Heretic in the House

joanstilkestake

Remember, Val, that only 60 years ago, that same argument would have been used to shut YOU up? Because what you believe now is mainstream, but would have been heresy to the mainstream back then.

The above is a quoted from a comment I received recently on another post I wrote. I had to sit back and consider the context, the person and the content of my post. I will grant the commenter is very much on the other side of the political aisle from me on nearly all subjects. I had to wonder though, did they listen to the video or simply take for granted there was nothing fundamentally wrong only that I disagreed with it and thus it was fine except it represented ideals I disagreed with.

So then I thought about my political positions, my social positions and wondered am I really that radical are my positions which are more accepted today than 60 years ago, would they have been heresy 60 years ago as my commenter suggests. I wondered about this the entire day, thought I would take some of my more ‘radical’ positions, compare them to 60 years ago, and see.


tumblr_mj4iy9ckaL1rpj3m6o1_500Civil Rightsyes, I believe strongly every single citizen of the United States of America should enjoy the same exact rights. This includes access to jobs, education, voting, housing and all the other ‘rights’ and ‘privileges’ of being a citizen. I believe strongly there should be no impediments to these rights. I include in these rights the freedom to marry, which I believe is a civil right and requires only recognition by the state and federal government, the issue of Church is not relevant and is independent of Civil Rights.

I suppose there might be some legitimacy to the argument of my heresy. Certainly, I do not support the suppression of any person or group of people and sixty years ago, it was the norm to do so.  Hell, today it is the norm to continue to do so. Pile on the kindling and get the stake ready, there might be a bonfire in my future.

Women’s Rights – this is likely part of the Civil Rights issue, but yes, I am a supporter of Women and their rights. I am a feminist, I believe women should be able to work and be paid equally to men. I believe women should be able to choose Suffragette Float, New York 1913 Courtesy Wikipediawhether to marry, where and how to work and even more importantly that we should be equally represented. Today, we are not it is my hope someday we are since we are slightly more than 50% of the population.

Well there is another one where I am a heretic and would have been 60 years ago too. In fact, I have been a feminist since my early teen years.

Pro-Choice – I am and don’t equivocate about it. No woman should ever be forced, as I was to have an abortion. No woman should ever be forced to carry a pregnancy to term. I am not Pro-Abortion; I think most women approach this choice as a last resort and with heartbreak. Nevertheless, it is no other persons business. It is the pregnant woman and her medical provider, sometimes it is also her partner but most of the time it is her and her alone that images (3)must make this choice. You, me, the state and certainly the church going throng of ijits attempting to shove their ‘beliefs’ down her throat and up her uterus; they have no place in her decision. Beyond the issue of abortion is the very real issue of women and their ability to access preventive care, this is also necessary and constantly at risk. I am a proponent of birth control, a proponent of women and men receiving education and the means to prevent pregnancy and I am perfectly willing to have my tax dollars pay for it.

Alrighty then, another heretical soapbox I stand on. I stand firmly on this one too. Boy oh boy, that kindling is getting piled higher the bonfire is going to burn bright soon.

Freedom of and from Religion – big one here but my belief that I should be free from religion within my government is supported by the US Constitution. The very first amendment of the US Constitution, the very first sentence: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; could it be any clearer than this. We are not now nor have we ever been a theocracy. We are not now, nor have we ever been a Christian Nation. What we are now and have always been a nation with a population of primarily Christians of different denomination who are unable to agree even among themselves. The founding fathers of this nation understood the problems of nations ruled by the Church, whether it be the Catholic Church or the Church of England, they built into our Constitution protections to prevent this from happening here. This nation was intended to be a Democratic Republic, without Church interference; one that allowed representation of all people whether Christian or other. It was not until the 1950’s that God was inserted into our Pledge and onto our currency, previous to this God was not there we stayed true to our founding principles.

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In truth, my views are not so different from others of 60 years ago and even further back. They saw this coming; they saw the problems of allowing the Christian crazies get hold of the government. So no I don’t think I will get any additional kindling for my views on this one. Get your church out of the government. The churches already receive tax exemptions, I already pay for your views to be heard I should not also have live with your views through legislation in my bedroom and elsewhere in my life.

Guns and Violenceobviously I am not mainstream on this one and never will be. I believe strongly I and my children, my grandchildren and all the generations to come should be safe from violence in the streets. I believe guns do not make us safe but instead create a society where we are more prone to violence not less so. The Constitution does not promote individual ownership of arsenals; it promotes a well-regulated militia, which has only recently been interpreted to mean children-guns-nraindividual ownership. Historically, it was much different. That this nation turns its back on the death and mayhem created by guns and gun ownership simply saddens me.

Interestingly through the first part of the 20th century, most of the legislation passed regarding guns and gun control fell firmly in what I would consider my camp. In fact, all of it, at both the federal and state level placed restrictions on the types of guns that could be sold, who could sell and transport them and who could own them and for what purpose. It wasn’t until the rise of the Right-Wing Anti-Government lunatic fringe and the true shift of the NRA in the mid 1990’s things changed dramatically. Ruby Ridge and Waco are the two defining moments that brought the fringe to the front. Since the mid 90’s the swing to the Right on the issue of guns has been dramatic and with horrifying results.

Call me a heretic, call my views heresy I am good with that. When any of you lay in the street with three bullets in you and wonder if you will survive, talk to me about how good guns are. When any of you bury a child due to violence, please give me a call and let’s discuss the need for more guns on the street I will be happy to debate this with you. Pile up the kindling boys and girls I am ready for the fire. On this one though, I was aligned with those in positions of authority, hell me and the NRA agreed 60 years ago now that is damned frightening.

Linda1I just picked a few of the key issue; I could likely do this for many other key issues of the day. Tell you what though, ask me anything and let’s see if I am truly a heretic. I am guessing I am only a heretic if you compare me to the other side of the aisle, not necessarily to 60 years ago. I will do my best to answer in context of both today and the 60-year mark though.

Duty, Privilege or Right

OpEdThe other day I was speaking to a young woman I have been friends with and a professional mentor to for several years, during the course of that conversation she revealed she doesn’t vote. I was and remain stunned by her revelation; especially given her reasoning, which was, she did not trust our voting system or believe her vote counted. I believe I got a bit heated with her, Michelle Bachmann and her idiocy was invoked more than once during the remainder of our conversation as my friend is from Minnesota. I explained to her, the reason idiots like Michelle were elected because seemingly smart people like her stayed home with ignorant excuses like, “I don’t believe my vote counts”.

Heated might be the wrong word, I was passionate and inflamed. Men and women died for our right to vote. For any one of us to stay away from the polls, whether during a federal election or a local Milhousdrawingelection simply shows both our ignorance and our apathy. For any citizen to fail to get up off their ass during an election and spend the time it takes to exercise their duty as a citizen, yes I said it, their duty as a citizen and vote is why we have the dysfunctional government we have today. I say it constantly as do many others, when good people fail to vote bad people win elections; when Democrats / Liberals / Progressives fail to vote Republicans / Tea Party / Conservatives win elections.

The problem we have right now, in this nation today in Congress and in many States since 2010 is we believed what the media told us, we believed we had already lost the House, the Governor Mansions and we failed to carry our asses to the polls and vote. Because we were so damned apathetic, we lost the House, we damned near lost the Senate, we lost many states and we handed this President a Congress he could not work with, a Congress that would not work with him. We, the people of this nation, the so-called Progressives of this nation did this and we deserve what we got for sitting it out.

We, the Progressive / Liberal / Democrats of the United States of America voted twice to put Barack Obama into the office of President and then we hampered his presidency with this Congress. We are perfectly willing to whine about them, we are willing to sign petitions on the internet, we are willing to send Meme’s around Facebook and on our blogs, what we aren’t willing to do is exercise our right, our duty to vote when the time comes to do so.

We, all of us, every single last one of us must stop handing over our rights as citizens, turning away from brutality and ignorance and begin taking back our nation from those who would strip us of our rights simply because we are too apathetic to stand up and stand against them. We must never forget those who came before us and fought, even died to gain the right to vote, the right to have a voice for us. We must, especially those of us who were left out of the original Bill of Rights and Constitution, we must stand up, stand in line and do what it takes to VOTE every single time and in every single election. We must not spit on those who fought for our right to do so; we must not turn our backs on history forgetting what it required of those who laid down their lives, their bodies, their social standing to gain us all the right to VOTE.

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We must not allow our rights to be stripped away, our history to be rewritten simply because we are too lazy to do our own research into how our government and voting really works. What voter fraud really is and thus we willingly believe our vote doesn’t count, staying home along with millions of others making millions of votes not count, millions of voices go unheard. The goal of those who would fix the outcome is achieved when good people stay home and don’t vote. Every single election cycle sees us losing ground to big money and nefarious agenda’s when we believe the hype, when we believe the race already won, when we believe our vote doesn’t count.

Make your voice heard; some of the races won in 2010 and 2012 were won by narrow margins and those uncompromising, unethical and directionless members of Congress are now out to destroy this nation for their own ends and without the least concern for you or me. The same will be said this year, 2014 will either see us taking back the House and winning a majority in the Senate, taking more Mansions in the states or we will sit it out because we will believe the hype and sit it out. I refuse to sit it out, I will vote.

One thing to consider, I hear this all the time and it simply yanks my chain even harder than I thought possible is when someone says the following:

It doesn’t matter, it is only choosing between the lesser of two evils.

No, dammit, no it is not and even were this the case isn’t it better to choose than to allow others to choose the worst evil for you, allowing you the opportunity to mitigate the potential for real harm, real evil and the fight for another day. Gad, how much ignorance, hate, bigotry and nastiness are you willing to live with before you say enough? Truly, if you are not willing to fight, with your voice at the polls than you do not have any cause to bitch at the results. You cannot complain when you are discriminated against in the workplace, when you are paid less, or don’t get the job, or lose your healthcare or don’t get a mortgage, or a car loan, or for that matter don’t get an apartment or a mortgage; you simply don’t have the right to complain. I don’t want to hear it when your taxes take your paycheck because your ass didn’t get off the couch to vote. I don’t want to hear it when your child is turned away from a school. I don’t want to hear it, not any of it if your life is harder because your rights and privileges are lost, when you failed to do what you should have done and fought to keep them.

Get your ass off the couch. VOTE

 

 

http://www.splcenter.org/civil-rights-memorial/civil-rights-martyrs

2012 Election Results: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/election-map-2012/house/

2010 Election Results: http://elections.nytimes.com/2010/results/senate

Voting statistics: http://www.statisticbrain.com/voting-statistics/

Civil Free Fall, Platforms 2012

We come to what was intended to be the last of the 2012 Platform comparisons, Social Reformation or do what I say whether it is in your best interest or not. Both parties have a great deal to say about Society and social direction, both have their own ideas about the course our nation should be traveling and what is wrong with us. Obviously, the Candidates at every level have been speaking their minds for many months on many of the issues so we might think we know what is in store for us if one party or the other win the day in November, but do we really understand the platforms.

I am to the best of my ability going to try to keep this to the issues within the platforms and keep my opinions out of the way. I saved the social issues to the last knowing this would be the most difficult.

Let’s get to it shall we?

DNC GOP

Civil Rights

We believe in an America where everybody gets a fair shot and everybody plays by the same set of rules. At the core of the Democratic Party is the principle that no one should face discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability status. Democrats support our civil rights statutes and we have stepped up enforcement of laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace and other settings. We are committed to protecting all communities from violence. We are committed to ending racial, ethnic, and religious profiling and requiring federal, state, and local enforcement agencies to take steps to eliminate the practice, and we continue to support enforcement of Title VI. Nothing

Women’s Rights

We will urge ratification of the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women Nothing
We will continue to promote the full engagement of women in the political and economic spheres. We will work to address underlying socio-economic problems, including women’s access to health, education, and food security. And we will ensure that women are equal participants in reconciliation and development in areas affected by conflict. Under our Constitution, treaties become the law of the land. So it is all the more important that the Congress—the Senate through its ratifying power and the House through its appropriating power—shall reject agreements whose long-range impact on the American family is ominous or unclear. These include the U.N. Convention on Women’s Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the U.N.
President Obama overturned the “global gag rule,” a ban on federal funds to foreign family planning organizations that provided information about, counseling on, or offered abortions. And that is why the administration has supported lifesaving family planning health information and services. The United Nations Population Fund has a shameful record of collaboration with China’s program of compulsory abortion. We affirm the Republican Party’s long-held position known as the Mexico City Policy, first announced by President Reagan in 1984, which prohibits the granting of federal monies to non-governmental organization that provide or promote abortion.
The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way. We also recognize that health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. We strongly and unequivocally support a woman’s decision to have a child by providing affordable health care and ensuring the availability of and access to programs that help women during pregnancy and after the birth of a child, including caring adoption programs. Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the Sanctity of innocent human life.
We are committed to ending violence against women, why Vice President Joe Biden originally wrote and championed the Violence Against Women Act during his time in the Senate and why we support reauthorizing and strengthening it now. Nothing
The President and the Democratic Party believe that women have a right to control their reproductive choices. Democrats support access to affordable family planning services, and President Obama and Democrats will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers. The Affordable Care Act ensures that women have access to contraception in their health insurance plans, and the President has respected the principle of religious liberty. Democrats support evidence-based and age-appropriate sex education. Nothing

 

See my notes below

My Notes: I urge you to read in its entirety the GOP statement on women’s health services beginning on page 13, I have not posted it here. I also recommend reading those UN White Papers, Conventions and Reports the GOP takes issue with. The links are below. The GOP has stated their intention to overturn the Affordable Healthcare Act. Within this context they have also stated their firm intention to limit access women’s health services including abortion, birth control and other services where these collide with ‘moral’ convictions of the insurance provider, employer or medical services provider. This information is provided in detail on pages 32 – 34 of the GOP Platform.

Same Sex Marriage & DOMA

We support the right of all families to have equal respect, responsibilities and protections under the law. We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.We oppose discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples who seek the same respect and responsibilities as other married couples. We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act. A serious threat to our country’s constitutional order, perhaps even more dangerous than presidential malfeasance, is an activist judiciary, in which some judges usurp the powers reserved to other branches of government. A blatant example has been the court-ordered redefinition of marriage in several States. This is more than a matter of warring legal concepts and ideals. It is an assault on the foundations of our society, challenging the institution which, for thousands of years in virtually every civilization, has been entrusted with the rearing of children and the transmission of cultural values. My Note: I left out several paragraphs of fluff, read on page 10

We reaffirm our support for a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. We applaud the citizens of the majority of States which have enshrined in their constitutions the traditional concept of marriage, and we support the campaigns underway in several other States to do so.

I could simply do what others do; I could simply rail at the sound bites of the day. Rail at the stupidity of the news coverage from those who should be informing us but are not, more shame them. I could simply stop where I am, this is hard and not terribly popular this road of compare and contrast. I feel I am losing audience each time I post. Honestly, I thought I would be able to end the Platform 2012 review today, I thought this would be the end. I suppose it could be, but with less than 40 days to Election Day and would that make sense? Should I simply stop where I am? Perhaps.

Civil Rights, not privilege granted because someone granted a favor but RIGHTS. The GOP spends a great deal of time in their Platform 2012 criticizing Liberal Activist Judiciary. The GOP doesn’t seem to mind Judicial Activism though when it is their own, in fact they frequently praise judges, legislators and Governors for their activism, for their creative stripping of citizens’ rights. Yes, the GOP truly doesn’t seem to have a real problem when it is Activism that strips citizens of Rights guaranteed within the Constitution, Rights enumerated by the Bill of Rights or defined by our Declaration of Independence as inalienable so long as those citizens affected aren’t models of Right Christian Propriety.

Well, despite my intent to end it here it seems we have one more to go, maybe even two.

Education

Poverty and Programs

Voter Suppression or better said maybe the Right to Vote

Republican Party Platform: http://whitehouse12.com/republican-party-platform/

Democratic National Platform: http://www.democrats.org/democratic-national-platform#moving-america

United Nations Human Rights: http://www.un.org/en/rights/

Convention on Women: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/

United Nations Women: http://www.unwomen.org/

Convention of the Rights of the Child: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm

Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml

Enough Already

Another medical provider, one focused on women’s health has fallen victim to Operation Rescue and the inaptly named “Right-to-Life”. These are the same people who cheered at the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in 2009. It seems it will never end, women’s health and those who provide healthcare will continue to be under assault until we throw up our hands in surrender.

Dr. Ann Neuhaus will lose her license if Kansas has their way. The years she spent in school will be lost. The years she spent serving women in her community, lost.

If you read the article, the deck was stacked against her before she ever stepped before the board that would judge her; one seeded by an Anti-Abortion Governor with past members of Operation Rescue. The outcome was decided before Dr. Neuhaus presented a single piece of evidence or answered a single question.

Is this the America any of us want? Whether you support a woman’s right to choose, or not. Is this truly the America you want?

READ THE ARTICLE BELOW

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In a continuing effort to both curb access to abortion and reiterate their own opinion that there is never any situation where abortion could be necessary for a patient’s well-being, the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts has decided in favor of revoking Dr. Ann Neuhaus’s medical license. Neuhaus, a colleague of Dr. George Tiller, assisted him by providing second opinions for mental health exceptions for late abortions.

According to the Associated Press, Neuhaus was hoping to have her full medical license restored after spending years only allowed to provide limited medical care for charity work.  Instead, an ongoing investigation into 11 patient cases obtained by Operation Rescue became the center of a movement to have her license stripped all together.

Read More at Reality Check by Robin Marty

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