Saturday, February 20, 2016

Mormon v. Casino Tycoon

Remember just 4 years ago when evangelicals couldn't possibly vote for a Mormon?
Funny how now they seem to have no trouble voting for a casino tycoon on his third marriage.
Really makes you question some people's principles. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Let's Take a Moment to Really Look at How Things Have Changed

The GOP is known as the old white man party. The elite, good old boys club that tries to rule the world with a selfish myopic eye.
So let's take a quick look at the current candidates for the GOP nomination-

Ben Carson- most obviously not a member of the old white man's party.
Marco Rubio - A Miami-born, Cuban American, the son of Cuban immigrants
Ted Cruz - his name is actually Rafael Edward Cruz, was born in Canada, to an asylum-seeking Cuban married to an American woman.
Donald Trump - okay, obviously he would be the poster for entitled, old white men. (But if you look at Cruz' background you'll discover he was pretty entitled as well.) But let's give him some credit for having married 3 different woman, Ivana born in Czechoslovakia , Marla, an American, and Melania from Slovenia. So while still an entitled old, white guy, he does have some international influence on this thinking
Jeb Bush- again, the ultimate in entitled white guys. But he is married to Columba, a Mexican woman.
And John Kasich- the only one of the candidates without an international, non-white familial connection.

When 2 of the candidates can spar on stage about speaking Spanish, this isn't your father's Republican party.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

I Don't Want to Fall in #Formation

For the past week the social media and marketing experts have been trashing the restaurant chain Red Lobster for not taking better advantage of Beyonce mentioning it in her new song, "Formation." 
She performed the song at the Super Bowl last week, just as she released it. 
But she didn't really perform the song at the Super Bowl, did she? 
She performed an annotated version of it. The real song could never have been played in full on television or radio. 
Here are just SOME of the lyrics. Edited for language. 

What happened at the New Wil’ins?
B*****, I'm back by popular demand

[Refrain: Beyoncé]
Y'all haters corny with that Illuminati mess
Paparazzi, catch my fly, and my cocky fresh
I'm so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress (stylin')
I'm so possessive so I rock his Roc necklaces
My daddy Alabama, Momma Louisiana
You mix that negro with that Creole make a Texas bama
I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros
I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils
Earned all this money but they never take the country out me
I got a hot sauce in my bag, swag

[Interlude: Messy Mya + Big Freedia]
Oh yeah, baby, oh yeah I, ohhhhh, oh, yes, I like that
I did not come to play with you hoes, haha
I came to slay, b****
I like cornbreads and collard greens, b****
Oh, yes, you besta believe it

[Refrain: Beyoncé]

[Chorus: Beyoncé]
I see it, I want it, I stunt, yellow-bone it
I dream it, I work hard, I grind 'til I own it
I twirl on them haters, albino alligators
El Camino with the seat low, sippin' Cuervo with no chaser
Sometimes I go off (I go off), I go hard (I go hard)
Get what's mine (take what's mine), I'm a star (I'm a star)
Cause I slay (slay), I slay (hey), I slay (okay), I slay (okay)
All day (okay), I slay (okay), I slay (okay), I slay (okay)
We gon' slay (slay), gon' slay (okay), we slay (okay), I slay (okay)
I slay (okay), okay (okay), I slay (okay), okay, okay, okay, okay
Okay, okay, ladies, now let's get in formation, cause I slay
Okay, ladies, now let's get in formation, cause I slay
Prove to me you got some coordination, cause I slay
Slay trick, or you get eliminated

[Verse: Beyoncé]
When he f*** me good I take his a** to Red Lobster, cause I slay
When he f*** me good I take his a** to Red Lobster, cause I slay
If he hit it right, I might take him on a flight on my chopper, cause I slay
Drop him off at the mall, let him buy some J's, let him shop up, cause I slay
I might get your song played on the radio station, cause I slay
I might get your song played on the radio station, cause I slay
You just might be a black Bill Gates in the making, cause I slay
I just might be a black Bill Gates in the making

I have a problem with songs like this, and I will very likely get some negative feedback for my honesty. You have to lower your IQ, and then forget anything and everything about grammar, rhyming, and meter, for this song to make sense. I get that Queen Beyonce is a big deal. The girl can dance. And she's put out a few fantastic songs. But then there is this song. Maybe she's put out profanity laden song before and I just don't know about it. That is entirely possible. 

But this song was performed (abbreviated) at the Super Bowl. The profane verses were left out. Because, in theory, we still have some sensibilities left as a nation that says lines like "When he f*** me good I take his a** to Red Lobster, cause I slay" aren't appropriate. 

Which brings me back to Red Lobster. 

In a day and age of internet stardom and social media notoriety, it is expected that when someone like Beyonce references you, that you jump up, and milk it for all its worth. 

But what if that company doesn't want to be associated with "When he f*** me good I take his a** to Red Lobster, cause I slay?" That seems to be the question nobody is asking. 

After a delay, the company did finally seize the opportunity with the following tweets- 

But then they dropped it and went back to their usual #lobsterworthy campaign. 

It's the question no one seems to be asking - what if Red Lobster just didn't want to be associated with "When he f*** me good I take his a** to Red Lobster?" 
Cause they just might not want to. 
If you had a family restaurant would you want to be known that way? 
It goes back to the common sensibilities of the nation as a whole. Should any restaurant want to be associated with "When he f*** me good I take his a** to..." 

Just because Beyonce said it, doesn't make it good. And I think a lot of people collectively forgot that this week. JUST BECAUSE A CELEBRITY SAID IT, DOESN'T MAKE IT RIGHT. Not even a celebrity so popular as to be dubbed Queen B. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Right to Choose (and the Consequences That Follow)

You can't have a federal election without bringing it up.
It's been 43 years since Roe v. Wade, and we're still talking about it. Abortion is legal, and has been for a very long time, and yet we are STILL talking about it.
And now I'm going to talk about it too.

The argument that a woman has the right to choose what does or does not happen to her body is a very compelling one. I don't believe there is anyone out there who believes that another individual should dictate what happens to a woman's body.

But it's not just a woman's body, is it? It's the woman and the life she is carrying inside of it.

But let's go back to the right to choose. I don't disagree with it. In fact, that very strong libertarian side of me that hates over-legislating things, wants to say it's none of my business, and let everyone choose.

Until I remember the innocent life on the inside.

But that right to choose. How can you argue with that? How can you argue that a woman must remain pregnant when she doesn't want the baby? It does seem unfair and almost cruel.

Until you remember the atrocity you are going to commit on the tiny body growing inside the woman.

But again, it's her right to choose, isn't it?

It is. She got to choose to sex. She chose to engage in an act that had consequences. She chose to engage in a life-creating act. And she has to live with those consequences.

Life is not fair. Life is often cruel. We make choices all the time, but we rarely get to determine the consequences that follow. Especially when the consequences involve other parties.

Like that little life growing inside of her.

I absolutely believe in a woman's right to choose. But she also has the right to live with the consequences of that decision. And that consequence is that she created a new life. 

(And don't ever tell an adoption advocate, who comes from a family with many adopted members, that it's not fair to make the woman have a baby she didn't want. There will always be someone out there who does what the baby. Always.)

(Isn't it amazing how much money people will spend on a surrogate mother when there are other women out there aborting an unwanted pregnancy?)

As for the tangential arguments around abortion, such as Planned Parenthood. I have no problem admitting that Planned Parenthood does offer several valuable services to low income communities. But in no way, shape, or form, can I ever agree with federal tax dollars being spent to fund abortions. How can anyone justify that the government should be providing that service?

Insurance and birth control - if there is one thing I have learned in my past year of Obamacare nightmares, it is that you can always shop around for a different insurance provider. If the one your employer offers doesn't cover birth control, go get a different plan. And pay for the plan yourself. Because why on earth should anyone else have to pay for you to get birth control? And if you are going to argue that it should be a law that all insurance providers should cover birth control, they should also cover fertility treatments. And while I hate creating lots of laws to legislate every tiny thing, there is one law I would support- pregnancy and maternity leave should absolutely NOT be covered by disability. Since when was a pregnancy a disability? Maternity leave should be covered by all employers and insurance. In fact, I think the US needs to take a page from Denmark, Norway, and a few other countries, and actually pay mothers to take maternity leave. Why can't Social Security also go to mothers out on maternity leave? (And if you believe that the federal government should cover abortions at Planned Parenthood, why can't the federal government pay for the birth, instead of the death, of the baby?)

And one last thing- restrictions on abortions. If you are going to make such a major, drastic choice as to terminate a pregnancy, you should be educated on all of your options, by a qualified individual first. And if the woman is a minor, then, yes, she should have to have parental consent. If she still has to have a permission slip signed by her parents to ride the school bus, she should also have to have their permission to have an abortion.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want to see teenage girls forced into pregnancies they don't want. So let's provide real sex education that isn't just about diseases and abstinence. (Although, let's face it, abstinence is a highly effective form of birth control.)

I am all for a woman's right to chose, and to live with the consequences. Which does mean that if her choice was taken from her, and she was forced into sex (rape, incest, abusers), then I have no problem with allowing that abortion. And if the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother, the mother has the right to chose between her own life and the life of the child. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

My Personal Manifesto

1. I no longer consider myself a Republican. I am definitely not a Democrat either. I am a bleeding heart conservative, if such a thing exists. I believe in and defend the Constitution of the United States. That includes Religious Freedom and the Second Amendment. I believe in gay rights. I believe in many programs that help the less fortunate. And I really hate big government and big business.
2. I believe citizens have the right to bear arms. I do. I have no problem with people owning firearms. However, I do not think ALL people are smart or sane enough to have one, and do, 100%, firmly, and without question, believe we need stricter gun controls. Gun permits and CCL's need to be determined by much more than a computer and a gun store owner. And they shouldn't be for life. They should have to be renewable, just like a driver's license.
3. I am all for stronger and more States' rights. Sure it means some states will get a little carried away with their legislation. (California, Massachusetts, and Illinois come to mind.) But as long as people have the right to pick up and move away, or vote out bad politicians, those problems will take care of themselves in time. (Everyone in Utah knows at least one Californian who has moved to UT to get away from the craziness of CA.)
4. I believe that as things currently stand, politics and representatives has put gay rights and religious liberty at odds with each other. I do not believe that it has to be that way. And I think that in time that will start to work itself out. I believe in gay rights. I believe in religious liberty. And I will work to help those two things work in harmony with each other.
5. Donald Trump is a complete arse.
6. I fully support the refugee movement. I live in one of the designated refugee towns. I am not in a situation where I can provide housing for someone. But I will absolutely give my time, skills, and money to assist refugees in whatever way I can.
7. Obamacare is a complete disaster. The state marketplaces are a complete disaster. Healthcare reform has been a complete disaster. And my opinions are based solely on my personal experiences using all of the above. I firmly believe we need more controls and safeguards. I believe the insurance system in this country is a complete crock. I do not think the government should run insurance. At.All.
8. There is a violence and narcissism problem in this country. And I believe the two things go hand in hand. The more narcissistic people become, the more they believe they have the right to violent, unchecked, harmful behavior. I don't know how this can be fixed or helped, but something needs to be done.