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The Expansionist
Thursday, October 30, 2008
The Country That Never Was. John McCain and Sarah Palin keep presenting themselves as "conservatives", implicitly protecting the best of our culture, the proverbial "good old days". Alas, theirs is a make-believe past. In the "Real America" — not Palin's make-believe 'real America', but the actual Real United States — some lived well at the expense of others. The pretense among this group of hidden racists is that blacks have stolen the future, demanding not just their fair share of the Land of Opportunity but special privileges that whites do not share in. They never did anything wrong, but they're being punished anyway. Let's talk about The Good Old Days, just a quick summary of the most salient points. Sean Hannity and other subhuman scum of the Radical Right are now claiming that Barack Obama compared the United States to Nazi Germany, and reacted furiously to the suggestion that the United States was ever in the slitest comparable to Nazi Germany. What Obama actually said was that at the very time we were fiting Nazism, some Americans felt that our indignation at the Nazi notion of a "super race" was more than a little hypocritical, considering how "Negroes" were treated both at home and in the military. I wrote this email to an older white acquaintance who passed along the Hannity bullsh(asterisk), indignant that Obama was presumably implying that the United States had concentration camps.

In WWII, there were "internment" camps for the Japanese (which may, admittedly, have been warranted); lynchings in the South; segregation even in the Federal Government; legislators and governments policing people's bedrooms; poll taxes and other devices used to prevent blacks from votiing; cops using rubber hoses to beat false confessions out of people in the back room of police stations; and on and on. The United States has NEVER been perfect and NEVER lived up to its ideals as stated in its noblest documents. Even paper money, starting in 1957, starting pushing religion at people who don't want it, putting "In God We Trust" on the money that everybody, including atheists, agnostics, and polytheists who do not believe in a single god, must use; and the Pledge of Allegiance, which initially made no reference to God, was ALTERED to make it a religious oath.
To pretend that blacks did not suffer from both political and malicious economic oppression in the South is absurd. Blacks were NOT allowed equal rights in some parts of major cities in the North, probably not even in Newark. My mother told us of a kid in our neighborhood named Jackie Condari, an Italian, who tanned so dark in the summer that he was barred from the YMCA swimming pool in the Palisades Park area of Bergen County, in the Fifties. Gay men were regularly harassed on the street, and their bars raided in mass arrests for no good reason. Please do not pretend that aggrieved minorities made it all up.
I grew up in the Fifties too. It was fine if you were white, straight, and middle class. This was a HORRIBLE country for blacks, even in parts of the North. Have you forgotten the four little black girls killed by a bomb lobbed into their CHURCH? Have you forgotten the images of redneck police siccing German shepherds on peaceful demonstrators, or using fire hoses to chase 'niggers' off the streets who just wanted to "petition for redress of grievances"? Have you forgotten the murders of two white NY civil-rights workers and one local in Mississippi because they wanted to register people to vote? You're 'remembering' a country that never existed. I was there. I was also part of the gay-rights movement in the Sixties, and I see that even now, 39 years after Stonewall, there are still kids being beaten for being gay, and so terrified of letting their nature be known that they commit suicide. This country has had problems at every step of its history, and in many ways is better now than ever before, tho in other regards (the sickening violence of media and video games, the horrendous gap between rich and poor, which is FAR WORSE now than in 1950, the appalling toll of drugs, etc.) the Nation is worse. Wanting to fix the problems and extend socioeconomic equality is what the Founding Fathers set us on the road to doing when they broke from Britain, an astoundingly "radical" idea when it was first proposed.
Why Didn't McCain Make Admiral? There is a saying that "All politics is local". But as regards why people run for office, all politics is personal. John McCain isn't the leader of a movement. He is an abysmally flawed human being who is driven by his own very personal demons to pass his father and grandfather, both of whom were admirals. He, however, never made admiral, and Senator isn't good enuf. You'd think that being one of 100 members of the world's most distinguished deliberative and legislative body would qualify as better than admiral, but it's not to John McCain. A Senator can't order anyone to do anything. Oh, he can issue instructions to his staff, and fire them if they refuse. But they can refuse, or quit rather than obey. Not good enuf. An admiral can order subordinates around on pain of court-martial and even execution. Now, that's power.
Moreover, there are far fewer highest-level admirals than Senators.

U.S. Code of law explicitly limits the total number of four-star admirals that may be on active duty at any given time. The total number of active duty flag officers is capped at 216 for the Navy. For the Navy, no more than 16.3% of the service's active duty flag officers may have more than two stars, and no more than 25% of those may have four stars. This corresponds to 9 four-star admirals.
But President, "Commander-in-Chief", outranks everyone in the military. John McCain was born on a military base. He was raised in a military family. He went to college at a military academy (Annapolis). Then he entered the active-duty military himself. He stayed in the military until age 45, and retired as a captain, one step below admiral. Why didn't he stay in long enuf to become admiral? Was he advised that he was never going to be made admiral? Was it a question of compulsory retirement? If it was not compulsory retirement, was it a choice he made only once he understood, from what he had been told or his own gut feeling, that he was never going to make admiral? It would be interesting to know, but no one in media who could investigate and tell us, seems to be interested in the answer. Wikipedia says only this.

McCain decided to leave the Navy. It was doubtful whether he would ever be promoted to the rank of full admiral, as he had poor annual physicals and had been given no major sea command. His chances of being promoted to rear admiral were better, but McCain declined that prospect, as he had already made plans to run for Congress and said he could "do more good there."
"Poor annual physicals" suggests a simple disability disqualification. But the fact that he "had been given no major sea command" does not necessarily mean that the reason for that was his physical condition. Certainly if McCain wanted people to think his Vietnamese-inflicted injuries were to blame, he could accept retirement without raising suspicion that he just wasn't fit to command. But is that the real reason?
Does it matter? That depends upon the answer to the question "Why didn't John McCain make admiral?" If the answer is that the Navy regarded him as lacking in judgment, unqualified for higher command, mentally unstable, too excitable to make rational choices under pressure — anything like that — we really need to know. Indeed, even if the Navy regarded him as unfit for higher rank because he was morally unfit, due to multiple adulteries, or because those adulteries would embarrass the military, which likes the sound of the phrase "an officer and a gentleman", we should know that too. Perhaps public opinion as to the disqualifying nature of multiple adultery has changed, and if that is the real reason John McCain was denied promotion, we can know it but discount it as an antiquated standard. But we should still know. If McCain was denied the rank of admiral merely because he was physically unit, not mentally nor morally, one has to wonder how physically fit the typical desk-commanding admiral has to be. Surely there are admirals who don't have to go to sea but can serve in the Pentagon, Naval War College, or some other spot where physical fitness does not matter.
Imam Jeremiah Wright. Larry King says that a poll shows that a quarter of Texans believe that Barack Obama is a Moslem. These are, curiously, exactly the same people who complain about his sitting, for 20 years, in CHURCH listening to the "radical" black minister Jeremiah Wright. Huh? So Jeremiah Wright is Obama's IMAM? Why is he called "Reverend" Wright? If Jeremiah Wright is to taint Barack Obama, then you have to believe that Barack Obama sat in a Christian church for 20 years, was married by a Christian minister, had his children baptized by a Christian minister, but is somehow still a Moslem. Hm. You can't have it both ways. Either Obama is a Moslem and did not HAVE a Christian minister, OR he did have a Christian minister with whom he was tite, who was a black militant hostile to the United States. Choose one. A sane person cannot believe two diametrically opposed things (such as that Adam and Eve were the only people at the beginning of the world but their son Cain married a woman who was not his sister, not his mother). The paired assertions that Obama is a Moslem and his minister was an anti-American black militant are intended to influence fundamentalist and intolerant 'Christians' (that has to be put in quotes because real Christianity is not about intolerance), the kind of people who pretend to believe in the literal truth of the Bible, even when the Bible confutes itself, as in the Adam-and-Eve vs. Cain-marrying-a-woman-from-Nod nonsense. Don't expect rationality or logic from such people. In the immortal words of 'Archie Bunker', "Faith is believing something that nobody in his right mind would believe." So they will say Obama was a "secret Moslem" who only pretended to be a Christian, and titled one of his books after something that his Christian minister said only to maintain his 'cover'. You see, Obama knew, 20 years ago, that he would someday be running for President of the United States, and that a Moslem would be unacceptable to the American electorate, so he posed as a Christian, in a one-man sleeper cell of a 'terrorist' Moslem organization devoted to the destruction of "America". Yeah, that's the ticket!
Never mind that, unlike John McCain, Obama believes that a person can be both a decent family man and an Arab (a term many ignorant Americans use interchangeably with "Moslem"). Remember McCain's taking the microfone away from a woman who said Obama is an Arab, and 'defending' Obama by saying he's not, but is "a decent family man"? Anyone else would have responded, "No, he's the child of an African father and American mother, with no Arab ancestry. And he's a Christian, not a Moslem." McCain didn't say any of that, only that no, he's not an Arab (Moslem). He's a decent family man!
So what would a decent family man who was Moslem do if he entertained the aspiration to be President? Would he convert, and betray his faith? Or would he fite the good fite to educate people about Islam at the same time as he ran for President? What better rostrum from which to teach? The only way you could think Obama was a secret Moslem while a public Christian in the congregation of a CONTROVERSIAL minister is if you believed that he was too stupid to know that belonging to the congregation of a "radical" minister is no safer for a future political career than admitting to being a Moslem. So Obama would have to be stupid more than just faithless to his true faith. But, then, that's no stretch for people who feel Obama is a black devil out to paint the President's mansion black, destroy the Nation, and turn the world over to terrorists. No stretch at all. Those people (not to be confused with "That one") are John McCain's base. Are you enjoying the company you keep, Mr. McCain, white trash and morons? If so, think about spending the next four to eight years with them chattering in your ear every day. I guess that beats hearing your father's and grandfather's voices saying endlessly inside your head, "You're a failure. You didn't make admiral. We are very disappointed in you."
Water Over the Bridge. Ben Stein did something on Larry King Live today that I also have done, mix up the two expressions "water over the dam" and "water under the bridge" to "water over the bridge". Yes, sometimes water does go over a bridge, and wash it away. But that's not what we usually mean by either of the expressions both Ben Stein and I sometimes ram together. I hasten to mention that I generally will not listen to anything Ben Stein says, but tonite on Larry King not only did he say some things that were out of keeping with what I hate about him, but his confused metaphor also endeared him to me. I also had to side with him when Arianna Huffington mischaracterized something he said (that Barack Obama is as much a political genius as was George Wallace, who, Stein said, at age 4 was asking neighbors on the street if there was anything he could do for them). So tonite, if on no other nite into the future, I am content to listen to a program in which Ben Stein participates. We'll see about tomorrow.
Ben Stein lost me again when, in the same show, he said that John McCain sacrificed his youth and his health for us. Oh? What would his father and grandfather have said if little John McCain had said, "You know, I don't want anything to do with the military. What was right for you is not right for me. I want to be a florist." — eh? John McCain didn't CHOOSE military service. It was chosen for him. It was expected of him. It would have taken a supreme exertion of character to REFUSE military service. But John McCain doesn't have that kind of character. He claims to be a maverick now, but little Johnny McCain went into the military not because he made a personal, conscious choice out of all the occupations available to him but because heavy family obligations compelled him to do what he was 'born to do'. Imagine the conversation:
"Son, you are part of a proud family tradition. We expect you to carry on that tradition, and will be very proud to see you in uniform."

"But Dad, I don't like guns. I don't like uniforms. I want to be a florist!"
Yeah, right. That could have happened.
Alibaba Stealing American Jobs. Very few Americans have, until now, heard of Alibaba.com, but now it is running a commercial about how American small businesses can find manufacturers in China to handle their products. So now, Alibaba brags, even small businesses can operate on the world stage. Except of course that all those manufacturing operations from American small businesses will migrate to Communist China! And all the jobs that American small businesses might generate in the United States will instead go to Communist China, including not just manufacturing but also order-handling and probably also advertising and other matters, like technical support and fone banks. Great. Now American small businesses are to turn their back on their own country too, just like the Big Boys, the Transnational Traitors To Every Country whose only loyalty is to themselves. This is "progress" in the (Republican) Age of Globalization.
(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,189— for Israel.)

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