Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The "Sit on Your Ass" Congress

It seems to me that the "Tea Party" morons in Congress have failed to understand exactly why they were elected. Apparently they think their mission from God is not to do anything at all, & thus assure that President Obama doesn't get credit for any legislation that could actually help the American people dig out of the mess that the Republicans created in the first place. God forbid that anything they do might even inadverdently help the President, whom they hate with an almost pathological fervor, beyond all reason. It's really, really hard not to think that racism is a huge part of this hatred, because otherwise their behavior makes no sense at all. They also seem to detest everything to do with government, so it's rather puzzling why they would want to be actually in it. The opposite of government is chaos, but they act as if they don't understand this, & that just may be the real problem. Lack of intelligence hasn't ever stopped anyone from running for office, but these yahoos have taken that to a whole new level. They seem to have no knowledge of history, & certainly aren't interested in learning anything that doesn't fit in with their odd, ass-backwards view of the world. Facts just seem to get in their way, especially if they contradict their weird, moronic beliefs. I've followed politics all of my adult life (& used to work in that area for years when I was younger), & I've certainly never seen anything like this, ever.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Coming To America

The following post is one that was written for & published on another site about a year ago, but with the continuing controversy in Arizona especially, I think it's obviously still relevant to our national dialogue:

As the grandaughter of immigrants, I feel a kinship with all of those people who are brave enough to leave their own countries to start a new, hopefully better, life in a new country. My paternal grandfather, who came here as a teenager from Italy, loved America & was always thankful for the opportunities he had been given here. I once asked him why he never went back to Italy to visit, & he told me that in Italy he had nothing, & not much of a future to look forward to, but that America had given him the chance to become a success & to provide his family with the type of life they would never have had in Italy. He was proud when both of his sons, my father & my uncle, went to fight in WWll for their country, even though the country of his own birth was aligned with the other side. I couldn't understand that at the time, & I confess that I still find it somewhat strange.

We who were born here seem to take a lot about our lives for granted, even if we are only first or second generation Americans, whereas immigrants are grateful for & embrace all of the things that they didn't have in their homeland. The most important of these things is simply opportunity. While native-born Americans sometimes act as if success is owed them, those not born here look at it as a gift that they must nevertheless work to achieve. This is as it should be, but sometimes I wonder what immigrants must think when they see people become famous & materially successful without actually working for it (if the shoe fits, then wear those Jimmy Choos- everybody knows the people I'm talking about).

I really believe that most Americans, especially those of us whose ancestors came here as immigrants (which is actually everybody but Native Americans, but you know what I mean), do welcome people from other countries & other cultures. However, there are still some people (hopefully, in the minority) who apparently think that everyone who emigrates here is after their jobs. It doesn't seem to matter that most of the jobs taken by immigrants are those not exactly coveted by the majority of Americans. In fact, a lot of highly educated professionals from other countries can't actually practice their chosen professions here because of poor documentation, licensing problems, language barriers or other difficulties, especially if they come from politically volatile or repressive countries. How many times have you heard of otherwise highly qualified medical doctors, scientists or engineers who end up driving a taxi or working in a fast food place to make a living, most often working for minimum wage to support themselves & their families?

However, most of the problems we see with the backlash toward immigrants are with those poor souls from Latin America countries, especially Mexico, who often come here the only way they know how, by illegally crossing borders or rivers. They don't get to see the Statue of Liberty before landing on Ellis Island, as all of my grandparents did, or to see the welcoming words written by Emma Lazarus at the foot of this magnificent beacon of hope & opportunity: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" Instead, what they often see are vicious dogs & bigots with guns
I do understand that the terrible economy & the horrendously high umemployment rate have been a factor contributing to the backlash, but I suspect that these mean-spirited individuals who want to patrol the border with firearms, use barbed wire & barrier walls & immediately deport everybody here illegally actually would think like this even if circumstances were better. No matter what they call themselves, these right-wing crazies are all cut from the same mold, & intolerance seems to be their real political movement & hate their real religion. We certainly do need a new federal immigration policy, but it must be more than a selfish, punitive kind of policy. It can't be that difficult to come up with a solution to this very real problem that is fair to all concerned, leavened with the admonition given to us from Jesus, & echoed by all of the world's major religions in one form or another, to "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". We really are all brothers & sisters, & we should start acting like it. This is America, which is still a singular & magnificent experiment, no matter where we started out. There is simply no other country like it. We all end up in the great melting pot that blends our diversity into shared humanity. We can't let those who don't actually believe in the underlying concept of our country control the dialogue about immigration (or anything else, for that matter). Real patriots need to be the face of America in the 21st century.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Neverending Story- Campaign Edition

Is anybody else already tired of the 2012 election, & it's only 2011? I mean, honestly, have you ever seen a weirder bunch of candidates than these Republican clowns? Even if you combined everybody's good points (assuming there are some), you wouldn't have one decent candidate. Even the supposedly non-moronic ones, like Romney, are acting like this is an audition for a reality show. I mean, actually telling people that your humongous mansion isn't quite humongous enough for you is insane. And I just read somewhere that he likes the "Twilight" book series. Really? Seriously? Rachel Maddow speculates that all of Romney's gaffes have to actually be some master campaign strategy, otherwise the odds are just too great for that many blunders. And the Scary Ignorant Idiot Brigade, led by Bachmann & Perry, just frigging keep saying shit no normal person would even think of saying in public. As I never tire of saying, in Texas they call Bush the "smart one" when comparing him & Perry. I think you can sort of stop right there talking about him, actually; that really says it all. And Stepford Wife Bachmann is basically Sarah Palin with a (Christian) law degree (& without the trashiness). By the way, are there really two versions of the law, one Christian & one not? Perplexing, no?

This election cycle seems to be a case of the inmates running the asylum. Are there really Republicans that can listen to this idiotic, hateful, bigoted, homophobic, racist, & just plain mean rhetoric & not cringe to think that these morons are representing the party of Abraham Lincoln (even though it hasn't really been that in a long, long time)? Romney doesn't seem mean-spirited & hateful like the others, but still is so out of the mainstream of normal American thinking that it just seems unbelievable that he's the most rational alternative to the other batshit-crazy people. After the 'big three', the rest of the field is simply even more ridiculous. Ron Paul is like everybody's crazy, cranky uncle; Newt now seems to be a figment of his own imagination; Huntsman's smart & not crazy, but has no charisma & always looks angry; Herman Cain & Rick Santorum are basically non-starters; & that's about it. I really wish both Sarah Palin & Christine O'Donnell would join the fray; that would be even more of a hoot to have an almost all crazy person lineup. The sound bites alone would be 24/7 entertainment.

And that's exactly what the biggest problem with this bunch is- it's way more like reality show entertainment than actually serious politics. Yeah, maybe one out-there wacko in a campaign would provide comic relief when actual policy discussions get too deep, but when most of the candidates fit this profile, there's something seriously wrong with the picture. I can't imagine what the rest of the world must think of our electoral process when they see (or worse, listen to) this ridiculous bunch, who almost all seem so out of the mainstream of American politics as we've always known it. Even though I guess I'm one of those liberals/progressives who've been more than a little disappointed with President Obama's apparent capitulation to, & baffling, neverending patience with, the right-wing crazies currently running the Republican show, just comparing his intellect & real accomplishments so far, especially in the face of the very real fiasco of an economy he inherited, with this bunch is completely ludicrous. I guess we'll just have to keep watching the show & keep being entertained, because we're sure not being informed very much about anything so far, except how completely far our country seems to have gone off the rails. Stay tuned, folks, if you have the stomach for it- anything might happen.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

"Christian" Homophobia

Well, I see another so-called "Christian" homophobic GOP congressman has been caught with his "principles" compromised. What a joke these guys are. They call themselves Christians, but can they possibly be any further from what Christ actually preached? It offends me, & it should offend everyone, whether you're Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or any other religion. Or even an atheist. I guess you can call yourself anything you want to, but at least don't pretend that whatever deity you claim to worship approves of hatred & discrimination. I don't know of any religion or form of spirituality that preaches this. I don't claim to know a lot about other religions, but I do know that Christ preached about tolerance & love & equality & treating others as your brothers & sisters. How do these haters justify their behavior? Aren't they at least embarrassed to spew this vicious, hateful rhetoric about anyone not exactly like themselves, whether it's race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or any other difference? And why do the rest of us allow them to do it unchallenged? Just because they're crazy shouldn't give them a free pass to say absolutely anything they want to. And I don't even want to start in on that so-called "church" in Texas that pickets funerals- what assholes!

As I said before, the only reason this kind of behavior goes on is because we let it. And we can't possibly measure the harm it does to everyone. Do we really think that there aren't a whole bunch of ignorant morons out there who believe this shit, especially if they hear it enough? The 2010 election results proved that to be true. Of course, that just revs me up to my favorite subject lately, which is proposing an IQ test that everyone must pass to be able to vote in any election. Yeah, it's undoubtedly unconstitutional, but why must idiots be allowed to dictate who makes our laws? Maybe, as Winston Churchill said,"... democracy is the worst form of government, except all the other forms that have been tried", but really, don't you know at least a few people you wish wouldn't be able to vote? I know I certainly do.

I know that Democrats are certainly not exempt from these awful so-called " sex scandals" (Rep. Weiner, anyone?), but they're mostly just egotistic idiots, & not mean-spirited people talking about hate & intolerance. It just always seems to me that it's the anti-gay "Christian" Republicans who get caught in compromising homosexual situations. I just can't believe that we're still dealing with this bullshit in 2011. Shouldn't we be more enlightened by now? Don't we have bigger problems right now than worrying about someone's choice of whom to sleep with or marry? Doesn't this seem ludicrous to anybody but me?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

With a Heavy Heart

I, along with millions & millions of others, were so hopeful & excited just three years ago. We just knew that finally we had somebody who could cut across the bullshit & inspire other politicians to be better. Now, not so much. I am still an unabashed liberal, & I still love President Obama, but I am so, so disappointed that his leadership qualities are not what we all hoped they would be. I do understand that he dislikes conflict & confrontation; I do, too, but I wasn't elected president to transform the political system, & he was. He's undoubtedly a brilliant man, & I know his heart's in the right place, but why on earth can't he stand up to the people who only want one thing: to destroy him & his presidency? And in the process, they're destroying the whole country.

My heart actually hurts when I think about the mess we're in right now, & how much it's damaged the chances that Obama will be reelected in 2012. And the absolutely worst part is that the very people who caused the economic crisis are the ones blaming Obama & the Democrats, & I'm sorry to say that apparently most people seem too dumb to recognize this. It's just too bad that the morons who voted for the "teabaggers" (as Bill Maher calls them) can't be the only ones who have to suffer the consequences. That would truly be karma. Ah, well.

I really think that the president needs to look up the definition of "compromise". He's constantly being bullied into giving up way more than the other side. That's actually called "capitulation", not compromise. He really, really needs to draw a line in the sand that he absolutely will not cross. Instead, he keeps letting the teabagger-led Republicans move the frigging line to wherever they want it. Say what you want about Bill Clinton, but he knew how to deal with these kinds of people. I'm afraid that Obama's lack of administrative (& perhaps political) experience is coming back to haunt all of us. Maybe he should talk to Bill- & Hillary, too, about the mess he's in. I agreed with Clinton about using the 14th amendment solution for the debt ceiling debacle (& apparently so did Nancy Pelosi, whom I love), & I think Obama should have just said "Fuck this shit- I don't need you" to the Republicans, & raised the frigging thing, which every other president has had no trouble doing. Isn't it more than a little suspect on the part of the Republicans that this president is absolutely the only one who has had this problem? Do people still think after this that racism isn't involved in everything the Republicans do, especially the teabaggers? I think it's insulting both to the man & the office, & yet they keep getting away with this behavior.

The Congressional Democrats aren't blameless in this whole situation. Not enough of them, either, are speaking the truth clearly or often enough to the American people. Why can't they, & the president, have the balls to tell the truth about how & why we got to these miserable circumstances we're in, & to blame the people responsible? It's just unbelievable to me. At least the teabaggers have the guts to say exactly what they think, even if they are all batshit crazy & completely ignorant of history. Something has got to be done, & quickly, or what's still left of the middle class is going to be obliterated. Those of us who used to be middle class, & are now the working poor (at least those of us who still have jobs), have almost lost hope of things getting better for us. I fear our country becoming like some third world country that has two classes: the rich (who, because of the inequality of our tax code are getting even richer); & the poor (all of the rest of us). Our country could return to the condition it was in after the Depression, before FDR & the New Deal & the rise in importance of labor unions ( which actually helped more than anything to create a middle class).

We have to hold people responsible not only for what they do, but also for what they don't do. Every member of Congress should have his/her feet held to the fire. Moaning & bitching may relieve stress, but it doesn't solve problems. And the idea of only cutting spending, especially for those programs which really help people ( more than ever in a bad economy) & not making everyone pay their fair share of taxes is simply ludicrous, & is also, I think, criminally naive. We need to raise revenue the right way, create programs to put people back to work (maybe by actually making stuff in this country again), & refuse to be terrorized (yeah, Biden was right) by ignorant morons who simply want to destroy our president, our government, & our very way of life. They may have nothing to lose, but we have everything to lose, & we're losing it fast.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Guns, Guns, Guns!

"Guns don't kill people; people kill people". If I ever see that idiotic statement again after what happened over the past weekend in Arizona, I may have to kill someone myself, with my bare hands. The one & only purpose of guns is to kill, period. Seriously, do hunters go into the woods intending to only wound an animal, maybe just to see it writhe in agony for their amusement? Do soldiers go into war hoping to stop the enemy by shooting them somewhere on the body where the wound wouldn't be fatal? Or are these hunters & soldiers, as well as the police, using rubber bullets, just to stun perhaps? As stupid as those questions sound, it couldn't sound as stupid as that opening statement does.

I guess there are responsible gun owners, such as hunters, whether or not I approve of the "sport" of hunting or not. Two of my uncles were hunters, & they owned actual hunting guns, not handguns or semiautomatic weapons. Why can't we pass laws outlawing every kind of gun other than those expressly intended for hunting? How could the NRA object to that? I would bet that the overwhelming majority of hunters are not even members of the NRA, anyway.

I don't like guns, period- any kind of guns. Obviously, they are necessary to the police & the military, but that's about it, as far as I'm concerned. Even if hunters & those concerned with "personal security" (whatever the hell that actually means) are included with the former as gun owners, the question remains about exactly who should & should not be allowed to own guns, & what types of guns. Who exactly would qualify as a responsible gun owner, anyway? Shouldn't it be someone who can pass not just a background check for past criminal behavior, but someone who has no mental health issues & actually knows how to properly use the gun in question? As much as I hate even talking about this, & believe that the second amendment has been misinterpreted (not hard to do, since it seems quite ambiguous to me), unless we are going to completely outlaw guns, which I would love but know isn't going to happen in the near future, we do need way better regulation not only concerning who can own them, but what kinds can be owned by individuals. Nobody needs an assault rifle or a semiautomatic weapon to either go hunting or for personal protection, & I don't think handguns are necessary at all.

The Republican Party has always been the party who oppose any regulation of guns, & I've always wondered exactly why that is. Yes, they undoubtedly get big campaign donations from the NRA & other pro-gun lobbies, but since we're not talking about completely banning guns, but simply regulating them, I just wonder if there's something else going on there. I can't begin to speculate what it could be, but it's very curious to me. Why would anyone think that it's ok for a mentally unbalanced person with no weapons training to own an assault rifle, for instance? I just think that's odder than hell- makes no kind of sense.

Putting aside the question of why the political climate in our country has become so full of hate & intolerance (that's being beat to death right now, & I think you can guess what I think about it, anyway), this situation with guns being so readily available to anyone who can afford to buy one, especially at gun shows, is intolerable to me. I think it's incredibly stupid & irresponsible. I'm afraid that the Democrats have been complicit in letting this situation get as out of hand as it now is, & someone has to finally step up to the plate & say "enough". I really admire the sheriff in Tucson who just put it on the line & said what most politicians are too cowardly to say about the climate of violence today. What's really strange to me is that most law enforcement people support gun regulation, & yet the politicians of both parties sit on their asses & let shit like what happened in Arizona occur, perhaps on a smaller scale, all over the country, over & over. Am I missing something, or are they all just cowards?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Because He Can

Can Joe Lieberman be even more of an asshole than I thought he was? I honestly did not think that my opinion of him could go any lower than it already was, but damnit, today it went frigging subterranean. He finally acknowleged that the real reason he opposes meaningful healthcare reform is because he hates liberals. He admitted that he's opposing the Medicare buy-in because liberals such as Rep. Anthony Weiner (D, NY) like it too much. I guess that what I've been reading in the blogs is absolutely right: progressives (read 'liberals') should have fought to the death for a single payer system, so the centrist compromise would actually have been the public option/Medicare buy-in or some other form of REAL reform, instead of the bullshit we're going to end up with. What an absolute prick Lieberman is, & the fact that the cowardly Democrats are letting him get away with this shit is simply indefensible. Like a spoiled child, he's doing it BECAUSE HE CAN. And he's frigging getting away with it. That's way beyond sad, holding the whole country hostage to this fucking egomaniac. I honest to God hope he rots in hell for all eternity. He deserves it, if anybody ever did.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Here We Fucking Go Again

Well, the Catholic Church is yet again trying to bite off its nose to spite its face. The United States Council of Catholic Bishops, the governing body in the U.S., is apparently instructing all pastors to distribute anti-health reform material at masses. And of course, the issue is.....(wait for it) ........ ABORTION! What a surprise. Talk about a one issue group of folks. I guess it's ok for people to die &/or suffer needlessly because of lack of decent medical attention, but don't even think of paying for abortions with medical insurance. Is it any wonder that the Church is losing members in droves, including the always traditionally Catholic populations of many, many South & Central American nations, because it's so out of touch with the actual real-world concerns of almost everyone these days? Do they really think that just because you CAN get an abortion, you're GOING to get one, just for the hell of it? I honestly don't understand this logic- I guess because there actually is no logic involved.

I am so absolutely sick of this shit. If it wasn't so infuriating & just so WRONG, it would be funny, that one issue could be the lone overriding concern cancelling out literally EVERYTHING ELSE in existence, apparently. At least some of the bishops have to know that this is just wrong & crazy. There is no way in hell it can be justified, & I know that at least some of them aren't absolute idealogical robotic morons. And don't you just love the way they handle the church/state separation (as always)? Oh, I guess that doesn't count, cause it's just in the Constitution, not the Bible (not that Catholics know jack-shit about the Bible). What hypocritical assholes. Jesus would be ashamed.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Jackasses on the Loose

In an op-ed piece in last Sunday's New York Times, titled "The Politics of Spite", the economist Paul Krugman said that "the modern conservative movement, which dominates the modern Republican party, has the emotional maturity of a bratty 13-year-old". That is true, especially if the 13-year-old was also named Damien. But I believe that it's much more serious than calling them juvenile. They're also vicious, mean-spirited, racist, homophobic, ignorant & dangerous. And crazy, especially these jackasses (my new favorite word) who go around waving signs denigrating the president, but can't tell the Constitution from 'Pat the Bunny'. And on Bill Maher's show on the Friday before last, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, whom I rarely agree with, was talking about the violent atmosphere that will undoubtedly cause some crazy, ignorant right-wing asshole (my words, not his) with a gun to go on a rampage that will end in tragedy. I mean, a poll on Facebook about murdering the president? Are you fucking kidding? What's the old adage about the lunatics running the asylum? That's the Republican party right now. Jeaneane Garofalo, whom I absolutely love cause she just always calls a spade a spade, said on the same show that these lunatics are basically white supremists, which I think is very true. That's the reason it's become so personal with all the shit about Obama. They just do not want a black president, & I believe will stop at nothing to try to eliminate him, not just his policies. I'm sure that they resent the fact that he's not only smarter than them, but more educated & sophisticated, too. Not that they actually respect any of those things; in fact, they seem to revel in their ignorance & stupidity. Go figure- I sure as hell can't (& don't want to).

Are the rest of us- the sane, relatively informed people who actually elected Barack Obama- really going to sit around & listen to & watch this bullshit any longer without doing something? I went to see Michael Moore's awesome film "Capitalism: A Love Story" the other night, & I didn't know whether to cry or take to the streets. He shows, in ways the average person who isn't well-schooled in economics can understand, exactly how Wall St. has fucked us, over & over. It's just part & parcel of this same kind of crap that we observe & say "somebody should do something about that". Well, guess what, folks? We are those somebodies. Nobody's going to ride in on a white horse, even the brilliant & talented President Obama, to save us. It really is up to us. It's not just almost too late to actually do something about global warming, but also all the other things that are JUST WRONG. In his movie, Moore compares our civilization to that of the Roman Empire, & we all know what happened to it. It's not just hyperbole to say these things- it's urgent to wake people up to all of the terrible things we seem to be getting used to. We really don't have to put up with all the bullshit about banks & other financial institutions being "too big to fail". That's just too bad if they've fucked things up so badly, but they knew there wouldn't be any real consequences for them, just for us. I mean, what kind of shit is this that the very people whom they've already fucked over & over are the very ones who have to pay for their incompetance & criminality? We are STILL the ones who are hurting, not the CEOs, who are still racking up millions in "bonuses". I'm sorry, but isn't the definition of "bonus" a reward, for doing something over & beyond the average? How does nearly bankrupting a company earn someone a bonus?

And I've just recently read something I guess I really shouldn't be surprised about, but have to confess made my jaw drop. Certain "conservatives" have decided that not only does the "left-wing media" write lies, but apparently so have the authors of the Bible. Yes, folks, all that liberal stuff about treating your fellow human beings as you yourself would like to be treated, & our obligation to feed & clothe the poor & take care of our less fortunate brothers & sisters needs to be cut out of the Bible. As does all that commie language about the rich finding it harder to get into heaven & Jesus throwing money changers out of the temple. Aside from the fact that these people apparently have no idea what a metaphor is (see the earlier comment about reveling in their own ignorance), there are some things that I guess SHOULDN'T be taken literally.

It's just exhausting to even think about all this. I sometimes feel like Rosanne Rosannadanna (Gilda Radner's brilliant character on SNL), who used to say, after a long diatribe against something or other, "Nevermind". But unfortunately, we can't afford to say that today. Our very existence is in jeopardy from ignorant people who actually bring guns to town meetings with the President. It's almost weirder than fiction.

It's been a while since I started this blog, so I just found out yesterday about President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. I love it especially because it's making the right-wing crazies practically explode. But seriously, one of them actually said that this was the"elite" Europeans' way of finally voting in the 2008 election. Fuck, yeah! What in the hell is wrong with that?

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Crazies

The crazies are out in force about the President's speech to schoolkids next week. I work in education, & speak from experience. Sadly. I mean, seriously, what the hell is wrong with people? Even if they ARE right-wing ignorant bigots, you'd think they would at least respect the office, if not the man. Yeah, these sure are patriotic, God-fearing folks alright. Do these one-issue, Bible-thumping hatemongers actually know what Jesus preached about, or does their interest stop at the Old Testament? I know this shit shouldn't surprise me, but you know, it always does. I guess I believe in redemption, against all evidence to the contrary. Speaking of which, our office even got a few calls about some schools lowering the flag in honor of Sen. Kennedy last week.Apparently, there are a LOT of hateful, spiteful, mean-spirited people out there with obviously not enough to do & way too much time on their hands. It is so,so sad that people, especially those that call themselves Christians, have so little tolerance, love, & respect for anyone who doesn't agree with their narrow-minded, petty & downright hateful beliefs. As much as I try to see the good in everyone, it's just impossible with these types of people. It really does make me sad. As much as I hated everything that George Bush stood for, I would have never acted the way these parents are acting if this had occurred during his presidency (not that it would have happened, but, still). I work for a Catholic school system, & what's happening makes me ashamed that these people call themselves Catholic. I really am both angry & incredibly sad about this situation. There's nothing Christian or patriotic about this kind of behavior. Jesus would be ashamed, too.