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Tue Apr 07, 2015 at 04:40 PM PDT

The Politics of the Absurd

by mahytabel

I was heartened Sunday when I read an article, posted on FB by a friend, about the Annual Easter Day Celebrations at the White House. I enjoyed the pictures and videos of the First Family interacting with the guests; playing games, laughing, truly getting into and enjoying the day. For most, if not all of these children, it was their first interaction with our government and I was glad to see them having such a positive experience. In fact I wrote my immediate thoughts in the comment section-

"I love how they are so involved with all the annual events at the white House. They are great role models for our future generations."  
Yesterday was a busy day and I was not online much, so I was quite surprised to see that there were several responses to my comments this morning when I got on FB to check messages from family. I should have known better than to go read those comments, but no, I unthinkingly clicked the link to the post and met a political shit storm.

Comments ranged from the inane (these are a random sampling of the over 50 comments I received)-

       

"You're kidding, right?"  
to-

       

"She must be, no one is that stupid"
to remarks about PO's golf game-

                           

"He is a great roll model for people who would like to skip out of work and play a few rounds of golf!"
to remarks I cannot and will not repost here due to their base, ignorant, foul, and illiterate content.

There were a few people who thought as I did, or responded to some specific comment of someone else, but the majority of comments were negative jabs at me, the subject matter of the article, or purely political ugliness poured out on the page just because they thought they had an opening to spew. It was quite experience into the mind of those on the far right.

Of course I had to respond...

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My day started out in its usual way today. Got up. Got myself some coffee. Went into my office and sat down at my computer to read the news.

Nestled among the celebrity gossip, articles of newly elected Republicans beating their chests and shouting out their warped ideas for governing, and the latest financial news, there was a small article on abortion. Of course, being a Progressive woman, I opted to check the article out.

 It was a good read, short and to the point, about the stigma placed on women who've been known to have an abortion and the reasons why so few women talk about the procedure once they have it done. It mentions throughout the article how many women actually choose abortion (1 in three, to be precise), and how anti-abortionists would be surprised to find out how many women they know who have had one.

Right below the article the comment section started. I usually don't read the comments when I'm first waking up, but I couldn't help but read the first one, since it was in my direct line of vision. To say it was ignorant, at best, is a gross understatement.

A man (of course), trying to paint all women with the bright red harlot brush, starts off by complaining about Planned Parenthood and how all they do is push and prod all women who go to one into having an abortion. He goes on to state their name is a misnomer because they don't plan any types of parenthood,they are baby killing centers, and all women who choose abortion are selfish bitches who need to have their legs sewn shut. After denigrating women in a variety of ways he ends with the heartfelt words that every unborn child absolutely has to be born because....his own personal emotional comfort level.

Well, being a woman, and actually KNOWING what goes on at PP facilities, I just HAD to answer.

My response is below the rust colored turd in the punch bowl-

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  We all know the story of how gung ho the Republicans have gotten about closing abortion clinics. In virtually every state with a Republican governor the number of clinics closing has been fast and furious, using the thinly veiled excuse of the need to protect women's health, but that particular excuse needs to be exposed for the lie that it is. Rather than going after these Republicans for closing these clinics with this inane and bogus lie, we should be holding them accountable for it.

   We also know that if a woman has made the choice to get an abortion she'll do almost anything to get one, legally or illegally. Unfortunately, we're already seeing cases where women are buying drugs from Mexico and Canada that reportedly are abortifacients which cause untold harm on the women taking them. In some states women are being charged with felonies for trying to go this route, using fetal harm laws designed to protect women who are expecting from rapists, abusers and murderers, but being used against them for trying to abort their zygotes.

   Most of the clinics being forced to shut their doors are much more than just abortion providers. In many rural areas of the country these clinics are the only place medium and low income women have to go for the majority of their health needs. They supply everything from general health services to family planning, including blood tests, mammograms, pap smears, nutritional counseling for diabetics and those with other serious health issues, and birth control. They deliver valuable services to many communities that otherwise would have no place for women to get the assistance they provide.

   We need to be shouting at conservative state governments about how they really DON'T care about women and their health needs, since when they shut down these organizations they're doing more to worsen women's health in their state than just making it hard to get an abortion. More than the need for abortion clinics in rural areas, although they are very important, is the need for comprehensive health care for medium and low income women. By closing the many clinics who provide these services the Republican state legislatures are denying these women vital aid necessary for a well balanced, healthy life.

   This is a hidden problem in the Republican "pro-fetus" agenda, one that needs to be exposed for the blatant lie that it is. When we protest these underhanded and pseudo-excuses, instead of pushing the abortion issue we should be making it apparent to them that we know what they're really doing. It's not about abortion, it's about women's health in general. They are anti-woman and it needs to be put out there, front and center. Their need to control women by controlling how they're treated medically needs to be shown to the world.

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Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:48 PM PDT

Ferguson: We Are Better Than This

by mahytabel

 I am sickened by what I've seen and read over the last ten days. What have we spent most of our lives working toward, if not equality in this country, for the last two hundred and fifty years? We were founded as a nation to eliminate the class system prevalent in Europe, to promote freedom of and from religion, under the premise that ALL men are created equal.
 It took almost one hundred years after this declaration to eliminate slavery, another hundred to write that equality between races into our Constitution, and now, fifty years after that, we are watching the ugliness of discrimination once again rear up its rotten and appalling head virtually live in our living rooms. I am horrified, outraged, and nauseated by the events we've been subjected to by the repressive and aggressive police tactics and their military mindset of us vs. them; the disinformation  and propaganda campaign by many in the media of brandishing a young person as not deserving of life; and a good-ol-boy network of town, county and state government who are operating under the  philosophy that they've used for decades of pretending to care about these issues to conceal their despicable racism.
   We are better than this. A melting pot by design, we were formed to become one out of many; a veritable amalgamation that has created some of the greatest thinkers, inventors, writers, artists, humanitarians, etc., that the world has ever known.
   We've striven to be Number One throughout the world, and lately, lately we've fallen far short. The last few decades have created something completely different than what our Founding Fathers envisioned when they signed that piece of paper calling for our ancestors freedom from the tyranny and repression of a foreign government. We've been lied to, bullied, and coerced into believing that this is how it should be, that there will always be this division, that it's us vs. them.
   We've had the lie of the "welfare queen" fed to us so long that one in three Americans believe that this phantom actually exists, and we make excuses for those who want to be so cruel as to starve and denigrate the poor to even more extreme circumstances. We allow our government to harass and penalize the less fortunate while they give more and more money to people who don't need it and will never be able to spend the wealth they already have. We have learned to care for those thousands of miles away and to ignore those in our own neighborhoods.
   As our  major media has been taken over and controlled by the few who are of the one percent, we've been told to fear anyone of a different color, a different political outlook, a different lifestyle, and a different income bracket. We're made afraid by not only what the media shows us, but also what they censor. The propaganda machine spews a daily dose of fear and hatred to the masses who've been repeatedly told not to think for themselves because it causes problems for the status quo. We've been programmed to think only of ourselves and those close to us, to harbor doubt and dread of anyone outside our own circle.
   Our intimate lives are routinely watched, recorded, and housed in databanks to be perused by those who want to control the masses. We allowed our rights to privacy to be written away in a moment of fear and now find ourselves naked before those who seek to destroy all that is good in us.
   We are better than this. We are better than tear gas and rubber bullets, better than the propaganda, better than the insensitive words and the lack of compassion. Our lives and our country mean more than a militarized police force, more than political division, more than us vs. them. What we stand for is not what I see when I turn on my television.

We are better than this.

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Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 05:29 PM PDT

A letter to John Boehner

by mahytabel

I received an email today from OFA, asking me to write a letter to John Boehner about his wanting to sue the President. After I wrote it I decided I wanted to share it here, since after all, it is probably many of you who would actually enjoy reading it much more than his office will.  You'll find it below the glowing orange Boehner turd in the punch bowl....

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For the last few years we've heard the many politicians on the right and far-right, in state governments and our federal government, talking about creating laws to prevent the establishment of Sharia Law in the U.S. On Monday, June 31st, 2014, our Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, began the process of creating American Christian Sharia Law.

Follow me past the Apricot tinted Kos IUD (guaranteed to be the best IUD you ever use or your money back!)...

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Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 11:15 PM PST

Keystone Talking Points

by mahytabel

In all the hype we've heard about the KXL Pipeline over the last couple of weeks, I've noticed there's a few things missing from the Left/Progressive talking points that I think need to be stressed. We hear a lot about the climate change, the nastiness and dirtiness of this form of oil harvesting, and the cost of cleaning and refining the oil produced. What we don't hear about is how few full time, long term jobs this will create, the possibility that a leak could contaminate the largest aquifer in the world (and in the process make the Bread Basket of American nothing but a poisoned wasteland), and the physical toll a leak would create on the local citizens of a spill zone.

Continued below the Kossack Pickle of Fate...  

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That's Right! I almost died when I went downstairs for my first cup of coffee of the day. I'll tell you how below the little orange turd...

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My husband and I are a couple of the lucky ones in our current economy. Although he was laid off in the Spring of 2012, he was only unemployed for a few months before he was picked up by a major financial company at a six figure salary. He works in the tech field and is a senior management level specialist. We also have a small business as lapidaries (stone cutters) and jewelers, mainly working in silver. I am a stay at home wife, disabled (as is my husband), and I am covered on his insurance policy.

This past week my husband and I received our new health insurance packet for 2014. Our previous policy was cancelled by the insurance company, in part because it was a great policy for a reasonable amount of money (at least that's what I think), and supposedly it didn't meet the new standards under the PPACA (actually it surpassed the standards). What we will have in 2014 is about $150 more per month with a higher deductible, a Healthcare Savings Account and a Flexible Spending Account. There are many pros and cons within the new program, but we are pretty happy with it.

With both of us having pre-existing conditions just being able to have full coverage takes a great weight off our shoulders. Not having to pay almost twice as much to have me on his policy is another thing we're happy about ( in his last job I was a liability and we paid through the nose for limited coverage for me). Both of us being over 50, we expected to be hit with major expensive changes, since the insurance companies seem to be charging more for employee sponsored insurance policies right now (hopefully once the PPACA is fully implemented prices will go down a bit). We may be spending more than last year, but all in all, I think it's worth it.

A few months ago, when we were first discussing what new changes we might have in our insurance, my husband was very upset that we might have to spend more money for less coverage. I had been avidly reading everything I could on the changes that would come from implementation of the PPACA and wasn't worried. He'd spent way too much time watching Faux News and thought the sky was falling.

Yes, unfortunately I am married to a Republican who watches Faux News, but at least in the five years we've been together I've gotten him to stop listening to Glenn Beck and Limpballs all together. Hopefully, within another five years, I can get him to stop watching that lying, conniving news channel too. After the latest fiascos in Washington, he HAS decided to register independent and is seriously looking for democratic candidates to get behind in the next few election cycles, but that may take some time to occur, since he still thinks the word 'liberal' is one you say in a whisper as if it's a dirty word.

When we starting talking about the possibilities and the price of new insurance there was one thing I kept stressing to him - us paying a little more would directly benefit those less fortunate than ourselves. I kept telling him how those few extra dollars would ensure that my sister with Lupus had good coverage (up until now she's not been able to get insurance); that it would ensure better coverage for both our mothers living on Social Security; that we'd be helping people at his work with lower-paying jobs get the best insurance they've ever had; that our neighbor next door would be able to keep his college kids on his policy until they were self sufficient (at least you'd hope they'd be self sufficient by the time they were twenty six).

He'd still grumble about prices going up and say it was unfair, but I wouldn't back down. I'd tell him we could afford a few extra dollars whereas our mothers couldn't. I'd tell him how my sister cried, the last time I saw her, over the fact that she no longer had to worry about her children living a life of poverty because of her expensive uninsured health care. I'd tell him how our neighbor was no longer worried about unexpected illness with his college aged kids and the financial toll it could take on the whole family.

I'd tell him how those few extra dollars would help my stepchildren, his children. How my stepdaughter with a young family, who's husband would soon be leaving the military, and who'd need good coverage for themselves and their children. How one of our grandsons would be covered when the illness he was born with began to take its toll on his body. How my twenty one year old stepson would be able to get catastrophic coverage at a reasonable price so he wouldn't be bankrupted if he had an accident. How our niece would be able to have that baby she's been dreaming of, now that she can afford the insurance to cover it.

It took repeated efforts on my part to get my husband to see the brighter side of spending a few more dollars every month, but it was seeing how much better things would be for those around us that made him see the light. In the last week, since we've gotten our new policy, we've heard from several people about how PPACA is going to better their lives. My sister and her husband found a great policy for the whole family for a reasonable amount of money and she won't have to worry about outrageous medical bills and their financial toll; my mother called to tell me her new plan would pay even more of her prescription costs; our neighbor stopped by and told us how he ended up getting a plan that cost less and covered more, including his kids in college; our niece called to tell us how they found a great policy that enabled them to start planning that family they want; my stepson stopped by to let me know I could stop worrying about him, he'd found a policy for less than $50 a month (with subsidies) that was a step above catastrophic care.

I asked my husband last night about how he felt now about spending a few dollars more a month, after the past week. He sighed and then told me I was right. It IS worth a few dollars more to know we're helping those around us, and it's worth it to be able to worry less about those we love. To me, it's more than worth it.  

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In only one day after the government reopens we find Ted Cruz, once again trying to inflame his ever decreasing hordes of fans over the idea of updating our woefully inept immigration system, so as to create another page in in his overacted, nauseating time in the limelight script. Arriving as he did, a twentytweener, he placed himself in a position to burst out as the next political fad once we entered the twenty teens, determined to acquire the world control he fantasizes about.  

I seriously believe his mother watched daily slop operas while she was pregnant with him and while he was a small child. During that time he learned the ins and outs of plot twist and deceptive language, as well as dramatic license and intensive training in the art of vocal sleight-of-hand, all to use as he grew up in wealth and privilege, leaving most around him charmed by his act. Spoiled, arrogant, and emotionally immature, he became as we see him today, an out of touch adult who remains a disappointed child, acting out his delusional script to to his small, enthralled audience.

His Drama Queen Diva mentality would go over great as a character portrayed in the daily slop opera, "Washington - The Dung and the Breastless". With his feigned attitude that everything is HIGH DRAMA (written into his daily script, of course), he leads the lemmings off the cliff of intelligence to fall into the spiked pit of exaggerated brainlessness, where the miasma emanating off the corpses of their perished souls cleanses them of any common sense or compassion within the remaining fleshy husks of their beings.

In only the few years since his arrival within the cast of players, he has acquired not only a small gang of followers within the group, but also a minor faction of the country who hang upon his every word. His particular brand of vocal narcissistic selfishness appeals to their need for contiuous self-created dramatic turmoil to replace the boredom of their everyday lives.

Like a televangelist huckster he plays to their feelings of insecurity and frustration, warping his words to encourage nihilistic hatred and anger at any perceived difference in all of those around them. Using their bigotry and fear he prods them to extreme partisan words and actions. Diverting them with hyperbole and phony religious devoutness, he exploits their superstitions to espouse a narrow, egotistical dogma that fascinates their belief into actions that go against their own instincts of survival.

Like the classic Diva in a daytime drama, no time spent in front of the camera is without its required tricks of heightened urgency, deception, and melodrama. The Koch brother funded sponsors cryptically placed ads sell everything from phobia to blatant pandering. All the while, the deluded and ignorant groupies pant and drool for more, selling off their humanity to tithe to their new found messiah.

And we, the masses who are not distracted by the sideshow that is Rafael E. Cruz, stand by, our chins bouncing off the floor in disbelief at the gullibility of his cheering section. We watch as the dwindling batch of lemmings again jump off that cliff into ignorance and illusion. We shake our heads at the notion of how uneducated that portion of our society truly is. And then we walk away from today's segment of the ever continuing drama of Ted Cruz.

And as I leave to take up my daily tasks once again, in my mind I hear Carly Simon's ever so appropriate words, complete with music, "...you"re so vain, you probably think this song is about you..."

I think I'm looking forward to the 20teens being over...

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