Wednesday, May 27, 2009

California Secedes From the Union

Now that the California Supreme Court has ruled to uphold Proposition 8, it is official: they don't want the United States of America anymore. They have rejected the U.S. Constitution, once and for all.

The rights of ALL Americans are guaranteed under the United States Constitution. It says NOTHING about the people's basic rights being subject to the whims of the voters. What this ruling by the California Supreme Court does is establish a new precedent. Now the rights of ANY minority group can be restricted by a voting majority.

Our Founders must be spinning in their graves. This wacky ruling basically nullifies the very principle of equality under the law. We are now, if we are members of ANY minority, officially separate and unequal.

We didn't need the Nazis or the Soviets to take us over. We did this to ourselves. Did none of those who voted in that election realize they were voting on whether they wanted to keep the U.S. Constitution -- or scrap it?

If ANYONE'S rights are threatened, EVERYONE'S rights are in doubt. I thought we had already learned this. The California Supreme Court's ruling imperils the very possibility of equal rights, and equal protection under the law, in this country.

This is a dark week for America. The very survival of the United States, as we have known and loved it for over two hundred years, is now endangered.

How can they put the genie back in the bottle? I have no idea whether it is even possible.

Of course the measure will go back on the ballot in California. The people there will, one way or another, be participating in mob rule. Congratulations, California Supremes. You have accomplished what the Nazis and the Soviets were never able to do.

If the mob really wants to restore the U.S. Constitution, it will vote not only to repeal Proposition Hate but to impeach every state "justice" who ruled to overthrow the supreme law of the land.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Between a Rock and a Hard Place"

Around the blogosphere, I still hear lots of weeping and gnashing of teeth about President Obama's inaction on LGBT issues. Lots of people seem surprised, though I don't know why.

As I've said before on this Blog, President Obama is going to disappoint us. He is a politician, and he's already thinking about reelection. All Democratic officeholders are politicians. Again, where is the surprise here?

One of gay conservatives' favorite games of obfuscation is to conflate "Democrat" with "progressive" and vice versa. As if all Democrats were progressives, and all progressives Democrats. No one familiar with the American Left and Center is dumb enough to believe this. In fact, a good many progressives will have nothing to do with the Democratic Party, and all too many Democrats are anything but progressives -- as they themselves would be the first to tell you.

It is not President Obama's job to lead on LGBT issues. That's right; you heard me. That isn't his job, it's ours.

He will do whatever we make him do. Progressives elected him. We couldn't have done it without the centrists, or the moderates, or whatever they're calling themselves these days. But right-wing Republican "culture warriors" had virtually nothing to do with his election -- that is, besides disgusting the rest of the country into turning toward Obama and away from right-wing "culture wars."

President Obama knows that. He will not cave in to that crowd. Like most Democrats, he seems to be enamored by the notion that "the center" is where it's at. How will he know better if we don't show him?

Again, that's OUR job.

All too many Americans are stuck between the "rock" of timidity and the "hard place" of despair. Both of these are passive, helpless, whiny, cowardly positions. Neither is a place of strength, much less of the hope for which we voted.

The "conventional wisdom" says we must be careful not to upset "the center." But the "center" does not determine itself; its position is determined, almost entirely, by the movers and shakers on the Right and the Left. WE are the ones who will decide where the center is. The Right has so completely lost all credibility that we have the rare opportunity to determine this practically by ourselves.

We do need for there to be some sort of a "center," to keep us from sliding too far to the Left. If we scare the hell out of everybody and make nuisances of ourselves, we will empower the Right to make a resurgence. It is, in fact, the only hope they've got. But the "center" can function only as a brake; it can never, ever be an engine. We on the Left must be the engine.

To passively sit by and expect Obama to do everything for us will lead to nothing but more of the sort of whining we now hear. It will get us nowhere. Engines don't whine unless they're broken.

On the other hand, to give up and despair of ever accomplishing anything because Obama hasn't waved his magic wand and automatically transformed the country into exactly what we want it to be won't help either. This is a representative democracy. Obama's job is to follow OUR lead.

We need to dig ourselves out from between the "rock" and the "hard place." And we need to get busy. We now have an unprecedented opportunity to get the country moving -- once again -- in a progressive direction. If we fail at it, we'll have nobody to whine at about it but ourselves.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Another Word from Your (would-be) Empress

I get questioned, regularly, on why I am no longer a libertarian. And when I remind those who know me that the most I ever did was briefly flirt with libertarianism (it was where I happened to be at the time I started this Blog), my questioners are not moved. They note that I still refer to myself, on the masthead, as a "libertarian-leaning liberal." My answer to that is that I still am.

If I were the Empress of America, this would be a land of minimal government and a strong and energetic progressive spirit. It would voluntarily move -- in a libertarian sort of way -- in a progressive direction. I would, however, still see a governmental role in regulating commerce. And I would not allow the chartering of large corporations. Then again, if I were an empress, I don't suppose any libertarian nation would ever let me reign in the first place.

Enough of fantasy. Libertarian philosophy, as I have said before, is nearly perfect on paper. But we don't live on paper; we live in the real world. And in the real world, as libertarians would be the first to assert, all power needs to be checked and counterbalanced. The only way to establish such a counterbalance of power, concentrated in the hands of large corporations, is by government regulation. "Libertarians" who fail to see this have a fatal blind spot.

In Lori-land, NO organization would be permitted to grab too much power: neither the government NOR big business. But in the real world, mega-corporations now wield a power even Stalinist Russia, Red China and Nazi Germany could only dream of. And that power was handed to them, on a silver platter, by the very governments who claim to support free trade. Free enterprise is not even possible under big-corporate capitalism. Far from being the same thing as genuine free enterprise, corporate gigantism (itself a product of government, as ALL corporations are the creatures of government) is actually the enemy of free enterprise.

Libertarianism, in its delusionary conviction that ALL business is automatically an effective counterbalance against government regulation, fails to recognize this. And again, it is a fatal flaw.

Big government and big business need each other, and they work hand-in-glove. Big ANYTHING quickly becomes too powerful and strangles individual liberty. For the record, I'm opposed to both forms of tyranny. When given free reign by the governments that profit from them, gigantic corporations can do as much harm as the most despotic states.

Bust up the big corporations, give all a fair chance, and make sure we all play by the same rules. I love baseball, but because I do so love the game, I am quick to see the need for umpires. I love free enterprise, but just as baseball could not survive without umpires, neither could free enterprise last very long without at least some governmental oversight. I love peace, but we would not enjoy it for very long without an army to defend us. I love order, but without the police we would have nothing but chaos.

This is why, though I think libertarians are the ones who should be -- need to be -- robust opponents of government excess, I nonetheless count myself as a libertarian-LEANING liberal instead of as a pure libertarian. Idealism has its limits, and in political reality, the "perfect" is the enemy of all achievable good. I've said most, if not all, of this already. And if I have to, I'll explain it again and again.

It's too important for us to fail to understand it. Just take this as another word from your (would-be) Empress.


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

"Workin' for da Man"

Over the past week, I have gotten at least three more "phishing" emails. In this Great Recession, it's quite clear that instead of robbing rich bankers, the desperate are turning on their fellow commoners. And posing, ironically, as bankers themselves. They now completely identify with the oppressors. In the most literal sense, they are "workin' for da Man."

It is probably lost on these lost souls exactly what they have done. They have betrayed all solidarity with their own kind -- have, in a very real way, betrayed themselves. They can slap all the bank logos they want on their phony emails. They will never be a part of that world. And they have exiled themselves from the only world in which they ever could belong.

The beneficiaries of this trickery are not those who may eke out a few hundred, here or there, defrauding suckers online. They are the criminals in the big corporations these small-time hustlers so long to emulate. It suits the bigshots just fine when we turn against one another and steal from each other. It means we have totally given up on the very concept of justice.

The "phishers" are utterly hopeless. They are absolutely whipped.

Instead of stealing from each other, we should be standing up and demanding justice. There are vastly more of "us" than there are of "them." Indeed, the only way they can defeat us is to turn us against one another. They can escape our justice by getting us to give up on the very possibility of justice. If we really, persistently, undyingly believe in justice, then we will settle for nothing less.

I refuse to give up on justice. Not only will I not be victimized, but I will stand up and do all I can to demand justice -- to work for it. To devote myself to the fight for it. I know who my enemies are, and I will never turn on my friends.

"Phishers" and other crooks who prey upon innocent, law-abiding, hard-working people are nothing but pathetic losers. And they have sold their shrivelled little souls for nothing.

No ballads will ever be sung for them, no movies made about them. They are "workin' for da Man." Very likely, they will end up going to prison for him, too.