This one won’t be polite.

February 10, 2012 at 5:31 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Are you kidding me? Are you freaking out of your mind nuts kidding me?
There is a conservative politician *so* full of anger at the policies and the person of  the black man in the White House that  he decided to introduce a bill allowing employers to deny any preventive health service they object to.

I’m hoping the thing will get, say three cosponsors and die a deserved death but you never know….

If you want to be a friend to large corporations, making sure they  attract valuable employees, you can’t run around writing bills that could technically deny:

Mammograms

Cancer screenings of all kinds for either sex.

Diabetes education (!)

Stress tests for heart disease.

All of these fall under the ‘preventative’ tag.

Come on, you say, no one would be that nuts…

Write a bill as a dog whistle and it could come back to bite you.

Because of course this is a dog whistle:  an annoyed response to the move by President Obama today to alter the HHS rules regarding requiring employers with conscience objections to contraception to provide preventative services including contraception.

President Obama’s change today, simply wrote a requirement that means the insurance company, instead of  the employer,  would be the one required to provide such preventative care (contraception).  

Of course there are conservative opponents  of the original requirement [for example the author of the above completely dumb bill]  that won’t let go, not because this isn’t a rational solution to the problem, but because they hate the policies and the person of the black man in the White House.

One of the president’s most severe critics Cardinal designee Dolan, admitted this is a step in the right direction…and moderate or liberal Catholic organizations  are happy with the change, as are Catholic Democrats such as Tim Kaine who had raised objections to the original requirement.

The danger of writing crazy legislation as an annoyed response to a thoughtful compromise  by the President…

Is that the crazy legislation could actually pass.

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Disrespected Presidents

January 26, 2012 at 7:38 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

A break from my own drama  for a moment.

OMG Jan Brewer.  OMFG Jan Brewer.  Who do you think you are, besides the unfortunately elected governor of Arizona?

I want to fly to Arizona and finger wag at *you*!

Finger wagging at the President whilst meeting him at the airport.

Now, in her book she spins that her cell phone was “confiscated” when she visited the White House  and that she felt disrespected. While the latter is clearly subjective and therefore possible, it is, per a two second Google search, and a June 4 2011 article,  standard operating procedure not to allow any guests to use cell phones at the White House.

Even Jan Brewer.

Which leads my wandering head into a discussion that I’ve had with a Republican.  A kind of “can you top this” examination of which President, Mr. Obama or Mr. Bush, has been disrespected more.

Now, if we are going with quantity instead of breaking it down by type, or egregiousness…I have to admit President Bush got slammed more.

More protests, more cable pundit hammering, more written and spoken words against him.  The top  three categories?  Process that was seen by his opponents as dictatorial abuse of power, his creation and prosecution of the war in Iraq, and his um “handling” of Katrina.

I think the scariest criticism for President Bush was the decision that if he traveled to certain foreign nations he’d be tried for war crimes.  Would’ve scared *me* out of making certain travel plans.

The personal one that I held onto, and frankly disturbed a lot of my Republican and independent friends with this, was my continued contention that President Bush was never actually elected to his first term and had no right to call himself president.   I was called out for disrespecting the office, and that I needed to start calling him President after 2004.  I disagreed with them, but I eventually changed my language, because I do agree that the office itself has to be given a certain minimal level of respect.

But IMO, and I’m trying to take my own leftward bias out of here as much as possible:  When we get to the *level* and *type* of disrespect…

I’ve  just finished watching all of Mr. Bush’s state of the Unions.

No Supreme Court justice talked back to him during the address, in front of the American people, as they did to President Obama last year.

No Congressperson also called him a liar right in the middle of the State of the Union as Joe Wilson  did to President Obama last year.

They protested President Bush in the street, and the media and almost *never* from his own party.

They disrespect President Obama to his face.

He does share a category with President Bush, which I will copy and paste from above.

Process that was seen by his opponents as dictatorial abuse of power,  (sic) I’m leaving it grammatically inconsistent to prove the copy/paste.)

He gets it from the right *and* left.  There’s plenty on the far left  both here and abroad who take to the streets against him, who don’t see President Obama as any different that the previous administration, call him “O-bomber,” in derision over his continuation of the military policy of the previous administration, or his corporate-friendly compromises, and the non-closure of Gitmo.

(I’ll never be a perfect lefty, since my outrage isn’t ratcheted up over most of that.)

From the far right  there’s the racism, the pictures of the watermelon field on the White House lawn, the monkey/ape editorial cartoons, the legislator who declined to attend the State of the Union after previously saying that negotiating with President Obama was like touching a “tar baby.”

And it’s funny.  Serial adulterer Newt Gingrich’s journey to repentance, to being a ‘better’ person, his conversion to Roman Catholicism,  is never questioned, and his outrage about being called out over past sins won him South Carolina.  Newt’s allowed to be outraged, and also have been in favor of impeachment of a President over just such shenanigans, but whatever.

President Obama cannot be a true Christian though.  His journey through that faith is dismissed and discounted, because of a Youtube of Jeremiah Wright.

Cool, collected Barack Obama couldn’t be a more different person than Wright.

Wright oogied me out, still does, but that doesn’t mean our President’s faith is not  genuine.

I’ve sat in a pew many a time,  listening to a sermon or homily  of my longtime pastor and thought

“Sigh, not really dude, no.  My radio for listening to God is telling me something quite different.”

In addition President Obama’s birth status, controversy long disproven by his long form birth certificate is *still* being called into question as his version of “he is not legally allowed to be president,”  Oh, yes.   Mr. Obama’s mother and grandparents participated in this grand conspiracy the moment they discovered she had committed the cardinal sin of procreation.

“See, in a really improbable election year, my son will end up President, so I have to make sure to wear a t-shirt for the rest of my life that states that Hawaii became a state in 1959, so no one can question his legitimacy.  And I’ll jump in our time machine right now, and have him meet with a former radical, Bill Ayers, when he’s an adult, so he can never be accused of being a fully formed sixties revolutionary as a child. (Meeting Bill Ayers) Won’t that be great?”

But the worst form of disrespect?

Assassination threats have gone up more than 30 percent since the beginning of the Obama *campaign* in 2007.

The number and volume of these completely surpasses any previous president.

So, in the level of egregiousness, the ultimate disrespect of the person of the President and the office itself.

President Obama has had to put up with much more troubling opposition.

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More than Just say No

September 14, 2011 at 2:25 PM (Uncategorized) ()

The next time I hear a politician say “I cannot support”________can I hear a sensible reason like, “I was elected by my constituents. I work for them. and I cannot support ‘________’ because it would really screw my constituents
over.

Not ‘because my lobbyist/banking overlord told me to.’

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This is going to be a repost of some ideas…because

August 27, 2011 at 4:04 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

I’ve just had another longtime acquaintance diss my political and religious choices.

Sorry for the rehash, but I’ve just got to lay it out one last time so people get it.

Politically:

We now live in a society where corporations are people, according to the Citizens United decision.

If they are people, they aren’t the kind I’d invite to dinner.

Republican, Tea Party, Independent, Liberal, Progressive friends/family listen the heck up because I’m tired, tired tired of laying this out in gory personal detail for you.

I cannot trust any big corporation ever again.   If someone else wants to, or believes they must because it’s in the Constitution that they have to love big corporations or they are a traitor to the Great God Capitalism…then go ahead.

I cannot trust any big corporation ever again because in the 24 months from summer 1982 through summer 1984 corporate decisions were made that allegedly caused the death of my HIV positive hemophilliac husband.  He was a difficult man.

[for the record I’ve recently found out through medical research and checking his record that it’s extremely likely that the degree of his legendary temper was caused, in part, by  HIV related brain lesions.  Changes the picture yet again.  I just wish I would have known more about the lesion thing early on. ]

I loved him.  He loved me.  He told me I was beautiful every day.  And meant it.  The disability, the weight, were unimportant to him.   He married me when he could have married an able girl.

He was the *only* man to stand up to my father in my name, to tell him to go to hell.

We had that chemistry thing.  That was why we made the WTF decision to marry in the first place even knowing the ‘risk group’ he was in. (doesn’t ‘ risk group’ sound damn antiquated now?)  We finished each other’s sentences.  We played a lot.

And allegedly because of a decision meant to help the ‘bottom line’ by a number of big pharmaceutical companies to not retool and make the production of a life sustaning medicine safer as early as they could have…he’s not here anymore.  It killed him by inches and he was fcukin’ brave about it…especially at the end. No human being should have to go through that and so many still do.

I. cannot. trust.any.big.corporation.

Another reason not to trust them that affected me quite personally.

Rick Scott, the current governor of Florida, was making big money in the eighties/nineties running a company that was busy defrauding Medicare.

My boss at the time thought that that company Columbia HCA, ought to be allowed to merge with his company in a Kaiser Permanente type mix.  He wanted to change to a for profit company.

Well, long story short, that boss got fired for pursuing that, and my company was uncertain, unsettled and in transition for awhile.

This was one of the factors in my (looking back) unwise decision to relocate westward.  It spooked me.  I got afraid the company would vanish.

So, there is just no way I can support a party that supports big corporations.

Can’t do it. Will. Not. Do. it.

I can abstain from discussing politics offline.  I’ve done that and will continue to.  I love my family, they love me, and we do have bunches more to discuss than politics, and we don’t want to become estranged.  So we make an effort.

Religion:

Why did I go there at all?

Well, a purely pragmatic need for a support system became clear.  In 2008/2009 I discovered a great nearby church that happened to be Catholic.

My decision was, “I’ll go, get quiet, meet some people, listen to the music…get a bit of help when I need it.”  It’s five minutes away from my house. (I was still in Denver at the time.)

And then, God showed up.  It was annoying really.  I hadn’t had the best relationship with God.  God got ditched in  ’93 and I had no plans to actually reconnect.

“What in the heck are you doing here?  You’re supposed to know everything, so you know I’m just here for regular reasons…not really looking for you.  So leave me be!”

Too late.  It was and is a profound experience. Uniquely personal.  And that’s it.

Has this religion, have all religions made huge mistakes?  Heck yes.  Are there specific parts of the theology that really make me nuts?  Heck yes.  Am I going to use my brain to work out my day to day practice in a way that doesn’t make me nuts?  Absolutely.  I’m no mindless sheep.

Do I have to answer to friends/family/nosy-ass strangers  for the mistakes or the parts of the theology that make me nuts?

No.

And again, I think it’s the rudest thing in the world to go door to door for Deity.  Won’t be doing that.

Have I turned into the Church Lady?

Heck no.

So to summarize.

Not supporting a particular political party because they support big corporations that *will do harm* financially or physically if let off their leashes does not mean I’m going to hell.

Being Roman Catholic does not mean I’m going to hell.  Or Heaven either.  It gives me no superiority or inferiority.  It’s just one of my choices.

Good grief.  Democracy and religious freedom.  Ever heard of them?

PS.  And by the way.  Just by the fcuk way.  It’s “Democratic Party.”  not “Democrat,” party.  Give us our full list of syllables, even if we are “animals,” threatening to “destroy the country.”

 

 

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I look stuff up.

May 13, 2011 at 10:07 AM (Uncategorized) (, , )

It’s part of my intellectual DNA.  I’m a lapsed academic now,  but I was trained as an historian, and told to check for the source closest to the time and place of a given action or occurrence.  Learned that it was important to look stuff up.

While I was doing that, I was doing part time work in an archives.  Archivists set up documents into systems that make it easier (ostensibly) for people to look stuff up.

Then I got trained as a librarian.

Librarians are the masters of looking stuff up.  And, even better?  They spend their days helping other people learn how to look stuff up.

It’s too bad universities, archives and libraries are getting defunded these days.

But the point here is:

Cable news has taken sides.

Now of the subset of people that make watching cable news a part of their day…Like many cable news watchers I love listening to the commentators that hold similar views to my own.  It’s affirmation that you, in fact, are not the only person that thinks (a) is amazing and cool or that (b) is completely batshitcrazy.

It’s like putting on a pair of comfortable shoes…but…they lead you through what *they* have decided is important for you to know.  And they edit.  And they spin.  They tweak and twist and are particularly unashamed of their obvious biases.

I charge both sides of the cable news fence with doing that, both the ones I oppose and the ones I agree with.

So after a particularly rousing hour of basking in the comfort of like mindedness…

I fact check my own side, as well as the other.

And since these are mainly political and other news items.

I check C span for what the Congresscritter actually said.

I check AP.

I review factcheck.org

Places that I think are as reasonably free of bias as one might get in these times.  They aren’t on “my” side, or “the other guy’s” side.  They dig into or intital record, what was said or done.

and yet, when I bring the “a said this” or AP has this on it’s wire…” I’ve been told by those both on my side and on the opposite side of the political fence…

“I don’t want facts…” or from another, “I just want my side to win…”

or “I don’t want to know about it until it affects me…”

I’m not talking about information overload, which I am often guilty of foisting on people.  That’s different.

I’m talking about being one of the most vulnerable members of society, and using the only tools I have to hand…information…to help me make decisions about how to move forward…and then being advised that the salient things I uncover are, in fact, unnecessary…

It seems the less vulnerable one is, the fewer facts they think they need.

Sorry, I’ve got no choice.  I’ll still be looking stuff up.

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