Sunday, July 26, 2015

Brothers in Harm – The GOP and KKK Political Mind Meld

“Keep America American” – Ku Klux Klan

“Keep America American” – Mitt Romney

Let’s begin this sad and salacious story as if it were a fairy tale for, once read, you will wish it fantasy rather than the repugnant reality that follows.

Once upon a time (now see, that’s nice) it crossed my exceptionally left-leaning mind (such as it is) that there might be a blog post in comparing and contrasting the conceivably compatible canons of the Grand Old Party and the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. But, as promptly as a Palin casts aside a condom or the Donald trumps dignity and human decency, nycityman negated the notion as being too implausible and preposterous a possibility for even the most prejudicially progressive opiner.  Then, one lazy afternoon, a pint or two of Blue Point loosening up the more cautious concerns of commentary and political punditry, I did the research and despondently discovered that my initial assessment was accurate, with no need for either exaggeration or embellishment.

The overarching philosophical beliefs in common are quite obvious – they both exist solely for the advancement of white, male Christians and neither is reticent to cause harm to others outside of that narrow demographic to achieve their allied aims.  While, for the most part, the tenor of language spoken is unalike (although under the current tutelage and leadership of openly intolerant frontrunner Donald Trump that hate-speak gap has significantly narrowed) and the techniques practiced differ (the Klan block African-Americans from voting with violence and physical intimidation, Republicans do so by passing legislation) the results are the same.

What’s very frightening, however, is that exploration into beliefs and behaviors reveal worrisome similarities and shared specificities between the two organizations, both whose agendas are primarily driven by bigotry and hatred.

Parallel Lines - The Platforms of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and Republican National Committee

“The Klan will take away all the special rights and privileges granted to homosexuals by the liberal dictatorship over the last few years. Homosexuals will no longer be permitted to adopt children or marry each other.” - KKK

“We support a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman... we affirm that homosexuality is incompatible with military service.” - GOP 

"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything … man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing… this is not about gay marriage, it is about changing what is right and wrong" – Rick Santorum

“The American Knights will outlaw this barbaric, satanic practice and punish the sadistic doctors who are guilty of these crimes against humanity.”- KKK

“We support a human life amendment to the Constitution outlawing abortion altogether, with no exceptions for the life and health of the mother, incest or rape. We will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage.” - GOP

“The so-called gun control bills enacted by the government are nothing but anti-self defense laws designed to disarm law abiding White citizens.” – KKK

“We oppose legislation limiting the capacity of clips or magazines. We oppose federal licensing of law-abiding gun owners & national gun registration. We applaud those seeking to stop frivolous lawsuits against firearms manufacturers.” – GOP

“The Klan favors a strong foreign policy that closely guards American interests around the world. All aid to worthless third World nations will be cut off. The foreign policy of the Klan led United States will be: AMERICA FIRST, LAST AND ALWAYS!” – KKK

“As a party we should stand by the Bush doctrine of pre-emption. In a time when the greatest threat to our country is chemical or biological weapons in the hands of Islamic extremists who want to bring an end to the Western way of life; the percentage of Republicans endorsing diplomacy in preference to military action is minimal… 2/3 of Republicans believe that use of overwhelming force is best.” – GOP

“Millions of Third World bandits enter our country illegally every year. The Republicans and Democrats do nothing to halt this massive invasion. America is being transformed into a new Mexico. We shall halt all immigration from non-White nations and use the U.S. Army to restore integrity to our borders.” – KKK

“Many areas of the border are wide open, resulting in a steady flow of illegal immigrants, criminals, smugglers and cartel members heading north. The party strongly believes that providing amnesty to illegal immigrants only further encourages illegal immigration, and supports efforts to deport illegal aliens without the process of allowing the illegal alien to have a hearing before an immigration judge.” - GOP

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending the best. They're not sending you, they're sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing those problems. They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists.” – Donald Trump

“America's public schools, colleges and universities have been turned into political indoctrination centers run by depraved liberals, communist and Jews in our public. Forced bussing will be outlawed. Prayer will be returned to our schools.”- KKK

“We support the public display of the Ten Commandments as a reflection of our history and of our country's Judeo-Christian heritage, and we affirm the right of students to engage in prayer in public schools. The party is in favor of presenting alternative theories of biological or physical origins to evolution,  leveling the playing field as it allows a teacher to bring forward the biblical creation story of humankind.” - GOP

"Colleges are indoctrination mills that harm the country... taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them"- Rick Santorum

“Homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuals, sado-masochism, and every other type of vile perversion is applauded by the scum that control our country. The American Knights demand a return to sanity. We call for a restoration of Christian values to all walks of life.” – KKK

"... reverence for God, support for the family unit." - GOP

“… and that's what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards.” - Mike Huckabee

“I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity  ... We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit ... We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press - in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past ... (few) years.” – Adolph Hitler (Fear not, fellow rational thinkers, I'm not falling into that Fox-like trap of ludicrously comparing anyone to the Fuhrer, but the quote sheds some light on how far right Republican rhetoric has gone, in that it would be perfectly believable if those words were credited to any one of the 758 GOP Presidential candidates.)

If you are a Republican, well, you’re not reading this.  But if, perchance, a stray GOPer has happened upon this page while in search of Ann Coulter erotica, Bush/Cheney prison escape plans or AK-47 white sales, please reconsider the party to which you give your allegiance. When you pull that lever or punch that chad under the illustration of the red, white and blue pachyderm, you are voting the values, or more accurately, lack thereof, of the Ku Klux Klan. 

“Like peas in a pod and birds of a feather
Alone or together you’ll find
That we are two of a kind” – Darin/Mercer

To wrap up this joyful dissertation, a gem of a song performed and written by Bobby Darin and Johnny Mercer, chosen to reflect the new chummy relationship between the post-Tea Party, 19th Century-centric GOP and the Ku Klux Klan, the twains have met – “Two of a Kind.”

Any comments, questions, criticisms, candid confessions, cash contributions?  Contact me at butchersaprons@mail.com.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Killing Fields of Home

“Southern man, better keep your head
Don't forget what your good book said
Southern change's gonna come at last
Now your crosses are burning fast” – Neil Young

On relatively rare occasion, although I wish it more frequent, “… and several butcher’s aprons” is turned over to a guest blogger for the opportunity to experience a point of view from a new and fresh voice and perspective. 

Since the blog's inception, I have maintained anonymity in the guise of nycityman so as to feel absolute freedom to share any and all thoughts and opinions without insecurity or timidity, or fear of retribution, or for that matter, the likelihood of friend and family embarrassment leading to needless self-censorship, and that policy will remain unchanged. The sole revelation to identity is that today’s contributor is an older brother, and so will be similarly designated by geography as newjerseyman .

Famously, the Confederate flag has been removed and furled from atop the South Carolina State House. And while those who maintain tearful and heartfelt nostalgia for an era when they could own, beat and kill other human beings will now have to express those longings in a more sotto voce fashion, the fact remains that the times are such that two weeks of unrelenting and ever-increasing vile and ugly racist rhetoric by Donald Trump has vaulted him to the number one position among GOP presidential wannabes.  Friends, intolerance and bigotry may very well be on the rise.

Killings in South Carolina
by newjerseyman

I don't know what words to use to describe the assassination of nine innocent people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. To say it was horrific is a gross understatement. To say that it was sad just doesn't mean enough. How the families of those murdered innocents must feel can't be comprehended. Racism, again, has invaded the places where people should be and feel most safe.

If it has not been recognized or realized yet; we do not live in a "post racial" society. Racism is alive and, unfortunately, well. And if we all don't begin to do something about it, and certainly to at least admit it, then nothing significant will happen to lessen racism. I'm realistic enough to understand that it, sadly, cannot be completely ended.

All parents with young children should work hard to instill in them the proper thinking and feelings. Children should be taught that all people need to be not only treated as having equal worth but thought of in that way as well. And it's not enough for our leaders, particularly political, to condemn such acts as this but to acknowledge that racism does exist in the U.S. and needs to be addressed. In fact, I would suggest to you that any 2016 presidential candidate who does not recognize racism to be as endemic and insidious as it is in our nation should be taken off your list for consideration as our next president.

Please think of nine innocent people praying in their beloved church and how racist feelings built up over the short 21 years of the killer's life snuffed them out forever, removing them from their loved ones and causing so much grief and heartache.

Just think!

In closing, Neil Young and Southern Man.

Friday, July 3, 2015

When a Man Loves a Feline

“Pussycat, pussycat,
I love you.
Yes I do,
You and your pussycat eyes”
 – Hal David

For Lily, who initially invaded my heart, Gracie, Doobie, and the cat of the hour, Spanky.

This is life, whilst still breathing we are who we are, full of fine qualities and equally full of faults. However, once passing on to the great beyond, the negative characteristics are quickly forgotten as they melt like lemon drops away above the chimney tops, and we all become the epitome of perfection, the stuff of mythology and legend, beloved beyond the reality of our actual existence.

During a recent day turned to night of tribulations and travails trapped in an airport terminal with undetermined time and means of escape; followed by a flight awash in never-ceasing turbulence,  it occurred to me that it would be beneficial to express our appreciation for those we admire, respect, adore and love while they can still be cognizant of our deep devotions, and with that in mind, and with your kind indulgence, I dedicate this particular blog not to a fellow homosapien but, instead, to a needy, sharp-clawed, fuzzy feline who has forcefully wrenched open the ventricles of a hard-hearted cynic to the previously unexperienced wonders of the domesticated animal kingdom. To paraphrase Maurice Chevalier as filtered through the Marx’s in Monkey Business, he brought a new kind of love to me.

My boyhood home was totally and utterly devoid of pets. All non-relative animals were banned from our household like D.H. Lawrence novels from a Catholic school library. Consequently, I underwent that vital, childhood, pet ownership rite of passage in my forties and fifties and, with that vantage point, may have an even greater indebtedness for it than those who take this unique experience of caring and connection between species for granted. Can one undergo significant temperament metamorphoses so far removed from our wonder years? Assuredly, Spanky’s presence has made me more compassionate, considerate, patient, empathetic, loving and, most importantly, less selfish - although there’s still many more miles to trek on that evolutionary journey.

Spanky came to me through the good graces of the American Humane Society, a worthy and noble organization who will be remembered in my will, and so benefit greatly from those Hellman’s jars of accumulated copper coinage. He was but a three month old kitten - feisty, mischievous, energetic and openly affectionate, and it was he who chose me, determinedly shadowing my every step and demanding my complete attention with his nonstop meowing, chattering and chirping. Then, faster than a speeding bullet and the failure of the Donald’s presidential aspirations, there suddenly lurked a 12 pound beast in my apartment. repeatedly knocking down a 6 and a half foot Christmas tree, and clawing divots in my chest while contentedly purring.

Those talkative communiqu├ęs, adorable from the babe, continue these more than 19 years later, and oftimes now come out cranky and crabby in tone, reflective of his senior status and state of mind at 133 human years. He was diagnosed with kidney disease and given but a few months to live – 5 years ago, and currently consumes a cornucopia of pharmaceuticals and supplements to combat that malady as well as hyperthyroidism and hypertension. Spanky is on Medicare and Social Security, participates as an active member of AARP, wears a First Alert bracelet and cannot be dragged away from the television screen when PBS shows Lawrence Welk, having developed a particular affinity for the terpsichorean talents of Bobby and Cissy. 

We are now a duo advancing in age together, keeping each other company (who else would have us), sometimes cantankerous, sometimes cross, with the occasional ornery argument and a mutual comprehension and easy interspecies interaction that at times, still amazes – our bond has never been stronger. The older and frailer he becomes, as the period of our partnership inches ever closer to its inevitable conclusion, the further my fondness flourishes. Over the course of this lengthy life, more than a half a century and counting, he's one of the best things to ever happen to me.

The way I see it, Spanky’s a buddy who just happened to be born a cat, and we're both better for whatever happenstance happily united us. I understand him and he understands me. He’s my Sancho Panza, my Bucky Barnes, my Watson, my Garfunkel.

My cat, my friend, my boy – if only you could read.

I’ve got a cat on me
Where a cat ought to be.
Sprawled out flat on my lap,
For his ninth daily nap.
When he wakes he will mew
For a can of cat stew.
Til he finishes, then
He’ll be sleeping again.
That’s a feline existence,
Free of any resistance.
With no struggle or strife
How I envy that life.
When I pass to the grave
If my soul can be saved,
Please, oh Heavenly chorus
Make me a Tom or a Morris.

Of course, the only melody that immediately comes to mind when contemplating cats, is this Bacharach/David, Tom Jones pop classic that, in actuality, has absolutely nothing to do with the Felis Silvestris Catus, but enjoy What’s New Pussycat?

Any comments, questions, criticisms, candid confessions, cash contributions?  Contact me at butchersaprons@mail.com.