The Curmudgeon

Do you remember Lou Dobbs? He was the vile old boat anchor dragging down an already dangerously listing CNN. He once filled us in on how wetbacks those people (wink, nudge, etc.) were infecting fine upstanding white Americans with Biblical diseases:

"It’s interesting because the woman in our piece told us there were about 900 cases of leprosy for 40 years. There have been 7,000 in the past three years. Leprosy in this country."

“It’s interesting because the woman in our piece told us there were about 900 cases of leprosy for 40 years. There have been 7,000 in the past three years. Leprosy in this country.”

I don’t mean to pick on that particular over-the-hill white supremacist misogynist. It just seems that he’s a typical example of the breed.

Here we see Dobbs’ reaction to the report stating that women are the primary breadwinner in 40% of American households (“catastrophic” is one word he used) at being called out on his blatant misogyny in this interview with Megyn Kelly:

LD:  We have marriages b.. breaking up, uh... shattering in this society and we know that reduces by at least a factor.. MK:  Why are you attributing that to women in the workforce? LD:  Excuse me, I .. let me just finish what I'm saying if I may, O Dominant One.  The fact is ... MK:  Excuse me?

LD: We have marriages b.. breaking up, uh… shattering in this society and we know that reduces by at least a factor..
MK: Why are you attributing that to women in the workforce?
LD: Excuse me, I .. let me just finish what I’m saying if I may, O Dominant One. The fact is …
MK: Excuse me?

Dobbs was apparently quite perturbed at having been interrupted by the uppity little eye-candy getting in the way of a “real journalist” like himself. Certainly old Lou is not unusual in any way. In fact, he could be considered an archetype. One thing you may not in the below picture depicting the signing of the so-called “partial-birth abortion” ban in 2003:

From the Guardian article where I found this: "Note that, as NPR's health correspondent Julie Rovner explains, the term "partial birth" is not a medical term, but a politicised one – coined by the National Right to Life Committee ."

From the Guardian article where I found this: “Note that, as NPR’s health correspondent Julie Rovner explains, the term “partial birth” is not a medical term, but a politicised one – coined by the National Right to Life Committee .”

With the exception of stillborn baby fetishist Rick Santorum and one other I wouldn’t waste the time identifying, they are all white men deep into their cranky old asshole years. That is, ultimately, where I was going with this. We know these people. We all know these people. Part of the problem may, indeed, be that we identify with them. We who are not cantankerous old coots know people we respect who perfectly fit this description. It is that shouty uncle we never talk to in public because he doesn’t seem to care that everyone can hear him ranting about “those goddamned niggers” in the parking lot or “that filthy whore” with multiple children who “needs to put a cork in it.” You would be terribly embarrassed to even acknowledge the old bastard at a public gathering. But what would you do if we cleaned him up, put him in a suit, and taught him to spew out a handful of carefully vetted talking points as the answer to any question? If recent evidence is any indication, we would elect him to the House.

Why?

You understand perfectly well why people are terrified that their children be alone in a room with him. Yet you vote for someone just like him. Any extended conversation with Uncle Phil will betray his conviction that all opinions not identical to his own are “goddamned hippie bullshit.” If you are of a certain range of ages, you will remember the series Cheers. I contend that the success of that show was largely due to the perfect depiction of this individual in the person of Cliff Clavin.

- I wonder if you know that the harp is a predecessor of the modern day guitar. Early minstrels were much larger people. In fact, they had hands the size of small dogs.

– I wonder if you know that the harp is a predecessor of the modern day guitar. Early minstrels were much larger people. In fact, they had hands the size of small dogs.

Again, we all know this person. We know him to speak with absolute certainty on any subject. We also know him to be completely full of shit.

There is No Opposition Party With Regard to Illegal Surveillance

One way the ridiculous cartoon villains running the Libertoonian wing of the Republican Party could gain some credibility might be to oppose blatant attacks by the current administration on the civil liberties of American citizens.

It has been said that when one scratches the surface of a Libertarian, one finds an Authoritarian. The Tea Bag response to the recently revealed extra-Constitutional activities of agencies that seem more and more Orwellian in nature seems to prove this true.

When the Bush Jr. Administration began its domestic espionage program, I assumed that the support of right wing loons (RWLs) was dependent upon having a Republican in the White House. Now we see that those who defecate in their collective pants at the approach of a swarthy person are equally willing to submit to a dehumanizing authoritarian state apparatus run by a Democratic Administration.

I suppose I had assumed that Teabaggers considered their paranoid racist imperatives more important than their Orwellian authoritarian imperatives. Now I know better.

Post Memorial Day

I just heard about the worst thing I think I can remember. A Battle of the Bulge veteran described an encounter with a German boy soldier. On his approach with bayonet raised, he heard the boy shouting “Mommy! Mommy!” When he asked the boy what he was doing, the boy replied that he wanted his Mommy, because he didn’t want to die. He said he told the boy to pretend he was dead, and pretended to bayonet the boy. He pressed forward, leaving the boy to his own devices. I have some hope for humanity.

Just a few days before Memorial Day, I lost my last touch of the Second World War. My grandfather had been something of a boy soldier himself. Or, rather, sailor. Unlike my paternal grandfather, who had waited to the ripe old age of 16 to enlist, my maternal grandfather had enlisted at 15. He served in the Pacific from 1943 to 1945. As the vast American fleet sat off the coast of Japan, his vessel, PGM-27, was sunk in a typhoon. All the sailors aboard survived. Over six decades later, my grandfather spent his last few years disabled and at the edge of poverty. As he waited out his last hours, his sons found that he was eligible for some awards he had never received.

I last visited a little over a year ago. Speaking to my grandmother, I am struck by how much one grows together with another after 68 years of marriage.

The generation that made this country as we know it is nearly spent.

They are missed.