What is a fascist, socialist commie?

Yesterday on Twitter there was a hashtag going out #FessUpFascist. Of course as expected, many on the right were bemused about what they believe was humorous that liberals, who they see as fascist, would refer to the right as fascists. Many posts questioned the intelligence of those, including yours truly, for making such an accusation. From my point of view, people who like to call the people they don’t like politically, fascist, socialist commies are the ones who need a course in basic political thought.

This requires some reading and reflection on your part to gather what I’m about to say. In other words, I imagine those on the left will read and understand and those on the right either won’t read and/or will totally disagree because of the bubbles they create for themselves. As I tried to point out last night, those on the left believe in intellectual curiosity, growth and aspiration while those on the right don’t. However, I’ll acknowledge now, it’s really not that simple.

To start, there are two basic views of politics these days, Conservatism and Liberalism (Progressive). Many see themselves on either side of the divide exclusively. However in reality, most people have characteristics of both views.

Conservatism: (Latin: conservare, “to retain”) is a political and social philosophy that promotes retaining traditional institutions and supports, at most, minimal and gradual change in society. A person who follows the philosophies of conservatism is referred to as a traditionalist or conservative.

These are generally people who oppose change because they are comfortable with how things are, they reminisce on how things “were in the good old days.” They prefer things simple and orderly. They abhor complexity and value strength over anything else. Conservatives were the Tories in the days of the revolution. They opposed rebellion and preferred to stay with the established English way of life and governance. They didn’t want a change, just an accommodation.

Liberalism:  (from the Latin liberalis) is a broad political ideology or worldview founded on the ideas of liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally liberals support ideas such as capitalism (either regulated or not),  constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights and the free exercise of religion.

Note that the latter part of the definition refers to beliefs ascribed to the conservative movement (capitalism, constitutionalism, free exercise of religion) These are liberal values as documented throughout time. They are also conservative ideas. The only difference is in the specific details. However, this is an example of how many beliefs between liberal and conservative views cross the aisles if people are so willing to accept it and discuss it outside the pure ideology and rigid views of the people they surround themselves with. Liberals made up the majority of those who started the revolution against the long-established English system of governance.

What follows is not complete by any means, but it is a start to show where I’m going on this rant:

Communism (from Latin communis – common, universal) is a revolutionary socialist movement to create a classless, moneyless, and stateless social order structured upon common ownership of the means of production as well as a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of this social order. This movement, in its Marxist-Leninist interpretations, significantly influenced the history of the 20th century, which saw intense rivalry between the “socialist world” (socialist states ruled by communist parties) and the “western world” (countries with capitalist societies).

Now if you read this, the Soviet Union had some issues with that definition. The “communist state” was not truly Marxist because there was clearly a class system in place. As George Orwell pointed out in Animal Farm, “all animals are equal, it’s just that some animals are more equal than others” The state did run the means of production, government control of business and the needs of the people were dealt with, but extremely rationed and curtailed while the upper class basked in the life of luxury while the people barely eked by. It was more authoritarian than what Marx and Engels envisioned.

Socialism is an economic system characterised by social ownership and cooperative management of the  means of production and a political theory advocating such a system. “Social ownership” may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, direct public ownership or autonomous state enterprises. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them. They differ in the type of social ownership they advocate, the degree to which they rely on markets versus planning, how management is to be organised within economic enterprises, and the role of the state in constructing socialism.

As applied to a political system, socialism is what the basis of “We the People” is. Forgetting the economics of the matter, it is a system of government where the people as a whole, through elected officials determine how the society will be treated and in the best of all worlds, set up an even playing field. Yes, it involves regulations and redistribution of wealth to ensure that those who have benefitted from the society in which they thrive, give back to others who cannot quite handle things on their own. It isn’t government control of business, but it is regulation to ensure the people are protected. In terms of business, the NFL is a socialist economic establishment. The military, police, fire-fighters, teachers, social security, medicare and Medicaid are socialist programs that the people of the nation pay into to keep society running. There is no authoritarian control except through reasonable regulations.

Capitalism is an economic system that is based on private ownership of the means of production and the creation of goods or services for profit. competitive markets, wage labor, capital accumulation, voluntary exchange, and personal finance are also considered capitalistic. competitive markets, capital accumulation, voluntary exchange, and personal finance are, however, not capitalism, and are often a part in non-capitalist systems such as market socialism and worker cooperatives. There are multiple variants of capitalism, including laissez-faire and state-capitalism. Capitalism is considered to have applied in a variety of historical cases, varying in time, geography, politics, and culture. There is general agreement that capitalism became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism.

This applies to many political ideologies. Capitalism is actually in play in modern “Communist China” and was and is part of the English Monarchy. It was and is the driving force in our nation’s development. Whether is be totally private, or socialized via the State through regulations, a need not covered by the state is identified and exploited for profit if they are successful. However, to apply a pure Capitalist doctrine on needed services like police, military, healthcare only service to place a profit margin on the service and either increases the cost to the consumers or results in a shoddy product or both. This is why the best capitalism is one that is regulated by government of the people, in other words socialism. In short, capitalism and socialism are not mutual exclusive economic or political systems. They can and do work hand in hand.

Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek elevation of their nation based on commitment to an organic national community where its individuals are united together as one people in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry and culture through a totalitarian state that seeks the mass mobilization of a nation through discipline, indoctrination, physical training and eugenics. Fascism seeks to eradicate perceived foreign influences that are deemed to be causing degeneration of the nation or of not fitting into the national culture.

As stated above, capitalism applies to other political doctrines. This is one of the most egregious combinations. Fascism, rather than government regulating business for the good of the people, is business regulating and controlling government and as a result, the people for the good of the business. Mussolini was a media tycoon, a businessman who took control of Italy with his fascist movement. As Hitler did in Germany, the fascists broke up and crushed the unions, established monopolies, required citizens to partake in the services of private corporations to enhance their profits. That is the economic history of fascism. As the people became more devalued for the sake of the profits for those in business and government, other atrocities occurred.

Libertarianism refers to the group of political philosophies that emphasize freedom, liberty, and voluntary association. Libertarians generally advocate a society with a government of small scope relative to most present day societies or no government whatsoever.

I have found this philosophy fascinating as have many who follow it blindly. I have to agree with its most prominent voice Ron Paul in regards to our military exploits around the world and the resources wasted on the Drug War. The concept of limited government is fine, but to a point. No government is a suicide pack. In short, some Libertarian ideas actually do go the right direction provided it doesn’t infringe on the well-being and safety of others. Some government is needed in that regard to keep the playing field level. Again, if capitalists were given total freedom via a Libertarian world, what would they do to harm the consumers for their profits. Who oversees it. A free market only works if consumers have a multitude of places to go for services. In a Libertarian world, monopolies become the norm and if you can only go to one place for services, well, you’re screwed. And on a side note to Ron Paul, though he professes to be a strict Libertarian, there is nothing in the doctrine that allows for government control of the bedroom of women’s rights. That runs counter to the philosophy. So Ron really isn’t a pure Libertarian.

Which leaves me to my final point and basis of this long rant. There are extreme views and extremists in our country to say the least, but very few if any are purely connected to one particular view or philosophy. I only cited a few doctrines up there, but anyone reading and understanding the definitions of each of them may find some personal views of themselves applied to these varied doctrines. I see myself as progressive because I seek change for a better world that cares for the people, I also see myself as conservative and libertarian because I believe government should only be as large as necessary to keep things even, safe and protective of the people, no more. I see myself as a capitalist that is governed by government regulations. I don’t however see myself as anything that applies to fascism.

So to answer the question at the top of this rant, there really isn’t any such thing as a pure fascist, socialist commie because in their pure forms, all three doctrines contradict each other. Sorry Fox, its doesn’t add up. However, individuals to some minor degrees may have views that apply to those three doctrines and even more, but that requires complexity of thought and understanding that many who make such an accusation are unable to articulate or identify other than using the labels.

Class dismissed.

The Girther Movement (He’s not heavy, he’s my… oh what the hell, he is heavy)

Governor Chris Christie has recently been on the media shows discussing his weight again. He’s been citing that his “30 year” struggle with weight hasn’t been easy. But how seriously is he really taking this?

As a follower of all things politics and someone who demands total honesty in elected officials, I demand to see Governor Christie’s medical charts regarding his weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) for the past 30 years. I, (no WE) demand to know what steps he has taken to address his weight in a serious manner. What’s his diet? What does he do for exercise? What does he do to promote healthy weight with his family, friends, constituents of New Jersey? Where’s the evidence that he has been working on this seriously for the past 30 years.

We are the Girthers and we will not be silenced, or sat on.

Wonder if Orly Taitz is available?

Second Amendment Rights (and Responsibilties?)

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

That is the entire verbiage of the second amendment of the US Constitution as written and ratified in the Bill of Rights. Very succinct, yet many on the right and especially those who pay homage to the National Rifle Association apparently can only focus on the part after the first four words “A well regulated Militia” which was according to the federalist papers and letters between Madison and Jefferson, was the whole purpose of this amendment. Now I only have one bachelors degree and one Masters and have only worked serving the people of Arizona in law enforcement for a straight 27 years and counting, so I may not be as qualified a “constitutionalist” as Sarah Palin, but give me some leeway here because I have read the constitution, the Federalist papers and the context of the times that the constitution was written.

So why those first four words?

At the time this was being written, there was a debate among the founders regarding whether the country should or shouldn’t have a standing army. Jefferson was adamantly opposed to a standing army because as he points out, at times of peace, standing armies are prone to take over government. What Jefferson and majority of founders envisioned is what Switzerland currently has, a well armed and regulated militia for times of war by invading forces. The Swiss have all the weaponry, but it’s ownership is extremely well regulated, as are their users. It’s not a simple matter that they are allowed to have high power weaponry. They are trained and assessed on a regular basis to ensure the safety of the Swiss people.

Many on the right who are so enamored with the second amendment say that this right is there to protect the individual from a  tyrannical government. Well, that flies in the face of logic. It’s there to protect the government from invading forces of the times. For instance, President Madison called out the “Well Regulated Militia” during the War of 1812 when the British forces from Canada came down and burned down Washington DC. And let’s get serious, if the founders were concerned about protecting the people from “their” government, then why also write in the constitution what constitutes treason against that government? Guess what? An armed insurrection against the United States Government is defined as Treason. If you doubt that, read up on the Civil War.

What we have today isn’t exactly what the founders expected or wanted. First of all, we do have a standing army. In fact it is one of the largest and most powerful in the world and well suited to protect this country (and government) from foreign and domestic threats. This is an army that as Jefferson so feared, could easily take over in times of peace if it were so inclined to do. And second, the power of the weapons we have today is unimaginable to what the founders had during their time. They dealt with muskets that needed training and time to reload, not the high-capacity magazines that can easily wipe out an entire column of British Redcoats in a matter of minutes by a single soldier. Not to mention what they can do to unarmed civilians.

So if you are going to support the full second amendment as the founder truly envisioned, then you need to effectively disarm our standing army in times of peace and you need to subject yourself to being regulated by government for that honor of carrying that weaponry you so dearly love over everything else.

Even Justice Scalia has accepted the fact that ownership of weaponry carries with it government regulation as the founders envisioned. Regulating weaponry isn’t infringing ownership, it’s making sure that the right people are properly trained and regulated to make sure the weapons are not in the wrong hands to jeopardize the government that a “well regulated militia” was designed to protect. Yes, even a government ran by a black man since the majority of the voting public place that black man in charge.

Live with it guys. If you can’t, then acknowledge this has nothing to do with the second amendment as it does profits for the gun manufacturers and/or racist views of small and limited minds.

Fascism in America-Is it too late?

“When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and waving a cross,” ~ Sinclair Lewis. Pretty profound and leaves one thinking, has it already arrived and if so, what if anything can be done about it?

Fascism is almost universally a despised term of governance as a result of its use in the 1930’s and 1940’s in Europe that plunged that continent into a bloody war and has been blamed for the murder of people by those who were in control of government deemed to be “lesser people”. It’s so reviled that in this country, both the left and the right enjoy blaming the other side of being fascist. So if you have time and if you can deal with some historic fact, let’s examine the issue.

Italian Fascist Emblem

First of all, where did fascism come from? Well, it comes from the Italians from the late 19th Century and became a powerful movement with the help of Benito Mussolini. From 1922 through 1943 Mussolini ruled Italy as leader of the National Fascist Party. It was based on Italian Nationalism  and the restoration of Italia Irredenta (claimed unredeemed Italian territories) to Italy as well as territorial expansionism that Italian Fascists deemed necessary for a nation to assert its superiority and strength to avoid succumbing to decay. The movement wanted to reclaim Italian dominance of the Mediterranean region as it had during the Roman Empire and based itself on national historic pride. It wanted to reclaim colonies and create new ones.

Of interest in the fascist movement was how business came into play. Italian Fascism promoted a corporatist economic system whereby employer and employee syndicates were linked together in corporative associations to collectively represent the nation’s economic producers and work alongside the state to set national economic policy. In short, corporations become an integral part of governance. The fascists saw this plan as an alternative to Capitalism and Marxism. They criminalized strikes by employees and lockouts by employers and  deemed those acts as prejudicial to the national community as a whole. It was a business model to governance where the country was only as powerful and prominent as the corporate culture that essentially ruled it.

Fascism opposed conventional democracy and stated that the only acceptable and desirable form of democracy was authoritarian democracy. It opposed mainstream socialism because they saw it as opposition to nationalism. It also opposed liberalism because they felt such ideas ran counter to a strong sense of national unity and strength. They were opposed to what is referred today as a “nanny state”.

So based on this, the accusations from the right that fascism is embraced by those on the left would seem to lack any foundation in fact:

If you support progressive, liberal ideas to assist those who are needy/have the least to survive, you do not support the fascist ideology that opposes a nanny state.

If you are opposed to unregulated corporatism where the big companies/monopolies have total say in how they do business with the blessing of government, you do not support the fascist ideology.

If you believe in unions and workers rights to a living wage, good working conditions and the ability to collectively organize, bargain and possibly strike to attain these ends, you do not support the fascist ideology.

Now as distasteful the concept of government running a country/society on business practices may be to some, that concept in of itself isn’t inherently evil. Nothing about that would justify the vilification of the term “Fascist.” We all know why the term is so distasteful. Mussolini actually had success with the fascist state in Italy in the beginning (he got the trains to run on time) and the Italian people were generally pleased with the concept and took pride in the reemergence of national unity. It went so well that fascism was being looked at by other nation states. One of which were the neighbors to the north, Germany. They were in a real bad place at the time, the sanctions and fines imposed upon them after World War 1 took a major toll on their economy. The worldwide depression didn’t help matters.

The German version of the fascist movement known as the Nazi Party. In fact, economically depressed countries around the world, seeing how Italy had rebounded, balanced its budget, improved production, and had a situation where the corporate elite got richer wanted part of that bargain. The Germans under Hitler implemented a pro corporation government agenda that grew German business, rebuilt the military as a means to improve corporate production and employment, and started slashing liberal programs that were part of their “nanny state”. Only they took it farther.

Germany came out of the depression faster and stronger than any other nation at the time. It infused money into building a war economy, maintained a balanced budget by slashing social programs for the needy. However it also collected revenues by taking the property of those they deemed “lesser”. It seized property across the nation from undesirables like the Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, Communists, etc. They outlawed and crushed the unions and literally imposed slave labor to help keep production costs low. Income disparity went off the charts, as it did with every other nation that imposed fascist regimes and ideology. Human rights violations became part of the national agenda for a “Greater Germany.” And again, prior to the onset of World War 2, other nations toyed with the idea of fascism to grow their economies and make their rich, richer. Spain fought a blood war where fascism beat out communism. Yes, fascism and communism are two distinct political ideologies Glenn Beck. There has never been or ever will be a Fascist Communist. Another country who toyed with the idea that was in the grips of the Great Depression in the 1930’s was the United States.

Well when you improve your economy by going into war production, and you instill a strong sense of nationalism among your people, and you feel a need to spread your influence over people who are quite happy being who they are, you usually end up using all those war supplies you created and war begins. World War 2 was long and bloody. At its conclusion, Europe and the Western Pacific were devastated. As the human right violations of the fascist regimes became publicly known around the world, fascism died out everywhere with the exception of Spain. Francisco Franco remained neutral during the war and stayed low-key for decades later. It was only after his death did Spain do away with fascism. The only country to come out way ahead in the war was the United States. Due to our capitalism, governed and moderated by regulations enacted during the New Deal and implementation of social programs that worked hand in hand with capitalism did our economy thrive after the war ended. Things were going well until people started forgetting and pondered about the same ideas that existed early in the 20th century.

Starting in the 1980’s, our government started rolling back the regulations on business and banking imposed during the New Deal and guess what? Our economy started to falter. We went back into a “bubble economy” that New Deal regulations held at bay and we started to see the same economic problems in this country that existed pre New Deal. All of this culminated in the national and worldwide financial crisis of 2008. So in terms of fascism, where does this lead us?

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” ~George Santayana

We are seeing this again. Income disparity in this country are at record rates, there is a strong nationalist movement, corporations are demanding less government regulations so they can improve their profit margin, corporate lobbyists like Gover Norquist actually control the workings of Congress, “lesser people” like the Hispanics, Homosexuals, Liberals, Non-Christians, are being singled out as the cause for our problems. Social programs are being slashed while more spending is going to the military industrial complex.

One little aspect that I left out in my history of fascism above. The Italian fascists under Mussolini had his “Black Shirts” a group of Italian thugs who took to the street to strong-arm others into compliance via terror to support the regime. Hitler had his “Brown Shirts” doing exactly the same thing. Who do we have? Well above is their emblem, the Gadsden Flag and they call themselves the Tea Party. They have wrapped themselves in the American Flag and carry a cross. Sound familiar?

Now I’m not saying that all the rank and file of the Tea Party Movement are as vile, violent and racist as the Black and Brown Shirts were. In fact, many of those people weren’t by nature, racist violent thugs. They were conned and conditioned into an ideology that they thought would help their nation. The Tea Party honestly believe they are helping the nation, and sadly few realize they are actually doing the bidding of corporatist elitists like the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, et al, who are using them and have no intention of letting them share in their new-found wealth and prestige. The history of fascism is the history of a select few, using the many for their own personal gain.

Can this be stopped? Of course it can. But it requires not being afraid to call it out for what it is. Not backing down, fighting not only for your human rights, but the human rights of others, including those you do not agree with or even like. It is an uphill battle and will be a long and messy war. Let us pray not as long and bloody as the last war to end fascism in the world was. It’s up to you. As Thom Hartmann would say at the end of each of his shows, “Tag, you’re it!”

Conservative versus Progressive

For those of you who slept through American History, the figure above is President Theodore Roosevelt. Not only was he a very effective and popular Republican President, he was at the forefront of the Progressive Movement at the turn of the 20th Century. I use him to illustrate a Pew Poll that came out several weeks ago.

In this poll, the political term of “Conservative” scored 62% positive and only 30% negative. Very impressive. But you know what? in the same poll, the political term “Progressive” scored 67% positive and only 22% negative. And guess what else, Liberal and Capitalism scored nearly even at 50% positive and 40% negative.

This would appear to run contrary to what you hear from mainstream media and politicians who run on the label of “Conservative” while bashing the term Progressive. They continue to bash Liberal even though I see the term synonymous with Progressive. Socialism scores the worst at only 31% positive and 60% negative. It’s ideological opposite of Libertarian barely beats it out at 38% positive but only 37% negative. What explains this?

Well its messaging. Over the past few generations, the right has done an excellent job in using the mainstream media to convince the country that Liberal is bad and Conservative is good. It’s interesting to question self-proclaimed Conservatives on specific issues to find that they actually support the liberal view of these issues over the conservative. It boils down to wanting to belong with the popular folks, screw whatever they stand for. The problem the right created for themselves is they continue to focus on Liberal and not Progressive. Progressive is popular because human nature wants to progress through life, not stay stagnate or go backwards. That is actually the very nature of conservatism. Keep things as they are, don’t try to make it better because you never know what you might end up with. As some research has pointed out, conservatives tend to be more easily scared and operate in the fear mode than liberals/progressives, they are more daring and hopeful.

Historically, it was the Liberals/Progressives that started our revolution, the conservatives of the age wanted to stay with the King and supported the corporate structure of the East India Company. As time progressed it was the Liberals/Progressives that wanted to end the established institution of slavery while the conservatives wanted to keep it as their “peculiar institution”. It was during this time that the Republican Party came to prominence and power because it proposed Progressive ideas that moved the country forward and that’s what the majority of our people wanted.

At the turn of the 20th Century under Teddy Roosevelt, the progressives worked to end child labor, establish a “living wage”, established a social safety net for those who couldn’t care for themselves, worked for prison reform, government reform, populist movements, again these were progressive ideas while the conservatives held on to the Robber Baron establishment or corruption, a system where the power elites had control and they didn’t want to upset the cart. This continued to the ascension of Teddy’s cousin Franklin and the New Deal. The fruition of all the built up anger and populist reform demanded from a country fed up with conservative ideas that created the Great Depression and stagnation of the American People.

It was a result of the government and economic reforms of the Liberal/Progressive New Deal legislation that led to the greatest growth, both economically and social mobility of the American people. It was continued by both Democratic and Republican administrations right up until Ronald Reagan and the new messaging that “Conservatism” was good and Liberal was bad. Complacent Americans bought into the labels, but never really dwelled into the substance and ever since, the country has regressed both economically and socially. The only respite was the Clinton Administration, but now we are back to where we were just before the implementation of the New Deal.

The majority of the American people are Progressive by nature, their populism is reaching fever pitch while the Conservative Movement that only has support due to successful labeling of the term, hangs on for support. As people truly learn what conservatism means to them, they start to move left for their and the country’s best interests.

While researching for this rant, I found this interesting Conservative/Progressive Wheel. It has no relationship to percentages of where the American People stand regarding where they are, but it shows and interesting linkage. You will note that Corrupt Progressives (Democrats) meet up with Corrupt Conservatives (Republicans) as they move towards “RealPolitick and Anti-Intellectual” beliefs. The far right extremes of the conservative and progressive movements actually tend to meet as they become corrupt and unaware of what they stand for. When they forget the truth of their movement and focus more on the politics. But you can draw your own conclusions from this wheel.

Regardless, the Progressive label is more popular than the Conservative label because that is what this nation is. Again, I suspect most people call themselves “Conservative” because they want the label, not the blame for what the movement actually means.

You Support “Biblical” Marriage? Then I want to divorce you from polite society

It wasn’t that long ago that the whole subject of “Biblical Marriage” was being discussed in the media and internet. The result of all the hoopla involving legalizing same-sex marriage died down as the numbers of those who are now in favor of it hit critical mass and now the majority of the country is in support of legalizing same-sex marriages and all the benefits that come with it. But then the whole Dan Cathy and the Chick-fil-A thing reared its ugly head again and it’s back on the radar screen. So let’s go over this again and hopefully more people of reason, that is those who do not ascribe themselves to Christian Conservative-Tea Party ideology, will support the right side of history.

You may recall this chart that came out several months ago in response to what “Biblical Marriage” actually is:

The right loves to cite Deuteronomy 22 regarding marriage. It has some interesting things in it, some things that many on the right enjoy, like the prohibition of cross dressing (Deuteronomy 22:5). In general, it supports a great number of fundamentalist thinking they are proud of, as long as it isn’t applied to them, otherwise they may have to get stoned, and not in the way they would enjoy.

Let us examine the chart above because that is a synopsis of just about everything the Bible has to say about marriage. If the Bible is the word of God, then marriage must, according to those like Dan Cathy, follow these tenets.

Genesis 2:24 says that wives are subordinate to their husbands. It bans interfaith marriages and cites that marriages are generally to be arranged by others, not based on “romantic love.” And by the way, if your wife cannot prove her virginity prior to the ceremony, she is to be stoned to death. Also, the Bible doesn’t support the “Nuclear Family” of one man, one women. It cites that a man can have numerous wives and concubines. It actually supports the Mormon view of polygamy. So Mitt Romney has nothing to be ashamed of with his family history and should proudly talk about it at his next meeting with the Christian Fundamentalists.

Genesis 16 says a man can acquire his wife’s property including her slaves for his own. I’m sure this was really big in the Conservative Christian deep South culture leading up to the civil war. Today I guess men can have their way with the baby-sitters that their wives retain.

Genesis 38:6-10 says that a woman who is widowed without having a child must marry and submit herself sexually to her brother-in-law. After all, women are only here to procreate.

Deuteronomy 22:28-29 says that if a man rapes a virgin, she must marry him and he must pay her father 50 shekels of silver to the property loss. Again, in the Bible women are not people so much as property controlled first by their fathers and later by the men they are sold to.

Numbers 31:1-18 and Deuteronomy 21:11-14 says that male soldiers can take virgin prisoners of war and have their way with them. The wives must submit. Maybe this is why the right is opposed to women in the armed forces. Logically if they were to take male virgin prisoners……

Exodus 21:4 says that slave owners can assign male slaves to female slaves who must submit and help raise stock. Now in the corporate servitude world people like the Koch’s want to create here, this could get interesting.

Note how all the above passages relate to the Old Testament. What about the New Testament? What did Jesus himself say about marriage? Well, in Matthews he really didn’t say much about marriage as instead about divorce. Jesus preached more against divorce unless unfaithfulness was involved. He didn’t say a word about how many wives a man could have or anything regarding same-sex marriage. Not a word about homosexuality.

Of course nobody even asked him about that. So who knows what his views could have been? As a Jewish Rabbi, he knew his Torah and knew about what was cited above. So he knew that polygamy was acceptable. It was going around in Israel during his lifetime. He knew that men could have their way with their slaves, it was also going on at that time. And you know what else was going on at that time? Homosexuality. It existed and was acceptable in Greece and Rome and other parts of the empire. Jesus said nothing about it. If it was that important to him that it must have been forbidden, you would think there would be something there citing a position.

Marriage, or the union of a couple or group of people, long predates the Bible, Torah or any of today’s faiths. Unions exist because there are clear social advantages to having them. They are not, and never were exclusive to any faith. So why should someone’s religious faith interfere with an arrangement that long predates their religious tenets? If a church doesn’t want to sanctify a same-sex marriage under their roof, then that’s fine. It’s them exercising their religious freedom. But that couple should have an absolute right to establish a legal joining, whether you want to call it marriage or civil union, as long as the legal protections of that union are absolutely the same for any heterosexual couple. I don’t see where semantics really matter, only the union of two people taking care of themselves and possibly others with no legal restrictions because somebody has an outdated and harmful interpretation of a book that was written by man for the men of their age, not ours.

Same-Sex marriages hurt no one, destroys no heterosexual marriages unless someone in the union is in the closet (Marcus Bachmann). All the studies brought up to say so have been proven by scientific method to simply be full of shit with no basis in fact or reality. Again, same-sex marriage doesn’t hurt, but it certainly helps those involved.

The Exorcist IV: When Regan Meets Marcus

When not running for President, insulting public servants and other Congressmen by accusing them of covertly sponsoring terrorism, or demonstrating her complete stupidity regarding the intelligence committee, world affairs, American history, world history, macro and micro economics, geography, diplomacy, theology, politics, you get the idea, Michele is still active in the one arena for which she and her husband Marcus are so proud of. Their Christian Clinic they operate to Pray the Gay Away. This came up during the campaign and a recent post I read reminded me of it. I believe it is still in operation. Michele spoke highly of it during the campaign. She believes that being gay is a problem easily resolved by prayer or better yet, three meals a day at Chick-fil-A. However, the issue of praying the gay away is the focus of this very brief rant.

When I think of the concept, I’m left with images of the movie The Exorcist and the sequels and prequels. In the original, Regan was possessed by a demon and the Catholic priests were called to essentially pray the demon out of Regan via an exorcism. They had some problems of course and you need to watch the movie for that story. But I wonder if Michele truly sees homosexuality as a demon possessing the bodies of otherwise “normal” people and with her Christian faith, love, prayer and God knows how much money from the patients and government, they can be cured of the affliction. The gay can be prayed away just like the demon can be prayed away from Regan. We don’t need to go into the studies that show that people most likely do have a genetic predisposition to homosexuality, given to them by God if you will, and such therapy has no basis in fact, but does fill the coffers or collection plates damn well.

Well, this leaves a problem. In the exorcist, the demon is never destroyed. It moves on. If this is the case with pray the gay away, where would the gay end up?

I give you:

This explains so much don’t you think. And you know what, I don’t think he wants to give it back.

The Stunningly Stupid Steve King of Iowa

Favorite Tea Party whack job Michele Bachmann adores Representative Steve King of Iowa. She went so far as to call him “The stunning Steve King.” Why is he on my radar today for this rant? Well he appears to have an issue in the Farm Bill that is important to the people of his home state of Iowa. He has a problem with a provision that essentially outlaws dog fighting. He explains: it’s a federal crime to watch animals fight or to induce someone else to watch an animal fight but it’s not a federal crime to induce somebody to watch people fighting, there’s something wrong with the priorities of people that think like that.

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/07/31/615951/steve-king-dogfighting/

But he didn’t leave it there. He had to make his point so he did. He added:

liberals have so devalued life, that a man can rape a young girl, kidnap her, force her to undergo an abortion across state lines, and then “drop her off at the swingset….and that’s not against the law in the United States of America.”

http://wonkette.com/479791/iowa-rep-steve-king-why-is-it-wrong-to-dog-fight-if-it-is-okay-to-rape-and-kidnap-these-children

Wow, I’m sure rapists and pedophiles across the country are having a collective sigh of relief right now. It appears that in this country, raping young women/girls, abducting them across state lines for abortions is legal. Who knew? I have to wonder if Steve King’s campaign donations from the registered sex offenders in this country have just skyrocketed.

Steve King has no problems with dog fighting. If that’s what he believes, then fine. He apparently has no knowledge of the research that shows that those so inclined to be cruel to animals tend to also be cruel to humans and generally run afoul of the law as part of their sociopathic makeup. But no matter, if he wants to support these people, let him. However it would be nice if he would cite facts in making his argument and not hyperbole. Truth would be nice.

Oh wait, I forgot, he’s a Tea Party darling and they love to be fooled. Most I suspect love to watch dogs maul each other for sport too. Maybe some like to visit playgrounds… No matter. At least Steve is adored by Michele Bachmann who since dropping out of the Presidential race has been home “praying the gay away.” Somebody needs to explain to her that you just can’t “pray the gay away>’ It has to go somewhere. In her case, she needs to pay more attention to Marcus.

It’s entertaining dealing with these nut jobs in Congress, but these people are responsible for our governance. Time has long since passed where we need serious, intelligent people legislating on our behalf, not playing to nut jobs or simply being stupid.