The headline on CNN today was this:
This was accompanied by the following set of photos:
What can you tell by reading the faces of these two men?
The headline on CNN today was this:
This was accompanied by the following set of photos:
What can you tell by reading the faces of these two men?
Author David Finkel has a new book out titled, Thank You for Your Service. He appeared on Morning Joe at the same time that I was reading the Page of Opinion in the Toledo Blade. On that page was a political cartoon by Horsey, below, as well as an OpEd by The Blade that suggests that the GOP’s agenda will include undoing the progress made by Sec. of State Kerry in his dealings with Iran’s nuclear program.
Just yesterday I was in a conversation with a 17-year-old black girl on the subject of homosexuality and she found it strange that people are so prejudiced. She has friends in high school who are gay and lesbian. I quipped that things will improve when we old, white men hit the dirt. She chuckled, but I reiterated the point that each new generation is less prejudiced than the last one and this trend will continue as we old farts die off.
Here’s David Horsey’s latest political cartoon:
Not only are these old farts homophobic, but many love war, led by the pack of neocons who drove us into the Iraq War.
David Finkel reports on the huge number of returning Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who suffer from PTSD. The acknowledged number is 20-30% with more who are afraid to admit their mental anguish.
War games. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice. Cheered on by fully-propagandized Americans waving flags and dissing those who warned against war. I think of a moment in my life in August of 2003- shortly after GW Bush’s infamous Mission Accomplished speech. I had a ‘No War’ sign in my back window and also this: ’350 dead Americans.’ As I waited for the traffic signal, an SUV pulled along side of me. Two 30-something soldiers in uniform pulled next to me. The Army Recruiting Station was a half mile down the road. The one closest to me obviously had read my sign and grinned at me as I looked out of my window. He said something to the driver and he, too, grinned and then pulled away.
I often reflect on that scene these many years later. Did either of them see active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan? How many of their recruits did? How many died? How many amputations, brain trauma? How many now suffering PTSD?
Old white men and their lust for war.
“I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security,” the Pope said in a letter released on Tuesday.
CNN wrote, The 77-year-old pontiff, moreover, has sought to awaken a spirit of joy and compassion in the church, calling out Catholic “sourpusses” who hunt down rule-breakers and impose their ideas “at all costs.”
WOW! Gosh, what are conservative Catholics going to do about the challenge to their self-assumed purity and righteousness?
Not only that, but Pope Francis is challenging old church customs as well.
“Some of these customs may be beautiful, but they no longer serve as means of communicating the Gospel. We should not be afraid to re-examine them. At the same time, the Church has rules or precepts which may have been quite effective in their time, but no longer have the same usefulness for directing and shaping people’s lives.”
Wow! he repeats.
In his letter called “Evangelii,” Francis repeats his calls for Catholics to stop “obsessing” about culture war issues and to focus more on spreading the Gospel, especially to the poor and marginalized.
Holy Smoke! Where’s the incense?
Then this bombshell: He criticized what he called an “idolatry of money” and “the inequality that spawns violence.” The Pope also blasted “trickle-down economics,” saying the theory “expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power.” [CNN]
Was this a direct hit at Catholic Republicans, especially those on the far-right side of the political spectrum? Catholic Political leaders in the U.S. House include Speaker John Boehner and Paul Ryan, and, in the Senate, Marco Rubio. Six of Ohio’s 16 representatives are Catholic Republicans. How will these Catholics react to the ‘idolatry of money’ and ‘trickle-down economics?’
Or, does politics trump religion? There’s the test: does power and money trump beliefs?
In how many categories is the U.S. #1? Several including military prowess and the amount of tax dollars devoted to national defense. We’re #1 in gun ownership and deaths by guns. We’re #1 in Bible possession, number of cars per household and private debt owed. We are also #1 money spent on health care.
We are #26 in longevity of life! Wow! Imagine that, will ya? The Washington Post lead with this headline: The U.S. ranks 26th for life expectancy, right behind Slovenia. Who?
This 213-page, graph-laden OECD report tells the story of why. It shows the United States as a country that is spending tons and tons on health care–but getting way less than other countries out of that investment. It exposes a country that’s really great at buying fancy medical technologies, but not so fantastic at using those medical technologies to extend life. It is, in short, the story of why our health care system is so screwed up.
Screwed up? Oh, is THIS the reason that the Republican Party is doing its utmost to kill the Affordable Care Act? Must be because they are dogged in their determination to repeal the act.
We spend more than any other country in the world on health care. More money = #26. And the Republican Party wants to keep us at that ranking, just below Slovenia.
So, the next time you hear some idiot dissing ‘Obamacare,’ remind them that we Americans we’re #1 in spending on money on health care and #26 in longevity.
The hateful signs that were seen in the black-and-white footage at the Dallas Airport 50 years ago were also seen in the past 5 years during the presidency of Barack Obama. Hate, it seems, never disappears from the American psyche. Today it concentrates itself in the right-wing of the Republican Party- the Tea Party.
Recall those anti-Obama signs carried by that band of self appointed ‘patriots’ a few years ago at the gathering in DC? Same hate, different target. And they say that this is a Christian nation. Really?
I heard in the past few days of the wide spread anguish of The People those 50 years ago, but what about the people carrying those anti-Kennedy signs and those who plastered Dallas with ‘treason’ posters? Did they too cry? Or did they rejoice at his death? And were they Christians? Did they sing in the choir on the following Sunday like those KKK members who hanged ‘niggers’ on Saturday night and exchanged klan robes for choir robes the next day?
That lynching fever went on way after Kennedy’s assassination. Same racial bigots, same hate.
And the hate-ember still glows among the citizenry of this nation. Anyone not like ‘us’ is to be feared and targeted.
One might understand such ethnic hatred were this some two-bit country in another part of the world where two cultures grind one another as they have for hundreds of generations. But here in the Land of the Free? How can that be explained?
What is it about white America that fans those embers so often? What privilege do we assume to be ours? Except for the scant numbers of Native Americans, we all trace our ancestry elsewhere. We are all sons and daughters of immigrants- the so called illegals. Did the Wampanoag People call the first whites, illegals? Did the Wampanoag round them up and send them back?
Hate-filled Americans. What will they be thankful for this Thursday?
Yes, I know where I was on that fateful November day in 1963. And again in April of 1968 and in June of that same year. Those three assassinations occurred during my young manhood formation and haunt me to this very late time of my life. The idiocy of it all!
A few days ago I watched one of a plethora of JFK specials and I caught a glimpse of a Confederate flag at the Dallas Airport on that last day of JFK’s life. Confederate flag! God I hate seeing that flag.
So I Googled that and here’s what I found:
Socialism! Segregation! States Rights. The usual garbage from the South and the far-right wingers.
Not only that, but there were signs, WANTED for TREASON signs all around Dallas that morning.
More communist, socialist, states rights and other idiotic shit!
And that was 50 years ago. You might think we’d learn from that.
No, it still goes on today with President Obama. Hate-filled ideologues who spread their hate openly in the streets, on TV and on the Internet.
What a stupid nation I live in.
Fifty years of eternal stupidity!
I’ve often written here that the Electoral College is not only outdated but a liability for our democracy. For example, the state of Wyoming with less than 600,000 people is awarded 3 electoral votes while the state of Iowa with 3,000,000 people is awarded only 6 votes. That’s because each state automatically gets 2 for its senators plus one vote per congressman which is allotted to an average of 700,000 people, but not always.
The website Fakeisthe NewReal ingeniously decided to reshape our states according to population, thus giving each state the same number of electoral votes. Here is the new map with suggested names and new capital cities:
Of course this will never become reality because we are all too territorial and could never conceive of giving up the ‘rights’ to our own state. Thus, we will remain undemocratic as far as the ‘one man, one vote’ is concerned.
It ought to be obvious to anyone paying attention to U.S. Politics that the governance process has stopped working. The public rating of Congress has sunk to its lowest rating ever at 9%. Republicans and Democrats cannot even talk with one another much less negotiate their differences. As a result the nation festers like an unattended cut with no leadership, no compromise, no plans and no progress. Congress even cut its so-called work days to just over 140 per year. Many of those are half-days or just a few hours. Pathetic.
So what is wrong? I suggest that intransigent ideological differences have paralyzed our government and our entire nation to such a crippled state that it no longer functions to the benefit of The People.
For example, who could have envisioned the most powerful nation in history paralyzed over whether health care ought to be regulated? Seriously, that! No, not whether there ought to be a right to universal health care for the citizens, but whether health care provisions ought to be equitable in all policies offered to The People.
There are no ideas being debated in Congress. No discussions about job creation, infrastructure engineering and repair, high-speed rail construction, urban restoration, green energy initiatives or education reform. None of that. Just partisan bickering over minutia- gotcha stuff- schoolyard nastiness among adults who appear to resemble adolescents.
And it worsens as the months and years go by. Historians note that this situation resembles the so-called ‘do nothing Congress’ under President Truman in the late 40′s. The social progress legislation passed during the FDR administration and refreshed by Truman languished during the 80th Congress and many bills died of lack of interest [by the Republican controlled House]. Not surprisingly, while legislation for The People languished during that period, business interests were rewarded.
The tidal sweep that brought the GOP to power during this legislative session washed them away in the next. The People understood and watched the actions of their representatives much more closely than today. Big campaign money from corporate America and other special interests was not as widespread as it is today [ref. Supreme Court]. Further, during that era, congressional districts were not drawn as severely partisan as they are today and, as a result, House district swings are rare today.
It seems, therefore, that we are stuck. Stuck with another do nothing Congress. Partisan bickering and dead end legislation. Further, the ‘remedy’ that worked in 1949- elections- is rendered fairly useless through gerrymandering. That and the Citizens United SCOTUS decision inhibits the kind of sweep The People rendered some 6 decades ago. Stuck in a bad place and time.
Yesterday on my shopping trip to my local Kroger’s store I encountered several black shoppers both in the store and in the parking lot. As I encountered each person I couldn’t help but wonder what they thought of me. As an old white man, did they think I was a right-wing bigot? A Tea Party racist? Segregationist? Of course, this all assumes that they actually gave thought to me at all.
Old white men form the foundation of today’s right-leaning Republican Party. If nothing else, surely I looked like a Republican. Gasp! If only they knew. If only I could have stopped and declared, “I’m not what you think I might be!” Yet, who does that?
As I watched the 3rd episode of “Many Rivers to Cross” on PBS last evening- the 5-part documentary on the history of black Americans- I could not help but recall my trip to Kroger’s earlier in the day. I wanted to re-live that shopping adventure and tell each black person I made eye contact with, “I’m NOT one of THOSE people!” Of course, I couldn’t; sadly we can’t redo history.
I wonder what my friend in Mississippi thinks as he walks the streets of his town. I further wonder what blacks think of him. An old white man in historic Jim Crow America.
[post by UptheFlag]
Red States continue to say they are supporting the Constitution
by refusing to follow the law of the land. The new issue is the Pentagon’s
order to allow married homosexuals to have the federal benefits provided
to hetero sexual couples in state national guard units.
The states in violation are OK, TX, LA, MS, GA, and WV. The governor’s
of these states maintain the order is a violation of state rights. What these
governor’s want to deny is that the National Guards are federal reserve
troops and paid for by the federal government. They claim the Guard is a state
agency and therefore under state constitutions.
Homosexual groups call this a return of Jim Crowism of separate but equal. In
Texas four state National Guard bases refuse to process the paperwork. Perry
issued a state order that says the National Guard “is a state agency and as such
is obligated to adhere to the Texas Constitution and the laws of this State, which
clearly define marriage as being between one man and one woman.”
Commander of the Guard has appealed to the State Attorney General, who is running for GOP nomination for governor and a reactionary against Wendy Davis, and Abbott is
refusing to rule. Hagel calls for total compliance.
Here we are again with National law being nullified by states. What will Obama do,
put his tail between his legs? Will he do an Ike and nationalize the National Guards
of these states? Cut off the funding of these National Guard units which are paid
for by the Pentagon? For what reason did 600,000 American citizens die. Lets remember
their ultimate sacrifice during this Veterans Day week!