Archive for the ‘political’ Category

re: FOX News

January 21, 2011

There’s lots of misinformation around,
supposedly packaged for families, shouted on the airwaves.
However, there was no meaningful defense of our vaunted
 Constitution during the Bush years.
In other words, they call it an “idiot box” for a reason.

Why Uncle Sam is Losing in Afghanistan

December 22, 2010

I’ll keep it short and sweet:
Al-Qaeda aren’t “based out of” any one state.
That’s largely why, after Uncle Sam bashes in a few
heads, more pop up elsewhere.
 It’s a troubling, seemingly eternal game of whack-a-mole.
And, by bombing the landscape and sometimes killing civilians,
 we’re pissing people off and creating more enemies.
 Then, of course, there are the mountains….

We didn’t “win” in Iraq.

May 13, 2010

Despite claims that America won in Iraq, we’re likely to still see reports
 like this one from April 24, 2010:
“A wave of bombings targeting Shiites, a market in Baghdad
 and a neighborhood in Anbar province killed at least 61
people and wounded more than 100 others Friday, police said.
The strikes conjured memories of the bloodshed that once engulfed
 both the capital city and the vast province every day.”
(“At least 61 dead in Iraq bombings,” CNN Wire Staff,, April 24, 2010:

True solutions come from putting aside ideology

May 12, 2010

Though often dismissed as a “liberal,” I have never voted Democrat,
 praised Kerry’s service, or anything similar.
Indeed, it is not my aim to have Democrats in power.
What is my aim?
Am I a Republican?
True solutions come from putting aside ideology.
Ultimately, my aim is to have no one person, political party or entity “in power.”
In my view, way too much effort is wasted on formal “politics,” with only marginal
 attention focused on actual issues — many which are caused or fed by “the system” itself anyway. 
The dangers of focusing on power-wrangling are obvious.
In the event of a true national disaster, recovery efforts would
 require more than marginal effort.
And, due to the possible scope of a disaster, solutions
(and planning) should not simply be up to military planners, politicians and cops.
As much as possible, we should generalize the public safety functions of human society.
Would that be dangerous?  Not really. 
Existing authorities are no less corruptible and incompetent than
 anyone else would be with the same level of training.
Why hasn’t society totally collapsed under its
 own systemic corruption?
We’ve been pretty lucky so far, but not without hard work from humanitarian activists. 
 That’s not just radical anarchist literature, a conspiracy
 website or an overzealous Wikipedian talking.
No, it’s implied by the historical record.
Luck, hard work and the power of logic can indeed overcome ideology. 
Unfortunately, many continue to overlook bare facts as Republicans continue to blame
and judge the Democrats, and vice versa.

A simple, general observation about the Hurricane Katrina disaster

May 4, 2010

On one hand there was sympathy coupled with outrage over the inept response,
and calls for relief and understanding of the grief endured.
Others, however, blamed the residents of New Orleans, mocked them for their
hesitancy or inability to flee and, often enough, emphasized commercial
 opportunities available now that land and housing could be taken from those
 who had either fled or perished.
Generally speaking, the latter are absolving themselves from any possible blame, 
assuming Katrina was only a natural disaster and nothing more.
However, the real disaster was essentially manmade; caused by the poorly designed levee system and the slow response.
Nonetheless, the differences in attitude are significant, even vast,
and should not be ignored.
Check it out for yourself and see where you stand.

Everyday seems like doomsday

April 29, 2010

It seems we’re experiencing a cultural and economic decline, leading into a new, high-tech Dark Age. Don’t get me wrong.  Consumerism has probably given you brief flickers of fulfillment — but they are fleeting, and typically little is learned.  Still, you may say, capitalism gives us stuff to do with our lives. More importantly, you have stuff to do with your life. Supposedly, that’s what having a politico-economic system is all about. And, because we have so much stuff to do within it, a lot of thought must go into running it, right? It’s easy to assume that, quite often, society is run like an actual program — meaning people are capable of making relatively complex arrangements over flexible periods of time. And indeed they are. It sounds fine and good to me at first, too. However, the more I think about it, the less sustainable it sounds. Assuming the system is all that complex, much still goes overlooked. Hunger and poverty seem practically inevitable because, for a variety of reasons (none being any one person’s fault) many literally couldn’t produce their own food wherever they live. And, if you are consumer in our global economy, that’s a problem that will, in some way, relate and trace back to you some day. Chances are you drive a vehicle, and I won’t criticize you for it. We all have our convenient needs, and I don’t believe people are “evil” because they drive.   However, it actually does cause serious pollution problems, and, by that fact alone, contributes to social alienation.  The point is, we’re far from perfect, and our perennially new and improved global system clearly mimicks and enhances that fact.

Just some food for thought.

The quick, simple lesson we should have learned from September 11th.

April 12, 2010

In 2001 we learned that, for better or worse, the world can be changed in a single day. But a great, humanity-wide question was raised: Why are acts of violence so common? The quick answer is the quest for power. To a large extent we have “politics” because prevailing authorities, or aspiring ones, wish to conquer every nook and cranny of human understanding; to take over every single issue imaginable, and to shape us to their liking.  But a free society would not want that, and we don’t actually need it.  What are your thoughts?

What makes me so “radical.”

February 21, 2010

Even at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll say something
 like this many times over:
The groundwork for tyrannical government has been laid for a long time, and
the two-party elites and their corporate allies are building upon it.
I don’t respect this system as “representative” of
 my interests.
Sure I’m concerned about the system, and to some extent I fear it, but respect is
 not the same as fear and worry.
Some will find this ironic, but I believe one key to a just
 society is not participating in mainstream party politics.
We wouldn’t have to worry about countless things if
people stopped voting in sham elections, and directly took over what little economy they
 have left, working out problems as they arose rather than expect a
 corrupt and often violent political system to do it for them.
 Problems have proliferated because people are afraid to directly assert rights
 in their lives — in their communities, and in their places
of work.

There you go.  That’s what makes me so “radical.”

Plea for Obama to do something good.

January 26, 2010

I am of the working class, and I object to Obama as much as I did Bush.
This is not just because his wars cost too much money and sacrifice too many lives
 (although they do), or even because he continued the Bush bailouts (among the biggest scandals in human history).
No, my main reason is that he has done nothing — not a single thing — to win even a hint of affection from me.
I’ll admit I never liked him, but still I have to say:
“C’mon Obama, do something really good!
We’ve heard you criticise so-called conservatives, but now it’s time to set yourself far apart!”
We remain a militaristic country, and quite broken economically in part because of it.
And did we buy ourselves a legitimate moral high-horse?
Not in my book.
Our less than subtle foreign policy seems to say to those we’re “liberating”:
“Well, if we kill enough people overall, of course it’ll
be harder for anyone to effectively fight back.”
More importantly, war deaths and war debts would have been reduced significantly, and
there wouldn’t have been insurgents and “foreign fighters” in Iraq,
had the US invasion never occurred.
Similarly, one wonders how long Saddam would have lasted without
 crucial American aid.
You probably didn’t read it in an article in your local paper,
but our government essentially created a monster in Iraq.

Now I can only ask, how many more monsters do we have in store?

The “Choose your divine revelation” theory

January 20, 2010

Religion can be bent to fit your politics, and vice versa.
I’ve decided to call this the “Choose your divine revelation” theory.
Following are some examples.
They may not be the best ones, but they should do the trick.

Though you wouldn’t know it by watching most mainstream media, there
 are religious groups in America that are relatively progressive.
For example, on Feb. 25, 2003 a National Council of Churches delegation
went on a trip to Rome to urge the Pope to address the Iraq War, as well as
“jobs and income, health care,
hunger, and housing and homelessness.”
In the press release I’m quoting, a “Poverty March” is mentioned:
“Special events include a series of national and local activities
 during ‘Cover the Uninsured Week,’…co-sponsored
by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, faith groups and other
organizations; a congress on urban ministry in Chicago; and a
seminar on sustainable rural communities.”

And, according to Burton Reifler, a
physician and national program director for Faith in Action,
religions have in common “a mandate to do good works
by helping those who need assistance.”

However, a Christian Rightwing Republican-dominated government had a different interpretaton of
 “good works,” which led to stories like this one from the New York Times
 (November 21, 2009):
“American and Afghan officials have begun helping a number of
 anti-Taliban militias that have independently taken up arms against
insurgents in several parts of Afghanistan, prompting hopes of a
large-scale tribal rebellion against the Taliban.
The emergence of the militias, which took some leaders in
 Kabul by surprise, has so encouraged the American and Afghan
officials that they are planning to spur the growth of
 similar armed groups across the Taliban heartland in the southern
and eastern parts of the country.
The American and Afghan officials say they are hoping the
 plan, called the Community Defense Initiative, will bring together thousands
 of gunmen to protect their neighborhoods from Taliban insurgents.
Already there are hundreds of Afghans who are acting on
their own against the Taliban, officials say.
The endeavor represents one of the most ambitious — and one
of the riskiest — plans for regaining the initiative against the
 Taliban, who are fighting more vigorously than at any time
since 2001.” 

“Ah,” I said at the time, “the plot thickens, like the semi-goopy texture of
 a vat full of feces.”
This decision sounded like divine revelation to me.
Here’s what I mean:
The United States, with immense faith in its own “good work,” decided,
 “Hey, why not just start arming these people!  Surely, that’s never
 backfired in the past!”
And, yes, one may have faith that, if it would somehow backfire, a future President could
always win accolades for eventually improving relations with the country
 in question — assuming it’s still a country and not just a rubble heap, of course.
And Jesus wept. 


1.  “NCC delegation heads to Rome,” Worldwide Faith News archives, Feb. 25, 2003:

2.  “Millions become available in grants for care-giving programs,” United Methodist News Service, 12/19/2001:
3.  “Afghan Militias Battle Taliban With Aid of U.S.,” Dexter Filins, The New York Times, November 21, 2009: