The Death of Common Sense in America

Today's big news? VP Joe Biden knows the word "Fuck". Sure people are still talking about the health care reform law that just passed, but today it seems to be a little overshadowed by the VP dropping an F-bomb near an open mic. Now, I don't know about any of you, but this really doesn't seem like news to me. Who cares? The report I watched from NBC even included some seventeen year old kid that is the president of a no-cussing club. There's a song that I listen to by a band called The Birds and the Bee, "If you say it all the time, a dirty word will get its cleaning." Sums it up for me.
Recently I watched an episode of Penn and Teller's Bullshit from a couple of seasons ago. They changed the name of the show for that one episode to "Penn and Teller's Humbug". They did this to illustrate that a word now common and not considered profane used to be a cuss word.
Out country as a whole has taken to focusing on small, insignificant things and avoiding any real study of issues that are important. I don't want to hear repeated reports dissecting the ramifications of our VP using a "dirty" word. It has no real bearing on anything.
Earlier today I was talking to my sixteen year old daughter and her friend. Her friend was asking about the health care reform law because her mother told her it was a bad thing. When I tried to explain that, while it may not be entirely good, it wasn't entirely bad either. My daughter's response? "That's why I don't pay attention to those things, it's to complicated."
The youth of today don't want to have to think about the things that will impact their lives tomorrow. They want sound bites and sensation, a problem I blame largely on our media and the lack of good education. They are content to let others make major decisions.
I've heard both sides of the health care reform debate and I think both sides have it wrong. One side is screaming that big business is controlling everything and the other side is screaming that the government is trying to interfere to much.
Here's what I want to know, where the hell did everyone's common sense go? Do big corporations have to much power? Yes, but only because the complacency of the America public has allowed it. Is government taking to large a role in the daily lives of American citizens? Again, I would say, yes, but only so far as it seems to have become necessary.
People sit at home and scream and rant about how the government isn't doing anything and when the government does something that may not be entirely convenient, they scream and rant about how it interferes with their lives.
Grow up. The government controls how much money you get to keep, who you can marry, what drugs you can or cannot ingest, when you can drink, when you can smoke, where you can smoke, the fact that you have to wear a seat-belt in your car. The list goes on and on.
People are upset because they don't want the "choice" taken away from them, but they don't want to actually do anything about the problem for themselves. No one is going to stop buying cars from companies who pay their CEO's more than most of us will see in a lifetime. No one is going to stop using the insurance they have because the company that sells it is corrupt from the top down. No one will do anything that will overtly inconvenience them. We are a nation of passive/agressives.
Change doesn't happen without sacrifice and as long as we continue to focus more on what someone says instead of on what someone does, nothing is ever going to get any better.


Only five more pounds to go...

Weight loss update: I only have five more pounds to go before I slide back firmly under 200 punds. This will put me in a size 18, which may not sound all that great to some, but please remember, I started out in a size 26. I haven't given in to the diet craze, I don't starve myself, I haven't started drinking Slim Fast or ordering meals from Jenny Craig. I have been watching how much I eat, excercising (although not as much as I should) and not denying myself the foods I love, which keeps the cravings at bay. All in all, I'm really pround of myself. To celebrate, I went out and bought a couple of new shirts. My waist is more defined, my arms are less monstrous and over all, I'm digging the fact that I have to keep buying smaller clothes. I think the biggest Yay! moment for me is the fact that I have done all of this without the help of any weight loss products and I'm still eating all the foods I love. I have noticed that I crave less and less sugary snacks and am, instead, leaning more and more towards fresh fruit, yogurt and especially mini carrots. I'm proof that with a little work and some basic modification, it can be done.


Thank you for calling Cause Celebre, how can we help you?

There's a telethon tonight called "Hope for Hati Now". Once again the celebrities of our nation are banding together for the current cause celbre. They are going to tug at heart strings and there will most likely be full color pictures of children amid horrible devistation. People will open their wallets and give generously, and feel good about themselves for doing so.

My big problem with this is that there are no telethons planned to help people who are at risk of losing their homes because they can't find work. Or the people who have a hard time buying food and clothing for their families because what they make just doesn't strech like they need it to. Where is the moral outcry about the children in out country who don't see doctors and dentists when they need to because there is no insurance available and the parents don't qualify for "state aid".

I understand the desire to reach out and help others who are so obviously suffering, but I have to question the motives of the people involved. Before this earthquake hit, Hati was a country in trouble. Poverty was overwhelming and children were starving. No one was launching telethons then. People weren't calling aid agencies offering to adopt the thousands of orphans that were there before disaster struck. Our country has a long history of putting on a good show in a time of crisis, but unless the media and the world are watching, we don't seem to be motivated to do much of anything.

I have talked with people about this before and often their response is, "Well, people in this country can get jobs to pay the bills, or get help from the government (IE: welfare) if they really have to." The problem there is that jobs don't often pay what they should and in a household with only one parent, daycare costs alone can eat up any second paycheck that might be available. As to help from the state....well, you can't really count on that either. In order to qualify for most welfare programs you have to be making under $1900 a month (that's based on a family of four) if you make even .50 over that, you will be denied, or have benefits taken away. ( You think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. My own family tried to get insurance for our son last year after my husband was laid off. We were denied because our family made $1.50 over the allowable limit.)

As a nation we seem to be oblivious to the suffering of our own. We tend to assume that someone else is taking care of that problem and look to other countries as an example of "those less fortunate". The problem is, in many areas of our nation, there are families living in homes that should be condemed, without heat or water. There are children whose only real meal of the day comes from school programs and whose clothing is threadbare and ill-fitting because it is donated. These children are often at risk for illnesses that should not be a problem in a nation as advanced as ours. And the risks to them don't stop there. Extreme poverty in many areas has deteriorated the education system making it much less likely that children raised in those areas will ever be able to break the cycle of poverty they were born into.

The next time your heart cries out to help those less fortunate than yourself, look a little closer to home. Call local aid agencies and ask what you can do to help. Go to www.donorschose.org and make a donation to help an impoverished school system provide educational supplies to the children in your area. Or go to www.mercycorps.org and find ways to help here at home.


Apparently, I struck a nerve....

I've been hanging out at Newsvine a lot lately because, well, mostly because I like to see what sharing my opinion will do. (Anyone who knows me is smiling right now.) Tonight, it looks like I struck a nerve.

There's an article up on MSN talking about how little faith American's have in President Obama. I, of course, could not pass up the opportunity to go in and share my two cents. (And really, in today's market, it's really only 1/2 a cent, but hey...) After I posted my own private rantings, I started reading some of the other stuff and came across one by a poster calling himself James Herman that simply said: "This Negro Needs to go!" Couldn't let pass, so I replied "Very educated of you. Which one are you? Hattfield or McCoy? Because, yes, you've discovered what we have all missed...this country is in the toilet because our President is black. Now, if you could please just turn your stunning intellect to solving the rest of the world's problems, we would all be very grateful." This reply got a response by someone else calling himself Johnny Vegas telling me not to "throw stones"....okay.

Then I remembered where I had seen the screen name before: (Here's the "conversation")

Johnny Vegas 1544044:
"Everyone is stupid but you Elitist Libs - What a piece of work you are. Thank God my Vote will cancel yours out EVERY TIME!!!!"

"First: I can't believe anyone actually believes that their "vote" in a Presidential election means anything. Second: I sincerely doubt you're going to win any points with God by invoking his name in this particular manner. Third: Capitalizing the word "Vote" doesn't really mean yours is more important."

Johnny Vegas 1544044:"OOOHHHHH

Visciousrumors is the word police and the defender of Faiths!!!

Quite Impressive - too bad you're an atheist!!!! AND A LOSER!!!! GUESS WHAT - ONLY 59 VOTES ON HEALTH CARE HA HA HA HA HA

(all caps was done on purpose) "

After I finished laughing I had to decide if I would further engage this lovely individual. You will all be very proud of me when I tell you that I did not, even though I really, really wanted to. Apparently I struck a nerve, huh? I'm the word police and the defender of faiths, although I admit I got a tad confused when he then called me an atheist. Not sure how that would work, but....

And the fact that he felt the need to point out he capitalized everything on purpose, just sort of makes it pathetic doesn't it?

Although I have decided not to further poke this particular badger, I invite all my fellow badger pokers to log into Newsvine and look this guy up. Could be an interesting way to pass some time.

(Does finding humor in this make me a twisted, twisted person?)


Oh no, the gays are at it again.....*insert sacastic eyeroll here*

The trial regarding the gay marriage ban in California started today, and as was to be expected, has started a whole shit-storm of religious hate-mongering. Not one of the posts I've read on Newsvine discussing the issue has used any argument against gay marriage other than the tired old "God said it was wrong" argument. The posts have been peppered with the usual bullshit about gays trying to "force" their life-style on the God Fearing American Heterosexual Population.

So when does it end? Should we go back to the days of forced segrgation, forced participation in religion. We can put an end to this soft religion and just go back to the days when God's word was followed to the letter. Put people in stocks if they don't attend church, make women wear big scarlet A's on their chests if they get caught cheating on their husbands, allow parents to beat their children and husbands to beat their wives. How about revoking the freedom of speech and the press because, let's face it, people say and write a lot of things that just don't jive with God.

The terrifying thing for me is the blatant disregard for history here. Removing or denying one freedom to one group opens the door for other groups to do the same with other freedoms. The price for having the freedom we have is allowing those freedoms to be given to all citizens of this country, not just the ones we happen to agree with. I'd love nothing more than to see white supremisists strung up by their toes and whipped until they bled, but that's just me and my bloodthirsty nature. I'd love to see pedophiles summarily shot upon the handing down of a guilty verdict. However, I would never dream of trying to get laws passed that would make those things possible. They are personal beliefs and as such belong in the realm of "I think..." not "we should..."

If people disagree with the GLBT lifestyle, fine, no one is asking you to walk in the parade, just don't get in the way of others being allowed the same legal protection and freedoms you enjoy.


More terrible news in a horrid economy...

Prepare yourselves for the worst news yet...Kellog's is running out of Eggo Waffles. Yes, you heard me right. Eggo's will be in short supply until mid-2010. I know what you're thinking,"How will I survive." I feel your pain and know that if we stick together we can weather this terrible breakfast food crisis. Living without the Eggo waffle will be tough, no doubt, but I feel we, as a nation, are strong enough to survive.

For the love of God, if you have a stockpile of Eggo's please remember that your friends, family and neighbors may not be so fortunate. Share with someone you love until this crisis has passed.

Stay strong my friends, this won't last forever.


Another useless lawsuit in the making....

Today from the wonderful world of news I could have lived without we have the story of Tervor Keezer who was fired from Home Depot for wearing a pin that said, "One nation under God, indivisible." Apparently he had been wearing the pin for a year and was only recently fired. The company has a long standing, blanket policy that says only company approved pins are allowed to be worn on the aprons employees wear at work. Mr. Keezer was offered a pin that said "United we Stand" , but declined to wear it. Now the he has a civil rights attorney and blogs everywhere are buzzing about him. Mr. Keezer says he feels "...like I was punished for just loving my country." Well, if he was only interested in showing patirotism, the button the company approved should have been enough.

I went to Newsvine to see what comments were being posted and found that an overwhelming number of them support Home Depot. A couple, in support of the employee, questioned the fact that he had been wearing the pin for a year before being terminated. Here's the thing, we don't know how many chances he was given to remove or change the pin before he was let go. Most companies have a policy that allows for supervisors to provide at least one oral and up to three written warnings to any employee in violation of company policies before moving to termination. I'm betting that that also occured here.

The problem I have here folks is the fact that yet another individual in our country is looking for a way to not take responsibility for his/her own actions. This isn't about religion, it's about a violation of company dress standards. Private companies have the right to determine what an employee can and can't wear while at work. It's as simple as that. Mr. Keezer is looking for a way to shift responsibility from himself to the company he worked for. Grow up.

As a nation, we need to stop babying people and start making them responsible for the choices that they make. If you want to stand up for your principles, then fine, but don't expect me to feel sorry for you if it doesn't go your way. When you make a stand and say it's based in principle and then turn around and whine when you lose your job, get arrested, get supended from school...whatever....it does one thing: It points our how non-principle related your actions really were.

Mr. Keezer and others like him need to get over themselves.