15 October 2007

More On Gore

Apologies about the picturelessness of this post. Looking for images of Al Gore was taking me down a rabbit-hole of flat-earth blogdom and, well, I do have things I want to accomplish today.

Everyone is still talking about Al Gore running for president, and I don't blame them.

Gore talks openly about the serious structural problems with the current "democracy." That the senate isn't acting like the senate, a separate legislative body of government, but instead acting as a wing of the executive branch.

That the judicial branch is stacked with people who want to create more unilateral power for the executive branch.

That this is unbalance of power is a serious constitutional threat.

That, unsurprisingly, the executive branch is taking advantage, claiming that they have the power to do things that are totally unAmerican, like hold anyone they want, for as long as they want. Forever if they want. Without telling anyone.

Like collect information about the citizenry without a warrant.

Like torture.

And he is the only one talking about these issues as such. He's the only one saying that senators spend too much time making money and not enough time legislating. The only person out there who is saying that George W. Bush is breaking the law.

Is it true that he is saying these things precisely because he is not running for president? That his position outside politics is exactly what gives him the power to tell the truth?

Mayhap. But it is just as likely that he is showing all those other mealymouthed carefulkinses exactly how to use the media. How not to compromise. How to go and have some fucking vision.

Here. Listen to or read these speeches that Gore has given over the past few years. They are chock full of content and ideas, and they are also full of hope.

The Limits of Executive Power
This One's About The Judicial Branch
Iraq

9 Comments:

Blogger prettylady said...

Deborah, my dear, I hate to break it to you, but there IS a Presidential candidate speaking out about these issues. His name is Ron Paul, and he is a radical libertarian whom the Republicans are determinedly ignoring because he is too far to the right for them.

Constitutionality is not a partisan issue.

15 October, 2007 22:49  
Blogger fisher6000 said...

PL, I actually know about Ron Paul and like his stance on protecting the constitution. I like that he wants to overturn the patriot act.

But there is so much not to like about that man that I certainly can't endorse him here.

The man says that the FDA is bad.

That a closed border is good. (well, that's complicated... in some ways at least a closed border would make people pay for labor. But that's not his point)

He spouts crapple like "Health Freedom"

Wants even more tax cuts!!!!!

Environmental issues are not on his issues page at all, even though the environment is a huge business issue--you will not make money in the new millenium without working with global warming!

Constitutionality is not a partisan issue, you are right. And it is good that RP is saying these things. My point was partisan... it was about who I want to vote for.

Even if Ron Paul was the republican candidate and Hillary Clinton (who acts as if she has no idea what the constitution is or what it does) was opposing him, I would probably vote for Clinton.

16 October, 2007 07:27  
Blogger prettylady said...

Well, if we're going to take sides, I'm for Barack Obama.

However, I've been thinking about the libertarian position for quite some time now, and I think there's a great deal to be said for it. In my private life, I have come to understand that libertarian principles are the only ones which allow me to live a reasonably sane and healthy life--maintain good boundaries, do not try to control or judge others, do not try to fix other people, or have the illusion that I can change the planet, either climatologically or politically.

The major issue I part from the libertarians on is health care. I believe a civilized society should make access to health care for all citizens a priority. However, I greatly dislike the concept of 'health insurance,' particularly as it exists in this country, and I think that attempting to put a government system in place to support the current mess will bankrupt us.

I don't know about the FDA being 'bad,' but I certainly trust nothing that the FDA has to say about anything. They OK'd aspartame, for God's sake.

16 October, 2007 11:20  
Blogger prettylady said...

Really, the frightening thing, once you start to look at it, is that whatever a candidate is 'for', it is ALWAYS about expanding the scope of government. And sooner or later, that means that the whole world will be standing in line at the DMV. Then when you finally get to the counter, they will say, 'that will be $120,000 in tickets, fines, fees, interest, underpayments, and penalties, no we can't take a check, and we can't release your home and family until this is paid.'

16 October, 2007 11:25  
Blogger fisher6000 said...

Yeah, PL, I understand your take on libertarianism, but the problem with libertarians is that they don't get the whole chain-is-as-strong-as-it's-weakest-link truism.

It's not just that they could not give a fuck about poor people, it's that they don't give a fuck about anyone who loses their job, can't pay their medical bills, gets sick, or is otherwise frail and human. And that is bad for society because, well, because first of all society is made up of frail humans and potentially frail humans. And because of that, a country that does not take care of its weakest limits itself. Individual citizens do not take chances when they have no safety net. They do not innovate when they are worried about their basic survival.

I love the libertarian stance on morality crimes. I love the libertarian emphasis on fiscal responsibility. And I love that they seem to be about being the ultimate rationals.

But it is not rational to only root for people when they are making money and owning things and procuring goods and services.

16 October, 2007 12:13  
Blogger fisher6000 said...

And the whole thing about expanding government is not entirely true--Grover Norquist wants the government to be "big enough to drown it in a bathtub..."

...but big enough to detain you as an enemy combatant for the rest of your life without any hope of a trial or even a lawyer.

16 October, 2007 12:15  
Blogger prettylady said...

It's not just that they could not give a fuck about poor people, it's that they don't give a fuck about anyone who loses their job, can't pay their medical bills, gets sick, or is otherwise frail and human.

Now, now. I am highly in favor of divorcing people's political opinions from their personal character flaws.

Some libertarians are, in fact, the arrogant, indifferent, loathesome scourges upon humanity that you describe. These people will eventually get their comeuppances. I am not concerned with them.

There are other people who simply believe that the government cannot be the only, or the best, safety net. They believe that such things are best handled on a family or community level.

I think part of the underlying problem is the breakdown of strong local communities; we have Gated Communities, where the rich hobnob among themselves and ostracize anyone who loses his fortune; we have Ghettos, and we have middle class neighborhoods with no sidewalks or public spaces. People are isolated, socially, economically, and spiritually.

This problem is exacerbated, I think, and unfortunately, by a 'wide-open border' policy that does not allow for immigration controlled for a natural pace of assimilation. When people with different language, culture and habits are flung together too rapidly, they tend to become agoraphobic and defensive, not open, welcoming and tolerant.

And since you just called, we may very well continue this conversation at another time. Ta-ta! See you tomorrow!

16 October, 2007 17:32  
Blogger fisher6000 said...

No, I am not talking about personal character, I am talking about policy!

We are the only developed nation that does not have government-sponsored health care for all its citizens.

And oh, my goodness I disagree with you terribly about immigration! Have you ever been to Queens? It is a beautiful thing, to see totally unasimilated Palestinians making falafel for totally unasimilated Orthodox Jews. During Ramadan. Which is also during Rosh Hashannah.

And it is a beautiful thing indeed that these people MUST, because they were flung together rapidly, respond to the situation by asking about one another:

Jew: "What are you doing working during Ramadan?

Palestinian: (who happens to make excellent falafel) What? Is Allah going to come and pay my rent? I've got to work all day and I tell you, you had better be nice to me because standing over this food and not having any myself is making me very testy. Wait a minute. Are you working today?

Jew: Yeah. It's just rosh hashanah. Feh. You can work during Rosh Hashanah, but my wife would kill me if I worked during Yom Kippur.

Palestinian: My wife would kill me if I worked Eid. Have an easy fast!

Jew: Same to you, my friend!

Seriously, do you think this would happen if immigration wasn't throwing these people together? I don't know the Jew, but I see the Palestinian guy almost three times a week, and he left Palestine for exactly the political reasons you are thinking of, and the last time he tried to go home--to see his daughter get married no less!--he was detained in Tel Aviv for four days and sent home. No marriage. Because Israeli authorities deemed him unsafe. Why, because he makes dangerous falafel?????

And yet he was nice to the Jew. That is the power of immigration.

I am now procrastinating. I must take my leave. I will see you tomorrow. Let's not discuss politics, or my butt will pucker up and I will be all about arguin' and nichts for relaxin.

16 October, 2007 17:50  
Blogger prettylady said...

Oh, I never talk politics during massage. Actually, I rarely talk during massage. Two different brains entirely.

But I must note that I do not oppose immigration, simply uncontrolled immigration at an overwhelming pace. I delight in Palestinian/Jew conversations in Queens; that is immigration at its finest. And I have, in fact, given practical information and assistance to more than one Mexican national who hopped the border illegally.

BUT it was living in Mexico that taught me the value of good boundaries. Having no boundaries means that your obligatory maid bleeds you dry, and your next-door neighbors give you lung disease by burning all their trash. Also, Mexicans have no comprehension of the evils of littering. You should see the countryside outside of Zacatecas. ;-)

16 October, 2007 20:11  

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