Sunday, September 18, 2011

More Idiocy from the Right

OK, so Warren Buffet says tax millionaires, and in the current economic situation that only makes sense, but the Republicans are fighting Obama's plans to tax the wealthy - why, because that's tapping their financial base!  Even the wealthy understand, whether they like it or not, that they are getting a free ride in an economy that is killing the middle-class, but the Republicans can't see it.  Why am I not surprised, given what has transpired for the last 12 years?  Bush put us in this mess, Obama hasn't necessarily improved it, but he's tried - what have the Right done to help?  Gridlock and block every attempt to move forward -- yes, that's the party I want leading our country into the future, sure.  You had better be able to see the oozing sarcasm dripping off and oozing out of that line, my friends!!

And all the Right can do, while the President is trying to start the employment growth we need, is try to upstage him with more of the help the rich, so it will trickle down to the poor --- we learned that didn't work when Reagan tried it!  Get real, people, stop voting on the basis of catch phrases and nice sounding rhetoric.  Start looking at who is REALLY trying to help this country and start supporting the President as he tries to help!!

Monday, August 8, 2011


I have had several disappointments lately, starting with the knowledge the President and the Democrats had the chance to face down the Republicans and the Tea Party using the 14th Ammendment to end the debt ceiling crisis.  Yes, I understand the President's desire to work with both sides of the aisle, but it's time to wake up and realize the other side doesn't WANT to work with him on anything - and progressives are starting to become disillusioned with the direction things are going.

My second disappointment is the misinformation that is still floating around in the community about what is, has and could happen because of the deal struck, and the downgrading of the nation's credit rating.  Sadly, too many are willing to let talking mutton heads like Limbaugh figure out their understanding of what's happening.  I NEVER found Limbaugh to be anything but a rude, arrogant SOB who was more willing to fuel the fires of hatred than to try to actually make the country better.

My delight in the President and congressional leaders finally lifting DADT in the military has been dampened by hearing current enlistees talk about the violence and disruption they anticipate as the number of gays increases - have they not listened to people who served with gays in combat situations that noted there was no disruption of morale, that the gay members performed their duties admirably and well in keeping with mililtary protocol?  When we will pull our collective heads out of the sand and realize gays and been among us all the time, and didn't do all the horrible things religious bigots keep telling us they will?

I've also had to transfer employment due to the financial crunch the country is caught in, and saw my pay drop yet again!  From a corporation that is reporting sizeable profits, but continues to try to push out full time workers in favor of part-timers that don't get benefits.  The business community needs to take off their own rose-colored glasses and smell the coffee, or this country could be in for another wave of union organizing and strikes that will really open a can of worms we don't need.

These are indeed tough times!  May we all wake up, and start to work together for the betterment of all humankind!  That is the ONLY way we are going to stop some of this nastiness that is so prevalent in government anymore!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Score One for the Good Guys

Well, Mr. Murdock, I guess the vast conspiracy caught up with you, huh?

Yes, sir, that bastion of conservative media moguls is caught up in a scandal that closed one newspaper, and has besmirched that name of that fine "gentleman" of the media moguls.  Such honest and caring concern that they hacked the cell phone of a dead young girl, bribed officers of the law -- generally acted like scumbags to sell papers -- really caring, right!?!?!

Yes, sir, score one for the good guys!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


The legislators of NY deserve a huge amount of credit for doing the right thing - passing the Marriage Equality legislation put before them!  It's love we are talking about here, not the government's right to snoop in your bedroom!  Perhaps more states will stop playing the ages old game of let's stick our heads in the sand and pretend nothing has changed in many centuries!  It's about time people wake up and pay attention to science and start living in the 21st Century!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sad! Surprise?

It's is, as my son said, sad, SAD that a man robbed a bank of one dollar, just so he'd be arrested and sent to jail, where he could get needed medical treatment he couldn't afford on his own -- in the "greatest" nation on earth?  Really?  Yes, my son, it is indeed SAD!

Are any of you progressives really surprised that Republicans pulled out of budget negotiations and started blaming Democrats?  Really?  That was as predictable as the sun rising in the morning.  But I think it will backfire on them again!  I'm hearing more and more people complain about the approach they are taking to control the country.  I've been surprised before, but I think this one is going down like the last time the Republicans tried this tactic.

Anybody agree?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Surprise, surprise!

Mitt Romney can't tell the truth as he runs for the White House!  Looking at news this morning, there is an article entitled, "FACT CHECK: Romney miscasts economy in GOP debut."  What a surprise!  The GOP hasn't been able to tell the truth about the economy or their plans to fix it - just keep repeating the same broken record they have for years, and still some people buy it?!

Time to wake up, people!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Why is it . . .

that the Right can make outrageous comments about people and no one blinks, but when one on the few who speak loudly and powerfully for the Left does so, it's a big deal and there is either a suspension or a firing in the offing?

First, Olbermann, now Ed Schultz.  Come on, people!  Just listen to Rush or Glen for a while, and figure out that while we don't need to stoop to their level, occasionally something slips out in the heat of the moment - make an apology and go on, for crying out loud!

Think about it!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Another spoof . . .

Here we go again!  Another "expert" whose figured the end of the world, this one for the second time, and, for the second time, was wrong.  Two points make me angry and sad!

First people won't even take the time to read the Bible to see what it says, or to learn enough to understand it -- simple, really, because Jesus said straight-forward that ONLY God KNOWS when.  Not that you can find a mystery code, or numbers will reveal -- ONLY GOD KNOWS!  Simple!!

Second, people were making money off people's fears about events they don't understand, but hope they are on the right side of -- as in, I hope I wake up in heaven when this is over!  It would be so much easier on us all, if people would simple do a little reading and thinking for themselves, instead of depending on the crackpots of the world to sort it all out for them.

Think!  It's why God gave you brain!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

On the faith front . . .

Well, here goes another "biblical scholar" who missed one crucial little piece of information while predicting the end of the world - that Jesus said only God know when the end will come.  I don't know how many of these nut-jobs over my lifetime have come out and duped people gullible enough to follow along.

Perhaps the one I was most upset with was the radio evangelist who told his followers to sell everything they had, give away all but what they would need to travel to a mountain outside of Phoenix, Arizona - where he conveniently lived - where Jesus was returning, and he would meet them.  Several did exactly that, but, not surprisingly, the leader did not!  My thought was that the courts should have stepped in, stripped him of his homes, his fancy cars, and his bank account, then divided it up among the followers who actually followed his advice.  Instead, they got to start over from scratch, while he simply started gaining new followers. 

On a related topic, someone sent through a Facebook post about the so-called Free items on there - and asking people to re-post if they cared enough about their friends -- my concern is that those gullible enough to fall for it will do so whether we re-post or not.  Just as people have followed the crazies that keep predicting the end of the world "with certainty," but against the word of the one who is supposed to come again at the end of the world; people will continue to look for the free, the easy way out, the too-good-to-be-true.

My hope is that people will start to engage their brains, do a little research before jumping on the band wagon, consider that oft-repeated advise that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true!

Think about it, and resolve to think more and more often!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blame the Immigrants . . .

I agree with the MSNBC host who said immigration is only frightening, if you don't know our history as a nation; if you do, immigration is an open door to new energy, new hope for our country.  Last night, a co-worker quoted a couple of "analysts" who in part blamed the current fiscal mess on "all the Mexicans" who have come into the country over the last several decades - now, why is it that it is only now a problem? 

I pointed out that it seems more likely our over-infatuation with capitalism is finally biting us in the backside!  We've taken it to every country we could, touted its greatness, and are now finding that we don't like it biting us!  Corporations are finding that cheaper labor overseas means higher profits at home.  Other nations are finding that they can turn the tables on us, and we are indebted to some of these to significant levels.  All because of that wonderful system that is also giving us ridiculously high gas prices, cars  that are priced higher than my parents bought their four-bedroom-ranch home in CA for and have to be paid off in 20% of the time they had. 

Welcome to the world we helped create, my fellow global citizens!  Wake up, and smell the coffee, roses or whatever!  We are as much or more to blame than people who came here looking for the dream we pursue as well.  It's been our number one export and now reality bites.

Let's open up, see the reality of these new citizens, and start joining the rest of the world in that great global community - instead of building our walls higher, thicker and wider.  Maybe that will help us recapture some of our lost leadership role, put us more in touch with everyone else, and really help the world!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

If the Dalai Lama . . .

can say it, I guess I need to add my own  thoughts.  Revenge seems something so strongly innate that we humans are unable to grow out of our need for it.  Someone doesn't something we find horribly wrong, or even horribly embarrassing, and we want revenge.  In the case of bin Osama, yes, I found September 11, 2001 a day that will live in infamy, even more so than Pearl Harbor.  Yet, in truth, both were acts of war, an inhuman and horrible activity we, again, seem unable to grow beyond.

I'm saddened by the vengefully, gleefully raised voices around me, gloating over, or questioning the truth of claims Osama is dead.  I'm saddened that we continue to engage in war, that we cannot get beyond the "us versus them" mentality that sets us up for this type of horror.

I truly pray we may begin to grow into our full potential, ending war, finding ways to honor our dead and bring a healthier climate to our world.  And, like that spiritual leader who is currently country-less, I understand the death, and the reaction.  I am still saddened, as I was saddened at the deaths of thousands of world citizens - not just Americans that died in the World Trade Center or the Pentagon, or the plane that went down in Pennsylvania.  I'm saddened by any death, because it ends of life, and, in some cases, ends the possibility that someone one may learn, may change, may be able to say, "I'm truly sorry for the harm I've done."

May God grant us true and real growth into the image in which we were made.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Here we go again!

Once again, state and federal legislators want to tell WOMEN what they can and cannot do with their own bodies!  Tell me, when was the last time you heard of a state legislature that wanted to tell MEN when they HAD to get or that they could NOT get a vasectomy?  Never!  Why?  Most of those legislators are men, living in a hazy and very unrealistic past - idealized, in fact, beyond reality for their own nefarious reasons.  The reason lies in the specific beliefs of one specific segment of the religious community.

The legalized medical procedure is one step along the path that ancient wise women and medicine women practiced - coming up with potions that would abort unwanted pregnancies.  Women down through time have had reasons not to carry fetuses to full term, and they have always found those who would help them.  Only in our more modern time did this practice take the deadly turn it did back in the 50-70's.  News stories abounded of women found dead in dumpsters, because of botched back alley abortions performed in non-sterile and often dangerous manners - such as sticking a straightened out coat hanger into a woman in order to kill the fetus and cause and miscarriage.  When society revolted against this and legalized the procedure, the radical fringe modified their theology to make it not only acceptable, but even virtuous to kill providers, their staffs, their guards and some of their client-patients.

The latest of these was the murderer who walked into a Wichita, Kansas church on a Sunday morning, pulled a gun and shot Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider already targeted unsuccessfully, though he was shot in both arms by a woman who also belongs to that radical fringe.

It is my belief, that until we in America can move to the point where freedom of speech and freedom of religion are not freedom to make your own laws, we will continue to vacillate one issues like abortion, birth control, sex education and true appreciation of the religious similarities and differences of various religious systems.  When we can get to a point where we appreciate other faith stances for their uniqueness, their similarities and their contributions to societies, we will be able to offer to everyone various religious beliefs and allow them to find the system that works for them.  And we will understand, as I was told in my youth, your freedom of speech or religion ends where my nose (life) begins.  We already recognize this in connection to racial bias, but seem completely unwilling to hold that true in other areas of life - such ass a woman's right to control her own body and what happens to it. 

Some will argue this doesn't apply to the abortion argument, because it takes two to make a baby.  Well, then why do we still allow men to impregnate women against their will, then walk away from the responsibility?  Why do we still punish the rape victim, even more than the "convicted" rapist is, because of the stigma attached to them?  Why do men legislate what happens to women, but no one legislates what men can and cannot do to their bodies?  Why do we perpetuate a myth that all those aborted fetuses would be adopted by people who want them? 

I know, from past experience, that last IS NOT true!  We have thousands if not millions of children who are available for adoption, and never get adopted - because they aren't cute cuddly babies without health problems. Give the beautiful baby dark skin, a mental or physical challenge such as deafness, cleft pallet, Downs Syndrome - ooh, NO, we don't want that one!  Ah, you see?  Not everyone one is truly desired!  Myth busted!!

Think about it?  No, we've done enough thinking!  It's  time to set this one to bed for good!  A woman is as much in control of her body as a man is his - and we set ourselves against God's own love when we deny it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Someone is starting to get it - the birthers don't want to accept anything but their own beliefs!  A news story tonight mentioned something that neither I nor my wife remember, of John McCain's eligibility to run based on his birth on a US base in the Panama Canal zone, a matter quickly put to rest and forgotten.  Now, on to Obama, two years in to his presidency, who continues to be haunted and hounded by the birthers over his supposed birth somewhere other than in the US.  More documentation has been produced than anything McCain produced, including investigations by news media - most of which is owned and controlled by conservative business moguls - and all of the documentation and investigation comes to the conclusion Barak Obama is a natural born American citizen.

But the birthers won't let go, why?  Hints are coming out that this may be racially motivated, and it might be, but, to be honest, the Republicans have shown themselves to be oblivious to facts when it is inconvenient to acknowledge - think of global warming, oil producers gouging the public, most of the nation favoring a woman's right to choice, taxation of the rich.  So, why wouldn't an ultra-conservative wing of the Republicans take that tendency a bit further?  And why wouldn't those who don't want to look beyond their own prejudices continue to hold their own stilted views?

It is important that we acknowledge that there are people in our society who will hold minority views in extremes, and they need to be seen for what they are, watched to avoid belief moving into deadly or even injurious action, as in the Scott Rader killing of a doctor in that doctor's own church on a Sunday morning.

It is equally important that our nation start to move beyond the past, to move beyond a slave-master mentality, to join the global community we "claim" to lead. A president of color is tremendously uplifting to our image in the world, and the birther controversy is belittling to our nation!  We can hope we are much closer to a woman president to further enhance out image in the world.

Think about it!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Franklin Graham is a disgrace!

I grew up listening and admiring the Rev. Billy Graham, but I can only look on is disgust now at what his son is now doing.  Franklin is taking stands and making statements his father would not have dreamed of taking!  He is using innuendo and insinuation to try to promote his POLITICAL views.  Billy, as a minister of the gospel of Christ, avoided taking political stands.  That is a lesson that his own son, Franklin, needs to learn!  He is showing his Republicanism in his public statements - Barak Obama, he infers, is Muslim and just claims to be Christian; Barak Obama may not be a natural born citizen of this country.

Franklin, I was taught to keep my mouth shut on political endorsement way back when I was in seminary in the 70's.  It is a lesson that has been enforced several times since throughout my professional career as a pastor.  You walk perilously close to a line that could cost you the ability to run a non-profit organization as such.  Churches and pastors over the last 30 years have crossed that line, and have lost, rightfully, the right to be non-profit. 

Everyone who listens to this man, remember his father, remember who they both claim to follow, and remember that the gospel never calls for us to insinuate or use innuendo to destroy anyone.  Jesus illustrates in his own life, we are to act honestly toward those with whom we deal.  Franklin needs to shut his mouth and get back to the mantle he took over from his father!

Enough said!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bribes for God?!

That's right, a pastor in a Elk River, MN church is offering a 3-D television and a Playstation 3 to get people to church.  Really?   Can't you just see Jesus on the hillside, "That's right, folks, come to Saturday's sabbath service, and we'll give you a NEW HOUSE!"  Come on!  Church should be a place people come because they feel loved and accepted, because they want to get closer to God, because they want to be there, NOT because there's a great give-away at the end of the Easter morning service!

Did you ever

Did you ever sit in a room full of very conservative, not very well educated people and wonder where their brains were?  Recently, sitting in the lunch room at work, three or four of my co-workers got going on the whole birther thing - you know, with enough money, you can cover up anything, including having been born in Kenya, and make it to the White House!  I wouldn't trust him for anything!  Trust who, someone asked.  "OBAMA!"  Do you really believe all that birther stuff?  Sure, why not?

OK, I'm sorry, but pull your head out of your a*# and join the real world, you conservative ditzes!  How many times does the President of the United States have to produce the paperwork that declares he is a natural born citizen, just like the Constitution requires to run for President of this country?  This country, where a brain isn't required to vote or open your mouth to show just how dumb and uncaring you happen to be.  Just because the Donald has launched a possible run for the White House on the birther agenda doesn't mean every dip-wad in the country has to show their lack insight and perception!

And, get used to it, folks, because if Obama runs again, barring something major going wrong, he will win against the current crop of GOP wannabes!  I personally hope he does run again, despite the number of unfulfilled promises, because he shows the world that we are serious about all the freedom crap we try to sell them, all the equality stuff we keep preaching and try to avoid.  And I hope a reasonable and sane woman runs after him and wins!  Of course, if Michelle Bachmann or Sarah Palin run, I'm really hoping they come off as stupid and insipid as they have in the past and present!

Michelle Bachmann is an embarrassment to the state of Minnesota, just like Sarah Palin is to Alaska!  There are better women to represent both states, women who would show just how intelligent and thoughtful the people of those great states truly are - of course, not all of them are!  And we all know many who aren't.

Perhaps, one of these days, intelligence will be dispensed without regard to empty-headed fools, and the old saying about hearing that they were handing out brains, and thinking they said trains so X didn't get any, will fall into disuse!  One can only hope!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Cartoonist Gets It Right!

So, at work last night, I decided to get the educational materials going - reading the comics from Sunday's paper.  That, of course is a joke.  Well, mostly, because there in Doonesbury was the Donald, and I have to say the caricature was right on, as was the attitude.  In the comic, Trump is talking about his run for president, that he has not yet announced.  The radio host points out the Donald's highlighted lead in the polls is because there isn't any of the GOP heavyweights around.  The host also points out that the Donald probably has this surge because he is "one of the best known celebrities," to which Trump responds, "One of, one of?  Who's bigger?"

I've seen actors try to make the move from acting to politics, some successfully, most NOT.  I lived in California when Ronald Reagan became governor, and based on his efforts in the state, I voted for him the first time he ran for President.  But, by the end of his first term, with the deficit burgeoning, I had lost all the starry-eyed wonder.  Trump doesn't even have that experience!  He THINKS running a successful empire and becoming one of the wealthiest men around makes him qualified to run the country - not even close, Donald!

If this country does the unthinkable, and elects the Donald, I think we will be in for a horrible and devastating term, and only one!  By that time, he will have been shown to be unable to work within the tri-point governing system we have.  Both parties will eat him alive.

So, chuckle at the comic, but remember that politics is not business - even on the Donald's scale.  Think before you vote, and think carefully, realistically and responsibly!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Double Stamdard?

Here we go again!  The Republicans that raised the debt ceiling SIX times for "Dub-yah" are now arguing adamantly against such a move when Obama is the one in the White House.  They are again pushing to make the middle class care the rich, who aren't paying their share of the tax burden of this country.  Boehner argues for and gets what he realistically wants in the stop-gap measure, then turns into the mad-bulldog politician that will NOT accept anything except the death knell of his opponents!  Eric Cantor, who was part of that Republican debt ceiling raising, now argues that any such move would destroy this country, and must be avoided AT ALL COST - does that mean he's willing to give up a lion's share of his political "wages" and his independent wealth to help this nation?  Ryan proposes what would be another big move away from a capitalist society to a feudal society with the landed (rich) nobility and a serf-servant class that subsists on the leavings of the rich.

Republicans argue that we are a nation on the verge of collapse - have they looked at China and others that are also in a debt crisis?  Have they looked closely at what is happening in Europe?  It appears to this angry progressive that the financial scene of the world is in trouble, with corporations taking the reins from government - ushering in what science fiction has postulated for decades.  It's time for a reality check!  Yes, we need to balance the budget; yes, we need to get spending under control; NO, we don't need to turn over control of the country to multi-national corporations!

Please, people, use your brains to actually think about this bally-hoo, and note carefully the facts of the shifting sands of political argument.  Please start holding all elected officials accountable for representing US!

Think about it!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Republican Two-Step

It always amazes me that Republicans can talk about saving the country from the deficit, when it's their policies and actions that put us here.  Oh, yes, I'll agree that Democrats have been involved by not making some decisions earlier, but think about this - twice Democrats have gotten into the White House and gotten this country into sound financial footing, only to have to let a Republican back in, and away we go again.  Only now, we use the same speeches to try to turn this all around - on the backs of the middle class, or should we start calling the middle class serfs again.

I listened to Morning Joe today, and heard one guest mention that, yet again, the Republicans will give additional tax cuts to those who really don't need any further help, because they're getting all the breaks now, while the middle class will have to suck it up and try to survive.  Let me tell you, I'd love to put some of those nice Republicans in our situation and see how they'd take to having to choose between housing or a celebratory meal to honor a birthday or anniversary, to choose between gas to get to work, or to go see your grandchildren.  Yes, that might truly be instructional for them! 

All the talk about Social Security and Medicare, all the talk of repealing the President's Medical reform - just another way to stick it to the middle class once again!  Mika had it right - this would be a lot easier to take if the rich old boys were paying their way just like the rest of us -- but they aren't, and I don't really expect that things will change enough that they will.  Unless our President takes up his campaign promise and goes after taxes on those same top dogs that are killing us to line their pockets.  I have no problem with someone making money - more power to them, just pay your portion of the bills as well, and stop taking away from those below you in order to get more!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Republican Spin

I listened to a Republican congressman speak on the budget issue this morning, and while he tried hard avoid pointing fingers, he essentially said that if the budget doesn't happen, it's the President and Democrats that will kill it, because the Republican-dominated House has set the standard that must happen.  Then he went on to announce, in so many words, that if Planned Parenthood wasn't cut out of the budget process, it wouldn't happen.  He then uttered that Republican fighting phrase, "The American people delivered a pretty clear message to Washington, D.C. in the last election." 

Hm, perhaps, congressman, perhaps, but what's to say you really heard that message?  I listen to you and your colleagues speak of the Republican plan to cut a huge portion of the budget, but I don't hear you, individually or collectively speaking about ending tax breaks to the wealthiest of our citizens, or to the corporations that feed off this country's middle class, while making sure their executives get huge bonuses for unsafe and downright disastrous safety and environmental practices.  Let's hear the full message, shall we? 

Republicans and Democrats need to hear the message, that Americans want the rich to pay taxes just like the working class people, that corporations need to share the burden since they insist on and get breaks from the government, that health care and social security are issues deeply valued by the people, and that we want RESPONSIBLE leadership out of our elected leaders!

Listen up, Capital Hill!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Arrogant, Unfeeling, Bigot . . .

The man I'll only call Terry Jones, because he doesn't deserve the honorific Rev. or Pastor, is an arrogant, unfeeling, bigoted embarrassment to the Christ's name and movement!  He dares to compare himself to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., saying he's ahead of his time.  How dare he besmirch the name of the good R. or the teachings of "his" master!  How dare he!

He burns another faith's holy book "to make a point," and has no concern for the innocents  that have been injured or killed by the radical elements of that faith group, not even realizing how similar that radical element truly is to his own position!  Indeed, I would say that Terry might want to go give and take lessons from them about how to incite hatred, violence and suffering in the name of one's "religious" views.

The true Christian (little Christ) is one who seeks to respect, love and serve the people around them, even while trying to teaching a better way to relate not only to people, but to God and the creation.  Just take a look at the life and teaching of the Master, or the life of his disciples after that first Easter - people who taught, healed, served -- not who prodded, incited and ridiculed so that their opponents decided to riot and hurt or kill others because of their own activities.  Did any of them suffer martyrdom?  Yes.  Will Terry?  Let's hope not!  He doesn't deserve it!

Wake up, Mister Jones, you aren't another Martin Luther King, Jr., nor another Jesus.  You, my sad "friend" are more like Simon who tried to buy the power of the Spirit for personal gain and fame.

Think about it, and don't let this maniac ruin the name of our Master and Teacher!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Domestic Violence and Hollywood

Why is it that a star commits domestic violence, and expects that once  the initial shock wears off, everyone will forget about it, welcoming them back as though nothing ever happened?  Chris Brown, infamous for his attack on girlfriend Rihanna, shows up for an interview and flies into a rage, because he's asked about his legal and anger issues - sorry, buddy, that whole public image thing can really suck, right? - then shows up on Dancing with the Stars, and wants everyone to divorce his actions from his career.

I'm delighted that a Twitter fan and two of the show's "officials" had the good sense to stand up against his efforts to wipe his past clean, and ignore his on-going issues with anger management.  It's one thing to say he's served his time, paid his debt and is ready to move on - say for someone who stole a car once - but quite another for someone with an issue like this one to try to say the past is over and done, when it clearly isn't - or he wouldn't fly into a rage because someone asks a valid question about the very public issue of his domestic violence.  I sincerely hope no women are even considering a relationship with him, until and unless he get serious about dealing with his anger and it's outlet in said relationships.

Hollywood and sports figures need to understand that while they are human like the rest of us, their choice of careers puts them in a different arena, a very public one, and makes them, whether they want to be or not, role models for others.  If they get away with things like domestic violence, tax evasion, theft, etc., others will figure they can do it was well.  Business and political leaders are getting a bit more understanding of this crucial part of their public persona, though some still seem to think they can get away with it, but more public figures need to step up and be the role models our society really needs.

Enough said.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Polotical Blame Game

Listening to  Morning Joe this morning, I heard a great comment from Mika - that the President did what congressional leaders wanted him to do before becoming involved in the coalition to help the rebel forces in Libya - he waited, assessed, tried to negotiate to avoid involvement, and finally went in when it was apparent that nothing was going to work, he agreed to be in the coalition, with limited goals, and a limited time frame.  Yet, in spite of this, he is attacked by the right for not approaching congress first, though I don't recall the same argument being raised when "Duibyah" sent American troops into Iraq without approaching congress first - not even from Democrats!  So, we have simply another vignette of political blame game going on - hyped by the coming campaign season.

I continue to hope the citizenry of this great nation will one day wake up, and start holding congressional representatives accountable for two-faced actions and positions - whatever side of the aisle they sit on.  If you represent your people, represent them before you represent some strangely extreme political platform driven by people who want a return to isolationism and blatant prejudice against anyone "not like us."  If we are to be the nation we say we are, immigrants need to be welcomed and celebrated for what they bring to our culture.  We seem to be delighted with Asian foods, cars, electronics and technology; but some would push those Asian citizens right off the West Coast!  We are in love with Mexican food, produce largely worked and harvested by undocumented workers from Mexico, but want to run every Hispanic person south of the border, then become a fortified bastion of "White" nationalism.  Wake up, people, Asians helped build the rail system we now rely on to move freight around this nation.  Hispanic undocumented workers have helped create some of the wealthiest farmers in our nation, and some states are even willing to look the other way in order to allow farmers to bring in seasonal workers, who are paid lower wages and kept in horrible housing "camps."   How do I know this?  I worked in one of those camps!  Housing was thin clapboard dormitories with paper thin walls  Meals were skimpy, and the work from shortly after sunrise until late evening.  Violence was a part of camp life.

Now, ask yourself how many American workers would want to voluntarily take such conditions, work hours and wages?  Most of the jobs immigrants are taking are jobs Americans consider below their station!

Let's show we are serious about addressing the problems of our nation and stop the political blame game, and stop those in office who want to play the same game!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sports Strikes

Why would I write about this, as a progressive?  Simply this, we taut the wonders of capitalism around the world - even when, as in the Green Revolution, it puts money in  the pockets of regimes who were supposed to feed their people - but when we start  to feel the unwelcome side of the system within our own country, we want to scream about the unfairness of the system.  Here's how to curb to high salaries, the high ticket prices, the high price of refreshment at the stadiums - don't go, don't buy tickets, don't buy refreshments at the stadium.  Do that for a single season, and the prices, and salaries will come down.  They need us, we don't need them. 

I enjoy watching my favorite sports as much as the next person, but I won't pay the inflated prices to go to the stadiums.  If taken, as I was for my 60th birthday, I won't buy refreshments at those inflated prices. 

We even follow this pattern with regard to our automobiles and gas prices.  Yes, I know we need to get to work, to shop, etc.  But stop to realize that slowing down will slow the consumption of gas, make you safer, and help pull the petroleum companies back from their triple digit profit margins.  They have figured out that we LOVE our cars - a trip to the end of the block for something at the convenience store is another trip in the car - and they are making us pay for it!  We grumble, but we pay their exorbitant rates, then drive fast and with poor driving habits to speed through that tank of gas and repeat the whole process.

Where is the reasoning mind of the country that likes to call itself the best country in the world?  We've become a flock of bleating sheep!  We are being fleeced, and we won't do anything to stop it! 

Capitalism!  Charge what the MARKET will bear - guess what, folks, we ARE the market.  Stop buy, car pool, walk, slow down; the prices will come down.  That's the way the system works.  Until we are all ready to do this, we will get fleeced!

I'm currently using a county highway to get to and from work, driving 40 miles an hour, and I will drive for better than a full work week on a single tank of gas.  Driving on the state highway, at posted speeds, I frequently had to fill up more than once a week.  When I shop, I look at store brands, and name brands to see where I can save money.  I won't buy a new car, when a used vehicle will do just as well.

Wake up, and smell the coffee, people!  We have the ability to impact the financial state of this nation, IF we are willing to give up some of our conveniences.  It's up us - the companies will NOT voluntarily bring prices down -- Katrina and other situations have shown us that they are happy to gouge our pocketbooks.

Think about it!

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Bachmann Syndrome

Rep. Bachmann is creating a troubling climate for the Republican Party that could be the best hope of the Democrats for a big win in 2012!  Why?  Listen to the woman!  She's one of those who have come to use freedom of speech to encourage treason and violence based on intolerance and sectarianism.  Her mouth opens, and the s#*t starts to fly, ridiculous claims drop like dew from spring flowers, and the hatred at the core of her position is painted graphically for those willing to see.

Yes, I agree, she represents the "hard edge" of the Tea Party, and,  truthfully, of the Republican party.  The HARD, INTOLERANT, BIGOTED edge of the far right political movement.  This position has the potential to turn this country into a war zone with many factions seeking either control or safety.  It is undeniable that the Tea Party spokespersons have called for revolution, have stated that it might be necessary for a shooting solution.  It is undeniably true that they have begun to show just how bigoted they are, with comments that are racist, positions that move women's rights back 50 years, that set a social climate that targets gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender citizens, and has offered little in a positive, healing content.

As one television commentator said, if the adults of the Republican party don't stand up against the growing right within their own "right" party, they will hand the Democrats another 4 years at the very least.  We need two vital parties that will debate and work with one another, not a party afraid to stand up, and another riddled with extremists that encourage not freedom and democracy but legislative dictatorship by one party.

Please, regardless of your political position, start to work for a positive atmosphere, where elected officials work together for the good of the country and the world.  Start recognizing that we are one house on a global block, and we must start acting like good neighbors, not the block police force or bully. 

Think about it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Party of Big Business or The Corporate Political Party

It is interesting to listen to talk shows about how the current time compares  to 1995-6, and one point that comes out time and time again is that the Republican party has become the party of big business, or Corporate America.  If one is willing to think about it, it isn't even a debatable point - tax breaks for corporations, for the wealthy, reducing regulations on corporations and industry - regulations that are designed to protect PEOPLE, to protect this planet we call home.

What's happening in Wisconsin is just one more piece of that picture, with the attempt to get rid of collective bargaining.  Collective bargaining is the effort of PEOPLE to get a living wage, to get benefits to protect themselves and their families in case something happens to them on the job, and to help take care of themselves after they retire.  Gov. Walker, Speaker Boehner and others are saying, in effect, in order to stand with our corporate funders, we need to kill unions! 

My proof?  Remember Walker's comment about wanting concessions from the unions?  What happened when they said we will give you all but one - collective bargaining?  He flatly refused!  In effect, telling all of us what his real point was from the beginning - killing the unions!  And that fits the pattern of the Republican Party I finally felt forced to leave - a pattern I've watched for decades now - a pattern of stating one goal, while, in fact, standing on something either not stated or stated as simply one part of an overall plan.  Non-negotiable!  My way or the highway!

Do I believe Democrats have been better about this, yes, but not entirely without their own moments of intransigence.  I love to hear politicians speak of bipartisanship, of the need for both parties to work together, to compromise.  I'm still waiting for our illustrious elected representatives to actually start acting like we are indeed a democracy, with freedoms and rights for ALL citizens.

My hope and prayer is that people with good logical, rational and interpersonal sensitivity will start running and winning, and start changing the atmosphere in Washington, D.C.

Think about it!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Right to Life? Really?

As I listened to news programming tonight, I learned that the bulk of what Republicans are doing amounts to doing everything they can to make the constitutionally protected right to reproductive care will be all but impossible for women to access, from cutting all funding to creating new taxes (I thought Republicans wanted to cut taxes!).  And the good old boys are at it again, talking blithely of medical procedures in their own twisted perceptions, without regard for truth or the feelings of their female counterparts in the chamber.

It's time the Right is forced to face the hateful nature of their attacks on women, and, by related attacks, on the rest of us.  Planned Parenthood is about  trying to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, and occasionally helping a woman obtain an abortion.  And all the good studies have said the only truly effective programs to educe teen pregnancies involve teaching our youth to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies - yet, the Right holds out their hope that by saying "Just say no!" works will make it so, even though it wasn't even effective as an anti-drug campaign.  So called promises to wait until marriage for sexual activity are easily made by youth in the heightened emotional moments in which they are sought, but not so easily maintained when the rising emotions are of a sexual nature in an entirely different moment.

And, if we are truly honest with ourselves, not many of us were celibate until we were married.  And down through history, that has been the case.  In some societies, it was, in fact, expected that a couple would actually seek pregnancy to prove the fertility of the couple for the good of the community.  Not only was there no stigma attached to the couple or the children, the community celebrated the new family and welcomed the child!  It's only in relatively modern terms that we have started branding children born outside wedlock ass bastards and shunning they and their mothers - notice I didn't say fathers, but that just didn't happen.  Even now, when we say we believe in an equality of the sexes, if a young man impregnates a young woman, she bears the stigma and the shame, while he simply moves on to another partner.

It has been said, offering a true assessment, that if abortion is banned in America, it will only prevent the poor and middle class women, for the rich will simply go to another country to have their abortion, then return home.  What isn't often said is that the horror stories of pre-Roe-versus-Wade will become reality again - young women turning up dead in dumpsters because of botched back-alley abortions, or from successful ones that had complications when no medical facilities were available to address them.

I still recall overhearing a conversation between a couple of farmers in a very rural setting, in which one told another they needed to support a legislative effort to ban abortions, and the second responded that if it were his daughter who was raped, or who had a severely malformed, he would not want to saddle her with having to keep the child, just because someone thought the procedure wasn't acceptable.  I already felt women should have the right to control their own reproductive abilities, but this really turned my thoughts completely in support of that.  There are those on the Right now that want abortions banned, period.  Even if the woman's life is threatened, no abortion would be allowed!  However, at the same time, the Right wants to cut the very public services that would help that mother care for her child.

It is time for supporters of women's rights, of true supporters of the constitution, to stand shoulder to shoulder against the violence of the radical anti-abortionists.  And let's be honest, so called Right to Lifers are plainly anti-abortionists.

Think about it, and stand up, to protect medical staff and women seeking care and help in desperate times!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Union Breaking?

As I listen to the news this morning, I'm hearing people from both sides of the political aisle talk about union breaking efforts by the Republican governor of Wisconsin.  One side says it is, the other side says it's simply management of issues on the table.  In my professional life, I've been exposed to the stories from both sides of the issue of unions - protection of workers' rights, and the abuses that allow workers who should be fired to retain their positions.  Where do I come down personally, without a doubt I will support the union ideal while speaking of the abuses, and the need to address those abuses.  It is not right for a worker to fail to do their job, yet retain that position over someone else who hasn't been there long enough but IS doing the job is fired or down-sized out of a position.  Neither is it right for corporate America to say to an older worker, you're no longer needed, and your pension and benefits are hurting our bottom line, so you and those benefits are out!

This is especially true when one considers how well corporate America is doing!  Business is doing better than ever, the wealthy are quickly moving to the point where modern America will become a feudal state again, with corporations instead of political royalty in the positions of power.  We all remember that following Hurricane Katrina, or after the British Petroleum oil spill, the multinational petroleum companies were pulling down 300 % profits, while the workers of America and other countries suffered under the unreasonable increases in prices - yet they told us they WEREN'T gouging, but only covering reasonable business expenses -- really, guys? 

It interests me that the Republicans who did all they could to kill stimulus and hurt the middle class, now want us to believe they are truly concerned about small business and the muddle class.  I guess that's why they want to break unions, and allow corporate America to continue to raise prices, cut benefits, and exercise unfair business practices that discriminate against older workers, and allow companies to walk away from contractual promises to provide retirement funds to workers who helped those same companies gain the financial status they currently enjoy.  Somehow, it appears the word "fair," needs to be revisited, so we can again understand that it means to be "fair" to workers.

Think about it!  And remember that there are companies are doing everything they can to keep unions out of their workplaces. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Michelle Bachmann

Michelle!  Get a life!

This woman, quickly becoming an icon of today's GOP, can't keep her feet out of her mouth!  Now, she's picking a fight with Michele Obama over rules that would allow new mothers to breast feed at work or to get breast pumps to help them keep their children growing on mother's milk rather than formula or cow's milk.  Hmm, Michelle, I've heard for decades that mother's milk is much better for newborns, improving their immune system and helping them have a healthier start to life - are you saying we should just tell mothers NOT to give the best start possible to their children, or that we should tell employers they can fire new mothers, because they "shouldn't" be able to breast feed at work?  Sounds like some of the backward people I new in the mid 70s!  People who said they wouldn't be offended if a new mother breast feed, then criticized her for doing so, in spite of her being careful not to subject them to the sight of her breast.

The GOP desperately needs to decide if they want to be considered a serious political party, and simply a gathering group for a wildly crazy group of people.  Limbaugh, Beck, Bachmann, and others simply are making the grand old party look wackier and wackier.  I can only hope some one's good sense starts to function, and soon. 

Monday, February 14, 2011


I am finding myself more and more incensed by the attacks of anti-abortionists on doctors who provide a legally recognized and acceptable procedure to women.  I vehemently disagree with those on the radically right fringe, BUT I do NOT encourage my friends or those who think like I do to go out and kill those on the RRF!  I do NOT post "Wanted" ads on my blog site or through email, asking others to plan and execute violence against the RRF.  So, why is it acceptable for those on the RRF, especially those in the anti-abortion movement, to do these things, and to brag about "successful fatal attacks as a means of stopping what they claim to be against.  I would defy any of those in the groups mentioned to show where the so-called Christian faith of their profession allows for this sort of violent attacks! 

Short of an Old Testament period when Israel's prophets and scripture writers were focused on the nation's ability to gain a land and build a nation, God hasn't been a God that says, "Hey, go kill those who don't believe as you do, because that's a reasonable way to effectively stop those things you don't agree with."  And, if they will look closely and with an open-mind at the New Testament, they will find that Jesus doesn't condone violence as a means to stopping evil - even when that evil was aim at his own death.

It was a lesson so powerfully learned by those closest to Jesus, that when THEY were faced with violence to stop them, THEY also stood against violence to protect themselves.

Yet, NOW, we have those who claim - claim, but don't show any real belief in the teachings of their master - the name of the Christ, say that it is "acceptable" to God, to the Church, and to Society to kill in order to stop those whose beliefs are different from theirs.  These people defile my beliefs, the foundations of this country, and the basis of a common faith in the God who is creator of all.

They exaggerate, politicize and ignore the truth about those people with whom they disagree.  Most who support a woman's legal right to an abortion, most, also would like to see abortion become totally unnecessary in our society.  How do we accomplish that?  Why, by respecting individuals - not raping children or unwilling women (even wives, because "No," means NO!), by making sure EVERY child is wanted, and teaching our children - who are doing the same things children have been doing for centuries - how to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies.  Midwives have, for centuries, known and made available plants and concoctions that would abort unwanted pregnancies; but a male-dominated society didn't want that to happen, because it meant they didn't have the power and control of their world as they thought they did.

I don't care whether you believe in abortion or not; I don't care if you are Republican or Democrat or Independent; I don't care if you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or some other faith - it is time for us to stand together and say, "We WILL NOT tolerate violent attacks to show opposition to another's beliefs - but will in fact STAND TOGETHER to say each person in this country is allowed to determine their own belief system in a constitutionally protected right!  It is time for the wackos learn we won't tolerate this violent approach!

Don't be silent!  Think about it, and speak up!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Christian Hypocrisy

I drove by a sign today on the way from work, and had a rather strong momentary reaction that led to some deeper reflection.  The sign said, "Because God loves you, we love you."  Simply enough, profound if true.  The problem is that while Christians across the board profess to love their neighbors, far too many of them only love the acceptable ones.  Funny, having been a pastor for over 30 years, I don't recall reading where Jesus ever allowed for that condition.  The command was very clear, very succinct - Love your neighbor as yourself.  Period.  No qualifiers.  So, why do those who claim to follow the Master have such a hard time with it?

Perhaps the real problem is that we'd have to let go of our cherished prejudices if we honored that command.  We'd have to love and accept the presence of druggies, drunks, violent people, prostitutes; give up our homophobia, our racism, our religious bigotry toward Jews, Muslims, Liberals, and drop our deep-seated political prejudices as well.  Horrors!  Imagine it!  A church were all are welcome to come, pray, and worship God as they felt led to do - not forced into our own little mold.

Hm, maybe Jesus was on to something more profound in that little command than in nearly anything else he taught.  And recall that in his story to illustrate the neighbor, he chose a hated Samaritan - a mixed-blood who descended from those who refused the Jewish leadership's command to send foreign spouses and children away following the return of the Jews from Exile.  Hated, because they heard a deeper call from God, perhaps?  Imagine the "stuck in the craw" feeling of those who tried to trap Jesus, only to have him slip that little tidbit in on them.

Perhaps the church would find itself relevant, desirable, important and influential - if only they would listen to that command and act on it as presented.  Love your neighbor - all of them -as you love yourself.

Uh-oh!  There's another cherished belief challenged!  I grew up hearing the church say, you should love God first and foremost, others second and yourself last and least.  So, how do we love our neighbor as ourselves, if we don't love ourselves?  Does loving self mean we don't try to improve?  No, but it gives us the right motivation, and allows us to accept that if we aren't perfect, God still loves us.  Ow!  Two powerful lessons that just might start to transform the whole image and concept of church if actually accepted and practiced!

Think about it!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Michelle Who? Really?

Can it really be true that a psycho like Michelle Bachmann thinks she has a shot at the presidency?  Does she think that a repeat of the Palin fiasco is likely to succeed a second time around?  After all of her completely off  the wall rhetoric, after what to me was truly seditious speech, the woman should be running for the north woods and hiding herself away from the very people she SAYS she represents!  She is just as rabid with her speech as the FORMER Alaskan governor, or Rush, or Beck, or any of the others willing to incite unrest rather than trying to bring the people of the nation together to help turn things around. 

Rather than help people out of work, she's one of those calling for reductions of social services, saying that to try to help people is socialism, that all those who had life going well for them should get their guns and protect their rights  to have all they wanted and more, while others were forced to live on absolute minimums of resources - if that.  And now she wants to be sent to Washington D.C. as the commander in chief?  I cannot imagine being asked to follow the leadership of someone like that!

What other war would we find ourselves involved in?  How many other people, citizens of this country or those who listened to the plaque on the Statue of Liberty about the huddled masses, hungry and poor coming here for a new and better life will be sent back into deadly situations, or turned out on the streets because some banker talked them into more of a loan than they needed, or because their job was gone, and they couldn't pay the bills? 

And on top of hear that kind of stuff, we learn that Comcast, who had bought NBC, wanted Olbermann off the air - the cornerstone and foundation of the MSNBC prime time and late night lineup - and they managed it!  Am I unhappy Keith getting the settlement he did?  No.  Would I like a similar settlement to get me to leave my job?  You bet, but no one is going to buy up Wal-mart and get rid of me, because I'm a loud voice AGAINST the nastiness of the Right.  So, I don't need to worry, or do I with people like Bachmann and Palin wanting to take over the White House?!  I'll tell you the truth, that last is a truly scary thought to me!  Truly scary!!  It should be to you as well!

Think about it!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Inspirational or Inflamatory?

Once again, the inflammatory speeches of the Tea Party and right fringe candidates has raised its ugly head!  I'm a firm believer in free speech, but how do we justify the extent to which the right has taken that constitutional right?  When do we start saying, when you cause violence by your speech, you have crossed the line.  When do we hold people accountable for jacking up the anger of one part of the citizenry to attack another?  Why should a right-winger radical be allowed to walk into a town-meeting setting, pull a automatic pistol and open fire, killing several and wounding three times that number, just because he disagrees with a Jewish-American progressive female congressional member?

Limbaugh, Beck, Palin, Bachmann and their ilk need to he held accountable for their inflammatory speeches, that stand in stark contrast to the inspirational speeches that are part of our country's great history, including Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech that have helped people stay the course, uphold their ideals in the face of violence and given heart to the nation.  Speeches about revolution, remembering the lessons of the revolution, a little revolutions is good once in a while - all these are simply meant to keep the radical fringe in arms - and they will always "step away" from the violence their own language has inspired.  Sure enough, the Tea Party leadership spoke of this latest incident as heinous - really?  Then why the language that inspires these actions?

Get real, political rightists; recognize that your speech incites riot to a degree that is unacceptable, that takes lives and leads to disgusting incidents of violence of one person or side of an argument against another - usually several fringers against a singled out progressive.  Take responsibility for your speech!  Learn the lesson recent history is teaching and curb the language of hate!

Wake up, progressives, and stand up to hate slant of the right fringe.  It's time to start taking action, and no, I don't mean taking up guns - that only plays into the hands of the right.  I mean discussion ways to bring peer pressure to bear that will help make this a country of debate, not a country sinking back into the old West mentality of the man with the fastest gun being the power.  The lesson of history is that this only leads to shotguns in alleys waiting to take down the fast gun.  MLK Jr. showed us a better way, following the steps of a man named Jesus of Nazareth - who was also a model for a man named Gandhi.  Let's take up the challenge, and help lead our country in the correct direction!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Republican Two-Face in Spades

During the last 2 years (and similar periods in the past of my voting life), the Republicans haven't ceased to blame Democrats for all the ills they perceived in government in America.  Now, with Republicans holding the strength they do, they are NOW saying they can't be held responsible for the ills that may come from their extreme stands.  Tonight, as I listened to Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, as a Democrat pointed out that the Republicans had blocked effort after effort to help the ailing economy, the Republican guest responded by saying extreme stands were necessary, and the no one could hold Republicans accountable for the ills that could come from those stands.  So, apparently for the Republicans, what is good for the goose is NOT good for the gander.  Hmm!  I wonder how the elections of 2012 might appear if the Republicans get their way over the next 2 years, and even the pundits are raising this concern.

The conversation was about raising the national debt ceiling, and, yes, that is a major concern to us all, especially in these trouble economic times - but perhaps we should look first at the multinational corporations and their percentage of profit, their multimillion dollar salaries for CEOs and directors, their lack of tax dollars paid to the government and their efforts NOT to pay benefits, NOT to care for their workers.  Perhaps we should be looking at the amount paid to congressional leaders who are already millionaires.  Perhaps we should listen to someone like Steve Forbes, and his proposal for a flat tax - no deductions, not exceptions.  Everyone pays 10% of income as federal taxes.  Think about how the corporations would start pumping millions into the national treasury, how the multi-millionaires and billionaires would start pumping dollars into the treasury currently being support and carried on the backs of the most heavily taxed group in America - the working class!

Who has been responsible for more harm to this picture?  Republican benefits for the richest of the rich in America - at the expense of the working stiffs of this country.    Democrats have raised taxes, yes, and through those paid down national debt on more than one occasion,  They have provided services to Americans that Republicans don't want offered to those who pay their salaries. 

Perhaps it's time to adopt my father's attitude late in his voting life - not voting for an incumbent, so the channels of influence and graft in Washington can't become ingrained.  Oh, I realize we have some who go to Washington looking to get in on that system as soon as possible, so they can become part of the rich elite of the nation, but if enough elections went this way, perhaps congressional representatives would start to remember they are there to represent our interests, not to get rich.

Anger is there and expressed on the right, but it is there on the left as well.  We need to stop being the quiet progressives, and start raising our voices to counter the right - understanding when we do that we may encounter those rightists who are willing to use violence to quiet our voices.  There is no reasonable argument against this nation not doing better for its citizens in light of how much many other industrialized nations are doing for their citizens.  We simply are becoming the story line of many science fiction stories of a future where corporations control life. 

Think about it, raise your voice, and be proudly progressive!