restlessknights

The knights are restless and for good reason.

Archive for the category “Justice”

Social is Not a Dirty Word

“Social” is not a dirty word.  But it makes some people restless (I’m not one of them). And judging from the condemnation it receives from those sages on the right, you might as well be yelling, “Damn” at Santorum rally.

Social Security, Social Safety Net and Socially Responsible are terms you are likely to hear quite often during this election year. Thanks to the largess of the Koch Brothers, and their ilk, the airways are already flooded, with no Arc in sight.  Incidentally, Citizens United could not have happened without the help of the Charles and David Koch, whose father was a co-founder of the John Birch Society (I just thought I’d mention that). That anti-social Citizens United ruling, by the most right-wing Supreme Court in U.S. history, enables a few rich folks to exert political influence never before possible in America.

Supreme Court Right Wing

Why are these men smiling?

We already knew the evils of “socialized medicine”, because Presidents Harry Truman (1945), Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were chastised for attempting to saddle the country with this horrible handicap. The very idea! Strangely enough, Carter’s biggest opposition to Universal Healthcare came from none other than Ted Kennedy. You remember him. He was from the state that now has Obromney Care. Despite her husband’s failed attempt, early in his Presidency, Hillary proposed it during her 2007 election campaign.

Why is that word, “Social”, not condemned by European democracies? They don’t seem to have a problem with the concept that health care is a right, and not a privilege. And listen to this terrible idea: When a German or other European citizen loses his or her job, the loss of healthcare does not accompany it. That’s why they call it their social safety net. It prevents their family from being wiped out, while they train for new jobs. It’s actually easier to fire an employee in Germany, because the state ensures that the citizen and his or her family are protected from disaster. The company can rid itself of employees who do not perform satisfactorily, and keep those more productive. Nor are they responsible for employee healthcare insurance.

The idea of universal healthcare is not new to the twentieth and twenty first centuries. It actually began in central Europe in 1883. Source

Germany can also boast of one of the highest pay scales in Europe. Why is this good? Because a robust middle class is the best guarantee against economic depression.  Paying fair wages, instead of seeing how little you can cajole employees to accept, is the socially responsible thing to do. In certain U.S. states, governors and legislatures lure corporations to re-locate to their state because these companies won’t have to worry about polluting the environment or respect the right to unionize. These elected officials are not creating jobs, they are stealing them from states that are more socially responsible. There’s that dirty word again.

If we had Single Payer universal healthcare in America, we wouldn’t have some members of Congress calling the Affordable Healthcare Act, the “job-killing healthcare bill,” as they try anything they can to repeal it. They may be getting some help, shortly, from those aforementioned men in robes, very soon. That’s too bad, because most folks don’t even know about the good things this bill will bring, should it be allowed to come to full fruition in 2014.

“Obama’s the most socialist president in history,” shout his political opponents, whom, by the way, never let facts get in the way of their stated opinions.  I believe FDR has that title locked, because unlike the Fox ditto heads, I’ve actually read some history.

Racism and Restlessness

I know we should go along with the First Testament, with all of its sound ideas, but somehow, slavery doesn’t seem quite right to me.

Knowing the Lord was offended by the wearing of mixed fibers (Leviticus), and aware of the recommended treatment for such an offense was the very reason I donated my leisure suits to the Salvation Army. But He found no quibble with the owning another human being?

This could explain the tolerance for slavery that began a little more recently, as in the 17th century (CE), when several Abrahamic religions conspired to steal Africans from their villages, and send them on a cruise to the New World.

Their accommodations were not exactly posh. And I don’t think they were allowed to take part in Smorgasbord Sundays aboard ship.

So, when we overthrew our British masters and declared that all men were created equal, we seem to have interpreted that as some being more equal than others. As a matter of fact, slaves were 3/5th equal to whites, as was written in the Constitution.

The racism that lives on in America is probably rooted in the idea that God thinks owning slaves is swell. I hate to break this to those engaged in hatred and/or violence toward another, purely based on skin color, but we did eliminate slavery back in 1863, or thought we did. We were a little late getting started, as the Brits, the very slave-mongers we became free of, emancipated theirs in 1833, by an act of Parliament. France first did it in 1789, but a little fella named Napoleon decided God was right, and reversed the decision of the First Republic Convention. But they did eventually come around, beating us to the punch by some 15 years.

How can you say America is racist, you ask, especially since we elected a partially white person to be our President? Well, I believe that Obama’s election served as a catalyst for the racist tendencies many ignorant Americans still hold.

Knowing that we are all products of our time, I asked myself this question:
If I were alive during the early 18th century, would I have thought that it was cool to own another human being? Obviously, this is an unanswerable question, but I would like to think that given the knowledge that the human race consists of many variations (including within each racial group), and that no one race is genetically superior or inferior to another, how else should such a question be answered?

But we are in the 21st century, much to the disbelief of certain Republican candidates, and we know those facts to be true.

I’ve heard some cry out against the injustice of declaring George Zimmerman guilty before he’s had his day in court. But Trayvon Martin didn’t exactly have his day there either.

I suspect that the Stand Your Ground law that protected his (alleged) murderer, passed in Florida (again, so proud), and in a multitude of states across America, is rooted in racism. Martin was convicted by a court of one for WWH (Walking While Hooded.) What would Zimmerman have done to an Imperial Wizard? Not giving him a restless night, I’ll wager.

So, come on, walk a shoeless mile in the garb of a slave and try to have some empathy.

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