Sunday, October 16, 2011

Statistics and You!

October 16, 2011

Dear Person who says they are not the 99%,

I had planned to let this subject drop and never come back to it, but the sensibilities of an educated person won't let me. When you say, "I am not the 99%" makes you sound like an idiot.

Now, I understand what you are trying to say is that you don't agree with the people in the "We are the 99%" movement. I get that. However, you need to learn math. The 99% number people are throwing around is a statistic related to wealth distribution. This isn't political, it simply says that the wealthiest 1% of Americans own 30-40% of the wealth in this country.

So, unless you are in the top 1% (that is, you have more money then 99% of the rest of the population) and qualify as "filthy rich" then you are part of the 99%. Please learn to understand the math here. You can certainly disagree with any political, or economic, or philosophical movement you want to, but statistics aren't politics or ideologies. They are a measurement of something. They are essentially no different then saying "a full can of Coke contains 12 ounces".

Statistics are a way to represent information. Some statistics are bunk and simply made up with no science behind them. Others are misquoted, often to put a confusing media spin or marketing message on something. Here we are looking at numbers used to represent and communicate a measurement of wealth. If you don't agree with a study's statistical results, you can question how they were derived, or the accuracy of the science behind them, but a good sicentist spends their time measuring the world as accuratly as possible and won't put bogus numbers in their work. How you react to the information is your own personal choice.

The 99% and the 1% are numbers representing the entire US population. If you aren't part of the US population measured in the study, then there are different numbers to represent you. So please do the math before you look like an idiot running around going, "I worked my way through college with three jobs and live in a small apartment where I am trying to start my own business, but I am not the 99%". You bloody are. Welcome to the world of statistics.


The Letter Writer

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dear The 53%, We applaud you and your hard work!

October 13, 2011

Dear The 53%,

Thank you so much for the hard work you do to support this nation. Your personal sacrifices are not going to go unheard and posting them on the Internet in the form of letters is a good start at helping people to realize that there are good, hardworking Americans out there, despite all those lazy people you see on the news.

I am certain that The 99% must realize that they don't represent the entire country. Look how silly they are doing their "Occupy Wall Street" hippie circus. They don't represent you though. As a sub-group of those 99% you obviously represent the best America has to offer. It is something to be proud of. Might I go as far as saying, because you pay your Income Taxes and they don't that it makes you better then them?

I mean, seriously. The 46% of people who don't pay income taxes are basically just what? Your grandparents? The elderly? People with disabilities who are leaching off of Social Security instead of getting a job as a greeter at Walmart? Then there are those lazy 12% who live in poverty and who would be much better off if they just stopped doing drugs and got a job right? What about those lazy parents out there? I mean taking a tax credit and exemptions just because you have kids? Who's idea was that? Some politician lobbying for tax cuts among their voter demographic probably. When your kids start families, surely they will be working like a true American and not even qualify for those unpatriotic tax credits the Feds are forcing on them.

So, you my friends are the real Patriots in these dark times. Working in the face of adversity, giving up basic needs and clawing your way to the top. Who cares that everyone has to pay federal taxes for Social Security and Medicare, state sales taxes, property taxes, and local city taxes. I mean without you 53% paying your Income Taxes diligently, the whole nation would just grind to a halt and all of our patriotic freedoms would simply evaporate.

So we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We applaud you and your hard work. Go... claim the recognition you deserve. Because, lets be honest here, if you stopped paying your Income Taxes, the Feds would have to find more money somewhere else to fund their Socialistic policies and then they would come after Us.

The 1%

A Letter of Introduction

September 29, 2011

Dear Reader,

Greetings and Salutations. Here in these letters you will find my opinions on United States politics. I try to keep it simple. I post when I feel the need to write something to someone. I encourage comments and civil discourse and in general despise stupidity.

A bipoliticalist, simply put, it is a person who's views align with different aspects of both political parties (Democrat and Republican obviously). My favorite definition is actually from the non-scholarly, but sometimes accurate Urban Dictionary and is the one I choose to use:

Bi-political - Somebody who sees the upsides and downsides to both the Republican and Democratic parties. Not necessarily a person who falls in the middle of the spectrum, rather one who has views that align and conflict with both major US political parties.

It has nothing to do with either sexual orientations or apathetic dismissal of making a decision on issues. In my mind its a logical stance. You should be both supportive and critical of your politicians and representatives. You should encourage them to support the issues that are important to you and oppose those that you disagree with. This is the basis for my opinions and political stance.

The parties are arbitrarily divided. They divide themselves based on issues and ideologies, supporters, religion, and sources of money and influence. There are "radicals" within each party and "moderates".
Even within the major parties there is division. Often the moderates in both agree on many things that their own radical colleagues don't agree to. It's much more complicated then that of course, but that's the gist of it.

A bipolitical supporter might easily be dismissed as a moderate or a bipartisan advocate. This is inaccurate. I might passionately support an issue championed by one party, even their radical elements, while being at odds with more moderate viewpoints of that party, and vice-verse for the other party. I can't mold myself to fit the existing arbitrary party divisions, so I choose. The parties might arbitrarily divide themselves, but I don't have to do that to myself.

So do I just pick and choose what I like? Supporting random issues like a floundering fish or a political buffet table? Giving support only when it is convenient or easy? No. I support those things that are deeply important to me. Those that I find to be valuable and important in a very personal way. The problem is they may not flow neatly across a party line or into pre-existing groups. It is naive to think the parties serve everyone. No party or representative will align perfectly with their supporters, but many people decide to throw their support behind someone who is "good enough".

For example, I don't believe people should vote based solely on what party the politician is in. I don't just check all the "R's" on the ballot and leave. This requires more work on my part to do my patriotic duty. I have to critically examine each option I am given. I look at all the canidates, their personal life, their public records, their claims and goals. I have to make the tough decision about who I think is going to be the most ethical and upright canidate, who shares my views, and who I would trust to represent me.

I think in some ways it might be easier to be a radical or a fanatic. Basing their vote and support off of very narrow and specific views and then choosing to ignore the rest. Or worse, being easily swayed by simple propaganda and buzz-words and not thinking things through at all. While I understand perfectly the strategic advantage of throwing support behind one powerful group or another in order to gain an advantage. To pass some of the laws you agree with, while just accepting the ones you don't. I feel being a good citizen requires more than this. If you think things are "politics like usual," or "all the parties/politicians are the same corrupt assholes," or "who can fight against all that money and media influence," you are wrong.

I would rather support a good candidate who I think deserves a position of responsibility, who will use it properly, even if we don't agree on some issues, then give my vote to someone I suspect is acting in greedy or corupt ways. I believe there are those who deserve a chance. If we don't at least try to cut through the miss-information and media games, then we are doing ourselves a disservice. I have no respect for people who vote and act blindly, without thinking, and support a party or politician without any consideration. It is ultimately the American people who put their politicians in place and if there are problems, it is our job as overseers of the elected to make sure they hear our complaints or remove them.

I choose to both criticize and support groups, people, and ideologies from both major parties. I don't think bipoliticals will ever be a powerful political force (we are mostly just dismissed as fringe voters), but I can act in a personally ethical way and express my opinions, support people who I agree with, and vote in a way I don't regret.

So, welcome to the Bipoliticalist Letters. I intend to express my opinion freely. I will talk candidly about the major political parties, ideologies, politicians, media personalities, issues, and anything else that I feel passionately about that fits this political theme. I make no promise to be nice, but I will try to be interesting and most likely satirical on occasion. I have no doubt I will find things to express, we are after all heading into the presidential election of 2012 soon, and it looks to be a doozey. I apologize in advance.


The Bipoliticalist Letter Writer

p.s. This is rather long. I'll try to keep them shorter. Maybe.