Tag Archives: Glenn Beck

When Did “Progressive” Become Bad?

Y’know, back when people thought Glenn Beck had important things to say (why they thought that I’ll never understand), he had a show on Fox News. The few clips I ever saw from Beck’s show often railed on against those godawful, terrible liberals. That’s something I rather expected as he was, after all, a pundit on Fox News. But in several of the clips, he would also rant and rave about the evils of progressives.

…which, really, confused me to no end.

I suppose I can understand it somewhat. See, progressivism and liberalism have essentially been equated in the modern day vernacular. The terms “progressive,” “liberal” and “conservative” have all lost their original meanings and have been boiled down to a basic philosophical stance amongst the everyday American. I’m sure if you asked a PoliSci professor about the differences between the conservatism of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, you’d get a lengthy lecture on the transformative power Reagan had on the Republican party and the softening of certain ideals that the neo-conservative Dubbya nestled into to transform even more.

Probably. I’ve never really taken any PoliSci classes.

But at the core of the everyman’s understanding, conservatives want to keep things the same and revert to an older style of governance (limited Federal power, state power, limited taxation, limited spending, etc.). The neo-conservatives coming in with Dubbya decided to alter that slightly, particularly on a social level, actually expanding the Federal power in relation to social, moral issues (no gay marriage, War on Drugs, USA PATRIOT Act, etc.), but that’s neither here nor there right now. Liberals, on the other hand, have been defined by their social programs, spending and taxing programs, creating more governance in the name of socioeconomic equality (welfare, Medicare, not being really big on tax breaks, etc.). Liberals want to change things and like a stronger central government, not necessarily so it can invade private lives, but more because they like to make sure everything is ordered and defined and there aren’t any loopholes screwing people over.

And then progressives get shoved in with liberals for some reason.

But let’s look at the bare naked roots of the words. Conservatives wish to conserve, keep, not change. Liberals wish to liberate, change.

If I were to use the Bible as an example (simply because it’s one of the most well known books and has decent examples for this), I’d say that the Pharisees of the New Testament were conservatives. (This is not meant to say conservatives of today hate Jesus. Unless they do.) The Pharisees were strict in their adherence to the laws, stoned those that stepped out of line. An example of a liberal would be Jesus. (Again, not saying Jesus would support policies taken on by liberals today. Unless he does.) Jesus flipped the tables in the temple, stopped the Pharisees from stoning the loose lady and constantly taught new, different ways of the law that flew in the face of the traditions and teachings of the Pharisees.

Then there’s progressives. The root of that word is progress. To move forward.

Biblically, there are so many examples of what one could consider progressive it’s not even funny. Moses, John the Baptist, Paul…

So… if progressivism is a drive to move forward, to not accept stagnation, why do we have people rallying against it?

In America, it’s the progressives that did things like champion trust-busting, which people generally like, and the Prohibition, which people generally did not like.

I’m not going to say progressivism is perfect or anything. But if we take it at its roots, its etymological core… how can we be against the long march toward perfection? To be against that would be to root for stagnation. Stubbornly staying put. Refusing to move.

Of course, it’s like the old joke says. If pro is the opposite of con, what’s the opposite of progress?

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Did You Know There Are Funny Videos On The Internet?

So, work being the evil demon that it is, especially tonight (but, hey, I totes get extra money for being dragged out extra time), I don’t have a decent post written right now. And I was going to chit chat on Glenn Beck and protesters. Which is always a winning combination.

I’ll have to save that, I guess.

Since I don’t have anything really legitimate, I’ve decided to link you all to a few entertaining videos I’ve found lately.

First up, Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” as performed by DeStorm and Nikka Costa… after translating the lyrics with Google Translate through 9 different languages. I really want to do something like this for Guerrilla Theatre at UA now.

Next, since Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show” are on a winter hibernation period, along with Stephen Colbert and “The Colbert Report,” I have to get my political jollies somewhere else. Enter Lawrence O’Donnell and “Rewrite.” He’s perhaps a little more wooden than Stewart, and the lack of peer pressure to laugh makes it a bit more difficult, but this video comparing porn producers to GOP members and slamming Newt Gingrich for being less well liked than porn stars is both humorous and poignant.

Now, I can’t recall if I’ve linked this video before, but I do so enjoy Stewart. This one is Jon Stewart’s plea to the GOP to not vote in Gingrich. It’s quite fun, as he often is.

Also, while I have graduated and am no longer in the group, I always enjoy listening to my a capella alma mater Subject to Change sing a song. And when my friend Stephen Swain is in the lead, it is either awesome and striking, or awesome and hilarious. This song about a cowboy is mostly the second, but some of the first.

That’s all for now! (My WalkenBieber sequel isn’t up just yet… I’ll let you know as soon as it is.) Just to leave you with a random thought… If the first LSU vs. Alabama game was the “Game of the Century,” what exactly is the BCS National Championship game? Re-Game of the Century?

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A Poor Writer’s Lot Is A Tough One Indeed

I, as usual, have many several things I could talk more in depth about, like Ron Paul’s semi-surge in the polls, Newt Gingrich’s start to fall (thank goodness) and my idea to make a fake commercial where Nute Gunray of the Trade Federation supports Gingrich (Newts of a feather and all that), or perhaps how Glenn Beck fails to understand that his beloved Tea Party counts as protestors and that protesting is anything but un-American (which I plan to do later)…

But after spending all day raking, feeling crappy, looking for new writing jobs and attempting to nap, I’ve pretty much got nothing for now. If you know of any paying writing/editing gigs I can snag, I’d love to know about them. This blogging thing makes me a cool person and all, of course, but it doesn’t pay all that much. Though, at times, it feels like it pays more than working at Walmart does. Despite the fact I don’t earn any money from this stuff.

I do hafta say, though, I do not like how all my TV shows have disappeared over the past couple of weeks. Stupid winter hiatus. Without TV to distract me, I’m forced to do… somewhat more constructive things. Which is just awkward.

Oh. The second Sherlock Holmes movie came out. I hope to watch and write a review about that one. I’m guessing it’ll be quite good. And, as a former entertainment editor, I would be remiss if I didn’t leave a link to a (rather fuzzy, if it ever loads) “Dark Knight Rises” prologue and better quality “Dark Knight Rises” trailer. A trailer which is, by the by, rather awesome.

Of course, some would say that as a former entertainment editor, I’m being remiss in not mentioning the Golden Globes nominations, but those nominations didn’t include “The Muppets,” so I’m pretty sure they’re a farcical suckfest this year. One that Ricky Gervais will make everyone hilariously uncomfortable at.

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OWS: Can’t We All Just Calm Down?

Maybe it’s because I prefer napping and cooking to arguments, fights and vitriol, but this recent Occupy Wall Street escalation stuff is getting me bummed. I don’t know if you all heard about the police action taken in Oakland, California that ended with one man seriously injured and one Jewish comedian seriously gasting his flabber, but it’s a bit distressing. And now, New York City is adding a little pressure to the cooker.

…but what the heck is the need for all this, anyway? From what I can tell, in pretty much every single city, the protests are quite peaceful, if not loud, and usually calm. Sure, there have been some things that didn’t need to happen, like someone dumping powder on Geraldo Rivera or someone pooping on a cop car. And there have been some minor laws broken by people parking their tuckus where it shouldn’t be parked. By and large, though, the protesters seem to disagree with anyone that does something idiotic, and the arrests have gone rather peacefully.

So, what the heck happened in Oakland? Why is there a perceived need for a massive police force? And, in Oakland’s case, a police force that appears to have a twitchy trigger finger?

Sure, a large group of people that are clearly upset isn’t exactly the best formula for maintaining the peace. But the cops aren’t part of the 1% these people are protesting. They aren’t even representative of the 1%. There’s no need for cops to be nervous about the groups turning on them unless they start provoking the protesters. Which, trust me, would be a bad thing for everyone in the end. The presence of police decked out in full riot gear does nothing but make everyone nervous. Which heightens emotions that don’t need to be heightened in a large, dissatisfied group. Emotions like anxiety and fear and, sometimes, anger.

And, since there are idiots in any random sampling of people, I guarantee you that there are idiots amongst the protesters of the Occupy Wall Street movement. (See above mention of poopers and powderers.) Being that there are idiots, I guarantee that someone is bound to do something provocative and moronic because they think… Well, actually, because they don’t think. At all. And it will likely just make things work.

Really, people on both sides of this equation need to simply calm down. OWS doesn’t seem to be getting all that riled up, but it wouldn’t be hard for some cities, like New York, to feel more agitated. New York I mention in particular because they’ve been there the longest and have had the recent “threat” of economic violence as a counter to any physical violence that may occur. Keep your cool, don’t let Oakland bother you. Stay on message. Don’t prove morons like Glenn Beck right.

As for the police involved with OWS… these are not people looking for blood. They didn’t come in violently angry. They didn’t spout violent rhetoric. They didn’t arm themselves with guns or any other weaponry. And they don’t have a beef with you. So please don’t make the issue worse by treating them like they’re all potential terrorists.

And to the dissenters, I say this: Shame on you all for encouraging such violence and nastiness. For wanting it all to go wrong, people to be hurt just so you can say, “I told you so! Being against capitalism leads to violence! Boo, socialism!” Come up with some legitimate arguments. I, and the OWS movement, will be sure to wait.

Maybe I could make some cheesecake and soothe everyone over…

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Maybe Dissenters Should Occupy OWS

Remember last night (or depending on when I finish typing this thing, two nights ago, in which case I’ll do two posts THAT day…) when I posted that link to Pat Robertson’s explanation as to why Christians shouldn’t join in with the Occupy Wall Street movement?

Well, I have a few things to say about that.

Sure, it’s not like Pat “The 2010 Haitian Earthquake Was Caused By An Early 19th Century Deal Haitians Made With The Devil To Gain Their Independence From France” Robertson is someone to honestly take all that seriously. He has definitely said his share of ridiculous things. But if you watch the video embedded in the first link, you’ll find that he says stuff like this:

“I think this is a rebellion. I think it is atavistic. Nobody knows exactly what it is. They don’t know what they’re doing. Why are they there? Well, they’re just mad. Is it right for a Christian to get involved in a protest of anger? If you’re going to demonstrate, demonstrate for righteousness, demonstrate to lift the yoke of oppression, demonstrate to help those that are poverty stricken. But don’t just go out and mess up a park and just scream and tear up things.”

Ignoring the fact that Jesus flipped his lid and several tables when people were turning the Temple of God into a minimart, when I hear Pat Robertson say stuff like this, I wonder if he’s paying any attention to any of the movements whatsoever.

But he’s not the only one that seems to think Occupy Wall Street is two guns short of a violent riot/revolution. Every time I see some article related to a FOX News report, every headline I see from Glenn Beck when related to OWS seems to suggest violence in the making, or that the entire movement is a bunch of people simply shouting non-words at random people wearing suits. As I’ve talked about before, even random college kids don’t seem to get what the heck is going on.

See, I’m pretty sure several people DO know exactly what it is. It’s a movement where a group of people, random everyday Americans, have decided that enough is enough. They’ve decided that the disparity of wealth in the nation is an egregious injustice perpetuated by a willing, complicit governing body. They’ve decided that they’re sick of losing more and more jobs, and being paid less and less, while a group of people less populous than New York City rakes in more and more cash every year for doing things that are, from time to time, illegal. Things that go unpunished at times.

It is all about lifting a yoke of oppression. It is all about the people that are poverty stricken, because they too are affected by these problems addressed by OWS. Many of them are the MOST affected. If we could eliminate all the poor, homeless and destitute by eliminating a small amount of the wealth disparity, I can only imagine many in the OWS movement would consider their work a success.

This movement isn’t necessarily about tearing down capitalism. It isn’t about class warfare. It’s about injustices. It’s about the economically wealthy influencing elections and lawmaking in ways the rest of the nation doesn’t agree with at large. It’s about reminding the government that the people of the United States are more than just the people that have the largest bank accounts. That they are supposed to work for all the people, which includes the poorer 99%.

There have been many conservatives look in on the OWS movement. But a lot of them seem to go there simply to make fun of it or attempt to incite some foul reaction out of the people, thus validating their cries of “Look at their bloodthirsty rebelliousness!” Most all of the dissenters have already made up their minds about OWS and what it means and is. Which is funny, since they seem to keep going back and forth between “It has no meaning/purpose!” and “It has a nefarious meaning/purpose!”

Maybe dissenters should occupy Occupy Wall Street. Either they’ll learn something, or we’ll learn which group is more likely to incite violence and the like en mass first.

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