An Overview of Issues, Spring 2014

This is response to a commentary written by a friend. That's who the "you" is. I don't have the patience right now to edit this into an independent essay but I also feel like I caught a bunch of decently interesting ideas and want them preserved.


As far as I can tell, the two sides of this issue are 1) the government decides what sort of surgery a woman can have or, 2) they don't. You say that you like the first trimester compromise and, in the spirit of compromise, I'm ok with that, too, as are all liberals I've ever known about. However, that's not the conservative position. The conservative position includes a constitutional amendment to dictate what a woman can allow a doctor to do to her body. I know, they will say that it's all about the baby. That's an obvious lie. Remember, they cut Head Start.

Affirmative Action

This has nothing to do with "hard working people." You have been dup'd by the righties' propaganda. Affirmative action refers to laws that allow universities to consider race in admissions without violating racial equality laws. Some people (students, not workers) claim to have been harmed when a minority person got a slot they they think they should have gotten. Strangely enough, nobody on the conservative side feels that this is a problem when some (usually rich) kid gets in ahead of a better qualified minority because his or her parents are alumni. Affirmative action laws exist to level the playing field and to allow universities to create a learning environment that they think will help students and that includes having minorities present.

Death Penalty

If we could shoot them and get it over with and eliminate false positives, we would be implementing the death penalty in heaven, not America. False positives are part of the reality that humans are fallible. In your best possible outcome in reality, someone would get killed wrongly. In our real world, the amount of people that have been convicted wrongly is horrifying. Oddly enough, we have excellent affirmative action here. Black people get much more than their fair share of executions. But even if we could do it perfectly, the existence of the death penalty makes *you* a killer. Me, too.


You are right that regulation is necessary (speed limits are annoying, but nice; water quality standards, too). There is no other option for how regulations should be managed. It's got to be government. I assume that by "benevolent" you mean fair, uncorrupt, or something that adds up to the idea that regulations are necessary but badly implemented. The thing is, that's not true. As with all flawed human enterprises, there are mistakes and problems and villains but, we live in an extremely complicated society with regulations that help us in, literally, millions of ways. If you could do research and find hundreds of examples of terrible regulatory malfeasance, that would still leave hundreds of thousands of regulations that are working just fine. The idea that regulation is some terrible burden is a conservative lie pushed by corporations who want to run roughshod over your life.


Of course charter schools do a better job! They get to kick out kids who are stupid. Imagine a classroom filled with kids who are interested in learning, smart, with involved parents. That's what charter schools have. The public schools you incorrectly excoriate include mentally ill children, stupid children, children who don't speak english, children whose mothers' are crack whores. But, it's false to say that the schools are screwed. What's screwed are the people who insist on high stakes testing. Ot, those who fund the schools so that teachers have to buy supplies out of meager salaries. Or, the fact that children in inner cities have to move their desks out of the way of leaking roofs or hide from gang bangers.

There are, in fact, substantial arguments made that say that the common view of failed education is completely wrong. That it's based on measurements that have nothing to do with reality. (If you care, you can find the information. I'll be happy to discuss.) You probably think your kid's schools have sucked. Most people do. However, how badly does your kid suck as a result of being there? Can she read? Is she bright and motivated and wonderful ?(She seemed to be so when I met her.)  I have that experience, too. It's hard to figure out why you think the schools should be defunded or otherwise dismantled considering that.

Stem Cells

This is a place, as with abortion, where conservatives reveal themselves to be the American Taliban, a retrograde force of anti-intellectual, anti-science movement to prevent peoples' lives from being improved by modernity. The suggestion that stem cell research has a moral component is the most fantastical of fabrications.


And here is where conservatism shows it's true nature as the philosophy of profit for the already empowered. In any sane world, a view associated with conservatism would be very, very excited about supporting the development of new technology and markets. In that world, they would be criticized for fabricating crazy new reasons to coerce the markets to buy alternative energy and energy conservation equipment. But, modern conservatism does not want companies to develop that would compete with the current, powerful energy companies because conservatism is a corrupt philosophy in the pockets of the corporations.

Assisted Suicide

I do not know of a conservative position or a liberal one relating to assisted suicide. Personally, I'm in favor of the status quo where people quietly make it happen with benign neglect on the part of the law unless something weird happens. I don't know whether the conservative priority is killing people or forcing people to die in pain. I'm guessing the latter. Maybe they just want to make sure that people cannot control their own lives if they are not rich.

Climate Change

The dishonest corruption of the conservative position on climate change is proof that I am 100% right when I say that anyone who isn't fighting these bastards is either a coward or a traitor. If you are not actively working to oppose the destruction of our culture that will result from their viewpoint preventing us from changing our environmental trajecory, you are saying to your children, "Fuck you. I don't care what happens to you."

Gun Control

32,000 people die each year from guns. Half of those people are suicides. Turns out that guns are really good at suicide. Without guns, many of those people would survive and almost no one tries a second time. Almost 75,000 more people are hurt by guns.

You probably are in favor of drunk driving laws. What on earth would make you opposed to regulating guns? Both restrict your freedom to do stupid crap and save lives.


I don't know what you think the 'sides' are but there are not two sides. Conservatism does not have a side. They just hate Barack Obama who implemented an annoyingly pro-corporate, conservative inspired compromise. Fifty votes to repeal. Not one to replace or improve it. Their talking points include lies like death panels.

Obamacare, on the other hand, is simply insurance reform. I am intensely interested in this topic and read everything. I have *never* read anything that presents a single idea of why insurance companies should be allowed to screw people as they always have. To say that you disagree with this side is to say, "I want to allow insurance corporations to continue the practice of canceling your insurance when you are sick."

Homeland Security

This phrase is so broad that I don't understand the point. Liberals want to avoid terrorism and so do conservatives. Personally, I do not believe there is a meaningful threat from terrorists but that's not a political view. I think it's simple reality.


Throw out eleven million people. Call them criminals. Deny them and their children vital services. Make it so that they can't get jobs or feed their families. Denigrate them and "illegitimate". Tell the police to hound them. Deny them medical care. Deny them drivers licenses.

That's the conservative position. That's the conservative position in a nation of immigrants. The conservative position is not only impractical, counterproductive and foolish. It is immoral.

Private property

Conservatives only want corporations to have the ability to do things in our society. Liberals believe that we can and should work together to do things that are not driven by profit. Eminent domain inherently includes the ideas of 1) necessity and 2) just compensation. The conservative position says that no matter how important the need, ownership is the most important thing. The fact that it prevents people from working together is gravy.

Conservatives are not so troubled by taking away someone's house based on a contract signed twenty years ago under completely different circumstances, say, a time when jobs existed. Property ownership in the conservative world is only important when it serves corporate interests or inhibits the ability of people to work together.

Religion and Government

You may not have a strong religious affiliation. I do and I feel pain when I see Christian symbology everywhere. When I see my tax dollars being spent maintaining religious sculptures, I feel robbed. When my kids had to put up with a 'moment of silence' that we all know is required by right-wing Christians, I feel like I am being forced to kiss the Pope's ring.

You might not want to go ballistic about the matter but, if the world continues its current trend, there will be Moslem icons everywhere for your grandchildren. In the name of being reasonable, of compromise, we will be asking girls to cover their arms. Allowing religion to be involved with government functions is the most dangerous kind of slippery slope. Religion should be private and never, ever expressed in a public context. If it is, my God says that I have to kill you for being a heretic. Most other peoples' Gods do, too.

Same Sex Marriage

The hypocrisy of the right on this is stunning.

Social Security

Social Security is a good thing. Conservatives most emphatically demonstrate their dishonesty with their view on this topic. They don't want to 'save' it. It doesn't need saving. They want to change it so that we are less secure. That way we will argue less with mistreatment at work. We will also work longer, increasing the number of people in the workforce and keeping wages low.


The conservative view on taxes was coined by Ronald Reagan. He equated taxation with theft. Of course, it's actually the way that we work together to accomplish things. Though the conservative viewpoint is greedy, even more, it's a way of making it so that we are all left on our own, so that the only way that money can be grouped into useful piles is under the control of a corporation. The anti-tax policies of conservatism are anti-America and anti-community and anti-worker.

United Nations

The United Nations provides a place where nations can come together and talk. I do not understand how that can be a bad thing. Opposition to the UN is incomprehensible.

War on Terrorism

This is the conservative excuse for implementing a police state and spending giant amounts on armament.


As long as there is unemployment, we must have welfare. Corporations have conquered the country. If they don't give you a job, you still need to eat. If we don't have welfare, you have no choice but to steal.