Friday, October 21, 2011

"Humans are not illegal" and other thoughts

Today I am disturbed because of the threat of persecution. This disturbs me, both because it exists in the first place and because of my cowardice in the face of that threat. My heroes are Deitrich Boenhoffer and Pastor Wurmbrand. My fear, but even more, my silence BECAUSE of fear, mocks me, as well it should. I claim to stand for more than this.

Now when I say "perecution", I don't mean mob violence or jail time- yet. The Tea Party is not yet in control of every locality, and I hope they never make it. But the level of vitriol out there coming from the right, and the religious right, intimidates me far more than I ever thought it would. I KNOW what will happen if I offer any public or vocal opposition to the current battle cries being used to whip the masses into self-righteous paranoia, leading them to attack an "enemy" in what the military calls "a pre-emptive counter-attack."

That was not a joke.

I am disgusted with myself, because I have never hesitated to share a political opinion in the past. I have always been a practical person, and I have always valued the ability to see both sides of an issue. I don't think compromise is a dirty word in politics. I think compromise and consensus are the foundation of democracy, and without it, you can't have a democracy.

I also have long considered myself a conservative. Heck, I was a subscriber to National Review since 1988! I only let it lapse after my husband got laid off, after the late great WFB had gone on to his reward. A conservative is not someone who holds any particular political position; a conservative is someone who keeps in mind the law of unintended consequences a la Jurassic Park's chaos theory. A conservative is not someone who ignores reality. In fact, I grew up politically believing that conservative's were the superior group because they did not try to work against natural human behavior, hence the support of capitalism and the skepticism about communism, and even the hesitation concerning socialism-leaning programs. When someone else is paying, we all have the tendency to run up the bill; it's just human nature. Witness the runaway costs in the major two-payer system in the US: health care and higher education. Actual consumers don't pay the bill, insurance companies, banks and parents do. It seems a tax-payer funded health-care and higher education could not do worse cost-wise, but cost is not the only consideration. Centralized decision making crushes innovation and would be deadly in that respect, so as a conservative, I still don't want only government health-care or only government-funded higher education. It would only replace one set of third-party payors with another, and stifle any dissent; dissent that is necessary for growth and progress in ANY field.

So that's where I sit now. As a long-time conservative because I believe in the necessity of dissent and competition in the marketplace of ideas, I am pretty ashamed of myself right now. I SHOULD be speaking up in my own political party, but I won't. I won't because the Tea Party scares me, the animosity of my fellows scares me, and I do not want to deal with the loss of friends and open disdain of people,formerly my close friends, who are at least keeping it under wraps for now.

I long for the ghost of Ronald Reagan to rise from the grave and slap the holy crap out of all these Tea Party posers using his good name to advance their facist cause. Did you know Ronald Reagan supported unions? Yes, he did. Did you know Ronald Reagan passed an amnesty initiative while in office, making citizens of thousands of formerly illegal immigrants? He did. He did so because he actually respected the determination and work ethic of people willing to do anything to make a better life for themselves and their families. That's the same reason he respected and accepted unions, and was formerly president of the Screen Actor's Guild. I am also pretty confident that he knew about the homosexual orientation of many of his fellow's in the acting world, and didn't care one way or the other. How dare the Tea Party keep quoting him, as if he would agree with them were he alive today! Unbelievable.

There was a reason he was elected by a landslide. He actually listened to people and valued them. He welcomed dissent. He and Tip O'Neil would go at it in public, as political opponents should, sharing dissent and making their case. But there was no ill will afterwards. The Gipper understood that at the end of the day, we are all Americans and we are all on the same team.

My fellow conservatives-turned-Tea Party have left that good will behind. An opposing opinion is not one that deserves consideration. They KNOW they are 100% completely correct on every issue, and they are convinced that they know exactly what needs to be done in this country. Judging by their rhetoric and behavior, what they think is best for America is to end the democratic process. Compromise is a dirty word to them, and they think building consensus is traitorous.

They think they have God on their side, just like the Taliban, and though they haven't resorted to violence yet on a mass scale, small scale it is already happening. Note the anger in this man's voice, standing there, holding a knife, daring people to fight him personally or give up their right to freedom of expression. He didn't call the police to report a crime, let the business owners be confronted with their crime and have the opportunity to reverse the order of their flags. No, this man is in a violent rage of self-righteousness. He can take the law into his own hands because he is right. This scares the hell out of me:

Reno NV Newscast

American "conservaticism" is not conservative at all. When you threaten other citizens with a weapon in one hand, and violent emotion in the other, that looks nothing at all like the Gipper good-naturedly smiling and waving at Dan Rather on the way to his helicopter. This is nothing I want to be associated with, and I am a stalwart patriot with a family history and continuing legacy of military service. They can't serve if they get all full of vitriol like this veteran. He would rightly be discharged dishonorably for breaking the law publicly like he did, threatening fellow citizens with violence and taking the law into his own hands.

I have to go back to studying. I want to write a highly personal post about the unethical practices of my pastor, how I got taken in by them, and have come to regret it. I want to share the political picture I am too afraid to put on my facebook, knowing if/when I do, it will come at great personal cost. The people I have called my own will at best isolate me and exclude me socially, and they are the only people I have. We all need social acceptance.

So here is a picture I do have the courage to post, and a facebook note I completely agree with on every point. At one point, a conservative was allowed to favor changing immigration laws to better fit reality, and even get elected president on the GOP ticket! Not anymore. What's a girl to do?

When I wanted to teach my children about immigration patterns, I had them look up the GNP of the countries of the Western hemisphere. Here's a link:
Where is all the money/opportunity?
I pointed out, see, this is where all the wealth is being created. These dark spots. Where is the most wealth in this hemisphere? Yep, the USA and Canada.

In the wild, if one region has all the resources- take water, for instance, or grazing land- that's where the animals migrate. Depending on how great their need, these animals will take more dangerous risks to get there. Remember those specials where the animals come to the river to drink, even though they see the lions and the crocodiles waiting for them in plain sight? They are so thirsty, they have to risk it.

If people are willing to risk the dangers of immigrating, and/or of being sent back once they get here, they must be in some pretty serious need. And they will keep coming, if their need is that great. We can increase the dangers, but they will still come if their need is great enough.

A friend has recently been to the Dominican Republic for a month, he gets it. He saw the many people with cut and bleeding feet because they have no money for shoes. Children are more likely to have shoes than adults, because they outgrow them sometimes before they ruined and that pair can help another child. But not the adults.

He made friends that live literally hand to mouth. Not paycheck to paycheck- they don't get paychecks. They get paid at the end of the day, and it's just enough to eat the next day and maybe some more for rent, bills. SERIOUSLY. He was so concerned when he heard one of his friends had a fever, because it meant he could not eat the next day since he missed work. Forget the doctor's visit. Forget medicine. He wouldn't have food unless someone just as close to nothing shared their food with him.

When I hear the Repulbicans talking about putting up a fence around all our wealth to keep out the needy and desparate willing to risk the theives, murderers, and cheating empolyers, just for the hope that maybe things will be better for them in America, it turns my stomach. It turns my stomach because so many Christians are GOP, loudly and proudly GOP!

How then can they advocate building a fence around our riches so Lazarus the beggar won't bother us with his presence at our gate?

Andif they say," Lord, when did we see you hungry or sick or naked?"

"Don't you know?", Jesus will answer, "You built a fence to keep me away so you wouldn't have to look at my naked, sick, starving self."

The ugly reality of mixing politics with religion is that Jesus no longer guides the American church. No one is praying or seeking the counsel of Jesus on any of hte contremporty issues. Why should they? Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, the American Family Association, Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain- they are your new messiahs. They tell you how to relate to people in your world (politics by another name) and who you should hate and fear and exclude.

And you buy it!!!

That's the most amazing part. You buy into it all: the fear and selfishness, blame the victim, denigrate the oppressed- and you claim it is the CHRISTIAN way!

People will emigrate to America because they are desparate for a better life, and I want that better life for them. Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to all who were willing to work for it, and many undocumented people took him up on it. They have been upstanding citizens, contributing good to our society. This generation of immigrants deserves the same opportunity.

The GOP debates sicken me. I can't believe I supported them for so many years. To my Christian friends still enamored of the GOP, I offer a challenge. Fast from all you right wing political emails, junk mail, radio programs- the whole thing, for thirty days. During those thirty days, pray and ask the Lord to show you His will for your life, your brief life, here on earth, and how you should live in relation to your fellow man.

If the Lord leads you to stay exactly the same as you are, supporting all the same people, so be it.

He is leading me to advocate for liberty and justice for all.

Peace and good will,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Who would to that?

I had a lot of trouble falling asleep last night ( I think it was the tea I drank at bedtime. Maybe it had caffeine? It was Lipton Natural. Or maybe it's just the stress of school?) Once I did get to sleep, I woke at 1:30 and couldn't go back to sleep. At 2:41 I moved to the couch so my tossing and turning wouldn't wake my husband.

At 6:30 when my husband gets up, he finds me on the couch and kisses me and wakes me up. I tell him I am on the couch because of my insomnia, and I didn't want to wake him. All well and good.

Then, for what can only be described as self-centered, possibly PAPD returning, he WAKES ME UP AGAIN AN HOUR LATER! To tell me he loves me?

Gee, if he loves me wouldn't he want me to keep sleeping?

Oh, damn it, I hope this isn't just building up to another ugly scenario. He does not get, apparently, how little I want to live like this. He does not have anymore credits to burn on PAPD behavior. They are all used up. It took twenty-five years, but they are all gone now.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Happy Day

I am so freaking happy!

My daughter, my amazing daughter, is living her dreams! She has the career she wanted, the job posting she wanted, her own apartment, her own car, a full social life, beautiful art she continuously creates, and she is getting her degree studying the language she loves. I. Am. So. Happy!

She has roommates of her own choosing, activities of her own choosing, romantic interests of her own choosing, and when she truly leaves our home- meaning all the way out of state, where we can't meet up for dinner or drop by to see her latest art project- she will have a well-paying job and can easily afford her own place, food, clothes, everything she needs. And she is looking forward to that new experience, not afraid of it.

I am deliriously happy!

You see I had none of those things.

I was on my own at eighteen, aged out of foster care. I had no car, no job, no family support, no hopes or dreams, other than to just make it through another day. Oh, and I feel compelled to add, I went to twelve years of public school. (That was for my cyber-friend and reader who claims that public school is the golden key to finding your place in this world.) My daughter was home schooled from birth until she went to college. She is living her dreams at an age that I was hanging on to a minimum wage job and praying my car would hold together. Too sweet.

My other "children"- my son's best friend and the daughter of a former friend of mine- are also living their dreams. I KNOW I had a hand in that too.

My son's best friend spent more time with me from middle school on than he did either of his own parents. His dad was home, but not exactly a nurturer, and his mom was working late hours bringing home the bacon. They are his parents, and they love him and of course support him. But I was there encouraging him to hold on to his dream until he had the courage to tell his parents what that dream was, since it did not match the plan they laid out for him. He did, and he excelled at it, and when he got an audition for an arts school, his parents were ready to listen. Being the wonderful people they are, they finally caught the vision, and he is excelling with their blessing and support. Booyah.

My former friend's daughter came to live with me for a semester. She was flunking math so her mom sent her to me for a semester, to help her catch up. She was easy to teach, and caught up and moved ahead quickly in math. But more important, she learned about love, forgiveness, and what real family support felt like. She is still considered a sibling by my two children! Her mom was telling her she was ugly, fat and would never make it. When she left our house, she knew better. Instead of returning to her mom's, when she left our house she went to live with her dad and his boyfriend. She is now a happy sophomore in a major East Coast university, and I saw her post a picture of her beautiful self in a bikini on a social network this summer. Live the dream, young friend!

Then there's my youngest. I love that kid! He was sharing a poet with me today- amazing stuff! He is such a deep thinker with such a big heart- both the poet and my son! (But mostly my son.=)

He has his first job and they love him! He is still doing school, so he applied for 10-20 hours a week, but it's always at least 20. He is a really good musician. When he was really young he played cornet, then baritone, but now it's electric bass. He has a duo with another home school friend of his, a sweet little vegetarian rocker who is in public school this year. (Incidentally, it was taking a Brit Lit class in my house that I facilitated that inspired her to go to the arts magnet school. I'm just inspiring like that. I wrote her recommendation letter. =)

In addition to his music, work and school, he also kick-boxes and does Tae Kwan Do. He beat his kick-boxing instructor in all three rounds the other day. He came home glowing that his instructor said he had taught him all he could. Since his instructor is ex-military, currently a police officer, that made the teen feel pretty good.

He applies to the local private university on Monday, and then he's applying for their biggest scholarship. I hope he wins. His big dream is to be a doctor, and I believe he will make it. He's always been an enthusiastic leader, starting with playing center on community league football when he was eight years old. He was the unofficial leader of his team of volunteers in Dominican Republic this summer, and made some lasting friendships there both with his public schooled peers and his college student sponsor.

Politically, he keeps me informed and opens my mind to new perspectives, which I love. Anyway, all my praying friends, keep him in your prayers next week. Also, he's trying to get a donation of shoes to the kids in the D.R., so pray for success there too. And my non-praying friends, just send good thoughts his way.

No time to edit this. I have to go to bed. I have a TON of school tomorrow! Goodnight!

Buddy Wakefield: Human the Death Dance

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Not again,. Damn it to heck, to heck I say, to heck.

Hubby was an ass again yesterday. >=[ THAT hasn't happened in a while. As you can tell by my icon, I was/am not happy about it.

Also, therapy is dredging up a lot of things I would not rather deal with. I hope they will all eventually be resolved and life will go on better than ever. However remembering what it was like to be a teen myself is very unsettling.

Alternately I am depressed and hopeless, cynical and hard, and angry. I hate being in no-win situations, and I lived in one growing up in my family of origin. As much as I usually avoid them when I recognize them, unfortunately with therapy right now it is looking like I am possibly contributing to the creation of them.

Also the fear is familiar and disgusting. I have actually been panicked about smallish issues as if they were the end of the world should I have a less than perfectly spotless performance.

Not true. God makes a way when there is no way. I know in my heart there is no such thing (other than physical things- I can't live above the laws of physics) that can't be fixed. I need to just chill.

I need a chill pill. Oh yes, do I wish it was that easy: take one pill and all your fear would disappear. Not gonna happen. *sigh*

More later, I gotta go.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The 99% Occupy Everywhere

I am so proud of our youth. I love what they are doing on Wall Street and in cities all across America. I will join them when I can, and throw my support their way with this blog post, an extremely modest contribution by all accounts.

Occupy Wall Street

Many, many people are frustrated by the status quo. Initially the Tea Party tapped into this sentiment and won a lot of protest votes in the mid-term elections because of the people's frustration. It did not take long to realize that the Tea Party IS the status quo, on religious steroids. Ugh!

For the last year, I have been telling all the teenagers in my life that I have put my hope in them. Maybe they can bring the troops back home, end welfare for the ultra-wealthy and the corporations offered by our current tax code, create jobs in America, secure freedoms for everyone (including the ones religious people don't like!), end the insanity of the drug war, welcome courageous immigrants wanting to be a part of the American ideal and make America once again the land of the free and the home of the brave.

They started earlier than I expected. God bless them. God prosper them. Watch the video on the home page of this link. Pray for these kids, that nefarious forces don't takeover their genuinely populist movement of LOVE and PEACE!

(These kids are talking about LOVE- the Tea Party rallies are filled with anger. What a contrast!)

The mainstream media has ignored these kids for two weeks. Big money interests are demanding a negative slant on all reporting, as they own the media.

Who are these police protecting? Who are they serving?

Notice that the police grab people who are doing NO WRONG, drag them under and behind the police barricade and arrest them. I saw one officer flop down on the backs of the legs of a passive protester who was not resisting in any way, and was already down on the ground, cuffed. This is unbelievable. These peaceful protesters were not violent. All the violence was on the side of the NYPD. I cried when I saw the girls get maced. I have asthma and getting maced could kill me. Those girls are behind the police barricade and making no attempt to cross it when they were maced. Unbelievable.

Move over, Tea Party. Looks like there is a new option for people who are unhappy with the status quo, and it's not "status quo coated in religion", which is what the Tea Party has turned out to be.

The Tea Party is pro-big government (proposing new laws everywhere they've been elected, laws that further restricts the rights of everyday Americans, especially women and homosexual citizens), pro-corporate welfare, pro-war, anti-working class, believes people in need of public assistance are just lazy, ignores the contributions that so-called "illegals" make to our country every day- the Tea Party is unbelievable mean-spirited and pro-staus quo.

The 99 per centers are idealistic, but we need a good dose of idealism. They want to tax the elite wealthy, who (according to Warren Buffet) don't need the coddling the Tea Party offers. They want to create jobs in America. They want to make room for the "illegals" who, guess what, are people too and are already here. They want the government to seriously look for alternative clean energy, not support the carbon-based status quo. They are against letting people starve or die from lack of health care because they are under- or un-employed. They want basic civil liberties for even the ones religious people don't like (safeguards that are only necessary because religious people who don't like them won't treat them fairly without being forced to do so!). I hope they will also end the prohibition against marijuana, release those imprisoned for non-violent crime, get rid of the death penalty or at least make it so difficult to apply that it takes more than a conviction "beyond reasonable doubt" and requires absolute, irrefutable proof of guilt with forethought.

And finally, bring our troops home! Surely the damage we did to the infra-structure in Iraq is repaired by now. We got Osama bin Laden, our reason for invading Afghanistan. Bring our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers home from foreign soil! Enough is enough. It's been over ten years. Let's call it a win and walk away. It's time.

There you have it folks, an alternative to the status quo. Way to go, 99 Per Centers! I support you.

God bless the 99 Per Cent.

Police appearing to escort protesters to the Brooklyn Bridge, where they are corralled and arrested (700 arrests), Wall Street mnions sipping champagne and laughing at the sight? Wanna bet they know what's about to happen?