Friday, February 25, 2011

Racism: Tea Party vs. Progressive Movement (*language warning)

A big, fat thanks to CBS for using Julianna Margulies and her TV drama "The Good Wife" for reminding us once again last night that the Tea Party is nothing more than a racist organization comprised of ignorant hillbillies who dislike Barack Obama for no other reason than the fact that he is black.
Can I just point out that it is neither physically nor logically possible to even be racist against President Obama, because he is just as much white as he is black?? And come on... It's 2011. America is a little more intelligent a nation than to base its political opinion on the color of a person's skin. Right? Apparently not.
Unfortunately, no matter how far we advance as a country or a society, there will ALWAYS be a select few in each and every organization who base their messages and opinions on ignorance, hate, prejudice, and racism. God granted man free will, and sadly, the will of some will always be misguided or ill in intent. As an intelligent race (and I mean human, not color), we have a responsibility to use COMMON SENSE when faced with the words and acts of those who root themselves in hate, idiocy, and well, frankly, insanity in some cases. Seriously, America. If you lack the intelligence, judgement, and COMMON SENSE to distinguish a bad seed among good ones, I believe you forfeit the right to have your opinion be heard.
Along that line, I am not so blind that I will defend every Conservative, Republican, Tea Party member, etc. who have attended rallies and protests. I know there are those whose message IS racist, hateful, and ignorant. They aren't worth my time. They aren't worth yours, either. UNLESS their messages of hate spread throughout the movement they're a part of or become common rhetoric among their rallies. What I WILL defend is the fact that those idiots do NOT convey the true message of the movement, contrary to what our biased, hypocritical media would have us believe. What I WILL defend is the fact that liberals both in and outside of the media salivate at the chance to show us images of race-based signs from Tea Party rallies, while they decline to show us the majority of citizens at the same rally whose message is freedom and liberty. How many clips of African-Americans or Hispanics at Tea Party rallies have you seen on MSNBC, CNN, or other media outlets? None? Really? How many clips of white men with confederate flags or firearms have they shown you? Can't count that high?
Here's the thing... Yes, there are members of the Tea Party movement who are racists. The media can't say it enough. But what they also can't do is provide actual proof to support their claims, other than a FEW examples of signs that are or could be considered racist in nature. Some of these signs, however, aren't so much what I would call racist. Disrespectful, maybe, but not racist. Here's why.. Most of the signs the media refers to as "racist", are the same type of signs union workers are carrying in Wisconsin, making the same claims about Governor Walker. Unless I'm colorblind, Governor Walker is white, no? And I haven't heard ANYONE in the media condemn any signs being carried by union workers (see my previous post...). Is it simply a coincidence that not one media outlet or personality has uttered a single negative word about protesters' signs in Wisconsin (the SAME signs they couldn't chastise enough when they referred to Democrat Obama instead of Republican Walker) or an example of a gross double standard?
Open your eyes, America. Hypocrisy runs rampant. And we're becoming too comfortable with it. Change. Transparency. Accountability. We elected it, now we must demand it. Not just in Washington, but at every level of government AND in the media.
Liberals, Democrats, and the Progressive movement tout themselves as champions of equality and tolerance, and the media praises them as such, to the point of salivation. But is that really the case? Think about it... and watch the two videos I'm posting below. Decide for yourself. You might be surprised. Start paying attention from now on...and PLEASE prove me wrong if you can.

As for my own opinion, I have yet to find any written, photograph, or video proof of anyone in the Tea Party saying someone should be "sent back to the fields" ... or "lynched" ... or "hanged" ... or "tortured".... But can I say the same for the other (more tolerant and non-racist) side? Eh..... Like I said, you decide.

Tea Party Racism?

Progressive Equality and Tolerance?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The 3 Branches of Government: The President, The President, and The President?

President Obama announced today that his administration has deemed the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and the Department of Justice will no longer defend the act, which is a FEDERAL LAW.

It's my understanding that Mr. Obama served as President of the Harvard Law Review. What with that and the fact that he's.. well... President of the country, I would assume he has knowledge of the workings of the government of the United States and the process by which laws are passed and/or deemed constitutional. I could be wrong, but I believe the appropriate measure by which our Department of Justice can defend a law as constitutional or unconstitutional isn't determined by the current president's opinion. If I'm not mistaken, the reason we have different branches of government is to avoid that very thing.

I'm not too big to admit when I'm wrong, so if someone can enlighten me as to when this may have changed, please let me know so I can pack my bags!

((((***DISCLAIMER: This post has NOTHING to do with my personal opinion on the Defense of Marriage Act and / or gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, etc. The law in question is NOT the issue. The issue is a president [no matter whom] thinking his authority supercedes the structure of our government that has been in place for over 200 years. Do NOT call me a prejudiced gay basher.***)))

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Double Standard, Coming Right Up!

Remember the media response to the Tea Party movement that swept America prior to the 2008 elections? Virtually every media outlet, save Fox (Faux) News, couldn't bash it enough. They took every opportunity they could find to paint Tea Partiers as racist, ignorant, angry mobs and worse. Celebrities jumped in and offered the same rhetoric as passionately as they could whenever they found themselves in front of a camera or microphone. As it was presented to us by the media, one would have thought the Tea Partiers were aiming to destroy America to its very core.

To any- and everyone who showed up at Tea Party rallies with signs that were inappropriate and disrespectful... Lame. Very. I don't support or condone any form of prejudice or racism EVER. ESPECIALLY in a public forum, ESPECIALLY aimed at a specific person, ESPECIALLY when children might be present. Not cool.

As I said earlier, the media had a field day opining about the angry, racist mobs gathering to protest for their rights and in opposition to tax increases. They shouted racism at the top of their lungs over signs likening Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler, etc. Disrespectful, I agree. No argument here.

One media outlet that reported on Tea Party rallies and signs was The Huffington Post. I remembered an article published on their website after reading an article on the Wisconsin protests on HuffPo today. The slant of today's article compared to the Tea Party article rendered me.. well..... speechless? Confused? Disappointed? I'm not sure...

I'm posting the links to the two articles below. Form your own opinion. Decide for yourself if the reporting is fair and non-partisan (which they claim to be), or if it is an example of the double standard that has overtaken the politics of our nation.

Take special note of the language and substance of the signs of each, and note how HuffPo refers to each in their respective article titles. Enjoy!



Bipartisan fairness or blatant double standard? You decide.
I'm gonna go make some signs.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Do Wisconsin Teachers Actually Know What They're Protesting??

I can't imagine they do or I seriously doubt they'd be protesting...

Everyone was quick to join sides over the protests in Wisconsin, with most people siding with the teachers and union workers for being taken advantage of by their government. But the thing is... I started researching and as it turns out, the proposal on the table is pretty beneficial to the people of Wisconsin. Here's the skinny as this skinny girl sees it:

Background.... Wisconsin Guvnah Scott Walker took office in Jan 2011 and inherited a $3.6 BILLION budget deficit (*on the national level we blame this on the previous leader, but apparently on the state level we don't...go figure). To prevent the state of Wisconsin from absolute financial collapse, its debt would have to be drastically reduced. The Guvnah (Yankees, this is the correct pronunciation of "governor".) had two options for making this possible:
1. Raise taxes on the middle class who are already struggling in a floundering economy.
2. Fire 6,000 state employees.... Leave 6,000 people with no way to provide for their families and little chance of finding a new job in a floundering economy.
To his credit, the Guv believed that either these two options would be detrimental to the citizens and state of Wisconsin, so he issued a proposal instead...... Here are the main points:

1. No salaries are cut.
2. No benefits are cut.
3. No workers' rights are taken away.
4. Workers are actually given MORE rights.
5. Unions can't seek massive pay increases without a public referendum.
6. Workers won't HAVE to belong to a union and be forced to pay union dues.
7. Unions must hold yearly votes by union members in order to remain a union.

Under the proposal, union workers (teachers, city / state employees, etc.) would start contributing 5.8% to their pensions and 12% to their health insurance. Currently, union workers contribute 0% and Wisconsin taxpayers pay 100%. So..... as it's structured now, those who contribute nothing get everything and those who contribute everything get nothing.
Under this structure, the taxpayers continue to pay 94.2% of union workers' pensions and 88% of union workers' health insurance, and continue to receive neither for themselves. Most taxpayers who have health insurance and retirement plans have to pay for both out of their own pockets because they aren't guaranteed those benefits when working for private business. Even those who don't have health insurance because they can't afford it still have to pay for the health insurance (and other benefits) that union workers receive as part of their compensation (free of cost). Hold this thought....

Because the teachers are the loudest majority taking part in the protests, I'll use them as an example. The average teacher in Madison, WI currently earns about TWICE as much per year as the average private business employee. And technically the teachers have a shorter work year when factoring in summer vacations, extended holiday vacations, and all national holidays. Combine this with the first paragraph and you have this:
Private business employees who only make roughly half of what teachers make each year pay 100% of teachers' pensions and health insurance; on top of only making half as much as teachers to start with, private business employees (taxpayers) have to pay for the perks that teachers / union workers receive, while the taxpayers get none of those perks themselves. I should also point out that teachers & union workers are guaranteed a compensation each year. The average teacher's wage (over $50,000/year, NOT including benefits) has increased 21% over the last ten years, including a 4.7% increase last year. I wonder in the state our economy is in right now how many private business employees were given a 4.7% raise by their employer last year.......

I get that teachers are entitled to the compensation outlined in their employment contracts, I really do. I also think MOST teachers deserve every bit of what they earn. What they give in terms of time and dedication to educating America's youth is worth whatever they are paid and more (the good teachers, at least). BUT... is it fair to ask others to completely foot the bill for it when they themselves are struggling to make ends meet? After all, aren't these the same people who supported President Obama's idea that we must "redistribute the wealth"?

Another part of Walker's proposal is that from now on, union members be allowed to quit the union without losing their jobs. As it is now, teachers and other union workers aren't given that option. Join the union or lose your job. Period. For the life of me, I can't figure out how that is harmful to the workers... They're currently forced to join a union and pay union dues OR LOSE THEIR JOB. How exactly is giving the them option of joining or not unfair? Now... as for the "collective bargaining power" the unions are so afraid of losing... Where's the harm there?? Let teachers' unions bargain for teachers' wages and benefits and let steel workers' unions (just an example) bargain for steel workers' wages and benefits. Seriously? Children in Wisconsin are losing days of learning over this??? Really, Wisconsin?

As for the cowardly Democrats who fled the state so they don't have to vote? Grow up. As long as you're hiding in Illinois, teachers will protest in Madison. As long as teachers protest in Madison, the children of the people who elected you to office and pay your cushy paycheck are being denied their education.

And to the doctors offering doctors' notes at the protests to excuse the teachers from school because they're "sick", check your ethical obligations under the Hippocratic Oath. Google it.