Tag Archives: hate

Proof conservatives and liberals are not equal on violence

11 Jan

Everyone in the media is scrambling to make the false equivocation that conservatives are really just like liberals, that both sides are equally bad and need to tone down the hateful rhetoric. Well that would be a convenient little story if it were true, but the cold hard fact of the matter is that liberals and conservatives are not equal when it comes to blame or violence. Not all conservatives are crazy anti-government wingnuts who shoot police officers, congresswomen, and children, that would be absurd. However! All crazy anti-government winguts who shoot police officers, congresswomen, and children are conservative. All the politicians and media heads that are wrapping themselves in violent gun imagery are conservative. Tough shit. It’s a fact. Here is a list of all the past politically related shootings in the US and the people in positions of responsibility who use violent imagery to egg their followers on. Here’s a hint boys and girls, they’re all conservative.

Am I mad about this? Can’t you tell? I’m fucking furious. Despite reality everyone will insist that it isn’t so. It’s like we’re to appaled and scared of the ugly truth to admit it to ourselves. In the end, we’ll keep telling each other that we see the emperor’s new clothes even though he’s naked, just like we’ll continue to avoid the naked truth that conservatives have a problem with violence.

A political blogger’s pledge

10 Jan

This is courtesy of GreenGeekGirl:

The pledge:

As a responsible citizen, I pledge to avoid all inflammatory rhetoric and propaganda, including violent rhetoric, unfair comparison of people with whom I do not agree to atrocities such as the Holocaust simply because we do not agree (unless, such as in the case of the Arizona laws where immigrants have to carry their “papers” at all times, such a parallel is historically warranted), immature and childish name-calling, and to use a minimum of unnecessary sarcasm.

As an American, I pledge not to center my political blogs around conservative vs. liberal in order to avoid deepening the divide between political groups.  Instead, I will focus on ideas and not make mass generalizations about groups of people.

As a blogger and a writer, I pledge to do my best to try to see both sides of an argument, even if I initially think that the other side isn’t worth considering (and even if this conclusion persists through exploration).

As a friend and neighbor, I pledge not to let differences in ideology interfere with my ability to see other people as human beings, even when we disagree or when they start name-calling, using unnecessary sarcasm, or using bad logic.

As a person, I pledge to be as compassionate as I can.

I am human and humans are prone to making mistakes and forgetting pledges.  To anybody who is reading, if I break this pledge, I want you to call me out on it (but as Wil Wheaton says, don’t be a dick).

We may differ politically, but you are not my enemy.”

Overall I like this pledge, hence why I’m following GGG’s lead and taking it on my blog, though I do have a reservation. I’m really not sure how to say this, because I feel it will make people instantly think I’m a bad person, which upsets me, but I’m not sure I entirely agree with the bit:

As an American, I pledge not to center my political blogs around conservative vs. liberal in order to avoid deepening the divide between political groups.  Instead, I will focus on ideas and not make mass generalizations about groups of people.”

I understand the sentiment, especially the second half about not making mass generalizations, though in practice avoiding generalizations is extremely hard to do. I think there are varying degrees of generalizations, some more appropriate than others. For example, the generalization “All republicans want to install a theocracy” would be very over reaching and inappropriate. Sure faith and religion are on average more central to republicans (that’s an ok generalization), however there is a very specific, albeit very large and powerful, group within the republican party that wants a theocracy. The rest of the republicans don’t.

I mentioned the problems with generalizations in an earlier post here, though that post was focused on religious generalizations. In order not to be paralyzed by precision, some degree of generalization is required. So can I in good faith pledge to avoid generalizations? I cannot. I can, however, pledge to try and not making unnecessarily over reaching generalizations.

Now on to the first part of the bit I have a reservation about:

As an American, I pledge not to center my political blogs around conservative vs. liberal in order to avoid deepening the divide between political groups.

Again, I lament that people might think me a bad person for saying this, but I honestly cannot agree to this. It is my firm conviction that liberals and conservatives are two groups with irreconcilable ways of perceiving the world. Now before you judge and condemn me, understand that I do NOT mean that liberals and conservatives can’t live together peacefully. I do NOT mean that one group of people is evil. I do NOT mean that there are no circumstances under which conservatives and liberals can work together.

All that I mean by that is conservatives and liberals put different priorities on different values. We both are capable of love and compassion, just as we are both capable of fear and hate. We both want our friends and family to live in a better world, however, we have fundamentally opposing ideas of what that “better world” is or how to get there. Liberals and conservatives have fundamentally different views on the role of government, the importance and deference to place on certain types of authority, how the constitution should be interpreted, personal and economic freedoms, etc.

While these views are incompatible, we by no means should we ever resort to violence as a way of settling the disputes, and that is the main sentiment of this pledge that I whole-heartedly agree with. While I may fiercely disagree with someone, I will never allow that to take away their humanity.

Discrimination and the goal for tomorrow

4 Sep

I’m at a loss for words as to why some people don’t understand that discrimination = bad. It’s so basic, like  a = a, that I’m paralyzed by the sheer stupidity of it all. Discrimination = injustice, injustice is wrong by definition. If you do discriminate it really speaks a lot about your character and your cause. That type of hate and injustice automatically makes you the bad guy. If you discriminate because your god tells you to, then that makes you delusional and your god evil. (Isn’t it funny how a person’s god always hates the same people they do? *Hint* It’s because they made up their god and are projecting their hate onto him) These concepts are so basic, I feel like a kindergartener typing them out, but apparently lots of people didn’t learn this concept in kindergarten.

I see history as a slow but steady march towards the goal of pure equality under the law. What is pure equality? Simple: pure equality under the law means that characteristics of a person, such as race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, etc should not affect how the law treats a person. All that matters is that the person is a person, and Justice is blind to everything else. It shouldn’t matter if you’re a christian, muslim, jew, hindu, or atheist. It shouldn’t matter if you’re black, white, mixed, hispanic, etc. It shouldn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, or bi. It shouldn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman. It shouldn’t matter if you’re blind, deaf, or can’t walk. None of those things should matter when treating people equally under the law. This is the goal, to make everyone truly equal under the law. As I said, history is a slow march forward.

Originally in our society only white christian males were protected under the law. (Being rich helped too) Then came the fight to grant the same protection to women at the turn of the 20th century. Half a century later the blacks stepped forward to fight for their rights, just as the women did. Then the homosexual community stepped up and they’re still fighting today. Just 20 years ago the disabled community won a victory in the fight for equality with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The dream of pure equality is there in the constitution, it’s just a matter of fighting for it against those who would put themselves up by putting others down.

I would like to point out that there is a difference between equality under the law (the government) and private equality. For example: legally the law must be blind (pure equality concept), but private individuals and organizations that don’t serve the public at large (like a theater, stadium, or hospital) can discriminate. I view these people as immoral bastards and try to avoid them, but they have the right to be bastards on their private property. Here’s the catch: you can be a discriminating asshole on your own turf all you want, but if you’re going to reach into the public (government) piggy bank and take tax payer dollars, then you lose that right to be a discriminatory asshole. It’s one or the other. You can’t take everybody’s money, then turn around and discriminate against some of those people you just took money from.

Unfortunately private organizations do this every day. Some of them get sued (rightly so) and some don’t. The Boy Scouts are a perfect example. They discriminate against gays and atheists, yet they take tax payer money from those gays and atheists. The worst groups for doing things like this are religious groups. Religious charities often take tax payer money and then discriminate when it comes to who they hire and who gets the “charity”. Earlier this year the University of California was sued by the Christian Legal Society (a club there at the publicly funded school) because the school would not let the club discriminate against other students. (The club gets tax payer money from the school which is also tax payer funded) If discrimination and hate is part of your religion, fine, I think it’s sick and wrong, but you can practice that as long as you don’t take tax payer money. Why is that so hard to understand?

Now as I pointed out earlier, there is a difference between equality under the law, and private equality. We can enforce equality under the law, but we can’t force private individuals and organizations not to be bigots. In order to change individuals we must first enforce that law. As the law is enforced over the years, new generations are born and grow up living under the equal protection. The older, more bigoted generations eventually die off, and the younger, more tolerant ones take their place. This is how you slowly phase out individual bigotry through the enforcement of equal protection under the law. Eventually we will achieve the goal of pure equality. We will do this despite the best efforts of conservative politicians and religious groups. They will slowly be phased out and become irrelevant; just as the conservatives who protested womens’ right to vote, or the ones that protested fair and equal treatment for blacks, or the people who fought against making the government and businesses accessible to the disable, or the people who are currently fighting to deny gays equal protection. We will grind them out as we have in the past because they’re fighting for hate and prejudice, whereas we’re fighting for tolerance and justice.

The government shouldn’t recognize marriage

7 Aug

Earlier this week I was elated to hear that a republican appointed federal judge over turned proposition 8 because it violated equal protection under the 14th Amendment. The entire argument against allowing homosexuals to marry can be boiled down to: “It is my personal religious view that homosexual marriage is wrong, and thus I am going to impose my religious views on you!” (Yeah, you could word it differently and dress it up to make it look like another argument, but deep deep down, at the heart of it is this religious intolerance) Trying to take this bigoted view and impose it on other people through law not only violates not only the 14th amendment, but the 1st as well.

Come to think of it, the government recognizing any religious marriage is a violation of the first amendment. Instead, the government should only recognize the civil unions formed by people who obtain the license and certificate from the local court house. (Which everyone, regardless of religion must do) If the government did this, then anyone could be joined in a civil union. A marriage and ceremony would be secondary. The legal privileges of a civil union would be open to anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, as the 14th amendment guarantees.

I’ve seen conservatives frothing at the mouth over this issue. They somehow have gotten it into their head that if the government allows same sex couples to form a civil union, then the conservatives will be forced to preform marriage ceremonies for them. They draw this image of a government officer holding a gun to the head of a minister, forcing him to marry two homosexuals in the minister’s church. This is so utterly and completely absurd! Nobody is going to force any religious figure to preform a ceremony they do not wish to preform. No government agents will storm into a church, hold a gun to a pastor’s head, and make him wed two gays. Ideas like this are another side effect of binge drinking the kuh-kuh-koolaid. The absolutely ridiculous nature of this belief aside, from a purely legal standpoint, the government could not do this for a plethora of reasons, two stand out immediately: A) The church is private property. B) This would violate the 1st Amendment. (Yes, kiddies, the separation of church and state protects churches from the state, so think about that before you try to tear down that wall)

The government cannot tell religions how to act. That would be “inhibiting the free exercise” of religion. The concept most conservatives don’t seem capable of understanding is that imposing their beliefs on people who are not members of their organization through the public legal system is NOT an instance of free exercise. Therefore the government if fully able (and is required by that very same amendment) to block any attempt by the religious to do so. You can be a bigot inside your church all you want. You can be a bigot in your home. You can even be a bigot and shout in the street so everyone else knows you’re a bigot. You CAN’T be a bigot and try to impose your views through law. Sorry, go home.

Instead, when homosexuals want to get married on top of having a civil union, they can do so with any person willing to preform that ceremony. That’s the keyword there, willing. You better believe there are people willing to do so. Homosexuals getting married is GREAT for business. More weddings means more demand for services, more demand means more jobs, more jobs mean a stronger economy and thus a stronger nation.

Conservatives will still be able to marry in churches that refuse to preform the ceremony for homosexuals. I think there is another big disconnect for conservatives on this issue: stopping homosexuals from getting married doesn’t stop them from loving each other. The will still be there, they will still love, and they will still do everything everyone else does when in a relationship., and their ain’t a damn thing you can do about it. The only thing trying to bar them from their 14th amendment rights does is cause suffering.

“Your partner of 40+ years, the person you love with all your heart, is dying in the hospital? I’m sorry, you’re not allowed to see him, but the family that disowned him 40+ years ago and haven’t spoken to him since can go right on up…oh wait, they’re not here…guess he’ll have to die alone…”

Or

“You want to adopt Sarah from her abusive and alcoholic home? That’s wonderful, this poor girl’s had a really hard life. I see you are mentally fit, responsible, have no criminal record, and are able to provide her with a stable home, food on the table, a roof over her head, and school supplies to learn, that’s great! Oh wait…before Sarah can start her new life, are you a homosexual? Yes!?!? I’m sorry then, Sarah’s going to have to go back to living with her abusive father that broke her arm. You homosexuals are bad people and your home is no environment in which to raise a child!”

It’s stuff like this that really makes discriminating against people disgusting. The ironic thing is, many of the people who would willfully cause this type of suffering (which is very real and happens every day) do so in the name of their god of “love”. That just makes me want to vomit.

May 20th, Draw Muhammad

20 May

May 2oth is Draw Muhammad Day! Will you stand up and exercise your freedom of speech? Or will you cower in the shadows and allow barbaric fanatics to take away you inalienable rights? Do you have the courage to do what is right?

Right-wing hate groups on the rise in US

31 Mar

This past week right wing hate groups were brought to the forefront of media attention when 9 members of the christian militia, Hutaree, were arrested and indicted of plotting to kill a Michigan police officer, and then bomb the funeral procession in an attempt to kill as many police officers as possible.

To them the federal government is the embodiment of the anti-christ, any and all government officials the foot-soldiers of the new evil world order. These guys are grade A crazy, but unfortunately they are not alone.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of right-wing “patriot” groups have surged from 149 in 2008, to 512 in 2009, an increase of 244%. (A list of these groups can be found here)

The SPLC is careful to make this distinction about “patriot” groups:

“Patriot groups define themselves as opposed to the “New World Order,” engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocate or adhere to extreme antigovernment doctrines. Listing here does not imply that the groups themselves advocate or engage in violence or other criminal activities, or are racist.”

I also want to make the distinction that these groups, these militias, are perfectly legal under the 2nd amendment to the constitution:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

So we have some data here. Right wing groups have grown drastically since 2008. The SPLC has also kept track of 73 instances of violent crimes, often including murder, committed by people connected to such right-wing groups since 1995 when Timothy McVeigh slaughtered 168 people in the Oklahoma City Federal building.

What could be the reason for the jump from 2008 to 2009? The SPLC believes that it might be linked to the election of a liberal black man. I’m inclined to agree since they point out that the number of active groups declined during the presidency of conservative George W. Bush; but this is not proof of cause and effect.

Secondly, why right wing hate groups? Where are the left wing hate groups? I did some looking around, and they are much harder to find than right wing hate groups. The nearest I could find was the Weather Underground, but they fell apart after 1973. Some might also claim that organizations like Greenpeace and PETA are left wing hate groups, but I would argue that they are not the same thing. Sure they have members that sometimes commit crimes like vandalism and destruction of property, but we don’t see Greenpeace or PETA creating organization wide plans to murder people that we find in right-wing groups.

I would think that the reason right-wing groups tend to be more violent is because they are often made up of angry white men with extreme religious and political views, whereas left wing groups are made up of angry tree-hugging hippies.

Atheists are hate groups

5 Mar

So recently Obama met with The Secular Coalition for America and some right wing groups went nuts.

“It is one thing for Administration to meet with groups of varying viewpoints, but it is quite another for a senior official to sit down with activists representing some of the most hate-filled, anti-religious groups in the nation,” said Council Nedd, chairman of the religious advocacy group In God We Trust.

Seriously? Atheist groups are hate groups? We stand up for freedom of religion for all, and we’re hate groups? We stand up for separation of church and state and we’re hate groups?

Last time I checked, Atheists weren’t the ones protesting human rights. Atheists aren’t the ones killing gays and shouting “I hate fags!”. Atheists aren’t the ones who stone people or blow up health clinics. Atheists aren’t the ones who blow up restaurants and buses. Atheists are not the ones with a book, telling other people they are going to burn in HELL forever!

But yeah, other than that we’re totally hate groups. The idea that we fight for the equality of all human beings and stand up for reason and intelligent inquiry is just some conspiracy…