by Fred Stopsky
December 28, 2007
There is an old American folk song entitled, “On The Big Rock Candy Mountain.” The gist of the song is that on the Big Rock Candy Mountain, “the cops all have wooden legs” and there is peace, happiness, and plenty of food for everyone. After reading responses to my recent comments about Ron Paul I get the impression he believes there once was a Big Rock Candy Mountain until evil big government came along. He believes that once upon a time, before evil government, free independent men ran their property as they desired, and there was freedom and liberty in this nation. After reading Paul and those who support him, the kindest words I can express is that he represents the traditional conservative big business male white Anglo Saxon Protestant perspective. Let’s look at the record:
1. Between 1865-1940 about 5,000 people were lynched in America of whom 4,000 were black skinned, about four hundred Asians, and the rest whites including a few Jews. These people were killed by mobs of angry white people, not by government. The largest one day lynching occurred in March, 1891 when 11 Italians were lynched in New Orleans by a mob. In other words, the lack of Federal government action allowed local white mobs to lynch people and it was a rare occurrence if anyone was arrested, let alone convicted by Paul’s beloved local government.
2. Ron Paul’s beloved STATE GOVERNMENTS passed segregation laws. Black skinned people in the “good old days” were denied entry to state universities, to state medical and law schools. It was action by the US Supreme Court and Federal legislation that ended segregation.
3. In the Big Rock Candy Mountain days, women lacked the right to vote, were denied employment opportunities and it was illegal for them to control their own bodies. It took Federal Constitutional changes and laws to end that situation.
4. I continually receive comments about “my rights,” “my property,” and so on. African Americans, Jews, Italians, Irish Catholics, etc.. paid taxes that provided you police and fire and health services for your “property.” They fought and died for this nation. So, listen Mr. Bigot, if you want to use our highways, our police, our fire department, if you wish to be certain food you eat is safe, if you want to use government developed Internet services, then you have no right to deny equality to all citizens of this nation.
I could go on ripping to pieces the lack of logic and historical background of comments I received, but you either got my point or it is hopeless. I received one comment from a person who in the same piece called me: a Communist, a Neo-Conservative, a Jewish Radical, a supporter of bankers and corporate interests, and God knows what else. How do I explain to this ignorant person that Neo-Conservatives were originally liberals who felt other liberals were too easy going with Communists and broke away. In other words, Neo-Conservatives are virulent anti-Communists! Why would bankers and Communists be allies!!! By the way, the “Communist” writing these words volunteered to fight in the American army during the Korean War when the enemy was Communism!!
I am throwing out a challenge to Ron Paul supporters.
1. Identify the time period in American history in which you believe people had greater freedom than today.
2. Define and explain IN DETAIL what you mean by “Individual Freedom.”
3. Present evidence that State governments in American history have been more supportive of individual freedom than the Federal government. I will help you out. During the Progressive Movement several states such as Wisconsin, and Minnesota and Wyoming did sponsor several reform pieces of legislation. But, fellows, you have one big problem when you discuss southern states.
Good news from Great Britain. Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labor Party is rebelling against his “anti-terror plan” to extend to 48 days the time when a suspect can be held without charges being levied. Enough Labor Party MPs have deserted him because they are tired of the erosion of civil liberties which have occurred since 9/11. Who knows, maybe some day the Democratic Party will get some backbone and fight to defend our civil liberties against the tyranny of “anti-terrorism” fear mongering rhetoric.
I assume everyone read about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Bush is now out on a limb. He placed all his bets on the incompetent President Musharraf who is now the object of hatred in his own country since most people blame him for the killing. We may well witness complete chaos envelop Pakistan if next week’s election results in a triumph for the Musharraf party.
Did you read that touching story about Barack Obama and the veteran? In Iowa, he teasingly asked a man to pose a tough question. The man rose and explained he was a military veteran and described the fight he had to get medical care after his discharge. The man began to cry and Barack went to him and gave him a hug and promised if elected president he would fight for proper health benefits for our veterans. Somehow, I just don’t see Hillary going over and giving the hug or getting emotional. A great leader knows when to allow his/her feelings to show, she guards them too much. By the way, the media has completely ignored the terrific job done by this Democratic Congress to back veteran rights and improved medical care.
Ah the media. All we here is about the success of the famous surge. I was reading the Iraqi newspaper, Azzaman which describes complete chaos in Basra. The police have essentially abandoned control over the city to militia groups. They can not even halt the killing of over 40 women who were slain by fundamentalists because they wore “improper clothing.” Gen. Jaleel al-Shuwaili, head of the police says his police are “powerless.” I guess the surge troops will head on down south to Basra.
Another poke at the American media. If a Muslim terrorist blows up someone, it is front page news. Yesterday, I reported the peace and quiet and protection for Christians in Indonesia that was ignored. On Christmas eve in the Indian state of Orissa, mobs of Hindus destroyed 12 churches and beat up dozens of Christians. Will Rush Limbaugh now tell his audience about Hindu terrorists? Like hell he will, as long as he can keep up the drum beat that all Muslims are to be suspected.
Senator Joseph Lieberman has come out for John McCain. As you recall Lieberman lost the Democratic nomination in Connecticut for the senate and ran as an independent. He promised Democrats that he would work with Democrats if elected. He undoubtedly is the most fervent supporter of George Bush’s war on terror and the Iraq War. Lieberman has completely misunderstood how best he can support Israel. Instead of working for a two nation solution and exerting pressure on Israel’s leaders to compromise, he supports all Israel government policies. Now, he is going to help Republican McCain by appealing to the religious right who like Lieberman for backing Bush. Sorry, John, I don’t think Joe will help you at all. He is a washed up figure who has lost the respect of senatorial colleagues and of most people in his own state.
A good piece of news from the Middle East is a proposal by Egypt’s President Mubarak. He offered to mediate between Israel and Syria. His proposal makes sense. Mubarak suggests that Israel would abandon the Golan Heights(israel forces seized the mountainous area of the Golan Heights during the 1967 war) and over a ten year period gradually withdraw. He offered to place Egyptian troops to help monitor the situation as well as urging UN forces to help out. This is a sensible compromise.
China, China Daily: “Dog Could Now Become Panda Savior”
I don’t know if the Pope is going to go for this dog-panda fooling around, sounds like bestiality to me.
Kuwait, Gulf Times: “No Relief In Sight For Visually Impaired Voters In Pakistan”
Nor is there for people who can see, hear or smell.
Himalayan Times: “Angela Joie Rubs Caviar Into Her Skin”
Only Angela could get the Himalayans stirred up over caviar.
Nepal, Nepalnews.com: “Guilty Should Be Punished”
Oh yeh, when do white collar criminals ever really do jail time?
Bahrain, Bahrain Tribune: “Youth Hurt As He Hits Lamppost”
Not a damn word about the feelings of the lamppost!
Before concluding, let me reiterate one thought. I have never questioned the integrity or honesty or patriotism of Ron Paul. I have never demonized him or insulted him in any manner. I was raised in the south Bronx where people argued for hours, then went to a movie together. I believe in free speech and my right to disagree with someone. I find most sad that some– not all– Ron Paul supporters resort to vituperation and questioning the loyalty or patriotism of those who disagree with Mr. Paul. I disagree with the ideas of Ron Paul, that’s all.
Peace and Love