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Martin Eden

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 11,570

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I like Neil Young a lot, but I disagree with:

"Both sides represented on the same program."

Giving equal airtime to the Big Lie of a stolen election, anti-vaxx conspiracy theories, and false narratives about CRT in public schools only serves to lend credibility to the destructive falsehoods we are struggling to overcome.

By all means we should have civil fact based discussions with different views regarding the role of government in addressing real problems and potential solutions, but only one side is currently rooted in reality and a pragmatic good faith approach to such matters.

Pavlovitz: I Don't Grieve Over His Cruelty. I Grieve Over Yours.

John Pavlovitz is a writer, pastor, and activist from Wake Forest, North Carolina. In the past four years his blog Stuff That Needs To Be Said has reached a diverse worldwide audience. A 20-year veteran in the trenches of local church ministry, John is committed to equality, diversity, and justice—both inside and outside faith communities. In 2017 he released his first book, A Bigger Table. His new book, Hope and Other Superpowers, arrived on November 6th.

I Don’t Grieve Over His Cruelty. I Grieve Over Yours.

I really don’t care about him.

I know you think I do, but my sadness really has nothing to do with him.

I know who he is—and more accurately, I know what he is.

I know that he is just a mirror.

He has simply revealed clearly the disfigured ugliness of the place I call home and the people I live here alongside—and that is the thing I grieve over. And this is not the mourning over a singular loss, it is a daily grieving.

I grieve when I see elementary school teachers dressed up like a border wall for Halloween.
I grieve when I see white a woman screaming obscenities at two Muslims teenagers at a stop light.
I grieve when I see a Jewish professor’s office littered with spray-painted swastikas.
I grieve when I watch a father of four being tackled by ICE agents outside immigration offices.
I grieve when I witness white high school seniors making a “Heil Hitler” arm gesture during class photos.
I grieve when I see the contempt from white friends, when young black men die at traffic stops.
I grieve when I find the most vile sickness on my social media feed, hurled toward people of color and women and transgender people.
I grieve when I hear professed Christian pastors calling for the killing of LGBTQ people.
I grieve when I see rambling, racist tirades on subway cars filled with families with young children.
I grieve when I see supremacist candidates being elected and re-elected.
I grieve when I overhear dehumanizing conversations from old, white men, about Democratic women leaders, in crowded cafés.
I grieve when I sit across holiday tables, and witness bigoted tirades that I’d have thought people I knew and loved were not capable of.

And though all of these things are undoubtedly emboldened by him and encouraged by him and celebrated by him—that is not the source of my despair. It is the reality that all of this vicious, toxic, filth that we are infected with today—is something you are largely fine with. The rising hatred is not alarming or discomforting enough to you, to move you to action or to speak against it.

Oh sure, you might inwardly twinge with discomfort at one or two of the most egregious offenses, but by and large you’re good with it all.

With your silence, as much as with your volume, you show me you are more with him than you are against him, that you are more like him than different from him—and that you and I are increasingly morally incompatible.

So yes, he is a mirror, and I am seeing you my countrymen and women through him.

That is why I grieve, friend.

That is why I don’t see America or my church or my neighborhood or my family the same anymore, and I’m not sure I ever will again.

The greatest tragedy to me, isn’t him. It isn’t that the person supposedly leading our country lacks a single benevolent impulse, that he is impervious to compassion, incapable of nobility, and mortally allergic to simple kindness.

The greatest tragedy, is how many Americans he now represents.

And that he represents you.


"sex education"

"Abstinence only" and reduced access to birth control will result in more unwanted pregnancies.

And more abortions, regardless of state laws.

This issue is, first and foremost, a means by which the malefactors of great wealth manipulate the gullible into voting against their own interests.

The oligarchy doesn't care a whit if pregnancies are terminated among the peasantry. The money changers in the temple are motivated to increase their own status and power.

My Response to the Election wasn't posted during the down time, so here it is now:

Since Tuesday I have run the gamut of emotions – shock, horror, disbelief, fear, anger, grief, and sadness. I am a 59 year old straight white male born in Chicago, yet I feel like a foreigner in my own country. I am having a very difficult time wrapping my mind around any reasonably informed adult of normal intelligence voting for a bigoted, misogynist demagogue so wholly unqualified and unfit to be President of the United States. Donald Trump is a sociopathological liar who took the already uncivil discourse of our national politics and dragged it down into a subterranean chamber of horrors from which any sane person should turn away in revulsion. He appealed to ignorance, bigotry, and the very worst impulses of the American people – and won.

I grieve for everyone who will be hurt by the grotesque fraud who will occupy the most powerful elected office on the planet. I grieve for our planet and all the living things upon it impacted by the degradation of ecosystems and climate change resulting from placing the avarice of fossil fuel extraction above the health of the environment which sustains life itself.

Part of me wants to turn completely away from politics, living what remains of my life as best I can without the anxiety and heartbreak of striving for economic and social justice only to see those hopes cruelly dashed upon the rocks of ignorance and hatred embraced by far too many in this once great land of ours.

Maybe, hopefully, the profound sadness I feel now will be replaced by a determined resolve to join with the millions of others who know this world can be made into a much better place for our children and the generations to come. Their future depends on us. Only love can, and must, conquer hate.

Is all hatred irrational, unhealthy, and counterproductive?

If someone or some group/organization intentionally with coordinated planning causes the deaths of thousands of innocent lives and great harm to our country, is hate not the natural and appropriate human emotion in this circumstance?

The administration of Bush/Cheney ignored dire warning of an impending terrorist attack on American soil, then exploited 9/11 to launch an unprovoked war against a nation that had nothing to do with it. The American people stood behind the president in the wake of a national tragedy, then he and his administration manipulated the public's fear, anger, and patriotism in a war of choice based on a pack of LIES. I think it is entirely accurate and fair to characterize this as the most egregious betrayal of public trust by a president in our nation's history.

More than 5000 American soldiers died, and perhaps a million Iraqis (sectarian violence & bombings continue today). Our treasury was drained while their cronies got rich(er). Bush entered office with a healthy economy and a budget surplus, and left it in shambles. His administration approved torture and other war crimes that brought shame upon our nation while he divisively proclaimed you're either with us or you're with the terrorists.

I hate them for what they did to the country I love, for all the innocent people they killed, and for all the people still suffering (physically, emotionally, economically) as a result of their premeditated crimes.

I hate that they have escaped justice and in fact enjoy wealth, privilege, and the honors that come with the prestige of their office.

I hate that We The People are becoming more and more accepting of this, and that I'm told to let it go already!

I will not let it go until justice is served.

Why? Because when crimes in high places go unpunished they receive tacit approval, and the probability of future crimes by our government in our name is greatly increased. If you don't care about what happens to these criminals, you should at least care about their victims and the next generation that will be victimized by the failure of the American people to insist that we live up to the principles our country ostensibly stands for.

Hatred need not be a blind, consuming, rage. Put in its proper place with clarity of thought and purpose, hate can provide sustained motivation. I am not the Tea Party. Facts, reason, and logic prevail. I would not Hate if I did not also Love the people and the principles which I believe are perpetually endangered while we let the horrible crimes of Bush/Cheney go unpunished and we become more and more accepting of it. Nothing to see here folks, move along!

No, sorry. Passion is required here. Suppression of rational human emotion for crimes against humanity is counterproductive. Real change is absolutely necessary.

I wish I could believe John Lennon. All You Need Is Love. We need that more than anything, to be sure. Our love must be stronger than our hate, and both governed by our rational mind. And I do say both.

Yes, she did.

Anyone who didn't know the IWR would make war with Iraq a certainty is either fooling themselves or simply wasn't paying attention.

The November mid-term elections hadn't taken place yet, and both the House AND Senate are needed to pass this kind of authorization.

Voting for something horrible just because the next Congress might pass it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Ever hear of a principled stand? The lead-up to the war in Iraq and that vote in particvular is when our country REALLY NEEDED Democrats to stand up and show some REAL LEADERSHIP. It was a great opportunity to demonstrate that the Democratic Party is strong, principled, and shows superior judgment in critical matters.

Democratic leaders like Hillary Clinton and John Kerry demonstrated horrible judgment, and let us down when we needed them the most.

Since then I have refused to support any Democrat in a primary who voted for the IWR.

But this did not stop me from going to Cuyahoga, Ohio in November 2004 to help get out the vote for John Kerry. We have two choices for president, and one of those choices is orders of magnitude more unacceptable.

If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee for president in 2016 I will support her.

But I hope for someone with better judgment in critical matters.

"All governments lie."

IF We The People ARE the government, then We are lying to ourselves.

But that's a big IF.

Franklin said we have a Republic IF we can keep it, but it's pretty evident we're losing it (if we haven't lost it already).

Who are we losing it to?

We're losing it to the same elites of wealth & power who have suppressed the common people throughout history ...
... be they kings, popes, fascists, etc, they are oligarchs of one stripe or another.

But in America We The People still have POWER, IF we can overcome the polarization of The People engineered by the Powers That Be through propaganda and manipulating a lot of common folks (Red State America) by playing on their fears, their prejudices, and their faith.

There will ALWAYS BE oligarchs of one stripe or another trying to hoard for themselves the lions share of riches & resources. It is part of human nature. It is up to We The People to overcome the propaganda and the fear and the hate that divides us.

A House (or a People) divided against itself cannot stand (up for our own common interests). That is what the oligarchs have engineered and that is what they are counting on.

We have much more in common (in terms of economic interests) with the common folk brainwashed by Fox News & RW talk radio than either of us have with the likes of the Koch brothers.

But as long as we're bitterly divided and at each others throats, We The People have no chance at reclaiming the Republic bequeathed to us.

There is a CANCER on the SOUL of AMERICA

CANCER can't be cured unless it is discovered and ACTED UPON.

Bradley Manning performed a GREAT SERVICE for AMERICA.

NOW it is UP TO US to ACT!

We want a mommy And a daddy, please!

That bumper sticker reveals ignorance and stupidity.

Prohibiting gay marriage will do NOTHING to increase the number of households with a male and a female parent.
If anything, it will increase the number of SINGLE PARENT families, thus depriving children of the loving care of two adults in a committed relationship.

It truly disgusts me to see people hold children up as props when what they advocate will HURT children, just to satisfy their bigotry and phobia.

Campaign Finance is the biggest reform, but several others are needed:

Voter enfranchisement Universal voter registration with no impediments to voting. If voter ID is necessary, obtaining it should in no way prohibit or discourage legal voters. Make election day a holiday, or provide those who voted with a stub that entitles them to a day (or half-day) off work.

Accurate & Secure Balloting Standard voting machines that accurately record voter intent, and can be checked without being hacked.

End Gerrymandering Congressional districts must be drawn by logical geographic boundaries, not engineered for electoral outcomes by the political party in power.

Eliminate the Electoral College It's an anachronism that makes one vote in a small state equivalent to several votes in a large state. Candidates focus their campaigns on a few battleground states in the winner-take-all system, while voters in states where the outcome is assured have little incentive to vote.

Intant Runoff Voting (Ranked Choice) allows voters to select several candidates in order of preference. When their #1 choice is eliminated, their vote applies to 2nd choice. Citizens could vote for the 3rd-party candidate they like best without aiding the major party candidate they rank last (think Florida 2000).

Reform Campaign Financing (as stated in the OP) and also reform presidential campaigns. Limit the time span of the campaign season (goes on for more than a year) and provide voters with better information by changing the debate format. 2 minute answers are little more than slogans, and lies go unchallenged by the moderators who are angling for controversial "gotcha" questions & answers.
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