Sick day today. Feeling very flu bit. However, I offer a very dramatic discussion well worth reading over at MetaFilter. Its got it all, good logic, bad logic, appeals to emotion, good links, bad links. It's the best rounded discussion of same-sex marraige and the proposed amendment that I've encountered yet. So, if you're interested, go check it out.
I was in the process of posting this as a a reply to Sam in my previous post, but thought it might make a nice query, all up front like.
I've been thinking a lot lately that we might be better served with a one term limit for the chief executive. I've heard all the arguments about consistency, and I really believe they're crap. If the sitting president spends a third of his term stumping for votes and raising capital that he doesn't have to spend (because he can spend ours instead) than we are being poorly served by the executive branch. Though it would likely increase the frequency of executive orders, it would decrease their stability, and put the onus of legislation back on the congress ... where it damn well should be in the first place. It would also decrease the power of incumbancy for control of the White House, making a multiparty system more viable than the two party juggernaut we all seem to revile at this point.
Furthermore, new administrations give opportunities to new people with ideas that currently get buried in recycled cabinets. Bush has turned this political inbreeding into an artform, and it simply doesn't work. The man called on convicted (if pardoned) felons to make public policy for crying out loud! Lets actually tap the pool of fresh ideas instead of worshiping the demon we know over some imagined boogie man in the future. A multiterm presidency is like commiting to a Microsoft OS ... you'll be satisfied when we deliver on our next upgrade, if you give us more money and votes. That isn't what we want from our White House, is it? Let's create a sustained lame duck situation instead, where each President will be known for his accomplishments during a brief commited term, rather than waiting 4 years while they try and prove how worthy they are for a second chance.
That the President gets to use my money to pop in on the Daytona 500 really annoys me. It isn't that he is using my money for a purely campaign driven event. I stated publicly (though I'm too lazy to find the links) shortly after his innauguration that GW Bush had only two goals: take Saddam out and get re-elected. I'm quite familiar, if not comfortable, with the notion that this jackass will pander to anyone who might give him a vote.
It isn't that this New England aristocrat continues with his self delusion of being one of the common folk. Get real. How many Nascar fans have had Yale educations bought for them, only to squander those ambitions on grossly negligent business opportunities (which family ties bought him out of just as well). If GW had half the interest in the American middle class as he attempts to show, he would have attended the Super Bowl. If I was President, I would have.
It isn't that he flew to this todo aboard a jet that we own for his own personal gain. This entire administration has been about personal privilage. Why should we expect different now?
No, what really cheeses me about this is that this asshat got to attend a premier racing event with no appreciation for what he was a spectator of. Sport is about involvement, and Nascar is no different than the NFL, NBA or even Baseball, which Bush treated with equal disdain while he was an owner. Sport is about the people, our desires and hopes for victory. Bush treats it as an opportunity to generate support. He's not one of us, and never will be. This is bread and circuses to him; keeping the people satisfied as long as they support the aristocracy. I really believe that his presumed support of Nascar is proof that he looks down on us, and wishes to dominate our desires.
Ask yourself this question, folks. Does he support Nascar (really great car racing) or does he worship the Nascar fan vote? Does he wish to appeal to the common folks or does he wish that they worship his appearance and sanction of what they appreciate? To know a man, know his motives. This bozo went to the Daytona to get worshiped by applause, not to watch a great race. And he spent my money to do it. Give me part of his election war chest to attend the Daytona and I might just vote for him. But giving isn't his agenda, is it? No. He'd rather spend our money and preserve the donations such that his aristocratic dynasty will continue. And the Nascar faithful support him ... why?
The RNC Presidential campaign slogan: "Steady Leadership in a Time of Change." Let's disregard for a moment how much bullshit that implies (the "leadership" being completely incompetant and all). What happens if we look for the deeper meanings, the anagrams in this weighty slogan:
1) I'm a hypertense, death-dealing fiasco
2) I am a deathless deafening hypocrite
3) I am a tone-deaf, highly-paid erectness
4) I'm the fanatic, grandiose sleepyhead.
5) Oafishly indecent pig's ear meathead
6) Slimy, cheapish deafening toadeater
7) Oedipean cheating defames trashily.
8) Flag hype, eh? Administration decease (Jeffrey Kramer)
This is NOT my work, but comes from here. Go there and cast your vote for the fave anagram. My favorite is number 4.
UPDATE: Really. would anybody like to define "steady" as regards Dubya's leadership? Other than steadily favoring his own re-election, of course. Why, pray tell; why is steadyness a virtue if what is steady only succeeds in getting more young men killed and making the very rich richer? Why should we fear change if what we change away from is simply fear itself? Why should we allow a person of questionable moral character make decisions for another nation when our own is in so much trevail? Simply put, what do you honestly think that George W. Bush has done for you (other than buy your votes at your children's expense?) Really, can someone explain this to me? I'm waiting?
Matt Yglesias penned an article for The American Prospect entitled "Bad Max". In his thesis, he attempts to show that Max Baucus, senior Senator from the state of Montana is a poor Democrat, prefering to quietly follow the Bush/Republican party line. Matt argues that this is not due to Max attempting to passify his mostly Republican base in Montana, and yet offers no other real alternative for Max's congressional behavior.
I find myself in an awkward and uncomfortable position of wanting to defend Max Baucus. Understand that I agree that Max's cooporation with Senate Republicans and the spend-and-spend-more White House has been especially appalling since his re-election in 2002. However, my personal feelings may not reflect the feelings of Max's Montana constituants, and Matt's most certainly don't. My problem with the article revolve around two assumptions made by Yglesius:
1) There is a tacit assumption that Republican policies are wrong. Though I share that view, I don't tend to take it as a given, and I'm sure that our elected representatives in Washington don't. The flip side of that view is that Democrats who cross the isle and support those policies are betraying the party of the Good, and commiting "heresies" (Matt's word, not mine). I would like to point out that Max isn't in Washington D.C. to keep Tom Daschle's moral center all a twitter. He's there to keep Montanan's happy, and since he is still the most popular politician among the Montana people, I'd say he's not doing a poor job. Anybody who bothers to look at Montana will see that throughout our history we haven't generally cared whether someone was a Democrat, Republican or Fooacratian. If we like what they say, and appreciate what they do, they will have our votes. Framing Max's record in the Good-Bad dichotomy isn't any more helpful than "With us or Against us".
2) The second assumption that Matt makes builds on the first, and really kind of irritates me. He calls for the Democratic establishment on the Hill to reign in Max's errant ways, because of his senior position of relative authority within the party's Congressional representation. That assumes that it's their job to do so. No, it's not. No doubts, we've all heard the argument that the Senate grants innordinate power to states with small populations, as a balance, of course, to the House's tyranny of mass populations. Disregard whether or not that is fair or unfair. It is the way the Constitution has provided, and as such will be used by small population states for their benefit. Speaking for myself, and a large majority of Montanans, we voted for Max in 2002 precisely because of his senior standing, and the voice that gives us in a Congress that sees our state solely as an exploitable resource. The call for Daschle and H. Clinton and the party powerful to reduce Baucus's threat to the Democratic party is a slap in the face to the people who have the right to his representation, Montanans. Max Baucus doesn't work for the DNC, he works for us. If we don't like what he is doing, it's our job to smack him down. Period.
All that having been said, as things stand now, I will not vote for Max Baucus again (unless he runs one more time against a shady businessman jerk like Taylor). I agree that his voting record has been detrimental to me and the state in which I live. But then, that's my choice, not Tom Daschle's. Good Max or Bad Max, he's still our Max, and if anyone wants a change in his attitude, then you'd be better served by asking us.
Hello kids! Today, I thought we could have a chat about civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is a tool that the common people, those with common sense like you and like me, can use against governments that are violating the mandates of their charters, like the Constitution, or are being mean to simple morality. We can fight the oppressive structures of said government's, hence forth known as "the Man", by breaking laws that don't really conform to freedom giving laws. We can stridently scream in public (as long as we do it in a "free-speech zone") and tell people we don't like the president. We can call people "Traitor" because they report before the Senate and say things we don't like to hear. That would be civil disobedience by commiting willful slander, in the hopes that our government will be meaner to those people who sit within a 20 foot radius of actor-persons we don't like, and admit things we don't like.
You see, kids, civil disobedience is based on the freedom to be annoying. There are things that we like and things that we don't like. Common sense tells us to struggle against things we don't like, like the Man. We should annoy the Man, no matter how much supporters of the Man call us "Nazis" or call us "traitors", or toadies of the Man use specious logic on their websites. By all means, violate a "free-speech zone". It is your right according to the First Amendment. And don't feel bad if you are called before Congress and you tell them what you've heard and others foolishly call you "traitor". It's their right to do so. Though the Man doesn't like it, (or sometimes does) it is civil disobedience. It is acting on an opinion that you are willing to risk consequences for. True believers in freedom, who think "Down with the Man", should respect that, even when its silly. Unfortunately, sometimes the Man will try and smack you down. Sometimes the Man fails, and sometimes they won't. The trick to civil disobedience is knowing when those times are.
Here is my tip for the day; Civil disobedience does not work in retail. Say, for instance, that the meanie behind the counter at a retail store ... that's right, the Man ... won't take an exchange on your empty printer cartridge for a full one. You don't like that do you? You might think that taking a printer cartridge out of the store in your pocket is civil disobedience. Wulfgar would agree that it is very annoying, but the store would take a somewhat different view. As the police march you out the front door in handcuffs, it might dawn on you that you weren't fighting the Man, you were stealing. Don't do that. True, you would be very annoying, but that is not civil disobedience, that is just theft. Helpful tip, huh?
It dawned on me while writing my previous post that I've been attempting to curb my language for my audience. I'm not going to do that. I tend to tailor my speech and temper my tongue for my job, my co-workers, and my acquaintences. But this is my journal, and to that degree, its my life. I'm too boring to be read by children, and my language is probably cleaner than what they encounter daily at school (several parents cringe with the knowledge that I'm correct). So if you find me using objectionable words, please understand that sometimes that's just who I am, and what I mean. I don't use those words for shock value, and I've no intention of convincing anybody that I'm tough-cool stylee because I can write words that the FCC wouldn't approve of.
Hopefully, you'll find it part of my charm (as if). If not, thanks for visiting, and y'all come back now, here?
The last week has been seriously one of the least productive of my life. I've felt like doing nothing, I've thought a great many things, most all ending in "ahhh, fuck it". Its not a bad feeling, just kind of like sailing in the doldrums. I haven't been posting, haven't been cooking, haven't been caring much at all.
I'd like to blame it on the end of the football season. I always go through a bout of mini-depression after the Super Bowl, knowing that there are 7 long months until I can feel the excitement of hard contests for the Broncos, the Bobcats and the Griz. Its a sports wasteland, until warm days turn chilly as the sun goes down, the peaceful boredom of Summer is murdered by the shrieking rush of incoming clueless Freshmen. That seriously brings a smile to my face just concidering it. The game will be back in style, and that always fires me up.
Maybe my malaise is simply a weather response. Gray days, chill winds, snow coming and going as if God can't make up his mind whether to bury us or just piss anyone without 4-wheel drive off. The general lie is that if you don't like the weather in Montana, wait 5 minutes and it will change. Lies, lies and more lies. It doesn't change, it just stays cold, faded, sloppy and hesitant. When it comes to taking on the Big Sky in Winter, the Sun is a total wimp. The weather changes alright; freeze, thaw, tease, freeze, thaw ... rinse, shovel the walk, and repeat.
I can't blame boredom for this. I've no shortage of things to do. I just can't create enough of a billowing gust of ambition to do any of it. Somewhat seriously, if I don't pull myself out of this, I will get my hiney fired. This does feel like hibernation. Its not restful, its not an angst. It's a void, conservation of emotion, spirit and intellect. Nothing expended, nothing lost. This is really a very wierd place I'm inhabiting. Maybe writing about it here will help. Perhaps becoming more involved in the online community will jump start my ... I don't know ... psyche?