February 20th, 2012 ~ Rebublican candidate for President of the United States, Rick Santorum, told supporters at the First Redeemer Church in Cumming, Georgia yesterday:"America sat from 1940 when France fell to December of ’41 and did almost nothing. Why? Because we’re a hopeful people. We think, ‘You know it will get better. Yeah, I mean, he’s a nice guy. It won’t be near as bad as what we think. You know, this will be OK. You know, maybe he’s not the best guy.’ After a while, you found out some things about this guy over in Europe and maybe he’s not so good of a guy after all. But you know what? ‘Why do we need to be involved? We’ll just take care of our own problems, just get our families off to work and our kids off to school and we’ll be OK.' Sometimes, sometimes it’s not OK."Now, I could pretend I don't know why Rick chose to present a Hitler analogy in talking about our 2012 Presidential campaign, but I think we ALL know it was meant as a dog whistle for his supporters. But, let's pretend for a moment he didn't mean it that way. Let's pretend he REALLY meant it's not okay for America to stand by when ideological zealots threaten our way of life.
Back in the late 15th century there was this 'guy' named Tomás de Torquemada who ran a really evil crew of sociopaths known as The Spanish Inquisition. Old Tomás took his job of torturing and murdering thousands in the name of Christ VERY seriously, even as his royal benefactors profited handsomely from their West African slave trade with Hispaniola in the New World and the gold plundered from the native peoples of that world.
This highly profitable, theocratic horror show, ravaged Europe and the New World until the second decade of the 16th century, when a plucky little island off the coast of France had had enough and decided to stand against it. This was England. To be sure, the Protestant Kings and Queens of England were no saints. But they DID feel they had a right to differ with the monolithic dogma of Rome and Castille.
As you say, Rick, sometimes, sometimes it's not OK to stand by and allow a self-righteous bully terrorize your neighbors; to wait until that bully breaks down your own door and threatens your own family; to wait until your own UNALIENABLE RIGHTS, as endowed by your creator, to Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness, are officially decreed heresy. Is that what you meant, Rick? Of course it is! Anything else would just be UNAMERICAN, wouldn't it?
February 17th, 2012 ~ Be Careful What You Wish For... You may receive it. The origin of this verity is somewhat murky, but the point is clear as glass. What is attained may be the total opposite of what was desired. It is especially applicable to those wishing to rewrite America's history and negate centuries of slavery and racial bigotry. They will succeed only in drawing a bright light upon their efforts and galvanizing an opposition which otherwise might not have existed.
Their diseducation campaign began in 2010 with Cynthia Dunbar and the Texas board of education. It was a strategic move as Texas produces more school books for use throughout the country than any other state. Thomas Jefferson was first to feel their editorial axe. He and other "Enlightenment" writers, who held reason above dogma, had to go. Oh, and the slave trade? They'll just rename that to the "triangle trade" (if it must be mentioned at all). Otherwise, describe our bloody Civil War as a clash of economies; industrial North vs. bucolic, agrarian South. Nothing more.
I can only guess at the rationale for this rewrite. The logic may be that if you obscure the reasons behind our Revolutionary and Civil wars, you also obscure the basis for the rightful grievances of Americans who have historically suffered socially and economically from our nation's legacy of racial bigotry. Those people can then be cast as a group of whiners, laying unfounded claims upon society to redress of those grievances. A victimocracy; nothing more.
So, let's play Devil's advocate and assume this strategy succeeds over a couple of generations. By 2036 you have TWO generations of Americans who learned NOTHING in public school about WHY our Civil War was fought from their Texas School Board provided textbooks. How will those intentionally diseducated Americans react to the still seething racial hatred of the crackers who set this shitball rolling? OH! OH! Teacher! Can I answer that?!
The ANSWER is that Americans of 2036 will look at those crackers like they have TWO HEADS! Americans of 2036 may receive a public education inferior to ANY other 21st Century nation, but they WILL have smartphones and other web-connected devices. They WILL have friends and loved ones of ALL races and ethnic backgrounds because the thought would never occur to them not to. The vitreol spewing from the Faux News pieholes will sound CREEPY to them. Americans of 2036 might not have the potentially mitigating historical knowledge of WHY crackers hate so much. They will only know crackers are hateful creeps for no reason at all.
CONGRATULATIONS, CRACKERS! Mission accomplished.
February 9th, 2012 ~ In yesterday's post, I think I may have obfuscated the real issue in my reaction to the rabid political and media campaign by various religious corporations against a new federal policy, compelling faith-based organizations, operating essentially secular corporate institutions like hospitals and universities, to offer the same medical insurance coverage to their employees as purely secular corporate institutions. In my reaction, I fell prey to the same overreach as those who paint our government's decision as an attack on our First Amendment rights. I apologize for my overreach. I don't expect an equivalent apology from those using their tax-exempt "prophets" to excoriate our government.
The question is simple. If a CORPORATE institution, owned by a religious organization, employs Americans (of any faith or none at all), may it DENY those employees the same RIGHTS to health care coverage as offered by an equivalent non-religious corporate institution? The answer is equally simple. No.
In AMERICA, all Americans are equal under the law. All Americans are totally free to express their own individual rights to religious freedom, BUT when you operate a FOR PROFIT CORPORATION, employ an American, and offer as part of that American's compensation a health insurance package from a common for-profit health insurance provider, that coverage MUST include all the options available to an employee of any other corporation. That employee is TOTALLY FREE to refuse any coverage they find religiously objectionable, but it must be available.
Despite the smoke being blown up our collective derrières by corporations making ENORMOUS profits off the work of their employees, this is, at its heart, a labor issue. Nothing more. I'm certain religious-owned hospitals routinely bill Medicare and Medicaid for services rendered, just as religious-owned universities routinely collect federal grant money. My taxes go toward both. Even though I may strongly disagree with the policies or positions of the religion behind those institutions, you don't hear me screaming they're "assaulting my religious freedom" by taking those tax dollars. So, if you hear anyone saying this new federal mandate IS an assault on our Contitutional rights, you are well within YOUR rights to call that argument bullshit. I do.
February 8th, 2012 ~ The Catholic Church and other Christianist denominations have launched a massive political and media campaign to force the rescission of a new federal policy that all faith-based organizations, operating basically secular institutions like hospitals and universities, must offer the same medical insurance coverage to their employees as purely secular institutions. ONLY those institutions where YOUR TAX DOLLARS AND MINE go to Medicare/Medicaid, or student Grants, or sweetheart tax breaks are included in this law. Employees working DIRECTLY for churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, etc. are EXCLUDED from this policy. NOBODY is compelled in ANY WAY to take advantage of certain kinds of coverage (like contraception) if their religious beliefs prohibit them.
So, why are America's religious organizations enlisting John Boehner, Marco Rubio, and ALL the GOP Presidential wannabe's in their efforts to strike down this law? The answer is that they DON'T want to leave the highly PERSONAL decision of contraception to their laity. They want to DICTATE the actions of their followers because they DO NOT TRUST them to make their own decisions. They DO NOT TRUST their followers to reach into their own souls and PERSONALLY connect with their God. It's ALL ABOUT CONTROL and if employees who look to Vishnu, or Mohammad, or Abraham, or Belenus, or no diety at all, have to suffer additional cost for their employer's theocratic overreach, that's tough.
Opponents of the law have twisted the truth to claim this is "an assault on our First Amendment rights". I'm not sure who's "First Amendment rights" are assaulted by this law, but MINE certainly are NOT! If anything, I feel my rights to religious freedom are protected by this law! It clearly says ALL Americans have the same right to the same healthcare as any other American; REGARDLESS of religious affiliation or none at all. That's AMERICAN. That's saying we're NOT slaves to the Talibangelicals. Right?
Do we let our great nation descend into the theocratic wasteland of pedophilia, polygamy, and "honor" killings for political expediency, or are We The People of The United States of America, EXACTLY what our Founding Fathers saw? A FREE people with GOOD minds and GOOD hearts, politically enabled by our First Amendment and ALL our Constitutional rights, to DECIDE FOR OURSELVES how our government will best serve ALL Americans; not just those who have a financial benefit from our tax laws to turn their largesse into a viper's tongue to castigate our freedoms as something to be despised.
February 2nd, 2012 ~ Taking their cue from Dick Cheney's secret White House meetings with Big Energy executives and lobbyists back in 2001, yesterday, GOP legislators on the House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee had Capitol Hill police arrest, handcuff, and haul Joshua Fox, Oscar nominated director of the documentary film "Gasland", from an OPEN TO THE PUBLIC meeting on hydraulic fracturing (or fracking).
Specifically, the committee was to discuss Pavillion, Wyoming and the 2008 claim by some of its residents that fracking operations had poisoned their water supply. An EPA investigation of those claims found sufficient evidence to file a report, critical of those operations.
Democratic members of the committee initially voted to allow Mr. Fox to continue videotaping. When this was voted down by GOP members, they next voted to postpone the hearing for a week or so to allow Fox time to acquire appropriate press credentials. This, too, was voted down by Republicans on the committee. Even had this succeeded, however, there's no guarantee his press credentials would have mattered in the slightest. Several reports of this incident mention a properly credentialed ABC News crew also ejected from the meeting. While the committee chairman's official statement denies an ABC News crew was present, Politico and others stand by their assertions.
Don't you just love these GOP meat puppets? They're are ALL ABOUT our Constitution, unless, of course, our First Amendment rights run up against their secret dealings with Big Energy, Big Banking, or Big Pharma. Then, they have no problem abrogating those rights to hide their collusion with those bent on destroying our nation. Hopefully, some day, we will throw off these Judas' and elect people who really serve The American People. Hopefully, that someday is November 6th, 2012.
February 1st, 2012 ~ Jourdan Anderson responds to all those crackers out there trying to rewrite America's history. Slavery, in its appalling fullness, was our nation's greatest shame. Americans, who sacrificed their lives to end it, are our greatest heroes. Jourdan Anderson clearly saw the difference.