Culture Crusader = Continuing the Conservative Calamity of the 2000s

My response…


Two words: “Bush”; “Republicans”

Neither word appears in your post, titled “Coming Undone.”

* Watch it again for Fact & Evidence:

I’ll make it easy for you. Ready? A-B-C…

A. George W. Bush is President from January 2001 to January 2009

B. The Republican party holds a majority in the Senate & in the House of Representatives from 2001-2006

C. From 2004-2007, the Bush S.E.C. allowed self-regulation by the Wall Street banks concerning the buying & selling of Subprime-Mortgage-backed Securities, CDOs and credit default swaps. In 2008, Bush’s Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson, bailed out his banker buddies with $700 billion dollars of taxpayers’ money…which was supposed to TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program), or cover, the losses on subprime mortgages when the Wall Street banks took the write-downs or bought up the so-called “toxic assets.” But Paulson double-crossed us on the bailout. The bankers got their billions of dollars worth of bonuses. We, the People, got near 20% underemployment and a No-Credit/ Frozen-Credit market.

Remember President Bush’s pitch for the bailout:

* The Average American’s wages were stagnant for the first decade of the new millennium


“Median household fell to $50,303 last year, from $52,163 in 2007. In 1998, median income was $51,295. All these numbers are adjusted for inflation.”

The Bush Tax Cuts benefited mainly the superwealthy (those tax cuts added $1 Trillion to our country’s deficit). And the false war in Iraq benefited mainly the military contractors (that war cost innocent lives and added another $1 Trillion to our country’s deficit).

The Great Recession – the US stock market lost half its value from its high of 14,000 in October 2007, home values dropped as much as 30%, 401ks sunk, we have 10% unemployment and near 20% underemployment – is the result of Republican Party Rule.

The Great Recession is the result of Republican Party Rule.

President Obama and the Democrats are cleaning up the multiple messes left behind by George W. Bush and the Republicans.

What really gets me, though, is how you distort the truth, pervert the meaning and intention of philosophers and poets, and demagogue your way through history to blame others, when, in reality, it has been the neo-conservative Republican party and conservative mindset of the 2000s that has been doing all the damage to human civilization.

The intent of Lord Byron’s poem, evinced by the ending in which the “Darkness” is the “Universe,” is to make humans realize their relative insignificance in cosmic terms and to encourage us to “look once more into each other’s face” so that we recognize the importance of this little life that we share. The extreme bleakness of Byron’s imagery is meant to shake us from our self-absorbed state and to consider life as it exists now for everyone on this planet. He wants us to share the fire that for us is ephemeral.

The “fire” in the poem is a metaphor for life, or a person’s existence. Byron exaggerates a world in collapse as a literary conceit, a dream he had that “was not all a dream.” What he presents is a cautionary tale of what not to do, by highlighting the “selfish prayer for light” that leads to mutually assured death. In Byron’s apocalyptic nightmare nothing is left but two enemies, who with their “feeble breath blew for a little life” and “made a flame which was a mockery” between them. Both have become the “fiend” during this last “famine,” as the poem depicts, and both perish due to witnessing the “hideousness” of the other.

After burning down the palaces of kings and entire cities, the “men were gathered round their blazing homes.”  There is a communal destruction that compels the characters of the poem to band together, but only to continue down the path of burning and destroying, until nothing is left. Byron metaphorically points to sharing the fire, which means humanity sharing the life force. However, the fire in the poem serves a dual identity: the fire brings light and life, but it also leaves behind black ash, death and destruction. It seems a futile exercise to continue burning everything in sight in order to achieve a momentary light. In the poem, Humanity literally burns to live. To live is to destroy one’s surroundings and one’s self in this hyperbolic world Byron portrays, where mankind regresses to a primitive state during the last vestiges of civilization before the final extinction of his “breath” and the “flame” – this life – until there is no more of this human world. The “Darkness” as the “Universe” remains. The larger significance of cosmic existence is intact, and it is the human population – the “populous and the powerful” – that was “famished by degrees” and reduced to “a lump of death – a chaos of hard clay.”

Call it the “Golden Rule” if you want to. Byron is imploring us to see the folly of our selfish ways before it is too late. This “dream” of his is not a realized end. He is saying “Why don’t we all just be cool with each other now? Why don’t we be cool with the earth now?” Because the Universe doesn’t need anything from us, as Byron claims; so we might as well hang onto the earth that we got and make sure that it does not turn into this desolate dream-vision of his.

And I’m sayin’, “Lord Byron, you’re right. We should stop spewing oil into our seas. We should stop the unnecessary burning of fossil fuels. We should promote jobs with renewable energy and have each country on this planet be more sustainable – grow locally, shop locally. Of course we will still import and export, because that is the way of the world, but the number one priority, in order to preserve human civilization, should be to change the source of our energy. If we continue to burn the same levels of fossil fuels that we do today, we risk facing the consequences of Global Warming later:  melting icecaps, rising sea levels, and flooding along the coastlines.  Personally, I like the beach cities the way they are – without the coastal flooding. There is an alternative to the selfish destruction. The Sun in the sky is a big, burning ball of fire that we can use to power our homes and our plug-in electric cars. Best of all the Sun provides light and usable electricity with no burning and no carbon emissions. The Sun is not ‘extinguished’ today, and it will not burn out tomorrow or the next day. We could share the ‘fire’ and the ‘light’ that is the Sun for millions more years. By changing the source of our energy we increase the chance of our mutually assured survival.

I hear ya, B. Can I call you B? Word.”

Likewise, Thomas Hobbes was cataloging the problems of humanity, in order to then pose the solutions to those problems.

From The Leviathan:

“Do not that to another which thou wouldest not have done to thyself, which showeth him that he has no more to do in learning the laws of nature but, when weighing the actions of other men with his own they seem too heavy, to put them into the other part of the balance, and his own into their place, that his own passions and self-love may add nothing to the weight; and then there is none of these laws of nature that will not appear unto him very reasonable….

For it can never be that war shall preserve life, and peace destroy it….

And consequently all men agree on this, that peace is good, and therefore also the way or means of peace, which (as I have shown before) are justice, gratitude, modesty, equity, mercy, and the rest of the laws of nature, are good; that is to say, moral virtues; and their contrary vices, evil.”

Hobbes’ thinking, and that of other Enlightenment philosophers like Locke and Rousseau, influenced Thomas Jefferson when writing the “Declaration of Independence,” in which he wrote “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

•             The goal of civilization = we co-operate for the benefit of the majority.

During the George W. Bush years, the majority of Americans did not benefit. The average American’s wages were stagnant during the 2000s, and that was before Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, Bear Stearns collapsed, AIG couldn’t pay its insurance claims, and the Bush-Paulson bailout – $700 billion of taxpayers’ money that was supposed to get credit flowing but was instead used to pad the pockets of the bankers.

More history that you omitted:

– The result of Republican presidents Harding, Coolidge and Hoover was the Great Depression. Both the Great Depression and the Great Recession are results of Republican Party Rule.

– FDR cleaned up the cataclysmic meltdown of our economy in the 1930s by putting Americans back to work through federally funded Public Works Programs. Those men built roads, bridges, and dams that we are still using today. Talk about long-term investment!

– Even Republican President Eisenhower warned against the “Military-Industrial Complex”…our country has turned into a War Machine. Our tax dollars go towards missiles, guns, bullets, tanks, and bomber planes. The United States has a military budget bigger than the rest of the world’s combined. We also use about 25% of the world’s oil supply and have less than 3% of the world’s oil under our soil. So we “War 4 Oil.”


* Yes We Can change the source of our energy to the Sun, Wind, Geothermal, et al. (and still use a little bit of oil and gas to diversify our energy portfolio).  A solar-electric system on every available roof and a plug-in electric car in every garage would create jobs for installers, promote manufacturing in the U.S., stabilize energy costs for Americans, give us energy independence & national security, as well as reduce the need to “War 4 Oil.”

Key words: “Change the source of our energy.”

Source = Oil?

Source = Sun?

– We live in a global economy. Europe is hurting, as are other parts of the world, because of our home-grown virus: Subprime. Wall Street spread those “toxic assets” all over the globe. The United States caused the mess – the Global Financial Collapse of 2007/2008 that continues to this day. We are still in the Great Recession; we are still dealing with the after-effects of 8 years of George W. Bush and 6 years of a Republican-majority Congress.

We, the People, elected a Democratic-majority Congress in 2006, as a referendum against the Iraq War. We, the People, elected Barack Obama as our President in 2008, as a referendum against George W. Bush’s mismanagement of our economy.

Barack Obama and the Democrats are cleaning up the multiple messes left behind by the Republicans.  It is going to take time to un-do all of the damage from the Bush years.

Your fellow American

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