Showing posts with label american politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label american politics. Show all posts

06 November 2012

A mishmash of politics and God

Holy crows. It's been a while since I found time to write. I renovated the bathroom (well, I put in floor and wall tiles). I've been training new people in the boys' program. And I'm getting ready to go back to the Autism Treatment Center of America next week. Saturday, I leave. I'm so excited. Crackle made such huge gains, but he's leveled off (not regressed back, but leveled off), and I'm hoping for renewed energy and new ideas for his program.

And today is Election Day in the US. There's no question that I'm cheering for the lesser of two evils: Obama. He's nowhere near as progressive as I'd like, but he's hamstrung by their idiotic governmental system. I'll be watching with drinks in hand tonight. Because what they do affects us. A lot. I suspect I'll be shutting it off in anger by about 8:30pm. I know anger doesn't help and isn't useful, but I still jump into it sometimes. Maybe I'll just watch Arrow. I rather enjoy that show.

What brought me to my blog today though wasn't American politics. It was the story of the conservatards (that's "conservative bastards", lest you think I'm using a variant of the r- word) cutting funding for non-Christian chaplains in the prison system, saving a whole 6 million bucks, and defending it by saying that they're going to a multi-faith chaplain like in the military. It's a travesty.

I know some people don't want to pay for any religion with their taxes, and that includes chaplains. Those people are remarkably short-sighted. If someone is raised in a faith, and faith can take them to a place where they're able to function in society, then that's a hell of a lot cheaper than a prison. And if you think that faith can't do that, give your head a shake. It can and does. Not for all. No program works for everyone. But it most certainly does help some people.

I don't even know where to start with "multi-faith chaplains". Do you know how few people are able to be that truly ecumenical? I bet most United Church ministers could do it. But how's that gonna fly with the First Nations prisoners (who are disproportionately represented in the prison population) when the United Church ran some of the residential schools that caused so much devastation in their communities? How are the Catholics going to handle it if the minister is a woman? Or are women not eligible because it might offend someone's faith? There aren't many Jewish, Muslim, or Sikh prisoners, but there are some. Do we say they can suck it up and convert? Where are these multi-faith chaplains going to get the kind of indepth training on these religions that they'd need to properly minister to these people? Is the government going to pay for that?

Of course not. This is all part of their evangelical agenda, and it's disgusting. God knows I'm an evangelical person. I love to talk about God. I love to talk about the Bible. But I don't do it to convert anyone. I do it because it interests me and because it gives me joy, and I like to share. If it's not something someone wants to talk about, I don't talk about it. You know, like everything else. These guys are trying to eliminate the "competition", which is, I'm sure, how they see it. Harper's church, the Alliance Church, isn't particularly ecumenical, progressive, or liberal. They teach (with some exceptions) that only Christians, and only their kind of Christians, go to heaven. The rest will burn in hell for eternity. So it's no wonder that his government would cut the funding for the chaplains from other religions. And it's sad. Because that will not bring people around to their way of thinking. It will only make them resent religious people and turn away from whatever faith they have.

Seriously? Get 10 people to describe me to you. You will get 10 very different answers. Then think about the mystery and magnificence of God. Just how are people supposed to look at God and give the exact same description when they can't do that for someone as simple as you or me? Come on. I am so tired of people thinking they have a lock on what God is and everyone else is wrong, lying, or evil. Hell no.

Dear God, please show people that you are bigger than one religion. Amen.

11 October 2012

Feminist Christian Politics!

If anything intersects feminism, Christianity  and socialism better than a VP debate in which the only question about women's issues is couched in religion, I don't know what it is.

Seriously? The ONLY question about women's issues is asked in the form of "how does your religion inform your opinion about..." Not only that, that was the ONLY question about religion. How does that work? I mean, the bible never once mentions abortion, and in at least one place explicitly defines the fetus as less than human (to be fair, that's in the same book that outlines rules for slavery), but Jesus specifically tells his followers to feed the hungry and heal the sick. And yet, questions about health care and poverty reduction are never asked in religious terms.

Not cool, Ms. Moderator. Not cool.

Women's issues are important. Men's issues are important. Social issues are important. Economic issues are important. Foreign policy is important. And ALL of this is influenced by the religious views of the candidate. So it seems to me that the abortion issue should be treated the same as all the others. When our issues are made out to be the only ones informed by the religious views of the candidate, it seems that abortion is an "emotional issue" of women, not an issue of the same kind of importance. Abortion = emotional, poverty = logical. Women vs. men. Sexist to the core.

I've said it before, I'll say it again, there is no way to separate religious beliefs and political views. It is a good thing to know what a candidate believes and why. But there is NO excuse for only making it about abortion, when poverty, healthcare, war, prison reform, and humanitarian aid are just as religiously relevant.

08 January 2012

Newt Gingrich: Asshole

Newt Gingrich is such an asshole. This is not news. The Simpsons made fun of him tonight, which is just made of win. Homer had his own show on Fox News (though they didn't call it that, it was pretty obvious) and Marge said something to him about how awful he was. He said, "Oh Marge. It's just a character. Like Stephen Colbert. Or Newt Gingrich." God, how I love The Simpsons.

Anyway. Last week, the blowhard said, "On Thursday morning, the two points came together when he said he would go to the NAACP convention and explain "why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps."

Um, no. There are so many things wrong with this, it's not even funny. First of all, most people getting food stamps also work. They work shitty, lousy, hard, miserable jobs for too many hours for too little money. No one lives on food stamps and is "satisfied" with it. Second, propagating negative stereotypes like 'the lazy black man' doesn't help anyone and is just plain wrong. Third, is it even true that a disproportionate amount of black people are on food stamps? I honestly don't know. This indicates that, yes, that might be the case, with the exception of the Dakotas (because hello. if you're black and impoverished, you get the fuck out of the Dakotas if you can).  So, is one's conclusion that black people get food stamps because they're too lazy to get good jobs? HELL NO. Could it be that black folks get crappier jobs and need food stamps because of racism? Hell yes.

Now, when I first heard what Gingrich said, my first thought was "YES!" but that's because I was coming at it from a socialist angle. Hell yes, the impoverished working class should stand up and say "NO! This is not enough. This is not acceptable. We need good jobs. We need benefits. We need health care. We need good food and good food availability. We need daycare. We need to be paid what we're worth." But that's not what Newt was saying, and I knew that immediately because I *never* agree with that over-privileged piece of festering shit and so I had to step back and figure out what he was saying and what I was hearing and how they differed.

I used to joke that Canada had elected Newt Gingrich and a parliament of Newts and Kucinichs. But Newt? He's like Harper if he thought he could say whatever he wants. Like drunk Harper. It's scary shit. I mean, this is what he's saying while campaigning? What the hell would he do with power?

03 October 2011

UPDATED: Media Bias, Part I lost count

Can we all stop calling the New York Times "liberal" now?


I remember in Sociology 100 having an assignment in which we were to take an article from any news source that was considered mainstream and dissect it for loaded language, bias, slant, logical fallacies, etc. It was a very eye-opening assignment. I chose Macleans, thinking it was pretty balanced. Hey, I was 18! I was clueless. I was stunned to see the bias, the loaded language, the choice of pictures... the list goes on. I think it was the most useful thing I did in University! I learned to read for intent as well as content. (My stupid degrees certainly haven't been useful. Honestly, wtf was I thinking? I'll go live on reserves and save languages, write dictionaries and curricula! And I'll make a living wage, because reserves have so much money to pay pretty white linguists with more ideals than sense!)

It's become quite clear to me in recent years that there is no left-wing mainstream media. The CBC certainly isn't. The right loves to crow about it, but that's only because the right is so used to having the news handed to them, already twisted into right-wing ideology that they're jarred by anything resembling unbiased fact. And the CBC really only does resemble lack of bias, because objectivity is more or less impossible. Someday when I have some ambition, I'll take apart a cbc.ca article.

The Times, as referenced above, is what we call Limosine Liberal. It's got a socially liberal agenda, but a fairly conservative economic agenda. Now, I don't mean it's a rag of the NYPost's calibre, or that it has a raging right-wing agenda. Just that it is healthily right of centre. Of course, those that live on the right fringe see that as raving left-wing, but those people are hardly in any position to be correct about anything. :) And the further you slide to one side of the spectrum, the further away the centre looks. 

I kind of like Political Compass for sanity checks. Like when I'm screaming that Obama is a right-wing bastard who caters to Big Business, and someone else hollers back at me that he's a socialist prick, we go look at politicalcompass.org. They use their own questions, and the answers that pols have provided on public record. It's not perfect, but it's good.

Here's Canada, as of the 2011 election:

And here's the US, 2008 election. I'm hoping for an updated one soon. 

Not surprising, I'm on the left edge, well, one line in. And slightly lower than halfway between libertarian and centre.

Obama? Right of centre. Truly. It's just that mainstream in N.America has become so far left, that he seems pretty moderate. And if you think I'm wrong, remember this: Ronald Reagan, the demi-god of the conservative movement, wanted to close crazy tax loopholes that let millionaires out of paying taxes, and gave amnesty to about 4 million illegal immigrants. He'd be eviscerated by the tea party assholes and most of the rest of the Rethuglicans too.

When you're screaming SOCIALIST! at someone who is proposing Ronald Fucking Reagan's proposals, you need a reality check. And perhaps a high five. To the throat.

02 June 2011

Weiner jokes

I do not care if Anthony Weiner sent a picture of his cock to anyone. I. Just. Don't. Care. What? You mean it's covered with underwear and could be anyone's? I truly could not care any less than I do right now. Because I just don't care. At all.

And for the love of all things feminist and holy, could everyone PLEASE stop referring to the woman as a "co-ed"?! She's a college student. Women have been allowed in universities for a long time now. We can stop calling them co-eds any flippin' time now.

Look. That picture was so tame they can show it on Comedy Central without blurring. That pic was so tame I didn't even know what it was at first. (I don't usually look at them from that angle). This is a screaming outrage, why?

26 May 2009

Let the games begin

Sonia Sotomayor for the US Supreme Court. Wow. Not only a woman, but a Hispanic woman. Nice. She's a federal appeals judge in NYC. And the Republicans are already on the warpath. "Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called Sotomayor’s appointment “the clearest indication yet that President Obama’s campaign promises to be a centrist and think in a bipartisan way were mere rhetoric. Sotomayor comes from the far left and will likely leave us with something akin to the "Extreme Court" that could mark a major shift”" But um, she was appointed by Republican George H.W. Bush in the first place. Oh, and he called her Maria Sotomayor; he couldn't even bother to get her first name right. So I'm thinking he has no clue. As usual.