Thursday, November 8, 2012

An Open Letter to the Right Wing Pundits

To whom it may concern:
I've been paying close attention to you in the wake of President Obama's re-election and I'm a little confused. You say that the people voted for someone who would give them stuff, that the takers won this time. What exactly did you mean by "taker"? I'm rather curious because you seem to be talking out of both sides of your mouth. You say that there should be programs to help the very poor, yet you also decry those programs as being wasteful. You seem to denigrate the poor because they are poor, and I thought that, as good Catholics, you were supposed to help take care of the poor.
You say you want us to have the chance to succeed on our own, yet when we ask for a hand up you slap that hand away. You talk about success and money as if it means a person is better for having them, while complaining that people who have a microwave or refrigerator aren't really poor. How are people supposed to store food without something to put it in? Are you really so full of baloney that you actually believe that?
You say that people should own their own health insurance, but you don't want the insurance companies to be required to cover people with pre-existing conditions. You say the very poor should just go to the emergency room. Well many people die doing that and I don't recall you airing a single story on those people and what should be done to help them. You want to cut Medicaid, or send it back to the states in the form of block grants. What happens when the block grant runs out? Currently the federal government pays when that happens but under your ideas it wouldn't. How would the people left out pay for their health care?
I am not a taker. I am a man who is in the position to need help. I'm currently on food stamps, Medicaid and SSI because of my health problems, both physical and psychological. I didn't ask for these problems, and I sure didn't ask to be demonized by you because I need the help, nor did any of the other people who legitimately need help. Are there people who abuse they system? Yes, of course, but that doesn't mean the program itself is bad.
John Stewart, in a debate with Bill O'Reilly, asked why it was that if you're rich and take advantage of government programs you're a smart business man, but if you're poor you're somehow a taker? (This is me paraphrasing obviously but the point remains the same).
You complain about the minimum wage and want to see it abolished. Let the Free Market tm determine people's wages. Well we had a period like that and wages were a pittance. People had to work three or four jobs to make ends meet. Is that really the model you want to go back to? One where the worker is at the mercy of his employer and has no recourse or protection from them? I suppose it is, since you are the voice of the employer in many cases.
You complain that 48% of the people don't pay any federal income taxes. How much of that percentage are people who make all their money on stocks and dividends? Of course those are the job creators so they don't count I suppose.
You complain about women wanting their health insurance to cover birth control. I'm sorry but many of these same companies will pay for a man's Viagra, and if insurance will pay for that it should also cover birth control. If you want to not pay for it for religious reasons I'm fine with that, provided you stop taking government money. If you take the government's money you should have to abide by the same laws as everyone else and that means insurance companies paying for birth control.
I'm fairly certain that you'll ignore this and go on demonizing the poor, but know that there will always be people like me who are here calling you out for it.
That's all for now
May God bless you and may God be gracious to you
End of line

Monday, October 8, 2012

On Some Changes to My Views

We all grow and adapt throughout our lives. We start off believing in some things, and later on sometimes we change.
Change is never easy and sometimes it can be agonizing. We feel like we're betraying family or friends and the inner conflict we feel can be very hard to overcome.
While my belief in God and Christ are still large parts of my life, my political views have changed drastically in some regards.
I need to start off by saying that I'm pro-life. I have been since I was old enough to understand the issue. That being said I don't like the way that the pro-life community has approached the issue. I don't like that there are groups that bomb clinics. I don't like there are people that post the names and addresses of doctors in the hopes that they get killed by some nut.
I think that if the pro-life community had started opening clinics of their own, offering all services except for abortions, that there might have been fewer abortions over the years.
The other problem, as I see it, is that a large number of self professed pro-lifers only care that a baby is born. Many of them oppose any program to give prenatal care to the mothers and any program to give financial assistance to the poor families that need the help.
When I was younger I was a lot more stringent about the issue than I am now. I still think that abortion is wrong, though I totally understand getting one in the cases of rape or incest, but I just don't think that the fight can be won in the courts or in the legislature. The law is the law and I really don't think that its going to change anytime soon. I think that all the money fighting it in those arenas could be better spent opening free prenatal clinics or starting up charities to help poor families.
I didn't use to think that single payer was the way to go in the health care debate. (This is something I went more in-depth in another entry). Right now I'm on Medicaid and taking oncology medicine for a gastro-intestinal stromal tumor. I've seen what people have to go through when trying to get Medicaid and my stance changed from being against it to being for it. There's just too many people who need help to rely totally on charity. If every church in the country pooled their money, after taking out their operating costs, there still wouldn't be enough money to help all the people that need health care.
On marriage I've gone from thinking that gay marriage was wrong to believing that government should just get out of the business of recognizing marriages. If marriage is a religious institution then it should be kept that way and the government should only recognize civil unions.
Most of what I think now has changed significantly from when I was younger. The core of my beliefs, namely belief in God and Jesus Christ, hasn't changed, but sometimes I feel like I'm betraying my family for thinking the way that I do. I've talked about it with my family and they don't see the changes in my beliefs as a betrayal. In fact they understand why I think the way I do now.
Sometimes though I get depressed and feel bad about it though. I guess that's why I write about things like this. Just trying to work things out in my head.
That's all for now
May God bless you and may God be merciful unto you all the days of your life.
End of line

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Republicans and the 47%

here's been a lot of talk lately about Mitt Romney and his comments on the so called 47% of the country that supposedly are never going to vote for him. An excellent open letter was written by The Bucking Jenny ( ), go read it, its a well written piece and needs more people sharing it so the word gets out.

This is my take on what he said.

I have to say starting out that I don't know Mitt Romney. I don't know what his life was like, other than it was one of privilege. He never wanted for money a day in his life. Even when he was living on his own with his wife Ann he got by, not by getting a job and working his way through college, but by selling off stocks given to him by his father.

Now I don't have a problem with that in theory. In practice it means that Mitt Romney doesn't really know what its like to struggle, to be of poor health or to have to make ends meet on a budget. It means that he never had to feed himself and his family on food stamps, and while that's not really a bad thing it also means that he's never given a thought as to what the people who do rely on those things go through on a daily basis.

He laments that 47% of the country pays no income tax, a lamentation that is reflected by other Republicans and conservative pundits like Sean Hannity. What Romney, and the punditry don't tell you is that a large portion of that number are people living on Social Security. Another percentage are people making less than $20,000 a year. 

We've had a Republican run for President, namely Rick Perry of Texas, campaign on getting rid of the G.I. Bill on the grounds that it was welfare.

We have Republicans running for office saying that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are unconstitutional. 

We have Republicans running for office who want to cut funding for food stamps, and Meals on Wheels.

We have Republicans running for office who want to take Medicaid and give it to the states in block grants. To which I ask, what happens when the money runs out? Given to the states in this fashion will require that the states decide on a case by case basis what gets paid for and what doesn't. Hmmmm, that sounds a lot like a "death panel" doesn't it?

The Republicans want to take Medicare and turn it into a voucher program, while at the same time not requiring insurance companies to cover people. I'm sorry but those two positions are mutually exclusive. What happens if a senior has a pre-existing condition? If the insurance companies are not required to cover everyone then all those seniors suddenly have no means of paying for their health care.

Alan Grayson once got in trouble with the right by saying that the Republican health care plan was for the sick to die quickly. Based on the preponderance of the evidence he would seem to be right.

Hannity often screams that the "ebil liberals"  slander conservatives by saying that Republicans want dirty air and water and want kids with autism and seniors to fend for themselves. Actually this is also true. The Republicans want to get rid of EPA, they don't want insurance companies to be required to cover those with pre-existing conditions, they want fewer protections for workers and they want to limit what a person can sue for if injured by a corporation.

On many issues I consider myself to be a social conservative, maybe a social moderate if what some of my online friends tell me. However that being said I cannot vote for a Republican as long as they pay greater homage to Ayn Rand than they do the people of the United States. We the people elect them and they answer to all of us. 

I think that its long past time that we remind them of that.

That's all for now.

May God bless you and may God keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. Amen and Amen

End of line 

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

An Open Letter to America 2

My fellow Americans

On Monday night April 26th Bill O'Reilly crossed the line.

At 3:15 you'll see what I'm talking about. He showed two people being murdered on national television and then went on a rant about how evil the terrorists were who murdered the man and woman in the video. He then went on to derisively state "only Army interrogation for them".


Bill, you've made the claim for years that you're a moral traditionalist. That you represent what the regular American thinks. Well this past Monday you outed yourself as a moral relativist. You don't believe in tradtional morals, you believe in morality of convience. It's ok to torture people if we think they have information, and if they don't "mistakes happen in war." The kind of morality you espouse makes justification for the torture of prisoners of war because it's more expediant to do that than it is to do things right. The kind of "morality" you endorse is hypocrisy at its worst. You claim that people on the left are all hate mongers and crazies, yet you go on to relentlessly attack anyone who dares to question you or call you the times you're wrong. You attack people all the time and then use the petulant excuse of "they started it."

Bill you're a hypocrite and a liar and worse than those you're an apologist for torture and a propogandist.

You go out of your way to try and destroy GE and conversely the NBC networks, thus costing thousands of people their jobs; but those people don't matter to you. They don't worship at the alter of Bill O'Reilly so they don't matter.

You and people like you dodge every attempt at a legitmate discussion of the torture of our prisoners in the war on terror. "It was effective" you proclaim, or "you want to prosecute someone for having a different opinion", or "do you want the terrorists to win". You don't have a counter to the point that waterboarding is torture and has been since the Spanish Inquisition, nor can you counter the point that we've prosecuted people for the crime of waterboarding so you attack your detractors instead of actually having the conversation.

In showing the video in which two innocent people were murdered and then decrying the use of the army interrogation manual and calling for more torture ("enhanced interrogation" if you want the euphemism) you tried to commit emotional blackmail and that makes you the worst kind of propogandist. The willing one.

I call on you my fellow Americans to make it known that this kind of thing will not be tolerated. We all have freedom of speech but freedom of speech means taking accountability for when you say something outrageous. Bill O'Reilly should be held accountable for what he's said and the black hearted manipulation he attempted with his airing of such a disgusting video. Speak out and let your voice be heard.

My name is John and I am a Christian by belief and an American by birth, of Southern blood and tired of seeing what's happening to our country.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Spirit of Charity and Giving

As many people know we lost Gary Gygax recently. His loss was especially hard for many of us, though we never met him, because there are a large number of us who found a place to belong. His game encouraged us to be heroes. We got to, in some small way, live out our fantasies and imagine worlds better than our own. The outcasts, the geeks, the nerds, and many of the people who society proper believes to be "weird" found that they weren't so alone in the world, that we had one another and that was ok. We formed a community and though we may disagree wildly we can always come together with the commone experience of being gamers.

Now gamers are, for a variety of reasons, a fairly generous group of people. We give gladdly because we recognize that we've been blessed and we know that reaching out to help others will make the world a better place. We know that we need to do this, not just because it's the right thing to do, but also because if we ever want the world to be what we see in our mind's eye then we need to work to get there. For us it's a matter of recognizing that people who have it worse than us who need help, and having been in the position where we didn't get help, we feel it a matter of course that we're going to help others.

I mention these things because this past Gen Con there was a charity auction held in honor of Gary Gygax's memory. The money was to be donated to Mr. Gygax's favorite charity The Christian Children's Fund. When said charity discovered that the donation money was, in part, connected to the sale of D&D they flattly refused the money. The auction found another sponsor in Fisher House so things sort of worked out for the best, but that's not the point.

The point is that Mr. Gygax was, himself, a Christian. He'd supported the charity for years and not a little of that money very likely came from D&D or other fantasy gaming products he was behind. I find it rather troubling that a charity that's always emphasized the vital need for money to help starving children refused money because they believed it to be somehow tainted by the heathen gamers.

Ladies and gentlemen I am a Christian myself. I've never made a secret of this and I'll talk about it openly and honestly given a chance. Speaking as a Christian I don't understand where this charity is coming from. We wanted to help and we were refused because we ran into the old stereotype of D&D is satanic. That hurts.

Now I'm not going to wish bad things upon the Christian Children's Fund but I would encourage people to write them and calmly explain how they feel about their refusal of funds. Don't curse them out, don't scream and yell; act like the better person. Show them you understand the spirit of giving and charity and be mature in your dealings. They very likely won't listen, people who hold a stereotype that closely rarely do, but we need to be the bigger people in all this. If for no other reason than to show everyone else that they're wrong about us.

That's all for now

May the Lord bless you and may the Lord keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you. Amen and amen

End of line

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An Open Letter to the RNC

To whom it may concern,

My name is John, and I'm 35 years old. I've been a registered Republican since the day I could start voting and I'm speaking out to you as a concerned citizen of these United States.

I am sorely disappointed with the direction that the GOP has taken with this Presidential election. The McCain campaign has run one of the nastiest and sleaziest campaigns that I've ever seen. The constant attacks of character, especially after McCain himself said that Obama was a good man, are unconscienable. They've lied about their own health care plan and have never addressed the fact that their plan would tax health care benefits as income. Replacing those lost benefits with a credit that goes right back to the insurance companies is no benefit and it certainly won't help people who have pre-existing conditions and are unable to buy health insurance anyway.

I don't think I really need to bring up the subtle attempts at the application of terror that you've been using but I will none the less. People do not need to be afraid of an Obama Presidency, McCain himself said that very thing. Yet you surround him with people like Ann Coulter who tend to use words like terrorist, and put emphasis on Obama's middle name. Let's not kid ourselves shall we? We both know what's going on with that and it's disgraceful.

Now we have the accuations that your opponents are attacking "Joe the plumber". There are a couple problems with this line of attack on your part. The first is that McCain brought Joe into the debate. The second is that Joe himself held a press conferance outside his home where he chose to express his thoughts, such as being totally against Soical Security. Now that is his right as an American, however you don't get to complain when it comes out that the person YOU dragged into this election debate turns out to not actually be a liscensed plumber. You also don't get to complain when it comes out that said non-plumber turns out to owe $1000+ in back taxes. How is this the fault of the other side when YOU and YOUR candidate are the ones who brought him up in the first place?

More troubling still are the recent rumblings of the old accusations of American citizens , particularly those on the left, as being "Anti-American". I was deeply offended to see a congresswoman on Hardball say to the world that she wanted the media to do an indepth expose on anyone in congress who's views are "Anti-American." One of McCain's own advocates, also on MSNBC, implied that only those people who voted for McCain were "Real Virginians". It is patently offensive for you to say that because someone may not agree with the party line that they're somehow not really patriotic Americans like you. Remember "Patriotism is the last resort of the scoundrel".

Which brings me to the recent accusation by Rush Limbaugh that the only reason Gen. Colin Powell was endorsing Barak Obama was race. I'd ask that you come out and condem this line of attack but I'd be wasting my breath. Is it really that unrealistic that Gen. Powell thought through this decision carefully and methodically before coming to the conclusion he did? Of course from what I've seen so far I think your answer would be yes.

In conclusion let me say that after this election I will be registering as an indedpendant. I will vote my conscience and only my conscience.

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, "I'm not leaving the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me/"


Thursday, October 2, 2008

On Sarah Palin

I've been paying attention to the Presidential race for a while now and I've come to some conclusions that I thought I'd share with you all.

The first among these is that Sarah Palin was chosen, not for her record as a Govenor, but for purely political purposes. There were other female Govenors that had far more experience and were more widely known and respected that McCain could have chosen. Instead he chose someone who very few outside of Alaska had even heard of. Now it is his right as the nominee to pick whoever he wants, to an extent, as his VP, but my understanding is that Joe Lieberman was his first choice. It's also my understanding that the people running his campaign convinced him to choose someone else that was more in line with the Republican base and who wouldn't cause a riot at the Republican convention. In response to this he chose a woman who he had only talked to once on the phone and had only met with personally for fifteen minutes.

Sarah Palin simplly wasn't prepared for the level of srutiny that was headed her way and it's interesting that the McCain campaign has gone out of their way to shield her in a way that would never be tolerated if she was a male VP candidate. Now it is very true that there are those in the bloggosphere and the tabloid rags who were totally out of line in regards to her family, we can all agree on that one. However to equate any questioning of her record or her qualifications to be President as an attack is just insipid pandering.

The recent interviews with Katie Couric have shown that Palin is totally out of her depth in regards to a national election. It's important to remember that Palin comes from Alaska here. Alaska is one of the largest states in the Union we're told, and this is true if one is talking about land mass. In terms of population it's one of the smallest. Their total population is half that of some major cities and, like it or not, that means that she's much more used to small town politics and that just doesn't work on a national level.

It's important for me that you understand that I don't think that Palin is a stupid person. She definitely does have charisma and moxy in spades, not unlike Joe Biden in that regard. What she doesn't have, however, is any national experience. Her answers in recent interviews have been rambling responses that don't really adress the question that she's been asked and no matter how much experience you have you can't do that any more. There are too many means by which the people can call you on it.

Let me ask this one question in closing. Would we demand from any male candidate that their opponent not be condescending in a debate, or not use sarcasm? Shouldn't she be treated like she's one of the big players since she seems to want to play the game at the biggest levels?