Monday, May 24, 2010

To my friends and those who have friended me out there, I was so driven to write and express my feelings by some recent articles and events that I could not help myself and I am publishing this rant and hopefully logic here-sorry for the length-

As one who studies God, Judaism, Christianity, Jesus, the Profit Mohammed, Islam and their various connection to community; I must ask of those who posted here who claim to be religious (Jew, Christian or Muslims), 1st, all things, beings, creatures have an obligation to follow Allah's/God's will, yes? 2nd, as humans we cannot assume to know or understand God’s/Allah's will or the process of God, yes? 3rd, While Abraham, Moses, Jesus and The Profit Mohammed are all messengers of Allah/God, some supposedly the last messengers, that does not mean that God is done with leading humanity, correct? Then how can anyone be judging Miss Fakih about her actions or how can anyone claim that she had no right to win?

If the above is accurate, then Miss Fakih maybe be or may not be following the will of God/Allah and we humans, righteous or other wise, cannot stand in judgment of her ever but as an American she is doing exactly what we expect of her. To stand in moral judgment of another is to assume the role of Allah/God and the height of vanity, hubris and ignorance. Ironically, all of the above is also true about all Hebrew and Christian faith and processes.

The conservative religious whack-jobs out there, on all sides, that say Miss Fakih should not have won or participated in the contest based on religious ideology or who are angry she did are forgetting one important American tenant. In the USA anyone has the potential of being anything and find success where they wish. I am not a fan of such denigrating displays of women, the pure meat market and objectification of women is wrong on so many socio-political and cultural levels. And before anyone out there is blog-o-land, says you can't have it both ways; yes in America you can, it is called Rights, knowledge and process. She and those who construct such events and objectification of women are free to do so within limits and I as an educator of adults I am free to have those students explore and examine how such activities degrade the positions of serious socio-cultural reform about the place of women in society; such as equal pay and benefits. Or to explore along with many music industry professionals how the objectification of women in any fashion leads to some serious self-esteem and identity issues.

Again, while I cannot support the Miss USA pageant I do support Miss Fakih's reign and hope that she will use it's socio-cultural power to create a more positive identity for women in America. So please ask her tough questions about the society, law and process in the United States and I hope she continues to answer them with the intelligence, pose and acumen she has shown thus far. The rest of you get off her back!

As for Miss Schlussel’s vitriolic attack on this young women, or any person who has come to America as an immigrant; she is showing her racist ignorance of world affairs, processes of American ideals and the American way. I suggest she take a really good civics course, course on the American Constitution and American history, oh yes, that would presuppose that she would be open-minded enough to understand the information she was being exposed to instead of the propaganda of her nefarious heroes and demagogues. There was a time in America, not long ago, when we as a nation, we would look at such ignorant fools and with scorn and derision; would label them as just that fools, then relegate them to the sidelines but in today’s America we have forgotten how to be Americans.

We have allowed for the contemporary media to once again so politicize our lives in a way that is forcing us to turn away from one another as good neighbors and good citizens. What do we need to happen in the US, to pull us back together into our true American ideals of respect, Rights, fair-play, justice, equality, acceptance and true governance, another Kent State! Oh, no that would unfortunately that would not shake us out of this blindness, especially given that in contemporary America we have some folks/citizens in willing to shoot their neighbors over simple disagreement such as a lane change, or God forbid governance, Rights, freedom and liberty. Kent State, May 4, 1970, shocked the US out of its rhetorical and entrenched political and social views as most American’s were shocked that the US military would shoot down any college students who were voicing their opinions about war, life and society. A question flashed through the American psyche; “what had we become?! the Soviet Union, Cambodia” and the answer left many Americans cold and redefining their ideals.

Unfortunately some such event today would just leave some Americans with a, “they deserved it,” statement rather than revulsion. Miss Schlussel and her elk need to remember we are not a country of conservatives, liberals, socialist, neo-cons, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Catholics, or any specific ideology, creed or color but Americans. We are a unique experiment in true liberty, justice and equality set forward by forward thinking men and women, sustained by their high reaching goals, failed attempts and exquisite examples of success to create a more perfect union among humanity to serve humanity and to be a beacon of civil justice, civil morality, civil rights and civil equitable government of the people and by the people. These framers or the visionaries did not always get it right nor did they have the perfect answers for the time in which it was needed most. But, what those visionaries were doing was to serve all Americans and provide a progressive framework in which a more perfect union can be attained and to provide us the future with an optimism and example for success.

In 1906 soon to be president Teddy Roosevelt said, “there are no such things as hyphenated Americans,” there are only Americans who share the goals of the common man, the ideals of life, freedom from want, liberty from oppression and equality in the law. We are all Americans and yes we can disagree but we are not liberal or conservative we are Americans, we do not believe in torture, we stand against it; we do not believe in unilateralism as stated in the US Constitution, we stand against it; we do not believe in legal inequity, we stand against it; we do not believe in racism or social ignorance, we stand against. We the people beyond our subjective and petty differences made the world shake, Kings fear and religion conform to our ideals in society. We the people took stands that showed the world how to be free and while not perfect and causing social angst it was just that free. Equality is not easy and those who feel threatened act out in vitriolic and violent ways and when we fail to see each other as neighbors, whether it is 1839, 1861, 1898, 1906, 1939, 1949, 1969 or 2010, we are doomed to ignorance or violence of threat, rancor and intimidation of a vocal minority who are seeking to destroy the American Union.

When I was child, not so long ago, I was taught some very primary lessons and I am sure that most of humanity knows these lessons from their sources:
everyone is valuable,
violence never solved anything,
the strong are kind to those who are not and protect them when they cannot protect themselves,
turn the other cheek when struck,
do not seek a fight when diplomacy will serve,
if struck only strike back enough to secure ones self and others from harm, love thy neighbor,
the law prevails above emotion,
power must be controlled by the masses,
law provides access to justice,
humans are good,
treat others with the respect you wish to be treated with,
never use the word stupid to describe anyone and
possibly the most important lesson of all is to be open-minded, educated and compassionate of what others are enduring and find ways to change those situations as rapidly as possible.

These lessons are old as human existence and are woven into the fabric of every major religion on the planet and are ironically in part some of the ideals that frame this nation. Yet, people like Miss Schlussel, Mr.’s Paul, Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Buchanan and many more or organizations like Goldman-Sachs seem to have not been taught these fundamental tenants of our countries process, course or creation. One wonders why anyone listens to them at all.

We the people need to shake the world again, come out of our complacency, realize that all points-of-view while real and hold some truths are not all valid or valuable to a society that professes equality, the Rule of Law, freedom, opportunity and liberty. I am not a libertarian of the so-called and contemporary “Tea-Party,” I am a Social, Political, Legal and Cultural Progressive who like the Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, Madison, both Adams. Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, Wilson, F. Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton and finally Obama believe that our revolution of ideals and process is not yet complete and will not be complete until all Americans benefit from all aspects of our society. The purpose of government is to serve the people, to provide the people with opportunity, to support our ideas for a positive and inclusive society. I am tired of telling my students when asked, “why does America lag behind the rest of the developed societies in education, social issues, health care and so on,” that is it because of politics. We the people need to stand and shake the world, we the workers need to take back our rights, we the middle class need to hold our corporations accountable to our socio-cultural ideas and not the other way around, we the followers of faith must demand that those who profess to lead the faith are themselves following faith and the ideals of the synod. As the song goes, “this land is our land,” not the land of bigotry, big business or of corporate greed and blind consumerism and their extreme excesses of the last 25 years or so.

The Carnegies, Roosevelts, Kennedys, Mellons, Fords, Edisons, Morgans and all of the so-called robber barons of the early 20th century made and amassed huge fortunes, built museums, libraries, schools, concert halls, endowments of all sort (some of which still have more money than they can give away) at a time in which they paid 90% income tax voluntarily. They employed millions of people and built America while paying the lions-share of the taxes need by the government to provide even more services for Americans and then sought to give away what equals trillions to build American culture and education. What can we learn, as contemporary Americans from these men and women; well one lesson is that “greed is not good” for society and America and that self-interested is interest in how our fellow citizens are being treated by our culture, society and government. Another lesson is that the contemporary division between Wall Street and Main Street is not a fabrication but is very dangerous for America and it is Wall Street who is exploiting the vitriolic division and sponsoring such demagoguery as Miss Schlussel, Mr. Limbough and Mr.’s Paul and many more. They are distracting us from our true calling as a nation, as an example in the world and as Americans.

Jim McLachlan

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