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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at www.clsnet.org if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Conflating Moyers with Ringgold Georgia, John Killian and Politics

Doing this Blog in Purple today cause President Bush is coming to my alma mater Saturday May 31. Just learned today he did not go to his own daughters' Graduation at U Texas cause he feared it might cause a commotion, but he is bringing the Scott McClellan show to Furman. I hope he stays for the whole shebang.

But I digressed. Trying to make sense of our democracy and I have parked on these two notions, wondering if the world of John Killian will ever understand Barack OBama.
Or to put it another way as my old friend from Gardendale used to sing along with me and our friend Pearl: "Who do you know in Ringgold Georgia?"
I was up to Trenton last Friday as a matter of fact; one thing that got me thinkin about all this.
Before www.jeanniebabbtaylor.com , there was www.jeanniebabbtaylor.blogspot.com where I tripped up on this the other day about her run for the Georgia House. She was clearly the better candidate as you will see at the blogspot site, but she lost.

Here is some of what she said in November,2006:


It is my sincere hope that my campaign has had a positive effect on the community as well. I hope that other people, especially women, will be inspired and be willing to step out. The majority of voters are women, yet we are grossly underrepresented in our own government, with 85% of all elected officials being male. Women need to take a more active role in government. We all do. Whenever there are two names (or more!) on the ballot, we have a small victory. Without two names, we have no democracy at all.It is not an easy thing to "put yourself out there" as people say. There is no other phrase to describe what it is like when you put your name on the ballot. Your private life is gone. Anonymity is gone. Even the general courtesy practiced toward women in the South, is gone.People will say and do all sorts of things, when you run for office. If you run on the Democratic ticket, you will be called a "librul baby killer" even if you can list the babies you have saved by name, and even if you have so many children people ask if you're Catholic. People will judge you by the color of your sign, the decorations on your parade float, the way you write your name -- and virtually ignore the issues you've grown hoarse discussing. And in the end, too many people will look only at the "D" or "R" beside each candidate's name. End quote

At www.johnkillian.blogspot.com my friend the leading spokesperson for Baptist fundamentalism in Alabama--I do not say that as a pejorative cause you can't call anybody who signs BFM 2000 anything but one--is handicapping and endorsing candidates for state offices.
Me and John Yoder and Will Willimon and Jim Evans think he is wrong about Jeff Sessions on Immigration Reform--I imagine Matthew Morgan differs with Killian as well--but apparently we are in the minority in this state. But the question is now in the lap of Bob Terry, Rick Lance and Jay Wolfe as I have laid out Miguel De La Torre for Sessions and Killian at his blog.

Which brings us to ordained Baptist minister Bill Moyers, press secretary for LBJ. Moyers wrote me a note late 1987 saying People like me make a difference. My HS Advanced Comp teacher said: "No need to wish you success, it's a given."
Well the jury is still out half way into my 50's, but like the motto for South Carolina says:
Dum Spiro, Spero.

Moyers disturbing thoughts for Killian and Sessions and Richard Jackson and Paige Patterson and all courtesy of my friend Bruce Prescott's blog:

As it turns out this is not exactly the quote I was looking for as it seems to have evaporated from Prescott's blog, but it'll do till I find the other.
From Moyers--easily googled up at alternet of May 17 if you want more:

""Edward R. Murrow told his generation of journalists: "No one can eliminate prejudices -- just recognize them." Here is my bias: extremes of wealth and poverty cannot be reconciled with a genuinely democratic politics. When the state becomes the guardian of power and privilege to the neglect of justice for the people as a whole, it mocks the very concept of government as proclaimed in the preamble to our Constitution; mocks Lincoln's sacred belief in "government of the people, by the people, and for the people"; mocks the democratic notion of government as "a voluntary union for the common good" embodied in the great wave of reform that produced the Progressive Era and the two Roosevelts. In contrast, the philosophy popularized in the last quarter century that "freedom" simply means freedom to choose among competing brands of consumer goods, that taxes are an unfair theft from the pockets of the successful to reward the incompetent, and that the market will meet all human needs while government itself becomes the enabler of privilege -- the philosophy of an earlier social Darwinism and laissez-faire capitalism dressed in new togs -- is as subversive as Benedict Arnold's betrayal of the Revolution he had once served. Again, Mary Lease: "The great evils which are cursing American society and undermining the foundations of the republic flow not from the legitimate operation of the great human government which our fathers gave us, but they come from tramping its plain provisions underfoot."
Our democracy has prospered most when it was firmly anchored in the idea that "We the People" -- not just a favored few -- would identify and remedy common distempers and dilemmas and win the gamble our forebears undertook when they espoused the radical idea that people could govern themselves wisely. Whatever and whoever tries to supplant that with notions of a wholly privatized society of competitive consumers undermines a country that, as Gordon S. Wood puts it in his landmark book The Radicalism of the American Revolution, discovered its greatness "by creating a prosperous free society belonging to obscure people with their workaday concerns and their pecuniary pursuits of happiness" -- a democracy that changed the lives of "hitherto neglected and despised masses of common laboring people."
I wish I could say that journalists in general are showing the same interest in uncovering the dangerous linkages thwarting this democracy. It is not for lack of honest and courageous individuals who would risk their careers to speak truth to power -- a modest risk compared to those of some journalists in authoritarian countries who have been jailed or murdered for the identical "crime." But our journalists are not in control of the instruments they play. As conglomerates swallow up newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, and networks, and profit rather than product becomes the focus of corporate effort, news organizations -- particularly in television -- are folded into entertainment divisions. The "news hole" in the print media shrinks to make room for advertisements, and stories needed by informed citizens working together are pulled in favor of the latest celebrity scandals because the media moguls have decided that uncovering the inner workings of public and private power is boring and will drive viewers and readers away to greener pastures of pabulum. Good reporters and editors confront walls of resistance in trying to place serious and informative reports over which they have long labored. Media owners who should be sounding the trumpets of alarm on the battlements of democracy instead blow popular ditties through tin horns, undercutting the basis for their existence and their First Amendment rights.

2 Comments:

Blogger foxofbama said...

Here is the Moyers Quote I was looking for:

Democracy in America is a series of narrow escapes, and we may be running out of luck. The reigning presumption about the American experience, as the historian Lawrence Goodwyn has written, is grounded in the idea of progress, the conviction that the present is "better" than the past and the future will bring even more improvement. For all of its shortcomings, we keep telling ourselves, "The system works."

Now all bets are off. We have fallen under the spell of money, faction, and fear, and the great American experience in creating a different future together has been subjugated to individual cunning in the pursuit of wealth and power -and to the claims of empire, with its ravenous demands and stuporous distractions. A sense of political impotence pervades the country -- a mass resignation defined by Goodwyn as "believing the dogma of 'democracy' on a superficial public level but not believing it privately." We hold elections, knowing they are unlikely to bring the corporate state under popular control. There is considerable vigor at local levels, but it has not been translated into new vistas of social possibility or the political will to address our most intractable challenges. Hope no longer seems the operative dynamic of America, and without hope we lose the talent and drive to cooperate in the shaping of our destiny.

The earth we share as our common gift, to be passed on in good condition to our children's children, is being despoiled. Private wealth is growing as public needs increase apace. Our Constitution is perilously close to being consigned to the valley of the shadow of death, betrayed by a powerful cabal of secrecy-obsessed authoritarians. Terms like "liberty" and "individual freedom" invoked by generations of Americans who battled to widen the 1787 promise to "promote the general welfare" have been perverted to create a government primarily dedicated to the welfare of the state and the political class that runs it. Yes, Virginia, there is a class war and ordinary people are losing it.

1:17 PM  
Blogger karthika said...

Nice news...



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3:08 AM  

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