Hope, Culture, Justice, and Big Star

2010 March 30

by Roy W. Bakos

…just some random thoughts and points during Easter/Passover/Spring Break from College Round 3 1/2 week:

1)The Heath Care Bill passed and we have not plunged into a Communist Dictatorship where Death Panels are hiring terrorists to kill your grandparents.  Silly.  Wondering why the right doesn’t think lawsuits are frivolous when State’s Attorneys are planning lawsuits about federal power that have been decided since the Civil War ended?  Really, as much as we might like it sometimes, the issues of Nullification were settled at Appomattox.  Enough already: people that are a different shade of white can vote; there is no poll tax; women can vote; Lincoln has a monument; Jim Crow is overturned; medicare and military jobs are by definition socialism and that is ok; and the Union won the War…get over it.

2)Financial reform, real financial reform-not the bullshit Banking-Hack (D-Conn.) Dodd is proposing, should be the next thing we tackle legislatively.  Restore Glass-Steagal.  Undo all of the other de-regulations of the past 30 years that allowed us to get into this Wall-Street driven mess to begin with.  Give a Consumer Regulatory Agency some teeth.  Chanches of this happening right now in our lobby-driven kleptocracy?  I wouldn’t buy a derivative based on the positive…

3)There is absolutely no good reason why Marijuana is illegal.

4)Eliot was wrong…the cruelest month can’t be in Spring…at least not when your spring is on the Canadian Border and the snow has finally melted and you will golf on Thursday for the first time this spring and ski on Friday for the last time this winter.

5)I really wish that the 2 billion practitioners of the Big Three Judeo-Christian Religions could see the messages of their faith and try to live by it everyday.  Blessed are the Meek; Do unto other’s as you would have them do unto you; Blessed are the Peacemakers; Love one another; and the Good Samaritan…these are the axioms that we should live by.  These seem pretty simple to me and following these would probably result in a much happier world.  In a week that is dominated by celebrations that have their root in these faiths, it is my sincere hope that some of this rubs off on believers as they attend services this week.

6)Progressives and Liberals have to stop being wimps and learn to articulate the ideals that we stand for.  Labor Laws are good.  The 40 hour work week is (was) good.  Being paid for overtime is good.  Making sure that the old and the poor get medical care is good.  Education is good.  Universal Suffrage is good.  The Bill of Rights and Civil Liberties for all are good.  Freedom of Expression is good.  Freedom of Religion is good.  Living in a country that strives to fulfill it’s promises of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” for all is good.  Taking in the poor and hungry, yearning to breathe free is good.  Looking at past mistakes and attempting to learn from them is good.  National and State Parks are good.  Attempting to reach some sort of racial understanding is good.  Integration is good.  Ending Jim Crow is good.  This list could go on.  We need to retake control of the message and stop running away from who we are.  I like all of the ideas above and I think that we should fight for them and be proud of them rather than hide from them, cowering in fear of the right and their uncanny ability to sell their ideas (the party of the big corporation and the ubiquitous “Market” that solves every problem is obviously better at selling).  We can win the argument as long as we stop allowing the right to define the terms of the debate.

7)Everyone should listen to at least one Alex Chilton song this week to remember the uncompromising brilliance of this songwriter.

8)Stop being afraid to call stupid things stupid.  Some things and ideas are stupid.  As long as your argument for calling them stupid is not stupid, it is ok to call them out for being stupid (This sentence brought to you by further experimenting with the idea in #3 above, which [proved by the punctuation in this sentence] is not stupid).

9)Did I mention that I love Spring?

10)I still believe in Hope.  I still believe in Justice.  I still believe in Discourse.  I believe in Knowledge.  I believe in Love.  I believe in Culture.  Other things may jade me from time to time.  People may disappoint me sometimes.  I may disappoint people (and myself) sometimes as well, but these six ideals make me tick and help me to define who I am and all that I strive to be.  Optimism springs eternal…

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