If you ask your average Merikan about demagoguery, you’re probably going to hear about Stalin and Hitler and Mussolini. If you are specially lucky, you might hear reference to Joe McCarthy. A significant number of Merikans, perhaps most, won’t have a clue what you refer to, beyond a vague sense of “bad” floating in the air.
It’s no secret that American youth are fairly poorly educated in this country. While there are plenty of reasons and excuses for this, top of the heap is probably because they are taught lies.
Such is underway in Texas anyway, where new textbooks will play down slavery as a cause of the Civil War, and emphasis a lie–states rights–as being its motivation. Now states rights had something to do with the Civil War, but not in protecting states rights–in actuality it was the states rights of northern realms that they despised and set out to separate themselves from. In fact, up until the 60’s there were specific “southern” textbooks on these issues, not used in the rest of the land. We are returning to that era, when again, Southern kids will be taught a different “history” than the rest of the country.
A demagogue is one who through resort to fear and prejudice, appeals to the common people, in an attempt to manipulate their approval to gain personal power and influence. Lies are a common vehicle used to gain the support of lower socioeconomic classes which is then used to gain the ends (usually hidden) of the demagogue.
Americans think they are smarter than the average demagogue, and always have. We look at people such as Hitler, Stalin, and others of that ilk with a certain disdain, sure in our adolescent minds, if not our later adult ones, that such a thing could not happen in the good old USA, because we are “on to them” sorts. And the slightly smarter among the great unwashed will use Joe McCarthy as an example. Sure we toyed with demagoguery for a bit, but in the end we censured Joe and sent him packing, destined to go down in history as a rather sinister chap who in the end was admonished, “Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”
So, we sit in smug superiority.
We of course were and are wrong. We are no better at ferreting out demagoguery than your average Athenian was when Cleon was stirring the people to behaviors we normally don’t associate with Athens in the classical period.
We live in a soup of demagoguery with any number of suitable candidates lined up to become the populist hero of the day. Fox Noise serves as the propaganda disseminator with plenty of minions named Rush and Ann and Rich and Sean ready and willing to spout the memorized script of why “they” are destroying America, and “we” must get out our guns and show them we will not tolerate their warped secular world.
We finally, at long last, sat down and watched Game Change the other night. Sure, it was filled with lots of giggles and nodding, as we saw our Sarah entering the national stage. We saw the almost comical cluelessness on anything beyond the demagogue’s rhetoric. We watched as she puzzled over basic European history, attempting to take notes (on paper in the beginning, precursor to the famous hand writing), and figure out who was who, and what was what.
And we saw the debacle of interviews that broke open the wisdom of hirin’ Sarah wide open finally, and exposed what McCain referred to as the “dark side” of Populism–the degree to which it is based not on facts and well-thought out logic, but rather instilling and promoting fear and anxiety regarding “others”.
Sarah is pictured as sitting mesmerized listening almost spellbound to the criticism of her. Yet, either through brilliant acting, or truth, one sees a startling revelation. Sarah is not studying her detractors to learn what she is doing wrong, so much as she is carefully examining her detractors for weakness, and how she might better exploit it.
She studies, not foreign policy position papers, but what makes people smile or frown, what makes them cheer, what makes them nod in approval. She is all about one thing–how best to sell Sarah, and reap of course the benefits–fame, and more importantly fortune.
Sarah, as we have come to know, is really only about becoming wealthy. She forcefully and loudly proclaims that “they are boxing her in”, preventing her from doing what she does best–talk to the common folks. She ends up in a long and exhausting war with her handlers over who will control the agenda.
And of course, we have seen the fine results. After the election, Sarah made all her own decisions and she’s managed in six years, to not be the “new young leader of the GOP” that McCain predicted, but rather she has become a cipher in the conservative movement. A few thousands still shout her name, but largely the great uber right wing has moved on.
But the not surprising popularity of Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker remind us all too well, that there are more than one ready to take over the mantle from Ms. Palin.
Cruz, following the SCOTUS decision regarding marriage equality enters the arena with the lie: a few people who were never elected by us have dictated to the rest of us how we must live. Now of course, Cruz leaves out that this is exactly how our constitution intended. It is what was established in Marbury v. Madison. Trump contends that Mexico is sending us criminals, and then sets out to find an example to make his case.
Walker advises he will do to the Middle East problems exactly what he did with unions in Wisconsin–destroy them. Santorum suggests that the rights of every real Christian are at risk if gays marry. Jeb, not quite as capable as demagogues go, wrings his hands and mutters the code words, but doesn’t exactly know how to utter them convincingly.
We need not fear that demagogues will become extinct. We must fear that we are perhaps more susceptible to them than we thought.
Look, we live in a busy world. As has always been the case, the vast majority ignore politics and worry about paying the electric bill and getting packed for that fishing trip to the lake. But while you sublimely watch fireflies at water’s edge, back in the recesses of taverns and game rooms in fancy townhouses and estates, grifters like Sarah are busy trying to figure out what will scare you into voting for them.
I’m not expecting you to spend two hours a day reading what’s going on in the world. It would be nice if you took that interest in the now and future, well mindful of the past, but that’s asking too much. Half aren’t mentally up to the task, and half of the rest are just too bored by anything that doesn’t speak to the World Federation of Wrestling.
But I ask you to remember one thing. The better it sounds the more likely it is to be not true.
You do not need guns to prevent the government from overreach. If the government wants to stop you from mouthing off, it will kill you, and no weapon you have will make a difference.
You’re way of life will not end because gay people can marry each other. I’m quite sure almost none of them will want to marry you and with good reason.
ISIS is not plotting to blow up your neighborhood. It is quite more likely that you will die from a bee sting or be blown up by your neighbor’s arsenal when it goes off in a house fire.
You are not being attacked as a Christian. Nobody has ever stopped you from reading the bible you want, interpreting it the way you want, and going to the church you want. There is no war on Christianity, and as much as you want to think of yourself as a martyr, you aren’t. You would piss your panties should the feds show up and demand you become a Sikh or Buddhist, and all to many of you would bow and ask for the rules of proper worship.
If it sounds good, and makes you feel vaguely selfish–it’s a lie and you are being selfish. Don’t fall for it, even though it would mean a cut in your taxes and some sort of wispy comfort that your way of life is being protected. It isn’t and won’t be. We are becoming both NON-white and NON-Christian. It’s a fact. Learn the word ameliorate and learn it well.
If in doubt, don’t vote. A stupid vote is worse than no vote at all. Remember the demagogue is not looking for a smart vote, but a stupid one. Don’t take the bait. There is really nothing in it for you. EVER.
But keep an eye out for Sarah. She’ll be opening a supermarket near you.
Rudy 9/11 Giuliani opens his gums and spouts off as to how this President, really doesn’t love America as we do. Rude then goes on to explain that Obama was raised “diff-rent” from you and me, and none of that stuff is racist cuz ya know he had a white mama.
Rather than pick apart the blatherings of a has-been irrelevant hack, let’s look at the whole concept of what it means to “love one’s country.”
I’m not sure exactly what it means myself. I have no idea what it means to love a thing like that. I mean the concept is quite foreign to me, and I suspect it is to most people of they were pushed to tell exactly what they meant by it. Most people work from metaphor, taking it to mean that they support what the country was framed to stand for, and they think voting is a requirement of good citizenship.
I am not a boundary person you see. I look at maps and say, “oh dear, that makes no sense. Why is that line there?” Most of that stuff arose from long ago times and most dealt with wars. A bit of it is due to natural features of the land. Most of the lines throughout the Middle East are arbitrary and stem from meddling from the West, and truth be told, it’s why things are in such turmoil there today.
I do love humanity, which I think is quite natural being a part of it. I figure I’m one of the lucky ones, and I figure I’m no more entitled than anybody else. The accident of birth landed me in a land that allows me to pretty much do as I wish and do it fairly pleasantly. Someone’s being born in Bangladesh should entitle them to no less. So I’m all for making things a lot more equal. I’ll happily give up some if I can improve the lives of people who have almost nothing.
I recognize everyone doesn’t believe like I do, because they have been raised by parents, governments, businesses, and media to “want it all” with fine phrases like “work ethic” and “bootstraps” and “survival of the fittest”, to name but a few. They deserve more because they work harder and they judge their value and others by what’s in the garage of life.
If ever a metaphor was made for the GOP it’s the black hole. The GOP is on the event horizon. That’s the spot on the edge of a black hole from which there is no return. Destruction is inevitable since the gravitational pull is stronger than any known counter force to pull out. Yet to the observer, the person or thing poised on the event horizon seems to remain there forever. It’s basic astrophysics.
Or one can use the analogy of catch 22. Either works fine.
You see the GOP is always damned either way at this point. It is all of their own making, so there is no desire to rescue them. They are caught in the black hole of the tea imbibing community of dunces. They must feed the tiger lest the tiger eat them alive which of course it inevitably will since one must go mad under that sort of pressure eventually, and thus falter and succumb to the fangs.
The GOP cannot get away from the tea crazies. So they invariably make remarks such as Rudy did. And the Walkers of the party will continue to be non-committal in rejecting such tripe. One cannot poke the tiger, after all. Meanwhile, they remain mired in place at the event horizon while in reality, bit by bit they are eaten alive.
There is no meaning to “loving my country” any more than there is to “supporting our troops”, wearing flag pins or saying loudly that America is Exceptional! Similarly, the idea that one must confess one’s Christianity in order to be viable is without merit. The latter particularly is egregious, since there is a no religious test clause in the very constitution that these flag wavers so profess to be willing to die for.
In reality, constitution protectors don’t really mean it at all. They mean the constitution as they interpret it, and with the parts left out that they don’t like.
Do you love your country or only the ideal of it? Do you love it in spite of its true history or do you doctor that up to meet some standard you have erected to satisfy your personal needs and wants? I read where one woman in talking to her right-wing relatives learned that they opposed the current state of teaching American history because it “just wasn’t necessary to rehash all that old stuff. Sure slavery was bad, but we ended it. We should concentrate on what makes America great.”
Does anybody have a clue where that sort of nonsense leads? Well, not to go into that of course, but it does, you have to admit, lead to all sorts of entitlements based on “we’re just so damned superior” and “you can’t manage without our guidance.” Anyone smell the odor of Arian purity and world domination in there?
President Obama has less than two years left to serve, and the Republican day care school replacement brigade still can’t talk of much else. Meanwhile it would appear that Jebbie hasn’t read a newspaper in six-plus years, since a big chunk of his foreign policy team is made up of his brother’s fine collection of idiots that led us into the morasses of both Afghanistan and Iraq. He doesn’t know that Wolfowitz was one of the architects of the Iraq policy with his pre-emptive strike crap? He doesn’t know that along with Cheney and others, the Iraq foray was something these fools had wanted to do for a decade or so and found 9/11 a good excuse for? They are liars and arguably war criminals if we collectively had the stomach to clean up our own shit behind us.
Yet this is where we live today. In a world steeped it seems in a party which is caught between the tiger which is devouring it, and reality which it can only spit niceties at as it throws yet another bone in the other direction. Stop being the party of stupid, Bobby Jindal said, while being stupid. We welcome everyone, except not Log Cabin Republicans to CPAC. I’ll take a pass on that evolution question if you don’t mind, I’m not a scientist.
We live in a world where David and Charles Koch, family owners of Koch Industries, owners of subsidiary ALEC, writes the legislation word for word of the bill their CEO Scott Walker of their other subsidiary Wisconsin, signs into law regarding “right to work” (which is really nothing but right to work for next to nothing), causing even old timer Republicans who still have some shred of decency left in them, to say, “this is just fucking wrong.”
Is this love of country? They would surely say yes, the country they want to have, wherein all decisions are filtered through the prism of “is this good for the bottom line?”
Love my country?
Only an insane person would love this. Place that constitution, the preamble will do, against the fabric of stupid today and see how well that fits. A person could stand on a stump and recite non-stop this bundle of crazy for weeks without end. Today, we will pass a law that says sex education must never allude to the possibility of enjoyment but only procreative elements that are of course abstained from by good little girls, and winked at by bad little boys. Today we will ban yoga pants, cuz damn I wanna do what’s right for Merika. Today I’ll suggest that good education money is wasted on them blacks who just collect welfare anyway. Today, I’ll work hard to make sure only “our sort of folk” can vote. Today, I’ll cash that check from Exxon-Mobile and vote to let them drill baby drill in your fucking front yard.
Love my country?
Are you serious?
It is said (or at least it should have been said) that the human brain is pretty much capable of coming up with anything. I mean we humans have invented the most amazing ways of torturing people and killing them off bit by bit.
Go into any supermarket and stroll down the soda pop aisle or cereal aisle and you can see that we can invent several dozen variations on a theme, making each appear fresh and new.
But I swear I cannot come up with a viable version of comedy that stresses conservative themes and is funny at the same time. It would be a bit like pushing matter and anti-matter too closely together. It just implodes.
What on earth is funny about all the things that the GOP is for? They are for cutting taxes for the rich. That’s gotten to the point that nowadays we are sending money to them since they “pay” taxes in the negative.
They are for trying to offset their growing state deficits by adding “luxury” taxes to food and other necessities, taxes that cruelly attach more to the poor than any other group.
They are for the life of the fetus, which is surely laudable if it were coexistent with care for pregnant mothers, babies, health care, and a host of services to support that fetus as it grows to old age. But they are not.
They are against government intervening in the lives of ordinary people unnecessarily. They call this regulation. But the forms they wish to dismiss are those that protect people from dirty water, dirty air, shoddy manufacturing practices, unfair labor practices that endanger and diminish people. They figure kids, rather than get a free lunch should sweep the school for their dinner.
But when it comes to regulating behavior, they can’t get enough of regulations. They want to and do, try to regulate every aspect of women’s bodies when it comes to reproduction and girls bodies too. They seek to regulate what women wear. They seek to protect the rights of others to treat fellow human beings badly based upon personal ideologies that they call a “religion.”
They seek to express American exceptionalism by meddling around the world, upping the ante everywhere, bloating defense budgets to accommodate their need to puff out their chests and “prove” America is better. At the same time, they protect themselves and their offspring from standing on any battlefield they create.
They seek to pretend that race and ethnicity no longer are of any concern in their America. They turn the page by flipping the equation such that anyone who brings up the issue is dubbed a “racist”. They employ a few dark faces, who for the price of personal fame, are willing to nod genteelly in agreement. They twist and cherrypick the words of great civil rights leaders and try to claim them as their own.
They live every day using every convenience devised by modern technology. They tweet and fly, pick up their fancy lattes, take their youth-enhancing shots at spas, drive computer directed cars, yet when it comes to any science that impinges on their gravy train of K Street lobbyists and the free-flowing money that is funneled their way, science becomes pure bunk.
They prefer stupid, cute-talking bobble heads to thoughtful men and women.
They prefer “common-sense” to education, except when they visit the doctor or the dentist or the accountant or the lawyer, or the airport pilot. Education is for elitists, who are people who want to be better than the average person, meaning they get embarrassed when they haven’t a damn clue what is being said.
They are all for individuality, and they mean that they will say that everyone is equal, and you can just do the best you can. If it don’t work out, why that poor house thing back in the twenties wasn’t so bad, and we got a lot of free road work done. See don’t you feel better knowing you are paying for your own gruel?
They want to, therefore, end social security, cuz individuals properly prepare for their own old age. John-Boy is remembered fondly and surely was going to care for his ma and pa. You don’t need medicare either since health care is no right but a privilege reserved for those who have managed to acquire sufficient funds to pay for it.
There is no need either for unemployment benefits because it’s your job to foresee that free markets might end your job. Worse, if you are so down and out as that, you probably are not of sufficient moral character to withstand the urge to just sit on your ass and suck off the rest of us anyway, and we can’t have that.
Food stamps? Hunger builds character. See the above regarding unemployment benefits regarding your unfitness for food.
Housing? Ditches are quite comfortable in summer I hear.
And let’s not forget the churches. Our fine Christian houses of worships are dedicated to helping the “truly” poor, whatever the hell that means. Not so much non-Christian houses of worship which are really just oxymorons, cuz that’s what my Jezus said, after all, somewhere; at least he implied it.
I mean two thousand years of working on that issue, is a good start!
Immigrants were us two hundred or so years ago, and that was fine. Everyone knows white trash from Europe beats red skins any day. And immigrants are really good at cleaning houses and mowing lawns and picking fruit. They don’t want hardly anything for the privilege. But too many? Oh now, that makes you an ALIEN and an ILLEGAL.
Those words are words of fear, because damn, I’m following all the good rules set up by my betters, and fuck, life is still not any better, so somebody is to blame, and my betters say it’s THEM.
So, we can hate us some Mexicans and, hell all of South America pretty much just cuz. But we will not hate the Cubans, at least the rich ones who escaped Fidel. They are not aliens or illegals, but good people who lost their wealthy land holdings and much to be commiserated with.
We can hate us some Arabs, as many as we want and wherever we want, because we just want their oil, them that got it at least. The rest? Who cares?
We can ignore all our history and all of the worlds for that matter just because it interferes with the narrative we have to tell ourselves today to get to sleep. I mean the past is the past, why dwell on uncomfortable things like slavery and partitioning and supporting dictators and crummy stuff like that. It just makes me feel bad, and, after all, we have to deal with TODAY right?
Let’s make history a quest to make our kids good Americans! And we know what will do that. Put God back in school! In fact, let’s turn over education our youth to private enterprise, cuz they will do the job better and cheaper! And they will never have an ulterior motive to teach our kids anything that was wrong, or quietly made themselves look like the best thing since sliced bread, will they?
Let’s continue to push for not letting those who think against us vote. Let’s continue to make judges do what we want them too.
Let’s put a gun in every graduate’s hand. And I ain’t talkin’ about graduating from college, or even high school. Grade school is old enough to understand proper gun usage. Carry it proudly son. It’s what the Founding Fathers wanted for sure.
This is what the Grand Overly Dead Party thinks. Now, if you can come up with how to make this funny, do tell. I can’t come up with anything. Not a damn thing. A wake? I can come up with that, but not comedy.
I’ll try to be nice here, but please don’t hold me to it.
First of all, fundamentalist Christians refuse to accept that this description to the left is actually what is described in Genesis as the structure of the earth and universe. As you can see, it is not a globe at all, but rather a series of pillars, o’er covered with a “dome” with water above it, and of course below. The sun and visible planets and stars are inside the dome.
If you read the flood stories, you will note that this depiction allows for the waters to both arise from the earth and the sky. It also accounts for the oft-heard phrase, “four corners of the earth”. The “earth” was actually a flat disk. This is acknowledged by Jewish experts who ought to understand their own texts better than others, one would think.
Since even the most staunch Christian fundie accepts the spherical actuality of the globe, you can see why they can’t accept this actual description of Genesis but must fudge it to account for reality.
My point is simply that fundamentalism is based in large part on a fanatical belief in the truthiness of a book, and it is a self-serving literal-ness at best. In this they are no different from other fundamentalists in other religions. As any Muslim will tell you, fundamentalist jihadists misread and twist the Quran in a similar fashion in order to get it to “say what they want it to say.”
Suggesting that all fundamentalists are cut from the same cloth, sets the Christian right on edge. They deny it of course. Indeed if you look at the Wikipedia entry on fundamentalism, you discover that it is not limited to even religion at all but pertains to any ideology which is reduced to an irreducible set” of precepts which cannot be deviated from in any respect. A strict literalism is imposed as to the agreed upon rules.
Bob Altemeyer has done some exceptional work in this area, and makes his main research “The Authoritarians” avail as a PDF file here. The Wikipedia entry, while certainly nothing but a starting point, has a fine bibliography to get your started located here. Psychology has done much work in the area and you might start with this Pathos article, which will lead you to books and studies. Another well-researched book might be The Fundamentalist Mind by Strozier, Termen, Jones, and Boyd. This should help get you started if you wish to learn more. Again, don’t accept my word for it, go to the actual sources.
My point is not to rehash what is common knowledge, among anyone who wants to understand why we are troubled in this country with a segment of society which continues to place it’s personal religious interests above the common good, and most would say common sense. It is rather to point out by the above, that these are not choices made by rational minds, but rather what certain brain configurations are prone to fall into. Since in most cases it is extremely hard to eradicate or upset these mindsets, the only solution is to be ever vigilant to keep them out of the decision-making arenas of our common lives.
This we have done a poor job of doing.
Since we believe that religion is a matter of personal preference, we are loath to interrupt those preferences by any sort of “test” to eliminate those belief systems that threaten us all. And I agree that we should continue to do so. But we must also recognize that there are those among us who want a world much different from the one we inhabit. It is their stated purpose and their heartfelt belief that we should all be forced if necessary to accept their world vision in the guise of a government reactive to their vision of God.
They believe in a nutshell that all laws must be referenced to a book, the Bible in this case, and that of course they will tell you what the Bible says should be the law.
You may or not be aware that James Inhofe, (R-Ok) is the new chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. Inhofe has for years argued that climate change is a hoax. Inhofe has received, tens of thousands of dollars from fossil fuel interests to fund his campaigns. Of course he tells you that he is a true believer, and perhaps that is true. It is always hard to say. But in any case, the Senator is prepared to argue that 98% of the scientific community is wrong on the issue of man-made climate change, and that his fundamentalist-driven approach is true.
What Inhofe admits, is that it doesn’t matter if climate change is occurring. Man is arrogant to go against God in this matter. As his proof he raises Genesis 8:22 which is God’s promise:
As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
Of course they also interpret that “as long as the earth endures” involves a “self-correcting resilience” that they nowhere find in the bible, but assume.
What I am being asked to accept is that the US and by implication no one else, should do anything about the clear evidence of a catastrophe in the making because of what a few people who are in no way experts in either the bible or the science of climate have decided is best for us all. Are you willing to stake the lives of your children and grandchildren on their being right?
Is Inhofe any different from the thousands who have gone to stand upon hilltops on the appointed day and hour to await the second coming, always to return home at dawn, a home that often no longer is theirs since they have sold or given away everything to insure God knows them as the true believers they profess to be?
Are we to go instead to live in Chief Justice Roy Moore’s world in Alabama? Judge Moore tells the Governor in that state to ignore a legal judicial pronouncement from a federal court on the illegality of a gay marriage ban because the judge has determined that the bible told him otherwise, and by fiat he proclaims the federal court decision as “unconstitutional.”
So much for the rule of law. While running for governor himself, Moore decried evolution teaching as “distorting our way of thinking”. Yet, the electorate in Alabama saw fit to elect him as Chief Judge of their Supreme Court, making him the greatest interpreter of the law in the state. This is sanity?
My point is that these people are dangerous to OUR life. We can laugh at them, we can face palm their stupidity and their childish emotional needs all we want, but they have carefully and for the most part quietly wormed their way into positions of power within our country. They have infiltrated school boards, city councils, state legislatures, and obviously on into our higher governmental positions where they, armed with pseudo-science and pseudo-theology, restructure our laws to fit their kingdom to come as they view it.
We ignore them at our peril. If we don’t stand against this sort of soft-headedness, we cannot expect an electorate who by and large is too busy to think these things through themselves to do it for us. We will find ourselves soon before the modern-day Inquisition defending truth against a country that is now governed by a rabble of no longer able or willing to discern truth from fantasy religious fanatics. They are NO DIFFERENT THAN JIHADISTS PEOPLE.
You have been warned.
That said, lets begin offending!
Seriously, I recognize that people have legitimate feelings and beliefs on this subject. I can sympathize. I can even say (easy coming from my perch as post-menopausal of course), that I might personally agree with those who say that it is taking a life. For me it might have been had I decided to do such a thing at the time that I was capable of conceiving. It never happened so I can’t say.
All that being said, let’s look at some points of contention:
(1) when does life begin? The simple answer to the simple-minded is “at conception. When egg meets sperm, cell division begins. But pregnancy does not, and some 50-80 percent of all fertilized eggs don’t implant successfully, and this can take six to twelve days to happen. Where you draw the line raises a host of really ugly problems that are legal in nature, and that is why when life begins is a subject medical and legal experts would rather avoid.
(2) Is personhood different from life? Surely most of us would say yes. When in the growth of the foetus does it become a person? Most would argue when it has viability outside the womb. Other’s of course want to return to that moment of conception. Again, medical experts will differ and the legal implications are huge.
(3) can you rationally be for some types of abortion and not others? Can you justify logically abortion to save the life of the mother? Are you not tampering with God’s province then? Can you make exceptions for rape and incest and if so why? Morally aren’t you compelled as Steve King is to ban them all? (men find these issues so darned easy don’t they?)
(4) what are the common lies told about abortions: (a) it causes breast cancer (b) it causes infertility (c) most women regret them later (d) forcing women to watch ultrasounds will change their minds (e) abortions psychologically damage women (f) imposing severe regulations on abortion clinics makes abortions safer (g) abortions threaten women’s lives and health. None of these claims are remotely true.
(5) Fetuses suffer pain at abortion. This is not true either. Most medical experts based on a myriad of studies don’t believe a fetus is capable of pain prior to the cortex being wired in at 24 weeks. The vast majority of abortions are done before this period.
(6) the US in the guise of the right to anti-abortionists is well-known for its save the fetus at all costs” but then ignore the infant, child, youngster afterward. The same people who are in the forefront of pushing these anti-abortion bills through the House of Representatives, are the same folks who vote against food stamps, contraceptive care for women, medical care for children, and a host of other social programs that ensure that youngsters born in this country will be raised under healthy conditions. The argument is clear, you aren’t pro-life if your ONLY concern is bringing forth a birth, a birth you then abandon.
As you can see, the issue is a complicated one and there are no easy answers. While it is easy to take a flat stand as many Republican men do (not having to contend with pregnancy has it’s benefits), when you get in the weeds the going gets pretty darn hard. Not that most of the far right has any problem with being disingenuous or illogical.
On the anniversary of Roe v Wade, the GOP House thought to take advantage of the situation and pro-offer a bill that would make their base happy, and accomplish nothing since it could not pass the Senate, nor be signed by the President. It was a win-win for them. •
Until even some of their Republican ladies even thought that the bill went too far, encompassed too much, and was just full of some of those unintended consequences mentioned in (1) and (2). Marsha Blackburn, (R-TN) and all around stupid person, charged with marshalling the bill through the House, retreated in the face of growing distrust in their own caucus. The provision that proved deadly was the requirement that rape victims would be denied an exception to the general ban unless they had reported the rape to police.
The extremists on the right are predictably displeased and threatening to pressure those wavering Republican women. I’m sure it’s the traditional, if you want to keep your job, you better!
With all this at hand, just how comfortable are you with telling another woman what is best for her? I know I’m not. And I will support her right to decide these very complicated matters herself and with the people she chooses to ask advice of. As they say, if men could have babies, this would never be an issue.
• • •
I was never sure that I bought that argument, and I certainly don’t buy that I share an equality of victimization with Black men or women.
But it does give me a certain empathy that comes easier for me than perhaps to the white male.
In my professional working days, I dated a number of police officers. A few were regular beat cops, a couple were Sergeants. I called a number of detectives and even one Deputy Chief good friends. Since this all occurred in one of the larger metropolitan forces in America, I think I know of what I speak.
Given that all this happened in Detroit, Michigan, once the “murder capital” wherein I worked with and under a list of rather well-known African-American police/ judges/politicians, I speak with some small knowledge of the realities of both crime and racism in America.
We are in the grips of a series of well-publicized incidents wherein Black folks have been killed by white police officers. This has happened in myriads of places, among forces that are more or less bigoted toward their policing communities. The evidence (1) or more properly, the allegations are all over the place. Some cases “seem” more clear-cut than others. People who are favorable to the police in one case are not necessarily favorable in other cases.
Whatever the truth may be in any case, there is a strong and clear perception that the system has failed the African-American community in large part. One example will suffice. Studies suggest that where marijuana is concerned, people use it pretty much in an equal amount racially. In fact, in some years, whites out use marijuana. Yet when you examine arrest rates, Blacks are arrested at stunningly higher rates. A look at the incarceration rates across the country speaks to the same conclusion.
Blacks are targeted. This has always been the case, and it continues to be the case. All the explanations and arguments cannot dissuade this conclusion no matter how hard people try. Deflections to “blacks commit more crimes against blacks than anybody else” are convenient diversions but nothing else. African-American parents teach their boys at an early age a whole series of behaviors in public that are required of them that are unthinkable to a white parent. Walking and driving while black is a real concept.
During my time practicing law, it was not unusual to be told by a client, “the police rolled up on us, stopped us, and said, ‘what are you doing in THIS neighborhood?'” No such thing is asked of a white kid.
The insensitivity to race in this country is stunning and shocking. The Right-wing continues to claim that we are a post racial country. And of course this is understandable when you are busily trying to dismantle government support systems, deny people the right to vote, and otherwise diluting the influence of dark skins in the decision-making process. Suddenly we don’t need to feed the hungry because they are poor and victimized by an unfair system that revolves around poor schools, lack of transportation choices, injustice in the courts, and so forth, but rather because they are “lazy” and have not learned the values of hard work and sacrifice that all good white children learn.
The point is there is a vested interest on the part of the Right to negate racism in America. Their champions become those handful of Negroes who crave the limelight and are willing to dance Bojangles tunes in return for being patted on the head and “considered” a real presidential candidate. African-Americans who stand up and declare the unfairness (as well as well-meaning liberals) are just “playing the race card”
Go to any right-wing blog, and read the comments. I regularly post “humor” pieces consisting of nothing but verbatim comments by people on topics of racial injustice. The same sick and ugly remarks pervade the hundreds that are posted.
Yet, I am daily told that I am the problem. I fail to understand the dangerous jobs our police people are doing, against criminals who are armed to the teeth. I fail to have any balance. I am always “playing the race card.”
Yes, I play it, because it fairly cries out to be played. This country is still ugly racist and you, Right wing, prove it every single day.
Here is a list of what is considered racist:
- I’m not a racist. Well, you probably are if you made that statement. People who are sensitive to race and working to eliminate racism recognize that we are all racist or bigoted in ways we don’t even realize. We are always looking for the ways that we “assume” before thinking, “react” before thinking. We recognize our tendencies and work to eradicate them. To say you are not a racist is to utterly fail to even grasp this concept. You are deeply racist, and haven’t even begun the process.
- We have a black president, and a black attorney general. As Chris Rock said, this is not an example of “progress”. There have been Black people for decades and centuries that were more than capable of being all these things. To suggest that white American has finally reached such a point, has little to do with “progress” from a Black perspective.
- Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are black racists. There is no such thing as a black racist. It’s an oxymoron. Racism denotes the power to control a minority by a majority. A minority cannot be racist. Individuals of any race, creed, or gender can be bigots. Learn the difference.
- Blacks need to raise their children to work hard and be law-abiding. They already do. What you are really saying, is that black people need to act white. You are not constrained as they are by crime-ridden neighborhoods, poor schools, lack of good transportation, poor government services, local merchants who take advantage of them though inferior products and high prices. When you have tried to fight though all that AND teach your child to be polite to slur-slinging authority figures and keep their hands out of their pockets and not play with toy guns, and not to walk down certain streets, and not to wear those tennis shoes, and not to wear your hat that way, and not to be out after 10 p.m., and not to ride in that sort of car, and, and, and, maybe you will get it.
Much has been made in recent months of mostly white men walking around in stores carrying their “I got a big dick” guns, in some male peacock display of misplaced masculinity. People forget that the Black Panthers did the same thing in California back in the 70’s and then Governor Ronnie Reagan called for new gun laws to stop this danger to the public. Black men with guns is dangerous. White men with guns is “protection to all”. Do you FUCKING SEE THE DIFFERENCE?
One day we will look back on all this (we being future generations no doubt) and see all the hypocrisy. A study just confirmed what has been known for a number of years. The bulk of the “tea party movement” was born, bred and financed by the Kochs. They personally don’t give a damn about all your religious issues, but they do find it a good thing to have your mind occupied by gays and affirmative action, by “socialist” boogie men behind every government program designed to help those less fortunate. They and those like them are behind the misdirection that you live with.
As long as you blame others for your shit-life ( or at least it would be a whole lot better if I didn’t have to support THEM), then you are not blaming them–the people with all the money and with all the power. They continue to reform this country into an oligarchy where the rich have everything and everyone works for them in some sick Ayn Randian dystopian nightmare. And you play your part by calling for free markets and free guns, and worrying about who is marrying who.
Get a clue. Markets have never been free, and the Kochs and their ilk don’t want free markets, they want them rigged as they now are to favor them. They want international markets to be open to their products and they will abuse and exploit workers worldwide and do so with impunity. They are intent on reducing you to no more than a Bangladeshi sweat-shop worker. They don’t care about your old age, or your health. As long as we continue to breed, there will always be enough. Platitudes are all you actually get from paid politicians who say we just have to get back to the good old days of hard work and sacrifice–you know, like you and your parents. Stop supporting these lazy no-accounts. That ain’t racism, just good old American pride.
As they sit with their December tans in San Moritz and laugh over martinis at the gullibility of their “tea bagger” supporters, while you continue to talk about “respecting our police” and calling young a young kid who may have snatched a few cigarillos a “thug”. Yeah, continue doing your “job”. The rich laugh all the way to the bank.
PS: all this shit applies to brown skins too.
(1) Given that almost none of these cases has resulted in a prosecution, we can only surmise what the evidence is. Grand jury testimony is not evidence nor proof of anything, having been untested by cross-examination or subject to objection by the other side. This is no “other side” in grand jury proceedings.