So which are you?


16h46 UTC; THURSDAY, 8 MARCH 2012: If it's anything to you, GOP Presidential front runner Mitt Romney may want to consider where, in light of his Bain Capital Partners being a co-stakeholder in Clear Channel Communications--ultimately, in its turn, extending to Premier Radio Networks, as syndicates Rush Limbaugh's belaguered talkback radio show (some 40 advertisers, both national and regional, having pulled their advertising therefrom in the last week in response to misogynistic attacks against Sandra Fluke's stand for contraception being part of health cover)--he ought show some responsibility, culpability even, for a clear and present pattern of misogynistic on-air statements on The Oxycontin Boar's part and parcel over the years (which Think Progress, thankfully, has compiled for exposure to the great disinfectants of air and sunlight).

Never mind Meneer Limbaugh's consistent patsy that he's an "entertainer" as theoretically entitles him to make such outrageous statements, and with such crude and tasteless language besides, which he can easily spin, nuance even, in case the FCC starts getting complaints (as it ought, though I'm unaware of any such as hath been thus addressed to the moment) about l'affaire Sandra Fluke, Meneer Romney, for his part, needs to recognise his share of culpability for allowing such "patriotic" excesses of Billingsgate on air to an audience as is mostly "poor white trash" with minds easily open to suggestions as could turn out being dangerous in and of themselves.

Which, in any case, should be enough to pray ask Mitt Romney to Please Explain the interconnexion vis-a-vis Bain Capital and Clear Channel/Premier Radio Networks, with particular concern about hatemongering talkback hosts distributed by Premier to local stations (not just Rush Limbaugh, but also the ilk of Sean Hannity, Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham) and the Clear and Present Danger their message poses to the Peace, Safety and Good Order of the Nation, particularly when it comes to vulnerable and dangerous elements whose ur-Fascism is of a sort described as (depending on who you listen to, by either Huey Long or Sinclair Lewis) being wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross (yet taking pains all along to avoid calling spades spades, as it were).

As Josiah Quincy forever reminds us, "liberty is not safe where the people are not watchful."

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In that particular vein and spirit, may I call unto your attention the following column from Dave Zweifel in his capacity as Editor Emeritus of CapTimes.com, virtual successor to The Capital Times from Madison, WI, as warns of the dangers of ignoring "Tea Party" (pseudo)movement atrocity prolefeed:
People regularly send emails and letters telling me that I don’t understand the folks who call themselves members of some or another affiliate of the so-called tea party.

They’re just ordinary Americans, frustrated with the way government is being run, worried about their time-honored American freedoms and wanting to make their voices heard. And that, after all, is what being an American should be all about.

No doubt that’s true in most cases. Even I can give the crew of self-proclaimed tea partyers who currently hold seats in Congress some slack, even if they were willing to cause the United States to default last year, not to mention pull the rug out from under the elderly on Social Security and Medicare.

But then I run across a story like one that appeared in the New York Times recently about how congressional tea partyers are just the tip of the iceberg. Local and state governments are being besieged for doing just about anything. In many areas, it’s become downright scary.

These tea party activists have been mobilizing around the country to fight everything from expanding public transportation to preserving open space, insisting that it’s all a part of a United Nations-led conspiracy to deny property rights and herd citizens toward our cities.

According to the story, activists are showing up at planning meetings to denounce bike lanes on public streets and smart meters on home appliances, all of which they claim are examples of government usurping individual rights. The much-heralded outrage against energy-saving light bulbs for your home is another example of it.

In Roanoke, Va., they threatened to remove members of the board of county supervisors if they approved paying $1,200 in dues to an organization that consults on sustainability issues. The meeting became so contentious that the police had to be brought in to restore order. In Maine, the tea party-backed Republican governor canceled a project to ease congestion in a busy highway corridor because it was allegedly part of the U.N. plot.

“Similar opposition helped doom a high-speed train line in Florida,” the story reported. “And more than a dozen cities, towns and counties, under new pressure, have cut off financing for a program that offers expertise on how to measure and cut carbon emissions.”

The story quotes George Homewood, a vice president of the American Planning Association, “It sounds a little on the weird side, but we’ve found we ignore it at our own peril.”

The tea party advocates base their protests on a 1992 United Nations nonbinding resolution, dubbed Agenda 21, that was designed to encourage nations to use fewer resources and conserve open land by steering development to already dense areas, something like Madison and other cities have been doing to increase population density to gain the efficiencies it offers.

The American Policy Center in Warrentown, Va., which has caught the ear of the tea partyers, has been pushing this paranoid scenario for weeks and has naturally caught the ears of the likes of Newt Gingrich and, of course, the tea party’s favorite cable channel, Fox News.

In several states, particularly Texas, Virginia and Florida, everything from so-called smart readers on utility connections to the purchase of land for public use has drawn huge protests.

One tea party protester in Roanoke insisted that the real job of smart readers “is to spy on you and control you — when you can and cannot use electrical appliances.” I’m sure Madison Gas and Electric and the city’s water utility, both of which are considering installing such meters, will get a charge out of that.

The protester also fumed: “They get you hooked and then Agenda 21 takes over. Your rights are stripped one by one.”

Ilana Preuss, vice president of Smart Growth America, a national coalition of nonprofits that supports economic development while conserving open spaces and farmland, said, “The real danger is not that they will get rid of some piece of software, but that people will be too scared to have a conversation about local development. And that is an important conversation to be having.”

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich predicted more than three years ago that angry right-wing populism “lurks just below the surface of the terrible American economy, ready to be launched not only at President Obama but also at liberals, intellectuals, gays, blacks, Jews, the mainstream media, coastal elites, crypto socialists and any other potential target of paranoid opportunity.”

No, I don’t think the tea partyers are just frustrated Americans out to get their voices heard. They’re a dangerous threat to American democracy that we ignore at our own peril.
Especially when you consider that they probably see their Gadsden Flag as a Holy and Sacred Icon on the same level that the Nazis saw in the swastika "blood flag" ... the Soviets saw in the red hammer-and-sickle such ... or, for that matter, Afrikaner Zealots and True Believers lost in the Reality of a post-apartheid South Africa see in die Vierkleur of the Transvaaler Republic prior to the British-led Union of South Africa being created in 1910 as amalagamated not only the Transvaal, but also the Cape of Good Hope, Natal and the Orange Free State into a unified sovereign body.

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Meanwhile, it was time to start asking especially the Zealots and True Believers of such quasi-Fascism packaged as the Defence of AmeriKKKanism whence they get the notion that asking questions and challenging their articles of faith, their statements even, becomes one with "disloyalty" or even "Communism," all the while lacking credible proof (cf. apartheid South Africa's Suppression of Communism Act 1953, which arbitrarily labelled anyone opposed to apartheid as a "Communist").

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Last evening, ennui seemed to get the better of moi at the supper hour to prompt my deciding to eschew the usual warmed-in-the-microwave leftovers for the Grand Buffet at the Hy-Vee here in Winona. Which, in any event, managed to turn out alright on an otherwise dull, gray evening looking for all the world as if it were about to rain (in fact, there was some light showers earlier in the afterlunch).

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Continuing on a recent blog post suggesting some Monty Python sketches wothy of rejoindering the "Splashbacks" series of adverts from the Wisconsin Dells Visitor and Convention Bureau (the whole inspired by outright whim and fancy on my part, know), a few more I stumbled upon that I missed previously as are equally worth the honour include:
  • Blood, Devastation, Death, War and Horror
  • Dr. E. Henry Thripshaw's Disease
  • Hell's Grannies (starting with the leadin "And now, Notlob--er, Bolton!")
  • Beethoven
  • Flying Lessons
  • The Dull Life of a City Stockbroker
  • Algon 1 Expedition
  • The Free Repetition of Doubtful Words
  • Hairdressers' Expedition to Mt. Everest
  • Spanish Inquisition
  • The Golden Age of Ballooning (the complete episode, including the Party Political Broadcast on Behalf of the Norwegian Party)
Meanwhile, as for lead-in to the "Splashback" proper, I could just imagine, solely because of the "cliffhanger"-like finish, bestowing the honour on the "Krusty Krab Training Video" episode of Sponge Bob Squarepants, switching to the "Splashback" of the moment rather spontaneously at the finish to better maximise audience suspense and surprise (all the while mindful of FCC regulations prohibiting deliberate increases in power and modulation so that the commercial sounds obnoxiously loud enough to prompt a few complaints to the errant station ... especially among such viewers who were otherwise napping away in front of the vidiot's lamp of Diogenes, only to be thus rudely awakened).

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Suggested early-season promotional stunt for the Waterpark Capital: On Tuesday, Panama City Beach, FL (the Heart of the Redneck Riviera, as everybody knows) set a new world's record for a one-mile bikini parade (450 participants, breaking the previous record of 397 such at Surfer's Paradise, Australia last year) according to Guinness World Records; the better to promote Panama City Beach as a Spring Break destination and then some.

Which has Your Correspondent, himself something of a fan of the Waterpark Capital, suggesting their conducting a bikini parade to end all bikini parades--a Grand March therein, as it were, extending from the "crossroads of the Dells" (as in the Broadway-River Road junction in Beautiful Downtown Wisconsin Dells), across the Wisconsin River, and along Dells Parkway past both major waterparks (Mt. Olympus and Noah's Ark), the Tommy Bartlett complex and the Wilderness Resort, continuing on to a finish at the Kalahari Waterpark Resort.

As with the earlier record attempts, with an eye to tourism promotion possibilities.

And perhaps doing so in the period between the Memorial Day weekend and the July 4th such, which is usually a bit on the slow side as schools start ending their terms for the summer break in early June; the better to maximise the publicity-generating value heading into the heighth of summer.

(Dells-area gazettas, please copy.)



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