Government Shutdown

I know how to get the politician back to doing their jobs and end the government shutdown. A complete media blackout.

Lock the doors, takeaway their cell phones and no potty breaks or food until they slip an agreement under the door the president will sign.

No more blaming each other in the media. No more grandstanding and trying to manipulate the voters–we already voted.

You’ve got the job, just do it. You don’t need to be in our faces with the details. You don’t need to incite the citizens to petition for or against what we’ve already made clear. You are supposed to work together, offer compromises, not threats.

Since the Affordable Care Act is what’s holding us up, let it fail or succeed on its own merit.

Stop acting like you don’t know affordable healthcare is necessary and that the major reason it is being opposed is the fear of its success. All the issues of it’s implementation will be worked out as need be.

Stop calling the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare as if it is something different. And stop pretending that isn’t purposefully used to inflame bigotry, and racism in those so inclined. It’s pretty sad and telling when polls show people support the ACA but not Obamacare.

Stop trying to sneak in the personal pet issues that small factions of your constitutes–those with the biggest pockets at election time-favor. Especially when they deal with the very specific details, like contraception. Big hint Senators: this falls into the smaller government role you so desperately say is needed. Stop trying to legislate healthcare decisions.

I really wish the senators would agree to not talk to the press until the government shutdown is over and we’re back to being fully operational, but since that goes against their nature, I stand by the idea to have the media completely blackball them.

I, for one, will not be listening to anything any one of them has to say until they come to a resolution.



After the Violence: All Quiet On The Eastern Front

As I noted in my last post I’ve been deliberately staying away from blogging since the bombing in my hometown of Boston on April 15th. Not because I have nothing to say, but I didn’t want to speak out of anger, not finding anything in that worthy of sharing. That and I was up to my eyeballs in recipe writing and testing for the cookbook I wrote for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

All is now quiet on the Eastern front, the summer has finally asserted itself, and my home is empty of teens for a week giving me a chance to reflect on the violence of the last few months.

The overwhelming sorrow came first. My heart broke for those caught up in the wreckage these deranged men wrought. For the families, especially the children who were mystified by the violence aimed at them, I wish I could offer them assurance that they’ll always be safe, as any parent is wont to do in times like these. Alas, we know we can never make those kinds of promises. At most, we shower them with love, and make them feel as secure as we can in the moment, in our embrace, and in their own ability to survive.

My daughters were five and three when the towers fell in 2001, too young to question what was happening. In the years afterwards when the ceremonies and remembrances began to make sense to them and they learned the details of what had happened that day, I could only offer that it is unlikely to happen again, likening the security precautions we take to wearing a seat belt – just in case. Who knew they’d be witness to so many more senseless mass killings both foreign, and domestic?

Foremost in my thoughts though since the immediacy of counteractions have dissipated, is that America has got to stop acting like it is not part of the world, because clearly the world will insinuating itself upon us.

It is just to be proud of who you are, to be proud of your country, but behaving like you’re better than everyone else or are some how exempt from being an accountable member of the community – well America, that just makes you sound like a bratty teenager.

Bombings and mass shootings are no longer abstract televised news bits that happen else where. Maddeningly, gun violence – our own brand of domestic terrorism – kills more Americans than foreign terrorists do. 

Domestic terrorism happens here on college campuses, in shopping malls, and theater complexes, not just in far off lands of Giza, Mexico or Nigeria.

Why should acts of terrorism by a foreigner’s hand be heralded as the ultimate debasement, rather than the domestic violence committed by our own citizens? Anti-government militant Timothy McVeigh’s bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building full of children wouldn’t have been more evil had he been a Middle Eastern terrorist.

Shocking as the World Trade Tower’s destruction, and the bombing of The Boston Marathon were, it is tragedies such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and Parkland High School shooting, that should move us to act. Those tragedies committed by our own countrymen against our children and families,  deaths we actual have a greater chance of preventing if only we would keep weapons of mass destruction from their hands.

That there’s been no greater restrictions on arms, and we are still acting as if other nationalities, other religions are the enemy when it is our own brothers who are the perpetrators, is sign of America’s complicity in the violence.

The gun advocates are right, people kill people, people like the gun makers, the lobbyist, and those who pulled the trigger. They are the ones responsible, not the machines they make or wield. People kill people — with guns. Why do we still allow them to own them, unfettered by stricter regulations? People can not be trusted with firearms of mass destruction. How this simple truth is confused with an arcane idea of a “well regulated militia” described in the Second Amendment is crazy.

I understand the Amendment. I’ll tell you up front I believe its purpose addresses individual gun ownership, not that of the military. So yes, I believe it is the right for U.S. citizen to bear arms. But, that does not exclude regulation, it does not mean absolute power over ownership of any and all arms. It doesn’t mean being blind to the fact that our forefathers could never have imagined the fire power available to the average citizen or the enormity of political egos willing to compromise society’s safety for a few million dollars in campaign funds.

It is unconscionable for these types of attacks such as the devastating Newtown tragedy to further the agenda of those who would not just arm every man, but help them build an arsenal beyond the 2nd Amendment’s intention of self-defense. There is no logical rationale for more guns that fire multiple  rounds. More guns = more violence. It’s as simple as that.

Arms haven’t prevented any of the killings on military bases and those people are trained in combat! It is only the propaganda of arms dealers and manufacturers that fund and fuel a controversy that shouldn’t even exist.

After all, we aren’t talking about rifles people use to hunt for dinner or even sport. We’re addressing the destructive, mass-murdering abilities of automatic weapons and ammunition designed for maximum extermination. These are not handguns tucked away in the nightstand for protection against would be robbers. They are not shotguns to shoot the fox after your chickens.

There are a whole mess of gun owners who treat these mass-murder machines as toys. They’ve let themselves be manipulated into reacting with venomous hate towards anyone simply trying to protect the innocent. The pride and deeply patriotic feelings I have had since I was a child are now tinged with a shade of shame for how my fellow Americans treat their own countrymen. The ignorance of how ones actions affect society is more endangering to us than any ban of assault weapons. That is the action of men not machines.

Politician, rather than use their positions to further society as a whole, have polarized the population against each other, fueled by money furnished by corporations, lobbyist and a surprisingly small number of individuals–a largely old white conglomerate of Republican wealth.

Clearly, we need to remove money from our political system. There will be no reform for gun control, education, health care, the environment, drugs, welfare, or any other concern you have so long as so few have so much power and use it against those who have none.

There is no “in the public interest” in politics anymore, there are “Funders” as Lawrence Lessig calls them, the 132 Americans who gave 60 percent of the SuperPAC money spent in the 2012 election. Those people, the .000042 percent, are not pushing for public policy in our interests, there is no altruism, only money and the power it buys to influence and serve their purposes. If we don’t end their self-serving hold on America we’ll never again be a country for the the people, of the people, by the people.


From The “Are You Fucking Kidding Me?” File

Oh Darn! I almost made it a month with a political diatribe.

Expounding on the idiotic and outrageous behavior of an alarming number of Republican party members is getting to be pretty hackneyed so I’m just posting this under the “Are you fucking kidding me?” heading. Giving you the benefit-of-doubt for being as morally indignant as I am by their conduct.

excerpt via Huffington Report

A Republican lawmaker in New Mexico introduced a bill on Wednesday that would legally require victims of rape to carry their pregnancies to term in order to use the fetus as evidence for a sexual assault trial.

House Bill 206, introduced by state Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R), would charge a rape victim who ended her pregnancy with a third-degree felony for “tampering with evidence.”

“Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime,” the bill says.

Third-degree felonies in New Mexico carry a sentence of up to three years in prison.

Pat Davis of ProgressNow New Mexico, a progressive nonprofit opposing the bill, called it “blatantly unconstitutional” on Thursday.

“The bill turns victims of rape and incest into felons and forces them to become incubators of evidence for the state,” he said. “According to Republican philosophy, victims who are ‘legitimately raped’ will now have to carry the fetus to term in order to prove their case.“

The bill is unlikely to pass, as Democrats have a majority in both chambers of New Mexico’s state legislature.

That they throw in “The bill is unlikely to pass…” makes me queasy because this means in some alternate universe the idea that it would be passable is plausible.

Did the Republicans Learn Anything?

Day one after the election and time to reflect: Did the Republicans Learn Anything? Here’s what I think are the top eight lessons they should have learned.

1. Do not speak of rape—ever, unless it is to vilify the perpetrator, not the victim.

2. Do not confuse biology with  ideology-or any other -ology such as climatology, or ecology, etc.

3. Obstructing Constitutional Rights should not be the aim of your candidacy.

4. You are not my doctor, spouse, family member or friend, stay out of my vagina, medical decisions, marriage, and bedroom.

5. Women are not lesser than.

6. Do not blame the media for reporting on your blatant lies, and distortions of facts. Integrity matters, eventually.

7. As a nation, we do not want to be divided, stop fueling our differences.

8. God is not your running mate.

Now that the election is over I hope both parties will recognize that compromise is the backbone of politics and what the citizenry wants and needs to see is our leaders coming together for the benefit of all.

Do You Really Trust GOP Conservatives?

I have to ask—do you really trust GOP Conservatives with the well-being of our nation? Especially, the desperate to please the 1%, current candidates Romney and Ryan.

Their platform is more about controlling the rights of others and forcing all American’s to conform to their personal views of morality and values, rather than protecting the general well-being of all Americans and protecting our right to live by our own moral compass. From my perspective their values and goals are rather dubious.

Individuality is a hallmark trait of Americans stemming from our fierce independence streak, but we are a diverse and generous people who usually temper our staunch “If it’s to be it’s up to me” mentality with an understanding that we don’t all start out life at the top of the mountain and need to rely on one another to survive. Or it used to be that way. Republican don’t seem to be embracing the American ideals these day nor are they our parent’s Republicans of yore.

This new breed of Republican comes with a troubling lack of self-awareness, and humility coupled with a widespread irrational belief that they know better than we, how to live our lives. They demonize the poor, immigrants, and unemployed, disparage the working class for not working hard enough, and battle imaginary threats to their religion and wealth. Led of course by those nefarious Liberals.

These Republicans who’ve been born into luck, by virtue race or gender, raised in affluence, in the right town, able to attend the right college, or marry into the right family— they who deny that these attributes are not privileges everyone has at their disposal—wear blinder they donned themselves.

They are blind to the plight of most of Americans because they don’t like them, don’t want to be them, don’t want to see them, or help them. They want money, power, and to live unchallenged.

And evidently they will lie, steal and back-stab the American people to get what they want, striding over our Constitutional rights as if those rights are not worth the paper they are written on.

They deny claims of privilege as if they’ve had to work as hard, and struggle as much as the 47% Romney denigrated. They deny advantage available only to them, and that it had anything to do with their success. That all anyone has to do to get where they are, is to work harder and smarter and to do so without accepting or expecting help from the government—because they judge everyone as if there is a level playing field.

I don’t begrudge anyone their lot in life, not even the wealth well heeled. It is not an issue of fairness, just happenstance. Deserve is never a quality when it comes to life’s advantages or disadvantages. Being privy to all the advantages in life is not a guarantee of ones success or happiness. And this is not an indictment of the 1% whose world view is bigger than their ego, or their bank account. I admire people who work hard despite their privileges, and work to elevate those around them. Qualities that are not tied to income levels.

These people know life’s steep grade is infinitely more scalable when you start out closer to the peak with handholds, and a rope tethered to you than it is to scrabble-up from the bottom without any safety equipment, without anyone ahead of you reaching back to give you hand.

They know what any military personnel will tell you—it is easier to ascend obstacles with help of those who’ve gone before you, and you don’t leave people behind.

The GOP-Conservatives-the Religious Right-those 1% who try to buy elections to further their personal agendas, seem to have acquired a complex.

…feel persecuted or oppressed whenever they find someone that doesn’t share their particular worldview…whose claims of persecution are better explained as annoyance at the removal of privilege or the curtailment of their ability to force their views on to others.

Their world view is myopic, misanthropical segregation. They embody the very definition of Persecution Complex—

People that suffer from persecution complex tend to believe that others are out to get or hurt them in some way. Their fears are utterly unfounded in reality and at times exaggerated paranoia and it reflects a belief that everyone has it in for them. Symptoms of persecution complex may be seen when the person interacts in normal ways and then over-reacts to perceived wrongs.

These are not the people I want to entrust with our future, our government, the environment, diplomacy, taxes, health care, education, etc, etc, etc. We deserve better than Romney and Ryan.