Friday Fives – freedom edition

jessica-simpson-flag-bikini

  1. Ed Snowden > patriot or traitor?

let me first say I don’t know the whole story.  I don’t pretend to.  What I do know, though, I say patriot.  I see his take, and my take, as ‘the govt is our employee, and works for us.’

plus, the govt’s severe reaction to this concerns me.  If I was the govt, this is how I would have handled it.  “Yeah, we are listening to phone calls.  Big whoop.  We have been doing it ever since 9/11.  Also, we TOLD YOU we were going to do that in the Patriot Act.  We are doing this FOR you, not TO you.  Our supreme goal is to protect America and Americans.  Those who mean no harm have nothing to be concerned about.  Basically, we view Snowden’s leaks as really late press releases about the Patriot Act.”

  1. Julian Assange > patriot or traitor?

traitor.  Well, he isn’t American, so that isn’t the correct characterization.  I do not like what he does, though. 

I would imagine many people perceive the actions of Assange and Snowden as almost the same.  I absolutely do not.

Giving out state secrets to make a point is a dick move, and technically makes you a terrorist. 

Or, as I call it ‘pulling a Robert Novack’.  Robert Novack, you see, is a terrorist and a sty on humanity.  I am not sad he is gone.  What is this about Robert Novak?  He is a piece of shit, and he is dead. I have written about him here.  I am still angry because he never copped to it, was never held accountable, and never apologized.  So, died a coward and a traitor in my book.

  1. Using communist China to bankroll two wars to spread freedom.  Ironic?  Brilliant? 

stupid.  We now owe 1.3 trillion dollars for Bush’ unfunded wars.  Allow me to explain why I use those terms, lest they seem hyperbolic and biased.  During the two wars (Afghanistan and Iraq) the US cut taxes.  to my knowledge, that has never been done in history.  Wars are SUPER expensive.  No one argues that.  What is strange is during these two world wars, our govt under Bush actively decided to collect less taxes from Americans. 

So, how did that manifest?  Thusly – someone has to pay for all those tanks and guns and stuff.  Since we weren’t collecting money, we had to borrow.  Borrow we did.  In order to fund the two wars to spread democracy, we borrowed 1.3 trillion dollars from communist China.

So, the following President (no matter who, or what party, it was) inherited colossal debt.  historic debt.  debt like a motherfucker.  the kind of debt two ten year world wars creates.  Naturally, that guy needed to keep borrowing to keep the country solvent, since we weren’t collecting taxes anymore.  When he did that ONCE (Bush did it 13 times, mind you) they tried to start a revolution calling him fiscally insane.

Who are ‘they’?  Am I just being hyperbolic and super liberal Democrat apologist here?  Nope.  ‘They’ are the tea party.  The Tea Party was started and funded by the GOP.  Specifically, by Dick Armey.  The GOP started the Tea Party to give Americans the illusion they had a third party standing up to govt.  Really, though, it was just the GOP in disguise.  This is why ALL tea party candidates, you will note, were Republican.

Here is an analogy of your illusion of choice.  Remember when craft beer starting being all the rage?  It was back when every beer was a ‘red’.  The big two breweries, quite wisely, got on the bandwagon and created independent microbrewery looking organizations.  Miller had ‘Plank Road’ and Coors has ‘Blue Moon’.  So, when American sheep (myself included here) started buying beer from these microbreweries to support small business and stick it to the majors… we were all just still drinking Coors and Miller.  THAT… dear reader… is the story of the Tea Party.

  1. Explain to someone who comes from a benevolent monarchy the benefits of freedom in a twitter like 3 sentences max

here is what is swell about America.  I can (and have) spent every waking moment railing against the suckiness and tyranny of American leadership… and I do not disappear in the morning.  That makes America, no matter how hard I bitch, pretty fuckin’ great.

  1. What is the one thing you would change with stroke of a pen about the United States if you were the benevolent monarchist?

it would be about feeding people.  I get that not everyone can have a home… or even a job.  Everyone should be able to eat in America, though.  I am sure if we put out resources to it, it shouldn’t be an issue.  It just seems doable.  So, what am I doing towards that goal?  Nothing.  I volunteer plenty, and I am not that passionate about hunger.  Like I said, it just seems solvable.  Like drinking and driving.  That seems awfully preventable if resources were put to it.  The average DUI costs over $10,000.   But, how much of that money goes to preventing future DUI’s?  Maybe $200 in court costs.  DUI is big business. Trust me, I know.  It is all privatized, and it creates a ton of jobs.  But… DUI shouldn’t be good for the economy like it is.

* about the picture up top – ok, you know I ALWAYS do a mandala.  However, I did not want to do an American Flag mandala.  Know why?  The American flag is not to be used as a decoration.  Like, on a race car or as a pair of shorts.  So, you can imagine it is also not to be used as a bikini top.  Her use of the US Flag as a sexy ‘hey y’all, isn’t America just the best’ is belittling to the flag, and frankly sexist and insulting to women.  I get that. Here is the thing, though.  I am mortal, and only a man.  I really really really like this photograph.  So, I have left some of my principles at the door in exchange for boobies.  It will likely happen again, America.  I am not proud.

two political phrases I wish to patent

I have a couple of things I wanted to document.  These are philosophies I want to get down in writing, because I feel they are both valid, and decently unique.  Now, you can’t patent an idea.  Also, to believe I am the only one who has these insights is silly.  But, in all the political crap I watch and read, I don’t see these two ideas represented as well as I think they should be.

I read a lot about politics, and I watch even more.  I am fascinated by it, and it is like a drug.  Hunter Thompson wrote a book called ‘Better than Sex’ about the Clinton presidency campaign.  It is kind of ironic title for our perviest president since Kennedy.  However, Hunter was simply opining that politics is better than sex.

We just got out of a presidential campaign, which means I can put this stuff away for a few years.  So, in order to flesh out these ideas and document them before someone else takes all the credit… here goes.

Devil you know

I first wrote here about the ‘Devil you Know’.  What I am referring to is the aphorism ‘I would take the devil I know over the devil I don’t know any day.”  It is an incredibly accurate psychological expression.  Put simply, for you dummies – people fear the unknown.  I believe, without any question in my mind, that ‘devil you know’ is how GW Bush got re-elected.  He was a terrible president, and everyone knew this.  I mean, a really really bad president.  He was one of the worst in history.  Even the right agrees on this.  How so?  They didn’t let Bush campaign for McCain.  He had so damaged the Republican party that they needed to distance themselves from him.  So why, oh why, would America re-elect him?  The great pollster John Zogby said his prediction day of election was that “Kerry will win in a landslide”.  Now, we can also acknowledge that Kerry was no dream candidate.  He is just creepy.  That isn’t politics talking.

Now, I know the concept of the ‘devil you know’ is far from new.  However, I know it plays a bigger part in politics than anyone realizes.  How else can you explain 87% of American’s disapproving of Congress, yet 82% of Congress getting re-elected every election?  This I have written about before.  See, Americans think that everyone in Congress is a crooked and useless jerk… except their guy.  The devil they know.

I know that GW Bush was re-elected because people fear the creepy devil they don’t know.  This is why most president’s get re-elected (almost 70%).  I think that also played heavily into Obama’s re-election.  It is home field advantage.  In the NFL, for betting purposes, home field teams are given about 3 points just for being the home team.  So, let’s say Denver is playing Cleveland and the game is in Cleveland.  Let’s then say that the gaming line is Cleveland favored by 3 points.   What that means is they are saying if this game were to be played in a neutral location, it would be a tie.  It also means if this game were to be held in Denver, Denver would be favored by 3.  This is why the super bowl is always in a neutral location

Splitting the left

Generally speaking, Americans are socially liberal and fiscally conservative.  At least, that is what they will tell you.  To explain that in one sentence – they are fine with gays being married, as long as it doesn’t impact their finances.  I think America is more Democrat than Republican, without question.  So, why don’t them Dems win every election?  Well, one reason is that the GOP is WAY more organized with messaging and voting and everything.  The GOP is disciplined.  The other reason why I feel the Dems don’t win everything is that we split the vote.  This very poorly done graph explains what I am saying here.

If you take everyone political ideology and laid them out on a straight line, you could put a line in the middle.  People on the right of that line we will call conservatives.  The people to the left of the line are then liberals.  Here is the part where we are talking about ‘splitting the left’.  If you are on the right, no matter if you are a tiny bit to the right, or at the super furthest point to the right… you still vote Republican.  Again, I can prove this with facts.  David Duke was the former Grand Wizard of the KKK.  He ran for office as a Republican, even though the world knew he was king racist. They have 100% of everyone on the right of the center dividing line.  The Dems do not have that luxury.  See, the farther you go on the left, the more the vote splinters.  Green party, libertarian party, Tea Party… etc etc etc.

So, while we can imagine that 50% of Americans are left leaning, the Democratic party will never get 50% of the vote.  Again, this comes down to the discipline the right has.  Also, the right knows about this aspect of the left and they exploit it.  Sounds like paranoia, but it is provable.  The Tea Party was invented by the Republicans to let liberals feel they could strike out against big government spending.  I will name names, in fact.  Dick Armey, a very powerful GOP senator, invented and funded the Tea Party.  If you vote Tea Party because you feel you are sticking it to the man, you are a dumbass and a puppet.  The man invented the Tea Party to make you feel you had a voice.