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Easter and Climbing the Water Tower Again

f4ce18d14c5f7ec0e66468729b7bccdaHappy Easter to those of you who celebrate it. I gave up Easter for Lent. Just kidding. I like chocolate rabbits and marshmallow peeps as much as the next person.

Easter is the only holiday that Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate, but they don’t call it Easter, because that’s a pagan word for a pagan holiday. (They say that like it’s a *bad* thing.) JW’s call it the Memorial. It’s not even held on Easter from what I can recall, because that would make it too much like Easter.

Basically, everyone passes around bread and wine but no one partakes except the 144,000. That means almost no one partakes. So, from a kid’s point of view, the whole holiday consists of yet another tedious talk followed by fruitless exercise in passing stuff around that no one eats. Don’t ask. It’s complicated. Basically, it comes down to JWs internally saying to themselves “I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!”, which I find pointless. Most JWs I know are plenty worthy but they don’t know it because they’ve been taught to undervalue themselves. Annnnnyway, there are no Easter baskets, Easter egg hunts or anything fun or memorable for children so, in that respect, it’s just like every other holiday/non-holiday for  JW kids except for the passing of bread and wine around for no discernable reason. You know, boring and miserable.

I’m just going to stick to the neolithic traditions and celebrate spring. Maybe burn a sacrificial goat or something, I dunno. So hard to burn goats in your back yards these days. The neighbors complain.

But seriously, go collect and bedeck your house with fresh flowers and forsythia and have a nice day.

Which god or goddesses are you celebrating today?

************************************************************

Moving on to things I am not celebrating, I saw this tweet from Paul Krugman in my twitter stream yesterday:

Jann Wenner , is right. OK to support Sanders, not OK to channel right-wing smears

 

Exactly.

Look, Bernie lovers, I love Bernie too. No, seriously, I do. I’m glad he ran this year and his message is resonating with a lot of people.

But sometimes, I wonder if the people he is resonating with the most are the ones who will never ever vote for a woman regardless of party. Or they spend way too much time believing stuff about Clinton that they knew wasn’t true back in 2008. There were 8 long years between primary seasons, long enough for people who have some bone to pick with the Clintons to plant seeds that are now coming to fruition. And sometimes, all they have to do is borrow the mind tricks and oppositional research from the other party.

The number one mind trick is sowing distrust. That works on any candidate. This one should be easy to refute with Clinton though. Here’s how it goes:

1.) Add up all the vast amounts of money spent on investigating Hillary since 1993. Include all of the special prosecutors, the billing records “scandal”, Whitewater, congressional testimonies, Libya and email servers. How much money has been spent on trying to pin something, ANYTHING on this woman? How many millions of taxpayer dollars?

2.) What did they eventually nail her on? Spoiler alert: nothing.

3.) Ask yourself how many other candidates who have run between 1992 and 2016 have had to go through that? For example, how many congressional hearings has Barack Obama had to go through? We know that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were invited to testify before the 9/11 commission, which if there was ever a reason to force presidents to testify before a special commission, that would be it, and they refused. Ask yourself if Hillary Clinton could have refused such a request under similar circumstances.

4.) Then repeat after me: “When your enemies can’t control you, they control what others think about you”. 

If you want to vote for the best candidate we’ve had for decades, you will need to learn to live with this constant chatter in the background about her culpability for *something* for the duration of her presidency. That’s just a given. It doesn’t matter that she’s as clean as a whistle.

If you can’t deal with the chatter, then you will necessarily have to settle for a candidate who is less well qualified to be president.

All of the rest of the objections to her are based on her record or distortions of her record. Frankly, I find the left to want a degree of purity in their candidates so as to make them ineffective as presidents. Presidents who are that far above it all so don’t want to get their hands dirty that they don’t do the work necessary to get things done, like meeting with congressional leaders and making very hard choices that might piss off their constituents later. Every politician, even down to the lowly elected school board member is eventually faced with a decision that is going to make a voter unhappy down the road. I’ve been there. I’m just glad my decisions were as small as promoting the construction of an expensive high school instead of whether or not to give a president my consent to go to war if he felt it was necessary whether or not *I* felt it was necessary.

And as an Iraq War opponent,  I too was disappointed with Clinton’s vote. I was also disappointed with John Kerry’s vote and John Edwards’ vote. So, you know, if you campaigned for those two guys and voted for them without too much trouble, you shouldn’t have a problem with doing the same for Hillary. That’s being rational. If you’re still struggling with Hillary over it but not the two Johns, and you know who you are, then maybe you’re not being rational.

Many of us have been political junkies for most of our lives and the things the left accuses Hillary of seem, well, hyperbolic doesn’t seem hyperbolic enough. You’d think that the Clintons single handedly plunged African Americans into poverty and caused the great recession of 2008. As you get older, you start to realize that it’s rarely that simple. It’s more like a thousand tiny pebbles dislodged until there is an avalanche. Sometimes, these pebbles were dislodged with the best of intentions but were based on modeling that didn’t account for other factors, like the other party deciding to pick that moment in history to mutate.

The Clintons were the first couple in the White House that had to deal with the movement conservatives and their “take no prisoners burn the government to the ground” tactics. It’s no surprise that they were taken off guard and had to make some very uncomfortable compromises. But I see evidence that Hillary has learned from her experiences. Others should have learned from what happened to the Clintons but have either capitulated completely or have been buried by their opposition. What is their excuse?

Bottom line, there is no politician in the country who is as close to perfection as Jesus and look what the Romans did to him. It took 400 years to rehabilitate Jesus’s reputation in the Roman Empire. By that time, he had been deified and the emphasis of his story was on resurrection. Jesus historians find that he was only a charismatic champion equality and the poor, who lead an unauthorized march into Jerusalem to hold a (mostly) peaceful rally at the Temple. In other words, Jesus lead Occupy Temple Mount. For that, he was turned over by his own people, the Sanhedrin, to the Romans. They knew exactly what was going to happen to him.

Forty years later, the Romans sieged and sacked the city, destroyed the temple and forced everyone into exile. That went well. Didn’t see that coming.Who could have predicted?

So, you know, don’t cooperate with your enemy is the lesson for today.

 

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