Okay, We’re Embarrassed, But What About You?

Yep, some of us here in Missouri are embarrassed.

Yep, some of us here are ashamed of what happened at the Missouri State Fair.

Yep, some of us are at a loss to explain why a taxpayer-subsidized event in Sedalia featured a clown wearing an Obama mask facing a pissed-off bull, with a voice over the PA system saying,

As soon as this bull comes out, Obama, don’t you move. He’s going to getcha, getcha, getcha.

Yep, some of us are upset that the crowd reportedly cheered and clapped when a mysterious PA-amplified voice asked them if they wanted to see Obama run over by a bull.

And, yep, most embarrassing of all, some of us Missourians want to apologize for the actions of another clown who played with the lips on the Obama mask.

What a shame.

But shame on some of you folks in other states. Shame on some of you for doing what you are doing, much of which goes beyond the disturbing rodeo ridiculousness in Sedalia. Some of you have some explaining to do of your own, when it comes to disrespecting black folks in general and disrespecting our pigmented President of the United States in particular.

Let’s start with Iowa. You folks entertained over the weekend—as a distinguished guest of Christian conservatives—the Obama-is-not-a-citizen birther buffoon Donald Trump (and New Yorkers, what about you and your Trump? Are you embarrassed? Are you ashamed?).

Conservative Christian Iowans also welcomed Pastor Rafael Cruz, Ted’s daddy—who lives in Texas (which means you Texans have a helluva a lot of buncombe to apologize for, too) and who began brainwashing Ted at age four and now believes his senator-son is God’s choice to do great things like, say, run the country and/or Save The World.

This weekend the elder Cruz not only directly compared President Obama to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, he claimed the President has been attacking religion because “socialism requires that government becomes your God.” He explained:

They have to destroy all loyalties except loyalty to the government. That’s what’s behind homosexual marriage; it’s really more about the destruction of the traditional family than about exalting homosexuality because you need to destroy also loyalty to the family.

Pastor Cruz also bore false witness against the Affordable Care Act:

Our lives are under attack. We already saw what is happening with abortion. The same thing is happening at the other end with ObamaCare. ObamaCare is going to destroy the elderly by denying care, by even perhaps denying treatment of people [with] catastrophic sickness.

Apparently, in order to attract Tea Party church leaders, Jesus has lowered his standards for truth-telling.

In any case, you Texans out there have even more repentin’ to do:

GOP Congressman To Birther Constituent: House Republicans Have The Votes To Impeach Obama

This GOP legislator, Blake Farenthold from Corpus Christi—ironic Latin for “body of Christ”—gave his birther-crazed constituent a little practical advice:

What message do we send to America if we impeach Obama and he gets away with what he’s impeached for and he is found innocent? What then do we say is OK?

Indeed. What then do we say is OK?

And what do we say to black folks in North Carolina, whose reactionary governor signed into law one of the most blatant discourage-blacks-from-voting laws in the entire country, at least since Jim Crow was knee-high to a Klan-hopper? The Washington Post, in a straight-faced story, actually reported the right-wing explanation for the law this way:

Republicans lawmakers who backed the measure said it was meant to prevent voter fraud, which they allege is both rampant and undetected in North Carolina. 

“Rampant and undetected.” Only in the mysterious fog of conservative logic does it make sense to pass legislation to address a problem that is so widespread, so pervasive, that it is impossible to see with the mortal eye.

But God, who at least in his evangelical manifestation, has eyes that can see far beyond ours:

♦ He can see the hilarious humor in an Obama-masked Missouri rodeo clown, staring at a raging bull, with lips a-smackin’ and with crowds a-cheerin’.

♦ He can see the danger in a Castro-like Obama, who hates God and wants to replace him with government, who hates your family and wants to destroy old folks and the sick.

♦ He can see that Obama’s birth certificate, presented in every conceivable human form, is a forgery, and that this Kenyan deserves to be impeached for, among other things, a “felony.”

♦ And this evangelical-created deity can see that it is absolutely necessary to pass restrictive voter ID laws, shorten early voting times that black folks disproportionately used, twice, to cast votes for President Obama, and do it all, do all the dirty work, “without a ceremony and without journalists present.”

Let’s hope against hope that a more sober, a more user-friendly version of God can see that it isn’t just Missourians who should be mortified by all the Obama-hate on display, but all Americans who are witnessing the irrational disrespect shown for the nation’s first African-American president, and those of color who dare to vote for him.

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  1. One thing I found most disgusting with the clown affair at the Missouri State Fair is that the announcer at the “event” was a superintendent of schools in Missouri. He has denied being part of the disgusting affair, but there has been nothing published stating the identity of the PA announcer. Hopefully, the school board at his district will remove him from office. The educational system does not need racists in positions of authority.

    I had planned on going to the Missouri State Fair with a friend to work in the Democratic Party tent but was not able to because of other commitments. Now, I am glad I did not go because of the Obama incident and the racist attitude of the crowd. What has happened to our state? Are we becoming a new Texas?

    I am unable to understand the constant “socialist” tag. Since Obama has been president, the stock market doubled and corporate profits have soared. Are the policies that resulted in this economic upturn for the nation’s top one percent the policies of a socialist? Is the hatred of a healthcare policy that was once suggested by conservatives (Heritage Foundation) based on who proposed it? Would the same outrage at everything this president does be so extreme if he had a different skin color?


  2. Being long of tooth I conclude that the human brain is similar to a muscle. It develops according to its use, whether that be heavy lifting, minimal movement or anything in between, but it works best with regular exertion. At some point early in life, possibly through the influence of subtleties according to the butterfly effect, brains acclimate to one of two modes of operation: either ideological, which is easiest, or autodidactic, which requires sustained effort. If it’s ideological, then that brain is prime territory for exploitation because it has lost its ability to reason for itself.

    Lazy brain has become epidemic in Missouri, Iowa, North Carolina and Texas. Let’s hope we aren’t seeing the start of a pandemic.


  3. Michael D. Gaden, BSNE, MBA

     /  August 13, 2013

    I agree, Jim. The saying in the world of exercise and fitness is “use it or lose it”. The woefully inadequate results of some people’s thinking indicates which path they are embarked upon.

    And I don’t mean to imply that liberals think and conservatives do not; my remark is directed toward those who do not base reasoning on the best facts they can determine, and who do not use logic to develop conclusions based on those facts. Some conservatives still think and reason quite well. Most of my disagreement with them comes from the bases for the reasoning, not their logic.

    They seem to “cherry-pick” the facts that support the conclusion they want. That is a very human thing to do and all of us humans do it from time to time. The autodidactic mode of which you speak above uses feedback to learn when we are wrong, enabling us to correct our facts or our logic, or both, a phenomena I see less and less, especially with the far right, and with the fundamental religious groups (The ideological mode you speak of.)

    My experience with reality is that if you ignore it too long, it will bite you when you least expect it and where it will hurt the most.


  4. ansonburlingame

     /  August 14, 2013

    Hmmm, autodidactic (being self taught) and ideological (theorizing visionary, general or systematic thinking, etc.) I looked’em up, both, to be sure I understood the points made. Having now looked up both, I still don’t understand the point, either.

    Your ideology is better than mine? Is that the point? If someone is self taught is that person always right, or wrong? If someone is self taught is he or she automatically ideological in his or her thinking? If you think my ideas are wrong does that make you autodidactic and me an ideologue? Or is it the other way around?

    Is it possible to be a liberal sometimes and a conservative the next time around on two different subjects? Does that violate ideological conceptual or systematic thinking, or visionary thinking?

    Duane ALWAYS takes the “liberal side” in this blog. He INTENDS to do so as stated in the reason(s) for the blog. So is Duane an ideologue? I have no idea whether he is autodidactic as I do not know his educational background, and frankly don’t care about it, either. I do care about his ideas and conclusions about how to govern, specifically or in general. But how he reached those conclusions, how he developed his thinking is not all that important to me. I suppose that is substance over process, with the final substance being why I am interested in (his views), whether I agree with them or not.

    By strict definition I certainly am not autodidactic. I was not self taught at all. I went to a military school for college and then a WAR college. Does that make me a “trained killer”. Well to a degree I suppose one could say that. I was in fact educated to be able to “shoot things”. I was a pretty good “torpedo shooter” at one point in my professional life but did not achieve such a skill autodidactically, either.

    On a different level, if Congress passes a bill, changes a law or makes a new one, but FAILS to provide the funds for that law to be fully implemented, is that caused by ideology, autodidactism or just plain stupidy?

    As for this blog, well, I am not all that concerned about how some clowns act. But I care a lot about governance, particularly when those that govern act like clowns. I am thinking right now about Keystone Kops instead of clowns however, locally.



    • I would not contend that any human being’s thinking is completely free of ideology. After all, all constructs of knowledge are built on a platform of basic information that must be taken as correct in order to reason further. But to compare shooting torpedoes to political or economic thinking missing the point. I will try to explain.

      The system of reasoning in religious and spiritual systems such as those which drive the Tea Party agendas is in my opinion defective because that mode of thinking admits of no test or adjustment and yet they often provide the foundation for long-term goals and strategic thinking. Religious precepts are absolute even when they make no rational sense. It’s like the difference between dogma and science. Science requires one to be skeptical and accept conclusions only when they can pass repetitive testing. But when one’s thinking is driven by religious or spiritual dogma, such tests are not permissable.

      How can you be autodidactic when you can’t question? You can’t, it seems to me, and that’s how we get administrators, managers and politicians who are long-term dangerous. They are just fine when it comes to managing an electric company, shooting torpedoes or running a business, but it’s a different story when their theology clashes with reality because theology wins by default. Examples include denial of scientific reality relative to global warming (extreme weather), environmental safety, and evolution. How can one trust the vision of a person who thinks the Earth was created 6,000 years ago and who thinks problems can be solved by praying on them? Then there’s abortion, a situation where the political elimination of clinics has been shown by medical science and by history to lead to amateur abortions and seriously harm to girls’ and women’s health.

      By the way, Duane hasn’t always taken the liberal side, even though he does now. Much to his credit he used to be a conservative, as you well know, and changed his thinking because he questioned, reasoned, tested, and then came to logical conclusions. He is, I submit, a good example of an autodidact.

      As for Congress being inconsistent, now you’re talking about the madness of crowds and committees. That kind of interaction is different from individual reasoning. But one thing I do know is that they do reflect the memes, fads and inclinations of their constituents. Our representative democracy works best when elected officials are wise enough to give people what they need in the long term and to resist short-term appeasement, something that is becoming increasingly difficult because of gerrymandering.


  5. ansonburlingame

     /  August 14, 2013

    OK, Jim, I won’t argue over this matter. It actually is immaterial, to me, how people reach conclusions. Rather the conclusions reached and action taken are what is important, to me at least.

    Certainly I agree that religious “nuts” are, well NUTS, exteme ideologues if you like. As well some of them are autodidactic, self taught “nuts”. Others had “nuts” teach them to be “nuts’, AND ideologues as well.

    As for Duane, well no doubt in my mind that he has always been an ideologue, but he switched sides in terms of political and religious ideology. He went from one exteme to the other and never stopped to smell the roses in the middle of those spectrums, at least as far as I can tell. In the work environment he also seems to have long been, always maybe, a union ideologue. I have NEVER read any anti-union views expressed by him. When they really get exteme he just doesn’t write about them. But Wisconsin is a perfect example of his exteme support of unions. He never criticized unions for taking over statehouses, etc. On the other hand if I wrote a true story of unions actually threatening (or carrying out threats) of a violent nature, he would ignore me or come back with the “threatened SOBs deserved it”!!

    As for religion and politics, in general, I think it is safe to say that ALMOST all preachers are ideologues and ALMOST all politicians are as well. Rare is the case where a preacher, a Christian preacher does not preach the ideology of Christianity or a Democrat support the Democratic political platform, an ideological platform created by ideologues. Same for GOPers and exactly why, today I am firm in at least considering myself an independent (in politics AND religion!).

    You can check my voting record over the last five years as an example of such positions. I don’t like ideologues on either side of the aisle, period and when they go “nuts” on what is generally my conservative side, well I switch sides too, but hold my nose doing so!!



    • Michael D. Gaden, BSNE, MBA

       /  August 14, 2013

      Anson, I think you are missing something important here, otherwise I would not weigh in.

      It seems to me that I gain almost as much information about you and your opinions by paying attention (insofar as I can) to how you get to your opinions. For instance, when you state that you regard yourself as an independent and you switch sides when certain conditions exist on the side you are currently on, that tells me that you are reading the environment (political, in this case) and learning from what you read, then deciding to change your stance.

      To me, that is certainly autodidactic.

      When you say that you are an independent with respect to religion, that informs me that you rely more on reason and logic than on ideology; perhaps not entirely, but predominantly.

      This analysis informs me that you are a good deal more like me in your thinking and analysis than I otherwise would have thought by the opinions you espouse.

      This also leads me to cease thinking of you as “conservative” or “liberal” and regard you as a thinking, reasoning, logical human being with whom I could enjoy a nice conversation.

      Perhaps if we get beyond pejorative labels, we could figure out how to move ahead as a nation of reasoning, (mostly) logical individuals.


    • Anson,

      For your information, I don’t always take the “liberal side” in this blog, even though I am a liberal. For instance, I refuse to join other liberals (and libertarian conservatives) in the nonsense about making Snowden and Manning and Assange “whistleblower” heroes. In fact, some of the stuff liberals are saying–I said, “some”–makes me sick.

      Secondly, you said “how people reach conclusions” is “immaterial” to you. Yes, it is most obviously immaterial to you.



  6. The manipulation of lips to emphasize race seems disturbing, but I don’t think that was in the posted video. I think I’ve made clear I voted for the 44th President and support him now.

    Otherwise, I tend to think the 1st amendment protects people’s right to show their displeasure with any President including this one.

    Attempting to threaten the fair because you heard something you disagree with their seems like a formula for enforced blandness at all public events.

    Is that what we want?


    • King Beauregard

       /  August 15, 2013

      There’s a bit of subtext in this, I think, that involves hunting down a black man. There’s also something wrong with encouraging people to wish for a violent death to politicians they didn’t vote for.

      I don’t see anything legally punishable in this, but it does speak to the very very shitty people the GOP has been cultivating. I defy you to find anything comparable on the left, where a stadium full of people were cheering for Bush to meet a violent and grisly death. (But if anyone does find anything comparable, I’ll condemn that as well; fair’s fair.)

      It’s possible to practice basic civility without being bland. Let’s talk about “civility” for just a moment: I said something about the very very shitty people the GOP has cultivated, and I know there will be some readers who faint dead away at my impoliteness. Well at least I haven’t cheered at the notion of a duly elected president being killed by a wild animal. Some things are beyond the pale, and if you go there, guess what? You deserve to be called on it.


    • @ Bruce,

      I read in my morning paper that the Missouri state fair receives more than $500,000 in taxpayer money each year and its primary goal is to promote Missouri agribusiness. So when people use a major event like the rodeo to push politics, and in a racist and denigrating way at that, it’s not a matter of free speech, it’s highjacking tax dollars for political points. And, it’s doing it in a way that further divides a country already politically moribund. At least that’s the way I see it.


      • I’m pretty sure it’s a function of the audience. In rural areas, I think this President is pretty unpopular, and I think race is at least part of the reason. I find it offensive, but I think we have to expect to be offended in a nation with free speech. Other Presidents have been similarly treated. In the end, I think people will forget about, and nothing will be done in response. I think that’s just as well.


        • Bruce,

          Of course these folks have the right to express themselves, but not partisanly express themselves with taxpayer subsidies, as Jim pointed out.

          I am more offended at the audience response to what happened, rather than some funny man trying to be funny. And some of the interviews done afterward would turn your stomach, many of which were done with those rural folks you mention. The ignorance and fear would have been stunning, except I see and hear it all the time here in Petticoat Joplin.



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