Linda Loftin

Archive for 2012|Yearly archive page

Little House on the Santorum Pra

In Uncategorized on March 1, 2012 at 5:13 pm

If you liked watching the TV series Little House on the Prairie during the 1970’s, then you’ll love Rick Santorum’s vision for the future of this country. Yes, let’s return to those idyllic days when the little woman had no control over the events that occurred to her own body. Let’s return to the days when public education was not prevalent and the little woman was in charge of the children’s education. She provided readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic in the home setting, with a babe on one hip and one eye on the hearth. Little pigtailed girls and reluctant lads poured over the Good Book, because, indeed no other education was needed, save what was between those pages. No other learning’ was required since college was for the rich heathens who wished to have their morals thoroughly corrupted.

Unlike Ma on Little House, our Santorum Stepford wife, will be having a babe on the hip every year or two. Like the typical mother in the 1870’s, our perfect Santorum mom will end up with at least 10 children, unless she is unfortunate enough (or fortunate enough, depending on your view) to die of birth complications before her mission is accomplished. Health care is an option only for the wealthy in our perfect Santorum world, since the government no longer assists our hearty pioneers in any activity of a personal nature. Contraception is outlawed and if the little lady isn’t holding an aspirin between the knees to prevent yet another babe coming into the world, then it is her duty to have as many as nature and God choose to bestow upon her. Those who choose abortion or even contraception will be imprisoned, leaving the Head of Household free to take up with a more acquiescent mate.

If this bucolic scene is reminding you of current day cults of ex Mormon fundamentalists minus the polygamy, then you are envisioning Rick’s idea of heaven on earth. The little woman doesn’t work outside the home; it might give her big ideas, and anyway it’s a bit difficult to have a career with a dozen little ones at home. Yes, it’s true that the Amish have a similar lifestyle but there is one huge difference; they have a choice of whether or not to join the church and live as their fore bearers did. In Santorum’s perfect world, there is no freedom of choice for women. The men will control our bodies and when they control our bodies, they will also control our minds. Since our only profession will be educating our children and having as many of them as possible, surely there will be no need for us to vote. that pesky 19th Amendment, was pushed through by uppity womenfolk who didn’t know their proper place, so let’s eliminate it.

Unfortunately for Rick, however, we ladies do still have the right to protest, and the right to vote. Come November, we will not be voting for Rick, or for any other candidate that believes that the government has the right to determine the fate of women without consulting them. If you think I’m just being optimistic, look at what has happened recently. The Koman Foundation, after a right-wing takeover, attempted to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood and the enraged outcry from women was so loud that Komen backpedaled. Their reputation is ruined of course, and their pink-ribbon endorsed products will no longer grace the shelves of many females who previously saw them as an organization benignly focused on funding the cure for breast cancer. In Virginia, women were so incensed over the religious-right governor’s proposal to invade women’s bodies with probes if they dared to consider self- determination, that he quickly recanted and then stated he had no idea what was in the law he proposed. Now it looks like the power of women is such that his high hopes for an invitation to become a vice-presidential candidate have been destroyed. Listen up, Santorum wannabes; sisterhood still is powerful. Your attempts to send us scurrying back to the days of my great-grandmothers will only end in defeat for you. My advice is to get off the woman-hating political bandwagon before we ladies send you to the coal cellar with a swift broom to your backside, where you will have plenty of time to ponder your political exile.

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Using My secret Decoder Badge

In Uncategorized on January 24, 2012 at 11:40 pm

I remember the 1950’s when children could get secret decoder badges from Captain Midnight and the Secret Squadron. All you had to do was cut out the paper covering over your jar of Ovaltine (drink of power for little investigators) and send it straight to the Captain and he would send you the badge, free of charge. Oh, wondrous day when that prize appeared in your mailbox and you could finally interpret the mysterious messages that Captain wanted to send you over the little black and white TV your parents owned.

Move ahead in time by about 60 years, and we find a new captain and new secret messages, but where is our decoder badge? Captain Newt Midnight and his Secret Squadron, want you to understand their secret codes, but they forgot the decoder apparatus, leaving it to the “elite media” (myself) to do the decoding for you.

When Captain Newt gets on the airwaves he likes to refer to the “food stamp president.” The decoded message he wants to convey is that President Obama wants to give away the nation’s wealth to the poor and to racial minorities, no doubt because he is also a racial minority and because his mother, during one difficult time period, collected food stamps.

Caption Newt also likes to say that “poor children lack a work ethic” by which he intends his audience to know that the poor and non-lily white among us don’t get ahead in life because they are lazy. He intends to remedy this situation by putting our school’s hard- working custodians out of business and turning over the cleaning and minor repairs to the the children in poor schools. Of course if you you attend a tax enriched school district, you could stay in the classroom and learn. However, if you are one of the deserving poor, there is no need for you to learn much at all, since you will grow up and become a recipient of food stamps, while your counterparts on the Main Line go to Harvard and Yale.

The Captain informs us that President Obama adheres to a “Kenyan anti-colonial worldview.” We certainly need our decoder badges to understand this statement. Kenya is in Africa and Africans are black people. An anti-colonial worldview means that black people must have a chip on their shoulders against the whites who came unbidden to their county and proceeded to act as though the country weren’t already owned. Therefore, we are supposed to understand that our President has a vendetta against Caucasians, never mind that his mother was Caucasian and that he barely remembers his father.

Newt likes to refer to those ideas and activities that are “fundamentally alien to the American tradition.” That means that if the founding fathers didn’t come up with the idea, that we shouldn’t favor it either. That includes gay marriage, Medicare, Social Security, a woman’s right to own her body, and tacos and the people who eat them.

The Captain speaks of the “radical European socialist agenda” of Mr. Obama. By this, he means to say that Europeans enjoy universal health care, among other humane benefits of a civilized society. Newt fails to mention that when someone isn’t covered by health insurance and needs to go to the emergency room, that the taxpayers pay for that person’s care anyway.

Captain Newt and the Secret Squadron are happy to tap into the underlying resentment that a certain portion of the Republican party has towards the poor and the racial minorities. They know, however, that they can’t come right out and say exactly what they mean because that would be too overtly classist and racist, so they use euphemisms that skirt just on the edge of the unacceptable. They know their intended audience will “get it” and indeed they do, judging by the uproarious applause they produce when he coyly opines his views to his chosen people.

It was most interesting for me to learn that more than 20 years ago, Newt wrote a booklet on the effective uses of propaganda that he sent out to his fellow Republicans. The title of the booklet was “Language, a Key Mechanism of Control.” This missive told what positive words and phrases to use when running for office and referring to yourself, and it highlighted the negative language to use when you want to refer to your opponents. Some of the words to use when you speak of your worthiness to hold office, are flag, liberty, hard work, and prosperity, but when it comes to anyone who is running against you, you must make sure to say they are anti-(flag, family, jobs) as well as use words such as liberal, radical, and collapse. The National Teachers of English were so impressed with the booklet that they awarded it the Doublespeak Award of 1990. I believe that we can agree that Newt retrieved this gem from his attic, dusted it off, and has found it very useful here in 2012.