Jon Stewart Nailed It…

Comedian Jon Stewart is spot-on. This past weekend, at his Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington D.C., he criticized the media for exaggerating and polarizing Americans’ opinions. His message: We’re different and yet we still work together despite the reports.

“We live in hard times, not end times,” Stewart said. “We can have animus and not be enemies.”

Of course, partisans on both sides claimed he was an ill-informed commentator. Yes, people who have divided and polarized the country criticized a man for trying to unify the country into one people. Who’s the comedian again?

Most Americans know that our problems will not be solved overnight and that real change comes through working together.

“There will always be darkness and sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land,” to which Stewart comically added, “Sometimes, it’s New Jersey.”

Despite the media’s portrayal of racists, homophobes, Marxists, and Stalinists, we work together “every damn day” and make this country work.

In fact, when we call each other names, like “bigot” and “Marxist,” we insult people we disagree with and completely miss true dialogue.

“If we amplify everything, we hear nothing,” said Stewart.

The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was designed to literally restore sanity to political dialogue, not demonize or insult anyone of any particular ideology (unless, of course, your ideology thrives on division and strife).

Stewart said it perfectly:

We hear every damn day about how fragile our country is — on the brink of catastrophe — torn by polarizing hate, and how it’s a shame that we can’t work together to get things done. But the truth is we do. We work together to get things done every damn day. The only place we don’t is here [in Washington] or on cable TV.”

 

 

Michele Bachmann’s Crazy World

I didn’t really pay much attention to far-right Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann until I read some of the things she’s said.

Now, I’m sure she’s a nice person and I’m pretty certain she means well. But some of her outlandish statements cannot be ignored…so I decided to write a blog post on the more “memorable” ones.

This snippet explains her view – and denial – of global warming…

“Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.”

Okay, so she ignored the mountains of evidence from countless experts in their respected fields in the area of climate change. But wait…it gets better…

‎”I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out under another, then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.”

I should note that during the 1976 outbreak, Republican President Gerald Ford was in power.

Then, there’s her insistence that many Nobel Prize-h0lding scientists believe in Intelligent Design (aka “creationism”)…

‎”There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design.”

Since the overwhelming majority of scientists who hold Nobel Prizes are either not religious or atheists, I find it incredibly hard to believe that there are several who are creationists. Regardless of how you feel about the issue, Bachmann should have done her homework before citing imaginary statistics.

Another fumble-with-the-facts statement made by Bachmann…

‎”I don’t know where they’re going to get all this money because we’re running out of rich people in this country.”

Interesting: studies over the past half century have actually shown that of the three groups – rich, middle class, poor – it has been the rich who have been the best off. During good times and bad, the rich are able to survive better than any of us…although they may have to “sacrifice” a yacht.

And of course there’s Ms. Bachmann’s not-so-subtle homophobia. She’s made some rather insulting remarks about homosexuals over the years, essentially calling them mentally ill degenerates. But the following quote reveals how deep her paranoia is…

“…what a bizarre time we’re in…when a judge will say to little children that you can’t say the pledge of allegiance, but you must learn that homosexuality is normal and you should try it.”

So, in a society where an overwhelming majority of the population is heterosexual and portrayals of romance in the media are overwhelmingly heterosexual, Bachmann believes that treating all people equally under the eyes of the law will lead to judges telling us to try gay sex. Makes perfect sense…

As comical as this list of quotes is, it is also frightening. These wacky statements were not made by a town drunk, Glenn Beck or Tony Perkins but by a congresswoman. This woman is one of the few people running the country. My two cents: That should scare anyone.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN)