Jon Stewart Has It Right

October 30, 2010

I Don't Agree With The Guy - But I Respect Him...And THAT Is the Point!

 

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   Yes, you read that correctly.  Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had a mock-rally earlier today in DC.  I read the piece that The Post had on it and I wasn’t impressed.  However, I was impressed by the opinion piece done by Stephen Stromberg.  Read it here:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/10/liberals_need_sanity_too.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

The gem in it however, is the last paragraph:

” Taking it down a notch is a great idea. But I found that, for some at the rally, being reasonable meant being liberal. They probably aren’t cynically trying to hijack the terminology — they probably just believe that. And if the goal is really a collective simmering down, that’s just the sort of dismissive thinking we need to avoid. I can only hope Stewart’s message changed a few minds — in the crowd at his own rally.”

  And that my friends, is the point that I constantly challenge my liberal friends to have.  I don’t agree with Jon Stewart’s politics.  He is liberal, and I am conservative.  However, HE, like myself is willing to hear the other side and have both sides give civil discourse and air out differences.  He values compromise and he respects my difference of opinion, even if he doesn’t agree with it.  THAT is how you solve this nation’s problems and what his rally is really about and Stromberg hits the nail on the head about it.  Stromberg and Stewart see that many liberals are all about being open minded as long as you agree with them.   Among liberals there is indeed an elitist sense that you are wrong and do not have a reasonable argument if you are not liberal.  That is just as close-minded as someone condemning you to Hell if you do not believe in their religious-right beliefs.

Again, being truly open to discourse is the point that Stewart is trying to make and what Stromberg identifies.  To restore sanity and free us from fear.  Irrational fear of socialists or tea partiers – it doesn’t matter as we are all still Americans.  We have so much more in common than we do that is different.  If we can agree to disagree at the philosophical roots of what makes one conservative or liberal, then we can move on to actual and meaningful discourse that ultimately involves substance and compromise instead of attacks and obfuscation.  Stewart is right that the combat inherent in 24/7 news cycle and the broken-ness of Washington are the problem and that we shouldn’t buy into them by letting these two institutions divide us.  All that does is continue to let these 2 things have an inordinate amount of sway over us and do far more harm than good for our country.  Is that the status quo that you want to keep in place?

Oh yeah, and don’t forget to vote!

-G.S.

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Naked Pictures or Groping. What Choice Does A Guy Have?

October 18, 2010

That's About All You Get Out of Many When They're Awake Too...

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  So I got the following blog forwarded to me from a close friend and its right up my alley.  This whole post is a bit more  of a puff-piece than I am accustomed to, but I think you’ll like the change of fare.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig11/roberts-m1.1.1.html

  This blog describes the ridiculousness an Airline pilot encounters when opts out of the new protocols with the full body imaging equipment being installed at many airport.  Let me address the glaring holes in his argument first and then I will get to what I want to comment about.

1) The body sensing equipment IS as sensitive as he fears, but it is programmed to give images to the operator that are not very detailed about your body.  They are looking for contraband.  Most of us aren’t that in shape or good looking and the TSA agent doesn’t want tot ‘check you out’ any more than the next person.

2)  He refused being frisked.  I have a belt that sets of the alarm and I forget to take it off from time to time.  It then invariably sets off the metal detector, I go back, take it off, and then I am sometimes still frisked.  No biggie.  No one is touching me inappropriately and it takes an extra 30 seconds.

   So, as you can see, my beef with the TSA is not really the same reasons as this gentleman’s.  My problem is that the guy had credentials, is a low-risk threat, has passed through the ‘old’ metal detectors for years before without incident.

–  Why are they requiring airport/airline staff to go through these things?  Do you know how few of these things are out there because they are so expensive?  They are a waste for that reason alone – they are spending our tax dollars to solve a problem that isn’t that much of a risk to our society post-9/11 but everyone throws the ktichen sink at the problem when a couple of guys put explosives in their shoes and underwear.  People are the best deterents to terror when they refuse to be afraid (ask the passengers of Flight 93 proved that) and also when they are doing their jobs as alert screeners.  No technology can replace vigilance, duty, and bravery

– Where is the common sense?  How many people did this one pilot talk to?  How much time was spent?  How was this made to be such a big deal?  Where is the common-sense, customer service, or any number of things?  It is this kind of behavior along with seeing my tax dollars standing around in blue uniforms that are in groups of 3-7 not really doing anything except talk to each other as I get driven like a cow through the security line. 

– It’s disgusting that a civil servant acknowledges that the government who pays him is infringing upon our rights and since its already happened…who cares?  Just get along to keep things moving along.  It is that kind of apathetic mentality that let the Nazis take control of Germany.  People recognized that those guys were extreme, but they just wanted to get along in their day and slowly, but surely, they began to get used to the idea of a totalitarian regime.  I am NOT saying that is happening or will happen here in the US – I am just making an observation that your average middle-class American family is really not that different from the average German one from in the 1930’s.

I paraphrase Ben Franklin when he said:  “Those who give up even a little liberty for just a bit more security, will get neither anddeserve to lose both”

– G.S.