The Voices of Women – Meaningless? And the Erosion of Democracy…

Apologies to the length of this writing (this is TL;DR for some) but Trump, Kavanaugh, McConnell, Flake, Collins, Hatch, Graham, Manchin and injustice is making life, well, Topsy-turvy to be polite…

Well. It appears that the voices of women mean nothing where it is most important – in sexual assaults (and in every day life to be fair). Even if an event happened 30+ years ago, the voice and statements of a woman are still important.

As of today, Saturday – Oct 6, 2018, America has voted onto the Supreme Court an individual with more divisiveness; with a more controversial background than Clarence Thomas had.

I’m a guy and what women say IS important, always!

That is, until it is proven it is not true. But, where it is ambiguous and no concrete evidence can be found, many of us will side with the woman – not just give lip service and say ‘we believe her’ as certain members of Congress have done (so the congressional members can retain their positions of power in their home state/district). What a woman says can make a difference. In many of the sexual assaults it is primarily a crime not witnessed by others and that is why the victim does not come forth and the guy gets away with it. (Sometimes, sometimes, yes indeed – there are women who also commit sexual assaults, it is just not that many.) And Trump – making an outlandish tweet that young men should be scared is ridiculous. No young men should be assaulting women in the first place (that goes for older men as well).

In America, or rather parts of America – certain Americans have decided that a man with a blemished background and temperament can be put into a position of significant influence and power. Certain Americans have placed an individual with what appears to be a highly tainted past onto the highest court, a court which now will be looked at for every decision it makes for the next 30 years with a jaundiced eye.

All because an individual who was put into the White House due to many electoral college members deciding that this person was the best choice for America in 2016. Trump.

If this Supreme Court vote turned your stomach, you had best “get your butt off the couch and go vote” in the NEXT SEVERAL voting turnouts, for the next couple of decades! The mid-terms, primaries, all of them. This will be the only way to restore some semblance of sanity to America.

Because if you do not, we, America, will be doomed and damned!  Are you one of the people looking to return to the ‘Dark Days’ of yesterday when only the males of one race had the power to lord over everyone else of a different color and all women? Do you really want to return to the days of suppression and repression…?

More and more pieces of democracy (not talking about the democratic party here, just democracy) will be chipped away as they are being done today. More “socialist” programs will be lost for years, if not decades until we can return to the path of growth and equality that we were on until Trump was put into the White House. And what I mean by socialist programs are:

  • fire departments (think you don’t need this socialist program when your home catches fire)
  • libraries (not everyone has high speed internet or even computers at home)
  • police departments (what happens when your local police department is gone and you need law enforcement)
  • schools (everyone needs to seriously consider removing Betsy D. from the dept of education…)
  • hospitals
  • social security (what are you going to do when you are older and have no money to rely on)
  • should I go on….?

Socialist programs, today, in 2018, are meant to help everyone, not just the poor and downtrodden – the programs are meant to make the lives of everyone easier,  better and safer.

This is how Hitler grew into power. Think about that – think long and hard – do your ‘own’ thinking. Over several years, Hitler and the people around him whittled away at more and more programs until they gained power – a vise grip on EVERYTHING! (There are some who say this erosion actually started right before Hitler came into the picture – but we all know for fact, Hitler destroyed democracy in Germany.) And what was the result of that, guess! Extermination of massive numbers of the Jewish race, in multiple countries (Poland, Germany, France, Austria and more). The Holocaust was the ultimate disgrace to democracy. Things started out small in Germany and many of the Germanic race were happy and fine that Hitler was looking out for them. Hitler was going to “Make Germany Great Again!But then when it was too late to do anything, such as removing Hitler, Himmler, Goering and others of the SS and the Nazi party – it was far, far too late.

Now, this is not saying Trump is a Nazi but – he is providing a helping hand in the destruction of the American way of life and all of its democracies. Trump has enabled the worse of the worst to come forth (recall the nighttime ‘Tiki Torch’ parade). Trump has unleashed the hounds of hell, to put it mildly, to come out of the wood-works and raise pure hell. Look at:

  • early February 2017 where the House and Senate voted to repeal the so-called “stream protection rule”- Coal companies now have a freer hand in dumping mining pollutants into streams
  • the white nationalist rally incident in Charlottesville, VA where Heather Heyer was killed
  • Chris Collins and his insider trading on the lawn of the White House – how brazen was that?
  • Many of the cabinet members Trump installed and the self-aggrandizement these individuals did while in power – sound-proof phone booth in his office (guess who that was);
  • Expensive furniture, what was it, ~$31,000 for his office – you know who this was, the man qualified to run HUD because he grew up in the projects (I grew up in the projects too)…
  • Zinke of the Interior Department and his sell off of federal lands
  • The black protestor who was sucker-punched by a white man in the stands at a Trump rally in Fayetteville (and trump said he would pay the legal fees for the puncher)
  • we could go on and on with this list…

The point is, if Americans do not come to their senses and stop this extreme political partisanship, we will continue going down the rabbit hole of more:

  • hate crimes – racially & religiously motivated
  • individuals like Michael Gerard Grimm, former congressman & former FBI, who threatened to throw a reporter off the balcony – a reporter who was doing his job (after his prison term for that, Grimm had the audacity to try running again for public office)
  • corruption – how can people follow the law when the law makers and peace keepers are the ones causing this corruption and excess to continue – so they can feel powerful and make money in many cases for doing so
  • erosion of public lands for corporate revenue – oil exploitation, so that oil companies can continue to make large pools of revenue before the clean energy wave really kicks in and fossil fuel use will be a money pit
  • inequalities – women and racial – women and those of different skin colors doing the same job as men of a certain color “SHOULD BE PAID EQUALLY” for doing the same job
  • anti-discrimination against new immigrants to America – and we all know this is how America started
  • to name a few….

What do we need to do people? You all have to use your head and think!!!!

You have to perform research and think and talk about your actions before you do them! You cannot just listen to unqualified individuals who spout hate and conspiracy theories. You must do your own thinking, it is what makes you “you”!

So, what are you thinking? Are you thinking things in the political environment are going in the right direction?

Are you thinking Trump is making America great – when he raises tariffs, the ultimate cost is on you, the American citizen because you will be the one paying more for the products with the tariffs. 

Do you think the tax cut he instituted was wonderful? Well – continue thinking about that when your local services (any or all of them) are cut or eliminated due to your city budget does not have enough revenue – ‘because of that tax cut’.

What about clean air and clean water? Think your kids are going to be able to run around as you did years ago but now the air and water are more polluted (remember, the coal mine dumping above and the Trump administrations’ attempt to relax car emissions letting car makers off the hook…)

Use your brains. Think about the future. You cannot just think about yourself because you do not like gays or dark skinned people. You cannot say “hey, my religion is the foremost important thing in the world” when other people believe in a different religion. Do not make a mistake, as an American and a global citizen – I. DO. NOT. WANT Sharia Law anywhere near America.

Ultimately, what is being stated here is that Americans need to be better.

  • Give women their voices – it is hard enough to come forward publicly as it is
  • Think about unity, amongst all Americans (i.e. why do we still have Sundown towns in parts of America? Why do we still have so many skinhead/white nationalist/white supremacist groups around the country?)

Because America has to come together again and be a “United States” and grow stronger and be better as a country for itself. As well as in the face of rising problems with:

  • Russia’s Putin doing the meddling he is doing globally and
  • China doing what they are doing – attempting to force people / countries to kowtow to them; giving China hemispheric power to do what they wish, such as build man-made islands in the South China Seas and claim more of the region as belonging to them (we could discuss the Uighurs and the police state they are living under as well as the great firewall of China as well as internet and public censorship so the Chinese citizens have no voice and are unable to vote politicians out of power – these are big stories on their own…)

We are losing the luster of being a world leader because we do not have any serious diplomatic power. Who do we have that is a shining star in the world of diplomacy? Our ‘leader’ in the White House is not one who has great powers of diplomacy. He is continually causing America to devolve into a laughing stock of the world every time he utters a sentence or disseminates a tweet.

We are a country where it is now up to the states to institute clean air and clean water and equality for all. That is, those states with a forward looking mindset for the next 10 – 30 years…

 

 

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Sense & Sensibilities…? Shame!

Originally posted Oct 4, 2013 at & moved from: http://patrick642.wordpress.com/
Change. Improve. Innovate. Be better.
~ Pressing issues, from cyber security, to strategy, to innovation, to improvements (self, others, organizations)

Sense and Sensibilities Today was the day I had lined up to write about malware but with this current shutdown situation going on, I had to write about that instead – especially in light of the fact that it also affects me too.

I will not be calling out names, it is not my nature. I will not be calling out specific parties. Anyone who objectively watches, listens and reads more than one narrowly focused news outlet (TV, radio, websites & newsprint) will know what is going on. I say ‘objectively’ because too many people are not being objective about this shutdown and using emotion and religion instead. In light of this shutdown, what I really want to do is rant and use profanity so profuse that it will make the hand on the back of your hands burn off but that is not me.

Look, if you are not using your head and thinking through the daily and weekly political machinations for yourself but instead relying on one talk show personality, or radio personality or one politician who ‘may’ be distorting the truth – Shame on you. Go out and work your brain cells and verify some of that content for yourself – use that brain that nature gave you.

Gerrymandering / Re-districting We have to put a stop to gerrymandering; it just goes on getting worse and worse over time. Both political parties have got to stop that madness. I happened to be listening to the Rachel Maddow show one night this week and they were discussing the possibilities of having a professional non-partisan group work on the re-districting process, removing the bias that grows more and more over time. I like that idea, would it work? Could people in this country get behind this idea so we can have representation of all the people in that district rather than some of them?

To those people in certain congressional districts around the country, you need to think about more than yourself. You are likely in a district full of citizens that are overwhelmingly just like you but lacking any real diversity. There are many, many other people out there around the country from many different walks of life. These other people may not be like you in: == Race (we had an Indian-American woman win Miss America, so what, be happy for her), == Education (not everyone can go to college due to other issues in their lives, like caring for a seriously sick family member), == Affluence (not everyone is born into a family that had a head start in life decades ago (I’m not talking about rich)), == Political persuasion, == Religious or no religious beliefs (religion should not be playing any part in government) or even == Health (people who do not grow up in well to do families, have health problems that are not taken care of years ago) Because some people may hold a very narrow view on life, those people cannot and should not inflict that narrow view on others and try to force others to be like them. You simply cannot do that, life is not supposed to work that way – you cannot suppress and deny others as it was done centuries ago (think ‘Christian Crusades’) or even as recent as the 20th century (think ‘women’s rights,’ slavery (Chinese and Blacks). You have to consider others as well as yourself in how we live in today’s society and move forward in the 21st century. Other people may not have had the chance to obtain better education in order to get that better job and earn a better living. And when monies are taken away from some school district to finance another ‘better’ school district, you are in effect suppressing those others.

Politics So, when people in the various pockets of America think and act narrowly on things in life and transplant that to politics, those people vote for someone who also thinks narrowly. This starts moving to extremes over time, we see that today. People should be thinking long term in how we can make the country better for all American citizens, not just in those close-minded pockets of the United States. We can do better than that.

We should be looking at mechanisms that can help all of us in the long run, even if it does mean spending more money first. For example, take this Affordable Care Act (Obamacare or Kynect or Covered California or whatever it is called in your state) – this will start reducing costs immediately for reduced emergency room visits that many without insurance use for their standard health care. That is, due to not having insurance, they let medical problems become worse until they can no longer stand it and need some kind of treatment. In the meantime, in some form or fashion, the rest of us pay for those emergency room visits…

Politicians & Talking heads We seem to have quite a few politicians and talking heads who are saying that this shutdown is a good thing. Do not take my word for it; watch the repeated videos and news clippings yourself. These individuals, in talking about the shutdown are saying some of the following: == It is only a minor inconvenience == This is only a pin prick == People will see how much government we can get along without == Etc. Now, if you are paying attention to what is going on around the country, you, yourself, will know this is not a pin prick or minor inconvenience. Our embassies and consulates overseas will have to function sub-optimally if their current funds run out. Medical research is now drastically reduced. I know someone who is supposed to get married on the National Capital Mall this weekend but will now not be able to because of the shutdown. Etc., Etc., Etc. And if those people who are affected by the shutdown cannot receive pay checks due to their furlough, then the ripple effect starts and it will affect many more people around the country. These people caught up in that ripple effect will likely be someone you know – “IF” not you specifically.

To those politicians who are obstinate, close-minded and chose to force situations on people – SHAME on you.

Conclusion We can absolutely do better than what is going on with this shutdown. We are supposed to be world leaders but it seems like we are harking back to Newt Gingrich when he was supposedly snubbed by the President at the time and as a result, Gingrich (as Speaker of the House) shutdown the government in 1995. Take a look at the Daily News front page from back then of the image portraying Gingrich in a caricature of him wearing a diaper throwing a tantrum. (Jan 2012 article link with that caricature: http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/pageviews/2012/01/newt-gingrich-crybaby-the-famous-daily-news-cover-explained) We need people in politics who will listen to their constituents, the well-meaning, level-headed constituents in their districts and bring those thoughts and ideas to congress. We need people in politics who are above board and honest in the message they bring back to their districts and informing their constituents of what is reality. These politicians must convey the message that their constituents cannot have everything only the way they want it.

There has to be compromise. We cannot force things on people, things like forcing: == A woman to undergo a trans-vaginal probe or == People who have voted for 50-60 years or more to get voter i.d.s to prove their identity == People to only marry the opposite sex (or become a freak show for marrying a same-sex partner)

We can do better than that. We have to. Didn’t we get women the right to vote (the hard way)? Didn’t we get blacks the right to vote (painfully)? Didn’t mixed race marriage come to pass? Didn’t we end segregation (well, this is still a work in progress due to the large number of bigots in the country)?Come on folks; let’s not allow the extreme people of the country hijack the rest of us. We should have compromise, level-headedness and better reasoning in politics. For that matter, we should have it around the globe. No one can have whatever they want, whenever they want it (that goes for the rich or the politically powerful as well).

Fairness… Equality… Respect…

Originally posted Aug 1, 2013 at & moved from: http://patrick642.wordpress.com/
Change. Improve. Innovate. Be better.
~ Pressing issues, from cyber security, to strategy, to innovation, to improvements (self, others, organizations)

This piece is long, it was meant to be long due to this grouping of topics being so deeply and greatly fundamental to me.

Will we ever get to a point of more equitable fairness, in our lifetimes, for anything? Will we ever see respect accorded to each other, on a massive basis, as we go through our daily lives? What about equality, do you believe we will see that truly happen in our lifetimes?

Oh and when I say lifetime, I don’t mean in the next four or five years, I mean in the next 10 – 20 or even 30 years. Because at the rate we’re moving along, it appears these things will not be easily gained in a more equitable timeframe, will it…? Women and their right to vote (Suffragette movement) – how long ago was this? Blacks got the right to vote (emancipation / civil rights act / voting rights act) – how long ago did all these take place? After decades of fighting for and winning the right to do anything, it should mean things become easier, not more difficult. And it for sure does not mean we go backwards as we witness what is occurring in N. Carolina (the new massively restrictive voting rights issues taking place – check out The Rachel Maddow Show site (http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/) for more info, or better yet, check out the NAACP site (http://www.naacp.org) as they are squarely in the middle of it).

I was raised in the north and the south so I have a pretty good perspective of how things are for both sides of the track. I went to black grade schools (in the south & the north); then in junior high, I went to a black school but also attended a Jewish junior high (over two years) as part of an exchange program (that is before Nixon cancelled the program, for whatever reason, maybe budgetary) and then to a predominantly white high school, in the south.

All my life, and I do mean from the very earliest years (don’t ask me how I knew what I did but I did) I had high expectations of things becoming better, much better for everyone to live together – not just in America but around the world. We would all become better citizens of the planet. Effusive? Schmaltzy? Maudlin? To you maybe it is. But, it is my effusiveness and I believe it is worthy. I could never understand the hatred, on both sides, until later in life. I could not fathom why people cannot just learn to be better around each other, until later in life. Maybe I was naïve for years but it was my dream and still is, to see more harmony amongst more people – especially as the world becomes ever smaller and resources (jobs, water, etc.) start to become more difficult to obtain. Are we going to revert to an even more selfish society as jobs dry up? As clean water dries up? Are we going to see more squabbling, in our own country, as the air becomes more polluted and deadlier from all the pollutants clogging the atmosphere (name it – methane, CO2, and on and on…).

Yep, call me maudlin for wanting a better society for all to live in. One where you actually can walk down the street without hearing car doors lock. One where you see people talking to each other as they pass each other on the streets, instead of having their heads buried in their cell phones or smartphones.

Yep, call me schmaltzy for wanting to see the day when one does not patronize or cast aspersions or judge others by the color of the others’ skin or by the: a) Way others talk, b) Partner one is with, c) Gender of the partner they are with, d) Religion others believe in – or do not believe in, e) Job they hold, even if they are a sanitation worker, a mail clerk or a mom.

Yep, call me effusive for my dream, for my promised land – not in any biblical scene but one rooted in the physical, tangible world. My promised land is one where all people, men, women, boys and girls, of all races, of all religions or no religion, of all shapes and sizes, of any sexual preference can freely live their lives. One where they can: — Go to school without fear of having acid thrown in their faces or being shot. — Drive a car without having a male relative present. — Walk in public and have a good time without fear of discrimination or be shot for it. — Work and earn a good living and work their way up the company ladder and earn the same pay as all others in the company, regardless of gender.

If we continue to have persecution, suppression and discrimination – now, in the 21st century, did, we as a people, not learn anything over the past 148 years (slavery)? Or for that matter, over the last several thousand years (Christian crusade and religious tyranny / regional & global war – domination by suppression and genocide). Why does it take disasters and calamities to bring us closer together? Why can’t we be closer every day, everywhere? Are people afraid of others doing better than they are? If so, people have to work on being/doing better themselves, to move ahead. Because ultimately, it will mean some sacrifice to become better – many of us have done so.

We should not be looking at and judging others by the color of their skin (and cast that unfair aspersion on an entire race) or what gender they are! 2013 and we still have discrimination against others, for no real reason, other than to suppress and dominate the other.

We SHOULD be looking at the integrity and character of others and judging them on who they are.

But most of all, I continue to wonder who the next Martin Luther King, or Rosa Parks, or Mahatma Ghandi or even an Abraham Lincoln will be. Who will be the one to step into those kinds of shoes…?