Archive for the Politics Category

A lesson on women’s choices from the tales of King Arthur and his knights.

Posted in Books, Education, Entertainment, Life, Politics, Story time, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2017 by urbannight

Loathy LadyThere is a story about one of Arthur’s knights who is on a mission and he meets a witch who will help him if only he will marry her. He agrees. She resolves his mission and now he must keep his promise.  Other versions are where the knight becomes obligated to someone of a higher status who forces him to marry an ugly woman under this other man’s authority.

He is depressed because she is very ugly. She lets him in on a secret. He has to make a choice. She can be beautiful but he must decide when. Does he want her to be beautiful at night, when they are alone together? Then everyone with think he has an ugly wife and feel sorry for him. Or she can be beautiful during the day and everyone will think he is lucky to have such a beautiful wife but she will be ugly at night.

Feeling rather sorry for himself, he decided that it doesn’t really matter to him and tells her to choose which way will make her happier. Her response is, “Oh well, in that case, I would rather be beautiful all the time.” And so she was.

The moral is that men shouldn’t make decisions for women. When you let women makeLady Ragnell their own decisions, you may end come coming out of it better than if you tried to force her to follow your choices.

The other moral, as it is sometimes done, is based on a riddle the knight failed to answer.  What is it that women really want?  After failing to answer correctly and having to wed the ugly woman, by letting her choose, he learns the real answer.  What women really want is self-determination.  The right to make their own choices about their own lives and their own bodies.

Both variations of the moral are nearly identical.  The one that says women want and deserve self-determination focuses more on women and letting them make their own decisions.  The other saying that men shouldn’t make decisions for women focuses on men and what they shouldn’t do.  Either way, I think the story is really appropriate for today’s political climate.

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A State of Shock

Posted in Economics, Economy, Education, History, Just Strange, Life, Politics, Religion, Technology, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2016 by urbannight
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After walking home after voting.

This morning I feel numb and horrified at the same time.  There were almost no people walking in to work this morning.  Did people take the day off?  Are there as many people in this country who feel as if they are walking through some post-apocalyptic world despite the fact that the sun is shining, the world looks the same, and half the country is actually happy?

I will probably scream if people start talking about a mandate.  I didn’t like it when Obama said it.  No election as close as these represent a mandate.  I would only accept that word in a landslide vote.  This was not a landslide.  My radio was on when I turned on my car.  I had to turn it off.  People were calling in and saying America has spoken.  As if it was a huge percentage.  It was a razor thin edge.  The worst sorts of people came out of the woodwork.  People who wanted change at ANY cost and don’t care if it hurt this country.  They just want to ‘break’ Washington.

I might have supported and even applauded Trump if he hadn’t approached this on a platform of hate, fear, distrust, and violence.  I have actually thought something did need to break the Washington Machine for it to ever change.  But this was the worst way it could have happened.  There was a tiny, secret part of me that actually thought that maybe he should win and people will get what they deserved and I hoped they would then regret what they did.  But I refused to ever say it.  I didn’t want to do anything to put any of that energy out into the world.  I didn’t really think he would win.

Congratulations to half of this country.  Your man won.  It just goes to show the country hasn’t progressed as far as we thought.  People who want to keep black people, Hispanics, Jewish people, Muslims, and women down so that they can continue to feel better about themselves have won.  People who feel that with the rise of all the people listed above that they have lost their power and that they need to take it back have won.  People who represent the lowest and worst of this country have won.  People with hate in their hearts have won.  People who think women are lower themselves and that women should have no control over their own bodies have won.  People who think men don’t need to control their own reactions and that women should be controlled in order to ‘protect them’ from the things they have been given the ‘go-ahead’ to do because ‘boys will be boys’ have won.

How is it that people who complain that Hilary is one of the ‘one percent’ have bought into the idea that Trump is not?  Trump came from money, always had money, borrowed a huge amount from his daddy to get his business started, and yet people think he knows what it is like to have to work his way up.  He never did.  He is a silver spoon baby and never knew what it was like to need money.   We don’t really know what he is worth because he wouldn’t provide his tax returns.  He did admit to finding enough loop holes to not pay any taxes for 13 years or something like that.  But he says he is worth a LOT but at the same time cheats his contractors and vendors by telling them thinks like, “we don’t have the money to pay you, we can only pay you 70 cents on the dollar.  You better take it because if you take it to court, you will probably win, but we can make it take so long that you will lose everything and go broke before you ever win.”

How is it that people will believe that a man who likes having portions of his companies overseas because he can pay the workers FAR less than he can in the United State will ever do anything to bring jobs back to the U.S.  He seems to think that he is some type of Roosevelt character who just has to build enough roads and bridges to put people back to work.  Roadwork goes on all year round here.  The roads are constantly being repaired.  Roadwork never stops.  Sure, many bridges are in a state where they need to be repaired.  But that was discovered years ago and most of those are in the process of being fixed all around this country.  He also implied that the problem with education is that we need more schools and he promised to build more schools and more hospitals.  We have enough schools and if you count Emergicare offices, we have facilities.  Building more isn’t going to solve the problems.  Repealing Obamacare isn’t going to help lower medical costs.  These issues are far deeper.  We need to pay teachers better; we need to make sure existing schools are supplied with the tools needed to teach kids.  We need to value students more as well.  Parents need to take more responsibility over their children’s behavior and student’s need to take more ownership of their own learning process.  The health industry has to stop gouging patients and more reasonable pricing needs to be put into place and enforced.  Building more schools and hospitals isn’t the solution.

One earbud fell out of my ear and I heard a girl near me say that her one vote wouldn’t make a difference.  The point is that if you put ever person saying that together, you have a block of votes that WOULD make a difference.  So I REALLY hate that saying.  Which leads me to how angry I feel towards people who didn’t vote for that reason, didn’t vote because they couldn’t be bothered, voted for third party candidates and threw away their vote or voted for a write-in and also threw away their vote.  Anyone voting for a write-in or a third party is actually voting for the person they LEAST want to win.  In nearly every case, that would have actually caused Trump to have lost those states rather than have won.

On the whole, I’m still in shock.  I could go on and on, but this is getting long enough as it is.  I’ve also lost my direction as I was working on this between tasks and at lunch.  I didn’t have the advantage of taking today off work.  There are so many things to talk about where this went wrong and will continue to go wrong that maybe I should save those for another time.

Aftermath: Meh

Posted in Politics, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2016 by urbannight

I anticipated having more to say after the third debate.  It is odd that I do not.  After all, the debate was actually far more viscous than the second one.  But both candidates remained much more calm than last time.  They did say a bit more about the issues and their stances.  They both tried to avoid certain things and they both used the opportunities to strike at each other.  It wasn’t terribly memorable.  It wasn’t anything that was going to change anyone’s minds.  It made people who hate Trump just hate him more and people who hate Hillary just hate her more.  I’m somewhat disappointed in it.  I thought it would be more interesting.

I expect tonight’s showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show with be much better.

 

The Third Debate

Posted in Entertainment, History, Just Strange, Life, Politics, Strange, Television, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2016 by urbannight
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US Presidential Debates

I am feeling ambivalent about this debate.  I think that people are so polarized that it isn’t really an effective tool this election cycle.  From what I hear, the debates are not helping the undecided to decide.  The debates seem to be making them more confused and even more undecided.

This is going to be an ugly election.  I think it Trump wins it will be a horrible thing for the nation.  I don’t think he understands the limits on the presidency and that he will turn into a nightmare when he finds out it doesn’t work like he thinks it does. I think if Hillary wins Trump with turn into a completely different sort of nightmare and will contest it, fight it, and make a general nuisance of himself.

I feel an actually, physical sensation of nausea and disgust when I see Trump’s face.  I got as far as the hand shake at the start of the first debate and had to change channels.  I watched a weird channel that wasn’t showing debate stuff. I would really like to have the option to what real programing and not a debate that makes me ill.

The second debate was a little better for me.  What really annoyed me is the way Trump kept stalking Hillary and hovering over her.  He was whinny, like a toddler.  He said they only tried to stop him for going over time but they were doing the same thing to Hillary and he said they were not.  He sounds like someone who doesn’t really know about what a president can and cannot do.  But at least I managed to keep my stomach under control while watching him.

I was looking forward to my regular programing tonight.  So I’m cranky.  But I will attempt to watch this.  I think it could be a train wreck.  Everyone says the second was worse than the first one and the second wasn’t as vicious as I was expecting.  Although the reporting on it made it sound worse.  But if each escalates, and the attacks that went on after it, I think tonight will be much worse.  I guess it may be more like I was expecting last time.  All I can do is try.

Part of me wanted to avoid all social media and try to avoid this election until voting day.  Mostly because of the visceral reaction I have towards Trump.  To be honest, I’ve had the reaction to him as long as I can remember.  Which is one of the reasons I could not watch the apprentice.  I stopped watching beauty pageants before he bought out the Miss America or Miss Universe or whichever one he took over.  So I can’t blame him for not watching them anymore.

The Right to Protest

Posted in History, Politics, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2016 by urbannight
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Time to demand change!

I’m getting a little tired of all the people saying that the football player who will not stand during the anthem is disrespectful and he should stand up for the anthem no matter what.

I totally disagree.  Requiring anyone to stand and display support and favor for anything political is something I would expect of Nazi Germany, Communist China, or North Korea.  Where people can see and take note of anyone who is not displaying the appropriate behavior so the government can come after them.

It makes me think they really don’t understand everything about the America Revolution.  One of the key items was the right to be able to say that you disagree with the government stance on something or some government action.  You couldn’t do that in public in England without running the risk of getting arrested for sedition or attempt to incite a riot.  Even if there was no riot and no intent to start one.  Because there had been riots, the government was passing stricter and more oppressive laws thinking that would prevent riots.

To say people have to conform to public displays of patriotism is completely un-American.  In fact, the right to protest in order to effect change is perhaps the MOST American action one can take.  Peacefully refusing to stand for the national anthem because local and federal government is doing nothing to hold the police accountable for their actions and for doing nothing to stem the tide of increasing acts of police brutality against civilians of all races is a valid form of political protest that does not harm anyone but still makes a point.

I rather hope the Seattle Seahawks remain seated, en mass, is support of this other player and in support of all the people, both innocent and guilty, who have been killed, brutalized, raped, permanently injured by excessive use of force.

Reading people’s comments on various articles on-line, you see a growing situation where people are saying it is okay for policy to kill people for simply asking WHY.  Why was I stopped?  What did I do?  Or for people to think it is okay for police to kill people who were guilty of a crime even thought the person was NOT resisting, or was already subdued and under police control BEFORE the police brutality began.  People are supporting officer, police or correctional, who refuse to provide treatment to people already in custody because they think the suspect/inmate is faking and then that person dies in the next couple of hours.

This nation is turning into a fascist police state because people are not demanding accountability from the police force.  People who investigate these events almost always side with the police.  Even in cases where there is clear video evidence that should indicate otherwise.  Until people demand an unbiased investigation into these events and demand accountability and demand a police force that is trained in de-escalation tactics rather than shot first and don’t worry about getting in trouble then things will actually continue to get worse and worse.

I was taught to go to the police when in trouble, but the police are so often attacking and injuring people who ask for help that I’m as afraid of the police as I am of criminals and don’t see any sign of improvement anywhere in the near future.

People might argue with my use of “fascist” in this contect because they usually associate it with dictatorships.  But it is a form of radical nationalism.  And when I listen to people who say that ALL people should publically support the President’s actions, even if they disagree, in order to provide a united front against the rest of the world makes me feel that ‘fascist’ and ‘fascism’ are completely appropriate.  Of course, I find it interesting that as soon as we ended up with a black president most of the people demanding that level of patriotism were the ones who suddenly decided that they would do anything in their power to prevent anything he wanted to accomplish from happening.

But now a lot of people are applying this attitude toward the police.  Oh, the police are in a dangerous job so they should be forgive if they shoot as soon as they give instructions, not letting the person have time to comply, then blaiming it on the person for noncompliance.  Those in authority over the police are constantly deciding these acts of police brutality and murder were within the scope of their authority under the situation.  Fear for their safety has become an escape clause, a get out of jail free card, and is being considered appropriate even if the person was already in compliance or even already in custody and hasn’t done anything.

Body cams are catching officers threatening to shoot people before anything else and threatening to shoot people after they are in custody and saying entirely unapproratiate and unprofessional things.  While they are on the job, and when they have people in custody, they should be trained to maintain a certain level of professionalism and be expected to behave appropriately.  But they are not.  This feeds into their mentality that they can do anything, say anything, and be as brutal as they want to.

Something has to stop.  We as the public have got to start demanding better behavior and accountablity from the police force.

 

 

Railroad barons, Robber barons, and the Mafia…

Posted in Economics, Economy, Politics, Work, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2016 by urbannight

This started out as a Facebook comment that turned intoOld Monopoly a much longer post.  It is something I’ve kept meaning to write more about but for which I never get around to doing the in depth research.  Partly because I am not an economist or interested in economy.  I am interested in history and this is something I’ve been putting together in my head based on viewing of a number of documentaries and articles and books that were not specifically about the economy.  But the past decade or so has had me pulling these threads together into this concept that I think has a valid point.

In the fight to change minimum wage into people being able to earn a living wage if they work full time may be easier to understand if one understands that our modern economic system was developed by the same people who create the ‘trunk’ system of work compensation. Once upon a time, these people were called ‘Railroad Barons’. Not because their work on the railroads made them rich but because they way they made money made people think of the old ‘robber baron’s’ back in the Old Country. These were people with titles who took to robbing travelers and merchants crossing their lands in order to have an income.

Railroad Barons as a term came about because most of these people were in the business of building railroads.  But it included others that were not but practiced business in the same manner.  These were the people who came up with the idea of creating towns at their factories or operations and paying people in company script that had no value outside the company town. Then getting the families in debt to the company so they would never be able to leave their jobs and move away.

The government determined this was simply a way to try to legally enslave people and made company script illegal. Wages must be paid in legal tender.  The government seemed to be less concerned with the payment itself and more concerned with the fact that it limited mobility, trapping people.  They probably could have paid the employees anything so long as it would have been considered to have an equal, legal value, anywhere they wanted to take it so it could be used and spent in other places.  They could have been paid in pocket watches because they could be sold and traded for a relatively constant value.  Well, at least until the market got flooded with pocket watches.  But it gets the idea across.  These company scrip were bit of paper that held NO value once outside of the company town.

But in response to the Great Depression, these people changed the perception of their characters. They became known as captains of industry. They were praised for attempting to put some kind of organization and structure onto the economy. We called it capitalism and made a board game praising the concepts of making as much money possible off of others while trying to compensate them with the least amount possible without getting in trouble with the law.

Another reason that people don’t really realize that the Mafia came really close to taking control of the government back in the day is the reason that so many people were willing to work for the Mafia and to protect them. It wasn’t because they were family members. It wasn’t because these were people with natural criminal inclination. It was because, back at this time period, the Mafia in the U.S. took better care of its workers and their families than any other employer did. Older kids and young men took jobs doing stuff for the mob because the work was more likely to be steady, reliable, and better compensated and their families were looked after better than any other job in the cities they could have found, for the most part. Which may be a really sad thing to say.

Our entire economy was solidified and fine tuned by people so questionable that they made the Mafia look good. Think about it. This is the Free Trade Capitalism that so many people say is the best method of Economy.  It is a method that says anyone can get rich if they work hard enough.  This ignores the fact that unless there is an unlimited source of money, it is blatantly not true.  Given a finite source of wealth in the world, that means only so many people can get rich while most people never will, no matter how hard they work.  Free Trade Capitalism is best for funneling the most money into the fewest pockets.

I’m not saying that people should run out and become the exact opposite.  That isn’t any better.  What I’m saying is that our system isn’t all that and a bag of chips and the very roots of that system is why a living wage is anathema to what most people have been taught.

It wasn’t ‘Liberal Idiocy’.

Posted in Health, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2014 by urbannight

I saw a headline for an article that Liberal Idiocy caused the current measles outbreak. I was not able to read it because I was not able to pull up the actual article.  So I can only write about the title with no knowledge of the actual article.

I have to say I was upset about the title. It has nothing to do with ‘Liberal’ anything. This is a result of people not vaccinating. It isn’t a ‘liberal’ thing for some parents to mistakenly think vaccines cause autism or the belief that people should avoiding vaccines because God is the only healer and sickness is a punishment from God.

I will agree that it is an ‘Idiocy’ thing. That misconception about autism has been repeatedly disproven.  And avoiding medical treatment and medicine in general because of warped religious belief is beyond idiocy.

As a liberal, I am all for vaccinations. I had mine and I don’t see them as a bad thing. Not getting children vaccinated endangers all children.