Archive for the politics Category

Losing sleep over Obama’s stance on Gay Marriage

Posted in politics with tags , , , , on May 10, 2012 by klysha

I almost managed to go the whole day yesterday without watching the news at all, a practice I’ve found to be quite helpful in maintaining a positive outlook on life in general. Then just as I was about to doze off into my 10 PM pre-bedtime nap I got a call from my mother that shattered any hope of finishing the day completely oblivious to the days news.   My mother called me to express her distress that Obama had come out and spoken his support of gay marriage. 

Obama taking the stance that cost me my 10 PM nap

A little background. My mom is a relatively newly ordained minister living in Alabama, the heart of the Bible belt. She also used to be one of the biggest supporters of Barack Obama around. Until yesterday. Because of her faith and what she believes to be true about the bible she feels as though she may now have to forgo voting this year because she can’t support a president who is in support of gay marriage. Not only that but she said that she thinks she’s going to have to start preaching against him now that he took a stand.

I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I was to find out that my own mother was one of those evangelical Christians that tend to muck up the entire political process by boiling an entire candidacy down to one morality based issue.  I have the utmost respect for my mom and love her dearly but on this issue we squarely disagree. I tried my best to present a logical argument for why her stance made no sense. But I quickly remembered that you cannot use logic to argue against religion. It just does not work.

For example I pointed out that the bible doesn’t actually take any position on the issue of gay marriage. Probably because this wasn’t even considered during that time but still how can we say the bible is clear on gay marriage when it doesn’t even address it. I also pointed out that while homosexual activity is addressed as a sin in the bible so are numerous other sins that aren’t addressed by law. And many of the other sins are given far more attention in the bible. But somehow the gay marriage issue is the one that evangelicals choose to take a stand on. I don’t see anybody standing up for a legal ban on straight people shacking up, fornicating, adulterating, or over indulging in fried chicken at the church picnic. 

 I asked her to examine whether her stance was actually based on the bible or based on the agenda that’s pushed by the church but I’m not sure she separates the two.  My mother continues to stand firm in her belief that Obama taking a stance on gay marriage is going to contribute to the downfall of society and she can’t be a part of that.

I read the tweets from my almost entirely liberal Twitter timeline and I see how many people just can’t believe that there are people who would take a position like my mom’s and I remember that while I now live in a mostly progressive and liberal bubble in the suburbs of Washington, DC, there is indeed a whole world of people who live by guidelines that would simply baffle the liberal masses.

So I sit here today still in a state of hurt, awe and disbelief that the woman who allowed me to come into this world and raised me to be the person I am today is a promoter of some of the very beliefs that I stand so strongly against.

I’m really hoping that my mother’s position is just a knee jerk reaction and that she actually thinks it through and realizes that taking that position misses the big picture.  But the hold of the evangelical church is a powerful thing so there’s a good chance her position might shift more strongly in the opposite direction from my own. Let’s just hope this doesn’t result in a very awkward Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Rush Limbaugh’s Flakey Fluke logic

Posted in politics with tags , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2012 by klysha

Unless you’ve spent the last week or so with cotton in your ears, you’ve heard wind of the Rush Limbaugh commentary on Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke and the  debacle that has affectionately come to be known as “slut-gate.” But if you haven’t please refer to these sources.

Transcript of Sandra Flukes actual testimony   

Limbaugh

Is it just me or does this guy just exude sliminess in every pic he takes?

The slimeball’s Commentary

If you’re anything like me you feel a little dirty after listening to that fecal wad talk so feel free to take a few moments to grab a quick shower before continuing to the remainder of the post. I’ll wait.

It’s hard to listen to Rush Limbaugh speak without wanting to hurl but since the only thing I heard about on the news for the past week was people’s reflections on what he said I finally went back and listened to his commentary. And of course his commentary gave me the usual physical reaction but this time it was intensified not as much by the slanderous and completely inexcusable way he attacked Sandra Fluke but by the complete inaccuracy of almost everything he said.

Do Republican’s really take this guy seriously? Like for real for real? I question the morals and intelligence of anyone who can listen to that man speak for more than 5 minutes and not want to vomit.

 Based on Limbaugh “logic” Fluke can be reasonably assumed to be both a slut and a prostitute because she wants birth control to be covered under her insurance plan. Note that I said covered under her plan that she PAYS for not handed out for free the way that Limbaugh characterized it.  Well to be more accurate he characterized including said coverage in an insurance plan as “paying for her to have sex.” And took it even further and said that as compensation for us “paying for her to have sex” she should send us all tapes of her in the act. 

Besides demonstrating that he’s a walking sack of fertilizer which we already knew Limbaugh demonstrated a complete lack of knowledge about how birth control works.  I can overlook him being a jerk but that kind of stupid is inexcusable.

He said Fluke and her friends were having  “so much sex that they couldn’t afford their birth control”.

Sir the amount of birth control you take is not regulated by the number of times you have sex. That’s just not how it works.

Also the $3000 figure she quoted is the price of birth control without insurance coverage for the 7-8 years it takes to complete law school.  It doesn’t mean she wants to have $3000 worth of sex….whatever the heck that means.

Now let’s enter Limbaugh land and use a little bit of Limbaugh logic. If covering birth control pills under an insurance plan is paying for people to have sex then by extension isn’t covering a child’s delivery also paying (a whole lot more money) for people to have sex?

Since we’re talking about paying for people’s personal choices let’s go a step further…

Isn’t paying for cholesterol meds, high blood pressure meds and other medications that treat food related disorders paying fat asses like Limbaugh for their unhealthy eating? I suppose insurance companies should drop those coverages as well.  Many of the things that people wind up going to doctors for are due to lifestyle choices. So based on Limbaugh logic insurance shouldn’t pay for anything that might be the result of a lifestyle choice. If you break your leg walking down the stairs why should everyone else on your plan have to pay for your choice to take the stairs instead of riding in an elevator like the rest of us lazy bastards.

Oh I forgot to point out that Limbaugh completely neglected to mention that birth control pills are prescribed to treat many other conditions besides preventing pregnancy. Half the women I know are on birth control for some non sex related reason. This is because in reality prevention of pregnancy is really one of many side effects of the hormone adjusting drug known as “the pill”.  They’re frequently prescribed to treat painful periods, cysts, etc.  That they also  help prevent pregnancy could be viewed as a bonus. 

I swear if men had periods pills that help ease the symptoms would be standard in all insurance coverage …. wait no…they would have already come up with a “cure” for the period by now because men wouldn’t just accept bleeding constantly with intense pain and mood swings for 5-7 days as a normal part of life.  But women who want access to drugs to ease the pain and possibly as a bonus avoid bringing a much more expensive child into the world are automatically sluts and prostitutes.

Republicans are spinning the debate into being about protecting their religious freedoms. But the freedom they’re trying to protect is their right as religious institutions who employ people to impose their beliefs onto their employees who do not share their faith. And in some cases they’re denying access to medication to treat conditions that have nothing to do with violating their faith. This is the murky water  you get into when religion, politics and employment mix.  I wonder if they have issues like this in secular societies like France.

Speaking of France, they care way more about women’s vagina’s than Americans do…but in a good way…

Happy Birthday President Obama! Yes we still can!

Posted in politics with tags , , on August 5, 2010 by klysha

I don’t really have anything profound to share today (ok truthfully I have a bunch of stuff I could talk about but I’m too tired and I need to wash my hair) but I wanted to take a moment to honor the anniversary of the much contested birth of our president. So much of the drama and controversy that accompanies every single thing that President Obama does is completely unprecedented in American history including the debates that STILL take place about where he took his very first breath.

At any rate I want to send a message out into the cosmos in hopes that Obama receives the vibes to let him know that his true followers still fully support him despite the media trying to tell us all the reasons we should lose faith. The true supporters are those of us who came into this thing knowing it wouldn’t be a cake walk and knowing that O-B-A-M-A is not the new way to spell Jesus. We knew that things might get worse before they got better and we knew that there would be adversity at every turn.  The true supporters like the fact that you manage to keep the same cool demeanor no matter what the circumstances are. That’s a sign of a competent leader.

As a true supporter I salute you and hope that you have a fantastic birthday. In honor of your special day I plan to sip on a homemade Ciroc Obama and sleep in a product of your first contributions into the economic stimulus, one of the many bootlegged Obama T-Shirts that pumped millions of dollars into the black community.  Happy Birthday Mr. President!

The stimulus started in the hood

When blogger hacks have too much power and what we can all learn from the Sherrod case

Posted in politics, television with tags , , , , , , on July 21, 2010 by klysha

I was going to blog about something entirely different to end to my 3 month blogging hiatus but I just have to say something about the story I saw unfold on CNN and the web last night.

Shirley Sherrod

In some ways its absolutely awesome that the blogosphere has given any average joe a voice to share their opinions with the world. Unfortunately a lot of average joes really don’t deserve to have working vocal chords or the kind of power a keyboard can give you in our microwave society. This unfortunate reality is evidenced by the whole fiasco I just learned about involving a woman named Shirley Sherrod. Apparently some idiot blogger hack with a clear agenda named Andrew Breitbart posted a video on his blog of a speech Ms. Sherrod was giving at an NAACP function. However he apparently only posted about a minute and a half clip of the video that when taken out of context appeared to be racially incendiary. Faux News also apparently broadcast his partial video and went on to sully this woman’s reputation. Then the NAACP after being shown this edited clip quickly moved to renounce Ms. Sherrod and her employer, the Department of Agriculture, quickly forced her to resign from her job. Well it turns out that when you watch the whole 42 plus minute long video you see that her story was actually one of redemption and overcoming racism despite having lost her own father at the hands of racists. The irony that a woman who spent her life fighting to overcome injustice lost her job because some hack with an agenda tried to use her to prove an erroneous point is just evidence for how screwed up our country is  when it comes to the race issue. It’s also evidence showing why it’s just stupid to pass judgment on someone based on quotes, short video clips, and internet snippets.  The saddest part of this is, instead of issuing a quick apology for the hand they played in costing this woman her job, Faux news has tried to flip the storyAn idiot with an agenda into blaming the Obama administration and the NAACP for their character assassination. They have taken little to no responsibility for the hand they played in fueling the fire by reporting this story without checking the facts. And the second saddest part is that instead of apologizing, that Breitbart idiot came out to say his use of the video wasn’t about Ms. Sherrod, but about how the people in the audience reacted to what appeared to be a story about discriminating against a white man.  He isn’t taking into consideration that the audience saw the whole speech and was reacting to her story IN CONTEXT.  Is there no limit to the lengths conservatives will go to to alter the narrative the fit their agenda? Wait a minute I take that back…both Fox News and Breitbart have an agenda…while it’s sad, this kind of thing is expected out of them. The saddest part is the willingness on the part of both the NAACP and her employer, the federal government, to believe a story as told by people with a negative agenda. See this link to see Breitbarts own words and his clear statement of his agenda.

At any rate, I firmly believe that there is always a lesson to be learned when things like this happen.

Lesson 1 There’s no way to get to know a person’s character based on any one thing they said. No matter what the circumstances are, is there is almost always a bigger picture and an untold narrative behind anything someone allows to come out of their mouth. In this case the bigger narrative was readily available in the rest of the 42 minute speech that was misused, but sometimes the story isn’t so obvious and we should all consider this before rushing to judgment.

Lesson 2 Being reactionary isn’t the most effective way to bring about change. In this case the NAACP quicky responded to the video and almost immediately renounced Ms. Sherrod without even reviewing a tape that was shown at one of their OWN events. They did this because this tape was leaked in the wake of their call for the Tea Party to renounce racism in it’s ranks. They were so quick to try to show the Tea Party, “see we don’t condone racism”, that they didn’t even bother to get the whole story. NAACP you’ve got to be smarter that this when dealing with conservatives. They are skilled at altering the narrative to fit their agenda. (I’m very tempted to write a post later this week outlining what I think the NAACP needs to do if they want to remain viable as an organization. Let us not forget the recent Hallmark Card incident.)

Lesson 3 There are people…ahem…conservatives…who are willing to twist the story any way they can to try to prove a point. Therefore we must ALWAYS consider the source before running with a piece of information.

Lesson 4 Anyone who considers the Fox News Network to be a legitimate source of news is either racist or stupid. Okay maybe that’s not a lesson, but I am starting to firmly believe it’s true. Anyone who can sit and stomach much less agree with more than 60% of the biased, inflamatory, and often downright inacurate reporting that goes on on that network is probably either harboring  some deep seeded racist views or is an idiot.

This link shows the whole video

Click here to see CNN’s coverage of this issue.

Alabama Gubernatorial candidate shows his true colors

Posted in politics with tags , , , on April 30, 2010 by klysha

I take pride in my Alabama roots.  I really do.  Even if I tried to pretend I wasn’t born in the deep south this thick southern accent that I can’t seem to shake would blow my cover every time.  On multiple occasions when I’ve told people who had never been to Alabama where I’m from their  response was a wide eyed “Wow! Is it really, you  know, all racist and stuff?”   Usually they’re actually disappointed that I don’t have an arsenal of war stories about overcoming oppression and bigotry at the Woolworths soda counter.

It’s rich racist legacy has afforded Alabama a spot on many a northern born black person’s “Will never visit list”,  but for the most part I’ve felt like Alabama has gotten a bad wrap.  Then just when I get pretty good at defending the honor of my home state somebody like this comes along and ruins everything.

Now I’m not arguing against expecting imigrants to learn the English language. In most countries you’re expected to learn the local language to live and function. My issue is with this guy making the language the driver’s license test is issued in a campaign issue. Really???? Because this is an issue that really effects a lot of Alabamians right????  In a state where there are counties with illiteracy rates as high as 34%  (That means in some rural counties in Alabama 1 in 3 people can’t read on a basic level) are we really gonna make requiring people to speak the English language a campaign issue???  Why not make  working to increase literacy for some of the poorest Alabamians a campaign issue….you know something that might actually BENEFIT some people.  Instead this son of a biscuit eater is making a blatant appeal to the bigots in Alabama who will eat up an oh so “Pro-American” sounding message like this.

“This is Alabama. We speak English.”

Really? Because the people of England would listen to anybody from Baldwin county speak for 30 seconds and beg to differ with this statement.

The thing that pisses me off the most about this ad is he’s trying to dress his blatant bigotry in a cloak of perceived logic.  That’s where things get get dangerous.  Unfortunately that’s a tactic that is frequently used by Republicans.

For me the bigotry is pretty blatant in this ad, but some people who share the “Pro-American*” views  Tim James is trying to portray here could easily get duped into thinking this is really about saving money. How much money is really spent on offering the driving test in other languages Tim?

However since I for one like my bigotry straight up with no chaser I suppose I should thank Tim James for pretty much doing the next best thing behind wearing a fitted tee shirt with I’m a bigoted jerk emblazoned across the chest. Too bad I’m not an Alabama voter so I can’t vote against him.

*I’m not necessarily saying that “Pro-American” is synonymous with bigoted but I’m not saying it’s not either

Healthcare reform and why I hate politics

Posted in politics with tags , on March 21, 2010 by klysha

I’m not sure whether I’ve ever mentioned this before, but I hate politics. I hate it in just about every arena it manifests itself in to include office politics and even the politics of picking the next book to read in my book club.  Heck even the politics of deciding who to vote off of America’s Next Top Model (does that still come on) irks me and I don’t even watch the show.  But I especially hate national politics.  I could write an entire blog post just about all the things there are to hate about politics. Maybe I’ll do that one day. But all my petty reasons for hating politics aside the one that makes politics suck the most is the fact that the national political structure is one of the most cumbersome and ineffectual vehicles imaginable when it comes to getting things done that effect people’s lives.

The current debacle over healthcare reform is a prime example of all there is to hate about politics. My disgust with watching the political process play itself out is so strong that I’ve almost checked out of the dialogue entirely. But due to my commitment to being a beacon of light in the bacteria infested murky pool  of life I will attempt to express my feelings on the subject entertwined with the reasons for my disdain with the politics of it all one time before this bill (hopefully) goes to a vote.

I think most people agree that something needs to be done about the current state of healthcare in this country. This of course excludes any people who have funded their beach house in Maui and or multiple plastic surgeries through the fleecing of those in need of medical care. It may also include people who have good healthcare coverage and don’t give a rat’s hindparts about whether anyone they don’t know has to foreclose on their house because they got sick and had no coverage. But those people aside the rest of us recognize that there is a need to make some changes to the current system. Unfortunately the only way to make the kind of sweeping changes that are needed is through across the board reforms of the system and the only way to make a whole system change is through legislation and therefore politics.

There’s no better way to muck up a good and much needed change than to let politcs get involved in the process. Politics is messy, slow, and worst of all emotionally charged.  In it’s attempt to please the majority it usually winds up pleasing no one, and I think that’s precisely what’s happening with healthcare reform.  As much as I want to see the healthcare system improved who knows whether the current bill, if it ever gets passed, can do what is needed. It’s been adjusted and watered down so much in trying to please so many people that it likely barely manages to do anything in terms of making things better.

Most of the people who are the most up in arms on either side of the healthcare debate won’t even be effected that strongly one way or the other regardless of which way it goes which is why it’s baffling my mind how controversial and emotional this debate has become. It’s hard for me to muster up comparable levels of emotion on the subject since I’m blessed enough to have good healthcare coverage and I’ve also been blessed enough thus far not to ever suffer a major illness. Despite my fortune I do care about the people who don’t have coverage or who had coverage but were screwed over by an insurance company when they got sick. Therefore I’d like to see a bill get passed, even if it’s imperfect because it would at least give a starting point from which improvements can be made once we get a chance to feel this whole thing out. A failure to get anything passed could be a failure to ever have a vehicle to improve the system.  I will say that while I don’t know or understand all the nuts and bolts of the current bill (and lord knows I don’t even want to) I do know that even though I think it may be trying to do too much it doesn’t even touch some of the other parts of the healthcare system that need revision.

I blame politics for watering down and convoluting what the healthcare bill could have been.  And I blame politics for the fact that there are people who want to fight getting something in place just because they’d rather see the person in charge fail over seeing something get put into place that might eventually serve as a tool to help some people.

At any rate if I keep talking about this my ambivalence  on the subject will start to show and I’ll likely reveal  the real reason I’d like to see something get passed which happens to be the fact that I’m sick of hearing about this healthcare1 bill.   Whoops I said it. Oh well, now that it’s out there let’s get this vote over with so CNN can focus on more pressing matters like the content of Tiger Woods’ freaky sext message conversations with his stripper friends2.

1 Throughout this process I haven’t really heard anything about reforming “healthcare.”  Real reform of healthcare would include revising the way that medicine is more focused on over prescribing and unnecessary surgery than it is on prevention and healthy living, but that’s a WHOLE other debate. People would REALLY be pissed off if someone started trying to take away some of their scrips and telling them to give up their bacon, cigarettes and sugar. Shoot I might start a protest if someone told me to give up sugar.

2 I’m kidding…sort of

All this oversensitivity has got to stop

Posted in food, politics with tags , , , , , , , on February 8, 2010 by klysha

You’d think that now that Black is the new black, Black people would have gotten over all this sensitivity to black stereotypes. But alas even with a Black president, a Black Miss America, and the fact that Black people continue to set the standard of cool in the United States and therefore the world, political correctness and oversensitivity  to stereotypes continues to rear it’s ugly head. 

In honor of black history month the cafeteria at the NBC offices offered the special menu pictured below.

Aquafina?? What's Black about that???

Apperently people got offended at the stereotype being perpetuated by serving fried chicken in honor of Black history month, forcing the cafeteria to change the menu. To those people I say…seriously?? My only minor issue with this menu…other than the absence of sweet tea as a beverage choice…is that fried chicken is no more a black dish than green bean casserole is a white dish (okay maybe green bean casserole is white but my family insists on having it at Thanksgiving anyway). Most black people I know can’t even make good fried chicken. Of course most Black people I know are too bougie to prepare fried food in their house for fear they’ll never get the smell out of their precious fabrics, but that’s a side issue.  Fried chicken just happens to go well with collard greens, so does fried catfish. Maybe they would have gotten less flack if they would have tried to serve catfish. 

Anyway my point is, this is a stupid thing to get offended over. Had they have served chitterlings then maybe they’d have a real reason to get offended. You don’t see Asian people getting offended if they include rice on the menu for Asian Heritage appreciation month. They actually might get offended if you left the rice off.

I think this offense stems from  from a notion that anything widely associated with Black people is something to be ashamed of. Let’s just pretend for a moment that fried chicken actually was a “black” dish. Why should enjoying a dish that was prepared and perfected by your ancestors be a source of shame?? Hello, fried chicken is delicious! America loves fried chicken. It’s just wrong that if you’re Black and you happen to like a dish that’s as widely embraced as fried chicken that people try to make you feel like you’re setting your people back 100 years. So what if soul food is a throw back to slavery. If anybody should find any shame in that chapter in American history it’s white people. Isn’t  the public exploitation of white guilt supposed to be one of the perks of black history month??? (j/k…sort of)  If we were making real progress it would be okay to enjoy whatever the heck you like regardless of whether it feeds into a stereotype.

I’m so tired of Black people feeling the need to go out of their way to prove to white people that the stupid stereotypes aren’t true. Why do we still even care what they think of us? Do all Black people like soul food? Of course not. Do a lot of Black people like it? Absolutely! And I unashamedly am one of them. I have a pot of collard greens in the fridge right now  that I’m looking forward to eating later on.  I’d have fried chicken too if I knew how to consistently make it without it either coming out burnt or raw (and if I knew an easy way to get that fried grease smell out of the carpet*).

The woman who put together the menu at NBC defended her food choices saying she just wanted to prepare a menu that people would enjoy. I’m totally on the chef’s side in this. She prepared a menu that in her eyes gave honor to some of her ancestors, who happened to make food that was freaking delicious, and the blasted PC mongering TV types at NBC couldn’t even appreciate her efforts. This nonsense must stop!

*Oh snap! I just remembered that’s what Febreeze is for! I might try to get my fried chicken game up if I get snowed again in two days.