August 2009

Duh, Duh, Dittoheads!

I just love to listen to Republican Party spokesman, Rush Limbaugh. He’s on the radio weekdays from noon to three (540 AM in Orlando). Anytime I am in my vehicle at that time I alternate between 89.9 WUCF Jazz and Limbaugh. Mostly it’s 89.9—a first rate station. Occasionally please listen to Limbaugh, however. He’ll make you laugh out loud. What I’ve determined is simplistic, bottom-feeding numb-chucks, better known as conservatives require mindless entertainment, too—just like the rest of humanity.

My all-time favorite Limbaugh story is his pious pronouncements about how low life drug abusers should be given the “book” for their sins against society. Isn’t that a hoot? This from a man who required his housekeeper to score drugs for him. Yes, it turned out that Limbaugh’s former housekeeper Wilma Cline and her husband, David, supplied him with prescription drugs for four years and that he specifically paid them tens of thousands of dollars for 11,900 tablets over six months in 2001. That’s only 64 pills a day! Whew! Good thing he was just a casual user. He ultimately pled guilty and was given probation.

I just know in his heart of hearts that Limbaugh was deeply upset at being given probation. A man of such consistent convictions and “values” would have wanted the book thrown at him as an example to his “Dittoheads” that he is not a hypocrite, that he can take his medicine like a real man. Whoops! That is what he was doing in the first place. Ha!

Aside: “Dittoheads?” Just how much of a numb-chuck are you that you self-describe yourself as a Dittohead? Some genuinely original, independent thinking going on here. “Is ‘there’ where I stand, Boss?” Ditto that, Rush!

Tragically, his chronic drug habit and abuse destroyed his hearing but mercifully, Limbaugh really doesn’t require “ears” as he doesn’t listen in the first place. Who says God doesn’t work in mysterious ways? Huh? What’s that? Did’ja say sumpin’?

For years I simply could not figure out how Limbaugh (and by implication, Republicans) could have arrived at his/their thinking? But recently it has become clearer. Limbaugh for years has had a lucrative part time weekend gig subbing as the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Portly was too kind a description. I guess he’s been dieting. But, sigh, alas, the damage, tragically, has been done.

Yes, research is verifying that the fatter you are, the dumber you are. Not only do you have less “gray matter” if you’re a Republican porkchop but what brain tissue you do have is years older than the general weight-healthy population.

Ho-boy! This is big! BIG! For the past 20 years the Republican Party has had its platform and values determined by a porcine palooka proffering Philistine-laden pabulum spoon-fed to mindless Republican Dittoheads. They don’t know the difference between regurgitation and throwing-up. One and the same if you’re a Limbaugh acolyte. Make a deep, from the back of the throat, throw-up sound now or just say, “Ditto that, Rush!” They’re one and the same.

I’ve been following the health care debate and I am a loss as to what the Limbaugh Republican alternatives are? Seriously. What do Republicans offer as alternatives to a healthcare system that we can ill afford and pales to that offered in other countries?

Here are some healthcare facts about America taken from: Yes, from “THAT” Michael Moore.

“According to the UN Human Development Report, while the United States leads the world in spending on health care, “countries spending substantially less than the US have healthier populations…. The infant mortality rate for the U.S. is now higher than for many other industrial countries.” The Impact of Health Insurance Coverage on Health Disparities in the United States, Human Development Report, UNDP, 2005.

Canadians live three years longer on average than we do. World Health Organization, 2004 statistics.

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that older Americans are significantly less healthy than their British counterparts - we have more diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, lung disease and cancer. Even the poorest Brits can expect to live longer than the richest Americans. James Banks, PhD; Michael Marmot, MD; Zoe Oldfield, MSc; James P. Smith, PhD, “Disease and Disadvantage in the United States and in England” JAMA 2006; 295:2037-2045; Alan Cowell, “Study Says Older Americans Are Less Healthy Than British,” New York Times, May 3, 2006

Cubans have a lower infant mortality rate than the United States and according to the U.N. Human Development Report, a longer average lifespan. UN Human Development Report, 2006.”

Let’s have a rational discussion about healthcare, about the above statistics. Fundamentally, this is a conversation, a determination of what kind of a people we are. But that seems to be an impossibility with the LUG’S (Limbaugh United GOP).

If the LUG’s are simplistically brain-dead and we know that to be demonstrably the case, why then do the Democrats led by President Obama with majorities in both chambers of Congress attempt to deal with them? To what end exactly? What is to be gained by wallowing in the legislative mud with one’s porcine antagonists?

Could it be that our Democrats are in reality, little better than their Republican counterparts on the other side of the aisle? One party has a limited view of what it means to be an American (preferably white and parochial) and the other lacks the cojones of their convictions. Is there so much money sloshing around Washington that both political parties are corporately compromised. They are parties comprised of “secured” politicians whose main concern is being re-elected? Ya think?

I genuinely believe Limbaugh to be in the conservative mold of Father Coughlin and Joe McCarthy. Both were deeply disgusting men. Simplistic solutions to complex problems and imaginary enemies everywhere. Limbaugh has fat on the brain and spoonfeeds it to an audience who blindly eats it up and thinks they’re being fed “the” truth. Ditto that, Rush!

It’s easy to ridicule Limbaugh and his lemming corps (and chorus) of vapid Dittoheads. They are simpletons. They are redmeat for progressives. But we chew on such detritus at the nation’s peril. Our focus and attention should shift stage left. Because.

If Obama lacks the strength of his convictions it is a sad day for America. Either he campaigned as something he wasn’t—a committed reformer or, ironically enough, he’s displaying his true colors—as just another politician corporate America finds “convenient” to work with. This election cycle. Obama campaigned as one on the “outside” of the club. Isn’t it amazing how quickly one is co-opted.

What are your convictions President Obama? Many of us felt we knew. Now many of us aren’t so sure. Go to the mat on healthcare, Mr. President, and get America the hell out of Afghanistan.

Beauty Is Good For Business

Ah, beauty. You know it when you see it. Arguably, beauty is a bit like pornography in that regard. Allegedly when one sees the pornographic, one instinctively knows it. Obscene, however, is not the same as pornographic. Witness our obscene wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. America Forever-At War. There is the genuine obscene.

But our focus today is beauty. There was an article in the August 19th edition of “Florida Today” dealing with just that, beauty. Titusville Mayor Jim Tulley was giving a State of the City speech encouraging residents to volunteer their time and talent to making Titusville a more beautiful community because, “Beauty begets business.”

Well, pick my jaw off the floor. I hope someone sent Mr. Tulley a dozen roses because he sure “spoke” a truth. The Mayor was talking specifically about planting trees but I would like to explore this concept for its broader applications to culture. Is beauty merely in the eye of the beholder and can (should) beauty be employed for something as pedestrian as profits?

What is beauty? Is it purely subjective? Or, are there objective criteria for determining what is beautiful design and what is not? Is beauty, in and of itself, worth pursuing from a public policy perspective? Who determines what is beautiful and what is not? Is there a “minimum” standard of beauty? If beauty costs more, who pays the difference? Can we insist on (require), from a community perspective, standards of “beauty?”

It’s ironic to me that the prettiest “indoor” space in Central Florida is actually private and it’s a mall. The center of Millenia Mall is a beautiful space. For what it is, it’s gorgeous. The “fisheys” in the zodiac floor surrounded by a circle of large video screens displaying statuesque hip-swaying models sashaying down runways or cheetahs sprinting across the veldt all in vibrant stunning color to a pulsating, rhythmic beat or classical music, well, it’s modern, it’s commercial, it’s beautiful and it works. In my opinion.

I am taken of late by how awful (atrocious) our public structures are when compared to previous works. Look at the monstrosity of the new Seminole County Court House on 17-92 in Sanford. I am reminded of the doctor who immediately slapped the new mother just after delivery, so ugly was her baby. The elected officials who approved that design are culpable (guilty) of authorizing a public obscenity, so ugly is that publicly funded structure.

I don’t have any use at all for church dogma but in yet another rich irony of life, but for the incredible excesses of the Catholic Church we wouldn’t have some of the finest “public” art on the planet. The Popes “paupered” Europe (think Martin Luther & indulgences) in order to acquire art and architecture. Ha! Too funny. For all the talk of salvation in the next life, the boys (Popes, et al) certainly required/demanded the “good” life here and now. Ah, sweet, beautiful corruption. Actually, that is about as good an allocation of church funds, historically speaking, as I can imagine. “Pope, we can only afford one thing, ramp up the Inquisition or build another wing on the Vatican. What’s it gonna be?” And art wins! That day.

I cannot imagine a time in the future when so much is ever again invested in art and architecture. Sadly so. The church understood the importance of “awe” in life.

There is not so much “awe” in our public structures these days. We have less funds available and we rely on committees. We ask committees for a racehorse and they conjur camels. It’s, unfortunately, the nature of the beast. (Can’t we all just agree on something? Please. Sigh.)

But is the public powerless? Must we drive down our streets and highways and constantly look at schlock—uninspired cookie-cutter shopping centers that are mediocre eyesores opening day, let alone the trash they become within five years.

That’s why I was so taken with the Titusville Mayor’s observation that “Beauty begets business.” For the sake of this discussion, let’s say there is more than a kernel of truth in his statement. Beauty is desirable. Beauty makes sense. Beauty makes money.

Intellectually, I am not troubled at all by the commercialization of beauty. Just color me shallow in that regard. I would argue that “beautiful” communities have happier, more civic-minded citizens. I suggest that communities that have “aesthetically considered,” enforced building standards in place are more prosperous, peaceful and harmonious long term.

Cities that invest in arts (all forms, visual, performing, public, etc.) are deemed more desirable than communities that do not make such investments. Why people live where they do is not as subjective as we might imagine.

Aside to Seminole County: Lots of people live in Seminole County because of the quality of your public schools. Make a determination that exceptional schools are a cost “you” no longer can afford (sustain) and watch your property values erode as a Seminole County address loses its cache. Go to the bank on it.

I argue that “beauty” is an intrinsic quality that all humans have the capacity to positively respond to; we are “moved” by beauty and actively prefer it to the mundane or the profane (vulgar). Those communities (and citizen leaders) that invest in beauty (the arts, architecture, public spaces), even in these financially stressed times, will weather these times better and will recover faster because of their continued commitment to beauty as a desired quality of life consideration.

Now more than anytime in recent history, our local arts organizations need community affirmation and support. Art (creativity) is a fundamental human expression. Encourage it, sustain it and our communities bloom. Beautifully so.

If you care how your city looks, get involved in local government. Volunteer on city boards concerned with public landscaping. Serve on city committees that oversee (determine) building standards. Be prepared for resistance. Speak up that indeed, it is critical how our tax dollars are invested but arts, architecture and beautiful public spaces are as legitimate a public expenditure as the latest model of fire truck. In some instances, more so.

There are always those who argue, “Government is not in the business of beauty. That is not our function.”

I would counter with, “You are so wrong, buster. We voluntarily live together in cities so that the “individual” human experience can be “more” than living solitarily. We do, indeed, congregate for opportunity. To live life more fully through art and culture. If we neglect the arts, if we forsake beauty in our communities on the altar of expediency, we do so at our peril. We put the long term viability of our cities at risk.”

The mayor said, ““Beauty begets business.” May everyone’s mayor be so enlightened.

And may all my thoughtful readers live “la dolce vita.” In this case, live the beautiful life, mon ami.

Spineless Democrats vs. Brain-Dead Republicans

“Why is everybody always pickin’ on me?” The Coasters sang those lyrics in 1959 about good ol’ Charlie Brown. I get the same sentiment today from the occasional irate reader claiming I’m not fair to the Republicans. “Why are you always pickin’ on the Republicans?” is what I garner when reading between the lines. About ten years ago I had a number of postcards sent to the Observer offices. My favorite, which I treasure goes, “You should be used as roadfill on I-95.” Anonymously signed. Of course. The other postcards were less generous.

I ridicule Republicans because they deserve it. In so many ways. And good and hard. They are hypocrites. They repeatedly speak of getting the government off our backs but have no problem telling American women that the government owns their uteruses. Oh, from about age 12 until age 50.

And aren’t we all currently amused by the righteous indignation being expressed at the many contentious healthcare forums around the nation. Some bellowing pudge of a white boy will standup and mindlessly but earnestly sputter nonsense about “Comnism.” My favorite line is the oft uttered, “We must return America back to the days of our Foundin’ Fadders and the Consteeetution.” They shout about “original intent” as if they have the slightest notion what that means.

Yes, by all means, let’s return to 1789 when blacks were slaves and counted as three-fifths a human being, all nicely codified in our Constitution. Hmmm, that is original intent is it not? “Uh, uh, uh,” they stammer.

Oh, and you know what, you blubbering mass of inconsistency, you know who actually voted in America in 1800? Let’s see. Not blacks. Not women. Not even every white man. Only white men with property voted in America. How’s that sound, Gomer? “Uh, uh, uh.” Propertied white men were the only acceptable voting class of our Founding Fathers. Shall we return to those halcyon days of American democracy when men were white men and women knew their place and blacks were property? Ah, the good ol’ daze.

Oh, and I’m loving the beginnings of Republican “revisionist” history on how and why the America economy tanked, who is responsible and what should or should not be done. Let’s recall President Bush’s bogus war in Iraq. We invaded a nation that posed no threat to America based on falsehoods and deceit (out right lies, in other words). Not only that but our President funded it with IOU’s. He didn’t even have the integrity to include the war on the financial books of the nation. Or, ask for a tax increase to fund it! An off-the-books war. Imagine that? A trillion dollar plus mistake we’ll be paying for through my grandson’s life. Golllee Gomer, what could America buy for a trillion bucks? Hmmm? And what is healthcare predicted to cost?

I could provide a comprehensive list of brain-dead Republican initiatives, programs and nonstarters. But space is limited. I am not even going to provide the long list of hypocritical Republicans caught with their pants down (inevitably) yet they insist on piety and purity for the rest of us. Shall we all pray now? Don’t-cha just love these guys. Nah, enough with the “righteous” brain-dead, let’s move on to the spineless. The Democrats. Fair play, don’t-cha see.

Before I characterize (and fittingly so) the Democrats as complete weenies and spineless, I’d like to invite you, My Dear Thoughtful Readers, to the Winter Park University Club on Tuesday, August 25th at 10:00 AM. I only extend this invitation to those who think/reflect with some regularity (thrice weekly minimum). No Gomers, please (do wait for the next Palin rally). I will speak for approximately an hour on a “garden” variety of subjects/issues under the title of “A Singular Lack of Imagination.” Do attend but I must insist and it is a club rule: “Guns & knives must be checked at the door.”

Ah, my spineless Democrats. Such noble intentions. Such gutless wonders. Abraham Lincoln could have been speaking of 21st century Democrats when he spoke of a certain rot setting in once a man achieves elected office. Where have the men and women gone willing to go to the line for their conscience? Oh, it is argued, “One must compromise in order to fight another day.” That is always the argument isn’t it? What good will I be as a congresswoman if I alienate party leaders by insisting, “I will not pass this (my) line in the sand?” How effective will I be if I challenge party orthodoxy as gibberish, shortsighted or a sell out?

Look at the number of spineless Democrat weenies who supported Bush’s Iraq War because they were unwilling to appear unpatriotic or unsupportive of the military. Or refused to think for themselves regarding Bush’s unsubstantiated “arguments” for the invasion and occupation of that sovereign nation. They should be forever ashamed and humbled. But they are not. And we (voters) do not hold them accountable.

Where are the Democrats who argue for fiscal sanity, for an end to corporate farm subsidies, for meaningful financial reform (tax code simplification and clear regulatory oversight with consequences), for genuine energy independence starting NOW, for getting out of the Middle East NOW, for hard-hitting, substantive environmental protections of our air, land and water and on and on and on.

Sigh. We are a nation of spineless Democrats and brain-dead Republicans. I do not know which is the worse governing party (Yes, I do.). One is tragic (yet, ironically enough, humorous). The other, pathetically incompetent (and not humorous). Both do a disservice to America.

Hmmm, Sarah “The Mind” Palin is erroneously suggesting there are to be death panels to cull the ineffectual and the terminal. If only.

A Singular Lack of Imagination

I seldom resist. Come again, please? There are certain “types” of zealots that I simply love to engage. Nongun-totin’ Bible-thumpers for sure. I was walking down Bull Street in Savannah last Saturday and ahead of me 20 or 30 yards was a nattily turned-out (bowtie & straw hat) gentleman carrying a sign asserting that Jesus Saves. I actually heard this individual before I saw him. He was shouting some arcane Biblical verse and that salvation is the only answer. I quickly match his enthusiasm for the subject.

Of late I’ve been mulling over whether Christianity is actually monotheistic or polytheistic. If Jesus is, in fact, the Son of God, well, right there Christianity is polytheistic. Which seems at odds with the claims of monotheism asserted by the various mainstream religious denominations. Throw in the Holy Ghost and, my goodness, it’s a veritable family. I am unsure of the logic of it all, but I once had a priest try to explain it to me and what I gathered, after all was said and done, is that God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are, simply put, one and the same, just variations on a theme.

I’m such a literalist I don’t see how Christianity can claim to be monotheistic with the tag line, Son of God so ubiquitous. It seems to me, just the casual observer, to be a family affair.

That’s the burning question on my mind when I see the Answer Man just ahead. I match the volume of his voice with, “I have one question!” I repeat it several times before he turns and cagily eyes me and it is if I’m looking in the eyes of a raging John Brown.

He said, “One question.” I could not immediately determine whether he is asking me whether I have but only one question or one question is it.

So I quickly posed it as succinctly as I could, “If Jesus is the Son of God, is Christianity monotheistic or polytheistic?” The question obviously didn’t register and he continued spewing his rather repetitious canned presentation on the value of Salvation and its importance if heaven is to be achieved. And on he went, ranting his nonsense. He went his way and I, my way.

Savannah is, to use an over-used expression, absolutely charming. Bull Street is perhaps one of the best 10-12 block walks in America. I’m serious in that accolade. It’s gorgeous. A couple of years ago I took the train from Winter Park to Savannah. That is an experience I recommend. This time I drove, stopping for a brief respite on Jekyll Island in Georgia. If you drive and stay slightly ahead of the pace (speed) of interstate traffic, it’s only a four-hour drive, a chip shot of a trip.

I stayed at a bed & breakfast called the Dresser Palmer House. Highly recommend. Great, friendly, intelligent, warm management team. Contact: I parked my car and didn’t drive for three days.

What you do in Savannah is walk, peruse, eat, drink and chat. And then do it some more. And repeat. The Savannah College of Arts and Design has been an unbelievable boost to that city. If the number of buildings with SCAD signs on them are any indication, they’re taking over the town. And how wonderful. SCAD has several public galleries and of course, there is the Jepson Art Museum. Many art galleries. Art, architecture and history. That is Savannah. And walking Bull Street is just the sublime icing on the cake. Two great restaurants to recommend as well. Elizabeths and 700 Drayton. First rate dining.

They have a great number of antique shops, too. I had a disappointing conversation with one particular shop owner. Disappointing in the sense of the hopelessness that America now finds itself in the Middle East.

I’m chatting up the owner and quickly determine he’s owned his shop in Savannah for six years but before that he had a shop in a remote corner of Virginia. He loves Savannah and I asked him what he did before antiques? He said he was an army medic. And I immediately think “Ho-boy, He’ll be a good person to ask, “What do you think of our war in Afghanistan?”

“Well,” he said, “It’s better to fight’um there than here [America].” You could have picked my lower jaw off the floor.

“Fight who,” I asked?

“The Taliban.”

“The Taliban didn’t attack America, Al-Qaeda did.”

“They’re the same,” he said.

“No, they are not the same. The Taliban want to run Afghanistan as some religiously repressed 12th century enclave, under sharia law,” I then ask, “How will we know when we win?”

No response to that question just a reiteration of, “Regardless, we have to fight’um there.”

“For how long, forever?”

“Yea, forever,” he says determinedly.

America at war forever. Isn’t that a prospect? Forever at war. How can such a future have become America’s reality? Forever at war. I recommend the nation reread George Orwell’s 1984. In that bleak account, the world is reduced to just such a scenario, of perpetual war and conflict. All for questionable, unclear objectives. No, actually. To war is to control.

Why does America have any troops in the Middle East? Why? China doesn’t have any armed forces in the Middle East, why then does America? And what does China pay per barrel of oil? What? The same as America?

I guess America pays a surtax. Huh? A surtax you ask? We pay with American tax dollars and with dead and wounded American servicemen. Crude oil was $71 a barrel (on 08.10.09). That is what China pays. America pays $71 a barrel plus nearly a trillion dollars in tax dollars for our recent wars, plus over 4,000 dead servicemen, plus tens of thousands of horribly wounded servicemen who will require public support the rest of their lives, plus the troops who will someday, if not now, have post traumatic stress syndrome. That is some costly surtax America pays. To what end?

Ironically enough, to fuel (Get it? Fuel.) America’s never ending war. I thought with the election of Barack Obama (I had fundraisers in my home for his election) that he was a man of a markedly different stripe. Yes, I like his intelligence but his vision is turning out to be that of just another low-flyin’, high-talkin’ politician. This last election was about so much and we are going to, inevitably, settle for so little. You can feel it. It is palpable.

We have a singular lack of imagination. We Americans. You hear it on the streets, ranting about salvation, in shops mindlessly recycling the simplicity of the never-ending war and we witness it in our President who recycles old economics (and advisors) as new and battles on in the Middle East as though there is no legitimate alternative but to war. Sigh.

I think I’ll return to Savannah. And so might you. Where beauty, art and architecture reign forever. Or, seeming so.


Where is Henry Hyde when you need him? You remember OH!-Henry don’t-cha? He was one of those earlier Republican purity boys who hypocritically thought, “Gollleee Gomer, President Clinton shore is nasty for having sex in the White House and not with his wife.” Whoops, it turned out that randy OH!-Henry had a nine year affair (while married) with Cherie Soskin (also married & a mother of three children). Oh my! OH!-Henry!

This is what OH!-Henry said about Bill Clinton during the President’s impeachment trial, “What we are telling you today are not the ravings of some vast right-wing conspiracy but a reaffirmation of a set of values that are tarnished and dim these days, but it is given to us to restore them so our Founding Fathers would be proud.” Un-huh. This from a guy who carried on an affair with a married woman and literally “kept” her in a Chicago apartment. Ha! Too funny.

Hyde was once the darling of the religious right and the anti-abortion movement. Hyde sponsored an amendment in 1976 that prohibited federal funding for abortions. We wouldn’t want impoverished women having the option of reproductive choice now would we? After all, America requires poor women having children they cannot afford and/or do not want to care for.

The original Hyde Amendment wouldn’t even pay for abortions for raped women or if the mother was at medical risk. Values, don’t-cha see, values.

Let’s briefly examine what exactly is the implication of the Hyde Amendment. Rather than identify it as a restriction on using federal tax dollars to underwrite abortions, let’s frame it this way. The government is doing “X.” “X” could be anything the government does. Building dams. Funding Medicare. Fixing bridges. Paying salaries. Underwriting AIDS research. Anything the government funds. But let’s say you don’t like it. Not only you don’t like it, but folks just like you don’t like it either. I don’t want my federal tax dollars paying for that (“X”), you say!

So a Congressman or Senator nobly steps-up and announces, “Let’s have an amendment to the yearly appropriations bills that restricts funding for “X.” And voilà, you have the Hyde Amendment. I am so liking this idea. You don’t like specific spending allocations by the federal government because you are morally offended? Well, I certainly get that. Being morally offended and all. My goodness, if poor women have access to reproductive choice, what next?

What is the argument for limiting reproductive choice (abortion rights)? The argument is all life is sacred. Period. End of story. No negotiation. That’s it. And just because that in America it is a woman’s legal (Constitutional) right to own her body (imagine that!) and to make private decisions regarding it, doesn’t mean I (the morally aggrieved taxpayer) should have to underwrite (fund) her abortion because she is impoverished. That is the argument. Correct? Please write me if my understanding of the argument for the Hyde Amendment is incorrect.

To recapitulate. “X” is legal. The government funds through allocations of public tax dollars “X.” Yet, “X” morally offends you. Congressman passes amendment to appropriations bill that because “some” are morally offended, the government will not fund “X.”

Okay. I am equally morally offended by America’s never ending war. I am morally offended that Midwest farmers can dump pesticides and fertilizers on their lands such that the run-off pollutes our drinking water and puts a 200 square mile plume of death (via the Mississippi River) in to the Gulf of Mexico. I am morally offended that mining corporations can, with impunity (and immunity), blow the hell off mountains and dump the refuse into streams and valleys, polluting everything below. I am morally offended that Congress has a healthcare plan for themselves that is unavailable to all Americans. I am morally offended that our Congressman and Senators are uniformly smarmy bootlicks for corporate special interests. I am morally offended that developers have and continue to have more of a say on how the state of Florida is developed than the citizenry at large. I am morally offended that anti-abortionists care more for a dot sized (.) fetus than they do for American children already born, existing in poverty. I am morally offended that Americans do not insist that the nation discuss the implications of 500 million of us (projected population) at the trough demanding services, consuming the environment. I am morally offended that we’ll subsidize arenas for billionaires yet cut funding for public school art. I am morally offended that Germans spend $85 per capita for art and culture to America’s $6 per capita (see NEA spending on the arts). I am morally offended that we subsidize farmers for not growing crops or that we forever fund yet another boondoggle weapons system. I am morally offended that our federal watchdog agencies are “in bed” with corporations (food, pharmacological, military vendors, etc.) that they are supposedly monitoring on behalf of “our” welfare. I am morally offended by religious fanatics who are more concerned with life in the ever after than with the quality of life now, here on dear Ol’Mother Earth.

You know what doesn’t morally offend me? When a woman exercises her right and freedom to do what she damn well pleases with her body. I guess I’m just an old fashioned kind of guy. Freedom. It means people will do things that morally offend you. Grow-up.

If sanctity of life is the argument, surely, sending our boys to certain death (loss of life) in the Middle East (If it’s Tuesday, it must be Afghanistan!) would demand equal outrage from the Pro-Life crowd. Is not the meaningless loss of life (innocence) their argument? Well, apply it where it counts. Consistency would go far in authenticating the Pro-life argument about the sanctity of life.

Let’s get the heck out of the Middle East. Now! Nothing we do there is contributing to our safety at home. And we are sanctioning the murder of innocence. Our boys. How moral is that? How complicit are we? You? Me?

How about a Hyde Amendment for that? No more money for endless war.

OH!-Henry! Alas, he’s deceased. No doubt, OH!-Henry is in heaven with his wife and lovers (he had more than one affair).

Is there any Congressman with a conscience tired of America’s foreign policy of never ending war?

I think not. And it is to our deep moral chagrin that there isn’t.