Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Lady Leading the People"

Yep, it's time M_R. Time to put away the tow
head on the trike, and to restore "Lady Liberty"
as the motiff. It seems to me that whether we
are writing about my topic of our nationalism or
your varied topics of social, political, and
economic injustices, we desire changes.

However, we are not doing too well. Obama,
Geithner, Summers, et al have returned the
economy to Wall Street and the bankers with only
window dressing of reforms. There has been no
attempt to re-enact Glass-Steagle on your side,
and, on my side, the Obama Cabal has provided
no leadership in returning economic nationalism.

Now, we see the back-peddling on health care with
the so called "public option" being put on the back
burner. Why is this happening? Because the bankers,
the major investors, and the insurance companies have
filled the pockets of Congress. It is said that these
groups are spending a million dollars a day to lobby
Congress. Where are the citizens? We are not at the
table. We saw Baucus eliminate the supporters of a
public option from his hearings and have them thrown
out of the room.

It seems to me that the masses must be mobilized to take
action, as Delacroix ably demonstrats in "Lady Leading the
People". She is referred to as Lady Liberty. If we can't
lead the masses to fill the streets of D.C. with millions
of citizens demanding a public option, there will be no
meaningful public option. Unless there is a Martin Luther
King March on Washington, there seems to be little chance
of real health care reform...You know? If 70% of the nation
supports a public option, what is the problem of organizing
a fraction of them to show up in D.C.? Lets find out how
good we are.....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Loki and Obama

Filed under 'B' for 'birthers.'

A prominent Norse myth involves the God Loki who is a trickster god associated with fire and magic. Loki, like other gods, has enormous power over the universe. Loki has the power to shuffle the very fabric of space and time itself, making things disappear from perception; Loki is a shape shifter.

Those far right-wing nuts aka 'birthers' chant and pray to Loki and light candles and burn incense before icons of him. It is a sacred, touching ritual. Naturally, there are American flags surrounding the icon as well.

Writer Alex Knapp, the Editor-in-Chief of Heretical Ideas, suggests that this newly emerging birthers-movement may in fact be onto something important. He writes:

"Clearly, Loki could have used his powers to change the fabric of space-time in order to make it appear that Obama was born in Hawaii when he, in fact, wasn’t. But why would Loki do such a thing? Simple. Loki is fated, according to Norse myth, to bring about Ragnarok–the end of the world. However, it is clear from the sagas that Ragnarok must be preceded by Fimbulvetr, the winter of winters. Fimbulvetr is described as being three years of winter with no summer in between."

Are you following along? I think I know where Knapp is heading. He goes on,

"What does this have to do with Obama? It’s simple. Obama has been essential in pushing through cap and trade legislation through the United States Congress, and his Administration has made it a major part of its agenda. But as Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle point out in their tome Fallen Angels, preventing the greenhouse effect would lead the Earth into a devastating ice age. In other words, Obama’s Cap and Trade Agenda will directly lead to Fimbulvetr. As no real American would sponsor legislation that would lead to the Twilight of the Gods, it was necessary for Loki to use his powers to make Obama appear to be an American citizen so that Obama’s election to the Presidency would be assured."

Surely you guessed it. That Loki is one clever dude! Now for the conclusion:

"Clearly, Loki’s influence into American Presidential elections should be stopped and Obama should be immediately impeached for making use of a foreign power to obtain the Presidency."


It Time to Allow Guns into the Capitol Building

Columnist E.J Dione of the Washington Post writes:

Isn't it time to dismantle the metal detectors, send the guards at the doors away and allow Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights by being free to carry their firearms into the nation's Capitol building?

I've been studying the deep thoughts of senators who regularly express their loyalty to the National Rifle Association and have decided they should practice what they preach. They tell us that the best defense against crime is an armed citizenry and that laws restricting guns do nothing to stop violence. If they believe that, why don't they live by it?

Why would freedom-loving lawmakers want to hide behind guards and metal detectors? Shouldn't NRA members be outraged that Second Amendment rights mean nothing in the seat of our democracy?

Congress seems to think that gun restrictions are for wimps. It voted earlier this year to allow people to bring their weapons into national parks, and pro-gun legislators have pushed for the right to carry in taverns, colleges and workplaces. Shouldn't Congress set an example in its own workplace?


We ought to file this one in the same folder as the one on health care- the one that says that the health care plan that the U.S. senators and congressmen are provided is not available for the rest of the citizens.

Why does the word 'plutocracy' pop into my mind?

Monday, July 27, 2009

New Life in Alaska

No, I'm not talking Palin but rather about something of which she and her head-in-the-sand right-wingers are in denial: global warming. Lots of those who dwell in the dank caves of the far-right scoff at the concept of global warming as if it is a socialist plot initiated by the United Nations.

Interestingly, the solid-red state of Alaska is in the bull's eye of the grand melt. The 'gosh and golly' former governor rebuffed all efforts of the Federal Government that sought to protect the fragile environment of Alaska. Now, however, it may be too late to save the state from an ecological nightmare: the permafrost is melting at a record rate.

Live Science has an article titled, Permafrost Could Be Climate's Ticking Time Bomb, which reports: " While melting in the Arctic might cause problems for plants and animals at lower latitudes, it's creating a downright sunny situation for Arctic biota. Arctic plants usually remain trapped in ice for most of the year. Nowadays, when the ice melts earlier in the spring, the plants seem to be eager to start growing. Research has found higher levels of the form of the photosynthesis product chlorophyll in modern soils than in ancient soils, showing a biological boom in the Arctic in recent decades."

Another article says that the 'locked-in' carbon of permanently frozen organic matter that covers approximately 20 to 25 percent of the land-surface area in the northern hemisphere, has a carbon-load potential estimated to contain up to 1,600 gigatons of carbon. By comparison, the atmosphere now contains around 825 gigatons of the element as carbon dioxide.

Twice as much stored carbon as the entire atmosphere now contains- just waiting to oxidize and become more CO2.

The time for denial is way-gone. Hopefully the scientists are working hard to discover ways of retarding that carbon loss.

Queer Benevolence

I seem to attract right-wing Christian ninnies to my blog like ants to a picnic. They enjoy harassing me because I dismiss their biblical literalism as hogwash. Each is a good Republican, of course. Jesus, they insist, would have led the preemptive invasion of Iraq in March 2003 had he been alive. Jesus would also have wanted tax cuts for the rich and would, in fact, now be fighting against universal health care. Ninnies with a capital 'N.'

They are a queer lot. Righteousness drips from their lips. On one fundamentalist christian blog I recently read a statement that reminded me of pigs wallowing in the mud, or that scene of the pharisee praying in the Temple. The three sows were decrying the 'unbelievers,' especially atheists, and one quipped, and I paraphrase her statement, "God, I thank You that I am not like other people..."

I am reminded of a line from Bishop John Shelby Spong's book, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism. He refers to fundamentalist bible study groups as 'the pooling of ignorance.' Thus my vision of swine mud-bathing.

It must be comforting, in a most queer sense of the word, to live in continual delusion, while being reinforced in that delusion by others. Comforting in that one is never curious about much of anything. There is a neatly locked box labeled, 'truths,' which remains tightly secured and stowed under the bed.

Surely not too many right-brained people can be counted in the ranks of the fundamentalists. Nor clever people. They left the fold long ago. Mostly dullards who wander through life in their untreated obsessive-compulsive state. It's a wonder that this breed didn't die out in prehistoric times given their lack of creativity and wonderment. Today they survive within the larger culture because the rest of us enable them. The rest of us do the heavy lifting, so to speak, while they muddle along in their 'gosh and golly' stupor. They probably were the 'leaches of society' in prehistoric times.

The Amish, a fundamentalist group, on the other hand, are content to remain 'of themselves' while living their 18th century life-style. If only the Pigs in the Mud would model this cloistered characteristic. But no. It seems that their perpetual state of denial and OCD-driven personalities demands that they fling their manure far, wide and often.

This surely is queer benevolence.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Sermon Topic: Right Wing Christian Ninnies

I was searching on my FM dial when I found a Christian radio station broadcasting a Sunday service from a local fundamentalist church. Luckily, their website afforded an opportunity to re-visit the service and I have copied the salient parts of the service. Here are three biblical readings that were offered on that Sunday:

And now, sister Jeanette has our first reading.

It is from Luke 18:10 "Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican."

Thank you sister Jeanette. Aren't we glad that God has blessed us all when he chose us to be his most righteous believers? Let the congregation say, Amen!

The next reading is by sister Barbara.

"May I just say," Barbara began, "that this is my favorite verse in the Bible and I think it clearly shows why I choose to be a card-carrying member of the Republican Party.

A reading from Leviticus 18

The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'I am the LORD your God. You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God. Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD.
" 'No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the LORD.

" 'Do not dishonor your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her.

" 'Do not have sexual relations with your father's wife; that would dishonor your father.

" 'Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere.

" 'Do not have sexual relations with your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter; that would dishonor you.

" 'Do not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father's wife, born to your father; she is your sister.

" 'Do not have sexual relations with your father's sister; she is your father's close relative.

" 'Do not have sexual relations with your mother's sister, because she is your mother's close relative.

" 'Do not dishonor your father's brother by approaching his wife to have sexual relations; she is your aunt.

" 'Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son's wife; do not have relations with her.

" 'Do not have sexual relations with your brother's wife; that would dishonor your brother.

" 'Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. Do not have sexual relations with either her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness.

" 'Do not take your wife's sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living.

" 'Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.

" 'Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor's wife and defile yourself with her.

" 'Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed [a] to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.

" 'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

" 'Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.

" 'Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the aliens living among you must not do any of these detestable things, 27 for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.

" 'Everyone who does any of these detestable things—such persons must be cut off from their people. Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the LORD your God.'"

"God hates fags!" Barbara repeated as she went back to her seat, "God hates fags!"
Let the congregation say, Amen!

Our third and final reading this morning will be proclaimed by sister Kateb

"Although this reading is short," she began, "I really, really like it because I like to fish and I like money, too!"

Matthew 17 verse 27: "Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go you to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first comes up; and when you have opened his mouth, you shall find a piece of money: that take, and give to them for me and you."

"Ahoy!" Kateb quipped as she joined Barbara and Jeanette in their pews.

"And now," the minister said as he arose, "let us close today's service as we join the choir in singing that Christian favorite, "They will Know we are Christians by our Love!"

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