Monday, March 19, 2012

Yankee Doodle Taliban

*A few days ago eight of Georgia's nine women senators summed up how most Americans feel about the GOP's "War on Women" by throwing up their hands in disgust and walking off the floor of the Senate chambers to protest GOP attempts to block insurance coverage for contraceptives and abortions.

No longer content with using legislation to shut down safe and accessible contraception, the GOP is now in the business of dictating private insurance policies — the next chess move in their efforts to turn our country into a theocracy.

 Their strategy? Pander to a tiny group of religious extremists intent on imposing their will on the vast majority of Americans.

Will we sit back and submit to the tyranny of this minority; our Yankee Doodle Taliban?

*adapted from The Nation

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First Hint

“I had to quit my job over that tornado.” Obie resolutely told me in 1981, sitting at a long table in the employee break room. A room that, unnoticed by me, was now going gradually silent.

“That tornado,” being the monstrous F4 funnel that struck Wichita Falls, Texas in 1979, killing 42 people, causing over 1,700 injuries, destroying over 3,000 homes and leaving 20,000 homeless.

With my tactfulness, perhaps, needing a little tweaking, there in my first day as a newbie to the brand new operating unit for the, “phone company” (and new resident of Wichita Falls). I asked, “You had to quit your job over the tornado? How’d that happen? Did it hit where you worked?” (I usually asked three to four questions at a time, back then.) Obie, slowly shaking his head, responded, "No... It didn’t. I... guess that might’ve been some part of the problem.”

“Part of the problem…?” I was stumped. Until Obie, who was black, told me that since the tornado had missed the, " black part of town," instead wreaking havoc on the most affluent (and white) areas, that the, "white folks" said the, “black folks” (see nig**r) had brought it… BROUGHT the Tornado ON the White People!"

Picking up my chin, I nervously giggled, “Oh man, that’s crazy!" Obie, his voice hollow as if from some deep well, solemnly answered, “Yeah, but the white workers on my job harassed me so much over it, every day, that I finally had to quit that job.”

I was completely shocked and spouted, incredulously, “I can’t believe that. That is just nuts!”

Seeing a warning in Obie's face, I then began to glance around and noticed that, unlike me, all the other, “white folks” sitting at that long table seemed to be swelling up like toads.

Startled by the sudden whip of negative energy, I instinctively acted to snag that energy and deflate those fat toads:

With an exaggerated conspiratorial tone, combined with a, “pre-Palin” wink, I turned to Obie, saying, Soto Voce, “Well, you know Obie, I DID see a picture of it and… it WAS black.” Obie’s eyes went wide, he sucked in his breath and then, as I cackled, he joined in, looking terribly relieved and surprised by my attitude, or lack thereof.

But...we laughed alone.
None of the toads croaked in.
First hint of things to come.