As President Barack Obama proposes a program to get the U.S. out of the deep, deep hole the Bush administration put us into, the Republicans scream strange comments about "family values." Family values have been under attack since Ronald Reagan took the presidency and suddenly found Jesus. Reagan, who had a reputation in Hollywood for womanizing, and who had been a labor union advocate and Democrat, found that he could garner far more political capital by being a far right conservative. The right-wing hounds hovered around him eagerly because he could be manipulated by big money and big business. He was led like a puppet to put forth the greed-capitalist agenda. And he "succeeded." The immoral-but-moralizing right-wing was in its glory. And it went out to destroy everything that might get in its way. Labor unions, blacks, and liberals were favorite targets of the right-wing.
Black people were put in prison for minor offenses, but offenses that made for good political headlines. Of course there was racism in this, but it got people elected. Jails become loaded with black people like never before. And in the process America's black society further became imperiled as it became popular to demonize minority women as taking welfare and driving a Cadillac. While black people in America never had a level playing field and had been mistreated throughout our history, the missiles fired from the right-wing on black culture ravished African Americans. There became an absence of black men in black culture outside the criminal justice system. I know all the camouflage the right-wing uses to "disprove" all this, but the fact remains that the Republican programs have aimed there most destructive weapons at black society here.
Especially since the reactionary presidency of Ronald Reagan, America has been hell-bent on "lock 'em up and throw away the key." With the introduction of drugs into American culture during the horrid Vietnam War, breaking the law to get a fix permeated all of society in the U.S. Ironically, the very conservatives who wanted to lock up all drug offenders, had supported the Vietnam War and the Contras in Nicaragua, both wars greatly causing the rise in illegal drug use here. The path of drugs to America can be laid largely at the feet of conservatives. History has a strange way of showing us the truth.
What has happened since the Reagan administration's decision to lock up more people, even for minor offenses? The obvious result can be found in the astronomical increase in the prison population. Another result has been the deterioration of the inner cities where drugs and crime go hand in hand as the white population was not serving sentences as long as blacks, and where white suppliers internationally rarely went to jail. Young blacks, either coming home from Vietnam or living in despair in an unequal world, turned to drugs for "relief." Marijuana smoking often resulted in long sentences in prison, sometimes even a life sentence for using or selling weed. Cheap crack cocaine, used primarily in poor areas, resulted in far harsher sentencing than the white-preferred powder cocaine. Blacks were taking a double hit in this system.
George W. Bush inherited a budget surplus from Bill Clinton. By the end of two terms of the Bush administration, trillions of dollars have been added to the national debt. What do you think the deficit is? It is an astronomical new tax. It has to be paid. And as the cowardly Bush administration often did, it ran away from its responsibility and dumped it on the next president: Barack Obama. And to add to the gutless actions, now the Republicans are screaming, "No new taxes!" It was a Republican administration that ran up the biggest debt and thus the biggest tax burden in U.S. history.
We cannot just stand on the sidelines and scream about taxes; that is what the Republicans and Limbaughites do. The problem inherited by the current administration must be dealt with now. . We cannot just shove it aside. The current administration of Barack Obama is not that insensitive to families. It cannot simply add to the debt that already will be passed onto our children and grandchildren. As we now have to face, action is needed to begin to clean up the horrible mess the conservatives made. Here it is, now we have to deal with it. Taxes, run up and passed on by the neocons, will now have to be paid. The taxes you will be faced with are by and large levied on you by Reagan and Bush. The irresponsibility of those years is now shoved into your face, whether you like it or not. Obama must deal with what Bush ran up and avoided.
From the robber barons, through the early industrial giants, to the big corporation bosses [Ford, DuPont, etc.] who helped Hilter rise to power in Germany, to those who fought every social program of FDR, to the McCarthyites and the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, to Goldwater, and especially to Ronald Reagan and the Bushes, there has been an attempt to fight every humane piece of legislation offered in the House and Senate. While the U.S. came close to setting up a fascist state with the attempt to violently overthrow FDR [see General Smedley Butler, twice awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and asked by DuPont to head this scheme], we have only had bouts with the power of the extreme right, not very far from fascism. McCarthy made a Commie suspect out of everybody. The fight between fascism and communism was fought through the latter two-thirds of the 20th century, and in the minds of the right-wing, that fight is not over until a fascist or fascist-like state is created in the U.S. If you are not a right-winger, you are labeled a communist or socialist.
Through these same years, many peoples' lives were ruined simply from being called a communist. Today the claims of the right-wing have switched, and the term "socialist" in put on any social legislation or program that helps anyone but the richest Americans. Sadly, many middle class Americans have been hoodwinked to believe the rich. The result is a series of complex laws and tax regulations that benefit the richest Americans. Now that that favoritism is in place clandestinely, the right-wing screams "no new taxes" because they already have a system that benefits them to the detriment of the poor and much of the middle class. Greed and huberis reign in the right-wing, and this sort of viewpoint is not only considered best, it is the mantra of everything that goes on in Washington and state capitols.
With the neocon flights of military grandeur plummeted and beaten into the ground by the entire world, the right-wing is now turning its desire to attack somebody, and that somebody is America. Instead of re-directing their efforts toward helping solve the tremendous problems at home that THEY created, they choose instead to follow Rush Limbaugh's words and hope for failure in the U.S. Imagine! These are the people who made so much of patriotism and following President Bush into an illegal war, handouts to the richest Americans, no-bid contracts to Bush-Cheney buddies, torture, destroying the federal budget, and blind adherence to whatever came out of the White House, even in its most obvious mistakes. How do you like your patriotic right-wingers now?
There never should be blind adherence to a President of the U.S. And obviously there should never-never be blind adherence to the actions of one political party. The Democrats are far too cozy with monied interests themselves. The Democrats were far too willing to go along with the atrocious mistakes of the Bush administration. And the Democrats themselves are an embarrassment to President Barack Obama.
In the United States, where our Founding Fathers hoped to establish a society free from religious coercion, we have done just the opposite. "People of faith" in the U.S. almost always assume we are talking about Christianity. And those most steadfast in their opinions are often far, far away from the intent of Jefferson and Franklin. Christianity in the U.S. is an odd mixture of greed-capitalism, narrow evangelism, judgmentalism, anti-intellectual, anti-science, and not at all reflective of the word they love to throw around, freedom. So, out of this cave-dweller mentality have evolved many selfish things, many that would seem to be abhorent to the Jesus who preached peace.
Militarism. This has been monied fuel for the industrialists and the politicans they have purchased. As a Republican President, Dwight Eisenhower, warned us: beware of the over-reaching influence of the military-industrial complex in the U.S. This complex has drained trillions of dollars out of the American economy and sent us on military adventures that have led to our embarrassment and enemy-making in the world. Each of our recent wars have turned more people against us than has garnered us friends. Yet the money keeps rolling in. Added to this has been the military-industrial control of American media. Much of today's major media is not owned by media people, it is owned by some huge corporate octopus that his its tentacles in all sorts of military equipment and service. And many of these military-industrialists and their puppet politicians make certain to parade themselves as sincere religious people. Gag.
It is amazing how much has been done by President Obama in a few short weeks. As the right-wing fires up its list of things that they want Obama to do to solve all the problems from Reagan to Bush, they are now demanding that it be done by...oh, say next week Tuesday. When George Bush the Elder was running against Ronald Reagan in 1980, he called Reagan's financial plans, "voodoo economics." That's what it was alright. And the scheming card tricks of the Reagan hucksters set us off on a course of unregulated corporate greed that led to the inevitable crash we are now experiencing after almost 30 years of tricksterism. The people who knew the most about the economy were bought off with big bonuses so the favors could be handed out to pharmaceutical giants, military-industrial behemoths, media octopi, oil cartels, etc. The mounting greed and self-serving stealing had to end sometime. Unfortunately, the huge corporation execs had theirs safely hidden away in off-shore companies and foreign banks. Now we are paying AIG to bail out some of these foreign banks.
That means that you, sucker, were not only fleeced once, but fleeced again as your money flows through taxes to some of the same swindlers in other countries. And we voted for some of these guys and gals! While the majority of the early schemers were Republicans, the money got so great that far too many Democrats joined the fleecing of the flock. Now, while the crooks have their loot stashed away, they yell, "No more taxes!" "Cut Medicare!" "Privatize Social Security!" "No more pork!" "Get the government out of our business!" Wow, the screams are deafening. But these screamers were and are glad to take the money when it heads straight to their pockets. They want it straight from your pocket to their stash.
What is the major reason the most militant Moslem terrorists do not want any encroachment on their carefully crafted culture? Women's rights, or in the case of the militants, lack of women's rights. The male leadership wants to hold onto their privileged place in that society. Multiple wives? Sure. And what do you think is waiting for a terrorist who bombs innocent civilians? Scores of young virgins to serve him in paradise. No schooling for women. Insistence on wearing clothing that covers their faces and bodies and allows them no individual expression. They must remain silent. No driving autos. No speaking up to their husbands. No choice in who their marriage partner will be. Subservience to their male leaders and/or to their husband. Separated in most activities from the more lenient activities of the men. This is a religion that is afraid of women. This is a religion that is weak and must show its strength through violence to anyone who challenges its practices. This is a religion that does not listen to others, but wants to force its will on others.
Much of this is true of most religions in their extreme elements. But we tend to overlook the lesser position we assign to women in our own religious practices. The majority of Christians in the world do not allow women to serve as clergy. The head of the church [patriarch or pope] must be a man. Religious ceremonial rites place women in a secondary role. And the more militant is the form of Christianity, the more male-dominated it is. Please-please don't try to ply me with examples of tokenism in a specific denomination or sect. The majority of Christians have beliefs that are more akin to practices from the Dark Ages than the 21st century. Strict religious adherence equals inequality.
Yes, I am aware of the Holocaust. Yes, I am aware of the pogroms. Yes, I am aware of anti-Semitism. Yes, I am aware of the death camps and forced labor. Yes, I am aware of the discrimination faced against Jews in the U.S. and elsewhere. Yes, I am aware of the horrible, ongoing rockets launched from Gaza into Israel. Yes, I am aware of the attempts by Egypt and Syria to invade Israel. Yes, I am aware of Israel's vulnerability in its area of the world. Yes, I am aware of Arab terrorism inside Israel through the years. Yes, I am aware that Israel is a democracy amid a sea of anti-democratic nations. Yes, I am aware of Hamas and Hezbollah's open challenge to Israel's very existence as a nation. And yes, I am even aware of the additional empathy and understanding I should have with a typical German name like Schultz.
However the horrific and inhuman acts by Israel in its treatment of Palestinians, some were living in Israel when their homes were taken from them, cannot forever be ignored. Gaza has become a sealed prison. Israel controls the fate of many innocent civilians living in squalor and illness in the most crowded area of the world. Roadblocks and limiting supplies, even medical supplies, into Gaza is inhuman. Israel's own, self-serving agreements about Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory are being broken continually.. While the Israeli government says it does not condone these encroachment settlements, it is now using its own tax money to build roads and facilities into these illegal areas. While Israelis and Jews worldwide tell us that we do not understand and realize the ongoing terrorism and threat to Israel, the American media and leading politicans here voice a clear favoritism in the direction of Israel. The voice of the Palestinians barely scratches the surface by comparison.