About Me

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I'm a single Mormon Democrat, an NPR & BBC news junkie, a dog lover, opera buff, bookavore, migraineur, knows just enough about technology to be a danger to myself, fan of James Bond and Godzilla. 

Micah 6:8; D&C 11:20 

"do justly, walk humbly, judge righteously."

Friday, October 31, 2014

Ebola (or just a bunch of yipping dogs?)

When I walk my beautiful senior dog, many times we are confronted by small dogs - small yipping dogs that just don't shut up and drive you crazy.

Well, while on today's walk (and after listening to the Diane Rehm Show and On Point with Tom Ashbrook), I thought: "hmmm... they have a lot in common with conservatives". 

The only difference... you can put a dog down when it starts foaming at the mouth!

What got me on this philosophical bent? 

The so-called Ebola crisis? 

Let me explain. We have had some seriously stupid letters to the editor in my local paper. (It always surprises me that with amount of college graduates and philanthropy we have here, we have such seriously uncharitable, intolerant, and stupid people.)

One went as follows:

Having heard who Obama picked for the Ebola Czar further cements my opinion on his incompetence of his administration. He picked a man who is probably very descent, but has zero knowledge of the medical field. So what’s up with that? Does that mean I could qualify for that position? After all I was in management at the Hyatt in Waikiki for quite a number of years and I worked at Hanford. Heck, betcha I could do that job!

(Can you tell this one was written by a blood relative of Sarah Palin?)

I have some points I'd like make. 

POINT #1 - IT'S NOT OBAMA'S FAULT AND YOU KNOW IT.

Now, I'm no Obama apologist. He's done lots of things I disagree with. But this is just politics. If the conservatives actually could use critical thinking they should ask this question: "If George W Bush or Mitt Romney behaved exactly the same in response to Ebola, would you still be saying these things?"

POINT #2 - IT'S NOT EBOLA YOU'RE AFRAID OF

Now why are people so scared of this disease? After all, one person (in the US) has died from it. I can only think of a few reasons. 

One, it comes from Africa where all the black people come from. And we know how afraid conservatives are of non-whites. After all, they don't want them to vote.

Two, we have a black President. 

Three, more people might sign up for the Affordable Care Act.

POINT #3 - IT'S NOT A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS

Let's bring the discussion back to real health care crises:

In a recent study by the CDC for the years 1976-2007, as few as 3,349 (1986-87) and as many as 48,641 (2003-04) die from season flu.

In 2012, 40,600  people took their own lives making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans.

2 million injuries and 1,300 deaths are caused each year as a result of domestic violence

On average, 32 Americans are murdered with guns every day and 140 are treated for a gun assault in an emergency room.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

An Open Letter to Candidate Newhouse

This morning, on The Diane Rehm Show, Diane interviewed former Cabinet officer, Leon Panetta, on his new book: Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace


One of the comments really struck me. He said that we should be voting to send our representatives to Washington to GOVERN, not to tear the place down.

It reminded me of the situation here in Benton County and this year's election for the 4th Congressional District. 


After the primary, where a pathetic 37% of the people voted in Benton County, we are left with two candidates: former director of Washington State's Department of Agriculture Dan Newhouse and Tea Party extremist and former Washington Redskin Clint Didier

Mr. Panetta's comment about governing really struck me. I felt I should reach out to Mr. Newhouse, who, I think, is actually committed to governing. Even though not in the direction I would choose. This is a result of those thoughts:

Mr. Newhouse, 

Leon Panetta says we need representatives who are committed to governing and not tearing things down. I feel that out of our two choices you are the best one for that job.

I am what many of my neighbors would probably call a "godless liberal" (though I am a Christian). I am pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro separation of church and state. I feel that the government (both state and federal) are too focused on protecting the economy and corporations and leave people by the wayside. I am tired of seeing the Republicans do nothing but obstruct and continually wage a war on women. (Though, I never saw Mr. Hastings participate in this. However, I was disappointed that he never spoke against the extremists.)

I know that we probably will not agree on many issues. However, I do believe you are the best choice. You, I think, will have a commitment to govern. Here are some things I hope we can agree on:

  • No more obstruction. You do not need to agree with President Obama and the Democrats. However, please do not just oppose and obstruct because of personal animosities.
  • Fight against extremism and contention in government. (People like Rep Cruz are especially dangerous in this respect.)
  • Represent ALL your constituents. Not just the red part. I am in the minority, but I would like to think I can turn to my representative. 
I guess what I am saying is just GOVERN. People are angry at Congress not because they are overburdening their lives, they're angry because Congress is doing too little. I am not a die-hard Obama fan. In many ways, he is very disappointing. But Republicans of late make me more and more angry.

It seems they are only obstructing Obama because of personal reasons. We have real issues and they are not dealing with them. The Republicans in the Senate are blocking every nominee for no reason. So many Republicans want to tear apart the First Amendment and the Voting Rights Act, yet the Second Amendment is sacrosanct. Women and women's rights seem to be under act every time I turn on my computer.

I ask you to please look out for all of us. To understand and respect the Constitution, and not just say it's under attack. To respect the President and the Supreme Court. And, above all, to fight against extremism in government. It's about governing, in the end. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Don't Call Me A Christian

Yeah, I actually wrote that. I'll say it again, in uppercase letters for effect: DON'T CALL ME A CHRISTIAN. 

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not an atheist. I believe in a God and I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins (and everyone else's!). I believe in the message of Christ, but I also believe that most Christians (at least the vocal ones) aren't following that message. This is where I get off the train.

Many try to tell you that you have to believe a certain way or you won't get to Heaven. Well, isn't this just spiritual blackmail? Would God have to resort to extortion? And what makes those people right? Besides, those really aren't the people I'd want to spend eternity with. 

After all, it's our actions that are important. It's what we do while we're down here. Whether you believe in an afterlife or not, that's what it all comes down to. Either I've got one shot or, if reincarnation is real, I've got several. Still, it comes down to what you do. 

Do you spend your entire life trying to make life better for yourself, your family, for people that look like you, that think like you... or do you try to make it better for everyone? For all God's creations? 

The more I see the stands so-called Christians take, the words that come from their mouths, the actions they take, the more I say: I'M NO CHRISTIAN. And I'm sure that Christ cringes every time he sees what people do and say in His name. (Mohammed is probably pretty steamed too, come to that.)

I came to epiphany a couple of years ago. It's about why we're all so different down here. Gay and straight, black and white, Christian and Muslim, male and female, why would God do that if only the white, straight, married men were the chosen ones? BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT. Because it's a test. He wants to see if we can learn to love each other. After all, it's easy to love people just like you. I find it easy to like people that think like me. People that hate reality shows and rap music and are pro-choice, they're easy to like. It's people like the Glenn Becks and Michelle Bachmanns of the world, I need to work at. 

Food for thought.