Antique Map of Portugal – Why is Paul Ryan’s(R) Fanaticism Considered Reasonable

A Current and Precise Description of Portugal, Which Was Once Lusitania, by Fernando Alvarez Seco

A Current and Precise Description of Portugal, Which Was Once Lusitania, by Fernando Alvarez Seco.

Seco was a Portuguese mathematician and cartographer. It was known to be first published in Rome in 1561. The very detailed engraving for its day was done by Sebastiano del Re. It was considered such a good map that Abraham Ortelius (1527-98) included it in his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theater of the world). The Theatrum Orbis Terrarum was the first true world atlas and considered indispensable to world leaders and their navies.

For those who try to keep up with Paul Ryan (R-WI), the actual policies and he prescribes and his influence on the conservative movement it might be tempting to dismiss him as a clown. His plan to gut Medicare is not just radical because of the obvious effects it would have on seniors, the disabled and children, but because it accomplished two evils at once. It leaves millions of Americans either without adequate health care or in financial crisis trying to pay for health care. That many people already know. The Ryan plan also cripples Social Security. When  medical vouchers run out, what income are people going to use pay the short fall. Their Social Security. A few might squeak by using their savings or pension plan funds. This has been called social-Darwinism because the Ryan/Conservative movement plan would cause both tremendous financial hardship, but unlike the ACA myths, this plan would actually kill grandma. Since registered Republicans remain about 30 plus percent of the population you have to take this clown seriously. I’ll highlight a few things from Jonathan Chait’s long read The Legendary Paul Ryan, but it contains so much that it is best for everyone to read the whole piece for themselves. Maybe my perception is wrong, but I don’t think of Chait as a typical Beltway insider – he rarely channels David Broder Hack Centrism Disease. Yet Chait writes a perfect example of same,

The Paul Ryan that has been introduced to America is a figure of cinematic rectitude—a Jimmy Stewart character, but brainier. “Through a combination of hard work, good timing, and possibly suicidal guts,” wrote Time last December, “the Wisconsin Republican managed to harness his party to a dramatic plan for dealing with America’s rapidly rising public debt.” He is America’s neighborhood accountant, a man devoted to the task of restoring our fiscal health, whatever slings and arrows may come his way. Last year, a consortium of nonpartisan anti-deficit groups created a “Fiscy Award” (for “promoting fiscal responsibility and government accountability”) and bestowed one upon Ryan—a laying of hands sanctifying his good standing by the good-government, let’s-all-stop-fighting-and-fix-this crowd.

Just because the usual suspects have fixated on the newest conservative wunderkin in order to write the same old garbage about small government – when what they mean is gutting the safety net for millions of the most vulnerable Americans, does not mean anyone should bring out buckets of anointment oil.

I’ve lost count of the number of articles on Ryan that mention how personable he is. We all like ‘nice’ people, that does not automatically translate into good person. A pleasant persona is actually typical of some of histories worse ideologues. Learning this not so secret secret is part of seeing the world through the yes of an adult. Ryan has been successful at convincing a lot of people that deficit reduction in the middle of the worse recession since 1929 is the position of the Serious People. These would be the same people who look at how Japan handled its 1990s crisis and say that wasn’t so bad. They look at how awful the Serious Austerity People in Europe are paving the road for the never ending recession and swearing things are going swimmingly. Democrats have not been especially helpful by offering us austerity lite. Ryan and his strange appendage, otherwise known as Grover Norquist, along with the usual conservative echo have convinced a large part of the country and the Beltway media that we have a deficit problem instead of the real problem, lack of revenue and spending. Ryan’s adherence to long debunked economic dogma is akin to the worse kind of ideological fanaticism. He and the conservative movement are absolutely blind to the cruel consequences of their plans. Which is one reason that Democratic austerity, being the only other choice, doesn’t look that bad right now. Yet regardless of what kind of math one uses, conservatism’s new demi-god’s budgets increase the deficit. If conservatives actually stood for anything, anything resembling the common good, ideological consistency or fidelity to American ideals about fairness and morality, their heads should explode. Yet Ryan is their new king without clothes – Bush with a better haircut. Well OK, that might be, but Ryan is not going to be the conservative nominee for president. Romney likes Ryan’s plans. We will assume – goodness knows why – that Romney has looked at Ryan’s proposals, done the math and likes what he sees. Thus Romney likes the idea of killing the grandparents, having disabled children suffer, larger deficits and spiraling health care costs. All of which is fine with conservatives as long as the goals of their dogma are realized – gutting the safety net. Further on in the piece Chait does call Ryan’s plan what it is,

Whether Ryan’s plan even is a “deficit-reduction plan” is highly debatable. Ryan promises to eliminate trillions of dollars’ worth of tax deductions, but won’t identify which ones. He proposes to sharply reduce government spending that isn’t defense, Medicare (for the next decade, anyway), or Social Security, but much of that reduction is unspecified, and when Obama named some possible casualties, Ryan complained that those hypotheticals weren’t necessarily in his plan. Ryan is specific about two policies: massive cuts to income-tax rates, and very large cuts to government programs that aid the poor and medically vulnerable. You could call all this a “deficit-reduction plan,” but it would be more accurate to call it “a plan to cut tax rates and spending on the poor and sick.” Aside from a handful of exasperated commentators, like Paul Krugman, nobody does.

The persistent belief in the existence of an authentic, deficit hawk Ryan not only sweeps aside the ugly particulars of his agenda, it also ignores, well, pretty much everything he has done in his entire career, and pretty much everything he has said until about two years ago.

In 2005, Ryan spoke at a gathering of Ayn Rand enthusiasts, where he declared, “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.”( Krugman linked added)

Just this past week Ryan said he did not adhere to Rand’s philosophy. Could that sudden convenient twist of doublespeak be because Romney will be running on the Ryan budget framework and he can’t be seem running on the platform of a crazy atheist who preached the gospel of greed and selfishness, yet ended up living her final years on Social Security and Medicare.

Conservatives are always trying to pick out and portray a Democrat as a fanatic. They almost always end up distorting what they say or putting words in their mouths. This is from a movement which has no leaders, no pundits who are not fanatics. Their fanaticism so deeply embedded in the conservative psyche that the rank and file, not to mention most of the media, sees it as mainstream. Romney teaming up with a fanatic, big yawn – Mitt Romney’s Nutty Professor. Meet W. Cleon Skousen: conspiracy theorist, slavery apologist, tea party icon. Mitt Romney says you should read him.

In an interview with an Iowa radio station five years ago, the former Massachusetts governor acknowledged the influence of a controversial figure from his own schoolboy past—W. Cleon Skousen, the late Mormon historian and tea party hero [1] who taught Romney at Brigham Young University. A former FBI agent, Salt Lake City police chief, and professional conspiracy theorist, Skousen fashioned a narrative of American history [2] that held a unique appeal to religious conservatives—all based on the notion that the Founding Fathers were members of a lost tribe of Israel.

[ ]…But Romney did recommend a Skousen book later in the discussion, when the subject turned to Mormon eschatology. “Cleon Skousen has a book called The Thousand Years,” Romney told Mickelson.

Romney gets the name of the book wrong, but that reference does mean that he read Skousen and recommends him. It was actually a series of books – The Five Thousand Year Leap, The First Thousand Years etc. Someone recently mentioned to me a phenomenon that seemed obvious yet I had not considered. We’re playing by two sets of rules when it comes to President Obama’s religion and Romneys’. It is mainstream, perfectly acceptable to claim that Obama is a secret Muslim or is not a real Christian. On the other hand – even among most liberal commentators; Romney’s religion is off the table. Any critical inquiry into what Romney believes is off limits.

Skousen has also been a big influence on Glenn Beck – Meet the man who changed Glenn Beck’s life

Some good news; It is  “International Jazz Day”

Why International Jazz Day?

Jazz breaks down barriers and creates opportunities for mutual understanding and tolerance;
Jazz is a vector of freedom of expression;
Jazz is a symbol of unity and peace;
Jazz reduces tensions between individuals, groups, and communities;
Jazz fosters gender equality;
Jazz reinforces the role youth play for social change;
Jazz encourages artistic innovation, improvisation, new forms of expression, and inclusion of traditional music forms into new ones;
Jazz stimulates intercultural dialogue and empowers young people from marginalized societies.


Miles Davis –  All Blues