Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's With All These Nuts?

Ever since President Obama was elected in 2008, the craziest of the crazy appear to be coming out of the woodwork.  And though most of them appear to be right-wingers, nuts of all stripes are involved:

  • The "Birthers," a group of conspiracy theorists who still somehow believes that Obama is not a natural-born citizen and that his birth certificate is a forgery.  Looks like there is no convincing these people.  Ever notice that nearly all of them are white Southerners?  Hmmm.
  • Numerous folks bought up nearly all available guns and ammo in late 2008 and 2009, for fear that Obama would take them away.  (However, this may have actually helped reduce crime in 2009)
  • A new anti-tax movement calling itself the Tea Party (named after the Boston Tea Party, which was about taxation without representation), nicknamed the "teabaggers," came out whining about taxes and unsustainable deficits while conveniently ignoring what Bush has done. Have they all been in a coma for 8 years? On 9/12/09, the day after the 8th anniversary of 9/11, a massive catch-all protest was held.  Sarah Palin now appears to have joined them as well.
  • Numerous folks crashed Obama's town-hall meetings about healthcare, some openly carrying guns, and Joe Wilson interrupted the President screaming "You lie!" in the middle of a speech.
  • Effigies of Obama have been hung on numerous occasions by disgruntled protesters.  Racial connotations aside, this is quite disturbing.
  • Tea Party protesters shouted racial slurs at members of the Congressional Black Caucus (including civil-rights hero Rep. John Lewis) and yelled anti-gay slurs at Rep. Barney Frank.
  • After the passage of the health care deform bill, there have been numerous death threats against those Congressmen who voted for it as well as against IRS employeesVandalism also occurred.
  • In April 2009, a troubled immigrant shot up the American Civic Association immigration center in Binghamton, NY, after losing his job in our supposed "land of opportunity," killing 14 including himself
  • In May 2009, an anti-abortion zealot shot and killed abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.
  • In June 2009, a white supremacist opened fire in the Holocaust Museum in DC, killing a security guard.
  • In November 2009, an Army psychiatrist who did not want to be sent to Afghanistan opened fire at the Fort Hood military base, killing 13.
  • A man with a grudge against the IRS flew a plane into one of its buildings in February.
  • A lone-wolf conspiracy nut went up to the Pentagon entrance and opened fire, wounding two police officers and ending in him being shot to death by police in March.
  • Members of a "Christian milita" group that allegedly plotted to kill police and start a violent revolution have been arrested in March.
Despite the overall homicide rate being at a 50-year low, mass shootings of all flavors have risen over the past two decades.  And the 2000s decade saw more school shootings (including colleges) than the previous four decades combined, despite less juvenile crime and school violence overall and draconian zero-tolerance policies.  And not all the school shooters were young, either.

Connect the dots and you will see that clearly, numerous folks are angry and disaffected (in many, if rather disparate ways) with our country's leadership and the way our country is headed.  America appears more divided than ever, and this long predates Obama being elected.  It has been percolating for decades and is now coming to a head.  The aforementioned cases represent the most extreme tip of the iceberg of hate and division if you will.  But what does it all mean?  Is it a sign of more problems to come?  Or are we as a nation simply in the middle of a great transition, a path to (hopefully) a better nation and world albeit with much turbulence along the way?  Only time will tell which answer is correct.  But as long as we keep electing spineless Democrats and wingnut Republicans, it doesn't look very good. 

All that being said, regardless of our dislike of the status quo, we at the True Spirit of America Party unequivocally condemn all violence (organized or otherwise) except for immediate self-defense against a known aggressor.  And none of the aforementioned violent acts (or plots or threats) can legitimately be called self-defense by that standard (in fact some of these can be considered domestic terrorism).  In the long run, such behavior only makes things worse.  It destroys the fabric of society and eventually leads to more violence.  Regardless of one's political persuasion, that fact should be clear to all.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Healthcare Deform Passes

The vote that would make or break the healthcare deform bill unfortunately passed.  As stated in previous posts, we stand firmly against this bill that amounts to nothing more than a giveaway to the insurance industry, as we believe that it will do more harm than good in both the short and long-term.

There does remain a slew of persistent myths about this bill.  Take a look at this list of myths and their corresponding truths.  Universal healthcare, it's not.  Equitable, it's not.  Affordable for most people, it's not.  Cost-saving, it's not.  Simple, it's not.  And so on. 

Unfortunately, the otherwise staunch progressive Dennis Kucinich now supports this bill, even though the already weak public option has been jettisoned.  And Obama struck a deal with the anti-abortion Democrats (such as Stupak) to gain the crucial extra votes needed to pass the bill.

The TSAP supports truly universal, single-payer healthcare for all Americans, similar to what currently exists in Canada.  Anything less would be uncivilized.  We believe that healthcare is a human right.   This bill, however, is a major step in the wrong direction, and in many ways will be worse than the status quo.

Fortunately, the worst aspect of it (the individual mandate) will not take effect until 2014.  You read that right, it's four years from now.  Thus, there is technically still time to fix the bill's numerous flaws if Congress wishes.  But there is probably a snowball's chance in hell of that happening as long as we keep electing spineless Democrats and reactionary Republicans.   Voters this November should take note, and throw out the leftovers. 

Otherwise, we can look forward to spiraling healthcare costs, people being forced under penalty of law to pay exorbitant premiums, more bureaucracy, higher taxes, larger budget deficits, and little to show for it all except richer insurance companies and more IRS agents to bully Americans into buying their fundamentally defective product.  We're all officially serfs now, except the rich of course.  This is an outrage and must be fixed ASAP!