Smug. Arrogant. Intolerable. Stubborn. Prejudiced. Has no understanding of the other side and makes no effort to understand. Elitist. Uneducated. Too educated. Out of touch. Just plain wrong. Can you guess who used these descriptions to describe the opposition? Was it Liberal or Conservative? Democrat or Republican? Black or White? Doesn’t matter which one you choose because you’re right either way. I have seen these words used to describe both sides. We view each other with the same assumptions. I was reminded of the classic Pogo saying, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” We are our own worst enemy. We divide ourselves. Worse, we dehumanize each other. I watch politicians play a version of capture the flag and their only goal is to win. They aren’t public servants. They have no grand goals to lead their country. They only want us to rile us up enough to get re-elected. All the posturing is done to ensure job security. We have made compromise a dirty word. If you even concede a point then you’ve lost the argument and we all want to win the argument. I have no idea what we win. A chance to feel smug?
Sunday, July 12, 2015
I have friends who won't use the internet. They don't want the government tracking their every move. They want to stay off the grid as much as possible. I respect their desire for privacy. We're losing more and more of it all the time. Sadly, its impossible to hide. If the government could find Ted Kaczynski in a cabin without electricity or running water in a remote part of Lincoln, Montana, they can find anyone. As for me, I try to limit who I share my information with as much as I possibly can. But what really frustrates me are my friends who refuse to have email. They can only be reached by snail mail or by a landline and often that information is outdated. Sadly, I can go online and pay some service to track them down, but then I feel like the Big Brother boogie man they're trying to hide from. I'm all over the internet. I do it because I need to promote my writing. I can't afford to hide and frankly I don't want to.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Having grown up in the South, I suppose I should weigh in on the controversy surrounding the Confederate flag. For me the most representative image of the side that supports the flag is the Rebel soldier holding the Confederate flag saying "Forget Hell!" More commonly I saw it spelled "Fergit? Hell!" Growing up with that image, it was years before I understood what it meant. The South felt the North was telling them to get over their loss and move on. The South had no intention of moving on. It has here that I got a bit confused. The South wanted to remember that they lost the war? As I got older, I understood why. The South doesn't want to stop arguing about the war. They still believe they were justified for going to war and should have won. They were wronged by the North. If ever I saw a couple in need of marriage therapy, its the North and the South. There is hatred involved. Hatred caused by the shame of losing. That's the southern heritage. But getting back to the flag. I think anyone who wants to have a Confederate flag should have one or two or a million. They should be free to paint it on the side of their house if they want to. I feel the same way about the Nazi swastika. Buy a Nazi flag if you want one. I will hate you and despise you for doing so, but that's your business. If you put it on your business, then I won't buy from you. Same with the Confederate flag. If you have it on your place of business, then I won't buy from you. If you have enough customers to where losing my business doesn't matter then you won't care. If you live in a small town of like minded people that's fine. If you live in a larger city then it will be a problem. That's the other thing. Most of the people who support the flag live in isolated areas. They don't have to deal directly with the world at large. Its kind of like living in a cave or under a rock. If that's where you feel safe then so be it. Where I do object to the flag is when it is put up by the representatives of the United States of America government. Why in the hell would the U.S.A. fly the flag of their enemy? Here again, we might as well put up a Nazi flag while we're at it. We defeated them too. If you say, well the South was part of America before and rejoined. But the Confederacy declared war on the United States of America. Keep the flag off government buildings. That's one very good reason. Another good reason is because the flags we fly over government buildings should represent all the people of that state and our country. The Confederate flag doesn't represent all the people of the South. It is not the heritage of all the people of the South. It's certainly not my heritage. My grandfather was the first of my family to come to America in the early 1900s. The Civil War was over. My family didn't own slaves or fight for farming rights or any of that. My grandfather came here for freedom and to escape tyranny. The South claims that's what they were fighting for, but then that whole slavery thing busts that argument to hell. When it comes to Forget Hell! I don't forget the slavery part. So fly your flag, but keep it to yourself. Show respect for the rest of the South.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
I saw this article on the CatholicVote site titled “People I don’t hate.” The writer may not hate these people, but its obvious he feels that he’s morally better than them. His article inspired me to write my own thoughts about Catholics. I don’t hate Catholics, but there are some Catholics that I’m not too fond of. Okay, there are some that I hate. I admit it. I’m weak. I can’t help it. I hate Catholic priests who sexually abuse the children of their congregation. I hate that the church protected these priests for decades. When a priest says that he didn’t realize that sex with children was illegal, I hate that motherfucker and hope he dies a painful death. I hate that when a Catholic person marries someone of a different faith, the church won’t allow the married couple to be buried next to each other. For a group that claims to honor marriage so highly, the difference in religion should be overlooked. I don’t hate the Catholics who define marriage as between one man and one woman or that the only purpose for marriage is for procreation. If they want to view themselves as Catholic breeding stock, that’s their business. Personally, I think it demeans the love and devotion between two people aspect of marriage by reducing it to whether the wife has a working uterus and the husband has a sufficient sperm count. As long as you get the pure bred Catholics out of it then they see themselves as doing God’s work. However, I do hate Catholics who claim to love Gays and childless by choice couples who wish to marry, but then proceed to smugly insult the fuck out of them for not following God’s plan according to their beliefs. They may really they love those people, but the sure as hell don’t respect them. Their beliefs define them, but respect that people have other beliefs. Catholics don’t share my beliefs, but I don’t hate them for that. But I respect their beliefs and I hate that they don’t respect mine.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
I've been reading that in the next presidential election capturing the Latino vote is crucial to win. I've also read that Republican candidates are doing their best to court Latinos. So how does a Republican candidate approach Latinos? He could start by saying, "Hey, I'm from the party that lumps you all together as lazy, illegal, job stealing, baby anchoring, troublemakers who should be rounded up and sent back to where you came from. In fact, I'd send you back myself, but I enjoy the money I save by only paying you slave wages too much. Now vote for me! The dream killer!" Can't wait to find out.