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What an amazing young man.

Lucien Maverick's Den

I have just seen a video. This video has touched me in such a profound way. This video has really touched me in such a profound way. What I have seen here really does make me realize that not only is God not real, but I wouldn’t want him to be. I don’t know if the kid who made this video was a Christian. I don’t know if he was an atheist. I only know that when he found out that he was dying, rather than falling apart, he stoically told people not to mourn his passing, and to look after those he left behind. This was so poignant, so beautiful, so incredibly powerful and strong, that I have to share his video, and to say that while I am not a religious man, I wish that this kid will rest in peace, whatever comes after all this.

We can…

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“Religious Freedom,” an easy cover for bigotry

Whenever somebody is looking to promote an idea that the religious groups in this country at large don’t agree with, have you ever noticed a pattern?  The pattern that these groups will have their members come out of the woodwork and claim “religious freedom.”  It is such a clever line, and through it, all kinds of hatred and bigotry are able to be defended.

There is a new battle against anti-gay bullying in schools.  It is being led by Focus on the Family.  They claim that this new legislation isn’t just about preventing kids from bullying LGBT students, but is about “indocrination” and “promoting homosexuality.”  It fails to register to them that this is blatantly untrue.  These laws in various states are designed to protect LGBT youth from being bullied because they are gay.  No child deserves the right to be bullied.  But according to Focus on the Family, not only do these kids deserved to be bullied, but to stop them from being bullied is against “religious freedom.”

Of course, this card has been pulled before.  When Obama said that the new health care law had a section in it that said that health insurance providers had to cover contraception at no cost to the patient, the Catholics came out of the woodwork, claiming that denying women access to birth control, which has health benefits far-beyond just preventing pregnancy, was within the purview of “religious freedom.”  Never mind that this was about insurance providers, not religious organizations.  They wanted to make a stand against it anyway.

This argument of “religious freedom” is so unbelievably worthless in the grand scope of things.  By the arguments that have been made, people like Hitler could have claimed that we were against his “religious freedom.”  Think about it – his Roman Catholic beliefs guided his actions.  He believed that it was what God would have wanted – for him to killl Jews.  When the Allies fought against him, he could have claimed that we were hurting his “religious freedom.”  This argument holds no water, because it is always proven to be blatantly false.

How is the freedom to worship whatever deity you choose hurt by legislation that protects LGBT students?  How are you suddenly unable to believe in the religious system of your choice when insurance providers are told that they have to cover contraception?

Or a little closer to home – how are the religious suddenly made unable to go to their religious institution because members of the LGBT community aren’t able to be discriminated against in regards to housing and hiring and firing?  The argument by Protect Your Rights was that this law which failed to pass, Proposition 5, was hurting “religious freedom.”  But how has it ever been hurt by any of these pieces of legislation?

The fact is that this reasoning is simply a rallying cry to the bigots in this country.  It can boiled down as simply as that.  Think about this – Focus on the Family openly admitted that there shouldn’t be laws in place to protect gay students.  They are perfectly fine with bullying.  They are openly condoning the behavior of the worst of us.  Of course, they won’t admit that.

That’s the ultimate truth – these groups can’t admit the ugliness of their own position, because if they did, we would reject them.  We would reject their ideology based solely on hatred, lies, and the public at large being unable to question or fight against it.  This religious demagoguery goes largely unchallenged, because people don’t want to talk about stuff like this, or debate stuff like this.  The idea seems to be that we don’t have the right to call a spade a spade.

Or a bigot a bigot.  The simple truth is that these groups of people are merely finding a very poetic cover, for their own bigotry.  And meanwhile, students, women, and people just trying to live their lives, are the ones to suffer.  Our government does little to nothing to stop this bigotry.

To do so would be against “religious freedom.”

Peace out,

Lefty

A message to the Christian right.

Lucien Maverick's Den

If one had to describe what their religion is, the exact framework of it, what would it be?  Well, that’s pretty simple.  The first part is the belief in an all-powerful deity.  With me so far?  Good.  Of course, with that, there are plenty of other supernatural elements with it, such as souls, spirits (or angels), and powers beyond mankind’s comprehension.  There must also be an afterlife.  Now, this is where many such belief systems don’t mix, because some believe that there is only one, and some believe that there are two or more, and you must have a certain system of behaviors to get there.

Along with the supernatural, almost all religions have a belief structure as to where life on Earth or this entire universe came from.  Within the context of this, it isn’t entirely uncommon to find there to be a proposed theory as to what the…

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Lucien Maverick's Den

This is a lesson that our government never seems to learn.  Despite how history shows it, over and over again, the government of this nation is either too greedy or too stupid to listen.  They are trying their damndest to make it work today.  What’s interesting about this is that the government has basically realized that the American populace is too stupid to actually do anything.  Or is it?  We’ll get to that point in a few.

But first, a history lesson.  The government trying to ban what they don’t like isn’t a new thing.  Probably the most famous historical example was Prohibition.  The idea was that the conservatives of their day thought that alcohol was the enemy.  So, they had a comprehensive ban on it.  Complete, total.  Right from the git-go, it didn’t work.

I love how one of my favorite reporters, H.L. Mencken, realized what a farce Prohibition…

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On February 7, 2012 the Lead Coordinator of the By2015:AMERICA Movement will travel to Juneau – Alaska’s political capital. His purpose is to address the irrational political gridlock occurring in the 2012 State Legislature.  Senate Bill 3, a School Meals Bill, is being held hostage in exchange for oil company tax breaks.

Lead Coordinator, Kokayi Nosakhere, intends to assist the lawmakers in “regaining their humanity,” as he thundered at a January 3 press conference. His tool of choice is a hunger strike.  Nosakhere is pledging not to eat any food until Senate Bill 3 is scheduled for an up or down vote on the House Floor.

Anchorage-based Channel 11 news anchor Grace Jang remarked that a hunger strike appears drastic.  Corey Allen explained that her comment comes without the background knowledge of nearly three years of constant activism. On April 22, 2010 The Anchorage Press published a cover article on…

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Muppet Fox News Pwnage!

This was too good not to post. Enjoy –

Peace out,

Lefty

The Truth about 24-Hour News Networks

This should be short but sweet. Here is a video telling the ultimate truth about what 24-hour networks are like.

Learn something?

Peace out,

Lefty

Why are the Poor Defending the Rich So Much?!

I don’t get this new paradigm of the poor, and those who are hopelessly poor, defending the rich with such steadfast devotion.  I was talking to a family member today about my views on politics.  I should have learned a long time ago not to do that.  I have an uncle who I don’t talk about religion with because of the fact that he is so hardcore about it.  With me, talking to conservatives is the exact same way.

There was a very brilliant cartoon done by Ted Rall.  It summed up what I had to deal with today almost perfectly.  It was called “The Tea Party Made Simple.“  These people will defend, almost to the death (metaphorically and ideologically speaking) that the rich need to be protected, like they are going to lose so much.  Really, the idea that the rich are so delicate and going to give up completely is so completely ridiculous.  It is built up on an idea that was completely disprove, and seen by the intellectual and philosophical community as a joke.

The bulk of the modern conservative economic model is much akin to the Libertarian economic model (or at least the predominate model that they and their Messiah, Ron Paul, follow).  It is based around the economic ideas of Ayn Rand.  Ayn Rand is a very interesting character to look at when it comes to economics.  The bulk of the philsophical community wrote off what she said (and quite rightly so) as morally repugnant garbage.  There was a professor who did a rather nice paper about this that was put on the website of a really great YouTube vlogger, Liberal Viewer.  It talks about how the model of selfishness that the conservatives seem to idolize, and the Libertarians worship as gospel, is a completely flawed and totally pointless model to live by.

Now, this family member lives by what seems to be Rand’s idea – that only those who produce matter, and that those who do not produce should be cast aside and forgotten.  That altruism and decency and going out of your way to help others is a worthless cause.  This is, in fact, morally repugnant.  I give credit  to Rand for being able to make this concept sound very good, but the fact is that when you get into the meat of her arguments, you find out that what she wants is nothing more than a selfish, be as greedy as you want and don’t give a crap about anybody else, model, and really, isn’t a philosophy at all.

But back to the argument with the family member, she believes a lot of the talking points of Rand.  I don’t want to call her a Randroid, because that seems a tad bit harsh, and I doubt she has ever studied these ideas in detail, but the talking points are the same – government bad, private business good.  Alan Greenspan was much the same.  It seems that the Libertarians, Tea Party, and Republicans learned absolutely nothing from this man admitting the idea of no regulation being the right one to be wrong.

There was an episode of “FRONTLINE” which talked about what happened to our economy in detail.  Here’s a link to it – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/warning/view/.  A woman named Brooksley Born saw what was coming.  The person I had this argument with, she believes it was a government mistake that happened.  I partially agree, but in a completely different way.  This episode showed that was happened was the government’s fault.  There was not enough regulation on Wall Street, and there needed to be.

Now, before the market collapsed, nobody would hear anything about regulation.  Things were doing awesome, absolutely awesome.  If you were told in 2005 that things were about to collapse from a shady practice by banks who were not being watched closely enough, you would have been laughed offstage.  That was the country that we lived in.  Wall Street was doing incredibly well.  Nobody could have seen the problem that was growing just under the skin.

Enter the world of Over-the-Counter Derivatives.  These were an almost unregulated area of the banking industry.  They are pretty much bets between companies and banks.  They are insurance policies on Wall Street which protect them from problems.  This is a $27 trillion market.  This was a metric ton of money, and the government knew almost nothing about them.  Even those on Wall Street were mostly in the dark.  And since it was completely in the dark, there was a huge market for fraud.  The banks that were involved in this knew that these were too complicated for the average person to understand, and that was how they took multiple companies to the cleaners.  The fact is that these OTCs, as they are called, were, and still are, nothing more than a complete scam.

So, here we are, with trillions of dollars, and nobody knows what is going on.  What happens if something goes wrong?  If something were to go wrong, the OTCs could bring down the entire market.  And that is EXACTLY what happened.  The game went wrong, and everything fell apart.  Greenspan on his dream team all were involved in keeping the truth secret, and after talking with a family member today, I am starting to think their efforts worked.

The Fox News narrative is that the government needs to step back, to stay out.  This is flawed.  This is deeply flawed.  And what’s more, they have an entire army of people who are willing to throw rationality and critical thinking out the window based on personal greed and a strange idea that the rich don’t have the money to lose.

I was asked, “If you made $5 million annually, would you want to give some of that up?  That you worked so hard to get?”  I find this question bizarre, ridiculous, and pathetically naive to the way things are.  The very number, $5 million.  To make that much money annually, it is almost too incredible to dream.  Would I give more of that up?  Would I want to be taxed?  HELL YES!  Are you kidding me?  She actually asked me that, thinking, I guess, that she had backed me into an ideological corner.  I am not a rich man.  Far from it.  I would say that I am more of the lower-middle class.  There is no more true middle class.  You are upper or lower.  If I could make that kind of money in a year, I would give so much of it in taxes, to help the poor, to help strengthen our nation’s safety net, that it isn’t a thought to me.  It’s done, and I wouldn’t look back.

This idea that the rich need to be catered to, and need their hands held is just so pathetic.  It is so worthless and really shows that the people who fight for this are nothing more than ignorant fools who just want to have an idea going on that really means nothing.  The wealth inequality in this country is absolutely insane!  How do these people justify this?  I wanted to get some understanding here, but really, her perspective makes no sense.  The cartoon I linked to above, I really think that it says everything perfectly.  These people are, I guess, being screwed out of the imaginary business that they have in their head.

So, should we raise taxes on the wealthy?  DUH!  No-brainer.  And that is because the conservatives in this country seem to have no brains.

Peace out,

Eli

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