As a tired technician (retired technicians are just tired twice) I have a lot of time on my hands. Mostly I spend my time doing computing, reading, and arts and crafts. Most of my arts and crafts involve woodcarving and jewelry although I do some painting. I read some fiction but mostly I read non-fiction like cosmology and philosophy.
Recently, I have begun studying the events of the Holocaust before and during World War 2. It must be noted that the Holocaust didn’t just involve the systematic killing of six million people of Jewish descent. It also involved the systematic killing of millions of Homosexuals, Gypsies, Slavic Peoples, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and any other social or religious group the Christians of Germany found objectionable during the early and mid parts of the 20th Century.
As I look toward the political horizon, I see Sister Sarah of the Frozen North, Rant Paul, Tea Bags, and the specter of political violence. The parallels with the rise of fascism are all there. Just recently there was a bombing at a Mosque in Florida.
Also a police shoot out with a father and son who followed conspiracy theories and sovereign citizen groups that left 2 police officers and the father and son dead.
All one has to do is look back to the late 1980’s and early 1990’s to see the rise of extreme right wing “patriot groups” to get a feel of what happened in Germany between 1920 and 1939. Germany in 1920 was a nation defeated in a brutal war while the victors choked off the economy through punitive reparations. Today in America it’s a little different but there are many similarities. After the Vietnam War ended in 1975 we had Reagan in the 1980’s preaching “Morning in America.” And everybody bought what he was selling. But things aren’t always what they seem. A deep recession from 1979 to 1983 cut wealth and jobs and solidified the hold of OPEC (oil producing and exporting countries) over our economy. Also by this time the era of post World War 2 regulation and Keynesian economics was coming to an end and the deregulating free marketers had the upper hand. Increased budget deficits to fund military expansion during the Cold War put the nation in hock to foreign countries. The recession of 1989 -1991 brought in Clinton as president but the deregulating free marketers held on. But what happened? Clinton raised taxes to balance the budget, created the North American Free Trade Zone to compete with Europe and Asia, the Soviet Union collapsed, and the biggest peacetime expansion ever of the economy resulted. Well, after September 11, 2001, another 2 wars with no end, and another deep recession bordering on an economic depression with jobs being siphoned off to Asia, and the economy being choked off by the same deregulating free market high rollers, and we have descended into the fog of nationalism, nativism, Christian triumphalism and dominionism. Christian dominionists are very dangerous because their philosophy is that non-believers are wicked and God gives them the power to punish wickedness. This is exactly where Germany in 1920 found itself but for different reasons. Just like self-serving politicians on the far right in Germany in 1920 took advantage of the situation, we have self-serving politicians on the far right here and now in this country trying to take advantage of the situation.
In recent national polls, 55 – 60% of people asked, support the state law in Arizona forcing legal immigrants to carry papers at all times, showing they are in the country legally. This is very troubling. We are singling out a group of people (illegal immigrants) and declaring them socially dead. What we hear from politicians of all stripes are excuses. If the Rant Paul tea bag partiers are able to push their agenda in congress, who will be the next group to suffer social death? Will the Christian dominionists push their agenda to have believers be the only group to benefit from the economy?
The political winds are blowing but the direction is changing minute by minute. The infantile, overindulged, politicians on the far right are playing with matches and if the wind shifts just right, it’s us who will get burned, not them.
Exceptional article, Dildenusa.
This type of thing has happened before and it seems like it happens more so during Democratic presidencies.
This time we are more aware of the things going on because of the Internet and also because the corporate media gives much attention to the Tea Party.
It thoroughly disgusts me when Gibbs or even President Obama give a news conference or go on a Sunday talk show and the corporate-owned-reporters quote Sarah Palin and frame their questions around her statements.
Bob Schieffer from Face the Nation showed his hypocrisy last Sunday when he quoted Sarah Palin in his interview with Gibbs.
Schieffer has in the past put-down Sarah Palin and dismissed her as a viable candidate for office yet he quoted her last Sunday and I swear that I will never watch that show ever again.
(not that we watched it much anyway)
I don’t want to believe that things are as bad as they sound, even though it is possible.
I do believe that the corporate media wants all of us afraid and afraid of each other.
We’re easier to control using fear.
The nation and most of Europe for that matter are depressed.
We’ve all been through the 8 years of the Bush/Cheney path of destruction and the corporate media are keeping it going.
There’s a sense of powerlessness that’s pervasive and it causes the anger and hate from The Tea Party and a sense of despair and isolation from most everyone else.
Obama was absolutely correct when he said that the fearful, hard economic times cause some people to clutch their bibles and their guns.
The BP oil spill – it’s not a spill but not sure what to call it – adds to the despair and hopefully people will continue to be angry and get even angrier over Big Oil.
And as for the spill, it really bothers me that the corporate media never talks anymore about the 11 deaths.
Right before the tragedy in the Gulf, there were the recalls by Toyota, the mining tragedy and the corruption and fraud of Goldman Sachs, which seem like distant memories now, but all of it, imho, shows the corporate takeover of our government and even world governments.
Somehow we’ve got to set aside our differences and unite as people and acknowledge the real threat – corporate control.
I wish there was a way to unite us all and I keep praying that people will wake up.
You know, Sarah is actually very pretty. Too bad she’s so ignorant. Shoulda stayed a beauty queen. It was the right fit. You know when beauty pageant contestants have to say what their dreams are and the joke is always “I want to be a neurosurgeon – or a model” ? Sarah really should have taken Door Two.
I am a Vietnam Veteran and I appreciate what you are doing for active duty, reserve, and military veterans.
Hi Dildenusa, Excellent article, I will be looking forward to more of your contributions to the Planet…
I need to thank you for reminding us that violence is everywhere.
I ought to know.
Since becoming public for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, I was tracked to my home (buried under layers of security – no records) and last week was sitting on my front porch, in the dark, when suddenly a round beam of light, about the size of a quarter, shined on my breastbone. I ran inside, reported it the next day to an FBI contact, and hoped it was just a trick of light. But the next night, about the same time, while looking to see if it had been something explicable, I saw instead two – not one but TWO – laser lights pointed at me from a tree half a block away. That totally panicked me – that is what you sight with on high-powered rifles.
The FBI is taking it seriously. A couple of weeks earlier, I came home to find the power had been out, the first time for the whole house (clocks blinking) but the second time – HALF the house. That was possible from ONLY cutting power at the circuit breaker. Someone apparently figured they could get my alarm system off, but it has a back up power pack.
I went through this years ago – these people mean business. If only to scare you, they are willing to do almost anything to get you to back down. It has not achieved that, but it HAS entirely altered the way I live – cooked dinner in the dark last night because there are no curtains in the kitchen, and I’ve not recovered from knowing my friend and ally, Dr. Bart Slepian, was shot through his kitchen window in 1998.
I’ve HAD it. Enough! I don’t interfere with the Dominionists at all save to stop them from imposing their presence on secular, especially government, organizations. They can believe in the Rapture and End Times – but they cannot, even though they think we ‘bad people’ stand in the way of Jesus’ return, impose their presence and ideas on the rest of us.
I want you to be right, Dildenusa. I think you are. But some of us are going to fall before these people are taken from power. I am not getting overt threats, but I AM the target of threats sent to my ally at MRFF, and I cannot discount them. I’ve lived in fear for decades, and I’m sick of it. I’ve had FIVE friends and allies assassinated by RW extremists, and this is MORE than enough!
Somehow, somewhere, we have GOT to get politicians, religious leaders, lay people, ordinary citizens to understand – you may NOT murder people just because you don’t like them or what they believe.
When did that get to be OK?
Well, friends, I am NOT going gentle into that good night! And none of us should. It’s perversion of everything this nation stands for. NO religion was intended to stomp on the rest with jackboots, and damned if I will let it happen without resistance! NO group or race or ethnicity was intended to be corralled, rounded up, beaten, enslaved at least since we woke up to our nation’s horrible past.
So I am taking due care, and I will survive this, but I HAVE HAD IT with these people! If the American public is too stupid to live and vote the RW BACK into power, we all may have to leave our beloved nation because it no longer will be what we cherish. It will be just one more tyrannical, imperialist banana republic country led by thugs, and that will be the death of democracy.
I hear Vancouver is very nice.
I hope I don’t have to find out if that’s true.
Sorry, I wanted to put my comment here.
I am a Vietnam Veteran and I appreciate what you are doing for active duty, reserve, and military veterans.
Thank you dear heart, and BT, too. It is insane that protecting religious freedom is a BAD thing to do! I always felt the worst thing about being a woman of my age was never, unless you were a nurse, understanding what men suffered in war. Now of course women do, too, but I’m too old. And not inclined anyway. So this IS the least I can do – the very least – protecting people’s right to pray as they choose or not pray at all. Non belief is as cherished by me and my organization as belief – all people are equal before the law, in our society, in decency and goodness. NO exceptions!
Thanks for the good thoughts. That, I believe, is what creates energy in the world. Good thoughts. Since I wrote the first rant in response to you, dildenusa, more threats have come, but just saying it here and getting your and BT’s kindness REALLY makes me calm. Thank you both.
Choicelady be safe…
C’lady, your courage is truly an inspiration.
Do these people ever ask themselves: Whom Would Jesus Shoot?
Even though the religious right despises Catholicism, does this not ever strike them as a New Inquisition?
Do they ever wonder if they have become the thing they hate?
Muslims in my area are terribly worried… Less so by the government (although they are concerned — there have been raids and deportations) than by the “Christians” who refuse to believe that we all worship the same God.
“You will know they are Christians by their love…”
Then what are these people?
Funny you should mention Catholicism since it was a hardcore “Catholic” who assassinated her Dr. friend and was a member of the “Catholic Terror” group “Lambs Of God”…
Oh, how well I know, BT, that there are crazy Catholics out there. But the irony is: in spite of their similar stances on abortion, RW Catholics and RW Protestants each believe the other is damned eternally!
The saner members of both groups don’t, though. Thank God for sanity.
Kes – that was one of the really odd parts of the alliance. Each would confide to us about how the others were wrong and thus eternally damned. How pro choice escorts became the confessors to the extremists was a phenomenon I cannot readily explain.
Life is just weird.
Hi BT – that’s right, but Kopp was also a member of the Army of God, mostly Dominionists who aren’t Catholic. He crossed those lines readily.
And the name of the group was changed from Lambs of God to Lambs of Christ because the acronym was LOGs which we used readily. They HAD been (I am NOT making this up) “The Victim Souls of the Unborn Christ Child” which was V-SUCC, and they dropped that pretty quickly to when we started calling them V-Suckers.
You do what you can to keep yourself amused.
Kes – if you want to be doubly gobsmacked (thank you Molly Ivins for such great words!) go online and look at “Jesus with Guns”. They think he will come back armed with assault hardware.
Disgusting. But since they believe there is a “code” in the Bible that tells them the Beatitudes are no longer operative, I guess they can believe anything they choose.
Delusion and religion too often go hand in hand. There was a cult of yuppies that gave ALL their money to some wacko woman who told them huge robots from outer space were coming, and they had to join with her to prepare. Now anyone whose “theology” consists of the old Rocky and Bullwinkle “Six Foot Metal Munching Moon Mice” script are pretty loosely wrapped, but hey – freedom of religion is a glorious thing. You can believe any damned thing you want.
I’m so totally gob-smacked by this CLady – I cannot imagine living under this threat of terrorism; it’s such an alien concept to me. I do believe I lead a sheltered life.
I can only echo what others have said – be safe CLady, just BE SAFE!!
Hi Mighty! Thank you so much. I find it intellectually appalling that one can become a hated enemy for advocating religious FREEDOM for all people. Boggles my mind. Of course I find it personally appalling, too! But yesterday the FBI got involved, are taking it seriously, and I’m breathing again. Since the stalkers are high up in a TREE (yes, a TREE) and it’s going to rain for the next four days, I have a certain satisfaction in knowing that if they come back, they will be miserable. I won’t be, and I WILL STAY SAFE!
Thank you SO MUCH everyone. But you all be careful, too. Kes (below) is right – the Muslim community has powerful worries right now, and I am dreadfully scared for them and for all people who have a loving, inclusive, progressive view. We keep saying we fear a civil war. I think it’s here.
If I was a praying person I would hope they get thoroughly soaked and catch such a bad chill that they’re laid up for weeks if not months – yeah, I can be vindictive as the the best 😳
I agree with you about the Muslim community – they are under verbal and legal attack throughout Europe and even in Canada, to my eternal shame …. how much worse must it be in the States with such a prevalence of armed RW hatred and general nuttiness. There are so many good people who happen to be Muslim that are under threat not because they had anything to do with 9/11 but because 9/11 has become the excuse any racist needs to be openly so. One may just as well blame all Christians for McVeigh and all Sikhs for the Air India bombing.
Oh MW – God forbid we blame White Christians for Tim McVeigh! The zealots “know” all Muslims are alike, but McVeigh was a rogue actor, doncha know. Blah.
Keep praying for the cold. My hope is that since he/they were up in a tree (I KNOW how stupid this sounds, but it’s the ONLY spot from which they could see my house and not BE seen) that they will slip and plummet to the ground. Not seriously hurt, just stunned enough to get caught. I’m not beyond vindictive, either. It’s not my best thing, but I am SERIOUSLY pissed.
Good grief, ChoiceLady!
How horrifically frightening!
You are much braver than I.
Heck, we won’t even put a bumper-sticker on our vehicles out of fear from the repercussions.
What is it exactly you do?
I mean, are you a visible leader and have you been on television or written about in the media?
Why are you the target of such vile hate?
Are there others in your organization also being threatened?
Please stay safe and stay brave.
People like you are our hope and the more people like you, the more others will join you in the fight.
God bless you, Clady, and I will pray for you.
Hi javaz- well, I was NOT so visible before April 30. I’d spent over a decade being an activist without showing my face publicly in the media. (In person – kinda hard NOT to, you know?) But after accepting the First Amendment Award for Jeff Sharlet given him by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the founder of MRFF put my photo on the main page to illustrate my acceptance of the award for Jeff but did so without my permission. My organization is the only Christian one that supports MRFF because it challenges the religious right’s domination of way too much in the US military. It has infiltrated government via a number of routes, and the work to end their domination culminated a couple of weeks ago with MRFF getting zealot Franklin Graham, a rabid anti-Muslim preacher and end Times believing son of Billy Graham, disinvited from leading the National Prayer Day (ick) at the Pentagon.
MRFF maintains, and we believe, that religion is NOT the first priority of the military (defending the Constitution is their only job), and that government has no damned business forcing views down anyone’s throats, especially our folks putting their lives on the line for this country. So with that on the table, furiously pissing off the religious extremists, my photo allowed someone(s) to follow me home and know where I live and threaten me. It’s not the first time but I want to make sure it’s not the LAST either! We’ve not gotten hate mail, but MRFF has gotten hate mail about our support of them, and one made very clear they knew who I was and where I was.
So that’s what happened. The FBI is on the case, so I feel better. But it has entirely changed the way I live, and I’m seriously peeved, to say the least.
We had a rather serendipitous conversation with a neighbor this morning.
We always knew that her and her husband were religious people and are active in some church or other, but we never spoke about it because we feared they just might be right-wing-loonies.
As it turns out, they are active in an organization similar to yours, and it even sounded like it might be the same organization!
We surprised each other once we got to talking, because not very many folks in our area are progressives/liberals and/or Democrats.
It was such a pleasant surprise to discover that we share the same beliefs on so many things and our conversation focused on religion and the religious right.
We were both very careful once the discussion began as we were trying to judge the other reaction but once we discussed the Catholic nun at the local St. Joe’s hospital that was just excommunicated and our outrage was equal, we relaxed and talked at length.
She knows the nun and several people at that hospital and there is much outrage over the hypocrisy and ignorance of the bishop in excommunicating that nun.
Our neighbors are former Catholics, and we agreed on so many things regarding that and she invited us to join her organization and we are seriously considering it.
Who knows, CL, maybe one day we shall meet in person if it ends up being the same group!