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Post-Election Exhumation

11/03/2010 Leave a comment

I have posted this line from Network before, but it’s a classic worth repeating. It’s the moment in the film when Peter Finch’s character Howard Beale flips out and announces his rage. Fair warning, there is language below that some might find offensive.

“We all know things are bad — worse than bad — they’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out any more. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we’re living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, “Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials, and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.”

Well, I’m not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot. I don’t want you to write to your Congressman, because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street.

All I know is that first, you’ve got to get mad.

You’ve gotta say, “I’m a human being, goddammit! My life has value!”

So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

It does seem that for most, yesterday was that winning moment. Here in liberty land, however, I’m not half as excited. I was not surprised how bad things became. I won’t be surprised when nothing changes. After all, even those of us who didn’t vote for President Obama in 2008 secretly hoped for that promised change. I believe in benefit of doubt, but once reality hits, doubt fades. We can point fingers or blame the past, but it’s easy to see nothing has truly changed for the better.

I can only cross my fingers and wish for actual progress, regress, or whatever formulae will initiate a wholeness of liberty and freedom never before realized. I don’t care under which banner you stand, as long as you stand for the U.S. Constitution and the promises of liberty, justice, and the American Way.

I’m not a pessimist, but I am not here to fluff up a rock and tell you it’s a pillow. I am a realist. We may have elected some decent individuals yesterday, but I think we could have done a mite better overall.

-RJP

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Categories: General

Justice

10/15/2010 Leave a comment

“Justice postponed is justice denied.” -William E. Gladstone

Categories: General

Suggested Reading

09/23/2010 Leave a comment

We just don’t read enough. Reading not only expands the vocabulary and increases knowledge, it could possibly save sanity. This drives me to offer a few items you should consider reading this week:

These links are provided for your contemplation, not conversion. I pour over multiple sites through my RSS aggregate and select the few articles that are worth the time it takes to read them. So let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading,

Categories: General, Suggested Reading

Just a Question

03/19/2010 Leave a comment

Heard on MSNBC:  “I also left it with a real sense of compassion for our president and what he is going through…We have to… uh…um… be compassionate towards those who are called upon to make decisions for this nation. It’s not a… it’s not an easy burden that he has taken up.” Dennis Kucinich on changing his health care vote from no to yes after meeting with President Obama on board Air Force One.

Where was his compassion when former POTUS Bush was in office?

Just a Question.

You’re Biased

02/18/2010 1 comment

You are biased. You are driven by your ego. You vote based on your emotional response to a given topic, plank, or candidate. Whether it’s nature or nurture, you are a product of your environment.

I’m sure we have all seen the ethics puzzle below*:

Question 1: If you knew a woman who was pregnant, who had eight children already, three who were deaf, two who were blind, one mentally retarded, and she had syphilis, would you recommend that she have an abortion?

Remember your honest answer and go to question 2.

Question 2: It is time to elect the world leader, and your’s is the deciding vote. After reading the facts about the three leading candidates, which candidate would get your vote?

  • Candidate A: He associates with crooked politicians, and consults with astrologers. He’s had two mistresses. He also chain smokes and drinks up to ten Martinis a day.
  • Candidate B: He was ejected from office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in college and drinks a large amounts of whisky every evening.
  • Candidate C: He is a decorated war hero. He’s a vegetarian, doesn’t smoke, drinks an occasional beer and hasn’t had any extra-marital affairs.

Though certain facts have been slightly exaggerated, the point remains, you did not wholly answer on your own, your past and present environment dictates how you answer the above questions. What if you were to change your environment? Would it affect your vote?

It’s nothing new that people move to areas that best fit them physically, emotionally, and even demographically; at times even without thought. Today, however, the trend is to move to areas that best fit you politically as well. While this is not entirely new, the scale of individuals and families uprooting from their generational home state and moving across the country is on the rise. One example on a larger scale is the Free State Project. Nearly 800 people have actively participated in the move to New Hampshire as of this writing, and more have stated they are in the planning stages.

There are also those of us who choose to live on the front line; Staunch Republicans living in Seattle, or Progressive Democrats living in small-town Texas. This group has either considered their environmental affect, their political outlook, and are fighting the current for change or just simply stuck with no where else to go. Whichever the case may be, these individuals normally have stress levels twice the national average; if so measured.

In the end, changing your environment could have significant affect on how you vote. We must realize, however, that disregarding your environment and social circles when you begin thinking about your political stance is not the best foot forward. Take a moment and think about your surroundings and your family culture as we approach midterm elections. Attempt to decipher how your political decisions develop and if you are wholly comfortable with where you stand on election issues. You alone are responsible for your vote. No one has the right to tell you how to vote or take that privilege from you. Educate and liberate.

* See comment.

Thanks for reading,

It’s What’s Wrong

02/17/2010 Leave a comment

EXAMPLE A:  The taxes during the X administration were higher than they are today, and the American public still spent Z percentage (a large amount of money) of the national GDP.

Example A is true. The fact, however, is that there was an economic boom when administration X was in office. Therefore, although the tax rate was higher, the American public still felt they had plenty at the end of the month to purchase that third, 60-inch, flat screen, high definition, LCD television they didn’t need. The uneducated voter would see this political truth as today’s higher taxes not being the large burden that Party X makes it out to be.

EXAMPLE B:  Party X worked all week to obtain enough Party Y votes in order to get H.R. 1234 to the president’s desk, which, when signed, would give monies to food shelters across the United States. Party Y, however, could not be moved to a yes vote.

Example B is true. The fact, however, is that the bill was chock-full of pork-barrel projects that the opposing party would not get behind. Bill H.R. 1234 also contained discretionary spending measures that would profit Union organizers. Party Y did not see that as a necessity. Therefore, although they fully support giving money to food shelters, Party Y will not vote yes. The uneducated voter can read this in the newspaper, hear it from various talking heads, and even go to the THOMAS website, and see all those “NAY” votes next to Party Y member names and assume that Party Y are the horrible lot that Party X warned me about. Political truth wins again. See what’s wrong?

Politicians love to give truths without the facts. The common man call these half-truths or white lies, but in the political world, it’s called semantics; the meaning or interpretation of a word or phrase. Candidates across the board will misuse truth in order to garner votes or political sway. Political action committees, special interest groups, and even the voters themselves, often in ignorance, use this trickery to aid in building an enraged populous under their political banner. If the facts were known, the tables would turn.

It is our responsibility. It is our job as voters to check the facts ourselves before we act. We cannot solely rely on politicians, nor any major news source to factually report every angle of every story. Any honest politician will tell you to look it up yourself. Never trust a politician who says, “just trust me;” unless, of course, Jack Bauer decides to run for office.

An informed public, is a smarter public. That is a fact.

Thanks for reading,

I Saved You A Seat

02/16/2010 Leave a comment

I’ve heard it time and again. Our system of government is based on a two-party system. You have the Democrats and the Republicans, Blue States and Red States, liberals and conservatives. There is no room for a third party. The way I see it, we currently have three types of politicians on Capitol Hill; Historians, Utopians, and the Mute.

  • It’s no surprise the Historians base their political ends on history. It seems a solid approach; using time-tested methods to achieve similar results regardless of the era. This segment, however, tends to be myopic, slow to change, and find it difficult to communicate outside of their ranks. This can be frustrating for a minority group seeking resolution to social problems or a public who desire open communication. This group can often bring wonderful ideas to the table but lack the foresight, tolerance, or even the means to implement them.
  • Creating a Utopian society is a must for some politicians. Their honorable desire is to build a better world. Their mistake is believing that the flaws of human nature can be improved by a large government placing the populous under tight restrictions, thereby forcing people to adopt a universal moral code. Their wholesale rejection of how humankind functions is proof positive of their unwavering focus on the ends and sheer disregard the means. Their dreams are great and shared by many, but their affliction is the lack of constituent involvement for implementation and feedback. Sadly, this segment is largely ignorant to their affliction, and if they are aware, they wouldn’t admit it.
  • The Mute are those that are rarely, if ever, seen or heard. They fail to implement the changes their constituents desire due to party politics clogging the wheels with political semantics, pork-barrel projects, roll call delays, and closed session deals. They share the Historian’s strength and place their hope in a free world, but cannot focus their abilities in a proper format or often allow their party affiliation to move their vote. This last segment may only serve a single term in the federal government after serving in local or state governments. They seldom get anything truly accomplished.

These three segments don’t have a singular party banner with a capitalized letter. They have no color. Politicians are constantly struggling to redefine themselves, but still feel the need to attach themselves to an over-arching ideology. This is the reason it has become popular to call oneself a progressive Republican or a moderate Democrat.

In response, we should take the best of these three segments and apply them to our own political framework. We should refuse to be party puppets and platform parrots. We should not be driven to the polls by fast-talking pitchmen armed with political talking points and fear-mongering television adverts paid for by special interest groups. The sooner third-party individuals stop settling for the -D and -R behind a candidates name, the better off we will be as a nation. If the Tea Party Patriots and President Obama have shown us anything, it’s that grassroots works. Write-in if you must, but let your voice, your vote, be heard.

Thanks for reading,

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