Mike Masterson and Washington County’s “political favorites” | Street Jazz

Mike Masterson and Washington County’s “political favorites”

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Reading another scintillating piece by Comrade Masterson in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today, in which he lambasts the members of the Washington County Court who voted to give county employees a raise in 2010. He also praises the JPs, who voted against the raises.

It is after his opening paragraph that Masterson descends into the  sort of right-wing madness where he has been living for some time now, writing:

“I mean, how can an entire nation either work for the government or be riding along on welfare? Doesn’t someone at some point actually have to produce something?

“Lock this truth firmly into the forefront of your minds my friends: The government has no money. None. Nada. Zip. It takes every cent from us and our earnings. Then it distributes our earnings to its political favorites as it chooses.”

Washington County employees are political favorites? What planet are you living on, dude? When was the last time you put in day’s work as hard as most of the men and women who work for the county?  Whether they work in an office or in the field, these people all work pretty hard.

This is not just ignorant, it smacks of the sort of elitism that Masterson likes to sneer (and boy, does he like to sneer) at these days.

There may well be a case that government rewards those it shouldn’t, but working men and women?

Masterson has, in the past, shown himself to be no friend of the working class, with his rabid - and ill-informed - attacks on the Employee Free Choice Act.

But employees as political favorites? This goes too far, even for Masterson.

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America thanks you for your non-service

Someone was whining to me on the bus last week about the fate of the public option in the health care bill before Congress.

Suspecting I already knew the answer, I asked, “Did you contact your member of Congress? It’s pretty easy.”

He looked at me like I was stupid. “They don’t listen to people  like me.”

Finally fed-up with whining and moaning from people who won’t even make the minimal effort, I looked at him and said, “America thanks you for the service.”

“What?”

“Never mind.”

*****

Quote of the Day

You’ve them on television acting the news, modeling and fracturing the news while you wonder whether they’ve read the news - or if they’ve blow dried their brains, too. - Linda Ellerbee, “And So It Goes: Adventures in Television

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Guy Lancaster - The worst book I’ve ever read

What’s the worst book you’ve ever read, or the worst movie you’ve ever seen? Considering the ongoing series in which folks warn us of the worst of the worst. Hope you haven’t already bought any of these for Christmas presents. Today we present Guy Lancaster, who is an Editor at the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.

I hate to pick such an easy target, but the worst book I've read has to be Left Behind. My wife thought I was perhaps exaggerating with regard to all the bad things I had to say about it, and so on a road trip we rented the audiobook version of the sequel, Tribulation Force, for our listening pleasure. She did not doubt me after that. These two remain my only samplings of the Left Behind series, and for good reason. Beyond the basic premise, wrapped up as it is in the evangelical revenge fantasy of the "saved" being raptured away while "sinners" are left to endure suffering, what is most grating upon the mind is the characterization--namely, the characterization of the vapid masses of unsaved.

For instance, United Nations overlord and antichrist Nicholae Carpathia advances a plan to move the U.N. headquarters from New York to the middle of the Iraqi desert (thus ostensibly fulfilling biblical prophecy about the rise of Babylon), and all the talking heads on the nightly news can do is praise such a bold decision--as if moving the center of a worldwide organization from a real metropolis to the desert of some third-world, hostile nation would make the slightest bit of sense. The U.N.'s cadre of accountants and paper pushers do not have to have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal lord and savior in order to recognize a hair brained--and ludicrously expensive--scheme when they see one.

In the Left Behind universe, however, the unsaved are simply stupid. (As an aside, given the standards set by Nicholae Carpathia, I hope evangelicals and fundamentalists everywhere will now recognize that Barack Obama can't be the antichrist. I mean, he couldn't even get the Olympics to come to Chicago.)

A runner-up for worst book would have to be The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper. The only truly interesting characters are the Indians, but that's largely because they don't speak so much. Natty Bumpo goes around delivering monologues and discoursing philosophically with folks even in the midst of a firefight, so much so that Cooper borders upon complete self-parody.

Admittedly, it did not help that I listened to an unabridged audio recording of the book, checked out from my local library, performed by a narrator who was doing his best Al Gore impersonation, but I doubt there's any redeeming way to experience such a novel.

rsdrake@cox.net

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