Toxic Comments: Normalizing Atrocities, a Resistance Post

Bomb-Cool-iconHave you ever been in a public place minding your own business when a stranger makes a rather loud offensive statement?  They didn’t make a statement pertaining to you, but it was a sexist, prejudice, or propagandist statement.  It’s a statement so offensively toxic that it even offended you!

Words were on the tip of your tongue.  You wanted to tell them their rhetoric was hurtful, wrong, and disrespectful of those around them.  Yet, you didn’t say anything.  You think they had a right to voice their opinion.  Besides, if you confronted them, something bad could happen.  Then you have the worst thought of all:  It wasn’t your problem.

Guess what.  It was your problem.  Furthermore, if you’re an American in the age of 45, it’s most definitely our problem.

As it happens, I heard an educator (unrelated to my academic institution) talking at a Starbucks and she made a horribly disagreeable comment:  I make students stand for the Pledge since my husband fought in Vietnam for their right to say it.

I forced myself not to comment, and yes, it was the worst thing I could have possibly done.

Bio-hazard-icon

In the current climate of highly charged hateful rhetoric and actions, I’m learning from my inaction, and I encourage people to calmly and logically shut down ignorantly toxic comments.  Call them a gateway drug to homegrown terrorism (or for a man to stab their fellow countrymen and call it Patriotism).

~Continued after video~

While the educator’s comments aren’t hate speech per se, it’s still a dangerous comment specifically for pure ignorance, which happens to lead to dangerous nationalism, authoritarianism, indoctrination, and even brainwashing.

Paraphrasing from the above Huffington Post video, Americans let those comments slide, we are helping to normalize such thinking.  Kids who hear it will think that toxic perspective is fine, or normal, and we encourage those few of like, small-minds to voice the same opinions.

Here is why that educator’s comments are so disagreeable.

First, the part claiming her husband fought in the Vietnamese war so American students can say the Pledge of Allegiance is revisionist history and has absolutely no basis in fact.

France-Flag-iconThe Vietnamese War had nothing to do with American freedom nor the Pledge of Allegiance.  America entered the war to help the French retain control of their Indochina colony.  When the French lost control and Communists took over Northern Vietnam, the American government found the situation disagreeable and stayed to help Southern Vietnamese take back the North.

Second, anyone who claims they, or their spouse, fought for the American right to say the Pledge drank the crazy people Kool Aid.  Our government’s Enlightenment Era Creators in the American Revolution were those who truly fought for our freedom.  They fought for the colonists’ right to have an equal say in government as part of a living document that also includes instructions for two methods of revolting against those in power.  Not of the idiocy to say a simple Pledge.

Hypothetically, in some bizarre dimension the Vietnamese War had been about American freedom, that freedom would encompass a wide range of freedoms we enjoy in the real world.  They would include the freedom to choose to say or not to say the American Pledge of Allegiance.

As Americans, we take pride in our First Amendment:Paper-icon

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

These days, Americans refer to the First Amendment as freedom of speech or freedom of religion.  In the 80s and 90s, I remember it was referred to as freedom of the press.

The original Thirteen Colonies were formed on the promise of religious freedom and a haven from political upheaval.  Basically, their own countries persecuted (i. e., imprisoned or penalized) them because of their beliefs either in religion or politics.

Even today, there are countries – a few more liberal than America – that still penalize people for criticizing their leaders.  Here are twelve of them:

  1. Azerbaijan
  2. Lebanon
  3. Venezuela
  4. Poland
  5. Turkey
  6. Netherlands
  7. Cameroon
  8. Bahrain
  9. Kuwait
  10. Thailand
  11. Iran
  12. Indonesia

The American Constitution was written so all American citizens have governmental say without the threat of persecution, which is also covered in the First Amendment (…to petition the Government for a redress of grievances).

We have the right to protest peaceably.  If Americans wish to take a knee during the Pledge of Allegiance, they can without penalization.  Hell, even in the 20th Century, people burned the American flag at protests without legal repercussions.  Why?  Because that is also covered under the First Amendment.

When I substitute in a classroom, I don’t force the students to stand and recite the Pledge.  Any students who choose to sit, respects the rest of the class by staying quiet through the Pledge.  Those who choose to say the Pledge, respects the classmates who choose to sit – as in not shaming those who sit through the Pledge.

Personally, I stopped saying the Pledge because I disagree with the under God part, which wasn’t added until the 1950s as a convoluted way to combat the political concept of Communism.  (Anyone else confused by that?)  Plus, I don’t recite the Pledge as a protest against the current political stupidity in the White House and Congress.  Although, I still stand and face the flag out of respect for my family history.

(By the way, anyone else think it’s overkill to say the Pledge everyday in school?!  Why don’t we say it once at the beginning of the Academic year or each semester?).

Typically, I resume working after the Pledge and ignore the moment of silent reflection.  I think taking a moment to silently reflect – which is code for pray – is a waste of time when people should do that in the privacy of their own home before going to school or work.  In addition, the Pledge of Allegiance is a prayer since it incorporates under God and was originally written by a minister.

I’m not saying the misguided educator was a follower of the Far Right, but I’m going on the assumption based on her comment.  Aside from the confusion over the term freedom, the Far Right (who proclaim themselves Patriots) get a lot of things wrong.

The Far Right likes to take their Nationalism to the extreme.  Perhaps, they believe the Pledge was always recited by school children at least once everyday across the country dating all the way back to America winning independence from England.

bag-books-iconActually, the Pledge wasn’t a classroom ritual until 1892, and America didn’t have an official pledge until the first half of the 20th Century.

It was not until 1942 that Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance. One year later, in June 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that school children could not be forced to recite it. In fact,today only half of our fifty states have laws that encourage the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in the classroom!

Forcing children to say the Pledge in school is not Patriotic since it’s considered a form of authoritarianism in a country that’s supposed to be a Republic.  While forces are attempting to change the foundation of our government to an oligarchy and 45 treats his position as a dictatorship, I believe wholeheartedly that this country will always remain a republic, one nation, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

I wish I would have said something to that educator, yet I would have done more harm than good.  Unfortunately, I would have yelled at the woman instead of calmly explain to her the wrongness of her statement with logic.  Perhaps, it would have been a futile attempt.  At least, I would have demonstrated that there are Americans who won’t stand for a dictatorial revisionist history.

However, I’m mainly writing about this experience to encourage other fellow Americans with cooler heads to curb both hateful and blind nationalist propaganda.  The more we make these comments abnormal, the less we have to deal with open hate, Patriotic stabbings, and the fear of homegrown terrorists.

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Breaking the Patriarchal Mold: Women should be who they WANT to be…

Now that I’m officially in the middle of my summer hibernation, I have a lot of time on my hands. Lately, my summers are plethora of time that stimulates my brain into odd notions of productivity. Maybe that’s why some of my posts have been oddly inspiring. At least I think they are.

I happened to have two coupons for a free movie and enjoy a free large popcorn and soda. With the price of a movie ticket jacked up on steroids, that’s akin to winning the lottery. I decided to use those coupons to watch the movie Snow White & the Huntsman. Unfortunately, I couldn’t use the free movie coupon on a recently released movie and had to wait two weeks until the movie wasn’t considered “new” anymore.

Today, I managed to pull myself together, venture out of my protective cave, and brave the summer in a small pilgrimage to the movies. After feeling like American royalty getting into the theater and getting theater food for free, I sat in a nearly empty theater (I recommend watching movies in the afternoon on a work week) and settled in to be taken out of my boring reality.

Spoiler Alert!

While I feel that Kristen Stewart was completely miscast, I enjoyed the movie. Yet, the character my thoughts centered on was the Evil Queen who was played by Charlize Theron. (No, I don’t think she overacted the character since and evil villain like the Queen is supposed to be overacted). What the movie explained, what the fairy tale stories neglect to add, is the driving force behind the evilness of the Evil Queen or evil step-mother.

A wise person once told me that I should never jump into a marriage and settle for a random guy because it was expected of me from society. I should wait and find the man who makes me a better person. That advice had a massive impact on me and that’s what I will look for when I am ready to have a relationship.

Keeping that positive message in mind, I thought about the antithesis while watching the movie. When the Queen was a little girl, her village was attacked, her mother killed, and she was kidnapped by the attacking King — a man who was responsible for her mother’s death and the movie hinted that the Queen was raped by the marauding King. Sure he married her and made her Queen, but the circumstances were completely out of her hands.

She eventually kills her first husband, and enacts a plan to marry Snow White’s grief-stricken father. Her goal is to rule the world and show them the same cruelty that she has known.

Before the justly feminist uprising in the early and mid twentieth century, most women were largely shaped and formed by men. They were taught to be malleable no matter their feelings about the manipulation. Yet, there were instances where the shaping had a negative impact. Largely, men wanted puppets. No matter how they try to break the will of women, there were women whose will went in a completely different and destructive direction.

Through support, encouragement, and a blatant acceptance of who a woman is rather than how malleable she can be, makes a woman a better person. It stands to reason that a man who forces his wants and needs on a woman will either break her, or turn her into a monster.

In fairy tales, a woman who was independent and strong was evil. Only women who were obedient, malleable, a doormat was considered a good and acceptable woman. Independent woman bad. Obedient woman good. A simple formula that is digestible to impressionable young girls.

If there was a back story on why the independent woman turned so wrong, than it would give those impressionable young girls something to think about.

In the twenty-first century, there are still some men who attempt to shape, shame, and force women into a particular biddable mold. Right now men are endeavoring to take away women’s rights to their own bodies through denying female healthcare and contraception access. They are making it harder for a single mother to raise her child without a male figure present. The highly patriarchal military is even protecting enlisted men who rape enlisted women. They go so far as to victimize these women twice by placing the blame on the women and allowing the enlisted male offenders to run free and sexually assault another day.

In essence, they are forcing women to be celibate, ashamed of themselves, and forcing unwanted male control into their lives.

When women resist their tyranny, they use media to publicly demean them in the eyes of society.

Two female State Legislators in Michigan, Reps. Barb Byrum and Lisa Brown, were “silenced” from speaking on the House floor because one dared to use the medical term “vagina” and another introduced an amendment to apply the same regulations to vasectomies.

A spokesperson for the Michigan GOP Leader of the House stated that the women were throwing “temper tantrums”. So how is the use of the medical term “vagina” and an amendment that would restrict men as equally as it would women “throwing a temper tantrum?” Isn’t banning the women for using medical jargon the House Leader finds embarrassing and inappropriate throwing a “temper tantrum?”

I agree with Annie-Rose Strasser with ThinkProgress when she stated in her article that the term ‘temper tantrum’ is not-so-subtly coded sexist language leveled at women to infantilize them and de-legitimize their points. In effect, attempting to publicly shame the two women for daring to be independent and speaking for their beliefs and the beliefs of their female constituents.

With anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-single mother, and anti-rape laws, the male GOP is attempting to force women to be malleable to male Conservative wishes. The women who resist the attempts are being demeaned, humiliated, and vilified.

If some men bring out the best in women, then there are evil men who bring out the strength in women, and yet more men who push some women so far that those women become monsters.

Those monstrous women were not born monsters. They are man-made monsters.

“The battle might be lost, but the war is far from over…”

Last night was a disappointment to Democrats everywhere. For reasons beyond my understanding, there were Democrats who broke rank and voted for the odious Scott Walker. I won’t question their reasoning yet this might be a blessing in disguise.

No, I haven’t lost my marbles. Look at the strategy used by the massive grassroots campaign in Wisconsin. It was huge, energized, and organized. The media is saying that Walker’s financial edge over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) was nearly eight to one, thanks to far-right support from across the country and was the reason Walker won. That may or may not be the case.

Scott Walker didn’t win by a landslide no matter what Fox news insists. I consider a “landslide” to be if Barrett’s numbers were in the 30% range and Walker flying high in 60%. The actual 53% to 46% shows me that the hard efforts of Democratic grassroots organizers had an effect. Otherwise, those numbers would be drastically skewed.

Let these numbers sadden you. Take a week to wallow in crushing misery and thousands of pints of ice cream. Then pick yourself up, look at what the Wisconsin Democrats did for their “on the ground” campaign, and improve the plan. What happened in Wisconsin should be a buoy, a beacon of hope. This so called “crushing blow” should galvanize and further energize. Democrate candidates and volunteers should gear up for war, break out that war paint!

Democrats across the nation have been lax in these elections and their jobs. They think that Republicans have messed up to the point where the election is in the Democratic bag no matter how much money is spent. This should show Democrats that nothing is ever certain…that is, if they haven’t learned that lesson from the 2010 elections.

Congressional Democrats and our President should get angry and use that anger to discover a way to strong-arm the Republicans into listening, cooperating, and acting. They should make the Republicans work in the best intrest of the American people. There has to be some creative way of doing this.

Candidates should get off their butts, roll up their sleeves, and work off that ice cream binge by “getting their feet on the ground” and meeting their constituents face to face. Those who are Democratic voters should give to the campaign of their choices and they should get off their butts and vote Democrat!

I’m not saying that Democrat supporters should donate percentages of their paychecks to the candidates of their choices. If they can, they should set aside $1, $2, or $5. Maybe they can brown-bag their lunch for a while and use those savings to donate. How about curbing that weekly or monthly outing for a while and give your pleasure money to the candidate of your choice? (Pleasure money meaning movie, theater, water park, etc., and in some cases strip club.)

Why enjoy the pleasure outings now when no one will be enjoying them later? If Republicans are in control of the Federal Government, loads of middle class and working poor people will be taxed up to their eyeballs and they’ll be out of a job. This way, support your candidate with that pleasure money now and enjoy your pleasure outings later.

If donating isn’t an option, then volunteer to the local campaign. Those campaigns will likely need a lot of people walking around promoting their candidacy. If that isn’t possible, blog or get your voice out and be heard.

The laziness of Democrats and their voters must stop. It was that lax attitude that allowed the Republicans to grow insanely stronger…not just insane. Democrats must rise up and knock them back in their place…not just knock some sense back into them.

Republicans want this country to go back to the 1950s when conservatism ruled (albeit not to the extreme extent as the Republicans have become). The 21st Century is not a time for us to walk back, we should be walking forward and changing with the times. It is this resistance to change that is causing so many problems in the world. Respect the past and traditions, but celebrate the new and different.

The Republicans have painted themselves as the sympathetic villains, oddly compelling yet still evil. The Democrats are the reluctant heros. Unfortunately, this is not a movie and if the reluctant hero doesn’t fight hard, everyone loses.

Wisconsin Will Recall Scott Walker

To the people of Wisconsin that feel the oppression of Governor Scott Walker and his wealthy backers.  I hope those who are able to vote in Wisconsin elections do so today.  You are sending a precedent for the November election and future elections in America.

Please remember that Unions aren’t the Sci-Fi alien monsters that Republicans have labeled them.  Unionized workers are not making loads of money hand over fist.  They can’t afford gigantic two story houses with finished basements complete with a game room and stocked bar.  That’s what Republicans want you to believe.  That’s what corporations and billionaires who buy those Republicans want you to believe.

Jobs were not lost because of the Unions demanding unsurmountable wages from businesses.  They were lost because corporations and their CEOs’ saw dollar signs, a way for them to pocket more money while cheating hard working middle class people out of their livelihoods.  That’s why they shipped jobs overseas.

Union workers live like everyone else and they are paid less than they should.  Teachers, firefighters, and police should be paid more than what they are getting.  There should be more people employed in these professions.  Instead they’re being fired due to lack of funding.  Why is there a lack of funding?  Because puppet Republicans such as Scott Walker are taking away funding in the guise of “balancing the budget” when it, in fact, goes to pay for lower taxes for the rich.

People of Wisconsin, show the Republicans, the Tea Party, the Koch brothers, and other greed driven individuals and organizations that our government cannot be bought by unimaginable spending.  The citizens of America are in charge of the American government.  Our Declaration of Independence was a statement of these beliefs and our Constitution was written to preserve them.  This truly is a country “for the people by the people.”  The President, Congress, Senate, and their State equivalent work for the American people and it is within the power of the American people to fire those who are not listening to our voice.  It is the job of every American citizen to hold these people accountable for their actions.

Right now there are Republican politicians who want to play political games with our country and the lives of the ordinary people.  This game is completely dangerous and can explode in their faces.  If that happens, if the American people let it happen, everyone loses not just Republicans.  When Wisconsin recalls their tyrannical Governor, they are being good citizens by doing their jobs and voting.  Every vote counts in this election.  Don’t think otherwise.

My heart, hope, and best wishes go toward the best outcome for your election…throwing out Scott Walker and welcoming Tom Barrett as your new Governor.

A Liberal rant brought to you by printer gremlins…

One should never listen to Real Time with Bill Maher podcast and then mess with a printer.  It just exacerbates printer frustration till a person is tempted to beat it to electronic death with a hammer.  Time to settle in for a minor life story before the political rant…inspired by Bill Maher.

I’m the type of person who loves to express herself through wearing appropriately inspiring graphic t-shirts.  Lately, the current pop-culture t-shirts rarely, if ever, express my particular personality.

I have since found a way of expressing myself through t-shirts with the use of printable iron-on decals.  The process is fairly easy:  come up with a t-shirt design on your computer, print it up on special paper, and iron it on a t-shirt.  Presto!  An incredibly unique and wearable t-shirt is made.

This idea came to me while I was wandering around Michaels.  I came upon a section with plain t-shirts and various accessories available to decorate them .  Among the many assorted items were iron-on shirt decals.  I had recently bought plain t-shirts since suitable graphic t-shirts were disappointing, and I found a few wonderful decals that expressed me perfectly.  (I wonder what the CEO of Michaels would think knowing that someone with questionable mainstream religious values was utilizing their store for purposes other than fake moralistic Christian values.  If you didn’t know, Michaels is a Christian company…like Chick-fil-A.)

Later, I learned that Avery made special 8 1/2 x 11 iron-on decals that you can us in an ink-jet printer.  (They’re cheaper if you buy the Target knock off.)  I spent a good part of today fighting with my printer, thinking that my printer was messing up on purpose…or I had a sever infestation of gremlins.  A friend of mine noticed that the printer messed up at a certain spot in the special paper and that the printer couldn’t “deal” with that certain texture of paper.  Hence, we concluded that I would buy a pack of the printer iron-ons, make a whole bunch of designs, and go to FedEx-Kinkos to print them out.  Since I’ll us my own supplies, the prints will likely be $.20 or $.30 each.

While the solution to my problem is obvious, I’m still frustrated that I couldn’t print a full page of a wonderfully smart t-shirt design on my own printer.  I’ve been looking forward to this particular masterminded originality.  Yet, I find my frustration particularly magnified since in the back of my mind, while wrestling with the mass of electronic stubbornness, I was thinking of Bill Maher’s rant in the last six minutes of his recent episode.  I download the podcasts of his show to listen to in my car.  Since it’s free, it’s cheaper than getting HBO.

I wish to share a few snippets of his rant, but HBO is incredibly stingy in the availability of online show line-ups — meaning you have to already pay extra for the privilege of watching HBO on TV.  If anyone wishes to hear the whole rant, download the 5-25-2012 episode from iTunes and fast forward to the last six minutes when he starts talking about Ted Nugent.  In the meantime, I transcribed the rant so I could use snippets of it in my blog.

I whole-heartedly agreed with everything that Bill had to say and the truth made me incredibly angry.  When he began, I was angry with the Republicans and their unreasonable dislike of President Barak Obama.  They dislike him so much, that they continuously lie about his character!

Now, it somehow became an article of faith on the Right that Obama is the most extreme President in American History…

Let me give you some examples.

  • Newt Gingrich called Obama the most radical leftist President in history.
  • Senator Marco Rubio called him the most decisive figure in American history.
  • Michelle Bachman said that he is the most radical President we have ever seen in the history of the country, and when has Michelle Bachman ever been known to misjudge a man?
  • John Bolton said Obama just doesn’t care about national security.

At the end of this list, my question is the same as Bill’s.  Where is the extremism that they’re talking about?  For example, is it that he didn’t have a Christmas tree in the White House?  Guess what!  That was a rumor already proven false like several rumors Republicans and Fox News spout.  These rumors are designed to take advantage of the ignorance of the American population.  What I find particularly scary is that it actually works on some of the population.

I remember the Christmas Tree rumor.  I also remember the outrage of a particular coworker when she heard this rumor and thought it was the truth.  She couldn’t believe it and expressed her disappointed disbelief at the abject catastrophe of this seemingly traditional snub.  While she ranted, I made some noncommittal noises pretending that I was listening.

Personally, I don’t care if the White House doesn’t have a Christmas Tree.  In fact, I would celebrate the day if a President decided against having one.  It goes against “separation of church and state” and likely offends religions that don’t celebrate Christmas.  The White House Christmas Tree shows favoritism to one religion and is an abomination in the face of this nation that is made up of several religions.  Christianity, Catholicism, and the like should not take precedence over other religions.  I don’t care how much they state that they are the “one true religion.”  They must learn tolerance of other faiths and they refuse.

Roughly a year later, another coworker at a different job ranted about her hatred that the academic “Christmas Break” was changed to “Winter Break.”  She said that she would continue to call it “Christmas Break” because she’s not afraid to “love her God”…or something like that.  I did the same as what I did the previous year and made noncommittal noises while secretly glad that some traditions are changing to stop the exclusion of American people of differing religious beliefs.  Granted, Christianity and Catholicism are big religions in this country.  Yet, I reiterate that such things like “Christmas Break” exclude those Americans that do not believe in those particular religions.  If you ask me, that exclusion is incredibly unAmerican.

I find it beyond stupid that there were people who believed Obama did not have a Christmas Tree in the White House and were outraged by the notion.  It shows their steadfast belief in misinformation without double-checking the facts and their unwillingness to evolve tolerance of fellow non-Christian Americans.

It is American to do research into these statements and judge the President’s character by what you find.  There is a severe lack of this obvious common sense.  There isn’t a lot to be taken at face value these days.

The rumor is a good example on how unchanged things have been since Obama has taken office.  Namely, Obama still has a Christmas Tree in the White House in December.  As Bill Maher stated:

I travel all over this country doing stand up and since Obama has been President…What?  It’s still the exact same Kentucky Fried-country that it has always been!  I see it!  People driving their cars to the mall, buying stupid sh**, stuffing their faces, taking pictures!  The only difference is we bump into each other more because we’re all texting!  We haven’t lost our freedoms.  I’m pretty sure the only things Obama has killed are Bin Laden and Donald Trumps last shred of dignity.

Most Americans are still materialistic jerks that walk around texting instead of talking on their phones.  If I were President, I’d find a way to ban texting.  It breeds a lack of civility that this society can hardly afford to lose.  That is a good example of taking away a freedom enjoyed by most ignorant Americans.

You want an example of freedoms being taken away, I can list a few that are being taken away at a state level by Republicans.  There are one or two States attempting to make it illegal to be a single parent, several states are chipping away at abortion rights, and most states taking away several women’s rights to preventative health care.

I wish that Obama was a radically liberal President.  Just imagine all the things we would enjoy!  Bill listed a few possibilities in his rant.

If Obama were as radical as [Republicans] claimed, here’s what he would have already done:

  • Pulled the troops out of Afghanistan.
  • Given us Medicare for all.
  • Ended the drug war.
  • Cut the defense budget in half.
  • and turn Dick Chaney over to the Hague.

There are still American soldiers risking their lives in Afghanistan.  They’ll eventually all be home, but not right away.  It’ll happen over a period of years.  At least they will eventually get home whereas Republicans have no problems in attempting to commit us to more wars that we simply can’t afford.

Those who have read my blog before know my reasons for liking “Medicare for all.”  I’ve given two personal stories demonstrating what life is like without access to affordable health care.  There are decisions that must be made by potential patients without the aid of needed medical advice from an actual physician.  Something as simple as a sinus infection costing the sufferer roughly $140 to try and cure.  If a person has been lucky enough to have health insurance all their life, they should not make judgements on others until they understand the perspective of the other side.  The side of hard working people who can’t afford health insurance who don’t deserve the ridicule of people who have it better.

Now that we are no longer fighting two wars, we don’t need the massive defense budget.  There are generals who have approved the cutting of the defense budget and admit they don’t need the exorbitant level of spending.  Yet there are Republicans who know next to nothing about the military, who haven’t even served in the military, that are arguing the point with experienced generals.  That, in my opinion, is a blatant lack of common sense.

(On a side note, any plan that makes Dick Chaney some other country’s problem is fine by me!)

Now that we have an example of what a radical liberal president would do (everything that I approve of), here’s a list of what the non-radical President Obama has actually done.

  • He cut taxes and spending…  That’s not what Liberals wanted, that’s what Conservatives wanted.
  • Under Obama, there’s more [oil] drilling than ever…  That’s not what Environmentalists wanted, that’s what Conservatives wanted.
  • Obama spent most of last year conceding the Republican premise that government needed cutting.  That’s not what Progressives wanted, that’s what the Tea Party wanted.
  • The DOW was at 7,949 when he took office.  Now it’s 12,000 and over.  Corporate profits are at their highest ever.

Here’s the other thing that angered me while wrestling with my errant printer.  President Obama has given a lot to the Conservative movement.  In my opinion, he’s their best friend, a moderate Conservative in disguised as a Democrat that is likely to side with them than any true Liberal in the government!

If you watch the Ed Schultz Show or The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, they express that in order to help the economy recover, you can’t just have private sector job growth.  There must be public sector job growth as well.  Republicans love to tout small government ideals despite their increasing intrusion into the bedrooms and general private lives of the LGBT community and women.  Obama has been shrinking government!  The reason why the jobs numbers aren’t topping the unemployment numbers this month is because we’ve lost more public sector jobs!

Yes, Obama can help create jobs.  He can employ people into the public sector while helping the private sector.  Yet, that is not what he’s doing.  Through helping “small business,” he’s attempting to create private sector jobs only.  This is still within the teachings of Republicans since they believe that private businesses are the “job creators.”  It’s simply that Obama is putting their ideals to use on a lesser scale.

As Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow have stated on their shows several times, we have tried it the Republican way.  When corporations received tax breaks and “free government money,” they moved a good deal of their operations overseas!  In this way, they got to make more money.  Let me reiterate.  They took the money given to create jobs for Americans and instead took away American jobs while creating jobs for foreigners in other countries all to make more money that American workers will never see.

Levi Strauss & Co. do not make the famously American Levi jeans in America anymore.  Those jeans are made in Egypt.  (I looked on the tag of my Levi’s.).  Most clothes bought in America are no longer made in America.  They’re made in China, Indonesia, and Egypt.

Whiskas Cat Food owned by Mars Inc. isn’t even made in America.  It’s made in Thailand!

Call customer service for GE Money, Verizon, ATT, etc. and you’re likely to get someone from India with a fake English name.  I called customer service for one of these companies last week and received a person from India.  We spent half an hour trying to get my address right because she couldn’t understand me!

Giving money to large companies such as these obviously hasn’t brought jobs back to America and they’re not going to come back anytime soon.  In the meantime, Obama does have the right idea giving money to small business.  He just needs to follow through by making more public sector jobs readily available, to give monetary aid to states so teachers and first aid responders can get back to work.

If the Republicans define Liberalist ideals to be big government, than they should be happy because they’re getting what they want:  Smaller government.  As Bill said after the list of Conservative things Obama has done, ” If [Obama’s] a socialist, he’s a lousy one.”

Some are probably confused since I have stated that I will cast my vote for Obama in November and here I am stating how Obama is lacking in Liberalistic integrity.  Here is something else that makes me angry, the fact that I’m only given two choices.

It’s either Mitt Romney for the Republicans or President Barak Obama for the Democrats.  There is no known third party option.  I remember the New Years party I went to where politics one of many discussion topics.  One person commented, “I will vote for the candidate that will screw me less.”  Most Americans feel like this, even those who do their research on the candidates and are totally disgusted with what they find.

I understand there’s a reason why there are so many Americans who don’t do their duty in voting.  What’s the bother in going to the voting booth and casting a ballot where you marked down nothing?  There are also Americans who think their one vote won’t make a difference.

Here’s the rub.  President Barak Obama is the candidate that will screw you less.  If you look at his accomplishments, he has taken steps to make things better for Americans despite his moderate Conservative leanings.  Mitt Romney lies repeatedly.  He lies so much that there are reporters chronicling his lies weekly.  If he’s this deceptive before getting into office, I shudder to think what he’ll be like as a leader after he is elected.  It’s a nightmare that I continually have.

Unfortunately, there are many people willing to vote for the mendacious Mitt primarily because he is not Obama.  Their vote will make it an extremely close race in which every vote will count.

Don’t keep that ballot blank.  Vote for a candidate because those candidates — Federal and State — will have an affect on your life in the future.  This election is personal for me.  I was successfully raised by a single parent yet there are states attempting to make single parenting illegal.  I rely on Planned Parenthood for preventative cancer testing and other personal female needs and there are states defunding Planned Parenthood clinics.

Since my part-time job (the only job I can get though I have been constantly trying for something better) does not give me health benefits and I can’t afford health insurance because of preconceived pre-existing conditions (i.e., my height and weight), I can’t go to a doctor with the means to test a few painful digestive problems I’ve been having to see if they’re serious or not.  The clinics have all pointed me towards the ER to get the testing I need.  Going to the ER is something that I haven’t done because I figure if I’m going to spend thousands of dollars on medical treatment, it better be life-threatening.  Even then, I’m probably going to write a note with my last conscious effort to not resuscitate me.  (I have come to the conclusion that it’s cheaper to die than live.)  The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, will make it easier for me to see a physician so I don’t have a choose between my life and an exorbitant bill I’ll be paying the rest of my life.

I can continue with the personal experiences, examples on how these candidates — if chosen — can impact the lives of average Americans.  I think I’ve made my point.

So go and vote.  If you can’t vote for a candidate that you can whole-heartedly back, than vote for a candidate that will screw you less and fervently hope for a third party option in the future.

It’s cheaper to die than go to the ER without Health Insurance.

Roughly ten years ago, I became disgusted with both political parties.  I was tired of the bickering; I was tired of the lack of consideration for Americans.  It was apparent to me that Republicans and Democrats only cared about their Party.  In which they used elections as a type of beauty pageant where the winner receives a crown of power and bouquet of American lives.

In reaction to their disappointing antics, I exercised my right to vote for a third party.  I chose to vote for the Green party every chance I had.  I don’t believe in their rhetoric.  Embarrassingly, I have no clue what they believe in.  My vote was more of a protest, a protest against the two-party-centric-system.  If I stayed home, my non-vote wouldn’t have made a difference.  Placing my vote for a third party would send a message that I wish for another choice.  I knew that the Green party wouldn’t win, and that was not the intention of my vote.  It was simply a protest.

I still believe in my protest.  Yet, circumstances have changed.

During the previous week, I learned the meaning of fear.  I learned what it was like to feel less than nothing, a little fish in a big pond.

Last Monday I had a small scare.  It was a bad acid reflux episode that lasted a few minutes.  It felt like hours.  The pain was so acute that I broke out in a cold sweat and nearly fainted.  This happened at my job.

If you follow my blog, you know that I’m a substitute teacher at a local high school.  I can only thank my lucky stars that it was my lunch hour, and I didn’t have a class at the time.

After the episode, my digestive track was uncomfortable like a volcano threatening to erupt a second time.  I didn’t have another episode that day so I went about my business.

Wednesday night, after dinner, I had another episode where the acute pain peaked twice.  It lasted maybe ten minutes.  Still felt like hours.  I had the cold sweat and the threat of fainting that I often get with severe pain.

Unfortunately, this last episode left me with more than a simple feeling of digestive discomfort.  My insides literally felt bruised.  This left me worried, stressed, and scared.  Questions and thoughts rapidly filtered through my mind.

Is there more wrong with me than simply bad acid reflux?  Should I go to the ER?  Do I have an infected gallbladder and the gallstones associated?  That required surgery!  I don’t have health insurance!  (If you’ll remember, I attempted to get health insurance.  Yet couldn’t afford it because they used my height and weight as preexisting conditions.)  I can’t let my work down.  They trust me to do my job.  If I don’t work, I don’t get paid.  If I need surgery, then how would I pay for it since, for me, no work equals no pay?

These are thoughts and feelings that no American should have.  Everyone should have access to affordable health care to have the confidence to see medical professionals instead of attempting to diagnose themselves and have an internal argument about going to the ER!

I ultimately regulated what I ate (i.e., nothing harsh, fatty, caffeinated, etc.), went to work, and prayed that I made it through to the weekend.  The weekend is the only time that I had available to go to a clinic.  I visited the Walgreens Take Care Clinic on Saturday to no avail.  They suggested I see a doctor and gave me a list of local clinics with prorated prices based on income.

None of them were open on the weekend.

Luckily, I managed to go to a clinic on Monday that happened to be open late.  They were located inside a hospital.  They would surely be able to help.

My luck was false.  While the people at the clinic were nice, they were not affiliated with the hospital and did not have access to the needed technology to diagnose or help me.  They highly suggested I go to the ER down the hall.

I spoke with the ER receptionist about financial options.  Was there a program that could help defer the cost for those without health insurance?  Not if that person was working!  They did have payment plan options and if I opted for the ER visit, my bill would range from $1,000 to $5,000.

The receptionist suggested I see my general physician if I had one.  I did and I would love to pay her $200 visitation fee.  My general physician was not an option.  She will not see me without that covetously lovely thing called “health insurance.”

I thanked the receptionist for her advice and moved away from her desk.  In the middle of the ER waiting room, I stood there to absorb my chaotic emotions and think.  No financially viable establishment could or would help me.  I didn’t have an extra few thousand dollars laying around for an ER visit.  Unless I was dying or my situation was life threatening (something I wasn’t sure of), the ER wasn’t a logical option.

Forcing my fear into submission, I opted to wait till an ER visit was unavoidable and wondered if I would be able to pen a small note telling the EMT’s to not resuscitate me.  In my case, dying is the cheaper option.

No American should go through the situation I went through.  They should not have to feel the unruly emotions and weigh options regarding their health.

If the Supreme Court leaves the Affordable Care Act alone, I’ll have a better chance of seeing a doctor when faced with a similar situation after 2014 – I whole heartedly pray for that day.

It’s not perfect; yet, it’s something.  If a Republican becomes President, they’ll take that little ray of hope away from me, a person who works hard at her low-paying part-time job in addition to finding a full-time job.

I’m not a moocher.  I don’t seek to nor have I ever lived off the hard work of non-familial Americans.  What I want is my right to the American Dream and life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness stated in Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence!

It is my inheritance from the brave revolutionaries that fought for this country’s freedom from British rule.  It was the revolutionaries’ belief that everyone should have those rights and I’m demanding the government give me those rights, not take them away from me.

I’ll give you my taxes if…

There’s just something I have to get off my back: The Republicans insistence that poor people and the working poor should pay taxes instead of the lofty 1%.

According to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va), over 45 percent of the people in this country don’t pay income taxes at all, and we have to question whether that’s fair.

If the people don’t have the money to give, I would say it’s fair. Give them decent jobs to where they can adequately pay taxes and the Republicans have nothing to whine about. Let me put it another way.

My paychecks average roughly $742 a month gross income. After taxes, social security, Medicare, retirement, and anything else that you can imagine comes out of my paycheck, the actual money that I receive is along the lines of $667 a month. That’s not enough for a person to live off of and I look forward to my tax return to help me pay bills. I’m not jet setting around the globe, gambling in Las Vegas, or making a down payment on a brand new car.  Though I know of many middleclass and working poor Americans who do use their tax returns for such frivolities, I only wish I had the luxury to indulge.

Yet, as a responsible, bill-laden member of the working poor, I’ll make a deal with the Republicans. They can have my measly little tax return (the whole darn thing) if they put the money towards (1) Universal Health Care so I’m assured that any days off I take for illness will be relatively few. (2) Education so that Universities will be better funded and feel confident in hiring new faculty — such as myself — and my tax contribution will be even bigger than before. (3) To other programs within the Federal Government that will benefit others and help them get ahead. That way this country will be a much better place to live by giving me a sense of contentment that my little tax contribution will go to a good cause.

Although, if you were planning to give my little tax contribution to the 1% (that you insist are the so called “job creators”), I would rather keep my tax return and pay a few bills. That way I can be sure that my taxes directly benefit the economy and me rather than having my taxes (1) squirreled away into a foreign bank account. (2) Pay for a completely unnecessary vacation to the Caymen Islands. (3) Used to pay bonuses to CEO’s at a bankrupt company.  I know there are some Republicans in the middle class who would agree with me.

Furthermore, I would also like to address Republicans and their use of “Obamacare.”  Senator Scott Brown’s (R-Mass) two daughters are covered under Brown’s congressional health insurance plan.  Yet, he has vowed to be the 41st vote to block President Obama’s healthcare law.  This is a vow that he’s kept.

What doesn’t make sense to me is if Brown opposes Obamacare so much, why is he using it?  If he thinks that the law is completely worthless, his daughters (both in their early 20s) would have their own health insurance and not enjoy Brown’s health insurance benefits.

In utilizing this aspect of Obamacare, Scott Brown is saving money that he can well afford to spend.  He and his wife have raked in over a half million dollars last year.  Humans can be hypocritical in many ways.  Yet, to be a trusted Federal official (trusted because he was voted into office) and be hypocritical to a severe degree is alarming.

What I’m trying to say is, if you’re against it, don’t use it.  If you use it, you shouldn’t be against it.  This makes me wonder just how many Republicans who are against Obamacare (all of them?) use certain aspects of it.

Finally, on a different note, to those of you who are interested, my podcast will be out this weekend.  I’m sorry it’s taking me so long to get out my first podcast.  Chalk it up to cold feet.  My purpose with the podcast is to explore Common Sense, or lack of, in the world around me.  It’s also to help me with my public speaking.  I think I’ve said this before.  Wish me luck and I hope you like it if you choose to listen.