Sunday, February 24, 2013

Where I Stand

President Kennedy articulated liberalism when he said, "If by a 'Liberal' they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about welfare of the people - their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties - someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad. If that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a 'Liberal.'" In that light, I would place myself in the Liberal category. Although, in today's political world it may be more appropriate to substitute the word liberal with progressive.

Considering all the greed and corruption rife in our government, unions, NGOs, and corporations, it is tempting to allow political despair to consume us completely. However, we must not allow ourselves to give up. We must not be apathetic, and decide not to participate. The main goal of an oligarchy is to inspire a populace to do exactly that, give up and simply do what they are told to do.

If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.
-Mark Twain

I believe that being aware of the situation to the best of our abilities, and then attempting to identify propaganda is one of the most important goals a citizen has. Once we have adequate information, we then have an obligation to actively support positive political change. We must diversify our news sources so we obtain more of a complete picture of issues. Look for publications that offer different portrayals of history. You will begin to break out of the mold you were placed in while enduring public school indoctrination, and instead start to understand the depth of history. If you are a liberal, listen to right wing talk radio, and read the right wing blogs. If your a conservative do the opposite. Diversify your information gathering so you can relate and as a result communicate to more people, more of the time. Letter writing campaigns, protesting, and just talking with people you know can make positive change happen. Study ethics, and logic, both are fundamental in developing your political point of view.

Some Decisions President Obama made in that disappointed me:

  • Hired Michael Taylor (An ex-vice president of Monsanto) to be the U.S. Food Safety Czar and later promoted to be a head advisor of FDA.
  • Invaded Libya in 2011 after supporting a CIA backed coup.
  • Promised to get the U.S. military out of Iraq when running for office, but took two years to get around to it. With tens of thousands of contractors and state department people still in Iraq, and oil companies locking down the oil reserves in the country, I don't agree that the U.S. ever stopped occupying Iraq.  The U.S. also left behind countless pieces of military equipment now being used by enemies of the U.S..
  • Promised to shut down Guantanamo prison, but failed to accomplish this. I am also disappointed that Congress and state governments have blocked the reassignment of prisoners to the states, and foreign governments have refused extradition. Many of the prisoners at Guantanamo shouldn't even be in a prison since the evidence against them is flimsy or non-existent. Guantanamo is an American made limbo.
  • Appointed a myriad of K Street lobbyist to powerful political positions within his administration.
  • Reauthorized the FISA wiretapping to 2017.
  • Defended the NDAA law that allows the military to detain US citizens indefinitely without trial.
  • Gave up on the single payer option at the start of negotiations over the Affordable Care Act, and now it has mostly devolved into a broker mechanism for insurance companies to gain more clients.
  • Supported Israel in genocide.
  • Supported Ukraine's political coup, and the subsequent slaughter of hundreds of eastern Ukrainian dissidents.