Friday, October 22, 2010


Molly has had her hands slapped before and done her proper mea culpas about her opinions about the state of the American mind. Now it is no doubt true that the majority of the American population is indeed part of the modern world with all that that implies. Still, I have yet to see anybody present any proof that the USA does not contain the majority of religious sects (yes I include every stump worshipping local cult in the far reaches of the Amazon in this estimate) existent in the world today.

In a field that I am much more familiar with I doubt that anyone could present proof that the USA doesn't contain the majority of the weird political sects that infest the modern world. In term of leftist bullshit it would be hard to find another country which could produce the Weathermen, one of whose "political" tenets was that one should sleep on the floor because "mattresses were white skin privilege". Similarly, and speaking of stump worshippers, it should be noted that the USA is the necrotic centre of the religious revival masquerading as politics known as "primitivism". For those unfamiliar with this cuteness it is a current of thought claiming the "anarchist" label (or claiming to be far superior to it) that says that "civilization" should be abolished and that this is actually some sort of realistic 'program". I'll leave the naive reader to their own devises in imagining what this means because it essentially means nothing except intestinal gas disguised as speech.

But then there is the other side which far outweighs leftist bullshit by several orders of magnitude. Outside of the Middle East and parts of Central Asia the USA is probably the only area of the world where obviously insane nonsense can easily become part of everyday "accepted" politics. Most of this nonsense could be styled "right wing bullshit" rather than the left wing variety of bovine feces. The examples are endless, but I've chosen to present one below. This is the political movement known as the "Tenthers".

Out here in the civilized world this probably has about as much resonance as a dispute about how many Imams there there have been in the Muslim world. Yet, it seems to mean a lot in the country where "Birthers" has a meaning. Believers in this way of politics think that the last 70 years of US politics are illegitimate because the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution says that "any powers not expressly designated to the federal government are the province of the states or the people". Sounds pretty "libertarian" ? Wrong ! The targets of those who believe in this legal fiction are pretty well exclusively those "powers" whereby a less prosperous segment of the population guards against the exploitation of the more prosperous people. NOTHING is said about the rights of communities (as opposed to states), and NOTHING is said about the legal protection (and how it shouldn't exist) for those who are higher in the class system as opposed to the efforts of those below them. Some "individuals" are more equal than others I guess, and States are more equal than communities.

Here is an item from the AFL-CIO Blog about the 'Tenthers'.
Tenthers’ Would Abolish Wage and Child Labor Laws, Social Security, Medicare and More
by Mike Hall, Oct 21, 2010

Most cults are based in some sort of skewed spiritual vision or the worship of a charismatic leader, but there is a re-emerging cult that bows down at the feet of the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Many of them want to bring their cultish beliefs to the halls of Congress and are running for election this fall.

They’re called the tenthers and they say federal laws and rules like the minimum wage, Medicare, Social Security, unemployment insurance, the Department of Education, even child labor laws and a laundry list of other federal laws and programs are unconstitutional.

Their rationale—irrationale would be a better word—is that if a federal power is not specifically spelled out in the Constitution, well the government doesn’t have it, according to their view of the 10th amendment.

It’s a view that has long been discredited, but reappears from time to time, such as during FDR’s New Deal era and after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled school segregation unconstitutional in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education.

Here’s Think Progress in today’s Progress Report:

…because the Constitution doesn’t actually use the word education—it instead gives Congress broad authority to spend money to advance the “common defense” and “general welfare”—Senate candidates like Ken Buck (R-Colo.) and Sharron Angle (R-Nev.) claim that the federal Department of Education is unconstitutional. That means no federal student loan assistance or Pell Grants for middle class students struggling to pay for college, and no education funds providing opportunities to students desperately trying to break into the middle class.

And that’s hardly the worst news tenthers have in store for young Americans. Alaska GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller wants to declare child labor laws unconstitutional—returning America to the day when ten-year-olds labored in coal mines.

Miller told Dermot Cole of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that he didn’t believe the federal government had any right to establish child labor laws.

I asked him about whether he also believed that federal child labor laws should be done away with.

He said he is not against Social Security, unemployment benefits, the minimum wage or child labor laws.

But he doesn’t want the federal government mandating any of them.

Tenthers believe the states alone should–or more likely, should not–address these issues. Because states are in such financial straights these days, they can’t even pay for the programs, laws and policies already on their books. Hmmm? You don’t think tenthers are counting on that do you?

Click here to read The Progress Report’s in-depth look at the “tenthers” movement and here for more from Ian Millhiser at The American Prospect.

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