I don’t know Will, maybe some things were different during your days. But I just don’t see too many broke Republicans around now days. They all seem to have a fair amount of money and will do almost anything to keep it for themselves. But you are right that if you can get them off the topics of their money and below the belt issues they are pretty likable folks.
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Schizophrenia—an impairment in social cognition which is associated with paranoia and social isolation.
Paranoia, which is a major symptom of schizophrenia, is a mental condition in which the person often loses touch with reality. Here is some of what Wikipedia says about this condition:
Paranoia is a thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and delusion. Paranoid thinking typically includes persecutory beliefs, or beliefs of conspiracy concerning a perceived threat towards oneself. (e.g. “Everyone is out to get me.”) Making false accusations and the general distrust of others also frequently accompany paranoia. For example, an incident most people would view as an accident or coincidence, a paranoid person might believe was intentional.
I don’t know about you but if someone were to give me this description without a name I would say this clearly describes the people who are currently attempting to hi-jack the Republican party. Before I go any further I want to make it clear that I am not saying that everyone who wears the Republican mantel are paranoid schizophrenics. In fact I am sure the vast majority who wear that label are not. But I am also sure that many of those who are attempting a hostile take-over that party are indeed paranoid about many things.
I just finished watch a town hall meeting that John McCain had recently in Arizona and some of the questions and speeches made there were down right disturbing! People were calling him all kinds of nasty names. They were wagging their fingers at him (that seems to be a signature of the tea party folks) and telling him he was dead wrong about immigration. Their solution it seems was to basically gun down anyone who is an “illegal alien” on the Arizona streets if they refused to self-deport. Many of their words started with “Those people” and ended with some paranoid action. I was surprised how Mr. McCain maintained his composure. When one person in the group stated that “all we have to do is take away their welfare checks and all those illegals will go back to where they came from!”, Mr. McCain correctly pointed out that the vast majority of undocumented are not on welfare. Then he made the statement, “you are entitled to your own opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts”. Nice comeback John.
I’m sure that many in the GOP are as frightened of these new players in their party as are the rest of us. But those now lamenting moderate Republicans must remember that they are the ones who created this Frankenstein. They unleashed him in order to try to win some seats in the 2011 house. I wish they had thought it through before cuddling up to the Tea Party radicals.
So, what are the options for the majority who make up the GOP? There are really only two; 1) Abandon it, 2) Reform it. Obviously the easiest is just to abandon it and call yourself and independent. That is what so many of the 18 – 29 year olds did in the 2012 election. They left in droves. Reforming it will take a lot more effort. It is just very hard to put the genie back in the bottle.
I will finish of with saying that yes the Democrats also have a radical fringe in their party. The difference is that the Democratics generally keep their crazies locked away in a rubber room somewhere in the far back of the house where as the Republicans gave their radicals the key to the front door….
I know I promised to move away from politics but when I saw this bumper sticker last week I couldn’t resist showing it to you. Especially because it was in Indiana which is a very red State. It kind of surprised me like when I come across another deaf person. If anyone has something similar for Democrats I would love to see it. But then again an elephant has to hurt worse than a donkey…
I want to warn you up front that this will be one of those serious posts by me. I try to keep this blog light-hearted at least on some level but the topic I am going to discuss has no possibility of that. In the 1950s the “a” word was the atomic bomb. As a school kid during that time I was taught to get under my desk if the teacher told us an atomic bomb had been dropped. I never understood how my desk was going to protect me but that is another story.
In the 1970s and beyond the “a” word has become abortion. Abortion was not a new thing even back then as there were many thousands performed before that time. But when the Supreme Court made being able to easily get an abortion the law of the land via the Roe vs Wade ruling it came to the forefront. Unfortunately abortions accelerated quickly after that ruling.
Of course with our two-party system of government in the U.S. one party tends to take one side of an issue and the other takes the other side. The Republicans took up the “anti-abortion” mantel and the Democrats took up the “pro-choice” position. I recently got into some discussions with one of my regular commentors on this blog about this topic. The post around the comments didn’t really have anything to do with abortion but as usual when ideologies are discussed it often comes into the conversation.
Many who take the anti-abortion stand seem to think that all of us who support the Democratic party in any regard are somehow pro-abortion. They therefore expect all of us to give argument supporting abortion. I usually try to avoid these discussions as they are seldom fruitful but I had to finally declare that I am “pro-life” all the way. That statement probably surprises some but on looking up the facts of this issue it seems that 57% of Democrats do not want abortion on demand. But another statistic that may have even surprising to many is that even 29% of Republicans want abortion to be widely available. Here are the figures behind this statement.
So, it seems that the abortion issue does not fall strictly along party lines as most people seem to see it. I wish people would realize that there are people in both parties that are on both sides of this and many other issues.
Before leaving this post I am going to proclaim one more time.
I am “pro-life” all the way.
That is I am against abortion but I am also against capital-punishment, I am against war, and I am against guns. I am also firmly for universal healthcare and a strong safety net for all our citizens. Of all of these issues I generally only see most Republicans aligned with the first one. Are my Republican friends only pro-life when it comes to the unborn? To me a life is a life and should be treated as sacred in all instances. What point would it be to have a baby born and to then see that life extinguished due to a random shooting, an unnecessary war (and almost all our wars are unnecessary), an innocent person being found guilty of a crime, or even worse having someone die because of the lack of nourishment or adequate healthcare.
I am “pro-life” in all aspects of life. Not just those who are yet to be born. When I look at the overall picture I see the Democrats as being more aligned to the vast majority of these issues. All of them, not just abortion, often result in lives lost and I mourn each death no matter the cause. I wish my Republican friends could understand that.
Ok, enough of these serious issues. Let’s move on to something more light-hearted. How about politics.
I have always been a person who is constantly saying “Why?” Here are some whys that have been spewing off the top of my head lately. :) They are too small for an entire post so I am just going to throw it out here and in no particular order:
- Why do fifteen percent of the population think they are in the top 1% ?– So there are fifty times more people worried that their taxes will go up if President Obama is re-elected. We all want to believe that we are somehow special but 1/6 of the population just won’t fit in the one percent tub. No way, no how…..
- Why don’t people understand that if you want to live like a Republican you must vote like a Democrat? – It is a known fact that if you had invested $10,000 in only Republican administrations for the last eighty years it would now be worth $11,733. If you had invested in only Democratic administrations it would be worth $300,671! (source Wolfram Blog : Stock Market Returns by Presidential Party.) So why do all the money hungry folks continue to align with the Republican party?
- Why do so many women seem to want to be six inches taller than the height God gave them? –This trend toward wearing six-inch heels really confuses me. I believe that women have come a long ways in the past few decades. They have asserted themselves in the business world. They are now the primary earner in many families. There are now many shows on TV where they are in charge now. You certainly didn’t see that even a decade ago. So why do so many women continue to fall in line with the latest fads no matter how absurd they seem to be? I want to predict a huge increase in demand for podiatrists in the future to treat all those future bunions out there.
- The major focus of the country is currently on unemployment. It seems to be driving much of this political season. If you believe the hype everyone is either unemployed or underemployed in this country. But what happened this week seems to directly counter that belief. Across the country were millions of people standing hours in lines to pluck down up to $600 for a new iPhone5? It is obvious that not everyone has been affected by the economic downturn. Many if not most of the people in these long lines already have an iPhone 4 that is still very functional yet they have enough disposable income to update to the latest thing. I just don’t understand it?? But then again in reality only one out of every twelve of us can’t find a job….
“I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy. I never have. You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth. And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over a decade.”
It seems that many in this country think that all problems can be solved in a four-year presidential cycle. Of course life just doesn’t work that way. As noted above it took as decades to get into the troubles we are now digging out of. Years of Republican mantra of deregulation caused the near collapse of our financial sector. That mammoth problem can’t be corrected quickly.
“All they have to offer is the same prescriptions they’ve had for the last thirty years: Have a surplus? Try a tax cut. Deficit too high? Try another. Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!”
As usual President Obama’s acceptance speech was uplifting. He knows just the right words to use get his feelings across. But to me the most significant thing about the speech was the difference between the Republican reaction to these time and the Democratic. The Republican convention last week seemed focused on who to blame for all our current problems and they blamed almost everyone except themselves.
- It is the lazy welfare recipients who are gobbling up things they didn’t earn.
- It is those immigrants who are in our schools costing us a fortune.
- It is the liberal administration now in power
- It is the homosexuals who are causing the downfall of the traditional family
- It is this, it is that…..
The Republican response to our current problems is to blame everyone. Mr. Obama put forward a different approach. He cites the strength of our citizens as the answer and not the problem. He showed us that this is not the first problem that we have had as a country and it certainly won’t be the last one. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan seem to think that the only citizens who can do anything about our problems are the super-rich. If only we give them another tax break then it will trickle down through the economy and create jobs. As Ayn Rand, their hero, points out if only we can keep “those” people away for our riches we will have more for ourselves.
Something happened in the 1980s that caused corporations to no longer think of their employees as assets but to think of them as liabilities. Employees are something to be downsized in order to create a bigger profit. That is the current business mode and that is the basic philosophy of the current Republican leadership. The Democrats showed us this week that it is our citizens who are the primary asset of this country and if we just give them a level playing field prosperity can come to all of us once again.
So to me this election comes down to one basic question. Are our citizens assets or liabilities? It seems as simple as that.
…Instead of getting rid of the fee-for-service model—Medicare as we know it, in which the government pays providers directly—and opening everything to the free market, Medicare would compete directly with private plans regulated by government exchanges. And rather than pegging the growth rate of Medicare to the Consumer Price Index, as Ryan had proposed, Ryan appeased Rivlin with a more generous cost cap.
Yet when Ryan released his first budget as chairman of the House Budget Committee that April, the outlines of the deal he and Rivlin worked out had been changed…..But in Ryan’s budget, the option for seniors to stick with traditional fee-for-service Medicare had disappeared.
I have been casually looking at the man who Mr. Romney chose as is running mate. I will be spending a few posts in the next week or so to try and understand what drives this new vice presidential candidate.
Mr. Ryan seems like a pretty nice guy. He like Mr. Obama has a certain way with words that wants me to trust him. He frequently uses words like hope, trust, potential that invoke a positive attitude. But again, he is a leader of the party that I see as wanting to strip the safety net from society in order for the rich to keep a little more of their money. He is also the so-called “darling of the tea party”; that scares me the most. Then I came across this article that looks more into Mr. Ryan the politician.
To a certain degree I was duped by looking at the man when I should have been looking more at the potential politician in 2008. I am still convinced that our current president is a good and compassionate person; he is just not the strong leader I hoped he would be. We must all keep in mind that when we go to the polls this November we are not voting for our best buddy but instead the person who will do the best job in leading our country into the future. To me that must be someone who has integrity and compassion and the abilities to get things done.
Unlike Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney, Mr. Ryan has a history of being a politician since he is currently one of the primary leaders in the Republican party. Two significant things came out of the source article above that added to my perception of this vice presidential candidate. The first is that I forgot that Mr. Ryan was one of the select members on the failed super committee that could not agree on how to reduce the deficit. So much for his bipartisan leadership. He couldn’t come up with a compromise that this small group could agree on. I know agreement seems to be an impossible thing to accomplish now but that is more the reason to search for a person who can get that job done.
The second thing this article tells you something about his integrity. When he agrees with something in the opposing party and then takes it out before introduction but continues to espouse that it is bipartisan that seems to be very two-faced. It is one thing to take out what caused the person to agree with the bill but it is quite another to continue to say what you put out is bipartisan. Would Mr. Ryan do this if he were president? Since he is “a heartbeat away from the Oval Office” I have to consider that possibility.
Now before some of you start saying that this article is just more of the liberal media spin you need to look and see that it is from Business Week magazine. They like the Rupert Murdock’s Wall Street Journal are anything but liberal.
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that is really the case then I say let the Democrats emulate the Republicans in their do-nothing attitude. There has been talk about the Senate Democrats letting the all the Bush tax cuts expire and forcing the ten-percent reduction in the military budgets by doing nothing. Will the Republicans be flattered by this imitation of their strategy in congress? I kind of doubt it.
But at least it would result in some restructuring of our debt increases. Will it be good for the jobs picture? It can’t be any worse than it is. The conservatives said that tax cuts to the “job creators” (meaning rich) would create jobs; never happened in the ten years since. How long do we need to wait If the Republican are really for no new taxes and all tax cuts then maybe they will agree to a middle class tax cut to put them back to where they were with the Bush cuts. It sounds like a win-win situation for everyone except those who are filthy rich. They might have to fork over a little more of their obese discretionary income. They may not be able to buy a second or third vacation home but they should get by.
This idea seems too good to be true for a Democrat strategy so I’m pretty sure they will screw it up before the end of the year. After all they have proved to be pretty good at caving into Republican demands lately. But at least I can hold out hope for this one.
But what do I know…
On Jan. 2, national security is set to receive a heavy blow if Congress fails to intervene. That is when a 10-year, $600 billion, across-the-board spending cut is to hit the Pentagon, equal to roughly 8 percent of its current budget.
The real test of a man is in his word. When a person says he will do something and then reneges on that promise he loses face.
What the politicians, especially those in the conservative party, seem to casually ignore about these across the board cuts is that all the social programs such as feeding the poor and help for the homeless gets the same 10% cut. I guess its Ok for the poor are but not for our already bloated war machine!! After all we spend more on our military than the other 95% of the world combined. It would be interesting to see the parallels in military funding and broken promises in the fallen Roman empire. They also insisted that military might was the top priority all the way to the end.
If these guys get away with reneging on their pledge/law and not cut our military budgets it will mean that all the social programs that take care of the “least of these” will have to take an even deeper cut. My conservative friends boast that we are a Christian nation and then take money away from the poor to give it to the war makers. Jesus taught us totally otherwise. He blessed a lot of things but he didn’t bless the war makers.
How can we trust these guys if their word, let alone the things they pass into law, means nothing to them. It is past time for us to do some thorough house cleaning!!
But what do I know….
After passing the Senate unanimously in years past, the Violence Against Women Act, with revisions, faces strong partisan opposition. Still, Republicans don’t want to be tagged as waging a ‘war on women.’
As the quote says this bill has been unanimously approved in past years, so what happened this time? The thing to notice is what I underlined and that is “with revisions”. The Democrat leadership wants us to believe that it is just the Republicans being against everything. But reading further into the article you see that the Democratic leadership has added amendments around homosexuals and illegal immigrants to this version of the bill which they know the Republicans will rail against. Why would they do that if it threatened the good and agreeable parts that both sides of the aisle have agreed on in the past?
Of course the answer to that is the Democrat leaders are trying to convince the public that the opponents of the bill are anti-woman. To me this is a blaring example of the leadership gone bad this time in the Democratic party but all to often it is the Republican party. What both sides can agree on gets twisted around and is lost due to trying to make your opponents look bad. I am becoming more and more convinced that the answer to this gridlock is not necessarily eliminating one of the parties but to eliminate the leadership in both. Getting rid of the leaders would send a clear message to future ones that we want you guys and gals to play well together. If you don’t lead in that direction then you too are out the door.
This strategy could be accomplished without a wholesale change of representative. Pulling just eight members out would probably do the trick (four in the Senate and four in the House). But, the problem is how do we even do that? How do we convince the States who elected these leaders to sacrifice them for the greater good. A person who could manage to work this strategy to completion might be the hero of the day we drastically need. Right now those guys, which of course includes one gal, in the leadership are doing things simply to spite their opposition. How sad is that???
New York Times: But, had a single Republican on the panel endorsed even a modest increase in upper-income tax rates, Republicans could have won trillions in cuts from entitlements and discretionary spending. … None would take that courageous step, and now it seems foolish to have expected that they would.”
National Journal: “Shame on Republicans for a stubborn unwillingness to seriously consider tax increases. Shame on Democrats for keeping a closed mind to significant benefit cuts. And shame on President Obama for standing idly by as Washington failed again to get the country’s fiscal house in order. The political system is broken. It’s only a matter of time before voters take matters in their own hands: The rise of a third party — or the dramatic overhaul of one of the existing ones — is in the offing. … Sooner or later, we will pay for the opportunities missed in 2011. Shame on us for letting that happen.”
It seems that both parties are thoroughly dug into the trenches and refusing to budge. I personally can see some validity on both sides on these issues. Why can’t they like their predecessors in the past been able to take the best of both sides into a common sense solution? Why are they so dug into an untenable position? The Republicans total refusal to consider ANY tax increase, even on those who have benefitted the most from tax decreases, is wrong headed to me. Until they can give a little the Democrats will likewise remain dug in. I guess someone has to blink and neither side wants to be the first to do that. How sad is that?
I seem to hear it again and again from Democratic in-siders that they wish President Obama would get more involved in these issues? I wonder what would happen if President Clinton were in office now instead of Mr. Obama? Would he have managed to wrench out some sort of compromise? I am one to also believe that the political system is broken in this country. I don’t know how long this can continue before a dramatic overhaul takes place. Third parties seem impossible to get any creditability these days; they seem to only form on the fringes of society. How else can an overhaul take place? Let’s pray that someone can consolidate the citizenry around saner principles. We definitely need someone and soon.
I just visited the blog of one of my Conservative friends. Like so many others he claims he is an independent but everything on his blog has a VERY right leaning slant. My friend is currently ranting about the Wall Street protests. He claims they are a vast conspiracy with a collective mentality. That is someone other than them is telling them everything to do and say. They have no mind of their own or they wouldn’t be protesting against these things. He evidently has spent hours and hours studying the dialog and transcripts of each the Republican presidential debates and goes into them in long drawn out details on his daily blog.
My Conservative friend’s life seems to be centered around everything political. There seems to be little left for anything else in his life. He even mentions that he should “get a life” but jokingly admits he can’t help himself or so he says. The underlying purposes for this fixation seems to be that my friend just can’t stand the idea of anyone getting something they haven’t worked for or haven’t earned. I find this to be a rather frequent case for many with his political leanings. It seems they would rather see fifty families starve rather than allow one person to game the system. What a sad perspective to live life with. The ironic thing is that between the lines it sounds like my friend is on some sort of disability and is probably receiving some monetary payments in that regard. I’m sure he believes that he is one of the few who actually deserve it.
I have several other Conservative friends who more or less mirror this particular friend’s attitude and behavior and even quite the same rhetoric. I regrettably admit that I know some people who I am pretty sure are gaming the system. That is they are receiving unemployment benefits without really looking for a job. They are probably receiving food stamps as well. But I also know many many others who definitely need a hand up in their current situations. It greatly saddens me to see so much need in the world around me.
But what saddens me the most is that there are people who call themselves evangelical Christians who also strictly align to my Conservative friend’s agenda. I as a follower of Jesus Christ read his words almost daily and what I read has nothing to do with keeping people from getting something they don’t deserve or have not worked for. In sentence after sentence of what I read I actually see the opposite: “Do for the least of these or I will not know you”, ”Give someone who asks the shirt off your back”, “blessed are the poor”….
My Conservative friend really does need to take the words seriously to “GET A LIFE”. Being constantly fixated on “what’s mine is mine and keep your hands off it” is a very say and detrimental way to live. I worry about my Conservative friend from time to time. He is going to give himself a heart attack with all the dark feelings he constantly carries around inside him. He really does need to get a life outside his very negative feelings.
But what do I know…..