My Voting System

There is a meme going around on Facebook right now where Texas Governor Greg Abbot is quoted:

“Marriage is defined by God, no man can redefine it.”

Then it shows the three women Supreme Court Judges and below their picture it says: I Am No Man.

I loved it.  I wrote below it on my Facebook page:

I couldn’t help post this. It made me laugh thinking how certain heads would explode. As a straight white male maybe you think I shouldn’t be laughing. But after centuries of war, environmental destruction, and economic injustice (just for starters!), I figure it’s time to let some other people drive. We have three women on the Supreme Court and a black president and we got affordable healthcare and tolerance that just a few years ago seemed a dream.

I don’t usually like to post those memes on Facebook, but sometimes you have to break your own rules.  But anyway, it made me think of my voting system that I use if I am not sure of who to vote for.  Let’s just be honest, sometimes you go to the polls in those off years and you just don’t know all the races.  So you have to have a system.  So here is mine (I will explain after):

1.  If there are different parties I select the most liberal party.

2.  If there are not different parties I will vote for a woman over a man.

3.  If the candidates are all one sex, then I try to see if one of the candidates has a name that looks like a minority name.  If so I vote for the minority.

4.  If the only name present is a white Republican male, then I write in a candidate.

5.  If there is no one that I can think of that is breathing to hold an office other than a white Republican male, I then write in a fictional character.

Basically, in my opinion, George W. Bush doomed white Republican males until the end of time.  The Republican party, which was the party of my grandfather, and used to feature sensible moderates at times, spent the years between Reagan and W. driving all moderates out of positions of power in the party.  (I know many of you are still out there in the wilderness.  Stay strong!)  Somehow this thinning of the moderate heard reached light speed under George W.  Now that party’s leadership seems to be left without any candidates that aren’t anti-science, religious freak, free market fundamentalists.

It’s not that I think that all liberals, women, and minorities are great.  Not by a long shot.  It’s only that I am willing to bet they will be better than the WRM alternative.

In life the driving forces should be love, tolerance, and peace.  I don’t mean that in the kind of utopian sense than many on the right would call, “hippie bullshit.”  I just mean that we should strive to be tolerant of those individuals who are born differently from us and that as a society we should only use violence as a last resort.  As much as I would like to believe otherwise, if you put Hitler at one end of the human spectrum and Martin Luther King Jr. at the other, I would probably be somewhere in the middle.  But I’m trying.  It’s striving to be loving, tolerant, and peaceful that is important.  Many of us will trip along the way, but we must get up and try harder.

I feel like more often than not, those that have struggled have more empathy for other people that are struggling.  Unfortunately, right now, in our society, on average, women and minorities have more roadblocks in their path than white men do, despite whatever bullshit Fox News tries to sell you.  (You will see all kinds of “traditional values under attack” over at Fox News after the gay marriage vote.  Fox News viewers will be made to feel like victims, again.  Please, gay people are just being allowed to marry someone they love, not being given free mansions.)  There is no promise that any kind of person is going to be loving, tolerant, or kind, but again, I’m playing the odds at the voting booth on occasion.  If you’ve been shit on by the system, the odds are you are going to extend a hand to others that have faced similar problems.  And that’s what this whole life thing is about, making sure that as many of our brothers and sisters get a fair shake as possible.

Now granted, occasionally my system could vote in Clarence Thomas in a whig, but whoever said life was without its risks?

Scott Walker and the Fate of the Union

Scott Walker and the Fate of the Union

Above is a really interesting article that talks about Scott Walker’s largely successful campaign against unions in Wisconsin.  This is part of a larger right wing move to destroy unions in this country.  It is done under the guise of “right to work” by methods of divide and conquer.  A sample (The article starts out by following a union worker named Randy Bryce who takes a day off to have his voice heard at a debate in the state government.):

At 6 p.m., Bryce’s name finally appeared on the list of coming speakers. He paced the hallway outside the hearing room in anticipation. But 20 minutes later, Stephen Nass, the Republican senator who is the chairman of the Labor and Government Reform Committee, announced that there was a “credible threat of disruption” and that the hearing would be adjourned so the committee could vote to move the bill forward (it passed). A labor organizer, it turned out, had told The Milwaukee Journal ­Sentinel that some people planned to stand up in protest at 7 p.m., when testimony was to be cut off. (“I went through Act 10 — it was ugly,” Nass said earlier in the hearing, referring to the difficulty some senators experienced reaching various parts of the Capitol after the rotunda was occupied. “We had to go through a tunnel like rats. We don’t want to go through that again.”) About a hundred people were still in line to testify. A chant of “Let us speak” erupted. But Nass quickly took the committee members’ votes and was then escorted out, with his two Republican colleagues, by a phalanx of state troopers.

Bryce still wanted to speak. He had lost a day’s wages, and the committee’s two Democratic senators had remained to hear more testimony. State troopers were now blocking the door to the hearing room, though, so he decided to address a group of protesters in the hallway outside instead.

“My name is Randy Bryce,” he began in a loud voice. “I’ve been a member of Ironworkers Local 8 since 1997. I’ve had the privilege in that time to work on many of Wisconsin’s landmarks, private businesses and numerous other parts of our infrastructure.” As he spoke, the protesters began to quiet. Bryce described how he had wandered from job to job after he left the Army, how Local 8’s apprenticeship program had given him direction, a real career. Finally, he presented the case against what he called “a blatant political attack” on his union. “All of our representatives are elected,” he said. “All of the decisions that we make are voted on. The general membership is given monthly reports on how every dime is spent. Every dime spent is voted on. Unlike what is taking place this week, Ironworkers Local 8 is pure democracy. I am disappointed beyond words at not just what this bill contains, but how it is being passed.”

Two days later, just after the full Senate approved the bill that would make Wisconsin the 25th right-to-work state, Scott Walker was in Maryland, attending the Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual showcase for conservative activists and Republican presidential hopefuls. At a question-­and-­answer session, one attendee asked Walker how he, as president, would confront the threat from radical Islamist groups like ISIS. Walker’s answer was simple, and may in the end define his candidacy. “If I can take on 100,000 protesters,” he said, “I can do the same across the world.”

I can’t help but feel that anyone that knows the history of working people in this country should be outraged.

Although the song above is dated, it actually deals with Solidarity concerning workers in Poland during the 1980’s, I can’t help but feel that with a few minimal lyric changes, it works perfectly today.  Only this time the tyrant is more elusive.  Power is with those who exist largely in the shadows and hide behind the utopian myth of the miracle of the unfettered free market.  They use the language of hard work, religion, and patriotism to achieve their aims, although I know of no religion whose text celebrates endless greed, they shamelessly drain the livelihoods of many of those that work hardest, and they preach a kind of patriotism which leaves out a great deal of their fellow countrymen and women, which is no kind of patriotism at all.  Unions, like all things manmade, are imperfect, but they have played a great role in strengthening the working and middle class of this country.  People have literally died to gain the ability to earn a livable wage for an honest days work.  If you find yourself again unions, read the history of the coal towns or read about many early factory conditions.  Find out the things that the American worker has come to take for granted that exist because of unions.  We need strong unions now more than anytime since before the New Deal, when those like Walker stalk the corridors of power.

Scott Walker Wants to Amend Constitution to Allow Same Sex Marriage Bans

Scott Walker Wants to Amend Constitution to Allow Same Sex Marriage Bans

This is what the modern GOP has come to:  Wanting to amend the Constitution to actually deprive people of the pursuit of happiness.  All the meanwhile sliding money out the backdoor to multinational corporations.  This is backwoods barbarity combined with snake oil salesmanship.   They distract people from what is really destroying their quality of life with archaic notions of morality.  It’s cruel and stupid.  Don’t let them dupe you. Love is the only engine of our survival.   Only through kindness and tolerance can we move forward to better days. 

Return of the Monster Squad

Republican-Presidential-Contenders

Jesus Christ!  I haven’t seen this many freaks and mutants in one place since The Monster Squad!  Do you really want one of these men to be the next president?  Is this the best the GOP can do?  This is the flab of the American Empire.  When you have to pretend that you don’t believe in evolution, that climate change isn’t happening, and that the free market lifts all boats, this is the kind of crew you end up running with.  These guys look like they should be salesmen down at CarMax, not the leaders of the free world.  Swirl unfettered free markets and backwards religious ideas in a jar and this is what leaks out.  America, so much to answer for…

The-Monster-Squad-2

Climate Deniers In Senate Are Modern Day Version of Those That Persecuted Galileo

Senate Votes Climate Change Not Caused By Humans

The Republican controlled Senate voted 50-49 that climate change is not caused by humans.  These people are the modern day version of those that persecuted Galileo for saying that the earth went around the sun.  Unfortunately for us, these climate deniers’ folly is going to doom a lot of people around the globe.  Their ignorance will destroy lives.  It is easy to look back at history in disbelief at people believing that the sun revolved around the earth.  But that same kind of mindset is with us now.  It is created by the same thing:  Power that does not want to be challenged.  The church didn’t want their authoritarian power being challenged.  Today it is the fossil fuel companies who don’t want their power to make money to be challenged.  The politicians that voted that climate change was not caused by humans derive their power from the fossil fuel companies.  They are bought and paid for.  Every major scientific institution has made the case for human caused climate change.  The facts are not up in the air, they are just inconvenient to some of those that have a great deal of power.  One day they will look as foolish as the church of Galileo’s time does now.  Hopefully there will be a civilization around that can afford to laugh at them.

Thoughts On Clinton

I can’t say that I am either surprised or euphoric at the fact Hillary Clinton has declared to run for President.   We have all known that this was coming for some time.  Hillary is competent, far more so than the goons running for the Republicans. But as long as she has been in the public eye, I have no true sense of what she believes.  If you know American history, one will see that Bill was too often willing to sell out the working and middle class.  Like Reagan and Bush before him, and like W. after him, he took steps that helped lead to the financial meltdown of 2008. In many ways he was a conservative democrat.  Hillary, if entrusted with power, may be different, but there is no way to know that until she is entrusted with that power.  I am still hoping that Elizabeth Warren runs, though I am willing to listen to what Hillary has to say.  But anyway, any misgivings I may have about her are nullified by the complete insanity of the modern day GOP.  If it is between her and any of these flat earthers the Republicans are putting up, I will not only vote for Hillary, but canvass for her. 

All That's Wrong In One Example

The fact that someone as vile as Ted Cruz can raise 31 million dollars in one week should trouble us.  It seems like everything wrong with U.S. politics in one neat little package.  Strange intolerant religious beliefs mixed with right wing paranoia, all playing second fiddle to the true gods of letting multinational corporations run every aspect of our lives. 

Strangely, Cruz doesn’t even try to get us to swallow such things with any warmth or charisma.  At least he isn’t bullshitting us on that…

The Benefit of Not Having Cable News

I have remarked many times that I do not have cable.  Especially with regards to cable news, it is very freeing.  No one needs 24 hours of surface news.  I have noticed that several republican candidates have declared.  I don’t need to watch endless public relations stories about people I don’t intend to vote for, or even people I do.  That doesn’t mean that I am championing staying uneducated about what is going on, nor am I claiming that all politicians are the same.  I think in a democracy that it is every citizens duty to pay attention to what is going on.  But cable news is the kind of thing you turn on for five minutes, hours later you have seen the same five stories a hundred times, and your blood pressure is way higher than when you started.  You can spend way less time reading a couple of in depth articles and you will find yourself way more informed.  You can spend all of that extra time reading books and actually learning about the world.   Or you can do things that you enjoy that actually bring meaning to your life.  At the very least you can space out for a couple hours and be far healthier.  You won’t be any dumber.  So be good to yourself and turn off the TV news.

GOP Trying to Stop Iran Deal

GOP Trying to Pass Iran Bill

Right now the U.S. is in danger of the Republican party nullifying our countries historical peace agreement with Iran.  If they truly believe in what they are doing they are crazy, if they are just playing politics it might be even worse.  If this is just to rob the Obama administration of a huge foreign affairs accomplishment then they are clearly not responsible enough to govern in any way.  Too many leaders in that party are in thrall to the military industrial complex.  This is an outrage and a disgrace.  Many of my friends growing up were Republicans.  My grandfather was a Republican.  This modern day version, which the Republican leadership represents, have almost nothing in common with the Republicans of the past.  What has it come to when the Iranian leadership sounds saner than many of our politicians?

10 States Most Dependent On the Federal Government

10 State Most Dependent On the Federal Government

I found the above list over at the Cheat Sheet business section to be interesting.  The article itself says that you can’t draw too many conclusions because states on this list often need money to protect the border or for military basis, among other needs.  However, I do think it is strange that so many red states appear on this list.  Not so much because of what it might say about the character of each state, but because many of these states also demonize the federal government.