bootslack

Pure signal.

I am over Barak Obama

I am over the Democrats.
 
The Democrats were at best a default choice for me — I am not a racial or religious bigot, so Republicanism is out. I know that not every Republican is a bigot, but the party has a history of embracing them, and everyone who accepts the party name has made their peace with that, either by deciding that they agree, or deciding that the question is not important. Both of those positions are moral failures, so the GOP is out for me. That leaves me with the Democratic party, not because no third party stands a chance of getting elected, but because no third party exists that isn’t bat-shit crazy. Some of them have some good ideas some of the time, but from my college days I have noticed that the best definition of the fringe is that part of the garment that accumulates fluff. I wouldn’t want Ralph Nader or Ron Paul in charge of the military or the economy — they might make interesting conversation partners, but I don’t believe that either of them could get shit done.
 
However, the total intellectual and moral failure of the Obama team in aligning itself with Rick Warren has highlighted a tremendously uncomfortable fact for me — I can not make my peace with the Democrats either. Rick Warren is a fraud — I’ve read the man’s books — he is a traditional American huckster, straight out of the P.T. Barnum tent revival circuit — he is a smiling Amway salesman and he is selling you salvation. There are many Christians in this country who don’t go in for this kind of obvious transparent fraud, and there are many atheists who would sit googly eyed at a slot machine in Vegas and pour all their money into it while the B-girl flirts and the music plays. It has nothing to do with religion — it has to do with the con. It has to do with giving up on your intellectual integrity, because the good part of too-good-to-be-true is something you want so bad, and anyway thinking is so hard, that you will sign up to buy swamp land and snake oil, jewelry for $9.95 and you think every waitress really wants to be your friend.
 
I get it – but I don’t want it from my leaders. I don’t want a president who is selling that shit to himself, or to me. And in America that means I don’t want a president.
 
I signed on to the Barak Obama juggernaut because I wanted to believe. And that is a bad reason to believe anything. Ultimately, what is important to me is truth — and while I know that I can’t always get that, I also know that I don’t have to insult it. And if you are an ambitious enough person that you want to be president, then you are going to insult it.
 
Barak Obama has taken some important stances that are simply wrong — factually and morally wrong. I acceded to them because I had signed on because I wanted to believe. I am not saying that the Republicans have the right answer for any of these issues, and I’m not saying that the progressives have the answer, I’m saying that the current administration, the incoming administration, does not have the answer.
 
Issue 1: Gay marriage. The bottom line is that marriage in the United States is not defined by the Church, it is a legal contract that exists within the vast and complex structure of national and state law. Separation of Church and State insures that what the Bible has to say about it is irrelevant. It may have come from the Bible originally, but that is of no matter other than historical interest, even if it were true (which of course it isn’t — but I don’t want to diverge into a historical argument). Legally, the biblical opinion of homosexuality is irrelevant. Homosexuality is a biologically determined trait, like sex and race — and it is clear that under the spirit of equal protection under law, that homosexuals are to be allowed the same rights under law as heterosexuals. Ergo, the marriage contract that heterosexuals get at the courthouse is the same one that homosexuals need to get. We might have to change the wording on the contract, but the state needs to provide one contract, and it needs to be the same contract for everybody.
 
Issue 2: Global Warming. Is not our number one energy priority. We have been shanghaied into a national acceptance of a phenomenon which no two people can even agree to a name for. The science at the root of it is one thing, but the science that the public understands about it is mostly bad. The people at the center of the debate have made a decision as a group that it is more important to motivate action than to be honest about the complexity of the issues at hand. As a result they lie, and people repeat the lies. Weather it exists or not, no one understands it. I have read a lot about it (thousands of pages) over the last three years, there are some interesting conversations to be had, but they are not the conversations that are being had. The topic needs to be cleared up before we go spending money, it is pursued with a religious fervor right now, which means people want to act before they understand. That is always a bad idea. Global Warming is our national Lamarckism and in time if we even remember it and aren’t off on some other trip, we will have to pretend that we aren’t embarrassed to have been a part of it.
 
Issue 3: Energy. I despise John McCain, but he was right about Nuclear. Energy density demands that wind and Earth based solar will never be the principal energy sources for an industrial civilization. Wind is a massive sinkhole for cash, and 30 years from now the junkyards are going to be full of giant abstract sculptures which your tax money will pay for, because wind cannot pay for itself at this time. We need something to reduce our demand on foreign oil, for sure, but wind is not going to do it. Nuclear plants, electric cars, and smart exploitation of tar sands and shale are a good place to start.
 
Issue 4: UAW. It’s time is done. We don’t allow monopolies to distort the market for product, why should we allow it for labor? Like the Democrats, the UAW doesn’t care about the worker, they care about themselves.
 
Issue 5: Corporate taxes. Corporate taxes do not come out of corporations pockets — corporations don’t have pockets — they have resource flows. A corporation may be a legal person, but it is a mistake to personalize them. When you raise the cost of doing business, the shareholders don’t just choose to take money out of their bank accounts, they raise prices — and that comes out of your pocket. A tax on a corporation is a tax on you. For that reason, we need to switch, slowly and over time, to a single payer plan. The only reason to tax corporations partly, and individuals partly is to mask the actual cost of government. Right now, you are paying taxes three ways — you are taxed through manipulation of the dollars value, you are taxed by direct taxes, and you are taxed by indirect taxes (licencing fees, business taxes etc) that raise the cost of the products that you purchase. That means you are paying multiply compounded tax, because after you pay 20% tax to the tax man, you pay an inflated price for an orange (how much you do not know) — so every penny of  inflated cost of the orange is a penny you have been taxed on twice or three times, or four times.
 
Your real tax rate right now is probably close to 50%, you can figure out exactly how much by comparing the GNP to the actual cost of government, but your real rate depends on how much money you spend and on what — so you can’t know for yourself, just for a fictitious average person. That ambiguity is why it is kept that way — you would not tolerate your real tax rate if you knew what it was, and you would demand greater efficiency and cut programs. I’m not saying this is a deliberate conspiracy, just a conspiracy of interest. It can be eliminated by having a single tax, and that tax should be progressive and on income, and the rules for reporting income need to be made more transparent.
 
Issue 6: Warrantless search and seizure. Obama was part of a major Democratic failure to protect your constitutional rights against illegal search and seizure. The Bush Administration asked the major telecommunications companies to spy on your communications illegally. Some of the companies refused, and some agreed. The companies that agreed should be penalized so that in the future, when the government asks companies to break the law, they have an incentive not to do so. “We were just following orders.” is not an acceptable excuse in America.
 
I have purged, but I am ashamed of my collusion. I am not a liberal, and I am certainly not a Democrat. And the Democrats do not care about me any more than the Republicans do. The party cares about winning, and the indivudals care about their own ambition. I had no business lying to myself or the world about it.
 
So who do I vote for? I don’t vote. Voting is a con to normalize dissidence. It is a trick to get you to invest in the debate as it is framed by the power-players at the time. Voting does not exist to give you a voice, it exists to make society stable. When a salesman comes to your door, sometimes they will give you a worthless trinket of some kind, a pamphlet or a flier. It doesn’t matter what. As an animal, by accepting the trinket, you make a subtle emotional investment in what the salesman is saying. That is all a vote is.
 
I don’t care so much what you as an individual think, but you need to start thinking. You need to stop following the party, whatever party. You need to learn how to evaluate claims of truth and value, how to reason, how to weigh evidence. This is hard work, but as long as you are following the bandwagon, you will never do it, because the B-girl is flirting with you and the music is playing and you are being sold something that is too good to be true: which is that you can have value without thought and effort. Resist.
 
Think for yourself.
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December 26, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. I appreciate the gesture of the Obama camp to balance the gesture of allowing Warren a national stage. However they have shown no real understanding of the problem — such as a recognition that homosexuals should have the same rights to enter into legal contracts providing specific secular benefits as heterosexuals, or the fact that under the guise of AIDS prevention Warren funds the persecution of homosexuals in Africa.

    Or the simple and obvious fact that the statement that homosexuals somehow “contaminate” the sanctity of marriage is both homophobic and disturbingly childish.

    Comment by bootslack | January 15, 2009 | Reply

  2. I completely sympathize with your desire to have a society of thinking people.

    The problem is, the powers at be maintain the “weak” (the lazy, the average or below-average, the superficial, the apathetic, the sick) so caught up in the turmoil of pop culture (and its intrinsic superficiality, apathy and sickness), full of its pleasures and sugar coated with dreams, that people will rarely CHOOSE to think (if they even know such a mental process exists), more so if they know they suck at it.
    In simple terms: The population is being mass-controlled and dumbed-down very efficiently, and they don’t care, so long as they can drive their car and cum tonight.

    Most people do NOT have a high sense of universal morality (the one you’re appealing to throughout your entire post), so this, by itself, is not sufficient to sell them the need to reason.
    Anyway, I’m digressing.
    I agree completely with you on Gay Marriage, and on UWA, mostly on Energy, but not on Global Warming or Corporate Taxing.

    Whether global warming is happening or not, and whether it is influenced by human activity or not, is irrelevant.
    The fact is, no decent (or “moral”) human being can fill up the environment with SO MUCH SHIT and feel ok. People need to minimize the crap they produce, and take care of the waste that cannot be avoided in the most responsible and healthy way. That toxic waste kills animals, plants, and ourselves, is a fact.
    Spending on being clean is hardly a misdirected investment: It will cause the surge of tons of new businesses and companies, and with them, new jobs.
    And even if it didn’t, IT IS “the right thing to do” anyway.
    It is disgusting to prioritize profit over moral action. Kinda’ like refusing to take and treat a patient that is bleeding to death because he doesn’t have insurance and it’s not profitable.
    WHO the F* cares? He’s a human being.
    Same thing: The environment is home to US **AND** 6 billion other people in the rest of the world, **AND** a trillion other species.
    It is NOT correct to act as if this weren’t true, like unconscious pigs.

    If you think there isn’t enough money to spend on being clean, where do you think the money will come from to clean it all up once it’s unbearable? Where is the money going to come from to treat the upsurge in cases of cancer and other diseases, which might as well be impacted by pollution?
    And why don’t we just buy a couple less tanks, bombs and guns, if we’re so short on money?
    Why don’t we RECLAIM the power from the Federal Reserve Bank to print and control our own money, and stop pouring trillions of dollars per yer into paying the most absurd concept of all in the universe: Foreign Debt?
    [when I was in high school, learning that the richest country in the world was drowning THE DEEPEST in debt was mind-boggling].
    … or do you suggest we continue to enrich private bankers, and drive the US economy on oil, like Sarah-retard-Pallin proposes, and WAR? (Not that the war industry will actually be affected by the environmentally-friendly movement; but that is just THE economical activity that disgusts me the most).
    Being clean IS a priority. It’s a matter of RESPECTING ourselves and the rest of the world, and the consequences of pollution might be larger than we know. The sole CHANCE that the upsurge in cancer might be at any level related to pollution and the thinning of the ozone layer, as well as the chance that we might be able to rescue Kiribati (a country) from disappearing completely (and polar bears too, haha) is well worth the try, right?
    Otherwise, how could any HUMAN (humane) being sleep with a clear conscious at night?

    Ok, corporate tax:
    While it is true that corporations might compensate to SOME extent by increasing the prices of their products and services, this is a way of minimizing the risk of large companies drowning smaller ones (because the larger ones get taxed more heavily, but they’re still competing with the smaller ones, so THEY CANNOT and WILL NOT increase their prices to COMPLETELY compensate for their increased taxes; otherwise nobody will buy their expensive products). So, there you go; some of the profit of the “big fish” does goes from THEIR pocket, to the government.
    But even if this weren’t true, corporate taxation is a way of redistributing wealth more fairly: Companies donate money to charity to avoid taxes, and the government spends part of the taxes on a variety of programs (including charity). Such institutions would NOT receive as much funding from private individuals.
    Really, would you, or any of your relatives and friends, or neighbors, CONSISTENTLY commit X percent of your income to NASA, the NSF and the NIH, willingly? Would the population at large [which you have basically (indirectly) agreed is a swamp of brainless zombies] share their dollars with public schools, hospices and hospitals, or donate to children-cancer-research, children-cleft-surgery, or to subsidize agriculture and farming so that low-income families can at least afford to buy milk, eggs, potatoes and beans?
    No. People would NOT. Not in their current state of ignorance, selfishness, superficiality, laziness, brainlessness, apathy and sickness.

    The solution to all this might just well be MASSIVE EDUCATION, the “right-way”. But that might as well require overthrowing the current power system… *sigh*

    Or *PERHAPS* the powers at be know what they’re doing with all this brain-washing, and are good-natured in the end.
    The sad thing is, from how they’re running the world, it doesn’t seem like it. This is an instance in which, given the lack of access to the truth, it MIGHT be REASONABLE to CHOOSE TO BELIEVE.
    Choosing helps calm the anxiety derived from uncertainty and ignorance; so as long as you know that the choice is merely by subjective faith, out of convenience, and you don’t mistake it for “truth”, what’s the harm? One can be RATIONAL about “faith”. It’s sorta’ like TRUSTING. For example, trusting that you know how to drive and are capable of minimizing the likelihood of having a car accident. Trusting that human beings aren’t THAT awful and thus you can eat a a restaurant without having to worry about being poisoned. Etc, etc…

    In any case, I liked your blog entry, but NOT-voting isn’t really the most becoming attitude. If you really want to show your disagreement, you vote BLANK. That says: I CARE, but the only choices politics offer are all gross. Voting SHOULD mean something, in an ideal world were democracy actually existed.
    Yet on the other hand, perhaps it’s best that it doesn’t and that everything is controlled. Would it REALLY benefit society to take into account the desires and opinions of all the people who are LOST? (as in “lost in ignorance and stupidity”).
    This is an ancient dilemma: Do the masses at large NEED to be HERDED? Or, left free, would they actually be capable of eventually arriving at ANY stage of enlightenment, by themselves?

    Sorry for the ridiculously long comment. C’est fini.

    Comment by Jesús Galaz | March 20, 2011 | Reply


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