Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “Presidential Candidate”

Hope from Our Youngins – Roger Ingalls

I’ve been racking my brains trying to come up with something to write about for today’s post. I wanted to do something positive because we’ve just concluded round two of the presidential debates and I was appalled at the inaccuracies by both candidates. President Obama didn’t create false statement but he exaggerated many points while Romney outright lied in traditional Republican grand standing fashion. The Republican leaders knows their followship will believe anything they say so truth doesn’t matter (it’s the conservative authoritarian belief system that creates blind followship).

I was about to give up on a positive subject and write about the stupidity of California Prop 30 but then a Facebook post caught my eye. An old friend posted a question to teenagers on her Facebook page asking which presidential candidate THEY would vote for, without influence from their parents.

Their responses were interesting. They almost apologetically assumed they were supposed to say Romney. All selected President Obama and their comments were telling. They were very logical and actually saw through the Republican Party’s false sound bites. I was amazed!

Here are a few of their comments:

1)      “It’s taken me more than four years just to pay off my little car loan, how is Obama expected to fix a trashed economy in such a short period of time”.

2)      “Obama inherited Bush’s mess, why is the Republican Party blaming him?”

3)      “Romney doesn’t truly believe in equal rights for all and would push back gains made by LGBTQ”.

Again, I was amazed. These young people were thinking critically and were not blindly following like many of their parents. They saw through the false sound bites; their brains were engaged.

This gives me hope…it really gives me hope.

Fast Track to Hell: Paul Ryan – Roger Ingalls

I’m from the great state of Wisconsin and proud of it. It’s the home of the Green Bay Packers; the football team that’s won almost twice as many world championships than any other team. It’s a team owned by the community while all other teams are private hobby organizations for fat-cat Wall Street insiders. There’s something sweet about a community team that’s more successful than the bankers’ dream teams.

Wisconsin is also known as the home of Harley Davidson, historic development center for electrical power tools and machining, an original leader in electron-beam microscopy, super computers and, of course, organized labor. It is even rumored that a thousand years ago the Knights Templar buried the Holy Grail somewhere in the Dairy State between the Virgin apex of Green Bay and the Kensington Stone in Minnesota. This is why Wisconsin is often referred to as God’s Country.

Wisconsin does have its embarrassments: Jeffrey Dahmer, Ed Gein and four out of the last twelve gun related mass murders (in the last twenty years) have been committed in the state. However, the biggest embarrassment was republican Senator Joe McCarthy who was responsible for massive civil rights violations during the 1950s. Current Governor Scott Walker is a rights violator too but is considered a pantywaist by comparison to McCarthy.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has selected Paul Ryan (republican representative for WI 1st congressional district) as his running mate for the 2012 election. Paul Ryan goes beyond embarrassment for the state; he is pure evil. He is an agent for Wall Street and is pushing an agenda that continues the transfer of middleclass wealth into the hands of the one-percenters. Here are a few of his ideas:

1)      Privatize Social Security – he wants to turn your social security money over to the same bankers and Wall Street companies that crashed the world-wide economy in 2008 and stole the common man’s wealth and gave it to the 1% fat-cats.

2)      Eliminate Medicare for those who earned it – he wants to give us a partial coupon and then make us buy healthcare plans from Wall Street backed insurance companies. For profit insurance companies don’t care about people’s health, they care about making money for their shareholders. The only competition Wall Street’s insurance companies have is Medicare. All insurance companies offer essentially the same coverage so there really isn’t a free market choice other than Medicare. Once Medicare is gone, the people will be powerless and under the thumb of for profit-only Wall Street. Under his plan, getting the medicine and treatment we need will be a bigger fight than we have now.

It’s my opinion that Paul Ryan is pure evil and is trying to fast track the American middleclass into a hellish existence for the benefit of his Wall Street backers. Why does he have to come from my state of Wisconsin? I guess in a Biblical sense, the Antichrist must originate from God’s Country.

Who’s Afraid of the NRA?

I’m stuck on the topic of arms control. In the massive news coverage that surrounded the tragic shooting rampage in Colorado, I heard one comment repeated at least three times by different reporters and commentators. It went something along the lines of: “No presidential candidate would dare take on the National Rifle Association (NRA) during an election year” with one pundit suggesting that no elected president would either.

I am a great believer in pressure groups to protect our rights and advocate in an orderly and effective fashion. Being relatively new to the US (and I feel it politically when gun control is being discussed more than most other topics), I am not aware of the power of the NRA.

Their website is very impressive. They have launched a campaign to “Go All In’ as they actively push to get their members voting for their people at the polls. Now my stereotype of an NRA member has them firmly committed to heading to the polls in November, but it does look to be a slick campaign.

There is nothing wrong with that, by the way. This is a democracy and there are more than a few nonprofits that I support who could learn a lot from the NRA. Their page on the ‘Right To Carry’ laws looks very professional.

But it seems to be more than that. The NRA succeed by embracing two marketing principles: Their message is simple and it is repeated, repeated, repeated. Craig Montuori, apparently a left coaster himself sums up the messaging:

“The NRA boils issues down to one point–pro- or anti-gun–and takes a stand for the pro-gun side. Sometimes these issues are extremely complex. For example, gun trace data takes ballistic data from criminal cases, matches them to a gun, and matches that gun to a dealer. Then, the dealer can be checked out for whether or not they’re following proper sales procedure–background checks, hold periods, and the like, and oftentimes, the dealers do not. The NRA opposes this to the hilt, and annually, the Tiarht Amendment is proposed and adopted with their heavy lobbying support to restrict gun trace data from being used by police and the ATF to dry up criminals’ gun supply. The issue is boiled down to “restricting gun sales = bad, NRA oppose bad restrictions.”

Mr. Montuori then goes on to explain how the NRA has an effective direct mail campaign (and probably online as well) to swamp legislators with letters from the NRA’s huge membership list, giving the politician the clear message that s/he is going against a large number of his/her constituents. Now what politician doesn’t listen to this sophisticated message?

Members sign and mail prepaid issue cards telling their representatives that they oppose H.R. ____ that will restrict their 2nd Amendment Rights. They invariably warn the representative that they will oppose him/her if s/he doesn’t oppose the bill too.

Again Mr. Montuori: “Because the issue is so ‘hot,’ the NRA has an oversized effect on Congressional races, and many Members toe the NRA line to keep their support and avoid their opposition, further enhancing their lobbying chops.”

Mr. Montuori’s final point is that the NRA have such a huge membership and are very efficient at mobilizing and fundraising quickly. Given the emotional sensitivity surrounding the issue … “among certain American sub-cultures, especially in the South, and supposed threats to those rights can whip up a huge frenzy of feeling that is effectively exploited to raise large amounts of cash.”

In truth, I preferred him as Moses

While I have no doubt that this is so true, I am still left with the feeling that Presidential candidates also have a professional network, huge supporters and plenty of money. I am left with the nagging question: Why are even those at the very top scared of taking on the NRA?

Your opinion?

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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/ and on Twitter (@alonshalevsf).

Political Anagrams by Roger Ingalls

Let’s put the serious blogging aside and make some smiles. Today I want to poke fun at conservative politicians by anagramming their names.

What is an anagram? It is a rearrangement of the letters of one word or phrase to form another word or phrase. A very simple example is rearranging the letters of “Evil” to get “Vile”.

Warning, these anagrams may not be politically correct and some may be a little crude!

Michele Bachmann (Rep. from Minnesota and Presidential Candidate)

Anagram: “Michele Bachmann” becomes “A Calm Bi-Henchmen”. Ironic since she and her husband believe a gay can be prayed straight.

Hench-men: n., a person who supports a political figure chiefly out of selfish interests.

Bi: slang n., a bisexual person.

George W. Bush (43rd President of the United States)

Anagram: “George W. Bush” becomes “Whose Bugger”. The story goes something like this; Little George got caught stealing funds from the church’s collection plate so the preacher held him up by the collar and asked the congregation, “whose bugger?” George’s mother, Barbara Bush, was too embarrassed to claim her own son.

Bug-ger: slang n., a contemptible or disreputable person.

Bug-ger: vulgar slang n., a sodomite.

Ronald Reagan (40th President of the United States)

Anagram 1: “Ronald Reagan” becomes “Adrenal Groan”. An adrenal groan is something Nancy Reagan never experienced while married to President Reagan.

Anagram 2: “Ronald Reagan” becomes “A Granola Nerd”. The President probably didn’t eat granola but his son, Ron Reagan, may have while practicing ballet.

Anagram 3: “Ronald Reagan” becomes “Anal Anger Rod”. An anal anger rod is something President Reagan gave to Mikhail Gorbachev during the USA-USSR Cold War summit meetings. I can see Ronny saying, “take this you communist bastard”.

James “Rick” Perry (Texas Governor and Presidential Candidate)

Anagram: “James Rick Perry” becomes “Scary Prime Jerk”. Rick Perry ignores the separation of church and state, and brings religious prejudice to politics. It is a scary thought that this prime jerk could become president.

Prime: adj., first in degree or rank; chief.

John Boehner (Rep. from Ohio)

Anagram 1: “Rep. John Boehner” becomes “John Horn Beeper”.

Anagram 2: “Rep. John Boehner” becomes “Be Her Prone John”. What a pimp says to his hooker’s client, “lie down and be her prone john”.

Prone: adj., lying downward.

John: n., a prostitute’s client.

Scott Walker (Wisconsin Governor)

Anagram: “Scott Walker” becomes “We Lost Track”. Before flushing him to Hell, Saint Peter asked Gov Walker, “why did you suck up to Big Biz instead of protecting the people of Wisconsin?” A slobbering Walker cried, “we lost track of our constitutional duty.”

Willard “Mitt” Romney (Former Governor and Presidential Candidate)

Anagram: “Willard Romney” becomes “Really Din Worm”. Mitt is a loud mouth squirmy worm.

Din: a jumble of loud, usually discordant sounds.

Eric Cantor (Rep. from Virginia)

Anagram 1: “Eric Cantor” becomes “Erratic Con”. Needs no explanation.

Anagram 2: “Eric Cantor” becomes “Cancer Trio”. Michele Bachmann, John Boehner and Eric Cantor are the Cancer Trio of American Politics.

Sarah Palin (Former Governor and Former Vice Presidential Candidate)

Anagram 1: “Sarah Palin” becomes “Las Piranha”. An Alaskan fish taco.

Anagram 2: “Sarah Palin” becomes “A Plain Rash”. A plain rash is what many Americans get when Sarah speaks.

Anagram 3: “Sarah Palin” becomes “Ah Anal Rips”. What Todd Palin says after passing gas from Sarah’s moose and bean stew, “ah….anal rips.”

Tea Party Nation

Anagram: “Tea Party Nation” becomes “A Potty Inane Rat”. 

Potty: adj., having a muddled confused mind, silly, foolish, illogical, crazy or addlebrained.

Inane: adj., lacks sense or substance.

The “Tea Party Nation” anagram is descriptively on target and a perfect closing to this post. They truly are a senseless addlebrained movement.

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Roger Ingalls is well travelled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

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