I gotta feel pessimistic here as we go into the season to be Thankful. What am I thankful for... politically? Not much. Maybe today we started with the ending of the term "preexisting condition." That's good. But that's about it. We're still in a pointless Afgan War. There is still continual violence in Iraq (even though it's not reported), and our debt is seemingly endless. In all likelihood, our recession isn't going away any time soon.
A lot to be worried about. I'm not saying the teabaggers are right... which by no means they are... but we do need to speak up to get our country back.
And not from our president... and by the way, when people say "I want my country back..." does anyone else find that overtly racist? We have a black president, and people feel they've lost their country? Come on...
No, not get our country back from our president... but get our country back from STUPIDITY. All throughout our land... that seems to be the one constant. Stupidity. Most people talk and have no clue what they're talking about. Ignorance is persistance, as well as being blissful. It's much easier to speculate than it is to research. So, after some of my own research, here are the 5 things I believe that if unchanged... will ruin this country.
5. The War
Why the fuck did we go into Iraq again? Oh yeah... WMD's. Did we find them? No. Did we leave? No. So what were, and are, we doing there? Stabilizing the country. Are we REALLY that good at stability? Are we really that good at nation building? Our own country is falling apart. Our own infrastructure is crumbling. I mean, shit, I can't drive through Manhattan without being witness to some kind of construction... ALL THE TIME. We can't build our own country properly... and therefore, what makes anyone think we can do the same abroad? Among a theocracy? Which we will never be able to appease or truly comprehend? Same now in Afganistan. What the FUCK are we doing over there? Fighting the Taliban or Al Qaida? Both? Neither? Very unclear. We are in Afganistan, to keep that country calm so they don't begin a conflict with Pakistan. That's the truth. We know Pakistan has nukes... and if they fire, then India fires, then that region becomes more of a clusterfuck than it already is... which might not even be possible. Our presence there only makes things more complicated. I'm not saying we need to be isolationist... but I'm saying if it's not our fight, in any way, get the fuck out. And by the way... count the BILLIONS spent so far on those 2 foreign wars. Complete and utter insanity.
As George Carlin's famous routine goes... the 7 dirty words you can't say on air.... has now become 8. Taxes seem to be something that makes people foam at the mouth. People... when the country was first created, under the Articles of Confederation, there was no Federal tax. That system completely crumbled... because without a strong national force, we basically had 13 seperate countries, instead of 1 united America. Taxes are necessary. Now, am I one who thinks a majority of your money must go to fed? No way. However... these things we need, MUST get paid for. I just want to know why no politician is aloud to say... "In these rough times, we need help. Please... pay your way." If that was ever uttered, that person would be relegated to finding a career far, far out of the political arena. When did Taxes become taboo? I have to believe that the best system by far, is a flat tax. As I discussed in my previous blog... I feel that no matter what, rich, poor, or otherwise... everyone should have to pay the same percentage. It's flat out selfish to say... "Let's fight this war..." or "Healthcare for all..." or be for any other government program without wanting to chip in. As many of my Republican friends continue to tell me, it shouldn't be a free ride for anyone... and to a degree I'm with that idea... but when our ELECTED LEADERS need to spend for whatever reason... we do have a responsibility to kick in. However, in retrospect, I'm also 100% for transparency, and being able to see item by item what my money goes for. If I don't like it... in the next election, I'll make sure to vote in someone who can spend my money better. Welcome to responsibility. Pay your taxes, shut the fuck up, and realize that to do anything... it costs money. Pay it.
3. The End of 24 Hour News
This is, by far, the WORST thing to come from the internet. Because we all now have no attention span whatsoever, and most people need to know nowNOW and NOW... the news has become nonstop. It's also become something that the networks care about ratings wise... and that's why you have some of the stupidest shit being covered on the news. Not because of it's relevance... but because of it's ability to attract people. Violence attracts. Watch the nightly news and tell me how many stories have to do with violent crime. This shit boosts ratings! This is why it's shown... and things again, like Blackwater and the paying off of Sunni and Shiite radicals in the middle east by our own government isn't covered... no one cares. The other issue with our new news broadcasts is again... the name... 24 hour news. There is just not enough good and informative stories to fit into that ridiculous time frame... that's why things like the Octomom and Jon & Kate and the trainwreck that's Lindsay Lohan somehow is always relevant. Do you honestly care about the tabloids? If you do, please stop reading my blog. This bullshit is force fed to us because THERE IS NOTHING ELSE. They need to fill their insane time with ratings grabbing stories. Because of this... other imporant information falls by the wayside... like the 2 topics I wrote above. It's pure insanity... we have honestly been stupified by the media conglomerates by talk shows, "Opinion" news like Beck and Maddow, and tabloid stories. No one cares that much anymore about real shit that could help or hurt you. Stupified. As a culture, we care more about a sale than a slaughter. Frightening.
If you don't know what that word means... it's not partnership. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Partisanship means sticking with your buddies... no matter if you agree, disagree or otherwise. Basically, it's the political equivalent of "groupthink;" never going out of your comfort zone, and always sticking with your buddies and friends. Because of this, in Washington... nothing will ever change. I remember towards the end of the George W. Bush years... Scott McClellan had just resigned, and was discussing his book that basically tore the Bush administration apart. When asked if he felt Dems and Repubs could still work together, he said "there was too much blood in the water." Is that what our government has become? A place where it's only nonstop attacks on the people who think differently than you? Don't get me wrong... I do believe the Bush/Cheney era was HUGE for polarization... they did not believe in compromise, apology, or reaching across the isle. This is factual. Speaking openly about wedge issues like halting Hispanic immigration, ending Roe V. Wade and the ridiculousness of gay marraige will do that. You will energize the extremes of your base. But again, you will ruin any chance of political teamwork. And this is the topic in which I am discussing. Today's horrid incantation of Washington is one where Republicans WILL NOT vote with Democrats. Maybe that started with Reagan's "11th Commandment," which stated that "no Republican will speak ill of another." I find that repulsive. If you want complete and utter inaction in a 2 party system... that will work. However... with it... you'll get either laws the right CANNOT STAND... or laws the left CANNOT STAND. Either way, each party will work to end the laws created by the other, and truly, nothing new will get done. Like... as we see in government... right now. Pathetic and sad. Like a middle school playground during recess. We HAVE TO hope that leaders can be... how can I say this... mature? Sad... but it is truly a lot to ask.
1. The death of Lobbyism
Sorry to write about it again, but this is a big, big deal... and of course as stated before, one the media will NEVER report on. Why? Because many media conglomerates have lobbyists! As discussed in previous posts... a lobbyist is someone who talks to Congressmen about passing laws that their business is in favor of. They pay L A R G E sums of money to make sure that this occurs. Why will this system hurt us? Because this literally guarantees that the rich... stay rich and the poor have not even a fighting chance. Certain laws cannot get passed without the approval of lobbyists... they will not pay their men and women in Congress if they aren't happy. A wonderful example of this... is our 2000 page bill for Healthcare. In my opinion, if a law is more than 100 pages, I feel it's pushing the envelope. Now things won't be as short and as sweet as they once were... because you have hundreds and hundreds of people voting for it in both houses, and millions of Americans to consider. So having bills and laws, all of 3 - 5 pages like we did 2oo years ago, never going to happen. But today, we literally have lobbyists writing the bills. Here's how it works: lobbyists can't just hand over a briefcase of bills to a Senator or Representative. They can however give a campaign contribution towards their reelection. So, during that time, around September and October, before an election... they tell the person they're working with... here's the cash to get you in, and once your in, pass or create this or that specific bill. Presto... you have a lobbyist writing the law. Our healthcare bill is 2000 pages long. No... it's not about hunting a white whale, and no, it's not Charles Dickens. It's something that was written by the healthcare lobbyists. They refused to give contributions to their Congressmen if it still didn't allow them to make INCREDIBLE profits. Why do you think it costs a TRILLION dollars? It makes sure each and every concern those companies had was addresed by our government. Does this bill help us? In some ways I'm sure. Does it help the corporations behind our medicines and doctor visits? Much, much more. If you are in favor of laws and bills that truly help... US... then you have to be for the ending of lobbyism in our country. Don't just think that because Republican's are pro-business they are the only ones who have lobbyists... so do PLENTY AND PLENTY of Democrats. People that have money... always want more of it. And so goes our government.