Thoughts On the Election

I wanted to write about the election in some fashion, but it’s fucking depressing, so I have delayed.  I’m not saying it is without hope.  In Bernie Sanders I believe there is a candidate that is addressing the main problem in America, that our economic system has completely corrupted our ability as a country to deal with the very real problems we face.  A system that values money above all else, and that is what our system truly values, has lead to obscene income inequality, environmental degradation, a mainstream culture that is largely meaningless, and more.  My hope comes from the fact that not only is Sanders bringing this issue to a larger audience, but that he is dong as well as he is so far.  At the beginning of the election I didn’t have much hope that a democratic socialist could go almost head to head with the Clinton machine.

That being said the rest of the election feels like the WWE is organizing it in a banana republic.  Send in the clowns.  Imagine if you were from another country looking in.  The most powerful country in the world, the country with the strongest military, was considering putting either a reality TV star or Ted Cruz at the head of one of its two political parties.  I don’t even know what to call Ted Cruz.  Words escape me.  I can’t tell if he is a charlatan of the worst kind, or a dangerous true believer.  There is something reptilian about him.  He makes George W. Bush look like FDR.  (Never ever say things can’t get worse.  The world will install a trapdoor in the abyss if you boldly declare you have hit rock bottom.)

In the middle of all of this you have Clinton.  I don’t know what to make of her either, but for a different reason.  Her husband was a corporate Democrat.  If you think otherwise go read about his presidency.  What does she believe in?  Does she share her husband’s values?  (There is no guarantee either way.)  How could someone that has been in the public eye this long still mystify me as to what her true political beliefs are?  In one sense I understand it.  She was attacked so vehemently from the outset, when she was First Lady, that it’s not hard to imagine that she would have to develop an impenetrable exterior to deal with it.  But armor can not only protect, but conceal.  I think she would be pretty centrist, but there are a few key issues, in terms of what kind of centrist, that could make all the difference.  (There is a potential for Clinton to be a great president.  She is definitely smart and capable.  I think she understands the machinations of the political system enough to get things done.  However, without knowing what she believes, I feel like choosing her over Sanders would be casting a vote into the void, just hoping for the best.)  Don’t get me wrong, I’d vote for her over this bunch of Republicans, as it would be a vote against total insanity.  But what does it say about our country that we might end up having to choose between middle-of-the-road and batshit crazy?

…………………..

On another note, I can’t help but feel that many on the right and left are angry about the same things, even if they can’t agree on the cause.  A lot of people are feeling the uncertainty that our economic system has caused.  But I also think both sides feel the meaninglessness that is inherent in our culture.  Those on the right might call it immoral, but I would just say meaningless, though what has created it is a certain kind of greedy immorality.  The main operating value is money.  Whatever makes money wins.  This is how we end up with so many things that just end up representing the lowest common denominator.   Although there are of course things that the right and left will never agree upon, I do believe that if both sides could recognize the meaninglessness of a lot of our culture, and the fact that greed has created it, there could be positive changes that would satisfy members of both groups.  But maybe I’m just dreaming?

What Does Ted Cruz Looks Like?

What Does Ted Cruz Look Like?

The above article is an entertaining read from Rolling Stone.  The article examines the public perception of several mainstream candidates over the last few years, based on their looks, and tries to discern how Ted Cruz’s looks will affect his candidacy.  (There is a pretty great side-by-side of President Obama and Sam the Eagle.)

One of my best friends has often said the following to me about Ted Cruz:  “Even if he was the greatest politicians ever, wouldn’t just the way he looked make you want to kick the shit out of him?” Yes, yes, yes….

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…

Ted Cruz Says Global Warming Alarmists the Equivalent of Flat-Earthers

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Ted Cruz Says Global Warming Alarmists the Equivalent of Flat-Earthers

Wizard Ted Cruz says that global warming alarmists are the equivalent of flat-earthers.  It would be easy to get angry about this, except we already know Cruz is saying this to whip people like myself into a frenzy all while appealing to his know-nothing base.  I feel pretty confident that people like Ted Cruz, as harmful as they are, are the exact kind of people that are going to doom the modern Republican Party and its anti-science brigade to the history books.  I’m scared about what damage they can do on the way down, but there is no doubt that Ted Cruz and his ilk represent the last gasp of a dying order.  People become extreme and rabid when they feel something slipping away forever.  Ted Cruz, even though he is appealing to the hoopleheads*, really represents unfettered corporate power combined with religious zealotry.  Fortunately for us, in a democracy even such power needs a base to support it and that base is mostly old and white on and on the outs.  What’s scary though is that we are running out of time to stave off the worst impacts of climate change.  So while Ted Cruz and those he represents will not be with us for long, they just might be able to do enough damage to doom the rest of us and the descendants of the human race for a long time to come.  So while I don’t think we need to worry much about Ted Cruz, I think those of us that care need to fight his ideas at every turn.

*Hooplehead: a member of the ignorant masses; an uneducated commoner; an idiot. word popularized by HBO’s Deadwood.

Ted Cruz Will Oversee NASA and Science

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Ted Cruz Will Oversee NASA and Science

Just in case you were in a good mood this Monday, the above article is about how Texas religious freak and corporate shill Ted Cruz is scheduled to oversee NASA and science in the new Congress.  Remember in the 60’s when we took science and NASA seriously and put the first man on the moon?  Yeah, while those times are over.  We replaced those with magical thinking and corporate handouts.  This is why the rest of the world is kinda scared of us right now.  USA!  USA!

As someone living in Texas, and who vehemently opposes Ted Cruz, I almost wish the government would “disappear” me.  I don’t want future generations thinking I’m responsible for this shit.

And for those of you that think all politicians are the same, that voting doesn’t count:  I now give you Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chair Ted Cruz…

Net Neutrality Explained

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Net Neutrality Explained

The above link is a simple explanation of the importance of net neutrality.  It will let you know why it is important and how not having it affect your internet usage.  It also shits on Ted Cruz, which always makes everything better.

Fight the Real Enemy

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As Halloween approaches I am consistently reminded about what is really scary in life.  Freddy, Jason, zombies, vampires, ghosts, and the like, hold no more fear for the thinking adult.  Not when the likes of Ted Cruz is out there.  Someone like Jason functions on a kind of animal like instinct.  He’s predictable.  With Ted Cruz you never know what kind of frightening and illogical idiocy is next.

Fight the real enemy!

Pet Cemetery Video

I’ve got to jet out to a rehearsal.  In the meantime, in honor of Halloween approaching, here is the Ramones video for Pet Cemetery.  I learned how to play guitar by playing along to Ramones records.  This movie used to also scare the bejesus out of me as a kid.  Alas, now I would gladly dance with the awoken dead of Pet Cemetery if it came between that and seeing Ted Cruz’s face one more time.

What is Scarier Than The Walking Dead?

Headed out to Fort Worth for a gig tonight.  Playing the Capital Bar at 9pm.  Posting will probably be slow today.

About an hour or so south of Fort Worth.  The landscape is flat and brown.  As close to fall and October as anything I have seen this year so far in Texas.

I watched a couple episodes of The Walking Dead  while doing taxes last night as I mentioned.  My favorite episodes are the character driven ones.  The writers do a great job of creating fully realized characters and ratcheting up the tension between those characters as their aims and beliefs differ.  I finished season two before bed. 

The show is great at keeping you invested as it is super entertaining.  I wouldn’t say it is scary though.  As an adult there is much worse things to be scared of.  While I was watching it, I compiled a mental list of things I find scarier than zombies (In no apparent order):

1.  Doing my taxes
2.  Monday morning at a day job
3.  The fact that people voted for Ted Cruz
4.  The fact there is now two naked reality shows
5.  The music on the top of the pop charts
6.  The fact that people watch Fox News
7.  The fact that more than half of Americans believe in gaurdian angels
8.  A Supreme Court that treats corporations as people
9.  The fact that people are basically jacking off to their guns now
10.  Rush hour traffic

If something could be done with the things on that list, for starters, I would gladly romp with the dead. 

Abbott and Cruz Vow to Block Same-Sex Marriage

“Is there an asshole convention in town?” – Richard Pryor in Moving

“I could sense the hate from the Lone Star state.” – Morrissey

Cruz and Abbott Vow to Block Same Sex Marriage

Morrissey wasn’t singing about same-sex marriage and Richard Pryor wasn’t talking about Texas, but they might as well have been.  Ted Cruz and Greg Abbott, our senator and one of our candidates for governor, are trying to prevent same-sex marriage from spreading.  There are two paths up ahead.  There is one that is a long, slow, hard, climb to a world where everyone is treated equally and just under the law, where kindness and decency are the norm.  There is another that is a slow decline backwards into a world of ignorance and destruction.

You see same-sex marriage isn’t just about the right of gay couples to get married and live in happiness like the rest of us have the right to.  It’s about treating our fellow human beings as people worthy of respect.  They are people with hopes and dreams just like everyone else.  Protecting your tribe leads to destruction.  Realizing that human kind all has common shared interests is the only chance we have of making this thing called civilization work in the long run.  Realizing that your gay neighbor down the street or a farmer in Africa  are worthy of living a life of dignity is a step to making a world, that will reach a population of around 9.6 billion people with dwindling resources by 2050, worth living in.  We can either come together or bleed out slowly in our tribal huts with hate and fear of the “other”.