“We still need to dialogue about violence, our countries brutal history and ask questions about our past and present foreign policy.” That is something I said two posts ago. I think before we can even think about that dialogue we have to study our nation’s history. The best way we could do that is to read, “A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present” by Howard Zinn. When my children were learning about American history in school I gave them my copy of this book. I wanted them to know the real history of this nation that certainly wasn’t going to be included in school textbooks. You know this is a great book on U.S. history because it makes conservatives uncomfortable.
Just last week conservative syndicated columnist, Thomas Sowell was attacking the book. He said, “As someone who used to read translations of official Communist newspapers in the days of the Soviet Union, I know that those papers’ attempts to degrade the United States did not sink quite as low as Howard Zinn’s book.” Zinn revised his history book (first published in 1980) in 2003 in a teaching edition aimed at students. Zinn said he wrote a teaching version as he wanted schools to help students examine our history to identify and celebrate when we have lived up to our principles, and to identify and analyze when we have not. He stated, “I want young people to understand that ours is a beautiful country, but it has been taken over by men who have no respect for human rights or constitutional liberties.” Being a historian who wants children to know the truth about their country makes him a traitor in the eyes of Sowell. Some of those men who are trying to take over our country are Sowell’s employers at the right-wing corporate owned Hoover Institute. They had control of our economy as they had a major role in developing President GW Bush’s economic policy. Unless you have no memory GW Bush’s economic plans were a disaster. The same can be said of Herbert Hoover (the man the Hoover Institute is named for) who led us into the Great Depression. I imagine Thomas Sowell had a hand in GW’s failed economy as Sowell is an economist and writer for the Hoover Institute. Among the corporations that fund Hoover are Archer Daniels, ARCO, Exxon, Boeing, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Proctor & Gamble, Dean Witter, J.P. Morgan and Merrill Lynch. Since so many corporations fund the Hoover Institute the Institute of course is a leading denier of Climate Change.
Sowell thinks Howard Zinn is a traitor but the truth is Sowell’s has made statements that show he is a traitor because he would accept a military dictator in the U.S. as long as it represented his right-wing views. He has written, “When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia, I can’t help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup.” The main tool of a military coup is force by the barrel of a gun. Is a military force taking over our government something that our Founding Fathers thought would be good for democracy? I guess Sowell and I have read different history books on the Founding Fathers as I consider Sowell’s military coup idea dangerous and treasonous. Sowell writes for the Hoover Institute backing such Hoover principals as states’ rights. History shows that states’ rights over federal rights would have protected such institutions as slavery. That is no matter to Mr. Sowell who is African American as long as Hoover keeps those fat checks coming. I therefore nominate Sowell for national corporate toadie of the week.
Zinn’s book takes an honest look at the United States violent past. In light of Martin Luther King Day we should also learn that our nation has a remarkable history of nonviolence. The best way to do that is by tempering reading Zinn’s work with Staughton & Alice Lynd’s book, “Nonviolence in America A Documented History.” Howard Zinn said of this book “One of the greatest classics of documented history. I wish every young person in this country would read it for its wisdom and inspiration…”
Local corporate toadie of the week is Brookfield, Ohio resident Cathy Lukasko. Cathy wrote a letter to the Youngstown Vindicator supporting fracking and calling environmentalist that want to protect the Earth “green goons.” Ms. Lukasko wrote, “Fracking has actually contributed in recent years to a drastic decline in energy-related carbon emissions in the U.S.” All that clean air fracking is supposedly creating would be a major surprise to a new Colorado study. The study says people living within a half-mile of oil- and gas-well fracking operations were exposed to air pollutants five times above a federal hazard standard. Comments at Vindy.com against what Lukasko wrote have posted links from quite a few different sources saying that fracking chemicals are linked to bone, liver and breast cancers, gastrointestinal, circulatory, respiratory, as well as brain and nervous system disorders. Fracking chemicals have polluted drinking water and air in Colorado and other states. Lukasko tries to counter these comments by posting links to the Heritage Foundation. Corporate sponsors of the right-wing Heritage Foundation include: Coors, General Motors, Ford Motors, Proctor and Gamble, Chase Manhattan Bank, Dow Chemical, the Mobil Oil, and Koch Industries, an oil, gas, and chemical conglomerate. Mobil, Dow and the Koch brothers all profit from fracking and yet Lukasko doesn’t think for a second that Heritage’s info on fracking might be biased. For her naivety she easily earns local corporate toadie of the week. Heritage takes credit for much of President GW Bush’s policy, both domestic and foreign, referring to Bush’s policies as “straight out of the Heritage play book.” It looks like both the Hoover Institute and Heritage are proud of their policies that were failures for the American people and the world.
National buffoons of the week are a conservative talk radio show host and another conservative women I saw on Pierce Morgan’s show. They were a couple of pistol packin’ mommas who were defending the Second Amendment. They both felt the amendment gave them the right to own tanks if they wanted. When asked if they thought the amendment gave them the right to own a nuclear weapon one said yes and the other was evasive but wouldn’t say no. I’m sorry but both of these women are too damn crazy to be allowed to own any weapon sharper than a butter knife. I heard a loud noise when I was watching the show and I believe it was the Founding Fathers rolling over in their graves.
I started out by mentioning that Howard Zinn’s history book shows that the United States is not perfect. Few things in life are perfect but I’ve found one person who is. That would be Warren Tribune Chronicle’s conservative community columnist Martha Yoder. This past week she wrote a column calling local politicians inept and criminals. She also stated that area voters are stupid. She called Rep. Tim Ryan “Teflon Tim” as nothing sticks to him. She says while a student at Bowling Green State University he was found guilty of having a fake ID. She says that in August he was arrested for public intoxication at a wedding reception. The charges were dismissed as Yoder stated. She says Ryan should have taken a breathalyzer test to prove his innocence. You need to remember that in perfect conservative Yoderland you are guilty until proven innocent. Yoder didn’t mention that the U.S. House Committee on Ethics says no action is needed on a dismissed public-intoxication charge against Rep. Tim Ryan and that the matter is considered closed. I say I am shocked, I say shocked to hear that a college student had a fake ID or that someone might have drunk too much alcohol at a wedding reception. Yoder says our counties citizens deserve better which really ignores the things Tim Ryan has done for our valley. I’d remind Ms. Yoder that even her boss far right-wing Editor Robinson at the Warren Tribune endorsed Rep. Tim Ryan in 2012 with a long list of his accomplishments. Ms. Yoder ends by saying this about our public officials. “We need to realize that we deserve better and do something about it.” Well, Martha Yoder you are perfect so maybe you should run for office. She won’t be a candidate I would vote for but she is my nominee for local buffoon of the week.
I do find it funny that conservatives like Yoder trash a politician for using a fake ID or drinking too much and yet they want another Reagan. The Reagan administration had, 138 officials who were either convicted, indicted, or had been the subject of official investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violations and that was just in Reagan’s first term. Then we had Reagan supporting brutal dictators throughout the Third World. Reagan trained and armed these dictator’s death squads and should be held responsible for possibly up to 300,000 deaths. To conservatives like Yoder’s mass murderer’s like “Teflon Reagan” are heroes to be worshiped and politicians who drink too much at weddings are to be voted out. I guess you get that hypocritical attitude when you are perfect and sit up so high on your pedestal that you are breathing thin air.
The Gary Markaky Project: “He Can’t Love You”
Gary is a local musician and you can check out where he will be playing here.
“The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But… the good Samaritan reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?” ~ Rev. Dr. martin Luther King Jr.