Category: politics


A few weeks ago, I posted a status update on my Facebook page asking that anyone who seriously is considering using their right to vote to cast said vote on Donald Trump, to kindly ‘un-friend’ me.

I was serious.
I’m still serious.

I don’t care if folks are insulted. (As a fan of Trump’s you should appreciate my honesty, right?) I know some were. But in all honesty, if you are seriously considering that bloviating orange buffoon as someone you want to represent our country to the rest of the world, I’m totally fine with disassociating myself with you.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand. He’s refreshing. He speaks his mind. He’s not part of the DC establishment.  All true.

He’s also lying through his teeth; Picking facts out of his ass; And living in a fantasy world.

Some folks have pointed out that as a business man with a “successful” (you know, minus that whole filing for bankruptcy thing) business, he can put the country back on track.  I find it amazing that anyone with half a brain would somehow compare heading a business – one’s own business – where one can be a dictator if he so chooses – to heading a government, where one has to compromise.

The Presidency is not a Dictatorship (Civics 101 anyone?).  If the House and the Senate (and Donny is sure as hell screwed here, because NO party likes him), don’t want to let him accomplish anything, they can screw him through the entirety of his presidency (please see Obama Presidency for evidence of this fact).

Other folks think that his tough talking attitude will make other countries more willing to negotiate.

It won’t.

Have you ever been in a conversation with a bully? Have you ever walked away from that conversation respecting said bully? Or, have you walked away from that conversation wanting to strike back and hurt that bully? Because that’s all that Trump is – a loud-mouthed bully who will end up getting us in deep shit with the likes of Russia and China, never mind the Middle East. Right now, we may have a cold relationship with Russia. Right now China may be laughing at us (I don’t know if that is the case, but Trump says so, so it must be true, right?).

I can hear it now. First, Trump will call Putin a “loser” after which he will comment on Putin’s penchant for taking shirtless pictures: “What a flabby body.. you should see my body, six-pack abs Vlad, I have six pack abs.’

Yeah, how long before psycho-Putin decides to come after us with all guns blazing, peace on Earth be damned?

You want to see World War III for real?  Let Trump take a stab at International Diplomacy.

His stance on tossing the Fourteenth Amendment, means he has no clue how the Constitution (you know, that document he’d be swearing to protect), works. His stance on immigration, means he has no clue how illegal immigrants REALLY get here, or who they actually are (They aren’t all Mexicans, folks. And they don’t all come here via the Mexican border. And not all the folks who DO come across the Mexican border, are Mexican either. He just doesn’t like Mexicans, I suppose, considering all the vile bullshit he’s been spewing about Mexican immigrants. Funny he doesn’t mention illegal immigrants from Eastern Europe.. I wonder why that is?  Hmmm).

I understand that folks are tired of being ‘politically correct,’ but when a man tells the world that it’s a pity that the hot woman sitting next to him is his daughter because he’d totally bang her if she weren’t (paraphrasing, but he DID say something akin to that, that sounded even sleazier, regarding how attractive he finds is daughter Ivanka to be), you’re looking at a President who would do way worse than ask a willing intern to do some nasty stuff with a cigar.  Don’t believe me? http://www.businessinsider.com/hitting-on-ivanka-creeps-out-trump-supporters-2015-8

Seriously, he had the balls to call Anthony Weiner a perv..At least Anthony Weiner isn’t drooling over his own daughter’s ass. Just saying.

Aside from basically talking out of his ass, (seriously, have you SEEN that face?), Trump is pathetic. He’s a got the emotional mentality of a 12 year old in school yard telling ‘yo mama’ jokes in an effort to insult someone making fun of his hair cut (which looks stupid. Sorry. Anyone who tells you you look good with that orange nest on your head, isn’t your friend). Whenever someone hurts his itty bitty feewings he goes on the defensive. When asked legitimate questions, he responds with insults, claiming that the question was unfairly difficult. When asked to explain a rude comment he made in the past, he responds with threats about how he is prepared to stop being nice. Following these kinds of altercations, he then goes on an insult rampage on Twitter. Twitter? Really? How the hell old is this child?

He claims that the only reason he attacks folks in the media, or his opposing candidates,  is because he is fighting back against people who attack him. Do we really want someone that thin-skinned at the helm of this country?

What if Obama had acted similarly when he was being constantly attacked by Trump and that whole “birther” movement?  You don’t have to like Obama to respect the fact that he just let that bullshit slide off his back. And unlike Trump’s attacks on Obama’s college transcript and origin of birth, most attacks on Trump are actually based in fact.  I understand that we live in a time where the most popular Conservative outlet believes that facts are non-essential, but I’m sorry, the reality is, facts are important. And Trump wouldn’t know a fact if it hit him in his face.

Here’s the thing, I too can appreciate someone who speaks their mind. I too am unhappy with the DC establishment.  I’m seriously tired of voting for the lesser of two evils at this point (seriously folks, if you want to know HOW Obama got a second term, you need only to look at who you all chose to run against him and remember that Minorities and Women can vote now so slut-shaming and talking about the 49% won’t really help your cause). But just because Trump says what he feels doesn’t mean that everything that comes out of his big mouth is right, or sane, or true. As a matter of fact, most of it is dead wrong, filled with inaccuracies, and completely self-serving.

This isn’t about me being a liberal. While it is true, I would never vote for any of the candidates currently vying for the Republican nomination, I wouldn’t mind debating the merits of any of the other folks with you. I love debating politics.  But in order to do that, you need a mentally viable opponent, and I fear that anyone who actually can consider Trump as a serious candidate, can’t hold up their end in an intelligent discourse about the merits of candidacy for President.  See? I can speak my mind too.

This isn’t about me being a fan of Hillary’s either (Please get that through your heads right now. I want a female president, I really do – Just not her).

And this isn’t me trying to curtail your personal freedom to vote for whom you wish to vote for and to say what you want to say about it. I just am enacting my right to not have to be subjected to the ramblings of a fool who’s drunk the Kool-Aid.

We can be friends again once Trump goes back to his tower and divorces his wife so he can find a younger model – one who will probably look like his daughter, since clearly he wishes he could pull a Woody Allen; Files for Bankruptcy again, maybe this time in earnest after spending all that cash on this nonsense; And hopefully decides to help the country by never trying to run for President again.. Until then, just do us both a favor… Un-Friend Me.

Starting with the 2008 campaign season, and then again in 2012 (and in between…and after…and to this day), we, the American Public, have had to endure a myriad of “Obama is like Hitler” comparisons.  None of which ever made any sense to anyone who actually knew anything about Hitler, or Obama for that matter.

When he first started to gain traction,  Obama was called a ‘brilliant orator, just like Hitler.’ When Obama would visit schools, the children singing to him were viewed as being “indoctrinated” (in to what exactly was never made clear).  Some folks even tried to equate, erroneously, and ridiculously, the Affordable Care Act to Nationalist Socialism.  A fact checker, not even a good one, could have easily shot down any comparison  (sadly, the only popular organization ever to try to even look into all the stupidity was “The Daily Show” and, well, it’s audience just laughed at the whole thing anyway, because seriously, comparing Obama to Hitler is like comparing a human being with Putin).  They, and by ‘they’ I am absolutely referring to the Right, were grasping at straws with the whole Hitler comparison, and yet, they were very persistent in the attempt.

Just a quote from one of my favorite members of the circus known as the Republican Party in reference to Obama care:

And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil. – Sarah Palin

So why bring this up now? With one year left, to quote Jon Stewart, Obama doesn’t “.. have that much time to take away Americans’ guns, declare martial law, and put hardworking Americans in FEMA camps..” I think Obama has proven he is not the anti-Christ, he’s not the devil, and he’s certainly not the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler.

I’m bringing this up, because now, with someone running for the Republican nomination actually sounding a lot more like a dictator than Obama ever could, I’m hearing nothing coming out of the Right, with any comparisons to this fucking nightmare of a ghoul they have foisted on us. Comparisons to Hitler (and yes, I will admit, it is absolutely RIDICULOUS to compare anyone to that murderous, mentally unstable despot who isn’t actually a murderous, mentally unstable despot..) that would actually be more legitimate than any made with Obama.

So does Donald Trump, candidate, for the Republican Nomination, have any similarities to Adolf Hitler? You be the judge

  • Like Hitler, Donald Trump is a charismatic character who most people view as a horrible joke. Surely he won’t be the nominee, let alone President, right? Yeah, that’s what folks thought of that Charlie Chaplain looking guy who kept yelling at them about a 1000 year Reich, and returning Germany to its former glory (“Let’s make America Great again” anyone?)
  • Germany, back in the late 1920s, early 1930s was going through a horrific economic meltdown. Instead of pointing the finger at the right place – a war started by the Kaiser (ruler) of Germany (World War I), essentially in revenge for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (and you thought that was just the name of a band huh?), which Germany lost horribly, and was forced to pay for all losses incurred during the war by the Allies – They wanted badly to blame someone, anyone else. The public needed a scapegoat. Hitler gave them the Jews. Similarly, the US, while currently, economically on the rise (because of Obama, not that he gets any credit for it), is still reeling from the meltdown of 2008. Instead of pointing the finger at that right place – Two wars (or was it three? I lost count) started by Bush, which we had to borrow money to sustain – Trump is giving us a scapegoat:  Undocumented immigrants, particularly those coming in to our country from Mexico. Go read a transcript of the propaganda used by Hitler in reference to Jews – He called Jews criminals, rapists, etc… You get my point here, I’m sure.
  • Hitler, once he rose to power, started to invade other counties, with the premise of “taking back what was ours.” Trump recently stated that he would not be opposed to sending US troops to attack Iraq and “taking over a lot of the oil and certain areas of Iraq… you take away their wealth, that you go and knock the hell out of the oil, take back the oil…” “Take back the oil?” as if it were ours to begin with? What right does he think the US has to go into ANY country and steal THEIR resources? How on earth could he justify that kind of an action?

I can go on (Hitler was often red-faced an yelling through his speeches -Trump is always red-faced underneath the orange glow of that awful spray tan, and speaking with a raised voice; Hitler loved to use kids as a propaganda tool – Trump took a bunch of kids for a ride in his helicopter at the Iowa State Fair, telling one of them he was Batman..), but I think I’ve actually made my point. If nothing else, this could be good fodder for the next time you’re sitting across the table from one of your knee-jerk Republican/Tea Party relatives (I have a few myself, and while I love them dearly, their ability to, verbatim, spew out the most factually inaccurate shit drives me crazy.. Thank-you mom for the education you provided me – Even if sometimes I use what I learned in school against you).

Besides, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right? And the way I see it, dear Republicans, your goose needs to be cooked.  Oh, wait, Hitler didn’t like goose. He was a vegetarian..Maybe he and Trump aren’t that similar after all?

Earlier today, after seeing so many Republicans (and Democrats, if we’re being honest here), in response to Donald Trump’s disgusting and down-right disrespectful comments regarding John McCain’s military service, come to John McCain’s defense (as we all should), a friend of mine brought up the interesting insight that up until now, the Republicans haven’t protested much, if any, of the Donald’s rants against the rest of humanity.

Where the hell have they been?

Where were they, for example, when he questioned a sitting President’s Birth Certificate?  (My friend forgot to mention that Trump ALSO questioned Obama’s Harvard transcript…. Or rather, his ability to have been accepted to both Columbia and Harvard when he’d “heard” that Obama was a horrible student and HIS friend’s kids who got better grades never got accepted..) But yeah, Trump isn’t racist. He’s got “plenty of Black friends – he gets along with the blacks.” (Trump’s words – not mine).

Where, also, my friend asked, was the outrage when Trump dishonored John Kerry’s military service, and Al Gore’s, and Democratic Senator Max Cleland’s (double amputee) military heroism?

Where were they when he dishonored every Mexican Immigrant in the United States?  (Okay, to be fair, aside from that ‘Mensa candidate’ Ted Cruz, the rest of them DID come out to say that Trump was wrong… Of course, they only did so because the Republican Party is desperate to get the Latino Vote…  Since clearly, they will NEVER overwhelmingly get the female vote.. Let’s not even get into how Trump went after Jeb for taking sides with the immigrants because his wife is Mexican – Bad enough I’m defending John McCain, I’ll be damned if that loud-mouthed buffoon has me defending a member of the Bush Family!)

Where were they when Trump was doing as Trump does, before?

They were helping to create this Trump-monster.

They LOVED when he was throwing shade at the President.  They were completely comfortable allowing a blow-hard TV show loud mouth with a bad comb-over speak out-loud what every last one of them was actually thinking.

Trump was absolutely speaking what they were all thinking when he went off on a “kid like Obama” not deserving admission to Ivy League schools when so many of his friend’s (read ‘white’, ‘affluent’, did I mention, ‘white’?) kids couldn’t get in.

They were jizzing their pants every single time Trump belittled even the heroic military service of any Democrat.

They were screaming like school girls at a Bieber concert when he said that vile thing about Mexican Immigrants.

Why? Because they couldn’t legitimately say it themselves and they knew that the viewers of FOX News would eat that shit up as if it were caramel coated Haggen Daas. Don’t believe me? Go ask your Republican grandparents if they believe Obama was actually born in the United States.. Go.  I’ll wait.

Done? Good.

So now that we have established that the Republican Party has created this monster. Do they have any right to say anything in response to his vile verbal diarrhea? No. They don’t. They WILL, because most of them realize he’s gone too far, but they really should just shut up and eat it because he is THEIR Frankenstein Monster (albeit, Frankenstein had a lot more class – and a much better hair style).

They made it okay to talk shit about a sitting President with all this ‘Birther’ and ‘Grader’ crap.

Hey remember when George W got us into two wars in which we had no business taking part in, got thousands of our Military men and women killed, or permanently wounded for life, and killed our economy because we couldn’t pay for it all? – yeah, anytime one of us tried to point that out, we were ‘disrespecting the President.’ A president who was barely a “C” student at a school he himself admits his daddy helped him in to, and who basically avoided military service by joining the National Guard, and thanks to Daddy, once again, never left Texas while so many (including John McCain and John Kerry) went to battle in Vietnam.

The current President has managed to get us out of the Recession, despite the Republicans. He actually was a good student (despite what Trump “heard”) and was born in Hawaii – Which, if I’m not mistaken was a part of the US back in 1961? Right? But yeah, talking shit about him is okay.

What happened to respecting the office regardless of what we think of the man occupying it? Or is that kind of respect only reserved for old white men?

It was the Republicans and their media outlets (all owned by Rupert Murdoch), who made it okay to disparage immigrants. You know, those people who try to come here for a better life;  who are willing to pick our produce, clean houses and offices, and watch over privileged brats grow up into mirror images of their asshole parents?  Do we have an issue with Immigration? Yes, of course we do. But it was the Republicans who made it okay to discuss immigrants as if they weren’t even human. Just watch one episode of Fox and Friends.. Or Morning Joe.. or that old guy who looks like a short skeleton with shoe-leather dyed hair and wrinkles a Sharpe would be jealous of… They discuss immigrants and the poor and women with such disdain I can’t understand how they have such a huge following. Are there really that many old white guys in this country?

So don’t ask where the Republicans were before Trump went after McCain. They were right there, giving his pencil-dick a nice tongue bath (oh, please, anyone who has to have his name on every building and constantly talk about how rich he is most assuredly is making up for a needle-thin gherkin between his legs. Maybe that’s why he’ doesn’t like Latinos…  ¿Celoso mucho pendejo?).

What kills me is that despite all this crap, he’s leading in the Republican Polls. As someone who wouldn’t vote for a Republican candidate anyway, I should be happy to see the other side imploding. Put Trump up against an one of our guys (or gal), and should sanity prevail, the Democrats get another four years in office. But sadly, this situation, at first funny, has played out it’s comedic value.  The truth is, in order for this country to work, we really need to learn how to have an actual discourse between intellectuals who seriously want to make this country work (as opposed to a bloated asshole who really is doing this because he clearly needs his ego stroked – Doesn’t he have a wife? Or, has she grown as sick of him as the other two did?)

Donald Trump is the result of all that extremism on the Right that has been funded by the likes of the Koch brothers and propagandized by Rupert Murdoch. That is the ONLY thing that can explain the existence of that fully-loaded, used diaper with a rat’s nest on his head, making it as far as he has through the political process. Realistically, he should have never gotten this far. Realistically, he should be doing what he always does: clearing out the life savings of gamblers while simultaneously filing for bankruptcy every few years.

I know there are normal, middle-of-the-road, non Tea-Partying Republicans out there who are willing to go old school and work with the left. This country cannot run with one side parenting the clown posse on the other side. It’s time to grow up, put on your big boy pants, and realize the world is changing and instead of fighting every change, work with it. Work with us. Until you do, there will be more assholes like Trump, along with the other (as of recent count) 14, potential candidates, making a mockery out of a Party that used to actually have some semblance of self-respect.

It’s shameful, and it’s a shame. I never thought I’d say this, but, COME ON REPUBLICANS.. YOU’RE BETTER than this!! (Maybe.)

With love,  a full-blooded Lefty-Liberal

Bernie 2016!!

🙂

Love is Love

On Friday, June 26th, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples wishing to marry the same rights as heterosexual couples in all 50 states. Thus, giving basic civil rights to live and die with the person one loves, and all the legal benefits that come along with such a union to a group of people who should have had those rights all along. While the majority of the country rejoiced in this step forward to making all Americans truly equal, there were some who saw this as the end of the world… because.. Honestly, I can’t tell you why, but some of the things that I read in my news feed had me simultaneously laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of the things people will convince themselves to believe (“What about straight pride” – Really? OMG), while shaking my head in disbelief at the “God’s going to punish us for this,” crew.

Okay, so, let’s start with an easy one – God. Yep – easy as reading the bible – you know, that book ya’ll seem to think is all we need to live by? Remember Noah? Remember the promise God made to Noah after that huge storm? For all of you who believe that the Bible is the sole truth and that science and climate change and all that other stuff is just plain old malarkey perpetrated by us disbelievers (PS: I’m actually a believer, just not in the bible as historical text), here’s what God promised:

Genesis 8:21 “The LORD said, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.”

So, hurricanes, storms, tornados, etc , have nothing to do with us sinning against God’s will, rather, us sinning against the planet, but I digress… My point is, God’s not sending a hurricane to drown out all us sinners who believe in the sanctity of love.

Then there are those who believe that this will destroy the institution of marriage. It won’t. Marriage was around long before religion took it on as an institution. It was around long before religion. Actually, if you really want to go by the bible for the history of marriage, marriage was pretty much no more than a financial (read: legal), institution from all the way back to Adam and Eve. Oh, also, for those who are running around screaming that the SCOTUS decision will lead to polygamy – well, just an FYI: most marriages in the bible were polygamous… So, you might want to rethink that argument.

To this day, regardless of where you are married, or who officiates, or if there even is someone officiating, in order for your marriage to be recognized legally, you must first obtain a marriage certificate from the courts. Put it this way, you can be married by the Pope, if you don’t have a legal certificate; you and your spouse have no legal marital rights. The SCOTUS decision, simply put, stated that all couples, regardless of sexual orientation, or gender, have equal rights under the law.

Please explain to me how that, in any way, diminishes YOUR heterosexual marriage?

And then there’s my favorite piece of idiocy – “Straight Pride.”

As a straight woman, I have to say, I have NEVER felt any prejudice for being straight. No one has ever beaten me up, made me feel like less than a human or teased me because, as a female of the species, I liked the males of the species. I never had to hide who I was because society always accepted me for who I am. When my husband and I got married, no one tried to prevent us from getting a certificate of marriage. When he fell ill, no one questioned the validity of my right, as his spouse, to make decisions on his behalf, or my rights, as his spouse to what benefits he may have left behind when he passed. Life as a straight person is easy in this country, when it comes to legality of your existence, and your rights. Straight people, straight white people in particular, haven’t had to fight for anything. It’s just accepted that you will get a marriage certificate if you want to get married. And if you get divorced, well, that’s over 50% of the population, so, no biggie, you can just get married again.

So, how can anyone claim that same sex marriage will ruin the institution of marriage? Haven’t straight folks done that already? How many people do you know who have been married and divorced multiple times? Please, explain to me how two people who love one another, obtaining the legal rights of marriage, has any bearing on the validity of your second or third go at ‘true love?’ And to those folks married for 20+ years, congrats – you, might actually deserve a parade of your own. One, in which, I hope all couples who have managed to stay together for that long can take part.

I understand that people have their own very much ingrained beliefs, and I can respect that. What I cannot respect is anyone trying to force those beliefs on anyone else. This country is made up of so many different people, why would anyone want to withhold basic human rights from two consenting adults who want to spend their lives together – for better or for worse? It makes no sense. They’re not doing anything wrong, not in the eyes of anyone who isn’t a homophobic bigot, anyway. So what’s the problem? How is anyone else’s relationship affecting yours?

Here’s a little advice. Forget other couples and their relationship statuses, and worry about your own. If you think that someone else’s marriage is affecting yours? You clearly have marital issues. If you REALLY believe that you deserve a pat on the back for being in a heterosexual marriage, then clearly you need some more attention from your significant other – again, check your own marriage.

If your issue is based on religion, again, I respect that, but the decision made on June 26th has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with the law.

All that SCOTUS did was reiterate a legal fact that is written on the facades of many a courthouse, including the Supreme Court; “everyone is equal under the law.” And there is nothing wrong with that.

Dear South,

You lost the war. Your flag has no place in the UNITED States. Get rid of it.  We’ll discuss your street names and other symbols glorifying the traitorous soldiers that fought to keep others enslaved at a different date.  For now, just get that monstrosity OFF MY LAWN.

Thanks,

The North

 

In light of the horrific actions in South Carolina last week, perpetrated by a racist who stated that he wanted to kill people because of nothing more than the color of their skin, who, in a manifesto of his own words stated that segregation should never have ended, that the country was being overrun and who, for lack of any one else willing to do the deed, would set out to kill as many African Americans (although, the word he used was less polite), as he can, a debate as risen over the perpetual glorification of the confederate past of the South by Southern States- Starting with the Confederate Flag and its place on US Government property.

The confederate flag was created to fly over the government buildings of the “Confederate States of America” – that was to be the name of the new country being formed by the states south of the Mason-Dixon line.  The confederacy existed for one reason and one alone – they wanted to keep their slaves. And that flag? That flag represented a group of people who lived by the concept that, to quote Alexander Stephens (Vice President of the Confederacy)  from a speech now called the “Cornerstone Speech” (yes, I watch Larry Wilmore – and yes I watch a SHITTON of History and Discovery Channels), where he stated:

“Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.”

You really cannot gloss over that language, any more than you can gloss over the words that that terrorist spoke before opening fire in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.  The guy was a racist. The flag is a symbol of racism. Any debate over whether this was a hate crime against African Americans is moot. FOX News, take heed, he stated his purpose pretty clearly.  Racism isn’t dead, and the issue of glorifying the confederacy is part of the problem.

Once the Civil War was over, the returning Southern soldiers, discontented and dejected, full of self-righteous anger and indignation at the thought that their former slaves were now walking around free and claiming to be equal, formed a little group to keep the newly freed slaves in their place. This group was called the Ku Klux Klan, and its rallying banner? The Confederate Flag.

And yes, some folks have taken on that symbol as a symbol of rebellion. They don’t take into account the history behind the symbol, even though they are aware of it. They will wear shirts, buy paraphernalia, all because they like the ‘rebellious’ symbolism, sans the undertone of racism, that the flag symbolizes to the majority of people who know anything about its history. I don’t agree with those folks, and I don’t necessarily condone it, but what they put on their bodies, what they hang outside their homes or on the bumpers of their cars, that’s on them. And that, while may seem ignorant, is their personal right to do so.

But to condone the waving of that flag on government property is to condone the actual history of the flag itself.  It’s not a proud history. It’s not a heroic history. That flag symbolizes traitors who fought a war against their own country so they could continue to enslave other human beings.  To continue to permit the flag’s existence on any governmental ground is to condone that past.  To anyone to whom  that flag still may symbolize the idea that “the south will rise again,” flying that flag on government grounds, naming streets after confederate soldiers, naming schools after confederate leaders, means it’s okay to hope that the south will once again go back to the ‘glory’ of the plantation days and the subjugation of African Americans.

This issue isn’t about freedom of speech (as it is a symbol, at its core, of a traitorous gang of secessionists). This isn’t an issue about freedom of expression (as what it expresses is pride in a history of murder, slavery and again, traitorous actions). It’s about a symbol that people have to walk by each day. It’s about a symbol so powerful that in European countries Neo-Nazis wave it around instead of the illegal Nazi flag.

People are claiming that the current wave of support for the removal of the confederate flag is a knee-jerk reaction to a very bad thing done by a very deranged man  and that the liberals are just trying to dust up some old wrongs to make the South and its leaders look bad. Honestly? If the leaders of the Southern states aren’t behind this idea, they should be made to look bad. Anyone who still thinks this flag has any right anywhere, in all honesty, looks bad to anyone who knows what that thing means.

And no, no one expects the removal of this symbol from government grounds to suddenly eradicate all racism in this country.  Racism is taught. It is handed down from one generation to the next. No one can stop what a parent teaches their child in the privacy of their own home. What the removal of this symbol will achieve is a show of support for the people whose ancestors were enslaved and tortured by the bearers of this flag. It will show that the U.S. Government does not abide by what the individual racists teach their offspring. That the U.S. Government stands with its citizens, not with the people who still glorify a past wherein some wanted to tear apart the country all because they wanted to enslave a group of people.  Getting rid of this symbol of the confederacy isn’t the solution to racism, but it is a step forward towards uniting the country under the only flag that should be flying on our government grounds – the stars and stripes.

In all honesty, there doesn’t need to be a debate. We shouldn’t have to wait until August for that thing to be removed. It needs to go. Now.

 

I’d like to teach the world to sing

In perfect harmony

I’d like to buy the world a Coke 

And Keep it company

-Old Coke Commercial

Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, has decided that soda is bad. All hail the king and his infinite wisdom…

Wait. Common sense would dictate, that yes, drinking a silo full of soda daily IS bad. Most people realize that. Do we REALLY need a law barring restaurants, etc, from serving/selling these large containers of sugar and caffeine? Is that really going to stop anyone from drinking them?

Bloomberg says that if someone wants 32 oz of soda, they can just as easily buy two cups of the stuff. I guess, logically, he’s assuming that folks wouldn’t shell out the cash for the extra cup. I’d commend him for his assumption, if I thought it would make any difference.

Bloomberg claims this is an effort to get people to stop drinking so many sugary drinks (which, lets face it, folks drink WAY too many sugary drinks), thus taking a stab at obesity.

While I can’t fault his reasoning, I can fault his methodology. If he wanted to be a nanny, he should have applied for that job. He is the mayor of a city that is going through financial crisis. He is the mayor of a city who’s kids can now pass a stupid test, but who can’t write a grammatically correct sentence. And yes, he is the mayor of a city, that is part of a country, with a huge obesity problem.

But soda? THAT’s going to solve the issue?

Reality check Mr. Mayor. It’s not going to even make a dent in the problem.

When I first heard about this new law he’s trying to pass, I became inexplicably angry. Mind you, I don’t even DRINK sugary soda, never mind the 32 oz variety!

First, I thought it was the whole ‘personal rights’ thing that was pissing me off. I mean I’m still smarting over the whole portion of the Republican primary wherein suddenly all unmarried, sexually active females were presented as sluts, whores and baby killers who need to be shamed into not getting an abortion via vaginal probe. But I digress.

Yes, what you eat, drink and who you sleep with is all a matter of personal choice. Many people make the wrong choice. It’s a part of life. The end.

But then it was brought to my attention that some people don’t know any better.. Particularly children who are being raised by some, apparently, unwise parents.

Okay. Got it. Bad Parents. Kids suffer.

But is soda REALLY going to make the difference?

And then I started thinking. All this money, time and effort being spent on barring something that people CHOOSE to ingest, can be better spent educating these same people about healthier ways.

Why not, instead of taking away people’s freedom to choose, Mr. Micromanger tries to instead develop programs that encourage people to make better choices?

Since the largest concern is childhood obesity, why not start with the schools. Pull a Jaime Oliver and start a food Revolution. Stop serving pink slime in the cafeteria. Candy bars weren’t making the kids fat. The crap meals are doing that all on their lonesome.

Then, just for shits and giggles, take an hour or two a week away from teaching the kids how to pass tests that don’t teach them ANYTHING, to teach them about healthy eating and encourage them to do something that doesn’t have them sitting in front of a computer or a TV. Make it part of the teaching program that they need to do SOME form of activity each day.

Now how about the adults?

Hmm.. well, adults are a little bit tougher nuts to crack. We’re pretty set in our ways. But making produce and good meat cheaper, than, say, ground chuck and potato chips would be a good start. Back when I was among the unemployed, eating healthy was nearly impossible to do. Just trying to buy wheat pasta (pasta, being a staple of the broke), was costly, in comparison to the less healthy white pasta. Never mind the price of fruits and veggies!

When you can buy two bags of potato chips for less than a bag of carrots, you have definitely got a problem.

With the majority of our population struggling to make ends meet, folks just want to keep their bellies full. Healthier items cost more. Maybe before regulating the size of movie soda (or my morning latte), someone should look into regulating the cost of healthier food.

I can’t help but believe this ban is a frivolous waste of taxpayer money. There are better ways to encourage healthy living, and there are more important items on Bloomberg’s agenda than regulating Soda consumption. First of all, it won’t make a difference. If people want to drink ridiculous amounts of soda, they will. Soda isn’t the problem and he’s not making a dent into the actual issue. Ultimately, what pisses me off is the fact that this whole campaign of his is a waste of money, a waste of time, and more than that, a waste of my patience with a mayor who shouldn’t have gotten a second term, never mind a third.

And sympathy, is what we need my friend

Cause there’s not enough love to go ’round..

Rare Birds (original) , Marillion (awesome cover)

Okay, I usually hate to get political, especially here. Seriously, the worst thing anyone can bring up in any conversation is either politics, or religion.  You all already know my take on religion. I don’t believe in it. God? Yes. Religion?  No.

Politically, I guess I lean more towards the liberal side. That’s fine. I can sit and have a conversation with folks who don’t believe the same as I do on any given day. Neither of us will change the other’s mind, and that’s fine too.  It’s the way the world works. But there is absolutely no one who can convince me that the current actions of Republican Senators in regards to giving 9/11 First responders the medical assistance they need makes any sense what so ever.

The Zodroga Bill, more commonly known as the 9/11 First Responder’s Bill, should never have been subjected to any kind of partisan crap. I get it. Republicans don’t like Obama. They don’t want to help him achieve anything. They will filibuster everything.  And the Democratic side, even when they HAD the majority are the “please like me” party full of nothing but a bunch of pussies who basically bend over backwards trying to please everyone and getting absolutely nothing done.

But really? THIS???

As someone who lived through the events of 9/11,  and worked, even after that date, just a few blocks from Ground Zero,  I can tell you THIS pisses me off. The passing of the bill has absolutely nothing to do with me, personally. Clearly, I wasn’t a first responder. However, it DOES have to do with all the men and women who worked on that site, inhaling toxic fumes daily, and the ONLY reason they are being denied any assistance is because of the ridiculous pissing contest the Republican side of the senate insists on having with the Democrats. I get it, okay? You’ve held up a whole lot of shit that I think would benefit this country. You can give me your reasons for the other things you held up and I can even see how MAYBE some of it, makes sense (not to me, but okay). But for a group that has used 9/11 as the excuse for everything you have (and haven’t) done in the past nine years, the LEAST that you can do, and I do mean LEAST, is pass a bill that helps provide medical assistance for the folks who worked on that smoking pile of toxicity and are still paying the price for it.

One Senator said that he hasn’t had the time to read through it all, and thinks that it would be an affront to Christians everywhere if he worked the week between Christmas and New Years to try and figure it out. Excuse me? Wait. I understand not working Christmas. Fine. But what’s the religious significance of the days between December 25 and December 31.

Mike Huckabee (maybe one of the few Republicans, who I might not always agree with, but who,  I can actually see as making sense), actually said, and I’m paraphrasing, on the Jon Stewart show last night that these Senators SHOULD work that week, because it would make up for the rest of the year of them doing nothing. I agree.. 100%

If I sound upset, it’s because I genuinely am.  Can you imagine if Firefighters took a vote on 9/11? Sounds ridiculous right? Well so does this hold up. It is unconscionable. These fat assed Senators need to just get the fuck over themselves and show some humanity towards the people who literally risked their lives and do so every time they go into a burning building.

Here is a clip from last night’s episode of “The Daily Show,” where Jon Stewart discusses the Zodroga Bill and the Senate’s inability to see past their own selfish agendas, with actual 9/11 first responders. Seriously, tell me, after watching this, you wouldn’t want to go bitch-slap one of the senators holding up this bill too..

I think we’re all afraid,
That we might be alone,
Alone down here,
We all want to have some faith,
At least that’s true in my case,
To just believe..

-Tyrone Wells, “More”

I’ve never been a particularly religious person.

Please don’t take that statement to mean that I don’t believe that there is a God or some force out there greater than us, because I do. I just don’t believe that any man/woman or child on this planet has any right to tell me how to worship/pray to or honor this being or force.

I’m of a belief that one’s relationship to God or the Universe (or the Force) whatever it is you believe in,  is a very personal thing and having someone, anyone, try to force their way of belief on another person is actually against everything that a true God would wish for.

Religion: re.li.gion. (noun) people’s beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature, and worship of a deity  or   deities, and divine involvement in the universe and human life; an institutionalized or personal system of beliefs and practices relating to the divine; a set of strongly-held beliefs, values, and attitudes that somebody lives by; an object, practice, cause, or activity that somebody is completely devoted to or obsessed by.

(A friend of mine once told me she believed that my religion was music because that’s the only activity I seem to engross myself in, well, religiously. Of course this was right after she’d seen me at a Dave Matthews Band concert where they played six out of my top ten favorite songs, which is rare, so that may have been the reason I was having a major “hallelujah” moment, but I digress.)

I see these people on the street handing out pamphlets or bibles saying “you gotta let Jesus into your heart” or “God will save you” – the reality is they’re just trying to get more members for their church (more members = more money) – says so right there on the pamphlet.  Every morning when I used to take the ferry to work, there was a guy who would lecture to us passengers about how if we don’t let Jesus and God in to our lives, we’re going to all burn in hell – so we should all go on and follow his religion. My most memorable interaction with one of the “ferry preachers” happened one early morning in the ferry terminal. A woman came up to me, tapped my shoulder and asked “do you believe in Christ?” And I said “I’m Jewish.” She said “So was he.” And then begins to tell me about “Jews for Jesus.”  (This may sound ignorant of me, but,  wasn’t Christianity started by, well, Jews, for Jesus??) I begged her forgiveness as it was early and I was enjoying my first cup of coffee, and asked her to kindly leave me alone.

I am aware that religion plays a huge role in the lives of many people. And I would never judge their beliefs or the way in which they choose to practice these beliefs. It’s just never been the right path for me. Trust me, many a Rabbi has tried and then been frustrated with my incessant questioning of the rules and regulations they told me God wanted me to follow.

I guess that might be one of the biggest issues I have with religion. There are all these rules that seem to dictate how God wants us to pray, eat, sleep, dress, behave, raise our kids, treat our pets, rest, (how much money to donate to the religious institutions we belong to…) My question is, who made up these rules? The Rabbis? Priests? Bishops? Deacons? And if that’s the case, who made these  folks the experts?  (I know they all go to their own religion’s form of Seminary school – but where did the things they’re learning come from?). And who wrote the bible? And how do we know that ANYTHING in there is even true? Weren’t these tomes written years after the events happened? I mean I’ve read the Old Testament quite a few times (seriously, I even lived with a guy who was studying to be a Rabbi – exhausted the crap out of him with all my questions too) and while the stories seem like great cautionary tales, I just don’t know how much of it all I can believe.

Ever notice how many wars are started in the name of God? And please don’t get me started on the hypocrisy of so called “holy men.”

And then there’s the attitude that so many folks seem to have when it comes to God.

Folks like to blame God for just about everything wrong in their lives. Folks also tend to forget to thank God for the good.  We blame God for war, for strife, for hurricanes, the economy, death, cancer, heartbreak – you name it. But forget to thank him for any good fortune that comes our way.

(I mean seriously who were those repressed douche bags who said Katrina was God’s way of punishing New Orleans for being a sinful city? Really, what God would punish New Orleans for being sinful before giving Osama Bin Laden – and all his murderous followers – the massive coronary they all so deserve? They KILL innocent people – New Orleans is full of music, laughter, fun, good people, good food and yes, spirituality. Some of the most spiritual people I know come from New Orleans! I can’t for a second believe that God would flood a city full of happy people before getting rid of assholes who murder in his name. But the statements made by Robertson and Falwell about Katrina and about the Earthquakes in Haiti are a great example how some religious leaders like to twist their view of God and what God wants to serve their own personal agendas.)

Back when I was in Hebrew school (yeah, go ahead, laugh), I had a teacher who explained to us that God will only help those who help themselves.  And that, of all the many lessons she taught, is the one that’s pretty much stuck for me.

To me, God isn’t some mystical Santa Clause that’s going to answer prayers just because you want him to. Truly, the only time I’ve actually had any of my prayers answered was when I was 11 years old and the baby my mother had been carrying turned out to be a girl (yeah, I prayed EVERY night – partially because I KNEW my stepfather wanted a boy, but mostly because I wanted a little sister – and I got one – the best kind too – and I thank God and the Universe and anything else out there for her every day – but, again, I digress).

God’s not going to help you find a job unless you actually SEARCH for one. God’s not going to make you lose 50 lbs unless you go on a diet and get off the damned couch. God’s not going to bring you the man or woman of your dreams unless you put yourself out there. And there is no way that God’s going to let EVERYONE win the lottery either (“Why not?” You might ask – For the answer, please see “Bruce Almighty”).

A friend and I had this discussion recently, where she said she doesn’t understand why she’s still alone, and that God must want it that way. I don’t believe that’s true. And for the record, I know she doesn’t believe that either. I mean any God that would be that cruel wouldn’t be worth believing in. I know that God didn’t just arbitrarily decide to take my husband from me (although I DO think should I ever meet God in person he has a lot of ‘splainin’ to do), because why would he? She’s alone because she hasn’t found a man worthy of her. My husband died because he got Cancer. End of story.  And while I don’t blame God for my husband’s death, I do thank him for the friends and family and inner strength I’ve been blessed with that helped me get through it all.

The fact is, bad things happen to seemingly good people every day.  And in the end, does it matter if they went to  whatever religious institution and prayed once a week; Or if they ate the right things on the right days;  Or, if they wore a skirt that was of  certain length?  And, who’s to say which path anyone chooses to follow is, infact, the correct one? If there were just one true way to follow God, would there be so many varying opinions as to what that path should be? And would God permit so much evil to be done in his name because of all these varying opinions?

I am of the adage that ultimately, how we treat ourselves and one another is the ultimate way to truly worship whatever being it is that you are prone to worshipping. Isn’t that what the Ten Commandments are all about? If you want to summarize those ten little rules alone, all God (or whatever being you chose to believe in) wants is for folks to believe in him/her/it, be good to one another, and be good to ourselves. Go ahead, read them. The first two are about believing in God, the rest are all about being good to our parents, our fellow man and ourselves.

As for the bad things? Shit happens. Believe me, I know, I’ve had more shit happen to me in the past three years than I thought I could stand. And I know I’m not a bad person. I know it’s not God or the Universe having a field day at my expense  (although, right about now the only prayer I have is that no more bad shit happen – I need to recuperate a little – go pick on someone else – or take an Imodium – K? Thanks!) It’s just the way things have been. My job in all of this is to make the best of whatever situation I am in and move on, hopefully having learned something in the process that would make my life better in the future.

I’ve definitely, in the past few years, had time to ponder on a lot of the crappy things that have happened in my life and in the lives of people I care about. I’ve had my self-pitying moments where I wondered what I could have done to prevent things from happening the way they did and wondered if somehow or other I was being punished for some wrong I’d done, long forgotten by me. But then I’d be reminded of all the good things in my life, friends, family and my own personal strength to deal with all of it. And I guess, most recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only person I can look to to make things right for me, is me.

So, I think we should be grateful for the good things in our lives. And when things start to really suck? Well, in the words of the Beatles “take a sad song and make it better.” It’s on us. Instead of looking to the heavens and asking “Why are you doing this to me?!!!” look inward and just deal with what you have and become the person you want to be. The rest will work itself out somehow

Belief in God or some being greater than us isn’t a bad thing, but I think that not believing in ourselves and each other is the worst crime we can commit to whatever God we believe in and to each other.