Posts Tagged With: politics

“In this world, nothing is binary, except Death & taxes”

OK, so I took some serious liberties paraphrasing from Ben’s original quote. However, it doesn’t make my title any less true.

As with many of my posts, this one is probably going to piss off people on both sides of the political spectrum. Again, just because it pisses you off, doesn’t mean that what I am saying is false.

I have a rather eclectic group of individuals among my Facebook friends.  The ONLY groups I refuse to accept a friend request from are those either on the Alt-Right or on the (not media named, but essentially means the same kind of people but on the opposite end of the spectrum) Alt-Left.

I’ll be just as blunt with my reasons for refusing them as I am with any other subject. It’s very simple — they are zealots / extremists / fanatics — and I will have absolutely NONE of those who are on the fringe if EITHER the Left OR the Right.

Just as an aside: I FIRMLY disagree with Thesaurus.com’s inclusion of the word ‘activist’ in their synonyms for each of the red, underlined words in the above paragraph!

Sadly, I believe that because the definition of activist includes the word vigorous, that somehow means that vigorous is exactly the same as ardor or fervor for a zealot; exactly the same as farthest from the middle or farthest removed from the ordinary or average for an extremist; or exactly the same as an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal for a fanatic. I believe that if you have absolutely ANY analytical ability you can see that the above is nowhere NEAR exactly the same.

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What the Citizens of the U.S. Don’t Seem To Remember

The United States, as a nation, is fairly young. Most of our acknowledged founders came from Europe, primarily from England/Scotland/Ireland (because the 18th century included turbulent wars and rebellions between these countries), France and Spain with a few others from assorted other Western European countries. I emphasize acknowledged founders, because they were not the only ones fighting for freedom, nor were these founders involved in creating our country.  The unacknowledged founders included many women and so-called  “minorities.” I’m not just talking about the wives of the founders nor any minority that filled the roles of slave or indentured servant. Just because your history classes never covered those roles nor acknowledged their existence doesn’t mean they were not involved.

Yet, there is something to remember here. As a nation, we are only 240 years old (if you take the Declaration of Independence the start of our nation as opposed to when our Constitution was signed in 1789, which makes our nation only 227 years old). The foundations of Western Europe were laid at the devolution of the Roman Empire (approximately 500 C.E.), making the nations of Western Europe approximately 1,516 years old.

If we choose 40 years old in a human being to be their reaching middle age and equate the age of Western Europe as with it, that means that our nation is essentially a 6-year-old (for those who like math, the ratio here is 1,516/40:240/x). If we take the founding of our nation based upon Columbus’ “discovery” of America (for those who like math, the ratio here is 1,516/40:227/x) it still only makes us just 13-years-old. Personally, I think we are closer to the development of the 6-year-old given what I see in our cultural development.

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Dies Heil (Latin for “Days of Hell”)

I don’t remember where I originally heard this Latin phrase. But it is very descriptive of how I feel as an American right now. No, I’m not planning on dumping on the people who voted for Trump. Some of them did so not because they are racist, sexist, homophobic or any other label you want to give them.  So, why did they?

And no, not all of them are “rural hicks” as many urbanites seem to want to paint them.

Some of them actually have traditionally voted Democratic.

We have to talk about the elephant in the room that isn’t President Trump (and, yes, I cringe when I say that. But I was taught to give respect to the office of President regardless of who sat in the Oval Office) who is over in the other corner stomping on our Constitution.

The Democratic Party shot itself in the foot. And they are still not taking responsibility for what they did.  Party insiders decided that Clinton was “THE Candidate” even though there were real concerns about her ethics and her choices. No, it wasn’t a “Republican smear campaign” as they tried to reframe those concerns.  Those of us who have actually watched her rise to power who didn’t trust her had very good reasons for doing so.

But the party leaders wanted to follow up after the “first African-American President” (That seems like it should be a trademarked phrase, as often as I have heard it spoken about) with the “first female President.” And instead of actually looking around for a woman who didn’t have Clinton’s additional baggage, they chose instead to force her onto their constituency.  THAT is as much a reason for why we have Trump as our president as all of the other reasons people are talking about.

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Divination, Prophecy & Fear

 

The real difference between divination and prophecy is that prophecy claims to be a communication directly from the prophet’s form of the Divine and is purported to give a more globalized view. Divination, on the other hand, is a way to assess trends in one’s personal life (either the diviner’s life or the person they are doing it for).

However, both come through the mind of the person giving the pronouncement. Many prophets claim that since the source of the prophecy is the Divine that there is no interpretation. A good example of this is Book of Revelation in the Bible. Except, even though this is considered to be the “inspired word of God” (essentially directly from God through the pen of the writer — with no interpretation) there have been centuries worth of assorted interpretation of it in different ways.

But, it doesn’t really matter what claims that are made. It doesn’t even really matter what the prophet or diviner thinks about it.

The reality of the situation is that no matter the source, communicating that information still has to come through the mind of the person making the proclamation. This means that the information received is given a subjective twist.

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Context, Intersectionality & Fear

Do me a favor.  Go read my post where I explain intersectionality as well as my post regarding context. Then read my post on privilege.

I’ve made no bones that I think of myself more as a centrist than anything else when it comes to political thought.  Yes, I stray more toward the liberal end of the spectrum particularly when it comes to matters of social justice.

Now, why would I emphasize the word spectrum in the last paragraph? Because we seem to have forgotten that no issue in this world is a simple binary set. Yes, there are oppositional states, but the human brain is never quite so limited to the simplistic idea that something is either/or.

What does that have to do with this election?  Quite a bit, actually.

We have two different sets of people acting in two different kinds of anti-social behavior.  But both kinds of anti-social behavior are based in one simple emotion: Fear.

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Political Action and the Millennial Generation

Short and sweet one, hopefully.

I’m wandering around Facebook earlier and come across one of a young friend’s post.  Someone took a screenshot of one of CNN’s polls (or faked one up fairly well) in which the age group of 18-34 is essentially totally ignored.

Now, the meme implies a “conspiracy.”

Sorry, my friends, nope. Much simpler than that.

The simple fact is that traditionally people in that age grouping basically blow off their civic duty/responsibility to be part of the future of our nation.  And that is every generation, not just the “millennials.”

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Last Hope? -OR- Lost Hope?


I have been doing some soul-searching regarding the candidates for president. I’ve tried to put my opinions regarding their personal choices to the side, in order to consider the issues.

Now, I’ve made it quite clear that I do consider Secretary Clinton ethically questionable. I’ve also been clear that she is a candidate who is firmly set in the status quo. She’s built her whole career on accumulating power.

But, the longer I spend looking at the issues the more I realize that my choices are very limited unless I also look at the public personality traits they both have. I may appreciate SOME positions of Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton, but the other part that must go into any decisions relating to my vote is evaluating how likely each candidate is to follow-through with their promises. (No, I’m not gullible. I’m very aware that few campaign promises are ever fulfilled the way we citizens interpret them — if at all.)

Let me make it very clear. I am neither a psychologist nor a lawyer. My interpretation of psychology is just that, my own interpretation. YMMV.

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Income Inequality: Hillary Clinton

As someone who has worked in the web design/development industry, my FIRST issue with Secretary Clinton’s website is that you have absolutely no clearly seen item to get past the begging for donations and signing up for her newsletter on your first visit. As someone who has worked in the industry, I know that if the logo is clickable, it can often be used to get around things like that. However, your average non-technical person (and yes, there ARE some people who are quite non-technical) won’t necessarily know that little piece of information. Additionally, the size of the logo (the black square in the aside) makes it difficult to use or even see, which is an accessibility problem.

And being non-technical does NOT mean stupid.  My sister has a Ph.D. in psychology, and my entire family tests quite high in cognitive tests (my cognitive issues notwithstanding. Just because I test as “average” does not mean that I don’t have cognitive issues, particularly since my baseline cognitive abilities are higher than average). She often refers to herself as a Luddite, but she at least is not technophobic. And my parents, although experienced and fairly wise, still need their “in-house technical support.”

But, while that is a rather large issue of usability and accessibility for Secretary Clinton’s website, it’s not the only issue.

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Income Inequality: Donald Trump

Just like my last post was pretty much discussing Senator Sanders’ positions on the issues, this one will focus on Mr. Trump, with Secretary Clinton to follow.

I will admit it was very difficult to keep myself objective as I read Mr. Trump’s “position statements” (Note: All items taken directly from Mr. Trump’s website). While he does not address income equality as its own item, there are enough points in his other positions that address some of it.

  1. The Wall & Immigration: In this position not only is Mr. Trump advocating essentially attempted blackmail of another country, but feeds directly into the anti-immigration ideal pushed by most of his supporters.  The Statue of Liberty, long an icon for our country being “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” At Her feet (currently inside the base, to protect it from the elements) is the poem written by Emma Lazarus (see below).

    I don’t know about you, but when I was in high school civics class, that (along with the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Star Spangled Banner) was part of our American Dream. Even though during my high school years, we had the issue of massive numbers of refugees from both Asia and Central America.  It was during the 1980s that we seemed to have given up on the idea of accepting those individuals who were “yearning to breathe free.” Much of what made America a power to be reckoned with besides our seemingly endless raw resources (which, of course, we modern Americans realize it is no longer actually endless) was that we accepted those who other countries didn’t count as important or worthy.

    We’ve had many famous immigrants: Albert Einstein, Madeline Albright, John Muir, Joseph Pulitzer, Irving Berlin, “Mother” Mary Harris Jones, Neil Young, Henry Kissinger, Bob Marey, Carlos Santana, Elizabeth Arden, Audrey Hepburn, Rupert Murdoch, Bruce Willis, Antonio Banderas, Michael Caine, Nikola Tesla, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Oscar de la Renta… Heck, go look for yourself!

    How many immigrant Americans would we have lost out on if we chose NOT to follow the ideal penned in our Lady Liberty’s base?

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Political Issues — Income Inequality

Because there are many different issues involved in this political free-for-all for the Presidency of the USA, I’m going to do a number of posts relating to the issues at hand.

Income Inequality

I’ve been reading a lot of rants about how Sanders’ adherents seem to want everything “handed to them” and that his supporters don’t include any people who “really work for a living” (defined as primarily jobs which require hard physical labor such as farmers, factory workers, construction workers and the like).

There are a couple points of this where I believe some people don’t understand what either Senator Sanders is standing for, or what his supporters really want.

First off, to answer the main issue of supposedly people want to have things “handed to them.” I am willing to believe that there may be some small portion of the people interested in voting for Senator Sanders who do want everything just given to them.  There are always those people, in ALL walks of life and of all political stances.

Farmers (and sadly also many people who own land but do no farming) receive subsidies, some of which is paid to them intentionally to ask them NOT to farm for certain things on their land.  Sadly, many of the government’s subsidies are being given to wealthy farmers and agricultural super-companies, leaving the people who NEED the subsidies to go shift for themselves.  The government doesn’t make it easy to track down the total amount of farm subsidies paid out in any given year (or at least I couldn’t find a total on any of the federal sites I looked at – taking a reasonable amount of time to research that information).  The most clear financial amounts I could find stated a total of $27.7 billion for 2015.

Just like those farmers, the larger percentage of Sanders’ followers don’t want to be just handed money, they want to earn it.  What is really going on is that many of us are extremely aware, from personal experience as well as from information from people of all walks of life, that we are not working on a level playing field.

The income and wealth inequality being discussed is NOT about the Robin Hood example that many attempt to use to simplify the negative stereotype of the kind of person who supports Senator Sanders.  Most of us don’t want to “rob from the rich, and give to the poor.” The reality of the situation is that since the 1970s it has become almost impossible for someone in a lower tax bracket to move up the ladder, no matter HOW hard they work.  It’s not just about the cost of education that is stopping some of us.  It’s the fact that certain types of people are consistently passed-over for promotions, for being given more responsibility (even if they have proven to be far more responsible than those around them, or those given the promotions) or even for simply a cost-of-living raise.

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