Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics


Nurse Kelley Sez: It Wasn’t Supposed To Be Like This

My maternal grandfather (1889-1966) was a racist. You won’t read that in his obituary, of course; they only talked about his “noted and controversial” legal career and the fact that he was a Big Cheese in the Roman Catholic laity, honored by two popes. I have the actual cutting from The Houston Chronicle in front of me, still in good condition, so I know there is no mention of his activities with the John Birch Society, his clandestine support of the KKK, or his nightly dinner table diatribes about “those Colored people.” I’m sure he thought his three daughters were thoroughly and safely indoctrinated.

One of those daughters, my mother, went to Rice Institute at the age of fifteen and fell in love with an engineering student from Colorado. Daddy was also the liberal son of liberal, activist parents, and by the time they were married, they were making monthly contributions to the NAACP.

My earliest memories of the Civil Rights protests are not bad ones. When I pulled my head out of my childhood ass and asked questions about what I was seeing on TV, my parents reassured me. They were part-time activists in Texas, fighting to get the hated Poll Tax revoked, registering voters, and monitoring what went on at the polls for the League of Women Voters. “Don’t worry about it,” they told me. “We’re going to make sure things change.” I was proud of them, and proud of the accomplishments of JFK and LBJ.

In January, 1977, I adopted a beautiful baby boy. He was a biracial infant (literally Black Irish) and I was a single white woman. The only thing considered remarkable about the adoption was the fact that this was the first time a single parent was allowed to adopt a baby in Harris County, TX. When someone asked me if I worried about racism I, in a moment of appalling ignorance, said no. “It’s just a matter of time,” I said. “We got the laws changed; hearts and minds will follow.”

Well. Of course it wasn’t long before the crap started. My co-workers decided there was no need to have a baby shower for “that” baby. I ended up buying a gun when I received anonymous threats on his life. Certain white people would see me with him in stores and I could tell their minds made the jump from a pretty brown baby to the mother in bed with a Black man. I later learned that my oldest friend, who often went with me to the grocery store, would sometimes follow those staring, judgmental racists and, when I was out of sight, demand, “Just what the hell do you think you’re staring at?!”

Fortunately, everyone who took the time to get to know Michael fell in love with him. Certain family members who had been using the N-word behind closed doors began calling and asking me to bring him to their homes. I kept him in the same racially diverse neighborhood for most of his childhood, attending schools with children of many racial and cultural backgrounds. Not all hearts and minds may have changed, but we chose to live our lives with people who saw sweetness, not color.

My son grew up, got his degree, and married his college sweetheart, a young woman whose parents came from the Philippines. Their bloodlines produced a breathtakingly beautiful son six years ago, and they continue to live productive lives in their community in North Texas.

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That photo, taken last Christmas, doesn’t include the most recent addition to our family. A second son was born in June:

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150 Years in Yosemite: Those Who Kill

As we celebrate 150 years of protecting Yosemite National Park, we have to look closer at how it became ours in the first place.

The name itself — Yosemite — is a slur. It is a Miwok word that means “Those Who Kill.” Sometimes it’s translated as “Some of Them Are Killers,” and it refers to the Ahwanhee people who’d lived in the valley for centuries before the US government ordered its evacuation and later created a national recreation area under the Yosemite Grant Act. But the people who lived there weren’t killers. They just lived in a valley that our government wanted to use for entertaining dignitaries.

That is the untold story of Yosemite National Park.  

What’s to Prevent Segregation in the Post-Hobby Lobby World?

I am not talking just racial segregation here, but all forms of segregation.  So long as it is a sincerely-held religious belief and separate but equal facilities are provided, what is there to stop a closely-held corporation from imposing segregation post-Hobby Lobby?

Imagine there is an owner who believes, as a matter of sincerely-held religious beliefs, that the sexes should not mix, what is there to prevent that owner from establishing separate aisles in his or her store and separate checkout lines so long as the aisles are identical, there are an equal number of checkout lines and those checkout lines are always equally staffed.  What exists to prevent that owner from establishing that system?

What if the owner of such a closely-held corporation has such beliefs except that instead of the sexes mixing, he or she believes that it is whites and non-whites that should not mix?

What if the owner believes that members of his or her religion should not mix with members of another religion?

Where, exactly, will this all end?

There is a reason for generally-applicable laws.  There are reasons that in certain instances persons can receive religious exemptions.  Persons, however, are not for-profit corporations that are created with the primary purpose of making money.  If we were discussing religious employers here, then, yes, I could see why there can and should be a carve out.  However, we are discussing for-profit corporations.

The logic put forward today by the Supreme Court has no end.  Just as it easily justified the idea that men and women should be treated differently when it comes to the provision of their health care, it can be used to justify differential and/or separate treatment for all different groups.

300 Schoolgirls

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300 schoolgirls.  300 schoolgirls.  300 schoolgirls…stolen from their classrooms, kidnapped by men.  300 schoolgirls kidnapped by men who have publicly announced their intention to sell them as slaves.  To sell them into slavery.  To sell them to men who would rape them and terrorize them into drudgery.  No more school.

This morning I kissed my daughters as they went off to school.  I didn’t remember the 300 schoolgirls waiting to be sold.  I didn’t remember them until I read a headline on a left-wing blog and I think I know why.  And it’s the ugliest of reasons.  It’s a reason I only impute to others in the most severe situations.  It’s the reason that people were stolen from Africa and sold into slavery for centuries.  It’s the reason that stands behind slavery, murder, torture, humiliation, lynching.  It’s the reason that 6 million members of my own community were exterminated.  Racism.

Comeback of the Hitler Youth haircut worries Jewish and progressive groups fearing intolerance

(Written by an American expat living in the European Union)

I understand the Daily Kos is a serious online community where important progressive issues of the day are discussed. So why am I writing a diary about (yes you guessed it!) hairstyles! Well, quietly some would say insidiously a Nazi haircut known as the Hitler Youth haircut has made a comeback (with 74,000 hits in Google) according to urban legend from German speaking rural Switzerland to becoming a global presence. This has alarmed Jewish groups around the world to the point where they have began voicing concern at the rise of intolerance and anti-semitism that is coming back to haunt Europe in this 100th anniversary year of world war 1, which is 75 years from the end of world war 2. Now recently just last week these fears were realized by the populist Swiss SVP party in an anti-European immigration referendum passed by a majority of Swiss voters. I wrote a diary on that very issue (not that anyone actually read it) entitled “Switzerland far right party of hate declares war on European immigration”.


When fashion is allowed to favorably reflect on the Nazi period in terms that put that history in a favorable light then something has happened in Europe and around the world that we need to take notice of. As the old saying would have it, all that needs to happen for evil to triumph is for good people to sit by and do nothing. This last century saw not one, but two world wars come and go, with a warning, which is for those of us who aren’t prepared to learn from history are therefore doomed to repeat it. Clearly the history of World War one and two is something that America can ill afford not to learn the lessons of.

What is in a haircut any way? It’s just a fashion statement isn’t it? The Hitler Youth haircut. Well, sure it’s just a haircut but more to the point it’s an idea that people want to look like that again. It’s a look associated with historical intolerance. It’s a look that was associated with the Holocaust, the destruction of Europe and the pain and suffering of millions, that now is being celebrated in making a comeback as a fashion statement in our neighborhoods and schools and on the fashion pages and even on the silver screen. The Hitler Youth haircut is back in the limelight and it’s coming to a shopping mall near you!

It comes out of a time when the government failed the people, when jobs were lost, too many of them being shipped abroad, people were losing their homes, people were afraid and people were insecure. People were looking for a new look, new ideas, a new day of hope. Some people think the Hitler Youth Aryan look is in and it’s cool. Well let’s be honest it wasn’t just worn by Germany’s Hitler Youth, it was worn by Adolf Hitler himself as well as most German front line troops, but too many people think it doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a hair style after all? There’s no political message attached to it? It’s just a lot of silliness. That is what they said about the brown shirts in Nazi Germany in the beginning, they said it wasn’t a military uniform, it was a political party uniform (manufactured by fashion designer Hugo Boss that is. “It was Hugo Boss who made uniforms for the Nazis.” ).but then the S.A. got to be 3 million strong. Three times the size of the German army that changed Germany and in turn changed the world. Also please let’s remember that at the time this was simply viewed as the fashion business. Ergo by way of a corollary we must conclude that the Nazi fashion business has a dark side and so does the fashion history of the Hitler Youth haircut. Given that history may we simply write the whole thing off as nothing more than a lucrative fashion tread and nothing more in the matter of the Hitler Youth haircut’s strong global comeback.

Jewish World By David Lev

“Some Jewish community officials have expressed concern over the

latest style in haircuts – the “Jugend,” or “Hitler Youth” hairdo”.


(There should be some sort of a movement brought about to disassociate the hair style from the name of Adolf Hitler). A further danger is that anyone, especially young people Googling the name “the Hitler Youth haircut” will be exposed to voluminous Nazi materials, which is an insidious way of this type of (old and new) propaganda material to find readers. As such this is one more reason why an effort should be brought about to change the name of this hair style.  

So when we look back at the 100th year anniversary of World War I and we look back at World War II that ended 75 years ago, perhaps we should also remember the slogan “Never Again”. For it is said all that needs to happen for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. Perhaps we should therefore this time all do something. To that end I invite you to post your thoughts below and speak out and you will be heard.

(Crossed posted by author from the Daily Kos)… h-and-progressive-groups-fearing-intolerance

Nugent: President Obama a “subhuman mongrel,” “gangster” and “chimpanzee”

We’re now more than a year into President Obama’s second term and Ted Nugent is still a free man and free to spew crap such as this (h/t Bob Cesca):

I have obviously failed to galvanize and prod, if not shame enough Americans to be ever vigilant not to let a Chicago communist raised communist educated communist nurtured subhuman mongrel like the ACORN community organizer gangster Barack Hussein Obama (emphasis partially Cesca’s and partially my own) to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America. I am heartbroken but I am not giving up. I think America will be America again when Barack Obama, [Attorney General] Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, [Sen.] Dick Durbin, [former New York City Mayor] Michael Bloomberg and all of the liberal Democrats are in jail facing the just due punishment that their treasonous acts are clearly apparent.

So a lot of people would call that inflammatory speech. Well I would call it inflammatory speech when it’s your job to protect Americans and you look into the television camera and say what difference does it make that I failed in my job to provide security and we have four dead Americans. What difference does that make? Not to a chimpanzee or Hillary Clinton, I guess it doesn’t matter. (emphasis Cesca’s)

Republican Outrageousness: Mona-maniacal Rantings

Ordinarily, my advice for progressives is to not react to every outrageous thing that Republicans say because, really, there is too much of it and we Democrats have better things to do (eg, laser-like focus on 2014). You may have also noticed that right-wing pundits are increasingly writing for each other (sentient human beings having pretty much tuned them out) so there is both little new and little of value.

But every once in a while, I read something that is so flabbergastingly outrĂ© that it rises above “someone is wrong on the Internet” to “what the HECK is wrong with that person???”.