Tag Archives: GOVERNMENT

The New Terrorism: How Today’s Politicians Have Co-Opted America

“They’re well financed and very slick… Add all that up, I don’t know what the fuck it means, but you got some bad-ass perpetrators and they’re here to stay.” — John McClane in “Die Hard,” but it could anybody who wants to describe the elected officials who are supposed to be legislating for you in Washington.

The U.S. Congress has a new logo…

There is a growing homegrown terrorist organization inside this country. It has been quietly funded by shadowy figures and large groups with their own personal agendas. It has quietly infested the very soul of this country. It has kidnapped and hijacked the idea of America. It uses fear, obstruction, terror and childish inaction to cajole the public into electing them again and again. It’s name is the Legislative Branch of the U.S. government. There’s 535 of them, 435 members of the House of Representatives (a very loose term these days) and 100 members of the Senate. And, they are openly hostile, dangerous and a clear and present danger to the people of the United States.

Regardless of your opinions of who should be our next president, I have openly advocated for an almost complete dismissal of the current members of Congress at the polls this November in a previous post.  They don’t care about the American people anymore. Can you remember the last time an elected Congressman or Senator said, “The people in my state feel…” or “This affects my district/state…” without it sounding like it’s all about them or the party? It’s been a long time since I hear something other than “We don’t want the other party doing this or that…”

Dogmatic and inflexible party lines with unknown lawmakers

Quick: name your two Senators and your representative for your district. Good. Now tell me how they voted on the last three bills up for vote. If you got more than two of those right, YOU should run for office. But, were the votes that they cast the best vote FOR YOU and your fellow district/state members?  Or were they what was best for the Republican or Democratic Party? Do you even know how to get a hold of your Senator or Representative? Have they ever replied? Maybe you should join a group…

“Whips” are not just for the dominatrix set. Whips are used to tame lions. Whips were used as part of the Inquisition to enforce an ideological dogma. Whips in Congress are all about making sure that the members of the parties fall in line with the party. I’ll let you draw the parallels. As with all terrorist organizations, the legislative branch co-opts individual thought and subjugates its members into a collective, “us against them” mindset that does little to advance national interest.

Outside influences – Congress as a proxy war

Congress is not entirely at fault. They were once true individual Americans. But, they are weak minded and power hungry. Like Gollum, corrupted by the One Ring, Senators and Representatives need their fix and look to wherever they can in order to stay in power. Enter the outsiders: SuperPAC’s, and “policy” makers like Grover Norquist and the exhaustive line of lobbyists. By offering to fund campaigns or with outright extortion (in the case of Grover Norquist), these individuals and groups have twisted and corrupted the very set of lawmakers that are supposed to represent you.

If there is anything that I learned today with the SCOTUS ruling on health care, it’s that Congress does NOT have our best interest at heart. Instead of accepting that the equally important third branch of government ruled something constitutional and working together to find a way to make an obviously imperfect bill BETTER, your leaders began to take sides. None of those was siding with the American people. Instead of working to finding jobs for Americans, passing a budget and assisting those in need from floods in the South and fires out West, I watched as Senators and Congressmen used obstructionist policies and talked about making repeal of the Affordable Health Care Law their first priority and adding fetal “personhood” amendments to flood insurance bills to prevent legislation from passing.  

Personally, I don’t have a dog in this fight. I could care less if Republicans or Democrats make a majority in Congress, or whether (please, please, please) some unknown third party makes a play and wedges itself into the political scene in order to force Congress to work together. JUST SO LONG AS THEY ARE DIFFERENT AND THAT THEY UNDERSTAND THAT THEY ARE ELECTED BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND CAN BE “UN-ELECTED” BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. It would be great to see anyone who has been elected who will work with others for the benefit of the people of the United States. I would run, but my finances are limited and after this blog there probably isn’t a group that would come near me with a 10-meter cattle prod.

Yes, I am angry.  Yes, it may be a (slight) stretch calling them terrorists. But, it’s hard not to do so as I listen to the Short Bus Network (CNN) and The Legion of Doom (FOX News) where I am constantly reminded of what a bunch of out-of-touch jagoffs we have in the legislative branch of the federal government. Yes, I am going to keep talking about it. No, you can’t stop me. I have a blog. Unfortunately, we cannot just escort them out of the building.  And, actual advocation for termination brings men in suits by your house… But, hopefully I have friends who will A) read this and, 2) forward it on to others. Hopefully, I have friends who will vote with logic and intelligence for candidates that speak to them about their issues and will continue to interact with them and hold fast to those issues. And, with any luck, hopefully my friends will help me vote new Congressman and Senators into office this November.

Dear FBI: you won’t find me at home today. I’ll be outside taking the day off. Just come in and make yourself at home.

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Help Me [Insert Legitimate Third Party Here]!!! You’re My Only Hope!!!

(WHY not…?)

The Hatfield’s and McCoy’s…

The Axis and the Allies…

Fox News and CNN…

The Skeksis and The Mystics

 

Republicans and Democrats.

Brilliant! Nice job, gentleman. That'll teach them!

There’s a stalemate in America government between the two major political parties. There’s an uneasy, often vitriolic detente displayed – much to the thinly disguised glee and enjoyment of the news networks – as loudly as possible for the benefit of their wealthy donors and their own oversized egos. It’s turned our government into political theater, a macabre, grotesque shoutfest mockery of what the wigged framers of the constitution had in mind. It has become “government” in name only. It’s an equal opportunity for getting nothing done at the highest levels of government.

With an equal amount (+/- 30%) of registered voters in America calling themselves either “Republican” or “Democrat” and committed to voting that way (even if their candidate holds up that blind autistic child, the one that the campaign staff carted up onstage with the candidate, in order to shield himself from the lightning bolt arcing down from the heavens), we are left an impotent and ineffectual government that will continue to be elected into power. In this era of partisan politics, with each side calling the other the problem, we have entered a new age of Mutually Assured Destruction – a behavior you get when your elected leaders refuse to work with the “other side” based on either a purely sophomoric view that the other side’s ideology is wrong, or a juvenile need to make sure that the other side doesn’t get any credit for solving the issues. Wahhhhh!

Traditionally, stereotypically, “historically” (whatever you want to call it) the two major political parties are known for certain ideologies and have certain voters who vote for them. These voters once based their vote on what their candidate stood for but have since primarily voted as a result of their hatred for the “other side’s” candidate, not so much what the candidate stands for:

Prototypical Republican as seen by the Left

  • Republican: (as seen by the Democratic voter): White, rich, wears a monocle and uses a cane as HE (no women here) climbs to the top on the back of his workers, entering his limo, lights his cigar with a $100 bill, loves guns, lots of guns, hates a woman’s right to choose, is Christian, and “shoots first, asks questions later.”
  • Famous Republicans – Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, Mel Gibson, Sarah Palin, FOX News, Montgomery Burns. (amazing, the evolution, isn’t it)

Democrats are sponges as seen by the Right

  • Democrat: (as seen by the Republican voter): Non-whites, godless, lazy/freeloaders, elitists, baby killers, socialists, Muslim* – new addition, whiners and criers, gays.
  • Famous Democrats – I honestly looked for non-celebrities here, but other than John F. Kennedy, all I saw were screen shots of celebrity photos. And Sponge Bob. (sigh)
Again, these are only traditional stereotypes I listed here, but with most Democratic or Republican candidates for every office cow-towing to the party line (“small government,” “big government,” “lower taxes on the rich,” “everyone pays their share,” “pro life,” “women should choose,” insert your favorite political diatribe here), drifting to the “party base” and throwing out their personal ties to the voters THEY REPRESENT, where are those who don’t follow the strict party doctrine to turn?

The “Rest of Us”

Caught up in this ideological war, are the roughly 30% to 38% of Americans who call themselves “independent.” This is a higher percentage than call themselves “Republican” or “Democrat,” but as there is NO one main Independent Party that counts them all part of the same group, this number is highly diffused across too many parties to have any effect. (This is also probably a misnomer, as in this day and age, no one wants to offend anyone by stating their political beliefs out loud, they might believe that their “independent vote” won’t amount to much, or they “can’t bear to see that ____ candidate win.”)

True independents believe that the purpose of government is TO GOVERN FOR THE GOOD OF THE PEOPLE, not just to battle the other party; that a SMALL CENTRAL government IS good and STATES’ RIGHTS are more important; that because a small central government is best, that people get to CHOOSE how they conduct their lives in private; that everyone pays the same to live here; that those who do live here get all THE SAME RIGHTS as everyone else; that we live within our means and that taxes ARE those means; that economic development AND environmental/personal protections are not mutually exclusive, etc… The running theme here is logical, fair compromise.

(I profess that I was a Young Republican before attending the University of Wisconsin. It was a crazy liberal named Mark E., but more the lovely Diana, whom I took home from Democratic rally in 1988, who indoctrinated me into the Democratic Party. As I’ve grown, matured(?), and been educated, I’ve come to realize that I cannot be pigeon-holed and don’t have to pick just between Evil 1 or Evil 2.

The Numbers

First of all, there are only two (2 of 100) U.S. Senators and NO (0 of 435) U.S. Representatives that are “independent.” The U.S. has never had a politically independent President. How is that possible if 38% of the American electorate considers themselves “independent?”

Okay, sure, part of the problem with the independent party system is obvious.

Well, outside of the two major parties, look at the parties they have to choose from. There are approximately 38 highly unorganized “independent” political parties, most of whom apparently have poor PR departments. Most of them have also sprung up only after 1970, including: many parties with “Socialist” in the title, the obvious “American” parties and even fringe parties like the United States Marijuana Party and the United States Pirate Party. Clearly, they haven’t had the time to get their message across or land huge political donors…

As candidates flee to the edges of the political spectrum in order to shore up their “bases,” it’s clearly now time for a legitimate Third Party to step up into the middle of American politics, to fill the void by those who apparently despise using logic and compromise and who are afraid to stand up and lead the way. With both “right” and “left” wing connotations eliciting grimaces from the electorate, what’s wrong with a party that exists in the middle? Isn’t that where the strongest part of ANYTHING is?

I don’t advocate for one political party or the other. If you agree with everything that one of the two major political parties believe in, then by all means I cannot dissuade you from voting for their candidate. I DO advocate for the smart, logical and willing voter out there to at least take a look at the major third parties out there, including the Libertarian Party, and their candidate for president, Gary Johnson – a former governor of New Mexico and a pretty smart guy if his appearance on The Daily Show was any indication.  You can see it here: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-june-5-2012/gary-johnson. I’m not sure if I believe in everything they say, but I am at least willing to take a look.

“Benefits” of a Legitimate Third Party at the National Level

With both sides of “the aisle” poised to block any bill or effort to effect change with the status quo in place, inserting a third party can actually accomplish a lot.

  • They can mediate between the major parties as they (often) come to an impasse.
  • They can bring to the political table new ideas and logical, fair voices.
  • They can break voting ties by siding with one side or the other, hopefully with the understanding that they will in turn get support for their agenda later.
  • They can restore faith in our government that the candidates actually listen to the voters and not their party whip or leader.

Obstacles

Where do I start? Third party marginalization is historically a central plank in any party’s value system and probably one of the only things that each side agrees on. Why would either side want to lose what power they have?

The Two Party System:

Consider “Simpsons Treehouse of Horror: VII” (1996!):

Enough said.

Kodos: It’s true, we are aliens. But what are you going to do about it? It’s a two-party system. You have to vote for one of us.
Man 1: He’s right, this is a two-party system.
Man 2: Well I believe I’ll vote for a third-party candidate.
Kang: Go ahead, throw your vote away.

 

 

The 15% Rule Regarding Presidential Debates

In 2000, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CREATED BY THE DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN PARTIES), ruled that a candidate for President of the United States must be polling at least 15% across five national polls in order to be part of the Nationally Televised Debates. It has nothing to do with whether or not he/she’s on THE BALLOT in all 50 states, as Gary Johnson – Libertarian, is. You just have to be liked by 15% of the polled voters. Um, stoners don’t answer polls by phone…

Historical Candidates

Probably the biggest obstacle is the damage that historical candidates themselves have done.  Since John Anderson garnered 6.6% of the vote in the 1980 election and Ross Perot received 18.9%!!! in 1992 (only 8% in 1996), no candidate has gotten more than 1% of the vote since. Yet, Ralph Nader and other still tilt at the windmills, hoping to effect a change.

Where Now?

The independent movement is lost in the wilderness. It doesn’t have its Moses to lead them  to a legitimate standing. People like Ron Paul, a Republican in name only, but more of a Libertarian, CAN and SHOULD sway their legions of voters to vote with their hearts and to elect people, not parties, to office. It’s a long road; the specter of having someone elected that you don’t like because you took a stand is a hard pill to swallow for 2, 4 or 6 years…

But, hopefully more people like me will pick up the cause and begin to change the system, to show that you don’t just have two choices, and that tilting at windmills is sometimes okay.

Now, I’m off to saddle up my horse…

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The “90% Turnover Project” – or “Throw ‘Em All Out!”

(I’d advocate for a full overthrow of the entire U.S. Government, but they are probably watching me already…)

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.” – special guest commentator, Mark Twain – Thanks, Mark!

Where good, honest, intelligent ideas and compromise go to die...

Government is NOT Politics, and Politics is NOT Government. Or at least they shouldn’t BE the same. You may think they are. The Dumb Ass Ewok Tribe and The Great Evil Empire Propaganda Machine, or better known to you as CNN and FOX News respectively, often use them interchangeably. Here in this country, we tend to blur the definition of the two until they become the same thing, and that’s a damned shame.

For those of you who didn’t take a civics class, or haven’t used a dictionary in a while, here are the definitions of each:

     Government: The system by which a nation, state, or community is governed.

     Politics: The art or science of government*** (I would say that this definition has even been co-opted by many to be more defined by one’s sympathies or opinions and that government is no longer “governed” by art or science and is governed more by emotion)

Government is a great system for regulating people to do things that they don’t want to do and keeping others from doing the things that they would like to do. It’s a form of subjugation in the sheep’s clothing of citizen protection, controlling the population with curbs against free will so that the MAJORITY is (or should be) protected from the “minority,” who in the view of the government, are out to get them.

But, this column today is NOT about government. It’s about the 90% of Congress that doesn’t have a positive rating. It’s about politics and its infestation with the U.S. Legislative branch and what, if you are even remotely interested in the course of your country and the responsibility of your elected officials, you can do about it.

In case you didn’t notice, it’s a presidential election year. And that makes politics for every office so much crazier. Every little thing is nitpicked. Networks brush off their “campaign trail” logos with new graphics, add new, catchy music, and pick new “hype” words. But, it’s really the same old thing, every two and four years. Unfortunately, we’ll probably get the same old (and getting older) people, doing the same old thing, and we’ll all complain the same old way about how nothing is getting done.

Secretly, I like politics in the same way I like the movie “The Room.” It’s awful and just horrible to watch, but I get a certain glee out of it, shaking my head, shouting at the TV and secretly wishing I was on the floor of the U.S. Congress so I could drop “F-bombs” and call assholes “asshole” to their faces! The very thing that is wrong with Government today is the very thing I would use to cure it. Why not turn up the volume to 11 and fight the fire with fire until it all burns itself out?  If Congress were more like “The Hunger Games,” you can rest assured that we would vote in the smartest, best fit, and strongest candidates to represent us. Not just the ones with the most money.

Unfortunately, the idiots running the show in D.C. are the most connected. It’s like “Survivor” but it’s the agents of the contestants that are playing the game while everyone else suffers.

(yes, I know TONS of analogies today!!!)

I always thought I would make a good, if not great representative or senator to the U.S. Congress for several reasons:

I’m SMART – certainly smarter than some of the imbeciles that currently represent various citizenry throughout the U.S.  This clearly indicates that either these representatives ARE a direct reflection of their constituents OR none of the smart people in that district bother to vote. Both are scary ideas to consider. (QUICK: Name YOUR U.S. REP and your U.S. SENATOR and what their (your?) position is on your most cherished concern.)

I’m LOGICAL but EMPATHETIC. This is a rare combination. I can talk about many subjects and weigh both sides equally in my head and my heart, listening to both sides. When was the last time you heard about a person speaking on the floor of the House or Senate utilizing both logic and passion or passionate logic or logical passion to further a cause? No, today all you hear about is about how much “our side” and “their side” is or are to blame. As a constituent, do I know which side I am supposed to be on?

And I would make sure to be totally TRANSPARENT, revealing every person who walked in my office, called into my office or met with me and I’d never take money from someone or some corporation that didn’t reside in MY DISTRICT.

Since those reasons alone will most likely keep me from ever reaching a position representing MOST Americans, I’d thought I’d share a few other reasons why I won’t ever make it into politics:

1. I’d have to move. Even if I did ever become a State Rep here in California, I’d have to go to Sacramento. Who the f*ck wants to go to Sacramento? Hell, even the Sacramento Kings don’t want to be in Sacramento and they are pro sports stars!  If I still lived in Wisconsin, I’d love to be in Madison and I suppose Lansing is alright… If I ever was elected to the U.S. Congress, I’d have to go to Washington, D.C. and I really, really don’t want to go to D.C.  But, seeing as how little work they do there (approximately 108 total working days in the entire 2012 calendar year), I could possibly swing this…

2. I have a “background.” Years ago, the sh*t that I did as a kid and even last weekend would have gotten me thrown out of the primaries! Yet, as the years have gone by and we have accepted Presidents that “didn’t inhale,” “had done cocaine,” and “hung out with radical reverends,” and have admonished, but accepted, an assortment of Representatives and Senators with peccadilloes I parents would blush at, my transgressions seem to pale in comparison…

3. I don’t have tons of dispensable $$$ to run for office. Enough said on that topic.

4. I’d have to stop writing this blog and really, there isn’t anything more than I like than picking a fight for discussion’s sake…

So, since we can’t have somewhat honest, smart, funny people like me in Congress, what can we do? We can work tirelessly to remove as much of the problem as possible. If you are interested in more about how to clean up Congress, I invite you to the Facebook Page “The 90% Turnover Project” at https://www.facebook.com/The90TurnoverProject

Until then, I am going to go cause some trouble…

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