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The Cody Blog: One of the People Screwing Up America

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

One of the People Screwing Up America

A friend gave me this book with a fantastic title called 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (and Al Franken is #37). I can't figure out why the author, Bernard Goldberg, didn't put himself in there somewhere.

Oh, I guess I get it. He basically only targets Democrats because he's a Republican. He uses the terms "liberal" and "conservative", but come on now. Those terms have never accurately defined the Democratic party which caters to big business with tax incentives and tarriffs and so on and so forth, nor the Republican party which embraces welfare programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

I'm liberal because I'm for freedom. And I'm conservative because I don't want people violating freedom. The Democratic and Republican parties are both just a bunch of sold-out hypocritical socialist crony parties. But I digress.

So this joker goes around digging up quotes (most of which are quite funny and the type of thing I'd enjoy making fun of) from Democrats and what mainstream America considers "liberal" and ignoring the many identical quotes and commentary from Republicans and what mainstream American considers "conservative". How about a little objectivity and even-handedness? I mean, why kill his credibility by only going after like-minded people (Democrats being essentially equal to Republicans after all) who happen to pretend they're liberals and give themselves the title of "Democrat"? Sigh.

But what really ticks me off is his utter hypocrisy exemplified by such things as starting off the book whining about how our standards for civility have fallen because cussing in public isn't the horribly unsocial thing it was 50 years ago. He uses a quote from some dude he sat next on a plane:

"It's all f**ked up," he tells the guy at the other end of the phone.

And then Goldberg finishes the introduction saying:

I'm afraid he got it right: It really is all f**ked up.

What an utter hyprocrite. As if 50 years ago this very author would have been able to print "F**ked up". And as if we the readers aren't somehow fully subjected to what the term really means and sounds like anyway!

And worse he later complains about some jokes from TV shows like Will & Grace which center around husbands and wives cheat on each other so much that it's almost accepted as standard. So he's upset that someone would put such humor on the TV. But in his book he later (rightly, btw) makes a point about how it's seemingly acceptable to sell T-shirts that say:

"Stupid Factory -- Where Boys Are Made"


But he makes his point by printing in his book:

So here are a few suggestions, which I offer to them [the guys who sell these T-shirts] free of charge
"Stupid Factory -- Where Mexicans Are Made"


So we, the reader are supposed to be intelligent enough to understand that he's being sarcastic by printing his joke. But the viewers on TV apparently aren't smart enough to know that said joke on Will & Grace was also sarcastic?

Gimme a "frickin" break.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

jon stewart didn't think much of his book either...

http://www.tvsquad.com/2005/07/14/the-daily-show-july-13-2005/

9/21/2005 11:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm liberal because I'm for freedom. And I'm conservative because I don't want people violating freedom."

So what does this mean (aside from the fact I wasn't aware liberals and conservatives were this easily characterized)? Do you support a woman's right to an abortion, gay marriages, drug use within the private confines of your own home? That's all about freedom of one kind or another, isn't it?

9/22/2005 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Cody Willard said...

I'm using the literal meanings of "liberal" and "conservative" in that sentence. I reject the mainstream's theft of those terms in applying them to the ridiculously aribitrary differnences of degree in the stance of Democrats and Republicans.

And abortion -- that one's tricky because you're arguing about a woman's freedom vs. a fetus' freedom. The answer, in my mind, clearly depends upon when you define that "life begins". I don't know the exact stage, but in the first couple months I don't consider the fetus a life. You do the math from there.

And I don't recognize the government's right to sanction any marriage, which is supposed to be a private and/or religious matter. The government's involved simply as a function of their intrusive socialist economic dynamics.

And I don't give a damn about whether or not someone does heroine, crack, or drano. That's their business and nobody else's. And if you're going to argue that drug use (abuse, whatever) leads to crime and what not -- your data and theories are specious at best. And second of all, it's not the government's place to try to guess what causes crime. It's their job to stop it in progress and to punish those who perpetrate it. And by crime I mean violations against others' life, liberty or pursuit of happiness.

Call me crazy, but I'm all for the Constitution.

9/22/2005 12:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And second of all, it's not the government's place to try to guess what causes crime. It's their job to stop it in progress and to punish those who perpetrate it. And by crime I mean violations against others' life, liberty or pursuit of happiness."

So, you're against laws regarding drinking and driving and under-age drinking I would imagine.

And should a draft ever be imposed by the government again, you would support those who refused to serve I would also imagine.

And you would also support someone who refused to pay his taxes, as some do based on a belief the government has no right to levy taxes.

And I would imagine you would end any government attempt to stop drug flow into this country since, in your view, there is no data to suggest drugs lead to crime, correct?

9/22/2005 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Cody Willard said...

Great questions. But am I going to have to think through and detail my opinions about the constitutionality of every difficult topic under the sun? Your first two would require some more work, thinking, analyzing on my part.

I don't support someone who refuses to pay taxes -- I HAVE TO PAY MINE OR THE GOVERNMENT WILL KILL ME. If I refuse to pay, they'll fine me. And if I refuse to pay the fine, they'll come try to take me to jail. And if I refusee to go to jail, they'll pull out guns. And if I still refuse, I get shot. I want to stop the unconstitutional income tax. And I especially want to level the playing field, and end all the unfair write-offs and subsidies that rich people and companies get in this country (that includes ending the IRAs and 401ks and mortgage tax breaks that so many of those Democrats who say the rich are undertaxed use unfairly).

And surely you're joking on that last question, right? Why would I care if someone imports drugs? Shoot, why would I care if someone mixes 'em up or grows em in their backyard and sells them out of their storefront?

That's supposed to be Constitutionally guaranteed. That little concept -- I don't know, but I'm for defending people's rights as defined in the Constitution. And that includes importing, growing, doing, and selling any drug. Not just socially acceptable drugs like Nicotine, Viagra, Prozac, Vodka and moonshine -- oops, that one's not legal. Better get some lobbyists fighting for the moonshine alliance!

Freedom. Consitutional rights. They matter.

9/22/2005 12:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But am I going to have to think through and detail my opinions about the constitutionality of every difficult topic under the sun? Your first two would require some more work, thinking, analyzing on my part."

I don't see where drinking and driving is prohibited in the Constitution, do you? Moreover, as I understand your thinking, this is about individual freedom.

Moving on, regarding this:

"Why would I care if someone imports drugs? Shoot, why would I care if someone mixes 'em up or grows em in their backyard and sells them out of their storefront?"

If you support an individual's right to do drugs of any kind in their own homes, then it follows I suppose that you would support the right of someone to sell those drugs to them. That's what you're saying above, correct?

Would you tell a classroom full of children this?

9/22/2005 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Cody Willard said...

The D&D question isn't so cut and dried. I can see the argument that its akin to threatening someone by waving a gun in their face. Which is a violation of someone's freedom. freedom.

Uh, was I not clear when I said the Constitution guarantees someone the right to sell drugs out of a storefront?

And, of course, if asked in an appropriate manner, yes. Why wouldn't I want to help children understand the freedoms at stake?

9/22/2005 01:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Uh, was I not clear when I said the Constitution guarantees someone the right to sell drugs out of a storefront?"

You're saying drugs of any sort, meth, crack, etc, etc. If the Constitution guarantees this, then you must also be saying all those people being convicted of selling and do drugs are being illegally convicted and jailed, right?

"Why wouldn't I want to help children understand the freedoms at stake?"

So you would tell children that they have the Constitutional right to sell and do drugs, and this right overrides any other concerns? Am I understand you correctly?

9/22/2005 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Cody Willard said...

How hard can this possibly be? Selling drugs is guaranteed a right by our Constitution. I'm done with this topic now.

9/22/2005 01:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" How hard can this possibly be? Selling drugs is guaranteed a right by our Constitution. I'm done with this topic now."

You'll forgive my slowness. However, I was thrown off by your response that you'd feel ok telling children in a classroom the Constitution ensured their right to sell and do drugs like meth, concaine, etc, etc.

9/22/2005 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger Cody Willard said...

Don't put words in my mouth. Re-read all that I've written. I'm sorry for getting short with you there at the end. But I've been more than clear.

9/22/2005 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger bostongreen said...

Cody,

Well, I took a read and think you're crystal clear:

1) You don't believe there's a connection between drug use and crime;

2) You do believe people have a constitutional right to buy, sell and do drugs of all kinds (I imagine you would argue there's no age restriction - yes?);

3) You would be willing to explain these "rights" to children (don't get how anon was putting words in your mouth);

I don't see why you need to look more into the issue of drinking and driving (or refusing the draft for that matter). Aren't these freedoms?

Powerful stuff, dude.

9/22/2005 05:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more thing. I just checked my copy of the Constitution and it is silent on the issue of selling Crank and Meth. Maybe you thought that scene from Dazed and Confused where the pothead talks about how the Founding Fathers were all "big into weed" and that the dollar bill has Marijuana plants on it was historically accurate? Umm, its not.

9/22/2005 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger Cody Willard said...

It always amazes me how many people can't read the commentary for what it is and end up projecting rational discussion in ways that are obviously not accurate and are completely off the point.

I did not say that there is no link between drug use and crime. I said, and I quote, "And if you're going to argue that drug use (abuse, whatever) leads to crime and what not -- your data and theories are specious at best."

As I wrote back to an emailer (who has the class to redeem herself unlike you anons) when she sent me stats packed with the connection between drug use and crime: "What was the % of crime committed to get booze back in prohibition? And I’m not even going to argue this point – it’s not the government’s place to guess if drugs do cause crime or if criminalizing drugs causes drugs to cause crime." Cause and effect, anyone?

And come on, are you guys silly enough to think that my stance is somehow pro-drug use? Have you not read my many rants on my disgust of addictions -- including, btw, addictions to somehow socially-acceptable prescription drugs. I'm ANTI-drug! Clearly! That doesn't mean I want to strip people of their right to destroy their own lives through using drugs though. I respect freedom. My point for those of you too thick to have caught on thus far: if someone is stupid enough to do crack, meth, or whatever, then that's their business, and their friends' and family's business -- and not the government's business.

And finally -- I'm astounded that you guys can't understand my point when I wrote: "if asked in an appropriate manner, yes. Why wouldn't I want to help children understand the freedoms at stake?"

Why the heck do you think I included that caveat about approriateness? You think I don't tell kids to stay away from drugs? Come on, now! I can't tell you how many conversations I've had with kids about the evils of drugs -- because I've had that conversation hundreds, if not thousands of times. And I can tell you how many conversations I've had with kids about their right to do drugs anyway, despite how evil drug use is: zero. ZERO.

But if the topic came up in an approriate manner (there's that caveat again, goobers), yes, I would explain what freedom is.

So, all that said (rather clearly, from the start), I might add -- Let's go out there and fight drug use. Let's help people get off drugs. Let's destroy the drug trade. And I mean you and I. I'm already doing so when I preach to the kids I befriend about the evils of drug use. Are you, anons?

Sigh

9/23/2005 08:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It always amazes me how many people can't read the commentary for what it is and end up projecting rational discussion in ways that are obviously not accurate and are completely off the point."

The problem is your reasoning, not the reader. I re-read your commentary and follow-up and come away with the same conclusions.

This:

"And if you're going to argue that drug use (abuse, whatever) leads to crime and what not -- your data and theories are specious at best"

suggests that drug use does not lead to crime. Otherwise, I have no idea what you talking about (and your explanation is no better).

This:

"if someone is stupid enough to do crack, meth, or whatever, then that's their business, and their friends' and family's business -- and not the government's business."

is utter nonsense. It's society's and government's business because of the impact: medical costs, crime (drug habits are often paid for by crime - get your facts straight), and the impact on the community ( meth houses are dangers to those that live around them).

This:

"You think I don't tell kids to stay away from drugs?"

is a mixed message if you're also telling kids its their constitutional right to use drugs (which is also utter nonsense - no school would ever agree to this).

The problem is not the reader but your thinking and your understanding of these issues.

Most people reading your commentary would come away with the same conclusion.

9/23/2005 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Cody Willard said...

"It's society's and government's business because of the impact: medical costs"

Uh, why do medical costs have anything to do with the government? Oh, that's right, socialized medicine. Right-o!

And I'm glad you, who's scared to even put your name on your comment, can speak for "most readers". Because clearly, you know better than I do what "most readers" want and can handle, given that you've got your own blog and column and book coming out and what not. Nice didactic commenary Mr/Mrs Not-Willing-To-Be-Accountable -For-Your -Own-Words.

Sigh. I'm gonna post a lighthearted commentary next. And I'm done commenting on this post entirely now.

9/23/2005 10:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And I'm glad you, who's scared to even put your name on your comment, can speak for "most readers". Because clearly, you know better than I do what "most readers" want and can handle, given that you've got your own blog and column and book coming out and what not. Nice didactic commenary Mr/Mrs Not-Willing-To-Be-Accountable -For-Your -Own-Words."

This is absolutely irrelevant to the discussion, including the fact you're coming out with a book (???). Let's submit this blog to discussion groups on drug use, parenting, and education, and get their views on the coherence of your thinking.

Let's see if any school or community group or social organization would be willing to have you in for a discussion of your views on the constitutional right of drug use.

You're clearly not a parent. Very few would agree with you.

9/23/2005 10:28:00 AM  

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