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5/12/2008

no more swearing

When I first started blogging, I swore to my self that there would never be any politics or religion discussed here. And, truth be told, there won't be. It's just that I have found this book (You DO know I read a lot, right?) and in it I have found a voice for the little guy that lives in my head, who sees things that bother him, who doesn't like the way things have been going - the direction things have taken - but has never had the background necessary to articulate those things properly nor to tie the various points of discomfort together into a cohesive picture.

Recently, I have found myself more and more radicalized; first, by my newfound pacifism - first expressed here, in this blog - and second by a growing devotion to the concept of "Using the Common Wealth for the Common Good". And I have been uneasy. There is and has been such a flood of 'stuff' going on - bad stuff - that it hasn't been possible, given the distraction of day to day life and living, to get arms around all of it and make any kind of sense - of either the problems or the solutions.

But there is a book. A book written by a man whose name I have known for many years and whose opinion I have always respected. He is also a man I have differed with in some things - he is a man of deep religious conviction and I tend to shy away from those who would tout themselves as "Christian" because I have usually found those people to be more than willing to try to impress their beliefs on me - whether I am willing to share them or not. My beliefs are my own, and personal. Very personal. But, that said, this man has never taken the bully pulpit he has and tried to shove his "Christianity" down my or anybody else's throat. And I respect him for that, too.

The man is Bill Moyers. And the book is "Moyers on Democracy". The book is a compilation of speeches given at various and sundry times for various and sundry purposes, but in those speeches he has touched on the things that threaten us and our Democracy; the growing disparity between rich and poor, the threats to our environment that come from government and corporations and greed, the need for more and more money in order to run for elected office; the lies, the secrecy and the authoritarianism that seem to dominate government today.

He provides more clarity and more vision of the issues in the introduction than I have heard or seen from anybody, at any time, anywhere. Of course, he's been at this for a LONG time. He was, at one time, Press Secretary for President Lyndon Johnson. And he's been an observer - a journalist - ever since.

Now - if I could just arrange it so that Bill Moyers and Fred Z. from MoneyThoughts were like Co-Presidents of the good old USA (I was going to say King and Queen, but one of them would have to kill me) we would, I PROMISE you, find our way back to the right track.

This has been a slightly political post. Sorry. I won't do that again. But I just had to, this time.

13 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I think I'll check that book out... both literally and figuratively. I'm a couple of clicks away from requesting it of my library...
Happy Monday!

Rebecca said...

I'll put the book on my (very long) list of books to read. Thanks for the suggestion.

We do spend a ridiculous amount of money on political campaigns, as you just said.

I about had a stroke when I read last week that Hillary Clinton loaned her campaign over $4 million of her money. I had the stroke for a number of reasons, but when you're loaning yourself MILLIONS of dollars to be president -- a job that pays less than $300,000 a year (the last time I checked) -- this is a problem.

And I'd feel similarly if John McCain had made the same announcement. (This comment doesn't know Democrat, Republican or Independent, just names and dollar figures. If that makes sense.)

moneythoughts said...

Yesterday I wrote to Peter L. Bernstein and to my surprise he answered my email and I wrote back and he answered that too. Today I am mentioned in the same sentence with Bill Moyers. I will try to get his book at the library and read it too. Moyers is a good head, and his heart is in the right place too.

Money and influence play big parts in our political process. TV costs money and candidates need to put their message on TV (or a negative message about their opponent). Why do some owners spend millions of dollars to win a World Series or a Super Bowl? They could buy a ring with big diamonds for a lot less. Ego makes people spend over the top if they have it, not wanting to serve their country. If the people wanted Clinton they would have donated the money to her campaign. Power and ego are strong motivational factors, and something most of us don't understand or care to.

Old Knudsen said...

I don't mind the politics as much as the pacifism, they are both two faced but the politics are not on such a moral high ground. I'd kill anyone who hurt or where going to hurt my family, I'd defend strangers from assault in the street and I think pedos and rapists should be tortured to death.

I can't understand why a pacifist would support the rights of such evil people but that's me, I suppose they haven't been in harms way much. If you want to share the common wealth from the Common Wealth I could really do with 5 grand no questions asked.

I also believe you can be spiritual and kill (not religious, spiritual) religious people deny their dark side and get out of balance but its totally natural to have one.

Hyphen Mama said...

I'm going to look at that book. I hate politics and politicians, mostly for the reasons you state and I'm smart enough to know our government isn't of, by or for the people any longer. It's of, by and for the money. But I have hopes that our government and our country can again be the great place my grandfather fought for in WWII and my friends and family are currently fighting for in Iraq.

Andreamuse said...

Politics often make me want to swear. :-)

Lady Language said...

I don't think there is anything wrong about expressing your religious beliefs as long as they do not inflict harm upon those around you. My friends are Southern Baptist, Christian, Lutheran, Hindu, and Atheist and I listen to and love them the same. They do not burden me, only open me to other possibilities. I believe that only the weak cannot embrace or understand others beliefs.

Sandy C. said...

I will have to check this out. Sadly I have been victim to people shoving some religion down my throat several times (sometimes threatening). I respect those who choose not to do that too.

Kelley said...

And to lower the tone... along comes Kelley. Thanking the Goddess that this post was not about actual swearing cause, shit, how else would I express myself?

Queen Goob said...

Not only is your post thought provoking but so are the comments.....except for myself and Kelley because I was just getting ready to recommend you not go see my latest post as it is filled with foul language. LOL

imaginary binky said...

I haven't read his book, but I've been a fan (similar to your version of fan) of his for many years. Despite being a young whippersnapper, I've always watched PBS. Moyers is also a native of East Texas, where my father's family lives. His interviews and opinions strike deep in this ol' gal.

Allison said...

I'll have to look up that book. Deep inside, I'm very interested in politics, and have strong views on religion---mostly that others shouldn't force it down others' throats. I try not to, just to pray for those I care about and hope that I'm one day able to show and not tell. Interesting how a feature of a good story (more showing, less telling what's going on) is also really how you should live your life as a Christian! But as Lady L said---I've got friends (and family) from all sides (and was once completely uninterested in calling myself Christian, but that's all for another day). I love them all the same.

Politics, religion, sexual everything---they are all touchy subjects. Too many are too closeminded to be able to approach them in such a delicate yet totally unoffending manner.

You're special.

nicole said...

That sounds like a good, informative read.
And hey, anything's better as president of the US of A than what's there now or what's trying to go there next....