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Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 01:42 AM PDT

Radicals, Realists, and Syria

by Zek J Evets

The escalating civil war in Syria has seen a parallel civil war across mass media amongst the progressive caucus. Cries of "not another Iraq!" join with alternating shouts of "freedom and democracy for all!" The politicking not withstanding, this is certainly an international issue that has proven downright divisive for us here on the Left.

For me, having been too young to vote against Dubya during the Iraq fiasco, the conflict in Syria rings with a tune of frustrated familiarity. Chemical weapons of mass destruction. Brutal Middle-Eastern dictator. Unspecified involvement. Missiles. Bombs. Etc and so on.

But it also reminds me of the moral obligation I naively learned at that same time reading, funny enough, comic books. "With great power comes great responsibility." A motto seemingly built for a 16 year-old with superhero fantasies. And, apparently, the President of the United States of America.

Follow me below the fold, for more.

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Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:37 PM PDT

A Few Facts About Chained-CPI

by Zek J Evets

Let me preface this: I work as an advocate for person's with disabilities, primarily in getting them Social Security benefits. As such, Social Security law, and the programs associated with it, is pretty much my life 40-80 hours per week.

That said, the hyperbole surrounding the chained-CPI debate is probably about as misinformed as a Teabagger convention. So, because I love talking about this stuff so much, I thought I'd chip in with a few facts to break-up the monotony of liberals trying to out-liberal liberals by hating Obama as much (if not more) than Rand Paul & Ted Cruz combined. Really, it's like listening to an echo chamber playing the Left's version of Rush Limbaugh on repeat -- just ignorance followed by anger followed by pathetic self-hating progressives. And when progressives start eating our young, our very own, that's when we start to lose the national debate. That's when we lose elections and look like every bad thing Marco Rubio ever said about us (when he wasn't pausing to take a drink of water).

But enough about that mess, let's get to the point...

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If there's one thing I've learned over the course of the past 4 presidential election cycles it's that the American people are incredibly ignorant. No caveat. We're just dumb. Stupid. Idiotic. Completely and utterly foolish. Our level of ignorance reaches nearly orgasmic proportions, perfectly illustrated in the slew of Just Plain Crappy elected officials making the rounds on every issues from gun control to climate change to taxes.

But after watching The West Wing I've had a change of heart. It's not that all the ignorance has been suddenly washed away with idyllic feelings and caricatured warm fuzzies. It's just that I've realized that despite the likes of McCain, Ryan, and Fox News, there truly are good people out there who, for whatever reason, get into the realm of politics because they actually (surprisingly) care about making things better for Americans. I think specifically of the civil servants, the assistants and interns and secretaries and even vanilla staffers, quietly working diligently in their offices or subcommittees, amidst marble halls or lacquered wood polish floors.

It's because of characters -- yes, fictional characters -- like Sam Seaborn or Toby Zielger. Joshua Lyman. Even POTUS Bartlet. Actors playing roles, but they give me perspective to understand that even when we lose, it's not for lack of trying or lack of commitment. It's because we're trying to find a way to work together. In the face of overwhelming stupidity.

I guess you could call that pessoptimism.

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Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 12:18 PM PST

If I Could Speak Through CSPAN

by Zek J Evets

I would say all the things we wish we could say to these elected officials, particularly the GOP Congressmen/women who continuously say Some Dumb Shit. I'm thinking specifically of moments when I wish I could have fact-checked Rand Paul about his remarks to Secretary Clinton, or to Sen. Mitch McConnell's response to Obama's inauguration speech, or to Rep. Boehner's comments during the "Debt Ceiling Crisis."

I wish someone, anyone, with just a little bit of fire and facts would stand upon the floor of the House, or the Senate, or even the White House lawn and stop the ignorance as it is uttered, rather than letting it hang, fetid and nauseating in the air like the second-hand smoke of cancerous junkies. I want to, for once, hear someone on national television says "No, you're wrong. The truth is actually this."

But wish-fulfillment isn't part of politics, and certainly even MSNBC isn't likely to rock the boat so much that a little bit of water possibly dribbles in to reveal to everyone that we're actually close to sinking.

Give it another 100 years and maybe one iceberg, and this remaining superpower can easily go the way of Rome, slowly, painfully, but altogether inevitably into the dust of our collective intelligence.

But let me pivot positive: I'm not saying all is not well in the kingdom of Denmark or that people aren't on the front-line confronting the kind of ignorant bigotry regularly masquerading as legitimate politics. I'm just saying we're not being all that hard on them for it. And maybe that's just because the people in the room really don't know any better. And maybe the people that do know better are so disgusted they wouldn't go near that room with a hazmat suit and a Costco sized bottle of sanitizer.

And maybe this would all be so much easier if every TV screen could be tuned to the same channel for 10 minutes that played a brief introduction to the reality of American politics, complete with pie charts, fact-checks, and a final declarative statement consisting of: "This is all true. Every single thing. It is not open to interpretation or argument. Accept it, keep calm, and move along."

Ahh, but what am I thinking? The Revolution will not be televised.

Discuss

What follows is essentially a conversation I heard between 2 gun-owners in North Texas about the NRA's new commercial, their opinions on Obama's recent policy statement on gun regulation, and most of all: how they feel about their guns.

But first... context!

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Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 04:58 PM PDT

What Debate Were You Watching?

by Zek J Evets

First diary, so sue me.

I watched the debate on Wednesday and saw President Obama calmly, collectively, and seriously state what his plans for the country are. I saw him articulate, patient, and damn... presidential. Sure, he didn't talk about the environment, or abortion, or really much else besides the economy, but what he said was spot-on to the public. He talked about what he's accomplished -- and not just the ideas, but actual things! -- while simultaneously elucidating flaws in the most-recent version of Mitt Romney's political platform.

Poll

Who do you think actually won the debate?

59%36 votes
26%16 votes
0%0 votes
14%9 votes
0%0 votes

| 61 votes | Vote | Results

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