« October 2004 | Main | December 2004 »

November 11, 2004

New Hat

Molly got a new hat and new pics.

She's threatening to crawl any day now, up on all fours and rocking. Oh boy.

My mother's graciously flown in to babysit Molly as our regular babysitter recovers from an illness. I don't know who's having a better time, Molly or Nana.

Posted by tat at 08:51 PM | Comments (1)

November 08, 2004

Election Conspiracy

Predictably, conspiracy theories abound about the election. The geeks at Slashdot have a collection of links and comments about the gross disparity between exit polls and actual results.

For a good summary, see this article at CommonDreams.org. Something is rotten in the state of Florida...and Ohio, and North Carolina, and New Mexico.

Posted by tat at 05:58 PM | Comments (0)

November 05, 2004

Liberal Reaffirmation

I took a survery at Political Compass the other day and ended up with these scores, which put me somewhere to the left of the Dalai Lama:

Your political compass
Economic Left/Right: -8.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.90

How did I end up thinking this way, especially growing up in Texas? I'm not sure, but I've been pondering what I believe and why I believe it in light of the startling loss for Kerry.

In a nutshell, this is where I'm coming from:

Personal Freedom: You are free to do as you please as long as your actions don't infringe upon my person or my rights. In other words, I don't feel I, or anybody else, has the right to tell adults what they can do with their own bodies and lives unless they are harming others or themselves. This applies to drugs, medical decisions, gun ownership, religious expression, sexual proclivities, etc.

Collective Responsibility: Sartre found a moral compass in his Existential philosophy by stating that man is inescapably free and therefore totally responsible for himself and, by externsion, all others on the planet. I believe this means that basic human needs and dignity must be met through the collective effort of a people via government. This is the foundation for our humanitarian efforts worldwide as well as our need for basic healthcare and welfare here at home. We are too rich a nation for any of our citizens to suffer due to poverty or circumstance.

Secular Democracy: We can't all agree on a religion, but we can agree on a Constitution. That's why a nation of laws will last a lot longer than a theocracy. Imposing one's religious views on others under the guise of laws is a recipe for oppression and hypocrisy. Why can't we learn this?

Enlightenment Principles: We are the children of the Enlightenment, a time of reason and science. Our country was once fearless in its pursuit of progress via science, but now, at the cusp of a unified theory of physics and the genetic eradication of disease, science is a bogeyman, untrusted and misunderstood, inconsequential to our everyday lives. Other countries are taking up the banner of scientific progress and leaving us in a new Dark Ages. We will come to regret this.

Military Power: We are warriors, but we have never been aggressors as a superpower. America's might comes from a moral and reluctant use of power, not a voluntary and unnecessary conflict. Use the military when necessary, but don't forget to honestly face the results (graphic).

Economic Justice: The entire tax system must be fair and progressive. The Federal Income Tax receives a lot of attention, but the real injustice is happening to the middle and lower classes because of regressive taxes like sales and property tax. I've written about this before, but suffice it to say that the rich, overall, pay far less of a percentage of their income in taxes.

Corporate Power: When's the last time government at any level did something for the average guy? Doesn't it always seem that laws are written with Big Money in mind, rather than the plumber, the teacher, or the office worker? Government exists to provide the environment for prosperity and order for all citizens. I think this ideal went wrong when corporations became citizens.

Environmental Caretaking: It's a no-brainer that we must care for the Earth, but we continually make decisions that run counter to this notion. Dependence on oil and coal must end quickly, replaced by nuclear, solar, wind, and other alternative energy sources. Yes, I said nuclear. Envision an America with no dependence on the Middle East and how many problems that solves.

Class Structure: The class struggle is a Marxist idea that is lightly dismissed in our "classless" society, but it has become undeniable that money rules our political power structures. The hegemony of the rich is exerted through media, popular culture, advertising blitzes, campaign financing, copyright enforcement, financial markets, etc. The middle class is underrepresented in modern politics, except for the "social issues" pols throw out to stir up resentment and fear, like gay marriage. Start voting your pocketbook and things change overnight.

Government is Beneficial: The government facilitates and regulates the infrastructure upon which we all depend. Government is an agreement among us about how we ought to live. Government is us, you and me, working together to pool our resources and energy to make good things happen. Government is the pedal on the economic engine, driving prosperity through fiscal and monetary policy. Government is a precursor to civilization, not a detriment.

Thanks for reading.

Posted by tat at 09:53 AM | Comments (3)

November 03, 2004

Election 2008

Only 1459 more days to go to a Bush-free Whitehouse!

I'm not disappointed in the election results. I'm disgusted.

My reality obviously differs from that of my fellow Americans considerably. We've just given the stamp of approval to the last four years of Bush's policies, which feels like thanking the man who just shot my dog.

Almost as significant as losing the Presidential race is Tom Daschle's loss in South Dakota. He was the Senate Minority Leader, for crying out loud.

The Dems were organized and mobilized, yet we lost by an embarrassing margin. What went wrong? I read somewhere that the youth vote was proportionally the same as 2000, and 30-44 voter turnout was down!? Old people ruled the election, eh?

We get the country we deserve, I guess. Pass the Bud and pork rinds, Bubba, and let's figure out who to bomb next.

Posted by tat at 09:48 AM | Comments (5)