Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Funny Democrat Bumper Stickers In My Neighborhood

In my neighborhood, there are way more political bumper stickers favoring the "home team" Democrats over the "bad guy" Republicans.  Actually, there are no Republican bumper stickers whatsoever on all the Hybrids, Subaru and Volvo wagons that make up 60% of the car population of Alameda.

There's a pretty nice collection of bumper stickers going back to the 2008 election, when candidate Obama promised to bring Hope and Change to the American people.  And did you know that Advertising Age named him Marketer of the Year for the brilliant Hope/Change campaign?  

Instead of change, the American people lost hope with the surprisingly seamless transition from the Bush administration to the Obama administration.  Call it four terms of George W. Obama policies. Nothing has really changed, has it?  Bruce Bartlett wrote a compelling article in the American conservative that Obama is a Republican.  (You should definitely read it!)  

With that being said, I'm pretty certain both parties have become (and probably always were) one and the same, doing the bidding of big business and the super rich (their re-election campaign underwriters) while sticking it to the middle and lower economic classes. Sorry to be so hopeless (or realistic?), but to me, there's just not that much difference between the two parties and the laws they write since they're both funded by the same wealthy people and influential organizations.  

Yet, some people's bumper stickers still view the president and the DNC as the progressive party of the New Deal (FDR) and Great Society (LBJ) whereas the modern-day GOP is comprised of war mongering religious zealots who worship money. 

Case in point, there's a bumper sticker in the neighborhood that brings a smile to my face every time Artie Vandeley and I walk by:  "Obamacare: Signed, Sealed, Delivering."  

I laugh every time I pass this bumper sticker because the history of the Affordable Care Act has been a nearly two decade long bi-partisan effort started in 1993 by republicans as an alternative to president Bill Clinton's national health care proposal and eventually signed into law by democratic president Obama in 2010.

It's pretty much the exact same thing from 1993 to 2009.  This is funny to me because my neighbors want to claim Obamacare as the home team's great accomplishment even though it was originally a republican idea.  And republicans, the party of big business, denounces Obamacare as socialized medicine, even though this was their plan back in 1993.  And, Obamacare, or Chafeecare, benefits big business (health insurers) at a cost to the general public since they are now required by law to have private health insurance.  Talk about influencing the flow of funds!  

All this stuff is entertaining to me.  Obamacare/Chafeecare is going to be debated for years to come with all kinds of ridiculous rhetoric and catchphrases emblazoned on bumper stickers all over the country.  In the meantime, I'll keep smiling when I walk by my neighbor's house and see their bumper sticker, proudly proclaiming a huge win for the good guys.  Even if the good guys, along with the bad guys, did it all for their real constituents - big business.  

Monday, January 5, 2015

From the Department Of Who Cares: Unfollowing People On Facebook

I've been phasing out Facebook from my life over the past six months after "Unfollowing" nearly everyone besides my closest friends (who never post anything but get tagged in a post by their wives), immediate family, and a few friends from high school, college, or Southern California that I haven't seen in awhile but we remain good friends to this day. Out of my 1000 friends, only about 30 people infrequently appear on my Newsfeed, which is exactly the way I like it.

Facebook to me has become something that I view as kinda stupid.  The majority of the "unfollowed" people got unfollowed because they posted so much stupid shit way way too often. Stupid shit to me is wondering to the world about what they should make their kids for dinner?  How about who cares and why do you need to share that with your family, friends, and acquaintances?  And why do ten people "Like" that stupid post?  Why do they encourage this ridiculous behavior.

My current life is a small little bubble consisting of working ten hours a day, Crossfit, Crossfit Endurance running, skiing, dating, taking my dogs on walks or hikes in Forest Park, and being lazy at least one day on the weekend where I spend time on Twitter following some of my favorite investigative journalists and other interesting articles, feeding that void that I don't know what I don't know, which is also one of my highest values.  I like this little bubble I live in at the moment.

I highly recommend Unfollowing nearly every one of your "friends" on Facebook.  It's a very liberating experience to no longer see 10 posts a day from people you haven't seen since high school graduation or unemployed Tea Party patriots re-posting some conservative echo chamber crap comparing mythical Ronald Reagan to mythical Obama.  Your life will be so much more fulfilling when you no longer see stupid crap from people who aren't doing much with their lives!