/*amazon_ad_exclude = "christian"*/ The Skin I Am In: October 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Real America

I think that regardless of which side of the political fence you're on, this may very well change the way you think about America. I know I have shared my strong opinion about Sarah Palin in recent posts, but this video cuts to the chase and goes directly to Wasilla, AK to emphasize what Palin has been saying all along about the humble, honest and patriotic citizens grown in her town.

You would be remiss not to watch this video.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Parodoxical Ideals

Since I recently opened the political can of worms on my last post I feel this would be a good time to broach another bothersome issue before changing the subject. It has been ruffling my feathers for quite some time, and although I'm sharing these thoughts mostly as a way to express my frustrations about society, I welcome comments that may be able to shed some understanding and justification on what I see as contradictory ethics and rampant hypocrisy.

I'm referring to the basic ideology of right-wing politics, aka, the Republican party. Without attempting the daunting task of dissecting a wide array of individual causes, examining their partisan principles in a nutshell exemplifies my point. Now before you accuse me of being an extreme leftist, you should know that a few of my personal stances actually fall within the parameters of elephant territory. One example is that I do not unequivocally oppose capital punishment, especially considering the advancements in the field of forensic science and the accuracy of DNA. In fact, if anything I advocate a more expedient process with fewer appeals and tax dollars spent on executions. I additionally hold moderate views regarding immigration laws and reducing the negative impact illegal immigrants have on our economy.

However, the conglomerate of Republican ideals is riddled with contradiction. Interestingly--and although I would never be so cavalier as to say all--it is relatively safe to say that most right-wing citizens practice and/or value Christianity (in fact, some even say they vote for the conservative candidate primarily as a result of religious views). For this reason I find it extraordinarily intriguing that these very same conservatives not only support, but often fight for such issues as the death penalty, gun rights, and going to war! Equally ironic is that one of their big ticket issues is maintaining low taxes (including for the wealthy and multi-million dollar corporations) while simultaneously demanding we spend oodles of government funds on not only maintaining a super-sized military, but attacking every country posing some sort of perceived threat, realistic or not. Meanwhile, our children are receiving the worst educations of nearly any civilized country, our natural resources are rapidly declining, and the rest of the world is losing respect for the United Bullies of America--issues that left unchecked have me wondering just exactly how we expect to be the world super power in future generations?

Secondly, I find it rather peculiar that so many of the Jesus-followers who vehemently oppose abortion rights also oppose government aid to the needy! Admittedly, our welfare system is extremely flawed and in desperate need of reform, but how can anyone be so callous as to support allocating billions of dollars for bombing and rebuilding other countries, yet advocate abandoning the less-fortunate citizens of our own? And how can people be so naive to think that a society benefits from dictating our human rights and then refusing to help the people affected by those very regulations? And how, pray tell, do these belief-systems coalesce with the teachings of their supposed Savior?

I honestly can't make the logical connection between Christianity and the Republican party as there seems to be a gigantic gap between these religious and political ideals. Let's simplify: Pro guns. Pro war. Pro big business. Pro God.


On the flip side we have: Anti-welfare. Anti-public eduction. Anti-gay rights. Anti-stem-cell research. Aka, anti-progress.

It would seem that Republicans oppose anything that doesn't directly aid in lining their pockets or mirror their assumed morals. (Morals, mind you, which preclude victims of rape from ending an unwanted pregnancy, yet tolerate tax dollars contributing to the killings of innocent children and babies in far away lands because, although unfortunate, those means are justifiable.)

Again, I am perplexed. Pro life. Pro war. Now take a moment to stop and digest the irony in these words: Pro life. Pro war.

I certainly wouldn't suggest that either side is free from corruption or exempt from contradictions, but based on its fundamental principles, the Republican party is plagued with hypocrisy. Whether or not you agree, I have come to this conclusion: After boiling down all the bureaucracy of partisanship to get to the bottom line lies one fundamental difference between left and right, blue and red, donkey and elephant: A Republican fights for himself, while a Democrat fights for the people.

Interestingly, it isn't the Christian dominated party which prioritizes human rights over profit and power.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Palin, the Political Poison

There's no sense in beating around the bush: I'm scared. As in genuinely nervous and fearful regarding the direction of this country. Considering our current economic state I suppose almost anyone could rightfully make the same claim; yet for me, the fear that Sarah Palin could very well be the Commander-in-Chief of this nation in the not-so-distant future supercedes our present day recession. I admit I have spent the greater part of my life politically apathetic. I didn't follow the elections all that closely, nor did I watch the televised debates thoroughly or even gave much credence to what the media was buzzing about. That is, until now.

Although I've been leaning towards Barack Obama for a while, I still didn't feel a great sense of urgency regarding the election until McCain made his infamous VP selection, who contrary to popular belief is no Mary Magdalene. Granted, I have never been her #1 fan but the more I learn about her and the more I see of her, the more red flags that begin to wave and the more my instinctive alarms go off. For Palin, people, is nothing more than a fresh and polished, but very poisonous apple.

Personally, I have not heard one positive thing this woman "stands for." In fact, she evades answering questions like typhoid fever. Anyone who is naive enough to think she makes a good candidate because she is an unseasoned, "six-pack Joe" is a bloody fool. It takes a lot of manipulation tactics to be as evasive as she is and who is better suited to grandstanding than a politician? It doesn't take several terms as Senator to develop these skills; for some, it just comes naturally.

She has complained about how much Katie Couric annoyed her because she claims Couric was trying to "trap" her into being straight-forward. She has misquoted and misinterpreted Madeleine Albright to insinuate that any woman who does not vote for her is going to Hell. She has flat-out stated that instead of answering interviewers questions she wanted to talk about what the Americans really care about, which in her professional opinion--is bashing Obama. She ignored Gwen Ifill, the moderator of the vice-presidential debate, continuing on with her own selfish agenda.

Sidestepping the whole issue that I firmly believe in the separation of church and state, a distinction that she clearly seems unable to recognize, this woman, who wasn't even a terrific governor of an underpopulated state, has absolutely no business being in the running in the first place. Anyone with a lick of sense knows she was chosen solely as a publicity tactic and not for merit, credentials or experience. Her loyalties do not lie among the people of this nation--that is more than evident! She has but one goal and two strategies to get there. Realizing that she actually has a shot at becoming this country's first female VP and possibly first female president, her eyes are fixed firmly upon the white house as she eagerly licks her chops.

To anyone who reads between the lines (as we all should do before casting a vote in an election as important as this) her strategies are as obvious as her aspiration. Her first line of defense to avoid giving concrete, credible answers is to create a diversion by slewing verbal arsenals at Obama with any means necessary. The reason is obvious: when you lack any merit by which to elevate yourself, you must tear your opponent down.

Her second gimmick to fool Americans into forgetting her deficits is attempting to create the illusion of some great alliance by affiliating herself with the country's "everyday" citizens. If she is such an average Joe who understands and empathizes with the plights of the people, why, praytell, is she against women's rights? Why is she against abortion, yet simultaneously against programs to help the impoverished, such as young, unwed mothers? WHY are women in the state she governs forced to buy their own rape kits? Does this sound like someone who really gives a God-forsaken damn?

So what, she's attractive. She goes to church. She's a mom. The last time I checked these weren't valid qualifications to run the United States of America! For crying out loud, if we think George W. Bush is a joke, then she's the punchline! She simply can not be trusted and she is using the aforementioned qualities to her benefit to paint a superficial appearance for which to hide the manipulative and selfish person residing within.

Contrary to what you're probably thinking, I would not go so far as to classify myself as a democrat. While I do share more of the liberal ideology, I readily admit many of our systems need serious reform. Yet, under no circumstances do I want our country to take two steps back for every one we've taken. As much as I would like to see a woman in power, it must be the right woman. One who advocates justice, progression, and social values. Most importantly, one with integrity.

(A thank you to Pentad's blog which led me to some of these links.)




Friday, October 3, 2008

Flying High

I must admit something before beginning: I am not completely sober or in a traditional state-of-mind. After all, I am on a cross-country flight to return home from yet another intoxicating trip to one of my favorite places. There was honestly no pun intended on the adjective chosen to describe my escape; however, intoxicating is amusingly appropriate considering the “cups” of wine I've recently consumed on this flight coupled with the fact that I've had very little to eat, and am listening to some of my favorite tunes thanks to Apple technology (which even under normal circumstances can take me to another time and place). I honestly can not describe the feeling I get while in and around Los Angeles. Add good music to a perfect ambiance and I become completely entranced. Interestingly, after a long hiatus from visiting in which I convinced myself I would no longer benefit in the same way that I used to, I discovered, then confirmed, on my last two trips respectively, that the city of angels will always have a hold over me.

I'm lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you look at it) even to be on this plane. It was far too close a call whether or not I would make my flight. Far too close even for me. My general laid back, “it'll be fine, relax” nature is actually what nearly caused me to miss it in the first place. In other words, I wanted to extract every second I could before departing and therefore dicked around too long this morning focused on the elements that lay in my favor--such as my flight was out of Orange County instead of LAX, which is not only much smaller, but also much closer—and neglected to give enough credence to the negating factors including the fact I still had to return the rental car as well as fill it up with gas before so. Nor did I anticipate the many other things that could go wrong and only do so when one is suffering a time crunch of critical importance. On the bright side, I felt justified in the fact that I simply had no choice but to test the limits of the cherry red Mustang as I made my way down the 405 towards John Wayne airport. The combination of speed, fresh air, good music and adrenaline made for a very nice drive indeed. Yet the adventure was far from over.

Skipping the rest of the many gory details (yes, I even cut in line--ironically, at the advice of airport employees)--except to say that it would have made for some interesting, if not humorous footage had I been the subject of some ridiculous reality series--I will say that I have spent the last hour or two (really have no idea) enjoying my amphetamine and alcohol induced state of being (both perfectly legal and neither of which I abuse, mind you) reflecting on how wonderful and simultaneously bitter-sweet life can be.

To be continued...