The Watering Hole: June 17, 2011 — The Truth About the Economy

Robert Reich explains it all — with pictures:

1. Economy doubles since 1980, but wages flat.
2. All gains from the economy go to the super rich.
3. With money comes political power.
4. Huge budget deficits.
5. Middle class divided.
6. Anemic recovery.

No incentive currently exists to remedy this situation, other than convincing the super rich to willingly give up their unbelievably rich lifestyles and/or getting the politicians we elected to represent US in Congress to actually do something in our interests.  That ain’t happening.  Soooo….

This is our daily open thread — Discuss!!

156 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: June 17, 2011 — The Truth About the Economy

  1. I don’t know what this has to do with the economy … me being up with the dog at this hour watch.g the full moon ~ maybe just a reminder that the best things in life aren’t always measured in dollar amounts …

    Peace to you all and good morning ~

  2. Thanks, Zooey. I love this video, and it;’s one reason I’m proud to be a member of MoveOn.org. I’m going to re-post it to my own blog later today.

    In other news, I’m copying this whole story in its entirety with a link to the original. It’s short but important.

    http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlny/ex-spy-claims-bush-administration-asked-cia-to-attack-blogger_b37876

    Ex-Spy Claims Bush Administration Asked CIA to Attack Blogger
    By Chris O’Shea on June 16, 2011 10:37 AM

    Glenn Carle, an ex-CIA spy, is alleging that the White House – under then President George W. Bush – at least twice asked the CIA to gather information that would discredit Juan Cole, an outspoken liberal blogger and Professor at the University of Michigan. At this time, Cole was writing highly critical posts regarding the Iraq War on his blog Informed Comment.

    Carle tells The New York Times that he refused to take part in the operation because it’s illegal, but that didn’t stop other CIA officials from trying to gather information that would slander Cole:

    In an interview, Mr. Carle said his supervisor at the National Intelligence Council told him in 2005 that White House officials wanted ‘to get’ Professor Cole, and made clear that he wanted Mr. Carle to collect information about him, an effort Mr. Carle rebuffed. Months later, Mr. Carle said, he confronted a C.I.A. official after learning of another attempt to collect information about Professor Cole.

    If Cole’s claims are true, it’s pretty insane. Think about it: The President put out an order to have a private citizen smeared because of what the person was writing. It’s scary because it seems a little too likely to be true.

  3. Hoover’s campaign slogan was “A chicken in every pot; a car in every garage.”

    To reflect modern GOP economic policy the phrase should read, “A ____________ in every pot; a _____________ in every garage.”

  4. The ruling class in Apartheid South Africa was convinced to peacefully relinquish power, but only wnen faced with immenent revolution that would have cost hundreds of thousands of lives, including their own.

    For now, the ruling class in America is successfully pitting the lower classes against each other and dividing the middle class along ideological/theological lines.

    The super rich truly don’t care about the suffering of the “little people.” They believe, and so far rightly so, that their money and power insulates them from all negative consequences of their decisions. So oblivious are they that they frequently talk of implementing 2nd Amendment solutions, not realizing that they will eventually be on the receiving end of those who take up their suggestion.

  5. I have my own set of economic indicators, one of which is sales of decorative plants. Every year since we’ve had a Walmart in my town, the store stocked a huge number of mums and sells about 80% of them. In 2008, hardly a mum sold at all and you just knew people were afraid to spend. Mum sales have improved only slightly in subsequent autumns. (I’ve no idea what marketing genius keeps buying so many mums every year) A small independent nursery opened in 2010 (brave folks) and has a large and beautiful selection of hanging baskets priced at $6.00, a really good price, and here it is June and they still have most of them. Things look grim to me. People do still buy my flowers, but you can tell they think harder before spending.

  6. Sometimes I just can’t hep it.

    Ran across this, the top comment, on a forest fire news brief posted on azcentral.com. The brief concerns the newest wildfire in AZ, this one called the Monument fire because it first erupted in the Coronado National Monument near the Mexican border, to the S.W. of the town of Sierra Vista. The article’s title, “Arizona Fires: At Monument Fire, More Evacuations.”

    TeaPartyPatriot
    Jun-16 @ 1:33 PM

    As one of the states with the best voting record in the nation, Arizona voters didn’t go for “You Lie!” hussein in the primary (Hillary won) and didn’t go for “You Lie!” in the general. Everyone knows that “You Lie!” hussein and his imbecile AG (and Black Panther Party supporter and defender) holder have relentlessly attacked, vilified and sued Arizona because it tries to protect its citizens from ILLEGAL invader criminals (which they won’t do). Arizona has done more than any other state to fight d-cRAT socialist extremism, including blocking obozocare’s mandate, stopping forced unionization and countless other socialist atrocities. Without any doubt Arizona voters are smart enough to pass on “You Lie!” in 2012 and go with the Repub candidate – whoever that is, because they know that ANYBODY would be better than “You Lie!”

    Given all that, I would not for a second doubt that the hussein regime has had a role in INTENTIONALLY starting or allowing to burn uncontrollably the fires in Arizona. They want this state – and its patriotic American citizens – off the map and will do whatever they can to achieve that.

    AZ wildfires? Obama done it. Say no more.

  7. The whole key to the ruling class getting away with this is #5, a divided middle class. What we saw in Wisconsin and other States with republicans in charge was also a classic example of how these fascists operate. They tried to get the average American and those who have jobs in the private sector to get angry with public sector union workers.

  8. Divide & Conquer

    * Pro Life vs. Pro Choice
    * Democrat vs. Republican
    * Liberal vs. Conservative
    * Progressive Movement vs. Tea Party Movement
    * War vs. Peace
    * Lower Taxes For All vs. Higher Taxes For The Wealthy
    * Raise Revenue vs. Cut Spending
    * White vs. Black, Hispanic, Asian
    * Hispanics vs. Blacks
    * Equal Rights For All vs. Equal Rights For Some.
    * Support Raising The Debt Ceiling vs. Oppose Raising The Debt Ceiling.
    * Free Market vs. Fair Market
    * Deregulation vs. Regulations
    * Christian vs. Muslim
    * Christian vs. Atheists
    * Strong Effective Government vs. Privatization Of The Government.
    * Fox vs. MSNBC

    These are just some daily examples of how we the people are kept divided and fighting amongst one another while the ruling class continue to screw we the people and our country.

  9. NBC: ‘Suspicious device’ found in car near Pentagon

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43437875/ns/us_news-security

    When I first saw this headline I was almost expecting to read that it was a possible plot by domestic terrorists, you know to ratchet up fear and support for “The Violent Radicalization And Home Grown Terrorism Prevention Act.

    But it was allegedly done by an Ethiopian National, who conveniently left a notebook in his car with references to Al Qaida and the Taliban….Hmmmm…..Could it be that the neocons and neolibs are starting to plant the seeds for a new attack within the country? Why would an alleged terrorist leave paper with links to Al Qaida or the Taliban in his vehicle?

    Sorry, I no longer trust my government, knowing who really owns and controls it.

    Problem-Reaction-Solution = Not good for the people but good for those with power and wealth.

  10. Republicans, since Reagan declare war on unsuspecting American workers.

    Rich gain control of political process through control of cable news and right wing talk radio

    Rich Republicans use media to scare Americans into giving them control

    Rich Republicans get dumbass teabaggers to carry their water

    Teabaggers and Rich Republicans defund state education systems, guaranteeing a dumbing down of America required for sheeple to baa and baaa and ignore the shearing they’re getting.

    • Don’t forget all of the right wing think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, Koch Industries, the Birchers, the Christian Coalition, etc, etc, etc….they drive the right wing agenda and the corporate media happily pushes it for them.

  11. Once again, I try to get onto TP this morning, with Firefox this time, from work.

    It doesn’t let me log in.

    Wow. I just think they’ve lost me for good. As much as I admire what they’re doing, they’ve made it almost impossible for me to post without using my facebook account, which I refuse to do.

      • 1. Something one uses to wipe one’s a__, post defecation.

        2. A Librul propagandist website owned by Soros to advance his Socialist-Communist-Marxist-Fascist-Tree hugging-Liberal-Nazi agenda.

    • RUC,

      Go to last Friday’s open thread, where Zxbe was helping me log in with Hotmail, and see if any of that info helps you. I finally had to unblock third party cookies to get it to work, but until I eliminated all the other variables, and knew it should be working, I couldn’t be sure what it should have been doing. I am using Windows 7 and Chrome, and the Hotmail log in. I never could get the Facebook comments to be visible except to me.

      • That’s not entirely the point, BnF. I never got to three hundred comments in the entire time TP used Disqus, but not having the option to comment is a lot like listening to tape delayed talk radio. You never call in, but knowing it’s not live means you know you can’t call in. So, when I couldn’t comment, I was less likely to read the articles and the other comments.

        TP is covering a lot more stories than before, but nobody is making many comments off the main page. Articles have to be promoted to the top of the main page to get much attention.

        • I know what you mean. I rarely open a thread to look at the comments anymore, either. I just quick scan the page for the latest garbage. As a result, I have at least a half-hour more free time in the morning!

    • I understand your frustration. I use Google chrome for all blogs and it works well. It’s the FB issue that was the most problematic for me. So I went to https:// for FB, I eliminated all personal information, I limited everything to friends only (because I don’t like FB and rarely use it anyway), so I feel more comfortable using it for TP now.
      Unfortunately other websites/blogs are going to FB,Twitter, and other social nonsense.

  12. Why does Rick Santorum have a Goggle problem?

    From his own website:

    “[Being part of the “Gang of Seven”] did not make Rick Santorum a popular man in an old boy’s club like the House of Representatives, but Rick knew that the only way to make a positive difference in the lives of his constituents was to challenge the corrupt norms that had seeped into the People’s Body.”

    • I knew he had a Google problem, but I didn’t know he also had problems with his goggles. 😉

      BTW, he’s wrong about why he has (this) problem. He has it because he tried to equate gay sex with “man-on-dog” sex. He just didn’t want people to remember his other nickname (Rick “Man-on-Dog” Santorum) , so that;’s why he lied on his website.

      And we can all thank Dan Savage for giving Ricky his Google problem. 😀

  13. Thanks to MoveOn — this is how to explain the economy in the age of news bites — short, to the point, and with pictures!

  14. Based on the comments on this story from the Minneapolis paper I think it’s pretty clear that T-Paw won’t even have a chance at winning the primary in his home state. This is encouraging for two reasons. One is that, even with our dysfunctional press/media, people recognize T-Paw as a loser. The other is that his early withdrawal might encourage Crazy Shelly to remain in the race long enough to be forced to give up her congressional seat. Minnesota wins, America wins, everybody wins!

    http://www.startribune.com/politics/blogs/124069909.html#commentHere

    • It would be nice for both T-Paw and Shelly to still be in it when the Minnesota primary hits. They would draw votes away from each other and let a Romney cruise on by.

      Like you I want Shelly to stay in this until it’s too late for her to keep her seat.

      • I think what I dread most is the local press/media pimping both of them because having two Minnesotans in the race will just make our little state so gosh darned relevant. I can put up with it though if they are both still running and neither wins the primary. But? Considering the reception T-Paw gets I don’t know if he will be able to siphon enough votes for that. Even former T-Paw fans seem miffed that he essentially abandoned his job as gov. to pursue a national spotlight and Shelly’s worshipers are just so insane that it’s hard to imagine them being swayed by anything from the reality based universe.

        • I can’t see either one doing well in this state. Pawlenty never got over 50% in his governor’s election. Since we elect based on a plurality and there’s a strong third party here to siphon votes; the governor gets picked with 40-45%. (Jesse Ventura anyone?)

          And Shelly doesn’t poll well outside the safety of her gerrymandered district.

          • That’s pretty much the way I have it figured too. The wild card is the well known Minnesota trait of rooting for the home grown candidate. Considering that we are talking about GOoPers, if only one is still in the race he or she will get a bump from people who would vote for Wilbur the pig because he’s from Minnesota.

        • having two Minnesotans in the race will just make our little state so gosh darned relevant.

          On par with Utah. Hard to imagine. Back in the days of Humphrey, of Mondale, of Wellstone, who would ever have believed such slippage was even remotely possible? When I was a kid in MN, there were plenty of successful Republicans, but they were different: they weren’t nuts.

          • While the recent plunge of the GOP into complete madness has destroyed the Republican brand we’ve always had good ‘uns and bad ‘uns just like anywhere else. The part that pisses me off is that the current editorial boards can’t seem to bring themselves to accurately report the bad bits about the bad ‘uns. Anyone who depends on the local press/media for their news has no idea how insane Crazy Shelly is or what a loser T-Paw is and they’re going to get much worse as the race heats up.

          • A good example of such a Republican, in my opinion, is Arne Carlson. He was governor when I first moved up here. Yes, a Republican, but not crazy like the current class. He understood that compromise was part and parcel of politics, and he wasn’t an ideological extremist to begin with.

            • Yep. Of course, they’ve all but kicked Arne out of the party because he has expressed his dismay with the course the GOoPers have taken. He’s even been uninvited from several events that a former Governor would normally be welcomed at.

    • Didn’t he let infrastructure deteriorate so badly that a bridge fell and 13 people died?
      Didn’t he leave his state in a financial mess?
      What makes him think he should be president with a record like that?

      • I dislike T-Paw but I can’t blame him for the bridge collapse. That was a disaster 40 years in the making. The short version is that it was constructed using support gussets that were half as thick as the design called for. The disturbing part is that inspectors, who should have had the original blueprints, didn’t notice the error.

        • You’re right — I remember reading that — but the fact remains that blame always falls on the one on whose watch disaster occurs.

  15. The Case Against Rick Perry

    Ed Kilgore tests the governor’s weak spots:

    ‘[W]hile Perry has become a Tea Party favorite, he has done so in part by making inflammatory statements that may trouble even a healthy number of Republican primary voters, the most famous of which was his suggestion that secession might be on the table for Texas. In addition, he’s also made threats to withdraw the state from the Medicaid program—with only the vaguest suggestion of how or whether poor families would receive medical treatment—and even sought the power to opt Texas out of Social Security, a rather egregious stomping on the third rail of politics.”

    Check out the graph:
    http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com/2011/06/massachusetts-republican-numbers.html

    • with only the vaguest suggestion of how or whether poor families would receive medical treatment…

      Mayhaps charity wards in the debtor’s prisons?

  16. Just a local FYI about weather from Jersey City, NJ.

    Warm/hot morning, maybe a pleasant 80.
    14:50. (EST) Heavy cloud coming in from the wesr
    14 51 Terrific “crack” from the sky and simultaneous lighting flash
    14 42 : Rain at 3-inches per hour by by experience/estimation
    13.44: Hail sounds like Gene Krupa/Buddy RIch beating on a snare rim just to impress. Visibility from my window, about 50 feet.
    13:45 It;s over.

    Not sustained violent weather, but impressively energetic. ,

      • I am defrosting some beef for diner. Suddenly it does not look so appetizing since by correlation meat tastes like poop.

    • I’m reminded of the scariest words one can see on a product’s label. “Natural and artificial colors and flavors”.

      Whenever I see those words I think to myself that any substance ion the known universe, from heavy metals to rat butts, could be called a natural or artificial flavor or color.

  17. A “Teaching About Love” Moment:

    27-year old Nais Bhuiyan was working at a gas station when a white supremacist enraged by 9/11 came in and shot him in the face. The attacker was on a spree of non-white killings and was captured, tried, and sentenced to die next month. Buiyan wants to commute the sentence, despite having his face almost destroyed and being blind in one eye. Here’s why:

    “I strongly believe he was ignorant,” Bhuiyan explained to the audience. “He couldn’t differentiate right from wrong. … By executing him now, we are losing everything.” His Muslim faith, he said, teaches forgiveness, not vengeance.

    Nadeem Akthar, the brother-in-law of another of Stroman’s victims, Hasan, spoke at the press conference as well. “The last 10 years have been a long 10 years,” he told the audience. “We’ve been going through a lot of turmoil … but we made it here.” He quoted Sura 5, verse 32 from the Quran, something he said his sister, Hasan’s wife, had wanted him to share. “If someone slays one person, he has slain mankind entirely,” reads the verse. “And if someone has saved one person, he has saved mankind entirely.”

    http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2011/06/rais_bhuiyan_victim_of_post_91.php

    (I hope this offsets my Turd Burger post.)

    • Why those evil Muslims! 😉

      It is sad how the Western World presents the Muslims. If it weren’t for the Muslims, all of Europe would still have dirt floors. Other than the usual suspects, is it possible that the Vatican and Israel could be behind the global media assault against Islam?

  18. Radio host and hatemonger, Neil Boorst has been advocating that people arm themselves and shoot the thugs in the inner city neighborhoods. If you are black and going to the 7-11 for milk or bread, watch out because a Boortz listener is gunning for you. And don’t send your 12-year old either!

    Why are these racists, Nazis, hatemongers, violence-advocates allowed to remain on the air?

    Why is what Weiner did so much worse than this?

  19. Marie, Norman Goldman was playing Boor(tz)’s comments on his show yesterday.
    It’s a criminal offense, and what Weiner did pales in comparison to calling for the gunning down in the street of ‘thugs’.
    Now if he’s talkin about the thugs in congress who are extorting cuts to programs that keep people alive, then maybe he’s got a point. But I doubt that’s who he had in mind.

  20. The other McCain collides with Palin’s Twitter account:

    “Palin Decision Expected Next Week”

    By Robert Stacy McCain on 6.17.11 @ 11:38AM

    “Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is expected within a week to make a decision on whether to enter the 2012 presidential campaign, according to one Republican source.

    Vendors of campaign services who hope to work for Team Palin have been told that Palin, the 2008 GOP vice-presidential candidate, will decide soon one way or another on mounting a 2012 campaign.

    UPDATE: Palin responds via Twitter: “Really? Hmm, guess they forgot to inform me what I’m ‘expected to do’ next week.”

    OK, fine, governor, but I was reporting what my source had been told. Has my source been misinformed?”

    • Well? They’ve managed to rewrite Paul Revere’s Wiki page to make him sound like a British agent. Seriously, if he had given the British all the information the Palinites claim? He would replace Benedict Arnold as the arch traitor of the Revolution. But they’ve managed to include “warning the British”, “ringin’ bells”, and “warnin’ shots” in the narrative.

    • Whenever Palin makes a decision, I predict it will go like this:

      “Ya know this great nation of Alaska and the real Americans i met on my bus tour need a hockey coach who isn;t afraid to yell at Obama and tell the nation with bells and gunshots that freedom is the thing that also when our founding fathers said no more abortions they knew something about things that really mattered, like family and saying no to Sharia Law and government because there’s such a thing as freedom and God and the last time I looked I don;t remember Martha Washington having to deal with gotcha questions about thinking and you know… also God bless America because a strong independent hockey-mom like myself but really our children;s future is like my book sales they just keep going and fighting for what’s right which is where I’ll be to help this great nation freedom and god and children and such despite the lamestream media and the sexists because also and such, you betcha!”.

  21. “,,,according to one Republican source…”

    Yeah. that;s what you want to base a news story on.: one source…. also a Republican

    The BasicTenets of pre-2000 Professional Journalism:
    Who, What, Why, How, Where, When, Witnesses? Corroborate, establish. edit, print

    The BasicTenets of post-2000 Professional Journalism:
    Who? What?—Tweet immediately , try booking appearance on some news show. .

    • I cn’t recall his name but a comedian said his thought process was; “mistake followed by self-loathing then further consideration”. Of course, he was describing his faults while the “librul media”, not to mention GOoPers, have adopted it as their business plan.

    • Palin was probably ‘the Republican source’ – there hadn’t been a Palin in the news today…. she was lonely.

      And now that Weiner is BBQed, the coast is clear again. Anything to prevent any coverage whatsoever of what actually matters.

    • Yeah. that;s what you want to base a news story on.: one source

      Don’t confuse real journalism with a personal account Tweet. You can say pretty much anything you want there, like you can here.

  22. I was a bright child. I learned more independently and from my parents than I ever learned in school. One could even say that I was arrogant from the moment my third grade teacher told me that I was more qualified to teach science than she was. I reveled in the simple fact that I was smarter than many of my teachers but was taught to show due respect for my elders. I only failed in that twice.

    In eighth grade I had a geography teacher who was a dumb ass. He was the volleyball coach and they had to find a class for him so he “taught” geography. In fact, he spent most of the class hours talking about hunting and fishing and trapping with the farm boys. I liked hunting and fishing and trapping but not in the classroom. After taking all I could stand I walked out of the classroom and went to the principal and told him that I was sick of sitting in the class of an “ignorant savage”. After some negotiation it was decided that I could skip the class if I could pass the final exam. I scored 99 out of 100 and had an extra study hall for the rest of the year.

    The other instance was my senior year. My sociology teacher was a creep and a bit of a sadist. He had no imagination and I don’t think he ever said anything to the class that was not a verbatim recitation of the text book. He also operated under the unassailable assumption that humans have no instincts. I disagreed and, in my final report, laid out the case for humans having instincts. He gave me an “F”, the only one I ever received. Even then the only reason I complained is that it was pretty obvious that he didn’t read it past the title and it would have given me my only “C” for the final grade. This was a guy who would put a red circle around a period that looked like a comma and he returned the paper without a single red mark aside from the big red “F” on the cover. After much negotiation it was decided that the other sociology teacher could read the paper. She gave me a “B+” because of my atrocious handwriting and I ended up with a “B+”, my lowest grade in high school, for the course.

    That being said, I don’t recall ever being allowed to decide for myself whether the information from the teachers and text books was right or wrong. I was never afraid to question a teacher but, aside from those two disagreements, was always able to arrive at a consensus once the two parties understood each others position.

    WTF is wrong with the Reichwhiners? Education has no meaning if a student is allowed to hear two opinions, one of which is demonstrably wrong, and make up their own minds. There are right answers and wrong answers to any question. Well? Crazy Shelly has joined the throng who want students to make up their own minds on a subject that has only one “right” answer. It’s no more appropriate to “teach both sides of the evolution debate” than it is to teach students that our involvement in WW2 resulted from the unprovoked dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/17/michele-bachmann-intelligent-design-evolution_n_879618.html

    Rant over.

    • Let the kids decide for themselves? Great.

      How about we let the kids decide for themselves about religion? Sex? Whether come come home at curfew? Wearing appropriate clothing? Bathing? Helping around the house? I’m sure a reasonable argument can be made for or against those topics. Let’s just let the kids decide, Crazy Shelly.

      • My point exactly. Heck! Lets let kids make up their own minds about theft. How about rape? Other physical assault? Murder? Aren’t these the same binary thinkers who are so afraid of raising little hellions that they are afraid kids will all turn gay if a teacher so much as mentions that some people want to have sex with members of their own gender?

        I’m more than willing to admit that moral issues are gray areas that need to be handled very carefully and children, because they don’t have adult sensibilities, need careful guidance. I also think that, right or wrong, parents and other elders should be the primary teachers in these areas. But science, math, history, and other subjects have answers that are clearly wrong.

        • You’re right, pete. Parents should teach the values stuff, and teachers should handle the academics. Sure, there’s some bleed-over, but that’s the general separation.

          Moronic people like Batshit think everything is ALL OR NOTHING. If teachers give students scientific and/or mechanical information about sex, then that means parents can’t tell them anything. Wah!!! If parents give the kids information about religion, then that means the teachers have to back them up. Wah!!!

          Fucking idiots. By the time my men got “sex ed” in school, they came away knowing absolutely nothing. Idaho is so fucked up.

          • There are all kinds of “icky” jokes that could be wrapped around this but; most of my sex ed was gleaned from animals. So? We don’t really have to go there.

            Still, we had friends and family who were farmers and I raised mice for my pet snake from the time I was six. I actually had the stereotypical “sex talk” with Dad after watching a pair of orangutans humping at the San Diego zoo. I don’t recall Dad’s exact words but it was something like; “now you know the mechanics. If you do that to a girl in my house? I’ll kill you. If you do that to a girl in her house? Her dad will kill you”.

            By the time I was searching for my first vehicle Dad changed his tune to; “you should get a pickup with a topper so you can go camping. If you get one that’s respectable you can even take a girl camping. The camper should be respectable, not the girl”.

  23. My message to Batshit:

    Show me a designer and we can talk about design. Show me an Intelligent designer and we can talk about Intelligent Design. But be advised: I don’t lie down in front of trains; I also understand red herrings and straw men, and fully accept the premise that without solid proof, ‘faith’ is a useless commodity and contributes nothing to the argument.

    Science explains; religion hides behind and within itself and explains nothing. Period.

      • Yep. That’s why the Reichwiners are always blathering about “left wing indoctrination”. What really scares the shit out of them is that their kids will receive an education that makes them immune to the indoctrination they get at home.

        There are two kinds of parents who home school their kids. Those who are afraid that public schools won’t teach their kids enough and those who are afraid that public schools will teach their kids too much. I was extraordinarily lucky to have parents who thought a kid couldn’t learn too much.

        I don’t have kids of my own but I’ve been a teacher and mentor to many teenagers who worked for me. I simply couldn’t stand talking about the “normal teenage subjects” so, because I was the boss, we talked frankly about adult subjects. I think I did some good.

        One kid was really bright but terribly sheltered by his fundy mom. She home schooled him from the first day of first grade when he was teased. He started working for me when he was 17 and, literally, broke down in tears when I told him to light a grill because he had never been allowed to light a match! By the time he moved on when he was 19 he had a girlfriend, a place of his own, and went to mechanic’s school. He’s now a lead mechanic for a car dealership and has a wife and three boys. My finest achievement just might be drawing him out of his shell but his mom, who he only visits for holidays, still thinks I’m some sort of demon who “ruined” her son. I can live with that.

        • Oh gawd, she did her best to RUIN that child! Thank goodness you had a positive effect on him.

          I’m hoping someone like you comes along for my nephew. He’s bought the whole rightwing, religious, bullshit insanity, hook, line and sinker. His father is an evangelical nutcase. He and my sister sicced a minister on me years ago, and I finally had to tell him to stop calling me. Unbelievable.

          I’d like to be that person, but both my niece and nephew have been taught to view me and my men with a bit of suspicion. I’m afraid I’d only entrench him further. My niece is a freer spirit, and I’m not as worried about her. I could be mistaken.

          • Heh. My oldest friend became a fundie about 12 years ago. Home-schooled her kids, taught dogma as science, never allowed her girls to date, dressed them in the western equivalent of burkas. The eldest is currently dating her way through the world’s religions. She’s already dated muslims, jews, and is currently involved with an atheist. Bless her heart, my friend can’t understand why she has strayed. If held too close, children rebel against pretty much whatever you believe.

          • I had the status of a “weird uncle” or “ditzy grandpa”. I never asked the kids to do anything I wouldn’t do and expected them to handle adult responsibilities. If I screwed up I could just send them home to their parents. I’m pretty sure that the various parents did more to screw them up than I could ever hope to.

  24. I did all I could to keep my two daughters free of religion, figured when they were adults they could make up their own mind. When my younger daughter (the one who just last month graduated from the U of Colorado) spent a weekend with a friend back when she was fourteen, give or take. Friend’s mom was a fundie, and they went to a fundie church (housed in a former Mexican restaurant). When daughter got home Sunday PM she pulled me aside and said, “Dad, all day I’ve been waiting to THANK YOU FOR NEVER MAKING ME GO TO CHURCH!”

    Told me about all I needed to know. 🙂

    • Same here, frugal.

      We lived on the next block from my mom’s church, a rather mild and friendly Methodist church. My men and I researched various religions and churches, and they both came to the conclusion that religion was ridiculous. I didn’t have to tell them, they worked it out for themselves.

      We’d watch a program on the History Channel (or the All Hitler All the Time Channel, as my eldest called it) that purported to look into the actual evidence available for various bible stories. That was interesting, but they never felt like any possible historical evidence was proof of a god or jesus. It was just history.

      I’m glad my men turned out so sensible. 🙂 And no, I never made them go to church, although both of them attended with my mom from time to time. Mostly so she’d have company, and to make her happy.

    • When we were young I think (I know) that fundies had less hold in our culture. I don’t recall anyone telling me that I should go to church until my senior year in high school and, since the creep who told me I would go to Hell if I didn’t go to church was drunk as a skunk and was working on bedding his second girl of the night, I just didn’t think he had any moral authority.. I would occasionally hear someone talking about religion but, when I brought it up to my parents, they said that I shouldn’t read the Buybull until I was old enough.

      They bought me a Buybull for Christmas when I was 13. I read it and, from the first page to the last, kept asking myself “does anyone really Believe this shit”?

      The odd thing is that it coincided with my grandparents finally telling Mom that she was Jewish. Her parents fled the antisemitism of Germany in 1923. By the time they settled in Minnesota they had seen enough American antisemitism to decided to join a Lutheran church for social reasons but lived as agnostics at home. When JFK was elected they figured that America had matured enough that Mom could learn about her Jewish heritage.

      Dad’s upbringing was a bit more religious but our family was agnostic too. The subject came up when Dad was dying and I asked him why we didn’t practice a religion. He said, with no hesitation, that; “Mom and I decided, long before you were born, that we would never lie to our children”. That was all the answer I needed and, since then, have realized that I’m an atheist.

  25. I’ve raised all my kids in the church, but always assumed that God didn’t want any followers that were afraid to use the gift of reason he gave them. I hope y’all know that’s just my observation and not a church commercial.

    • I certainly respect your right to believe, Outstanding. I could never convince myself, no matter how hard I tried, but I know there are sensible Christians out there. Like you, my mom, one of my former bosses. It’s a private thing — not shameful, of course, but private. I respect that. Not that you need that from me.

      It’s the “in your face” bullshit that drives me nuts. I knew religious people from various faiths when I was growing up, even went to church with them to see what it was about, and none of them was ever as obnoxious as these evangelicals.

      • I think anyone who is completely certain they are following the only correct path is obnoxious Zooey, for me at least, to believe is to be humbled by all I don’t know. I respect those who do not believe and yet follow the path of goodness simply because that is who they are. Pleasant dreams to you, I’d better get to bed so I can sell all these freaking flowers tomorrow.

        • That’s kind of what I learned in college, Outstanding. I learned that there’s a hell of a lot of things I just don’t know. 🙂

          Good luck selling the flowers. I’d love to buy some. Flowers really brighten up a home.

    • I hope that I make it clear that, when I use the word “fundy” or “psychochristian”, I’m not talking about those who include their faith in their reality rather than those who use it to deny reality. There’s a huge difference between people of faith and religious extremists. I have much respect for the first and none for the second.

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