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Tag Archives: Politics

In at least a short aside from my Mass Effect stuff, oh and hi btw, but in a short aside I really have to get this off my chest. Kinda commenting on this issue in the time and since once again Gay Marriage is in the news. And in the Political arena, and is something that should be talking about.

But…I hate it. In the past I have talked about my dislike of this issue. Not because I hate gays or Christians but because this issue just should not be. We have bigger fish to fry, other issues that are at stake. And the solution, one way or another, for this problem is patently obvious. And yet people spend most of their time just yelling at each other and not focusing on trying to solve anything.

So as a result I tend to shut down on this issue, sure I have talked about it but I have shut down on this and probably a lot of issues. For one reason or another. But again if I don’t speak out, maybe no one else will. Which could be the whole point of this blog.

So here I was, here I sit, getting angry, getting miserable, wondering what to do. So I went to Facebook and explained my issue: That the solution to this problem is for both sides to shut up, have a reasonable debate, respect each others rights…both of you!

And well I built that Facebook post, and well I did get some support from it.

So I built, and they came.

Here I was thinking that I was virtually alone in this issue when the two sides in this political debate seemed bound and determined to tear each other apart at the seams for not believing what they believed, for either wanting to change the definition of the word marriage, or to take away the ‘rights’ from a group of Americans.

And this has left me with a sense of unerring depression and angst that two groups of people could do this to one another and potentially put the country in greater jeopardy when we have so many other massive issues to worry about then this. We are risking a borderline Civil War in some respects, one group of the country or the other absolutely not agreeing with the other, over a disagreement on definitions and rights. And people wonder why I dislike Government?

But I took a stand, I got tired of it and since the issue is in the national consciousness again I made a ‘mini blog’ on Facebook. Not exactly something I am proud of, Facebook probably is not the best medium to engage in something like this. Not even sure if WordPress is the best place to engage in something like this.

But then something quite remarkable, though not unexpected happened People responded to the post, and they were agreeing with me, that government should get out of marriage and leave it up to the individuals and organizations involved to worry about it.

Jared Tapia and Scott Lehner made a comment in support of this idea.

Austin Petersen made a comment on his own Facebook in support of it which other fellow Libertarian commentators came on in support.

Now knowing Libertarians like I do this should not have come as a surprise. Yet it was heart warming. That here I was making a bold post or what I thought was a bold post and then more and more people came out to support it.

Jared made a bold post, and then people came out to support him.

Austin had people who supported his views.

I built it, and people came. We may surround them after all.

But for all of these people there are still people out there who want Government meddling in marriage. Because, well to paraphrase in a very simplistic manner, that we are too dumb. Or people are too dumb sometimes to know what they are doing, what they are getting into, and have no way of knowing how to get out of it. So we all have to suffer. Not by strengthening the individual, but by forging a stronger Government.

They are entitled to their opinion, and on some level they might be right.

But I built it, I took a stand, and people gathered around me. Letting me know where they stood, either as allies, or as…well enemies might be a strong word…but as opponents to my ideological preferences.

And this ultimately, is good.

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Hi people of the world sorry its been a while. I decide that it would have been better to try something a bit new, and take a break off from school for the first month or so as I got back into the schedule. And that time has now come for me to try and get back to blogging even though it has not quite been a full month I figure to get started and let everyone know my plans.

The plan is for me to be back at least once a week barring any major writing or school related emergency.

The point of this blog is to let everyone know what my plans are for the future. So its not going to be especially enlightening or political. Giving everyone the chance to bow out now

Still here? Good.

As many of you have noticed I have started to write writing centric blogs. Other then the Chic-Fil-A issue I have been virtually silent on the news of the day. And while that will change it will do so with a caveat, I am going to be writing more literary blogs because that too is one of my interests.

So for the immediate future I am going to be switching off, do one literary blog, and one political blog as I can get to them. This one counts as a ‘literary’ one. I am going to be continuing to review the Mass Effect series, going to be trying to provide some insight into it, and going to be trying to bring you how I write as a writer, and how I think people can write and should write. Drawing many of my lessons from Mass Effect 3, and the game series in general. But also drawing from Babylon 5, LOTR, and Harry Potter.

Also going to be bringing you blogs of philosophy and politics, I am taking a Philosophy class this year. 😛

Speaking of philosophy though I am planning a series of religious blogs in December, I don’t know the number or what form this series will take since I am so busy but I do want to do it because said I would and with everything else it still remains a subject very dear to my heart.

Other then that though I am going to be trying to pursue more professional blogging opportunities. I feel I cannot go into details, (because I haven’t really been blogging and it might fall through,) but if that were to happen that would likely become the political wing of the blog that I would write and update much more often, and this would be for writing or more random musings of the day.

Just keep the front light on an I will do my best to keep up with this. In the mean time I am sure there are a lot smarter people then me out there to read, and people with more mechanically correct writing, go forth and seek.

Hello everyone. Went through my old blogs and realized that the last time that I had blogged was June 27th *wince* Ouch. Well I am back and I am going to be trying to blog more in the future but with the next semester of school rapidly approaching not sure how much free time I am going to have between this and my projects, nevertheless I am committed to continuing to blog and bringing you my high quality opinion when I get time between my school, writing, and my job.

Nevertheless there is a lot to talk about.

As I write this, yesterday was Chick-Fil-A appreciation day, and I went to go eat at the fine restraint for the first time…probably this year. The lines were packed nearly out the door and we had to wait at least an hour for our meal to arrive. But I have to admit I have mixed feelings. On the one hand I do support everyone’s right to free speech, but I was concerned about what everyone else was doing there. What were their motivations I wondered? Do they want to ban Gay Marriage or are they here simply to support the right of an American business and its owner to state their opinion?

As many people know through this blog I am reasonably in the middle on this issue. I respect gay ‘rights’ but I also respect the rights of Christians to state their opinion and to support their traditional views on marriage. No one should use the power of force to silence or force themselves on another group which was not what the owner of Chick-Fil-A was doing…all he was doing was supporting traditional marriage in his view…but more on that in a bit.

But I realized that all I was there for was to stand together and support someone else in their right to speak. Me and hundreds, thousands, and perhaps hundreds of thousands of people gathered in order to support a company in their right to have an opinion. And in the end that is all that is important. People coming together as one group to give their hard-earned money, to wait hours, just to show solidarity with an American Company.

Nothing else could be more fantastic.

This event brought together Christians, Jews, and even gays. Yes a gay called into the Sean Hannity show yesterday and gave his support and approval of Chick-Fil-A saying that they were always nice and courteous and that he was going to participate in the day. A paraphrase anyways he might eaten or was going to go eat…but that is not what is important.

What is important was that no matter individual beliefs and motivations, no matter the orientation of some people or their personal preferences, people came together
in common cause to support differing opinions and the rights to free speech and self conscience. That no matter what we are Americans and we may not always disagree with each other, but Gosh darn it I will defend your rights to disagree.

Because tomorrow we could be divided again, tomorrow we could be on opposite sides of some issue or something, tomorrow we could be disagreeing on some fundamental principle or natural order.

Because in a crowd of over 600,000 people (at least) (link) as some have reported who knows the full range of beliefs, ideologies, opinions, religions, and tastes that could be represented in that group. From the good, to the bad, to the grotesque.

But whatever that opinion they have a right to it every bit as much as the owners of Chick-Fil-A.

And thank God for Chick-Fil-A, thank God that they made a stand and did nothing wrong other than stating their belief and preference on what the family unit should be. Not coming out against homosexuals, or gays, not even saying its wrong, just giving a preference and being for something. (link) Thank God for Chick-Fil-A for allowing us to have this debate, to continue a national dialogue and conversation on all sorts of rights. Thank God for weeding out the true bigots and the people intolerant of others and their opinions. Thank God for giving us this opportunity.

Because the lesson here is that when you are for something that does not mean you are against something else. Sure they probably do not believe in gay marriage, but all they did was stand for what their interpretation is. And just because I link hands with Christians or anyone else does not mean we agree on every issue. In fact its safe to say we don’t.

It does not mean we are a member of the Westboro Baptists or Bush’s b**** or that we are going to lead this country down a path that Pope Urban the Second chose. All this means is that we are standing together. With human dignity, human rights, and the mass of humanity, making that connection, uniting, even if for just one day, one hour, one minute, or one second.

And we should thank God for that.

That is a rather long episode of the Fan Series Star Trek Phase II. I apologize on the length but it was the only clip of the specific scene that I could find on this specific subject. If you want to skip to the scene itself skip to 52:26.

Now this specific scene talks about that specific incarnation of James T. Kirk saying that “Space is not the Final Frontier, it is the human soul, Space is where we’ll meet the challenge.” This line frankly blew me away. It was a line that was both surprisingly succinct and powerful. One of the most powerful single lines that I have seen from any Star Trek production let alone a fan series. One that is made with a pretty high quality to boot but that is just a testament to the occasional pearls of brilliance.

But at the end of the day I have to wonder if we are actually beating this thing, if we are rising to the noble objectives of that statement. And I have to wonder if we are largely because Star Trek.

No wonder I don’t like Star Trek too much with that kind of clap trap. Though I suppose there is nothing wrong with the clip in and of itself. What they are proposing to do was quite monstrous and Picard should be righteously indignant about it.

But no its really the comments. I have read in that comment section everything from saying that they are surprised that Trek was made in the eighties, at the height of Conservatism, to any one of a million comments. You can still probably see one of them at the top. “Religion gone? Make it so…” I have seen similar sentiments expressed about both the Judaic and Christian religions, and then just religion in general. Going on and on and on and on about how religion is either mentally deficient in some way shape or form. Or wishing it wasn’t there, or wishing that the religious could all sink into some pit or be put into some mental institution. Or snide comments about ‘oh why am I living in a state surrounded by those people.’

On and on and on it goes.

And this kind of bigotry and this kind of sentiment apparently comes from one place. And that place seems to be in this case, oddly enough, Star Trek.

A show that has preached diversity from day one by having a black woman at communications, an Asian at the helm, a Russian at the navigation station, and an alien science officer, a show that has continued to push the boundries, encouraging this kind of rhetoric? It seems inconceivable but yet it seems to be happening.

And I can’t think of an example of this in any other single show that I have seen. Nor any other Science Fiction Universe. Not Babylon 5 which showed a scene at the end of an episode where Jeffery Sinclair introduced the alien species to a representative of each one of Earth’s major religions. Not Doctor Who which had the Doctor say ‘sometimes really impossible things happen and we call them miracles’. Not Farscape.

Even Stargate SG-1 showed a lot more sensitivity to religion…and they were battling a race of false gods! When Samantha Carter said something along the lines of ‘out of all the gods out there I sure hope one of them is real.’

None of these shows has done this. Granted they also have their moments where they portray power-hungry Gods, or demi gods or their followers who would use their power as a club. But they always balanced it out.

So again I ask…are we failing the challenge? It sure seems that way to me.

I don’t care who you are. Atheist, Libertarian, Gay, Straight, Conservative, Liberal, Christian or Jew, we all deserve to be treated with respect and to be heard out. By one another.

To have our ideas heard and at least be tolerated. Fine we can disagree and fine we don’t always have to let you into our little clubs or marry you or anything. But to at least have the conversation.

People who claim to be of the highest tolerance, Star Trek fans, seem to be very intolerant for anyone who holds a different political, moral, or religious ideology.

So I put the question to you, are they failing the challenge? Are we?

Last month I wrote a series of blogs dedicated to religion, a whole series of blogs dedicated to some basic, but yet fundamental, beliefs about religion and religious liberty. But, since this blog deals primarily with politics and current events I think I should get back to discussing that. But I feel a bridge is needed, stretching between the two concepts and leading back into the elections and the current threats we are facing from radical Islam and any number of other important political debates and points.

So in that vein is the discussion of Social Justice. It is a concept that, if you pay attention, you hear an awful lot lurking in the shadows. Its something that is effected and is influenced by religion, politics, and how we deal with everyone else around us.

But what is it? What is Social Justice? Well in basic language it is creating equality, it is doing things to promote equality in our society and in all of our social interactions. Monetary, economic status, equalizing the sexes or people of different orientations or almost any other aspect of our life. (Link)

In a nut shell that s it.

Sounds pretty good right? Shouldn’t we all be striving to create a more equal society, by any means necessary, where there is no or very little differences between us? Where no one is treated unfairly or has anything that could lead to conflict? Hmmmm

Well it depends.

But something caught my eye as I have been studying religion and trying to come up with new and unique ways of expressing information. A bit of the statement of the principles of Reform Judaism. (Link)

In it talks about how it is their belief that they should mandate the highest traditions of Judaism and the prophetic relationship with God by repairing the world. This includes the need for social justice:

We are obligated to pursue (tzedek), justice and righteousness, and to narrow the gap between the affluent and the poor,…

And while we should be concerned about the gap between the wealthy and the poor, the wealthy having all the power and the control while the poor have no options and no recourse, I do think that many people who complain about such things are missing the point. Especially those who would make it apart of their official statements that is the core of their very existence as an organization.

You see it is easier to destroy then to create. (Blog Link)

It is easier to take to take someone else’s money while trying to work to improve those below you. It usually doesn’t work out that way but that is the general intent. To take from the more affluent in some way to provide either that money or a service to the poor to try to be of benefit to them. Usually by Governmental action when you are talking about this kind of income distribution.

This almost never works as intended but it is easier.

But shouldn’t we be working to encourage everyone to improve their situations? Their lot in life? To work towards a goal and to better themselves? And not just in terms of money or the size of ones house either.

Because isn’t the pursuit of money solely for the pursuit of money something that is usually considered bad? Doesn’t it raise red flags? If the situations were reversed and we were talking about some unscrupulous businessman who was making money without a concern with the well being or dispensation of his employees, would you not react negatively? In fact these people are often vilified in pop culture and history books, and sometimes for very good reasons. See Scrooge, the robber barons, JP Morgan, and Mr. Potter from It’s a Wonderful Life.

How are you rising above the system and ignoring the greed and temptation and problems and evils of money if you are having someone steal it for you on your behalf?

Should we not be practicing the essence of charity? (Blog Link), (Link).

If you want true Social Justice and to forge a more just, more equal, and more righteous world it starts with you. Not the Government. We may never achieve these goals but we can move in that general direction.

You can make the world a better place by working to better yourself then working to better others through your deeds and your actions. Through your materialistic possessions.

This really is it. Religion and religious obligations begin with you and your family. With individuals striving to fix things. Not with Governments or large institutions.

You pursue the definition of Charity and a just world that you want to see, and I shall do the same.

In December of 2009 I did the past, in December of 2010 I did the future, now this month I am doing nothing but religion. A whole month on religious blogs.

Now there are many people who consider it crazy for me to even put these two concepts in the same sentence, politics and religion, they will never mix. And if you do you are asking for nothing but trouble. They will most likely lead to nothing but a totalitarian theocracy!

It’s an almost knee jerk reaction. To a lot of the people I talk to on a regular basis. So the issue becomes, the question, why? Why do politics and religion make such dangerous bedfellows? And do they really make such dangerous bedfellows in the first place?

Religion on the face of it is all about two things.

One it’s about meditating, connecting and wondering on the supernatural or the divine. The concepts that are not all that easy to observe or quantify.

And, more importantly to our discussion here today, a moral code of laws, principles, and regulations to try to achieve that end. To try to connect with the divine.

Often these manifest on beliefs in Heaven, or the World to Come, or Enlightenment.

And if you fail to live good, descent, moral lives you get sent to hell, obliterated, or reincarnated.

There is morality, there is law, and there is punishment for breaking the law.

But yet we are just supposed to chuck out our religion when it comes to politics? Does that really make sense? Did that make sense when it came to Anthony Weiner? Aren’t we wanting more honest and moral politicians?

After all if Sarah Palin said that she thinks that she needs to make a decision based on her religion, or if Michelle Bachman said that her yes or no on a vote of Bill 2 million three hundred and thirty six…why no, Separation of Church and State!

After all with the rampant scandals, political corruptions, kick backs, and cheating on the people we love. Maybe we need a little more religion?

You know to try to act like moral and descent human beings?

After all religion has been a part of this country throughout its history to its beginning. Many of the Founders were religious and held deep religious sentiments.

Like George Washington (source)

Or Like Abraham Lincoln: (Source)

And Ronald Regan:

“Government should uphold–and not undermine–those institutions which are custodians of the very values upon which civilization is founded: religion, education and, above all, family.”

And then there is this rather interesting website.

So, these are the people, many of them, who supported and wrote something with the ‘separation of church and state’ in it…but yet firmly religious? Firm believers in God’s grace.

Wanting us to uphold God’s morals.

So, it is clear to me that religion has always been apart of politics, and continues to do so. We should be careful in its implementation, yes I agree, but it is vital that we continue to learn, and adapt, and have the conversation.

I debate…often. I get into debates and conversations about politics and religion on a regular basis. In fact I am rather an expert at it…albeit its the poor man version who often gets his dandruff up. 😛

But in all the time and in all the debates I have come up with three reasons why one should debate. Why should you debate? Just what are you trying to prove? Why should you put up with all the pitfalls of debating when your ‘opponents’ (for lack of a better word) might be thick dunderheads who cannot possibly ever consider or see your point.

So why do it?

Well, obviously, you do it to try to get someone to see a point. To bring them around to your way of thinking or enlighten them on a specific subject.

To share your opinion to where someone just may, go, ‘huh I never saw it like that before.’ It might get them to see an issue in a new light whether they agree with you one hundred percent or not.

Secondly, you need to do it to provide an example to someone else.

Debates are not just a battle of personalities and wills there is something more metaphysical to it, literally the battle between good and evil. Or something along those lines. 😉

Sure one can get into personalities and make that personal, but if you do you risk making it personal. More about you versus me rather than the things and the issues you are trying to debate. And you risk losing, losing the debate, losing yourself, feelings will get hurt and lightning will split the mountains…wait.

But the point is you are getting your opinions out there, into the void. Someone may read it, or hear it, and a seed will be planted. That will affect them or their lives. Sure they may not agree with you one hundred percent but maybe, just maybe, they will pause and think.

And finally you are trying to teach. For the pure sake of teaching, to teach, and to learn.

Not only someone else, but yourself. Who knows what you might learn?

When you are trying to put your opinion out there and make an argument or a case you might learn that the opinion does not work and is not logical. You are trying to go about the process yourself. Debating with yourself almost.

If you are honest about it, if you are honestly questioning, then in the process of articulating, in the process of getting your opinions out there, then you will discover something.

Or maybe someone else will.

All that matters is you stand firm and try.

Everyone in the world who reads these blogs have probably heard of the World’s Smallest Political Quiz (Link), and the Political Compass. (Link). Politics in four dimensions. Usually the political role, and then a moral or an economic one.

Now I like this. It makes sense for the times that we face and what is going on in the world, having all of these various political philosophies out there.

For the times it works and makes sense because politics and Government affects a lot of areas of our life.

But I think ultimately, this is wrong. This is the wrong way to look at politics and the political spectrum.

Politics and Government should not be this all-encompassing all-powerful all intrusive part of our lives.

It needs to be small, concise, and contained. We need to shrink politics back into its proper box in the cover. Even though I agree that the conversation the political conversation can be had on many aspects of our lives, we need to shrink it.

In fact the only question, the ONLY question, that needs to be asked is what role will the Government have on any given issue? That is the only question.

What is ones position on the size of Government on any given issue?

To this end the two poles are on one end you have Libertarianism, small Government, and stat-ism, large Government. And any position would grow the Government or shrink the Government.

Where on any position, any position at all, you have three possible options.

One that will grow the Government greater than it currently is, one that shrinks the Government, or one that maintains the role of Government or does not change it that much.

So for me on every single issue I am either for maintaining the Government role and spending, or reducing it…sometimes drastically. There is no issue where I favor increasing the Government.

This would make American Progressive-ism, Conservatism, and Liberalism moral philosophies. They are philosophies of what the Government must be morally obligated to do, in large part, especially the big Government tendencies in all those ideologies.

Which is also why American Liberalism, and Conservatism, are chock full of Libertarian philosophy and both of them do have their small Government tendencies within the movements. People who are for Small Government who consider themselves a Liberal or a Conservative.

Which is why that many Reaganites, Regan Conservatives, and many of my friends who are Conservative and consider themselves Conservative do have strong Libertarian tendencies and do have strong Libertarian streaks in them. They have a strong desire for a much smaller, much more Constitutional Government.

Not to mention the people who I watch and admire.

In fact it is easy to be Libertarian in today’s climate, it is easy to want smaller Government.

When our Government is so big, so out of control, so fiscally irresponsible for whatever their reasons are, done so by both ‘Conservative’ and ‘Liberal’ Governments it is easy to be Libertarian, or at the very least to lean in that direction. Libertarianesque.

It is easy to find yourself cast out and refugees. And many Libertarians do not like this.

They do not want people to be a part of their ideology unless you are lock stock and barrel and arm step with them and their Libertarian party.

Right.

When it is easy to have a Libertarian ideology and easy to want to shrink our Government.

Which brings us to Anarchy. Anarchy is not part of the normal political process.

Anyone can call themselves an Anarchist who is just against the current Government.

They may like their own Government, they may like no Government at all, but they do not want a Government so they cannot be apart of the conversation.

And they are apart of all ideologies because they will be Anarchist to bring about the societal changes that they want to.

I wanted to do the first actual real life non BOW blog with this idea…before getting back to the grind of politics and philosophy.

I want to create a list of Libertarian ‘pop culture.’ Shows, movies, TV, Books, songs, that can have potential Libertarian themes in them…or that Libertarians can learn a great deal from.

Now this is by far not a complete list, and in fact the plan is to update it with a new blog each and every year that this blog can be up and running and posting to update it with new suggestions. Suggestions from friends and commentators on all the places that this blog is.

I will try to get to them, can’t make any promises, but I will recommend and pass along the thought.

So without further delay, the list:

Movies: Harry Potter Series, Lord of the Rings Series, Robin Hood (Crowe Version).

TV: Babylon 5,

Books 1632 Series, Lord of the Rings Series, Harry Potter Series, Tom Clancy Series,

Songs None at this time.

Though you know…this blog has never just been a ‘political’ blog.

It has been a blog about everything that I can comment on. Politics, Philosophy, Religion, Pop culture…and there is going to be more of that in the new year.

As I have said…I think this year is going to be rough for us. But it is a year not just for politics.

It will be for that to, and I will be talking about that too. But in the upcoming days and months will be more discussion on philosophy, and in a place that I have rarely ventured…religion.

That is what the immediate future holds.

That and… more politics of course.

Next year is 2011, it is the year between 2010, and 2012…an off-year if you will.

Well it is and it isn’t. It is still a year that, we…all of us, have a lot to do in the new year and other the course of 2011.

But just because it is an off year from the main scene of politics does not mean that we should not be any less vigilant. We should be very vigilant when it comes to our politicians and what they are doing. But it is not a year just for politics, that can again come in 2012.

It is a year that I think we are going to have to prepare. It is going to be a very busy year I think for all of us.

It’s a year, that I think we should take a break from politics and start setting off on fundamental principles.

To make ourselves stronger and more secure in our work, our lives, our finances, our money, out morality, and our communities and families, before 2012 hits.

Yes we need to pay very close attention to politics and keep the politicians honest, and keep score so we know who to vote out when their time comes, but it is not all about that.

There will be plenty of time for 2012 to go back down into politics and pure issues of policy and how that affects our morality and the fabric of our society.

But we need to be ready for that wild roller coaster of a ride I believe 2012 is going to be.

We need to lick our wounds and heal and rest, when we can, from what happened in 2010.

After all this country has suffered greatly, from Health Care to everything the Congress did in their ‘lame duck’ session of congress.

We need to take some political breather and take a step back from it all.

And look at what is going on around the world. Just look at it all.

We need to be ready for all of this that is going to happen in 2012, and now is the only time we can take for it.

2011 may very well be the year that we save the Republic and begin to make ourselves strong. That we build on our strengths, reflect on our weaknesses, and that ultimately we learn and get ready.

Things are transitioning, things are building, and we have to be ready for them and start building our own destiny.

Because our good friend Frances Fox Piven is doing likewise, in her own merry way…or at least advocating it.