Ned Pepper's Outrages

Sunday, September 30, 2012

An anniversary of shame: Ole Miss!

Ned would like to remind his many friends that today, Sept 30, 1962, was the day James Meredith was escorted onto the "campus" of that hotbed of liberal thought, The University of Mississippi, or 'Ole Miss.' Well, 'the boys of the town made some comment upon it,' and riots broke out and two people were killed. It took 3,000 soldiers to subdue the place so that one small black man, a veteran no less, could get an education that his STATE TAXES helped pay for. At the same time, Ned was a sophomore at the U of Tennessee, which had enrolled its first black student the year before, to no fanfare and no disturbances.
Many of Ned's high school classmates went to Ole Miss, and are rabid supporters to this day. We wonder what their comment on this anniversary would be?
And, finally, does anyone wonder why the South is the last real bastion of redneck, sanctimoniously hypocritical anti-intellectualism in the country?
We don't.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Infamous Romney Video: A Game Changer?

By now the entire solar system is no doubt agog over the infamous video of Mitt Romney speaking to his Sneering Plutocrat cronies in condescending tones about that '47%' who 'pay no income tax' and who are 'dependent on government', and finally who consider it their right to have a roof over their heads and enough food to keep them alive. Not to mention, of course, free health care. And it goes without saying that Romney did not admit he was wrong in his preposterous sweeping condemnation of a hundred and fifty million American citizens.
We at first thought that this would be a watershed moment in American political history: that it would be the final nail in the putrid coffin of the modern GOP. That the American voters would finally come to their collective senses and drive these Reptiles back under their fetid rocks, or into the rank caves from which they slithered. But on reflection, we demur.
We realized that we have never heard any politician admit to having made a mistake. We except Winston Churchill, of course, who admitted on several occasions he had been wrong: about the Dardanelles Campaign during WW1, about returning Britain to the gold standard after WW1, and about numerous decisions carried out, necessarily hastily, in the dark days of WW2.
No friends, no American politician of the modern GOP persuasion is capable of admitting they were wrong. And we think we know why. First, they are surrounded by lickspittles, flunkeys, 'consultants,' stooges, rentboys and sycophants whose sole job it is to flatter their boss, on whose largesse they depend for their filthy lucre. Secondly, they are supremely egotistical and narcissistic. And finally, half of the American people are a stultified group of overweight clods who don't look past the next BiG MAC@, TV episode, game console, or Bud@ Light. They are simply incapable of analytical thought.
So, while this episode might help cost Willard the election, he and his like will never learn. Only recall the exploits of George Felix Allen, Jr and his 'macaca' moment in 2006, and recall he is in a DEAD HEAT with Tim Kaine, a respectable middle-of-the-road Democrat, in Virginia.
But for us, Willard, Felix and their ilk are like Caliban; about whom Miranda said inThe Tempest, "He's a villain, sir, a villain, and one I do not like to look upon."

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Observations on today's GOP

When Ned were a lad, the GOP was a respectable organization. Strong in the Midwest, the Far West, parts of New England, etc--only unrepresented in the most benighted regions of this country--the former Confederacy. Contrary to Conventional Wisdom, it wasn't Nixon, with his Southern Strategy, that begin the transformation of the GOP into Infamy and Disgrace--it was FDR and Harry Truman. The plutocrats feared, hated and despised FDR, whom they viewed as a Traitor to His Class. In their view, the riff raff could be taken care of by going to the back door of a church or mansion of a Sneering Plutocrat and beg for the scraps that the cat wouldn't eat, remembering to doff their caps and look at their feet all the while. To FDR, all Americans deserved the dignity of a roof over their heads, food on their table, decent medical care and an education. Social Security was the result. Truman added a desegregated military, the GI BIll, and Humphrey-Hawkins, a bill that set as a goal of the federal government a job for everyone. And who, having survived the Great Depression, would settle for less?
In 1948, Strom Thurmond broke away from the Democrats because of Truman and ran as a "Dixiecrat" and carried several states. That set the demise of the Democratic Party in the South: LBJ only finished the job. The GOP, to its eternal shame, then came up with its "Southern Strategy," and sold its soul for a few pieces of silver, riding the back of the tiger of racial hatred and ignorance.
"Fast-forward" to today and we have the spectacle of a Rump GOP, beholden to the Ignorant, The Sneering Plutocracy, the Gun Nuts, the Anti-Science Crowd, and sundry other creatures with a mindset, if one can call it that, of creatures who live under rocks and have no love of day.
They have become, in Tolkien's word, orcs.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Organics: Roger Cohen Has A George Will Moment!

Back in 1991, Ned was a lowly cave-dwelling college professor at an Undisclosed Location. He had occasion to read, in his Washington Post, an op-ed by George Will that he has never forgotten. It was headlined 'Al Gore's Green Guilt.' An attack on Gore's 'Earth In The Balance,' it was one of the worst pieces of writing Ned had ever seen, filled as it was with logical fallacies, knowing untruths and blatant misunderstandings of climate science. Even since then, Ned has been contemptuous of Will and his by-and-large vacuous and pompous screeds. Now Roger Cohen, billed as an 'op-ed' columnist for the New York Times, has himself had a George Will Moment. Yesterday he wrote a piece full of sneering contempt for the granola-crunching, sandal-wearing airheads who have the audacity to buy organic foods. He pointed, as many others have done, at Stanford University 'study' that found, wait for it, that organic foods had no more vitamins than conventional foods!
Now, Ned's friends will know that 'vitamins' are not a reason why those of us who adhere to organics choose them. We do it because it is good for the soil, good for the air and water, and, in the case of animals, good for them as well, at least as much as it can be. But Cohen chose to show his PROFOUND ignorance of agronomy and environmental science in this pathetic attack on those who chose organic foods over pesticide-laden 'conventional' industrially-grown "food." We will not lower ourselves to demolish his so-called arguments, as a cursory reading of the incendiary comments by readers, far more knowledgeable than himself, to his idiotic piece have done a masterful job by themselves.
We will suffice it to say that we consign Cohen to the same stinking scrap-heap as George Will, and trust they will be happy bedfellows. The NYT should be ashamed of itself.

The Future of Medicaid

Medicaid, as Ned's friends know well, is a program that assists very low income Americans to pay their often outrageous and grievous medical bills. What many of his friends may not know is how much of Medicaid goes to pay for nursing care, most of this in for-profit "homes" that cater to the very frail and Alzheimers-ridden of our very elderly. Now, the Sneering Plutocracy need read no farther, because this program does not affect them, since they have enough filthy lucre, flayed from the backs of employees and shareholders, to pay for anything. No, Medicaid pays for, we are given to understand, about half of the nursing home bills of the very elderly. Without it, they will simply be thrown out onto the streets to starve, or dumped onto their children or relatives. In this context, Ned points to seven years ago today, September 7 2005, when 32 residents of a nursing home in New Orleans DROWNED as they were not evacuated during Katrina, one of our Bush legacies. Most of these pathetic oldsters were of course on Medicaid.
And so, friends, if the GOP have their way and turn Medicaid into a political football funded by "block grants" to the states, expect your frail parents to have to exhaust their life savings (and your inheritance) in order to qualify for Medicaid, and then to be thrown out into the streets when their block grant runs out.
So we pass another milestone in The Greatest Country That Ever Was Or Ever Can Possibly Be In The  Whole World.