Truth vs. the GOP’s BIG LIES

In my lifetime, every election has seen more and more (mostly) white, poor-to-middle class Americans buying into the GOP’s big lies and voting against their own self-interest. They latch onto the fear of “the other” (minorities, immigrants, women, LGBTQ, you name it) being peddled in place of honest policy by those who are deep in the caverous pockets of the 1%, and despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, refuse to let go.

With the Iowa caucuses just around the corner, we here at Off the Rails are going to try to combat the Big Lies with – shock! – a little truth. We may be preaching to the choir, but always better to light a match than simply curse the darkness.

For starters, a brief video by Robert Reich, economist, former Sec. of Labor under President Clinton, and all round progressive guy.

This is truth, verifiable economic truth. No more, no less. Listen and remember when you go to the polls.

 

The Important and Insignificant

The Important and Insignificant
By Jennifer Kiley

Important
Insignificant
Makers of distinctions
Determining the rankings
Powering up corruption

It’s time for…phasing out ‘Better then’
It’s time for…being inclusive
It’s time for…shutting out no one
It’s time for…representing everyone

Protect the environment
Homes for the homeless
Food for the starving
Wisdom for the ignorant
Empower the different

© jk 2016

[this is a growing power]
[and a growing poem]
[hope to add new verses]
[including the chorus]
[on Off the Rails – Track 451]

Which Side Are You On? – Pete Seeger

[You will also find this posted on Expats Post on the 4th January 2016]

ACCEPTING DIFFERENCE

'maggie the cat'

by ‘maggie the cat’

Those who are so concerned about what others are doing in their life, and then condemn them if they are different, show a lack of compassion for the individual and the ever aspiring enlightenment of the universe. “They” lack the warmth to truly know the Goddess or God. I can’t imagine a Higher Power who would support a bigot, homophobe, racist, violent, repulsive person who wants to see the destruction of the world, secretly or openly supporting the total obliteration of the Middle East so “They” can ascend in the Rapture.

Apocalypse by Vasnetsov 'Attention Deficit Delirium'

Apocalypse by Vasnetsov ‘Attention Deficit Delirium’

Some may say what I have just written is silly but on the contrary, it is quite serious and why the Tea Party and Right-wing Republicans do not support something so peaceful as the Deal President Obama made, with the help of Kerry and others, with Iran, to end their capability to create nuclear weapons. It is why they support the barbaric actions of Israel over the Palestinians. They want the strife to get so out of hand, that the bombs will be used and the area with be totally destroyed. It is part of Revelations and the end of time. Only those who are faithful to Jesus as their Savior with be called up to Heaven.

This is bizarre thinking but I respect the rules in the Constitution everyone has the rights to their beliefs. But actively encouraging and supporting the destruction of a people and their countries b/c of ulterior motives goes beyond believes. It effects everyone in the world if a world who has bombs uses those bombs to settle permanently a dispute that could just as easily, with patience and time, eventually be resolved. But those who don’t want the resolution are dangerous to us all.

atom bomb exploding

Where Intolerance Leads – Atom Bombs Explode

Using your beliefs for hate and intolerance is not what the signers of the Constitution meant by separating Church and State. Beliefs are meant to be practiced individually or in a consenting group but it should never be used to force ideas onto others who do not believe in the same manner. There is room for all that people believe. We all just need to learn acceptance.

I cannot leave Kim Davis out of this discussion. She is a bully filled overflowing with Intolerance and she was using her job to be a tyrant; to strike down a Supreme Court Ruling of Legalizing Marriage for same-sex couples and giving them Equality and the Pursuit of Happiness. What right does she have to deny anyone a marriage license. It was her job. She was placed in jail b/c she refused to follow a court order. And when she was released stating she would follow the court’s ruling. She continued to find ways to make the marriage licenses invalid by altering them with the words: BY ORDER OF THE COURT. To me that is flaunting her beliefs once again and knowingly invalidating the Marriage Licenses that were issued.

kim davis believing in the sanctity of marriage

Kim Davis won’t issue same-sex marriage licenses-they violate the sanctity of MARRIAGE

What makes people hate? Or to show intolerance and become bullies, wielding power to prevent people from having their own happiness. Does Kim Davis get pleasure out of interfering with the lives of Gay LGBT men and women, by denying them (us) their (our) rights, whatever they may be. Who is this person and where does she get the gall to be so self-righteous?

Kim Davis so wanted a prize for her belligerent, bigoted, and uncharitable behavior, she dumped her membership in the Democratic Party and became one of those Republicans we have to watch out for. She felt the Democrats no longer represent her. Of course we don’t. We as Democrats try to be fair and care about everyone, not like those who condemn and sometimes kill those who are different and live their difference openly. Too many lives have been lost due to murders by bigoted homophobic racist bullies.

The award Kim Davis is to receive is “The Cost of Discipleship Award”, and it is coming from the Family Research Council. FRC is considered a Hate Group, Pro-Life and Anti-Gay. They are Fundamental Extremists to the core.

hate matthew shepherd

Remembering Matthew Shepherd

There are almost no more closets. LGBTQI are burning their closets. tearing them down. We are proud of our difference. Some may hide, with good reason, there are so many Kim Davis’ in the world who don’t just deny same-sex marriage but murder anyone who is different, especially if they fall under the category of sexual preference that is other than heterosexual. “LGBTQI are here, we’re Queer. Get over it.”

Gay-Pride Parade

Gay Pride Parade

And get over all the other differences in the world, like someone following a different religion, being from a different country, having a different skin color, speaking a different language, speaking out against injustice, being a women (this is about violence and the inequality women are subjected to constantly), not having money, having way too much money (this needs some alterations), what job we do, how smart we are, being an artist, not being beautiful, being beautiful, being large, being small, being short, being disabled, being any color but white, being white and thinking that makes you superior (you’re not), not being perfect, being mentally challenged… A list that is endless. Accepting Difference is the way and the path toward peace.

peace-symbol-many-faiths-blue

Peace Symbol In Many Faiths

Let go of the Hate and Fear that Difference is going to do you harm or those who are different are out to harm you or will infect you with some alien disease from outer space. Not accepting Difference is where the Harm begins and festers. Grow in awareness and accept the Differences in Everyone. Filling up with Love and Compassion is a Good Way to Be and to Live. –  ‘maggie the cat’

Tropical rainbow on the Big Island, Hawaii

Rainbow in Hawaii

maggie-the-cat-paw-print1

‘maggie the cat’

Bread and Roses…

Labor Day –

Summer winds down. The nights grow a little longer and brisker, the air fills with the sweet scent of golden rod and apple. Labor Day is upon us. Over potato salad and various grilled goodies, we take a day to commemorate the long history of labor and unions in this country. In theory.

The reality is, the powers-that-be don’t really want us to think about labor on Labor Day. They especially don’t want us to think about the great impact unions have had on the people of this nation.

Couple that with the fact that people like Scott Walker and his Koch brother overlords are trying to roll all Union progress back to the Stone Age and Labor Day is one massive disconnect in the American psyche.

Today, there are generations of young people buying into the Unions-as-boogey-men-of-the-middle-class BS spewed by the GOP. (Especially the NEA – republican “family values” don’t extend to making sure children are well educated by properly trained and paid teachers.) It’s Fox and talk radio and the big lie told again and again, louder and louder, until it sticks.

Where is the truth to combat the falsehood? Sometimes it lies in art.

I am a fan of films, old and new; the good ones can be great teachers. I particularly enjoy the Turner Classic Movie Channel. TCM has a penchant for holiday theme marathons – weekends of war films for Memorial Day and Veterans Day are annual fare – so I was eager to see what they had planned for today in honor of Labor Day.

There was nothing. No Norma Rae

norma-rae-1979-07-g

or Matewan;

matewan-poster

no On the Waterfront

ON THE WATERFRONT, Marlon Brando, 1954

 or The Molly Maguires.

North Country,

northcountrypic

Silkwood, 9 to 5, With These Hands, Brassed Off, Kinki Boots, Bread & Roses, Roger and Me, El Norte,

879_5

American Dream, The Efficiency Expert (to name but a few). Not even Grapes of Wrath or How Green Was My Valley. Nada. I even checked Netflix and other streaming stations. Aside from a few Criterion Collection gems, labor films are rarer than hen’s teeth lost under a blue moon.

You would think there never was a labor movement in this country. And that is just the way the right wing wants it.

This morning my inbox was flooded with e-mails from Walmart – yes, I’m sorry to say limited resources and options do drive me to Walmart on occasion – announcing a big sale (of course) “in honor of your hard work.”

How about providing a living wage – $15/hour is a start – and proper benefits “in honor of your hard work?” How about supporting unions and collective bargaining “in honor of your hard work?”

No, they wouldn’t do that. Instead they want you to sweeten their bottom line with your hard-earned wages. Because, hey, the Walton family labor, too, and they deserve the fruits of those labors.

The George Baileys of the world are struggling to survive, but that’s just the way it is in an increasingly Mr. Potter world. The rich can never be rich enough. And that’s ok, because one day the 1% will deign to trickle down on the rest of us and we’ll be so very grateful they saved us from those nasty unions.

When it comes to workers and the Labor movement in this country, the cognitive dissonance clangs so hard it shakes your teeth loose. And it’s killing us: the working poor, the middle class, and soon even the 1%.

Bernie Sanders reminded us today,

“Against overwhelming odds, the men and women of the labor movement changed society for the better. If you’ve ever enjoyed a paid vacation, a sick day, or a pension, they are the people to thank.”

And how better thank them than in song. So, raise a beer or lemonade and lift up your voice before it is too late.

labor-day