Tag Archives: election

People Who Should Stop Talking

The idea for this post comes shamelessly from this brilliant video by my friends and coworkers, James and Amy, located here: http://youthnoise.com/user/feedthem/blog/view/12928/ I highly recommend you watch it, preferrably not in a library or other “quiet” place. Learn from my mistakes.

There are some people who just shouldn’t talk. That’s not to say they shouldn’t have the right to talk- the First Amendment is sacred, etc, etc, etc, and I’m a big believer of the rights of people, even really, really, painfully stupid people, to open their unwashed mouths and  spew lies and ignorance, as difficult as it might be to accept/listen to. But I’m pretty sure I have every right to simply wish those people WOULDN’T talk. So here’s my list of people I wish would shut their filthy mouths (in no particular order), in addition to James and Amy’s choices (including O.J. Simpson, Sarah Palin,  and Amy), all of which I fully agree with.

1. Bill Kristol

Perhaps no one is more connected to the destructive neoconservative movement than William Kristol, New York Times columnist, Weekly Standard founder, and son of Irving Kristol, largely regarded as the founder of neoconservatism. Bill Kristol is perhaps one of the few people who refuses to admit just how damaging neoconservatism has been to the US’s image abroad.

It is, after all, neoconservatism that has gotten us into much of this mess. It is the neoconservative ideology that put a target on Iraq and decided it was the going to be the first war in a series that aimed to transform the Middle East in the American image of a 21st century country. It was the neoconservative policy of  “democracy through a barrel of a gun” that brought upon us mountains of debt, international disdain, and the tragic deaths of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as thousands upon thousands of deaths of innocent civilians. But after of all these tragedies, what does he recommend in his most recent column? More military spending.

2. YES on 8 self-appointed “victims”

On November 4th, 2008 in California passed Proposition 8 and took away the right for loving gay and lesbian couples to have the same protections under the law as straight couples. Thousands of marriages were potentially dissolved (the issue of whether the proposition was retroactive or not has yet to be decided by the CA Supreme Court), and countless other couples who were waiting to get married lost that right. Parents lost legal protections over their kids, couples who had been together for decades lost the rights to visit each other in hospitals and inherit each other’s belongings, and gay and lesbian couples were told that their love didn’t matter as much as straight love.

But the real victims of this proposition, if you weren’t aware, were those that pushed for its passage. Yes, they targeted a group of people and took away rights they already had and cherished. Yes, they ran vicious attack ads in which they lied about the consequences of gay marriage. And yes, they repeatedly used Nazi imagery when describing gay marriage. But, as Jonah Goldberg writes, it is them who are under attack! How dare equal rights advocates describe them as “bigoted” or “homophobic” or suggest that they are esentially walking into people’s homes and tearing up their marriage certificates. Such vicious attacks, which of course don’t suggest taking away anyone’s rights or discriminate against any group (not even Mormons), reveal the true bigots! A good response to this  ridiculous and self-pitying idea is here.

3. Norm Coleman

Norm Coleman wants a recount! After the Minnesota State Canvassing Board declared Al Franken the victor in the Minnesota Senate race today, Norm Coleman declared that he would take the fight to court in order to ensure all votes were counted properly. This in itself is not a ridiculous request (other than the fact that ballots in question had already been counted multiple times in the first recount process). The problem is that when it was originally thought that he had won the race all the way back in November (2008!), Norm Coleman went around asking Franken to step aside. “It’s up to him whether such a step is worth the tax dollars it will take to conduct,” Coleman said, telling reporters he would “step back” if he were in Franken’s position.

Oh, also he is one of the most corrupt members of Congress. Or, you know, he was.

3.5. Ann Coulter/Bill O’Reilly, but they don’t deserve acknowledgement.

There are certainly more- anyone have any suggestions?

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The Consequential and The Conscientious

Shes making a difference

She's making a difference

A friend asked me the other day why I stay involved. I am just one person; a small cog in the internal combustion engine political machine.  So why bother? Why be so self-important as to assume that I can make a difference?
It’s a tough question, with a lot more philosophy involved than you might think. Being involved: with community service, in politics, in student government- means giving up your time and energy and not getting a whole lot back. So why bother?

Those who work in politics in particular can tell you how frustrating campaigns can be- months and indeed years spent in preparation, half of the time all for naught. Late night strategizing sessions, early morning canvassing, hours upon hours of phonebanking and confirmation calling and volunteer organizing- only to see your candidate lose because of a stupid word slip or semi-slanderous commericial or maybe just because people didn’t like your party that year. Why even try?

I guess the answer to these questions is that, if you don’t try, who will? One thing the Wall Street Meltdown Crisis of the Century taught is that people have to look out for themselves. The government won’t, your friendly local banks won’t, and Wall Street most definitely won’t.  If you want to make your neighborhood safer or cleaner or prettier or nicer, you have to do it. If you want a candidate to win, you have to help them yourself. If you want change to happen, you have to make it happen.

But it goes deeper than just doing things for your own good. Politics are about changing the world, changing history, profoundly affecting the lives of your future children. Think about a world without Bush- without the war in Iraq, without No Child Left Behind, without being so far on stopping global warming and environmental destruction, without such terrible debt, and probably without the aforementioned Wall Street crash. A few more people could have prevented all of these things- by ensuring enfranchisement for African-Americans in urban Ohio in 2004, or by educating a few more voters in Florida in 2000. These were elections that were quite literally decided by a relative handful of votes, and the impact they had is quite plainly devastating.

Not deep enough for you? How about this. Think about the time you spend watching TV, surfing the internet, playing video games, and whatever else you do in your free time. To avoid any unecessary preachiness, I’ll put myself in this position- I do these things, far more than I should. When I look back on my day every night, I think, what did I accomplish? If the answer is “watching the entire 5th season of America’s Next Top Model on VH1” or “napping and eating a lot,” then the day was probably a waste. Those are not the kind of things I want to think about when I lay on my deathbed. Those are not things that make the world the better place. Those are not even things that make me a better person. And while they may be relaxing or easy or even fun in small quantities, they are indeed wasteful and fruitful and, when repeated millions of times all across a listless nation, harmful.

John Kerry lost Ohio by just over a 100,000 votes. Bush won Florida, and the election, in 2000 by 537 votes. All of this could have been prevented. But it wasn’t. Who is going to stop it from happening next time?

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That’s My Baby! A roundup of anything interesting, stupid, or funny around the web

This is a continuation of a feature that I started a couple of weeks ago and will continue to continue… whenever I feel like it. Here we goooo:

My personal favorite blog, Wonkette, has a great way to freak out your Obamaniacal friends with a fake text message announcing his VP as…. Michael Moore! Or whoever else you want. [Wonkette]

John McCain is gaining ground in national polls– a result of his performance at the Saddleback Church event? Of people getting tired of Obama? Or something else? Will this climb continue? This whole thing makes me nervous…. [Pollster.com]

Rudy Guiliani is set to be the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention, as Republicans are trying to live their post-9/11 days of domination. Did I mention that Giuliani was the mayor then?! Former Democrat and winner of the Benedict Arnold Prize for Bipartisanship, Senator Joseph Lieberman will also speak. [HuffPo]

If you want to learn more about Obama but wish you could be taught in your native language of “frat boy,” Brobama has your back. Learn about the issues and how they apply to you, the common bro. [Brobama]

Check out these TRULY, TRULY awesome buttons from Democratic Stuff: Bug Enthusiasts for Obama! Mohawks for Obama! Oil Barons for Obama! Etc Etc Etc- check it out- all 3 pages. [Democratic Stuff]

Anything else?

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Political Junkies, Unite!

I have been hearing about FiveThirtyEight.com for a while now, but I until today I had never visited it. I stumbled across it today, and was amazed. Amongst other things, the site contains up-to-date statistics of:

– Every possible outcome of the 2008 Presidential election, and the likelihood each happens

– The likelihood of any particular state making the difference in the race

– The likelihood of each candidate winning each state

– A trend tracker

Seriously, it’s both ridiculous and beautiful. If you like number-crunching or just dying for November to come around, you should definitely check out this site.

P.S. I’m not getting paid for this- but it would be cool if I was.

EDIT 7/31/08: Commenter (and friend of Kantankerations) Steve S. brought up another cool site: Hominid Views. I love any site that tells me Barack Obama has a 99.97% chance of winning- check it out.

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