A Resistance Post: Is anyone else scared?

star-trek-the-next-generation-iconFrom people displaying memes of the character Jean Luke Picard from Star Trek the Next Generation that reads “Every morning I wake up, I’m like ‘Damage report'” to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s epic Trump burn saying if he were president, maybe most Americans can once again sleep at night.  There is truth in both those statements.  Since Mr. Trump has taken office, the sale on sleep aides has likely skyrocketed.

Tea Partiers always seem angry and negative.  Before the inauguration of Mr. Trump, they spent most of their days listening to blow-hards peddling false news to an audience who lapped up every word.

Then there are other Americans who simply spend their lives in a constant state of negativity.  Unfortunately, that is life.  Unless they find the courage to change it, negativity will always be a part of them.

So far this president has worried Muslims (Americans and immigrants alike), refugees (at home and abroad), Latinos (legal and illegal), most women, the LGBT Community, and other American’s for various reasons.  Unlike some of my fellow Americans, I can still sleep at night, but reading the daily news keeps me in a near constant state of anger and worry.  An American president, his cabinet, and Congress should not cause the American people sleepless nights, anger, worry, sadness, and any other strong, negative emotions.

dazzled-iconI am sure that past presidents have caused these emotions.  Former President Andrew Jackson creating the Federal Banking System likely caused some American negativity along with Abraham Lincoln overseeing troops during the Civil War, or Franklin D. Roosevelt prior to World War II.  Have they done it to this heightened extent, or to so many American people?  It seems the only people who are not worried are apathetic Americans and Tea Partiers.

Monday (February 13,2017), I gained a new, intense negative emotion caused by Mr. Trump:  Fear.

America has come close to nuclear war before.  There was the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and close calls with the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) now known as Russia.  How many times have we come to nuclear annihilation by our own missiles?

As a former GOP candidate, Mr. Trump stated he would not take vacations.

“There’s just so much to be done,” Trump said after winning the presidential election. “So I don’t think we’ll be very big on vacations, no.”

Not only was the weekend before last his third straight weekend taking a vacation, his trips cost the tax payers $3 million dollars each time he travels via Air Force One to his Mar-a-Lago golf resort.  I do not care if he calls it his “Winter White House,” he is playing golf, which – to me – definitely counts as a vacation.  Perhaps he thinks it does not count because he brought the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with him.  Although, dragging a Prime Minister around a resort to show off to his Super PAC mega donors, schmoozing with his one-percenter pals, and rubbing elbows with other CEOs willing to “pay to play” for a top government position (Betsy DeVose anyone?) is known as a huge conflict of interest.  Do not forget the $200,000 membership to Mar-a-Lago includes an up close and in person view of Mr. Trump being “president” on the weekends.  They can pull Mr. Trump aside to have a say on policy and who he should choose as a Cabinet Member.  If they are super lucky, Mr. Trump will ask their advice on how to cheaply build his pointless wall.

Real estate executive Bruce Toll told the New York Times that he does occasionally discuss national policy issues, particularly when it comes to Trump’s plans to increase spending on infrastructure projects, when he sees Trump at Mar-a-Lago. According to Toll, Trump sometimes receives advice from other club members about what to do policy-wise.

Developer Richard LeFrak, a close friend of Trump’s, recounted a discussion at Mar-a-Lago last weekend during which Trump asked him for help with the proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico. Trump was unhappy with the projected cost of the wall, wanted to come up with a way to build it more cheaply, and suggested that the head of the Department of Homeland Security would give LeFrak a call to talk about it.

And according to an audio tape obtained by Politico from one of Trump’s New Jersey clubs that was also published on Saturday, Trump has asked his club members for their guidance selecting his cabinet appointees.

Smilie-money-iconA member can even take pictures with his cabinet members out on the scenic patio.  If a member is really lucky, they might watch Mr. Trump handle a National Security crisis usually requiring the White House Situation Room, or a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF).

SATURDAY EVENING, NORTH Korea launched a ballistic missile that traveled over 300 miles before crashing into the Sea of Japan—far enough to hint at the ability to drop a nuke on one of the US’ closest allies.

Naturally, President Trump discussed the matter with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was visiting the US, and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. But here’s the problem: He did so in full view of guests at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, with smartphone cameras and flashlights pointed at presumably sensitive material.

It was perfectly fine for Mr. Trump to discuss matters of National Security with the Prime Minister of Japan since it does involve his own country, and we are allies.  What is not okay are the Mar-a-Lago civilian guests who were present with their cell phones, flashing pictures, and possibly capturing sensitive material for the world to see.  That is correct.  Not only are there pictures, but they were posted to Facebook.  I will give my readers a moment to reread that last sentence.  If that was not bad enough, a guest also posted a picture of him and someone who should never have his picture posted on social media let alone his name.

…Mr. Trump’s military aide responsible for carrying the nuclear “football” — the briefcase that contains codes for launching nuclear weapons.

So there is now a picture of the guy in charge of carrying our nuclear weapons codes floating around the internet.  It does not matter that the photo is now “sanitized.”  When it was first posted, it was not.  What is placed on the internet will always be on the internet.  Several media organizations and – I am sure – nefarious people likely took plenty of screen shots of the original picture.  (Anyone else notice that it was an old rich white dude who posted that picture to Facebook?!)  I do not know about you, my dear readers, but after reading the above quoted line I turned white from shock.  Later, I definitely felt a fair amount of fear and extreme anger.  I am not even afraid to admit I cried over the egregiously blatant disregard for our Country’s wellbeing.

Mr. Trump appears to enjoy presenting the spectacle of his presidency to those at his privately held club…

Mr. Jackass Trump is basically putting us all in danger to make a buck.  I feel completely justified in my fear when an idiot and his rich (also morally questionable) cronies are leading the country.  (I guess you have to be severely stupid and greedy to have more money than most of the globe).

Smiley-grumpy-2-iconWhat makes my blood boil are the aides, cabinet members, Secret Service, National Security Members, Speaker of the House, other members of Congress, and even the civilian guests.  None of them thought this was a problem?  Not one person spoke up.  No one said, “Gee, this is a national security issue, those documents and the whole scene I’m witnessing seems serious so I really shouldn’t take a picture”?  Not one security member or aide thought to mention to Mr. Trump, “Hey, this deals with the security of the American people.  Maybe we shouldn’t discuss these things outside?”  How about the aide carrying the nuclear “football?”  Why did he not say, “No you cannot take my picture because of National Security” and perhaps, “I don’t want to die”?  Whatever happened to the power of a simple “No”?

More and more people are losing respect and trust in Mr. Trump.  Those last two quotes I presented are from the New York Times.  Notice they use “Mister” as Mr. Trump’s title and not “President?”  It is not just corporate print media (excluding Faux Fox News) have little to no respect and trust in Mr. Trump.  Neither do American Intelligence agencies.  We are talking the spy community, people.  They alert us to potential threats so we can be ready.

There is more consequential IC pushback happening, too. Our spies have never liked Trump’s lackadaisical attitude toward the President’s Daily Brief, the most sensitive of all IC documents, which the new commander-in-chief has received haphazardly. The president has frequently blown off the PDB altogether, tasking Flynn with condensing it into a one-page summary with no more than nine bullet-points. Some in the IC are relieved by this, but there are pervasive concerns that the president simply isn’t paying attention to intelligence.

Everything I have laid out is worse than a horror movie or a particularly chilling thriller.  If this does not make most Americans more concerned, apathetic Americans start to get concerned, or raise a flag or two to the white supremacist Tea Partiers, maybe a nuclear fallout with our own weapons will.  That is, if anyone other than the one-percenters survive.  (Seriously, people might have found money to build bunkers in the 50s, but who can find that kind of cash laying around these days)?

Furthermore, there is the issue of the potential Russian ties to Mr. Trump, his cabinet members, and the Republican party.  On Valentine’s Day, Michael Flynn was “forced to resign” (a. k. a., fired) from his National Security post for calling the Russian Ambassador the day former President Obama placed sanctions on Russia for hacking an American election.

Mr. Trump blamed news media leaks for Michael Flynn’s dismissal.  He might think media leaks are bad, but in this budding “worse than Watergate” situation, media leaks are my new favorite thing in the world.

This whole circumstance brings up one big question:  How many of America’s top government officials are involved in the Russian conspiracy?  The government is controlled by the Republicans who, I suspect, also have ties to Russia.  The Senate did launch an inquiry into the Russian hacking allegations, which will take a while.

Republican leaders are not promising a quick turnaround.

Burr surmised that it would take months to “aggressively” comb through all the intelligence pertaining to the suspected hacking, given that the scale and extent aren’t yet clear. And Republican leaders are clearly waiting on the intelligence panels to take the lead.

As for the Michael Flynn case, Senate Republicans are oddly reluctant to investigate.  Now, the American people are starting to ask who knew about Flynn’s Russian involvement.  Enter Rep. John Chaffetz (R-UT).  Last post I mentioned his accusations that his town hall meeting constituents were replaced with liberal organization paid rabble rousers.  Their main purpose was to bully him.  Surely, none of his constituents would be disappointed in his work?

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said Tuesday that his panel won’t investigate the circumstances that led to Michael Flynn stepping down Monday as President Trump’s national security adviser.

Instead, Chaffetz deferred to the House Intelligence Committee, which is already investigating Russia’s attempt to influence the presidential elections, a scope that includes campaign communications with the Russian government.

“I think that situation has taken care of itself. I know that the Intel committee is looking into the hacking issue,” Chaffetz told reporters.

Since the House Intelligence Committee is already looking into the Russian hacking case, why not give them more work?  Where is the passion and drive?  Where is the righteous indignation that Russia might have a big influence on top officials within the American government?  No worries, “that situation has taken care of itself.”

What does Senator Rand Paul have to say about the situation?  Surely, he would have something scathing to say about the Trump administration and demand swift action?

Republican Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday an investigation into the resignation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn would be excessive and it would not make sense to investigate other Republicans.

I guess not.  Lately, Sen. Paul has been going against his Libertarian leanings by voting for Sen. Jeff Beauregard Sessions as Attorney General.  Sessions is for the “War on Drugs,” and he is a staunch supporter of mass incarceration (which means he is likely being paid by the private prison industry), and Libertarians are generally against the War on Drugs and mass incarceration.  I thought they would also be against a Russian influence on the American Government.  Apparently not.

While growing up, American children learn a lot of things:  Respect the flag, American military service members are heroes (even though the government does not treat them as such), and Russia is bad (even though the Cold War ended in 1991).

Now we have a president who ignorantly endangers the safety of the American people for money, has possible ties to Russia, has aides communicating with Russia, Republicans obviously unwilling to investigate any of these travesties appearing to aid and abet these treasonous people, and people staunchly supporting Mr. Trump.  None of them see any reason to “Drain the Swamp” the 99-percenters live in.  Please tell me I am not the only one concerned.

My Bid for the Presidency

My name is R. K. Bishop. Today, from my sick bed, I am announcing my candidacy for President of the United States (US).

I am of age, born in the US, and meet the citizen and age requirements. Lately, I began to realize that no candidate with a legal degree, business experience, or political background exists to perfectly represent 98% of America. I am infinitely better than most of the Congressional body that only represents the top 2%. Furthermore, I am announcing the formation of a new political party.

As a voter, I do not affiliate with the current two party system. The Democratic and Republican parties no longer stand for the interests of the poor, working poor, and the middle class citizens. Most Democrats give into their frustration and have stopped fighting for the health and well-being of the American people. Some are Democrats in Name Only (DINOs) who will vote with the tyrannical Republicans to keep their salaries and benefits following upcoming elections. Republicans are interested in money and power, which has them pandering to their religiously extremist base and their greedy corporate donors.

Author_LogoWhile I could run as an Independent, I feel America needs a new party, a third option that stands behind basic facts. A party that places the inalienable rights and well-being of Americans first. My party is the Common Sense Party.

I can write a litany of promises, everything I would do on the first day in the Presidential office simply repeating Mitt Romney’s favorite line in his 2014 bid. During the course of several speeches, Romney promised to change the American way of life on his hypothetical first day in office.

Yet, in the heat of a general election, candidates often forget, or would like the American people to forget, our government is a Democracy and not a Dictatorship. (Lately, it has turned into an Oligarchy – a government controlled by the uber-rich). A majority from the House of Representatives and Senate pass proposed legislation, and the President signs it into law.

Aside from signing laws into the fabric of American society, the President can suggest laws and fight to get certain laws passed. That is what I promise to do: suggest and fight for the passage of laws.

The following list is a brief sample of the laws I will champion. In later posts, I will introduce more laws and detail each idea.

dollar-iconFirst, I will fight to strengthen the Wall Street regulations championed by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D- Massachusetts). While many important issues need immediate attention, we need to control those who would squander our money and prey on the weak. We must stop the two key causes (i.e., consumer debt and risky financial practices) of the Great Recession from happening in the future. We must end Too Big to Fail banks and their monopolies returning to smaller, manageable factions. Credit card companies and bank interest rates must accept federal regulations or they will continue to create an undue financial burden to the consumer. Financial institutions like JP Morgan will never receive tax payer money to bail them out of their own financial messes, especially when the corporate bailout money was used for CEO golden parachutes, bonuses, and vacations.

Second, I will fight to close tax loopholes for the wealthy and corporations. Taxing the top 2% of American earners and big corporations would allow the government to strengthen social safety net programs for the most vulnerable citizens. Senior citizens and the disabled should have enough money to pay for life sustaining utilities, vital medications, and an adequate food supply. The unemployed should never worry over the starvation of their families because of insufficient unemployment compensation as they search for gainful employment.

Third, I will fight to raise the national minimum wage to a living wage that will increase with the cost of living. If a citizen finds full- or part-time employment, it should be sufficient to support their families, reduce their dependency on social safety net programs, and increase local economies.

Categories-applications-education-university-iconFourth, I will fight for affordable education. America should have Universal Childcare and K-12 education. Many nationwide schools offer fee waivers for needy families. Yet, education should be free for families of all incomes. Hence, money normally spent on education would be spent on extracurricular activities, which provide many enhanced academic and psychological benefits to the students. The Federal Government would pay for the first four years of college tuition for students who maintain at least a 2.5 GPA. The money does not need to be paid back if the student has completed a four year degree. If a student wishes to continue their education, student loans will be available at extremely low interest rates in addition to grants and fellowships. All internships will be minimum wage employment rather than free labor.

Fifth, I will fight for the protection of unions. Any activity designed to dismantle, diminish, or disable unions will be unlawful. Workers have a right to organize and negotiate with their employers regarding wages and working conditions.

Sixth, I will fight for mandatory paid family leave, maternity leave, sick leave, and vacation time. As a nation, we should expect reasonable leave when we have immediate relatives depending on us, are sick, or to recuperate from injury without the added worry of wage and job loss. Currently, fast food and restaurant workers will work while sick since they are paid on an hourly basis. If they do not work, they do not receive a salary. They are likely to pass their illnesses to paying customers. Maternity leave is essential for the health and safety of the mother and her unborn child. Plus, the first six months of a child’s life is important to establish a bond with the parents meaning that maternity leave will be offered to both parents. Mental health is as important as physical health. Paid vacations are necessary to help reduce stress, which can consequently affect physical health. A healthy workforce is a more productive workforce.

Health-Sign-iconSeventh, I will fight for restructuring the American Healthcare System and Universal Healthcare. Restructuring the healthcare system is daunting, but something that our society desperately needs. As it stands, the health of the American people are primarily in the hands of investors of the insurance and health industry. Their mandatory bottom line removes medical decisions from the doctors working directly with their patients and gives authority to people with no medical background (e.g., insurance companies). A Universal Healthcare system (or single-payer system) is a big step towards repairing the system and ensures that patients do not have to choose between dying or living their life under a financially debilitating medical debt.

Eighth, I will fight to reduce the defense budget and redirect the funds to house the homeless. America spends more in defense than the next thirteen countries combined. That is 20% of our national budget. Redirecting a portion of that funding will go a long way in providing and building homes for the homeless. In addition, 12% of America’s homeless are veterans. In an advanced society, no one should be homeless.

Ninth, I will fight to protect the health of sustainable natural resources. I will work to reform the 1872 Mining Law by ending the billions in subsidies companies receive and establish fair royalties that they have never paid. All government revenue from mining operations will fund abandoned hard rock reclamation costs. I will place a permanent moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (i.e., fracking). Also, I will strengthen and vigorously enforce all environmental laws and tirelessly work to improve them. Responsible stewardship is in the best interests of our national security and survival on this planet.

Train-iconFinally, I will fight for infrastructure. Our nation’s roads and bridges are subpar. The U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has rated almost 200,000 bridges or one of every 3 bridges in the U.S., as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Furthermore, investing in far reaching, reliable, and fast public transportation will drastically reduce the need for constant road and bridge upkeep while reducing the country’s carbon footprint and increasing the health of our ecosystems.

America once led the world in education and innovation. It is time we do it again.

An Independent’s Perspective: Why I’m voting Democrat in the 2012 Presidential election.

There was a time politics made me groan and roll my eyes.  It wasn’t something I was interested in, and it wasn’t something worth my time.  I can honestly say I used to be an idiot.  Voting is a privilege that every American enjoys.  It is a responsibility everyone should take seriously at every opportunity…especially women.

Thankfully, I realized as a young adult the vast importance of the voting process, and I have been exorcizing my right since.

Whether we like it or not, politics touches the lives of every American citizen.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a small touch or a large touch no American should consider it inconsequential.  I’m not saying that they should make it the most important topic in their life.  Most people do have more immediate concerns to occupy their minds.  Yet, Americans should never rule out politics especially when they’re living through a critical time in American history.

This is our critical time.

As several speakers reiterated at the Democratic National Convention, we have seen the bottom drop out of our economy.  From there it was a domino effect or free fall into a recession on the verge of a depression.  It had all the devastated glory of an epic myth.

The crumbling, tarnished spire known as the failing “American Dream” began to fall into an oubliette of despair.  From that bottomless fissure rose a party oozing with hate and venom that’s beyond deadly.  They may or may not be the most radical faction that this country has ever seen.  Yet, they are powerful, fueled by backers with more money than any one person or company should attain.  That radical faction is known as the Tea Party.

Venom infiltrates a living body through injection and rapidly spreads throughout the system of the living organism for the express purpose to cause a painful death.  The Tea Party embodies that in every possible way.

I attempted to watch the Republican National Convention.  Surprisingly, I couldn’t watch a single speech for more than a few seconds without the alarming rise of bile traveling up my esophagus.  Perhaps it was the chronic lying triggering my delicate gag reflex, the noxious flow of hatred wafting from my TV, or a combination of both.  I know that an entity (i.e., person or party) that inspires such a negative reaction is not a party that I should trust with the future of my country.

In contrast was the Democratic National Convention.  While I watched (and I didn’t turn the channel once), I was moved to tears and boundless inspiration.  I feel the Democrats were able to connect with the American people on an emotionally positive scale while the Republicans attempted to connect through hate, anger, and fear.  I imagine those are the attributes of a horrific dictator only interested in controlling a country for the express purpose of powerful greed.

I’m not going to sit here and wax poetic about the Democrats.  Before 2010, I protested the illusory exclusivity of our elections.

Since the Democratic and Republican parties have monetary clout backing their political power plays, they can easily swamp the media and squash the chances of a new party’s bid for election.  They take advantage of the laziness infesting the American people regarding politics since they neglect properly researching candidates.

Instead, Americans rely on TV, newspapers, and talk radio to inform them of their candidate choices, naively trusting those sources to adequately educate them on each candidate.  What they neglect to realize is that political ads are essentially propaganda.  Television news moguls can be bought.  Talk radio hosts use their windbaggery to express their personal political views.  Writers for print media infuse articles with literary bias.

Despite everything, there have been instances of Independents and possibly an obscure party or two winning a political office either local, state, or federal – my hero Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is one.  Yet, the ballots are still dominated by Democrats and Republicans meaning they control government big and small.

My protest consisted of exercising my right to vote for a third party option.  In all elections until this year, I voted for the Green Party.  If a Green Party candidate wasn’t available, I looked for another party (NOT Libertarian *shudder in horror*) or I left that section blank.  I knew the Green Party or any alternative wouldn’t win because most Americans are two party-centric.  That means they’ll vote for a Democrat or a Republican and ignore the rest.

While I knew the futility of voting for a third party, I hoped that enough people would think like me to send a message to the two powerful parties: Think of Americans first and turn your back on the greed.

Unfortunately, my protest must wait for another election because I am forced to choose a side and go to metaphorical war.

Since I abhor pure, unadulterated hatred I feel that the Republicans have embraced with the Tea Party crazies, I chose the Democrats as my champions.

There are two big reasons among many why I was disgusted with the Democrats.  While their ideals echoed the ideals that I hold dear, they continually frustrated me because they didn’t fight for those values. In my opinion and the opinion of most lefties, the Democrat federal officials were content to let the Republicans make fools of them like an annoyingly bratty kid takes advantage of a tired, haggard parent.

Meanwhile, on a state level, I was used to gangster Democratic officials favoring a certain lakeside city while ignoring most of the state.  I live in the part they ignore.

In 2008, that’s how I viewed then Senator Barack Obama.  I didn’t vote for him since I didn’t think he had my values at heart.  Furthermore, I thought that he made too many promises he couldn’t possibly uphold.  Even I could see that some of the damage done – even though I was ignorant of the extent of the damage – couldn’t be fixed in a measly four years.

America took more than a decade to overcome the Great Depression.  It took a global war to get us out of the depression.  This time a war almost created another depression.  Logically, recovery from a recession in the 21st Century would certainly take more than four years.

I feel that candidates seeking election should not make outlandish promises.  In my opinion, any promise they make is outlandish since American government is a group effort.  What they should promise is to do their hardest to convince their fellow elected officials that achieving a consensus on certain policies is beneficial for the American people.

Now Republicans are targeting specific inalienable rights of the American people.  They are insidiously and systematically stripping the reproductive rights of women, stripping the voting rights of American minorities, and denying the rights of immigrant children who are American citizens in their hearts and souls.

During these attacks Democrats are fighting back.  I am confident that they will hold the Republicans accountable for their mendacious madness.  Democrats are incensed on behalf of their constituents to the point of protest.  I find that they are setting aside their acquiescent superfluous mentality to grow a backbone and live up to their potential.

As I watched the Democratic National Convention and listened to the speeches, I heard them promise to fight.  That was a promise that I could accept.  As President Obama delivered an incredible speech, I heard him promise to do his best and not make the impossible promise to move mountains.  For three days, I shed tears of fierce hope that the President and several Democrats would win the election, that they would triumph over an obsequious party that secretly embraces the worst in humanity in the guise of Christian and Catholic zealotry.

The Democrats that represent my state pioneered 20th Century bureaucratic double-dealing.  Yet, in this election, I will welcome them as my friends because my reproductive and voting rights are still intact and they make me feel protected from the chaos of the Republican states.

In the 2012 Presidential election, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

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.

Exemptions from Justice: Corporations and Religions

Welcome to the World of Injustice.  This is the country’s new nickname amid atrocities that are allowed to happen to hard working and innocent people.  Call this a double post about corporate greed and the people they buy off and religion’s attempt to gain a stronghold in a country that has “separation of church and state” written into the Constitution.

My blog is all about a lack of common sense in the world, and I feel like I’ve been blindsided on both sides.

Verizon is a well known cell phone company in the United States.  They are planning to lay off 1,700 workers.  It definitely doesn’t seem a lot in the grand scheme of things yet a worker losing their job for any reason is depressing.

Let’s consider that they don’t have to lose their jobs in the first place.  Verizon can obviously afford to keep those workers  if they’re giving their top five CEOs multi-million dollars annually and in bonuses.

Meet Lowell C. McAdam who was mentioned in the ThinkProgress article.  This illustrious CEO received a bonus of $22.5 million in 2011 as a “Performance Award” because the company’s shareholders saw an 18.8 percent increase in the value of their returns.

Isn’t that great?  The shareholders made money so they’re sharing the wealth.  Doesn’t it make sense that the common workers who sell their “product” would see a bonus along with the CEO?  Who are we kidding?

Actually, workers have not shared in those gains.  To add insult to injury

Verizon eliminated 26,000 jobs over a two-year period in 2008 and 2009 — including 16,000 jobs in 2009 alone — and laid off roughly 13,000 more in 2010.

At the same time, Verizon has demanded sizable concessions from workers in its negotiations with unions, asking for the elimination of the company’s pension plan, increases in health care premiums, and extra leeway to outsource jobs, according to a release from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

This information puts a new spin on Verizon laying off 1,700 workers this year.  To add insult to injury, they’re attempting to strip the benefits of the workers that are “lucky” enough to not lose their job.  What are they suppose to do without a pension plan?  What are they sacrificing when they have to balance the household budget with their diminished paychecks due to the increases in their health care premiums?

I guess if they want “extra leeway” to outsource jobs, then jobs aren’t technically being “lost.”  They’re being “moved” overseas.  The Republicans are right.  Their corporate bed buddies are the job creators…for other countries!

It’s companies like Verizon that Republicans are protecting.  The GOP swears that those large corporations and the wealthy people attached need the tax breaks to free up more money to create jobs.  The Republicans simply neglect to clarify that they’re creating jobs in the wrong country.

The only common sense I see in this whole snake oil sale is that corporations have the GOP in their pocket and possibly paying them with the savings from transferring jobs overseas.

If this doesn’t convince you that the Republicans are in bed with big business and the top wealthiest people in the country, how about what’s going on in Florida?  I’m not speaking of the voter registration purge – that’s another world of shady.  I’m speaking of gutting unemployment benefits for those that the big corporations have laid off.

Yet, the Florida Government argues this is ultimately a benefit to the unemployed.  Making it harder for them to tap into their unemployment gives them motivation to get back to work.  Wait a second!  Ignore that man behind the curtain!

What Florida Republicans won’t tell you…what they’ve actually done…is the legislature stripping unemployment benefits paid for corporate tax cuts.  It is messed up common sense that those corporations need money for fancy jet planes more than unemployed workers need money for food.  That’s only logical since we all know that those unemployed workers will find work in a few short years.  They can live off the streets, dumpster diving for their food until they catch a break.

I’m being ridiculous.  Right?  They can still get their benefits.  The unemployed simply need to fill out an online application and complete a 45-question math and reading test to determine their job skills.

The new system, named the “Reemployment Assistance Program,” was passed by the Republican legislature and signed by Scott in the spring of 2011. The burdensome test offers no assistance when making claims and fails to notify workers if their application is incomplete. With some library computers programmed to turn off after an hour’s use, many frustrated Floridians are forced to start their applications over or compelled to quit altogether.

The unemployed who take the test do it to waste time since it’s obviously not going to help in getting them a job.  They have no clue if they’ve finished the application and test since they’re not notified by the system.  The computers the unemployed have access to only give them time-limited access.  Which means that they can’t complete the online application in the first place.

The Republicans count on this since they know that the unemployed have no Internet at home because they have no income to pay for it!  Aren’t these vicious uncommon sense circles fun?

As if the Republicans giving cart blanch to corporations regarding the monetary health and well being of the working poor and middle class Americans, they’re also allowing Christian organizations to walk all over non-Christians.

Part of this country’s foundation is the separation of church and state.  Why?  Because our wise founding fathers saw the destruction that a religiously run country can do to innocent people.  Not to mention the power that religion would have in forcing their beliefs on others.

Since there are several religions living within the United States, that stipulation is more important than ever.  Yet we see the Christian and Catholic faiths attempting to permeate the American government both Federal and State in order to force their morals onto the American population.  Everything from the Catholic Bishops regarding contraception to those of Christian faith preventing anti-bullying laws from passing to preserve their right to legally bully members of the LGBT community.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops filed lawsuits against the health mandate stating that employer insurance has to cover 100% of contraception fees.  According to their lawsuit, despite the scientific evidence to the contrary, they insist that contraception and sterilization

are not “health” services, and they do not “prevent” illness or disease. Instead, they disrupt the healthy functioning of the reproductive system, introducing health risks in the process; and they are designed to prevent pregnancy, which is not a disease.

Instead of contraception regulating the functioning of the woman’s reproductive system, Catholic Bishops insist that it disrupts the reproductive system.  They argue that it “introduces a health risk.”  It doesn’t introduce a health risk.  It just means that women aren’t shooting out babies left and right contributing to the already dangerous overpopulation of the country.  What do they care?  They don’t believe in science anyway.

One of these days, the Catholic Viagra popping Bishops will get the picture when it’s too late to correct the damage.  I hope that I don’t live to witness it.

To add insult to injury, since the Catholic Bishops consider my lady parts, and the lady parts of all American women, public property, the Christian faith feels the need to pick their own battles.  The battles of the LGBT community and for their – what they consider – “religious freedom.”

The Christians insist that any anti-bullying bill mentioning the LGBT community was teaching children to accept the LGBT lifestyle (like that was something apocalyptic?).  In doing this, they are legalizing bullying against LGBT children.  What they don’t mind teaching their children are that bullying LGBT children is fine, even encouraged.  If bullying them is fine, then bullying other children no matter their sexual orientation is fine as well.

As someone who was bullied, no one should be bullied.  It doesn’t matter their sexual orientation, no one should be bullied for any reason at anytime.  In my day, in the schools I went to, the teachers did nothing about the children who bullied me.  I was bullied in the classroom in front of the teachers, I was bullied in the cafeteria in front of the monitors, and I was bullied on the playground.

Bullying has a massively negative impact in a child’s life.  Some children get so depressed that they kill themselves.  Other children get so depressed that they take a few classmates and teachers with them before they turn the weapon on themselves.  It does not “build character.”  If I had not received counseling help when I did, I have no clue what would have happened to me.  I wouldn’t even be alive today.

Bullying needs to stop and the Christian faith is encouraging this type of disruptive behavior!

If the Christian faith believes their God blesses their form of bullying.  Than their God is definitely in favor of them breaking the rules.  Since they are so religiously pious, the rules of Federal and State shouldn’t touch them.

In North Dakota, the state government is considering a constitutional amendment.  This amendment states

Government may not burden a person’s or religious organization’s religious liberty. The right to act or refuse to act in a manner motivated by a sincerely held religious belief may not be burdened unless the government proves it has a compelling governmental interest in infringing the specific act or refusal to act and has used the least restrictive means to further that interest. A burden includes indirect burdens such as withholding benefits, assessing penalties, or an exclusion from programs or access to facilities.

As Ian Millhiser from ThinkProgress observes, this would allow the Religious Right to ignore traffic lights.  He states that this law was designed

to allow anti-gay groups to openly defy bans on discrimination, and it is written so expansively that it could authorize thousands of North Dakotans to outright ignore everything from traffic lights to medical access laws — all in the name of supposedly protecting religious liberty. 

In essence, a Christian business owner, or manager, can discriminate against gays because to not discriminate against gays would be a “burden” to their “religious organization’s religious liberty.”  So denying service or a job to a gay person means they’re satisfying their violently discriminatory religious faith.

The amendment is so broad that it would allow the Religious Right to defy other laws.  In Ian’s example, a person who is running late to church could claim it is illegal to make them obey traffic lights.

What else would they be allowed to do?  Will they be allowed to vandalize a gay person’s property specifically because the owner is gay and their property needs to be vandalized under the Religious Right’s religious morals?  How about assaulting a gay person?  Will this law even allow a religious person to beat someone because they believe it’s within their religious right?  When will it be enough?

There are violent religious people in this country and they think they have a right to be violent to anyone that goes against their religious belief.  They believe that their deity sanctions their behavior.  How are they different from the terrorists that are targeting our country?  They are homegrown terrorists.  No one wants to state this because they don’t want to admit that this country has a problem with their religious masses.

It begins with the easing of bullying laws, to allowing them to slide with minor infractions, and then it will be full-blown terrorism with nothing to hold them in check.

“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.