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I'm a 32 year old mother of 2 fantastic little boys, ages 5 and 10. I'm a retail lackey who dreams of running away to San Francisco where I'll live on my trust fund and take photographs of the city all day.

Currently Reading

  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Movies You Should Check Out

  • Little Miss Sunshine
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  • Eminem
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Categorically Speaking...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Someone Wake Me When It's Over.

Allow me to tell you a little story. Now normally I keep my political views to myself because I am usually on the other side of the proverbial fence from my friends and family, and I believe that everyone should be able to have their own viewpoint. Besides, trying to talk sense into my rabidly pro-Bush family is like trying to show someone with absolutely no pop culture accumen a picture of Michael Jackson and convince them he was once a black man. But I digress. Here's how I see the situation.

Back when our country's "leader" first ran for office, I was appalled. Positively appalled. I promised my Republican family that if hell froze over and he actually won the election, then I was renouncing my U.S. citizenship and moving to France. Well, we all see how that turned out. The cowboy "won" under rather dubious and (call me paranoid) nefarious conditions. I told Matt to pack his bags; he thought I was being funny. After said cowboy managed to buy himself a second term, I told Matt to sign the passport forms; again he thought I was being funny. I'm sorry. I'm not. I feel that America is worse off than it was when this whole farce began.

As of August 18th last year, the President had broken a record for the number of "vacation days" he had taken up until that point. He had more than 3 years left in office. If he keeps vacationing at the same rate, he will have spent the better part of two years of his presidency away from work. Where can I sign up for a job like this! Let's do the math: 2 presidential terms = 8 years. 2 years vacation / 8 years work = 25% time vacation from work. 25% x 1 year = 13 weeks. Average US worker vacation time = 2 weeks. Hmmm, so the president can spend our tax dollars by getting 6.5 times the amount of paid vacation as the average American worker. Yet his job is arguably 6.5 times (and then some) more important. Where can I sign up to make $400,000 a year AND get 13 weeks of paid vacation? I want that job. I can't even take 3 days of unpaid vacation at my job without promising to work overtime, donate a kidney, and sacrifice my second-born child. But then again, why should he care? Only 38% of Americans approve of the job he's doing. Of the 60% who diapprove, 40% of whom STRONGLY disapprove. Hmmm, wonder which category my vote counts in.

In the 5 or so years we've had this frat boy administration what have we managed to accomplish? Let's see here...we went from one of the better liked countries in the world to one of the most hated. We have alienated countries that in all intelligence we should be trying real hard to not piss off. Iran, anyone? North Korea? They may never have been allies per se, but they weren't actively working on nuclear contingency plans against us, either. Apparently daddy never taught little Georgie that "Yee haw!" is NOT a foreign policy. Now we are further alienating countries that are on the fence as to whether or not they are for us or against us. We are throwing around ultimatums that not only continue to give an anti-Muslim/anti-Middle Eastern appearance to our country, but essentially guarantees the need for US presence in the region indefinitely.

And while we are on the topic of the Middle Eatern conflict region, I'm still more than a little pissed about the circumstances into which we became involved. Namely being lied to. I honestly believe that our president entered office with every intention of "finishing" what his father started back in 1991. Then he was able to punch his golden ticket by playing on the paranoia and fear of the American public following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The country by and large accepted the terms of our invasion of Iraq because of this fearful paranoia and the propaganda machine that our administration set into motion. The U.N. doesn't back us, the majority of the free world doesn't back us. So what do we do? We give the international community a big "FUCK YOU!" and charge in guns blazing like it's some crappy western on late night public access television. Oh yeah, and because France had the nerve to stand up and say, "Hey, let's think this over" all of a sudden we have to order our Big Macs with "freedom fries" and eat "we don't need you cowards toast" with bacon at breakfast or something equally assinine so that all of us good God-fearing Americans can avoid looking like we support the French in any way. WHATEVER.

Then of course, there is our brilliant attempts at domestic "reform". Again...WHATEVER. Apparently we are trying to marry church and state which is prohibited in the Constitution. But what is the Constitution? Just a piece of paper that the right-wing can flex to fit their needs. Just as the zealots do with the Bible. This Federal Marriage Ammendment movement is the biggest piece of discriminatory shit that I have ever seen. This alone makes me so ashamed to be an American. Are you opposed to gay people? Fine. Your opinion. Think it's a choice that they are making? I think that it's wrong, and I have the backing of modern science, but it's your opinion to have. However, to say that gay and lesbian couples do not have the right to marry is absurd, discriminatory, and (as far as I'm concerned) criminal. Why should we treat them as less than heterosexual people. What next a Constitutional ammendment banning interracial marriages? Hmmm. Probably. I mean really, if we make it okay for homosexual couples to marry legally does that mean that straight people are going to up and start being gay? Hardly.

Then of course there is the whole abortion issue. Another hot button where I just have to say, if you don't like it, then don't do it. Personally, I could not go through with having an abortion...but I am not going to make that decision for someone else. Keep your laws off my body. I think that it was said best in a New York Times editorial in January of 2003: "Running for the White House in the fall of 2000, George W. Bush did not talk about ending the right to abortion. To avoid scaring off moderate voters, he promoted a larger "reverence for life" agenda that also included adoption and tougher drunken driving laws. Voters were encouraged to believe that while Mr. Bush was anti-choice, he was not out to reverse Roe v. Wade. Yet two years into the Bush presidency, it is apparent that reversing or otherwise eviscerating the Supreme Court's momentous 1973 ruling that recognized a woman's fundamental right to make her own childbearing decisions is indeed Mr. Bush's mission. The lengthening string of anti-choice executive orders, regulations, legal briefs, legislative maneuvers and key appointments emanating from his administration suggests that undermining the reproductive freedom essential to women's health, privacy and equality is a major preoccupation of his administration second only, perhaps, to the war on terrorism."

Look, it's great if you do not believe in abortion, your religion doesn't believe in abortion, your dog doesn't believe...you get the picture. It comes back to the separation of church and state. I'm glad you have religion, but yours is not the only one out there. Some religions don't eat certain meats on certain days, but you don't see us pushing to federally mandate that everyone do it the same way.

Then of course, there's the No Child Left Behind act. Great theory, really it is. It is not feasible the way it's set up. I'm not even a teacher yet and it's giving me a fucking career-long migraine. I could go on for hours, but the major sticking point for me is the issue of funding. First of all, not all states can afford the necessary programs to meet NCLB requirements. Then if the a school is deemed failing their funding is cut - only it's most likely they are failing because they are a poor school without enough money, and now they are stuck in a vicious cycle. It's a great notion to have improvement every year - it's not reality. The fact that special education students and ESL students and other special needs students are included in these school totals does everyone a disservice. It's just a fact that there comes a point when a person "hits the ceiling" in their knowledge. Unfortunately, special ed students will hit that ceiling sooner than their peers. Case in point: my high school had a special education program that included students of a variety of disabilities from down syndrome to physical handicaps. Some of the students only had the mental capacity of grade school students, but they were still considered "seniors" or "juniors" or whatever grade level was age-appropriate. Now those students are EXPECTED to perform to their age-appropriate grade level, and when they don't it drags down the whole school's score. It doesn't help the student or the school.

Arrgh. I have to stop the rant now. I'm losing track of my arguments and it's giving me a headache. LOL If you don't agree with me, that's fine. I don't mean to alienate or piss anyone off. I just am about to explode with frustration is all!


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3 comments:

Michelle said...

do you feel better now? lol.. hey there is nothing wrong with having an opinion.. you know a lot of people DON"T feel anything one way or the other.. its nice to see that someone does know and care whats going on and you're not over 40 either.. cool.. and hey I like the dancing music.. I have this cd ya know.. :)

Shirley said...

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one that has an opinion. If you check out my blog you will find a personal opinion about taxes in with my Fourth of July writings. If we stay on our soapboxes long enough maybe somebody will listen. ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!

Tanya said...

All I can say is: if you're running for something I'm voting for YOU! My sentiments exactly, Jen! Rock on, girlie.