July 24, 2007

July 24, 2007

Ok, so the political atmosphere is the same for me.  I think the current administration is really taking what is great about this country, turning it on its ear, and making people feel if they question it, then they aren’t real patriots.  Putting on hold the horrible way this country was taken from its original residents and the peoples who were enslaved to help build this country, this country was built on questioning and getting away from oppression.  But it seems we are back at the start.  Constant oppression everywhere.  The cost of the war continues to rise.  Those who backed the war (well some of them) are still not outraged they were lied to in the beginning.  They always say stupid things like “Are you saying Sadaam wasn’t a bad man?”.  NO IDIOT.  Of course he was.  And so are many other dictators around the world.  But do we just go in their countries and overthrow them?  I mean, there is Darfur for one where genocide is rapid and cruel.  This President has used us, the American people so that he can run around the planet is if he is the President of EARTH.  He isn’t.  America is not EARTH.  We are a small part of it.  

As Americans, we have this nature to think that we are the center of the universe.  If other countries aren’t like us, they are bad.  If other cultures differ, they are weird and need to be fixed.  This is what the settlers thought of the Native Americans and the Aftrican Americans that were enslaved.  They were savaged and need to be taught the way of God.  These are the same people today who refuse to see differences as something to learn from, but instead see them as something that needs to be pounded into the ground and gotten rid of.  Why?  I used to ask myself.  And then it hit me.  These are the same people whose own beliefs are so shaky, who are filled with such inner doubt towards their own ideals, that any mention of a different one must be squashed.  Brute force is used to prove that their ideals and beliefs are the only ones that are true.  If you kill the rest, then you must be right, right?  

I hope we have not destroyed our position on this planet.  I hope as a country, we can rise up one day and admit our mistakes to the world and hope they don’t hold it against us for the rest of eternity.  It embarrasses me that I fear much of the planet look at us like spoiled little brats starting a bar fight over an issue we had with someone else.  We are a young nation, and powerful.  That is a dangerous combination if we forget to question our actions or admit when we are wrong.  That is what a true American would do.  That is what God would want us to do.  WWJD.  Do people truly answer that question to themselves?  I think if they did, we wouldn’t be in the state we are in.

The candidates I like.  Well, there is Hillary and there is Obama and there is John.  I don’t know much about the others.  I need to tho.  I like the choice of Hillary or Obama, if for no other reason than to get the countries mindset out of “a white man” must run the country.  We are made up of so many more.  (NOTE:  For those who wonder why I didn’t state that as “a white STRAIT man”, I didn’t because there is evidence that Abraham Lincoln was gay, or had a gay affair with a man.  Which to me explains how he understood the plight of Black Americans being an oppressed man himself, as my being gay was one of the eye opening experiences I had as a white man.  Sure it would be great to have an openly Gay American in office, but I understand that won’t be in my lifetime.  Now back to our regularly scheduled bitch fest).  Hillary is a Clinton.  I love her husband and thought he did GREAT things for this country.  He gets  bad wrap over “Don’t Ask.  Don’t Tell”.  I try and remind people that before that, you were asked, and for those who don’t like to lie (it’s a commandment or something), they weren’t even given the opportunity to serve this country.  It was a step in the right direction.  Sure I think it needs to be done away with completely, but people need to put things into perspective.  So I feel Hillary will have the same ideals in her presidency.  For me, every candidate comes down to one issue.  Do you support gay rights, or don’t you?  Some might find that dangerous, but in my mind, I feel like if you cannot realize that we all deserve the same respect and rights, then the rest of your goals in office will be based on a moral code that I don’t agree with.  Ask any Black American if they would vote for a candidate who didn’t believe in Integration?  It’s like a core issue.  If you don’t see me as an equal American, then how can I trust the other decisions you will make?  I cannot.

Obama is great, being that he too would break the “White Man” rule of this nation.  But from what I hear, (and I need to research more, I know), he is new to politics (comparably) and is a little wet behind the ears, so to speak.  And if that is a judgment I have towards Dubbya, then I have to apply it to him as well.  But we will see.  I need to start watching the debates.  I really REALLY do.  We can no longer sit back and let this shit happen to us people.  We have to make a stand.  We have to make a change.  We have to return this country to the awesome nation it once was and still can be.

John.  He’s cute.  That isn’t why he is on this list, but hey, I be a gay man and he is cute.  So kiss my (bleep).  I have listened to him speak.  I like what he has to say.  His wife is rockin my world right now, standing up for gay marriage.  Sure, she may not have anything to lose, since she has cancer and could die, but I appreciate it just the same.  I think John has the experience too.  But it is shaky ground considering he falls into that “White Man” role I describe above.  Not all White Men suck (no pun intended).  I be one.  But I think this country could easily benefit from having a mindset shift that would be generated by having a non white male in office.

Sometimes I think wouldn’t it be great if Hillary and Obama ran together.  What an awesome pair.  But who would be Pres and who would be VP.  If Obama really has little experience, then I would want Hillary to be Pres.  But then that could be construed to be racist (not directly, but indirectly) cuz I want the white person to be Pres, and blacks may view that as another example of the black man continuing to take the back seat.  And that would not be my intention, nor would I want it viewed that way.  But I am not super politics man.  It is possible if not probable that Obama should be Pres and Hillary be VP.  She did vote for the war.  He didn’t.  That says a lot to me.

I have already stated in these political blogs that I felt that all the Dems who voted for the war simply did so because their constituents bought the bullshit the White House put out and they wanted to keep their seats.  Its seems shifty, but maybe that was to make sure they could stay and make good changes when the tide shifted and people caught up.  But I admire Obama for standing up for it in the beginning.  I’m not a big fan of “the ends justify the means”.

Then there are constant rumors of Al Gore coming back into the race.  He’s great.  We watched “An Inconvenient Truth” and its true.  We are destroying our world slowly.  EARTH will survive.  We won’t.  And all the life on it won’t.  My fear with him is that how awful would it be if the Dems backed him again, and he was defeated AGAIN.  I guess its possible in the general public eye, he is already viewed as a man who lost the election for President, and I think that puts him at a scary disadvantage.

I’m not really impressed with what little I know of the Thuglican candidates.  I know one stated clearly he thought the war was a mistake and we needed to get out.  I can’t remember his name (I know, bad voter), but he was intriguing.  Giuliani (or however you spell it), not a fan of him.  He seems to be on the same page as the rest of that party.  I thought maybe they had learned something.  But I guess those who refuse to understand history are doomed to repeat it.  

And we are all along for the horrible ride.  How do we get off?  Oh, that’s right,  we get off our asses and vote.

The Final Straw?

Click the link to watch the clip.

It's a Horrible Nightmare We Cannot Wake From

The above clip was posted on Rosie O'Donnell's website (www.rosie.com). 

Watching it brought out many emotions for me.  First, I felt fear.  Fear for the man in the clip.  Fear for Rosie.  And now fear for myself.  Why fear?  Maybe its a paranoia based on the neverending attempts to stifle descent by this current administration and the conservative media machine so intent on claiming that the Dixie Chicks aren't patriots and that Rosie O'Donnell called our troops terrorists (both wildly untrue, yet Americans were so eager to believe it)

Another feeling I get is of horror.  From the first moment I saw dubbya on the Late Show with David Letterman, I was appalled.  He seemed quite ignorant.  Like a goofy little hick and I wasn't a fan of his father either.  I thought after that interview, he for sure would never win a presidency.  I thought, surely everyone realizes we need someone with a sharp mind.  Not someone who speaks like an average American.  But that is what occurred.  For some reason, I feel the people of this nation (Florida is still in question, imo) felt a kinship with him.  He didn't speak intelligently.  He didn't make them feel stupid.  Well, if you ask me, I don't want a doctor as ignorant of surgical procedure as me, I want him smarter.  Somehow, we missed that in the past two elections.  The Rethuglican Party firmly expressed their "Religious Beliefs" even tho the majority of their actions in office have contradicted the very basis of Christianity.  But those who voted for them just needed someone to say, "Hey, I'm Christian" and they put an undying faith in Jesus Christ into men and women who are just as fallible as any of us.  Its not uncommon for the faith based population to do this, unfortunately.  Priests and Pastors and Preachers all around the nation are held as almost a demigod by their parishioners, who are horribly let down when they find that their "demigods" are fallible.  It's the horrible back and forth, but for some reason, this current president somehow is outside of that realm.  Somehow, I have been watching for the past 7 years in horror as one atrocity after another occurs under this administration, and yet, the evidence is not enough for the "faith based".  Many believe when he brought out his opposition to gay marriage is the end result.  That the population of this country can be so horrified with the notion, he gave them the ability to judge and not be judged.  He gave them a way to push their moral stance on the rest of the nation where "all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights".  I'm beginning to understand that the statements within the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution have an unwritten and unspoken line of "The above only applies if you believe as we do".

The next feeling I get is dread.  Dread that we will never recover from all of this.  Dread that the rest of the planet hates us and will never help us when we truly need it.  Not only do we look like the boy who cried wolf, but we look like the boy who cried wolf who then got a couple of our friends (while the rest said no) and ran into someone's house screaming and shooting that the wolf was in there.  Killing innocent lives just to prove that there was in fact a wolf.  I feel dread that this country has never been so divided since maybe the Civil War.  We do remember the Civil War right?  The battle over keeping slavery and not keeping it?  We look back at this now and for the most of us, slavery was horribly unChristian like and there was no reason to fight a war over it.  (And for those who state the Civil War was not fought over Slavery, but over economic reasons, guess what that means?  It means they would have to pay the people who worked their fields and they couldn't afford it or didn't want to).  I am also not saying that fighting terrorism is the proverbial "wolf" that isn't there.  I understand there are people who do horrendous acts, but what this administration has made everyone believe is that the "terrorists" are a group of people, with a clubhouse and newsletters, and recruiters.  Like it is this concrete organization we can seek out and kill.  Please understand an American, one of our own, set off the bomb in Oklahoma City.  Did we then turn around and send all white men to Guantanamo Bay?  Do we "racially profile" white men?  No, but we find it so easy to remove the liberties of those Americans (and yes, they are Americans as much as any of us are) that are not white.  White men are in power.  White men have always been in power.  White men are seen as individuals, and responsible for their own actions (with the exception of our current president).  Other races are seen as acting together.  Having a collective mind set and emotional base.  It's ridiculous in its insanity.

The next feeling I have is disgust.  Disgust for the current administration for all the reasons above.  I also feel disgust for any Democrat who states now "I wouldn't have voted for the war if I knew then what I know now".  I say to you KISS MY ASS.  I was barely out of college when this shit happened.  I sat on my floor in the dark watching the towers fall and fall and fall.  I grieved for those I never knew.  But I still had the sense to look quizzically at the television when the first hint of attacking Iraq came up.  I knew from the beginning it was crap.  Yes, Saddam was evil.  There are a lot of evil people out there.  We were told Saddam had something to do with 9/11.  He didn't.  Osama did.  But they couldn't find him.  So we took all of our resources away from finding the ACTUAL person who was behind the 9/11 attacks, and went after a man who "Daddy" should have taken care of years ago anyways, when we had a decent enuff reason (saving Kuwait -- which I know was still a front for "Get more Oil") and not some trumped up bullshit that they tried to make me swallow.  And I was disgusted at those around me who swallowed it.  My gut told me it was their "easy victory" to show that they were accomplishing something.  Yet we know that victory was already declared and we are so far from achieving it, and both Dems and Rethugs were in on it.  And I say to the Democrats who voted for it, SHAME YOU.  You didn't do it cuz you were told any more lies than the rest of us.  You did it because this country was in shock.  This country was angry.  SOMEONE HAD TO PAY.  We needed leaders to keep us from misdirecting that anger.  We needed leaders to guide us to the right path.  A path of higher ground.  A path of love and protection.  Yet you all led us down a path of darkness and pain.  Splitting the country so violently while leaving another country to implode on itself with our soldiers in the middle of it.  Part of me would like to fire you all and start over with new people.

Finally, I have a small amount of hope.  Hope that maybe with the next election, things will get better.  Maybe we will have a non partisan candidate in office that can help clean up this mess.  Maybe we can reach out to France and other countries who saw the folly we were getting into and we can apologize to them.  That maybe we should have listened that the "wolf wasn't in that house".  Maybe we can get the citizens of America to join together under pride and patriotism and not under fear and war.  Maybe.  But I do know this, history will show this administration as corrupt beyond all that is corrupt.  It has been selfish and bigoted and arrogant.  I am ashamed that our once great legacy as America has been tarnished so horrendously by the actions of our elected representatives.  I hope that one day, I don't have to say "I told you so" to those who either didn't or refused to believe what was going on.  That we don't have to live this lesson ever again.  If anything comes out of these horrible actions, I hope it is that we actually learn the lesson this is teaching us and we become better Americans, better Earthlings.  We are not the entire planet over here.  We are but one nation out of many.  We need to start thinking in those terms.  A Global Community.  Yeah, that does give me hope.

July 6, 2007

As a precursor for the Live Earth Concert tomorrow, we just finished watching “An Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore.  You know, the documentary about Global Warming?  Well, I can just say that I was always a believer in Global Warming, yet I didn’t know to the extent of the damage we as a society were doing and the intense repercussions that were coming if we do not make a change.  This movie speaks about highly specific details in a way that anyone with any level of common sense can understand.  I did find the few side stories about his life (his son gets hit by a car and his run for President) to be less about the Global Warming issue.  I understood they were attempts at milestones in his life when he realized the importance of greater things and so forth, but I also found them to possibly alienate any conservative, Republican or other critic of Global Warming.  

However, the movie is mainly him giving his Global Warming presentation to a room full of people.  And Mr. Gore is a very intense speaker.  I was drawn to watch those parts.  When we left those parts for a number or clips or whatever, I became restless to get back to his presentation.  I found it informative, and it gets right to the point.  Statistics, photos and like any good presentation that is under controversial dispute, he addresses those who would say Global Warming isn’t real.  He counters those claims and does so effectively.

Pictures of mountains that were covered in snow 30 years ago are now almost bare of it, glaciers falling in massive amounts – melting away into the oceans.  One of the images that struck me the hardest was a computer animated image of a Polar Bear.  People traveling around in our ice caps are finding more and more Polar Bears drowned.  The reason, the ice is melting and they have no way to get out of the water.  They are swimming and swimming and swimming, hoping to find some sort of surface to climb up on.  The animated short showed a bear finding a small ice pallet, and when it tries to climb on top, it simply breaks into smaller pieces, not strong enough to hold the bear’s weight.  

Some may not find this image very moving.  Maybe I am susceptible due to a past memory of a family pet being found drowned in our pool and the recurring image of a pet swimming and swimming and swimming looking for a way out, wondering why no one is there to help and the “safety of land” being so close by.  Maybe some think “Who cares about the Polar Bears, It’s not like its my sister” or “As long as we can survive, that doesn’t bother me”.  Quite frankly, I am of a different ideology.  If Global Warming would only kill the stupid humans who are too lazy and greedy and arrogant to stop it with their own selfish actions, then let us die.  Let us be extinct, but the thought that we are slowly killing the animals of the world who did not contribute nor ask for this is a horrendous affront to nature and for those who believe in God, God’s great plan for us all.

This movie made me sad.  Sad for the world.  Sad for myself as I indulge in many of the luxuries that directly or indirectly cause this horrible situation.  We try in small ways.  We recycle.  We buy fluorescent bulbs to replace the old ones.  I try to turn off lights as I go through the house or leave a room.  We own an electric lawnmower.  I want a hybrid car, but cannot afford one.  I want rain barrels but haven’t done it yet.  I run the tv all the time.  I keep the thermostat low cuz I like it chilly.  I leave the water on while brushing my teeth and doing the dishes.  But I guess that is the first step.  To see what I already do and then see what I don’t do and strive for it.

I do feel like a singular citizen has the power to change small things in life to make a difference, but I also feel that large corporations should also be held accountable.  I think those things combined can truly turn the tide and ensure that our children’s children won’t have to wear sun block SPF 4000 to avoid skin cancer.  Or breathing masks to go outside and play.  Or have to see stuffed or wax statues of most of the worlds animals that were killed in it.  Or be able to go to Disney World or San Francisco (which would be under water if the polar caps melt).

It’s a serious call to arms.  It’s important that we listen.  It’s important we tell our government that we consider this a very important issue that needs to be addressed.  We can do small things, yes, but we cannot do it alone and they work for us, let’s remind them.

So What Can I Say?

So What Can I say?  I have lots of opinions about a large number of things.  One of them is politics.  Of course, I got really involved after coming out and trying to understand why the government does what it does even in the face of true freedom for this country.  I think the Rethuglicans have really screwed things up, and I fear the Democraps aren't doing much to fix it.  But then I realize they are the majority, but only a little majority and with dubbya vetoing everything, it then has to go back and get 2/3rds the vote, which we can't right now.  So I thought, why are they spending all this time trying to get stuff thru that they know won't get thru?  And then it hit me.  They are showing that they are attempting to change things for the better, and hopefully making everyone painfully aware of the crap this administration is doing to the country and this administrations inability to protect all citizens and do what is best for all involved.  This way, hopefully, come Nov of 2008, people will actually turn out in huge numbers and vote, get a liberal president in office who will not veto and that slim majority will actually be able to do whatever it wants to help this country.

With the war, we have reached a scary place in the global community where the majority of the world isn't very happy with us.  The general conservative response is "if it keeps us safe, I don't care who I piss off".  Well, if the entire rest of the world hates our guts, we cannot protect ourselves from the rest of them.  I think many things can be ruled by playground rules.  If you go into the playground with a bunch of other kids, and you pick a fight with a kid who just happens to live on the same street as the kid who actually punched you, and then you get mad at all your friends because they won't help you fight the kid who had nothing to do with the initial act, where does that leave you?  Without allies.  Without support.  Its a dangerous place to be, and hopefully, we can convince the rest of the world that a few of us who drug us into this mess do not represent the rest of us.  This administration played on our grief over 9/11.  They played on our fear that it would happen again.  They played the American populace for fools, and that alone should be enough to piss us all off, get us off our asses and change things.

I don't think Sadaam was a good man, but we consider him evil because he held people for no reason beyond his own paranoia or whim.  He tortured and killed people for the same reasons.  What is our administration doing?  Holding people for no reason, wire tapping phones illegally, refusing to give documents for review by one of the other branches of our government.  Commen sense says its corruption at its worst.

I do still fill fear, but because of how the American hubris has allowed us to think we can go anywhere and "kick your arse" if you look at us funny.  We have taught our citizens it is not ok to speak freely, even if people do not agree.  We have gladly (well, others have, I am not happy about it) our liberties in lieu of freedom.  For our country to be the great country I know it can be, we have to make sure we always do "What is Right".  That if the people of this country are mainly Christian, truly ask yourself, What Would Jesus Do?  Its amazing to me how people claim to be Christians, but refuse to by Christ-like.

If you cannot question your own ideals.  If you cannot question the norm.  Then you are already not free.  So to you I say what you say so often "Why don't you move out of the country?  This country is about freedom.  And if you dont' believe that.  YOU aren't a true patriot."

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