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Member since: Sun Sep 27, 2015, 09:47 AM
Number of posts: 12,988

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America was never great...

And yet it always was. That dichotomy has haunted our nation since it's founding in 1776. Jefferson's document espousing independence spoke of inalienable rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", a truly enlightened document reflective of the high hopes of that age. The rough draft even went so far as to call for abolishing slavery but that was quickly edited to appease the slave holding colonies.

In our time as a nation, we have seen, time and again, the power of right over might. Religious freedom for all people, something the early colonies of Massachusetts and Virginia would have been appalled by, was accepted as rule of law. When the loose, unstructured "Articles of Confederacy" threatened to tear the country apart after our war for independence, a constitution was born, along with its "Bill of Rights", creating a republic with all its glorious institutions which were entirely new and unique to the modern world. Yet, people of color were still viewed as less than human and women equally so.

A civil war raged across this country, and yet the hope of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" persisted. In that war's aftermath, as new freemen made their way into communities across the country, laws were passed to limit the former slaves from participating in government or even society itself. The controlling powers were able to convince the poor whites that opposing the free blacks and supporting Jim Crow would increase their station, but they were only pawns in the game.

All the while, the country would continue its program of assault and diminishment against its native peoples, which had been occurring since the times before the revolution.

Yet, progress persisted.

Immigrants would pour into this country in the years following its Civil War, each with the hope of finding a more prosperous life than the one they left behind. Every immigrant class in this country has faced its own discrimination and struggle at times, yet the country has always found a way to remain a melting pot.

As the country became industrialized, workers were abused and used by their overlords. Yet those same workers would fight and spill their own blood to ensure the rights of all workers and through their efforts, organized labor would be born.

Women came into their own through suffrage. They protested and were assaulted and abused but through that fight they won the right for women to vote.

Two world wars and a Great Depression swept up the country in a hardship that would last through two generations. But through those struggles we made a New Deal and created a safety net for our countries seniors and we finally integrated our armed services. Out of those conflicts, the country would emerge stronger than ever.

And yet, all were not free. The Fabulous Fifties and the veneer of peace and prosperity would be a thin veil covering the blot of segregation across the land. The fight for equal and civil rights would lead to the birth of a dream, the spilling of saintly blood, and the first acceptance in this country since its birth that "all men" truly were created equally".

As years passed, the struggles continued. Equal Rights Acts and Voting Rights Acts and Medicare and Medicaid and a "Great society" and Row v Wade, each step striving to mold and create a country that would live up to the ideals of its founders, or, more precisely, one which was better than the founders limited world view could have imagined.

In the face of that progress, the country would experience war, both red hot and ice cold, as well as corruption from its leaders and yet through it all, the republic remained.

Even those on the extreme sidelines of society who happened to love those of the same sex or who were born identifying with a sex they were not biologically born with would eventually gain acceptance. But it took extreme fighting and a healthcare epidemic which struck down far too many souls before those causes would gain the light of day and ultimately begin to attain acceptance.

And here we are in 2017. With every great advancement for human rights in this country's history, there have been those who vocally stood against that progress and longed for days gone by where bigotry and racism and sexism were acceptable. Make no mistake, when anyone says they wish to "Make America Great Again" that is what they are referring to, even if they cloak that phrase in the idea of bringing back jobs or stimulating the economy in places left behind in the modern world. At every step, some individuals have heard that plea for a return to "the old days" and have taken a stand against progress, many times violently. Despite that, the ideal that we are all created equally and have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness continues to provide the lifeblood of this country.

The fight for a better, more civil, more humane country goes on, because America was never great...and yet it always was.

Alright Whovians...two questions

Who is your favorite Doctor?

Who would you like to see as the 13th Doctor?

My favorite is the Tenth.

I'd like to see Richard Ayoade or Olivia Coleman. Also, I wouldn't mind Kris Marshall, who has been rumored for the role.

Don't need a weatherman tonight...let's keep on fighting...

The future is uncertain, but tonight America stood up to authoritarianism...

What we are up against...

Growing up in the rural south and having lived in some fairly diverse places in my adult life has afforded me the benefit of making friends across all cultural and political backgrounds. I readily admit that I'm a Facebook junkie and I am a rabid college football fan and frequent a site dedicated to my favorite college team that also has a pretty broad sports discussion board. Here's what I've noticed going back to before the election but even more so since the inauguration.

1). There is nothing that Donald Trump will say or do that will offend or turn his most ardent supporters. The true believers will twist themselves into pretzels to go out of their way in support of him. "Pussy grabbing" didn't matter to them, it was brushed off as no big deal. Every move he's making since becoming president is viewed through the lens of their Obama hatred. They aren't appalled at the executive orders, they are applauding them.

2). They have nothing but disdain, disgust, and a total misunderstanding for the Women's marches. They see this as the "typical know it all liberal" railing against what they disapprove of. SJW's who are viewed as hypocrites and elitist.

3). Attacking Trump only emboldens them. They will stand up to any real or imagined assault on their "Dear Leader" because they view themselves as possessing a more reasoned and, in many cases, "Christian" view of the world.

We will not change these people. The true believers will always be so. That doesn't mean that we give up our opposition to tyranny. We press on and make our case to the great mass of our country who are not as politically in tune and who will listen to reason when it is presented. We must fight for our values, because it is clear the right would like nothing more than to roll back any and every progressive accomplishment from the last 70 years. We have a long road ahead of us. I don't think this fight will be easy but I do think that if we can focus our energy on clear goals of opposition and start by making changes in our local communities, we can succeed.

For me, I don't go to my sports board as much anymore. I just can't handle seeing so much hatred and bigotry spewed as if it's Gods Word because they speak it from the right. Likewise, I've started unfollowing feeds of "friends" who post the most vile and hateful Trump posts on FB. I've felt as demoralized as many of you have. We are watching the active dismantling of our country. Now is the time for action. Let us work together to find ways to build an opposition that cannot be denied.

Trump did have one accomplishment this weekend!

No other man, in the history of the United States, has been rejected by as many women in a single day! Good for you donnie!

(Not my own, just thought I'd share the lol in case anyone needed it today!)

Watched "Jackie" tonight...

So, our immediate family is blessed to have a voting SAG member that receives DVD movies "for consideration" for awards, many of which are still in theaters. It's become a family tradition to pass movies back and forth and provide our own commentary on what we thought prior to the SAG awards....unfortunately, we've grown so much that most of the movies are still within the family circulation after the SAG voting is done, but, regardless, I love this time of year because my wife and I get the chance to watch a ton of movies for free that are currently in circulation (as an aside, music/musical lovers should check out "La La Land". It's a treat!)

Tonight, we finally got a chance to watch "Jackie", a movie that both my wife and I had been waiting anxiously to watch. So, after the kids were in bed, we settled down with a glass of wine and watched the movie.

First, let me say, if you aren't prepared for a highly emotional film, don't watch. The movie begins with ominous music in the credits and the first fifteen minutes are enough to ratchet up the emotional strain. My wife grabbed my hand in a vice grip and didn't let go until the end and she cried throughout most of the film.

Natalie Portman is, frankly, amazing in her portrayal of Jackie Kennedy. She not only nails the scenes of the White House tour practically mimicking Jackie note for note, she passes far beyond that to tap into the raw emotions that Mrs Kennedy must have surely experienced during that time. She eloquently portrays the public versus private dichotomy of the former First Lady.

I applaud the film for not shying away from little details which might seem unseemly, like the fact that Jackie smoked or the boorishness displayed by the Johnson people on Air Force One as it traveled from Dallas to Washington.

Overall, this was a difficult film to watch, mainly because of the subject matter. However, I think the positives outweigh any negatives of the film. Portman truly does bring to life the public and private persona of Jacqueline Kennedy: debutant, wife, mother, strong independent woman...and makes her believable onscreen. I applaud the mixing of historic footage and film, which I thought worked seamlessly.

The film is not without its flaws, but it is a beautiful testament to the will and character of an amazing woman.

So Richard Spencer doesn't want to be called a Nazi...

Poor Richard Spencer is tired of us "anti-fascists", apparently that's a bad thing, picking on him by calling him a Nazi.


The Obama Years...

No Retreat....No Surrender...

If you need a musical diversion...(aka An Otis Redding kind of night)

I've spent the evening listening to "Otis Redding at Whisky A Go Go: The complete recordings" a boxed set my wife gave me for Christmas. It's amazing and it has given me great comfort this evening.

Here's a taste:

Hope you enjoy it as much as I have!
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