Why the Right Wing Can Suck It

I’ve generally tried to avoid outright political posts mostly because, well, truth be told, I have no patience to debate these issues.  Usually I just want to vent and please spare me the FoxNews talking points.

But like a pressure cooker, every now and then you gotta let out a bit of steam or else your kitchen will be a mess.

First of all, yes, I am grouping the entire right wing together.  Why?  Because I haven’t heard nearly enough moderates speak out against vile disgusting behavior by the right.  If you stand by silently while evil leaders in your party run amok, you are equally to blame. (Colin Powell, you get a pass. Carry on.)  

The right wing has run a campaign that, quite frankly, pinned its hope on assassination because it knew that it couldn’t win with legitimate votes.  It winked at audience members in GOP rallies who screamed “Kill Him” in reference to then candidate Barack Obama.  It introduced bills on the House floor that question the authenticity of now President Obama’s birth certificate.  It calls him a tyrant and a dictator when he won by a landslide.  It compares him to Hitler.   It all but signs permission slips for every crazy person to get out their arsenal of guns and kill till the world matches their sick version of utopia.

Then, when its rabid followers actually follow through on what they’ve been dared to do, what does this party of disgusting scum do?  They call the killer a liberal.  Uh uh.  You own this one.  Blood is on your hands and more will follow unless good people stand up and say, “No More.”

And these people pretend to be religious!  Well, their religion is certainly not christianity, but a religion of power, greed and hate.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why the right wing can suck it.

Spring Has Sprung!

As part of my quest to get out of the house, I wanted to make today a field trip day since J. didn’t have to work today.  Initially, we were thinking of going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  I have never been that into aquariums; as a kid I found it kind of boring.  But, I thought it might be fun to introduce Max and see if he has a reaction.  We scrapped the plan, however, when I realized that admission is $30.  So, that’s $60 for the adults and Max doesn’t even know where he is.  It’s also an hour and a half away from where we live.  I could imagine us trekking out there, buying a ticket and then Max blowing up and turning around and going home.

So, instead we decided to go to Ardenwood Historic Farm.  While it’s only 20 minutes away, we learned that this is an event best saved for a weekend.  The place was deserted, but we did get to see baby lambs just born in the last 2 weeks.  img_3168Next month come the baby goats and something called “bunnypalooza”.  

Part of it was sad because parts of the farm really need some attention.  There were herb gardens that looked more like herb cemeteries, with weeds overgrowing most signs of what used to be behind the markers.  But I guess for the $2 admission, we’re not in a position to complain — but still, it would be nicer to see a place like that thrive.

We had fairly low expectations but we had fun together.

In other news, I’m thrilled to report that Michelle Obama broke ground today on a veggie and herb garden on the White House grounds.  This is the first such garden since Eleanor Roosevelt planted a victory garden during WWII.  I feel particularly proud because I advocated for this a few months ago.  Sure, this was likely in the works irrespective of my little blog post seen by 10 people — but I still feel like I was part of a movement that made it possible.

Did I mention that I love our new president and first lady?

Making Activism Count

Here’s something that crawls under my skin: misdirected political activism. 

Case in point:  I was watching MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow the other day and she ran a story about how the Bush Administration was pushing through a vile regulation that would allow any healthcare worker to deny medical treatment to anyone on the basis of the healthcare worker’s religious views.  So, for example, if the clerk at the pharmacy has an opposition to birth control, they can deny a customer their perscription.   Or, if a nurse believed that AIDS was God’s punishment of gays, she could deny treatment to a patient — with no requirement that someone else render the requested treatment.  Like I said, vile, disgusting stuff, like most of what I’ve seen come out of the Bush Administration. 

But here’s my issue:  Rachel Maddow and her guest said something along the lines of “this regulation is not set to take effect till tomorrow, so, go to my website to find the phone number for the White House and call them to tell them you oppose this!”

Are they freakin’ kidding me?  Obviously the administration is pushing through legislation they know to be controversial and they could give a flying fuck if 30,000 people called the White House last night.   Besides, I’ve been through the Washington D.C. circuit.  Who’s on the other end of those phone calls to the White House, your Senator and your Congressman?  It’s an 18 year old intern who, at best, tells you “they’ll pass on your concerns to X” and then punches your info into a database so that you can receive mass mailings/fundraising requests from the elected official.

Encouraging people to waste their political capital by lodging calls, letters, or emails with people who are not persuadable is a total waste of resources.   These mail-call campaigns will never change a congressman (much less President’s) agenda. The only way to handle these high level people is to vote them out of office and replace them with people who agree with you. 

I believe that the only place to possibly have a shot at persuading an elected official is at the very local level — or on a piece of legislation that has not received attention one way or the other.  Otherwise, you are just screaming into the wind. 

Today I put my activism where my mouth is.  My city council is divided on whether a landfill which is soon to be filled up should be turned into a park, or if the composting facility on the presmises should be maintained in some way.  In a city with lots of parks (and lots of affluent back yards) but only one composting facility, to me it seemed like a no brainer.  So, I wrote the 3 councilmembers who are hold outs and urged them to reconsider their position.  I don’t know that my email will change their view — but I do know that I can knock on approximately 100 doors on a typical Saturday and those votes could be all it takes to kick those tools out of office — and they know it!