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Where the Hell Have You Been?
Well, I'm in the middle of a divorce and I haven't found myself in the mood to write lately. In fact, I'm trying to force myself to get back into it. It's not that I'm real depressed over it, in fact, I'm more depressed over the Republicans than I am over getting divorced. The divorce is actually a relief, at least it will be whenever I manage to get it over with.
The legal system in America sucks! It has one purpose and one purpose only; to make lawyers rich. If anyone understood the system, no one in their right mind would get married. The system gives the state a way to steal your property without you being able to do a thing about it. For those who have been through this, you know what I'm talking about. For those who haven't, you probably wouldn't believe it. You'd say, "No way Marc! This is America!"
I don't know what to do about it but I'm going to do something. One possibility I'm considering is filing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the State of Missouri and focus on just one aspect of injustice with the idea that if I can open a crack, even a small one, I can effect change.
For example, I think it's a violation of my civil rights for the judge to order me to pay my wife's attorney $2500 without knowing how much she owes her attorney and how much she has already paid. How is it possible for a judge to make that determination without that information? My idea is that I would ask the federal court to require judges to have to ask how much is owed on a bill before ordering someone to pay it. I think that is reasonable, don't you?
I Should Talk About the Election
In a contest between stupidity and evil, the people (those few who voted) voted for evil because it was less boring than stupid. David Wilhelm, who was head of the DNC, (Democratic National Committee), is an idiot. And it wasn't like he didn't know any better. I personally called his office continually during the pre-election period and pleaded with his staff not to be stupid. Here are some of my letters to him:
The problem with running negative ads is that if your negative, you're playing the Republican's home court. The Republicans are better at being negative than you are. In fact, negative is what the Republicans are running on.
When the voters go into the voting booth, the facts are going to be confusing to them. So they are going to be voting on HOW THEY FEEL rather than WHAT THEY THINK. And if they feel negative, they are going to vote Republican, even if you manage to out negative them.
The key to winning this year is for voters to feel positive. If we can move the debate to positive, the Republicans don't have a chance. Even the media won't be able to stop the message.
In 1992, Clinton won on CHANGE. It was Hope over Fear. People liked Clinton, and they still like him when he gets out in front of the public without the press filtering everything he says.
The most powerful TV event of 1992 was the "Man from Hope" spot. I think that spot by itself was worth 4% of the vote because it allowed people to "Feel Good" about Clinton. They weren't just voting against Bush, they were voting for Clinton.
I think that it is crucial that the Democrats switch over to feel good spots. There is a tune that is used in Pontiac commercials (I think) and it was the same tune that was played at Clinton inauguration the moment after taking the oath of office. If you put together that tune as background and show all the accomplishments of the Clinton presidency, we will win this year.
Marc Perkel * The Fax Dude
Thank you very much for bringing the ideas of positive "feel good" advertising do David's attention. I hope he goes for it. Sometimes in these political battles I feel like Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars" fighting Darth Vader to save the universe as we know it.
Here's the next step if you can take a minute to follow this logic with me. I'm going to make several points and tie them together.
I really strongly urge you to go for it. It's something that will work. It pulled NAFTA back from the grave and has a proven record for success. Please, do it.
Marc Perkel * The Fax Dude
Thanks for taking the time to discuss the idea of a 1/2 hour "feel good" commercial for the Democrats.
As we discussed, the idea is to buy a 1/2 hour time slot on the three networks like you did in the very successful 1992 campaign. You would lead in with the "Man from Hope" video and would follow up with a dynamic piece outlining all the Democratic accomplishments in a very "human" flavor and a sound bed that promotes a "feel good" flavor.
The Republicans hope to win by making people "feel bad". The appeal to anger, hate, fear, mistrust, and bigotry. The strongest weapon we have is hope, trust, responsibility, vision. And, these should be targeted at how the viewer feels rather than what they think. Don't target the intellect, go for the heart.
Laura, and whoever gets this fax, I am convinced that an ad of this nature, shown the Monday night before the election, will result in the Democrats gaining seats, not losing them. And, I'm not overstating the situation to say, that the "Future of the Planet" depends on you acting on this. Do you want to wake up on November 9th and realize that you should have gone with my plan and didn't?
But, don't take my word for it. Get out the "Man from Hope" video. Then all of you just watch it and see how it makes you feel. When you get done, there will be a feeling in your gut that says, "YES", and you'll realize that you will want the voters to share that same feeling.
Again, thanks for listening to me and making the right choice. Call me if you have any questions.
Marc Perkel * The Fax Dude
As you can see, I did my part. But you can't make some people think. I did call them up and say "I told you so." To a large extent though, like a pile of compost, Congress did need to be turned over. For too long the Democrats had blocked progress that Americans, Republicans, and Clinton all wanted. We want the line item veto. We want tort reform. We want Congress to live under the same laws as the rest of us.
The Democrats ran their campaigns as if Clinton was a liability to the Democratic party. Actually, the opposite is true. The Democratic party is a liability to Clinton. Clinton is the only Democrat since Kennedy who has had any vision beyond what the Gimme-Gimmes want. The Democrats are the party of Union labor, lawyers, Moon-Beamers, and poor people on welfare. The Republicans are the party of the Darksiders, Flat-Earthers, and rich people on welfare.
So it's a contest of who you're going to vote against. If I were king and could change laws as I want, I would make this change: In any election, if less that 50% of the registered voters didn't vote, then that means that more than 50% voted for NoBody, and NoBody should represent them in Congress.
So, How Are the Republicans Doing?
With all the chest beating of the first 100 days, the Republican party failed to pass a single thing that Clinton has had to veto. I would assume that won't continue, but find it amazing so far. They did pass a number of bills that Clinton signed, which seems to indicate Clinton is not as far to the left as some would like you to think.
Since the Republicans haven't a clue on how to govern, the little that has passed has been reasonable. The Republicans want to show that they can actually accomplish something, so they are starting out with bills they can get through. Some things, like term limits, had no chance of passing in the first place because these guys aren't serious about them. And even though the line item veto has passed both houses, the Republicans have it tied up in conference committee while they pass a few final bills with pork attached that Clinton has to sign.
For example, remember Newt's book deal? Rupert Murdock was going to give Newt four million bucks up front until the Democrats blew the whistle on him. Well, attached to a bill allowing the self employed to deduct their health care expenses (a bill that both the Republicans and Clinton supported) was a tax break of 63 million bucks for Rupert.
Of course, Rupert's many newspapers will praise the Republicans on what a fine job they are doing. That's one advantage of being a Republican. They serve those who bribe them better. An honest politician doesn't have a chance because a dishonest politician can raise a lot more money. So when the Republicans blocked health care reform and lobby reform, they went to the lobbyists and told them, "we took care of you, now you take care of us," and they did. And that is one of the reasons the Republicans control the Congress.
Rupert wasn't the only news source who got a big tax kickback from the Republicans. Many other newspapers did as well. The Republican party owns the press. Everything you see and read is filtered by the Republican party. There is no more a free press in America than there is a Ju$tice system.
However, I have to say that I am impressed with Newt, who seems to be the smartest Republican on the hill. If it weren't for the fact that the Devil owns his soul, I could actually like the guy. It's amazing how similar he is to Clinton on many issues. If you look at a lot of what he says and compare it to Clinton, it's the same thing. Of course Newt has a many obligations to fill and he has his hot button rhetoric, and that's where the two differ.
In fact, and you heard it here first, it is my theory that Newt will be the Republican candidate in 1996. I am predicting that Newt will appear to be "drafted" and will throw his hat in the ring this November. The fix is already in and the Republican controlled media is already grooming him for the job. Look at the news now and seif I'm not right.
More Lawyer Bashing
The O.J. Simpson trial represents the state of the American Ju$tice system. What a JOKE! No matter which side of the trial you are on, it is obvious that the result of this trial will have nothing at all to do with innocence or guilt.
Here's how the system works, and it really is this simple: It's about money. In a criminal proceeding when you have enough money, you are innocent. In the eyes of the law, O.J. is a white guy. A whole lot whiter that you or I would be if we were in court. These jurors know that to be the juror who saves O.J. is to retire in luxury. There is no way in hell that he will be convicted by all 12 jurors.
That's how the criminal system works. The civil system is the opposite. In the civil system, where people sue for money, whoever has money is guilty. In fact, it's the law. If you work for someone, and you get hurt on the job, it's the employer's fault, period. No other fact matters. Who is right and wrong has no bearing whatsoever. And the same is true in divorce court. I am guilty because my income is higher than my wife's income. No other factors are considered.
We are not living in a free society. Our rights are being eroded away. There is no aspect of our lives where there isn't a lawyer involved. The government nts to keep building more prisons to lock up people for preferring pot to beer. In fact, if the government says that they suspect you of having pot, they can take away your property without any sort of hearing or recourse whatsoever. And they don't have to convict you or even bring charges against you in order to take your property away.
Anti-Abortionists Piss Me Off
The right wing Flat-Earthers are moving closer to towards terrorism to accomplish what they can't do by legal means. God justifies all and forgives all sins. Therefore they are liberated from the normal barriers that keep civilized poeple from committing murder.
Religious terrorism is something we can't tolerate. I will not live in an oppressive religious society like Iran. And in my mind, there is no difference between a Muslim terrorist and a Christian terrorist.
Anyhow, I wrote the following letter to the editor. It was published in the town where the latest anti-abortion shootings occurred. I had editors from several papers call me and said they weren't comfortable running it. I told them I understood because I wasn't comfortable with it either.
It's not like we don't know who is behind these killings. They get on national television and publicly advocate their violence against us. Since the government can't, or won't, deal with these terrorists, it is time for the public to rise up and step in where the "law" won't. If a few of them were shot and a few terrorists churches were burned, it might send a message that the public is fighting back.
The politics of hate has its price as we can see by the bombing of Oklahoma City. Why did it happen? It happens because of the network of hate groups in America. As I write this, the following letter is being faxed to 1200 newspapers and all members of Congress.
In the movie "Star Wars" one of the messages was "Beware the Power of the Dark Side." The Darksiders are now in control. We have hate radio shows, like Rush Limbaugh, who has made big bucks by turning the art of demonizing people into a form of entertainment. We have politicians whose election strategy is based on getting you to hate the other guy and the kind of people he represents. You can't watch TV without seeing the slaughter of people on (IN) the most hideous ways you can imagine.
There is a price to cashing in on the hate market. And that price is being paid in Oklahoma City.
Hate is like an addictive drug. If there hasn't been a study to prove this, I'm sure that some day there will be. It's a thrill to hate and demonize other people just like it's a thrill to watch violence on TV. Some part of the brain reacts to this stimulation and enjoys the sensation. Eventually, the brain becomes addicted and seeks out this kind of experience. And that's why people listen to Rush Limbaugh, because Rush stimulates the brain chemicals that feed the hate addict's addiction.
Hate is something that spreads. When you are around people who hate, it makes you want to hate too. And there's a lot of hate going around these days. I'm being affected by it. Look at the tone of this issue of Thinking Magazine and compare it to the others I've written and you can see I've turned into one angry dude. Although getting a divorce and dealing with the Ju$tice system will make you want to become a right wing hate monger, it goes beyond that. Hate breeds hate. People are herd animals, and the herd is getting angry.
As a reader of this, look at your own life. Do you feel more hate than you used to? Of course, there is a good reason. We all have a good reason to hate. Or do we? Perhaps we are but a leaf in a stream of hate being swept downstream by the currents of society with no control over the hate we are experiencing. Does this perhaps describe you? Does the power of the dark side control your perception of reality? As you can see, it's affecting me. And I don't like it.
Liberal Vs. Conservative Hogwash
One thing that's stupid is this view that there is this line with Conservatives at one end and Liberals on the other in this sort of tug of war that describes the two categories of what people are. These words are totally meaningless.
For example, Conservatives are supposed to be for limiting government involvement in our personal lives. Therefore, to be pro-choice should make you a conservative. These are people who believe that a person can make their own reproductive decisions as opposed to the state making your reproducive decisions for you. Liberal ideas like Social Security are now the entitlements of the Conservatives. As it turns out, I think everyone is a Liberal and a Conservative.
So to replace this debate, I'm finding other words to categorize people that make more sense. And people are not limited to a single category. My system is hardly perfect, but it is entertaining.
I've come up with four types of people. Some fit into several categories, others fit into none. The four categories are: Darksiders, Flat-Earthers, MoonBeamers, and Gimme-Gimmes.
The Darksiders are those who are in the hate loop. It's always us vs. them and it includes everything from the Michigan Militia to the Hippies. It's the process of we are the good guys and they are the bad guys and we are better than they are. If someone is trying to get you to hate THEM, they are a Darksider.
Then there are the Flat-Earthers who are the Christian flavor of ligous ignorance. I use the term Flat-Earthers because if you told them that the Bible says the Earth is flat, they would believe it.
The MoonBeamers are the non-Christian New-Age version of Flat-Earthers. Other than that, they are the same. If you told them that gravity wasn't a law, but a conspiracy of the AMA, they would believe it and jump off a bridge. The New-Agers look down their noses at the unenlightened Flat-Earthers the same way that the Flat-Earthers look down their noses at the unsaved heathens.
Then you have the Gimme-Gimmes who feel that the world owes them something and they are entitled to get it. This group includes the "I Got Mine!" crowd as well. The Gimme-Gimmes are the ones riding in the cart while the rest of us are pushing the cart. Their vision is limited to supporting those who are going to give them what they want and nothing else matters.
Although there probably isn't a lot of overlap between the Flat-Earthers and the MoonBeamers, many of both of these are also Darksiders and Gimme-Gimmes. And you can certainly be both a DarkSider and a Gimme-Gimme.
So if I were to describe the 1994 election, I might say that the Gimme-Gimmes and the MoonBeamers lost control to the DarkSiders and Flat-Earthers.
Mad at Uncle Sam
There is reason to be mad at government. The right-wing extremists do have some valid points, which caused me to send this letter:
Our legal system is founded on one principle, to make lawyers rich. As we see in the O.J. Simpson trial, if you have enough money, you're innocent. Conversely, if you are being sued in a civil case, and you have some money, you're guilty. And in a divorce court, your life is a lawyers feast.
During the 80s the government started using a new procedure called "civil forfeiture" which allows the courts to take your property without any hearings and without even charging you with a crime. This is such an extreme violation of our civil liberties that anyone who understands it would, and rightly should, be furious about it.
We are now 4 trillion dollars in debt because government has the power to steal our money and leave us stuck with the bill. We keep working harder and harder as Uncle Sam continues to spend us into the hole to pay for more things we don't want, and to give more people a free ride.
As a concerned citizen who doesn't want to see more bombings, I urge the government to fix the real problems that cause people to get this angry. If we eliminate the real violation of our rights, then all we have to fight is right wing extremist paranoia, and we can save a lot of lives.