The Daily Show: Attorneys for the Unborn

Reality is stranger than fiction.  The state of Alabama is now appointing attorneys for the unborn.  The Daily Show does a great job showing how absurd this is.  When she pulls out the final doll at the end I finally lost my shit…

The Fall of Man and Accidents of Birth

Every single day that I decide not to fashion a flute out of another human being’s femur bone is a small victory.  I know that I am a flawed human being that occasionally has an unreasonable temper.  I know that I can occasionally let my self-interest overcome the good of the group.  I, like most people, am neither a saint nor a sociopath.  Most human beings are complicated characters that are somewhere in between.  I am no different.

However, it is exactly because I am very consciously aware of these traits that I feel that we should be kind to other people when we can overcome our own chemicals and tribal biases.  As long as human behavior is not hurting others I believe it is the height of self-righteousness to try to control other people through the law.  There is a huge difference in my mind between stating your beliefs and trying to impose your will on others through the power of law.

In your personal life, again as long as you are not hurting others, you can be as ignorant as you wish, though I would advise against it.  But when people try to prevent others from experiencing their own journey towards happiness and meaning, it makes my head spin.  Most of us human beings, I’d say 99% of us, have our own shit to sort out and should be concerned with that before trying to impose our will on others.

Being gay doesn’t hurt anyone.  In fact being gay, being of a different race, being male or female, being from another country, are all accidents of birth.  Show me someone trying to ban gay marriage and I’ll show you a motherfucker with too much time on their hands that should be looking in the mirror first.  And if you don’t want to spend time looking in the mirror, go down to the local orphanage or something else that will be of some good to people.  If you believe that gay people shouldn’t have the right to marry, that women shouldn’t be in control of their own bodies, that new immigrants are somehow less deserving than the less recent immigrants of your ancestors, I may disagree with you, but that is your right.  However, again, actively campaigning to have these beliefs codified by law is exactly where I feel the line should be drawn.

Although I don’t believe in the Fall of Man as having actually happened, I love it as a story.  We are all flawed.  We are all on a daily struggle to overcome our chemical makeup and our imperfect knowledge and this strange ocean of absurd culture that we are born into.

There is only one place in life we should be trying to reach.  As the great Kurt Vonnegut said:  “Goddamn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

W.A.R. (White Anglo-Saxon Republicans) What are They Good For?

Ever since the election I have been trying to think of one thing that Republicans do that is positive.  I am talking about the leaders and not about those that are in the party.  I grew up with Republicans, I have had Republican friends at all times in my life, and I know that many of them are kind, generous, fun people.

But most of the people that I am friends with would be moderate Republicans.  These are not the kind of Republicans that just won election.  Most moderate Republicans have been drummed out of positions of power.

I am dead serious.  I want any of you that are Republicans to email me positive policy positions that the Republicans have.  Things that you don’t agree with, but you think they would do better than Obama don’t count.  You also can’t say anything like I think they would be better at foreign policy because they would fight war more effectively.  I’m talking about things that would be put in place that would make the lives of everyday people better.

Most of the things I have heard during the election are things that would make someone’s life worse.  There seems to be anti-whatever in front of all of the Republican’s big issues.  They are anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-women, anti-environmental regulation, anti-affordable healthcare, etc.  I know that they want to take away women’s right to choose, immigrant rights in anyway possible, gay people’s right to marry, allow fossil fuel companies to operate with less restrictions, repeal Obamacare.  I don’t see how anyone but the extremely rich benefit from any of these ideas.

Those in the right that are in power seem to be either free-market utopians or the religiously insane.  Those in power are not conservatives with a small c.  So please, I really want to know.  What do those in power in this party stand for other than making sure that rich white people hold onto their money?  What are the leaders of this party good for?

Unless someone can make me aware of something that I’m not, I can’t help but feel that the answer is the same as to war in the Edwin Starr song:  Absolutely nothing!

Hey Don’t the Wars Come Easy, Hey Don’t the Peace Come Hard

Love junkies wanna change the world:
It quickly stays the same
Money junkies hire all the smart ones
Power junkies run the game

One step at a time
Polarity Hill
If the bad guys don’t get you, baby
Then the good guys will
With angels on the take
And the gangsters in the yard
Hey don’t the wars come easy
Hey don’t the peace come hard

– Excerpt from the song The Big Ones Get Away by Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Ever since the election I’ve wanted to bite someone’s throat out like a werewolf.  That is, until tonight.  I was listening to the great Buffy Sainte-Marie and those last two lines struck me.  Buffy Sainte-Marie is a singer who politically is also the real deal.  She was blacklisted personally by President Johnson.  She was an activist that put herself on the line numerous times.  When she sings the lines, “Hey don’t the wars come easy, hey don’t the peace come hard”, she knows what she is talking about.

I played a festival in Canada this year where I got to see Buffy Sainte-Marie perform.  She talked about how not enough people were saying how we treat each other is what’s important, and not the almighty dollar.  Such a simple message, but something we can’t seem to learn in America.

I worked hard to try to get Prop 1 passed here in Austin.  Prop 1 was a bill that was going to put in the first stage of urban rail in Austin and it also included road projects.  When I was canvassing I mostly talked to Democrats.  When I went into the more middle class and working class neighborhoods people seemed to get that this would help make the city a better, more livable place.  The richer the neighborhoods, the more people seemed to claim that we couldn’t afford it.  This was going to raise taxes a total of about $20 a month, and this was not even going to take full effect until 2020.  The price of four beers a month turned people off to doing something that was not only going to make the city better, but was also good for the environment.  And it seemed to be those that could most afford it that were the most against it.

The state of Texas elected Dan Patrick, a former conservative radio host, who makes Sean Hannity look like a Rhodes Scholar, as our new Lieutenant Governor.  That position actually holds power in the state of Texas.

The country as a whole seemed to vote for the most insane politicians possible, at a time when, especially environmentally, we can least afford it.  The oil and the gas industries won big, when we need to be electing people that will help us end our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels.  Women and gays are under attack through proposed policies.  Minorities and poor people are under attack at the polling stations.  I had to show an ID to vote in Texas, a move that some estimate might have disenfranchised 600,000 Texans.

The old, the white, and the scared showed up in large numbers, while the young, who have the most to lose, stayed home.  It’s discouraging that people that should know better allowed themselves to be duped, while those that need to know better were so apathetic.  All around no one comes out of this clean, for different reasons.

However, the one of my pet peeves is those that say there is no difference in politicians.  There is an ancient ocean of difference between Sarah Palin and Elizabeth Warren, for one example.  Those that have become so cynical that they are blind to that, I will never understand.

The thing is, even those that voted the opposite of what I believe they should have, are people that I think should be included in the dream.  I don’t want anyone to go without healthcare.  I don’t want anyone to go to a war that is senseless.  I don’t want anyone thrown in jail that doesn’t deserve it.  I wish these people could see that the things that we liberals want don’t just benefit us.

Meanwhile there seems to be nonstop attacks on those most vulnerable.  Why is there so much hatred for immigrants or homosexuals?  The lizard brain is running wild right now.  But at the center of all this are people that value money over other human beings.  And they know how to get those lizard brains in motion.

This week was a huge setback for this country, and because of our power, for the world.  But as Buffy sings:

Hey don’t the wars come easy
Hey don’t the peace come hard

 We on the left must dust ourselves off and get motivated.  There is a dark train coming down the tracks.  I don’t blame anyone for being depressed or discouraged.  Christ, I am.  But to do nothing is to give in to despair and desolation.  There is only two years until the next election.  Not that much time, but enough to get reorganized and hungry again.

Last time our people showed up to vote it led to 10,000,000 people getting healthcare that didn’t have it, to gays being allowed to serve openly in the military, and to the first Latino on the Supreme Court.  That is real and meaningful change.  I benefited from the healthcare law, but I’m a white male that likes girls.  I was happy to see people that were different than me realize their dreams.  in this interconnected world it has to be about more than your own tribe.  We sink or swim together.  There is water in the boat, but we haven’t drowned yet…

Link

Suppressing Women’s Voting Rights

Suppressing Women’s Voting Rights

This article is about how the new voting rights laws in Texas could possibly make it harder for women to vote.  It made me so mad that I have temporarily lost all reason.  I thought the only thing fun that I could do to make myself feel better was to post the lyrics to Lou Reed’s  song Sex With Your Parents.  This song is from 1995 so it’s a little dated, reference to Robert Dole, but otherwise it stands true.  Some could see this as a bridge to far.  But remember, these people are trying to prevent women and minorities from voting. If you get angry at some of the language in this song, and not at the fact that people’s voting rights are being messed with, then you have lost the thread.

Sex With Your Parents

I was thinking of things that I hate to do
Sex with your parents
Things you do to me or I do to you, baby
Sex with your parents

Something fatter or uglier than rush rambo
Something more disgusting than robert dole
Something pink that climbs out of a hole
And there it was – sex with your parents

I was getting so sick of this right wing republican shit
These ugly old man scared of young tit and dick
So I try to think of something that made me sick
And there it was – sex with your parents

Now these old fucks can steal all they want
And they can go and pass laws saying you can’t say what you want
And you can’t look at this and you can’t look at that
And you can’t smoke this and you can’t snort that
And me baby – I got statistics – I got stats
These people have been to bed with their parents

Now I know you’re shocked but hang and have a brew
If you think about it for a minute you know that it’s true
They’re ashamed and repelled and they don’t know what to do
They’ve had sex with their parents
When they looked into their lovers eyes they saw – mom
In the name of the family values we must ask whose family
In the name of the family values we must ask – senator

It’s has been reported that you have had
Illegal congress with your mother, – sex with your parents
Ah, senator
An illegal congress by proxy is a
Pigeon by any other name, – sex with your parents

Senators you polish a turd
Here in the big city we got a word
For those who would bed their beloved big bird
And make a mockery of our freedoms
Ah, without even using a condom
Without even saying “no”
By God we have a name for people like that
It’s – hey motherfucker

I feel slightly better now.  For the moment…