Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tea Parties

OK so this is on the "Tea Party Patriots" website and was posted not long ago:

"Tea Party Patriots consists of everyday Americans who once again have realized that vigilance and sacrifice is required to protect liberty. An overbearing government will only extinguish liberty, it can only enslave, governments cannot give freedom. To feel the sting of sacrifice in the cause of liberty is to know what it costs to be free. Have you paid your price for liberty yet? What have you sacrificed? Nothing? What can you sacrifice? Talent? Charity? Time? What should be sacrificed today, in the fight for liberty?"

Now, I agree completely with this statement. I believe that sacrifice is required to protect liberty. I agree that an overbearing government is to be feared and contained. I believe in serving my community which is why I have chosen a life of service and I regularly donate to my favorite charities. So, why do I get irritated with the "Tea Party" folks if I agree so much with something they posted on their website?

Well, I guess we disagree with how government should be involved in our lives. I, dare I say it, believe in taxes. I am not ashamed to admit this. I LOVE public libraries.

Did you know in many other, even developed, countries you can look at books in the library but you can't remove them from the library. Our tax dollars provide that. I also like to drive. I know that's not a very eco-friendly statement, but I love that our tax dollars provide these great roads that I love to drive on.

I also like the police. Not that there aren't problems within individual precincts and we all know that the best police are well-educated, represent a wide spectrum of our community etc. This takes money - tax money. I love the fire department too. They don't bring in their own revenue people, they subsist on tax dollars.

I also love public transportation, not just for the eco-friendliness of it, but also that it can get people to work. Public transportation also provides a low-cost way for people to get to jobs. The more we subsidize it, the more people can work.

You don't like people coming into the country illegally (the Tea Party Patriots website supports SB1070)? Well, the border patrol is paid for by taxes folks.

Did you know that big business receives an exponentially greater proportion of subsidies than any welfare program and yet we require very little reporting on how those businesses use those subsidies? Oh, and I believe in public education and that it is a fundamentally crucial aspect of a viable democracy. I just don't agree with how it is funded locally.

So, taxes are good for us. I believe in our government, both local and federal, providing essential services to us, in helping to support us when we are sick or out of work. I'm not saying these systems are perfect. But let's look at the contradictions espoused by this "Tea Party."

1. Overbearing governments enslave people (their words)- the Patriot Act is one of the single most devastating acts against freedom and democracy. I don't agree with our own government being able to inspect my health records, tap my phone or internet dialogue without subpoena. I also don't believe our government should be required to demand papers based on random suspicion - what I look like (SB1070). Hello, this reeks of tyranny.
2. Bringing " principles back to our government." - hello, we are in the recession because of highly deregulated markets. Even Thomas Jefferson felt that corporations needed to be limited. In fact, early on in our nation's history, corporations were limited in the time they were allowed to exist. Jefferson felt that companies should not be allow to exist in perpetuity. The Bill of Rights was not written to include corporate rights either.
3. We are not being taxed without representation. We voted in our representatives. Policies that affect how we do business are being made without representation - it's called the G8. Large multi-national corporations are making laws without representation. That is undemocratic.
4. Have you noticed that most of the people at these Tea Parties are white?
5. Tax dollars aren't sacrifice to liberty and freedom? I think so.

Bottom line, I agree with the principles of liberty, flexing our right to protest against what we see as abuses against our liberties, and I love our country too. This is why I believe in taxes, I don't believe in SB1070, I believe in a regulated free-market, I believe in individual - not corporate- rights. Where were these people when laws are passed that determine that I can't marry who I want? Where were these people when the government was passing the Patriot Act? Where were these people when our government was letting business/banks make abusive lending decisions that have impoverished our nation?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Let's Substitute the Name Bush for Obama

I saw this going around on Facebook just the other day. Take a look at it and then substitute the name "Bush" for "Obama." Then honestly answer the question, "What do you think a non-Obama fan would say to this if this had been posted during the Bush Administration?"


Seriously people. First of all, how 'bout you spell Swayze right?? Can you at least Google "Swayzie" to confirm you have his name right? 

Secondly, if I or any other non-Bush fan had said something like this during the Bush Administration we would have heard one of the following responses: 

  • If you don't love this country then leave it. 
  • You have to at least respect the office of the president.
  • Are you threatening the president?
  • Really, Farah Fawcett is your favorite actress?? Cause if so, then you'd know her name is actually Farrah, not Farah....
Let's try not to be hypocritical people.