Thursday, November 15, 2012

Exit, Stage Right

I am profoundly disgusted and infuriated with Mitt Romney for his comments, which came to light yesterday, to donors to the tune that Obama won re-election because of "gifts" he provided to certain groups, such as Hispanics, African-Americans, young people, seniors, women, working people--you know, those pesky special interest groups known as THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, a.k.a., the mythical "47%" of self-entitled "victims" that Romney spoke of previously and has so much clear and shocking contempt for. While he has no problem with viewing corporations as people and thus entitled to certain rights and/or privileges and/or TAX BREAKS, he apparently looks at any policies that benefit actual citizens, actual PEOPLE of this country, as "gifts". How DARE people want health care, for example, or think it could actually be good policy for our country?

I think the Democratic policies and positions, such as being FOR everyone paying their fair share of taxes, are PATRIOTIC and not at all about being the entitled, whiny victims with our hands stuck out that Romney views the entire American electorate as being! We WANT to pay taxes, unlike YOU, Romney. Your policies were for cutting taxes to the richest 1% of American individuals and corporations, you don't think THAT is a "gift" calculated coldly to win an election and NOT in the best interest of this country as a whole? YOU are talking about yourself, you are confusing President Obama and the greedy, ugly picture you paint of the American people with YOURSELF.

Very often, when someone goes on and on about the supposed faults of another, s/he is really talking about her or himSELF. Such is the case here. And in the picture he paints of his view of the Americans who voted for President Obama, Romney paints a revealingly disgusting, despicable picture of himself.

His comments are delusional and utterly contemptuous towards the American people who voted for President Obama. He is saying that people only voted for Obama in light of what he could give them personally, not in light of what is best for this country. He fails utterly to see that some of us think that EVERYONE paying their fair share of taxes IS what is best for this country. That a good, sustainable health care system (not that I personally agree that Obamacare is a good, sustainable health care system, but I digress) is what is best for this country. Some of us feel that student loans, FEMA, roads, bridges, greening the economy, funding education, and YES, even providing birth control (GASP!), IS what is good for this country!  And we feel that way even if we as individuals may never need some of those things ourselves.  We voted for what we think is best for our COUNTRY.

We are not selfish, spoiled children with our hands stuck out, waiting for "gifts", Mr. Romney. That would be YOU. That would be YOUR constituency. So why don't you accept the fact that you lost the election fair and square due to an electorate that loves our country at least every bit as much as your supporters do, and that voted its conscience to do what is best for our country. You have missed your opportunity to exit gracefully to stage right. At least please now exit quietly to stage right. We have heard more than enough out of you.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Close, But Still No Cigar

On Tuesday, I blogged about how President Obama should stop "constantly evolving" on the issue of marriage equality and evolve already. Well, I have to take a minute out of my stressful day and blog via thumb typing on my mobile phone (trust me, that indicates a strong desire to blog!) to give him credit, for today he came out in favor of marriage equality. He is the first President of the United States to do so. As Vice President Biden said a while back on another issue, "It's a big BLEEPING deal."

That said, it is not enough. President Obama still says it is up to each individual state to decide the issue for itself. That is incorrect. Marriage equality, the right to marry who you love, is a constitutional issue. It's as federal as it gets. When it was determined that "separate but equal" was really not equal, it was not left up to the states to decide. Everybody can drink from the same water fountains, sit anywhere they want on the bus, etc., IN ALL THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

The constitution grants equal rights for all. This means equal marriage rights no matter the gender or sexual orientation of those seeking to marry. Thank you for stating that you support equal marriage rights, President Obama. Now we just need you to say that it isn't just your newly-evolved personal opinion, it is a constitutional civil right that should be the law of the land.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Evolve Already!

Hey, President Obama, listen up:

You are 50 years old and you are President of the United States of America. You are intelligent and you have studied the constitution. Yet you say that your position on marriage equality regardless of sexual orientation is “constantly evolving”? I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to ask you to GROW A BACKBONE and fulfill your DUTY to uphold the constitution of the United States of America, which clearly says there should be equality for ALL citizens under the law.

I adore Joe Biden, but I will stipulate to the fact that he is a bit gaffe-prone. However, what he said in support of marriage equality was NOT a gaffe! His position was both the moral one and, more importantly for you in your role as President, the one that upholds the rule of constitutional law. He is a scholar of constitutional law, Mr. President. He is also a decent human being. He is also your Vice President. BACK HIM UP. BACK UP WHAT IS RIGHT. BACK UP WHAT IS CONSTITUTIONAL.

Your opinion of marriage equality is “constantly evolving”? Well, EVOLVE ALREADY! EVOLVE!

Now, you know, I can’t stand you as it is, for a number of substantive reasons that date back to the 2007/8 primary campaign and continue to pile up to the present day. I will not enumerate them all here, although it is TEMPTING. My point is, I don’t think, nor have I ever thought, you are this great leader and change agent that most everyone else on the left thought you were going to be (most of them are fully disabused of that notion by now). However, I voted for you. What choice did I have? And I will vote for you again. What choice do I have? Is that what you are counting on, Mr. President? Is that why you take the liberal vote for granted? Is that why you kiss the intolerant butt of the right-wing fundamentalist crowd on this and other issues? Because you know you already have most of the gay vote and the liberal vote, so you figure, let me go after the tea partiers? Well, guess what, O? They are not going to vote for you! Period. So why not dance with the ones that brung you? Why not excite and energize your liberal base?

Mr. President, why not DO THE RIGHT THING? Why not, just for a lark, fulfill your sworn duty to uphold the constitution of these United States, and SUPPORT MARRIAGE EQUALITY? EVOLVE ALREADY!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Girl Scouts, Planned Parenthood and Women: Oh My!

An article I read today ("Bob Morris, Indiana Lawmaker, Calls Girl Scouts A 'Radicalized Organization'") in The Huffington Post really has me scared, especially taken in context of the anti-women rhetoric coming from the Republican presidential candidates, the recent attempt by the Susan G. Komen Foundation to bully Planned Parenthood, and recent attacks and boycotts against the Girl Scouts of America for their inclusive policy of welcoming all girls.  I’m palpably frightened by the intense degree and omnipresence of hate, misogyny, and an "us and them" mentality that is in our societal ether. When I read some of the statements by Bob Morris in the above-linked article, they seem like a parody or satire of what the radical right believes, yet they are his real statements, and THAT is precisely what has me so scared: these people are serious and I believe we are entering into a modern day witch hunt, with similar elements to the Salem witch trials, McCarthyism and even Nazi propaganda. For example, it is very reminiscent of McCarthyesque accusations without substantiation when Morris states in his letter to his fellow lawmakers:

"The Girl Scouts of America and their worldwide partner, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), have entered into a close strategic affiliation with Planned Parenthood. You will not find evidence of this on the GSA/WAGGGS website—in fact, the websites of these two organizations explicitly deny funding Planned Parenthood.

Nonetheless, abundant evidence proves that the agenda of Planned Parenthood includes sexualizing young girls through the Girl Scouts, which is quickly becoming a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood."

Morris does not go on to cite even one example of the supposedly "abundant evidence" showing that the Girl Scouts has become a "tactical arm of Planned Parenthood". It is exactly like Senator Joe McCarthy standing up and saying "I have here in my hand..." evidence that so-and-so is a COMMUNIST! Yet no evidence was forthcoming. It was enough to hurl the accusation, as it is in any witch hunt.

The radical conservative, Christian fundamentalist contingent of the Republican Party has really gone off their anti-misogyny meds and they are now royally riled up to make all women barefoot and pregnant. Since the Girl Scouts empowers girls and Planned Parenthood empowers women, the radical right feels extremely threatened by both of these organizations, but what they are really doing is making them scapegoats, "witches", evil "others" who are threatening "our" way of life. What is really happening is that we are in a period of social and economic tumult and change, and times of change are scary for those in power, so they lash out, they accuse, they deflect and try to unite people via a false "us and them" dichotomy, so that people will turn against the witches and go at "them" with pitchforks, instead of turning against those in power like the richest 1% of individuals and corporations that these radical, right-wing Republicans represent. The patriarchy must be preserved--hunt down the witches! Today's witches are apparently the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood, to name but two. Why them? As I said: these organizations represent empowering women. We can't have that. That is threatening to the power elite.

Apparently, the patriarchal power elite is about to crumble and lose all power unless they deny birth control to women, the right to marry to gay people, and ANY sort of TINY token social safety net to any of us. They also apparently intend to preserve their power by completely replacing “Big Government” with kindly corporations who will create jobs, trickle down their wealth to everyone, and basically take awesome care of all society’s citizens, sort of like how they did in every Dickens novel ever written and during the 8 years of George W. Bush's rule, in which he slashed their taxes and regulations and they created such a healthy, thriving, sustainable economy that it led to The Great Recession, including the collapse of Wall Street and the foreclosure crisis, among other wonderful trickle down effects.

The Great Recession is the logical conclusion of Reaganomics, of Reagan’s “Trickle Down” theory. And Reagan's protégés, like Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, want to BRING IT ALL BACK. That’s right, kiddies, they think that those were “the good old days”. We don’t want Big Government, they say. No, we want corporations to run WILD and free, as God intended, because they will take care of us. I don’t know how Republicans reach that conclusion when corporations are motivated by PROFIT and nothing else, but reach it they do. Do not even attempt to figure out their logic. You will go mad (trust me on that).

People, we need to wake up and smell the witch hunt. Do not let those who are attempting to whip up fear, hate and scapegoating fool you. This is class warfare, this is a war against women, war against children, war against gay people, and war against “hippies” who want to push a radical green “theology” onto God-fearing fossil fuel companies like BP and Halliburton. This is war against anyone and anything that would threaten the power of patriarchal corporate America. It is easier to rile people up against the designated "witches" du jour than it is to face the fact that society is in a profound period of upheaval and change and cannot go on, cannot sustain itself, on the unsustainable course we are on. Instead of facing what we need to change (for example, we need to move from a fossil fuel-based economy to a green one, and we need to go to single payer health care, and if we don't do both, we will not be economically sustainable, let alone environmentally stable or ethical), uniting against scapegoats via a witch hunt is a tried and true way to deflect attention from real problems. Therefore, I am scared.

When so-called leaders start making scapegoats out of, and organizing modern day witch hunts against, organizations like the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood, it is time for a little healthy alarm to kick in. We need to speak out, organize, VOTE, and stop them from drowning out all dissent, diversity, empowerment of women, and tolerance in this country before it is too late. The fix is in with the Citizens United decision (fight it here: Petition Against Citizens United) allowing the 1% to control who is elected to office in this country. But we, the people, still do have some power, some voice, to fight that, and meanwhile to at least vote for the lesser of the various evils in any given election. We have to keep voting, even if we feel it is only to pick the least bad choice. We have to protest—in the streets and in the new social media (bless it—look how it made the Susan G. Komen Foundation do an about face on Planned Parenthood within 72 hours!). It seems daunting for little bitty human beings to go up against corporations with vast wealth and those who represent their interests, but we can do it! We have to try! As Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

The most important things we can do are to speak the truth to power, don't let those who would try to foment fear and hate by deflecting our attention from what's really happening towards scapegoats do so, and don't ever feel that we have no power so why bother trying, speaking, protesting, dissenting and voting? We need to keep doing all of those. It is especially important now to speak up when you notice a witch hunt, a mob mentality, against any individual, group or organization, such as the Girl Scouts or Planned Parenthood.  Never turn away from a witch hunt in progress.

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me
And there was no one left to speak for me."

- quote by Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller -

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Santorum Doesn't "Believe In" Climate Change

I was hoping to post a link to an article talking about the following issue, but what is as terrifying to me as the issue itself, namely the fact that Rick Santorum actually believes climate change is a fiction and stated as much in clear, unequivocal, sneering terms at last night's GOP debate in Tampa, is that fact that NO ONE IS REPORTING THAT AS SHOCKING, DISQUALIFYING-FOR-THE PRESIDENCY NEWS this morning! There are no articles on it. NONE! Zero, zilch.

For a candidate in the 2012 presidential primary race to state that his opponents, quote "believe in" climate change, as if climate change is some sort of mythical story that one can choose to believe in or not (like, say, THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE), is really SHOCKING, yet what is at least as shocking is that no one seems shocked! No one finds that remarkable or a huge faux pas that should automatically make Santorum slip in the polls to irrelevancy. He himself thinks it is a badge of honor to doubt clear, hard science—not just to doubt it, but to DENY it.

Folks, this guy CANNOT become president. Period. For that matter, neither can any of the other Republican candidates, but Santorum is particularly horrifying on several fronts. The climate change statements last night just really got me: he was actually trying to differentiate himself from his opponents by proudly crowing that they “believe in” climate change, whereas he does not believe in it. Well, little Ricky, do you believe that the earth is round, the sky is blue, the sea contains water? Or do you choose not to believe in those vast liberal lies, either?

It should be front page news that Santorum said that. Instead? It is getting about as much coverage as the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns.