Is being Republican a symptom? (Part I)

I’ve been debating on writing this post now for some time.  This post is going to be a lot of pondering, especially in potentially anecdotal evidence, some of which I’ve seen first hand.  Please keep that in mind while you are reading this.

If you are reading this, you probably know that I am a high school teacher at an underprivileged school.  I have a coworker, whom I have the highest amount of respect for, who is largely conservative.  (Note: I hold this man in the highest regard as an educator, the way he interacts with his students, the passion he has for being a lifelong learner, and the passion he has for educating children is immense.)  In his classroom, however, he has a t-shirt that states, “I built my business, not the government.”  This is obviously a point of view held by many Republicans.

This is where I start to get into my point of this post.  Is this point of view not extremely short-sighted?  Is being Republican not potentially a symptom of somebody who is perhaps self-absorbed and cannot think about the bigger picture?

When I see that shirt, I have a lot of strong feelings come up.  I ended up typing a word document that I am debating on printing out and hanging next to his t-shirt, which states:

But the Government did build…

  • The roads that helps to transport your product and employees
  • The schools that taught your employees basic education
  • The infrastructure that helps your business have water and electricity
  • The police station that houses the government paid police officers to keep your business and employees safe
  • The fire station that houses the government paid firefighters to potentially keep your business safe from an emergency
  • The post office and postal service that your business utilizes
  • The regulations that keep the banks from enacting predatory practices that protect you when you were first starting up your business.

Just because the government didn’t have a direct hand in the creation of your business doesn’t mean that business owners do not greatly benefit from our government and the tax dollars they spend.

Is my colleague wrong to state that the government didn’t build his business?  By the way, this colleague is also a business owner in the community.  True, business owners are the ones who have the spark of entrepreneurship and ultimately make that dream a reality, but did they not receive some help along the way?  To think that they could have the success they have, without the government, is an extremely short-sighted, self-absorbed point of view.

One of the main arguments I hear when people are defending things that Donald Trump says is, “Well he is just saying what people are thinking!”  That statement is true, as well.  Donald Trump states a lot of things that his base supporters think every single day.  Are those statements, however, not the same short-sighted and self-absorbed thoughts from my colleague?  Let’s break it down.

Let’s talk about The Wall.  Donald Trump, and many of his base supporters, feel it is of utmost importance that we build a border wall with Mexico.  The short-sighted theory of this is that it will stop the giant majority of illegal immigration.  While it is true, and factual, that immigrants do illegally cross the border and/or the Rio Grand where there are not any roads, buildings, cities, etc., it is also not the only way illegal immigrants arrive here.  Hell, the image in the heads of many Trump supporters of brown people sneaking across the border in the middle of the night isn’t even the main way people come here illegally.  The unfortunate fact is that over two-thirds of people who come here illegally don’t sneak across the border.  They actually come here legally, initially, with student visas, tourist visas, temporary work visas, etc.  What ends up happening, is that they ultimately over-stay their visa.  The short-sighted, self-absorbed view cannot explain how a border wall, costing billions of dollars, is going to solve the larger picture.  Ultimately it turns into a question of, is it worth it?   You’ll notice that I’m not even going to get into how a wall/fence won’t even be 100% effective, as there are such things as ladders, ropes, tunnels, etc.

I’ve not given two different examples of how being Republican might be a symptom of somebody who is either short-sighted and/or self-absorbed.  What else is there?

Let’s talk about the economy and these great tax cuts we’ve been hearing about.  We heard a lot of words that ultimately could be wrapped up by stating, “Tax cuts on businesses will create jobs!”

Is it true that businesses need money in order to pay employees, absolutely!  Do giving businesses money via tax cuts, however, create more jobs?  I disagree.  Again, I see this as a very narrow and short-sighted, self-absorbed thought.  What is it that ultimately drives the creation of jobs?  Demand.  Walmart getting 20 million dollars in extra revenue from tax cuts will not create any extra demand that Walmart doesn’t already have a workforce to handle.  If a business gets 100 million dollars every month of profit from their product/service, with no gain or no loss, do they need to hire or fire more employees?  If that business the next month gets 100 million dollars again, but also receives an extra 35 million dollars in tax savings, do they need to hire anymore employees to keep up with any extra demand?  The answer simply is no.

Money to a corporation does not equal demand.  If a business starts getting more money, but demand stays the same, then why do they need to hire anymore employees?  They do not.  If we’re going to fix the tax system, we need to build from the bottom up.  Consumers having more money means that consumers have more spending power.  This ultimately means consumers will purchase more goods and services, therefore create more demand.  The government cannot change what a business pays it’s employees, except through a minimum wage requirement.  A business getting more money does not mean that business will doll out more raises.  We’ve been seeing business put up record profits, yet we hear nothing about employees receiving more.  So again, the concept of tax breaks for the richest corporations (given by wealthy politicians who receive campaign donations from those very same corporations) is very short-sighted, narrow-minded, and self-absorbed.  It doesn’t truly look at the roots of why jobs are created.

I’m slowly realizing just how long this post is becoming.  I will continue this on soon, but for now I am going to wrap this up with calling it Part I.  Please feel free to comment and give your thoughts and opinions.  Feel free to share this, as well.

Take care and have a lovely day.


I am embarrassed to be an American…

…but I want America to be better and truly great again.

Many of those who know me, know that I don’t hide the fact that I am an atheist.  Despite this, I still consider myself to be a man of high moral standing.  I don’t steal, murder, rape, etc. not because I fear some punishment of burning in hell, but rather because I just plain know that this is wrong to do.  Morality, as we see it today, is secular in origin.  Hundreds of years ago, with societies living by biblical law, it was perfectly legal to sell you daughter, buy a human being, and stone somebody to death for premarital sex.  Secularism and godlessness told us that was wrong, despite it still being in the Bible.

Moving on to the point of why I am so ashamed of being an American, and trying to leave Donald Trump out of this as best as I can, however.  In a special election in Montana there were two candidates.  One candidate was a Democrat with a clean criminal record, the other candidate has a very recent assault charge filed against him.  Guess which candidate won?  That’s right, the guy with the assault charge.  This is the Republican candidate, you know, the party of Christian ideals.

Greg Gianforte successfully kept a red seat shining crimson by defeating Democrat runner Rob Quist in what was a closer than expected race.  There isn’t much debate as to why this seat in Montana has been historically Republican, but to have it only be “close” because this man assaulted a reporter really should make people question their values.  Put the shoe on the other foot and this is a Democrat assaulting a reporter, I wouldn’t vote for the Democrat.  I still don’t know if I could vote for the Republican opposition, but I’d have to make that call upon looking at that candidate’s plan they hope to set forth if elected.  Put the shoe on the other foot, if this were the Democrat who had assaulted a reporter, how many of those same citizens who voted for Gianforte would start crying foul and demand that Quist step down from the election?  It isn’t much of an assumption to assume the pitchforks would be out, potentially even in a literal sense.

This all goes into a bigger point.  That point being, how morally corrupt are our values?  We clamored over emails but didn’t give a f**k about a pussy grabbing, disability mocking, jerk who told a new lie every week.  What is wrong with America?  Where have our values gone?  The GOP tells the public that they are the party of family values and that they are the party of Christian values but when you look at the facts, I see a different story.

This is the party trying to take healthcare away from millions.  This is the party that would rather give tax breaks to corporations and millionaires, and tell us that money will eventually trickle down to the working class, if it ever leaves the Caymans.  This is the party that still continues to defend a POTUS that is obviously not even close to being qualified to holding such an office.  A POTUS that doesn’t have the slightest clue about how to handle a nation’s foreign affairs, or even public relations.  What is wrong with you?

Honestly, if Christian values means that you cannot call out a disgusting man, who mistreats women, homosexuals, Muslims, non-whites, disabled people, etc. then please, keep those values to yourself and don’t force them upon the rest of us.  I am embarrassed to be an American right now.  I hope one day that I can be a part of making American better, and once again a great nation.

All the reasons…

I recently read an interesting post on Facebook that a friend shared about “the reasons to unfriend me on Facebook” which was essentially a list of reasons I support a political candidate.  I wanted to take a moment to expound upon that list, so bear in mind that this post isn’t an original idea from me, but I did take many of these points in order to paraphrase as well as elaborate upon.

Anyways, below I have listed out all the reasons I support the Democratic agenda.  Whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to leave a comment.

  • I believe President-Elect Donald Trump is a racist, sexist, xenophobe, liar, and overall hate-filled man.  I say this not because of something the “liberal media” told me, rather because of the first hand accounts given by Mr. Trump.  When he first had his disgusting rant about a disabled reporter, openly mocking this man, I thought that would have been the end of Donald J. Trump.  I remember a time when Howard Dean’s overly excited “Yaaah!” disqualified him from being POTUS.  From there, Mr. Trump went on to be exposed for sexual assault with his pussy comments, put down the Hispanic community with his talk about rapists and criminals, put down African-Americans, and truthfully, put down everybody who was against him.  He went on to say if he lost, it was because the system is rigged.  He went on to speak out against the Electoral College, which is the very reason he was elected.  He has yet to even speak out against his supporters who have been harassing and even abusing various minority groups that Trump has spoken out against.  At the same time, however, he certainly does have the ability to Tweet that the cast of a play must apologize to Mike Pence, for speaking out against the Trump/Pence administration.
  • I believe that President Obama is the greatest POTUS so far in my lifetime.  When you look at so many economic statistics (GDP, Dow Jones Industrial Average, the unemployment rate, the number of uninsured Americans, and even the price of gasoline, to name a few) you are seeing numbers greater than during his predecessor, and even greater than during the Clinton administration previously.  Where do Republicans get off saying that President Obama has failed?  President Obama was able to be an instrumental part of this, all while having just about every single Republican in D.C. actively and openly working against him.  You had a GOP, lead by Mitch McConnell, openly saying their goal was to make President Obama a one term President.  Obviously they failed.  I am glad they did.  You also had POTUS in Obama that took the high road every-single-time he was faced with hateful, slanderous attacks from the GOP.  From elected officials.  He ran a scandal free administration.  He always held his head high.  He has been the standard bearer of being a class act.
  • I do not believe that those who need public assistance are lazy and don’t want to work.  Yes, are there some people who cheat and game the system?  Absolutely!  To try to say that even the majority of those who receive public assistance are trying to game the system is just abhorrent.  I was let go from a full-time job in my young 20’s.  For a while, I received unemployment benefits because of this.  I used this time wisely to not only look for new work, but to also reevaluate my life, which lead me to the greatest decision I’ve ever made, which was to go back to school to pursue my dream of being a teacher.  That could not have been possible without public assistance.  This leads me to the next point of…
  • I believe that government safety nets are a necessary part of our country because somebody who gets sick, or becomes old, should not have to struggle to make ends meet.  Healthcare is too high.  Hospital visits cost too much.  There, I said it.  I will also say that I have a hard time believing that this is due to the Affordable Care Act.  Wouldn’t you think, for a moment, that this is due to corporate greed instead?  In a nutshell, the Affordable Care Act seeks to have everybody in an insurance plan.  If everybody is in an insurance plan, then everybody covers the costs for us all.  “But I am healthy!  I shouldn’t have to!”  You never know when you might fall ill, have an accident, etc.  Making sure that everybody is covered, despite a pre-existing condition, prevents those with unforeseen circumstances from going bankrupt paying for healthcare.  Nobody should have to set up a GoFundMe page because they got cancer or were in an accident.  Making sure that every single person has to have health insurance keeps premiums down, too, because everybody helps to pay.  It prevents somebody from not paying their whole life, then quickly jumping onto an insurance plan the moment something goes bad.  This ensures that everybody is covered for when the worst happens.
  • I don’t believe everybody should have military/assault style weapons.  This is something I’ve gone over time after time with others.  I’ve even written posts, in length about that issue here and here, and originally started here.  I don’t need to go over this anymore.
  • I believe women have a right to choose what happens to their bodies in terms of all aspects, including birth control and pregnancy.  This is pretty self explanatory.  The majority of laws pertaining to women’s health have been made by a majority of older, white males.  Just think about this for a second.  What gives an older, white male any sort of reason to make a law regarding women’s reproductive rights?  There just flat out is no reason.  Ruth Bader Gingburg stated it best when asked when there will be enough women on the Supreme Court when she state it will be enough when it is all women.  I agree with this.  For how long was the Supreme Court nothing but white males?  I’m not going to look this up, but I feel comfortable saying that the majority of the time the Supreme Court has been around it has been 100% white males.  If you’d like to look this up and provide specifics, please do so and leave a comment.
  • I believe in a fair tax system that asks more of those at the top of the wealth chain.  I am not saying that those at the top don’t deserve to be at the top.  Yes, they are there because they’ve done something right in life.  They are also there because of what this country has done for them.  Would they still be at the top if it wasn’t for the interstate highway system?  Would they still be at the top if it wasn’t for the U.S. Postal Service?  Would they still be at the top if they didn’t have highly educated workers who have at least graduated public school?  You see the point I am making.  They are wealthy, not only of their own doing, but because they have received numerous benefits from our government programs, which are funded by American tax dollars.  It is insulting to see those wealthy Americans stash this money overseas, game the tax system for every loop-hole they can find, and ultimately then to say (either explicitly or implied) that they don’t have to pay their fair share.  It is because of government programs they were able to succeed in the first place!  Period.
  • Finally, I believe in a country that accepts all races, sexual orientations, religious beliefs, etc. to be a stronger country.  This one doesn’t even need an explanation.  Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion.  Just because your beliefs tell you something is wrong does NOT give you the right to force that belief upon others.

So there you have it.  Those of you who read this blog regularly should not have any surprises.  I do encourage you to leave a comment, whether you’re for or against this.  I do reserve the right to delete rude and disrespectful comments, and have done so in the past.  We can disagree with each other, we can also do so respectfully.

Thank you for reading.

One of the reasons why I vote Bernie…

So I am just going to leave this post short and sweet.

Just got my EOBs for my hernia surgery I recently had. Needless to say I miss my “Obamacare”. It is pretty ridiculous how even having decent insurance is still not enough for this kind of thing. This is why I support a candidate such as Bernie, who truly wants to “make America great again” and catch us up to the modernized world, especially when it comes to health care. It is pretty disgusting when you see average, working Americans needing to set-up GoFundMe accounts just to pay medical bills, meanwhile our neighbors up north enjoy a vast wealth of health benefits, and frankly, better healthcare. Having some medical emergency through no fault of your own (I had a ventral hernia… basically nothing I could have done to prevent it) should not be a debt sentence.

Just my two cents as a concerned citizen of the world who is now looking forward to paying a bill that is nearly what I make in two months.


Some Personal Ramblings

So I guess I do write about non-political things.  Woot!  Woot?

So lately I find myself doing many things.  I am teaching full-time as a long-term sub, I still also am doing my nights at the bar and the liquor store I work.  What I am not doing is taking any time for myself.  I finally gave up my weekends at the gas station just so I wasn’t working 7 days a week, despite some family members warning me not to.  A wise quote I’ve read many times was to never get so tied up in making a living that you forget to make a life.

I started this year off wanting to make changes in my life.  Big changes.  Some changes so personal I won’t even talk about them.  Despite that I’ve become a better person this year than I was last year I cannot, for the life of me, remember anything I put on that list, but one thing.  The funny thing is that even though I’ve had the desired outcome I wanted in the creation of that list, the only thing I remember from that list is the one thing I won’t be able to complete.

I’ve been getting so completely tied up in work that I haven’t hardly had time to just be me.  Tonight would have been my only weeknight off this week had I not gotten a night shift covered on Thursday.  Saturday morning, I am still on at the liquor store, however.  Having to juggle so many different hats can just be over-whelming.  I don’t miss my old days in the finance/accounting industry one bit but what I do miss about that was the time I had.  I felt like I just had more time in general despite the fact that I still worked a full-time job that kept me 8-5, I still had a part-time job (that wasn’t necessary, financially) that had me 2-4 nights a week, too.  I never felt like I just didn’t have free time though.  Yes, the part-time job was working with a rock wall/outdoor rec/boathouse, which just so happened to be a huge passion of mine, but even despite that I was still able to have relationships, go places, see things, do things without having the financial or spatial drag on my life.  These days, despite working so many jobs I don’t have that luxury.  I’m always worrying about bills, rent, etc.  Sure, I don’t make the same money I did in the financial/accounting industry, but honestly even with that job I didn’t make that much.  Sure, I lived in a town that was relatively inexpensive, but I also found myself in Minneapolis nearly every single weekend to spend time with my significant other I was with at the time.  I know that has been nearly 5 years since I left that life behind, packed everything, closed my eyes and took a huge step into my new life, a life of being back at college in my mid-twenties which has now led to my current life as a 27 year old, but what has happened in that time?  I feel like I am just living in a completely different life, it is hard to imagine any of that anymore.

I love my jobs, really I do.  Subbing at an ALC can be an extremely stressful job.  I keep going back there day in and day out, however, not because of the paycheck, but because I actually feel like I belong there.  Sure, I’ve got nothing good to say about the current position teaching math, where I feel like I was just thrown into a pit of lions to fend for myself, but I’m making it work and being successful with it.  Even with all that, there are still days where I just feel like I belong and know that I am making a difference, even if it was just in one person.


Time is a very important thing.  I’m trying to relearn this thing called life.  This time, however, I feel I will do a much better job of it.

Some of you may ask,”Why are you writing this?”  For that I think I have a very simple answer.  Venting.  I often times tell others that sometimes you just need to vent, even if its not a big deal.  Sometimes just saying the words helps you understand what it all means, more.  There have also been times where I’ve found I learn the most about myself by allowing somebody else to vent towards me, even if I have no advice to offer them when they’re done.