Sunday, December 14, 2014

You Are Not Protecting My Freedom

Do I respect the service of military people? Sure. I respect their service in the military just as much as they respect my service in the private sector. I have been working my ass off for two decades to keep hospitals financially healthy, some of the best hospitals in the world. Do they respect my service? I guess some of them do. Do they respect as much as much as I am expected to respect their military service?  I am guessing not. I am guessing most of them don't have an ounce of respect for what I do. So why should I respect their service if they don't respect my service?  Here is the line I usually hear in response to this: "They are protecting our freedom." When I ask how are they protecting our freedom ... I never get an answer.  Here is what I get .... insults.  Just for asking a question.  I get called "ignorant," "stupid," "coward" etc. To this I say "yes, I am ignorant." I am ignorant as to how my freedom is being protected by invading Iraq.  Explain it to me! So then I usually ask again, "How is it that my freedom is being protected by the military?"  It usually gets worse from there.

I can think of only a handful of professions that actually protect my freedom. The big one, obviously, is lawyers, particularly ACLU lawyers. Whenever our freedoms, that are protected in the Bill of Rights, are challenged, the ACLU lawyers comes to their defense. Whether it is Colonel Oliver North's using the 5th Amendment to protect himself or a Jewish prisoner's right, under the first amendments, to have kosher meals. These folks are the heroes of our freedoms. They fight for our freedom.

The only other professions that I can think of that protect my freedom are teachers who help inform our children of their freedoms, social workers who help those in need maintain their freedoms and politicians who actually pass/repeal the laws regarding our rights.  I cannot think of how, someone invading Iraq or Afghanistan is protecting my freedom. They might be influencing a lot of people's opinion of the USA, some of them in not so flattering a way.

We all know these people, the actually heroes protecting our freedom.  When you ask a lawyer what they do for a living do they start spewing off bullshit about "protecting our freedom"?  No, well maybe some lawyers would, but usually not. Yet the military folks all spew off this nonsense about protecting my freedom.  Why does this happen?

I just can't grasp how destabilizing the government of Iraq or dropping napalm in Vietnam has helped my freedom at all.  I can't even see how they are even connected.

I am not naive, I know every country needs a military, but it has been a long time since the US military has actually been used for Defense. It is more like Offense. Back in the 1940's when we had an Axis trying to take over the world, yes, you could say that those military people, the Allies, were protecting our freedom.  But bombing the shit out of Panama City or Libya .... nope, nothing to do with my freedom. It may have a lot to do with Capitalism, politics or power, but nothing to do with protecting my freedom. When I talk to foreigners about the US, they seem to love our freedom ... aka our movies, our bluejeans, our music, our people, but they hate our military. So not only aren't they protecting our freedom, but they may be hurting it. The more people hate the US, the more likely our government will feel justified invading our privacy, torturing people or killing us covertly. I have a feeling that if our military were cut back a tenth of its size now, we'd have a hell of a lot more freedom and less enemies. Oh ya, we'd save a lot tax money too.

So the next time some military yahoo claims they are protecting your freedom ask them them to explain themselves and let me know if you get a good answer.  If they believe it to be true, then they should be able to explain themselves. If they can't, then it is bullshit. Until then, I will continue to thanking my lawyer for her protection of my freedom. Vanessa, a beer is coming your way.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Democrats Are Pussies

I have been blogging for several years now. In these pages I have said any number of awful things about the Republican party. I stand by all of them. They are anti-science, anti-immigrant, anti-reason, anti-liberty, anti-peace and anti-democracy. They disgust me. They prey on the stupid and the weak, appealing to the basest of fears, feeding ignorance for their own gain. I am a registered Democrat, but I want to make it clear, I am mainly a Democrat for lack of a better option. I have said it a number of times in the past, "I am not a Democrat, I am anti-Republican." I vote against Republicans - on all levels from local school board to the Presidency.

Democrats are much better than Republicans. I reject the trope that they are all the same. Yes, there are some really stupid and downright disgusting Democrats out there, but overall, there is no comparison. Most Democrats are pro-science, pro-environment and pro-education. I know that you can find an idiot Georgian Democrat on Youtube talking about Guam capsizing but that is not the norm. The problem with the Republicans being so bad is that the Democrats only have to be a little bit better and they will usually get my vote. Republicans will ignore global warming or even claim that it is a myth/conspiracy so when a Democrat merely acknowledges that it is a problem, they have my vote.

Whether you are talking about the economy, the environment, security, health care or education, it is clear that the Democrats are better leaders ... at least in the last few decades. The Republican's current mantra that government doesn't work is only proven when they take office. So why don't Democrats run on their record? Why aren't they better campaigners? Why did everyone of them run from Obama during this year's mid-term election?  Obama's record should be enough for them. He passed landmark health care legislation, ended two wars and has a stellar environmental record. This is a lot to run on. I realize that his poll numbers are down, no thanks to other Democrats, who seem to take their cues from the RNC and Fox News rather than their party's leadership. They don't stand with this president like a good team player would.  Why?  Because they are pussies.

Before I go further, I should explain what I mean by pussy. Someone who doesn't stand up for their convictions when faced with a small amount of resistance is a pussy.  Here is a Democrat not being a pussy:

This is ex-Govenor of New York Mario Cuomo defending his stance on the death penalty. You can agree or disagree with him but he clearly has a position and is not being a pussy.

Now here is a Democrat being a pussy:

This is Allison Lundergan Grimes running away from President Obama. Even though she was a delegate for Obama at the 2012 Democratic Convention and clearly voted for him, she doesn't have what it takes even to admit it and tell the voters why she stood with the president. She was running against one of least popular Republicans in the Senate and yet, she could not admit to something that 62 million Americans and 679,000 Kentuckians did in 2012 ... vote for the President. Pathetic! Offense may be a good defense, but defense is never a good offense and running away is no way to win a race.

I am not suggesting that the Democrats would have kept the Senate if they would have stuck by the President, but certainly they would have lost by less or would have kept some seats. The small chance they had to win was drown out by their lack of passion. All they had to do was get enough people excited enough to actually show up. If not for their pussiness and the American voter laziness, we might not be faced with a global warming denying now being in charge of the Senate's Environment committee.  I have a couple of words to the Americans who didn't show up to vote this past November: Fuck You!

I am a little tired of hearing about the midterm elections. The Democrats got a whooping for many reasons but mostly because, like Grimes, they were pussies. She isn't the exception this year, she is just an example of how badly they ran their campaigns. The Republican victory keeps getting spinned as a huge victory, but Midterm elections almost always go against the party that holds the presidency, especially in the second term. The Republican party winning this round and taking over the Senate was expected. Every two years, one third of the US Senate goes up for reelection. The batch this year were mostly seats in states that voted for Romney (aka red) two years ago. So the landslide was expected. Is this a biting mandate against Obama? Of course not. Will the Republicans spin it that way? Of course they will. They deserve some credit. The batch of candidates were much less nutty than two years ago. Hooray for the Republicans for being less nutty!

This is the same group of Senators that were elected in 2008 (six years ago) on Obama's coat tails. The voters turned out in droves to vote for him, they just didn't show up for the midterm. This election had the lowest voter turn out in 72 years with only 36.3% of Americans showing up. Back in 1942, in the early days of WW II, the US voters (33.9% showing up to vote) had better reasons for not showing up to vote.  In 1942, only four states had on the spot voting for soldiers. We have no such excuse to skip voting. Apathy is not an excuse. But why show up to vote when even the Democrats don't recognize their successes? It is hard to blame the voter when the candidates take them for granted.

Many great and/or popular Presidents didn't do well on their second mid-term election. Grant was crushed in 1874 ... he remains on currency. Some of the Congressmen who were elected in that term were ex-Confederates. Wilson in 1918, FDR 1938 and Reagan 1980 all lost seats for their party. Nixon lost nine House seats in 1970. In 1998 Clinton actually gained a few seats in the House and he was drowning in scandals. Since the direct election of Senators, no second term president has ever gained Senate seats in the mid-term election.

So if you know you are probably going to lose, shouldn't at least go out celebrating your successes? Shouldn't you be playing the long game and lose with composure? Have some balls Democrats! Until then, I am an Independent. Go Bernie!