Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's not me, it's you

Wednesday night was a hot night for Republicans, literally and figuratively.
In hot and humid Tampa, they brought out the big gun slingers to talk about big gun issues.
Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney were officially named Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates. Condoleeza Rice took to the podium to talk foreign policy. Ryan took to the stage to tell you what Obama is doing wrong. Mike Huckabee urged social conservatives to follow Romney to the White House. The day before, Ann Romney and a handful of other female Republicans took to the stage to remind females that "we hear you." Tonight Romney will tell the nation that Obama's broken promises "gave way to disappointment and division."

Let me just go ahead and deconstruct a couple of these. If you're like me, your brain rejected the above statements with a heavy helping of common sense and historical context.
Article one.
Condoleeza Rice was secretary of state under George W. Bush.
In terms of foreign policy, Rice was a key player in the most embarrassingly backwards-thinking, trigger-happy and arrogant administration in many many years. The idea of her lecturing ANYONE on foreign policy would be laughable if it weren't for the screaming crowds of supporters. But let's not digress into emotional musings just yet...
Article two.
In his first public address as official VP nom, Ryan decided to spend his time, not laying out a plan, but continuing to bash Obama. From calling Obama the "greatest threat" to Medicare to placing all the blame on him for the downgrading of the US credit rating, Ryan acted more like an attack dog than a young, inspiring leader ready to take on the country's issues.
In debate, it wasn't enough to counter an argument just because. You had to not only provide evidence but offer up a better solution. Ryan did neither.
Granted, with the current two-party system of he-said/she-said politicking, I wouldn't expect him to.
The Democrats do the same thing. Lies are the preferred form of communication leading up to election day, while the issues remain shoved under a rug of widespread apathy and ideological loyalty.
It's odd that Ryan didn't bother pointing out some of Obama's actual presidential failures - like sentencing 6 whistle blowers - more than all other presidents combined - under the Espionage Act. Or signing NDAA which effectively allows for indefinite military detention. Or deploying over 4 times as many drones as Bush did when in office, to kill targets on various classified "kill lists." Oh and by the way, he's already started deploying surveillance drones in the good ole US of A.
Ryan didn't mention any of the countless other true stories that shed light on a less than successful presidency.
All I can say is - oo oo shiny!
The less you know about this, the more we can continue our useless banter over vaginas, prescription drugs and where Obama was born. That and the fact that practices such as these are not likely to change under any president. They are a reflection of the system as a whole. It's only such "surface issues" as abortion, marriage and which God you pray to that split along party lines.

In the interest of time, I'll skip over Huckabee's call to arms. Their class clashing tiffs back in '08 generated Huckabee quotes such as "pack it up and go back to Boston," and calling Romney "arrogant and presumptuous." Last night, he was all about thanking Obama for bringing him and Romney closer together, so that united, they could take on the evil Democrats in their fortress of deception.

In the end, why don't we all just thank Obama for giving us another total wasted televised political event?
I'm sure after the DNC, we can thank Romney for the same thing.
The blame game wrapped in a cuddly veil of don't-bother-telling-us-what-you'll-do-differently.
Rice standing resolute and claiming that Romney and Ryan "know what to do" when it comes to foreign policy. Ummm...what gave that away? Romney's recent trip to Europe?
I guess when you judge from the platform of her resume, anythings looking up. 
And maybe you could share with the class what it is that they know to do - could I see an outline?
If I am to go off of their campaigning, I'd assume it's the exact opposite of what Obama has done. I guess we'll find out if Obama gets the boot - it's like a cracker jack surprise - how exciting!

Granted, I also don't have the slightest clue what Obama will do to make his next term any better.
I hate to be so depressingly realistic but the picture really sums it up.
Either way, pardon my language, we're fucked.

Until we just turn around and walk away from this broken system, and demand one that digs to the bottom of this corporatized plutocracy, we're gonna keep getting a whole lot of this, leaving us with very little on the back end.
The only thing that will trickle down is disappointment and division. Well done Romney - you got that one half right.
The pomp and circumstance of these conventions, so proven by their content, is just that - pomp and circumstance - with no more substance than the Super PACs and financial supporters allow (about as much as the contents of a dieting model's lunch box).

In the interest of our interests, we should take more interest in the simmering slop beneath sky rocket interest rates and hand shaking, back door dealing corporate interest mates. 
Or if you're happy with where we lie, don't stand - let this all pass you by, swimming in real lies, too indoctrinated to realize - the truth as it floats by, smothered and beaten, spit out, never eaten - breathe in - mind that cough. Close your eyes - exhale all the worry that comes from you seeing - enjoy the ride.
But don't look so confused as they sit so amused, counting their cash flow, as we writhe in the under toe - of too long, too much - too little from us, and then too weak - to swim gainst the waterfall...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Jesus, the political activist

I am blown away. Even tho I read frequently, it's been a while since I was blown away by a work of historical non-fiction. Although very informative, most are written in a dry, overly verbose fashion, stoically framed by a slew of dates and events that I can't relate to.
The last time I was blown away by a historical non-fiction, was in fact, after reading my fathers book, America Aflame (by David Goldfield).
In it, he puts forth religious extremism and its uncompromising ideological foundation as a major contributing factor to the start of the Civil War, on both sides.
It's interesting how quickly humans lose sight of humanity in the face of Gods.
Now, it may seem that I have an affinity for religious non-fiction, but you'd be wrong.
My latest foray had very little to do with Jesus the deified son of God, and everything to do with Jesus, the man...the political activist.

The Jesus Dynasty was actually written by a colleague of my fathers at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), James Tabor. Not where you'd expect enlightened authors and historians to hang out, but hey, I guess the BBQ is good.
And speaking of BBQ, Jesus won't be having any. Not just because, as a human, he's been dead for 2000 years, but also because he was a devout follower of the Jewish faith.

In Tabor's book, he chronicles the life of Jesus, based on recovered texts, and historical (as opposed to theological) readings of the gospels and stories in the Bible. For example, he uses the writings of the Roman/Jewish historian and hagiographer, Josephus, who kept record of Jewish history in the later half of the 1st century A.D.
Through these pieced, parted and often partisan sources, Tabor constructs a rough outline of Jesus' life.

Big point number one: was in fact human. Had a human mother and a human...FATHER. Actually, evidence suggests his father was a Roman soldier...hope you're sitting down...named Pantera. Metal heads, rejoice!
Secondly: He preached the Torah. He had absolutely no interest in creating a new religion. His religious beliefs were firmly bound to Jewish tradition, and the teachings of the Torah. He wasn't interested in a kingdom of heaven. What he championed was peace and justice on earth - brought on by the apocalyptic Messianic movement that John the Baptizer started, and that Jesus was baptized into. Together, they were the TWO Messiahs prophesied to retake the throne of David and the priesthood of Aron, to rule together.
That was his vision of the Kingdom of God, because that was the Jewish vision of the Kingdom of God.  On earth, as it is in heaven - he was thinking about down here, not up there...

He and his followers thought of his "divinity" only so far as the prophesies aligned with his background, time of birth and his life of righteousness. They would never go so far as to suggest he was the son of God.
They accepted him as an earthly King, with real blood ties and therefore real claim to the throne of Israel.
And that was a HUGE deal back in the day; the act of claiming that throne meant greatly angering the colonizing Romans, whose preferred form of dispatch was - crucifixion.
Truth of the matter is - Jesus and John the Baptizer made the Romans very nervous. But it wasn't their religious preaching that got all those togas in a twist.
Preaching to live your life according to the Torah is no real cause for crucifixion.
It was the Messianic movement that heralded the coming of a King, from the line of David (Jesus), and the coming of a Priest, from the line of Aron (John) that irked the Romans so much.

Romans would have probably been almost happy to welcome a loon preaching a new religion. Anything to take away the simmering mutterings of a legitimate King overtaking their half Jew, Herod. 
But that wasn't the case.
Jesus was claiming a right to the throne of Israel, as a blood line heir of King David.
He was claiming a political post that would usurp the power of the Roman Empire.
Jews believed that once a King from the Davidic blood line, with a priest from the Aron blood line laid claim to the throne of Israel, the end of an age was at hand - the end, they thought, of an age of injustice and foreign rule.
They looked upon Jesus as King, and John as Priest.
And with this vast following of hopefuls, Jesus represented a political threat to Roman rule, not a religious one.
He was crucified not as a religious zealot, but as a political activist.
His brother (yes, brother) James carried on this legacy as the Messianic legacy, not a Christian one. Being of the same blood line as Jesus (different father, same mother), James was the natural successor to his brothers works, hence the name, Jesus Dyansty. It was crucial to maintain that Davidic blood line to keep the movement going.
That guy Paul - just named himself a thirteenth apostle - he was never invited into the inner circle, never knew Jesus, and was in fact scolded a few times for twisting the teachings of Jesus.
Not to mention, you only need 12 apostles - to rule over the 12 tribes of Israel.

What happened many years after Jesus' death was a theological and overly fantastical rendition of life events.
He didn't rise on the third day, his body was moved.
The crown of thorns was placed upon his head as a mockery of his claim to the throne.
He would never have blessed the bread and wine at dinner as his flesh and blood. It was strictly forbidden in the Torah to drink blood. He would have blessed it in the traditional Jewish fashion.
His mother wasn't a virgin. She was adulterous. She became pregnant before she married Joseph, arguably from a Roman soldier.

The facts reach out from the book and grab at your mind like someone reaching for your hand. It's tactile, tangible - exciting and riveting. To understand that the most popular figure in the history of humanity, was in fact, a human.
It makes you appreciate the strength of mankind, the power of our own will.
I'm an atheist and I've never felt more intrigued by Jesus than after reading this book.
Because I now know him as human.
Gods, and giants are always capable of great feats, but if a human gives us all hope.
And hope that is based on our own abilities, not our faith in ethereal beings.

And of course, he was very religious, and his faith surely gave him strength to act - but he would arguably never have acted had his faith concerned itself with purely heavenly matters.
Jesus was all about his here and now - his teachings say nothing of after lives, resurrection or heavenly kingdoms.
He had faith in God, but also in his people. He had faith that justice would be carried out, on earth, in his lifetime. 
So - why? Why would we strip such an amazing human of his very humanity?
Is it, as Nietzsche says, so the weak can feel more comfortable knowing that no human is capable of such greatness?
Again, I have no problem with faith. I don't preach Atheism. I don't preach at all. I do my best to overcome my own varied superstitions in the face of truth and reality.
It's uncomfortable for many to think of Jesus as man.
But think about it! Would that not give you more faith?!
To realize that a human, someone just like you - was able to move a nation, no, an Empire, with his teachings and his beliefs. That is surely worthy of another chapter in the Bible.
Human strength and religion need not sit on opposite ends of the spectrum.
If you are a Christian, reading this, tell me - why would Jesus' humanity be a threat to his true legacy?

His true legacy - the one believed by his followers, his apostles and many people in Israel around that time:
that soon, oppression would be cast aside, dictators removed, injustices righted, on earth.
He represented that hope, in the flesh.

That makes him all the more impressive to me.
Because as a human, and a political activist - the change they wanted, is the change I want.

Wherever your bones lie, after all this time, through history's lens we can try, to reconstruct your life, your teachings, your legacy - so that you may in fact rise, as a hero - of the people, for the people and by the people.

For more on James Tabor and his work, please visit:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Can't see the forest through the pussy willows...

Hitler was evil.
But you wouldn't know that if thousands of people hadn't followed his lead.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a tremendous milestone.
That never would've happened if it weren't for the tireless and cohesive efforts of thousands.

Three members of the Russian punk rock band, Pussy Riot, have been jailed since February because of a performance.
You wouldn't know or care if it wasn't all over Facebook, on Madonna's back during a show, and plastered through international media.

The one thing all of these mentions have in common is cultural signifigance.
In these three cases and in many more, culture took on the political meaning of that time, that place, those people. And that's why people knew about it, and that's why people were engaged.

Let's face it, politics aren't sexy. On their own, they're not flashy or entertaining - unless someone loses their shit on the senate floor or accidentally tweets penis pictures. Serious issues go unnoticed for the same reason that more people watch American Idol than C-Span.

Of course, C-Span is far more relevant to our lives, our well being, our future. But American Idol is fun to watch, engaging, sexy.
A Russian writer and performer was on NPR the other day, commenting on the Pussy Riot issue.
What particularly caught my attention, as I did my second round of shoulder presses, was how she lamented the extreme focus on the issue.
She said that due to the media frenzy over their captivity, so many issues, far more relevant to the Russian people, are going unnoticed. When asked why: "they're not as interesting to people."


The fact that Russia jails hundreds of dissidents every year isn't as interesting. Or the fact that those dissidents don't receive proper medical treatment and die during what should have been a 2 year sentence. These aren't made into billboards by celebrities or pinged incessantly on Facebook, because they lack the style and swagger to ignite cultural interest.
And without that, political issues, no matter how important, will always simmer below the line of mass public knowledge and engagement.

In the 60s, politics were made sexy and engaging by artists. Music was overflowing with political messages and it was considered cool to go to protests, to be engaged, to "be the change."
Hitler pumped out propaganda videos and posters like he was running a movie studio. A line from Mein Kampf reads,

"The function of propaganda does not lie in the scientific training of the individual, but in calling the masses' attention to certain facts, processes, necessities, etc., whose significance is thus for the first time placed within their field of vision."

Absolutely right. No one gives a shit until you show them in a way they can digest it, until you make it a part of their culture.
In Hitler's case, he appealed to the wounded pride of a nation. Propaganda was always about the strong German overcoming the trials and tribulations of injustice to rise, a superior race.
That made it interesting to people, that made it sexy.
If he were just to come out after the first world war and suggest more violence and make far flung suggestions at racial cleansing, he would've sunk into loony anonymity.

Humans are fickle - we are self gratifying beings. If we aren't entertained, engaged or otherwise drawn to something, we don't care about it.
Political and social issues have to appeal to this human trait, and that's something this generation has lost.
It's not cool to be into politics anymore. Preaching escapism has become central to my generation's dogma. We'll regurgitate 60s fashion, art, and music, but hollow out the meaning for an empty but oh-so-chic design. We'll donate to save Darfur but only because that celebrity said so, and once the check is mailed, we let the message fade.
Since 9/11, countless laws have been passed that constrict our freedoms and usurp our rights. Crickets. In January, 2010, the Supreme Court basically OK'd corporately sponsored elections. Silence.
We don't fight for anything because it never seems urgent enough. People aren't going to go looking for reasons to get into politics. Politics has to come to them.
And the only way for politics to get to the people is through popular culture.
We're desensitized to politics, disinterested - because our culture dismisses any political ties.

And so, we will continue to focus on very minute issues, such as Pussy Riot, or the occasional disaster relief, simply because they rise above that simmering line, to engage us culturally.
And until larger issues, like oh, I dunno - the corporate dictatorship we live under, our broken two party system, our shattered infrastructure, our thoughtless wars, our tattered economy - until issues like these are made sexy, with enough glitz to grab our attention, they will remain beneath the surface, like a cancer quietly destroying a people - without their knowledge.

No doubt, it's our fault as a nation, for not stepping up to the plate to take interest in our own country, but in all honesty, that will never happen - it never has.
People don't just care - they have to be made to care. Information has to be delivered in a way that piques interest.
So, how can we do that?
How can we make politics sexy, interesting, engaging?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Paul Ryan: just right.

In my early morning daze, the push notification on my phone read Paul and I damn near fell out of bed. "Holy shit! Romney picked Ron Paul to be his VP!"
Oh wait, no. Paul RYAN...the name wound its way through my groggy brain, pushing through cobwebs and tannins til it landed in its familiar file of "Economic disaster."

The sun light filtered through the shades - outside, grapes ripened on vines cascading over rolling hills. Paul Ryan trickled out of my mind.
His nomination just wasn't that interesting to be honest.

He's just right - not too hot, not too cold - for the Republicans and their corporate keepers.

He's not an extreme choice like Sarah Palin was. He's what I like to call an "econ-con," a double entendre I chuckled over in my simultaneous dismay.
He's a business-friendly, economically motivated Republican, as opposed to Tea Party evangelical loony tunes like Bachmann.
He fills in a lot of holes in Romney's personality and campaign.
He doesn't have a history of see-sawing, he has no experience in the financial sector which will take some heat off of Romney for being viewed as a heartless millionaire.
Of course, let's just disregard the fact that just a few months ago, Romney said that anyone without business experience shouldn't be allowed inside the White House...ahem, ahem, cough, cough.

Well, if you've been following Romney, you'll know that flip-flopping is not something he's afraid to do - the man practically has springs on his feet, and now he'll have to jump again.
Remember Romney-care? Yeah, tricky one. Particularly when your new VP sliced and diced any semblance of socialized health care like a horror movie surgeon (which by the way, you'll have to pay top dollar for). Not to mention Romney's relaxed view on abortion - Ryan? Well he wants to ban many forms of birth control - I hear the problem with abstinence is people just aren't giving it a fair shot.

Ryan's economic plan takes the rug out from middle and lower class Americans (not that there is much of a middle anymore) and then proceeds to beat them with it.
While some have claimed that he's the compromising kind, that's about as true as Obama being a beacon for hope and change.

What he is, is again, just right (pun absolutely intended).

During the debt ceiling debates, Ryan made it a point to personally visit Cantor and Boehner, dissuading them from signing any agreement that would raise taxes and not make sufficient cuts to entitlement and other federally funded programs, such as Social Security. Basically, don't compromise with Republican ideologies.
Well golly gee, doesn't that just sound all bi-partisan and cozy?
No. Of course it doesn't.
Romney is gelatinous enough on his own. Granted, he doesn't gel over to the center but he's not the straight up and down conservative that the GOP wants to neatly niche out their party.
Ryan is.
And that's how this works. The right needs to stay right. The fact that much of Romney's history shows him flirting with centrist notions makes no difference now. He can't say that he's in favor of gun control at this point - he's got the NRA up his ass with a .45.
He can't say he's OK with birth control - he's got a religious right wing flapping at him.
The fact of the matter is, is that so long as elections run this course: right vs. left, no one on either side will be allowed to tickle the line between their side and center side. It has to be us vs. them, we're righteous, they're evil. Because after all, it's really about conservative and liberal, not about one nation - for the people, by the people and of the people. Ha - pipe dreams!

So, I'm not super bummed or super excited about this choice. Romney will win some and lose some based on his running mate. Florida will probably move a few points further away, while conservative swing states that don't favor Romney's swing, will pendulum over to the right.
Corporate funds will bolster as per usual, happy with Ryan's favoring of lax regulations and taxes.

So, in reality, it's business as usual. The right stays right, the left stays left and in between, the no man's land of a quiet center simmers in the final months before election.
And the pipeline of the majority of Americans between left and right will continue to shoot out pipe dreams of progress until simmer turns to boil.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


It's a question I ask myself so often. As an activist, it's not just asking yourself why things happen but why you fight to change them. It's not just why didn't anyone stop it, it's why didn't I stop it? And why don't I next time...
It's overwhelming. Depressive realism takes hold frequently, reminding me that there is so much wrong in the world, the attempt to right it can drown good intentions before they move to swim.

This morning, I flipped through a pile of articles and settled on one entitled, "The Casualty of Coal."

Gary Wayne Quarles was 33 when he died in the Massey Upper Big Branch mine disaster on April 5, 2010. He lived next door to his parents, and was their only child.

They read their son's autopsy report, indicating carbon monoxide poisoning and a cause of death of smoke and soot inhalation. There were also prior symptoms suggesting he had black lung disease.
Gary Wayne's father, Gary, recited the creed he and other miners felt was the true Massey motto: "Production first, safety last, haul that coal or haul your ass."
Throughout the company's history, it received numerous safety violations, and contested most of them.

On a day that began with 3 anti-depressants, Gary headed to Washington to speak to lawmakers about mine safety and regulation.
"This was my son, Gary Wayne," he said, holding a poster-size picture of his son. "I called him my son, but he was a man, a real man." He paused to compose himself, with difficulty. "We are here for safety."

Two years after the tragedy, no Massey executives have been criminally charged, no new Federal mine safety legislation has been passed and the families of those killed that night have only memories and money to console themselves with.

Gary Wayne's mother, Patty, says she agreed to the final settlement, not because she thought it was a good one, but because she couldn't bear to argue over cash for her sons life anymore.
"I wanted it over. I wanted it over so bad. At the same time, this is your mom saying this is what your life's worth. Like your mom sold you out. He was our whole world. He'd come to the door and say, 'Hey Mom.' I can almost still hear him. It's unbearable to think about what's actually gone."

They now have the freedom to do whatever they want to. Neither one ever has to work again. But they don't want to do anything. Patty sleeps a lot and sits on the porch, staring out towards her son's home. Gary drives to the cemetery where Massey paid for their sons plot and burial. He used to look forward to hunting season, particularly when he wouldn't have to work anymore.
"I always wondered what it'd be like not having to work. I love to hunt. But see, me and Gary Wayne hunted. Now when I make the trip, I cry going in, I cry in the tree stand, I cry coming home. I never know when I might start crying. I don't really understand it."
Patty says she never saw him cry before this. Now he cried remembering...the night of the explosion, when families gathered in a building and a woman from Massey held a clipboard, announcing, '"If I call your name, you are to report to the fire department to identify bodies."'
"What kind of person says that?" he asks.

What kind of person says that?
Why did it happen?
Why did they let it happen?
Why didn't someone stop it?
Why weren't they punished?
Why didn't they make sure it won't happen again?
Why didn't anyone respond to Gary's cries for safety, for his son?
Why didn't anyone do anything?
Why didn't anyone do anything?
Why didn't anyone do anything?

That's why I try to do something.
For stories like this, for realities like this. I can't imagine losing a child, and I can't imagine pleading with someone, who with the flick of a wrist, could ensure that it wouldn't happen again, and them turning away. I can't imagine how that feels. I can't imagine the rage, the sorrow, the soul wrenching, mind blowing, heart stopping depth of loss.

But I can imagine the country that allows it.
And that's why I do something.

I can imagine a country where stories like these are far too regular, where parents bury teenagers, and receive condolences and a grave stone.

I can imagine a country that puts profit before people, always, without question.
I can imagine that country because it is our country, it is our nation, it is US.

We are this country and we are the guilty parties, that allow this to happen, time and time again.

Our silence and inaction is a seal of approval.

That's why I try to make noise, why I try, to make a difference.
It's not just for me or for you and yet it is entirely for me and for you.
You do not live outside these tragedies. They are not beneath you or perpendicular. They are your reality, your country and your future.
This is why.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

It's a small world, after all

The world is getting smaller. No developed nation can cling to isolationist ideologies and no developing country (with resources) is allowed to.
Our differences are both peaked and dulled by this interconnection. Our similarities are either used for kumba-ya campaigning or shoved under the rug of coincidence.
You won't hear a lot about it in this country, but many of our plights are shared on this stage of global politics. And many of our decisions and stances make marks on other cultures, countries and governments, good and bad.
So, on this platform of continuous globalization, I'd like to share some news stories about us, from parallels and points of view outside of our own.

Have a great weekend, Revolutionaries!

Deja-vu in Poland: Jacek Zakowski could easily be talking about us, but he's not. In a recent article in Gazeta Wyborcza, Zakowski scolds his country for giving up the liberties it fought so hard to gain. “There was no coup, no fanfare, no lofty ideas or slogans,” he says, but slowly and systematically, the Polish government has been restricting the rights and freedoms of its people by passing laws eerily reminiscent of pre-1989. Just in the past six months, Poland has passed a handful of laws that allow invasive government surveillance coupled with restricting public demonstration. Of course, just as in the US, each law comes sugar coated and tied off with double speak logic and a sprinkling of fear. Zakowski sees this as an ominous trend and eerily finishes off his article: “No huge external threat menaces us ; instead, the threat comes from within. A quarter of a century after the overthrow of communism, we have forgotten why it had to be overthrown. We remember the censorship, the empty shelves and tanks in the streets, but we forgot that these were only symptoms. The disease was the arrogance of power. And that rot can set in even in a democracy.” Don't we know it...

Compare and contrast with a .45: I abhor mindless regurgitation of news, particularly tragic, mindless acts of violence. That's why it was so refreshing to read an article by a Brit on the events of July 19th in Aurora, Colorado. Needless to say, all of Europe was shocked, but in a way, not surprised. It's hard to be surprised when you look at our gun toting culture. In 1996, Britain banned all handguns after a school massacre in Dunblane, Scotland when a man, armed with 4 pistols, killed 16 children and an adult. Assault rifles and automatic weapons have been banned since the 1930s. Last year, 51 Brits were killed with guns. In 2009, 31,347 Americans were killed with guns. Kind of makes the adage, “Guns don't kill people, people do,” a mockery of 30,000 cadavers. One man argued, on the site,, that if people in the theater had been allowed to carry guns, this mad man could have been stopped before killing 12 people. Ummmmm...I can't grasp that logic. Oh wait, because it isn't logical! Adding guns to a lethal situation doesn't make it any safer. It seems we suffer from “add-it-on-itis,” thinking that we can cover up a bullet wound with a bandaid and call it a day. The truth of the matter is, that bullet hole wouldn't be there if guns weren't floating around neighborhoods like runaway balloons at a Fair. But as we all know, the NRA has the nuts of government between a rock and a salad shooter. Even conservative Romney had originally campaigned to ban certain guns in 1994 to now of course stand firmly behind the “out of my cold dead hands” slogan. Unfortunately, that slogan is all to real for more than 30,000 Americans a year.

No doot aboot it: Say what you will about their funny accents and cops on horses but money talks and the Canadians are getting loud. For the first time in history, the average Canadian makes more than the average American. Personally, I'm surprised it's taken this long to surpass us. Through the economical twists and turns of the past decade, Canada has remained relatively even-keeled, due in large part to a firm set of banking regulations and a government active in social programs such as health care and education. They're certainly not perfect but they seem to get that free-market capitalism, particularly as a governing faction, doesn't quite cut it. As Stephen Marche wrote in, "The Canadian system is working; the American system is not."

Outsourced: Any businessman will tell you: it's a global economy, and times are rough. Outsourcing is nothing new yet most Americans choose to cling to the ignorant naivete that jobs on American soil are always a better option. That's just not the case. As Michael Tanner said in, presidential hopeful Romney knows from previous experience that outsourcing allows a company to be more "efficient and dynamic" in a global economy, allowing companies to grow and consumers to consume. He calls on Romney to make a "full-throated defense of capitalism" via outsourcing, and to stand up and tell it like it is. Only problem is, it's election year. Romney has backed up on a lot of issues such as health care and gun control, and he's not about to lose swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania just so he can come off as a cold but honest businessman.
So there you have it. The truth of the matter is this: you won't hear the truth. Romney won't back anything that might lose him votes regardless of how he really feels. 
He has to represent the Republican party and all the ideologies that go with it. 
And one of those ideologies is based on the needs of lower/middle class working families who rely on those outsourced jobs. 
The funny (ironic, not haha) part of it is, outsourcing will continue, probably even increase, regardless of what Romney has to say. 
It's a global economy and the figureheads of government have little to do with that.