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Thursday, June 24, 2004

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

We all have opinions, most of them located south of the solar plexus, but I defend your right to voice it. Dialoge is imperative, but it seems nobody's listening. Everybody's preaching to the choir, and covering their ears to the opposition. Diversity is supposed to make us great. If Hunter S. Thompson and Pat Buchannan can sustain a lasting frienship founded upon professional respect, then I ask what the hell is going on in this country right now. National tragedy should unify, not divide. The 9/11 commision was a blame game accomplishing nothing more than inciting anger and derision. Let's move forward, come together as a nation (I do so hate that concept) and do something positive. I don't know what, maybe National Take Your Kid Fishing Day, anything to heal the division and allow us to see the commonality we have as human beings. To paraphrase that great English philosopher - Sting: I bet the republicans love their children too.

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises
in moral philosophy:
the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." :
John Kenneth Galbraith

To be a conservative republican-
and a consciously aware spiritual human being-
is an oxymoron.
Obvious that many have missed the message of Theo's blog on this subject. It's also fitting that out of all the touchy feely hype about Pres. Reagan's legacy that has filled the pages of the press lately the one thing that stands out the most to me as far as admirable characteristics goes was his ability to have debate without alienating his opponents, thus keeping communication avenues open. No pres has achieved this since.

Since I'm new to this Blog thing I'll state some of my fundamental positions so I don't get lumped into any precog bucket:

Iraq War - Would have had to go eventually, so might as well get on with it and take the war out of the domestic theater, i.e. if the enemy's goal is to directly engage us (which is what it is), let it NOT be here in the states. Getting rid of Saddam and his sons was a VERY GOOD thing. The killing fields and other atrocities demanded we put an end to him and his ilk. Uday and Qusay stuffed people into wood chippers alive for cripes sake. Why is this not zeroed in on when talking about war justification? If civil war is what happens in the aftermath, than they are free to fight it. It’s still a win. We'll need to get out of the way of course. If civil war can be avoided, we should be active supporters and participants in this new POSITIVE direction. The outcome has NOT been decided. Level heads are prevailing, for the time being at least. Brave Iraqi people are risking their lives in an attempt create democracy at home. They, and our troops need our support, not bashing and speculative back talking. It wasn't about oil people. If it was, we would not be paying $2.00 a gallon at this time. Shouldn't we be bathing in it by now?

Religious Zealots - They should all fucking die!!! I have no intention of being recruited into your warped world of idolatry and fantasy. I can speak with my God any time I want and on my own terms without your permission or set of instructions. Religious faith is an OPTION for every human being on the planet, NOT a requirement. I find peace with my God on my own without your help. I have much understanding and respect for the more popular faiths of the world having studied it in college and for all those who are devote, but it ends when the collectives infringe on my basic human rights up to and including my ability to buy beer on Sunday. You thought I was talking about our Islamic friends didn't you? Sorry, I'm not that narrow. While all this applies to our Middle Eastern friends, the "Christian Right" is America's Taliban in the making.

Israel - Won their war fair and square, have a right to their state. Don't have to concede anything to the Palestinians if they don't want to. Latest moves are good ones (pulling out of Gaza/Golan Heights building wall in the West Bank and elsewhere). Pure fact for all those listening... If the U.S. were to end its support for Israel right now Hitler, Pol Pot, and the others would have new competition in the Genocidal Atrocities Olympics. Hamas et al have much LESS support than most think they do in the Arab world. Hating Jews is they only common thread amongst many. Believe it, it's the truth.

The American Press - If you believe even a third of what is written as fair and unbalanced reporting you might as well subscribe to the Nat'l Enquirer and the other Fleet Street rags. Since it's all we've got, you gotta read'em, but one must be well versed in the art of disseminating the truth out of the miles of text. Sorry to disappoint, but "the media" has an entrenched liberal bent. That's not conservative hype, it's a fact. Good reporting died many years ago. You now must read volumes either on line, or from a multitude of sources to get anything remotely factual. I firmly believe in the free press, so publish the bullshit as much as you want. There will always be lemmings out there that will shape there polling opinions solely by what these assholes print as fact, but this guy ain't buying any of it. Reporters and their editors all think they know more about any subject that they're reporting on than all those they're interviewing/sourcing. If I want your opinion on any subject, I'll read the op/ed page, otherwise, just give me FACTS. You can dispense with your interpretation.

Taxes & Gov't - I've had my time railing against both, but they are an absolute necessity. Every dollar I've made in my lifetime I EARNED. I thank my folks daily for putting me through school, but after that I did all the work. I want to keep as much of the money I make to spend on my wife and kids as I see fit AND maintain their safety and that of our country. I enjoy local services (i.e. clean water, sewers, police/fire) and fully understand that these things cost money to provide. What is my peeve about taxes? One word, CORRUPTION! Since there's no end in sight to that, a flat tax is the only fair and equitable way to pay for all of these things. I know this concept is purely utopian, but it would work, that's I’m convinced of. We all could quickly move on to more important issues once this was out of the way. Quick word to the people of this great country who fit the classification of "Low Income" who gripe about tax reduction legislation, particularly those whose income qualifies them for complete income tax exemption (several million people). I think it's great that our country provides every American access to basic services needed for survival. I have no issues whatsoever that those who make more money have to pay a little more to make up the diff. I am cool with this fact, really. What makes me hurl are those that still complain about tax relief for the other higher income brackets who don't pay a fucking dime in income taxes!!! For everyone of you who fits this category, FUCK OFF!!! When you are contributing your share one day (which is my sincerest hope), then you get a say, until then shut the fuck up and be humble!

Personnel Accountability - Every citizen of this country will hit hard times at some point in his or her lives. I firmly believe that we will all need the aid of the gov't at one time or another before we die. I've collected unemployment in my lifetime and am grateful that these meager funds were available to me when I needed it. Everybody will get sick. When this happens, we all discover at some level that our gov’t works, despite the mountains of paperwork that usually accumulates. I also believe that despite all of Americas faults, you can be anything you want to be in this country and the only limit to an individuals potential for success is the amount of effort one is willing to expend to reach this goal. No doubt others will have it easier than you, but the rest is left to conscious CHOICES we make in our lives. Everybody makes mistakes, but ignoring obvious truths makes us all weak. If you dropped out of school, are working meager wage jobs, and aren't exhausting yourself with plans to better your situation by getting back to school, learning a skill, exploiting every educational entitlement available to you, AND you decide to have multiple children despite not having the means to care for them, then know that you have consciously decided to make your life and your ability to achieve you goals harder. Nobody told you to have these kids, nobody forced you to have them. You DECIDED to have them and thus complicate your life. Another example: If Kobe Bryant wasn't fooling around on his wife he wouldn't be staring at 15 years in jail (I have no other opinion on his guilty or innocence). He made a foolish CHOICE to put himself in the situation. There are no such things as rewards without risks, and when you take them you MUST accept the consequences. I genuinely care about the people of this world, but to saddle those who don't put themselves in these situations, who make good decisions, who are trying their absolute best to better their own situations and lives with the cost and burden of those who CONSISTANTLY make bad choices is bullshit in anybody's book.

So after saying all this what does that make me? Conservative? Republican? Democrat? Libertarian? Selfish? Unfeeling? I consider myself someone who constantly builds on my positions and understands that the geo-political world is a dynamic one. One that is subject to change any time. I also have learned in all the years I've been on this planet that I DO NOT KNOW EVERYTHING and that I learn something new every day that may sway my opinion on any given subject. Keeping a dialog going is the ONLY way to make an impression on anyone else. Piling on immense amounts of bullshit, or ignoring absolute truths is chickenshit politics. The theory that is proving itself out today is that people have a strong inherent tendency to polarize themselves into groups. It makes them feel bigger than there really are to count themselves amongst a mass. It is basic tribalism at its core. It is also a dangerous notion that can get out of hand in a hurry. We all need to fight this instinct at all costs.

So if we have differing positions on any subject on this or any blog, present facts and a decent argument. I always enjoy a good dialog.

Tony Alva
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