Today’s show was about all of these! Music and politics are probably my two favorite topics. Religion, notsomuch, which is one of the reasons we need to talk about it today!
The show began with politics. Details are emerging about the 49 state settlement with the five big banks on foreclosure fraud. (Which state didn’t sign on? I know that’s what you’re asking yourself right now. Answer in a moment.)
Basically, offering people who are underwater in their homes a mere $20,000 principal reduction is wholly inadequate, and giving those who lost their homes due to foreclosure fraud $2000 is despicable.
More as the deal is finalized, I’m sure…
Religion has been the topic for the past few days, as the Catholic Bishops seem to think they were elected to run our government. The Constitution says we are all equal, and are all entitled to the same protections. That includes access to health care. If all insurance companies are mandated to offer contraception coverage, that means that the Catholic church must off it to their employees too.
If they don’t want to, then they need to stop taking federal funds (and that includes enjoying their tax-exempt status).
The other solution, which I favor, is getting employers out of the health insurance business. We can do that quite easily with Medicare for All…
Religion was also the topic I discussed with Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. As he details in his new book, No Snowflake in an Avalanche, and in the Washington Post yesterday – “Religious intolerance is rampant in today’s Army, Air Force and Navy” – well, the title of that article says it all.
A few examples:
… there are thousands of … horrifying examples of military-imposed religious predation. Some of the most shocking are detailed in my new book, No Snowflake in an Avalanche (Vireo, 2012)
The roll call of oppressive shame includes:
• Disabled Navy veterans being aggressively and involuntarily proselytized in VA hospitals while hooked up to heart monitoring devices;• Air Force pilots being stripped of their wings for failing to adhere to mandatory Christian prayers;
• Army and Marine recruits being savagely beaten for refusing to renounce their minority faith and converting to Christianity;
• The Air Force being caught infusing its official nuclear missile launch officer training with “End Times” Armageddon biblical citations and accompanying justifications;
• Almost 1 million rifle scopes branded with New Testament biblical citation
The list is almost endless and the lesson is crystal clear: When you oppress members of the U.S. armed forces by telling them that they lack integrity, intelligence, courage, character and honor because of their chosen religious faith, or lack thereof, there is absolutely no difference between that inhumanity and telling someone that they’re inferior because of the color of their skin or because they are a female.
This MUST stop!
As for music, it’s usually on my mind! This morning, the news broke that Clarence Clemon’s son Jake will join Bruce Springsteen on their 2012 world tour. This, from BruceSpringsteen.net:
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL MUSICIANS FOR 2012 `WRECKING BALL’ WORLD TOUR
The expanded lineup for this Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tour features singers Cindy Mizelle and Curtis King, trombonist Clark Gayton and trumpeter Curt Ramm, all of whom have toured with Bruce Springsteen in the past, along with newcomer Barry Danielian on trumpet. E Street stalwart Eddie Manion and first time tour member Jake Clemons will share the saxophone role.
Also, I’m about to embark on a musical weekend, as Alison and I attend Michele Clark’s 15th Annual Sunset Sessions! I’ve been to at least five or six of these amazing musical gatherings, and I’m so excited to go back. Michele joined me on the show this morning to talk about all the spectacular places we’ve been and the fantastic music we’ve heard!
And to close the show, John Fugelsang joined me to pull it all together and talk about all three topics…
I did promise to post this video sent to me by OccupyDCRob regarding the conflict over whether or not there is a “Black Bloc” trying to undermine the Occupy movement. This is courtesy of Anonymous, and it’s perfect: