A Liberal’s Survival Guide

Obama-Other-Newsweek-3

I recommend picking up a copy of Newsweek for yourself. The cover story for the issue of the week of November 2nd 2009 is an excellent piece on President Barack Obama. Anna Quindlen has put to words what I felt to be true since early in the 2008 Presidential Campaign:

Barack Obama campaigned as a populist firebrand but governs like a cerebral consensus builder. The Founding Fathers wouldn’t have it any other way.

Campaigns are bad crucibles in which to forge the future. They speak to great aspirations; government amounts to the dripping of water on stone.

The president is a person of nuance. But on both ends of the political number line, nuance is seen as wishy-washy. There’s no nuance in partisan attacks, soundbites, slogans, which is why Barack Obama didn’t run with the lines “Some change you might like if you’re willing to settle for” or “Yes, we can, but it will take awhile.”

If the American people want the president to be more like the Barack Obama they elected, perhaps they should start acting more like the voters who elected him.

In my personal estimation the liberal-left mainstream view of Barack Obama was overly optimistic as to his clearly stated positions. This situation has altered since the campaign but still seems to maintain elements of previous misconceptions.

This president is entirely unique.

I was adamant about this in the first few months of The Obama Presidency when the media-punditry were attempting to compare Obama to another American President of the recent past. The only comparisons to draw are poor ones.

Many attempt to call The Obama Presidency a “centrist” presidency. I believe this is only in part true and better descriptions would be “staunchly bipartisan” or “consensus builder” as to what we see of The White House of 2009.

Ultimately, I myself am far too left-wing to support every Obama Policy. I am certainly left-wing enough to vote for him, but in the instance of national health care reform I would seek to isolate the insurance giants in the face of the bipartisan concept of bringing them to the table.

I would seek to remind readers that The Founders had many ideological differences between them and while they surely would approve of the goal of consensus building, I believe some would argue that party loyalty or campaign kick-backs mean nothing in the face of protecting the general welfare of the people of The United States.

Allow me to put forth my view on The Founding Fathers as it applies to the proposed health care reform in the U.S.:

A single-payer bill, like H.R. 676, might be scientifically approved but does not incorporate the spirit of incrementalism that is key to sound reform. If one was to augment the “single-payer” model of this bill into a national health care insurance option for citizens ages zero to sixty-five, included the Dennis Kucinich Amendment in which states can opt-in to a single-payer system, and included the Harry Reid Proposal in which the states can opt-out of the national option within a single piece of legislation; this unwritten bill would be within the true desires of the framers of The U.S. Constitution.

I can only see two clear flaws in Barack Obama as president, thus far.

Handing health care to the Congress was a bad move.

Isolating the giant of media-misinformation when there are other offenders within the spheres of foe-news.

Both of these are purely strategic flaws and amount to simple criticism and nothing more on my behalf.

On the matter of his appointments I believe what I was speaking on before comes around once again. It’s not a fair assessment to call it a “liberal” cabinet but rather a “bipartisan” cabinet, or “centrist” if you must.

We didn’t elect the liberal-firebrand that came to destroy the GOP and tear down the corporate empire.

We elected Barack Obama.

Obama Health Care Reform

(Entire speech @ Open Salon)

This was an excellent Address on Health Care by President Obama. All significant issues were cogently addressed, but I found the president should have expounded further upon the specifics of the budget and the concept of “deficit neutrality.”

Perhaps it is my own failure in understanding but I do not fully understand this notion as it pertains to health care.

I also think this clear explanation was needed much closer to the onset of the national debate instead of at this point in time and also hopefully prior to the town hall debate setting, but I see the issue of Health Care Reform as being underlined and placed in the foreground.

Those who chose not to listen and refute every word Obama speaks will most likely continue to do so.

The issue of a ‘failure to sell‘ Health Care Reform and explain the proposal is put to rest, in my view.

Bigots Against Islam Run The Republican Party

The hatred of others based on their faith is the favored tactic of the Anti Obama Republicans in this current political climate. If this hatred was directed at another religion the whole of the American public would reject this bigotry as unpatriotic and down right sick. This propaganda and lies about Islamic faith is tolerated by Republicans because many Americans chose to believe lies, such as the misnomer that the majority of Muslims are in fact terrorists, in place of speaking with their fellows whom may be more directly connected to the truth of the matter than a pack of lying pundits.

Racism against Arabs and bigotry against Islam seems perfectly acceptable to millions of Americans, while racism against Blacks and bigotry against Christians or Jews is downright unacceptable. These Republican Americans and their conservative counterparts seem to believe that civil rights extend only to certain colors and certain faiths.

These disrespectful and partisan Americans put into question their dedication to the principals of non-discrimination in our society. Until major representatives of the Republican Party denounce this bigotry and racism in their ranks they remain in my mind a continued threat to peace and national security in the United States of America.

Cheney Deserves His Day in Court

“When just one single piece of information could prevent a nuclear-armed terrorist [we can‘t take any chances.]”

Former-Vice President Dick Cheney continues to spread the myth that inhumane torture tactics, mislabeled as ’enhanced interrogation,’ are necessary to protect the nation from extremist violence. His continued use of fear-tactics by insinuation of nuclear attack on American soil is a throw-back to the selling of the Iraq War to the American People, which ultimately was proven to be based on bad intelligence. The use of these tactics will only produce more bad intelligence and not to mention legal ramifications of using techniques that are clearly ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’

I could only speculate if he is a man bereft of all humanity or simply a man of very strong and very flawed convictions, but the fact remains that putting our nation in danger and violating the US Constitution are all that is accomplished in following this destructive version of course of action proposed by both Cheney and Bush.

I continue to advocate investigation and prosecution based on any evidence gathered that can meet the standards of a courtroom. If sufficient evidence to convict Dick Cheney of war crimes exists then, we the American people, deserve to hear the facts out before a jury of his peers.

Dick Cheney is an American Disgrace

55_cheneyI wholeheartedly disagree with the statement that President Obama has made the country any less safe since entering office. The notion that immoral practices will make us any more safe from terrorism is counter-intuitive to my core beliefs.

The CIA Enhanced Interrogation Program was one of the most effective terrorist recruitment tools and a project expressly advocated by former-Vice President Cheney which is now noticeably absent from terrorist recruitment methods.

The approved torture methods of the Bush administration have presented one of the greatest threats to our continued national security to date.

Not only is it disgraceful for Cheney to criticize the current administration as a member of the former but also as to his own level of personal integrity to turn the issue of national security on it’s head by denying the immorality of torture tactics.

The Politics of Fear remain the only tool left to Neo-Conservative Americans.

I see a land of injustice where prosecutions of some order are not undertaken. Those who wrote the legal opinions used to justify these torture tactics must face consequences.

The Justice Department cannot dispense justice onto itself.

A Special Prosecutor must be appointed.

If anything, President Obama has yet to do enough to restore justice and security to our nation.

Water-Boarding is Torture

It disturbs and disgusts me that so many American conservatives refuse to address all empirical evidence regarding practices like water-boarding while supporting these failed and immoral policies enacted under the Bush Presidency in the aftermath of the attacks of 2001.

Political partisanship aside, our nation has long stood as a global role model of a free republic and a just democracy by which the policies of fledgling democracies might observe and hopefully mimic.

A country claiming moral superiority must have reflective policies as pertaining to these morals. Any country that approves of a policy such as legal water-boarding of detainees cannot hope to claim any degree of civic morality inherent to it’s soil.

Redefinitions of torture as acceptable in any form is counter-intuitive to sound American policy making, in my view. Within political debate the same attempts are contrary to the Spirit of The Constitution itself. Not to mention the practice is specifically banned by the Military Code of Conduct and the Geneva Convention.

Loyal Opposition No More

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For many years I have felt that for all our disagreements between liberal and conservative individuals in the U.S., there was a shared position by both sides. A loyal opposition to the opposition, if you will.
For the time being, as since the election of Democratic President Barack Obama, I believe the majority of the conservatives of America have thrown down this national system of civil loyalty in politics in place of a pure obstructionist agenda.
The Party of “No!” is not conservative, nor liberal, it is pure nihilism in place of understanding.
I have not heard any amount of logical rebuttal to an Obama Policy or policy proposal, except in very rare cases.
I find I cannot listen to the standard bearers of GOP right-wing radio these days. Like most people I have my “hang-ups.”
Dismissive attitudes, a complete lack of humility and screaming people down end up on my list.
Every time I have been listening to conservative talk radio, or GOP responses, since the election of Barack Obama I am disgusted by the complete lack of integrity and grace in politics. Every word a smear, every point a spin.
Reducing everything down to simply “look at who is doing the name-calling” is not the issue. Though it is important thing to avoid name-calling as much as possible.
Not sticking to the facts about our democratic representatives and our recent national historical facts is unpatriotic.
I wish it were not so, and no group can claim to innocent of some form of vitriol in these times. But if something I say amounts to “name-calling” then I’m afraid it must be so. But understand I don’t say such things in a state of glee as we see from others screaming rational people down.
I find it offensive that in a matter of weeks all our politics have reduced to childishness and fear-mongering about the government.
Instead of having an actual political dialogue they insist on presenting “vague-facts” along with connect-the-dots logic, which is simply dirty pool politics.

Has America Gone Conspiracy-Crazy?

It has been my observation that popular websites and radio shows have experienced a recent increase in the number of people touting the “New World Order Theory” (NWO) or an apocalyptic theory that includes global conspiracies in one fashion or another. I am not a fan of dismissive attitudes and rather than mocking these people I wish to explain why I personally do not subscribe to these theories even after having reviewed much of the same media and materials that they often use as evidence for their theory.
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http://www.coasttocoastam.com
http://www.jordanmaxwell.com
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There is no doubt that there remains a large divide in society between the labor classes and the aristocratic classes of people, no matter how wealthy or advanced a society is. As many have written on throughout history there is a mutual disgust shared between these classes.

The labor class most often views the other as uncaring and immoral. The aristocratic class most often views the other as uncivil and illogical.

The clever, and usually fiendish, use this divide on both sides of society to promote their personal agenda. Be it selling DVDs, seeds, books, survival supplies or perhaps gaining ratings, website hits and sponsors the issue of interjecting mass fear without any tangible proof is reprehensible. Not to mention the fact that both modern and ancient politicians have sought to demonize one group or another using these same existing prejudices in what is commonly called class-warfare.

I assert that the entire idea of a “grand-puppeteer council” that rules all of humanity is a form of ancient social-engineering, if you will, developed perhaps some time prior to the Roman Empire. An agenda formed purely to destabilize all forms of government in a time when there was no such thing as democracy or equality under the law for any person not of a ruling class.

I believe the labor class of old created this entire theory around the strange practices of aristocrats that still exist in today’s society in the form of the Skull and Bones Society or other ritualistic practices in society as a whole. The unseen and unknown rulers of all cannot be proven nor disproved. Nor can the shadow regime be seen for it is made of no light that we pathetic laborers can find with the blindfolds that our masters provide. It is a perfect circle of plausible yet improvable concepts leading to the same conclusion of rejecting all the institutions of government as purely evil.

I see certain figures like Jordan Maxwell as not motivated by sheer profiteering motives but rather simply a person who has read more material and done more research than I have, by far, yet he has not considered this simple concept while reading many occult materials. Maxwell is one of the rare exceptions in this subject where he is genuine and earnest about his fears for America coming under some form of global-control. I just simply disagree and obviously I would be proven wrong if such a thing were to happen outside of popular fiction.

I am not certain if America is falling prey to an age-old agenda of anarchistic motives or if a certain few have simply become voiced after being silent but the issues of the press failing to do their job in the modern world or the multitude of other arguments used to promote these theories don’t provide any proof for the theory itself.

No doubt someone who believes strongly in these theories would seek to call me a “NWO shill” and I am trying to convey that I see Alex Jones, for instance, as a profiteering shill. Let people judge for themselves as I make zero dollars on this weblog and Jones runs advertisements for his products on the radio. George Noory would be the converse of Jones where he appears to simply believe in the NWO while further proving my point that Jones is primarily motivated by profit due to fact that Noory doesn’t engage in schemes to sell documentaries yet is still affiliated with and outspoken on the issue.

Many theories defy evidence, like Creationism for instance, and there are many people of varying degrees of study who wish to establish a sense of complete authority on these theories making them into supposed facts. It is the very nature of spreading willful ignorance. Some issues do not have all the standards of scientific proof at this time and must be handled as such.

The answer is, we don’t have the answer. Anyone who tells you otherwise should called into suspect immediately to produce proof or be called to state themselves as a person of convictions and not facts, which is perfectly acceptable.

I am not here to be throwing out names for everyone to repeat of my ‘perfect’ theories or just to start an uproar on any of the issues I’ve touched on but rather to say that when any person simply accepts what they hear, see or read as proof-enough for them that ultimately we all could suffer the consequences if this were to become systemic.

Eric Lightborn
February 17th 2009

Obstructionist Republican Agenda

New RNC Chair, Michael Steele, claims to stand against obstructionists in his first speech then condones the stagnation of the Obama Stimulus bill in the House by Republicans shortly thereafter. I am sorry but that is shameless hypocrisy that reminds me of the previous tactics of Republicans that have done nothing but twist politics into a double-pretzel.

When interviewed about abortion and gay marriage, he explained that certain issues comprised his core beliefs and could not be compromised. In an earlier comment he expressed that he sought to avoid those who simply talked a lot and wanted no resolutions done.

Steele fails to understand that the Democratic Party is easily equal to the Republican Party in terms of members who do not back down on core ideals and core beliefs.

One such core belief is that legislation should pass without a partisan standard of approval in both the House and Senate.

It is obvious that it is nothing more than a partisan agenda of Congressional Republicans to keep the Stimulus package under a Democratic President from passage due to the fact that the last Stimulus and the equally large Bailout under Republican President Bush received quick and dual-party support, without any major concessions from the Democratic Party included therein.

The fact that not even one Republican voted for this bill, even after the requested tax cuts and concessions were included, proves beyond all anecdotal commentary on the exact specifics of the package that the opposition is simply against all policy with no need for explanation or discussion.

These actions prove that the current agenda within the RNC is simply to reject all policy proposed or supported by President Obama in a dangerous game of raw politics.

It is the responsibility of Michael Steele to encourage the Congress to come to a constructive level of progress in this time of great economic instability.

I do not, thus far, share in any level of elation that some have expressed within the Democratic Party with this new chairmanship of the RNC. There is no more time for these word games and the extremely familiar partisan stalemating in America today.

The game-clock has run out and there is nothing but lasting damage done by such an obvious favoritism for Republican sponsored bills and this obstructionist reaction to a Democratic sponsored bill.

To be fair, no Chair can be expected to be able to effect a great many votes in the Congress just after receiving the such a position.

I am simply stating that if the situation reversed, I would chastise the DNC Chair for taking such a narrow view of policy. Steele was in a unique position to help put an end to Republican obstructionism in modern-American government.

Instead he chose instead to be vague in his declaration against such a serious matter.

I would have hoped that the broad declarations against Americans and the vague comments eluding to items of a serious nature that often amount to slander would come to a close within the RNC and its members with the losses of 2008, but it appears that the tactics of distraction are not dying out as hoped.

Another unsettling element is that he speaks as if the Republican Party is not in great need of reconnecting its core foundations with its message and representatives after such a serious national defeat.

It is unfortunate that the need for keeping up appearances is keeping what I tend to believe to a genuine and honest man in his convictions from telling the simple truth that he has a lot work ahead of him if he wants to keep conservatism within the American dialect of politics in years to come.

I would like to attempt to dispel this term ’common sense’ from politics that Steele is so found of.

Basic knowledge about civics gives a person both personal political perspective and helps with a debate on policy. Common sense is to not running with scissors and taking good care of your health or things like not swearing in a church and being polite to others.

I see plenty of basic and advanced knowledge in the RNC but very little common sense. This has not changed in any fashion, in my view.

Lastly, the former-Congressman David Duke expressed that he saw Steele’s election as a dark day in Republican history. I think that is simply absurd and that Duke is a racist.

It is simply more of the same from the past eight, in what I see so far. I find it difficult to find excitement and relief at this time.

Eric Lightborn
February 3rd 2009

The Greatest Failing of the Liberal Movement

“Why would a liberal blogger ever talk about this? Has he lost his mind?”

Upon review of my postings, I have been exceedingly focused on the conservative movements and often harsh. I take nothing back.

It is past time I took a moment to address the very real short-comings within the popularity and success of many liberal movements. I’ll refrain myself to speaking generally.

The case of the ‘liberal snob’ or the ‘egghead liberal’ is the center of the problem. I cannot speak for others but I cannot address real issues without getting verbose and sometimes over-technical.

‘Joe Biden long-windedness’ is modern term getting thrown around for those like myself in their political discourse.

Or rather I can remove myself from the endless sentiment, but I must be allowed to let raw passion and at times foul language into the dialect of political discussion.

Far too many popular liberals in both press and in office maintain what some people see as a ‘know-it-all’ attitude that I am guilty of myself and attempt to train myself out of the habit in both my writing and personal conduct.

Book-smarts is great, as is higher education, but only a certain number of people eat the material up like I do. And I test far worse than I comprehend in most subjects.

So I am far from an academic at this time, and qualify as a hobbyist at best.

People should have every chance to look over the same press releases a little longer or to think on the perspective they hold as much as they wish. A person who says they are not too sure about something in politics, is really thinking about politics.

Which is nothing but good, no matter where in the aisle you find yourself.

This is tied into our fundamental Right to Vote. We require a full compliment of modern perspective in our political media and a high-credibility, non-partisan, factual press corp.

Only the so-called ‘fringe’ liberal groups support extreme journalistic integrity reform and numerous conservative groups have labeled themselves as ‘media integrity-advocates’ when in fact the majority of them support fact suppression and disinformation.

Not to mention the fact that the Fairness Doctrine has entered the political discourse of Democrats and I personally view it as macaroni-legislation in which we adopt failed policies of the past and switch the pieces around hoping for some wild new picture. The Fairness Doctrine has not caught any major steam, however, perhaps due to the paranoia of many conservative hosts on radio broadcasting mediums.

The greatest failing of the liberal movement is simply that all liberals, myself included, want everyone to pick up various materials and sources then ration through all the reports looking for the facts. A person asking this is any form is often perceived as snubbing their nose at light readers.

This is not just unappealing and offensive to many, it is a downright ridiculous proposition.

Both liberals and conservatives along with the ‘third’ parties all have a great many members who find it a laughable concept to start watching or listening to the alternative perspective in their daily media consumption.

The conservative agenda seeks to pin this blame on the idea of Politically Correct Language (PC) but I think the source of blame is a three-letter acronym: FCC.

PC attitudes are another topic, but it safe to say I am not a strong advocate for them in all situations. I do want to state that I see cultural sensitivity and political correctness as two separate issues and the common-conservative argument against PC culture also includes a negative view of cultural sensitivity and religious sensitivity that I do not share.

The Federal Communications Committee is the true beating heart of the matter, and remains a taboo topic even in this age of worldwide-electronic communications.

Just as the ‘scream heard around the world’ by Howard Dean was received as if he was mentality unstable or the nature of how the New Year‘s Eve comments of Kathy Griffin were handled, the constant vanilla-nature of all our major communications has given the lasting impression to many that if you express anything but highbrow editorials you will be shamed in public if not removed immediately.

As I see it, the yolk of the FCC bending to the will of a highly sensitive primarily religious minority has squelched the liberal movement more than any other when speaking of American politics and media over the past twenty to thirty years.

The damage is universal, not isolated. The smaller political movements and even the under-funded branches of the conservative movement have suffered under this scenario.

There is a need for laws and rules, of course. But we need not rampantly censor all dialogue and squelch the very intention of Freedom of Speech in the process.

To put it another way:

The young liberals of America are more than ready to verbally tear Rush Limbaugh’s head off, and start making a paycheck off that, except most of us have a “HBO Rated” and “TV/Radio Rated” manner of conducting ourselves. We don’t need Obama to pay any attention to the windbag if he would relax the arcane FCC regulations on the independent minds of America.

Eric Lightborn
https://ericlightborn.wordpress.com
February 3rd 2009

American Partisanship? Guilty On All Counts

Everyone has a little partisanship in them. Or at least if they have any political convictions they do. The true difference between a hard-line partisan and a person who uses passion and exaggeration in arguments is extremely simple: A blinded partisan will always work to squelch the ideas that are contrary to their own.

A close examination of modern media shows that partisanship is within all formats and all sources in different fashions and forms. The strongest vein of partisanship is without a doubt found within the conservative and pro-Republican news talk radio programs. Using dismissive attitudes and literally speaking over the words of others is not just commonplace but the entirety of certain shows.

My ire is raised the most when a person guilty of partisanship disguises themselves as one who is not. A host that asks their audience to suspend the fact that they make their living on the success or failure of the media is fit to inform and critique the media, is both absurd and insulting. A host that labels their shows and commentary as non-biased and pure policy when in fact the agenda is exclusively conservative is harmful to political understanding and hopeful future compromises.

Each group must come to fully understand one another before there can be resolution within the truth that each faction is invested in the same goal but wishes to employ very different strategies in government. The nature of all partisanship truly comes from keeping this message out of the major media sources and the popular formats.

I have no way to prove my sincerity but I have no desire to stomp out the conservative viewpoint or keep the majority of Americans from hearing opinions that are completely different from my own. I can only say that I am against the Fairness Doctrine or any legislation that works to alter the Fair and Equal Rule.

The issue should be laid at the feet of the networks, who could easily solicit a wider range of opinion.

Eric Lightborn
January 31st 2009

President Obama vs. Rush Limbaugh

Limbaugh

Our newly elected President Barack Obama made a request to the American public to stray away from the partisanship of Limbaugh and similar hosts.

The media storm resulting from this around Limbaugh and the nature of an American President addressing an issue as minor as a radio program are valid reasons to consider that it may not be advised for a head of state to engage the likes of Limbaugh at their level.

But I think the criticism from the left for Obama for doing this is the fundamental nature of how conservatives successfully spread their ideals and win elections that ultimately degrade the state of the union.

By constantly refusing to engage with the partisans and the tawdry, the wildly untrue statements they make become elevated and reinforced to the point of being deemed ’common sense’ by millions of Americans.

The silent treatment does not work against the right wing. End of story.

There is infinite patience and infinite banter to deploy while only a select few liberals will stand against the falsehoods and most them are under-represented in the major media formats.

In the same moment the likes of Ann Coulter publishes books and makes numerous TV and radio appearances while the real Social Science evidence presented in non-biased material is left unsold in bookstores.

Having a President who recognizes that these individuals who attack the very nature of political freedom and the heart of American democracy are a genuine threat to continued freedom of choice in our representatives is a great benefit to the nation.

The Democratic Party and the liberal movement must come to terms with the fact that they are fighting a propaganda machine of massive resources and multitudes of sworn members and that taking no action or light actions in the face of constant public defamation and misinformation is not only unacceptable but tragic.

Eric Lightborn
http://americapress.wordpress.com
January 31st 2009