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Archive for November, 2008

You’ve probably heard of the 30% Solution by now which I support. Women make up 52% of the population yet we are represented by a paltry 17% in government. The book The Tipping Point by Malcom Galdwell is about social trends and the point at which a trend or movement becomes viable and is actually able to influence policy.

The 30% solution is dedicated to voting more women into positions of power. At the point where a movement or trend reaches 30% change becomes not just possible but inevitable. Many of us PUMAS are already dedicated to this solution.

UPDATE: If you have not heard about the 30% Solution read about it here: http://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/the-30-percent-solution-why-democratic-women-are-voting-for-mccainpalin/

Now here’s a post from Shtuey at Oh…my valve! that discusses another solution that I also take to heart and support. I, like many of you have been struggling with what to do. It seems that we are not being listened to or respected by our parties and politicians. In fact quite the opposite.

I have tried to figure out should I stay a Democrat and try to fix the party from within or become an independant or even joining the Republicans in hopes of moving their party more to the center. Truthfully it is an agonizing decision many of us have been dealing with.

Well I will struggle with it no more as I believe the 50% Solution that Shtuey wrote about in this excellent post makes a lot of sense to me. I will not abandon the 30% Solution as I still believe and strongly support it but I feel we can do both.

Here is a couple of excerpts but you really should go read the entire post.  It is quite inspiring.

http://ohmyvalve.blogspot.com/2008/11/on-life-universe-and-everything.html

1. The federal government is now operating with not a care as to the opinions of The People. They are no longer even beholden to our votes. If numbers don’t look good Democrats have ACORN to pump up the votes. Republicans have their own fraud machine, which is apparently only willing to go to work for candidates that fit their ideological preference.
2. Politicians in office have one purpose; to maintain power for their party—NOT FOR YOU.
3. The federal government is operating outside the Constitution; they have gotten away with this because you are letting them and now, in their unmitigated hubris, they are taking liberties with your rights (this is being done by both parties so leave the partisan acrimony at home please).

This being the case, what do we do? How do we initiate the paradigm shift that must take place in order to change this? In order to answer this we must look at the sources of the problem. The way I see it, there are two main culprits: Partisanship, and External Financial Interests.
 

Snip

Currently, statistics show that approximately 30% of registered voters are Unaffiliated. Some of them lean to the right, some to the left. Why is it that there are this many people in the American electorate who are not members of either major party? I think it’s safe to say that it is because of the reasons I have stated above; and the numbers of us here in the Lagoon of the Unaffiliated seem to be growing with each passing election cycle. It is no wonder then that the Democrat Party, in conjunction with the Pampers campaign, unleashed such a widespread campaign of voter registration fraud; they must no longer have the numbers to win elections based on their legitimate voter rolls.

What do you suppose would happen if the American electorate, over the next two to four years, shifted from 30% unaffiliated to 50%? Suddenly both parties would actually give a damn about what the people think, what they want, where they want the country to go. Suddenly the levers of Roe v Wade, Reproduction, Gayness, etc would no longer matter. Both parties would be forced to ideologically disarm, and for once have a national discourse on policy.

So what do you think? Could you support this solution? Do you think we might have more influence and ability to hold the politicians accountable with voting block that is larger than either of the two parties? I do!

I will unaffiliate myself and support both the 30% and the 50% solutions! Please read Shtuey’s post and join us!

CQ

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Proposition 8 passed in California and the resulting chaos:

First I have to say that it really makes me angry that people actually think it’s any of their business what other people do in their lives, bedrooms and marriages. I don’t see how Jane and Sue getting hitched threatens or lessens in any way my marriage or anyone elses’. It’s their business and should stay that way.

Regardless though of how one feels about gay marriage, for or against, the really disgusting thing is that they are using the Constitution of California to make discrimination legal and that is just wrong.

Constitutions (both State and Federal) are documents that are created for the sole purpose of protecting the rights of individual citizens and preventing discrimination against them. To use or misuse these documents to legalize discrimination and take away rights from ANYBODY is morally and legally wrong. I’m not a lawyer but it seems completely against the intent of said documents. If it’s not illegal it should be.

Our Constitution ( Federal and the individual States’) say in no uncertain terms that all people are created equal and as such have certain rights. No it does not say the right to marry heterosexually or otherwise.

However to use the constitution to legally discriminate against any group or individual is a complete and utter perversion of the document, it’s purpose and intent.

To use public funds for a vote to take away rights from any group or idividual is ridiculous and should be a criminal offense. Discrimination is wrong. Period.

I’ve heard all the arguments for and against and honestly I still don’t understand why gay and lesbian people wanting the same rights and benefits as any other couple should concern or threaten anyone else. If you don’t like it don’t do it and ignore those who do. Why do people think they should tell others how to live?

If we use laws to take away rights of gays and lesbians today then who will we go after tomorrow or the next day? Maybe next they will decide that women should not have the right to vote or work or maybe hispanics should not have the right to have their relatives live with them or who knows what is next? Where does it stop?

Gay and lesbian rights are human rights and you cannot use the tools of empowerment and protection of those rights to deny them and call it fair, just or even sane.

On the other side of the spectrum are the folks who voted against this “law” and are now justifiably angry that it passed who are not just protesting and writting to their lawmakers. Now they have begun “outing” and “punishing” those who they find voted for it and contributed money to the cause. Boycotts and harassment are in full swing.

Yes it is their right to boycott businesses if they feel like doing so. It is not right however to “out” people that supported the measure and harass them, try to get them fired, ruin their lives and reputations for excersising their right to vote. Although I don’t support the measure or the fact it was even put on the ballot the fact remains that in our society voting is a right and is a private matter.

These people supported this measure for whatever reasons they have and as it was on the ballot they had the choice and the right to vote for or against it. That is their right and it is supposed to be private and it is just as wrong to persecute them for voting their consciences as it is for them to discriminate against gays and lesbians. You don’t right one wrong by committing another one.

That is violating the rights of those voters. We are all free in this country to vote our conscience be it right or wrong. Unfortunately there is no rule of thumb that a proposed piece of legislation must be morally and legally correct before being placed on the ballot. It’s placed there, voted upon and if it is proven to be illegal or wrong it will have to be legally overturned. It’s called due process.

No where does it say find out who supported it and make their lives a living hell, expose them to public shame and humiliation and destroy all rules and laws regarding privacy and voters’ rights in the name of your cause. You take it back to court and fight an unjust law the leagl way. You fight bigotry and injustice not with more of the same but with legal means and with education not fear and hate.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

CQ

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Ok, so it’s been a while since I posted anything. Mostly because I am still shocked by the election results and sort of numb as one friend put it. Also because of some personal issues that have been at the top of my list lately. Today though, I think I am just pissed enough to set things aside for now and get to typing.

1st Up!

Bailout BS Syndrome:

With the economy in the toilet and the Bankers, Insurance Companies and Auto Makers all lining up for their cut the amazing thing (ok, not really amazing I’m being sarcastic here) is that the people in charge of this “jump-start” for our economy are in fact the very same people who brought it to the point (read:killed it) it is today!

Isn’t that nice? Why don’t we just hire Bugs Bunny to guard the carrot crop while we’re at it? I’m sure he would do a fine job. Snark!

The whole thing is maddening. They want to bail out all these banks that actually deserve to fail because of the extreme greed and unscrupulous lending standards and investment strategies they have been promoting and using for decades.

Granted the economy needs banks and many people would lose their jobs if these giants failed as with the auto industry I concede that we have to look at the bigger picture but really, isn’t that the principal of business? Those who run them in the proper manner and those who don’t are all taking the same risks that any business owner or investor takes. So why should we reward their bad decision making and risky “get-rich-quick” schemes when the risks they took prove to be bad ones?

I know a lot of peope depend on them for loans and jobs and all that but when does the personal responsibility end and the government responsibility begin? And above all, why is it up to US, the taxpayers (many of whom have been totally screwed by said banks) to bolster them? If I have a business and I run it into the ground I would not expect the government to pay my way. Nor would they even consider it.

We’re being told these companies are simply too big to allow them to fail. We’re being told we must look at the greater good, the big picture, think of all the havoc that would ensue both nationally and globally.

Ok, there may be something to that but isn’t the main reason for all of this the fact that all those sub-prime and adjustable rate mortgages they sold the public have now predictably gone sour as no one can pay the incredibly high interest rates and the resulting huge payment increases? And who’s fault is it again?

Of course there are/were some borrowers who knowingly got in over their heads and there will always be people who will do that but doesn’t some of the responsibilty for these risky loans also belong to those lenders who arranged for those loans all the while rubbing their greedy paws together in glee with visions of sugar plums (read: huge interest payments) dancing in their heads?

After all those borrowers could not have taken those loans out without the lenders making it possible. They are proffessionals who should have forseen the consequences of these actions. Why is it the taxpayers’ responsibility to absorb their losses?

I won’t even go into the AIG thing or the Big Three and their troubles for now although it’s more of the same. Businesses taking risks they should have known better than to take and now crying because those risks did not pay off with the huge profits that they expected to make. Failure to properly assess, manage, innovate and protect their bottom lines. Completely out of line with anything you would be taught in business school.

The thing that really takes the cake is the simple fact that although they expect Joe and Jane taxpayer to pay for their mistakes and flat out greed, they have done absolutely NOTHING, NADA, ZIP fr the people who are losing their homes. Nothing to help them stay in their homes and be able to afford to make those payments.

It seems they want to punish all the home owners who can’t pay the huge payments that resulted from these lenders and their greed. These people are supposed to be the proffessionals and as such are actually more responsible for the forclosures than anyone yet they want the home owners to pay the price for their greed and incompetence by losing their homes and their credit and the taxpayers to pay the bill for their bad business decisions.

Nobody is concerned at all that bailing out the banks is doing nothing at all to stop or even slow the forclosures which is what is needed to stop the bleeding. I could not care less if Citigroup goes under. I do care that many people will lose their homes, the investments they have in them and will be far worse off afterwords when most of them would gladly make their payments if we just found a way to refinance them at rates that are reasonable and affordable.

As far as I’m concerned the banks who made bad business decisions because of greed deserve to suffer the consequences of their actions.

However if they do not help the home owners refinance at fixed rates so they can afford the payments this crisis will go on indefinitely. The ONLY way to stop the bleeding is to help the home owners which will in turn help everybody including the banks. To continue to worry about the banks’ profit margins while ignoring the cause will only make it worse for all of us and will leave the banks in the same position six months down the road.

Simply put the banks need to suck it up, take the losses and give people options to stay in their homes and keep paying their mortgages. Take a small loss now or a complete loss when the home owners walk away. Otherwise it’s just like putting a bandaid on a ruptured artery. Pointless, ineffective and doomed to fail.

I had a couple more things to rant about but I think maybe seperate posts would be better both in the interest of not making this one way too long and also to make discussion more structured and not have a bunch of different things going in all different directions. So feel free to rant with me and possibly offer your own solutions or ideas on this.

 

CQ

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After spending the better part of the last two years being totally and completely obsessed with the election it’s over. The outcome was not even close to what I had hoped for. Not by any means. I’m not even sure that the outcome was in any way acceptable but accept it I must.

It’s not a ringing endorsement for the intellect in this country as once again Americans proved that more than half of us are stupid. I would have thought we would have learned our lesson after not one but two terms of GW Bush but I digress.

The really hard part is not so much that my candidate lost, or even that my second choice candidate lost but who “won”. Sure Obama won and it’s historical and all that. It’s not that I didn’t want to see a black man elected. It’s that I would have liked for that man to have been elected fairly, with honor and for him not to be a socialist/marxist/communist with a penchant for sexism and misogyny.

Truth of the matter is Obama won but America lost BIG. We will feel the consequences of our actions for a long time to come as we discover that sadly, race relations and womens’ rights have been set back decades by this election cycle and all the rotting, stinking, festering wounds that come with it.

It’s been a real wake up call for sure. Not only has it made me realize how many people were completely duped by this fraud I have also opened my eyes to things I would never have seen before. I’ve come to realize that, as much as it pains me, my party is just as complicit in “dirty fighting” as the GOP and maybe even more so this time around. I see now that it has been this way for far longer than I care to admit.

Democrats who I believed were the “good guys” the ones who stood up for the little guys and women and minorities, the ones who I though were all about principals and were above all that stuff were in fact the purveyors of some of the worst and most un-democratic behaviour I have ever witnessed.

Suddenly the party that has never missed an opportunity to remind me they are the party I can trust to stand up for women has become the party of trendy, young women wearing T-Shirts that degrade and denigrate women as a fashion statement. Who would ever have thought that it would be trendy for one woman to call another woman a derogatory term for her reproductive parts?

It has also become trendy to shove more qualified, experienced candidates aside as if they were garbage in order to insure a less qualified, inexperienced, arrogant and manipulative man gets elected at any cost because apparently all that fighting to be “equal” was just noise they made to attract the boys. Gotta find a husband somehow huh?

Yes it’s the latest fashion to be seen trashing women and treating them as second class citizens even if you are one! It’s a sick world we live in when things like this become the “norm”.

It’s also the latest and greatest to make sure anyone who disagrees with you or asks an answer and actually expects an answer is humiliated, smeared, outed, threatened, harassed and “taught” that they dare not try that again!

The way forward? I’m torn about that. Part of me wants to stay a democrat and fight to oust those who are false Dems. To take the party back and return to the principals that are so neatly laid out in the charter. You know pesky things like One Voice, One Vote and Free Speech. Stuff like that. A long road that frankly, I’m not sure is even possible any more. So infested with rot and corruption and people who have no morals or principals it may not be salvageable at this point. I’ve lost a lot of faith this cycle and I’m quite sure that I’m not alone. I’d like to see the party back to what it should be but I’m not sure it can happen.

Another part of me wants to run not walk to the nearest registration site and register as an Independant, beholden to no one and not associated with the sub-human element that is in control of the party now.

Even yet another part says “Hey if enough of us joined the republicans they would become more moderate simply as a matter of the numbers and we might actually get something done!” (I’m quite sure conservative republicans would dread this and I’m not sure I could go through with such a rash action but there it is.)

It’s taken me almost two weeks to be able to even write this post so I imagine it will take a bit more than that to decide what’s next but you can be sure that no matter what I decide with regard to party affiliation I will continue to watch Obama like a hawk and prepare to defend democracy and the American way of life should my worst fears about him prove to be true.

That’s about as far as I can go for now.

CQ

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