Archive for December, 2010

31
Dec
10

Happy New Year!

I have noticed several things this year including a drastic change in my writing style.  I am less angry and less resenttful, at least most of the time.  I’m not any more optomisitc, at least politically.  I think the lack of action on the part of Obama and Congress burst my Hope Bubble.  I did not expect a complete loss of faith in the American political system, but a trip to Ireland and conversations with locals there led me to believe that the world has lost faith in us as well.

My own long-term unemployment has given me the opportunity to get to know my children on a level I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise, and I have to say that I am quite happy with the way their personalities are developing.  The craziness of a 4-year-old boy notwithstanding, I find that he has a sense of humor that will carry him through life when his intellect makes it difficult for him.  My daughter, who chooses to speak only in phrases at 16 months and uses singular words only when absolutely necessary is also quite the jokester and a bit of a daredevil (which makes her Mommy incredibly nervous)!

This year I hope for a job, which will bring with it financial security and health care.  I plan on writing a book and beseech the universe for the willpower and time to complete and publish it.  I’d like to dedicate more time and attention here, because developing my political opinion writing can only be a good thing.  I feel as though I have become a “real” adult in the past year.  This year I hope to be a better one.

17
Dec
10

Indirect Censorship

The Parent’s Television Council has decided to “scold” various TV shows for their representation of teenage sexuality.  Most of the shows they chastised were geared towards adults, shows that young teens shouldn’t be watching anyway.  Of course, whether or not a child should be watching a particular show should depend on the maturity of the child and the decision of their parents, not a Parent’s council.

Indirect censorship groups are gaining way too much power.  Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club are censoring the release of Jon Stewart’s new book, Earth, for unknown reasons.  Blockbuster and other video stores decide what they want to release to the public, and it’s usually based on the owner’s morals rather than actual inappropriate content.  The rating system for movies in the US has absolutely no rhyme, reason, or rubric.

American’s are allowing their information, their books, their TV shows, and their movies to be censored with no knowledge of why or how.  They put bling faith and trust in an agency without knowing the true purpose of the censorship.  I’m so tired of being told what to watch, what to read, what to think…  Even though I choose not to listen to these agencies, I find it more and more difficult to gain access to the information they don’t want me to have, even if it’s just a little sex on Glee.

14
Dec
10

Effin’ SCOTUS

10 years ago this week, SCOTUS made one of the worst rulings in recent US History with Bush v. Gore. Things have only gotten worse from that day, and it is continually proven to us by our political and judicial leaders just how unimportant we actually are.  I think that’s all that really needs to be said today.

13
Dec
10

Food Insecure

I think Americans believe that if we put a “spin” on something, it won’t seem as bad.  That must be the reason why we’re calling 1 in 6 Americans “Food Insecure” instead of hungry.  Granted, sometimes they have food, sometimes they don’t.  It’s not like they’re starving to death, right?   

The media likes to mention it now because Christmas is coming, and a lot of Christians like to believe that everyone has food at Christmas; therefore they will be more likely at this time of year than at any other to contribute to food banks and soup kitchens.  I’m finding it exhausting to live in a “Christian Nation” that doesn’t care whether their neighbors are “food insecure” or going without health care or have their heat turned off or are having their homes foreclosed on or are unemployed or…  I’m finding it more exhausting to be surrounded by people who REALLY believe that there’s nothing that we, as individuals, can do about it other than change our vote in November.

If you really are Christ-like rather than Christian, please take the time to clean out your pantry and donate anything that’s been there longer than six month.  Go to the Dollar Store and buy a few extra cans.  Please, donate food.  MANNA and Philabundance are my favorite local food organizations, but I don’t care if you hand a can of chicken soup and a spoon to a homeless person on the street.  Make one less person “food insecure”, if only for a night.

09
Dec
10

Invoking 9/11

I tried to have a discussion with a few friends of mine about the Wikileaks scandal and Assange’s arrest.  My argument was against censorship and the slow errosion of our freedoms for the past 9 years.  A Republican friend’s argument was that she would rather have to jump through hoops at every turn if it prevented a terrorist attack.  I countered with the Benjamin Franklin quote, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety,” and said that I would almost rather there be another terrorist attack then slowly lose my rights one by one.  That’s where she invoked the third rail of debate: 9/11.

The conversation immediately descended into the depths of hell, with several other Republicans coming to her aid.  A few of my more liberal friends came to mine, and it turned out that NO ONE was really discussion the issue at hand: Is what Assange did really illegal?  If documents written by the government of and by the people are taken by one of those people, is it really stealing?  How do documents become “CLASSIFIED”?  Who decides on the Constitutionality of that classification?

The important thing is this: If every time we attempt to have an adult conversation someone decides to end the discussion by screaming, “REMEMBER 9/11,” nothing will ever be discussed, let alone agreed upon.  The constant steering of political discussions to the irrelevant (especially since the wars fought and most of the security decisions made since have NOTHING to do with the terrorist attacks) makes us all sound like children and does not further discourse in any way.  A nation divided we definitely are, and I fear, a nation divided we shall remain.

06
Dec
10

Christmas Cookies

Right in the middle of baking a type of cookie I haven’t made in nearly a decade a memory so vivid and strong roard through my entire body so quickly that I had to stop and sit.   There was a time when all of my hristmas cookies were for soldiers.  Some of them I knew, some of them I’d never met, but in the years following high school and well after I finished my Master’s degree, there wasn’t a batch of cookies that wasn’t sent, at least in part, to one base or another.  The revelation of what made me stop sending the cookies is what immobilized me this afternoon.

One by one the soldiers I knew came home, went off to war, and came back again, though not one of them returned whole.  One, in what many of us imagined to be a particularly difficult episode of PTSD, shot a Preacher’s wife sniper style, first in the wrist to “disarm” her, then in the head for the kill.  A few came home in boxes.  Some never went to war but were lost to me in other ways – failed relationships or friendships that just couldn’t survive the span of distance and time.  There came a time when I watched these men I had known so well become pieces of themselves, and selfishly, I just couldn’t watch anymore.

So I don’t have any soldiers to send cookies to, at least not this year.  My cousins, two in the Air Force and one in the Army, stopped speaking to me a year or two ago because they couldn’t understand that though I value the military and its sacrifice, I cannot get behind these wars we’ve been fighting for years.  They’re young.  Maybe they’ll learn to separate my opinion from me as an individual, but I don’t have much hope.  And I’m not sure the situation could be altered in any way by a box of cookies.

05
Dec
10

American Intelligence

I am currently involved in a discussion with a neighbor of mine which I find particularly disturbing.  In her words, she’d like to see the entire Middle East made into a sandbox.  Let’s just ignore the fact that most of the Middle East IS a sandbox and move on to the more important point.  She can’t tell me why.  Seriously.  She can only say that we should bomb the entire Middle East, but she cannot come up with a reason why we should work towards eliminating an entire race of people.  Does that not sound a little bit like young members of the SS who “knew” the Jews should be eliminated, but could not give reasons for their beliefs?

When questioned, she refuses to discuss it, saying that she’s entitled to her own opinion.  While this is true, when did Americans stop basing their opinions on actual information?  When did they completely abandon reason for the rantings of some lunatic on Fox News?  More importantly, why are those of us who are actually doing research, educating ourselves, and forming opinions based on reality being so incredibly politically correct and entertaining the complete idiocy of these people?  I don’t know why I believed that when President Bush left office somehow these Backwoods Republicans would magically grow a brain.  I’m embarrassed at my own idealism.




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I am not perfect. I do my best to practice what I preach, but I am human. My mantra is, "DO NO HARM". I may not always succeed, but I will always try. My goal is to be a better person today than I was yesterday.

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