Sunday, August 31, 2008

Black or White

Social Issues are very complicated issues. They have a lot of nuance and subtlety built into their nature because you are dealing with very personal concerns. Most everyone (except the highest leaders in the land) can agree that the economy ain't so great at the moment. Most everyone can agree that health care should be easier to get. But we can't all seem to so easily agree on things like gun control, abortion, education, civil rights, etc. This is because these issues differ hugely from personal experience to personal experience, and subsequently any regulation on these issues will affect people greatly in a very personal way.

The Republican Machine understands something about the vast, majority American public - something crucially important. We enjoy remaining uneducated. It's too much talking head stuff, and we don't really have the time to discern the finer points. We live in an age where we want things boiled down to a status on Facebook. Afterall, we're too busy losing our jobs, trying to get healthcare, and worrying about where the next paycheck will come from to really listen and understand these issues. This the Republican Machine knows and knows well.

And so they help us. They give it to us in very basic, black-or-white, this-or-that ways.

Pro-Life or Baby-Killer

Gun Control:
Get to have guns or Don't get to have guns

Civil Rights:
Unsanctified marriage or Sanctified marriage.

and so on and so forth.

This way, we get to choose more easily. It's like being back in the middle school cafeteria where the options were PIZZA or MYSTERY MEAT. Who wasn't going to choose PIZZA!??

The truth is, though, that these issues are not that simple. At all. They never will be. They are very, very, complicated issues. And distilling them down to such ridiculous empirical either/or's is not only bullshit, but it's incredibly unfair to the American people.

I think John McCain, and the social conservatives in this country, are betting a lot on the American people's fear of all choices Black-or-White.

Time to Start Palin'

Who is Sarah Palin?
And what the hell is she doing running for VP?

And why in God's name does John McCain think this was a good move? Does he not realize that is reeks of political strategy? There's not one ounce of genuine good intention behind this pick.
If John McCain were to die in the office, we would be left with a year and a half of gubernatorial experience running the most powerful nation in the world. Is this really putting country first?

According to Obama's sources, McCain met Sarah Palin once in a meeting, two years ago. He then phoned her up A WEEK AGO to discuss being Vice President before finally offering her the job. That puts them in the same room a total of once before she joined his ticket.

Does this suggest weeks, months of painstaking agonizing over one of the biggest decisions of his campaign? Carefully weighing options, pros, and cons, over and over in his mind? Or did he look at all the female republican senators and governors (all 7 of em!) and close his eyes and point?

America as a whole should be insulted that this lack of thought and preparation has gone into choosing a second in command.

And what sort of arsenal do they think they're stockpiling in Sarah Palin? Everytime I hear about her I hear the same things:

Five Children.
Fiercely Pro-Life.
One Son Going to Afghanistan.
One child with Downs Syndrome.
Hockey Mom.

Does this make her impervious to scrutiny? It's the same P.O.W. argument they use for McCain, assuming that nobody can touch a war hero. No one can touch a hockey mom who's willing to give up one of her five children to the country? Is that that idea?

Please Joe Biden, Please Barack Obama, Please Hillary Clinton - CALL THIS CANDIDATE OUT!

Bring on the Debates!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Let The Good Times Go

I don't know about you, but I find comfort in hearing our president reassure his people with phrases like "Mission Accomplished" and "Weapons of Mass Destruction." In recent times, I've taken stock in knowing that "there is no recession" and "the economy is doing fine."

But then, just when you're not looking, it hits ya.
And it hits ya where it counts.

I'm not in financing. I don't own a home. I'm the epitome of "the little guy." And yet even an actor/composer's dream can be diminished by the shitty economy.

Case in point: There Is No 'GODSPELL'

I'm not sure what I'm going to do day by day.
When will god save the people??
We beseech thee! Hear us!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

True Colors

This crisis in Georgia has been called a Turning Point for Russia's relationship with the West. In my opinion, it is also a turning point for the West. How we react to this (given the tensions already built up by the lack of diplomacy in this current administration) will either lead us down a path of peaceful intervention, or could most certainly take us into "other" wars, namely WWIII.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

When You're a Jet...

Look, Brett.

I support your move to New York. I think it's probably going to allow you to revitalize your career and your excitement about the game. And I think that's great.

But Broadway?? BROADWAY??

I don't come on your turf and start throwing the football around, do I?

Let's leave 'Broadway Brett' to someone else, k?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Behind Enemy Lies

Recently, I got something in my email box from a cousin back in Milwaukee. Let me say, I love Milwaukee, and I'm proud to be from there. But it is as "middle-America" as you might hope to get, and in the up-coming campaign, these are the people we must rely on to make a well-informed choice when it comes to voting. And sadly, there's a large portion of middle-America that isn't well-informed, nor looks to be well-informed.

Case in point: an email I received speculating that Senator Obama may not legally be able to run for president because he is not a legal citizen of the US. Now, it occurs to me that the reason we're questioning Obama's birthright has a little something to do with the fact that he don't look like the "rest" of us Americans. In fact, few Americans know that John McCain was not actually born on U.S. soil (which makes his own elligibility for Presidency more complicated than Obama's, although equally as valid.)
The truth of the Obama matter lies here. And for the especially doubting Thomas, a picture of his birth certificate lies here.

In the email, the article questioning Obama's elligibility was supposedly written by Thomas Sowell who, among his other credentials, is a black writer for - a conservative website/periodical. I contacted Mr. Sowell to bring his attention to the email, and he confirmed that he did NOT write it (it has also been attributed to Pat Shannon, asst. editor of "The American Free Press", though this is probably also false.)

It comes as no surprise to me that some anonymous person, from the right-side of things, circulates a speculative lie, without any question to its validity. It also, sadly, comes as no surprise that my cousin continues to circulate the email without any fact checking. This is how rumors become truth.

Because of my getting in contact with Mr. Sowell, I had to sign in to the Townhall website, and subsequently recieved a magazine from them in the mail. What hit me the most about the material was how sarcastic and belittling this conservative rag was toward democratic (or liberal) ideology. Now, don't get me wrong - the liberals do it JUST as much, though more generally in private. The republican, conservative machine seems to do it outright, and with no apology, indeed with righteousness. Clean campaigning my foot.

So I thought, "As important as it is for me to be educated about what I support, it's probably even MORE important that I be educated about what I DON'T support." And thus I signed on to Mr. McCain's website to see what I could see. (Browser Beware! You'll be bombarred by a barrage of fake smiling everywhere you turn!)

And now to the point of this posting. I leave this entirely up to discussion and debate, but I would like to point out one of my findings on McCain's website interested me, and hopefully will interest the average middle-american voter.

The McCain camp recently released an onslaught of anti-Obama ads, including this one aptly titled "Painful." I encourage you to go here and sift through the "fact-checking" and see what conclusions you can come to on your own (it seems that there is a debate about taxable income equalling $41,500 or the more probable $32,550, but it was a bit above my basic economic education.)

What DID catch my eye was the report that: "Barack Obama Has Called For Higher Income Taxes, Social Security Taxes, Capital Gains And Dividend Taxes, And Corporate Taxes, As Well As 'Massive New Domestic Spending.'"

A wide sweeping statement for sure. But examining the details you find:
"Obama's proposal ... would impose social security taxes on income above $250,000 per year. He would continue to exempt income between $102,000 and $250,000 from social security taxes."

To be even clearer, let's hear from the man himself:
Barack Obama Would Raise Income Taxes. Obama: "[I] would roll back the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000." (Sen. Barack Obama, CNN Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Manchester, NH, 6/3/07)

Now, if someone told me that there were going to be "HIGHER INCOME TAXES!" and "SOCIAL SECURITY TAXES!" and I was an independent artist, barely raking in under $35,000 a year, I'd be pretty damn nervous. Oh wait. I am

What they didn't tell me is that it applies only to those lucky individuals making over $250,000 a year. In other words, my taxes, my parents' taxes, the Mexican lady who works at Coffee Bean's taxes are not going to be affected. What it DOES mean, is that John McCain's taxes, President Bush's taxes, and yes, Senator Barack Obama's taxes WILL be affected. And though one's personal expenses are an entirely private affair, I can't imagine they wouldn't be able to afford it. Or that they might even have, god forbid, a responsibility to afford it.

Personally, I dream of being in the $250,000 a year tax bracket. My god, who wouldn't?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

7 lbs. 4 oz.

Kaiya means a type of Spear in Australian,
and in Japanese it means forgiveness.
To me, it means niece.

Kaiya Jo Kraner, welcome to the world.

I already love you so much.