muskrat love … to the death

many years ago,when i was a much younger man, i took a gig (between music gigs) surveying a road in the middle of nowhere … we were many miles into the bush, in northern alberta, on the edge of one of alberta’s most northerly reserves … the snow was deep, the wind was blowing and i really thought that i’d made the mistake of my young life by taking the job …
but it was there, on a particularly shitty and freezing day that i witnessed an event that has stuck with me my entire adult life …
an event that taught me all i needed to know to understand the republican party as it is today …
i was walking along beside a very large and noisy D9 Cat as it plowed down trees and bushes to make way for what would one day become a “road to nowhere” …
i was paying only just enough attention to what i was doing so that i wouldn’t get run over by the big yellow machine of destruction next to me or freeze to death …
suddenly this muskrat appears ahead of the cat, snarling and gnashing and apparently really pissed …
being your typical, long haired, not too “bush savvy” city boy, my first instinct was to get a little closer and get a better view of the obviously enraged critter …
it seems we’d crashed through a piece of land that this varmint viewed as “his” and he was coming out to let the trespassers know who was boss …
i had just started to move towards the little fella when suddenly this rather large hand comes out of nowhere and grabs me by the back of my collar and literally lifts me off the ground and half way up onto the D9 …
as i finished my rather abrupt journey skyward and clambered up onto the machine i heard the voice of a rather large and serious native cat skinner (operator) who greets me with “what the fuck you think you’re doing city boy?”, followed by the laughter of himself and his three cohorts who had joined us on the side of this giant machine …
i stammered out that i was just going to have a closer look at what seemed like what might be a “cool scene” as the muskrat proceeded to attack the blade of the giant machine …
the laughter grew louder as i asked what could be wrong with that …
it was then that this ginormous man explained to me that the muskrat was freaked out that we had destroyed his “space” and was much more dangerous than i could ever imagine …
i looked down at this rather small, furry ball of rage and watched as it spent the next several minutes repeatedly attacking the blade of the cat with a ferocity that i honestly never imagined could be contained in such a small creature …
it attacked the machine until it was dead …
the critter, not the machine that is …
it basically tore itself to bits on the sharp metallic edges of the machine …
when it was all over, we all climbed down and had a closer look at what had been a self inflicted and suicidal bloodbath …
it was then that the same guy who had only minutes before grabbed me up with the “what the fuck you think you’re doing city boy?”  greeting explained to me that the “dying throes of any creature” are the most insane and dangerously suicidal moments of any life …
that in is those last moments a wounded animal will do truly insane and self destructive things to preserve it’s way of life …
even if it means it’s own destruction …
that that is when it is most dangerous to all around it …
i learned a valuable lesson that day about muskrats, and later, much later, i would come to realize that it was the way of all creatures …
i watched a very similar scenario play out again years later in the canadian political arena when the conservative party of canada had over reached enormously and smugly with it’s our way or the highway agenda and the canadian people were about to put an end to them in the next general election …
everyone knew what was coming and so the leader bailed and they sacrificed a lady named kim campbell and she got to be prime minister for a summer until the election while the old guard of the party retreated and ran quickly for the hills …
then they all but disappeared from the electoral map for nearly a generation …
i have, for the last couple years, especially since the republican victories in the 2010 midterm elections, seen that same “death dance” …
the gop veering back and forth, to and fro, grasping at straws and flailing and gnashing in a style eerily similar to that muskrat many years before …
i believe what we are witnessing is the death dance of the gop …
might as well just sit back and watch the carnage ….
in the words of napolean bonaparte “never interfere with an enemy while he’s in the process of destroying himself” …
and in the words of a very large and very wise native gentleman who’s name sadly escapes me at the moment “never screw with a pissed off critter” …
this is one city boy who has learned his lesson …

gop clown car veers towards the cliff

in his latest blog, rolling stone writer/blogger matt taibbi sums up perfectly what i and many other bloggers have been trying to express for the last couple of years …
a great piece and a must read for anyone who wants to make some sense of the madness that is the republican party …
matt taibbi absolutely nails it …
please read on …

Arizona Debate: Conservative Chickens Come Home to Roost 

How about that race for the Republican nomination? Was last night’s debate crazy, or what?

Throughout this entire process, the spectacle of these clowns thrashing each other and continually seizing and then fumbling frontrunner status has left me with an oddly reassuring feeling, one that I haven’t quite been able to put my finger on. In my younger days I would have just assumed it was regular old Schadenfreude at the sight of people like Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich suffering, but this isn’t like that – it’s something different than the pleasure of watching A-Rod strike out in the playoffs.
No, it was while watching the debates last night that it finally hit me: This is justice. What we have here are chickens coming home to roost. It’s as if all of the American public’s bad habits and perverse obsessions are all coming back to haunt Republican voters in this race: The lack of attention span, the constant demand for instant gratification, the abject hunger for negativity, the utter lack of backbone or constancy (we change our loyalties at the drop of a hat, all it takes is a clever TV ad): these things are all major factors in the spiraling Republican disaster.
Most importantly, though, the conservative passion for divisive, partisan, bomb-tossing politics is threatening to permanently cripple the Republican party. They long ago became more about pointing fingers than about ideology, and it’s finally ruining them.
Oh, sure, your average conservative will insist his belief system is based upon a passion for the free market and limited government, but that’s mostly a cover story. Instead, the vast team-building exercise that has driven the broadcasts of people like Rush and Hannity and the talking heads on Fox for decades now has really been a kind of ongoing Quest for Orthodoxy, in which the team members congregate in front of the TV and the radio and share in the warm feeling of pointing the finger at people who aren’t as American as they are, who lack their family values, who don’t share their All-American work ethic.
The finger-pointing game is a fun one to play, but it’s a little like drugs – you have to keep taking bigger and bigger doses in order to get the same high.
So it starts with a bunch of these people huddling together and saying to themselves, "We’re the real good Americans; our problems are caused by all those other people out there who don’t share our values." At that stage the real turn-on for the followers is the recognition that there are other like-minded people out there, and they don’t need blood orgies and war cries to keep the faith strong – bake sales and church retreats will do.
So they form their local Moral Majority outfits, and they put Ronald Reagan in office, and they sit and wait for the world to a world where there was one breadwinner in the family, and no teen pregnancy or crime or poor people, and immigrants worked hard and didn’t ask for welfare and had the decency to speak English – a world that never existed in reality, of course, but they’re waiting for a return to it nonetheless.
Think Ron Paul in the South Carolina debate, when he said that in the ’60s,
"there was nobody out in the street suffering with no medical care." Paul also recalled that after World War II, 10 million soldiers came home and prospered without any kind of government aid at all – all they needed was a massive cut to the federal budget, and those soldiers just surfed on the resultant wave of economic progress.
"You know what the government did? They cut the budget by 60 percent," he said. "And everybody went back to work again, you didn’t need any special programs."
Right – it wasn’t like they needed a G.I. Bill or anything. After all, people were different back then: They didn’t want or need welfare, or a health care program, or any of those things. At least, that’s not the way Paul remembered it.
That’s all the early conservative movement was. It was just a heartfelt request that we go back to the good old days of America as these people remembered or imagined it. Of course, the problem was, we couldn’t go back, not just because more than half the population (particularly the nonwhite, non-straight, non-male segment of the population) desperately didn’t want to go back, but also because that America never existed and was therefore impossible to recreate.
And when we didn’t go back to the good old days, this crowd got frustrated, and suddenly the message stopped being heartfelt and it got an edge to it.
The message went from, "We’re the real Americans; the others are the problem," to, "We’re the last line of defense; we hate those other people and they’re our enemies." Now it wasn’t just that the rest of us weren’t getting with the program: Now we were also saboteurs, secretly or perhaps even openly conspiring with America’s enemies to prevent her return to the long-desired Days of Glory.
read the entire article here                                               

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