Posts Tagged ‘bill of rights

04
Sep
08

Reaction to Night 3 of the Repub Convention

So much to say! This is a long blog, so I bolded the main topics of each paragraph in case you just want to scan quickly.

It all kicked off well-enough with NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell having to give an update during the CONVOCATION. She was smack in the middle of the Alaska delegation and the people right behind her kept shooting her dirty looks over her shoulder. It was a hoot!

The main theme of the night was that the Republican ticket is offering Washington Outsiders to “shake things up!” Now, if I remember correctly – and I do – George Walker Bush ran as an outsider in 2000. The Republican “outsider” claim is nothing new, nothing original and their record of “outsiders” wrecked this country, but the people in those seats lapped it up like it was mother’s milk.

Meg Whitman

The first speaker I watched was Meg Whitman, former CEO of Ebay, and she was pretty good. We’ll have to expect more from her as a major contender for the California governorship. One of her lines that didn’t pass the smell test was that the Republicans are going to lower taxes on businesses. I have no doubt that they will – my objection lies in the fact that the Government Accountability Office released a report August 12 that said that two-thirds of U.S. Corporations paid NO federal taxes from 1998 to 2005.

See, Meg is talking about this Republican myth of trickle-down wealth. If you give all the rich people and big corporations tax breaks and cuts and benefits and loopholes and subsidies, they’ll create jobs and spread the wealth. They won’t horde it and use their power to keep minimum wage low or prey on those habitating the lower economic echelons. Well, we’ve had one of these trickle-down Republicans in office for eight years now and what has happened? The wealth gap has grown. The Developed-nation benefits like wages that rise with inflation, housing prices, health care and necessary prescription drugs are beyond a large percentage of Americans’ means. In my humble opinion, they can take their trickle-down bullshit and shove it.

Carly Fiorina then spoke and kept chanting, “I know John McCain,” in a way that made me think, “Eeeewww.”

Mitt Romney

Romney lit into a stream of hypocrisy (no surprise considering the 180 he did from when he was running as governor in Mass. to when he ran as pres.) about the east coast elites.” That probably made everyone in the audience do a double-take. He’s banking on Americans having short memories (and McCain losing so he can run in 2012). Then he spoke about how offering Guantanamo detainees Constitutional rights and siding with teachers’ unions was “liberal.” Isn’t it funny when doing the right, moral, ethical thing is LIBERAL? The Right have really sold their souls to Beelzebub. Maybe Romney can be his VP.

Mitt Romney almost made me vomit when he said, “Let’s keep Al Gore’s private jet on the ground.” And, what? Romney flies commercial? Yeah, and I don’t have dirty mouth. Whatever.

Rudy Giuliani

Now, Giuliani tried to appeal to those voters who still feel torn. Who are these people?? We have two extremely different candidates and I just want to meet one of these swing voters and ask what it takes to put them over the edge.. I also want to meet these people the media keeps saying “are just tuning in.” WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? I really want to know. Anyway…

Attacking the media was a large chunk of Giuliani’s speech, which is a typical tactic of the Right when they can’t win on actual campaign and election issues. The media attacks play well on talk radio and in the netherworlds in which the likes of Ann Coulter dwells. Doesn’t win elections.

But the screen behind Giuliani that was playing slide shows for the audience in the center kept changing colors and during the close-ups, it started to make me feel like I was on a bad acid trip. He laughed at Obama’s credential as a “community organizer” which stunned me a little bit (but prepped me for Palin’s speech) but urban voters aren’t Repubs anyway. All the rich Repubs just guffawed, as you’d expect.

He did have a pretty good zinger about Obama voting 100 (out of over 4,000 votes) “present” while an Illinois state senator. The line went something like: I didn’t know about this vote “present.” You don’t get that vote when you’re mayor. He delivered it flawlessly.

Then came one of the best moments of the night when I saw some guy sporting a shirt that said: More Cowbell, Less Obama. If you’re any kind of “Saturday Night Live” or Will Farrell fan, that’s some funny shite. However, Cindy McCain was sporting some god-awful green shower curtain as a dress. Whoever is her stylist needs to be waterboarded!

Sarah Palin

Now, Sarah Palin was somethin’ else. I give it to her, I really do. If this race was to be decided on speech delivery, she’d take the whole cake, hands down. She made Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina and Joe Lieberman look like wilting flowers. Biden himself couldn’t hold a candle to her. If they don’t win the election and the Repubs make her a scapegoat (which I don’t think they will and, if they do, the Religious Right will protect her) she could easily make a living as comedian. It took her a second to get her timing in relation to crowd cheers down, but once that was set she was off and running. She couldn’t have done a better job. If I wasn’t an informed voter and thinker, I’d say, Sign me Up! I’m buying what you’re selling!

Now let’s talk about what she actually SAID. While there was no policy in her speech, she did open with the fact that a special-needs child provokes special love and special-needs parents will have an advocate in the White House. I just wonder how she will advocate for them. She’s against stem-cell research. Her policy stances will make it harder for special-needs parents to find insurance and funding for their child. She wouldn’t advocate raising the minimum wage and the vast majority of special-needs parents are not well-off. LOTS of questions there for those special-needs parents she’s courting.

She also said that when they get into office, they want to “leave this world (or country or something) better than when they found it.” Which is really funny because the Repubs do not allot any subsidies for alternative energy developers the way they do for oil & gas and coal companies. Their policies are not green. They fight relentlessly to keep many animals off the endangered-species list. Their polices lead innumerable middle-class families to fall below the poverty line. So, how, in what way would they leave this country better? Especially because their predecessor Bush is leaving not only this country, but the world much, much worse than how he found it. So, that line really made my bullshit detector go off, as it did when she spoke about integrity and good convictions. Apparently, she hasn’t been paying attention the last eight years.

Sarcasm, Condescension

Sure, the speech was sarcastic and condescending and smug and petty and divisive with no mention of policy promises or real issues. But it was a damn good speech. She came out swinging and landed plenty of well-placed blows; she eclipsed Biden – who is the king of sarcasm. And I love sarcasm – I think it’s a wonderful tool to make a point – it’s the language I speak. Sure, my reaction to her community organizer put downs was “Back the fuck up, bitch!” But otherwise, I thought the speech and her delivery were stellar.

The problem is that she could run into the Ann Richards Factor. Remember the whole “Poor George. It’s not his fault. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth” line. As a Texan, I have it tatooed on my hippocampus. But Ann Richards lost. Sarcasm without substance is short-lived and the debates are coming up. So, good job Sarah – when you’re coming down off this high remember to learn how your ticket actually stands on the issues. Because, as any reasonable person knows (aside from Rick Davis), this election is about the issues.

Old Man McCain

Did you see when McCain came out after Palin’s speech and her whole family was on stage and he said, “Don’t you think we made the right choice?!” meaning Palin and he had to actually turn 360 degrees because he forgot on which of his sides she was standing? That was friggin’ hysterical. We rewound it and watched it a few times.

Also, when McCain was standing with the Palin family, he hugged Sarah once or twice but he only really talked to her husband. You can tell he’s not that comfortable with Sarah – perhaps women in general – and relates to her husband more. Very telling. And now he has a VP that outshines him and makes him look like a doddering old fool. Good luck reading that teleprompter tonight!

Overall

They milked McCain’s POW experience for all it was worth again last night, but the main theme was borrowed from every Republican convention in recent memory. The Repubs are the party of outsiders and they’re going to go in and shake up Washington. Now the ridonkulousness of this is obvious. The Repubs control the White House and have controlled the White House 20 of the last 28 years. The Republicans controlled congress from 1994 to 2006 and rubber-stamped Bush’s destruction of this country. This “do-nothing” Democratic congress has only done “nothing” because the Republicans have launched an all-out assault on the legislative process, led by Tom Coburn, by obstructing any effort by the Democrats to accomplish anything. Because if the Republicans aren’t in charge, ruining everything – they’re going to at least make sure the Democrats can’t fix things.

So, the “Republicans are outsiders” argument is crap and everyone knows it. Why are most congresspeople under investigation or in prison Republicans?! And, let me say that after all this time, if you can’t figure that out – you deserve a world where McCain and Palin lead the executive branch. I just kept looking at that small sea of Republicans and thought, you gave us George W. Bush, you delivered the most freedom-limiting, corrupt administration in history and you think you deserve to win this election? You have brought this country to its knees and you still think you have the best candidate when he agrees with everything Bush has done, yet acknowledges we are worse off than we were four years ago? It’s like the Republicans are just one big club of crack smokers!

While the Republicans kept using the same old, false lie “Democrats just want to tax you and control you” over and over again, they forgot to mention that Obama’s economic policy lowers taxes for over 85 percent of Americans. The Repubs want to wage wars, lower taxes for the rich, and cede power to the corporations. That’s the one word they kept forgetting to mention: Corporatocracy. They wail about Democrats wanting to tell people what to do (while saying You Can’t Have an Abortion, You Can’t Get Married, I’m Going to Tap Your Conversations Without a Warrant, You Can’t Do Embryonic Stem Cell Research), they forgot to say how they’ll trade our right to privacy for corporate donations, they’ll help corporations collude and create monopolies and continue to rape the American people through their nontransparent predatory practices.

The Religious Right wants to run our lives and cage us and bring the Constitution in line with the Bible – yet claim it’s the Democrats that want to tell Americans what to do. Empty rhetoric that clearly has no bearing on reality. It makes me ill.

And, lastly (promise), the Religious Right Wing Republican Cult was in tip-top form for Sarah, with many state delegations even wearing the same outfit. It was cute. It reminded me of North Korea – you know, those big music programs with 100,000 dancers and gymnasts perfectly in step. Republicans fall in line. They do what they’re told. Their church leaders say: look the other way while I molest your children and spend your hard-earned money extravagantly. Go vote Republican, so I can continue to illegally receive tax breaks while endorsing candidates and supporting political parties. Go change government so I can control the rest of the country like I do you. Go out and spread the abomination that is this religion.

I tell you what, Sarah Palin heralded the re-introduction of the Culture Wars and made it clear that the Republican Party is no longer just about Lower Taxes and the Entrepreneurial spirit (false). They’re about theocracy and control and unConstitutional endeavors. Democrats, Independents, freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and everybody else better start paying attention. We could lose the Supreme Court. You think Eminent Domain is bad? Just wait. The new Gestapo will make George Bush look like a freedom-fighter.

If you appreciate your civil liberties and the Bill of Rights – you had better start actively protecting them because we have a strong ticket that wants to take them all away. And they will if we give them an inch. And I’m not being sarcastic.

click here to read a good blog by jane smiley on huffpo

gloria steinem reacts to palin’s speech

Huffpo: …an Obama aide told the Huffington Post that the campaign has raised $8 million since her (Sarah Palin’s) speech last night “from over 130,000 donors – on pace to hit $10 million by the time John McCain hits the stage tonight…McCain campaign says it has raised $1 million.

30
Jul
08

Evangelical Voters Poison Democracy, Part I

The recent rise and decline of the evangelical influence in our political system is intensely worthy of investigation and analysis. That one minority group can unleash such destruction on a political system designed to withstand tyranny of the masses is at the very least distressing and frightening. I have decided to offer my opinion on the issue, which has unsurprisingly grown to a blog much too long to read in one or even two sittings. Therefore, I am releasing my opinion in a series, beginning today.

For far too long the Religious Right has enjoyed a position of legitimacy on the national political stage. Beginning with Billy Graham, men have used religion not just to build a pedestal for their own control and domination, but also to access the highest offices in our land. The untouchable nature of religion – Christianity, to be exact – has delivered privilege and power to these leaders who were never elected and cared more for the influence they could exert than strengthening the representative democracy that allows our country to flourish in modern times.

The rise of the Religious Right has wreaked a havoc on our precious democracy never seen before in our nation’s history and delivered to us a president that has single-handedly allowed the drastic reduction in our freedoms and liberties. Our government, under Bush, has ceased to function as a healthy sovereignty by the citizenry and slowly begun to morph into an authoritarian regime with puppet masters who care not for the maintenance of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights or any of the political foundations that define us as Americans.

Christian Church Culture

The Christian religion is patriarchal in nature and does not encourage the question of authority, respect of all its members or appreciation for progress and education. To be sure, there are variations to the pattern, however, the basic mold is one of a dominant, male god who will not hesitate to cruelly punish those refusing to believe in his existence, yet reward the followers who faithfully defy common sense and worship a basic nothingness with no evidence other than a collection of works by men seeking power and prestige in their own time.

Why a god would choose to care which members of his creation believe in him and deem it appropriate to damn those who do not to eternal hellfire is beyond me, but there you have it. The faith the majority of Americans share.

The Christian religion flourished through military domination and the usurpation of local traditions of the cultures into which it expanded; Christmas, Christmas trees, Easter, etc. were not originally Christian. And while political progress has relegated much of Christianity outside judiciary and legislative walls, dangerous relics of Christianity’s theocratic urges still threaten the rational form of law that unites the states.

Perhaps this would not be possible if those raised and essentially brainwashed in these churches were not so easily swayed by their religious leaders. A Christian family well understands that the father is the “head of the household” – the decision-maker. It’s Biblical. The head of the church is the community leader, the most powerful example being the Pope who is both leader of the church and head of his very own city-state and Swiss guards in crazy outfits.

Respect for control and authority is taught early, with assimilation and cooperation rewarded. Those who “backslide” face public humiliation and familial shunning. Children who take up the mantle of Christianity into the world in an effort to grow the religion’s numbers tend to be praised and lavished with approval. The basic human need to belong to a group and desire for popularity with those they find familiar feed the drive Christians to remain loyal to their church despite any private misgivings over the teachings and proclamations by either the Bible or church leaders.

Furthermore, Christians are repeatedly told how their faith is under attack and they need to “take back this nation for Christ.” There’s a Holy War with Satan in our midst and a demon around every corner. It is their Christian duty to spread the gospel and stomp on the Devil with their every movement. In a very psychologically effective manner, these evangelical churches are convincing their brethren to gather and fight. Against what, they really do not know. There is no specific enemy, no real danger. But the beating of war drums in these churches every Sunday, keeps the congregations exited, convinced and – above all – obeying every word and easily brainwashed to cast votes according to instruction.




Scarlet Letter of Atheism

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