Metro State Atheists

Promoting Science, Reason, and Secular Values

The Shearing Cuts by Riki Mathews

shearing-cuts1Snowing outside—bright, glazed white porcelain snow glinting diagonal streaks across the dull, matte white, horizontal blinds. Warm inside, light grey steamy mists rising perpendicular to darker grey, vertical heating pipes. Cold sunlight crosses hot lamp light, casting a lace collar on the faded, ash-blonde wood floor. A chiaroscuro painting.

My black hair drifts in clumps to the floor—point, counterpoint, snippets alternating with the white, old man’s hair falling outside. A mulch-covering ritual of renewal.


Clip, clip, snip scissors, the shears shearing. A perfect haiku: white spring snow and me, thick, black hair on a diminutive Japanese girl. Or, thick, harsh snow burning a cold January day and me, tall, heavy-boned black woman, crimps of wiry hair, hair in glassy, black waves—an ocean tangling into the African ivory coastline. The snow’s cruel light gleams, thick and gagging, a chalky milkshake, threatening to choke and kill. Or, a dense, onerous snow trudging across the Russian Steppes, asphyxiating the land, crushing the houses, and me, moon-faced, unblinking—staunch. And inside I am warm, surrounded by tufts of hair, molting clumps from a stuffed Panda Bear.


I tenderly collect hair to braid into a rug, to cover with dust, cover with cat hair, cover as it covers—to be worn down back into the elements. Or, this gathering of hair, I will weave as the bottom of a wicker chair, supporting friends that come and go, supporting dust, supporting cat hair, supporting as it is supported. Thus start the years of collecting hair, hair constantly pruned short to fulfill such purposes.


I beg (steal) hair. Rescued from lovers, from friends, from strangers, …. swept from beauty parlors finely stained wood, from barbershops dust-covered, dull linoleum floors, from waste baskets in bathrooms, from brushes and combs patiently culled without breaking the knots and tangles. Workrooms deep in drifting, shifting color-spectrumnal hair—cotton white to Tupelo honey, Poppy red to the deep purple of ripe plums, leisurely loops to ringlets, electric shock waves to water flows. A wondrous fey-lock palette.


Space and history, I weave, time and emotion, I weave—shirts, jackets, dresses, pants…. Chiaroscuro body maps lined with purple amethyst Chinese silk. Hair-knittes huggings holding humans against the cold, the dirt, the outside that sometimes taps, sometimes scratches against my windows. My closests spill stories of dead cells shorn to be renewed, journeys of celebrations and mournings, of beginnings, changes, and ends—people I have never met, people I thought I knew, people I knew for only a while, and the very few I knew forever in the rhythm of their heartbeat. No, they never stay….. But I have their hair—and all that encompasses.

by Riki Mathews.  Check out her blog at The Trickster Tells.

November 29, 2008 Posted by | Poetry, The Trickster | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Venom In The Veins

Venom

in the

Veins

It’s my property! Why, I paid $985 for this here piece of flesh, and I have the right to do what I want with it.

Pounded under the slave block’s gavel,

bid-$1-2-430 bid-$2-4-580 bid-$3-4-850 bid-$5-6-1,000

& Sold, & Sold, & Sold, & Sold,

heart beats, heart beats, heart beats, heart beats

Four million hearts beating

Imprisoned

For Life

For Greed

For Lust

for

the rhythm of planting, picking—

FLESH

Turned into MONEY,

Blood

Poured into crops,

Fusing with the dirt

And

Raining from the sky—

Southern trees bore a strange fruit

Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,

Black bodies swinging in the Southern breeze,

Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Across the street,

in the White Churches,

BREAD turned to CHRIST’S FLESH,

and

BLOOD

to WINE

So if’in I want to rape it, hate it, mutilate it, that ain’t none of your business. I can even kill it if I want to ‘cause it’s mine, and you can’t stop me. Though me killin’ it would mean I was downright crazy given what I just paid for it. But when it gets old and useless, and I’ve gotten my money’s worth, I just might hunt it for fun. Now you just get on out of my way before I start to showin’ my hate for you, you anti-Christian piece of Northern trash! It’s in the Bible; they’re heathens, savages, inferior, don’t believe in Jesus, and even when converted, they still the sons of Ham. My preacher taught me the word of God. He should know. God’s never wrong, and We Southerners have God on our sidde [ssssss-slap]

God on our siiiiid- [sssss-slap]

God on our siiii- [ssss-slap]

God on our sssss- [ssss-slap]

God on ouuur- [ssss-slap]

God onnn -[ssss-slap]

“Oh, yes ye converted heathen, God has a message for thee; be meek and mild my child in the face of thy travails. Submit and repent; think only of Heaven, not this world, and the next will be yours.”

So said the Southern Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and cohorts.

(and the country whispers but that was so long ago; that was not us; I’m not to blame…. but look and listen and understand it is here now; it is racism; it is killing you, me, the haters and the hated—and yes, even most the ones that stand by, doing nothing)

The vomiting has begun

AGAIN

The bile is rising

AGAIN

The venom in the veins

Courses hardy

Again,

Throbbing, pulsing

AGAINf

Lub dub, Lub dub, Lub dub:

The throb of life calling for

MURder, MURder, MURder, MURder

chanting in a viperous tongue

slithering from

the Reptilian brain,

spitting

H A T E

K I L L.


When did slavery end?

When did it end?

Physical fact,

Or

State of mind?

Emotional?

Spiritual?

Cultural?

As law?

Or

Law enforcement?

But only the sightless believe

It ended in 1864.

Jim Crow’s reign, segregation, culture of terror, KKK, politicians, Good-White-Men-with-Family-Values. Black ink on White paper records 3,437 African-American lynched up to 1951. Not recorded: every Beating, Stabbing, Crippling, Broken bone, Fried human, Burnt house, Vigilantes Hunting in packs…..

Rising in the pride of the South, strong in their conviction, pleased with their Tradition, Southern Governors and Senators spoke out for what their cold, lizard hearts and squalid eyes and fetid brains claimed as Truth. the “Negro” is inferior. With God (& their ‘way of life’) on their side, they made sure no African American sat on a jury; lynchings took place with impunity as community picnic entertainment, photographed with pride—placed in the family album next to the wedding reception.

(and the country whispers….but that was so long ago… that was not us; I’m not to blame…. but mark and listen and understand it is here now; it is racism; it is killing you, me, the haters and the hated—the Lovers and the Loved—and yes, even most, the ones that stand by, doing nothing)

Woodrow Wilson, a racist Enforcer, segregated the federal government: 1902-1910. One man—the country followed.

1955, a 14-year-old Chicago boy visiting in Mississippi crossed an invisible “white’s only” boundary he didn’t even know existed. His punishment: eyes gouged out, beaten to death, then, finally, shot in the head, thrown into the Tallahatchie River, a 75-pound fan tied around his neck with barbed wire weighing his small body down. Only 54 years ago (and the country pretends… it was so long ago…but oh how wrong we are. It happened during my lifetime. And it was not the end.). Two men arrested, not held or punished; the haters enforced their reign of terror, and J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI promulgated hate, intimidating civil rights workers, giving aid to lynchers, discrediting Martin Luther King, Jr., serving him up to the murdering mob.

1968, only 41 years ago, racism killed Martin Luther King, Jr.

1981, two KKK members in Alabama randomly chose to lynch 19-year-old Michael Donald. For the very first time, the killers were found guilty, but the prosecutor has been number 1 on the Aryan Nation hit list ever since. 1981, Only 28 years ago, during the lives of my children.

I beheld my caring, open-hearted lover

Ignored

Every month, every week, every day, every hour

We strolled through a store

Sat together for coffee—or more.

Eyes glided blankly past her to see only me,

Ask me what I wanted

Fuss over me

Serve me

While she stood next to me:

Invisible

Black

But

Invisible

Except in the Glares of the Police.

The Stares of the Guards

The Malevolence of the Whites

Sniggering, Blithering

As we passed by.

I learned to read

The nerve-quickened pulsing

at the edge

Of her jaw,

The muscles set

—Tightly—

from

neck

to

shoulder

blade,

Petrify,

and

Rip

her throbbing, open heart

APART.

1998, three men, all members of a white supremacist prison gang, murdered James Byrd, Jr., a 49-year-old Texas father of three, who had accepted an early-morning ride home from work with the three men. Because it’s what white racists do, they attacked him, dragging him to his death behind their truck, then moseyed off to a barbecue. 1998, only 11 years ago, as the radical Christian Right gained its stranglehold on the Republican party, fought for religion in politics, anti-immigration, anti-gay, anti-everything “not them.” They’ve perfected the attack ad, blaming the “other,” hunting the scapegoat, preying on and harnessing the collective ugliness within us. And as they’ve discovered, there is more than enough to destroy this country without the need of a nuclear bomb. (and the country ignores….IT is not going away…IT grows on hate, and the agony is ascending once again, again, and again, flooding the land.)

Finally, on June 13, 2005, the US Senate formally apologized for its failure to previously enact a Federal anti-lynching law. All earlier attempts had been defeated by filibusters by powerful Southern senators. 2005, only 4 years ago (and the country sighs, it is over…Oh, how very wrong are we. Look anywhere; there IT is).

And once again the lynching comes

as mobs find courage in numbers.

Have Faith for Faith’s sake,

preserve Tradition for Tradition’s sake

Hate for Hate’s sake

With God, Government, and Police on their side.

For as far back as we have evidence, humans have practiced human sacrifice: scapegoats, the pariah, the “other” to put upon them the blame and shame of the community, to be the sacrifice for the sins of all, originally to drive them out of the community and leave them to die—or ritually kill them in cleansing ceremonies. Human sacrifice for the rest of our sakes; human sacrifice to the gods. The one we know best is the dying/rising god, the god that promises immortality. The names may change but the promise of sin-free immortality remains the same: Osiris, Dionysus, Tammuz, Odin, Ishtar, Persephone, Baal—Jesus. Christians say Jesus is the last; THEY say Jesus took the sins of all so no one else would have to suffer; THEY say they follow him….and yet…and yet….and yet, THEY continue scape-goating—sacrificing others, projecting fears, hatred, anger, perverted thoughts onto entire populations.

What an excuse to commit genocide (Indians, Jews, Blacks, Muslims, Immigrants—take your pick).

What an excuse to kill ( so many to choose from).

What an excuse to be a vigilante (a buffet of life to slaughter).

What an excuse for murdering in the name of love.

Diagnosis:

The psychosis of humanity made manifest, running amuck, ranting, wrecking, reeking havoc, assaulting, lynching, Effacing to avoid facing themselves.

Playing God, they slaughter.

The herd hunts again,

Rulers of Deceit:

The Rogue and the Righteous

—The McPalins of the World—

Forging the grandiose

Hate-Fest

To Feast,

Draped

in rancid lies

They

Dredge

the

Sludge in the drains—the slime—

Lining the social plumbing,

Lurking in the twisted shadows

Out of sight

But

Never

Out of mind.

Left too long to rot and mold

In the grime

of history

—denied—

Bubbles in repression,

Churns sour in our souls,

Flings out its tentacles for the light of day

Births hate from guilt,

Pain from shame,

Displaced blame gobbles the refusal to atone

No matter how hard we try to scrub the claims of conscience away,

Racism

is

Our Nemesis,

Our cyanide rage,

Our Gangrenous hate.

Crawling on the unmasked:

Neighbors,

Church members,

Farmers,

Butchers,

Jury-sitters

Bakers

Law-makers,

ALL

Beasts craving to be fed Again

US-made

Vampires

Raping

Their Country,

Devouring

Their Young.

(With God on their side)

Thanks to:

Abel Meeropol for the lyrics Strange Fruit

The Southern Poverty Law Center:

Morris Dees, Joseph J. Levin, Jr., and Julian Bond,

Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, all those who’ve been hurt & still will,

All who’ve fought and still continue to

Charging Shame to:

All that aid & abet fear of those who are different

All that feed off hate

All that incite violence against those who disagree

All that are complicitous, consciously or not

By riki mathews, The Trickster

(Some aspects of original format have not been preserved)

October 30, 2008 Posted by | god, Poetry, Politics, religion, The Trickster | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ode To Rapid Republicans


Ode To Rabid Republicans
Ode To Rabid Republicans

Ye cravest certainty in a world

Ye knowest as boundless;

Thy dismay bleedest

Through the cracks in thy rusty and shackled armor

ye refuest to discard.

Thy time hast passed, yet ghostly ye cling, forlorn and lost.

Worn buckles fumbled shut,

Old steel boots mauled onto fungied feet,

Thou preparest thy latest onslaught.

Thou hast trodden into our minds for many a decade

Thy hatred for all;

Harvesting fear and frenzy, seeding anger to fester and explode.

In droves thy recruits swarm behind thee.

Proudly bannered in the American flag.

They slogan forth, fangs dripping Patriotism,

Screaming

Death to terrorists,

Death to Muslims,

Death to the Other,

Death to all

that lights this wondrous world,

Death to it all

But your dictums.

Though thy faith leadest to the valley of death,

Though thy faith leadest to the Killing Fields,

Though thy faith

                                            forces

thou into befouled alleys,

Heaped in thy stinking deceipt,

Beset by bigotry, envy, grisly greed, lust, and dreadful deeds

that most surely will end in contrition,

Ye travelest it leaning on blind dogma—eschewest reason

and wonder not to justify the vile means nor the ends for that

which you seek.

Doest thou not thinkest of thy God thou invokest so facilely?

Doest thou truly believest thy God adorest thy offerings:

Burned flesh?

Charred children?

Drowned poor?

Suffering meek?

Did Christ not enjoin thy vows of love?

of mercy?

of compassion?

Methinks thou hast lost thy way,

To gather at the birthing of thine own making,

Yet not of the foretold nor desired Second Coming.

Nay,

Thou hast abandoned thine children

Foresworn thy duteous caretaking,

Forgotten the words of thy Savior,

The meaning of

Forgiveness

to woefully follow the

wrong

Messiah

—a Pied Piper—

A Traitor Made in Thine Image,

Gleefully

Enticing

                               Thee

                                            Unto

                                A most private

Hell

                                           Thou Designed for Thee.

By riki mathews

October 24, 2008 Posted by | Bible, Christianity, god, Poetry, Politics, religion, The Trickster | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Modern Proposal

(For Preventing The Children of Poor or Unrighteous People in the United States From Being A Burden to Their Christian and Wealthy Brethren and Country, and Instead Making Them Beneficial to the Public)

It is such a sad affair, at the beginning of this 21st century, to travel within the city and its surrounding urban districts and find oneself assaulted by the vast numbers of homeless, especially the rapidly increasingly number of women—homeless or not—with their children and swollen bellies. At least two in five children live below the poverty line, and with the absolutely necessary wage depressions placed upon the middle class, leading to further growth among the poor, along with the corresponding taxation, which I wholeheartedly agree that the government is most correct in applying (far be if for me to question the wisdom of the policies our most astute leaders see wisest to institute). And of course we must reward our most successful citizens with permanent tax cuts and not help those who cannot help themselves. After all, it’s a well-known fact that those who have absolutely nothing can most certainly pull themselves up from nothing using nothing.

Even within the schools, whose moral duties are to protect our young before they reach the age of taking on adult responsibilities, I have seen horrifying signs of the young bearing their own young. And the numbers of poor continue to surge among them, growing numbers of unaccompanied, wild youth, no matter how hard we try to instill morally true messages and admonish them to honor their parents! Why, just a few years ago the number of homeless youth ranging the country was swelling in numbers of over 300,000 a year! I cannot convey the staggering consequences put upon this country from these numbers of uneducated, unprepared children—fleeing, I am told, alleged conditions such as sexual and physical abuse, economic instability and merely leaving parents who simply did not care, of which I am sure these incorrigible youth must be deliberately committing perjury.

I have taken on the task of questioning many of these poor, pregnant and/or already mothers and unknowing fathers at tender teen ages. It seems that many, despite our excellent education exhorting abstinence only and quite wisely keeping from these indiscrete youth the knowledge of preventing pregnancy in order to uphold the sanctity of marriage, gave in to their lust despite the consequences and the numerous admonitions given and disciplinary measures taken by their parents and preachers. In keeping with our country’s policy that our children are best kept ignorant of the sordid processes behind the making of babies and be raised to see procreation in the service of God and matrimony, I most certainly cannot declare myself in favor of changing this course as it is indeed in keeping with the best values of Christianity and morality itself. And I do understand that in order to maintain the purity and sanctity of life that we hold so dear we cannot teach these poor young women about birth control or ever allow them access to it or, heaven forbid, abortion. Yet faced with the prodigious numbers mounting here that they do not have in ungodly, socialist Europe, I have spent many years as the tragedies compound, bending my mind to various solutions.

And so now, I find myself in a position of offering a proposal that would be palatable and acceptable within our Godly commitments to protect the unborn souls and yet not allow the born offspring to become a burden upon those families that either cannot care for them or those that do not deserve them nor the society that must not provide medical care, jobs, social programs, counseling, or other unchristian help to those who have disobeyed God and country in this matter.

Something must obviously be done to intervene at an early age to keep these children from growing up to be the homeless and miscreants burdening our society or repeating the mistakes of their mothers of having children outside marriage (it is a fact that this is indeed a typical pattern). Now I have studied and thought long and hard before staking a claim on a possible solution, and I want to make sure that my critics understand that I have nothing to gain from my proposal. Since I am now a retired teacher, I would not be profiting in smaller class sizes that would be created nor could I benefit since I am not married and so given my Christian upbringing would never have a child out of wedlock to try and make a few dollars from my proposal. I do understand that my proposal will not help things immediately, but we are in need of long-term preventive measures, given that we cannot allow a continually growing population of poor old people past their working prime to burden those among us who pay their our way, and this will indeed solve such nagging concerns from occurring in the future.

Since our country is so beholden to the rich for their patronage of our goods, as well as the powerful corporations that have built such wondrous empires upon our own and other soils, my suggestion is basically for them to take up the gauntlet of this cause to save our country and to increase the wealth of those who truly deserve it. I am now going on knowledge acquired by others that the tender flesh of young babies is of the highest quality in taste and protein (J. Swift). I therefore submit that those approximate 1.3 million abortions now being performed per year that will most thankfully and assuredly come to a halt through the efforts of our Evangelical brother Alito upon the Supreme Court bench, and the other thousands of children born from lust and the inability to abstain from disgusting carnal pursuits may now lend a noble hand to the continuation of this country and bring just punishment upon their thoughtless, criminal parents as is befitting a just God. I submit that these babies, after having been breast fed for a year, be sold to the finest restaurant chains and meat companies in the United States to become as fine a delicacy as caviar: home grown, cured, packaged, and dressed all by US businesses for consumption by those in our society so deserving through their wealth and Christian living (such wealth seen as a reward from heaven for their service to the Lord) and by any others our most illustrious leaders see fit to provide this cuisine to.


Surely, in this way, we may stimulate the economy (which we all know so dreadfully needs it) without encroaching upon the just wealth or our richest citizens and corporations; rid ourselves of the pestilence of the poor, unwed, homeless, criminal, immoral elements: shower further favor upon the elite; punish the unrighteous; and cleanse this country of its sins in the eyes of the Lord and so make our peace with the Almighty before He decides to totally destroy us as He has most recently showed in the rash of floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes He has been sending of late as warnings to our shore to mend our unholy ways.

Certainly there will be critics of this proposed action, but I am most amenable to other solutions if anyone can think of something that will take care of as many facets of the problem as this proposal does; in that instance, I will most wholeheartedly lend them my mind and ear. Until then, though, I feel we must urgently move forward and adopt this proposal to stem the tide that is overwhelming society. I can only call attention again to the numbers I have already given that have grown further in the last few years to point out that something needs be done at once (and let us not forget the burgeoning prison population—with the highest per capita incarceration rate of any country in the world—that that is another blight upon our sacred society).

Now, I must admit that I owe my solution to a greater mind than my own, a man who first thought of this more than one hundred years ago, and so I must rest on his laurels: chaplain Swift. And so, you see, I cannot even claim honor or recognition for my proposal, only for putting it forth once again in these trying times. I just must thank the Lord for giving us such a brilliant mind as chaplain Swift’s.

Amen

By riki mathews, The Trickster

October 9, 2008 Posted by | Christianity, Politics, Satire, The Trickster | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life Control in the US Under McCain/Palin

The following was written by Riki Mathews, our friend and mentor. Check out her blog, The Trickster Tells.

When I look at McCain’s advisors, the same ones that shaped the Bush/Cheney White House, I realize that nothing will change, only the top names stamped on the policies. And the more I watch the invectives spewing out of the GOP humanity grinder, as they count on us to mistake our baser selves for the best in us, I am sickened by the stench emanating from their lies, innuendoes, and true disgust for all of us who have tried to help each other through the catastrophes and hard times made worse by the Bush administration. McCain, Maverick no more, in 2007 voted for Bush-favored policies 95% of the time. Nor will I ever forget that as Katrina, at category 5-level hit, as people clung to rooftops, as governors from Louisiana and Mississippi pleaded for more government help, Bush and McCain orchestrated a madhatter’s tea party—with cake instead of jam. Forty Senators and 100 members of Congress visited New Orleans before McCain did; he finally got there in March 2006.

McCain voted against establishing a Congressional commission to examine the Federal, State, and local responses to Katrina in mid-September 2005. He repeated that vote in 2006. He voted against allowing up to 52 weeks of unemployment benefits to people affected by the hurricane, and in 2006 voted against appropriating $109 billion in supplemental emergency funding, including $28 billion for hurricane relief. Shortly after the disaster in New Orleans, McCain did introduce a bill that sought to improve communications mechanisms for first-responders and authorities. The bill failed to go anywhere, and McCain later voted against other bills that had similar provisions.

And McCain’s economic policy, which he tries so hard to hide—with good reason—is to eliminate ALL regulatory agencies along with unemployment benefits, Medicare and Medicaid while making tax cuts to the wealthy permanent and funding only the military industrial complex. Stripped to the minimum now, thanks to Republican ideology, the agencies that are there to come to our aid during natural disasters, to prevent food contamination, to research and contain disease, provide vaccines for our children, and so on, would be axed under the McCain/Palin administration. McCain claims country first, but I must ask whose country does he mean? Certainly not the country of the poor, the workers, single women, minorities, the sick, or those trying to get an education.

I worked for 30 years teaching college and high school (recognized in Who’s Who for my contributions to the US, to education, to women) before I became disabled; now I depend on a poverty level pittance from Medicare to survive. Myself and others like me, despite what we have given to our country, would eventually be cut off with no government support under the McCain/Palin ideology, even veterans—as McCain has repeatedly voted against bills to help them, still, McCain runs on his story of being a POW as qualifying him to be president while denying veterans further benefits, and so I ask again, just what kind of country does he mean? Those willing to give their lives for this country get slaughtered or maimed for a pittance while those who got their money through inheritance or by investing, those living off the money others make …. get government subsidies.

Now McCain has chosen Sarah Palin for VP, the anathema of feminist and humanist values. As many before me have said, I yearn for qualified, independent, thinking women in all roles—but Palin has none of these qualities. A person, man or woman, with Palin’s record, being sheltered from the press, needing to be protected from questions crucial to the direction of this country, is not an appropriate candidate. We are told Palin’s religion, record, and family are off limits by the same people that demeaned Obama’s family, clamored he was racist, a sexist, that his religion was not the “right” kind of religion, even attacked his patriotism and his qualifications. That she should be held to an entirely different set of standards is despicable.

She has lied about lobbying congress for earmarks, for supporting the bridge to nowhere. She wants to force her beliefs upon the entire country, throwing out wholesale the concepts of liberty and freedom, ignoring the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Of course she is the darling of the extremist right; she believes that a grouping of undifferentiated embryonic cells is of more value than the living, breathing, thinking, laughing, crying female in which the cells reside. Make no mistake; she is not interested in educating women in order to reduce the need for abortion; she is against helping women make wise choices, helping them have the tools to prevent abortion, but when it comes to once the damage is done, she is all for forcing a woman to give birth even if the woman was raped, a victim of incest, or, yes, the woman will die from the pregnancy. I believe, as do all women, that abortion is tragic. But I do not see the extreme right taking on the burden of prenatal, natal, and postnatal care—including the millions of dollars it now costs to raise a child—due to their extremist, toxic mix of no education regarding birth control, no access to birth control, and then forcing a woman to give birth against her wishes. I simply cannot see that this helps women or children, and while[now wile] the majority of Americans are against it, the Federal government under the Republicans and the conservative judges they’ve gotten appointed, is forcing the rest of us against our will to follow.


And for the brave women raising their children alone, Palin’s brand of religion and GOP ideology has plenty of names for them: irresponsible, lazy, immoral, unworthy of help. But far be it for anyone to make a judgment about Palin’s family “choice.” Where I come from, that is called hypocritical, and it most certainly is not feminist, compassionate, or the type of country I want to live in. It is not a country that respects all women, that recognizes all women’s contributions to the fabric of this land.

In an age where anyone being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan makes you VP material and thus potential presidential material makes me cry for the future of this country. If I sent out a resume claiming I had foreign affairs experience because I lived “close to” Russia, I wouldn’t get even a first look from any capable business. In an age where the man running for President blatantly lies and when caught continues to lie (just like George Bush), who believes smearing his opponent with the most vile pejoratives passes for “straight talk” yet has the gall to talk about honor and duty to his country clarifies for me the problems we face: we can choose to descend back into the Middle Ages of chronic warfare (the cost of Iraq alone is clocking close to $545, no 6, billion as I write), abject poverty, financial ruin, pettiness, ignorance, narrow-minded hateful rage, and extremist religious rule—or we can choose to rise out of the muck, work together, and leave a better world for all.


Perhaps McCain’s contempt toward everyone but those who weave his webs of deceit comes through best in his exchange with a concerned citizen who asked him a legitimate question about his ability to lead given his age; McCain, rather than simply answering the question, called the man a “little jerk.” As a life-long educator, I know that there is a calling to become our better selves. Let this be the time that we realize it is critical to answer that call.


“All of us are in the gutter; only some of us are looking at the stars”-Oscar Wilde

Riki Matthews

September 27, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

   

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