Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Eye on Iowa: A University professor, Stephen Bloom, wrote an article for the Atlantic link below, about Iowa, a place he has lived in for twenty years. Brian Williams talked about the unflattering-to-Iowa piece because it has stirred up a hornet's nest of protest from some Iowans and because of it the professor had to go into hiding over the holidays. One of the paragraphs that Williams quoted from the article was the object of much Iowa vitriol. It said:

But relatively few rural Iowans are employed in the business of wind energy. The bulk of jobs here are low-income ones most Iowans don't want. Many have simply packed up and left the state (which helps keep the unemployment rate statewide low). Those who stay in rural Iowa are often the elderly waiting to die, those too timid (or lacking in educated) to peer around the bend for better opportunities, an assortment of waste-toids and meth addicts with pale skin and rotted teeth, or those who quixotically believe, like Little Orphan Annie, that "The sun'll come out tomorrow.


I followed with a blog of my own on the Atlantic site:

I am a Massachusetts Bostonian from my toes to my hair. Some say I am a northeast snob because I rate people not by money but by their academic status, where they attended college and most of all how they write and the grammar they choose to string two sentences together.

I took a trip across country many years ago which included passing through Iowa. The trip was in February and there was no snow on the ground. I remember my first impression was that I was astounded as to how many tractor and feed stores I saw and how flat the ground was. I did not see a tree within sight. I asked the driver if people really lived here as it seemed so empty, gray and lonely. He rejected that assessment and told me how rich the land was and how it was some of the best farmland in the world.

Professor Bloom's assessment, though, rings true. I did not stay overnight in Iowa nor did I chat with many but I rode away from that state missing Massachusetts to my core. Upon return to my great state, I as my grandfather did when he came to America, wanted to kiss every rocky road and tree-lined highway in the state. I could not wait for the beautiful foliage of spring to be followed by even more glorious color in fall. Iowa may be a decent place to visit but I would not want to live there. I love my state, its diversity and its liberalness. I could not imagine living anywhere else! :-)


http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/12/observations-from-20-years-of-iowa-life/249401/1/
A Letter to Occupy Wall Street:

I am a left of center progressive and have supported the Occupy Wall Street movement as best I able given my personal circumstances. I love this movement and think it is beyond necessary; it is vital. Forming our mantra as the 99% against the 1% is brilliant. It is something to which people can relate and understand so keep saying it.

Having said that I am old enough to remember the 1968 Democratic convention which ensured the Republican Richard the lawbreaker Nixon the presidency as the electorate saw televised violence perpetrated by radicals on the left at that particular convention which the protesters stupidly, in my opinion, chose to attack. It alienated much of the electorate and drew many into the Republican Party with the selected title of the "Moral Majority." A law and order right wing movement was born and has reshaped party politics for generations. It lives today in the extremist politics of the religious right at the Republican base and brings along with it in side-car tow other very dangerous and racist right wing groups.

I ask you -- no I implore you -- to pass the word to Occupy movements all over the nation not to make the same mistakes that were made in the summer of 1968. Do not give the opposition propaganda to paint false pictures of who we are and what Occupy is about.

This time we have many of those who once were not on our side standing with us because they too have been crushed by the Wall Street banksters and fraudsters. Court union support! Unions can have immense power and those who comprise them are the ones whom Republican state governors like the malevolent Walker, Kasich, Scott, LePage and others, managed to alienate with their poisonous wolf-in-sheep's-clothing politics. Moreover, the egregious things that were done by the banksters on Wall Street have been ruinous to the blue collar masses as they have to most everyone. The Unions are our allies and it is for them and the rest of the 99% we work. Walk in solidarity with them.

There must not be any violence at the Democratic convention or the Republican Convention in the summer. Reality dictates that it is from these two parties that the presidential race will be taken. Whatever our president has done with which progressives find fault it must not be for one second thought that Romney (the apparent Republican nominee to be) or any Republican would be a good thing. The Republican extremist Party is the opposite of a good thing and they vowed before our president did one thing to unseat him. Do not hand the election to these hucksters of malfeasance. Be careful of people from the other side who may incite you to violence. Republicans lie all the time and will stop at nothing to plant treason among you as history has shown. Be smart use the tactics of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. It will serve us much better.

A Republican, if elected, will select two or maybe more justices for the Supreme Court. Additional so called "conservatives" on this right wing tipped court will make things infinitely worse.

Spread the word absolutely no violence at the Democratic convention and no violence at the Republican convention. You do not want to give our opposition any ammunition they can use against us and win power they should not rightly have.

Happy New Year to you all and thank you very much for what you do!