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Thinking About Ariel Castro, Women, and Equality

  • Posted on August 2, 2013 at 4:20 pm
Woman of Liberty

Woman of Liberty

Yesterday I watched Ariel Castro claim that he is not a monster, that the sex he had with his victims was mostly consensual, and that he isn’t a violent person.  It is not in his character.  When I heard the word character, I could not believe that he could even speak about it.  What could he possibly know about character?  He wanted us to believe that his problem is a compulsion perhaps for sex.  However, I don’t equate rape with sex, so I had a hard time following his form of logic.  I wasn’t planning on writing about this topic as he repulses me, but I think there is a bigger issue in our nation where women are concerned.  I don’t know the name of the woman on the talk show I was watching on MSNBC yesterday but she was upset that Castro hadn’t been tried for civil rights violations.  She talked about the issue of human trafficking and the fact that these women had their civil rights violated for years.  She said that he targeted women, which indeed made it a civil rights violation.

From my point of view, I have concerns not just about this case, but also with the treatment of women throughout our country and of course the world.  Granted Ariel Castro is a deranged person but he felt that he had the right to do what he wanted with these women.  He said his wife would argue with him and he implied that because she touched him first that he had the right to put her in her place.  Something in his makeup, and I think in the way women are treated by many in our country, made him believe he could do what he wanted with these women, including his wife.

Our society, no matter how much we scream and protest about women’s issues and rights, is still patriarchal.  As a country, I believe we look to men for the answers and give them undo regard when it comes to major decisions whether it is at the local, state, or federal level.  We excuse their behaviors, no matter how crude they are, and we still have that “boys will be boys” attitude ingrained in our minds.  I see this even in school when I am teaching.  I don’t have that attitude but it is there for many.   When I tell some boys to clean up in art class, I still have some boys telling me “That’s women’s work.”   In politics, we have many men that exhibit disrespectful behavior to women on a regular basis.  On the far right wing, there is a constant effort to discount women’s opinions to the point of forcing them to have a vaginal probe if they mutter the word “abortion.”  On the left, we still have to hear about Bill Clinton’s Monica moment in regards to whether Hillary is going to run for the presidency.  The woman that sticks by her man, like Anthony Weiner’s wife, is marginalized as though she isn’t thinking clearly and she has been coerced into accepting her fate.  Maybe she has and maybe we don’t know what really goes on in these relationships.  In these cases, the woman is made to be an appendage to the man, just another “helpmate” for the big daddy that is the boss in the relationship.  In entertainment news, we recently discovered that Simon Cowell is going to be a daddy.  The woman involved is a “gold digger” and immoral because she is still married to her husband.  The last I knew, it takes two to make a baby.  We aren’t hearing what a slut Simon is, it is all about his girlfriend.

The point I am trying to make is that we and I think both men and women, still have different standards for the two sexes.  I received an email last night from Credo action to sign a petition.  The petition deals with the fact that a number of colleges and universities across the country don’t call rape, rape.  It is referred to as nonconsensual sex.  This must be similar to the Republican that talked about forcible rape and rape as though they were two different things.  I don’t know how else to say it but rape is rape.  Women are continually demeaned when their voices are not heard and they are treated like a dog getting their heads patted when dealing with serious issues.

The other day I was talking to my sister and I told her about this video I saw which I assumed was staged but was funny.  A person was showing the excitement his cat had for him after he was gone for six months.  Now we all have witnessed the excitement our dogs show us after even very brief periods away from us.  Cats, however, are a whole another being.  I have two cats and one greets me and the other hides.  I have a dog and he’s always anxious to see me.  The reason I bring this up is that I jokingly referred to women as being like dogs and men as being like cats.  However, I think there is a bit of truth to this.  Men can take or leave us as women.  Much like a cat, they are used to being pampered.  They are used to being at the top of the food chain in respect, expectations, and affection.  They expect women to care for them and love them.  They have expectations of what they want and how they are going to get it.  Women on the other hand are starved for affection and will do just about anything to get that pat on the head, just like a dog.  They will jump through hoops to make sure their man is taken care of and are afraid that someone may see them as not being a good caretaker.  Women nurture and when they don’t everyone notices it!  Women have expectations but they often will subjugate their desires for their mate’s desires.  Obviously, there are exceptions but from my point of view, women are always last.

Now you could say that I have a unique way of looking at things because I grew up with ten brothers and I admit this, but I have noticed many things over the years.  We women were the last to get the right to vote!  Slavery was finally ended and blacks could vote but women were still chained to the concept that they were less than a man.  One of my brothers always talks about the Constitution and I just have to laugh because from my point of view, the Constitution is a living document that needs to change and grow as time changes.  So many politicians want everything to stay the same, don’t rock the boat, and just keep the status quo.  If we do this, half of society would never count for anything.  It still irks me that we could never get the equal rights amendment passed.  Those simple words of equality are very scary to some people.

We live in a time of potential great knowledge for all people.  The internet has opened the doors and the minds of anyone that is willing to learn.  Sure sometimes you have to sift through many websites to find the truth about something, but in all reality if you want to learn about any issue or how to do something the internet is a terrific resource.  I think the more people are educated the more we are apt to all be treated equally in society.  I have found the internet a place where I can discuss issues with other women that are interested in politics.  With this blog, I have an opportunity to get others to think about things.  None of us would have known about the small town in Ohio where high school boys raped a girl and nobody seemed to care until anonymous bloggers got involved.  Today I want people thinking about women and their place in the world.  Women are more than just nurturing helpmates for men.  I think until they are taken more seriously, women will continue to see much physical, social, and emotional abuse by men that think they can have what they want when they want it.  Women need to stand up and make things clear to those men that abuse.  Men that are “evolved” need to help move this issue along.  The women that are abused are their mothers, daughters, and sisters.  If we want to stop people like Ariel Castro, we as a society, have to make sure that little boys grow up respecting little girls and that gender roles are not so defined that women think they are less than men and are willing to accept less pay, less love, and less worth.

Choices, Choices, Choices….NOT!

  • Posted on December 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm

I’ve tried to think up a reason why I should be interested in the presidential race and I fail to see the point.  For me it seems like the current boss is much like the old boss and the next boss will be a repeat of the current boss.  Why should I care about this election?  The electoral process doesn’t really care about my vote any way.  If you listen to the pundits and you are a Republican, you shouldn’t even bother to vote.  It’s a done deal.  Well, almost a done deal, except for that pesky Newt Gingrich.  I remember back to the 2008 primary.  I was really into that election and then I discovered that the Democrats are as corrupt as the Republicans.  The process of voting in this country is deeply flawed.  While President Carter runs around the world trying to make sure elections are fair, he never looks in our own country for deceptions, lost votes, or discriminatory practices to deter people from voting.

In my humble opinion our country has lost much of the democracy that we fought so hard to obtain.  We have elections that are run by the deep pockets of corporate influence.  Those of us that want a choice and crave a choice between the two parties are left making a selection between bad and worse.  We continually vote for the lesser of two evils.  The two parties have made it virtually impossible for a third party to really structurally exist.  It’s not just about the ungodly amount of money it takes to get elected for anything; it’s the process of getting on the ballot.  It’s as if the two parties have secretly met to create this process.  They both benefit from it and the American people are the losers!

In addition to this process is the amount of legacy corruption.  It seems a pretty good bet if you father was in politics, you will be as well.  I don’t know how this all started, maybe it was the two Adams.  I don’t want to hear the argument about how I’m a teacher and my parents were too.  I just think it cannot be true that a few families are the only ones with the smarts to be president.  The other thing that I can’t stand and will mention here is Yale and Harvard.  In recent times it has become all too clear that no one that went to a “state” university could ever become president in this country.  For all the talk about Obama and Clinton coming from “Nowheresville” the truth is they both had handlers that put them in key positions along the way to the top and yes they both went to Harvard and Yale respectively.  I don’t trust the system at all.  I used to believe that my vote really counted and it probably does in local elections.  However, when I look to the top of the ticket it really is a corrupt system.  Both parties have fake primary and caucus systems where they have us pay for these elections when they already know who they want at the top of the ticket.  They use the media to spread the venom necessary to get their guy to the top.  When necessary they create some fake group that manages to steal votes for one guy or the next, like in my case here in Michigan when my vote was given to Obama in the primary.  Forget about women, they have never made it to the top really.  They have been used to appease those of us out here that believe in real equality between the sexes.  They’ll give us a token woman to put on the ticket and then pat themselves on the back for their sense of equality.  Behind closed doors they continue their “good old boy” mentality of running for office and ultimately running this country.

We see images of these guys looking like they are on different sides and then they come out with some piece of shit legislation that they can all agree upon.  Usually it is something we don’t see as the big picture and it is usually something to help corporations and hurt the middle class.  The media continues to work with these politicians trying to get us ready for the hailstorm that is to come into our lives, whether it is cuts in Social Security, Medicare, or even the current union busting legislation that has really come down from the top.  Yes, here in Michigan we teachers worry about the new legislation that our governor and Republican legislature has forced upon us.  However, the truth is even this has a blind eye coming from the Democrats.  President Obama was for “merit” pay way back in the summer of 2007.  I saw his speech on the NEA website back during the NEA convention.  The words “merit pay” has always been union busting words to me.  Fast forward to today.  We supposedly have moved to merit pay but of course there is no money for it and who determines what holds merit anyway.  Teachers have been vilified by the media.  It used to be as a teacher you were respected.  According to the media storm many of us are incompetent and lazy.  We don’t do our jobs and we just live for the summer.  All of the ills of society are the burden of the current crop of teachers.  We are responsible for everything.  It is our fault if a student doesn’t perform on some mysterious test that some corporate entity has determined is worthy.  It doesn’t matter if that child has problems at home, lives in poverty, or is emotionally disturbed.  We, as teachers, are their new mothers, fathers, cheerleaders, psychologists, mentors, and provider of all things positive for that child.  If a student comes to us damaged, we have to make him whole.  It’s not an easy task.  We have always known that we must be more than a teacher.  However, now we have the threat of the loss of our job if we cannot magically pull that rabbit out of the hat.  It doesn’t matter if we have a passion for teaching and if we can be successful with most of the children.  What matters is some illusive number on a piece of paper that tells a child they are either worthy or not.  I am appalled that we have been pushed to a point where children will be scrutinized to the point that they cannot help but feel the pressure.  Their teachers are being pressured.  The children will feel that desperation.  They have to buck up and so do the teachers.  As a teacher we have no choice but I cannot help but wonder what is going on with politicians these days.  Can’t they see that tying 49% of a teacher’s evaluation to a test is going to create much anxiety for everyone involved?  Maybe they don’t care.  I would not want my child to be stressed in this manner.  There has to be a better way to get students ready for their adult lives than this.

So back to that question, “Why should I care about this election?”  Obviously, there is a lot happening in government that makes me care about what is going on in our country.  The problem is the lack of a real third party choice that could make it to the top.  I saw Buddy Roemer on the Alex Whit CNN show this weekend.  I was surprised that he made sense.  Buddy was governor of Louisiana a long time ago.  I don’t know much about his politics.  I looked him up and it appears that he once was a Democrat and is now a Republican.  What I found interesting is the fact that he cannot participate in the Republican debates even though he is running for president.  He polls too low, so they won’t even consider him.  He talked about having a Democrat as a running mate to break the gridlock in Washington.  Since I see both parties as being similar this really isn’t a stretch.  What he said just made me think about the obvious problems with our system.  He doesn’t take any corporate money.  He limits the money to $100 donations.  No wonder he isn’t going anywhere but it says a lot about our system.  Money is the root of all evil right?  In politics, money talks and if you don’t have the corporate money, you are going nowhere fast.  Our election process is flawed.  I believe the money has to be taken out of the process especially in presidential politics.  The amount of money that is going to be raised for the 2012 election is enough to make anyone ill.  I think it’s too bad that money couldn’t be used for our education system or some other sinking ship in our government.  Instead it will be used to buy our next president just like it was used to buy our last one and the one before that! I have no real useful words of wisdom.  I’m just a frustrated voter wondering why our choices for president are so damn bad!

The Despot Lives or What’s the Matter with Michigan?

  • Posted on April 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Once again the mass media is working hard trying to get me to care about Will and Kate.  I want to just state this right now for the record.  I care about Will and Kate about as much as I cared about Jon and Kate Plus 8.  I’m not a fan of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” or crappy reality shows, so I’ll pass on the up and coming nuptials.  No matter how I try to avoid this “Wedding of the Century”, it has had an impact on my daily viewing.  Every morning I like to watch a little “Morning Joe” before I go to school.  This is out of habit.  I used to watch Imus.  This show just replaced his show when he was dismissed.  I like the talk format.  Unfortunately, Morning Joe is doing the show this week in London.  They actually think their viewers care about this wedding.   What I want to hear about has more to do with the economy and civil liberties.

Recently, here in Michigan, Benton Harbor was taken over by our governor.  This means basically that the people that live there lost their local representation.  I look at this as taxation without representation.  This kind of behavior is what one might expect if we lived under a King’s rule like in the Will and Kate variety before they lost all of their real power.  Maybe this is why we are supposed to care about Will and Kate.  We are the little serfs looking up to the wonderful future King and Queen.  We should bow and bring our first born child to them for a special blessing.

Mr. Harris, an accountant, is now in charge of Benton Harbor.  The city must pay him $11,000 a month for his services.  He has the power to hire and fire.  The duly elected officials have no power.  Benton Harbor is a very poor community and they are struggling.  One thing I find very interesting is that Benton Harbor and Detroit are both fairly black cities.  These are the two cities that have been targeted thus far to be taken over by the state government.  While the city of Detroit has not been taken over the schools in Detroit have been taken over and are continually being cut back.

Mr. Harris claims he has the backing of the citizens in Benton Harbor.  I don’t know how he would know this because he is not an elected official.  He was appointed by the governor.  Rachel Maddow does a good job of explaining what is going on in Benton Harbor.

Since 2000 it seems more and more to me that no one really cares about our votes.  We had the Bush/Gore election decided by the Supreme Court.  The Kerry/Bush election still has questions about those votes in Ohio.  During the Democratic Primary here in Michigan in 2008, my vote and countless other votes, were stolen and given to Barack Obama.  Both parties are guilty of stealing our votes or just not counting them.  I am tired of being told I live in a Democracy only to discover that my vote doesn’t really count or has been stolen.

It feels like Governor Snyder believes in an Aristocracy type of government.  According to Wikipedia this is a form of government in which the best qualified citizens will rule.  These qualified citizens are usually privileged by birth and class, thus an elite aristocratic class.  How else can he explain “appointing” someone to run a city government?

The more I learn about “rule” under Governor Snyder, the more I believe we now live in Michigan under Despotism.  In this form of government a single entity, yes called a “despot”, rules with an absolute power.  Yes, this is what we have in Governor Rick Snyder.  It’s his way or the highway.  Everyone is in fear of what he will do next.  He has cut the public school budget, so he can give tax breaks to businesses.   When a group of Superintendents of Schools asked to meet with him, he refused to see them.  They might have had some good ideas but he didn’t want to hear them.

Today Governor Snyder gave a speech about reinventing education in Michigan.  He likes that word, reinvention.  However, much of the talk is the same old line the Republicans have been pushing for years in Michigan.  He wants more charter schools, students to spend up to two hours a day with online instruction, and he wants the money to follow the student which it kind of does now to a point.  However, tax payer money doesn’t go to private schools.  I suspect this is something that he will want to change.  Teachers can expect another year to wait to make tenure which would be five years instead of four.  Teachers can also pay 20% of their health care costs with less pay and more work time.  Many people don’t realize that teachers who are let go don’t get unemployment as they are contracted yearly.  If they are out of a job with all of these cuts, they are out of luck.  Governor Snyder says, ‘We will break down the status quo’.  I don’t know what he has been doing for the last ten years or so that he thinks there is some kind of “status quo” in education as education has been constantly changing.  All of us teachers have had to deal with No Child Left Behind and the constant use of assessment materials both good and bad.  At Sturgis we are constantly doing “whatever it takes” to educate students and raise test scores.   We are not complacent.  This is an ongoing process.  I suspect most schools are doing everything they can to raise their test scores.  With Governor Snyder he wants all of this magic to happen while making drastic cuts to education.  It’s that same old mentality that President Bush used, pay less and expect more.

Here is a video about what’s happening at a school in Detroit set up to educate pregnant teens.

We need to all be informed about what is happening around this country.  If this can happen here in Michigan, it can happen in your state as well.

According to Rache,l Michigan wins!  Yes, we have the most over reaching governor of all of the crazy Republicans that have been recently elected.  Lucky us!

This Little Piggy Went to Market and Brought Home Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz

  • Posted on April 6, 2011 at 12:11 am

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

(Warning!!!  This piece is to be read with a hillbilly, sarcastic voice to feel the full effect of my thinking content.)

Hey all you women, especially Hillary Clinton supporters, step up and vote for Obama.  You know you want to.  After all the Democrats with President Obama are going to put Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz in charge of the DNC since Tim Kaine is going to run for the senate.  I smell something a bit off here.  Oh, that’s right.  Since my vote was stolen and given to Obama on May 31st of 2008 in the Michigan primary, I haven’t been a very happy Democrat.  So, let’s appease all those disheartened women voters.  After all Debbie is just so likable.  I’m sure that the “good old boys” on the Obama campaign team were just trying to figure out how they’re going to get those cranky women to vote for Obama.  You know how those women are.  They just can’t seem to get over the 2008 election.  Let’s throw them a bone!  Hey, Debbie!  We need you!

I like Debbie.  I think she’s a fine woman but I also think she is being used.  Maybe she doesn’t mind being used since Hillary has set the pace for women everywhere.  Obama can call her a racist, bitch slap her with music by JayZ and she’ll step right up and do his bidding as though they are “old” friends.  I know this says a lot about politicians of both genders when they so easily let those “little” indiscretions slide like water off a duck’s back.  Yes, I know.  We are supposed to think it is all for the greater good and all that other crap we’ve been told over the years.

I remember the 2008 primary when Hillary gave that wonderful speech about putting some cracks in the glass ceiling and then she caved when all of us women wanted her to stand up for us at the convention.  She capitulated and conceded to Obama.  Those of us that were closely following the race could see that it was rigged.  They got rid of the old Michigan and Florida problems and Hillary won all of the “real” big Democratic states.

The race was a dead heat even though the Democratic Party tried to paint it as an Obama run away train.  So, you’re probably wondering why I’m bringing all of this up today.  It seems to me that President Obama has a little problem.  It’s called a woman problem.  He’s hoping that Debbie can get us women back on board where we belong.  You know, it’s the same thing as “barefoot and pregnant” or “back in the kitchen”.  Whatever you want to call it, they are looking for simple, easy tricks to get women to vote for President Obama and Debbie is just the ticket to get us on board that Obama train!

Truthfully, I can’t tell you how I’m going to vote.  I just know that everything the Republicans seem to be doing lately looks good for Obama.  All of these crazy, Republican governors are scaring the hell out of most sane people.  With their slash and burn mentality, it makes me not wish for a Republican president to do the same on a national level.  In walks Representative Ryan with his crazy scheme to destroy Medicare and Medicaid.  Is the Democratic Party scripting this stuff?  It just makes you wonder.  However, President Obama is more Republican than Democrat in my book.  I have such a dilemma in the coming year with figuring out what to do.  Oh, Debbie, are you going to help me make that awesome decision and twist my arm to vote for Obama?  Are you going to tell me how it’s about abortion, gay rights, education and the right to belong to a labor union?  I know those crazy Republicans are just like the big bad wolf at the little piggy’s door.  They will huff and they will puff and they will blow all my dreams away!  Okay, I’m laughing now because in my mind the two parties are so much alike that it really is sad that I have no real choices in the next election.  I can vote for bad or I can vote for worse!  I can vote for President Obama who seemingly never met a Bush policy that he didn’t love.  Better yet, I can vote for some crazy, Tea Party loving Republican that never met a Bush policy that he didn’t love!  Choices, choices!  Hmmm, wonder which Bush policy lover I’ll be voting for.  Oh, is Jeb Bush ready to throw his hat into the ring?  I think it still might happen!

Women in Congress

  • Posted on January 31, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Woman of Substance

I have been thinking about women tonight.  I’m thinking about the women that I know and have known.  My mother was a wonderful woman, strong, stable and determined.  She had 14 children and managed to go back to teaching when I was just a youngster.  I think she was an amazing woman.  The truth be told there are many amazing women in our country right now.  Some are out working jobs and some are home doing the ultimate job of raising children.  Some manage to do both and some, like me, do it alone.  The point I’m getting at is there are a lot of strong women in this country that are capable of doing pretty much anything they set their mind to do.

I personally think that we are under represented in Congress and because of it we have little influence on any branch of government.  We may vote and think we have influence but the truth is the majority of the laws are made by men.  No man really knows how a woman thinks and no woman would really want a man to speak for her.  However, year after year, even though we have a little over half of the population, we continue to vote in these men to offices that control every aspect of our lives.

Tonight I came across this website which is very educational and a little disheartening.

The really frightening part of the website can be found on this page.

This is where all of the historical data is about women in Congress.  If you click on the interactive map you will be able to see all of the women from every state that have been elected to Congress.  The data is scary because there are so many states that have had so few women representing them.  In fact, Mississippi has never had a woman senator or representative.  They may have some women at the state level as I have not looked that up.  However, it is appalling to think that we have been a country for over two hundred years and even though women have had the vote for around ninety or so years, we still can’t get women elected at the federal level.  Until this happens, the laws will always be made my men.

Maybe some of you think this is fine and dandy.  From my perspective those men haven’t been doing all that great of a job.  Maybe it’s time that women grabbed the checkbook and figured out how to balance the budget, educate our kids and keep us safe from the bad guys.  Men just seem to keep that “good old boy” mentality going.  I think it’s time for women to unite and create their own party!  How about, “Women United for a Better America”.

Most women that are mothers have had to do battle with their young teens from time to time.  They carry those battle scars with pride because they know that some day their child might thank them for it.  If not, they still know they did what they were supposed to do.  We’ve all heard our moms tell us to do something and when we asked we got that, “Because I told you so!” answer.  It may have not been satisfying to hear as a youngster but it was consistent.  As we grew up we might have even used it on our own kids.  Many of us have had to be the bad cop when dad only wanted to be the good cop, so many know how to be tough when they have to be.  Now I come to President Obama.  He can’t say, “No” and he is so wishy, washy that he usually says, “Maybe!” and that is just indecisive.  Mothers know that you just say, “No” because anything else could be a form of weakness.  There will be times when you do say, “Yes!” but the kids will know they earned whatever it was they were trying to get.

Now, I know I sound like I’m just being funny here.  This is just my attempt at humor, but really this is no laughing matter.  We, as women, deserve to be fully represented in our country.  Until we have a seat at the decision making table of government, we will always be second class citizens or the small children at the Thanksgiving dinner party that have to eat at the “little kid’s table”.  We may laugh at that table, but we always are so happy when we are grown up enough to sit at the adult’s table.

Bush Nightmare Ensuing: Jeb Bush 2012

  • Posted on November 15, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Jeb Bush, the All American Boy

I’ve had this weird feeling that we are being prepared for another Bush presidency.  The signs are all there.  After two years out of the limelight, President Bush comes out with his book, Decision Points, to a fanfare of unbelievable kindness.  Even though he took us into a war of choice which left countless families broken and busted, he admitted to torture, he was virtually inept with his dealings in New Orleans and he has left our country literally on the brink of financial disaster; some people act like he was and is some kind of unsung hero!

I don’t know if I have been living in some kind of strange time warp or if I’ve missed some great trip these pundits are on that are treating him with such kid gloves!  What it makes me really think is that we are going to see another Bush run for the presidency, as though that is what our country needs.  Yes, I know, Jeb is supposed to be the good one, the smart one, he’s not like his brother at all.

I always find it interesting when certain families think they have to run everything.  Is our country of 310 million or so people really that poor at education that we have to stick with the same political families to run our government?  We deserve the government that we elect and I just want to say if that is what we keep electing, what is wrong with us?

I find it interesting that GW’s most hurtful moment was when Kanye West accused him of being a racist.  This is interesting as I feel he’s reaching out for those black votes for his brother.  It’s kind of like Tricky Dick saying he’s not a crook.  If GW had cared about New Orleans, he would have moved mountains to get some help over there.  Rest assured if the same problems had happened in Texas or Florida, those mountains would have been moved for sure.  It was pretty political over all and every move he made in office was political as well, just as it is now.

If I was a conspiracy nut, I would be wondering if the Obama presidency was a setup to get us ready for Jeb.  Obama was selected to be the Democratic nominee through the corrupted Democratic Primary just as surely as Bush was appointed the presidency by the Supreme Court.  Obama has essentially kept all of the Bush policies in play from the two wars, to FISA, to education and to even the financial bailout.  Even the health care bill was a boost to the corporations and not to the people in so many ways.  So, is Obama just keeping the seat warm on the presidency for another Bush term?  Who would have ever thought that GW would have lasted 8 years, but he did.  It seems like I’m not the only one having these thoughts.

Of course Jeb is not planning on running, as you can see in most articles about him, but the most important article is the one where Jeb says, never say never!  What could that mean?  Here he is sounding very political criticizing Obama. Don’t you think it interesting that he would also support Sarah Palin? It’s a little early for talking about supporting Sarah.  That’s right Jeb get those Tea Party voters lined so they will actually vote for you!

It feels like President Obama better start leading like a Democrat or he will be replaced by the real Republican!  Most people like real better than fake.  Why vote for a fake Republican, when you can have a real one?  We should all be very afraid.  Yesterday I read that Obama should be one and done and today I’m thinking that might be part of the overall plan!  Maybe it won’t matter as we all know the end of the world is coming in 2012.  I’m laughing as I write this.  Last week I posted on never being politically represented in my whole 55 years of life.   I guess the longer I live, the longer that will be true.

The Politics of a “Growth” Mindset

  • Posted on October 24, 2010 at 6:25 pm

What kind of mindset do politicians have, fixed or growth?

This weekend I have been busy working on an online course about the adolescent brain.  My own brain feels a bit heavy as I am fighting a head cold and trying to embrace this online course with gusto!  I’ve read a lot this weekend and it isn’t about politics.  However, I am sure I can make an analogy between the “fixed” mindset and “growth” mindset as it pertains to politics and politicians.  Here is a good diagram that I can share with you, so you can understand what I’ve been thinking about.  It is fascinating so click on it and study it!

If you study the chart you will tend to recognize what kind of mindset you have yourself.  Of course we all will want to think that we have a “growth” mindset as it is pretty obvious that with a growth mindset you can go far in the world.  I was thinking about politicians, both Republicans and Democrats.  It seems like the status quo is made up of the fixed mindset and the growth mindset would be those that aren’t afraid to change things up a bit.  Change is hard to achieve with a “fixed” mindset nation.  Even though we may know that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the somewhat silly definition of crazy, many voters are ready to do just that.  Even though they know what will happen if they vote the Republicans back in power, many are willing to do it even at the risk of their own best self interests.

The problems with the Democrats are looming ever larger as we get closer and closer to the election.  Many are concerned about the health care bill that was passed.  I refuse to call it “Obamacare” as I know the same thing was done to Hillary Clinton when she tried to pass a universal health care plan.  We all remember “Hillarycare”.  The same people are out saying the same things about “Obamacare”.  The truth is none of us really know whether the positives outweigh the negatives for the health care plan.  I’m beginning to think we have to give it some time as it seems like those with the money and the great health care are the ones squealing the hardest to repeal it.  The mindset of the Republicans is “fixed”.  They don’t want to change anything.  There whole idea is to give tax breaks to the wealthy and big business and it will trickle down to the little guy.  Unfortunately, that ship has already sailed and it sunk!  After forty years of this trend, look where we are at.  The ugly head of poverty has reared again.  It seems that while the rich are getting richer, the poor are also getting poorer and some of the middle class are being knocked down to the level of poverty.  The tax break for the wealthy that GW passed that is set to expire didn’t work.  If it had worked, it seems to me that we wouldn’t be where we are today, in a heap of an economic mess!

I want some new ideas in politics.  Let’s get some growth minded people in office that are willing to think beyond the petty ideas of partisan politics.  Some might think the Tea Party people are the answer but when I hear things like, “We should get rid of social security from these people.” I know that isn’t the answer.  I understand their frustration with taxes.  However, most people that have a decent job don’t spend their lives complaining about their taxes.  In fact they’re too busy living their life.  If we all can have jobs that pay a decent wage, I’m sure most of us wouldn’t be as concerned about those darn taxes.

Republicans are excited about the possibility that they may take back the House and even the Senate.  Through no real effort on their part or any new ideas, this may be true.  So many want to “Throw the bums out!” and the bums are the people in power, the Democrats.  How soon we all forget what a wasteland the Republicans made of our country.

What mindset do you have?  Is it “fixed” in the past or leaning towards “growth” for the future?  Think long and hard before you vote those old bums back in as they will probably be worse than the current bums and they will have a “fixed” mindset.  They think they are right about everything.  Don’t reinforce this image they have of themselves by rewarding them with your vote.  In Nevada they don’t want you to vote if you are a Latino that voted for Democrats.

That’s right Latinos, don’t vote, that will show them.  Talk about voting for your own best interest or not voting for them.  I always encourage people to vote.  Regardless of party we all should vote.  It’s the only way to get a true representation of what the people want.  I encourage everyone to vote, even Republicans!

However, we already know what the Republicans will do.  Their policies are the policies that they hold in their “fixed” mindset.  They will take us back to the future or the past.  Their policies favor big business and the wealthy.  If you aren’t with them, you are against them.  Their thinking is black and white with nothing in between.  They will try to control you through everything from gay marriage, women’s rights, teaching Creationism in schools and other divisive issues to the separation of church and state.  They will talk about how great the constitution is and then they will set out to change some of the amendments to it.  You know what you get with those Republicans.  It may seem safe to you because it is familiar as it’s a show you have seen before.  However, if you want something new for this nation, open your mind to the possibilities of a “growth” mindset.  Vote for people that have a vision of a different future.  Embrace change and think about how we might be able to be stronger as a nation if we all work together for the growth of our great nation.  Let’s not step back to the fast but embrace the future.  Vote for people that have a “growth” mindset for the future and the middle class.  Don’t vote for the past.  Vote for the future and the future of our children.

Scared Straight

  • Posted on October 18, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Voting for Republicans should scare you to death!

Recently President Obama made the following statement, “Americans are so “scared” they’re not thinking straight about the upcoming elections.”  This brought back “Scared Straight” memories.  If any of you have not seen this old documentary.  Here is a small video clip well worth watching.  Essentially, the kids are “cut ups” and in order to set them “straight” they are introduced to “real” convicts.  Watch the video and think about it in terms of politics.  I think the Democrats and President Obama are playing the wrong message.  Democrats may be so scared they can’t think straight like President Obama claims.  Hell, I’m mad as hell at the Democrats for acting so much like Republicans.  However, Obama and the Democrats need to have the “Scared Straight” message to send to potential voters.  Maybe if voters can really think things through, they will realize that although the Democrats are really bad, by God, the Republicans are infinitely worse.

So maybe President Obama needs to use the “Scared Straight” tactic for voting.  Maybe he needs to tell it to the voters straight.  Maybe they have to be scared straight into voting Democratic.  Maybe he needs to introduce them to some real Republicans just like the convicts in the movie.  In the movie clip that I just shared with you, towards the end the convict talked about when you ask the quiet guy to take care of you, you just became his property in every way possible.  Is this what is going to happen if people vote for the Republicans?  Maybe voters need to know what differences will take place.  Right now it’s hard to see any differences between the two parties.

So tell me Mr. President.  Scare me straight.  What evil things will the Republicans do next?  The problem I have is I just don’t see much difference between the two parties.  They both seem to like corporations better than people. I’ll be honest.  I’m not rushing out looking for a Republican to vote for I’m simply looking for someone that puts people before corporations.  The pickings have been slim.

You know for years I thought there was a major difference between the two parties.  It’s only been the last few years that the two have some how blended together but we all can still easily recognize a DINO.

You really can’t scare me about merit pay.  That used to be Republican union busting talk.  Some how you thought that was a good idea, so you implemented it.  War used to be something that those crazy Republican “Hawks” always had to dabble in.  Yep, we’re still caught up in these two crazy wars, so there doesn’t seem to be a difference there.  That crazy torture stuff that GW started, which I thought would surely be abandoned along with Guantanamo Bay….well, enough said we still torture or at least we put a hit out on an American citizen and we still have Guantanamo Bay.  How can the Republicans be any worse?  I know it’s the social issues.  Just tell Granny to hang on to her pocketbook and hang on tight.  Those nasty Republicans are looking to snatch away her Social Security check.  They’re also going to get rid of that new fangled health care that no one seems to understand.  By George those Republicans are even going to cut welfare.

All I can say is, “Scare me some more!”  What the Democrats haven’t done is proven they can govern different than the Republicans.  This is a nasty game called politics and it seems like only the most corrupt win.  Well, I do have the answer for President Obama and the Democrats.  Tell the truth. Tell exactly what you think the Republicans plan to do when they get into office.

Here are some starters for you.  It’s not that hard to figure out what they would and would not do.

If you put them head to head, there are differences!

Republicans would:

Aim to repeal the health care bill rather than build on it.

Not pass legislation to extend unemployment benefits.

Pass tax cuts for big business and the high wage earners above $250,000.

Continue to support money for war, any war, because they haven’t met a war they wouldn’t fund.

Would plan on privatizing every aspect of government including education, our roads, anything they can think of to help their buddies.

Repeal the minimum wage because in these tough times we have to let the market determine the wage.

Put everything they can back on the states to pay for because they believe in “state’s rights” above all else.

Give more money to “faith based” organizations.

Take away money from social programs.

Not create any new stimulus projects.

Not provide legislation to fix our crumbling infrastructure.

Cut capital gains taxes and get rid of the estate tax on the wealthiest Americans.

Call for loosening environmental standards to help business.

Push for more off shore drilling without putting safety standards in place.

Now that wasn’t so hard was it?  If you are a Democrat and your mad like me, just think about what the Republicans really want to do. As a Democrat you may now notice that as much as we are disappointed by the current batch of Democrats, they aren’t as bad as the Republicans that we would surely get. Trust me.  They don’t want to help the little guy.  It’s all for big business and corporations.  So, even if you’re mad as hell, vote for the Democrats!

"Scared Straight" should scare you into voting for the Democrats!

Throw Them a Bone Once in Awhile!

  • Posted on October 6, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the pre-wedding dinner for her daughter.P

Please note that the embedding for a couple of these videos has been disabled, so please be sure and click on the link as you’re reading this piece.  It’ll be worth it!

I was thinking tonight that the only real difference between Republicans and the current Democratic Party are “bones”.  Once in awhile the Democratic Party will throw their dog, you know “Us”, a bone.  We sit patiently waiting like the good dog we are for that proverbial bone.  In the past two years the bone picking has been pretty slim.  We haven’t had much to chew on and this is precisely why we’re willing to bite the hand that thinks they feed us!

It isn’t hard to keep us content.  We’ll put up with a lot, if we have a job.  Now that many of us are worried about the economy and not feeling all that loyal to our Democratic Party, we aren’t ready to wait for that proverbial bone.  If our master hasn’t been giving us that proverbial bone, we just might find ourselves running off to find a new master.

Well here is a little bone that keeps getting chucked out at just the right moment, or so they think.

This has been going around for awhile now.  I think this is just another bone that the Democrats think will get their “base” fired up.  Today I heard on “Morning Joe” that President Obama is losing the white, non college educated voter and the Latino voters aren’t too excited either.  These were those hold outs during the primary that held fast in places like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia for Hillary Clinton.  I have mentioned many times on here how upset some Democrats still are over the primary, so there is no real news here.  However, now we can maybe get excited about the possibility that Hillary could be the VP in 2012.  Imagine that, the first female Vice President.  Oh, and Vice President Joe Biden, well, he could be Secretary of State.  For those of us that have great respect for Hillary, this can be enticing, except we still would want her at the top of the ticket, not number two!  Wow, maybe we should go out and vote in the election to make sure she has something left to work with when she gets the job!  Oh, could this be some little bone to manipulate us into voting, get us excited again?  I wonder?

Oh, that little bone they just threw out to us.  It tastes so good, but we know it won’t last.  They’ll take that bone back just as soon as this most recent election is over.  Yes, and Hillary had to come out and put all this silly talk to rest.

Oh, dear me, that was back in 2008!  Oh, they really don’t like Hillary standing in Obama’s bright light.  These men just really don’t want Hillary at all.  “David vs. Goliath”, oh my, and today some of these same guys sing a different tune.  I really meant to put this one up!

Oh, these men, really just want to give us that little bone, so we can feel like they really do care about us.  They really do understand our angst.  As I said many of us haven’t really gotten over the primary in 2008 when people like me had our vote given to Barack Obama here in Michigan, even though we didn’t vote for him.  Some votes were also taken from Hillary and given to Obama because we were told if Obama had been on the ticket, these people would have voted for him, not her!  There they were, our Democratic Party taking care of us again.  Doing for us what we aren’t able to do for ourselves, vote!  You know when you’re just a dog, you don’t always have a very big brain, so you need your master to take care of  you.

I’m so excited about this new idea.  It’s getting me all tingly feeling: just like Chris Matthews when he thinks of President Obama.  Oh, if only this could really happen.  Well, I’m sure it could, if we voted for the Democrats!Here's to you Hillary!  Everyone loves you now!

Let’s have some fun with this.  How about playing the drinking game?  Every time “they” mention Hillary Clinton’s name before the election let’s have a drink.  I expect to be a little tipsy before this election is over!

Here’s to you Hillary!  Everyone loves you now!  Well, at least until the election is over!

Dreams of Our Fathers…and “Buck Up”……

  • Posted on October 4, 2010 at 7:09 pm

I must admit that while I have read President Obama’s, “The Audacity of Hope”, I have not read his “Dreams of My Father”.  After reading the recent Rolling Stone’s article on President Obama and seeing his comment that Democrats have to “Buck up!”, I am left wondering at the audacity of Obama.  This shows so well the complete lack of understanding there is between what happens in Washington D.C. and what happens “Anywhere” in America; where people are struggling to pay their bills, keep their jobs, get health care and be treated with respect.  It is appalling to think that this man who once joked about his lack of seniority in the Senate and the “jobs” they’d let him do, who at the time appeared to show a “humble” side is now becoming a rather arrogant president.  This behavior could be excused but insulting the American voter is never really excusable.

President Obama was essentially finished with the interview and overall it was pretty much a “love fest” between Rolling Stone magazine and President Obama.  The interview seemed to be used for the president to talk about that “70%” of his agenda that he says he has completed.  The president was motioned away and then came back and felt the need to add this condescending statement to the interview:

“We have to get folks off the sidelines. People need to shake off this lethargy, people need to buck up. Bringing about change is hard — that’s what I said during the campaign. It has been hard, and we’ve got some lumps to show for it. But if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren’t serious in the first place.”

I know all of us come from varied heritages.  We have many different racial and ethnic backgrounds but one thing has always been true.  We have a deep abiding love for our country and we think it is the most wonderful place to raise our children.  Our dreams are what our fathers and mothers have always dreamed, that if you work hard and play fair you can go far in America!  America is a place of opportunity.  In recent times we have noticed that those doors of opportunity have been getting slammed shut.  We can and do still dream, but we haven’t quite figured out when all of these politicians started thinking more “globally” rather than about our own country and more about business than the American people.  I think it is a lofty goal to try to stamp out poverty globally but it’s almost sad to think that these same politicians cannot seem to recognize that they only need to look in their own districts and states to see the dire need in this country.

All of us know that there has been a progression, mostly through education, in our own families.  Each generation has become generally a little more educated and wealthier.  However, this most recent generation is finding out the hard truth of today’s world.  Some of them cannot even afford college and the truth is they may go to college and come out and not be able to find a job that pays enough to pay for their student loans.  The truth is they may end up with a life threatening illness and end up in poverty because they’ve lost all of their money trying to pay the doctors, the pharmacy and the hospital.  The truth is they may have worked in the same job for twenty years only to go in one day and find out their job is being exported out of the country and they have no idea if they have marketable skills for another job.  The truth is, both parents have to work, so their child goes to school and comes home to an empty house and mom and dad really don’t know what their child is up to, but they hope for the best.

We all dream for our children.  We dream that they will have a bright and shiny future filled with happiness and fulfillment.  We dream that they will grow up healthy, get an education, land a great job doing something that they love and have a wonderful family life.  These dreams used to be very attainable but today we are all filled with uncertainty of what the future will bring.  This is one of the many reasons why I cannot understand how President Obama can continue to show such a vast lack of understanding  of the American family condition.

His family has led a life of privilege.  His children go to private schools as did his wife and Obama, himself.  He and his wife have gone to the best universities.  He has traveled all over the world as has his family.  He sees the world globally while we see the world through our communities.  We are tied to our lives in our communities.  Many of us do what we can to better our communities.  We know that we are part of the global community but our heart may be in Michigan, Texas, North Carolina, Florida and somewhere else in this vast country.   In reality we are all brought together from many parts to make one, not “one world” rule, but we are Americans!  Yes, we continue to dream, just as our parents dreamed, but now we must fight.

We must fight to keep our dreams for our children alive.  We cannot sit back idly and allow our politicians, and even you, President Obama,  to continue to ignore the plight of our country.  We must address the issues of poverty, the economy, the two wars and our failing infrastructure.  This is how we can show our patriotism and our love not only for our country but for the dreams of our parents, ourselves and our children to come.  So President Obama if you are finding yourself in a quandary as to why the base isn’t too fired up this election cycle, maybe it’s because you seem so out of touch with who we really are and what we really want.

When you were voted in with that “hope and change motto” many people thought you were going to aspire to do all you could for our country.   However, as the countless vacations and golf outings continued to take place, some of us out here were left wondering if you have the right work ethic.  From my perspective, I haven’t noticed much difference between GW and you.  I will give you credit for the stimulus as I think it did some good.  It was probably too small and maybe should have been directed more closely to the American people like the home buyer’s credit and the car buying credit were.  However, I think I’m not alone in my disappointment about most of the other areas and this is what part of your problem is for us.  You talked a lot about change, but we find ourselves still involved in two wars.  Guantanamo is still open.  The health care bill avoided single payer or anything else that resembles what most of us were hoping would happen.  Like your predecessor the banks were more important than the people.  While the banks were too big to fail, the American people were too small to matter.  This is the sad truth.

So, now you want those Democrats to basically stop whining and buck up like we’re some sniveling child that simply is having a temper tantrum.  Mistakes were made back in May of 2008 with the fallout of the Michigan and Florida primary.  While you may have moved on, many Democrats, like me, still feel the sting of that primary election when our votes were simply awarded to you, even though we voted for someone else .  At that time many of us felt betrayed by our party.

From my perspective you probably could have won my “loyalty” back, if you hadn’t governed so much like a Republican.  It’s hard for me to see you as anything but a black version of GW and the Democratic Party as the “LITE” version of the Republican Party.  You actually seem to be more comfortable with politicians and corporate heads than the American people.  Trust me when I say, “I want to believe in my party again.”  The Republicans give me nothing that makes me want to vote for them.  With the Democrats being a somewhat less offensive version of the Republicans, it’s still hard to get fired up about this election!  I mourn for my Democratic Party and what it used to be.  These young kids today probably don’t even know what a “real” Democrat is or what a “FDR” Democrat governs like.  We have had many years of Democrats morphing into this Republican “lite” version.  You and your fellow Democrats may be used to it.  I, on the other hand, see no point in two parties that are so closely aligned with business that it’s difficult to see the difference between them.

Knowing that you will fail unless you can generate some enthusiasm with the Democrats, you sent Bill Clinton out to massage the masses.  Bill is so charming and he does make a lot of sense with his argument.  However, when I started listening to him I realized that I wished he was president, not you.  He can talk straight and he seems to have ideas for getting out of this economic mess, which makes me wonder why you didn’t put him on an economic team.  I know your people wanted to keep him out because Bill might take over.  He might shine too strong!  This was supposedly the big reason why Hillary couldn’t be considered for VP.  Seeing Bill makes me wonder what Hillary would have done different from you.  I know she would have used Bill’s talents instead of bringing him out for a failing election to throw a “Hail Mary” pass.  I also know she would have worked tirelessly because it appears that she is doing that as Secretary of State.  She barely took time off even for her own daughter’s wedding!  Bill “gets me”.  He knows how to talk to me and the American people.  Listen to him and maybe you won’t make me feel like a second class citizen with your “buck up” statement.  Bill would have never chosen to coerce me into voting for him with that kind of comment.  He would just lay out the choices in a logical manner that we all can understand.

Here is President Obama looking thoughtful. He needs to use his words as thoughtfully as he appears to be here.

President Obama, the problem you and the Democratic Party has is the fact that we are really “not that much into you”.  If there ever was a love affair, it is long past its prime!  I have to say when John Stewart made fun of Representative John Boehner and compared him to a cheating spouse that wants his woman back but promises not to change, which by the way was hilarious, I was left thinking he could mock you and the Democratic Party the same way.  You have  been sleeping with the enemy on everything from the war to taxes to even education!  That old “merit pay” talk was started by Republicans to kill the teacher’s unions.  It’s been enacted by you, supposedly a Democrat.  You can probably tell I’m a bit edgy about all of this.  I “bucked up’ a long time ago when I started writing down my thoughts and determined that I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the party left me!  My dreams of a party that will make this country strong again have been shattered.  I still dream for the future of our children as I will always keep “hope” alive.  I just don’t believe you when you say you’ve done so much and there’s more to do.  It sounds too much like when GW always used to say, “It’s hard work.”  We all work hard in this country.  You chose the job and spent a lot of money trying to get it.   I say President Obama “buck up” and quit your whining.  The American people deserve better and they deserve to have their dreams kept alive.  We will vote for the Democrats, if we think they’ll do everything they can to keep our dreams alive and attainable.  Right now, most real Democrats aren’t too sure about that.  The main thing you and the rest of the Democrats have going for you is the sheer fact that the Republicans are worse!

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