Thursday, November 8, 2012

Election 2012

I can't help but notice a depression among some the past few days. I wanted to let an old conservative friend who I have certainly shared some great conversations with, share a little of the thoughts of a moderate left (formerly conservative) liberal and a "progressive" (formerly conservative) Christian. But, I decided instead of a letter I would just write a blog about it. This is what I would have said if I had sent him the letter:  I know you think at this time that the nation has deteriorated into a cess pool of godless socialism. I understand that the world you grew up in doesn't look much like the world you see now. I know the feeling well. The world as I had alway's known it shifted under my feet in increments until some of the bedrock became floating patches of land that I had to jump on and quickly jump to another to reach solid ground again. It's still wet and muddy for me but I keep going. I hear a whole lot about how the republicans are friends of the military. However, I still remember working on a military base during the Bush years. Fort Carson Colorado Child Development Center. I still remember being told that the kids in the age group I was head of couldn't get anymore food for lunch than what they were already offered. One serving per child. I still remember having to tell the classroom staff that toilet paper was at a premium. I still remember Donald Rumsfield asking "What am I doing running grocery stores?" Well sir, you had shipped the momma's and daddy's off to war and the families still had to eat. I still remember the hollow eyed children coming into the center after spending one last night with mom or dad before they shipped out. I still remember the sobs and the anxious looks at the t.v. screens as a young wife or even young husband said "Hey, that's our unit." when a report of war would come in. I still remember that most of that military was black and came from poor cities in the rust belt and the rural south. I still remember that many were white and came from the south and were trying to save enough to go to school or make it in the world once they got out of the military. I still remember the billions and billions a day being spent on two wars. Fact is that Obama isn't the problem. The policies of war and big coorporations who profit off oil and war are the problems or at least a big part of it. Still, Obama could end it and he really should. I'm not here to beautify Obama for sainthood. But, many of those patriotic Americans that you guys love to talk about would and did vote for Obama. The world (to borrow from my favorite author, Stephen  King in the Dark Tower) has moved on. The jobs that some conservatives talk about that you can pull yourself up by your own bootstraps? Those went to China a long time ago. The fact is that America looks a lot different than it did in 1950 or 1967 0r 1975. The fact is that we are not a evangelical Chrisitan nation and truly we were not founded by evangelical Christians. However, we were founded by people that had faith and fortitude. But, they were also slave owners and felt that black folks were only partly human as far as voting rights and women were somewhere below that. Did the democrats take God out of schools? Well, if they did then he isn't God with a big "G" but is god with a little "g." It's funny how conservatives are so sure that the government should stay out of things like taxing people and regulating business. But, should dive head first into marriage and abortion and prayer in schools. It's amazing that government shouldn't make sure that insurance companies stop adding to run away inflation and shouldn't make sure that health care is a basic human right and need. But, government should by all means be allowed to send son's and daughters off to war. What happens when there really are more black people and Hispanic people than there are white folks. What happens when the majority of white folks are just as poor as the black folks? There are many now, but what about when there are just as many or more? The republicans honestly need to wake up and stop sending dinosaurs into battle. Abortion? I hate abortion. I think if you are going to get pregnant then you should be willing to consider the responsibilty of what and who you are. On the other hand if men had babies then abortion wouldn't even be an issue and we all know it. It would be a stone cold fact. But, my feelings on abortion are from my worldview and everybody doesn't share my worldview. So, a young woman has to decide for herself if she is going to nurture that life or not. The truth is that the Holy Ghost didn't come down from a throne on high and plant that seed in that woman. It's a flesh and blood reality and it has to be dealt with by flesh and blood people. Pro choice people should stop telling women that abortion is some kind of holy female right of passage. You are killing off a part of yourself that nobody else will ever be able to replace in your life. Anti abortion people should stop saying life is sacred while it's in the womb but once it gets here unless it's one of "us" then it isn't worth our effort or assistance. Finally, I did indeed vote for Obama. Not because he is of mixed race and I could get a tingle up my leg for voting for a "black" guy. I voted for Obama because I'm not rich. I voted for Obama because if something did happen to my job I might need to go to the doctor before I get another job with insurance coverage. I voted for Obama because I have seen first hand as social worker the treatment of poor folks on Medicaid when they go to the doctor. It ain't pretty. I didn't vote for Romney because he flip flopped on health coverage and he seemed to be willing to be a progressive if that's what New England needed. But, if the south and the mid west needed an evangelical conservative well, he was the man. I'm not sure of Obama. I'm not sure he can find his butt with both hands. But, at least he admits he has a butt and doesn't flip flop all over the place. So, ya pay's yer money and ya takes your chances.  I am sure that republican or democrat we do have some issues and we are divided. We do need to make sure there is a path to working and paying taxes if you are here illegally. We also have to be aware that if you keep straining the social services system it will break sooner or later. But, throwing folks back across the border over and over and over again is simply not working. I am not an atheist. I don't think all life is a accident with no more meaning than a roach bug at the end of it. So, I do believe in taking care of each other. No, not all are going to be worth it. No, we shouldn't be housing people to set on their butt and drink and watch soap operas all day. But, we should take care of the elderly and the disabled. We should take care of the children and the unemployed and the folks who are trying to make a better life. Is there no middle ground? I look in the mirror and I'm so unsure of myself. I'm so unsure that "I" have the answers to life the universe and everything. Maybe some of you are not. Maybe you truly are the chosen few. But, is there no humility left? Is there no sense of "reasoning together" left? Anyway, as always. If you have read all of this then I thank you for taking the time and giving me the honor of your consideration for my thoughts. Agree or disagree, thank you for reading my latest rant.

Friday, November 2, 2012


  The song from Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon" keeps running through my head. I saw a news story about an N.B.A. player getting 80,000,000 to sign with a team. $80 million dollars! Wow, how many clothes and how much food would that buy? How many doctor's appointments would that pay for? How many dental visits and other needs would that supply? Now, I'm a sports fanatic. I was raised on Alabama football. I went to my first Atlanta Braves baseball game at 11 or 12 years old. I watched and cheered as Alabama made it's first trip to the NIT in basketball. This was way back in the early seventies when going to the NIT meant something. So, I do have an appreciation for sports and the entertainment that it provides in this nation. But, 80 million dollars. Wow, the other day I had to call some local church and other agencies to try and get a referral for a winter coat for a child. I watched as an older African American woman lived in a bad part of public housing and was afraid to go outside. I saw Jessie Jackson say he would like to cut Obama's nuts off and Al Sharpton primp for the t.v. cameras as he led another "cause" for the downtrodden. I throw up a little in my mouth when I hear the likes of Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter talk as if health care is a privilege instead of basic human need and right. Bible thumpers who don't want to let a woman choose what to do with her own body and want to pass government law or amendent to tell her what is legal. Yet, when I say what about feeding and clothing  and health care? The answer is "That's not the governments place and they shouldn't interfere." Let the church take care of it. Ya know what? There are some great church groups that do indeed try and take care of the poor. But, they run out of money and funds. They depend some on federal assistance in order to help the poor. We have a really weird society. One group loves ya while you are in the womb and protects the hell out of you. But, once you get out of the womb they say "let em eat cake." The other group treats you like you are no more than a "procedure" while you are in the womb. But, once you get out "IF" you qualify they will put you on a check and defend your right to laze around the rest of your life. Where is the balance? Where is the common sense? We honestly have enough resources right now in this nation to feed the poor and clothe the hungry and treat the sick. We also have enough laws to address discrimination and bring justice. But, it looks better politically to say one group is more precious than another. It's a hate crime to kill one and a simple ole "mistake" in judgement to kill another. I think all crime is a hate crime. Especially crimes of violence. We honestly should provide a way to let workers come across the border and get legal. We should also put illegal gang members and those who commit crimes under the damn jail. One side thinks that simply throwing human beings out will cure the problem. The other side doesn't seem to understand that you can't keep throwing more and more stress on the social resources without exhausting them. One problem is the two party system in this nation. I think we might do better with a parliament. Anyway, here's the trick to political power...or at least one of em. Pit one group against the other. Call one poor and downtrodden the other evil and an exploiter . That way you can breed resentment among the middle and lower classes. You can talk about the evils of abortion while you bomb the hell out of children in third world nations. You can ride around in a limo and talk about the evil "white" men who are destroying a culture. All the while branding anybody who thinks the culture is destroying itself a racist for bringing the subject up. You can talk about trickle down theory while the middle class trickles down to nothing. You can talk about restitution for past wrongs while letting people die in poverty. What's the answer? I don't know. But, I do know what the answer isn't. It's not blindly supporting a political party as if it were no more than a sports team. It's not demonizing any one group as if they are the sole problem of the world. It's not removing hope and faith in God from all aspects of public life. It's not imposing a belief in any one religion on people who have no faith or religion. These are all silly little ploys to keep peoples eyes off of the men/women behind the curtain. Anyway, rant of the day....Thank you for reading and I respect the right of all people to think for themselves. It took me a long time to be able to express my opinion without worrying about what the "church" thought or what the science teacher at school thought or what somebody else thought.

What you would not have done to you...Don't do to anybody else...The Buddha

I'm not a religious man..but if you're up there, save me Superman... Homer Simpson