Five in the Stones
DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL
When I was in active military service, 1966-70, I did not care about the sexuality of the person beside me, I cared about his professionalism.
The military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is discrimination pure and simple. It is an unnecessary, non-job related issue, and a blatant labor and civil rights disgrace.
It not only destroys the lives of the men and women directly affected, but also the military’s organizational unity. It is a morale downer, a Salem Witch Hunt mentality introduced into the ranks.
The largely fundamentalist religiously inspired objection to gays is based upon misinformation (an actual and purposeful misreading of their own texts), a scapegoat us vs. them mindset, and an absolutist morality used generally as one more self-terrorizing control over the fearful toiling faithful.
If America is to ever achieve equality, freedom, and justice, we must strike down “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Strike a blow for human rights and humanity. We are either all Americans working in defense of our country and its ideals, or we are a nation of strangers, fighting for the barest survival. 7-02-09
POLAR BEARS AND CUB SCOUTS
Woe is me! Everything is going to hell in a hand basket! We can’t do anything about it! Wring hands! Cry despair! Weep! Moan! Thrash! Have you gotten out of your SUVs? Moved closer to work? Convinced others of the need to ACT and quit bitching? Is it the price of gas that bothers you, or the lack of it? Would you quit hitting yourself over the head with the hammer, or go get another one if someone took yours away? The time to ACT is now, and to hell with the system. Do you need a leader to tell you not to put your damned finger in the light socket? Too bad revelation comes so late to this benighted species. Is it the wall of water rushing at you that scares you, or the fact that you were too dumb to notice it until the rising tide was at your doorstep? Our over-consuming must stop at once. Each of us has a part in that, regardless of what leadership, or the imbecile next door is doing. Get off your butts and MOVE. Or, don’t. The future belongs – collectively – to all of us, if we all work for it. It doesn’t exist for polar bears, or cub scouts, if we don’t. 6-22-08
FOOLS AND CORPORATIONS
Today’s privately monopolized television serves rightwing corporatists by dumbing down the American people. There is no choice, just program packages arranged like blood diamonds. In television, the garbage includes:
- Religious programming – Christians only need apply. They’re getting ready for Armageddon, 24-7. Why do we have to pay to watch them?
- “Ain’t corporations great?” propaganda, not one cloud on the big rig’s sky. Not one word about how they changed the weather.
- “Reality” shows, which are evidently scripted. One can get just as excited at a professional wrestling match or roller derby – for as little cause.
- “Beauty and fitness” programming – Americans care so very much about hair and blemishes. Coach looks fifty years younger, hey? Just a dab.
- Right wing filtered news, commentary and opinion, which screams down the truth in favor of dogma and self-interest. To hell with integrity.
- Sports, improbably including auto/truck/motorcycle noise-making and gas-fuming circle-go-rounds – another loophole in EPA emission standards? For those of us who left games at adolescence, it’s a real drag.
- Shopping channels and infomercials feeding the callous over-consuming malaise destroying our planet. There are addicts of all kinds.
- Commercials – non-stop and multiplying. Why do we have to pay for these? The damned television people should be paying us to watch them!
Real history, especially recent U.S. history, is slighted, under-reported, and often misrepresented, or ideologically slanted. We discuss firefights on entering Baghdad, but not the illegal policy and the criminal lies that drove them. We see Troy and Rome, and incessant searches for objects of pseudo-history and outright myth – lost arks (boat-sized and box), spears of Longinus, grails and virgins, “true” crosses, and “god-ravaged” city ruins. We don’t see labor history, women’s history, or civil and human rights history. We don’t review Iran-Contra and the early days of the present administration’s emergence from the Reaganite distortion of our national progress. Everything from Carter to Bush Jr., except for Clinton’s tacky sex life, is a black hole of non-accountability.
This is all part of the Great Privatization of America. “Do good and be rewarded” is Christian and Rightist hypocrisy. They don’t do the right thing selflessly, but for a substantial bribe. We are fools to allow corporations to determine our national information policy, control our public airways, own our means of communications. We are fools to allow them to continue to distort our national consciousness, or to interfere with our right to meet and discuss and decide as a unified national community. We are fools to allow them to keep us ignorant and apart. 3-09-08
FREE SCHOOLS, FREE LIBRARIES, FREE SPEECH
Radio and television station owners should be held accountable in their charge to serve the public interest. Instead, the right wing has been systematic in its suppression of the progressive voice and we ignore their censorship at our peril.
The right wing has overwhelmed any residual of the “Fairness Doctrine.” They have done so with free licenses granted by the American government on behalf of the American public that are worth millions of dollars to licensees. The only requirement imposed upon them is to serve the public interest.
A free and democratic society cannot survive without a free and fair flow of information. All ideas should take their chances in the sea of democratic pluralistic debate. It is an abomination to a free and equal society to tolerate any, most definitely including private, abridgement, censorship, or exclusion of fair and balanced opposing views.
Right-wingers have taken over radio and television resources and foreclosed progressive voices on a systematic and pervasive level throughout the United States. No progressive voices can now be heard in Boston, Baltimore, Atlanta, Washington D.C., or Philadelphia – in the heart of revolutionary America the cracked pots have replaced the cracked bell. It is a deliberate creeping plague designed to manipulate American public opinion to undemocratic ends; it must be treated or it will kill free speech.
President Obama’s inspired effort to reinvigorate American democracy will amount to a pimple on the butt of national history if the right wing is allowed to continue its assault on our democratic institutions. We can bear no more “fixed” news, no more right wing press dominance! Let progressives fairly compete for the public interest.
There is no more important infrastructure repair for us to make than to preserve, defend and advance the democratic institutions that make America great: free schools, free libraries, free press, and freedom of speech. 3-08-09
More PROGRESSIVE THOUGHT: sidebar links