“I’ll tell you what it is: it’s Big Oil’s Chernobyl.”—Jason Wehmhoener, from a Friendfeed thread about the media’s continued attempts to lay the blame for BP’s massive oil spill at President Obama’s feet.
While the generalization unfortunately tends to be true, I don’t see the efficacy of bemoaning the fact that politicians are all the same. This is not (yet) a formal oligarchy where only the true-blooded elite can enter public office and make changes for the better. We are not (yet) peasants or serfs who must be resigned to our meager lots in life. Then again, maybe I’ve just been believing too much in the American Dream again lately.
“It is impossible to establish the internal logical consistency of a very large class of deductive systems… unless one adopts principles of reasoning so complex that their internal consistency is as open to doubt as that of the systems themselves.”—Kurt Gödel
As we know from history, the free market did not lead to a breakdown of segregation. Indeed, it got much worse, not just because it was enforced by law but because it was mandated by self-reinforcing societal pressure. Any store owner in the South who chose to serve blacks would certainly have lost far more business among whites than he gained. There is no reason to believe that this system wouldn’t have perpetuated itself absent outside pressure for change.
In short, the libertarian philosophy of Rand Paul and the Supreme Court of the 1880s and 1890s gave us almost 100 years of segregation, white supremacy, lynchings, chain gangs, the KKK, and discrimination of African Americans for no other reason except their skin color. The gains made by the former slaves in the years after the Civil War were completely reversed once the Supreme Court effectively prevented the federal government from protecting them. Thus we have a perfect test of the libertarian philosophy and an indisputable conclusion: it didn’t work. Freedom did not lead to a decline in racism; it only got worse.
“It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination.”—Douglas Adams
Twitter’s Great Follower Count Reset brought this quote to mind. It is also increasingly how I’m beginning to think of social media in general, since I haven’t met most of the people I follow in real life, and also given that a certain infamous person on Friendfeed has a penchant for creating multiple accounts and pretending to be different people.
“But until this happens, good, sweet conservative bags of fuck who need so desperately to drag this president down, the Gulf of Mexico oil leak is a corporate-created disaster, and it actually serves to demonstrate, starkly, and with a semen-like sheen, as if the ocean floor is in the midst of a prolonged sweet crude ejaculation, the utter failure of deregulation and the bullshit notion that capitalistic enterprises can police themselves when it comes to safety and environmental standards”—The Rude Pundit (via delightfullymeta)
“The more fundamental problem with the law is its vague language. It requires law enforcement officials to demand papers from an individual when they have a ‘reasonable suspicion’ that he is an illegal immigrant…When used in a law-enforcement context, ‘reasonable suspicion’ is always understood to be subjective, but it must be capable of being articulated. In the case of identifying illegal immigrants, the ambiguity of what this ‘crime’ looks like risks including an individual’s appearance, which would seem to violate the Constitution’s equal protection clause. Such ambiguity is especially dangerous when prescribed to an issue as fraught with emotion as that of illegal immigration.”—Clarence Dupnik, a sheriff from Tuscon, Arizona, on the state’s new ‘immigration reform’ law.
"But what troubles me is when I hear people say that all of government is inherently bad. One of my favorite signs during the health care debate was somebody who said, ‘Keep Your Government Hands Out Of My Medicare’—which is essentially saying ‘Keep Government Out Of My Government-Run Health Care Plan.’ When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us. We, the people—We, the people, hold in our hands the power to choose our leaders and change our laws, and shape our own destiny. Government is the police officers who are protecting our communities, and the servicemen and women who are defending us abroad. Government is the roads you drove in on and the speed limits that kept you safe. Government is what ensures that mines adhere to safety standards and that oil spills are cleaned up by the companies that caused them. Government is this extraordinary public university—a place that’s doing lifesaving research, and catalyzing economic growth, and graduating students who will change the world around them in ways big and small.” —President Obama (via azspot - manspeaker - luckyshadow - kelsium)
Tell you what, motherfuckers, when dead people are left to rot in the sun because of the incompetence of the federal government, when corpses are floating in the streets, when the President passively ignores the pleas of the governors of Gulf Coast states, when entire neighborhoods have been physically destroyed, when the federal government strands tens of thousands of people without food or water, when the federal government starts to blame the local governments, when the President praises the work of a failed, incompetent bureaucrat while a major city rots, then you can say that this is Barack Obama’s “Katrina.”
But until this happens, good, sweet conservative bags of fuck who need so desperately to drag this president down, the Gulf of Mexico oil leak is a corporate-created disaster..