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Another brilliantly pithy observation by our good friend Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station

refuse-service

So, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062, did she?

Exactly as predicted.

Exactly as she was encouraged to do by an outraged country.

Impressed?

Are you impressed that Jan Brewer bowed to “common sense” and “human dignity” and the US Constitution?

Are you?

Because you damned well shouldn’t be.

Brewer simply gave in to pragmatism and she deserves no credit for her moral cowardice whatsoever. None.

Brewer, along with Arizona conservatives such as John McCain who called for the veto, deserve nothing but contempt.

Brewer should have signed the bill instead of vetoing it.

That’s right.

Governor Jan Brewer should have put Arizona’s money where conservative mouths are and signed SB 1062 into law and made religious Apartheid a reality in Arizona right along with Russia and Iran.

And then – and then – Brewer and the ideological fanatics of her party should have been forced to live with the consequences.

Oh now, don’t get me wrong.

I’m sincerely glad that the people of Arizona won’t have to suffer for the bigotry of a handful of religious zealots.

I’m relieved that sanity, for whatever reason, prevailed in the eleventh hour and that LGBT people in yet another US state won’t be relegated to even worse treatment at the hands of Evangelical Christianity.

But, Folks, look here, nothing, and I mean nothing, demonstrates the bottomless hypocrisy and the absolute moral cowardice of the religious fanatics who’ve taken over the Arizona legislature than this veto.

Nothing.

Arizona Republican Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake urged Governor Brewer to veto SB 1062, because, according to McCain, implementation of the law would be “devastating.”

Devastating to the state. Economically.

Devastating to business. Financially.

Devastating to Republicans. Politically.

But not devastating to actual people – especially the gay ones who are apparently not John McCain’s concern.

Last Monday, conservative state senators Bob Worsley, Adam Driggs, and Steve Pierce sent a letter to Governor Brewer, asking her to veto SB 1062.

But just days before, all three joined the Arizona Senate Republican caucus in voting for the bill.

That’s right, they voted for the bill, but then asked the governor to veto it.

After Republicans passed the bill and sent it to Brewer’s office for signature, and only after the scope of the resulting national outcry became apparent, Worsley confessed to reporters. “I have not been comfortable with this for some time.”

I have not been comfortable with this for some time?

Haven’t been comfortable with this for some time?

Jesus Haploid Christ, Worsley, what the fuck?

Worsley wasn’t comfortable with it, but he went right ahead and voted for SB 1062 anyway instead of taking responsibility for his own conscience.

He knew it was wrong, but instead of standing up and forcefully speaking out and holding his own party to public account, instead of demonstrating the superior moral conviction he and those like him loudly and repeatedly claim for their religion, he just went along with it anyway.

Worsely, Driggs, and Pierce weren’t comfortable with a bill that they voted for, that would have legalized blatant religious discrimination at their own dirty hands, but they voted for it anyway?

And what were they going to do then if Brewer signed the bill into law? Live with their discomfort?

Ask yourself something: if they could live with that particular discomfort, if their religious convictions could tolerate that discomfort without damning them to Bible Hell, then why can’t they live with the discomfort of being around gay people?

McCain, Worsley, et al, are so, so utterly typical of these hypocrites.

They are leaders in a party and a religion that has done nothing but villainize LGBT people at every turn – and then, what? They’re not comfortable when that same rabid fanaticism attempts to marginalize those self-same people?

This is so, so goddamned typical of John McCain. A man who spent his entire presidential campaign relentlessly demonizing his opponent, and then had the unmitigated gall to pretend that he wasn’t responsible when his own fanatical supporters – and his own running mate – resorted to calling Barack Obama an Arab and a Muslim and unAmerican and a subhuman mongrel in the national media and continue to do so to this very day.

McCain, Worsley, Driggs, Pierce, and Brewer are so utterly typical of this yellow-eyed breed of modern conservative fanatic – who, in the US House, voted last year to shut down the federal government, and then cried foul when they had to live with the backlash. And who, just last month, voted to shut the government down yet again … but then quietly urged Speaker John Boehner to make a deal with Democrats to increase the US debt ceiling in a clean resolution and keep America running so they didn’t have to suffer the consequences of their lunacy yet again.

These people know they are wrong.

They know it. Quod erat demonstrandum.

They know it, they absolutely know they are on the wrong side of history.

And yet they persist – just so long as they don’t have to live with the consequences.

Brewer vetoed SB 1062 for a number of reasons:

– because it could have cost Arizona the 2015 Super Bowl.

– because it could have significantly harmed Arizona’s tourist industry.

– because it could have cost Arizona business, particularly from  Marriott Hotels, Apple, American Airlines and Yelp, in addition to hundreds of conferences, seminars, and retreats.

– because it would have inevitably resulted in endless lawsuits, costing Arizona millions upon millions of dollars in litigation.

– because it would likely have cost Republicans their majority in the Arizona state government.

– because it would have negatively affected Republican prospects in the 2014 midterm national elections.

– and because it would have had an impact on the 2016 presidential race.

– and most especially since it might have directly resulted in unintended discrimination againstChristians.

And so, when it came right down to it in Arizona today, rather than do what was right because it was the right thing to do, rather than strike down the bill because it would have legalized religious segregation as if Arizona was a state in Russia instead of America, Brewer at the behest of her oh so smug religion and her oh so morally superior political party vetoed SB 1062 not because it was blatantly counter to everything the United States stands for but rather because it would have cost Arizona money.

When Brewer was forced onto the global stage to very publicly choose between state sanctioned Apartheid and the almighty American dollar, not to mention political power, Brewer did the predictable thing.

She did what these people always do when forced to chose between conviction and profit.

She took the money.

So much for republicans’ vaunted ideals.

So much for the superior morality of conservative religious conviction.

The simple truth is that if these people really believed in the rightness and righteousness of their religion, they would have passed the bill and to hell with the consequences.

Make no mistake whatsoever, Folks, if Arizona republicans could have gotten away with it, if they could have signed this bill into law and only gay people and non-Christians would have been negatively affected, they damned well would have – that was the entire point of SB 1062 in the first place.

Instead, Brewer’s veto lays bare the hypocrisy of this blighted ideology and shows it for what it really is:  hate for hate’s sake and nothing more.

Common sense, human dignity, and liberty did not prevail today in Arizona.

Right won out only because these people worship power and money far more than they love their small and hateful God.

They won’t do what’s right, but they can usually be counted on to do what is profitable.

And let that be a lesson for future battles.

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Comments Off on Another brilliantly pithy observation by our good friend Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station

Posted by on February 27, 2014 in Conservative Thought, Current Events, music and popular culture, Politics, Progressive Thought, Racial Issues, Uncategorized

 
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My thoughts exactly

Courtesy of Frank Schaeffer, human being.

I’ve watched liberal and right wing commentators alike blame the president for being lynched. They say “he’s not reaching out enough” or “he’s too cold.” It’s the equivalent of assuming that the black man being beaten by a couple of thug cops must have “done something.”

I am a white privileged well off sixty-one-year-old former Republican religious right wing activist who changed his mind about religion and politics long ago.  The New York Timesprofiled my change of heart saying that to my former friends I’m considered a “traitorous prince” since my religious right family was once thought of as “evangelical royalty.”

I’ve just spent the last 7 years writing over 200,000 words in blogs and articles in support of President Obama. My blogs on the Huffington Post alone would add up to a book in support of the President of over 300 pages. Weirdly, I just realized that through all my writing, this has been the first time in my life I’ve personally gone to bat for a black man. It just happens that he’s a president. But my emotional stake in his life is now personal.

So I’ve changed from a white guy who used to read news about some black man getting shot or beaten by cops or stand-your-ground types who assumed that the black man must have “done something,” to a white guy who figures that the black man was probably getting lynched. I’ve changed ideology but I’ve also changed my gut intuitive reactions.

I’ve changed because if this country will lynch a brilliant, civil, kind, humble, compassionate, moderate, articulate, black intellectual we’re lucky enough to have in the White House, we’ll lynch anyone. What chance does an anonymous black man pulled over in a traffic stop have of fair treatment when the former editor of the Harvard Law Reviewis being lynched?

One famous liberal commentator wrote a book on how Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil could disagree and still be friends. Why, he asked on many a TV show promoting his book, couldn’t President Obama be like that? Because, I yelled at the screen, those two men were white Irish Americans and part of a ruling white oligarchy.

Because, I yelled, you might as well ask why Nelson Mandela didn’t talk his jailers in South Africa into seeing reason.

Because, I yelled, the President is black and anytime he’s reached out he’s pulled back a bloody stump.

Because, I yelled, liberal white commentators have been as bothered by a black man in the White House, who’s smarter than they are as much as right wing bigots have been bothered.

Because, I yelled, President Obama has been lied about, attacked, vilified, and disrespected since Day One.

Because, I yelled, this country may have passed laws so blacks can vote and eat in a white man’s world, but in our hearts are stuck in a place more like 1952 than 2013.

We’ve been watching a slow motion lynching of a moderate brilliant family man, a father, and faithful loving husband. The Republicans in Congress are so dedicated to lynching the President they’ve been willing to shut down our government and risk the future of our economy.

Evangelical “Christians” have been so stuck on putting a rope around this black man’s neck they have denied their faith and been the backbone of the lying Tea Party who spawned the so-called “birthers” and the rest of the white trash driving our news cycle.

Roman Catholic bishops have denied their tradition of helping the poor and been so eager to destroy this president they aligned themselves with white Evangelical bigots and tried to stop health care reform, all because the President wants to give women a fair shake. The bishops even called him “anti-religious” because the president wants insurers to pay for contraception.

This is a slow motion lynching of a black man who is so moderate and centrist that he favored Wall Street enough so that the Left is all over his case. He’s so “radical” and “leftist” and “hates America” so much, and “coddles our enemies” so much, that he killed bin Laden and used drones to kill our enemies. He’s such a “socialist” that he presided over the revival of our economy from the worst recession since the Great Depression, and led us to the present day stock market boom. President Obama is such a “Marxist” that he tried to give insurance – not socialized medicine – to all Americans.

President Obama never answered back to the disgusting southern right wing rubes from the former slave states that have tried to belittle, mock and stymie his presidency shouting “You lie” in a million ways, while actually meaning “You lie, nigger!”

And did the “enlightened” Left have President Obama’s back? No. They carp about his “failure” because a website was slow to get running! The white privileged “progressive” few were too busy blaming him for getting lynched and telling him how to craft policy while a rope was put around his neck again and again and tightened with each filibuster, each lie told on the radio, each self-defeating scorched earth action to stop him from succeeding, even if it meant taking us all down too.

We don’t like to admit who we really are. So we make excuses and blame the victim. I’m ashamed for our country, a country my Marine son fought for in two stupid wars this president has been working to end. And I’m still rooting for the best, smartest and most decent man who has been president in my lifetime. I pray for his health care reform to succeed. I pray for his immigration reform to succeed. I’m amazed he’s gotten anything done, but he has, even while the lynch mob gathers again and again to laugh, lie and spit and claim he’s “failed” while “liberal” commentators nod sagely and talk about his “mistakes” as if President Obama has been playing on a level playing field.

We have a lot to do to heal this country of the damage done by the right wing Obama-haters and the Left wing know-it-all pundits who did not have his back because they don’t have the honesty to admit that we still live in a backward racist swamp of prejudice. Maybe in 50 years our country will be worthy of someone of President Obama’s forbearance again. For now we can just hope that the hatred of the Republican Party for our first black president doesn’t drive us to the brink of ruin again as they strip food from the mouths of the poor, and try to get people to not sign up for health care, just to get even with the black man they swore to destroy from the day that “uppity” black who is smarter than all of them put together took the oath of office.

God bless you Mr. President. I’m praying for you. I am so very sorry. But take heart, in the long reach of history the door you opened will stay open for the millions of Americans of all colors, genders and beliefs who will follow you. They will bless your name. So will history.

Follow Frank Schaeffer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/frank_schaeffer

Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book — And God Said, “Billy! exploring the roots of American religious delusion, and offering another way to approach true spirituality.

 

How nice.

http://www.policymic.com/articles/76375/8-photos-you-didn-t-see-from-obama-s-trip-to-south-africa

 
Comments Off on How nice.

Posted by on December 12, 2013 in Current Events, Politics, President Obama, Progressive Thought, Racial Issues, Uncategorized

 

Obama’s Moment

In consideration of Casper’s request for a weekly positive post, I will do my best here, go out on an unchartered limb, and compliment President Obama for a fairly good speech yesterday. Of course there were the usual smatterings of leftism sprinkled in, but that is to be expected, however I do want to compliment him for stating the following:

Legitimate grievances against police brutality tipped into excuse- making for criminal behavior. Racial politics could cut both ways as the transformative message of unity and brotherhood was drowned out by the language of recrimination. And what had once been a call for equality of opportunity, the chance for all Americans to work hard and get ahead was too often framed as a mere desire for government support, as if we had no agency in our own liberation, as if poverty was an excuse for not raising your child and the bigotry of others was reason to give up on yourself. All of that history is how progress stalled. That’s how hope was diverted. It’s how our country remained divided.

“As if we had no agency in our own liberation” – what an excellent phrase. I hope the black community accepts that as a challenge to overcome whatever elements of racism exist in our society to personally motivate themselves and reach for higher economic ground. In my opinion, there are two HUGE obstacles confronting the black community and only they can remedy them – out of wedlock birth and education. Men have to be responsible for the children they sire and that is a universal truth regardless of color. Unfortunately, black men are falling down in this area, and their children suffer enormously, as does society. Black on black crime constitutes 92% of all black community crime, and that is a shame that only they can address. Discipline and love within the family unit of a two parent household is not the entire answer, but it is one good step in the right direction and it is incumbent upon the fathers and mothers of those children to see that it happens more often. Michelle and Barack Obama are two very good examples for that community to aspire to.

Education – one of the tragedies that I even see here in my area amongst the black community is the notion that being smart is “acting white”. Where in the hell did that come from? A while back I wrote a piece on what Don Lemon with CNN had to say and he was spot on – “pull your pants up”, “stop using the N word”, “respect your community”, “finish school”, and “stop having babies”.  Don Lemon should have been applauded for his “tough love”, but instead he was excoriated. Young black kids need “tough love”, they crave it, and it is long over due they receive it. I want every black child to receive a demanding education, and that will require that they have the choice to attend the school that delivers it, rather than being forced into attending a school simply based on where they reside. We need school choice!

I long for the day that our country can get to the point that Obama envisioned again in yesterday’s speech:

We’ll have to reignite the embers of empathy and fellow feeling, the coalition of conscience that found expression in this place 50 years ago. Hear memories of the 1963 march and how it altered the lives of those who attended. And I believe that spirit is there, that true force inside each of us. I see it when a white mother recognizes her own daughter in the face of a poor black child. I see it when the black youth thinks of his own grandfather in the dignified steps of an elderly white man. It’s there when the native born recognizing that striving spirit of a new immigrant, when the interracial couple connects the pain of a gay couple who were discriminated against and understands it as their own. That’s where courage comes from, when we turn not from each other or on each other but towards one another, and we find that we do not walk alone. That’s where courage comes from.

We can get there, but it will require that we actually listen to each other, and stop the knee jerk reaction of wanting to call everyone a racist for pointing out hard truths. Are you listening Chris Matthews?

 

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2013 in Racial Issues

 

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