31 December 2012

As 2012 Ends

Year end is when many of us look back and try to make some sense of the year, and those with more bravery than brains forecast the coming year's trends and events. I think I shall join the fray. My few readers know that bravery ahead of caution is sort of my motto.

First a few things from the year.

Mr. Obama won. The scope of the victory is almost as stunning as the effort of Speaker Boehner to ignore it. More Americans voted for Democrats than Republicans in the congressional election. They continue to hold the House only because of districting. We have a word for that, "gerymandering." Both parties engage in it, this time it favored the Tea Party.

Watching the do-less-than-the-do-nothing Congress slither out of town can teach us lessons. One is that John Boehner is a really bad Speaker. Another, a lesson he has apparently not learned, is that political cowardice is not a virtue.

2012 is the year the secular culture began to notice that the influence of the fundygelical megachurch movement is waning. This is good news in terms of government. In terms of the increasing distance between Americans and Christianity, perhaps it is mixed news.

2012 was the year that efforts of the wacky right wing to revive and extend McCarthyism using huge amounts of money, and lots of advertising smarts to buy the country failed. Americans said no. Even when confronted with the shadowy campaign to "take back America" with its racist code-worded sub-text: they failed. Women won all over the country, so too ethnic minorities, and homosexuals. In State after State, the repression agenda has begun to fall as determined campaigns for marriage equality win.

In the American intellectual contests, the blithe, bigoted assumption that the Evangelicals own Christianity and conservatism confronted two deadly weapons, truth and logic. "The Bible" an interesting two word phrase meant to impose a selective interpretation, has become an Evangelical problem. Nowhere does it not say we all should carry .223 rifles to school, assert white male privilege, preach homophobia, or control women. Oops.

Frank Schaeffer and others have begun detailing the thirty year conspiracy to impose a theocratic ethic on America, and horribly on Central Africa. 2012 was the year the homophobic preaching of some evangelicals in Africa bore ugly, despicable fruit. Persecution of lesbians and gays in Uganda, Nigeria and across the region is increasingly not merely acceptable, it is the law. Americans claiming to love Jesus helped create this situation. They should study Jesus's comments on millstones.

What of 2013? It is clear to me that the wacka-doodle-right knows it has lost. It still has however two elements of power, a lot of money and what we Americans call a. "bully pulpit." The Christmas sermons of among others the Pope are interesting indicators. When the Roman Church has to use Christmas to make political arguments, it becomes clear that the church knows it has lost the ear of the faithful. Perhaps that is the price for harboring child abusers.

2013 should be interesting. We will be looking back up the, "fiscal cliff" here in the States. Internationally, the war in Afghanistan should end at least for American and NATO. I doubt it will end for the Afghans.

The tablet war will dominate technology I think. If merit has anything to do with it, Apple, Kindle and Nook will dominate.

My thoughts as the year ends, and another begins. Happy New Year!

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