The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Glenn Beck’

Give me that old time religion

Posted by keithosaunders on December 20, 2011

I played at a Sunday church service in Oakland.  It was a jazz-loving church and we interspersed a few songs amidst the Sunday sermon. 

I am a non-observant Jew, and someon who disdains most religions.  I have to admit, however, that sitting in that church listening to the reverend’s sermon, I found some facets of religion that are positive.  The sermon largely dealt with the virgin Mary, but the main crux of it was that Jesus is most interested in the downtrodden — the underdogs, so to speak.  That part of religion appeals to me — that there should be empathy for the less fortunate, and a spirit of brotherhood among all people.

But this is Oakland, where most folks empathize with the poor.  Where is this empathy in the mega churches of the South?  Where is it in the Catholic Church?  Where is it in Hasidic community, and in Israel where atrocities are committed against Palestinians?  And where is it in the Islamic community?

The problem, as usual, stems from ignorance.  A population whose mind is numbed by adherence to superstition and myth, is a pliant population.  You can do anything in the name of religion. 

 You would think, given my feelings of antipathy towards religion, that I would have found a kindred spirit in the late Christopher Hitchens, who began as a left-wing columnist, and became an outspoken critic of organized religion. 

Hitchens championed the Iraq war, long after it had proven to be a debacle of the highest order.  He was an avid supporter of murder, as long as the victim was Moslem.  Here he is celebrating American’s use of cluster bombs:

…those steel pellets will go straight through somebody and out the other side and through somebody else. So they won’t be able to say, ‘Ah, I was bearing a Koran over my heart and guess what, the missile stopped halfway through.’ No way, ’cause it’ll go straight through that as well. They’ll be dead, in other words.      

He wrote that  his reaction to the 9/11 attack was exhilaration because it would unleash an exciting, sustained war against what he came to call “Islamofascism”

With those words he has my utmost contempt.  What is the difference between him and the Moslem radicals that he rails against —  or Pope Innocent III instituting the Inquisition?

Hitchens was another in a long line of right-wing hacks — the only difference between him and garbage like Ann Coulter or Glenn Beck is that he possessed more intelligence.  He was a good writer and a glib speaker, but that does not diffuse the fact that he was as morally bankrupt as the Islamic radicals he wrote about.

It comes down to this:  Are you willing to condone or commit murder to further your own gains?  You can be a pope, an Ayatollah, or a writer — ultimately you’re an abomination.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Our [not so] post-racist society

Posted by keithosaunders on October 13, 2010

I was browsing through my facebook feed yesterday when I noticed a link to a video.  The title of the video was Lil Girl Gets Mobbed on by a Dude In a New York Train.  The clip shows a group of black teenagers on a subway train yelling at a girl, who screams and curses at them in return.  Everybody is posturing and at one point one of the boys rushes at her and it appears to be hitting her, but from the angle of the camera I couldn’t be certain. 

The video is fairly disturbing, but it’s nothing that one does not see from time to time in New York.  No one was hurt, and to me it just looked like a group of high school kids blowing off steam.  When you think of it, it’s a little more disturbing that someone stood by taping the incident.

What I was more upset about were the comments that ensued from the post.  Here is a sampling:

When they kill each other , it’s like a self cleaning oven !!

Thanks for sharing my Link…….[There] a bunch of Animals!

 think I was on this wait..they are all the same lol

Please dont insult the animals these sub humans are scum…

There were 24 comments and not one of them took any of the others to task for the racist garbage that was written.  In short — 24 racist comments.  This is New York City, not Montgomery, Alabama, not Fargo, North Dakota, and not Phoenix, Arizona.  New York! 

What does this tell you about our society?  Are we really living in a post-racial society?  Hardly.  The vitriol that was hurled at these kids is not far removed from the garbage that I read and hear directed at Barack Obama by political candidates, pundits, and media.  It is shameful and it is not subtle. 

George W. Bush stripped us of our civil liberties, started illegal wars that benefited big oil, and nearly drove the country into a depression.  Yet you would think that Obama is the devil incarnate for trying to bring relief to struggling families, or by reforming health care. 

It’s all about race.  You have candidates that want to give tax breaks to the top 1 percent, slash funding  for health care and education, and  to take us back into the stone age by doing away with labor unions.  Why would anyone, short of a millionaire support such policies?  This agenda, believe it or not, is now considered centrist.  The radicals are those that want a national health care, or programs that support education!  Obama, for all the talk of his being a socialist, is unable to even approach this agenda.  Not even close.

 I can understand politicians motives for pursuing these policies.  They are trying to get elected, and in turn reap the monetary benefits that come with power.  The American people who allow themselves to be swayed by superfluous wedge issues are doing far more damage than the people runnung for office   — they vote against their own interests for fear that poor people might have benefits extended, or that gay couples be allowed to marry. 

It’s not about black versus white — the real divide is the rich versus everybody else.  The genius of the Tea Party, which is all but synonymous with Republican Party, is to convince the masses that they too can attain obscene wealth, as long as unions, affirmative action, or (shockingly!) gays being able to wed, do not stand in their way.

Which brings me back to the facebook post.  These people —  this online crowd, as it were, —  are our neighbors.  These are the people that we work with, interact with, and socialize with.  These are not the cultured, elite — the wealthy, to-the-manor-born denizens of Beverly Hills or the East Hamptons.  They’re not poor, white trash either — just regular, middle class people. 

The post was not in a private forum — this facebook user has hundreds of friends.  If I, a mere acquaintance, could read it, then it was hardly private.  The feeling I got was that among this crowd it was the most natural thing in the world to feel that kind of antipathy towards black people.  There was not so much as a notion that this was amoral.   

I’m sickened, but what’s more I’m a little frightened.  What’s going to happen when the divide grows wider — when pundits such as Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck, thinly veiled racists as it is, become even less subtle in their diatribes?  Don’t kid yourselves, we have a long way to go, and things could well turn ugly.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Is he Moslem, or is he Memorex?

Posted by keithosaunders on August 31, 2010

Every once in a while I tune into the cable news networks, and almost every time I come away feeling unclean. Tonight was no exception. I realize that the filter of the media is strong, yet it is difficult to watch these shows for any amount of tine and not come away astounded at the ignorance of the American people.

Tonight, courtesy of the Larry King show, I learned that 25% of Americans believe that Barack Obama is a Moslem. One in four people, despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, believe that our president is lying about his religion. One in four!

Why should I be surprised? This is the same populace who supported a frivolous impeachment of president Bill Clinton over a romantic dalliance, yet vigorously supported an illegal invasion against Iraq.

But I am surprised. This, even more than Iraq, is willful ignorance. The pundits who slime Obama with innuendo — “I’m not saying he’s Moslem, yet there are inaccuracies.” – are the very same dolts who screamed bloody murder over his having belonged to a radical church. Well which is he, a radical Christian, or radical Moslem?

As usual it is blatant racism which fuels the argument — as if being a Moslem equates with dissidence or inherent evil. There is a significant portion of the population who could not process the tragedy of September 11th without demonizing an entire religion. If you ask me, this is the height of cowardice.

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