Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Women's Right to Vote

As with most American women, I'm glad I was born where I was. It is disgusting to see what women put up with in other parts of the world. Slavery still exists all over the world - and the majority of slaves are women. Or they must cover their heads. Or not be allowed to go outside without a male with them. Women are treated like property only there for men. They are not lucky enough to be feminists.

We still have to deal with - often blatant - sexism in this country, and it is way too accepted. But we do have rights here, we do have freedoms, we can go to school and work in the jobs we want to. We do have opportunity.

One of the rights we have had since 1920 is to vote. The right to express our opinion. This was fought for years ago...

So now we have John Derbyshire, a British-American conservative author and columnist for the National Review. He has written a new book "We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism." There is a section in the book called "The Case Against Female Suffrage." According to a posting by Think Progress: John Derbyshire thinks our country would be "better off if women didn't vote."
"The conservative case against it is that women lean hard to the left,” Derbyshire responded nonsensically. “They want someone to nurture, they want someone to help raise their kids, and if men aren’t inclined to do it — and in the present days, they’re not much — then they’d like the state to do it for them.”
I did a post on women voting on September 22, 2008. After what women went through to be able to vote this moron thinks that right should be taken away?

Well, I guess he is right in my case about a couple of things: I'm very liberal, and very opinionated. But, I know plenty of women who don't lean to the left, and I don't have any children. I do, however, know many single mothers who have worked hard to raise decent, educated children - all by themselves.

So, here's another opinion, Mr. Derbyshire: Perhaps you should crawl back into your dark hole in the dark ages when women, even in America, were simply there to be seen and not heard. I love that women can voice their opinions and their votes in this country. The only opinion I don't really want to hear is yours.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Neverending Wars

It is interesting that as people continue to blame President Obama for all the problems we have, they conveniently forget he walked into a mess. The economy was a disaster, the two wars were a disaster, and too many people had lost their jobs and their homes.

He cannot fix everything at once. But one thing could start to change things: start bringing our soldiers home and quit sending in new troops. The rebuilding of Iraq - after all the tearing down - should no longer be the priority. For a war that we never should have been in in the first place, why are we still there? And why do we continue to try and rebuild it when our own country is in dire need of rebuilding and bringing back hope?

Then there is Afghanistan. Perhaps in 2001, that was the place we should have been in the first place...but I am not a believer in war anyway. It really never solves anything, it just creates more loss of life and more destruction. Has anyone ever "won" against Afghanistan anyway? In a country of such treacherous terrain, extreme temperatures, and people that will fight for their cause no matter what?

Let's move on. September 11, 2001 was a terrible blow. But aren't we just extending it? And aren't we done ruining lives and killing soldiers? Yes, we need to keep a watchful eye out on these people, and yes we need to defend ourselves. But until we build our own country back up and get back our hope and faith, we are really only spinning our wheels and doing nothing to move forward.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Why is it that when you think things are getting better there is often a setback?

We watch week after week as our friend, Fidel, finally comes out of the coma after his brain surgery. We thought he was getting close to getting out of the woods. He left the hospital, and then progressed to rehab. He was starting to eat again, talk to us, and was moving around more. He looked like our old friend again - especially when his sense of humor returned.

Last night the seizures started and they couldn't get it to stop. Back in intensive care, the doctors don't know yet what it is causing this - a change in medication, the wrong levels, infection...Too many unknowns, too little answers. Again.

These things never occur in a straight line. They curves around, takes steps back, zig-zag. As one nurse said: "It's like you're driving through the desert, and then suddenly hit a cactus, and have to back up before going forward again."

Fidel will push past all of this. He went into all of this strong, young, and healthy. A setback is only temporary...and it is just one more way he will beat the odds.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Health Care Debate Continues

In a country that has vast resources - despite the current economic situation - how much sense does it make that we are #37 on the list for best health care? And why are people fighting it so much?

Perhaps the fact that I work in social services and see people who have nothing and only get good care through Medicaid (government run), or the fact that most of the people protesting government health care are older and are on Medicare (also government run), or the fact that I - like many others - only have health insurance because I am employed. If I was to lose my job or change jobs, I would either start a new job with less coverage because of a preexisting condition, or pay almost $700 a month for Cobra. Enough already of older people on government run Medicare protesting a government health care system. They must be kidding.

We have been very tolerant of the Republicans and all their ridiculous games, lying, and spreading of fear. Enough already - pass this thing. Give people choices who want them, give people different options, and mostly give people health care who don't have it. Going to the emergency room is not preventative care. It is emergency care. And often it is too late.

And, lastly, enough with the illegal immigrant thing. They are not covered in any proposed bills but, interestingly enough, illegal immigrants have always been taken care of now and in the past. If they go into a public hospital, they are not turned away or ignored. They are treated and, as nurses routinely say, it is everyone else's insurance that actually pays for it. It is yet one more way the costs are escalated and out of control.

The lies and the scare tactics go on and on. But, really, enough lies - from people who have the best care. It isn't a game, and it isn't funny. Simply said, it is about people having basic health care, respect, and choices.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Enough Disrespect of the President

The level of disrespect toward our president is just plain getting old. With the outburst by Joe Wilson on September 9, 2009, it really reached another level. How does someone in congress think they can be that downright disrespectful and that downright childish toward the President of the United States?

As stated in the New York Times:
House Democrats intend to pursue a formal resolution admonishing Representative Joe Wilson for his outburst against President Obama during the president’s speech to Congress on Wednesday night unless he apologizes on the floor.

Senior aides said Friday that the leadership had decided that the behavior of Mr. Wilson, a South Carolina Republican, in shouting “You lie!” merited some response by the House even though he had issued an apology and expressed his regrets to the president through Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff.

“It is a clear violation of the rules of the House, and it needs to be resolved on the floor of the House either by an apology or by a resolution,” said Brendan Daly, a spokesman for Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
This kind of behavior wouldn't be tolerated in a high school assembly toward a principal, let alone toward the President of the United States. It is really time for the Republicans to stop the lying, stop the ridiculous behavior, and stop acting like children. It is unacceptable and appalling behavior. Once and for all, learn to discuss and respectfully disagree - not heckle and blatantly disrespect - our president. Enough is enough.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The President Speaking to Kids is a Good Thing!

Let's see if I can get this straight: Our president wants to speak to school kids about staying in school and working hard. This is getting protests? On how many levels is this wrong? To begin with, he is our president. What happened to showing respect - and respecting the office even if you don't agree with the man (something that was said over and over again about Bush)?

According to Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, noted in the Associated Press:
He said Obama had no intention beyond talking "about personal responsibility and challenging students to take their education very, very seriously."
With the usual paranoia and disrespect, far right conservatives are seeing this as a bad thing and saying they will keep their kids home from school. He isn't going to turn the kids into socialists. He isn't going to influence them on other issues. He is going to give an eighteen minute speech on education. The funniest part of the big deal made out of this by some of the parents: What usually happens when a parent forbids a kid to do something...especially a teenager? They seem to forget about sheer rebellion.

When I was a kid I would have been really honored that the President of the United States would even think to speak to me and other kids. I'm getting really irritated at the fact that no matter what our president does, he is disrespected and looked at in a negative light by these people. Education is important for all kids' futures. To have the leader of our country emphasize that can only be good - and this is true whether you agree with him on other subjects or not.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Rest in Peace, Dear Friend

Admittedly, slow, I finally joined Facebook. As a writer, this was rather important. To reconnect with old friends, family, and coworkers - even more important.

As I was searching for old friends, I decided to look up an old favorite roommate, Sue. We had lived together during college in our early twenties for a couple of years. She was a great roommate - open, funny, and a joy to be around. She was also a very caring individual and a good friend. We stayed in touch over the years and passed e-mails back and forth. Birthdays were always remembered, and we always said we would get together "one of these days." We lost touch a couple of years ago. I didn't realize why. In fact, I didn't realize anything until I came upon this editorial in Facebook when I did a search for her. Written by her mother in the Star Tribune, it was a tribute to Sue offered at the time the bridge collapsed in Minneapolis in 2007:
Daughter had a chance to say goodbye, but the victims didn't

"I am writing this in memory of my daughter, Sue Belan, who died of cervical cancer on Sept. 9, 2007. She was a patient at the university hospital at the time of the bridge collapse. As sick as she was, she said to me, "Mom, I know that I'm going to die, but all those people on the bridge never had a chance." Right to the end, she was concerned about other people!

... Because of the wonderful communication tool of CaringBridge, I have been following the lives of several people that were injured on that bridge. In addition to the physical injuries, there are a lot of emotional and psychological problems that each one must overcome. It seems to be a "new normal" for them as it must be for those who lost loved ones.

Let us continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers."

I am sad that I did not know for two years that Sue had passed away, and sad that we had lost contact. I am also sad that I was not able to go to her funeral and honor her. So I choose to do that now.

So, this is for you, Sue. My funny, sweet roommate - we went out to see many bands in those days, danced the night away, and missed more than a few study sessions. You told me many wise things - the least of which was to not marry my former husband - for which you were right. I had many roommates over the years, but you were the best.

I'm sorry you were sick and sorry you struggled. For all the laughs we shared, and all the tears we shared - I shed some tears for you tonight. I will remember your jokes, your support, and your friendship...and that very contagious laugh of yours.
I've missed you over the years, and thought of you often, but now I know what missing you really means. Rest in peace, old friend.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Michele Bachmann Really is Nuts

Ah, Michele Bachmann. Endless material for comedians. But, once again, why does this woman have to be from Minnesota? She just keeps getting crazier and crazier.

According to the Colorado Independent, Bachmann stated - no screamed - this rant when talking about health care reform:
"This cannot pass," the Minnesota Republican told a crowd at a Denver gathering sponsored by the Independence Institute. "What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass. We will do whatever it takes to make sure this doesn’t pass."

“Something is way crazy out there,” Bachmann said in her remarks, billed as a “personal legislative briefing” by the Golden-based Independence Institute, which bills itself as a “free market think tank.”

“This is slavery,” Bachmann said after claiming many Americans pay half their income to taxes. “It’s nothing more than slavery.”

Seriously, who voted for her? I used to think she was just not that bright. She is downright crazy. Something is way crazy out there? She must have been looking in a mirror when she said that.