It’s been a while since I have gotten my hands dirty with an opinion piece. In fact, I’ve been awful quiet lately. Since I do have a “following” out there — and it’s a following that, at the end of the day, I respect tremendously — it’s a good idea to post some of my latest thoughts.
Do I have my own TV show or like millions of random people hanging onto my every word? No. But I’ve got 35,000 or 40,000 smart people who care about my opinion on critical issues, and that’s a cool opportunity. It’s a privilege.
Here’s what is on my mind lately:
- NDAA, which contained provisions harmful to our Bill of Rights (and, indeed, even threatening Americans’ basic right to a fair trial and due process) is no longer “my issue.” You haven’t seen me on TV or heard me on the radio recently talking about this issue, and that’s by design. I had never wanted to be the “NDAA guy.” I just wanted more people to care about it. And now that dudes like former President Jimmy Carter have slammed NDAA’s indefinite detention in The New York Times, and now that a federal judge has temporarily blocked indefinite detention, and now that a bunch of talking heads in Congress are super-disturbed about the whole thing… that’s all good news. The shows and the radio stations have more qualified people to talk to now, the influential are finally stepping forward, as it should be. NDAA is becoming an important national issue, and it will be fixed by those with actual power and influence (i.e. not someone like me).
- The more our corrupt, lazy mainstream media attacks Mitt Romney, the more I kind of like the guy. Honestly. Obama was promoted heavily by the corporate broadcast media, and since taking office they have given him an unholy “pass” on issues such as joblessness, the failing economy, our expensive overseas wars, warrantless wiretapping of American citizens here at home, the expansion of our police state, the cruel crackdown on medical marijuana users, etc. And yet they hate Romney! And criticise the man constantly. Their latest narrative of choice is that Mitt Romney is very rich, and that he is good at making (and keeping) money. Wait, what?! Since when did the virtue of wealth creation become a cardinal sin in America? I’d prefer to have someone who has a track record of making and keeping lots of money. America’s shattered job market could probably use that right now, especially since news broke that the Obama administration’s assistance to GM has reportedly cost taxpayers a loss of $35 billion or more thus far. Would voters really like Mitt Romney more if he were stuck in a cycle of poverty and over-spending? I don’t think so.
- Rich people are not “the 1 per cent” and those earning less than $500K per year — or whatever the arbitrary outrage cut-off is this week — are not “the 99 per cent.” That’s a simplistic, childish, and ultimately divisive way of holding political discussion. Your WEALTH does not determine your value as an American citizen, or your level of morality, and it never should. The poor are not automatically righteous, and the rich are not automatically evil. This used to be common sense in America. It feels weird to even have to remind readers that “the rich” are not the problem. Bureaucracy, ever-growing police state fear tactics, plutocracy, concentration of power (not wealth)… these are the true dangers facing America.
- Speaking of which, there is a growing problem — especially in small towns and counties — of local government unconstitutionally squeezing and harassing citizens in order to improve the local government’s balance sheet. With the use of traffic cameras and needlessly stricter penalties on minor infractions, fines are levied. And when those fines aren’t paid (either through lack of notification, inability to pay, or due to civil disobedience), they can quickly snowball into thousands of dollars, leading to jail sentences. This is debt that shouldn’t exist to begin with. It’s a sham. The New York Times recently reported on this situation, and it is dire. Our law enforcement agencies should fight crime to CUT DOWN ON CRIME (duh), not to boost “profits” for traffic camera contractors and cash-strapped local governments. A profit-hungry government is a scary government. Creating crime in order to fine people — often the people in society who can least afford to be hit with bogus tickets or levies — is unacceptable, and un-American.
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