Monday, November 24, 2008

Radio Phrases Missed Too Easily

What Will Be The "Tune" For The Last Waltz? 67

A very competent “stand in” for one of my radio favorites made some statements which simply can’t be “left to rest.” Mr. Thom Hartmann, in my opinion a very convincing expert on almost everything, was out of his studio for a well deserved vacation on the Air America cruise. His replacement, Mr. Lee Rayburn (Air America, November 20, 2008, “The Thom Hartmann Radio Show,”, led a bit of a sputtering radio debate concerning population growth and population control.

A zany caller injected the idea of sterilizing immigrants to get the thing going.

As things progressed, Mr. Rayburn added his strongly held view that he didn’t want “government in his bedroom,” implying that limits on birth were unacceptable to him. He followed up with a conditional statement concerning environmental problems, his introduction to the statement being “If population control was really deemed a concern, then ...”

Now, a few clear statements as to why this was troubling.

The current population of the planet, around 7 billion, already sees fully one third extremely hungry every day. Population growth has exploded in the last few decades. When John Kennedy took the oath of office, world population was around 3 billion. Today, fifty years later, it is roughly 7 billion. The following table describes world population growth:

[Google: Wikipedia, World Population, “World Population Estimated at Various Dates”]

If we innocently derive a simple fraction from these statistics, it might be this one: “During a period of population at its current level, that is, 6.5 billion, around 1/3 or, roughly 2 billion, are extremely hungry every day, making the estimate of the planet’s food producing capacity enough to feed around 4 billion.” If population increases at its assumed rate, it will reach around 10 billion by 2020, 14 billion by 2050, and so on. Planetary food production has never increased at the rate that population increases.

Currently, we draw some comfort from the idea that advancements in agricultural technology and improvements in international political situations can mitigate some of this approaching conflict. Although quite possibly true, history strongly suggests that these advancements primarily favor the rich and powerful much more than the hungry.

Exactly what does this mean to us? Exactly what should we expect?

No modern military technology, no matter how violently employed, can make much of a dent in the population curve. For example, a full nuclear exchange between the United States and the old Soviet Union could have produced a net population reduction of about 340 million. The current population increase could replace those lost souls in roughly two years. Chemical and, especially, biological weapons might, ultimately, be more efficient at population reductions, but the “horror gradient” seems to elude calculating long term impact. We can assume, perhaps, a greater “dent” than nuclear war, but in the historical frame, not one with much more of a permanent influence.

What’s left?

The most probable outcome will be something described as a “Malthusian Correction.” When the food, water and living space equation lags too far below the population increase, the system will “correct” itself. The “Managing Global Warming” paper (this blog site: June, 2008) includes a speculative model which suggests a planetary population reduction of roughly 2-3 billion, that is, a reduction from 7 billion to 4 or 5 billion, based primarily on the negative impact of climate change. This view of population “correction” may be expected to draw significant horsepower from the climate change impact, at least as one of several initiating circumstances.

Did we expect a 2 or 3 billion reduction in planetary population to present anything more than a “slightly less than comfortable status quo,” distant foreign relations difficulty?

Now, returning to Mr. Rayburn’s dislike of having the “government in his bedroom,” and his conditional clause, “If population control was really deemed as a concern...,” we arrive at some unlikely answers.

In such a world, we might find the presence of government forces at least nearby to our bedroom quite reassuring. Further, so far as deeming “population control as a concern,” we might, well, actually, really deem it as a concern.

Finally, to bring this entire matter to a sensible, on-the-ground argument, the following facts must also be included.

1. I am not the world’s smartest mathematician.
2. I claim no particular knowledge of complex extrapolative methods to analyze population growth.
3. I have no information about this which is secret or concealed from anyone. If you are reading this blog, you are privy to precisely the same information I have.

Take a moment. Carefully weigh the value you might attach to religious or ideological priorities which have, so far, effectively blocked any serious response to population management.

So, Mr. Rayburn, no matter how inviting it may be, how much longer can we insist upon injecting irrelevant distractions such a abortion, birth control, religion, stem cell research or “too much government intervention in the bedroom” as a rational counter balance to our new job as a participant in a global Malthusian Correction?

Will I still have an AM radio? Will it be the "crank" kind instead of the "plug in" kind?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Collapsing American “Sphere of Influence.”

Pretending Everything Ugly Is Actually Only Temporary 67

A few words of a CNN, sub-editorial news report called for more attention. Among the now well worn list of the new President’s priorities was the inclusion of Chinese and Russian Federation diplomatic and economic entries into the Caribbean and South American countries of Cuba and Venezuela. You know, countries which we are supposed to “own” under the Monroe Doctrine.

The CNN report characterized these incursions as challenges to American leadership. If they weren’t challenges would that mean that we were either so strong or so threatening that we might have avoided them?

Are these incursions challenging our hegemony? Was our idea of a good time to never have any of these subservient Southern nations even so much as flirt with our ideological, international competitors?


We are quite possibly more bankrupt than industrious China or petroleum rich Russia. Any traditional military advantage is now “on the table” with the Russians, that is, no, they can’t take us, but, yes, they can project power pretty convincingly now that George Bush has so savagely consumed our own military pursuing his “oil war” in a devastating leadership vacuum and our infuriated alliances with his cheap, irritating ideology.

We won’t recover from that damage any time soon. We should probably try to get a little more comfortable with photos of the Chinese Premier visiting Fidel Castro or Russian war ships lazing off the coast of Venezuela.

Bush’s childish “cat fight” over his empty scheme for U.S. missiles in Poland reveals a whining, toothless, embarrassing, over weight giant, not a respected leader of the Free World.

We have a new President, but he, and we, still have a terrible reputation. Our toxic debt has fairly thoroughly poisoned the water world wide. We can ponder a graceful approach to our collapsing sphere of influence while we pay down Bush’s ten trillion dollar balance for the next few decades.

What exactly did we buy, again?

Hypocrisy Hunting in the New Obama Cabinet

Undercutting New Possibilities With Old Ideas? 68

The predictable complaints of hypocrisy, or at least, inconsistency, are now rolling in from any ambitious pundit with a microphone. How could such an idealist as Barrack Obama, that is, someone so highly dedicated to changing the government, announce that he intended to do business with Tom Daschle, Hillary Clinton or even John McCain?

By “do business” we mean “give authority and trust.”

The neo-con purists (yes, they still imagine themselves purists after all the soiled things their man committed in the last two terms...) claim that Clinton Cabinet politicos contaminate Obama’s claim to the “high road.” Other hungry commentators dredge relentlessly for contradictions in past positions to compare with what they present as present positions required to fill Obama’s government and support his political philosophy.

Let’s indulge in a fable at this point.

You are a remarkably progressive and idealistic King in a medieval country. You set out to rectify some grave injustices by a military campaign. When it’s time to select generals to conduct this thing you seem to have two choices.

On one side, there is the Abbot, your spiritual advisor, a man with unshakably good, decent ideas about how to improve matters. On the other side, there is General Smith, a ruthlessly successful medieval military strategist with a checkered history of brutality and effectiveness.

If you intend to prevail in this struggle, that is, if you intend to over power the rather impressive and well established enemy who has sponsored these atrocities you find so deplorable, you will select General Smith. Issues such as collateral damage and war crimes associated with the Abbot might be much more palatable than the likely results of General Smith’s campaign, but the results would probably be disappointing.

If you are determined to prevail and advance your cause of decency, General Smith will be your man. First, the war must be won, then your plans can become material. In the meantime, that is, during the conduct of the war, you can insist that General Smith be more decent than he would be normally or than he has been previously, but the necessity of results dictates that you employ his expertise to deliver the possibility of conditions for your own intention.

This progressive King is more armored by his Divine Right than the trust of those who might ultimately benefit from his ideals, but, unlike recent leaders, he will have to trust himself! We have no King. Obama is armored by the trust of those who sent him into this difficult place. His leadership is qualified by his spiritual solidity of trusting himself.

Obama needs a cabinet capable of surviving the inevitable, paralytic aggression of the Republicans. He needs a cabinet which can deliver in Washington politics. The work of these mindless reactionaries has left us a disaster so grave that excuses or near victories, especially when precipitated by the stupid, inexperienced or ineffective application of power, are not an option.

Yes, incorporating individuals with alternative political philosophies may help a little, but the reactionary forces, inflamed as usual by the low road sabotage of hate radio and anti-American Congressional throw backs, have no interest in any solution to our difficult problems. Their cynical interests have nothing to do with America’s future. The entire focus of their babble is directed at maximizing the number of voters in their districts that can they deceive, lie to or frighten into sustaining their offices, reinvigorating their opportunities for looting.

Obama’s ideals will, in fact, make the difference we need. Ideals belong at the top of the pyramid when the ground level is violently contested by well financed cynics and other criminals. Obama’s “ground war” will be conducted by the best he can find, some of the Clinton legacy and other new, competent faces, the 21st century equivalent of that old King’s General Smith.

We trust his idealism, his cabinet selections, his competence, his intellect and his spirit. These vociferous tantrums are to be expected. Neo-cons are allergic to leadership.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Path Forward: Ideology, Philosophy or Revenge?

Taking the philosophy of America to the Revival Tent. 67

It was so nice for your wife’s uncle to offer to look after the kids for the weekend, but the scene on Sunday evening when you return is not quite what you expected. The house has been stripped of everything that could be taken. The family dog, hungry and forlorn, is loose in the alley, staring hopefully at the next door trash can. The children, also hungry and frightened, have locked themselves in the upstairs closet with their empty, terrified faces and a few suspicious bruises. Your horrified neighbors are watching your fence as they finish cleaning their shot guns.

It’s clear that Uncle Harry has already stolen everything that wasn’t bolted down. If our unhappy analogy is about George W. Bush and his government, these last few weeks will see Uncle Harry returning one last time with his wrenches to loot anything he’s missed in his previous larceny.

So, where do we go from here?

Bill Clinton decided soon after his inauguration to let “bygones be bygones” for the good of the nation. The outrages on the dock then were exponentially less then George Bush’s, that is, comfortably survivable. As the new President, Bill Clinton enjoyed many positive alternatives made possible by a damaged but recoverable economy and world image.

Our situation now is a bit different. The outrages of the last eight years have left us dazed, desperate beggars staggering out of a dismal Third World land fill. Of course, fleeting verses from the third act of Les Miserable inhabit the thoughts of those of us old enough to remember when things were not so bad. There is an unsettling appetite for something similar to the uncivilized but highly defining demise of someone such as Romania’s Ceausescu where political grievances were suddenly and violently settled with some grisly, East European style street justice.

So long as the news cameras avoided the details, no one was particularly shocked, given the autocrat’s checkered history of rule. It was an ideological correction cycle. You know, something akin to the “correction cycle” currently afoot in housing prices or something.

What choices do we have?

Ideology has been relegated to a bad definition. Nonetheless, there is an American ideology. For convenience here, let’s call it simply a fluid, cultural pragmatism. Aside from a few embarrassing incidences of Civil War, violent labor suppression and internecine combat to perpetuate the imposition of racial inequality, our national history has been a reassuring stream of “walking away” from our momentarily lapses of civility in favor of some “bright shiny object,” a promise of more prosperous and beneficial new path. Naturally, there have always been those who remained paralyzed, locked in the recently discarded “old ways,” but their numbers always dwindled as the incentives of the “new way” gradually washed clean all the injuries and insults of the “correction.”

Ideology, when expressed as this sort of pragmatic “ism,” is refreshingly less destructive than other styles where pundits are allowed to define more ideatively directed ideas. Ideas such as Stalinism, Communism, Capitalism, and the like. Pragmatism seems to be a glove that, well, fits almost any hand on any given day.

The majority of the American populous sees no particular benefit in the “Ceausescu Treatment” for George and Laura.

That dismissal leaves two further alternatives, the first of which is philosophy. If there is an American philosophy we might categorize it as something such as “The Rule of Law.” Given the historical blessings of both prosperity and our Constitution (they go together...), the “walking away” idea offers itself only as a brief anomaly. Clinton did it.

The question is, “Does pursuing The Rule of Law do more to rehabilitate our social culture than a more compassionate (and, possibly, pragmatic) letting bygones be bygones approach?” Obama has made strong commitment to “bringing us together.” Does that mean adopting the “bygones” approach?

At the counter point, are we, as a nation now divided, going to benefit more by the thorough rectifying of all these corruptions through legal action or by our historical path of simply trying to forget, at least for the moment, everything that isn’t helpful to our recovery. Will it be a domestic judicial version of “scorched earth” or some sort of “Marshall Plan?”

Our philosophy, that is, “The Rule of Law,” implies that we really will have to prosecute all these crimes. Every insult to the Constitution and the Statute of America’s philosophical fabric might have to be illuminated and adjudicated to materially resurrect the essence of our culture. Are we even passively interested in living with such a dangerous example of lawlessness for the sake of national reconciliation? Are we interested in simply embedding such a nasty thing in our history, then bravely turning our ideologically pragmatic faces toward better days?

Are we willing to let these cheap, cowardly hoodlums redefine our nation for all perpetuity? Are we willing to allow the idea that “anything goes so long as you get back to Texas before the blood starts running” become, somehow, acceptable? Will something like this ever be an honorable legacy to leave in place as a possible ambitious temptation for some future American government?

“We can win the election, then loot the treasury just like George W. Bush did in the old days. Only, this time we can do it right. We’ll be rich!”

We don’t put up with car thieves, bank robbers or child abusers running loose in our midst. If we did, we would have to be someone else than who we are if we wanted to make sense out of such a changed cultural philosophy. Simply forgiving criminals such as these and going forward is not consistent with the system we have selected for our society.

Honest, impartial, judicious, judicial, Constitutional American justice has always been the philosophical foundation of our culture. That’s what “The Rule of Law” means. President Obama, among many other things, will reinstate the Justice Department. In January, someone will become the Attorney General, take the oath. Should that person’s first order of business be to “forgive and forget?”

Finally, there is vengeance. Even if neo-con criminals don’t find themselves running cold in the dawn, trying to escape mobs of hungry, bankrupt citizens, this vengeance idea can still find its way into the legislature, military procurement contracts, base closures, new schools and the like.

Believe me, there are liberal equivalents to the outrages of Republican hubris entirely ready to exact every form of “get even” on those swayed to crime by the excesses of the past. Retribution can hardly be considered the herald of the coming good. Our work as good citizens will, indeed include suffering through the reconstruction of what’s left. After all, we will have to pay for all the rebuilding after the looting.

However, Barrack Obama has asked us to give more than money to this repair program. Our patriotism will demand more than placid coexistence with our previous tormentors. They have demonstrated little interest in reconciliation with all their childish tantrums designed to sabotage the new government, but that fact only means that we on the winning side will have to be even more determined to embrace and comfort these now forlorn, defeated fellow citizens.

This means that we will need to find the essential Americanism in ourselves rather than demanding that they find it in themselves. We will need to feed them, comfort their false, hysterical fears and slowly reassure them that we are committed to healing the wounds.

Then, we have to go to work healing them.

Friday, November 7, 2008

”Evil:” New Directions

How a bumbling, ambitious President bamboozled the nation with medieval hobgoblins.
More than an innocent Halloween prank. 65

Semantics tend to remain fairly academic issues until the rifles come out. There is very little particularly troubling when one considers, say, historians debating the specific meaning of a few words they have encountered in some ancient text. During the course of justifying the $700 billion plan, whatever it may turn out to be finally, the term “bailout” was discarded in favor of the term “rescue.” After all, the subtextual implications of the first term contradicted some carefully groomed assets of the word masters concerning, for example, the activity of the morning retrieval of some embarrassing uncle from the local drunk tank.

Unhappily, there have been some incredibly more damaging terms thrown around lately. Perhaps the most sinister will be the disastrous choice of the word “evil.” Its appearance as an “Axis of Evil” in George Bush’s now infamous State of the Union speech was probably no more than an attempt to resurrect a few drops of living blood from Reagan’s memorable “Evil Empire” of the 1980’s.

The textual and conceptual validity of the word is quite parasitic. Preachers and priests have already done all the “heavy lifting” in the matter. “Evil” is a fundamental asset to their franchised “death fear” business. They have been quite successful in devising thousands of various forms, implied meanings and examples for the idea, repeatedly presenting these to their respective “flocks,” and reaping the rewards of their despair based, tax free avarice.

For politicians, the practice apparently “grew legs” as a necessary ingredient to some more modern, neo-con recipes. Always envious of the pedestrian thrall of these dirty shirt evangelicals, the neo-cons presumed that property rights to some of the word’s utility was, somehow, transferred to them. You know. By Divine Right or some grotesque 21st-century fabrication of it. After all, it was certainly consistent with their well-managed and highly propagandized political claims to being the righteous ones among the current choices.

Now, because we seem to have chosen a more rational approach to matters previously defined by the word, “evil,” we must carefully examine both its previous, destructive use and select some more modern concepts for the path forward. Frankly, although momentarily effective in manipulating public opinion, we now face more permanent results not dissimilar from a perpetual, medieval toothache.

First, an ambitious tautology. Let’s conveniently agree that the essential nature of such utterances by politicians bifurcate into two fundamental categories. The first will be that of phenomenology. It will be contrasted by the second which will be categorized as that of the logical proposition. Since such abstractions may appear a bit “scratchy” at first blush, we can immediately introduce some examples.

The phenomenological argument is: “The Iranians are evil. They are a part of the Axis of Evil.”

The logical proposition is: “Iranian ambitions make them our adversaries. Their interests conflict with our interests.”

The “evil” classification, aside from requiring a tacit acceptance of external authority, is based on a judgment beyond question. Copius statements derived from religious mythology imply that “evil is evil,” and further, “one aspect of evil is its interest in convincing the righteous (the non-evil) that it is not actually ‘evil.’” As a consequence, once something has been convincingly called “evil,” any disagreement with such a verdict only implies that one has “been convinced by ‘evil’ that this something is not actually ‘evil.’”

The phenomenological choice at this point is clear. Would you rather agree with God that this something is “evil,” or would you prefer to foolishly question such an argument because you have already been deceived by this “evil? Further, the implied mythological treatment of “evil,” at least for nations beset with either of the most agressive and violent religions -- Christianity or Islam, is that “evil” is an eternal presence which can never be overcome by earthly powers.

That’s right. Both “No Exit” and “No Victory.”

What a wonderful invitation and justification to endless war and other unexamined insanity which simply presents itself without any rational, secular solutions. When one adds the justification of all sorts of specific atrocities, each made necessary by the needs of the moment, a “free pass” is injected into the equation for actions “evil but necessary.” Actions which might have been “evil” if taken against, any other, “less evil” enemies, become both necessary and, well, somehow slightly more justifiable, that is, slightly “less evil” when those actions are our response to these materially “evil” enemies in actual combat, The matter becomes a cosmic tort case for a negotiated divine dispensation.

Can you believe it? We bought this drivel hook, line and sinker.

The propositional alternative is attractive. This would be precisely the alternative which served John Kerry so poorly in the last election. His losing proposition was, simply enough, that our adversaries were exactly that, adversaries. His was the losing argument. The winning argument was, of course, that they were “evil doers,” not simple adversaries.

Adversaries, enemies, even, competitors, can be beaten by effective worldly approaches. Struggles against these worldly opponents can actually result in quite worldly successes. Struggles against “evil,” on the other hand, are only rehabilitated by divine judgment. No matter how ineffective and destructive such “anti-evil” struggles might be on earth, such bothersome details fade in the blinding light of the Savior’s imagined favor for having “fought the good fight.”

Not too troubling so long as one hasn’t had to bury his son as a result.

The “evil” idea progressed nicely to become the concept that these enemies, particularly the ones we “captured or purchased,” you know, the ones in Guantanamo, were criminals not combatants. The suggestion that anyone daring to fight us was “breaking the law,” was almost more convenient and useful than the “evil” designation. Since we were “fighting evil,” no one on the other side could possibly be, honestly, an outright enemy. Because , under this new line of thought, it was “against the law” to oppose us in any way, these “opposers” necessarily became criminals subject to “extraordinary rendition,” apparently President Bush’s contemporary version of the Inquisition. (See note above regarding justifiable “atrocities.”) The unspoken adjunct here was that these "opposers" were actually, of course, "evil-doers" in their day jobs.

The exquisite subtleties of history augmented this madness. Our opponents apparently had decided that we were the “evil” ones! “Egad! How incredibly wrong!” This made it quite important to constantly suggest that this was not simply a modern form of the Crusade. (GWB slipped up on this count in Jordan just before his invasion.) Planetary Muslims seemed remarkably more comfortable with the Inquisition idea than with the Crusade idea. During the Inquisition, the Christians were ripping Christian arms and legs off their Christian brothers.

“Evil” presented as, however unlikely, a feature of some logical proposition is validated by existential falsification, that is, such a position might be debated, and through that debate, disproved. The “ideological or religious underpinnings” of the phenomenological alternative cannot be disproved. In fact, even the most well behaved academic challenge is, frankly, heresy. It is a neo-con axiom that all kinds of good ideas and other advantages emerge when all debate is suppressed. (e.g. “Stay the course.” “Cut and run.” “They hate our freedom.” Did anyone notice actual, rational alternatives to any of these "pop-ups" as they were being discussed?)

It is not the substance of the counter argument these thoroughly modern reactionaries find so troubling. It is, specifically, the counter argument itself as it once again insinuates that old, disruptive existential falsification problem into the mix. If the “burning question of the day” can be transformed into a hysterically persuasive issue of “evil,” so much the better.

The breathlessly anxious introduction of the word “evil” into our national debate has led to nothing positive. George Bush’s choice of such an embarrassing term to validate his, now obviously, ill advised military schemes and his less than patriotic taste for national division to promote his political ambitions has actualized very concrete disasters for us. For you. For me. For our neighbors. For our soldiers. For our elderly. For eveyone who had anything he, or his friends, could take.

His dangerously weird Presidential dream of joining the list of Old Testament “Good Kings” has collapsed into a dreary dust bowl of incompetence and greed. This is, perhaps, and, hopefully, the final episode of this injection of religious mythology into the very real and consequential world of politics or policy. It was trotted out again in the last election, but the legs on the thing were too tired, too road weary to have traction with an exhausted and despairing electorate.

At this point, we have to suppose that fighting “evil” has no future, at least no future for those who would like to win.

"One might say that evil does not exist for subjective man at all, that there exist only different conceptions of good. Nobody ever does anything deliberately in the interests of evil, for the sake of evil. Everybody acts in the interests of good, as he understands it. But everybody understands it in a different way. Consequently, men drown, slay, and kill one another in the interests of good. The reason is again the same, men's ignorance and the deep sleep in which they live."

Ouspensky, P.D., In Search of the Miraculous. Chapter XIII. (quoting George Gurdjieff)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Reform Without the Lipstick

Why Finish Open Heart Surgery After We've Made Such a Good Start? 64

I can remember elections through four or five decades. For example, I watched my father hurl a tomato at an Adlai Stevenson poster in the southwestern corner of Kansas. I can also remember ballots I cast which were mistakes, campaigns which were, well, a little deceptive and political attacks sewn without buttons into every rational terror of the Cold War and the Soviets. Just about every politician was "soft on Communism" sooner or later.

However, one specific thing I don’t recall hearing was the phrase “They stole the election.” Even Lyndon Johnson’s success which seemed to ride to victory over the names of gravestones in a Dallas cemetery didn’t really stir much interest.

Elections were a bit different then. Without the narcotic invitation posed by electronic voting machines and less than patriotic secretaries of state here and there, even the most ambitious electoral criminals found only scattered opportunities. Although it was a time with plenty of scandalous politicians, the sheer inertia of hundreds of thousands of citizens counting votes dampened any scheme that dreamed of expanding beyond a single county or a precinct.

Things have changed.

The worst President in United States history, apparently, has yet to actually win an election. At least, not an election similar to the ones that Eisenhower and Lyndon Johnson won. What more pregnant hour to consider such things than the evening of November 3, 2008?

Our problems seem to have originated from the Southern interpretation of the Constitution. This interpretation, in just a few words, was that the political control of all those states should perpetually reside with the richest, and least honorable, white men living there. Pretty clearly, it was a predictable response to the Jim Crow days after the Civil War.

Once these enduring memories had become legitimate autocratic traditions these bad ideas were ready for a heady mix with States’ Rights nonsense. The rest is history. The Voting Rights Act presented a bump in the road, but only one for bumpkins. A new generation of creatures injected themselves and their ambitions. Designed and birthed under the protective caress of Attorneys General to protect their crimes, this scourge, inhabited by the likes of Addingtons and Roves, effortlessly attached itself to this new career opportunity. The perfect storm followed these dark crimes to outrageous new heights of hubris and cynicism.

These laments from this brief history are hardly late breaking news on November 3, 2008. Half the registered voters in the country assume that if the UN’s Electoral Assistance Division monitored one of these babies, they would still be laughing hysterically on the eve of the Inauguration in January. The US electorate has learned by this time the same lesson George Bush’s State Department has taught around the world. If there is talk of a democratic election, “Duck!”

Amazingly, we continue to coexist with these parasites. A few folks said something after the Supreme Court appointed the President in 2000. The lonely voices of 2004 were successfully defined as “anarchists,” "conspiracy nuts," “poor losers” and “whiners.”

What in the hell are we doing? Playing endless games of mindless Parcheesi while a few of history's bad actors delete the world’s most famous democracy?

So, election reform. Not the spritzy little analgesic we’ve seen repeatedly so far. Real election reform. Also, not some wimpy, half starved little thing that the southern knuckle draggers will, once again, negotiate into a new chapter in the book of idiocy in the House and Senate, either. You know. Like last time. And, uh, the time before that. Like HAVA (explained later)?

First, dump voter registration. This isn’t 1800. The registration idea has been tenderly preserved under the stink of southern versions of States’ Rights long enough. Aside from the fact that this strange process is the central nest of every kind of fraud and exploitation in elections, it has also, finally, encountered the ultimate sentence in the ashcans of history. It is both irrelevant and unnecessary. A well designed accommodation to replace it is easily within reach.

The new, young voters drawn into this desperate election in 2008 were flabbergasted when they encountered this medieval relic. Democracy suggests that all the citizens should be able to vote during an election. That’s not so tough is it? How about Iraqi ink finger dipping? Come on!

Perhaps 60% of these young ones could rather handily engineer a real time computer system to keep track of every vote cast. At least, every voter who voted. Hell, we could even add a feature that could tell a voter if his vote was going to be counted. What a concept!

Second, dump individual state voter requirements. These dinosaurs might make sense when electing a dog catcher, but every American citizen has a stake in the election of Federal candidates of any rank, House, Senate and President. Sure, those “good ole’ boys” might come from your state, but they go from there to Washington to do things to all the rest of us. If these states really want to send these nasty obstructionists to Washington, it seems like the least they could do is to elect them fair and square.

You know. Democratically.

Why should I accept an election conducted by requirements set out by some semi-literate cracker thirty years ago in the swamps of the Robert E. Lee’s contested constituency? Yeah, southerners, but there’s also folks like Ted Stevens and Duke Cunningham These nervous, irritating, local throwbacks have never had any particular confidence that they could keep winning elections unless they either legislated themselves arcane powers to determine who could vote or whored themselves into the laps of equally crooked contributors. The icky migration from burning crosses to “modern voter eligibility requirements” nestled in connivances such as doctored voter registration laws hasn’t validated their practices or improved the results.

Just go ahead and establish Federal guidelines to define citizens enfranchised with the right to vote. Such a task might represent a break from the looting and ideological nonsense to do some real work in the Congress. Too tough?

Third, make the publicly funded election thing work. Obama took some flak on this count, at least, it seemed like it if one allowed the media slants to paint the picture. There were very few reported details of the GOP scheme to strand him with public money while Republican 527’s thrashed him from the flank. Not the kind of messy details one might expect to encounter on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN or any of the other officially franchised (that is, "bought and paid for...") media corporations.

I assume that the deal presented to Obama by the “Straight Talk Express” had a lot in common to an invitation to spend the night with a rattlesnake. The fact that there was no deal became a hyper-publicity “talking point” and an endlessly repeated “broken agreement” by every dirty shirt pundit with the RNC on his chat list.

Public campaign funding should, somehow, eventually entail making a serious dent in the campaign revenues of the media vampires. Once the crap advertisements entered this world as concrete investments of allocated campaign commercials, some of the outrageous lying might diminish. Voters might enter the polling booth with more than name recognition to guide them.

The cheap clowns peddling misinformation, desperation, liable and fear through literally millions of hours of infantile commercials would have to start earning their keep. This enforced economy might introduce at least the possibility of campaigns actually designed to persuade voters to vote for the candidate.

Fourth, send all voting machines to the junk car crusher. These nasty little, secret devices have the same problem as the crazy registration laws. They are invitations to larceny and they are unnecessary. Those two features should guarantee every one of them an inevitable and unceremonious demise. There are already thousands of these wretched little mousetraps in landfills, sent there by officials with a certain respect for the Federal Election Commission or Grand Juries, both fairly threatening possibilities if there were to ever be an actual Attorney General or Supreme Court.

Finally, Congress needs to establish an Election Court. Anyone who thinks this is a “bit over the line” should review the story of how Carl Rove and a few other crooks extracted Louisiana Governor Siegelman’s election victory and dumped him in a Federal Slammer. These boys were so strident that they didn’t even bother to cloud the evidence of their crime.

If some shade of a capitalistic reincarnation can make WalMart a person, and hence, a plaintiff with protection and redress in one of our courts, then perhaps the same elevation is possible for specific elections. This would mean that an election, say Siegalman's for example, could enjoy both counsel, discovery and justice in a court with jurisdiction. Right now, courts and elections only date, producing a few folks with injuries or a few defendants with criminal infractions. The elections themselves appear only as unattractive waifs, orphans without sufficient sponsorship, much less any loving parents, speaking in their behalf.

Right in line with family courts, real estate courts, labor relations courts and tax courts, an "election court" could embrace an election far more materially than just dating.

“Exaggeration?” “Paranoia?” Once you sober up from the kool aid, just Google it.

It is obvious at this point that the Supreme Court’s 2000 decision in favor of George Bush was devoid of even the appearance of anything judicial. “A recount of the Florida vote would irreparably damage George Bush...” The only ones who got “irreparably damaged” were us!

The 2004 insult of Ohio was hardly cleansed by the deposing of the crooked Secretary of State, Kenneth Blackwell. That stink was so bad, you can still smell it today, four years later. Dead soldiers from an oil war have one odor, destroyed ballots another and, wounded democracy yet another. Ohio’s contribution to the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), Bob Ney is still in prison.

Stopping these cheap shenanigans really is within the reach of our modern technology. As of today, Ohio is still planning to pipe all their election results to some crooked outfit (the same one...) in “the basement of the Old Pioneer Bank Building in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the servers for the Republican National Committee, and the Bush White House, are also located.”

(Original Content at OpEdNews

So, that’s the picture. Naturally, we are asked to assume that a solution to complicated problems such as these is simply not possible. Not possible while maintaining States’ Rights, Freedom of Speech and the career opportunities of forty or fifty Republican obstructionists in the Senate, not to mention the Supreme Court where it would all inevitably wind up if we were to even attempt such a thing.

Do you believe that?

I don’t.

Gee, is there really going to be another civil war if John McCaine is the, you know, uh, "Oh my God! Surprise-underdog-maverick-coming-from-behind-winner" of this "election?"

If you're reading this tonight, be sure to vote. If you are joining in later, I hope I'm wrong.