Saturday, December 4, 2010

Recent Thoughts From PK Atheist


Oh, don't get me started on the election in Mississippi. Suffice it to say that one should never say a Mississippi politician is the worst one they can get. There's some kind of challenge that seems to bring in the minds of Mississippi voters & they outdo themselves. I'm still speechless just over having a tobacco lobbyist/Mexico lobbyist/Republican National Committee governor whose gall includes supposed national aspirations. I'd like to ridicule that as too Orwellian to be possible, but I have learned that the worse a Mississippi politician is the farther they seem likely to progress in power.

In some places in the U.S. actual liberals won; even in Mississippi Benny Thompson won. The conservative Blue Dog Democrats were the ones who lost, trying to be all things to all people, finger to the wind, but really Republicans-in-drag. The Blue Dogs lost the Democrats' their faux numbers. Since they served as place-holders for the Democratic Party to maintain the putative Congressional majority, losing them puts us in a more obvious right-wing tilt. Still, the Blue Dogs caused the Democrats to spiral downward toward a swirling vortex of all that was the worst of the right wing in this country. Every time you turned around some principle was being sold out to some Blue Dog in the usually forlorn hope that they might actually vote with the Democratic Party which they were technically members of. Therefore, Gene Taylor and Travis Childers were not much of a loss insofar as birth control and reproductive rights, church-state separation issues and so much else were concerned because they kow-towed to Republicans and, as I say, just tried to send the Democrats farther to the right. They were a loss ONLY in that they were placeholders for the Dems like the rest of the blue dogs.

I'm always surprised to remember that Mississippi actually fought against the Axis powers in World War II since now when the opportunity to vote fascist arises they vote overwhelmingly that way. While disgusting, the Mississippi votes in 2010 were not a surprise to me. The ONE positive note in Mississippi politics in my opinion was in North Mississippi where Congressman Benny Thompson won. From what I have seen and read, he seems to actually care about his constituents.

Ring Lardner, Jr. (in his 2000 autobiography) makes the point that those who believe this is the only world would be motivated to do more to protect its environment. The recent blog suggestion that the most religious states are the fattest ones would neatly fit into his thesis. Also, obesity can be an expression of unhappiness and trying to live as a religious fundamentalist is not a happiness recipe.

The reason the blogger wasn't pawed at Jackson's airport over our recent Thanksgiving holiday is (1) not all airports have the feature yet and (2) of those that do if you agree to the radiation you won't be pawed unless they have questions about, say, the wire in your bra as though they don't know that most modern bras have wire in them.

I posted that I was angered by someone at one of the soup kitchens in Jackson who wrote of encouraging the homeless to get an education as though that was their problem and as though education was appreciated in this state. Judging from one of the comments made to this blog, I did not make myself at all clear on this issue. I do think education is a most important part of life and should be ongoing and constant. Yes, formal education is very important. But formal education is NOT appreciated AT ALL in Mississippi especially not by Mississippi employers outside academia and burdening the recently homeless with student loans is not going to keep them from being homeless again. In an ideal world, they might need to take more classes and get a university degree (assuming they do not have at least one already), but my point was that they do NOT need to do it at the expense of ending up indebted to some of the villainous student loan companies that are out there these days. Some of the current student loans seem to be a form of indenturing them for life and if they aren't careful they also will be signed up to go to some proprietary "college" which teaches them nothing and gains them entrance nowhere. A disturbing number of jobs in this state are given only to those who are relatives of the oligarchs. Most of us have seen this happen time and again. It is a big fiction that the poor and homeless JUST need better educations or they wouldn't be poor and homeless. Pretending that this oft-spoken bromide that they just need education is true just comforts the consciences of the oligarchs and I want no part in comforting those who prey on the poor and downtrodden.

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