Friday, July 24, 2009

Progressive vs. Conservative Talk Shows

Many people refuse to ask the big questions. Why are we here? Why do we die? What happens next? These questions often either get glossed over or we create fantastic answers that are meant to calm our nerves, even though we don't have any evidence to prove them.

By the same token, many people don't ask questions that when answered reveal quite a lot. For example, did you know that four of Barack Obama's top twenty contributors are institutions of higher education? It's true. That amounts to 20% of his top twenty. How does McCain compare? Zero. Not one of his top twenty contributors is an institute of higher learning.

What does this mean? That the intelligentsia back Barack Obama. That people who think for a living prefer progressive politics. That people who care about education support Democratic candidates.

This explains a lot. I've long felt that the Democratic party was the party of higher intellectual ability. I'm waiting for Mensa to send all of the members a questionnaire asking us our political affiliation so I will finally have something to support my beliefs but until then, I have to look for evidence in other areas. The support of Democratic candidates by universities is a step in the right direction.

This also explains the proliferation of right-wing talk shows. Anyone with a brain can tell that these people are not speaking truths, and are intentionally misleading their listeners. Of course they are. Because they can. Their listeners are easily mislead.

This also explains why there are so few progressive shows. We don't need a talking head to tell us what to think. We can do that for ourselves.

It's the right-wing who can't.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Healthcare Reform

The following letter was sent to Senators Susan Collins, Mary Landrieu, Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Olympia Snowe and Ron Wyden. If any of them respond, I'll post their response on here as well.

Dear Senators:

I am writing to the six of you in regards to the letter you all signed urging a slow down in the time-line on the issue of healthcare for all Americans. While I agree with you that this matter is extremely urgent and must be done right, I have to disagree with you on the need for slowing down the process.

Earlier this week a friend of mine asked me to accompany him to a local emergency room. My friend was experiencing chest pains severe enough to warrant being seen by a medical professional. Unfortunately, like many other Americans, my friend does not have health insurance, and therefore we were forced to go to the local county hospital. Before being seen by a physician, we sat in the waiting room for over 16 hours. From speaking with other patients who had been to this emergency room, and from the staff of the hospital, we found that such a wait was not uncommon.
If my friend had been fortunate enough to have health insurance, he could have gone to another hospital where the wait time would have been under an hour. The lack of insurance necessitated going where he would be able to afford to pay the bill. It was only two days after this experience that I read of your letter to the Senate.

I am surprised that any of you would ask for additional time for this measure, given that all of you have been in office long enough to have had time to prepare for this. In fact, other than Al Franken, I don't think anyone in the Senate should require additional time to get this legislation passed. Joe Lieberman has been in the Senate since 1988, Olympia Snowe since 1994, Susan Collins, Mary Landrieu and Ron Wyden since 1996 and Ben Nelson since 2004. All of you have had sufficient time to prepare for passage of this legislation, but apparently, none of you have bothered to do this until it was forced upon you.

I would ask all of you to put your money where your mouths are. If you want additional time on this matter, then show the American people that you are serious about passage of this legislation. Cancel your own medical insurance for you and your covered family members until this measure is passed into law. Should you or any of your covered love ones experience an illness during that time, I can give you directions to the county hospital where I sat for nearly a full day.

After you have experienced sitting with an ill loved one for that long, then tell me that we should slow down the time-line for passage of this legislation. Until then, show some respect for the many Americans who currently do not have health insurance and get this measure passed.

Monday, July 6, 2009


There is a little-known religious group here in America that is very misunderstood. I would like to take a few moments to explain these people and their belief system. Many people scoff at the religious beliefs of others, but it is important to keep an open mind when dealing with other people's beliefs. Just because they are different than yours does not make them any less.

These people belong to the World Wide Church of the Holy Cabbage and are known as Cabbagists, for short. Their religion is often referred to as Cabbagism, although they prefer to call themselves the WWC of the HC. Cabbagism is what I shall use in this writing, whether they like it or not.

The principle tenet of Cabbagism is that God is a giant head of cabbage existing somewhere out in the universal and bestowing blessings upon his followers, but no one else. In respect to their deity, Cabbagists refrain from eating cabbage in any form, and feel that cole slaw is the destruction of their Creator and is therefore blasphemous. The eating of cole slaw is a grave sin, and an even more grave sin is the eating of sauerkraut. As the Cabbagists say, "the road to hell is paved with sauerkraut."

In certain states of this country, Cabbagists get together in the middle of the night and raid local farms where cabbage is grown. They strike while the plants are still young and easily transported, but wait until far enough into the growing season that a new crop could not be started before the seasons change. This has caused quite a bit of consternation among the local farmers, many of whom have resorted to hiring security guards to patrol their cabbage patches at night. This has resulted in an increased price of cabbage at local supermarkets.

No one is quite sure what the Cabbagists do with the cabbage plants they dig up, since they certainly can't eat them. If they tossed them into a landfill that would be tantamount to killing them, which is certainly just as bad as eating them. In all likelihood they are using them in their own gardens, but as ornamental plants rather than food crops. They use them as hedges and borders, for example. Cabbagists have very strange looking front yards, and often an inordinate amount of rabbits.

Now as it happened, one day a Cabbagist succeeded in being elected to public office, since most voters don't take the time to thoroughly check out their candidates. This one was particularly good-looking, and that might explain how he won by such a large margin. At any rate, he was not only elected to a post, but that position was as United States Senator. This was indeed a prestigious position and one that had never been held by a Cabbagist previously. This particular Senator spent his time garnering favors from both sides of the aisle, and was successful in getting both houses to pass the Cabbage Reform Act. This Act made the growing of cabbage for human consumption a crime, and outlawed the possession, sale or use of cole slaw and sauerkraut throughout the United States.

You can imagine what the outcry was against this Act, but the government passed it into law and therefore the people were forced to obey it. It wasn't long before cole slaw was found on the black market, and whole divisions of police forces were set up to fight the War on Cabbage. Many United States citizens were known to cross the borders into either Mexico or Canada where they could enjoy cole slaw without fear of retribution, since neither of these countries passed a similar law.

The economies of several major cities suffered from this legislation, as the sales of hot dogs at sporting events plummeted without the benefit of sauerkraut to put on them.

With the passage of this law came much rejoicing among the Cabbagists, as you can imagine. They could now worship their God peacefully knowing that cabbage was sacred among all the peoples of this nation.

This story comes with a moral; all religious beliefs are valid, and everyone is entitled to their own spirituality, but no one has the right to force their beliefs on anyone else. Forcing others to conform to your beliefs only invites others to do the same to you. Treat others as you would have them treat you. Respect their beliefs.

This story also illustrates why religion and politics need to remain separated. Our elected officials all have their own beliefs, but when they are acting in their official capacities, they represent us. All of us. As such they need to remain balanced in their decisions. Failure to do so might result in the loss of sauerkraut and cole slaw.