>Irrational, Intolerant, and Ignorant Values Dominate Midterm Election – What Else is New?

>With the 2010 midterm election behind us, it’s time to reflect on just how fickle and down right stupid this country can be. We saw the rise of the Tea Party and the demise of logic this past Tuesday, setting up what will most likely be a very unproductive 2 years in Washington. I could attack multiple aspects of the election and turn this post into an 80 page rant about the American people putting the most fiscally irresponsible and socially backward citizens back into power, but instead I am going to focus on a story I found earlier today.

As many people noticed, there were a lot of judges on the ballot that were up for retention. I assume most people just checked yes for each judge and continued on to the exciting proposition section while some of us took the time and researched past rulings in order to make the most informed decision possible (and still voted yes for almost all of them…3 hours later >_<). Whether you blindly voted or you researched your decision, you probably felt that these retention votes were more like background formalities rather than actual issues. I completely understand. I voted in CA and there were much more pressing decisions that needed to be made such as Props 19, 23, and 25 and the Governor's race. However, in Iowa this was not the case as judicial retention votes, for their state Supreme Court at least, seemed to take center stage.

This past Tuesday, Iowa made history when they voted not to retain three of their Supreme Court justices. Kudos for making history? Not exactly. The three justices that were voted off the bench were part of the decision that legalized same sex marriage in the state of Iowa and it is solely because of that decision that they were ousted. Apparently, the state was flooded with homophobic advertisements from out-of-state organizations that urged the people of Iowa to vote no on retaining these justices. These out-of-state organizations, the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the advertisements.

This is idiotic beyond belief not only because of the obvious intolerance and bigotry, but also because this was not a movement sponsored by the citizens of Iowa. Does anyone else find it odd that every day we see the Tea Partiers, the Libertarians, the Republicans, and conservatives in general bitching and complaining about “big government” yet they seem to be fine with these national shadow organizations pumping money into various state elections in an attempt to force their misguided beliefs on people? A double standard maybe? This same thing happened in California with Prop H8.

This double standard is just one of the many aspects of a much larger problem regarding the misguided hatred of the societal progress embodied by allowing two willing adults to marry on their own terms. It’s bothersome that people can be so easily influenced to abandon their ideals, however misguided they may be, in favor of what the rest of herd is doing. This election exemplified America’s inability to think for itself. Because of this inability and irrationality, three judges are without a job simply because they held up the ideals of their state’s constitution when they allowed same sex marriage. The truly sad thing is that I bet the average Iowan who voted no to retain these judges couldn’t tell you about any of the other important cases that they ruled on.

If you want to read the article, you can find it at http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/2010/11/iowa_judges_booted_for_support.php

The picture was found at davegranlund.com

Posted in Politics and Law | 2 Comments

>Balance Always a Good Thing?

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I am sure that at some point in everyone’s life they have been told that there are two sides to every story and that one should always keep their mind open to the other side of issue. Usually there are multiple ways to go about doing things and if people would just keep their minds open to others’ suggestions they might realize their way isn’t necessarily the only correct way. This happens a lot in U.S. politics. Some of the most successful legislature comes from partnerships that extend across the aisle. However, is this fair and balanced approach, this taking the time to observe two truths to every issue, applicable to all situations? Does every instance deserve a balanced approach?

Let’s talk about education, specifically science education. As some of you are aware, many Texas schools are using books that include Creationist sections in their biology chapters. Unfortunately, people have written this situation off has letting the kids hear both sides of the story, evolution vs. creationism. Does this sound absurd to anyone else? It should. In this case, children are not learning both sides of the story, rather they are being misled and “miseducated” (if I may borrow a term from Lauren Hill) about real science as opposed faux science. The theory of evolution is fact. Theory in this context means “fact”, look it up. Creationism is not fact, but instead belief. But because this is being taught in science class it is being represented as fact and that is horrible for the sake of future generations and for the sake of the country. The U.S. is on its way to becoming science-retarded. I am all about letting kids know that there are people out there that believe humans and dinosaurs walked the earth together 5,000 years ago, but not in science class. That kind of discussion belongs in Theology classes or religious studies classes. This situation is on par with a History teacher teaching that the holocaust never happened along with their general holocaust and WWII studies, or a science teacher presenting the belief that the world is flat. It’s nothing but misinformation.

Now consider another unfortunate balancing that takes place in science classes (and more notably in the media), climate change. Somewhere around 90% (or higher, I’m being conservative in my estimate) of credible and peer-reviewed literature present findings that confirm human-influenced global warming. If it’s 90-10 that global warming is real why is it being taught as 50-50 it exists/it doesn’t exist. Teachers should suggest that the issue of global warming is not necessarily certain, but should do so in a proportional manner. For example, spend 9 days discussing findings that indicate global warming, but only spend one day presenting the doubts. After all, the legitimate doubts only make up around 10% of the total data. Why do we give that 10% so much attention? Kids need to learn the science, they do not need to be misled under the guise of presenting two sides to every story.

Thoughts?

Posted in Politics and Law, Science | 11 Comments

>The Person I Hate Most Today: Dr. Jack Cassell

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So I was checking the news today (I really gotta stop doing that) when I came across this story, “Fla. doc’s sign warns off Obama supporters” (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36152956/ns/health-health_care/).

Yes, that’s right a doctor, someone whose purpose in life should be to help people, is putting politics first. Now, to be fair (unlike the GOP, HA!), he isn’t necessarily refusing service to people who voted for Obama. If you read the article you will see that the sign on the door appears to be as far as he goes, but isn’t just putting up the sign going too far? This urologist is pressuring people to seek medical help elsewhere because of their political affiliation. This is absurdly unethical. No one has to right to know your political affiliation much less discriminate against it. Even if he is not directly discriminating against people, he is most definitely indirectly doing it and in my opinion that is still clear discrimination. Think about how the public would view the situation if he had a sign that said, “If you’re Jewish, go see another doctor.”

As a doctor, he took an oath to help people, to improve their quality of life. Doctors are supposed to be compassionate individuals that use their intelligence to serve the public. In this country, the public is made up of any race, religion, or political belief. The doctor has no right to even hint at not treating a certain group of people who are doing nothing but exercising their right to freely elect their leader. His prejudice is Un-American and is preventing him from living up to his obligations as a medical doctor. If he is going to continue with his discrimination, his medical license should be revoked.

His actions are in response the new healthcare legislation. How can someone be so afraid of the progress the country is making? We just passed universal healthcare (more or less) and are finally catching up with the rest of the developed world. It is people like this, people who supposedly represent the educated, upper-class American citizen, that makes the rest of the world dislike and probably pity the United States.

Posted in Politics and Law | 4 Comments

>The New California State Plant???

>I woke up this morning a little early so I could check my email before going to class. As usual, that took all of two seconds so I decided to check on various news sites to see what’s going on in the world today. I read through a few stories talking about Obama keeping his promise and signing the no federal funds for abortions law (though it’s not as simple as that), but then…low and behold…there it was, “Measure to Legalize Marijuana will be on California’s November Ballot” (Los Angeles Times).

I had heard about people attempting to put this on the ballot a few months ago, but I never thought they would actually be able to. I’m assuming supporters just hung around outside southern California colleges going from person to person until they had enough signatures, but it is still amazing they’ve gotten this far. Do I think it will pass in the end? That’s hard to say. But whether it will pass or not is not what I want to discuss.

For the sake of this post, let’s assume that it is going to pass and think about some repercussions. Obviously you’ll have some people worried about others driving while baked, or kids finding Daddy’s gun (or Mommy’s in this women-should-be-equal era). But has anyone given thought to the people that already grow? Northern California, specifically Humboldt County, is known nationally as the place to get good weed. Sure it’s illegal unless you have that magical “green card”, but there is still a lot of money revolving around the Humboldt County horticulturists and their product. Almost certainly, if this legislation were to pass, Humboldt farmers would lose their exclusivity in the pot world. Prices would fall as supplies increased statewide and they might even be taxed for their crop. It may sound like they’re getting the raw deal, but then again, what right do these people have to hold the monopoly on something like this? I hate to bring in capitalism, but anyone else who offers a good or service doesn’t have protection against competitors offering something similar. McDonald’s can’t be the only place allowed to have a dollar menu even if they were to the first to have one, right?

So, I ask you, is this situation synonymous with other cases of competition, capitalism, and monopoly? Is it fair to the rest of us that Humboldt County’s slogan has become “Save Humboldt County — keep pot illegal”? Are their concerns even legitimate or are farmers of Humboldt County freaking out over nothing? After all, you can get wine anywhere, but everyone knows Northern California’s wine is the best so they go there (and pay a little more) to get it. If the product is good, many people are probably willing to take the extra steps to get the best pot out there. What’s your take?

Posted in Politics and Law | 6 Comments

>The Person I Hate Most Today 12-7-09

>This is the beginning of a new segment/reoccurring topic that I like to call “The Person I Hate Most Today”. If you haven’t assumed this already, I will basically name one person as the person I hate the most on the particular day I feel wronged enough by this person to make my way to my computer, double click my browser, click on the new post button, and write away.

So without further ado, the person I hate most today is…..(drum roll here)….. Sarah Palin. Why you ask? Why now? What makes today so special? Well, to be honest, it’s not so much what she’s doing today specifically as much as what she’s been up to lately as a whole. The keen political mind that is Sarah Palin has been very active lately as she has been on a nonstop daytime media binge in an attempt to peddle her very “factual” pamphlet Going Rouge….errr…I mean Going Rogue to the mindless drones that, sadly, make up a large portion of the American public.

Everyday I have seen news headlines about the release of her book and every one ends the same way hinting or suggesting that she might run for President in 2012. Often in these stories there are quotes from numerous “Palin Pals” encouraging her to run while pledging their unquestioning support for her supposed stances on the many political issues of the day (never mind the fact that her stances on the issues of the day are Republican influenced sentence fragments of political thought deserving nothing more than to be presented in the form of kindergarten macaroni art much less a book). I have not really taken comments about her running for President seriously until I heard quotes from Republican organizers in Iowa following her latest book signing. They want her to come back to Iowa and essentially start campaigning. Iowa happens to be the first state to vote in the Presidential Primaries which makes it a very influential state. An Iowa Republican Party official made it clear that they could rally a crowd of 20,000+ if she were to come back and field questions about running in 2012. It seems as if though people are actually very serious about her seeking office.

Not only does this baffle me, as she has pretty much no real political experience, but it scares me as well. 20,000+ does not sound like much now, but this could only be the beginning. We’ve all suspected that this “tell all” book is an attempt to gain support for a White House bid, but now I am actually thinking that our suspicions may be correct. That 20,000 could grow very quickly with all of these book signings and with the comments from Iowa Republicans it seems as if she actually might be able to rally enough support to be taken seriously as a potential candidate. Does this worry anyone else?

No offense to her, well actually…complete offense to her, the woman is nothing but eye candy. She has no political merit and her lack of understanding regarding domestic and international policy, as exemplified through numerous interviews during her 2008 campaign, should offend anyone else who is actually qualified to run for president. I was surprised she was able to coherently collect her thoughts on issues to successfully write a book even with the help of her right-wing nutjob coauthor who probably did most of the writing. Sarah Palin should not be considering running for office and no one in their right mind should find reason to support her. But for some reason people like her and they do support her, and it is because of this that Sarah Palin is the person I hate most today.

Posted in Politics and Law | 1 Comment

>How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.

>If conservatism was a passenger on my boat I would kindly ask him to immediately remove himself and swim to the nearest deserted island. Then I would wonder how the hell he got on my ship. Its not that I’m expressly opposed to his presence, I just know that he really wouldn’t like New America. My point is, I don’t like conservatism and I would say that it’s bad for humanity.

Conservatism is an archaic principle that has little to no place in the modern world. Radio host Michael Savage regularly sums up conservatism as protecting “borders, language, and culture” and I think most people would agree to that definition in terms of today’s mainstream conservative movement. Its very isolationist and encourages an “us versus them” view of humanity. I strongly feel that all people are born equal and the only way to truly progress as civilized and intelligent species, is to stop thinking of each other as American, Liberal, or Christian.

To be continued…

Posted in Politics and Law | 5 Comments

>It’s been awhile, but here we go…

>Hmmmm while I doubt that too many people check up on this anymore, I feel the need to vent so here we go.

I pay a lot of attention to politics and the news. One source (and I would hardly call it a source) that I go to is Fox News Channel. Why you ask? Sure it’s great to listen to people that you agree with on other networks, but I feel that it is also good to listen to people you disagree with in order to keep your political skills sharp. I watch Fox not to be informed, but rather to debate and challenge every lie that they tell.

Anyways, I have had enough of the sheer idiocy of their guests and supposed “analysts”. Lately Hannity, Beck, the morons on Red Eye, and Gretchen have made it a point on their respective programs to bitch and moan about how the media is not criticizing Obama like they did for Bush. Tonight on Hannity’s “All-American Panel” (that’s the name of the panel, not me mocking it although I might as well be) he had one bumbling, nervous liberal and two uninformed conservatives sharing their twisted politics. Fox always like to say they are fair and balanced, but whenever they have a liberal analyst, it is always the most nervous and crazy sounded liberal they can find. But that’s not why I’m pissed off right now. I’m pissed because of the “professional” conservative analysts featured. One was a ex-professional football player and the other is a conservative blogger with a bad face-lift.

Why does the non-fact based opinion of an ex-nfl player matter enough to be shared on a news network? This guy has no qualifications and is simply warping the opinions and beliefs of those who know even less than him. At one point he asked why former president Bush is under scrutiny for waterboarding and then went on to preach that Bush was defending us from terrorists and that he should have done more (suggesting caning). Now because he said that, there are going to be a 1,000 more idiots out there asking the same thing completely ignoring the fact that torture is ILLEGAL and that the U.S. has even led UN sanctions against other nations that have done the same thing (Japan for water boarding). This person has no business informing the public because he apparently has trouble distinguishing fact from NOTHING.

The other analyst, the blogger with the mug you don’t want to chug, was an even bigger imbecile. She is Pamela Geller and her website http://www.atlasshrugs.com is filled mistruths and mindelss zombie followers applauding her for every word that she spews. On the show, she claimed that when it comes to abortions, liberals only want to drive you to the abortion clinic. Hmmmm, I’m a liberal and I do not want anyone to have to get an abortion. I would rather that people had a choice that they can make for themselves. On her website, she claims that all democrats protect child rapists? I’m not even going to argue this one as there is nothing that could be further from one-sided coverage of an issue than this.

How in good conscience can Sean Hannity invite these idiots to share their bias when his program airs on a NEWS channel. There is no news here. Back to Fox’s anti-Obama campaign, aren’t other news networks doing the same thing Fox did when Bush was in office? Get off your high horse Fox, they are doing the same damn thing you have done for the last eight years. All that these hosts are doing is bitching about Obama and offering “news” with their good ol’ fashioned right-wing spin. How is it possible that you can even judge Obama after 100 days? Oh wait, you can’t. All of their talk about how Obama is befriending terrorisim supporters (specifically Chavez) is completely misguided and I feel sorry for those who treat this bullshit as actual news.

Posted in Politics and Law | 2 Comments