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Passions in Poetry

"Fearful Old White Men - A Tea Party Fairy Tale"

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JenniferMaxwell
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0 posted 08-02-2010 09:02 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

By DON MONKERUD

“Current attempts to revive that Boston Tea Party of 1773 are marketing gimmicks to masquerade conservative forces bent on defeating Obama and destroying any attempt to reform the present gridlock political system. Examining the history of this faux-movement reveals the actors behind the curtain.

One of the earliest revivals of the Tea Party involved 100 people meeting in Seattle to protest the stimulus bill passed by Congress to keep the U.S. from descending into another Great Depression. After bloggers and libertarians spread a call for protest on the Internet, the media blew it into a major event.

Right-wing groups poured funding into the nascent movement. These groups included: Americans for Prosperity, a pro-tobacco, anti-healthcare and anti-tax lobbying organization; and FreedomWorks, a lobbying firm devoted to opposing taxes, immigration, healthcare reform and solutions to global warming. Koch Industries, an oil, mineral, ranching and securities conglomerate, funds both of these groups, while the Sarah Mellon Scaife foundation, with interests in oil, industry and banking, funds FreedomWorks.”
http://www.counterpunch.org/monkerud07302010.html

Ringo
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1 posted 08-02-2010 01:49 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

And it seems to me that ultra-left wing groups and personnel are spending loads of cash to spread the "truth" about a group of organizations that accepts members from any racial or religious background, and who is exercising their CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED rights to free speech, peaceful assembly, and other such...While the left wing is screaming at the top of their lungs that these people are not permitted their CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED rights, it is rather curious to note that there has NEVER been a single arest reported at a 9/12 organization rally, and that there has not- as far as I remember- been a major liberal/progressive rally that has gone off without arrests for violence, vandalism, assault, etc.
Notice, I said major rtally... not the local, home-grown rallys that I fully support their rights to have. I am talking the major rallies that are puty on by the *organization* for social/economic/personal justice/equality/sensibility/etc which make the news because of the burning, looting, tear gas, and blood shed.

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting, "WHAT A RIDE

Bob K
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2 posted 08-02-2010 07:22 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     What is the difference between left wing and Ultra-left wing groups, Ringo?

     I notice that Ultra-Left Wing groups are making an appearance and I wonder who these frightening people may be, and how they might be distinguished from ordinary Left Wing Groups, and how Left Wing Groups might be distinguished from Centrist Groups.  All these seem, in my observation, to have gotten crammed together in the conversation of the folks that I speak with here that profess Right Wing Positions.

     These too confuse me, these days, as I've attempted to get across over the last year or perhaps a bit longer.  Positions that would once have been considered moderate Republican Positions, such as President Eisenhower's dislike for the Military Industrial Complex, now seem to be considered to be ultra left wing positions.  As would be President Nixon's position on Health care, which was far more comprehensive than that proposed by the Republicans in 1993 in Response to Hillary Clinton's Health Care Bill.  The 1993 Bill was backed by Bob Dole, and the bill that President Obama got through the congress was somewhat more conservative than that bill, which today's Republican Party considers an Ultra-Left Wing Horror and a betrayal of basic American Principles.

     You may have seen my frequent contention that President Obama is Republican Lite?

     I'd really like to know exactly how the folks on the Right see the political spectrum these days and how they see the political spectrum of twenty, thirty and forty years ago.  Because when I say that it seems to me that much of today's Right wing politics appears very very close to neo-nazi politics, I couldn't be more serious, and I am very upset about it./

     My observation is that many of my friends on the Right are also upset about it, and that they see some of the same things that I do, but that they attribute them to different causes and that they advocate different sorts of solutions as a result.  I do not know how to go about having this conversation with all the good will that I think it requires, but I think we need to try and to keep trying.  We have more in common, I do believe, than we do that pulls us apart.  How to get at that, though, I don't know, and I would need help to figure out.

     Does this make any sense to anybody?
Huan Yi
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3 posted 08-06-2010 03:05 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GizNwzKo3n8&feature=player_embedded#!


opps


.
Mistletoe Angel
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4 posted 08-06-2010 05:17 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Even though I said recently I had no intention of returning to the Alley because I felt it was unhealthy for me to constantly allow myself to get enshrouded in heated discussion here and that just isn't me............I have to make a point here.

During the previous administration, I regularly staunchly defended the anti-war movement..............as I felt many personalities were making lumpenproletariat claims about anti-war demonstrators being anti-military, traitors and terrorist sympathizers, among other unfounded logical fallacies. I KNEW this because I regularly joined anti-war demonstrations myself, and while I never once denied there were a handful of individuals in each crowd that I was at odds with in that they were judgmental toward authority in general, most were very much just like me..............and we protested not the military, but our foreign policy.

As you may recall, I said at the time that I believe it is a mistake to dismiss and marginalize civil disobedience and grassroots mobilizing in general, because dissent is what completes democracy............and while there will always be sour grapes in each crowd that do actually promote violence and bigotry, things I condemn wholeheartedly and must be discouraged...........we need to call the sour grapes as they are played, rather than make sweeping, hasty generalizations that make the overwhelmingly civil majority look bad.

*

Now, I believe the exact same mistake is being made again, only this time towards what's being termed the Tea Party Movement.

Although I will acknowledge I respectfully disagree with much of their political platform (I actually feel the Tea Party Movement isn't exactly a centralized platform at this time and is more a shared populist-leaning attitude towards a broken Beltway and overreaching government influence)............I believe those dismissing their feelings are making a huge mistake.

The concern on the part of Tea Partiers that the government isn't listening to the interests and values of the majority is a very understandable and valid one that transcends party lines. Let's be honest with ourselves here: it has repeatedly been said in Washington that one should never see the ways laws and sausages are made. And yet that is EXACTLY what has been happening in Washington for decades now............and you don't have to subscribe to any particular party or ideology to agree with that.

And, amidst all this misuse of government power, many more Americans (including myself) are left scrambling trying to find even a part-time graveyard shift, while others are simply trying to get shoes on their children's feet and feed themselves while also enjoying the simple things. Regardless of which ideology you subscribe to, the system IS broken, the government IS not listening to the interests of blue-collar, hard-working Americans.

I happen to believe, if the Tea Party Movement is to be criticized for anything primarily, it's that they miss the mark when they seem to argue that the government ought to be gutted, rather than straightened out and reformed. I believe, historically, spending actually proved instrumental to solving unprecedented problems, rather than cutting spending repeatedly..............BUT..........I believe their feelings more than deserve to be validated, because the fact is Americans are growing more cynical than ever over the idea that Washington can be reformed so that special interests and bastions of pork holds it hostage and that regular hard-working Americans are much more appreciated.

And indeed, what better way is there to send the message than to build a social movement that is grassroots-driven and people-powered, just like the anti-war movement of the previous decade was?

I'll come right out and say that I wouldn't vote for individual candidates like Sharron Angle or Rand Paul if they were campaigning to represent my state in that I feel they spend too much time pointing out what's wrong with our government rather than discussing ideas on how to resolve the muddled state of Washington.............but that said, I do believe there is a little of that Tea Party sentiment in all of us, and if we just dismiss the movement with straw mans and blanket generalizations as many are doing at this time...............we are, in effect, dismissing ourselves and our own feelings.

Namaste,
Lisping Hibiscus


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
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5 posted 08-06-2010 09:51 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Very well said, Noah. Nice to see you....
Mistletoe Angel
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6 posted 08-07-2010 06:19 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Thanks Michael!

I'm not returning here to nearly the degree I used to, as I feel that heated political punditry in our nation as of late has gotten out of control, regardless of ideology, and as much as I have my convictions and beliefs and stand firmly behind them, I personally regret that I contributed to a lot of the heated firefight, as it ultimately both ached others' hearts and made me feel exhausted and distracted from my conscious self. So I decided to step aside from the forum and get back in tune with what matters more in our communities, in our world, and focus on volunteerism and be reminded of the fact creativity and collective consciousness, not accusing and belittling, ultimately determine what we make of the world in a constructive way.

That said, living holistically sometimes means reminding one another that there's more than meets the eye in our perceptions of everything...........and I simply find the accusations of racism, in particular, being directed at the Tea Party Movement in a broad fashion mind-boggling.

Are some individual protesters who affiliate themselves with the Tea Party Movement racist? (or as I choose to term it instead in my following explanation, prejudiced?) Without doubt. But the same can be said with individuals who affiliate themselves with either major political party in our culture, the same can be said with individuals regardless if they're registered with MoveOn or Move America Forward, the same can be said with individuals regardless if they live west or east of the Continental Divide, etc.

It is also, in my opinion, that racism is a complex concept that isn't nearly as grossly simplistic and dualistic as we make it out to be. I've always studied racism as, traditionally, extending far beyond the color of ones skin, and applies very much to taxonomies in general between various ethnicities and groups of people. My theory is, anyone who observes the world in even lighter and darker shades of gray is inherently racist, but it's nothing to be ashamed of as our minds are taught to make sense of things of any sort by categorizing them in a well-intentioned fashion. It's only if you let prejudice contaminate the groundwater of your conscious mind that a troubling, disharmonious form of racism takes shape.

Thus, I do think conventional wisdom has 1) narrowly defined racism and 2) tends to think of "racist" as a very dirty word in general which, when directed to someone, stings at the soul and gets the person accused of such a thing all defensive and riled up.

I simply think it does us all a disservice to dismiss an entire grassroots movement as "racist"............not just because it's a logical fallacy in itself in that it's merely a heap of ad hominems and blanket accusations rolled up in a straw man, but because it does nothing to encourage an honest, conscious dialogue about racism.

Namaste,
Lisping Hibiscus


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Ron
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7 posted 08-07-2010 11:19 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
But the same can be said with individuals who affiliate themselves with either major political party in our culture, the same can be said with individuals regardless if they're registered with MoveOn or Move America Forward, the same can be said with individuals regardless if they live west or east of the Continental Divide, etc.

Absolutely true, Noah. Bigotry is endemic and I doubt any group large enough to be counted on both hands is exempt from its influence.

However.

Toss a half dollar into a crowd and it's probably going to be caught by a bigot if you happen to be at a KKK meeting. While no group is exempt, some do seem to attract more bigots than others do.

Does that include the Tea Party? I honestly don't know. I do, however, recognize the possibility.

quote:
My theory is, anyone who observes the world in even lighter and darker shades of gray is inherently racist, but it's nothing to be ashamed of as our minds are taught to make sense of things of any sort by categorizing them in a well-intentioned fashion.

If you see a person walking down the street, across the room at a party, getting on an elevator you know you can't run fast enough to catch, sitting on a jury, waiting patiently in your doctor's office, or even pixilated out on your evening news to protect their identity, there is always ONE thing you'll remember about them tomorrow. It won't be the color of their skin, the length of their hair, their age, height, or weight. What you always remember about every single person you meet or pass is their gender. Human beings are inherently sexual creatures and we don't even need to be taught, Noah, to categorize them into males and females. We can't stop ourselves.

That categorization, however, doesn't make anyone a sexist. Similarly, racism isn't about recognizing that one person's skin is a different color from your own. You only become a sexist or a racist when you start treating people badly BECAUSE of their gender or race.

And that is, indeed, something to be ashamed of.


Mistletoe Angel
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8 posted 08-07-2010 11:54 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

We are in unequivocal agreement on your latter point, Ron, and I did make clear in my previous post that it is only when prejudice contaminates the groundwater of our categorizing minds when an ugly form of racism, which must be discouraged and condemned regardless, takes shape.

I still feel dismayed at the considerably accepted assumption that the Tea Party Movement in the broadest sense is encouraging more unconscious racist attitudes. I do agree that a handful of organizers in certain protests have made hurtful racist statements in which I do condemn. But again I urge that we refrain from merely grasping straws, and that we observe before we comment, and not allow judgment to settle in, if not ever, at least prematurely.

As it stands, I still believe the Tea Party Movement isn't exactly a coalition yet. I believe it's more a shared visceral attitude in response to a dysfunctional Beltway and the perceived overreaching of the federal government into the average American's livelihood currently. Time will tell whether such a grassroots mobilization effort can be sustained for the long haul and evolve beyond its nascent stages into a full-fledged coalition or infrastructure.............but again, as I have learned from what I felt participating in the anti-war movement of the previous decade in the repeated efforts by certain key officials to dismiss and marginalize the emotions and shared sentiments between those who either participated in or voiced support to the movement............I believe we are making a big mistake in rushing to judgment and, rather than validate the emotional commonalities shared between Tea Party-affiliates, suggesting off the bat that they, collectively, are anything from a motley crew of disgruntled racists to a band of wealthy white-collar lobbyists in populist disguise aiming to defend the health maintenance organizations and oligarchs through astroturfing.

All that blanket assumption-making does is invite more needless caricaturing, as well as cynicism. The conscious thing to do is call out such examples of prejudice and corruption individually as we see them.

Namaste,
Lisping Hibiscus


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
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9 posted 08-08-2010 11:39 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Thank you, Noah. Very well stated.

First they called us potential terrorists, then they called us teabaggers, then they told us to shut up, sit down and get out of the way, then they called us racists, now they call us Republicans!

I wonder what they will call us in November?
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10 posted 08-08-2010 11:47 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Winners??
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11 posted 08-08-2010 11:51 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Mistletoe Angel
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12 posted 08-08-2010 06:09 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Whatever they call you, as long as one's heart is in a conscious place when expressing one's dissent and civil disobediance openly, I believe it's a liberty that is to be commended.

As I've admitted, I don't necessarily agree with most of the political platform some candidates who affiliate themselves with the Tea Party have espoused. I think the government is indeed a large part of the problem, but it's also a large part of the solution, and it is in my personal opinion many Tea Party-endorsed candidates have leaned too heavily on the former only.

But it's one thing to be open in disagreement with a political platform to a considerable degree, and another thing to disparage and/or dismiss the sentiments and intentions of a group of individuals determined to express their concerns and emotions openly. I'm an unapologetic believer in the Margaret Mead philosophy, that one should never doubt a small group of committed individuals can change the world, and that indeed it is the only thing that has. And while we may disagree on some core ideological lines, Denise, I nonetheless know your heart is always in a well-intentioned place, and I commend you for being open and honest about what you believe!

Namaste,
Lisping Hibiscus


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
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13 posted 08-08-2010 06:51 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
I wonder what they will call us in November?


I suppose that depends on what happens when the Republicans have a turn at trying to sort out the mess your country finds itself in. Hopefully that'll come in 2012. If the Republicans repeal the health care act, reduce tax and the size of government and follow all the suggestions of the tea party movement and the economy nosedives I think the names will probably be mostly derogatory.

If the Republicans don't repeal the Health Care act, reduce tax, spending and the size of the government and the Tea Party don't attack them like they've attacked the Dems I think the tea party is likely to be called hypocritical.

If the Republicans follow the suggestions of the tea party and the economy takes a sudden turn for the better the tea party will probably be lauded for years to come.

Looking at some of the Tea Party suggestions, personally, I think the second option is most likely.

.
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14 posted 08-08-2010 08:37 PM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

If it is a fairy tail...

IDK... I mean most people I know that are t party members do consider themselves separate from the republican party and are not old men.

I am afraid to see that people are so fixed with hate that they are not hearing what they are saying "we aren't balancing are check book, or paying the interest on our loans."

I am not a member of the group, because I don't have the time or temperament (like Noah)to be involved with politics.  I get heart probs and faint and then I wake up with peeps all around me like "whats up with this chik?"

Any who tis life I say...

-Juju

-"So you found a girl
Who thinks really deep thoughts
What's so amazing about really deep thoughts " Silent all these Years, Tori Amos

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15 posted 08-08-2010 09:35 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Thanks again for your kind words, Noah.

I just wanted to clear up though that no Tea Partiers that I have heard of have been engaged in civil disobedience of any kind, just in expression of their ideas.

Obamacare can't be repealed, Grinch, unless Congress has enough votes to override Obama's veto. So while they may work toward repealing it, nothing will probably happen until after 2012, and then only if Obama is out and a true conservative is elected. If we get a RHINO, nothing will happen then either.

The Tea Party folks aren't affiliated with Republicans, but with true conservatives.

We'll just have to wait and see how it plays out.

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16 posted 08-09-2010 03:44 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I'm interested to hear how you distinguish Republicans and "true conservatives," Denise.  Do you see Republicans as Conservatives at all or do you see them as something else?  And what about members of the Tea Party Nation makes them Conservative in what you see as the proper way?

    
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17 posted 08-09-2010 10:33 AM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

Just because you are a republican, doesn't mean you are a conservative, likewise how Demarcates are not always liberals.

Juli

-Juju

-"So you found a girl
Who thinks really deep thoughts
What's so amazing about really deep thoughts " Silent all these Years, Tori Amos

Mistletoe Angel
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18 posted 08-09-2010 04:52 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Political correctness simply does a disservice for us all.

This belief of mine has only emboldened the more I've spent time in various communities. For instance, I think of the urban farming trend. Often in our nation's history there has been this unfortunate dualistic dichotomy of "rural" versus "urban", from the use of water to the use of energy to cultural values, and I believe much of it is illusionary. Urban farming (or community-sponsored agriculture) has brought together folks from all walks of life, and it has proven a great reminder in how the realization that we will only live and prosper on the land if we function through a spirit of mutuality transcends all characterization.

I'm registered as an "independent" personally, and I simply don't feel it does me any good to conform to a laundry list of expectations from any political party. Just as I'm constantly evolving, just as you are constantly evolving, so are our parties, even when it may seem like they're static due to all of the punditry and bumper sticker sloganeering that often overwhelms any attempt at dialogue. As far as the leadership and infrastructure of both major parties are concerned, I'm frankly disenchanted with both right now, even though I believe there's a lot of both registered Republicans and Democrats out there that have ideas that would prove beneficial for our nation that simply aren't reaching the megaphone, regardless of where they're more or less positioned on the ideological spectrum.

Namaste,
Lisping Hibiscus


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

[This message has been edited by Ron (08-09-2010 05:04 PM).]

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     Juju's comment is to the point, which is why I requested clarification as to what Denise actually meant.

     When I don't as, I find very often I misunderstand what somebody else things is perfectly plain.  But it may not be to me, and often isn't.
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20 posted 08-11-2010 11:51 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I couldn't have said it better than Juju did, so I didn't!
 
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