Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Bush infers infallibility for his Iraq, economic policies

Great article in Slate about the f**ked-up circular illogic used by Bush and co. to justify their policies on Iraq and the economy (and it seems pretty much every other policy they support), no matter what the results:

"In 1999, George W. Bush said we needed to cut taxes because the economy was doing so well that the U.S. Treasury was taking in too much money, and we could afford to give some back to the people who earned it. In 2001, Bush said we needed the same tax cuts because the economy was doing poorly, and we had to return the money so that people would spend and invest it.
Bush's arguments made the wisdom of cutting taxes unfalsifiable. In good times, tax cuts were affordable. In bad times, they were necessary. Whatever happened proved that tax cuts were good policy. When Congress approved the tax cuts, Bush said they would revive the economy. You'd know that the tax cuts had worked, because more people would be working. Three years later, more people aren't working. But in Bush's view, that, too, proves he was right. If more people aren't working, we just need more tax cuts.
Now Bush is playing the same game in postwar Iraq. When violence there was subsiding, he said it proved he was on the right track. Now violence is increasing, and Bush says this, too, proves he's on the right track."

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

more on democracy and those evil Repubs...

Hi April,

Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments, no matter how much I disagree with them - you know I love ya!

But I have to take a moment to disect your arguments if you don't mind:

1. "This started months ago with the press, which in the last week has shown its true colors on the parts of CBS, to be dirty."
--to be honest, 60 Minutes in all likelyhood was duped by the fake documents - they were not mean-spirited (as Fox news is everyday). In addition, the actual person who did write the real memos says that the content in then is correct - that Bush did get preferential treatment. Even beyond that, it was Bush, Rove and co. that started the vietname era bashing by supporting the swift boat vets dirty attack machine. And the press played that angle up much more than they did the national guard thing (which in my mind is still a real issue since he makes such a big deal out of being a "war-time president").

2. "Universal care for everyone is wrong"
-- just because Canada doesn't have a perfect system and their rich people can afford to come down here and pay the thousands of dollars to get the best treatment does not make the idea of universal health care "wrong". Even if they didn't have universal health care, those people would still come here for top notch treatment. But surely you agree that giving the MILLIONS of American children and other citizens that have no health care whatsoever at least some basic free health care isn't wrong? The real problem is paying for it - and that would mean taxing the rich and so they fight back and paint the whole idea as wrong-headed.

3. "As far as the war, I supported it based on histories past, we let dictators do what they wanted in the 30's in Germany, he killed people, grew a army, took over land, and all this against the League of Nations and the treaty ending WWI."
--You have a point here. The problem is that NO ONE, not even those crazy liberals are disputing the fact that Saddam was a bad guy and the world is better off without him. However, let's be consistent. Doesn't also China, North Korea, Saudia Arabia, Pakistan, and many other countries also have brutal dictatorial leaders? Why aren't we invading them? Because they don't have lots of oil and a depleted military ripe for conquering. And now Bush and Co. are once again beating the drums of war saying that ANY criticism of how the post-war Iraq and or Afghanistan situation is being handled is hurting our troops! I'm sorry, but sending them over there and declaring to the wackos with AK-47s to "Bring 'em on" has done far more harm to them than that!

4. "yes Arnold is starting to turn around a bankrupt California, who all seem to share the ideas that I do, less goverement on business that create jobs.."
--Ok - The Terminator has not really done a damn thing to turn around his state's finances. He has put off all the crucial decisions and is still pushing for more tax cuts for a state that has a budget deficit larger than most countries in the world! He is doing the same as Bush: the next generation of Californians will be paying a heavy price for his so called economic "leadership."

Finally, Bush and the modern Republicans are not really about less government - the government (and it's deficit) has grown exponentially since Bush took office, the same as it did under Reagan. They just want less regulation of business so that they and their good ol' boy network buddies can make more money themselves as CEOs, shareholders and boardmembers! They don't give a damn about the average american citizen and their welfare. In the meantime, businesses are not hiring more, but they are certainly polluting our environment more, concocting more and more tax havens and financial shenanigans, and moving more and more jobs overseas.

As always, these are just my opinions (backed by hours of intense research and objective data of course!-) - I could be wrong...

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

how is Kerry doing? (diatribe on modern democracy)

I'm torn on this one. On one hand, I appreciate that Kerry is an old-school democrat who likes to talk idea and ideals and prefers to take the high road in arguments. On the other hand, he seems to be getting his ass handed to him by the dirty, say-anything-to-get elected campaign strategy of his GOP opponent.

I have been on the Kerry bandwagon from the beginning. And while I admit I wavered in my actionable support when he was so far down during the primary, I stuck with him and always thought he was the best choice, primarily because of what he believes in: protecting the environment, universal healthcare, tax relief for the poor and middle-class, but cutting off the giant tax-loopholes for the very rich and giant corporations, etc. Unfortunately, however, these issues are not ones that decide elections - they are not ones to swing swing voters to his side.

Instead, for some reason I can only guess at, people and the media are fixated on tax cuts, terrorism and Iraq. Certainly those are important issues and Kerry, I believe has decent, thoughtful, but nuanced stances on them all - and people today seem to me to be generally too lazy to look into anything that can't be understood via a catch phrase or simple turn of words.

To me, the reason Bush is ahead in the polls and why so many normally peaceful and normal people seem to unwaveringly support him and his politics of exclusion, bigotry and financial elitism is that he has a simple, instinctual message: we are good, everyone against us is evil and we must remain steady and strong in order to win. That simple mantra gives some cover to everything else his administration has done to the detriment of its citizens since he took office.

The problem that people don't realize is that by talking (and accepting such talk) in such black and white, good vs. evil terms, by painting all Islamic countries as potential harborers of terrorists, and all muslims themselves as potential terrorists, we are not only doing the wrong thing morally, but we are making far more enemies than we are picking off with our inept actions in the "war on terror."

How many of these "wars" on ideas have we won by the way? Drugs? - worse than ever before. AIDS? - still spreading like wildfire around the world. Poverty? - undoubtedly worse than ever before in the modern era, even here in the US. Nuclear proliferation? - our government's actions have spurred more countries to seek them because they see that if you have even just one, we won't dare invade you and can't so easily threaten and bully you into what we think democracy (read: capitalism) and freedom is about.

I fear it may take another 4 years of political-corporate cronyism and gutting of civil liberties to wake us up enough to realize that our country and its cherished ideals are dissappearing before our very eyes...

let's hear some chatter

Ok - a few kind people have now told me they do actually read this blog. Fantastic! But I want more! Let's see some comments in here on what I wrote - some constructive criticism - a story of yourself relating to the topic or even something completely different - I don't care. Come on you shy bastards! I know you have your own thoughts. And bsides, I need some validation for all this hard work (ok, ok - it's not really hard work, but still, it's getting lonely in here! :-)

Peace and hugs for all,


Tuesday, September 21, 2004

breathe people!

Breathing is such a basic function of life that I think alot of people (including myself until just recently) tend to overlook it. It is a major factor, for example, in doing any sort of physical activity or sport. For example, when I jog, I have a specific breathing technique that I use that helps me go longer distances at a steady pace. It is vitally important in yoga and almost all meditation and relaxation techniques as well. I can also tell you from experience: if you ever wear a tight corset, learning to breathe properly is essential! :-)

In a way, since we all breathe involuntarily and without thinking about it, people just assume that how they breathe is normal. But perhaps that isn't so. I know virtually nothing technical about this topic, mind you, but I believe that if we paid far more attention to how we breathe, especially in stressful or chaotic situations, we would be much better at dealing with those situations (and perhaps there could even be less anger, less violence). Breathing properly can be used as an effective and basic tool for dealing with and relieving stress. Often when I feel my anger start to rise, when I feel my blood begin to boil, if I just consciousy take a couple deep breaths and then slow down my pace of breathing I am able to control things and think about things much more clearly. And more important I feel better.

Anyways, here are a couple links to some cool sites on the topic:

Friday, September 17, 2004

decisions, decisions, decisions...

It seems to me that one of my major character flaws is an inability to make decisions. To a certain extent, this disease affects everyone, sometimes you just don't know what option or choice to make. Should I go out this weekend to the club or not? Should I wear my blue cami top and white mini or my black corset top and leather mini? What beer do I feel like tonight? Do I want to eat this chocolate candy or not? Should I pose nude for money or not? Do I want to do what it takes to make more money? Should I tell my casual friends about my dressing or not? Do I really want to transition to become a woman in mind and body?

I am fully behind the philosophy of being a "warrior" - living in the now, appreciating each moment, taking action to get what I want. My downfall is often that I don't know what I want. But perhaps, especially when it comes to the tougher decisions, it is that I do know what I want on some level, but my fears and socially-inculcated thought-patterns are clouding that understanding from me?

I guess the question I have then is, how can I come to know what I truly desire? How can i overcome dozens of years of drilled-in social thought patterns. How can I escape the clutches of society's will to shape me in its own image, instead of my own?

Honestly, I don't know. My guess is that it really takes patience and a will to get in tune with your own emotions and thought-patterns and to analyze why you make the decisions you make, both good and bad. More on this later...

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

admitting your fear or shortcoming is the first step to overcoming it

Everyone has their own personal demons, myself as much as anyone. These demons always grow out of unresolved, unfaced fears. It is only by first acknowledging the fear and then recognizing its source that we can truly be free of its always negative impact on our self, on our happiness, on our freedom to act.

My primary demon used to be the typical one for a crossdresser: having people know about it! People would think I was a freak, they would reject me, blah, blah, blah. It was only when I realized that these fears were based on what others might think of me and had nothing to do with what I wanted that I was able to overcome them. My fear had driven most relationships away anyways, so all that was left to face was myself. I first had to accept myself as a crossdresser and then that confidence in myself would be felt by those who I met and they would accept me for what i was.

Well I am here to tell you it worked! My parent and close friends fully accepted it when I told them and have been supportive. I am also now free of the fear of sharing too much of myself so that the secret would be let out. I am far more happier and confident than I have ever been.

My new fear is that of sexuality and money (there is always the fear of not having money, isn't there?) I guess. I am seriously contemplating (more and more everyday) going on hormones, getting breast augmentation, plastic surgery and transitioning to a full-time woman. The physical changes don't bother me at all - I really don't think I'll miss my little one-eyed monster at all. And even the mental changes - the mood swings that come with radical changes in hormonal chemistry, etc. don't faze me. What scares me is sexuality. Right now I am not attracted to men at all. However, what would these hormones do to that - would I inevitably become attracted to men? Would so radically changing my body chemistry, not to mention my physical appearance, change who I fundamentally am? I've seen an ex-girlfriend go onto anti-depressives and as a result she turned into what I perceived as a very changed person. And finally, how the hell will I pay for all these hormones, electrolysis, therapy sessions, surgery, etc.?

The main point is that I am beginning to tackle these fears by examining what the underlying fears are behind them: money and self. I am actively talking to other girls who have gone or are going though the transition process and most of my fears are unfounded - most i talk to say the emotional/mental process, while certainly a roller-coater of moods is in a way wonderful - a full-on introduction to being a woman. As for the money, as my friend likes to say - the key is to truly know/see yourself as a woman, as successful with the money to pay for what you want, and the rest will work itself out - it will be attracted to your life when you are in harmony with your desires. In past years I used to scoff at such metaphysical, self-help advice, but I am coming to more and more believe it: the power of the self is unending...

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

I'm back!

Whew! Last couple of weeks have been super-busy and I just haven't had the time to devote to this thing. I hope to change that going forward...

Anyone out there heard of a couple upcoming reality shows dealing with drag/crossdressing. I think one is called "He's a Lady." Somehow I doubt these will ever see the light of day in today's socially conservative climate and even if they do I'm sure they will only be dressing up macho guys in lazy drag and making them do embarrasing things and basically just promoting ignorant stereotypes about the transgendered.

But who knows, maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised...

Peace out,