On hurricanes, paranoia and hatred.

A tropical storm, which may become a Category 1 hurricane, is heading towards the Gulf Coast and will probably make landfall on the exact day when Hurricane Katrina devastated the City of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast 7 years ago. For the past four days, I’ve been watching (or trying not to) the Weather Channel, CNN and other news shows — only to see the newscasters breathlessly deliver predictions of how “this thing might shape up” and bemoaning any let-down of the storm’s ferocity as a big disappointment. “The problem,” I actually heard a WC spokesperson say this evening, “is that the storm seems to be inhibited by this stubborn presence of dry air.”  As if what we were all really hoping for is another terrible loss of life, property and well-being.

What is going ON in this country? The number one independent film right now is a piece of total crap by Dinesh D’Souza called 2016: Barack Obama’s America in which he contends that “… the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s…. who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anticolonial ambitions, {and} is now setting the nation’s agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son.”

Are you SERIOUS? Obama barely even knew his father, and yet somehow he absorbed his “African rage” by osmosis? And where in God’s name is evidence of that in Obama’s measured, terribly annoying compromising, and MODERATE attitude? But let’s not get confused by the facts. Instead, let’s all be beguiled by a Mormon director (Gerald Molen) and Dinesh, who is responsible for this unsubstantiated tripe: “The cultural left in this country is responsible for causing 9/11…” and “Abu Ghraib reflected ‘the values of a debauched liberalism run amok'”… and this gem, which is the title of his book: “The Enemy at Home.”

When did we become so hateful and paranoid and CRAZY in this country? In all my travels, I can tell you that I have never seen or experienced the inchoate anger that is loose in this country today. It scares me, it saddens me, it really pisses me off.

And it’s neatly summed up by this sign than hangs on the front door of the mother of the  15 year-old Baltimore shooter who allegedly critically shot and wounded another student on the first day of school this morning.

Boy, I really miss Rwanda.

(Come on over to http://heifer12x12.com for a happy feeling!)

37 thoughts on “On hurricanes, paranoia and hatred.

  1. I have observed that in the world of today, video games
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  2. Betty, I love your redesigned site. Really nice! As to this post, it is a great read and makes valid points. I have been extremely engaged this political season and if I weren’t a hopeful person who believes in the intrinsic goodness of human beings when we operate within the context of civilized societies, I might despair.

    This is the first time that I have seen karma act so swiftly and so visibly against prevaricators, provocateurs, and avaricious individuals. It is proof that nothing done in darkness does not come to light. Now that they have shown us who they are, we must believe them. If we vote these arbiters of hatred and corporate welfare into power we will be responsible for what happens to our weaker brethren.

    “…the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped. ” ~ Last Speech of Hubert H. Humphrey

  3. Hi Betty, well you’ll be getting a barrage of hateful nonsense now with the Convention in Tampa, I guess. You know from when I date this divide to which you refer and the mainstreaming of nastiness? The 2000 presidential election. With that acrimonious count and the decision being made by the Supreme Court, it just seemed that the Republican party and administration felt empowered to be extraordinarily disdainful of anyone who didn’t agree with them — and it was then all exacerbated by 9/11.

  4. I’ve been away too long, Betty, and I feel somewhat out of touch with what’s going on in the US. Not that I’m unaware of events, but I’m not there to share the emotions. I hear frustration from the people I talk to, though. Everyone seems to have retreated in anger to their separate corners. Yours is a reassuring voice, even when it’s pissed off.

  5. Oh, my heart is so sad. Listening to the news is draining my spirit. Fear is behind so much evil. Mother Teresa said, “I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”

    If everyone would just focus on doing something good, instead of fighting against something, or someone, so much good would happen overnight. That is what your work is all about. Keep focusing on the good Betty. It becomes you! Sending my prayers your way. Gail

    • Why does WordPress DO that??! I would have loved to see it, Renee, as you are one of my favorite writers!! This whole diatribe has been on my mind for ages and I just couldn’t keep it inside any longer. Call it a storm surge….

  6. Dear Betty, the right wing Americans scare the shit outta this Canadian. I’m not happy with our Conservative Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.. But he is still left of your “left wing” President. Your “Tea Party” folk and your new “Log Cabin” VP Republican Candidate, exemplify a more extreme movement to the right. They possess awful, narrow, hateful views, that they believe are backed by “their” god. The parallel with the Taliban and its narrow views seems obvious to me.

    I do not understand them. Since they are mostly Christians, why do they not feel a responsibility for taking care of their less fortunate “brothers” ? Why do they so loathe the idea of universal health care ? Why do they not want to share the wealth to help the poor among us? I’m sure Jesus finds them embarrassing.

    Good for you for speaking out.

    Sadly, as I’m sure you know, you’re “preaching to the choir”.

    • Oh, I LOVE preaching to the choir (particularly since I can’t sing, alas)! I often think about how we must appear to our Canadian and Mexican neighbors — like total lunatics, I suspect. What is it with the American ego that has to be so self-congratulatory?? We sure could use a little self-reflection on how we allowed things to go so wrong economically, and what kind of society we really want to have & be. I see NO disconnect between being a hard-working, responsible individual AND a compassionate person who cares about how others are doing (particularly those who haven’t been given the unbelievable advantages and abundance that I was lucky enough to grow up with… and we weren’t rich, either) Now why that should make me anti-American, weak, stupid, deluded or demonic is a mystery that apparently only Fox News knows. Thanks for your comment, Sybil!!

  7. What really scares me is that we seem to have let the extremists (of both sides) start dictating our lives. While I’m sure that Mitt Romney and Barak Obama both have issues that they, and we, can agree on, we’ll never hear about them, because it doesn’t make good “copy”. What ever happened to showing respect for our fellow man – even if we don’t agree with them? I definitely agree that we need a “Civility Campaign”.

  8. Betty – Here! Here! I couldn’t agree with you more – and you said it so well. It is very frustrating to know there is so little we can do to change this ugly mindset.

  9. Darling Jeff — that original monologue of his on why America isn’t “the greatest country on earth” is simply brilliant, even if the rest of the series got a little too surreal and earnest for even me! But … I’m so disturbed by the toxicity of our discourse today, and the venal lies that are glibly announced and repeated endlessly — our parents never would have tolerated the sheer lack of civility on the air. Why do we??

  10. The masses are not intelligent enough to search for the truth. They allow themselves to be told “stories” which they want to believe. I am sorry to say I have felt like I am always picking the lesser of two evils in all the years I have been allowed to vote. This is a scary time for our country. I hate what we are leaving behind for our children. This is another huge reason your posts are so uplifting!!

    • I do think it’s a huge problem that internet and cable have allowed people to self-select exactly what they want to hear — and try as I may to find some kind of honest factual source (NPR and The New Yorker come closest), I’m mostly at a loss. It’s really poisonous — whether it’s Ed on MSNBC or anything/anybody on Fox. They are really tearing this country apart — and I have no idea what the fallout from that is going to be, but you have to assume our recent and perhaps permanent demise is tied to the total inability/rabid choice of legislators not to govern, but to stymie and paralyze the other party.

      • I have totally become disgusted with politicians… I think their greed for power and money have ruined our country. New york times is where I go to try and weed through the BS thrown at us!!

  11. Bless you, Betty…for you have sinned (and opened that brash mouth of yours, again, to speak the truth!) Your indignant rage against the hypocrisy and injustice, though eloquently expressed, is preaching to the choir here so I’m sharing your blog more than ever now. Our voices are all we have to find kindred souls who can still hear above the din and once again rock the vote.

    When I traveled, I also returned home to see my beloved country with a new set of eyes and it was a similarly disturbing perspective on what seemed a national psychosis. For a nation as rich as ours to squander its wealth on the pettiness that so preoccupies our national discourse makes me hang my head in shame. But only long enough to sigh. I will stand up and I will speak up and I will do my best to be a voice of reason in my community.

    Thank you for your voice in the world…and for the sparkling brashness you wear as beautifully as any tiara. Keep up the good fight….we’re with you out here on the ‘Left’ Coast.

    • Awesome comment, Susan — you inspire ME! I think it’s time to get back out there and get involved, and get noisy!! We are too good a country to let the most hateful, spiteful and bitter people be our voice … I just refuse!!

  12. wow, Betty, really powerful. Many thanks for sharing.

    Best,

    Sam

    Sam Pettway
    BoardWalk Consulting
    Celebrating our 10th year of
    Finding leaders that matter for missions that matter [SM]

    O: 404-BoardWalk (404-262-7392)
    M: 404-313-0140
    E: sam@BoardWalkConsulting.com

    Sent from my iPad; please pardon any typos

  13. Oh ..you..have..no ..idea.. how refreshing reading this is..and Jeff, just watched The Newsroom. Betty would fit right into the newsroom’s philosophy. Thank you Betty for articulating something I have
    no words for..

  14. Thank you! I’ve been reading blogger comments praising this movie. There’s so much hate today and no compromise or moderation or balance.

  15. Thank you, Betty, we each of us needs to be a little more outspoken, after learning the real facts 🙂 Sadly, tho, so many folks just don’t want to know the truth; they’re happier with their lies. But, I believe we will sort it out and get it right. Hang in there with us 😉
    Meredith

  16. If only people knew their history and could learn from the mistakes of the past. Let’s let people practice the religion of thier choice privately and not let it run our politics, our science, our logic or our reason. Fear, lack of confidence and ignorance create hate. We need a big pendulum swing away from all this.

    • Couldn’t agree more, Louise. I think I’m going to start a Civility Campaign. I just can’t stand the demonization of people anymore… much less the literal longing for tragedy that passes for news these days.

  17. I needed that. Thanks. A medical person told me that because of money she was going to vote for Mitt the Mask. I said that I was sure she wasn’t in the top 1% and these were the only ones who were going to benefit from his administration — that if MR winds she will be opening a clandestine abortion clinic. What have we come to? Someone help us!!!!

  18. Brilliant and articulate as always Betty! If you haven’t been watching The Newsroom on HBO, check it out. It does a great job of pointing out the hypocrisy and lies in today’s political discourse.

    • Jeff, you were the FIRST person I replied to — don’t know what happened! I have been watching The Newsroom and loved that first monologue beyond belief… but it makes me too sad to see it (plus, I think they make the woman producer too much of a goofball and Sam Waterson too much of an idealist). I only WISH we had somebody on the news with that kind of courage. Or somebody even close! (Jon Stewart & Colbert, I LOVE you!)

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