October 19, 2006

Issues...You Want issues?

Political Junkie

Issues...You Want issues?

The biggest issue, for me, would be government transparency and accountability. If we, as the voters, cannot trust our elected officials, democracy has failed. We need to rid ourselves of corrupt politicians.

I have seen corruption ruin my state's reputation and, with America's reputation already at risk, we cannot afford to sit and watch our country fall into the perils of corruption.

Global warming. The National Academy of Sciences, among other people, said that growing heat waves are a result of climate change. Crops are dying of thirst in the Midwest. 40% of the polar ice cap is gone.

And this is just the beginning. Sorry to sound so doom-dayish ... believe me, I'm sick of it.

The bottom line is that it's high time for politicians to be paying attention, and I think that some of them finally are, because more and more people are deeply concerned about this problem.

Immigration, i.e., illegal aliens, is top-of-mind. Enforce the borders, no amnesty. Be a nation of laws, enforced laws.

Also, the ballooning deficit and out-of-control spending.


Issues...You Want issues?

Karl rove told us last year what the election was going to be about. We're not going to be allowed to have a discussion about anything except naked FEAR.

There is nothing they won't do to win. It's going to be a sickening spectacle. I don't know if I have the stomach to stay around for it.

Issues...You Want issues?

In the past few years we have had:
01. Destructive foreign policy
02. Destructive environmental policy
03. Destructive attacks on our constitution and civil rights
04. Destructive congress that is controlled by lobbyists and big corporate money
05. A do-nothing congress that just sits back and lets it all happen.

So what is my biggest issue?
FIRING ALL Members of Congress (regardless of party) who sat by and did nothing. They do not represent what is in the public's best interests, so why should we continue their employment?

I hope this election is a HUGE wake-up call for our government. The American People are their bosses, not special interests and big corporate money. We want our country back.

To restore checks and balances. If Congress did any kind of oversight of the executive branch, we probably would not have gone into Iraq and be facing the chaos of the Middle East.
01. Leadership for a viable energy policy.
02. National health care policy for all Americans.
03. Leadership to reevaluate trade agreements that not only are destroying the American middle class, but are enslaving people of other countries, making corporations pay their fair share.
04. Leadership for campaign finance reform, get corporations out of the voting process.
05. The Iraqi (not a war any longer) occupation.
06. Incompetence in Congress & the executive.

People will want a President who does more than speak of "family values",religious faith and morality but demonstrates them by living them. People will want a person unlikely to be tempted by corporate greed and political corruption. Integrity will emerge as a necessary requirem

Placing the competency issue front and center is a no-brainer given the last six years of a President whose intelligence and competency were judged absent by many Americans.

Sadly, while the issues that will get the most press will be the inane ones that provide warm comfort to the President's conservative base, the real issue that seems to pervade most of the postings is lack of credibility in the standing government in general, and in the chief executive in particular.

Too many people feel they have been misled or manipulated too often and immediately view this through a cynical prism.

Leadership that has the respect of the populace must be a priority.

I mean, really, Karl Rove did come out and say this a year ago. They have no shame, they admit to manipulation. They have published numerous talking points, position papers and treatises that all discuss how to frame the issue, how to talk about it, how to constantly remind people of 9/11, how to push people's buttons, how to scare them. Do you think bush's photo op with the fireman and the bullhorn was spontaneous? Do you think anything they do is?

It's all calculated to do one thing--frighten you. And it has worked. The question is, are we smart enough to see through it? Or are we going to let our fear alllow us to be manipulated--again?

In B-school, they always said Fear was the most affective strategy next to sex.

I guess GWB actually was awake in one of his classes.

Fear works. Big time--you can track it. It directly affects the primitive lizard brain, the limbic system. It works on us unconciously, even when our higher, reasoning brain is not aware of it.

Every dictator, every tyrant, has used it effectively throughout history to maintain control of populations.

Karl Rove is a great student of Machiavelli and Goebbels. He speaks admiringly of them often when he talks privately to 'conservative' foundations and such. It isn't Bush. He just does what Rove and Cheney tell him to.

Washington Post

October 13, 2006

Global Warming

Renewable Energy With Green House Gas

October 01, 2006

Marital Bliss

They Both Take The Blame - For Marital Bliss

As a psychotherapist, I teach people to take responsibility for their own actions, but not for the actions of others. As a husband, though, I find that married life often goes more smoothly with a slight modification of this principle. Fortunately, my wife and I are in agreement on this, and as a result, we rarely squabble over life's foibles and frustrations. Basically, we each take the blame when there is no blame to take. Here's how it works: Let's say my wife has been preparing a big dinner and then manages to knock the entire pot of beef stew all over the kitchen floor. As soon as I hear her anguished yowl, I put my hand on her shoulder and say, "Honey, I take full responsibility for this." It's nonsense, of course, but it's helpful nonsense. We laugh, begin the cleanup, and order takeout. Sometimes, my wife will anticipate our little ritual and launch a preemptive salvo. "You must have hidden my reading glasses!" she'll say with mock annoyance.

"It's true," I reply. "I take full responsibility for this unconscionable theft."

On some level, my upbringing probably prepared me for this role since, in my family, feeling a little guilty about something was not at all uncommon. And who knows? Maybe I did hide those glasses and then repressed the whole thing. Freud would not have a problem with this, so why should I?

This mutual arrangement works out well for me, too. If, while driving with my wife, I happen to miss that critical exit, I can safely sputter, "It's all your fault! You were distracting me."

And I can count on my wife replying cheerfully, "I take full responsibility. It must have been those darn distraction rays I was beaming into your brain."

For Nancy and me, it's all an elaborate game. But I believe our willingness to take the blame - even when blameless - has its roots in an ancient ethical tradition. In the Jewish faith, shaming or humiliating another person - especially in public - is considered a mortal sin. Indeed, rabbis teach us to go out of our way to avoid such a thing.

One story relates how Rabbi Judah, while lecturing, became annoyed by the strong odor of garlic in the room. "Let the one who ate the garlic go out!" he intoned harshly. Another distinguished sage, Rabbi Chiya, immediately stood up and walked out. It later emerged that Rabbi Chiya had left simply to avoid embarrassing the real garlic-eating culprit, a student of lower status who would have been crushed by Rabbi Judah's rebuke.

"A person should always be soft like a reed and not hard like a cedar," the Talmud also tells us. Yet how many marriages are wrecked by the obdurate insistence of one spouse or the other that he or she is right? Why not bend a bit in the wind of discord, even when you are not at fault?

A little creative boundary-blurring, combined with a sense of humor, can help couples surmount their everyday predicaments. Or, as that great rabbinical sage, Milton Berle, once put it, "A good wife always forgives her husband when she's wrong."

By Ronald Pies