Are we a Nation of States What’s the State of Our Nation?[*]

Standard

i wrote a piece, a second part to last week’s Now What? about Dr. Christine Ford’s testimony and the fall out. It was supposed to post Wednesday morning. I had intended to re-read it, tweak it a bit, and then post, and I did finally do that last night. However, the last two days since the original first draft have been a minefield of emotion and anger. Rage. Continue reading

Domestic Violence Should Not Be Politics as Usual

Standard

​Sunday will be the sixth anniversary of my friend’s death. She was murdered by her ex while simply living her own life, washing a tea kettle out when he came up behind her and ended her life. For all of us who are touched by domestic violence and abuse, we ask if there was something we could have done, something we should have been aware of. I participated in my own share of victim blaming until I saw the larger picture of having your finances and only home tied up with someone who is threatening. 

I think we all like to believe the best of people, and if we’re wrong, we just pick up and walk away. Everyone has friends they can rely on, but how true is that really? Can a mom, the mom who seems to have all the problems, is never on time, offering flimsy excuses with the two kids, both in diapers – can she crash on your sofa or spare room indefinitely? Are you friends with her domestic partner? Who will you believe?

Domestic violence can happen to anyone, and it takes on a variety of forms. Some, though not many, don’t realize they’re abusive; it’s the way they were raised, and they think it’s “normal” to slap your wife and kids or grab her or slam doors and drink a little too much. Others seem like the perfect couple, family, etc, and no one knows what’s going on inside someone else’s home?

For B, my friend, when she had nowhere to live, she arranged to live in her house. Her house, that she paid for, contributed to the down payment of, was responsible on the deed for, but also on the property where her ex lived. I thought that was crazy. However, what else could she do?

He threatened her, but people say things they don’t mean all the time.

Why didn’t she call the police? Well, she did, several times. In fact, the police paid a visit to their house the night before she was murdered. They didn’t believe there was a problem; not a real one. Don’t set him off, though.

I didn’t understand.

Now, in Congress, in the House of Representatives yesterday, a bill was passed that will now go on to the Senate to be voted on. If it passes the Senate, I have no doubt that President Trump will sign it. He signs whatever he’s told to.

This new bill, that might become a law, which by the way also exempts members of Congress from its new rules and changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as well as affecting private insurance and employer insurance along with Medicaid and Medicare, defines pre-existing conditions in horrific ways and will affect someone you know.

They say that pre-exisiting conditions will be covered, but that depends on the state you’re in, and legal access to health care doesn’t mean that everyone will have it or be able to afford it.

For example, four of the pre-existing conditions mentioned specifically are: domestic violence, sexual assault, c-section, and post-partum depression. What do these four things have in common? In addition to being completely and arbitrarily unpredictable and randomly occuring, they also only happen to women. The first two – domestic violence and sexual assault – are perpetuated by men onto women, but as is the case in many instances, women pay the brunt of the violence against them.

This is one of the most blatant and disgusting and obvious moments of victim-blaming.

They’re looking at getting rid of well visits and preventative care, maternity leave, and pre-natal care as well.

I’m appalled.

In today’s Congress, had my friend survived her gunshot to the head she would be blamed for it as a victim of domestic violence. It would be considered a pre-existing condition and not covered under the Republican’s repeal and regress health care plan.

They’ve had eight years to come up with something, and they’ve failed. However, they continue to punish women for their failure.

Do not let this Republican controlled Congress and White House continue to abuse women and their families.

If you or someone you know are in danger or in a domestic abuse relationship or situation, contact the The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. They can help you and find resources for you wherever you are.

If you or someone you know are an LGBT+ youth and in an abusive situation, contact The Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386. They can put you in touch with someone who can help you.

You are not alone.

The Republicans win the Senate

Standard

The headline I woke up to was ‘seize’ the Senate, but really it was simply apathy that won the day. And before someone says it, two more Senators does not a mandate make.

Where would we be if every eligible voter votes and voted their conscience? I think Congress would have a completely different make-up.

For the most part, the Republicans I know personally all have good hearts, but the money disparity in the campaigns (thanks to Citizens United) can no longer be ignored. When “corporations are people, my friend” and women aren’t, there is a serious misconception (no pun intended) in what constitutes equality and fairness.

Does anyone who voted Republican truly think they’ve made a difference? Do they think that Republicans will turn this dwindling economy around? They won’t. They’ve had six years and have focused on social politics that get them money and votes, but not jobs when even registered Republicans have answered the polls negatively; have stated that the focus on marriage equality and reproductive rights/conception is their platform even when their constituents don’t want that.

They have had the power in the House to take care of the economy and help Americans but instead, they’ve provided gridlock worse than an L.A. freeway or the NJ Turnpike on Thanksgiving weekend and if humanly possible it will only get worse. They will concentrate on making their fortune while continuing to do nothing.

They’ve contributed to hate talk, fear-mongering, to fact-ignoring and in its place they’ve offered “if I say it, it must be true, no matter how ridiculous.”

We’ve become a nation of paradoxes:

a land of immigrants who are anti-immigration.

a land of GI Bill recipients and subsidized housing that wishes its disabled veterans would go away, preferably quietly.

a nation that promotes the porn industry in private and then blames the subjugated for how they are treated.

a nation of individuals unless your individuality is that of transgender youth wanting to use the bathroom without harassment.

a nation of equality unless you’re a woman exercising your reproductive rights or a black teenage boy walking down a street.

It’s hypocrisy at its worst, and it will only get worse.

I propose a solution to this lame duck Congress. Instead of wasting two years getting nothing done and paying for it, waiting for the next election and watching the blame game dance of pass the House & Senate, vetoed by the President, we banish them ALL and hold the election again.

We have seven weeks.

Everyone back to your corners, everyone given the same exact amount of campaign funds, no interest groups, no DNC, no RNC, and EVERY AMERICAN ELIGIBLE VOTES.

Let’s see where this country stands when push comes to shove because this – what we have now – is worse than 1775 and we know what happened then.

Instead of GOTV, how about GOYA!

Vote.

Serve jury duty.

Help your neighbor.

It’s not someone else’s problem; it’s everyone’s problem.

Where is the respect for a differing opinion? Buried under piles of interest group money.

It’s time to fix this system before it’s too late.