Tag Archives: elections

Passion, zeal, and my history.

28 Nov

I just finished watching The Baader Meinhof Complex on netfilx and found it pretty thought provoking. The movie follows “the birth of West Germany’s Red Army Faction, a radical left-wing terrorist group formed in the lat 1960’s amid a climate of revolution and a fallen generation.” The movie struck a cord with me because back in my teenage years I might have joined such a group if given the chance to time travel. Might have. Past tense.  The movie was in some way a loose exploration of those teenage fantasies.

As a teenager I never fantasized about bombing buildings or assassinating people, but rather I abstractly fantasized about fighting the man and dying for my comrades. I guess I connected with this movie in that I empathized with the characters’ zeal. I could relate with their feelings of oppression, of desperation, and their sense of the injustice in the world.

I’ve been thinking about zealotry a lot lately. I’m wondering if some people are just more inclined to zealous behavior than others. Thinking back, I was always a zealous person. I’m not sure if it was something in my nature, or the result of the time and place I grew up.

The first time I remember feeling a fanatical devotion to something(someone in this case) was when I was twelve. I was in love, or so I thought, with this beautiful girl who lived just a short ways away. We dated for three months before her mother caught us kissing and her father forced us to break up. I would leave roses on her front porch and her father would throw them away. I was determined to get her back, even though she said her father wouldn’t let her date until she was sixteen. I would count the days in my school calendar. Later, I received a tip from her friend pointing me to her live journal. There I found two entries where she detailed how much she disliked me, was never interested beyond a mere crush, and how she had found a new guy. (I printed it out at the time and I still have that worn old piece of paper in a fireproof lockbox, along with other sentimental things)

It was around this same time that I discovered evangelical Christianity. A friend from school was a born-again Christian and he taught me how to pray/mediate. I remember going to special church classes and watching videos that detailed the evils of psychics and ouija boards. My parents, a moderate methodist and an apathetic non-practicing Jew, didn’t see much harm in it; though they were slightly annoyed when I used all my mom’s garlic powder to seal the doors and windows on Halloween in order to keep evil spirits out. The odd thing was that my new found religious faith never really transfered over to politics. I was 12-13 and too busy playing video games and sneaking onto porn sites to pay much attention to politics. I remember standing in my parent’s bedroom late at night watching the 2000 election. I was rooting for George W. Bush, though in the same manner one arbitrarily roots for a sports team in a game you don’t overly care about.

My Zealotry really took off after I met my first actual love. She was witty, intelligent, beautiful, and one of those liberals I had loosely heard about. I have a vague memory of us leaving the mall in her mom’s car at night, and us having some deep political conversation where she converted me to liberalism. According to my memory, which very well may be a complete and unconscious fabrication, she was very proud of herself for convincing me, but warned me saying something like “Careful, there is non more zealous than a convert.” That poorly lit memory has stayed with me all these years.

It was at this time that the focus of my passion was shifting from Christianity to politics. High-school opened me up to new people, new ideas, and I no longer considered myself an evangelical Christian, but some amalgamation of Christianity, Buddhism, and my own spirituality. The city I grew up in was fairly large for Virginia, about a quarter million people. Nonetheless the area I grew up in was very conservative. Throughout high-school I became increasingly politically active as I became ever more aware of just how much in the minority I was. I would print out long political messages on entire sheets of paper and tape them to the back of my car. I started volunteering my weekends at political campaigns, making phone calls, updating data bases, and going door to door. I even went to an anti-war protest with the afore mentioned beautiful girl. I was perhaps most active in yard sign wars.

During election season I would sneak out early in the morning, with my car full of yard signs, and place them at strategic locations I had scoped out the day before. I often did this while blasting Green Day on the stereo. It gave me a huge rush to do this in a very conservative area. I guess I became addicted to that rush. One time I spent over an hour placing about 100 signs early in the morning, only to discover them ALL stolen a few hours later when I drove to school. I was so furious, I couldn’t concentrate at all that day. I then started a tic-for-tat retribution campaign. I kept track of my signs, and stole one in retribution every time one of mine went missing. I even got a large poster, wrote my tic-for-tat war policy on it, placed it at a major intersection where several signs had gone missing, and signed it “The Democrat”. Later I got a phone call from a friend who had watched as someone stopped, got out of their car, and destroyed my sign before his very eyes.

That election season, I think it was 2004 and the second presidential election with Bush, was particularly bad. Not only were my signs constantly stolen, but even the signs on my car were stolen or vandalized. I was even run off the road one night because of a yard sign I had taped to the back of my car. I was shaking, even though I felt the rush. The majority of my teenage years were spent under a heavy siege mentality. This in turn just spurred on my zealotry. I felt like an animal trapped in a corner, and I was determined not to go down without a fight. Sometimes in class I would daydream of setting up a democrat paramilitary fast response team, should civil war break out. I fantasized about us roping in from helicopters or speeding to the rescue on motorcycles, protecting civilians from the conflict. I would even design the patch emblems for our uniforms in the margins of my school work.

During the election seasons I became an avid news junkie. I would turn on CNN any chance I got. Sometimes I’d even watch C-SPAN (a channel that broadcasts the live, and rather bland, proceedings within congress). There was one show on CNN in particular that really struck me: Crossfire. I was amazed at how these political pundits could cite names, dates, statistics, etc from memory. I REALLY wanted to be able to do that. At the same time I was taking Advanced Placement Government in high school and we’d often debate in class. This being the day before smart phones and instant internet access, I sat down one night and spent several hours building a “Battle Binder.” In this 1 inch D-ring binder I created sections for every major issue of the day, along with every relevant name, date, statistic, and talking points. I even included common arguments and refutations. It weighed a ton, but I carried it around with me everywhere I went. I dared other kids to debate with me. Some foolishly did, stating their view on some position, citing some anecdotal evidence about what they heard their dad say, and then I would pull out my battle binder and crush them. They couldn’t compete when I could instantly produce full color charts, timelines of legislation, relevant court cases, you name it. Eventually the other kids stopped talking to me about politics. (I still have that binder in the attic)

2006 was when everything shattered. It was an election year for congress, and I fought hard to get democrats elected. Bush had won a second term, the two wars were starting to drag on with no end in site, and we were starting to learn of the warrant-less wiretaps, secret detention centers, and torture. Well democrats one big that year, I was so elated. They took control of congress and I thought “Now! Now that the good guys are in charge, we can finally stop Bush! We can even impeach him for his war crimes!”

And then nothing changed. Nothing.

This was my first taste of betrayal, and boy was it a spoonful. Here I was, a zealous supporter of the party, willing to fight and die if need be, and I was betrayed by my leaders who promptly caved to every republican demand. It was like being thrown into a pool of icy cold water. I became intensely cynical and bitter. Almost five years later and I still am, though the edge has worn off.

My passion, what was left of it, needed a new seemingly hopeless cause to fight for. By now I had developed a strong love for the underdog. I believed that democrats were the underdog, and worthy of fighting for, but with them in power and ceding everything to the conservatives, that was gone. I needed a new underdog, something with deeper meaning than just political parties.

Enter atheism.

It was my freshman year of college and I was exposed to more world-views than at any other point in my life. It was also the first time I had ever heard of an atheist, or met one for that matter. In fact, I met two. One was a history professor, the other was a friend of a girl I had a crush on. Though I was a wishy-washy feel good spiritualist at the time, I took their advice and began investigating atheism on my own. One of the first people I ran into was Richard Dawkins and his book “The God Delusion”. The arguments really resonated with me and his passion spoke to something crestfallen within me. To add to that, you’d be hard pressed to find anything more underdog-ish than atheism. We’re the extreme minority, despised and distrusted by the vast majority of the world. Atheism is hopelessly outnumbered, and there is something deeply attractive in that.

So my passion was rekindled, though tempered by my experiences. While watching that film tonight, I could see a lot of my pre-2006 self in those RAF members. Naive, hopelessly idealistic, reckless, zealots. The whole time I could not help but notice the extreme contrast between how beautiful, sexual, and vibrant they were, and how violent, disgusting, and shocking their actions were. The way the film was shot, I knew we were supposed to at least partially be on their side, but I could not bring myself to support them. Through the use of violence, you watch them transform into the monsters they set out to fight. As good as it might feel to shoot back, you lose the moral high ground when you do, and that is imperative when winning a war of ideas.

My zealotry has been tempered, and that includes my teenage fantasies about fighting. This is especially true when it comes to atheism. Atheists pride themselves on not doing the dumb shit religious people do to each other. No setting off car bombs in cafes, no flying planes into buildings, no shooting doctors, no assassinations, no gang style shootouts. While I still sometimes fantasize of an Illuminati style atheist resistance, violence would be off-limits. I’d sooner shoot my own squad member then let them carry out some act of violence against our rivals. Not only would it only make them martyrs and stronger, but it would sacrifice our moral high ground.

So as a terse conclusion to this abnormally verbose post: It’s interesting for me to think back about how I was in my teenage years. Was I alone in feeling like this? Did other people go through a similar zealous phase? If you did, what made you change? Or is it ongoing? Was this passion and need for a cause some how inherent in me, or a product of the environment in which I grew up?

Want to cut the deficit? Cut defense.

9 Nov

The United States’ debt is over 14 trillion dollars and the government is operating at a 1.171 trillion dollar deficit.  The conservatives just took control of the US House of representatives, which initiates all tax legislation, and they are demanding that the national debt be brought under control. What is their solution? They don’t have one. Economics 101: In order to lower the size of your debt, you need to either cut back on spending, or raise taxes. The conservatives refuse to do either. Instead they think giving a tax break to the richest people in the country will magically lower the deficit.

When it comes to cutting government spending, there is one area that is off limits; it is the sacred cow for conservatives: the military. They will cut anything else, usually education, but suggesting that the military be cut is akin to burning a bible wrapped in a flag.

Do you know how much the US spends on defense in 2010? $1.03 Trillion We spend more on war than any other part of our budget. We spend more on war than any other country on the planet. We spend more on war than the next 10+ runners up COMBINED. Despite this jaw-dropping expenditure, cutting it is off limits because it gives conservatives a massive hard-on. Nothing gets them more turned on than the idea of steamrolling darker skinned non-christian foreigners in the desert. In America, a nation drunk on war and the military industrial complex, suggesting the military be cut is unpatriotic.

We don’t need military bases all over the world. We don’t need to spend 1.03 trillion dollars on keeping the largest military force in the world. What conservatives fail to understand is that the world has changed since Reagan. The United States military, in it’s current form, initially grew to fight the Nazis and the Japanese. After WWII the next threat was the Soviet Empire. The weapons and tactics evolved, but the military was still designed to fight WWIII with the Russians. Newsflash: The USSR fell, it’s not a military threat anymore.

Now that the Soviets are gone we have this massive sledge hammer of a military, and nobody that can match us. There is no need to keep it this massive. Who are we fighting? Radical Islam. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan don’t drive around in armored convoys, they don’t have military bases, they don’t wear uniforms. They’re a bunch of guerrilla fighters with sandals and AK-47’s. Our gigantic military was built to fight pitch battles against similarly equipped armies, we’ve struggled to adapt to the more delicate job of building nations.

“What about China?” Good question. Here is another thing conservatives don’t understand has changed. Back in the old days wars were fought with armies and a nation’s greatness was measured in how many miles of land it owned. That is no longer how wars are going to be waged, and China gets that. China has no interest in getting involved with us militarily. It would be a lose-lose scenario, and it’s not good for business. That’s the key word there: business. China understands that future wars will be economic ones, and right now they’re winning. They’re winning big. Meanwhile we spend a trillion dollars fighting yesterday’s war, concerned only about where we can erect more phallic statues to our ego.

The threat of our nuclear arsenal and a small, nimble, technologically superior military that can strike at will is all we need to keep our interests safe. We can compete with the Chinese if we cut the military, end them from being our creditors, and then invest the money back into education. We can do it, but we won’t. Conservatives will only realize the trillions spent on defense are worthless when Asia crushes us economically, our education system collapses, and our prison systems are unable to handle the influx of new inmates. (Even then when they do realize their mistake, they won’t admit it. They’ll just blame it on gays, feminists, and not having enough god in the government)

 

Nobody fails at elections like democrats

5 Nov

As much as I really don’t want to write anything, I feel I must at least say something after the democrats just suffered the second worst defeat in their history.

The democrats don’t know how to run an election and they don’t know how to govern if by some fluke they do win. This became painfully evident after they won big time in 2008; riding on a wave of disillusionment and the public’s desperate (fool’s) hope that things might actually change. Like timid children afraid to go into the pool, they hesitated. Not trusting themselves, or the mandate the people gave them, they refused to go it alone, to stick their necks out and actually do something. Instead they compromised. Compromise, compromise, compromise. That was the strategy: compromise with the party of NO! (Which gives you runny, watered down versions of NO!)

The democrats got the shit kicked out of them by the republicans. Want to take a wild guess as to the democrats’ brilliant new strategy for winning back seats? Yep, you guessed it! COMPROMISE! (And if you honestly did think they had a new strategy, you’re delusional. Any scrap of tattered hope you have left should have been destroyed by these past 2 years) Harry Reid and Obama were quick to come out with their tales between their legs and grovel at the republican’s feet. It makes me want to vomit.

The infuriating thing is that attacking the republicans is SO EASY!

Unfortunately the majority of the American public doesn’t remember just how disastrous republican rule was because the democrats are to fucking spineless to run good attack ads. They sit there, twiddling their thumbs, all whilst letting the republicans frame the debate, define the terms, and them lead them to the slaughterhouse.

Obama got hammered on the economy. He let the republicans hammer him. He should have been out there, everyday, saying “Republicans left me a 1.2 trillion dollar deficit, republicans left me a 1.2 trillion dollar deficit, republicans left me a 1.2 trillion dollar deficit” until we heard it in our sleep. If someone is beating you to a pulp, you don’t stop them by saying “let’s compromise!”

The majority of the people in this country are democrats. If everyone voted in every election, the democrats would always win. However, the democrats haven’t given us anything to vote FOR. (And don’t say that gave us healthcare and financial reform. The healthcare companies practically wrote that legislation and now they have millions of new customers that have to give them money by law; same goes for the bullshit financial reform.) I firmly believe that this election was not a vote for the republicans, but a vote against the democrats. I think this is evident by the large numbers of liberals staying home. (Myself included) People don’t want appeasement, they want action.

The republicans might be the minority, but they’re a very well organized minority. I think it has something to do with their ideology and way of looking at the world. Conservatives tend to value order and cohesiveness more than liberals. (Hence why conservatives tend to be homogeneous and the liberals are heterogeneous) Republicans are better at falling in line and taking orders from the top, where as liberals are so diverse and independent, the often suffer from lack of focus. This tightly organized military mentality of conservatives allows them to organize effectively to win elections. Unfortunately I think the party of diversity, freedom, equality, and independence will always suffer from a lack of focus.

There is a silver lining here. Hopefully the majority of appeasement democrats got eliminated during the elections. Hopefully the remaining few will disobey the president and Harry Reid and fight. (I know I’m just kidding myself and that’s not what’s going to happen) In reality they will become even more timid and scared. Obama will rush to appease them, like he is doing currently, having just come out saying he would give in on tax cuts for the richest 1% of Americans.

The democratic party in it’s current form needs to die. Hopefully this election was the first step in it’s death and rebirth as a new party. History shows that you can’t defeat a foe through appeasement. They only become emboldened and demand more. Come primary season it’s time to vote out the appeasers and vote in people who will actual start to beat the shit out of the republicans.

The Amazing Atheist also touched on this:

Why I’m not voting in November

25 Oct

Hear me out before you respond with how I’m neglecting my civic duty.

I am not going to vote this November. It will be the first time I have ever not voted. Contrary to how this  might sound, civic engagement is very important to me and I am not apathetic about this. In the last presidential election I drove my friend home, four hours away, just so he could vote. In essence, I care. This is exactly why I am not voting this November. How the hell does that make sense? I’ll explain:

I am furious with the democrats in this country. I am furious with Obama. No matter how loud you scream, they just don’t understand; it’s like they’re in a sound proof bubble. This is where the three major political parties in America fall on the spectrum:

As you can see, the democrats are a center right party. The Obama administration is currently fighting against all types of liberal causes. They’re fighting the legalization of marijuana in California, they’ve fought against gay marriage (likening it to pedophilia), they continue to torture and extradite prisoners, the list goes on. Most importantly, however, is the fact that the democrats as a whole never miss an opportunity to cave to the republicans. I cannot stress this enough! Despite controlling the congress and the white house, the democrats collapse at the mere thought that they might hurt the republicans’ feelings. Obama (who idealizes Reagan btw) is notorious for compromising to the republicans. He’s a fucking imbecile for doing so because the republicans, knowing he’ll compromise at any cost in a desperate and misguided attempt to appear “bi-partisan”, then ask for the most insane shit!

A perfect analogy is haggling with a merchant. He starts with asking for 20, you say 10, he offers 15, you accept. The merchant was never expecting to get 20, he really wanted 15, but he knows how to play the game and so he asks for higher than he wants, knowing he’ll lower it to 15 and you’ll feel like you’re getting a deal. The republicans are doing the same thing! They know how to play Obama and the democrats to get what they want! That’s why everything the democrats pass is extremely watered down, if not slanted in favor of the republicans.

The rest of the progressive base sees this and we’re furious. But pay attention because this is the worst of it: Instead of comprehending what we’re upset about, the democrats see everyone’s anger and think it is because they are not conservative enough! It just makes my head want to explode! “Golly gee wilikers! The people are mad! Maybe we’re not being like the republicans enough!” And so they move farther to the right.

There is no way to get them to move towards the left. They have conceded in their hearts that the republicans are right, that they are un-American frauds, that to be liberal is to be a dangerous radical. You can hammer on their bubble till every bone in your body breaks, but they will not hear you. Even worse, Obama is disappointed in the base for being disappointed in him. That’s right, the elected democrats are chastising the progressive base because the base is mad with them.

But here is the central reason why I am refusing to vote, and this is very important. I will not let myself be blackmailed. That is exactly what the democrats are doing; they are blackmailing their base. You would think that if you threatened not to vote for a party, that party would be concerned about the reasons why you are not going to vote, but no. Instead the democrats respond with threats of their own. That’s right: they are threatening their own base! “You don’t have a choice! If you don’t vote for us, the republicans will win!”

Newsflash: you are the republicans. Liberals are offered two types of shit. One is to vote for the republicrats and the other is to vote for the flaming radioactive shit that is the tea party. But the democrats are wrong. I DO have a choice. Casting my vote for a democrat, even if cast in fear of the tea party, is still an endorsement of the democrats. I refuse to endorse them.

So no, I will not be voting this November. In effect my refusal to vote is in a way voting. There will be those who will completely not understand my reasons, no matter how simply I try to explain them, they will continue to accuse me of being apathetic and unpatriotic. In reality I am refusing to vote for exactly the opposite reasons.

A very valid question to ask of me is how I expect to change things by doing nothing. I would argue that I am not “doing nothing;” I am doing quite the opposite. My silence is my action, and hopefully if enough liberals remain silent in the face of this blackmail, that silence will be deafening.

I want the tea party to win by a landslide. I want Obama to crash and burn. I want the entire house of cards to come crashing down. As horrible as it is, the only way to save the liberal cause is to let this virus run it’s course. Only when this country is turned into a conservative theocratic hell-hole will people rise up in a liberal backlash. It’s the only way to shatter the democrats’ bubble and get us out of the conservative doldrums.

*** Edit***

I’m starting to think that last paragraph is a bit extreme. I don’t actually want the tea party to win by a landslide, that would be my worst nightmare come true, I just don’t know what else would jolt people into electing real progressives who do something other than cave to the republicans.

Tea party craziness

5 Oct

Ok, we  know that the tea party claims to be about smaller government and doesn’t officially take a stance on social issues. We also know that the tea party complains that “the main stream media” maligns them by calling them racist extremists. Maybe the media only showed pictures of a few crazy people with Obama=Hitler signs and the rest of them are calm, rational people who only care about economics. I doubt it, but it’s possible. All that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what the tea party says they stand for, and it doesn’t matter how the media portrays them. What does matter is who they elect to office and support. Their actions transcend any superficial image they may or may not be projecting. My interest is in the tea party’s social agenda and whether or not the candidates are sane. I may have some libertarian leanings when it comes to economics, but for me, social issues will always trump economics. So lets look at some of the tea party canidates:

Sarah Palin. I don’t need to say anything. You know. We’ve been talking about her since the 2008 elections. There are posts all over about her draconian social policies, her anti-woman’s rights stances, her end-times theology, and various other scandals. So, moving on.

Christine O’Donnell: “Aka, younger, dumber Palin” This woman is a strong social conservative christian. Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard about her anti-masturbation stance and seen the old video clips of her talking about masturbation and the bible, along with her claims to have “dabbled in witchcraft”. Back in 2006, while running for another office, she claimed to be privy to secret information obtained by christian missionaries in China that revealed China had an elaborate plan to take over America! Recently Palin advised her not to give any national interviews (gee, I wonder why?), but before she shut her mouth she said that god was keeping her campaign alive. She’s strongly anti-science, thinks mice have human brains, and believes birth control is “anti-human”.Where you got your college education is not overly important when running for office, but O’Donnell has managed to make it a huge issue by repeatedly lying over and over about her education background. She’s claimed to have her college degree for years, yet never graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University until last month. She’s claimed to have done graduate work at Princeton, Oxford, and Claremont. All liesEven Karl Rove thinks she’s insane! Look, I could go on and on about this lady who needs to be put in a straight jacket.

Jim Demint: Another winner. A senator from South Carolina and the tea party’s man in congress, he’s fiercely homophobic and believes unmarried women should not be allowed to teach in schools. He’s also strongly anti-woman’s rights and fits nicely into the conservative christian mold.

Michelle Bachmann. Like Sarah Palin, she’s been around for a while and there are so many posts on just how bat shit insane she is that I needn’t bother. Just google her. Here, if you’re lazy, are 10 quotes from her, only 10, and she’s been at this a long time so there are plenty more.

Chuck Devore: Running in California, not nearly as crazy as the above people, though on legislative score boards he’s received a 0% from Equality for California, 18% from Planned Parenthood, 30% from the California National Organization for Women, and 29% from the Lambda Letters Project (LGBT), so he’s also votes socially conservative.

Trent Frank: Strongly Conservative, Anti-choice, and anti-gay equality. He also believes that current abortion rates in the black community means black people were better off as slaves.

Glen Urquhart: I quote “”The exact phrase ‘separation of Church and State’ came out of Adolph Hitler’s mouth, that’s where it comes from. So the next time your liberal friends talk about the separation of Church and State, ASK THEM WHY THEY’RE NAZIS!” He’s running in Delaware like O’Donnell. He is also a strong social conservative and is backed by the anti-woman’s rights group “Concerned women for America”, the National Conservative Fund, and the vehemently homophobic Family Research Council.

Sharron Angle: You might have heard of her. She’s running against Harry Reid and thinks healthcare reform should be replaced with the barter system. She’s also counseled rape victims and women who might die if they carry a pregnancy to term to go ahead and carry the baby. You can find a list of her crazy history here.

Carl Paladino: Thinks housing poor people in prisons is a great idea: “These are beautiful properties with basketball courts, bathroom facilities, toilet facilities. Many young people would love to get the hell out of cities!” He also threatened to kill a NY Post reporter. Lately he’s been in the news for a slue of racist e-mails and e-mails containing porn and women having sex with horses.

Steve King: Thinks Al-Qaeda supports Obama and cheered his election. He is also an extremely strong social conservative. Best friends with Bachmann, even shares congressional staff with her.

Louis Gohmert: Wants to overturn the birthright citizenship part of the 14th Amendment, believes there is a secret plot to have terrorists born in America and then trained to attack in 20-30 years.

Lamar Smith: Feels the greatest threat to America is not a recession or terrorists, but the “liberal media”. It’s all a conspiracy you see. He’s also another extreme social conservative.

Joe Miller:  Encourages people to bring guns to rallies, called his female running opponent a prostitute, and believes women should be forced to carry their rapist’s child.

Ken Buck: Also would love to force women to carry their rapist’s baby, opposes birth control, believes a 13 year old girl raped by her 14 year old brother should be barred from the morning after pill to prevent pregnancy, and wants to tear down the wall of separation between church and state. Yet another religious nutter.

Dan Maes: Despite also having resume issues with lying, like O’Donnell, he is best known for revealing what his is certain is a dastardly conspiracy to deliver Colorado to the “Marxist United Nations” by ways of a bicycle sharing program!

Mike Lee: Like Gohmert, also wants to over turn the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of citizenship if you’re born in US territory. Also wants to get rid of a woman’s right to control her body, and is against marriage equality.

I could go on but I think you get the idea. It doesn’t matter if the tea party claims to be focused on only economic issues, if and when these people get elected, they will have to deal with those issues. It is important to know where they stand. It doesn’t matter how the tea party started out, if the core founders where socially liberal and economically conservative libertarians or not; what matters is what the tea party has become. It’s been hijacked by people who were so fringe, the republican party didn’t want them. It’s been hijacked by 9/11 truthers, birthers, people who believe Obama’s a secret muslim, and other conspiracy theorists of all stripes. It doesn’t matter what they claim to be, but the people who they put up for election and those already elected whom they support.  The people they have put up so far on the national level have muddied pasts with problems writing factually correct resumes, believe in draconian restrictions on women’s rights, wish to repeal parts of the constitution, view the civil rights movement as a black spot on US history, and support a host of conspiracy theories from Chinese takeovers to Trojan bicycles. While I might like to see a smaller government and less debt, I could never bring myself to vote for a party that tries to shift focus off their barbaric social and religious policies.

Just a few minutes ago I stumbled across this study done by the Pew Research Institute looking at how religion and social values factor into the tea party. Really interesting stuff and confirms my suspicions.

Why Obama is a fool

20 Aug

Last presidential election I voted for Obama. During the the previous 8 years under Bush, the political pendulum of the United States swung far to the right. Here, I thought, was a chance to swing it back and correct for the damage done in those 8 years; it was hard not to drink the Obama “hope kool-aid”. Did the pendulum swing equally far to the left after the election as it had swung to the right? No. If anything, since his election, Obama has shown himself to be pragmatic to a fault. So far he has proved to be extreme only in his mediocrity. He keeps playing to the middle of every issue, and he’s an idiot for it. Why is this foolish? Simple: he’s neglecting his base and breaking promises he made in an attempt to appease and include his opposition.

Normally, trying to compromise with your opposition and reach an agreement would be a good thing, but that’s assuming your opposition also wants what’s best for the country. Here’s where Obama goes wrong when trying to work with the republican leadership: The republican game plan is to make everything as horrible as possible in the run up to elections. Since the democrats are in control, they take the blame for when things go wrong. The republicans see that Obama is a push over and so they suggest the most damaging and radical ideas they can think of. They know they won’t get all of it in, but they can count on Obama to try and compromise, thus bad ideas get pushed through. When everything goes to shit, the republicans then through up their hands and go “See! What did I tell you? Government can’t make anything better, especially when the democrats are in charge! Vote republican!”

It’s brilliant really; brilliant and extremely sadistic at the same time. The fact is, despite all the drum beating and flag waving, republican leadership doesn’t give a shit about the rest of the country. All that matters are the super rich, the poor guy can go to hell. Off the top of my head, look at the unemployment relief package that just passed. $30bn to give aid to people who can’t afford to feed their families because they lost their jobs because of  mismanagement of the economy by super-banks. The republicans flipped out! They started crying about the deficit, suddenly caring now, in the middle of the worst recession since the great depression. (Where were they when Bush sunk us after Clinton’s surpluses? Oh wait, we were killing foreigners with the money so it was ok) You don’t cut government spending in a recession. The government is the only one around with the credit rating and ability to pump money into the system to jump start economic activity. You pay down the deficit during an economic boom as Clinton (D) did. But while the republicans were howling at spending $30bn to help the hardest hit families in the country, they started to dig in their heels on the issue of Bush’s tax cuts. Reinstating Bush’s tax cuts would cost us around $607bn dollars. That’s more than if we passed the unemployment aid 20 times over. The republicans are now trying to get popular support for the tax cuts from their gullible base. The fools see “tax cut” and think it’s a tax cut for them. It’s not. The tax cuts were for the richest Americans in the country. The rank and file republican voter won’t get shit, but he doesn’t know that.

Obama keeps giving in to these people while swatting away the very people who elected him. If he actually grew a pair and pushed the political pendulum back to the left, then things would start to get better, but he keeps trudging through this lukewarm crap. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I’m starting to think I should have voted for McCain. “Whoa! How the hell would that make things better?” Simple. Obama winning the election was the best thing that happened to the republicans. During the 8 years under Bush, republicans had fucked things up so badly, that they knew it was all going to come crashing down on the next president. (They really started to see this when the economy first started coughing up blood right before the election) It was like this looming tsunami that would inevitably crash on the next president, who would undoubtedly take the blame for all of it. Had McCain won, the entire house of cards, the effects of 8+ years of solid republican rule, would have come crashing down on him. It would have been the death of the republican party. But no, we elected Obama out of desperation and “the audacity to hope”. Predictably the shit hits the fan, and this gives the republicans the perfect fear filled fuel to fire up their base and regroup.

“Look what happens when you elect a liberal! The country goes to hell!” (Even though Obama is a really conservative liberal, and what’s happening now was set in motion long before he was elected; but the American electorate are stupid children with Attention Deficit Disorder) So now the republican base is frothing at the mouth and can see blood in the water. Elections are fast approaching and the democrats are going to lose BIG. With a yet again a republican controlled congress, Obama will quickly become the conservative’s bitch in his desperate bid for approval from the people who despise him. A dark time for progressives indeed.

Political violence in the US

29 Mar

Political violence in the US quickly escalating since the passage of health care reform. People have been shattering windows, ramming cars, sending powder laced letters to representatives, even cutting gas lines! Meanwhile, politicians offer half hearted, limp wristed calls to stop the violence.

(The above incidents were all targeted at democrats, but apparently some thought it would be a good idea to do the same thing against republicans in Albemarle County…..)

All this violence is really quite disgusting. People don’t get their way, and instead of working to change things in the next election, they take to sending representatives death threats and vandalizing property. People on both sides need to calm down; this is not some banana republic, it’s the United States. I’m afraid that if things keep going the way they are now, people are going to start shooting.

Terrorism: -noun the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious

Liberal = college student

5 Sep

A couple of friends of mine made this remark to me a while back on facebook and it has pissed me off ever since. They told me that I was only a liberal because I was a college student.

I guess they were trying to imply that I’m naive about how the world works and elitist for getting an education past highschool. There are several things that make their remark pure bullshit. Mainly, not all college students are liberals, and not all liberals are college students.

A 2004 study by the Pew Research Center identified 19 percent of Americans as liberal. According to the study, liberals were the most affluent and educated ideological demographic. Of those who identified as liberal, 49 percent were college graduates and 41 percent had household incomes exceeding $75,000, compared to 27 and 28 percent at the national average, respectively. Source

Only around 29% of Americans have a college degree. If liberals make up only 19% of the population, then not all college students are liberals. As for passing liberals off as young children who don’t know any better, you only need to look around to see that that is bullshit. All liberals are not young. There are plenty who are older. Here is a list of all the older liberals in congress. Now given, my friends who made this comment live in a conservative area of Virginia, so there might not be that many liberals around, but there are enough liberals in other states to carry both branches of government in the last election, and the youth vote alone is not big enough to do that against all other voting blocks, so therefore not all youths are liberal.

Huckabee-Palin 2012 god’s ticket

9 Jun

There was recently a CNN poll among conservatives as to possible 2012 presidential candidates. With a +/-4 margin of error , Palin, Huckabee, and Romney would be locked in a dead heat.

Needless to say, the concept of a Huckabee-Palin administration terrifies me. Both of these candidates are christian fundamentalists. Huckabee, as you might well know, is a baptist minister, and Palin

“spent most of her life in the Assemblies of God, a denomination with an apocalyptic outlook. Members of the Assemblies of God believe the world will end in a fiery battle sooner rather than later; that the forces of good (that is, Christians) will win, and Jesus will return to earth to reign for a thousand years.”

(There is an old Newsweek article on Palin and her religious beliefs here. It also mentions a Pew Forum poll that found a third of American evangelicals believe the world will end in their lifetime. According to a September piece on Salon.com, Palin told a political opponent in Wasilla she believes the same.)

What incentive would this ticket have for giving a damn about peace and stability in the world if they believe it’s all going to end soon? Honestly, do you want someone with this mentality hoding the keys to our nuclear arsenal? Think about it.

really?

I say Huckabee-Palin instead of Palin-Huckabee because I’m assuming that since both of these people are biblical literalists they will obey 1 Timothy 2:11-12 : “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.”

Biblical literalists. They honestly think the world is no more than 6,000 years old, that snakes can talk, that all the animals in the world conviently lived within walking distance of Noah’s ark, and both reject the scientific fact that is evolution.

Back in September of 2008, the Huffington post reported a June 1997 conversation between Wasilla resident Philip Munger and Palin where Mr. Munger asked Palin about her religious beliefs. Palin told him that “dinosaurs and humans walked the Earth at the same time.” Holy crap, this lady saw the Flintstones and thought she was watching a documentary!

history

What affect would an administration like this have on education in this country? We’re already falling behind other countries, how are we going to stay competitive economically if we replace science with theology?

scary

There is a sect of conservatives that want to turn the United States into a christian version of Iran, a christian theocracy. Huckabee is one of them. Here he is saying he wants to change the constitution to be more in line with “god’s laws.”

Here is Palin saying the war in Iraq is god’s plan:

Here’s something else interesting about Palin. During her run for the mayorship of Wasilla Palin’s campaign slogan was “The first christian mayor.” Her definition of what it means to be a christian is so narrow that she didn’t consider any of the other previous mayors, who were christians, as actual christians.

Here is an interesting video on her rise in Alaska:

What would healthcare be like in this country with an administration like this. Under Palin’s mayorship, her church took over the local Mat-Su regional hospital board of directors. One of the first things they did was to make reproductive services like abortion unavailable at the hospital, a decision later overturned by the Alaska supreme court. (Palin even opposes a woman’s right to choose even in cases of rape. She even said she would oppose her daughter having an abortion if she was raped.

I know I’ve talked mainly about Palin so far, so here’s a bit more on Huckabee.

In 1997, Huckabee said that “I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ.” He was talking about how then recent school shootings were symptoms of a nation that had given up on religion. Given up on religion? When 90% of the U.S. population believes in god?

Here he is saying he wouldn’t push his religion on the government, but that’s a direct contradiction of what he said in the previous video.

I found this interesting discussion on yahoo answers when one person asked about the possibility of a Huckabee-Palin 2012 ticket.  Best answer chosen by voters?

“I’d seriously [sic] voting for Huckabee in 2012, I like the man and his views of the country, with its economic issues. Many people say Palin isn’t fit to be vice-president, but with her cute winks and nods her sex appeal won over many. If she can do what she did for Alaska, for the United States then yes I’d vote for Huckabee-Palin 2012, hell yeah!”

So you like Huckabee’s extreme religious views and his desire to change the constitution, and Palin’s total lack of experience and apocalyptic beliefs are fine because she’s hot? People like this make me lose faith in humanity….

GOP

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