Archive for the 'Politics' Category

Sicko

On Sunday I went to the Sundance Cinema with my roommate and saw Sicko. I thought it was fairly good, not as good as Bowling for Columbine but much better than Roger & Me, and slightly better than Fahrenheit 9/11.

What I liked about it was that instead of doing mostly shock stuff like his previous movies (it was still there, but not as much), he concentrated on trying to make the audience want what he was selling. So he showed how great the health care systems were of Canada, England, France, and Cuba, while showing us how bad the system is here in the United States. At the end of the movie I honestly wanted to move to France but decided that England would have to do since I didn’t speak any French.

Being a disabled person who is currently on Medicare and will probably be entering privatized health care in a year or two, this movie hit me fairly hard.  I do worry about what is going to happen to me when I am no longer eligible for Medicare. While I had my previous job at Nike, I went all out to avoid getting health care, often spending frivolously because I have to keep my assets under $2,000 in order to be eligible for it. This means that unlike a normal American, I not only don’t save some of my earnings, I am basically prohibited from doing so. Going into the job market again this will not always be easily accomplished and eventually I will need to begin saving.

Which means getting a crappy insurance plan, but how am I supposed to get an insurance plan when I have a pre-existing condition? My mom had a difficult time finding health care for our family just because of me back in the 80s, it will be even harder in this day and age to get me health care for myself. Yet I more than the average person need it.

This is precisely why health care sucks in America and why the United States time and again proves to the world that capitalism isn’t the best of economic systems. Capitalism in truth is the last remaining vestige of the Hierarchical order that we tried to leave behind at one point. It is a system that promotes the poor being left in the dust, and a system that also promotes the rich getting richer while the poor gets poorer, and it makes it more difficult to swap classes. It keeps the tiered system of the old days in check, while giving us a false sense of freedom and ability to move up to a new class. It can happen to some degree but rarely. In the meantime, the poor are treated like crap. We’d be much better off in a socialistic democracy where everyones life needs are taken care of equally (from good working conditions, to health care, police, fire, all the way to education) and the corporate need takes a back seat to the individual. It is idealistic sure, but Micheal Moore’s movie shows us that it is possible, because it works to a large extent elsewhere.

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Bush’s new plan

Bush seems to be perpetually 3-10 years behind on this Iraq War thing. When the war started, he was about 10 years behind. He thought they had WMDs like it was the Persian Gulf War, and he was about 10 years away from having a plan to attack. Now miraculously he has come up with a plan to send in 20,000 more troops, something he should have done 3 years ago. And honestly, if he had come up with it 2 or 3 years ago, I would have supported him. But now, I could care less about Iraq’s “freedom.” Not that I think there is any freedom in being forced to adopt a government your conquerer tells you to adopt. I am sick of the war, it has no purpose at all. The proof of this is that the purpose seems to change within our own government every 6-9 months. There is no reason to be there, and they don’t want us there anymore, so why would we put ourselves in more? We don’t wanna be there (american polls prove this), they don’t want us there (them killing us proves this), why are we there? There’s no freedom, there’s no WMD’s, there’s no money (Bush did promise that we’d use the Oil in Iraq to fund the war).

One thing I gotta say about Bush’s pretty little speech last night is that he actually assumed responsibility for something. Will wonders never cease. Though I do take note that his responsibility is only that he failed to have plan in attacking Iraq. He doesn’t assume responsibility for the lies he told us when he got us there, or the lies he told us once we were there, or the lies he keeps on telling us on a daily basis. His lies are aparantly not his responsibility. I also find the timing more than a bit humorous. You think he’d show responsibility a year ago this time if he wanted to send in 20,000 troops? Hell no! But he needs the support of the House and Senate which don’t do his will anymore as if he is the king of America. So it is essentially a suck up. Well Bushy old buddy, pucker up because it’s gonna take a hell of a lot more than that.

The Result – Wisconsin

So voting day is over. As everyone knows Democrats took over the house, and tied up the senate. Also a big congrats to Lieberman who won as an independent after losing the primaries. I’ve disagreed with what he has done with video games the past few years, but he has overall been a decent senator and that is a hell of a nice story=)

As for my local election, Doyle won the Governership and as expected, it was close.  Baldwin won her house spot for the fifth consecutive time, Falk didn’t win the Attorney General but it was extremely close and  I honestly don’t even  know how much this matters. Kohl won his senate seat as expected by a landslide. No green members won any position in my area which is disappointing, heck I don’t even think any broke 5%. They did strongly to start as a party, but it seems to be a party on the decline already which is sad.

As for issues… Wisconsin voted to ban gay marriage, I have mixed feelings about outright putting it into the state constitution with only a slim majority vote, but obviously this state isn’t yet comfortable with the thought. We added the death sentence to the penalty roster in the state which I didn’t like, and my local precinct voted to approve a new school and some school renovations which I’m pleased with.

Overall, I think the race went fairly well. I am not happy about everything obviously but it could have been much worse. I didn’t think that Wisconsin meant much nationally but i was more than happy to lend my support to allowing gay marriages, and stopping the death penalty and the green party, even if this didn’t amount to a win.

Vote!

Traditionally, Americans don’t vote for midterms, but this year could be different for that. I know I am voting for my first, but then again the last presidential election was also my first. I am going to take a cue from Republicans and suggest that Democrats, Greens, Libertarians, and Independents get out and vote! Your parties need you! Republicans if you vote you could be arrested!

So with that said, if anyone cares here is a breakdown of who I am likely going to vote for today.

Wisconsin Governor: Doyle

  • Honestly I don’t like Doyle much and if Republicans really wanted him out of office this would have been a good year to do it because there are a decent number of Dems who aren’t happy with him. This is like the 2004 Presidential election though because in Wisconsin the Republicans put up a worthless candidate, suppose that is an oxymoron. Mark Green’s main party slogan is look Doyle is corrupt, to which my answer is “Yup, how are you better? You are already being charged with being corrupt and currently in court because of it.” So taking corruptnesses out of it the main difference is that Green would lower taxes, and then make our schools, police, parks, fire departments and government inept while Doyle wants to raise taxes but make the state better. I choose the higher taxes and better state, sorry. Honestly I’d choose a green party guy but this is a close raise and I decided to help the lesser of two evils.

Senate: The Green Party guy.

  • I obviously don’t research this much, because the Green Party never advertises which is why they never win but they don’t get the funding that the main two parties get. This is a race that is already a blow out for incumbent Dem Herb Kohl, I don’t even know who the Republicans have up there because neither party here is advertising. Kohl however has been decent but he voted for the Patriot Act 2 times, and I can’t have that from MY senator, not only that he has been one of them guys getting on the video game bandwagon which I also don’t like. So I’m gonna vote for the Green Party guy, he won’t win but maybe it’ll make him feel nice to have a higher total than the last guy who ran.

State Attorney General: Falk

  • I like Kathleen Falk, she has done a fine job as a rep here in my home district and so think that she will make a fine Attorney General as well. Doesn’t hurt that the Green Party didn’t even bother putting up a candidate.

Gay Marriage Ban: No

  • I’m not gay, so I think it’s none of my business whether they get married or not. The constitution says that every man was created equal and I don’t see why every man shouldn’t be allowed to get married, even if it is to another man. Their choice, who am I to judge.

Other Offices I’ll likely vote for the Green Party where I can. They have a higher hope in my area because it is such a liberal area, and I really do feel very strongly in a three party system and think that the Greens have the best chance to do it. Hopefully one or two will win. The more Greens that can win the more notoriety they make and the more people may be inclined to vote them into other offices. Here’s to hoping at least.

New Feature

Capitalism is great

So ok capitalism as a system isn’t totally bad. The higher ups sold this idea to the lower class by telling them that anyone could go from the gutter to the biggest house in the country if you were dedicated and you worked hard to get it. Yes and you too could become royalty if you found a toad in the swamp, kissed it, had it turn into a beautiful prince(ess) and married that toad royalty. It happens, but not often. In general the economic system of this country is geared to do what feudalism did before, keep the lower class at the lower class status. At best you will be able to move a small step… from lower lower, to middle lower, and this if you are extremely dedicated and hard working.

The other thing about capitalism that to me is the real meat of what is supposed to happen is the competition aspect. Because everyone is trying to make money, everyone is trying to undercut each other and trying to one up each other. A good example of how this works is in the computer CPU market. The processor advances largely because there is competition. Awhile ago Athlon came up with a dual-processor chip, then Intel had to match it and quickly announced quad core. Not only are they pushing technology along faster but they are also keeping prices low as both are trying to be the value cost to get more business. If Intel was alone this wouldn’t happen, products would come out at a slower pace and at a higher price.

But what if the system breaks somewhere? For instance, what if all of the various companies within a genre agree upon a status quo. For instance what if Intel and Athlon got together behind closed doors and said “Hey, if we both keep prices and speeds comparable, we BOTH could be rich by overcharging the customer!” And then these two companies go ahead and do that? What happens then? Is this capitalism anymore? Well this is what has happened in many sectors of the market. For instance, compacts have been made with music industry (the RIAA), the movie industry (MPAA), the oil industry, and many other industries. These industries have all gotten together within their respective fields and have decided not to compete on certain aspects of business. Like price for songs/movies/gas.

The whole point of capitalism is supposed to ensure that the best of the best will always do the best and push the envolope but this is repeatedly proven untrue. No where more than in the music industry where the less talented become stars because they look pretty or have money (Paris Hilton sings now? LOL!!!) Yet there are far more talented bands and singers out there who work so much harder and get so much less recognition than bigger “talents” because they may not be as attractive, or don’t have the money to get in.

The oil industry is a bit special, because somewhere along the line they not only decided to cooperate with pricing (I mean come on there are 5 or 6 major gas chains and they can all be the same price within a  5 mile radius, that just isn’t realistic.), they also went and lobbied the government to cooperate with them too. I don’t know if this is just Wisconsin or national, but there are actual laws that put a minimum price on gas based on how much the crude costs. I know this because apparantly many gas stations are actually breaking this law because prices are so high. I know this is true for real estate too, my mom is in that business and she is not allowed to take less than a certain percentage by law. How is this fair market? I realize this is to make it so that the bigger coorperations can’t undercut the little guy to get him out of business and then up the price when they are gone, but really where the hell is the little guy in the oil business these days? I have not ever seen an indepently owned gas station in my lifetime, yet I can turn on the Andy Griffith show and see it in a little town! What happened to this country!?!?!!

So yes I’m a communist, this system isn’t any much better than a feudlism as far as I can tell. Now just cause I am a communist by nature doesn’t mean that I want to go be a part of North Korea or China, those aren’t good communist countries. Remember this when you think of communism, it is an economic structure not a political structure. Those two above mentioned countries are tyrannies as far as I can tell, and I don’t believe in THAT structure. I believe in either a Communist Republic (btw united states is not a democracy, we are a republic) or a Communist Democracy. Democracy is probably better but honestly I don’t think a democracy will work until we get further along in technology than we currently are. I mean it is just a nightmare to try to figure out if votes are real or fake right now and to have people voting on every rule in this day and age is more than just a head ache.

Division

Ok so I personally am sick of the Republicans of this country. Need I explain why? Now if they wanna go fuck up their own lives that is their issue. I am a firm believer that is their right. However, the last 8 years they’ve been fucking up mine and I don’t think they have that right.

So let’s do something about it and lets do it right. Let’s do what the civil war could not do one hundred and forty some odd years ago. Let’s split the nation in two. And let’s do it better this time. Instead of going to war against each other for 4 or 5 years and killing half our populations, let’s just agree to disagree and split up peacefully. After all one of the reasons that we needed to stay together at the time was because a) we weren’t as big as we are now, b) we were younger than we are now and didn’t have solid legs to stand on, and c) alot of our exports were coming from the south (tobacco which who the hell uses anymore?).

So let’s let every state have a vote as to who gets to go where. You are either with us or against us. I figure the the states would go as such:

On the “north” side you would have Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Massachusettes, Maryland, Washington, California, Oregon, and D.C.

The “south” side would have Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia, the Carolinas, and Indiana.

Now these are just the likely for sures. In fact I’m not entirely sure about Kansas but whatever. This leaves us with a number of contested states. But I will do my best to split em up evenly. Again:

“North”: While Maine and New Hampshire are not entirely liberal they do tend to lean that way and I would suspect that they would go the route of the rest of New England. I think the same could be said with Ohio, barring Republicans hacking into the voting machines. I think Nevada also will go over to the North because well they have gambling and prostitution and I doubt the South would go for that. I think Arizona is moving over to the liberal point of view of late and think by the time this split would occur that they might side with going to the North, so too would New Mexico. I’m going to also award Missouri to the North as a side one, i think between Missouri, Iowa, and Arkansas one would go north and I think it’d be Missouri.

“South”: I think North Dakota would go South because nationally they tend to go republican, Utah has traditionally voted Republican, I will also give Iowa and Arkansas to the South as mentioned above. Will give Florida to the South as I think either ohio or florida would go south and I took Ohio by the North (feels like tag football doesn’t it?), Georgia, Virginia (though they seem to be turning to democrat), Tennessee and Kentucky are actually surprisingly swing states quite often but I think they tend to lean towards the south, and finally Louisiana… I honestly think this whole Katrina thing has really torn up Louisiana and killed the Republican party in that state, but I’m just going to give it to the south.

That’d leave us with final tallies of:

  • North – Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Conneticut, Massachusettes, New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maryland, D.C. Pennsylvania, D.C., Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Hawaii
  • South -Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virgina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, Idaho, and Alaska

I think that is it… oh yeah Texas. What about Texas you say? It is my understanding that Texans have secretly wanted out of the union pretty much since they joined it, so I am taking this opportunity to let them out… heck it’s possible they could convince another state like Oklahoma to join them but I’m just going with Texas as its own country.

So doing this little outline I do notice a few interesting things about our new United States countries. One, the north would be devoid of the traditional oil states such as Texas, Alaska, and I think Wyoming, Plus without any gulf states we’d be out of the gulf oil as well. We’d also be without a significant portion of crops from the plains states, but the midwest has its crops as well so it wouldn’t be a total loss. And we could fairly easily offset the loss of fossil fuels with the inclusion of nuclear fuels coming from illinois and other midwest states. I do fully admit that having a west coast and east coast totally seperated without having a connection could be problematic with traveling and power transfers but we’ll make do. Where we would lose on energy and some of the produce, we would gain back in owning the west coast exclusively, technology would be a huge factor with us maintaining the hubs of silicon valley and seattle, we would have a monopoly on entertainment with New York and Hollywood, we would also have another pacific adventage in keeping the airports and tourism of Hawaii, as well as have some leeway left with car manufacture with maintaining Ohio and Michigan (though admitadly much of this has still moved south and to China, us owning the ports on the pacific I think would be huge.)
So it wouldn’t be without its difficulty and we’d be sacrafcing stuff, but so would you. We’d both still be fairly strong. I mean hell look at the other international powers like England and France, they have much less territory really and are more split up than either side would be! So why not? We are all sick of each other, let’s just split up since we don’t get along and do what we think we need to do seperately!