Scampaign – Last call for Dinner with Barack EVER

Last election I voted for Obama and I am still on the mailing list. I even gave him a few bucks. So I get regular emails from the campaign. This was the title of tonight’s edition of their dinner with Barack scampaign;

 “Last call for Dinner with Barack EVER,”

is that not seriously arrogant?

So after tonight all us peonies can just forget about ever being important enough to dine with Obamas. Those of us stupid enough to think that these lotto calls to dinner with Barack are real opportunities probably said to themselves, “Oh NO! It’s my last chance, I better send him some money!” They’re probably the same people who truly believe that a $5 donor has an equal chance with a $2,000 donor to meet with the President.

Suckers.

They think they might just pull the golden ticket and get to meet Willy Wonka at the gates to the Chocolate Factory.

But after tonight Barack Obama told me he won’t need me any longer. I am insulted enough not to give him a dime, so no beer in the rose garden, no fois gras in the oval office, NO SOUP FOR YOU!

How will I sleep tonight?

Whoever wrote  that headline ought to be fired immediately. It tells a tale they don’t want us to know, think, or even imagine; that the powerful only need us little people for a season, long enough to get elected. It says that we’re only good enough to dine with el presidente before the election; after that, we’re just unwashed masses yearning to be free.

Rush for that checkbook people, it’s your LAST CHANCE EVER…and I thought I was undecided before tonight.

Social Welfare or Corporate Welfare?

The election has boiled down to one issue, and one issue alone, for me. Do I want to vote for social welfare or corporate welfare?

Do I believe that the largesse of the government should go high or low?

Mitt Romney favors giving tax breaks to corporations. Barack Obama favors giving support to the poor AND tax breaks to the rich (witness actions over words).

As I see it from where I sit in the middle, I do not have a good choice in this election. I do not want people living off my tax money, high, or low and high.

I do not believe in trickle-down economics because that philosophy depends on rich people investing to assist the “little man” and the wealthy have not proven that assisting is their priority.

Look at Apple Computer which is making billions off cheap Chinese labor, employing Chinese people to do the work that Americans could do. Apple is paying people so little in China that there was a riot today at a factory that employs almost 80,000 people. Yes 80k people! That is almost 4% of the people unemployed in California.

We need those jobs! Nothing is trickling down but poverty.

Not only that, the company that owns the factory where this riot happened employs 1 million people in China making parts for the computer industry. Bring all those jobs to California and you have an almost 50% reduction in unemployment!

So do I think that corporate welfare should continue? Do I think that farm welfare should continue? Or, in a state with 2.2 million people unemployed, do I think that my tax money should go to feed the people who are unemployed because Apple chooses to go off shore for it parts?

The Chinese came here in the gold rush to do labor. They’re now able to do our labor without coming here. But we’re sending jobs over there that will never come back. We’re sending the inside knowledge on our technology over to China and it will never trickle back across the Pacific to us.

The US worker had better get used to Chinese wages and working conditions because those jobs will never come back here unless the workers here are so hungry they’re willing to accept wages that only keep them from starving.

Perhaps that is the real trickle-down the rich corporate folk intend. Trickle down poverty that demands people accept a wage that is globally sustainable. Perhaps this is the global economy that Obama and every other rich person talks about. If Americans aren’t willing to accept poverty wages, we’ll have to suffer the consequences of jobs going elsewhere to places where people are so poor that crap wages look good.

Perhaps social welfare programs will have to end with governmental bankruptcy. This way the corporations win either way. Perhaps it does not matter if Romney or Obama is in charge, perhaps the goal is the same, perhaps the only real argument is over now versus later.

So who do I vote for? A Libertarian. Someone who will stop giving all my tax money away to hostile foreign lands, stop waging wars we can’t win in places I don’t care to send our young people to die. Someone who will reverse the constant generation of laws that intrude on our freedoms.

I am tired of hearing Republicans say that voting for a Libertarian is a wasted vote. All it would take is for all Republicans to turn their votes to a Libertarian candidate to change that.

But that takes guts and it takes a REAL departure from the vested interests and a real step toward what they say they’re for, less government. But that is the issue, that is why Republicans don’t do it. They’re only committed to government doing more for their financial backers, more corporate welfare, not less government, just a different funnel to pour my tax money into. Different, but the same.

Republicans are going to lose this election anyway, and they’re going to lose every election going forward unless they actually stand up for the one key value they espouse – but don’t believe in, less government. Under GW Bush 50,000 new government regulations were put into place by Democrat and Republican lawmakers. This tells me that less government is not and has never been the real Republican agenda.

Republicans cannot favor corporate welfare and make me believe they want less government. Less government means no oil subsidies, no farm subsidies, no tax breaks for corporations, no tax breaks for anyone. A flat tax should be enacted where the Mitt Romney’s of the world aren’t benefitting from government give-backs and where they are not allowed to get away with a 14% tax rate while those of us who make a living wage are paying over 30% of our salaries in income taxes.

If Republicans are truly against giving away government money, then they should vote to stop giving it to anyone, rich or poor, foreign or domestic.

I choose to vote for neither social welfare, nor corporate welfare this time around.

Vote for a Libertarian, I dare you.

Freedom of Speech is Advanced Democracy

I watched a documentary on Netflix last night about the Khmer Rouge. It was about the genocide that happened in Cambodia during the 1970’s.

The documentary involved interviews with both victims and perpetrators of the terrible campaign that resulted in the murder of over 2 million people.

The interesting thing about that video is how many of the men who were guards responsible for torturing and killing people said over and again that they did what they did out of fear for their own lives. If they did not follow orders, they too would have been killed. So they killed and they said the things they needed to in order to survive.

These men’s freedom of speech was obliterated by a crushingly violent regime, by evil leaders bent on ultimate control – do what we say, think like we think, and kill whomever we tell you is the enemy, or you become the enemy and you too will die.

Many people under oppressive circumstances choose to act in despicable ways, commit unspeakable evil by maiming, torturing, lying, and killing.

Those Cambodian guards were willing to do anything to survive, and they did.

How does this relate to the Middle East violence? Because there is an evil at work to force people into doing violent and evil things, there is an organized effort to produce hatred and division according to ideology that is exclusive and demands the killing of anyone who disagrees. So many take to the streets with no understanding except that if they do not participate, they may be next.

The movie that has supposedly produced all this violence is a form of protected speech in America. It may be wrong-headed, it may be crass, and it may be sacrilegious. But the price of freedom of speech is that sometimes truly stupid people say truly stupid things. Their right to say these things is protected.

In a democracy, it is vital to protect the right of people to say whatever they want to say about anyone and anything so long as they do not threaten someone’s health and safety.

The middle east supposedly wants to have democracy, but it seems that people there do not understand what true freedom is. Democracy without freedom of speech is nothing more than tyranny.

If Americans are afraid to say what they think about the Muslim religion, or any religion, or any political movement, or any public figure, then we have given up our right as free people to speak out. Right or wrong, informed or ignorant, our right to speak freely cannot be suppressed or we become victims of tyranny.

What we should all have learned from the Khmer Rouge and the Nazis is that if you suppress freedom of speech, any level of atrocity is possible, and perhaps it is even probable.

I do not agree with some imbecile film maker in California saying nasty things about Mohammed (I have not seen the film). But in America he is allowed to say it.

The people of the middle east must reconcile their fear of freedom of speech or they will become victims of tyrannical leadership who want them to think as they do or die. They must mature in their conception of democracy so that they can enable even the morons among them to speak without fear. If they do not allow everyone to be who they are, their freedom is false.

Let’s face it, the best ideas and the most historic leaders have been those who had, or who exercised free speech in the face of oppression. We cannot exercise censorship against the inevitable lunatics or we will censor important ideas of great thinkers too. If free speech is suppressed, none of us are safe.