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Thursday, July 30, 2015

To Save Planned Parenthood






Have a moment with the information above. Imagine how many Medicaid patients in rural areas would immediately lose health care and cancer screenings if federal funding for Planned Parenthood were banned.

This issue is about women's health. Regardless of how many distractions we are offered or attempts are made to misdirect our focus, the necessity of Planned Parenthood in our country is profound. The millions of women who would completely lose their access to family planning and cancer screenings can not become irrelevant by those who mean to create controversies for votes. We must demand that women are more important than that.

Because the issue of abortion is a wedge issue and some of our politicians are presently trying to compel their base to rally support so they can get a spot in next weeks Republican debates, Rand Paul has determined to have a Senate hearing Monday to eliminate all funds to Planned Parenthood. They have allowed for hysteria to distract themselves and their constituents from the essential work that this group is doing. As none of the federal funds go toward the issue they are debating, it is insulting to think they would be holding a hearing to get rid of monies which are directly used to care for women and families.

My hope is for every thoughtful human being who reads this to take a quiet moments reflection on what our society is telling us when our legislators, those we hire to represent us and our needs, spend so much of their time trying to create laws to remove our rights and offer so much of their energy trying to take down a single organization whose sole mission is to care for the needs of American women. This all comes down to one issue. That issue is abortion. Abortion has been legal for 40+ years now. The majority of Americans support freedom of choice. Even many Republicans support that right.


This is the list of Senators who are a member of the Republicans for Choice, a group who believe that the GOP principles should embrace freedom of choice. Please reach out to them if they represent you and remind them what it means to be representing your healthcare needs.

Susan Collins of Maine: @SenatorCollins
Mark Kirk of Illinois: @SenatorKirk
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska: @LisaMurkowski




The Man who is proposing this bill has this on his fundraising page. Make sure that he and the companies united to support women in this country understand that Americans think that the nations objectives should embrace the rights of women, as well.




Please contact these companies today and thank them for making the health of women a priority while compeling them to contact the Senate and insist our government do the same.  Thank you.



If you contact the companies through Twitter make sure to use the hashtags #SavePlannedParenthood #WarOnWomen and #NOW as they trending and will make more people aware of the companies who support women's healthcare.


Adobe: @Adobe @AdobeCare
American Cancer Society: @ASCAN @Cancer
American Express: @AmericanExpress
AT&T:  @ATT
Avon:  @AvonFoundation
Bank of America: @BofACommunity @BankofAmerica
Bath & BodyWorks: @bathandbodyworks
Ben & Jerrys: @BenandJerrys
Clorox: @Clorox
Coca-Cola: @CocaCola
Converse: @Converse
Deutsche Bank: @DBAmericas
Dockers: @Dockers
Energizer: @Energizer @EnergizerBunny
Expedia: @Expedia @ExpediaMedia
Exxon Mobil: @KenPCohen @ExxonMobil
Fannie Mae: @FannieMae
Ford: @FordFoundation @Ford
Groupon: @Groupon @GrpnGrassroots
Intuit: @Intuit @TurboTax
Johnson & Johnson: @JNJCares @JNJGlobalHealth
LaSenza: @LaSenza
Levi Strauss: @LeviStraussCo @LeviStraussFdn
Liberty Mutual: @LibertyMututal
Macy's: @Macys @MacyFoundation
March of Dimes: @MarchofDimes
Microsoft: @MSFoundation @Microsoft
Morgan Stanley: @MorganStanley
Nike: @NikeFoundation @Nike
Oracle: @Oracle
PepsiCo: @PepsiCo
Pfizer: @Pfizer
Progressive: @Progressive
Starbucks: @Starbucks
Susan G Komen: @SusanGKomen
Tostitos: @Tostitos
Unilever: @Unilever
United Way: @UnitedWay @LiveUnited
Verizon: @Verizongiving @Verizon
Wells Fargo: @WellsFargo






Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dear Media: Rape Is A Thing



Fox has a right-wing cable channel with the word 'news' in its title and demands it has no political bias. This is laughable to every single person in the country who knows the definition of the word 'bias' (which obviously excludes their audience). The left has MSNBC. They never try to dismiss allegations that their commentary comes from the left, however they maintain credibility because they never contend to be something other than they are or make stories out of thin air to create and perpetuate hate or fear in their audience. For some reason, MSNBC feels the need to alienate their audience and offer us a regressive perspective for their morning show, Morning Joe. Its host, Joe Scarborough, is a former Congressman from Florida and his co-host, Mika Brzezinski, is supposed to offer us a perspective from the left.

Sadly, as with my previous condemnations of ABC, MSNBC has gone out of its way to offer American women an unhealthy representation of strong women. They often bring in Nicolle Wallace to banter about nonsense and we are supposed to take her seriously, I suppose, as a pundit, because she was brilliant enough to offer us Sarah Palin as a viable candidate for Vice President on the ticket in 2008.

Brzezinski, however, is decidedly worse. She is adamant about being a leader for women. She recently wrote a book called "Know Your Value" and started a nationwide tour to teach American women just how to rise and be strong. Meanwhile, every morning she shows us a woman with no backbone who seems quite content with her place as the nodding head next to its superstar from the Regressive Party. She calls herself a feminist while giggling to the boys and literally defining women as the subordinate creatures we were meant to be in the 50s where the men on the show ignore her cutesy little remarks when she tries to speak about politics as if its adorable that she thinks she knows what is going on.

In July, in a long series of unsettling opportunities Brzezinski has taken to rally with the host and any guests about myriad unfounded (later proven to be untrue) rumors about Secretary Clinton, she gave a disgusted and dismissive start to a discussion about the recently released rape allegations against Donald Trump by the Daily Beast. She didn't want to hear about it.



The question of the rape, itself, was not relevant for discussion on Morning Joe. The story the crew offered us was about the reply from Trump's attorney where he literally said that "by the very definition, you can't rape your spouse." (I suppose in their dark world, when a man is married he can pretty much do whatever he wants to his wife and she has no say in it). He then threatened the author of the piece (a woman) in a manner so crude that no feminist or human being should consider lightly, and ended in a sentence which actually sounded like a threat of rape to her. The whole thing was ridiculous to Brzezinski. She passionately feigned disgust when the co-author and editor, Tim Mak of the Daily Beast, came on and then she rolled her eyes while shaking her head. Scarborough even pointed out that he would protect the editor from Mika, because she was so pissed about the fact that rape allegations would be offered about Trump.



Mak pointed out that the reply from Trumps attorney said that spousal rape isn't illegal and Brzezinski literally dismissed him and cut him off saying,"Great. Thank you." Hey Mika, kindly never tell your audience that you want women to know their value while you refuse to hear the story and refuse to take the opportunity to remind your audience that in fact, spousal rape is a thing. And that it is not only deplorable, but illegal. That discussion concluded with Scarborough explaining to America that the reason many good people don't run for political positions is because they are afraid of terrible lies like these coming out about them.





The Morning Joe team never even discussed the actual allegations of the story and why they are incredibly important for Americans to hear. Thankfully, MSNBC was good enough to offer its audience an interview with the author of the piece, Brandy Zadrozny, the night before where she explained the relevance of the story on The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell. O'Donnell was uncharacteristically offensive, however, because he was looking for reasons to remind his audience that the victim in the case, Ivana Trump, still has a friendship with Donald Trump all of these years later. He reminded us that when many marriages end the spouses can still get along for the sake of the children. Thanks for the reminder, Lawrence. That happens with a lot of survivors who are just glad to get out of the cross hairs of bullies. Trump has proudly offered us proof that he is a bully. He tells us that he goes out of his way to be nice to people who are nice to him. Exactly. Bullies often do that. They also, as Trump does, remind us about what happens when they are crossed. Trump makes sure we know that. He had a television show where the objective was for him to be a bully. No woman who left a man like that, with the status and power that he has, would dare speak out about him.

If Trump has shown us anything in the last several months it is that he will absolutely not abide any betrayal (either real or imagined) and if anyone spends a moment of their time thinking he wouldn't do whatever he could to bury this story, they are living in a world completely devoid of reality. Only the article, which no one seems interested in discussing, and O'Donnells show in July offered us insight into what that bully is capable of.

The only time that Ivana Trump testified under oath about the event she called it rape. The entire scene was violent. He yanked fistfuls of hair from her head. The testimony from her friends that O'Donnell couldn't even say on the air was "He tore off her clothes and unzipped his pants. 'Then he jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than sixteen months.'" When she later recanted (through Trumps attorney) this was the statement:
“During a deposition given by me in connection with my matrimonial case, I stated that my husband had raped me,” the Ivana Trump statement said. “[O]n one occasion during 1989, Mr. Trump and I had marital relations in which he behaved very differently toward me than he had during our marriage. As a woman, I felt violated, as the love and tenderness, which he normally exhibited towards me, was absent. I referred to this as a ‘rape,’ but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.”
As with terrorism when the actor is neither foreign nor a Muslim, the media is really desperate to find new words to define rape. Both the word rape in the initial testimony and the account above is offensive and demands further scrutiny. If no one can admit that this updated account sounds like an attempt to minimize rape, they have no business calling themselves a journalist whose sole responsibility is to inform their audience, regardless of who is going to get pissed after you do. Finally, the divorce was granted on the grounds of Donald Trump's "cruel and inhuman treatment' of Ivana. That should trigger someone into thinking deeply about both his respect for women and the possibility of his being their President.

After the divorce, when she was finally away from him and was under a gag order, she changed her story to say that it was an emotional rape. And no one wants to discuss the fact that every single thing she said the week that the story broke in July to defend Trump had to actually be approved by him because of the gag order. What moron believes he, or the attorney above who would be the one to review it, would allow a response that would put the bully in a negative light?

Is it any wonder that the women's movement has been so unsuccessful? Is it remotely curious that in 2015 we still have not been able to get the ERA passed?

We allow for those in our media culture to negate accusations of 40+ women who give undeniably similar stories about Bill Cosby raping them. We allow them to do so even though we have evidence of his having admitted under oath to drugging them beforehand. But we accept a noted celebrity, Whoopi Goldberg, condemning us for believing these women. We have a self-proclaimed feminist on MSNBC refusing to hear an accusation of rape in a desperate attempt to protect the reputation of the man accused, who we all know to be a bully.

Again, I remind my reader, (for whites) there are two laws in our country where it is absolutely justifiable, and maybe even expected, to first be skeptical or dismiss allegations and, in turn, accept that the victim is lying. Those two laws are, of course, rape and domestic violence. If our media can't be held accountable for offering us perspectives in the dismissal of women and their obvious subjugation in the most extreme cases, what type of society are we accepting?

This is where we are in our women's movement: We have a very serious chance of getting our first female President. All news outlets, including the one which is supposed to lean left, offer supposition for every rumor that comes up (they've been giving us rumors for over 20 years now, has no one yet determined they should vet their sources before reporting?), but when serious allegations come out about the rage and danger of a man who is running for the same office, those allegations are dismissed with obvious and extreme prejudice. And the discussion about the dangers of spousal rape are minimized in order to literally promote the character of a bully.

In short, I guess we are fucked. That's where we are. And the media refuses to see their complicity in that fact.











Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Regressive Women's Health





Right. Go to Rand Paul's website and you will promptly be invited to donate to his campaign. This is the message he chose to send to Americans who want him to lead us all. It never surprises me when they flaunt their arrogance and their ignorance. It pisses me off, though. I, too, believe in the rights of men. However, I'm partial to this new fangled way of thinking where everyone should have an opportunity to the same rights.

I'm sure many in the Regressive Party will condemn me for playing semantics. True, it is beneath me. But that is the only weapon they seem to have. So I will gladly point out the fact that any noun at all could have filled that space. He could've used "American's," "Humans," "Everyone's," but he didn't.

Rand Paul uses only semantics here to explain his new position against choice. For any who are not sure what he is talking about, don't feel bad, he isn't either. You see, no woman will walk into a hospital the day before she is due to give birth and get an abortion. The Regressive Party has been using this nonsense to promote the miseducation of people who can't (won't) think for themselves. Again, critical thinking is a gift some of us are not born with. This talking point is meant to diminish a woman's right to choose an abortion after 20 weeks. They never allow the conversation to go beyond rhetoric, of course, because 20 weeks is about the time that technology can detect birth defects. And their argument also completely belies the fact that when a doctor determines a late-term abortion is necessary, it is to spare the woman's life or health. As much as we all enjoy our second class citizen status, maybe we could let up just a bit when it is actually talking about life and death?



Because their use of semantics is so pervasive in all of their talking points, it makes it too hard to point them out every day so I usually give them a pass. Today, however, Paul gets none. He is, at present, passionately compelling those in the Senate to vote for a bill he proposed to cut all funding for Planned Parenthood next month.

The videos which have been leaked lately are meant to be fantastical. They are only shocking to people who lack the capacity for reason and who are anti-choice. Those are the people who were already going to vote for Rand Paul. This will end up being another waste of his rhetoric and time in the Senate because it will not garner a single new vote. He may, however, be able to lose some. Every woman on the right who believes in choice will be given a chance to hear about these attempts every time we take the time to explain them. There are many on the right who believe in choice. The Regressives call them "RINOs" (Republican in Name Only) and don't really even consider them a part of their party.

Unfortunately, many of the RINOs don't pay enough attention to realize what has become of their party. They are traditional Republicans who have always walked into the voting booth, checked the Rs and gone home. They feel content having done their civic duty and will show up again in 4 years to do the same. Because they don't pay much attention, however, they don't realize that their party has been hijacked by the Regressives and they don't realize that the ideals which were once held as sincerely radical in their party are now those which define its platform.

If these RINOs only hear bits and pieces of what is going on in the country from people at work or at family functions, they might be horrified to hear the rumors about Planned Parenthood. Its pretty easy to set them straight and let them know that the tapes were profoundly altered and then ask them to think about what the actual takeaway from the hysteria is without any outside influence. Then remind these RINOs that Planned Parenthood is an essential need for many women throughout the nation who don't have access to family planning and gynecological care in rural areas. Remind them of the many resources they offer to millions of Americans. Finally, remind them that the Senate is voting to cut all of their federal funding because they oppose abortion. Don't forget to add in this discussion that #1 abortion is legal and #2 Planned Parenthood receives no federal funding for abortions #3 tissue donation should be a revolutionary way to create live-saving medical advancements, not create controversy. The RINOs are the ones on the right who aren't sheep. Thoughtful discourse is possible with them.

We have time to make sure they are aware. Each of us. One at a time. And we also have time to call our Senators and tell them what we plan to do. And tell them we will be making sure to keep track of how they vote on Planned Parenthood next month.

Don't be confused by their wordplay. There really is a genuine War on Women presently being waged by the Regressives. And it really is time that we fight back.




Monday, July 27, 2015

Republican Holocaust



Okay. I have fucking had it. I am not kidding. There are few things that can get me as pissed as I am right now. My body is covered in hives. I have had it with the GOP having absolutely zero respect for Americans, for history and certainly lacking all decorum when designing their dog whistles.

It doesn't even phase me any longer when they make references to the Bible because it is their own professed text and mangling the words of it should make them be held accountable by someone, especially if there really will be a St. Peter waiting for them when we are finally rid of their bullshit. The Holocaust is something decidedly more grotesque.

This past weekend, Mike Huckabee said that President Obama was trying to create a new Holocaust for the Jews. His exact words were, "take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven." Not surprisinging, that pissed some people off. And, not surprisingly, he decided that meant he needed to double down.




Now listen, you bitter, hateful old sonofabitch. We all realize you need attention because Trump has taken your actual talking points to offer America as his own and you are bent out of shape because you didn't realize they would do so well in the mainstream or you would've let up on your coded language a long time ago. But as a human being, as a citizen of this Earth, there are some things that absolutely no respectable politician would draw a comparison to in attempts to denounce their opposition. And offering foresight of a pending Holocaust because of the deal struck with Iran is way over the line. No one uses that phrase, "Marching to the ovens." Wanna know why? Its not a thing. It is a thing that existed one time in history and it is such a profound thing that no rational thinking person would ever draw a comparison to it. Ever.

When you design rhetoric meaning to be analogous to the most profoundly painful and unthinkable memories of recent history, you lessen its memory and its impact on the greater human conscience. There is nothing like the Holocaust. We want to all make sure that we never have anything like the Holocaust again. When you take repeated opportunities to diminish the affects people have when they are reminded of it, you bring us one inch closer to a place where atrocities are acceptable again.

Huckabee isn't the only right wing extremist to be using Holocaust references to entice their small minded base. I had actually set this item aside a couple of weeks ago because it made me so angry that I didn't think I could construct sentences properly.

Begin by reading this famous quote by Martin Neimoller defining the theme of complacency during the Holocaust:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

In June, a group of 'Christian' leaders met in San Diego for a conference to plot ways to further destroy our futures. Chuck Stetson, a noted speaker offered this to his audience:
First they came for the adoption ministry, but I did not speak out, because I did not do adoptions.
Then they came for the wedding photographer, but I did not speak out, because I did not do photographic weddings. 
Then they came for the baker, and I did not speak out because I was not a baker. Then they came for the florist, but I said nothing, because I was not a florist.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.

Please pause here and reflect on the initial quotation.

Now, after you have cooled off, take a moment to reflect on which people 'they' came for in the 30s. The Socialists? The Trade Unions? And then, of course, the religious group they didn't like? Carry that with you for the next time you are called a Nazi.

It is beyond comprehension how we, as an American society, offer a voice to these mongrels. Yes, we have freedom of speech and we also have freedom of religion. However, that should not mean that we don't demand better of our media to inform us of the antics of those who mean to lead us and it does not mean that we should allow them a pass to condemn the rest of us to endure them because of their rights.

I know that it is supposed to be above a Progressive to make nasty remarks about the way someone looks. I am immature in many ways, though, and it is not one of the things I am working on presently. With that being said, this is a picture of Chuck Stetson. Can you totally see him with horns popping out of his head and long pointy teeth?




I know that they make blanket statements all of the time in calling others Nazi's, so much so that we literally have to consider Godwin's Law whenever we want to have an intelligent comparison (wink) of their beginnings and propaganda with those of the Tea Party. The base (perfect word, huh?) that they pander to don't understand history so we can't expect them to be offended, but that doesn't mean that society should accept it. To be honest, I cannot even decide which of the declarations above are worse. I'll let you decide.



***I am actually aware that this will not have been one of my greatest attempts at writing because when I get angry it is more evident that I am pissed than anything else. My President kind of sums it up for me, though.***







Warning: Be Prepared for The Next Swift Boat




When I started becoming fascinated with the Tea Party spin earlier this year I started researching where their nonsense was coming from and how it was disseminated so quickly and effortlessly throughout their network. It was actually pretty easy to figure out once I found this jackass. His name is Jerome Corsi. He was the asshole that brought us Secretary Kerry's swiftboat conspiracy lies. He is also the one that created the story of President Obama being a Muslim. And that he is secretly married to his gay lover with Michelle Obama serving as his beard. 

I know that you, my readers, are intelligent people and you laugh when you hear this shit. I do, too. For a moment. I then realize that the problem with America is that we are a country which thrives on tabloid information and loves to talk shit about people. We have lost the capacity, as a collective, to ignore the bullshit and focus on things that are important. That is part of the success of the Tea Party and groups like them. They count on us to ignore it. And they count on morons to flock to this type of information because they are high on the excitement of it. 

Our ignoring it has failed us in the past. I honestly think, because of it, we have failed the President. The right is presently, sincerely, enjoying a rift within the Democratic Party because of the Bernie V Hillary fight we have raging among ourselves. I think the most disturbing part is the fact that some of the rumors going back and forth have actually been handed to us by the right. Regardless of which candidate you are most excited to support, please realize that if the rift continues you have not only furthered the cause of people who start rumors to ruin careers, but you will literally have handed them wins for the candidates they will be promoting next year; both in the White House and Congress. And ask yourself what our Supreme Court and our futures will look like then. Honestly. Have a quiet moments reflection on this.

I am asking ALL Democrats and Socialists and Progressives and Liberals to get behind shutting down this rumor whenever you hear it. Regardless of how you feel about any of the candidates on the left, it is the agenda of the left that will suffer, the entire agenda, if we allow them to give us more opportunities for division.

Corsi started spreading rumors about Secretary Clinton last week. The video and its implications are so vile as to say she was behind the Benghazi attacks, as was the President.



We need to get ahead of it this time.  Regardless of how incredibly ridiculous it was, remember that the rumors he started about President Obama are still discussed today. We need to laugh at the ridiculousness of this publicly and inform those around us before it makes its way into the backs of the minds of people who retain snippets of information, keep them in their mental 'negative' file and move on in life. Let them keep it in their 'negative GOP' file instead.

Their spin needs to be shut down. Period. As often as we can get in front of it we must. Please let us all work together to condemn the negative lies whenever they come out and make sure the Regressive Party understands that we see them coming and are not taking their shit.


Friday, July 24, 2015

Extreme Political Views


Some months ago, when the Pam Geller inspired shooting happened in Texas, I wrote a blog post about the many terrorist acts in America since 9/11. Not surprisingly (to those not desperate to live in an alternate reality), the overwhelming majority of those attacks have been tracked to right-wing hate groups or those who follow right-wing 'media.' Then last month I did a piece for my Dear Media: series about the fact that we are never informed of the terrorists who don't meet the very narrow definition of the terrorists we want to believe in. As I wrote both I felt like my writing was irrelevant. And both times, I was pretty much right.

The same week as I wrote my Dear Media piece last month, we had the tragic massacre in South Carolina. Again, no one told us that the killer was a terrorist. The media literally tripped all over themselves to determine whether or not he was a terrorist because it seemed like maybe he was, but they didn't want to be too hasty in assigning labels.

When we, as a society, are desperate to tell ourselves that we live in a post-racial era, we ignore racism to feed our need to hold onto our irrational and childlike fantasies. We do the same thing when we see repeated acts of terrorism and allow them to be called anything else. When the terrorist is a white man he is, undoubtedly, suffering from mental health issues. He is always a lone wolf, as well. It is curious that the shooter who killed 5 Marines one week ago suffered from documented mental health issues but very few outlets reported that information. The obvious correlations to his family having come from Kuwait were identified almost immediately and since then we have only been offered supposition based on where he really visited while he was in the Middle East last year.

We will never find a way to stop these events from happening if we limit our definition of a terrorist as one who comes from another country or worships another God. Earlier this month a white man from Tennessee was let out of jail after having been arrested plotting a massacre of Muslims in New York state with an undercover FBI agent and others. The judge determined that,"(The government) has not shown by clear and convincing evidence defendant's release would pose an unreasonable danger to the community or any particular individual," even after his own attorneys admitted he posed a genuine threat. Lest there be any confusion as to how extreme his plans were, these were his recorded words:
“When we meet in this state, the people we seek will know who we are. We will be cruel to them, and we will burn down their buildings. If anyone attempts to harm us in any way, our stand gunner will take them down from 350 yards away. The standoff gunner would be me.”
Last night another white man who has been inspired by right-wing rhetoric attempted a mass killing. He was able to kill 2 women and injure 9 others then eventually killed himself when the completion of his plot had been foiled. We were immediately informed by the media of his mental health diagnoses. I have yet to hear a major media outlet tell us about his political views, however. I have heard that he was 'extremely political.' I have heard that he had 'radical political views.' But no one has explained what those views are. Sadly, as with our desire to really just not know about racism and gun violence, no one wants to hear about where these ideas are bred, manipulated and disseminated throughout our society.


Here we see that he was in a Facebook group called "I Hate Liberals." I will quickly admit I am in a Facebook group called "I Hate Republicans." I will then advise that I have never heard of a flaming Liberal committing extreme violence in defense of or because of their views. If anyone sends me information, I will update and cite right here, I promise.



In the Raw Story article herewe learn that he had very extreme views of the US Government and the fears which are presently being offered by the right-wing radio hosts like Michael Savage, Alex Jones and the like. Below he said that death is soon coming on the 'financially failing filth farm called the US." When people can ask themselves the question, "How will we be able to identify those with extreme views before they commit such atrocities," but then refuse to answer the question with something along the lines of, "They are all listening to the same constant drone of hateful rhetoric," we will continue to allow our citizens to be taken out, one by one or two by two, by those whose hatred is fed in these protected institutions of right-wing hate and propaganda.


 Of course, those who are willing to believe and follow these spin doctors tell themselves that those on the left hate America. This came just one week before he determined that we were living in a 'filth farm' which deserved to soon die. I will gladly assume that the people who passionately follow the hate on the right are suffering from mental health issues. I don't say that to be mean. I suffer from some pretty profound issues, myself (of course, my personality points inward instead of out; a clear difference between left and right). If you can be led to believe in myriad conspiracies passed around and find your way to a place where you think that random people should die and further justify your own right to kill them, you are not in the right frame of mind, regardless of your national origin or your religion.




Until American society embraces the actual definition of terrorist and allows themselves to see that the same talking points Isis are offering to those who join them are those dog whistles (if only using different words) being sent out by our right-wing propagandists while instilling similar fears, we will continue to have no way of dealing with these issues because we refuse to answer the questions we are asking ourselves.

What an absolute clusterfuck we allow ourselves to endure instead of admitting our own complicity and tolerance of what we create.







Wednesday, July 22, 2015

OK(KK). The Flag Isn't A Racist Symbol. My Bad.



People never cease to amaze me. Ever. Over the last month or so, when we have finally had an opportunity to see what kind of damage our repeated and willful tolerance of hate has allowed, many have finally started to accept that we are all a part of it. Of course, many don't admit that at all. They are intent to make the rest of us believe that it is their heritage they are promoting. When reminded that this heritage embodied slavery and treason they deny it with the most absurd retellings of history imaginable.





I wrote a piece a couple of weeks ago in an attempt to explain why the flag is so offensive. I made historical connections to the Confederate flag and the Nazi flag. Many were outraged on the right and I expected that. However, I also had to defend my piece to liberals. It is getting exhasuting, really. I love my brothers and sisters on the left and their beautiful, patient and tolerant hearts. I do. But as lovely as it is to be tolerant of all, there is a time and a place to stop.  And I would say we are there. The argument they give us demands that they are not racists. They are, obviously, promoting hate and you offer them a platform when you don't tell them their hate is unwelcome. Please don't be a part of the problem any more. I beg of you.

Most who didn't already agree with me were not going to be moved by my writing, I suppose. I am a proud Progressive and my bias is obvious so I am easily dismissed, aren't I? No worries. Here. Let them tell you about their heritage.

This quick 3 minute video from The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore should put to rest any debate one wants to offer about a sincere love and respect for the heritage associated with that flag.

Dig how the news caster even opens the piece by telling us about the 'radical' offshoot of the New Black Panther Party and just offers us a casual nod to the KKK. Pardon me Bud, which group is radical?

Kindly just forward this video to the next person who tells you that the flag is not a racist symbol. As long as we choose to be ignorant about the hate in our country, the further we perpetuate its existance. 



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Shut-Up You Lowlife Nazi-Commie-Marxist-Fascist-Maoist-Satanist-Hippie!

The beauty of Trumps ignorance is more fun than I should admit. I have been obsessed lately with trying to understand how the far right have been so easily duped and how the rest of America has been so blind to it. When I realized that it is all so well constructed and implemented it made things seem hopeless. The spin doctors have become so adept at putting this all in place that it felt as if they would be able to sail through without enough people catching on to really make a difference. Then we got Trump. Because he so loves to be in the spotlight hearing himself speak and he, quite obviously, refuses to hear anyone tell him the proper way to run a campaign, he is out trumpeting the dog whistles which are supposed to be subtle and never given an opportunity for reflection in mainstream media and, thus, mainstream America.


If Trump were wise, which thankfully he isn't, he would hire someone like Kevin D Williamson of the National Review to advise him. This magazine holds esteem as being a reputable (ehem) conservative outlet for those on the right to get their talking points. In his article released yesterday, Williamson proved his proficiency in disseminating the garbage where he likened Bernie Sanders to a Nazi while informing his readers that Sanders is a Jewish descendant of those lost in the Holocaust. The title of the article is, "Bernie Sanders' Strange Brew of Nationalism and Socialism." No one from the right who reads the article will be remotely concerned with the historical inaccuracies. None will reflect on impossible manglings of ideologies which any intelligent audience would immediately condemn upon first glance. And none of them will be off put by the fact that actual Nazi propaganda techniques are used in the story, itself, to amplify disdain for Secretary Clinton by only referring to her as "Herself" (capital H) throughout and never having to tell the audience who is being referenced. Its not necessary, is it Kev? Your audience has already been conditioned. The audience also doesn't need to have the word 'socialist' redefined for them to offer a negative connotation linking it to Nazis and Communists, because that work has already been done successfully, too. As with Nazi propaganda, once the insinuations are implanted, their reminders need only be perpetuated. Often.

Of course, National Socialism is Nazism. National Socialism had nothing to do with actual socialism, but mindless parrots don't need (or want) to understand that. National Socialism began with something quite similar to our American Exceptionalism which is just a fuckered up way of telling the country they are superior to everyone else by twist-turning histories into heroism with mind-numbing celebrations of anti-intellectualism. Williamson neglected to advise his readers about any of this, however, lest they draw obvious ties to their own party. The offense of connecting Sanders to Nazism is disgusting on so many levels but the aspect hardest for me is the fact that there is an audience for this shit at all. Take a moment with the revelation that people exist who will accept such 'historical' references and laud those who make them.

The contrived ideologies begin with a comparison between Sanders and Communism, jokingly calling him "that weirdo socialist from Soviet Beninjerristan" (I bet both Ben AND Jerry know the difference between Communism and Nazism so they won't read the article and be misled). The audience on the right has already been made to understand that Nazism is socialism because the S (z in our translation) is for Socialist. Of course, for any person with no need to actually understand history or ideologies, that is quite enough information to have a discussion and feel confident in ones assertions. For those of us capable of critical thought and who paid attention in World History, however, it becomes uncomfortable to even have a conversation with these people without literally drifting off to wonder how they make it through life unattended 24/7.

I started this blog because I was absolutely stunned when I made my way to Twitter this year and realized there are people on the right who are so completely brainwashed that they will literally repeat every single thing they are told. They don't need facts. They don't need logic. They don't need to have history explained to them (or science. or the Bible). They willingly repeat whatever they're told, full of blatant contradictions and lies. The final straw for me, which precluded this complete 180 in my writing, was a man on Twitter who I was arguing with. He told me, quite sincerely, that I was a Nazi Communist Marxist Fascist Maoist Hippie. I didn't even know how to reply. I sat there with bulging eyes, jaw agape and thought, "this is a joke, right?" I finally had to ask, "Do you have any idea what any of those terms mean?" To which he replied, "Yes, dumbass, it means you're a Socialist." He then told me that because I contradicted his new interpretations of the Bible, I was obviously a Satanist, as well. Indeed.

I had to read this ridiculous Willamson article because of the title. My sincere fascination with conflation of ideas and history is so profound that sometimes it gets the better of me and I delve into things I ought not. This garbage will certainly be with me for a long time now and will drive me crazy because Americans are willfully ignorant to the political objectives of those on the right. It is all so contrived that they would rather not delve too deeply into something they are not really interested in anyway. Those of us who are passionate about the truths behind their objectives are dismissed because our tireless tirades become futile to an unwilling audience. And the right has the easiest objective of all. They can literally type anything, wrap it in hate and offer it to people who will gladly accept the messages as truths and pass them on.

Throughout the article, Williamson denounces those on the left for their ignorance, which is hysterical to me for all reasons outlined herein. He is counting on his audience being ignorant enough to nod and laugh while reading this shit and then pass it on to others. Meanwhile, this brilliant writer never even made a cohesive point. He opened by explaining to his audience that the socialist agenda was quite pervasive during the day he attended a Sanders rally in Iowa and he then dove into making comparisons of Sanders' ideals and those with Donald Trump. No factual historical connotations were needed and there was no obvious objective to even support the title of the article having had any relevance beyond his own excited joy in condemning a man with family members who escaped the Holocaust to being a Nazi.

He explains that Sanders is xenophobic because he believes that too many jobs are being sent overseas and we should buy things made in America. Right. Remember when that was a Regressive Party talking point? The writer wants us to only remember one of the Regressives who has ever said something similar: Donald J Trump. He tells us that Sanders and Trump are very similar in those they hold contempt for. We are now being offered condemnations of any who promote "economic patriotism" and led to believe that this is the type of thing that started the downward slope of both Russian and German societies about 100 years ago. But. Of. Course.

He also tells his audience (who will surely believe it) that he met with a young man who wondered aloud why the German welfare state (ehem) is so successful and we can't have such nice things. When urged to answer his own question, the young man realized that its because Germany is a mostly white nation where our diversity creates so many problems. He then reminds us that Trump has been saying racist things, too.

In their desperate need to remove themselves from the tirades of Trump and appeal to those their platform can't seem to get on board with their policies (those who fail to be white, male and 'Chrisitian'), they will tell their base that Trump is just like that POS socialist Sanders. And I promise you they will repeat it. Just like they tell us that the left are racists. And the left hates Jews. And the left hate women. And the left persecute people for their religion. And the left are warmongers.

The most absurd and obvious (again, only to those of us who are intelligent) revelation is an insistence that Bernie is beginning his Naziesque sojourn by trying to get rid of our most basic freedoms. (Those which impede an oligarchy)

And criminalizing things is very much on Bernie’s agenda, beginning with the criminalization of political dissent. At every event he swears to introduce a constitutional amendment reversing Supreme Court decisions that affirmed the free-speech protections of people and organizations filming documentaries, organizing Web campaigns, and airing television commercials in the hopes of influencing elections or public attitudes toward public issues. That this would amount to a repeal of the First Amendment does not trouble Bernie at all. If the First Amendment enables Them, then the First Amendment has got to go.

You have been warned. Their talking points never end. Their capacity to quickly rewrite narratives to adjust 'facts' for their voters will never cease. So be prepared for the next moron who tries to tell you that Trump is really just a socialist like Sanders and that they are both Nazi Communist Marxist Fascist Maoist Satanists.



Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Contrast of Colors


When President Obama arrived in Oklahoma last night, this was his view from the caravan on his ride to the hotel:







I am 42 years old and I still have no answer for the people who always ask me, "Why do you let these things upset you?" I don't know. I don't understand, even, the people who said that they expected something like that would happen. I am naive and I would just assume stay that way, I suppose. But that means I will always end up being surprised by the failings of humanity and I will always, then, end up being upset by them.

I always figured the majesty of the sight of a black President would be lost on my daughter. Although she understood it to the level that I could relay it, she also gave a me a curious glare on election night 2008 while I snotty face cried in my living room. That confirmed the profound gift of the moment was not as relevant for her. I saw that as a triumph because our country really was moving forward. I had no way of knowing, however, that the hate I thought was fading was only dormant. And I had no way of knowing that it would take our long awaited progress to bring that ugliness back to fashion.

To be sure, my President is an unbelievably patient and honorable man. He has had to deal with this shit for as long as he has been in politics and probably much longer than that.  I am sure that he was warned before they got off of the plane that a white trash parade was waiting to welcome him to town. I realize that he can take it. I realize that he can go home the next night to the White House where he happens to live and, if only in the back of his mind, send a silent, "And fuck you, too," to the people who hate him for the color of his skin instead of admiring the grace with which he leads.  

The pictures are startling to me. Take a moment to look closely at them. Look beyond the flags. Look beyond the backward people posing as human beings who wave flags to insult their President. Look at the smallest faces. They're closest to the fences put up to protect him. Look at those babies who are growing up in the South with brown skin who are getting as close as they can to see their President. They should not be expected to have his grace or understanding. They should not have to differentiate their pride from the contempt of those around them. 

We simply must force this down. We, all of us, must take every opportunity we have to shame those who mean to carry narrow, mindless hate into our futures. We know them. We live near them. We work with them. We have them in our families. Every American who abides these behaviors allows them moments of acceptance. The little white faces in the crowd with the parents teaching them hate are going to grow up having never had an opportunity to rejoice at having seen their President drive through their town. They will grow up with a memory of going to disrespect the leader of their nation because he was black. 

All of the babies in the pictures below deserve to grow up innocently believing, like I did as a child, that the office of the President commands respect. They deserve to believe that the racism which allowed for slavery and Jim Crow is an ugly truth worth remembering so as to never revisit those horrors. But these babies will grow up in the same place we did if we do not force ourselves and our country to be accountable for the least among us. They will not move forward without us. They may never move forward at all. But they cannot be afforded opportunites to condemn the rest of us to find a way to excuse their voices any longer. All of those babies deserve better. And, frankly, so does my President!










Wednesday, July 15, 2015

My President. My Pride.



I feel confident that there are days when President Obama walks out of a press conference, gives a snarl and a glare to whomever he first makes eye contact with and grumbles indistinguishable sentences full of what may sound like very bad words as he walks to his next meeting. I think he had one of those press conferences today. Deep down, I believe he and the First Lady are a normal American couple. And I believe tonight when they go to bed she is going to get an earful of what a crappy day he had.

My day, however, was made better by his responses to the two inapproriate questions he was asked and his masterful approach to each. First came Major Garrett, a correspondent with CBS who I had respect for. Until today.





The second question came from White House Correspondent, April Ryan. During a press conference regarding the Iran nuclear deal, she came out of left field and asked a question no one could have seen coming.




I almost feel silly with the happiness my President gives me. I spend so much time following politics and ranting about the absolute nonsense coming from the right and the media. But, every once in a while, just when I need it, my President gives me an opportunity to literally cheer in my living room. And I will not apologize for being compelled to share my happy with you all tonight :)



President Obama's Historic Speech Missed in the Press






Yesterday, my President had a big day. The Iran deal was completed and he was able to announce the agreement and present it for review. This was a nearly 2 year process and its significance will be measured for years. I have always said that President Obama's legacy will be more profound than any of us can understand now as it is daily contrasted with so much unprecedented abject contempt from the right and their media. The diplomacy required for this deal from both he and Secretary Kerry have been lauded by many nuclear and arms experts on the left and the right, but the condemnation of this plan, before it has even been reviewed, is the bulk of what the media is covering.

President Obama made another historic move yesterday and, sadly, it was overshadowed by the Iran nuclear deal. The President could hardly be expected to ask the NAACP to reschedule for a less newsworthy day, but we can certainly take the time to hear this message. He finally said many things we, as a nation, have needed to hear. We finally have a leader who is not just willing to acknowledge the countless injustices against communities of color, but had found the perfect time to deliver its message to his country. Our President has had to be careful about how he spoke lest he be met with only vilification. With the massacre of 9 innocent lives in South Carolina last month, America has come to a place where we are ready to hear about those atrocities and our own complicity in them. All of society is not listenting, to be sure. But enough have taken pause to begin hearing messages they would not have been able or willing to hear before now.

Please take the time to listen to his speech and allow its truths to compel you to action. Your action can be as simple as quietly reflecting on the message and acknowledging the truths which are really hard to accept, but then understand that our unwillingness to accept them before is why we find ourselves where we are today. Your action can be as simple as educating yourself before you vote next time, and as simple as making sure you never miss that opportunity to have your voice heard. Your action can be as simple as passing this on to friends and family members who you know would appreciate hearing this beautiful speech and triumph of President Obama where his dignity and grace may be able to allow their progress, as well.

Whatever you decide to do after having heard this speech, please allow yourself to be a better person for having heard it and been inspired by truths that are only now able to be said. By our President. Who happens to be a black man. In America. In 2015. 

This is our beginning ... 





Don't Feed The Animals



Its hard to live in this country where so much of our discrimination is institutionalized. Racism is ignored and defended as a right. Women have still been unable to get the ERA passed. It is legal in many places to fire someone for being in the LGBT community. Now, just two days after I posted a story to compel people to think beyond the rhetoric the Regressive Party is trying to feed America about hating those receiving welfare in an attempt to distract from the rampant handouts given to corporations (which far exceed those given to our citizens who are sincerely in need), the Oklahoma GOP was good enough to prove my point.



This brilliant comparison had been made by Regressive State Representative, Mary Franson in 2012. She, too, found irony in the Department of Agriculture calling for people to stop feeding the animals, which was creating dependency, yet the same Department Agency offered food stamps to the poor.



It was just in March when Alaskan Representative (R-duh!) Don Young determined it would be a novel idea to "feed them to the wolves" while arguing against the Interior Department having the grey wolf on their endangered species list. After asking how many people had wolves in their districts, he suggested:

They haven't got a damn wolf in their district. I'd like to introduce them in your district. If I introduced them in your district, you wouldn't have a homeless problem anymore.

Once each of these stories made the national news, those responsible for their release were forced to recant. It is repeatedly said in one form or another by the Regressive Party. It is not a misstatement. It is a misrepresentation. They are misrepresenting their constituents. They have been elected to represent those who live in their district. Unless they have zero in their district receiving aid, they have literally just shown sincere contempt for those they are supposed to be representing. And their contempt is for the fact that they NEED TO HAVE FOOD.

America, it truly is time that we no longer abide having those represent us and legislate on our behalf who cannot even pretend to give a shit about those who require their voice in lawmaking.



Sunday, July 12, 2015

Scott Walker and His Welfare Queens



We have Scott Walker's idol, Ronald Reagan, to thank for the term "Welfare Queen." He offered a depiction of a woman who was taking advantage of the system to malign an entire subset of society. All of the poor who received aid were condemned to a hypothetical representative that would've been impossible for anyone to duplicate. The woman Reagan cited did exist, but she was not the typical welfare recipient. She was an actual con artist. Her entire scheme was to get over on anyone in any way she could. She took advantage of many people and many government agencies.

While campaigning for the presidency, Reagan failed to mention all of the other government agencies she managed to take advantage of. Why would he not mention the rest? Because he was a dick. Because he didn't need her for that. He only needed a means to vilify the poor and create a narrative that would have Americans thinking twice about their tax dollars going to help them. The funny thing, which happens to not be funny at all, is that, as with all Republican approaches to societal issues, the idea of fixing a broken system that could be taken advantage of was not the issue. He did not talk about how to make the system more productive in its means of caring for the nations poor. The issue was to condemn those who needed it. And, for the Regressive Party, this has never changed.

Earlier this year, Kansas passed a law saying that welfare recipients cannot spend their money on cruise ships. Well holy shit! That must happen all of the time, right? I mean, either that or Kansas has gone so far out of its way to cure all of its ills that it is only left to mend the problem of assistance dollars being spent in the Caribbean. The focus of this new bill was meant to limit the amount a recipient can spend in one day to $25. This, obviously, makes it quite hard to pay rent and utilities. But I will explain what it does that is not so obvious. When I was on welfare, I didn't have a car most of the time. I had to take a bus wherever I went. Once a month I took a cab to get my groceries. I could hardly bring them all home on the bus, and a cab ride was not free. For the bulk of the time I was receiving aid, my daughter was in diapers. They are not cheap and (sorry Bubba) my baby girl had a very sensitive bottom so we had to buy only a specific (expensive) brand or she would have a terrible rash. With this new proposal, we would have to take a cab to the grocery store several times a month to do our shopping as you simply cannot, even with coupons and a wonderful sale, get a months worth of diapers with $25 along with everything else one needs to feed their family. And I had a family of two. I don't even want to try to imagine how many trips it would take to get the necessities for a family of five or six.

Honestly! Who believes this shit?

This year Maine, Missouri and dear Scott Walker's state of Wisconsin have been working on laws demanding that food stamps cannot be used to buy junk food or expensive items, like steak and lobster. Of course, this is all rhetoric in an attempt to get on the news to remind their lowly base that they need to hate the poor and completely ignore what other items their 'representatives' have on the agenda. The legislators know full well that they would never be able to maintain this even if they manage to pass these bills. First they would have to define junk food. Then they would have to deal with the lawsuits from companies who wanted to contend that their food should not be classified as unhealthy with so many studies defining subjectivities. Then they would have to back off because they were only doing it to rile up morons, anyway.

Lets just pretend that they were able to limit what a family can spend their food allowances on, okay? So we, my daughter and I, were a normal American family. Regardless of how much money we contributed to stimulating the economy, we were a normal, yet small, family. Every year on Audrey's birthday she would get to pick whatever she wanted for dinner. So if my child wanted me to make her a steak that would be unacceptable? And if I wanted to make her a birthday cake, which would be deemed junk food, that should not be allowed? And every month when my period comes I am not allowed to have a candy bar? I dare any legislator to come to my house when I'm on my period and tell me I can't have chocolate. They will leave fearing for their life. I'm pretty sure that's not even an exaggeration. Are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness only available to those who can afford it? Shit!

Actual Welfare Queen and my Princess :)

This myth created by Reagan, and perpetuated by Scott Walker and the Republicans, of what it is like to live on welfare is ridiculous. You do not get enough money to go on a cruise. You do not get enough food stamps to buy expensive (or healthy) food items. No one is having a wonderful life from the benefits this assistance offers them. It creates so many limitations that it is very hard to get off of welfare, too. With maybe $600 coming in a month you would be hard pressed to save anything. But if you could find a way to do it, you are not allowed. If you have money set aside, you do not need assistance. But if you do not set money aside, there is no way to get off of assistance without something pretty miraculous happening. Its an ugly circle. Americans who are desperate to condemn others to inflate their own pathetic lives seem unwilling to realize that there really are not enough bootstraps to go around.



Walker was so desperate to condemn those on welfare to drug testing that last year he said he would take it all the way to "a fight with the federal government and in court." Right. So the testing has already proven to be a profound waste of tax payer dollars in other states and now he thinks it is a justifiable use of tax dollars to pay for a lawsuit? This is the same man whose new budget just offered $250 million to millionaires and billionaires. It is curious that those who so excitedly support Scott and his plans are so easily distracted by his games. Wait. No. It isn't, is it? They have been playing the same game since Reagan invented it and designed the rules: Create distractions where the lowest individuals can feel better about themselves by giving them someone to malign and blame for their lot in life so they don't notice that on the other side they are literally giving away the money that could be used to create jobs in these communities to help those in need to the richest among us and their corporations. It's brilliant. Because their base are so stupid.

In a capitalist society that is woefully unbalanced, some aspect of that society will have to be weakened by that imbalance. The poor are those to suffer. Always. The Supreme Court has determined, through its Citizens United ruling, that campaign funding can be limitless and secretive, allowing the wealthiest Americans and corporations to control the message to the voters, and thus those who are elected. The poor can't afford a lobby, let alone the capacity to purchase their very own Congress.

Today the right has managed to convince its followers that Jesus Christ, himself, would condemn those who need assistance in caring for their families. That contention has even been made in a Congressional hearing on food stamps while (mis)quoting a passage from Thessalonians. Well, if St. Ronnie wasn't enough to convince them, Jesus certainly should be. How desperate can one person be for a scapegoat to allow the Bible to be rewritten to justify not helping the poor?

While you are being asked to hate the poor and imagine them sitting around having a lavish lifestyle, ask yourself how likely that really is. Realize, first, that many receiving aid are actually working. But they don't make enough money on their minimum wage job (the wage your representatives would like to eliminate altogether) to come anywhere near the poverty line. Ask yourself about the people you know who have fallen on hard times and needed assistance. Why do you allow them a pass? You don't know every family in America receiving aid. And you don't know what brought them to this place. No one aspires to end up on welfare. And no one wants to imagine continuing to have to give their children the lives welfare affords them.

Why not take a good ten minutes out of your desperate need to hold contempt for everyone you have been told to hate and quietly reflect as a human being why the politicians you support are asking you to hate the group who cost America a third of the amount lost annually by tax breaks offered to those who are meant to be stimulating our economy? And realize, you cannot condemn this economy that you attribute as a failure of President Obama, but then state that the economy is doing so well as to warrant tax breaks to those who are stimulating it so successfully.

Also, quietly ask yourself about the necessity of drug testing those receiving aid beyond the obvious profound waste of those taxpayer dollars you are always so mindful about. The basic tenet of this incredible belief system is that the poor should not be receiving federal dollars if those dollars are being used to buy drugs instead of feed their families. So the obvious first question is, "So the children won't get fed?" Which begs the question, "Wait. What is our objective?" If the answer to the first question is, "Fuck the children." Then the only response is, "Hello, we are asking ourselves the wrong question!" Kindly at least pretend to give a shit about someone other than yourselves and understand that those who are in need of aid are not your enemy. They did not create the system that left Americans with shitty wages and ever decreasing benefits. These are the people who have fallen through the cracks that your elected officials have created and have no intention of repairing. You helped create it. By condemning those with no power to fix the problem you are only enabling those who have created and are perpetuating the problem. That means YOU are the problem. Scott Walker is only the latest to join the circus of clowns who want to entertain and distract you instead of lead us all to a positive future.

Instead of criticizing those who have no means of defending themselves, maybe go demonize the politicians who think so little of your intelligence and capacity for critical thought that they asked you to get riled up about this in the first place. You are supporting those whose agenda is to only benefit the corporations who pay for their elections. They don't care about those of you who actually elect them. Wake up! When these corporations end up with the policies they want (those that will deregulate the means by which they run their corporations, are taxed and are responsible to their employees), Americans will be much poorer. Immediately. That includes you. Obviously none of you are well off (or well educated). You will be screwed. And the safety nets you rallied so hard to get rid of will be gone. And you will need them. And won't that just suck?















Friday, July 10, 2015

An Actual History Lesson


I have seen this ridiculous meme countless times in the last month. I know that anyone who demands its history of pride and heritage has either been conditioned to believe that or is desperate to be seen as something other than racist trash. I also know, for certain, that the person who posted it is in desperate need of many history lessons. The kind of history lessons that won't be found in the new books Regressive Party politicians across the country are trying to rewrite to create this exceptionalism they try to force feed those who don't think for themselves. The kind of history lessons that don't come from memes, the most common means of far right dissemination of 'facts.' And the kind of history lessons that won't be found in a book written by Bill O'Reilly, a man who calls himself a historian but who the intelligent among us call a propagandist.

I always end any debate regarding that flag with the same question, "Would you expect to see the Nazi flag flying in Germany today?" It is the exact same thing. Nazi descendants live today. They don't leave a Nazi flag on the tombstones of their ancestors. No state or official buildings fly the Nazi flag. In fact, the flag is illegal in Germany as it is such a source of shame. Why demand that American society be less than that of the Germans?

As with all aspirations of the Confederacy, Nazis built their new society by kidnapping, forced labor and genocide. They both had the same agenda: Define, create and maintain a master race. Hitler was actually inspired by Americas treatment of its slaves and the Native Americans when he created his plans. Hitler believed innovation was a marked feature of a leading world power. He used the ideas of free labor to build German industries and believed that The Long Walk of the Navajo was a brilliant means of weeding out the Jews who would be useless to him as they could march to their prisons and if they were unhealthy, they would just die along the way.  His intent to build his ideal society drew directly from the shames America tries to forget.

The Confederate Congress initially adopted a flag which ended up creating a lot of controversy because many believed it looked too similar to the American flag, so it was promptly replaced. The second and third flags adopted both had the symbol we now associate as the Confederate flag as part of the design where only the number of stars would increase based on states joining the Confederacy. The second flag adopted had an entirely white background and the 'X' was where todays American flag has its stars. The man who designed it, William T. Thompson, called it the "White Man's Flag" because it symbolized the "supremacy of the white man." He wrote for Savannah's Daily Morning News in 1863:
"As a people we are fighting [to] maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause.
The third flag was barely seen because the war ended as it was being introduced. Debating over which flag was put to use is a wasted exercise in semantics, however, as the objective of its creation was pretty much encapsulated in the quote above. (and in the fucking war itself for Christ's sake)

Hitler proudly designed the Nazi flag himself. He decided to use the traditional colors of Germany because:
"As National Socialists, we see our program in our flag. In red, we see the social idea of the movement; in white, the nationalistic idea; in the swastika, the mission of the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man, and, by the same token, the victory of the idea of creative work. (from Mein Kampf)
The swastika was meant to represent an Aryan objective to have a racial 'cleansing.' Beginning in the early 20th century German nationalists determined the Aryans of India (many hundreds of years BC) depicted a glorious tradition of superiority and, basically, rewrote their own version of history to support this premise based on Nordicism disturbingly embraced and defined by British psychologist, William McDougall, explaining a 'master race' in 1920:
"Among all the disputes and uncertainties of the ethnographers about the races of Europe, one fact stands out clearly—namely, that we can distinguish a race of northerly distribution and origin, characterised physically by fair colour of hair and skin and eyes, by tall stature and dolichocephaly (i.e. long shape of head), and mentally by great independence of character, individual initiative and tenacity of will.
The invasion was profoundly misinterpreted by Germans to define the glories of Aryan invasion where the intimidating symbol of the swastika would also serve as reminder of the dangers of spiritual and racial mixing due to close proximity of the races.

Both the Confederate flag and the Nazi flag are used today by white supremacist groups all over the world as a means of glorification and intimidation. It is not a coincidence that they have both been adopted by those with such mentalities. The flags are symbols which represent times and places where white supremacy was given a voice and an opportunity to thrive. Germany spends none of its time celebrating either that history or its soldiers. Remembrances of ours should also be left to (actual) history books.

No rational or thoughtful individual would take time with this argument and explain to me the pride they have in their ancestor who fought to enslave people and commit treason. Those who demand otherwise are free to fly that flag in their homes or in their lawns and silently tell the rest of society who they are, as any German would if they projected pride over the Holocaust. And the rest of society will shun them and diminish their voices, as we should. We are the 'land of the free and the home of the brave.' As such, we have no business glorifying those who meant to enslave others and, in a cowardly fashion, tried to secede rather than give up an entitlement to continued atrocities.