Hold Your Prayers, God is Busy in the Southwest These Days

1913520_ME_MurrietaImmigrants_MJB_See, God is a little bit busy these days. If you hadn’t heard, a lot of children have been making their way to Merika these days, fleeing, you know, violence. Although nobody seems to talk much about that, the violence that is.

A vocal if hopefully small herd of mean people call them “illegals” and scream at the kids, telling them to “go back home”. Some have suggested that a well aimed firearm at the border might do the trick just fine, and no one of course should think they are meaning anything violent by that call to arms.

While not going quite this far, but *nudge nudge, wink wink* maybe they are, a couple of our pious types have ‘splained to us, the spiritually lacking, that this is all part of God’s plan. Brian Fischer, blasphemer-erradicator in charge of American values said thusly:

“Our southern border is there by God’s design. To disregard it, to treat it as if were not there, to regard it as something not worth respecting and defending, is an insult to the God who put it there for our benefit.”

Just forgettabout that “bring the little children unto me”. You missed the damn footnote: “unless they are from another country and *ick* brown or black, and are entering unto me illegally”.
 
Nodding in agreement is Texas *cough* Pastor Robert Jeffress who points out that God wants a fence between them and us, because, God was always clear about boundaries:
 
“Yes, Jesus loved children, but he also respected law. He said, render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,” Jeffress clarified for the faithful on Fox News. “So, we need to do both. Show compassion, but secure the borders.”
 
Just forgettabout that stuff in the early part of the bible, about welcoming the stranger and hospitality and so forth. All that, we know, is made irrelevant by Jesus, oh except for that little part about not suffering men who lay with men to live. And maybe that part about witches too. That might stay in too.
 
 
Just before leaving office, on Dec. 23, 2008, George W. Bush signed into law the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. This bipartisan measure, named for a 19th century British abolitionist, was aimed at extending and beefing up efforts to prevent and prosecute human trafficking and protect the victims of trafficking.  More importantly, it described exactly how unaccompanied children crossing the border must be treated.
 
The crazies on the Right have of course ignored their own complicity in this legislation, and find it more profitable to insinuate that the President has in fact invited these kids from their violence-wracked homelands to America for some nefarious purpose:
 
I have to believe that when you don’t respond in any way that you are either inept or you have some ulterior motive of which you are functioning from,” Perry said during an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”
 
Ricky (I can’t believe these glasses haven’t made me smart yet) Perry actually said that, although what the conspiracy is for or about, is beyond his meager brain power to discern.
 
Meanwhile, the Right continues to live in cognitive dissonance which prompted one comedienne to suggest that the children should paste the name “fetus” on their forehead. That sounds harsh, but these are the same people who are willing to go to extreme lengths, i.e., Hobby Lobby, to protect the rights of a “fertilized egg”. To turn children away who are fleeing violence and possible death in their own country, seems a interesting juxtaposition to say the least. 
 
To say nothing of our sanctimonious lip service paid to all those poor Syrian children who are living in makeshift tent cities all over the Middle East, having fled the murderous bombardments of Bashar Al-Assad. No finer example is John S. McCain and his wringing of hands at the “humanitarian tragedy” that is going on. Yet we hear nothing from the old fart when it comes to protecting these poor children arriving frightened and alone because their families believe that the trek to Merika is far safer than allowing them to remain at home.
 
 
“It would cost us very little to fly them back, as compared with the cost of taking care of them while they were here,” he said.
 
Mostly McCain has whined about not being allowed to take his cell phone with him in viewing the detainment camps in Arizona. His Senatorial rights, he claims trump these kids right to privacy. Change the policy, he bellowed.
 

We in America are again caught in that position we so often find ourselves in–telling the rest of the world how to behave, all the while doing the in-opposite at home. Another shaming moment in the US of A.

 

Aw Shucks and BeJesus!

 

 

 

Doncha know that I am just bummed. I hear ex-pretence-of-a-president, George W. Bush, Dubya fun, dubya stupid to his friends, ain’t a goin’ to the big to-doin’s called the GOP convention.

Nope, he don’t wanna take the spot light off the dim bulb personality of Willard.

Given that Georgie was one of the more incurious types ever to sit his behind in the oval office, my guess is that it is just too boring for him to bother with.

But then again, no doubt the black sheep son is also somewhat concerned about his legacy. And associating with idiots probably would not help. Speaking of legacy, when I heard that the Texas stooge (not Gohmert or Perry), had written a book about EKO-NOM-IKS, I nearly lost my lunch in guffaws (Willard uses this term for laughing). I mean you gotta be kidding me!

Seriously. The man is a mental midget.

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There is a really excellent post by Frank Bruni on the NYTimes editorial page about the super-noodle head, Michele Bachmann. Bruni examines her strange variety of “Christianity”, you know the one I mean. The one favored by the likes of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, and other hate-mongering types who use their sick interpretation of the bible to justify suppression of other people. Take a look. As always take a look at the comments.

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Ya know,  the NRA may tell me that I can’t talk about gun control because it is “politicizing” a tragedy. Which is dumb of course, but the crazy right thinks it’s exactly the proper time to blame it all on liberals. Colorado is Gods vengeance for turning away from Him. Sick huh? Which makes our favorite hate monger, Bryan Fischer’s remarks all the more backward:

It’s been interesting to me in talking to liberals, and I’m sure you’ve had this same experience, the conclusion I’ve come to is that they cannot be reasoned with because logic means nothing to them, facts mean nothing to them, history means nothing to them, reason means nothing to them. They just have these very strong feelings and the strength of those feelings in their minds is all they need to validate the positions they take. So I’ve just come to the conclusion that liberals cannot be reasoned with they can only be defeated.

Now that will make your head spin won’t it?

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Willard appears to be taking a page from the Gingrich (where the hell did he go?) playbook. Remember when ole Nootie Patootie was buying Twitter followers? Well it seems our boy Willard has done the same thing. His campaign of course denies it, but his numbers went up dramatically on one day, and they don’t match the retweets and tweets offered on that day. Estimates are that Willard’s twitter account contains only about 26% real people. For an unreal guy, hey that’s pretty good don’t ya think?

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Well one thing you don’t wanna do. Louis Gohmert Republican idiot from Texas, don’t take no “chit” from nobody, and that includes one John S. McCain–a man not known to take criticism well. Senator McCain had the audacity to criticize Gohmert and Bachmann and others who decided based on no evidence to attack a Hillary Clinton aide. McCain came to her defense.

Well, Gohmert didn’t care for that, and while appearing on the Dennis Miller (he has a show?) show, called McCain “numb nuts” and that McCain was probably under the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.

I do believe that we are drawing near to a time when it can fairly be said that there are no minds at all in the GOP only facsimiles.

I bid adieu, adios, and good day to you all.

GOHMERT: Well, it’s obvious that John McCain didn’t even read the letter because of what he said in accusing Michele and us of making these horrible accusations. There were five letters and there were many things that are stated that are facts in each letter. And I wish some of these numb nuts would go out and read the letter before they make these horrible allegations about the horrible accusations we’re making. But we also know that John McCain himself had said back in the early stages of stuff going on in Egypt that he was, in his words, “unalterably opposed to helping the Muslim Brotherhood.” Well, obviously the unalterable person has been altered, so he is okay with it now.

Yeah, well now Louis, you have about as much sense as Gomer Pyle on a bad day, so I’d button that lip before Johnny comes and lays you out on the House floor for impersonating a Representative. And don’t land on no cactus when you fall there bud.

 

 

Who’s Thinking for You?

I’m forced to believe that we live in a mostly schizophrenic world. We are assaulted day and night by “news” however one wishes to interpret that. Mostly it’s not news at all, but one form or another of someone’s truth, deception, or best guess.

Add to that the never-ending drumming of product, product, product, and it’s no wonder we drown ourselves in food, drugs, alcohol, and any of a number of addictions, all intended to shut out the cacophony.

It’s simply too much. We try to make sense of it all, and we fairly cannot.

I’ve been reading Thomas Merton lately. A book called Seeds, containing paragraphs from his many writings grouped around common themes. Merton’s take on society is scathing, and frankly works today as it did in the 50’s and 60’s when he did much of his writing amid the “Cold War.” Supplant “terrorism” for Cold War, and nothing much has changed.

He suggests that one of our greatest illusions is that we think. We don’t he argues, we simply think that we could think if we needed to. But we don’t have to. We simply wait until someone says something that “makes sense” given our history, and then attach ourselves to it. Their thoughts become ours, their ideology ours. All the better if it is a group.

Our lives are now composed of slogans, formulas, ideologies, and declarations. We know the jingles to every advertising product. We want “things” because we have been carefully taught to want them. News passes by like a ticker tape, we have only a few hours, at most days, to digest, before another “event” captures our attention and must be fit into the drama of our lives.

Merton argues that we give up our responsibility to think because we want to. We believe the propaganda because it’s easy, it gives us the illusion that we are thinking while we devote our time and energy to living up to the “lives” we’ve been taught make us successful.

An example is the Iraq war. Now I didn’t buy the propaganda at all, I was pretty darn sure this was the wrong war for the wrong reasons. Yet, I was hopeful that all the claims about why it was necessary would be true. Why? Because like all Americans (or most I should say), I was deeply pained by 9/11. I wanted an “answer”, an enemy that could be grasped and throttled.

We may have an unease about a lot of the propaganda we hear and read, but we tell ourselves that “our” side is by and large better than the other side.

I’m about Bin Laden’d out. First I had to work through the issue of America’s jubilant response. But that was only the tip of the iceberg. Since then we have had to confront the “deathers”, those insidious and nearly legally insane folks who truly believe this is all a fake to deter us from the real issue–that Barack Obama is an illegitimate usurper in the White House.

These deathers are easily dismissed of course, since even Al Q!aeda has declared their leader is in fact dead.

Fox Noise, caught in a no-win situation, praised the action for about thirty-six hours. Then came their twisting of the facts to cast doubts about the whole affair. The White House handled the information “poorly”, even though “facts” were clamoured for well before any debriefing had occurred. As natural discrepancies on details emerged, Fox got more and more suspicious of the competence of “this President” The Blaze headlined: “Obama can’t make up his mind; Panetta gives order for mission.” The suggestion is obvious although it cannot be more of a lie.

Soon we were back into the issue of “enhanced interrogation” techniques, the propaganda euphemism, the polite way of saying torture. The right was bringing out its guns to “show” that Obama’s moment in the sun would not have been possible without the waterboarding that the Bushites were condemned for.

Suddenly, we are back to debating the relative “value” of torture. If torture lead to finding Osama, them of course, moral issues no longer matter. Really?

Just as quickly come the complaints that the American people should not give so much credit to Obama. Rather the great George W deserved the “real” credit. It was he of course who announced our “goal” of finding Bin Laden. No mention of course that he fairly laid that aside in his quest to take down Iraq for the neo-cons. No mention that we lost our opportunity to stay on the track while fresh.

The debate still goes on over the “pictures”. The right finds this a great argument–its cathartically necessary they claim. We must “prove” beyond any shadow of doubt. All the while of course, they know he is dead, but that is no reason not to *wink wink nod nod* to their deather base for whom the lack of pictures is just more evidence that it is all a lie.

And far in the background, barely mentioned, are those, like Michael Moore, and certain religious personages who remind us that we have not even begun to discuss the morality of this “assassination.” Everyone admits there was no real effort or desire to “take him alive”. That opened up a whole can of worms that few wished to take on.

How do we live with ideals when we so conveniently flout them for expediency’s sake? Is it any wonder than the world shakes its head in dismay at our wagging the moral finger at anyone else while we take the path of least resistance.

Yet, we make, at best passing offers of argument on all these issues. We don’t have time, we can already see a new event looming on the horizon. Clear the decks, make ready for our next round of “thinking” and don’t forget to pick up milk on your way home.

Me Tarzan, You Jane, Nobody Knows What the Chimp Thought

We are a dualist species. We think of most everything in either or, left or right, up or down, in or out. You get the drift.

We are red state, blue state, we are elites, average joes, we are adventurous or skittish. We define binarily, we do it all the time.

Mostly we define us, them. We’ve always done this, in fact those in the know claim they know of no society or people who doesn’t have some concept of themselves versus others.

So, are we to throw up our hands and just give up and in? Are we doomed to any real concept of unity? Are we perpetually at some level of war with anyone not like us?

No. At least so says Erich S. Gruen, in a new book called, Rethinking the Other in Antiquity. Gruen posits that we make that a choice, it’s not an imperative. Basically, he looks at ancient groups and teases out the nuances of their relationships with others. While superficially, they may appear us-them, in practicality such was not really the case.

While perhaps not totally convincing, Gruen at least points to the fact that we are not in a hopeless adversarial situation,  never to be solved. In a world increasingly divided, this is good news.

***

If you are just dying to engage in some deep philosophical thought, (and who isn’t), then pop on over to read about morality and the good life. Can you achieve happiness without living morally? Is morality a virtue for its own sake? Should it be? Now that you are thoroughly all jiggly with desire to know more, go on, get over to read more! (Whew, now I feel like I’ve done my moral duty in presenting you some uplifting material.)

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Good grief, the most funny stuff seems to be coming from Iowa these days. You better sit down for this one. It seems Sharron Angle, (remember her?) was in Des Moines, IA, no doubt for some teabaggery thing. She admits she’s thinking of running for President! Hip, hip, Hurray! Now just think. The handlers/caretakers of Bachmann, Palin and Angle gather the ladies together for a good old DEBATE. Can you just imagine the fun? Oh Please God, Oh Please!

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Foxy Noise should leave well enough alone. Some days ago, that idiot Megan Kelly chastised a guest for claiming that Fox regularly used Nazi references to people they don’t like. Kelly said this was untrue, she watches all the shows and Fox NEVER does such a thing.

Of course this was too much for Jon Stewart, who a couple of days ago ran a montage of Fox “Nazi references, including Beck of course, but also O’Reilly. Well Billo couldn’t resist defending himself. You can read it at Crooks and Liars. Somehow, his calling Huff Po Nazis is not the same as some congressman calling the GOP Nazis. Billo—you are an idiot.

***

It wasn’t that long ago. Just a couple of years. Remember? Our foreign policy was in shambles. Bush’s cowboy diplomacy had angered most of the world. He epitomized the idea of “ugly American” and strutted around like we had no need of allies. Nobody could touch our stuff.

Yes, well it seems that most of the GOP potential presidential candidates continue in the same vein. American Exceptionalism continues to rear its ugly head.

This idea that we are the greatest, the best, the God-ordained perfection in the world is troubling. As we become more and more a global economy, and our political and security needs are necessarily entwined, boasting about our superiority is decidedly a stupid thing to do.

But morons like Palin, DeMint and others seem determined to alienate everyone. What’s worse, it’s being tied to a  religious element that is even more unsavory. A blatantly revisionist history, a call for a spiritual renew all seem aimed at reclaiming our rightful place as God’s favored.

To be so blind and obtuse as to not see how ugly this appears to the rest of the world is tragic. To not realize that every country’s people like to think well of their own homeland is short-sighted in the extreme.

Worse yet, these folks are starting to have a negative and embarrassing influence within other countries as they support groups and leaders who are properly Christian, as they see it, although they may be acting in decidedly unChristian ways.

It’s a long article at AlterNet, but well worth your read. (The Family raises its ugly head again.)

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I admit to a good deal of ignorance. I’m totally ignorant why Tunisia is up in arms. Ditto for Egypt. I think I’m supposed to be for the Tunisian uprising, but not so about the Egyptian. Anybody want to explain it in a nutshell? I’m not so much a follower of international news. My bad.

***

No one mentioned it. But I saw it. I figured John (Eye’s the SPEAKER!) Boehner was most aware that he was on camera during the SOTU. And it put him in a conundrum of sorts. I mean President Obama kept saying things that were universally good, and it would not look good to not applaud.

So John seemed, a good deal of the time, trapped into half-hearted clapping that he really didn’t want to do, but thought would look bad if he didn’t. Then there were other times that his face looked for all the world like he’d been chewing a lemon. How to keep a calm face when he desperately wanted to yell in the best GOP wacko form: “YOU LIE.”

I thought it was funny at least.

Dear, Johnny Depp Awaits You in the Bedroom

A statement like that can cause a woman my age to go into immediate cardiac arrest. I gasped, turned to my beloved Contrarian with all the love I could muster in my eyes, and gushed, “Darling, this is the Best late Christmas present ever!”

I tripped across  one dog and stepped on at least one cat tail as I launched myself across the room, eyes shining brightly at the bedroom door.

I burst in, my eyes like eagles, searching the environs. “Come out, come out, where ever you are, ” I teased.

“What are you talking about?” the Contrarian grunted. “I taped David Letterman. Depp is a guest. Since Stewart’ still off on vacation, I thought we could watch it for our bedtime fare.”

Welcome to my life. My fantasy universe collapsed before my tear-laden eyes, and I mumbled, “well of course, I was just making a joke.” I pushed my tired feet under the covers, pulled the blankets up tight against my chin, and closed my eyes, to let the fantasy play out for a few more seconds.

Sigh.

***

What’s in a name? No, I’m not getting all Shakespearean on ya. Are you named after someone? Cappy over at Writer’s Block is, and she tells you all about it. Also her penchant for naming as yet unborn children.

I do that for pets. I name them in advance. My next two dogs will be Frieda and Diego. After the Mexican painters. I saw the movie. What a love affair. Passionate people hurt each other, but their love is dramatic.  I like to name in love affairs. Or something else. We have Kate and Spencer (Hepburn and Tracy) and Calvin and Hobbes (okay that isn’t a love affair, except sorta it is). Our cats. They don’t exactly act like their counterparts. That is the downside.

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This next one requires some real thought. First impressions may be wrong. Does the computer enhance, or make for better writing than the old-fashioned ink and quill? pencil? ink pen? typewriter? The eraser was vilified as making for sloppy writing, easy to “correct.” How about white-out? Trickier question than you might have thought. American Scientist has a titillating review on the subject. The book in question is called: A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers and the Digital Revolution.

It sounds like a quirky but quite interesting little book.

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If Murr Brewster hasn’t come across your radar yet, you may want to take a look at her blog. She has a slice of environmental reporting to do today, done in her rather inimitable style. How do you fare in the “go green” revolution? Like Murr, up and down, depends.

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What frustrates me with “some” atheists is that their arguments are based on fundamentalist interpretations of the bible, which we (most of us) agree are utterly wrong. Yet these atheists seem either unwilling or unable to see that there is a better/clearer/more intellectually sound way of reading scripture.

Tim Bulkeley writes a great little piece over at The Bible and Interpretation that lays the plague of the neo-Atheists at the feet of the fundamentally unbiblical fundamentalist. I agree. See if you do. Thanks for the H/T from James McGrath at Exploring our Matrix.

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My thought is that Dubya might not want to take his book tour to London. Not after the scathing and terribly accurate review Eliot Weinberger gives it. An excerpt will suffice to whet your whistle:

In the late 1960s, George Bush Jr was at Yale, branding the asses of pledges to the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity with a hot coathanger. Michel Foucault was at the Societé française de philosophie, considering the question, ‘What is an author?’ The two, needless to say, never met.

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We’re having fried chicken, mashed taters and gravy and peas. I like peas. I even like the ones in cans. Like when I was a kid. They are like two different vegetables. Peas from the freezer and peas from the can. It’s one of those foods I need to revisit now and again, like that bright orange french dressing by Wishbone. Nostalgia they call it.

I’m a good wife. I cook up good grub. Even if Johnny Depp wasn’t in my bedroom.

The Post With Three Titles

Title #1

Meet My Brother in a Jar”

Oh George, we had two blissful, blessed years with your mouth shut, and there ya go, and spoil it. Hawking a book, and spewing such ignorant crap. If you wanted history to treat you more kindly, this was not the way.

I have not, and will not read the book. I did not watch the interviews, though one gets a fair amount of their content on cable news and from the MSM.

The following are the gems, so it seems to me, showing conclusively, that G. Dubya Bushie is still clueless and proud of it.

The shocking revelation that mama Barba Bush decided it was of some importance to preserve her miscarried foetus in a jar and to show it to young Dubya tells us that Dubya didn’t acquire his insanity solely on his own. Baba must be some piece of work.

If that don’t creep you out immediately, well, I don’t know what will. Surely he claims that said experience forever shaped his attitude toward abortion and so forth. Hmmm, more likely it seared your tiny conscience with images that scared the poop out of ya, and forever made you feel all icky around dead things. ‘Splains your avoidance of Vietnam. Too bad sending young men to die didn’t register.

It apparently didn’t make him feel any compassion and/or empathy toward anyone’s pain either. He seemed eager to talk about waterboarding, and when asked why  he felt it was okay, his response was swift and akin to a child who has made a perfect pooh in the toity–“because the lawyers said it was legal!” He looked at Matt with such self-satisfaction at getting the answer right, that one can only assume his “handlers” had drilled that answer into his poor head a thousand times.

This comes in contradiction to his claim to “not watching any TV” but spending time on the Internets reading alternatively the WSJ and the bible. Apparently the bible reading, never elicited any questions of morality or “what would Jesus do?” as to waterboarding and other forms of “enhanced interrogation.”

Lastly, Georgie tells us that the lowest point in his presidency was when Kanye West called him a racist. Matt squeaked quietly, “not Katrina?” “not no WMD’s?” I don’t know if he tried to clean it up, the point is, his knee jerk response was a personal insult being the lowest point in his eight years at the helm of the nation.

I was prepared to view this man with some sympathy, knowing as I did how he was manipulated by powers much smarter than himself. But, no, George is the evil SOB we had come to see him as.

#2 “I’d Be in It to Win It”

As things shape up so far, it appears that we are gonna have Sarah around with lots of hot and funny sound bites for a full two years. She’s not going to waste any time learning about issues, she’s just gonna run off her mouth with “shakin’ things up” kinda talk.

A couple of days ago, she promised to ‘splain to us about the economy, especially Bernanke’s plans to buy up a lot of treasury bills. Sarah of course knows only about her Saks bill, but no matter, she plunged right in.

She started off by talking to us real people by telling us that “we all know how supermarket prices have skyrocketed.”

Problem is, they haven’t, food prices have gone on only 0.6%, a really really low figure. When this was pointed out to her by a writer for the WSJ, she castigated the guy for not reading his own publication, citing a WSJ article as proof that she was right.

Except that Sarah didn’t bother to READ the article, which said that so far prices hadn’t risen, but they may be poised to begin. They didn’t.

So for all her smart alacky retorts, she is still wrong. None of this will be absorbed by her brain-dead followers however, for they only listen to her smack down, never the truth.

But the one that literally makes me fall over in laughter is an excerpt from a speech she gave in PA. In it, she pondered whether she would run in 2012. She noted she would have to “see the lay of the land, the landscape you know,” she mused. And further, “I wouldn’t be in it, ya know, just to shake things up, just to debate the issues of our day–I’d be in it to win it!”

Ya see, our Sarah, has no command nor intends to acquire any command of the issues. She is there to win it for the glory and prestige of winning. Of being the winner! Of living in the big White House, with servants and AirForce One! Lordy, what a piece of work that woman is.

#3 An FBI Swat Team Nearly Descended on the Meadow

It took all my fortitude, all my patience, all my tightly held mind to keep from screaming into the phone–“DO YOU PEOPLE NOT WORRY ABOUT SOMEBODY SHOWING UP AT YOUR FRONT DESK WITH A DAMN GUN?”

I knew if I did, the FBI would be notified, and we’d be gettin’ a visit. So I held my tongue. Nay I glued it to the roof of my mouth.

Why you ask?

Have you ever in your life tried to work your way through the bureaucracy of the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: to wit: the VETERANS ADMINISTRATION?

I have, and I have the scars and the nightmares to prove it.

Simply put, I wanted to move the Contrarian’s primary care from Iowa City, to a satellite here in Cedar Rapids. They invite us to do that. A week and half later, I was no closer, and had talked to some seven different people, each of which contradicted the one before, and sent me in a circular pattern that exhausted my fuel and threatened to crash my brain.

It came down to “we can’t make an appointment until the file is transferred” by one office and “we can’t transfer the file until you make the appointment with them” from the other. It’s a no-win. Finally one poor woman made the call for me, and secured an appointment.

It is truly amazing that more VA Hospitals aren’t attacked by crazed people. After all, there are a ton of Vets with PTSD and other mental illnesses that are service related. The Contrarian tells the story of the guy who in frustration went to his truck, returned with a chain saw and sawed the front desk in half. He did time, but I bet he was satisfied!

Well, I seem to have worked out another build up of high anxiety and F R U S T R A T I O N. Have a good one now.

History Will Not Be Kind

Hatred and bigotry have had an illustrious career in America. It  did not originate here of course, earliest man soon found an angry god to blame for snow storms and drought.

But American has certainly refined the concept better than most places in the world, if only because we have been oh so willing to transfer our aggressive fears and hatreds to so many different groups.

Religious hatred is not new. In fact, it prompted today’s religious right’s most reviled amendment–the first, which mandates a clear non-involvement of government with religious practices. At it’s inception the new United States of America was a collection of states each, for the most part, with their laws and practices that excluded (and often road out of town and sometimes executed) such groups as Catholics, Jews, Quakers, and Anabaptists.

What those who champion “our Christian origins”  forget, is that the Pilgrims didn’t come to these shores to establish a community of religious tolerance, but rather to establish a  practice of their version of Christianity without interference from other “papist” types.

We soon moved on from religion however, and took up the banner of “non-humanity.” By that I mean, peoples who were not white anglophiles were soon relegated to non-human status. This included native peoples, and then Africans, but came to include Italians, Irish, Chinese, and Eastern Europeans, and Latinos from anywhere. 

All of these groups, to one degree or another, found the going tough in America where they were shunned, segregated, consigned to the lowest jobs and least pay. White American strutted as superior in every way. (Certainly we were not alone in this. Britain and much of Western Europe also played this game.)

Class, in America at least, has been down played, but there is little doubt that the upper echelons of our society have felt “entitled” to their privilege largely due to their superior breeding and determination. Ask any nouveau-rich just how long it takes to break into the blue blood of our major eastern cities. (Boston would be a key case in point.) No, it has been largely the working and working poor who continually have declared that we are a country of equality of opportunity.

So, I am not surprised nor shocked at the ugly and vicious attacks upon  the Muslim community in this country. The rabble have been assured that it is always okay to blame someone other than themselves for their perceived woes.

Yet, the rhetoric coming from our so-called educated leadership is most troubling. Words and arguments drip from their jaws that one would have thought more likely to be from the minds of the KKK and other white-rights militia groups. We are used to that kind of ugliness and we have learned to turn a deaf ear as the best defense. Shun and ignore has been our winning motto.

Today, however, we find those whom we would not expect saying simply awful things. People like Newt Gingrich spew hatred with abandon against Muslims. Ditto Sarah (that woman is an idiot) Palin, though she can be forgiven to a degree since she is so ill-educated in public affairs.

But, and here is the irony, these are the same folks who rant and rail day in and day out that Obama and company are “destroying our freedoms.” One of those freedoms, they declare  that is on the brink of destruction, is their ability to practice their religion.

Clearly, they do not offer this right to others. In reality they are really saying that Obama is not George Bush, who at least mouthed his preference for Christian rights as the best. Obama, following the Constitution, refuses to support efforts to raise Christianity above other faiths, and in fact has made it most clear in his remarks about the Islamic Center proposed in NYC, that government has no business voicing any “advice” about where a religious building is erected.

And that is perhaps the key point to be realized here. The extreme religious right, and it’s congressional and pundit minions, are not really about our freedoms at all. They are about instituting a “Christian” government in the US as they define it. They are about shredding the US Constitution whenever it becomes necessary to accomplish that goal. They are about revising history to “prove” their point of view.

People like Gingrich and Palin, have no real intent to alter the the Constitution, I suspect. They have a strong intention to use the mob mentality of the religious right and all the  tea bagger unfocused anger to gain power for themselves. That in some sense is all the more egregious. As one of Gingrich’s ex-wives noted in a link we gave you last week, Newt gave up on principles when he decided he wanted fame and fortune and power more.

Palin, of course, is a study in opportunistic ranting. She neither knows nor cares about truth. She plays to anger and fear and desperation. She creates it when necessary, all in her pursuit to “be somebody.” We have John Sidney McCain to thank for that one.

The Becks, Limbaughs, Hannitys, they are just pure feeders upon the human flesh. They are the vultures and hyenas, fangs dripping with our blood, returning to their lairs with bloated stomachs, laughing and reeking of their own evil.

I can but smile when I think, that history will not be kind. Gingrich, Kyl, Palin, King (Peter and Steven), Bachmann, McCain, Graham, DeMint, (oh the list is interminable indeed),  will be remembered for a very long time. But not as great states-persons. No not a one. But they will be remembered.

Wallace blocking school desegregation

They will be remembered.

McCarthy & House UnAmerican Activities Hearings

They will be remembered.



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