Politicians talk openly of executing LGBTQ Americans

Cattle car at Birkenau, part of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Photo by Rob Archer.

Cattle car at Birkenau, part of the Auschwitz concentration camp. In these, Nazis shipped Jews and “undesirables” to their deaths. Photo by Rob Archer.

Several politicians recently have been caught raising the idea that LGBTQ Americans should be killed or executed. That these statements are being made in the open is a disturbing trend. How far will it go? Will they start talking about “camps” for “undesirables”?

In Florida, Mark Hill is heard on tape laughing about a suggestion that, because the Bible allegedly calls for the death of gay men, legislation should be introduced that would execute gay people for their “crime.”

In Alabama, Mayor Mark Chambers of Carbon Hill in a Facebook rant complained that the only way to “solve” the “problem” of gay people is to kill them. When called out on it, he doubled down. No remorse, no apology.

Already in America, we have a version of concentration camps where migrants are being kept in overcrowded, unhealthy conditions, and people – including children – are dying as a result. With minimal outcry, I might add.

We seem to be primed, as the German people were, to accept the idea of wholesale killing of groups of people as a solution.

As the national psyche hardens, it will take so much more to un-harden than just talk or reason. And that scares the living hell out of me. Germany had to be utterly destroyed to loosen the grip of people who firmly believed it was right to kill Jews, gays, Soviet POWs, Roma, and the handicapped.

Is it already too late?

With columns of jagged clouds, a nation changed.

On this day, January 28, 1986:

I saw the strange, jagged clouds in the northern sky as I left my apartment in Port St Lucie, FL to go to work on that cold morning. I had no idea what they were.

I tuned my radio to WRMF. At the time, I thought it was the best programmed, best imaged adult contemporary music station, and paid close attention to what they did and how they did it. I was the music director at WSTU Stuart and wanted to crib what I could.

Strangely, there was no music. There was only a live feed from a news network. They were talking about some terrible accident. They said they just couldn’t see how there could be any survivors.

I thought maybe an airliner had crashed.

It was a few minutes later one of the anchors mentioned something about the Kennedy Space Center. I looked again at the jagged clouds to the north. Then I understood.

I had been watching the countdown to the launch on CNN before I left for work but had to turn off the TV to finish getting ready. I couldn’t conceive that it was going to be anything other than a typical, routine launch, like the many I had seen before.

There was no music on WSTU that afternoon. We too carried a live network news feed. We carried it all the way through President Reagan’s address on the Challenger tragedy. Nothing felt much the same after that day.

No republic is eternal. It lives only as long as its citizens want it.

Most people, if they compare the fall of Rome with the impending fall of the United States, are thinking of the fall of the Empire that led to the so-called Dark Ages. But the comparison isn’t really valid.

What’s happening right now, not just in America but in several other democratic republics around the world, is more like the fall of the Roman Republic before the advent of Caesar Augustus.

The similarities between then and now are eerily disturbing and frightening. We’re at the cusp of what could be a disastrous change for America and democracy on our planet.

That’s why I highly recommend the book, Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell into Tyranny┬áby Edward J. Watts, professor of history at UC San Diego.

An excerpt:

1606933485This book explains why Rome, still one of the longest-lived republics in world history, traded the liberty of political autonomy for the security of autocracy. It is written at a moment when modern readers need to be particularly aware of both the nature of republics and the consequences of their failure. We live in a time of political crisis, when the structures of republics as diverse as the United States, Venezuela, France, and Turkey are threatened. Many of these republics are the constitutional descendants of Rome and, as such, they have inherited both the tremendous structural strengths that allowed the Roman Republic to thrive for so long and some of the same structural weaknesses that led eventually to its demise. This is particularly true of the United States, a nation whose basic constitutional structure was deliberately patterned on the idealized view of the Roman Republic presented by the second-century BC author Polybius. This conscious borrowing from Rome’s model makes it vital for all of us to understand how Rome’s republic worked, what it achieved, and why, after nearly five centuries, its citizens ultimately turned away from it and toward the autocracy of Augustus.

No republic is eternal. It lives only as long as its citizens want it.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin obviously hated America!

Some people, including Marco Rubio and commentators on Fox News, are very upset that the new movie “First Man” about Neil Armstrong doesn’t explicitly show the exact moment the American flag was planted in the lunar soil. As if a film about Americans landing on the Moon doesn’t celebrate America.

They may be shocked to learn that when Neil and Buzz Aldrin took off from the surface, the lunar module’s ascent engine blast knocked the flag over… AND THEY DIDN’T IMMEDIATELY RETURN TO FIX IT!!!

The gold rush

Sam BrannanSam Brannan was an enterprising man who established a general store near Sutter’s Mill shortly after the discovery of gold in 1848. Sutter aimed to keep it quiet to make a fortune for himself and not have to share it. But Brannan knew that a gold rush would soon be on, so he stocked his store with items he was aware that the thousands of incoming prospectors would need.

But to make sure word about the gold got out, he walked down the middle of a street in what would one day be San Francisco, waving a pouch of gold over his head, and cried, “Gold from the American River!”

All in all, a significant day in the history of advertising.

How to recognize despotism: 1946

Back in the olden days, America opposed despotism and fascism.

Here’s a documentary from 1946 explaining how to recognize despotism. America and its allies had just defeated fascism. We recognized the evil of it then and spent vast amounts of blood and money to eliminate it from the world.

In the video, it’s interesting to note the pre-1950’s Pledge of Allegiance, which is a bit different from the one people recite today.

Oh, and this video has absolutely no relevance to today. None at all.