Archive for the 'political' Category

The one where I don’t get into politics

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

You all know that I’m not afraid to get into controversial subjects when the mood strikes.  I’ve declared my opinion on several hot button topics at different times.  I’m sure some people were waiting for a rant on the Palin issue.  A rant about how unfair it is that everyone is saying she needs a make over or how no one is questioning Obama’s ability to be a good father while running the country or whatever else might strike my fancy that day.  When no rant appeared many of you probably thought I was too busy or tired to put together a post or to give it much thought.  That isn’t entiredly incorrect.  But mostly?  Those things don’t matter to me.  I am so tired of reading threads on message boards about what kind of mother Palin is or what her religious practices are or if she has shot a moose.  I have said repeatedly in those venues and will repeat it here:  I don’t care.

Palin’s ability to be a mother while being the vice president isn’t any of my business.  That is an issue for her family to address.  I don’t care what her hair style is.  Also not concerned about her shooting moose.  And as long as we continue to have a separation of church and state in this country (I won’t start a rant on how this has been erroded under the reign of the current king president), I don’t care what religion she practices.  I care only about her politics, her experience, and her ability to assist in running the country.  If someone has solid information about her supposedly wanting to ban a long list of books when she was mayor, I’m all ears (and willing to rant at length).  But I’m tired of the conversations that have nothing to do with the issues at hand.

For a variety of reasons, I will not be casting a vote in favor of her ticket in November but I assure you it isn’t because I’m concerned her kids might not get enough mommy time.

Now can someone tell me who taught my oldest daughter to say “mommymommymommy” 37 times in a row without taking a breath while tugging on my shirt tail?  Because that is an issue with relavence today.

Now with extra mushy hormones!

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

I heart NPR most of the time.  It is one of the few things I miss about commuting to work (that and the after work cigarette…don’t judge me – obviously I’m not indulging in that habit anymore).  Yesterday after a quick doctor visit, a not so quick errand, a trip to the clearance section of a bookstore, and a fast sprint through Old Navy maternity to see if there might be shorts that wouldn’t cut off my circulation when I sit down and cover my now scary thighs (there weren’t), I ran to the grocery store.  I had NPR on and had to stay in the car to listen to the rest of this story about couples getting marriage licenses in California yesterday.  The story was full of love and hope and people who had been waiting for a long time to be allowed to get married.

I know a lot of people don’t just disagree with same sex marriage but think it will cause the downfall of our civilization.  I just can’t wrap my head around the thinking.  With all of the ugliness and violence in the world, can’t we all just celebrate and appreciate love where it is found?  Two women, ages 87 and 83, who have loved one another for over 50 years, finally got married yesterday.  People marched outside carrying signs with hateful messages (“God hates Lying Sinners”  wow they grew up learning about a very different God than I did).  Why is that something that would cause anyone a moment of anger or upset?  They didn’t ask God to sanction the marriage – just the mayor.  (Although I don’t believe that God or any higher power would frown upon finding love in this world – but that is my own personal belief.)

As I sat in the car listening to these couples talk about their joy and excitement over being able to plan weddings and marriages, I found myself with tears in my eyes.  I find it so touching to hear that kind of happiness – regardless if the voices are male and female or male and male.  I was so happy for them all only to find myself dismayed to hear that they all have to fear for the status of their unions when voters in California vote on a state constitutional amendment this fall banning same sex marriage.  It makes me angry that there are horrible things happening in our world: hunger, abuse, abandoned children, violence,  homelessness, disease, and on and on but the thing that many people choose to spend their energy fighting against?  Love.

What were they thinking?

Monday, June 16th, 2008

I’ve read about these things on several blogs as well as in the news.  I’m a little late to the party, as usual these days, but these items have stuck in my head since I originally read them.

First, Fox News used this graphic during a story about Michelle Obama:

Yes, they called her Obama’s Baby Mama – which is a somewhat derogatory slang phrase considering they are married and were married when they had their children. Fox stated that the producer used “poor judgment” in using that phrase. Really? Just poor judgment? The person who created the graphic and the person who approved its use should be fired. Fox is known for its conservative slant but apparently now they’ve just given up any appearance of unbiased journalism.

The next one makes me even angrier. A kindergarten teacher had all of the students in her class say what they didn’t like about another student’s behavior and then vote whether or not he could stay. The students call him “annoying” and “disgusting” and voted him out of the class. A 5 year old had to endure this – can you imagine what this will do to his self esteem? The child is in the process of being evaluated on the autism spectrum and the teacher was fully aware of this – not that a diagnosis should make a difference in this case. The teacher admitted to doing this and said it was because she wanted this 5 year old to know how his behavior effected his peers. Really? You think that is the most effective way? Allowing other 5 year olds to say mean and hurtful things and vote him off the island? The woman shouldn’t be allowed to teach children.

I do remember seeing on Debbie’s blog a link to send a card to the child if you are so inclined.

Tolerance

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Two things that I read on line this weekend have been taking up some of my thoughts off line. (Getting all political on a Monday morning…might want to sit down.)

The first is the shitstorm Johnson & Johnson created when they tried to do something nice for some mommy bloggers. Unfortunately, they didn’t execute the idea so well. Who invites mommy bloggers for 3 weekdays of pampering with no kids allowed? Not a lot of moms can get away from their kids and/or jobs for 3 weekdays. And due to some misunderstandings they dis-invited a few bloggers. But a very nice thought on their part…perhaps next time they will ask some mommy bloggers to help with the planning so they can avoid a nice thing turning into bad PR. For some reason, this little train wreck fascinated me a little.

The second was a situation on a message board I sometimes visit. It tends to be a support, warm and fuzzy place. As is true in the real world, I find that my beliefs don’t always align with others on the board but differences make the world more interesting. There was a thread that started with a discussion of a psychological study recently published. Certainly no one was casting any opinions about the validity of the study – just discussing general thoughts about the findings. One person expressed her disdain for psychology and psychologists, stated that only Christians should attempt to counsel people, and cited both Rush and Dr. Laura. She also used descriptives such as liberal (check), divorced (check), studied psychology (check), and lesbian (okay so no check here – not that there is anything wrong with that) as negatives. Anyone who knows me in real life, probably could guess that invoking the name of Rush or Dr. Laura (you all know she isn’t a doctor of anything right? Her degree is in physiology and isn’t a PhD) is like waving a red cape at a bull – using both could induce an aneurysm. I didn’t start a debate with the person for a variety of reasons: I like and respect the woman who runs the board, I’m not likely to change anyone’s mind, and she didn’t seem open to the opinions of others.

The point of all of that is this: I wonder sometimes if I am in the minority. I believe strongly in many things. I am not likely to change my views on those things. But I can usually see where the other side is coming from even if I disagree with them. I find that so many people dismiss those who disagree with them as ignorant. After hearing why people believe things I sometimes think that – but it is their reasoning, not their belief that leads me to that conclusion. Others feel that people who disagree on fundamental issues must be inherently bad or morally corrupt – they just can’t fathom that viewing the world from a different perspective doesn’t make someone bad or immoral. Differences keep the world interesting.

I am 100% pro-choice – despite the joy adoption has brought to my life. Always have been, always will be. I understand the argument of the other side – I can totally see where they are coming from. I just don’t agree with the premise that the government can or should legislate personal issues like that one. I don’t think people who disagree are ignorant (well except maybe W…but for very different reasons).

I am 100% anti-death penalty. Do I lose sleep when someone like Ted Bundy is executed? Not really. But I believe it is wrong for several basic reasons. 1) Practically speaking, it costs more to try a death penalty case and execute a prisoner than to keep him alive in prison for the rest of his life. 2) State mandated murder sends the wrong message. 3) It doesn’t deter violent crime. An eye for an eye doesn’t work. Countries and states which has abolished the death penalty have not seen a rise in violent crime. 4) No take-backsies. If someone screws up, you can’t undo it. BUT I can see where the other side is coming from emotionally. I just disagree. I don’t think people who believe in the death penalty are evil (well except maybe W…but for very different reasons).

I believe gay marriage should be legal. I have 2 issues with the argument against making it legal. The first is the religious side. The God/Higher Power I believe in celebrates love and joy – in all of its forms. The second is legal. We have a mandated separation of church and state in this country. I don’t argue that religion should sanction gay marriage so much as I argue that there is no legal reason that marriage must be defined as between a man and a woman. This is religion influencing where it shouldn’t. This is the government trying to legislate what it views as morality – which is not the job of the government. I understand why people want to do this but have a harder time sympathizing here. (And W is still an evil moron…and this is one of the reasons – a constitutional amendment?!?)

Anyway, the point of this rambling post was to talk about tolerance. I know the majority of my readers will disagree with each and every one of my opinions on those political issues. I’ve heard your slightly right leanings out there – but I love you anyway. We’ve all gotten along for this long…can’t we celebrate differences and enjoy the expanding of our horizons? Doesn’t it make life more interesting?

Are you able to see the other side of hot button issues or do you feel blinded by your complete belief in something that you have trouble appreciating the other side of things?

As always, respectful debate is welcome.

Mortgages and cravings

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

First, kudos to my hubby.  He finally fell victim to having to run around to satisfy one of my cravings.  I really wanted a meatball sub and the first place he went didn’t have them so he drove way out of his way to go to another place that had them.  Of course, the second place didn’t have them either and I had to settle for something else but I feel bad for making him run around.  Thank you honey.

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Second, I’m curious what others think of this.   The government has set up what has turned out to be an inadequate program to assist all of these people who are defaulting as their adjustable rate mortgages keep adjusting upwards.  There is now a call out for more help.

Should our tax money be spent to assist people to keep homes?  Will it help the economy to keep some of these loans from going into default?  Is it their fault for getting an adjustable rate mortgage if they couldn’t afford it when the interest rate rose even though no one would have predicted they would be rising at this crazy pace?  Should the government provide a safety net to protect the borrowers and the lenders?

I’m of two minds about this.  I can see both sides.  The social worker in me wants to see these people keep their homes.  I don’t want to see families lives ruined because they didn’t understand the ramifications of taking on too much house at an adjustable rate mortgage.  And there are also people, like us, who bought our house relatively recently and are forced to sell it for less than it was worth a few short years ago.  Many people can’t make up the difference between sale price and debt.  But as a tax payer who is sickened by the trillions of dollars in national debt, part of me doesn’t want to pour money into a program to bail people out of a situation they got themselves into.

Which side of the fence are you on?  I am obviously straddling it.


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