Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Ghost of Thanksgiving Present

Most of the history you were taught in school is a figment of somebody’s wishful thinking, and maybe the desire for happy tales and life in a fantasy world.

For us to learn what actually happened at the so called “First Thanksgiving” is next to impossible, since our information comes centuries later through the letters of people who would have no interest in recording their own worst deeds in those harsh times where the colonies of the New World became the focus of the dark energies created by the marriage of greed, religion, oppressive conservative governments in the Old World, and native peoples who were doing just fine up 'til then without Europeans, thank you.

The first recorded Thanksgiving celebration was probably held in Saint Augustine Florida by Spaniards led by Pedro Menendez, who were thanking their god for not killing them on the voyage over. Since they weren’t destroyed at sea, it apparently meant that they now had God’s blessing to spread venereal disease, smallpox, murder, slavery, and religion amongst the aboriginal peoples who had it way too good up ‘til then, what with plentiful seafood, game, and war practiced mostly as a sport between tribal divisions. History records the date as September 8, 1565.

You were probably thinking that the first Thanksgiving was held by the Pilgrims, but no, it was supposedly December 4, 1619 at the Colony of Virginia settlement of Charles Cittie, by a group of English who were also thanking their God for not killing them on the voyage over, and his apparent blessing for what they were about to do to the locals, et cetera.

The Thanksgiving we were indoctrinated in as we were growing up was the one the Pilgrims apparently had in 1621. Several controversies arise from the accounts of that celebration, which frankly was several days long, as the Indians (as the Europeans referred to them) came and went bringing five deer as their contribution to the seafood, grain, and fowl that comprised the feast.

Probably the main controversy regards the presence, or not, of turkey at that first Thanksgiving. William Bradford, writing in his book Of Plymouth Plantation, says,
“…And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to the proportion…”

Edward Winslow, writing in the journal Mort’s Relation uses the term “fowl” as opposed to “waterfowl”, which would indicate a wider variety of game birds than duck and goose…
“Our harvest being gotten in, our governor(Bradford) sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which we brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others.”

It is currently fashionable to call the presence of turkey at the first Thanksgiving a myth, but it appears to be one of those mythological myths that fashion and lazy researchers tend to throw at us from time to time. We do know that a local Wampanoag man called Squanto taught them to catch eel, or the Pilgrims would never have survived to harvest corn.

Another obvious mythological myth I read was that they didn’t have bread, because they had no ovens as yet. This is evidence that certain historians are morons. Hello…They had corn. They had iron cookware, They had corn BREAD! And they had other grains as well. I suppose the historian who wrote that was thinking they popped all that corn instead.

While the Pilgrims and the Puritans ( a noxious breed of religious separatists who seem to have been profoundly disliked by everyone including the sailors who brought them over) were having their Thanksgivings and feasting with the Indians, the settlers in Virginia were being massacred back, for one or more of several nasty things they had done to various natives, resulting in the death of about a third of the White settlers in Virginia and the capture and enslavement of a bunch of their women by the Indians. There was nothing wrong with this in the Indian’s view, since the settlers obviously condoned enslavement by force. Squanto, the savior of the Pilgrims, had been taken as a slave by an earlier expedition and hauled to Europe. He was in the settlement as a translator as a result, and not, as some accounts have proposed, a savage wandered out of the wilderness to befriend the Pilgrims. Anyway, the Indian retribution was repaid by retribution, specifically, inviting the Indian men to a feast and offering them poisoned liquor. 250 or so were thusly murdered by the Virginians. I assume thanks was given by the settlers afterwards.

So…With the religious overtones surrounding the first recorded Thanksgivings come a lot of killings. The spirit of killing continued to go along with Thanksgiving for a hundred and fifty years, when The American Continental Congress issued the First National Proclamation of Thanksgiving, in which Americans gave thanks to the Almighty for blessing their weapons to be used against the British:
FOR AS MUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence; but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War, for the Defense and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased, in so great a Measure, to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops, and to crown our Arms with most signal success...

Abe Lincoln solidified the tradition in the middle of the American Civil War with a note of regret for the human sin of war
…they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union…

Thanksgiving is obviously a most conflicted and yet original of American holidays. It evolved out of brutal hardship as well as humankind’s stark brutality to itself. Arising from religious strife and racial war, we now have a Thanksgiving that can stand alone with simple gratitude for human existence as enough reason for feasting.
George Herbert Walker Bush established the tradition of pardoning one turkey while eating another one, though he blamed it on Harry Truman. His idiot son followed suit with great flourish as did recently the malignant governor of Alaska, who made great fanfare of pardoning a turkey even as another one was being beheaded a few feet behind her...well seen on camera by millions of Americans.

No better metaphor for Thanksgivings past can I devise.

But it is Thanksgiving present that now confronts us, and we face one of those periods that are the thing of the curse, “May you live in interesting times”. The real reminder of Thanksgiving is that humankind has faced many many times like this, each unique in its diabolical nature. We have survived them up until now, and will probably survive this one.

For that realization, and for the ultimate benefit of my children and yours, I give thanks.

Let us feast!


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pardon Watch II

The "pre-emptive" pardon is a particularly onerous thing. I'm still mad at Jerry Ford for his pre-emptive pardon of Richard Nixon. We are still discovering Nixon's clandestine criminal acts that damaged our democracy. Why shouldn't we have investigated, discovered and dealt with him back then?

"It would harm the Country," said President Ford, "It's time to move on."

In fact, the greaater harm came from the failure of American justice. Criminal activity by the President of the United States of America and his high government appointees is particularly onerous and destructive in the sort of "high crimes and misdemeanors" that the founders of this nation intended for us to expose and punish.

George W. Bush has already commuted the sentence of Scooter Libby, who took the fall for Karl Rove and Dick Cheney. His crime was obstructing justice. Patrick Fitzgerald pointedly stated that Libby covered up for Cheney and Rove, essentially hiding acts of treason from American Justice.

A group of Democrats have stepped forward and introduced a resolution asking President Bush to not issue "pre-emptive pardons" which our founders never intended to be issued. Pardons were for acts of mercy after the event of trial. By acting as he has, Bush has covered up the high crimes of his administration. If we could just concentrate on the acts of treason that led America into the Iraq war, I'd be willing to let the misdemeanors go.

So, Lincoln Davis...Congressman Davis...I urge you to support House Resolution 1531introduced by Congressman Nadler.

America deserves justice.



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Baby You can drive my Car (Cliff ahead)

We got problems.

If there is one thing that has become starkly evident, it is that republicans are willing to let entire sectors of the economy tank if it hurts unions. This is done on ideological assumptions and has nothing to do with good government or kindness to others.

I listened to Congressman Zach Wamp tell an interviewer that he wanted to let the auto companies go bankrupt. "They'll go into chapter 11 and they'll be fine," Zach said. Zach has been a very strong apologist for George W. Bush whose administration has pumped over 2 Trillion dollars into the financial sector but refuses to help America's manufacturing base. I don't get it. Sure the (Not so anymore)Big 3 have serious problems and they need to be slapped around with major concessions and conditions but if they go down, roughly 2 million jobs will be lost in direct labor and another 12 million jobs will be lost in the down market ripple. Zach either has no clue or he's a mean sob. I don't think he's that mean.

The economist who has been uncannily accurate in predicting the current financial mess stated it best on the automotive bailout, "We have to!" (Watch this)

So what are Republicans thinking?

The GOP never dreamed it would get to kill a massive part of organized labor and have an entire region of the country completely collapse on the Democratic parties watch to boot, but that is just the opportunity that has arisen for the Limbaugh/Coulter wing of the GOP.

A 25 billion dollar loan, with strings attached mandating the auto industry stay the fuck out of monkeying with healthcare reform and making them go green or else, could save hundreds of billions of dollars in social spending over the next 10 years alone.

10 to 12 million jobs lost, boom!, 200 to 1 trillion dollars in emergency social spending to deal with the collapse's impact on the region, the UAW dead and Wal-Mart the biggest employer in the region, Michigan in full economic collapse and millions of voters ripe for being in play in the next round of the Culture War.

That clear observation comes from here. Lots of really good thinking and ideas on how to structure a bailout.

At this moment in history, the American Republican party looks like the mean little bully who came to your birthday party, broke all the toys, and crapped on the cake on his way out the door...Then goes around telling everyone your party sucked.

The GOP, and the media pundits who are all clamoring for Obama and the Congress to let the auto industry die will be damning us and running against the Democratic Party as the party that 'Let Michigan Die' or 'Let Detroit Die' for a generation if the auto industry is allowed to die.

I'd say that's about right.



Oh...And the best idea for a condition in the bailout proposal is that executive pay has to be capped at CAFE standard MPG times the pay of the lowest paid worker. That would be amusing for wure.

Monday, November 17, 2008

They're Ba-aack

The sound is always the first notice that the Sandhills are back. I watched several hundred fly over in the November evening and finally realized that I had time to go find the camera and come back out.

They will be coming in day and night and it's a wonder to hear them on a crystal clear cold night and look up wondering where they are. They sound so close but they're usually way up there.

If you've never made it to the Hiwassee refuge get ready to go next chance you get. It's an amazing sight.

How Republicans Won Tennessee...


The religion of Barack Obama was a major focus of his opponents in the presidential campaign. Decidedly un-christian things were and continue to be said about him, including the absolutely stupid people who called him a Muslim in one breath and ranted about his Christian pastor, Jeremiah Wright, in the next. I am not a fan of those who wield religion as a weapon.

Interestingly, as Barack Obama refers to and is being compared to Abraham Lincoln in his transition to power, Lincoln had his own problems with those purporting to be godly:

As the author Susan Jacoby documents in Freethinkers, her 2004 book on the history of American secularism, presidential candidate Lincoln rued the opposition he faced from 20 of the 23 Protestant ministers in his hometown of Springfield, Ill. Earlier in his career, Lincoln complained about opposition from religious figures who warned Christian voters against him on the grounds, Lincoln wrote, that "I belonged to no church (and) was suspected of being a deist."

I think the most often repeated, yet demostrably false, statement about religion is that America was founded as a Christian Nation. Just the opposite infact, as the founders realized the problems with a state that promoted religion...It always came down to a particular religion and that's just plain wrong. If there is one thing each and every one of us disagrees with each and every other one of us, it is religion.

Here's a test for you:

1. Protestant Christianity is the dominant religion in America. True or False?

2, The fastest growing religion in America is: (a) Islam, (b) Judaism, (c) Evangelical Christianity, (d) The Church of Satan, (e) None of the above.

3. There are more atheists in America than there are Jews in the entire world. True or False?

4. The United States of America was founded by Christians. True or False?

5. The third largest religious denomination in the world is Secularism. True or False?

Got your answers? Feel confidant? Ok, lets see...

1. Protestants will soon fall to fewer than 50% of Americans...False.

2. It's Wicca. Yeah, really.

3. There are about five times as many atheists in America as there are Jews. Worldwide, Atheism is the third largest group with 16% and Jews are about 0.22% of the people on the planet. The statement is true by a very large margin. It should also be noted that "Jew" is a race, not a religion, and that the percentage of Jews who are atheists is greater than the average in Americans as a whole.

4. False, in that America was founded by men with a wide mix of religious views, including Deists and Atheists, as well as Christians. Probably the most intentionally violated provision of the Constitution is stark proof of this: " religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.."

5. True. Roughly...Christians are 33%, Islam is 22%, Secularists of all stripes are 16%.

The Bill Maher movie, Religulous, is out and proving, as my friend said, beyond any doubt that Bill Maher is a jerk. It also proves that most religious people know essentially nothing about their own religion, but are ready to condemn those with differing religious views and associations. The very comment that Obama might be a Muslim was telling, in that it unmistakenly branded the commenter as a religious bigot, if nothing else.

Maher's parting request in his movie is for non-religious people to speak out about their non-religion. He may be calling for secularists to become a power block like evangelicals or Catholics, I don't know. With 30 million of them in the United States, they certainly could wield voting power if they came together and organized.

The problem is twofold. How do you organize people around the common thread that they are independent thinkers? The other problem may be easier to deal with in the long run. If there is any group who faces greater condemnation by the religious community than is Atheists. A group of folks headed by Margaret Downey are combatting this by driving out the fear that creates bigotry, and they are doing it in the most Christian of methods, by showing love.

In an episode earlier this year in the Philadelphia area, where Downey lives, the stage appeared set for an atheist-vs.-Christian billboards shouting match: Downey and colleagues had posted a billboard on Interstate 95 saying, "Don't believe in God? You're not alone," prompting a local Christian congregation to erect signs with a counter-message promoting God. Instead of escalating the billboard battle, Downey and company asked those who put up the pro-belief sign to join forces and volunteer with them for a Philadelphia charity. The people from the Light Houses of Oxford Valley congregation accepted the offer and teamed up with the atheists to spend a half-day sorting and packaging food for the needy.

Downey says that the religious sometimes try to put down atheists by saying they don't believe in anything, but she says that is wrong.

"We atheists simply add one more 'o' to our belief system — We believe in Good."

When we look for the good in others, why are we surprised when we find it to be common and widespread? There are so many things that we all agree on that we could spend the rest of our lives working together for "Good" without ever having to confront our differences. Is this the moment that we decide to give this a try?



Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Sermon

Today's Sunday Sermon is delivered in part by the survivors of a religion.

30 years ago today, the not so reverend, Jim Jones, murdered 900 acolytes by deed and by proxy. Here is an excellent account that includes statements from surviving survivors. I use that term because a number of those who escaped that evil day were later done in, some by others, some by their own hand.

This is an account of Religion's power for evil...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pardon Watch

If there is a villian in the destruction of America it is not George W. Bush, who is nothing more than a C minus student conveniently foisted in front of the electorate by a powerful neo-conservative marketing team, corrosive in its evil. Bush never, not even for one day, lived up to his job. He was the ugly contestant giving beauty padgent answers so bad that reporters simply tired of asking them. Bush was the stuck and bleeding animal driven into the waters to attract piranas away from the real actors in his administration, only he was so distasteful the fish would never finish their meal. He lived on to never answer their questions as often as his keeper felt it necessary.

No, the real villian of the Bush Administration is Dick Cheney. The acts laid at his door include torture, war, domestic spying, and the enabling of Karl Roves worst offenses. One or both of them committed high treason. Serious articles are now coming out that depict Cheney's usurpation of Presidential power. We should read them and maintain our anger at what has been done to our democracy in order to derive the energy it will take to cut out this infection which is even now looking for its next host. In the meantime we must be aware that the forces that brought us our national disaster are still at work, even as Dick Cheney slithers out from under the presidency into darkness.

Neo-conservatism is even now searching around our Nation looking for a congenial bumbling front, a typhoid Mary, which it can use as a host to reinsert itself into the halls of Democracy in order to destroy from within. Someone who will say things like,
"Well, I could think of -- of any again, that could be best dealt with on a more local level. Maybe I would take issue with. But you know, as mayor, and then as governor and even as a Vice President, if I'm so privileged to serve, wouldn't be in a position of changing those things but in supporting the law of the land as it reads today."
Someone the Press will draw fire from the media while neo-cons glut themselves on America's vitals.

A current article documents and analyzes Cheney, his rise to power, and his use of Bush as a willing puppet.

Bush is the front man, and is known as such. He takes questions. If he answers them badly, still he is there for us to see. To address Cheney separately would be to challenge the supremacy of the President—a breach of etiquette that itself supposes a lack of the evidence that would justify the challenge.

The fact that Bush's answers are so inadequate, from a defect of mental sharpness and retentiveness as well as dissimulation, kills the appetite for further questions. But the fact that the questions have, in a formal sense, been asked and answered lets the vice- president off the hook. Thus the completeness of his silence and seclusion, for long intervals ever since September 11, 2001, is an aberration that has never been rebuked and has often gone unnoticed. "There is a cloud over the vice-president," said the prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in his summation at the trial of Lewis Libby. "That cloud is something you just can't pretend isn't there."

The Co-President at Work
By David Bromwich

It is long and depressing but must be read for a clearer picture of the disease vector of Neo-conservatism. Understanding may give rise to an innoculation against a recurrence. Maybe it won't.

But maybe Bush knows all this and somehwere deep inside himself, he actually loves his country. Maybe he holds some level of anger at Dick Cheney for his part in Bush's presidential legacy as "Worst Ever!" Maybe, as a parting act, Bush will actually do something to serve his country.

If there were one thing George W. Bush could do to really help his country, it would be to refrain from issuing pardons to Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and his minions. There are very many of us who want a complete public airing of all that went wrong under his presidency. We need a laundry list of what has to be corrected. I hold out little hope.

I look for blanket pardons to be issued that will be broad enough to include the charge of High Treason, though that wording will not be used.



More interesting stuff

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This is why I am an ACLU Member

...between 2003 and 2005 the FBI issued more than 143,000 NSLs, only one of which led to a conviction in a terrorism case.

Abuse has also been rampant. An investigation last year revealed that the FBI had broken regulations governing NSLs in more than 1,000 cases.

World's most dangerous Librarians

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Obama Announces Rules for Lobbyists

"The ethical guidelines released today for the Obama transition are tough and unequivocal. They will prevent some honorable people with rich experience from serving in the transition. That is a real cost but it is more than balanced by the strong signal sent by the President-elect. He aspires to attract to government able individuals whose highest priority is to serve the public interest. This is a very constructive step in that direction."

The Rules

Without Comment

The Gay Agenda

I realize I live in East Tennessee and all that this implies. Things change slowly everywhere and at roughly the same pace. It merely depends on which rung of the ladder you start on, as to how long it takes you to reach the top. Every step has to be touched on the way up.

It saddens me to chat with folks who tell me they vote for president based on abortion or gay marriage...What stupid issues. First of all, they are religious dogma flowing from fundamental christian thought or lack thereof (believe it or not, most Christians don't think this way), where certain groups of people want to force their own religious tenets on others. The biblical justification is tenuous at best, and I like to say that I believe that we should do exactly what Jesus said regarding homosexuals, which is absolutely nothing. People make their own choices and nobody forces anybody to choose gay. Second of all, our children's future has very little to do with these divisive wedge issues. On a list of issues that America needs to face for the gratest good for the greatest number, these fall somewhere on the fourth page, if that.

People have to wake up and face their own prejudices and start making good decisions about what really matters. They have to do it one human at a time as they come to realize the truth about the gay agenda...There isn't one.

It's just people wanting what people should have in a just society.

So people change as they climb the ladder of self examination. Here is an inspiring post from someone who recognized their own moment of change.

There is no 'gay agenda' there are people, people who want to get married. They want a damned certificate that says they are bound forever. But we wont give them that, because we are afraid our children will be gay? Are you serious!?

Homophobia has the same genesis as racism...It's all about fear.

Please don't be afraid.



Monday, November 10, 2008

Bush Flips Off the Planet on his way Out the Door...

We have gotten used to the bad news late Friday press releases of the Bush administration. They announce the worst of the worst of the bad news or their latest despicable act when it is too late to make the evening news on Fridays so that very few people have maintained their outrage through the weekend until Monday. This time Bush went beyond even that...

Knowing that their policies would be vociferously repudiated a tteh polls...They announced that they will sell oil drilling rights to the viewshed of Arches National Monument and they announced this horrible act on election day. So add to one of the most beautiful places on the planet, not just America, roads and oil rigs to what you'll see when you visit.

Bush also plans to drill Canyonlands National Park and Dinosaur National Monument...And for what? A pittance of oil, a few more fotunes for rich friends, and a destroyed pristine environment for all time.

These people are beyond sick. Republicans put tax incentives on the worst of the worst gas guzzlers and cry that the moral thing to do is "Drill, baby, Drill"? I have seen Dinosaur and was touched beyond words. I rode mountain bikes with my young family on the trail throught BLM land that followed dinosaur tracks, yes, dinosaur tracks, over the slick rock to an overlook in one of the Arches natural cathedrals. There are some places on earth that are sacred and it is up to the best of humanity to protect them from the worst of humanity.

We now have a clear picture of what the worst of humanity looks like and we have voted it out of power. Can we stop it's maddened destruction as it slinks out the door into banishment?



Friday, November 07, 2008

Ebert: He Was The Grown Up

Roger Ebert lived to see this day...

President Obama is not an obsessed or fearful man. He has no grandiose ideological schemes to lure us into disaster. He won because of a factor the pundits never mentioned. He was the grown-up


Tennessee Democratic Party Loses Mirror

It's a painful thing to watch someone you care about waste away.

When the rest of the Nation is jubilant and dancing in the streets, the Tennessee Democratic Party is mired in depression of their own making. They got their asses handed to them Tuesday. With a very popular sitting governor, Democrats managed to lose control of the state Senate and the State House with a census year looming which will allow Republicans, now that they are in control, to redistrict our state in much the same way Tom Delay did Texas, gerrymandering the Democratic Party into a deep hole. In the entire nation, only Tennessee went backwards on Tuesday in such an impressive manner. The reasons are simple and obvious, but I don't see any signs that awareness has yet struck the TNDP.

Successful for so long, the Tennessee Democratic Party catered to its big donors and blew off the actual people in this state. You know...the folks they are supposed to be fighting for. The, um, voters. You know locals were ready and willing to work their asses off, but the only message they got was "send us some money".

Ask yourself what the TN Dem message was in this last election? They ran away from the central theme of the Obama campaign which was simply, "George W. Bush and all the Republicans that helped him screw up this Nation are bad for us and it is now up to Democrats to fix it." With the national campaign calling for everyone's help to fix healthcare, fix the economy, rescue the environment, and deal with the devastating Iraq War, what we heard at the local level was, "I'm against Gay Marriage"...Pitiful!

Now, in the aftermath, Democratic officials are blaming everything and everyone except their own inability to craft a message and effectively execute. In my own state senate district, the message from both campaigns was the tired and dessicated, "god, gays, and guns." Both of them were anti-choice, pro-gun, blah, blah, blah. For crying out loud, we had a very competent and energetic woman running on the D side, and all we could do was mimic worn out and disappointing R talking points?

TN Dems have no message...No plan...No game. It's a sort of every man for himself. Worse, they have no effective local organizations in most of the state. Why is that? Everybody else in the whole freakin' country has furiously built local organizations but not in Tennessee, where the mission seemed to be preserve the hierarchy...good old boys first. The moral of the Rosalind Kurita story, a State Democratic Senator who voted against the incumbent senate leader giving the chair to Republicans, was completely lost on state Dems. When a Democratic Senator sees the Republicans as the lesser of two evils, do you think it might be time to look in the mirror for some self assessment? Nope...they simply ran Kurita out of the party. All for trying to preserve the good old boys who lost anyway.

In the absence of a functioning local Democratic party, progressives have turned to their own hands and minds to do something about it. has been vilified by Republicans and even dissed by Democrats who felt threatened by an effective movement rising up from the voters when their national party was failing them, but it is a far more effective local organizing tool than anything the local Dems have at the moment.

Howard Dean was widely ridiculed for his 50 State Strategy, but he plowed the ground and enabled several strong grassroots organizations to start the rebuilding process in a ton of red states. In Jesse Helms' North Carolina, incumbent Senator Elizabeth Dole was tossed out by a Democratic Woman and Barack Obama won the state's electoral votes. North Carolina, People! This was done by local people and organizations working with an effective national campaign that "get's it".

What about Tennessee? My local state senator went public demanding that Democratic Governor Bredesen not meet with the head of the Democratic National Committee (Howard /dean) who was offering expertise in building localized effectiveness. Later Senator Kilby went public against having Barack Obama visit East Tennessee. Well...his senate seat has now been handed to the Republicans, and one of the reasons cited by Republicans is that John McCain made a last minute East Tennessee. Say what you will about the paucity of the Republican message, it got delivered.

Well it's "morning in America" and TN Dems are just sick about what they let happen. If they continue to wallow in a depressive state, they ain't seen nothing yet...Just wait 'til 2010, when the governor's race is up. There are easy lessons to learn, and ready tools available that have been proven in a state right next door. But it's like the Tennessee Democratic Party is a man starving because he's too depressed to stand up and walk just across the room to a table set with a banquet...

And blaming everybody but himself.



Other Views of the nuts and bolts required for salvation.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

America is a center-right Nation? Absolutely FALSE

Well, that didn't take long. We already have the new meme flowing from Karl Rove and others on the right, "America is a center-right nation."

Bull crap.

Conservatives are a minority in America but they'll never admit it. Not only that, but when you ask people plain questions, it is clear from their answers that Americans are simply not idealogical conservatives. From the highly regarded Pew Research Center comes, not the idea but the fact, that we are quite Liberal as a nation:

The number of people who think government has the responsibility to take care of people who can't take care of themselves is 70%.

The number of people who would prefer a smaller government is 57%. (The Federal government shrinks under Democrats and swells under Republicans...Did you know that?)

The number of people who think corporations are too powerful and should be restrained is 65%.

The number of people who think Labor Unions are necessary to protect the working person is 68%.

The number of people who think stronger laws are needed to protect our environment is 83%.

The number of people who think we should put more emphasis on fuel conservation and alternative energy than in drilling for more oil is 69%.

The number of people who would be willing to pay more for products and services in order to protect the environment is 60%.

The number of people who support government funded health insurance for all citizens is 66%.

Two thirds of Americans solidly support Liberal ideas, concepts, and programs that would greatly benefit the vast majority of citizens. Do you know who would lose a little bit of money if these programs were enacted?

Very, very, rich people and those who serve them.

America is a very Liberal Nation, and don't you let anyone tell you otherwise.

Our mainstream media is picking up the chant they've been handed by the neo-conservative noise machine. But now, when you hear anyone say we are a center right nation, you will know better than to believe them or trust them any more.

All you have to say is, "No it's not."

America is different from what we have been told. As someone recently said..

"America is better than these last eight years!"



Read more from really good thinkers;

Eric Alterman

Paul Rosenberg

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Reports Keep Coming In...

From our friends outside the Country in New Zealand...

Actually there was lots of dancing at the pub! Did not have the drink a drop =-- we were all giddy with the excitement! The world celebrates that the new generation, the next generation the beyond color generation is taking leadership. The giant roar that went up at the jammed place when McCain conceded was enough to sustain me through the night! What a night - a new day!! It rocked with the world.

And from inside the Bush Administration...

Wow! OMG! and all those other Expletives...Now What?

In my quest to stay awake to see Barack Obama speak, I actually had to limit my beverage consumption. I couldn't follow the "Monday Night Football" plan whereby I fall asleep on the couch during the commercial between the first and second halves, and then wake up in the fourth quarter to see what everybody is yelling about.

I was wired until the electoral tally broke 270 and then all the phone calls started coming in. My circle of friends seemed to be very happy in the wee hours, and I suspect there will be some groggy folks at their desks today.

Obama won...We won...Now what?

My home state of Tennessee continued its march against the tide and went heavily Republican at all levels. That's trouble for people who care about the environment or want religious proselytizing kept out of schools. There's a long list.

But now we have the scenario in place. The playing field has changed and the teams have different field positions than they did 24 hours ago. What's next?

One way to think about it is to see who were the winners and who are the losers after yesterday.

One pundit thinks that Obama's election means that race will be less of a barrier to candidates. This could have a bearing on Tennessee"

Harold Ford Jr./Artur Davis: Ford, a former Tennessee congressman and 2006 Senate candidate, and Davis, an Alabama congressman, are weighing bids for governor in their respective states in 2010. Obama's victory -- the first by an African American in the country's history -- and his strong showing in states like Virginia and North Carolina could well make it easier for both Ford and Davis, both of whom are black, to overcome the traditional racial divides present in southern politics. Obama's win doesn't mean Ford or Davis will win but it does lessen the power of the argument that a black candidate can't be elected to certain offices in certain parts of the country.

I strongly question that. Tennessee politics are driven by fear and loathing...The issues are rarely positive ones. We tend to stick to smearing our opponents as being against the god, gays, and guns hot buttons that motivate our likely voters. In a year when most of the rest of the nation put aside race as a qualification and voted for leadership, Tennessee's politicians ran as hard as they could away from the national ticket. They accepted the way things are in Tennessee and campaigned accordingly. I don't believe they had to.

Rather than trying to play into the prevailing prejudices, Tennessee's Democrats could have paid their dues in rewriting our state's narrative. We could have also moved away from prejudice as a campaign theme. Instead, we validated it.

My Country has, at least momentarily, moved away from race as an issue, but the burden of history will weigh heavily upon Barack Obama. The TV people keep talking about America electing a "Black Man" and I wish they wouldn't. I wish Obama could be thought of as a "Multi-Cultural" American.

After all...most of us are.

Folks, this country is in serious situation, debt ridden, divided on schools, health care, the environment, and the Iraq War and whether or not you can defeat terrorism by destroying a whole nation that had nothing to do with the act that started the war.

I have great hope (yes, there's that word again) that Barack Obama can reverse the course of neo-conservative destruction and decay beset upon America. It will take all his talents and all of our effort to support him. The question comes down, not to whether Barack Obama will be a great President of the United States of America...But rather, "Will we let him?"

The onus is actually on us. Are we ready to become a "Great Generation"?

I hope so.



Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Further Radicalization of the GOP

Saint Krugman sees what I see, and says it far better.

...the GOP's long transformation into the party of the unreasonable right, a haven for racists and reactionaries, seems likely to accelerate as a result of the impending defeat.

This will pose a dilemma for moderate conservatives. Many of them spent the Bush years in denial, closing their eyes to the administration's dishonesty and contempt for the rule of law. Some of them have tried to maintain that denial through this year's election season, even as the McCain-Palin campaign's tactics have grown ever uglier. But one of these days they're going to have to realize that the Republican Party has become the party of intolerance.

The entire article is here.

Monday, November 03, 2008

WhitesCreek goes Out on a Limb and Predicts...

From Nostrodamos...

Quatrain 78, Century X

At the war's end:
The Feeble Kept One will strike down the Night
And his Imbecile Queen will rise from the snow
Bedecked in finery and the pelt of a wolf.

Actually, the "Feeble One" promises to never end the war, so this prophecy cannot apply to tomorrow's election.

Still...Isn't it delicious, in a way, to think of His "Imbecile Queen"?

OK, I admit it's scary. But one thing I have heard from an amazing number of people, young, old, rich and poor...If Obama is denied the Presidency, there will be White Folks rioting in the streets.

Frankly...I don't think so. I don't think we are going to be causing trouble tomorrow night.

So here is the long awaited WhitesCreek Prophecy for 11-04-2008:

I think we are going to be...(Turn your speakers up and get out of that chair!)

Dancin' in Chicago (dancin' in the street)
Down in New Orleans (dancin' in the street)
In New York City

Callin' out around the world,
are you ready for a brand new beat?
Summer's here and the time is right
for dancin' in the street.
Dancin' in Chicago (dancin' in the street)
Down in New Orleans (dancin' in the street)
In New York City

All we need is music, sweet music,
There'll be music everywhere
There'll be swingin' swayin', and records playin,
Dancin' in the street

Oh it doesn't matter what you wear,
just as long as you are there.
So come on every guy, grab a girl,
Everywhere, around the world

There'll be dancin', they're dancin' in the street.
This is an invitation, across the nation,
A chance for folks to meet.
There'll be laughin' singin', and music swingin'
Dancin' in the street

Philadelphia P.A., Baltimore and D.C now,
Can't forget the motor city,
All we need is music, sweet music
There'll be music everywhere
There'll be swingin' swayin', and records playin,
Dancin' in the street

Oh it doesn't matter what you wear,
just as long as you are there.
So come on every guy, grab a girl,
Everywhere, around the world

They're dancin', dancin' in the street
Way down in L.A., every day
they're dancin' in the street
Lets form a big strong line, and get in time,
We're dancin' in the street.
Across the ocean blue, me and you
We're dancin n the street

And for you CaliForNeeUns who are awaiting the Prop 8 Vote I offer this version...