Friday, October 29, 2010

Go Vote!

OK citizens, time to do your civic duty and go vote.  Don't tell me you don't have time. I just got back from early voting and the lines are short, the process fast and you can get it done and know you've done what you should have to keep our grand experiment moving forward.

I don't care who you vote for (well, I do, but this post is non-partisan).  Vote for your own self interest.  Vote for an issue that is important to you.  Vote because you believe in the notion that governments are derived from the consent of the governed.  Just vote.

The title of this post contains a link to the League of Women Voter's site.  This is one of the best sources of information on candidates that is objective and doesn't have political agendas associated with their information gathering on the candidates.  They do an outstanding job of gathering available information on candidates' stances on issues and do so in a clear and objective manner that will inform versus incite.

It is extremely important to be informed on the issues as you prepare to go an vote.  The issues that are important to you may not be as important to me, but that doesn't matter.  It's important you understand where the candidate's point of view on your issues are versus what party they may be affiliated with.  Get multiple sources of information on your prospective candidates.  If you are conservative and generally listen to Fox News, get some opposing view points and consider them, then look for a neutral commentary on the issue from someone who is fairly non-partisan.  If you are liberal and generally listen to MSNBC, do the same. 

I've found for me,  foreign press generally has fairly objective points of view when it comes to major issues (economy, health care, war, etc.) that provide some alternatives to the usual sources of information in this country.  The Economist, The Financial Times,  The Guardian,  Agence' France, Al Jazeera, and other sources of information provide multiple perspectives to consider in order to shape an opinion. 

So, that's my Public Service Announcement for sourcing information regarding issues.  If that works for you great. If not, try some other method, but for goodness sake be informed and vote.  It's your government and your democracy, and it's your responsibility.

I voted,  so can you.

Tell me What You Think

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sabotaging Democracy

It is becoming increasingly apparent to me that the general electorate has given up on the political process.  The reason I feel this way is watching the crop of "Tea Party" candidates that have caught hold of the anger of the general populace on the economy.  Now in most cases, this wouldn't be a bad thing.  Sometimes it takes new blood and thinking to shake the general populace out of its complacency and send people they truly believe will do something good for the country to Washington to represent them. 

However,  the current crowd of Tea Party candidates are shockingly ridiculous in what they are saying and doing.  From Sarah Palin, the Tea Party Beauty Queen to Carl Palodino, the candidate running for governor in New York, they are woefully too under qualified, under informed or just plain crazy to effectively handle the myriad of problems facing our country today.  People like Karl Rove and Dick Armey, both whom front "grass roots" initiatives say they are speaking for the country. Well, they aren't  They are speaking for special interests such as the Koch Brothers, Wall Street, and other corporate groups who we don't know because their donations do not have to be disclosed.   

Consequently big money is sabotaging democracy.  The general working person, regardless of conservative or liberal perspective is getting the shaft whether they know it or not.  Sadly, most do not know it.  In fact, most are so flagrantly oblivious to what is happening and who is running that they have by their ignorance endorsed the most inept group of people to be their representatives that we will likely ever see running for office. 

What has our election process become if not a giant charade?  2008 was a period of incredible optimism and hope.  We (the folks that supported Obama) felt that change was truly going to come to Washington. The people's work would be done.  Our collective dream would be advanced and that we'd see the end of torture, illegal war, back-room deals, cynicism driving legislation and a general level of "Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss".  Alas,  the inverse was true.  Guantanamo is still opened.  Don't Ask Don't Tell is still the Law of the Land.  Afghanistan and Iraq are still shipping corpses home to be grieved over by their parents, siblings, loved ones and friends.  Yes, I know, you'll tell me we've done some good work, and indeed we have.  Health Care reform is a "Big F'ng Deal" like the Vice President said it was. However, it has come with a "Big F'ng Cost", and I don't mean the financial aspect of the legislation.  The deal, to be struck was so elongated in process and full of sacrifices that it still lines the pockets of the insurance companies, introduces millions of new customers to the bloodsuckers through the mandate and finds a way to leave 10 million people uninsured.  It's a start. I'd prefer the legislation exist than not, but what should have become a siren song of victory for this administration against an obstinate, obstructionist, bunch of Republicans hell bent on denying Obama even a tiny victory was a shadow of what it could have been.  This has been the pattern for the last year and change. Obama and the Democrats will attempt to pass some legislation based on what people actually want (Jobs, Health Care, Financial Reform, Repeal of DADT), and the Republicans will filibuster, stall, prevaricate, scare, each of these initiatives so long and so loud that some people begin to actually believe the drivel they spout.  "Obama is a Muslim!"  "Obama is a Communist!"  "Obama is Hitler!"  "Obama is a Anti-Colonial Kenyan!" On and on, this utter bullshit gets thrown out over the well funded airways by people like Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, and the rest of that odious pack of jackals at Fox News. 

So we see the response of the lemmings (the people) to this call to action. Beck says we have to "fight for our survival".  "Buy Gold!, It's the only thing that will save you from the Marxists Socialists Fascist Muslims!"

As a result, the crowd that responds to this nonsense is joined by people actually concerned about taxes and spending and where the debt is going. I do not hold these people in contempt. They are seriously concerned about a major issue and if they have a problem with Obama and the Democrats approach to cleaning up the raw sewage left by the Bush Administration then fine, keep it coming.  However, what I decry is they are lining up with the lunatics that would actually put people like Sarah Palin, Joe Miller, Sharon Angle, Christine O'Donnell, Rand Paul, Carl Palodino, and the rest of these half-wits in office.

Look, some of the views that they spout make some sense.  A fairer tax code is necessary.  We need immigration reform that does secure our borders more effectively. However, even a broken clock (if it's analog) is right twice a day, and that doesn't excuse the utter crap coming out of their mouths that wants to repeal the 14th amendment, or doesn't know the 1st amendment has an establishment clause precluding the government from establishing a religion, or believes the civil rights act signed into law in 1965 "went too far".  We don't need homophobes, self-professed ex-witches, mama-grizzlies, or any of this ilk.  We don't need puppet masters like Dick Armey and Karl Rove getting millions of dollars in unknown sourced money that is funding alleged "grass roots people initiatives.  We don't need Newt Gingrich trying to yet again bring more bullshit about Obama being some mysterious and sinister figure hiding under our beds just waiting to jump out and scare the hell out of us.

What we need are solutions.  The Democrats are offering them up, badly, but offering them up none the less.  The Republicans are doing nothing. The Tea-Party are shouting at they sky expecting the color to turn green or something. I really don't know what the hell they are for. I know what they are against, but please, someone get a bit more specific on "liberty and freedom" will ya? 

Our Democracy has become a retail item on Meg Whitman's e-bay machine.  Auctioned off to the highest bidder who will then sell little pieces of it back to the people who have nothing better to do than bid on what they should already have as a result of being born an American citizen.


Tell me what you think.