Tag Archives: politics

Ads that send me into blinding rage will cease… for a while.

Every citizen of the United States (and any person that lives here, I suppose) can breathe a sigh of relief. No, not because Obama was re-elected. You can breathe a sigh of  relief because you will no longer have to see or hear those ridiculous campaign ads. (The ads I refer to in the title of this post were the “vote yes” ads about the marriage amendment that were full of lies.)

The election is over, and I’ve been waiting so long for the few months of relief we will have. Okay, it might be a bit longer than that. Regardless, I’m happy it’s done.

I can’t say I’m all that pleased by the results. Michelle Bachmann, for example, was re-elected despite proving herself to be as plastic and horrible as every other incumbent politician in her debate against her opponent, Jim Graves. Jim Graves is my ideal candidate – fiscally conservative, willing to make changes, but socially at the very least he is live-and-let-live (he’s a Dem, in case you have no clue what I’m talking about).

Believe it or not, my ballot was purple. I am one of those independents that often splits my ticket. Never have I voted for all Dems or all GOP candidates. If we’re all being honest with ourselves, I highly doubt anyone who has actually educated themselves about each and every candidate individually could say all the candidates of one party or the other are best qualified.

I have got to thinking after reading a few post-election articles here and there: the rigidity of our parties at this point in time is horrifying. I doubt if Jefferson or Adams, for example, would mind so much that we have two major parties. I do think they’d be appalled by how divided the parties are and how unwilling to compromise.

It’s not exactly a bright part of our history, but representatives from the developing nation were actually willing to compromise on slavery in order to come to an agreement. Obviously that’s terrible, but at the same time what happened to our willingness to compromise?

Occasionally I say something along the lines of, “I like that our government is inefficient and has a hard time getting things done.” On the surface, that’s true, but it’s not quite reflective of what I really mean.

I like having two parties that disagree sharing power because I like that there are at least two perspectives being brought to the table. It should be hard to get things done, not because no one ever compromises or changes their minds, but because it takes time to hammer out solutions that everyone agrees on.

I’m not talking about the toothless legislation that is so often passed that’s full of weird compromises and pork spending. What I mean is really getting down to the bottom of things. Sometimes the Democrats are right. Sometimes the Republicans are. In a functioning democratic republic, time should be spent convincing one another using evidence to show which policy ideas are good ideas. Those ideas should then be pursued.

Back to the rigidity of parties – people like to talk about China’s political system, often saying it’s a bad system. I don’t ever want to have their system, but the United States is coming frighteningly close. In China, it’s my understanding that dissent is not well-liked. More and more that is true about both parties in the United States of America. Parties practically disown you if you run with them, but act individually when elected. It’s a terrible trend and we need to stop it.

On another note, I read somewhere that Puerto Rico’s non-binding referendum may have come out in favor of statehood. Why the hell would they want to become part of this country now of all times?

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What I’ve Been Reading: May 9th

I’ve mostly got blog links for you today, but a few articles as well. 🙂

First, this:

“Ideology cannot be a substitute for a determination to think for yourself, for a willingness to study an issue objectively, and for the fortitude to sometimes disagree with your party or even your constituents,” he said.

Names, names, names. Some odd comments with people whose names were unconventional (why would your children have problems just because their mother’s name was Michael? And if it bothered her so much, why didn’t she go by a nickname or change her name?). Also, Ryan isn’t that odd of a name for a girl in my head. Sure, it’s typically a male name, but I’ve met my share of Ryans that were girls.

Fashion is cyclical. Be very afraid.” Ahahaha. I am afraid. Of shoulder pads and gigantic glasses especially.

Flavor Per Calorie – seems like a good concept to use! I bet kimchi would qualify as having a lot of FPC. 🙂

A fantastic reason to read the Bible: to get over the mysticism that surrounded it when one was a child.*

Forgive Me, Kimchi” A nice post about accepting heritage (and kimchi!).

Mmmmm… Korean food. Yeah, okay, I might be a little obsessed.

Talk about strange pizza! Potato wedges and corn on top… Interesting?

* Not that this existed for everyone. There wasn’t much mysticism surrounding the book in my eyes as a child.

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Elizabeth Warren, Ancestry and Honesty

This whole Elizabeth Warren heritage thing is making me kind of mad. Elizabeth Warren did not “make a mistake” when she listed Native American as part of her heritage as some people are claiming. She made a conscious decision to list herself as part Native American based on the belief that she is, in fact, part Native American. Unless there was something next to the box saying, “Do not check this if you are less than 1/10 Native American,”* then she didn’t do anything wrong.**

Her motivation doesn’t matter that much, even, because she checked the box in good faith. It’s a little like when I list off my heritage (except none of these have “minority” status): Irish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Scottish, English. I have no idea what the proportion of each of these are of my heritage. I know Irish and German probably make up the most with Scottish making up the smallest proportion. There’s actually a chance that I have a Native American ancestor, but the link was never established as a sure thing, and I grew up under the impression that I descended only from Europeans.

Getting mad that Elizabeth Warren included her Native American ancestry is akin to getting made that I include Scottish in my heritage. The only difference is that her status as a Native American might confer some sort of benefit. If these benefits should only go to people (or their employers) with a certain proportion of Native American ancestry, then that needs to be listed. If these benefits should only go to people who can absolutely prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they have Native American ancestry, then that should be listed. It doesn’t appear that either of these things were known requirements when Warren checked the “Native American” box – if they were, people have a right to be angry.

I’m going to be extremely honest right now: the people complaining about her listing Native American as part of her heritage sound a bit like they’re getting mad because a woman who is obviously white claimed minority status. It sounds rather like people are angry because a white woman, who of course is already privileged because she is white, is trying to also get whatever privileges go with being Native American. People actually say things like, “She’s clearly not Native American.” Huh, I didn’t know we had gone so solidly back to judging people based on how they look.***  I wonder if it’s possibly to convey how petty, racist, and stupid that is?

It’d be different if she lied. If she had listed anything from Native American to Hispanic to Asian when she had no reason to believe any of those were in her heritage, I would understand being upset about it. Lying is generally not a characteristic we should support in politicians, and lying about anything from qualifications to heritage is dishonorable and lacking in integrity.

But she didn’t lie. She told the truth. She shared information for which she was asked, and she did so honestly. Now she’s being attacked for answering truthfully on a form about race. Yay.

On a related note, it’s funny that Warren is being attacked, according to some, because she didn’t provide a succinct enough answer to questions about the heritage thing. In other words, because she had rehearsed the hell out of everything, thought of every possible issue before hand, and come up with picture perfect answers for everything (re: because she’s a real human being), people are not letting go of the issue. I hate politics.

*Or whatever proportion you want.

**I am curious – I can’t find the original story from the Boston Globe. Did Warren only check Native American? Did she check both white and Native American? Because a lot of systems considered any multi-ethnic individuals to be a minority. It would have been more problematic if we knew that Warren checked only Native American and didn’t include the other 31/32 of her heritage.

*** So can Daniel say he’s black? Because, I mean, his skin is white. He looks white. Would he be violating this weird obsession people have with skin color by calling himself black even though he legitimately is half black?

**** According to Wikipedia and this blog, the Principle Chief of the Cherokee Nation is 1/32 Cherokee, just like Warren. And if you really want to go into it, here’s his Google images page. Now, if you didn’t already know he was part Native American, you really might not guess that he has anything other than European ancestry.

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What I’ve Been Reading May 2 (Oh man, can’t believe it’s May!)

Boxer wearing shoes = hilarious.

People Don’t Read” (and why it matters to skepticism – but it generally just plain matters in life).

Tick Tock” – on delaying motherhood.

A friend of mine told me she was encouraged to attend church on Sundays during her air force training because it was the only time she would get a break – nonreligious individuals had no similar break time at any point in the week. This seems to be an unfortunately common issue, with “First Friday Prayer” at Fort Bragg being the most common well-known occurrence.

Heina at Skepchick on honor killings and domestic violence.

A Missouri Republican has come out as gay, denounced anti-gay sentiments, and decided to leave politics. Best of luck to him on becoming a marine biologist, and I hope his personal appeal against the “Don’t Say Gay” bill has a positive effect.

If abstinence-only education actually raises the age that teens start having sex, does that make it a good choice? Wouldn’t it be better to vigorously teach students about safe sexual practices, ways to prevent pregnancy, and also tell them abstinence is the only 100% method (unless you’re the mother of Jesus or a few other gods…).

I wear make-up because I want to. So there. Thanks to Greta for posting about this!

$120 million for a pastel version of “The Scream”. As a side note, I don’t think my art history textbook or professor ever mentioned that there are 4 versions of this painting.

Target will no longer sell Kindles. That kind of sucks, but the Kindle is available elsewhere in stores.

50 best bike trails in the U.S.

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