Government Accountability and Its Effect on the World

Well, this week on WikiLeaks, there has been a massive release of well-over 200,000 diplomatic cables.  They show a rather ugly history of the United States and its actions with other nations.  There are a lot of questions about what the effect will be with the rest of the world, and these are valid questions, but there is a different issue altogether.  The issue is what is the line that is drawn about how this country can act?

It is very easy for a country to hide its unpleasant acts beneath a bureaucratic mat.  It is very easy to just say that you were ordered to do it, or to say that it is just your job, and that you had no choice.  This country has gotten far too used to doing that.  Every time there is a major unearthing of political idiocy, the people just shrug and say that it was their job.  Add to that the fact that most of this kind of stuff doesn ‘t come out till most of the parties involved are dead or don’t care anymore.  This kind of pathetic game is played far too often.  But now, there is a pariah that has come into the game.  They have come out at a time when everybody has been content to just not talk about the ugly business that is going on. 

WikiLeaks has been the subject of a lot of controversy of late.  The feeling about it have differed from every sector, ranging from government, to military, to journalism.  But it is still talked about.  This is a good thing.  It is good when a topic of controversy is involved in so many aspects.  That means that they are powerful enough to make a difference on a global level.  WikiLeaks has given rise to a new type of heroism that hasn’t been seen in a long time. 

When “The Pentagon Papers” came to light, the man who brought them forward, Daniel Ellsberg came forward with these papers, it took the country by storm.  Four presidential administrations actions in Vietnam were coming to light.  It was one of the biggest revelations of the corrupt and pathetically incompetant and sometimes deceitful this government actually is.  We orchestrated at massive clusterfuck in Vietnam that can only be described as completely FUBAR.  This man was a patriot, and there is still some contention that those in power have with him.  Many people think he turned the ideals of a war that was “being won” (bullshit) and made us leave before it was done.  The truth is that Ellsburg should be seen as a national hero, getting us out of Vietnam while we still could.

As was expected, when WikiLeaks has shown these diplomatic cables to the rest of the world through their heroic website, the government of this country immediately villified them.  They called them all sorts of names and said how they were threatening the “war on terror.”  Now there’s a bullshit concept for you, eh?  War on Terror.  That concept is such a joke that it actually hurts me to say.  It is a lot like the “war on drugs” that we still have going on and cannot hope to win.  The government’s job, of late, seems to be lying to the people and desperately trying to make their incompetence look acceptable.

Personally, from a journalistic perspective (as I am a journalism student), these people are a bit of a problem.  When a source cannot be verified by those outside of an organization, it does lead to a bit of the problem of credibility.  Granted, there have never been any contests of merit by anybody that WikiLeaks is an organization that is promoting lies.  Let’s at least thank that government for being honest about that much.  But still, it is an organization that should be respected, and in my opinion, thanked.

This country has a very ugly history in respect to its relations with other nations.  Vietnam, Korea, Lebanon, Iran, Afghanistan, and so many others, our country doesn’t seem to make friends every easily.  We seem to be more the country that simply tries to mess with things that are simply beyond our ability to understand.  We have bought and paid for dictators, helped nations fight wars, sometimes with themselves.  We have done so much.  These Diplomatic cables, and there is a story in The New York Times about this, are showing that this country is doing some very unpleasant things in a lot of places where we shouldn’t be messing.  We do these things because of mainly one thing, the war on terror.  This bogus concept is now influencing our politics in other nations.

When I hear the government worrying about how these cables might reflect their relationship with other nations, I can’t help and think that they are getting what they deserve if other countries are pissed at us.  There is an old saying that I think is very true, “you reap what you sow.”  Meaning that if you are sowing the seeds of corruption and villiany in the rest of the world, it is going to come back and bite you.  There is a phrase from the Bible that is pretty much saying the same thing, “All that is hidden will be revealed,” Luke 8:17.  Even from an atheist point of view, I can respect that, and it is actually true, in some regards.  When you try to hide the truth, and it comes out, it always makes you look worse for wear.

America has very few friends these days.  I suppose we can all thank Bush for that, when he began his campaign, “Iraq 2: the Search for Curley’s Gold.”  This latest bout of diplomatic cables being brought the light are guaranteed to make us look even less attractive to the rest of the world, but if you ask me, so be it.  You get what you deserve, in the end, and that’s just how it is.

Until next time, a quote,

“Those who care don’t know, and those who know don’t care.”  -Yuri Orlov, Lord of War

Peace out,

Maverick

Thanksgiving: Christmas, Part 1!

Well, the season is upon us again.  As I write this, it is raining outside.  That’s right, rain, in Alaska, in the middle of winter.  It is a total pain in the ass, and a royally dangerous thing for drivers out there.  I am glad I am not one of them, however I will be tomorrow night.  But I digress.

Thanksgiving is a holiday which is supposed to be about…you guessed it, giving thanks for the good things in one’s life.  At least, that’s how the holiday started.  Now, now it is something different altogether.  Just like how Christmas started out at a pagan holiday celebrating the solstice.  The world of corporate greed has found a way to profit off of every single holiday that has ever existed.  If you want proof of what I say, look no further than the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday.

I used to work at Target.  On Black Friday, there is a special protocol to how things are done.  It is basically getting to everybody and making as many sales as possible.  Of course, it isn’t difficult.  People are there to get things for low prices (what a crock of shit that is).  Our job was to facilitate this process.  To point them in the right direction, and to maybe hint at things in the same ball-park as what they wanted.  It was a ruthless practice, which I was exceedingly good at.

Thanksgiving is supposed to be about giving thanks for what we have.  As Americans, I think we have lost sight of what we actually have.  Don’t get me wrong, there are far too many people who don’t have, even in this country, but in respect to other nations, too many other nations, we are richer than kings of old.  That isn’t to say that there are people in this country who are suffering.  I know a girl, my best friend, whose family doesn’t do especially well.  They get by, by fortune of a non-existant god, or as I like to call it, luck.

The problem is that we are all so involved now in a world of electronics and social networking connections that we have lost sight of the fact that there are other people in the world.  From where I am, it is difficult to imagine what your life is like.  I am behind a computer screen, typing this out at 70 words per minute.  I have no idea who you are, what your financial situation is, if you are going to have a Thanksgiving dinner on your table, or if you are going to be busting your ass trying to have money to live.  The truth is that there is such a disconnect in our society, and people don’t even notice it. 

Now, I know plenty of people who are definitely going to be counting their blessing on Thanksgiving.  The aforementioned girl is one of them, I know it.  She is a family person.  She loves those who love her.  Me, I don’t believe in love.  There are people I care more about, and those I care less about, and those I couldn’t care less about.  I have never been much of a familiy man.  Don’t get me wrong, my family is filled with several great people, I just don’t get involved much.  I’ve never felt much compunction to.  I’m like my old man in that regard.  Neither of us have felt much desire to get involved in the workings of the family at large.  This pisses Sally (the mother-character in my story) off to no end.

It doesn’t make me or him a bad person.  People who aren’t all involved in family affairs are not bad for any reason.  They just have their preferences, and the things they like to avoid.  I come from a family which is far too-involved for its own good.  I think most everybody does.  The problem which comes with that territory is that the family can be horribly judgmental from time to time.

So there are a lot of people who are going to be pondering their blessings, and they are going to enjoy being able to feast on Thanksgiving, but remember what is important, the true thing that is important, how you feel about it.  Are you content, does the day bring you solace?  For me, while I love the good eating, I don’t need a day to have the comfort that the day is supposed to bring. 

I am an atheist, but I still love Christmas music.  I have always loved it.  I grew up with this.  Even when I am on my own, I will probably still celebrate the holiday.  I won’t make it a religious thing, but rather a celebration of good feeling and wanting the world to be a better place.  If only all of us could be that way, right?

Until next time, a quote,

“I used to think that Thanksgiving was a day to eat food and nap on the couch, not Christmas, Part 1!”  -Lewis Black

Peace out,

Maverick

The Lonely Creative Intellectual

People my age are supposed to be avid socialites who want to go out into the world and have all sorts of social interaction.  They are supposed to want to get laid and get drunk.  They are supposed to want to make asses out of themselves, and for what?  I have earnestly been thinking about this for a long time.  I have been thinking about this, because I am not one of them.

The normal standard among college students is that you will go out and take stupid risks.  I am told that it is those stupid risks that make life worth living.  To quote a guy I knew from High School who was at a singing gig my cousin took me to, “what’s the point of living if you won’t live?”  He was referencing to drinking booze.  I have no taste for the stuff.  I like things that taste good, what can I say?  But more than that, I don’t like to lose control.  I don’t like to lose the control that I have over my life.  It is a good thing that I have going, but lately, lately I am wondering how good it actually is.

I recently lost a relationship with somebody who I had looked up to.  He was a good friend of mine, back in the day.  Personally, I like the guy better when he was depressed.  He was so much more thoughtful back then.  I swear, I could actually see a soul when he spoke.  Now, I just see numbers and book pages floating from his mouth.  It is like there is nothing there, beneath the skin.  I got tired of how our dynamic was working.  It seemed like all we were doing anymore is arguing.  I tried to talk to him about, but he just got all mad and that was how that ended.  Like everything else in my life, I just piss away the good things.

I am a lonely person.  I don’t live a very happy life.  I never really have.  I tend to just get by.  Even when I am taking hold of my professional life, my personal life is hemorrhaging.  I have never really been all that good at the social life.  I talk about philosophy and politics and I tend to get lost in my own musing.  I seem to be incapable of just “shooting the breeze,” or talking about nothing.  There is this girl who I am trying to get close to.  Every time I bring up a topic like that, it goes nowhere.  I don’t know why my inability to get close to ordinary people bothers me.  My best friend is not an ordinary person.  She is extraordinary.  But those who are extraordinary, I typically just piss off and they don’t want to be around me for very long.

I lead this lonely life, and I think sometimes, what good does it do?  I am such a creative mind.  I can make a story up in seconds, and have almost every detail ironed out in a couple minutes.  I can think up some amazing worlds that I want to live in so much.  I want to live in them because this world will never be enough.  I am an intellectual mind, and my intellect is telling me that things in this country are going to shit, and that there is a real danger that things could fall apart.  I don’t want that.  I look around at all the hurt in the world, and all I see is pain.  I don’t see beauty anymore.  I used to.

I remember my time in Seward.  That’s one of my favorite places on Earth.  I remember my nights, just watching the ships that came in.  I remember how much I just wished that I could get lost in those lights.  I wish, every single day, that I could go back to those days, and live in that moment.  I am doing the best that I can to make a life that I want, but it seems that every time I get a leg up, everything falls apart.  There is this song on the movie “Cashback.”  I think it perfectly reflects how I feel about life.  It is so beautiful, and so tragic.  I wish I could live in that song, but that is not how it’s going to be.

Beauty is just a word.  This girl I wanted to get close to, she is…not my type.  At least, if there is more there than I believe there to be, she doesn’t want me to see it.  Either way, it is drying up, for both of us.  I think she is bored be me, as I am with her.  My cousin says I demand too much from people.  He doesn’t seem to understand (not surprising) that all I want is somebody that I can talk to, somebody who I am interested it.  For friendship or romance, that is all I want.  If I don’t have that, what else is there?  I am a lonely, creative, intellectual, and I am looking for a way not to be.  Unfortunately, I seem to lack the ability to make a woman interested in me romantically, and friendships with me seem to also be impossible.  My life is no fun.  The only time it is really worthwhile is when I am writing on my stories, or getting lost in a story.  Other than that, I guess some people are just meant to be alone.  But I hate that.  I hate every minute of it.

Until next time, a quote,

“They let me do my job, and they take away my pain.”  -Gregory House, House

Peace out,

Maverick

Music: A Window Into the Heart

Music, the thing that has brought people together since the beginning of time.  Truly, music probably is the only real medium of communication that has no language.  Math is for science, but the thing which connects the soul of one person with the soul of another is music.

There is a scene in the film “Cashback” which depicts that main character stopping time and doing portraits of the customers at the grocery store that he works in.  It has a song that gets into you, heart and soul.  That is the way that music should be.  It should be something that invades your every thought.  It should be something that makes your heart sing.  It should be something that can alter your day, your week, your year, your life.

When Igor Stravinsky debuted his ballet, “The Rite of Spring” in Paris, it caused a riot.  It has so much power, and was so against what people believed was acceptable music, that the musicians legitimately feared for their lives when they ran from the theater.  It made a whole city start to tear itself apart in a world of musical madness.  Can you even imagine how much power there must be?  Listen to that ballet someday, and you’ll see.  It is so primal, so powerful.  It makes your emotions rage as your heart started to rip open and you don’t want to stop listening because you don’t want the dance to end.  You don’t want to music to stop.  “Fantasia” did a fantastic job at depicting what Stravinsky wanted to depict.  He wanted to depict a violent growth of life on Earth.  Life’s growth on this world has been a violent thing.  Look at how violent it still is, that is how it has always been.  The changes of the world itself are a violent thing.  The film also did a brilliant depiction of that as well, showing how it is something that can make the mind go crazy, and the heart as well.

The Beatles were thought to have changed the world.  Arguably, they were the most powerful group in history.  Their music started as the typical love-songs that were so popular during that age, but gradually, they came to see that a different path was needed.  They saw that their music could make a massive change to society.  They came to understand that they were the most powerful force in the world.  Through their music, they thematically and literally opened our eyes to the understanding that there is so much hatred and deat hin the world.  “All you need is love,” they said.  It got to a point that while people didn’t sometimes know what they were talking about, they still realized that the music they were making mattered.  They were changing the world, one heart and mind at a time.  That is the most important thing.  And it is something that the modern age has forgotten.

There will never be a unifying force in music like The Beatles again.  The world is so connected now that there is no way for a person to bring mystery back to the world of music.  When The Beatles came to America, they brought about a change in music and mindset that made the world look different.  That kind of mentality or strength hasn’t been seen since then.  But it is still important.  Because music can not only change minds, it can also make a story come to life.

Watch the film, “The Sky Crawlers,” and you will understand what I am talking about when I say that music can make a story come to life.  Such a sad story, of people whose lives’ don’t matter.  Eternal children who kill others like them in a senseless war that means nothing.  There is a greater meaning that the pointless things we all do in life, the pointless conflicts which never end, they just brin more hate.  Kenji Kawai made that film come to life with his sad tones and his beautiful pieces which made all the scenes seem to come closer to your mind.  This world is a perpetual machine of sadness and pain.  Our species should be growing up to realize that our petty fights and our pointless squabbles about money, land, faith, they are all so pointless.  None of those things matter.  What matters is that we figure out a way to keep ourselves alive as a species.  And the whole problem is that we have not figured that out.  Mamoru Oshii is an amazing director, and he created a brilliant story, and music brought that story to life, in a way that most people didn’t think was possible.

There is a hidden power that music has.  Some people just think of it as something to jame out to.  Other people think that it is something to show who they are.  But most people never realize that there is something more involved in it all.  I am an atheist, but I love Christmas music.  A girl I knew when down to Maine and she sent me a CD.  Their massive church has a full choir, and one of their parishoners is the lead-conductor of the orchestra (whose name I have forgotten).  She sent me a copy of their Christmas album.  It was an amazing CD, which combined the wonders of a live and full orchestra, with a live and full choir.  While I don’t agree with the faith that drives most of the music on the CD, I think it is beautiful to listen to all the same.

I love so many kinds of music.  I listen to Billy Joel, Johnny Mathis, Pink Floyd, Frank Sinatra, George Gershwin, The Beatles, Elton John, Chris Botti, Igor Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, and so many others.  I hate country and most rap, but that is a different story.  The point is, music connects us all.  It is a story that is being told.  You can learn a lot about a generation by what music they have.  There are so many people who don’t believe that.  If only they knew.

Until next time, a quote,

“There are three types of music on this Fantasia program.  First there’s the kind that tells a definite story.  Then they’re the kind that, while it has no specific plot, does paint a series of, more or less, definite pictures.  Then there’s the third kind, music that exists simply for tone’s sake.”  -Deems Taylor, Fantasia

Peace out,

Maverick

LED and a Journalistic Perspective

So, I have strung up LED lights around my dorm room.  It creates a nice romantic technicolor atmosphere.  Now all I need is a girl to kiss!  But I digress.  It is not the LED lights that has brought me online at this point in time.  It is a much greater and much less understood issue that has brought my mind onto my WordPress blog.  My daily reader numbers has gone down a bit, but whatever.  It comes and it goes.  That’s life, right?  But regardless of how many view this blog, it is a subject that I, given that I am a journalism major, am particularly suited to talk about.  It may be a little out of date, but it matters all the same.  The topic is objective journalism.

Keith Olbermann recently did one of his famous “Special Comment“(s) about a piece that Ted Koppel had submitted to The Washington Post about how Olbermann, O’Reilly, and those at Fox, MSNBC, and CNN are destroying objective journalism.  I personally have a lot of respect for what Olbermann said.  He made a very good point, that all the journalism that has ever made a real difference has not been objective journalism.  But, while I loved that point that he made to death, it is not the one that I want to talk about.  It is the idea that there is such a thing as objective journalism.  In my informed opinion, no, there isn’t.  Let me spell it out for you why I think this is the case.

The simple fact is that it is impossible to avoid having your own opinion in a news piece, but not for the reasons you think.  The reason you can’t not have your own opinion in the piece is because you have to choose what goes into the piece.  Whatever is said or not said, it is entirely up to you.  Regardless of how noble your intentions are, when you go into the story, you will eventually have to pick and choose what you put into it.  When your editor comes to you, demanding that you write up your story in five minutes, what do you do?  You will eventually have to make the choice about what you are going to put into it.  And inevitably, you will leave out some pieces of the story, because you don’t deem them necessary.

And that’s the rub, isn’t it?  Even with the most noble intentions, you are unable to make a story completely objective.  You will eventually, and either consciously or unconsciously, have to make the choice about what goes into the story.  And it goes without saying that parts will be left out.  Reporters like Koppel, Murrow, and all the other great news reporters have had to do this.  The great stories that have changed history have not been objective journalism.  Ever.  The stories that have changed the world have been biased as all hell!  And every single one of us is thankful for this.  Interpretation of the news has led to every major change in history. 

Great journalists have had to do this.  If they just examined facts and didn’t show the truth for what it was, then Daniel Elsberg would have gone to prison, Nixon wouldn’t have resigned from the presidency, Vietnam would have gone on until everybody was dead, and a man wouldn’t have gotten impeached because of his penis (granted, I think that was retarded that everybody got so worked up over the fact that Clinton was a horndog, but whatever).  Biased journalism is something that is needed.  I’m not talking about spin, I’m talking about rationality.  The ideals of “fair and balanced” have been so controverted that they aren’t even understood anymore.  Just look at Fox.  Theirs is a network so hopelessly biased that they don’t know what the truth is anymore.  Granted, MSNBC and CNN are biased, but at least they are willing to criticise their own biased group’s stupidity as well as those who are on the opposite side of the debate.

The simple fact is that no matter how pure the intentions of a young reporter are, there is bias in all journalism.  Because all reporters have to choose what they will put in the story.  And believing that you can keep it objective is even more insane.  Are you going to give equal space to every side?  Are you going to give equal words?  Equal letters?  Equal time to read it?  It is impossible, and that’s a fact.  The best-laid plans of reporters eventually get buried under the concept of “under 500 words,” or “a soundbyte.”  This isn’t an evil thing, it is just how it is.  And reporting just facts doesn’t change anything.  The truth is that the facts that people like governments and corporations provide are often lies anyway.  People who are willing to look further, and judge what they see based on how they see it, that is how real change is made.

And there is a responsibility on the part of those who watch the news to also question, to not just accept what they are told.  The difference between “little l” viewers and conservative viewers is that conservative viewers of stations like Fox don’t question, won’t question, will never question.  Whereas, those who watch networks like CNN or MSNBC are much more likely to question.  Don’t blame the media because the public chooses to just be ignorant.  At least, for MSNBC’s part, when they make a mistake, they own up to it. When’s the last time Fox did that?

Until next time, a quote,

“I don’t know if I’m doing things right, but at least I’m trying.  I have to!  Because the other options are worse!”  -Keith Olbermann

Peace out,

Maverick

Modern American Government: Epic Fail

So, I have been thinking about this critically, and what I have concluded is that neither side of this government is even trying to help the people anymore.  They have failed in so many ways that I have honestly lost all faith that this government can eve hope and work for the people anymore.  So, how has the government failed?

1. Gay Rights
This is something that makes me so pissed off.  There is NO party that is representing the LGBY community.  The Republicans basically have said that these people are living in sin.  Christine O’Donnell basically said that the only problem with gay men is that they haven’t met the right woman!  Can you believe this crap?!  They are all a bunch of religious whack-jobs, and I hate to break it to you, but all homophobia is of religious origin.  They have never and will never be in favor of Gay Rights because that is what they do.  So, it falls to the Democrats, right?  Wrong!  They have been on the fence with this for years.  Only those who are elected officials and of the LGBT community have spoken out in support of it.  The rest of the Democrats have just had their hands behind their backs and have only been behind Gay Rights in theory.  The LGBT community has nobody sticking up for them.  This recent debacle with DADT has shown perfectly well what I am saying.  It is a lie.
So, how did the government fail?  Well, the fail here is that the American people, about 70%, according to recent polls, are saying that it should be repealed.  Quite a few leaders in the military are saying that it serves no purpose.  Of course, given how many stupid wars we are involved in, I can see why they would want the recruitment.  So many groups are coming out, the government literally is in the minority in their opinion to keep DADT.  So, what’s the hold-up?  Isn’t this government supposed to serve it’s people?  Let’s keep going, you can judge for yourself.

2. Economy I: The Military
I have this buddy who serves in the army.  He told me once that he doesn’t believe himself for a moment to be some kind of hero.  In his words, “I”m not some protector of freedom.  I’m an underpaid murderer.”  The truth is that there will never be another war between 1st-world countries again.  In 1st-world countries, war has actually become outdated.  You don’t need an army to conquer the world anymore.  You need a bank-account, a good 401K plan, and a stock portfolio.  War is unnecessary.  But what of those who say that we have to protect ourselves from terrorists?  I hate to break it to you, but the terrorists don’t have armies.  They have people who shove bombs in their underwear.  We don’t need SPARTANS to destroy them.  A few good wet-works guys that I’m sure the CIA has in storage would be much more effective.  I like how Dexter Morgan put it when he was preparing to chop a man apart, and had a prisoner on the show Dexter, “you were US Special Forces, I’m sure you have done this.”  What we need is a standing-army only. 
Wanna know my, and oh-so-many people’s idea to solve this problem?  The first thing to do would be to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and then, after that, withdraw from the rest of our bases around the world.  We still have 50,000 troops in Germany!  Last I checked, I think we got Hitler!  I don’t know, maybe I’m horribly misinformed.  So, does anybody in the government bring this up?  Hell no!  Granted, there has been some recent developments, and from within Republican lines!  That actually freaks me out a bit.  There have been Republicans talking about doing the smart thing here.  Our military budget is massively bloated.  We spend more on our army than the top 27 nations combined!  You wanna talk about cutting costs, I see a really big one right in front of me!  But does it ever come up in Congress?  Not a fucking chance.

3. Economy II: Universal Healthcare
Imagine, if we could cut the cost of spending with our military, what we could do.  When I talk about universal healthcare, people reference the inefficiency of the Canadian healthcare system.  I hate to break it to you, but that isn’t a government thing.  That’s a bureaucracy thing.  In European countries, they have gotten high marks form the World Health Organization across the board!  You don’t even want to know what the rating America’s healthcare system has got.  I’ll preface it by saying that Taiwan beats us.  Taiwan!  If we could cut military spending into ribbons, we would open up so much opportunity in regards to healthcare.  A lot of people want the current, horribly watered-down, bill to be expanded!  Rightly so!  It is so pathetic that our country is in shambles in regard to this.  If we actually got universal healthcare, and could clean up a lot of the other shit this country does, the Tea Party people would quit their bitching, and fast!

4. Economy III: Infrastructure
This is something so pathetic that I actually feel the people in this country should be ashamed.  Across the board, America get a hopelessly low rating in relation to our infrastructure.  This country is falling behind, and fast!  Hey, I got an idea, when we bring the troops home, let’s put these people to work!  How about we start building shit in this country again!  Or maybe we can make a mass-transit system, or maybe, and I know this sounds crazy, we could improve the schools, police, hospitals, firefighters, and so much more.  I know, they are all socialist things that should be abolished.  People’s belief that there should be no government at all is what is more amazing.  Didn’t Lord of the Flies teach us anything?  If people were left to their own devices, they would go crazy!  The world is full of crazy fucking people!  This can’t be helped.  We are an immature and stupid species.  America, being as religiously and ethnically divided as it is, would make this problem worse.
This government has a chance to fix things for everybody in this country.  But if you want to talk about just fixing this economy, I have another great idea, that will never happen.

5. Economy IV: Letting the Bush Tax Cuts Expire
When Clinton was in office, he raised the taxes on the rich.  This led to a surplus in our nation’s economy.  A surplus, ladies and gentlemen.  Then, Bush II came into office and he pissed it all away by starting two pointless and stupid wars.  Of course, there were other factors, but that is where it all started.  If we let the tax cuts expire, and actually taxed the rich a little bit more, who knows what we could accomplish.  What’s more, the truly rich in this country, they wouldn’t even feel it!  They wouldn’t even be slightly hindred by that!  But of course, Obama, the complete vagina (he stopped being a pussy, how he is a vagina), decided to fold on this issue.  I truly believe that man has no spine at all.

6. Putting the Screws to Wall-Street
Elizabeth Warren, the greatest thing to happen to this country in a long time, is now head of a new division of the government.  Is yet-another toothless organization of this government.  Now, I actually agree that too big a government is a bad thing.  But the corporations are nobody’s friend, except for the rich.  There is this thing called middle-ground.  My political science teacher explained it best.  France has figured out the perfect equilibrium.  They have the best bureaucracy in the world.  Our country has one of the worst!  What is it that European nations have figured out that we haven’t?  Oh, that’s right, they figured out how to keep the corporations from getting too powerful.  Our nation has some of the most lax regulations anywhere.  But, as always, the government isn’t stepping up.  Obama folded on his Wall-Street Reform Bill.  It was watered-down, just like the Healthcare Reform Bill.  That man has no spine, no spine at all.

So, what do you think?  Epic Fail, or huge success?  I blog, you decide.

Until next time, a quote,

“I wish the people would rise up and kill bankers!”  -Bill Maher

Peace out,

Maverick

Homophobia and Free Speech, A Lesson in BS

So, I got to thinking about some issues that have recently been coming up.  There is one that has taken over my thoughts, predominately.  I don’t know if you heard, but there was recently in the news a story about a teacher who disciplined a student for having a confederate flag belt-buckle.  Now, it has been leveled at me that this is an encroachment on “free speech.”  This is where I want to begin to talk about the fact that there is an epidemic in this country, and this issue is bullshit.

So, was it hindering free speech?  My answer is no.  Outside of school and work, you are free to be whoever you want to be.  You can be a complete asshole, or you can be a naturally nice person.  You can have as wacky or odd fashion sense as you please.  You can say what you please and do what you feel.  But, like so many things in society, there are places where you cannot be that way.  If you wear a shirt that says, “fuck off” to your job, you’ll probably either be subject to disciplinary action, or outright fired.  If you wear that same shirt to a school, and you are a student or a teacher, you will probably suffer the same fate.  This is how it works.  Free speech is something that everyone goes on about, but there are boundaries.  You may be immediately coming to arms about this, but let me explain-

Free speech is not above subjection to the rules of an organization.  It is naturally understood that you can’t do or say certain things when you are at a workplace.  I learned that lesson the hard way.  We don’t contest it, because we realize that the government doesn’t have control over the business world.  I would think that conservatives would love that, but I hear them bitch about how these people are hindering their rights.  Bleeding hypocrites, right?  It is the same thing with schools.  State governments make rules that tell students what they can and can’t wear.  You can’t dress too much like a slut, you can’t wear shit like “Gays should die.”  (I actually saw somebody wearing a shirt with that on it!)  You can’t give teachers the finger.  These rules are also understood.  It is also understood that a teacher makes the rules.  When a teacher lays down the law, that is the law, no question.  So, when this video that the kid is in, making an impassioned and wise-beyond-his-years speech came out, I was behind the kid.

The Confederate flag is not a symbol of unity.  Like so many things that came from the south, it is a symbol of dissonance and hatred.  Those who have Confederate flags are almost universally complete asshole, and I have met so many.  When people say that it is a symbol of being a “rebel,” they are clearly missing the point.  These people want a different America, the one from the 1950’s.  Yeah, that was such a good time, if you were a white Christian man.  So, when the teacher asked that student to take the belt-buckle off, I am am whole-heartedly behind it.  The Confederates were traitors to their country, and got what they deserved.  I personally think the south would still love to be their own country, and maybe they should be.

But this brings me to homophobia.  It is rampant in this country.  We have so much homophobia here that it actually makes me sick.  Going back to the south, back in the 1950’s, a guy would never admit to being gay in a lot of southern states.  In most of them, they still won’t.  And I hate to break it to you, but homophobia is a religious initiative.  It is religion that says that being gay is wrong.  It is religion that says that a man shall not lay with another man.  What a bullshit initiative.  If there were no religion, people wouldn’t give a shit about a person being gay.  But there is a deeper issue with the religious problem in this country.

Religion is not about humility.  Take a long look at some of the Tea Party dumbasses signs and observe what they say.  They go on about how much holier they are than the other people.  They talk about how God has their back and he is going to help them eliminate those who stand in their way.  The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas talked about how God was going to help her get rid of everybody who stood in the way of the Tea Party agenda.  This is the truth about religion, that it is ego, masquerading as humility.  People who believe in God, by nature of the fact that they have this faith, believe themselves to be better, or at least, better off, than those who don’t, or believe in a different god.  No religion (save Buddhism, too peaceful to judge, if they are devout to the ideals of the “faith”) is above this.  Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Mormonism, Scientology, they all have this belief that they are cut from a different cloth, and their cloth is better.

Homophobia is an issue that isn’t addressed in this country, because people just tend to not care.  We all do our thing, and we think it is just business as usual.  The LGBT community is horribly mistreated in this country.  It is my opinion that the atheist community is as well.  There are a lot of similiarities between the LGBT and atheist youth experience.  You lose friends over both.  You can be disowned by your family over both.  A whole community can hate you over both.  Granted, I think that being gay is a boatload harder, but still.

God is what’s wrong with this planet.  That’s a given, but I would think that people would recognize that.  What’s more, there is no political party who is willing to get behind the LGBT community.  The Republicans, never!  The Democrats, never.  The media, the public, everyone is screaming that this stupidity with DADT and so many other vile practices need to go.  When will the politicians catch on?  Given how much the listen to us now, probably never.

Until next time, a quote,

“We have a problem in this country; we legislate taste!”  -Bill Maher

Peace out,

Maverick