Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bob Costas, Half Time Preaching Segments, and the Narrative

Not too long ago, Kansas City Chiefs Player, Javon Belcher, shot his girlfriend, and then drove to the Chiefs practice facility and shot himself.  It was a breathtaking tragedy.  A 22 year-old woman was shot.  An amazing athlete is dead.  Everyone expected this would be discussed, at length during football Sunday and even Monday.  

What I didn't expect is that Bob Costas would use half time to expound upon the evils of guns, and use a pretty lame anti-gun column by Jason Whitlock to do it.

First, Mr. Whitlock is a sports writer.  He should stick to that.  Am I being unfair?  Maybe.  But one look at Keith Olbermann explains to you why sports guys should stick to sports.  Mr. Whitlock's column was hilarious, except it was also sad.  He believes that Kasandra Perkins and Javon Belcher would still be alive if we didn't have a gun culture.  He's welcome to believe what he wants, but his assertion fails the smell test when we simply look at O.J. Simpson.  No gun involved there.  Mr. Simpson's lack of a gun didn't stop him from brutally murdering two people.  Yet Mr. Whitlock proceeded to rail on the Chiefs organization, because he expected they wouldn't immediately start pushing for new gun control measures.  Not once in his column does he mention that Belcher had a history of an explosive temper and violence.  Not once does he mention the rash of head injuries, which  most recently contributed to the suicide of Junior Seau.  Not once does he bring up the culture of celebrity, which lifts up these normal human beings to some special status because they can throw a football, catch a football, and tackle other guys.  No, Mr. Whitlock's first impulse is to attack an inanimate object - the gun.  Mr. Whitlock will later go on to call the NRA the newest version of the KKK.   He had an agenda, and that's what he wrote about.

Then the rest of us were treated to Bob Costas preaching about it during halftime of a prime time football game.  He quoted Mr. Whitlock, while once again, never mentioning Belcher's aggressive history, history of head injuries (if there was one), or that celebrity culture.

Fast Forward to this past weekend.  A Dallas Cowboys player, Jerry Brown, is killed in one car accident, caused by his friend and teammate, Josh Brent.  Brent was legally intoxicated and is now facing manslaughter charges.  Mr. Whitlock and Mr. Costas are both notably absent from the discussion.

Where is the lecture on the evils of drinking in excess, to the point where you get in a car and kill another human being?  Where is the cry that alcohol, fast cars, and reckless driving are the newest versions of the KKK?  Where is the much needed lecture on the culture of celebrity that exposes these young men to alcohol and drugs with no thought before hand?  Heck, the NFL has a number players can call to get a cab to come pick them up if they get drunk, or high, or just don't feel well.  Nothing like looking the other way.

There was nothing.  Not a single thing, from these two popular sports commentators.  Two more people lost in the prime of their lives.  No Brent isn't dead, but he's likely going to end up in jail, and likely never going to see a football field as part of his chosen profession again.  All of it caused by one of the number one advertisers during televised football games - alcohol.

This is not to say that I am blaming alcohol.  Just like guns, alcohol is an inanimate object. So are cars that go fast.  It's the people, the ones making the choices, that cause these inanimate objects, to become dangerous killers.  

But there is one big difference.  I can't say whether Miss Perkins would be still be alive if Belcher hadn't had a gun.  If he was angry enough, if he was aggressive enough, I'm sure he could have found a kitchen knife, just like O.J. Simpson.  Or, i suppose he could have just beat her up.  Or  maybe nothing.  We will never know.  But I do know, if there had been no alcohol and no fast car, Jerry Brown would still be alive, and Josh Brent would still be playing football.  Even with knowing that, it doesn't give me the right to take those things away from Mr. Brent before hand, on the simple fact that he "might" drink and he "might" get in a car, and he "might" drive too fast, and he "might" kill someone.  Nor does anyone have the right to infringe on our second amendment rights, because someone might be crazy enough or evil enough to shoot someone else.  

I would venture to say, it is more likely that someone will get in a car drunk, and cause an accident, then it is likely that someone who lawfully owns a gun will shoot another human being out of anger or just plain crazy.

Yet, the voices who were crying for gun control, are practicing a telling silence on this latest tragedy.  Because bemoaning the evils of alcohol and fast cars, well, it just doesn't fit the narrative.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Too Late

Today, I've become pretty good at pissing off people who would normally agree with me.  Maybe I should explain.

I've seen a lot of people, in the last 2 weeks, post things across social media starting with this phrase, "I kept my mouth shut during the election, but....", and then they proceed to speak out about some thing they suddenly realize is bad.

Unemployment?  Bad before the election
Food Stamp and Welfare increased participation? Bad before the election
Benghazi?  Bad before the election.
The current healthcare bill requiring religious people to do things against their belief?  That was bad and happening before the election.

Truth?  Speaking about it now is too little too late.  Now?  You are much less likely to change it.  Maybe 3 weeks ago, you could have helped change someone's mind. Now?  You are complaining and protesting, but for the next 2 years there is precious little anyone can really do.

So many people think there is something wrong with being involved politically.    They are afraid of offending people, or having people get angry with them, or whatever.  But if you are unwilling to stand up for something when there is a chance you could make a difference, why bother standing up after the fact?  I guess it's easier then, when our friends from the other side have what they want, and it's not likely they are going to unfriend you now.  

I don't know.  I just know that I get very upset when people say "I didn't before...but now", when what they are complaining or protesting was happening 3 weeks ago.  And then...well... maybe it would have made a difference.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Now I Get to Make Everyone Mad

Really, this is where I excel.  I generally don't made just one side mad, I get to both.

I've come to the conclusion in the last few weeks, that I'm a libertarian.  I really am of the mindset that the government should get out of my life and stay out of my life.  I believe our country was founded on strong state power and limited federal government power.  That philosophy got me thinking.

Are Republicans, in general, any different from Democrats?  Yes, they are.  In some respects they are.  However, most Republicans pay lip service to we the people.  Let's face it.  Nothing in the last twelve years proves that, if given true power, the Republicans wouldn't spend money just like Democrats.  They'd just spend it on different things.  They might not legislate healthcare or carbon taxes, but they darn well would try to legislate abortion and marriage.  I began to wonder if it's really just that some Americans don't want smaller government, but government to be powerful in the aspects that are important to them.  I used to be one of those people.  Not so much anymore.

I am not pro gay marriage.  However, I do believe it's a state issue.  I'm very pro-life, but I also believe that's a state issue.  See, states=powerful, federal government=not so powerful. 

There isn't a single thing the federal government has done well, outside of national defense.  Social Security lockbox?  Unlocked and spent.  Medicare/Medicaid?  Won't survive if we don't do something about it.  Amrtrak?  Still failing to make any money.  Taxpayers subsidize it.  Post Office?  Runs huge deficits every year.  Education?  Has failed to improve at all despite more and more money being thrown at it.  I could go on and on.  

So I'm a libertarian.  And really, I think most people, deep down are.  We've been suckered into a two party system where our choices are "ugly" and "really ugly", and we are dumb enough to continue to vote for the "lesser of two evils".  We continue to play the game, and we never get what we thought we were buying.

It's time we the people took back our country.  We the people need to stop settling for "whatever candidate will do less damage".  We need to stop deciding whether we are okay with double digit debt and single digit debt.  We need to start voting for the real small government people.

We can do this...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Get Over It

So this is what we've come to.  If I post anything marginally political, I'm going to be told "he won, get over it".

My candidate of choice lost the election.  It crossed my mind to post all kinds of things to my facebook page.  For instance "Please don't come complain to me when your taxes go up, you can't pay back your student loans, and you can't find a job".  Considering a full 50% of recent college graduates can't find a good paying job, or even a job at all, that's a distinct possibility.  But I didn't say it, because it would have been sour grapes.

I was treated to a multitude of posts from my President Obama supporting friends.  Some of them were just rejoicing.  Some of them were downright rude.  The posts have continued.  They just can't get enough of rubbing the other sides faces it in.  I let them have their moment.   Pointing out that they sound like our local high school teenage girls after this year's Powder Puff game wasn't going to do any good.

So last night, I had the audacity to mention that people in New York City are walking 6 miles to find food.  They can't buy gas.  Some of them don't have homes to live in.  Some have homes with no heat or electricity.  In that post I mentioned if they had voted Republican this would be a scandal.  I was told "he won, get over it."  

Ok.  That's fine.  But  let us all think back to Katrina.  We are still hearing how it was all Bush's fault.  I'm pretty sure we'll be hearing that for 50 years. So, to me, my comment rings true.  If a Republican was President right now, not only would we be hearing about how he caused the hurricane by not fighting global warming, we'd also be hearing about how people having to walk 6 miles for food was also his fault.

My point was, we aren't hearing much about it.  it's not a scandal.  It's not even a problem for most people.  It's old news.  Except for those living in New York City.  It's a problem for them.  It's not news, it's their reality.  

We the people had every right to hold the  Bush Administration partially responsible for the failures of Katrina.  (We must remember that Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin should also bear part of that load.)  We the people have every right to hold this President partially responsible for what is still going on in New York City.  We should also be pointing a finger at Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg.  

So, no, I won't be getting over this. Not this, not Benghazi, not Fast & Furious.  I have the right to continue speaking up, as I've been doing my entire adult life.  No  matter who wins the election.

Maybe if more Americans paid attention more than every four years...but then, that's just a pipe dream.

So really, stop telling me to shut up.  It won't happen.  Ever.  And you should be thankful for that.  It means we still have the freedom to speak out.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I have a few questions.  I realize that some people will read this blog and freak out on me, but honestly, I just want to know what the thought process is.

Yesterday the country re-elected Barack Obama to the Presidency.  

To all Black Americans:
Why do you consistently vote for a party that has spent more than 30 years telling you that you aren't smart enough, ambitious enough, or good enough to accomplish anything on your own?  They constantly tell you that without their help, you can't achieve your dreams.   In essence the Democrats have told Black Americans that you need them and their promises and their legislation in order to have any chance in this society.  Do you not find that demeaning? It's been said, that upon signing the Civil Rights Act, President Lyndon B. Johnson said "we'll have them n****** voting democrat for 40 years." He was right.  But by God, just that sentence leaves me shaking my head.  In my world, the color of your skin doesn't matter one iota.  You can achieve your dreams, because it's within your power.  Why do you allow Democrats to convince you that you are too poor or stupid to obtain an id to vote?  Voter ID isn't about disenfranchising anyone.  Do you really want your vote cancelled out by someone who isn't a citizen, or by someone who is voting twice?  Seriously, these people make it sound like minorities are too inferior to obtain a free state identification card.  Where is that okay?  I'm honestly asking the question because I do not understand.

To Women:
Why do you vote for a party that objectified you into the sum of your sex organs?  Your brain didn't matter.  Your ambition didn't matter.  Your abilities didn't matter.  You were reduced to birth control and abortions, as if outside of sex, women don't need anything or mean anything.  I thought true feminism was to fight objectification.  I look around and I wonder where that went.    I heard that the Republicans didn't want equal pay, but where did that come from?  The Lily Ledbetter act did not guarantee equal pay for equal work.  It guaranteed trial lawyers some nice fees because you can sue a company IF you manage to find out that you weren't paid the same as your male counterpart.  But while President Obama showed off Lily Ledbetter, he failed to mention that women in his administration make 18% less than their male counterparts.  If Lily Ledbetter guaranteed equal pay, he wasn't following the law.   As a matter of fact, most Democrats in D.C., pay their female staffers less than men.  In the end, for women, the Democrats made this election about sex, and a bill that really had nothing to do with what they were claiming it did.  And according to the polls, my gender accepted that.  My question isn't full of bitterness, it's befuddlement.  I need to understand.

To Latino/Hispanic Voters:
Why do you vote for a party that consistently votes in opposition of your value system?  I understand that maybe Republicans do a lousy job of explaining it, but most conservatives are not anti immigration.  Heck, everyone in this country is the result of some form of immigration.  Conservatives are anti illegal immigration.  There are so many wonderful Latino and Hispanic immigrants, who waded through red tape and mess to be here legally.  So many who fell in love with America and became citizens.  I was honored to see two young men from the Dominican Republic become US Citizens on completion of Army Basic Training.  It was a moving ceremony.  We welcome immigrants who go through the proper channels to get here.  We'd like to cut down on illegal immigration, because it drains our resources and frankly, it takes away from legal immigrants and those who wish to immigrate to our wonderful country.  So why vote for those who turn their back on the social and religious beliefs you hold dear?  I don't understand.

See, here is my confusion.  I believe in America, in it's exceptional status, in it's exceptional citizenry of all shapes, sizes and colors.  And I just don't understand why so many of us sell ourselves short, sell our values out, and are okay with less than what we ourselves can achieve through hard work.  These are honest questions.  So many people will call me names just for asking them.  But truly, I'm only trying to understand.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

It's time to get a new media....

A few weeks ago, something terrible happened to our country.  It didn't happen here, and maybe that's why there aren't as many outraged people as there should be.  On September 11, 2012, a group of people stormed the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.  They are killed our ambassador, Chris Stevens, and 3 others.  They paraded his body through the streets and took pictures.  Some people have alleged he was raped.  

The day after the attacks, White House Spokesman, Jay Carney, told reporters it was a spontaneous attack, related to a 14 minute movie clip on youtube.  It was not organized.  It had nothing to do with our current middle east policy.  (Please forget if you somehow managed to see the videos of Egyptians, who stormed our embassy there, shouting "Obama, Obama we are all Osama".  Move along.)

5 days after the attack, US Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, appeared on all 5 major Sunday news shows to reiterate this fact.  Totally spontaneous, no planning, yes, Libyans bring RPGs and heavy machine guns to a protest all the time!  (Please forget that you might have heard the Libyan President say this was an organized attack, most likely perpetrated by Al Qiada. Move along.)

The media spent days on Mitt Romney's statement, and mere minutes, if that,  on the head scratching going on by the US Citizenry.  The attack occurred on 9/11.  If the White House truly believed it was spontaneous, there must be proof, because any normal person would question the timing.  (Especially considering that youtube video had been in place for months...)

Even when little pieces of information, like our Al-Q buddies being angry about the latest drone strike, came out, the White House stuck to their story.  And then one day, they didn't.  Without explanation, it became a terrorist attack.

Thank you Kirsten Powers, of the Daily Beast, for being willing to say what no major media people are saying.  This administration is either incompetent or lying.  Either they rushed to judgment, for whatever reason,  and were dead wrong, or they knew, and they didn't want us to know.

They got quite tetchy when CNN did something CNN is not known for doing.  CNN made them look like idiots or liars.  They published a portion of Chris Stevens diary, where he says he thinks he's on Al Qiada's hit list.  Something he probably expressed to people higher up.  Something they did nothing about.  There was weeping and wailing over how wrong it was, but the damage was done.  The Ambassador was worried, and according to reports, he wasn't even afforded the basic security necessary to protect him.  The safe house was known (by a bunch of spontaneous protestors!). 

And the media.... mostly still focused on Mitt Romney.

So, here are a few questions they should be asking our Leader.

1) When did the intelligence community know this was a planned terrorist attack?  When did they tell you?  Is anyone getting fired for allowing your administration representatives to go on national TV and make a statement that was nowhere near the truth?

2) How did reporters from CNN manage to access personal information  within the Benghazi Consulate?  Considering a crime was committed there, isn't there any security making sure the crime scene isn't destroyed?

3) Is there any truth to the information that within 24 hours of the attack at least someone in the government was aware, not only that it was a terrorist attack, but that the address of one of the attackers was known?

4) Why is the FBI still 400 miles away from the investigation they are supposed to be doing?

5) Why was Ambassador Stevens not afforded the basic protection necessary to protect his life?

I could keep going.  None of these questions are even being  asked.

For the second time since September 11th, 2001, a terrorist or group of terrorists have attacked us again, and it's not headline news.  It's not even second page news.  I can blame the White House for totally screwing up, but if the American people are unaware of how bad it was screwed up, there's only  one place to lay the blame.  The news media.  They simply aren't doing their jobs.  Time to replace them.  It's time for a new set of real journalist, if there are any left.

One more thing.  Do you remember when the 2,000th Soldier killed in Iraq was front page news?  Can you tell me when the 2,000th Soldier was killed in Afghanistan, without looking it up?  I rest my case.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Dear Mr. President:

Why do I feel like I was just treated to a rerun of 2008?  Why do I feel like I've heard this all before?  Why do I feel like I just heard 38 minutes of empty promises?  Dear Mr. President, why do I have such a problem with you?

I'm no policy wonk, but I do pay attention.

You did say "you didn't build that", and if you were referring to roads and bridges, I ask, where exactly did government get the money to pay for those things?  I think it might have been from the same people you accused of not building that....

You did say, "The private sector is doing fine".  You did say that it was the public sector...state and local government workers were the issue.  The thing is Mr. President, public sector employment is the same as it was 6 years ago.  Private sector employment is negative 3 million jobs.

You told reporters that the reason you couldn't forge relationships with the other party is because you wanted to spend time with your family.  Mr. President, I understand that.  Right now, we live week to week, because I'm staying home to spend more time with my kids.  But Mr President, you wanted this job, and part of this job is finding a way to work with the other side.  Part of it is reaching out to the other side.  After having played 104 games of golf, am I really to believe you couldn't make time one night a week to reach out to the other side and make them feel like they had a voice at your table?

Mr. President, I come from a world where not every student went to an ivy league university.  Entrance was difficult, tuition was high, and you either got scholarships or didn't go if you couldn't afford it.  I'm sure everyone would like an ivy league education, but that just isn't going to happen. State schools are good, and tuition is generally cheaper if you reside in the school's home state.  How about, instead of encouraging students to go into  debt by hundreds of thousands of dollars, we encourage them to shop for a college that won't put that burden on them.  Obviously, not every family can even afford a state school.  So we  have Pell Grants and other forms of aid, both pubic and private.  But as long as the government continues to throw money for schools out there, schools won't lower their rates.  They'll lower them when students start shopping around to get the most bang for their buck.

Mr, President, you keep saying you saved GM, but I'm reading in a lot of places GM could be filing bankruptcy again soon.  This while we, the taxpayer, own stock that's only worth 10 million of the 50 million we are owed.  They just shut down production of the Chevy Volt due to non-interest.  In that deal you made, stockholders and debtholders got screwed, and the auto workers union kept their pensions and salaries, and now  they even got exemptions from Obamacare.  Mr. President, if GM has to file bankruptcy again, did you really save it, or just delay the inevitable while making sure your campaign contributors were taken care of?

Mr. President, I'm glad Osama Bin Laden is dead.  I wish we hadn't been so kind and given him some Muslim burial.  A whole lot of people in the World Trade Center didn't get traditional burials.  But I'm glad he's dead.  However, it would be nice if you admitted that his capture was at least in some part due to your continuation of the policies of former President Bush.  Policies you promised to end, but didn't.  It's okay.  I'm sure national security looked a lot different when it became your responsibility.  I'm glad you didn't keep all those promises.  But all the same, don't you owe credit to the people who came up with this whole plan?

Mr.President, why do you insist on telling our enemies when we will no longer continue fighting them, so they can just sit back and wait for us to leave?  Why is your administration leaking national security secrets to the press and Hollywood filmmakers?  Why did we outsource our base security in Afghanistan to Afghanis who are killing our soldiers?  Why did we insist on taking the ammunition away from our soldiers while letting the Afghanis keep theirs?  Why do we seem okay with so many of our men and women dying at the hands of our supposed allies?  

I understand why you view this country so differently than I do.  I was raised in a family that was just so darn proud to be Americans.  I was raised by parents who didn't have college degrees, but worked hard to do better than they really had any right to.  I understand that you have a connection with the father you barely knew, and how his world views shaped yours.  But Mr. President, America is not the French, or the British Empire.  We promote freedom, but we also encourage countries to form their own governments and build their own freedom.   This is not Kenya, we were once ruled by colonials, and all America ever does is pay, both in money and blood, to help the rest of the world.  This country and it's rich history and amazing formula made you President, and Sir, you should want to continue that tradition.

But you don't.  No matter what you say, your policies reflect someone who wishes to downgrade our country further, and I'm sorry Sir, but it's time for us to move on.  It's time for America to elect someone more like John F. Kennedy, who knew our rights came not from the generosity of government but the hand of God.  Who asked what we could do for our country, not what the country could do for us.  It's time for someone who recognizes that America IS exceptional.  We are a city on a hill.  We are the last best hope.

It's time for someone other than you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Here We Go Again

So I watched Chris Matthews turn into a foaming-at-the-mouth, rabid dog, screaming racism, because Republicans have referred to President Obama as the "Food Stamp President".  And because Republicans have mentioned that maybe, President Obama has weakened the bi-partisan victory of welfare reform.  I'm still scratching my head.

I don't understand how you accuse someone of racism, when they never injected race.  It wasn't Republicans who said "they're gonna put y'all back in chains".  They stated a fact.  Under this President more people are on food stamps than have ever been on food stamps in the history of the country.  He is, by all facts, the Food Stamp President.  What does that have to do with race?

The only answer I can come up with, is that Chris Matthews believes that most of the food stamp recipients are.... black.  This isn't something the Republicans have said.  It's not something that President has said.  it's something Chris Matthews has said.  Who's the racist?  Where is the outrage?

I remember back in the 2008 election, I was told, with no facts to back it up, that I wouldn't vote for Barck Obama, because I was scared of putting a "darkie in the whitehouse".  This was coming from a liberal democrat.  All I could think was no conservative that I knew would EVER use the term "darkie' and yet, this person used it like it was nothing.  Who's the racist?

The idea espoused by Democrats, that Black People can't succeed without the help of the government, that Women can't succeed without the help of the government (Julia anyone?), to me, is the height of both racism and sexism.   Liberal pundits scream racism over food stamps, and no one sees how racist their view is?  They are the ones assuming that food stamps=black, not conservatives.

Where is the outrage?


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fed Up

I saw a picture this morning on my facebook that put me over the edge.  It compared defense spending to universal healthcare.  It actually implied that funding our military is a form of imperialistic militarism, but that universal healthcare was not the government taking over our lives.

The two are not comparable.  Funding the military is one of the very few things the constitution gives the federal government the right to do.  You know, as opposed to education, arts, green energy, etc etc etc. 

The comments made me even more angry.  A lot of conservatives actually support cuts to defense spending, since the government is known for unnecessary spending in EVERY aspect of the budget.  I have no problem with cutting defense spending.  I do have a problem when those cuts come to the benefits of the men and women who risk their lives so people can make dumb comments on a facebook picture.

Telling me I have to purchase insurance, and that it has to conform to the standards set out by the Federal Government is intruding into my life.  I'm stuck with a plan that covers in vitro fertilization and birth control, neither of which I need.  But i don't have the option of purchasing insurance that covers what I need it to cover.  

Please tell me how an unelected,  unaccountable board of 15 people, who decide what treatment and medication I get is not an intrusion into the Doctor/Patient relationship.  The sole purpose of the board is to keep costs down, and to keep costs down you have to limit what people can get. No different than the current insurance system, only now it's the government making the decisions, not the insurance company.  And if costs spiral out of control,  you'll still pay more, only now you don't have the option to just not pay for it. Now, you have to.  You can't refuse to pay taxes unless moving to the nearest federal prison is on your list of things to do.

Here's the rub.  I have no problem helping people who truly need it.  But don't tell me you can't afford health insurance when  you have a flat screen tv, a new computer, smart phones, a new haircut every other month,  you get your nails done, you go out to eat..  Yes, you CAN afford it, you just choose other things over that.  That is your choice.  But I sure as heck shouldn't have to pay for the choices you make.

I don't have a flat screen tv, or a smart phone.   I get my hair trimmed when It's necessary (twice a year).  i don't get my nails done.  The last time my husband and I went out to dinner was Valentine's Day.  I make sacrifices so I can have the things i need.  Health insurance is one of those things I need.  We have to pay partially for it.  And that means I give up other things I don't need.

So yeah, I'm fed up with the people who  think they should be able to have those of us who make the hard choices ,fork over the money so they don't have to.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

In Which I Am Informed I Am Probably A Bigot

I'm so tired of that word.  It's become a catch all word to describe anyone who doesn't agree with a certain viewpoint.  But it's even better when someone assumes that because you eat a chicken sandwich from Chick-Fil-A you are probably a bigot.  

Dare to criticize the President of the United States?  Bigot.  

Dare to stand up for your value system?  Bigot.

Dare to actually believe in something that disagrees with the left?  Bigot.

The word begins to lose meaning the more we use it.  You know it's true.  We've been saying it about love for years.  The charge of racism and bigotry is tossed out so frequently, that it's becoming increasingly more difficult to take it seriously.  

I never imagined after this country elected a black man to the highest office, that any disagreement with him would mean we must all be closet racists.  That's what our society is being turned into.  And people are less careful every day about who they attach the term "bigot" to.  It's so darn easy to use.  If you challenge it, they just assume you are protesting because it's true.  So we  don't protest.  We don't stand up and point out how wrong it truly is.

Hitler was a bigot.  He hated blacks, jews, and the slavic races.  So much so that he made it legal to use them in medical experiments, throw them in jail, and kill them, all because they weren't born "white" enough for him.  

Treating black people as 3/5ths of a person, refusing them to right to vote, or the right to attend the schools of their choice, or to sit in the front of the bus?     That's bigotry.  

Eating a sandwich at a restaurant whose owner supports traditional marriage? Not bigotry.  Criticizing the policies of the President, or the increasingly dirty campaign he is running?  Not bigotry.  

We must be so far removed from the days of Civil Rights and Martin Luther King, Jr.  We have no idea what real bigotry is.

In a state sponsored rally in Iran today, people yelled "Death to the Jews".  That's bigotry.  That's hate.  And here, in this country, we have no idea anymore what it really means to use the word.  If we did, we wouldn't throw it around in such a cavalier way.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

No, I'm Sorry, We Didn't Lose

Someone asked the owner of a business what his stance was on Gay Marriage.    The owner of this restaurant is clearly an Evangelical Christian and everyone knows it.  He answered the question.  All hell broke loose.  Mayors in certain cities across the country, threatened to deny this business permits to build new branches, because he was asked and answered a question.  He didn't bring it up, he only answered, honestly.  

A News Talk Show host suggested a "Support this business" day.  That day was Wednesday, August 1.

By now, I'm sure you know I'm talking about Dan Cathy, Chick-Fil-A, and the Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day.  I went to Chick-Fil-A on Wednesday.  I posted a facebook status.  Yesterday, a friend wrote a post that made me delete him on facebook because it was so highly offensive.  He told us that whether we supported or protested we all lost.  Why?  Because in the time we were protesting or supporting we could have been doing something better with our time.  Like working in a soup kitchen.  

The implication was we should have stayed home and written letters to our Congressman and then done something for the poor and needy and destitute. I left a comment, but what I really should have done was said "are you?".   

The first amendment to the Constitution gives us the right to Free Speech, Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Religion and Freedom to Peacefully Protest. Many people who went to Chick-Fil-A did so because they support traditional marriage.  A whole bunch more went because we believe we have the right to state our opinions without blowback from the government.  When mayors of cities threaten to shut a business down or refuse to allow them to build new branches based on the beliefs of the owner?  Free Speech is in jeopardy.   I have always said, if you don't like what a business stands for or where it puts its money, don't shop there.  That's your right.  But the Government does not have the right to regulate business based on the beliefs of the owners.  Period.  So I went to Chick-Fil-A.  Some protesters when to Chick-Fil-A.  And no, we did NOT lose.  We won, because we were exercising our freedoms.

My family gives money away to the poor and needy.  We support organizations that help the depressed and suicidal.  I've sat by the bedside of a friend who died of cancer.  And my hour long excursion into Chick-Fil-A didn't take away from any of that, thank you very much.  I'd like to ask my friend when he's going to see a movie or doing Karaoke every week, or hanging out in a bar, isn't that more of a waste of time when he could be doing all those things he told us we should have been doing?  Protesting/Supporting something you believe strongly in is NOT a waste of time.  It's a right our founding fathers felt so strongly about, they put it in the Constitution.  

But here's the other rub.  He says if we really cared about free speech, how could we be supporting a business who supports denying citizens a basic inalienable right? Because if you can't speak out without fear of reprisal, who's going to speak out for those people?  If you take away our freedom to speak our opinions, every other freedom we have falls away.  That freedom is the benchmark of our continued Republic.  And when we come to together to stand up for that, we are NEVER losing. 

Until Next Time....

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Coverup or the Crime?

In what Attorney General Eric Holder called the possibility of a "constitutional crisis", the House or Representatives Government Oversight Committee ruled that the Attorney General was in Contempt of Congress.  They claim he failed to provide documents they issued a subpoena to obtain.  After 7 months of back and forth over this, President Obama claimed Executive Privilege over those documents.  

Mostly, the media has either failed to mention this at all, or if they have mentioned it, it's been to mention it's an entirely partisan issue.  Some talking heads, like Al Sharpton, believe it's proof of racism against Eric Holder.

This is what I know, from what little reporting has been done. (And that by the alternative media.)

Operation Fast and Furious was designed to allow guns to be bought by Mexican Drug Cartels.  Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry is dead.  300 Mexican citizens are dead.  And, unless I'm missing some vital piece of information, I'm not entirely sure what the purpose was of this operation.  There were no tracking devices put in these guns.  They were actually sold to straw purchasers, and allowed to be then sold off to the Drug Lords.  After that, I'm not sure what the intention was, but it wasn't just a botched law enforcement operation.  It's design and execution were flawed from the start.  It bears no resemblance to Operation Wide Receiver, which was designed not only to apprehend those buying guns illegally, but also selling them.  The weapons were designed to be tracked, and the operation was performed with the full consent and aid of the Mexican Government.

So, I'm still trying to figure out what the purpose of this all was, as was, I believe, Congress, when our Attorney General lied to Congress.  First he claimed he was unaware of the operation until a few weeks prior to the start of the Congressional Investigation.  That turned out to be a lie, and the letter stating that the DOJ wasn't involved was retracted by...the DOJ.  Then they claimed it was an extension of the operation under the Bush administration, a claim they once again had to walk back.

Congress couldn't even figure out what the Operation was really for, or who authorized it, because the Attorney General couldn't be bothered to tell the truth.  

Now, after seven full months of stonewalling on a set of documents, suddenly, those documents fall under Executive Privilege.  If someone wants to complain about wasted money, they could start there.  If those documents really fall under Executive Privilege, didn't they know that seven months ago?  Why now?  The other interesting question raised, is that, if the President was unaware of any of this, as he claimed, how exactly do those documents fit Executive Privilege?  That's not something that can be granted to the Attorney General, it has to be about the President, his immediate staff or the Vice President. 

Back during the Watergate Scandal the saying of the day was "It's the Coverup, not the Crime."  Of course, the crime was a paltry breaking and entering.  And the Coverup was far worse.  In this case, the crime is atrocious.  The Coverup of the crime, just makes it that much worse.

We should all be asking, what did the White House know, and when did they know it?  More importantly, was the President aware of this all along, and if so, why was it allowed to continue when it was obvious that it was killing innocent people?

It's the Coverup and the Crime.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Real Feminism?

What is real feminism?  I've been pondering this question since I read an article by Elizabeth Wurtzel, best known as the author of Prozac Nation.  The original feminists were the women who campaigned for suffrage, that is, the woman's right to vote.  They campaigned on women having equal status as citizens of the United States.  Equal status.  As women began to leave home and join the workforce, it became necessary for them to campaign for equal pay.  

I believe women can do anything they put their minds to.  I believe they should be paid the same as their male counterparts.  But more, I believe that women should be treated as equals, with ability to make their own choices in life, and be respected for those choices.

Ms. Wurtzel doesn't feel the same way.  You see, she just wrote an article telling people that being a stay at home mother is not a job.  She inferred that women who stay at home are dumb, and if they aren't, then she believes they should get off their rear ends and get a job.  She blames this all on the 1% SAHMs (Like Anne Romney), because that's all she knows.  I didn't live in Mrs. Romney's house, but I do imagine wealthy people have nannies, and babysitters, and maybe they get mani/pedis and go to fancy exercise classes.  I don't know. I don't know any 1%ers.

Ms. Wurtzel, who may herself be a 1%er...or at least a 5%er, is surrounded by people just like her.  So she has no idea that mothers in small towns still stay at home.  That they sacrifice those mani/pedis and exercises classes, so they can stay home.

My mom stayed home until I was in 5th grade.  The first time we went to Disney World, she didn't buy a pair of underwear for 2 years to save the money.  She made a lot of our clothes.  We didn't eat steak for dinner every night.  Simply put, we couldn't afford to do that on one income.

I'm a SAHM right now.  We do without a lot.  We never go out to eat.  It's a treat for the kids to get a "snack" on the way to softball games.  My kids aren't out every night of the week at some new place with their friends.  We don't go on fancy vacations.  We have a roof over our heads, food on our table, clothes on our back.  We don't have a lot of extras.  That's a sacrifice we all make so I can stay home.  The best thing I can hear is my 15 year old not complaining, but saying "Mom, I don't want you to go back to work".  She'd rather I was home.  So I'm willing to do without.

Ms. Wurtzel has NO idea, how many women would love to NOT have to work so they could stay home with their kids.

So she sits down and pens a ridiculous article, basically alienating anyone who isn't in that top tier of people.  

We aren't feminists, because we don't work.  

Well, Ms. Wurtzel, I AM a real feminist, because I applaud your choice to work, and to succeed.  I applaud those women who sacrifice to stay home.  I applaud those women who are exhausted because they have to work, and yet they come home and put 100% effort into their children too.  I applaud the women willing to join the military.  I applaud women who make their own choices, and I would stand up for their right to do so.  Such a shame that you don't.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Healthcare anyone?

Rather than bloviate I'm just going to give you a few statistics about healthcare in countries that provide universal healthcare.

We'll start in the U.S in the great state of Mass.
After implementing their statewide Universal care, emergency visits rose by 7% and costs by 18%

France:  The workers pay 19% in taxes for their "universal" healthcare, and yet 90% choose to pay extra for supplemental private insurance.  

Italy: The average wait time for a mammogram?  70 days.

Uk: Wait times in emergency rooms?  4 hours.  Wait times in the ambulance?  Up to 5 hours.  Total time?  9 hours.
Some hospitals encouraging "turning over bed sheets" to save money.
Half of the dentists in the UK will not accept people on the government health program.
Wait time for surgery?  Six months.
NICE gets to decide if your life is worth living.  For instance, the cancer drug, Tykerb, which delays the progression of breast cancer is deemed "too expensive". 
Around 20% of patients with treatable colon cancer are considered incurable by the time they get treatment.

Canada: It used to be illegal to go to non government health facilities, until their supreme court ruled that "access to a waiting list is not access to healthcare."  Hmmm....

Cuba: Uses induced abortion to lower it's infant mortality rate.  That would be almost funny if it wasn't totally sick.

Greece: Has 600 general practitioners.  They need 6,000 to function.  It's so bad, patients BRIBE doctors to get appointments.

US: 36 of the last 43 Nobel Prizes in Medicine were awarded to someone from the U.S.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

We Have A Revenue Problem

Or so we keep hearing.  Even people who have never commented politically, are appearing on my facebook timeline, telling me the country doesn't have a spending problem, it has a revenue problem.

So, do we really have a revenue problem?

My argument is no, we don't.  John F. Kennedy cut taxes.  Revenue increased.  Ronald Reagan cut taxes, Revenue Increased.  George W. Bush cut taxes, revenue increased.  Don't believe me?  Instead of just listening to the hype on the news, go look.  The numbers are available.  Do some research.  It's there to see.  Why is this the case?  Because when you tax corporations and rich people, they can afford fancy lawyers who can find every loophole necessary to protect their money.  So they pay less taxes.  Of course Warren Buffet doesn't mind if taxes are raised for rich people, because he knows he can afford 40 tax lawyers that will make sure he never has be pay an extra cent.  He knows that by peddling class warfare, he can help someone get elected, and still not have to pay a dime.   So we lower the threshold to $250,000 and now your small business owners, who can't afford tax lawyers get stuck with higher taxes.  To stay above water, they don't hire new people.  No jobs = less revenue.  Yes, yes it does.  If you aren't making money you can't pay taxes.  So a year goes by and we have no new revenue from that avenue, so we keep lowering the income threshold until the middle class is footing the bill.  We can't afford tax lawyers either.  We don't own businesses.  We just pay our taxes as they continue to go up.  That's how the "raising taxes" thing works.  You really want to increase revenue.  Flat tax.  No deductions.  No loopholes.  Works for me.

If you think we have a revenue issue, then I suggest you look hard at your monthly budget and figure out if you can afford and want to pay more, and then I urge you to just send a check to the government for that extra money.  I bet more than half the people screaming about revenue are not going to even consider that.  Or better yet, just tell the government you don't want your tax refund.  They can keep it.  Are you willing to do that?  If not, then stop advocating the spending of other people's money, assuming you will not have to pay.  Trust me.  You will.

We have a SPENDING problem.  A huge one.  Medicare is more costly than the national defense budget.  Medicare costs more every year than the Iraq War... times 5. yes... more than 450 BILLION dollars.  Every year.  And now we have yet another healthcare plan that will add to that. Social Security is going bankrupt.  When someone tells you the trust fund isn't empty, it's filled with t-bills?  Guess what they are?  Money the government OWES ITSELF.  Hello?  Where is that money going to come from?  They took social security funds to pay for other things. (Side Note:  That's how Bill Clinton got a surplus...he was counting the social security trust fund.)  We hemorrhage money in this country, and the only solution is to...raise taxes.  But it DOESN'T work.  It has NEVER worked.  You want to raise taxes?  Fine.  For every DOLLAR in taxes you raise, you need to cut a dollar out of the federal budget.  EVERY one.  Then I'm on board.  But there's no way I'm paying more taxes, so the government can keep throwing away money.  Forget it.

(One more side note:  the current President voted, when he was in the Senate, to raise taxes on anyone making more than $50,000.  How long do you think before that becomes "necessary" for our revenue problem to be solved).

(Another Side Note: Maybe we could slash public pensions... instead of the Military's Benefits.  He suggested slashing Military Benefits for Retirees, while continuing to feed public pension slush funds).

Stop with the revenue problem, people.  The only way government gets money is taxes.  If you over extend yourself, do you go ask your boss for a percentage raise to cover it?  No, because he'd laugh at you.  So what makes it right for the government to overextend itself and then ask US to pay for it?  Cut spending.  Then if we need to raise taxes to whittle down the deficit, I'm fine with that.  But spending cuts HAVE to come first.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Results of Affirmative Action

There are posts all over the internet about Elizabeth Warren and her claim to Cherokee heritage.  I hear a lot of talk about how she lied, and how that lie may end up costing her an election.  It may, it may not.  Politicians lie, everyone knows it, and they still elect them.

What I don't hear people talking about, is why someone would falsify a claim to minority status.

I have your answer, and I'm very surprised more people aren't talking about it.  The Answer: Affirmative Action (no no, it's not 42).

Affirmative Action may have had it's place, but the only thing it does now is single out certain races/genders/religions, and hands them special benefits.  Not the same benefits, special benefits.  All while assuring these Affirmative Action candidates that, without this policy, they couldn't possibly be on an equal playing field.  Maybe the left is right.  Maybe racism IS alive and well, and it's best representation is Affirmative Action. 

Why would Ms. Warren claim Cherokee Heritage? Maybe because in doing so she got a better student loan interest rate.  Maybe because it made it more likely that she'd get that job at Harvard.  Maybe she just wanted to have the same shot all those Affirmative Action candidates get.  If it turns out that she lied, which by all facts to this point it looks like she did, this isn't an excuse.  But surely we can start seeing Affirmative Action as a roadblock to the "colorblind" society Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned.

Now we move on to the latest Breitbart scoop, that an author biography of President Barack Obama stated he was Kenyan born.  I am NOT a Birther.  I have no reason to believe that President Obama is not a U.S. Citizen.   We are hearing this was a fact checking error.  Well, it was a 17 year long fact checking error, and if a literary agent can make an error that big, maybe they shouldn't be a literary agent.  I have also heard numerous authors state that author biographies are always given to the authors to proof.  I have reason to believe that President Obama told people he was Kenyan born, because it would have opened up a bunch of special benefits to him.  Are his college transcripts sealed because they might prove he applied to Ivy League Universities as a Foreign Student? (which, by the way, opens up a whole other set of special benefits.)  And if that's the case, he lied.  And if he lie, once again we have to ask why, and the answer I'm coming up with is...Affirmative Action.

How sad is it, that people feel they have to lie just to have the same options as other people?  How do we not see that this policy not only erodes our culture, makes people believe they can't really obtain their goals on their own merit, and singles out races for special treatment, but it encourages people to be less than honest in the hopes of obtaining something more than they would get otherwise?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tolerance Anyone?

Tolerance (n): 
a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry.
That's a dictionary definition of the word. Fair, Objective, Permissive attitude.  What is missing from that definition is the word: acceptance.  
Acceptance (n):
favorable reception; approval; favor
When you look up those two words in the thesaurus, they are not synonomous. For those who need a small grammar lesson, synonyms are words that mean the same thing.  Tolerance is not equal to acceptance.
Why the small lesson in the English Language?  It's important to understand that over the course of time, our news media, our politicians and our activists have changed the meaning of the word tolerance.  To them, tolerance means acceptance.  Tolerance means we don't only have to allow people to live the way we choose, we have to tell them it's fine to live that way, and that their belief system is just as right as ours.  We don't have to tolerate, we have to accept.
Here's the footnote:  We have to tolerate.  They don't.  
Recently, an anti-bullying speaker, Dan Savage, spoke at the National High School Journalism Convention.  While speaking of anti-bullying, he proceeded to have a high octane rant against Christianity.   "We can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about gay people."   At that point, several Christian students got up and left the room.  After continuing his screed against the Bible, he proceeded to call those who left during his speech, pansy-assed.  I didn't hear the whole speech.  I'm sure he said some good anti-bullying stuff.  Problem was, in the midst of that, he chose to bully high school students who believe the Bible.  The media came out in force (at least the mainstream portion of it), to defend Dan Savage.  Dan Savage doesn't have to accept what other people believe.  Dan Savage doesn't even need to be tolerant of what other people believe.  According to our 4th branch of government, Dan Savage can do what he did, and really, no one should complain.
On the other hand, if say, Rush Limbaugh stood in front of a group of students and told them "we can learn to ignore the bullshit the Gay community has to say about Christians", what do you think the reaction would have been?  What if I stood up and said "We can learn to ignore the bullshit Jessie Jackson says about race.", what would people say about me?  I can think of a few words that come to mind.  Bigot.  Racist.  Intolerant.  
I was waiting to hear where Dan Savage said "We can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Koran about gay people". I'm still waiting.  
The only thing in this country you don't have to be tolerant of, is Christianity.  And I mean tolerance, not acceptance.  Christianity is a faith.  Some people have it, some people don't.  No one needs to accept the tenets of a faith they don't have.  But in the great United States, you don't even have to tolerate that people have those beliefs.  You are permitted to bully them all you want.  No tolerance necessary.  We made Columbine into a message on the evils of Gun Ownership, passing over the fact that people died for simply admitting they believed in God.    In Paducah, KY, at Heath High School, 3 students were killed and 5 injured, shot by a student while they were praying in front of the school.  No cries of "hate crimes" or "bigotry" in that one.  (In truth, the student turned out to have a mental disorder.  But still, we seem to put people on trial for hate crimes all the time, even if they aren't really hate crimes).  In Texas, a man walked into Wedgewood Baptist Church and opened fire during a church service.  Before doing so, he shouted anti-religious statements.  And yet, most news media headlined it with "the reason for the shooting is unclear".  
If it's someone who could have possibly been a Christian or Conservative or White, the motive is clear before the bodies hit the floor.  But if someone walks into a church, shouting anti-religious sentiments and killing people while they pray, the reason is unclear.  

Tolerance is a catch phrase.  It's used by our celebrities and our politicians, and it's the favorite word of almost anyone who leans a bit to the left.  And yet, the people shouting tolerance the loudest, are so intolerant of Christianity, they can't even admit someone may shoot Christians simply because they are...Christians. They cry for tolerance while labeling tea party members "teabaggers". They cry for tolerance while calling Christians and Conservatives fascists and little Hitlers.  They cry for tolerance while telling the precious few in their inner circle that people who don't believe like they do are bitter, angry, religious nut jobs who are ignorant and stupid. The people screaming the most about open-mindedness and tolerance, turn out to be the most close-minded intolerant people of all.  Yet it's acceptable because they are only intolerant of those crazy Christians, right?
Tolerance anyone?