Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More Ms. & Citizen K.

Hi everybody, & hope you're having a swell Wednesday! It's been a bit trying around these parts: I managed to come up with a painful muscle pull the other day, & so have been living on ibuprofen & other such things & trying not to laugh (it doesn't only hurt when....but still), & then today after negotiating a 7,000 mile road trip without incident I managed a cartoonish fishtail down an icy hill, which ultimately concluded with my running the Subaru up on the shoulder & fortunately, righting the way again. Sheesh!

But that's really not why I'm checking in. I wanted to mention that the Ms. Blog has been added to the "Our Other Blogs" blog roll, since our own SoCal correspondent Audrey Bilger is contributing to that site often; in fact, Audrey's story today is the featured post - it's called Sarah Barracuda Gets the Last Laugh on McCain. I'm sure at least all stateside readers know who Sarah Barracuda is....

In addition, there's another article today on the Ms. Blog that I think some regular Robert Frost's Banjo readers will enjoy - since folks here tend to be interested in history, women's issues &/or postcards - that post is by David M. Dismore, & is titled How Suffragist Postcards Got Out the Vote.

Finally, I'd like to give a nod to long-time blog comrade Citizen K, who's been posting some thought-provoking articles about the Tea Party phenomenon in this country. I'd especially call attention to his posts What If (which was re-posted by the Seattle Times), Confessions of a Liberal Fascist, & Group Sex (which discusses an incident that anyone - like myself - who has been close to a Parkinson's sufferer should find sickening & appalling). Frankly, friends, the Tea Party movement & the recent rash of violent rhetoric & actual violent outbursts have been chilling - however we may feel about government policy, I believe we all need to ask ourselves if this type of rhetoric & behavior should be tolerated. Thuggery has reared its head in this country before: it occurred in many of our lifetimes in response to the Civil Rights marches in the 50s & 60s, it occurred as a response to the Labor Movement throughout the early part of the 20th century, & it occurred under Jim Crow in the post-Civil War south. Tho the Tea Party movement claims to espouse freedom, their actions belie any claims they may try to make in that direction.

During my road trip I paid a visit to Mount Rushmore. It occurred to me that, for all their uber-patriotic rhetoric, the Tea Party adherents would have little liking for at least three of the Presidents memorialized there: Jefferson, because he championed the notion of separation of church & state; Lincoln, because he stood for a strong federal government (otherwise known as "thefederalgovernment" in right-wing circles) against states' rights; & Theodore Roosevelt whose vision of community service was described by "pundit" Glenn Beck as "a cancer." By the way, criticism of Beck's rant about Roosevelt doesn't just come from dreaded liberals such as myself. The Republican Red State blog also took serious issue with Beck's Roosevelt-bashing.

That's all on the soapbox for me today!


  1. and teddy roosevelt was the first president that advocated universal health care for all the citizens of the good ol' u.s.of a.!!!

    kudos to the ms blog and citizen k!

    sorry to hear about the car 'incident' - but statistics show over 90% within a mile (or is it 5) of home.

    take care!

  2. Hi Mouse: Actually I was about 70 miles from home, but still a lot closer than I have been! & yes, big kudos to Ms & Audrey & Citizen K!

  3. Hi, John. Sorry I haven't commented much lately, but I have followed and enjoyed your roadtrip. I wish you had made it to WV.

    I am sad and sorry and sickened by what is happening in America right now. I don't know whose news to trust as it all seems biased to me. I hope we get through this, but I'm afraid it won't be without price.

  4. I don't know whose news to trust as it all seems biased to me.

    I second this. I try to get my news from a number of places in the hopes that some sort of more balanced picture will emerge.

    Regarding the Tea Parties, the impression I've gotten from them especially from rallies around where I live is that for the most part they actually are peaceful, nonviolent ordinary folk, many of them worried mostly about economic prospects for themselves and their families. Unfortunately, the peaceful nonviolent ordinary folk are rarely the ones who are the most vocal and rarely the ones who get the attention of the press.

    (I've seen this phenomenon on the more liberal end of the political spectrum as well. I remember in college there were some thoughtful demonstrations and talks given by people eager to engage in rational debate on various issues, but it was always the screamers, the people who threw stuff, vandalized buildings, and shut down debates who got the attention of the press and the university.)

    The more rational and moderate are drowned out by the noise-makers and the extremists, who become the "face" of protest or the movement.

  5. Hi Karen & HKatz

    Karen: I was in WV, but only briefly--maybe next go round! I also was unable to do much commenting while on the road.

    HKatz: Thanks for the perspective. I believe the one thing that makes this movement different from some of the left-wing protests is the sanctioning of violence by people in power & people in mainstream media--since at this point one would have to consider Fox News mainstream. This also occurred in response to the Civil Rights movement & the labor movement--in each of those cases, elected officials & mainstream media either implicitly or explicitly sanctioned violent actions. I also know people around here who are tea party members, & some of them are well-intentioned people at heart--I can't see them attacking a man with Parkinsons or forcing a car with an Obama bumper sticker off the road (did happen, & also has been suggested by Sarah Palin--she didn't say to force such cars off the road, but did say to stop people in such cars & accost them) or breaking windows of elected officials' offices (suggested by various Republican officials following passage of the healthcare bill, who then said they were "only" speaking metaphorically). So while left wing protestors have certainly crossed the line into violence, I can't recall a time when mainstream liberal political figures incited it.

  6. I hope your aches are eased John? You say ibuprofen? Do you the gel? I swear by it for my on+off sore back! Regards,Tony.


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