Stay Outta My Shit, White Woman

My fitness pals will tell you there is something about spandex shorts, sports bras, and competition bikinis that have a tendency to send the female brain – and mouth – straight back to middle school. But I am here to tell you, nothing seems to turn some women into high nose mean girls like politics.

19th-amendmentI am beyond over it.

Evidently, according to Andrea Grimes and Jenny Kutner (whom I do not know so I can only presume they don’t know me. As an aside, no one I have talked to knows them either so I am assuming they don’t know them either. Therefore, I can only imagine that out of the roughly 160 million women living in the US, combined, they don’t know most of them either) because their choice in politician didn’t get elected, I am, once again, a failure as a woman. Not just a woman, but a white woman. Are you serious right now?

Thanks ladies. Like I needed. One. More. Damn. Thing.

Look, I am not going to pretend I fully understand the the issues in Texas – I live in Georgia. But, if I may paint with a broad brush for just a moment; Ms. (I hope that is not offensive being it isn’t gender neutral and shit. But what the hell, I’m already an asshole to her so maybe I’ll take to calling her “honey” because hey, I’m hick from the sticks) Grimes asserts that a vote for her candidate meant

a vote for strong public school funding, for Texas Medicaid expansion, for affordable family planning care, for environmental reforms, for access to a full spectrum of reproductive health-care options

while

a vote for Greg Abbott meant a vote for the status quo, for empowering big industry and big political donors, for cutting public school funds and dismantling the Affordable Care Act, for overturning Roe v. Wade

Let me clue you in on something. Based on what I see here, I would have voted for Greg Abbott too.

Here are some things that I know

  1. Politics has become little more than marketing and public relations
  2. If a person has a dog in the hunt, you can usually take the good they say about their side and the bad they say about the other side and cut both levels in half and you are probably now closer to the truth

Taking that into consideration I am going to bet Greg Abbott doesn’t sit in a secret lair throwing little children into a cauldron laughing at sucky schools passing out cigars to his high dollar friends. Maybe he does the latter. I dunno. Know what else, I don’t have a problem with the latter.

If you tell me no other information other than a candidate is pro capitalism, Affordable Care Act opposed, and abortion opposed, I will deduce that their general philosophy on most things are inline with mine. Am I always right? Obviously not. But let me clue these ladies in on something

It is my vote and you do not get to determine whether or not I  fucked it up.

RallyJust because we share common anatomical traits does not mean, nor has ever meant, that we hold the same set of ideas or priorities. When people use terms like “the women vote” and “women issues” my face turns redder than Texas. I mean seriously, what the hell? My vagina makes me compelled to function like a Toy Story LGM? And the most interesting thing about this concept is those women most compelling it forward are the SAME women who will claim they are empowering women.

No ladies, you are not attempting to empower women – you are attempting to empower Women. Like. You.

I’d like to direct your attention to The Constitution. I am beginning to realize how neglected it is. So let’s take a little look see at it – in particular the 19th Amendment which says

 The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

RaidBecause I can’t help myself, I’m going to also add that the vote for this gem in the Senate back in 1919 had been a long fought battle for the Republicans in a Democratic controlled House…right up until the moment President Wilson took us into World War I, a break of a big campaign promise, and the  Democrats took a whalloping in the 1918 midterm.

Now, with Republican control, the 19th Amendment finally made it through the House,  304 to 89.

Don’t worry ladies. The GOP isn’t looking for a thank you card. You’re welcome anyway.

In the Senate the vote was 56 to 25 broken down as

Yay – 36 (R) 20(D)
Nay – 8 (R) 17 (D)

This little piece of work granted each woman her OWN vote. Not the vote of her husband, not the vote of her boss, the vote of her children, her parents, her girlfriends – a vote of her very own. You’ll be interested to know that the 15th Amendment, also a piece of Republican legislation, was ratified earlier in 1870 and protected the right to vote regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Which means that even as a white woman, my vote is still mine.

Which is awesome, because I can guarantee you don’t want me voting in your place any more than I want you voting in mine.

 

Another View (Or “I Wish I Owned That Outfit”)

Sarah Manley doesn’t know that I think I dig her. She also doesn’t know I think I was meant to find her (I discovered her due to my Lenten Facebook fast). She and I have also never actually met (“Hi Sarah, I am April.”)

But I knew I would spend more than five minutes on her blog “The Nerdy Apple” because of this outfit. And she likes Bloody Mary’s (I am not sure if that is in the morning, but I am betting I could talk her into it). And this is her comment policy:

If you can say it respectfully, it will stay. If you get mean, personal, insulting, I will remove it. I have no problem with differing opinions. I have a big problem with rudeness and bullying. So please, play nicely.

Yep – that is some cool stuff.

Sarah wrote a post, and I almost left a comment. But I didn’t because it turned into this post. (Sarah, if you are here, please don’t stop at #1 – I do agree mostly with most of it :))

1. The semantics of Abortion get all tangled. If it is a discussion on the topic, then the sides would be pro- and anti-. There are issues with all other monikers outside of pro- and anti- abortion.

  • Pro-life – not necessarily true of all anti-abortion thought holders. How do I know? Because I am currently struggling with my own views on the death penalty (a topic for another time). I would bet that there other anti-aborts out there that either also struggle or comfortably support the death penalty. That is not a pro-life stance. Therefore, the issue is not pro-life, it is anti-abort.
  • Pro-choice – I believe myself to pro-choice. I believe that folks choose to have sex. (*Note – I have numerous times said that I appreciate the struggle over extenuating circumstances. These account for less than 5% of the abortions performed in the United States. The exception should not dictate the rule and I am content to discuss the other 95%.) I believe folks choose to contracept. I believe babies are not choices – they are consequences to already made choices.

Legal doesn’t make right. Slavery is the first thing that comes to mind. Hitler’s reign is another. I am NOT comparing the acts or the people. Simply questioning the defense of the “legal”. And I wouldn’t think that digging a baby out of a womb is the same thing as digging a cavity out of a tooth. And unless Sarah tells me otherwise, I am going to assume she didn’t mean that either. As a person who also draws analogies that are sometimes misunderstood, I am assuming she was not comparing the medical practices simply the access to medical services.

2. Agreed. While I would prefer something different to be used other than “marriage,” we kinda gave that right up a long time ago. The religious assertion is that marriage is sacred – and I believe that it is. However, there wasn’t too much of a stink raised when the ceremony moved out of the church and into the courthouse. We didn’t ask that it be called a “civil union” then. And we fussed a bit, but not too much, as divorce went from a serious decision to $99 and a court date. You want to talk about an assault on the dignity and sanctity of marriage? It should have started there. We didn’t.

3. Agreed. However, I would caution that just because something is found or held to in religion does not, in itself, make that thing off-limits in the political arena. Murder is the best illustration of this point. It is against a Biblical ordered commandment. But that doesn’t negate it from being addressed by the state. Murder is illegal, not because it is found in a religious text, but because it deprives the rights of another person against their will.

There are, and always will be, topics that commingle. The requirement should be, if you can discuss that topic in your religious body and justify it according to the governing powers for your religious order, then hold it religiously. If you can discuss that topic in your public square and justify it according to the governing powers of your civil order, then hold it civilly. If these two discussions can successfully occur on the same topic, I am not mixing church and state – the topic is just appropriate to be accountable to each.

4. Yep.

5. The system is broken and needs to be fixed, I agree. However, I would suggest that state mandate and socialization is not the way. Medical innovation and practice is expensive. Research and Development takes facilities, equipment, supplies, and some seriously talented labor. Medical practice takes the same. All of this equals a business that simply must make money. The investment is too great on the front end and the need for incentive must be available to fuel the ability to make it to the goal.

So do I think that health care should be a “get what you can pay for” service? No. But I also think that a “free for most, paid by some” system is detrimental as well. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know the problem is exacerbated by both extreme views. The answer is somewhere else but the powers that be keep focusing on the fringes.

6. What is “fair share”? I am a Fair Tax girl. That is my definition of fair share. And there is an overwhelming population of people who pay no taxes at all. Shouldn’t there be something? Even if it is a super small something.

Further, I don’t think taxes are truly the issue. Most folks, I think, would not bitch so much about taxes if they believed the spending was appropriate. Kinda like my house. My husband and I don’t argue about spending. We don’t argue about income. We do butt heads over the eighth running outfit or the suped up, see to the moon flashlight.

7. There is a “behind/under” to clean? Damnit…

So, here is to a post that, I hope, will be found to honor Sarah’s comment policy. We disagree on some things (I have never met a Pale Ale that I liked) but I think our hearts beat the same (I would climb over you to order an Irish Ale). So the conversations cannot stay the same. We cannot keep beating each other over the heads with empty Smithwick’s bottles. But I think when folks like Sarah and I respect, question, and engage, progress is made – and a Bloody Mary wouldn’t hurt.

Debt Ceiling, Budget Woes, and General Stupid

Alrighty, so I am not college educated. And I am “the American People.” So I am assuming the loud mouths from the President on down are referring to me when they talk about those who “don’t understand,” don’t “realize the complexity,” or “have too much ‘normal stuff’ going on to pay attention.”

However, allow me to insist that college obviously don’t make smart and my momma didn’t raise no dummy.

Seems to me folks in power like to make their job seem way more complicated than it really is. That way when they jack it up, it’s mostly because you just don’t understand. And the harder it seems to be, the less we want it and the fewer intrusions they will get because really, who wants to be bothered?

I am calling bullshit. I have run government supply, a household budget and a small business. While the federal government may be larger, it is not that different.

Let’s take my household as compared to the government. We both have revenue – I have a job the government has taxes. We both have expenses:

  • groceries (public assistance)
  • mortgage (housing assistance)
  • Health insurance (healthcare)
  • Books, lunch, supplies, child care (education)
  • Auto expenses (transportation)
  • electric bill (energy department)
  • Dog and ammo (defense and justice department)
  • cable, phone, internet (communications)
  • Beer and liquor (state department)

So, you see, it really isn’t that different. I have a certain amount of money coming in and I haven’t done really well at living within my revenue.

I have gone for mani/pedis and called it for the good of public welfare. I bought too much car because it was cool and tucked in the transportation budget. My kids really wanted those designer clothes – slip into the education money. And these purchases, along with many others, are paid for with my credit card because, as I stated, I did not require that my budget balance.

Well now, all my credit cards are maxed out. And the payments are due. And I really don’t deserve the last pay raise I got so I really can’t have another. And there are no second jobs for me out there because the job market it in a crunch.

So, I go to the credit card peeps and say “I need you to increase my limit, ‘k?”  And everybody thinks this is a good idea right?

NO! Everybody knows this is the worst idea in the world. I will just max that out and then what? I can’t pay the bills I have now. Why in the world would this credit card company increase my limit?

Because they know that if my limit doesn’t get raised that I will not only have problems paying my bills, but them too. So they need to raise my limit, but they also need to save me from myself.

So, they will raise my limit under some conditions. The money I have coming in is what I have to work with – that’s it! Those who are not responsible with what they have do not deserve more. I am already getting more than I have earned. I have to go through my expenses.

No more spa visits, designer clothes, trips to the doctor so I can have a sick note for work, steak and lobster, HD cable TV with Pay Per View MMA, drive thru, take out, latte, full service ANYTHING! And if your name is not on the occupancy list – you have to go live where it is. I love you all, but my budget says we got to buckle down.

Hey, another option is I can drive into the rich neighborhood tonight, break into a house, take their stuff and use that as revenue. Oh wait, can’t do that because it is ILLEGAL as it is known as STEALING!

Or, we could just continue on pretending like it is all to hard and to complicated and there really is nothing we can do short of, well, anything.

Or is this all too complicated to understand?

“The only thing that’s killing heterosexual marriage is heterosexual marriage.”

So, I am going to the coffee shop. If you don’t know what that means, please check it out now before reading any further. Thanks 🙂 Seriously.

For a long time I have wrestled with my thoughts on The Defense of Marriage Act. While I believe in sanctity of marriage as a divined covenant with God, I also understand that my particular religious beliefs cannot be the sole argument for legislative decision-making.

The more often we come to the coffee shop, the more often you will hear that idea – my particular religious beliefs cannot be the sole argument for legislative decision-making. I have spent an awful lot of time on an awful lot of subjects applying that code.

So I considered different societal implications – children, interactions in neighborhoods, etc. I considered economical implications – tax revenues, healthcare, employee benefit packages. I considered what the unforeseen implications might be and didn’t see any – which is probably why they are still unforeseen.

And all I came up with is – it is no different from allowing a legal avenue for any other two people to marry. Any degradation of same-sex marriage – jacked up kids, crappy finances, system abuses, messy divorces – can already be found in heterosexual marriages.

Do I agree marriage is sacred? Of course I do. But many heterosexuals do not. Current divorce rates show that marriage between men and women have become disposable in roughly 50% of the cases. The is no movement to outlaw marriage between a man and a woman on the basis of mentally disturbed children, causal relationships outside of the martial bed, disinterest in the sanctity of marriage. Therefore, it is unfair to use these as barometers of a group of adults who, just as their heterosexual counterparts, are as varied in their commitment to their potential spouses.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck did a wonderful job when she said

“…to protest someone’s day I find to be without taste…The only thing that’s killing [heterosexual marriage] is heterosexual marriage.”

Some of the other women on The View said other stuff too…but, meh, Elisabeth is the only one that gets singled out here.

I understand that with my religious, conservative background, this may not be the stance expected. But these are the beliefs I currently hold. In a world so full of turmoil and discord, is this really the thing we want to fight about? With so many people unloved and bitter, are we really targeting those who have found a way to love and be loved? Do I really want to be the one to say that a hospital or jail cell or any restricted place that, “I am sorry, you are not family,” to the life partner of another person? Do I really want to be the one to say who marriage is for or who it isn’t?

Nah. I don’t think so. Do you see it different?

State of the Union

Coffee CupJust some talking points I managed to type up while watching…feel free to discuss responsibly, add, or just ponder. Click here to see “coffee cup” purpose.

Trust people with their own money and trust them to grow our economy.

52 straight months of growing jobs – wages are up so are food and gas.

Economic stimulus package can be hung up by add ons – that will hold up or derail it

Are you rich and like taxes? W says he appreciates your enthusiasm and the IRS accepts check and money orders.

Has cut 151 programs equaling $18B and a balanced budget 2012 – American families have to do it – so should the government

Congressional earmarks that are snuck in without discussion or vote…appropriations without earmarks cut in half will be vetoed.

Says he will issue an executive order tomorrow stating federal agencies will have to reject earmarks not voted on publicly by congress

Hope Now Alliance helps home owners avoid foreclosure. Modernize Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Tax free bonds to help homeowners refinance their mortgages

Affordable health care through consumer choice – not government control. Health saving plans, Small business availability.

Education – me must trust students to learn and allow parents to demand results.

No child left behind – 4th and 8th grade math students have achieved the highest test scores ever. Increase accountability.

Failing schools – 2600+ students in DC can go to a faith based or nonpublic school.

$330M pell grants for kids for children trapped in failing public schools.

Americans workers can compete with anyone in the world. Free trade agreement with Peru is successful and like agreements need to be fostered with Columbia, Panama and South Korea.

Columbia – if we fail to pass this agreement we will embolden the purveyors of false populism in our hemisphere…

Energy security – trust in the creative genius of innovators and entrepreneurs. Nuclear power, capturing carbon emission, renewable fuels

Advances show that adult stem cells can work like embryonic stem cells – work towards medical advances without the destruction of human life. Ban buying, selling cloning of human life – all life must be treated with dignity.

Judges should get prompt up or down vote.

Permanently extend Charitable Choice

Entitlement spending – Medicare, social security – need reform need solutions to save them for our children and grandchildren

Immigration – secure borders, fences, technology, catch and release at the border, double number of border patrol agents…but we need to find a way to lawfully allow workers to come over to support our economy. Must deal compassionately with those already here. Solution must coincide with laws and our high ideals.

Foreign Policy – 3200 Marines added to Afghanistan to fight and train. Spreading freedom and democracy reduces terror and terrorism.

Surge work with the Iraqi forces to protect the Iraqis. People understood that they were not going to be abandoned. They stayed behind and ensure the safety of neighborhoods, improvement in security, improvement in daily life.

Return on success – 20000 troops coming home…”You have our solemn pledge – you will have all you need to protect our nation.” Called on congress to fully fund the troops.

Going into the Coffee Shop for Hillary Clinton

Coffee CupWhen I first started blogging, I understood the difficulties in “in the box” communication. With online talks and discussions you have a few characteristics that make some conversation difficult different.

There is no body language, no tone of voice, no real time response. A person can read one post and not get the whole story or know me as a person and get the wrong idea. The ability to be anonymous emboldens some folks to say things they wouldn’t normally say.

So, in the beginning, I decided that there were two kinds of topics – blog topics and coffee shop topics. Some topics were fairly safe to talk about on the web while still being interesting. Others could be too easily misconstrued and would therefore be held for times when I could get together with a real person, face to face.

However, I have since realized that there is a wealth of opinionated and knowledgeable ideas out there with folks I know and trust. So, it is time to go into the coffee shop.

I will be honest, I am treading these waters very carefully. This is meant for great discussion. I may have a little or a lot to say. We will have to see.

The fact that I am a conservative should not be a surprise to anyone – but if you didn’t know, I am outing myself now. I haven’t picked my nominee yet because I like a few of them for different reasons. Immigration policy, Iraqi plans, tax reform, sanctity of life…those kinds of reasons.

So, now on to my question…

I am honestly looking for a Hillary fan to discuss why she is a good choice. I haven’t heard one person tell me anything other than it’s time for a change, she’s a woman, or she’s been there before.

  • Change for the sake of change is not a good idea. It is desperate and not the way to run a country.
  • Yea Girl Power – but electing a woman just because she is a woman is bad for the same reason as change. Get a woman in there that blows it and it will be because she is a woman. May not be true, but that’s how it will play out.
  • I agree with Obama on one point – talking with your husband about his job does not necessarily make you qualified to do his job

I am looking for issues, track record – something I can wrap my mind around. As of right now, the her current success in her bid for the nomination seems ridiculously shallow.

How about that Dennis Miller!

Look out!  Chris Cree has taught me how to use the YouTube function in my blog.  This could become addictive.

Dennis Miller is a smart guy. I love to listen to him take apart the rhetoric and call it like it is.  “I am on this country’s side.”

You can think what you want, say what you want, believe what you want – as long as you are ready to back it up and own it.  I do. It is no secret I am a conservative.  Get a cup of coffee and I will gladly talk political philosophy – it is one of my favorite topics.  But action and realty demand that we be “behind our guy.”  Agree or disagree with the course of action – nobody’s right all the time – but we still have the best thing going.

Mitt Romney

On January 3rd, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney filed his paperwork to form his presidential campaign exploratory committee. This was not a surprise to many. It has long been speculated that Romney would attempt to win the ’08 Republican nomination. I must admit, I do not know much about the man, but I am attempting to learn about all the hopefuls in order to make an informed decision on who I can really get behind. I am very afraid of the major players on the Democratic side and find it unrealistic that a third party candidate can win. So, I began the investigation of Mitt Romney. So far I like what I see. But, I am not inspired yet to discuss his stand on the issues, but rather how people will view his reasons for his stands.

Mitt Romney is a Mormon.

This single fact has blanketed all others in every Mitt Romney discussion. I could hardly discern what his actual view was for all the discussion concerning his religion. And the question was asked, “Does a person’s religion affect the way they govern?”

Powerful question. Not a real easy answer. Personally, I think it depends on a number of factors. What religion are we talking about? What are the core beliefs of the religion and how rigid does the person hold to these beliefs? Then, like many things, I applied the question to myself. How do my views reflect my belief system?

I believe that right and wrong are not relative. There are certain things that are right for all people and wrong for all people, regardless of what you think, believe or feel. There are certain absolutes. There are certain ideas of behavior that can and should be legislated. Some of these ideas may coincide with religious ideas, but that fact alone does not negate the applicability in common society. Off on the rabbit trail I continued.

I think of the beliefs that I hold that are stereotypically tied to religious argument – abortion, stem cell research, alcohol sales on Sunday, marriage, child discipline, prayer in schools, and the like. As an aside, I didn’t say how I felt about these topics. Do you think you could peg how I feel about them all based on what you know about me?

At any rate, I think on these subjects and I have begun a quest for myself and a challenge to you all. On the issues, can you defend your position without the use of religious arguments and subjective moral platitudes? Should you be expected to? Should presidential hopefuls be expected to? Would you vote for someone of a different religious background than you? Where do you fall out where the issues are concerned? How is that going to affect the way you vote? Does any of this even matter to you?