Holy Ronald the Great, patron saint of laissez faire capitalism, help us preserve our conservative faith.  Help us remember what we believe in.

Save us from unrestrained government spending and the temptation to raise taxes.  Sure, you ran deficits and raised taxes, but you did it to defend us from the anti-American enemy.  And anything done to defend us from the anti-American enemy is sacred in our eyes, amen.

May your spirit inspire us to appear patriotic.  For we know that we will fall short of the glory of real patriotism in our deeds, but the virtue of appearing patriotic will redeem us.  Yea, our Democratic opponents will be accused of weakness when they walk the road of diplomacy, but we will be able to trade arms for hostages and still call ourselves true patriots for all eternity.

Rescue us from division and splintering, from multiple factions and an abundance of primary candidates.  Grant us unity, and do not permit us to have any doubts about our platform, nor to listen to deceitful suggestions that we should change it.  With your aid, we will live our lives in your image–with a cheerful indifference to the facts, joking about the things which we do not understand, knowing we will be right no matter what.

Above all else, we are gathered here in your name to worship and praise that most holy of holies, the Almighty Dollar.  May it ever increase and multiply.  Even as we are broke and struggling and crushed by the heel of great corporations, we remain steadfast in our belief that one day, you will bestow upon us the blessings of wealth, just as you have upon your other servants who tell us to vote Republican.  So we say, let the wealthy remain wealthy, today and tomorrow, now and forever, wealth without end.  Amen.

Watching Russia Today is like doing the Soviet time warp.  The pro-Russian propaganda takes me right back to my Eastern bloc childhood.  I feel like I should be wearing my blue school uniform and clutching my ration cards when I watch RT.  Even the vocabulary of the news anchors is the same–they still talk about Western imperialism.  When America invades Iraq, it’s an example of imperialism–and I agree with that!  But when Russia invades the Crimea, they’re “liberating” that region of the world.  Hmmmm.  Sounds like somebody’s recycling old Don Rumsfeld sayings.

Not all old memories are getting recycled.  I’m not hearing anything about the bourgeoisie and the proletariat–they’re not in fashion anymore.  When I was a Commieland kid, the bourgeoisie was maligned for being a tool of the capitalists.  Now it’s turned into the squeezed middle class, and RT is defending it.  You gotta keep up with the changes.

But some things stay the same.  In the 80s, when my parents and their friends protested against the Communist government, the official news channels labelled the protesters as a violent and criminal fringe element, and threw in allegations of heavy drug use and orgies.  According to RT, the protesters in Kiev were also part of a violent fascist fringe.  I’ve heard that song before.  On the other hand, the people marching against austerity in Western Europe are always “peaceful”.  It’s a thin line between a peaceful civil resistance movement and crazy neo-Nazis, I guess.

Another classic move in the Cold War time warp dance?  Promises of a wonderful economy.  Russia is going to bring vast economic improvements to the Crimea, RT says.  Once upon a time, we heard the same sales pitch in Poland.  That one ended with bread lines around the block.

Now, I’m by no means claiming that American news media don’t do their share of propagandizing as well.  In fact, Russia Today doesn’t just remind me of Communism–it also reminds me of Fox News.  Maybe Putin’s dream was to be able to run his own version of Fox.  If so, he succeeded.

So, I think I’m starting to get it.  The main thing this gun debate comes down to is that you want to be able to fight your own government.  That’s why you need to own such large guns–because they are not for hunting or target practice–they are meant for that inevitable day when the military shows up on your doorstep to stick you in a FEMA camp because you got caught reading the Drudge Report.  Fine, I get it.  There’s only one problem with this scenario.  The military isn’t afraid of your puny assault rifle.  They have missiles and drones.  This invites another question–should we all be allowed to own missiles in case we have to defend ourselves from the coming dictatorship?  If not, why not?  Why are our missile rights being restricted?

This question can be translated to the international scene, as well.  After all, the conservative argument is that the more weapons everyone has, the more peaceful our world will be.  So why the uproar over Iran and North Korea developing their nuclear programs?  Let everyone have their bombs, the bigger the better.   Sure, we’ll live in constant fear of each other, but we’ll also treat each other more politely.  Wasn’t that the theory during the Cold War–mutually assured destruction?  A theory which Reagan liked, even!  See, the Republicans will totally be on board with me on this.

Um, what’s that you say?  You say that Iran and North Korea are ka-razy and should not be allowed to arm themselves to the teeth?  Does that mean that not everyone in the world should have access to deadly weapons?  So perhaps some individuals in our country should also not be allowed to have guns, because they might shoot them for crazy reasons.  Unless America is somehow special and is comprised of only good and peaceful people.  But I think our latest rash of shootings puts the lie to that.