Wednesday, November 21, 2007

He's right. No bucks, no Buck Rogers.

When I add this to Barack Obama's inability to take a strong stand, silly "moderate" positioning on issues like homosexuality (Centrism means taking a position somewhere in the middle between the view that gays are functioning members of society and those that think that gays are evil and must die now) and lack of progressive street cred I have to say there is no way in hell I'd support the guy.

Space exploration, which accounts for about half of 1% of the general budget, should not even be on the table when it comes to cutting spending or changing priorities. Finding and facing a challenge is in our fundamental make-up as a species, not to mention our identity as a nation. The problem is that those without imagination (i.e. conservatives) continue to try and create challenges in pushing for war and creating enemies whether it's the USSR* or Islamofascists.

We need leaders with the foresight to recognize this and the courage to inspire us to face the challenges of saving our environment, fighting hunger and poverty, curing fucking cancer and, yes; exploring the unknown in space and the world's oceans. We need leaders that recognize we're wasting resources in fighting false challenges (Space Shield, anyone?) and that the defense budget should be the first place we look when when we need to tighten our belt. Obama is not such a leader.

This guy was---

(*I am not arguing that the USSR was not a real threat to the security of the United States and western Europe but only that the response in terms of dollars spent on defense was disproportionate to the extent of that threat.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

So laying eggs all your life and then getting plucked, stuffed and roasted is good enough for you, is it?

Before I type out what's about to follow let me get this out of the way - I love my animals, particularly my dogs.

Having said that -

Ingrid Newkirk of Peta is a scumbag.

Yes, PETA has done some great things in ending the use of animal testing in cosmetics but Newkirk herself is clearly a person of which the elevator doesn't reach the top floor.

I've disliked Newkirk for a long time. In college I wrote a letter to the school paper attacking Newkirk for her idiotic statement "Six million Jews died in concentration camps, but six billion broiler chickens will die this year in slaughterhouses." In keeping with Newkirk's inanity I sarcastically compared Hitler to Colonel Sanders. I'm proud to say that my letter was one of the top 10 most despised letters to the editor that year. It was Eugene, after all.

Of course years later Newkirk and Peta elevated the concept of comparing the holocaust to the meat industry to an even more unimaginable level of absurdity in their Holocaust on your Plate campaign. Peta's faux-surprise at the predictable outrage that resulted just demonstrated once again that their organization seems to be largely composed of those that are only capable of empathy towards animals but, when it comes to their fellow humans, they could care less.

Call it species-ism, call it prejudice against animals, call it whatever you choose but I simply refuse to identify with the Newkirk and the people that make-up Peta. I am very much a Humanist. My sympathy towards PEOPLE informs and motivates my progressive politics. I would love to live in a world where the biggest issue we faced was the conditions of broiler chickens on their path to the table. That would be a world where every child was fed, armed conflict was a thing of the past and we weren't destroying the environment. Until that time Newkirk can bugger off.