Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Domestic Violence and Hollywood

Why is it that a star commits domestic violence, and expects that once  the initial shock wears off, everyone will forget about it, welcoming them back as though nothing ever happened?  Chris Brown, infamous for his attack on girlfriend Rihanna, shows up for an interview and flies into a rage, because he's asked about his legal and anger issues - sorry, buddy, that whole public image thing can really suck, right? - then shows up on Dancing with the Stars, and wants everyone to divorce his actions from his career.

I'm delighted that a Twitter fan and two of the show's "officials" had the good sense to stand up against his efforts to wipe his past clean, and ignore his on-going issues with anger management.  It's one thing to say he's served his time, paid his debt and is ready to move on - say for someone who stole a car once - but quite another for someone with an issue like this one to try to say the past is over and done, when it clearly isn't - or he wouldn't fly into a rage because someone asks a valid question about the very public issue of his domestic violence.  I sincerely hope no women are even considering a relationship with him, until and unless he get serious about dealing with his anger and it's outlet in said relationships.

Hollywood and sports figures need to understand that while they are human like the rest of us, their choice of careers puts them in a different arena, a very public one, and makes them, whether they want to be or not, role models for others.  If they get away with things like domestic violence, tax evasion, theft, etc., others will figure they can do it was well.  Business and political leaders are getting a bit more understanding of this crucial part of their public persona, though some still seem to think they can get away with it, but more public figures need to step up and be the role models our society really needs.

Enough said.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Polotical Blame Game

Listening to  Morning Joe this morning, I heard a great comment from Mika - that the President did what congressional leaders wanted him to do before becoming involved in the coalition to help the rebel forces in Libya - he waited, assessed, tried to negotiate to avoid involvement, and finally went in when it was apparent that nothing was going to work, he agreed to be in the coalition, with limited goals, and a limited time frame.  Yet, in spite of this, he is attacked by the right for not approaching congress first, though I don't recall the same argument being raised when "Duibyah" sent American troops into Iraq without approaching congress first - not even from Democrats!  So, we have simply another vignette of political blame game going on - hyped by the coming campaign season.

I continue to hope the citizenry of this great nation will one day wake up, and start holding congressional representatives accountable for two-faced actions and positions - whatever side of the aisle they sit on.  If you represent your people, represent them before you represent some strangely extreme political platform driven by people who want a return to isolationism and blatant prejudice against anyone "not like us."  If we are to be the nation we say we are, immigrants need to be welcomed and celebrated for what they bring to our culture.  We seem to be delighted with Asian foods, cars, electronics and technology; but some would push those Asian citizens right off the West Coast!  We are in love with Mexican food, produce largely worked and harvested by undocumented workers from Mexico, but want to run every Hispanic person south of the border, then become a fortified bastion of "White" nationalism.  Wake up, people, Asians helped build the rail system we now rely on to move freight around this nation.  Hispanic undocumented workers have helped create some of the wealthiest farmers in our nation, and some states are even willing to look the other way in order to allow farmers to bring in seasonal workers, who are paid lower wages and kept in horrible housing "camps."   How do I know this?  I worked in one of those camps!  Housing was thin clapboard dormitories with paper thin walls  Meals were skimpy, and the work from shortly after sunrise until late evening.  Violence was a part of camp life.

Now, ask yourself how many American workers would want to voluntarily take such conditions, work hours and wages?  Most of the jobs immigrants are taking are jobs Americans consider below their station!

Let's show we are serious about addressing the problems of our nation and stop the political blame game, and stop those in office who want to play the same game!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sports Strikes

Why would I write about this, as a progressive?  Simply this, we taut the wonders of capitalism around the world - even when, as in the Green Revolution, it puts money in  the pockets of regimes who were supposed to feed their people - but when we start  to feel the unwelcome side of the system within our own country, we want to scream about the unfairness of the system.  Here's how to curb to high salaries, the high ticket prices, the high price of refreshment at the stadiums - don't go, don't buy tickets, don't buy refreshments at the stadium.  Do that for a single season, and the prices, and salaries will come down.  They need us, we don't need them. 

I enjoy watching my favorite sports as much as the next person, but I won't pay the inflated prices to go to the stadiums.  If taken, as I was for my 60th birthday, I won't buy refreshments at those inflated prices. 

We even follow this pattern with regard to our automobiles and gas prices.  Yes, I know we need to get to work, to shop, etc.  But stop to realize that slowing down will slow the consumption of gas, make you safer, and help pull the petroleum companies back from their triple digit profit margins.  They have figured out that we LOVE our cars - a trip to the end of the block for something at the convenience store is another trip in the car - and they are making us pay for it!  We grumble, but we pay their exorbitant rates, then drive fast and with poor driving habits to speed through that tank of gas and repeat the whole process.

Where is the reasoning mind of the country that likes to call itself the best country in the world?  We've become a flock of bleating sheep!  We are being fleeced, and we won't do anything to stop it! 

Capitalism!  Charge what the MARKET will bear - guess what, folks, we ARE the market.  Stop buy, car pool, walk, slow down; the prices will come down.  That's the way the system works.  Until we are all ready to do this, we will get fleeced!

I'm currently using a county highway to get to and from work, driving 40 miles an hour, and I will drive for better than a full work week on a single tank of gas.  Driving on the state highway, at posted speeds, I frequently had to fill up more than once a week.  When I shop, I look at store brands, and name brands to see where I can save money.  I won't buy a new car, when a used vehicle will do just as well.

Wake up, and smell the coffee, people!  We have the ability to impact the financial state of this nation, IF we are willing to give up some of our conveniences.  It's up us - the companies will NOT voluntarily bring prices down -- Katrina and other situations have shown us that they are happy to gouge our pocketbooks.

Think about it!

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Bachmann Syndrome

Rep. Bachmann is creating a troubling climate for the Republican Party that could be the best hope of the Democrats for a big win in 2012!  Why?  Listen to the woman!  She's one of those who have come to use freedom of speech to encourage treason and violence based on intolerance and sectarianism.  Her mouth opens, and the s#*t starts to fly, ridiculous claims drop like dew from spring flowers, and the hatred at the core of her position is painted graphically for those willing to see.

Yes, I agree, she represents the "hard edge" of the Tea Party, and,  truthfully, of the Republican party.  The HARD, INTOLERANT, BIGOTED edge of the far right political movement.  This position has the potential to turn this country into a war zone with many factions seeking either control or safety.  It is undeniable that the Tea Party spokespersons have called for revolution, have stated that it might be necessary for a shooting solution.  It is undeniably true that they have begun to show just how bigoted they are, with comments that are racist, positions that move women's rights back 50 years, that set a social climate that targets gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender citizens, and has offered little in a positive, healing content.

As one television commentator said, if the adults of the Republican party don't stand up against the growing right within their own "right" party, they will hand the Democrats another 4 years at the very least.  We need two vital parties that will debate and work with one another, not a party afraid to stand up, and another riddled with extremists that encourage not freedom and democracy but legislative dictatorship by one party.

Please, regardless of your political position, start to work for a positive atmosphere, where elected officials work together for the good of the country and the world.  Start recognizing that we are one house on a global block, and we must start acting like good neighbors, not the block police force or bully. 

Think about it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Party of Big Business or The Corporate Political Party

It is interesting to listen to talk shows about how the current time compares  to 1995-6, and one point that comes out time and time again is that the Republican party has become the party of big business, or Corporate America.  If one is willing to think about it, it isn't even a debatable point - tax breaks for corporations, for the wealthy, reducing regulations on corporations and industry - regulations that are designed to protect PEOPLE, to protect this planet we call home.

What's happening in Wisconsin is just one more piece of that picture, with the attempt to get rid of collective bargaining.  Collective bargaining is the effort of PEOPLE to get a living wage, to get benefits to protect themselves and their families in case something happens to them on the job, and to help take care of themselves after they retire.  Gov. Walker, Speaker Boehner and others are saying, in effect, in order to stand with our corporate funders, we need to kill unions! 

My proof?  Remember Walker's comment about wanting concessions from the unions?  What happened when they said we will give you all but one - collective bargaining?  He flatly refused!  In effect, telling all of us what his real point was from the beginning - killing the unions!  And that fits the pattern of the Republican Party I finally felt forced to leave - a pattern I've watched for decades now - a pattern of stating one goal, while, in fact, standing on something either not stated or stated as simply one part of an overall plan.  Non-negotiable!  My way or the highway!

Do I believe Democrats have been better about this, yes, but not entirely without their own moments of intransigence.  I love to hear politicians speak of bipartisanship, of the need for both parties to work together, to compromise.  I'm still waiting for our illustrious elected representatives to actually start acting like we are indeed a democracy, with freedoms and rights for ALL citizens.

My hope and prayer is that people with good logical, rational and interpersonal sensitivity will start running and winning, and start changing the atmosphere in Washington, D.C.

Think about it!