Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Hijacking of the Tea Party

I follow a number of conservative blogs.  Most of them are overwhelmed with Obama hate-mongering, but offer few solutions and almost never compare “head to head” how the establishment Republican candidates will benefit the country any more than Obama has.  It’s almost like some since of duty to hate Obama by default.  Statements without data and facts bother me and that is the conservative rhetoric around the blogosphere, it seems.

What I REALLY hate is that most of those same blogs criticize Ron Paul.  He’s not to be trusted – I guess that’s what Fox News told them. People are suspicious of any “Republican” who advocates peace.  What’s worse is that those same blogs and individuals almost always proclaim their love for the Tea Party.  The fact is that Ron Paul is the godfather of the Tea Party.  Now neo-conservatives have hijacked what was meant to be a movement based on logic and liberty.  The word Tea Party isn’t something I can be proud of anymore, for the most part.  The meaning has been consumed by worthless neo-conservative double-speak.  “I want liberty – as long as I’m a white Christian, that is.”

A woman (Sarah Palin) that can barely name the 50 states has become the unofficial spokesperson.  That disgusts me.  It’s a slap in the face to anyone who has dedicated any amount of time and study to liberty.  A quick Google search would inform the most causal politically interested individual that the establishment Republican candidates are not champions of liberty!  Their voting record proves it.  Still most self proclaimed republicans praise each them like good slaves.

Personally, I’m loyal to no party nor politician.  I’m loyal to truth – whether truth is championed by a democrat or a republican is no concern to me.  I won’t toss around hate speech nor false yet convincing appeals t0 emotion.  Rather I’ll let the facts speak for themselves.  I only hope people ignore their ego and  become open minded enough to admit to themselves that their preconceived notions and beliefs about conservatism might be wrong.  I have to remind myself to do the same thing everyday.

I love and cherish my fellow conservative bloggers, I just want us all to recognize the facts.  Not falsehoods made up and accepted over time.

Limited Government

Government is a useful and necessary goal for any large population of people.  In general, when you can help a group of people work together and abiding by the same general principals you form a civilization.  I mean you don’t want one group of people to decide they want to drive on the left side of the road and another group of people to drive on the right.  Too much non-conformity becomes chaos. 

 

On the other hand individual choice is important too.  A person doesn’t want a Government to tell them what they can have for dinner or how they dress – even if what they are eating is unhealthy.  There is definitely a fine line between what we want our Government to help us organize collectively and what we want to decide for ourselves.  Over that time it seems like people have forgotten the role of Government and the line between individual liberty and common good has become increasingly blurred.

People have become used to being provided for by the Government.  From entitlement programs to the legislation of morality – we have it all.  It’s part of society now.  We look for the Government to tell us what’s right and wrong – not ourselves.  Illegal drugs are bad, legal ones are acceptable.  Food is safe, it’s Government approved.  Abortion is okay, but two individuals of the same sex getting married is bad.  The list goes on.

My point is that Government has become much too engrained into our personal lives.  Worst of all we’ve accepted it – even embraced it.  Why do we need the Government to tell us not to do Drugs?  Does it even help that they do?  Why do we need Government to tax the people so our aging mother can go on welfare?  Does that alleviate my responsibility to help?  Why is my personal relationship a Government issue, but the life of an unborn child not?  Where is the consistency?

Most of all, why have we put so much trust in the system?  Why have we put decisions about our personal lives in the hands of a mostly wealthy elite that clearly cannot relate to the majority of Americans.  How can we expect an individual with no stake in an issue to vote any other way than how it will personally benefit themselves?  It’s illogical.  Yet we continue to beg for Government to run our lives.

We demand for Government to make reinforce our personal beliefs via legislation and complain when they enforce something different.  We fail to appreciate the value of personal liberty and an option that allows each individual to decide for themselves.  We ignore that moral legislation fails anyway. 

The Government says drugs are illegal, we do them anyways and drug cartels exploit it.  The Government says no to gay marriage, we make gay porn.  The Government forms the EPA then bails out an industry responsible for the most pollution.  Using our stolen tax dollars to fund every decision. 

Even many self proclaimed “conservatives” are more than willing to use Government to enforce their personal ideas on the population if it fits suits them – all the while shouting “limited Government” rhetoric.  We can’t have both.  We can either expect the Government to intervene in our lives or not. Beg them to pay our bills with tax dollars or not.  Beg for more legislation so my kids know how to behave or teach them myself.

So do we continue to ask the Government to make our choices for us?  Do we trust them to make the right ones?  I think not.  The only solution is to demand a limited Government and demand our society to take responsibility for itself.  Each individual has a role to play – each community.  Hold your neighbors accountable, hold yourselves accountable, and leave the Government to truly provide for the common good.  That’s the best thing we can do for the nation.

Exposing the Truth – New Energy World Order

THIS may be one of the best and most eye opening episodes of my favorite podcast the No Agenda Show.

If you are at all interested in what is going on in the middle east, especially involving the oil interest and how it is effecting the United States I strongly suggest giving it a listen.  I would be curious to see what everyone thinks of the “theory”.

Will you Die Gracefully?

A blog friend so graciously provided me with this story – “Why Doctors Die Differently” - in response to a post about euthanasia I wrote a few weeks back.  In the post author Ken Murray, a physician himself, gives a very touching and thoughtful account of realities of death.  So I figured I would revisit the idea myself.

Why are doctors planning for death when the rest of us are ignoring it?

In a survey of 765 doctors, they found that 64% had created an advanced directive—specifying what steps should and should not be taken to save their lives should they become incapacitated. That compares to only about 20% for the general public.

Maybe those figures aren’t surprising, but what is – is that doctors aren’t asking to be given every opportunity to be kept alive, but rather often choose to die gracefully.  Recently an acquaintance’s mother died in the hospital.  She spent a week in the hospital and several painful surgeries (one of which finally killed her) trying to get well – which was almost surely futile.

Would it have been better to had spent her last days at home, with loved ones, comfortable, and to die with grace?  I think so, but others disagree.  A lot of people I’ve talked to say that not fighting for life when there is even a .0001% chance of success is “sinful”.  That every resource should be exhausted to defend life.  I believe that sounds good in theory, but isn’t practical or maybe even moral.

For one, we can’t ignore the facts (which apparently doctors know) – keeping someone alive is expensive and painful – for everyone involved.  The unnecessary burden one puts on their family fighting a losing battle is something I could never bare to put my family through.  What’s more, is 99.9% of the time it’s all for nothing.  Ignoring the cold hard truth about death is ignoring a part of life – how we swallow that pill will make all the difference.

Fear of Death

Death is scary.  I mean it petrifies me sometimes.  I know that one day I will no longer exist.  I will be gone.  What’s worse it that I do not know how it will happen.  I might die of cancer, sickness, old age, painfully, peaceful, suddenly – who knows?  It’s a reality though – that’s no doubt.  Everyone we ever knew, ever will know, ever has existed, and will exist – will die.

On the other hand I think there is some peace in that.  We will be in good company.  Whether we fade into the abyss of darkness or there are others to greet us on the other side is sort of irrelevant.   We’ll all find out soon enough.  So soon in the grand scheme of things.  I think of Carl Sagan when he talks about the pale blue dot – our planet – a tiny speck in the Universe.  So insignificant when you think about it.

Death isn’t that scary when you put it in perspective.

Die Gracefully

What’s unusual about doctors is not how much treatment they get compared with most Americans, but how little.

For me, I’m not going fight the inevitable. I’m not going to prolong the pain of my final days – forcing my loved ones to change my diapers while I’m unconscious. Rather – I hope I have the courage to face it. To smile at death as it comes right at me. Not in anger, but in acceptance of the inevitable part of life that will meet us all.

I’ll enjoy my family like never before. I’ll say my good-byes and love unconditionally. I’ll make my peace and settle my business, but not on death’s terms – rather on my own – with dignity. That’s how its supposed to be, I think.

An intellectually honest discussion about IRAN: what we can learn from history and our present options

There are basically two American viewpoints on Iran.  1.) Iran is full of religiously radical and irrational Muslims that are determined to destroy America and Americans at any and all costs.  2.) Iran has been radicalized by decades of US intervention in the middle-east and wants a Nuclear weapon so the United States and their allies have reason to respect and fear them.  Both of these ideas have an element of truth to them, but which is the reality?

If you ask a far right conservative they will undoubtedly tell you Iran is irrational – if you ask a leftist you will get the exact opposite answer.  I think like so many things, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. 

To understand Iran and Iranians I think it’s important to understand our history with them.  That could take a while since our history in the middle-east spans decades. In general, it hasn’t been peaceful.  Here are a few quick reads.

1. CIA intervention for decades
2. History of US and Iran since 1950
3. Brief Summary of US/Iranian History

It becomes quickly apparent that this isn’t just a “Good vs. Evil” scenario.  I know that it is unpopular to admit that the US has anything to do with the discourse in the middle-east and that anyone who does so is immediately labeled un-American or anti-American, but here I go.  I’ll admit it for all American’s – we had our own part to play in the radicalization and anti-American sentiments of Iran. 

It’s easy to say that Iran “hates” America because it is wealthy and full of Christians, but is that really the case?  I have to ask myself, if that’s true, why doesn’t Iran have this same attitude toward Australia, Canada, or every other predominately Christian-filled wealthy nation?  I think the answer to that question, an honest answer, lies in our constant and sometimes violent involvement in the politics around the middle-east. 

Is Iran Rational?

One of the most popular arguments to pro-war advocates is that “Iran has threatened to wipe America off the face of the Earth and when someone makes a threat, I’m inclined to believe it.”  Or they say, “Iran is full of suicidal irrational terrorist.”  Again, a grain of truth, but not the whole story.

To generalize about Iran, I agree that many of Iran’s ideologies are immoral and irrational.  (i.e., radical Islam) However, there is no doubt in my mind that Iran knows without a doubt that launching a nuclear weapon toward the United States is unthinkable.  It’s suicide. 

While Iran, Ahmajenidad specifically, may be morally irrational – his lust for power and life is no doubt rational.  That rationality will undoubtedly prevent him from pressing the button on the United States.  He has no desire to see the country he rules over to be obliterated by the stockpile of WMD’s the US has. 

Furthermore, Ahmajenidad knows the obvious.  The US doesn’t mess with countries in the middle-east with Nuclear weapons.  (i.e., Pakistan) It seems perfectly rational and even logical that they too would want something the US perceives as a real threat.  Do I want Iran to get a Nuclear Weapon? No, I don’t want anyone to have a weapon that can destroy the entire earth. That doesn’t mean that war is necessary to prevent that. 

What should we do about Iran?

The best thing we can do about Iran is the same thing we should do with all countries.  Maintain intelligence, strong and positive foreign relations, and a powerful national defense.  All those things I support and are more effective in the long run than initiating a pre-emptive war on any country.

I think it’s important to remember, what we call a “pre-emptive war” our enemies call an unprovoked “attack”. What more fuel does a population of any people need to radicalize and unite themselves against an intruder than the idea that another country is imposing their will on you?  Pre-emptive war can only lead to one place – further war and hatred toward the United States.  Pre-emptive war is the worst thing in the world we could do for our national security.  That path is killing our children and grandchildren.  That path is immoral and illogical.  That path is a guarantee for more conflict.

Unless you are the biggest weapons producer and distributor on earth why would you want that? (The US is the biggest weapons producer and distributor on earth. Conflict of interest?) The United States is a great country and has the chance to be a pillar of morality and justice for the world – A country to be modeled and copied.  We need to be that country.

The Trouble with the Birth-Control Mandate

An interesting piece on the Federal mandate on Contraception. 

Read the article here.

“The minute pills are “free,” under insurance, the incentive for drug companies to come up with cheaper versions vanishes. So does their incentive to develop safer, more convenient, malecentered or nonprescription birth control. And by making pills free but not condoms, the government may inadvertently be contributing to an increase in sexually transmitted diseases.”

Analysis of the CNN GOP Debate

1. Does anyone else see the contradiction of Rick Santorum constantly playing the “good Catholic” when it comes to social issues, but supporting the philosophy of preemptive and aggressive wars that the Pope himself opposes? Not that that matters to me – but on a moral and economic side of the coin those kind of wars can’t be justified either. We can’t afford it and the country doesn’t need it to be “safe”.

2. Laugh at Mitt Romney constantly trying to differentiate his Romney-care program from the Obama-care program when both healthcare plans are blatantly and virtually the same. I’m all for affordable access to healthcare, but I generally oppose the idea that the government can force, via fines or even imprisonment, citizens to participate in any program. Watching Romney try to seem less liberal and more republican reminds me of a black guy that tries to be “more black” around other black guys. Mitt – you are an inconstant moderate conservative hybrid at best, embrace it.

3. Meanwhile Newt Gingrich sits back and enjoys the shit show that is the most current Romney/Santorum fiasco.  He reminds me of a more evil, less bearded Santa Clause genious who plans to further advance his political career by running for, but not winning the presidential candidacy.  What’s your angle Newt?  Right now it benefits him to play the statesman/intellectual card – later he’ll be taking money from lobbyist and exchanging his current wife for an updated version.

4. Ron Paul sits by angrily because he sadly realizes that all these guys are full of shit. Everyone is ignoring the real issues – monetary policy, foreign policy, debt, and liberty. Instead they put up the smokescreen in the form of abortion and contraception to distract the sheep from the industrial military complex, pharmaceutical companies, and oil giants raping our wallets.  We’ll continue to pay higher taxes to support initiatives we don’t quite understand to go into social programs that not-so-secretly end up in lobbyist pockets.  Ron Paul calls Santorum a fake because it’s true – media ignores Ron Paul because he’s not playing by the rules.  Ron Paul says fuck you.

The Inevitable Conclusion

A divided Republican Party votes in Mitt Romney as the GOP representative because they are too confused and too dazzled by his perfect jaw line to do anything else. They do what the media tells them to. Meanwhile, a united democratic party, an incumbent Obama, an untapped $1 Billion campaign fund, and the popular media see to it that Obama is reelected for a second term. Obama supporters cheer. Romney supporters go back to sleep. And those in the know shake our heads because we realize that this shit was decided, bought, and paid for before it ever started. Right it up, put it in the record books. 2016 should be more interesting.

Programmed Religious

I think to understand why someone believes in God you have to understand what it’s like to suffer. Suffering promotes a belief in God. When things are going fine I basically never think twice about my absents of faith. It seems obvious that there is not God – or at least most likely not and most certainly not a specifically Christian God.

When times get tough or when I find myself having a hard time my thoughts start to drift into “I wonder if God exists”. There’s a strong desire in my heart and soul to wish that someone/something out there is watching after me. Has my back even when times are tough. That doing the right thing – even when it doesn’t reward me now – will reward me then. That these “earthly” stresses don’t mean so much because there is something so much bigger afterward.

That’s a lot more poetic than believing everything goes black. On the other hand my life after death will probably be a lot like my life before birth. I don’t remember having a problem with that…

I think they got it right in the bible when they talked about the unlikelihood of a rich man getting into heaven. Rich men tend to surround themselves with wealth and with less problems – they don’t “need” God as much.

So is there a God that we dismiss out of human ego? Or is there some natural part of human beings that in times of crisis a chemical is activated in the brain to comfort us and give us a feeling of being “watched over”? Did we create God or did (s)he create us?

What are the odds that Christians have it right? Jews? Muslims? Buddhists? Atheists? Who’s right and who’s wrong? We certainly can’t all be correct – can we?

I’ll give you a little confession. During my 4 hour commute this evening I spoke out loud to myself/God. Basically I said the things I thought out loud. “If you are real why can’t you show me proof?” “Is having faith absent of proof and admission price to heaven.” “Isn’t believing in anything on faith a recipe for disaster?” “Give me proof!”

Yeah, I said all this out loud. Which makes me crazy I’m pretty sure. There for a second of wave of comfort came over me. I realized that all of my stresses were not as significant as I was giving them credit for. Would a less skeptical person consider that wave of comfort a sign from God when I figure it was just a result of a personal process of working things out for myself? All emotions are up for interpretation, but I can certainly see why people believe in God. How they can believe in something without “proof”. I just can’t bring myself to do that.

Honestly I doubt anything short of Jesus himself materializing in the seat next to me would convince me that the Judeo-Christian God exists. (I can hear Christian’s scolding me now!)

I’m convinced of one thing though – that religion is programmed into me. I was raised religious and was always skeptical. I tried to believe, but always had doubts. I’m most likely destined to always think about God. Whether that is a struggle that is naturally programmed into all human beings or just those exposed to religion from a young age I do not know.

Sometimes I wish I could just sell completely out to Christianity. I mean really really really believe that heaven is awaiting me. God is 100% real and watching what I do. Etc. Etc. I’ve never had that ability – does anyone? I’ve always wondered if anyone was really that convinced. I don’t think I’m convinced about anything as evangelicals claim to be about religion.

One thing is for sure – these 4 hour commutes are giving me WAY too much time to think about nothing.