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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hypocrisy and politics

Some thoughts on the RNC's keynote address:

1) Anyone who runs for executive office and makes promises to make wholesale changes is full of shit.  Our system of government isn't designed for one office or branch to have power.  It's the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT REASON why Obama's presidency can be judged a failure--lack of cooperation from the legislative branch.

2) The amount of hypocrisy that came from the lips of the man entrusted by many to be their candidate for president of our country is appalling.  Some may term his final comments a call to unity, but I heard him blame Obama for the lack of unity in this country.  Really?  When the sole purpose of the republican party since January 2009 has been to oppose, block, gridlock, and hate on President Obama?  So is that the reason we have so much disunity because Obama is the president or is he the cause?  Either way, the GOP needs to hold up a mirror when casting blame on America's lack of unity.

3) Mr. Romney is probably much smarter than me when it comes to economics but he seems to misunderstand something.  He is absolutely correct about America needing jobs and that we need to get the private sector to create them.  What he seems to miss (or not say at least) is that private corporations aren't doing the things necessary to stimulate job growth.  In fact they're hoarding profits, rather than reinvesting them in their businesses.  So some entity has to fill that gap.  Unfortunately for the tax payers it's been the US government.

We can debate the tax code for at least a decade and its influence on private corporations' incentive to spend domestically.  But the reality is that a) America became a service economy decades ago and b) it's too costly to build anything here thanks to the high standards the average American expects in the workplace.

Say hypothetically you could get the same quality of burger at Morton's the Steakhouse as you could at say Burger King, with the only difference being BK prepared it in different conditions.  The beef is the same.  The bun is the same.  Toppings equally as fresh.  BK uses a 5' x 5' kitchen manned by a person making $6.50/hr whereas Morton's uses a gigantic state of the art facility where it's chefs are paid six figures.  BK charges $1.99; Morton's $15.99.  BK's profits on burgers are higher because of less overhead.  Who do you think other burger makers, interested in profit, are going to emulate?  Who do you think the America worker wants to emulate?  As a result, guess where burgers are more likely to be made?

4) Romney will win votes among Christians because of his promise to allow God to be his guide in governing the country.  There is a sincere belief by some that if God guides the president, then we will be alright.  There are a couple problems with this theory.  First, the President has to make some tough calls in the interest of "national security," you know like ordering the murder of tyrants, etc.  Last I checked, thou shalt not kill so that'd be a tough call to make no?  Second, this assumes that the United States has divine purpose and promise.  This is the same country built on slavery, disenfranchisement and the oppression of the fairer sex.  The same country where many of it's greatest success stories start with illegal or at least immoral activity.  God's nation according to Christianity is Israel not the United States.  The United States' purpose is NOT divine.  God did not anoint or even bless America; America rose up and took it gangsta style.  The rain falls on the just AND the unjust; just because American has been dominant doesn't make us ordained.  Get a grip and read some prophecy.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Newsroom Moment

America is NOT the greatest country on the planet.  That's right--I said it.  America is certainly the worlds best idea, but not its best country.  In an effort not to make this blog entry any longer than it already will be I won't go into the reasons why its not.  The list is simply too long.  Instead I'll harp on one: lack of unity.

See America is awesome because we have "freedom."  There's freedom of speech which allows us to say what we want, when we want with certain obvious limits--like not yelling fire in a crowded public place.  There's the freedom to practice whatever religion you want.  There's supposed freedom of the press so that the electorate (that's the people who actually vote, not everyone that's eligible) are informed when they go to make decisions.  "Freedom of the press" means no government influence.  Unfortunately here in America we have corporate influence--which may be worse than government influence--but I digress.

My point is with all these freedoms, there's one we seem to miss: the freedom to disagree.  This is often lost on the citizenry, mainly because the press acts as an instigator.  Rather than reporting the facts, the facts are often reported on and weighed in on by "experts"--people who either share one view or another to give THEIR opinion.  Soon, you have a handful of blowhards representing the "voice of the people" and by the "people" I mean the group that shares opinion X.  This leads to divisiveness, and thanks to social media--the revolution that brought democratic principals to the globe--it helps spread it like a virus.

As a result the United States is more divided now than at any other time in it's history--and we actually fought a civil war at one point.  I'd even argue that the fight never really ended.  Yeah we abolished slavery, but freed slaves were still second class citizens.  Even after Blacks were given rights by law, they weren't afforded them in practice.  Women were treated unequally even after the Civil Rights movement.  Racism is still alive and well in this country; the targets are just more diverse.  But it doesn't just stop with race and gender.

Our nation is divided on issues that are personal matters (and in some cases personal choices) that are really no one's business.  Race and gender are issues beyond our control.  You're born that way.  But where I buy a friggin chicken sandwich and what my personal beliefs are shouldn't be media fodder.  And if my thoughts and feelings on either issue are unimportant so are anyone else's no matter their fame or position.  These things just don't matter.

Now people want to legislate what they believe and make it law.  We need to ban same sex marriage because its immoral.  Says who?  God?  I'd co-sign that sentiment...except we live in a country where God and matters of state are supposed to be separate.  If you can give me some rational basis that any state or government has to ban ANYONE from marrying who the hell they please then by all means provide it.  What interest does the State have in any of your personal choices (aside from possession/use of drugs)?  Its like the ban on fois gois (sp).  The State can't MAKE people make kosher choices in food.  What makes people think the state can dictate who you can marry?

Furthermore, the state can't then force a private owned business out because the CEO (not even the owner/operator) runs his company based on religious principals.  Private organizations can do that.  The State cannot.  That's the difference.  While this private company is a business that is one of public access (i.e. it can't discriminate), that isn't even the allegation in play here.  No one has said "Chick-fil-a will deny access or employment to anyone lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered."  First of all, HOW WOULD THEY KNOW???  Yes some are obvious.  But really, being gay is NOT the same as being say Latino or Asian--you can SEE that someone is Latino or Asian.  Did anyone know Teddy Pendergrass was on the down-low?  NO--at least not until he got in that car accident while getting a hummer from a transvestite prostitute.  But you knew Teddy P was Black.

With Facebook and Twitter blowing up over such issues, they suddenly become newsworthy--to the point that now our news outlets report on them.  HOW IS THIS SHIT NEWS??  What difference does it make what anyone who does not have a direct effect on the personal lives of the citizenry believes personally???  Does it matter what President Obama thinks?  Sure to a degree.  What really matters is what our collective legislatures think, and they'll think whatever the majority wants them to in order to get elected.  But what the majority thinks about personal issues like these SHOULDN'T MATTER.  Because once the state has enough of an interest in my personal life to start to legislate it, freedom goes out the window.  Bet you lack of "freedom" will unify some folks.  It worked so well in the 1860s.

Your highness in waiting,