The recent murders of satirists in France have awakened the world to how seriously religious extremism threatens the principle of free speech. Now, liberals need to capitalize on this awakening with messages that reflect the critical need to preserve this basic human right in pressing times. Sure, the word “capitalize” may initially come across as hypocritical, particularly when many liberals favor a system of socialism (for legitimate reasons, in my opinion), but these ideologies are not motivated by any profit, nor any prophet. Don’t get me wrong—my heart bleeds as much as Jane Fonda’s circa 1972, however, I have come to terms that as liberals, we often find ourselves in a community with too many soapboxes and not enough…soap consumers? (I would say “too many Chiefs and not enough Indians,” but I wouldn’t want to be on the same level as the Washington Redskins).
Wisconsin voters would be foolish to fall for Scott Walker’s attempt to make his opponent, former Trek Bicycle CEO Mary Burke, appear incompetent. At this point, the race is still a toss up, but Wisconsin just made history by electing Tammy Baldwin, an out and proud lesbian, to the U.S. Senate in 2012. That’s why, as a realistic socialist and regular optimist, I believe Wisconsin is totally capable of making history again. But the voters have to actually get to the polls, and that requires registering. And while Mary Burke has spent enough of her own money on this campaign, she would be well advised to rely mainly on her speech from now until Election Day. After all, it’s free (usually) and it means a lot more to voters than negative advertisements like a grown man standing in a hole and then somehow blaming her for being stuck in it, as Gov. Scott Walker’s most recent ad does. Walker’s ads are rather creepy, if you catch my drift.
The recent occurrences of fast food employees striking across the nation to raise their wages to $15 an hour brings to the forefront of political discourse the real value of a worker, a topic of discussion that has been missing in mainstream media for far too long. This discourse can get ugly sometimes, though, when people who are against raising the minimum wage use personally charged arguments in an attempt to validate their points. They might say, “I worked for $7.25 an hour, and if I can do that so can others!” or “Why should we pay McDonald’s workers $15 an hour? Their jobs are so easy; half of them don’t speak English anyway, and sometimes they get my order wrong!” These sorts of statements, or others displaying similar animosity toward fast food employees, are nothing more than loud, condescending, and useless noise. They tend to come from right-wing political commentators, but in all fairness, what else can you expect from them anymore?
Nair Rodriguez made it very clear to the police. “I’m recording, because this is too much.” These words spoken shortly after turning on her cellphone camera after multiple cops in Moore, OK., (just south of Oklahoma City in Cleveland County) had pepper sprayed and tackled her husband, Luis Rodriguez, to the ground in a movie theater parking lot back in February this year. Nair Rodriguez had a dispute with her 19-year-old daughter shortly before and had slapped her. A bystander called the police, and it wasn’t much later that an officer mistook Luis as a suspect and demanded to see his ID. Luis refused (which he was in every right to do) and, well, it only went downhill from there.
Oligarchy is a word you better get used to; because that’s the system of government we have in America today. It’s been a long time coming, and we’ve been far too apathetic to its toxic approach. A government of the corporation, by the corporation, and for the corporation is what we have now. Oligarchy isn’t a pretty picture, unless you enjoy the idea of corporate slavery. Say goodbye to worker’s rights, women’s rights, student’s rights and certainly prisoners’ rights. Keep your mouth shut about the broken system, and don’t question authority! Disregard the principles of physics, because with oligarchy, it’s not gravity that makes the world go round; it’s unfortunately money.