Tag Archives: Politics

Nope…Still Undecided


I’m afraid that had I been an Iowa caucus participant, I would have been in camp “Undecided.” I would have contributed to one of several coin tosses the Democrats executed last night. I’d apologize, but sorry, not sorry.

I’m neither a Democrat or a Republican. I spoke of this before, but I grew up in a split household, my mother was a Republican, while my father was a Democrat. I spent hours at the dinner table or seated in the living room listening to my parents debate candidates and issues. My father stood firm that Dems were for the working man and Republicans were rich elitists. My mother claimed Dems were greedy and looking for handouts and the Republicans were the best to effect change, after all they were the party of Lincoln.

Skip ahead 35 years and neither party is what it used to be and I don’t identify with either one. I have at least one friend who enthusiastically supports every candidate in the race, including Trump, poor misguided pup that he is (my friend not the Hamster). But I have yet to see anything in any candidate that makes me think, “Yes, that’s my person. This is the person I want to be the leader of the free world.”

I am a firm believer in the adage, “don’t vote, don’t bitch,” so I will vote for someone, even if it means settling for the lesser of twelve evils. Wouldn’t be the first time, I’ve only enthusiastically voted for a presidential candidate three times: Obama the first time around, Clinton the first time around and Dukakis in my first election. Everything else has been a blend of “lesser of two evils” or “well maybe with some more time…”

It would be nice to be excited again. I’m almost envious of my friends who are firmly behind a candidate. I’m just not there yet.  And I’m not sure I ever will be. We shall see.

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What I learned in logic class…


When I was an undergrad, I took a philosophy/logic class. On one of the professor’s first exams, he asked this question:

“Why?”

No one got the answer right.

As we went through the semester, the answer he was looking for became more clear. When the professor posed the question on the final exam, we all got it right.

The answer: Because

Many of us are still reeling over the events of Friday. Many are angry. Many are gut-wrenchingly sad. Many are asking “why?” What would make a person do such a heinous thing?

These are fair questions, but in the overall scheme of things, the concrete answers don’t matter, and more to the point, we will never know, since the only one who could provide the answers is no longer here.

So we are forced to live with the fact we will not get the answers we want. Notice I said want, not need. We already know what we need to know, we just aren’t willing to accept it.

We know 20 families are not tucking in little ones tonight.

We know 27 families are making funeral arrangements tonight.

We know several dozen parents are living with the agony of outliving their child

We know children have lost their parents.

We know too many people died on Friday.

We know all this, yet we still ask why.

Well…

Because there has always been craziness on the planet.

Because there has always been evil in this world.

Because it is human nature for a person in pain to strike out at others, to not only inflict pain, but as a desperate attempt to lesson his own.

I don’t know if Adam Lanza was crazy, evil, in pain or a combination of the above. What I do know is that we are wringing our hands and banging our heads against the wall, trying to figure the “whys,” when the answer is simple. Painfully simple:

Because he wanted to

Because he could

Because he did

Because

The Great American Debates have already started. Both sides of the gun issue will be bantering back and forth for several weeks, both pointing fingers and sharing pearls of wisdom such as “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” and “If guns were banned, this would have never happened.” The religion debate will heat up, with school prayer being trotted out again (Yeah, I know, already happened.) Others, I’m sure, will find a way to make this tragedy work for their niche political agenda.

But if these are the only takeaways we get from this horrific event, then we’re doomed. Because even in our darkest hours, there are still rays of light and hope. Platform people can demand changes until they are blue, but those changes won’t make the crazy sane or the evil disappear. You can’t legislate it,  you can’t will it out of existence, but no one wants to talk about what could be done about it.Sure people want change, but the proposals are cosmetic. (I’m avoiding the political aspects right now…)

So, the best we can do (for now) is realize that these things exist and live our lives knowing that at any given moment, crazy and evil can land on our doorstep. That does not mean we are to go trough our lives in fear. It actually means the opposite. We should embrace every day and everyone we care about. None of us knows when we will speak our final words to someone, kiss our last kiss or give our last hug to those we love.

Because none of us are promised a tomorrow.

Because bad things happen

Because we’re all human

Because

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Debate Number 1…


is now behind us. And what did we learn?

1. Obama hasn’t had to defend his stance in a long time.

2. Romney doesn’t seem to understand the rules of debate.

3. Jim Lehrer never had control of the debate as moderator.

4, Town Hall formats without a town hall are just stupid.

5. Romney loves Big Bird, but has no problem firing him.

6. Romney has a plan. He’ll tell you what it is later.

7. Obama lost this debate. Yeah, I said it. Obama didn’t show up. He didn’t really have to.

8. Romney won this debate. Of course he had to.

Overall, I can’t say I’ve come out of this debate with any more information than I had going in. I’m still waiting for all the fact-checkers to chime in — they’re got their work cut out for them.

If there’s a “smoking gun” revealed, I’ll discuss that tomorrow, or whenever it’s revealed.

In other news, I had three of my favorite clients contact me with work today, which was cool. I started a new piece of chainmaille jewelry, which is cool, too.

And today, I did actually feed the dogs. 😉

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Be Less Racist – Eat Less Chicken


I’ve been pretty busy with work, so I haven’t had time to blog, but some of the events that have unfolded over the last few days have prompted me to jump back up on my soapbox for a few minutes. I’m going to make a couple of statements, then expound on them. Ready?

Okay…here we go.

Statement #1: Chik-Fil-A can support whatever it wants.

Like it or not, they are free not to support same-sex marriage. They are free to be a religious-based organization. They can choose to only recognize traditional marriage standards. You can boycott them. You can march in front of their restaurants and call them homophobic, evil or whatever you want. But it’s not going to make a difference. Beliefs that deeply rooted are not going to change because of a few picket signs or angry letters to the editor. I would bet the farm that Cathy et al would close the franchise down before they would change their stance. So, don’t waste your energy. Express your disdain by driving past the restaurant and eating someplace else.

Or you could send everyone you know to a Chik-Fil-A, then have them donate a dollar to a local Gay rights advocacy group as penance.  And don’t forget to let the restaurant know you did so.

Statement #2: Racism is alive and well.

Many of my friends seem to be shocked by this revelation. It makes me smile that some of my friends are so pure of thought that these things don’t occur to them, and it makes my heart sad when I have to point this fact out to them. I wish I could have the same idyllic attitude, but alas, it seems my reason for being is to be a litmus test and sounder of the alarm for others. I’m okay with that. But please, when I tell you that outside of your immediate scope, there are people who still hate on the basis of skin color, I’m not trying to be mean. I’m your reality check. No more, no less.

But the debates from the last few days have made me question things, and so, I am going to throw the big question out there: Fifty years ago, would we have been friends? Would you have supported my right to sit where I want on a bus or in a restaurant, or would you have complained that I had an “agenda” as I was fighting for my equal rights as a black person? Or go back further in time — would you have objected to my agenda to have equal rights as a woman?

No?

Maybe?

How are those fights any different from the one being fought now?

Now, before you tell me, “but it’s not the same thing, you’re comparing apples to oranges,” let me stop you. You’re right, they are two completely different issues.

But they are still both fruit. Fruit born from the same seed of ignorance and intolerance.  Just as the fair and equal-minded had to shout down the detractors to equal right for women and blacks then, the same thing is happening now.

Speaking of detractors, let’s talk a moment about Obama haters.

No, I don’t mean those who oppose President Obama’s policies, I mean those who hate the man.

Dislike his policies all you want. Call him out on what you perceive as a lack of experience and inability to run the country. I got no beef with that.

But those of you who hate him because you hate the idea of a black man being in the Oval Office, I’m onto you, and I will call you out whenever I encounter you. I’ve got a big booming voice, and I’m not afraid to use it.

Because if I let you hate him and remain silent about it, it is only a matter of time before you start hating me. Because I’m black. Because I’m a woman. Because I fit some other stereotype you hold dear to your heart.

So, now, friends,  maybe you understand my frustration with some of the things that have been said over the last few days. For some of you, it’s just idle chatter with no immediate implications. But for me, it is so much bigger than that. I cannot allow anyone  to roll back time and force me to fight for my rights all over again. Not gonna happen. Not while I’m still breathing.

 

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An Open Letter To Everyone Who Wanted Me To Write An Open Letter About Trayvon Martin


(and were ticked off/disappointed/confused by my apathy statement earlier.)

You wanted a rant — here ya go. First a caveat: The words “you” and “yours” are collective. I’m talking to everyone. If it doesn’t apply to you, then you’ve got no reason to be offended. If it does, well…

So, earlier today, I posted that I was…oh let me just pull the quote:

You know, over the last few days, I’ve seen some pretty stupid news items come through my Facebook feed. A 17 year-old boy armed with iced tea and Skittles being shot dead by a nutcase with a cop complex. A lame bumper sticker. Anything from Fox News. Several good candidates for YMBOC.

Now, I remember a time, not so long ago, when any one of these would have elicited a full-blown rant from me.  At one time, I could have written thousands of words on any of the above-mentioned topics.

And yet…

Yeah, I got nothin’.

It’s official folks: I am completely apathetic.

Some of you seemed to take offense to that statement, even though I went on to say:

Now, don’t confuse my apathy for lack of caring or concern. I do care, and I am concerned. However, railing about it just isn’t in me right now. It’s as if I’m in observation mode — just taking it all in, making notes as things unfold.

And observe I have. But I don’t think I’m seeing the same things you are.

Some of you seem to think I should be more outraged than everyone else about this because I’m black.

What the hell does that have to do with anything?Is there some special dispensation code I should be using to show the proper amount of outrage over an unarmed kid being shot to death by a racist prick?

Is it not enough for me to be outraged because I’m a mother?

How about the fact that I’m a human being?

But because I’m black, I’m supposed to automatically be especially outraged over this tragic event.

Bite me.

I Am outraged. It sickens me that in 2012, people are still killing people based on stereotypes, hate, skin color and ignorance. I’m sick and tired of always worrying that when my kids walk out that door, there’s a chance they might not come back.

But you know what I’m really sick of? As aggravating, frustrating, pathetic and sad as the Trayvon Martin situation is, it’s not the first. Today, it’s Trayvon Martin. Yesterday it was Troy Davis. Before that, it was Sean Bell. Before that, Emmett Till.

Don’t know who these people are?

Google is your friend.

And the real bitch of it is…

There will be another one tomorrow, and next week, and next month and next year.

Because you see, so long as people still see black males as “thugs in hoodies” and refer to them as “f****in coons,” it’s going to keep happening. Again and again and again.

And damn if I know how to stop it.

So, you’ll excuse me if once in a while I defer the need to express outrage to others who are just as capable of railing, ranting and raving as I am. Sometimes I just need to back off and be a part of the choir.

 

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An Open Letter To Rush Limbaugh


Dear Mr. Limbaugh:

So, you were forced to make an apology to Ms. Fluke and other women you insulted when you called her a “slut” and a “prostitute”. However, I have to take umbrage with several statements in your apology. In an attempt to be fair and balanced, I have included your entire apology in this post. I pulled it from the Huffington Post, I hope that doesn’t rankle you too much:

“For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.

My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

Now, I could argue that your whole apology was weak, at best. And I could point out that the coercion is almost palpable. But, instead, I’m going to focus on three specific statements you made. And thank you for the expediency of making all three statements consecutively. This is the passage I’d like to discuss:

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability?

Let’s break the statement down to individual sentences so each statement can receive the response it so richly deserves, shall we?

(And since you started your “apology” with the idea that you have “illustrated the absurd with absurdity,” I’m going to borrow from that phrase for just a moment.)

Absurdity Illustration #1: I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress.

Here’s a stat for ya, Rush: Men think about sex almost twice as much as women. Notice I didn’t trot out the “men think about sex once every seven seconds” urban legend. That’s a, well, absurd statement, and I don’t need to be incendiary or outrageous to make a point. (You should try that sometime.)  Don’t believe me? Check here, here and here. Also, men see sex more as a recreational activity than women (that point is also supported in the previously provided links). Republican congressMEN created a committee to discuss contraception, and refused to let women participate.

Believe it or not, I agree with you, Rush. It is absurd that a group of men decided to get together and discuss recreational sex. That should have stayed on the golf course, in the locker room, and around the poker table — you know, those other places men work to keep female-free. Here’s an interesting tidbit: when women get together to, oh I don’t know, make a quilt, discuss the latest book club selection or swap recipes, female contraception only comes up if someone’s having an issue “down there.” Otherwise, it’s generally not topic worthy.  Birth control is not recreation for us — for many of us it’s a necessary evil. Period. (Pun intended)

Absurdity Illustration #2: I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities.

Did I miss a memo? When did this become something that the American citizens collectively would be required to pay for? I thought the point of the hearings was to discuss if private insurance should be required to cover oral contraceptives. How did that become free birth control lines at the free clinic? I believe that if I’m paying for insurance, then I should be able to get any medication I need to live a healthy and comfortable life. I get highly insulted when I’m paying for a service but I cannot receive all the parts of the service I want because someone determined I didn’t need it. Someone who has NO IDEA what I really need or want. That’s insulting. What if your insurance company told you that you’ve had enough sex in your life, and therefore they will no longer cover your Viagra? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Absurdity Illustration #3: What happened to personal responsibility and accountability?

Oh, Rush, Rush, Rush (when was the last time a woman said THAT to you?)…I’ve been pondering this same question for years. I ponder it when I hear statements such as:

  • It’s the woman’s responsibility to take care of birth control.
  • Women who use birth control are awesome. I hate having sex with a condom — it ruins it for me.
  • (When the birth control fails): Not my problem — you should have known you were fertile!
  • (When no birth control is used and pregnancy results) See statement #1 followed by “What do you expect me to do about it?”

You dare to pose the question about responsibility and accountability, while other men place that responsibility and accountability squarely on women’s shoulders. And when a woman does take on the accountability, and a pregnancy results, you point the finger and denounce her.

That’s bad enough.

But then, when the woman takes on the responsibility, but simply asks that her insurance, which she is paying for, offer contraception coverage as part of the planfor which the woman is paying premiums, you have the audacity to insult her and tell her she has no right to make the request.

You’re out of your freakin’ mind.

I doubt you’ll read this, and that’s okay. I didn’t really write it for you to read, since that might mean having some sort of contract with you, and like the flu, I try to avoid things that make me feverish, clammy and feel like I want to faint. I really wrote this for my readers who actually respect your opinion, and for my other readers who think you are a moron. So, let me finish off this post with a brief summary:

Men can get Viagra through insurance. It’s used primarily to treat Erectile Dysfunction. Most men use it for recreational sex. And yes, sex with your spouse that is not a deliberate attempt to procreate IS recreational sex.

Women use oral contraceptives to treat a myriad of gynecological ailments, including infrequent cycles, PCOS, endometriosis, PMDS and acne. They also use it for recreational sex. But insurance doesn’t want to cover oral contraception because women might use it for recreational sex.

If you can’t see the flaw in that logic, then it’s a good thing this is the end of my post, because I have nothing more to say to you.

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It’s Time


Taking a break from my usual writing-related posts to discuss something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I’ll return to more writer-friendly banter tomorrow, but for now…

In the midst of Occupy Fill-In-the-Blank-with-the-location-of-your-choice-here, Tea Party rhetoric, and general politicizing, one thing still stands out to me: Everything is still a Republican vs. Democrat issue. Herman Cain is better than Mitt Romney, but both are better than President Obama. The Republicans are out to destroy the Democrats. Progressives are subversives out to overthrow the government.

Stop. Just. Stop.

When will we learn that this is not a Republican vs. Democrat issue. None of it. The political affiliation has noting to do with any of this.

This is a Us vs. Them issue, and the “Thems” belong to both parties.

The US is US. The average American who expects their elected officials to do what we sent them to DC to do.

Take a look around, people. Are ANY of them doing that? Any?

Name one. Please. Think about it. I’ll wait.

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

The American people have been sold a pack of lies. Doesn’t matter what political wrapper it’s in. It’s all rotten underneath the pretty foil used to sell it to us. We’ve been had. Plain and simple.

And if you don’t think they aren’t sitting in their respective war rooms laughing their asses off at us, you’re deluded.

Wake up people. Stop letting them divide us. As a friend posted earlier on her blog, we cannot in good conscience leave the politics to the politicians.

Every day, millions of Americans sit down with their checkbook and pile of bills and figure out who gets paid and who gets to wait til next payday. We don’t have the benefit of printing more money or creating a new credit card from thin air. We have to make do with what we have. We make it work, because we don’t have a choice.

And yet, our government, who has no problem sticking their hand in my wallet every April, cannot manage this feat.

And spare me the well, the Democrats/well the Republican crap. That’s not even the issue.

Our elected officials have probably never had to live within reasonable means either in their entire lives or it was so long ago, they forget how. Face it, you can’t be broke and run for political office.

So, we have a bunch of people who have never had to balance a budget, trying to balance the biggest budget in the world. Yeah, makes perfect sense.

I say we ban all attorneys (who are notoriously bad with money!), and people who have amassed wealth from holding public office. I think only bookkeepers and people who have had to live within their means for the past 10 years or more should be sent to Washington. Why we thought a bunch of rich, privileged individuals could come together to represent us was a good idea, I do not understand. But obviously its not working.

So, I propose a third party. Call it the Real Party. The candidates are REAL people, with REAL issues and a REAL grasp on what life in America is really like.

Because this is no longer a Democrat vs. Republican issue. It’s a REAL one.

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