Tag Archives: politics

“You should never hit anybody about God.”

“He shouldn’t hit me. You shouldn’t hit me about God, Mamma. You should never hit anybody about God—”

The Conversion of the Jews

Philip Roth

religion allI was in my classroom at Bonita Springs Middle School. I taught drama, or at least I tried to. I was horrible at classroom management.  School started at 9:35, and it was before my first period class. A kid, Tyler, ran in and said, “Miss Petty, I know it’s the JAPS!!” I was so confused. Tyler was a good kid, and I did not suspect drugs.  I thought he was just, you know, acting for me. Then, he turned on the TV in my class, and my jaw dropped. We kept that TV on all day. All I wanted to do was leave and get my son from preschool, but we did not dismiss early. It was the day after my 30th birthday. Suddenly, being 30, wearing a size 8 (which was “fat” for me at the time), and having too many bills for my salary did not matter.

When I could leave for the day, I picked up my son, who was 4 and very much unaware of what had happened.  He wanted to have dinner at McDonald’s.  After all, they had a playground, toys, and fries.  What more do you need in life?  I didn’t take him to McDonald’s.  We drove through, instead.  I was afraid to sit with my son in a public place.  I was afraid that some crazy person would walk in with a bomb, or Anthrax (the poison, not the band), or a gun, or something.  So, we drove through and ate our fries at home, where I felt safe, but still wondered how far I was from a military base, a power plant, or any possible target for terrorism. I still think like this whenever I go to an amusement park.

I did not show my son that I was afraid.  I did not cry. This morning, twelve years later, I finally cried about 9/11.  I was watching the Moment of Silence on the Today Show.  The screen was split, with people in New York on the left and Mr. and Mrs. Obama, Mr. and Mrs. Biden, and a lot of other people in Washington, D.C. on the right. There was a woman in New York, with brown curly hair; maybe you saw her.  She started crying so hard that she had to lean on someone.  I thought, “She probably lost someone that day.  Maybe it was her husband, or a sibling, or a cousin, or a friend.  She lost SOMEONE.” That is when I cried.  That is what it is all about really.  People are getting killed over differences of opinion.  Seriously.  People are real.  They bleed.  They die.  We should not “hit” anyone about God or Politics, or anything else.

Note: This post was originally posted on 9/11/13.

Hamster Wheel Philosophies

I was just on the elliptical, AKA the Hamster Wheel, and “Days Like These” by Asia came on. Since I refuse to leave the 80’s music behind, I have a lot of older songs on my iPod, but this one really motivated me right as my arthritic left ankle threatened to give out. I kept going, and thinking. “Days like these, I feel like I can change the world” is the chorus and is repeated throughout the song. So, I started to think about what I would do if I could change the world. I’m talking about the entire world, not just the life of one person etc. What if I could sit at a big marble desk, or maybe cherry wood, and create my own list of commandments that must be followed. HMM…. I think they would go something like this:

  1. Political arguments would end. Seriously, you are not going to persuade the other side. Whether you are a conservative, a liberal, or a little of both, you have likely thought about why you believe the things you believe and no amount of arguing is going to change that. All of the debates and arguments just bring stress and take the focus away from, well, actually changing the world. So, duct tape your mouth and actually get out there and HELP people.
  2. Evangelism would end. This is the same concept as political arguments, only, in my humble opinion, with double the arrogance. Anyone who thinks they KNOW the mysteries of the universe and can SAVE someone else needs therapy, and good strong roll of duct tape. It’s a big universe out there. We know a lot less than we think we do.
  3. Truth serum would be pumped into the water supply. People lie, sneak, cheat and steal too much. The real kicker is most people lie to themselves; they tell themselves things like, “I tried my best”, or “I do eat healthy.”
  4. People who abuse children would be beaten and have their children taken away permanently. There would be none of this, “Your abusive drunk daddy went through a few therapy sessions and now you get to live with him.” If someone cannot get himself or herself together enough to be a decent parent, then that person does not get to be a parent. Period.
  5. The breeding of pets would end. There are thousands upon thousands of animals that are euthanized every year. We don’t need people breeding more pets just because some people want “pedigree” animals. Are you a pedigree person?   I bet not. So, go adopt a nice mutt than needs a home rather than worrying whether he or she has “papers”.
  6. War would be illegal. People would have to talk about their differences and agree to disagree. People would also be educated on how to spot a sociopath. Violent rulers like Hitler and others like him are sociopaths. Studies show that most people will follow the commands of someone who appears to be “in charge” or “of authority.”  Stop following crazy people and they won’t be able to lead. Stop bombing the #$@#$ out of people and they won’t hate you.
  7. Racism would end, for real. You may think that racism went out with Jim Crow, and you may be in a coma. The day that President Obama was elected, some local idiot drove down the street with a Confederate flag on the back of his pick-up. I really doubt that this was a coincidence. In order to stop racism, for real, we need to stop focusing on, well, race. We need to stop asking for an applicant’s race on forms. It does not matter. We need to stop focusing on differences and, instead, start focusing on similarities. We are all people. It does not matter if we are brown, paste white, peach, or any other color. We are all people.
  8. Everyone would have healthcare. Everyone. This would include dental care. There would be no deductibles or certifications or approvals. People who are sick or injured would receive care. It is possible. There are some countries doing it successfully.
  9. Teachers would be paid more than professional athletes. I mean, let’s pull our heads out of our behinds for a moment and actually think about this. Someone who chases a ball around for a living can make millions of dollars, but a teacher can barely pay his or her bills. In addition, more and more people are spoiling their children, making teachers’ jobs that much harder. Say no to your child and yes to increasing salaries for educators.
  10. Trophies and awards would be earned, really. We are the “good try” culture and it’s killing us. If little Timmy keeps getting trophies and ribbons for half-assed work in school, scouts or whatever, then he is really going to have a hard time living in the real world as an adult. In the real world Timmy’s boss isn’t going to pat him on the head and say ”good try” when he loses his company’s money. Timmy will be fired. Rewards are for good work, not mediocrity.

That is all I can think of, right now. If you can think of more, add them in the comment section. I know that there are a lot of other changes we can make to this world, a lot. It’s not perfect; we’re not perfect. So, we need to all work together to change the world.

Demopublican and Out of the Box

See! I'm not red or blue, I'm pinkish, but not in that 1950's "pinko" way.
See! I’m not red or blue, I’m pinkish, but not in that 1950’s “pinko” way.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I am so sick of everyone placing everyone else in a little box. “Oh, he’s a Muslim, so he wants to set my house on fire.” “He’s gay, so he is a hairdresser.” All of these assumptions and judgments are not helping any of us. They are making us more violent and hateful. And most of us don’t really fit into a box.

I’m also sick of all of the political ads. I live in a swing state (That doesn’t mean everyone shares partners), so every two years there are a bunch of political ads EVERYWHERE. My eyes nearly roll out of my head from all of the drama and deception. Oddly enough, I wrote about this same issue two years ago. You can read that blog here. At the end, I promised to add to that blog after the coffee kicked in. Well, color me caffeinated.

Basically, I’m not a follower of any political party. I am a registered Democrat, but that doesn’t mean I simply vote for all Democratic candidates. Really, I am a Demopublican. Here is what I think, no filter.

I don’t believe in God. The Bible is just a book to me. It should never be used to support an argument or a law.

I don’t own a gun and I’m not a big fan, but I know that criminals would not obey stricter gun laws. While the thought of any old yahoo being able to buy a gun scares me, I’m not sure what we can really do to manage that.

I grew up poor and I decided not to be poor when I grew up. As an adult, I have never received government assistance of any kind. I think all people should work hard and earn their own money.

I think healthcare should be free, if needed. I don’t think forcing people to buy expensive health insurance is the answer. We need to keep working on this one. I don’t think anyone should die because they don’t have money.

I think we need to stop bombing the fuck out of everyone. That’s why they hate us.

People who have worked with Ebola patients should be quarantined. If I were in their shoes, I would gladly submit to a quarantine. This isn’t about feelings or rights; it’s about keeping this disease from spreading.

I think it’s offensive to dress up as people of other races for Halloween.

There should be laws against breeding pets. Millions of pets are euthanized every year. We don’t need to make more just because people want a certain breed.

Other people’s sex lives and marriages are none of anyone’s business. I don’t care who marries whom, and I don’t understand why this is even an issue.

People should be hired based on their education and skills only. Race, gender, nationalities, and differing physical abilities should not be taken into consideration.

If a woman wants to have an abortion for the love of all that is sane, let her. Yes, adoption is an option, but a lot of times women end up keeping babies they don’t want and mistreating them.

Abstinence education does not work. Give the kids REAL information and give them condoms. A lot of times they are too broke or embarrassed to buy them. Denying them protection is not going to keep them from having sex if they want to. If you think kids won’t do something because you tell them not to, you are living in a fantasyland and you may be forgetting your own teen years.

The fact that we are even having the evolution vs. creation debate makes me grind my teeth.

I’m so tired of the great marijuana debate. It is not my thing at all, but I hope it is legalized so it can be regulated and so I can stop hearing about it.

Twenty should be the legal age for everything. No one is an adult at 18, and most people are not ready to drive at 16. Having different ages for different “rights” is confusing.

People should show identification to vote. We have to show ID for everything else. Identification cards should be free to those who don’t have driver’s licenses.

Child molesters should be executed. I will gladly pull the switch. They will not be “rehabilitated” in prison and limitations on where they live and work does not do diddly. Spoiler alert: they can drive to other neighborhoods.

That’s it. Those are my opinions on everything I could think of. You are welcome to post your own opinions in the comment section. Just know that I am not a debater or an arguer. We likely won’t change each other’s minds, so arguing is kind of pointless.

“You should never hit anybody about God.”

“He shouldn’t hit me. You shouldn’t hit me about God, Mamma. You should never hit anybody about God—”

The Conversion of the Jews

Philip Roth

religion allI was in my classroom at Bonita Springs Middle School. I taught drama, or at least I tried to. I was horrible at classroom management.  School started at 9:35, and it was before my first period class. A kid, Tyler, ran in and said, “Miss Petty, I know it’s the JAPS!!” I was so confused. Tyler was a good kid, and I did not suspect drugs.  I thought he was just, you know, acting for me. Then, he turned on the TV in my class, and my jaw dropped. We kept that TV on all day. All I wanted to do was leave and get my son from preschool, but we did not dismiss early. It was the day after my 30th birthday. Suddenly, being 30, wearing a size 8 (which was “fat” for me at the time), and having too many bills for my salary did not matter.

When I could leave for the day, I picked up my son, who was 4 and very much unaware of what had happened.  He wanted to have dinner at McDonald’s.  After all, they had a playground, toys, and fries.  What more do you need in life?  I didn’t take him to McDonald’s.  We drove through, instead.  I was afraid to sit with my son in a public place.  I was afraid that some crazy person would walk in with a bomb, or Anthrax (the poison, not the band), or a gun, or something.  So, we drove through and ate our fries at home, where I felt safe, but still wondered how far I was from a military base, a power plant, or any possible target for terrorism. I still think like this whenever I go to an amusement park.

I did not show my son that I was afraid.  I did not cry. This morning, twelve years later, I finally cried about 9/11.  I was watching the Moment of Silence on the Today Show.  The screen was split, with people in New York on the left and Mr. and Mrs. Obama, Mr. and Mrs. Biden, and a lot of other people in Washington, D.C. on the right. There was a woman in New York, with brown curly hair; maybe you saw her.  She started crying so hard that she had to lean on someone.  I thought, “She probably lost someone that day.  Maybe it was her husband, or a sibling, or a cousin, or a friend.  She lost SOMEONE.” That is when I cried.  That is what it is all about really.  People are getting killed over differences of opinion.  Seriously.  People are real.  They bleed.  They die.  We should not “hit” anyone about God or Politics, or anything else.

Little Boxes Across ‘Merica

Little Boxes Original Song

I’ve witnessed many political arguments, both in person and in cyberspace, and to be honest, I have been a part of them, too.  I really hate conflict, but there have been times I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut, or my fingers still.  The one thing I have taken away from these interactions is that the problem is bigger than the things people are so focused on.

Democrats or Republicans, straight couples or gay couples, rich people or poor people did not cause the problems in our country.  Narrow thinking is at fault.  Most people literally think “inside the box.” We place each other in little boxes, and we focus on our differences rather than our similarities.

We stopped relating to each other as people.  Instead, we think of each other as members of a group.  We say things like, “Well, he’s Republican, so we can’t expect him to understand.”  Or, “She’s not a Christian, so she has no moral compass.”  Boxes.  Little Boxes.  And our box is always BETTER than anyone else’s box.  We are right; they are wrong.  That way of thinking is the only thing that is wrong.

Americans, along with many people in the world are taught to be fiercely competitive.  From an early age, kids are encouraged to be on sports teams and to “beat” the other team.  Kids who are not interested in sports, or some other competitive activity are odd, or weird, or lazy.  Non-competitive people are losers.  So, it is no surprise that box thinking is so common.  Our boxes are inherited.  They may be slightly renovated, but they are still boxes.

So, how do we solve this?  Easy.  We tear down the boxes.  We start LISTENING to each other, and ASKING questions instead of judging a person by their assumed group.  We can stop being Democrats or Republicans or Libertarians.  We can just be people who want to live long, healthy, relatively pain-free, happy lives.  We can be people who focus on the similarities, rather than the differences.  It would require less energy to get along than to constantly argue.

Multiple Facebook Personality Disorder

Writer FacebookMultiple Facebook Personality Disorder, or MFPD, is a serious disease. I know this because I have it. No. I’m not one of those over-dramatic, passive-aggressive twits who posts things like, “WHY doesn’t he LOVE me???????” No. My disease is more complex than a mere lack of self-esteem and maturity. My multiple Facebook personas are not restricted to one profile. Honestly, up until recently, I had THREE Facebook profiles.

Yes, THREE Facebook profiles. I know what you’re thinking. “What kind of person who is not trying to catch predators needs THREE Facebook profiles?” This one. [raises hand] Let me explain.

Like most mortals, I started out with just one Facebook profile, a personal account. I just used it to keep in touch with family and friends. I posted pictures from the wedding, numerous shots of my son, and little sarcastic snippets here and there. Little by little, other people friend requested me, including some work people. This was OK for a while, but then, I became the chair of my department at work. I was, for lack of a better term, “the boss.”

I work from home for an online university. I love my job for many reasons, not just because I wear terry cloth yoga pants to work. I love helping students. I love my quirky co-workers, and I love that I can work with my bad leg (in a boot cast – see my previous post) up on the couch. So, because I enjoy being employed by said wonderful university, I decided, that since I was in a position of authoriTAY, I should create a professional Facebook profile. So, a few years ago, my uber boring alter-ego was created.

Work Lisa WAS boring. For four long years, she posted bland status updates like “I love summer because it’s warm.” YAWN. Work Lisa posted maybe about four pictures, all perfectly normal, boring, and alcohol-free. I really don’t know how the girl managed to have 200 friends. I mean, I wouldn’t want to be friends with her. Plus, I decided to step down from being “the boss” a couple of years ago. So, I got rid of Work Lisa.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided that it was pointless to have THREE Facebook profiles. During the election and when I was a supervisor, Work Lisa had her purpose. She didn’t post sarcastic memes about a certain robotic candidate who changed his mind every four seconds and did not take the time to oh say learn anything about world geography, but I digress. I’m trying to say that Work Lisa stayed neutral on all inflammatory topics. As you can guess, Personal Lisa did not, but she has calmed down quite a bit now that there is not an election going on. Also, I have finally mastered the whole creating Facebook groups thing. So, I decided that Work Lisa must die, and she did. So far, about ten work people have friend-requested me on the Personal Lisa page. I’m good with that. Some of them friend-requested me on Writer Lisa page.

Writer Lisa is my newest profile. I created her last summer when I published my first novel; a YA book entitled Misfit Academy. Writer Lisa is also kind of boring, but not as bad as Work Lisa was. Writer Lisa posts things like, “Please buy my book and read my blog,” which is boring. However, she also says things like, “I know the world is ending because Def Leppard released an acoustic album.” Who the HECK wants to hear ACOUSTIC Def Leppard songs? I mean, I know most of their fans are in their forties, but still! OK. Digressing again. I’m sorry about that. My point is that Writer Lisa serves a purpose, and is not as boring as Work Lisa.

OK. Do you understand why this is a disease now? Holy heck. I hope there is a medication or a meeting for this soon. At the very least, there should be a Dr. Phil or Dr. Oz episode