Monday, January 28, 2008

Give me that old time religion

With all the upheaval and uncertainty in the music world, L.A. remains the center of the recording studio world. And we have here the best suppliers of equipment to the music and recording world. One of them is West L.A. Music. I've only spent personal money there, on a few fun things for me, but I've steered a lot of clients there over the years.

I'm also on their mailing list, and today I got a disturbing email from them:
News from West L.A. Music
We thought you would like to read this very inspiring speech by Gov. Mike Huckabee, on the importance of music and arts education. Please forward this to your friends and business associates who are interested in supporting music and the arts.
Don Griffin, President, West L.A. Music, Inc.

Huckabee - Weapons of Mass Instruction

The 21st century will belong to the creative; they will thrive and prosper, both as individuals and as societies. The creative ones will be the competitive ones. We're all familiar with the cliché of thinking outside the box. I want American children to think so far outside the box that they're not even in the cardboard factory. Creativity built this country, and creativity will sustain her as we transition to a global economy. We need to encourage the young people who will have those Eureka moments that give rise to leaps in science and technology, that create jobs, even entire new industries. We need to identify the ones who will take the rough straw of a bright idea and spin it into gold.

How do you nurture something as elusive as creativity? You can't teach it the way you do state capitals and multiplication tables. You and I know how - by offering art and music to all of our students, all the way through school. So the secret weapons for becoming competitive and creative are art and music, our "weapons of mass instruction." Yet when school budgets are cut, too often it's art and music that end up on the chopping block. They say we can't afford to have them. I say we can't afford not to!
There's more. The email ends with a link to Huckabee's web site.

The 'speech' is a riff on Huckabee's position on education found here. And like a lot of his positions, it sounds good until you really look at it. And one of the telling points is here:
Without school arts programs, their gifts might remain "buried treasure," lost to them and all of us. Others will end up in jobs that may not be arts-related or make them feel especially important. But for them the opportunity to play guitar at church on Sunday . . .
(my emphasis)
Right. At church. On Sunday. Before I criticize, I've played guitar at a church on many Sundays, so I have no beef with that. It's that Huckabee is a Dominionist, as Ellroon has written here before.

Huck Believes the Constitution needs fixing, as The Carpetbagger Report notes:
I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’s what we need to do — is to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.

What if your God isn't Mike's? Too bad. That that speech isn't enough to send real conservatives running for the door . . . oh wait, many of them have.

He also is a 2nd Amendment absolutist who strangely felt compelled to support Wayne Dumond:
As governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee aggressively pushed for the early release of a convicted rapist despite being warned by numerous other women that the convict had sexually assaulted them or their family members, and would likely strike again. The convict went on to rape and murder at least one other woman.

His tax plan is insane. Even The Economist, hardly a hot-bed of liberal thought, thinks so:
Mr Huckabee's tax plan is as radical as it is ill-thought out. To achieve a populist goal—abolishing income tax—he proposes a federal sales tax. To make up for lost revenue, it would have to be a stiff one, and levied on practically everything. Mr Huckabee says a rate of 23% would suffice, but this is a sleight of hand. Calculated the way sales taxes usually are, the rate would have to be at least 30% and possibly much higher. This would be horribly regressive. Mr Huckabee says he can solve that problem by giving monthly rebate cheques to those who need them. But to track Americans' income month by month would require a bureaucracy nearly as intrusive as the one Mr Huckabee hopes to abolish by repealing the income tax. The plan is a non-starter.

And he lies about his own tax record in Arkansas, according to Fact Check:
The former Arkansas governor is fond of saying – in debates, on his Web site and in that Nov. 18 Fox News interview – that he cut taxes "almost 94 times in my state." (On his site, he rounds up to "nearly 100 times," adding that he saved "the people of Arkansas almost $380 million.")

That turns out to be far from the whole story. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration found that 90 tax cuts were enacted in legislative sessions from 1997 through 2005, while Huckabee was governor, and those cuts reduced tax revenues by $378 million. But Huckabee fails to mention the 21 tax increases that occurred under his watch and that raised revenues by substantially more. The total net tax increase under Huckabee's tenure was an estimated $505.1 million, says the Department of Finance and Administration's Whitney McLaughlin, adding that the figure has been adjusted for inflation.

Huckabee is a nice guy who believes in his own religiosity, and has crackpot ideas about governance. And while I applaud his ideas about the arts, a Huckabee Presidency would do nothing about them. Why? Because Arts have been on the Right-wing hit list since Nixon, and the Reagan admnistration finished off any hint of support for Arts in schools nationwide.

West L.A. Music has run ads for years showing some celebrity musician shopping their store: "Here's West L.A. Salesperson with (insert name here)." I wonder how many of them might be Huckabee supporters. Let's see:

Snoop Dog? Nah.

Tom "Rage Agains The Machine" Morello? Not likely.

Frank "I hate the PMRC" Zappa? Um, nope.

George "My Sweet Lord" Harrison? Probably not.

And gay musicians? Here's Huckabee's take on you:
I think the radical view is to say that we’re going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal. Again, once we change the definition, the door is open to change it again. I think the radical position is to make a change in what’s been historic.

In other world, your relationship is the equivalent of bestiality.

Personal beliefs are fine, and I don't criticize anyone's faith. But I do criticize this, taken straight from Huckabee's web site:
My faith is my life - it defines me. My faith doesn't influence my decisions, it drives them.

That's really great, Mike. Thing is, the Constitution says in Article 6:
[N]o religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

And it says in the 1st Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

And Thomas Jefferson, principle architect of the Constitution said:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god, [the people, in the 1st Amendment,] declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.

Bottom line, this is enough to disqualify you from being considered as a President. Factored in with your Right-wing ideas and agenda, it makes you clearly outside the mainstream of this country.

And you're not a very good bass player, either.