Monday, December 21, 2009

A Southern Funeral

I went to a funeral Saturday. It was my first cousin's husband. She passed away several years ago. He was 82 and the passing was not expected. He simply could not handle surgery for an abdominal aneurysm. There was one child, a son, who is a year older than me. There was not a lot of grief, but the service was worse than I anticipated.

I have been going to funerals since I was born, I suppose. My father took me to a relative's funeral when I was very small, but I still have vague memories of it. I have seen people almost get into caskets. One of my first cousins fainted while standing in front of my aunt's casket. I was about 7 or 8 at the time. I have been to tragic funerals, the worst of which was held in the church at the time that the deceased's wedding would have been held. She was the victim of a drunk driver...her fiancee. He lived to go to jail for it.

This past weekend re-awakened a memory of a tradition that I thought was long since forgotten. At the end of the service the attendees were given the option to parade in front of the open casket, stare at the deceased, and express condolences to the his family on the front row. We declined, as did another cousin. The body had lain in state prior to the service, and everyone who wanted to do so had spoken with the family. In addition a visitation had been held the night before.

The worst part of the service, however, was the "sermon." I have never seen the need to say more than a few comforting words and memories over the deceased by the preacher and/or a friend or family member. This funeral was way over the top. The "preacher" ranted and raved for well over a half hour railing against sin and admonishing those in attendance to "get right with God, now before its too late." He yelled and hollered words of fear about death and hell. About every three or four sentences were followed by a pause, punctuated by a loud, "ha!". He shed tears. He laughed. It was quite a performance. My grandmother would have referred to him as "an old holiness preacher." He was, incidentally, Southern Baptist. By the way, there was some "shouting" and many "amens" as well.

To make matters even worse, the deceased was a Mason and an Oddfellow. The weather was quite cold and snow was blowing, so the Masonic and Oddfellow lodges had to do their thing during the church service. The "ceremonies" these gentlemen performed took me back to my childhood and little boys forming clubs and making up secret rituals and hand signals. It is true that little boys never grow up.

Did I mention that there were two other preachers involved? Oh, yes. It would not be a good southern funeral unless there were a few others to prolong the agony and keep the sinners inflamed. Fortunately, the other two were much calmer. One was very good, speaking a few quiet words of encouragement. The other praised the "hollering" preacher for his fine "sermon" and talked more about himself than the deceased.

The highlights of the service was the music. It was provided by a rather good family quartet, which sang several songs in the southern gospel quartet style. The first song was "Jordan," also called "Cold Jordan" by the Grateful Dead, and written by a local song writer, Fred Rich. Emmy Lou Harris also recorded the song and the author had to take her and others to task because he was not given credit for a copywritten song. It made his later days much more "comfortable." I digress, however. Usually the music at funerals is sad and related to the, "sinner, 'fess up before it's too late. You see this dead person here. It could be you," line.

Had this person not been a relation, I would probably have feigned illness and gotten the heck out of there when the hollering started. I know my wife would have. How we would have explained both of us getting sick, I do not know, but I would not have sat through that mess. I have seen so many families put through the ringer at funerals by unfeeling preachers, who only want to recruit more souls for the flock, rather than comfort the grieving family. Why families allow themselves to be exploited is beyond me, but I suspect it is the fact that they are brainwashed to believe that this kind of service is necessary for the deceased to properly "enter the kingdom of heaven."

Funerals are, unfortunately, a part of life. I have always thought that African Americans have the right attitude about funerals. They are celebrations of life, not a sad vehicle for the saving of souls. There is lively music, clapping, and laughing. It is a joyous occasion, a "home-going." There are words from family, friends and co-workers. Often a proclamation from the church is read, proclaiming the day in honor of the deceased. Why the rest of the world can't get it, I do not know.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Is the "War" on Christmas Just Beginning?

Every year a few crackpots with nothing better to do declare that there is a "war" on Christmas. Usually, someone in a store says Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas, lumping the two holidays together in one easy greeting. In addition someone, somewhere pushes the envelope on a nativity scene location or some over the top Christmas celebration at a public school. Then the Bill O'Reilly's of the world crank up their tired old argument that some nebulous group is trying to kill the Christmas season.

I have news. This country is changing rather rapidly. There is a growing population of religions other than the Christian religion. The Asian population is expanding, along with people from the Middle East and Africa. Hindu, Muslim, Shinto, Buddhist, they are all here in large numbers. The Jewish population has been here all along, but has generally been ignored by Christians celebrating the birth of Jesus. There are those who follow no religion. Some may still celebrate the season, but could care less whether someone says Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. They will, however, object to having a particular tradition forced upon them in some way, whether it be a work, at school, or at play.

Finally, there are those who may follow the basic tenets of Jesus' teachings, while realizing that the Christian Bible was written by and for an ancient people and much of it has no real bearing on today's world. It is these people who have retained their ability to think and reason on their own and have been driven away from organized Christianity by its extremist Fundamentalist elements. They know that there is no "war" on Christmas. They also understand that the country will be changing in the future and that nothing is this world remains constant.

In order to survive as a nation this country must realize the change that is happening. We must accept that it will never be as it was prior to 1960, a nation with a majority of white, Western European protestants and Catholics with a few Jews thrown in. Our traditions are changing and they must, ultimately, embrace the new traditions of the new comers. There must be a melding of cultures that will, if we allow it, be for the best. If we fight it, however, with such nonsense as the war on Christmas and an attempted repression of non-Christian religions, we will fall hard and fast. The cancer of hatred and oppression from within will destroy this nation as surely as an attack from an outside enemy.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bright Smiles and Shining Eyes

Yesterday my town held its annual Christmas parade. The day began with snow and a morning visit from the Weather Channel's Jeff Morrow, who periodically reported from the town square about the weather. A perfect day for a Christmas season kick-off event.

Our historical society operates the historic 1899 county courthouse in the center of our town as a museum. We sponsored pictures with Santa in the upstairs courtroom while our new clock bell/chime system played Christmas music from the clock tower. Later in the day the society also sponsored the annual Christmas parade and lighting of the Christmas tree on the town square. In addition there was a live nativity on our heritage museum grounds a block away.

It was 36 degrees at parade time. I had the honor of pulling Santa's float. He was on a red sleigh surrounded by spruce boughs, stuffed animals, wrapped presents, and a number of "ride-on" toys. We were the final entry in the parade, so the children had collected quite a bag of Christmas candy by the time we arrived. However, nothing quite got their attention as well the "Jolly Old Soul."

It was such fun to see their faces brighten up when they saw Santa. They immediately began to call to him to get his attention. Being the great Santa that he was, he made sure that he made eye contact and spoke to them. I fell behind a bit because I simply could not rush Santa away from the kids. In fact I practically stopped a few times because there were so many kids gathered and calling out to Santa.

In spite of their typical know it all arrogance I even caught a number of teenagers whose faces betrayed their age when they saw Santa. They were almost as excited as the little kids, when Santa arrived before them. In fact there were many adults whose faces showed that they, too, had memories of their childhood awakened.

I have memories of sitting on Santa's lap and asking for Christmas presents at a store on the same town square almost 60 years ago. There were never pictures and my list was never long, because I knew our family's limitations. Yet my memories are precious, and I hope that those children who lined the streets yesterday were forming their pleasant memories of a holiday season.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Why All the Hoopla Over Tiger Woods?

Tiger Woods has never pretended to be anything beyond a great professional golfer. He may end up being the greatest of his time, maybe of all time. He has not pretended to be a perfect Christian. He has never set himself up as a role model. He has managed his finances, and stayed out of trouble. He has in fact been very private about his life. He plays a golf tournament and goes home, or wherever.

Last week something happened at his home. He ran his vehicle into a tree and a fire hydrant. Suddenly, everyone wants a piece of him. He did not talk to police. He was not required by law to talk to the police. His accident took place on private property. He was the only one injured, so what is the problem?

I, frankly, do not care about Tiger Woods' private life. It is his to live and work out. If he has problems, we, the public do not need to know the details. There do not need to be helicopters surrounding his house and cameras waiting at the entrance to his subdivision or whatever they call developments where the ultra rich live.

If Tiger cheated on his wife, he has not portrayed himself to be perfect and above a bit of sinning. In other words, he is not Sarah Palin or Mark Sanford. What he does has no effect on my life and the lives of the rest of the American public. We do not vote for him. He does not spend our tax money and vote on issues that affect our lives. Leave him alone and let he and his wife work out whatever has affected them, if, indeed, anything has affected them. It is none of our business.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Jim Bakker is Baaaak...


You remember him. He and Tammy Faye of the tears and streaked makeup, hawking "partnerships" in their "club" at their "Christian" amusement park in South Carolina. They had their own TV network, The PTL Network. There there was the air conditioned doghouse for their dog, and expensive clothes and travel and the usual televangelist excesses for Jim and Tammy. They took millions from thousands.

Then it all fell apart when it was found that Jim had a girlfriend besides Tammy Faye and had stolen millions from his organization. Jim served time in Federal prison, his last years only about 30 miles inland from the coastal island where we lived at the time. Sadly, Tammy Faye was taken by cancer only a few years ago. She had remarried, as has Jim.

But Jim still lives and has not lost his con artist style. I caught him as I was channel surfing this morning. He was dressed in a red blazer and sweater, with a necklace around his neck. There he was surrounded by his smiling admirers, who were leaning on his every word. Today he was hawking cheap jewelry in return for a "love gift." For a "gift" of $200 you could get a heart shaped cubic zirconium studded locket with, as Jim put it, Jesus inside.

Bakker is now based at the mecca for some aging boomers, Branson, Mo. Just the place to rake in the bucks. Reach them through The Jim Bakker Show at Morningside Church, then lure them in to catch the show, when they come to Branson to see their aged idols, still trying to make a buck on stage. He will also sell you some "survival food." Presumably, this is to get you through the coming Obama apocalypse. The is also news of the "end times." and another club to join.

Membership in the David's Army Builder's Club will bring you some CD's and messages from "Pastor" Jim, a sterling silver "plated" cross, your name in the "Hall of Faith," reserved seating at special events, and the annual banquet with Jim and Lori. Sound familiar? This is a perfect example of how prison time does not rehabilitate. Apparently, Jim spent his time planning his next con, with poor, gullible believers as his mark. You go Jim. If they give you all their hard earned money, you deserve it. After all, it isn't as if they weren't warned.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sarah Palin's "Pregnancy"

An interesting and very logical story, chronicling Palin's supposed pregnancy with her last child. It is written by a writer from The Atlantic, Andrew Sullivan. Since the American press would never have the guts to publish it, he went to England. Read it here.

If she did not have the child, whose child is it?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Palin "Quits" Book Signing/Run Sarah, Run

Sarah Palin walked out on two or three hundred people who had been waiting for quite some time for an autographed book. Duh...she is a quitter, you know. What kind of person would wait for hours or camp out to get a copy of this, from most accounts, work of fiction? It is $30.00, for gosh sakes! What kind of person would spend $30.00 for such a book? I saw a lady in a local restaurant, reading it. She looked pretty normal, however, she was reading it while eating and she was accompanied by her husband. Either she was completely taken in or her husband was really, really boring.

I never cease to be amazed that there are still people who think this woman is the best thing since sliced bread. Then again, let us hope that they continue to idolize her, at least until 2012. If she gets the Republican nomination, the GOP will not be in power, at least until 2016. Run Sarah, run!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pre-Game Shows...Why?

With the explosion of cable networks and the proliferation of sporting events that are broadcast, it seems that there are endless pre-event shows with a plethora of talking head, ex-athletes at every turn. Usually there is a group of at least three or four of the ex-participants along with a professional talking head. They all talk and talk and talk about the upcoming game or race or match. There is an endless review of all the previous events of the year, sometimes going all the way back to last year. Video clips are played over and over and then the talking heads have to make their predictions.

The show then turns to the talking heads that will call the event. They, too, are ex-participants with a professional talking head to keep them in line and try to make some sense of what the jocks are talking about. Before the event begins these new talking heads must take time to rehash what the previous experts down on the field or back in the studio have been talking about for the last hour or two. Sometimes we must go from the studio, to the field, to the booth before the event begins. The same video clips are played and these heads also have to make their predictions.

"Back in the day" there were usually two talking heads, commonly ex-stars of the particular sport, that called the event. Sometimes it was a retired star and a play-by-play professional. The event came on the air, the two talking heads set the stage in five or ten minutes and the event began. Usually these ex-athletes were well known stars. They contributed much to the event and provided a little entertainment along the way.

When Monday Night Football began, it came on at 9:00 p.m. There was a short pregame with the guys in the booth. How-wahd Co-sell would rant for a few minutes, then pass the mike on the Dandy Don Meridith and Frank Gifford. Then the game would begin. Now there is a 45 minute talk from the guys in the studio before the game begins. In some instances, especially automobile races the pre-race crap goes on for hours.

The recent World Series had three or four guys down at field level in addition to the booth. The guys on the field talked the game to death, then turned it over to the heads in the booth. College Football does the same for the big games. At half time the talking heads down at field level or in the studio rehash the first half over and over, then turn it back to the booth for a second re-hash. Will this ever end? Is it necessary?

Does anyone pay attention or are they like me? I find out when the actual event begins, then I turn to it. I could care less what the talking heads think. In reality they do not know any more about what will happen than I do. I do not remember or care about their predictions. I am not interested in the arguments and shouting from the talking heads. All I care about is the event itself.

The same is true in politics. The talking heads come on the air to tell us what the president is going to say. We watch and listen to the address. Sometimes, during the speech, there is a little line at the bottom of the screen that tells us what he just said. When the speech is over, the heads come back on to tell us what he said. I do not have to have someone tell me what was said. I have ears and I have a brain. I can make up my own mind about what the speech meant to me.

There is, obviously, too much time to fill in today's cable world. What would all of these talking heads be doing, if they did not come on the air and sit behind a desk and analyze? I suppose they would have to get a real job somewhere. The political pundits would not have an audience to force their opinions upon, and the jocks would either be sitting at home wasting their millions or digging ditches because they had already spent them. What a wonderful world it would be!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Abortion and the Health Care Bill

According to an Associated Press article, women are going to have to make choices on abortion, should the House version of the health care bill pass. Abortion on demand would not be covered. Only abortions required for the mother's health, rape, or incest would be covered. Women would have to pay extra for abortion insurance, otherwise. All of this is due to a ban on using Federal money for elective abortions.

I am an advocate of pro-choice for women. I think abortion should be legal. However, I do not see anything wrong with this concept in the bill. In today's world, pregnancy is a choice. If a woman thinks she might do something stupid and get pregnant, then she should pay extra for abortion insurance. Otherwise, she and her partner should take responsibility for their actions. Abortion is an elective procedure except for those instances cited above, and elective procedures should not be covered.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fascism Rears Its Ugly Head

Germany lost World War I, but the war was fought on foreign soil, and that country was severely punished by the allied powers. The Germany of the post war era was economically ravished. German workers were generally poor peasants and workers, and they were hungry and jobless. In 1918 a group known as the Thule Society began to take shape. It was made up primarily of racist, anti-Christian, and anti-Semitic fringe elements. This group wanted to cleanse the human race of all that it perceived to be impure, and the Jews were considered to be at the root of the contamination.

The Thule Society began its rise to power by infiltrating the workers groups since it needed the support of the majority of Germans. Capitalizing upon an already intolerable economic situation worsened by the Great Depression, the Society, known eventually as the Nazi Party lead by Adolph Hitler, looked to find a scapegoat. What better group to blame than those whom the Party wanted to eliminate?

The Jews were blamed for all of the woes brought on by the Depression and the end of WW I. They sold Germany out to the west and brought on the great allied punishment. The German people fell for it and the Nazi Party, through deception, violence, political manuvering, and Hitler's great oratorical skills, assumed the reigns of power and began to put in place its "final solution"

There are troubling parallels to the roots of Fascism beginning to take shape in this country. The election of a mixed race president seems to have been the catalyst that brought an already simmering stew of racist and fundamentalist Christian groups together within a Republican Party reeling from a massive defeat. The tragedy of the World Trade Center and the ensuing ill advised invasion of Iraq fueled hatred for the Muslim religion. Illegal immigration from the southern Hispanic nations, together with an economic meltdown turned racist hatred toward yet another ethnic group.

This rag tag racist and Christian fundamentalist group has taken a page from the Thule Society by infiltrating a long time, accepted organization, the Republican Party. It has effectively appealed to the lower tiers of society and the racist element, which is scattered throughout all its layers. Through its currently splintered leadership, lies and innuendo have spewed forth on a daily basis across the Internet and the airwaves of radio and TV.

Unlike the early days of Nazism, the modern US version has had access to an element of media that has effectively reached millions. FOX News has become its mouth piece, aiding in the dissemination of the half truths and outright lies of the extreme right wing, while radio hucksters with large followings, such as Limbaugh have pounded those out of sight of TV. Daily, a barrage of misinformation on every aspect of government and society pounds the senses of those who seek confirmation of their greatest fears.

The President is characterized as a Muslim, born outside the United States, who is intent upon destroying all that has been built in this country since its founding. All of his followers are considered agents of the devil, prepared to destroy all Christian elements and to dilute the Caucasian race, in favor of Hispanics and Arabs.

Fundamentalist Christian churches have turned to politics, exhorting their followers to carry arms in defense of their religion and to pray for the President's death. They preach revolution and the spreading of their brand of the Christan gospel by force. One presidential contender, Huckabee, has talked of revising the U.S. Constitution to reflect the fundamentalist Christian ideology, while others talk of taking over the government and using the U.S. Army to spread Christian fundamentalism around the world. Already there are some indications of proselytizing by members of the armed forces in the Middle East.

An underlying thread throughout this Fascist-like movement is racism. Although is it usually denied, the evidence is everywhere. From the birthers to those praying for the death of president, there is no other explanation other than this disease that has eaten away at this country for so long. It is rooted in Christian fundamentalism from the days of slavery, when Bible quotations were used to defend that "peculiar institution." In today's world it is married not only to African-Americans but to Hispanics and Arabs as well. It is easy for this lunatic fringe to appeal to workers who have lost jobs that can be blame on Hispanics and to those who fear a Muslim invasion.

To date no clear leader has emerged. Several have spoken to the fringe issues. Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Jerome Corsi, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Michelle Bachman have all reared their ugly heads. This past week in Georgia, Nathan Deal, a Congressman and candidate for governor, joined the fray. Others across the country have spoken out from so-called pastors to politicians. In Germany it was a lowly army corporal who rose to lead the murderous legions.

It will be up to mainstream America to defeat these roots of Fascism. In Germany the citizenry turned a blind eye to the murder of the Jewish population and the theft of its assets. Secretly, they reveled in that population being brought to its knees and claimed in the end that they knew nothing of the extermination of millions. What will it be in this country? Will we turn our heads to the mistreatment of Muslims and other minorities? Will we sit quietly by as gays are exterminated by fundamentalist fascists? We did it during WW II with the Japanese and throughout the 19th Century as the Native American population was decimated, and black Americans were held as slaves. Americans are quite capable of allowing bad things to happen to good people.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Images of Jesus and Mary

An image of "Jesus" has appeared once again. This time on the window of Jim Stevens' truck in Johnson City, TN. It is interesting that when these images suddenly appear in a pizza, a loaf of bread, or some other such material, they always look like a popular painting of Jesus or the Virgin Mary. In addition, they are always Caucasian, not Middle Eastern or Jewish. Kind of like flying saucers. There are no pictures of Jesus and Mary, and we have no idea if alien visitors would choose to build a craft that we earthlings conjured up in the 1930's or so.

Several years ago we lived in Conyers, GA. For a number of years there was a lady who made her living periodically talking to the Virgin Mary. She would announce her next "vision" day and people would come from across the globe to be there when she emerged to expound upon what Mary had told her. Thousands would converge on Conyers, bringing in a good income to businesses, not to mention the vision lady. One creative entrepreneur came up with a great bumper sticker, "Come to Conyers, Eat, Drink and See Mary." Eventually, I suppose, everyone figured out what most thinking people already knew, and they came no more.

Does all this remind anyone of today's political climate? Are Beck and Limbaugh, Hannity, and others those vision people, and their followers the vision seekers? As those who go to see the images and hear the visions, the followers of these people are desperately seeking what they want to believe. The prestidigitator's conjure up the answers and the riches continue to pile up, while the vision seekers nod their heads in a zombie-like trance and say, "Yep, I knew I was right all along."

Monday, November 2, 2009

One Sick Republican

A family values Republican has tweeted about trick or treating, presumably with his kids:

Done trick or treating with Cleopatra and Jon Benet-now at Dino's for family dinner and to watch 5 different games at once.
How sick can you get? This man is Chairman of the Nebraska Republican party. His name is Mark Fahleson, and in my opinion his allowing a child to dress up as a murdered child is ridiculous. Where are his family values?

In the event you are as stunned as I was you may visit his Twitter site by clicking on the date in the quote. You may wish to do this quickly because my bet is that it will be deleted soon.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Demon Cursed Candy and Child Sacrifices from CBN

Take a moment and read this trash from the Christian Broadcasting Network's blog. Better still check out my friend "This Baptist Ain't Right" for a very good analysis. What lies these morons will come up with next is totally unpredictable.

Interestingly, this post has been removed from the CBN blog. Wonder why? Unfortunately I didn't copy it. I had to wonder if the writer was high when she wrote it, had a very vivid imagination and read too much science fiction, or simply insane.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Be Careful Who You Run Over on the Way Up...

...that person may hit you hard on your way down. So go the trials and tribulations of Sarah Palin. She used her daughter's boyfriend when it was to her advantage to disclose the unplanned pregnancy. It was alright, she said, because marriage was imminent, and the kid was a good boy. He was working and would finish high school. She dressed him up and put him on display with daughter at the Republican Convention. He was welcomed into her home and exposed to her apparently dysfunctional family. Then, she cast him away as soon as the relationship turned sour and the election was lost. When he went out with the dishwater, he was accompanied by some not too nice words. Bad move.

Now Ms. Palin has resigned her governorship in favor of something she appears to crave...money. She planned to make big bucks on the speaking circuit, but one one wants her. Iowa Republicans are objecting to her $100,000 speaking fee requirement for a Republican event in that state. She signed a big deal to "write" a book, and she has already received over a million dollars, but it is doubtful that the book will be a big seller. Her marriage may be on the rocks and may have been for some time. Due to her "secret" pregnancy, there are still rumors that the child born with a disability is not hers. Worst of all, that kid that she stepped upon is now starting to spill the beans about what he saw and heard in the Palin household.

Just how far Ms. Palin will go in responding to Levi Johnson's revelations remains to be seen. It will depend upon how badly he is treated in the upcoming book as to whether he continues to expose her dirty laundry. Nevertheless, she is sitting on a powder keg. She will do her best to discredit him, but my guess is that he is not making this up and his revelations will probably encourage others to do the same. After all, Ms. Palin made a lot of enemies on her way up, some of whom have most likely remained quiet, but their courage may be boosted as Palin's power continues to ebb.

Like so many others before her, Palin was a small time operator in a far flung state with a population of a medium sized city. She was able to operate in that environment as a typical political boss with little or no real management experience and little head for a complicated operation. She had no worldly knowledge beyond her little circle in a frontier-like state. Once she burst on the national scene her ignorance quickly became evident. The only thing she had working for her was her subscription to a fundamentalist Christian school of thought, at least outwardly. The fundamentalist Christian Republican base immediately embraced her with no concern for her obvious lack of in depth thinking or worldly knowledge.

Palin thought she had the world by the tail. She would walk away from her governorship and make the big bucks, then run for President in 2012. Now it appears that even Republicans have tossed her aside. Mainstream America certainly has no use for her. A poll released yesterday said that most do not believe that she is qualified to be president. The coming months will bring a heated battle between Palin and Johnson, and my guess is that we will hear much more of the Palin dirty laundry. It will accompany her continued downfall into the garbage dump of failed politicians.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why Am I Not Surprised At Scalia?

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has said he would have dissented in the 1954 Brown vs the Board of Education case, which struck down separate but equal schools. He also said that the Brown decision was one that the "majority liked better." He likened it to "creating new rights that no one thought existed." Although, he said that it was a better idea, that did not make it right.

Well Mr. Scalia, the Constitution states at its beginning that all men are created equal. Segregation meant less rights for one group, and separate schools were segregation and less education for one group. If that isn't unconstitutional, then I do not know the meaning. If I didn't know that this man was put on the bench of the US Supreme Court by a Republican majority, I would be pulling my hair out wondering what in the world he is doing in that position.

It seems as if every time we turn around, another nightmare from the Bush Administration flashes it ugly head. Scalia is definitely a serious nincompoop, who has no business being where he is. Unfortunately, he is relatively young, so we will have to put up with him for many years to come. Hopefully, the rest of the justices will be of reasonable intelligence and able to provide some balance to his seriously flawed decisions.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Health Care and the Public Option

Health Care reform has been a hot topic since the election campaign, when President Obama made it a center piece of his campaign. He promised to try to do something about it. Oddly enough, he has worked hard to keep this promise. The Republicans have worked harder to block, it for no other reason than to try to gain political points. Interestingly, I do not think they have gained anything, but I do think they have lost much prestige due to their underhanded methods and the frankness of their negative rhetoric.

The GOP openly created havoc at so-called town hall meetings around the country with their rude and loud plants causing trouble and making it appear to some that the entire country is against health care reform. Nothing, of course, is farther from the truth as the American people are straining hard to make ends meet and pay for health insurance that continues to rise in cost as coverage weakens. Last week we received a letter from our Congressman, Nathan Deal (R), one of the most corrupt members of Congress, according to one non-partisan watchdog group. Mr. Deal wrote that the entire country is against health care reform. I responded on his website and advised him that he needed to rethink that statement.

It appears that some kind of health care plan is on the immediate horizon. It also appears that there will be a public option on the table. The interesting thought that has occurred to me is whether there will be a rush to sign up, when a public option is made available. My guess is that many of those town hall shouters and gun toters will be some of the first ones in line. Oh, they will complain about "government run" health care, but they will quietly take advantage of it, just like those who cannot wait until their medicare takes affect. I think they call that talking out of both sides of the mouth.

Another interesting thought is the future of health care for those who are on 401k retirements and have no company retirement health care. Private health care insurance is outrageously high. I wonder what will happen to those folks when they retire, if there is no public health care option. Will they stick it out until age 65 or higher if the rules change? Will they have no health care between retirement and Medicare age, or will they simply have to work until age 65 in order to keep reasonably cost effective insurance.

One wonders how many of those folks who will really need a public option in the future have been among the loud mouthed nincompoops at town halls. Then there are the loud, rude, and uncouth teabaggers. I wonder how many of them are secretly hoping for a public health care option. I expect there are many closet public option folks, who are anticipating a cheaper option and will knock the closet door down, when it becomes available.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Obama Thesis Hoax and All Those Email Lies

This past week Comedian Rush Limbaugh jumped upon a report of a partial disclosure of President Obama's senior thesis at Columbia in which he is quoted as writing about the flaws of the the free market and the Constitution. Limbaugh and other right wingers jumped upon this months old story as if were were breaking news and, of course, gleefully reported Obama's hatred of capitalism and his disregard for the U.S. Constitution.

The problem? It was of course a satirical piece, written many months ago by some blogger, who said that a Time magazine columnist had read the thesis and released ten pages of it. Midway through his program, Limbaugh was informed that the information was false. He continued with it as if it were true. Nothing new with Limbaugh. If his lips are moving, there is a good chance that he is lying to begin with.

This story is not unlike the many emails that circulate through cyberspace and end up in our inboxes courtesy of the right wing sheep, who, like Limbaugh, gleefully pass them on as evidence of the President's Muslim, Communist, and Socialist leanings. Let us not forget his illegal birth, as well. They would never consider double checking such trash before they forward it onward. That would spoil their fun.

I have a penchant for checking the wildest of them out and then replying with documented facts. It is amazing how quiet my incoming mail from those folks becomes. They simply do not want to know the truth. If it is turned on them, they often get mad and send no more emails at all. Eventually some of them resume emailing me, but no more political trash comes through. One long time friend of ours has almost completely cut off communication with us after several corrections were sent in reply to the outrageous emails during the campaign last year.

I have never stooped so low as to let politics interfere with a friendship, but these folks simply cannot accept the truth. It is mostly racism that fuels the hardcore of these email forwarding fools, just as is the case with the venomous opposition to the President across the country. There is simply no other explanation for it. It is sad and even sadder when some conservative politicians have the decency to rebuff such trash and are then shouted down and cursed as cowards by the right wingnuts. Once has to wonder how much farther these idiots will go to push the Republican party over the final cliff.

Monday, October 19, 2009

S.C. Republicans Just Don't Seem to Get It

Like their fellow GOP members throughout the country, South Carolina's GOP simply cannot give up racial slurs and stereotypes. Now two S.C. Republicans in defense of Jim DeMint have managed to slur Jews by equating DeMint's failure to bring federal dollars to the state with the stereotypical tight Jewish businessman. The two county GOP chairmen wrote: "There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves."

So much for the Jewish vote in S.C. Somehow the GOP has completely forgotten that such slurs make national news. Such a statement might play well with the rabid base, but not with the mainstream voter. It is all a part of the dumbing down of the GOP and its takeover by a far right, which cares little about anything beyond fanatical Christian thought. This right wing fanaticism ignores any issue that does not have to do with banning abortion and gay marriage or religious intrusion into government.



Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Sad Case of the Balloon Boy

It appeared from the beginning that there was something strange about the supposed ride of the Colorado boy in his family's "weather balloon." When the boy was found in the attic of his home, there was a short period of normalcy. Maybe the kid had hid out to escape his parents' wrath at possibly causing them a problem.

Then the weird set in. It quickly became known the the family, under the leadership of the father, has been involved in some of the strange reality shows. He has also pitched ideas to reality show producers, to no avail. The family released their home video of the untethering of the balloon which showed no undue concern over anyone being inside. Then, when they made the rounds of the TV morning shows, the "balloon boy" threw up when asked about his hiding in the attic. He responded to his dad with "you said we did this for a show." Kids say and do the darnedest things, when their conscience kicks in and their parents want them to lie.

Now it appears that law enforcement officials will press charges against the father. Whether the charges will be in connection with a hoax or for violations of FAA rules and laws is still unknown. Obviously the father in this case is a publicity hound, obsessed with getting on TV reality shows. What better way than to create an incident that will appeal to the hungry cable networks, who will exploit anything to fill an afternoon on a slow news day.

When some one like this nutcase wants so badly to be in front of the cameras to make a name for himself, nothing will stand in their way. After all they see other ne'er do wells getting their own reality shows after some infamous act. Michael Vick mistreated his dogs, served time in prison and now will have his own reality show. Turning a homemade balloon loose and telling authorities that your son is in it, is a small price to pay to live your dream. There will probably be a fine and a suspended sentence. A small price to pay for a few million, if you can work it out.

The sad aftermath is the children. It would appear that they have been forced to lie and have been exploited by the parents in order to achieve enough notoriety to get the reality show offer. If this is the case, then, hopefully, the authorities will take action to see that the parents are counseled and monitor the situation to ensure the children's welfare. A better outcome would be federal charges serious enough to get the attention of these immature yokels.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Louisiana JP's Poor Excuse

Keith Bardwell, the Louisiana Justice of the Peace, who refused to marry an interracial couple, made a very bad decision. Even worse was his defense of his decision: "I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way. I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else." Isn't it always amusing when racists try to excuse their public behavior with a statement like that.

"They come to my home...they use my bathroom..." Wow, he even lets "them" come to his home AND use his bathroom. I'd bet that he uses a lot of lysol, after they leave. No telling what "they" might leave in his home. People like Bardwell are too stupid to realize that they are showing their ignorance, when they make statements like that. He has "piles of black friends." No, has piles of black acquaintances. I would bet that they are not his friends. They are simply friendly.

It is not up to anyone with the power to marry a couple to make that decision for them. Their pastor or their friends may very well advise them against marriage, but in the end it is their decision. In today's world for someone like Bardwell to refuse to marry a couple on the basis of race is inexcusable.

I do not know Louisiana law. It may be perfectly legal for Bardwell to refuse to perform a ceremony. However, federal law permits interracial marriage and my guess is that Bardwell may very well have a rocky road ahead. If the couple decides to file a discrimination complaint with the EOC, Mr. Bardwell better lock the doors and hide his money.



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Duggars Are At it Again...and a Granddugger

I have to admit that on occasion I am fascinated by the Duggers. They are the Arkansas family that currently numbers 18 kids with another on the way. Last night I caught their TV show and found that their oldest son, who has been married a year or so, now has a child. Therefore there is a Granddugger. Why these people continue to overpopulate, I have never quite understood...until last night.

The young new father and mother were asked about whether they would continue the family legacy and have a herd of kids. Their response was that they had not planned such a family, but they would let God decide. I think that I now understand. Birth control in any form or fashion is, apparently, not in their vocabulary. I have news for them, God is not going to make that decision for them. They will make that decision by not controlling their baby making system in any way.

I was somewhat amused by Big Baby Mama Dugger, who said that she and Daddy Dugger had not planned another. It just happened. One would think that after 18 kids they would understand just how the system works. If you do "it" and you are as fertile as they apparently are, babies are going to happen. So, now they are expecting their nineteenth kid and it will be younger than their oldest grandchild. It kind of makes me think of the old song, "I Am My Own Grandpa."

These people are some kind of fundamentalist Christians, and today's fundamentalists are coming out now against any form of birth control, often likening it to a form of abortion. I suspect that the leaders of these groups want to increase their numbers through large families. They are very controlling of their children and bring them up in a sheltered way, refusing to expose them to other ideas. They ban TV, a source of outside information and they control the movies and books that their children read. In this way they raise a completely brainwashed child, who will have to break away in order to learn how the real world functions.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Orly Taitz May Get Free Room and Board

Thanks to the Federal Judge of the Middle District of Georgia, Orly Taitz may get to spend some free time in a federal lockup. Judge Clay Land has fined Taitz for "wasting the judicial resources" of the Middle District of Georgia with her "frivolous and sanctionable conduct." He also said that she "borders on delusional" and "demonstrates bad faith." If you have ever listened to Ms Taitz, you know that the judge has hit the proverbial nail on the head with that description.

Taitz had filed a lawsuit against the Federal Goverment demanding that Obama had to prove his citizenship before a soldier could be sent to Iraq. However, that solder has disassociated herself with Taitz and has threatened to file a bar complaint against poor, delusional Ms. Taitz.

The best part of this story is that Ms. Taitz has said that she has no intention of paying the $20,000 fine. Good deal. I cannot wait to see the sentence Ms Taitz gets and whether she will finally go off the deep end while incarcerated. She may very well end up in a federal mental institution. The good Lord knows she is almost ready for the men in the white coats now.



Sunday, October 11, 2009

Protesters in the Sorghum Parade

In our section of the country and probably throughout the nation, fall is a time for festivals. The Native Americans celebrated fall as a time of harvest and thanksgiving for a good crop season. The Pilgrims did the same. The modern fall festivals are primarily a way to draw money into an area using some kind of gimmick. In our area, we have an apple festival, a marble festival, a copper festival, and many others, all tied to a local industry or tradition.

For our town it is the Sorghum Festival. In the mountains of Georgia early settlers found that they could grow sorghum cane and produce a thick, molasses-like syrup, good as a sweetener and good with biscuits and butter. Each year for the last 4o or so the local Jaycees have produced a festival that centers on sorghum making, where the cane is ground with a mule-powered mill, the juice cooked, and the syrup bottled. Together with traditional music, games, and arts and crafts, it draws a large crowd for two weekends in October.

The festival kicks off with a parade of floats, cars, horseback riders, tractors, and the usual small town attractions. This year there was an entry that turned many off. The so-called teabaggers entered themselves. They carried their hate filled posters and yelled nasty things about the president and the government as they walked along. Interestingly enough they got little positive response from the crowd. One lady in particular made me want to get in her face. She carried a poster with a nasty comment about public servants and a drawing of an outdoor toilet on top of another.

As a retired public servant, it simply outraged me that these people had the nerve to walk along behind firemen, and past police and EMT's, who were making the route safe for them to walk, and chant nasty lines and carry nasty signs putting down those sworn to protect them. Then there are the soldiers, public servants themselves, who have fought to protect their right to protest. I still seethe with anger when I think about it.

As I said, the people in our town are pretty polite, so they mostly remained silent or laughed at the outrageousness of the teabaggers' behavior. In the area where we stood amongst about 150 people, only two small groups or three or four cheered as they went by. It was very heartening to watch the response of the viewers. The people around me were outraged. The parade announcer ignored them as well. All in all, it was quite a negative response to a bunch of anti-government, unpatriotic Republicans in a Republican stronghold. I am proud of my town.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

One Hundred Years Ago

On this day one hundred years ago, my father was born. He passed away in 1996, but, like all the others of his generation, he witnessed the transformation of this country. The automobile, the airplane, space flight, atomic energy, home computers, the Internet; they all came of age during his lifetime. He could vividly describe seeing his first automobile, eating his first hamburger, riding a train for the first time and his first airplane flight. These were great events to him.

He grew up in an era of transition. During his young years he walked or rode a horse or a mule for transportation. He cut and hauled cross ties and "acid" wood in a wagon to the rail head, some 25 or 30 miles away. Did I mention that he surreptitiously hauled a bit of corn liquor at the same time? One of the odd jobs that he performed as a youngster was assisting various still operators with transporting the raw materials to the job site. The operation of stills was only condemned by a few. It was considered an acceptable means of making a living in these isolated mountains of Georgia.

My father's father was killed in a coal mine in W. VA in 1920 at the age of 60, when my father had just turned eleven years old. His death left my grandmother with six mouths to feed. The oldest was 20, so he was about to go out on his own. My father was the next oldest son. In a short time, he would become more responsible for the family. It was a family like so many today. The girls in the family would shortly experience what so many teenage girls today experience far too early in life. Children were born out of wedlock, only one of which lived beyond a few days. My father would be the only real father she would know for many years.

He lived through two world wars, Korea, Vietnam. His grandfather was a Civil War veteran and he heard first hand the stories of that war. He knew the local boys, who chose to avoid the draft in WWI. When WW II came along he was 32 years old and newly married with a newborn, a wife, and mother-in-law to support. He was not required to serve because of his family responsibilities, but he did his part, working at the Bell Bomber plant in Marietta, GA, constructing B-29's.

When electricity came to the area shortly after WW II, my father sought employment with the company constructing the power lines that would provide power to the local households. Prior to the war he had worked on the TVA projects that constructed two flood control and hydroelectric dams in the area. Now he would be helping to distribute the power that they generated.

My father was not a farmer. He had tried. During the 1920's and 30's, he had traveled to south Georgia to work on the vegetable farms. When he married my mother in 1938, he went to live with her and her mother on their family farm. He planted a few crops, but the money wasn't there and subsistence was not his idea of living, I suppose. Instead he chose to follow the power line construction company as a crew foreman. He continued until his retirement in 1972, running power to households around the southeast as power was first distributed. Later they would concentrate on building the large transmission lines across the eastern part of the U.S.

When he retired, he returned to his home permanently. For the next 26 years he spent much of his time as a hospital "pink lady," volunteering at the local hospital and nursing home. I'm sure he brought much joy to those sick and infirm people. He loved humor and he loved music. Shaped note gospel singing was a joy to him. As a young man he led the singing at his church. Later he would often attend singing conventions. He often sang and led singing at the nursing home and at local singings around the area.

It all came to an end in April of 1996 at a nursing home in Clayton, GA, an hour's drive from home. Unfortunately, we were not able to get him into the local nursing home, a place where he would have received special love and care from those with whom he had worked for so long. It might have extended his life, but then in his condition at the time, he would have been very unhappy. Fortunately, he was only in the nursing home for a short time.

It a good life and an adventurous one. He saw much and experienced so much. He devoured it heartily, savoring every moment and remembering them all so very vividly. Always one to enjoy telling a good story, he did not fail to pass his experiences and memories on to others.

Today's world is better because of people like my father, but it misses them as well. They knew hardship and trouble and they were better for it. If they are looking down now, I am quite sure they are very disappointed at what we have become in the short time that they have been away. It is so sad that we cannot seem to carry on what they worked so hard to build.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Great Obama Liberal Conspiracy

This so-called president of ours, who isn't even a natural born American and poses as a Christian, when everyone knows that he is a Muslim, is moving yet again to take total control of this great country of ours. It is not enough that he has taken over the automobile industry and the banks. It is not enough that he is going to take our guns away from us and turn the country over to gays and baby killers.

Hussein Obama started his cycle of control almost immediately upon taking office by taking control of the automobile industry. He could not wait to get his socialist claws into everything American. His friends at the ACLU are working daily to take away the one and only true religion, Christianity. The EPA is already secretly working on plans to nationalize the coal mining and oil industries, using the false claims of global warming. He will force Americans to give up their gas burning automobiles and replace them with electric ones, so Americans can be kept close to home.

What is his next big move? Swine flu vaccines. You have heard all about it, but have you thought about the real reason that only those under age 25 and over age 65 are being given the vaccine? It is quite clear when you think about it. These two groups are the easiest to control and bring under Hussein's power.

Oh, he is a smooth, talker this Kenyan. His Center for Disease Control is a front for the development of this mind controlling drug that will be given to the young and old under the guise of Swine Flu vaccine. Once they are under his control, the young will be moved to the hundreds of concentration camps now under construction by FEMA, where they will be further brainwashed to accept his socialist and Muslim way of thinking. The old will simply be subjected to Death Panels, which will determine if these great Americans, who have given so much to this great Christian country of ours, are healthy enough to live on without a large expenditure of money. If not, they will simply be left to die.

The unborn will not be left out, of course. DNA testing will be secretly done under Hussein's public option "health care" system. If it is clear that the unborn child will be a conservative Christian, an abortion will be scheduled. Once Hussein has eliminated guns and Christians he can easily move the Muslim terrorists into power in this country. He has already surrounded himself with them in Washington and is in daily contact with Osama Bin Laden to update him on the progress of the Musliming of America.

It is a sad day indeed. This country has been ruined by this impostor, but we can fight back. The valiant people at FOX News are working hard to keep these facts in the forefront. Without them and such great heroes as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin we could be led like lambs to the slaughter. We will overcome this, because the 2010 elections are only a short time away. The great and only true Americans will be back in power soon and they will bring God back to Washington. They will restore the fight to save America from gays and Muslims and put Hussein Obama back where he belongs.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Afghanistan Dilemma

Afghanistan has proven difficult for so many before us, the last being the Russians. Ironically, in our own inimitable style we aided the Taliban in its fight against the Russians, only to have to fight our former "ally" later. How many times in our past have we supported, equipped and trained the bad guys?

When Bush entered that country in October, 2001, the objective was to destroy Al Qaeda and its training network there and to destroy its Taliban ally. Unfortunately, the President got his priorities mixed up and entered into his poorly planned, conducted and unnecessary invasion of Iraq. Iraq became the priority and Afghanistan and Bin Laden became a nuisance with little being done to pursue the objectives.

Like Nixon in 1968, Obama has inherited a poorly conducted and deteriorating action that threatens to drag him down. Operation Enduring Freedom, as it was initially known, is becoming unpopular as the American body count continues to grow. Conveniently, it is becoming unpopular among Republicans, who will use anything to discredit the President, no matter that it was their man who made the mess. Gleefully, for them, Obama is in a "damned if does, damned if he doesn't" situation.

Rightly so, I believe, the President has taken a step back to re-evaluate the situation in Afghanistan. His commander there has said that success will require a large infusion of troops to stabilize the situation. Whether the President is willing to undertake that route remains to be seen. It will take a clear plan of action with specific goals to make such an action successful. It is very difficult to defeat an enemy in its homeland. Vietnam comes to mind. The minds of the people have to be won before success is possible.

The danger of continuing a wide war of occupation in that country lies in the number of soldiers needed for possible success. The terrain is difficult and the surrounding countries uncooperative. Then there is that history. The Russians could not do it. The British failed miserably with eight divisions in their last Afghan War in 1919 and they had air power and armor.

It is incumbent upon the President to pursue the efforts to destroy Al Quaeda and abandon any Bush-like attempt at nation building. Afghanistan has never been captured, and I do not expect that the U.S. war will be an exception. As in Iraq, it will be up to the people of Afghanistan to do their part to throw off the religious zealots in the Taliban. If Al Quaeda and Bin Laden are destroyed that potential thorn in the side of the world will be neutralized. That is all that we need from our efforts in Afghanistan, nothing more, nothing less.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sarah Palin: "Going Rogue"


Ms Palin's "memoir" will be coming out in a short time. Four hundred pages, I believe. Ghostwritten, of course, by a right-wing Christian, who is about to publish some outlandish drivel on her own. Ms. Palin, as we all know, is not capable of turning out anything that the average person can comprehend. Speeches that she has obviously prepared for herself are rambling, incoherent monologues that leave the listener numb and trying to make sense of what has just been said.

Just exactly how a forty-something with a host of colleges attended, a term as a small town mayor, and a woefully incomplete term as a governor, with an ill fated run for VP thrown in can publish a memoir is beyond me. However, it will be bought by her admirers in droves. If you are curious, just wait until next spring, when the flea markets and used book sales crank up. I'd say two bucks at the most.

The most interesting thing about the book to me is the title. Since the dictionary is not a book that Ms Palin frequents, she probably has no idea what rogue means. My dictionary defines rogue as "a dishonest, knavish person; scoundrel." Thanks, Ms Palin. I do not think anyone could have said it better.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Facebook Poll on Obama's Murder

The ultimate in stupidity from the fringe elements of society has finally arrived on Facebook. There are many dumb polls that Facebook users can take, if they so desire, but to put up a poll on whether the President of the United States, or anyone else for that matter, should be killed is the height of imbecility. Thankfully, the Secret Service is investigating and I hope they prosecute those responsible. To date none of my fringe element friends have stooped low enough to take that poll. I will be very disappointed if they do, and I will remove them as friends should that happen.

There are already so-called Christians calling for the death of the president. One GOP, Congressman, Trent Franks has said that the President is "An Enemy of Humanity." I do not know how much farther these hatemongers will go to display their hatred and fear of one man. We all know that most of the hatred comes from the racist element, but the so-called Christian element vomits forth its hatred as well.

I do not think this country has ever experienced such vitriol and hatred from the dregs of society before this time. Possibly the Civil War era, and some southern slave owning elements, could compare with it. That group was defeated in the worst of wars, which caused the death and suffering of so many great Americans on both sides. It accomplished little that could not have been done peacefully, had Americans worked together.

In today's world the Republican fringe elements have taken over that party and intend to destroy the President and, ultimately, the well being of the country for nothing more than political gain and power. A few days ago I watched bluebirds fighting over their feeder outside our breakfast room window. I could think of nothing but the Republicans as those birds fought to control the food, expending great amounts of energy, when simply working peacefully together would have resulted in plenty of food for all.

Monday, September 21, 2009

John Edwards, Roue'

The dictionary defines roue' as a lecherous, dissipated man, or one who leads a sensual and immoral life. I suppose in this instance one could also look up such words as reprobate, blackguard, scoundrel, rascal, and scalawag. Beside all of these words should be placed two pictures. First and foremost Newt Gingrich and beside him, John Edwards.

If the proposed book by a former aide of Edwards is true, and these tell all's often are, Edwards took a page out of Gingrich's book, when he told his "ho" that they would get married, when his wife died of cancer. I do not think you can get any lower than to cheat on your ailing wife and go so far as to anticipate her death.

The books states that Edwards pleaded with his aide to claim paternity, which he ultimately did. It also says that Edwards inquired as to whether he could find a doctor to fake a paternity test to say that his aide was the father. Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

A public figure should know that his enablers will some day betray him for the money a publisher or tabloid will pay for such juicy news. Let's hope that Elizabeth Edwards sends him packing, should he finally admit to all of this. She must have had a hellish last couple of years, with both her illness and her sleazy husband's hidden life eating at her. Whether all of this latest information is true or not, Mr. Edwards deserves his own special place in hell beside all of the other slimeballs of his ilk.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Unbalanced FOX News Sways Political Opinion - Owned by Foreigner

FOX News unabashedly publicized the so-called teabagger event in Washington, DC recently. In fact a FOX news producer was caught rallying the crowd behind a FOX reporter during a newscast. The network has regularly been caught reporting false information. It refuses to show the President's speeches and news conferences, something it did not do with the previous administration. In several instances it has been caught falsifying the party designation of disgraced Republicans, showing them as Democrats.

The troubling factor with FOX News' obviously biased reporting and its extreme, sometimes fanatical on-air personalities is the fact that it is owned by a foreigner, Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch, then, is influencing the direction of the voters in this country. Recently, one of his news outlets in Britain was caught illegally taping phone conversations of British politicians, which makes one wonder if FOX News is doing the same in this country.

Murdoch not only owns right wing FOX news, but he owns the right winged New York Post and the Wall Street Journal, which is taking a decided turn to the right. His network also has outlets all over the country in most major TV viewing areas. The TV network typically broadcasts shows that push the envelope of legally appropriate material for prime time. I have heard many folks call it the trash network, because most of its shows are trashy, the opposite of what those who watch his news network would claim to support.

Murdoch continues to widen his control of news in this country. His newspapers and cable and broadcast news outlets have ramped up their rhetoric since the Obama election. They are pulling in a large number of viewers who faithfully believe the network's right wing hacks, Hannity, O'Reilly, and Huckabee, convicted felon, G. Gordon Liddy and Iran Contra's Oliver North. This type of decidedly unbalanced, often false reporting is swaying a large sector of the voting public. Thus it makes Murdoch a very powerful figure, who sits backstage, while his mouthpieces continue to garner support for his growing news empire and putting votes behind right wing Republicans. One has to wonder just how much Murdoch becomes personally involved in backroom politics and influences the politicians his network helps bring votes their way.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dr. Joseph Lowery (Cont.)

Dr. Joseph Lowery and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were co-founders of the SCLC. He is the dean of living civil rights leaders from the 1950's and 60's and has continued his crusade for equal rights until the present. He is also a noted United Methodist pastor and quite a humorist. He recently received the Medal of Freedom from President Obama and gave the benediction at the President's inauguration.

This past Thursday night I was privileged to hear him speak at Young Harris College, a noted Methodist institution in North Georgia. He was introduced by college president, Kathy Cox, former Georgia Secretary of State and candidate for Governor. President Cox noted that she and Dr. Lowery worked closely together on voting rights issues during her years in office and Dr. Lowery spoke of his obvious affection and respect for her.

Dr. Lowery's message for the evening centered around what he called "Chaplains for the Common Good." He spoke of the divisiveness, hatred, ignorance, and racism surrounding us these days. He said that you have to show love to these people to reach them and to have an effect on them. He gave an example of George Wallace, whom he said that he "didn't like," but he "loved" him as his fellow man. He said that during the re-enactment of the Selma march, Wallace summoned him to his hospital bed and asked him to pray for him, which he did. Then he said that Wallace asked him to talk to Ted Turner about the movie which was being made about Wallace's life. Wallace, Lowery said, told him that he could tolerate all of the bad things the movie said of him except the statements that Wallace's African-American assistant hated him and had plotted to kill him. That, Wallace said, was untrue. Lowery said it must have been untrue because if the man had wanted to kill Wallace it would have been no problem for him. At any rate, he said that he called Ted Turner and related Wallace's request to him. After Turner stopped laughing, he told Lowery that it was too late. The movie was finished and ready to release. Turner told Lowery to tell that to Wallace. Lowery said that he told Turner to tell Wallace himself.

Dr. Lowery spoke of election night 2008, when ABC announced that Obama was the winner. He said that he got on his knees and prayed, thanking God for the progress that African Americans have made and for the safety of the Obama family, knowing the battle that they faced. He spoke of his admiration for the President and his pride when he received the Medal of Freedom from the President just a few weeks ago. He wore the lapel version as he spoke and amusingly stated, "isn't it nice." He said that someday he might let his wife wear it.

At the end of his lecture/sermon, Dr. Lowery asked for a show of hands of those ready to go out and be "Chaplains for the Common Good." He gave a short benediction during which he "ordained" us as those Chaplains. Quite an inspirational message from a great man. He had his audience reflecting, laughing, and admiring during the course of his one hour presentation. It was one of those once in a lifetime events, when you have the chance to encounter a legend.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dr. Joseph Lowery

Tonight I went to hear Dr. Joseph Lowery speak at Young Harris College. It was probably the most inspirational message that I have heard in quite some time. Dr. Lowery is a United Methodist pastor, so his presentation was in the form of a sermon. He charged the audience to stand up and speak out for what is right in this time of such divisiveness. If those who know what is right, remain silent, then the rabblerousers, racists, and hatemongers will have their say.

Dr. Lowery spoke for over an hour and then answered several questions from the audience. He was inspirational, falling out of your seat funny, and held the large audience in the palm of his hand. I might add that the audience in this predominately white section of Georgia was very white. In addition to Rev. Lowery's small entourage, there were probably three or four non whites in the audience of more than 200 people.

If you ever get the chance to hear this 87 year old, soon to be 88, do it before it is too late. You will not regret hearing him.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Joe Wilson, Racist?

President Carter has stated that Rep. Joe Wilson's stupid outburst during the President's speech to a joint session of Congress is rooted in racism. I do think that much of the negative response to the President is deeply rooted in racism. The, birthers, the ugly posters and the ugly names, the fear mongering; they are all are related to racism. However, I do not necessarily agree that Wilson's comment is the result of a racist thought process.

Wilson's son has defended him, saying that his mother and father had no racist feelings and their children were brought up to relate to everyone. Some have pointed to his defense of the South Carolina flag and his membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans as proof of his racist leanings. Neither of these necessarily defines one as a racist. Most true conservatives probably would take issue with a change of a state flag, primarily on the basis of rejecting change. In the South one could add defense of southern heritage. Neither do not necessarily point to racism.

As a southerner, I could join the Sons of Confederate Veterans, because I have several ancestors who served in the Confederate Army. My great grandfather was held in a Federal POW camp at Ft. Delaware, nearly dying of starvation at the war's end. A couple of other ancestors served in the 11th GA Cavalry. I haven't chosen to join the SCV, simply because I do not have an interest in doing so. Yes, there are some wingnuts in the SCV, who are very definitely racists, but not all are so and being a member should not stereotype one as such.

I continue to wonder if Wilson's outburst was carefully planned to bring attention to himself for the purpose of advancing his career and raising money for his upcoming campaign. Almost immediately after the event, he posted a video on YouTube begging for money. What better way to get your name out front, if you are a relative unknown? Politicians are basic opportunists. They will do whatever it takes to keep their elected office. If it means making a scene to get attention, they will do it in a heartbeat. Let's face it. Who does not know of Joe Wilson now?

Monday, September 14, 2009

"Teabaggers" Lie About Their Numbers with Old Photo

It seems the Anti-Obama crowd, i.e. the "Teabaggers," i.e. right wing fanatic Republicans have lied about the number of people attending the anti-Obama rally this past weekend. They used an old picture that has since been recanted, but still circles the internet as fact. They should have "photoshopped" the picture by removing the cranes that were there in the 1990's and added the American Indian Museum. See this article at Politifact.com's truthometer.

Lies get you nowhere, especially in this highly electronic age as so many right wingers have found out already. It is amazing that they continue to try this garbage. There were surely thousands there, maybe 50 or 60 by most sane people's count, but not 2 million. Two million people would have been a lot of people. If there had been 2 million people there, someone might have cared....

Boorish America

Over the course of the last few days we have seen blatant examples of this country's loss of civility and a lack of respect for each other. Rep. Joe Wilson of S.C. heckled the President of the United States during the President's speech to a joint session of Congress. Congressmen have had physical confrontations over the course of this country's history, but never has a member of Congress stooped so low as to yell out "you lie" during a president's speech before Congress. Wilson, half-heartedly apologized, then immediately used his actions to raise money, making one wonder if he planned the incident.

Saturday, Serena Williams uttered a profanity-laced stream of venom at a line judge during the semifinals of the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament. The call was a bad one, but not worthy of such a venomous response. John McEnroe and Illie Nastase before her were prone to yell at officials, but never in such a threatening and callous manner as displayed by Ms. Williams. The the worst of profanity and the threats which Ms. Williams used were totally out of line. She claimed not to believe that the judge felt threatened by her actions, but a large, muscular woman, carrying a tennis racket and yelling such threatening profanity would have made me want to leave the area. Her public statement contained no apology for her sorry actions.

Last night, someone named Kanye West interrupted a young woman's acceptance speech at a music awards show to protest that someone else should have won the category. How boorish can you get? The young woman was 19 years old and proud to have won an award, yet this guy ruined her moment with his rude behavior. Breaking news: President Obama called West a jackass in an off camera moment during an NBC interview. Good call Mr. President.

Since the presidential election several "men of God" have openly prayed for the death of the President. Some have actually said that they hate the man. Can you imagine a preacher actually praying for someones death? I would bet that preachers did not even pray for Hitler's death during WW II. I cannot fathom a preacher saying that they hate someone. Unbelievable!

A scant few years ago, no one would have dared step over the line of civility in public, lest their reputation and careers would have been ruined. In today's world people are almost rewarded for such behavior. Joe Wilson has had his line picked up already by Obama haters around the country and thousands have been contributed to his campaign. Serena Williams will continue to compete in tennis tournaments. Her wrist has been slapped with what for her is a pocket-change fine. Kanye West will probably suffer no consequences at all for his rude behavior. In fact there are probably many who revere him for speaking his mind.

We see rude behavior daily on the street, in gatherings, at sporting events and now in town hall meetings and the halls of Congress. No one, it seems, is adult enough to act civil towards their fellow man. As a child, I was taught to call any adult, Mr. or Mrs., say thank you and you're welcome (not "no problem"), and always respect the feelings and property of others. Few people today seem to have any regard for each other and such feelings will not change, when people in the public eye act as the aforementioned boors have done. Apologies seem to have little meaning. The old adage, act now and get forgiveness later, appears to be the rule.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another Republican ...

GOP candidate for governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell dropped an F-bomb on his audience during a radio interview. I wonder if he is a family values, Christian fundamentalist, Republican and what kind of excuse his followers will make for the worst of profanity.

Listen here.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Joe Wilson's Calculated Heckling

It now appears that S.C. Republican, Joe Wilson, may very well have planned his boorish heckling of the President Wednesday night. Watch how he claims he is a victim and needs cash now.



It seems awfully coincidental that he is using his outburst to raise money. I cannot think of a better way to rouse the wingnut base than to interrupt the President with a cry of "you lie." Comedian Rush Limbaugh liked it, so you know the rest of the lunatic fringe is gleefully celebrating.

Wilson's opponent raised a lot of money in the hours immediately following the incident. Wilson, however, stands to raise a great deal with the arrogant and rude behavior that is so common with his base. I would bet that there was a lot of back slapping behind the scenes after the address. I can hear it now, "You actually did it, Joe. They'll slap your wrist, but it will be worth it with all the money this is going to bring in. Your name is all over the Internet and cable news. What a great idea!"

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Two More Stupid Republicans

Two more Republicans have shown their lack of decorum and good sense, thus continuing to define the new Republican Party. Yet another "family values" Republican state lawmaker, this time in California, was caught on tape describing his sexual encounter with a lobbyist.



Michael Duvall quickly resigned after his stupid remarks were picked up on a hot microphone in the general assembly hall. He, of course, made the customary apology to his family and fellow lawmakers.

Then there is S.C. Republican Joe Wilson, who tried to make a town hall meeting out of the President's address to Congress last night, by shouting "you lie" in reference to the President's remarks regarding illegal aliens.



Such grandstanding may play well to the racist and boorish Republican base, but not to mainstream America. Although he immediately apologized and John McCain demanded that apology, yet more damage was done to the Republican image for mainstream voters. These Neanderthals simply can not help themselves.

Friday, September 4, 2009

David Letterman on Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin - Great Routine!

GA GOP Treading on Dangerous Ground

Two Republican Georgia state legislators have indicated that they will introduce legislation to block health care reform in Georgia should it pass Congress. They have put all of their eggs into the Tenth Amendment, which states that power not given the Federal Government by the Constitution is reserved for the states. The bill would be a proposed state constitutional amendment, which would have to be ratified by two thirds of Georgia's voters.

Such an amendment might pass in this state of right wingnut Republicans. However, the future of health care in the state would be bleak, not to mention the state's budget which would be broken by the numerous wrongful death lawsuits and challenges to the constitutionality of the amendment. It would also result in a mass exodus from the state by folks seeking health care.

Florida is seeing an exodus at the moment, due to unwise moves by state and local governments in that state. Florida Power and Light, the "socialist" public utility in Florida is increasing its rates drastically. Many local governments are increasing taxes at an alarming rate, while poorly managing their staffs and agencies. Floridians do not pay income taxes, so there must be a way of raising funds for government operations. Local tax and sales tax rates must increase in order to continue operations. The area where I live has become to refugee camp for Floridians. We are overrun by them and they are changing our culture and ruining our area as they did in Florida.

If Georgia tries this unwise move and other Republican states follow suit, some states are going to profit greatly as people leave to go where the pastures are greener and health care costs are cheaper. The ramifications are not pretty. Health care costs will rise as employer health care plan costs increase due to fewer participants and tax coffers will shrink, leading to higher taxes.

Then there is Medicare. If state voters reject federal health care reform, will that reject Medicare as well? There is no difference. Medicare is a public health care option and that is what these backward hacks are against. It appears that there will be a host of seniors without medical care. Democrats should jump on this as the Republicans jumped on the "death panels."

Republicans will try anything to try to regain power in this country. It looks as if state rejection of health care reform will be the next trick up their sleeves. Their shills will continue to follow them with chants of "health care isn't a right!" Medicare is not a right either but those folks' mothers and fathers depend upon it for their health care. Furthermore, with retirement plans falling through the cracks, the young folks in this country are going to have to provide their own health care at an exorbitant rate when they retire, if something is not done soon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The "Rev." Steven Anderson - He Who "Prays" for the Death of the President

After seeing the video of this guy, who says he hates the President and prays for his death, I decided to do a bit of research about him. His church's website was a good place to start. There I found that the "Rev." "holds no college degree but has well over 100 chapters of the Bible committed to memory, including almost half of the New Testament. " This, apparently, qualifies him to be a preacher.

The 27 year old, so-called preacher has had several run-ins with the law in recent months. Most recently, in April, he was detained at a Border Patrol checkpoint, when drug sniffing dogs hit on his car. After refusing to talk to agents, he was forcefully removed from his car and tasered to bring him under control. There have been other incidents of his confronting law enforcement authorities. It seems he has decided that border patrol checkpoints are unconstitutional and he is not going to obey them. Interestingly enough, he claimed police brutality, but never filed a complaint. One has to wonder why the drug sniffing dog hit on his car.

Anderson's church has an interesting doctrine. It is very fundamentalist and backward. The last three statements of that doctrine are as follows:

"We believe that life begins at conception (fertilization) and reject all forms of abortion including surgical abortion, "morning-after" pills, IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), birth control pills, and all other processes that end life after conception.

We believe that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination which God punishes with the death penalty.

We oppose worldliness, modernism, formalism, and liberalism."

Pay close attention to the first of these statements. I know that the Rev doesn't have a college degree, but it does not require a college degree to understand that invitro fertilization is not a form of abortion, nor are birth control pills. The next thing you know this bunch will be calling for the death penalty for doctors who perform vasectomies and stoning for men who have the procedure performed.

The second statement, not surprisingly, calls for death for homosexuals. One would expect this kind of hatred from one who openly preaches hate from his pulpit. The final statement is so wide sweeping, one has to wonder if Anderson really understands what he is saying. In fact, formalism, which is, basically, adherence to a strict doctrine, is very fundamentalist, a direct contradiction of his supposed beliefs.

Finally, he tries to get political with the rejection of liberalism and demonstrates that once again, he does not know what he is talking about. Freedom of speech and the basic rights of man are both tenets of liberalism. John Locke a proponent of liberalism wrote that "no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions." By including this term, the Rev. Anderson shows his great need for a college degree.

Anderson, an anti-Obamite fundamentalist is taking on the law enforcement agencies of the Federal Government, primarily. At this point it appears that he is probably trying to provoke the Border Patrol and others to try to make the right wing point that under Obama the government has become totalitarian. However, Border Patrol checkpoint policies have been in place for years and have nothing to do with the current administration.

Anderson is no more than a small minded fool, who is trying to fill his church coffers and make a name for himself by playing on the fears of those who are of similar ilk. He has started his church and feels a need to attain mega-church status, where he can live the life of Armani suits, private airplanes, and multi-million dollar estates. What better way to accomplish this that to appeal to the extremist right wing of society that is searching for leadership and a return to power and has an extreme fear of change.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Baptist Preacher Prays for the President to Die and Go to Hell

This has to be the epitome of blasphemy. A preacher in the pulpit prays for the President to die and go to hell. And he calls himself a preacher. I cannot imagine a preacher in any church that I have ever attended standing in the pulpit and saying such a terrible thing. They were so much more intelligent. What would Jesus do? I kind of think he might run the so-called preacher out of the church like he ran the money lenders out of the temple. Don't you think?

This man, Steven Anderson, I will not refer to him again as a preacher, is stationed at the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Arizona. The best part of this is that the Secret Service paid him a visit after the President's recent visit to Arizona. It seems that the wingnut, who was carrying an AR-15 assault rifle near the President's appearance there, is one of the Faithful Word Baptist Church's faithful. He was present at the service, when the other wingnut advocated death for the President. Can you say assassination?

I hope that the Secret Service keeps a very close eye on these two along with the rest of that congregation. He was not relieved of his position the next day, so it can be assumed that the other wingnuts in that church approve of him. Therefore, any of them could be capable of committing murder for him.

As bad as so many people disliked G.W. Bush I never heard anyone openly advocate his assassination. Such a statement as the so-called pastor made is un-American and treasonous. So much worse than the Dixie Chicks saying that they were ashamed of Bush. They were ostracized and blacklisted. So what about this nut in Arizona? Shouldn't there be protesters out front next Sunday demanding that he be tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail?

Today I watched the final game of the Little League World Series. One of the Chinese-Taipei players listed his role model as Barrack Obama. The rest of the world tried to tell us how bad G. W. Bush was and many did not listen. The rest of the world is trying to tell us that we have a good president, but many are not listening. It is a shame that the rest of the world sees it and we do not. Our preachers want to kill him or stir their congregations up enough that they will kill him. No wonder so many people are fed up with the organized Christian religion in this country. There are so many idiots leading it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Health Care, How Can We Not Help Our Fellow Man?

Please read Shannyn Moore's post about universal health care. I don't see how anyone could say it any better. There are many, many others like her friend Lennie. I simply do not see how anyone could be opposed to helping their fellow man, but there are millions influenced by bad politics and hate mongering.

No Show Palin

For the fourth time in the last several months, Sarah Palin has failed to show for an event which advertised heavily that she would be speaking. This time it was an event sponsored by the Alaska Family Council, kicking off a petition to place an initiative on the ballot, requiring parental notification prior to a teen abortion. Palin was supposed to speak and be the first to sign the petition.

Once again her representative stated that she knew nothing about a speech, although it had been advertised for quite some time. Palin, she said, is out of state and not available. Palin has been "away" for some time now and the Alaska blogosphere is alive with rumors of her status. The most speculation centers around some kind of face lift that is keeping her out of the public eye until it heals. Others see her disappearance as having to do with a rumored impending divorce from husband, Todd. Then there is the recent story about her daughter's involvement in drugs and alcohol. Some say a possible nervous breakdown may be affecting her.

One has to wonder what motivates Palin to back out of these speaking engagements and resign her governorship and still, presumably, intend to have a political career of some kind. This latest no show would appear to be a great opportunity for her to further her agenda, especially since it is one that would have wide support from both sides of the political spectrum. About all she has done now is to isolate some of her base.

Whatever the case, Palin continues to confound political pundits with her behavior. It has been a year since she burst on the scene after John McCain's ill advised choice of her as his running mate. She became the darling of those too blind to accept her ineptitude. Her failure to answer questions that should have been easy for someone rounded enough to run for VP of the United States made her a laughing stock among those who took the time to actually listen to what she said.

She has pretty much been written off by most real political experts. Even Newt Gingrich put his tongue firmly in his cheek and gave her a todo list that would allow her a political comeback. I do not see her as a real player in any coming election. Her die hard base of followers will continue to make excuses and turn out to listen to her, if she ever shows for a speaking engagement. Outside of that she is, for the most part, dead in the water, politically.