An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Posts tagged ‘Tea Party’

Legitimate Rape? Oh damn…

You know, every time I see something floating around the internet, I think to myself – this has to be the stupidest thing ever.  It just doesn’t get any stupider.  But bless America’s beyond-stupid heart, because every time one thinks this, I am proven dead wrong.  There is a quote that is from an actual congressman serving in the House of Representatives.  This man has said something that, I have to believe, can’t be topped.  This is the stupidest thing said in the history of humanity.  If it gets any dumber than this, I give up.

Here is the quote –

From what I understand from doctors, pregnancy from rape is really rare.  If it’s a legitimate rape (pay attention to this), the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down.  -Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO)

Just take a moment.  Take a moment of the stupidity of that quote to sink in to your subconscious.  Take a moment to really try and understand how incredibly stupid this actually is.  And this came from a person who is a member of Congress.  Think about all the education opportunities that this person should have had.  Think about all the chances that this person had to be a little, ever so slightly, bit smarter, and then he says something this stupid.

Got all that?  Now, let’s look between the lines at what has actually been said here.  First, this person either has no understanding of female anatomy, crime, and what things are, or he is straight-up evil.  For one thing, there are countless number of rapes all over the world, not just in America, that end up in the woman getting pregnant.  The female reproductive system doesn’t discriminate based on how the sperm got in there.  It functions all the same.  Whoever these “doctors” are who told this man these facts, they obviously got their education from their parents who probably speak southern-English.

A part of me has to believe that this person is just stupid.  So stupid that they can’t possibly understand how dumb what they said actually is.  Otherwise, what is being said here is evil.  Think about it – is Akin arguing that if the body doesn’t destroy the fetus, it wasn’t legitimate rape?

Is the argument really that the thousands of women in this country who get raped every year and get pregnant from that rape not legitimately raped?  Wow, this person is one of the worst people on Earth!  For real, that’s like saying that when a kid’s puppy died, it’s the kid’s fault because he didn’t love the puppy enough.  That’s how evil this is.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the Republican Party stands for nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  I mean, you have politicians who are making arguments like this, obviously trying to make this an argument for getting rid of abortion in the case of rape.  This person actually arguing that a woman who gets pregnant wasn’t “legitimately” raped.  In theory.  The other option is that this person is too stupid for words.

Yet there is a massive, massive part of this country who follows these morons.  They actually think that what these idiots have to say is worth their time.  They actually think that these people are the kind of people we need in public office.

If anyone asks why I am ashamed, humiliated, and disgusted with my own country, I show them stuff like this.  Seriously, The Onion made a story in response to this, and it was that a woman who was so relieved that her rape wasn’t legitimate.  That’s what it has come to in America.

But you wanna know the truly scary part?  Todd Akin has said that his opinion is wrong, but hasn’t backed down from it.  He has been refuted, time and time again, yet he doesn’t say that he’s wrong.  And half of this country wants that.  Half of this country (or not, depending on who you talk to), wants to hear that this is true.

And if we allow that.  If we let people like this have that opinion, then here is the worst price of all – that the truth is whatever this country wants it to be.  And that should terrify you, America.

It does me.

The Tea Party and Political Ignorance

The Tea Party is an interesting monster in the world of Republican politics.  Since this publication is based in Alaska, there is a unique perspective that is here.  Sarah Palin has been one of the driving voices of a movement that was very quick to spring up, and very quick to be taken in by the GOP.  The Tea Party stands as a referendum of political ignorance and as a backlash against minority voters getting the rights of any kind.

There have been a lot of statements by the Tea Party that were it not for minority voters, Obama wouldn’t have been elected in 2008.  This is true, very true.  However, when they say it, they say it like this is something to lament.  Why?  Why is the fact that the minorities get a right to vote something that we should look down upon?

They are told by the talking heads Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and people like that that they are being oppressed.  They criticize those who are getting social security, or medicare, not seeming to understand that they are almost all on the bottom 50% of the social strata, and therefore, are either getting these services themselves, or not paying into them, so it doesn’t really matter.  But the talking heads tell them what they want to hear, so it doesn’t really matter.

The Tea Party seems to not care about the fact that they are not being oppressed in any way.  They are told that we need to go back to a time when only the white and the rich had the ability to vote.  Oh, and they also have to be men.  Were it not for women voters, the Democrats would have lost every single election of the 20th centure with the exception of Goldwater vs. Johnson.  The Tea Party has been mobilized to further the agenda that those who follow it believe in.

Their agenda has been pretty clear – lower taxes to unsustainable levels, and what we do pay, only the poor should pay.  They want to get rid of the rights that the minorities and the gays have fought tooth and claw for.  They want to massively increase this nation’s military industrial complex, not seeming to understand that conventional war is out-dated.  All of what they want is nothing more than political ignorance.

But really, when one thinks about what they want, the left’s response has been pathetically worthless.  One thing that the liberal politicians don’t seem to understand is that while it used to be good politics to negotiate with your opposition, giving and getting, it is not longer palatable.  But compromisers like Obama seem to not understand this key fact.  The left has spent years trying to stave off the endless onslaught of attack from the Tea Party, and every compromise that is made is losing ground on the social front.

This is a culture war, and the left is losing, badly.  The fact is that if something is not done soon, there won’t be a left-wing side of politics.  It has to be a grassroots movement.  From the ground up, we need to get more left-leaning politicians who aren’t hardcore.  They have to be articulate, they have to be level-headed.  They have to understand that things are not as simple as 1,2,3.  They have to be willing to stand tall, though, and not endless compromise with the right.

One reality is that Obama is a compromiser.  He is probably going to get reelected not because of his merits, because he has very few of those, but because the GOP competition is so unbelievably weak, and the GOP don’t seem to understand that the American public is not dissatisfied with Democrats, we are dissatisfied with the system at large.

Liberals, it is time for you to step up.  We need a unified plan, to counter this ignorance-driven narrative that the Tea Party lives by.

Here is what the liberal plan should look like –
1. We want a stronger social safety net, including (but not limited to) universal health care.
2. The rich need to pay more taxes.  There is no good reason to bleed them dry, but asking them to pay more taxes is not unreasonable.
3. We want an end to our military actions in the Middle East.
4. We want nation-wide right to gay marriage.
5. It is time for the federal government to legalize, regulate, and tax individual drug use, on all narcotics.  Just because it is dangerous doesn’t mean it is going away.  If we bring all drugs under one banner, control their quality, and control how much people get, we can make this business safer.
6. We need to get god off of our money, tax churches, and make the priests who fondle little boys get to find out what happens to a child molester in a typical American prison.
7. We want a ground-up reformation of an all but broken education system.
8. We want a police force that is accountable, and who is held to a higher standard, and trained to help people.  The Occupy movement has shown that the police are above the law, and they know it.

So, that is the agenda that the left needs to adopt.  Sound simple, no?  The Tea Party has destroyed moderate Republicans.  There are almost none left.  Mitt Romney might be considered one, but he goes wherever the wind blows.  This movement has taken over the Republican Party, and if we don’t do something fast, then all the progress that people in this country have made will be lost.  The Tea Party, no, all of the Republican Party has become a machine heading toward a single goal – to destroy the rights of all minorities, and to take America back to the 1800’s, or at least the 1950’s.  The time for compromise is over.  Now is the time for action.

Are you on board?

Peace out,

Lefty

The Future of America and the Entire World

There is a concept that was covered rather nicely in the film, The Social Network.  It was how everything that we understand about society and the world is changing.  This change has been brought about by the internet.  Really, the internet has changed everything that we understand about how society works.  How civilizations were ruled is radically changing.  When one looks at Egypt and wonders about how this came about, it was brought about by the new.  It was brought about by a young generation that wants the world to change, and for the better.

Nobody could have predicted what the last 20 years would do to the entire planet.  When the internet started to connect everybody, and access to it was becoming easier and easier to come by, the world saw a sweeping revolution of change.  To quote the character Sean Parker from The Social Network

First we lived in villages, then in cities, and now we will live on the internet!”

This is an apt quote.  The invention of Facebook has revolutionized the entire planet, and every single interaction that happens within it.  The social world that we live in is null and void if you don’t have an internet connection.  If you are unable to get online, you are dead to the world.  Those who make a joke about a person who has a broken computer and therefore feels rather lost are people who are unable to see the writing on the wall – that the internet is our civilization.  As such, because so much of the world is now online, there is a revolution that is beginning to occur – the young are gradually beginning to pose a new direction to society.

As America is gradually losing power, we are beginning to understand that the only way that our nation is going to survive is to rethink our paradigm and to make our nation more active in promoting the things that are able to do the most good.  As such, the typical left and right battles that come up are being decried on both sides because both sides are sick of hearing it.  A new view of society is replacing it – that all groups and grow, and that government power should not be more centralized and authoritative, but rather, as Jeremy Rifkin brings up in an article that was published on The Huffington Post,  distributed and collaborative.

Now, one could look at things like Occupy Wall Street and think that this is a sign of things, but that is just a symptom.  That is just something that rose up because of the fact that the interneat has changed everything forever and for always.  So, what is it a symptom of – how the young are looking at the results of what the authoritative powers like the American government have done and are now attacking this system.  There is a growing number who take the Randian Libertarian model, which is a farce and is ultimately more dangerous, and then there are those who believe that the world’s efforts should first be united by continent, and the by planet.

Rifkin called this “The Third Industrial Revolution.”  As more and more nations that were not in the sphere of power are becoming more active, as more nations are able to have access to energy and more access to other materials, there is a growth that is occuring.  And while things are growing everywhere else, America and other nations of power are on the decline.  America rode the wave after World War II.  We believed that we would be able to make the world whatever we wanted it to be.  It got us out of a Depression.  We believed that everything was going to be great forever.  But history has shown that economic success is never eternal.

So the question comes to – what will America’s involvement, and better yet, what will Alaska’s involvement be?  Well, the goal should be obvious – change the entire system to what works.  A global economic model that actually works.  One of the strangest things about the new GOP paradigm is their belief that we can continually spend and spend and spend, but not have to raise taxes.  They want to funnel money into the military efforts overseas, in a vain attempt to have global power, which is outdated, to be honest, while trying to make their power base at an unsustainable level for the entire country.

America has to change.  Alaska must change with it.  We have to move from an economy based on oil, for starters.  Renewable energy, on a large scale, could be a global effort and provide the entire world with cheap renewable energy.  It would help economies grow.  It would be good for the planetary biosphere.  It is just a good idea.  The next thing is to drastically change global relations by getting rid of the military deterrant that we have, but doesn’t work, and could eventually come back to bite us.  Nukes have to go.  The bases overseas have to go.  All of our military might in the third world has to go.  We have to change the balance of things by not coming into discussions as the superpower who will have a gun to your head, but as a voice that is adding an opinion to the discussion.  That is how it has to work.  The next thing is to get rid of Medicare and Medicaid, and institute universal health care.  America’s health care system is a broken, patch-work system, and while universal health care is by no means perfect, it really is the best option that we have.

Alaska must leave behind the oil-based mentality.  The idea that mining, oil, and our “frontier spirit” is going to save everything is a farce that is almost dangerous, when one examines these issues critically.  Alaska has a vast wealth of renewable sources that we could harness, leaving behind the finite resources such as oil and coal.  With Alaska’s small population, universal health care is almost too practical.  We are unique in that regard.  We have a large population that is spread out.  We can also afford to raise the taxes on all brackets, back to where they were under Clinton.  But most of all, we need to drastically rethink what we want to do.  The Libertarian views of me-me-me is starting to become a bad joke that is told by people who don’t want to face reality.  The Milton Friedman economic model doesn’t work.  It never has.  Clinton said in a recent interview that the Randian model has never worked, never been proven to work.  When Ron Paul runs America into the ground, that will be a sad day.

Really, we have to rethink how we view wealth, our fellow man, and the pursuit of money.  When the need for money is worth more than human life, as was shown by a Ron Paul supporter at the Tea Party debates, that is a model that is doomed to fail.  We have to start thinking about how we want to treat the least among us, and people have to be willing to make sacrifices, and the first who need to are the wealthy.  The real challenge is that we all have to start looking out for each other.  Until we can do that, America, Alaska, and the entire world is doomed to fail.

Peace out,

Lefty

America’s Tea Problem

America has this problem.  It is plagued by this problem in every way.  Whenever the intelligent try and alleviate this problem, it seems to bounce back.  The problem is a curse upon a country that is desperately trying to overcome the racist elements that are still very powerful in this country.  Granted, they are not nearly as bad as it used to be.  The KKK is not as powerful a presence in this country the way that they used to be, which is a wonderful thing.  You don’t see them walking down the streets of Washington DC in their robes, talking their talk, which won’t be repeated here because some of us consider ourselves decent human beings who don’t want to revisit a history that is bigoted, heartless, and worth nothing to society.  What is America’s problem?  America’s problem is the Tea Party.

It is kind of inspiring how the Tea Party is finally starting to head into the night.  Granted, we now have quite a few Tea Party Republicans (such an oxy-moron, given what people say that the Tea Party is supposed to represent) in government these days.  You’ve got people like Mitt Romney, Rand and Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and the list does go on.  But you don’t see much of their massive protests these days.  Their protests are absolutely legendary in the world of bigoted politics.

Does anybody remember the signs that these people used to have at their completely not-racist rallies that they had?  The stupidity and ignorance of what was happening was almost inspiring to those of us who have the ability to think in large amounts.  They were openly comparing the democratically elected president of this country to being equal with Hitler.  That’s right, people in this country were saying that the President of the United States who was democratically elected is equal to a genocidal maniac who wanted to ethically and ideologically purify the world.  The absolutely offensive nature of that comparison should terrify and sadden people, but it didn’t. 

But then, after the big charge that they had going died down, the Tea Party decided to go after the people who called them racists.  One must give credit that the Tea Party didn’t start out as the racist mongers that they are today.  There were some actual intellectuals with this group back when it first started.  However, this is not the way that it is today.  Today, the Tea Party has become nothing more than a group of middle-class, almost exclusively white people.  These white people claim to be mad about the economy, taxes, a whole bunch of things, but the truth is that the only thing that they are really mad at is the fact that the black man is in office. 

One contention that the big-time Tea Party members make is that they are in support of the ideals set up by the Founding Fathers of this country.  That concept is so stupid that it hurts.  If the Founding Fathers were around today they would have undoubtably hated the Tea Party’s guts.  For one thing, they want to believe that the Founding Fathers were against socialism, which is an outright lie.  They were all in favor of it, because you know what socialism was?  It wasn’t the government having all the power.  That is a lie that the people are told.  Socialism is, by definition, public ownership.  The people own, the people control.  Socialism is giving the people of a country the control over the main areas of production.  It is not taking from people, it is giving to people.  But that isn’t something that the corporate machine of this country, like the Koch brothers, want you to know. 

The fact is that the Tea Party is not a machine that is acting in the people’s interest.  They are an arm of the corporate machine.  They have always advocated and will always advocate for the corporate interests, and in the interest of capitalism, which has been proven to be against the common good.  If only the Tea Party was a machine of dissent.  What’s ironic is that while they believe themselves to be dissenting against the system, if you go against them, and call them out, they will go after you with absolute fury. 

There was a video that was made by a YouTuber named Grady Warren.  In it, Warren talks about how the Tea Party is not racist.  It was the absolutely worst demonstration of something that more and more people are coming to realize is true- that either these people are so completely blind to their own bigotry that they simply don’t see it, or that they are so egotistical and proud of their own bigotry that they revel in it.  This is not a good thing.  This is actually a very terrible thing.  Either of those problems comes with a massively long list of things that need to be done to get these people to understand how bigoted they actually are.

And what’s more, the American public has to suffer the worst of it- the legislation that they want to put through.  The recent campaign against reproductive rights for women was a Tea Party and hardcore right manifestation.  Christine O’Donnell ran on her wish to take away a woman’s right to choose.  Sharron Angle did too.  Granted, their campaigns lost, but it is the idea of the thing that matters.  And it has paved the way for all sorts of hardcore right legislation that could have, and in some places, has come to pass.  There was a House Bill in South Dakota that could have made it perfectly legel to kill an abortion doctor.  You could up and kill them, in the street, and you would face no legal action.  That isn’t happening in this country!  And people who think that that kind of behavior is acceptable should be shunned and mocked by society.  But, thanks to the miracle of the hopelssly biased network FOX News, they are accepted.

Society cannot suffer the kind of bigotry that we face.  There are things happening that demand that humanity come together.  America needs to solve its tea problem.  Either that, or find a place to send them where they can live in their little utopia, up until the point where they realize that the world that they want is a place where nobody would want to live.

Peace out,

Eli

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