Saturday, 8/17/13, Public Square



by | August 17, 2013 · 6:00 am

11 responses to “Saturday, 8/17/13, Public Square

  1. Words of wisdom from Robert Reich. He describes the Republican Party of Mean accurately! Tools of the Plutocracy, they don’t even realize they are part of the “public.” —

    One of the legacies of the Reagan-Thatcher era — which is very much still with us — was to denigrate the very idea of the “public good.” Anything preceded by the adjective “public” — public schools, public transportation, public parks, public libraries, public welfare — was (and is) suspect. The private sector, it was assumed, could do it better; competition and the profit motive would generate savings and efficiencies; citizens would be better served if they were treated as “customers” and “clients.” Well, we now have three decades to assess the results. What happened? “Privatization” has meant more profits for the private sector, better services for those wealthy enough to pay more for them, and poorer services and higher taxes for almost everyone else. The rich have seceded into their own private schools, private jets, private health clubs, and privatized communities; most Americans must now pay individually for what previous generations paid for collectively, through their taxes. Certain public goods, like higher education, have morphed into private investments. But the biggest loss, I think, has been our sense of the common good itself: our understanding that we are all in it together, that we are bound together by an implicit social contract involving obligations to one another that define a decent society, and that much of what we have and enjoy in life depends on what we achieve in common with others.

    • I would like to add one more thing…

      Also happening during these past 3 decades since Reagan, many mega churches have taken root and have built (and still building) huge campuses and all on tax-free money.

      Did I miss the memo where these churches are paying real estate taxes? Or any kind of taxes for having their ‘public’ access to water, electricity, roads, etc?

      But…let’s put the tax issue aside for one moment and bring up another issue that I find even more frightening (which may also explain why so many people are not into that ‘public good’ stuff anymore.

      Take a listen to what is really being preached at these mega churches. Is it anything like the message of Jesus where ALL are welcome?

      I’ve BEEN in that Fundamental Evangelical Church movement and let’s just say – the message is loud and clear – you either get with the program and NEVER ask any questions – or you are branded as “not one of us’ (sounds familiar from 2008 campaign with Sarah Palin?).

      Even worse – if you continue to ask too many questions – you’re branded as the Devil – or marrying the Devil himself (as I was accused of doing).

      There is a reason these mega churches are flashy with their music and their parking lots full of the latest cars – the message is – you are superior if you join OUR group.

      Then……we come to this idealogy that a lot of these very same churches are preaching – God ordained that Man is the master and women are to be servants.

      That particular message was being pushed when I was in that Fundy Baptist College in the mid-70’s.

      That was when I really began asking too many questions – and was deemed the Devil – and marrying the Devil himself because my husband-to-be (same husband now 36 yrs later) – came from a Southern Baptist Church.

      Wow….what a sin -huh?

      How dare I marry another Baptist….and a preacher, no less.

      SO…..when our churches are acting like one group is superior to another church group……is it really any wonder why our entire society does not have the feeling of the ‘common good’ or the idea that we are all in this together?

      Reagan started a lot of crappola – IMHO – but this Evangelical Christian movement was percolating years before Reagan became president.

      What Reagan did do – to make things worse – was to welcome Jerry Falwell and his Gang into the inner sanctum of the GOP.

      But….it appears that old Evangelical problem of not getting along well with others is poised to destroy the GOP – as we are witnessing in today’s political climate.

      But…Hey…..don’t look for me to shed one damn tear for any of these Evangelical Christian mega preachers and/or televangelists.

      They deserve EVERYTHING they get in the upcoming political fight.

      • You and I were posting at the same time. The links I posted address exactly what you said about the churches and the people in them who think they are superior.

  2. Gay priests, women priests… Labels, differences…

    This blog post addresses differences, and I don’t have adequate words to describe how well it does that. From the title you’d guess it’s about being a Christian and responding to gay people. It is that, and so much more. Please read it. It’s important.

    I’m Christian, unless you’re gay.

    This response is good too. I actually happened upon these two writings in reverse order. I read the response and had to go find the original blog post. Both are well worth the time spent reading them.

    A Teen’s Brave Response to “I’m Christian, Unless You’re Gay”

    I am humbled. I am inspired. I want to live the life these words teach.

  3. I was listening to NPR radio on my way home last night. This author – Seth Rosenfeld – wrote a book about Reagan and the 1960’s protests.

    Reagan is a Saint to so many Republicans…..but I did not know that Reagan snitched on fellow actors during the Communist witch hunt – did you?

    Well, of course, why am I surprised Republicans would find Reagan being a snitch as no big deal?

    Look at the current Joe McCarthyites popping up in the Grand Old Party today.

    Ted Cruz, Allen West (no longer in the Congress), Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin and her infamous ‘he is not one of us’ cheerleader yell during the 2008 presidential campaign.

    But….more than that….Reagan was rewarded both politically and personally for his so-called patriotic activities.

    Seriously, what kind of person does it take to purposely set out to get a university president fired – simply because you did not like him? And then to get the FBI to help you do it within the first few days of becoming Governor?

    Yeah…..I definitely need to get this book…….

    I have NEVER been a fan of Reagan……and now I know even more reasons as to why my gut feeling was correct way back then……

    Funny true story……I was pregnant with my son when Reagan was running for president in 1980. Reagan was taking a train through Illinois and we were living in the small town where Abraham Lincoln’s home in Salem was close by.

    Reagan made it a big deal that he was passing through to pay respects to a great leader – Abraham Lincoln.

    Yeah, sure…..eyes roll

    The local Republican matriarch (an old bitty of a woman) asked me if I was going downtown to see our next president. I replied – Oh, I didn’t know President Jimmy Carter was coming here.

    This woman was highly offended……..After chuckling to myself at her reaction, I calmly and respectfully said – No, I do not want to see Reagan in person. He has nothing to say that I would agree with – unless he stops running his mouth off and start showing OUR current president some courtesy and respect.

    Wow…the look I got after that statement was not a look you want to see often.

    Reagan had the gift of the silver tongue……too bad the damn thing was forked.

  4. When talking about Ronald Reagan – let’s not forget one major issue that this Golden Idol God handled all wrong – the AIDS epidemic crisis.

    IF that man would have had an ounce of that self-proclaimed Christianity – Reagan would have come out early and made a strong statement that AIDS was something new and more research was needed to meet the needs to battle AIDS.

    Is that what that man did? Oh HELL NO…….

    Reagan stoked the fears of this epidemic and that is where I believe Reagan handed over the job of stoking more fear and keeping the hatred aimed at homosexuals to his Evangelical Christian friends.

    Let’s not forget -Reagan was the one that invited Jerry Falwell and his Gang into the inner sanctum of the GOP. These folks had control of that particular stink bug car.

    • Another issue Reagan handled all wrong – IMHO.

      Reagan took down the solar panels from the White House when he moved in.

      Just imagine – if Reagan would have pursued alternative energy resources back in the 80’s – our country would be completely different today.

      But….NO…..Reagan had to kowtow to all those special interests – of which are still around today and pulling the GOP’s puppet strings – aren’t they?

      President Jimmy Carter was mocked and ridiculed for those fireside chats wearing his sweater and advocating for alternative energy resources.

      It always makes me sad to think – these current Christian Conservative Republicans all worship Ronald Reagan as such a damn fine Christian man – but in reality- it was Jimmy Carter who was the true Christian – IMHO.

  5. You and I were posting at the same time. The links I posted address exactly what you said about the churches and the people in them who think they are superior.


    We seem to do that a lot – don’t we?

    It’s nice to know that my personal experience with these churches is not just me being a ‘crazy person’ ….LOL

    Let’s just say – my memories of that Evangelical Christian movement seem to fall in line with a lot of stuff that is now being written…..

  6. So many missed opportunities is what I see in our political history since the days of Eisenhower. …..IMHO

    Eisenhower was the last Republican to ever balance a budget – but do we hear about Eisenhower from these current Republicans?

    Oh Hell No……all they san scream about is Reagan….Reagan…Reagan..


  7. The next time an Obama hater starts ranting about our president taking high-cost vacations…..remind them to do some research on Reagan’s 1982 trip to Barbados (yeah, not even in America – huh?)

    This trip cost the taxpayers $3.5 million and it was at the time of high unemployment rate of 9.3%.

    Wow……by using today’s Republicans’ measuring stick – Reagan should have been IMPEACHED for doing such an unpatriotic thing.

    Read the article – Reagan was advised to NOT go on this trip – but he went anyway. Hmmm…….does someone think he is special or what? Typical Republican – IMHO

  8. When surfing for that Reagan video….I came across this news story.

    Seriously, the first thought that popped into my head was – all we hear from the Pro Life folks is that babies are a gift from God.

    Okay…..if you say that…then why did God give babies with both female and male parts?

    If God is omnipotent and never makes mistakes……then why are these babies born with this medical condition?

    Do Pro Life folks not realize this is an issue – or do they just not believe it?

    See…folks… I go again….asking too many damn questions. LOL