Friday, November 11, 2011

Heman Cain's Wedgies

As the GOP road show for the presidential nomination continues to unfold I have tried to analyze Herman Cain's support, which continues to remain strong regardless of the gaffes, the scandals, and the lack of real substance. What is it about this man that demands such support from a segment of the voting public? His supporters appear to be primarily those who attach themselves to the so-called tea party group. Yet, this group has generally shown itself to be quite racist and not one that would easily support an African American. So why would those of this ilk be so supportive?

A few days ago I was involved in a debate thread on a friend's Facebook page, concerning Cain. A self proclaimed tea bagger and Cain supporter suddenly lifted a comment out of context and went on a rant about the writer's anti-semitism. The other commenters, like myself, were astounded because the rant was totally off topic and seemingly made no sense. The writer stated that he was a dues paying member of two or three pro-Jewish/Israel organizations, although a Christian himself. He tried to equate the Occupy Movement with Naziism. He went on to say that most tea bagger supporters of Cain are also very pro-Israeli.

Since several of the writer's comments about Cain had been quite racist, although he defended Cain at the same time, I had been confused. Why would such a person support an African American candidate so ardently? Once he went off about anti-semitism the clouds began to clear. Cain has been very outspoken about his extremist anti-Muslim feelings. In recent years, extremist Christians have gravitated toward support for Israel as they have perceived a Muslim threat toward Christianity. As recently as 60 years ago, right wing Christan's would have quietly nodded approval of the bombing of Jewish temples. Today support for Israel is a part of their vehement anti-Muslim hatred.

Hatred of Muslims easily trumps the Cain negatives. Sexual harassment, a lack of knowledge of economics, world politics and U.S. History, even his moderate statements on abortion, and the fact that Cain is an African American pale in comparison to the threat that Islam poses to this country in their minds. Tea Party pols throughout the country have proposed anti Sharia legislation in their state legislatures as they continue to fight that windmill. Although he has retreated a bit from his harsh anti-Muslim statements, Cain continues to be the only Republican candidate, who has spoken to the hearts of those who would rid the country of all things Muslim. In the fog of their hatred of Islam they would like nothing better than to have their man, regardless of his race or his lack of substance, in the White House with his hand on the button that could vanquish Islam with the stroke of a pen.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Cancer of the Southern Baptist Convention

This article appeared in the Atlanta Journal this weekend. Shorter University has always been a respected institution of higher learning in Georgia, but now, under the iron fisted rule of the now right wing Southern Baptist Convention, it may very well begin losing its prestigious standing. "Pledges" have become the weapon of choice for right wing nuts to use against their followers to attempt to keep them under "control." They mean little, but easily serve as a tool of retribution against anyone who might fall out of favor.

This kind of regressive thinking is beginning to permeate the SBC and its institutions of higher learning. Some very prestigious schools, including Wake Forest and, Mercer Universities, have managed to assert their independence from this cancer that is spreading fast. Others, like Shorter haven't been so fortunate. A relative of mine, a science professor, was recently terminated from a position at a small SBC school in southern GA, as the school fights for its life amidst a switch from liberal arts to the hard line Bible rhetoric that the SBC is adopting. A nearby small Baptist school recently touted its new creationist research center.

It will probably be only a matter of time before these schools adopt even harsher codes of conduct, prompting students to begin reporting on each other and staff. Even worse they will begin witch hunts to "cleanse" gays and lesbians from the campus, along with anyone else that they determine to be a "non Christian."

It is sad to see good institutions fall under the spell of such Dark Ages thinking. In the end the institution will be the loser along with graduates, who may very well become ashamed to admit being an alumnus.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Are the Terrorists Still Winning?

The answer is simple.  Yes.  Over the course of the last few weeks there was an impending sense of doom as Americans were inundated with scenes of the September 11, 2001 tragedies, when commercial jets crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania.  Yesterday, there were interminable memorials across the country.  On TV there were constant reminders at the start of sporting events, during commercial breaks, and of course the usual special programs.  Football coaches wore NYPD caps.  Politicians, never ones to miss a chance to remind us what their party did or the other party did not do, used the day to gain political points.  We almost reveled in misery.

Finally, the terrorists got into the act as well, reminding us of their presence.  There were either the imagined threats, or the day was used to stroke our fears with mostly idle threats. I have always felt that the few resources that they had were exhausted on that one day in 2001.  Otherwise, there would have been many more attacks.  Our government was unprepared, and it is still relatively easy to enter this country.  It is very easy for those who wish to be disruptive to create idle threats and throw this country into a frenzy of fear.  The government cannot afford to let any threat pass.

After the attacks on 9-11, this country allowed a president and his followers to take us into two ill advised wars, bringing about the killing and maiming of thousands of our soldiers untold numbers of innocent civilians.  The costs of those wars have practically bankrupted this country, and thrown it into a recession from which it will struggle to recover for years to come.  Its citizens have suffered the pain of losing their pensions, their homes, and their jobs.  The politics resulting from the government's huge war debts have become even more polarized and extreme.  It is almost reminiscent of Germany, following the end of WWI, when citizens actually carried almost worthless cash in wheelbarrows.  They looked for someone to blame and allowed extremist politicians to take over and persecute those whom they blamed for their misfortunes.

Then there are the constitutional rights of Americans that have been abused with an extreme "Patriot Act," which grew out of fear of terrorist attacks.  Citizens have been held and harassed without provocation, simply because they are of Middle Eastern derivation. Citizens have resorted to harassing their fellow citizens for no other reason that the fact that they were seen reading an article or book that could be construed as being related to terrorism. 

Have the terrorists won?  Surely.  One morning in 2001 caused a  ripple effect that this country is still reeling from.  They are still winning as is evidenced by the reaction this past week.  We are still dwelling on that morning.  We can't let it go even after 10 years.  Nine years before I was born the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  We let that go.  Let's let the attacks of September 11, 2001 go as well.  It is done.  It can't be taken back. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

We Always Thank the Veterans for Having Saved our Freedom

I posted my opinion on Facebook the other day, that the 4th is for celebrating our Independence from England and the creation of this country. It is not Veteran's Day, Memorial Day or Armed Forces Day. These are the days we recognize our military veterans. It seems that at every turn, someone is thanking veterans and currently serving military for our freedom. When I think back, I think of all of those military servicemen and women who have given their lives at the command of the politicians, I realize that most did not die to preserve freedom. They were convinced that was why they were there, but were they really "preserving" our freedom?

We reconcile all of those deaths with the preserving of freedom, because we don't want to admit that most died in vain. Most recently, of course, the thousands, who were maimed and died in Iraq and Afghanistan, were not preserving freedom. There was absolutely no reason to have attacked Iraq. We went into Afghanistan to capture or kill Bin Laden. We failed and many have died there for no real reason other than politics.

Vietnam was not about freedom. It was originally about French colonialism, and the U.S. was drawn to it because Ho Chi Minh sought help from China, after the U.S. turned him away at the end of WWII. Eisenhower and his minions came up with the Domino Theory to justify U.S. involvement in what turned out to be nothing more than a civil war, which we eventually lost. Thousands more U.S. soldiers died in vain.

WWII was about fighting for freedom. WWI, probably wasn't. The Spanish American war was about imperialism on our part and it was the Hearst Newspapers' and others' "Yellow Journalism" that brought the U.S. into that war. It was about acquiring territory. No fighting and dying for freedom there.

It could be said that the American Civil War was about freedom. It certainly was about preserving the country and it's Union. Had the U.S. government failed in the preservation of the Union, alliances with other countries on the part of the south and it's lack of natural resources, could have ultimately destroyed the United States.

The various Indian Wars, and we do recognize the dead from these wars on Memorial Day, were nothing more than the conquest of the United States by the United States Government. Many soldiers died, but did they die for freedom? I think not.

Thousands of U.S. soldiers have died around the world in conflicts in which we have become involved. Most probably didn't die for our freedom. They died because some politicians decided that they should die for our own best interests, whatever they may have been.

I am a cynic. I know that. I am also a product of the 60's and the Vietnam War era. I still have a hard time cozying up to the military. It is a necessary evil. We have to have it to maintain our sovereignty. Should we recognize those, who have died for this country. Of course. It takes nothing but sheer courage to walk onto a battlefield and lay down your life for what you think is right. It takes even more courage to do it, when you have no choice, and you know that you are risking your life, not for freedom per say, but because the pols have decided to sacrifice you for their perceived ideals. Nothing should be taken away from these courageous men and women, who join the military and willingly go where they are sent and take up arms against another country or group. Let's just not always say they are fighting for our freedom, because, often, they clearly are not. ...and let's leave July 4th to celebrate the birth of our country.

Friday, May 20, 2011

OK, Which is it? Are the Dead Already There or Are They Going Tomorrow at 6 p.m.?

Harold Camping, the aged, self-styled preacher in California, has meticulously calculated the end of the world to be tomorrow at 6 p.m. An earthquake is to begin in New Zealand and travel through Asia and Europe and around the world. At that time, the dead will be raised, and, along with the living, taken to Heaven. Of course the only ones taken will be true believers, whoever they are. The rest of us will be left to make the best of things.

There is one thing that I have never understood about the "rapture" and the end of the world, when the dead will be raised and the living taken to Heaven. At every funeral that I have ever attended, and after the death of a loved one, everyone, including the preachers, always talks about how the deceased is already "sitting at the right hand of God." A week later the same preacher will be asking whether you will be ready, when the rapture comes and the dead arise to go to Heaven.

I have always heard the expression, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Which is it?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Dr. King's Message Still Resonates

A friend posted this quote on Facebook tonight from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

So appropriate for the events of the last 24 hours. As I watched the coverage last night of people celebrating in front of the White House, I couldn't help but think about the day after the September 11 attacks. Extremists were celebrating in the streets in the Middle East. How sad that we Americans have no more class than that. Osama Bin Laden was a monster, but why do we celebrate his death? He doesn't deserve to be acknowledged in any way, even in death.

The fact remains that there are still many of his ilk waiting for their chance to avenge his death on our soil. There is nothing to celebrate, and those who celebrate only stir the blood or our enemies. "Hate cannot drive out hate..."

No Silly Grin, No "Mission Accomplished"

Osama Bin Laden was killed in an apparent fire fight in Pakistan. He has been sought for twenty years for his masterminding of terror throughout the world. I just read that he was buried within 24 hours according to Islamic tradition. The President made the announcement last night about 11:30 p.m. with no silly grin and a "we got him." There was no gloating "Mission Accomplished" photo op on an aircraft carrier. A simple, short professional statement was all that was required.

There will be criticism of the President from his Republican opponents. He didn't show emotion. He didn't spout nationalistic rhetoric. Islamic tradition was followed, instead of mocked. There will be conspiracy theories. No body, no Bin Laden. No long form death certificate. It was a publicity stunt, and he is still alive and prepared to kill. The list goes on and on.

This "war" on terrorism isn't over by a long shot. There will be others to take his place. In fact there are already others in place. More than likely there will be reprisals. It may take a while for them to put a plan in place to do great harm to this country, but they will try it. We can only hope that our country's counter terrorism people stay alert and ready.

The United States is wise to tone down the official rhetoric. The celebrations in the street are unfortunate. I think back to similar celebrations that have taken place in the Middle East and how they have infuriated extremist Americans. The same will be true for the supporters of Bin Laden. The President was wise to demonstrate professionalism and strong leadership with his demeanor last night. He was also wise to ensure that Islamic traditions were followed in the disposal of Bin Laden's body. Respect for a world religion that has many American followers and many U.S. supporters around the globe is wise. Nothing turns a religious people off, like showing disrespect for their religious traditions.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Arizona Does it Again, GA to Follow, I'm Sure

The Arizona state senate has passed a "birther" bill with Donald Trump's blessing. Fortunately, it is Arizona that is leading the country, now, in Neanderthal legislation, but I'm sure my state will jump on the bandwagon in the next legislative session. It just passed an "Arizona style" immigration bill, designed to run Latinos out of the state and bankrupt hundreds of businesses. The next move will be to step on the birther bandwagon.

The bill under consideration now by the Arizona House, is so bizarre it could only have been dreamed up by those of the "birther" ilk. From the "Phoenix New Times:" "They don't call Arizona the "meth lab of Democracy" for nothing -- where else could a lack of foreskin prove citizenship?" This bill actually has, as an option for "proof of citizenship," a circumcision certificate. How does this prove citizenship? Who knows? There are other options of course. A long form birth certificate, a postpartum record or an early census record. As the Times points out, if all else fails, the candidate can expose himself to the election board.

Since Georgia seems to be mimicking Arizona, the hotbed of craziness, it can only be a matter of time before someone introduces such a bill in my state. Lord knows after the session, which just ended, it is obvious that the Georgia legislature is perfectly capable of wasting the taxpayers' money and time on a mindless bill. Yet, such a bill would be popular in Georgia. Republican voters here are so easily led like sheep to the slaughter. A relative told me the other day, "there must be something to this birth certificate thing or they wouldn't keep bringing it up." Of course he was watching Donald Trump on FAUX News at the time of the discussion. Ignorance abounds.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

GA Republicans Can't Escape Their Ingrained Trend Toward Failure

The disastrous Georgia legislative session is almost at an end. Since the GOP took over the state in 2000, Georgia has been on a downhill slide as Republicans began to methodically take apart all that had been built. Typically, they began to chip away at the public school system and environmental laws and regulations. They appointed inexperienced people to lead government departments, about which they knew nothing. Having suddenly become the lead party in a one party state, they were all hugs and kisses as they celebrated their new found power.

It has taken them eight years to remember how capable they are of shooting themselves in the proverbial foot. For years they stood on the brink of winning the governor's office, but they could never get past the inevitable self destruction. This past election seemed to have been their shining moment. They managed to win more seats in both houses of the legislature. They added more constitutional offices to their booty as a Republican Attorney General, Labor Commissioner, and Insurance Commissioner assumed office.

Given the fact that this past election was a typical southern reaction to an African-American President the GOP was also able to put a large number of known ne'er do wells in office. The new Governor was named one of the 15 most corrupt members of Congress in early 2010 by a non-partisan watchdog group. Before charges could be brought, he resigned to run for Governor. The Lt. Governor, already known to be infinitely corrupt, was re-elected, and his fellow Republicans immediately stripped him of his powers over the state Senate. The Speaker of the House, having replaced a man who resigned in disgrace, took a lobbyist paid trip to Germany with his family over the Thanksgiving holiday. The list goes on and on, but I don't have time nor space to dedicate to such embarrassment.

The two big accomplishments of the legislative session were to have been immigration and tax "reform." The tax "reform" drawn up by a tax reform commission, appointed by the previous governor, turned out to be anything but reform. With little study and thought by the legislators a terribly regressive bill hit the floor, which placed high taxes on services heretofore untaxed, removed mortgage interest deductions from income taxes, cut income taxes a small amount and increased the state deficit by over 400 million dollars. It was well on its way to passage, herded quickly along by legislative leaders. Suddenly an Ivy League educated economist legislator in the Democratic Party put a monkey wrench in their plans by showing how badly the bill would hurt the middle class and cut taxes on the upper class and corporations. Typical Republican voodoo economics. Needless to say, the bill died last week after two weeks of heavy emails and letters to legislators from "we the people." The GOP, today, blamed the Georgia State University's nationally known economics department for the failure of the bill. As usual, it will not acknowledge that its incompetence and poor economic policies are to blame.

The other shining accomplishment was to be an "Arizona styled" immigration "reform" bill, meant to drive immigrants, illegal or otherwise, from the state with the usual racial profiling. The fact that the Arizona bill has been held up by federal judges and is probably unconstitutional did not deter these zealots from their appointed goals. Bravely they strode forward ready to take federal responsibilities as their own and save Georgia from the feared immigrants. Wait, enter, stage left, the business and farming communities. They have hit the legislature with the cold, hard facts that their businesses will either fail or lose millions due to the "reform" bill. At this point, in the waning days of the session, the bill teeters on the brink of failure.

Finally, a couple of weeks ago a prominent GA State Senator and Democrat, introduced legislation to restore the Lt. Governor's powers, a move aimed at stirring the rivalries between the Lt. Governor and his enemies. It produced much confusion right in the middle of the tax "reform" debate. This past week a 55 year old female GOP activist began sending emails to GOP legislators that were very critical of the Lt. Governor and his supporters. They engaged an Internet specialist, who discovered that the activist and the GOP Senate Majority Whip shared the same IP address. A number of searches turned up nothing under the name of the person, who had said she was leaving the state to take care of her sick mother. Apparently, the Majority Whip is either a cross dresser or has been posing as a female activist on line.

Tune in again soon, dear readers to follow the continuing saga of a group of children, posing as a political party. Can it get any more bizarre? Oh yes. Yes it can, and it will. Sadly the people of GA will pay and pay dearly because there is little chance in the current political climate that the voters of GA will elect honest, law abiding citizens of reasonable intelligence to political office. That option was there in the recent election and it was turned aside.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Oh, Miss Scarlett, We Must Fight the Kenyan and Secession is the Only Answer

Last night after a Civil War lecture an acquaintance told me afterward that we, presumably the South, should secede again. In fact, he said, it is almost inevitable. That state's rights thing, he mused. I had to laugh, and that did not set well with him. He had just heard about secession, as it took place in our local county. He heard the list of reasons for secession, but he settled on something he referred to as states rights and immediately equated 1861 with today. He completely missed the discussion of options open to the southern states in addition to secession. It didn't occur to him that secession might not have been the correct choice.

He had not taken into consideration the inevitable outcome of that conflict and the devastation it wrought upon his ancestors and his "beloved" south. He missed the two common denominators that fed the fire as they feed all wars: money and power. The South had a landed gentry that was caught up in the tragedy of slavery. Slavery gave that socio-economic class the two things it wanted most: money and power. The loss of slaves meant a loss of power, both political and economic. These power moguls whipped unsuspecting southerners into a frenzy of a devastating conflict that left thousands of dead on the battlefields of this country and ultimately destroyed that which they so desperately wanted to save.

Should modern day southerners fall prey to the rantings of right wing extremists, who clamour for power and money, the results would be the same. This time it would be even worse. Simply the loss of Federal assistance programs would devastate the south. Social Security, Medicare, federal funding for law enforcement, medical facilities, emergency services, roads, veterans benefits... The list goes on and on.

Then there are the parallels with 1861. Few raw materials and little manufacturing would place the South at the mercy of foreign imports, which in the modern U.S. would be virtually impossible to obtain. Then there is the inevitable military action. Imagine a military conflict where the states had to complete with the United States military. The lost of life would be unbelievable. It would be a very short lived conflict to be sure. I don't think most southerners for all of their bluster would have the stomach for it. There was a lot of bluster in 1861 as well. It did not take long for them to figure that it was not going to be the pushover their leaders had promised.

No, secession is a folly. As in 1861, there is no real reason for it. No one's human rights are being trampled on. We live in a very free society with with a lifestyle so far ahead of most of the world it would be total stupidity to destroy it at the whim of a few power brokers, who are so far out of touch with reality that they seen an enemy behind every tree. Then there is that African-American, Muslim, born in Kenya President. He is the nightmare many southerners have been fearing since they lost the Great War.

In 1861, when slavery was king and African-Americans were considered to be no more than a draft animal to be worked, sold, and used to maintain a lifestyle, there was a great fear that slaves would somehow gain control and wreak havoc on their captors. Southerners feared that day when the Federal Government would free them, and they fought a war, ostensibly, against that day. Now one of them is President, an inevitability that southerners have feared for generations. It is now time to throw off the chains of the African-American led U.S. Government and yearn for that day when cotton was king and Scarlett held court on the veranda with a mint julep in her hand and her gallant admirers gathered around her before they went off to save the Confederacy.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The "God Language"

A friend posted the following on Facebook today:

"We may say all the right things and have the God-language down. We may sound very compassionate and very holy. But our true self is displayed not by our words or even our intentions. Our true self is displayed by our actions." Steve Scalici

It set me to thinking about something that has been bugging me for some time. The "God Language." It seems that we are besieged these days by God language. Everywhere I turn people are talking the "language." God does this and God does that. God causes this and God causes that. God saves this and God saves that. Athletes point at the sky and kneel after scoring a touchdown or riding a bull, or winning a game. Just yesterday young NASCAR driver, Trevor Bayne, thanked God for winning the Daytona 500. I have Facebook friends who never post anything but religious sayings, and their friends respond in a like manner with more God language. Everybody is praying for everybody. Kind of makes me wonder if they do anything else.

There is a siege afoot. It has reached epidemic proportions. Are all of these people really that good, or are they simply playing a game? Do they mean it, or has it become nothing more than a habit? Do they do it to fit in, or are they covering for some really bad behavior? In the case of politicians they do it to get votes, and they are often covering up some nasty habits. My guess is that it works the same with the average person. Some are very sincere and it shows. Others are simply playing a game. My late mother used to say that people who wear their religion on their sleeves "made her tired." I agree Mom. They make me tired as well, and I am getting very, very fatigued.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Foreign Policy Disaster

Imagine if you will, the Tea-publicans in charge of the U.S. government at this time. Egyptians, fed up with the corrupt dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak, revolt, demanding democratic reforms. U.S. President, Sarah Palin, reacts, saying that a democratic Egypt means an Islamic republic and a deadly danger to Israel. She immediately doubles U.S. military aid to Egypt, urging Mubarak to shoot to kill to put down the rebellion. She urges military readiness in Israel and urges that country to move its military forces to the Egyptian border to be prepared to assist Mubarak as he puts down the rebellion.

What had been a movement to bring democracy to Egypt with the many sects and religions working together to bring reform quickly dissolves into a nasty civil war. The Egyptian military begins to massacre and imprison citizens. Armed militias develop, assisted by militants from around the Middle East, who are looking for a foothold of power in that country. Mubarak asks for and receives U.S. military assistance to put down the uprising. Soon the United States is once again embroiled in a costly military action in the Middle East and hatred of this country rises to a fever pitch.

It sounds crazy, but with the Tea-publicans in charge and with their total lack of regard for diplomacy, it is very plausible. George Bush's unnecessary war in Iraq could pale in comparison to where we might find ourselves with the loonies from Tea-publican land in charge. Already, they have ridiculed the President for his support of democracy, something they talk a lot about, but apparently have no real desire to see unless it somehow involves spreading Christianity. Their fear of Islam and their desire to spread Christianity by force far outweighs common sense.

Teabaggers fight windmills on a daily basis from passing state measures to outlaw Sharia Law to seeing demon Islam in the Egyptian uprising. They have continued to support Mubarak throughout these past couple of weeks, eschewing their talk of democracy in favor of their Islamaphobia. Now that democracy may be a reality in Egypt they are turning their venom fully on the anti-Christ Muslim, Obama. It is so easy for them in their warped world view to see his support of democracy as a support of Islamic fundamentalism. Frankly, it is quite scary to think of them in power and running the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon. I fear that Cheney and Bush would be Mickey Mouse and Goofy, compared to a Tea-publican-run U.S. Government. Instead of saying "God bless America," we would find ourselves pleading, " God save America."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Today's Liberals VS Today's Conservatives

I saw this on a friend's Facebook page today. Although many of those who fought for the things we take for granted would not be considered liberals today by a thinking person, certainly the teabaggers and their ilk would consider them so. One would not be able to get one of them to read more than a line of this without a violent explosion.

A Day in the Life of Joe Conservative

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance -- now Joe gets it, too.

He prepares his morning breakfast: bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for the laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks on the government-provided sidewalk to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment checks because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It is noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime. Joe also forgets that in addition to his federally subsidized student loans, he attended a state funded university.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards to go along with the taxpayer funded roads.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans.

The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved conservatives have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

--Author is Anonymous

Monday, January 17, 2011

MLK Today?

In the wake of the terrible shooting in Tucson nine days ago and on this day in which we celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. there is much talk about his philosophy of peace and nonviolence. A friend just posted his "I have a dream.." speech on Facebook and rued the fact that he isn't here today. It got me to thinking. What if he were still alive today?

In my humble opinion he would continue to be much maligned as he was in the 1960s, both for the color of his skin and because of his views on non-violence. Were he alive today, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Sarah Palin and others would call him a racist and rant and rave against him on a regular basis. He would be called a wimp because of his views on non-violence. They would say that violence is necessary to achieve their goals. It is necessary to continue the wars that they love so much. He would be tagged a socialist, a communist, and all of the other misused "ists" that they can come up with. He would be characterized as a "trouble maker," stirring up African Americans, Latinos, and other minorities against whites. In short he would still be a target.

This country has in many ways returned to the racist, violent days of the 1950's and 1960's. In those days the right wing press railed against integration and African Americans on a daily basis. Today it has broadened its horizons to include gays, Latinos, Muslims, and other non-Christians. Today its rants reach many more people because of the Internet and cable news. Were Martin Luther King to return to this earth on his birthday, he would find great changes have taken place, but in many ways things are still the same.