Another Reply to Old Right Wing Email, “The Fence”

Several years ago I posted a reply to the right-wing propaganda email, “The Fence”.  Today I found another response (written ‘way back in 2010) that was so excellent I’ve posted it below.  It’s from DailyKos author aarujo; read the entire article here.

REPLY to “THE FENCE”

If a Democrat hears about a crime in his neighborhood, he calls the cops, and then finds out if his local police department is adequately funded.

If a Republican hears about a crime in his neighborhood, he buys a gun and gets shot by his wife when he’s drunk. Unless his kid used it to shoot the neighbor kid first.

If a Democrat has a religion, he practices it at home and at church.
If a Republican has a religion, everyone must practice it in all public places, schools and courthouses.

If a Democrat isn’t a homosexual, he doesn’t have sex with homosexuals.
If a Republican isn’t a homosexual, he wants to ban homosexuals from ever enlisting in the military and getting married (because there’s nothing worse than a monogamous homosexual) but will still have sex with them in a public restroom.

If a Democrat sees his hard-working neighbor out of a job, he wonders if any of the existing economic policies cost him his job, how this can be corrected, and how society can help him until he gets back to work.
If a Republican sees his hard-working neighbor out of a job, he assumes the guy is lazy or being punished by God.

If a Democrat doesn’t like a talk show host, he changes stations…and finds that they are all Republicans even though half or more Americans are Democrats.
If a Republican doesn’t like a talk show host, he calls him a terrorist-loving, America-hating traitor who should be shot (or maybe that was just Rush Limbaugh).

If a Democrat has good health insurance, he wonders if others have it too and how he can help them get it.
If a Republican has good health insurance, he doesn’t give a crap if other people die in the streets like unwanted dogs.

If a Democrat hears a good idea like “Love your neighbor as yourself,” they try to live by it.
If a Republican hears a good idea like that, they make a long list of exceptions to the rule, to include women, minorities, immigrants, gays….

Lastly, if a Democrat gets an un-sourced email, he wonders if it was concocted by some big DC-based corporate public relations lobbying firm who knows just how to push Republicans’ buttons.
If a Republican gets an un-sourced email, he forwards it without thought because it pushed all his buttons.

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Couldn’t Say It Better Myself – Message to US Citizens

This person’s essay is so good that I’ll just let him speak for himself.  The entire thing is well worth reading for just a bit of common sense.  Check out his site for more.

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DROPPING SOME TRUTH

rant-warningI feel the need to drop a little truth on y’all. So buckle up…I’m about to be politically incorrect.

We don’t need to take America back. No one stole it. It’s right here…you’re sitting in it. Chillax.

Mexico isn’t going to pay for the wall and we’re not going to deport millions of people and break up families. If you think either one is a good idea, you’re not smart and probably not a person I want to hang out with.

We don’t live in a democracy. Technically we are a Federal Republic. But in reality we are ruled by an oligarchy. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. Reading will do you good. You probably need to do more of it. More

Iceland Sentences Corrupt Bankers to 74 Years in Prison

Why should we have a part of our society that is not being policed or without responsibility?

The above is a quote from the prosecutor in the case against the 26 bankers who were recently sentenced. As most people who’ve been paying attention know, it was market manipulation and deceitful credit ratings that caused the global financial crash, from which most countries have not yet recovered.

banker-eats-world20wiIn the US, the banks were considered “too big to fail” and were, instead of being prosecuted, rewarded by being “bailed out” by the taxpayers.  And instead of being prosecuted, they have been allowed to get even bigger. More

Radicalized by Internet Lies and Memes

It’s time for a real discussion on verifying and confirming, my friends.  Every one of us needs to have some basic critical thinking, reasoning, and researching skills — because if we don’t, liars will twist our thinking.

Think I’m exaggerating?  Look at what Fox “news” has done to nearly a third of US citizens. Pundifact (by Politifact) found Fox “news” broadcasts the truth 18 percent (15 of 83) of the time for the statements they checked.  Of that 18 percent, only 8 percent of what they said was completely “True.”  The remaining 10 percent was rated as “Mostly True”.

Yet their cult-like followers will listen to Fox and only Fox.  Roger Ailes’ plan to manipulate the minds of the public (“People are lazy. With television you just sit—watch—listen. The thinking is done for you.”) has worked beyond his wildest dreams.  But this article isn’t about Fox.  It’s about your trusted friends and relatives.  Sorry.

Don’t trust those memes you see on your friend’s facebook feed. More

Another Crazy Email Entitled “Hard To Believe In America”

And they’reeee back.  Actually, they never went away: The writers of deliberately deceptive emails intended to enrage/terrify US citizens who are too gullible (or lazy) to fact-check.  This one capitalizes on fears that in the United States, good upstanding (majority) Christians are somehow being discriminated against, while evil (minority) Muslims are getting coddled. Here it is, with the facts in bold.  This was forwarded to me by a friend who got it from a family member.

Sorry about the capitalized YELLING, but I’ve pasted it intact, (and these kinds of emails seem to always include YELLING):

THIS IS ONE FOR CHRISTIANS TO READ AND FORWARD! 
 
SOME STATES ARE ALLOWING MUSLIM STUDENTS TO PRAY DURING SCHOOL HOURS. IF THEY ALLOW THAT, THEN WE SHOULD BRING BACK OUR FLAGS IN THE CLASSROOMS AND ALLOW OTHERS TO PRAY TOO! TIME FOR THE CHRISTIANS TO SPEAK UP. DEMAND THEIR RIGHTS.christianopresedf00f2

Let's start with the flag.  Obviously flags have not been "banned" in schools. Kids still can say the pledge of allegiance.  Flags fly over every school.  (And the post office, and over stores and gas stations and car lots.  Its as if we have to be reminded every two seconds which country we're in.  But I digress.)

Also, ANY kid can pray at school.  "Dear god, let me pass this test" is probably the most commonly prayed sentence in school for any teenager. The only prayer that isn't supposed to happen is an official-led prayer to any specific deity - which would be unfair, exclusive, and has no place in our secular constitutional democracy.
 
Now about the "praying during school hours". All organized religions have lame requirements that are, frankly, stupid.  And they all have holidays that can help kids get out of class, which is nice for the kids.  But if you're not Christian or Jewish, you don't get an automatic holiday in the U.S.
 
Christmas, although based upon ancient pre-christian celebrations, is generally today thought of as a "Christian holiday". Schools close down completely. Jewish kids are granted automatic absence on their holidays, although the school stays open. (I guess this makes them second class citizens?  And what about Hindus? No vacation for you!)
At Ramadan, an Islamic holiday, the kids are required by their religion to pray at a certain time of day, which falls during school hours. Silly, right? Some schools have allowed these kids to use an empty room for the 5-10 minutes in which they are required to pray.  (Let's just let the adults pretend the kids really do pray and aren't just using that time to play games on their phone.) There is no "special room" and it's only happening during the holiday of Ramadan.  

I mean, I think it's dumb to force your kids to pray at all, much less during school hours - doesn't any adult remember being a self-conscious teenager?  But parents are legally allowed to force religion on their kids, right?

Here's part of a school's explanation, from snopes:
Our schools celebrate our diversity, and we do NOT have any designated program or space for students of ANY specific religion. We are proud to celebrate each student and their unique background. This is why we have Fellowship of Christian Athletes groups, pray at the flag pole before school starts, and cultural diversity clubs. 
At the high school level we allow students to use a designated space during their non-academic times, such as a study hall or lunch, if they simply need some quiet time. Sometimes students simply need a moment to walk away and meditate, chill-out or observe their cultural or religious practices to be able to focus better on their lessons. All of this allows us to better personalize the experience for our students and helps us to focus on the whole child in a more meaningful way.
-Snopes.com
 
Back to the madness:
When we get 100,000,000, that's one hundred million, willing Christians to BOND together, voice their concerns and vote, we can take back America with God's help.

Take back America? From whom?  Enough already. First, America is a continent, not a country.  I believe you meant to say The United States.  And next, Take the country back from whom? The "scary" black president?  Your friendly pagan neighbor? Immigrants from Mexico and South America?  Buddhists?  Athiests? Gay people?  Exactly who do you guys think the U.S. "belongs" to? Hello coded xenophobia! 
 
Become one of the One hundred million.. Then let's get 200 million.  It can be done just by sending this email to your friends.  Do the math.  It only takes a single willing heart and a fed up SOUL.

Or complete and total ignorance, fear and bigotry, which now makes up about 25% of the U.S. citizenry. Thanks, Fox "news"!
 
God Bless America and Shine your light on Her!

Really?  You want us to pass around an email that's almost 100% Bulls*it?  And look like idiots to people who DO bother to fact-check? Perhaps the person who sent this didn't know it was lies, because they believe their sources, who manipulate them with no conscience.  Or maybe they're just willing to spread lies in order to get the "not smart" people to vote republican by scaring them.  Not cool.
 
In  1952 President Truman Established one day a year as a "National Day of Prayer." 
In 1988 President Reagan Designated the first Thursday in May of each year as The National Day of Prayer.

Fun Fact:
There have been 67 Presidential Proclamations for a National Day of Prayer (1952 – 2015). Gerald R. Ford (1976), George H. Bush (1989 – 91) and Barack H. Obama (2012) are the only U.S. Presidents to sign multiple National Day of Prayer Proclamations in the same year.  Yes, you read that right.  Obama signed MULTIPLE National Day of Prayer Proclamations in the same year.

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Iceland Unemployment Drops to 2% – Policies To Rebuild the USA

Unlike other countries, Iceland did the right thing for their people.  And now they’re reaping the rewards.

Many other countries?   Not so much.

Still in thrall to the banksters (banks have been allowed to grow even larger than they were before they crashed the global economy in 2008)  millions of people in the US are hungry, homeless, and desperate.   Sadly, “too big to fail” has quickly become “too powerful to prosecute” in the USA.

Here’s a great post about Iceland’s smart decision and how it helped their people avoid the misery imposed by the bankster class upon the rest of us. Iceland continues to show by example what can be done, and despite a complete media black-out on their progressive changes, people all over the globe are cheering.

However, imagine this: class warfare won’t work if we disable the weapon: Inequality.  Greed and avarice are mental disorders, not traits of good human beings.   We need to stand up to those intent upon extracting wealth at the expense of our planet, our wildlife, and our people.  It takes courage, but every day people are making changes and taking action.  We see small steps happening right now, in communities all over the planet.  Even on a state level:North Dakota is the only state showing a surplus today, because they have created a state owned bank. (see #8 below)

Of course, we’d like to see our societies get healthy NOW.  I remind myself that it does take time to slow down a rushing train…even when that train is headed for the precipice of misery, ecological destruction, and possible extinction.

A fabulous article by Sarah Van Gelder of YES magazine outlines 8 policies that could be taken to help human beings in the US right now.  Here they are, excerpted from the article:

1. House the homeless.

While some cities are criminalizing homelessness, the state of Utah has chosen a simple and compassionate approach: giving people homes. With a roof over their heads, people can take on substance abuse, recover from domestic violence, look for work or attend school. There are no strings attached. These residents are not required to be sober or to get help, although they are encouraged to do so. The result: a 78 percent reduction in homelessness, and the state expects to have ended homelessness by 2015.

2. A debt-free college education.

A college degree should not require decades of indebtedness. The average student debt now sits at just under $30,000. Oregon has found a good solution. By a unanimous vote, the legislature adopted a plan call “Pay it Forward, Pay it Back,” which creates a special fund that will allow students to attend state universities tuition-free. In exchange, they will pay 3 percent of their salaries for up to 24 years after graduation. This plan lowers the barriers for anyone who is willing to work hard for an education.

3. Medicare for all.

President Obama’s Affordable Care Act was designed to allow insurance companies to continue profiting from our health care system. The result is a system bogged down in bureaucracy, with multiple plans offering benefits and expenses at different levels and a complex system of subsidies designed to make private insurance affordable.

The upshot? We’ll still be spending a major portion of our health care dollars on overhead and profits (estimates range up to 30 percent), making medical care less affordable for us as patients and as taxpayers. Medicare, on the other hand, provides health coverage for about 3 percent overhead. The state of Vermont is among the states looking at adopting a plan like Canada’s, in which everyone receives coverage similar to Medicare. Relieving us of the cost burden of a bureaucratic health coverage system could do a lot to relieve poverty.

4. End the war on drugs.

The United States imprisons its people at the highest rate in the world; more than 2 million Americans are now behind bars. This is devastating to impoverished families and communities, especially communities of color. And it costs taxpayerson average over $30,000 per year per inmate—much of which goes to a private prison system that lobbies for tougher prison terms to keep their facilities full.

Even years after their release, many formerly imprisoned adults are unable to get jobs or receive public services, and many aren’t allowed to vote. Ending the failed “War on Drugs” in favor of substance abuse treatment would save taxpayers billions and allow vulnerable families and communities to heal. Washington and Colorado have taken an important first step in this direction by legalizing (and taxing) marijuana.

5. Guarantee everyone a basic income.

In his State of the Union speech, President Obama celebrated the drop in unemployment rates. The truth is that there simply aren’t enough jobs for those who would like them; 10.4 million remain unemployed and an additional 10.2 million have temporarily given up looking or work part time because they can’t find full-time jobs. There were on average 2.7 unemployed people for every job opening, as of November.

Instead of punishing these people, or the disabled, or those raising children or caring for elders, we could simply guarantee everyone a basic income. Many countries in Europe do this. A guaranteed minimum income could simplify safety net programs while making sure no one is destitute. And, since everyone would have money to spend, it would maintain a stable customer base for businesses.

6. Invest in averting more climate emergencies.

Extreme weather is now costing the world $1.2 trillion a year, according to The Guardian. Climate change threatens the southwest with drought, coastal regions with flooding, vast areas of the west with wildfires, and the Midwest with tornedoes. Cities around the country may face extreme heat, and even the extreme cold experienced by much of the country in January is likely a function ofdisruptions in the jet stream caused by a warming Arctic region.

These changes are happening with only 0.8 degrees of warming over pre-industrial levels, but much more is on the way. Instead of the “all-of-the-above” energy strategy President Obama promoted in his State of the Union address, we need to invest in an all-out effort to convert to a climate-friendly economy.

Doing so would not only help avert even greater climate-related disasters, it would employ Americans in jobs located here at home. And the spin-off benefits would include cleaner air, more resilient and up-to-date infrastructure, and efficient public transportation.

7. Scrap the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

…And other trade deals that favor transnational corporations over American workers and local businesses. The TPP is being negotiated in secret but leaked documents suggest it would trump local and national food safety laws, clean air and water standards, land use regulations, and other laws that protect our way of life. Buy America and buy local policies could be outlawed, as could regulations to avert another Wall Street meltdown, leaving our economies vulnerable.

And, just like with NAFTA, jobs and wages could take a big hit from the TPP. According to the Economic Policy Institute, NAFTA resulted in a net loss of 1 million jobs from 1994 to 2006. And, according to a recent report by Public Citizen, workers without college degrees (who make up 63 percent of the work force) saw a loss of about 12 percent of their earnings as a result of NAFTA, even when the savings from cheaper imported goods are factored in.

We don’t need trade deals that favor transnational corporations over the rest of us, and Vernon County, Wisc., is among the local jurisdictions that don’t mind saying so.

8. Establish ­­­state banks that invest in us, not Wall Street.

The state of North Dakota set up a public bank in 1919 to hold the state’s deposits and to be the source of credit for state investments. Profits from the bank go back into the state treasury—not to Wall Street.

The result? North Dakota is the only state that has consistently enjoyed a budget surplus, even during the recent recession, and has very low rates of unemployment (its reserves of oil are not the only reason). The bank also partners with community banks, which are in the best position to make loans to local businesses, keeping borrowing costs low in communities throughout the state. It’s a great model that builds our wealth and the prosperity of our locally rooted business sector, instead of the profits of Wall Street banks.

After years of working with this Congress, it’s understandable that the ambitions President Obama spoke to in his State of the Union address are so much lower than when he was elected.

But to achieve real, sustainable prosperity, we need to take on the underlying causes of economic insecurity. That means standing up to the corporations pressing for the TPP and continued lax regulation of Wall Street. And it means confronting head-on what may be the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced—the climate crisis.

To build a sustainable society that works for everyone, bold solutions are what we need. Fortunately, many of the solutions described here are already being pioneered by wise state and local leaders. Their courage and vision are worth emulating.

Living and Evolving in Interesting Times

There is an ancient blessing, “may you live in uninteresting times”. The obvious meaning being that peace and happiness do not make for the kinds of adventures that become the great myths, songs, and stories of the ages. Quiet and happy lives with their small dramas do not make the history books.

And we DO live in interesting times.

The dominant culture into which we were born, is dying. The economic, social, ecological and political systems that were part of the narrative of our reality are now revealed to be clearly unsustainable.

And as much as we may want to ignore this change, it is happening all around us.  Now. More

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