wingnuts and Midterms 2010

McDonald's French fries Potato (01)

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Employees at an Ohio McDonald’s discovered a handbill in their most recent paychecks urging them to vote Republican. Reminding them of the following:

“If the right people are elected we will be able to continue with raises and benefits at or above our present levels. If others are elected we will not.”

Well, that was subtle.

And not even the tiniest bit legal.

McDonald’s disavowed the insert and the franchise owner, Paul Siegfried, and Siegfried has issued an apology claiming he didn’t mean to offend anyone.

But offense was clearly not the intent, the handbill which urged his employees to vote Republican in the races for governor, Senate and the 16th Congressional District implies they can kiss higher wages good-bye if Democrats – and their tax happy ways – gain office.

Not legal and not fair.

A person’s vote is private and should be driven by his/her beliefs and knowledge of the issues and candidates. It should not be dictated by bosses, churches or be cast under duress.

Siegfried’s sinister attempt at coercion shows that he not only values larger profit margins for himself over his employees’ standards of living but that he doesn’t understand – as so many Americans don’t – that the economic situation is still dire and precarious.

Taxes aren’t going down and they shouldn’t.

Americans want a lot. They expect services and yet feign ignorance about how these services are funded.

Siegfried’s employees hired a lawyer. The state of Ohio is investigating. Midterms elections are Tuesday.

An interesting twist on the point, don’t you think?

The Pro-Life people argue for the body as though the soul is somehow affected. It isn’t. Our souls are eternal. They can’t be destroyed. And ephemeral existence isn’t the point of our being anyway.

As my husband is fond of pointing out, the idea of the sanctity of human life is a myth. If it weren’t a myth, then, for example, we wouldn’t be capitalists. The free market would be rightly called out for catering to the destruction of the many for the good of the very, very few. Where is life held sacred in homelessness, hunger and the inability to access health care for those without better than average means?

If life were sacred, share and share alike would be the norm because every life would have a minimum standard of maintenance that we’d all agree on and would strive to make sure was fairly distributed.

Life teaches us to be fearful and to cling to the trappings that separate us – ultimately – from the thing that we are. A soul.

So, if I am a soul, does it matter if I am born or not? Conception of a physical warehouse doesn’t make me more than who I am and who I am is not my body.

Think about it.

Senators' party membership by state, since Feb...

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It’s Midterms, people, and though I am not as frenzied as I was for the ’08 POTUS race, I have fears.

Not for me personally as I live in the Canadian Utopia, but for all of you, who should be planning your exit strategies if things go drastically to the right because 2012 is the year the Mayans decided to end their calendar with – just saying.

As I imagine the airways are polluted with negative ads and phones are bombarded with robo-calls, perhaps a good movie is in order. Fave political movies?

Let’s see. This is what Time Magazine thinks:

I’ve seen Bob Roberts, The Candidate, Citizen Kane And Primary Colors. The last is probably my favorite Travolta role ever and the saddest, most apt commentary on the enigma that is Bill Clinton ever.

But I loved Kevin Kline in Dave.

And Michael Douglas as The American President.

I like my politics with a bit of chick flick.

How about you?

Philadelphia - Old City: Independence Hall - T...

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Seems like a contradiction given the mythology of the Right that the United States was founded on Christian doctrine, but the Constitution is one of the most religion neutral documents in our history. The Founders’ religious beliefs ranged from very to not at all, but the majority were in agreement on the necessity of separating church (of any ilk) and state. Their handiwork was meant as a framework for a democracy and the idea that it would be used as some sort of stand in biblical text would have appalled them.

Newsweek published a rather good article on the complexity of the Tea Party and their relationship and mostly misunderstanding of the Constitution. Tea Partiers, it seems, are no different from other political folk in their ignorance and willingness to use this in promotion of their pet causes.

These causes are primarily money and power-driven. Tea Party leaders know how to use Americans’ greed in the form of “no taxes” against them as well as Republicans and Democrats. Americans are some of the least taxed people on the face of the earth. They are also – aside from health care for those under 65 or who aren’t disabled – some of the most privileged in terms of government sponsored/maintained amenities. Americans truly get something for next to nothing in ways that astound the rest of the world.

For the record, the Constitution was in fact intended to strengthen the federal government because an earlier stab of pulling together as a country – the Articles of Confederation – allowed the states too much wiggle room. The Articles was a weak document and the Founders purposely gave the Constitution muscle as a result.

The Constitution, for those who weren’t aware, is strident in its secularism. Not once does it mention God or Jesus. Not to invoke them or praise them or ask their blessing. It is a legal document that spells out the rights of the people and the duties of the state.

Literal adherence to the Constitution that Tea Partiers naively pound the drum for would upend most of the last hundred years or so of civil rights, worker’s rights, women’s rights and would give businesses the same kinds of overlord privileged status they had in the Gilded Age. I doubt many Tea Party enthusiasts even realize what they are in for if their wish was granted.

Though many look back at the Founders as sages guided by the Lord’s hand, Thomas Jefferson best summed up the reality in a letter to a friend in 1816,

he mocked “men [who] look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the arc of the covenant, too sacred to be touched”; “who ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment.” “Let us follow no such examples, nor weakly believe that one generation is not as capable as another of taking care of itself, and of ordering its own affairs,” he concluded. “Each generation is as independent as the one preceding, as that was of all which had gone before.”

Good Ole slave-owning Tom was not blind to his, or his peers, shortcomings or human failings.

What I find most interesting in the Constitution worship is that those who champion its place as another book in the Christian Bible aren’t the least bit alarmed by the fact that it’s used to control and limit more than it is to uphold our freedoms.

When you go to the polls in a few weeks, think seriously about your freedom and who is most likely to vote in favor of maintaining that and who is most probably going to throw you, your family and your rights under the bus in the name of their idea of what your freedoms should be.

Just Saying.