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Posts Tagged ‘liberal’

There’s a lot of talk and the start of action to the end result of ‘changing’ America. So what would it take to ‘change’ America? Rather than focusing on the actual steps of change, let’s focus on the pre-requisites.

Change is something that a great many people resist even if it is called for or necessary. Traditions represent ‘comfortable expectations’. Even if the end results of traditions could be improved by making changes, people generally tend to favor old routines.

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I tend to look at the world philosophically. I don’t simply do to do, I stop an try to examine why. Whether that be for the purposes of repeating honored traditions or before venturing to take part in a change to those traditions. If a change would be an improvement, then by all means do it. If a tradition makes sense, then “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

It is more than likely that although I can’t say I recognize as much introspection and skepticism in most Americans, I do see at least a general desire to ‘do what is best’. Unfortunately the lack of the former misleads the latter. So, how do you set about ‘changing America’?

First you have to represent a need for change. Most people will seek change amidst hardship.

There are many types of people in this world, and in addition to those that want to ‘do what is best’ there are also those that have other motives. Perhaps ‘do what is best for them’ or to do what is best as defined by some idealistic view they have. If you desire change when most others do not, taking advantage of a crisis is a good time to interject your ideas. (Something else to consider, if you are already in a position of power sufficient enough to present and possibly implement changes, in lieu of a crisis to help facilitate them it might be in your self-interest to either create one or belay preventing same)

Second you have to represent that the ‘need’ for change is necessary by a given party in a situation. i.e. do we need to change how we behave, or perhaps the problem is the result of how another behaves therefore we need to change how we prepare and ultimately react or respond to their behavior.

Third, you need to get the individuals involved to feel a personal responsibility in one way or another; be it complicity, complacently or as a result of apathy – whether you use guilt or idealistic rhetoric. You need to convince people that they can or should make a difference in what they support and what they do and generally make them feel responsible for either what they have done or what they failed to do.

Finally you need to gain support for the suggested change. It has to be shown as better (or the alternative shown as ‘worse’) than the traditional way of doing things. If there are other suggestions, you have to show your suggestion as superior (or the others worse). This is an important epistemology here!

———-

So to change America:

* wait for a crisis or at least create the perception of one. (or perhaps create one)

Unemployment, the recession, poverty, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, crime, education, global warming, ozone depletion, global famine, natural disasters, global threat of terror, etc. etc. etc.

* denounce old ways of doing things, focus on the negative, ignore the positive.

Slowly but surely build up disdain and apprehension for American traditions and past times. This is a big one because we live in an information maelstrom where the media technology is now mightier than either the pen or the sword.

Capitalist is a bad word

Capitalist is a bad word

Demonize or otherwise negatively taint the notions that once inspired pride. Build a cloud of suspicion or questions of morality up in regards to defending the status quo – twist the notions being brought up when defending or supporting those ideals.
Champion and repeat ad nauseum any notions that support the ideals behind any changes proposed or that will help demonize any alternative. Infiltrate or take control of any mechanisms that might help facilitate such promotion, and in the process limit access to those same mechanisms by any means possible for opposing views. “stack the deck” in your favor as it were.
Make the words themselves that support your principles all but holy and the words of the opposition evil or even banned. (PC anyone?)
Profit is bad, taxes are good. Selfishness is bad, sacrifice is good. Individual prosperity and freedom (when others are suffering) is bad, prosperity for the masses (as defined by politicians and even when there’s no real basis to assume achieving it) is good. Being accountable for one’s self is bad, depending on government for everything is good.

* demonize people who support opposing ideals or back traditional means.

Treason! Traitor. You hope change fails? I hope your kidneys fail. (paraphrased)
You’ve all followed the stories. Who are the demons today? Limbaugh? Hannity? Beck? Lavin? O’Rielly? Coulter? Even Joe the Plumber and Miss California Carrie Prejean got pulled through the ringer for just saying one sentence that didn’t fit the mold.

Far be it from me to support notions of nationalism. I agree with Penn Gillette on this one. “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country? I don’t owe Jack Shit to my country!!” Don’t support causes – whether they be causes for change or causes for tradition – without asking why, and examining the facts. Don’t fall for the hype, learn the basis, seek prior examples, review the analysis then decide for yourself!

America is great, not because we all bow down to a flag or kiss up to a leader. America is great because it was founded, guided and has always been based upon certain ‘ideas’ and ‘ideals’. Ideals that work and make sense; personal responsibility, personal accountability, individual liberty, right to expression, right to associate, right to write about all of the above.
And yes, America can remain great if and only if we remember that this list includes and requires the right and responsibility to defend against any and all challenges to any and all of the previous!

America will NOT remain great if ‘change’ represents advocating personal responsibility and accountability (to the government), taking away individual liberty for political expedience or (government-provided) ‘security’, limiting expression to what is ‘politically correct’, preventing association if it is not ‘all inclusive’ (as spelled out by government mandate) or restricting the press to what is deemed ‘fair’.
And no, it will not remain great if we limit the ability to defend it to a chosen few, again, selected and appointed by government.

Don’t buy it, don’t fall for it. Think for yourselves. Learn for yourselves. Choose for yourselves.

Yes we can? NO we shouldn’t!

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Originally posted on Facebook Notes

Anyone that is having a hard time understanding the outrage being generated following Ms. Sykes stand-up routine at the press dinner might want to dig through some archives at the local library or the antique vinyl store to find some of the works of the pioneers of insult comedy. Dig up some Don Rickles or Buddy Hackett. They were the trail blazers of the genre long before the days of PC – and OH they were far from PC.
I have some of their stuff on MP3 and it is offensive beyond belief, but it’s still funny. Why? Well that’s simple. They would dig into people in the audience with obscenities, ludeness, campy stereotypes and downright sinister zingers. So how is that different from some of the insult comedy that draws offensive responses today? Because they did it to anyone and everyone – and they didn’t make it personal. They picked people from the audience and stuck to the generic, not focusing on the personal or specific. And no one was sacred.
Even modern day ‘racial genre’ insult comedians such as Chris Rock or Dave Chapelle still tend to lambaste just about anyone deserving of scrutiny. (a few other modern insult comedians that come to mind include Dennis Leary and Andrew Dice Clay – also non-specific in their choice of targets, no one is ‘off the radar’)

Examine the material in Ms. Sykes routine, she focuses only on topical, non-issue based traits when referring to folks from one side of the isle and goes to the extreme for anyone that might represent opposition; using words like treason, calling on sexual innuendo, belittling abstinence, comparing them with terrorists and wishing them to die of kidney failure. Now how could that possibly be offensive? (sarcasm)

Sure it has occurred from both sides, and I find it ‘non-funny’ in either case. But I am still amazed how some apologists still cheer when someone from their side does it and condemn when someone from the other does the same. But perhaps what makes it the most offensive is that the side engaging in what cannot be described as less than ‘hate’ comedy is the side claiming to be all for diversity, tolerance and unity.

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Originally posted to Facebook Notes

No term limits, but no consecutive terms

I was quite fortunate in that I ran low on money after my music scholarship ran out and ended up compromising by taking some of my core liberal arts credits through night extension courses at Oakland Community College through both the Auburn Hills and Farmington Hills campuses. I say fortunate because larger universities seem to be gathering places for a lot of left-wing thinkers and it tended to be a source of conflict at both Oakland University and Eastern Michigan University where I later transferred after moving to Ann Arbor. (although one of my most enjoyable college classes of all was a business ethics course run by a brilliant philosophy teacher at EMU who was admittedly a liberal)
O.C.C. however, especially in their extension courses (which were often run by professionals from the community rather than tenured faculty), more often than not had conservative minded teachers. One such class was a basic economics course run by an obvious supply-side thinker. All that is neither here nor there to my idea of how to handle term limits, however, one day in class he was discussing the principle of ‘velocity of money’ and this potential solution struck me.

The notion was that I, at the time, foresaw one of the biggest problems with the entrenched incumbency existing in our government as being a lack of new ideas. The same out-of-touch guys keep getting elected and re-elected through combination of their celebrity/name-recognition, franking privilege, party backing, practices like gerrymandering and the use of their pulpit. I don’t really support the notion of term limits because it reduces choice, but at the same time the desires of the founding fathers was not to have ‘career politicians’ holding the same office for life. Moreover most of them were reluctant to even hold office themselves and quickly reverted to civilian pursuits as soon as their one or two terms were complete.
THAT was the intention of their interest in republican rule. To encourage the common man to serve as leader if his ideas resounded with the people, but then to return to the common. The problem was in essence, a lack of ‘velocity of ideas’.

The economic principle was that you did not need to increase money supply to stimulate an economy. You simply needed to seek means by which to increase the ‘velocity of money’ – to make the existing money supply change hands rather than stagnate in savings or investments. In short, to encourage spending to stimulate production to revitalize the economy. Gross National Product goes up faster with increased velocity of money than with any other means.

Therefore if you are going to address problems with stagnant ideas in politics, you need to increase the velocity of ideas. You need to get back to – or at least attempt to approach closer to – the founders’ intentions. Encourage the common man to enter politics and discourage the career politician from stagnating in office.

The answer was obvious. Don’t limit terms – just don’t let anyone hold the same office twice in a row. The big argument on term limits has always been ‘it takes a while for someone to learn the system’ – I replace the word system with the word ‘game’ because that’s pretty much what it is… political game playing. Well guess what, if everyone is coming in to the office fresh (or at least reasonably fresh), far less entrenched ‘system’ of game playing to learn.

Would this mean no career politicians? NO, not at all. But tell me it would be a bad thing for someone that wanted to make a career of it to have to leave the Senate to take a seat for 2 years in the house or back at his state level before again running for the 6 year term!

Instant run-off ballots!

This one is by far not my idea. It’s actually been done. The concept of an instant run-off ballot is that you are not restricted to one choice. I see this as a benefit also because many times third parties with legitimately viable ideas are overshadowed by people’s desire ‘not to waste a vote’ on a candidate they think is unlikely to win. The old Douglas Adams argument comes into play:

“The people are people, the leaders are lizards. The lizards hate the people and the people hate the lizards. It’s a democracy! […] of course people vote for [the lizards], if they don’t, the wrong lizard might get in.”

An instant run-off ballot gives you the ability to make more than one choice in order of preference or to vote no preference at all on candidates you do not like. i.e. if you really like what the reform party candidate is saying but don’t want to waste your vote afraid that party ‘x’s popular candidate will win over your second choice in party ‘y’, you make your first choice for the reform candidate and your second for the party Y candidate.

After ballots are collected, if there is not a ‘super majority’ (over 50%), they take whoever’s name is the last on the list (least number of ‘first choice’ votes) off the list and tally in any ‘second choice’ candidates on those voter ballots to add to the existing totals and so on until one candidate has earned 50%

I think this kind of a process with so many conflicting ideas out there makes a lot more sense than the current ‘this guy or that guy’ method of the bi-cameral, one-person-one-vote-for-one-candidate nonsense we have in place today. And it would go a long way to introduce new concepts into politics as those 2nd (and beyond) choices needed to be tallied in.

Proportional salaries for politicians

I commented briefly on this in another response to someone on another facebook page who was referring to government dictation of executive pay as a factor of corporate profits and company well being. I’m ever and always saying we should hold our politicians to the same standards they try to introduce, legislate and enforce BEFORE giving them any audience for ridiculous notions sold as ‘fairness’.

Therefore, politician salaries should be proportional to the ‘average income’ of people whom they represent. It wouldn’t have to be a 1-to-1 correlation but should be across the board in any political wing (states could decide their own ratio, federal ratios should be uniform in the house and senate) and should be fixed so that only a public vote could change the ratio. (I also firmly believe that politicians should NOT be allowed to arbitrarily vote on their own compensation, benefits or what have you – that is insane!)

This would shift the incentive of politicians from ‘what they could get to give to their voters’ to what they can do to improve the lives, salaries and self-sufficiency of their voters overnight!

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Originally posted to Facebook Notes

I just love how liberals try to paint themselves as ‘compassionate’ while denouncing and ridiculing others in a demeaning fashion in the process of alleging them responsible for same. Mind you I am not a far right conservative either but find the hypocrisy on the left to be the most offensive and dare I say ‘scary’ when combined with the ‘actual’ world result of supporting their agenda. I hear comments like “Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot” coming from Al Franken, or similar comments from any number of other pundits about their favorite conservative demon of the moment.

Well turnabout is fair play, and I was enjoying an episode of south park the other night when I got to thinking about how often Comedy Central likes to spam the ‘Daily Show’ in their program line up and just how much it’s host just repulses me with his pompous idea of funny.

stewart_rectJohn Stewart funny? Jon Stewart is a typical New York liberal. Most of his humor is wound up in far left ideology that doesn’t work in a practical world and is wound in an elitist condescension that is not merely insulting to anyone that might disagree with his world view, but is downright insidious when you try to mask under the banner of satire. But thus is Modus Operandi for the far left, insult anyone you want but then cry fowl whenever you can even insinuate a prejudicial view from anyone who opposes your alleged ‘good intentions’.

So I’d like to go on record with my own gut feeling of the moment as I saw that guy with his mocking smile trying to explain how it is ‘reckless’ to allow taxpayers to keep their own money and ‘responsible’ to give it to liberal politicians and government. Pure and simple…

Jon Stewart is an elitist prick

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I tend to be political. When I am involved in politics, if forced to pick a ‘category’ for my politics, I most closely identify with libertarianism. But more often than not, I tend to find that my political action tend to entail fighting a similar sounding word – liberalism.
Mind you, I am one of the few in this world that still remember the difference between a Roosevelt democrat and a modern liberal. In short, I tend to associate the modern liberal with the philosophies of Moore (Thomas, not Roger) and more specifically, Marx. Therefore it comes of no surprise to me that collectivist and populist groups such as minority ‘rights’ collective movements or organized labor traditionally support or at least provide a voter base for the ‘modern liberal’ politician.
At the same time, I tend to hold an atheistic agnostic view of mysticism in general. Thus it often begs the question why I am more often willing to support a republican candidate ahead of a democratic (read: liberal) one when many republicans express an open inspiration from predominantly Christian belief systems and backgrounds. Upon thinking further on this subject I first looked at the similarities and then at the differences.

I tend to be leery of any organized movement that relies upon ‘belief’ to support their core objectives. Both religion and modern liberalism – mind you I am using that term synonymous with what could best be described as ‘softened’ collectivism – rely on belief in their ideal to support their motives and therefore their respective agendas. No biggie I suppose … just about any movement or even philosophy has behind it an idealistic goal that is as of yet unrealized and therefore requires some level of ‘belief’ that should it be realized (or at least sufficiently advanced) then the results will speak for themselves.
However, many such ideal do become at least somewhat realized and as of yet, the ideals of both parties (pun intended) have not spoken very strongly in support of their claims of what ‘should’ be expected by their realization. (at this point I could go into greater details of failed socialist or communist states or point to the horrors of time periods seen over by christian or other religious zealots – but I’m sure most are aware of enough of them to avoid the redundancy)

So what are the similarities?
Taking each onto themselves we can start with religion: a belief in an omnipotent being responsible for creating everything and somehow ever present in the events of the world. You can’t see it, you can’t question it, you must simply have faith in it. You are asked to sacrifice to your fellow man and to take your suffering as your award awaits you in the hereafter and while here the good lord will provide for his faithful. – to do otherwise is heresy, blasphemy and sin.

Then there is statism: a belief in a utopian society where the state is responsible for owning and distributing all that is created and all that is needed. You should not question it, and it does require a faith that those involved within it are upholding that same utopian ideal; From each according to their ability, to each according to their need. The state does ask you sacrifice (the first part) but also offers you assistance – dare we say to the ‘faithful’? To do otherwise is a crime against the state akin to treason.

Both ask of the individual selflessness and require duty to the whole. Both provide something somewhat intangible greater than one’s self for which they are to provide this sacrifice; for one the ‘state’ and the other the ‘almighty’.

So why then does statism bother me more than mysticism? It’s interesting now that I have stepped outside the blind ‘faith’ style of the Christians I find around me to look at many so-called ‘modern’ religions and to examine their ceremonies, rituals and methods of worship, to read in history how these developed to what they are today and to look also at how many christians (or other religions, but mind you were are talking about christians in the present) have looked upon other beliefs with their own rituals as ‘primitive’ or ‘superstitious’ – even barbaric in nature. As the tenor sings a can’t in the back and a man in a fancy robe with a pointy hat waves around his little ball of incense on a chain before offering his followers the symbolic flesh and blood of their savior I can’t help but stifle a chuckle at the hypocrisy.

But then where is God? (big ‘G’) I looked for him at many points in my life before coming to my current doubters perspective – believe me! (again, pun intended) God (big ‘G’) is this invisible man whom most say lives in the sky, he is all around us, he is responsible for everything, knows everything, sees everything. Yet no one can really prove he’s there to a reasoning individual with any level of certainty – at least one that does not also require a leap of faith.

So where is the state? The state ‘is’ all around us! Anyone that understands the least bit about causality knows that although they can – for the most part – control their own behavior, decisions and how they react to the consequences, the same cannot be said for the man (or woman) standing next to you.
As long as there are two or more people in a situation, each with their own needs, wants and desires, you will need some construct of ‘rules’ to govern their interactions with each other and with those things around them that they might need, want or desire. This would be nice and peachy in that idealistic (yet all too often unrealized) existence where everyone followed the rules all the time – but of course we know better.
Then comes the need for enforcement of the rules – enforcement that does not adversely support the needs, wants and desires of one individual over that of another. The combination of these rules and the enforcement of same sooner or later shows up as government and can be eventually found synonymous with ‘the state’.
So, therefore (using a little deductive reasoning here) as long as there are two more more people in a situation, each with their own needs wants and desires – the emergence of a governing entity that could be dubbed ‘the state’ is pretty much an inevitability.

In short? A lot of people believe in a god. A lot more believe in some type of statism. But the state is the only one that we can readily demonstrate having an immediate and incontrovertible effect upon our daily lives.

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