I decided that 140 characters just isn't enough sometimes when I want to express my opinions. In future posts, I will be expressing those opinions in a clear and - hopefully - constructive manner. I invite all of you that read these to comment on the pros and cons of my opinions. I only ask that all comments leave hatred and profanity and vitriol behind.
First, let me introduce myself. I am a 45 year old woman living in eastern Washington State. I am a Caucasian American citizen whose family can be traced back to 1600s in America. I worked for over 10 years as a secretary for engineers working at a government contractor for the Department of Energy until I was laid off. I was unable to find work and eventually had to apply for disability, which is where I am now.
I now live in my parent's basement with my two dogs. I'll be up front about this -- I am an unabashed dog person. I prefer medium-sized to large dogs. Small dogs are very irritating. And don't get me started on cats. My dogs are sisters.
We have finally decided that they are Australian Shepherd/Catahoula mixes. They (and their whole litter) was found out near a big truck stop in a box on the side of the road.
Another opinion I have about dogs. ADOPT! ADOPT! ADOPT! If you are planning on getting a dog - don't go to a pet store, don't go to a breeder - rescue a dog! If you are planning on showing a dog or something special, then I can understand getting a purebred. But if you want a pet - there is no reason for this. In fact - in some ways - it is irresponsible. There are so many rescue organizations and animal shelters where you can find great dogs. Most animals at animal shelters and other places are there not because they are bad, but because people are!
Whew! Glad to get that out.
More about me. I read an awful lot. I check out books from my local library. I listen to audiobooks while walking my dogs which I download from Overdrive or Audible. I even downloaded the Kindle app onto my Android smart phone. My favorite kind of books are mysteries, historical fiction, and true crime. Though, I probably will read anything (except maybe westerns). My favorite news magazine is The Economist.
I guess I became a real news and politics junkie about a year after 9/11. And, then, after the big economic meltdown I really started actually following the business news. I get my news mainly from non-mainstream media. I listen to NPR and BBC radio - I love the On Point program from WBUR out of Boston. Other media sources I turn to are France24, Deutsche Welle, BBC, PBS, and - recently - Al Jazeera. For local news, I turn to the NBC and CBS affiliates. I sometimes turn on CNN or MSNBC but very, very rarely.
I also love listening to podcasts from BBC and NPR. If you really want good analysis of political and economics, try the Planet Money and It's All Politics podcasts from NPR.
On to politics, I have decided that no party really represents my views. However, I have voted solely Democratic since 9/11. Why? At the time, I was very scared that President Bush and his neo-con friends were taking this country closer and closer to fascism. People today compare President Obama to Hitler. But at the time, I felt that Bush and his friends were very close. I was so, so grateful that Bush had the dignity and respect for our American ideals to step down. This, I think, is what separates us from other countries. No matter the vitriol and the hatred and the public anger - we always seem to handle power turnovers with dignity and respect.
So, back to politics, I think I am a liberal-tarian. (I would like to thank my friend Donna's son Aaron for this term.) Liberal-tarian means that you are a libertarian when it comes to social issues but a liberal when it comes to fiscal issues and other government issues. I think this is very close to my beliefs. For about 80% of politics, I am very much a centrist and very open to compromise, but I do have some red lines:
- Church and State. I am very hot and bothered when this topic comes up. We are NOT a Christian nation. Any one that reads Thomas Jefferson and others will see that separation of Church and State was a big red line for them too. Therefore, I am a dues paying member of Americans United and am very concerned whenever this comes up in the media. Basically it comes to this - the government needs to keep out of the churches and vice versa - the churches need to keep out of our government. Fair warning - this will probably come up again in future posts.
- Checks and Balances. Lately many people complain about "activist" judges. Well, duh! That is their judge. The judiciary is the third branch of the government. It is their job - and duty - to keep an eye and a check on the other two branches of government - which are the legislature and executive for those who don't remember their US Government classes. Unfortunately, however, the checks and balances have gotten kind of hazy. The signing statements that President Bush overused to negate legislative decisions. The House and Senate rubber stamping executive decisions rather than representing their constituents.
- The Rule of Law. There were so many hacks and slashes to the rule of law in the last decade. I was so hopeful when Obama was elected. Now - I thought - the rule of law will be restored. The Constitution will be respected. Ah, well, it was a nice dream. We have to respect the legal ideals of our Constitution. No illegal search and seizures. Legal representation guaranteed. You are able to face your accuser. These are not just ideals reserved for the white man. Nor are they reserved just for US citizens. These ideals should be respected for all US courts - military and domestic!
- Health care. I believe that Obamacare is flawed. However, I also strongly believe that every human has the right to access to affordable and competent health care - and that includes dental and mental.
- Abortion . I am pro-choice as a public policy - but, personally, I think that it is wrong. But it is a choice. Government has no right to tell a woman how to handle her body.
- Foreign Policy. I believe that our foreign policy should reflect our constitutional ideals. We should support countries that reflect our ideals and support the growth of those ideals in other countries.
- Fiscal Policy. We need regulation of our businesses. We have many examples in the past that left to their own devices, it leads to disaster. We need a complete restructuring of the tax code. People should get basic deductibles for the size of their family and then just pay a percentage of their income. The more you earn, the more you pay. When it comes to spending cuts - if we really need to cut our debt and deficit, which I'm not sure is as bad as people think it its - everyone should pay. Every department should take a cut - that means military and defense spending too!
I am single. I have never been married and have never had a child. (Not counting dogs.) I can even count my relationships on one hand. So, sometimes I have trouble relating to people that do. So, I rarely get out socially. I spend most of my time with the internet, books, music, and movies.
I love Godzilla and James Bond. I love movie musicals and monster and sci-fi movies from the 50's and 60's. I love Hammer Horror films. I loved Kolchak - the Night Stalker and The X-Files. I love great detectives from the great mystery authors: Hercule Poirot, Inspector Roderick Alleyn, Inspector Thomas Lynley, Commissario Guido Brunetti. I love true crime books and true crime television: Forensic Files, The First 48, 48 Hours Mystery. I also like shows like Criminal Minds, Law & Order (the UK version is terrific!), Detroit 1-8-7 -- detective shows are a lot of fun!
PET PEEVE ALERT! I can't stand the CSI shows. Let's face it. CSI employees/officers do NOT investigate. They do not interrogate the suspect. They do not carry guns. They do not arrest anyone. I respect all the science and investigation. But the shows should at least have had detectives and police doing the actual interrogation and prosecution of the suspect.
Well, that's enough about me. What about you? What kind of people read this post? I hope to have fun in future posts. I hope to do a little venting, a little cheerleading, and maybe a little weeping and laughing.