Rights and the Role of Government – Political Series 1

Blog Segment - The Voters Booth copy

I will begin by once again providing the disclaimer that the political series is my opinion on how things should be, and not necessarily a reflection of the way things are. I say this because it is inevitable that someone will read something they will say is impossible in the current political climate, or unrealistic to change because of who controls the yadda yadda. That’s not my point. I’m merely stating my personal beliefs on the matters at hand as I feel they should be.

That said, please comment! I want to know what you agree with, what you don’t and why. I consider this an evolving set of beliefs, and not something set in stone. I want multiple viewpoints so I can adjust when needed, or polish and strengthen my own beliefs. Without dialogue there is no growth.

It took me a long time to get this particular post off the ground. Not because I had nothing to say. Quite the contrary. Rather, I have been struggling to find ways to organize it and present it concisely. Furthermore, I had originally planned on introducing topics slightly differently. My new plan is to write each post as one of my “Fundamental Political Beliefs” until I have covered the wide variety of topics I set forth at the start of this thing. We’ll see if it all pans out.

No matter. Let’s just get started!

Continue reading

Mubarak and Scott Walker face off against Unions and Egyptians in a Tag-Team Deathmatch!

Let’s get political, people!

Okay, I’m going to start this out on a positive note. Simply this: Way To Go Egypt!

It always feels good to see a tyranny overthrown by the will of the people. Makes me feel patriotic actually (In the sense of my allegiance to the ideals of the American Revolution). I watched the unfolding drama with baited breath, consistently refreshing the updates page over at Mother Jones and it was exciting to see freedom happen.

Does that mean I have some sort of rosy idea that everything is going to be all peachy now? Of course not. There are all sorts of struggles ahead of the Egyptian people. They haven’t had true democracy for a very long time and it will take some time to turn passion and anger into wise governance. Here’s hoping that they pull it off with the same aplomb that they managed their peaceful protests. Of course this depends on how the Army (who are now in charge) deal, fairly or unfairly, with the civilians. I have high hopes due to the way the military acted during the protests, including protecting the protesters from the state police.

Of course the pundits are all speculating how this affects American interests. Well, it will probably effect them negatively in some ways, I’m sure. The new government probably won’t be as friendly to us as Mubarak, largely because… well… we were friends with Mubarak. That says a lot, doesn’t it? We’ll probably still sell lots of material to the Army there. We’ll still have some friends. Hopefully, we’ll get better ones this time, with whom we’re friends due to ideological shared ground on things like freedom rather than their usefulness for our purposes. (Hey, I can dream right?) Of course there is the distinct possibility that groups who patently dislike America and American ideals will grab power. If they do this in a democratic fashion, due to the support of the population, well, we’ll just have to suck it up and live with it. We won’t like it, but that’s democracy. Now if they somehow grab power through shady means, we’ll not only have a new hostile middle eastern power, but it will also mean the revolution was for nothing, and that would be disgusting in the light of the successes gained there. Now, some people are scared of these people having any say at all in the new democracy. People like the Muslim Brotherhood. The thing is, they represent a good part of the population. The key is not to push them away from the table, but to include them and compromise if needed. Progress doesn’t come as fast as all sectors might want, but progress will be destroyed if they are turned into some sort of underground fighter movement.

Besides, I don’t think religious tensions over in Egypt are as consistently dire as people would like to paint it. At least if the Muslims protecting Christians and vice-verse stories have any lasting impact. And isn’t that the most beautiful thing? People protecting people despite differences? ^__^

Of course, the success of these protests have recently been sparking more protests around the region. I doubt they will go as well, though I hope for the best. I say this because the other dictators and so forth will see their doom coming if they don’t react hard and fast. We are already seeing some of that kind of violence in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen. It’s another thing to watch in the coming weeks.

Of course those aren’t the only protests occurring in the world. Let’s set our eyes homeward, and to Wisconsin. For those of you who still don’t know, the governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, is trying to ram some anti-Union legislation into law over there.

"I grab the unions' balls just like so, and then I begin to cut..."

This has caused some massive backlash amongst the unions, especially the teachers’ union. For those of you who don’t know why this matters, first of all study the history of labor (like child-labor and unsafe conditions) and how the unions changed that, and then go over to This News Story which should explain it thoroughly. Once you’ve figured it out, then you will probably know where I stand on the issue.

That is, simply: I Don’t Like It.

Now, I think that the voters of Wisconsin asked for it when they voted those people into office, and I’m all about Democracy, but I. Don’t. Like. It. To be plainer, I’m scared of it. Why? Because I want to be a teacher some day, if my writing doesn’t support me, and I want to be sure that I have certain rights when i become an employee of the state; rights which this bill would take away.

I'm easily not the only person angry about this.

Are unions the shining beacon of hope, freedom and protection they might be proclaimed to be? Not all of the time, no. Unions can be problems sometimes too, but I’ve never seen a reason for why they’re more of a problem than they are a solution. The fact is, for their sometimes flaws, unions are highly beneficial for representing the rights and well-being of their members. And even if they have significant flaws, which I don’t see, then is the answer really to take away all of their bargaining power in perpetuity? I’d say not.

Of course, this is all proposed by Gov. Walker under the banner of cutting down the budget. He’s holding some thousand jobs hostage over the issue, saying if the legislation doesn’t pass he’ll have to fire people. The ironic thing is that this belt-tightening he’s saying there is no escape from was caused by actions he took his first few days in office, including tax cuts and special interest legislation.

The voice of the people is speaking in this photo

So, I think the Democrats who skipped town are doing the right thing. I think the people supporting this law are doing the wrong thing. I sincerely hope that something happens to stop this soon, for my sake, for the workers’ sakes, and for the sake of years and years of progress about to be turned backward.

On a side note, before I draw this post to a close, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is awesome (and i can’t wait till I’m actually good at it) and I’m addicted to Starcraft II multiplayer some more. I think I’m actually getting better! O.o

That’s all today folks. Adios!

– Edward L. Cheever II

Images courtesy of Biyokukule.com, Calvin at lottoshare.blogspot.com, the Associated Press and Shawsblog.

Wikileaks Lands In Sweden and the Tea Party Nation Lands in a Cup of Rage

Okay, I’m mad. I’m bloody fuming over here, and I have damned good reason. Wanna know why?

Because the Tea Party Wackos Want To Take Away My Right To Vote! As you can imagine, I consider the very idea an infringement upon my basic rights as an American Citizen, and I’m more than a little upset at the idea that my rights are being taken away.

Let me be a little more specific for those of you with severe aversion to clicking links.

The President of the Tea Party Nation has gone on record as saying that he thinks it’s a good idea to restrict the ability to vote to property owners. He says that that is the way it was intended in the constitution, and he even says that it would be a good idea for people’s votes to have more weight if they own more property.

Guess which group of this system would not be voting under these ideas. (Hint: It sure ain't the bottom one.)

Okay, I’ve got to do this, and while I don’t want to offend certain individuals who read my blog, this must be said. There is a good reason words like this exist, and you can scroll down if you don’t want to read it. So in other words, pardon my language when I say…


I mean seriously, these sorts of of restrictions were phased out in the early 1800s for a number of very good reasons. Property owners are not the only people with a “vested interest” in the state of the country, nor do they have a primary interest. Every citizen, no matter their standing, economic situation, race or gender have a right to vote. That is the way things should be.

I don’t care if that’s what the Founding Father’s intended. We can make changes to our government for a reason. Black people couldn’t vote at one point. Women couldn’t vote at one point. Should we roll back those elements of our rights too? Of course, look who I’m talking to. Of course they’d restrict that too.

Past?... Or Future...

I’ve been proud to be an American under the basis that I have a stake in my government. I have a voice. Under this proposed restriction, I would not be able to vote. Neither would any of my siblings. Nor would anybody living in a rented apartment or duplex. Most people living in all major cities would be unable to vote! Think about the implications! We’re not an agrarian society anymore. Many, many people rent from landlords. This proposal is elitist bullshit that puts the power of the government completely in the hands of rich landowners and landlords. It’s practically a reversal to feudalism with a republic twist.

Do Not Want.

And come to find out, this has been a pet project of a number of republicans, including Supreme Court Justice Scalia, Governor (and secessionist in patriot’s clothing) Rick Perry and others. Where has the media coverage been? Why hasn’t this fundamental challenge to my rights been illuminated before now? This is the kind of thing that should be on every nightly news cast in America, dissected so that the people know exactly what is at stake. Instead we have fluff pieces. My God! What is happening to American freedom?

I’m going to start rambling if I don’t cut myself off there, so… on to Wikileaks.

Here’s the long and of it. I like Wikileaks. Without them I wouldn’t be giggling over the Libyan President’s usage of Botox, or the Italians being the girl-of-the-street to Russia’s pimp. Hilarious. But I also love it for bringing transparency to our Government. I strongly believe in transparency in Government (and privacy in personal lives, for contrast). I want to know when my Government makes shady backroom deals and why. I want to know who we are supporting, who we are attacking and for what reasons. I want to know when my country illegally spies on the U.N., and when they experiment with chemicals and drugs on poor villages in third-world countries. I want all of this without the political spin and filter. “Knowing is half the battle,” as a wise Saturday morning cartoon once said.

I don’t like the idea of people being in trouble and in danger for their lives because of this information. I really don’t. But that’s the gray.

Of course this is surely only the tip of the iceberg, and the really secret secrets are still secret. I would love for those layers to be peeled back as well. And I don’t just want this for America. I want this to hit Russia, China, the U.K., Japan. I want this transparency to hit everywhere, and keep on expanding.

I know that already there have been major shady dealings that are going on to put Wikileaks down. Everything from putting pressure on Amazon to drop Wikileaks for ridiculous reasons, to possible assassination attempts of the figureheads behind the organization. This just furthers my insistence that we need transparency. What other shady dealings and black ops are going on that we don’t know about? What if these operations don’t match up with the American ideals and values? I want to know.

So yay, Wikileaks! Glad you already found a new home in Switzerland!

That’s all for today, folks! Lot’s of ranty-rant and political opinionating. Hope you enjoyed the return to form for today at least!

– Edward L. Cheever II