Laura Bush on Obama

Standard

Holy shit. Talk about a major anomaly in the GOP’s propaganda machine.

Referencing the uproar over Obama’s address to schoolchildren, which will be aired nationwide Tuesday, Laura Bush said it’s “really important for everyone to respect the president of the United States.”

It’s good to see that common sense takes hold once in a while and someone has recognized that the recent disrespect for our president is ridiculous.

Yeah, it’s fine to disagree — of course. But base it on facts and do it respectfully. Don’t shout really loud about stupid shit just to drown out people who aren’t matching up with your ideology. You’re pooping in the pool and muddying public discourse.

Most people can’t handle this. So far our president has been called:

  • Hitler
  • A socialist
  • A terrorist
  • A fascist
  • A communist
  • A racist

And, probably worse than that. And we’ve still got 3 years to go!

Thanks Laura Bush.

How to Really Help the Economy: Tax Drugs

Standard

A Harvard senior lecturer in economics wrote an article on legalizing drugs that I found pretty interesting.

The fact that alcohol prohibition was legalized during the great depression is an important lesson. But there’s a huge difference between drinking a few beers and shooting up heroine.

However, it’s fair to say that legalizing drugs has not been tried. There is a slew of questions surrounding the practicality of such a drastic change in policy, but I wholeheartedly agree that our drug policy in the united states is puritanical and draconian.

Questions I’d have:

  • What would be the deterministic health consequences? Would the toll on the psyche and well-being of society be too much if we trusted people to control themselves?
  • How can you weigh the benefits of reducing the power of drug cartels with the increase in DUI deaths and personal losses for people who will battle addiction?
  • Would this even increase the amount of abusers? People who gamble find ways to gamble, people who do drugs already find ways to do it — is it a myth that everyone would suddenly rush to do drugs?

I think the argument against legalization is based largely on precedent and less on metrics — since a lot of it is just speculation. I don’t have many doubts that we’d be able to save money and increase revenue drastically at the same time — and we could channel a small percentage of funds to education, support and rehab instead of spending so much on enforcement and incarceration.

Think about it.

MLK

Standard

I wrote this post a few years ago about Martin Luther King. The man had some great common-sense ideas, and if you don’t know much about him, you should.

Marriage should fall under the First Amendment

Standard

A core principle for our government is the separation of church and state. Tuesday many states showed that the American people believe that it is acceptable to single out a group of people and deny them equal rights. They are wrong.

The ballot measures passed this Tuesday make the election bittersweet. The right person was elected president, and America showed their distrust and disgust with the way things have gone in Washington.

Why, then, such a backwards-facing and hateful election in the state arena? Keep in mind that 50% of the United States was voting for McCain. This after terrorist accusations, false socialism fear mongering, blatant hypocrisy and political scandal all at the forefront of their campaign. For me, in hindsight, the question isn’t why Obama won, but why wasn’t this race a landslide in the popular vote?

Racism? Ignorance? Intolerance? Fear? Discrimination? Fox News?!

They are alive and well in America. Americans everywhere made it clear that they don’t understand the difference between a Muslim and a terrorist. They made it clear that honesty is low on their list of priorities when it comes to choosing a presidential candidate. We learned that the content of someone’s character still competes with the color of their skin or their sexual orientation. And we learned that 50% of this nation is pretty easy to mislead if you say the right lies.

Yet we claim to be ready for change. Yeah, right. Maybe when it’s convenient for us.

We still have a lot of work to do. We have a lot to answer for and a lot to live up to. The conservative movement has damaged us, and tricked this country into abandoning two key values in many areas – separation of church and state and equality.

How can we claim to be REAL Americans when we try to create laws that impose religious beliefs on others? The constitution doesn’t say all are created equal with an asterisk. You aren’t exempt for your rights as an American if you’re Muslim or gay. You don’t make exceptions to these ideals when it suits your homophobia or religious intolerance.

Even in the highest court of our land, Larry Flynt was defended for freedom of speech. Even a pig has rights. And he said something very important that we should remember: “Majority rule only works if you’re also considering individual rights. Because you can’t have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper.”

States should not have the power to trample individual rights. States with homogenized demographics and little or no minority representation should not have the power to amend their constitutions to deprive people of their right to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness.

So with this marriage thing — what is considered by most to be a religious institution should not be influenced by laws. State and federal rights for married couples should be completely blind to religion or value systems. In fact, in many countries such as Germany this is a clear and obvious line that has to be drawn.

What if someone belonged to a religion where it was common practice to support gay marriage, and it was a part of the beliefs of that church? Would it still be okay to prevent members of that religion from getting married?

The laws passed in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida and California are not really American at all. They subscribe to the same old beliefs that our ancestors ran from when they escaped religious persecution in England. They perpetuate the same hate and discrimination found at the center of our last civil war. These laws tear the fabric of freedom and what our country was founded on.

No matter which way you cut it, those ballot measures are being used to divide us and take rights away from a group of people who should be considered equal.

It’s bullshit.