Tag: teabagger

Confronting the inner teabagger

go to site Read the article at HuffPo yesterday, got pissed and wrote something angry, then went to work. While at work I read some comments, though, admittedly, not all of them, and realized why so many people have a beef with HuffPo. I’m not trying to throw HuffPo under the bus, writing in anger leads to this, and I wrote in anger and put too much trust into a single source. Just because you are using a BIG NAME for a source doesn’t mean that source is right, they are just as likely to misinterpret something as you are. That is human. But there is a difference between misinterpreting and deliberately misconstruing, and since our political guard is always up about deception, and since many of us are partisans, we often frame things within our own pre-made narrative. All of these things I have been guilty of, but who among us can plead innocent among such charges?

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The Redemptive Power of Healing

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=viagra-generico-200-mg-italia-pagamento-online-a-Bologna The stress of the past few weeks has reminded me of both the benefits and the drawbacks of being an adult.  Perhaps you yourself can relate.  Throughout the course of my daily existence, I expend a huge amount of energy attempting to navigate the world of interpersonal communication.  Often I have to take account for the frailties, neuroses, personality defects, and defense mechanisms of those with whom I regularly encounter.  It can at times be overwhelming and frustrating trying to not step on toes or to minimize conflict by means of damage control mode when I inadvertently do so.  And as cobble together an apology and take stock of the situation, I find myself resenting the cruelty and sadism of humanity, which gives many people ample reason to build walls around themselves by means of protection.  These attitudes only complicate crucial communication and trust and keep us separate from each other.

source site The anger of the Tea Party devotees upsets me, but what upsets me more is the degree of hostility and bitterness that has come to typify this entire process.  I recognize that expecting otherwise is probably foolish, but I mourn when our nation’s fabric is rent asunder for any reason.  Though this sentiment has long sense passed into platitude, we are all Americans, and moreover we are all human beings who share the same land.  I do not enjoy, nor particularly thrive in an atmosphere where a ceaseless war of words rages.  To be sure, I do not shirk away from these situations when they arise, but after a time the constant back and forth proves to be toxic and noxious, not just to me, but to everyone.  

follow url I didn’t have an especially happy childhood.  Even when I was a child, I wished to be an adult.  Adulthood to me represented a time where I would be taken seriously and where everyone else around me would be more or less on the same page.  Now I find that this is true only up to a point.  Among some I am taken seriously and among other I never will be.  And as for my being on the same page with all, well, that’s a matter for debate.  What I have discovered that with age often comes a rapidly growing history of psychological damage, increasingly guarded personal conduct, and all of these manifestations a form of the many lingering effects of internalized pain.  Anger is really only a form of hurt, after all.

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=acquistare-levitra-Genova Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.  Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=miglior-sito-per-acquistare-viagra-generico-200-mg-spedizione-veloce-a-Bologna I understand why many people enjoy working with children.  They are unguarded, honest, vulnerable, and often endearingly sweet.  Their basic nature stands in great contrast to the games we play as adults.  When I still lived in Birmingham I would periodically take my turn to watch the children while the adults worshiped.  When I did, I often found solace in the company of little ones who were largely nonjudgmental and lived only in the present moment.  This isn’t to say that children can’t be just as cruel and vicious to each other as adults can, but that in conversing with them, one has less minefields to gingerly walk through and less need to plan for exit strategies.      

enter Forgive me this question, but, friends, why must it be this complicated?  What if we didn’t have to read the latest New York Times bestseller just to understand how to properly interact with each other?  What if it didn’t take hours of therapy and thousands of dollars just to be able to be honest with our own pain and ourselves, to say nothing of the pain of others?  What if we could bear to leave the armor down long enough to separate friend from foe?  While some find it fascinating to observe and note the ways in which we are twisted and wizened, noting the unique nature of our scars, I find the combined impact deeply unfortunate and tragic.  People to me are not a scientific experiment gone awry, they are individuals seeking love.  And by love I don’t necessarily mean romantic love, but agape—charitable, selfless, altruistic, and unconditional love for ourselves and for others.  If we are ever going to begin the slow, but necessary process of healing, we must commit ourselves to it, all the time recognizing that the best offense isn’t necessarily a good defense.

Let us resolve to be honest with that which is broken in all of us.  Throw open the doors wide.  Don’t automatically reach for cynicism and skepticism in all situations, nor expect the worst for fear of not attaining the best.  Don’t recoil and draw back at someone else’s immaturity or hurt directed in inappropriate ways towards inappropriate targets.  Consider being like little children in all the best ways.  Perhaps peace of mind isn’t so elusive after all.  What do we have to lose?  

1000s march on capitol against healthcare, on White House for peace. Guess which is covered more…

Everyone seems to know that the tea party “movement” had a rally on the steps of the capitol yesterday.  They got in the face of a few Congressmen and now every Beltway media outlet from the Washington Post to Meet the Press is talking about it.  But there was another protest in town yesterday.  Thousands of people showed up in front of the White House to tell Obama (and Congress) to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to treat Palestinians fairly, and to generally end the US military empire.

MSNBC estimates that somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 tea party people showed up at the capitol building.  Yet the low end of the estimates for the number of people who showed up at the peace demonstration (including myself) is about 2,500, and the high end is about 10,000.  Where’s our moment on Meet the Press?  Where’s our article in the New York Times?

The “Civil” Wars

An article written in today’s Washington Post posits whether or not the foul-mouthed chorus of immature slights and sharp elbows that characterizes an internet world shows a new degree of rudeness or whether said dialogue merely reflects a new awareness of the democratic insult.  I myself received an tremendous amount of hateful, childish comments when a few seconds of the iReport I posted online to CNN was chosen for broadcast and aired on the network itself.  What I had been attempting to convey in my talk were the many complexities of the life of Ted Kennedy, but what I quickly noticed were that the personal attacks I received did not even come close to directly addressing what I said.  No one was really listening to or even contemplating my words, rather they just wanted to vent.  I think the most bizarre and gratuitous insult I received was the poster who told me to “comb [my] f__king hair”.      

For all the debate and the analysis, true civility might very well be an ideal rather than a reality.  The instant feedback and information deluge of our internet age gives us the realization that human discourse provides us equal, ample evidence of every conceivable shade of good and bad.  Nowadays, we often believe we live in the worst of all possible worlds.   A pessimistic approach does not provide much in the way of comforting, helpful answers, but neither does the kind of radical optimism rightly savaged by Voltaire in Candide.   As the article addresses, looking into the past to find evidence of a time where the trains always ran on time, every imaginable need was cheap and readily available, and people treated each other with courtesy and respect is wistful nostalgia for times that never really were.  

Mary Schmich’s opinion column entitled “Advice, Like Youth, Probably Just Wasted on the Young” includes this bit of advice.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

There have been as many pronouncements that society is on the brink of self-destruction as there have been prophetic sureties of the imminent Second Coming of Christ or the End of the World according to calendars of ancient indigenous peoples.   The Post story addresses how the conservative pitchfork rabble falsely accused a DC area author and government worker of having some secret connection to the now infamous rap song, recorded in a New Jersey school over the summer by students, the lyrics of which dared to praise the President.   The unfortunate subject of this massive knee-jerk, Charisse Carney-Nunes, voices how many of us feel when subjected to another pitched volley of irrationality hurled at us by an army of plate glass window-smashing malcontents.            


Carney-Nunes spends a lot of her free time teaching children how to bridge divides, but she has no idea how to build a dialogue with those who attacked her.

“How can I talk to those people?” she said. “These are people who persist in believing that Barack Obama is a Muslim, that he isn’t a citizen of this country. You tell me: Where is the beginning of that conversation?”

Contentious times produce contentious disagreements.   We still believe, as did those who shaped this nation, in a liberal line of logic that insists, provided enough education, people can become self-aware, rational beings.   The flaws in this argument are particularly glaring now, when education alone, or as the Right likes to call it, indoctrination, seems to be insufficient in the face of emotional excess.   From a distance, it is interesting to observe the internal conflict within many people now up in arms over something that shows itself whenever passions are overheated.  As though at war with both hemispheres of their brain, they bounce back and forth from uncivilized raw emotion to some degree of civilized restraint.  That they themselves seem incapable of recognizing this is problem enough.  


“Completely false allegations incubate in the fringe and jump within days to the mainstream, distorting any debate or progress we can have as a society,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which released a report last month noting a rise in the “militia movement” over the past year. “What’s different is that a great deal of this is real fear and frustration at very real demographic and cultural changes.”  

I believe that we are on the right side of history and that our cause is just and good.   Yet, I resist strongly the temptation to gloat or to condescendingly dismiss those who fear that reform, any reform, means destruction and that change, when enacted, can never be undone.  Being snide and condescending only makes matters worse.   Every meaningful conservative has one foot in the past and values the sanctity of the status quo.   But as we have seen, merely returning to old ways does not provide simple solutions.  The past is too messy and composed of too many ironies to be anyone’s Golden Age, either for us or for them.   We ought to take the lessons of the past as they are, without smoothing away its rough edges or glossing over the bits that don’t serve our purpose.  The Past, in its pure form, has no bias to Left or Right.  It can be frequently be instructive, so long as we know that it calls us out as much as it calls out our opposition.    

Returning to the subject of common decency or the lack thereof,  driving much of this conservative grassroots backlash is the reality that this nation will soon consist of an ethnic and racial plurality, and many on the Right fear that balancing authority among separate identity groups, each with its own cultural peculiarities and goals, will lead to disunion and strife.   Pat Buchanan and others have advanced this argument before and I fully expect to see more instances of it as the Caucasian majority in this country begins to slowly, but surely recede.  We portray these people as foolish or intent on selfishly benefiting from a sense of white privilege and entitlement at our own peril.  Fighting fire with fire in this instance is the surest way to eventually cause an inferno.  Anyone with an itchy trigger finger is merely looking for a reason to pull it.  And as for us, any self-contained group does an excellent job of talking to itself, but finding a way to know how to converse with the broader universe is the key challenge.  Much of our discourse could be rightly described as choir practice, which is good to some extent, but we would probably be better served by developing ways to speak to the vast majority of Americans who do not embrace the politics of the conservative nutroots.  

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Utopia 14: Monument

If you want people to get nothing done, convince them they are on one side of something. —Carolyn Casey