Archive for the ‘liberalism’ Category

If every single member of the Walton family died tomorrow, nobody would notice until the next Walmart board meeting. Even then, all that would happen would be that the outside directors would appoint new board members. You would go to Walmart and it’d be operating as usual

If every single shelf stocker and cashier walked out of Walmart tomorrow and nobody took their place, Walmart would be done. There would be no more company. Because it is the cashiers and shelf stockers who keep the shelves stocked and the money flowing. Without merchandise on the shelves, without cashiers taking money in exchange for that merchandise, there is no Walmart.

Who, then, creates the wealth? It isn’t the Waltons. It is the shelf stockers and cashiers and the purchasing officers and the truckers who bring the goods to the stores and all those other little people. The Waltons are not billionaires because of their hard work or genius. They are billionaires because of government saying that they own the wealth created by all those shelf stockers. Without government police to enforce their ownership of this wealth created by others, they would be as impoverished as a Central American peasant on a subsistence farm. More impoverished, actually. The Central American peasants at least know how to grow their own food. I doubt any Walton has ever gotten his or her hands dirty in the soil, nevermind growing food with them.

If it makes me a socialist to say that the Waltons should be taxed in order to provide health care and education for the people who actually created their wealth, so be it. They are leeches who have wealth only because government allows them to take it from the actual wealth creators, the workers who work in their stores, and if government wants to take some of that wealth back after providing the men with guns that allow them to steal it from the workers in the first place… well, I don’t see what the problem is.

If health care and education for all Americans is “socialism”, then I’m a proud socialist. Economies exist to benefit *all* the people, not just a handful of billionaires who’ve managed to grift their way to the top by rigging the system so they can loot wealth created by others via government guns.

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High Resistance, Medium Tolerance

That was the question asked by a right-winger who then went on to list all the good things that President Trump has supposedly done — some of which are things that liberals resist. But I figure I’ll answer his question, since it’s something we need to keep in mind:

We resist:

  1. The replacement of science with faith in our schools and in our government.
  2. The destruction of our public schools in favor of Bible schools.
  3. Removal of protections for endangered wildlife and attempts to exterminate gray wolves via removing them from the endangered species list.
  4. Removal of EPA funding for restoring endangered waterway like San Francisco Bay, the Great Lakes, and Cheseapeake Bay
  5. Attacks on women’s health and reproductive rights, such as removing funding from Planned Parenthood.
  6. Attacks on voting rights, especially attacks that target minorities, the elderly, and the poor such as voter ID laws that are proven to suppress the votes in those constituencies.
  7. Attacks on free speech rights by those who wish to outlaw protest and dissent.
  8. Attacks on Jews and Muslims such as the recent burnings of Muslim community centers and bomb threats against Jewish community centers.
  9. Removal of health care from millions of Americans including essentially ending Medicaid over time by capping how much money can be spent on it.
  10. We resist tax cuts for the rich and tax hikes for the poor.
  11. We resist increases in corporate welfare for defense companies at the same time as decreasing funding for food for the working poor including, well, a lot of those same soldiers that Trump says he cares about.
  12. We resist attempts to outlaw many contracts between worker-owned labor cooperatives (“unions”) and corporations via so-called “right to work” laws.
  13. We resist attempts by fucking Nazis to hijack the public discourse. And possibly worse, if we don’t stop them.
  14. And so on and so forth.

In short: Wherever there is a proposal by the Trump administration that hurts the poor, hurts working people, hurts the environment, hurts women’s rights, hurts the rights of minorities, hurts the rights of people of the rainbow (sorry, I don’t know all the letters in the latest acronym for all those of alternate sexualities), that furthers hate and bigotry against entire classes of people, we resist it. The above is just the first 6 weeks of what we’ve resisted. It looks like we have close to four more years of this shit. SIGH.

– Badtux the Resistance Penguin

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So precious little snowflake Nazis whine that we liberals preach tolerance but don’t practice it because, well, we laugh when a Nazi gets punched. But here’s the thing: Nazis lost the right to be tolerated when they started piling bodies of innocent men, women, and children into mass graves.

Yes, liberals preach tolerance — tolerance of people who have never committed harm against others. Don’t confuse tolerance of difference with tolerance of monsters. Tolerance of evil is the exact same thing as condoning evil, and liberals ain’t into that shit.

Also don’t confuse tolerance with pacifism. We liberals beat the crap out of Nazis back when Hitler was in charge of them, when conservatives were whining “you’re being MEEEAAN to our man Hitler!” and when conservatives were providing bank loans to Hitler and building war factories for Hitler. We did it then, we can do it again. Being a liberal doesn’t mean we’re pussies. It means we give a shit about our fellow man. Including reserving the right to fuck your shit up if we see you harming our fellow man, just like we fucked Hitler’s day but good.

– Badtux the un-pacifist Penguin

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A point that should be stressed on Labor Day is that if you look at the long list of disastrous business failures the one thing that becomes clear is that they weren’t caused by workers. They were caused by management – the group that suffered the least. It wasn’t workers who sank Enron, who sank TWA, who sank Polaroid and Kodak, who nearly sank the entire U.S. auto industry. It was either outright fraud by management, or short-sighted management that refused to adapt their business model to a changing world.

American workers are still the hardest working most productive in the entire world, on an output per worker basis. Anybody who blames workers for the failures of American businesses simply isn’t acting based on facts. I can’t think of a single American business that has failed because the workers weren’t willing to work hard and get things done. Every one of them failed because the managers made bad decisions that ended up torpedoing the business.

– Badtux the Labor Penguin

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So the kid who almost died in a DEA cell after being forgotten there for four days has been awarded $4.1 million for his suffering. And of course, the usual suspects say, “why should we, the taxpayers, have to pay when the government fucks up?”

Well, the answer is simple: We all pay when the government fucks up because we *are* the government, in a democracy. Every single one of the sorry SOB’s up there in Washington who set these policies and procedures was either electorated by us fair’n’square, or was appointed by folks we electorated fair’n’square. If you don’t like paying tax money to people the government fucks over, quit electing jerks to office who institute nonsense like the BS War On Drugs. Duh. (And if you say, “but I didn’t vote so I’m not to blame!”, oh yes you are — not voting is a vote for whoever wins, in the end).

Look: I assume most of my readers are Democrats, simply because Republicans reading my blog tend to post one troll note, get pied, and move on. Did you vote for Hilary Clinton or Barack Obama in the Democratic primaries in 2008 rather than Dennis Kucinich? Did you? Well, you’re to blame. As is every other sorry bastard out there who voted for the prettiest faces with the most money, rather than someone who, well, would end this kind of bullshit (or at least *try* to).

We get the government we elect, in the end — and, sadly, the government we get is the one we deserve. So it goes in the Untied States of Delusion.

– Badtux the Democracy Penguin

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In the contest between regressives and progressives, regressives have a significant advantage: They’re willing to provide answers to complex problems that are simple, easy to understand, and utterly wrong because they have absolutely no connection to any reality that actually exists and thus no hope of actually working if implemented. Regressives have a consistent ideology, and virtually always provide answers that are consistent with that ideology, regardless of whether those answers are actually correct.

Communism had that advantage too, during its brief 70-year time in the sun before it finally collapsed of its inherent ideological contradictions. Communism provided answers to complex problems that were simple, easy to understand, and… well. Utter failures in practice.

Progressives, on the other hand… we are inherently pragmatists. We believe in using time-tested solutions where those are possible, we believe in looking at the actual reality and adopting solutions which will solve the problems that exist in that actual reality regardless of whether said solutions are consistent with any particular ideology or -ism, and we just don’t have an ideological hook to hang our hat upon. People look at what we advocate and are, like, “why are you giving us all these complex solutions that have nothing in common, instead of simple solutions like the other guys give us?” The stereotypical left-wing rally where the “Save the Whales!” crowd and the “Gay Marriage Now!” crowd are feuding with the “End the patriarchy now!” crowd is almost a parody by now, but it is a parody that has a grain of truth in it — the world has a lot of problems, and it’s going to require a lot of different approaches, a lot of different tactics and viewpoints, to solve them, and the end result is that the progressive movement appears to be fragmented and inconsistent and a mess. You simply can’t hang one single ideological hook on that whole mess and present a nice neat simple frame for Joe Sixpack to understand if he accidentally turns on MSNBC rather than Fox News one night.

The problem… ah yes, the problem. I’ve often noted that, as the American empire winds down, times are going to get hard. Way hard. Famine, starvation, food riots, and revolution hard, maybe. People are going to be open to new solutions when they have nothing left to lose, new solutions that maybe can salvage something out of the ruins of empire and come up with something at least somewhat sustainable. The problem is that the forces of regression are going to have their nice neat simple easily-understood solutions to all our problems and are going to be waiting and ready to sell these to people, and if the forces of regression win that intellectual battle, the end result will make the fall of the Roman Empire look like a day care center squabble. The eventual body count would end up making WW2 look like a border squabble between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The problem is that the regressives have such pretty answers to the problems of the world — simple, ideologically consistent, and easy to understand — when the world is actually complex and the problems of the world similarly complex, requiring solutions that are neither simple nor always easy to understand. And 50% of Americans are below average (see below “dumbass” posts)…

WASF. Just sayin’.

– Badtux the Waddling Penguin

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The cult

Regarding the black bloc and throwing bricks through plate glass windows: I’ve read the anarchist tracts. I’ve listened to the black bloc types try to explain why their tactics are useful. None of it makes any sense at all in the real world, where the majority have no problem with the violence inherent in the system as long as it’s directed against people who do things like, well, throw bricks through plate glass windows. It’s like a cobbled up philosophy thrown together to attract alienated kids who want to feel powerful, sort of a cult now that I think about it, a cult that’s amazingly similar to Ayn Rand’s cult of perfect freedom without responsibility. And as with the Rand cult, it has absolutely nothing to do with leftists or left-wing causes, and black bloc in the midst of a protest should be treated the same as teabaggers in the midst of a protest — i.e., as a hostile force with a philosophy and goals completely incompatible with our own.

— Badtux the Left-wing Penguin

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