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  •  Heh heh. (none)
    He said "rightwingholes." I call em' spineless sheep and right wing bootlickers. Easier to buy a magnet made in China than stand up for democracy.

    Not the troops. Some of them are deluded, but all of them are putting their ass on the line. Some of them, as Paul Hackett proved, know what the score is.

    The bootlickers are here at home, doing nothing to support the troops.

    The indoctrination I recieved in 4 years at the USAF Academy did not take with me the way it did with people predisposed to bootlicking.

    Boy we got us a whole can of ignorance opened up in this country.

    "The diesel engine can be fed with vegetable oils and would help considerably in the development of agriculture of the countries which use it." R. Diesel, 1911

    by nuttymango on Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 04:58:04 PM PDT

    •  Harsh words. (4.00)
      I know. I took some hits last night for my view that the state of Texas has a cultural problem. Culture is a broad concept and does not define every act of every individual. There are many good people in TX and in D.C. They need to fight against the part of human nature that the U.S. Constitution was designed to mitigate against.

      There is beautiful land, and there are beautiful people in TX. Also the ugly side of human nature is rampant in TX politics and in the Bush administration. You'll also find it on a lot of feedlots.

      When you see a diseased culture, you need to point it out. It's not genetic, it's not racial, it's cultural. It's treatable by exposure to other cultures.

      Just a reminder. Texas executed more people under GW than any state in U.S history. There is a problem there folks.

      "The diesel engine can be fed with vegetable oils and would help considerably in the development of agriculture of the countries which use it." R. Diesel, 1911

      by nuttymango on Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 05:10:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What's wrong with Texas... (4.00)
        ... is what's wrong with America.  It's the normalization of selfishness, the legitimization of ignorant bigotry.

        The greedy and mean-spirited among us got tired of being ashamed of themselves, and have come out of the closet.  They have taken over much of the Anglo culture of Texas, and have seized political power by coopting the Republican party.

        Lies are the new truth.

        by Dallasdoc on Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 05:48:36 PM PDT

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        •  excellent comment (none)
          This is one of the most articulate and brief explanations I have read regarding the state of American and american politics.

          I hope this comment gets enough ratings to make the comments list.

          Thank you!

        •  Yes and No (none)
          Selfishness is certainly a huge problem with America.

          Selfishness. Above all else, in my opinion.

          It leads me to believe that the real problem is that most Americans never really become fully functioning adults. Children are defined by their narcissism. As a human develops, they develop into a social being. The more well-developed, the more  generous the human being.

          Dare I say the American Dream is fundamentally flawed? Dare I say it's because of a megalomaniacal obsession with some sort of abstract Capitalistic ideal (that quite frankly doesn't work and only allows monopolistic global corporations to abuse their power)?

          Dare I say that many liberals are just as "at fault" in this fundamental American way as those in Texas? Dare I say it's only a matter of allegience and locality in how this flaw manifests itself? Dare I say the legacy of Arian narcisissm in rural culture is more vibrant and healthy than it's been in 50 years? Dare I say urban corporatists are stealing more than they ever have before?

          All of these things are certainly true. But I think to end, it's important to state that ours is fundamentally an "urban" vs. "rural" problem, rather than a North/South one. It's a matter of which states are dominated by either their rural or urban culture/societies. It's a matter of how selfishness manifests itself in places where each man is a televised, insulated island unto himself (suburbia) or where man engages in a healhty social dynamic that allows an individual to grow into a more well-suited and more well-adapted entity to live in a Global Village.

          In the end, Rethugs are Neanderthals... dinosaurs. Their "endless resources/pioneer/man as an island," mentality is so dated... so useless for dealing with today's problems. Ours is a small planet. Very, very small. There are many connections that need to be lived out.

          Thomas Merton was right. That's who these suburban Evangelically brain-damaged religious folk need to idolize... if they need such things. Thomas Merton, y'all.

          Buy Democracy Bonds or Justice sleeps with the fishes.

          by Don Quixotic on Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 08:01:22 PM PDT

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          •  When selfishness becomes predatory (4.00)
              I think you're basically correct at the start, that much of this is a function of human maturity (or the very lack of it). That may apply to many of the people, but in tandem they become some else much more dangerous.

              So, note this:
              Texas moved from being a rural culture by population to an urban one in the 1970s and this presaged the rise of the Republican party here. The Repubs paid lip service to rural values (and visuals: clearing brush), but the real money action was urban. It is an odd mixture which obviously works very well, but it does not represent rural values at heart. It represents a power structure which accumulated weath and position from the 1900s to the present, essentially turning Texas into a fiefdom. Molly Ivans waxes eloquently on this ever so often. That power of the colluding energy (oil) companies and so-called top 10 law firms penetrated state governement regardless who was in power. In the late 70s and early 80s they overtook the Texas Republican Party. In 1998 they consumed the nation.

            Everything they use as 'external explanation' from Genesis and 'endless resources/pioneer/man' to the slimiest rationalizations for torture stem from the beginning and are merely sheep's clothing for the wolves. These are a predator's predator and should never be taken lightly, no matter how Neanderthal you may think they are. They are the T-Rexs of our time. They are deadly and merciless. The American Dream is mere pablum dished out to appease and just supported enough by one-in-a-million events to seem valid but is a long term strategy just like what is going on right now.  

            People recognize power for whatever the reason and acquiese to it. It makes no sense to a thoughtful person, but I see it everyday. That is the real transaction. And I suspect it going to take much more than a few nice quotes. Cindy Sheehan has real power due to her moral authority. Virtually everyone on this board recognizes this and acquieses to it. Understand now?

            •  Good post... (none)
              Two sides of the same coin.

              Good to keep their danger and power up front. Yes, Dallas/Ft. Worth and Houston have become new centers. They are completely anti-urban though, both of them. Houston is a super-L.A. in reality... a grid to end all grids, banality thrown down in typical "I give a fuck" Texas style.

              Houston and Dallas/Ft. Worth... Phoenix? The cities of the 21st Century? This is what happens when suburban culture starts to infest our cities... when sprawl creeps back in. In this way I believe my model still stands... and your point is well taken.

              Dallas and Houston aren't urban places. Not really. My fam lives down there and I happen to have studied urban planning at one point, so I must maintain that the cultures of suburbanity predominate in Texas cities, in most Middle American cities in fact. I think that's the problem. St. Louis isn't really "urban" anymore. It's culture isn't... not on the West side.

              The problem is that this is true of Indianapolis, St. Louis, Las Vegas, Denver... most U.S. cities at this point have sprawled to be in large part "SUB-URBAN;" and I mean "sub" in the normal manner... meaning "deficient." Deficient of life, of social meaning, of culture, of equality or social justice, Deficient in most everything but McDonalds, Wal Mart, Best Buys, and nightly cable television. That's life in Ft. Worth from what I've seen.

              Rules don't apply to universally... there are interesting bits and bobs in any town. But I'm just talking about the prevailing "culture." Is it a car-culture? Is it a Wal Mart culture? etc...

              I fear the real problem we're facing is the Baby Boom generation getting to that post-work age where t.v. and medication will more'n likely become the fulcrum of their existences. I think reality is going to be a very surreal thing, and in short supply for the next 20-30 years... if you catch my meaning.

              Buy Democracy Bonds or Justice sleeps with the fishes.

              by Don Quixotic on Sat Aug 13, 2005 at 12:50:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Cultures in conflict (none)
                  I agree about the rise of suburbs. Texas is rather anti-city and anti-urban at heart and generally makes concessions to Houston and Dallas as necessities for trade and commerce.

                There is a continuous dream among many native city dwellers to return to the country, to the rural life and values that not only is rife among native Texas with historical rurual backgrounds but becomes real coin with extra-territorial arrivals.

                  However, wherever urbanites go, like gated surburban enclaves or nearby towns with an hour or two drive, they always want their modern conveniences - and their modern afflictions. So, an area like where I live, one of the fasting growing counties in the nation an hour from Austin, suddenly takes on the look of a suburb, replete with gentlemen ranchers. I swear each time Dell gives a bonus, another Chili's springs up. So, yes, that growth is much more Wal*Mart culture, truly more of a service culture rather than an urban or cow culture, and intimately tied to car culture and to the wistful longing to return to the land. However, virtually none of these urban immigrants want to work that hard and sweat in the summer sun.

                  Hard labor has been demeaned for so long that it no longer is an option except for carefully selected periods, like Bush's photo ops. In this I see much more of the ethic of the Roman army, split between officers, who command and enlisted men, who do the work. The service class essentially are the enlisted phenomena out of uniform. Staking their livelihood on working a ranch or farm is worse odds than invading Iraq. A ranch or farm is a ton of physical work with so many variables of weather, short and long term - say tornados and droughts, disease and predators, fires and market variability - and you can never leave the premises for long. A ranch is not self-sustaining by definition; it's an everyday job. Animals have to be fed and cared for, just like crops.

                  However, ranches and farms do have a return which you rarely find in the urban environment: it is an honest and direct existence. You see your handiwork (or not) all around all the time. And one's body likes the work, at least until it starts wearing out. I know ranchers 60 years old who can work a teenage to a puddle and would likely kill soft urbanites.  You still see this work ethic in rural folks who migrated to the city; it was something the industrial revolution thrived on and now the the corporate world wants to manipulate, but the truth is it is separate from both. Human productivity always increases (we're a smart evolving species); what changes is who takes the credit and who profits. I see that a rancher assesses his risks as well as, if not better, than any Wall Street broker. The life of his family and the continuity of the ranch both the real property and the idea depend upon his judgment. A smart rancher (and they are both male and female) after a really good year will tell you 'We just bought two more years.' That's because he expects the worst, for it is always a necessary part of his judgment.

                  This is one of the key undercurrents of old Texas culture in the modern Texas of today. The elemental aspects of democracy and indeed of the Democratic Party, the populist division, run close to these people. However, continuing threads of racism and overt religiosity gave key entre to the Republicans, and big money made shambles of the ranching and farming business.

                 Ranching operations today find themselves in a never-never land, where they are encroached by horizontal agribusiness (large scale farming, feed lots, slaughterhouses, middle men) and with less and less political clout. The wealthier move in Republican circles, but the the larger group in the middle and lower seem to becoming more independent.  They face hard facts everyday and are more than able to assess the changing political situation. If the ranch is of any scale they are electronic and net savvy. They're honest and hate liars and being lied to. (This excludes horse traders hehe.) This is both a dilemma and a great opportunity.

                  So, you have multiple cultures - always has been true here - and a certain amount of crisis and conflict existing between some of those. Hispanic culture is closer to ranch culture than corporate culture but is determined to forge its own way, its own identity. Black culture is split between urban and rural, with churches as a unifying factor. In this respect, Texas has always been complex but now the cultures relationships are changing at a high rate, each fighting for independence and identity that the Anglo culture soley possessed. As that breaks down by population and politicization, Texas will re-emerge in a different state of being.

                  The primary failings of Texas as a state government are very much due to the energy companies and lawyers groups pulling the strings for the last century. That particular piece of responsibility needs to be nailed to the bunkhouse door. And in a certain sense, the certain and present state of this nation needs the very same process, for the same thing is happening at large. Despite the certain backwardness of the Texas image, the explosion of art, literature, movies and music from this land is a measure of the oppressiveness which has gone on here for so long. Let that be a clue to you...

                •  PLEASE turn this into a diary (none)
                  I don't know if you'll see this reply, as I accidentally stumbled on your comment.  It's the truest thing I've read about Texas in I don't know how long.

                  The ranch culture in rural Texas is as foreign to most Americans as the Kingdom of Bhutan.  Rather than burying such wisdom in a dead thread, please repost this as a diary.  It's far too good for people to miss.

                  Lies are the new truth.

                  by Dallasdoc on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 08:28:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Over the past 25 years ... (none)
          ...as I have watched the GOP transform itself and transform American politics, I have learned to rue to true.

          You've hit the nail on the head here, DallasDoc, as you so often do.

          "The President wanted to go into Iraq in the worst possible way. And he did." -- Nancy Pelosi

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 10:42:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Turnabout is foul play (none)
            Looking back at the GOP....

            I remember, even as a boy, when LBJ signed the Voting Rights Bill and remarked that he'd lost the South for the Democrats for a generation.  Nixon eagerly took up the challenge by swinging the Republican party's doors wide open to the racists and troglodytes who had been left homeless.

            The Republicans have happily used these hoi polloi in the decades since, secure in the belief that they would be content to be pandered to and marched to the polls.  The rubes were so gullible, they'll buy the snake oil every time....

            Now, however, the traditional plutocrats running the Republican party are struggling for control.  Pitchforks in one hand, crosses in the other, the rabble are storming the manse and threatening to stage a successful revolution in the party.

            Pity Nixon didn't remember the old adage that the American people could always be counted on to do the right thing, once they'd exhausted all the alternatives.

            Lies are the new truth.

            by Dallasdoc on Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 11:54:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (none)
          the normalization of selfishness, the legitimization of ignorant bigotry.

          excellent turn of phrase, Dallasdoc.

          Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Aug 13, 2005 at 07:11:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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