Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mini Review/Analysis of "Get a Brain, Morons: Why Being Liberal Really Is Better Than Being Conservative"

Article: Get a Brain, Morons: Why Being Liberal Really Is Better Than Being Conservative | Belief | AlterNet

I'm not going to come right out and say one is better than the other - I know what I believe, and I can't say that my beliefs are better or more important than someone else's. I don't think that's right or fair. However, that being said, the author does bring up some valid points about why liberals and conservatives disagree on many things - ethics. (Haven't I talked about this before? Several times...) So if you want, you can ignore the whole liberal vs. conservative views on issues whatever like I did (^^" I'm tired, and I don't care) & just focus on the stuff about debating the differences in our core values. We can argue til we're dead about the issues, but getting to the root of the matter is more interesting and more effective. Even just take it down a notch, away from the issue & down to the logic behind why it matters. For example, part of the Republican dogma is about being self-reliant -- you take care of yourself. Liberals generally believe that, while being self-reliant is a wonderful thing and should be encouraged, not everyone has the ability or opportunity to do so and therefore part of being a good citizen is helping those who cannot help themselves. (As this is a Christian value, it's weird that a lot of the religious right disagrees with this idea on a larger scale... They say individuals can do charitable things if they want to, but I don't think it can ever really be enough... Plus we need to orchestrate job training, create more jobs instead of automating everything, start creating new things instead of "improving" on the old. HD may be nice, but is it really that spectacular? No. How about let's spend more time on curing cancer, eh?) Liberals believe in maximizing human and civil rights, fairness, and individual liberties- thus the name Liberal (from liberty? Hi? Yea.) which, generally, we believe are often infringed upon by corporate interests, as well as government -- whereas Republicans and a lot of other conservatives are more likely to emphasize morality/purity and authority. Many may prefer to let corporations do what they want in the name of capitalism and the free market, because that's part of how they define liberty. Many liberals would likely agree that it's more important that we all have the right to clean, non-polluted air, whereas some conservatives might think that it's more important that we all have the right to pollute if we so choose to... (Think non-smokers vs. smokers, in public places... Sorry, but your rights end when they infringe on mine! I choose not to pollute my body with crap like that, therefore keep your chemicals and tar to yourself, thanks.) So at the end of the day, we're both trying to increase individual freedoms (um, with the notable exceptions of those who advocate for keeping DADT, banning abortion & gay marriage... No one is infringing on your "right" not to see guys making out with each other. Mostly because that's not a "right." Nor is it any of your business... [unless of course you make it your business by joining Aarin and checking out all of the g-pg-13 yaoi you want... as the hardcore or uncensored stuff is a little more than I'm interested in, unless there's a really really good storyline or it's just plain hilarious. Then we just fast forward during... Right, ok, I'll shut up now ^^"])... We just tend to "bump heads" a little often trying to do it. We disagree because we simply value different things. Like when I was arguing with someone about the Patriot Act. I am against it, as I find it to be intrusive and unnecessary, whereas the other person thought it was a good idea because they felt it increased their safety.

This is where you see my "left libertarian" side come out - if you feel the need to go through excessive "security" measures and have your every move tracked in the name of "fighting terrorism" to feel safe, then go right ahead. That's your business.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

I can't say that I'm comfortable with losing civil rights and privacy in favor of allowing the government to see what I'm reading today, or watch my IMs or phone calls because I've had a copy of a shorter version of the Anarchist Cookbook "hidden" on one of my laptops (sheer curiosity about a "banned" book... It's not illegal to own in the US, and you can buy it on Amazon new, but it's often frowned upon, as more than half the things in it are felonies if acted out-- aside from the fact that most of the "recipes" are wrong and will get you killed before you can be arrested. It's a very interesting read nonetheless... I just honestly hope no one's stupid enough to take it seriously...) even if I have no plans whatsoever to ever try anything in it (except picking an old Masterlock, because I totally forgot the combo ^^") and I've said that many times now. (In fact, friends and I used to purposely start throwing in trigger words and make up the most random conversations just to mess with anyone who could be reading our messages. It's even more amusing on the phone, because of random wiretapping... You never know. Yay for instilling paranoia in the people!!!) And some new security rules are just...???. Like having to take off flip-flops at the airport. It's all out there in the open, what the hell else is there to see? A microchip implanted in the bottom of someone's foot??? Trust me, if someone were trying to sneak a bomb onto a plane in their flip-flops, 1. they're about as bright as a burnt out light-bulb, and 2. you'd probably notice, unless you were too. A knife, maybe, but there's really only so much you can do with a knife that small... I wouldn't really consider them to be a threat. Don't get me wrong here, safety is absolutely a priority, right down there at the base of Maslow's hierarchy, between sleep and friendship... It's just that sometimes you really have to wonder how effective these things are, and just how far we have to go to stop feeling so scared about everything. What will it take for us to feel secure as a people? An authoritarian nanny-state (which is NOT true socialism, no matter how much the ignoramuses think it is [rolls eyes] sorry, in a combative mood after dealing with Murphy's Law for an entire day.) where we're told how to feel in the morning? I don't think so. I have a big problem with laws that are meant to target criminal behavior but affect more innocent people than "guilty." I've been searching high and low for evidence that the Patriot Act has actually been effective. I haven't found any, friends haven't found any, because there apparently really isn't any... Why our government officials felt a need to renew this bullshit, well who really knows. Other countries have passed laws to intentionally block the Act from affecting their own citizens' civil rights and privacy - that's how broad this is. There are necessary safety rules, and then there are paranoid delusions-- and sometimes I really wonder if we too often cross that line...

And again I've forgotten why I'm here :-D. Oh well. Anyway, I'm exhausted & I have a long, painful week ahead of me again-- staying overnight at work for inventory... should be fun, I guess. We're all coming in wearing pajamas, and I'm going to bake brownies & muffins & stuff... If I'm not too exhausted from the long day before...

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