G.O.P. Claim Rights God-Given?

Let’s examine the first line of the second section of the G.O.P. Platform, We The People: A Restoration of Constitutional Government.

“We are the party of the Constitution, the solemn compact which confirms our God-given individual rights and assures that all Americans stand equal before the law.”

Whoa! When did they find that page of the bible? That statement alone offends and goes against the first clause of the First Amendment.

“The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion,”

I hate to break it to the Republican Party but our individual rights were assured us by the Constitution and its amendments which is most assuredly NOT a religious document, not written or endorsed by any god.

It was, and is based on ideology deliberately separate from religion so that no religion, or religious leaders could  interfere with the governing of our society. Thereby assuring all citizens individual rights. It was so important they made it the first clause, of the First Amendment. How could the G.O.P. get this important point so wrong?

I have no problem with debating issues of economy, jobs, military, energy, environment, no matter how far apart our ideas. I can respect that there are other ways of doing things, other lenses in which one can view these issues, and that compromise is how we solve these differences.

But I can not respect the incredulous statements made in much of this section of the G.O.P.’s platform. Most of which is about controlling the private lives of others, governing other people’s moral choices and/or values. They’ve made issues of things that they have no right to make part of their political agenda. It goes against everything America stands for.

I find it incredibly tiresome to hear the Republican Party’s claims that there has been war declared on religion.  They are the warmongers who have necessitated a push back against using religious influence to control, and manipulate the populace.  It is the corrupting influence of power that degrades religion and hurts our society by pitting us against one another.

This fostering of all or nothing outcomes has become the G.O.P. modus operandi, declaring war on those who don’t agree with them because “If you aren’t with us, you’re against us.”

Instead of bringing us together, respecting our differences, the G.O.P. continues to divide us with their insistence that they know better than anyone else how to live a responsible life guided by values and morals.

Thanks G.O.P. but I’ll make those decision for myself.

 

 

Republican Romney Crying Poor Mouth?

I got home just in time to catch last nights episode of Wives of the GOP. Poised and passionate Ann Romney started out a bit slow but once she received her first standing-O she really came alive and read her lines with sincerity at last nights Republican National Convention.

I have no doubt Ann believes her husband to be an upstanding, dedicated, hard worker. Not would I deny that he hasn’t earned his paychecks.  So why were we being beat over the head with the “we work for our money and there is no shame in being successful” bat? The tall tale of the Romney’s pulling themselves up by their bootstraps from austere beginnings? Gag. I doubt their poor mouth tale has teeth.

I don’t begrudge anyone their success, whatever way they define it, good for them. But, Ann going on about how they ate tuna off an ironing board table as if they were poor common folk? Surely you jest?

They weren’t poor, they were living off dividends from stocks his father left him. Mitt might have been working his tail off at the time trying to get his business off the ground but he wasn’t doing it while also working to keep  roof over his head and food on the table. Get real dude.

Maybe that felt like you were poor and struggling. But reality check—when you have money coming in you didn’t work for, that ain’t poor, that’s privileged. Which I also don’t begrudge the guy. It would be stupid not to use any advantages or opportunity we have at our disposal.

The ugly here is how insulting it was to play at being poor when so many are suffering the effects of this economic downturn more acutely than those who created and caused it. Sadly, there is shame in that.

Sept 11, 2012-Update: Ann Romney admitted to lying about her and Mitt being poor, or struggling. In fact they lived quite well off his stocks. It’s not really important to tell the truth only what you think people want to hear. Let’s all take a minute to reflect on the awesomeness of the Republican party’s credibility. Oh, wait, they don’t any. http://politics.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474981621887

 

Republican Agenda: GOP Theocracy

I clearly have as much trouble as the next person sussing out thoughtful debate from passionate feelings, and I am trying to be pragmatic, sticking to the issues rather than beat up on the other side just for daring to have opinions that differ from mine.

But shit, can you believe the crap that has been coming out of the mouths of Republican’s this week? These gems of the GOP (Gods of the People) like Todd Akin whose absurd claims of “legitimate rape” enraged women everywhere, to the Ohioan election board member admitting to blocking black voters by prohibiting the hours they’re most likely to vote. Could they make it any harder to take them seriously as intellectual human beings?

I do appreciate that GOP leader Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan swiftly denounced Todd Akin and called for him to withdraw his nomination, though it struck me as superfluous—of course he refused to do so.  Shocker?

How serious his fellow Republican’s were in their rebukes it’s hard to ascertain. Given the outrage of Akin’s “legitimate rape” condescension, I’m sure GOP damage control required a few members to speak out wholesale against the representative, but how many were out of genuine disgust and disagreement?

I give Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts props for his sincerity and hope he continues to maintain his distance from the looser canons of his party. Perhaps, his will be the mantle more moderate Republican will pick-up in coming years. One can only hope the younger, more estrogen enriched members of Republican party come to their senses and drag the GOP into the 21st century.

I guess I’ll just let their modus operandi of their own demise work its magic and get back to what is really troubling me, more so than the racist, misogyny trending through the GOP right now.

Acts Unbecoming An American

The problem presently troubling me isn’t merely one of differing philosophies but rather the Republican’s outright betrayal of our Constitutional right to privacy and freedom from religion through the continued attacks on women’s reproductive health, marriage between same sex couples, and the insistence upon their religious views guiding the conscious of our nation.

I don’t see how else you can view it other than an outright attack on our hard fought American rights to liberty. It’s downright un-American.

Reading the GOP website I’m struck by the contradictions between their assertion that their party is for less government, limited regulations, and a constituency free from interventionist, when their calls to action run to the contrary.

The number of bills and restrictions they’ve added which limit and intervene in personal matters such as those between loved ones, and between you and your doctors, adding layer upon layer of red tape, and regulations to our already burden legislature—more government regulations infringing upon our personal freedoms than I ever thought possible, is moving us backward in time.

Examine the movement of the GOP’s agenda the last couple of dozen years and you begin to get the picture of an ever more single mindedness to the Republican party line.

They have perfected the art of making issues out of private matters in order to fuel emotionally charged topics they think will incite people to act on their behalf, and provoke division where  tolerance once grew strong.

Fear-mongering for Votes.

You may have seen an old photo making its way around Facebook of a man holding a sign the reads:

I Want You To Stop Being Afraid Of Other Americans
of Other Religions
of Other Classes
of Other Nations
of Speaking Out
You’re Americans.
Act Like it!
(If you don’t get it, ask an American who does)

It really does sum up a problem we are having as a nation. We seem to have lost our ability to have thoughtful debate without vilifying and demonizing our opponents.

A lot of it has to do with how communications have changed. The autonomy and reach of the web has built vast networks bringing the ability to preach your gospel to tens of thousands all the while filtering out views that don’t agree with yours. There-in lies a big problem.

Narrowing down information to only those that support your views is like being fed a steady diet of only sugar. It’s going to make you sick, fat, and lazy. Now we are one big lazy-ass nation of fear mongers so scared we won’t “win” we’ve forgotten how to compromise. We’ve forgotten how vital compromise is to our well-being as nation and individuals.

Instead of concessions, we rather lose it all and proudly boast of our efforts. But any gambler will tell you, all or nothing is a losers bet.

A Compromising Position

Poor Stephen Covey, father of win-win solutions must be turning over in his grave. As are the founding fathers, the great men of compromise whose grueling work gave us our whole system of checks and balances meant to engender compromise throughout. From the Supreme court, to the Legislator, to the President, compromise has kept it running free from tyranny all these years.

Free until now. The political agenda of today is all or nothing, an attitude that runs counter to the whole system. And what do Americans get from that kind of political back-up? Sewage.

We all need a refresher course on duty. The beauty of our Constitution is that we each count, everyone of us and it behooves the government to ensure our individual rights—that is our social contract. The government and by which I mean those who serve it, are duty bound to uphold these ideals.

“It details how the more perfect union was to be carried out between the national government and the people. The people are to be provided (a) justice, (b) civil peace, (c) common defense, (d) those things of a general welfare that they could not provide themselves, and (e) freedom. A government of “liberty and union, now and forever”, unfolds when “We” begin and establish this Constitution.”

Presently, the ultra-conservatives, far-right leaning Republicans and Tea Baggers are working diametrically opposed to the very foundation of what makes our country great.

Namely, the very first amendment of the Bill of Rights.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

No law respecting an establishment of religion! Clearly this means you cannot use your religion, your religious values, to enact laws governing all the people. For you to do so imposes and insinuates your religion onto others.

That’s supposed to be the litmus test for right and wrong in America. Does your view point inhibit the rights of another? No matter if that agenda is to protect a second party as in abortion. You can not impose your belief system on another. No altruistic buts, simply put, does your personal view trespass another’s right?

Clearly, barring medical treatments, legislating birth control, denying licenses to same-sex couples, blocking voters, all these actions are meant to dominate and control, hold power over others, and erodes the rights of civil liberties afford to us all.

The government is charged with protecting us from those infringement so why would you vote in those whose disrespect and pledge to act in direct opposition of what protects us. Isn’t that a betrayal of the social contract? And isn’t that called treason?

Fair Tax For All?

Wow.

I’ve been reading reports by the Tax Justice Network, “an international, non-aligned coalition of researchers and activists with a shared concern about the harmful impacts of tax avoidance, tax competition and tax havens,” and I have to say, I’m actually surprised how far reaching the deception is even among companies I normal respect, and support with my consumer dollars. There is no Fair Tax for All.

I expect corporations and individuals to protect their assets, everyone should. Everyone deserves to benefit from what they work for. But when your assets are comprised of riches amassed not of hard earned labor or shrewd investment but by tax avoidance, you really can’t go crying foul on those trying to recoup what you’ve unjustly hidden.

How many times have we heard, in multiple iterations from the current crop of Republican politicians that they aren’t doing anything illegal? But, it’s legal! Dudes? If you have to explicitly state you aren’t doing anything illegal—chances are high what you’re doing is in the least, subversive. And you know it. Why else stammer on about your action’s legality? What was that phrase Romney kept repeating? Something about not paying a penny more in taxes than he was required to?

Legal is not synonymous with right, or fair, or justified. That hiding your untaxed or undertaxed wealth is legal (leaving out for the moment that your money is what influenced the passage of laws that have made this possible-cute huh?) doesn’t mean you’ve outsmarted those who are asking you to pay what is your fair share of taxes. We can see right through the smoke and mirrors and what we’re looking at is a big hunking pile of funds you OWE to your country. A fair tax for all is not beyond your understanding.

It is despicable to suggest those who are demanding a more equitable distribution of the necessary cuts, and costs of protecting and rebuilding our economy are merely trying to steal from the rich because of some kind of classist bias against the wealthy. It’s not your wealth we are after, it is unpaid taxes that you should be legally required to pay, nothing less than what is fair, nothing more. And stop saying “but it’s legal,” you sound like a petulant teen whining “but everybody else is doing it.”