Something Worthwhile

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The above link goes to a quick film where some very supportive guys project a message to the Occupy Movement members as they’re marching. It’s an amazing video with a great message.

I have a question about this though:

Where did this go? Where did the movement go?

I know it’s still there. It has to be. What I want to know is why isn’t it bigger? Why isn’t it still on the news? Do people think it’s just not important. Did the “1%” win in the idea of defacing this movement so much that people aren’t paying attention? What happened?

I know here in town there was a movement, but it has degraded to only working every once in a while. There is no occupy, not really. There is a sad, tiny camp in an equally sad and tiny park located in an area where it’s making a sad and tiny difference. I have been there, spoken to the inhabitants and what I learned angered me.

I don’t live in a small town. I live in one of, if not the largest city in Wisconsin. It’s no Chicago, I know that. However, this place is big enough with enough people in it that this whole movement should have been bigger here. It’s larger in smaller towns than it is here across the nation.

I also don’t understand why people simply shut down the idea of protests. I read a few comments in response to this video that specifically told folks to stop protesting. Seriously? Should we not protest to having our freedoms taken away, our education system ruined, our healthcare ruined, and the corruption in the government existing as it does? Should we just bend over and take it up the *** every time the richest 1% say to? Should we respond with “How high?” when they say “Jump!”? I don’t think so!

I know I write a lot about politics and I’m sure at some point it must annoy those who read it. Maybe at some point they think “Why can’t this lady get a life and a new subject?” Well, I’ll tell you why. I won’t get a new subject until things change enough that I don’t have to write about this anymore in order to release any semblance of the pent up frustration I have over this country’s direction. And to those who will comment along the lines of  “if you hate your country so much, leave”: I don’t hate this country. In fact, I love it. That’s why I’m so frustrated and so angry. I know we can be better, should be better.

You know it’s bad when one of the better moderates in the Senate decides she’s not going to run again. It wasn’t because she couldn’t win; she could have. It was because she didn’t feel like she could make a difference in a gridlocked congress like what we have. As sad as it is, I don’t blame her in a way. I do wish she could stay to be one of the voices of relative reason within the Senate as that’s so obviously needed. Look up Olympia Snowe of Maine. You’ll see what I mean.

With all the changes taking place, shouldn’t we the people make sure our voices are heard? Obviously there are some in office that don’t want to listen. I realize that. The whole fiasco about contraception and the hearing on it with only men and no women comes to mind as being one of the most blatant examples of this. If writing in, signing petitions, and calling don’t help, then what will? I have been doing these things for years. The best return I’ve gotten have all been form letters that don’t even address whatever issue I was writing about to begin with or a response from the people with the petition asking for money. No, these things haven’t really been helping- at least no where near what I would like to have happen.

So what’s the next step? Where do we go from here?

If you know, I mean 100% know, then you’re doing better than all of us.

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I know you just didn’t!….

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I’m including here a link to the article that scared me into writing today…

http://news.yahoo.com/santorum-says-doesnt-believe-separation-church-state-164307440.html

There it is. Read it please before reading this, and make sure you read some of the comments too.

I’m not really sure where to start on this honestly…

Here’s the issue:

This guy in the public eye called Rick Santorum apparently doesn’t like the concept of not pushing one’s own religion down the throats of millions of people. Being the leader doesn’t mean telling others what to believe, Santorum. It means letting them be themselves and making sure they all have the resources they need in order to make this country a better place. It means making difficult choices in difficult times and ensuring that freedoms are preserved for all. It means understanding that your religious beliefs don’t have a place in politics, regardless of what specific verbiage is used in the Constitution.

After all, you can’t say you disapprove of a president from years gone by simply because as a Catholic he wasn’t willing to force his views onto all the Baptists and other religiously affiliated folks in the country. That, Santorum, is against our Constitution as it would keep us from practicing freely our forms of faith.

This man scares me and I hope to whatever higher power that might exist that he and his ilk don’t get elected into any major place of power. The number of people like him in higher positions already is a frightening thing to think about. I wonder what kinds of impositions and crusades someone like Santorum will put out there against the American people.

Some of the comments I read included statements like “Well he’s going to try to put us back to about 50+ years ago” with the response to this being “What’s so bad about that?” Really citizens? Really? Do you really want to go back to a time where women were forced to be whatever their husbands wanted regardless of their own wishes? Do you want to go back to a time where people of different races, creed and colors weren’t treated even close to equal to those of Caucasian decent? Do you really want to go back to a time where the violence that is experienced on a daily basis is just behind closed doors and people don’t respond or try to help? Personally, I would rather die than live life like that.

The thing most people just don’t seem to understand is that we can’t move backwards. You can view history of any era with a sense of nostalgia but that doesn’t always match the reality of it. The reality is that things were not all peachy keen back then. The difference is that now we see the ugliness of our society and can do something about it. Thus we move forward. You want the “good old times” back? Make it that way by fixing the problem instead of sweeping it under the rug.

Just a thought…

Oh No!

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I’ve been tagged!

Rules

1. You must post the rules.

2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.

3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.

4. Let them know you’ve tagged them!

and MY questions are:

  1. What would you do if I sang out of tune?  Laugh and probably sing along
  2. Coffee or Tea? depends on the day and time of day and flavor of each
  3. Soccer or Rugby? Soccer, definitely. 
  4. Liberal, Conservative or Nunya Beeswax?  If you haven’t been able to tell by now, you’re not reading lol. Definitely a bit on the Liberal side
  5. Love or hate Stanley Kubrick? Who?
  6. What is your favorite era, where and why?  Depends on how you define an era. I am particularly fond of ancient history of the Celtic Isles, Japanese Islands and the 1800’s in Europe. For the ancient history… well… For the Celtic Isles part it’s because of the Druidic thing I think and the idea of living with one’s clan. For the Japanese islands it would be to have the chance of living with nature in the mountains with the sea being close by still. As for the 1800’s Europe, I would have loved to see how they went about their scientific discoveries and also would have loved to take part in the World Fairs of the time.
  7. If stranded on a desert island who would you most like to be with? My husband, duh.
  8. If you have children do you sometimes hate them a little? (Yes , I loves my chilluns but…)? I don’t have kidlets 
  9. What is your favorite novel and why? Wait, I have to pick one? I… I can’t really… 
  10. Sonny or Cher? Cher… 
  11. What is your preferred method of de-stressing? that depends on the day, though it normally involves music of some kind. Can also include meditation, martial arts, walking, or playing games on the computer.

So I hope you learned something… I don’t know who to pass this on to as I don’t really have a lot of people I know on here yet… I am still including a list of questions so that anyone who stumbles upon this can still read it and respond however the feel like… Enjoy folks!

Wait, what year is this?

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Here we go again. Read something that really ticked me off…

and scared me.

     So I read today an article that was talking about Wisconsin having repealed their Equal Pay Act. This was originally passed in 2009 to help women who had the same qualification, same job, etc. to be able to get the equal pay they deserve as any male in the same position. It was designed as an enforcement law to make it more cost effective for companies to make sure the pay was equal rather than go through the courts in law suits.

They took it away.

     By they, I mean the GOP members that are running this bloody state right now. And by running, I mean running it into the ground. See, Wisconsin started before this measure had been passed as #36 in a list of states where the pay was equal between men and women (we’re talking the median pay anyway so keep that in mind). Since 2009 we had jumped to the #24th spot. That’s a great jump in the right direction- 12 places in less than 3 full years. That’s amazing. So now they’re removing this and setting up so it’s just like it used to be before 2009. It’s now going to be more cost effective to let the woman sue the company for her equal pay rather than to actually give it to her to begin with. A few things to think about: How many women actually sue for such things? How much money would be lost per number of women who get the fair pay versus how much is lost on the law suits. With the bill, it was better to just give the pay to the women fair and straight rather than fight it out in court. Without it, well, that’s not exactly the case.

When I read this, I cannot even begin to explain how far my jaw dropped, how much I was completely incensed at the whole thing. I cannot count how many times I repeated the same phrase that is unbecoming of a lady to say while staring in shock and dismay at my computer screen. What the-? I couldn’t have read this right, there’s no way. So I re-read it. No, I read it right, sadly enough.

Why? Why would they do this? The only thing that could even remotely be a reasoning behind it is that there weren’t any lawsuits filed in this time since that bill had been passed in 2009. Why? Because it was a preventative measure! It was a deterrent to make sure these companies would follow the law. Without that, what’s going to happen? Will single moms have to deal with making even less now than they were before, and thus have less to work with when it comes to schooling, clothing and feeding their children? Will some women even get their pays cut in these hard economic times because of this issue? I can only imagine.

Currently I’m not a part of the workforce here in Wisconsin. That’s only because I have to focus all my attention on getting my degree right now, and even then I would be willing should we have need of it. We are lucky here to not need it yet. I know that. But if we did, would I find myself having to settle for less because some chauvinistic pig decided that equal pay for women wasn’t that important and that we were some how second-class citizens when compared to the men of this country/state?

I also have to wonder if this will have any implications in other states once they see what Wisconsin was able to do here? The union thing made ripples; what kind of ripples will this make?

In these times, taking away the pay from the working class citizen, men and women alike, is the wrong choice. If you want to have a consumer-driven economy like ours to prosper, or at least be stable, then you need to make sure there are consumers with discretionary funds available to consume things other than necessities. It’s just how this economy is slated to function. As any economist who knows their business and they will tell you the same thing. If you cut out the middle class and leave just a rich and a poor class instead you will have economic and social meltdown. Think of it- these people are mostly used to being able to do for themselves. What happens when they can’t? What will happen when they have nothing left to lose? Want an example? I can give you a few… Look up the Icelandic revolution that occurred relatively recently. Look at Greece. Both of those economies, Iceland especially, resembled ours. They ended poorly for all. It is not in the big businesses’ best interest to cut out the middle class. That’s cutting their own lifelines. They are too big to fail, many of them, but only in the sense that if they do things will go belly up in very short order. It’s not that they are not capable of failing at all. They need to realize this. We’re all in this together folks, really we are. If you can’t see that in order to figure out what the right thing is to do, then we need these kinds of laws in place in order to force you to do them. Either way, the right thing needs to be done in order to allow us the chance as a society to get out of this hole we’ve dug for ourselves and finally thrive in the way that we should have been able to do to begin with.

That’s the economic point of view. For the social: Hi, this is the year 2012. We women have fought for our rights. We earned them in blood and tears. Read our history, weep for the ones who suffered. Now look around you and see what’s trying to be done by some of the politicians out there. Taking away our health care choices by taking them out of our hands, forcing us to try to succumb to someone else’s religious philosophies about our bodies, and now taking away some of the things that helped to keep our rights to equal pay in the workforce. These things are the signs of our times going backwards. Do we really want to repeat the 1940’s or 1950’s? I certainly don’t.

As women, we’re not asking to be treated as though we’re above anyone else. We’re not asking to be the princesses of our country. We just want to make sure that our equalities, our rights that we do have are not taken away, and those we don’t quite have yet are given to us. Just treat us the same. Make sure we are equal in all eyes.

And remember ladies- if this cycle continues, what equality or right will they try to take away next?

Beautiful Places

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Ok, so today I thought I’d try something a little different. Instead of focusing on what has been getting my blood boiling I’m going to try some artistic stuff instead. So, here we go…

Since I live in a place where most of the year it’s bloody cold and usually fairly snowy, imagine my surprise this winter when it has so far turned out relatively warm with very little snow. In the process I’ve been out and about more often than usual, taking pictures of things I’ve seen. Here are my favorite few:

 

    

The fog was thick on the ground that day and was in constant motion. I thought the angle here was great to see it moving over the wall.

 

One winter evening, rather warm for the season, these are the colors that splash across water and sky.

 

 

So here are a couple of pictures. I’m still getting used to putting pictures and other media here. I am actually wondering if I can put my animation directly into a post here, too. If I figure it out I will let you folks know so you can see what I do. In the meantime, think of a cold evening by the lake. Truly a beautiful sight.

 

 

Political discussions

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Warning: I may have a few of these… or more… And you may not like them.

Warning #2: I may not care if you don’t like them. Of course, I mean that in the most kind, loving, and uplifting way possible.

Today I was talking to one of my classmates and we were discussing politics. She didn’t really identify herself as any particular party and expressed her disdain for the concept of party based politics. I didn’t disagree with any of the above, or really most of what we discussed. It did however cause me to think about what’s going on and how we, as a country, might be able to change it.

Take the idea of party politics. What would happen if we took the parties out of it? What if you had to have representatives that spoke for themselves instead of following basic party guidelines? Would that make it better, or would it make it easier for someone to lie to the public about what they’re going after and what they’re intentions are? I’m not sure which is the correct answer to be honest. I do know that the current standpoint of how politics works isn’t really working at all.

How to get the money out of politics? That’s the next issue we talked about. There seems to be an over-abundance of people who go into politics for the money, not really to change the country in beneficial ways. This worries me. The idea of public service, which any elected office is supposed to be, is based around the concept of serving the public. You would think such a thing would be self explanatory. However, it seems that the public service part of politics has left the building completely, perhaps never to return. I don’t have an answer to how to fix this, but I do have a few ideas. My favorite of these is to pay them the same as the average teacher, or a fixed rate that is under a certain amount. They can’t vote to raise their own pay. Only the public can vote to raise a politician’s pay and it’s based on how effective they are at their job. Perhaps if there wasn’t so much money to be gained from it these people who go for this kind of work would actually go because they want to help people, not because they’re greedy. One could hope.

Another thing: What is with these candidates that want to control women’s bodies and our choices about them? Are we trying to go back to the 1940’s or something here? Didn’t we work as a whole to get rid of the idea that a woman can’t decide for herself what is right for her own body and her life? I can’t begin to describe the seething anger I get every time I hear some dim-witted politician try to take away things like contraceptives or abortion. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that some people’s beliefs say that they can’t use these things. That’s fine. Believe what you will and act upon that accordingly, but only do so for your own life. You, and I, don’t have any control over anyone else. If someone wants to get an abortion, at least make it legal so that it’s safe for her to do so. If someone needs/wants to have contraceptives, that’s fine. In fact, the more you promote the contraceptives, the less you will have to fight the idea of an abortion because the less likely it is that it will be “needed”. Also, what’s this thing of trying to teach children again only abstinence instead of the whole story? Are you kidding me? That’s not going to stop them, they’re teens. They have urges and they WILL take care of them, whether you like it or not. It would be better to tell them that abstinence is best, but also to educate them on all the options available. That way you’re less likely to get any surprises from them. It’s logic people. You can’t turn back time to the “wholesome” ages of the past. All you can do is move forward and try to make it better, make it stronger, more intelligent, and by all means make it more compassionate. I mean, seriously, the lack of compassion I’m seeing by corporations, and people in general is really getting to me sometimes. I keep reading things where some poor sap has to try to refinance his mortgage and the bank gives this poor sap the run around until they can finally “legally” foreclose on his home and kick him and his family out. Never mind the fact that they paid faithfully and on time for like 10 years or so. Never mind the fact that he tried to go through your own red tape to get the process that he QUALIFIED for in order to lower the payments into something he could afford at the time. Never mind the fact that maybe now he has a job that pays enough that he could even pay the full payments that was due anyway and catch up. No, you greedy ass banks have to take his him, his life, his security and investment from him. There’s no heart, no feeling, nothing but trying to do “business”. If this is business, count me out.

Ok, so that was a bit of a run-on paragraph, but yeah. There are rants. They occur. And trust me when I say there are more. It just so happens that I have to go to class and can’t write more at the moment. So… Until next time folks that read my stuff, have a great day and please remember to be kind to someone today. I guarantee you that there is someone out there that needs it that’s not so far from you as you might think they are.

 

Namaste

~Awakened Aquarius~

Strange things

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I just read this article at this link:

http://motherjones.com/mojo/2012/02/fox-pundit-women-military-should-expect-get-raped-video

I about spit out my water onto my computer afterwards. It was very, shall we say, disturbing? I regret that I can see how there could be people who are not angry about this.

First off, rape is not a joking matter. It doesn’t matter if it’s happened to you or not- it’s not something you joke about.

Second, no man or woman DESERVES to be raped in any way. I don’t care what you’re wearing, where you work or anything. No means no.

And third, this person should be fired. No questions asked, no apology from the person as an option to keep their job, just fire them- end of story.

People who think that people who work in certain fields just should expect to be raped must have no brain cells left with which to realize what rape really is.

I am beside myself with disbelief and disdain towards the opinion that any person, man or woman, gay or straight, could possibly have to accept rape as part of their job description.

In fact, I’m so beside myself that I honestly can’t write anymore about it, no words really come to mind.

Thanks for reading, and hopefully thinking.