Sunday, October 24, 2004

Bush and Cheney are...

...terrorists. Why? Because terrorism is the use of fear to manipulate public opinion and thus affect public policy. This is the Bush administration's method.

Monday, October 11, 2004

It's Never Too Late to Speak for Change

It's too close to the election for this blog to be considered one of the insightful, hard-hitting blogs full of brilliant and original political analysis. If I had started earlier, maybe, then I could have jumped on that trolley. But, oh well. It's not too late to ask the question, "Why do I despise the Bush administration so much?"

Well, for all the reasons we have now heard so many times. Except that now, I can give you my take on them.

I knew the worst case scenario had come true when the neocons stole the 2000 election. Not satisfied with citizens' choice and incapable of winning a fair election, the republican party resorted to cheating so blatantly that it was allowed to happen because the electorate and the media stood aghast at the audacity. Stealing citizens' right to vote in order to rig a presidential election! Who would have thought that it could actually happen? We all know political parties are corrupt, and everyone seems to have a level of acceptance of that. But to usurp the presidential election... I must be naive. I never thought it would happen in the USA. And now, the unthinkable has become routine, as more evidence mounts that the republican party is guilty of tampering with voter registration forms, voter fraud, intimidation, tampering with ballots, etc., it is obvious the neocons will do anything to remain in power, even if it means destroying everything America holds dear.

It was downhill from there. Civil rights, environmental protection, fair taxation, prudent economic policy, freedom and opportunity for American citizens, jobs, healthcare, domestic security, all chewed up and excreted as fertilizer for the neocon garden of souls. The neocons managed to convince the electorate that neocon interests were the same as the public interest... Lies! All Lies! In the end, it turned out that all they wanted to do was steal our money, eliminate the middle class, remove opportunities for education and employment, and create an America populated by a few very rich and the hordes of under educated, uninsured wage-slave servants who live and die at their mercy.

Outside our borders, the neocons' great achievement is the war in Iraq: A hopeless quagmire of death and destruction from which we may never fully extricate ourselves, at least not in my lifetime. Even if the carnage comes to an end, and we rescind our occupation of Iraq, the repercussions of the Bush administration's actions will be felt for decades to come, both at home and abroad. Where once we had the sympathy and support of the world, we now face scorn and derision as the Bush administration pissed away this century's greatest opportunity for a global alliance against terrorism. And to crush dissent at home, they enact the "patriot act" to ensure that no one question their diabolical activity. And Iraq, as the neocons admit, is only the first step in their conquest of world resources.

At home and abroad, the neocons are trying to destroy American values, crush us beneath the boots of their tyranny and corporatize the world. To whomever is reading this: Please vote against the Bush regime November 2004.

Sunday, October 3, 2004

The (Off-)Road To Oblivion

I have a real problem with some people who drive SUV's. SUV's are off-road vehicles. It is a waste for people to own SUV's only to drive around on paved city streets, in moderate weather, back-and-forth to work or school or the grocery store. I'll bet most of these suburban commandos have never seen an unpaved street, let alone driven over anything more hazardous than a speed bump (I wish I had a nickel for every time I've seen a big, overblown SUV gingerly tiptoeing over a parking-lot speed bump). I'll also wager that most SUV owners today are completely clueless about what 4-wheel-drive is, what it is for, and that it is actually a part of their vehicle.

My bias is partly due to the fact that I am from a comparatively remote, isolated rural area where people used four-wheel-drive vehicles because they had to... many couldn't get out of their driveways in winter without it. By the same token, those who did not own 4-wheel-drive vehicles (like me) routinely took the average sedan through terrain and weather that would terrify today's urban SUV owner. Snow two feet deep, mud like a lake of quicksand, rocks likes basketballs and ruts like sewer trenches were not unusual. These hazards were negotiated by regular passenger cars on a daily basis. I'd like to see today's SUV owner try that.

Don't get me wrong, I am not opposed SUV's. They have their purpose. I wanted one when I lived in an environment where it would be useful, and I even own one of the auto industry's first true SUV's, a Volkswagen bus, which I have always used for utilitarian purposes as well as daily driving. What bothers me is the unecessary use of off-road, four-wheel-drive vehicles, by people who own them for status or because it is a fad. It seems inappropriate to own a vehicle which results in such a tremendous waste of resources, without a reason to do so. It's an insult to those of us, world-wide, to whom the world's resources, and their preservation, are important. They require more steel, plastic, rubber, etc., to produce (not to mention all the biohazards produced as a consequence), and they consume more fuel to drag their bloated hulks across town and along the freeway.

Many SUV owners claim they own them for safety reasons. Is that so they won't have to pay attention to their surroundings as they carelessly zig-zag through traffic while talking on their @$#%&^! cellphone!? What a selfish, thoughtless position to take. Safe driving conditions are achieved through awareness and skill, not by amouring yourself and careening obliviously into smaller cars (yes, on three occations SUV's have driven into me). Who care about anyone else in the world as long as they can drive like idiots in their bloated, chromed, status symbols (by the way, "Luxury SUV" is an oxymoron to those of us who remember riding in an old International Scout). And what about America's dependence on foreign oil? How many soldiers did your SUV kill today? Energy industry fat-cats love your infatuatuation with SUV's. In fact, I think every SUV with an American flag on it should replace that symbol with the that of OPEC.

I live in a major city now, and it never ceases to amaze me (as my blog title says) how many big four-wheel-drive vehicles I see, their only purpose being to skip daintily back and forth between the WalMart superstores and their homes with too much square footage in housing developments with names like Rio Verde Vista Del Norte, where all the other houses look just the same, including the SUV parked in the driveway.

Saturday, October 2, 2004

Why Am I Here?

The initial reason I decided to enter the blogosphere is that our current political environment has inspired me to express myself... Not that I don't have other things to talk about. But the past four years have restored a political conciousness in me that had grown almost dormant in the 1990’s. With too much faith in Americans’ ability to discern between truth and lies, between the good of the country (and indeed the whole planet) and the undisguised avarice of a handful of over-privileged corporate royalty, I have watched our political climate transform into a storm of divisiveness by a self-proclaimed "uniter." The most important election of my lifetime has arrived.

I naively assumed that those right-wing extremist hate-mongers, the neocons, could not possibly come to absolute power. I watched as neocon leaders duped their followers into surrendering themselves, using the same tried-and-true formulae as so many who had come before… nazi-like propaganda designed to inflame the base passions of Jerry Springer Show-wannabe’s who can’t be bothered to imagine life outside the warm incubator of the spoon-fed neocon vision of “Us vs. Them” (“them” being anyone who does not contribute to the neocons’ money and/or power).

Even under the Reagan administration, the neocons seemed like they were still a fringe group. Not anymore. Power has been seized by those who seek only to feed their own greedy self-interest, the rest of humanity be damned. Calling themselves “conservative” in order to capture the demographics of the 1980’s Republican constituency, they have revealed themselves to be no such thing. Conservatism used to mean fiscal restraint and moral temperance. The modern leadership of the Republican party seems to believe “conservative” means spending money you don’t have (and lots of it), giving special favors to rich Republican plutocrats while snatching food, money and civil rights from lower-income people, and insulting the world by telling them that their opinions, rights, and very lives don’t matter to Americans. They damage they have done is horrific. If I had voted for any of them, I would be ashamed. I am embarrassed to be represented by them.

I live in a neighborhood where I am surrounded by right-wing “ditto-heads” whose political worldview is shaped by their irrational fear of cultural diversity, sneering contempt for “intellectuals,” and suburban materialism. Their rebuttal in a political argument? “Love it or leave it” (that is, love neocon republicanism or move to France). Sorry, but I love what the Constitution and Bill of Rights stand for too much to hand over the country to those who would replace those documents with dilbertesque corporate mission statements.

No man is an island, it is said, but my wife and I represent an island of liberalism in a sea of worshippers at the golden trough of neocon slop. We try forge ahead as friends’ and relatives’ regard for us changes from acceptance into undisguised derision, because of our audacious claim of the right to express an opinion.

So here I am. I hope to expand upon my ideas and offer opinions on everyday realities. Thanks for listening, I hope you'll return here.