Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Why the Attack on the Obama Girls Matters

Elizabeth Lauten, former PR representative for Congressman Stephen Fincher(R) of Tennessee, has resigned from her job after an facebook posting on the Obama girls went viral.  
“Dear Sasha and Malia, I get you’re both in those awful teen years, but you’re a part of the First Family, try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play. Then again your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department. Nevertheless, stretch yourself. Rise to the occasion. Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar. And certainly don’t make faces during televised public events.
The hashtag #fireelizabethlauten was trending on twitter for a time and this facebook post got a great deal of media attention.  It likely got way more attention that it deserved, but it did deserve some attention.  One of the things that makes me a conservative is the fact that I believe in family and family values.  I want to associate myself with those that have those same beliefs.  Now I am not saying that only conservatives have family values and that my definition of what that means is the only true definition.  I know plenty of liberals who are great parents and put a great deal of time and effort in being the best parents and want the same types of things for the next generation that I do.  But I don't believe that the democrats put family first, I think they put government first.  That I strongly disagree with and I am willing to stand up and fight against it.  I believe that putting government first gets in the way of forging strong family bonds that is a cornerstone of society.  

Do I think that losing her job was really necessary?  There is a part of me that says no, but deep down I have to say I agree with the decision of her leaving her position as the Public Relations person for a sitting congressman.  A congressman who has a section on website labeled Christian Values.  Since when did a grown PR professional attacking a 13 and 16-year-old girl become a Christian Value?  

I am getting a little sick and tired of hearing, well what about the Bush girls?  What about the Palin children?  I have written extensively on how young children of people running for high office should be off limits.  They have made no choice in the matter of what their parents do.  I have also been quite clear that I hold people who have young children running for high office with more than just a tad of suspicion.  I question the judgement of people putting their kids in that type of fishbowl.  Because that is exactly what it is.  But in any event, I don't care to play a game of tit for tat.  It is unseemly at best.  Nor does it actually solve anything.  

If the base of the GOP want the party to represent family values; which many do, then start acting like you respect them yourself.  Saying that a 13-year-old is dressed for a bar because of the length of her skirt doesn't quite have that feeling of respecting families to me.  

Politics, much like reality, is largely about perception.  The perception for Congressman Fincher is that he had a PR person that didn't care all that much for those values that he runs on.  Those values that have led him to a life a public service.  Those values that are supposed to be a guiding force in the votes that he casts not just for his own district, but those that could affect every American across the country.  

While it may not "fair" that Ms. Lauten lost her job, it is the perception of what she did that made it impossible for her to continue to work for a person that says he cares about families and Christian values.  More to the point, life isn't fair.  It never has been and it never will be. 

I don't want to people who give me lip service about those values.  I don't want people who decide that taking the moral high ground is too much work.  Yes the left goes after the children of conservatives.  David Letterman paid virtually no price for going after Willow Palin.  But David Letterman is self-employed and doesn't work for a sitting member of congress, whereas Elizabeth did.  Trying to compare the two is apples and oranges.  

If conservatives want to fight for family values, standing by a young woman who felt that is was acceptable to go after two underage teenagers isn't the way to go about it.  

Ms. Lauten will be just fine.  She will find another position.  The notoriety that she has received from this almost guarantees that.  But people justifying her behavior, and sadly some are, will only serve to give the calls of hypocrite more credence.  Actually take a stand for the values that you say you believe in, even when someone on your "side" makes an error in judgement makes an unwarranted attack on children.  If not, don't talk about your family and Christian values.  You obviously don't really mean it, it is just lip service.  This isn't about elections, this isn't about winning or losing, it is about right and wrong.  Leave underage children of politicans alone.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Yes, Matt Walsh, Robin Williams lost the ability to see the joy in his life

I haven't posted in a quite some time for a variety of reasons.  But this I couldn't sit out.  As everyone who doesn't live under a rock has heard by now, Robin Williams committed suicide earlier this week.  He wasn't fooling around either, he slit his wrists and wrapped a belt around his neck. He wasn't interested in failing at this.  The darkness was going to come to a conclusion.
The normal (yes, sadly this is normal) he was a horrible man who committed a very selfish act comments started almost immediately.  I must remember to stay off social media after these type of events happen as it only upsets me. His daughter Zelda has been chased off social media due to the cruelty of others.   

All of my regular readers know that I have been very open and honest about the fact that I suffer from long-term clinical depression, known as Major Depressive Disorder.  I have had this since I was in high school and possibly earlier.  I am not ashamed of it, it is part of who I am.  I don't like it and I wish it were different, but it isn't.  This is one of the crosses that I have to bear in my life.  We all have them, whatever they may be.  

I want to scream when I see what is said about mental illness after an event puts it in the news once again.  A famous person committing suicide, a mass shooting, or whatever else happens to make this issue get national attention.  Sadly, it has become predictable to point of comedy.  You can almost predict to the minute before you see the whole "selfish" thing start after news of  a suicide.  

Yes, when a person leaves the world by taking their own life they leave behind questions.  They leave loved ones who feel guilt, who wonder why they couldn't help them.  It is hard to be that loved one.  Now, that is something that I don't really have a great deal of experience with, as the small amount of people who I know that have done this weren't all that close to me.  I knew them and some cases really liked them, but it has never been someone very close to me, with one possible exception.  A guy that grew up two houses down from me died by grabbing onto live wires at a train crossing.  We went to school together, we had the same first high school job together.  We shared many interests and were close for a long period of time.  He eventually moved to another state and we lost touch with one another.  He died in Florida.  We were in our early 20's at the time, if I recall correctly.  He recently had been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and was said to be coping rather well.  But at some point he stopped taking his meds, a very bad break up with his long-term girlfriend, and the lack of close friends after a recent move led him into his darkness that he saw no recovery from.  He took his own life.  He left behind a mother, a step father, a younger brother, and many close friends in our home state of CT hurt and angry.  

Oddly, I wasn't angry at him.  I was envious in very strange way.  His pain was over while mine just continued.  On and on it went.  I had yet to be given a proper diagnosis of my problems.  I had already made one attempt at ending my life at that point, and would make another just a few short years later.  Mine was triggered by events.  My BFF from my entire childhood was killed in a car accident. She was in a car going someplace that I was supposed to go and was unable to attend due to family that came in from out-of-town.  Talk about guilt.  It was horrible and it took me many, many years to get over her death and the guilt that I felt.  I still think about her everyday.  The second downward spiral in my life came after a relationship with a man I had planned on marrying came to an end.  That also took me a very long time to come to grips with.  Quite honestly I am far better off that I didn't marry him. He had many issues, not the least among them a substance abuse problem.  But I was devastated just the same.  

Blogger Matt Walsh talked about the joy of life and how that should be enough to sustain you through your dark moments.  From what I can glean from the post, Mr. Walsh seems to have an understanding of depression, he says he has struggled for many years with it.  I wonder.  
One of the worst things about my depression is how it robs me of the joy in the world.  That is what it does.  I can see many good things in my life.  I see the people who love me, who I love back.  The things that I have been able to accomplish in spite of the fact that I have suffered from clinical depression for the majority of my life are quite good.  I have a degree from a highly regarded university from which I graduated with high honors.  I have a family life today that at one point I never dreamed I would have.  I love them dearly.  They love me back.  That is part of the joy in my world.  

But, I don't always treat them the way I should.  It isn't on purpose.  I become withdrawn.  I seek shelter in the safety of my bed.  I sleep a great deal.  I don't want to do much of anything.  I am lucky that the man in my life notices it and does his best to be supportive and I love him all the more for it.  He reminds me of doctor appointments, he will ask about my meds.  He will take me out for Fro Yo, which I just love.  He will clean up the house and do other things around the house when he senses that I am feeling overwhelmed.  He is a keeper.  But as I said, there are days that I just don't feel all the good that should come from having him in my life.  I see it, but I don't feel it.  I don't think I deserve it.  I wonder why he gives up so much and gets so little in return.  

Does Mr. Walsh think that women who suffer from postpartum depression don't understand that there is joy in the world?  They have a newborn baby to care for.  A child that brings much joy to them and their family, yet they still feel the darkness, the pain, the confusion, the guilt that comes part and parcel with clinical depression. Their hormones are going nuts.  Their bodies aren't allowing them to feel the joy that little bundle of wonderment has brought them, they see it, they just don't feel it.  They aren't being selfish.  They are coping the best that they can in a horrible situation.  

It is amazing that people can easily accept that other parts of our body are ill but not our brains.  That can't possibly be the reason.  I mean many cases of osteoporosis are caused by chemical in-balances in our bodies.  We have these things called osteopaths and osteoblasts in our bodies.  One helps build bone density, one thins the bones.  When we have a proper balance between the two our bone density will be fine.  When we have an in-balance, our bones become weaker and more prone to breakage.  Our hearts and livers have many different types of enzymes, we have insulin levels in our bodies that help us digest sugar.  We need the proper balances for our bodies to run correctly.  Why is that people think that our brain is so different?  It isn't.  Our brain is an organ just like the others.  It needs certain things to function "normally".  

Our brains give off chemicals when we exercise, when we have sex, when we are experience the "joy" in our lives.  The make us feel good.  Clinical depression causes our bodies not to produce those chemicals in the same manner.  Sometimes I wonder if I have any at all.  These chemicals are also a cause of why some are more at risk of becoming substance abusers. I have a childhood friend who became a heroin addict in her teens and early twenties.  One of the things that she, and others that I know that have had the same experience, tells me is that the first time you use it the euphoria you get is something that they never experienced before or since.  It never feels as good as it did the first time.  That is how they become addicted, they are chasing that high.  They are looking for something that make them feel that feeling once again.    

We know very little about the amazing thing that is the human brain.  There are so many things that we don't fully understand.  Why will some fully recover from traumatic head injury while others will not?  Why some don't produce the proper levels of neurotransmitters that give them a healthy sense of the world around them and others do?  But we know that it happens.  Or least some of us do.  Others live in denial of that fact.  

I don't know if it is fear that keeps people from seeing the truth, but they do.  One of the most ridiculous things I heard since the death of Mr. Williams was a comparison of his death to that of a suicide bomber.  Yes, someone actually said that.  Insert primal scream here.  

The lack of compassion shown to people who are in trouble and are dealing with a darkness that is so severe it is almost impossible to explain, is nothing short of breathtaking.  You hear about how if you just let Jesus into your life that you will be healed.  Does Jesus heal cases of bone problems?  Does Jesus heal cases of juvenile diabetes, which isn't caused by behavioral issues, but strictly a genetic problem of not producing the needed amounts of insulin?  I am sure some will recall a story of someone they know who was healed, but many faithful people have medical problems that are directly related to their bodies over/under producing chemicals in their bodies, and therefore need medical care to deal with those problems.  

Mr. Williams was very open and honest about his problems with clinical depression.  He talked about it publicly many times.  That isn't an assertion, that is fact.  He was also very open about his drug and drinking problems that he suffered and found ways to overcome for decades.  Depression and substance abuse tend to go hand in hand.  People turn to substances to just feel a little relief, even if it is only briefly.  People with depression try to find all kinds of ways just to feel a little relief.  

I can't speak for what was going on in Mr. Williams' head on Monday.  I can only talk about what my experiences have been.  What I can tell you is that when I was seriously considering taking my own life, the one person I didn't think about was myself.  I thought about everyone but me.  I was not acting in a selfish way.  I was looking to not only stop the pain, but to no longer be the burden that I perceived myself as being.  I felt broken beyond repair.  That there was no hope that things would ever change for me.  That I was always going to be living in a very dark place that hurt.  I was in a closet that got smaller and smaller every day.  I felt like I could barely breathe most of the time.  I was only dragging the people who loved me down.  They would be better off without me.  They would actually thank me one day.  I was doing them, and the world, a favor.  

With what we know as public record of Mr. Williams and his problems, I would guess he didn't feel all that much different.  You see, it doesn't matter what you have, how famous you may be, how much you do or do not love Jesus, how many people you have that care about you, it matters what you feel on the inside.  In the places that most people can't see.  The deep recesses of your heart that most people are too afraid to talk about.  Those are things that matter.  Those are things that clinical depression rob you of.  Those are things that are warped in your pain and your turmoil.  You aren't being selfish, you are trying to find a solution to a problem that from your point of view has no end.  A problem that you are bringing into the lives of everyone else around you.  You are the cause for their discomfort.  You are the reason that they too can't enjoy life.  You become the reason that joy is being taken from them, and since you know exactly what that feels like, you just want it to end.  For everyone involved.  You too feel guilt and remorse.

Think about this the next time you tell a person who is suffering from depression to "get over it", or "it will get better", or one of my personal favorites, "others have it much worse than you do".  Yeah, I know that logically.  But logic and depression don't exist on the same plane.  Stop looking for logic in mental illness, it doesn't exist.  Reach out to the person.  Be there to listen to them talk about why they feel so bad without judgement.  Try and get them medical attention.  They may resist, but try anyway.  You may just save them from the fate that Mr. Williams was not able to pull himself away from.  Show true compassion to those feel that they don't deserve it.  Who feel that they aren't worthy of it.  

R.I.P Mr. Williams.  Thanks for laughs and the tears you brought into our lives with your career.  Thanks for the money you raised for children with cancer.  Thanks for entertaining our troops who were a long way from home and willing to die to protect our freedoms.  Find peace.  One can hope that your death will help educate at least one person on the dangers of mental illness and accept the fact that it is indeed an illness, not a choice.  

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Justina Speaks to Gov. Mike Huckabee - Video

This young woman is finally home where she belongs.  I am not big on lawsuits, but not only do I hope they sue, I hope they get a huge reward.  That way maybe the laws will change.  No family should be afraid to take their child for medical care.  Anyone that knows this story knows that unless the laws are changed, you should be afraid, very afraid.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Eric Cantor Out as Majority Leader

A simply stunning outcome last night in Virginia.  A house majority leader loses in his party's primary.  Something that has never happened in the history of our country.  I personally thought that Cantor didn't take the race seriously enough but would still win out in the end.  I was wrong.  He lost by more than ten points.  

But I will say that people who don't understand the ins and outs of Virginia politics are getting some things wrong.  On the national stage they are talking about how Brat won on the amnesty issue.  There may be some of that in there, but it certainly wasn't the entire reason.  Cantor's view on immigration is exactly like Lindsay Graham's and he won easily.  

In Virginia there is no party registration.  As such whenever there is a primary anyone can vote.  It is very easy for people in the other party to show up at the polls and place a vote for a candidate that is most likely to lose to their candidate of choice.  As such, there is great deal of back and forth about conventions vs. primaries within the local political debate.  Cantor firmly falls on the primary side of the debate.  An issue that I agree with him on.  I personally feel that primaries are the most inclusive and that conventions put some voters into the position of not getting their voices heard. But even that isn't all of the story.  There is a parliamentary rule in Virginia called slating.  In slating when you get 50% of your district to agree to use this rule only a certain amount of people are allowed to vote in a convention or committee meeting.  So if you don't happen to fall into the chosen few, even if you are willing to travel the convention you can't vote.  

Many in Virginia have very strong feelings about slating.  Most of which are highly negative.  I personally believe that this is the rule and those who know the rules of the game best win.  So I am not going to put people who like this practice down.  They are following the rules of the game.  If you don't like the rules, get yourself into position within the local committee to change them.  Complaining and calling others cheaters doesn't solve anything.  My main point here is that Cantor and his camp really upset many people by using these rules.  At least that is the impression that many have.  Heaven knows that, especially in politics, perception is reality.  

David Brat had no money.  He spent somewhere around $200,000 total on his campaign, whereas Cantor spent more than that on one dinner for his supporters.  But what he did have was very dedicated volunteers that literally knocked on every door in that district that was marked as a republican.  Again, there is no party registration in the state, but voting habits get you listed as a D or an R.  Brat also did get some much needed help from two conservative radio talk show hosts.  Mark Levin, who lives in Virginia, and Laura Ingraham, who lives in D.C.  Both of them had him on their show and Ingraham did at least one rally with him.  Both have large audiences and it seems it had at least a little bit of an effect. 

There also was the issue that many in his district felt that he didn't listen to them.  That he was no longer representing them, but looking towards being the Speaker of the House when Boehner decides to step down.  He was next in line.  I have heard many in his district say that they didn't get return calls or letters when they would contact his office.  They felt he lost touch with what his job was supposed to be; representing them not worrying about consolidating his own power.  He rarely spent time in his own district. Another big difference between he and Lindsay Graham. Graham is very well known for being excellent on being there to listen to his voters.  His staff is actually larger in his state than in D.C.. 

For those in the media that are saying he (Brat) is some sort of right winged lunatic it is going to be difficult to get that to stick.  Cantor labeled him as the liberal in the race.  Cantor campaigned on being the true conservative.   His policies are simply basic republican fare.  He campaigned on giving power back to the states, the amnesty issue and the rule of law, reducing our national debt, and reigning in out of control government.  There is nothing extreme about those views.  That is what the GOP is supposed to be for.  

Another very interesting part of this story is how Brat campaigned.  He actually stood up and talked policies instead of platitudes.  He never made personal attacks on Cantor.  Many in the media called him a joke based on this alone.  

I think that Brat has shown that people are hungry to be talked to like adults.  They can understand policy issues and they aren't all that interested in the personal ugly side of politics.  That of course isn't going to go away anytime soon because they do work.  But a small shift is happening.  

I had no dog in this fight.  I see both sides of Cantor staying and Cantor going.  Politics is much like a marriage; a series of compromises.  But when those compromises almost always walk away from the basic tenets of what the party is supposed to stand for, it may be time for a change in leadership.  Cantor went after the tea party quite publicly.  While no national Tea Party "group" gave Brat the time of day, the local activists took notice and put the work in to show him that they are still there and are expecting results.  

The district is pretty conservative and I personally find it a good thing that dems are going to pour money into that district.  It is less they can use on other races.  It isn't impossible for a dem to win in that district, but it seems this is lining up to be a republican wave year much like 2010 and it isn't likely that dems can take advantage of Cantor's demise.   

Friday, June 6, 2014

Bergdahl Classification Isn't What Matters - Don't Miss the Larger Picture

All over the media there is horror and consternation in regards to the Bergdahl return.  He is being called a traitor and I have seen many calls for the death penalty floating about.  You are missing the bigger picture here.  First and foremost, the military never classified Bergdahl as a deserter.  That makes a huge difference in how the military should behave in trying to find and free him.  The military had an obligation to do so.  Secondly, the bigger picture seems to be getting missed here.  President Obama broke the law in order to get his return.  It doesn't matter what the standing of the soldier is.  The law would be broken even if there were not serious questions about Bergdahl's actions.

Now from the media reports I have read the sequence of events in this "trade" is that a video was made in December of 2013.  The White House was made aware of the video the following month.  In this very short video (I believe it is under three minutes) it reportedly shows Bergdahl in bad health.  In the statements made by the administration, as well as the president himself, the narrative that they are using is that they saw that his health was deteriorating and knew something had to be done.  Does that make sense to you?
If his health was so dire why did they wait close to five months to do something about it?  If his health was the reason for the "prisoner swap" wouldn't they have done it in late January or early February?  This is one among many questions that must be answered.

Another one of the narratives that the White House is laying out there is the need for absolute secrecy.  Everyone knows that there are leaks coming out of Capitol Hill.  That can't be denied.  But this is also the same institution that knew about the bin Laden raid months in advance.  Nothing of that leaked.  One would like to think that members of congress take national security seriously.  There are many who look at Bergdahl as a traitor, some of those people are members of Capitol Hill.  But that doesn't mean that they would voluntarily risk the life of that man by leaking the information.  This is just a ginned up excuse that the administration is floating to direct attention away from the fact that he has clearly broken the law.  A law, I might add, that he signed.  It isn't like he wasn't aware that the law existed.  It seems like the touted Constitutional law professor has left those ideals behind.

This administration has emboldened the Taliban to take additional Americans hostages.  Not to mention many other rogue nations across the world such as North Korea, Iran, and a whole host of others.  We are now known for negotiating with terrorists.  We have crossed that line and there will be no going back.
Conservatives need to do themselves a favor and let the military justice system do what needs to be done and let them handle Bergdahl, we have much bigger fish to fry.

Impeachment must be discussed in this context.  I have never called for that before during the Obama administration because I don't think incompetence is grounds for impeachment.  But this is a situation where multiple laws were broken, our national security has been endangered, and our troops all over the world have had a target put on their backs forever more.  That should not be allowed to stand.  This is the fight we should be waging.  Bergdahl is only a small cog in the wheel.  Let the Department of Defense handle him.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Montel Williams Blasts Obama Administration on VA Scandal - Video

Williams is a former Marine, so this is personal to him.  From what I understand he is taking a great deal of heat going after the Obama administration.  After all, it isn't politically correct for a black man to speak out about the anointed one.


Friday, May 23, 2014

From the "You Can't Handle the Truth" Files - Mark Cuban Edition

"In this day and age, this country has really come a long way putting any type of bigotry behind us, regardless of who it's toward. We've come a long way, and with that progress comes a price. We're a lot more vigilant and we're a lot less tolerant of different views, and it's not necessarily easy for everybody to adapt or evolve.
I mean, we're all prejudiced in one way or another. If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it's late at night, I'm walking to the other side of the street. And if on that side of the street, there's a guy that has tattoos all over his face -- white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere -- I'm walking back to the other side of the street. And the list goes on of stereotypes that we all live up to and are fearful of. So in my businesses, I try not to be hypocritical. I know that I'm not perfect. I know that I live in a glass house, and it's not appropriate for me to throw stones."
So says Mark Cuban to Inc. Magazine in an answer to question about his upcoming vote in the NBA and the Sterling saga.  

Of course yet another firestorm has emerged from these statements.  Somehow this is becoming about Trayvon Martin. I suppose the Martin family have some sort trademark on the word Hoodie now.   To the point that Cuban has issued an apology to the Martin Family:
“In hindsight, I should have used different examples.  I didn’t consider the Trayvon Martin family and I apologize to them for that. Beyond apologizing to the Martin family, I stand by the words and the substance of the interview.”
There is nothing that Cuban said that is untrue.  The problem is that in today's society the truth is no longer valued.  What a sad state of affairs that is.  

We are human beings.  As such we all have frailties.  We all make judgements every single day about people we see out in public.  We do that for safety purposes.  If you are on a first date and that person rubs you the wrong way due to any number of reasons, you are making a judgement not to have a second date.  How you dress for a job interview can, and likely will, make a difference in if you are going to get a job offer or not.  Do you honestly believe that a law firm is going to hire someone who shows up in flip-flops and cut off jeans shorts?  Not likely.  Fair or not fair, it is the way it is.  

I will be the first to admit that if I was walking down the street in the dark and I saw someone with a hoodie on, I would think twice.  It has nothing to do with the color of their skin, but the fact that they are trying to hide their face from view.  I would wonder why.  If I saw some big burly man that had wild tattoos all over I would also feel a little fearful.  The same way a black person would feel fearful if they saw a person walking down the road in a KKK hood.  Heck, in fact I would be fearful if I saw someone in a KKK garb and I am not black.  In my mind someone wearing that is someone worth being fearful of.  It is going to set off red flags in my mind.  A swastika is another fearful sign to me.  Does that make me a racist?  

Another thing that I am fearful of is neighborhoods with high crime rates.  I lived just outside of DC for almost two decades.  I didn't go to certain neighborhoods unless it was absolutely necessary.  To me that is common sense and has nothing to do with skin color.   I would feel the same way regardless of skin color of the majority of people living in that neighborhood.  

We must talk about these issues instead of labeling someone a racist.  Which of course is exactly what happened to Mark Cuban once this interview went viral:

From twitter:
Mark Cuban is racist. If I see him walking down the street I’m walking on the other side [because] I’m scared of him.”
This from Michelle Obama:
No matter what you do, the point is to never be afraid to talk about these issues, particularly the issue of race, because even today, we still struggle to do that. This issue is so sensitive, so complicated, so bound up with a painful history.
 And we need your generation to help us break through – we need all of you to ask the hard questions and have the honest conversations because that is the only way we will heal the wounds of the past and move forward to a better future.
She may have said it a little differently, but ultimately the context is the same.  We must talk about these issues.  We must face our own biases and prejudices in order to deal with them and overcome them.  We all have them.  Even if it is as simple as our political views.  Many in this country put the democrat in a certain box, put the republican in certain box.  Very few people fit neatly in the boxes that they get stuffed in.  

Telling the truth shouldn't be as controversial as it has become these days.  At this point in history we should be able to handle the truth that people carry stereotypes with them in life.  That virtually all people see certain things in their life and respond in ways that can be conceived as negative.  We make judgements based on how one is dressed.  We make judgements based on the neighborhoods that one lives in.  We make judgements on what type of work someone does.  It is only when we acknowledge these judgements and yes talk about them openly that we can finally break through the barriers of our preconceived notions that we all carry.   

In 2014 we should be able to handle the truth.  

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Welcome to Conservatism Whoopi Goldberg

Not that she realizes she did this, but Ms. Goldberg made the conservative talking point about the welfare system during a discussion with Dr. Ben Carson on The View yesterday.  
"As a former welfare mother, very few people want to be on welfare. Very few want to walk with their kids and take food stamps. Most people would rather work. I don't feel bad about being a welfare mother because I contribute as an American - that's what we do. And because the welfare system is so bizarre, you can't work, they don't allow you to work because they take the money from you. So if we fix the system so that it doesn't hurt the people, maybe it'll get better."
How long have conservatives been saying this?  For decades that is how long.  Now I will concede the point that some on the right disparage people who take from entitlement programs.  I am not among them.  I go after the system, not the people themselves.  The system is broken.  It isn't designed to help people.  It entraps them therefore keeping them in poverty.  

As long as the system stays the way it is currently set up we will continue to have the same problems plaguing it.  For instance the food stamps program is currently set up so that if you make even one dollar above the max amount you lose everything.  That tells people that taking a better job that pays $100 more per month is actually going to cost you everything you get in food stamps.  If your food bill is over that amount, which the prices of groceries today being what they are, you can't afford to buy food.  

The only true answer to help people find their way off entitlement programs is to pro-rate the benefits.  This way a person who can slowly move their way up the ladder in the workforce isn't afraid of taking that better paying position. Today they are.  

On this Whoppi and I agree.  The problem is most liberals say you are dissing the poor when you talk about these things.  You are trying to starve poor children.  You hate minorities.  Or whatever other insult they will hurl at you that particular day.  I am not against all entitlement programs.  I think safety nets are necessary when people hit hard times.  What I don't like is a system that doesn't give you a way out once you hit those hard times.  

I believe that people should be able to find better jobs without the fear of homelessness or lack of food.  But the current system isn't designed to do that.  

I doubt that Ms. Goldberg realizes that she has a conservative view point on the welfare system, but she does.  Welcome to the right Whoopi.   I know you don't think you belong here, but your view point is more conservative than you think.  

Some Need To Turn In Their Limited Government Card - Laws to Prevent "Saggy Pants" Popping Up

I have been reading about different localities passing ordinances that will fine people for wearing "saggy" pants.  One such locality in Tennessee has gone as far as saying they present a health threat, therefore must be stopped.  Now, what health threat that would be hasn't been made clear and I have this feeling it never will.

I can't stand the look.  I can't even really put into words how much I hate seeing people's boxer shorts when I am out and about living my life.  But, that doesn't mean that I want to see people ticketed and fined for their lack of fashion sense.

What I find so fascinating about it is how many people on the right are cheering this notion.  Really?  You want the government to tell people what they can and cannot wear out in public?  You think that is limited government?

If we are going to start telling people what they can and cannot wear when they leave their homes, we no longer live in a free society.  Now, if a business wants to put up a sign saying that they have a certain dress code in order to enter their establishment, that is another story.  They are free to do so and the free market will decide if that hurts their business or not.  But to say that the simple act of walking your dog on a public street requires a dress code is a bridge too far in my view.

What is next?  I mean I think the science is pretty clear that high heels can and do cause damage to women's feet.  Will they be outlawed?  Do you really want the government to tell you that you are not allowed to wear that four inch spiked heal that makes your little black dress look complete?  I don't think so.  I personally can't wear high heals anymore, but back in my younger days I wore them all the time.  I could even run in them back in the day.  My feet, my choice.  Another look that I can't stand is how bra straps are now somehow fashion.  If we are going to outlaw saggy pants I think want bra straps showing to be illegal too.  It is just as ugly.

People should have the right to dress like an idiot if they want to.  As I said I hate this look, but in reality they aren't showing anything that shouldn't be seen in public.  They are covered.  It really is no different than some women wearing a sheer shirt with a tank underneath, and plenty of women do wear that look out in public.

In a free society people are going to do and wear things that you don't like.  It isn't the place of the government to tell us how to dress.  For those on the right that think these laws are a good thing, please turn in your limited government card on your way out.  You don't really believe it, you just use it to further your own agenda of the government telling us how to live our lives.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Collectivism Rears Its Ugly Head - Honors Night Cancelled in Rhode Island School

A middle school in East Greenwich, Rhode Island has cancelled the time honored tradition of "Honors Night".  It might hurt the feelings of some:
“members of the school community have long expressed concerns related to the exclusive nature of Honors Night,” 
Isn't that the point?  I mean really.  The honor roll is for students that worked hard and achieved a certain grade point average.  At least that is what I always led to believe.  I guess it has changed since I left school. Oh, but have no fear the students will indeed get their moment in the sun with "team based" recognition during graduation ceremonies.   
“This will afford us the opportunity to celebrate the individual and collective successes of all students and their effort, progress, and excellence,”
What I would like to know is did the collective do the homework and studying for the students that were able to make the honor roll this year?  If not, aren't they get recognized for something that they didn't actually do?  

This collective nonsense is killing this country.  We are not preparing students for the real world.  When you out looking for a job, it isn't a team.  It is you.  When you are out working that job, it is your work ethic that will make a difference in your pay scales, your job titles, and all else that goes with working in the real world.  Even if you are in a "team" environment, you still have to pull your own weight or you will get kicked to the curb.  Do you think if you are working in job that has this collective work environment that your "teammates" are going to be happy if they are working overtime to get the job done and you are walking out at five minutes to five?  Not likely.  

This school is teaching these children that their hard work doesn't really matter.  That is what we are teaching children in schools these days?  No wonder our education system is failing.   

The Shepard/Sally Divorce and Feminism

Social media is all a flutter over the impending divorce and custody case of The View's Sheri Shepard and Lamar Sally.  Sally filed for legal separation and shortly thereafter filed for not only divorce, but custody of the child that is currently unborn and being carried by a surrogate mother.  By getting custody he will likely receive (and rightly so, I might add) child support.  Many women are calling foul.  He is just some gold digger after her money.

Apparently they did sign a prenup and in case of divorce in the first five years of marriage (they have only been married about three years) he gets very little of her income or assets.  But this is something that happens all the time with women who marry successful men who have assets and money that are larger than their own.   Women file for divorce and expect large sums of money in spousal support.  I know a man who is divorced and his former wife wanted monthly spousal support, the house, the kids, as well as child support.  They made virtually the same income so why would he have to pay spousal support?  In the end she didn't get spousal support, but she did get everything else she asked for and then went off to start a new life with the man she cheated with.

If women are looking for equal treatment, than this should actually be celebrated not mocked.  She knew he made less money than her when she married him.  She knew she had assets that greatly exceeded his.  This was a choice that she made.  No one forced her down the aisle.

I get really tired of hearing from women that all they want is be treated equally to men then have the nerve to call foul when that is exactly what happens.  Women marry for money all the time.  We have seen it over and over again.  When the marriage ends, they expect large amounts of cash from the guy to continue the "lifestyle they have become accustomed" to.  Look at some of these celebrity/sports divorces and the very large settlements that women get.  Yet, that isn't what we are hearing in this case:
“In Sally’s case he is pathetic and not what I would classify as a MAN! Where is his damn money? She made her money now he wants hers. Spousal support, he is a punk!”
I didn't hear women saying things like that when Elin Woods left Tiger and received a large settlement.  Granted he was cheating on her (and yes that is an understatement for his behavior), but in most states divorce is no fault, so that doesn't matter.  When Jerry Hall divorced Mick Jagger she is estimated at getting $25 million, this is a woman who had a very successful modeling career and made her own money.  She was far from a pauper.

This is equality folks.  Divorce is ugly and money almost always becomes an issue.  Whomever the main breadwinner is the other spouse is going to be looking to get their hands on it.  If women want true equality stop complaining that men who marry, then divorce women, who are more well off than them are doing the same thing that women have been doing for generations.  This is exactly what feminism has called for.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

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