Freedom


Today’s Music: Paul Simon – Train in the Distance
Note on Today’s Music: The song has nothing to do with the post. I’ve just always found this one kind of calming, and that goes with the post.

There’s a whole lot of things I was going to write about for the “other” post of the week. I’ve been thinking about the freedoms I and my fellow Americans enjoy, and how it looks like they’re being whittled away as we watch, or even cheer for it – NSA surveillance, abortion restrictions (and with it, access to healthcare for women).
At the same time, I’ve watched the repeal of DOMA which gives me some hope that in the end, people will just let others be people.
I’ve been watching the GOP. They have some positions I admire – self sufficiency, independence, compassionate conservatism (which, like communism, might be a great idea in theory, but sucks in practice). But overall, they are very much the party of the older white male. Perception is often reality, especially in politics. And the reality they broadcast is that they act in the name of a god that has absolutely nothing to do with any god I’ve ever read about in any religious text.
Well, there was that one by Scalzi which was pretty good, but that was sci-fi, so I don’t think it counts.

It seems like instead of drawing people together, there are an awful lot of forces pushing to keep us apart. And here’s what I don’t understand the most: how does that help them?
All the bozos (politicians, talking heads, zealots, et al) are all screaming at the top of their lungs trying to get a bigger piece of the pie. Their claim is that their distribution of the pie is the only one that’s right, the only one that matters, the only one that tastes good.
But that pie is big enough for everyone. The screaming, the emotional plays, the demeaning of everyone that disagrees with them, lessens all of us, and just hurts the pie.
Why would you do that to pie?
(Mmm…pie…)Pie
And as I write this rambling pointless post, it occurs to me that here’s what bothers me: the argument is losing its basis in reality. Both far sides of the political spectrum are quite ranty about what they believe in. But they’re so caught up in trying to impress on people how awful/scary/stupid the other side is, that they just scream louder and make up more and more “ficts” (fictional facts) to support their side.

Here’s an idea: speak your peace. You want me to believe abortion is bad? Great. Give me a good reason. Justify how jamming a wand into a vagina (currently occupied by a fetus, thank you) is in anyone’s best interests, or how the state should be over-riding doctors to impose a medical procedure that isn’t on par with inoculations (which, by the way, can be refused ).

You want me to pay more in taxes to support your cause? Fantastic. Why? How does that improve society? How does that make my life better? Because that’s your job as my government – to make the life of every citizen better.
And self defense.

You want me to fund a long term science project? Actually, I have no problem with that. Who should I make the check out to?

Anyway, you have plenty of freedom to scream out whatever you like about whatever you like.

I have the freedom to ignore you.

(Author’s note – I should probably stay off the blog when watching political news. Oops.)

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75 responses to “Freedom

  1. Did you mean to do this? “Here’s an idea: speak your peace” If so, nicely done, if not purposefully, then good to your subconscious! I’m kinda pissed at a person who meangirled me on FB. Still figuring out how to deal.

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  2. *LIKING* this first….and foremost!!!
    Well said, My Prince…

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  3. β€œFicts” — what a brilliant word. Did you make it up? May I steal it? I haven’t been writing about politics all that much lately — but I think I may need this word.

    Great post, Guap.

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  4. I just want the freedom to stick Dick Cheney’s head on funny stuff in Photoshop!

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  5. Well said! Please continue to blog while watching the news! A good rant, full of common sense and a beautiful new word (fict) is a tonic for us all! Thank you!

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  6. I was chatting to my friend in Australia at the weekend – much the same conversation as your post Guap – it is pretty much the same here in the UK too – the politicians and commentariat were gobsmacked that Parliament voted against bombing Syria – without any clear evidence! – the reaction was fascinating espeically after Obama’s decision to debate with Congress and the French doing pretty much the same thing – Perhaps it is a blip but maybe the Bankers crisis of legitimacy is finally morphing into a depate about political legitimacy and the volume of rage sitting with the people for the past decade or so. Fun to watch how it develops.

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  7. I disagree with you on a cellular level… You should blog, and blog loudly, when you watch political news. The reason, I believe, the extremes are so vocal is because the middle is pretty quiet. Only when those in the middle…the vast majority…rises up and drowns out the extremes will change happen. The extremes don’t want change, they want something to rail against. History is filled with arguments.

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    • And despite that, no one plays to the middle, except in general elections (usually).
      But it’s also hard to get good ratings or coverage for “reasonable”. If it were, pbs would be awash in money…

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  8. I like this serious side of you. Almost as much as I like pie.

    *ooooh pie…..*

    plus Paul Simon.

    Homerun, my friend, homerun.

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  9. Wait – just to get things straight, or you opposed to abortion?
    Further on: indeed, why would you do that to a pie… However, it seems impossible to create a something, a society where the leaders actually care for teh people and only do the things that are good for everyone. And however much communism claimed to do that, it was only nice in theory. Because after all, humans will be humans and therefore greedy, selfish and so on. The big fish want the moey and they will get it.
    Recently a big man here, who runs a company and earns incredibly much money, refused to accept a lesser salary. This kind of thing is so sick. The big fish should do something about that, because it could make a big change for everyone.
    But being good slowly disappears with every step on the ladder you take.
    And it’s no the stairway to heaven.

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    • I’m opposed to anyone telling anyone else what they can or can’t do based on religious or temperamental leanings. If a person chooses to have an abortion, that’s between them, their doctor and any god they may believe in.
      The states interest should end at the point of “can the procedure be done safely”, “is the doctor qualified”, “is the person of sound mind”.
      Other than that, no one should have anything to say about it.
      (And I’m pro-education and pro-choice.)

      And yet, even for the big fish, it’s in their self-interest to bring everyone up along with them. Because every so often, the revolution does come along and sweep them away first.

      Great comment, and I love the closing lines!

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  10. I believe in freedom of speech and I also believe in ignoring someone’s freedom to speak out. Not stopping them mind you … just putting the cotton in my ears. Will that get me in trouble? πŸ™‚

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  11. I like politically riled-up Guap! And I always am open to a respectable debate, though it seems like just as many people on my side (far, far Left) are as bad about “respect” as the opposition. It isn’t likely my mind will be changed by anyone, but at least show me why it is important to you.

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    • Yes! That’s exactly what I mean. Both sides engage in it. Neither side gets called on it by their own adherents.
      And articulation of beliefs seems to be a lost art.

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  12. Nice post/rant. I think the point about arguments losing their basis in reality is absolutely true. Talking points are the “ficts” these days. Pols keep repeating them in the hopes that we will believe they are true. Thank goodness for the freedom to think critically, to be skeptical and to keep our brains in gear while advocates’/politicians’/lobbyists’/reporters’ lips are moving.

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  13. Abortion is a challenging one for me. From a big picture perspective, I think it should remain legal and available (although I don’t like the idea of minors having abortions without their parents at least knowing about it) in the early stages of the pregnancy, and at any time if the mother’s life is in danger.

    Having said that, I hate abortion. I hate it. I think it’s killing (you’ll note I didn’t say “murder,” because murder implies a specific intent to kill, which I don’t think applies to the women who undergo this procedure). At the same time, I have to recognize that a great many people disagree with me, and that regardless of the law, people are going to have this procedure.

    Ultimately, I think the best thing would be for abortion to remain legal, safe and available, and to have very few people use it.

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    • What you describe here is just about exactly what my point of view is, Smak.
      Morality legislation is often a bad idea (prohibition, anyone?)
      I would argue about conception/start of life and so on, but in the end, I think it’s the decision of the one who’s responsible for the life after it’s born.
      What my personal opinion is is for me only, and if I can impose that on someone, there’s no reason someone with a different opinion can’t impose that.

      I wouldn’t mind there being useful sex-ed that covers pregnancy and dealing with newborns so that anyone that had sex had a better idea of what might happen.
      A condom seems like a small price to pay if getting pregnant isn’t on the list of things to do…

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  14. Ah, the joys of politics. Such insanity goes on in every country, and ours is no different. We enjoy a healthy does of political jostling like anyone else, but we have good healthcare, clean-ish air and a penchant for saying ‘thanks,eh’. This was a good post, Guap and I continue to be ‘enlightened’ by all the political posts other peeps are bringing to my attention. I’ll try to keep up….

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    • I generally like to think of myself as insane but practical.
      There is so little practicality in politics that it’s one of the few things that can push me from relaxed to riled in just a few words.

      I don’t know much about the Canadian political environment,, but it sounds like you have a gov’t that takes care of its citizens first, and engages in shenannigans second.
      I think I’m kind of envious…

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  15. I will stuff the next ballot box I see with El Guapo votes!

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  16. El Guapo for President!! I know who I’m voting for…I’ve not watched news or the talking heads in some time, and I feel more at ease. What bothers me the most as of late is the disparity of income between rich and poor. That’s not good for our country. Basic rights like health care and a decent education are becoming out of people’s grasp. I get sad when I talk about this. Anyway, Happy Labor Day!

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    • My commitment to the people begins and ends with pie!
      A pie with every teacup!
      (How’s that for a campaign platform?)

      The income disparity and increasing lack of services for everyone not at the top scares the hell out of me.
      Even more scary is that every lesson of the past seems to be ignored.
      This kind of situation never ends well.

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  17. Politics has a way of eroding logical thoughts,
    but then politicians rarely use logic and instead
    just pin the tail on the donkey…

    Their solutions still suck,
    but that’s to be expected 😦

    Happy Belated Labour Day Guap πŸ™‚

    Andro

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  18. Good job in your reply to Lori because the middle doesn’t exist in our representation because both parties are minimized (possibly eliminated) their moderates. Therefore, people like me who are fiscally conservative but socially liberal have no play in either party. None, nada, zero, zilch. Well done, Guap!

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    • And yet, so many people would say “Yes, that’s exactly what I think”.
      But still (hard to think of something besides “and yet”!), here we are, with another election cycle getting ready to kick off with all the pomp(ousness) and circumstan(tial accusations) with the same bozos hogging the microphones.

      I was watching an nyc mayor debate and was amazed that when serious questions were asked, the candidates actually answered them, with a minimum of sound bites.

      It was refreshing.

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  19. I’ve thought this too — I specifically will NOT vote for someone who uses their air time to badmouth or vilify the other side. Build a case for themselves, not destroy others. mmm hmmm!

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  20. I concur. Like an effin’ doctor. Well said, Guap.

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  21. Got tired of all the yelling and tuned them all out years ago. I don’t care what side you are on, if all you are doing is telling me why the other side is wrong then I’m not listening to you.

    Great post.

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  22. There is so much here that is brilliant
    “Here’s an idea: speak your peace”, β€œficts” (fictional facts) and “Why would you do that to pie?” are all worthy of…borrowing.
    For the record (in this case MP3) perfect song to be playing while I read this.

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  23. whiteladyinthehood

    I never hardly watch political news (I know I should be an informed person, but I tune out when it comes on…) Loved the line: I have the freedom to ignore you.
    Good rant, Guapo.

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  24. Well I’m beyond impressed. Everyone else has already covered all the basis in this excellent post….All I can say is thank you for writing it…nice to know that the voices of reason still can be heard.

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  25. I like your rant! You are the kind of person I have faith in, politically (and bloggerly) speaking, because you ask the questions and want reasonable answers. Those I have come to pity/loathe are the ones who have no curiosity, no interest in learning about what’s going on, no impetus for picking up reading material above a 3rd grade level. Or even watching TV if it doesn’t begin with the letter F or C. Don’t get me started… too late, but I’m with you. Just know that. And thanks for sayin’ it!!

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    • Thanks Laura! It’s a pity there’s no standard, objective fitness test for jumping in the political fray.
      But then, I bet the people that engage in screaming think they’re absolutely right.

      As a bit of surreal irony, this was tweeted by @AnnCoulter on twitter (I don;t follow her. It was retweeted to me, with the starter (Pot, meet kettle).
      “Everyone today has become a commentator, parading his idiotic and illiterate musings for the world to see and read.”

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  26. Be careful about the longterm science projects you fund – it may be for a better weapon or germ warfare! Cure of cancer – definitely! Weapons – no way!

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  27. Please make the check out to, “Mrs. Cap’n Firepants.” Thank you.

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  28. I happen to like the rants that come about as the result of your political show viewing. Much more inspirational than what happens to me when I watch them. I just end up craving fast food and porn.
    But seriously speaking, all this talk about “best interests of our country” always strikes me as self absorbed code for “Do it My Way or Else”
    Well said, mister. .

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  29. I’m chuckling because I just read this post, moments after finishing mine for tomorrow, which ends with the words “I really need to stop reading the news” (or words to that effect). I hear you loud and clear EG. Sometimes it all makes me want to scream, or better yet bang out a rant on my blog. I used to do that a lot. These days, not so much. But it’s good therapy and sometimes we just need to point our fingers at the BS (and those tossing it around) and call it what it is.

    So rant on amigo.

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Ahem *best Ricky Ricardo voice* Babble-OOOoooo!!!

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