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The Impossible Dream

The Impossible Dream

Hello, everyone.

Thanks to Daily Kos, I took a trip down memory lane earlier this week. Here is the diary that did it.

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 TUE OCT 30, 2012 AT 05:30 PM MDT

kMike Huckabee says vote for Republicans or else

By Hunter

Mike Huckabee continues the GOP pre-election push to make sure everyone knows Republican “leaders” are just horrible, miserable human beings. He’s cut a new ad claiming in that usual, not-terribly-subtle Republican pseudopreacher way, that if you vote the wrong way on Nov. 6 you’re probably going to go to hell.

HUCKABEE: Many issues are at stake, but some issues are not negotiable: The right to life from conception to natural death. Marriage should be reinforced, not redefined. It is an egregious violation of our cherished principle of religious liberty for the government to force the Church to buy the kind of insurance that leads to the taking of innocent human life.

Your vote will affect the future and be recorded in eternity. Will you vote the values that will stand the test of fire? This is Mike Huckabee asking you to join me November 6th and vote based on values that will stand the test of fire.”

Ah, that famous right to life that never quite extends to wars, the death penalty, or anything else. That “redefinition” of marriage that can never quite fathom how often marriage has been “redefined” over the years and how what Mike Huckabee thinks of as “marriage” is not the be-all, end-all of what everyone else has to think about the subject. The religious liberty that now sees “having my employees get insurance coverage that upsets my own pre-Victorian sensibilities on what birth control means, and I think maybe it means abortion because I am a lying, anti-scientific imbecile” as the defining moral battle of our times. So you either do what Mike Huckabee says or it’s off to the hellfires for you.

I would take these moral scolds a wee bit more seriously—just a bit, mind you—if I had, say, ever heard of someone being evicted from their religion over their unwavering public support for torture. Or if public endorsement of the death penalty was an excommunication-worthy offense, because hey, life is life. But it’s not, and it never will be, because modern religious conservatism is about sex, sex, and sex. I have never heard Mike Huckabee or any of these other moral scolds get a tenth as worked up over anything—human rights, torture, mass bombings, assassinations, industrialized slavery, deportations, worker exploitation, child poverty, other poverty, fouled water, insufficient food, or ostentatious fake preachers taking the Lord’s name in vain to beg for a few more million dollars on the teevee—as they do over the notion that somebody, somewhere, is having sex in an unapproved fashion.

Test of fire, indeed.

– – – – – – – – – –

This whole bag of shit of Huckabee’s takes me back 50 years to the time I was in the Nazarene Church during my undergraduate years. I would need a supercomputer to count the times that we guys in that “church” were told that we would burn forever in Hell if we dated a girl who wasn’t a Nazarene. The trouble was, the girls in that church despised us guys and avoided us like we were carrying the bubonic plague. In addition, they were dating non-Nazarene guys! One time, one of us guys had the courage to ask some Nazarene Bible-banger who was holding a “revival,” why the double standard. The answer we all got? “Just because I said so.” Now if anyone were to pose the question to Mike Huckabee, he would likewise get the good Nazarene answer “Just because I said so.” Plus que change, plus c’est la meme chose.

And it wasn’t just dating Nazarene girls. I was told that my ticket was punched for Hell if I read the Sunday paper. Or played cards. Or went to the show. Or watched TV. Or joined the Masonic Lodge. Or smoked. Or drank. Or did anything else that made life worth living. And of course, I did ALL of these things, and had a WONDERFUL time while doing it.

This whole concept is played out in another Daily Kos diary, this one from 10/31/12. The title is – are you ready for this? – “Romney campaign doesn’t speak for Romney campaign, says Romney campaign.” Confused? So am I. Oh well, here is the germane paragraph:

Naturally, even his correction wasn’t quite right. The official Romney campaign position on abortion is that Romney believes in a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions and will uphold Roe v. Wade. Wait, no, that was his position in the ’90s. The current position is that he would love to sign a constitutional amendment banning abortion in all cases. Wait, no, that was a year ago. The current position is that abortion is acceptable in some cases, and he’s offended by any Republican who disagrees. Wait, no, that was in August. The current position is … heck, it’s whatever you want it to be as long as you vote for Romney.”

One thing that I have learned in my 70 years of life is that the Supreme God has a way of slamming the brakes on our human stupidity. This Presidential campaign has been downright zany at times, thanks to the stupid Republicans. The current meme is that “God” sent Hurricane Sandy to this country to punish us for not hating gays and lesbians enough. Heck, if they want a REAL jolt, maybe they should read the Secret Gospel of Mark. Anyway, Romney’s campaigning in the light of the pain and heartbreak now experienced in New York and New Jersey makes me wonder if common human decency has followed the route of the dodo bird.

Just when I am about ready to give up on the human race because of my life experiences, something like this happens, and I have to fight to keep my faith in the human race from rejuvenating. This is also from Daily Kos on 10/31/12.

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President Obama, Chris Christie make show of unity in tackling Hurricane Sandy cleanup

By Jed Lewison

President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, after surveying damage from Hurricane Sandy throughout New Jersey late this afternoon, deliver statements that were broadcasted on the national networks:

President Obama stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, on Wednesday afternoon, providing reassurance after Hurricane Sandy — and a politically powerful picture of bipartisanship.

After touring through a hard-hit community on a barrier island in the state, the two men praised each other and expressed satisfaction with the cooperation of their governments.

He has worked incredibly closely with me since before the storm hit,” Mr. Christie said, with Mr. Obama standing just behind him. “It’s been a great working relationship.” […]

Mr. Obama was equally effusive, saying that Mr. Christie, “throughout this process, has been responsive.”

Obviously politics isn’t the most important thing here, but this was a lovefest that only Mitt Romney could hate.

– – – – – – – – – –

Here is one of the most astonishing answers to a question I have ever heard. When it was announced that Governor Chris Christie and Barak Obama were going to tour the storm damage in New Jersey, Fox News – the Republican Network – asked Christie if he would be making a similar tour with Mitt Romney. Here is Christie’s response: “I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested. I have a job to do in New Jersey that is much bigger than presidential politics. I could care less about any of that stuff… If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don’t know me.

Absolutely incredible! Two men who are at the opposite ends of the political spectrum find the ability to completely ignore “abortion” and “Israel” and instead focus on the hurting humanity who live in the middle of the havoc that Hurricane Sandy has wreaked. Jed Lewwison was spot on; only Mitt Romney – and maybe Billy Graham and Pat Robertson – could hate the show of mutual respect and cooperation that Obama and Christie displayed.

In an earlier diary, I explained how extremely important intellect is to me, and how I voted a straight Democratic ticket because of what I judge to be the far superior intellect of the Democratic party. I mean, the Democrats know the difference between a noun and an adjective, which is far more than one can say about the Republicans. I believe that Chris Christie showed some degree of intellect in his decision that sharing a fact-finding trip with Barak Obama was more important than kissing up to Mitt Romney. Already Christie is getting dive-bombed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh. But then only a fool would place Limbaugh’s intellectual capacity on the same level as that of a slug, let alone the level of Albert Einstein.

I have never been a hero-worshipper, but if I were, my four biggest heroes would be FDR, Abraham Lincoln, Bill Clinton, and Barak Obama. FDR in effect saved this country in the 1930s. Lincoln ended the awful slave trade over the objections of those in the Bible Belt. Bill Clinton had the intellect to see and understand that “It’s the economy, stupid!” And Obama has fought fierce Republican recalcitrance to rescue this country from the horrible policies of the previous administration.

I am VERY heavily into music, and so I frame stuff in the context of music when it is appropriate to do so. It is appropriate here. There is one song that, to me, captures the spirits and visions of these men, more so than those of other men. Here is that song:

“The Impossible Dream”

from MAN OF LA MANCHA (1972)

music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion

To dream the impossible dream

To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong 

To love pure and chaste from afar

To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

Those four men – FDR, Lincoln, Bill Clinton, and Barak Obama – in their presidencies have shown their willingness to fight for the right without question or pause and to be willing to march into Hell for a heavenly cause. To a degree, I have walked with them. I chased the Impossible Dream of becoming a high-school teacher in a country that by NO stretch of the imagination was ready for a visually-impaired teacher to lead a high-school classroom in the 1960s – and still isn’t. I and my wife have traveled to two different parts of the country to settle without any promise of a job, simply because we felt that it was the hand of God leading us. And at age 70, I am still striving with my last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable star.

And because of this, I reject out of hand the sanctimonious rhetoric of the Republicans. I’m going to Hell in a handbasket because I dared to vote for Barak Obama? WONDERFUL!! My ticket to Hell has been punched so many times that they will have to issue me another one before I board that long dark train. In the real world, as far as Hell is concerned, I am willing to take my chances! Are Huckabee, Graham, Robertson, Limbaugh, et al, willing to do likewise?

Have yourselves a great day tomorrow. And don’t forget to vote if you haven’t done so already.

Bill

 

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November 2, 2012 - Posted by | Miscellaneous, Politics, Religion | , , ,

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