Small Protests Count

homophobia

Many purchases ago, I wandered into a ‘Cumberland farms.’  Or, as it is affectionately known, ‘Cumbies!’

I had three large dogs in a two door Ford Focus.  After handing over my debit card to the nervous clerk.  He rang me through, carton of Marlboro Reds, tank full of gas and three large Slim Jim’s…for the brood rocking the back of my car.

I did not look at the receipt.  I signed.  I left.  

Not one minute later…I had been accused of only paying for the cigarettes and snack.  

‘Why didn’t you look at the slip?  Were you going to get away with free gas?’

Long story short, the frightened, deer stuck in headlights, social media savvy, clerk…did not charge me for the gas.

A simple mistake?  Possibly!  However, after I returned to ‘pay up.’  The clerk and the police seemed…very suspicious.  After all, most good robbers often drive a too small car covered with hippie stickers and three large dogs in the back seat.

One that day, years from today, I vowed to never visit establishments…that have offered up…bad service.

New Year Resolution for those inclined to make a difference in…small ways.

Urban Outfitters –

Chairman Richard Hayne donates often to candidate that do not support gay rights.  

salvationarmyusa.org

The Salvation Army openly says that “practicing homosexuals” aren’t welcome in their organization and they have lobbyists in D.C. and abroad who work to prevent gay rights legislation from being enacted.we-help-people

Chick-fil-A –

Openly homophobic president, Dan Cathy.  Company donates yearly to anti-gay causes.

Purina

Refuses to offer benefits to LGBTQ employees.

Boy Scouts of America

Most recently allowed for openly gay scouts.  Strongly discourages openly gay scout leaders.

What can happen with the little protests?  Every great movement started in small ways!

Not since 2013, when a boycott of Barilla brand pasta raged around the world, has the Italian company been the focus of so many headlines.

Chairman Guido Barilla changed the course of that debacle by recanting some alarming antigay comments!

“I have heard the countless reactions around the world to my words, which have depressed and saddened me. It is clear that I have a lot to learn about the lively debate concerning the evolution of the family,” he said. “In the coming weeks, I pledge to meet representatives of the group that best represent the evolution of the family, including those who have been offended by my words.”

LGBTQ Nation

 

 

Emancipate Yourself…Maybe?

When the pain gets too much…We will then do something about it?!

 

How did we arrive at a point in our history where gangs of hecklers chase politicians from restaurants, where senate hearings have lost all decorum, where family members and friends part ways over politics?

Every day brings new examples of incivility and violence. In the last twenty-four hours, I have casually browsed several sites online. Here was a professor advocating castration for white Republicans; celebrities mocking a black singer for praising the President; strangers leaving death threats on the phones of politicians, judges, and their families; anonymous callers phoning in false accusations of rape; some wicked soul mailing the poison ricin to a Republican senator and to officials at the Pentagon.

Only a quarter of a century ago this ongoing malevolence would have shocked most Americans. Sure, conservatives and liberals attacked each other, but those disagreements resemble a dialogue in Plato’s Academy compared to the howls and antics we find in 2018.

Why is this? Here are five possible answers:

1. Technological Advances

Twenty-five years ago, the Internet and cell phones were in their infancy. Twitter was a noise made by sparrows in the yard. These devices are wonderful but allow every bozo with an opinion—including myself—to shoot that opinion into cyberspace instantaneously and often anonymously. From school bullying to Supreme Court nominations, our technology gives us the power to destroy a fellow human being with threats and insults.

2. University Ideology

Remember when many people, liberals and conservatives alike, poked fun at political correctness on campus? Well, those smiles are gone. PC remains rampant in our educational institutions, only now graduates of Harvard, Duke, Stanford, and a few hundred other colleges have injected PC into the world of business and government. In our public universities we have long tolerated professors calling for radical changes to American society. The agents of this transformation are now sitting in boardrooms and on government committees.

3. Historical Ignorance

Google “Americans ignorant about history.” Magazines as different as The AtlanticAmerican Heritage, and National Review feature articles lamenting this lack of knowledge about our past. In 2011, for example, a majority of adults didn’t know that the Constitution was the supreme law of the land. Others can’t identify the Bill of Rights, the Gettysburg Address, or the reason for celebrating Independence Day.

George Santayana famously remarked, “Those who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Given the dumbing down of our citizenry regarding history, he may be wrong. Instead of repeating history, we may instead descend into a dystopia we can’t even imagine. Fifty years of steering away from courses in basic civics and denigrating American achievements have produced a bumper crop of malice.

4. Politics as Religion

Many Americans have take politics for their religion, fanatical as any Reformation Calvinists or Catholics. We make gods of our politicians and demons of our opponents and their leaders. We are on the side of the angels and they conspire with devils.

5. Washington D.C.

“Follow the money” is a journalistic axiom. Okay. Let’s follow some money. Of the 25 richest counties in the United States, 11 are located in the area surrounding DC. The city also hosts administrators and employees of government, think tanks, lobbying groups, and private businesses involved in federal endeavors.

In other words, the scorpion bottle of our animosities is not in Boise, nor in Austin, nor in Minneapolis, it’s in D.C.

These and more are reasons for our division, what some have called a “cold civil war.”

I can’t offer any grand solutions. But I can think of a small one. If we would just talk to each other and ask each other questions, person-to-person, without all the cacophony of the mainstream media and the politicians, if we could agree to disagree and then vote, then maybe we could find our way back to a country we can love.

Jeff Minick/Intellectual Takeout

My personal opinion?

Perhaps…we are tired of each other!  We’ve so long among our own insecurities, limitations, bigotry, family trees…We have just had enough!  But even as Bob Marley says,

Emancipate yourself from inner slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds…

Have no fear for atomic energy, ’cause none of them can stop the time!

 

Gray Matters

gray-matters-4

Parallel souls surface.

Tepid, rusty oven doors…critical, tired and old.

Again, the scattering of orphans…nothing but out dated candy for the eye.

Disfigured misfits falling from the austere sky.

Harvested crusted cuticles,

just surrogates from the wrong side of the tracks.

There is a sisterhood to what lies beyond the facts.

It’s Always Something

The more I watch the ‘news’ during these hazardous times…the more I miss, Walter Cronkrite.  For as far as it comes to mixing politics, the news and the truth and war and love and hate…the more I believe

‘when they own the information…they can bend it all they want!’

 

 

Everyone for themselves

 

altar 5

As a writer, as a poet, as a person, today…it is increasingly more difficult to be alone.  It often makes me wonder, is this science, technology or self imposed?

Are we intentionally avoiding ‘ourselves’?  It is easy enough to do.

Therefore, I choose, Saturday late mornings as, ME, time.  I have to…or else.  Or else, all truth that I seek surely is not real.  The most truthful place any of us can be…The best position we can have against crimes of self?

Alone time.  Nothing but, me, myself and I!

 

“In fact, we have developed a phobia of being alone; we prefer the most trivial and even obnoxious company, the most meaningless activities, to being alone with ourselves; we seem to be frightened at the prospect of facing ourselves.  Is it because we feel we would be such bad company?

I think the fear of being alone with ourselves is rather a feeling of embarrassment, bordering sometimes on terror at seeing a person at once so well known and so strange; we are afraid and run away.”

-Erich Fromm

Man for Himself

 

planning a lie 2
What is your first impression…when alone with self?