Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Swaztika Is Just A Twisted Cross

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” ~Sinclare Lewis, 1935

In the early 30's, an obscure German came to power in his country by playing on the fear and national pride of the people. Badly beaten in the first World War, the Germans were hungry for national esteem and wanting something or someone on whom to place the blame.

With some well-placed words and bombastic rhetoric, Adolph Hitler gave his fellow Germans a scape-goat and a hope for national pride and world domination. Thus was born the most heinous of regimes and the most horrible of genocides. That he did this claiming to be a devout Christian is even more horrible. His name is synonymous with "Evil."

The Holocaust still stands as a representation of the dark and ugly power of bigotry, religious intolerance, arrogance and fanaticism. The untold numbers of Jewish men, women and children, Homosexuals, Gypsies and others who were killed, starved, experimented upon and reviled as lesser beings should stand as a lesson to us all of how we can get off track if we are not careful. (We need to stop poking our noses in the bedrooms of others and get the lawmakers out of the uterus.)

In this country, they don't call themselves Nazis. But they do call themselves Patriots. They have their own party..the Tea Party..and they are doing all in their power to attempt to take down the current President, a man of mixed race, and return power to the elite, thinking they are doing it for themselves. I know some of these people. They are good folks. Decent, caring and usually reasonable.  But the Glen Becks and the Rush Limbaughs and the Sarah Palins have fed an irrational line of hate and fear into the atmosphere and these people, these friends of mine, have been infected. I mourn the loss of their ability to think for themselves.

Every bit of progress that we fought for in the prior century, especially in civil and women's rights, is being dismantled, state by state, by these reactionary radicals. And these people are doing this in the name of the Christian religion and their idea of what is patriotic. What is happening is vile. It is anti-human. It is anti-woman. And it is elitist in a nation that supposedly touts equality.

I wonder how long it will be before our girls are required, again, to wear dresses to school? I wonder how long it will be before Maternity Homes reopen or expand to take in the "fallen angels" and distribute their babies to "the right kind of people?" I wonder how much wider the gap between the haves and the have nots has to get before we have a massive die-off of the disadvantaged? I wonder when it will get to the point that we have a Theocracy rather than a Democracy?

Make no mistake, these are dangerous times. The Tea Party backers, The Koch brothers, Combover Trump, and others, are monied and malevolent and will pursue their agenda if they are not taken down by the truth.

And I can only pray that, in 2012, common sense will prevail in the voting booths. Just as a hedge, I am updating my passport. I might want to leave the country.

Maybe they should cover Lady Liberty's eyes. I don't want her to see this.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Coulter Finds Out There Are Other Cultures Out There

The Ann Coulter Talking Doll
Pull The String And Watch Her Alienate The Rest Of The World!!

I found this article totally delicious. Coulter is just one more pundit that needs to expand her mind which is shut tighter than a cheese-eater's spincter. Our neighbors to the north are giving her a lesson in manners and it thrills me to the core. I want to break out into a chorus of "O Canada." Take this, you mouthy misanthrope! And thanks to The Huffington Post for the article. And, were I younger and still able, I would love to have Provost Francois Houle's babies.

Canadian University Warns Coulter To Watch Her Mouth

A Canadian university has forewarned Ann Coulter to be mindful of what she says when she speaks on its campus this week.
The National Post reports that University of Ottawa Academic Vice President and Provost Francois Houle e-mailed the controversial pundit on Friday. He wrote: "Our domestic laws, both provincial and federal, delineate freedom of expression (or "free speech") in a manner that is somewhat different than the approach taken in the United States. I therefore encourage you to educate yourself, if need be, as to what is acceptable in Canada and to do so before your planned visit here." He continued, "Promoting hatred against any identifiable group would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges."
Houle also reminded Coulter of the strong Canadian tradition of "restraint, respect and consideration."

In response to Houle's e-mail, Coulter wrote on Big Government that she was "hoping for a fruit basket" from the university -- "not a threat to prosecute."

Coulter's visit also raised the ire of some students on campus. According to Macleans, University of Ottawa students started a "Ban Coulter from Campus" Facebook group and forbade signs advertising the talk from being posted in a main campus building.

Coulter, while known primarily for her barbs aimed at the Middle East, has been critical of Canada. She once said that Canadians "are lucky we allow them to exist on the same continent."

(I can't believe she said that. And we wonder where the term, "The Ugly American" comes from. *rw)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Can You Divorce Your Country?

It's well known by those that love me and those that don't that I have long marched to a different drummer. But the cadence and direction of my marches have changed over the years. I am more laid back, more self-sufficient and less prone to get my tender feelings hurt. But one thing has not changed and that is my deep and abiding conviction that one's religious beliefs or absence of same is one's own business and should not be forced on anyone else.

I grew up in the northwest corner of South Carolina. When someone from out of state moved to our lovely county of Spartanburg, the first question asked was not about one's profession or family. No. The first thing out of the mouths of the good people of Spartanburg was (and probably still is), "Where do you attend church?" Heaven (pun intended) help the poor person who answered, "I don't go to church." There are more churches in that part of the country than there are schools.

I have noticed the difference in the tone and tenor of our country as opposed to Canada and other western European nations. Our rigid, Puritanical heritage has left us socially stunted. We judge, we shame, we blame and we are as convinced as any Muslim that our religion is the only true one. We are more upset if an elected official has extra-marital sex than we are if one starts a senseless war. We are also arrogant in our dogged assumption that USA-style capitalistic democracy is the only way to go for the rest of the world.

True patriotism is NOT this blind. I am so glad that my husband and I are retiring to a very rural area where there is a lot of space between neighbors. I am tired of opening my door to see Mormon "missionaries" and Jehovah's Witness ladies with all their publications. Even our local public television station here in central FL has more than its share of religious programming. There are six, count 'em, six religious television stations on my satellite service. I can't move without seeing a church, an anti-choice bill board or license tag, or the little "Jesus fish" stuck on the back of a vehicle. I am tired of Confederate flags and "Bring Back Palin" bumper-stickers. I will leave the country if that reactionary nutbar is elected to any high office in our federal government.

I want a little refuge from the rampant hate, intolerance and ignorance that is our political and, unfortunately, spiritual atmosphere. Let's face it. The self-righteous right wing is going to do all in its power to undermine anything that anyone with a social conscience tries to accomplish. I am discouraged and ready to become a curmundgeonly hermit. I find all the interaction I need with my husband and my little dog. I am becoming less enamoured of a social life than ever before.

Nah. That's just a rant, brought about by a feeling of frustration and helplessness. I'll keep my friends and family. And I'll keep on commenting and voting and writing letters and maybe, just maybe, someone will listen.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What Would L. Ron Hubbard Do?

What in the world do the Haitian people need with a bunch of Scientology "ministers" being airlifted in by the good graces of John Travolta ? Talk about going from the ridiculous to the sublime. I get really peeved at people with their own agendas offering their questionable services to the devastated people of Haiti. With every article I read, the more peeved I become.

The American Life League, in all their self-righteous regalia, are trying to keep a women's health organization out of Haiti. The health organization wants to be there for the thousands of Haitian women in their last trimester of pregnancy who need safe, clean deliveries. ALL, though, seems to think that they are just going there to offer abortions. Yadda, Yadda, Yadda and meanwhile people are getting sick and family members are searching for each other and who needs more trouble from these idiots?

Pat (Whack-Job) Robertson is pontificating about how the Haitians are suffering the wrath of God due to some pact he says they made with Satan. So it seems that Old Scratch has group deals that can include whole countries. Well, we all remember when Robertson predicted that Orlando would be plowed under by a hurricane because the city allowed the flying of Rainbow Flags for Gay Pride Week. Now he is using an entire nation to add flavor and color to his endless proselytizing.

People are not using their heads and others are just using these poor people, period. I have to wonder about the mental acuity of some individuals. Two churchy types from New Jersey flew to Haiti to "volunteer" and didn't have the slightest idea of what to do. They wound up stranded at the airport and just where did they think they were going to stay? People are sending packages that contain things these folks can't use. What does a Haitian need with a winter coat and a pair of high heels?

Food, medicine, shelter, clean water and comforting are the order of the day and that can best be provided by those with no self-serving agenda and with experience in disaster relief. The hospital ship has reached the Haitian port and nations are sending out their military relief units. We can give to the organizations that have proven to be legitimate such as the Red Cross and UNICEF, we can pray if that is our way, or just send warm thoughts of comfort and strength.

But let's leave our religions out of the mix and keep our political and social battles at home. And, for Pete's sake, leave the insane drivel of Hubbard's cult out of it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Public Option, Socialism, and Taxes, Oh My!!

The right-wingers are pulling out all the stops to enlist the greedy, gullible and ignorant in their war against Obama and his policies. It has started to get ridiculous with phone surveys and mailers asking questions like "Do you consider yourself to be pro-life?" You can put that one up there with "Have you stopped beating your wife." They insist on yes or no answers and that is really playing to the dumb ass gallery. I am pro-choice.

I sent the last mailer back with a note..."I voted for Obama, I do not regret voting for Obama and I am in favor of the public option." The thing that gets me is that I really consider myself, as the title of this blog indicate, to be slightly left of center. In many ways, I am a moderate. As an example, I don't think that people should be allowed to enter the country illegally and avail themselves of public benefits. But I do think that all our citizens should have access to quality health care.

There is historical evidence which illustrates how extremist governments fail, some more quickly than others. Socialism, a very valid political philosophy, was taken to extremes in the old Soviet Union. Capitalism, another workable philosophy, has been taken to extremes by the far right and the past several Republican administrations. What people don't seem to realize is that neither is evil or perfect as they stand. But extremist capitalistic governments can disintegrate just as quickly and dramatically as extremist socialist governments. We are in the midst of just that kind of scenario in the US.

So, the idea here is that extremism is bad no matter what direction it takes. Medicine, which used to be a science and a higher calling is now an industry. HMO's, drug companies and medical supply companies are charging outrageous fees, inflating prices and witholding proper care from those who need it because of that sacred bottom line. Compassion and a desire to heal the sick seems to be absent on their priority lists.
If you look at nations that enjoy better standards of living and manage to stay out of the messy areas of trying to enforce their philosophies on other cultures, you will find something that the extremists on both ends want to keep hidden. The two philosophies can co-exist! WOW!

We already have socialistic structures in place in the US. We have free, public education, social security, workman's compensation, and more. These people who are screaming about the imagined horror of a public option and a real health care reform would be the first to raise a rumpus if that SSI check didn't arrive on time.

Capitalism is our energy and drive. It allows for us all a chance to improve our lot in life, individually and as a nation. Socialism is our national conscience. Even the most adamant right-wing conservative will piously agree with the New Testament admonitions to feed the hungry and tend to the ill. We are in the midst of a sea change in the US. It's either adapt or lose. Look up 'socialism' and read the definition If it isn't taken to extremes, it's not a bad thing. Capitalism, if taken to extremes is a recipe for disaster, revolution or worse. At this point, the far right has taken on a tinge of facism and hate and that worries me.
Think about it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Teddy..You Either Loved Him or Hated Him

It seems that no one was indifferent to him. Some were ambivalent when he took the low road from Chappaquiddick, but he never stopped being a voice for those of us with a leftward bent. Ted Kennedy, then married to Joan, pressed my hand for a brief second at a rally for the ERA, way back when. He was so young and had already lost three older to war and two to the bullets of cowards. Like the rest of his remarkable clan, he kept on keeping on.
Whatever your feelings were for Senator Kennedy, you cannot deny that he left his mark. Whatever anyone, including me, might have thought about his personal life, he was steadfast in supporting the efforts that I also supported. Though he didn't know me, I thought of him as an ally. Kennedy was the Senate's dominant liberal and one of its "legendary dealmakers," per MSNBC. He came to be respected on both sides of the aisle.
His own words stand in tribute and encouragement; "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die,"
(1980 Dem Convention Speech)
So long, Camelot.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Sky Is Falling

This seems to be the newest in a long line of the ultra-conservatives scare-tactic modus operandii. Why anyone would consider Sarah Palin's comments worthy of repeating, I don't have a clue. I won't have to worry about the GOP grooming her for the presidency. She would make a fool out of herself on the first campaign outing. But she joins the "Death Panel" scream team as some kind of party totem. Now, along with the dumbness of the Birthers, we have the inane alarmists of the Death Panel-ers. Ye Gawd, will it never end?

As a senior citizen, myself, I can see several good things for those of us on fixed and lower incomes in the president's ideas. True, it needs a bit of polishing, but that is they way of all things. The far right has not been successful, so far, with its dire warnings of "socialism," so they drag out the old fear tactics. This is how the Equal Rights Amendment was defeated..with specious and inane specters of unisex bathrooms and the death of marriage as an institution and jobs being stolen from the more worthy "menfolk."

If the Chicken Little followers would just sit down, use their brains and read the entire thing, they would find nothing in there about deciding against treating the elderly as a way of saving money. But then, things can be twisted and gnarled by the "proof texters" until they are unrecognizable. This is like the ultra-self-righteous using out-of-context Bible verses to try to prove their points.

That the attacks by the Birthers and the Death Panelers smacks of racist maneuverings goes without saying. It's a lot easier to get the non-thinkers to fall in line if the target of the rumor-mongering is a mixed-race chief executive. As much as I would like to believe Maya Angelou when she said that we had finally "grown up" as a nation, I fear we have a ways to go yet. This is still a horribly, Puritanically rigid and racist nation. I often want to weep for all of us.

And, our bi-partisan system is no longer a balancing one. It has become, and, in fact, has been, for a long time, an adversarial, confusing and vicious one. In every culture where there has been a big gap between the haves and the have-nots, there has been an ultimate revolution. This is what scares the most conservative of the GOP since they and their meal-tickets are the "haves." We have long sacrificed our founding values in the name of capitalism and at the expense of our social conscience. We already have socialism in place with free public education and Social Security. A little bit more socialism might not put money in the fat cats' pockets, but is sure wouldn't hurt our country's image or esteem. Why can't we be the land of opportunity AND compassion?

Ooops, I think I just dislodged a piece of the sky!