Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Support

This is obvious to those who have thought about it:

10 Things Men Can Do To End Men's Violence Against Women

1. Acknowledge and understand how sexism, male dominance and male privilege lay the foundation for all forms of violence against women.

2. Examine and challenge our individual sexism and the role that we play in supporting men who are abusive.

3. Recognize and stop colluding with other men by getting out of our socially defined roles, and take a stance to end violence against women.

4. Remember that our silence is affirming. When we choose not to speak out against men's violence, we are supporting it.

5. Educate and re-educate our sons and other young men about our responsibility in ending men's violence against women.

6."Break out of the man box"—Challenge traditional images of manhood that stop us from actively taking a stand to end violence against women.

7. Accept and own our responsibility that violence against women will not end until men become part of the solution to end it. We must take an active role in creating a cultural and social shift that no longer tolerates violence against women.

8. Stop supporting the notion that men's violence against women can end by providing treatment for individual men. Mental illness, lack of anger management skills, chemical dependency, stress, etc… are only excuses for men's behavior. Violence against women is rooted in the historic oppression of women and the outgrowth of the socialization of men.

9. Take responsibility for creating appropriate and effective ways to develop systems to educate and hold men accountable.

10. Create systems of accountability to women in your community. Violence against women will end only when we take direction from those who understand it most—women.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Not Perfect but... This Might Work!

Ok, so this isn't exactly what I've been proposing but... check this out:
Unity '08
I'll be signing up as a delegate. We'll see how this goes. (Crossing My Fingers...)


Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Do it! Democracy In Action (not inaction)!

I have already voted and was the 9th to do so at my polling place.

Go me.


Friday, October 27, 2006

PAC's and the Party Platform

More later.


Morally Treasonous

"To announce there must be no criticism of the President, and to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, it is morally treasonous to the American public."
– President Theodore Roosevelt

The same could be said for blindly following any political leader.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Charles - "Activist" Judges

Here is the problem I have with the term "Activist Judges": there are no such people. It could also be argued that every judge is an "activist judge" but there is no good argument for something in between. Why is this? First, let us look at some definitions from around the web:

From, the two types of judges are:
... a restrained judge who is a servant of the law, or an activist judge who is the master of the law. goes on to contend that the judge's role is to interpret the law, not write it. Hold on to that thought.

From a Seattle News opinion:
They ignore the plain meaning of texts to invent new rights. Superimposing their moral views onto their legal reasoning, they brazenly advance the cause of the fringe liberal elites in the culture wars. says that the term "Activist Judge" is being used as a code-word for liberal judges. I would agree that is how the Bush administration intended for it to be used and the strategy has worked wonderfully. So well that many people don't realize that it is a meaningless word.

Ok, so I've said it twice now, there is no such thing as an activist judge. The overriding idea behind a so-called activist judge is that they in some way actively go out and alter the legal landscape in their rulings. If this is what it means to be "activist" then every judge is an activist judge each and every time he/she hands down a ruling. It does not matter whether or not the judge upheld or overturned a particular case. It does not even matter if all the judge did was pass it on to a different court for jurisdictional reasons. Every action a judge makes, in any court, sets "Legal Precedent." What this boils down to is that no matter what decision is made, a judge's actions will affect future decisions with equal weight. No judge can be more active than another.

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Charles - Not without an Opinion

I have mostly been glossing over or past political issues other than those I feel relate to the goal of abolishing partisan politics. This has been by design as I felt that was more important than my personal political views on various other subjects. I am, however, not without such opinions and will periodically put those ideas out, as well, prefaced in the title with my name so it can easily be distinguished from the main goal of this blog.

To give you an idea of my political opinions and their history, I grew up in a town (city?) that was and still is rather conservative. The town is also a bit on the strange side as it has one of the highest number of graduate degrees (mainly Ph.D.) per capita. As a result, our schools were well funded and I grew up thinking it was normal to go to college and eventually end up getting either a Master's or Ph.D. My childhood exposure can be summed up as: well-educated, republican, Christian, sheltered. (Every one of my friends referred to our town as "The Bubble.")

Here is concise way of looking at my political views: The federal government should stay out of everything for which I can provide myself or can be provided by the Free Market. I want as small of a government as possible (that goes for State, as well). Things the federal government should provide: defense, foreign policy/trade administration, interstate trade monitoring, and various other trade monitors (i.e. FDA, FTC, etc.). Things the state/local governments should provide: education (but not to the exclusion of businesses that which to donate large sums of money), emergency services, various infrastructure requirements.

Guess what? This doesn't mean that all of my views end up conservative. Watch:

Here are a smattering of some of my more conservative viewpoints (what I view as "traditionally Republican"):
  • Minimum Wage - There is no point in increasing the minimum wage. Sorry, but it just isn't going to solve any long-term problem. Minimum wage is paid at places that serve the most basic services to us consumers (i.e. grocery stores, restaurants, etc.). If those companies are forced to pay higher wages, do you think they'll just let it eat into their profits? No - they will pass the loss on to the consumer, driving up the price of all of those basic commodities. So, those people trying to live on minimum wage will still have trouble making ends meet because the basic cost of living will have risen more or less in pace with their "raise." Economists have a term for this: Inflation.
  • Health Care - I do not want this country to ever provide "universal health care." Socialized medicine doesn't work in other countries (ask Canada - the rich there are trying to purchase more health care and being thwarted by the government), so why would it work here? I also don't feel like becoming a socialist country like most of central Europe. Medicare and Medicaid are disasters - creating an even larger program would be worse. What will work is to make some real reforms on medical malpractice and other tort reform. How does this work? Malpractice insurance and the cost of "covering one's behind" with extra tests are the major reasons that medical costs continue to soar. Fix those and it may actually be affordable.
  • Social Security - I don't trust it, don't expect it to be there when I retire, and I really would prefer to do away with this altogether (or allow me to opt out) so that I can take that money and invest it myself. Short of that, I would like to manage my own SS account much like I manage my (as yet non-existent) IRA.
Some of my more liberal/progressive viewpoints:
  • Morality - Here I'll lump abortion, gay marriage, right-to-die, etc. Just as I didn't want the government messing with my finances, I don't want them telling me what to do. It simply isn't their business. So long as an action does not infringe on the rights of another, the government has no reason to step in and legislate.
  • Privacy - Guess my answer here... Government keep out. I have a strict interpretation of the 4th amendment - no search and seizure without a warrant, period. This includes looking at my private conversations, monitoring my activities, and tapping my phone. Sure, I don't feel I have anything to hide but that really isn't the point. If the government feels they have a reason to put me (or anyone else) under such scrutiny, I insist they follow the constitution of our United States and get a warrant. Ironically, just a few years ago (pre-2001), Big Brother tactics like the Bush administration have been advocating would have been considered a conservative viewpoint.
Of course, those aren't the extent of my views but it gives you an idea of who I am. Now... talk amongst yourselves.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Artificial Voters reports on new ideas to generate voter turnout in Arizona and Michigan:
Arizona will decide whether to make people who show up at the polls eligible for a $1 million jackpot. In Michigan, 80,000 people who’ve voted only sporadically were put on notice by a political consultant that, if they didn’t vote this year, they’d be outed as slackers to their friends and neighbors.
The best ideas that Michigan and Arizona could come up with for increasing voter turnout is a guilt trip or a lottery? Neither of these sound like a good idea. (They also sound rather ridiculous, but that is beside the point.)

A guilt trip probably won't work in the first place. Do you honestly think people will care if they are "outed as slackers?" Slate News describes the process (or something similar) as fliers being sent to many people telling them whether or not their neighbors have voted. The political consultant claims a "2% increase" in voter turnout, but I question if that is even statistically significant (probably isn't). Regardless, bullying or guilting voters to get them to the polls will only result in irate, resentful voters who didn't care enough on their own to go and vote.

Even worse is the idea of dangling $1 million in front of potential voters in an effort to get them to the polls. In this case, we wouldn't even end up with resentful voters but completely apathetic voters who just came in an effort to get in on the million dollar drawing. Their votes would probably lack any sort of thought behind them. In close elections, these random votes could tip the scale without any sort of intent to do so, putting an unintended official in office.

What angers me here is the promotion of uneducated voters. (I mean, of course, educated/informed about the issues on which they are voting and I am not commenting on their level of formal education.) Would I like to increase the voter turnout each year? Without a doubt, yes! However, I also want those votes to be thought about and to mean something to the individual casting the vote. (I'm sure there is some appropriate quote I could insert here.) Pushing uninformed voters to vote will only serve, in the long run, to distance and alienate more voters. Increasing voter turnout should come from promoting candidates that actually reflect their constituency’s views and from eliminating partisan bickering.

(Thanks to for the original link.)


Friday, August 18, 2006

Annoying the International Community

The following is an interesting look at the international community and the reasons America's Foreign Policy is resented:

From Moderate Why They Hate Us.

First, I would add this reason to the list of reasons for American Antipathy (which I left as a comment on their post): As long as the majority of eligible voters refuse to vote, we will probably never see an end to the global antipathy towards America. (Even the record 64% turnout in 2004 isn't inspiring and is hardly the norm...) When a large percentage of the population decides not to partake in democracy, not only does their collective voice go unheard, but to outsiders it seems as if we would rather allow our country to be run for us rather than by us.

If we don't care about America, why should anyone else? Hypocrisy is never looked on in favor. Additionally, continued voter apathy also allows extremists on the right and left to do as they please (further explained), which only maddens the world at large more.

The other source of antipathy, as I see it is this: wildly vacillating foreign policy. Many countries are still used to one sovereign ruler (dictator, etc.) ruling for many years, especially those in the Middle East. I am not saying that I dislike changing presidents every 4 or 8 years, but this does cause a problem when going between liberal and conservative parties (or even between two presidents of the same party). As I have pointed out, each has made themselves increasingly extremist and so our foreign policy gets whipped between two extremes. With the abolishment of partisan politics and the two-party system, any and all foreign policy would, by necessity, be a more tempered moderate view with smaller changes between presidents. I imagine that a more long-term foreign policy would have other benefits, too.

Ultimately, the United States of America must be a model for democracy from its citizenry to its leaders, showing a true belief in the power of common rule. As said by Edward R. Murrow, "We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home."

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Silent Majority

So far, my posts may seem to be slightly at odds with what I put in the header of this blog. If you read above, I mention what I call "the silent majority" in reference to the vast majority of Americans that I feel are being ignored due to their middle-of-the-road political views. My most recent post (before this one) specifically stated that a successful demolition of two-party system and its partisan politics would require all types of views, not just those of moderates. I argue that neither statement is wrong or at odds with the other. Indulge me:

The idea of the "silent majority" is that, over the years, the win/lose mentality of Americans has permeated politics. Even now, those fed up with President Bush's presidency are pushing for the Democrats to "win" the November elections. So what? That's been the story for years, right? The problem is that to consistently "win" an election, each party must try to make themselves different from the other. The result has been the Republicans pushing their policies ever more to the right to pander to the ultra-conservatives and the Democrats pushing their policies to the left, pandering to the ultra-liberals. Each claims they are reaching out to their "core demographic" and perhaps they are right. The problem is, though, that no one is reaching out to the core demographic in America - the Moderates (centrists, middle-of-the-roaders, call us what you will...). That the Moderates are never truly represented is part of the reason I refer to them (us) as "the silent majority."

The other reason for calling Moderates "The Silent Majority" is that that is generally what we are - silent. Not only are our views ignored but most of the time, Moderates don't bother to push their views. We either don't feel strongly about them or more likely, don't feel it's worth our time because we "know" we'll be ignored. The irony is, of course, if moderates voiced their opinion regularly, as a majority, we could not be ignored. I can't say for certain that moderates are the majority of Americans, but based on normal statistical distributions and a sampling of the views of my colleagues and friends, I think I can be safe in that assumption. There is also the consideration of the vast majority of Americans who do not vote. While some of that may be due to laziness, I can be relatively sure that the disaffected voters don't vote because they do not feel their voice is being represented by either major party candidate.

So why must the America Part include all Americans? To abolish partisan politics for good. Without the support of everyone, this cannot happen. Besides, if I what I said above is right, moderates and our varied views would rule the political landscape.

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