Living in a time when whole groups are targeted far too effectively: using hate as a religious, social and political tool, I thought I’d offer two true stories, one about a friend, the other about a teacher. Yes, they only belong to one of the many groups targeted. But they do represent how hate destroys good, especially when evil is enabled by hate-based theology, policies and politics.
Gene Rice was a very upbeat person who brought out the best out in people. The best recording sessions I had were with Gene whether I was being put on tape, or at his side observing while I was also studying recording at Belmont. He worked with, and brought to the Nashville scene, many talented musicians and songwriters. Gene did everything from being the engineer for the first five Alabama albums to demos for those who worked Music Row with their songs. Gene was recommended to me by the owner of a recording studio in West Leyden, NY where I did some of my first recording sessions because my wife and I were thinking of moving to Nashville. He had bought Gene’s studio when Gene moved south. When we met Gene he was having dinner with Barry. If gay marriage had been legal in New York or Tennessee at the time they would have been husband and husband. Gene convinced us to move to Nashville. Read more
The American republic could die, just like Rome.
Wavering for some time on the verge of becoming a complete oligarchy, America is on the verge of flipping from a democratic republic to a strongman or autocratic form of government, something that’s happened to dozens of democracies in the past few decades, but never before here. It’s possible we won’t recover from it.
The death of a republic is different from the death of a nation; Rome was a nation for nearly 2,000 years, but its period of being a republic was only around 300 years long. For the rest, it was a brutal empire with a small but wealthy and corrupt ruling class and a thin patina of democracy-for-show.
Trump is openly defying the norms and laws of our republic, while calling for the imprisonment of both his political enemies and members of the very law enforcement agencies that might hold him to account. And he’s only able to do it because billionaires like Rupert Murdoch, with Fox News, and the billionaires Republicans depend on to fund their re-elections are providing him with cover.
And they’re largely able to do that because five “conservatives” on the Supreme Court empowered billionaires to own the political system with the 1976 Buckley and 2010 Citizens United decisions.
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On Wednesday, the day it was announced that the U.S. birthrate fell for the fourth straight year, signaling the lowest number of births in 32 years, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law the most draconian anti-abortion law in the country. That the two developments came at the same time could not have been more revelatory.
The ruling elites are acutely aware that the steadily declining American birthrate is the result of a de facto “birth strike” by women who, unable to afford adequate health insurance and exorbitant medical bills and denied access to paid parental leave, child care and job protection, find it financially punitive to have children. Not since 1971 have births in the United States been at replacement levels, considered to be 2,100 births per 1,000 women over their lifetimes, a ratio needed for a generation to replace itself. Current births number 1,728 per 1,000 women, a decline of 2% from 2017. Without a steady infusion of immigrants, the U.S. population would be plummeting.
Want to read more? please click… HERE!