Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Victim of an "ism"

You know, I am really getting tired of everything being called "racist". Yesterday was the final straw for me when I read that some teacher decided that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are racist. Why? Because some children don't eat (or have it at home) bread but rather pitas, tortillas, etc. So those poor children are feel left out, she says. Come on!

When I was growing up in the 50's and 60's, there was not a single ethnic group that didn't have an ugly name. For example, Italians were "spics", Asians (didn't really matter where they were from) were "slant eyes", Polish folks were "Pollacks" (probably spelled wrong) and so on. My ethnic background is Scottish, Irish and Jewish. If you are a history buff at all, you would know that centuries ago, England tried to completely wipe out the Scots particularly the Highlanders who were considered savages. They almost managed to do it too if not for the pure stubbornness and pride of the Scots. Then there was the ongoing battle for Ireland. I don't recall what the Irish were called when they came to America but it wasn't kind; it was offensive. And we all know that for the last 5000 (not sure of that exact number) years, antisemitism has flourished to this very day. The Russians were called "ruskies" (spelled wrong I think), the Chinese "chinks", and on and on.

No, none of this was nice and I am not defending it. I remember as a high school senior, I wore and Star of David necklace that my great-grandmother had given me. She was orthodox Jewish, had a kosher kitchen and took her religion very seriously. Her son, my great-uncle, married a Roman Catholic but to honor his mother, he would serve a Sabbath dinner on Friday night once in a while. I really had no idea of the significance of the necklace until one of my teachers asked me, "You're not Jewish, are you?" It was like "you're not carrying the plague, are you?" I was so taken aback and ticked off that I said yes I was. That was a lie but I was angry.

That year when we lived in an old Polish neighborhood, we received hate mail because my brother was going to preschool at a Jewish Community Center. I am telling you this because I do know what it's like to be at the end of a slur or, as I call it, an "ism". My mother told me to ignore it. All the adults in my family told me that it didn't matter what others said about me, it was what I thought of myself that mattered.

I don't and have never liked humor at the expense of someone else. Making fun of anyone is not funny to me. My kids know that and say that I am "sensitive". I think it is unkind and if a person can't think of something funny to say that isn't at the expense of someone else, then that person isn't funny. But, this business of being offended at anything and everything is only causing division now. When someone would tease me or make a joke about me, it was my own insecurity and my own lack of worth that would make it personal to me. No one, and I mean no one, MADE me cry or made me angry or made me "offended". I CHOSE to react that way.

As I have said in this blog several times, being offended is a choice one makes. I wouldn't purposely hurt anyone's feelings but I have still said and done things that were hurtful. I don't assume when I walk out my door that because of my heritage, my religion or the color of my skin that "people" are going to offend me because of it. Yes, I am white and I am also tired of hearing about my white privilege and that it is in my DNA to be racist. That is a lie. The way I understood all that prejudice I saw when I lived in the South (Jim Crow days) and the subtle slurs and prejudice I saw in the North, those people were insecure about themselves, had a poor self esteem and could only feel better about themselves by putting others down, particularly those who "talked funny" (their words), who had darker skin than they did or who had different customs than theirs.

Still, being offended is a choice you make. Truly, I don't think most people "hate" any one group more than another. Our food choices, our clothing choices, our job choices, etc. are not statements of racism - it is just who we are. If you eat something I would never eat, that is your prerogative. I am not going to tell you that you can't eat it nor should you force me to eat something I don't like, right?

The point here is that we have all been subject to some type of prejudice. How we react to it is what we own. Eleanor Roosevelt said something very wise once. She said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." She was right. Rather feeling offended, I am going to choose not to be. I am not going to let others run my emotions and, being offended is an emotion and it is a choice you make. Let us look for ways to be united, to be friends, to be kind and caring neighbors rather than trying to decided that what others do or say is to offend us. I want to be the champion of my own feelings and I am the only one who can do that.

Enough of the division and "isms". Stop CHOOSING to be OFFENDED!!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Lawlessness

A couple of days ago, I read a news article about a woman who literally performed a cesarean procedure on a woman 8 months pregnant while the woman was visiting to purchase baby clothes! (the woman was not sedated either) Naturally, the pre-born baby was only 8 months gestation and the end result was that the baby died. The pregnant woman answered an ad on Craigslist. She was looking for used but undamaged baby clothes for her baby. While this is a horrid act to say the least, I don't know about you but I hear horror stories similar to this almost daily. It is as if people have gone mad!

Then there is the story of the woman whose manager kindly provided a handicapped spot for her near her apartment. She is missing part of a leg and no, I don't know if it is the whole leg or what but she has a prosthetic to get around. One of her neighbors wrote the most disgusting, selfish note to her that basically said he'd park where he wanted and up hers! Where has kindness gone? 

Here locally on an almost daily basis, drivers run red lights, don't stop at Stop Signs, pull right in front of other drivers and so on. It seems all of these from the least to the most stems from a sense of entitlement. "I am special. I NEED to (get somewhere right now, my own baby, someone else's property - well, fill in the blank) do this." It is only with hyper-diligence on the part of drivers that there are not more accidents, injuries and even deaths on our local streets and highways. 

It is a sense of one's importance is more than anyone else's. God, in His magnificent wisdom, had Moses write down the Ten Commandments. God didn't put these rules in Mose's hands to be mean or to deprive us. Think about it - don't steal, don't lie, don't be jealous of other's things (which leads to further sin of stealing), don't kill others, don't commit adultery, etc. If we would only follow His rules, think how pleasant our world would be! But since our society and culture has thrown God under the bus, so to speak, people's behavior indicates that "anything goes" as long as they get away with it. 

Because we have decided that we are more important than anyone else, we lie, cheat, steal, have sex with other's significant others and/or spouses, and even murder. I am not talking about murder where a person is convicted - oh, no, it is murder of our unborn children for one thing. This is perfectly legal. Now more and more states are legalizing euthanasia and California has a bill right now before its legislators that does so as well. What will stop those who think they know best to "kill" the elderly, those who are desperately ill and perhaps, with medical care, can survive, and those who are disabled? None of these can contribute to society, right? Medical costs mount either for families or insurance companies, right? So here is another excuse for murder. A perfect example of how utterly wrong this is? Terry Schaivo. She was left to die a horrible, excruciating death and the two people who loved her, her parents, were powerless to do a thing about it. They tried but failed - the legal system failed them. And, oh, by the way, Governor Jeb Bush did nothing about it either. Do you really trust him to run our nation? I don't. But, I digress.

With our sense of entitlement, we now have entered an era of lawlessness because we are ENTITLED to whatever we want! It is no matter how what I want affects you any more. It is my way or the highway, as it is said. I saw the movie, "Cinderella" last week and the theme of the movie, if you will, is "have courage and be kind". Wow, if our society would only do that! How different and civil our world would be.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The World Has Gone Mad!

I know it has been a long while since I have posted but you know what the problem is? There is so much going on and on a day to day basis, it is hard to decide just what to write about. Today I read a news item that just sickens me. You won't hear about it on the news or in your newspaper either. The Obama administration is sneaking through regulations that require organizations that help refugees to "force" women and/or girls who are pregnant to get "emergency contraception". You know that that the "emergency contraception is? An abortion.

The very sneakiness of these regulations makes me ill. There is no public debate because the administration is isn't the public interest. Do you believe that? I don't! The administration knows very well there would be public outcry especially from religious organizations who provide services for refugees. If these religious organizations do not obey these regulations, they will no longer get any federal aid. This puts them at the crossroads of either obeying their consciences or not so they can continue receiving federal aid.

None of the organizations has a ton of money to run their operations and rely heavily on public and private donations and most need federal aid as well to survive. So many Catholic charities such as adoption facilities have had to close their doors due to the loss of federal aid. Why? They refuse adoptions by same-sex couples. They are following the dictates of their religious beliefs and I concur with them.

As I said before, I don't honestly know what I would have done when I was a young woman and faced with a pregnancy outside of marriage or, worse, in a marriage where I was abused and I needed OUT. My maternal grandmother died of a "back-alley" abortion when my mother was 15. My maternal grandfather had drinking problems - that I know for sure. Is that why she chose an abortion? Or was it due to not wanting to raise a child when her youngest was 10? I don't know the answers here. My mother never told me about the cause of death of her mother - I learned from another family member. So I missed out knowing that grandmother sadly. If this had been me, I would hope that my faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His Word would have given me strength to continue on with the pregnancy. However, when I was a young woman, I wasn't serving the Lord very much, and sometimes not at all.

I am appalled the Obama Administration is doing this and I hope that religious organizations, churches and synagogues would rise up and take a stand. So far, I haven't seen much of that about any single issue from the Christian world. I am more than disappointed in main-line churches and their refusal to take stands on the issues today that are diabolically opposed to the Bible. Please write letters and talk to your pastors and church friends about this. We must stop it!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Immigration?

I realized that I have been lagging posting here on my blog. After reading two different blogs/web pages on the subject, I felt I must weigh in on it. I left a comment on Speaker Boehner's website but didn't really say all that I wanted to say. My first consideration in the immigration debate is that our borders are porous and we have no idea who really is coming here. Yes, I am sure there are those (families and adults) who want to work and make a better life and/or send money to poor relatives. That is not the point. If these same people's homes were invaded in Mexico (or wherever), it would be illegal, right? They'd take what measures they could to protect their loved ones and things of value.

Why is it so difficult for these same people to understand that coming here "under the cover of darkness" is no different? We are supposed to feel sorry for them because they "live in the shadows". They make that choice once they cross our borders to live like that. I know they are hard workers. I live in northern California where there is a large population of illegals that work in landscaping, gardening, labor, farming, etc. I see they work hard and the sad thing is that they work "under the table" and are taken advantage of. They are paid low wages that are way below minimum wage The reasoning (I say excuse) is "to keep the price of food down" - that is one of them anyway. Or they pay low wages because  THEY CAN. Who are the illegals going to go to? Again, though, they make this choice to live and work like this.

I keep hearing "comprehensive immigration reform" and I agree with Thomas Sowell that it is really a huge plan for amnesty. I also agree with Senator Rand Paul that Congress should take all these types of issues and break them down into manageable parts. In the case of immigration, the first thing we should do is truly secure our borders. Build a real fence (there are parts of the southwest that have already built them). The fence should have no "break" in them. In other words, 300 yards down from the edge of the beautiful, high-tech fence is nothing. So what good does fencing do if it is not consistent? Yes, of course, there will be "border towns" and border checkpoints. There would have to be - we can't just shut down Tijuana or Nogales and such.  Let's take some of those returning from Afghanistan and Iraq to guard the fences. Heck, I bet there some unemployed folks who could do the job as well!

The point is before we do anything else, we must secure our borders and no half-measures either. Then move on to step two: reform ICE and DHS. Why do we need several alphabet agencies doing the same things. Think of the money we'd save if we did that! Completely re-write the immigration laws so that it doesn't take a law degree to fill out the necessary paperwork. We need to keep track of those who are here on temporary visas. Let's take a look at the types of skills we need here. In case no one has noticed, we have an unemployment problem here  What point is there to let U. S. unemployed workers compete with those that are wanting to work here too? I realize common sense is in short supply these days but we better start finding some.

Lastly, the thing I want to touch on (there is far more to this problem than the above) is what do we do with those who are here already illegally? What do we do with their children who came with their parents not intentionally breaking the law? To be brutally honest, they need to take responsibility for their illegal acts. It is not our problem they made the choice to break our laws. I read in a comment tonight that there are a lot of children whose parents are in jail or prison right now, today. I am not talking about children of the illegal immigrants either. I am referring to those children of felons, some of which have committed heinous crimes. Is it our duty to take them into our homes and take care of them? NO! So why do we have this guilt thing about those children whose parents broke the law in coming here? Do you see the logic in what I am saying?

Let us come up with some rational solutions with no accusations of bigotry or racism. We can't solve a problem by calling each other names when we disagree, can we? Just some thoughts.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Teachers, what is your union doing?

I know the vast majority of teachers in not only Brentwood but in the U.S. are dedicated to their jobs and to the children they teach. My warning to them is to scrutinize just what their unions are doing with their union dues.  Recently, there have been attempts by Federal and State governments to require that anyone working in the school system, from principal to janitor and in between be subject to a background check.  Please read this post .

I know that Union Watch is biased so I don't "buy" everything that they say but this article IS true and, if I were in your shoes and paying dues, I'd be highly incensed that letters written on YOUR behalf state your objection to common-sense laws to protect our kids. This is not a partisan issue at all. This is also not a racist issue as one letter suggested. Whatever happened to common sense? Ah, well, that is another issue. What concerns me is that union officials are not looking out for the students OR the teachers they purport to represent in this case. The only way this is going to change is if you, the teacher, start making demands on those who represent you to ask you what you want.

Please read the link and start taking control of your union officials. Our children need protection. Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Just the Truth Please

Over the last few months, well, years actually, I have been conned into believing anything and everything that right-wing bloggers put out there. Yes, I know. I am a right-wing blogger too but with the last few debacles (O'care and the government shutdown), I had an epiphany.  Our nation has become so divided that in order to "make people see the truth", we have participated in the division and we ourselves have not told the entire truth.
The last few days I have listened to Obama and the guy is a great salesman. I'll give him that. And, just as any great salesman, he has certain tools he uses, phrases and manner of speaking about a given subject that just sound just so right, so clear and so truthful. Except, it isn't completely. Had he told all of us back in 2010 when he went around the country trying to "sell" his health care plan just what the goal of that legislation was and that because of that goal, we were going to see some insurance companies fold up their tents and go away OR that other insurance companies would increase their premiums.
Insurance is a risk, right? The whole gamble from the insurer's point of view is to not spend any money on you or me. Our goal is that if we get sick, the insurer will spend money on us as contracted in our plan. Sadly and wrongly, a lot of what was not covered or caps, etc. were in very tiny print and individuals, particularly, were buying a plan that didn't cover much. An example I heard over the weekend is that a single mother of 2 children paid $50 a month for health care through her employer. But get this: this company had an annual cap of $2000!! Have you ever gone to an emergency room for even the slightest thing and the cost been less than $2000? No, I didn't think so. Now, this is flat-out wrong. So I get that the goal of insurance reform was to make all insurers cover certain key things.  (The mandate that coverage for dependents must extend to the age of 26 is something I don't understand at all, however.) From what I have read and heard, maternity care, mental health, preexisting conditions and other things must be offered in whatever plan sold by any insurance company. Also, there can be no cap, either annually or life-time. As I said above, insurers do business to make money. All these things mandated by the Act will make more money come out of their pockets. Since profit is the goal for the companies and their shareholders, they, of course, are going to raise their rates. Just plain business sense. This insurance company with the $2000 cap just shut its doors. They saw no other option and/or didn't want to really offer a viable product.
I may have some of this wrong because I don't totally have the complete picture. I will admit that up front. If Obama had spelled out that fairness was the goal of health care reform and true coverage not just promises from an insurer, just maybe he could have sold it better. But here's the thing: it seems that due to the division in our nation from any kind of dialog, we didn't get a clear picture from anybody! Because Obama is such a good salesman, he knows (or at least he thinks he does) just what to say and how to say it. He speaks to low-informed voters mostly and/or assumes those who listen just aren't smart enough to understand it. One of his biggest downfalls is that he IS condescending.
Also, if anyone asks for clarification, that person is vilified. Name-calling like hater or racist starts rather than let's figure this out. What does that mean? What does that cover? Everything we have heard since October 1 has been what this and that doesn't cover, how high the premiums are etc.  Please note: these are all about individual plans and somehow that doesn't quite get clarified. It is doom and gloom. Now, I have some serious issues about certain mandates, fees, fines, etc. It is  not that I am sold on the bill at all. I feel that the creators of the Act were rushed first of all and secondly, there is nothing about tort reform and that is critical. Part of the reason health care has become so expensive is due to litigation-happy attorneys out there. Yes, I understand that some lawsuits are legitimate and the patients (or loved ones left behind) need compensation for negligence, fraud, etc. But some of them are frivolous and the jury awards outrageous and over-compensate the plaintiffs. The more money awarded, the more the attorney gets. No, I am not against attorneys either and I'd say the vast amount of them are not ambulance-chasers but a few have made it hellish for the most.
Not only were the creators of the Act rushed but the companies tasked to put this huge website together rushed.  The portal wasn't not alpha or beta tested and just not ready for prime time. Putting together what is essentially a major database (several, actually) is a huge job and much can go wrong. Each piece must work with all the other pieces to get the product up and running. Using a no-bid contract, old software and then rushing the coding were just recipes for disaster. But because the Republicans were screaming for repealing, then defunding the bill altogether, the Democrats dug their heels in and went online anyway. This is what happens when there is such vile division among people and parties. All constructive dialog never happens.
Folks, we need dial all this rhetoric down - a lot! We will never get completely honest answers about anything if our first reaction is to attack. What happened to polite conversation? Forget polite, just plain conversation instead of automatically calling others names. Let's inform each other rather than assume the other person is just plain wrong. How is that for an idea?
I have seen sites where Chicken Little would have been comfortable. Do you know what I mean by that? The topic, whatever it is, calls for screaming that the sky is falling. The extremes are spouted rather than any kind of real information. I can't tell you how many times I have seen this happen about bills that have passed here in California. None of the doom and gloom prophesied by the religious right has happened. Yes, it still might but some of these bills were passed a decade ago.
Just like the government shutdown - that was totally unnecessary but the Republicans didn't shut the government down. Every time I hear it said, I see red. What happened is that BOTH parties were responsible! Again, due to the extreme rhetoric on both sides simply shut any type of conversation down. I understand what each side wanted but to get to the edge (fiscal cliff - whatever) puts political pressure on both sides of the aisle and no one wants calm down. I was very disappointed in the actions taken by Obama in the shutdown. Most of what he did was childish. I guess we all need to grow up so these types of things don't keep happening.
My message is don't lie at ALL; tell us the whole truth; don't wait until the last minute to get things done and take rational actions. Mostly talk to each other so we can get things done.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Real War Against Women

There is so much going on today that it would require I do nothing but post on my blog to keep up with it all. Geesh!  But, I can't let another day go by without expressing my outrage at the "REAL" war against women. Of course, I am talking about abortion and the lack of oversight of the abortion industry.
First, let me tell you that I never met my maternal grandmother. The reason? She died from a "back-alley" abortion. So abortion is personal to me and the last thing I wanted, and still want, is for women to die from botched or, in my opinion, "back-alley" abortions.
When Roe v Wade was decided, it opened the gate for abortion clinics. My understanding is that in order for a clinic like Planned Parenthood to open its doors, it must register and have a licensed physician (or maybe in California, a licensed nurse practitioner) and that said clinic must adhere to certain medical standards. Standards like sterilization of all instruments and equipment, etc. This is for the protection of everyone: the staff and the patients.  After all, it is an invasive procedure for the patient and there is loss of blood and fluids. Yet, I read and hear about another death or serious medical complication as a result of a "routine" abortion at least once a day if not more.
I realize that those who are tasked to oversee clinics like this are probably under-funded, under-staffed and just not enough hours in the day to do a proper job. I am sure that at least one person is going to raise her/his hand with this comment. That is not the point: don't these people who run these clinics give a damn about their patients and/or staff? I like to assume that the doctors, nurses and other medical staff have had training regarding sanitation and such. Maybe not.  And, who are these doctors who seem to come out of nowhere and can't do a proper job?  Women have had to be rushed to emergency rooms just to have their lives saved (and that doesn't always happen), or due to a botched job, they are left sterile and if they had any hope of having a child, that isn't going to happen or the staff is exposed to God knows what (as well as the patient).
I thought this was NOT going to happen!! Having legal abortion was the answer: no more deaths in the back alley or on the kitchen table, whatever. Honestly, it seems LESS safe now than when abortion was hush-hush and illegal.
The other thing that really troubles me is that these clinics are so often in impoverished neighborhoods where the patients and their families don't speak or understand English. These women, in my opinion, are really taken advantage of.  Not everyone speaks English or Spanish! How do they communicate with the staff? How do they tell the patient what serious signs of complications are? They don't! Further, it really breaks my heart that so many black women abort their babies. Sadly, I understand. Caught in the poverty and gang-run neighborhoods, I would imagine it is very difficult to see anything better for the child and the woman must ask herself: do I want to bring another baby into this lifestyle?
Yes, I do believe "it" is a baby.  I believe life begins at conception. I also believe that abortion is murder but I  am not naive to think that what I think and believe matters at all to a woman making the choice to abort. She'd tell me to mind my own business.  And, rightly so.  It just hurts me to think of all the babies who have not been born.  Still, if I had become pregnant before I was married, I honestly don't know what I would have done.  I would like to believe that I would have taken the high road and went through the pregnancy and given the baby up for adoption.
Liberals, both women and men, scream at the top of their lungs that conservatives and/or Republicans are waging war against women.  I don't think so.  Because they (liberals) felt they won a victory with Roe v Wade and subsequent legal decisions and statutes, they refuse to shine the light on the clinics, their staff, and the reports of women either dying or becoming sterile. Any light might just be a "slippery slope" to making abortion illegal, am I right? Of course, all of this really came to my thoughts due to the Gosnell trial. Haven't heard about it? No surprise there.  The liberal media would rather talk about Lindsay Lohan and her drug rehab that tell the public what is happening not just by Dr. Gosnell (I hate to even give him the appellation of "doctor") but other clinics, other emergencies, other horrors.  It is happening everywhere and way too often but the liberals are silent and accomplices to the atrocities.
It is time for the truth to be reported. I honestly don't believe it will force abortion back into the "back-alley" but I do think it will make those clinics and their staff accountable and, hopefully, much safer for the woman that chooses to abort. I abhor the partial-birth abortion or the late-term abortions. I can't even bring myself to talk about the horrible atrocities to the babies born. I can hardly read about it much less write about it. Yet, liberals believe that making any laws about these procedures would be that "slippery slope". We must do better for these women.  The media must step up and report not just the good but the bad about their "pet" projects.
We who are Christians need to get on our knees every single day and ask God for forgiveness for our nation; ask Him for wisdom on how we can be loving to our neighbors and speak the truth so that they will hear it.  We cannot change the law.  If abortion is made illegal again, it won't change the minds of those who feel that abortion is their only option. What we can do is write to our lawmakers and demand that real oversight of abortion clinics starts happening.  This war on women must stop.