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Socialism: Let us understand it, so we are not afraid

I can has socialism?

There is a lot of talk lately in this election about Barack Obama having “socialist views” and being “a socialist.” For some – especially those who grew up during the Cold War – this evokes an image of radical Socialism as practiced in Soviet Russia and Mao’s China. Or is that Communism? What is the difference anyway?

The idea of Socialism has been around for a long time – longer than German philosopher Karl Marx (who wrote The Communist Manifesto). Socialism is a set of ideals and not a type of government. Examples of types of government are Representative Democracy & Constitutional Republic (United States), Parliamentary Democracy & Constitutional Monarchy (United Kingdom, Canada), Direct Democracy & Parliamentary Republic (Switzerland) and Socialist Republic (Cuba) … among many others.

Having “socialism” written down as a set of ideals came out of Europe where people had been struggling with class for centuries. Industrial revolutions made the worker more valuable but also the CEOs of the time much richer. Common people wanted to be recognized as a more important part of society and given more rights and better compensation for their work.


Sorry Obama, Whites are still afraid of Blacks

I’m pretty sure there was a duh kind of moment when the good people over at wrote this article: Racial Views Steer Some White Dems From Obama. I have to say I’m pretty sad about it and I know a lot of people like to think that we aren’t some backwards country where people are still racist.  Wait a minute. I don’t know if a lot of people think that way but I know I do.  I know it’s just wishful thinking on my part but honestly, people are really going to vote for McCain not because they they believe in his point of view or like his attitude or think he’s cooler than Barack.  No, they will vote for him because he isn’t black.

How sad is that?  In an age where we like to think of Americans as progressive thinkers who have learned a hard lesson after four additionally painful years (at least most Americans according to the latest poll I heard which put Bush at a 29% approval rating) people are making a very very very important decision based on the fact that McCain would be better because he is white and old.  Or maybe it’s just because he’s white. (more…)

Why Won’t George Bush Spread Democracy in DC?

The House of Representatives has voted to expand democracy to American citizens in Washington DC. Over the past 200 years, through the Civil War, the end of slavery, the women’s suffrage movement, two World Wars, and the defeat of the Soviet Union, America has neglected to expand voting rights to hundreds of thousands of its own citizens. Washington DC has no real representation in the House or the Senate.

And despite this latest vote it’s likely to stay that way. It doesn’t look like the bill will pass in the Senate, and even if it does George W. Bush is likely to veto it.

“It’s unconstitutional!” is the whine from Republicans like Senator Mitch McConnell. You see, it’s not because they are afraid that Washington DC residents will vote for Democrats, or because DC residents are largely poor and black. Of course they think everyone should have the right to vote! Of course they aren’t elitists or racists!

It’s just that the procedural steps for granting suffrage properly is much more important to a democracy than, you know, actual democracy.


Save American Jobs – Reproduce!

A new report on immigration from the Missouri House is making the staggering claim that abortion leads to a shortage in the American workforce and thus leads to illegal immigration to fill the positions that should have been held by these aborted people.

First off – I am not making this up. This is not a joke post. Secondly, the report was created by a “Republican-led legislative panel” so considering the Republican stand on abortion, you can be sure that THEY are not making it up – they truly believe that abortion leads to illegal immigration.

With the midterms over and the Republicans scrambling to regain popularity they are trying to wrap three huge domestic issues – immigration, abortion and unemployment – into one little study to show how they are all related, and that the Government truly does care about domestic issues (since they ain’t winning any voters over with their messes outside the country).

I wasn’t aware there even WAS a shortage of American workers. If there is an unemployment rate at all (currently around 4.7%) then there is no shortage. Employers aren’t begging people to come work illegally. They’re perhaps begging people to come work under the table to avoid withholding taxes or to come work for dirt cheap but the problem there is not a shortage of American workers, it’s a shortage of employers willing to pay a living wage and pay taxes on & benefits to their employees.

According to the article, National Right to Life estimates 47 billion abortions have been performed since 1973. Committee chairman Ed Emery says “If you kill 44 million of your potential workers, it’s not too surprising we would be desperate for workers.”

Let’s see…if we had 44 million more people, we’d probably be more desperate for health care too. Probably more desperate for welfare. We’d probably have a larger population of unfit mothers, drug users, kids crammed in schools, and uhm…unemployed Americans!

Since all six of the Democrats on the panel refused to sign the report (one called it “embarassing”) and all 10 Republicans signed it, this report clearly smacks of partisanism. Either all of the Republicans are flaming idiots or they are just signing whatever comes through to their “Republican Led Committee” inbox.

One Republican panel member, says the linked article, contends that he “didn’t recall the report linking abortion and illegal immigration.” Unfortunately my Google-fu is as weak as the AP writer’s is who broke the story, so we won’t be able to read the report ourselves to see if the Republicans possibly came up with a million other reasons why illegal immigration is a growing problem in the US or if they have just settled on abortion.

They might as well kill two unwanted birds with one stone, eh?
What do you think? Are the Republicans crazy? Are the Dems just trying to make them look crazy? Or is abortion actually a good argument for why illegal immigration is a problem in the United States?