Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pretty Hate Machine

By Jeffrey Menoski

NOTE: The things that I hate are not limited to just this list. These are just 10 of the more political things that make me upset. They’re in no particular order. There are a couple sentences on each, designed to make this a quick 5 minute read. Enjoy reading about the things that cause me so much stress and frustration!

I hate that it’s NOT OK to be against gay marriage and speak out. We have the freedom of speech. There is no constitutional protection from being offended or having someone disagree with you. Some people are just traditionalists. Be as tolerant yourself as you want everyone else to be.

I hate how abortion is ALWAYS spun like it’s strictly a religious issue. It’s not. It’s bad to kill babies because it’s bad to kill babies. It doesn’t matter what any church says.

I hate how more education is ALWAYS considered “a good investment,” “worth it,” or “going to pay off in the end.” That kind of thinking led to the student debt crisis and an oversupply of graduates with no marketable job skills.

I hate how far-left the Catholic Church is. They’ve been there with the Obama administration on the economic issues, yet they’ve been NOWHERE TO BE FOUND on the social issues unless it’s something REALLY BAD, like not banning partial-birth abortion or the recent contraception coverage issue.

I hate how FDR is considered the “best President.” That should be rephrased as “the President who brought about the most radical change.” The best thing he ever did was build the Jefferson Memorial.

I hate this argument in favor of gay marriage: “We should treat everyone equally.” OK, then that means that we should treat the 1% the same as the 99% when it comes to income taxes. Right?

I hate when people say “Roe v. Wade is in the Constitution.” No it’s not. That’s wrong. To say that it’s IN the Constitution is a lot different than saying it’s constitutional.

I hate when people say the Constitution is “living and breathing” or “outdated.” Listen: the reason our Constitution is so great is because, above all, it secures person and property. When the Constitution was ratified, that was the first time that those ideas had ever been put into practice anywhere in the world. That’s why America has been such an exception in the world, and it’s sad how that’s eroded away over the last 100 years.

I hate entitlement thinking. The minute you start depending on something outside of your own control is when you’re going to start having a lot of problems. That’s true of both entitlements, and real life.

I hate the phrase “The War on Women.” Really? The real war on women is this: the left would have them see themselves as part of yet another identity group, rather than as individuals who think for and take care of themselves. There always has to be an agenda.


  1. I'd like to point out, concerning gay marriage, that it's not illegal to speak out. Your right as an American is not being infringed. So when you say that it's not "ok" to speak out against gay marriage, what you're saying is that you don't like that it's unpopular, uncool, or that people disagree with you. You're right that there is no constitutional protection from being offended, but there is also no constitutional protection from criticism. That's the nature of democracy. You can say whatever you want, but it doesn't mean there won't be consequences for it. Ask any politician, Democrat or Republican, who has ever flubbed in public or said something controversial. That's how it works.

    Concerning FDR, how about stopping the Nazis? Or winning the presidency 4 times? How about social security, that thing that keeps our grandparents from working into their 80's? How about the GI Bill? I'm not saying he was the perfect president, but he did a couple things that no other president did and you can't deny the country was in better shape in 1945 than it was in 1933.

    As for the constitution, it's an amazing document. I certainly can't argue against that, but it's original writing included the 3/5ths compromise (where black people were considered property) and it excluded the Bill of Rights. It also didn't apply to the states until the Civil War, so it didn't wholly secure persons and property until some progressive added 3 amendments in 1865ish. Catch phrases aside, that's part of the wonder of the constitution; it allows for changes.

  2. John, thank you for your comments. I don't write as much as I'd like, and it's exciting when I elicit a reaction.

    Concerning gay marriage, I used a lot of words, but not the right ones to convey what I was going for. I get the sense that it's becoming less and less socially acceptable to oppose gay marriage. THAT'S what I hate. Of course it's not illegal. lol.

    Concerning FDR, I hesitate to even start this debate. lol. I'm not a World War II expert, but Russia had A LOT to do with stopping the Nazis. He won the Presidency four times, but popularity doesn't equal competency. Social Security doesn't work. It's unsustainable, and functions more like an entitlement than an actual retirement plan. Your money goes into Social Security and it can't grow. It can only lose value due to inflation. And I won't argue against the G.I. Bill just to argue. However, it's not a typical entitlement. Veterans have served our country, and that has value. Those aren't benefits that they get just for nothing.

    There are some other things he did that no other President did. Here are two pretty bad ones:

    -Executive Order 9066: The Japanese-American internment. That should NEVER happen.

    -Did away with the gold standard, paving the way for today's unlimited debt.

    Was the country better in '45 than in '33? Yes. Thankfully. The question is, is the country better in 2012 than in '45 after a few generations post-FDR?

    Finally, on to the Constitution. I'm not opposing any and all change. If they wanted to amend it, for example, to make Obama the Supreme Dictator for Life, and the amendment passed with 2/3 in both houses and was ratified by 3/4 of the states, I'd have to live with it. That's constitutional. What I hate is the reality of how easily the law of the land can be wiped out by an activist court.

    Note on the 3/5ths compromise: What if they counted slaves as a whole person, and then still didn't give them the right to vote? It would have increased the pro-slavery southern states' representation very disproportionally. The 3/5ths compromise is not so much a racist abomination as it was the most practical solution. And plenty of so-called "rich white guys" were disgusted by slavery.

    Thanks again for your comments. We welcome debate or we wouldn't put ourselves out there!

  3. Jeff, I love commenting on these venues and it's fun to give Jordan some trouble now and then.

    I had a big paragraph about gay marriage, but my opinion on this one is pretty simple. I'm not name-calling. There is no scientific evidence that says gay marriage will destroy the country or break the American family. Without invoking religious derivatives, it's hard to argue against the rights of any group of people based on gender identity without sounding a lot like segregation or sexism or any other bad juju.

    As for FDR, at the end of the day America made a huge difference in World War II. And FDR was the Commander-in-Chief during almost the entirety of the war. He was a huge part of the reason we entered the war; both lobbying Congress before Pearl Harbor and negotiating deals with the allies for supplies. I'm not saying he won the war all by his lonesome, but it's hard to take credit from him without taking it from everyone who served under him.

    I absolutely agree with you about the internment camps. FDR wasn't a perfect president, but my point was only that he was a historic one.

    I would also point out that Social Security does work, but we've played accounting games with it. We borrowed something like 2.4 trillion dollars from the surplus that social security accrued in profits. Social Security just stopped making more money than it cost in the last two years. That money was supposed to go towards covering excess costs. Morbid though it may be, $2.4 trillion would have been enough cash to get us through the remainder of the baby boomer retirement cycle. It should also be noted that we did a lot of this with the Post Office in the late 20th century. Both of those expenditures are a huge portion of the national debt. Something like a third of the $14 trillion we owe is actually owed to other parts of our own government or the American people.

    Also, I don't think it's fair to call Social Security an entitlement since everyone pays into it. Absolutely everyone (except Congress) pays a Social Security tax for their entire working lives. It's kind of like a pension, except instead of getting your own money back, you get the money your kids and grand kids pay into it. At least you would if we hadn't spent it all. Do I think it's the best idea for a retirement program? I'm not sure, but it's the reason my grandparents don't need jobs into their late 70's.

    Say what you will, the constitution allowed for slavery and the counting of those slaves for the purpose of someone else's vote. We could rationalize it, much like one FDR rationalized internment camps, but it's still messed up.

    When is it activism and when is it checks and balances? Is it safe to assume you'll Get Upset (see what I did there?) if Obama's Healthcare legislation is ruled unconstitutional? As I understand it, the legislation was passed by a majority of Congress and signed by the President, so it would seem the law of the land.

  4. See, now this is the high minded conversation that I hoped to facilitate! But its Jeff who gets the credit...

    I would just like to point out that the original plan for Getting Upset was to have a triumvirate of Jeff, Wimsatt and myself. Two articles each week from each of us would have been pretty intense!

  5. That's tragic. Where's Wimsatt? Why isn't he in the game?

  6. From what I can see, he is just busy. He did contribute once; it was on Obama's speech in Osowatomie.