Holding Court – Gospel Of The 1 Percent

Holding Court Headerby Benjamin T. Moore, Jr.

I Was Offended!

What follows is the account of an encounter I had the other day in our local Meijer grocery store. I see this more and more frequently these days. Some Apostle of the GOP, spreading the gospel of Fox News and the 1%, will begin loud talking someone. Most often this is a person whom they perceive to be uninformed or under informed and they promptly get busy planting the seeds of their delusion in what they perceive to be fertile ground.

I do try and mind my own business… However, when someone is playing to an audience and seeking converts… I don’t do “audience” well. I tend to talk back, object and ask questions. Hopefully you will enjoy the following exchange and perhaps join me in pushing back against these charlatans who seek to pull the wool over the eyes of people they believe are beneath them. Enjoy!

Holding Court – Gospel Of The 1 Percent

The other day I had to go down to our “City Hall” to pay our property taxes… I’ve had several bad experiences with their security check point – read: damn near had to strip – so, I figured I’d put on some sweat pants and a sweat shirt with nothing on me other than my wallet, keys, checkbook, a pen and my smart phone. All in all? I looked pretty grungy.

Weather report called for sub-arctic temps, so I figured while I was out I’d swing through Meijer’s and grab a few items so I wouldn’t have to go out again for a couple of days. Thus it was, with visions of a glowing fireplace in mind, I found myself on the dairy aisle heading towards the eggs.

Holding Court - Dairy Aisle My first intimation of an unusual exchange came when I heard this older white guy talking in what I call his “holding court voice.” I’m sure you’ve all heard and experienced this. When people talk way too loud for a conventional conversation such that people 20 or more feet away can hear clearly and follow along whether they’re interested or not. The second thing I noticed was… damn if they weren’t standing dab smack in front of the egg section!

Let me paint the picture for you. The older white gent was wearing some designer jeans, loafers and something like a members only jacket. He had silver hair, was about 6′ tall and exuded wealth and power. The poor employee he had “buttonholed” was maybe in his late 20’s, early 30’s. Rather scraggly faced. Ponytail, tall and lean. I’d seen him around numerous times. He was always pleasant but quiet and reserved.

My intentions were to grab my eggs and get the hell out of there… glowing fireplace, remember? What stopped me in my tracks was, I heard the younger employee defending himself by saying, “Meijer made quite a profit this year… to me that means they ought to be able to give us employees a raise.”

My eyes narrowed as the alarm bells begin to go off. This older fellow must have been pressing the employee quite a bit because this isn’t generally the topic of conversation that goes well… *on* company time and on company *property.* The older fellow – again in his “holding court voice” – proffered, “well, all these grocery stores are running quite a lean ship and there’s just not as much money as you think there is…” He rocked back on his heels smugly and gave a knowing smile.

Holding Court - Silver FoxI slowly turned, looked at him and said, “you seem to be as old if not a bit older than I? I’m sure you recall when we grew up, things really weren’t all that bad… back in the days when the CEOs of corporations didn’t make 700 times what their front line employees make? We did pretty well back then didn’t we? Just because something is a certain way, doesn’t mean it has to be, or should be that way…” Jamie Dimon, the CEO of Chase just got a $20 million bonus package… this same year Chase paid out over $29 Billion in fines… but the board still gave him a $20 million bonus package.

I noticed his spine stiffen a bit. Clearly he had foreseen things going a different way. He was game however and immediately argued that, “the federal government almost put a gun to J.P. Morgan Chase’s head and made them buy several banks which is how they incurred those fines.” At this point I tried to sort of clue him in that it is unwise to judge a book by its cover… namely me. I informed him that I knew all about it as my wife happened to be an executive vice president for the bank. I then pointed out that this did nothing to explain the investigation being carried out by the U.S. Attorney General’s office into criminal wrong doing at Chase.

At this point he became almost apoplectic! I had to step back a bit to keep from being sprayed as spittle formed at the corners of his mouth. “Eric Holder is a criminal he spat!” I did try to make allowances even though I felt myself begin to do a slow boil… nevertheless, I pushed the fury down, looked him directly in the eyes and said, “he’s the United States Attorney General and I choose to respect him as such.” A more prescient man would have detected the edge in my voice and noticed the fire that had begun to flicker in my eyes. Not so with this fellow…

“Well then he needs to start prosecuting criminals he bawled!” He had just crossed the Rubicon and there was no going back now. The game was afoot! Okay, I said. “Tell me which crimes he isn’t prosecuting.” “Well he can start with all those guns coming in from Mexico!” “Uh huh,” I said, “that’s ‘Fast and Furious’ and that was under George Bush.” “Next? Have you got anything else???” He turned beet red and began to sputter. No time like the present to start my evisceration of this fool. “Your problem” I said conversationally, “is you get all your news from Fox News. Studies have shown that people who don’t watch any news at all, actually know more about the news than people who watch Fox.”

At this point he literally began to shake, his fist clenched as he exclaimed, “I don’t watch Fox news… and I don’t watch CNN, ABC, CBS or NBC… furthermore, *watching any other station is useless!”* The more agitated he grew, the calmer I became. Lowering my voice a level I said, “so you’re a liar! You do get your news from Fox! You just admitted to it.” His mouth flew open and he began gulping air. Attempting to recover, he exclaimed, “no I don’t! I don’t watch any of the news channels!” He was shaking now… and I had him. Time to deliver the coup de grâce. “So where do you get your news?” I asked pleasantly. “Or do you just pull it out of your ass???”

I didn’t think it was possible for him to become any more red! He began to shake and then with the almost plaintive wail of a child, he said, “I get my news from sources…” “Which sources” I pressed. “Sources that *I* trust!” At this point I looked over at the employee, spread my arms, shrugged my shoulders and with a smile and a nod I said, “Fox!” I shook my head and calmly walked away, eggs in hand, to get the rest of my items.

A moment or two later the employee located me, walked up to me, shook my hand and said, “thank you so much. I really can’t debate these people while I’m working.” I smiled and said, “no worries, I had you covered.”

The United States Of Apartheid

Gallery - Apartheid Meme

The United States of Apartheid

by Benjamin T. Moore, Jr.


Germany didn’t wake up one fine morning to discover they were under the dictatorship of Adolph Hitler. It was a gradual process. Hitler *seemed* quite sane with the best interests of Germany at heart. Hitler’s first act upon coming to power was not to open death camps. That came later. His was a subtle dance of seduction. Rarely does great evil spring upon a people full blown. It begins as a little cloud in the sky. The weather is beautiful a few days before a hurricane.

We are at a fork in the road. Fortunately, we have the advantage of being able to look at history. I personally do not believe in coincident. Everything that happens is the result of cause and effect. Often the *cause*is plotted and planned in dimly lit, cigar smoke filled rooms. The *effect* is designed to take you by surprise.

We need to decide what type of society we’re going to become. Those who are enlightened and evolved, care little about the ethnic designation of those in charge, we care only about their integrity and competence. We recognize the mutual commonality of humanity. We all share the same needs. Safety, opportunity, a clean environment and being able to educate our children such that each successive generation will surpass the last. We also care about the welfare of our fellowmen. We understand that as a society we are no richer than the poorest amongst us. For us to prosper, we all must prosper together.

Unfortunately, there exists a dark cabal who are more concerned with securing and maintaining power for those of their own ethnic designation. For them, power and control is the objective. If you’ve been paying attention, you can see them sliding the pieces in place to set up a society that does not represent the lofty goals, hopes and dreams of the majority of U.S. Citizens. Rather than pass a Jobs Bill to put people back to work rebuilding our infrastructure, they’d rather take another meaningless vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act which will provide health care for children and poor families. Rather than fund our system of education, they’d rather give away billions in subsides to oil companies that don’t need them.

Though we cannot see the wind, we can mark its passage by the leaves it blows and the grass it bends. Thus it is by looking at the areas receiving their most ardent focus, we can determine their true motives. Look. Pay attention and connect the dots.

Reptilian Agenda! Inside The GOP Machine.

Reptilian Agenda Headerby Benjamin T. Moore, Jr.

Reptilian Agenda! Inside the GOP Machine.

Humanity has been a work in progress. Within our DNA we carry the history of human evolution. It is ironic that those who purport to know so much about the moment life begins, are usually profoundly ignorant, or simply ignore the graphic and irrefutable evidence of embryonic development. Those who have studied fetal development have noted the stages of human evolution displayed at the various stages of development.

The Triune Human Brain

Within each human being there exists the reptilian brain upon which the higher functioning brain sections reside.

At an early point we look like the first “Lung Fish” that crawled up on to dry land from the primordial seas. We have gills which shrink, become vestigial and eventually disappear. We have tails which shorten and are absorbed and become our lower spines. These are the gross stages which can be observed as we develop. Similarly, our brains develop in stages. However, instead of the early prototype brain being absorbed or changing… it is still present in every human being. Although it serves it’s purpose, I propose that the more evolved a person becomes, the less prevalent that purpose in day to day human interactions.

Why The Reptilian Brain?

At one time in human evolution, millions of years ago before we became primates, our survival depended upon, finding something to eat, knowing how and when to defend ourselves or fight, knowing when to flee danger and of course, procreation. This was the sum total of our existence. We still see this behavior in crocodilians today.

Homo Erectus

Finding food while NOT becoming food was crucial. The Reptilian portion of our brains made this possible.

To find food you have to be able to learn to recognize food. Pattern recognition is critical. In Africa there are rivers where wildebeest cross at certain times of the year during their migrations. Without the ability to tell time or know dates on the calender, crocodiles gather at these sites at the appointed time to get a meal. They have learned to recognize patterns and thus, they collectively engage in what might well be considered a feeding ritual. 

Except when mating or engaging in a group feeding ritual, adult crocodiles are extremely territorial. There are reasons for this. A crocodile doesn’t want any competitors poaching in it’s territory. When it comes to mating, the issues are similar. The bigger, stronger males are the ones who pass their genes on to the next generation. For the reptilian brain, that is what it’s all about.

Reptilian Brain In Humans

The reptilian part of the human brain contributes in varying degrees to common forms of human behavior. Obsessive-Compulsive behavior has it’s root in the reptilian part of the human brain. Rituals, mysticism and superstition – religion – also has it’s root in the reptilian part of the human brain. It is interesting that in many religious traditions, serpents figure heavily. Conformity, adherence to traditions, reticence to break out a mold or rut and all forms of deception are the product of the reptilian part of our brain.

Picking Up A Woman In A Bar

Most married couples didn’t meet in a Bar. Yet, this hunting preserve is idolized by the reptilian brain in the human mating ritual.

Whereas on the one hand, the reptilian part of our brain tends to simplify things in as much as once you’ve found something that works, why change it? On the other hand, when some pattern of behavior or some approach becomes obsolete, it is that reptilian portion of our brain that impedes progress by making it difficult to adapt and adopt a new sequence of behavior which may be more productive. Take a fisherman for example who has success at a particular fishing hole. He will return to that spot frequently. Even though the fish he catches get smaller, fewer and further between, he will continue to fish his spot and simply chalk it up to the fish not biting.

When you hear the expression, “creature of habit,” that is the reptilian brain at work. Don’t get me wrong, the reptilian portion of our brains has made profound contributions to our survival. However, it will only take us so far. Our ability to adapt and change to new circumstances and situations has been even more important. You may have relied on agriculture as a food source, but when the ice age hit, you had to be able to become a hunter. You may have had to relocate to a warmer latitude. Those who were unwilling to adapt to new circumstances, didn’t make it.

Reptilian Thinking In The GOP.

Michael Steele

Michael Steele – The first Black chairman of the Republican National Committee. Elected to this position immediately following the election of President Obama. He actually did an excellent job.

One of the most remarkable things about President Obama’s presidency – other than revealing the latent racism that still exists in our nation – was, it has almost been like an MRI on how Republicans think, operate and sell their agenda to their faithful. When President Obama was elected, for the first time in history the Republicans elected a Black person – Michael Steele – to be chairman of the RNC. It was almost… no, it was exactly like they said, “we need a Black guy too!”

Notice the mysticism and superstition contained in their decision? In their minds, they were beaten by a “Black Man,” so what did they do? They rushed out and got themselves one hoping to counter President Obama. Did they think the Democrats had their own “Black Magic” and they needed “Black Magic” of their own to counteract the spell? Sound silly? Perhaps. However, when you look at the racism that has flowed from the Republicans since the election of President Obama, what else could it be?

Their reptilian thinking has created what can only be called a reptilian agenda or strategy. Even though Michael Steele actually did an excellent job, he won back the House of Representatives, increased the number of Republican governors and made advances in the Senate, he had to go because he was different. He wasn’t like them. He didn’t fit the standard Republican pattern. This adherence to patterns is another symptom of the reptilian brain at work.

Mysticism And Superstition

Can't Be A Democrat and Go To Heaven

This piece of wisdom, written by Kentucky High School teacher Kendra Baker, greeted her students when they came to class. It was written at the top of her “white board.”

The Republicans in this past election appealed to the “Religious Right” like never before. Franklin Graham came out and endorsed a Mormon over a Christian. In all his years, meeting with Presidents from both parties, Billy Graham, Franklin’s father never endorsed a Presidential candidate. Televangelist were out in force. Pat Robertson, Kenneth Copeland, John Hagee to name but a few, were warning of God’s judgement should President Obama be re-elected. They did everything they could to drive their faithful into voting Republican. You could have called it, “The God Wants You To Vote Republican Campaign.”

Appalachian Pentecostal Snake Handlers.

Elections??? God’s too busy protecting those crazy Appalachian Snake Handlers… Or NOT!! Turns out one of their Pastors died… you guessed it. He got bit by one of those snakes who’d simply had enough!

Clearly there is no deity, all powerful or otherwise, who is the least bit concerned with our elections. If one presupposes an all powerful God who takes an interest in human political affairs, it also follows that there is nothing we as humans could do to change or prevent whatever outcome He/She/It has already pre-ordained. You cannot out vote God. If you could, then God wouldn’t be much of a God now would he? Yet because of this Reptilian form of reasoning, millions of people believe that their God is somehow interested in and watching their vote. Doesn’t God already know how everyone is going to vote and who is going to win any and every election? If those results were contrary to His purpose, wouldn’t God change things?

Obeisance To Precedent

If you will remember, in 2000 when George Bush ran for President, his chief opponent in the GOP primaries was none other than John McCain. Their battle actually became quite nasty. The allegation was floated that John McCain had a “Black Baby.” The truth was, he and his wife, Cindy McCain had adopted a little girl from a Bangladesh orphanage run by Mother Teresa. They named her Bridget and of course she had dark skin.

Bridget McCain Campaigning With Her Father.

Once racist smell blood in the water, they won’t let it go. The dirty tricks of Karl Rove came back to haunt John McCain and his family in 2004. Below the picture is a bumper sticker showing Bridget with Sarah Palin’s special needs child.

This whispering campaign started by Karl Rove was executed in the form of a phony telephone poll. The question was asked, “would you be more likely or less likely to vote for John McCain if you knew he had fathered a Black child out of wedlock?” Note, they never said he did, but the implication was there and it appealed to the latent racism inherent in the Republican Party. All they had to do was notice the little dark skinned girl out with him on campaign stops and put two and two together and of course… reach the wrong conclusion, but it was the conclusion Karl Rove and company wanted them to reach.

Personally? There are certain lines you simply cannot cross with me. When you target my children, you’ve made an enemy for life. Not only did the Bush campaign attack John McCain’s children, they put forward the suggestion that Cindy McCain was a drug addict and that John McCain had left his crippled first wife for Cindy.

In 2004, when Bush was running for his 2nd term, his opponent was John Kerry. Prior to picking Senator John Edwards as a running mate, there was this notion of a dream ticket floating around. That ticket would have involved the unprecedented combination of a Democratic Presidential candidate with a Republican Vice Presidential running mate. Whom was this supposed running mate being whispered around? None other than Senator John McCain. After the outright nastiness of George Bush, Karl Rove and the Republican Party with their personal attacks on McCain’s wife and children, there were signs that John McCain was growing increasingly disenchanted with the GOP. In my opinion, this unprecedented combination of a Democrat and a Republican running together would have been an unbeatable ticket.

John McCain Hugs George W. Bush

Some when selling their soul to the Devil, sign their contracts with their own blood. Others do it with a hug.

Clearly someone in the Bush campaign must have come to a similar conclusion. John McCain was called to a meeting. The end result was at a rally in Florida, he came on stage with George W. Bush and gave him the hug that shocked the American political system. At that point, I lost all respect for John McCain and saw him for what he truly was. A man who would sell his soul for political gain. In hugging Bush, he became the anointed one to run at the head of the GOP ticket in the next election. Which is exactly what he did, and with the blessings of the GOP.

Responding to Partial Representations

President Reagan wearing a cowboy hat

President Ronald Reagan

The deification of Ronald Reagan is an excellent example of responding to partial representations. When you ask Republicans why they’re so enamoured with Ronald Reagan, you’ll get very similar results no matter whom you’re asking. “He defeated the Soviet Union and won the ‘Cold War.'” “He was the great communicator.” Some who are more sophisticated politically might say, he made America stronger by increasing military spending.

What you won’t hear about is, he ended the “Windfall Profits Tax” on the oil companies that kept oil prices under control. You won’t hear that he cut funding to education, enacted policies to end collective bargaining and break up unions or that he broke up the air traffic controllers union. Indeed, many of the problems we’re facing today have their genesis in the Reagan administration. Even as bad as I think Ronald Reagan was, if he were running for President today on the GOP ticket, he could never make it past the TEA Party. He was too much of a moderate by today’s standards.

Did he defeat the Soviet Union? Depends on how you look at it. By increasing military spending, he forced the Soviets to try and keep up. He in essence caused them to spend themselves into oblivion. He may have done the same to us. It has just taken longer for us to collapse. Under Ronald Reagan, our national debt took off like a sky rocket. Where were all the Republicans back then? No talk of saddling our children and grandchildren with debt. As certain Jews are supposed to have said when Pontius Pilate said of Jesus, “I am innocent of the blood of this just person.” “let his blood be on us and our children.” So then did the Republicans say, let this debt be on us and our children.

Today however, the story is a bit different. Now that the Democrats are in charge and oh my GOD! They’ve elected a Black President, the Republicans have suddenly become concerned with the debt on the national credit card! Would have been nice if they’d shown some concern before we put two wars on it without the least concern for budgeting.

All Manner Of Deception

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

This last election was simply a symphony of deception brought to us by the Republican Party and their propaganda machine. Rather than increase their chances of winning, in the end it doomed them miserably. I do believe the lie that drove the final nail into Mitt Romney’s coffin was his lie about Jeep being moved to China. That was simply a bridge too far. When the Automotive Executives from both GM and Chrysler took out full page ads calling him a liar, he was finished. Like a beheaded chicken, he was still flopping around, but he was dead.

“Mitt Romney is like a well lubed weather vane.” __Jon Huntsman

Pinocchio Mitt

Mitt Romney’s Strategy? Lie his way to the White House. Results? FAIL!

The thing about Mitt Romney, is he would lie when the truth would have done just fine. So immersed was he in his reptilian brain, he simply forgot about or ignored the fact that anyone with access to the Internet, could pull up a video tape of him taking a position exactly opposite to whichever position he was putting forth at the time. You almost wanted to scream at the television and say, “YOU KNOW WE HEARD YOU SAY JUST THE OPPOSITE LAST WEEK???” Mitt Romney’s campaign redefined surrealism. I should have known when he said, “he was a severely conservative Republican Governor…” we were in for one helluva ride!

Massachusetts is a liberal State with “moderate” leanings. A “severe conservative” couldn’t get past the primaries let alone actually become governor. However, once we cut all ties to the truth, one can say anything I suppose.

In true reptilian fashion, the Republicans dusted off the exact same attacks they used against President Obama in the last election. They worked so well of course? We heard again that he was born in Kenya, he was a secret Muslim, he was a socialist. I suppose no one ever told them that embracing Islam which is theocratic and embracing socialism, is rather hard to do. But hey! It sounds good as a smear.

FOX News Logo

WARNING!!! Viewing can be hazardous to higher cognitive functioning.

The Republicans kept their televisions tuned to FOX and their radios tuned to Rush Limbaugh and of course they had no clue as to what was happening in the “real world!” You know? The one the rest of us live in? Like one big liars club, they lied to themselves over and over until they all believed it. I personally cannot watch FOX for more than 30 seconds. FOX kills brain cells and I have none I’m willing to part with.

Rush Limbaugh

The Clown Prince of Republican Propaganda!

Rush Limbaugh is on the radio almost everyday peddling the same worn out lies like a mother bird feeding her baby birds their daily dose of worms. Just like baby birds Republicans squawked with their mouths agape until they got their fix. One lie after the other. No basis in reality. In many cases, no basis in logic. Here’s an example. The Republican platform claims to be “pro-life.” They’re really pro-fetus. Why? Because they’re absolutely against any of the programs that give an impoverished child a shot at having a productive and successful life. They’re against welfare, WIC, food stamps, head start programs, funding early childhood education, you name it. By all means, have the baby… but once it gets here, you’re on your own!

It seems to me to be a no-brainer, if you want to cut down on abortions, you need to make access to contraception freely available. But no! Not our Republican party! If you give women access to contraceptives, they just might have sex for – oh my gosh! – FUN! Can’t have any of that! Again, no logic.

The depth of their deception was clearly evident in the run up to this election. Republican pollsters were predicting a blow out for Mitt Romney. Everybody who watched FOX News was supremely confident that Mitt Romney was going to win by a large margin. Mitt Romney was so confident, he hadn’t even prepared a concession speech. He was simply awaiting his coronation.

Not only did he lose, he lost by a larger margin than the win FOX News had been predicting. This is what happens when reptilian thinking meets up with a society that requires and demands higher brain functioning. The paradigm shifts so much that adaptation is required. Billionaires threw good money after bad on the theory – it used to be true – that money can buy an election. They were wrong. The paradigm has shifted. Voter suppression efforts that had been so successful in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s didn’t work. The paradigm has shifted. The “dog whistle” pitched messages of racism and “States Rights” that had proved so successful in the past, didn’t work. The paradigm has shifted. To the Republicans I say, IT IS TIME TO EVOLVE… or become extinct. I’d be happy either way.