Thursday, May 18, 2017

Liberal Rant Concerning Religion, Youth Discipline and Conservative Lies

Religion was put into schools when Congress added the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance in the 1950's. And which God would you prefer? The god of the Baptists, Protestants, Catholics, Old Testament, New Testament, Mormons, Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, Sunni Arabs, Shiite Arabs, Buddhists, Taoists, or Wiccans? Or the Church of England, as our founding fathers were supposed to belong to? Do you want kids taught that evolution is just a theory (like gravity and dinosaurs)? Shall we be Climate Change deniers? Do you want respect for others and ethics and morality taught, or do you just want to tell kids to behave because God will punish you if you disobey?

Do you really think the founding fathers wanted this to be a Christian nation? Or that we must have religion in order to have values? Do you want to continue to deny people's rights with Old Testament value judgments? Was the prohibition of the establishment of religion clause in the Bill of Rights of our Constitution put in clandestinely by Revolutionary War atheists?

Discipline problems with today's youth? Don't blame a lack of religion or religious values. The 60's were a rejection of authoritarianism, sexism, racism, greed, ignorance, and hypocrisy, and the effects were long-lasting. Parents since then have had multiple theories of child-rearing thrown at them, and too many abdicate their responsibilities or just don't understand them. Add to that the stresses of decreasing wages and benefits over the last 30+ years. And the problems were not absent before the 60's. What was absent was openness, honesty, and public discourse. Mental illness was a stigma, and so were sexual, physical and mental abuse. Pregnancies were hidden, and too many died from back-alley abortions.

Yes, things need to change. But do you think we should be heading back to a time of poorhouses, no worker's rights, no affordable health care, no minimum standards for health care insurance coverage, no environmental or consumer protections, no protections from Wall Street shenanigans or bank speculations with depositor's money, no protections for people's retirement accounts, no anti-trust regulations or food and drug protections? Are you advocating no heating assistance for the poor, no Head Start for preschoolers, no community block grants, no infrastructure spending bills, Medicare changed to private health plans with ever increasing costs and fewer benefits, the elimination of women's healthcare, the defunding of Medicaid, no ethics oversight for government officials, inadequate pay for our military troops, the militarization of police forces along with inadequate training, no rights against discrimination, the right of states to eliminate provisions regarding pre-existing conditions, privatization of Social Security, a worship of individual responsibility and an abdication of social responsibility? Then congratulations. You fit right in with today's radical conservatives. 

You should have lived in the 1890's or the 1920's. Do you still think being a liberal is about hating our country or wanting pure socialism or communism? Then you have no clue what love of country really means, and you certainly don't understand that we are a representative democracy. We are not supposed to be a corporatocracy (government dominated by corporate business interests) or plutocracy or oligarchy, and the government is supposed to provide for and promote the general welfare (as in health and wellbeing) of its citizens, otherwise known as We The People.

So go ahead and continue to believe and regurgitate the lies of the radical conservatives of how they are the ones who want fiscal responsibility, and that they are the party of morality and justice and prosperity for all and the protectors of America's values, that they are the solution to rampant crime, decaying inner cities, radical terrorist infiltrators, godless science. Keep waving those guns and flags and be secure in your ignorance and hate. Keep them foreigners away and those tree-hugging animal-loving whale-protecting hippies in their place and put the God of your choice into your schools. Keep them brown and yellow and black and olive and red and pink and rainbow-colored people away from you and your womenfolk.

But leave me out of your world of fantasy and delusion.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Minnesota's National Popular Vote Bill Stalled?

E-mail sent to Minnesota State Representative Jeff Backer (R-12A):

The National Popular Vote bill seems to have stalled in the Minnesota legislature. Also, lists the "Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote" bill twice, HF44 and HF845. 

The Electoral College dates back to a time when there was no popular vote for President in more than half of the states. Four elections have resulted in the presidential candidate who lost the popular vote becoming President, including the elections of 2000 and 2016. The race for electoral votes means that the majority of campaigning occurs in only a small number of states. And in states that are not competitive, issues of concern to voters are ignored. Voters in non-competitive states that have a winner-take-all system are disinclined to vote since the votes of the minority party in that state literally do not count. That is disenfranchisement on a massive scale, and it also means that those people do not vote on all of the other down-ballot races and issues.

"There is a certain dark irony to the fact that a system designed to prevent the people from choosing an unqualified demagogue has resulted in the election of an unqualified demagogue not chosen by the people." It is long past time for the Electoral College to be relegated to the dustbin of history. Voters today are incensed that their choice was not respected and that the system relegates too many of them to the sidelines. It is time for Minnesota to move beyond the 1700's and into the 21st century.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Letter to the President

Lying about crowd sizes, voter fraud, insurance coverage, transparency, and about your accomplishments? Claiming that you are draining the swamp? Nominating people who lie about their foreign connections and entanglements? Admiring despots and dictators? Cheering your choice for SCOTUS while the Senate changes the rules to be able to confirm him to fill the stolen Supreme Court seat? Pushing lies about your predecessor? Subscribing to discredited conspiracy theories? Nepotism? Unleashing horrors upon people and their families who have lived here for decades and are productive members of society? Proposing massive cuts in spending on social programs because they interfere with the philosophy of greed and irresponsibility? Refusing to put your assets and companies into a blind trust and then refusing to reveal what they are so that we may not see your conflicts of interest? Accepting payments from foreign governments when they patronize the companies you refused to put into a blind trust? Tweeting rumors and opinions about companies even though that affects stock prices and appears to facilitate insider trading? This is wrong. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

Cutting Medicaid, gutting health insurance and giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy? Do wealthy people need tax relief? Is universal health care such as that enjoyed by most other western countries somehow communist or socialist and against your philosophy of individual responsibility without social responsibility? Your philosophy of individual responsibility doesn't extend to paying employees enough so that they can be individually responsible. Are you afraid that bankruptcies due to medical bills (including for those who are insured) will diminish? WRONG.

Cheering on and crowing about the potential loss of health insurance for over 20 million people and the potential catastrophic rise in health care costs for countless other people, especially those who are elderly, poor, or already sick? The AHCA should be titled 'The Unaffordable Unhealthy Uncaring Repeal and Erase Act.' WRONG.

Allowing states to ban Medicare for non-working people? Why? Because they have made "bad choices"? Such as illness, unemployment or underemployment, age, gender, race? Or somehow chose to be a victim of crime? Or because they have to stay at home to care for a parent or child? Or because they live in the wrong place and so are not afforded equal protection? Basically telling them to just say no to poverty as if it was that simple? WRONG.

Allowing discrimination? Are you being wronged when you are not allowed to discriminate, and can't see that preventing someone from harming others is not the same as harming others? Are you afraid of Christian morals or do you somehow think it doesn't apply to you? WRONG.

Gutting federal agencies? Are you unhappy with environmental protections, worker protections, fiscal responsibility, food safety, consumer protections, public education, sane energy policies, and equal justice? Or are those concepts against the philosophy of greed and unfettered capitalism? Against your moral code of absolute social irresponsibility? Because doing things in the public interest might mean the wealthy paying their fair share? Because it might impede increasing our military budget which is already larger than the combined military budgets of the next seven countries? WRONG.

Denying climate change? Do you think science is just a theory? Do you disagree with more than 97% of scientists studying climate change and the expressed opinions of 195 other countries? Is the truth inconvenient because it might take money away from the 400 richest families who have more than what 150,000,000 Americans have? WRONG.

You have made your administration into the most corrupt and uncaring one in the history of our country, and you have been in office less than four months. Add that to your list of accomplishments.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Is Rape a Pre-existing Condition Under the AHCA?

For those people who point out that the AHCA does not explicitly make rape and sexual assaults pre-existing conditions, you need to understand that the consequences of those crimes CAN be labeled as pre-existing conditions. And when pre-existing conditions are allowed to be determiners of whether or not you get health insurance, or whether at some point they can cancel your insurance because of "nondisclosure" (usually when they don't want to pay for something expensive), then the AHCA is worthless and immoral, and should be relabeled as the Unaffordable Unhealthy Uncaring Repeal and Erase Act. To essentially make rape and sexual assault grounds for denial of health insurance and possibly medical care is barbaric and inhumane. I say that to willingly exacerbate the effects of those crimes is to be an accessory after the fact. Bring that up at the next town hall!

Friday, May 5, 2017

More GOP Medicaid Shenanigans - A Liberal Rant

In response to an article concerning states disallowing Medicaid coverage for people who are not working.

Republicans assume that people who are unemployed or underemployed or ill or who have any number of other barriers have simply made bad choices. Only the "good" deserve health care insurance. They're all for individual responsibility (though they don't equate low wages with inability to be responsible for one's self), and have no tolerance for social responsibility. Theirs is the party of Greed and flawed morals and no compassion or empathy or sense of religious values. They think that they are being wronged when they are not allowed to discriminate, and can't see that preventing someone from harming others is not the same as harming others. Their God is unfettered capitalism. Capitalism free from regulations protecting workers, the environment, consumers, the old, the sick, the disabled, children, or even the responsibility to pay their fair share in taxes. They value working money more than worker's sweat, and they have no scruples about how they accomplish their goals. They are radical conservatives. They are disgusting, and can't smell their own hypocrisy.

States Are Quietly Pushing To Take Medicaid Away From The Unemployed

ObamaCare Dissatisfaction and the AHCA

Were you dissatisfied with the ACA and are now welcoming the GOP AHCA health care plan? I suppose you think your pre-ACA coverage was great because it was cheap. But that insurance was more like a coupon for anything other than routine doctor visits.

Insurance companies would practice denying coverage for expenses, claiming treatments were experimental, etc. They would also terminate policies of sick people they didn't want to cover because of "pre-existing" conditions which had occurred outside of the history window that they asked for on applications. People were even kicked off of insurance because they had acne treatments as teenagers!

Maybe you actually had insurance that was good, but most people did not. The most common reason for bankruptcies was unaffordable medical expenses, even with insurance. ACA had mandated benefits forcing insurance companies to actually pay for needed health care, and they had to cover you even if you had pre-existing conditions. For those who made enough to qualify, the exchanges along with subsidies finally got them the insurance they needed.

Expanded Medicaid was supposed to take care of people who made too little to qualify for the ACA insurance exchanges, but Republicans sued and got that to be optional for individual states. If you can't afford insurance, I would suspect you live in a red state that opted out of the Medicaid expansion. Go cry to those radical conservatives that have been working so hard to make sure you are not covered. Blame them, not the ACA. And look into Universal Coverage that most other western countries already enjoy, at a much cheaper price than we pay. Don't believe the GOP lies; they are not fiscal conservatives and they do not care anything for working people. Ask them also why wealthy people need "tax relief."

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Common Sense Alaskan Wildlife Regulation Gutted

In response to HJR 69/SJR 18 becoming law, and which nullifies the Department of the Interior rule relating to “Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska” (81 Fed. Reg. 52247 (August 5, 2016)):

I doubt if even one congressman actually read the text of the "rule" they voted to kill. Their bill nullifying the rule is two sentences long. The rule they killed is pages and pages of clarifications of existing regulations, tweaking of existing regulations for compliance with other laws, changes to the proposed regulations in response to thousands of comments and input from the public and from American Indian tribes and other agencies, both federal and state.

But hey, them congresspeople are against anything that sounds like it restricts their freedom to rape and pillage our environment. They must be from a different planet because they sure don't care about ours.

HJR 69/SJR 18 passed both the Senate (52 - 47) and House (225 - 193) by simple majority votes and was signed into law by President Trump on April 3, 2017, becoming Public Law No. 115-20. - 115th Congress House Joint Resolution 69
Federal Register 08/05/2016-18117...