Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rants About Conservatives Obscure the Debate

I posted on BlogHer today about the Mark Halperin suspension by MSNBC.  Then I posted a comment at on another article on the site that bemoaned the supposed culture war being conducted against conservative women

It took me a couple hours to realize that both articles were about self-described conservatives who are actually radicals and not conservatives.  There are so many perspectives from which we can examine the lies of "conservatives."  I don't know that I have ever actually examined the right wing from a lexical one.  It is enlightening. 

What is it that Halperin and talking heads like him actually conserve?  What is it that Christian Theocrats hope to conserve?  Hot air?  Nope?  Original intention of the Constitution?  Nope.  Although I think that is what some right-wingers think they conserve.  The mortality of yesteryear?  Nope, although I think many right-wingers believe this to be their central uniting characteristic.

Tearing down civility and calling the President derogatory slurs would not be tolerated by a real conservative who was trying to preserve the intentions of the those who wrote the documents associated with the founding of our United States.  Would Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, or Hamilton use such derogatory language to describe a world leader in the news medium accessed by most of the citizenry?  I think not. Tearing down the civil constructs that hold our society together is closer to anarchy than conservatism. 

And social "conservatives" who insist on defining life as beginning and ending discontinuities rather than being the amazing interconnected web of life that it is, do not hearken back to any real time period that would uphold their radical legislative agenda.  Freedom of religion has been the law of the land since this land was defined.  What is conservative about Christian Fundamentalist Law?  Only the same things that are conservative about Islamic Sharia Law.  A patriarchal point of view culled and narrowed out North African belief systems at the Council of Nicea and at the founding of Islam in 610.  But I don't think that nurturing a belief that a patriarchal God is on your side, only, conserves any ubiquitous aspect of an earlier America. Constitutionalists promoted religious tolerance and  Anti-constitutionalists wanted to institute Protestant values in the republican government that first emerged in Pennsylvania in 1776.  The constitutionalists eventually prevailed at a larger level with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment that states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."  This codified that the U.S. was not a Christian country even though the founders were of various Christian sects. 

Christian based laws and disrespectful treatment of leaders are just not and never were part of a previous America.  So-called conservatives who espouse such revisionist history are attempting to preserve and conserve a fiction. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Drive Sisters Drive!

Drive Sisters Drive!

It is well into Friday June 17th in Saudi Arabia as I write this and women there are demonstrating their ability and right to drive.  That is right. Drive. A car.  Women's voting rights are restricted there.  Similarly it is forbidden for women to drive.   They've been arrested.  Watch the You Tube video for which  Manal al-Sharif  was arrested when she uploaded it.  The video is of  her driving and talking about the about the driving ban and her feelings of hope that women were volunteering to join the Saudi Women Driving Campaign.

In the Washington D.C. women drove around the Saudi Embassy, encircling it,  in Foggy Bottom on Wednesday to show their support. My favorite support action thus far is the protest in Kiev where topless members of FEMEN demonstrated in front of the Saudi Embassy.

To follow what is going on use Twitter hashtags #women2drive #W2drive

Some have already reported success without problems, but one report's link to an image of a woman driving has already gone "empty."  The world is watching!   And commenting.    And supporting!!!

Drive sisters, drive!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Boortz Calls for Violence on the Same Day Giffords Leaves Hospital and Arivaca Family Murder Trial Continues

I don't do a lot of cross-posting on my blogs, but today I have to.  I have tried to write an entry several times today.  Several situations are swirling around in my brain space,  and they all involve violence and public complicity in that violence.

Ed Schultz gets pulled from the air for a week for using the word slut.  Neal Boortz, major Right Wing radio personality, calls for his listeners to arm themselves and kill "thugs," a thinly disguised term for young brown or black men, and women, in the streets of Atlanta, and I hear no outcry from the right to control their own.   Where the hell is the rage when Beck or other Fox "news" people regularly allude to violence against our political figures. 

Gabby Giffords, my Representative to Congress, was able to go home with her husband for the first time in over 5 months since the attempted assassination of her, the life altering injuries of several others and the death of 6 Tucson  by a very disturbed man that I still believe, as I wrote shortly after the shooting, was impacted and influenced by a culture of hate that is one of a number of subtexts and dialogs that run through my beloved Tucson.  There was a call for civility that was anchored in Tucson.  That call is still being broadcast from Tucson.  If you don't believe me, just read Ashley Burroughs post on BlogHer today who doesn't candy coat a dern thing (can you use the word dern without tooting?) and still remains a positive, constructive person and a force for good.   She and her Big Guy chose to live in Tucson because they picked up on all the wonderful sub texts that far outnumber the negative ones in the Old Pueblo.

The trial of the third person charged in the Flores family murders is also going on here in Tucson.  Some things that have not been clear before in the two trials of the non-locals who arranged the murders of a family to finance more hate crimes.   This third person was known to the family.  As much as I cannot understand how anyone can shoot a child, the pure evil of killing a child of a family you know is beyond my ability to even describe.  There was something under the surface of the daily lives of these people that never should have been there.  Smuggling pot across the border.  Why is it illegal?  Why do we not just let people grown a couple pot plants? There would be very little market for illegal marijuana smuggling then and much of my figurative backyard would not be littered with the bodies of people drawn into the lure of "easy" money from the Mexican Cartels.  If we had Fair Trade, living wages, and corporate regulation there would not be mass migrations of economic refugees to attract the hateful attention of people competing with the economic refuges.  I don't like the Pulp Fiction feeling that I sometimes get that something has been going on nearby and recently -- you can find that feeling here in Tucson. 

So I guess I should just say that, living in a city where people have been shot en masse recently,  I'm more jumpy about violent speech than the average person, and I want the people of America to take responsibility for what they say, do, and listen to.  If you don't speak up then you are just as guilty of any violence that stems from whatever you remained silent about as the actual perpetrator.  We are a democratic republic, yes, but that does not come free.  I'm quite frankly tired of "I don't want to get involved" types enabling hate speech.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Rules - A Review for Progressives

  • Call a pile of elephant dung what it is - a pile of shit. You can be "more proper" and say, "that is unsupported assumption."
  • Ask for facts.   When someone spews crap ask for references supporting the crap.  Do not engage in crap dissection. 
  • Call 'em on double speak.  "Job creation" is the new phrase that is interchangeable with "trickle down" economics. 
  • Keep "news" persons on task.  Don't let "news" persons and commentators sidestep the issues.  When a journalist asks a question and it isn't answered by the person being interviewed, call it out.  Email, phone, text - do  something - to contact the journalist or journalist's boss and to say that allowing an interviewee escape answering a question is not doing the job of journalist.   Demand an explanation. 
  • Take the high road.  Don't take the easy road.  If you are a progressive you will have to read and do research.  Use what you learn.  Yes, it takes work. 
  • Verify.   Don't repeat rhetoric without doing your homework. 
  • Ask proprietors to turn off FOX, or change station, any and everywhere you encounter it in a public space. 
  • Push back, then go around, under, or over, and move forward.  
  • Call street theater what it is - street theater. 
  • Ask who is funding programs, people, and groups. No, many groups do not have to disclose, but why not disclose?  What are they hiding.  As the question.  Don't stop asking the questions!