political

fear and santorum in the USA

I didn’t call this one.  Who would have thunk that Rick Santorum would have a shot at the Republican nomination?  Not only did I not predict it, it makes me a little sad.  Not completely sad, just a little irked and disheartened about either the state of politics, or probably the state of conservative America.  I understand that conservatives are on their “Anyone But Romney” train, but I thought they’d give up after Newt’s second attempt.  Before I get into a discussion of the Man Himself, I just want to point out a snippet from Santorum’s web page, regarding his stance on jobs:

Rick Santorum is committed to celebrating the family by reviving our economy and creating jobs in America again with a smarter and simpler tax code.

Ok.  I don’t really get how any of those statements are related.  It feels like throwing out conservative jargon to make people nod their heads.  It’s not a finishing blow to Santorum…nonsense rhetoric is quite commonplace in the Romney camp (as well as Obama’s entire 2008 campaign).  I’ts just irritating to see it over and over again.

Most annoying to me is the following clip (well, I like the clip. Just not Santorum’s stance).

I do appreciate him stating what he believes.  I also believe he’s totally off base.  He’s not even even following alone the common founding fathers were awesome! line of thought…just stating he believes the government should get involved with people’s lives on a moral level, and that he does not believe in the libertarian views of people being allowed to do what they want.

That’s not American at all; from his stances across the board, it’s fairly clear he he appeals to the very right wing conservative who believes that everyone in America should believe and act they way they do, because it’s the correct way to act.  I wish he, and the right, would take note of the Amish; live how you want, and stay the hell out of other people’s business.

That’s mostly my beef.  He can believe what he likes, just as I can believe what I like.  He’s even free to try and bring it into the public square, and make legislation for it.  He voted for No Child Left Behind, but openly admits it was a mistake.  Interestingly, he pushed forward an amendment in favor of teaching evolution.  Not the standard conservative vote.

Anyway, in his current campaign, he espouses all of the “crazy” that people find in the conservative right wingers.  The language is way to inflammatory and divisive, but he’s pro war-on-drugs, war-on-women (it’s totally a bullshit line, but you know what I mean), war-on-terror, war-on-industry (ok, I made that up, I just mean to say he doesn’t believe global warming is real science), and believes there is a war-on-religion.  I think most of these things are either 1. fabrications to help entrench those in power and/or 2. bad moves that enroach on our liberties.

I’m just amazed that a first world country could have enough people buy into these ideas that I, personally, find quite backwards.

On the bright side, I see pretty much no chance of him becoming president.  That moderate Romney (and why is moderate such an insult?) has a better chance of wooing democrats.  Santorum has the far-right wing vote.  Both Romney and Obama are much more moderate, and have a much wider voter base.  But, in caucuses that just have Republican voters, and the most active voters tend to be ultraconservatives, it’s not as shocking that an ultraconservative would poll well.  I simply didn’t predict it.

I’d post a picture, and tell you to do a google search for Santorum to learn more, but I can’t recommend doing that.  (So go do it).

 

The people who are “best” at being politicians right now are politicians.

I submit the best of the bunch is Newt. I mean, look at this guy.  He’s got it all.  A real Doctor Evil.  And Doctor Evil was fantastic at being Doctor Evil, just like Newt is a fantastic politician.  It’s what this country is now based in. Politicians are pretty annoying, though.  They lie a lot, they do things to serve themselves instead of their constituents, and take long vacations.  Maybe I’m just jealous.

I think Newt is a brilliant man, and think he’s the worst thing that could happen to the american public, and the best thing that can happen to american politics.  He consistently looks out for his own good.  He received money from Freddie Mac for consulting fees shortly before the collapse.  He served his wife divorce papers while she was in the hospital, and has ended up marrying the woman he was affairing with.  Is that a verb?  At least they made an honest man out of him, amirite?

Anyway, it’s pretty easy to google for yourself the ethical quandaries this man has found himself in.  He’s done a fantastic job promoting the agenda of Newt, and has performed poorly for everyone else.

I suppose I haven’t blogged in great detail about any other candidates.  They’re mostly rather silly.  But this guy really gets to me as everything wrong with the system.  Should I feel the same about Romney?  Maybe, but even though he can be toolish, who wouldn’t like the Mormons?  And his wealth was made through exploitation through business, not through exploiting the taxpayers.  Both are bad, but career politicians are more-bad.

I’m not terribly worried about Newt winning, because, as graphs show us:

 

Green is Newt, who is currently top dawg.  As was Cain (red), and Perry (blue).  Also, please note Bachmann’s (black) 15 minutes of fame, and recall how in July, Bachmann and Perry were the shit.  They go up, they go down.  I don’t know how to properly correlate this data to media coverage, but I’m sure there is some evil to be found there.

At least Romney has been consistent, and I do believe he has some moral compass.  I don’t like the moral compass, but I think it’s there.  I don’t believe Newt has one, as much as I would like a president named Newt.  Newt.

Also, since I don’t believe in media blackouts, orange is Ron Paul.  I like him.  He’s very consistent.  Even though I’m moving away from agreeing with The Free Market, I think  a does of Paulian anti-government would be the proper way to get the pendulum swinging.

corporations are people too

Corporations are legal entities with rights.  Also, people think they are evil, and not-people, so they shouldn’t have rights.

I’m not entirely certain if those are the right reasons.  I mean, Lex Luthor  is kinda evil, but he should still have rights.  The Joker is evil and crazy, and he still has rights, at least if you are Batman.  Freddy might not have rights, but he’s dead, or maybe not real.  Maybe things that aren’t real don’t really need rights.

Corporations do exist, but they don’t exist.  There’s no such thing.  Corporations are made up of people.  Chances are, you or someone you love works for a corporation…and there’s a strong chance you or someone you love hates the job they have working for this corporation.  We hate getting spammy phone calls, and the person making them hates making them…but you got to pay the bills somehow.  You’re not even a person making the calls…you’re just an extension of the Corp.

It’s a shuffling of responsibility.  The Corporation has to pay a fine.  That doesn’t make sense.  The Corporation doesn’t make money, really.  At least, that money is not realized until it transfers to the hands of people (either in the corp in question, or another one).  The CEO isn’t legally responsible.  The person who made the decision probably isn’t legally responsible. The Corporation is.  Fines therefore hurt the people working for the corporation, and the people with power to do Evil Corporate Things probably have the power to have the consequences not effect them at all.

Corporations may be evil, but if they are, it’s really just humans making poor decisions, usually to pad their own wallet.  You do it too, I bet.  You’re not entirely honest 100% of the time.  Neither is Mr. Manager or Mr. CEO…given a chance to get some extra cash, sooner or later, they’ll probably take it.  When the responsibility is shifted off of them, and to a non-entity, it encourages that behaviour.

The solution?  Stop being evil, clearly.  Move away from thinking about corporations, and remember, they are just people.  Just like this guy.  Doesn’t he make you happy?

Corporations can have a purpose.  The sole purpose should not be to maximize profits.  If that’s the charter, it will end poorly, 100% of the time.  If the purpose is to develop X widget for the good of humanity, a corporation can do great things.  If we look to the unimportant things (that don’t even make us happy), we’ll continue doing unimportant things and not being happy.  If we focus on maximizing good for people in general…we’d have a lot more interesting things going on.

This isn’t anti-captilism, or anti-corporation, really.  It’s just that we are doing it wrong.  If you have the wrong goals, how can you expect to end up right?  Silly limes.  Get a basket.

occupy, yourmom

In the background for most of yesterday, I watched theotherr99 on ustream.  It was pretty interesting watching people marching around NYC too occupy and protest and whatever else people feel like doing or saying nowadays.

Sometimes, I get the feeling many of the protesters are just in love with protesting.  Listening to the speeches, seeing their hand waving, hearing “the people’s microphone”, and so on.  I’m glad people are standing up for what they think, but the VIBE I get is they’re happier to be involved in a protest than they really care to get anything done.  They enjoy their processess, and how they are different.

One speaker said how this was a “war on education”.  What?  I thought the complaint was they were told to educations, they did, and now they can’t get jobs that they wanted.  Isn’t THE SYSTEM encouraging people to get educated, and the issue is the rising cost and elevated debt students come out with?  It has nothing to do with a war on education.  I bet the 1% is just trying to occupy your wallet.

Also, everything gets “occupied” now.  Stop that, please.  Think about what you mean; don’t just pick up words.

I’m VERY pleased that people are taking to the streets.  I think that’s great.  Historically speaking, the kind of change they are looking to implement only happens when things start to get violent.  Why would anyone listen to these people?  Government can ignore them, the media minimizes them, and even the average strained American thinks they’re a bit bonkers.  We all agree that the political/industrial complex is an issue.  These people are standing and speaking against it.  It’s just that their thoughts don’t match up to most American’s thoughts.  They’re not the 99% of America, but 99% of them probably represent America’s young adults, who were trained to think in a certain way.  Their training was based on a lie, and now they’re pissed.

I do think it would be great if non-occupiers looked on the protesters with compassion.  There’s a much larger narrative than can simply be solved with “get a job, lazy kids!”.  They have serious loan problems (not that I’m saying part of the blame is not their own!), slim prospects for living the life they were “promised”, and things are not fair.

I was brought up being taught something along the lines of, “Work hard, apply yourself, excel, because it’s the right thing to do.  You’ll probably get screwed over in life anyway.”  When I was some some number of years old, less than 10, my parents “hired” me to weed the front shrubberies, or rocks, or who knows what.  I knew I was going to get paid, and I was excited.  So I spent all day working, and my dad came out, looked around, and said “Good job!”.  He reached into his pocket, pulled out whatever change he had there.  He used that as an opportunity to tell me never to accept a job unless I knew what the payment terms were.  Pretty often in life, we don’t know enough about what we are doing to be realistic about the expectations, so we’ll get screwed over again and again.  It’s a reality, but most kids don’t know that, and most of the protesters are still kids who are getting smashed with the realities of life.  It’s definitely harder for them to succeed than it was for their parents, but “fair” isn’t ever going to be on the map.

However, I don’t think things are yet bad enough to force change.  I think they’ll get there.  It’ll be interesting to watch.  Sometimes I wish I was old, so I could have more experience seeing and understand the broad strokes of history.

911 (or 119 over the pond)

I pulled up to the library for some new propaganda material, and the area around the municipal building was a mess of emergency vehicles.  The road I typically turn on to was blocked by police cars and an ambulance, and there were many more down the road, along with some fire trucks and uniformed emergency officers.  I parked on a road a bit away, and proceed into the library.

On my way out, they started the event.  I wasn’t sure what was going on at first.  We haven’t quite mastered the concept of actually speaking into microphones properly,  so it was pretty difficult to hear what was going.  Side note: please do NOT lower your normal speaking volume, and talk directly into the microphone.  Technology is no excuse for poor diction or speaking skills!

It turned out to be my town’s 911 memorial.  They had acquired a piece of metal from one of the towers, which was the center of the memorial.  I’m normally the guy who wants nothing to do with these types of things; not because I’m against memorializing big events, but because we do such an atrocious job of memorializing, spout all sorts of nonsense, and commercialize it.  I was feeling exploratory and open minded, so I stayed for the whole thing.

It was nice enough, but I was saddened slightly in ways I wasn’t expecting.  First of all, I have vague memories of elementary/middle school.  My mom was somewhat active in my hometown’s political happenings, especially the official town National Day of Prayer event.  My experience was that this was a community event, which means kids from local schools sing, read things, etc.  They started off the memorial with a singing of the national anthem…I was hoping/expecting for someone to be actually singing, but it was a recording.  They played Taps, and I hoped for someone to be on a brass instrument nearby…this too was a prepackaged recording, as was “God Bless America” as they raised high the American flag, and closed out the proceedings with “Where Were You” (insert sad face here).  The only thing live was the bagpipe players in the honor guard.

There was only perhaps 30-40 people in attendance, along with 50+ emergency officers in uniform standing in rank.  From what I could hear, there were three people from my town who died during the events of 9/11, and apparently their wives “have to live 9/11 every day”.  I would have preferred to hear from the wives as to how they are holding up after 10 years.  Even after intense tragedy, life does move on, and people rebound in an amazing way.

One final thought: Separation of Church/State.  The even opened with a prayer from a local priest, and ended with a prayer from a rabbi.  A majority of Americans are religious, in one way or another.  Most who do not attended a religious institution with any regularity still claim to believe in God.  Some are against these sorts of religious demonstrations at politically sponsored events…I don’t know how you could have a community even without them.  It should be a reflection of the people, and, regardless of my feelings on the subject, I believe it was.

fair lawn 911
Fair Lawn 911

more fud

Recession part 2, huh? Maybe its FUD, maybe its real.

It’s the fault of the US healthcare system. It’s the fault of unsustainable wars. It’s the fault of capitalism.

Corporations are posting records profits, but you don’t have a job. It’s not really a recession, it’s just the people that have no money and can’t get jobs.

It’s the corporation’s fault. That’s OUR fault. We buy from Walmart. We choose cheap over quality. We buy clothes, toys, electronics manufactured for pennies by de-facto slaves in developing countries. We have systematically driven labor out of our country. Look at how cheap luxuries now are…air conditioners, TVs, phones. Did you think that was sustainable? You did not protest. You allowed it to happen.

Yeah, the government had some role. The corporations had some role. The American way is traditionally independent, and the people take charge. You’re not doing that. So it’s your fault.

Make thoughtful purchases. Live thoughtful lives. Understand we are in a global economy, and cheap comes with a price.