Life Ain’t Fair. I’m the Proof

life-aint-fairThis is not up for debate. It’s not. It’s a lesson to be learned by every single human being ever. It is beyond true. It’s so true, that it probably isn’t proven by the exception. I doubt there can be an exception because even if your life is perfect from start to finish, it has a finish.

Duh.

I knew a guy once who was obsessed with the idea that people who were undeserving often got rewarded. Actually, it wasn’t a tit-for-tat sort of thing so much as it was random reward unattached to random behavior, good or otherwise.

It fairly drives some folks crazy. It sure did him. People who “do everything right” get hugely annoyed when people who don’t “do everything right” seem to be happy. They want them to suffer. It’s like fundigelicals reminding us liberals that “if you don’t repent, you’ll go to hell”. They always smile when they say that, because they are very sure we won’t and so they can be happy knowing “we’ll get ours” come judgment day. They presume of course a judgment day.

It’s why the workers in the vineyard got so pissed when the boss paid the workers who only worked an hour the same as those that had worked a full day. “Unfair!!!” The boss said, “hey, what’s that got to do with you? You got what YOU bargained for didn’t ya?”

Some folks just can’t handle that. Which leads me to believe that they find “doing everything right” a major pain, and they don’t do it because it’s the right thing to do, but because they want the reward. So getting a reward for not doing everything right, might just mean that they won’t get a reward for doing everything right. Kind of puts a monkey wrench in the whole salvation thing don’t it?

It also makes God sort of insane.

Or?

Perhaps God sees things in a way that humans don’t. At least for all the literalists out there, the Bible suggests that God does see not as humans but as God. So perhaps, just perhaps, our assumptions of what is the “right thing to do” aren’t so clear. At least to the point that it might be better if we keep our damn mouths shut when we “disapprove” of what others are doing.

Not talking here folks about murder and abuse and other dictatorial behaviors, but more ambiguous things like gay marriage, and women’s health rights, and stuff like that. Unless you are a hard-nosed self-styled pope (meaning your interpretation of scripture is infallible until God tells you different), most of us concede that there’s a lot of grey in some social policy areas. If that is true, then we best not tell others how to behave regarding them I suspect.

In any case, I personally believe that everyone is “saved”, which makes it all unnecessary to bewail whether anyone is getting their just desserts or not, or being failed by their supreme deity in any way. Unlike the fundigelicals, I do not have to resort to “God’s ways are mysterious” and “God had some reason for inflicting me with this misery that I’ll understand some day.” If I do a good thing it’s because I want to, not because I NEED to.

It’s enough that “shit happens”.

For me at least.

I’m a decent enough person. Far from the best kind of person I can conceive of. I have plenty of people I know who are much better than I am. They are kinder for sure.

Case in point. I was getting blood work done a few weeks ago as part of a general updating of my health records. After slapping my inner arms and squeezing my upper arms to death trying to “pop up a vein”, the blood sucker said this: “Do they usually taking blood from your hand instead of your arm?”

I replied, “yeah, the one’s who can’t do the arm, do the hand”.

Now the Contrarian said that my mistake was in being snarky/sarcastic BEFORE I had properly secured the end of relationship with said person. After all, she still wielded the mighty needle when I dissed her. There is some truth to that observation.

So you see, I am a sarcastic, snarky, bitch type person when I’m (a) in a hurry (b) tired or (c) just damn well feel like it.

This served me quite well when I was a defense attorney. I could utter questions at cop or citizen with such jaw-dropping “and your mama too” sarcasm that I would often see a judge turn away suddenly to hide his snicker before the jury, while a prosecutor jumped out of his/her shorts to bellow “OBJECTION, ARGUMENTATIVE”. I of course would smile softly and whisper, “withdrawn”, as the witness shot daggers of ineffectual rage which of course all missed their target, for their mouths were forever silenced by the loudly following “NO FURTHER QUESTIONS!”

It probably serves me less well now. But it is who I am in the last analysis, and I always feel fairly fake and pretentious when I put on that “oh, no take all the time in the world packing my groceries. I can surely see that changing items in and out until one achieves the perfect fit, is the way it should be done” look on my face.

But back to the topic at hand. Reward.

Yes, I’m not a deserving person, I have a trail of bleeding bodies who all feel “abused” by my acidic tongue, to prove it, one that trails back at least to junior high.

But guess what? My life has turned out fairly wonderfully from my point of view. And nobody else’s point of view matters. And that really galls the hell out of a few people I know. And ya know, that sort of makes me feel even happier.

As they say, a life lived well is the best revenge.

I AM My Sister’s Keeper

womengloriousAs with so much with me, a number of widely disparate notions traverse my synaptic receptors before it dawns on me–the greater issue–that is.

Thus it starts with the insanely stupid Hobby Lobby decision, brought to us by five Catholic men who have probably long-since stopped depositing seed in the fertile womb of any woman married to or otherwise.

A perusal of but a few of the rags that pass for “right-wing” blather turns up gems such as “you want to have your fun and make me pay for it”, “keep your legs together or pay for it yourself”, or this upside-down logic, “if you can’t afford contraception, you can’t afford to have a baby anyway!”

Hey there brain-dead XY’er, umm, it seems that you fundamentally misunderstand some rather basic stuff. One,  if women are using contraception to “have fun” well guess who they are having fun with? Second, contraception coverage under an insurance plan is not a “gift”, it is a benefit owed to the employee in lieu of a bigger paycheck. Taxpayers have nothing to do with it bozo. Third, umm, under this theory why are you still getting your I-can’t-get-it-up-without-ya Viagra in your insurance plan? If you want to have fun, pay for it? And fourth, uh, contraception is the way you avoid a pregnancy you cannot afford stupid.

I am post-menopausal, yet this fight is my fight. For I am a woman. For I am a human being.

Some many years ago, when I still worked for a living, I had a work colleague. “B” as we shall call him was an African-American male and law schooled at U of M. “B” was inordinately proud of his U of M alumni status and wore a lapel pin announcing his alumni status virtually every day.

One day, “B” wandered into the law library (which contained a lunch room at one end) where a number of us (mostly women, Black and white) were discussing affirmative action and how we all were grateful for the opportunities it had given us as both women and women of color to advance in various professions. Added to that were the men and women before us who had labored on our behalf to ensure that we as young women had more opportunities than their generation.

“B” was asked if he too were grateful for the boost given him in his pursuit of a better life. He exploded in a vehement denial of being such a recipient. He got where he was, “by his own talents and abilities” and was beholden to no one for his success. We all were shocked, attempted to argue with him, but B left the room quickly in disgust at our suggestion.

I am retired and no longer work. Yet this fight to level the playing field is my fight.  For I am a woman. For I am a human being.

A friend just a day ago, talked about how she and her family had needed food stamps and other forms of public assistance to get by for a time in the past. All who know her, know she is a hard-working mom, a dedicated wife, a thoroughly responsible person. She puts a face on all “those” people that the Right so snidely likes to look down upon as “takers” and as developing a culture of expectation that the government will take care of them. She belies that picture assuredly.

I can echo that story by one of about my housekeeper who is struggling, working from sun-up to sun-down to raise six children all the while in the midst of a divorce from their father who continues to refuse to pay one penny toward their care as a way to punish her for putting him out for his drinking, drugging, and abusive ways. She receives what aid she can from where she can, and we struggle to find better ways to help her.

I am not receiving assistance, and if all goes as it seems to be, I never shall. But this fight is my fight. For I am a woman. For I am a human being.

How does this all tie together?

Only in one respect. Read Matthew 25.

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous* will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ 40i And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41* j Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42k For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ 44* Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ 45He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’

There are many who say that we are genetically wired to care about each other. Certainly humans are not meant to be alone like the cheetah or polar bear. We have found camaraderie and safety in numbers. We have sacrificed some independence, some freedom for the protection of those numbers. Somewhere in that movement from tribe to village to town and city, we have learned to care about the needs of others, not just ourselves. Beyond our concerns for the progeny we bear, we care for the old, and for the disabled.

Recently remains of a Down’s Syndrome child was found among early human burial remains. The skeleton suggests that rather than kill or expose these disabled babies, they were cared for until their natural death. Similarly we find the remains of elderly who certainly could not have survived without help from others.

From this we learn that the desire to care for each other is ancient. We seek to serve each other,  either by genetics or at the very least by the call of the most perfect prophet the world has known–Jesus Christ.

Unlike our Right-wing evangelicals who twist scripture to reflect a Jesus who counsels against government assistance, eschews the minimum wage, and Paul who taken out of context tells us that those who will not work will not eat, we respond to what is in our hearts and/or in our DNA, called to reflect that what we do to others we inevitably do to ourselves.

When I hear the voices of hate-bearing sanctimonious condemnation, when I listen to their explanation that we are “coddling” and “creating a dependence culture”, I am not sure what comes first to me, the tears of grief that people can drape themselves in the flag while waving the bible in order to hide from the world their true self-centered motives, distorting Christ and his sermon of empathy and love, or the flashes of red-hot anger that wish to explode in slapping such people across the face as hard as I can, watching the self-satisfied holier-than-thou smugness fade as the cheek brightens into a red imprint.

We do what is right because it is right, quite simply. Women as poor as they may be deserve as good health care as the CEO of GM. Everybody gets to where they are in life due to the helping hands of untold dozens if not tens of dozens, and lack of means is no definition of worthiness or lack of it. Dr. Ben Carson has become the darling of the Right with his claims that government assistance to the poor, is akin in some measure to a return to slavery. Well Dr. Carson was the recipient of plenty of that assistance as a child and young adult, and that assistance gave him the opportunity to study hard and do all the things he had to do to achieve great success. He did not do it alone and he would be the first to be offended had his mother or he been treated as something less than the kids who grew up in better circumstances.  How soon we forget from whence we have come.

How soon we fall victim to our own greed for the “good life” and turn our backs on all those who are left behind. How soon we forget that but for the “grace of God, go I”. How soon we twist self-righteous religiosity into some sort of club with which to bludgeon all those who don’t do as we say, while we do as we wish, crying out to God when caught, that we too are sinners, but somehow still not sinners like those awful others. 

So we will gladly pay a little more if it means that everyone has a decent minimum. Everyone should have a home, clothing, medical care, quality education, and a job at a fair and living wage. We will do it because we don’t see the world as them and us, but as we.  It is the human thing to do quite simply. And you will never dissuade us otherwise, though you may win a battle here and there. You will not win in the end, because

WE ARE BETTER THAN YOU ENVISION US AND YOU TO BE.

 

 

It Wasn’t THAT Long Ago. . . .

A little history seems in order.

right to vote Okay, so before we start, let’s get this straight. This is not an anti-male diatribe, much as you may think it is. There are damn well plenty of stupid women out there who have drunk the kool-aid and think women’s place is in the home, tending the kitchen, children and pets, in that order. The trouble is, the women who tell you that are ANYTHING BUT stay-at-homers themselves and even if they are, they are writing blogs, books, and preachin’ on social media that YOU should not be like them, but rather like the fantasy women they envision–pampered, protected, cared for, and wiper of runny noses all wearing that crisp peter pan-collared cotton frock and perfectly shined respectable two-inch pumps and pushing the vacuum with a free hand.

Whew. . . .

No this is against paternalism and all its ugly underbelly of psychological signals that tell the female gender that they are all they can be just by primping in front of the mirror and making very sure that that eyeliner is on straight and that lipstick is the latest fashion color of the season.

Ya see, I grew up in that tween place, on the cusp, able to see both shores as it were.

Women got the vote in 1920. My mother was born in ’26, so she grew up having it, though I must say, she pretty much used is as far as I can tell, as her husbands explained to her was right and good. But her mother came into her adulthood without it, my grandmother was born in ’01, so it impacted her most. I knew these women for whom the vote was a “new” thing,  but grew up knowing that voting was no different for me than for any guy I knew.

It was not until the 60’s, during the general period of awakening that lots of minorities were going through, least of all white males who were being conscripted to be the fodder in another war, but one this time that seemed to merit no one’s patriotic fervor, that we women began to learn of our own deeper oppression. We began to learn that it was not okay that our bodies were not our own to control, that we were not by “nature” relegated to certain types of jobs, and paid less in others simply because we were women.

We learned that there was much more to do in this journey to equality.

And we secured our right to control our bodies–in other words–to make mistakes just like men do with theirs.

And we worked hard to break through glass ceilings that prevented us from being fighter pilots, (if that’s what we wanted), neurosurgeons, police officers, firefighters,  and corporate CEO’s. And then we discovered that even when we got the jobs we didn’t get the pay, and we began that fight too.

Always with a certain segment of scared men and the women they controlled telling us that we were going against God, country, and well, nature itself.

womens_rights2Always with those who believed that as we gained our power to control our lives, theirs would somehow be diminished. Sharing is a hard lesson to learn.

They argued of course that women would become “just like men”, or worse, punish men in some Amazonian-driven lust for power themselves.

They argued that we would cry during tense negotiations with a Khrushchev and rain down upon America the nuclear holocaust that permeated the Cold War era.

They called us atheistic feminists and the spittle trickled down their chins, catching and rerouting through grizzled stubble, that they wiped away with grubby fingers still clutching ragged signs with misspelled words echoing their hate: Back to the kitchen you sluts!

But while these battles went on quietly across America with thousands of dedicated women, all the clamor died down, and life didn’t change a whole lot. We figured we were still on the journey, but life as we know it hadn’t stopped, and someday we would reach our goal of full integration and equality in America. Most of us thrived in a world that seemed increasingly equal to us.

And then along came the “IMMORAL MINORITY”  waving their bibles, and explaining to middle-aged white men who had failed in the great American dream to be great achievers, that women were the problem and not corporate greed. Women were and always were the problem ever since that bitch picked that apple off that tree and seduced God’s great creation Adam into sinning. Women were the problem.

And as the rich got richer and the poor got poorer and the great middle started to age and find that damn they weren’t much better off than their parents, some thing had to give. Corporate America became adept at focusing the blame on minorities, takers all. Suddenly, feminism became a dirty word again. Our enemies are mostly aging white men who feel left behind (damn that Rapture, where are you?). The feel and it’s certainly palpable at this point, emasculated by articulate, educated women.

Ask me about it. I belong to a forum of my old high school, and my wars always end up being against these male types (one of which actually said that he ended up calling me names because “I drove him to it.”), and women who believe that women were created to serve me according to their fine uneducated reading of certain pseudo-Pauline texts.  And invariably they block me, so I can read the their comments and they don’t have to respond to mine. Except that there are men on the forum who are just as liberal as I am, just as knowledgeable, and just as “in-your-face”, and they don’t get blocked. Why? Because men can argue with men, but women must be very careful to be properly respectful lest they be branded as “stupid” and “a troll” and “self-defined intellectual”. (I was once told that educated people were “pissants” all, by one tiny-penised patriarchal dope.)

So along comes Hobby Lobby and it’s claim that its corporate religiosity is being assaulted by requiring it “pay” for certain contraceptive methods it in its utter stupidity deems abortifacients, and the Feds have no right to make them offer same to their employees. There is so much wrong here that it’s sick. First, HL provided all these methods before they were picked as the “plaintiff” and then told, “damn, guys, you offer this stuff already!” Hobby Lobby owner Green claims “shit, I have no idea”. Hobby Lobby gets I would guess 80% of its inventory from China, a nation that makes abortion a national policy and until recently required it after one child. Hobby Lobby has a 401K retirement benefits package which includes owning shares of various big pharma companies which, you guessed it, manufacture all the abortifacients that HL moans about.

So the SCROTUS decided that corporate religious well-being trumps women’s rights to good health. Along with that, they decided that there can be no buffer zone between women trying to enter clinics that offer contraceptive care along with abortions and those who want to scream at them demanding that they “think again”.  Women seeking treatment at a PPH clinic must be within “spittin’ distance” of those who seek to turn them away.

Across America, Republican led legislatures make it hard if not impossible for poor women to get reproductive care of any kind by loading down clinics with regulations (aren’t Republicans against business regulation as a matter of principle?) that are so burdensome that they have to close.

And all this in the name of NOT ABORTING. When all of these restrictions do exactly the opposite.

Republicans in Congress vote down equal pay for women.

There is a line.

It has now been crossed.

We will not go back.

Vote in 2014 as if you life depends on it, because control of it is surely at stake.

Womenvote

 

 

 

 

Convincing Those Who are Oblivious

Malcom-X-Quote-oppressed-peopleI spend a lot of time thinking.

I write a lot about the things I’m thinking about.

People who think like me, read what I write, and they think it’s pretty okay.

People who don’t think like me, don’t read me, but if they did, they wouldn’t agree with me.

Which is curious, since much of what I think about and write about is pretty well substantiated by actual things called facts.

It would seem evident that my facts should trump your fact-less opinion. But it doesn’t. Because you dismiss my facts. You don’t even waste the time to think about them, you simple use your magic eraser and voilà they are gone.

My husband, the great thinker, The Contrarian, reminds me that people are on a continuum. People are not neatly packed into the left or right or middle. It’s all bleeding all over the place. But we are dealing with averages after all.

“Recent converging studies are showing that liberals tend to have a larger and/or more active anterior cingulate cortex, or ACC—useful in detecting and judging conflict and error—and conservatives are more likely to have an enlarged amygdala, where the development and storage of emotional memories takes place.  More than one study has shown these same results, . . . .”

This has been known for some time. It ends up suggesting that these truisms are mostly true for liberals:

Liberals, according to this model, would be likely to engage in more flexible thinking, working through alternate possibilities before committing to a choice. Even after committing, if alternate contradicting data comes along, they would be more likely to consider it.

On the other hand, conservatives respond rather differently:

“. . .[W]hen faced with an ambiguous situation, conservatives would tend to process the information initially with a strong emotional response. This would make them less likely to lean towards change, and more likely to prefer stability. Stability means more predictability, which means more expected outcomes, and less of a trigger for anxiety.”

You see the dilemma?

Liberals continue to pepper conservatives with facts, and conservatives respond with concerns about values and things that affect them personally. They give you anecdotal information that they see as equally valuable in how they should respond.

Case in point. I know a person who is conservative and a fundamentalist. She is opposed to the ACA because it stems from President Obama, and pretty much is in agreement with all the known Tea Party positions regarding, abortion, gay marriage, guns, and so forth. I’ve never seen her seriously out of alignment with them on any issue.

At one point in her life, her health situation became serious enough that she applied for Medicaid. She was denied as “not eligible”. She self-reported that a “neighbor” couple got Medicaid however. She then went on to explain that God saw fit to have her denied because obviously He had other plans for her.

Let’s try to reconcile this. First, this woman has quoted her pastor as approving statements that call the American poor “akin to the rabble of Rome”. Her remark about her neighbors getting their Medicaid seemed offered as an example of  people who got what they didn’t deserve at least as much as she did. Yet, her application for Medicaid doesn’t define her as a “taker,” because of course she felt that in her situation, she “deserved” it.

However, when Medicaid denied her, that would mean she was not deserving, and thus one of those who was trying to get what she didn’t deserve, thus a taker. Since she cannot see herself as a taker, she is a qualified applicant denied what she deserved by a loving God who had other plans for her.

That’s the way you twist the world to fit your beliefs. People who get government assistance are still takers because they are not deserving, while good people like herself are denied. God has a plan and someday she will understand.

The example is instructive. It will do no good for me to  give her facts about how well Obamacare is actually doing now. She will not be impressed with knowing that in several states, competition between carriers has actually doubled, making it likely that premiums will come down even more in ensuing years. Eight million plus new insured will not do the trick either, since they are like her neighbor, people who shouldn’t get it, and could get their own if they would only get a job.

She might, on the other hand, be persuaded that it’s the Christian thing to do, that a healthier country means that everyone will benefit in myriad ways. Playing to her sense of Christian charity should work. But alas it does not to the fundamentalist. Jesus did in fact make it most clear that we were “our brother’s keeper” and he again and again emphasized to his disciples that here brother meant the truly marginalized. His examples of the marginalized he considered “brothers” were people of other nationalities,  victims of disease, women, those in employment to the oppressors, and sexually active persons.

Some how Jesus’ teachings about carrying for the prisoner, the sick, the hungry, the unclothed, got mixed up. I would take another post to untease the tangle of Pauline and pseudo-Pauline doctrine that is both misunderstood and mis-applied to these teachings to get where we are today with the evangelical right, namely that government should not proffer  programs for the needy, instead, they, the evangelicals should, so they can weed out all those who are not deserving, i.e., the lazy, the takers, the rabble, reserving charity for the “truly needy” which is essentially someone who has suddenly through no fault of their own, “fallen on hard times”, from which, if given just a little help for a short while, they will recover and once again be productive citizens.

That leaves us with appealing to self-interest and values, but here too we run into trouble. Let’s take the issues of food stamps and a living wage as examples. Regularly we are told that food stamps are misused by uncounted numbers of people who are “too lazy” to work. (Facts are to the contrary of course, but facts don’t matter.)  These people are taking advantage of “us” through taxes when they could just as well get a job.  But on the other hand, conservatives are essentially against any minimum wage, arguing that it impinges on an employers right to pay what he/she deems appropriate, and that such a law interferes with free markets. These are values conservatives hold dear: working and free markets.

However, if you wish people to work, but allow business owners to play unfair low wages, doesn’t that put us into the food stamp business? Logic says that if you want people to work you need to pay them enough to care for themselves and their families. So you should support a requirement of a fair living wage.

But again, logic is not the point. Conservatives can and do hold opinions on things that are in considerable conflict. Remember, it is liberals who have to reconcile conflicting beliefs, not conservatives.

While it is easy to say that the way to change the mind of a conservative is to forget facts and give them arguments that appeal to their self-interest and values, such is not always possible as we can see, or at least it requires a great deal more finesse than one would think.

It would seem then, that the answer lies in education. Only by teaching our youngsters that the mind has a way of creating reality to suit its own comfort zone, can we set about the business of giving them the tools that will allow them to avoid the pitfalls of their own predilections.

In this no doubt liberals also have something to learn. The focus  in this essay has been on explaining why liberals can’t change the minds of conservatives with facts. But they too have positive points to contribute. In a stable compromising world,  we could do what we have mostly always done, bring out the best in each other.

What is most important to remember, is that no individual can be utterly pigeon-holed by this analysis. We change over time as well. We do have free will, and the ability to overcome our own negative tendencies. These are generalities across a spectrum. Genetic predispositions are just that, predispositions, over come again and again by serious study, and life experiences. We would do well to remember that.

(Do read the link–it gives a lot more detail and links to further study)

What’s Up With That?

esq-cruz-illo-0314-uzEqTz-xlgNever let it be said that a college education isn’t a good thing.  But it does not mean, gentle folks, that everyone that secures one comes out, well, . . . educated.

Some come out with better talents at manipulating the world they hope to rule one day.

Case in point is Canadian Ted Cruz, that stalwart Haaaavard educated douche from Texas whose daddy is still quite certain that President Obama was born in Kenya, which apparently is something less good than being born in either Canada or Cuba as the case may be.

It would be inappropriate to compare Ted to another well-known demagogue, so we won’t, but gosh Ted could give any of a host of world ogres a run for their money when it comes to using white-hot rhetoric in attempts to raise the blood of the great stupid hoards.

Truth? Not so much. Truth is not the providence of a demagogue; not that truth has no place at all in propagandizing. It does, but a minor part at best. Truth becomes the kernel which is then popped all out of its original proportions in order to reach the goal of making black white and thus creating the “new” rallying cry of the duped.

My very own Senator, Tom Udall recently introduced a constitutional amendment before the Senate which would try to put a stop the abuses that stem from Citizens United. As you recall, the SCOTUS held in that case that corporations were “people” for purposes of the 1st Amendment and that they could spend unlimited money denouncing or supporting various candidates for office.

This led to the creation of “super Pacs” which collected millions of dollars which were funneled to various campaigns supporting various candidates. The one run by Karl Rove controlled over $300 million dollars.

Of course, we all agree (or at least most of us) that such behavior amounts to actually a very few people being able to buy elections for candidates who we must conclude feel rather beholden to their benefactors. Money has become “speech”. Indeed in the McCutcheon case, limits on the total amount an individual could spend on election campaigns were removed. All agree, that the average person, as a result has less and less a voice in these matters, being unable, even collectively to meet these staggering amounts of money, all designed to elect those who will be favorable to one’s desires.

One must remember that Citizens United involved a film, one made about Hillary Clinton, which was in all respects nothing more than a campaign tool used by the Right to smear Mrs. Clinton. That was the argument made, that the film was funded by corporate funds for one reason and one reason only, to affect the election against Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Ted has used this one fact, that it was a film to make the grandiose argument that the Democratic party intends to vote to eliminate the 1st Amendment.

He argues because this was a film (which has nothing to do with the decision at all, but is merely the vehicle for the principle embedded within it), that the very next thing to happen will be that Democrats will decide that you can’t read this particular book, view that particular movie, or go to that particular play.

Watch the video, and listen to the audible gasp by his Family Values audience as he announces this draconian fairytale. He then goes on to tell the audience that government wishes the authority to “muzzle you” if it doesn’t like your speech.

Of course this is not true at all. It is directed solely at the concept that a corporation can be a person with a political agenda, free to spend millions to do exactly what Ted decries as the eventual outcome–muzzling you. In fact it’s to keep your voice valuable, that the amendment is offered.

This all becomes the more sweet when we recognize that indeed Cruz is arguing that corporations are people in his view, a concept he shares with Willard Romney, who found that people were not really happy with his refrain, “corporations are people too, my friends.”

Indeed the irony is delicious here.

Ted is a dominionist by religious flavor, another of those Christianist offshoots that create their own theories about “what the bible means”. Ted’s daddy is a preacher who preaches this stuff through his ministry Purifying Fire International.

This ideology calls on anointed “Christian” leaders to take over the state and make the goals and laws of the nation “biblical.” It seeks to reduce government to organizing little more than defense, internal security and the protection of property rights. It fuses with the Christian religion the iconography and language of American imperialism and nationalism, along with the cruelest aspects of corporate capitalism.

Note that the ideology calls for “anointed Christian leaders”. Well as you may have guessed, Ted is one of those “anointed“. And if you are at all unsure about that, you need but ask his daddy:

Rafael Cruz indicated that his son was among the evangelical Christians who are anointed as “kings” to take control of all sectors of society, an agenda commonly referred to as the “Seven Mountains” mandate, and “bring the spoils of war to the priests”, thus helping to bring about a prophesied “great transfer of wealth”, from the “wicked” to righteous gentile believers.

So what we have here folks, is a man who is lying and making ridiculous claims about the Democrats being Fahrenheit 451 Democrats, determined to gut the 1st Amendment right to free speech, while at the same time, declaring that he has every intention of gutting the separation of church and state, and the right to freedom of religion, from the very same Amendment!

It pays to know what both hands are doing.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that perhaps the son doesn’t follow his father’s beliefs. He does folks, he certainly does.

Now, I recognize that normal people get Ted Cruz. The see him for what he is, and I have little or no doubt that he will fail miserably in his attempt to gain the GOP presidential nomination. You simply cannot hide all this stuff. It’s too well attested to by video alone.

But the antics of Ted serve to continually stir the pot of the crazy element in this country and that is a dangerous element, and becoming more so. One has only to examine the insane “open carry” nuts in Texas who even looked crazy finally to the NRA. Of course the NRA backed down, and that is even more worrisome. There is a level of crazy in Amerika that is increasingly willing, or so it seems, to use violence to achieve their goals however they articulate them beyond, “we don’t wanna pay for that” and  “we don’t want them people around us”.

Most will mess their pants at the first shot fired. But I’m afraid all too many are just nuts enough to bunker down and begin a “war”, one that will take no prisoners, but will mow down anyone who appears to be “not one of them”.

To the degree that Cruz and his ilk continually rile these folks up with blatant propaganda lies, we must all be very afraid.

 

 

Undoing Christianist Drivel One Knot at a Time

Visigoths Sack RomeIt’s been a week of people pissin’ me off.

Not that my personal life has been that way. No, thankfully, it’s been rather grand, with the kitchen redo going splendidly and my beloved and I agreeing on most every sub-step of that adventure. Who woulda guessed we would agree on faucets!

But oh, the lame-minded Christianists have been pushing my button once again, but given their IQ limitations, what could one expect.

I also garnered another bit of info that stands to reason given their lacking abilities as well.

So let’s get to setting some records straight.

Facebook memes are funny things as I’ve stated before. Some are quite accurate, but a whole lot tend to seem superficially so but fail in the deeper contemplation.

Sometimes, they are blatant lies from start to finish.

A Christianist “friend” of mine on Facebook (you know the term I trust–one who proclaims Jesus as their one and only but uses the bible and their faith to justify hating who they already hate/fear/are jealous of, etc. [Facebook "friend" being a loose term at best for people who read your shit and whose stuff you are subjected to as is the case here]), posted a meme that on its face was silly, stupid, untrue, hateful, and most UnChristian-like in every single respect.

The pastor of this “friend” allegedly  quoted from some other dude, something to this effect: (I have to paraphrase because the said Christianist when confronted with actual facts, deleted the entire meme from her wall rather than allow any of her “friends” to see actual facts.)

“Rome had a lot of “rabble” who were taken care of by the Roman government. But instead of being satisfied, they just demanded more and more, until finally Rome was bankrupt and then this rabble sacked the city, which was, as we all know, the end of Rome. America too has it’s “rabble”, which was corrected identified as the 47% by that paragon of goodness (my hyperbole) Mr. Romney, who was utterly vilified for stating what turned out to be the truth. Now we are saddled with a government (Obama of course) which has allowed/created a (1) housing crisis (2) runaway debt through over spending (3) a huge deficit (4) Obamacare and (4) insufficient sun on Sunday! (okay I added that). But the rabble won’t stop demanding and of course the inference is clear–so will go the way of America just like Rome.”

Oh where to begin.

First of all, pretty much all that Rome did for the citizens of Rome was provide bread to those who were starving, along with olive oil and wine. The only other thing provided was entertainment in the guise of the circuses. Rome was not sacked by its urban poor, although surely there were uprisings from time to time but these were not threatening to Rome’s existence.

Rome fell through a series of invasions by outsiders called “barbarians” (some of whom were no doubt the very ancestors of idiots like the above who don’t know history at all). Does the name Visigoth mean anything to you? How about the Vandals?

So it is utterly false to claim that the “rabble” destroyed Rome because they weren’t given what they wanted.

What was this “rabble” of Rome? They were in fact urban poor, citizens of the state but with no land, and no ability to make a living. Sort of like people in the US who have lost their jobs when their company chose to build a cheap factory overseas and employ cheap labor. Sort of like people who are trying to raise families on non-living wages. Sort of like small business owners and farmers pushed out of a living by mega corporations who undercut them in prices so deeply that they can’t compete. Sort of like that.

But more than that, they WERE THE FREAKING PEOPLE JESUS CALLED US ALL TO CARE FOR.

The Christianist now calls the poor, the 47% or rabble.

And then we go to Obama.

Now under no circumstances that remotely relate to truth is Obama responsible for the housing melt-down. That happened as we all recall under the watch of wonder boy, George. Now we know that the demise of Glass-Steagall had much to do with that, and Democrats bear their responsibility in that as well, but please, it cannot be laid at the feet of Obama.

Obama did not “run up massive deficits” either, but has paid them down and kept spending to levels not seen since Eisenhower. It was boy George who did that, but beginning and running two wars and a drug prescription law on a credit card.

Now I pointed all these pesky facts out in my comments. And of course, what happened is that the meme was deleted. Not with an “oh thanks for the information, my bad” but just deleted. I might have ignored this had I not found a similar in tone meme (the left is “intolerant of ideas” –the ideas being my bigoted thoughts about transgendered people “deciding to be girls so they can use women’s locker rooms”) that had not been deleted but deleted to remove the comments I made, and then reposted. This one also was applauded by the woman’s “pastor” as good Christian truth.

In perusing the wall, I noted a remark made that suggested why this woman gets so much wrong: “I do my best never to watch the news.”

I’m tired of people who use religion to hide behind all the while twisting it into grotesque shapes to fit their sick fears and hatreds. They are not Christians at all.

Next up, what’s happening in Demagography today!

It Doesn’t Make Sense

confusedI live in perpetual confusion.

I’m pretty certain that it’s the best place to be.

My mind is never at loose ends, with nothing to think about.

I have a long list of confusing things I can call upon at a moments notice to occupy the time.

I’m not sure I’d want to not be confused. It would mean I was a fundigelical (fundamentalist/evangelical). They are not confused about anything they tell me. They are quite sure all the answers are in one book, and they find it not the least confusing.

But it’s not because the book (the bible) is not confusing, for it is and has been for as long as it’s been deemed a “book” to all the people who actually are paid to figure it out and have prepared for years to be knowledgeable about all the stuff one needs to know to well, know.

No, it’s because they don’t have a confused gene in their brain. See, we regular folks have a confusion gene. It enables us to know that two things don’t add up and thus are C O N F U S I N G. See how that works? A gene in DNA enables you to discern that shit don’t go together. Like gasoline and a match or like a cliff and the continuation of a road. It’s an important gene, for it helps us survive.

I’m not sure how fundigelicals survive. That confuses me a lot.

Ihave

Another thing that confuses me is that many of these fundigelicals think that poor people are lazy. Now, that is not true for the most part, as most of us know, but fundigelicals insist that it is, and they sure aren’t confused about that. I think they found it in that book some where, or they think they did. In any event, they want poor people to get jobs.

Well, that logically follows I guess.

Except that these same fundigelicals don’t want employers to have to pay a fair and living wage. They are, mostly at least, very much against raising the minimum wage to a “living wage”, meaning a wage that allows a person to pay their bills and ya know, eat, and take care of their families. The fundigelicals say that this impinges on a employers right to pay what they want. And they add that some jobs aren’t worth a “living wage”, they’re just starter jobs, ya know, to wet your toes on.

So the logic  goes at least.

Ya see, a job is a hard thing to learn. Any job it seems. And it seems that even though every job requires very different things such as placing a round thing in a round hole, or screwing something into something else, or making change, or painting between the lines,  reading and finding errors in a manuscript, or taking out a heart and putting in a new one (well not new actually, but newer at least). See? Lots of different things.

But somehow, there are “universal” things about jobs that need to be learned, and no employer, so the theory goes) should be asked to pay much for this learning curve. The first employer gets stuck with teaching these “things” and he should get a break for doing so.

I guess that’s what it means.

What are these “things”?

Let me see.

Get up on time?

Maybe, but getting to school/the bus stop/the car pool required that as children.

Getting dressed properly?

Yep, but mostly we learned that stuff in school too. Wearing the wrong things got ya sent home, or mom scurried to school with the “right” clothes.

Doing your own work?

Ummm, teachers usually took care of that with various forms of discipline.

Not talking about non-business related subjects during work time?

Kinda like not talking in class when the teacher is talking.

Oh I got one. Learning to punch the clock!

Yep, that takes wow, better than 30 seconds if you go through it twice.

What to do with a paycheck?

Well, if you’re not sure, pin it to your pocket and give it to mom like at school.

See? I’m out of “things” to learn on the job, other than the SPECIFICS OF THE ACTUAL JOB WHICH HAS TO BE TAUGHT AT ALL OF THEM.

So I’m confused, by why you don’t want people to get a living wage.

Since you want them to work to avoid being on the dole, so doesn’t it MAKE SENSE that it actually be ENOUGH TO NOT BE ON THE DOLE TOO?

Which is what Wal-Mart does, not pay a living wage so better than one half of their employees work there and STILL have to use government assistance.

So, you don’t want to give people food stamps, and you do want them to get a job, but you don’t want to pay them enough not to need food stamps?

You see my confusion?

something-here-doesn-t-make-sense-let-s-go-poke-it-with-a-stickI’m told there is this thing called a “smart gun”. Through some magic, it won’t work except for the person who bought it and owns it legally.

It would seem that if all the guns were eventually of this type that trafficking in illegal guns wouldn’t work. You couldn’t buy a working gun “off the street”. You couldn’t break into somebody’s house and steal their gun cuz it wouldn’t work. If you disarmed a homeowner defending his home against your intrusion, you couldn’t use it against them, except to hit them with it. If your kid found your gun, he couldn’t shoot himself or his best friend by mistake.

It seems like a good thing.

The NRA is having babies of hysteria over this thing.

They are the people who claim that the only way to deal with bad guys with guns is for good guys get guns. So they want to sell all the “good guys” guns.

Except they don’t want any checks of any sort to determine that good guys are actually good. Wouldn’t it make some sense to know that first?

And they don’t want smart guns that only fire for the good guys.

I’m really confused about this one.

I guess Wayne La Pee Pee LaPierre doesn’t have the confusion gene either.

So, anyway, I could go on. Reams later, I would only have scratched the surface of stuff that is confusing. Time dilation could take days all by itself. So, I’ll just stop here.

For today.

I hope you are confused now.

Really, it’s the only sane place to live.