Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nixing my blanket antipathy

So lets say there is a God.  And this God knows you...knows what makes you tick, your weakness, your strengths.

And lets say that this God tugs at your heart and brain in an effort to make you fit the mold you have set for yourself.  This God is relentless in planting the seed and weeding the garden called one's soul.

Now the soul has many dimensions, many attributes, many ways of manifesting itself as one journeys through life.  The soul is the you you want to be but can't, the part of you that is closest to the concept of the idea of a God.  It knows true right from wrong, even when you are smack dab in denial or ignorance.

Right now this God is telling me I am wrong to think a particular way.  Even if there is no God, the evidence before me leads me to no other conclusion; one should not paint everyone with the same brush.

I have been outspoken on Evangelicals. Despised them, criticized them, laughed at them, ridiculed them.  I did this because I attached some to the all.  Today on the way to my work assignment I was listening to Fresh air on Public Radio.  Terry Gross was interviewing Richard Cizik, who had been fired as vice president of the National Association of Evangelicals, a position he had held for 10 years.  His crime?  He said on Terry's show in 2008 that he supported gay civil unions.

You would never know that there were thoughtful, introspective, compassionate folks in a lot of groups deemed hostel to humanity (tea party, christian radio, "conservationism")....but there are.  Here is what Rev  Cizik said that really got me thinking about how I label people in groups I can't come close to associating with:
And these are all people who are leading a new movement of evangelicals just like me, and I'm really proud to have them, and we're called the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.  And there's a reason why we say that, that is the common good, but we all believe that we are the future. That alienates some, irritates them, but frankly, we are the future of evangelicalism in America.  
And we stand for a presence in public life that's, as we say, loving rather than angry, holistic rather than narrow, healing rather than divisive, and most importantly even of all, independent of sort of partisanship and ideology, rather than subservient to party or ideology.
And evangelicalism has, well, it's become so subservient to an ideology and to a political party that it needs, as I say, to be born again.
I too have been subservient to an ideology.  Today it changes.  My "blanket antipathy" towards all people in groups I can't relate to ends today.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gimme more of that pro-appeasement triumverate

OK, so I had to look up the word  "triumverate" but nevertheless, it's a great title (but not of my origin)

So I watched a PBS a show called "TURMOIL AND TRIUMPH: THE GEORGE SHULTZ YEARS" which was actually pretty good.  Regan was President during my non-attention years.  I didn't like him, but did not really know why.  Most likely It was because he was a Republican, but some of it had to do with this conservative nonsense that was starting to swell.

I don't know what exactly bothers me so much with the term "conservative".  I think a lot has to do with the attitude of those who wrap themselves in it.  Also, I think there are more than two types of view points out there which is how people who subscribe to this dogma seem to believe.  But mostly it is the fervent adherence to a view of the world that is misguided, narrow-minded, and in most cases wrong.  Still they hold to their rhetoric unwilling to see the world for what it really is.

Regan is given a lot of credit for ending the cold war with the Soviets.  I was told, and believed, that he did this by outspending them on a military buildup.  This is somewhat true, but I heard recently, and this PBS show has now confirmed, that the end of the Cold War had more to do with Mikhail Gorbachev and George Shultz then the gipper himself.  Make no mistake that Regan's ability to trust Gorbachev and listen to his "triumverate" was key to the success.

So the question I have is "are we better off now because of what Regan did with the Soviets? 

I went searching for the George Will comment that was made on the show and in my search I found this on another blog called fabiusmaximus:
 On 8 December 1987, at Reagan’s third summit with Mikhail Gorbachev, they signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (Wikipedia).  This marked the beginning of the end to the cold war, a major step to lifting the threat of global annihilation that had existed for 3 decades.   How did conservatives react to this bold step by their leader?
Excerpt from “The Treaty: Another Sellout”, Howard Phillips (Chairman of The Conservative Caucus; see his bio at Wikipedia), op-ed in the New York Times, 11 December 1987:  America has never been in more danger than now, during the final 13 months of the Reagan administration.  Although neither Ronald Reagan nor George Bush could have come to power without strong conservative support, conservative influence is absent from the top decision-making councils of the executive branch, and conservative policies have been comprehensively abandoned.  President Reagan is little more than the speech reader-in-chief for the pro-appeasement triumverate of Howard Baker, George Shultz and Frank Carlucci.
The center of the administration’s policy is the president’s unfounded assertion that Mikhail S. Gorbachev is “a new kind of Soviet leader” who no longer seeks world conquests. The summit meetings and so-called arms-control treaties are a cover for the treasonous greed of those who manipulate the administration.
And from another.........
Excerpt from George Will’s 1988 book The New Season: “Historians may conclude that it was during this administration that the United States conclusively lost the Cold War.”
So they were wrong, Regan was right to trust Gorbachev.  That's why this conservative nonsense is so wrong.  It leaves no room for anything other than a strict concurrence of ideology, dogma, and orthodoxy to one - and only one - view of the world.

If you tell me we are not better off because of what these men did, then I have a wall I'd like to show you, but i can't, cause it's no longer there.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Correct me if I'm wrong...won't do any good...but go ahead

Heard an interesting story on Talk of The Nation the other day.  In Politics, Sometimes The Facts Don't Matter

It was based on a paper written by two researchers asking the question:
Can false or unsubstantiated beliefs about politics be corrected?
Brendan Nyhan amd ason Reifler in their paper "When Corrections Fail: The persistence of political misperceptions" conducted four experiments in which subjects read mock news articles that included either a misleading claim from a politician, or a misleading claim and a correction. Results indicate that corrections frequently fail to reduce misperceptions among the targeted ideological group. They also document several instances of a “backfire effect” in which corrections actually increase misperceptions among the group in question.
Political beliefs about controversial factual questions in politics are often closely linked with one’s ideological preferences or partisan beliefs. [E]xtensive literature in psychology shows humans are goal-directed information processors who tend to evaluate information with a directional bias toward reinforcing their pre-existing views. Specifically, people tend to display bias in evaluating political arguments and evidence, favoring those that reinforce their existing views and disparaging those that contradict their views.
So basically my attempt to shed light on misconceptions and idiotic beliefs with my blog that is read by up to three people will fall on deaf ears.  I just don't get conservatives, and the reason is that they are not conservative in their views and thinking in as much as they are ideologues.  Diversity of thought and ideas brings forward a much better method for governing.  Period.

I have been very disappointed in guys, like John McCain, that I thought were smart, intelligent, reasoned, and logical. Apparently they find it necessary to pander to the ideologues that now control the Republican party. So what happens is they pass on information and mimic behavior that appeals to these ideologues, ignoring the moderate or enlightened conservative voices.

It may win votes, but orthodoxy demands more orthodoxy.  It will never be enough to placate them.  But what I fear, and it's the reason I write, is that misconception of what is happening and who is to blame will lead to action.  Kristallnacht was the beginning a long simmering misconception.
From its inception, Hitler's regime moved quickly to introduce anti-Jewish policies. The 500,000 Jews in Germany, who accounted for only 0.76% of the overall population, were singled out by the Nazi propaganda machine as an enemy within who were responsible for Germany's defeat in the First World War, and for her subsequent economic difficulties, such as the 1920s hyperinflation and Great Depression. Beginning in 1933, the German government enacted a series of anti-Jewish laws restricting the rights of German Jews to earn a living, to enjoy full citizenship and to educate themselves, including the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, which forbade Jews to work in the civil service. The subsequent 1935 Nuremberg Laws stripped German Jews of their citizenship and forbade Jews to marry non-Jewish Germans.
If you don't treat the wound it will fester and take the whole appendage with it.  I hope I'm wrong on what I see transpiring....God I hope I'm wrong.

Monday, July 12, 2010

If it weren't for Jesus....I'd kill you.

/sigh.....I don't make this stuff up.

The Eagle - July 12, 2010.  Letter to the Editor

Religious beliefs offer a measure of protection
I find it amusing and ironic that the very people who try to question, judge, restrict or forbid my religious beliefs don't understand that my religious beliefs are the only thing protecting them from people like me.

So I thought it fitting to write the Gonter version of "The Lord Is My Shepherd."

The Lord is my governor,
I shall not kill you;
He makes me take the bullets out of my gun.
He leads me away from knives, poisons, and bombs
He empties my magazine.
He provides me with proportional control
for your sake.

Even though I walk through the streets
of the city in plain view,
They cannot fathom my evil;
for You protect them from me;
Your rod and Your staff would make awesome weapons Lord.

Surely badness and mayhem will never leave me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell with the other swine in the house of the
Lord forever.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Make it Stop.....

So my wife likes to listen to 70's music on Sirius when she is in my car.  Now I like a whole lot of music, but the 70's stations she listen to plays a lot of really bad 70's stuff.  So we leave the grocery store and U2 comes on a station I was listening to.  That will not do...."I hate Bono" the wife states as she moves her finger towards the presets.

So as we leave.......and until I almost pull into my driveway......we get to listen to:

For some reason the programmer decided that the 3 minute version was too short and put on the long play version.  In that way, one has what seems an eternity to listen to the words and contemplate their meaning.  Now you may not be familiar with this number.  So here are the lyrics.
(That's right)
Get up and boogie, get up and boogie
(That's right)
Get up and boogie, get up and boogie
Boogie - Boogie
(That's right)
Get up and boogie, get up and boogie
(That's right)
Get up and boogie, get up and boogie
(That's right)
Boogie - Boogie
(That's right)
Get up and boogie, get up and boogie
(That's right)
Get up and boogie, get up and boogie
Boogie - Boogie
(That's right)
Get up and boogie, get up and boogie
Get up and boogie, get up and boogie
Get up and boogie, get up and boogie
Get up and boogie [fade] 
So for the entire distance home (see map) that's what we heard...non-stop....over and over again......

Thursday, July 8, 2010

If God Really...Really.... Loved America

Dear God

I am having a bit of a conflict between your commandment to love thy neighbor and my country's problems.  You see, God, we are in some really bad dire straights here with the economy....all the result of illegals.  Now I know...I may prefer I call them undocumented, but I'm not really into all that PC nonsense.

Anyway, we got a real problem with Mexicans coming over here and breeding like there's no such thing as abstinence.  All these kids they have, and the poverty they like to live in adds up.  Did you know we feed their kids?  We actually provide them with a breakfast and a lunch.  Free!  My mom says that their parents should be able to at least feed them a peanut-butter sandwich and Rush Limbaugh has offered instructions on how to dumpster-dive for food (I love Rush, he is one of your better creations).

Well anyway, feeding them kids is costing me my hard-earned tax dollars, and I am sick of it.  The government does not do anything for us white folk, but sure as me - heck - they will feed them, clothe them, and give them free health care in our emergency rooms!  All on my hard-earned dime.

So my problem is that I really hate these illegals, you know the ones that can only speak Spanish, wave their Mexican flag, and stand out on the corner looking for work.  I hate them, and I know I can't get into heaven if I don't love my neighbor.  So I got a win-win proposal for you Lord.

Smite them.

You you did in 2 Kings 2:23-24, when Elisha was called a bald-head by a bunch of remember...he called down a curse on them in your name and you sent two bears out that mauled forty-two of the gang-bangers.

Can you do that for me?  I would like to call down a curse in your name to smite all the illegals who are getting everything for free on my tax dollars.  Surely my slight is much more worthy of smiting than being called a bald-head.


You don't want me to continue hating them do you?