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Events Minnesota politics Things that piss me off WTF?

Summer in Minnesota 2016: We Lost Prince and Found Jacob

September 5, 2016
We Lost Prince and Found Jacob

They say this decade, the 2010s, has been pretty crappy for those who came of age during the 80s, we’ve lost so many of our icons. If that’s true, then this summer has truly epitomized that sentiment, especially for Minnesotans.

This Summer We Lost Prince and Found Jacob

Summer 2016 has been a roller coaster ride. While not officially summer, it was warm (and that’s close enough for those of us who spend 6 months of the year shoveling snow and enduring temperatures below freezing) when we learned that Prince had died of an opioid overdose, alone, at Paisley Park. It was a horribly senseless and tragic death. Wasteful. So much talent wasted due to addiction. That he was trying to get help when it happened made it even more tragic. We mourned, with the rest of the nation, for all the gifts he gave us. We sang and we danced, and we grieved.

(from Wikipedia)

(from Wikipedia)

Many superstars have passed during my lifetime, some of the biggest in recent memory including Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson, but none seemed to sting as badly as the loss of Prince. While the rest of the nation, and world for that matter, moved on, in Minnesota we continued to honor Prince with tribute concerts and celebrations. On August 26th, we celebrated Unite in Purple at the Minnesota State Fair, a night of music, dance and fireworks to celebrate the life of a legend. A few days later The Revolution gathered one more time at First Avenue to pay tribute to Prince.

This summer our presidential election was in full swing. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump raced to the bottom of the election. They have both lowered the bar to unimaginable depths. It’s a sad state of things when you have to choose the lesser of two evils, you’re still choosing evil. God help us come November.

Two days after we celebrated the birth of our nation Philando Castille was shot by a police officer during a traffic stop that was anything but routine. The aftermath was posted live on Facebook by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, as her daughter tried to comfort her from the back seat. Protests, mostly peaceful, led the news this summer. Traffic was shut down on I-94 and in front of the Governor’s residence on Summit Avenue as people tried to change the world.

justice for Philando

(Jennifer Brown)

Ironically, it was a video game that got all of us outside this summer. Pokémon Go got the kids, and adults out from in front of their computer screens and into the streets looking for digital monsters. It has been decades since neighborhoods had been filled with kids outside playing. It was wonderful, and poignant.

Labor Day weekend we learned that Jacob had been found. Jacob Wetterling had gone missing 27 years ago.  A parent’s worst nightmare, he was abducted at gun point while riding bikes with his brother and a friend October 22nd, 1989. Jacob was one of the reasons kids didn’t play outside anymore. If a kid could go missing in America’s heartland, no place was safe. We kept our kids close.

We’d gotten our hopes up many times in the last 27 years, so many of us were skeptical that he had really been found. Sadly, within hours his mother, Patty Wetterling, confirmed what we had feared all these years.

(National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

(National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

“Our hearts are broken, we have no words.”

There’s a chill in the air, winter is coming.

Advice Minnesota People politics WTF?

What’s Happening to Our Nation?

July 8, 2016
If you're like me, you're probably wondering what's happening to our nation? Yesterday, following the killing of Philando Castile, I was moved to go to the protest at the Governor's mansion in St. Paul.

If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering what’s happening to our nation? Yesterday, following the killing of Philando Castile, I was moved to go to the protest at the Governor’s mansion in St. Paul. I’ve wanted to write about this issue for a long time, but have never known what to say. Witnessing the peaceful protest at the Governor’s mansion didn’t help me much. For the last two days, the internet has erupted with outrage over yet another (and another) black life cut short by a cop. And rightfully so. I’ve wanted to write about this, but I’ve been afraid to. I won’t bother addressing those fears here, they’re not irrelevant, but they don’t move the conversation forward. I probably wouldn’t have written about the protest for Philando if it hadn’t been for the events that followed later in Dallas.

What’s Happening to Our Nation?

Following the killing of  Philando Castile, which immediately followed the killing of Alton Sterling, social media lit up with all kinds of angry pronouncements about how white people can “help”. Helpful memes were created to unintentionally enflame race relations. White people proudly displayed their “white privilege” guilt as if it were a badge of honor. White people, some of us, became woke. Instead of simply coming together to mourn the lost lives, the injustice and the loss of what was left of our innocence, white people seem to be trying to gain the most points by proclaiming their privileged guilt. But there are no solutions in that.

I hate the term “white privilege”, mostly because I don’t believe the word privilege is an accurate description of the idea that is being put forth. I get it, I get the meaning of the phrase and I wholeheartedly agree it is a real thing. I also hate the term because it immediately shuts down any meaningful discussion about the problems we face. If we can’t discuss the issues, we certainly can’t solve them.

Think Differently?

We used to be able to hold differing opinions. Now, we must all be in agreement. If not, the internet reaction is swift and mighty. Don’t agree with me? Then you must be a racist.

As a white, middle aged, woman I never worry about being pulled over in my little SUV crossover while rocking out to the softer sides of the 80s. Even when I go above the speed limit by 5 or 6 mph, I know the odds are good I will not get pulled over. Broken taillight? I’ve never been pulled over for one, though I have had many. I don’t worry about being followed in department stores because the clerk is worried I will shoplift. And I certainly never worry about being shot dead by a police officer.

But privilege to me, has always meant something that was earned and that could be also taken away. I did not earn my whiteness and I cannot remove it. In these times, because I really do want to help make things better, my whiteness has become a burden. And yet, there are still so many things I take for granted because I am white.

I understand that.

Hands are Tied

I keep starting each paragraph with a story that exemplifies what I am trying to convey. And then I remember, sharing those stories is another way not to help. The thing is, it is a way to connect. And we need to connect more with one another if we want to change the way things currently are. I’ve been told over and over what not to do, as a white person, these past few days. I want to help be the change, I want things to be better for everyone in this great country of ours, I want equality for all. And yet I know that simply wanting something to happen rarely makes it happen. Action must be taken.

Philando Castile Protest

Privilege

The reason I was not compelled to write about my visit to the Governor’s Mansion was because I saw privilege at that protest. Not white privilege, but American privilege. There were a few hundred people at the protest. People of all color, age, gender, sexuality, and political persuasion. People were there with their children and their pets. Neighbors welcomed the protestors into their neighborhood with tables of bottled water, granola bars and even opened the doors of their churches for people to use the bathroom and get out of the heat. The police were there in large numbers. They were protecting the proetestors’ right to assert their first amendment rights even if the words they were speaking were against the police officers. There was no fear at this protest. People were calm, they were not worried that someone might start shooting at the crowd.

Philando Castile Protest

A similar protest took place in Dallas later that evening. It too was a peaceful protest, until it wasn’t. Someone did the unimaginable and started picking off cop after cop. 5 dead, 6 wounded at last count. And the cops continued to protect those that were protesting while getting shot.

Be the Change You Wish To See in the World

Frustrated, I don’t know how to change things. I do know I have no control over a cop and how he handles himself. I also have no control over a shooter who wants to kill as many cops as he can before he gets shot dead. I only have control over the way I react to these things.

Even though I don’t know how to change the nation, I still want to try. I do know that it starts with community, something that has changed so drastically in the last couple of decades. And I’m not even sure we can put that genie back in the bottle. But, I know this – spewing rhetoric on social media is not “community”. Sure, we may be surrounded by like minded people, but those aren’t the people who live on our block.

Unplug to Reconnect

I’m going to spend less time online in the coming months. That isolation and anonymity doesn’t do anyone any good. I want to have these important conversations, but I want to do so with people in real life. I want to discuss these issues with members of my community instead of on some Facebook thread of someone who lives three states away. I know I can’t solve this problem on my own, and I know I won’t change the world, but I can make a difference in my own community if I get out and get to know my neighbors.

We fear what we don’t know, so let’s get out there and get to know each other so we stop fearing each other.

What We Can Do

National Night Out is next month. If you haven’t already, start planning a block party.

Unplug from the internet. Get out and get to know your neighbors.

When online, don’t read the comments.

Think before you react or leave a comment.

Be kind.

Treat others the way you would like them to treat you.

 

 

politics Things that piss me off

The GOP Better Get Their Shit Together!

July 6, 2016

The GOP better get their shit together, and fast. It should have been no surprise to anyone that there will be no criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for the very careless handling of classified information, and unless the GOP really prefers Hillary to Trump, they need to get their shit together. And fast.

Hillary was never going to be indicted. Never. The woman is a Clinton and that means she too, is teflon. Nothing will stick to her. Even when James Comey, the F.B.I. director, who spoke yesterday about the F.B.I findings said that she acted extremely careless in using a private email server he also stated that “our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

The sticking point seemed to be the word ‘intent’. The F.B.I couldn’t determine that it was her intent to act recklessly.

Not that it was ever an issue with other people facing similar charges. Basically, the law was reworded because … I don’t know why.

Maybe it had something to do with the meeting between Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch?

Maybe the powers that be are so afraid of a Trump presidency that they will do anything to have a viable candidate in the race against him. God knows the people already pissed off about Bernie Sanders and how he was screwed over. Maybe they realized they couldn’t bring in Uncle Joe without a revolt and thus decided it was simply safer to keep Hillary on the stump?

Maybe the F.B.I really doesn’t think they could reasonably prosecute such a case? Other cases have been dropped for the same reason, even when it is clear the person is guilty as sin.

Worse yet, it probably wouldn’t make any difference. She’d probably still win the election because the people willing to vote for her are already willing to vote for her.

Email, shmemail!

The GOP Better Get Their Shit Together!

On the same day it was announced charges would not be filed against Hillary Clinton for careless use of an email server and passing on over a hundred classified emails (even though she said she did not), Hillary Clinton and President Obama we on the campaign trail. The Obama campaign machine is getting fired up and the GOP better get out of the way because even though they had 8 years to prepare for this, they aren’t.

Nope, the GOP has been fighting losing battles about principle and doing the right thing and following the rules (everyone following the same rules), while the DEMs have been treating their constituency like idiots for decades. And it’s working. Dumming down society has been a brilliant plan for the left. It doesn’t matter that many of the core policies they push have done nothing to help the people they are meant to help. Though they certainly keep politicians employed.

The GOP needs to start using the left’s playbook if they want to win. Or, they should just let Trump completely off the leash.

Don’t get me wrong, I still can’t stand the idea of a Trump presidency. But Hillary is not the lesser of two evils in my eyes. She’s actually no different than Trump. While Trump seems to revel in the chaos he creates, he never backs down about who he is. He’s proud of what he has done in business and in this political race. As he should be.

Success used to mean something different than it does now. It used to be okay to be successful, in fact it was something most of had great hopes of achieving. Not so much anymore.

It’s okay for Hillary to be successful because she’s a public servant. It’s not for her, it’s for the kids.

Because Trump is in it for himself, his success is bad.

I don’t even know where I’m going with this. I did not expect criminal charges. I remember the 90s all too well. I remember driving through the Black Hills of South Dakota listening to the impeachment of Bill Clinton and thinking to myself – while this is horrible for the country, we should not tolerate an elected official who believes he can lie to the American people without repercussions.

I don’t know what the GOP should do, but I do know if they don’t get their shit together and fast they are going to be steamrolled by Hillary and the Obama machine just like they have for the last two elections. There’s no more whining, no more licking their wounds, no more excuses. Unless you want another 8 years of lies, carelessness and recklessness it’s time to get real about this election.

 

 

People politics

The Trouble With The Democrats

February 23, 2016
the trouble with democrats

The trouble with the Democrats is – where to begin? Ugh, the biggest trouble the Democrats have is Bernie. As I stated when I wrote my post about the trouble with the Republicans, I am no political expert, I watch and listen to the talking heads, I read the paper (online) and I try my best to get both sides of the argument and I fact check whenever I think something is BS (which is pretty much all of the time).

The Trouble With The Democrats

Bernie Sanders

Yes, Bernie is a problem – to the establishment, and Hillary Clinton. In fact he is so much of a problem that the DNC scheduled as few debates as possible and aired them at the worst possible time so few people would actually watch. When Bernie started kicking Hillary’s ass in the polls they scheduled more debates because they benefitted Hillary Clinton. Bernie is a problem for many reason – he’s attracting a huge crowd of millennials (a great voting bloc if they actually show up to vote) who have been rabid social media users in his favor. Think Reddit or even 4chan going after Hillary supporters. They’ve co-opted social media to shame people into voting for Bernie. If it weren’t for the Super Delegates, it might actually work.

My son wants me to consider giving my vote to Bernie, and I promised I would pay more attention to him. My biggest beef with Bernie, besides him being a socialist, is that he wants to make college free. I’ve spent the better part of the last two years fighting the public school system over the silliest thing like making sure my child feels safe at her school. The public schools in my district are horrible places. Even the best public schools are still woefully lacking in actually educating our young. Common Core is just one example of the failure of the public school system. I don’t want to see that happen to our colleges and universities. Kids who manage to make it out of the public school system and get into a good college deserve a quality education. I don’t believe that can be had free of cost. Bernie doesn’t seem interested in fixing the rising cost of college (not unlike fixing the health insurance part of the health care crisis). He just wants to give away degrees.

I understand why millennials would be swayed by this sort of thing, and I probably would have when I was that age. But, with a recent college grad in the family I know you have to have some skin in the game to appreciate the value of that education.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton is the other really big problem the Democrats have right now. She’s an incredibly skilled politicians and there is no doubt in my mind that she is extremely qualified to be president. She is such a good politician that no one believes she is the least bit trustworthy. And let’s face it, she isn’t. She’s got so many scandals swirling around her campaign it’s not even funny. There’s Bengazi, the lost/missing/deleted emails (and FBI investigation), there’s Whitewater and there’s Bill.

I love Bill Clinton, he’s the most charming president in my lifetime, but he’s a cad. And Hillary stood by her cad even when she said she wasn’t standing by him.

The thing, is she vilified the women who accused her husband of all kinds of unsavory acts and now she’s riding high on the feminist vote. She didn’t leave her cheating husband, she stood by him and attacked his accusers. If that’s what a feminist is then I’m glad I’m not one.

It Doesn’t Matter

To the left none of this matters. It’s Hillary’s turn and by golly the left will do everything in their power to get her into the oval office.

Advice politics Things that piss me off

The Trouble With The Republicans

February 12, 2016
the trouble with Republicans, Republican symbol, Elephant with flag

The trouble with the Republicans is – OMG there are so many problems with the Republicans, and Donald Trump isn’t the worst of them. I’m not a political expert. For the most part I don’t really know what they are talking about a lot of the time. I believe I pay more attention to politics than the average American but my grasp of foreign policy and economics are severely lacking. I worry that I am a low information voter. And yet I’ve watched enough of this campaign to believe that I can actually offer some insight into winning if anyone is interested. The problem with the Republicans is that they take themselves way too seriously and they have no understanding of public relations. They’re wasting so much time preaching to the choir about issues that are irrelevant when it comes right down to it.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

The Trouble With The Republicans

Donald Trump

Let’s start with Donald Trump… While he may not actually be a conservative, he’s certainly stirring the party up. Currently he’s way ahead of the rest of the pack in the polls. I’m not the only one who thought he’d be out of the race by August, and yet here he is going stronger than ever. I’m still not even considering giving him my vote, but I do love that he is shaking up the party and the process. He’s going to ensure that another Bush does not occupy the Oval Office and for that I am grateful. I am a little saddened that he’s been given so much attention and because of that some of the really decent candidates have quit. I’m mostly talking about Rand Paul. Other than that, I’m enjoying the panic and anxiety he’s causing to the party and the other candidates on both sides of the campaign. The RNC can’t control Trump, and that is how it should be. It’s just too bad that you have to be a billionaire to consider a run for office of the President of the United States.

Republicans are Namby Pamby

I’ve spent a fair amount of time watching the debates, and so far not one of them has come up with an interesting or original idea. They are towing the same conservative line – blah blah blah defund abortion, blah blah blah repeal Obamacare, blah blah blah Ronald Reagan…etc, etc, ad nauseam. I want to know how they are going to get people who have left the job market back into it. I want to know how they are going to fix our broken public school system. I want to know if they really understand why affordable health insurance is such a clusterfuck in this country. We have a race problem in this country and so far only Rand Paul was willing to address it. I get it, it’s a scary thing to discuss, especially for a bunch of middle aged white guys, but it seriously needs to happen. And while I know this will never happen, I’d really love to hear one of them say “Hey, that was a good idea that  my opponent had, let’s see if we can’t explore it and implement it because it could help a lot of people.”

Republicans have a PR Problem

The Republican candidates are great at talking about reducing welfare or defunding Planned Parenthood. The problem they have is they never give reasonable explanations for why those might be good ideas. They have allowed the left to define them on issues such as minimum wage and welfare reform. Because they have allowed the left to define them they come off sounding like bigots and misogynists. I’d like to see one of them talk about the difference between a hand out and a hand up, and then work really hard at offering that hand up to those in need.

Pandering

All politicians pander, that’s not news. I’d just really like it if someone didn’t. Trump and Sanders come closest to not pandering to the voters, but that’s only because they haven’t practiced it enough like the rest of the candidates. As the race gets tighter both of them are now beginning to promise things that even they look like they’d have to hold their nose to accomplish. Thankfully, most campaign promises never come to fruition.

Boring

The campaign is boring. So far the most exciting thing about the Republican campaign has been Donald Trump calling Cruz a ‘pussy’ and the fact that Cruz hired a soft core porn star to be in one of his commercials.

Hypocrisy

And then they fired her. They fired her because she had a job for which they didn’t approve. The Republicans are all about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and working for a living – except if it gives them a hard on. You’d think the Republicans were all celibate based on their fear of sex. If the Republicans want to win Presidential elections they’re going to have to stop obsessing about everyone else’s sex lives, and just get on with worrying about their own business. I believe if they could just do that one thing, they’d be an unstoppable force.

Next week – The Trouble with the Democrats.

 

People politics Things that piss me off

Why We Can’t Stop Terror Attacks

November 17, 2015

I’m horribly saddened by the terror attacks in Paris last week. My heart goes out to those who are victims and their families. I know our government will stand shoulder to shoulder with France and talk about the fight on terror and how we’ve got them on the run and blah, blah, blah. I’ve heard it before. The problem is no matter how many people change their profile picture on Facebook, it’s going to happen again.

The French understand liberty better than we puritans could ever hope to:

From the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 defined liberty in Article 4 as follows:

Liberty consists of being able to do anything that does not harm others: thus, the exercise of the natural rights of every man or woman has no bounds other than those that guarantee other members of society the enjoyment of these same rights.

Over here in the United States we wrestle with that definition. It’s always been a struggle for us because for some reason we think it’s okay to get worked up about who someone is sleeping with, what someone is smoking, drinking or eating, what political party someone supports, what kind of clothing someone wears, and probably most importantly – what kind of god someone worships.

We have people like Rush Limbaugh on the right and Rachel Maddow on the left who both profit because they don’t understand what liberty means. Or maybe they do and they don’t care because they like their paycheck (and I have no problem with that by the way, I don’t bother listening to either one of them because I exercise my freedom to ignore them but if others want to that’s their business). Both are appalled that the other could hold such outrageous beliefs.

Read any comment section on NBC News and you’ll see how closed minded even the most progressive people are because they believe that only their view is the correct one. It doesn’t matter which side you play on, both are equally stuck in their ideology and neither is actually willing to have a discussion to try to solve the problems at hand.

Basically it’s about ratings, clicks or fake internet points.

Call it white privilege, or first world problems or any other politically correct term that’s currently in favor and meant to put someone in their place and prevent any meaningful discussion. It’s just on a smaller scale and with less committed to the cause participants because hey it’s Sunday and The Walking Dead is on, or there’s a game or I really can’t be bothered to take up the cause but I can spew hatred on the internet because that only takes a few minutes and I never have to actually own my words because it’s all anonymous.

Right?

We can’t stop the terror attacks because we aren’t any better than they are AND we’re lazy. It’s so much easier and satisfying to get in a couple of jabs at some stranger on the internet than it is to sit with someone and learn who they are and why they do what they do. If we can’t allow someone on a news feed comment section to have their own belief, without attacking them, calling them stupid and brushing them and their supposed political party with the broadest brush possible how can we expect the people who grow up radicalized, where that behavior is fostered rather than a side effect, to be any different?

When things like the Paris attacks happen, at least in the US, our response is to reduce our freedoms. Some dude put a bomb in his shoes and now all of us have to remove our shoes at the airport. Some other guy tried to detonate a bomb in his underwear and now we all get felt up by the TSA. We want to think we are safer but most of us understand it’s just theater. It’s a show they put on to make us feel like they’re able to keep us safe. Taking away freedom and liberty is never the answer to these events, more freedom, more liberty is.

But that’s risky and scary

After the 9/11 attacks on NY, PA and DC President Bush said we should go shopping. He took a lot of shit for that but that’s the world we live in and to show fear, to stop going to the malls because they are such targets, is to allow the terrorists to win. He was right. We must not let fear win. The French get it. The day after the attacks most shops were open. I live by the Mall of America and I love it, but every year around the holidays I think maybe it’s best not to go there until the holidays are over. Because I know what a target the mall is (and because it has massive skylights, and is located across the highway from the airport, you frequently see airplanes fly right over it while you’re inside enjoying your Orange Julius).

It isn’t about fighting a religion, it’s about refusing to be afraid in the face of their terror. We go all bat shit crazy talking about muslims and how they are the problem, but then we do that we’re feeding into the narrative of these terrorists. You know what the terrorists hate? They hate it when Muslims move to the US or any western country and assimilate. When someone who is a practicing muslim moves to the US they do so because they want to live a better life than they could in their country, they want a better life for their kids and the want to take advantage of all the opportunities that are here but not found there. When they come here they bring their culture with them and by adding it to the melting pot that idealistically is the US.

It’s just a red cup!

For the last several weeks we’ve been getting worked up about the Starbucks holiday cup. Which might just be the biggest dupe in history because what we were actually getting worked up about was that people were worked up! No one actually ever saw anyone get worked up, at least not than I am aware. It’s less than two weeks before Thanksgiving and Black Friday and already my Facebook feed is filling up with images of turkeys superimposed with a list of which stores will remained closed on Thanksgiving so you know where the right place will be to shop when you’ve woken from you self induced food coma.

Today we’re outraged about taking in Syrian refugees, the internet is up in arms over this. We can’t possibly screen them all!!!! Governors from all over the nation are refusing them (not in MN, though).

“They’re not leaving Syria or parts of Iraq because they want to become terrorists,” Stanio told NBC News. “They have been victims of terrorism, they’ve been victims of gross violations committed by murderous dictators. These are people who deserve protection.”

Welcome

But we need to take in these refugees because these are the people who make this country great. They’re trying to escape intolerable situations and looking to build a better life here. I say, welcome, come start a business, raise happy and safe children, become an American and enjoy all that she has to offer.

By refusing to take in refugees we’re likely to create more ill will towards the US than reduce it. We’ve always welcomed the huddled masses looking to start a new life on these shores, this is no time to stop now.

TL;DR

More liberty is what prevents terror attacks, not less.

And

If you really want to do something to change the world start in your own little space. Refrain from calling each other names when someone has a different opinion than you. Instead of shaming them think about having a discussion to understand their point of view. It’s highly unlikely that everyone is correct 100% of the time so open your mind just a crack and consider that someone else might know a thing or two and that we could all learn something if we just listened more and talked over each other less.

politics

Campaign Season Has Begun – This Time It’s about Gender

April 13, 2015
words that should be banned until the next election

A new Campaign Season has begun. Yesterday Hillary Clinton officially threw her hat in the ring. It was a shocking move since no one was expecting her to run for President.

Marco Rubio threw his hat in the ring as well but nobody cared.

If you look around any social media sites you can see how the campaign is going to shake out. This time around the right isn’t going to be labeled as racists out of touch with the middle class, they will be labeled as misogynists out of touch with the middle class. We’ll look back on 2015/2016 as The Great Gender War.

I’m not much of a fan of Hillary Clinton and apparently those on the left aren’t either, much preferring a run from Elizabeth Warren who swears up and down she is not running for President (right now anyway). I’m not much of a Hillary Clinton fan but not because I don’t think she’ll make a decent President. Certainly she has the experience to be President. In fact she probably has more experience than anyone who is running or who has held the position in the last 10-16 years. She’s a skilled liar, she has balls of steel and she has some of that Teflon that her “husband” is so famous for. If that doesn’t make a President I don’t know what does.

If she promised that Bill would sit behind the desk in the Oval Office I’d give her my vote. I like Bill. He’s charming and smarmy enough to be entertaining. Hillary is not. She isn’t publicly charming and if any of the stories are correct she likes to throw things when angry. That shit just scares me.

Sadly, none of her qualifications or campaign promises matter. And neither do the qualifications and promises of Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz or anyone else for that matter. Campaigns are no longer about character, skill, experience, honesty (not that it ever was) or integrity. Today a presidential campaign is about social media and who can vilify the other side the best.

Thanks Obama.

The last several elections have been exciting. I’m a single mother who writes a humor blog, not really a political junkie, but I enjoy the excitement, more for sport than anything else but I do love the show. The 2008 election was an exciting election because there were so many qualified candidates. My guy didn’t win but I wasn’t disappointed with the winner.

At least not on election night.

That race was about the old way of doing things and the new way of doing things. It was about idealism vs pragmatism. The Obama campaign was a well oiled and finely tuned machine. Nothing could get in its way, especially an old man with some crazy ass soccer mom at his heels. The media was relentless in its attack on Sarah Palin. They not only skewered her but they went after her children and grandchildren too. Today they’d call that sexism but because she sits on the right it’s okay.

I hope Hillary doesn’t take the victim road to win the election. She’s a strong woman and I can’t imagine there was ever a glass ceiling that got in her way. She’s a determined woman too, probably more so than her husband. At least with regard to politics. She’s a great politician and she will probably win because the media would like a first female president. It doesn’t matter if she would make a good president. Hell, Rand Paul is more liberal than she is and he doesn’t throw things when he’s upset.

Hillary’s handicap is that she is a woman, a strong woman who doesn’t need gender affirmative action to do anything. And yet, that will be the reason she wins the 2016 presidential election. She will be thrown the same softball questions that Obama got during both of his campaigns. Thing is, she’s such a great politician she won’t need them.

I’d like to see a woman president, but I don’t want to elect someone to that office simply because they are a woman and the time is right for a female president. How much more condescending can that sentiment be?

People politics WTF?

I Can’t Jump on the Pile On Brian Williams Band Wagon

February 9, 2015
Tell the Truth, image about telling the truth, Brian Williams lies

As a blogger the last week (hell, the last 48 hours) has been filled with great topics to discuss. There’s the burning of the Jordanian pilot, Obama’s interesting remarks at the prayer breakfast, Kanye West and Beck (not to mention Prince’s glorious afro) and of course Brian Williams.

We won’t be talking about Brian William’s daughter getting her ass eaten out here so if you’re looking for that go Google it.

Everyone is having fainting spells because Brian Williams lied. Brain has been telling a story for years that he was in a helicopter in Iraq when it was struck by a rocket propelled grenade. The story recently unraveled when he recounted it again on January 30th when crew members who were actually on the helicopter challenged his claim that he was too.

Since then Mr. Williams has taken himself off the air for a few days and anyone with a soap box has dumped on him. Many, if not most, are calling for his resignation from NBC Nightly News. Tom Brokaw has lit the torch, sharpened his pitchfork and is leading the charge for Brian Williams resignation.

Pot meet kettle.

I can’t get behind this idea. I don’t watch NBC Nightly News but I do catch Brian Williams Slow Jamming with Jimmy Fallon and I love his rap. He’s affable enough for a talking head.

He lied, so what. Or, as Hillary so eloquently stated “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

I expect all of them to lie. I don’t care what network they work for, I am sure they are all lying, all the time.

And who hasn’t told a fib or two? I take creative license all the time. I change the names of people, I add details that I had long since forgotten, I even make up dialog because after so many years (or even days) I can’t be expected to remember it word for word.

Brian was in Iraq, that much is true, and fucking scary. If he wasn’t on a helicopter when it was close to a grenade as it was detonating so what? Most of us will never visit Iraq. Most of us will never leave our comfortable couch to see what’s happening in parts of the world we’d rather ignore. Brian is heading out there to report on it. If he fudged a couple details what’s the harm?

I didn’t grow up in the age of Cronkite. I came of age when Jim and Tammy Faye Baker were brought to their knees for building a christian amusement park, Milli Vanilli were caught lips syncing and let’s not forget Oliver North and Iran Contra. To find out that Brian Williams lied about anything isn’t just forgivable, it’s expected.

 

Dumb Shit I Do People politics WTF?

What to do in Case of a Zombie Apocalypse?

May 15, 2014
Walking Dead

I’m a huge fan of The Walking Dead. I got into it because of Andrew Lincoln’s role in Love Actually but stayed for the great thought provoking story that it is. Daryl is someone I’d want as a friend as is Carol, Michonne and Maggie. I like to think I could survive if the world went to hell and the undead walked the earth.

I might be mild mannered in real life but if the shit hit the fan all convention goes out the window. Think about how liberating it would be to no longer have to clock in at work? Money becomes irrelevant and the only thing of value is your survival skills. What a great opportunity to wear badass boots and carry a gun or cross bow!

I spend way more time thinking about things like:

  • Can I survive a world filled with Zombies?
  • Would I be willing  to kill a zombie with just a knife?
  • Could I kill another human being because he was bad (like the Governor)?
  • Would I want to live in a world with no internet, TV, Ice Cream or clean clothes?

I’m not ashamed to admit that my kids and I discuss these topics at Sunday Dinner on a regular basis. Partly because the odds of it actually happening are slim but also because it could happen and we need to be prepared.

We’ve talked about raiding the neighborhood Walgreens for medicine, tampons and energy drinks. We’ve discussed making sure the car is always gassed up so we can head over to Costco for all kinds of survival gear and make sure to keep the camping gear all packed and ready to go if necessary.

Apparently our very own government thinks it could happen because they put out their Zombie Apocalypse plan recently. They say it’s only for training purposes but it makes me wonder if they haven’t been working on some deadly zombie producing virus down at the CDC.

Knowing that the feds have a plan is both encouraging (because for once they seem to be ahead of the crisis) and extremely distressing because they probably know something we don’t and are preparing for it.

I’m not sure which it is but I’m thinking about heading out to Costco for industrial sized cans of chocolate pudding.

Could you survive the Zombie Apocalypse? What’s your plan? Click here for the essential zombie survival checklist.

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Events Minnesota politics

Gay Marriage in Minnesota

May 13, 2013
Minnesota legalizes gay marriage, freedom to marry in Minnesota, marriage equality in Minnesota

Today the Minnesota Senate votes on whether or not gay people can legally marry someone of the same sex. It’s expected to pass and  Governor Dayton has said he will sign the bill if it lands on his desk tomorrow.

It’s about time.

If it passes same – sex marriages can begin August 1st, 2013. Minnesota would be the 12th state to legalize gay marriage.

Currently same-sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Maine, Maryland, Washington, the District of Columbia.

I’m thrilled that Minnesota is going to become a state that recognizes marriage equality and am hopeful that the domino effect will take hold and all other states will follow suit.

While views have evolved over the years about gay marriage, there are still many who would prefer to ban gay marriage. I’ll never understand the belief that gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry someone whom they love and who happens to be of the same sex. I don’t understand it because gays can get married, they can only marry someone of the opposite sex which makes for a very  difficult and confusing marriage.

I know because I grew up in one them.

Gay people have been getting married since forever so banning gay marriage does nothing but force gay people to marry someone of the opposite sex, someone they may love but ultimately may find difficult to remain committed.

The argument that same-sex marriage erodes traditional marriage is the biggest crock of shit I have ever heard. Straight people have been eroding marriage just fine without the help of gay people. I know I’ve done my part having two marriages – so far.

I can attest to the fact that growing up in a mixed orientation marriage is confusing, shameful, loud and just downright hell. I think most people would agree that growing up with parents who love and respect one another is preferred to one where lying, arguing and sadness are the rule.

I expect this bill to pass, as do many who are opposed to it. The best thing about this issue is that sooner, rather than later, it will simply age out. The people who fear gays will die out. The kids coming up, the ones who will rule this world very soon, don’t care a bit if someone is gay. And that is incredibly refreshing.

Today will be an historic day in Minnesota. Today is the day we vote for the family, for equality and for freedom.

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People politics

RIP Margaret Thatcher and Annette Funicello

April 8, 2013

That’s probably not the best headline when it comes to keywords and SEO. Most people are not going to lump these two ladies together for any reason except that they happened to die on the same day.

While they may not have had much in common they were inspiring to young girls all over the world.

I didn’t pay a lot of attention to politics when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister but I my brother did and as a Young Republican who would have sawed off his right and left leg to meet Ronald Reagan I knew she was pretty important. I was thrilled that there was a woman who held such power. If they could elect a woman across the pond then surely, one day, we might do it here.

Margaret Thatcher

Cover of Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher took no crap from anyone and she pulled no punches. Many people hated her but many more respected her. I was one those who had great respect for the Iron Lady.

Here are some of Margaret Thatcher’s more memorable quotes:

“Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.” Speech, 1976

“They are casting their problems at society. And, you know, there’s no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look after themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbours.”  Interview in Women’s Own in 1987

“The fact that we are gathered here, now — shocked but composed and determined – is a sign not only that this attack has failed but that all attempts to destroy democracy will fail.” Remarks following an IRA bombing that killed members of cabinet, 1984

“In politics, if you want something said, ask a man; if you want to get something done, ask a woman.” Speech to woman’s club, 1965

Cover of "Beach Party"

Cover of Beach Party

Annette Funicello, as some of you may or may not know was the original Brittany Spears. She was in the first incarnation of the Mickey Mouse Club and considered the all time favorite. From there she went on to star in many movies about teenagers hanging out at the beach. When she was older she was diagnosed with MS. She hid her illness for a several years but when she revealed it she established The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases.

 

I enjoyed her beach party movies in reruns because, to me, they were proof that there was a simpler time. I went through a 50s phase when I was kid. I wore my hair in a ponytail and wore my mother’s old oxford shirts and skirts with crinolines. I even rolled my socks down. I wanted to be vapid and carefree like Annette in her beach movies. Unfortunately, as some other Minnesotan once sang; the times they were a-changing.

Here are some memorable quotes from Annette Funicello:

“Growing up in public is especially hard sometimes.”

“Of all the roles I’ve played, none has been as fulfilling as being a mother.”

“Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.”

“Just learning that you have MS is such a devastating shock.”

“For me, the wheelchair symbolizes disability in a way a cane does not.”

You can’t really compare the two ladies. They represent opposing ideas of what women should be and back then there were not many role models to choose from.

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