Thursday, August 11, 2011


Gul Madred and the Four (five?) lights...
One of the most powerful Star Trek:TNG episodes ever was a two-parter called Chain of Command.  For reasons not important to the narrative here, Captain Picard is captured by the Cardassians (Kim and Khloe perhaps?) and tortured to reveal Federation plans for the planet Minas Korva.  One of the techniques used by Gul Madred (the head Cardassian torturer) is to show Picard four lights and demand he admit that there are five.

The Tea Party GOP are attempting to get America and the global markets to admit that there are five lights when there are only four.  They're doing this by preaching, over and over and over again, the following core "values" they hold dear:
  1. Expansionary Austerity: We can only cut our way to prosperity
  2. Supply-Side Economics: Only through abasement to the so-called "job creators" can America be saved
  3. No New Taxes... Ever: Regardless of the revenue trough we're in, we can never raise taxes.
  4. Never Talk about Income / Wealth Disparity: Despite the overwhelming evidence that wealth and income share have shifted upwards for the last 30 years, never ever talk about it.
  5. Blame, Blame, Blame: Never accept personal or party responsibility for the current economic and political situation
  6. The Debt is an IMMEDIATE CRISIS: Despite the fact that the debt is completely manageable, in fact, our 3 and 10 years notes are selling like hot-cakes at 0% interest, we must do something about it now!
  7. The Deficit is an IMMEDIATE CRISIS: Despite extensive evidence that reducing government spending during a recession will only make the recession worse, we must cut, cut, cut our way to prosperity.
  8. Jobs are for the weak: Never talk about the job situation. Ever.
Don't bother them with facts ("There are four lights") when they've convinced themselves that reality is what they make of it ("There are five lights!").  Now they want us all to see their delusional extra light.

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