soldier and his thankful family. While it's a given that all Republicans loathe President Obama and oppose virtually anything he says or does, it seems somewhat out of character for these stalwart paladins of all things military (especially defense budgets) to cry foul at his success in securing an ailing Bergdahl's freedom from deadly enemies that may have at any time deemed his usefulness at an end.

After all, Republicans are known to support our troops, as the bumpers of their vehicles sternly admonish us all to do as well. While it is true that their love for the troops is often tough love, as is seen in their slashing of veterans' benefits or skimping on superfluous provisions, like body armor, the troops themselves realize this is not neglect, not indifference, but good, old-fashioned character-building.

And the fact that almost to a man (or woman, in Sarah Palin's case), conservative bloggers, pundits and politicians were praying for and demanding that President Obama secure Sgt. Bergdahl's immediate release, and now that it's been achieved oppose it just as vehemently, has to do with one thing only: Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is a deserter. A traitor. A Taliban sympathizer. And his dad has a beard just like a Muslim, swear to God! (or a Hassidic Jew or a Mennonite Christian, or one of the Robertson brothers, but never mind).

While the situation regarding Sgt. Bergdahl's capture has been known for years, and while there's still that minor detail about being innocent until proven guilty or some such shit, grizzled, battle-scarred warriors like Dick Cheney, Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh have seen enough, and are ready to march Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl out the back door of Landstuhl Regional Medical Facility and have him summarily shot. Or as former Green Beret, Bill Kristol, states, "It's one thing to trade terrorists for a real POW, someone who was taken on the battlefield fighting honorably for our country. It's another thing to trade away 5 high-ranking terrorists to someone who walked away." Kristol, having been accidentally locked in a changing room at Neiman-Marcus for almost 7 minutes, knows something about captivity.

So there you have it. Congressman Buck McKeon (R-CA), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, has called for hearings, I assume to find out what Hillary Clinton knew and why she lied to protect Obama's secret ties with the Taliban. Anyway, beats voting on bills to provide health care and education for anyone stupid enough to have enlisted in the US Armed Forces.

By the way, Buck McKeon fought in the Mormon Unicorn Cavalry in Vietnam.

©2014 Kona Lowell

You can hear a reading of this blog every Wednesday at 7 PM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Beware of Secret Republicans

Since most of us don't wear labels that declare our political party affiliation or dress only in blue or red to demonstrate our voting preference, how can one discern whether a person is a Republican or a Democrat?

There are some obvious giveaways for Republicans, like "Impeach the Kenyan Tyrant" bumper stickers, a Confederate flag on the back window of a 4x4, a showing-scalp flattop, or an AK-47 strapped across the back of the person in front of you at the checkout line at Piggly Wiggly.

Some Democrats are easy to spot as well, like drama teachers, scientists, people with "Run Hillary" bumper stickers, most of the people in your hot yoga class and just about any Black person you meet who isn't Allen West, Herman Cain or Michael Steele.

But be warned. There are Secret Republicans, and they're not always as easy to identify.

For example, let's say you have a friend who claims to be a staunch Democrat, but all he ever does is talk about what a lousy president Obama is and how the Democrats are all a bunch of corporate whores. Strangely, this person never seems to have a bad word to say about the GOP. This should send up a red flag. So if your friend is not a writer for Fire Dog Lake, he may be a Secret Republican. If he has a Hannity coffee mug on his desk next to a Reagan bobble-head, consider that another red flag.

Or suppose your friend claims to be an Independent. Most people usually identify as such due to sheer political apathy, an astonishing lack of relevant information or extreme narcissism. But this Independent friend is fond of telling you how he votes for the person, not the party and leads you to believe that he often votes for Democrats. Problem is, he begins every sentence with, "Well, Rand Paul says..." Unless your friend is Bernie Sanders, he's probably a Secret Republican.

However, perhaps the most difficult Secret Republican to detect is the person who seems to always be proposing an ideologically pure candidate who doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of ever sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office. Being that these pie-in-the-sky, proposed candidates are always liberal darlings, one would readily assume that the person suggesting such is a solid, true-blue Democrat. Yet one must ask oneself, "Who exactly would benefit from running a Democrat with absolutely no chance of winning?"

Of course it's quite possible that this naive person is just that — naive — and is not really Karl Rove in a blond wig, Balinese batik and Birkenstocks. But if that same person starts making noises like, "There's no point in voting," and "Both parties are exactly the same," she may be a Secret Republican.

If not, she's just the same sort of useless, unrealistic, Skittle-shitting unicorn now or I pout Democrat that inflicted 8 years of George Bush and the 2010 Tea Party Congress on us. Come to think of it, that's pretty much the same thing.

©2014 Kona Lowell 

You can hear a reading of this blog every Wednesday at 7 PM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Disappearing Republican Scientist

Washington, DC. With Florida Senator Marco Rubio's recent pronouncement that climate change is not caused by human activity and any efforts to arrest that change will bring about irrevocable economic armageddon, the Republican Party continues to solidify its image as the anti-science party.

In some ways this is a good thing, as it distracts from the general impression that the GOP is only the anti-woman, anti-middle class, anti-union, anti-minority party, but for Rubio this could be a problem. You see, Florida is basically flat. In fact, the highest elevation in the state is 345 feet, that being Britton Hill. Whoever named this insignificant bump had the good sense not to call it Britton Mountain, possibly foreseeing that Florida would already be a punchline for myriad other reasons. But the fact remains that the average elevation in the Sunshine State is about 6 feet.

Why could this spell trouble for Senator Rubio? Because Florida is already experiencing rising tides and floods as a result of polar icecap melting and very few of his constituents can live for extended periods of time under water, although admittedly it would be amusing to watch his voters try.

Which brings us to the mysterious disappearance of Republican scientists.

Not too many years ago there were about equal numbers of scientists who identified as Republicans or Democrats. But in a Pew poll conducted back in 2009, researchers discovered an alarming phenomenon: Republican scientists were disappearing. Now only 6% of professional scientists claimed to be Republicans. Where did they go? Were they dying off? Were they being kidnapped by foreign governments? Extraterrestrials?

Actually, I lied about the mystery part to add drama. It's about as mysterious as the reason most African-Americans vote Democratic. In other words, people are averse to supporting a political party that hates their fucking guts. And with scientists, it's not just about lack of respect for their persons, but for their very profession and life's work.

This is transparently evident in the Republicans' in-your-face-Poindexter choices for seats on the House Science Committee, from current chair Lamar Smith (R-TX) who has made a career out of opposing anything that might benefit the environment while stuffing his pockets with over $500,000 in oil and gas money, to Paul Broun (R-GA) who believes evolution is "a lie from the pit of Hell," to Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) who opines that global warming will result in world-wide bumper crops, to Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) who just knows that carbon dioxide is irrelevant, that polar bears are not becoming extinct and that dinosaur flatulence was responsible for past climate events. And of course to a man they all believe that climate change is a liberal hoax designed to destroy America and to make Jesus Koch cry.

That 97% of climate scientists think that these Republican oxygen thieves are dumber than a crate of football mallets means nothing to them, but it does to the scientists, who are valiantly doing what they can to keep Marco Rubio's benighted voting base from treading water in their living rooms.

The Pew poll cited here was conducted in 2009. I have not seen new numbers, but my guess is that they have not improved for the GOP. And they won't, until Republicans start treating Science and scientists with respect. I mean, Dana Rohrabacher on the Science Committee? That's like putting Michele Bachmann on the Intelligence Committee. Oh wait...

©2014 Kona Lowell

You can hear a reading of this blog every Wednesday at 7 PM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

America the Stupid

The United States has finally reached the tipping point wherein stupid people comprise the majority of the voting population. Whether the nation can survive this precarious imbalance is unclear, but one thing is certain: stupidity does not beget greatness. Or longevity.

This alarming fact became undeniable with the recent release of the ABC News/Washington Post poll that shows that a clear majority of registered voters, 53 to 39 percent, prefer a Republican-controlled Congress to counterbalance the (as they see it) failed policies of the Obama administration. This majority believes that the Republicans would greatly improve the economy, better handle the federal deficit and more expertly determine what federal spending to cut and which programs to sustain. And these same voters also give the GOP an edge on gun control. Yes, gun control.

Unless one has been living under a rock, and that rock being without cable, the error of these opinions should be obvious.

First of all, it is an established fact that the Republicans, under George W. Bush, are responsible for causing the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression. When Bush left office the economy was in ruins (as it is historically after GOP presidencies) and the nation was hemorrhaging jobs at a rate of hundreds of thousands per month. President Obama stopped the bleeding and during his tenure has created over 9 million private sector jobs during 50 plus straight months of growth, all while battling Republicans hell-bent on preventing anything resembling a recovery. And of course the Dow hit record levels. But 53% of registered voters would please like to have their asses reamed out again because they're not sure if it was all that painful and want to be really, really certain.

As to the deficit, principally inflated by gross Republican malfeasance, under Obama it has fallen at the fastest rate in 60 years, but 53% of registered voters polled are seemingly unaware of this and would like the Republicans to have one more chance to see how big that balloon can get before it explodes in their shocked, too-stupid-to-fuck faces.

Then there's the suicidally simple-minded belief that Republicans will somehow cut federal spending in such a way that life as we know it will continue unaffected but all the frivolous waste will be magically eliminated. Two words: Ryan Budget. This conservative wet dream can best be summed up as obliterating Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and all programs that benefit the poor and the struggling middle class, while shoveling buttloads of the nation's wealth into the gaping maws of the already obscenely wealthy. Oddly, the vast majority of the 53% of voters who support this are not going to be on the receiving end of these shovels. But they have bought into the pathetic delusion that 100 dollar bills will rain down on them as those over-stuffed pigs vomit forth their excess.

And, yes, these same people, some of whom are your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors, think that the Republicans will do a damn fine job with the gun issue, because... I have no fucking idea.

Of course this one poll would not be enough to prove that America is dangerously, recklessly and possibly hopelessly stupid. But when one factors in the percentages of our voting population who think that climate change is a hoax, that evolution is a demonic deception, that the sun revolves around our earth, that President Obama is foreign-born and that voting Republican is a viable, real-world option, it becomes less speculative.

Add to that the number of people who base their opinions on Fox News propaganda, that believe Limbaugh is not a lying, junkie pedophile, and that Cliven Bundy is the modern-day equivalent of Davy Crockett clubbing Mexican soldiers with the butt-end of Ol' Betsy in a valiant last stand, it becomes even less theoretical.

Or just read the comments on Yahoo any time there's an article dealing with racial issues.

In spite of this, surrender is not an option. Those of us who care will continue to fight for a country that we can be proud of, one who values all of her citizens, strives for fairness, equality and prosperity for all.

Right now America is exceptional. Exceptionally stupid. We need to change that. Maybe if those of us who aren't stupid all voted...

©2014 Kona Lowell


You can hear a reading of this blog every Wednesday at 7 PM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio.