August 26, 2005

Thinking Outside The Box – “Break It Up!”

No, I’m not yelling at my kids… at least not this time.

First the disclaimer – I have absolutely no qualifications what so ever. As I’ve said before, I’m just another putz with an opinion and the chutzpah to publish it. But along with opinions I have ideas, and my ideas are not bound by whether or not they’ll be accepted. My ideas are bound by whether or not they make sense. So once again it’s time to take your blinders off and look all around, rather than at what is straight in front of you. Humor me again and lower your boundaries of thought processes. Instead of “That’ll never fly”, think, “Gee, does this make sense?”


I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve seen or heard the word “quagmire” in the last three years. Clearly, everyone outside of Bush’s neo-con circle realizes that the situation in Iraq is completely out of control and can’t possibly be resolved. On the current path, we’re destined for endless war. For us it’s an endless “War on Terror”, and for the Iraqi’s, it’s an endless civil war. Either way, people are dying.

Iraq’s population consists of three very distinct factions – the Kurds, the Sunni’s, and the Shiites. In my opinion the only reason that Iraq has stuck together as a single country over the years is because of its dictatorship rule. One leader completely ruled the country for better or worse. I’m not saying that’s necessarily a good thing or a bad thing, only that the dictatorship government (in spite of its inevitable oppression) has kept the country together.

Now that we’ve bombed the shit out of that countr… er.. invaded that coun… er … occupied that cou… er…. liberated that country…. yeah, that’s it – LIBERATED that country, it’s time to realize that Democracy will not work in Iraq. It’s not that the Islamic countries haven’t truly embraced Democracy in general, but with three separate & distinct factions of the population, they’re destined to be fighting for power and control…. endlessly.

By the way, Democracy has rarely been the United States’ interest in foreign countries. Iran had a democratically elected Prime Minister (Mohammed Mossadegh) before we ousted him for a private-oil-industry-friendly dictatorship. You see, he was going to nationalize the oil industry and that would’ve impacted the oil industry’s profits. Oh, but I digress…

So here’s the radical outside-the-box idea – break up Iraq into three separate, independent and autonomous countries. This way each country can govern itself. The USSR did it. Even as I write this, Israel is doing it by evacuating the West Bank/Gaza strip and giving the Palestinians their own homeland. Hopefully the future of that area of the Middle East will be peaceful.

I understand that this is not the preference of the Sunni’s, as their supposed parcel of Iraq in decentralization would not contain the wealth and oil that the other factions would own. However, I believe that with enough negotiation and compromise, territorial lines could be drawn that are equitable.

The United States

Yes, the United States. I say break up the United States into two smaller countries. We’ll call them North US and South US. Clearly, there are two separate and distinct ideologies in this country, and it’s just not working.

North US (the ‘blue’ states) wants a more progressive and liberal government, where “Fiscal Responsibility” isn’t just an election sound bite. Where our government’s leaders are NOT war profiteers. Where there is a clear & distinct separation between the government and the religious community. Where the Constitution and civil rights have real meaning. Where taking care of our veterans, elderly, & children is real instead of empty rhetoric.

South US (the red-states) wants old-style conservatism. You know - where the men are men, and the sheep are nervous. Where theocracy can continue to rule and manipulate the Government. Where endless war is preferred because it means endless profits for the war industries. Where idiots like Pat Robertson can make complete asses of themselves and continue to lead their flocks of sheeple. Where election rigging is an acceptable part of the democratic process. Where the Constitution is just a guideline and everything in it is open for re-definition in the name of ‘fighting terrorism’.

The Civil War saw more US deaths then every other war combined with the exception of WWII. Nearly a million people were killed or wounded as the South tried to secede from the North so that they could continue their ‘culture’ of slavery. I bet the conservatives were chastising the ‘Liberals’ then for their radical ideology of civil rights (i.e. abolishing slavery). By the way, have you ever compared a map of the Civil War North vs. South with a similar map of the Red vs. Blue states from the 2000 election? They’re virtually identical.

Bringing it home

The United States should not be the only super-power left in the world. The United States should not be the world’s policemen. The United States has gotten too big for its britches. If the US were broken up into two smaller countries, there would be more balance in the world, and more separation of powers – one of the bedrock principles of the US Constitution. Right now there’s a terrible imbalance in the world, which has lead to colossal arrogance and subsequent alienation from the rest of the world.

About now the right-wingnuts are probably saying, “Well if you hate this country so much, why don’t you leave?” Believe me, I’ve heard that one before… plenty of times. My response to that - I don’t hate this country…. just the red-state assholes who are currently running it.

August 19, 2005

Why is “Liberal” a bad thing?

After reading one of Ann Coulter’s columns I was infuriated… Like many of those right-wingnuts, she uses the word ‘Liberals’ as a way of demonizing & chastising over half the people in this country. Why should I feel like I should distance myself from being a liberal? Just so her finger-pointing wouldn’t be pointing straight at me? What’s wrong with being liberal in my ideology? News flash for you Ann: Liberal=good, Conservative=not so good.

So here’s a taste of my ‘evil’ liberal ideology…

I support:

  • Equal rights (for ALL)
  • A woman’s right to chose what to do with her own body
  • Allowing gay marriage (once again, equal rights for ALL)
  • Gun control (but I still support of the 2nd amendment – gun ownership for
  • responsible adults.)
  • Raising the minimum wage (so working class people can do a little better)
  • Fiscal responsibility
  • Protecting/preserving our Constitution
  • Protecting/preserving our environment
  • Domestic and social programs over tax cuts, missile defense, & war mongering
  • Raising fuel-emission standards to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, instead of drilling for oil in ANWR
  • Complete separation of church-and-state (I would even go so far as to revoke non-profit status of any religious organization which espouses political themes)
  • Taking care of our children, veterans, & elderly
  • World peace (at the risk of sounding like a beauty pageant contestant)

And I’m against:

  • World domination (can you say "PNAC"?)
  • Corporate welfare
  • Tax cuts for the rich as a way of “stimulating the economy” (Trickle-down economics never worked)
  • Budget cuts on the needy (there goes your tax cuts)
  • Conflicts of interest between big business and politicians
  • Deregulation (Favors big business at the expense of people)
  • Media consolidation
  • Trillion-dollar debt/deficits
  • Deceitful, corrupt politicians (hallmark of the Bush Administration)
  • People who say it’s “un-American” or “un-patriotic” to criticize the government
  • Nepotism
  • Imposing the American culture & way of life on foreign countries
  • Religion infused in the government
  • War mongering/profiteering
  • Arrogance & Ignorance

It’s not a coincidence that things I’m against are literally trademarks of the Bush Administration. His “Compassionate Conservatism”, “uniter not divider” rhetoric have bought & sold(out) the American people down a very dangerous path. One that we’ll not dig ourselves out of easily.

Liberal ideology has been a very powerful force in our society, and credited with most every advancement towards equality, while conservative ideology has repeatedly strived for inequality. In our country, under conservative Republican rule, the rich have gotten richer while the middle class continues to absorb a larger burden. In my book, ‘Liberal’ is a GOOD thing, and I'm proud to be one!

August 12, 2005

It’s The Arrogance, Stupid!

Back in the 90’s, as Bill Clinton was winning two elections, there was a popular ‘catch-phrase’ that pundits used to draw attention to the nation’s economic woes – “It’s the economy, stupid!”. Not only did we have to frame the message on such things as jobless rates, poverty rates, inflation, GDP, and other economic statistics, but also adding the word “stupid” to the end of the phrase had a special meaning in my opinion. It alluded to the ignorance of the American people and served as a kick-in-the-pants to those who weren’t paying attention. It helped Bill Clinton make George Herbert Walker Bush a one-term president.

Today our economy is again a focus of attention as Bush’s reckless deficit spending has pushed our national debt into the stratosphere along side the price of gas. However, the focus of my article today is not about the economy. Today I attempt to address the question of questions – “Why do they hate us?” Many journalists and pundits have tackled this topic, but the responses I find most amusing are straight from the Bush Administration… “They hate us because of our freedoms”.

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, and people around the country… please don’t get caught in Dubya’s web of deception. The Arab community, Muslims around the world, and even Islamic Extremists could care less about our freedoms. If freedoms were what they really hated, they’d hate other countries such as Canada and The Netherlands (arguably more freedoms) a lot more then the United States. Are thooooooose countries waging a ‘War on Terror’? Nooooooo!

Make no mistake about it… they hate us because of our arrogance. My only hope is that they hate our government’s arrogance only, and not our people’s arrogance. Anyway, my mission today is to take a look into the Bush Administration’s arrogance…

The John Bolton Recess Appointment to the United Nations

This is a classic example of Bush’s arrogance and yet so fresh because it just happened earlier this month. George couldn’t get his friend approved through the conventional method… you know, with agreement from Congress… so he thumbed his nose at the legislative branch of our Government and appointed him to the post anyway while their backs were turned. Every indication is that John Bolton is the furthest thing from a diplomat and his presence at the UN will inevitably lead to hostility and worsened international relations. How much worse could it get? I don’t know, have we hit rock bottom? And even if we have, I’m sure there’s a new low.

The Secrecy

My ‘jury is still out’ on the DC Circuit Judge John Roberts nomination because I’ve never heard of him before this. And I do recommend that you do your own research before jumping to an opinion. Even so, there’s Bush Administration arrogance to be had because the White House continually refuses to surrender documents that would be crucial in formulating opinions for the Judicial Nomination committee. The secrecy of the White House, or should I say the lack of transparency of the Bush Administration, is another hallmark of arrogance. They can classify anything as “National Security”, hide it from the public, and that gives them free reign to do whatever they want and get away with it because there’s no evidence (did you see “Murder at 1600”?).

The Hypocrisies

This has been another hallmark of the Bush Administration. They’ve never heard that old saying… “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander”. Instead it’s “Do as I say, not as I do”. There are so many layers, levels, and instances of hypocrisy in the Bush Administration, I could fill reams of volumes on this subject alone. As I write this, I’m watching one of Bush’s press conference in Crawford Texas, where he’s criticizing North Korea on their ‘Nuculer’ program. He said their government should be “…more transparent…” Give me a break! Where are my boots?

The Lies

How do you know when a Bush Administration official is lying? When he or she opens his or her mouth, of course! And the pathetic thing about that - it’s not even a joke. Check out Al Franken’s “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them”. This is a must-read for all progressives and anyone else who still believes the shit continuing to be spewed from the ‘right’.

The biggest lie of the Bush Administration of course, is that there were WMD’s in Iraq. We all know now that there weren’t, but there are still millions around the country who continue to think that the Bush Administration was simply a victim of faulty intelligence. Wake up sheeple! The Bushivicks were not ‘victims’ of faulty intelligence, they manufactured the faulty intelligence. They fabricated the faulty intelligence. They ‘fixed the faulty intelligence around the policy’. There never were WMD’s in Iraq and the Bush Administration knew it.

I could go on and on about the lies of the Bush Administration, but certainly Al Franken does a great job of it. Another great book on the subject is “The Book on Bush – How George W. Bush (mis)Leads America”.

To finish out my section on ‘Lies’, I wanted to allude to another huge lie of the Bush Administration - that we’ll eventually pull out of Iraq after we’ve trained the Iraqi military to defend itself. Don’t you believe it. The United States is building permanent-style military bases in Iraq. We may eventually pull out of policing the cities (sometime in my lifetime), but we will never completely pull out of that country. Have we ever completely pulled out of any country? You know what that means? Permanent insurgency. That’s right… don’t you think for one minute that this insurgency - the terrorism, the people in the Middle East fighting for their countries – will ever end.

The Treaties

Since George W. Bush took office, the United States has pulled out of every major international treaty. The Kyoto Protocol (addresses global warming), the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, the International Criminal Court of Justice, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty, and the Land Mine Treaty are just a few of the many signs of George W. Bush thumbing his nose at the international community. As we continue to torture Muslims in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, think of the Geneva Convention being flushed down the proverbial toilet.

World Domination

Throughout the ages brutal conquerors have tried to take over the world. All have failed but time and time again, some delusional idiot will come along who thinks he’s God’s gift, and deserving of commandeering the entire globe. As absurd as this sounds, this is no joke. Bush and his band of neo-conservative henchmen have every intension of taking over the world, and if you don’t believe it, I suggest you check out their web site – Project For The New American Century. I’ve alluded to this before in an earlier article because it gets to the root of the evil known as the Bush Administration. When you read through their publications keep one thing in mind – this is NOT satire! The United States continues to spend more on Defense then every other country combined, and has placed military bases in over 150 countries. Along with that we’ve push our way of government and our culture on them. We tell them they can’t have ‘nuculer’ weapons of mass destruction, even though we have them and continue to produce more.

Obviously this narrative can go on endlessly. There have been volumes published on the subject of why the rest of the world hates us. I particularly like this article from Jason Miller, which was recently posted on The Smirking Chimp. It’s a lengthy read, but well worth it as he puts the anti-American sentiment into eloquent perspective.

Bottom line – the reason they hate us has absolutely nothing to do with our freedoms or our way of life. It’s our arrogance. And if you’re looking for a way out of this mess, start my dropping the arrogance. Start by treating foreign peoples, lands and cultures with respect & dignity. Start by acting with humility & understanding. And take a lesson from Gene Roddenberry by observing the ‘Prime Directive’.

August 05, 2005

Why Is Sex Taboo?

The other night I sat down for an innocent evening of prime-time television. I watched two mindless sitcoms on one of the networks. “Everyone Loves Raymond” aired a re-run where Marie (the always-butting-in mother-in-law) was being her usual self and infuriating (Raymond’s wife) Deborah. Raymond, being the ‘guy’ that he is, took advantage of that, and was feasting on the ‘Angry Sex’. In the next show, “Two And A Half Men”, Charlie’s mother borrowed his sports car to impress a client and ended up having sex in the back seat… even leaving her bra behind accidentally. Near the end of the show, Jon Cryer was comforting his ex-wife following a break-up with her boyfriend, to the point where they were about to go up to the bedroom and have sex. In between I saw a few commercials for Viagra, Levitra, and Victoria’s Secret.

As I was being bombarded with messages and innuendos of sex, I started to think (as I often do) that it was time to step ‘out of the box’ again, and put this all into perspective. Sooner or later I was bound to get to this topic… my favorite topic... sex! I’d like to say that I’m an expert in this field, but the truth is I’m just another putz with an opinion. The difference is I have a computer, the passion to write, and the chutzpa to publish it.

So much of our culture, our media, our daily routine, our very fiber of existence comes down to sex. You think ‘Sell it with Sex’ is just a marketing ploy? How much of our promotion and advertising is centered on sex? How much of the Internet is pornography? How much sex is the focus of our fashion? The reality is that sex is an integral part of our culture. It’s practically the very root of that “pursuit of happiness” concept. Sex drives us. Sex manipulates us. Sex burns our blood.

Here’s The Irony

While our culture relentlessly shoves sex down our throat 24/7, our society postures sex as taboo. A perfect example is the initiative for abstinence-only education that our stuck-up, religion-based government is wasting our tax dollars on, instead of birth control, traditional contraception, and family planning. Why does our so-called ‘morality’ insist that sex is only for those who are married, and even then only done in private? Why is sex something that the Catholic religion forbids out of wedlock? Why don’t we talk about sex at work and with our friends?

“Oh yes, my husband gave me quite the schtupping last night! We did it every which way I can think of and I had 7 orgasms!”

With certain exceptions (such as Howard Stern) we don’t talk about sex. We’re not supposed to. With the exception of “The Man Show” hosts, we don’t talk about masturbation, yet it’s widely acknowledged that it’s perfectly normal. Those who DO talk about these things are labeled ‘Perverts’ and chastised in our society. But we all do it. We all think it. We all want it. So why is sex so taboo? Why do we continue to cover up nipples and crotches on commercial television? Why is prostitution illegal? Why did Janet Jackson’s tit launch a national crusade for decency?

Of course we all like sex, so why don’t we just condone it? No argument that there needs to be understanding, consideration, protection, maturity, discretion, and responsibility in the process, but why don’t we just admit we like sex, give in to our desires, and be open about it, instead of hiding it and pretending it doesn’t take place ALL THE TIME? What if sex wasn’t a forbidden fruit? Would we crave it as much? Would we be thinking about sex morning, noon, and night if our society and our culture were more open? It’s hard to say.

Here’s The Problem

The problem with our society is that a relatively small group of people have banded together and decided the bounds of decency. Some old ladies in Texas have drawn the line for us of what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. Or perhaps it’s the ‘Religious Right’, who have always thought it was their place to delineate the guidelines of morality. And we’ve bought that code of conduct hook, line, & sinker. They’ve made the decisions for us of what is right and what is wrong, and they’ve set the standards of how we live our lives. And if we don’t conduct ourselves exactly as they say, we’re deviants… we’re perverted... we’re mal-adjusted... we’re disgusting… we’re………. human.