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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.

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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?

 

It’s Something Unpredictable

But in the end is right

I hope you had the time of your life

-Green Day “Good Riddance”

(seriously, I know, it’s cliché, but appropriate…)

Last night marked the last time I would see Denis Leary as a guest on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.” Amidst the laughter and familiar banter between these two long-time friends, I was suddenly gripped by a very melancholy feeling. This was it. This was ALMOST it. Shit. This is it. I’d been dreading this since February… And here it was. The end of “The Daily Show” as I knew it.

Like millions of other viewers, I had grown accustomed to watching “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” for my daily dose of ‘news made easy to digest.’  And while the show itself is not going away, its’ host of 16 years will be. Like him or not; agree with him or not; Jon Stewart’s departure from the show he brought out of semi-obscurity and turned into ‘must see’ TV, will be the marking of the end of an Era. And while some (FOX News, Rupert Murdoch, RNC) will rejoice at his departure, many of us will certainly feel the void he will leave behind.

When Jon Stewart took over “The Daily Show” in 1999 from Craig Kilborn, he’d already had two talk shows under his belt (I was fortunate enough to have seen a live taping of his MTV show way way way back in the day).  He had been passed up a few times as a potential host for late shows on NBC and CBS. Everyone who had ever seen him do his schtick knew he was funny. I don’t think anyone expected him to turn, essentially, a ½ hour fake news show into a social phenomenon.

Throughout 16 years of rants, political opining, and social commentary intermingled with comedy, Jon Stewart stressed to anyone who questioned him, that he was simply a comedian, and his show was, essentially a “fake” news show. What it really was, was satire in the purist form. What Jon Stewart did with the Daily show was create a space wherein he could look at the days’ news and educate a populous that needed, essentially, “a little sugar to make the medicine go down.”

The fact is, comedian though he may be, he also knows how to deliver the news to a generation of people who simply cannot deal with the bullshit on CNN, MSNBC and FOX. We needed someone who can point at the ridiculousness of the daily news feed and those who ‘reported’ on it all and say “yeah, you’re right, they are TOTALLY Fucked up! No wonder you don’t give a shit anymore.. Here’s a way for you to hear what’s going on without the extraneous bullshit… and yeah, maybe laugh a little..” It was, I believe, largely due to his delivery of the news that an entire generation of people, less likely to become politically active, registered to vote and took part in the political process. Regardless of the outcome of the elections (two for Bush, two for Obama – he didn’t always get his candidate), he got the 20-Somethings involved in a way they hadn’t been before.

And it wasn’t just the 20-Somethings – He filled a niche that was needed in this country. One where those of us, fed up with hearing a whole lot of bullshit could hear our frustrations voiced on television in a way no one anywhere else could express themselves.  He seemed to speak for those for those of us who, while we may lean socially towards the left, really just wanted to scream at both sides of our political landscape for their extreme game of tug of war with our lives.

The writers of that show clearly were under the direction of a person who wanted to make sure that even his most banal jokes were somehow based in well researched facts – Something that supposed “fair and balanced” news channels rarely seem to do. If Jon Stewart named statistics – they were real. If he referenced history – it was real. And on the rare occasion his facts were erroneous, he apologized.

Despite purporting he was just a comedian satirizing the news, and making it palatable for those of us who simply couldn’t watch the train wreck our government, and our ‘real’ news media, had become, Jon Stewart was named the Most Trusted Newscaster in America in a 2009 Time Magazine Poll.

Politicians that have come on the show, including, and maybe especially, the President himself, have admitted that his interviews were the toughest.  They never knew what he was going to ask, or, what tangent he will go on in an effort to make them accountable for their actions. No, he wasn’t a serious Newsman, just a comedian. .. Or maybe he was just a guy who was asking all the questions the rest of us really wanted answered, as opposed to promoting the agenda of whatever the owners of a specific news channel wanted promoted.

The very evidence of his influence on the political and social landscape could be seen numerous times. He is credited with helping Vets gain better access to medical care, when after a searing segment on the inadequacies in the 40 mile rule in the “The Choice Program,” the Department of Veterans Affairs changed the rules making access to medical care easier for our country’s bravest. When a bill to help 9/11 first responders who came down with chronic diseases such as emphysema and lung cancer after breathing in the toxic air at Ground Zero, was blocked by Senate Republicans, an issue all but ignored by main stream media, Stewart decided to bring the issue to light. Three days after Jon Stewart dedicated an entire episode to the issue where he first lampooned the Senators blocking the bill, and then brought on a panel of first responders to discuss the issue, the bill was passed. Jon Stewart has also been credited with the termination of CNN’s “Crossfire,” the down fall of Glenn Beck, and the firing of Rick Sanchez. Not bad for a guy who is ‘just a comedian.’

Jon Stewart is also credited for helping launch the careers of Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Larry Wilmore,  Kristen Schaal,  Olivia Munn, Ed Helms, Samantha Bee and Jason Jones (who are going to be launching their own show on TBS), Aasif Mandvi and of course, Jon’s successor, Trevor Noah.

Oh Trevor Noah.. What big shoes that man will have to fill. Not only is he replacing a man many of us turned to in the hopes of making sense out of the nonsensical, he is replacing a man even many politicians seemed to turn to to plead their cases. It sounds crazy that a comedian from Jersey who started his career, essentially trying to be the David Letterman of MTV, ended up being an essential stop on any campaign trail.

And while I have no doubt Trevor Noah will, much in the way Jon Stewart did, carve out his own path and gain his own following (hopefully, many Stewart fans will stick around as well), it is indeed going to be different. He is coming at this from a different angle. He has a different sense of humor. Even if he agrees with everything Jon Stewart has ever said, his take will be different and will more than likely take some getting used to. I am willing to try. But that doesn’t mean I won’t miss Jon Stewart’s perspective, which seems to so clearly reflect everything so many of us loyal viewers have thought but never saw reflected on any other channel.

I don’t know what the future holds for Jon Stewart, (other than the sanctuary farm he and his wife have purchased), but I hope after some rest and relaxation he recharges and comes back on the scene. It really won’t be the same without him.  Especially with the current election cycle! Seriously, I would’ve loved to have seen his post-Republican Debate commentary. With Trump, Christie, Huckabee and the rest of the clown posse on the panel, it will be a gold mine of humor that practically writes itself. Alas, it is not meant to be as his last day on air coincides with the first debate (coincidence? Maybe – but the only people who will benefit from Jon Stewarts absence will be FOX News and the RNC, sadly).

Either way, I genuinely do wish Jon Stewart all the best and hope he enjoys his (seriously) early retirement.

Get me out of New York City, Son. New York is Killing Me.

– Ray LaMontagne “New York City’s Killing Me”

I’ve been hearing about people fleeing New York City for greener (read: less expensive) pastures for a while now. Recently, this exodus has affected me, as many of my friends have decided they actually, and rightfully so, wanted more financial security rather than suffer through living paycheck to paycheck in a city they love. I honestly, don’t blame them.  Over-developing, or ‘progress,’ as some would call it, has killed this city’s culture, while making it virtually impossible for anyone who doesn’t make a six figure salary to live here. (Anyone who ever loved to spend time on the Lower East Side, knows exactly what I’m talking about)

It’s depressing because I love New York. I am, to the core, a New Yorker, born and bred. Raised in Brooklyn, then Staten Island. My family lives here. I know the streets. I know the history. I lived through some of the best, and horribly worst, times this city has ever seen along with so many other New Yorkers. It’s a part of me.

I. LOVE. NEW YORK.
But I’m not sure how much longer I can live here.

I’m past the age where living in a cramped apartment, arguing with a roommate over who drank the last of the milk is remotely feasible. I am not married. I live alone in an amazingly huge (and thankfully rent-stabilized, despite my landlord’s efforts to make it otherwise) apartment on Staten Island, with a view of the city. A view that is about to be blocked by some ‘progress’ that hardly anyone I know actually wants.

Staten Island was the last bastion of affordable New York City living after Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bed-Stuy were taken over by developers, who, in the name of ‘progress’ killed the culture of these neighborhoods and turned them into luxury apartment, hipster enclaves that no one who isn’t wealthy, or willing to share a closet-sized dwelling with four people, can afford.

And now that there are no more neighborhoods to kill in the other four boroughs, developers have set their sights on Staten Island’s North Shore.

This sucks. I am tired of hearing how wonderful it will be for the neighborhood. I like my neighborhood just the way it is. It has always been deceptively on the seedy side – which was the beauty of it all as it kept all the assholes (hipster, yuppies, developers, etc) away.   I remember, my mother, upon her drive up to see what would become my current dwelling, seven years ago, nearly had a fit thinking I was insane for wanting to live in what she thought was a ‘bad’ neighborhood. That was until she turned the corner to the cul-de-sac on which my building resides, and saw the beautiful tree-lined block, with the huge, old houses across the street. Once she saw the size of the apartment, the view, the pool, and was told that heat and hot water were included in the rent, she helped me turn that place into the home I still live in today.

I’ve had some pretty rough times over the past few years. Financially, my life has been a roller coaster of crazy. But because I’m paying for my place for about half of what a shoe-box sized studio in Manhattan would cost, I have managed to somehow survive.

We hear politicians talk about ‘affordable’ housing – and yes, there are some very nice apartments, even in my neighborhood, slated for those who earn less than a certain amount per family member (I’m really not sure how they figure out the formula for these apartments but, okay). I don’t fit into that category, I earn too much, apparently.

I’m happy that those who have been struggling with inadequate housing, food, and salary for so long are finally being helped.  But what about the rest of us?  What about those of us who used to be able to afford decent housing and a decent life in The City, but no longer can do so because we earn too much money to live in affordable housing, but too little to live anywhere else within the five boroughs.

To be clear, I’m not saying that I in any way should be accepted into the affordable housing program. There are people in way worse circumstances than I am, and I believe they need, and should have, the assistance they are receiving.  What I am saying is, while I commend the efforts of the Governor and the Mayor to improve the lives of those who have fallen on hard times, (while simultaneously basking in all the extra money brought in by the developers and the consumers of their luxury housing options), I think they have forgotten that segment of the population that has been teetering on the edge for quite some time now. It is those of us in the middle that are running away from the city to pursue a livable life. You know, one where not nearly half our salary is going into the pockets of some greedy landlord or developer as housing costs rise, and salaries remain stagnant.

I’m not against progress, per-se. I realize that the neighborhood needs to be revamped. But does it have to go all “Williamsburg” on us? I couldn’t afford to live anywhere in Brooklyn now if I earned double my current salary and I am afraid that in a few years, I won’t be able to afford to live on Staten Island either.  I don’t want to leave the city. I really don’t. But I’m starting to fear that I may have no choice.

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!!

🙂

One day last September, I walked into a beautifully furnished reception area of a mid-town office. I was sent there by a recruiter for an interview. I walked up to the impossibly young receptionist and let her know who I was there to meet with. She directed me to the waiting area, which was directly in front of a conference room filled with even more impossibly young employees.  Ten minutes later, I was greeted by another young lady who informed me that the person with whom I was to meet would have to reschedule.  Apparently he was called into a last minute meeting and would not be able to meet with me that day – apologies all around – they would be in touch. Of course, I never heard from them again. So what could possibly have been the reason for their lack of follow through? Clearly my resume spoke to my qualifications. I was dressed in a suit. My hair was done. I was wearing make-up – something I apply lightly yet effectively. I have been told I pass for younger than my actual age. But,  that age is over 40, and the kids at that awesome new start up couldn’t have been over the age of 30. This may be sheer speculation, but I’m guessing they took one look at me, at the time 42, and decided to pass.

Their loss.

A couple of weeks later, while in the middle of an early autumn heat wave, I was sweating along in my car, running a few errands, when I received a call from a recruiter.  She had seen my resume and was floored by my experience. She quickly interviewed me over the phone and exclaimed that she MUST do a video chat with me THAT DAY because I sounded like an amazing candidate for the role she had available. I explained to her that I was in my car, running errands, and would be home within the hour (thus giving me time to get home from Brooklyn, and make myself presentable). She told me she wanted a more immediate conversation, as their office (which was in Connecticut, hence the need for a video chat and not an in-person interview, as would be the norm), was about to close,  and never mind the make-up and hair, she just wanted to face-time me along with her co-manager on the account.

I acquiesced to the interview and was immediately at ease. Sure the ladies on the other end were wearing make-up – their hair perfectly coifed in matronly fashion – but they were older. Judging by the sheer amount of eye-make up and poorly hidden wrinkles, I’d say A LOT older, than myself. Being that they were of a certain age, the wouldn’t judge me for being in my 40’s when they were so clearly pushing the 60, right? Wrong.

We had a lovely conversation which ended with them promising to forward my resume to their client.  Afterwards, I hung up, but they didn’t. While we were no longer seeing each other on the screen, I could hear every word they said. I wish I had thought to press “record.” I may have easily been able to sue if a court could have heard what they said.

There are some things in life I know I will forget. But what I heard from the other end was so heartbreaking to me, I actually remember every word.

Recruiter #1:      OMG She looks way older than her resume would make you believe

Recruiter #2:      Yeah, she definitely started her career earlier than the year 2000 (right, because 2000 was when I became an Executive Assistant – neither my time as a pension processor nor  as a make-up counter person at the Body Shop are relevant to my current job search).

Recruiter #1:      Yeah, but she’s not THAT old. She could’ve at least TRIED to put on some make up though. I mean seriously, who at that age doesn’t wear make-up when they leave the house? (Someone who doesn’t want to get your wrinkles, granny).

Recruiter #2:      It’s really too bad because she was perfect on paper, and the way she interviews, she’s very well-spoken, but she’s just too old.

Recruiter #1:      So sad, really.  She would’ve probably gotten the job if she were ten years younger. So, we agree, we’re not sending her resume to them (I’m assuming, them = the client).

Recruiter #2:     No, she can’t represent us to them. She’s too old. 

Me:        Excuse me ladies, I thought you should know, I can hear everything you’ve said. Despite my advanced age, I do know how to use an iPhone. Kindly hang up on your end. Thanks.

After a bit of scrambling, they finally figured out how to hang up. In case you are wondering, the name of the recruiting company is Merrit Staffing. I have avoided all of their postings, many for which I am not only qualified, but more than likely over-qualified, ever since. Sad, really, I could have been a great placement of theirs.

Recently, while on a temp assignment, at a company I won’t name, I watched as they criticized candidate after candidate vying for the role, admittedly I’d hoped they would have given me (although I realized early on, that wasn’t going to happen – even though everyone genuinely praised me, my work and my work ethic during my time there, I knew what my boss was looking for, and I certainly wasn’t it). All the candidates were pre-screened by the in-house recruiter. All qualified for the position. I knew who they were going to hire before even they did. I knew by her age, her perkiness, and her dress. No matter that her resume had her jumping from job to job every two years. No matter that she herself admitted she grew bored easily. She would be the perfect candidate. She’d fit right in with the group (of course, important – Honestly, I’m a social butterfly, but I can’t fake enthusiasm when certain things are just not that interesting to me – a fatal flaw, I’m afraid).  And she IS qualified for the position, of that I have no doubt. So, I have zero bitterness towards the hiring of this person. She got the job because she was their ideal candidate.

It is the treatment of those they rejected that killed me. There was a harsh rejection of one person in particular, that struck me as vile and made me lose a whole lot of respect for my former employer. She was an older lady. Extremely experienced and by all accounts very qualified for the position. She was wearing a wig. She was also wearing a lot of make- up. But she was well dressed, polite, friendly and well spoken. After she left, some of the comments coming out of the mouths of those who thought I couldn’t hear them, or that no one else in the office who had a conscience could hear them, were disgusting. Seriously, I had wanted so badly to work for them at one point. After that, I actually started looking for a job elsewhere.

Apparently ageism is everywhere. Even among those older than you (the above mentioned employer is my age – his co-interviewer is 11 years older than I am). People wonder why it has been so difficult for me to find a job.. well, my mom would say it’s my weight. But then again, my mother still thinks I’m in my 20s.. soo… But it’s not. I find a lot of very unhappy people in their mid 40’s to upper 50s who stay in jobs they hate because they know they won’t get hired anywhere else. It’s sad. Companies want the experience, and in the steadily improving economy, are even willing to pay for the experience. But they don’t want the age that comes along with the experience. This is not something I can understand. I’m nowhere near retirement age. I have a good 20-30 employable years left in me. And yet, all I can seem to find are temporary assignments, where despite all my hard work, all the accolades said work receives, I am still not given a permanent job. There is no way to sugar coat it. I can lose weight. But I can’t turn back time and become a 30 year old again. I’ve been heavy all my life. Heavier than I am right now, even, and have still managed to get a job. So yeah, it’s not my weight mom. I love you, but that is not the source of all that is currently wrong in life.

I’m just, apparently, old?

There really is no point to this post. I have no brilliant insights or advice or even anger to throw at you. It’s just me venting out frustrations that I can’t even add any humor to because it’s sad. And it’s scary. I’m a single, (widowed, something I don’t admit to readily to interviewers because that word makes me seem even older, I think).  I live alone. I live in New York City (yes, Staten Island IS a part of NYC!). I’m way too young for even ‘early’ retirement. Not to mention, any retirement savings I had, I went through after my husband passed away. Anything I managed to save after that, I went through the last time I was unemployed back in 2010. I have no clue what to do. I want to work. I am REALLY good at my job. Even the frat boy who didn’t hire me after I busted my ass working for him as a temp for 7 months told me that he would happily be a reference for me – I may not have been right for him, but he’d happily shove my old ass onto someone else, I guess.

So, anyone out there looking to hire a 43 year-old, chubby but super friendly and highly qualified Executive Assistant?   Just asking. Hey, I’ll even throw on some make-up!

Back in November of 2013, tired of trying to meet men the ‘old fashioned’ way, and even more exhausted of hearing my friends urging me to try any number of on-line dating sites on which their ‘sister’s friends roommate from college’ met the man of her dreams, I made the decision to try, once again, to dip my toes in the perilous pool of on-line dating.

Largely influencing this decision was having seen first hand, a good friend of mine, marry a man she herself had met on one of the many sites out there. She and I had shared our dating woes on many occasions and seeing her so happily say “I do,” to a genuinely wonderful man made me hopeful.

Having forayed once before, albeit briefly and half-heartedly, I decided this time I was going all in. I joined every site I could think of. I chose an opportune time, a month before holiday season, when even the paid sites were giving out nearly free (and in some cases, completely free), deals. I set up my profile, chose my photos and off I went.

The following observations are made from a feminine point of view, with the purist of intentions, directed at the men out there seeking to meet women on these sites. Admittedly, when I first started looking, I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, so was contacted by men looking for a variety of different types of ‘relationships.’ That being said, regardless of what I, or they, were looking for, I started being somewhat critical (and yes, skeptical), of what these guys were putting out there via their online profiles.

After a few conversations with some of my female friends who were going through the same process, I’ve come to the conclusion that some guys just need help.

Now, before I go any further, please understand, the ‘advice’ I’m about to give is solely from my own observations. I can’t speak for other women. Although, like I said, many friends with whom I’ve had this discussion seem to agree with me. Additionally, I’m sure the male perspective on what they’ve witnessed coming from the female side might be similar (I’m sure there are any number of women out there whose photo’s and info have left you guys in stitches). But this advice is for the guys…

Please understand, this is coming from a good place.  I am well aware that the female profiles you’re looking at can be just as bad if not worse. However, if you’re not getting the kind of attention you want, or, if you’re not getting any attention at all, here are some potential reasons, and, maybe some solutions. I’m not guaranteeing success, but, it might help.

Photos:

Online dating is akin to online shopping. Women love to shop. But we’re not buying anything that looks sketchy or doesn’t match the product description. I’m not saying we’re all shallow and want an Adonis. But, most of us do want something real.. and sane.. and at least recent..

Let me clarify:

Your picture

Female reaction
Eyes bulging – like Charles Manson Psycho
Mug shot ala Nick Nolte Alcoholic Psycho
Grainy picture from ten years ago What the hell’s he trying to hide ? And who the hell does he think he’s fooling?
Current picture does not match up with the age you’ve given Does he think we’re all morons? If that’s him now, he’s lived a ROUGH life.. I mean that shot makes him look AT LEAST 10 years older…
Shot of your six-pack abs, but you’re listed as looking for a “serious” relationship Same reaction YOU have to the half naked picture of some chick in her bikini, doing the kissy-duck face thing… If that’s the reaction you want, just say you’re looking for a hook-up and be done with it. No woman’s going to object to looking at your abs…. but really, again, don’t bullshit us.
Pictures of you hanging with your super hot girl ‘friends.’ Awww… poor baby is in the friend zone… pity party table for one – Next
Pictures of you with your mom Mama’s boy.. no thanks.. Next
Pictures of you at the gym Oh for fucks sake, what’s he trying to prove?
Pictures of you with your dog, your cat, your infant niece or nephew… Trying too hard to up the cute factor..

Here’s the deal. All of the above is crap. Just be you.  It should be enough for anyone who would be interested in you.  Pick pictures of who you are now.  Granted, if you are a psycho, alcoholic, mama’s boy with an inferiority complex, may the force be with you, my friend.

My advice would be to ask that really hot girl who has permanently put you in the “friend” zone to help you choose pictures that would make you attractive to other women. Chances are she knows all your best qualities and wants you to find someone who will want to be with you – if only so she could stop feeling so guilty for not wanting to be with you herself.

Your Profile – Honesty is the best policy

Look, I know guys like to think they have a general clue as to what a woman may or may not be looking for. But honestly, unless you’re going to consistently follow through, please don’t over indulge on the platitudes.

The point of your profile is to tell us who you are, not who you think we want to hear you are. You may be the best guy ever to walk the face of the planet. You may shit rainbows and fart roses. Hell, you may be a unicorn in man’s clothing. Awesome. But writing all that down in flowery prose hoping to get our panties all up in a bunch lining up to meet you is a bit disingenuous.  Also, most women – I’m not talking girls still living in a fantasy land where prince charming will rescue them and they all live happily ever after – realize, that there is no fantasy land, and that even after the prince rescues the princess, they still have to deal with one another’s crap.

When I first decided to re-enter the world of online dating, I was inundated with a few messages from guys spewing the hearts and flowers, one even told me I wouldn’t need to get pedicures any more because he’d kiss all my callouses away (umm yuk).

What I’m saying is – keep it simple, stupid.

Try to avoid condescending phrases like “I’ll treat you like a princess.” And for crying out loud, PLEASE stop reiterating what a “great guy” you are.  Most women believe in actions and not words. You really want to get our attention? Admit you’re flawed. No woman can realistically expect perfection, knowing full well how imperfect she herself is. Don’t make yourself out to be the guy you think all women dream of, because judging by what I’ve been reading, most guys have no clue. Having to dig through all the bullshit to figure out what part of your fantasy world really is you is hard. And, if you are really that perfect? That’s just intimidating. Tell us about who you really are, what you really want and what you really like. That kind of honesty might get us to respond. Figuring out what a great guy you are will shortly follow.

The first guy that really got a response from me, had, in his profile (and I’m paraphrasing here), “I’m not a creeper. Just a guy. Not sure how all this works, but thought I’d give it a shot.”

After all the lengthy, almost Shakespeare-meets-Keats type of prose I was reading, I found HIS profile refreshing (it also helped that his pictures were actually him, recent, and clearly not posing for effect…). The outright honesty blew me away.

So guys, please understand, most real women stopped believing in Prince Charming a long, long time ago. What we’re looking for is a real man. We don’t want platitudes. We don’t need promises. We just want you.

First Contact:

Okay,  your profile is complete… You’ve answered a bunch of benign questions regarding your preferences in romance, music, sports, food, etc and the website directs you to a few profiles of women they believe you’d match up well with. Here’s what you should, and shouldn’t do:

DO:

READ THE PROFILES! Seriously, you can find out a lot by reading one paragraph. For instance, what she’s looking for.. you know.. if she’s looking for a serious relationship, and you aren’t – move on. If she’s looking for a hook-up and you want to meet the future mother of your children – move the hell on.

Additionally, reading her profile will clue you in to some of her interests. This knowledge would be of infinite assistance in getting her to actually converse with you should you decide to make contact.  That guy I mentioned before, yeah, his first message read: “So, a music snob, how so?” This prompted a response from me way more enthusiastically than the typical “Hey there,” or my FAVORITE first text, “Hey princess, what’s up?” Seriously? Do I FUCKING LOOK LIKE A GIRL WHO WANTS TO BE ADDRESSED AS “PRINCESS”?!!

Anyway, so yeah, read the profiles.

DON’T:

Glance at the pictures and write any versions of the following:

“Yo baby what’s up”

“Hey princess, what’s up”

“Hey sexy, wanna (insert sexual act of your choice)”

In all honesty, I’ve often wondered if any version of the above ever works and what kind of women respond to that kind of ish.

I met my current boyfriend on one of the sites. He started with a very, almost shy, “hello,” and not much else. It was direct, not condescending, or insulting, or vulgar. The fact that his profile had normal pictures along with a brief but interesting bio, sparked my interest enough to get a responding “hello.” Once we started chatting, we never stopped. He had obviously read my profile and asked me questions; I did the same; and once we met in person.. well.. that’s a different story, but suffice it to say, one year later and we’re still together, so clearly, I’m coming from a place of SOME knowledge here.

What I’m trying to say is, again, no need to be an exceptional wordsmith here, a simple “hello,” will often do the trick. Of course, if you are trying to separate yourself from the hundreds of other guys in the herd, you can always reference the lady’s profile in your first message. Believe me, that IS refreshing (PS: “Hello, you’re very pretty.” – Doesn’t count as referencing the profile.. ).

Listen, I get it. It’s a crowded field out there. It’s tempting to try the most outrageous tactics in an effort to get noticed. But it probably won’t – at least not in the way you’d like. Truly, most women (and I’m sure men) are expecting there to be some deceptive tactics involved in most on-line dating profiles. In my estimation, most folks do this to get a foot in the door. I can understand that. The problem is that when the truth comes out, as it inevitably does, you wind up shooting yourself in that proverbial foot.

So just be you. Truly. That alone would be shocking enough to get the attention you’re looking for. Try it. What have you got to lose?

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.