Archives for category: Politics

Gay Marriage Ban is Projected to Pass in North Carolina

North Carolina is rending my soul right now. In all honesty, I don’t understand how these people can consider themselves decent human beings.
“Supporters of the amendment said that it would ensure the preservation of traditional families.”

Obviously, “traditional” families are the only ones worth preserving. I am legitimately confused at how 58% of the voters in North Carolina can consider unmarried couples, same-sex couples, single parents, and any other arrangement in which there is not a man married to a woman as unhealthy, unsustainable, unloving, and unreasonable. Wake up and look around you, folks. We should be moving into the future with acceptance and open-mindedness, not forcing everyone into an evangelical theocracy. And how is it that Republicans can continually run on the platforms of reducing government interference on business, schools, the economy, etc., etc., but feel the need to restrict who I can call my family??

Pardon my strong language, but go fuck yourselves North Carolina.

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So, I confess that I know about as much about economics as I do about the surface of Neptune, but I do pride myself on having at least a little bit of common sense. If one of the most conservative branches of the Federal Reserve is calling for the banks to be broken up because they continue to hobble the American economy, it seems common sense that the idea should at least be considered. I have frequently been flabbergasted by the sheer size of many corporations, and if those corporations are more or less leaning on taxpayers to prevent an economic meltdown (again), then why are they continually allowed to grow and grow and then grow some more, ever intertwining their success with the country’s economy?

I’m going to the library to get an Econ textbook so I can figure out what the hell is going on.

Louis C.K. is, as usual, very crude in this latest internet go-round, but I heartily agree with the guy.  What does it matter?  Giving equal rights to homosexuals doesn’t affect the rights of heterosexuals.  Period.

Sometimes, politics get my blood boiling.  Tonight is one of those times.

Republican governor Mitch Daniels, in his response to President Obama’s State of the Union address this evening, said something which convinces me even more—despite what I imagine are the best intentions—how out of touch the Republican party has become:

“We do not accept that ours will ever be a nation of haves and have nots; we must always be a nation of haves and soon to haves.”

Sir, please take a moment to look around you.  We ARE a nation of haves and have nots.  Many, many people are struggling to make ends meet, and to insult the intelligence of this country by making such a sweeping, positive statement promising that financial security is just around the corner is uncalled for. 

I gladly admit that the economic problems in this country have no easy solutions.  I challenge any member of the Republican party, however, to explain to me how we are to keep people off the street, healthy, safe, educated, and in any kind of quality life without quite a bit of government spending.  I agree that it’s not ideal to run up a great deficit, but it is downright inhumane to remove funding from social programs that are literally keeping people alive.

The majority of the students that I currently work with come from the very low end of the socioeconomic spectrum.  I have students who are homeless, students whose families cannot afford to keep the heat turned on, students who literally don’t know from where their next meal will come, students who have children that they have to feed and care for, and students who depend on the charity of others (and programs of the government) to get clothes, school supplies, hygiene items, food, and other things that many take for granted.  I wish the members of Congress could see these teenagers and realize that their efforts to not raise taxes, to ease regulations across the board, to decrease unemployment benefits/welfare/food stamps, and to keep the immoral, blasphemous gays from marrying and the floozies from aborting are far from helping them.

The reality is that we are an incredibly large nation with a continually widening income gap and citizens in need.  The policies (and lack thereof) of unbridled capitalism that many argue plunged our economy into the pits in the first place have become the sacred cows of the super-wealthy and need to be toppled.  The fact that politicians in D.C. are playing silly games to make themselves look good and President Obama look bad for the upcoming election is, quite frankly, disgusting.  I would like to imagine that the leaders of our country have, if not common sense, at least common decency to try to work together to find ways to help. 

Am I just railing against the Republican party, conservatives, far right radicals, and the (in my opinion) bat shit crazy members of the Tea Party?  Maybe.  But I do believe that, now more than ever, we shouldn’t be pointing fingers like children on the playground.  We should remember that every nation is a nation of haves and have nots, no matter what we’d like to believe.  And like it or not, the have nots, even those who are working their asses off, often need a little bit of help.

So, it seems that the United States economy is at a standstill, with an occasional hopeful hiccup in a positive direction.  I was listening to Marketplace on NPR the other day, and I heard a piece of commentary by Robert Reich, some economically savvy gent.  You can find it here.  I highly recommend a listen.

It appears that we are in a cycle that looks like this:

image

When it should look like this:

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These diagrams were, in fact, professionally made.  Don’t hate.

The bottom line of Mr. Reich’s argument, which I have to admit is one with which I agree, is that we need jobs that pay enough for people to spend money.  And hey, let’s have the government take a crack at it since corporations seem to be eying only their profit margins, outsourcing jobs, lobbying Congress, and generally behaving like dirtbags.  We need a new WPA!  Hire teachers (yeah!), construction workers, hire young people (hell, hire old people!) who are willing to be thrown into public service!  Pay for these jobs with taxes on those of us who make $1 million plus.  Thanks in advance, guys.

At this point, you might say, “But Lindsay!  Isn’t that socialism?  Gasp! Communism??? What about our pledge to capitalism?  Every man for himself!  Pull yerself up by your bootstraps or, you know, eat my dust!  What about the American mantra, ‘Eat shit and die if you can’t afford healthcare!’?  Surely this isn’t fair!”  My response would be, “Calm yourselves.  At this point, the millionaires won’t last much longer if the rest of us can’t afford to buy their products.  We are in a critical period, and in such times of duress, mantras must occasionally be abandoned.

I (cautiously) hope that those in charge and their advisers are hearing things like Mr. Reich’s commentary and realizing that sensible solutions are now the only feasible ones.

So, I’m confused.  When the concept of a “super committee” was introduced to effectively balance the budget, this was my initial reaction:

A Super Committee!?!  These guys will save us!  They’ll figure it out!  Make concessions!  Demand sacrifices!  Two parties combine to form a logical, non-political group to guide the country to better economic times!  Hoorah!

Apparently, that wasn’t the case.  It seems that the political posturing is taking precedence over common sense, and everyone feels the need to blame it on the other guy.  I’m wondering if these politicians understand that their actions look to the rest of us like a pre-school classroom: someone has spilled the chocolate milk and the kids are pointing fingers and hiding under tables instead of cleaning up the milk.  The entire country is looking to you to be mature, reasonable, and intelligent individuals.  Apparently, the American political system has become so polarized that honest conversation cannot take place.

On top of that, this pledge by so many Republicans that they will never ever ever in a million years raise taxes is a bit ridiculous.  Shouldn’t we all as citizens help pay for a better infrastructure, more help for those who are trying to become educated, a little assistance for senior citizens who are having to work at grocery stores and gas stations to pay for medications, and some decent healthcare for all of us?  If I were a cruder and more direct person, I might tell these congressmen to “Man up, and grow enough testicles to tell your constituents that they have to pay for shit.”  But alas, I am not.

In plain words, here is my thought on the super committee: this abject failure by the so called “Super Committee” is, in my eyes, completely asinine and, quite frankly, unacceptable.  Get with it, guys, and figure it out.