Posted by: Jan | February 4, 2017

We need to start thinking differently

… to save the country.

It was eight years ago when the conservatives were gnashing their teeth and saying the world was coming to an end because Obama was elected. This year people were “UnFriending” people over politics and it’s gotten to the point where before you accept a dinner invitation you need to ask, “Are you a Democrat or a Republican?”

Jon Stewart quipped “The presidency is supposed to age the president, not the public.”

This isn’t good for the country. This isn’t good for communities. Even relatives and people who share common values are on two sides of the divided line.

How can this get solved? Going down the path we are on isn’t the way: Liberals and progressives protesting, Conservatives fighting back with reasons Trump is right. Roe versus Wade, Gay marriage versus the clerk refusing to sign Gay marriage certificates, immigration reform versus building a wall, Obamacare versus going back to private insurance. And how DID Trump get elected.

It’s clear that for the past eight years, in what progressives and liberals tout as the amazing progress that has been made in this country, on gay rights, women’s rights, etc., during those same eight years conservatives were feeling that their beliefs and feelings have been ignored. They feel they are now being forced into paying for abortions that tear their hearts out – killing innocent babies. They are being told to support those evil gay liaisons that the Bible (Leviticus, anyway) condemned. The feel their rights have been taken away.

Now the progressives and liberals are fearful instead. That woman’s lives will be ignored with the loss of Roe versus Wade. Women will be forced once again to go under the butcher’s knife in order to try to save their own. Couples that love each other will be told they cannot, because others don’t approve. Back to how it was when a black man couldn’t walk down the street holding a white woman’s hand without having beer cans thrown at them from passing cars.

We can’t solve this by each side trying to convince each other they are right. The feelings are too strong on each side.

Maybe instead of forcing people, we need to look at what people are the most opposed to, state by state. Maybe the Electoral College approach is right, we are separate states, and maybe each state needs to decide for itself what it’s people want. There is a problem with this approach – human life can be sacrificed in states that decide one way or the other. But that way, progressive states like California and New York could provide for their citizens the protection and life they want. Idaho and Utah can do the same.

There will be harm along the way. The National Parks in Utah could end up destroyed by mining companies. The US wouldn’t have a national climate change policy, so wouldn’t have as strong a voice in the Paris climate talks. But hey, California’s economy is enough to be a bigger voice than most European nations so the progressive states could still make a difference. In some states, women’s rights could be lost, but at least there could be trains or buses to bring the women to progressive states so their lives could be saved. They wouldn’t need enough money to fly to Canada or elsewhere to survive.

And there would be benefit. People who are adamantly opposed to being pro-woman (also called pro-choice) could make sure their taxes don’t go to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood would close in red states unless blue people in those states and people in blue states would fund them as charities. That would be win-win. Religious people in red states could ban muslims and try to make their states look like the ’50s “Father Knows Best” era, but it would be the blue states that would be the melting pots making them more diverse, richer in arts and culture, and happier places to live. People who had different opinions would need to chose whether to stay under the red state’s oppressive government rule or leave to a friendlier state.

Maybe, someday, the red states would start to notice how the blue states had happier people, booming economies, clean air, fresh water, less poverty, and more prosperity for all. Perhaps, then they would decide they got it wrong and come willingly into the 21st Century.

Posted by: Jan | August 12, 2016

In Support of Trump

I’m sure this latest media frenzy about Trump’s Second Amendment comment is, simply, yet another media-generated “much ado about nothing.” Really! Let’s think logically about it. Has Trump ever in his business dealings been accused of wiping a competitor out – literally? Like dead? I’ve never seen or heard of such a thing (although the Clintons, on the other hand, have regularly been accused of bumping their enemies off as was Obama when Judge Scalia died suddenly). So we can deduce that, logically, Trump neither bumps people off nor suggests others do it for him. Therefore, this entire hoopla is just more media frenzy.

We use to get slanted garbage only from Rush Limbaugh and other right wing conservative talk show hosts. Now, apparently CNN, MSNBC, and the rest have figured out that the public eats this stuff up. Trump didn’t mean it the way it came out, of course. Right? He was either just taken wrong or, more likely, phrased it, smartly, in a way to get more media time. Hey, he’s a New Yorker, right? Gotta expect him to be brash. And he’s a negotiator. That’s why he throws out a lot of his crap. Keep people guessing. Don’t give away your cards too early.

He’ll be a great President. He’ll throw out all those stupid regulations Obama opposed to control Wall Street. Corporations will love him and decide not to keep moving businesses offshore – out of the goodness of their hearts and their love of America – even if they lose a little money doing so. More millionaires will want to locate in America and make their money here, hence that proven economic theory called Trickle-Down Economics (also referred to as Voodoo Economics) will really, really work this time. Really. Everyone at the bottom will start making money very, very soon. Lots and lots of money. Why it has never worked in all of the years the Republicans have been in charge starting with Reagan is beyond me. This time, I’m sure, it will start to work.

Trump will also get rid of all of those nasty environmental rules and will allow the oil companies to drill baby, drill. Sure, the sky will look polluted. Rivers may start on fire again, like the Cuyahoga River did. But hey – there will be plenty of gasoline for our cars and we’ll produce more steel and make more skyscrapers. Trump told us so in his Economic Plan speech.

Won’t America be great again!

I’m sure Kim Jong-Il from North Korea and Putin from Russia, who both love Trump, will understand he doesn’t mean it if he gets upset at something they do or say, and tells them he’s going to send the CIA to snuff them out. They will know it’s just the way he talks. He wouldn’t, of course, really do it. That would be outrageous. They will never assume his threats are real. They’d never retaliate and strike first before the CIA can assassinate them. Just because Trump tells them he’s going to nuk ‘em, they’ll know he was speaking figuratively. They won’t use their nuks first before we get a chance. How silly it is for people to worry.

Trump will be a great President!

Posted by: Jan | August 4, 2016

The Khan Controversy


At the Democratic Convention, a very moving speech was given by Khizr Khan, who lost his son in the Iraq War. At the end of the speech, he asked Presidential candidate Trump, if he had ever read the constitution, as Khan took his own worn copy of the constitution from his pocket and waved it in the air., referring to the many statements Trump has made, racial statements, against Muslims, Mexicans, women and other.

Of course, Trump immediately tweeted back and attacked Khan. The media erupted. Here was a Gold Star Mother and parents who had lost their brave son in the Iraq war, being attacked by the Presidential nominee.

Now, of course, there are many attempts to discredit Khan, to move the debate away from the verbal attacks Trump has made on him.

One claim, “DNC speaker Khizr Khan, father of fallen Army Capt. Humayun Khan, is a Muslim Brotherhood operative,” has been proven false by snopes.com. “No,” they say, “he’s a Muslim. That’s all.”

Now, today, the media is saying, “It turns out, however, in addition to being Gold Star parents, the Khans are financially and legally tied deeply to the industry of Muslim migration–and to the government of Saudi Arabia and to the Clintons themselves.”

To all of this silliness, I say this:

  1. Is anyone doubting that the Khans migrated from the Middle East to the USA?
    ANS: No
  2. Does anyone doubt that their son made a heroic sacrifice to save his unit and died?
    ANS: No
  3. Does anyone doubt that the Khans have suffered from the loss of their son and are true Americans?
    ANS: No

So I ask the questions: If Khan was given legal aid to come here, if he was even paid by the Clinton campaign to speak at the convention, does that alter the message one iota? Isn’t the message that Muslims can be true Americans, can love America, can send their sons and daughters to war for America, and can sacrifice for America?

Trump does not want Muslims to be admitted to America. Trump wants all Mexicans deported, families torn asunder.

But, of course, that is what happens in the media and politics today. A lot of arm waving, misdirection, and flack.

Posted by: Jan | August 4, 2016

The 2016 Elections

I haven’t posted on this site since the 2012 election results. And back then, in that last post, I was rejoicing that Obama had been re-elected, and had quoted Obama as saying, “We are not as divided as our politics suggest. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe.”

Fast forward to 2016. Whoa boy. Are we not as divided as our politics suggest?

We have the Republican voters, who have selected the racist, egotistical, loose-cannon Donald Trump as their nominee.

On the Democratic side, we had a close election between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Clinton had been moving further and further left to try to pick up Sanders voters. She went even as far to incorporate many of Sander’s proposals as their official Democratic platform.

But then, Hillary selected as her running mate Tim Kaine, a person who is even more right than she is. “Whoa?” the Sanders supporters asked. Will Hillary really implement the platform that Bernie got installed? At the last minute, Wikileaks exposed that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and its chair, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, had indeed slanted the primaries towards Clinton, totally disregarding DNC policy and rules. And, to add insult to injury, Clinton announced that very same day she was naming Wasserman Shultz as her “honorary campaign chairperson.” And Obama gave Wasserman Shultz his praises. That was like a double-slap to the Bernie supporters. You think they would have worried that half of the Democrats may not follow Clinton and, across the nation, her unfavorable rating was just about as high as Trumps? But hey, at the Convention, the super delegates stuck with Clinton anyway.

During the vote count, every state delegate, whether the state had gone with Clinton or with Bernie, announced the votes like this: “N votes for Bernie Sanders (and some would add adoring remarks about him), “And M votes for the next President, Hillary Clinton!” (Why, I wondered, as I watched the vote count, was every delegate convention saying that? It seemed so scripted. As we know, Bernie didn’t have the delegate count and, honorably, called for Clinton to be nominated.

Then, when the Bernie delegates left the room after the vote count, the cameras panned down to not show the empty seats. The next night, the Bernie delegates arrived to find their seats had been “Reserved” and people without passes were sneaking into them. And a white noise machine had been installed above the more rambunctious California delegates so deaden any protests. OK – you can say the goal was to project party unity to the nation. But the result was to alienate the Bernie crowd. They left feeling disrespected and uncounted. and And, as a result, they are leaving the party.

Are all of the Bernie supporters going to vote for Trump? Maybe not. They have found a candidate that honors their values, whose platform is almost identical to Bernie’s platform, and who is welcoming them in: Jill Stein, Green Party.

Of course, the fact that Jill probably can’t make an inroad and could leave us with a Trump President is a concern. But the millennials should never be told the burden is on them – to vote for someone they don’t want if they really believe the 3rd party candidate is viable. The onus is on those who actually vote for Trump, if he is elected. And, since he is such an offensive person, who most now believe should not be President, one must wonder how people can still ignore the warning signs and vote for him.

Posted by: Jan | November 7, 2012

The Day After the Election

It’s the day after election day 2012. Whew!

It’s been pretty crazy lately with all of the campaign blitzes, flyers in the mail. I find it hard to understand the negativism and outright hatred I see spoken by the far right against the Obamas. I read Obama’s book and was impressed by his thoughts and concern – for family, for how to aid inner-city kids. I got goosebumps seeing the 1st family move into the White House four years ago and loved these pictures from 2008 and last night.

2008


2012

Now “The Day After” analysis begins – what did the “Right” do “wrong” to lose the election?

I listened to Rush Limbaugh this morning – he was laughable. He and the GOP don’t get it.

  • Rush thinks the people who vote against the Republicans are for giving hard working people’s “stuff” to lazy people who want their “stuff”. “Hard work is sneered at.” He thinks that “Democrats have made every voter, except the elite professors and movie actors, think that they don’t have a chance to get ahead. So government has to come in and make it better.” RIDICULOUS!
  • Rush thinks the youth are only interested in smoking marijuana and once they get their college degrees they don’t want to work hard but then get a hand-out. RIDICULOUS!
  • Rush thinks the people who vote against the Republicans are “pro-abortion” and want more abortions and more abortion clinics. RIDICULOUS!

I had to post a comment on the radio website: “Rush – Women want no government involvement in personal health and life decisions, we do not want to force the Catholic Church to do anything. We aren’t “for” abortions. The opposite of anti-abortion is NOT pro-abortion. Abortion is a hard, sad, choice. Women want to stop government force when dealing with personal health decisions. The government doesn’t determine who can/cannot have a vasectomy even though some churches are opposed to any medical action that prevents pregnancy.”

People who vote against Republicans aren’t all against hard work and for a “handout”. When I graduated from High School there were affordable options for getting a college education. The California U.C. system was one of the lowest cost and highest caliber in the nation. Not growing up in California though, it wasn’t a choice for me. But Utah had the University of Utah – a great education and the option of living at home reduced the expense to almost nothing. We were able to focus on school during the school months and work during the summer to cover the next year’s expenses. Kids today don’t have affordable options. But they want them. And they want jobs.

I loved seeing the article “Steve Schmidt [Republican strategist]: GOP must muzzle Rush Limbaugh”. I think that’s a big clue to what the Republicans did wrong. They created a campaign of fear and hate. Not Romney – except for his flip-flopping, I think his real bend was more central,to embrace a solution by compromise. He couldn’t say it during the primaries, had to claim he was the opposite. So it came out as flip-flopping in the final weeks when he tried to win over the undecided and central-leaning liberals. But that was a minor problem for the GOP. Anyone who blames Mitt Romney for losing the election is pointing fingers in the wrong direction.

The viral, fear-mongering pundits like Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh are what are bringing the GOP party down. I posted on Facebook today “There was a time I considered candidates from both sides and picked the best. I, like most of my friends and neighbors, are more central in our opinions. But since Karl Rove stepped in with lies and falsehoods and Rush Limbaugh with his hateful words and misleading sentiment, saying every Democrat is an evil, country-hating person, and the far far right’s assault on personal freedoms (women’s right to choose, gay’s rights to marry) I now vote against the conservative extremists. I think that is what we saw this year – a rebellion against the hate and lies. I’m not “for” all of the far left beliefs – we need to streamline government and reduce government spending. But I trust them more than the SuperPACs currently running the Republican side.”

My daughter Julie concurred: “Exactly! A lot of us have to vote on the social issues to save our personal rights rather than being able to even approach thinking about which candidate might better serve the economic or political interests. It’s quite annoying. It’s strange that the republican party has changed so drastically from what it was in the past. How can a majority political party in this day and age believe in smaller government and economic freedoms (supporting business, less taxes, etc), and yet want to curtail personal freedoms to unconstitutional extremes? It’s a bizarre aspect of our country today. We have two small businesses running out of our household, one out of yours, and business owner friends and acquaintances in abundance and yet I will continue to vote for the candidate that won’t take our social freedoms away like those you mentioned above until we get a rational moderate republican candidate that actually wants to support freedom in all contexts. Freedom – shouldn’t be such a foreign concept – geez! I have so much respect for Obama – but that is largely an emotional response. Mainly I will vote for the candidate that supports personal rights, rather than the guy who wants to take them away. But also Obama seems like a good, rational and intelligent guy. I’m not at all sure he has the answers to help our economy. But I trust him in the office more than a business guy (an aspect I would normally greatly respect and even vote for based largely on that criteria), who wants to take our personal freedoms away.”

Also it was very heartening that the Super PACs and millionaire special interests spent billions and it didn’t work. The anti-GOP voters voted against “Corporations as people” and against the “mooching millionaires” (not all millionaires are moochers but many of the millionaires now running the GOP are).

On TV tonight a Republican strategist was saying “Freedom, equality and opportunity are the GOP values.” Freedom, equality and opportunity for who? White born-again male Christians seems to be the answer if you look at the demographics of who voted for and against the GOP yesterday. Not a woman’s freedom of choice. Not equality for gays. Not opportunity for our youth when education is unaffordable.

The President said it best in his acceptance speech: “We are not as divided as our politics suggest. We’re not a cynical as the pundits believe.” I believe he is right. Now let’s hope Congress starts acting like it.

Posted by: Jan | November 5, 2012

Ayn Rand in the 21st Century

Only a few months ago I realized there had been an Atlas Shrugged movie released. I ran right out and rented it and am now eager for Part 2. I was surprised when I first saw that the religious right were embracing it and there was entire new movement claiming to embrace Objectivism afoot.

  It’s just a coincidence that I bought the book in a used bookstore while in the San Juans, WA in May, prior to hearing about the movie release. I had read Atlas Shrugged in college and loved it and had wanted to re-read it for a long time but our copy from college years was missing the first and last pages. I tried a few years ago to download it to my iPad but they wanted $18.95 for a 50 year-old book and that seemed outrageous to me. So I glommed onto it when I saw a used copy for $4.00 in the San Juans. I enjoyed re-reading it while on our boat trip through Canada (took me most of the 6 weeks – it’s a big book!) I contemplated how it was or if it was relevant today.

Obviously there are some big changes between the world in 1957 and today. Ayn Rand’s characters are industrialists who love to see steel mills bellowing smoke and to see the railroad trestles laying bare paths through the forest. The movie really played up the billowing smoke belching out of the steel mills – perhaps that was the producer’s way of making an environmental comment.

Another common symbol throughout the book is the always-being-smoked cigarettes. One clue Ayn keeps finding after the disappearances of several industrialists is the butt of a cigarette with a dollar sign. She is amazed because she can’t find out where they are manufactured and people who know smokes say it’s tabacco that is finer than any they have found on earth. She even uses the analogy of the tip of the cigarettes she and Hank Reardan are smoking in bed to tips of glowing intelligence in the dark world. All that is pretty out-dated given that today we now equate smoking more with cancer than glowing signs of intelligence.

But still, the underlying sentiment is valid today. She is opposed to the moochers and the takers who cannot produce anything themselves, so mooch from those who can. In “Atlas Shrugged” the “doers” are industrialists who build railroads, make steel, invent even stronger metals, mine copper and make machines, inventing better ways to work more productively. Ah – the Steve Jobs of the world.

“My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”
— Ayn Rand, Appendix to Atlas Shrugged

It’s no secret that the right is awash in Ayn Rand. Tea Partiers carry signs like “Who is John Galt?” and, astonishing for a novel published 55 years ago, sales of Atlas Shrugged topped 445,000 last year.

Yet if Ayn Rand were alive today she would more likely vote against the current Republicans.

Why is that?

Ayn believed in lack of Government control of individual rights, e.g. women’s rights. Gay rights. She particularly opposed all interference from government particularly any religious influence. Ayn Rand was an atheist and turned away from the Republican Party when Reagan was nominated because of how he let his religious beliefs influence his political perspective. She devoted one of her final newsletters to encouraging Americans not to cast ballots for Reagan in the primary and thus would have been even more appalled by the policies of George W. Bush and the religious influence in government being advocated for by the religious right.

While she was for the industrialists, she was disgusted with moochers hence would have disdained the Corporate “takers” who get their money from fooling poor people that they can afford mortgages they cannot, of Corporate giants who leverage profits from the poor to give bonuses to their VPs even when people who invested in them are losing their life’s savings. These are exactly the people she railed against. Many of today’s Corporation leaders look like Jim Taggart, not Dagney.

Today’s Corporations are taking from those who can work and produce, just like Jim Taggart and his friends. The Republicans are against illegal immigrants but look the other way when big agribusiness corporations use them at low rates to plow and harvest their fields. Most of these immigrants are hard working, industrious, the kind of individuals Ayn would have applauded. Yet they are taken advantage of by millionaire agribusinesses who want to keep them illegal and low-paid. Ayn Rand was totally opposed to giving hand-outs to those who wouldn’t work but supported paying a fair wage and treating fairly those who worked hard and produced.

What about millionaires like Karl Rove who’s only claim to fame is controlling the government direction by spreading falsehoods and fear among the populace? What “productive achievement” can Karl Rove claim other than dirty tricks and fear mongering? He was behind the early Bush “win” of the republican nomination when he had people call voters in North Carolina and ask them “Would it make any difference to you if you knew John McCain had an illegitimate black child?” Of course John McCain didn’t – the callers didn’t say he did. The McCain’s had an adopted Indian girl but the rumor and innuendos in the prejudiced South was enough to end John McCain’s bid for Republican nominee against Bush. Karl Rove is a key “Republican”. Is he one of the “Industrialists” Ayn Rand would have supported or a moocher Ayn Rand would have disdained? Obviously the latter.

What about millionaires like California’s Stewart Resnick, who has strong influence at both the state and U.S. government level, all with the goal of increasing water exports from the California Delta regardless of the impact on Northern California Communities. Northern California farmers, marina operators, commercial salmon fishermen, etc. are not the “moochers”. Stewart Resnick made $77 million in one year alone reselling agricultural water rights at dollars per acre foot to L.A. developers at hundreds of dollars per acre foot. Is he an industrialist or a moocher? Obviously the latter.

Ayn Rand believed in “voluntary trade” – but that is different from results that occurred from housing loan lenders that convinced millions of people they could afford houses they could not and did not disclose the extent of the increases in payments that would be upcoming. The lenders were “moochers”. Yet because Democrats want them stopped, there is a cry against regulation to pull in their reins. Even Alan Greenspan, follower of Ayn Rand, admitted that the economic crisis was due to the lack of regulations – admitting that his free-market ideology shunning certain regulations was flawed. In Ayn Rand’s world, the industrialists were people who were moral – unfortunately too many of today’s Corporations and millionaires do not follow that morale fiber.

Rush Limbaugh is all over the statement that Corporations “are” people and that Corporations are not breaking laws by not paying high taxes when the laws are written such that what they are doing is legal. But to me that is the whole point, the crux of the issue. True the laws aid both the industrialists and the moochers but the laws are written by the moochers, not the industrialists. The morale millionaires like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates admit the laws are slanted towards the rich. In another article, Rush quotes Jonathan Clements, a financial columnist with Citigroup and comments about him being “a target of Congress’s punitive 90 percent bonus tax.” Bonuses are supposed to be based on company profit. If a company goes under, has no profit, and needs a government bail-out, why would any of it’s directors or employees expect any bonuses. The Ayn Rand industrialist who drove his/her company into the ground would not expect a government bail-out for their bonus pay. Just the opposite. Ayn Rand’s industrialists wanted nothing to do with government loopholes. They wanted to produce and were more than willing pay their fair share. They just didn’t want to be forced to contribute more only because they were rich. They didn’t want their money to go to the moochers. The Tea Party mantra is no taxes for millionaires. The Democrats want to make taxes equitable.

When the 99% rail against the 1%, the “Going Galt” conservative demonstrators say the 1% will withdraw. But it’s not the true Ayn Rand industrialists who I have an issue with. It’s the millionaire moochers, the manipulators, and the government lobbyists who are the people and corporations that are paying big bucks in elections to slant facts and who are bribing government officials into signing pledges to never raise their taxes and to stalemate government operations.

I believe in Ayn Rand’s philosophy and I am a Democrat.

What would you do if your thirteen year old son came to you and confided that he had a growing fear that he had no attraction whatsoever to girls – the thought in fact disgusted him – but that he was very attracted to those of his same sex. The fact that he’d dare confide that was a testament to your parent/child relationship. He came without fear or shame, confide in you, and seek your counsel. You realized that from a young age, you’d seen differences in how he walked and talked; he made friends easily with girls, but very rarely with boys. You’d always had a great relationship with your son and knew “parental causation” was not the reason. You went to your religious leaders and they tried to “cure” him. You were told to just keep it quiet and it would be all right. He was counseled for years by church leaders and lessons that until he chooses to do what he must to be “cured,” he hasn’t done enough. Realizing it is not a choice, he cannot change who he is, he tries to commit suicide. That is the true story documented in this poignant letter from an avid Mormon father of a gay son.

  This son is deeply religious and does not believe in sex before marriage. A civil union is not marriage. Should we condemn him to either go against his religious beliefs and live in sin or never have a loving relationship? Those are the choices we give gay people when we say “just go for the civil union.” Why can’t they also have the loving commitment that true marriage entails?

The injustice of Prop 5

If you are interested in this particular son’s plight, read a later letter to BYU from the same father concerned that his son will be ostracized, not allowed any friends, based on religious leaders’ views.

I believe that any discrimination is wrong. I stopped actively attending the Mormon Church because of its discriminating policies against blacks. (Later in 1978 there was a revelation that now blacks should not be discriminated against any longer). But there is still discrimination against gays in the Mormon Church and most faiths.

Nowadays people claim they are “not against gays” saying they support “civil unions,” but that “marriage” is between one man and one women. Aren’t civil unions “good enough”? I mean, can’t we add every right and protection afforded by marriage to civil unions and have it covered?

No. You can’t have it both ways. Saying you are not “really” against gays and at the same time that they only need a “civil union” is convenient, but still discrimination.

 

(Poster from the anti-discrimination Star Trek episode where a half-black/half-white alien battles a half-white/half-black alien. To us they looked identical but they saw a profound difference between themselves)

I have not found the Mormon Church to be any different than most other churches in this regard. The Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked at my door one day. They asked me my religion and I told them I was raised Mormon but not active and had left because of discrimination against blacks. They said “oh, we don’t discriminate against blacks!” I said “What about gays?” “Oh no, we don’t discriminate against gays either!” “Can gays get married in your church?” Aghast “Oh no, but we don’t discriminate against them!”


Gay and Lesbian Protesters
  Some people are born heterosexuals, some homosexuals, and some a combination. We are what we are and either a loving God or the universe made us that way but gays had no choice any more than blacks chose to be black or I chose to be a woman. Just because the heterosexuals are in the majority doesn’t mean gays are “choosing” to be gay. Throughout the world, in some cultures, marriage is recommended or compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. Not “civil union”, but “marriage”. Without marriage, their choices are suicide or chastity for their entire lives. With all trace of romantic love and emotional intimacy denied you, with what would you fill the void to hold at bay a life of loneliness, emptiness, and despair?

Even if religion or culture are not driving factors for gay and lesbian couples to wed, who are we to deny anyone the joy of living in a committed, monogamous relationship for the rest of his/her life practicing the virtues of love, commitment, and fidelity?

Discriminating against anyone is wrong. Saying gays should not have the right to marry is discrimination. It is very unfortunate that Prop 5 added discrimination to the California constitution for the first time in history. Typically we humans have evolved away from our various forms of discrimination as we learn but Prop 5 was a big step backwards.

Posted by: Jan | October 13, 2012

Facts, not Malarkey

After the Joe Biden/Paul Ryan Vice Presidential debate, internet emails started flying around again with “facts” about the deficit and inflation.

So here are real facts, not malarkey.

The Real Facts about the Deficit

The BIGGEST cause – Reduced Tax Payments (inherited by Obama, not yet expired) and other pots shown below Obama has had no control over.

FACT: The Four Causes of the Huge Deficit


What Are the Four Causes?

  1. The biggest cause: Reduced tax payments
  2. Second: Automatic increases in unemployment insurance and food stamps, and people starting social security early because they can’t find jobs.
  3. Military spending also increased, but is now fading.
  4. Bush’s TARP and Obama’s Jobs Stimulus (top layer) account for little of the deficit, and they are temporary

The deficit is from the safety-net helping the poor and the unemployed in a terrible recession, and helping all of us (including businesses!) with lower taxes.
Source

Why the statement that “The Demcocratic Congress Did It starting in 2007” is FALSE

For 12 of the past 20 years, the Congress was not Democratic. AND Presidents have Veto Power. See what would have happened if the Republican Presidents ha balanced their budgets.

FACT – IT’S NOT THE DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS – National Debt Graph by President


In 1981, the supply siders commandeered the Reagan Presidency and employed theirVoodoo economics, as Bush senior had called it in 1980. He was saying that tax cuts would not increase government revenues. As you can see on the graph above (or get the update and more with this New App), the Voodoo failed just as Bush predicted, and the supply siders turned a 32-year winning streak into a debt disaster that continues to this day. For 20-years, under Reagan and the Bushes, the national debt increased compared to GDP every single year. In most other years it decreased. Twenty years in a row can’t be just an accident, but to understand you need to learn the voodoo strategy.

Bush senior fought against it, so the Republicans didn’t support him and he lost to Clinton, who put an end to it supply-side economics. G. W. Bush brought it back full strength, with V.P. Cheney saying “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.” Currently supply siders are in full control of the Republican party.

The green line shows what would have happened to the national debt if Reagan and the Bushes had balanced their budgets as Reagan claimed he would. G.W. Bush, in all modesty, claimed he would “retire nearly $1 trillion in debt over the next four years. This will be the largest debt reduction ever achieved by any nation at any time.”
Conservatives are quite embarrassed by this performance, so they have invented a cover story: The Democratic Congress did it. Nice try. But for 12 of the 20 years the Congress was not Democratic. Also, presidents can veto, and when it was Democratic, Congress passed smaller budgets on average than the Republican Presidents asked for. Presidents propose the budget, and they have the most influence. Check it out.

Source

Posted by: Jan | October 13, 2012

Refreshing this Site

I haven’t posted on this site for a long time. Used it to save some personal prior posts that I had put on my Duck Pond Software site and blog but decided to use it for my consulting work and create this one for more personal thoughts.

I updated the banner picture at the top – hope you like it. It’s an early morning shot using my iPhone from our back deck. You can see the reflection in the water, homes across the bay, and beautiful sunrise. Awesome! Love living out here on the Delta.

Then in August 2009 we found out about the pending Delta Gates and later the renewed push by Gov. Schwartznegger to re-visit the Peripheral Canal (it was voted down in the 1980’s – thought it was dead) and that started a scurry of activity, the creation of the Save the California Delta Alliance and the nodeltagates.com website and blog.

That kept me plenty busy – but the women’s golf club needed a website, DBWGC and then Freeman & I started Software 2020 and a Software 2020 blog.

Then the girls got me onto Facebook where I love to post pictures and information for my friends. And Brian and Sandie started on their 6-7 year around-the-world cruise so I’m helping them set up their Around the World Brian & Sandie website.

Whew.

It’s now 2012 and a new political year. So I am returning to this website for my personal comments. None of those other sites seem appropriate for my thoughts, rantings, and other commentary so I remembered this site and thought it would be a fun place to put my own commentary and begin to build up some family pages. I’ll steel use Facebook for our family photos, etc. The photo in the prior post is when Serenity was a baby – she’s 3 1/2 now!

I’ve wanted to have somewhere to capture the family tree – but not like genealogy, instead from my parents and sideways to cousins and their kids. So that’s to come.

Posted by: Jan | August 30, 2009

No Gates!

August was consumed with worry about the 2 Gates “Fish Protection” project we’d just found out about.  It seemed impossible that we could be isolated (from the boating perspective) in Discovery Bay and unable to get reliably to other parts of the Delta.  I feared spending a weekend at Mildred Island and the return route being blocked by a broken Bacon Island Bridge (an occurrence several times a year) and instead of being able to take the only alternate route via Old River, having a gate there blocking our return home for hours and hours.  Plus the more I found out about how these gates would operate, the more worried I became about the safety of getting our boat through it.

There would be strong currents, large obstacles.And of course, the gates have little to do with protecting fish – except to try to get a court order lifted so the state can pump even more water out of the Delta to Southern California and continue to destroy the fish, wildlife, and water quality in the Delta.   See www.RestoreTheDelta.org or the local Discovery Bayhttp://nodeltagates.com/ for ongoing updates and information.

We did have time though for some fun in August – back packing to Island Lake in the Sierras and time with Serenity.

Camping

Hiking

Happy Baby

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