Regardless of one's spiritual beliefs, this is an apt time to hope the year ahead will be a good one, one where we work together to make this earth a better place. It's not an impossible dream if enough people share it.
First the disclaimers: I have never watched Duck Dynasty. In fact, I watch absolutely none of the so-called reality TV shows as I find the whole concept abominable. To me trying to say a camera can follow people around, edit film for content, and then say this is reality is an oxymoron. It's cheap to make, has created a whole new bunch of celebrities, and it caters to the worst in human natures-- egos out of control, desire to reveal all to get attention, and that's true whether it's rednecks or glamorous society matrons.
But what is happening now is a cultural issue that really does come home to a lot of Americans on either side of a pretty big divide. It goes along with all the talk of a war on Christmas when it's one of the hugest commercial events in our country bringing in money for manufacturers, stores, restaurants, charities, and in short essential to keeping those dollars flowing. Whether someone says happy holidays or merry Christmas, it's all about giving or greed-- depending on how you see it. The fact that it's a very pagan holiday, with little to do with the one behind what is called Christianity, is lost to those looking for someone to turn them into martyrs-- minus the lions, of course.
Now the latest controversy to make the so-called conservative and religious right feel persecuted relates to a cable TV show. For those few people who don't read the papers and have no clue what i am talking about, the 67-year old patriarch in the show DuckDynasty was interviewed by a magazine and in answering questions said some very crude things about sex, homosexuality, then went on to cover the damage Civil Rights have done to blacks.
Nothing unexpected (well other than the Civil Rights) for a fundamentalist believer in Christianity. He is necessarily a believer in heaven and hell which means rewards and punishment, but he wasn't really saying what God will do regarding what he sees as sin which he apparently knows a lot about before he got religion. He did go into graphic detail as to why he thought women were better for sex than men which made some wonder how he knew. His statements regarding Civil Rights fit right in with the Rush Limbaugh wing of the Republican party.
A&E suspended him while they think it over. Now exactly what their thinking was is hard to say. They must know liberals aren't watching that show. Some segment of the 12 million Americans who are watching it are going nuts over this affront to freedom of speech (when the Dixie Chicks said they were ashamed that the president came from Texas, freedom of speech wasn't the issue-- it was stomping on their records and threatening their lives). Irony is too small a word for what is going on now but hypocrisy sounds good for it.
Coincidentally or maybe not, the publicity for the show has been phenomenal right before it starts its new season with threats and screams of persecution coming out in articles and even more so with comments on the articles. You can't buy this kind of publicity although some of it seems a little threatening so it's hard to say if they purposely did it, but hey they had to know who this guy was and what he stood for in terms of everything but maybe the Civil Rights part.
So to start, here's a fact: freedom of speech has always had consequences. Alec Baldwin didn't do an
interview, just got caught on camera with a gay slur and he was off
MSNBC. Martin Bashir slurred Sarah Palin and he lost his show. It's cost a lot of people careers because with freedom of speech comes how others see it. That's just
reality and part of responsibility to accept that even when I write something here. I mentioned the Dixie Chicks, but the far right has been boycotting whole long lists of people based on one thing-- what they said.
How righties will deal with a potential boycott, I don't know because if they boycott A&E, they can't watch Duck Dynasty; but maybe the family behind Duck Dynasty will try to take their show to Fox and I guess Glenn Beck wants them for his network Blaze, which who knows where that is but probably righties know.
Whether he should have been suspended is another question as that's an economic one
for all these shows. Which hurts them more? I gather a lot of people from all
groups were watching this show. From what I can tell from clips, which have come
out since, the show never was appealing to the Friday at the opera crowd (I'm not
in that bunch either) but rather to those who like to see rowdiness,
things getting blown up, and four cool looking guys being big and rough
with their religion thrown in to make it all seem righteous.
To me his comments about Civil Rights were damaging, common to the
right for thinking, and mostly ignorant with no clue what went on beyond
his own borders. How he could think blacks were better off in separate
schools, kept out of certain restaurants and motels, forced to the back
of the bus, not permitted to marry whites, kept out of better jobs,
finding it hard to vote, that's a mystery. Jim Crow laws were really
intended to protect them in his world view, I guess.
This guy obviously lives in a bubble that fits his beliefs and 12 million Americans
were being influenced by his view or was it they already had it? The
media is having a field day with it as expected and some of the right wing
talking heads are using it to gain favor with those 12 million fans.
Christians are feeling abused and persecuted. Nothing new in any of it as this is the divide that shows up time and again in our country.
There are people where I wonder how they can stand themselves. No, it's not the mass murderers who are often mentally ill or even the serial killers. I get it they are evil and whenever they are found out by society, they are punished accordingly.
The ones that mystify me are those like the Koch brothers who would do more than murder people, they would destroy the very culture that made their own wealth possible and do it with a smile. It shocks me every time I hear another of their plans to do away with what makes us a civilized nation versus every man for themselves.
This is an assault on the old, the young, and everyone who isn't wealthy. The irony is they are admired and not punished. Some of their ilk are buying homes with shelters under them which would enable them to live for years when the world above is destroyed which means they aren't that sure it won't be. What they are sure is they will survive to rebuild or at least their descendents would-- and rebuild it in their own image which is that of greed as a virtue.
Will Americans wake up to what is happening, what is being funded before it's too late? It seems unlikely because a lot of people have been duped into believing when the Kochs profit, they do too. They don't. They get duped into some kind of fear of social freedom and the Kochs push that with their tools like Rush Limbaugh who doesn't really ever have to worry about sponsors because no matter how many people detest what he stands for, a core group do listen and the Kochs can always provide the bucks. He says what they want their minions to hear.
Limbaugh constantly refers to Obama's administration as a regime as though it wasn't elected, as though it was gained by fraud. He puts down those who believe in a government that works to protect the environment, that controls monopolies (that appears gone for now on both sides of the aisle), that helps people work together to build roads, have quality schools, monitor food safety, provide for the elderly, sick and weak, and protect the people. These are all goals that cost money which means bad by Koch brother standards as all they want is what makes them more money.
I listened to Limbaugh a bit again this week because of being in town ahead of our predicted snowstorm. It was all I could take in about five minutes as the drumbeat is constant. He is the tool of Freedom Works and the Kochs and he says what they want to hear. He probably believes it himself but if he doesn't, he couldn't afford to say. He's as much a minion as the lowest paid serf, he just gets more money for what he does-- a lot more.
Clear Channel which is the arm of the right is going even heavier into some stations just to promote propaganda. Convince enough people that the country is doomed if we raise the minimum wage, convince them that the only people who can't get health insurance at an affordable price are lazy, convince them that when the Kochs profit, they do... that's his job and he and a lot more like him are at it all day long and in many markets where it's the only talk radio anybody can hear.
Just if you are one of those listening to talk radio, believing the swill, be sure you think long and hard what made a civilization different than an anarchy and be sure you really will live a better life with a few wealthy having all the power and the rest working all their lives for pennies. Think long and hard because it's heading that way and destroying public education is a good way to make sure it never comes back.
The Republicans misused the filibuster as they attempted to stop judges
from being appointed or for Obama even to get the Cabinet he wanted
based on his philosophy-- upon which he was elected twice.
They still can block on partisan grounds legislation and Supreme Court
nominees but there's nothing wrong with majority rule; and if they know a
potential appointee has a real issue that makes them unfit to serve,
they are still free to make their case-- if need be to the public. What
they cannot now do is block nominees for reasons unrelated to the job
for which they are being appointed and use it to blackmail the President
regarding other unrelated issues. They abused the privilege by ignoring
the consequences of elections.
For those who at one time supported the principle of the filibuster, it
has been subverted purely on partisan grounds or out of rancor.
There is nothing wrong with majority rule. If Americans want Republican
ideas like for ending abortion, blocking gay marriages, more tax cuts
for the richest citizens, stopping any attempt to have universal health
insurance, they'll elect more Republicans, and they'll be the ones in
the majority. Otherwise, this is fairer than the stagnation that they
have been enforcing while still collecting paychecks, health care, and
all their perks.
The party of no better run on their ideas instead of misusing what was a privilege.
To me it was amazing that they were accused of abandoning this child since they returned him to Children's Services. Since we as a culture don't offer much help to parents with such children, and believe me, they are out there, what is the solution the legal system in Ohio favored? They keep him until he kills someone?
I can think, without working at it, of three families in Oregon who had a violent child that they tried to help and the end result was they were murdered. I can also think of families like the one in Tucson where the son showed clear mental illness and yet where was the help for them?
In the case above, the parents tried various outlets to help their son get control over his urge to murder them and his violence. Nothing helped. So the legal system in their area ordered them arrested when they brought him back to a government agency. How was that abandonment? If anyone was abandoned, it was them.
What is the solution for such children who may grow up to be the Columbine killers or Tucson or Aurora or as I said several in Oregon? What do we do with such children who show violent tendencies from an early age? Ideas?
been reading the complaints, a lot of places, on ACA and have some of my
own thoughts. Before an attempt was made to fix our health situation in
this country, anybody with a really serious illness could quickly find
themselves told they used up their lifetime allotment of coverage. It
wasn't that their payment would go up but that also they couldn't buy
it. Yes, this was happening-- talk about death panels.
So putting all
these people with a lifetime issue onto insurance plans was bound to up
somebody's cost and Obama never should have said everybody who likes
their insurance can keep it. He should have said-- anybody with good
coverage and even then it was a risky promise given insurance
corporations and their desire to make big profit.
glitches in what's out there and it's not just in the website. I read
that people in some resort areas have ended up with higher rates than is
fair since the rates are computed on the tourists as well
as themselves and a lot of these regions (the article was on one in
Colorado) have people living in them without anywhere near the income
the tourists have who visit. This should be fixed and I'm sure it's not just happened in Colorado.
One complaint that I think is ridiculous is -- I'm a 50 year old man and why should I be forced to carry maternity coverage. Well why should a 70 year old woman have to pay for coverage for Viagra, prostate exams, or vasectomies? Basically this kind of thinking leads to focused coverage on whatever we most think we might get and that's not how insurance companies have ever worked. Having lived most of my life with corporate insurance systems, those programs covered pregnancy and vasectomies as part of a total package rather than well I'll buy cancer coverage but don't need heart attack prevention.
Is the existing system right for how it's computing rates? Sounds to me like not. Was Obama too busy fighting off those who wanted to shut down the whole government to put a lot of time into ACA? Definitely and that reminds me of when Republicans impeached Clinton over a blow-job taking attention off the rise of al Qaeda. Republicans are proud of making him incapable of acting as one of their goals; so should they be surprised when he isn't able to put enough time into something important? Our whole system is geared to Dems making Republicans fail and Repubs making Dems fail. This seems like a business where both partners want the other to not succeed at anything. Seem smart? Not to me.
Obama can't and never should have been expected to micromanage everything. He trusted others and some of the problem is a desire to keep insurance profits high for the economy. They are the true middlemen in this.
My husband and I are on
Medicare given our age and not only did our Medicare not go up, neither
did the supplement we buy through United. For that, we get more coverage
than we had. I have never though worried as much about elders like
myself. I am an oldie. I worry for the younger generations and want to
figure out how you insure those with serious health issues and make sure
everybody gets basic preventative help like for high bp, cholesterol,
etc. I want to see children, like my friend's granddaughter with epilepsy, able to get health care all of her life instead of seeing it used up before she reaches 18. I want to see people go to a regular doctor (means training more of them) for preventative care rather than showing up in an ER.
What I think and have for some time is we'd be better off
with Medicare for all. For those who think Obama's program is socialism,
it's not. It's corporatism. It keeps the insurance companies making big
bucks off those policies. Obama didn't want to ding the economy by taking them and their jobs out of the system. He also never had the votes with all those blue dog democrats. So we got what we have-- half-assed (pardon my french).
Medicare enables people to buy extra
coverage, like we do, doesn't force it though, and gives basic coverage
to all in the program. I'd push us all onto that (except veterans who
should be given the choice to stay with the VA or switch) and that
includes Congress but it won't happen with so many people not
understanding what socialism actually is (when government owns the means
And accusing this of being fascism ignores that there were two elections. When Obama ran in '08, he ran on doing this and got elected. When he ran in '12, same thing. The fact that people don't like the election results doesn't mean he dictated it. Unlike bush who didn't run on going to war with Iraq, Obama ran on this one. I know the Repubs are busy trying to block a lot of voters based on that very fact but they are the ones who don't believe in democracy-- not those who ran on what they would do and their ideas won!
Watching election results yesterday and seeing the assessments this morning, I didn't get all I would have liked but it was a better night for me than some-- although for awhile it was worrisome. I had to run to town to get two crowns installed (ugh); so heard some of the fall out on talk radio.
And yes, from what I heard, the right wing is whining and pinning blame elsewhere. They cannot accept that their ideas don't work for Americans. It has to be somebody else's fault and never the agenda of the Koch brothers and the Tea Party (who are as one for their positions isn't that a coincidence).
Listening to a bit of Limbaugh was as expected. Republicans who have a more liberal view toward social issues should have supported Cuccinelli simply because he was a Republican. It was their fault and not that maybe those Republicans didn't like vaginal probes for abortions, tough. They should have ignored Cuccinelli's own kind of spotty record on taking presents to then promote agendas. They were supposed to support him anyway because all they should care about is a Republican winning so they can cut taxes and take away more hard-won rights from women, I guess.
Logic, sense, agenda, none of should have mattered. To Rush Limbaugh his ideas are wanted by most people and whenever they lose in election, it's not time to reassess the value of his ideas. It's time to blame somebody else. A tea partier who stands against everything the Republican voter/donator values and vote/give to them anyway.
I thought it was funny to listen to Limbaugh try to understand the difference between an independent and moderate. I wonder if he really doesn't know but in case he didn't, I would like to tell him- not that he'd ever read a small blog like mine. But okay, Rushbo, here goes and even you should understand it.
Independent is a designation where you don't want to admit you are a Democrat or Republican. It's for voting and it says you're down on them both. Pox on both your houses. Some states let Independents vote in primaries but many, like Oregon, don't. So I am not an Independent although I might like it if I could be one since I get irked with both parties for different things.
Limbaugh claimed the consultants used to say get the Independent vote and you will win the election. I don't know if they did but since Independents can originally come from either party, I doubt it would make a significant dent in voting ratios.
Moderate-- now that has more meaning and where I do think elections are swung. Limbaugh claims the pundits now claim, since Cuccinelli won the Independent vote by I think 9%, that what you really need to get are the moderates. I've heard Limbaugh put down moderates before as he used to say that meant wishy-washy. It could. It might be people who cannot make up their minds.
BUT moderate can also mean someone who doesn't fit the agenda of either liberals or conservatives. I am a moderate and I know about such things. I favor gun rights, have a concealed weapon permit and a loaded gun not far from where I am typing this. I also though don't favor ownership of assault rifles and extended magazines-- guns mostly just intended for war. That satisfies no one-- hence moderate.
I am a moderate on many issues but that doesn't mean I don't have strong opinions which they don't shift around. I favor abortion rights but not for the whole nine months of a pregnancy. I'd stop it around the age where the fetus could survive outside the womb. To save the life of the mother after that time, do a C-section. That doesn't make liberals or conservatives happy and you see that's what makes me a moderate. Set in my views but not in a box.
Moderates are more flexible on voting. they may have one or two issues that are deal breakers but in general since they won't vote on party name, they will vote on issues and it's never certain (or didn't used to be) where you'd find a candidate with their perspective. These days it's more obvious as Republicans won't let a candidate even run if they aren't extreme and hence it's easy to vote straight party. I am hoping that will change in the future but when it does, I still will be a moderate. I don't like boxes...
Born 70 years ago, I am still living in the Pacific Northwest which I love from one end to another. My interests are writing, video creation, creativity, dreams, relationships, politics, photography, aging, country living, transitions, our senses (all 6), and spirituality.
Respectful, civil comments regarding specific issues are welcome even when they are dissenting. Links must relate to the topic, not be selling a product, and be from safe sites; or the comment will not be approved.
All work is copyrighted, but may be used elsewhere with permission.