Category: Political


photo (4)The government is shut down, we are in total debt crisis mode, no one likes congress, Cruz and Palin are the epitome of crazy-pants, and Obama apparently needs to put down the Quran. What a mess.

Since you asked…. what is my solution?

1. Term limits for Senate/House. Why? Because there is like a 9% approval rating and 90% re-election. This happens because districts/states have pretty consistent voters. For example, where I live: Illinois is almost always going to vote democrat. Lake County Illinois is almost always going to vote republican. It is very hard for an incumbent to lose an election when the person running against him/her is the opposite of what the state/district wants. Limit them to 2-3 terms! That way, they won’t be so motivated about getting re-elected or what their ‘party’ thinks. They may just vote for what is ‘right’. And, worse case scenario- they are gone in a couple years.

2. Set amounts for campaigns. I think the single best way to keep money corruption out of politics is to allow everyone the same amount of money for their campaigns. They still have to raise the money themselves, but this way it doesn’t just allow the richest candidate to win (or the candidate with the richest supporters). Not sure what the number should be, maybe $1 million for congress, and $4 million for president. I know this sounds crazy, but we need way less money in politics. This day and age, 90% of publicity is free! News, Internet, Social Media, etc. is cheap. We have a ridiculous deficit, people starving in our streets, and yet we are spending billions on campaigns. No more I say! Oh, and, you can’t keep the left over money from your campaign. That’s just crazy.

3. Three month election season. That’s right, no more 18 month political nightmares. You get three months. If you can’t get your message across in 3 months, you don’t deserve to be in office. Like I said above, with the speed of news, internet, twitter, etc. you don’t need time or money. You need a good message. 3 months, 3 debates (where you actually have to answer the questions), and done.

4. Once you lose, you have to play nice. The people voted for what they wanted. If you lose, you don’t get to pout in the corner until you get your way. It is your responsibility, your duty, to cooperate for the betterment of the country you vowed to serve. Admitting that you are going to stand in the way of progress should be considered treason! It is one thing to debate and negotiate, but if all we do is fight, only our most susceptible citizens suffer.

5. No more using ‘God’ as your reason for anything. You love Jesus? Great! I’m very happy for you. But, we have separation of church and state. You don’t get to use Christianity as your reason for political decisions. Morals, yes. Jesus, no. And, for the love of God (see what I did there), no saying that our founding fathers established this a christian nation. That is the opposite of true. Lastly, you can’t talk about your love for Jesus while condemning our poor, hating our gays, and killing human beings in war. WWJD?

6. No passing laws that don’t apply to the politicians that passed the law. For example, you want to drug test your welfare recipients, you need to pass one too. You suspend worker’s pay in a government shut down, your’s gets suspended too. You want to hold teachers accountable for their work, you need to be accountable for yours.

7. Being a congressmen should not make you rich. You should not vote to give yourself a raise. You should not get a life time of pay. You should not benefit from relationships with lobbyists and get a cush job for the rest of your life bringing in 6 figures for no work. That happens by the way… The more we keep money out of politics, the more we can ensure the politicians are in the job for the right reason. People don’t get into teaching because they want to get rich; they do it because they are passionate about the work and the money comes second. It should be the same for our politicians.

8. Non-medically trained, male politicians don’t get to talk about my lady parts. While I’m at, no non-medically trained female politicians either. This one should be so obvious that I shouldn’t need to say it, but alas, here I go. I can’t ‘shut this whole thing down’! Rape is not ‘a method of conception’. Vaccines don’t cause retardation. And, don’t you dare talk about what god wants for my vagina. I thought we already settled all of this?!

There, did I just solve all of our problems?

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DOMA Decision

equalityI mean this with the most amount of respect possible for those of you who disagree with the supreme court’s ruling today….

Just because it is not what you choose to do, doesn’t make it wrong.

Just because it is not what your god wants, doesn’t make it law.

Just because it is the way it has always been, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t change.

Go love someone!

gunsBefore I get too far into my opinions, I would like to make a couple of things very clear. I am going to be as fair as humanly possible in this post. I am not going to get crazy, and blame all of our problems on the NRA, or attack gun owners. So please take the time to read through the whole blog and I would love to hear what you think in the comments section. I think we can make a big difference if we have mature dialog. I am not an expert, and either are most of you. For one second, I wish we could all just keep an open mind.

Times they are a changin’…. As all of you know by now, there was a horrific tradgedy that happened on Friday morning. Beautiful innocent lives were taken too soon by a monster who carried a gun. When I heard the news, I immediately posted something on Facebook about how the conversation had to begin on gun control. Some people took issue with my comment saying that it was too soon to start this conversation. I saw other people post things about keeping your politics to yourselves in respect for the fallen. I, respectfully, disagree. I don’t think it is too soon to have the conversation, I think it is too late! And, I don’t think that speaking up in this way is in any way disrespectful. It is thru my outrage and sadness at their unnecessary deaths that urges me to speak. Below I am going to lay out some ideas and I hope you consider them.

We (of course) need better mental health care in the United States. Medical experts have been saying this for years. We can replace your joints with lasers and kill your viruses from space, but our mental health care for majority of our citizens is stuck in the dark ages. We need to invest more of our time, money, and research in identifying these troubled individuals and helping them before tragedy happens. We also need to de-stigmatize mental health disorders and educate parents on what to look for in their children. Unfortunately, people with mental health disorders do not hold down stable jobs with insurance and see a doctor regularly. This point alone is a whole other post, but I think you get what I am saying.

We need to completely re-think guns and gun control. Now, I am not saying we need to get rid of guns completely. I don’t think that is the answer. I have seen a thousand posts and memes and status updates on how ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’. No shit. Obviously, it is people that kill people. The point I would like to make is that it shouldn’t be EASY. It should not be easy to take out 30 people in a school, mall, movie theater, etc. I know that you can kill people with knives, with baseball bats, and with your bare hands. But, it is a heck of lot harder! There was a horrible story out of China too, where a man went into a school with a knife. The difference is that those children didn’t die. It’s horrible, it’s sad, it’s traumatic, it’s unthinkable, but those kids got to go home to their parents.

Let’s think about the right to bear arms. When this was written, automatic weapons didn’t exist. There is no way our fore-fathers could have known how our world was going to change. And, a lot of our thoughts have changed with the times. We evolved on slavery and women’s right and hopefully soon marriage equality. I don’t believe that a right to bear arms means that you have a right to automatic weapons and as many guns as you want.

Why don’t we make less deadly guns? Why don’t we make only guns that shoot 2 rounds a time and it takes a minute to reload? Let’s think about why we ‘want’ guns.

1. To protect your family/property. I get that. If you want to have a gun in your home to protect you from crime, great. You do not need an automatic weapon for that. Two rounds and reload. (That burglar now has to hope that you are a bad shot).

2. Hunting. Great. I know that this is a huge hobby and lifestyle for many people. If you want a hunting rifle, go for it. Two rounds and reload.

3. Sport. Some people enjoy shooting guns. I don’t really get this one, but I respect that. Two rounds and reload.

4. Collections. If you are a gun collector, it really should not matter how many rounds you can get off.

Those are the only legit, non-violent reasons to want a gun. Did I miss anything?

Regulation! This goes without saying. We need to enforce the laws that we have and then some. You shouldn’t be able to buy any ammunition without a gun license that matches the bullets you are trying to buy and show a photo ID. If your gun is stolen and you had it ‘under your mattress’ or some other easy to access place, you should be penalized (i.e. a kid taking his dad/moms gun). If you want more than one gun, you should have to wait one year between each purchase and have to pass a psychological evaluation every time! I could go on and on. Again, though, the argument I am trying to make is that it shouldn’t be easy.

So, what about the argument that making these guns illegal is not going to work. I saw the argument on-line that it’s not working with drugs, so why would it work with guns. Well, there are about 700 reasons why these two things can’t really be compared, but I’ll name a few. I can grow a pot plant in my house, or make meth, but I can’t make guns. Guns are a lot harder to manufacture. Drugs can’t be detected with metal detectors. You can’t smuggle guns into the country by putting them up your butt. Okay, I’m being a little sarcastic there, but trying to make a point. Of course there will be a black market for these weapons. There is ALWAYS a black market! But the average 16-year-old kid that snaps and wants to shoot up his school probably doesn’t have a lot of black market gun contacts.

Another thing that I saw all over the internet this weekend is comments about ‘if only god were allowed in our schools’. I take huge issue with this! Yes, if only that shooter had been exposed to more god, maybe he wouldn’t have done what he did. It didn’t work with in the actual church with people that had dedicated their life to god. If ‘crazy’ can happen to a priest, it can happen to anyone and has nothing to do with prayer. I don’t want to make this a religious argument, but don’t blame a lack of prayer/worship in our schools as the reason this happened. If this had anything to do with god, I would be more concerned with how he let this happen. It wasn’t gods fault, it wasn’t ‘not-gods’ fault. It just happened and it sucks.

More guns? ‘If more people were armed, people would be afraid to break the law….’ Are we going to start arming our children in schools? The teachers? More weapons doesn’t work for school shootings. Not to mention, getting shot is not a very big deterrent for someone who plans on killing themselves anyway.

Security? People argue that we just simply need more security at our schools. Well, you’re probably right. We do need better security. But, what about when they are out on the playground? Are we going to get rid of recess? Are we going to close public parks, libraries, etc. We can’t possibly tighten security of planet earth.

Okay, I’ve rambled on long enough. I was going to go into gun buy-back programs and penalties for carrying illegal weapons, etc. but I’m sure you’re sick of reading.

Something has to change and the time is now! I saw something on-line that said there have been 30 school shootings since Columbine. We should be ashamed of ourselves! Our selfishness, our politics, and our stubborn outdated beliefs are preventing meaningful change. We need to get over ourselves and what we think we are entitled to. Unfortunately, we are never going to get rid of crazy, we are never going to get rid of violence, but I firmly believe, if we work together on a compromise, we can make it harder to take innocent lives.

The Welfare Debate

welfareThis blog post was inspired by two of my dear friends. They are infuriating and disagree with me on everything but I love them. One of them forwarded me a story about a woman who makes her living by having babies. She has the baby, tells the state she can’t take care of them, the grandma steps in to foster, and the state gives her money every month to raise them. Repeat! In other words, she is taking advantage of the system. My friends blame people like me (liberals) for allowing this to happen. Situations like this make them angry. What they don’t realize is that stories like this make liberals angry too! This is not what anyone wants. We just have very different ideas of how to fix the problem. By the way, I am no expert. I am just someone who seems to have a ton of opinions. Here is what I believe we need:

1. Regulation/Reform

2. Education (academics)

3. Education (behavioral)

4. Social Programs

5. High paying jobs

Regulation: I think we can all agree that these services should be regulated a little better (okay, a lot better). We need safety nets, but they shouldn’t be permanent regardless of behavior. One example is, after you are ‘in the system’ for having a child you cannot support on your own, the benefits should decrease dramatically for subsequent off-spring. This will prevent the people who have 8 babies all with public aide. (This may already exist by the way. I am NOT an expert). But, along with these rules, we need support to the women. If this happens without education, there is no point (see below). We need to get rid of the loop holes that allow people to work for 2 months a year so that they can collect unemployment the other 10 months. The catch- this costs money to do properly. And it’s the kind of money republicans hate the most- Up front money. We need to invest more money into these programs on the front end to save us money on the back end.

Education (academics): The best way to keep women from getting pregnant too early and falling into the system is education! The more likely a girl is to graduate highschool, college, trade school, etc, the less likely she is to get pregnant. We have to identify our high risk individuals and INVEST in them. Are schools are failing them, the parents are failing them, and we expect them to some how pull themselves up by their boot straps and make something of themselves. I agree as much as anyone that the parents have accountability here, but the parents themselves aren’t educated and don’t know what to do, aren’t able to, don’t speak english, or sadly don’t care. We need to break this cycle before these kids have babies and start the process all over again. “Invest and grow”. If we (tax payers) don’t invest in prevention/education, we pay with public aide down the road. Bad schools, bad neighborhoods, affect everyone! Educating women changes communities, changes generations. Educated women have fewer babies, they have babies older, and they can typically pay for them.

Education (behavioral): What I mean by this is sex ed, education on contraception, and education on sexual assault/date rape/rape/incest. Many of these women in the system are having their first babies after some type of assault. These crimes go un-reported, un-punished, and even un-realized. The women have a lot of shame and have no support system. Or, they falsely believe that a baby will make everything better. If you are sitting there judging these women or not believing me when I say that they don’t know any better, you need to talk to some of the social workers that work with these women. There are so many sad stories that never get told. If you grow up without a loving parent, and everything you were exposed to was negative, violent, and insecure, where do you expect them to learn other wise?

Social Programs: This has almost become a dirty word in politics. So has planned parenthood. When I think about the problem of too many children in the system, the logical answer that pops into my head is- let’s have less children. The more pregnancies we can prevent the better. If we, as a country, can increase the average age of a woman getting pregnant with her first baby, we can save billions of dollars (not just with welfare, but health care). Planned Parenthood does this. They provide contraception and education as well as pre-natal and general wellness care (also saves us money). If we keep cut pre-natal care, we have more expensive emergency deliveries that no one can pay for and expensive special needs children that will be in the system. Again, back to money on the front end, saves money on the back end. $1 in prevention, saves $3 in treatment. Fact.

Higher Paying Jobs: This is a big one! If under-educated individuals could actually get jobs that paid a decent wage and got insurance from their employers, maybe they would be more inclined to work. It gets pretty discouraging when you can’t earn enough to support your family because you earn minimum wage. And, sadly, it’s getting worse. Companies are cutting hours to avoid having give their employees health care. (Actually, companies have been doing this for years, now they can conveniently blame Obama care.) What do you think happens now? The employees have to supplement with public aide. Wal-Mart is one of the biggest contributors to this problem. They don’t pay their employees enough money, or give them enough hours to earn benefits, so they qualify for aide. Meanwhile, what happens to the CEO? When you have a business, you have a responsibility to your employees. All this fuss with Papa Johns and claiming they can’t afford insurance for their employees? I get that the individual shop owners aren’t rich like ‘the papa’ but there are other options besides lay offs. 1. Their corporate office could allow for a .5% decrease from the franchise owners, or 2. They could charge 10 cents more per pizza! I’m fine with paying 10 more cents if it means that people can support their families because now they have insurance. If we pay people more money, less of them are getting ‘free’  money.

If a woman can make more money having babies than she can make working for a living, something is wrong with our system. I think we can all agree on that. I am open to any and all suggestions, but I really don’t think blind cuts are the answer.

By the way, if you are wondering how much federal welfare spending goes to the ‘non-working’ poor, it’s about 10%. I bet you thought it was more.

Being the season of politics and campaigning, we are being bombarded by declarations of America’s greatness. It’s like if a politician doesn’t tear up just saying the words, ‘god bless America’ he/she is shunned forever. “Not only did they not mention god, but they didn’t say we are the best! And where was the flag pin?!”

Why are we so obsessed with convincing ourselves that we are the best? Why do we ignore all facts and statistics when we claim that we are the best?

I decided I would do a little research and look at America by the numbers:

  • 31st in K-12 education
  • 25th in math
  • 37th in life expectancy
  • #1 in obesity
  • 37th in overall health care
  • #1 in gun related injuries (not death), #1 in gun ownership
  • #5 in wealth inequality
  • 34th in infant mortality
  • #5 in divorce
  • 1 in 6 americans are hungry
  • 48.8 Americans live in food-insecure households
  • #22nd in Gender Equality

We’re #1! We’re #1!

I don’t mean to sound unpatriotic, I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given. But let’s get real. The stats above don’t ‘shout’ the best. What exactly makes us ‘the best’? Our military? Our freedom? (Yeah, if you are a 40+ year old white straight christian male).

There is a fine line between pride in your country and being dangerously ethno-centric! There is literally a country song with the words, “we’ll stick a boot in your ass ’cause that’s the American way.” USA! USA! And we can’t believe other countries don’t like us. “They hate us for our freedom”.

You may be wondering, what exactly is the problem with all of this behavior?

If we consistently preach that we are the best, we never try to learn from others. If we think that we are #1 across the board, we will ignorantly follow status quo while others are passing us up. If we falsely believe that our health care is #1, we are letting infants die while we ignore the latest improvements. Companies that don’t evolve- fail. Countries that don’t evolve- will fail.

I have heard many a right leaning politician or pundit say things like, ‘uh oh, what is this Europe?’ Would that be so bad? France is #1 in Health care. European countries are ranked higher than the US in education. Now I am not saying we should try to be France, but I am saying we need to stop acting like we are some how superior to the rest of the world.

It would be political suicide, but I would love to hear a politician say that we have a lot to learn from the rest of the world. Why don’t we investigate or study the best policies and proceedures from the world and see what we can learn? Would that be so bad?

Or nevermind……’Merica!

  • If men had vaginas, birth control would be free through insurance.
  • If men had vaginas, the morning after pill would be offered over the counter at gas stations. “Yeah, I’ll take a slim jim and a Plan B.”
  • If men had vaginas, they would get 2 paid days off a month for menstruation. (Tampons would also be free through insurance)

Blah blah blah. We have heard this all before. “If men had to go thru what we did…..”

My original intention with this blog was to do something funny and lighthearted. Poke a little fun at how clueless men are, and try to make a feminist point along the way. However, as I was brain storming by bullet list, I found myself getting a little pissed off. By the way, the 3 points I made above are true. Or at least that is what I believe to be true. Gloria Steinem has a famous essay from years ago about if men had periods. It is still relevant today. The difference is, Gloria Steinem didn’t just make a joke and get on with her day. She fought for women’s rights tirelessly!

What do we do today? Read a feminist-themed ‘someecard’, ‘pin it’ under ‘things that make me laugh’, and go to bed? Why aren’t we asking ourselves “WHY” it would be different if it were men? The answer is because men wouldn’t let it happen.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that there are a lot of men out there with way too much power that are happy with the current inequality. I know that there are men actively trying to keep us in our place and making it hard for us to see change. I know that there are women out there fighting the good fight. I know it’s not fair. So, please don’t take this to mean that I don’t support women or that we are not capable, but I have to ask—what the hell are we doing? What the hell is the media doing?

  • If men had vaginas, the press wouldn’t go to women asking for their expertise on the male vagina!

When two NY female senate candidates got together to debate the issues, they were asked if they had read 50 Shades of Grey. Are you f’ing kidding me? Two professional women running for senate and you ask them if they have read smutty literature? Have you ever heard them ask Mitt Romney if he has ever watched porn? No, that would be innappropriate. Why the double standard? Remember the nightmare that was Hilary and Palin? I felt so bad for Hilary. Trying desperately to be considered a legitimate candidate. What’s the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom? Puke!

Listen up ladies- we do things every single day that determine our fate and the fate of our daughters. We need to wake up.

  • Who are you voting for? I am not going to get political again. If you read my blog, you probably know where I stand. But, it’s not just presidents. It is ALL politicians that are involved. Bottom line, you need to be voting and you need to be educated about who you are voting for.
  • What do you spend your money on? Do you buy US magazine? Do you support magazines that use air brushing on their models? (I know that doesn’t leave much). Do you watch the kardashians or other shows that make women look bad?
  • Do you support other women or tear them down? Do you buy into this BS idea that women need to compete with eachother or can you appreciate another woman for what she is?
  • What kind of example are you setting for your daughter? Do you play second-fiddle (or 3rd, 4th) at home? Are your needs less important than your husbands? Do you want your daughter to think she is not as deserving as a man?
  • What are you doing to demand equal say/pay/rights in your daily life? If a man at work says, ‘hey sweetheart’ do you roll your eyes and walk away or do you correct him?
  • What types of activities and organizations do you support? Girls that grow up playing sports, or being involved in different activites (debate, dance, etc) are less likely to be assaulted, get pregnant, skip school, and drop out. These girls are more likely to go to college and therefore more likely to be in control of their own future.
  • Don’t have daughters? How are you raising your son to treat women?
  • Are you pissed off? You should be!

It is every possible little detail that matters. 

With all that said, jokes are fun. This ecard is my absolute favorite that I have EVER seen. However, just sharing it on facebook doesn’t cut it. Women suffer silently worried about what a man and his delicate sensibilities may think. If men had vaginas, they would announce their cramps to the world, have their secretary get them a hot pack, and take the rest of the day….

I Believe

 

  1. I believe that every American is entitled to the same rights; that no person, based on skin color, sex, sexual orientation, or religion is better than anyone else.
  2. I believe that women are just as capable as men- no more, no less- and are entitled to the same salary and job opportunities as men.
  3. I believe that companies make better decisions when the decision makers are diverse.
  4. I believe that if you are doing well, you should want to help others who aren’t. I believe that you should not sit comfortably on your wealth knowing that others are suffering.
  5. I believe that a CEO should be rewarded for his/her hard work and education. I do NOT believe he/she should earn 380x what the average worker earns.
  6. I believe that insurance companies should be not-for-profit. I believe that no insurance company should make money by denying someone treatment. Ever.
  7. I believe that every $1 you spend on prevention saves $3 on treatment. (Not to mention saves lives)
  8. I believe that you have the right to be catholic, christian, jewish, mormon, muslim, atheist, etc.
  9. I also believe that you should never impose your religious beliefs on others. Do not tell others that they should follow the rules of your religion.
  10. I believe that a woman’s body is hers and hers alone to do with what she believes is best.
  11. I believe that there is no such thing as legitimate rape, and I believe that asking any woman to submit to an unnecessary, invasive medical test is ludicrous.
  12. I believe that the best way to avoid abortion is through contraception, education, preventing violence against women, and promoting healthy lifestyles and behaviors in young women.
  13. I believe in the separation of church and state and that no politician should let their religion dictate policy. Period.
  14. I believe that running a country is nothing like running a business. To run a country, you have to make bad ‘business’ decisions every day for the betterment of the citizens and the world they live in.
  15. I believe that global warming is real and that it is bad. I believe that special interest groups are putting out information that they know is false to sway the easily swayed.
  16. I believe that we should focus less on gas prices and more on getting-off-gas! If we started truly investing in alternative fuel and energy 20 years ago, this would be a non-issue. They make cars that run with little to no gas. They are cheaper to run and are better for the environment. Why do we still make the other kind?
  17. I believe that Americans have the right to bear arms. I also believe that when this was written, the world and the guns within it were very different. I don’t believe you have the right to bear automatic weapons, AK 47s, etc. (I don’t know the names of guns). There is no legitimate, non-violent reason to need that type of weapon.
  18. I believe that corporations are corporations.
  19. I believe the 1%-ers should pay their share. Just because they can afford the best lawyers and accountants to find every loop-hole, deduction, and off-shore account, doesn’t mean we should let them.
  20. I believe that birth control should be covered by every single insurance company no matter who the employer. There are legitimate health issues where birth control is prescribed that have nothing to do with preventing pro-creation. I also believe that it is a slap in the face to every single woman in the country that Viagra is covered and birth control is not. Also, see #7, #9, #10, #12, and #13.
  21. I believe that you should be able to marry who ever the hell you want. You are a human being and therefore should have the same rights as me- another human being.
  22. I believe that everyone has a right to health insurance they can afford, that you should not be denied for a pre-existing condition, and that we are all in this together. I believe that the more people who have health insurance with preventative care, the better our health care system will be overall. I believe this is the best and only option for our country. What is the alternative?
  23. I believe that living in a society requires sacrifice. What happened to the attitude of ‘Ask not what your country can do for you….” It is not always going to be easy for everyone. Give and take.
  24. I believe in the idea of ‘invest and grow’. We need to put money into job training, alternative energy, roads/bridges, etc. This costs money in the short-term but grows the economy in the long-term.
  25. I believe that no person is truly a self-made man. There is always a teacher, mentor, parent, or opportunity that helped you along the way. Read Outliers.
  26. I believe that it is incredibly unfair to spend 8 years creating a big giant mess, committing from day 1 that you will do what it takes to make sure this president fails (ignoring what is best for the country), and then criticizing him for not fixing it fast enough.

This is what I believe, and this is why I am voting for Barack Obama.