The Most Significant Surge in America is Hope
This election is boiling down to the choice between the overdue taking of leadership by the dominant generations
versus denial; the inability to recognize the oncoming headlong rejection of the old ways of doing business.
Hillary's fading candidacy reminds me of one of the last scenes from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
in which Indy - hanging over a ledge above a chasm - finds himself barely inches from the Holy Grail.
Indy just can't quite grasp it.
Finally a voice of reason is heard from his father, played by Sean.
"Indiana .... let it go."
"But I just need to -"
"Let it go, Indiana."
In view of what has happened in an America suffering from the presidential incapacity - accurately described
by Mr. Maher last Friday night - of America's first retarded president, it might have been better had we passed
the baton back in 2000.
Speaking in fantasy, it also appears that had McCain somehow managed to avoid or overcome the total dishonesty
of the Bush campaign and managed to wrest the nomination in 2000, what would the result have been?
Ignoring the reality that Gore actually won that race, we can conclude that Mccain's apparent conscious-less
pandering in this campaign suggests how a McCain presidential campaign in 2000 would have required the same pandering to the
only political coalition that made the 2000 election close.
McCain would have needed the same kind of sleazy help actually provided to Bush in the 2000 election.
This political sleaziness constitutes the "same old same old" that politicians of my generation have
been enmeshed in for years. Only the most naive of my generation would insist that the government previously dominated by
Democrats was entirely ethically clean and free from corruption at the highest levels.
Having achieved majority status in Congress and with a haste borne of poor assumptions, elected Republicans
rushed to the pork troughs and the lobbyist all-you-can-take buffet.
They commenced their own version of "back-room deal making" with an abandon that reveals the immaturity of
their civic perceptions.
They behaved like junior high students acting out their own limited perceptions of how the government of Democrats
must have included widespread corruption, graft and opportunity. These apparently were perceived then as entitlements/spoils
of Republican victories.
It also reveals the shallow understanding of the consequences of dishonest Rovian-style Limbaugh-publicized
political discourse based on lies, distortions and hate.
The truth is that even in their most shameful moments of public stewardship, the Democratic Party - over all
those pre-1990's years of majority status - suffered much fewer embarrassments of civic failure and criminal conduct than
Republicans have managed to accomplish in their few years of recent Republican control.
These national Republicans were sustained and elected by their respective state party organizations, organizations
trained, coached and controlled by national RNC schemers.
Many of the newly elected arrived in D.C. either riding the coattails of the Bush victory based on deception
and dirty tricks, or heavily subsidized by the likes of Tom Delay-types (who then installed the lock-step device in their
That's the legacy of Republican experience.
It is this "same old same old" working environment from which and in which Hillary and McCain have
This is the ultimate weakness of Hillary's tactic of trumpeting her experience. It is perhaps an unconscious
admission on her part that business-as-usual is the only method of governing Hillary knows.
The same is true for McCain, but it involves a more gruesome and shameful truth with the Republican Party,
It's the Fear-Mongering, Stupid
McCain now has those discredited Republican minions and Bushco's economic management to thank for having to
limit himself to a Johnny One-Note campaign.
His primary selling point seems to be that he used to be in the military, that he has a Patton-like understanding
of what it means to be a commander-in-chief who presides over a nation of quivering cowards created by irresponsible and dishonest
... that he used to be a prisoner of war and therefore has an ex-prisoner's perspective against torture. Most
Americans understand that opposition to torture is an American Core Value. This ideal campaign tool has now been squandered
by expediencies of McCain's candidacy.
Problem is McCain must appeal to the same "conservative" Republican constituencies who will have been very
volatile, rigid and inconsistenlty unreliable supporters in the overall administration his presidency would entail beyond
That of course would be business as usual.
McCain's "same old same old" is worse than Hillary's.
But Hillary has the 8-year reputation of an ex-president husband who seems to have squandered much of his
own good will and popularity with his recent campaign behavior; who doesn't understand Obama's generation and doesn't know
when to shut up.
She also - when her experience is hi-lighted - has an unsuccessful attempt to reform health care 16 years
ago that collided headlong with lobbyist and Republican business-as-usual.
Including this experience, Hillary now proposes that she's learned how to fight dirty - but makes no mention
of asking citizens to help her achieve her goals without having to fight dirty.
She does not seem to be interested in cleaning house, merely sweeping out what's under the rug to make room
We boomers born in the late 40's and the 50's have had our chance with Clinton and most recently, Doofus,
who is our most recent legacy. If so, that means we muffed it when we had the chance.
The generations to whom Obama appeals OWN the future; have a right to it. These are the generations who have
gotten out TO vote, have gotten out THE vote and outnumber us older folks by tens of millions.
The foolish attempts by Hillary and McCain to cut Obama off at the knees by denigrating hope also diminish
They also expose the candidates, campaigns and party faithful who have lost a genuine hope themselves for
the pillars of what really holds this country together.
It's what's wrong when McCain and Hillary - with apparent personal arrogance - ignore the need to talk about
voters acting like citizens, who forget to mention how voters must take on-going action and personal responsibility.
You could make the case that failure to insist that post-election citizens take action causes experience-touting
candidates to seem to mimic other failures: historical leaders around the globe who've pretended to be father, mother or parent
of an entire nation.
... leaders who promised to protect citizens and fix everything needing fixing without citizen help. Few of
them are remembered as benevolent successes and most presided over failure and disaster.
We know that these "when I'm President I will ..." promises are not intended to rule out or exclude citizen
participation. However in talking in this manner, Hillary and McCain are failing to communicate any expectation or demand
of civic responsibility from voters.
Business as usual means that most of the country is purposefully left out of the action - which is what the
Republican Doofus adminstration of 2000-2008 has been all about.
Obama knows that. He is speaking to the generations that will call the shots.
America's core values are founded on hopes and expectations; attitudes that sustain or contrast actual reality.
It's a reality that may reveal the yet-to-be-corrected or something-needs-to-be-done issues that constitute life in this country.
That's why they are "core" values.
It is hope, courage and willingness to tinker with problems. It's in the attempt to change coupled with the
will to focus on equality and national security that might generate laudable civic successes.
The founding fathers were not primarily political veterans in their 50's and 60's who served based on experience
and age. The wisdom of the Constitution did not come about because 100 folks my age put the distillation of their life's experience
into the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
That some my age contributed is true. But that the majority were of my age group is not true. They were closer
to the age of only one of the remaining leadership candidates.
But all of the founders, regardless of age, were significantly united in one of the most important attributes
demanded of leaders ... courage.
We olders owe America's youngers a greater demonstration of patriotism and the taking of responsibility for
our own governance beyond cowardly pretending that experience matters more than courage. We need to demonstrate a belief and
will to look for change when change is necessary.
We must recognize that Hillary's inability to appeal to the majority generational activism of her own party
cannot be explained away or ignored by an appeal to our fears of another "My Pet Goat president" if that moment tragically
A real leader can rise without need of a resume and only a lack of courage and will runs and hides from that
idea. (Or in the case of the election of 2000, when the stupid voted as a majority block, the exception proves the rule,)
We must recognize that McCain's inability to unite his party demonstrates a dangerous lack of leadership communication
skills. If he has to put on his commander's cap in response to another 911 moment, he'll need guidance in how to communicate
effectively. Or ... he'll have to rely purely on macho tough talk and we know where that last President to do that got us.
The greatest gift we can give our children and grand children is not our fear, not our timid caution in the
face of all the "what might be's" offered up by aging politicians who need us to be fearful so they can get power.
The greatest gift we can and should pass on to the generations that already own and deserve to run the future
is strongly epitomized by Mr. Murrow of my parents' generation.
"We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig
deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men."
That thinking is what makes a generation get remembered as the greatest generation.
Publisher, Willapa Magazine
Andy Rooney: PERSPECTIVE
I've learned.... That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.
learned.... That when you're in love, it shows.
I've learned.... That just one person saying
to me, 'You've made my day!' makes my day.
I've learned.... That having a child fall asleep in
your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.
I've learned.... That being kind
is more important than being right.
I've learned.... That you should never say no to a gift
from a child.
I've learned.... That I can always pray for someone when I don't have the strength
to help him in some other way.
I've learned.... That no matter how serious your life requires
you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.
I've learned.... That sometimes all a person
needs is a hand to hold and a
heart to understand.
I've learned.... That simple walks with my father around the block on
summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.
I've learned.... That life is
like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
That we should be glad God doesn't give us everything we ask for.
I've learned.... That money
doesn't buy class.
I've learned.... That it's those small daily happenings that make life
I've learned... That under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated
I've learned.... That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
I 've learned.... That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
I've learned.... That love, not time, heals all wounds.
That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
I've learned.... That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
I've learned... That life is tough, but
I've learned.... That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones
I've learned.... That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
I've learned.... That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away.
I've learned.... That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may
have to eat them.
I've learned.... That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
I've learned.... That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you're
hooked for life.
I've learned.... That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but
all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.
I've learned.... That the less time
I have to work with, the more things I get done.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Posted on Apr 2, 2008
By Amy Goodman
It has been 40 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis,
Tenn., while standing on the balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel. King was there to support striking sanitation
workers, African-American men who endured horrible working conditions for poverty wages. While King’s staff was opposed
to him going, as they were scrambling to organize King’s new initiative, the Poor People’s Campaign, King himself
knew that the sanitation workers were at the front lines of fighting poverty.
I went to Memphis on Dr. King’s birthday. There I interviewed Taylor Rogers,
one of the striking sanitation workers who marched with King. He told me:
“Back in 1968, 1,300 sanitation workers—we were tired of being mistreated,
overworked and underpaid. We decided that we were just going to stand up and be men and do something about our condition.
And that’s what we did. We stood up, and we told [Mayor] Henry Loeb in the city of Memphis that ‘I am a man.’ ”
While he was organizing against poverty, King also came out forcefully against the
Vietnam War, alienating his erstwhile ally, President Lyndon Johnson. Exactly one year before his assassination, on April
4, 1967, King gave his “Beyond Vietnam” speech at Riverside Church in New York City. He said: “A few years
ago, there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor, both black
and white, through the poverty program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Vietnam, and
I watched this program broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war. And
I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures
like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic, destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly
compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.”
He went on, “I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the
oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own
Time magazine called the speech “demagogic slander that sounded like a script
for Radio Hanoi.” The Washington Post declared that King had “diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country,
King made an essential link between poverty at home and war-making abroad. The connection,
sadly, is as relevant today as it was the last year of King’s life. A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies,
“40 Years Later: The Unrealized American Dream,” lays out key elements of the inequality that African-Americans
experience in the United States around education, employment and wealth accumulation.
On education, the IPS report states that African-American college graduation rates
will not be on par with white graduation rates for another 80 years. The income gap between blacks and whites will not disappear
for more than 500 years at current rates. More than one-third of African-Americans earn less than $20,000 annually, before
African-Americans are also far behind in the accumulation of wealth. Add to all this
higher incarceration, less access to health insurance and shorter life expectancy. King’s Poor People’s Campaign
went beyond race, as he reached out to poor whites in places like Appalachia. Today, one in five residents of West Virginia
is on food stamps, as is one in 10 Ohioans, and, according Jim Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center, one
in three children in Oklahoma has been on food stamps at some point in the past year. It is clear that Dr. King’s goal
of bringing people “to the promised land” is still far off.
Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily
international TV/radio news hour airing on 650 stations in North America.
© 2008 Amy Goodman
In accordance with Title 17
U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving
the included information for research and educational purposes. Willapa Magazine has no affiliation whatsoever with
the originator of this article.
Candidates and parties, using manipulation and newspeak has inserted this kind of nonsense
into public discourse.
A big flap over the wrong sermon and the wrong Reverend
... the world can be divided into worthy and unworthy and that any human being has a right to judge another on a spiritual
level. - Noemie Maxwell on Washblog
It is a sad time when politics draws judgmental religious thinking into an arena where inflammatory sermons without fail
do more harm than good.
Lietta and I are reading Frank Schaeffer's bio "Crazy for God." Schaeffer's father (Francis Schaeffer)
is credited by most as being the theological father of the late 1970's and early 1980's evangelical insertion into activist
political dialog. The father'ss focus was almost exclusively on opposition to abortion. For example, Operation Rescue's Randall
Terry openly credits Francis Schaeffer as his inspiration.
The later chapters of the son's book address Frank's own deteriorating attitude regarding religious celebrities who speak
on political issues. I recommend Frankie's book to anyone with an interest in the history and growth of evangelical political
agitation. (For more specifics, go to the The Yurica Report: The Despoiling of America)
Unfortunately, the gates to political preaching were opened 30 or more years ago when purely greedy televangelists recognized
an opportunity for greater fame, greater audiences and corresponding cash flow (or notoriety) by taking cues in hate-mongering
and anger-mongering from the likes of Limbaugh.
Actually, one could even go further back for inspiration in modeling one's own pulpit political content based on the political
activist preaching of Dr. King. King's preaching and speeches gave us the healthiest form of religious/political rhetoric
- probably because it stuck to the liberal compassionate philosophy of Christ as found in the New Testament.
Sadly, it now seems commonplace for ignorant and poorly-read political biblicist candidates like McCain to attempt to make
hay or lure supporters of the ilk of John Hagee and Rod Parsely. These are those whose indignation seems to be more patently
and deliberate grandstanding as opposed to the assumed sincere and righteous indignation unleashed in Reverend Wright's fire.
In addition, although Hagee's literalist devotion to the end-times fantasy comes across as naive ravings of Donald Duck,
there are evangelicals who still naively and passively assumed that the political manure dragged by preachers into their sermons
is the same god-talk that Jesus talked.
The underlying problem to all of this which now seems a permanently-embedded aspect of political life in America (a more
effective way to knock down any wall of separation than some constitutionally mandated formality) is how one party using manipulation
and newspeak has inserted this kind of nonsense into public discourse.
Traditional and presumably non-self-righteous parties and candidates are nevertheless forced to talk the talk and walk
the walk of religious rhetoric whether they want to or not. Politically, Fake Consultant's words about America's own role
in generating the creation of emotional global "IED's" of resentment and downright hatred of this country are on target.
Writings like Chalmers Johnson's books and William Blum's "Rogue State" are not refutable unless you are so blindly nationalistic
and full of the limitations of jingoism that your proclamation of "America: Love it or Leave It" becomes the unspoken arrogance
of your own ignorance as well.
Undeniably, American global imperialism is why the most insignificant of American citizens cannot travel abroad without
the need for serious consideration of personal safety, not to mention the need for much more CASH.
We have the extremely inferior and failed Corporate Free-Market Government-Bail-Out-Supported system to thank for that.
(Would Jesus have bailed out Bear who more than likely ruthlessly refused to forgive it's on economic debtors?)
As a members of a global community we Americans are both economic and religious global imperialists. Honest evidence and
observation makes that statement is almost impossible to rebut with the use of lying and self-serving rhetoric. ... unless
you are a political and religious bigot taught by shallow contemporary corporate conservatism to believe the at all costs,
what is good for American business is good for the whole planet regardless of American Corporate tactics and strategy.
It's the ultimate answer to the growing negative response to an old American cliche: "Would you buy a used car
(do business) with this guy?"