Sharpening My Pen
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704584804575644490285411052.html Although I am not yet fully sure how I feel about the whole WikiLeaks mess, I agree that the US military and government keep way too many secrets. There are secrets kept by this government that the US people should know; among them the fact that North Korea gave Iran nuclear missiles. But there are phrases thrown around in this opinion piece that disturb me. Suspension of Habeas Corpus. Death penalty. DEATH PENALTY? Have we gone back to the days of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg? How about something just a little less radical? Like keeping fewer secrets, limiting them to a smaller number of people (that don't include Army privates) and using old fashioned methods like "eyes only" and diplomatic courier pouches. Using computers to transmit secure information was/is just begging to have all of your secrets spilled all over the internet. My ninth grade granddaughter knows that along with ever other teenager on FaceBook. Ultimately, the truth to me is that a "transparent" government is a safe government, not just to the rest of the world but to it's own people as well. What did I just say? "It's own people"? Why yes, I did. The US government has declared war on it's own people numerous times and in various ways. let's see if this time the government can be just a bit more restrained.
It's very interesting to me that all the right wing can think of is "punishing" people for voting in a black Democratic president. There's absolutely nothing being said about leadership, statesmanship and bipartisanship. Just, "We're gonna get you suckas and make you PAY for doing this!" If pundits want to complain that Obama is taking the battle to the enemy then they need to admit the Republicans were the ones who drew the line in the dirt in the first place. Most Democrats in this election cycle are just looking at the Republicans in horror and confusion at the outpouring of outright hatred. Either way, I mourn for my country on a daily basis. Government is no longer government; it's class warfare and it's tearing this country apart. Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader says in the NY Times, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” How about "Serve the American people well"? People no longer even see the government as "government". All they see are partisanship lines. In some ways I believe we live in a more deeply divided country now then during the Civil War. It's just that no one has taken up arms yet. It scares me to think that there are crazies out there who just might do that. One week after the anniversary of 9/11 I made my last blog post. (http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/cait48/2010/sep/18/the-rise-of-the-new-nazis/) The general consensus was that I was out of my mind. But after seeing this little tidbit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMVql9RLP34 I'm not so sure I am. All you would have to do is replace the elderly Jew with an elderly Mexican. The two gay men can stay as metrosexual as they are in the clip. Put the young lad in a Tea Party tee shirt and have him singing "God Bless America" at the top of his lungs and you have a picture of 2010. God bless America indeed. Because God only knows we need it.
Facebook says, "What's on your mind?'
.Indeed, this is on my mind and it's worrisome. Not because I "want to see the Dems win (or lose)" or I "want to see the Republicans win (or lose)". This worries me because these people are outright crackpots that want to see our Constitution destroyed and used for toilet paper.
I keep being reassured by reasonable people that these people are harmless; that there is no way they can come to power. They reassure me that they are a minority BUT let me point a few things out.
Prior to the 1932 elections the Nazi party was a small, "third party" that was little regarded. Certainly, no one saw in them the fall of the Weimar Republic. However, because of severe economic depression and the disillusionment of the people with the standard German government (sound familiar?) the Nazi party managed to capture the majority of the parliament of the Weimar Republic in 1932. Their very first act was to DO AWAY WITH THE REPUBLIC. By 1934 Nazi Germany was a dictatorship.
The Tea Party has selected their spokesperson and it's a woman; Sarah Palin. She, as Hitler did, has left standard rank and file politics. Just as Hitler did she failed at standard politics. And, just as Hitler did, she is creating her power base outside of standard politics giving constant and relentless speeches and endorsing and funding her chosen candidates.
Very chillingly they have already selected their "Jew"; the illegal Mexican immigrant. People have said, "But they are here ILLEGALLY. Why should they be protected?" The problem is that LEGAL American citizens of Hispanic heritage are also being targeted. They are people that were born as "anchor babies" here in the US, children of illegal immigrants. In AZ legal American citizens are being harassed by law enforcement simply because they LOOK Hispanic.
There are a tremendous number of parallels between the rise of Nazism, as a political philosophy, and the rise of the Tea Party. And history shows that it will end badly. However what really scares me is that this isn't some European country. This is AMERICA we're talking about; my country...MY country.
Even Georges Santyana's famous quote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it .", is no longer relevant. The Texas Board of Education made a mockery of that statement. If you don't like history, just change it.
It's up to us to remember it. If we don't, our country is undoubtedly in the cross hairs. And these people hold the gun.
The Texas State Board of Education has decided to drop any mention of Thomas Jefferson and the Age of Enlightenment from it's curriculum. Jefferson was a Christian but also a philosopher and along with Locke, Hobbes, Voltaire, Hume and others was one of the most influential philosophers of his period. He was the driving force behind the concept of "separation of church and state" in the U.S. Constitution. In a bid to shore up the right wing (mis)conception that the "Founding Fathers" were "Christians" (as defined by the "religious right") and founded this country on "Christian Ideals" the Texas State Board of Education has decided to "scrub" history. One wonders why Texas hasn't decided to invoke it's state constitutional right to secede from the U.S. and found it's own nation since the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence isn't good enough for them.
Why does this column focus solely on Christianity? This is no "Faith Forum" as it totally ignores any other religion. Why not be honest and call it the "Christian Forum"? Halloween is Samhain (pronounced Sow-in) and is the traditional New Years Day of Celtic and other European pagan faiths, including Wicca. However, that is misleading as the actual focus of the holy day is more like Memorial Day. On this day the dead are memorialized, remembered and their contributions to the family and community are recalled. Some Halloween traditions come down from these celebrations. Jack O' Lanterns were originally carved from gourds, not pumpkins (there were no pumpkins in the Old World) and they had a serious purpose. They were used to light the path of the dead from this world to the next. Now they are children's playthings. The Catholic "Day of the Dead" on November 1 (the source of much of Halloween, a bastradization of "All Hallows Eve") was ripped whole cloth from Samhain and was another Christian "holy day" that was invented to marginalize and incorporate pagan beliefs into the Church. In so doing they shifted the focus from a solemn and beautiful rite remembering the dead to one of focusing on the morbidity and horror of the decomposing human body, pounding home the Christian message that immortality can only be gained through Christ. As for this forum, if it were truly a "Faith Forum" the managing editor of it would have tracked down a pagan and asked them this question.