Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Angry mobs are roaming the streets of New York City threatening and attacking a group that plans to use a building as a community center for American Muslims. The media is promoting this mob attack. The politicians are either silent, refusing to defend the American citizens who are being subject to the mob violence, or they speak out against the American citizens and talk about them like they have no rights in this country. Or some even just say flat out that the Muslims should go somewhere else. It's like a replay of the white flight hysteria in this country when the courts began ruling that a home seller could not refuse to sell to a black family. "They should go somewhere else," the angry white mobs screamed.
What is the lesson here? Both major political parties and all wings of them, from left to right, and the entire government (with the noted exception of President Obama) demand that an American citizen must swear an oath of allegiance to Christianity or its cousin religion Judaism. Those are the only two religions that are acceptable. Islam don't make the cut. It's a "foreign" religion. "Our" national religion is either christianity or Judaism.
Why would the government force Americans to become Christians as a condition to enjoying the rights of a citizen? Such as the right to build a community center, and to associate with others at that center? Those rights are being denied to one group of Americans, which consists of people who have not yet taken the oath to Christianity or Judiasm.
We have entered a new period of the dark ages. Our government is acting as the destructive force. We did not need invaders from other countries to tear down our nation and burn the books, destroy learning, because our government is doing it on behalf of multinational corporations. They have already taken away many of our jobs and sent them to foreign countries, an act which should land them all in prison. They have manipulated the stock market and created asset bubbles and crashes, repeatedly, to the point that they have succeeded in stealing much of the wealth and savings, retirement, college funds, of most people in this country. They are in the process of eliminating Medicare, Social Security, food stamps, and public education.
They are firing teachers and chaining children to tables inside cubicles where they will sit and look at a computer screen presumably filled with images created by monsters who seek to devour the world like Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, the Bush Boys, Rupert Murdoch and his fanatical Muslim Saudi prince financier. They are eliminating all rights of women to control their own reproductive decisions, and have struck down laws intended to give women equal rights in the nation. Now they are forbidding scientists from doing research to try to cure diseases, ruling that only "Christian" scientists can do faith-based research, apparently praying for a cure.
Most kids watch hours of TV every day, inside and outside of school. Most adults, if being honest, would list "watch TV" when asked what they do in their free time. What is the purpose of promoting images flashed on a screen to an audience, instead of promoting reading, writing, discussion, and literacy? That's what's going on in this country, in and out of the schools. Don't read or write, just show movies, make movies. What is the effect on the brain of only being exposed to images? A failure to learn the skill of critical thinking. Images only promote acceptance: it is, I see it. It's a limited form of thinking. Reading and writing requires the use of an entirely different part of the brain which requires us to weigh information, sort through, decide what is relevant, what is truthful or not, make decisions, put together an idea, then learn going forward whether our process was flawed or was solid. Watching images and listening to noise, like on TV, not only does not teach critical thinking, it actually numbs the part of the brain that would do it. Perhaps that part atrophies over time.
Why would our government and both political parties try to make us stupid? Easier to manipulate. What about the demand that all citizens must swear allegiance to Christianity or Judaism as a condition to enjoying basic civil rights? What's the purpose of that? How does that fit into this picture?
Religion promotes a magical and mythical way of looking at the world, childlike, a belief that we individuals have no power, have no right to try to figure out what is right or wrong, have no ability to change anything because God is in charge, and have no responsibility to ever make an effort. Remember that airplane in Pennsylvania (which some say was shot down by the U.S.) which crashed in a field on 9/11? Some people said that a group of passengers decided to rush the cockpit and try to overpower the hijackers because they realized (they'd gotten the news by telephone) that if they didn't do that, they all would die. But the reports also said another group of passengers sat in the back, held hands and prayed. It was so clear to me that the praying group reacted to the threat of their own death in exactly the way the killers wanted: they passively sat and did nothing, they made no effort at all to save themselves. Lambs to the slaughter. The other group, on the other hand, made an emergency plan and tried to do something to save themselves. Rational-based thought and action.
I think our government is conditionining the civil rights of people on citizens taking an oath of allegiance to Christianity or Judaism because they want us to be childlike, to believe in myths and fables, to believe we have no ability to think rationally or to understand the world, no right to try to affect it because, after all, God is in charge. God must want those politicians robbing us blind and destroying our children's future. We can't understand, because God has a plan.
I'll tell you what. I've got my own plans, and they do not include myths, magic thinking, of fables. I don't think God has anything to do with what is being done to our country, and the people who promote that view are the worst of all. It's like the priest fondling a little boy's penis and telling the boy that God wants him to do this. It's the grossest misuse of religion to promote greed, disloyalty, betrayal, even murder. George W. Bush claimed that God wanted him to kill a million Iraqis for no reason at all. And the churches in this country celebrated this monster, backed his play, enthusaistically got behind the idea of slaughtering a million human beings. That is a good description of where magical, mythical thinking will get you: dead.
People are so worried about having to carry a national ID card. They should be worried about having to carry a church membership card in order to be free to travel or live their lives, or work, or go to school. Because the people running this country are using religion to destroy us. As for me, when I look in the air I imagine drones falling on mothers and babies, not angels or virgin births.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Abbey Lincoln (1930-2010) died last Saturday in New York City at the age of 80. She was and is a legendary jazz vocalist, songwriter and actress. She was particularly influenced in her singing by Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and Dinah Washington.
(Exactly Like You)
Abbey Lincoln worked in different parts of the country until she recorded her first album in 1956, then moved to New York City and worked at the Village Vanguard. While singing at the Vanguard, Abbey Lincoln met Max Roach who was a jazz drummer and composer. The two later married.
Lincoln and Roach worked together on various projects during the 1950s and 1960s, including the album "We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom Suite," which was released in 1960, at the height of the civil rights struggle.
Lincoln, Roach, and other well-known jazz musicians took up the cause of civil rights in the U.S. at a time of both heroic struggle by mass movements, and increasing violence by the racist right-wing. These jazz musicians performed at benefits and fundraisers for groups such as the NAACP, CORE, and other civil rights organizations and used their influence in speaking out in support of the demand for equal rights for black citizens.
"When everything is finished in a world, the people go to look for what the artists leave. It is the only thing that we have really in this world -- is an ability to express ourselves and say 'I was here.'" Abbey Lincoln.
Lincoln also was an actress, and got roles in such movies as "Nothing But A Man," and "For Love Of Ivy."
For more, see: http://www.npr.org/programs/jazzprofiles/archive/lincoln.html
Monday, August 16, 2010
In August of 1969, a music festival was scheduled to take place on some open land, rented from a farmer, near the town of Woodstock in upstate New York. Outdoor music festivals were relatively common at the time, but the promoters did plan to draw a large crowd because of the terrific line-up of performers they had scheduled.
As it turns out, the number of young people who decided to go to this music festival grossly exceeded what had been planned. Hundreds of thousands of young people traveled to upstate New York for that three-day festival in brightly-colored vans, some hitchhiking, all planning to celebrate with other young people from around the country and listen to some good music. The rumor has it that the New York State primary freeway was shut down for a time because of the enormous number of vehicles headed to Woodstock. Eventually a half a million people ended up at the Woodstock Festival.
The young people who attended, cheered, celebrated Woodstock soon became known as the Woodstock Generation. They have been vilified, demeaned, ridiculed by the right-wing fascists who took control of this country under Reagan and kept control through two Bushes and one Clinton. But the Woodstock Generation was possibly the smartest generation in this country for decades. Had their ideas and views been followed, we would undoubtedly have a better country and more peaceful and humane world.
Among the performers at the Woodstock Festival were the following:
Country Joe McDonald
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Sly & the Family Stone
Country Joe and the Fish
Ten Years After
Blood Sweat & Tears
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Nice shot of the crowd:
The Woodstock Generation, although consisting of a loose connection of young and not always so young people, embraced certain beliefs and principles about life which at the time were considered revolutionary, and which terrified the ruling powers in this country. Here are just a few of the principles of the Woodstock Generation.
1. Stop Polluting The Environment. Rachel Carson brought the nation's attention to this issue in her book "The Silent Spring," and the Woodstock Generation was the first to demand that changes be made. Stop polluting the air and water. Simple concepts, but at that time the people who ran this country tried to cover up the truth. How much of the cancer in this country, and disease in the world, is the direct result of corporations dumping chemicals and poison in the earth and water?
2. Live Simply. Don't spend your life chasing more or competing with the neighbors. Consume less and contribute more. Help your neighbors. Don't hoard. Don't take more than you need.
3. Local Food Control. Eat simply. Eat locally-grown produce. Don't buy the corporate-produced food which is packaged or sprayed with poison. Take back control of food. And help people in other countries do the same.
4. Population Control. The churches oppose this, and encourage their members to breed as if there was no limit to our resources. But the fact is all people should be limited to 1/2 of a child. After that, get yourself fixed. We should cut the world's population in half immediately, and possibly cut it by another half after that. We are well on the way to destroying every living plant, all food stuff, and every single animal or fish in the world, because of gross and excessive and obscene overpopulation. And in the meantime, the Republicans on TV celebrate the stupid Americans who have 12 kids, or 18 kids, and act like this is all good fun. It's suicide. It's also likely to destroy the entire earth and all living things. If the demands of the Woodstock Generation for population control had been followed, we probably would not be facing the extinction of so many animals on this earth.
5. End All Wars. The Woodstock Generation was against the war in Vietnam. But they were also against all wars, preferring the idea of creating strong international organizations with the authority to send in peacekeeping troops to protect civilians. Possibly mandatory mediation of disputes. War consists of one macho male sending the young men from his country into another country to kill the women and children. That's always what it comes down to. Killing children and babies is wrong. We have the sophistication and wealth to end war for all time, if we wanted to. If this principle had been adopted, think of the millions of lives that might have been saved.
(Burning a draft card, refusing to go to Vietnam).
6. De-Criminalize Drugs. Who came up with the stupid idea that we should use the military to fight against addiction? The U.S. has troops all over Central and South America propping up dictators and despots, providing security for U.S. corporations that are stealing resources from those countries. And this military occupation is done under the guise of a "war on drugs." Nonsense. There is no war on drugs. Drug addiction is a medical condition and should be treated as such. If this idea had been adopted, our country could have saved billions of dollars that has been wasted on guns and wars used against poor people in other countries. And our massive prison population includes way too many young non-white people whose only crime is that they liked to get high.
7. End Racism. This went way beyond the minimal rights acquired during the 1950s civil rights movement. The Woodstock Generation promoted the idea that all people were equal, were the same, and should and must live together in peace. This included the idea that black and white or hispanic or Asian people should date, marry, form families without regard to racial or ethnic identities. This was an idea that was considered shocking to much of the country at that time.
(Huey P. Newton, Black Panther Party. The members of the Black Panther Party, standing in defense of their communities, were framed, imprisoned, assassinated, and exterminated by an illegal program of the U.S. government known as Cointelpro.)
8. Equality For Women. Again, this was a radical concept. Through the 1950s and early 1960s, women had to belong to some man, provide unpaid slave labor for life to a man and to however many children her body turned out, in order to have a place in society. Women had few opportunities to work or earn a living, often had no birth control, had no legal rights to prevent their husbands from beating them. Divorced women were considered whores and single women past a relatively young age were considered spinsters, completely banished from the rest of society. No options for women. The Woodstock Generation promoted the idea that all people, regardless of gender or race, are equal, and should have equal opportunities.
9. Create And Nourish Community. It had already become apparent that the single family suburban neighborhood was destroying community. Imagine people living in cubicles, not even knowing their neighbors, working in cubicles and being prohibited from even speaking with their co-workers. I worked on a lawsuit once in which a worker was fired by a big retailer which claimed she was guilty of "theft." Based on that charge of criminal behavior, the worker was even denied unemployment compensation. But it turns out that the only "crime" the employee had committed was that she spoke with a co-worker during working hours, asked how her week-end went. The company's employee handbook said any conversations among co-workers unrelated to work were considered to be "theft" of company time. People have no community, live in isolation, and they therefore have no power. How can people organize to protect their own rights or their community when they don't even know who lives right down the street?
10. No Nukes. If only this idea had been pursued at the time, think how different the world might be today. Because the right-wing took control of our country, they promoted the widespread distribution of nuclear weapons to our "friends," which now means we live every day within minutes of having the entire world annihilated by some moron, either in a cave or in a government office.
11. Recycle. Stop Consuming. Stop filling the ocean and the earth with crap. Re-use. The U.S. corporations hate the idea of people using their own independent judgment to decide that they will not spend their lives buying the crap sold to them by the corporations.
12. Free Love. It is not the place of the government or the "community" to dictate to other adults when they may have sex, with whom, or in what manner. It is also not the place of the government or the community to dictate to other adults whether they may use birth control (as late as the 1960s, some states still made birth control illegal) or whether, or when to have children.
13. Workers Rights. The Woodstock Generation marched and demonstrated and boycotted along with the United Farm Workers to demand that all workers get a decent paycheck, have safe working conditions, healthcare, decent pensions, vacations and holidays.
14. Freedom And Independence For Other Nations. The Woodstock Generation promoted the view that all people are entitled to be free and independent, to run their own countries without interference from other nations. If only these views had been adopted, how different the world would be today.
(Che Guevara, hero of the Cuban revolution.)
In this 40th anniversary of Woodstock, the right-wing fascists who control the media and the Republican party will undoubtedly take this opportunity to ridicule everyone who was part of the Woodstock Generation, and to reaffirm the concept that "real" Americans love war, guns and violence, and hate their neighbors. The Republicans are trying to create a fascist nation, and the Democrats aren't doing much to stop them. The fact is that the Woodstock Generation consisted of true patriots, people who loved this country and democracy, and who were creative and innovative in trying to find new ways for all of us to live in peace in this world. Make Love Not War. No Nukes. Peace.
In addition to having important and creative ideas about how to change society and the world to be cooperative instead of combative, there was also a tremendous flourishing of music, film, and fine arts during this time. The idea was that art became fun, a part of people's lives rather than something to be shut away inside museums and judged by a small panel of upper-class white men as to whether the art did or did not have merit. Young people all over the country decided for themselves whether they liked some art and, if they did, collected the reprints and posters and tacked them up all over their rooms. People's art, as it were, shown throughout this post.
During the entire history of the U.S., under or after slavery, it had always been understood that black and white people should live completely separate lives. In the 1950s, blacks spent years demonstrating and marching for such minimal rights as the right to sit down on a public bus, the right to buy food in a restaurant, the right to vote, the right to not be murdered by white men. Black people were often legally prohibited from buying homes other than in "black" neighborhoods, their children were legally prohibited from attending schools with white children, and they were legally prohibited from marrying a white person. Even in states which did not have those laws, segregation was strictly upheld in all classes of society.
The Woodstock Generation took enormous leaps forward on the issue of race, and demanded that all racism, all segregation be ended. This was a radical position at the time. The Woodstock Generation had a view that all people were equal and should live together in one community, in peace. Not that this was necessarily successfully implemented, but just the fact that these people embraced that idea was horrifying to the white men who ran this country.
For example, Jimi Hendrix performed at Woodstock to wild acclaim. Just a short time later, by the 1980s, under the regime of Ronald Reagan and the white boys who re-took control of our country, a black performer like Michael Jackson had to physically alter his appearance to make himself look white and female, in order to be "acceptable" to be presented to a white audience. Jimi Hendrix didn't appear white or female. He was a sexy black man, publicly celebrating his rejection of the stereotypes that confined previous generations, openly expressing his anti-war views and politics, something which had always been forbidden for black men in this country, and he was worshipped by many of the young white people who made up the Woodstock Generation.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
We have lost community in most of this country. Community means something other than parallel dwellings inside which people sleep or observe electronic screens. Community means connection and involvement with all your neighbors -- old and young, married, divorced, single, widowed, black, white, hispanic, Asian -- all the religions -- all of it, having some interaction that is positive, getting to know each other or at least recognize each other.
But in Brooklyn, they've still got community. Community with a local flare, and lots of attitude.
Take Brooklyn kickball. What a riot. Started in 2003, the Brooklyn Kickball league now has over 30 teams that play in the league from April through October, usually on Sundays in McCarren Park in Brooklyn.
Here's the Brooklyn kickball league webpage with all the information. http://brooklynkickball.com/ Kickball, like the little kids play in school. Which means everybody can be on a team, pretty much, even if they're not some super athlete. And anybody who doesn't want to play can always come out to watch, hang out, eat, and cheer on their favorites.
The names of the teams are very clever: The Government Kick-backs; The Non-Committals; Brooklyn United; Never Scared; the Pony Boys; The Crucial Taunt; The Drinkers With A Kicking Problem. The players also have creative nicknames, such as Justin “Nipple” Taylor, Rob “Matzo” Lotzko, Lexi “Governor” Patterson, Autumn “Prison” Jorgensen, Tank “The Frank” Moylan, and Matt “Marquis De” Sadewitz.
They often have very creative costumes, too. Here are some team photos:
In addition to spending all day Sunday in McCarren Park from the spring through the fall, playing, watching the other teams, being a spectator, eating, drinking, laughing, hanging out, just getting outside and being part of it, the Brooklyn Kickball teams also sometimes have parties, dances, and other activities.
Like in all sports, there is a "commissioner" of kickball in Brooklyn, and there are sometimes conflicts between the players and the commissioner. It's just that the way in which these conflicts are discussed is a little different, a little more folksy in a Brooklyn kind of way, than the MBA/Harvard Law agents we're used to hearing when there is a dispute in professional (big money) sports in this country.
Here's how one such dispute between a Brooklyn kickballer Robert L. who played on a dominant team named Prison, and the Brooklyn kickball commissioner Kevin Dailey played out in the press:
"[F]ormer kickballer Robert L. confirms. 'I told [38-year-old Brooklyn Kickball commissioner] Kevin Dailey he was a fat fuck and to go sniff coke."
[Kickballer Robert L. continues]: "[Brooklyn Kickball] allows people to reinvent themselves... [Commissioner] Kevin Dailey is now the coolest guy on earth every sunday night to 32 teams with 10 or more people on it. And every person on every team is the coolest person who ever moved to Brooklyn."
[Kickballer Robert continues]: "I work out alot and have a typical "jock" build. So everyone skinny hipster is afraid of me ... and you have 120 pound boys who look like girls being scared and complaining about our team. ... [Commissioner] Kevin Daily hates me and my whole team!"
"For his part, Kickball Commissioner Kevin Daily wrote in a letter:"
"Despite all the bullshit swarming around me for the last couple of years, I'm still here. Not anonymous calls to the Parks Department, selective cutting and pasting, or Gawker.com will keep me away. Still standing. I have no reason to go. I've done a fucking excellent job...."
When I get a friend request, I look at their page, and if I don't see anything too crazy I click Okay, but then I look again, and if I see anything that makes me suspicious, I quickly Unfriend them. What makes me suspicious? Pictures of guns, among other things. No thanks, not a gun fan.
People who call themselves Constitutionalists, or Birthers, or Teabaggers. No, no interest at all. Pro-war, pro-violence crazy stuff. No, not for me.
Bald-headed thick-necked tattooed steroid-infused men with rusty safety pins through their nipples, prominently photographed for their adoring fans -- not appealing. And what's up with the females that send around friend requests with a nude profile photo of their ass? Not my type. But I always think the rusty safety-pin guy and the nude-ass profile gal might want to hook up. Similar types of brain damage, they might comfort each other. Or form a support group.
Other friends I don't need: the Klan, the Nazis. Aryan Brotherhood. The Hooters Fan Club. Not really my thing. Dallas Cowboys need to look somewhere else for friends. I'm sure Area 51 is a nice place to visit, but I don't want to be friends with somebody whose profile picture is the little ET dude. Move on, I'm not the one you need. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney: don't even bother, I am not now, never will be your friends, I don't care how many friend requests you send me, it's not going to happen. Condi Rice: sorry sister, you hang out with the wrong crowd, I'll just ignore your friend request.
Too many of those little farm posts make me wonder if we really have anything in common, me and the person who wants to be friends (Mary wants your help in picking a nice basket of tomatos at her farmville -- I think maybe Funny Farm ville is where Mary belongs). Then there are the people who claim to be part of the mob and want me to help them wipe out the other gang. All in good online fun, of course. I've never really liked the whole "let's pretend to slaughter people" type of games. Jacks I could go for. Ping Pong is okay, too.
One final note: there is no way to know whether these so-called "friends" are lying or telling the truth about who they really are. All these friends could be lying with every comment they make. For example, I suspect that one of my online "friends" is really George Clooney using an assumed name, but he's too shy to just come out and approach me directly. And he doesn't want the model-girlfriend to find out, either. I respect his wish for privacy, and I shall continue to use discretion in our communications.
Other than all of the above restrictions, cautionary notes and prohibitions, I'm fairly tolerant.
(The last sentence is a lie).
Friday, August 13, 2010
The "War On Terror" should be called the War On Resistance. Resistance to Empire. Resistance is futile. There is no escape. Anyone attempting to resist will be shot on sight, their nation bombed, homes and sanitation destroyed, wives and children murdered. Does that sound about right?
And oh yeah -- for anybody who says we're just invading and occupying and torturing and stealing resources and taking control of the drug trade in those terrible "Muslim" nations, ask them since when was Columbia a Muslim nation?
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Yesterday Robert Gibbs, White House Press Secretary, bitterly attacked the "Professional Left" for criticizing Obama. Who is the Professional Left? Apparently he means people who are ethical and conscientious in their political views, refuse to sell out in exchange for bribes or to collapse under the weight of institutional oppression. Is that what you had in mind, Bob?
Maybe he means that portion of the Democrats/liberals/left in this country who are avidly and actively interested and involved in politics and in their communities. These are the people who read the news, are concerned about the unemployment rate, the wars, global warming, Wall Street. You know -- those pests.
Why would the Democrats want to attack the Left? Rahm Emanuel did it before, calling them a bunch of "fucking retards." And much of the country rose up against the word "retard," but few seemed to realize that Rahm Emanuel, an employee of the nation, a public servant, has no business cursing at involved and interested citizens. Who is this little twinkle-toed ballet-dancing foul-mouthed unelected Wall Street agent to call the rest of us bad names? What makes him so superior to the working people of this country? The fact that when our nation was at war, he decided to go sign up -- for the Israeli military, abandoning his own nation, turning his back on his own people? Is that what gives this little traitor the right to call me a fucking retard?
I wonder if Robert Gibbs and the Democrats spend as much time worrying about the Enthusiasm Gap as they spend worrying about and attacking The Left. You know what the Enthusiasm Gap is? Most Americans do not vote. They do not believe the politicians will do anything to help them. They think the elections are rigged, and nobody cares what they think. It's really tragic to claim that we have a democracy when most of our citizens have been so beaten down and bludgeoned by the rich that they don't even bother to open their mouths. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781453.html#axzz0wLZYtgL9
Right now, the Republican Teabaggers are very enthusiastic about the upcoming elections. They're out aimlessly wandering around in parks with idiotic signs, improperly spelled, brandishing weapons and screaming about black or Hispanic people. They're stupid and racist, no question, but they are very enthusiastic.
Unlike the Democrats and the liberals, for example, who have no enthusiasm about the upcoming elections. People like "The Left" are angry with the Democrats for failing to make a public option available to Americans who want to buy into a non-profit medical care system. People like me who do not want corporations profitting from my future ailments. The Left are angry at the failure of the Democrats to create jobs. It's like the Democrats don't understand how bad it is out here. The Left are tired of the lies about these wars of aggression, and want them ended. The Left has so little enthusiasm for the Democrats' complete refusal and failure to do much of anything to help working people that The Left might just stay home this year.
I wonder if Robert Gibbs was thinking about the enthusiasm gap when he mouthed off about the Left. I wonder if he and the Democrats worried for even a minute that with so many people already disgusted with them, with so little enthusiasm remaining, maybe it wasn't really a good time for them to start attacking their supporters.
Robert Gibbs stood proudly before the cameras today and insisted that he would not apologize for anything he had said. Of course he won't -- he's a white male, they never apologize. Well, that's not true. They apologize to the right, they apologize to the fascists, and to Fox, and to Murdoch, they apologize if they "misspoke" and said anything to offend the gun-lovers and barrel-suckers. Obama came out and apologized to the criminals on Wall Street because people had spoken "harshly" about them, and Obama insisted those criminals were entitled to steal hundreds of millions of dollars, because they work hard.
I don't know. I work hard too. But nobody ever gave me that kind of money. I think that explains a big part of the enthusiasm gap. People like The Left are beginning to think that the Democrats aren't on our side at all. They're on the side of Wall Street, the WTO, Lloyd F-ing Blankfein and Twinkletoes potty-mouth Rahm Emanuel.
I'm feeling a lack of enthusiasm for the Democrats. Which might translate into a lack of votes. Keep it up, Bob. I feel a nap coming on. Hope I don't sleep right through the elections.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
These are photos taken in about 1939-1943. At the end of the Great Depression and the start of World War II, a terrifying and horrific war in which 80 million people were murdered. Yet look how beautiful our country was, how decent our people.
Despite the nationwide depression and poverty, we can look at these photos and see something fundamental and decent about our country, some shared belief in a future. I don't see that anymore.
Instead of enemy planes flying over Pearl Harbor to bomb us, or enemy tanks in Germany knocking down borders to destroy the world, our enemies today are inside our country. Wall Street. The World Trade Organization, the corporate front group. U.S. Corporations. The politicians which they own.
The Republicans and Democrats have done more in the past 25 years to destroy this country than Japan or Germany ever dreamed of doing during World War II.
The rich, the corporations, Wall Street have stolen our money, given our jobs to other people, crushed the citizens, destroyed our industry, turned our farms into chemical sewers churning out foodstuff with chemically-manufactured seeds which we then spread throughout the world to crush small farmers and increase the hunger and starvation of the poor. All for the profits of the corporations and the rich people who hide behind them. Our corporations have turned on us and are destroying us.
We are no longer on the same team. It is them against us. And we're losing.
We can go back and start over. Shut down Wall Street. Have local businesses, grow our own food, build homes locally not mass-produced. Bake bread locally. Make clothes and furniture, cars. Build mass transit. We can go back and rebuild our own country. We just need the will to do it.
A Muslim group recently applied to renovate a building they own and operate in lower Manhattan, New York City. They want to add a cultural center type of facility, and say that they plan to try to promote peace and understanding among all the faiths. I don't know -- that sounds to me like a good idea. As I understand it, they are building a "community center," not a mosque. But what if they wanted to build a mosque? Is there something bad about that? I've seen pictures of some mosques from around the world, and many of them are beautiful. So what's the problem, exactly?
Abe Foxman is the head of an organization grossly misnamed the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) which, oddly enough, devotes its ample resources to defaming other groups, as well as chicken-little reporting designed to convince their donors that the nazis are coming. Good business there. ADL reports $200 Million in assets, raised $90 million in their last reporting year of 2007, and pays Abe about $300,000/year. http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=10657-- Abe Foxman decided that he would use the proposal to renovate the mosque to Fundraise! Yeah! Just like the Mormons used gay marriage in California to recruit members and fundraise! Just like the Republican Teabaggers use racism to recruit members and fundraise. What do they share in common? The same slogan: We're Bigots. Join Us.
Here's a funny quote from the Anti-Defamation League's website: "Now the nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency, ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all." Maybe they should put a few asterisks at the end of that sentence: ***(we defend civil rights for everyone except for the Muslims).
The bigots in New York City demanded that the city refuse to allow the Muslim mosque or other religious facility to be constructed. They urged the government to refuse to grant the building permit. They even asked a city board to designate the existing building as a historical landmark to tie up any proposed construction with the nuances of renovating such buildings. The arguments raised by the unruly mob opposing the mosque included: (1) we don't need more religious buildings downtown; (2) it's insensitive to build "so near" the former World Trade Center because "they" (all Muslims, apparently) attacked "us"; (3) Islam is a violent religion, so our government should forbid them from operating anywhere in our country; or (4) just because. All arguments an absurd cover for the central unifying concept: We're Bigots. Join Us.
It does not matter what the Koran says, or whether anybody likes Muslims. Just does not matter in our legal system, period. Completely irrelevant. Our law prohibits the government from favoring or supporting one religion, or disfavoring or banishing another. Our law simply requires the government to stay out of it. If the zoning laws in a city allow religious structures to be built in a certain neighborhood, that is the beginning and end of the inquiry as far as government involvement. If the structure otherwise complies with height restrictions, architectural requirements, health and safety code (fire sprinklers), set-backs, the structure can be built.
I love the arguments about Muslims being violent. I would suggest a quick look at history would prove Christians to be the most violent religious group ever. But beyond that, if we want to narrow the field, our best position would be to acknowledge that white men are violent, and lock them all in prison until they are at least 70 years of age. Most violence in this country is done by white men, so if we are motivated to protect the citizens from violence, let's lock up the white men and start there. No? No takers? Is it possible that's because white men run everything? So it's easier to target Muslims, because they have no power in this country? What a bunch of cowards. As well as ignorant bigots. And hey, I don't like any religion, so it's not like I'm pro-Muslim. I'm just anti-Bigot.
Further, people who hate Muslims and claim they are responsible for all the evil in the world are just trying to distract Americans from the truth. The truth is that the men on Wall Street have caused most of the suffering in the world. They have worked together, plotting, paid bribes to politicians to corrupt all government, they pollute the water and earth, they manipulate markets, they try to steal all the resources of the world, they embellish themselves and their despicable spouses and useless spawn in gold and rare gems while children throughout the world starve as a result of their conduct. so please spare me the lectures about how bad the Muslims are. The most evil, despicable, murderous group of people in the entire world is sitting right down on Wall Street continuing their looting and pillaging. Anybody wants to picket somebody, go picket them, to get the big boys. Not some little mosque where religious people go to pray. Go to Wall Street where the people worship one thing, money, and will kill anyone just to get more of it for themselves.
One of my favorite performers is Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens. He is a Muslim. He wrote and performed "Peace Train," one of the greatest anti-war, anti-violence peace songs of all times. Unlike Lloyd F-ing Blankfein, and all his co-conspirators at Goldman-Sux who have never contributed one thing of value to the world because they are too busy destroying it. So who's violent? Who should be driven out of our country? I vote for the men on Wall Street.