Thursday, November 27, 2008

I thought this was a good article, so I added the link.
Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A friend asks: What's up with the 2 Party system?

The following is an e-mail exchange I had with a friend before the election. I decided to post it because it is highly relevant to our ongoing problems in Washington. Furthermore, our esteemed candidate for 'change', who is pulling half his cabinet from the Clinton Administration, is shaping up to be more of the same old problems. No suprise there. I'm sorry to say I told you so, but I knew this guy was going to win and continue the Bush/Clinton oligarchy on a larger scale. It's going to be an interesting 4 years.
Question: I was curious to get your thoughts on how America has ended up with a two party political system. I have a few ideas and they're all quite discouraging. I get the sense from your writing that neither of the two present front runners in our presidential election do a lot to excite you and there are certainly alternatives but most voters have this sense that, if they were to vote for one of them, they would be "wasting" their vote (a sentiment I find abhorrent). One possible reason is the amount of money spent on a political campaign has created a situation where the candidate must be backed by a corporation (RNC or DNC). The other possibility is a bit more philosophical but perhaps more plausible. Our culture, for whatever reasons, has come to see issues as strictly right or wrong. I notice that a great many peoples' political views are often not informed by the candidates' platform but by a few key issues that come to serve as pivotal for their vote. Once they have made up their mind on their candidate it means that the other candidates are clearly wrong. This mentality also seems to come up in foreign policy and even religion. It wont suffice that someone or some country may have differing world views. More and more, if someone has a differing view, there is no real debate or exchange, they are simply labeled as wrong and all further decisions are based on that premise. I'm just curious as to your thoughts on this and if you are seeing the same thing I am.
My Answer: I’m happy to answer your questions, please forgive me if I rant. It’s hard to get into politics and resist the urge to be a blowhard. I don’t presume to know everything, or intend to change anyone’s mind. I have opinions, and I’ve found that people like to hear what I think, so here goes.
I had no intention of voting this year until Bob Barr entered the race on the Libertarian ticket. I am sick of voting to keep someone out of office because there is no candidate worthy of my support. This year is different. The only point I disagree on with Barr is
going to Iraq, and I will concede that he knows things I do not. I do agree that it is time to pull out and let them take responsibility for their own country.
I genuinely believe that Barr has changed his mind on the issues that he once supported. I support him because he stands for limited government and individual responsibility. For the first time, I have given money and time to a campaign because I support Barr on principle.
The office of President is not a popularity contest. McBama and their sidekicks do not have a right to my vote by virtue of being insiders. You are right when you say the major parties are like corporations, in the sense that they are huge money machines. The platforms of McCain and Obama are not significantly different on policy, only on matters of degree. It doesn’t matter who gets the pork in an income redistribution scheme. The damage is the same either way. They are both big government, big regulation, and scaremongering good old boys. No one has a preordained right to my vote.
As to morality, it depends on who you talk to. I spend entirely too much time with Liberals who think everything is subjective. And, at the same time, they are
extremely intolerant. Maybe that proves my point. I tend to get labeled a Nazi for having the nerve to be an artist who isn’t Liberal. Although I would argue that some things are clearly right and others wrong(take theft and murder as examples), I will say that people have a tendency to extremism. This is not a specifically Christian or American mindset, but a human one.

On a seperate note, I feel the need to bring up the fact that the major party candidates are funded by federal money. Can anyone explain to me why my taxes should pay for political campaigns? In fact,
one of the candidates this year helped pass legislation on how much I can contribute as an individual. Can you explain the logic behind that? As if that isn't bad enough, they (Republicans and Democrats) work together to keep third party candidates off the ballot and out of the debates. Does anyone else smell the poop? It's ridiculous, and people need to get off their butts and start fighting back. Start writing letters, become politically active, make phone calls, and do what it takes to get these guys in line. If they don't listen, vote for someone else. Voting by party or issues are what got us in this mess. Pay attention to what your Representatives are doing and let them know what you think.

Answering Republicans' Questions

I recently filled out a Republican survey; not because I have any intention of voting Republican in most cases, but because I think they need to know where they are going wrong. Until the Libertarian Party goes mainstream, the Republicans are often the only choice I have.The following questions and answers should help you Republicans out there if you expect to save your party.

How Do You Feel About the Election of Barack Obama as President?
The only reason I'm not terrified is that I refuse to fear my government. If we are going to have a little experiment in socialism to satisfy the masses, let’s get it over with. The faster we hit bottom, the faster the productive people can get back to the business of fixing things.
This is not an exclusively Liberal issue by the way. The Republicans, the Bush administration, and John McCain have as much responsibility for the current situation as the Democrats.

Why Do You Think Obama Won?
Although the most often given reason was Obama's ability to inspire people, I think all of the factors listed had an equal role in his election. (If I remember correctly, the reasons given were 1.A need for change, 2.Dissatisfaction with Bush, 3. The economy)

Democrats expanded their majorities in the House and Senate - although not as much as was projected. Will Congress be more effective or less effective at getting things done (whether you agree with their plans or not)?
I am afraid they will get more done because they now feel justified in their philosophy. They are on a power trip, and they feel like they are making history.

How do you feel about the future of our country over the next four years?
We have been on the path to socialism for some time now. Obama and the Democrats are more than happy to force their philosophy down our throats. Although socialism has historically been a failure, Obama does not care because he intends to create fairness and equality rather than concern himself with the economic results.
The Republican party has shown itself to be more than happy to comply in the name of bi-partisanship and personal gain. The voice of the American people has been ignored, our civil liberties have been trampled, and freedom is becoming an antiquated concept, just like the Constitution.
I suggest a serious re-evaluation of the Republican party's purpose and message, starting with McCain's campaign policy. The differences from Obama's platform are insignificant, as they will yield the same results on a slower timeline. You cannot fight big government on a platform of slightly less government.
Although I recognize that there are exceptions within the party, I do not vote blindly for candidates who call themselves Republicans. I vote on record and policy. Right now, that leads me more to the Libertarian Party than the Republican. I will no longer vote for candidates who do not represent limited government and personal freedom just because they are 'less evil' than their rivals. If that means a Democrat majority, so be it.
The Constitution clearly outlines the limitations placed on government for a reason. We are seeing the results of ignoring those limitations.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What is it with Liberals?

This blog entry was inspired by a recent comment on one of my posts. When you disagree with their dogma, Liberals attack you on a personal level, rather than engage you in a reasoned debate. It is not the first time I have encountered this behavior, nor is it exclusive to Liberals. They are, however, more prone to it, and therefore masters of the tactic. I don’t expect an explanation that will justify it anytime soon. I just feel the need to vent. The following are examples of the point:

1. Anyone who argues against the liberally biased art community is ridiculously ignorant.
Being college educated and an artist, this accusation is entirely invalid. Although I would not think to describe myself as a genius, it has more to do with my self-confidence than fact. I don’t feel an overwhelming need to assert my superiority over other people. As an artist who is not Liberal and a producer of political art, I have a first hand perspective of the way the art community is biased and their behavior toward dissenting views. It is nearly intolerable to a Liberal artist to face the idea that a fellow artist would be Conservative, and god forbid, Libertarian. Don't dare venture into the realmof political art with such views.

2. That's the problem with "conservatives" (which you really say to mean Christian theists).
Liberals like Republicans can’t see an alternative to the status quo. Also, to be fair, all Republicans are not evangelicals.

3. Based on the history of great artists in the past, it seems to me that philosophy has little to do with style and only a little to do with content.
This point is so ignorant I don’t even know how to address it adequately. Are philosophy and style mutually exclusive? Can you not have a philosophy, and express it through your art? I’m curious to know what this person defines as great art. Jackson Pollock? Mondrian? Various and sundry other hacks with a paintbrush?
Yes, I’m an art snob. I consider art to be something that has an aesthetically pleasing quality, some measure of talent and vision, and a purpose other than merely shocking people. I blame Duchamp. Nailing a urinal to a wall was the downfall of modern art.

4. Furthermore, note that politics is related to society whereas art is often introspective and based around the individual.
Since I am an individual, and my art is introspective, and I’m politically motivated, this argument is invalid. Also, the actions of society and politicians affect my life as an individual, often adversely. Therefore, the expression of my ‘feelings’ through my art is related to politics and my philosophy.

5. That is why there is a natural bias of art towards individualism, which is the basis of liberalism.
This statement is an oxymoron because Liberals are inherently collectivists.

6.but you are probably heavily involved in it and concerned (1) because you are a minority and (2) because your art isn't well regarded. Stop being so buffoonish. Go out and make the change in yourself that you wish to see in others. Educate yourself and then fight for change. Only then can you fight the injustices facing your sub-culture. Not by ignorant running of the mouth.
This is where the name-calling and personal attacks come in. From separate conversations, I have also been informed that I am ignorant and disadvantaged due to a lack of education on my part. I would change my mind if I understood what I was talking about. I’m really a Liberal and just don’t know it.
It’s all very inspirational. We’ll see how long my work is not well regarded. The only point I will concede to him is that Liberals are not the only people who collect art. Therefore, I will carve a niche, through hard work and talent. I know that’s a bourgeois concept, but it’s a burden I will gladly bear.

For the comment in question and my response in their entirety, see my previous posting under: Why is this election so important. The comment in question was posted anonymously.It’s a fun read.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Change you can fear#2: Defining Obama’s Blueprint for America.

There are so many things wrong with this man’s campaign platform; I don’t even know where to start. After slogging through this repetitive and dogmatic treatise on Obama’s socialist dream for our future, I was absolutely amazed that anyone would vote for this man. I can’t believe that people have gotten so lazy and dependant on government. We’re in for some hard times, and need to start fighting for our Liberty now. The days of bread and circuses are upon us, and it won’t be pretty.
The biggest concern I have with the Blueprint for America, is the economic reality of it. Since the government has no means of income other than taxes, I’m having trouble figuring out how Obama thinks he’s going to pay for it. Even if he empties his tax sheltered account in a gesture of good faith to the American people, he won’t come within a century of being close to paying for his programs. I guess some people think it sounds great to stick it to the rich because they can afford it, but there are several problems with that plan.
First, there aren’t enough rich people in the world to pay for it all. Obama wants to give everything to nearly everyone, and he’s not happy to restrict himself to Americans either. The second problem I see is that government rarely does anything well and it always costs much more than projected.
I would say he just wants to help people, but he’s really just like any other politician on a power trip. I would say he just doesn’t realize that the numbers don’t add up. The problem is he said he doesn’t care about the effect on the economy because he’s more concerned about fairness. I have a hard time understanding what’s fair about taking money from people who work for it. He talks about the debt of the Bush administration, but he’s promising to pile on some more. The inevitable result of wealth redistribution in the name of equality is that everyone ends up poor.
I guess he has the messiah complex too, because I got the impression he’s going to solve all the world’s problems while he’s in office. Who can blame him when people burst into tears and faint at the sight of him?
We keep hearing about change we can believe in, but no one has really defined what that change is going to be. We’re told that it’s okay that Obama doesn’t have any accomplishments as a Senator because he inspires people. I’m not feeling very inspired, unless you count the ideas I have for paintings about him. I have a feeling he won’t find that very inspiring, so maybe it’s an even trade. He talks about his ability to change Washington, and my ability to help him achieve that goal, but our goals are not the same. I don’t need another wealthy politician/lawyer/pompous oaf telling me that I can make a difference. I already knew that.
I prefer to have the opportunity to improve my life, rather than have the government screw it up. I don’t want to be reduced to the lowest common denominator; I want people to be responsible for themselves, whatever the consequences. Don’t fool yourself thinking this man cares anything about your needs. He is concerned first and foremost with his own ascent to power. His ideals and their execution are the only other concern he has room for. Not your health. Not your well-being. Not your income. Not your safety. Nothing.

Vote Early and Often, the Mantra of Third World Despots has Entered the Presidential Race.

I gave closing remarks at an art show recently and heard one of the most disturbing things of this election cycle. The owner of the venue made some comments before I went on stage; then asked if everyone was registered to vote. One woman was particularly excited. She added that she had not only registered, but had voted at the same time. Then she yelled out “Vote early and often. I am!”
If that kind of mentality doesn’t terrify the honest people of this country, I don’t know what will. It’s bad enough that people who don’t pay taxes, then go to the government for a handout, are voting. Now they think they have a right to vote as many times as they want in order to put Obama in office. This is how the nasty little despots who are starving the people of South America got into power. You hear about voter fraud from the Left every election, but now that they have a messiah on the ticket, we’re supposed to turn a blind eye to their activities. If McCain or any of the other white guys in this race were encouraging such behavior, there would be such a cry of racism, that we’d all go deaf.
The double standard in this country has gotten out of control. I’m tired of being called a racist and a fascist because I’m white and oppose
Obama’s platform. I couldn’t care less about the color of his skin. I want to talk about his economic policies. I’ve never owned slaves, and didn’t live through the Civil Rights Movement. Why should I pay reparations, or support a candidate because we owe it to black people to put him in office?
I want to see a candidate who will reduce the government to its intended role as laid out by the Constitution. I’m not sure Obama or McCain even know what the Constitution says. The current state of our government and economy is appalling. Obama and McCain won’t change that.
I feel very strongly that Obama is going to win. I hope I’m wrong. On the bright side, I think he will be a one term President. How much damage do you think he can do in four years with a Democrat majority in Congress? Remember, Congress is the Legislative branch of the government, and therefore, cause the most damage with their pork-laden and civil liberty crushing bills. There’s no Reagan waiting on the sidelines this time to pick up the mess and repair the damage when Obama leaves office.
It’s time for the American people to start voting on principle. There are viable third party candidates running in this election. Bob Barr is the best chance this country has right now. It’s time to raise awareness and understanding of his platform. People are getting tired of the status quo. Now is the time to present an alternative.