March 6, 2011

Obama homebrews, Republicans attack the needy

Ok. Those two threads are not related. But as a homebrewer, I found it quite fun that our President has purchased brewing equipment (out of his own pocket) and has his kitchen staff brewing beer. So, despite the snarky comments on the info sites, Obama isn't busy in the White House basement with a mash tun--though how cool would that be?

But back to the other thread, SOF and I did our normal Sunday coffee run and listening to NPR was like listening to a litany of attacks on the poor and working class. One of those interviews with Reps from both sides about the budget shortfall was very interesting. The Tea Party rep from NH voted to protect heating subsidies for his state, but was critical of all the other programs. The Democrat from California made a very good point--that Republicans had decided that cutting off Head Start funding was a way to respond to the financial downturn. As if those poor kids caused this mess.

Second was a discussion about seniority in teaching, and the normal practice of laying off the newly hired teachers first, regardless of their ability or the ability of the senior teachers. I get that discussion, and think there is merit to reforming how we deal with bad teachers, but was so frustrated that the basic underlying problem of laying off teachers was never really addressed. Why are we cutting taxes for the rich and laying off teachers? Will that provide anything approaching a long term solution? Of course not.

I keep saying that we should not "eat our seed corn" but clearly, Republicans have no understanding of that idea. Except, of course, they do. As businessmen, they would not stop investing in their company, or looking at ways to improve or expand--but for some reason as politicians they decide that making education worse will help us in the future.

This is class warfare, as we discussed yesterday, and the war is against the poor, elderly, and working class. The only thing that Republicans will not consider is raising taxes. But they will fire people (which will certainly help employment numbers, right?) and reduce the safety net for the poor. After all, the church will pick up the slack, right?

Wrong.

And speaking of that, there is this very troubling essay from 1995 about being a non-Christian in the Bible Belt. Turns out, this guy taught in Oklahoma, and he records how his family was treated by the local Baptist Christians when they found out he was an atheist. That treatment includes his kids being physically attacked by Baptist children--all because his father was an atheist.

Sigh.

4 comments:

Monk-in-Training said...

The essay from Ada is not at all surprising. I know people from there, and most are good, loving people.

However the attitude in this region tends to violent suppression of 'alternatives'.

A few years a go in Ada, two women that people supposed were lesbians (that was never ascertained) were tied at opposite ends of town and 'hellbound' and 'lesbian' were carved in their arms and chests after a beating.

This is a rare extreme, but that essay is repeated over and over in Christian Oklahoma.

Bob said...

But atheists are fair game...

I totally agree with Professor Zellner’s opinion that one of the last minorities that can be discriminated against are atheists. I too see why he cannot help but look at all fundamentalists negatively when his family was treated so bad.

I am totally reposting the info about Obam homebrewing.

Smitty said...

Ya, Streak, blogwhoring your Obama Brews piece immediately. Sorry.

Streak said...

No problem, Smitty. I am a bit surprised that I got the Obama brewing story before you guys. In blog terms, that means that Streak's Blog scooped a brewing blog. :)

Monk, I think that is true as well. I certainly know an awful lot of Christians, and conservative at that, who would never treat someone the way this prof was treated.

But that thread is out there, however, those who see non Christians as threats rather than opportunities to demonstrate the faith and learn something in the process.