Features Oct 9, 2013 at 4:00 am

If You Don't Let Them Repeal Obamacare, They're Going to Kill This Orangutan

Fuming at a park ranger, frightened of teabaggers, farting idiocy on Twitter.


Man, I would really like to slap the smug off that Ted Cruz asshole's face these days. I thought the GOP '12 crop of presidential candidates was a late flowering of right-wing crazy, but it seems in retrospect to have been the springtime buds of a forest of idiocracy.

At least with Rove and Cheney, you got the feeling there was a mastermind at work. Evil, but still... brilliantly so. This Tea Party crew has gone past denying scientific principles such as global warming and evolution, moving on to denying core principles of government, economics, and cause and effect.

I have lost hours and hours just taking in the scope of idiocy available on the internet, and hate-reading the tide of popular ignorant opinion out there. We seem to be a nation of racist trolls at this point. Michelle Bachmann seems to be welcoming the End Days in anticipation of her heavenly reward -- I'm anticipating a more secular apocalypse and not sure if this country even deserves to be saved.
Excellent piece of writing Mr. Constant, thanks.
I assumed that the 'orangutan' was John Boner, and the 'shiny watch' was a brand new tube of sunless bronzer skin cream.

I guess I was wrong. But it still seems like the orange-hued primate/Speaker of the House is pretty spooked by the Tea Baggers assembled outside his office door. How'd they get those pitchforks and torches past Security?
I'll tell you what I think of Republicans. I think they are the worst human beings on the planet. I think they are the worst human beings I have ever heard of, read of, or been able to imagine. Also, this: http://void-dance.tumblr.com/post/635642…
You are not talking about class war, but that's what it is right now. It's just fought by the propertied class.
@ 6 - Isn't it always?
Orangutans are not found in Vietnam. Just cause a dunk tells you a story doesn't mean it's true.
@8 reading comprehension? Paul actually does make that observation. You gotta read the whole thing.
Damn that was awesome. I feel outraged.
You'll believe anything Paul... there are no orangutans in Vietnam!
I agree with all this except for one thing -- we need to "raise taxes" on the comfortable and upper middle class also. I do taxes for a living, and I am seeing some egregiously low taxes being paid on capital gains and dividends by the middle class. $50,000 in TAXABLE INCOME with zero taxes being paid? Wrong wrong wrong. But if your $50,000 income is pension or wages, then you pay hefty.

Repeal the low capital gains taxes and let the middle class pay more. You only have that kind of income if you have assets, and if you have those kind of assets you can pay a bit of taxes.

Obama did a terrible terrible terrible thing when he let the Republicans "force" him to not let the capital gains tax rates expire. We lost the America we love back then.
@8 beat me to it. Hate to piss on your parade, but last I checked Borneo and Sumatra weren't in Vietnam.
First of all, I have completely eliminated CNN, Faux News and others from my life. I get my news from The Stranger and BBC. I don't let myself get cranked up on bullshit, especially Republican bullshit. The Chamber of Commerce, that bastion of Republican pandering, is warning Republicans of their behavior, so there's that. But you know what? I'm perfectly willing to let them do their worst. Really, let them have the destruction they crave. I don't give a shit. And that's the attitude we should take. It's their rich pals that will get the shock of their lives.
@14, @8 Got through the article, Constant got it, nevermind.
The simple solution to our predicament would be to shoot John Boehner in his spray-tanned, drunken face.

Unfortunately, that's not on the table thanks to our namby-pamby laws against murdering people who richly deserve it.

Comparing members of a political party to a primate?

Now you sound like one of the racist pro-Zimmerman commenters frequenting the boards at MyNorthwest.com
The more insightful, whether they be erudite or more plain-spoken, articles I read on our current predicament, the more depressed I get.

This is right up there with the Bill Moyers segment that was posted the other day.

I do wish, though, that we could talk a bit about the mechanism by which the public has been shifted so far into the camp of the right-wingers. It's not entirely intrinsic. It's been carefully cultivated and organized, using mass media in very clever ways. It started several years back, when someone started distributing daily talking points to Republican Party figures. Whether Roger Ailes is the originator or a recipient, it hardly matters, but it explains why Fox News and Republican elected figures are frequently in verbal lockstep. The phrase "vast right-wing conspiracy" sounded nuts when we first heard it, but the degree to which their propaganda is organized does speak to something similar.

Obviously, those Americans who have been cynically manipulated aren't the least bit aware of it. The rest of the corporate-owned media probably aren't directly complicit, but they're doing so little to oppose the propaganda that it makes one wonder: if they're not part of it, then why are they afraid to say something?
@9, If @8 read the whole thing, he wouldn't be able to bask in all the smugness.
@17 You'd better hope nothing happens to him. Whoever they replace him with would likely be a hard line Teahadi of the first degree. That's the largest cohesive faction within the Republican caucus, that's the only type of candidate they'd support, and if the party picks their Speaker in caucus and acts in unity on the floor of the House, that's what we'd get.
I don't really agree with the depressed defeatism of this article. But I just wanted to point something out:


-Without context: A beautiful and majestic animal, one of our closest relatives, deserving of millions of dollars' worth of protection.

-As a metaphor: A dirty ape. A method to insult people you hate.
Probably one of the better pieces I've read in The Stranger in awhile.

Ironic, since The Stranger and the SLOG are fueled by Internet rage from the left.
Great piece,but have one bit from having spent a year in Vietnam like "James," I never saw any wild orangutangs while in Vietnam. The Wiki confirms that - they are only in Indonesia. Still, great article.
We should tax wealth before we tax labor. We should find a better middle ground than no wealth taxed and labor taxed to death. Most of my labor shouldn't be taxable. My business transactions should be.
@24 So great you couldn't read the whole thing.
Nice to know so many outspoken folks don't actually get all of the context before pointing out, after the author did, that orangutans are not inhabitants of Vietnam. Bravo, you cunning half-assers.

This article has helped make me feel sane, albeit depressed, about our current predicament. Feels like strong incentive to start focusing on visiting other countries.
Okay. I've heard enough. What I'd like to do is start you on Paxil, 20 mg 2 X / day.

Hunter Thompson hyperbole will get you anywhere. Or everywhere. Or something. That last graf sounds so much >_< like Hunter.

One of the things I haven't seen in articles like this is actual budget numbers, references (links) to actual proposed legislation. I get that some pre-digestion needs to occur, but geez sometimes I wish news was a little more like a research paper.
Okay. I've heard enough. What I'd like to do is start you on Paxil, 20 mg 2 X / day.

Hunter Thompson hyperbole will get you anywhere. Or everywhere. Or something. That last graf sounds so much >_< like Hunter.

One of the things I haven't seen in articles like this is actual budget numbers, references (links) to actual proposed legislation. I get that some pre-digestion needs to occur, but geez sometimes I wish news was a little more like a research paper.
@25 The rich are able to manipulate their income to look like whatever gets taxed least, or not at all. Profits become qualified dividends. Pay becomes retained interest, and hence long-term capital gains. Corporate income becomes expenses payable to a tax-remote entity in another jurisdiction.

Back in the "good old days," medieval Europe, the King taxed, not income, but the holdings of his royal underlings. (They, in turn, got to fleece their commoners to keep up their dukedoms, or whatever.)

A 10% tax on the holdings of the Waltons would yield a hell of lot more than a 90% tax on their annual income.

Anyway, such a scheme is called a "Personal Property Tax," and would apply to an individual's worldwide holdings of cash, stocks, bonds, art, commodities, yachts, jewelry, etc. It's a nice dream, but it's pretty hard to fully enforce without a combination of an army of intrusive investigators and those medieval executions the King used against his tax evading nobility to help keep the rest honest.
hahahaa. you are all so funny, can't wait for the ACA house of cards to come crashing down around your poor lib heads.
@32 Speaking as a "lib," I'd kind of like to see it fail, too. That way we can maybe get a real National Health System, like normal countries. But, if it's going to fail, it has to fail fair and square, to prove to the Heritage Foundation and the original GOP Romneycare advocates that it's an insufficient plan, that allowing the insurance companies to keep their control over the industry is not cost-effective, either from a national budget perspective, or a personal expense one.

Simply sabotaging it, either by defunding portions of it, discouraging participation, or hampering efforts to implement it, doesn't prove a damned thing.
@17 Scawny Kayaker: I share your frustration. Why don't we just tax then kill the GOP and Tea Party all fucking ready? It's beginning to sound like the U.S, if not the world, is in for one hell of an ugly, bloody, and violent revolution against the criminally rich.
At least we can boycott Wal*Mart and McDonald's in the meantime (isn't the thought of eating "pink slime" passing as fast food hamburger repellant enough??). Paul's right---NOBODY is worth $100 billion dollars!
The Koches, Waltons and DuPonts are obviously chortling all the way to their Wall Street banks.
Hey, good writing, but apocryphal gorilla story. Repeated often with different animals. See: Where the Red Fern Grows + raccoons.
The irony of Sgt "David Ickes was Right" Doom calling anyone gullible is pretty delicious.
Oh my god, I have read the first four paragraphs and I am now so excited to tell the world that there are no orangutans in Vietnam that I have boldly leapt over the article and all of the comments and landed here, where I will drop some knowledge on you, reader, about the fauna of Vietnam, which is clearly the point of this article anyway! Boom. Nailed it.
An excellent piece with solid points. Thanks, Paul.

The teabaggers are the ones keeping us from making progress (and actually dragging us backwards) on all of these goals. So yeah, I'm outraged. We are long overdue for a single payer system.

The Walton's have $3 for every other person in the US. That's entirely too much hoarding of money. Fuck those guys.
@33 *hat tip*
Seems like a lot of people didn't read the entire article. It's funny, because I wondered if there was a bit of collusion in this clown show so we wouldn't see when Ryan guts SSI and Medicare. If he gets caught he can blame it on Ted, who actually looks like Hollywood cast him for a scapegoat politician. I may just be calling stupidity conspiracy but it looks suspicious.
Even though there are no orangutans in Viet Nam, this James fellow is the exact kind of
Nam vet that should receive public health assistance- I would be willing to chip in for the euthanasia drugs.
We're all orangutan's now.
Glad he admitted the story was bullshit. The orangutan story was lifted from "Where the red fern grows" and it involved racoons, not orangutans. I wonder if the "Viet Nam Vet" in the article even existed, or was manufactured just for the analogy.
I wouldn't be bothered if those so-called humans got grassy knolled . . . --- http://www.jfk50.org
As an older guy, I'm deeply saddened by the current direction our Govt. has gone. I won't bore you with my memories of simpler times but it seems to me that if we refocus our energy to simplify our lives and spend less time on our cellphones and social media and talk more, some progress could be made to improve our lives.
@32 Please, I beg you. Ask yourself. Really ask yourself. Look deep. Stare into the mirror if you have to. Go on a meditation retreat. Just stop and ask yourself. Ask hard. Ask yourself one, and just one question:

"What would it take to change my opinion?"

If the answer is: 'nothing', You need to go away. Leave. Stop. Just stop. You are intellectually dead, and have nothing to contribute to any community discussion of any kind.

I think your answer to the question above is 'nothing' because you're literally wishing your fellow Americans suffer from unnecessary sickness, bankruptcy, and death for the sake of the profits of insurance companies.

The other reason I think that nothing will change your mind is that there are literally dozens of aspects of Obamacare that are objectively better for America than the previous system, and you'd have to be willfully ignorant to ignore them.

Good luck to you.
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I find it disturbing that so many of us actually believe that there's this huge divide between the so called "left" and "right". In my own discussions with people of many political and non political persuasions, I have found that most folks tend to agree on a few major points. It's odd to see that media driven rhetoric, both liberal and conservative seems to utterly control the narrative, the talking points and the truths as we see them. Lets call a truce and find some common ground amongst all the "political extremists" of the "other side". Has anyone thought to ask why it is that no matter who is in office, which party is in control or which way the supreme court rules, it always seems like it ends up hurting the most vulnerable people in question? Why is that? I think where we see a trend we see a pattern. Let's focus on what we can agree on. Let me outrage some of you buy saying that the heart of a liberal and that of a libertarian have one main thing in common. A healthy disrespect for authority. Heck, if you put these two parties together you may as well call it anarchy. Here's a set of questions to ask yourselves and your political polar opposites. Yes or No:
1) If left to it's own devices, do you think government can be trusted?
2) Does the government have any business telling people what they can or can not do, if said activity does not infringe upon the rights of others?
3) Is it right to take away the rights of the MANY because of the actions of the ignorant, irresponsible, greedy, power-hungry, violent, crazy FEW?
I hope you will all go out and seek one of your political opposites, or someone from any strata in between, and try to find that common ground that I have found most people have. We are not so divided, we are just being lead to think we are. If we ever discover that simple fact we might all realize that our rights can never be taken away, that our freedoms are absolute, and that the only purpose for government is to protect the rights of individuals against the tyranny of the many. Things can be ok, we just need to call bullshit when and where we see it, no matter what the politics.
The internet is an engine powered by outrage.

Yes. The examples you give, however, suggest you are unaware that your own publication is also in the business of peddling outrage.

Not that there aren't things to be outraged about. Still, the fixation reminds me of an old (and valid, in my opinion) critique of television news that it presents a distorted reflection of the world as being overrun with violence, mayhem, and pedophiles.
Hey, I posted a retraction! (@16)
Yes, I read your entire story, even said good writing. I'm one of your fans, at least I was until the mugging. All I did was make a comment about an oft repeated urban legend. Didn't have anything else to add that wasn't already said. Then you call me out in public for that? Sort of a bully move there. Real nice, amigo.

Wow, Paul. Great piece of writing. I've forwarded it to many people.
OK, girlfriend says I should have worded it this way:
"In reference to the ...story". I know you knew it was bullshit. But damn, man, you called me out in a harsh way when all I was doing was making a quick post using bad syntax to mark the history of an urban legend reference. Ouch. I will now go sulk away. A bazillion apologies.
You've got to admit though Paul, taking 25 or more paragraphs to correct that storyline is a long time to wait. Better to set up your knowledge of the truth right away so as to unburden your reader's angst that you might be so ignorant of this fact and promoting misinformation or geographical ignorance. It was more like a trick, but you lost some of your readers. Many times when I come across blatant disregard for history, geography, science or something in my bailiwick, I just bail on the article doubting the writer's knowledge or motive.
@56 If you had only bailed on this one before commenting. Feel free to add your face to complete Mt. Rushmore at the top of this page. Please direct me to your 25 or more paragraph anything in that magic place where angst will never burden my eye-path.
@56, I recommend, then, that you never read Life of Pi, nor watch the movie.
@56: "taking 25 or more paragraphs to correct that storyline is a long time to wait


Many times when I come across blatant disregard for history, geography, science or something in my bailiwick, I just bail on the article doubting the writer's knowledge or motive"

Are you just ranting to defend your proud love of lazy skimming? Because that's all this appears to be.
Actually posting this from Vietnam.

Your story was lazy, bad writing. I agree with your politics, but your elocution is pathetic.
I had heard a similar story during my teenaged years in church. It was more like "How to catch a monkey" with a walnut in a box. The analogy was about how sin traps us, usually told alongside the boiling a frog story, that you don't notice its effects until it's too late.

This version was a little more savage, so points to the poor drunken vet for making it a far more interesting story.

And like anything by Paul, good article.
@31: That's the longest version of a "no true Scotsman" fallacy I've ever seen. Well done, I suppose...?

Still no progress on that project you launched back in January to leave SLOG forever, huh? Too bad.
I am honestly ready to go pee on the 1%.
Christopher Allen Horton,


Thank you, Cam. Did you understand what chris was trying to get across? Went over my head.
The dismantlement strategy goes deep...Boehner changed House rules to give only Eric Cantor the right to call up a bill for vote. Link to video from the House: http://www.upworthy.com/congress-did-som…
Well done,-a very good,excellent article on what is going on in U.S.,
Great writing,too.
The orangutan has a home but...
What Does Homeless Look Like?
I don’t use drugs or alcohol. I don’t rob, steal or cheat. I am not the beggar holding up homemade placards on the busy streets. I didn’t live under the Davidson Street Bridge but I too, have been evicted from my home and now when I call you it is from my Obama phone.
I own designer shoes, clothes, and purses. I am polished and professional. I have a college education. I have travelled across the country working in my chosen occupation. I am a great communicator. I carry my resume` in a leather portfolio yet when you stand next to me in the elevator and we smile and exchange pleasantries I get off on the next floor so that I may apply for public assistance.
After you interview me for a job, I visit a Pantry for food. I pawn my expensive jewelry for bus fare, toiletries and the rare treat off the Value Menu. I have bathed in public restrooms. I have slept in Emergency Room lobbies. I have cried myself asleep with one eye open to protect myself and my remaining property.
What does homeless look like? Who do you see when you pass by me on the city streets? I am not disheveled or haggard if and when we meet. I am now a jobless woman trying to get back on my feet. So don’t become confused about what you see just because I am not pushing all my belongings in a shopping cart down the street.
I am the new face of homeless! It is I! It is me! The college educated woman broken and lonely trying to get back on my feet!

Please wait...

and remember to be decent to everyone
all of the time.

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