Hiding behind false names, the ideas on these pages are attacked by anonymous voices who choose conflict over dialogue, shouting down convictions with vehemence while offering no transcending ideas.

While protesting labels of racism unfair, the statistically, purely white Tea Party grumbles that welfare, healthcare and any other attempt in a great nation to provide a safety net, is against our founding principles. Revolution the battle cry, guns in church, the poor to their lot.

Admitting to the racism would be to open yourself to shame but in your insular huts of habitation gathered with like minded, like born and like bred, these thoughts are the coin of the realm and the more zealous the proclamation the richer the orator.

The disgraced battle flag on your wall and in your heart yearns to fly free, stabbing a mortal wound in a President’s chest. You sip from the cup of Booth, the blood of Lincoln your sustenance. Your gatherings are a sea of white, inconvenient evidence of your segregated proclivities as you protest the slings and arrows of racist accusations. Perhaps you protest too much.

“Christ is King,”  you proclaim while bowing before the MOST, not least, among us. The sick and poor deserve their lot as you perform the greatest make-over of all time: the Prince of Peace into a capitalist god.

“A Muslim, a socialist, a terrorist racist!” Such labels hurled with invective and lacking evidence distract the lazy, unwilling to search, quite easily, for the truth as the money that sustains the movement is invested by the real benefactors of your cause, the oligarchs of America, seeking foment through social issues to bring power to their true cause: wealth.

“Too close to ground zero” you yell, while raising not a whisper against the arson and harassment hurled at mosques thousands of miles from the hallowed ground. Hypocrisy, the easy label but in denying freedom of religion you are not worshipping  patriotism, but a soured cup of tea. The vandalizations and harassment of moderate Muslims in our country is as real as the insidious hatred of radical Islamists against us. Our willingness to ignore the very tenets of our country’s founding to attack a religious minority is at best ignorant fear mongering and at worst, an attack against the freedoms our country stands for, in other words, treason.

Blame the messenger, as the disabled news media barely performs its task and any sign of balance is dismissed as the ramblings of the liberal elite. A laughable label when the true elite in media fill the airwaves with biased one-sided innuendos, elevating them in the minds of listeners to truth. Fair and balanced? Hardly.

Among you there are many who see the conflict but refuse to yield to the mass. Your silence allows the movement to be driven in a courser direction, choosing every low road when a higher path appears. Compromise, the concept that has allowed the country to flourish not acceptable in an environment where “NO” is the only politically viable answer to constituents fed discord through the bellicose voices of Limbaugh, Hannity and the like.

“Don’t tread on me!” Indeed as you stomp, jack-booted across the religious freedoms of minorities, easily, but inaccurately demonized.

Explaining away your ethnic purity in non-racists terms would be an Orwellian feat and the rhetoriticians in your midst are not up to the task, thus they shout down the accusers with the only weapon left, noise.

To quote Shakespeare by way of Faulkner, “it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

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Billy Howard

Billy Howard

Billy Howard is a commercial and documentary photographer with an emphasis on education and global health.

25 Comments
  1. Frank Povah

    Thanks Billy, it needs saying over and over again. Where, though, are the counter organizations? The church leaders publicly denouncing the bigots, the news anchors asking pointed questions, the politicians telling the truth?

    As you say, the media is rapidly losing all semblance of objectivity as they seek to outsensationalize their rivals in everything from weather to politics. Panel discussions focus on spectacle rather than discuss what needs to be done to fix the country’s problems.

    What’s to be done?

    1. Cowards pick on inoffensive people because, being inoffensive, they are not likely to retaliate. And for cowards that’s important.
      What’s to be done? Their cowardice needs to be witnessed and confronted and exposed for what it is. Reasoning is not possible. Steady confrontation is. Odd as it seems, the Party of No is going to have to be told ‘no.’

  2. As usual, Billy, your focus is clear, the colors rich, and the subject hits the mark. Another superb picture from a master.

  3. Jim Fitzgerald

    Lipton and Tetley hide themselves from us and then accuse us of not knowing who they are. The State of Georgia Republicans passed a bill allowing for interest groups to campaign against or for special interest anonymously. In the State of Washington, Republicans are trying to keep petition signer names private (has to do with anti-gay ballot measures) fearing retaliation.

    In other words, cowards who do not have the courage of their convictions if exposed to public scrutiny and possible consequences. Hate and prejudice are easy to spew anonymously. You are right on Billy. Thanks for writing this piece.

  4. Billy, I am proud to know you! Once again you have captured in beautiful prose the essence of our current situation. Bravo!

  5. Thanks Bill, For the thoughtful commentary on this Labor Day!

  6. Bravo Billy, your piece was spot on and brilliant.

  7. Oh you poor baby. Someone disagrees with you and “Woo downt wike it.” Awww. Meanwhile the real world outside your sad little pity party disagrees with progressive Democrat leftist ideology on the merits and is not impressed by your constant harangues of “Racist!… Bigot!” This is no way to build political consensus. I guess every once in a while it is necessary to elect a sanctimonious leftist to scold us about our faults to remind ourselves how worthless such people are.

    I thank you for trotting out your stupid, uninformed self-righteousness. You’re showing us there really is nothing behind your political agenda other than the plaintive cries of a child.

    The really said part is you believe the likes of Barack Hussein Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are “looking out for the little guy.” When Obama buzzes lower Manhattan in Air Force One and sends Michelle on a $10 million Spanish holiday — are they doing that for the common man? Look, you’re little Washington heroes aren’t there solving all your problems, as if that was possible. It’s sad that’s what you expect of them and you’re so naive to allow yourself to be taken advantage of in this way. They’re gorging themselves at the public trough, destroying the productive capacity of the U.S. and cuckolding you with nonsense and lies.

    Keep carrying their water though and calling all of us who expose their obvious failures racists and bigots. We can laugh at your tears while you fail.

    1. Billy Howard

      Building political consensus with people like you is not possible. It has been tried and tried but you are more interested with tearing down than building anything so I am content to call you out for what you are. You don’t like the racist tag but there is no evidence to the contrary so you carry on with your noise.

  8. Well spoken, very well spoken. I fear the country is entering a dark night and many troubles ahead not just because of the rising wave of fascism, but also because of the headlong rush to officially sanctioned ignorance such as we see in Texas’s textbook standards. I wonder at the lack of critical examination of the right so apparent in the rhetoric and the political polls. The cowardice and timidity of many journalists as well as their inability to separate wheat from chaff when sifting through a day’s detritus is horrifying to me. McCarthyism appeared decades too early. Today, it would thrive.

    It is likely the darkness will return after the Congressional election, and I fear before it recedes, great harm will come from the Christians hell-bent on attacking anyone not in lock-step. Many of them truly believe they are the leading edge of the End-times and don’t care so much for peace as they do for accelerating the timetable for what they believe is a second coming of a mythological messiah. They believe themselves to be amongst the righteous chosen who will be lifted up and spared the suffering that will be inflicted on the world. The suffering of those left behind means nothing since all others are not righteous and of no value.

    On the left, closer to where I exist, there is also anger. It is anger at the blindness of fools who drag everyone with them when they walk off a precipice because they are tied to us. At some point, these fools risk stoking anger at themselves to an uncontrollable level. Once again, it will be the conservative forces in the South who stir the country to turmoil with treason and lies. There are too few of us in the opposition in the South to overcome these fascist voices. In the 1960s, help came from the North, but now, this paranoia of the reactionaries and fascists has spread its infectious venom throughout the country. These are people who so hate the president because of his race, that some have suggested celebration if he should meet his end.

    I loathed George W. Bush, but to hope and pray for a president to fail is to hope and pray for a country to fail.

  9. Chris Wohlwend

    Well said, Mr. Howard. Hear, hear.

  10. How can you not recognize the more obvious evil of the socialist entitlement mega-state foisted upon us by Barack Hussein Obama and Nancy Pelosi? This is the most destructive practice of government since LBJ’s Great Society and FDR’s Depression-extending mega programs. You just sit here and whine, “damned those right-wing Christians and their guns and bibles.” The Tea Party movement is simply about responsible, sustainable government — a notion antithetical to The One and his cronies who seek to confiscate and regulate our lives and crush initiative and innovation.

    I just think you see your whole sad socialist agenda crumbling against an overwhelming opposition and you just need to have a cry for closure. Well done!

    1. Frank Povah

      Rhetoric worthy of Mao Tze Dung and his Little Red Book, Francios [sic.]. I’m disappointed though that you didn’t throw in a couple of Leftist Running Dogs and Paper Tigers while you were in full flight. I confess, though, that I find it puzzling that you, an avowed republican with a lower case r, should choose for a nom de rant the name of an English titled personage, now deceased, whose name and company’s product are symbolic of the oppression railed against by the revolutionaries of yesteryear. It is understandable I suppose, given the enthusiastic embrace of the holy writ promulgated by the sanctified angels of the New Darkness.

      Forward to the 19th century!

    2. Billy Howard

      Oh Francois, I must change my ways and follow you and your leaders down the path of enlightenment where government gives breaks to huge businesses and people of wealth which will eventually trickle down to the little people. Oh wait, the verdict on that is out and it doesn’t work. People with power and money want more power and money, thus the government under your plan becomes government for the top and anyone below that becomes a cog in the machinery of building wealth for the top. That is why the balance of wealth in this country has had a steady migration upward, because it is inherently unfair. Any attempt to righten the ship threatens those at the top so they funnel seed money into organizations that tap the grassroots through the lies and innuendo of social unrest that they care nothing at all about. They want the money and power and use people, like you, for their gain. You, dear boy, are just another cog in their machinery, falling into their misinformation machine, i.e. Obama the socialist, muslim, whatever.
      And it even sounds as if you defend the Robber Barons of the last century, who without government intervention would be lords over a vast nation of poverty and tenements had not the likes of FDR, LBJ, Kennedy and other, and I use this word with pride, progressive politicians stepped up the plate and actually governed FOR THE PEOPLE and not for the now sanctified corporate elites that you so cherish. Cheers.

      1. Billy Howard

        And please don’t misconstrue what I say: I have not said anything negative about the Bible, just the hypocritical use of that book as a divisive, not healing, work. Hypocritically your ilk take text out of context and claim holier than thou status against others using the Bible as a weapon of sanctimonious acrimony.

        1. Frank Povah

          Please, Billy, be not disrespectful; it is Francios, the neuter gender of Francois and Francoise.

  11. Cliff Green

    Brilliant, Billy. And all of you who responded did so with dignity and reason. My fear is we’re talking among ourselves. Would a teabagger really take five minutes and read through this then give him or her self another couple of minutes to meditatite on what they had just read? I’m afraid not, and that’s what scares me about the future.

  12. Do you really think Barack Hussein Obama, Barney Frank and Charles Rangel are looking out for your interests? That they will pay to solve your housing and healthcare problems? The entitlement megastates of the past are insolvent. There is no way to fix them other than recognize the truth and make the deadbeats and freeloaders do with MUCH less. How sad your still clinging to Hope and Change. “There’s a sucker born every minute,” as someone once said.
    (Note: this comment was edited to remove violations of our published comment policy.)

  13. I’m not sure exactly which person is being accused here of being insensitive to the wrongs committed in one place while gunning for a perceived (by the writer) wrong in another place (” ‘Too close to ground zero’ you yell, while raising not a whisper against the arson and harassment hurled at mosques thousands of miles from the hallowed ground.”) In fact, I’m not sure who this entire screed is directed toward except some caricature of a political opponent the author has constructed in his mind, a composite of everyone who disagrees with him on every point mentioned in the piece.

    This seems like a collection of cheap shots. I could criticize someone’s contributions to their town’s food pantry budget but their indifference to the corner panhandler. Or vice versa. I could sketch a political picture of the most misguided (in my opinion) person I can imagine and then vent my bile like the author has done above. But what does this accomplish except to put forth my beliefs and ridicule the other side? Worthwhile, I guess, as an exercise in thinking, but as a piece of journalism? Even an opinion piece? Does it get us anywhere except “you tell ’em!” and “you said it, brother!”

    This seems like it was nothing more than a bunch of whining gripes. We all know that the media represents well both extremes, that you don’t have to look far to find your yapping-of-choice being broadcast far and wide. There is no far-left-leaning or far-right-leaning person who can’t find a bunch of gung-ho words to crank up to deafening levels in his or her vehicle so that they may passively soak it in, with a few nods and some blood pressure being raised as they are whipped into a frenzy by the charismatic radio host’s preaching, punctuated by callers either reinforcing the same or swiftly being dispatched by some rhetoric and a call-disconnection.

    As you can tell, I have little respect for the “sheeple” (a term made popular by one side, maybe) on EITHER side of this divide of the “let someone else do the thinking for me” philosophy that I believe, sadly, prevails in our culture.

    I could pick a major point of disagreement and mock, ridicule, and totally roast you and your cronies, as well as unfairly stereotype and generalize about your every last belief. But I won’t do it. Please don’t do it to me or to others. I’ve already seen (as above) that you can dish it out, but you definitely can’t take it (proclaiming that other writers have “attacked” you – but what is your piece of writing above other than a smear on an entire group?) People looking for less government involvement in some areas (is that not what the tea party is about, in essence?) are not necessarily 1. all white, 2. all racists, 3. all uneducated morons who have no understanding of anything 10 miles outside of their small town. Granted, I’m sure there some who fit that description, and of course hard-core people like the tea party are demographically weighted heavily. But guess what? I think there are some pretty darned stupid non-thinking ultra-liberals, even the “intellectual elite” who just repeat the canned lines and fall into lockstep because… my opinion is that sadly, it’s an unfortunate facet of human nature to operate this way by default – it’s mental and social laziness, and it’s what people are prone to choose.

    I don’t want to spend the time listing and taking on the insults above, and in some cases can’t (because the words don’t even make good grammatical or structural sense – check out paragraph 3 for the best example of that – is a noun missing, and is your language overly flowery?)

    Zealots – I don’t care for them, either. Not on that side, and not on the other side. (Do you love zealots on “your” side? I’m guessing you might grant them a free pass.) I see error in both extremes. But should we throw out all their ideas with the bathwater? If it makes you feel better… I prefer to think it out rather than just dump it sight-unseen based on the horse it rode in on, though. This is what disappoints me about this site: I’m afraid it might just turn out to be another site where the tone is set by the few hes and shes who establishe the mood, and those who don’t agree think, “these people don’t want to hear from me,” (my husband said this out loud last night) maybe reinforced by having tried and having been met with closed minds and maybe even blatant disrespect from the status quo (low-blow jabs designed to get a chuckle at the expense of the dissenter), and so it becomes just another back-clapping festival of posturing from those who parrot the party line and get mad props from everyone else for it.

    1. Billy Howard

      My post was directed at the rhetoric from the far-right that has migrated to the mid-right. Lies and innuendos from the right are becoming mainstreamed in media outlets more enamoured with discord than truth and the results are found in the weak minds of those that firebomb mosques in Tennessee and stab cab drivers in New York . But, I get your point. I have done, perhaps the same that they have done, from a different perspective. I will, as I mentioned in a previous reply to you, consider your words the next time I am inclined to write. As for caring, one of the positives of this site is an egalitarian attitude where you were able to say what you felt. That is not the case with many very conservative sites. There are a lot of fine writers and ideas on Like the Dew, you will not agree with all of them but we are listening.

      1. Thanks, Billy. I appreciate your gracefulness. (oops – should that simply be “grace”? I should break out the dictionary. ;op at myself there.)

        I just wanted to point out that the far left can be pretty darned intolerant, unpleasant, closed-minded, and viciously critical to the point of blind ridicule of their opponents, prejudiced as they are but not seeing it, all the while proclaiming how correct and open-minded they are. Nutcases who bomb and stab are typically sociopaths and not good representatives of any political persuasion – just my suspicion and my opinion there, and I’ve gleaned that from my research on what drives people to kill and destroy. But yes, political frenzy in the hands of sociopaths is dangerous fuel for their fire, of course. Good points you are making about infiltration from wing- (any wing, in my opinion) -nuts into the moderates they seek to convert. I happen to think that the left is pretty good at brainwashing and pressuring, as well, and they have a good foothold in the business of manipulating weak minds. I guess I should wait for some particular topic to come up before I elaborate further. I hope others do, too. I hope there are a variety of voices here.

  14. Cliff Green

    The coward, Francois Lipton, wrote: “How can you not recognize the more obvious evil of the socialist entitlement mega-state foisted upon us by Barack Hussein Obama and Nancy Pelosi?”
    I must ask, more obvious than what, Fascism?

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