Author Archive Randomology


Fox news vs. Mister Rogers

Choose wisely.

May 15, 2013

I’ve had my fair share of gripes about Fox News. They went after the Muppets and Sesame Street. They’ve championed the Second Amendment despite overwhelming evidence of the dangers of firearms without sensible gun control. They’re an unabashed arm of the Republican Party, if not the controlling force behind it. In every way, shape, and form, Fox News represents dishonesty and an antithesis to journalism.

But now they went after Fred Rogers.

Misters Rogers…

This… will not stand. I don’t care if the clip is a few years old. This is a crime.

If you have the stomach, check out the following clip.


In essence, the Fox hosts here are reporting on a study (actually a single professor just talking) on how Mister Roger’s message of “You’re special just the way you are” has created generations of lazy, self-interested little socialists and he’s also the reason American children don’t do well in school.

It couldn’t possibly be because of far right-wing hijacking of history and critical thinking or a culture that promotes mediocre achievements and fawns over anyone who’s “famous,” could it?

Fox going after Mister Rogers is another piece of evidence that shows the American Far Right has lost its collective mind in the last several years. Things like compassion and empathy have already been vilified on the Right, but to overtly say that a man like Fred Rogers is evil is a bit like saying the Dalai Lama eats puppies and can’t achieve climax without thinking of the Holocaust.

The Right has been hijacked by Randian “ethics” in that a person’s worth is tied to his or her bank account and how much he or she resembles the “superman” who cares not for morals but only self-interest. Modern American conservatism has been led down the path of the Tea Party, of might-makes-right, of thinking businesses are people and people can be shot simply for not being citizens. Mister Rogers’ message is a splash of cold water on those beliefs.

Charity? Sharing? Togetherness? These have no place on the American Right!

Mister Rogers is the closest thing this world has had to a physical saint in a long time. The man had a message of hope and peace that endures after his passing. He taught millions of children, myself included, that we are special. Every child, every person, is a unique individual.

Of course, there’s also a major difference between “You’re a special person,” and “You never have to try to achieve anything.” The second is a strawman by Fox. Mister Roger never implied anything like that. He never said you should get things just for asking. He said you should have a feeling of self-worth no matter what.

And on a personal note, I was raised on Mister Rogers, Sesame Street, and Doctor Spock, all things these brain cases complained about. Guess what? Dean’s List in college, am in a loving, long-term relationship, and I’ve got the drive to publish my work on, here, and in my upcoming book. And I teach college and middle school courses.

I know I’m special. Mister Rogers told me so. Fox News? I’m sure even Mister Rogers would hesitate before telling them they’re special.

Actually, I’m pretty sure they are “special.” They’re a very special channel with very special people.

Let’s all remember Fred Rogers for what he was: one of the most decent human beings to ever live among us.



Daily Caller: Don’t Ban Guns Because We Like Them

Said no sane person ever.

Dear Daily Caller,

I have some opinions regarding your website, but for right now, I’d like to address your recent article on why banning AR-15s is such a bad idea from a defense and ideological point of view. It’s a nice written article, generally level-headed, and seeks to point out the flaws in banning or even limiting certain firearms.

However, I would like to point out a few of the half-truths and outright lies you yourself have used in this article. If we’re going to have a debate, let’s get the facts straight.

[Misinformation] is not just coming from the usual anti-gun crowd, whom one would expect to lack knowledge about firearms and how they function, but also from supposedly knowledgeable gun owners and hunters, some of whom favor “reasonable” controls on firearms freedoms.

Okay, let’s get this straight. I have to know about cleaning barrels, disassembling firearms, and how to convert for different types of ammunition in order to have a debate about guns? Maybe if I wanted to debate gun quality, sure, but this debate is about what guns allow people to do. Trigger gets pulled. Bullet fires. Bullet does damage.

And if gun owners and hunters are actually saying they’d like more controls, isn’t that something to listen for? Or are we only supposed to pay attention to people when they agree with you? For example a majority of NRA members want background checks for gun purchases. I’m pretty sure those people know about guns.

Could I use another gun for self defense? Of course I could and the AR may not be the best firearm to use in all defensive situations. I could use a shotgun or a pistol, I could use a baseball bat or a knife, I could use a tennis racket, a golf club, my bare hands, or I could just try playing possum.

Good! We’re at least acknowledging that a firearm may not be the best weapon for the job. I like this so far. I’m sure the final few examples are sarcasm, but whatever.

It is not a question of what I use to defend myself but my right and desire to have the best possible tool for the job at my disposal. I want a semi-automatic rifle with an adequate capacity magazine for the same reason the police want them; to be able to quickly and accurately engage multiple assailants should the need arise.

Frankly, I’d think a good alarm system, iron bars, and heavy doors would be much better at preventing home invasion. Why react when you can prevent? Also, I don’t think you understand why police actually use the AR-15 and other weapons like it.

But I do.

During the 44-minute North Hollywood Shootout, police fired hundreds of 9mm and 12-gauge rounds at two armored assailants and didn’t do much damage. The perpetrators, on the other hand, had rifles, some of them AR-15s, which they modified to fire full auto.

SWAT itself was originally armed with revolvers and shotguns, but a 1974 encounter with the Symbionese Liberation Army changed things and semi-automatic rifles were introduced into SWAT’s arsenal.

Basically, these police departments were dealing with multiple, heavily armed, heavily armored assailants. Then again, maybe you really are worried someone could enter your home wearing tactical armor and wielding his or her own rifle. Okay, fine…

The AR is traditionally chambered in the 5.56x45mm NATO (interchangeable with the .223 Remington caliber) cartridge. The U.S. Military has been using this round as their primary rifle caliber for 50 years, through many wars and other interventions. If it was not effective we would not still have it.

As with any firearm, the weight and type of bullet can be easily changed to deliver better performance and while not all loadings may be ideal for hunting, many are used on deer, feral hogs, coyote, and other game animals.

The AR-15 has ammunition designed to punch through body armor and is extremely long range. As you’ve said, the rifle can be converted to fire other, less-powerful ammunition, but if that is the case, why not use a weapon that is already chambered for some other load?

So far, the argument has been that the AR-15 can be used against multiple opponents and can be converted to fire other types of ammunition. Just how many people do you think are involved in home invasions? And if ammunition can be swapped for others to prevent over-penetration, why not use other weapons?

Some have argued that a 5.56mm AR is bad for home defense because the round will over penetrate and pass through walls, endangering other occupants or neighbors. Tell that to police SWAT team that are increasingly switching from 9mm (pistol caliber) sub-machineguns to 5.56mm ARs exactly because they over penetrate less than the 9mm especially with proper ammunition selection.

Police are switching to these high-powered rounds because they offer better performance against armored targets. I would also point out that 9mm hollow-points lack penetration and deal a heck of a lot of damage, maybe not as much as the 5.56mm, but certainly enough to stop someone who’s entered your home.

If over penetration is a serious concern then use a shotgun with bird shot. At close ranges this can be extremely effective. Others argue that a long gun is too unwieldy for home defense and going around corners. Ironically a shotgun has long been considered an ideal home defense firearm, not to mention that “hunting down” home intruders is not really advisable anyways. Better to barricade yourself and call the police.

I would think over-penetration is ALWAYS a concern, especially if there are others in the house. It’s why hollow-point rounds were invented. And you’re right. A long gun can be very unwieldy in a home environment, and a shotgun suffers from the same drawback.

But a shotgun lacks the over-penetration of the 5.56mm and has an extremely high intimidation factor. Shotguns are also quite cheaper to purchase than an AR-15, making them ideal for many budgets. So far, the argument seems to be, “I really like the AR-15, and it has a lot of drawbacks like the possibility of hitting innocent civilians, but I REALLY want an AR-15.”

Ignoring the fact that semi-automatic rifles are used to commit only a tiny fraction of all gun crimes and that gun crimes overall have been declining for the past 20 years, the AR and other similar rifles are no more dangerous than any other firearm. The AR is semi-automatic and fires once each time the trigger is depressed, like a double-action revolver, or any pistol, or many other rifles and shotguns.

It can also be easily modified for full-auto by any idiot with the right tools. A quick Google search yielded thousands of forum threads on the subject. While gun crimes have declined overall in the last 20 years, so has gun ownership. Less people own guns, but that group now owns MORE guns than before. And guns like the AR-15 are, as you yourself have pointed out, not the ideal ones for home defense, and their ammunition can be a danger not just to people in the house, but possibly people outside the home, too.

If you think the AR-15 is no more dangerous than other guns, I’d suggest you try a shootout while wielding a .38 revolver. Your opponent will have an AR-15. Let’s see which one’s more dangerous. Better yet, use a baseball bat because, as many of your side have said, those are just as dangerous.

If you believe that the AR is too dangerous to own then there is no rational limit to what firearms you will find too dangerous next. Politicians have attacked firearms as too dangerous because they are too small and easy to conceal, too cheap and easy for poor people to buy, too accurate and usable and sniper weapons, too powerful and usable against vehicles. The list of “too dangerous” can easily be expanded to cover most any firearm and making every firearm “too dangerous” is exactly the real agenda.

Ah, I see. The real problem is that you’re afraid if one gun is banned, then they can all be banned. I have bad news for you. Scalia of all people wrote an opinion which stated the Constitution itself grants the federal government the right to regulate certain weapons. There’s also the nasty bit in the Second Amendment about a militia being “well-regulated,” kind of like how Israel does it. And we do have certain weapons banned right now. You can’t own a grenade, a rocket launcher, or C4. Even if you had the money, you can’t own a tank with functional weaponry.

In what insane, parallel dimension, do you think guns will be banned in the US? I’ll assume your head is somewhere where you’re likely to run into your colon. Yes, certain guns become controversial, and yes, we’ve tried to pass legislation regarding guns, just like every other right and Amendment has had legislation to address loopholes and abuses.

The First Amendment even has restrictions. You can’t yell “fire” in a crowded room if there’s no fire, you can’t incite a riot, and you can’t threaten the life of the president. These are not tyrannical forces conspiring to keep you disarmed. They’re regulations put into check to address changes in society and possible abuses we’ve seen since the Constitution was written.

I know, I know. You REALLY want an AR-15. However, by your own admission, there are other weapons that won’t cause as much collateral damage. The AR-15 suffers from over-penetration, something I would think is a SERIOUS concern to someone who believes himself to be a responsible gun owner, and can be modified for full auto.

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Guns help, though. The AR-15 is designed to be used against hardened targets in a combat zone. If you need thirty armor-piercing bullets to stop a home invader, you’re either a really bad shot or you are in way over your head.  You might be fighting a pack of velociraptors or terminators. In that case, I suggest actually moving.


Teachers, Guns, and the Great Lie

This picture looks like proof of armed teachers preventing school shootings. In truth, it shows how STRICT gun regulation makes for a safer country.

If we’re going to have gun debate, and if we’re going to be adults, we need to get a few facts straight. Like I’ve said before, we’re entitled to our own opinions, but we’re not entitled to our own facts. If we do this and remember to respect each other, we should be fine.

With that in mind, we need to clear up a few “facts” about gun control.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve seen many on the pro-gun side posting pictures of Israeli teachers armed with rifles. You can see one such picture above. These individuals point to it and say it’s a beautiful thing to see a country determined and willing to protect its youth, that it shows our cowardice when we don’t arm our own teachers.

However, context matters. Yes, Israel doesn’t have school shootings like we do, and it’s easy to say that the armed teachers help. After all, Israel gave teachers guns and they haven’t had the kinds of mass shootings we have, right?

But let’s look at the facts for both Israel and the United States.

  • Israel has 7.3 firearms per 100 people
  • The US has 88.8 firearms per 100 people.
  • Israel has 1.96 firearm deaths per 100,000 people.
  • The US has 10.26 per 100,000.
  • Israel has a total of 0.83 homicides per 100,000 people.
  • The US has 5.86 homicides per 100,000 people for the same year.
  • Israel has 0.04 accidental gun deaths per 100,000 people.
  • The US 0.19 per 100,000 for the same year.
  • Israel requires that someone be 27 years old to own a firearm, or 21 if the individual has military service. In order to acquire a gun, a person must apply and give the specific reason the gun is required. The background checks include criminal and mental health evaluations. The authorities maintain records of everyone who possesses a firearm. On top of that, a gun owner must reapply for a license every three years.

It should also be noted that teachers in Israel who do choose to carry firearms almost always have a background in the Israeli Defense Forces, meaning they have military training. Contrast all these things with the US where anyone can walk into Wal-Mart and walk out with a shotgun and as much ammo to invade Fallujah. In Israel, civilians are limited to how much ammunition they may own, and there are even regulations on how that ammo can be stored.

So, to all who keep pointing to Israel as a haven where the population can be armed as they see fit and don’t suffer the kinds of shootings here, I’d like you to remember this.

They have MUCH stricter gun control than us. They didn’t eliminate their guns, but they require those who use them to be trained and regulated with periodic checks and, as such, have fewer guns per capita. This is the kind of thing most of us are trying to push. I don’t want guns eliminated entirely. Not by a mile, but I do acknowledge that they are weapons designed to kill. They are not tools. As such, they require training and constant attention.

In the US, while the number of guns has gone up, the number of gun owners has gone DOWN while the number of gun deaths has also slowly gone down. This doesn’t point to more guns making us safer. It points to less people owning guns making us safer.

Now then, if you’re going to keep pointing to the “Israeli model” as proof we need armed teachers, you should also be pointing out the strict background checks, training, and regulation mandated by the government and that said teachers previously worked as soldiers.

Like I said, context is everything.


Romney “Browned” Himself?

I’m Mitt Romney… I’m an unbelievable douche.

Mitt Romney has done a lot of things, but playing a race card with himself may be one of the worst. A lot of liberal blogs and commentators have spoken or written about the apparent “browning” the former governor underwent before his Univision interview. Many have called it an attempt to appeal to Latinos by looking darker. Romney’s campaign has in fact run many Spanish-language ads where his sons tout their father’s accomplishments.

And before anyone asks, no, the captions in the previous link are parody, not an accurate translation.

Some, however, are saying this is a scandal born of nothing. One of my readers on Facebook said that we liberals are better than this. We can’t possibly focus on him looking tanned on a Spanish-language network and think that he donned “brownface” to appeal to Hispanic voters. There is no proof of this, she said, and in many ways she’s right. This “scandal” hinges on the assumption that Mitt Romney would think darker skin tones would endear him to a section of the population. It means we believe Mitt is shallow enough to even think this will work and it lowers the political debate to speculation and name-calling.

Fair enough. We really don’t know if this was intentional. Interviews with the make-up artists at the station apparently support the idea that Romney arrived like this. But do we really think Romney, a presidential candidate, tanned himself with the idea that he could court Hispanic voters by looking brown?

Yeah, I do.

Romney is the slimiest politician I can remember. He doesn’t have a personality. With all respect to Bret Easton Ellis, there is no Mitt Romney, but rather the idea of Mitt Romney. All he feels is ambition and greed. You can shake his hand and feel he’s real, but he’s simply not there.

Consider the ridiculous amounts of flip-flops he’s engaged in just in the last three months. Consider, for example, that he’s gone after Obama’s health care mandate despite Romney himself pushing a nearly identical plan. Consider everything he claims he stands for and how it’s an odds with his actions.

Yeah, I believe he would tan himself to appeal to Hispanic voters. I also believe he’d sell his own wife for an Electoral College vote if he had the chance. I mean, he packed the forum full of his own people because he couldn’t find enough supporters in the general population. This is a guy who think a quarter million dollars is median income.

I mock him because he deserves it, I disagree with nearly everything he says, and I find him transparent to the point of ridiculousness. So, no, I’m not being petty. I’m pointing out another instance of him whoring himself for the sake of power. Frankly, he’s a prostitute with a bad make-up job. And I’m not buying what he’s selling, no matter how much he “tarts” himself up.


9/11: An Immigrant’s Perspective

I still can’t hear “Danny Boy.”

I remember the moment I became interested in politics and world events. When I grew up in Mexico, I heard from someone that the United States had gone to war. To me, the United States was a magical land where people could find jobs, where you could be anything you wanted to be, where I could go to McDonald’s. That was my youthful, limited view of this country. I’d lived here when I was much, much younger, but before the age of ten, the United States was still a mysterious place where anything could happen. I mean, come on. It had Disneyland.

Eleven years ago, I was in my room while practicing for an upcoming choir competition. I had just popped in a tape (wow, I’m dating this) with the instrumentals to the songs we needed to learn. I was halfway through “Danny Boy.” I was just past the line about all the flowers dying when my mom called me to her room and said something had happened in New York City.

I looked at the television and saw that a plane had struck one of the towers in the World Trade Center. I imagined every possible cause of this catastrophe. The announcers were concerned, of course. They were in New York City themselves.

“This wasn’t an accident,” I said.

I watched for several minutes but knew I had to go practice. I couldn’t focus, however. I kept seeing the fire and the gutted skyscraper. By the time I went to school, I heard from others that a second plane had hit. I knew then it wasn’t an accident. The school administration wouldn’t let us turn the televisions on and said we had to focus on studying, but everyone was talking about what had just happened.

When the televisions were finally allowed back on hours later, we saw a dust cloud over Lower Manhattan. Someone started muttering, “Where are the towers? Where are the towers?”

It might have been me.

The rest of the day just disappeared. When we left school, my sister and I went to put gas in the car. The line stretched around the block as people rushed to get the soon-precious commodity. It was the last time I’ve filled up my tank for less than twenty-five dollars. It was also the last time I’d felt truly safe.

I was angry. This was my home, my country. I wasn’t born here, but I certainly worked to prove myself as a good American citizen, so for someone to do this to us, to me, was infuriating in a way I’ve never experienced since. The school year sort of faded away. The invasion of Afghanistan came and victory loomed over the horizon, or so I thought. As summer finally arrived, I questioned my earlier anger. I was angry at an entire group of people, a whole country. I wanted to see them pay for supporting the slaughter of thousands…

Then, I went to college. It’s become a cliché that education makes you liberal, but it’s true. Being exposed to new ideas, new concepts, new people, all have a profound effect on us. I know it did to me. By the time I left ten years ago, I had lived and worked with people who were Jewish, Christian, Wiccan, atheists, gay, straight, bisexual, conservative, liberal, communists, libertarians, and everything in between.

I learned to not just live with, but accept other points of view. The Second Iraq War came and I felt disgusted with myself. The nation I’d admired so much was now a bully, a scared child that had been hit hard, had suffered, and was now lashing at anyone and anything it felt was a threat. I’d never been part of the minority before. In South Texas, Hispanics are the majority, but in Indiana, I was very much a minority. I’d been bullied when I was much younger, but it wasn’t until I went to college that I felt like an outsider.

After graduation, I worked odd jobs, eventually working as a Congressional speechwriter in the fall of 2008. While on the Hill, I saw apathy. I saw people calling in, sometimes screaming, over imagined slights. I saw the uneducated behind doors and banging on said doors to get attention. There was a fear in the air. It was the same fear of the other, of something alien coming in and taking away that which was ours. It’s the same kind of fear the GOP is relying on this time around. It’s the same fear and botched education that fueled the Tea Party. It’s the reason Fox News can claim to be news. It says what the subconscious wants to hear.

When I was a child, the United States was a magical land. It was a goal, but once I got here, it took years for me to realize it was something that needed to be tended. It grew. It breathed. It could not survive the ignorance and fear of that day, and yet it’s still used as subtly as using a lead pipe to perform brain surgery.

Whenever someone asks why I write about politics, education, and art, and why I spend time trying to make sure my students develop critical thinking skills, I remember that younger me. I remember the things I said and wished.

I’m grateful that version of me never had the power to make good on those threats.



Limbaugh: Only Care for People Like You

Pictured here? Zero percent humanity.

Rush Limbaugh has never been one to appear cuddly and caring. This week, however, he shed further light on a mentality that sadly permeates the Right.

During a show discussing why Obama is the Other, someone outside of America, Limbaugh let slip the following quote (emphasis mine):

Obama did not grow up in poverty. His grandmother, the typical white woman, worked in a bank. Don’t give me this “down with the struggle” business. He wasn’t down with the struggle, that’s the whole point. You go back to 2008, the Democrats were wringing their hands because he wasn’t authentically black. That’s the reason the Reverend Sharpton had a problem with him, and they wrote the column in the L.A. Times, “the magic Negro.” He wasn’t down with the struggle. He doesn’t have slave blood. You know all that.

In less than two minutes, Limbaugh all but outright stated the Right Wing position in this country: if it doesn’t affect you, don’t get involved and don’t care. According to him, since Obama’s “blackness” comes from another country, not from a family that was here during the Civil Rights Movement or has roots in America’s past, Obama would not care about the struggles of African Americans. He has his own agenda, Limbaugh reminds us.

Going off of this, it does explain why Rush and many on the Right often have trouble understanding the problems of others. They’re white, straight, Christian men. Why should they afford rights to gays? They’re not gay. Why should they care about what women think? They’re not women. Why care about how the poor will eat or fend for their children? The rich don’t have those problems. It’s none of their business. Muslims are being targeted. But they’re Christians, so why care?

In attacking Obama for supposedly not caring for the African American community and not really being “black,” Limbaugh showed one of the classic signs of psychopathy: the inability to empathize with others. This isn’t trivial. Combine this with the fact that he and other hardcore conservatives also show shallowness, superficial emotions, egocentrism, irresponsibility, and antisocial behavior such as a parasitic and criminal mentality like I’ve shown in other articles. What do you get?

An entire political movement made up of people are who quite literally insane.

And no, I’m not using hyperbole. I really do believe Captain Oxycodone and the others like him have severe mental issues. Their inability to understand things like facts and the scientific method also come to mind. I recently also wrote about Ann Romney’s inability to understand other cultures, but you get the picture. This is the difference between conservatives and liberals.

I’m not gay, yet I feel for my gay friends and want the best for them. I’m not a woman, yet I want my female family and friends to be safe and respected, and my heart broke when I discovered some of my friends have been assaulted and will forever carry those wounds with them. I’m not Muslim, but I want them to have the freedom to believe as they wish and practice their faith. I don’t have children, but I want our youth to have access to good education, healthy food, and safe streets.

Asking someone to feel empathy is not a radical liberal call. It’s called being a decent human being, but apparently that’s too much to ask of the Far Right Wing.


Ann Romney to Hispanics: You Don’t Get It

I’m not saying Ann Romney is racist. I’m just saying she doesn’t seem to think Latinos are intelligent citizens who deserve equal protection under the law simply because of their skin color and heritage. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Author’s Note: I realize some people prefer the terms “Hispanic” or “Chicano.” I personally refer to myself as “Mexican-American” since I’m a first-generation immigrant. I know we all have our preference, but for the purpose of this article, I’m sticking with Ann Romney’s terminology.

Ann Romney is not running for office, but her recent remarks about the Latino community show the Right’s mentality on minority votes and, on a personal level, showed her contempt for people like me.

At a recent luncheon, Mrs. Romney went on about how Latinos need to understand that the GOP, and her husband in particular, are working in the best interest of Latinos in this country. She gushed over how much damage another Obama presidency will do to us and how we’re just uninformed about current issues and policies.

It’s us, not them, she tells us.

I like to think my arguments are better than just flinging insults or calling names, but I would like to vent a little steam before starting by saying that Ann Romney sounds like any abusive husband on a Lifetime movie telling his battered wife that it’s her fault she’s on the ground doubled over.

Let me explain. Ann Romney said:

“I spoke to women last night and I wanted women to understand how important this election is for their children. But as I was sitting backstage listening, I thought, it’s also very important that the Latino community recognize how important this election is for them.”

I like how she talks about women and mothers and that need to protect the family but seems to think Latinos don’t have those concerns or are somehow different. It sounds like nitpicking her grammar, but it actually makes sense a little later.

“And [Latinos] are mistaken if they think they are going to be better off with Barack Obama as their president. There really is only one way for prosperity, for small business, and that is, this is the simplest way I can say this: If Mitt Romney wins, America wins.”

Mrs. Romney’s assertion that helping small businesses is the best way to help the country falls apart for two reasons. Firstly, she assumes that corporate profits equal social prosperity. They don’t. The top earners in this country have had incredible success in the last several years, but the middle class hasn’t seen significant improvement in THIRTY YEARS. Small businesses are another matter. Yes, they could be doing better, but the self-serving nature of the Romney/Ryan plan is another case. It will hurt not just Latinos, but everyone.

It’s when Mrs. Romney starts talking about why Latinos are specifically deaf to the GOP that I start to put the pieces together.

“You’d better really look at your future and figure out who’s going to be the guy that’s going to make it better for you and your children, and there is only one answer… It really is a message that would resonate well if [Latinos] could just get past some of their biases that have been there from the Democratic machines that have made us look like we don’t care about this community. And that is not true. We very much care about you and your families and the opportunities that are there for you and your families.”

If I may, I would like to address Ann Romney directly.

Mrs. Romney, you smell of beans. The faint aroma of something used to fertilize a garden emanates from your speech.

The reason Latino voters vote Democrat is because the overwhelming majority of Republicans who actually address Latino concerns usually do so in order to profile or discriminate. Arizona’s various laws that target us specifically come to mind. The idea of the border fence, now part of Romney’s plan, was also from the Right. Destroying the DREAM Act, a law that would have granted a path to citizenship to children who did not break the law but were instead brought here by their parents, showed that your party has no interest in immigrants being here at all.

The Republican Party has not just ignored the Latino community, but has instead gone out of its way to even deny we exist.

In Arizona, Chicano studies were taken away under the banner of protecting the people from inflammatory rhetoric. My history, and the fact that Latinos struggled to become part of this country, is now seen as subversive.

Voter suppression proposals hurt minorities and are being pushed specifically because we tend to against you and your ilk.

American citizens have been detained and sometimes deported simply because they were Hispanic. In these cases, they were afforded almost none of the rights any criminal would expect. A suspected murderer would receive more protection under the law than Jose on the Street simply because of skin color or heritage.

My family has certainly adapted. We speak English and Spanish. I myself have worked as a Congressional speechwriter and correspondent, teacher, tutor, blogger, and freelance artist. I have nothing more than a speeding ticket on my record, I pay my taxes, and would consider myself a good citizen.

And yet I have a higher chance of getting arrested due to GOP policies than Romney does for tanking several companies in order to make a profit.

I know, I know. These were not Romney’s policies. Just other members of his party that acted and were not chastised by the Right. What has Mitt Romney, however, done for the Latino community?


Obama hasn’t done much for us either, but that’s mostly because the GOP has obstructed everything he has tried to do, often simply because they don’t want him to win.

Let me be blunt now. Mitt Romney’s policies, and those of his party, will hurt us. They will hurt ALL of us. All this talk about regulation for banks, Super PACS, and all that other stuff is academic for most people. The truth is that my family, friends, and I have to live with these laws targeting us because of our skin and our heritage. They affect us directly. When someone says immigrants are hurting our country, when people shout that we need a border fence or that we need to shoot people crossing illegally, they’re talking about my community…

But it’s nice for the nice, rich white lady to tell me how I don’t know what I’m talking about.

Mrs. Romney, THIS is why we don’t vote for your party. You also keep referring to us as “you people.” Please stop it. When you, for example, say things like this:

“I had the most rocking time in Puerto Rico at a political rally than I’ve ever had in my entire life,” Romney said. “You people really know how to party. It was crazy!”

…You’re lumping us together, showing that instead of being seen as a community, we’re a mob. It’s the first step towards racist views. The fact that you don’t want your own son to identify as such speaks volumes.

You’re an adult. I would hope I don’t have to explain something this simple to you.


Romney Campaign Exposes GOP’s Enemy: Facts

Remember: if you think too hard, you become liberal.

It’s official. The Republican Party, the Grand Old Party, has made it clear that Obama is not their enemy. Who is the enemy?

Critical thinking and facts.

When asked about the thoroughly debunked talking point of “You didn’t build that,” the one where the GOP, led by Fox, claim Obama slammed small businesses, Romney’s people had a very interesting answer. After all, all they’d done was base their campaign pitch on a lie, right?

Their answer? Fact-checking wasn’t important.

This isn’t something trivial. Critical thinking and facts are the basis of growth, both personal and social. They are the basics of science, something a lot of conservatives seem to think is a bad thing going by recent examples, but never has it been more clearly stated.

Facts don’t matter, they say.

It’s not that hard to see how this works to the GOP’s advantage. The Texas GOP tried to ban critical thinking and inconvenient facts in schools. Tennessee pushed a bill that would allow creationism in schools. Bill Nye was booed in Texas for suggesting the moon doesn’t glow, something which creationists find insulting. The entire concept of the scientific method is missing from the GOP brain. When Limbaugh, for example, tries to make the argument that The Dark Knight Rises is an attack on Romney or that Robin Hood would have been a Tea Partier, he is showing the kind of thinking that most educated, mature people learn when they’re in high school.

More recently, the NRA actually came out and said that mass shootings are essential to an “open society,” that it’s not a good idea to ask questions after mass shootings like the ones we’ve experienced the last few weeks.

Remember, this is the same mentality that makes some people kill abortion doctors because life is sacred. This is the same culture that believes the Bible is the infallible word of God, yet charity and sharing are now sins. The ability to think critically is what has given us medicine, the reason we landed on the moon, and the reason you can read this on a screen that manipulates light and is controlled by a small piece of silicon and metal.

Everyone is entitled to an informed opinion. The ability to come together and debate issues only happens when we can all agree that REALITY EXISTS. It’s the most basic foundation for an argument, for science, but since the GOP and many conservatives have simply decided that reality doesn’t work for them and they’d rather go with fantasies about anti-rape vaginas and an Arab conspiracy to destroy our country, I guess we can just stop the debate now. After all, with everything that’s happened, it’s obvious that conservatives really are scientifically incapable of understanding reality.

We’d have a better chance of discussing Chaucer with a mentally handicapped tapeworm. At least the tapeworm is more pleasant company.


America’s Israel Problem

“Our foreign policy should be based on a two-thousand year-old text,” said NO SANE PERSON ever.

America has a problem in Israel.

Wait, let me rephrase that. Israel has become a problem for America.

On the one hand, we give Israel $3 billion every year with no strings attached. Why? Because many fundamentalists in this country believe that Israel is the Holy Land, it will be where Jesus lays waste to the armies of evil when Judgment Day comes. This is not an exaggeration. American Christian fundamentalists truly believe Israel can do no wrong and to NOT help that country and do everything it wants is tantamount to treason.

On the other hand, the CIA admits that Israel is the greatest counter-intelligence threat in the Middle East. It ranked below Libya. And these are no isolated incidents. Israeli intelligence can and often does pass this information to non-friendly nations, so why do we continue to trust them implicitly, often going so far as to have Romney say he would forcefully defend Israel (read: attack other nations first in the name of the Holy Land).

This is troubling for two reasons. First of all, we’re spending billions on a nation that is actively trying to do us harm. Secondly, we’re doing this in the name of religion. Conservatives make no secret of their unconditional support of Israel. They rant about welfare mothers and the poor looking to the government for help and think such people must be weak for feeling so entitled, but woe is he who raises any doubt about the sanctity and holiness of Israel.

Israel is a country surrounded by enemies, but it’s not without its sins. Any dialogue regarding aid to that nation and our role in the region must take the good and the bad into account. Christian prophecy should play about as much a role as Genesis should play in science classes: zero.

The fact that the Right would welcome a war to kill billions just so they can be spiritually saved should show us the kind of narcissistic sociopaths that make up their leadership and some of their base.

Ten bucks says this news gets ignored or outright attacked in the Right Wing.