Monday, December 29, 2008

Republicans? And Democrats? And Others? Oh My!

Sorry to my millions upon millions of loyal readers for taking so long to post something new. Thanks to work, school, and the holidays, updating my Blog was not high on the priority list. Part of the problem is that I am still in the process of trying to determine what I want to Blog about. There are so many issues to discuss and there are as many Blogs out in Cyberspace as there are issues to discuss. This particular post is something that I have been kicking around in my head for the last several weeks.

With your permission, okay, even if you do not give me permission, I am going to Blog about a few politically related issues. First, I want to state that even though this Blog may appear to have a political bent; it is not my intention to create yet another political Blog. My intention is to discuss many issues related to life and everyday topics that one may not always be cognizant of. Having stated all that, I turn your attention now to the wacky world of politics and the way I see things. Therefore, you may be wondering, why the rip off from the Wizard of Oz in the title?

I am so glad that you asked. As an information junkie, I watch and listen to numerous programs on radio, television and I read just about anything that peaks my interest at the time. The other day I had tuned into one of the CSPAN channels during some of the Congressional hearings related to the auto industry bailout. After the program aired, there was a phone-in session where the audience can dial a number and voice their opinions. I am slightly amused that there is a different number for viewers to call depending on the viewer’s political affiliation.

The three options are Republican, Democrat, and Others. I still have to chuckle to myself when I think about it. I suppose the CSPAN folks or whomever is pulling the strings behind the curtain split callers into categories so that reports can be created that shows the percentages of responses of viewers claiming to be affiliated with a political party, broken down further by male versus female, minorities, etc. This then led me to think about a few other areas where political party affiliation comes into play.

Talk radio is one. I could probably Blog for days on talk radio alone. I will spare you, the reader, from such torture. Besides, I took an oath and unlike the Hitler/Bush Administration, I believe in the Geneva Convention, which I served proudly under the guidelines it set forth. Therefore, I will not be engaged in the torture of rambling on for days about talk radio.

What’s that? Did I hear someone call me a liberal? Alternatively, perhaps some other label? Careful with that, one may find that I am more conservative than one may assume. I claim no other political affiliation other than that of American. One may argue that American is not a political party. I am in 100% agreement. As an American, I am concerned with all things that affect my country and those within its borders.

I digress, listening to the talking heads on radio and television over the last decade has made me more than a bit cynical. I would often marvel at how knowledgeable the hosts appeared to be on the issues of the day and the historical data that they could rattle off without pausing to take a breath. Common sense tells you that when one dedicates their life to one ideology, one does not have to be very intelligent. These one-dimensional characters need do no more than read from a list of carefully constructed talking points and counterpoints. As with any endeavor, repetition or practice makes one more skillful at their trade or skill.

Get the picture? So, when one is watching a sporting event on television and marvels at an athlete’s performance, one understands that the athlete has invested considerable time and money into being the best that they can be. The same applies to these political talking heads. Well, unless you have people like Sean Hannity that blatantly lie; get caught lying, and still lie.
What about Coultergiest? She just released a book full of lies, gets caught, yet is allowed to push her garbage on national television? When one steps back and applies a bit of common sense reasoning, one can see that these folks are not very intelligent at all. They are only proficient at regurgitating propaganda and lies.

These propagandists have screeners that are very careful at selecting the callers/viewers that get through. Intelligent, thoughtful Americans are not allowed to speak to these frauds or engage in any meaningful debates. The formula is to allow those sharing the same viewpoints as the corrupt hosts and those with the most radical opposing viewpoints to get through to the hosts. The radicals are the easiest for these talking heads to debate. The hosts know that the views are so extreme that they can easily be laughed off and made a mockery of.

The hosts then point out to their loyal listeners that these are the voices of the opposition. This is why they have to be on the air, to defeat these uninformed... insert label here... Or, should a well-informed caller be wise enough to trick the screener and get through, the host can just shout the caller down or incessantly talk over the other person so that no one knows what is going on anyway. However, do not worry, the host will TELL you what the other person’s viewpoint is so that they can construct a straw man and tear it down. Go ahead, do a Google search on a straw man argument, and see the logical fallacy these hosts continuously commit.

When you understand that the mass media have a job to do, which is selling a product or an idea, then you can begin to see the big picture. Truth and the facts matter very little to them. I mentioned Hannity as one of the worst because many watchdog groups repeatedly award him the dubious honor as the most dishonest talking head but there are others. Limbaugh is another; he likes to use the catch phrase of something about having half of his brain tied behind his back. That makes for an interesting mental image when he also has most of his head up his rectum.

I am not anti-conservative or anti-liberal. I am anti-liar. In my opinion, the talking heads should be held accountable for any crimes that people commit because of the garbage that they spew out of their pie holes. That’s right, all of mass media are complicit in the illegal war in Iraq. Please, do yourself a favor and research 09/11/01, the years prior and other significant events before responding to this post regarding the congressionally sanctioned murders taking place in Iraq.

Talk about a lack of common sense, how does an administration that allowed one of the most devastating attacks to occur on their watch climb to such high approval ratings? What the hell is wrong with us? If a coach or a security guard allows something terrible to happen under their watch, they are fired and ridiculed, some are even ran out of their towns. Not Bush and his clowns. Talk about a lack of common sense.

We bought into the hype, plain and simple. I will not go into the details here maybe that will be a later Blog post. To make a long story short, do not buy into the lies that the intelligence agencies had no idea that anything like 09/11/01 was possible or that they lacked credible intelligence that anything was imminent. That is a bald-faced lie and careful research will reveal more than enough evidence that they knew almost every detail in advance. They chose not to act. Insert your favorite conspiracy theory here.

Thanks for reading this far if you are still with me. My intent is to point out that we should take George Washington’s advice given in his farewell address that as Americans, we cannot afford to allow ourselves to be divided by party affiliations or crazy things start to happen. Things like 09/11/01, the loss of civil liberties, hate crimes, and the inability to achieve anything meaningful for the country. Here is a final bit of food for thought, does it make good common sense that the only people elected to most any office are wealthy, out-of-touch cronies? Most are career politicians who have no idea what the plights of the average citizen are.

Is it not about time that we, as American citizens, stop accepting what the mainstream shove down our throats and start demanding that we be allowed to hear from average Americans who wish to run for office? Let’s have open debates between all of the candidates. Moreover, may the best one win instead of the special interest cronies we are given every election cycle. Isn’t it absurd that in America, one would even need to make such statements? Maybe one way to guarantee that everyone who wants a chance to serve gets a fair shot is by enacting term limits on all elected and appointed positions, no more career politicians or favored appointees.

That way, no one looses touch with the issues affecting the average citizen. Here is to a better year than 2008 and thanking you for reading. I appreciate that you took time out of your busy life to consider what I have to say. Until next time, be safe, be happy, and always use common sense.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Dude, what's with the name?

And so it begins….

For the last few days, I have wrestled with numerous ideas on just how to launch this blog. Then it hit me, people are going to want to know why I selected the name that I did for this blog. There are many philosophical reasons I suppose. I could prattle on about those reasons however; I will spare you, my dear reader, from that agony. The plain, simple truth is that all of the titles that I attempted to use were already taken.

I paraphrase a bit but I grew so tired of seeing the message, Sorry, this one is taken, that I mockingly typed it in and presto this one was available! So, in some way I am saying to the online community, sorry, but this one is taken. Deep, yes I am well aware of that thank you very much. So what’s my game? Many issues in society inflame my passions. My intention is to use this blog in several ways, to help me keep my thoughts together, to prattle at times, to have fun, to share, and to learn.

You may also have noticed the use of Thomas Paine quotes and my adoption of his pseudonym Common Sense. Why is that? Thanks for asking. I will defer to Thomas Paine and allow him to answer for me.

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.-- Thomas Paine (The Crisis, December 1776)

These are the times that try our collective souls. We have many doom-and-gloom talking heads predicting all types of calamities lurking around the next corner. We have mass media that have lost its moral compass. Society seems to be adrift in a sea of change with no one at the helm to steer us away from the rocks. I hear a lot of talking going on about what is wrong, what is right, and how to fix it.

The trouble is, no one appears to be listening. I am under no delusions of grandeur. Others are already saying much of what you will see on this blog. When I locate a source that does a much better job at explaining something than I can, I will add it to the links section for your enjoyment. I beg you not to take my word for anything but instead research the content of what you see here and educate yourself.

I intend to relax my grammar and use slang and common terminology as well, not because I am lazy, but because it was Thomas Paine’s use of common everyday language that made his messages consumable by the popular culture of his time. I have no concrete direction as of this writing. I am going to let intuition guide me and we’ll see where that takes us.

Thanks for your time and attention.