Monday, December 28, 2009

Liberal? You Bet Your Sweet Ass I Am!

Years ago, there was a charity club called the "Turtles" and if you were a member of it and someone asked if you were a "Turtle" the stock answer was, you bet your sweet ass I am! So I'm proposing the same club-like answer to the question of, are you a liberal? You bet your sweet ass I am!
Back when I began voting in elections, you had two choices, Democrat or Republican. You also had to be 21 years old to register to vote back in 1964, so that's the year I turned 21 and of course I registered as a Democrat. Back then it was pretty easy to tell the difference between the two political parties. If you were a person who cared about the welfare and well being of fellow human beings and the world around you, you registered as a Democrat. If money was more important to you than people, especially the great unwashed masses of working people, you registered as a Republican. It was pretty simple. Not any more!
Now, both political parties have melded into an unrecognizable single entity, the purpose of which is to do anything and everything to take away whatever might be of any use to the common everyday citizen. The people elected to represent us have instead turned into our worst enemies. They are paid a very good wage to do their job, plus all the perks of the job. But that's not enough, they want to be treated like royalty, bribed by their corporate masters and could care less if the people they work for are suffering. We would be better off if they quit pretending they care about us. I also think we would be better off if we let them know how useless they are to us.
I have been a liberal person since my earliest memory of what that means. Even before it became a derisive label. I will probably die a liberal person, because that's who I am. I care about fellow humans. I want them to be healthy, happy and able to live their lives without the government screwing up everything it touches. I no longer match the description of the two political parties. It was they who have forgotten what they stand for. They left me, and you to fend for ourselves. I have proudly gone to the polls and voted at every election since 1964, and I will still continue to vote in local and state elections. However, unless something drastic happens to remind our national elected officials of who they are supposed to be working for, I will never vote in a national election again. I refuse to vote for anyone who doesn't care about anything but their own greed. If I do decide to vote in a national election, it will be a write-in vote, just so they know I didn't just drop off the face of the earth. I am no longer what they call a Democrat, but I am a liberal, secular humanist who thinks that our political system is so broken, it can no longer be fixed. I will not campaign, give money to, or contribute in any way to a corrupt political system.
The next time you hear a politician or pundit say they work for the American people, laugh out loud and repeat after me, am I a liberal? You bet your sweet ass I am! And I own my own soul, too! Unlike all the assholes in Washington, D.C. It's good to feel free.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Communication Is A Two Way Street

For the last week or so quote from the old movie, Cool Hand Luke has been running through my mind on a daily basis. It is when the prison official tells wonderfully hunky Paul Newman that,"what we have here is a failure to communicate". Yes, I know that calling Paul Newman hunky dates me, but I don't mind at all!
We have 24 hour a day news coverage, movies, television, radio, internet, newpapers, magazines and person to person conversation in our political discourse, but yet we have a failure to communicate. I email my congress people on almost a daily basis, and yet, when I receive a reply from them it is always in a form email, thank you for expressing your opinion yata, yata, yata. You can tell by the reply that a human being has never laid eyes on the email you sent, it was automatically generated. I speak, no one listens. I have written them letters also, by hand, with the same resulting form letter in return. I have phoned them, of course never getting to speak to them in person, and tell the person on the other end of the phone my opinion on healthcare insurance reform for instance, only for them to say, I will let him/her know. After living as a democrat in a republican dominated state, you think I would get used to being ignored, but it always surprises me how little they care about their constituents. These elected officials are getting very good wages and benefits at public expense and still don't hear or care what we common people say. What exactly do we have to do to be heard? I mean really heard! We don't have huge bankrolls to give them like the corporations do, so does that make them deaf or just uncaring?
Take President Obama, for example. Millions of us voted him into office and yet, the only ones he hears are the wealthy. He has got to be aware of what is going on in the economy, the healthcare insurance reform, the mortgage foreclosures, job losses, all being suffered by the quaintly named "middle class", but other than some pretty words, no recognition of their pain. If Goldman Sachs speaks, he jumps, if a poor child dies from lack of medical care which his parents can't afford, he speechifies, then forgets the child ever existed. All talk, no action. You will never convince me that there isn't more he could be doing to threaten and cajole the congress into action that would help the middle class and lower class. Yet, he was able to decide to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan at a cost of one million dollars per man/woman per year with absolutely no qualms. No money for butter, lots of money for war. Let me tell you, President Obama, and members of Congress, I think your priorities just plain suck! Open your eyes and ears before our country implodes. It is just a matter of time before we will be in worse shape than any other 3rd world country. We can't leave our fate in your hands or those of the corporations you pledge allegiance to. Wake up! Pay Attention! Do your job! Listen to the people and do what we need and want you to do. Together we can save ourselves. We're running out of time! Do you hear me now?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Letter to President Obama: What In Hell Are You Thinking!

As we all know by now you,our president, have decided to send 30,000 more military troops to Afghanistan. Is there any way I can get my vote for you back? During the run-up to your being elected, you spoke mightily about so many things, change, hope, accountability,respect, among others I won't list. What has happened to you? I feel rather stupid for having voted for you and can only rationalize it by realizing that 69,498,214 voters made the same mistake that I did. We all drank the Kool-aid you dispensed with your wonderful speeches. After 8 years of the Bush/Cheney debacle, I dared to hope again. I divorced the last man who deceived me, but how do you divorce a president?
Lest you think that I'm being petty, you have done a lot of small things rather well since being elected. However, on the big things, you are batting zero. Talk is easy, action is what is called for.
How could you have possibly missed what the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center report that said 43,000 of our troops were considered nondeployable 3 months before shipping out to Iraq? How could you have possibly missed the statistic, also from Army stats, that 12% of our combat troops in Iraq and 17% of our combat troops in Afghanistan are taking antidepressants or sleeping pills to help them cope? Or the fact that over 300,000 of our troops suffer from PTSD or major depression, and over half go untreated!
The incidence of PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries have increased from 38% to a whopping 58% since August of 2008. There were 128 officially listed suicides in 2008 and are on track for an increase in that number in 2009. That's not counting military suicides after leaving the services, nor is there an accurate count of spouse and child abuse by service men and women by veterans of both war theaters. How can you send 30,000 more troops into the meat grinder, when the ones who are serving there now are not being dealt with fairly? I know, you inherited a lot of these problems from the previous administration, but you were voted in so that there would be changes made. You didn't tell us the change would be from bad to worse! The decision to send more troops to Afghanistan is all yours now. You no longer have my support, and I'm not sure how many of the 69,498,214 other citizens who voted for you support you in this decision, but I would guess you don't really care. I can't speak for the others, but I will personally hold you accountable for each and every death which occurs in both war theaters. This is not to say that I won't support you on some things, but I truly believe you have been swayed by the military-industrial complex. I won't even go into things such as health care and the economy, because I already understand that a foreign country takes precedence in your priorities over that of your own. Our nation is the one that needs rebuilding, and our military troops have been misused and abused and deserve to be treated better than they have been by the government they served.
You, Mr President, are a major disappointment. What in hell are you thinking? Some CHANGE!