I don’t like people who define themselves with labels. Although it is brazenly hypocritical, I think of myself as a writer. I think “writer” is wide-open. I’d hate to paint myself into a corner. I work for a company that sells booze for a living because writing doesn’t currently support my lifestyle.
I am not a Christian. Nor am I a Muslim, Buddhist, Baha’i, Jew or Scientologist. I do believe in God. That belief is complicated, nuanced and well-informed by philosophy, an understanding of many differing religious points of view and a firm belief in science. I do not pray. I do meditate. I don’t believe in hell. I try not to kill other living things as a habit, but I will stomp spiders into a mudhole. I don’t fret over eating meat or wearing leather, either. I like seeing other people draw contentment from the practice of religion but despise proselytizing and projecting one’s religious values onto others. There are some universal truths echoed by religions—thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s ass (unless she’s single)—but those truths are not necessarily religious truths and just because your religion holds those ethical tenets as self-evident doesn’t mean every other backwards-ass rule in your holy book is infallible.
I don’t care who you fuck in the comfort of your own home or other non-public venue. I like women. More precisely, I like the one woman—my wife—who puts up with me on a daily basis. I think same-sex marriage is a domestic issue, not a religious one, and I support it. Sexuality is a pretty contentious topic of discussion even among those who generally share the same habits of fuckery. I try to live and let live.
I try to live and let live. It was worth repeating.
I don’t always think there is a best candidate. Sometimes the lesser of two evils is still just evil. Most politicians tell you what they want you to hear. Smart people seldom run for office. Ambitious people usually seek power. In 2004, I voted for Bill the Cat of Bloom County fame in the presidential election. In case you were wondering about the artwork interspersed here.
Poor people sometimes have no way out of poverty. Ignorant people will breed more ignorant people. Those who want to help the poor often overlook the need to eliminate ignorance.
I try to learn something new every day. Since I didn’t always take my own ignorance seriously, I need to learn two or three things a day for the rest of my life to catch up.
Not all teachers are selfless public servants. The ones who are should be put on a float and paraded down Main Street to the adoration of others. Also, good teachers should be paid like LeBron James. Bad teachers should be asked to go bother someone else.
Not all soldiers are heroes. The ones who are should be put on a float and paraded down Main Street to the adoration of others. No one who serves their country honorably (or their immediate families) should ever want for medical or psychological care or for public assistance in a time of need.
People who have things and don’t worry about where their next meal is coming from shouldn’t worry so much about taxes. People who receive assistance paid for by the rest of society should not be made to feel embarrassed but they should be willing to make reasonable changes in lifestyle.
Governments should do more, not less. They should be expected to do it with a minimum of waste and paperwork. They should do it with total transparency and accountability. They should operate their budgets like I operate mine: when out of money, stop buying shit.
Economists don’t really know, either.
Still, it should be easier to punish banks.
The lowest bidder is not always the best choice, especially for things like roads and bridges.
Other countries deserve to be treated like our equals unless they are trying to screw us. Mostly, we should keep out of their business unless invited to participate. That said, global economics and politics is a good thing. Although it is a flawed body like any other political gathering of minds, the United Nations is still a good idea.
Things evolve. This goes for animals, political thought and human consciousness. Sometimes, a thing evolves which is bad or incompatible with its environment. This goes for animals, political thought and human consciousness. I wrote the previous three sentences with the United Nations, the United States government (and subsequent state and local governments) and any three people talking shit in a bar after too many beers in mind.
Global warming is real and even if it wasn’t, the root causes still result in pollution and resource depletion. Not believing in global warming earns someone a significant downgrade in how I perceive their intelligence. If you don’t know what the K-T boundary is or how it might relate to the topic of geologic global climate study, you shouldn’t press this topic with me.
Generally speaking, conspiracy theorists should learn how to evaluate information in a macroinformative world.
Abortions should remain legal.
An “illegal immigrant” is someone you want to throw out of your country. An “undocumented alien” works on the cheap. If you want to make the latter go away, let them work freely and classify them as the former if they don’t pay taxes.
Political advertising is created by out of work Nazis. All of it.
Nancy Pelosi is not the devil. Glenn Beck is mostly a snake oil salesman. Jon Stewart is a comedian.
Sometimes it really is about racism or homophobia or misogyny.
Sometimes it has nothing to do with racism or homophobia or misogyny.
There is no “liberal bias” in journalism done by the book. Most people have no idea what “by the book” journalism looks like. Similarly, they fail to understand that journalism is a living, changing thing. In a lot of ways, the general public could stand to take the same class as the conspiracy theorists.
Crooked politicians sit on both sides of the aisle and on top of their desks. Everyone should rejoice each time one is exposed and drummed out of office.
A person’s right to bear arms is different if they live in downtown Manhattan than if they live in rural Montana. It just is.
Corporations do not deserve free speech. Politicians should be required to run campaigns with a hard spending limit. Campaign platforms should be clearly posted on web sites.
When discussing politics online, everyone should be required to use their real name.
It is quite all right if you disagree with all or most of what I have written here. We can probably even still be friends.
I am not a liberal. I am not a conservative. I am not a Democrat. I am not a Republican. I am a registered voter.
And I vote.