Sunday, May 10, 2009

We have a problem

Living in America is a symbol of freedom to so many people. Think about it... why do we have such a large issue with illegal aliens? People around the world look at the United States of America as it truly being the land of the free but the unfortunate thing is that we are continuing that slogan only in a dream world anymore -- little by little we are losing are freedoms and the biggest problem is that we're all too lazy to do anything about it.

"Fight terrorism and "stop child porn" is what we are continually told and these are both very important things to be done, however, we need to start understanding what that is actually worth giving up. If it eventually comes down to the law requiring each one of us to be on government video cameras at all times, including in our bedrooms, is it still worth it? I know that it sounds like I'm over-reacting and going to the extreme but the truth is that the path we are on could lead us to that scenario. Every year we lose more and more of our privacy and our rights are citizens of The United States of America but our government assures us that it's ok because its all in the interest of stopping terrorism and protecting our children. Is it?

So the reality that we are going to have video cameras in our homes so that the government can watch us is not something we'll see soon and, of course, if it does happen, it would need to be after they obtain a warrant. How about the government knowing exactly where you're car is at any given time of the day? If you think that sounds extreme, think again. The truth is that Wisconsin has decided that secretly attaching a GPS to a private car does not require a warrant. Believe me, I am not against technology being used to fight crime but in an era where the DoJ requests $233 million for improvements to technology crime fighting, don't you think the power being given to law enforcement needs to be kept in check with warrants?

There is a reality that it seems the American public doesn't want to face, and understandably so. We don't want to have to think that we need to watch out for our government because we have enough other stuff on our plate. Almost anyone will say that our politicians are corrupt but when it comes to actually doing something about it we make excuses and say that it really isn't all THAT bad. I remember when I first argued Net Neutrality with my family and the response that I received was simply that "there is no way that they could ever get away with that".... and then years later, Comcast is attacked over P2P filtering and then pays it's employees to fill seats in the FCC hearing. But don't worry, Comcast isn't the worst offender of our rights -- at least not when you look at AT&T who has been a major player in the NSA illegal spying on citizens. But again, we don't really need to worry about that because now Obama is finally in office and he is all about protecting our rights.... Wait... What? Obama is worse than Bush?

Ok, so we've got problems... but we're obviously still better than other places because this isn't a global issue, right? Well, Canda and Europe don't seem to think so considering they are purposely routing a lot of internet traffic to avoid the US because of the fear of the Patriot Act. Not only is it an example of the seriousness of the act but it also is hurting our economy and our jobs.

As Americans we are really under an attack but that attack is being fed to us with a sweet sugar coating. If we truly want to retain our rights and our privacy, we really need to start getting involved and writing our politicians. We're making it entirely too easy for them to corrupt our nation more and more because, well, as far as they are concerned no one sees their corrupt actions (except maybe Jane Harmon [VIDEO]). We need to stand up and let our congressmen know that we do not approve.

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Obama and Coal

I am appauled but not surprised at the latest "media leak" against Obama. In a YouTube video Obama said that he will bankrupt the coal industry.... And the sensationalist republicans go wild without, of course, actually thinking about the entire context of the conversation and the plan.

I am from Pennsylvania and I know that coal is a huge part of that state and that the state is already in a lot of trouble because of lack of jobs... I also know that the destruction of jobs in that state was more linked to a failure of government than anything else and I know that complacency is a real problem in Pennsylvania as well as other states. I am PROUD to be from Pennsylvania but that doesn't mean that I hold Pennsylvania blameless for issues that are occuring. We have an issue with greenhouse gasses.... this isn't really a debate. Additionally, coal adds to these.... there also isn't any debate about that.

What Obama said in the interview is that anyone is welcome to build a coal plant but that it would probably end up bankrupting them because of the fact that his plan would charge the polluter for the polution. This plan is one of my favorites because it doesn't make it illegal to keep doing what your doing but it does give you incentive to grow your industry and improve our well being instead of just creating more problems while you collect your money. There are amazing new improvements in clean coal technology and a lot of people in PA have been working hard on this for good reason.... and those people are the people that will be rewarded because if they are not emitting as much pollution then they will not be hit with these fees/taxes. I think this makes a lot of sense.

The problem with the general public anymore is that we don't want to have to work to improve anything but we also don't want to have to accept consequences for not working towards improvement. Corporations are the paramount of this attitude and when things get bad enough they just go crying to everyone because "they've work too hard" .... *cough* banks *cough* ..... How long do we carry people? How long should we? Remember this quote? “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime” .... Thats essentially what it boils down to. If people come to you for help then you should help them.... but what if they keep coming to you for help? Do you keep helping them? Do you keep giving them money when they aren't doing anything to solve their problem?

I applaud any effort that encourages people to improve themselves and the life around them. If Obama's plan bankrupts the coal industry then it's not because Obama had it out for them but because they failed to keep up with changing times. If you disagree with this effort then you better not say that you are for a greener enviornment or that you are for progress.

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Thursday, October 02, 2008

@Afficionados_HH #vpdebate, if Palin's here, who the f'k is watching for russians!!!

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Monday, July 28, 2008

Get FISA Right

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Walk It Off, America

I love this graphic that appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on July 14th, 2008. It really depicts what is happening in the Republican camp. The stance seems to be that if we ignore the problems, deny the problems, and convince ourselves there never was anything we did wrong then things will get better and we won't be held accountable for them. It seems like Bush and McCain need to go over some AA coursework. The first step in fixing a problem is admitting there is one.

Its ok, there is a plan B. If there is no way to make a problem vanish then we make it look like its not a problem. Recently Bush made a statement saying that Americans are in control of what they spend and the rising gas costs are only helping America because its reducing the amount of driving. Seriously? I guess maybe in his world this is true because he hasn't admitted that there is a problem in the economy so he can't see that no one can afford anything. Jon Stewart put it best by extending this stance and saying that the collapsing mortgage industry is good because its getting Americans to live outside.

People that have known me for a while know that I have been a very strong Republican primarily because of the moral aspect of things but I'm now realizing that the moral card is only played by republicans to get votes. They really aren't doing anything good for morals but, actually, are setting an extremely corrupt moral example in the name of morals. It may be true that the democratic party has no morals either but if I have a choice between bad morals or bad morals in the name of good morals then ill just take the plain old bad morals.

Its also true that I am struggling with Obama's vote for FISA and I'd much rather see Ron Paul in office but when I come back to reality Obama is the only real option against McCain and I think the biggest part of this election is stopping America from continuing this path to destruction.

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Friday, July 11, 2008

Obama's Last Chance?

I'm not usually a fan of political pundits but there are some good points in this video. Maybe Obama still has a shot to win me back....

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Monday, June 30, 2008

Dear Obama

Dear Barack Obama,

I really want to express a VERY large concern of mine. I have stood behind Obama very strongly and have raised many debates between myself and family and friends. I have been a republican my entire life but this year I have really been encouraging people to vote for Obama because of various reasons but one of these biggest reasons is that I have seen the entire Republican party strip our rights away in the technology fields as well as other areas. I have watched the Republican FCC give more and more rights to cable companies and phone companies allowing a much stronger stronghold on the American public and adding to the fact that the nation that invented the internet is entirely too far behind many other nations when it comes to consumer access to the internet. I have watched our rights be stripped away by laws such as the PATRIOT act. I could continue to go on but I dont feel I need to. The point is that one of the major reasons I support you as a canidate is because I have believed that you are defending our rights in the areas that the majority of the American public isn't paying attention to. I have seen you embrace new technologies and reach the people via Twitter and Facebook. These things mean a lot to me.

It has saddened me, however, that you have voted for immunity for the telecom companies that have been instrumental in stripping us of our rights. The same companies that convinced President Bush to sign an executive order protecting AT&T have now received your vote for them to be granted immunity. To me, this is absolutely appauling and really has me in a debate with myself as to if you are really the best person for the job.

I can certainly understand that there may be benefits to your vote for this immunity but the bottom line is that you have stood against lobbyists in your campaign and you have been really putting your money where your mouth is with regards to not allowing this insanity continue but your vote for this bill has completely ruined my view that you are strong enough to stand for that which is unpopular. This is a huge concern when you have believe you voted for someone who is really interested in defending the rights of Americans and opposing "politics as usual." You have now stood next to McCain and other senators in saying that AT&T and other phone companies should have the right to spy on us if they are directed by a government agency.

I can not express the disappointment I am feeling right now. You have taken away that hope that I had that maybe we had a chance to make things better and that we might actually end up with a president who cares. I can not endorse McCain either because I still believe he is "the lesser of two evils" but I am starting to wonder if I should exercise my right to write-in my vote for president.

Robert K Mertz

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Clinton doesnt see what she's doing . . .

I really have always believed the the democratic party was just a 3 ring circus (tho I'm not saying that the republicans are much better). Something happened this year that really changed my view on a lot of things -- and the view of MANY MANY other people. The biggest change I think happened in my generation. Barack Obama has really presented himself as someone who believes that both parties are out of control. He has been as real as I think he can possibly be. What has happened over the last year is that the democratic party has brough a lot of new people into their camp.... and I mean A LOT!

But here is the problem. Right now Clinton is being the perfect stereo-typical democrat in the eyes of anyone outside of the democratic party. She has conducted a 3 ring circus over the past month or two and has been caught in a whole slew of lies as she changed her views on things depending on which way the blows. Watching her in the debates was painful because she displayed the same exact sensationalism that the media thrives on and displayed a clear point that she is very capable of changing her mind on anything for any reason at all -- and this is what the people who have moved into the democratic camp did so because they were looking to change this very thing. I mean, she changed her slogan to an almost exact copy of Obama's after she saw that the concept is what the people wanted. I dont think she has anything that defines her but she is defined by what everyone projects to her.

I really think that the Democratic party is really destroying it's self. It is completely ruining any advantage that it was starting to gain. The people that have moved into the democratic camp are now seeing first hand the things that they always believed about the democrats. At the end of the day all that has happened after watching the circus that has been Clinton's campaign the democratic party has proven that they really are everything the republicans has said they were.... the real problem is that it is now not just speculation but it has been proven to them.

I am still really holding out hope that Obama will be the next president because I think that he really is a refreshing change to politics in general but if Clinton continues this game and she becomes the democratic nominee I'm not sure what I will be doing in the general election. I am fed up with the Republican party but I absolutely DESPISE the attitude that Hilary has right now. What scares me is the fact that after seeing all of this I may well go into the "screw it" mode and just quit caring anymore because the only two parties that have a change really are republican and democrat and both are just a freaking disaster, well, why should I care?

Somewhere in the distance I hear Canada calling my name..... I think it started with a voice from a canadian doctor's office and its spreading to about every other aspect of life.

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Presidential Thoughts

A lot has been going on. In case you missed it, John McCain is officially the republican canidate and Clinton is catching up to Obama.

But its the primaries - why should I care?

... Because the primaries this year have a lot more bearing on the general election than is typical. Oh, and that's besides the fact that this affects EVERYONE's lives.

Ok, sure, its your right not to care but if you don't pay attention to what is going on then you are recoking your right to care. Seriously - if you don't vote you better not bitch about a damn thing.

Its seriously time for this nation to pay attention to what is going on around them. Our rights are being stripped from us and that's not enough for most of America to "waste their time" caring. The only thing that is done anymore is just bitch and moan about the cost of gas and all the other things that are going on. How about this: start paying attention now and trying to head this off at the pass.

I think it'd be very hard to find someone that believes Bush hasn't destroyed this nation but what scares me is the fact that even the conservatives that dislike Bush still are cheering on McCain despite the fact that McCain is very clear in his defense of most of Bush's actions. The problem is simply that they just don't want to think. Its easier to look at one picture of Obama that he didn't have his hand on his heart and call him anti-American. Its easier to say the conservatives are pro-life and vote solely on that (which is something they can't control anyway) and thus decide that is who gets their vote. Its disturbing. If that's the attitude you have then you have no reason living in America. There are plenty of countries based around the idea that the government makes the decissions for everyone and I'm sure you'd be much more comfortable there. And some are racist and decide Obama can't run the nation because he isn't white - again, there are other countries for you.

I can't understand how everyone says we are headed for disaster but yet thinks that their party can make the right decissions for them.

Just some food for thought from Tuesday. McCain talked about embracing a world-wide free market and not working to stop our jobs from going overseas and then followed that up by saying how we need to work on building jobs in America. Something doesn't sound right there. Another interesting thing is that Clinton ignored the fact that she lost one of the four states on Tuesday while Obama addressed the fact that he did lose the majority of the states. Personally, I don't want someone who is prone to hide and ignore anything negative but I want someone that is open and honest about everything.

You can find bad in all the canidates just the same as you can find good. How about we focus on the good? How about we look at the whole package of a canidate rather than picking the first thing that jumps out at us and embracing that?

Please, America, WAKE UP! Turn your brains on and figure this out. This plane called the USA is in a nose dive and everyone is just letting the auto pilot figure it all out. Lives are at stake and if we don't know how to guide this plane we need to learn real quick because the auto pilot isn't working anymore!

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The "Religious Right" strikes again

It is appauling to me that the biggest hinderance to God's Church growing isn't the homosexuals or the adulterers or the ACLU or the KKK but, instead, it is the conservative Christians. I think yet another picture of this has been painted by the recent "scandal" between John Hagee and John McCain.

See McCain Faces Fire Over Minister's Views.

Don't get me wrong... I do think that John Hagee is a very good preacher and I can't say that everything that he said about the catholic church is wrong BUT at the same time, attacking another denomination is exactly the opposite of what we need to be doing. But the catholics aren't in the clear either. John Hagee attacks the catholics so they do exactly what Jesus would do and turn the other cheek, right? Not quite. In today's churches it is important to strike back because God can't be honored if we don't? It's seriously pathetic what has become of the Church. It's all about which denomination is better anymore.... the church has become no better than any major corporation in America. It's a sad sad thing that we've let the concept of corporate America even think about entering an organization that is supposed to be about Love and Unity..... and yet, it hasn't just enetered but its BECOME a corporate entity.

We, as Christians, question why we are seen as hippocrits and we act like that answer isn't right in front of our face - we flat out our! Think of the typical Christian Church today. The preacher preaches about how God is Love and cares about everyone on week and then the next we talk about how homosexuals shouldn't be allowed to associate with the church. Yes, I believe that homosexuality is a sin but that is MY BELIEF and it is NOT for me to use to attack those that are homosexuals. Each man is judged by God and God alone and it is not our place to be attacking others. The church then goes out and violently protests against pro-choicers.... even the non-violent protests aren't out of love in any way..... Love would be getting to know the woman who is struggling with an unwanted pregnancy. Again, I am totally pro-life but I feel that I'm smart enough to realize that the actions that the church is taking is only complicating the issue more than it has to be. Instead of convincing women that they need to care for this little child growing inside of them we create a situation where now those women want to have the abortion just to spite us.

Back to the issue of McCain and Hagee. I don't have many facts in front of me and I don't have the time right now to look into them. Maybe the catholic church did make deals with Hitler in the past and maybe John Hagee is a biggot..... but these aren't things for me to judge. It is God's place to judge and no one else's..... When we judge and we try to remove the sins from this world we are only doing damage to the Church. Jesus made this very clear:

Matthew 13:24-29
Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. "The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?' 'An enemy did this,' he replied. "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' 'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.' "

It's not our responsibility to be uprooting the sins of the world because all we end up doing is creating a mockery of the Church and rendering us completely ineffective. Do we honestly think that God can't move in a world of sin? Do we really think that if we just forget about the sin and focus on loving people no matter what is going to hinder revival? Not according to the book of Acts. When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. (Acts 2:1).

Its not about who's right and who is wrong but its about the Church making a mockery out of it's self.

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Vote Different

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Thursday, February 14, 2008

We are one

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Google+Twitter Election Map

Visit the full size map

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Monday, January 28, 2008

2 Tough Questions (Something to think about)

I just received this as a forward in my email.... I dont always read forwards and I RARELY pass them on but I'm glad I read this one. It kind of puts things in perspective.

"2 Tough Questions"

Question 1:

If you knew a woman who was pregnant, who had 8 kids already, three who
Were deaf, two who were blind, one mentally retarded, and she had
Syphilis, would you recommend that she have an abortion?

Question 2:

It is time to elect a new world leader, and only your vote counts.
Here are the facts about the three candidates. Who would you vote for?

Candidate A
Associates with crooked politicians, and consults with astrologist
He's had two mistresses. He also chain smokes and drinks 8 to 10 martinis a day.

Candidate B
He was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in
College and drinks a quart of whiskey every evening.

Candidate C
He is a decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian, doesn't smoke, drinks an
Occasional beer and never cheated on his wife. Which of these candidates would be our choice?

Candidate A is Franklin D. Roosevelt
Candidate B is Winston Churchill
Candidate C is Adolph Hitler

And, by the way, on your answer to the abortion question:
If you said YES, you just killed Beethoven.

Pretty interesting isn't it? Makes a person think before judging someone.
Never be afraid to try something new.

Amateurs...built the ark.
Professionals...built the Titanic

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Friday, January 18, 2008

No red cars on my driveway (Net Neutrality)

I just read an article arguing that Akamai is violating net neutrality with their content delivery. The article really is nothing more thatn another example of how those with a stake in the outcome of the debates are trying to skew the description of the problem.

While I can understand the point made it is not accurate to the case with Akamai. When Akamai has a customer they are renting server space just like someone who sets up a hosting account with another company. Essentially, a company doesnt have the facilities to run their own server so they rent part of a server at a location that does have those facilities. When you become a customer of Akamai, you're essentially doing just that but the difference is you're renting multiple locations. Such as a nationwide company purchases office space in multiple states so that people on the east coast don't have to travel to California to see someone in person. Same is true with shipping facilities and company warehouses. And if one of their customers needs to go to an office, they'll go to the closest one. They'll still travel in the same ways and take the same material to the office that they needed to but they'll go to that paticular office based on LOCATION.

This is exactly what Akamai is doing. They are essentially setting up multiple locations of data provided by their customer. Traffic is directed to the closest server based on the location of the source network and not on the content. It is not a manipulation of content which is what those critical of Akamai are infering. It is simply a matter of redirection based on the source and does not differentiate by it being a stream or an HTTP request with the possible exception of the data being stored in a different location.

Think of it this way. Net Neutrality violations would be the local department of transportation saying that no red cars are permitted on a certain road because that would be a discriminatory regulation while saying that tractor trailers aren't permitted on a smaller road would simply be an issue of capacity. Now, as a customer of my ISP, I pay for a certain amount of bandwidth. If I pay for a 3MB connection to the internet, then that is what I deserve the same way if I pay someone to build a driveway to my house I expect to be able to allow anything that I want on that driveway. If the contractor I hired to build my driveway said that they would only allow me to drive blue and yellow cars on that driveway then I'd tell them they were absurd and go somewhere else. Now, at the same time I may be paying for a single lane dirt driveway which would not be suitable for a sports car that I might own. In this scenario, I know what my needs are and I need to contract someone to build me a paved driveway that is compatible with my needs. Also, if I own property between two decent access roads and I decide that I want a driveway bult to both roads I am certainly entitled to do this. In this example I am allowing two entrances to my residence and I will use the one that makes the most sense based on where I am returning from (I'm not going to drive past driveway 1 to get to driveway 2 if I've already payed for both driveways. The same issue holds true with respect to color of the car. I purchased the drive way and if someone building that drive way told me that green cars were not allowed on driveway 1 they would be laughed at.

This is the biggest problem with the net neutrality debate. People quite simply can not determine what is capacity and what is color. When you hire a contractor to build you a driveway you purchase that driveway based on the class of vehicle that you have and not based on the color of vehicle. This is the same when we purchase a connection to the internet. We go to our ISP and tell them that we want to pay them a certain amount of money for a certain amount of bandwidth and our ISP makes that connection. Once that connection is there I should be entitled to the 3MB that I paid for. Having an ISP tell me that I am not able to use P2P applications is exactly like telling me I can't use a red car on my driveway. Additionaly, if you are a contractor that builds driveways and later the person who purchased that driveway carries an illegal substance in his car on that driveway, it is not the responsibility of the company that built the driveway or the manufacturer of the car but the responsibility of the person who was transmitting that illegal substance. If statistics show us that red cars are more likely to be transporting drugs is it fair to then say that all of the roads in a certain jurisdiction are no longer permitted to carry red cars? Again, this is absurd. Not only is it harming those who use red cars legally but it's also not going to solve the issue. In fact, instead of solving the issue we have pushed the problem underground more because now those carrying illegal substances are now making an effort to disguise their transportation vehicle. Interestingly, this is the same thing that is occuring with the internet. Add to the legality debate the issue of the ISP saying they don't have enough capacity. If this is true, how is it the fault of the customer? If all of my neighbors and I use a single road into our neighborhood and that road becomes congested, its not the responsibility of each resident but the responsibility of the developer of the neighborhood and/or the department of transportation. Currently the ISPs are punishing their customers because of a mistake that was made by the ISP (overselling their network). If it comes down to it, the ISP is going to have to raise their rates to support their capacity but currently they are not only raising their rates but they are also making absurd rules to cover their mistakes and to maximize profits because of the unfair advantage they have.

Akamai is not responsible for violating the concept of net neutrality because of their content delivery systems. This is mostly a "gatekeeper" debate and will not be solved until people grasp the concept of what the ISPs are doing rather than listen to the skewed concepts put forth by those ISPs. Resolutions can not be made by people or companies that have a stake in the results and, as such, the ISPs can not be the ones making the final decissions.

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Conservativism = Excuse to not think?

I was raised in a family who always had conservative views and, naturally, many of those views I still embrace. Being someone who truly believes in conservative values always embraced the Reupublican party because of their support of things like pro-life and other conservative views. In the past year or two, my views have drastically changed and I now have to say I support the democrat party more than the republican - by a long shot.

This doesn't mean that I think we need to stop protecting the unborn but I do certainly believe that we need to be A LOT less militant about it. I'm also sick of the conservative values that the Republican party pushes to be nothing more than a cover-up to some other extremely disgusting things that are happening. The Republican party is becoming the party that produces the "preacher's kid" syndrome in it's followers. While the Democratic party has similar effects (as does ANY organization), there seems to be a huge emphasis on it in the republican party -- almost as if there is a secret agenda (do some research on AT&T conspiring with the NSA and President Bush signing an executive order to stop any investigation - Start Here).

There has always been this epidemic in polotics that people just do as their told. People sign on to a party and they just go in and pull the lever for their party rather than actually thinking about what is going on. The problem we have now is that we are all becoming more and more "mentally lazy". We don't want to have to think about something because it's so much easier for someone else to tell us what to do and we let people tell us what to do until it's too late to fight back. We're relinquished many rights just by standing still because we were too lazy to fight (and we're about to see is happen again if people don't start standing up for Net Neutrality). All of us just listen to what our parents, our churches, and our political parties say. We obey. And ultimately, a few key people just changed the course of history by using each one of us as drones. We've become slaves to the afforemention beings. There is a huge need to respect our parents, our churches, our leaders, and even our own political parties but this is NOT an excuse to go brain dead and let all of them brainwash us.

We have become so mentally numb in things that we pass around emails that completely damage someone or something with points that are nothing more than fiction. We allow people to be damaged because we pass around a single email that was probably written by a single person. We become just as responsible as the person who wrote that email - responsible for destroying someone's life and career. The most recent example of this is an email circulating that claims Obama is an anti-American muslim. This email even references that has confirmed this to be fact and plays on the fact that no one checks the facts before telling others about it. Because we are so brain dead (by choice), we dont even bother to notice contradictions in the email we read (such as a father who left when a child was only 2 can't really be that instrumental in raising a child according to a specific religion) and we become a drone to someone who wrote a fantasy email about the way he or she wants things to play out. Judging by the way the republican party has responded to numerous things, do you really think it's that far fetched that a die-hard conservative sat down and dreamed up these lies to attack someone who might really be a threat to them... yes, to THEM... not neccesarily to our nation. Political parties are not about what is best for our nation but whats best for the wallets of those running the parties.

It is true that we live in a country that we have the ability to choose our leaders but because we have all become lazy, we are forfeiting that right. We are allowing people who have self-interest tell us what is best for us. When a company lists us a reason why we should use their product rather than their competitor isn't it a good idea to evaluate both products instead of just listening to the one company? Of course they are going to tell us their product is great and their competitors is bad because they want us to by their product because that is the only way they make money. Maybe we've matured enough to realize the absurdity of political television ads but now we're allowing ourselves to be the medium that lies are spread -- simply because we don't want to spend a tiny bit of time looking into the reality of the situation we're about to take a stance on. I don't know anyone that would take the stage and explain to everyone what the string theory is all about because few of us even know -- but yet we're willing to take the stand for someone who wrote an email whom we've not only met but we don't even know his or her name.

People continually tell others that you have no right to complain about the state of our country if you don't vote but if you're also the one spreading lies and doing only what you are told to do, well, you have no right to complain either. When we're stuck in a dictatorship and we're all complaining about it, it's really just going to be on our heads because we sent out false facts in emails damaging someone for being racial muslim when the reality of the situation is that he has many roots in Christianity. Maybe because instead of actually changing the way you handle emails that you forward on you just stop forwarding them to the people that are actually going to check the facts and make you feel bad and forward only to those that will continue the "chain of drones".

P.S. - I really am not intending on making anyone feel bad but this is something that I am very serious about and I think others need to be serious about. We're not talking about passing on an email that says the weather is going to be 90F rather than 60F but, instead, we're talking about passing on lies that very well could damage the chances of hope for our country. I'm not saying which canidate is the solution but I am saying that we need to look into things a little bit more before we spread lies that could damage someone that may well be the best thing for our country.

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