Monthly Archives: April 2013

Land of the free and home of the brave?


Land of the free and home of the brave?  No.  Actually, we have turned mostly into the land of the whiners and the home of the cowards.

Oh, my.  Not a good way to start off if I want people to read, is it?  No, probably not, but I am angry.  Very, very angry.  I am angry that I watch people complain and whine about how bad off our country has become, and yet, how little anyone from any political stripe is willing to actually do about it.  I understand that we all have our lives that we have to deal with, our mundane issues that must be addressed on a daily basis, but we must each realize that if we do not face up to the challenges that we face and take responsibility for making the changes that we want and need, then we will only have ourselves to blame when things not only do not improve, but continue to get worse.

I am not talking about the type of courage exhibited by children and adults in desperate situations.  That type of bravery, which is one and the same, is in plentiful supply.  This is the type of courage that leads people to want, or need, to solve arguments with violence, because they know no other solution.  That’s the 4 year-old who hits his or her playmate because he or she wants the toy the other child has.  We have that aplenty.  We have that in so many adults that it’s pathetic.

It is the type of “bravery” that leads to our elected officials invading countries that we previously supported, and then cries of “My president, right or wrong” from segments of the populace.  (Of course, for that same segment, it only applies when it is their guy in office, because they are hypocrites.)  It is the type of courage that leads young men and women to join the military less because that is the path that they believe in, and more because they see no other way to escape the desperate economic poverty that they are in.  Or, from the large segment of the populace that is too busy with bread and circuses to notice the strings just off stage.

There are times in this world when violence is the appropriate answer and solution to a situation.  Yes, I do, in fact, acknowledge that.  I am not saying that it isn’t.  I do not like it.  As I have said for years, I wish I lived in a world where a military was not necessary.  Sadly, I do not live in that world.  However, I also do not live in a world where it is necessary for the military that we do have needs to be running the School of the Americas now Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (the best training ground for Latin American and Caribbean dictators, thank you right wing America!)  I do not live in a world where it is necessary or appropriate for that military to take action in a country on the pretext that it is committing human rights violations (such as Iraq, Serbia, even Germany in World War II was largely justified on the basis of the final solution though our immediate entry was obviously prompted by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor), while simultaneously ignoring other countries committing human rights abuses of equal or larger degree (Saudi Arabia, Israel, Syria, China, Mali, and others listed by Freedom House as the Worst of the Worst in 2012).  This simply shows that our military is being used as a tool of policy and business, not as a tool of either necessity or of principle.

However, the cowardice that I am talking about that has taken over is the fear of taking actual responsibility for our actions in our country.  If we actually acknowledge that our government is us then we have to acknowledge that we are responsible, as a group, for all those horrible things that we have done.  We also get to take credit for the wonderful, positive things that we have done, and everyone wants to do that part!  Most people are in favor of taking their rights, but most people are also deft at avoiding their responsibilities.  There are reasons why we have the stereotypes of the “deadbeat dad” and the “welfare mom”, for example.
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Fight CISPA Again


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It’s back, and it has to be defeated, again. Go blackout to protest. Call your Senators.  Sign the petition calling on Obama to veto it. Call the White House demanding he veto it. Stay off the internet.

White House petition

Call the White House at (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414

Don’t JUST take online slacktivist action, but do that, too.  Go Blackout on April 22!

In case you are unaware what CISPA is, here is a brief from the EFF.


Put Away Childish Things


Recently I have been having an ongoing discussion wherein I have maintained that one of the most significant differences between liberals and conservatives is that liberals are concerned with protecting the rights of everyone, whereas conservatives are primarily concerned only with protecting their own rights.

Let me be very clear about that, by rephrasing it, since we are talking about a spectrum.  In general, as one moves further along the spectrum from conservative to liberal then one can be expected to become less and less selfish and more concerned with the larger community, as well.  In other words, one grows up, and becomes mature enough to think beyond one’s own bedroom and toys, and capable of being responsible for the larger household and belongings of the family.

Yes, I did, in fact, just compare conservatives to children, because over the years that is precisely what they have shown themselves to be.  There may have been a time when that wasn’t the case.  I am trying to be generous by saying that, but it is not, as a general rule, true any more.

So, let’s look at some examples, shall we?  One of the “most-well known liberal” groups in America is the American Civil Liberties Organization.  What is it that makes this group liberal?  Well, primarily it is that they have consistently fought for the rights of everyone in America.  They have done so without regard to ideology, so long as those rights are within the bounds of the Constitution.  This does mean that they have not always stood as staunch supporters of the status quo.

The ACLU has provided legal counsel in support of students’ rights, minority rights, and marriage rights.  The ACLU has supported the bulwark between church and state.  The ACLU has represented the Ku Klux Klan, the Westboro Baptist Church, National Man Boy Love Association, as well as students and other private individuals.  The thing about the ACLU is that as an organization they consistently stand by their principles and will defend the rights of even those individuals and groups that are most repugnant to the members, if those rights are being violated by representatives of the state.  I personally find all of those groups offensive, and yet, I would also personally stand up for their right to speak.  Of course, I would also counter them, and speak back, because that is what free speech is.

Compare that standard to the American Civil Rights Union.  A group that most of us have probably never heard of.  It was founded in 1998 by a former Reagan lackey official, in response to the ACLU being too liberal.  Its board is stocked with former Reagan officials, and will be until they start to die off.  The ACRU is a conservative activist group that masquerades as a civil rights legal foundation.  A screenshot of their home page taken on 4/14/2013 shows that they are not discussing the court cases which they are working on.  They are not talking about the key civil rights issues that they are fighting for.  No.  They are instead hyping their political activism.  They are entitled to do so, of course.  However, in doing so, they make it clear that they are not a civil rights organization, and further illustrate my point.

What cases have they worked on?  It doesn’t appear they have actually done anything.  They have filed many briefs though.  They’ve filed briefs against the ACA, against marriage equality, and in support of the 2nd amendment in various cases.  They defended the Boy Scouts of America’s right to discriminate against gay troop leaders.  And, so on.
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