Archive | November, 2012

Why I have not been posting political items on Facebook lately.

4 Nov

I feel I must clarify something here, that being my cessation of the barrage of posts and reposts of items endorsing my political views. Some might think that they convinced me of their opposing views and that is why I stopped. Some might think that I ran out of ammunition and retreated to the shadows. Neither could be further from the truth. 

What happened was that I realized that the outcome of the election might go either way, and it might go toward the Right because of some slimy shenanigans, but however it went, I would probably lose a few friends in the final days, if I kept arguing as the rhetoric became more heated.

No, I do not accept the Right Wing rejection of science, just because global climate change messes with the big funders. I also wish Barack had stood up a bit more about that, by the way.

Yes, I think women should be equal in every way, and should have all the control they want over their bodies and lives.

No, I do not believe in “trickle-down” economics, and to me, when someone says “I have a great plan,” then will not tell you what it is, it means they don’t have a plan.

Yes, I think the middle-class is in trouble, and I know the US has the largest distance between the rich and poor of any country on the planet. No, it is not Burundi or Bangladesh that have the greatest disparity.

No, the disparity is not just because there will always be rich folks, it is because rich people are now able to put more money into the media and slant public opinion so that the laws make it easier for them to collect money. I am a social psychologist, and we have seen that spending more of that money on a campaign is likely to result in a win, regardless of issues or honesty. “Citizens United?” More like funds united.

I do believe it is a lovely planet and that if we have any sense at all, we will realize that the diversity of life on the planet is crucial to our survival.

I do not trust the marketplace to watch over our best interests such that we can just abandon environmental regulation because business people will do the right thing. I think many will go for selfish personal interest even if it will cause their grandchildren to live in a hell world.

And that brings us back to climate change. Why, if there is not something hinky in the equation, have the Big Money and oil people spent so much on this issue? Yeah, maybe other forces are at work that are causing warming trends. That does not mean we can ignore it, it means we need to get really, really active to counteract those big forces, or we all die. Our children, our grandchildren, our progeny into infinity depend on us to make smart choices here, and I don’t think the wise choice is to say the issue should be ignored.

Speaking of climate change and a recent storm, I distinctly remember Romney saying it was not his job to care about sea level. He also said he would eliminate FEMA. I don’t really like FEMA per se- they could show up one day, if a big storm hits Maui, and move me and everyone around me to any place they choose, such is FEMA law. On the other hand, we cannot deal with large scale disasters without Federal level resources. No, the private sector will not do that in a trustworthy way, because I have been through hurricanes and seen that a number of insurers will suddenly go out of business if the losses are too high. Really, they will, and FEMA maxes out at about $10,000 per family, which will not replace your house.

Oh, and as a former construction professional, good regulation of building quality is a GREAT idea, so that you can trust the multi-story elevator will not collapse and that the building is generally constructed in a good way. New Zealand eliminated a bunch of building regs in the 90’s and now has “Leaky Houses” commissions to correct the resulting crap.

Federal hiring of flight controllers is a nice thing, don’t you think? And it is very nice if there are well-maintained airports all over the country.

Social Security has some socialist philosophy at its core, but it was instituted under FDR, who was a rich guy, and WE PAY FOR IT!!! I am appalled at the supposedly smart people who forget that Social Security and Medicare got raided under Reagan, with the promise that it would be repaid in the unlikely event that the money used elsewhere was somehow needed. Look it up, people. I was alive and paying attention when it happened. Without that robbery, we would have a good, strong retirement and healthcare system. It may fail, but that is because it got robbed.

No, I do not think that rape should be a political issue at all, it should just be wrong. It is especially heinous to say there are legitimate outcomes in the form of pregnancy, and that these are divinely willed. No, those are the products of twisted minds, which kind of sums up the rant. A lot of things are being said that should not ever be uttered in polite society.

I am deeply disappointed in the Democratic party, in the ways they have caved on issues to compromise to another party that only accepts defeat and acquiescence as compromise. But I thought compromise involved movement on BOTH sides, and the Republicans have turned into just plain old bullies.

Finally, I must say that people are far too ignorant of history. Rome thrived when it was inclusive of at least some of the conquered people, and they provided a path to citizenship. It fell when it became a plutocracy. That can be argued, but it really does not matter- when too many people cannot obtain what they need to survive, the situation will get rather unpleasant.

But to get back to the point, I did not stop ranting out of defeat, but rather because we are ALL defeated already. Shameless greed and self interest have probably tipped the scale toward really crappy futures regardless of who wins. I just do not want to lose any more friend or family connections over rhetoric. Rising seas increased storms, failing economies, outdated worldviews, misplaced wars… All of these will be bringing changes quite soon.

I treasure everyone in my life, even when we disagree. The politics became so divisive that the disagreement was going to cause ejection of some people I love, and THAT is why I am restraining my posts.

Best wishes to all