“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” -Abraham Lincoln

Archive for September 2010

It’s not Politically Correct for me to Express my Opinion, but it is Constitutional.

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As a musician, artist, and writer, I have always attempted to be as honest as I can in my work. The songwriter I have idolized most is John Lennon. Politically, some of his ideology is different from mine, though I agree with his sentiments as principles (ie, who could argue with the lyrics of “Imagine?”).

“All we are saying is give peace a chance…” is a perfect example of Lennon’s politically targeted lyrics, based on human sentiments that most people agree with. It was politically correct for him to sing this, because many people disagreed with the Vietnam War. This song would be applicable to the Iraq war as well, which people associate with the unpopular President Bush. Rage Against the Machine is wildly popular, and their lyrics are strongly anti-Bush, anti-Conservative party. Can you think of a popular band – with large numbers of supporters and hit records – that expresses conservative, anti-liberal, anti-Obama sentiments?

If I were to write a song about the first amendment, Obama’s attempts to shut down Fox News and infringe upon the free speech rights of those who oppose him, and the way the media attempts to smear everyone associated with Fox News instead of responding directly to the information presented and the issues, and my lyrics are “Give Freedom a Chance” or “Give Free Speech a Chance” – how would New Yorkers respond today? Would anyone come to my shows? Would any of my friends who currently support my music continue to do so?

Even when I don’t agree with John Lennon’s personal choices in how he treats women (ie, cheating on Cynthia Lennon, the mother of his child, with many groupies, and ultimately tripping with Yoko Ono and sleeping with her in his own house where Cynthia caught them, and then, later, cheating on Yoko at a party which she was attending)- and this contrasts with his lyrical sentiments… ie, his disapproval of the fact that “woman is the N*gg*R of the world,” and his various declarations along the lines of “all you need is love” – I can still recognize that he is a brilliant artist. I may disagree with some of his politics as well, but I still respect talent. I think that’s a fairly popular sentiment, given that John Lennon is so famous and well-respected. What I don’t understand is why somebody who questions left-wing politics and politicians, and demonstrates sentiments that other people associate with the right wing, risks losing friends, losing respect, losing fans, putting their artistic career at risk…

This incredibly talented painter shares my sentiment about being afraid to express himself:

The FIRST amendment out of all the amendments of the constitution, regards FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Why is the left wing more free than the right? If you don’t agree, tell me right now – would you buy my music if I expressed some of my fears and concerns about Obama’s policies in my lyrics? Would you buy my music if some of its sentiments had also been shared with people on Fox News?


My Personal Stance:

– Everyone should be entitled to express their opinion, including Fox News. According to the First Amendment, this sentiment is Constitutional.
– People who claim to be open-minded and liberated should be comfortable listening to viewpoints that oppose theirs.

Written by rikijane

September 8, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

How People Misuse Statistics to Prove an Unrelated Point

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My friend – the same friend who accused me of ‘drinking the fox news kool aid’ [see previous blog entry] – posted this article on his facebook page yesterday, entitled
“Why Americans believe Obama is a Muslim.”

Why Americans Believe Obama is A Muslim

The article begins with the following statement:

The research by Spee Kosloff and colleagues suggests people are most likely to accept such falsehoods, both consciously and unconsciously, when subtle clues remind them of ways in which Obama is different from them, whether because of race, social class or other ideological differences.

These judgments, Kosloff argues, are illogical. He also suggests they are fueled by an “irresponsible” media culture that allows political pundits and “talking heads” to perpetuate the lies.

“Careless or biased media outlets are largely responsible for the propagation of these falsehoods, which catch on like wildfire,” said Kosloff, visiting professor of psychology. “And then social differences can motivate acceptance of these lies.”

Then, it proceeds to provide evidence, such as the following:

Among the results:

* On average, participants who supported McCain said there is a 56 percent likelihood Obama is a Muslim. But when they were asked to fill out a demographic card asking for their own race, the likelihood jumped to 77 percent. Kosloff said this shows that simply thinking about a social category that differentiated participants from Obama was enough to get them to believe the smear.
* Participants undecided about the candidates said there is a 43 percent chance McCain is senile – a number that increased to 73 percent when they simply listed their own age on a card.
* Undecided participants said there is a 25 percent chance Obama is a socialist – a number that jumped to 62 percent when they considered race. “Even though being a socialist has nothing to do with race,” Kosloff said, “irrationally they tied the two together.”

This evidence is supposed to support the conclusion which closes the article:

“As his job rating goes down, suggesting that people feel like he’s not ideologically on their side, we see an increase in this irrational belief that he’s a Muslim,” he added. “Unfortunately, in America, many people dislike Muslims so they’ll label Obama as Muslim when they feel different from him.”

However, to me, this evidence is inconsequential.

The reasoning in the article does prove that some people jump to conclusions for for invalid reasons. However, the article is entitled “Why Americans believe Obama is a Muslim,” and it is designed to convince us that it’s only because they’re stupid and drawing conclusions based on irrelevant data. Given the evidence presented, I am not convinced that this proves that people only think Obama is a Muslim because they are jumping to inaccurate conclusions for no valid reason.

Let me use an example. 56% of McCain supporters think Obama is Muslim, and then when an unrelated factor is presented (ie, they are asked to fill out a demographic card asking for their own race), the percentage goes up to 77%. So 21% of people changed their mind for an unrelated, invalid reason. 56% still thought he was Muslim initially, and out of all of them, some of them might have had valid reasons.

I, personally, have encountered many valid reasons for Americans to believe Obama is Muslim. [I will mention here that I don’t care whether Obama is Muslim, and I think its ridiculous that anyone does, but that is beside the point.] However, here are few valid reasons for people to believe he is Muslim:

1. His father was Muslim, and according to their religion, it’s passed down through the father.
2. As a child, he went to a Muslim school, and was a top student of the Qu’ran.
3. He refused to say the pledge of allegience
4. He invites people over for Ramadan
5. He makes decisions that are pro-Muslim, yet does not appear to reach out equally to other religions.

I have not kept up with all the evidence because I DON’T CARE WHAT HE IS, I ONLY CARE WHO HE IS. However, this is the first video that popped up when I searched on youtube last night, and it includes various clips of Obama admitting that he is a Muslim American:

There are plenty of reasons for them to believe that besides being swayed by subliminal forces like pictures of Obama with a turban, and besides believing rumors. The article itself is, ironically, relating an unrelated study to a point it’s trying to prove, perhaps trying to sway people against believing the rumor that Obama is Muslim under the guise of presenting an interesting case about human behavior; but the evidence of their thought process is inconclusive. The article proves that a significant portion of people jump to conclusions based on unrelated facts about who they are personally. However, it does not prove that the ONLY reason they believe this is because of subliminal messages provided by anti-Obama media.


My Personal Stance:

– I don’t care whether Obama is Muslim, Christian, Indonesian, half black, or half white. I don’t care WHAT he is, I care WHO he is. I have said this more than once to be very clear.

– I don’t think this article provides conclusive evidence to prove Why Americans Believe Obama Is Muslim, yet it provides interesting statistics about human nature which are designed to sway people to believe that it’s only because they are, in essence, ‘swallowing the fox news kool aid.’

Written by rikijane

September 8, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

Me Vs. New York City

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I’ve had this blog for a while, but I used to post articles that I thought were relevant to my viewpoints, without commentary. I’ve decided to present my own ideas, using other articles as references. I’m going to discuss my reactions to statistics, articles, and ideas that inspire me, and conclude each article with a very clear disclosure of my personal stance on the matter.

About me:

I am a 29 year old musician, artist, producer, photographer, videographer, writer. Since I was a kid I’ve been generally interested in the arts.

I live in Bushwick, Brooklyn, in a 4-bedroom loft apartment, with three roommates, my instruments & gear, and my cat.

In 2006, I moved there with three friends, and poured all of my savings into building loft rooms for us to divide up an empty space. One by one, roommates moved out, and now it is my place. I rent rooms out to different people month to month, and the place is furnished, so people move in and out all the time. Some are difficult, some are wonderful – that’s how it goes with craigslist! But as one would expect, almost everyone I’ve met in NYC in their 20s is exceedingly liberal.

Why I am inspired to write this blog:

It’s hard to explain to 20-somethings in New York why I voted for McCain, and why I believe it is imperative to get Obama out of office- without alienating friends. If you live with me, or you’re one of my peers reading this, you’re probably pissed off at me right now. One of my best friends since highschool, who I work on music and art with, accused me last week of “drinking the fox news kool-aid.” He has known me for 14 years, and knows very well that I can think of myself- so why would he say that? Perhaps the Liberal ideology is so pervasive in my area that anyone who disagrees appears to fail to consult logic and to be “swayed” by some politician or news station that is feeding them lies and propaganda. It’s so obvious to people what’s right that if I disagree, I must be a fox news puppet! Of course, since I don’t drink the ‘main-stream media kool aid,’ I feel the opposite about them and their views.

But I don’t want to take the “you swallowed this kool aid, I swallowed that kool aid” approach. I want to discuss issues, and compare evidence, and really explain myself, in the hope that my friends and peers may explain their views to me clearly as well, without accusations. I am not on a search to prove who is right and who is wrong, who watches what station, and who is conservative and who is liberal. I am on a quest for facts, principles, and the most intelligent and informed vote.

Conversations about politics come up often, and it’s become apparent that I would benefit from finding a coherent way to outline my views to those of my friends who really care about me and want to understand where I’m coming from. I’m not a politician or a debater, and my arguing skills are not polished. I also speak in a whisper, due to Chronic Lyme Disease, so it’s impossible for me to stand up to a room of people who all agree with each other. I don’t have enough time to sit and talk with every Obama supporter in NYC, or enough brain power, by the time I’m done with all of my work and creative endeavors, to explain myself fluidly, and stand up to their arguments. Now, people can read my blog, and learn who I am politically, and why I vote the way I do. I’m sure many will disagree, but at least it will be clear that I have a solid viewpoint of my own, and that my ideology is nearly IDENTICAL to theirs, but my fact base is different.


I want to mention that the friends I am referencing, the ones I disagree with- are people whose minds & sentiments I respect highly. The friends I will probably criticize most are my best friends in the world, who I’ve known since elementary school and highschool, and the minds and hearts I value most out of everyone I’ve met. This is why they provide ammunition that inspires me to counter it.

Written by rikijane

September 8, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

My Political Stance Spelled Out: Premise is FREEDOM, Not Party Lines!

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I am not interested in party lines. My only interest is freedom. The right to make choices.

Let me list some of my political stances just to make it clear that I am interested ONLY IN ISSUES and not in party lines.

• I am FOR gay marriage.
• I am FOR equal pay for women.
• I am FOR major health care reform, but…
• I am AGAINST the current health care bill.
• I am AGAINST any limitations on free speech.
• I am AGAINST teaching religion in public schools.
• I am FOR voucher systems (for education, health care etc).
• I am FOR a free market economy.
• I am FOR the death penalty.
• I am FOR the right to bear arms.
• I am AGAINST the wall street bail-outs.
• I am FOR legalizing marijuana!

If you have not gathered my political stance from this list, let me outline it. The premise is FREEDOM. LIBERTY. I want the government out of my wallet and out of my bedroom as much as possible, but I also don’t mind paying some taxes if the money will go towards causes I believe in, such as a functional health care system, education, and a better economy.

Written by rikijane

September 8, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Posted in Uncategorized