I started this blog as my semester long project for my Fall 2013 World Politics class but since I'm not sure why I didn't do this sooner I plan to continue it even after the class ends. I'll be blogging about politics and current events. Thank you for stopping by. I hope you'll come back often.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Get Your Robin Out of Our Hood

New Hampshire is the Live Free of Die state. As a resident of MA living close enough to NH I may have from time to time gone there to shop since there is no sales tax. But in lovely Keene NH there is an uprising of libertarians taking the state motto to an extreme that defies rational thought.

A group of people from other states has moved there and has decided Keene residents are the victims of a "violent monopoly" and in "bondage" by the government. Keene has been under siege all right, but not by their local government but by a sub-group of these newbies calling themselves "Robin Hooders" and spouting the motto "Free Keene."

These bandits are going around feeding expired parking meters then leaving business cards on the cars that say "we saved you from the king's tariff." If that were all they were doing this might be a completely chuckle worthy story. It isn't all though, while they are feeding the meters they are also going after the two parking officers (both who are female) videotaping them and and asking them questions such as how they live with themselves.

Apparently there was a third officer but he quit. The third officer was a male, ex-soldier, who served 22 months in Iraq. He couldn't stand the harassment, decided it wasn't worth it and quit.

The city is powerless to do anything. They tried taking the group to court but the court ruled that what these guys were doing was protected free speech.

The leader of the Robin Hooders is a man who drives around in an old police car with plates from Wisconsin and hasn't paid his federal taxes in over 10 years.

The group is really missing the point here. At the time of the founding of this country those who were against and/or worried about an over reaching federal government were not against all forms of government. In fact one of the things they were most worried about was a federal government that would trample the rights of the states to govern themselves. All side of the argument acknowledged the need for some government, it was the size and scope that they disagreed on.

Last I checked parking enforcement officers were not a tool of the federal government. They are not even a tool of the state government, they work for their town or city. And it should be noted that the residents of Keene neither asked for nor want these people trying to free them.

Oh and the city is thinking of raising the cost of parking to $0.50 an hour.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Rock the Vote

There is an article on The New York Times site worth seeing. The photos are amazing. On Sunday, despite the Taliban's best efforts, the people of Afghanastan are going to the polls to vote for new leadership.

Even with all the stories in the news here about voter's rights violations overall it is so easy to vote here and I think many people take it for granted and a lot of people don't even bother doing it. But in light of Afghanastan and people being willing to risk their lives to vote in hopes of a better future it's a shame to know that there are people who just don't care and can't be bothered to vote here in the U.S.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Corporations aren't people too...

I am not a lawyer or by any means a constitutional expert. This is just my opinion. 

The news today has coverage about the case before the Supreme Court today.

The family owned business that runs the craft stores Hobby Lobby wants to be able to opt out of covering certain kinds of contraception for its female employees on the provided health insurance. The argument is that it goes against the company's religious beliefs.

IUD's and the morning after pill are included in the methods the Green family (the family that owns the company) want excluded because "because they can interfere with the creation of life once an egg is fertilized."

The IUD is one of the most effective forms of birth control available. In an article on NPR it is said to be 45 times more effective than the pill and 90 times more effective then condoms. But they are cost prohibitive without insurance coverage.

The morning after pill is taken within 72 hours after sex (sometimes this is in the case of rape) when protection wasn't used, but it doesn't mean the person is pregnant, it isn't an abortion pill. It isn't for someone who already knows they are pregnant, it doesn't work for that. More information here.

But here is my take on this. It doesn't matter what you or I think of these or any other methods of birth control. This is a for profit company, not a church or other religious organization.

The owners of this company are perfectly within their rights to hold any religious beliefs they want to. But a company is not a person and so it has no feelings or beliefs. The owners of the company do not have the right to force their beliefs on their employees and vice-verse.

And that has been my 2 cents.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Bridge Over Hypocritical Water

I have done something quite difficult, I have refrained from blogging over the George Washington Bridge scandal plaguing N.J. Governor Christ Cristie.

But after hearing this from his CPAC speech today I just can't hold my tongue any longer. It's at about 6:45 in this video of his speech.

Cristie speaking of President Obama says "Your the leader of the government and you see something is about to go off the rails and what you decide to do is stay as far away from it as possible" and then "If that's your attitude Mr. President then what the hell are we paying you for?"

Now it matters not what he is talking about, though in this case it is a super committee to fix the budget that got nothing done. I think that this is a really great example of the pot calling the kettle black.

Friday, February 28, 2014

At Least It Isn't Murder....

Just when I think the asinine things being said by those on the right, who almost always are men, can get any worse, they do...

Granted these aren't new statements by Maine Rep. Lawrence Lockman they are never the less ridiculous and often hateful and ignorant.

“Clearly the practice of sodomy is learned behavior, and those addicted to this form of biologically-insane sex are at high risk for all manner of serious medical problems”

He was against an anti-bullying law saying it was a form of thought policing.

He said a 1990 CBS special about a gay boy was “a recruitment tool for the militant homosexual movement”

And that's just a few example found in an article on the Bangor Daily News webiste

But what got my to blog about this guy was this statement, a statement made in the 90's but written about yesterday on Salon.com:  “If a woman has (the right to abortion), why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t (in most cases) result in anyone’s death.”

How do people who think like this and spout these uninformed thoughts in public get elected?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

She'd Work Hard For The Money....

On Dec 28, 2013 over a million long term unemployed stopped getting their unemployment benefits. Members of Congress went home for the holidays without passing an emergency extension while these people were left wondering how they would buy food, pay rent, and keep their utilities on.

Now it is halfway through January and there still hasn't been a bill extending the benefits even getting voted on.

These benefits are for people who were working, payed into unemployment insurance while they worked and then lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Many of these long term unemployed have families. To get these payments they are required to be looking for work. These payments are not what they were making when working and are not really enough to live on. Now they are getting nothing.

This should be a no brainer that even those who would like to see other "entitlement" programs done away with should be able to support. Again, these are people who were working and want to be working.

Let's talk for a moment what this does to the person who lost their job. I can share a little about this from personal experience. After 13 years at his job my husband's employer decided to consolidate jobs and do away with some positions to save money with the economy in bad shape. He was among those who were let go. Over the past almost exactly three years since that day I have watched him look for work, get depressed, become angry and lose hope. We had to leave the city we loved (NYC) and move in with his family in MA. I watched him send out resume after resume, get very few phone interviews and even less in person interviews. The longer this went on the more he became withdrawn and worried. His inability to care for his family took a real tool on him. Had he also lost his unemployment benefits our family would not have been able to survive, the payments we did get were less than half of what he was making while working. He was lucky and found a temp job the week he ran out of benefits, but these people are still looking.

How are they going to put gas in their cars or pay for public transportation to get to and from job interviews? How will they put food on the table? How are they going to pay cell phone or landline phone bills to make sure they are able to get in touch with potential employers?

This isn't the time to play partisan politics. This is the time to do what needs to be done.
It doesn't seem like that is going to happen. There is a break coming up and nothing has reached the point of being voted on.

Neither side can agree on how to get this done and so now it is being filibustered.

Friday, December 20, 2013

This is just quackers

If you had asked me about free speech and what Phil Robertson said before I took my political theory class this past semester I would have said, no of course he can't say that kind of disgusting and hateful stuff.

But now I have to say that while his view and words are vile and inappropriate his right to say them is as protected as my right to say he's a small minded bigot. Free speech is NOT just for speech we like. It's easy to protect that kind of speech. The point is that freedom of speech applies just as equally to speech people might find repulsive. Now of course there are some limits and certain things that aren't protected. Duck Dude, while his words are at best ignorant and at worst painful and bigoted, are not outside of the protected area.

And here's the thing, no one has violated his right of free speech. GQ printed his disgusting thoughts. His words have been printed and reprinted as well as read on the news on more than one channel. A&E is a business and as a business has a right to say what they will and won't air in their lineup. If someone presents an image not compatible with the vision the corporate bigwigs have for their network they are as within their rights to stop airing Phil Robertson as he was within his rights to say what he said.

But really, there are other, more important things going on in the world.