Friday, November 24, 2006

work that needs to be done

in case you missed it - yesterday i asked:
"what will you be thankful for when/if america is sane again?"

some of you fancy-pants types decided to take the question seriously and actually spent some time constructing fancy answers (thanks):

1. Discussions of issues on the merits? Real issues - not the imagined perils of gay flag-burning illegal immigrant atheists who can't say the Pledge of Allegiance in proper English.

2. Want a weird one? I noticed that during the last Olympics, I didn't even turn on the TV - I didn't feel like rooting for us. (So I guess I'm sayin' - pride).

But - I think that we all may have to re-think our definition of "sane" from here on out. Bush still has a JAR somewhere in the mid-30's. Now while that's a low number, ya gotta figure that in a country this big, that's one whole hell of a lot of seriously fucked-up people. The lunatic fringe, for decades kept in check by their own insecurities, as well as the authority-figure groupies, are now emboldened and in full scorched-earth fury. That's not gonna change overnight, or even any time soon. And make no mistake, the animosities between the respective ends of the political spectrums are venomous indeed; possibly even not far removed from violence.

So, "sanity", for the foreseeable future, may have to consist of simple majority rule by "sane" people, if we can find enough of them. Legislative sanity must come first - just pushing through continuous measures of reason and wisdom. "Sanity" by brute force, if you will. Maybe it'll catch on, but not quickly or easily. The shrieking from the far right will not only continue - it''l probably grow and get even more ugly. Given a voice and emboldened immeasurably by six years of Bush-ism, they're not going to go quietly. It's gonna be each end of the spectrum grabbing the other by the throat - last one to pass out wins. "Sanity" might simply become a function of being the baddest motherfucker on the block.

"Sanity" may indeed return, but this shit isn't gonna be easy.
"for one thing, america has not been "sane" for quite some time, and we've got a fair amount of work to do before we can claim the level of sanity i would like to see... however, here's a short list...

1) an end to mindless consumerism
2) national health care
3) an end to wars that preserve our ability to continue to monopolize over half the world's resources
3) tolerance, understanding, compassion, respect, and equal treatment for:
- all sexual orientations
- all races
- all religious faiths
- all nationalities
- people who work for a living, regardless of what kind of job
4) neighborhoods and communities where people actually talk to each other and help each other out
5) innovative, fast, efficient inter and intra-city public transportation that would eliminate the necessity of having a car
6) for-profit, non-profit, public, and private sector businesses and organizations, rid of dysfunction, that both run efficiently AND take care of their people
7) restoring the natural beauty of earth by respecting and maintaining our precious environment
8) education for all based on what we need to know to continue to learn, grow, and love, not just what it takes to be an indentured servant of the system
9) sufficient time off of work to allow people to rejuvenate themselves physically and emotionally and to enjoy time with their families, friends, and loved ones
10) an end to age segregation and a return to people of all ages out in public without fear
11) an end to throwing people in jail as a solution to social problems that result from a dysfunctional society
12) the emergence of authentic leaders who lead from the heart with honesty, vision, and compassion and a genuine regard for the common good of all

hey, you asked..."

"My friend sam says that no one in the Arab American community will participate in any blog forum. They will not register with their names, their addresses, their ages, no personal information, because they don't trust anyone.

He says that since so many completely innocent people have been arrested and kept in prison, Arab Americans feel the FBI and so on have free rein to do that to anyone.

Apparently, the FBI sent people in to Mosques not only to spy on what was going on, but also to create disturbances so that there would be pretexts to arrest whomever.

The arab american community suffers from the fact that the Bill of Rights no longer protects one in one's religion or one's speech.

Here's work that needs to be done."
"If the WoT is an Establishment policy, then things aren't going back to normal.

The propaganda is intended to convince the public that Bush Co. is a rogue group of incompetent ideologues. If they are in fact a front for corporate globalization/a corporatocracy, then we will see a slightly toned down version of corporate imperialism (disguised as always by the WoT fearmongering).

IMO, the WoT is but a giant bluff. They have gotten away with it to date because they keep their pair of 2's hidden from the public by way of the "national security" excuse.

The good news for the public is that it may only take a little oversight for the house of cards to come crashing down. Hopefully, that crash is limited to corrupt officials and not the entire global economy."
thanks. you are all so fancy-schmancy, and sane, and reasonable.

If I had a magic-wand, i reckon i could accomplish many of the things on these lists by doing three things: a) public financing of elections b) compulsory voting c) run-off voting.

if you have any questions, let me know in the comments and i'll fill in the gaps.


oldschool said...

you are all so fancy-scmancy, and sane, and reasonable.

I assume that the posts of the fancy, the sane and the reasonable start just below mine, right?

Otherwise, jesus, we have so never met.

I'm highly in favor of your a) public financing of elections; leaning toward being in favor of your b) compulsory voting; and don't understand your c) run-off voting.

«—U®Anu§—» said...

Was America ever sane? As long as the many self-described righteous embrace killing as the answer to every problem, things could stay confusing. But, my dad got out of the hospital instead of having to stay for surgery, so we were pretty glad about that. He's not out of the woods yet, but it's a step in the right direction.

lukery said...

uranus - best wishes to your dad.

oldschool. you'll deny my thrice between dawn.

the reason i'm in favour of compulsory voting (although we should find a better 'frame' for that) is because, absent that, you get two (very) negative outcomes 1) the repugs (eg) appeal to nonsense stuff like gay-flag-buring and 2) vote suppression becomes 'useful'

re run-off voting - it is basically a mechanism for legitimizing 3rd parties. in practice, it means that you could vote for ralph nader, or the greens, or whatever, without having your vote 'wasted.' for example, in 2000, you could vote for Nader, with a second pick of al gore. once it becomes apparent that Nader isn't going to win, then your vote is 'switched' to gore.

Superteemu said...

Even more beneficial would be to get rid of single-seat districts. That could result in several smaller parties getting their members elected. Also, with multiple possible parties to choose from, negative campaigning wouldn't be that wise; if party A swiftboats party B, frustrated people would move towards parties C, D and E.