note: i just rewrote this article a bit since i re-read it and noticed my writing was not really very good. i'm going to blame proximity to fox news.
my "list" denotes nutcases whose constant blathering is offensive and potentially dangerous. these are people i just avoid watching or reading. i didn't watch foxnews back when i had it. now that my satellite package doesn't include it... well, that is a good thing. i never have to worry about running across glenn beck's crazy, glittering eyes every time i flip through the channels.
apparently, some conservative types and their esteemed leaders from fox news spent time in washington bitching against health care reform. at the rally the loons held, laura ingraham reworked a poem from just after world war ii. of course, her version is insulting and illogical, but here goes:
Laura Ingraham's Lament (as titled by Shampoo) or Variation of Another Poem
(WARNING: THE FOLLOWING MAY OFFEND YOU.)
"first they came for the rich, and i did not speak out because i wasn't rich. then they came for the property owners and i did not speak out because i did not own property. then they came for the right to bear arms and i did not speak out because i was not armed. then they came for me and denied me my medical care and there was no one left to speak for me."
er.... o.k. first, rich people aren't going to be denied care unless they are trying to force the doctor to do something that is illegal (and maybe not even then). property owners may not actually be rich, but property can be sold or mortgaged to obtain money to pay a doctor.
in the "laura's" poem "they" seems to refer to the people who might pass laws that annoy the poem people. additionally, "they" seem to have some way of affecting abstract concepts because they next come after the right to bear arms. what this has to do with healthcare is anyone's guess, but it's interesting they don't to take the guns.
finally, laura gets tangled up in an impossible situation... she's denied healthcare and there is no one to speak out for her. although, she doesn't explain why this should be so. in her version of the poem, people aren't rounded up and in thrown in prison. so they should still be around. perhaps they just felt it was only fair that laura suffer the same annoyance. however, the real reason that line is in there is because it's in the original poem.
the original poem is attributed to pastor niemoller (1892-1984). he'd originally supported hitler due to his anti-communist views. but when hitler decided that the state was more important than religion, niemoller lead a group of clergymen against this. he was arrested in 1937. niemholler was held at sachsenhausen and dachau until being liberated by allied forces in 1945. in speeches as early as 1946, niemoller began to use the poem. it was published in 1955 in They Thought They Were Free by milton mayer.
here's the real poem...
First they came for the communists, and i did not speak out because i was not a communist;
then they came for the trade unionists, and i did not speak out because i was not a trade unionist;
then they came for the jews, and i did not speak out because i was not a jew.
then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.
in this poem, it should be obvious why no one is left... when "they came" for people it means those people were physically taken away. so, the poem people who were already taken are either dead or imprisoned awaiting execution because this poem is about the holocaust.
niemoller did vary the groups mentioned in the speeches he gave. in 1971, he said the groups i used above were the groups that should be included. but other groups he mentioned were the "incurably ill", jehovah witnesses, and people in occupied countries.
in 1955 a german professor paraphrased this niemoller's poem using communists, socialists, the press, schools, and the jews. this version ends with "the church" being left for last. although this doesn't really follow the intent of the original poem because "the church" is a group at least, it still conveys the horror of the original.
when "they came" it means "they" literally dragged away the person they came to get. in some cases, these people were immediately shot dead. in other cases, they would be imprisoned in a concentration camp where executions, as well as deaths caused by the deplorable conditions in which people were held, costs millions of lives. it is sickening someone would use this poem to voice some complaints over some legislation.
as far as "the rich" go... in the holocaust some rich people were able to buy their way out of their situation. there's even a movie about a very rich couple who owned an international company as well as some choice property. in exchange for their lives and the lives of many of their employees, they signed legal documents that gave the nazis a lavish mansion filled with costly artwork, money, etc.
of course, this was an extremely wealthy couple who had international connections, but still. i think if they could negotiate their way out of the holocaust, surely they'd be able to handle whatever laura ingraham is whining about. perhaps laura doesn't know that money is always a helpful thing to have when you're BUYING something.
i don't know what she was trying to prove, but then her literary references are perhaps limited. she also referred to nancy pelosi and harry reid as "grinches who stole healthcare." which means, i suppose, she equates the grinch with nazis which would put her at odds with some of her fellow fox newsites who seems to hold nazis in very high esteem.
i am so very, very glad that i don't have fox news in my satellite package. i saw this on "the daily show". jon stewart had a few things to say about this nonsense, be sure of that. he did a way better job than i did so it might be worth looking up if you missed it.
in researching this, i found both rush limbaugh and glen beck have mentioned this poem lately to illustrate the so-called persecution they're enduring. i am not sure exactly what happened, but i think they believe the white house got a wee bit impatient with them. please give me a break. rush limbaugh has broken laws that would cause many people who don't have radio shows to be thrown in jail for a considerable amount of time. both of these idiots are very racist and seem to be doing everything they can to tear this country apart. i don't think know what it was obama's subordinates did to annoy r.l. and g.b. whateverf it was, it seemed to be too slight an action to even warrant mentioning it. i find them even more ridiculous than laura. if all the white house is doing is being a bit frosty where's the problem? it didn't sound as if anyone was trying to stop them from farting nonsense into the public airwaves, so i'm putting this down to these two babies just wanted some more attention. it's exactly in keeping with their sorry ass characters to compare their own slight annoyance with people being systematically rounded up and kiilled. really, someone at fox news needs to do a memo about "appropriate analogies" (er, including definitions for those two words).