• politics, culture, society

    When Progressives Turn to Hate, Racism, Bullying,Tyranny, and Violence


    Do you wonder at your fellow humans where those supposedly fighting for human rights, freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and against intolerance, racism, bullying, and violence exhibit intolerance and racism, promote the curtailing of human rights, doing it by employing violence and bullying to force their will upon those others they perceive as prohibiting these things?

    Upon mentioning that irony to an activist the other day, I was met with froth-mouthed screaming and thinly veiled promises of assault upon my person.

    Exactly my point.

    Fighting human rights violations, intolerance, and racism seems to now mean singling out a target demographic and subjugating, even eradicating, them by force.

    Ending bullying now means mobs of people bullying others to the point that they flee in fear for their welfare and even their lives.

    Freedom of speech and thought now means only thinking and speaking as approved by mob decision.

    Ending violence now means angry masses of people using anything at hand as a weapon to beat down those they claim as violent.

    And, of course, these folks all claim themselves to be educated and intelligent, while those they declaim and disdain are labeled ignorant dolts.

    Interesting, ironic, and, yes, frightening–a world torn apart by violence employed in the name of nonviolence, humanity, equality, freedom, and fairness.

    It’s insane and it’s ugly, destined to become even more ugly, and I sincerely doubt, bearing human history in mind, that it will end well. The millennial crisis has gained momentum, and that momentum is founded on a complete refusal to accept less than total annihilation, by force, if necessary, of any perceived opposition, even if those perceptions of the opposition are inaccurate to reality and fly in the face of the very principles upon which the movement is founded.

    And, yes, Progressives, I’m a Bernie supporter and Move-On member who’s saying this. Until and unless Progressives walk the walk and act the act, they are nothing but hypocrites and fakes, a petulant, hate-riven, hate-driven mob no better and, sometimes, worse, than those they claim as persecutor.


  • politics, culture, society

    The Problem with Conservatives/Libertarians/TPers and Liberals/Progressives

    I’m an outlier. I believe in compassionate treatment for those who demonstrate a sense of responsibility for self and to others, but tend toward skepticism in aiding and abetting those who repeatedly demonstrate a complete lack thereof. And that’s why I just can’t and won’t embrace either of the attitudes exhibited by the Conservatives/Libertarians/TPers or the Liberals/Progressives.

    As I see it, Conservatives/Libertarians/TPers measure worth of an individual by outward appearances, blithely ignoring factors that may contribute to an individual’s failure to achieve despite their hard work and best efforts, namely luck and opportunity (which is tied to luck).

    Likewise, the Liberals/Progressives are equally remiss because they turn a blind eye to the fact that there are people who do NOT want to put forth any effort whatsoever to become responsible members of society. Liberals/Progressives seem to think that everyone, if given a chance, will, sooner or later, come around and give up their choice of addictive behavior, whether that’s violence against others, indolence, or feeding some personal craving.

    Both camps ignore reality, the Right condemning anyone as indolent who can’t make it, despite best efforts, the Left embracing everyone (except those who don’t embrace their ideological platform) as inherently and potentially model citizens if just given enough incentive and opportunity.

    Can we have some balanced approach that acknowledges reality?



  • politics, culture, society

    Is Politics Your Only Criteria?  Really?


    Someone I follow on Facebook posted a very cool image of Prez Obama responding in sign language to a deaf person’s sign-speak.  One of his followers/friends spoke out in astonishment that Tom and he were definitely on opposite sides of the fence, politically.  This should matter?  …It shouldn’t.  Not at all.  It was a post showing a wonderful very human moment that sets a great example of what should be.

    (And, btw, I’m not an Obama fan. To me, he’s just yet another politician’s politician, unwilling to lay it on the line and stand up for what he believes when push comes to shove.  I don’t like wimps.  Not in my country’s leadership.  Neither do I like the fact that, the day he took office, he simply continued Bush’s policies.  Gone were the campaign pledges.  And then there’s the problem that the only people and lives he really cares about are city-folk, especially Black city folk.  That really galls.  As soon as he took office, wolves got the shaft.  So did the environment, in general.  Instead, what did we get?)

    Lately on FB, I’ve been attacked and harassed for posting pro-Bernie stuff, pro All-Life stuff (as in that not just all human lives matter, but animal and plant life, too, along with the living biosphere).  Startlingly and viciously attacked to the point I blocked the worst offenders that started stalking me.  And it amazes me.

    A lot of you who know me know that I’ve got a foot in two canoes, one heading right, the other heading left.  I’m not a moderate, by any definition, but rather have strong opinions on Constitutional issues like separation of church and state, the right to bear arms (and, yes, I mean civilians owning guns without being put on somebody’s watch list), capital punishment, anti-Affirmative Action (make everything based on merit, please), and the like.  On the other hand, social Darwinism and unfettered capitalism lead to a meaner, more vicious predatory existence for everyone.  I’m pro-choice, an environmental preservationist, anti-discrimination of any kind, and so on.  So you can’t call me a Lib or a Rightie, either one, because I’m both–legitimately both–with strong, solid rationales behind my positions.

    Here’s the thing that bothers me about the U.S. and all the divisiveness going on–all of it sponsored by the power-brokers,with the specific and very effective intent to divide and conquer so they can finalize their enslavement of us:

    Politics and differences of opinion, whether religious or social, should never terminate friendships.  Debate is good; differences of opinion and perspective are good;  Listen more; find alternatives that satisfy, as much as possible, everyone’s needs, and, even if you can’t, keep the lines of communication open and hands extended in empathy and good will.  Lose the us versus them attitudes. It will ultimately lead to everyone’s downfall, including yours.

    JMO (just my opinion)

  • politics, culture, society


    I had to laugh this morning.  Today’s Word of the Day from Dictionary.com is “dearth.”  It means scarcity, lack…an inadequate supply.

    Dearth: It applies to the economies of the world, including the U.S. and it’s job market.  It applies to U.S. politics and the lack of common ground, common cause, and common sense.  It applies to our species’ levels of tolerance–the lack thereof these days–from Western societies to Middle Eastern societies to Far Eastern societies.  It applies to human-to-human and human-to-other kindness–severely lacking now in this our 21st century.  In short, the word “dearth” applies to us as our socio-political reality.

    Prior to 9/11/2001, that infamous day when the skies of New York City darkened with the World Trade Center disaster, and despite the stolen election of the U.S. presidency by the pretender G. W. Bush, there was hope; there was, in fact, a growing sense of peace, prosperity, and, yes, a kinder, gentler America…which would, in turn, one trusted, lead in time to a kinder, gentler, less selfish world.

    That all changed in the moment whoever was responsible for the 9/11 attack on America instigated their act (…and I still suspect those who had to most to gain–the strongest motive).  It stirred a sleeping dragon, a nest of hornets. America reacted to 9/11 with vicious determination, its people hurt and angry, the flames of their sorrow-born rage provoked and encouraged by a political agenda that desired nothing more than to feed the lucre of power and resources to itself via its industrial war machine, greasing greedy wheels with human blood.

    Gone in that moment were all the gains toward a more peaceful, benevolent world–kindness, tolerance, economic prosperity, the hope of a better future for all of us. Instead, hate, intolerance, and fear dominated our national psyche, the result of which pitched us and the world to the brink of political and economic fascism–the dearth of billions for the enrichment of the few.

    No longer do the voices of benevolence and kindness, of civility and tolerance, hold forth within the public ear. Instead, schisms between ideologies, theologies, and cultures, are cultivated and encouraged by gleeful profiteers, collapsing civility, solvency, and plenty, and replacing them with dearth–dearth for the poor and for the middle class, dearth for the general human populations, dearth that leads to further degradation of the world environment.

    Hatred, fear and rage has replaced common sense and tolerance, a hatred and fear engineered using the power of influence to seed its seepingly insidious corruption into a vulnerable public mind that fails to grasp the agenda of the elite socio-political masterminds behind it who are bent on owning and controlling everything to the benefit of themselves–the mighty few–to the detriment and dearth of everyone and every thing else.

    Dearth, a word to think on.


  • politics, culture, society,  the personal side

    Jobs: Many Articles, One Inevitable Conclusion

    There are and have been a lot of articles about the state of jobs in the U.S.  Reading them, I find only one or two that actually address the real problem: over-population.  That’s because it’s a tabboo subject; it’s unpopular to suggest that people must stop having so many babies.  When I was in high school, then college, though, it kept striking me that population growth along with technological innovation would, in time, prove to be disastrous for our nation and the world. And, unfortunately, that time has come.  I used to argue that in Economics class; I still argue that with colleagues, though, lately, their voices are fewer and weaker because, 1) their jobs have been outsourced overseas, and, 2) computers and automation have taken over their tasks. Even jobs requiring a high degree of mental acumen and skill are being phased out from a “permanent” position to that of a “permanent temporary”, subcontracted status. Mostly gone are the lucrative, lifetime jobs where you could look forward to retirement after, say, thirty years of satisfying, steady employment with the same firm, working your way up the company hierarchy.

    Technological innovation and computer automation are, of course, wonderful. One person can do so much more today than they could even ten years ago…by themselves, without an army of help. So, pound for pound and dollar for dollar, they and the company they work for make more money, right? Maybe, depending on the circumstances and the business. Mostly, it depends on how the business is run and how much competition vies for the same market…because competition for income is more intense with the increasing number of desperate available bodies willing to do it for less.

    Of course, robotics allow companies to get rid of expensive workers who, being human, are, well, human. Emotions, illness, familial responsibilities, and the need for reasonably safe, comfortable working conditions all add a toll to hiring live bodies as opposed to high-tech mechanicals. Robots are expensive, though. Still, when measuring one robot’s productivity against that of a live worker, robots make a lot of sense.  It takes 4.2 human workers to do the same amount of work as one robot if those humans can and will work at the same speed and with the same efficiency as said robot.  And, of course, you need the tech to maintain and fix the robot…or a contract with the company who makes it.  Still, the robot is still cheaper, especially since a robot can be used as a depreciation expense.  So, considering all the variables, buying a robot (or several) is definitely much more appealing than employing human beings.  And robots don’t need health care or retirement benefits, a huge plus in savings.

    Then, of course, there’s the sheer volume of people who need or want work. That makes workers very cheap and becoming cheaper still as population increases.

    SHORT TERM SOLUTION? I don’t think there is one that’s politically appealing to either of our political parties, nor one that is practical without closing the borders and isolationism, plus some stringent new commerce laws…such as: to sell in the U.S., you must create the product in a U.S.-based factory that employs U.S. citizens, else pay a huge tariff for the privilege of selling to Americans.

    LONG TERM SOLUTION? Pretty easy to figure out: reduce the human population by reducing the number of babies born.

  • passions,  politics, culture, society

    It’s Christmas, and, Well, We’re Still Fighting

    It’s Christmas–a holiday Christians use to celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth (who was actually born sometime in October, btw), Jesus of Nazareth whose teachings inspired the founding of the Christian faith…for good, but mostly resulting in evil. 

    Christmas is celebrated by non-Christians, as well–Yuletide and the Solstice…or just an excuse to celebrate, remember friends and family, and to enjoy a feeling of goodwill and peace.

    But, guess what? In Christams 2009, what are we doing? Well, in the U.S., we’re still fighting–Republicans versus Democrats, liberals versus neoconservatives, and all of them pissed off at moderates and independents who don’t hold their “party” lines.  And, around the world, we’re in wars, wars, and wars.  We’re standing by while people, animals, and Earth itself continues to suffer harm by mankind’s UNKIND hands–cruelty, hardship, misery, decimation…. 

    I’m sick of humans.  Yes, really.  As a species, despite supposedly being “civilized” and blessed with (repeat, SUPPOSEDLY) superior intelligence, it is WE–humans–who blight the planet with our greed, our fear, and our oh-so-primitive “us versus them” tribalism.  We are the most violent, most vile, of creatures, yet, simultaneously, we exhibit the ability to rise above that and be the kindest, most caring.  Unfortunately, in this our 21st century of counting our existence in the West, we seem to be a civilization devolving back into a hate/war society of intolerance…and have been since the turn of the Millennium.  (Thanks, G.W.B./Cheney, fuckers both.)

    Hope?  Hope is a Christmas theme.  I’m losing it.  I can’t see us ever getting clear of our fear, greed, and unhealthy lusts.  Still, Christmas IS the one time of year in the West when, for just a moment, for just a day, SOMETIMES, anyway, the world knows PEACE.  This is especially evident at the stroke of midnight between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, worldwide. 

    So tonight I will celebrate that one precious moment of PEACE that happens only now, thanks to a man born long ago in a land far, far away.

    Thank you, Jesus.  That’s one small piece of good that came about because of a religion founded in your name, though most everything else that’s come about because of Christianity (along with most everything that’s come about because of Judism and Islam, all brother/sister religions that lead back to the seed of Abraham) only perpetuates more evil upon the planet.

    Be still, Humans.  It’s Christmas Eve.  A breath of stillness, a moment of peace….

  • off the cuff

    The Frightening Far Right Agenda (Palin & now McCain, too)

    Have you ever looked into the agenda of the far right?  Imagine a country (ours) settled by people who were escaping religious persecution and political intolerance now ruled by people who practice intolerance and ideological persecution.  And not only do they practice ideological persecution, they hold it as their duty as good Christians to their god.

    Palin is a Pentecost.  That’s an extreme Baptist sect.  One could also define them as a cult.  They do “alligator dancing” in the aisles of their churches “when the Spirit moves them”; they “speak in Tongues” (garbled gab of no meaning effusing from their mouths, often accompanied by foam).  And what do they advocate?  They, as my ex-brother-in-law so pointedly informed me, are commanded by their god to kill anyone (“pick up a gun and shoot you” to quote) who isn’t part of their congregation…which means anyone not a Pentecost, though I believe they’ll hold their fire against other Baptists, Assembly of God, and similar extreme “right” denominations.  So that means everyone from atheists and agnostics, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Taoists, Wiccans, and Jews to Lutherans, Presbyterians, Quakers, Catholics, Mennonites, Mormons, Methodists…any Christian or non-Christian believer and unbeliever will be open gaime, gleefully terminated when and if they run them down and get them in their gun sights.  That’s scary to think of.

    “Oh, no,” say the “rationalists.” The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights guarantees us freedom of religion.  That won’t happen.”

    I remember the “freedom of religion” argument brought up before, and the response?  “‘Freedom of religion’ doesn’t mean ‘freedom from religion'” the religious right screamed back.  And what does that twist mean to them?  It means, yes, you have the right to believe or not believe as you choose, BUT they have a right to inflict whatever damage upon you and yours they choose, their religion delivering (the from religion part) the verdict of pain, harm, and, if mob mentality, Pat Robertson (a Southern Baptist), and the religious rightwing cronies have their way, death, preferably by stoning.  Stoning, by the way, is a very painful, horrible way to die…but, then, these folks enjoy inflicting pain on others, believe in it as their right, because, according to them, you, the “mis-believer” or unbeliever, are possessed by (of) the devil, and it’s the devil they perceive themselves to be stoning.

    But, let’s get back to this U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights for a moment.  Do I need to remind everyone of our right to habeas corpus (…until G W Bush abnegated it, that is), of our right to privacy, of our right against unlawful search and seizure and all the rest?  Did that stop Bush, Cheney, Rove, and the entire Bush administration?  Nope.  It sure didn’t.  And they got away with it, with the (stupid) American people and (stupid) Congress, including the (treasonous) Supreme Court who planted Bush in the White House, giving them the green light to do it.

    Palin is a Pentecostal Christian who believes that her god has given her this opportunity to set America “right.”  Beware.  AND, in choosing Palin as his vice-presidential nominee, John McCain has aligned himself with that Pentecostal-saturated agenda.  Their version of America is to DICTATE how you believe, to dictate your choices of body, mind, soul, and spirit, and, should you be found guilty in their eyes of being less than “righteous,” they will eradicate you.  That’s Palin’s and, by choosing her as his vice-president, John McCain’s agenda for America and its citizens.