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God, Guns, and Ignorance

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Editor: I had a pic of the tombstone but it would not paste. If you google Olson you may be able to do it. if not--oh well thanks, gin 

 
 

Professor Joseph Olson of Hemline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota , points out some interesting facts concerning the Presidential election:

   

I received an email recently that had a picture of a tombstone depicting the "death of America, 1776------November 4, 2008". It stated various supposed facts showing that Republicans actually won more states than Democrats, that the murder rate in the areas supporting Obama was 6 times higher, that the square miles represented by the Democrat vote was some 25% of the area carried by Republicans. The statistics were said to be the work of a law professor at Hamline University, not Hemline as spelled in the email. After I received the mail I checked it's validity with Fact Check and found that Joseph Olson, the reported author had been denying authorship for quite some time, and that the figures used in the email were not only skewed but also false.

 

Certainly anyone could have taken the small amount of time as I did and discovered the hoax, but it would appear that many people are simply trying to validate their personal worldviews and care not if the facts are correct, just as long as their positions are supported. Be it guns, taxes, a woman's right to chose, God, or bombs, they are not interested in any dissenting opinions.  If the facts do not meet their approval------not to worry as facts can be changed. They are rabid when it comes to guns, demanding that they have Constitutional rights to have any sort of weaponry they deem appropriate, and are happy to tell you how they would use their guns if anyone encroached into their territory. Taxes are always too high, even though many of this group are far below any real tax liabilities, they still maintain an attitude of, "I pay way too much in taxes and I am tired of supporting all 'those people' that sit all day and have more kids". They love flags, especially the Confederate battle flag, get their news from Fox and think PBS is a liberal conspiracy and could not possibly accept that Jim Lehrer was a Marine officer. They are against any estate tax even though as of 2009 anything under 3.5 million are not taxed. Of course, some of these small minded big ego people would prefer that you think their estates will far exceed such chump change. Their foreign policy ideas are based on "lets just bomb em" and their geography is "over there" and Africa is one country. They like capital punishment and think the problem with America can be blamed on blacks and Latinos. They love to speak about the founding fathers but deny that they were not all Southern Baptist and made no provisions for blacks, non-landowners or women to vote.

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This group especially do not like gays, Moslems, smart women, the ACLU, welfare, or environmentalist, and of course the big one-----LIBERALS. They have not a clue that in the 12th century the center of learning for the entire world was in the Middle East, medicine, philosophy, art, literature, science,-----all in the Moslem world. They hate the ACLU but do not get the point that the ACLU defends the personal rights of groups as diverse as the NAACP and the KKK. Their devotion to the Constitution seems to disappear when the ACLU is mentioned, even though the entire purpose of the ACLU is to defend the document they hold so sacred. There is a lot of homophobia in this group that is many times justified with some sort of bogus religiosity. They like pick-ups, country music, beer, and Nascar, and are rabid patriots--------as long as one accepts their definition of patriotism. The Selma March, one of the most patriotic events in the last century would not qualify with this group and that is one reason the election of Obama was so hard to swallow. The idea of a black president and a black first lady just was beyond their ability to accept. The more sophisticated of this group will deny a racial prejudice-----but it is there no matter how hard they try to hide it.

Who are these people and where do they live? If you look at the electoral map for 2008 it is easy to see they are centered in the deep South and the West, although Virginia and North Carolina, along with Florida voted for Obama. The far West, along with New Mexico and Colorado also voted for Obama, but the base remains in the old South. Both Governor Perry and Jindal soon after the election were speaking to secession and getting support from their constituents. The fact that this issue had been settled over 150 years ago did not seem to matter and both these political pros knew how strongly their fellow Southerners felt. If you are a "yellow dog Democrat" you may love what is happening to the Republican Party but in the end, the best situation for the American people is a viable two party system and many believe a strong 3rd party would be even better.

If the Republican Party hopes to renew itself, it has to drop its regional label and become once again a party of true conservatism. This conservatism is not about excluding people but in fact, about offering an alternative view, which when the system works best, takes from both parties the best and offers it to the people. The President is being criticized by both the left and the right, in that he is not moving fast enough on health care, the two wars, Social Security, and the economy to suit either side. I think that may mean he is doing a good job. My ex-wife, who was married first to a lawyer, after our divorce said that if we both were dissatisfied it was probably as fair as possible. My friend, the former Republican Congressman from Alabama Jack Edwards said many years ago to me, "it always depends on whose ox is being gored". This remains true.

 

Certainly a woman's right to chose, or abortion if you prefer, remains one of the most, if not the most divisive issues in the country. There is not an answer that will satisfy all sides but the killing of a physician is not only not the answer but needs to be despised by all sides. Unfortunately, there are people who celebrated this murder, along with the murder of JFK and Dr. King as well. I have no statistics for the educational level of this group, but I suspect many finished high school and went on to other things that did not include travel, reading, and philosophy.

My father dropped out of high school during the Great Depression but he was of high intelligence and loved to read, so much so, that in the early 50's he was an authority on heart disease. So much so that various physicians regularly consulted him; my point being, you can get educated in a number of different ways, but ignorance is ignorance whether you hold a degree or not. To deny global warming, to think that the oil problem will be solved by more drilling, to think the answers to Iran and Korea are to drop bombs, that left alone business will regulate itself is the height of ignorance.

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At a time when the country, as well as the world face some of the most complicated issues in human history, and just a few short months ago many of us thought we were headed for the Second Great Depression, it would seem only logical that WE ALL take heed and attempt to solve some of the dangerous problems sitting on our door step. We are far from being out of the woods with our economy, far to go in both Iraq and Afghanistan, health care, the environment, energy, education, to name just a few. We need Republicans, Democrats, Independents, scholars, scientists, and business leaders. We need clear thinkers wherever they may be found, whatever their political affiliations, and we need them yesterday. There is still a Flat Earth society out there, there are Nazis, there are Limbaugh's, the KKK and people that will shoot anyone they don't like, but they are a minority.

The fact that Barack Obama was elected by an over whelming majority, an African American is a testament to that. As he has stated over and over, "we can". We will not get rid of the ignorance, as it satisfies some with a warped view of the world that would condone the killing of the doctor, or the torture of another human being. But we can go forward together, those that hope for a better world, and those that are willing to put higher ideals ahead of personal gain. If we do this, we can usher in a stronger and better America that we have ever seen. Rome had a golden age that lasted for over 250 years-----we can have ours.

 

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Gin Arnold is a 70 year old liberal living in Cotacachi, Ecuador after living in S. Alabama. I have owned several businesses, lived aboard a 32 foot sailing yacht, been a bar tender, boat captain, short order cook, and imported furniture from (more...)
 

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