Thursday, October 30, 2008

"What's My Age Again?"

I was doing my civic duty of e-mailing my Congressman, Bart Gordon, and for some reason, I listed my age as 26. I noticed it and changed it, but I'm a bit disturbed that I forgot how old I was. I'm also having trouble counting. I'm going to be sure to mention this to my awesome doctor, because hopefully this side effect is temporary, as I've read. Otherwise, we've got a problem.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Socialism Is Not a Four-Letter Word ... But Bank Is

The latest attempt to get us all running for the hills seems to be a feather in McCarthy's cap. Didn't we learn our lesson last time? I wasn't even born yet, and I still got it. What is this, Red Scare Part Pi? Or is throwing around the word "socialism" all willy nilly the new black? I thought Obama was the new black. What is it, people? Are we supposed to be scared of Obama because he's black or red? I'm going to remain unaffraid. After all, it is Halloween time. I'm saving all of my fear for zombies and goblins.

Why are people so afraid of the word socialism? I get the negative connotation from the USSR and the Cuban Missile Crisis and all that, but it's over now. Actually, it was over a while ago. Please, stop me before I break out into, "We Didn't Start the Fire."

All kidding aside, socialism isn't all bad. Actually, it's quite good, when applied correctly. Let's break it down:

social: a good word with a good connotation. Social services aren't scary; school socials aren't scary; Social Security is a little scary, but that's mainly the security part.

ism: a suffix, and no suffix is scary. Now, if it were called "socialdeathism" I could see where the fear factor comes into play, but lots of isms are just dandy, including the one and only capitalism, not to mention monotheism.

socialism: stop you Commies!

I just don't get it.

Am I the only here who finds it ironic that we barely had time to breathe once the $700 billion bailout was passed before we started hearing about how scary socialism is? I'm concerned about this precedent - our government being able to socialize what it wants to socialize, which inevitably will be who is padding the pockets of Capitol Hill.

This brings me to McCain wanting to buy housing loans. This is ludicrous. I know this was a terrible thing, but I'm an intelligent person, and as an intelligent person, as badly as I want a Lamborghini, I'm not going to buy one because I can't afford it. I don't care if someone tells me I can. I know I can't, so I'm not buying a Lamborghini, and I automatically distrust anyone thinking I even qualify to buy one in the first place.

When it came time to buy my car, I bought a reliable one that was going to last at least as long as I have to make the payments. Oh, how I love my affordable Nissan Sentra. I also understand that making such a purchase, I take a risk (in this case, an assumption) of this item losing value over the time that I own it. I certainly don't think the government should buy my car loan and then refinance my car just because it's worth less now that I wanted it to be, or because I took a payment that I knew I couldn't afford.

We need to do more than just bailouts. We need to regulate and educate. I've never bought a house before. Odds are, when it's time to buy one, I'm not going to know what to expect. Wouldn't it be nice if, someone along the lines of my 18 years of schooling, someone might have mentioned some of these key life lessons? I thank my lucky stars for all of the insurance classes I took. At least I know a thing or two about estate planning, car insurance, homeowner's insurance, and the like.

I know this is a huge clusterfuck. I know my stock is losing value everyday, and I'm losing money everyday. Stock is an investment. I took a risk. The consequences are mine and mine alone. You'd think right-wingers would share my viewpoint about this, seeing as how it's always them versus the big bad government. I guess things change when it's their money and livelihood at stake.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Fellow Tennesseans, Stop Acting Like Douchebags

While watching The Colbert Report tonight, I learned that an East Tennessee man named his daughter Sarah McCain Palin Ciptak. As if this isn't asinine enough, he did it without discussing it with his wife. You know, the woman who gave birth to the kid! He claims he did it because he can't contribute to the campaign financially. He actually wasn't going to name the damn kid John McCain, but apparently he had enough sense not to do that.

I'm a big supporter of the Obama/Biden ticket, but I'm not going to go around naming children after them. Maybe a fish or something, if I really felt like it, but certainly not a child. My political views will never be more important than my children. And for those wanting to make the abortion argument, I'll go ahead and stop you. Pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion, much like pro-life does not mean pro-stay-of-execution. OK, bad example, but you get the point I'm making.

I didn't think anything could top the baby story, but then I read about a thwarted attempt to kill Obama. The culprits? Two neo-Nazi skinheads who were arrested in Bells, Tenn. Apparently, these jackasses (I've never met them, but I'm OK labeling them) had a plan to kill 88 people, Obama being the final target. And they had wardrobe plans: white tuxedos and tophats. I guess that's in case we didn't immediately get the obvious reason why two white supremecists would want to kill a black man.

So, all snarky jokes aside, I'm actually going to make a point here.


Seriously. This is getting out of control. I realize most people who are voting Republican actually believe in John McCain. Good. That's why you vote. I don't agree with you, but I still think you should vote. I don't think all Republicans are racists, and I don't think all McCain supporters are racists.

However, I do think the Republican Party has fallen by the wayside in this election, reverting to the fear tactic a few too many times. And I have to say I was glad when John McCain finally stood up and told those people at his rally that Obama is a good guy, and people don't have to be afraid of him. Should it have come as a response to a question from the audience? No, he should've started the rally with it. Both he and Palin should have stated at the beginning of each rally, after that first cry of "kill him," that such remarks do not reflect what the party stands for.

The point is, we shouldn't have to be telling people this. And I'm sure people across the board are going to be up in arms over this. Now, before you start reading to much into this, no, I'm not insinuating that GOP rallies have anything to do with this attempt. Obviously, these guys were going to plan something regardless of what else was said.

And keeping along those lines, anyone who says Obama is going to get assassinated if he is elected is just narrow-minded and uninformed. Sure, there may be more threats, or, at least, threats from different groups. But the President of the United States is granted the same Secret Service protecting regardless of race, and I have faith that the men in women who protected Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter, and Ford will do the same for the next President.

It's time we, as a country, just took a deep breath and relaxed a little. The election is next week. If you are really passionate about a candidate, do what I do and volunteer. When I call people for Obama, I certainly don't say anything negative about John McCain or Sarah Palin. I don't insinuate that we all need to duck and cover if they win. I don't even mention them. I'm quite certain that in the 145 calls I've made already, I haven't even said either of their names. And I doubt I'm going to say either of their names in any of the calls I'm going to make this week, unless I happen upon someone who doesn't know who is running for President. That's what campaigning should be.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Few Things That Are Pissing Me Off: Republican Edition

I've been camped out in bed for months now, so chances are, if it's on TV, I've seen it. All of this campaigning has really got me thinking, which, of course, means I'm voting Obama/Biden. The McCain campaign has gone from bad to worse, and instead of opting to bow out gracefully, he's going to end up being dragged away kicking and screaming.

Let's start with Joe the Plumber, a man who is neither a Joe nor a (licensed) plumber. McCain is staking his campaign on this man he has admittedly never met. This latest batch of ads has a barrage of people saying, "I'm Joe the Plumber." No, you are not! Joe the Plumber isn't even Joe the Plumber! You're Rita the Republican or Peter the Pro-Lifer. All of this is reminiscent of those "I am Tiger Woods" commercials. The difference is, people want to be Tiger Woods. He's a role model, a public figure, a successful athlete. He's not some schmuck who owes back taxes and got dragged into the campaign against his will. McCain is hoping we will just ignore this, I guess, and keep buying into this false everyday hero nonsense. He might as well start harping about Puff the Magic Dragon. It sure sounds like someone in the McCain camp did just that.

Moving on, let's address McCain's friends. According to McCain, anyone who owns a television is his friend. I like to call things of this nature "security phrases" - things we say repeatedly, usually without realizing it, in order to reassure ourselves and return to our comfort zones. I know, Barack has one, too, but didn't you read the title? This is the Republican edition. I'll get into the Democrats, later, because we've got issues, too. When McCain doesn't know what he's saying, or when he's afraid that just saying it is going to sound, well, idiotic, he throws in "my friends." I guess he wants to elicit a response along the lines of, "Awww, McCain is my friend! Who cares what he stands for? He's my friend!" I've got news for you - McCain is not your friend. He's a politician. He's playing the game, trying to get votes, just like anyone else who's ever run for President.

Now I'd like to talk about taxes and spending, two things Republicans love talking about. I don't know who can be dumb enough to think that, in the current disaster that is our economy, we can keep going at our current rate without raising taxes. We're going to have to cut spending, and if we can't cut enough of it, get out your checkbooks, folks, it's time to ante up. If you don't want to pay taxes, you're living in the wrong country. Taxes pay for all those things we take for granted, like roads, police officers, fire departments, and other such service we've become so accustomed to having. If we didn't have taxes, we'd have no one to uphold all those laws we like to pass, and we'd have no one to pass them. Think of it as a giant homeowners' association or a Sam's Club. You've got to pay your membership fees to enjoy the perks. I suppose if you want to forgo police officers and just hope civil unrest doesn't happen, maybe we can discuss this tax issue again. Until then, it's time to start acting like an adult. You can't always get what you want, but you shouldn't be bitching for getting what you need.

Finally, I'm going to spend a few minutes on Palin. Granted, there could be a whole blog about this, so I'm only going to hit the highlights. First, sorry GOP, but I don't vote for a candidate because of gender, and neither will Hillary supporters. That ship has sailed. We've had eight years of dealing with a complete imbecile in the White House, and we aren't going to pass the torch to another administration that doesn't have even the slightest chance of not completely running this country further into the ground.

Running Palin on the notion that "she's just like me" is stupid. For starters, Palin is nothing like me, other than perhaps we have the same natural hair color, and we are both female, but she is far from a feminist. She sets women back decades with her complete incompetence. Who can't name a newspaper she reads daily? Who goes into an interview without having the slightest clue what the Bush Doctrine is? Who accepts a position for a job when she doesn't even know what that job is, which she said back in July.

Second, even if she were just like me, that certainly doesn't qualify her to be Vice President or President. I want someone better than me, and I'm certainly not the bottom of the genetic barrel. I want an active progressive, someone who isn't afraid to stand up for what is unpopular when it is right. I want someone with a terminal degree, or at least a couple of degrees. I want someone respected by more than just the state that elected her, and I want someone willing to talk about more than just that state. I want someone who keeps up-to-date on world affairs. I want a leader, not a power-hungry governor who uses her special needs child to get votes. That is shameful. She is shameful, and it's time we sent a clear message that to be President of this country, you need to be a little more qualified than Palin or Joe the Plumber.

That's all for this edition of "A Few Things That Are Pissing Me Off." Stay tuned for more - I'm sure I'll think of something.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Socialism 1, Capitalism 0

Here I am, laid up in bed as usual, passing the time by watching On Demand on my new cable! It helps to break up the monotony. I'm also making good progress on my Christmas ornaments.

My disability has been denied, and I have to appeal it, which is all OK except that if they deny my appeal, I lose my job, and I won't even be able to blame that on the Bush Administration. What a sad day for me! I'm sure they'll approve it because I've told them I have two doctor appointments this week, one of them being the Vanderbilt Pain Clinic, so I'm confident they will provide documentation that I'm a bedridden medical mystery.

So the bailout passed, despite my pleading e-mail to Bart Gordon begging him not to vote for it. I can't even begin to describe how much this sickens me. I have my own debt, thank you very much, and I've worked hard to find a way to pay it off. I certainly am not equipped to pay for someone else's debt, and I certainly don't think the Wall Street idiots who created this debacle should get a check to reward their incompetence. This is capitalism, and as much as I find it flawed, this is the point: businesses that don't fit the needs of the consumers go under. Adapt, or shut down.

Speaking of the evils of capitalism, when are we going to socialize health care? Come on, people, I have medical bills out the ass. My first ER visit was nearly $8000! I have insurance, so my portion is considerably less, but it's still more than I have when I'm not able to work. Sigh.

Here are my thoughts on the VP debate: Was Palin running for Homecoming Queen? Who winks four times in a debate on serious issues? She didn't even answer the questions! I'm not surprised. As for Biden, I want to have his babies.

That is all for now. I'll update this more now that I have Internet!