Archive - Nov 5, 2010
The hoar frost come out this morning. This time of year, it is possible to catch some of it on green and otherwise-colored foliage. Within ten minutes of getting hit by the sun, however, the frost was gone.
Above is a faded gallardia. The blooms have kept their color nicely.
Above is a leaf from a hardy geranium. The hardy geraniums, unrelated to the geraniums people grow in pots, is a great perennial which has just gotten popular in our area. Notice the little spider web that survived the frost.
Above is the papery faded bloom of one of the new hydrangeas, each petal looking a bit like a butterfly wing.
Now the right-wing fringe is making all sorts of wild claims about President Obama's trip to India. It is going to cost $200 million per day, said Hannity, Limbaugh and Bachmann. Beck added up the dollars and came up with $2 billion.
Okay, these trips are expensive. Obama's trip to Africa cost about $44 million total when all was said and done. This would be no different than any trip taken by a president since Reagan, I suspect, in inflation-adjusted dollars. The price to keep the president in the loop is enormous, and you could debate the validity of all the expense.
But the numbers used by Limbaugh, Hannity and Bachmann are flat-out crazy lies and they know it. Bachmann is an elected official. She was asked last night about where the Republicans would cut. Like most Republicans, she wouldn't say. Instead, she ranted on and on about Obama's trip to India and the $200 million figure.
In normal times, Bachmann's use of a whopping lie to attempt to discredit her president would mean she would be excused from all subsequent serious discussions of policy. She would properly be viewed as a nut case.
Not in these times, however! Nope, she's given a national platform to spew her poison. Why? Because it brings in money for whatever network has her on. It isn't just FOX. It is any network who brings her on just because they know that controversy sells.
This is not fairness. Fairness would present two sides to an argument. On one side would be somebody against cutting government spending, on the other side would be somebody with specific proposals (say, cutting the budget busting prescription drug benefit) to cut government spending. The fair discussion would be somewhat boring and would probably bring in low ratings.
Instead, we get somebody who just plain makes stuff up.
Palin and her death panels are the same story. She kept repeating the death panel canard long after it was proven completely false. Why? Because the woman doesn't care about the truth. All she cares is to give voice to the deepest prejudices and hatreds of her followers. Spouting falsehood and hatred will continue to bring in the money and may even get her the Republican nomination for president.
In other news, George W. Bush said he gave the orders to torture some of the prisoners taken in Iraq. To his devoted followers, of course, this won't matter. They believed Bush when he said, "We don't torture." They believed him when he attempted to blame any torture on rogue elements down the chain of command. When that excuse became too obvious a lie to defend, they quickly decided torture was okay. These are people who claim to believe in moral absolutes!
The admission of responsibility for torture makes George Bush a war criminal, by the way. And a proud one. It also shows the contempt he had for the grunts on the ground. Not only must they take the heat of the battle, but they can take the blame for the decisions of the higher ups as well.
What you have in the followers of these amoral, lying leaders are people who have no moral compass besides submission to authority. If that authority has passed the Jesus test, well, whatever he or she says or does is just fine. Dear Leader can switch stories as many times as they want without consequence.
When Palin and Bachmann use falsehoods to stir up their faithful, they are simply echoing the patterns used in their pulpits for past fifty years. I can't tell you how many camp sermons, chapel homilies and church services I attended in the 1970s and 1980s which predicted the imminent end of the world, the takeover of the United States by the USSR, or by internal communists, or whoever. All fear, all of the time. Why? Because fear conjures up converts and whatever stirs up converts is justified, true or not!
Now, they're scared of the gay people. And the Muslims. But believe me, they'll move onto something else if they have to. Their minds are structured to need an enemy to fear and hate.
UPDATE: Here's Palin, first endorsing lies, then lying to get out of endorsing lies. But will her followers care? Of course not!