The Halloween season is definitely upon us as witnessed by the scary stories of goblins and other spooky creatures referred to in my local newspaper’s “Letters” column today (click on link here). It appears to the fringe element on the right that contributed to these horror tales that those devilish liberals and Democrats are once again stirring some cauldron of socialist mayhem that will take away some aspect of our religious, patriotic and economic souls. It is never quite clear what these aspects are but then scary tales are not meant to inform or be objective, at least in political matters, but to keep children frightened and away from polling booths or at least making choices that create greater terror – like voting for people who they say will suck the life out of you.
I site as examples a contributor’s homophobic tripe about Kevin Jennings and his red-scare baiting in his reference to Van Jones. Mr. Jennings, now the assistant deputy secretary for education appears to have written the forward to the book “Queering Elementary Education: Advancing the Dialogue about Sexualities and Schooling” that suggests elementary school children should explore their sexual identities and for teachers to incorporate homosexual themes in grades K-5. The recent revelations of bullying gays in school that have led to some students to commit suicide seems irrelevant to this letter writer. As for Van Jones, we all know that his Stalinists approach to convert our dependency on dirty, life threatening fossil fuel to cleaner renewable energy is a nightmare of the worst sort.
This contributor also appears to pretend that bail outs were a Democratic concoction and that health care reform for millions who can’t afford it in the private market or are rejected by private insurers because they were ill any other time in their life is a demonic scourge. I haven’t got a clue to what he is referring to about “payoffs” unless he had a mental lapse and is reflecting on the health insurance industry and Oil and Coal corporations spending millions along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to continue their price gouging and health threatening practices to individuals and our living conditions.
To read this person’s comments leads one to believe that anyone who is not white, fairly wealthy, a Christian fundamentalists and heterosexual is a monster in our midst and must be purged with a fire’s purity to make our nation whole again. Never mind that the founding fathers essentially put their lives on the line and our sons, daughters, fathers and mothers have died to preserve the inalienable rights of people and equality to all.
Then there are the banshee-style invocations of blood and doom from another contributing writer. She raises the ugly specter of incandescent light bulbs being removed from the market to make way for CFL light bulbs that lasts 10 times longer than standard light bulbs while using 75% less energy. Equally she appears to be condemning Energy Star appliances that people can choose from to reduce waste and overall costs. I guess making things greener and saving money are to be feared in her house of horror.
Her reference to “personal gardens” I can only assume is a reference to Monsanto’s efforts to restrict seed use to promote their own product, but why lay this in her bags of goodies to attack Democrats? This is a corporate thing that some Democrats and Republicans are being persuaded to push a bill through to benefit Monsanto. Why the outrage over this corporate manipulation of legislation and nothing about every other corporate manipulation of health care reform, financial reform and energy policy?
And perhaps the scariest story of all today is one contributor’s fantasy about tax cuts creating jobs. We saw greater job creation when tax rates were higher under Clinton than we did after Bush cut taxes for the wealthiest 2% his first year in office. The many imaginary economists this writer claims that say millions of jobs will be lost if the tax cuts are not continued is eerily opposite to what in reality many economist are saying – job loss will not be effected by raising the rate on the wealthiest 2% back to 1990 levels but continuing them WILL increase the deficit even further than it already has, leaving our children and their children to pay this debt.
I was amused also by one gentleman’s “dangerous sign” contribution that seemed to be protesting the posting of a warning sign at a “dangerous intersection”. The warning sign, along with a stop sign, alerted oncoming traffic that “Cross Traffic Does Not Stop.” He apparently made some kind of query about this with city engineer who told him that “everybody knows about the intersection so it is not a problem” then wondered aloud in his letter if “our readers and [the city’s’] Finest know where the intersection is located?” I am left mystified why this was a concern for the writer. The warning at this intersection clearly notifies an approaching driver in one direction to not only stop but failure to do so will result in a collision from traffic flow in the other direction that does not have to stop. Knowing exactly where this intersection is seems irrelevant.
The effects of the moon during this goblins and ghosts atmosphere appears to have clearly taken hold of the senses on some of our citizens. Hopefully all will return to normal as Thanksgiving approaches and the more sane musings of turkey versus ham and cranberry sauce over regular cranberries will fill our conversations.