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You didn't think the election of Barack Obama to the U.S. presidency got us out of the danger posed by the greed-capitalism of the Reagan-Bush era, did you?  President Obama is facing a tremendous challenge to try and right the economic and political ship of state that was so pummeled by right-wing selfishness.  After World War I economic disaster struck the world harshly when European and American government officials allowed banks and industry to call the shots, and government was left to try and protect the general populace.  When there was an outcry in the Western World growing to give voice and relief to the common people, here is what happened...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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