Thursday, October 30, 2008

How things change...

In the present day, the Democratic Party is is viewed as the party that wants to help everyone, bring about change, and generally fight for a better America. The Republican Party is viewed as fear and mate mongers, categorized by failed foreign and economic policies.

Supporters of the Democratic Party are often viewed as educated middle-class Americans, often white collar, but not particularly wealthy (read, not in the top 2% financially) along with urban blue-collar workers - those that are concerned with positive social programs, essential freedoms, and equality for all. Supporters of the Republican Party are often thought of as one of two types of people: wealthy fat cats that use their wealth for personal gain, and lesser-educated people, generally poor and white (but not always so), living in rural areas, who are often termed rednecks and/or racists (I know this is far from true, but this is the common stereotype - Republicans have George W. Bush to thank for that).

Let's set the way back machine for 1860, when Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President, won the nomination and eventually the election for President. Three years later in 1863, he abolished slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation, which led to the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in 1865, which abolished slavery on a Constitutional level. Lincoln won two terms in office, and energized the Northern States so much that, along with Lincoln's reelection in 1864, every Northern state also elected a Republican Governor, and both the Senate and House also had overwhelming Republican majorities. Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865 (shortly after the Thirteenth Amendment had passed into law) by John Wilkes Booth, a man who sided heavilly with the South and Southern politics, and who was likely to be a member of the Democratic Party, though I can find no information to back up my speculation on his party affiliation.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party, founded in the early 1790s, had been split down the middle because of the Civil War, resulting in the Northern-based War Democrats and the Southern-based Peace Democrats. Much of the War Democrats party sided with Lincoln, and became Republicans. The War Democrats party faded into oblivion shortly thereafter, leaving the Southern-based Peace Democrats, who ultimately became just the Democratic Party.

As we are all taught in grade school American History classes, the South was not happy about their defeat in the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. This resentment of progressive politics and a declaration of freedom for all, regardless of race, gave rise to the Klu Klux Klan. The KKK, being mostly Southerners, who were mostly Peace Democrats, were the most supportive of the Democratic Party. In fact, historian Eric Foner observed:

In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic party, the planter class, and all those who desired restoration of white supremacy. Its purposes were political, but political in the broadest sense, for it sought to affect power relations, both public and private, throughout Southern society. It aimed to reverse the interlocking changes sweeping over the South during Reconstruction: to destroy the Republican party's infrastructure, undermine the Reconstruction state, reestablish control of the black labor force, and restore racial subordination in every aspect of Southern life.

Wow, look at that. The Democratic party, the same Democratic Party that has now nominated a black man for president, was once wildly backed by the militant white supremacist group, the KKK. It should also be noted that other early values of the Democratic Party were preservation of the Second Amendment Right To Bear Arms and opposition to a national bank and wealthy moneyed interests.

Here we are now, 150 years later, and it seems that the basic principles of both parties have completely reversed. The Democrats are the old Republicans, and the Republicans are the old Democrats.

It's funny how history works, isn't it?


Abraham Lincoln (Wikipedia)
Republican Party History (Wikipedia)
Democratic Party History (Wikipedia)
Klu Klux Klan (Wikipedia)
John Wilkes Booth

Friday, October 24, 2008

I'm tired of fighting...

Barack did this. McCain did that. Palin did the other. "I don't support [candidate]." "Well, you must provide me with every possible reason to not support [candidate] or be thoroughly run through the ringer by myself and the rest of [candidate]'s supporters."

I'm sick and tired of fighting. I will vote for the best person for the job. It's not McCain or Obama. I'm tired of facing the barrage from both sides when I say I'm voting third party.

Infighting is not what America is about. America is about coming together for a singularly important cause, and fighting for what is best for everyone. Unfortunately, with this election year (and the past several as a precedent), nobody is willing to bind together and figure out what is truly best for America. It seems that Americans have lost sight of what it means to be American.

Being American is not about party affiliation. Being American is not about trying to demonize those Americans who disagree with you. Being American isn't about settling for the lesser evil. Being American isn't about being mesmerized by an intelligent speaker or a man who wants to wave the flag but refuse to deliver.

Being American is about standing up for yourself. You may be one voice in millions, but you are heard. You may be just an average person, but your opinions matter. You may be just someone who wants the best for their family, but your needs are important.

These concepts seem lost on most Americans. Most Americans seem more interested in party infighting and trying to prove that their opponents are evil or anti-American. The vast majority of Americans have been caught in this trap. I'd be willing to say that at least 80% of Americans are voting for their candidate based solely on said candidates speaking abilities or catering to the people's emotions through lies.

I'd be willing to bet that even George Washington, our first (and arguably best) President wouldn't be able to get elected in the modern age. George Washington was a man that stood for integrity, honesty, and the best American interests - namely life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all. He fought for Americans to be free from persecution by any authority, foreign or domestic. He helped to create a country based on liberty; based on freedom. Today, he'd be regarded as a crazy nut-job, just like many other third party candidates, or candidates that strove to change the party they belonged to.

I'm tired of the fighting. I'm tired of the failed policies. I'm tired of the lies. I'm tired of the promises that, if implemented, would only serve to place a heavier burden on the backs of the common person, who is already burdened enough.

Why can't this country just agree that we all need our liberties and freedoms? Why can't this country just agree that we all need our freedoms? Why can't this country just agree that we need to focus on ourselves before we focus on the rest of the world?

I feel that I'm being forced to choose between two great evils our country has fought against in the past: fascism and socialism (fascism being a stepping stone into Nazism, and socialism being a stepping stone into Communism). I refuse to choose for the lesser of two evils, particularly when both evils lead to wholly un-American forms of government. We fought the Nazis in WWII, and we fought Communism during the entire Cold War.

I'll post one thing here that a friend of mine said to me, as I feel it has relevance to this discussion, even though I don't completely agree with it:

"I blame Regan for all of the political infighting. He ended the Cold War. While the Cold War was still going on, both parties had a common evil to fight, and both parties strove to find the best ways to combat this enemy, thus working together to fight for a common goal. When the Cold War ended, neither party was able to find a new common goal, and thus started fighting with each other." (paraphrased)

He makes several very good points in this statement. Overall though, I tend to disagree with him on one major point: no common goal since the end of the Cold War. The fact is, there are many goals that should have been common between both parties since the end of the Cold War. Poverty, the failing educational system (for instance, education: 40% of high school graduates not being able to find the US on a globe - yeah, that was the statistic in 1993, when I graduated High School - yes, I can find the US, and many other nations, on a globe), overwhelming dependence on foreign oil (first made into a national issue in the early 1970s by Richard Nixon), starving domestic farmers, and several others. There were plenty of common goals to strive for, though none had the media flare of "fighting the Russkies!"

Here we are in 2008, facing one of the most important elections of our time (funny, the same thing has been said in the past two elections - both of which gave the Presidency to George W. Bush), and people are still voting on emotions. Very few voters have educated themselves (most who will read this post are likely among those very few). Obama is the projected winner, and frankly, if I had to choose only between Obama or McCain, Obama would be my choice - I'd be likely to be happier under an Obama administration than under a McCain administration (I say that as someone who, fourteen months ago, was a strong McCain supporter).

I educated myself about the candidates. I registered as Libertarian (I even remember an op/ed article in my high school newspaper calling the Libertarian party Anarchists - which is unfair - Libertarians are not anarchists - they're Constitutionalists). In the Maryland primaries, I was not able to vote for a presidential candidate, but I devoted my time towards educating others about Ron Paul. I even donated to the Ron Paul campaign, though I couldn't really afford to give out any money. I swayed a few disenfranchised Republican voters (my mother being my greatest achievement - she's been a lifelong staunch Republican, but even she is sick of the Republican party, and is now seriously considering re-registering, after this election, as a Libertarian - she will not be voting for McCain or Obama this election).

Now, I'm just sick and tired of the infighting. I'm tired of trying to sway people to the various third party candidates. I'm tired of being assaulted every time I make my politics known. I'm tired of being an outcast. I will vote how I will vote. I've made my choice. It does not include either McCain or Obama.

Ron Paul has started his revolution. Many people are following him. It's only a matter of time before he makes a difference.

Revolution has begun. It will not involve guns or violence. It will involve votes and petitions. It will become a growing movement as people become more aware of their problems. It will ultimately be a redefinition of government rules and regulations, as determined by the people, as it always should have been. Ron Paul's revolution will be a return of the government to the people, as was always intended. Even the sheep will eventually wake up.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I see what's happening here...

Gas prices are plummeting! Woo hoo! I won't go broke filling up my gas-guzzling, too-big-for-the-road SUV! I'll be able to cruise for chicks in my Hummer H1 again (now I have to remember how to navigate tight residential streets in it without destroying anything)!

Yeah, if you're rooting for alternative energies, the above will prove to be yet another collapse of the alternative energies markets.

We've seen it before.

Back in the early 1970s, during the last major oil crisis (noted in a recent post: The Energy Crisis: Old News) interest in alternative energies skyrocketed to the point where the government was insisting on them. What happened to all of that? Barely anything. There were a few alternative energies made good - such as solar, but really, in practical application, only so much as calculators and garden lighting, with a few "environmental zealots" building homes that functioned largely on solar power. E10 gasoline was made into the standard, using 10% Ethanol (which had a higher cost per gallon than gasoline at the time, but was renewable) as a supplement for gasoline, and could run in any engine.

What killed that boom and cry for alternative energies? Oil became cheap again.

Again in the early 1990s, oil prices went up again (thanks, OPEC!), and a cry for alternative fuels was heard again (though not as loudly as in the 1970s). The result was the GM EV1, an all-electric car, along with several all-electric competitors from other auto-makers, such as Toyota and Honda.

All of these cars were destroyed, literally, by the end of the 1990s. The cause was a combination of the government, the manufacturers, OPEC, and even the general consumer. Besides, gas was cheap again! Hell, it was under a dollar a gallon again - the US hadn't seen that in nearly eight years!

Now, we've been seasoned to think that anything less than three dollars a gallon is cheap (having dealt with $4+/gallon gas for a while), and with the national average sinking towards $2.50/gallon, Americans are excited. The only thing that's prevented an upswing in sales for new, high dollar, gas-guzzling cars is the economy at large.

As it turns out, with fuel prices sinking, there's apparently a reduction of interest in alternative fuels once again. Modern electric car pioneers like Tesla Motors are finding themselves in financial dire straights. Alternative energy programs for alternative energies to power the electric grid (technologies such as wind, solar, and hydro-electric) are finding themselves with financial stays or even program cancellations. There have also been talks in OPEC about cutting supply to drive prices up again - artificially - the same thing that's been the cause of the past two or more oil shortages.

Between the government and OPEC, we'll never be allowed to see alternative energies until the oil supply on the planet completely runs out, leaving the common person in the dark (literally and figuratively) until alternatives are implemented.

The time to act is now. Who cares how much oil is left? We need to be energy independent today. Oil is not going to last forever. We need alternatives today. The technologies exist today (and have for at least thirty years, and they've gotten better over the years). We just need to implement them. We need to break the American addiction to oil. We need to create viable (and likely seamless) transitions to alternative energies.

We just need to learn to support ourselves.

Friday, October 17, 2008


You want a real tax plan?

Three words - flat tax rate.

Currently, after tax returns at the end of the year, I'm paying about 26% in taxes, both state and federal. For simplicities sake, we'll just round it off to 25%.

Everyone gets taxed at 25%.

This means that the low-paid laborer that only makes $20,000/year would pay $5,000/year in taxes, while the corporate CEO bringing in $20,000,000/year would pay $5,000,000/year in taxes.

This automatically scales actual tax payments between income levels, and has the poor paying less, the middle class paying a middle amount, and the rich paying a large amount.

I'd even want to see it taken a step further and raise the minimum wage for tax liability. Since it's nearly impossible to live in this country on a salary of $20,000/year (even though the official poverty level is $10,400 - which is insulting, in my opinion), I'd like to see the minimum wage for tax liability raised to around $30,000/year - higher if we can cut the massive spending of our government (according to the US Census Bureau, the median income per person in 2007 was around $38,000 per year). This would have the added benefit of allowing our poor to actually use every dollar they make to support themselves, rather than losing a quarter of their already low salary to taxes. The fact is, most of our employed poor in this country spend the money on such necessities as food, shelter, and clothing, and opt out of luxuries such as multiple or large-screen televisions, luxury cars, cable TV packages with all of the premiums, fine dining, and other such things. (It should be noted that even with this suggestion, my income level places me well within the taxable portion of the country.)

I won't complicate this with exact math specifics (tax math is not exactly easy), but suffice to say, a flat tax rate that would be roughly equivalent to the current complicated tax rates would be around 20% for federal taxes, and 5% on average for state taxes would ultimately help people and keep the government afloat.

The major stumbling block to this is the $10 trillion+ debt that the US currently has. With current government expenditures as they are, a flat tax won't pay off the debt without reducing massive amounts of government spending and increasing taxes elsewhere, which is an option, because taxes on certain things - like luxury items and multiple home purchases/equity, would tax only those that could afford the higher rates.

Unfortunately, bad voter decisions and subsequent bad government choices have put us into this financial quagmire. If the US was ever to become truly an independent nation again, elimination of debt is the first step to take. We cannot be independent when foreign nations own a major part of our economy. We, as citizens, are ultimately responsible for the debt caused by our government. A flat tax would help to ease the burden on the people.

Bottom line, everyone would be paying the same percentage, regardless of income. As stated previously, the actual dollar amount would increase along with salary, so the poor would pay less, and the rich would pay more. It's the fairest way to determine taxes (no to mention eliminating the amount of wasted time everyone spends in January, February, and March trying to figure out just what they owe in taxes - "oh hey, I made this, so I owe that" is far more easy).

I'm not proposing lower taxes, I'm proposing fairer taxes. Perhaps our great-grandchildren will see lower taxes. You might be on a 30 year mortgage for your home, but the American government is on a 200+ year mortgage for the economy.

It's a mess. We need to clean it up and fix it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Energy Crisis - Old News.

Hearing the debate tonight, it seemed that the issue discussed for a significant portion of it (nearly half an hour) was the current Energy Crisis. Everything that's being placed on the table to try and solve it, from offshore drilling to alternative energy development, was first suggested thirty-five years ago when Richard Nixon was president.

Most people think of Nixon as the President that resigned due to his involvement in the Watergate scandal. The fact is, he had a great energy plan, with massive support for alternative energies while he was President. Under his plan, we would have been energy independent by 1980.

From: The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 410, No. 1, 65-74 (1973):

The Nixon Administration Energy Policy
Rogers C.B. Morton

First Congressional District of Maryland in the United States

A serious energy situation awaited the incoming Nixon administration in 1968. It stemmed from the fact that the nation was, and continues to be, in a period of transition from a long era of cheap and abundant indigenous energy and neglect of environmental consequences to one of scarcity of acceptable clean fuels, growing dependence on foreign energy imports, inadequate development of alternate clean energy sources and a growing interest in maintaining, or enhancing, environmental values. Reacting to the challenge, the Nixon administration adopted an energy policy designed to ensure an adequate and dependable supply of energy to meet the country's essential requirements and to assure its prosperity and security in ways which are consistent with the nation's environmental and social goals. The administration has moved to stimulate increased utilization of all energy sources found within the United States, including those of the outer continental shelf, and to remove artificial price and bureaucratic barriers which restrict the flow of gas and oil to markets. Suggestions have been made for the extensive reorganization of the executive branch which would enhance the government's ability to perceive and respond to energy problems and opportunities. The administration has taken steps to conserve energy in its operations both as a substantive measure and as an example to others. Actions have been taken—and others proposed—to use more fully private and public funds and expertise to solve the problems of finding new clean energy sources and to make currently used sources less environ mentally degrading. Steps have been taken to reduce the regulatory and administrative impediments which slowed, or prevented, construction of needed energy producing facilities. Finally, the Nixon administration has moved in concert with other nations both to conduct research in the energy area and to discover means of preventing future energy shortages.

From the Department of Energy timeline, 1971-1980:

November 7, 1973
President Nixon launches Project Independence, with the goal of achieving energy self-sufficiency by 1980. Recalling the Manhattan Project, Nixon declares that American science, technology, and industry can free the United States from dependence on foreign oil.

The text of Nixon's November 25, 1973 address on national energy policy. (PDF document)

The fact is, Richard Nixon - the "crook", a Republican, was the first to seriously promote energy independence. It should also be noted that the Nixon Administration also created such government agencies as NOAA and OSHA. It's too bad that he destroyed his career with a scandal of massive proportions (Watergate) exposing massive corruption in his administration. I would otherwise be willing to count him among the greatest Presidents this country has seen. He really did archive much good for the country before he betrayed it.

This post isn't about Nixon, however. It's about energy policy. Honestly, had we listened to Nixon, and his later successors Ford and particularly Carter, this country might actually be energy independent already. Just think of how different things might be if oil prices weren't an issue.

I just find it ironic that this issue was important in 1973, and all but forgotten about until recently, when oil threatened to hit $200/barrel. Now, thirty-five years later, it's an issue again, and the debate is nearly the same.

It may be too much to ask, but can we finally learn from history this time around?

Tonight's debate drinking game - the quick and dirty version.

Anytime either candidate says the following, take a drink:


Anytime either candidate says the following, take two drinks:


Anytime John McCain says the following, take two drinks:

My friends

Anytime Barack Obama says the following, take two drinks:

Main Street

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Partisan Bickering

As a change, I'm going to drop the educated politics bit and just speak from the heart on this one. The language may end up a bit crude, and if that offends you, stop reading now.

Do you want to know the number one reason this country is in a shambles right now? Partisan bickering. Neither party really has a central cause to rally for, and instead they waste time and money bickering amongst themselves. The Democrats did that! The Republicans did the other!

You know what, fuck you both.

I am completely sick of the partisan bickering. This country will only suffer from both parties playing the blame game. We're in a quagmire of a war(s), the economy is collapsing around us, and all either major party can think to do is place blame? What the fuck? Seriously... if ever there was a time to work together and find a solution, it's now. Yeah, the election is in three weeks. Yeah, Obama is likely to win it (unless, of course, Diebold has their way, with all of the vote tampering machines). Both major candidates would gain a lot of votes if they just fucking sat down and tried to find solutions to the domestic problems. Let's stop arguing and actually do something!

Right now, on the major party ticket, I'm faced with "The Democrats destroyed the world, vote for McCain/Palin" and "The Republicans destroyed the world, vote Obama/Biden". The simple fact is that neither of these fuckers want to actually sit down and discuss the matters like rational adults. Both candidates strike me as petty schoolchildren, trying to get another classmate in trouble over things that don't really matter.

The fucking bickering and resultant political spin is mind-boggling. I refuse to vote for anyone with a four-year-old's mindset when it comes to politics - particularly when the country is in the shambles it's in.

Honestly, how can any person that's educated themselves on the issues at hand really vote for either major party candidate, after both have repeatedly proven themselves to be nothing more than bickering schoolchildren? There's a huge difference between healthy debate and just looking like an ass.

Vote third party. Make your vote count against the major parties. No third party candidate is going to win this election. Votes for the third party candidates will count as votes against both of the major party candidates. At least, once the shit really hits the fan, you'll be able to say that "I voted against both Obama and McCain". Draw notice to the third party candidates. Vote the shit out of them. Vote with your heart and conscience, and not for the "lesser of two evils."

Make a fucking stand.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Nonpartisanship isn't enough...

I find it amusing that every article I submit to various forums always seems to get voted out because my politics aren't popular.

If you're a return reader to this blog, you likely understand what I mean.

I'm a Libertarian. I'm an American. I'm a humanitarian. I believe in nothing more than our basic Constitutionally guaranteed rights. Even with this, I'm often times relegated to fringe groups or called an extremist. The funny thing is that what I'm calling for is no more or less than the average American is calling for. We all want freedom and happiness. No major party is offering it, yet Obama seems to be the leading choice for president.

Obama, while he's highly charismatic and full of social integrity (I'd love to go out and get to know him personally... I'd probably call him a good friend), I still think his socialist views are one step too far towards Communism. Socialism is the springboard to Stalinist Communism.

McCain/Palin... don't even get me started. Worse than four more years of Bush policy, if they enter office, we'd be after a near indefinite period of fascism (considering how easy it is the lift the Constitution now, thanks to Dubbya...).

Either way... let's cast off the partisan politics (If Washington could, we might actually like our government). Let's solve the issues at home. The government doesn't seem willing to do so, so let's create the solutions on our own and then try and force Washington to pass them.

I don't care what political affiliation you are, let's hear your issues. Let's all look at them without any political gains in mind.

We're all Americans here. Let's be American. (Obvious exceptions made to you non-American readers - I just want to energize the Americans to do a whole lot better than our last voter turnout, at something like 40%).

Are you too stupid to vote?

The simple answer, no.

Being among those that educate themselves about the issues and the candidates, I've often been annoyed by the uneducated voters, but I would never say that is a reason that they shouldn't be allowed to vote.

I've long felt that voting should be a right to all American citizens, and it shouldn't be taken from anyone for any reason. The government feels differently.

First of all, you have to register before you're allowed to vote. I think this process should be done away with altogether. Registering should be a means of party affiliation, and nothing more. Citizens who do not register should be allowed to vote, though on a non-partisan ballot (essentially the same ballot that those of us who are registered third party would see - the difference would be in the primary, and not in the general). Actually, in that regard, I'd like to see partisanship done away with altogether, even in the primary elections, as the best choice should be an option during the entire process, regardless of party affiliation.

Second, felons have no right to vote, unless they are more than five years after completion of their sentences (this is on a state by state basis, and may not be true in all jurisdictions). This makes no sense either, as many felons are guilty of crimes that may not be crimes under the policies of the candidates they may want to vote in. It's ingrained in the history of this country - criminals and refugees formed this country. We need to let current criminals vote as well. They are no more of a risk at the polls than the other 80% of uninformed voters that vote anyway.

Third, and this is what offends me the most, it's been suggested that uninformed voters have no place at the polls - furthermore that a political test should be required before people are allowed to vote. This was most recently highlighted in a 20/20 segment. Banning uninformed voters, while it may lead to better overall leadership, would bar roughly 70% of the voting public from the polls. That is not a democracy. That is an elitist government, with decisions made only by the chosen few.

I've always felt that voting should be a right and not a privilege. The issue is not the voters - it's the voter education. The voters should never be held at fault for their lack of education - the educational system should be held at fault - and I'm not just talking grade school here - I'm talking about the media-driven voter education. While media outlets only highlight the talking points of either candidate, and refuse to remain non-partisan, no proper voter education can occur.

During the primary elections, all candidates should be given equal air time, regardless of party affiliation or popularity. During the general election, all candidates should be allowed into the debates, not just the two major party candidates.

The public has a right to be informed. More information and less spewing of lies or partisan politics would greatly benefit the average American. Candidates that better represent the country we all love so dearly should be known as well as the major candidates.

Bottom line is that every American citizen should have the RIGHT to vote, and the media is to blame for not educating the American public on all of the choices out there.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Thoughts on tonight's debate

I'm going to cast politics aside for this blog. We all know what McCain's and Obama's respective politics are. There's no need to explore it further. This debate revealed nothing new for either candidate.

What I do want to explore tonight is body language - getting to know and understand someone based on their motions, actions, and facial expressions.

The first thing I noticed was McCain's inability to stay in his chair while Obama was speaking. At first, it was only something I noticed out of the corner of my eye, but it eventually grew into a blatant disrespect for Obama's time on the floor. There was even one point where McCain was in clear focus in the background, communicating via hand signals to someone offstage. McCain not being able to remain in his seat while Obama spoke was highly disrespectful to Obama. This kind of action speaks of a man who is impatient, not willing to hear opposing views, and refuses to compromise. While most people may not understand psychology in this regard, it is still something that has always been well known to be recognized by people, if only subconsciously. People will know. This is not the kind of person we want as President.

Obama often displayed facial expressions of dismay and occasionally even contempt while McCain was speaking. While also disrespectful to McCain, at least he stayed in his seat while it wasn't his turn to speak. Obama's facial expressions were often times ones that displayed elitism (and I hate to use that term, because I truly believe that Obama isn't an elitist) - in much the same way as a group of friends will sometimes sit around watching people and commenting on visual lacks of style of those around them. I can understand this though, as Obama's expressions were often the same as most of us have cast when trying to figure out Republican policies.

I think the most telling part of the debate was actually after the debate ended. I watched the debate on, and they showed about five minutes after the debate as the candidates were pressing the flesh with the people sitting in the forum area (I do not yet know if this footage was also shown on CNN's live cable TV footage). Michelle Obama was shown to have been sitting in the crowd during the final question of the debate, yet I didn't see Cindy McCain in that crowd. Post-debate, Michelle Obama was often off on her own talking to people, and was only at Obama's side long enough to show her support for her husband. Michelle displayed a strong showing of independence and illustrated that she's a modern woman that will stand by her chosen husband, yet does not rely on a man for her personal choices. Cindy McCain, on the other hand, appeared from the wings after the debate, and in the brief time we saw her, she was always exactly two steps behind and one step to the left of John McCain - a known display of female submission and subordination to a male figure.

While we're not electing presidential wives, their body language regarding their Presidential Hopeful husbands are often quite telling about their husbands.

Michelle being able to do her own thing, and not relying on her husband for coaching, illustrates that Barack is very trusting of his wife, and allows her to be her own person. He is less of a traditional dominant husband, and more of a progressive male that doesn't mind his partner being her own person.

Cindy illustrated total submission to John. This is indicative of a relationship of the type that often results in extreme spousal abuse, most often with no formal (legal) complaint of the abuse. Cindy's only purpose is to make John McCain look good. She is not allowed to think for herself or be her own person. Once again, John McCain is not the kind of person that belongs in office.

Given this rundown, it's almost a shame that I hate the politics of both candidates - Obama has a great degree of integrity, and if his politics were anything short of extreme socialism (borderline Communist), I'd likely be happy with him as President.

McCain just needs to be further from political office than I am - which is to say, no hope of ever being elected to a political office - any political office - President notwithstanding.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Secessionism in America

With the presidency of George W. Bush seeming more like the reign of King George everyday and the government, including both of the major party candidates, seeming more and more likely to continue the path of government power and the stripping of citizen's rights that Bush has set into motion, the topic of secession seems to crop up more and more frequently in the various political blogs and news stories.

This country was founded by those that felt the need to secede from a government that didn't serve the needs of the people. Secessionist values created this great nation.

Why is it now that secessionists are cast aside as nutbags, anti-American, extremists, and dangerous?

While most secessionist groups are still fringe elements, not likely to get large local support, let alone national support or the means to forcibly secede (which, in this day and age, is how it'd likely have to be done), they are made up of people who, largely, for whatever reason, desire their own rules and rights - most often those guaranteed in the Constitution, but have lately been removed or destroyed by the Federal Government. The most recent group to announce their desire to secede being the folks on the California/Oregon border, desiring to create their own state, named Jefferson. While this movement isn't a secession from the Country as a whole, it is a secession from two states that the supporters don't feel represent them.

Dear readers, what are your thoughts on secession, be it to form a new state or a new country? It is a right set forth in the Declaration of Independence, as stated here, in the second paragraph of this great document:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness

(Emphasis above is my own.)

Wikipedia has a fine article on Secessionist movements in the United States here. The largest of such secessionist movements was the cause of the Civil War, in which thirteen states attempted to secede over various issues, the most well known of which was slavery. While the slavery issue was a clear violation of human rights, no Constitutional laws prohibited it at the time, and it was a widely accepted practice in the Southern States - one important enough to Southerners to attempt a secession over. To put it in perspective, is the issue of preserving slavery any less extreme a reason than most of the modern secessionist movements? If anything, it's probably more extreme and controversial than most.

It should be noted that many have interpreted the terms of surrender set forth and subsequently accepted by General Lee on behalf of the Southern States at the Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia stripped the Southern States of their right to once again raise arms against the Federal Government in times of secession. This is still a hotly debated argument among historians, even to this day.

Many have predicted a coming civil war. While the evidence is building that one might eventually happen, the motivation and support of the general population has not yet built to even a fraction of what would be needed for a revolution and subsequent civil war to actually occur.

Final question is this: Secession: a right, or a crime punishable by the Federal Government? Is it time, or is there still the possibility of settling it through the broken system of government that we currently have?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Why I'm voting third party

After seeing two debates, one Presidential and one Vice-Presidential, I have absolutely zero love for either major party candidate.

Obama is a Communist. McCain is a fascist.

Obama wants to make government provisions to solve all of the world's ills. McCain wants to continue and expand upon our current policy to create a war-mongering nation without regard for our people at home.

Great - we have an election between Stalin or Hitler. Neither one belongs in office.

After tonight's debate, I'm still writing in a vote for Ron Paul.

Ron, you would have had a great chance, particularly with what's happened in the past month, of getting elected. With all of the partisanship, the people really want you.

Repost of my blog from another site - The Vice-Presidential Debates.

I wonder how long it'll take for Palin to make an ass of herself. I wonder how long it'll take for Biden to say something to piss off everyone that values their privacy.

It should be interesting. I'm going to watch it now.

EDIT: Palin's started already. Not even five minutes into the debate, she's fear-mongering and evading the question. She spoke nothing about the actual bailout package, and instead chose to stress the fear the "soccer moms" have about the economy.

EDIT 2: Following is a running commentary - it won't be over until the debate is:

I will say that someone did a really good job on coaching Palin on what to say. She's actually forming coherent sentences tonight.

I find it kind of amusing that Biden seems to forget that it was Clinton's regulations on the financial/mortgage industry - the bills he had passed in order to get lower income people into homes, creating the entire sub-prime market - was what set the stage for the current economic collapse.

Oh shit.... universal health care. I'm totally against it. The government can't pay for their current expenditures. The government expenditures are increasing by billions of dollars a day. How in the world are we going to be able to pay for a health care bill on the order of hundreds of billions of dollars a year? Certainly not with more Fed-Reserv cash printed out of thin air, further driving the value of the dollar into the hole. Taxpayers won't stand for the 60% tax increase that would actually pay for all of the government's spending. When the government can reduce its spending by 50%, I might consider supporting a health care package.

Oil/Energy incentives/tax breaks? Palin, you fail hardcore. Your own husband serves to profit from increased profits of oil companies. You've only profited from oil companies. You're just the same corrupt piece of shit that any other oil-linked Republican is.

Oh shit! Palin just said, "How long have I been at this? Five weeks?" Yeah, you have the experience. *rolls eyes*

Once again on the Wall Street deal... Palin thanks McCain for trying to avert the crisis for years now. Apparently, among the things that she hasn't learned are the generalities or details of The Keating Five, in which John McCain was the most important person in that coverup and carnival of lies that followed, regarding the 1980's Savings and Loan collapse/crisis/scandal.

Ooooh! Climate change! That's a curveball that Palin wasn't prepared for. She's faltering hardcore. I have no fucking idea what she's saying.

Biden doesn't appear to know much about climate change either. To further this point... Biden is all about clean energy, and while that's a good idea - one that I'm all in support of - it's not the cure for climate change. Science has said for years that the planet goes through periodic climate changes. It's part of nature. We're about 20,000 years overdue for an ice age. Global warming is the precursor to an ice age. Sure, human pollution doesn't help, but the planet will go through another ice age, no matter what we do. Learn science, Biden.

Same sex marriage - Palin pulls out the "Well, I have [insert prejudiced group] friends" argument. Neither support gay marriage. Biden expanded on his idea, at least, saying that the definition of marriage should be limited to the definition provided by the various faiths. While I don't agree with it, it was more than Palin said.

Troop withdrawal from Iraq - Biden - supports the 16 month plan. Palin - gunning for McCain's hundred years of war. Wait... Palin: "Talibani"? What?

Oops... Biden just brought out that his son is in Iraq. Big voter points...

Biden just used the term "Homeland" without referring to DHS... that lost points from me. At least he didn't mention nuclear war.

Palin apparently refuses to try and find diplomatic solutions, and would rather attack first - but only after unreasonable demands aren't met.

Biden just unleashed a hell of a rebuttal against Palin's above statements. You just earned the points back, Biden.

Palin, just like, apparently, every other member of our government fails to realize that Israel is a major world threat. Hell, she even referred to them as a "peace-seeking nation". Now Biden is insisting on Israel's peaceful status. Whatever happened to their overt hostility (including nuclear threats) against Palestinians and Iran? Fucking propaganda.

Palin, you want to put government on the side of the people? You're really going to have to change both yours and McCain's views hardcore. Right now, both of your views screw the average American.

Biden - you and Obama are going to provide change? After voting down the Third Amendment? After supporting the bailout bill? After supporting grave injustices against the privacy of Americans? What change are you going to provide? Is Obama going to change his name to Stalin?

These nuclear weapons debates? Palin and Biden both suck. We should just glass the debate venue. Get rid of both of these idiots.

Biden, fuck Bosnia. Fuck Iraq. Fuck Iran. Fuck Afghanistan. Let's fucking save our own country first.

Palin... rebutting Biden's war positions... strong start. I was impressed. She almost sounded intelligent.

Palin, furthering my comments, the Good 'Ol US of A doesn't have the resources to wage more war. Let's spend the money at home. Let's fix our own problems. What we're spending on this war could buy back every foreclosed home in the US. Future funding could make our educational systems the best in the world. It could provide health care for everyone. It could truly make America the greatest country on Earth one again.

Biden - yes, this is the biggest election Americans would have ever voted in... we're choosing between Fascism and Communism. That's certainly a first for America.

How many times has Palin said "everyday working class Americans"? Fuck, this cunt doesn't have anything in common with me besides my base male desire to penetrate her asshole without lube and make her scream like a little bitch. This moron doesn't know shit about average Americans. Main Street, Wasalia doesn't exactly compare with Pratt Street, Baltimore or Broadway, NYC. Someone needs to bitchslap this idiot.

Biden made a brief mention of "early education" - there's a reason that I was reading at age two - private early education. Public schools turned me from a prodigy to a near failure because of my absolute boredom with the inadequate education it provided, even long before the "No Child Left Behind" bullsit.

Ouch... Biden provided a Constitutional overview of the office of the Vice-President. Palin, they didn't show it long, but she had a look of amazement and disappointment on her face while Biden said what he did. I can forgive her, though. She didn't know what the VP did.

How many fucking times has Palin used the term "maverick" as an adjective to describe McCain? Shut the fuck up bitch. Do you actually know anything about your running mate? If McCain was truly a maverick, he wouldn't have caved at every possible opportunity to improve his political career. He's as much of a maverick in politics as I am in brain surgery, suggesting to just remove the brains or morons.

Biden, rebuttal to Palin's maverick quotes... Many points earned. Great "fuck you" to Palin and McCain.

The final question: How to get rid of partisan politics: Both Biden and Palin suggested nothing but partisan politics, under thin veils of non-partisanship. Both are completely unable to see the real problems in America.

The conclusion:

Palin: more of the same memorized quotes.

Biden: False promises. I'll believe it when I see it. You paint the picture, but the beauty isn't yet apparent.

My own conclusion:

Considering that the office of Vice President is only a heartbeat away from the presidency, I paid far more attention to Palin than I did to Biden. Palin was only able to serve up talking points and coached speeches. Palin only really took the lead in one debate, and that was in the war debates, oddly enough. Even though she supports 100 years in the middle east, she, at least, acknowledged that we need to spend some more effort at home. She looked at the camera, which is what I felt earned Obama votes in last week's presidential debates, but it seems that every time she looked at the camera, she only delivered speeches that served to only betray the average American.

Biden never really won my support. He lacked speaking ability, and never really connected with the average American (of which I am - a textbook middle-class American). Biden seemed to be on the defensive more than anything, particularly with the number of times he stated, "Let me rebuke those claims." Biden also never addressed the reasons that educated Americans would hate him - his support for domestic spying.

Honestly, if I had to score the debate in points, based on my comments above, Biden won. I still don't want either of them anywhere near the White House.

This debate only solidified my decision to write in Ron Paul in November.