Beauty is Greater than Words: Electoral Politics

It is interesting to me that during Obama’s first (2008) election I voted for him, even while explaining to people how it would change little if anything. After his first election I paid attention the whole time to his administration, and I tried to call the administration out on all the points at which he had betrayed his constituency when and where I could, appropriateness being the tantamount concern of course.

The next election (2012) I voted for “Rocky Anderson” (a true liberal) of the “Justice Party” (another good but doomed 3rd party) instead, fully knowing that Obama would win anyway because he was seen as “the lesser of two evils.” I had high hopes for 3rd parties until I realized they are all doomed because the Supreme Court has allowed states to impose higher standards upon 3rd party candidates than on Democrats or Republicans. The reason asserted by the Supreme Court was that the two-party system had served America so well in the past.

After realizing this I started explaining how he’s acting like a neoconservative again, but with a slight shift in my mindset towards the solution. Now I just advocate for “Protest Voting,” or turning in a blank ballot, till we get rid of the two-party system and legalized bribery.

I will even spell out the solution. We need to get public funding for political candidates,  and only public funding. We need the Supreme Court to repeal their silly interpretation of whatever law they used as justification for allowing the hobbling of 3rd parties. We need the loss of corporate person-hood. The acknowledgement by our judicial system that even though a corporation may have the responsibilities of a human being it does not have the rights of a human being. To say that a corporation is used as a person for tax and other useful reasons in a legal sense, but as a member or the community, it can only be a second class citizen; because it has no body, no soul, no brain, no heart, no pain, no life, and no mercy, a corporation is simply not a human being.

Anyway, I find it sad yet amusing to note that this young woman has come to many of the same simple conclusions as I have. I guess beauty does have its advantages.

P.S. This woman has obviously been flipped to the libertarian/anarchist side, which I think is complete and total hogwash. That said, everything she says is true.

Bernie Sanders takes corporate tax rates, “revenue neutral tax reform,” Republicans, Democrats, and President Obama on.

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Bernie stands up for the people.

An explanation of CISPA and some links to petitions against it

Stop CISPA

Stop CISPA

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is a bill going through the US Congress right now.  The goal of CISPA is to allow the US government to more effectively police the internet. Legislators have been trying to get a bill of this nature signed into law for many years, and in fact did try to pass a previous version of this same bill in 2011.  It has been reintroduced by Representative Mike Rogers of Michigan’s 8th district.  North Korean hackers, Wikileaks, and even the Boston bombing have already been used to justify the reintroduction of this draconian bill.

The problem with this bill is that it would allow the U.S. government to collect personal information about online users from companies without having to issue a warrant.  In other words, they don’t need to have any proof or a valid reason to investigate you to get information about your browsing habits, what websites you visit, how often, what you say, and who you interact with.  There is even a provision in the bill would allow US companies to require employees to give them the passwords for their social networking accounts (for websites like Facebook) according to the Huffington Post. That is my understanding of the proposed law.

President Obama has vowed to veto the bill unless better privacy rights are not incorporated into the bill. I wonder what President Obama considers acceptable protection of privacy and if his requirements would actually be adequate. This sounds to me like posturing to satisfy his political base. I would wager that if congress makes some largely superficial changes to the bill to make it sound better our dear leader will sign it into law.

In my experience, a good indicator that something is wrong with a bill is that the ACLU opposes it. They have extensive information about the bill.  Wired has also written a good article about the issue.

Anonymous has asked the internet community to blackout their websites.  Almost 400 websites have joined in their protests; but sadly none of the big movers and shakers like Google, Wikipedia, Twitter, or Facebook have taken part (clearly WordPress.com hasn’t).

If you would like to protest this bill here is a petition to the whitehouse and a petition from the ACLU to strike down the bill.

I find the truth everywhere, even occasionally on Fox News. In fact, opening your mind to all ‘sides’ is the only way to see the truth.

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What if the only way to see the truth is to watch the right, the left, the center, the “radicals” on all “sides,” disregard most of what they all say, and then figure out the truth on your own based on a broad view instead of a narrow one? What if Denis Kucinich is the left’s version of Ron Paul and was just as valuable?  What if that’s the reason both of them were ignored and deemed radicals who were unelectable   What if we can agree on this? Wouldn’t that be nice.

I do not agree with everything Napolitano says, but there is a whole lot of truth to what he says.  I do not agree all his stances such as his views on abortion (pro-life) or on gay marriage.  That doesn’t mean he doesn’t see the big picture.  Don’t let the details deter you from seeing the broad strokes.

Robert Reich inadvertently explains why the Democrats no longer represent liberals

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Class_Warfare“Prominent Democrats — including the President and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — are openly suggesting that Medicare be means-tested and Social Security payments be reduced by applying a lower adjustment for inflation.  This is even before they’ve started budget negotiations with Republicans”
An excerpt from his blog post.

There is another thing Mr Reich is wrong about.  WE NEED CLASS WARFARE, and he’s an appeaser because he doesn’t recognize the Democratic Party as the bunch of plutocratic lapdogs they are.

Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Speech

There were many things liberals enjoyed hearing said in President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union speech.  There were even more things that liberals should have noticed that weren’t in the President’s speech.

I can’t help but notice that he didn’t try to justify his administration’s continued support of warrant-less wiretapping, indefinite detention of Americans suspected of being terrorists, extrajudicial killings of Americans abroad, the use of torture, extraordinary rendition, or the continued use of the Guantanamo Bay prison.  I did not hear him say that he would end the failed war on drugs.  I did not hear him mention the prison-industrial complex and the need to break its back.  I did not hear him mention the two new wars the United States became involved in (Libya and Mali).  I did not hear him defend the torturous treatment of Bradley Manning.  I did not hear him explain why more whistleblowers have been prosecuted under his administration than under any other.  I did not hear him explain why he resigned the Patriot Act.  I did not hear him explain that Social Security and Medicare are self-sustaining and do not contribute to the national debt.  I did not hear him explain how Social Security could be made solvent through the baby boom merely by removing the income cap on Social Security payments.

One thing I did notice in that liberals should be outraged about is the increased rate of oil drilling and the reduction in regulations – especially after the gulf oil spill; but the public seems to have conveniently forgotten about this tragedy and focused more attention on the daily fluctuations of gas prices.  The memory hole is always so close at hand here in America.

He is indeed a great compromiser.  He has compromised the values he was elected to uphold.  He has compromised the liberty of his citizens for the promise of more security.  He has compromised with the far right to pass mediocre center-right legislation left and right (pun intended).  He quotes Reagan constantly and I think there is a reason.  He behaves a lot like Reagan.  Ladies and gentlemen our president is equivalent of a Republican from the 1980’s.  That is how far our country has drifted in the last 30 years.

Republicans should think of a new word to describe their party and the far-right position on the political spectrum it holds because their previous position has been usurped by the Democrats and their President.  Perhaps the lesser of two evils was in fact the greater of two evils.  Would the Democrats in Congress would have allowed all this to happen if a Republican had been in office?  Wouldn’t they have filibustered the Patriot Act?  Wouldn’t they be demanding that American citizens be given due process by the courts rather than allow them to be killed abroad with little more than an executive committee masquerading as their constitutional right to ‘due process?’  Since ‘their guy’ won the Democrats in congress and the Democrats in the public are more than happy to endorse almost anything ‘their guy’ says is in their interests.

Divide and conquer has worked again America.  The liberals have been thrown a few bones.  The push for a higher minimum wage (which over the long-term does not fix structural economic problems and ends with the same levels of poverty).  The push for woman’s rights.  Gay rights in the military.  A health care law that was authored by the Heritage Foundation and is as much a corporate giveaway as it is means of giving the public insurance.

Yet overall the warmongers, the bankers, the military-industrial complex, the prison-industrial complex, pharmaceutical industry, the insurance industry, the international corporations, the lobbyists, and the moneyed elite have won again.  For allowing this to happen I can do nothing more than voice my opinion, disperse relevant facts, and admonish the American public for its inaction.  In other words, for shame America.  Wake up.  The two-party system is a joke.  At the very least we need a third-party that represents the interests of the actual left.  We need a more engaged citizenry.  We need a better educated public (and by this I don’t necessarily mean by educational institutions – read a book dummies).  We nearly need a miracle.  This is the downward spiral.

Who and what will lead our nation back from the brink?  We must risk something now while we still have the resources to risk or soon we will end up penniless and landless sharecroppers on the land of our forefathers (and the American Indians before them).  Speak out!  Protest!  Contribute in whatever way you can!  The longer we wait to act, the less power we have, and the easier we are to subdue.  I’d rather we took action now.  It will only get harder to reverse these trends as time goes on.