Tag Archives: politics

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Boston city hall

Boston city hall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DOMA Justice Rally

I will be attending the Historic DOMA Justice Rally in Boston, MA and hope all my friends and supporters will join me, in Boston or at your local capital!  Here’s the details for Boston:

Government Center, Boston City Hall Flag Pole
3pm March 26th
Starting on the 26th, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider two cases about the freedom to marry. These two cases – which concern the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8 – are fundamentally about whether gay and lesbian Americans can enjoy the same freedoms and opportunities as everyone else.
Here’s the Facebook Page for the MassEquality Boston Rally:  https://www.facebook.com/events/218929384898397/

Lively Hate for Gays and Strippers

 

Downtown Springfield, MA

Sometimes I don’t want to be right, but I predicted this one.  My local whack job, Scott Lively, is now claiming credit for the gas line explosion that blew up a strip club in my city, Springfield, MA.  Apparently, the utility worker that accidentally hit the gas line was doing God’s work in trying to blow up himself and a bunch of police officers and firefighters.  I wonder what good ole Scott (Defend the Family of Abiding Truth Ministries) and his Holy Grounds Coffee House will pray for next for Springfield.  It hasn’t even been two years yet since he told the Boston Globe that he is “toning down his antigay rhetoric and shifting his focus to helping the downtrodden.” Does that means he is willing to let hundreds of now homeless people crash at his house?  Is he willing to give all of those unemployed exotic dancers well-paying jobs in his ministry?  Well, why not?  His manager was a convicted pedophile.  And he lived ABOVE the coffee house.  Oh wait!  That’s right!  Scott “didn’t know.”  And even if he had known, he said, “That’s the beauty of the salvation of Christ.  When you come to Jesus Christ, and you accept his forgiveness for your sins, then you are forgiven by Him and enter a new life. It doesn’t surprise me that he had a rough past, that he has a criminal record.”  Maybe it doesn’t surprise him because he has his own checkered past, as an alcoholic and drug addict who hitchhiked across the US (doing who knows what) until he found God in an evangelical church.  Maybe he should have tried AA first!

 

 

So anyway, back to caring for the downtrodden… That must be what he was doing when he asked everyone to pray, “Finally Lord, we pray that you would destroy the works of Satan in this city [Springfield, MA] and ask you demolish them in such a way that it is clearly by your hand alone and not the works of men, saving the people but destroying the institutions that have set themselves against your truth.”  I guess he didn’t like that God sent a utility worker to blow up the strip club, as it is not apparent enough that it was God’s work.

 

 

I just can’t get over how crazy this guy is.  Well, at least he is not saying I am bisexual because I had sex with demons in my dreams.  Well, not yet, anyway…  And the guy is seriously considering running for governor!

 

 

 

 

Show Some Respect!

English: Flag of the United States of America ...

Flag of the United States of America (Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons)

Okay, I have decided that it is time for another one of my rants. So you have been forewarned.

Personally, I am so sick and tired of all of the disrespect floating around the Internet. Especially on Facebook. Now admittedly I don’t spend a lot of time on other social networking sites, so it is possible that the disrespect is just as bad on those sites. However, it is specifically the Facebook posts that get to me the most.

What disrespect are you talking about? I know that’s what you’re asking. All one has to do is read all of the pictures, postings, statuses, videos, and so on to see the disrespect. Come on! How can you miss it?

Specifically, I am referring to the disrespect perpetuated by the far right who are upset about the election outcome. This has manifested in a slew of pictures being posted on the Internet of upside down United States flags. I am politically independent, so I have been able to let most of it go. But I can only take so much.

Both of my parents are veterans of wars. I have many uncles who served in the military. My father even gave up his kidney for the war. He was bayoneted in the kidney by a Japanese soldier during World War II. My mother served in the military for 23 years, and continued to serve by working for the civil-service after she retired from the military, and she currently works for the VA. That is a lifetime of dedication to the United States of America.

I, personally, take it as disrespectful to see the American flag flipped upside down, whether it is on someone’s profile picture or it is a picture of a McDonald’s with an upside down flag. I don’t care if it was a flagpole malfunction. It is disrespectful either way.  I’m not fond of the flag with Obama’s face on it either, by the way.

The second thing that gets me all riled up is the disrespect shown to the President of the United States. I understand that people are upset that Romney didn’t win. I understand that people are upset that Obama did win. The fact of the matter is, Obama did win. The fact of the matter is, he is and will continue to be for another four years, the President of United States. The most powerful man in the world. Show the man the respect he deserves. I don’t want to hear about people wanting to punch him in the face. I don’t want to hear about people threatening to kill him. As far as I’m concerned, both of those actions mean that the people who say them deserve to be thrown in jail. Show some frickin’ respect people!

If you don’t like this country, you can move. You can move to Canada where they have socialized medicine, legalized gay marriage, and 45% of their population is atheistic. Or you can self deport to Mexico. I don’t really care. But I do care about what you do to our flag and what you say about our President.

I’m So Tired

Vote for me!

Vote for me! (Photo credit: cheerfulmonk)

 

Yes, I am tired.  I’m tired of this Presidential Election. I’m tired of the negative ads. I can’t fathom how these people plan to work together after the election is over. I’m tired of the automated phone calls. I won’t even answer the phone if my contact list does not recognize the number. I’m tired of the glossy campaign ads clogging my mailbox. We could start saving the environment by eliminating those eyesores and recycling bin fillers. I’m tired of everyone talking about what I should and shouldn’t do – in my spiritual life, with my body, in my job, in my bedroom, and with my vote.

 

Let’s spend our time cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy. Let’s spend our time figuring out how to get people back to work, turn the power back on, start an intelligent conversation about equality.

 

Tomorrow morning, we will all wake up and we will have elected a different government than we have now.  What will we have accomplished?  Staying up late and making us even more tired.

 

I’m going to bed.  I’m tired.  G’night.

 

 

Let’s Go Back to Being American

united states currency seal - IMG_7366_web

united states currency seal – IMG_7366_web (Photo credit: kevindean)

The US Election Day is finally upon us.  Boy, will I be happy when it is over.  No more political ads.  No more mud-slinging.  No more lies.  No more accusations.  I hope we go back to being a United country, where we are all bound by a common thread – being American.  Not the kind of American that judges others.  Not the kind of American that says their beliefs are better than others’ beliefs.  Not the kind of American that thinks their rights are more important than the well-being of others.  Not the kind of American that tries to force their beliefs, their religion, their judgments on others.  Let’s face it, bipartisanship is never going to happen in politics.  Not really.  But that doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that we show bipartisanship in our daily lives.  That we show each other love, and kindness, and understanding.  That we cross the divide – whether that is the divide of race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, occupation, nationality, locale, you name it.  Let’s show each other love and compassion, and help our fellow man… and woman.  Instead of looking at pictures of the devastation in NJ and NY and other places and just counting ourselves lucky, let’s lend a helping hand.  If not directly to them, then to others, even in our own neighborhoods, schools, and businesses.  Give someone a helping hand, or your spare change, or your shoulder to cry on.  That’s the American spirit I miss.  Where is the love?

Foreign Policy in the United States

Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney in Denver Presiden...

Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney in Denver Presidential Debate (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

The third 2012 Presidential Debate is about to start, and the topic this time is supposed to be foreign policy.  Skeptic that I am, I have serious doubts that as many Americans will tune in as did for the past two.  Or if they do, they may quickly tune out.  Or change the channel to the Cardinals – Giants game, or the Lions – Bears game.

Why?  Well, basically because the rest of the world is right.  We are self-centered and arrogant.  One has only to turn on an American newscast to see that we only know about something happening in the world if it involves or affects us.  I have to watch BBC World to find out what is really going on in the rest of the world. So, tonight we learn about the foreign policy of each candidate.  Well, we learn about Romney’s foreign policy, as we already know Obama‘s.  I think most people need to realize that it ultimately doesn’t matter what the President thinks about foreign policy.  What it boils down to is that they always listen to the military Generals.

Foreign policy can be defined as, “a policy pursued by a nation in its dealings with other nations,designed to achieve national objectives.” (dictionary.com)  In layman’s terms, that means we always do whatever is necessary to protect our interests.  Foreign policy really doesn’t have anything to do with being the protector of the little guy, or the nice big brother, or the equalizer for justice.  It has to do with utilizing our military in a manner that will keep the US as king of the mountain.  Sometimes that even makes us the bully of the world.

I don’t want you to think that I am anti-USA or anything.  I personally believe we have an obligation, as the big brother of the world, to be the champion against other bullies.  I like that economic sanctions seem to be working against Iran – to get them to come to the negotiations.  But let’s not kid ourselves.  We wouldn’t want to talk to Iran about their nuclear program if there wasn’t something in it for us.

My belief is that we need to stop talking about foreign policy, and start talking about world policy.  With our global economy and technological innovations, the entire world is within our reach.  I believe it is our responsibility to make the world a better place for EVERYONE.  We need to start talking about what we are going  to do for the world, not what we are going to do to keep our standing in the world.  The thing about big brothers is that when the little brothers and sisters grow up, they often fight back.

 

Sea Creatures and Political Monsters

An illustration from the original edition of T...

Giant Squid Illustration from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

I am so disappointed to find that scientists did not discover a new sea monster this week.  Yes, that’s right.  That giant eye is believed to have come from a swordfish.  Apparently, they can grow up to 1,400 lbs, so finding an eye that large is not completely unlikely.  Not that I would want to have that thing on the end of my fishing pole.  It would take hours to reel in, and as beautiful as that deep blue is, it would still creep me out.

As much as I would like to continue discussing that big, blue eye, there are other pressing matters that draw my attention.  Of course, there is the Presidential campaign and debates.  People spend entirely too much time discussing what each person is and is not saying or doing, or has and has not said and done in the past.  There is so much mud-slinging out there, I have wondered how bad it would be to go live with that 1,400 lb, one-eyed sea monster that is probably a swordfish.

However, since I can’t do that, I am going to rant about an issue no one seems to be raising:  Campaign Spending!

No matter what is said in the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates, I just can’t wrap my head around the amount of money spent on the two major campaigns combined.  Just this month, Romney’s campaign has raised over $170 million and Obama’s campaign raised $181 million last month.  According to the New York Times, by July, the two parties had already spent over $1.1 billion.

Since the landmark decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, corporations and wealthy individuals pretty much have carte blanche through super PACs to do anything they want for their chosen candidates.  I’m not even referring to the smaller donations of people like film director and producer J. J. Abrams ($50,000 to Obama’s Priorities USA) or Chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems, Inc. John Chambers ($50,000 to Romney’s Restore Our Future).  It’s the people and corporations at the top of the lists that really boggle my mind.  Priorities USA shows 16 donors over $1 million and up to $2 million, including heads of large corporations, philanthropists, and unions.  Restore Our Future shows 20 donors between $1 million and $2 million, as well as two $5 million donors and one $8 million donor.

I know these numbers are becoming commonplace in politics, but let’s take a look at what else this money could buy.  To keep things simple, let’s work with $2 billion, which is less than what the two parties have spent so far on this campaign.

Using the Federal Net Calculator, a Massachusetts resident at Holyoke Community College (a modestly priced, 2-year community college near my city) can expect to pay about $40,000 (total, over the course of the two years) for tuition, fees, books, supplies, health insurance, and indirect expenses of transportation, clothing, and other daily expenses, including food and lodging.  (The cost would be slightly higher for out-of-state students.)  This means that $2 billion would buy 50,000 Associates degrees.

In that same city of Holyoke, the average starting salary for a teacher is between $18,808 and $28, 212.  Yes, you read those numbers right.  I don’t know of many places in the country, let alone in Massachusetts, where $28,212, let alone $18,808 is not considered dirt poor.  Families and children are defined as poor if family income is below the federal poverty threshold. The federal poverty level for a family of four with two children was $22,350 in 2011, and it is generally accepted that a family needs twice the poverty level to meet basic needs.  That means $44,700 is needed to meet basic needs for a family of four.  That means that the average starting salary for a teacher in Holyoke is $16,488 – $25,892 short.  $2 billion would raise the income of over 94,000 teachers to a living wage level.

I could go on and on with the comparisons, but I think you get the point.  When are we, the American people, going to say “Enough!” to the smear campaigns that do nothing but waste money that could be better spent?  When are we going to demand that our organizations and our wealthy donate their money to make a direct difference in people’s lives, rather than a direct difference in the lives of their favorite politicians?  Oh wait, that’s right, that’ll never happen.  Well, it was a good thought for a moment, anyway… Think I’ll go live with the squid…

English: Number in Poverty and Poverty Rate: 1...

English: Number in Poverty and Poverty Rate: 1959 to 2009. United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)