America’s Right-wing, or at least its rank-and-file, fancies itself as patriotic, compassionate, law-abiding citizens upholding the traditional values that built this nation—essentially, they see themselves as the modern-day equivalent to say, Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys. And in one respect, they may be correct.
In 1772, when the Green Mountain Boys continued to terrorize, beat, and burn out Yorkers ,the governor of New York offered rewards for their capture and then, in absentia, sentenced them to death. In response, their leader Ethan Allen declared they were fighting for their “liberty, property, and life,” thereby linking the Grants’ (the parliamentary act establishing towns) cause to America’s fight with Britain.
Given the fact that the Salem witch trials of 1692 were in reality nothing more than a land-grab, the question begs to be asked; was Ethan Allen’s declaration, in fact, the truth in 1772, or did the threat of execution convince Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys to ‘straighten up and fly right?’ We may never know what their real motives were, but contemporary America might provide insights to this question.
For example, since America’s Right-wing wants to portray themselves as American Whigs versus American Loyalists (Democrats and progressives); just how patriotic is America’s Right-wing? Our Declaration of Independence explicitly lists 27 grievances against the British Crown. Of those 27 grievances, how many modern-day equivalents to those grievances does contemporary America’s Right-wing view to be a threat to the well-being of our Republic? Based upon legislative inaction, and actions detrimental to the well-being of our Republic; not many!
For example; how is corrupting the Fourth Estate and changing it to ‘yellow journalism’ patriotic?
During Russia’s Soviet era, there was a joke that was common in Moscow about the printed news. In Moscow, you had two news outlets; Pravda and Izvestia. Pravda translates to news and Izvestia translates to truth. So the joke was that in Pravda, there was no truth and in Izvestia, there was no news. Likewise, America’s press have become very much like Pravda and Izvestia. One might say that the Right wing press has become our own Pravda and the supposedly “liberal” press has become our Izvestia.
Faux Snooze has become a parody, a caricature of itself. And the Right-wing busily foists new village idiots on the airwaves for an audience that gets lost in thought, as it’s unfamiliar territory for them; they’re out of their depth in a wading pool. Further, like the proud automatons they are of Joseph Goebbels, the Right-Wing press has never seen a lie too preposterous or outrageous to print. And it doesn’t stop there! Right-wing trolls on the internet, such as the likes of; Advantage Consultants and Bivings Group/The Brick Factory are assiduously striving to prove Thomas Jefferson absolutely correct;
“The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers… [A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers.” —[Thomas Jefferson to G. K. van Hogendorp, Oct. 13, 1785. (*) ME 5:181, Papers 8:632]
… by filling the misinformation superhighway with so much ignorance exceeded only by their stupidity.
Meanwhile the legitimate press has been kowtowed by the monied interests, working on their bosses thus threatening their careers, into dropping the ball that Patrick Henry so fervently advocated for;
“Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.” —[Patrick Henry to the Second Virginia Convention at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia, March 23, 1775]
How is corrupting the elective process patriotic?
Beginning as early as 1980, contrary to the belief that the Algiers Accords was the purpose for the timing of the release of the Iran hostages from the Carter years, certain GOP insiders admit, under direction from the Republican Party, Iran was to hold the hostages until the Republican demigod Ronald Reagan completed his 20-minute inaugural address after being sworn in as President—on January 20, 1981. And only at that moment when Reagan completed that speech did Iran free the 52 American hostages into U.S. custody, having spent 444 days in captivity.
In red state, after red state, after red state, Republican Apparatchiks are enacting new rules to disenfranchise voters. Claiming there are hoards voting who shouldn’t be, and where there is no evidence of significant election fraud at polling places, Republican Apparatchiks are cracking down on phantom lawbreakers. For example; in Ohio, there’s House Bill 159. If passed, the law will disenfranchise nearly 900,000 Ohioans, targeting students, seniors, people of color and low-income voters who have been hit hardest by the recession. Studies indicate that 25% of African-Americans nationwide do not have a government-issued photo ID, 18% of voters over age 65 do not have a photo ID, and 15% of voters with incomes under $35,000 lack the ID as well.
As a Harris County, Texas resident in 1980, 1982 and 1984, I had all the requisite ID required to vote. But that still did not prevent my civil right to vote from being denied as poll workers told me; I had already voted. The period from 1980 to 1984 was the period when Texas went from nominally blue (Blue-dog Democrat) to bright red.
On December 12, 2000 Supreme Court justices’ William H. Rehnquist, Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas were party to a coup d’état in America through their decision to deny the counting of Floridians’ votes — in addition to violating Article 21 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In 2004, Republicans brazenly boasted about promoting the fringe ‘ultraliberal Ralph Nader’ candidacy as a wedge in order to peel votes away from the majority of Americans who wanted President Bush out of the White House. This divide-and-conquer cynicism was a cornerstone of the GOP strategy in 2004 to keep George W. Bush in office.
The Venezuelan election of 2004 compelled me to write an open letter to President Bush. In my closing remarks, I stated; So you, or to be more precise, Karl Rove, chose to do something about the instability in Venezuela. The wealthy cabal in Venezuela was stuffing ballot boxes, so Karl instructed Diebold to make Chavez win. So, Chavez won. But do keep in mind, this never officially happened! And the second reason is that Venezuela was the test run for the 2004 election—just to shake out all the kinks.
And sure enough, 2004′s general election went just as I predicted; Americans went to the polls in numbers never before seen in America to elect a new president. Little did they know that before they went to the polls, the fix was already in. One Iowa voter precinct gave Bush approximately 4,500 votes, Kerry 260 votes; but the total number of registered voters were only 704. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on election day when the polls opened, there were already 3,500 votes on each of the voting machines. When word broke that votes were already on the voting machines, Republicans charged “VOTER FRAUD,” poll bosses said they knew, and that nothing was amiss. Republicans also claimed this election to be a new bell weather for Latino voters. But again, the numbers didn’t add up; out of 10 million Latino voters polled for Bush, there were only 7 million REGISTERED Latino voters.
And as for my vote? In 2004, I was a resident of Pennsylvania working on a project in Galveston, Texas. Republicans foisted Ralph Nader into the fray in Pennsylvania simply as a Republican strategy to suppress the Pennsylvania absentee vote, and due to this action by the Republican Party, my ballot never came. Why? Because Republicans also tied up absentee ballots from being printed in Pennsylvania’s courts although virtually all the signatures on the initiative were fraudulent, thus preventing absentee voting. So this marked the fourth time my Constitutional right to vote was denied.
Further, how is corrupting the legislative process patriotic?
Republican leadership concedes that the current dominant faction of the House Republican caucus isn’t interested in measures that would make President Obama look good by improving the economy. And time and again over the last three years, moderate Republicans have walked away from measures they previously supported—on cap-and-trade, immigration reform—simply because President Obama was for them. Partisanship, or racism?
230 House Republicans, arguing overregulation by the federal government, and eight Democrats passed the “Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act.” In truth, the bill is an act of government interference into an ongoing law enforcement case for the benefit of the commercial airplane division of the Boeing Co. And rather than protect jobs, the bill actually would put jobs at risk and leave workers exposed to punitive actions by corporations trying to avoid their legal obligations.
Under the federal National Labor Relations Act of 1935, it is illegal for companies to coerce or discriminate against employees who exercise the work-related rights the law guarantees them. Congress invested enforcement responsibility for the law in the National Labor Relations Board, an independent agency. The Republicans’ profound antagonism toward workers’ rights is unabashed; this is an effort to gut protections for workers under the National Labor Relations Act.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 replaced the laws enacted under Franklin Deleanor Roosevelt to rescue this nation from the Great Depression and that helped the American middle class flourish through to the late 1970s. But the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was purposely left toothless because of the law’s active verb, to prevent encumbrances to trickle-down, an ill-conceived economic theory, the lack of academic economics credentials by movement leaders such as Jude Wanniski and Robert Bartley imply that the theories behind it are bankrupt.
And then there’s the illegal congressional insider trading. The Standing Rules of the Senate prohibit senators and staff from disclosing confidential Senate information. The Code of Government Ethics, applying to all federal employees, prohibits them from using confidential workplace information for private profit.
And in order to silence any future dissent, sponsored by corporate interests like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Bankers Association, the “Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011” (H.R. 3035), would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to allow telemarketers and bill collectors to make endless calls to your mobile phone, and thanks to most mobile plans including a limited number of minutes, we’ll be the one’s footing the bill every time a robo-caller robo-dials you.
While there is a rule concerning giving “prior express consent” for telemarketers to start robo-calling you, its definition of consent is incredibly loose. Giving out your number when you’re buying anything — clothes, groceries, a pack of gum — gives merchants (and the companies that own them) full license to robo-call. Therefore the “Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011” (H.R. 3035) will force mobile phone users to get rid of their mobile phones (and the cameras in them).
How is corrupting our courts patriotic?
On January 26, 2010, through the Supreme Court’s campaign finance decision; Supreme Court justices’ Anthony M. Kennedy, John G. Roberts Jr., Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel A. Alito Jr. committed Treason. Treason is the offense of betraying one’s own country by attempting to overthrow the government through waging war against the state or materially aiding its enemies. Also termed high treason; alta proditio.
According to the United States Constitution, Article III, § (Section) 3, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”
Under federal statute, a person guilty of treason against the United States “shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.” Article 18 U.S.C. § (Section) 2381
After the attacks against our people on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush declared a “war” on terrorism. With a declared war, there are enemies. Through justices’ William H. Rehnquist, Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas’ decision to enable domestic and foreign corporations, many of which have already demonstrated incredibly poor judgement through the derivatives debacle and all the bubbles trickle-down has facilitated, to further debauch our government gives aid and comfort to our enemies.
OK, so Right-Wing government is unpatriotic to an extreme. What about the Right-Wing rank-and-file? The Web site Liberals Like Christ provides a listing and definition for “Chicken Hawks;” people who are enthused about their country engaging in war, making them “hawks,” but who make sure that their own butts are nowhere near the fighting, making them “chickens.” As a veteran myself (Vietnam era), I took note of the people I served with. Most of whom I served with, I would have judged, by their combined roots and viewpoints, were Democrats. Thus, it would appear that most people who have served in our Nation’s defense are Democrats.
Thus it is more than abundantly clear that for the Right-wing to use the word “patriotic” is to be delusional at best, if not downright farcical. And law-abiding citizens most definitely do not commit treason. As for being compassionate, given Right-wing attacks on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance, the earned income tax credit, school lunch programs, and food stamps, booing a soldier at a GOP debate, and the sadistically ghoulish outbursts by the crowds at the GOP debates in Simi Valley and Tampa, compassionate conservatism has also gone right out the window.
“Demagogue: One who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.” —[H.L. Mencken]
Very well, since patriotic, compassionate, and law-abiding no longer applies; what traditional values does the Right-wing support? Supposedly, there’s the church. However in this age of ecumenalism, Baptist preacher and pundit Pat Robertson stated; “You say you’re supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don’t have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist. I can love the people who hold false opinions but I don’t have to be nice to them.”
Geez, as a United Methodist, let me say; thanks Pat. And as much as I could write off this rant like another of Pat Robertson’s; “Scotland was ‘a dark land’ overrun by homosexuals” (Robertson is a Scottish surname, part of the Clan Donnachaidh—Pronounced: “Donna – Key”) as simply the ravings of a senile lunatic, given all the other lunatics bending Right-winger’s ears; H.L. Mencken’s description of a demagogue truly best describes these lunatics bending Right-winger’s ears.
With that being the case, then who is this Right-wing arch-nemesis. A lesson I learned over four and a half decades ago from Rev. and Dr. Walter Wink was about Christ’s “Third Way”—and it was in a United Methodist Church. In most churches, pastors will pontificate on Christ’s “Third Way” without fully comprehending it. The most used Bible passage for Christ’s “Third Way” is Matthew 5:38-39; You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. In other words; non-resistance and passivity.
Jesus was trying to break a spiral of violence. Don’t resist one who is evil means don’t turn into the very thing you hate. And it was from this that I coined the phrase; “choose well your enemy; because you will become like them.” And I will quote Walter to help you understand the message;
Jesus gives three examples of what He means by not returning evil for evil. The first of these is, “If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also.” Imagine if I were your assailant and I were to strike a blow with my right fist at your face, which cheek would it land on? It would be the left. It is the wrong cheek in terms of the text we are looking at. Jesus says, “If anyone strikes you on the right cheek…” I could hit you on the right cheek if I used a left hook, but that would be impossible in Semitic society because the left hand was used only for unclean tasks. You couldn’t even gesture with your left hand in public. The only way I could hit you on the right cheek would be with the back of the hand.
Now the back of the hand is not a blow intended to injure. It is a symbolic blow. It is intended to put you back where you belong. It is always from a position of power or superiority. The back of the hand was given by a master to a slave or by a husband to a wife or by a parent to a child or a Roman to a Jew in that period. What Jesus is saying is in effect, “When someone tries to humiliate you and put you down, back into your social location which is inferior to that person, and turn your other cheek.”
Now in the process of turning in that direction, if you turned your head to the right, I could no longer backhand you. Your nose is now in the way. Furthermore, you can’t backhand someone twice. It’s like telling a joke a second time. If it doesn’t work the first time, it has failed. By turning the other cheek, you are defiantly saying to the master, “I refuse to be humiliated by you any longer. I am a human being just like you. I am a child of God. You can’t put me down even if you have me killed.” This is clearly no way to avoid trouble. The master might have you flogged within an inch of your life, but he will never be able to assert that you have no dignity.
The second instance Jesus gives is, “If anyone takes you to court and sues you for your outer garment, give your undergarment as well.” The situation here is dealing with collateral for a loan. If a person was trying to get a loan, normally they would use animals or land as collateral for the loan but the very poorest of the poor, according to Deuteronomy 24:10-13, could hock their outer garment. It was the long robe that they used to sleep in at night and used as an overcoat by day. The creditor had to return this garment every night but could come get it every morning and thus harass the debtor and hopefully get him to repay.
Jesus’ audience is made up of debtors — “If anyone takes you to court…” He is talking to the very people who know they are going to be dragged into court for indebtedness and they know also that the law is on the side of the wealthy. They are never going to win a case. So Jesus says to them, “Okay, you are not going to win the case. So take the law and with jujitsu-like finesse, throw it into a point of absurdity. When your creditor sues you for your outer garment, give your undergarment as well.”
They didn’t have underwear in those days. That meant taking off the only stitch of clothing you had left on you and standing nude, naked, in court. As the story of Jonah reminds us, nakedness was not only taboo in Israel. The shame of nakedness fell not on the person who was naked, but on the person who observed their nakedness. The creditor is being put in the position of being shamed by the nakedness of the debtor. Imagine the debtor leaving the courtroom, walking out in the street and all of his friends coming and seeing him in his all-together and saying, “What happened to you?”
He says, “That creditor has got all my clothes,” and starts walking down to his house. People are coming out of bazaars and alleys, “What happened? What happened?” Everyone is talking about it and chattering and falling in behind him, fifty-hundred people marching down in this little demonstration toward his house. You can imagine it is going to be some time in that village before any creditor takes anybody else to court.
What Jesus is showing us in these two examples so far is that you don’t have to wait for a utopian revolution to come along before you can start living humanly. You can begin living humanly now under the conditions of the old order. The kingdom of God is breaking into the myths of these people now, the moment they begin living the life of the future, the kingdom of God.
Jesus’ third example is “If one of the occupation troops forces you to carry his pack one mile, carry it two.” Now these packs weighed 65 to 85 pounds, not counting weapons. These soldiers had to move quickly to get to the borders where trouble had broken out. The military law made it permissible for a soldier to grab a civilian and force the civilian to carry the pack, but only one mile. There were mile markers on every Roman road. If — and this is the part we have left out — the civilian were forced to carry the pack more than one mile, the soldier was in infraction of military code, and military code was always more strictly enforced than civilian. So Jesus is saying, “All right. The next time the soldier forces you to carry his pack, cooperate. Carry it and then when you come to the mile marker, keep going.”
The soldier suddenly finds himself in a position he has never been in before. He has always known before exactly what you would do. You would mutter and you would complain, but you would carry it. As soon as the mile marker came, you would drop it. Suddenly, this person is carrying the pack on. The soldier doesn’t know why, but he also knows that he is in infraction of military law and if his centurion finds out about this, he is in deep trouble. Jesus is teaching these people how to take the initiative away from their oppressors and within the situation of that old order, find a new way of being.
So obviously the Right-wing leaders and rank-and-file do not understand the values they claim to hold. And just as my warning; “choose well your enemy; because you will become like them” foretold, America’s Right-wing has become just like their enemy; Muslim extremism. And I think Qasim Rashid, national spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, USA, would agree.