Here They Come, Sinclair!

When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.

Sinclair Lewis apparently made this observation in his book It Can’t Happen Here, which also happens to be the name of one of the greatest rock and roll ballads of all time. Well. I call it a ballad. Most people would probably call it “noise.”

I watched as much of Beckapalooza yesterday as I could stand. And I’m not a liberal like some of the e-mails I’ve received, urging me to boycott Fox “News” (I don’t know how I could boycott them any more than I currently do) and outraged and angry that Beck held his little soirée at the same time and place that Martin did all those years ago. I don’t think that’s what’s important about yesterday.

What I think is important is that Beck’s speech garnered more attention in the media than did Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s. Any time that man’s mouth flaps, people should be rapt because, unlike Beck, the words Bernanke says actually have a direct impact on your life. But I think that just shows to go you where the hell we are.

ABC News is guesstimating 87,000 people were in Washington yesterday to hear Glenn Beck and Prudence Palin. I’m not pissed off about it. Not really. I’m just kind of sad for those people. And a little afraid. Because there really is something to this thing, even as propped up by Koch money as it might be. And, you might notice, friends, that this movement is both draped in an American flag and it is brandishing its cross like it’s warding off vampires. And in its wake is a tremendously irrational fear of brown-skinnned Spanish speakers and a big drive to lock them up, with an emerging corporate prison system largely behind that effort. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

The other sad thing is that many of the folks in that audience probably never considered that the guy they’re so blindly following simply isn’t one of them. See, the great demarcation isn’t D or R, and it isn’t Liberal or Conservative, it isn’t any of that nonsense…it’s how much FU money you have. And Glenn Beck has a lot of FU money. And I’m guessing his average audience member has very little. Beck yesterday dragged out the old adage that poor people are actually some of the richest people in the world or some crap like that. Why do you think he’s telling you that? Because he genuinely has respect and admiration for salt-of-the-earth folks? Or to make you feel falsely noble so you won’t be so pissed off about where you’re at?

Beck’s show yesterday might have garnered a large audience. One might even have to admit that it was somewhat successful. I think that’s sad because it means that there are a lot of Americans who are perfectly willing to hear a truly disingenuous presentation and to follow it goose-stepping and mouth-breathing right on into the future. Sad. Very sad.

One more note about Beckapalooza: Bagpipes with “Amazing Grace?” Really?

And now, a postscript. I have at last sat down to begin reading a wonderful little book, “Hustlers and the Idiot Swarm” by fellow blogger Reverend Manny. The Reverend certainly has a fresh perspective and a sardonic wit to boot. I’m just starting chapter two today, so I might mention or discuss portions of said book as we go.

Republigoats Are Crazy

Chris Matthews: The sky is blue.
Rick Lazio: No it isn’t.
Chris Matthews: Yes it is. Look up at it.
Rick Lazio: Don’t tell me what to do.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Appearances like this confirm my theory that being a Republigoat is either a mental illness or a poison brought upon a person by a rusty, jagged suppository that is jammed up someone’s ass and that dispells bad ideas, poop, Ayn Rand “literature” and lust for tall lanky Adam’s apple “females.” Although my more serious theory is that these people are crazy because their chosen politics requires them to stick up for the “President” who got caught with his pants down on September Eleventh.

This is some crazy shit.

Which Came First?

Question…what’s the most complete protein you can eat without chomping into a beast’s leg?

It ain’t tofu. That’s got an amino acid score of 68. Whole milk’s is 85. Raw spirulina draws an impressive 103.

An egg grabs a 134, only 20 points down from a steak.

An egg is also rich in B vitamins, and in fact is one of the richest sources of riboflavin, B12, and choline, nutrients that can stave off dementia. An egg has a quarter of a day’s worth of calcium, is rich in selenium, and are also abundant in lutein and zeaxanthin, minerals which are good for your eyeballs. An egg is one of the few food sources available that naturally contains vitamin D.

Also, what I think few people know about eggs is that, when they are fresh, and I mean right out of the ass of a chicken, they are one of the most delicious things you have ever eaten.

Not to mention, without eggs, there would be no cake, no bread, no meatballs, no tiramisu. An egg is such a basic ingredient that many of your favorite dishes just wouldn’t exist if they didn’t.

Eggs are awesome. And in the food world, they’re nearly oxygen. And we live in a country now that’s too godammed stupid to make sure that they’re safe to eat.

It’s the same story we hear time and time again. A large corporation doesn’t do business right and the government nags at them for years and years. But the big corporation pays the fines as part of the cost of doing business. Then, the business’ improper business practices cause American taxpayers to get sick or to die, either from poison in our food or as the result of a horrible terrible “accident.”

You know, I hear it a lot. You liberals. You always want to do nothing else but blame Republigoats for everything. Read the comments on the Will Bunch blog entry I referenced yesterday. Jesus, they wrote, Reagan’s been out of office for years, and you’re still blaming him for shit?

Here’s the thing, though: This isn’t about Republigoat versus Demmycrat. It’s not. It’s much, much bigger than that.

We’re not fighting Republigoats. We’re fighting a school of thought.

There’s a theory out there that says there’s a mythical, beautiful animal loose and in the wild, and that it’s the most beautiful golden unicorn you’ve ever seen, a shade of color previously not experienced by the human eye, and that its face looks exactly like that of Halle Berry, and that it will blow you if you want it too and that it poops gold bullions in any shape you ask it too, and this lovely animal is called the “free market.” And, the theory goes, if you just leave this beautiful animal free in the wild to do whatever it wants to do, everything will be amazing and perfect and beautiful and even that annoying wart on your thumb will just go away.

And they’ve been telling and retelling the story of this beautiful mythical creature for so long and so effectively that it’s not only become believed, but it’s become the bulk of our intellectual firmament. I mean, once upon a time even in my lifetime, believe it or not, the federal government used to have some heft when it came to regulation and enforcement. For instance, once upon a time, the federal government told a big corporation called Ma Bell that it was too fucking big and that it would have to split up, and Ma Bell did. And, by the way, that turned out to have been a pretty good idea.

Now, though, our intellectual discourse has converted “freedom” into “corporate America’s right to do bidness.” And they’ve got us so convinced of this way of thinking that you’ve got people in the streets not against a war but to stick up for the big corporations. And that’s just weird.

Because it’s big corporate recalcitrance that has made it today so that you have to worry over if those eggs you bought at Safeway might make you shit water. And it’s a lame federal government that simply ain’t watching out for you anymore.

This is exactly what you “get the government out of my Medicare” assholes are asking for.

Enjoy your stomach cramps.

A Spot-On Analysis of Ronald Raygun

It is imperative that you read Will Bunch’s bloggity post regarding the current economic situation of these Untied States of America as it pertains to one Ronald Wilson Raygun. It’s a terrific, brief read by the man who wrote “Tear Down This Myth.” Also, Bunch concludes with something I often utter regarding Raygun, that on most issues, today’s Republigoat party would make Raygun sit in the corner and wear a funny hat (while they would be busy running the rail out the door that held onto a steadfast Barry Goldwater). Anyways, good read, and more support for the truth that everything that’s happening in America can pretty much be traced to on or about Aug. 5, 1981.

Operation Iraqi Freedom, Part II

Like Brady, I cannot let the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom go without notice. I am for a good war when we need one, but truth be told we havn’t had a good war since 1945. I won’t say anything since then has been completely stupid only because I can’t quite decide whether or not Korea was a bad idea. Anything else has been a waste of time, life and money. No war has been as stupid as Iraq.

Vietnam was an egregious waste, a fact proven by the happy prosperous little country that Vietnam has become since they accomplished what we tried to stop them from accomplishing. Our many forays into the Americas, Raygun’s in particular, supported only vicious dictators who supported American private interests.

I have to disagree with Brady on one point. I think Busch could have let Saddam have Kuwait… which was stealing his oil… and not caused a ripple in the force. I still believe Saddam Hussein was and would still be our best ally in the Middle East, even if he was an evil bastard. He was not a religious nut. He allowed some level of intellectual freedom … before we invaded, the Iraqi people were the best educated in the region, and the educated masses included women. We propped up plenty of evil bastards in our history, not least of which is a Saudi government that exports radical Islam with the money we give them for oil. Propping up Saddam makes more sense.

So The Moron Busch’s war in Iraq was, as Brady noted, stupid… moronic, even. The primary result was that we put into position a Shiite government that is closely aligned with Iran… and may thereby have built a strong new Shiite Block in the region. Add Syria to that mix (a majority Shiite nation) and you could have problems.

So, let’s say Iran’s Revolutionary Guard decides it wants to settle matters in Iraq once and for all. Who is to stop them? The Iraqi Shiite Majority will welcome them with open arms. The Sunni insurgency will be unable to resist for long. Are we now at war with Iran?

Stupid is as Stupid Does.

Major Combat Operations In Iraq Have Ended

We would be remiss here at Ketchup Is A Vegetable if we did not mention that the stupidest war ever is finally, officially, over sort of.

It’s funny. As we went through the Iraq War and the Preznit what oversawl it, I thought I was living through the entirely stupidest period in American history ever. At this point, I’m not sure if that’s true or not. These are pretty god-dammed stupid times. But, the fact is that the Iraq War was a very very very very stupid thing.

Let me get something straight here. I am not a pacifist. I don’t oppose war for its own sake. I understand that sometimes a nation has to flex its muscles geopolitically in order to preserve its own interests. For instance, I don’t think George I was entirely wrong for Gulf I, though I do think there was some shenanigans behind our involvement there. And I certainly think Colin Powell showed us how to do such a thing correctly. And I can tell you, as a guy who had to walk home to Arlington from downtown D.C. on September the Eleventh amid reports of car bombs going off everywhere and whatnot, that I would have LOVED to see some fucking justice go down for that shit.

But that’s not what we got. We got a bullshit stupid war that dethroned a guy who—as a secular dictator—was intuitively our most likely natural ally in the Middle East, and, not to mention, a guy who had absolutely nothing to do with the attacks. There were no WMD. There was no reason to invade this sovereign country preventively. And even though the premise was wholely stupid, its execution was mind-blowingly idiotic. I would refer here to a post of mine from years ago, “Freedom’s Untidy.” This is one of the favorite things of mine that I have ever written. And I have written some pretty good shit in my day.

And the question comes, inevitably, as I watched Richard Engle on his embedded reporting from Iraq and junk, and as I was surprised at how uninterested I was in the reporting, the question comes and it can’t help but come: Who won? And what the hell did they win?

Go Take On The Day

The Federal Communications Commission was founded in 1934 with the express purpose of making sure that people could reasonably listen to the radio. Soon thereafter, the agency decided that it could also police the airways for naughty language, which many American seem to feel is physically harmful to them.

As pointed out comically by the late great George Carlin, the FCC had at one point ruled that there were seven words that you were not allowed to say on the air. The agency has also ruled that you cannot reveal a lady’s nipple during the Super Bowl, although a court later reversed that finding. They have also ruled that you cannot refer on the radio to a man playing a piano with his penis, and that nor can you use the phrase “big black lesbian filled with lust” (see Stern, Howard). Bafflingly, the FCC has said that it’s okay to say “fucking” on the air in some instances, so long as you say something like “That’s fucking great” and so long as you don’t say “Hey, Bob and Rita are over in the corner fucking.” Although, if I were a broadcaster, I probably wouldn’t try it.

So the FCC is a fickle bitch when it comes to naughty words (“I don’t mind ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ but P AND C ARE OUT! P AND C ARE OUT!”). They can’t get off their asses and keep the Internet in the commons, but boy, if you say naughty words on the radio or on the TV, they’ll come out with all guns blazing!

But there is one word that is so egregious, so explosive, so utterly awful, that even the FCC doesn’t have to enforce it. And that word was recently uttered 11 times by “Doctor” Laura Kightlinger…I’m sorry, I mean Schlessinger (I bet that happens to Laura Kightlinger all the damned time)…on the radio. This is a word that starts with an “n” and that purports to refer to a certain segment of the American population due to the hue of their epidermis. Epidermii. Whatever.

No, the FCC doesn’t have to do anything about a broadcaster that uses a racial epithet. That person will either have to call it quits or he will have to publicly beg and plead with the Rev. Al Sharpton and will have to hire a minimum of two black people as sidekicks (see Imus, Don). And there is a REASON for this.

You see, “Doctor” Laura, once upon a time in American history, when a person was using the word that you so boldly pronounced ELEVEN TIMES on your air, that person was often MULTI-TASKING. For instance, the person would be saying that word while, oh, I dunno, while he was tying a noose around a person’s neck. Or, while he was saying that word, he might have been beating a person’s skull in with a billy club. Or whipping a guy’s back until it looks like ground chuck. Or chasing a guy with a pack of hounds.

This is why our marketplace of ideas abhors the word. We are a culture that believes that words are powerful, so powerful that we’ve asked our government to protect us from some of the finest among them. So don’t get all shocked when your utterance of the most brutal, most violent word in our culture causes an avalanche on your bony ass.

So when “Doctor” Laura whines that her First Amendment rights have somehow been violated, she takes whatever credibility she might have had, which was rather little—considering that her “Doctor” title comes from a master’s in physiology—and she poops it out and flushes it down the toidey. Her First Amendment rights were not violated in any way. In fact what really happened is that the marketplace—which as you recall is an abstract concept that conservatives enjoy performing oral sex upon—drove her to the edge of town with a bucket and a pistol before Uncle Sam even had the opportunity.

All of this, and, believe it or not, uttering that word is not even the most racist thing the good “doctor” said! No, she intimated that, since we have a black Preznit now, all this racist stuff should just go away! And she told her caller not to “NAACP” her?

What. A pig. Good riddance.

Take a small problem…make a small problem bigger…


Dr. Laura Schlessinger announced Tuesday night that she would end her radio show following her N-word rant last week.

“My contract is up for my radio show at the end of the year and I’ve made the decision not to do radio anymore,” she told Larry King. “The reason is I want to regain my First Amendment rights. I want to be able to say what’s on my mind and in my heart and what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is the time to silence a voice of dissent and attack affiliates, attack sponsors. I’m sort of done with that.”

Dr. Laura emphasized that she is “not retiring” but rather just ending her radio show.

“I’m not retiring, I’m not quitting, I feel energized actually,” she said. “Stronger and freer to say the things that I believe need to be said for people in this country.”

So, she’s quitting radio so she can say “n*****?”