Archive for the ‘corporations as people’ Category

corporations_are_sociopaths_mouse_pads-r99e945c1fde5439daf6f3d519103473b_x74vi_8byvr_324Ok, so corporations are people, according to the Supreme’s Citizens United decision.  Let’s assume that’s true.  The problem?  Corporations are sociopathic people.   With very few exceptions (Ben & Jerry’s comes to mind)…

corporations will always act in their own self interest

which is to maximize profits for themselves and their shareholders, at the expense of all other considerations.  In fact, they are legally required to do so!  

Corporations will always consider their own financial self interest at the expense of what’s best for society, the images-269earth, the next generation, their employees….

This is pretty much just how sociopaths behave.  And these “people” are running our country.  Be very concerned.

Click here for more:  Why Corporations Behave Like Sociopaths

Join Wolf-Pac, to help reverse Citizens United.

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Conservatives still think there’s a liberal media bias.
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While I, too, as a liberal, am frustrated with the media, I’d like to go on record and state that the media isn’t focusing on issues I care about. They seem to be far more focused on entertainment and making money.

Don’t believe me?
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If you know anyone who still believes in a “liberal media,” here are 12 things everyone would know if there really were a “liberal media.”

 photo outsourcing_zps2cf6f1b0.jpg1. Where the jobs went.Outsourcing (or offshoring) is a bigger contributor to unemployment in the U.S. than laziness.

Since 2000, U.S. multinationals have cut 2.9 million jobs here while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million. This is likely just the tip of the iceberg, as multinational corporations account for only about 20 percent of the labor force.

When was the last time you saw a front-page headline about outsourcing?

2. Upward wealth redistribution and/or inequality.

In 2010, 20 percent of the people held approximately 88 percent of the net worth in the U.S. The top 1 percent alone held 35 percent of all net worth.

The bottom 80 percent of people held only 12 percent of net worth in 2010. In 1983, the bottom 80 percent held 18 percent of net worth.

 photo ownership_occupy_poster_zps7879609f.jpgThese statistics are not Democratic or Republican. They are widely available to reporters. Why aren’t they discussed in the “liberal” media?

3. ALEC.

If there was a corporate organization that drafted laws and then passed them on to legislators to implement, wouldn’t you think the “liberal” media would report on them?

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is such an organization. Need legislation drafted? No need to go through a lobbyist to reach state legislatures anymore. Just contact ALEC. Among other things, ALEC is responsible for:

  • Stand Your Ground laws
  • Voter ID laws
  • Right to Work laws
  • Privatizing schools
  • Health savings account bills which benefit health care companies
  • Tobacco industry legislation

Many legislators don’t even change the proposals handed to them by this group of corporations. They simply take the corporate bills and bring them to the legislative floor.

This is the primary reason for so much similar bad legislation in different states.

They’re meeting in Chicago this weekend. Maybe the “liberal media” will send some reporters.

4. The number of people in prison. 

Which country in the world has the most people in prison?

You might think it would be China, with over a billion people and a restrictive government, or former Soviets still imprisoned in Russia.

 photo incarcerated_americans_zpsb7c891bd.jpgWrong. The United States has the most people in prison, by far, of any country in the world. With five percent of the world’s population, we have 25% of the world’s prisoners – 2.3 million criminals. China, with a population four times our size, is second with 1.6 million people in prison.

In 1972, 350,000 Americans were in imprisoned. In 2010, this number had grown to 2.3 million. Yet from 1988 – 2008, crime rates have declined by 25 percent.

Isn’t anyone in the liberal media interested in why so many people are in prison when crime has dropped?

In 2009, non-Hispanic blacks, while only 13.6 percent of the population, accounted for 39.4 percent of the total prison and jail population.

In 2011, according to FBI statistics, whites accounted for 69.2 percent of arrests.

Numbers like these suggest a racial bias in our justice system.

To me, this is a much bigger story than any single incident like Travyon Martin. Or, at the very least, why didn’t the “liberal media” ever mention this while covering the Martin story?

5.  Our planet is burning up

Click HERE and HERE

6. U.S. health care costs are the highest in the world.

The expenditure per person in the U.S. is $8,233. Norway is second with $5,388.
Total amount of GDP spent on health care is also the highest of any country in the world at 17.6 percent. The next closest country is the Netherlands, at 12 percent.

As a liberal, I’d like to ask why the market isn’t bringing down costs. I’d think a “liberal” media might too.

7. Gerrymandering.

When was the last time you saw a front page headline about gerrymandering?

Before the 2010 election, conservatives launched a plan to win control of state legislatures before the census. The idea was to be in power when national congressional districts were redrawn in order to fix them so Republicans would win a majority of districts.

The Redistricting Majority Project was hugely successful. In 2012, Barack Obama was elected President by nearly 3.5 million votes.

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In Congressional races, Democrats drew nearly 1.4 million more votes than Republicans yet Republicans won control of the House 234 seats to 201 seats.

How is this possible?

By pumping $30 million into state races to win the legislatures, Republicans redrew state maps in states such as Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, Florida and Ohio to place all of the Democrats into just a few districts.
In this manner, Democrats win heavily in a couple districts and lose the rest.

In North Carolina, the statewide vote was 51 percent Democrat and 49 percent Republican yet 9 Republicans won and only 4 Democrats.

Where is your coverage of this vote stealing, “liberal media?” You’re willing to cover voter ID laws; why can’t you cover real vote stealing?

8. The number of bills blocked by Republicans in Congress.

The filibuster has been used a record number of time since Obama was elected President. From 2008-2012, 375 bills weren’t even allowed to come to a vote in the Senate because Republicans threatened the filibuster.

In 2013, during the first six months, Congress has only passed 15 bills that were signed into law. This is eight fewer than in the first six months of 2012 and 19 fewer than 2011.

Also, until the Senate recently threatened to reform the filibuster, the GOP had succeeded in holding up 79 of President Obama’s picks to the U.S. Circuit Court and Courts of Appeal. They’re blocking these appointments regardless of qualification.

Where’s the coverage? Where are the reporters asking why nothing is getting done?

* crickets *

9. The Citizens United Supreme Court decision

In a 2011 Hart poll, only 22 percent of those polled had actually heard of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision before taking the survey.

If 77 percent believe that corporations have more control over our political process than people, why isn’t the liberal media talking more about the Citizens United decision?

10. The GOP racist strategy

The Southern Strategy is a strategy for gaining political power by exploiting the greatest number of ethnic prejudices. Kevin Philips, Republican and Nixon campaign strategist, speaking about this strategy in a 1970 interview with the New York Times:

From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that…but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.

7B889eff7f-911e-41ae-a5a8-41f243594This strategy has been used since President Johnson and Democrats in Congress passed the Civil Rights Act to build the Republican party. Examples of this strategy were evident as recently as 2008 and 2012 as Republicans took up their assault on Medicaid, Social Security, labor unions, and Obamacare – programs which, though they benefit more white seniors, retirees, women, and children, have been sold to many Americans as handouts to lazy, undeserving blacks and minorities.

Yet you never hear the “liberal media” (at least since the 1970 NY Times) talking about the use of this strategy. At least not like this:

“P (President) emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.” – H.R. Haldeman’s diary, President Richard Nixon’s White House Chief of Staff

11. Tax cuts primarily benefit the wealthy. A progressive tax program is designed to tax people very little as they are starting out and progressively increase their rates as they do better.

Republican plans seem designed to do exactly the opposite: shift the tax burden off of the wealthy and onto working people.

Take the repeal of the estate tax. In Ohio this was recently repealed by Republicans. The benefit is only realized by people with estates larger than $338,000 (as the first $338k was exempt) and realized most by people with even wealthier estates.

This also explains why Republicans want to shift the system from income taxes to consumption taxes. Consumption taxes are paid most by those at the bottom as basic consumption remains the same regardless of income.

It also explains why capital gain taxes are so low. Income through capital gains is only taxed at 20 percent (increased from 15 percent in 2012) instead of at the rate of other income (closer to 35 percent).

It also explains why Republicans were so willing to let the payroll tax cut expire. The payroll tax cut benefited people who were getting paid, not those issuing the paychecks. How much fight did you see to save this tax cut?

While tax cuts are sold to us as benefiting everyone, they really benefit a select few at the very top.

If everyone knew who tax cuts really benefit, would so many people vote for them?

12. Media consolidation

Six corporations – Time Warner, Disney, News Corporation, Viacom, Comcast, and CBS –control roughly 90 percent of the media in the U.S.

These companies are in business to make a profit.

This is why you’ll find plenty of advertisements in the media. Entertainment? Check. Sports? Definitely. Weather? Yep.

You’ll also find plenty of “if it bleeds, it leads” stories designed to hook you in. Vendors, witnesses recall Venice hit-and-run horror. Fort Hood trial turns bizarre as shooter grills witnesses.

There’s also plenty of political bickering: Democrats said this, Republicans said that. We let you decide (but we never weigh in with any facts or fact-checking).

What won’t you hear? You won’t hear the “liberal media” discuss the corporate media.

What to make of this

If the media were “liberal,” it would serve the public interest and shine a light on issues like the ones above.

More people would also have a better understanding of global warming, peak oil, population growth, political lobbying, government’s role in a functioning economy, how much we spend on the military, and countless other issues.

What you’re more likely to see in the media, however, are stories designed to get you to buy their paper, or watch their show, or listen to their radio station. If it bleeds, it leads. This is why the media is concerned with scandal, celebrities, gossip, and fear.

If anything, our news consists of paid advertisements and outlets too scared of offending anyone to publish much of substance. Investigative journalism is also expensive; entertainment is cheap.

The way this corporate media behaves may not be surprising. I apologize if you feel any of this is beating you over the head.

This Buzzfeed-style list wasn’t intended to introduce this idea as new (others have done a much better job), but rather to highlight the sheer absurdity of a “liberal media” for an audience who may not see it.

One way to approach the topic is to simply ask: If we have a “liberal media,” where are the liberal stories?

 

 

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From Addicting Info (author unknown)

images-179Take just 5 minutes. Imagine an America where only one religion dictates the law of the land like Rick Santorum suggests. Where things like the Patriot Act and Guantanamo Bay-style camps that enable no right to fair trial are created. LGBT Americans cannot only not serve in the military but have their children confiscated. Women cannot vote. Blacks cannot marry whites. You can be fired for being Hispanic. Muslims cannot worship freely. There are no Pell Grants to put your child through school. There is no Medicare for your parents. There is a government that spends twice as much on average ($60B vs. $35B) and creates half as many jobs (73.4MM vs 34.8MM). Imagine it… having trouble? It is called Iran. Afghanistan. Pakistan. Saudi Arabia. It is called America without Democratic Presidents and their legislation. Take away all what Democrats have achieved in last 100 years and you will get an America not too different from places you fear the most.

Each of the statements below reference factual numbers, actual legislation, or true data.  All of this can be easily validated.

1. Since 1932, Democratic Presidents have created 73.4 million new jobs, Republicans have created only 34.8 million. Thus, Democrats created more jobs lifting my standard of living. (Source: International Business Times | Bloomberg)

2. Democrats got my mother, sister, and all other women a right to vote by fighting the GOP for 7 years (Source: Woodrow Wilson 1912-1919). Even 100 years later, Democrats fight Republicans as they introduced a law in Wisconsin that would criminalize single mothers. (Source 1 | Forbes)

3. Land Grant Institution funding triggered under Great Society Programs lifted me and many of my friends from lower middle class to upper earning brackets through affordable college education. (Sources: Colorado University | US History | Wikipedia)

4. Democrats got me a right to get married to the person I love while GOP made constitutional bans for same-sex marriage in almost all GOP controlled states. (Source: HRC Housing | Employment | Hospital Visitation)

5. Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society Programs created “Work Study” which enabled me to work 20-hours a week in addition to lk081110dBP-500classes to pay towards my college tuition and make a life for myself. (Sources: Colorado University | US History | Wikipedia)

6. Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society Programs created Pell Grants, which helped me and millions of other people complete college education and go on to create new businesses and opportunities for ourselves and others. (Sources: Colorado University | US History | Wikipedia)

7. Democratic President Barack Obama repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to empower me and other LGBT Americans to serve our country with self-respect and dignity, unifying our nation. (Source: White House)

8. While GOP governments have legislation in 12 states to ban Islamic faith called Sharia, Democrats created a nation where people of all faiths can freely practice under our first amendment right by never introducing legislation to ban an established faith. (Source: MSNBC)

9. In last 70 years GDP rose 12.6% under Democrats versus a GOP increase of 10.7%. From 1960 to 2012 the gross domestic product measured in dollars rose an average of $165 billion a year under Republican presidents and $212 billion a year under Democrats. Thus, Democrats made this nation more prosperous. (Source: Washington Post)

images-18110. The Bayh-Dole Act, passed by a Democratic House and Senate and signed by Jimmy Carter, has created 5000 companies including Google. It created millions of jobs for me and my fellow citizens. (Source: Act | Wiki Information)

11. Democrats in 1967 legalized interracial marriage across the US, giving me and my friends a chance to find and marry the best person for us irrespective of race. The GOP opposed it. (Source: Wikipedia)

12. Democrats created anti-discrimination laws under Great Society Programs that protect me, and millions of other Americans from being denied housing, jobs, or other services on the grounds of race. The GOP opposed it. (Sources: Colorado University | US History | Wikipedia)

13. Lyndon Johnson enacted a massive expansion of Social Security (also created by a democratic, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt) and Medicare so older Americans that have worked hard and spent their lives making this nation great are not left alone in the dark. One day, I will also take advantage of such programs. (Sources: Colorado University | US History | Wikipedia)

14. Democrats created Medicaid under Great Society Programs to help enhance healthcare access for men, women, and images-180children who otherwise couldn’t afford it. The GOP still wants to dissolve it. (Sources: Colorado University | US History | Wikipedia)

15. Democratic Presidents hold the record for all of the following:

  • Greatest gross domestic product (GDP) growth: Clinton
  • Biggest jobs increase: Truman
  • Best after-tax personal disposable income rise: Carter
  • Highest industrial production growth: Johnson
  • The lowest Misery Index, which is inflation plus unemployment: Kennedy
  • The lowest inflation: Truman
  • The largest federal budget deficit reduction: Clinton

Each one of the above made this country a stronger and larger economy to make all Americans more prosperous. (Source: Washington Post)

16. Democrats spend far less; spending breaks down as $35 billion a year under Democratic presidents and $60 billion under Republicans on average. If you assume that it takes a year for a president’s policies to take effect, Democrats have raised spending by $40 billion a year and Republicans by $55 billion. Thus, the GOP is more responsible for the debt that we have amassed, lowering our credit rating. (Source: Washington Post)

17. While giving people of faith a full free choice to do what they deem fit, Democrats made access to birth control available to all women so those suffering from PCOS, ovarian cancer, ovarian cysts, and hormonal disorders can save their lives by using it. The GOP still fights that. This made lives of people close to me better. (Source: Detailed Affordable Care Act | Graphic | Related Blog)

GOP-Alternative-Policies18. Democrats have created anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBT individuals from being denied housing or jobs based on their sexual orientation which is similar to providing protection for people who choose to affiliate with a certain religion of their choice. This has created an America where my friends and I can thrive based on our work not our race, religion, or sexual orientation. 31 GOP states have still refused to follow this trend enacted in 19 liberal states to protect LGBT Americans in a diversity bucket. (Source: HRC Housing | Employment | Hospital Visitation | State Laws |Interactive)

19. Out of 18 states that produce more wealth than what they take in from the Federal Government, 16 are liberal, one swing (FL), and only one Republican (TX). On the other hand, of 32 states that take in more money than what they produce, aka welfare states, 4 (MD, ME, HI, VT) are liberal, one swing (PA), and an astonishing 27 are full-out conservative. (Link) Thus Democratic legislature and fiscal policies have created a better living environment for me, conservative legislatures have failed to do the same for its loyal base. (Source: Tax Foundation)

20. A Democratic legislature and President Obama in 2010 enacted HealthCare Reform that eliminates discrimination for insurance against people with preexisting conditions, prevents women from being charged twice as much, makes preventative care available, enables young adults to stay on their parents plan till 26, and removes lifetime caps to make sure that children born with serious conditions are not left out to die. The beauty of this was that the reform is not a government takeover, relies on private insurance, and expands coverage for all my fellow citizens making all of our lives better. (Source: Lifetime Caps | Women Pay More | Detailed Affordable Care Act |Graphic)

America, wake up. Facts are staring right at you. 

conservative-liberal-road-sign-cropped-proto-custom_28Potentially another coming out story, of sorts. I previously wrote (with some fear and trembling about what my many Christian friends would think) of my journey away from evangelicalism. Now here I am again, possibly coming out of yet another closet, with an opportunity to alienate a whole different group of friends.

For much of my life I was a closeted liberal. While a part of the conservative Christian church, I kept discovering that many of my personal convictions didn’t seem to line up with the party line. While immersed in the institution founded by the “they will know we are Christians by our love” itinerant first century preacher, I kept discovering that my own convictions seemed more compassionate, more justice-focused, more humane than those of my own religion. I know that sounds arrogant – and I hate that it sounds that way. I am certainly not saying that I myself am more loving than my Christians friends. Far from it. I can be kind of an asshole when I’m not careful, and I have so many Christian friends who are the most loving, kindhearted people I know. (The church I attended was also a very loving place.) But my actual convictions – my positions on social issues – just seemed to me to be more compassionate than those of the evangelism movement, and this was confusing to me for many years. I would want to collect money to support hungry kids in Africa, and I’d have Christians tell me they wouldn’t help out because we weren’t handing out Bibles or preaching at them. I would want to help low-income people who are being evicted from their trailer park, and some Christians would refuse to donate for fear of “enabling these people’s dependent lifestyles.” I would develop a close friendship with someone who was gay, and a Christian would warn me about not appearing to condone sin.

polls_Liberal_Definition_5202_544087_answer_2_xlarge

Eventually, of course, I embraced my inner-liberal, and have been a happy camper ever since.  But lately I’ve been experiencing some strange thoughts and urges that confuse me.  Last week I noticed myself cringing when I discovered the Facebook communities called “Republicans are morons,” “The Republican party makes me sick’” and “Liberals who hate conservatives.” Then I noticed feelings of empathy when I read about sincere, Christian employers who were put into a moral and ethical no-win situation when the government required them to pay for their employees’ “morning after pills,” essentially forcing them to fund what they believe to be murder.  And I’m suddenly uncomfortable with the black and white, reactive responses to nuanced issues that I sometimes see on liberal websites and publications – the same kinds of responses they regularly denounce conservatives for.

What is happening to me?

Is it possible that I’m bi-political??? God, what will my friends say when they find out?

Mike's liberal/conservative issues list

Mike’s liberal/conservative issues list

Ok, here’s what I’m going to do…right now, as I write this article. I’m going to creative a self-administered political inventory to help me figure out where I really stand. I’m going to choose several issues in which liberals and conservatives tend to disagree (see graph on the left), then assign positions along a spectrum (see below) ranging from a negative five (totally liberal) to a positive five (totally conservative), with zero representing a “middle of the road” approach, as in “I see equal validity and truth on both sides.”

political spectrum
(Of course, this is just my list. If you decide to try this yourself, feel free to come up with different issues.)

Again – I’m doing this in real-time. You are going to see the result of my self-administered survey just a few minutes after I do. Here we go!

1. Abortion
I’m starting out with a tough one. (And this is one of the reasons I started to suspect I was bi.) Weirdly enough, I am against murder (as I kind of hope you are). So the question does seem to come down to when a “fetus” becomes a “human,” and thus a being that can be “murdered.” I have to be honest – I have trouble with the whole “a trip through the birth canal magically makes you a human being” argument. So then the question becomes…well, when? When does the baby become less an extension of the woman’s body and more an actual person? And this isn’t a religious question for me: If anything (for what 6105123it’s worth) I think the Bible supports non-personhood for the fetus, as in Exodus 21:22 where killing a woman is a capital offense, but causing a miscarriage leads to only a monetary fine. For me it’s a matter of the “slippery slope.” Is it morally justifiable to kill a baby one second after birth? I think not. Well, what about one second before birth? See what I mean? I feel stuck on this one. But I also think it’s ridiculous to extend “personhood” back to conception or the zygote. But on the other hand, what about abortions for preferred sexual orientation, gender, and other physical preferences? That makes me sort of sick. But on the other hand (how many hands am I up to here?), I have a real hard time with the government mandating what is right for women in terms of their own bodies and their own health care. It seems like this needs to be the woman’s decision…not congress’s. And I definitely feel anger toward conservatives who call themselves “pro-life,” but really only care about the life of a fetus, and don’t seem to give a shit (policy-wise) about what happens to the life of the child after it’s born.  And don’t even get me started on the war on birth control.  I give myself a +1 on this one.

2. Guns
I’ve written extensively about this elsewhere on this blog, and I’m pretty solid in my position. While I don’t view the second amendment as granting a right to individuals to own guns (the whole “well regulated militia” thing), I do think it’s unnecessary and even tyrannical for the government to outlaw guns completely. But (pay attention, here, right-wingers) no one is trying to do that! People do have basic rights to own things, including guns (although not Wayne LaPierrenecessarily constitutionally granted), but I also have a basic right not to be shot by you. I believe that what Obama is proposing is right on target (pardon the pun). Ban certain assault weapons (whose actual purpose is to kill as many people as possible in the quickest way possible), beef up regulations around background checks, provide better mental health services, deal with early prevention, and more.

So, where do I fall on my scale? My gut tells me to get as far away from the NRA nuts as possible…but that’s not actually difficult, since they are at probably a positive 7 on my scale. I give myself a -3

3. Gay rights/gay marriage
I don’t care who people have sex with, or who they marry. However, this one took me awhile to get here. My traditional way of thinking kept me back for many years – and I have to admit, I still have a little nostalgia for the old “man and wife” idea. But the bottom line for me is human rights. Being gay is not a choice – our sexuality is an ingrained, integrated, deeply personal and even sacred part of who we are, and to deny someone even one commonly enjoyed privilege due to this aspect of their personhood to me seems immoral. I’m a -4. (I’m only not a -5 because I’m still “letting go” of my old sense of propriety and my years of Biblical moralism.) (Writing my “truth” articles helped me a lot with this, by the way.)

4. Religion in the public sphere
The separation of church and state is an essential component of our constitution and our system of government. The framers church-and-statewere very specific about this. The bill currently being considered in Arizona requiring high school students to take a loyalty pledge ‘in God’s name’ in order to receive their diploma is just the latest symptom of the slow erosion of Jefferson’s “wall of separation,” and I applaud the ACLU’s watchdog work in this area. This country is not a theocracy, thank the gods. Your religious beliefs are personal, and no matter how important they are to you, you do not have the right to impose them on me through government action.

That being said, I have to be honest – I get really cranky when liberals go all spastic about public nativity scenes and crosses and such. Give it a rest, guys. Live and let live. I’m giving myself a -3.

(One more note: FOX news’ “war on Christmas” is a freak show. Has anyone told them that the word “holiday” – as in “happy holidays” – is from an ancient word meaning “holy?” Back off, FOX, and maybe try to find some actual news to report.)

5. Legislating morality
I’m a mess on this one. As stated previously, I don’t care who people have sex with. I also don’t care what people smoke. I do care, however, how you treat people. Liberals want the government to stay out of their bedrooms, but they demand that the government punish people who say mean things, as in “hate speech.” I’m pretty torn on this one. I hate racism, I despise the Ku Klux Klan, I’m passionate about stopping bullying…but I also believe in freedom of speech and think the liberal “thought police” sometimes go a little too far. So…where do I fall on my numerical scale? Stay out of my bedroom…I’m a -5. Stand against racism and hate speech…I’m also a -5. But how we stand against such speech…maybe I’m a zero, because I’m still struggling with the whole freedom of speech thing. I’m going to give myself a -3. (Readers, feel free to educate me on this.)

6. Economic philosophy
I’m a liberal here, no doubt. Our country has never done better economically than under Roosevelt, then again under JFK, then under Clinton. The Democrats have this nailed. I don’t for a moment buy into the crap on the internet (and FOX news) about Obama’s free-spending, reckless, America-killing ways. Under Clinton we actually had no deficit! He left Bush a surplus, which was quickly squandered on wars and tax cuts. Our country is still suffering bipartisan-struggle(although in recovery) from years of bad economic policies. And guess what? Cuts in spending have never brought our country out of financial crisis. Just look at what the austerity measures have done to the European countries. It’s the Democrats that have consistently brought us prosperity. Why is the media not reporting this?

A few facts: (check out Bob Deitrick and Lew Godlfarb’s great, easy to read book; “Bulls, Bears and the Ballot Box”)

  • Disposable income has grown nearly 6 times more under Democratic presidents
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has grown 7 times more under Democratic presidents
  • Corporate profits have grown over 16% more per year under Democratic presidents (they actually declined under Republicans by an average of 4.53%/year)
  • Average annual compound return on the stock market has been 18 times greater under Democratic presidents (If you invested $100k for 40 years of Republican administrations you had $126k at the end, if you invested $100k for 40 years of Democrat administrations you had $3.9M at the end)
  • Republican presidents added 2.5 times more to the national debt than Democratic presidents
  • The two times the economy steered into the ditch (Great Depression and Great Recession) were during Republican, laissez faire administrations

I’m a -4

(Ok, I’m already starting to suspect that I’m not as “middle of the road” as I was afraid of…so far there have been a lot of negative 3 to negative 5 ratings.)

7. The government’s role in providing for the poor
Cardinal Roger Mahony recently stated (1998):

“Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members ; the last, the least, the littlest.”

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This article is getting too long, and there is much I want to say about this…I’ll save it for another article. I do believe there are plenty of “welfare queens.” I do think that the system is abused and must be made more efficient, fair and less prone to fraud. But I also believe that institutional racism and classism exist and that we will never be able to cut the poor loose and “leave it up to the churches” to care for them. I have a friend who constantly claims to have “lifted himself up by his bootstraps,” and he complains about people who “soak the system.” His grandparents left him a house and a car and some money. There were no bootstraps. He has no idea what it’s like to experience misfortune and have no safety nets, no emergency “go to” people, no resources. Read Barbara Ehreneich’s Nickeled and Dimed: On (not) getting by in America – she goes “undercover” as a minimum wage earning single mom just to see how possible it is to make it without help. Great book! I give myself a -3

8. Health care
Socialized health care policies in America? Hell, yes. And soon. I’m a -5 on this one.

In the World Health Organization’s ranking of the world’s health care systems, based on a series of performance indicators, the United States comes in at number 37, behind such countries as Oman, Greece, Costa Rica, Cyprus, and Morocco.  AND our health care system is the number one most expensive in the world!   I want socialized medicine, and I want it now. People are dying.

9. Immigration
If I had a magic wand, I’d make it impossible to get into this country illegally. And I would give everyone who is already here amnesty, and get them into the tax-paying workforce as soon possible. And three cheers for the Dream Act! I’m a -1.

10. Intervention in other countries
Yes – intervene for humanitarian reasons (genocide, chemical weapons used against citizens) or when American lives are at risk. Use force, if necessary, but always start with efforts toward diplomacy. No – let’s never again use force to protect American financial interests. We’ve done a lot of damage in the world in the last 100 years (Guatemala, Iran, South America, Iraq) by trying to shape the world in our own image. We’ve acted immorally many times. I give myself a -2

11. Business versus individuals; Management versus unions
This is a tough one. Here’s my score:images-18

  • Corporations are people? Hell no. The Supreme’s 2010 Citizens United decision is one of the court’s lowest moments ever, almost as bad as the day they handed the presidency to Bush. (See – I’m still a Liberal!) Thankfully, however, it didn’t actually end up swaying the 2012 election. -5
  • Collective bargaining. Yes! -4
  • Union involvement on the job? +4 (As an organizational development consultant I’ve come to dislike unions and the sense of entitlement they bring to the workforce. I have spent 17 years helping management learn to create high-moral, positive workplaces, and whenever I’ve dealt with union shops, it seems that no good deed on the part of management goes unpunished.) My final score for this item: -2

12. The environment
98% of scientists believe in global warming. Climate change really is a thing. Rep Jim Sensenbrenner, who sits on the congressional science committee, is a renowned climate change skeptic who has alternately decried “scientific fascism” and described research on climate change as an “international conspiracy.” He’s not alone – it seems that science-denial in general, and denying this particular scientific fact in particular, is a hallmark of conservatism. Why? Is it because you have objectively examined the science and for some inexplicable reason find it wanting? Or is it because it’s so damn inconvenient – because you and your causes are funded by big business, including oil, and without them you wouldn’t have enough money to fuel your campaigns? If that’s the case, then shame on you. The truth is we’re in trouble, by our own making, and it’s up to us to do something about it. -5

surveysays1 I’m actually a little nervous about the results! Am I bi?  Or am I a flaming liberal?


the issues results

political spectrum

So, I’m a -2.8. Apparently I’m on the high end of “moderately liberal.” Am I too liberal for my conservative friends? Too anti- religious for my Christian friends? Too conservative for my liberal friends? Too spiritual for my atheist friends? Am I the only one in my camp? And do I even care anymore?

Well – I guess I’m not bi. I’m only bi-curious.

images-15While driving to Seattle last week, I heard Joe Scarborough (“Morning Joe”), a former Republican Congressman, refer to his own party (the GOP) as the “stupid party!” He begged them to stop being the party of the anti-science, “legitimate rape,” paranoid, homophobic, life-only-matters-when-it’s-still-a-fetus fringe elements. I almost dropped my Starbucks in my lap!

And I couldn’t agree with him more.

I believe that our country needs more than one party – we need politicians from both ends of the political spectrum who can have intelligent and relevant debate around the issues that matter most. We need compromise, we need differing perspectives, we need reasoned discourse. We need adults at the table working on our country’s problems together.

Sadly, however, you Republican politicians are slowly but surely disqualifying yourselves simply by becoming more and more out of touch. Here are some facts:

  • 98% of scientists believe in global warming.
    Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, who sits on the congressional science committee, is a renowned climate change skeptic who has alternately decried “scientific fascism” and described research on climate change as an “international conspiracy.” He’s not alone – it seems that most of you agree with him, despite what science proves.
  • 99.85% of scientists believe in evolution.
    Another Republican member of the congressional science committee, Rep. Paul Broun, considers evolution to be a “lie straight from the pit of hell.” But here’s the thing, Paul. Of the 480,000 scientists working in the fields of earth and life sciences in the U.S., only about 700 believe in “creation-science” or consider it a valid theory (Robinson 1995). This means that less than 0.15 percent of relevant scientists believe in creationism. And that is just in the United States, which has more creationists than any other industrialized country. In other countries, the number of relevant scientists who accept creationism drops to less than one tenth of 1 percent.
  • The majority of Americans want a ban on assault weapons and large ammunition magazines.
  • Most Americans believe in fidelity in marriage, but don’t give a shit about who people have sex with outside of that parameter.
  • Most Americans want equal rights for all Americans, regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, or nation of origin.
    Most Americans value ALL life…not just the life of fetuses.
  • Most Americans believe in a strong middle class, and providing a safety net for the unlucky and the people who have failed to succeed. Most Americans would like to see the rich pay their fair share of taxes.
  • Most Americans would like to see us turn our attention to future sources of alternative energy and stop our religious devotion to the coal and oil industries.
  • Most Americans would like to see us turn our attention to future sources of alternative energy and stop our religious devotion to the coal and oil industries.
  • Most Americans do not consider corporations to be people, nor do they believe that the profits of pharmaceutical companies or gun manufacturers or insurance corporations trump the needs of people to make a living wage that is sufficient to provide food, health care, housing and health care.
  • Most Americans believe that voting should be accessible to everyone, and that people should not have to wait in line for 6 hours to exercise this right.

GOPprimaryThe positions you politicians hold are becoming increasingly fringy, as the country continues to move to center-left. And THIS is why you are losing more and more voters every election cycle and why most of your candidates got fewer votes than the democrats and why you lost seats in both houses in November.

You’re losing people.   They are jumping ship faster than you can make new converts.

And your response?

1. Move farther to the right!  Instead of promoting more centrists Republicans who could actually draw in more voters, you continue to challenge moderate Republicans in the primaries so that they drop out (like Jon Huntsman did this week).  You’re putting more  tea party true-believers into office, not fewer.  Your science denying incompetent candidates will be putting on another freak show in 2016 like they did in 2012, to the entertainment of the Democrats, and to the detriment of the country.

Percent_Increase_Previous_President_2005

2. Come up with ever more elaborate schemes to keep people away from the polls, re-draw the congressional districts and re-write the electoral rules.  If you can’t win by offering up reasonable candidates, you’ll win by either cheating (8 hour lines to vote) or by changing the rules!   You call Obama a tyrant.  But would you not consider it tyranny to rig the elections so that the winner isn’t the person receiving the most votes? I just read a great tweet: “Republicans to unveil plan that only lets people with the last name ‘Koch’ vote for president.”

3. Continue to make up lies about President Obama.  The latest? Obama’s alleged “spending spree” during his first term. Check out the graph…Obama raised spending less than any president since 1900!

You have used anger, fear, racism, fake-science, polarization, dirty tricks and lies to mobilize the right-leaning members of our country. And I get it! There are not enough angry white men left, so your methods have seemed necessary. But c’mon, guys. This is what happens when you let the tea party take over your party. I know you didn’t ask, but here’s some free advice:

  • Boot the extremists out of your party
  • Accept science
  • Affirm the rights of everyone
  • Stop kissing the asses of corporations and the NRA
  • Stay out of my bedroom
  • Value all life…then, when you think you can behave like grownups, c’mon back to the table, and let’s talk.