Saturday, February 05, 2005

The State of the Union is Hypocracy and Ignorance

At first, my intention was to go through the President's recent State of the Union address point by point, but the speech was so long that I am sure you wouldn't want to read all of that. What I will do, instead, is show his major points and provide my opinions. They're not all opposing, as you may think. Links will be provided when applicable and the information is readily available.

These are quotes directly from Bush in his State of the Union address.

Maybe this wasn't exactly what he meant... or maybe it was.
Bush: "...We've been placed in office by the votes of the people we serve."
Do you not, Mr. Bush, also serve those Americans who did not vote for you?


We're so much better than everyone else.
Bush: "The United States has no right, no desire, and no intention to impose our form of government on anyone else. That is one of the main differences between us and our enemies."
Later that night...
Bush: "And we've declared our own intention: America will stand with the allies of freedom to support democratic movements in the Middle East and beyond."
Bush: "The government of Saudi Arabia can demonstrate its leadership in the region by expanding the role of its people in determining their future. And the great and proud nation of Egypt, which showed the way toward peace in the Middle East, can now show the way toward democracy in the Middle East."
On Secretary of State Rice...
Bush: "She will discuss with them how we and our friends can help the Palestinian people end terror and build the institutions of a peaceful, independent, democratic state. To promote this democracy, I will ask Congress for... The goal of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace, is within reach -- and America will help them achieve that goal."
Oh, and in his Inaugural Address...
Bush: "It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture."
So, as you see, "The United States has no right, no desire, and no intention to impose our form of government on anyone else." Okay. Sure. Why did we invade Iraq again? Was it weapons of mass destruction? Oh, no, they never existed. Oh that's right, he changed his mind after we invaded them, and now the reason is to liberate them and impose democracy on the people.

Bush: "America's prosperity requires restraining the spending appetite of the federal government."
Bush: "Taxpayer dollars must be spent wisely, or not at all.
That is one point, sir, I definitely agree with you on. Now, one question: how much did this war in Iraq cost, the one we had "no right" to fight? Oh, just $152.6 billion, plus another $50 billion for each additional year we stay, that's all. Thanks for exercising restraint.
Bush: "I will send you a budget that...stays on track to cut the deficit in half by 2009."
(Applause.)
Applause? Okay, I will agree that it is good to cut the deficit in half by the end of his term. Kudos on that. However, when Bush took office, there was a projected 10-year surplus of $5.6 trillion and a fiscal surplus of about $127 billion. Bush admitted to the surplus in this 2000 campaign ad, so don't let him weasel his way out of it now. Bush passed $1.6 trillion tax cut after $1.6 trillion dollar tax cut. Four of them. That's $5.6 trillion in surplus - $6.4 trillion in tax cuts = DEFICIT! It is simple mathematics. He says he created tax relief for all Americans who pay tax. Maybe, but the average tax cut for Americans was $470, while the average tax cut for Americans making more than $1 million per year was $112,925. Some more simple math shows that the millionaires received more than 10% in tax cuts. The average for low-income Americans was only $304. That means, to get the same 10%, these people were only making $3040 per year. Highly unlikely. Let us assume that most low-income Americans make $30,000 per year. I know it's generous, but this is just for argument's sake. That would mean that they only received a 1% tax break. However, the government managed to take the largest surplus in the history of this country and turn it into the largest deficit in American history. "Tax dollars must be spent wisely, or not at all." I couldn't agree more.

Bush: "And we'll make it easier for Americans to afford a college education, by increasing the size of Pell Grants."
Okay, now this is really, really screwed up. Just two days before Christmas in 2004 (yes, less than two months ago), Bush's administration and the Department of Education LOWERED the amount of money students will get from Pell Grants. Isn't it convenient now that he wants to raise it? I just hope he does and gives those 80,000 students their grants back, even if it was just a ploy to look better in the public eye.

Bush: "Justice is distorted, and our economy is held back by irresponsible class-actions and frivolous asbestos claims -- and I urge Congress to pass legal reforms this year."
Ha ha ha ha! This wouldn't have anything to do with Halliburton's recent ongoing asbestos and silica lawsuits, would it? I mean, frivolous? They settled for $2.775 billion. I would venture to say the claims had some merit.

Bush: "To make our economy stronger and more productive, we must make health care more affordable, and give families greater access to good coverage and more control over their health decisions."
I really agreed with Bush on this point. He says he wants to put community health centers everywhere to give affordable health care to low income Americans. That's a great idea. Stolen from the Kerry campaign, but great nonetheless. Good job on that one, Mr. President.

Bush: "To keep our economy growing, we also need reliable supplies of affordable, environmentally responsible energy. Nearly four years ago, I submitted a comprehensive energy strategy that encourages conservation, alternative sources, a modernized electricity grid, and more production here at home -- including safe, clean nuclear energy. (Applause.) My Clear Skies legislation will cut power plant pollution and improve the health of our citizens."
Actually, the Clean Skies legislation reduces regulatory controls. That doesn't sound like Clean Skies to me.

Bush: "I've appointed a bipartisan panel to examine the tax code from top to bottom. ...you and I will work together to give this nation a tax code that is pro-growth, easy to understand, and fair to all."
This would be a great idea, in theory. But Bush, his father, and Regan never seemed to fix the economy with tax reform or tax cuts. Reaganomics hasn't really worked. I would like to see Bush keep his hands clean of this and leave it to Congress.

Bush: "Social Security was a great moral success of the 20th century... The system, however, on its current path, is headed toward bankruptcy."
Oh, and what happened to that $2 trillion you promised to give to Social Security during the 2000 campaign?

I am kind of torn on Bush's plan for Social Security reform. On one hand I think that young people in general are not going to have the appropriate mindsets to pick a good retirement investment account. On the other hand, I think this is our money and the government should never have been forcing us to send it to them anyway. If he really wants to promote "choice", he should give everyone back anything they have contributed to the program and shut it down. If you are already on benefits, you should continue to receive them. Anyone who is not on benefits yet should just get the money they have contributed. Apart from that, the disabled should receive benefits - but why does that have to be given by Social Security? Combine it with the welfare programs and have the states dole out the money as they see fit.

Okay, here's where I got really angry.
Bush: "Our second great responsibility to our children and grandchildren is to honor and to pass along the values that sustain a free society. So many of my generation, after a long journey, have come home to family and faith, and are determined to bring up responsible, moral children. Government is not the source of these values, but government should never undermine them. Because marriage is a sacred institution and the foundation of society, it should not be re-defined by activist judges. For the good of families, children, and society, I support a constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage."
What the fuck is this guy talking about?

First off, do you see the implication that allowing gays to marry will destroy the free society? Does he really expect us to believe that the gays will become tyrants and take away your freedoms? They are fighting for theirs, you moron. The values that "sustain a free society" are the inalienable rights set forth in the Declaration of Independence, which states that "all men are created equal" and they have the right to the "pursuit of happiness".

Yes, a lot, in fact most, people are religious. Not all are, though, Mr. President, and you need to stop imposing that on other people. You're in a position of authority in a country with freedom of religion. Act like it.

True, I agree wholeheartedly that government is not the source of morals and values. And, no, government should never undermine the values and morals of Christian people; but government should also not undermine the values and morals of Muslims or people of any other faith. Government should also not undermine the values and morals of people with no faith. Finally, government should not undermine the right of people to not even have morals or values. If this is truly a free society, and "government is not the source of these values", then while "government should not undermine these values" it should also not impose them on others.

In fact, who is to say what constitutes morals and values? I value things in a completely different way than the next person. I find absolutely no value in things most Americans hold dear to their hearts and I value highly things most Americans couldn't care less about. That is my right. It is not government's right to tell me what to think or what to teach my children. It is not government's right to tell me how to be happy. It is not government's right to stop me from being happy in whatever way I wish, as long as I am not infringing on the rights of others to be happy.

Here's where the question comes - is it the right of straight (homophobic is a more accurate term for this scenario) people to not see gay or lesbian people together? The answer is simple and I will demonstrate by asking another question. Is it the right of me, sexual orientation aside, to not see straight people together? If these people believe they have the right to not be exposed to gay and lesbian couples, then they need to stay the fuck inside. I never wanted to see Michael Jackson kiss Lisa Marie Pressley, but I happened to turn the television to that particular channel at that particular time. I don't propose a Constitutional amendment to ban them from kissing. I don't want to see my fat, ugly neighbor outside shirtless with daisy dukes cutting his lawn, but I just don't look. I don't propose a Constitutional amendment banning him from going outside. In fact, nobody since Prohibition has been stupid enough to propose to amend a historical document, which protects (supposedly) the freedoms of the people who live in the land it governs, with a statement taking away the rights of citizens! Again, nobody has been that stupid for decades.

Now, don't get me wrong. I one hundred percent believe that marriage, by that terminology, is a religious institution. In that light, I suppose it should be up to the church, and not the government, to decide who gets to marry and who does not. [On a side note, the government currently allows people of no religion, who do wrong by the law of the Bible, to marry but refuses to allow gays and lesbians, who do wrong in the eyes of bigots and other ignorant bastards who cannot keep their minds on their own affairs, to marry. Imagine that.]

However, the fact that "marriage" is a religious institution does not mean that the government has the right to stop these people from being together. It does not have the authority to take away their rights as citizens, and it does not have the right to treat them differently from straight couples. These people deserve to be able to have children, by adoption or other methods, and they deserve other benefits straight couples get - such as "married" tax status (though the terminology should be changed to "legally-wed couple" or something to keep from interfering with the religious terminology) or being able to make medical decisions for one another. They deserve all of the privileges that wed straight couples receive. Do you think they want to see you together? Actually, they care less than you do. They are not afraid of what straight people will do to their society.

Well, folks, I have news for you. Soldiers in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome used to screw each other. Humanity is still around, the population is still increasing (because straight people are screwing like jackrabbits), and Jesus hasn't come from Heaven to remove / Allah hasn't smote these people. It's just not going to happen. These ultra-right, conservative, "family" men and women need to realize that the word "family" no longer means a mother, father, sister, and brother. It, in fact, hasn't for a long, long time. I suppose single mothers shouldn't have their kids because it doesn't fit into God's definition of a family, right? I just don't think these people realize how hypocritical they are.

At least the gay couples are staying together (well, until you force them apart - you sick bastards). You are teaching your kids bad morals by getting divorces and having bastard children. It was God who said that getting a divorce is adultery against your spouse. You are adulterers. You commit sins which are listed in the ten commandments. I never read a list of ten commandments that included "don't have sex with someone of the same gender". Nope, it's just not there.

And another thing: "marriage is...the foundation of society"???? What? Marriage has nothing to do with society. It has everything to do with the relations between two people. Society is the relations of all people. Bigomy was made illegal a long time ago, so I have no clue what the hell he's talking about. I mean, I am absolutely certain that cavemen did not get married in church. They couldn't talk, how the hell could they say, "I do"? This guy is a complete moron trying to press his religious ideals as American ideals and attempting to create a Constitutional amendment in direct opposition to the "inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".

Where the hell is Dick cheney on this one? His daughter is gay (oh no! It's a good thing I'm not running for president. Everyone would hate me because I mentioned someone's daughter and the fact that she is very openly gay). No, he won't speak. He has said before that he thinks it is an issue for the states to decide, and therefore it can be discerned that he disagrees with a federal Constitutional amendment on the topic, but he is simply a "yes" man. That is why Bush didn't rehire all the people from his last cabinet, and that is the only reason Ms. Rice and Mr. Rumsfeld are still here. They will say "yes". Well, Mr. President, you better get rid of me, too, because I stand up and shout "no" at the top of my lungs.

Okay, this is really long and I'm really angry right now, so that is my final topic for today.
I will write a (hopefully) good article on the economic sanctions being placed on Syria due to the Congress' passing of the Syrian Accountability Act - and why they are wrong / hypocritical in nearly every argument they make.

Check back. Until then, take care.

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