When the new is actually old

I had picked up a used book from Hastings, it was probably one of the last books that the late Molly Ivins wrote. The title: “Who let the dogs in?” Ms.Ivins basically puts a history of her newspaper columns about various politicians, including those from Texas into a collection and publishes them in book form. One of the real eye-openers that I had, because we (my parents when they were living) didn’t always subscribe to the Spokesman-Review; I didn’t see all of Ivins comments about Clinton v the GOP. But I did see the GOP repeating history of wanting the Democrat in charge whether Clinton or Obama to “fail” and immediately get replaced with a far more acceptable representative of the GOP. Which doesn’t say a great deal about the capacity of the GOP to be gracious in defeat or mature in dealing with the fact that the opposition is going to be here to stay. Obama as president for the next four years, just to teach the two year old children a lesson.

It was on KREM 2 News briefly and also picked up on by “The Inlander” about how mobile home parks would be sold to new investors, who would in turn evict the residents in order to develop the land as they saw fit. People who would generally be too poor to take their homes somewhere else. Ousting poor people from their homes and neighborhoods is an easy call to make. It has been done before. Referred to as gentrification and one of the causes of homelessness. When real estate is far more valuable than people’s lives… that seems to me to be a greater proof of moral decay in this nation than any petitions against abortion or gay marriage. And it does remind me of what Christ probably had truly meant about the worship of mammon—material power or material wealth— that over-rides any consideration of God (and his commandments; inclusive of compassion). If you worship mammon, people it would seem, can simply be given the boot up the backside.

Which is why I don’t regard Molly Ivins as being particularly “liberal.” She was better classed as a good Christian woman than the theocrats she classified as the “Christian right.” To mean, I suppose, a variant of fascism that proclaims an allegiance to Christ. Well, if the theocrats ever bothered reading the bible they proclaimed to believe in, they would have found themselves in near total disagreement with that very same Christ, and a fellow who would have been absolutely appalled at the idea that his teachings could be twisted to achieve something that he had been opposed to from the beginning. After all, the Sermon on the Mount never did call for people to be booted off of rented land that they called home so that it could be commercialized to other purposes. What you do even unto the least of these, is also done to Christ. You have to wonder if these people who truly are in it for the money what church they go to and if they bother reading their bibles in full. If Ivins had survived to this present day, and learned about how little investors care about the people who live in these parks, she would truly be in a righteous outrage. My thought is: before these mobile home park owners/investors decide to sell to outside interests with their own ideas about the real estate, that they should first ask of the residents whether they can come up with the money to make a first buy on the property. Bet in most cases, they could. Why create an increasingly homeless population, anyway?

Romney has been in the news basically projecting onto Obama the worst sort of fellow that Romney only happens to be. So, when Obama finally gets his dukes up and goes on the attack, Romney starts whining like a little bully who actually got his nose bloodied. It is in fact true that the economy remains dismal because the captains of industry in the private sector are making all kinds of excuses for why they aren’t putting Americans back on the work force and why they continue to desire cheap foreign labor. Molly Ivins mentioned jobs outsourcing as well, in her book. It is a problem that spanned decades and can’t be attributed to one president alone. Nor is the economy going to improve significantly until these same captains of industry start wrapping their heads around the fact that they won’t be able to sell their cheaply made foreign products to consumers who don’t have a paycheck. Nor can these non-customers pay the taxes to bail out these captains of industry (already sitting on piles of cash) in their time of need!?! (LOL!) If people really wanted to discuss moral decay, high levels of corruption exist throughout government, and the symbiotic partnership between government and the business world. Something that Ms. Ivins also addressed in that chapter of her book that involved Texas animals. The concept of “morals and virtues” a la as defined by the GOP that could be described as conflicts of interest, among other things. More than a decade ago, and nothing has changed since. Is Obama to be blamed because private interests are more willing to buy politicians and favored legislation than putting the country back to work? And further, why would we assume that it would change if Romney were in charge? If I had one reason to disagree with Ivins, it would be on her assumption that capitalism is some kind of condition that has to be regulated. Actually, the capacity to buy and sell can only be “regulated” where what you propose to market doesn’t: harm, poison, or kill the person prepared to buy it. What makes capitalism unsustainable is the lack of a moral underpinning. I have yet to see governments guaranteeing that business interests behave morally. No more than governments are going to guarantee that private citizens behave morally. Just as God was to discover that he couldn’t get his chosen people to behave righteously. As long as governments are busy being activist on the behalf of well-heeled interest groups that feel free to corrupt all matters government and political, your real proof of national moral decay won’t be with the woman who has no choice about an abortion or the gay guy who wants to marry his long time pal. It will lie in the fact that the government isn’t there to support what the constitution requires, what was first writ down in the preamble of that document. Well-heeled interests like the Koch brothers are not representative of all of us. So, no; “TEA party” types and the theocrats, you don’t have a “Christian” nation. While you were blaring away at what ever you could find in whipping boys and scapegoats, you assured for this nation a moral rot that God would not be interested in rescuing from the brink. Molly Ivins was a good Christian woman. May she rest in peace.


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