Sunday, June 30, 2013

The End of the GOP

gop-casketThe current GOP is literally a dinosaur on its way to extinction, unless by a miracle it manages to change course, but I don’t believe in ‘miracles.’ They yearn for the “good ole days” so much that they are attempting, and unfortunately succeeding on red states where they control the government, to take the country back to another era, stubbornly refusing to advance forward and embrace the 21st Century. Instead they are stampeding back in time.

Their open dislike of today’s women is obvious. They despise modern women that have proved to be qualified to hold any position previously held only by men and in many instances performing better than men. The GOP is not happy to see that women, in the majority, are capable to juggle work, fun, home and family and that men usually drown in despair when placed in the same scenario as a single-mother. Women have demonstrated to be able to do the job of a man at the corporate level and the job of a woman in their homes. They’ve shown the tenacity to succeed at the workplace, being as professional as her peers while tender and loving when she is at home with her family. This represent a threat to the GOP and the men that approve the attacks on women this Party is relentlessly inflicting.

James Wilson, one of the Founding Fathers of this country and one of the first six Supreme Court Justices appointed by George Washington, wrote in 1790 a piece called “Of the Natural Rights of Individuals” . In this piece he expressed his personal opinion regarding when life begins: “With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life, from its commencement to its close, is protected by the common law. In the contemplation of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb. By the law, life is protected not only from immediate destruction, but from every degree of actual violence, and, in some cases, from every degree of danger.” The GOP reveres this particular quote as if the opinion of one man, given over 200 years ago, is unquestionable. James Wilson was your typical 18th Century man and expressed himself as most men and even women did back in those days; but  Republicans of the 21st Century still believe and promote the same, obsolete views and that is unacceptable.

Abortion has been performed long before we obtained our independence. During the 1820s many statutes regarding abortion sprung throughout the young nation under the disguise of protecting women and their safety, but just as it is happening today, it was more about control and religious beliefs than the wellbeing of women. The laws they passed regarding abortions included the incarceration of women and  physicians who dared to break that law, regardless of the reasons they had to seek these abortions.

Society during the 18th Century and well after the 19th Century considered women incapable of making their own decisions. In a family where they were many children - very common back then - if the children were lucky enough to go to school it was usually the male who had that advantage, unless the parents were rich; females would go up to 6th grade if lucky after all, they would marry and have their husbands to support them financially, they didn’t need to go to school but the rich girls were taught to read, write and basic math. The poor didn’t go to school regardless of gender.

University was out of the question for the vast majority of women and very few were lucky to attend.  The “middle class” trained their daughters to work at the family business which may have been a tavern, a store or some other service establishment they may have owned. During the 1870s, only .7% of women went to college. For the American society of two centuries ago, women were sub citizens. They were not allowed to vote, many were not even allowed to write a check and all decisions – personal or family ones – were made by the men in her family. They didn’t have a voice, they were expected to provide comfort to the members of her family, to nurse them if ill, to do all the household chores without complaining, to take care of the children, be the pillar of their homes and to provide their husbands with a tranquil and peaceful home and of course, fulfill their duties as spouses even when they weren’t up to it.

The treatment women were subjected to is clearly evident in the Declaration of Sentiments, presented at the First Women’s Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls, New York from July 19 to 20, 1848 and written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The Declaration of Sentiments (to read it in full, click here) among many things stated: “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of the women under this government, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand the equal station to which they are entitled. The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.” That sentiment is as true today as it was in 1848.

Those are the times Republicans want the country to go back to. They are using the same rhetoric employed during the 18th Century and it failed then as it will now. The Grand Old Party is becoming older than ever and as it happens to all of us, the older you get the closer you are to be departed.  The Republican Party is closer to its grave than we can even imagine. That will be a funeral where I will not mourn the dead, instead I will celebrate it – I’ve been waiting a long time for that funeral procession!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Jesus or Herod, Who Do They Really Follow?

jesus herodToday precious hours were wasted on the House floor debating, and passing, bill H.R. 1797; a bill that surely will be killed at the Senate.

Republican Representatives expressed their believe in saving all lives, particularly that of a zygote. Michele Bachmann who rarely speaks a coherent word gave a lecture about when a fetus feels pain as if she or anyone in her Party knows what the heck they’re talking about.

H.R. 1797 requires for a physician to conduct tests against the woman’s will to a woman that is seeking an abortion. If a physician fails to conduct these tests and performs the abortion, he or she will be disbarred and will be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison. This bill goes against Roe v. Wade and it is unconstitutional, but that has never stopped Republicans – they are doing this all over the nation where they hold a majority of the State Congress and where the governor is a Republican.

Republicans claim that fetuses feel pain as early as 20 weeks after gestation. It matters very little that JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) has determined that there is no proof of this and what’s more, they believe that fetuses do not have the necessary physical components to feel pain until about the 30th gestational week (28th developmental week).  An article published by JAMA - Fetal Pain - states: "Although this legislation would not affect most US abortions because only 1.4% are performed at or after 21 weeks’ gestational age,this legislation raises important scientific, clinical, ethical, and policy issues."  Only 1.4% of abortions are performed on pregnancies over 21 weeks, and I am inclined to believe that these pregnancies were ended for greater reasons than not wanting to carry the pregnancy to term.  You can read the study by subscribing to JAMA and searching for Fetal Pain or by clicking the following link after you have subscribed.

What I find so amazing and hypocritical is that all these Republicans claim to be defenders of life, shouting that ALL life is sacred and the usual rhetoric used by the fanatical Christians that are part of the GOP. I respect their views but how do they justify their actions towards the living?

These Christians are against helping the needy, against the well-being of the poor fighting with nails and teeth for all Americans to have health insurance because it is their belief that if we have Universal insurance then insurance companies will hurt and disappear and for them, that’s a greater sin than a human being not being able to go to a doctor because lack of funds or insurance. The fact that a living, breathing child can’t go to a pediatrician because the parents can’t afford one is not their problem and they won’t lose any sleep over it – after all, that child is not a fetus.

These Christians for whom ALL life is precious, advocate for the death penalty even when it has been proven that many of the men sitting on death row are innocent and if executed, an innocent man would have been basically murdered by the system. That is a price these Christians are willing to pay, who cares if an innocent man is killed if they get to kill ten guilty ones?

According to Gallup, 75% of Conservatives, 80% of Republicans, 47% of Liberals, 45% of Democrats, 60% of Moderates and 65% of Independents support the death penalty. Please notice that Liberals and Democrats are the ones where the majority is against this barbaric practice. How can Republicans “love” life so much for the unborn and hate the one living? This is because they wholeheartedly believe in the scriptures. Matthew 5:38-39 says: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” As usual, they pick and choose what they accept from the Bible and they picked ‘an eye for an eye’ and ignored the part they don’t like: ‘turning the other cheek.

The bottom line for Republicans is the mighty buck, not the almighty. They oppose universal health care because it will financially hurt insurance companies. They oppose helping the needy because the government is spending too much on the indigent. They oppose immigrants because they are poor and they approve of the death penalty because the faster you kill them the less money we spend on them – they do not know that it is far more expensive to put someone to death than to keep them alive.

I will never understand how the Conservative/Republican mind works. They claim to be Christians and want the word “God” everywhere yet they do not practice what Jesus preached, actually if Jesus were alive today they would think of him as a Communist, Socialist, Liberal scum; they follow more closely Herod than they do Jesus.

Monday, June 17, 2013

I Love My Mother

imagejpeg_4It’s been a very tough couple of months for me. I lost my job in April and have sent out hundreds of resumes for which I have received zero replies and I’m finding myself struggling trying to make ends meet; just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse my mother fell ill and has been in the hospital ever since. My mother’s illness has helped me put things in perspective, losing my job is nothing compared to the prospect of losing my mother.

Doctors have been doing every test imaginable and can’t find the cause of her illness. Her arms, once spotless and pink are now full of bruises to the point that it’s painful to see, even for the nurses that are used to this kind of things. I know that the day will come when my mother will no longer be with us on this realm but I am not ready for that yet.

My sister lives abroad and came two weeks ago to be with my mother. She is my mother’s little girl and the apple of her eyes yet her presence didn’t improve my mother’s demeanor, which has been eroding on a daily basis.

I can’t believe that she was fine and happy on mother’s day and two days later she began on this slippery slope. She has lost a lot of weight, and justifiably so she is very depressed. Today, my sister is returning to her home and as she was saying goodbye my mother said a final goodbye… she is giving up, she has lost hope of ever returning home to me. We were crying, it wasn’t what we were expecting her to do.

I am not ready for her departure and I realized that today. Doctors still don’t know what’s wrong with her and they’re telling us her vital signs are all good yet she is weakening each day. Her once rosy cheeks are now pale and not even the mention of her furry baby, who she raised on her bosom since birth and who means the world to her, motivates her…

My mother had and has many flaws, like all of us; she drives me crazy most of the times but I want her to keep driving me crazy – it’s part of my world. I love her and I can’t accept that she will not overcome this hurdle, I refuse to believe it; I refuse to accept it, at least not yet.

She has been a father and a mother to my sister and me. I owe so much to her! Growing up she never tried to change me, or the way I perceived life. Quite the contrary, she has embraced it and she admires me for it. The best compliment I’ve ever received was from my mother when she told me that I was the only person she knows that truly loves life. I will never forget that day, it’s the most beautiful thing anyone has ever said to me and it fills my heart that it came from my mother’s lips.

I know that most of you will think I am too old to say this, but I need my mother, I love my mother.

I haven’t written in a while and now you know why. I don’t know when my next entry will be, I just hope that it is soon and that it will be because my mother is back home, happy and once again driving me nuts.