Saturday, August 14, 2010

Terrorist Babies! They're coming for you!

"...Anderson Cooper hosted none other than Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), the main propagator in Congress of the "terror babies" conspiracy theory -- an alleged diabolical 20- to 30-year plot by terrorists to have babies born in the United States, then taken abroad and trained as terrorists before eventually returning here as U.S. citizens (thanks to birthright citizenship) to commit heinous crimes." read more


Saturday, August 07, 2010

The Republican Teabagging Teahadist GOPosaur Party

It's been really entertaining reading how the Republican Party is trying to distance themselves from their ideological spawn, the Teahadist Morons, while trying to pretend they're still BFF's because the GOP need them to elect Republican candidates. It makes them repeatedly duck and pretend they don't hear most of the Teahadist nonsense blooming right under their firmly held noses. This could end up being a good thing for Democrats.

"I encourage the Republicans to run a repeal campaign just like Alf Landon did on Social Security in 1936, because the prospect of telling parents that, "Okay, now you can't keep kids on your policy," or telling seniors, "You've got to pay more for your prescription drugs," people getting kicked around by their insurance companies. How about this for a bumper sticker? 'Bring back preexisting conditions.' Oh my gosh, I want them to do that." Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine Read More

It's interesting that their most whacked out crazies are taking out some of their longest running GOPosaurii in places like Utah and Kentucky. Mitch McConnell (GOPosaur-KY) is forced to kiss Rand Paul's racist white ass in order to keep Kentucky from electing a Democrat. This has been lovely to watch. No wonder he always looks like he sucked on a lemon.

But of course, deny it all they want, the Republicans and the Teahadist crazies are now joined at the hip and that makes it awkward to run a race together. If you have any doubt, here's a list of their sponsors, i.e., those who give them money so they can continue to march around with badly spelled signs and racist comments accusing Obama of being a socialistcommiehitlerstalinist. Teahadists On Parade

•Americans for Prosperity
•Americans for Tax Reform
•Young Conservatives Coalition
•The Heartland Institute
•National Taxpayers Union
•Institute for Liberty" Read More

And before the election, look for the GOPosaurs to find a way to muzzle the heart of their bigoted party. Teahadists like Rand Paul, Michele Bachmann, and Sharron Angle will stick to their party approved slogans or else the support goes away. They'll try to turn them into BINO's (baggers in name only) so people won't realize (again) that they're really voting for a return to those cherished American values like slavery, buying a senator outright, and women who aren't allowed anywhere near a voting booth for fear they'll vote with their uterus.

"The libertarian theme of the "tea party" protest was previously used by Republican Congressman Ron Paul and his supporters as a fundraising event during the primaries of the 2008 presidential campaign to emphasize Paul's fiscal conservatism, which they later claimed laid the groundwork for the modern-day Tea Party movement, although many of them also claim their movement has been hijacked by neoconservatives." Read More

"...the Republican Party would be really smart to try to absorb as much of the tea party movement as possible." Sarah Palin at National Tea Party Convention, February 6, 2010

List of Members who signed up to be part of the Tea Party Caucus. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't they Republicans? Or am I missing something here:

Robert Aderholt (AL-4)
Todd Akin (MO-2)
Rodney Alexander (LA-5)
Michele Bachmann (MN-6)
Joe Barton (TX-6)
Roscoe Bartlett (MD-6)
Gus Bilirakis (FL-9)
Rob Bishop (UT-1)
Michael Burgess (TX-26)
Paul Broun (GA-10)
Dan Burton (IN-5)
John Carter (TX-31)
Howard Coble (NC-6)
Mike Coffman (CO-6)
Ander Crenshaw (FL-4)
John Culberson (TX-7)
John Fleming (LA-4)
Trent Franks (AZ-2)
Phil Gingrey (GA-11)
Louie Gohmert (TX-1)
Tom Graves (GA-9)
Ralph Hall (TX-4)
Gregg Harper (MS-3)
Wally Herger (CA-2)
Pete Hoekstra (MI-2)
Lynn Jenkins (KS-2)
Steve King (IA-5)
Doug Lamborn (CO-5)
Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9)
Cynthia Lummis (WY)
Kenny Marchant (TX-24)
Tom McClintock (CA-4)
Gary Miller (CA-42)
Jerry Moran (KS-1)
Sue Myrick (NC-9)
Randy Neugebauer (TX-19)
Mike Pence (IN-6)
Tom Price (GA-6)
Denny Rehberg (MT)
Phil Roe (TN-1)
Ed Royce (CA-40)
Steve Scalise (LA-1)
Pete Sessions (TX-32)
John Shadegg (AZ-3)
Adrian Smith (NE-3)
Lamar Smith (TX-21)
Cliff Stearns (FL-6)
Todd Tiahrt (KS-4)
Zach Wamp (TN-3)
Lynn Westmoreland (GA-3)
Joe Wilson (SC-2)
Read More


Today the Crazy Baptists came knocking...

I went for a walk today and came back to find religious tracts stuck in my door from some gay-hating, teabagging, intolerant asshat of a church that would sooner burn me at the stake than allow me inside without a lobotomy. So I decided on a new way to fight back against this ungodly littering of my domicile: my own unreligious tract laying out exactly why I would never come on over to their dark side:

"Dear Friend,

I may call you my friend, right? I mean, it's not as if you haven't already been to my house. You must have come all the way onto my property (without me there) to leave your publication for me to find when I returned home. Or worse, when I woke up because that means you were sneaking around so quietly I didn't hear you.

For that and other reasons, I'm afraid I'm going to have to decline your offer to join your church.

I'm also severely allergic to those who have a limited and twisted definition of morality because who knows when I'll land on the wrong side of it?

I certainly don't want to be judged by anyone who uses fear and divisiveness to recruit followers. Such polarizing that creates  rigid "Us" and "Them" categories makes for an unpleasant place to live. It leads to wars and all kinds of bad things.

And speaking of bad things, you guys seem to have an unhealthy obsession for other people's bedrooms. That's not normal and if what you believe drives you to such perverse behavior, I'm not sure there's much in your church for a person of tolerance and integrity such as myself. I certainly don't want you looking in my window and deciding if what I'm doing meets your standards for "relating." And I'm also sure you wouldn't want me voting on your marriage.

I also think people should be responsible for their own actions so that whole blaming it on god thing just doesn't work for me. Accountability works for me and maybe you should quit blaming something outside yourself and check in with that guy in the mirror once in a while. We 'd all be better for it.

And to be honest, that hell kind of creates this idea that bad people, who are judged "bad" in a totally subjective and often bigoted manner, deserve to go some place so awful and sometimes be killed or burned alive or some bad thing like that, just because one group decided another group deserved it? How would you feel if someone like me decided who had to spend eternity in hell? Honestly, I'd probably pick you and your followers and I'm sure you wouldn't like that now, would you?

But I'm willing to cut you some slack because I understand you've purposely been kept ignorant by having to burn all the really good books, and that you believe in one that hasn't really evolved to keep pace with the times. Even Mark Twain had to clean up his language, but you still insist on hanging onto words written by those who believed the earth was flat.

And finally, all that violence just turns my stomach. Just because someone doesn't believe like you do is no reason to kill them or go to war against them. And how come god never gets blamed for the tornado or flood but when he plucks some sorry ass out of the mess, then he is the good guy? That's just plain nuts.

And stay out of politics. People died and had a revolution and stuff back in the 1700's so they could have a country that wasn't in bed with religion. And if you can't, then seriously, register as a Political Action Committee and pay your fair share of taxes. It's the right thing to do and a lot more honest than what you're doing now."

I put the letter on cards, posters, flyers, and letterhead for you to send yourself, leave on their cars, and put up in their churches. Buy Them Here


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Ten Years Later

I woke today startled to realize Stanis died ten years ago this month. The years pass too fast. They don't give us enough time to put all the pieces into the pot and draw them out when we're ready to understand their complexity. Instead, memory serves itself up half-cooked, seasoned with our biases and selective remembrances. It puts them all in front of us and says "Eat this!"

And so tonight I will eat from my past and draw out one of the most unlikely people I ever imagined I'd one day call "friend."

I didn't like him when we first met. He seemed dark, petulant and distant, like someone observing the room and making lists of everything in it in case there was a quiz afterwards. I was in a small conference room in downtown Bellingham listening to the reason I was there, a woman named Anna who was so passionate about world peace that she was going to the roots of hate to reset the planet.

She had handpicked those of us in the room to take part in that resetting. We were all children of war. Some of us had parents who either perished in the camps, or who managed to survive by some miraculous unknown that spared them what befell everyone else. The others in the room were the children of those who had put them in the camps.

To say you could literally feel the air in the room was the grossest of understatements imaginable. It was why Anna believed if she started with us, if she stopped the seeds planted inside us from our parents, intentionally or unintentionally, then she could begin the process of ending war forever.

Throughout all the dialogue that followed, the anguish of trying to share what most of us only knew small bits and pieces of as told in unguarded and often drunken moments, Stanis sat without saying a word. Every once in a while he would lean over a small notebook and write a word or two. But nothing seemed to touch him. Not the tears. Not the anger. Not the moving of chairs away from or toward each other.

Until a woman close to my age, early to mid 40's who said earlier she was  from Rome, stood up and gathered up her notebook, pens, glasses, and purse. "None of you can undersand...we couldn't even have German music in our home. I can't do this."

We forgave her before she was out the door and most were so focused on her they failed to see what I caught a glimpse of--Stanis with a brief look of pain so intense I ached for him. It wasn't the look of a lover but of a man whose last hope for a dream was suddenly dead. He caught me looking at him and the mask went back up immediately.

But afterward he sat next to me and asked me about why I was there. I told him I wasn't sure, but I knew that my desires matched Anna's and if she was so passionate about peace, then I owed it to her to help in any way I could. I told him that for me peace was more than a word, more than a concept. It was like a vein that carried the planet's blood, and I was part of that blood.

At this point, usually the tale goes on with "and we became deep and lasting friends." But we didn't. We were too different, and even though we were born a few miles from each other, all we shared was a similar gene pool on one side of our families. It wasn't enough for deep and eternal friendship. But it was enough to work on a common goal and we did that fairly well for awhile.

It was the height of the Bosnian War and Stanis was horrified at what was happening in the country of his birth. His grandmother and mine both identified themselves as Yugoslavians by birth. Mine was born in Pazin and his in Zagreb. No matter where they ended up later in life, that was part of them, that country that was created to unify southern Slavs.

It was Stanis who explained to me the linguistic nuances of the word "Balkans" and how the root of the word meant "crazy." But I also saw what he didn't say, that inside the turmoil of his soul that was always just beneath his surface, inside that detached and cool demanor, was a man so committed to world peace he made Anna's words seem tame. He was to put it in the simplest terms possible, ready to die for peace if that's what it took.

For the next two years he went against the autocratic tyranny of his father and his own place in the society that wealth and power digs for its children as a gravedigger puts his back into digging a grave for their lifelong interment. He couldn't single-handedly end the war, but he could try and save its victims. He used his father's money, borrowed the power of of his name and position and helped many children left orphaned find safe havens.

I'm guessing the final number was probably in the hundreds. He wasn't the kind of man to brag about the good he did in the world because he didn't do it for glory or recognition or even revenge. He did it, as he told me once, because he didn't want someone else to run from a room as the woman from Rome had done. As a violinist, an ardent believer in music as one of the keys to bringing together a diverse world, the idea that someone could grow up without ever hearing Bach or Beethoven was too much for him to accept.

It was an intense time for all of us involved in the peace movement at that time. It was a time when women dressed in black every Wednesday and stood in silent condemnation of the war on streetcorners all over the world. It was a time when sending a box of computer disks to an orphanage so the childen's history could be preserved was considered a violation of the embargo, the same embargo that denied the peace group in Serbia their peace grant because they weren't allowed to receive money, or disks or anything that would help ease the burden of war. If we were arms merchants, we would have had better luck getting something of value into that poor country in the middle of a horrible war. But for peace there were no exceptions.

Stanis, as the child of power and privilege, had a different concept of danger than the rest of us. He grew up in a world where the exchange of enough money, the awarding of a prestigious enough position, could erase most transgressions. We argued fiercely over it. I felt he put people I cared about in danger and he felt I was too timid in fighting an enemy that would kill me as easily as it killed other women and children.

He told me my Croat blood was a death sentence waiting to be activated by the right bigotry. He reminded me the only death camp in Italy was in Trieste, the city of my birth, and the most evil of the German commanders was stationed there specifically to put Slavs like me and my family to death because our blood made us impure Italians. He told me that as long as I was timid in my fight for peace, my actions were an insult to my family members and their friends who suffered at the hands of that monster.

I hated him a long time for those words at the same time as I understood why he spoke them. In all wars, in all crimes there are those who remain silent out of fear, out of a desire to not draw attention to themselves or because they convince themselves it's not their fight. It's how tyrants take over countries, how dictators appoint themselves overseers of decent people--through silence, ignorance and indifference.

Peace is about all of us and war is about the few. If Stanis taught me anything during one of those periods in my life where I was convinced I already knew everything there was to know, it was that lesson. War is about the few and it is about silence from the rest of us.

I last saw Stanis briefly in June of 2000. He was in the final weeks of Pancreatic cancer, far too young to die at just barely 51 years of age. He wanted only one thing from me, forgiveness for the emotional pain he knew he caused me, not realizing that when the war ended, so did my anger at him. I had forgiven him in 1995 and it took five years for it to catch up with him.

 As two devout Atheists, there was no afterlife to make it up in so it had to all happen in the present. I hugged him goodbye and cried at his thin and frail body where before he had always seemed so strong to me. It was a moment as brief as a soft breeze on a thin curtain. He was there and then he was not.

He left me a poem, a rose I dried and still have, and a memory of what it was like to live among people who lived so completely outside themselves, so completely for others, that none of them survived for more than ten years. But they saved so many lives, that they live on in the hearts of hundreds they touched. I'm the last one left of the group and not a day goes by that I don't make use of some of what they taught me with their complete and total altruism. They were all good people and I miss them dearly, and I especially miss Stanis because finally, at long last, I understand him and I'm sorry it took so long for us to finally become friends.

Leaves Adrift card
Leaves Adrift by orsobear
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