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If You Vote You Can’t Complain Because You’re The One To Blame For The Mess. Why And When It’s Ok To Not Vote

If You Vote You Can’t Complain Because You’re The One To Blame For The Mess. Why And When It’s Ok To Not Vote


Note – there is coarse language used in this post because this is a hot topic for me. And you might be offended by what I say about you, if you’ve said what pisses me off. But do know that I still love you. 😊👍

I used to be super gung-ho about politics. It was just as exciting as sports for me. I grew up very similar to Alex P. Keaton in “Family Ties” but where he admired Nixon I admired Reagan.

IMG_1788 IMG_1819  

(Tangent – I love Michael J Foxx and am heartbroken by what Parkinson’s has done to him.) 

The third picture above is something I drew after the 1984 presidential election when Reagan won reelection against Mondale. The laser beam shooting from Reagan’s spaceship was clearly what helped Reagan win a landslide election against Mobdsle in a horse drawn buggy. What normal 9 year old kid does that? It’ll probably be in the Smithsonian someday. 😉

People used to tell me I should run for office. I have been to Reagan’s Library in Simi Valley, CA countless times. I have worked endless hours on candidates’ campaigns. I have stood on street corners waving candidates signs on Election Day. I stood next to a US congressional district candidate as he placed his concession call to his opponent late in the evening on election night. I even almost moved to DC after the candidate I supported lost…and then later after he had lost went to jail on wire fraud charges and a mortgage scheme. But that’s a story for later. 

But I am now disheartened super ticked off at both the Republican and Democratic parties for a variety of party-specific matters, but collectively from both parties’ desire to legislate morality. Legislating morality is not their job – government is not the moral compass of the people.

So here we are today on Super Tuesday and I knew rather soon I would start seeing people litter Facebook with the same old, “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain”.

Bullshit!

That comment is tired, trite, pious, and just flat out wrong. Do not say this to people. You’re just being an ass and ending the conversation. Plus if you voted for the jerked in office then you’re the one to blame when everything goes to hell – not the person who doesn’t vote. George Carlin waxes eloquently and crudely on this topic. This video is NSFW and if you’re easily offended by cuss words…well you shouldn’t have read this post but definitely do t watch this video; and he also makes an allegorical reference of masturbation. You’ve been warned. 

Voting is an amazing privilege we have in the United States. If a voter feels so compelled to not attach their name/vote with any candidate because of a believed lack of proper representation from the candidates then that (non)voter has every right to be just as involved in discussions as some one who did cast a vote. Unless you’re going to continue in being an ass with that point of view.
Two weeks ago my wife asked me who I would vote for and I told her I don’t know and that I might not cast a vote for the presidential race. My conviction (as a recovering Republican) after studying the current candidates leads me to the conclusion that there are no candidates that I would put my name behind to support. Kansas is a caucus state and individual voters in Kansas do not vote today on Super Tuesday. So, thankfully I dont have to make a decision today about voting or not voting. As of right now I don’t know if I’ll vote. I’ll let the primaries play out and see who rises from the dust (read: multi-million dollar campaigns). I do know this; if Trump wins the Republican nomination I will vote for whoever the Democrat is. That is a definite.

Now having said that…
Two warnings to non-voters:
1) Not voting costs the non-voter nothing it should not be used as a scapegoat for that person to say, “Well, it’s not my fault, I didn’t vote.” Well, no shit Sherlock but this is not your time to grandstand because of your decision. You still have a stake in the game. You should be so upset by your lack of representation to be moved to action and not have to repeat the same abstention the next election.

and…
2) For god’s sake, don’t not vote as a cover for you to be lazy and ignorant about the candidates and the issues. Get off your ass, educate yourself and care about your community so when jackasses stop saying “If you don’t vote you can’t complain” then you can bring a reasonable opinion and point of view to the conversation.

So in wrapping up…if come election day I end up not voting you can be frustrated with me if you want – it’s your prerogative. But please understand this, I’m not voting because I don’t care enough, but because I care too much.

I care too much about our country and the sacrifices made by our military to see our government elections devolve into popularity contests and capital pissing matches. I don’t have the solution to everything (or anything in particular) but I also won’t sit idly by and watch my country’s government become a mockery of idiots making big decisions with far reaching ramifications and/or consequences.

Yes, I might not cast a vote in the presidential race, but dammit, it’s not it’s because I don’t care, but because I care too much.

Those are my four half-pennies.

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Posted by on March 1, 2016 in culture, politics, Uncategorized

 

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My Unaffiliated Affilation With Politics

My Unaffiliated Affilation With Politics

This is a super short post, but I recently had a “first” for me and wanted to share some basic thoughts.

My wife and I moved from Arkansas to Kansas (officially in July) and recently I went to get my Kansas driver’s license. As we all know when you get your driver’s license you can also register to vote which allows you to identify yourself with a political party…if so desired.

Since day 1 of being a registered voter I have always been registered as a Republican. For the first time in my 22 year voting tenure I am now registered as, “Unaffiliated”. To say I’m upset with the Republican party would be a huge understatement. I really can’t stand what they now stand for, how they try to legislate morality, and what certain Republicans try to do to create division in attempting to script their narrative of what “biblical” means. I honestly feel some of these Republicans are less Christ-like than they even know.

Democrats aren’t off the hook either – they like to legislate morality just as much as Republicans. I have no desire to live in a nanny-state. Dear Democrats, government intervention is not the answer to every question and in most cases it’s the worst possible answer to almost every question.
The pendulum for me began to swing away from the Republicans about 13 years ago when the Republicans started aligning themselves more as a party that desired to legislate morality. In no way do I believe the government should be making moral decisions. Shoving laws and regulations down peoples’ throats is not a way to make a virtuous society. It only creates harsh dividing lines; and with each topic/issue it creates an us vs them scenario – god knows we need more unity and less division in our society.

This time when I went to get my driver’s license there were four choices for affiliation: Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Unaffiliated. I was very surprised and happy to see Libertarian as an option. But even though I identify more with Libertarian values politically I don’t feel the need to hitch my wagon to anyone in particular. This decision has been very freeing for me – I can now say I speak for myself instead of backing a specific party platform.

All that to say my vote can be bought. The right cigar or bourbon can garner my vote for your candidate…just kidding…kinda. 😜

In the near future I will have a longer post expounding upon the specific reasons of why I am no longer affiliated with the Republican party…but probably before that I’ll have posts on the rapture and later today a post on a gut check on my perspective.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2015 in culture, politics

 

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Robin Hood’s Tax

Friday night at the private opening of Maduro Cigar Lounge (http://www.facebook.com/MaduroLounge)  I had a very enjoyable talk with two well-respected and well-known gentlemen of Arkansas – they were also father and son. One of the topics we talked about was the lottery in AR. During the conversation the phrase of it being a “tax on the poor” was used.  This blog-post isn’t about my feelings on the lottery – I’m absolutely ok with it; but instead this post is how I have a bit of a problem with the phrase “the lottery is a tax on the poor”.

Again, you can agree or disagree with what I am about to say – obviously everybody is entitled to their opinion…but I hope that we can be people who at the very least can understand each other’s perspective. Understanding ≠ agreement.

Now, my friend used the phrase, “tax on the poor”, but by no means is it only him who uses this phrase, I have heard it used countless times. When people choose to use the phrase, “tax on the poor” they are trying to convey the point that the lottery preys on the poor and gets them to buy the lottery tickets when they have a hard enough time just rubbing two nickels together.  I can understand completely what they mean when they say this, but I think it’s a stretch to phrase it like this. Actually, check that, I think it’s a complete bastardization of the word “tax” and manipulation of words chosen solely to prey on our heart-strings.

Tax in its rudimentary form has been around for centuries – probably since the beginning of time when people were exchanging something of value for something else. I’m not an expert on taxes – in fact I hate taxes. I’ve been working on my taxes this weekend and I want less taxes. A friend of mine said that if we want tax reform we would have everybody write a check each month for their taxes instead of having them automatically deducted out of their paycheck – it’s a big eye opener when you pay your tax that way…and that’s a rabbit-trail I might chase in another post but for now it’s not the main point.

The word tax, obviously has a couple definitions. One definition refers to if something is taxing then that means it’s burdensome or tiresome. The other definition is the more common understanding – a tax is a monetary payment levied by a government on its people or businesses. Taxes can be collected on a number of things: income, sales, property, etc. I believe the latter definition is the or definition, or implied meaning, that is being used for this phrase.

Ok, now the main reason for this post…

The fact is, I have the ability to choose whether or not I will buy a lottery ticket – I am in no way whatsoever forced to buy a lottery ticket. And the good news is, everybody else has this same ability to choose on their own. Now…taxes are a different matter. If I choose to not pay my income tax a certain group of people in the IRS might object to my choice. What I’m trying to say is, I don’t have the ability to choose whether or not I will pay my taxes – it is automatically included in to everything you and I buy and automatically deducted out of your paycheck*. When you buy your groceries does the checker ask you, “Would you like to pay sales tax on your bread, butter, and apple juice?” No, that choice is not given – it’s automatically included in to your total.

If I choose to not pay my income tax I have the very real possibility of going to jail for being a tax evader. If I choose to not buy a lottery ticket well…there’s no penalty. And because of this I think it is woefully incorrect to call it a “tax on the poor”.

Finally, you might be thinking, this is just an issue of semantics. Well, actually, yes, it kind of is. Semantics is looking at the meaning behind words and phrases and that’s pretty much what I just did. I think we need to avoid being lazy with our words and instead be more intentional with our words, and the implied messages we send. Saying it’s a “tax on the poor” might tug on the heartstrings but it is categorically incorrect. Furthermore, I think we need to be more responsible with the words we choose. Responsible = able to give a response.  Hopefully we can be more cognizant and intentional of the words and phrases we choose instead of merely just provoking a reaction.

Provoking a reaction isn’t the same thing as saying something significant.

– Calvin, from Calvin and Hobbes

* I am an independent contractor, my income tax is not automatically deducted out of my paycheck. Uncle Sam instead allows me to smile and write a check to him each quarter to cover my portion.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in culture, politics

 

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A New Civil War…Minus the Civility

It is less important to ask a Christian what he or she believes about the Bible

than it is to inquire what he or she does with it. – Lesslie Newbigin

What the hell is going on in the Christian community?!

I have friends, in real-life, (which these days seems so passé and out of touch)…so I’m going to start over and try again…how about…

I have friends I “follow on twitter and facebook” who are conservatives, liberals, moderates, progressives (not a fan of this word), fundamentalists, emergents, emergings, atheists, creationists, evolutionists, and many other political and religious categories from the whole spectrum of people-groups. It seems that recently I see so much bitching and bickering at each other within the christian community over theological differences. I’m not talking about normal disagreements – that happens when you are deciding what pizza to order. I’m talking about disparaging, nasty attacks on theologies that people hold so dear.  It seems as if when we hear somebody has a different viewpoint we go to our phones, laptops and social media outlets to say how wrong and how stupid they are, and sometimes if they’re really different and wear dark-rimmed glasses we’ll break out the heretic label and sit back and feel comfy in our piety. We seem so focused on proving how “my theology is right and your theology is wrong”.  I just don’t get it. I mean I understand (but don’t agree necessarily) about the machismo aspect in not wanting to back down from our own beliefs; and that if I said I believe it then I have to defend myself so as not to look weak, but why do we do so at the expense of embarrassing our christian brother?

 

 

If you don’t know what I’m talking about I’m referencing some of the relatively, recent comments from John Piper to Rob Bell, from creationists towards evolutionists (and vice versa), and from the litany of emergent thinkers who spit vile towards Mark Driscoll on a number of topics.

So everybody……….stop……….take a breath……….and freaking relax.  Cue Frankie.

 

 

I am very much aware that I am as guilty of these attacks, or at the very least a similar attitude, as anyone…although I try to be an equal opportunity offender and maybe someday I can get to a point where I’m much more gracious and less offensive…although that’s also a two-way street.

Maybe in time we all can learn to relax and engage in quality, respectful conversations with each other and not passive aggressively attack each other via twitter, facebook, or other electronic outlets. In other words, can we try to go out of our way not to piss each other off?

2 Timothy 1:12 – I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.”

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“Secondly, the phrase “until that day” reminds us that this is not a claim to possess final truth but to be on the way that leads to the fullness of truth. I do not possess the truth, so that I do not need to be open to new truth; rather, I am confident that the one in whom I have placed my trust, the one to whom I am committed, is able to bring me to the full grasp of what I now only partly understand.” Lesslie Newbigin, “Proper Confidence”

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Ecclesiastes 7:16 – Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself?

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“In our interpersonal relations, we would never make such a claim for our knowledge of another person. How absurd to make such a claim with respect to God!” Leslie Newbigin, “Proper Confidence”

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Isaiah 55:8, 9 – For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

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“Sometimes it (certainty) leads toe a refusal to reconsider long-held beliefs in the light of fresh reflection on the witness of Scripture.” Lesslie Newbigin “Proper Confidence”

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Galatians 4:21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says?

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“But we are now entering a postmodern period, a time in which the seemingly assured assumptions we have inherited from the Enlightenment are being deconstructed.” Lesslie Newbigin, “Proper Confidence”

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Lamentations 3:40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.

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“Hold to Christ, and for the rest be totally uncommitted.” Lesslie Newbigin “Proper Confidence”

Now, here’s the deal, over the next couple of months (I actually have no idea what the timeframe is) but I am re-dedicating myself to posting blogs on a more regular basis. I have about 10 posts that are in a final draft phase and just need a little touching up before I hit publish, and then I have about another 50 that are in the works so hopefully they’ll be up in a more consistent time-frame.

Disclaimer – I am probably going to post something that crosses the conservative or liberal limits of your theology and honestly, I quite possibly could cross both edges within the same blog-post as I often oscillate between diametrically-opposed camps on different topics. I will have some posts that will be humorous, insightful, dumb, profound, and maybe completely meaningless…to you.  I will have some posts that are in story form. Some of my posts will be solely about our culture (which is not divorced from being theological as some fundamentalists might think).  Some posts might be political. Some might be about sports. Some might just be about a new cigar I smoked, but what I ask is no matter if the topic is theological, political, cigar-ical or whatever, that you do not automatically discount what I say just because you think you disagree with me. Maybe somewhere in the post is a nugget that can help us progress forward to quality conversations, respectful discourse, and redeeming our Earth just as God has called us to do.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done ON EARTH, as it is in heaven. – Jesus

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in cigars, culture, politics, sports, theology

 

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point/counterpoint week 4: politics audio | Eikon Church

point/counterpoint week 4: politics audio | Eikon Church.

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2010 in culture, politics, theology

 

blogroll…officially gone…durnit

In changing themes it seems I have lost my blogroll option; I’d love to be able to pimp your blog but I guess I can’t.  Hopefully I’ll find a way to get them back on my blog but for now my apologies go to:

Ryan

Tad

John

Eikon Church

Brian McLaren

Cigar Blog

Cigar Aficionado

Clapham Institute

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2009 in politics, theology

 

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midrash film night – “Capitalism, A Love Story”

I stole this from Eikon’s blog b/c I didn’t have a chance to write up something as succinct as Ryan and he can do snazzier graphics b/c he has a mac and I’m merely a pc user.  My next post will be why the mac subculture considers themselves godlike; but until then enjoy this post from a near-god Ryan.  😉

Eikon\’s blog

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midrash film night presents michael moore’s capitalism: a love story Posted by Ryan Byrd

10.05.2009 7:31 pm     FILED UNDER announcements, culture, events, gatherings, movies Bookmark and Share

michael moore capitalism

i’m excited to announce the next midrash event—a film night—in which we will be viewing and discussing michael moore’s latest film, capitalism: a love story.

whether you love him or hate, moore keenly understands how to make a movie that demands lengthy discussion and hearty debate. in this movie, moore asks tough questions about our nation’s economic system and also proposes that some people hold capitalism in the same regards, if not higher, than their religion. considering moore’s other movies—sicko, fahrenheit 9/11 and bowling for columbine—this promises to be a very compelling movie.

interestingly, this movie has an even more compelling—theologically speaking—subplot than other moore films. apparently moore delves into matters of religion in the movie, asking whether or not capitalism is a sin. in a recent column on the huffington post, moore writes directly to “those of you on your way to church this morning”, saying,

I have come to believe that there is no getting around the fact that capitalism is opposite everything that Jesus (and Moses and Mohammed and Buddha) taught. All the great religions are clear about one thing: It is evil to take the majority of the pie and leave what’s left for everyone to fight over. Jesus said that the rich man would have a very hard time getting into heaven. He told us that we had to be our brother’s and sister’s keepers and that the riches that did exist were to be divided fairly. He said that if you failed to house the homeless and feed the hungry, you’d have a hard time finding the pin code to the pearly gates.

so, this is sure to be a good conversation that should warrant insights into both theology and politics. here’s a few quick details.

we’ll gather at market street cinema this wednesday, october 7 where the movie starts at 7 p.m. (of course, you’ll want to get there a few minutes early to grab a cold beverage). it lasts a little over 2 hours and at its conclusion, we’ll head over a couple blocks to java roasting company to discuss what we’ve seen.

this should be a movie fit perfectly for a midrash film night, so don’t miss it! and invite a friend! see you there.

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Posted by on October 6, 2009 in politics, theology

 

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