The Great Depression, hobos and kittehs


Today is my day off and this is your open thread.

But first, let’s talk about the new “Austerity Header” our own Freedom Fairy designed for us. Freedom Fairy and I had discussed how people are tightening their belts, eliminating unnecessary things,  and making life simpler and therefore less expensive.  So she did what she does best:  she translated our thoughts into the Perfect Header. Thus, our Austerity Header was born.

When I saw the kitty on the header, I immediately was reminded of the symbol for “Kind woman lives here” that Hobos left on places like fences and other property areas during the Great Depression. Hobos helped one another out by leaving messages for the next hobo who came by. They used a piece of chalk to let other hobos know good (or bad) things about the people who “live here”.

The kitteh in Freedom Fairy’s Austerity Header bears a remarkable resemblence to the kitteh Hobos drew back on those days. The irony rests in the fact that Freedom Fairy had no idea exactly how symbolic her Austerity Header really  was. She had never heard of the Hobo cat symbol. This makes her work all the more delightful and perceptive, doesn’t it? How lucky we are to have our Freedom Fairy!

When our very astute albeit unacceptably “lurky” member kqb29 brought up the fact that our header kitteh looks a lot like the Hobo Cat, I thought it would be a good time to show you the symbols hobos drew with their chalk during their travels. And now, kqb29, you can’t lurk any longer. We know you are here and we appreciate you.



90 Responses

  1. The only “hobo” I’ve had come to my door is a cat. It’s tame, but wants a fight with my cat (neutered male). I’m trying to find out whether it’s been dumped or has a home. It comes in the evening – serenaded us several times last night.
    I believe the humane society is getting more pets during these hard times.

  2. Kindhearted Lady lives here. More appropriate “words” were never spoken, FF!

    I guess that goes to show you that kittehs have always represented what’s good and kind.

    I never knew about the Hobo code before, but perhaps it’s time we all learned it (just in case…)

  3. You just prompted warm memories of my late mother-in-law/best friend. She often spoke of the hobo’s that came to the back door during the Depression, and in the years after. She would bring the fellow in, sit him down at the kitchen table and give him a cup of coffee and a meal in exchange for his stories. She thought of those days as wonderful times when ” people did right by one another.” Now I wonder if that same spirit will rise in this country when we need it.

  4. Maybe we need to suggest the “Good for a Handout” symbol for Obama’s ongoing Campaign.

  5. Thanks for the article Uppity….And I like the Header. I did a whole series of paintings using the HOBO Alphabet to chronicle the oddessy of the year my kid and I wandered without a home ( I had a small paperback of symbols with a chapter of the alphabet which I felt a particular affinity to because of our circumstance.

  6. First off, I L*O*V*E your new header.

    As a self-employed artist who is currently twiddling my thumbs while clients procrastinate whether to spend on that new mural or not, I’m having a little anxiety about this. How much more can I possibly downsize?

    Just got a new commission yesterday, but I wonder if my last job was really my last job…..

    I guess it’s time for Plan B: Don’t be surprised if I move from the North East to the South West to begin my new career as a Rodeo clown…….

  7. Right back at ya Anthony. My wife and I are commercial photographers who have been forced to branch off into graphic design, vinyl signage, faux interior painting, handmade ceramic tile, and now a stained glass project for one of our photography clients. You do what you’ve got to do.

  8. Good morning and Ouch. Called out by UW herself for lurking habits. Apologies all around and a promise to share more often.

    My parents (born in the early and mid 30s) often relate stories of strangers that came to the door for food, help, a place to stay in the upper midwest. They were near the Rock Island Rail Road line so I imagine folks came from everywhere. Knowing my grandmother, there were quite a few kitties drawn on the fence nearby.

  9. Very weird – couldn’t comment, then other comments appear? Probably some weird user error on my part. Ugh. Technology! Happy Saturday!

  10. Not to worry kqb29, just the usual side effects of “delurkification”, it will wear off with continued posts 😉

  11. k, delurkification is a permanent condition. Should you lapse, we come to get you with a hook.:)

    As for not being able to post at a thread. It happens now and then. Sometimes it’s caused by a condition known as “Who the hell knows?”.. Do not let it deter you, because, after all, the hook can be embarrassing.

  12. You crack me up. Message received, all.

  13. Anthony, Freedom Fairy is a muralist too.

  14. This is fascinating.I have heard many stories over the years from my Depression-Era Grandma of “hobos’ coming to the door looking for work/food, but I’ll have to ask her if she or her family ever found any signs of “tagging” by said hobos.

    Rose Wilder Lane wrote childhood stories of hobos hopping off the railroad that ran right in back of her house in Mansfield, Missouri, and coming to the back door looking for a meal. Her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, wouldn’t always want to share their food, but Almanzo would insist that she do so. She had several interesting stories about conversations they had with these men. Would have been interesting to know if their property was “hobo-tagged” as well.

    Food for thought this sunny Saturday morn. Thanks for sharing this, UW.

  15. The only “hobo” I’ve had come to my door is a cat. It’s tame, but wants a fight with my cat (neutered male).

    Did the cat have a piece of chalk with him by any chance?

  16. Very neat–loved the illustration…

  17. Awesome. So moving. So on time. Americana lives here.

    Happy Saturday.

  18. happy saturday,all,the sun is trying to get thru those clouds.
    watching for the robins to come back…

  19. Foxy, the robins are already back north of Buffalo. Saw one yesterday, as well as several cardinals and a whole slew of finches. Yet it’s still quite cold. A good omen, hopefully.

    Anthony, are you now writing at
    If so, I stumbled across the site this morning, and was moved to bookmark it. Very nice, and it has Uppity and Sugar on the blogroll. If it is you, well done!

  20. The slanguage at a 30’s era hobo diner would be fascinating.

  21. Happy Saturday.

  22. Uppity Woman, on February 28th, 2009 at 12:21 PM Said:

    I didn’t notice. I will look for chalk marks/drawings outside. 🙂

  23. What a fun post! My Mom grew up in Ok City in the 30’s & told us lots of hobo stories, but not the code. I love it…its sort of hieroglyphics-ish.

    It looks like Spring is here in socal. Its been warm the last two days, the critters are coming down to eat on our patio & I saw my first hummingbird.

    Thanks FF & kqb29! Uppity, I hope you have a great weekend off! And to all of you of course!

  24. HT-
    “Anthony, are you now writing at the sibyl speaks”

    Yes, I decided to start my own little blog and post when the spirit moves me.

    Thanks for the good words, and thanks for bookmarking it. It saves me from going crazy

  25. UW-
    We ‘muralists’ (never to be confused with ‘moralists’) are certainly around….

    Does Freedom Fairy want to be a Rodeo clown with me too? It could be a gas…..

    I figure if things get worse, we can all hitch hike to Wyoming and force the Cheney’s to put a roof over our heads (would serve them right)

  26. If a rodeo clown were to turn up at the Cheney ranch in Wyoming looking for food, betcha there’d be a chalk drawing that looks kinda like a sideways feather with a cross to its right…

  27. Anthony, brilliant. I normally lurk (it took Uppity a year and several threats of physical violence to lure me out once in awhile), so you’ve got a new regular.
    Uppity and regulars, you should check out his site. It’s rather good IMHO.

    BTW, do rodeo clowns make a living wage? Just wondering, cause ye olde pension is being whittled away due to failing (used to be secure) investments and rising prices. I can roll with the rest of them, and even though I’m freedom 55 poor plus four, I am still fairly limber. Also, with the administration’s attitude toward seniors and women, I’d be a terrific addition to any show involving potential mutilation and death.

  28. Sorry folks, but I’m not giving in so fast. This bastard has only been in the White House for a month and people are already settling into a Depression-era mentality. This is exactly what he wants us to do, what he’s forcing us to do. I WILL NOT BE COERCED BY OBAMA OR ANYONE ELSE.

    A month ago we were a land of plenty–for those who would work for it. Now suddenly we’re in a scarcity mold of thinking and referring to the Depression as the good old days. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Using the Alinsky method of fear, panic ,and confusion, 0 is not leading or guiding this country–he is community organizing it, from Congress to Main Street

    Resist! Look into those Tea Parties springing up across the country. Join with like-minded friends and figure out how to fight this usurping son of a bitch.

  29. Mary, I swear to you, after watching that Conservative convention, those guys sound like an even worse deal! Good God! They have no alternative solutions to ANYTHING.

  30. Since it’s my day off and I can’t post, just want you all to know that Obama picked Sebelius as HHS secretary. I’m glad at least that it’s a woman because they tend to have more of a heart than a guy like Daschle, whose book suggests we let people die.

  31. Like I keep saying UW, both parties SUCK! In general they are just looking out for themselves not the public. There are exceptions, but after a few years in DC they become just a corrupt as the rest.

  32. If you aren’t making 250k you might not get payroll tax increase……..but wait till you see the new taxes on your gas and electric bills. And gas taxes. And now, the new vogue, MILEAGE tax. I am working on a pice on it. MASS wants to charge people for miles they drive. And you know the feds will latch on to that. And now comes the candy tax and the general sugar food tax under the pretense of your “Health”.

    The states are going to scew us royally looking for money.

    We are all so screwed.

  33. Yup, DE. Did you see some of those speeches? Basically their answer is F**k Everybody and eat cake. It was George Bush on steroids.

  34. UW

    Of course both political parties stink. My comment is not about them. It’s about me. I just refuse to develop a scarcity mentality a month into this know-nothing bastard’s administration.

    Maybe it’s because there was no nostalgia in my family regarding the depression. My mother told me about how she walked on the pavement because she couldn’t afford to have her worn-out shoe sole repaired, and about days when she had nothing to eat except onion sandwiches.

    So, no, though widespread want may have brought out the best in some people, I don’t see the Depression as a kindly gentler time. I will resist to the best of my ability. And if that means making an alliance with knee-jerk Conservatives for the time being , then that’s what I’ll do.

  35. Anthony, DE, and others! A call to arms, fer sure….

    I say we ALL go to Clown College – paid for by Barky. He SAID he wants ALL Americans to commit to a year, at least, of “higher edukatshun” and he would foot the bill.

    I say, right on!

    Sarasota, where Clown College is, is lovely this time of year, and of course, we would have to have a nice place to live as well.

    Then we could all graduate, make our OWN troup, join the Clown Union, and demand the highest prices around. Venerable institutions like Ringling Brothers and the Texas Rodeo would be FORCED to hire us. And since we would be Union, we could take lots of long breaks, get paid a lot, and sue someone for full benefits if we happened to be put in harm’s way in front of a nasty Bull or a progue elephant.

    Then, we retire and get disability for ever, all paid for by the Government (um, Union).

    What a life! Long live Barky!

    Ya in?

    Beats workin ‘!

  36. Mary, I understand your concern absolutely, and I may joke about becoming a clown, yet it’s true about my pension not covering the higher taxes and higher living costs. Although I do receive a Cola, it’s applied haphazardly, meaning it’s the decision of the owners whether it will be given, meaning, it’s not a given.
    In terms of my own responses, today, I’m okay. I’m supporting three other adults, and we have a roof and nutricious food, so we are fortunate. However, that is today and the way the economy is deep sixing, I have no idea about where we’ll be six months from now. It is a very uncertain time, which is why satire and laughter is the only way to get past the nervousness and continue to function without fear. My comments, and those of others about poverty recipes, alternate jobs etc, is an attempt IMHO to get some humor out of this rather unfathomable situation. I love the poverty recipes, because my daughter has so many allergies it’s not funny, and a couple of the recipes are right up her alley. I love the grow veggies, because I love gardening, and it’s terrific to learn others’ secrets about growing vegetables. Most of all, I love the irreverance of the commenters making off the wall suggestions. It’s fun, and it lightens the gut wrenching feeling of impending doom. It doesn’t mean that any one of us will go down without a fight.

    FF, I’m with you. Last year I would have considered that I would never be considered for such a position, but, as mentioned previously, with osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and being female, I should be a primo attraction, considering the attitude towards females and oldsters. And I can’t think of any other group of people I would rather be associated with!

  37. HT – thanks for the smart writing and the warm sentiment!

    As for this

    “with osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and being female, I should be a primo attraction”

    i tell ya something sister – we can have a TWINS act! ROFL!

    “the crippled clown sisters”


    OK now, I’m off to bed.

    xoxox to ALL


  38. HT,

    I beg anybody’s pardon if I offended. I did not mean to be flippant or to trivialize the genuine concerns of financially burdened Americans. And I am second to none in my admiration for those who employ humor to deal with crisis. Nor am I accusing any here of caving.

    Perhaps what I’m saying is I’m not as adaptable as many here, or I’m not ready to concede my country, my way of life, and whatever degree of comfort I enjoy because 0 is playing the bogeyman.

    I know that if I think all is lost, it will be.

  39. Oh Mary I don’t disagree. I have no intention of participating. I am not going to spend either. nor do I want that “credit” that only fools think is a “lifeblood” of an economy. Credit is a lifeblood of debt and nothing else. Fortunately, I already knew that long ago. I will survive even with my near dead 401k. It will come back and when it does I will be waiting for it. Till then, I will get by and nobody is going to make me not look out for ME. I will not participate in this folly. Everything about it tells any sensible, responsible person that it cannot endure. We are only putting off the inevitable and nothing more. They can open up all the credit they want, and I can tell you that only the stupidist amongst us will go for it. The rest have already pulling in their horns. Savers are considered a “Problem” you know. I mean this. they want credit not savings. Savers don’t care if they are a “problem”. They may be a “problem” but they aren’t stupid. And that is why they were savers to begin with. When you own two and you can only pay for one, you are the fool, not the person who can afford two and bought one.

  40. FF they are going to LOVe tomorrow’s open thread. Wink……….wiink.

  41. Mary, on my way to bed, but just had to check in one more time. You didn’t offend anyone, not at all. You expressed a concern about what you perceved in various comments. You weren’t flippant, nor did you trivialize nor any of those other things.
    You are adaptable, you are just very angry,as are we all. No one here is ready to concede their country, or way of life. You need to vent. We all do. So vent away. Some of us vent by talking about becoming Rodeo clowns, as ridiculous as that may be. We all vent in our own way, and bless Uppity, she has provided us with a safe haven wherein we all feel free to express ourselves in whatever way we are inclined, as long as we don’t abuse her rules. We all have our own very personal reactions to the current situation. Fortunately, we all have been around for while, and understand the frustrations. You have not maligned anyone, simply expressed your frustration.

    FF, Crippled Clown is so not politically correct. – crippled yaknow. How about Haggard Hags – so appropriate with the age and sex, doncha see.

  42. We will always be here to help you adapt, Mary. So there.

  43. “When you own two and you can only pay for one, you are the fool, not the person who can afford two and bought one.”


    Thank you I believe this is the best definition of being financially responsible I’ve ever encountered. I remember you want saying, “My brilliant mothe” used to say that those who cannot manage their money when they are poor will be able to manage when the rich.” Methinks ,UW, that the apple but not fall far from the tree.

  44. Oh so true, UW. Let us live within our means lest we become possessed by our possessions.

    I’m one of the lucky ones, and I do know it: All my life, whatever I’ve had has been enough.

  45. edit, Mary @ 10:07

    those who cannot manage their money when they are poor will NOT be able to manage it when they are rich.

  46. “We will always be here to help you adapt, Mary. So there.”

    Thank you ever so. I’ll let you know if and when it’s time.

  47. I’m going to try to put this in a non-offensive way. CPAC notwithstanding, how does the Republican Party go forward in such a way as to not alienate their base or PUMAs who may be slightly inclined to support them.

    From my perspective, there is only so much give left in the GOP. Republicans like Specter, Collins and Snowe voted for the pork bill, but they are also social liberals that make them electable in what would otherwise be Democratic districts. Frankly, those kinds of Republicans are on the rank and file’s shit list right now.

  48. My mother used to tell the story that hobos, or proto-Acorn voters, used to stop by her father’s house for dinner & her grandma’s house for dessert & coffee. My father was skeptical that hobos were allegedly so organized. Nobody in my family was aware of the thread header hobo hieroglyphics to settle the dispute.

  49. re: DE: “Like I keep saying UW, both parties SUCK! In general they are just looking out for themselves not the public. There are exceptions, but after a few years in DC they become just a corrupt as the rest.”

    Somewhat along the same vein, did any PUMAs participate in various city tea parties, or was that exclusively a GOP thing?

  50. P4, it’s so sweet that you ask. I really mean this. I know you come here day in and day out and I am sometimes rough on republicans, like I am on democrats. It’s just how I feel. Without a party.

    I’ll be honest with you. When people invite a major pig like Rush Limbaugh to be their star speaker, they are already in trouble. Recently this swine asked what he had to do got “get the women”. Well he can’t get the women to follow him because he i s a misogynistic swine. In fact, he is such an offensive man that he doesn’t even know it any longer. I could cite specifics but I don’t think you need them. In fact, I started a lengthy post about that but didn’t post it because I didn’t want to offend you and the other good republicans who come here.

    Then there’s this revival of Newt, who is a BRILLIANT analyst. His take on the bailouts was right on target as far as I could see. And he’s very very smart. But he has already shown America that when he is given power, it goes to his head in a terrible and heartless way. To revive him as a potential candidate is a huge mistake. I know people who RAN out of the R party because he was such a horrible leader. His arrogance tanked the party once already, remember?

    My real question is, why aren’t your leaders more like you are? They are plastic, cold, calculated people whose answer to every issue that is blaring in our faces is: Tough shit. They have no heart and they appear to have no more soul that the left cliffers. I get a sense that the only reason they are even trying to act human is because their party is in the crapper. While they complain loudly and are even telling the truth in some cases, nobody is listening. And the reason nobody is listening is because they were just as arrogant, corrupt and snotty and fiscally irresponsible when they were in power as the Democrats are now. They aren’t believable and they have NO solutions other than to do nothing. So to the mass public, even doing the wrong thing is better than doing nothing.

    To keep the PUMAs they are going to have to let go of the social fascism. They are going to have to stop picking on gays, berating women, minding everybody’s sexual business and pushing God every two seconds. And I don’t think that they can or will do that. They just don’t have a centrist bone in their bodies. The other thing I don’t think it’s possible for them to do is convince people that the word “Conservative” means to them what it’s supposed to mean any longer. Most people who hear that word now think of ” Meddling Religous/Social Zealot” instead of “Fiscally Responsible”. That’s because when they WERE in charge, they WEREN’T fiscally responsible and they WERE social zealots.

    They need to find a new word to push. Conservative is now a dirty word thanks to their misuse of it. And frankly, I fear that the God -This, God-That factor is going to do Sarah in too. It’s just the way it is. It’s not that many of us aren’t spritual or even that we aren’t Christans. It’s just that we see no place for it in governing. And I don’t see that changing much.

    Of course, all of this would offend their extreme right wing, so they are going to just have to start counting up heads to determine whether they want to continue on this course or change it. Frankly, I think moving to the center would be a relief to America after this four years of welfare state are over. The independents have spoken. Given the choice between far far far righ and far far far left. they chose the left. I would imagine most women fall into that category too. It’s a matter of which devil has the most offensive horns when it comes to their own interests.

    We have to start realizing this and paying attention to the middle, to women, to gays and to anyone else that the right has rejected so handlily for so long. The Republicans had a shot at the middle with McCain and they cut off their own noses for spite. The PUMAs came though. The Religious Right did not. Next time, if the R’s attract them, they will lose most of the women AND the Independents.

    That’s just my two cents for what it’s worth.

  51. re: Freedom Fairy: Maybe we need to suggest the “Good for a Handout” symbol for Obama’s ongoing Campaign.

    I would suggest a stick figure unicorn, instead.

  52. Thanks for the Hobo lesson. Not everyone has had the benefit of parents ro toerhs imparting these fascinating lessons. A real treat today.

  53. Opps – ro toerhs = or others

  54. Gotta stop typing using that mirror, Crier. lol.

  55. WorldNUTDaily can be a little out there but the more I read your posts UP – the most some of this stuff is actually plausible:

    Be afraid.

  56. UW,

    I changed my registration to Republican in June, and I do agree with you about their need to move to the center. So long as they continue to think that Christianity and patriotism are synonymous, they will alienate disenfranchised Democrats, Independents, and perhaps moderate Republicans who really would like a political home.

  57. Rush Limbaugh articulates a vision. Messenger assassination is what got Barfy elected. No personal foibles, because he doesn’t exist.

    UW, you are talking about classic Goldwater conservatism. He was basically a libertarian. The conservative movement did not embrace religion until Reagan, who took it up beacuse of his own faith. I’m sure you would be disturbed by how much I like Reagan.

  58. Actually I made great bucks under Reagan’s fantasies so I had no complaints there. It was a regular party, actually. And he did have an endearing way about him, i’ll admit that.

    My complaint began with the blanket dumping of people on disability to see who complains. People had to fight to get back on and pay lawyers. It took months and months and months for my friend, who died in the process without her medicare. It wasn’t pretty and I wished him everything he deserved. I’m sure it was too late for plenty of people. But Reagan paid his own personal karma piper. I’ll bet his last lucid thought was about how he didn’t think Alsheimers was worthy of government grants.

    There’s really nothing wrong with embracing religion, it may surprise you that I embrace it. I just don’t think that it’s my business if somebody else doesn’t. And I don’t think it has a place in government, particularly when it begins to harm others. I don’t think that was exactly what Jesus had in mind.

  59. Mary if I switch it will be to Independent. But I am har pressed to switch because I hold out hope that this left cliff party won’t last very long. I was hoping Obama would center himself. But I see that isn’t going to happen, particularly with Nancy in charge. And she IS in charge.

    I don’t imagine the Republicans will move toward the center. It’s just not their base. I can live with it, because it’s their party, but I don’t see myself supporting it. Mccain had some centrist bones in his body, at least when it came to social issues. This is why he was unattractive to them.

  60. One other thing, P4. Notice I don’t mention abortion. This is for two reasons. One I understand both sides of that issue and two: it’s going to be moot right after Obama appoints one and possibly two Supreme Court Justices. If the Religious Right wanted to stop that, they might have rethought McCain, especially since it seemed to be the only important thing to them under the sun, regardless of economy or much of anything else. Well that and gays. They cut of their own noses to spite themselves.

  61. I tell you that Huckabee is the sweetest guy though. I mean I really like him. He has heart. Unfortunately, he would do the God is my CoPilot thing again and it just won’t fly. I know I couldn’t support him for fear of the Puritan Act again.

    I see they picked Romney as their voting choice. Interesting.

  62. Morning All!

    I don’t know if any one else is having this problem, but the FF Comments link seems to not be working.

    I have notified UW, but I am sure she is sleeping in!

    I will post a comment regarding my merchandise when it is up and running (at least for me) but I do want you all to know I will take suggestions for items, AND I PROMISE YOU the mark-up is minuscule.

    And when I end up having to pay tax on this stuff, it will be smaller than that! Cafe Press has base pricing that is rather pricey to begin with, plus shipping – so until I have $60.00 to have a “Premium Store”, this is where we are!~

    Two of my Mark-ups are UNDER $1.30 and one is under five – substantially. So, this is for fun. If it all takes off, I will do my best to keep prices LOW!

    Hope you enjoy, and no hard feelings if you don’t care to purchase!

  63. Link working now FF.

  64. UW,

    I kind of cut myself off before because there are a couple of other points. Debating abortion usually ends up being a futile effort just because both sides are arguing different things. While the Republican platform is pro life, there are a number of pro choice politicians in the party.

    As far as religion, how would you define Clinton? He was a regular churchgoer, he quoted scripture in speeches on occasion. And now we have Obama, who looks rudderless religiously, even though he’s using faith based initiatives as a back door way to fund Islamic groups.

    I don’t think all PUMAs should become Republicans. I do think that a lot of independents didn’t vote (or voted for Obama) because they saw the two candidates as basically the same on immigration and spending. And now we have Mr. Independent Lou Dobbs probably wishing that he had supported McCain since Eric Holder plans to call every gun an assualt weapon and ban gun ownership.

    Assuming there is another election, I do think it will hit the Democrats pretty hard. All those people who wanted the country to go to hell under Obama are getting their wish and it will become a rallying cry. Of course, Pelosi knows this and she plans to charge up the country’s credit card just in case.

  65. Uppity Woman, on February 28th, 2009 at 11:14 PM Said:

    Well said re today’s Republicans – and a little on the “cliff” Democrats!!!

  66. P4, you are sooooooooo right about Abortion. Frankly, I will be pleased to see it settled so that it doesn’t detreact/detour people from the other issues we so need to address.

    As I said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a religion. It brings great comfort to people who believe whatever it is they believe. I am not one of those atheists who not only think religion doesn’t belong in government, but it must go away completely. But I do agree that it has NO Place in making government business decisions. And it has no business replacing logic and the rights of the diverse. Those arguments are best left between churches. Like abortion, this is a wedge issue that detours people from things going on around them. There is something wrong with a government that spends more time concerned with who worships or doesn’t worship–or how they worship- than they spend on things like how come we are all getting poisoned by our food supply. If only they had as much fervor over food contamination as they had over whether or not a graven image that warns against graven images should be displayed in court houses!

    Rome has been burning for a long time, and the religious Neros fiddled. Then too, help and comfort to people should NOT be tied to whether or not they are willing to cooperate with a church, particularly if we are talking about Public Money here.

  67. Religion has been used as a tool to dictate politics for as long as it has been organized. I don’t expect organized religion or it’s quest for power in the secular world to go away.

    I am one of the strongest proponents for the division of church and state that I know, and have traced the insinuation of faith into politics all the way back to ancient Babylon, when the tribal leader had to invent a god that never slept, knew everything you were doing/thinking, and freely passed judgement on you through the interpretation of the tribal leader.

    The reason? The people outsmarted local law enforcement, so the leader had to come up with something that would strike fear into the hearts of the practitioners if they didn’t blindly obey

    Nothing has changed – we are still fighting wars in the name of a personal or national god (just look at the Israeli/Palestinian conflict), and the Vatican has a seat at the U.N., which really pisses me off, being a recovering Catholic for more than 30 years.

    I personally prefer to believe in nothing, which allows everything to remain a possibility Far from atheism or agnosticism, I support a realistic and respectful approach and encourage the church to govern itself and not the state.

  68. I asked at the Times the other day: Who will unwind this?

    Who will? You hate the Republicans as much as the Dems, Upps–but I don’t know what to think. They do seem a little wussy compared with the One-a-lanche!
    We need some spokesperson. Someone has to say No. No has to be not a bad thing. I read that this is the worst econ since..1982–not 1932. We didn’t need to reinterpret the Constitution, buy the banks and change the whole philosophy of the country that time. Is anyone going to call for sanity here?

  69. a recovering Catholic for more than 30 years.

    Hahahah. Me too.

  70. Star, I could “call for sanity”. But who would listen? LOL.

  71. How’d you find those?

    Uppity this is totally fab! And so is Freedom Fairy!

    Gee, well — yikes. 1 in 10 out of work out here — just in off LAT in my perusal. This truly is an era we were not expecting, were we?


    well, more tea parties are a’ comin I expect….


    Uppity2012! (the voice of SANITY) …….

    meanwhile J. Crew has LAYOFFS!
    Farrakhan is promoting “fashionability”
    and the rest of us?


    Here is the big article off LAT — I see CA as a barometer for the whole nation in a way….,0,7903208.story

  72. Upp — I just read all the comments along this and all the things you said? Me too!

    I was for McC only because he seemed reasonable?
    We are talking Baby Boom Gen — so all that religion does not work for us — I watched a portion of that conservative thing — I don’t really understand their logic, either.

    But — through FF and yourself — I know I’m in like-minded company — every time.

    hugs you, and all here……..

  73. Uppity, fascinating piece on Hobo symbology. Had no idea it existed.

    Also, an enlightening debate between UW and P4P. I agree the GOP is dead-in-the-water for the next four to eight years. How lucky can BHO get, damn him!

    Mary, you make a great point re BHO applying Alinsky jijitsu to the economic situation. No better way to seize the levers of power, over people and resources, than to convince people they’re in dire, irreparable distress, build up resentment on that score, and then direct their anger at one’s political enemies.

  74. re:UQ: “The PUMAs came though. The Religious Right did not. Next time, if the R’s attract them, they will lose most of the women AND the Independents.”

    Has anybody collected data to validate this hypothesis? I’m not entirely convinced that social conservatives are the true goats in last year’s election. My impression is that fiscal conservatives were angry when McCain signed on to the so-called stimulus/bank boondoggle bill & stayed home.

  75. Adagio, I do remember seeing some stats on that. But as you know, they are exit poll variety. Basically there was a fair number of Republicans that stayed home and it was attributed to social conservatives, the ones who didn’t fall for The One. But yup, we don’t really know if the fiscal conservatives are in that mix too. The thing is, the repubican party has an argument brewing on what Conservative means. That’s how I see it. Financial vs. Social.

  76. UW,

    There are a few factions in this fight. Most of the Republican party is fiscally conservative. The only ones who are not are the full on liberal republicans and Pat Buchanan. Social conservatism is a little different. You actually have Christian conservatives who want to express their religious values as Republican principles. Then you have the social conservaites who are kind of like fuddy-duddies.

    What do John McCain, Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal and GW Bush have in common? They are all pro-life. It would be almost impossible for a pro-choice Republican to make it past the primaries. However, you have Mitt Romney, who was on the fence and then had to definitively state he was pro-life to stay in the nomination race.

    Those four I mentioned above differ on a lot of other issues. My personal opinion is that the Republican Party needs to leave abortion as a states rights issue and focus on the Lou Dobbs’ set of core values. Protecting US borders and ports, enforcing immigration laws, protecting gun ownership rights and breaking off trade with China when they refuse to have reciprocal trade with us.

    My prediction of what will probably happen, considering the CPAC straw poll is that Mitt Romney will win the nomination in 2012. He will hoard money and fight dirty and racist and will come down on Barack Obama and the Junior Chicago mob like the hand of God. Then the conservatives will be disillusioned with him.

    Now, if you all want to have some fun in the next 4 years, register as Republicans now. If nothing else, it will scare the shit out of Obama pollsters who track these things.

  77. P4

    “Obama…using faith based initiatives as a back door way to fund Islamic groups.”

    Ding, ding, ding, ding! P4 wins the gold ring!

    I wonder how long it will take the over 40 crowd who voted for the 0 to gasp in dismay when godzilla begins wearing the veil.

  78. Palin4Prez, on March 1st, 2009 at 10:46 PM

    A keen analysis, P4, and intriguing predictions. I will keep you words in mind over the next few years.

  79. noemptysuits, on March 1st, 2009 at 4:08 PM Said:

    1. “Also, an enlightening debate between UW and P4P.”

    I agree, NES. Several times I’ve commented about
    how much I’ve learned from discussions between UW and P 4.

    2. “the GOP is dead-in-the-water for the next four to eight years.”

    Perhaps the 2010 elections nationwide will show a developing pro-Republican trend. Remember, the 0 commented about his and Nancy’s Spendulous Bill 1 trillion is a good beginning. During Congress will need to hit very very hard at the Democratic drunken spending spree.

    3. re: BHO applying Alinsky jijitsu to the economic situation…[panic and anger them]. then, direct their anger at one’s political enemies.”

    Just as this economic crisis was manufactured by the New World order people to whom 0 is a front, so will be the creation of the causal agent. Very soon, I fear, it will not be Bush was the source of our economic troubles, but the Jews. In fact, the opening salvo occurred one of the religious TV networks two days after the election: “The Jews are only 2% of the population but ” they are dominant in banking and among Wash, DC lawyers.

    I’ll warrant that for his $50 billion, Madoff agreed to be the Exhibit #1.

  80. NES,

    The Cloward-Piven model for the manufactured crisis appears in their 1984 book Roots to Power: A Manual for Grassroots Organizing . a kind of secondary Bible for Alinsky-ites like the great community organizer.

  81. UW,

    I understand why a lot of people reregistered as Independents, but since I would not at this time throw away my vote on a third-party candidate, I decided to become part of a statistical trend that might frighten the Obamacratic party.

    At the same time, I somehow don’t see myself getting into the ultra right wing preoccupation with interpretations of and other people’s sex lives. But I can tell you that I’ve grown to really despise the Liberals (capital L). They have gone from being humanitarians to rigid, dogmatic, self-applauding prigs. And the sad –and very frightening–truth is that they have become idolaters, wallowing in the cult of personality. Jonah Goldberg’s description of Liberal Fascism seems right on.

  82. edit Mary @ 2:41 AM

    interpretations of Scripture

  83. Just caught the error in my name and fixed it

  84. NES,

    My two comments to you or loss because of
    an error if in my name box. I’m too tuckered out to reproduce them now. Maybe UW will be merciful fish me out of spam.

  85. UW,

    Will you kindly fish my responsesto NES out of spam?
    ((Error in Name which landed me there is now corrected.) Thanks.

  86. re: Palin4Prez:”My prediction of what will probably happen, considering the CPAC straw poll is that Mitt Romney will win the nomination in 2012. He will hoard money and fight dirty and racist and will come down on Barack Obama and the Junior Chicago mob like the hand of God. Then the conservatives will be disillusioned with him.”

    Hmmm…It’s possible, but Romney was only a one term governor & couldn’t win the Republican primary last year. He only gained traction when he campaigned in Michigan & he campaigned as a protectionist populist, versus pro-NAFTA McCain.

  87. Palin4Prez:My personal opinion is that the Republican Party needs to leave abortion as a states rights issue

    Leaving abortion as a state’s right issue would entail overturning Roe v Wade & is considered by many to be a rather radical, rightwing position. Admittedly, the US has the most radical abortion laws. Most European countries outlaw abortion in the 3rd trimester.

  88. re: Uppity Woman: Adagio, I do remember seeing some stats on that. But as you know, they are exit poll variety. Basically there was a fair number of Republicans that stayed home and it was attributed to social conservatives, the ones who didn’t fall for The One. But yup, we don’t really know if the fiscal conservatives are in that mix too. The thing is, the repubican party has an argument brewing on what Conservative means. That’s how I see it. Financial vs. Social.

    It’s possible that social conservatives are responsible for McCain’s loss (or McCain is responsible for McCain’s loss). I just think that it is prudent to have actual factual data versus speculation in order to develop a winning strategy. My impression is that social conservatives often volunteer for phone banks & go door to door & usually get very little in return (again, Roe v Wade hasn’t been overturned & probably never will). The only thing GWBush seemed to do for them is limit (not entirely outlaw) stem cell research & ban partial birth abortions.

  89. adagioforstrings,

    Abortion is a de facto states rights issue. Trimester based laws vary by state. Consent laws vary by state. Access to family planning varies greatly by state. Making abortion entirely a state issue would require overturning Roe v. Wade, but there are individual regulations involved. Again, not a big political winner, either.

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