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A Rose by Any Other Name – Can Still Be Scary

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I saw in the news that a small floral business owner was interviewed for her decision not to supply the flowers for a same-sex marriage.  It was interesting listening to her, because she kept referring to her religion, and adding that she had been receiving hate mail and threats because of her beliefs.  Though my spiritual views are decidedly different from this woman’s, there is no excuse for bullying her.  This woman has a right to state her views without provoked hostility in return.  Her views are far from religious, however.  They are up close and personal with fear.

After you ponder the situation, one needs to point out to her that SHE was not invited to the wedding…she was not asked to bless it, condone it or support it.  Her flowers only were requested to be there.  Do her flowers share her religious views?

This was a specific wedding, so the participants were obvious.  Does the woman check backgrounds of everybody she sells to?  Does she know that the couple celebrating their anniversary with her flowers are atheists?  Or that she sent birthday flowers to a drug addict?  If she doesn’t do background checks on all her customers to see if they share her “religious views and beliefs”, this stance of hers has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with discrimination.

That woman fears, not prays.  She fears a homosexual person is a sexual predator, just waiting to pounce on innocent people who stroll into his/her space.  She is scared out of her mind.  Literally.

I understand fear.  I can appreciate how it clouds all rational thought and behavior.  Many religions are based on fear to keep the members inclined to follow the Church’s rules.  This woman is probably unaware of her real fears, and no doubt feels a familiar and false sense of “religion” in taking this discriminatory stance.  It must be confusing to her.  Sadly, what was needed in this instance was courage to do the right thing, not fear to do the wrong thing.

Business has fallen since the woman took her stand, and I am not surprised that she is experiencing monetary repercussions.  It’s called karma.  She is being judged for her religious views, and not for her floral arrangements.  Seems only fair.

Happily – for most of us – civil liberties will remain in harmony with religious, spiritual or atheistic beliefs, and flowers will be present to brighten our tables and our hearts.

 

Dear Mr. Mitch McConnell, a Few Questions:

As a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law (1967), I am perplexed as to why you fear a placement on the Supreme Court?   I am assuming you studied the law at the University, and understand that the Constitution and its intentions are meant to be respected, honored and followed, to the best of someone’s ability.

  • Are you fearful of the Constitution’s intent?
  • Do you lack courage to do the right thing, or are you naturally an anxious person?
  • Has this recent nominee made judgments against your top campaign donors (NRA etc.), and you are afraid of losing their funding?

As a law student, obstruction to justice, obstructing the law – such as promoting the blockade of a Supreme Court justice nomination – you learned that it is not only unethical, but illegal.  Yet you are choosing to be unethical and perhaps, illegal.

  • Why are you willing to break your oath to uphold the law?
  • Why does the oath you took to serve the citizens of your country no longer mean anything to you?

I am confused why you are personally against the President of the United States to the point where you continually show disrespect for the position.  You have done little else but try to thwart the good the President has accomplished while personally demeaning the man.

  • Are you prejudiced against darker skinned people?
  • Are you personally threatened by President Obama’s thoughtful, gracious approach?
  • Is there jealousy involved?

The NRA contributed heavily to your re-election campaign.  You insist they approve the nominee.

  • What was the selling price?  How much was the trust of the citizens of Kentucky worth?
  • Did the NRA treat the citizens of Kentucky to dinner and buy them flowers first?

You were voted into office to represent the citizens of Kentucky.  But your confrontational actions are affecting me in my state, too.  In fact, you are systematically destroying the backbone of the United States you (supposedly) represent…its middle class, its women and children.

  • Are most Kentucky citizens bigoted like you?
  • Do most Kentucky citizens want women demeaned, education destroyed, and the working class eroded?
  • If not, who – besides your own personal agenda – are you representing?

One last concern.

I continue to read your “stances”, and I wonder if you ever feel shame for your behavior, or guilt that you, as a grown-up, who is in such an influential position, has no awareness of the common good…or guilt for being so openly and proudly hostile, in how you treat others who may think or act differently than you.

  • Do you really…really…believe you are earning your lifetime pay and benefits, and leaving a legacy that children want to grow up and emulate?
  • Do you really…really…believe you get re-elected after abusing your position so?

You have a pattern.  Whenever you have a choice between money and ethics or the law, you choose the money.  When you do not get your way, you become uncooperative and belligerent.

  • How do you define “wisdom”?
  • Do you have any answers at all, that the intelligent, wise and mature in our society would describe as common sensed?

Inquiring minds want to know.

It’s Me and not You Blues to the Indiana General Assembly

And here I was, thinking that the cells in my body belonged only to me, just like the cells in men’s bodies belong only to them.  I’m so silly.  I guess I forgot because I am female, my cells can’t belong to me. I’m too dangerous or ill-equipped mentally to know what to do with my internal organs.  And I must confess, I rarely give my internal organs a thought.  My gawd, I cannot tell you when the last time was I thought to ponder my spleen, for example.

I must not make this mistake again.  I must remember, always, that any male who wants any of my cells is most definitely entitled to them, including the males with bad breath, bigotry and a preference for Taco Bell, in the General Assembly.  I must allow these same males who want to make laws against my owning my own cells, to do so.  After all, as noted, I am just a female and the males can do this because they don’t have these cells and they surely do want some for their own.

I can’t for the life of me, though, remember selling rights to my body cells.  Surely, they just didn’t feel entitled to them?!  I wonder if I was drunk and they took advantage of me?   Course, I blush…that would be my fault, too.  Because there they were, already going the extra mile to save me from myself by not allowing me to buy a bottle of that delightful red table wine at the grocers on Sundays.  Praise the Lord and protect my neighbors from my heathen French ways. I digress.

Perhaps the males in the General Assembly are just lonesome with lots of love to give.  They want we females to be surrogates for their children, for whom they will welcome each and every one into the world with great love, respect and financial security.  It could be that the males in the General Assembly are just saintly generous.  I never thought of that and the idea makes me feel so very warm and fuzzy.

Yes, it’s true that fellow female brain cells invented the computer, the laser printer and penicillin, to list a few…but no doubt that was just pure dumb luck.  Ergo, I cannot help but wonder with this feeble female mind of mine who keeps forgetting about her gall bladder cells, for instance…do other parts go with that sale?  Are those males in the General Assembly going to harvest say, some kidney cells while they are at this legislative business?  Will this open up a can of cell worms? Will a General Assembly male with a foot fetish want control over whether I bare my feet cells or not?  We know how obsessed the culture is with the chests of females…will these same males in the General Assembly rule that breast cells have to be shown whenever they want (except for nursing, which incidentally is why they are larger than theirs in the first place)?  Same for my behind…my neck…my ears.  Will legislative bill by legislative bill, erode ownership of ALL my body cells from me?

Assuming I did sell these particular cells – for surely I would keep my wits about me and not give something so coveted like ANY of my body cells away – I wonder how much I got for my cells? Dang it all, but in my most forgetful state, I can’t find any bank account number with millions in it.  I am sure it is a banking error that my current accounts show absolutely no increase.

A few General Assembly females protested loudly (good for them), but of course, they were females and I am certain their voices were squeaky or in whispers, for why else would their male counterparts not listen to them and respect their firsthand opinions?  Oops…I said the forbidden word:  opinions.  We aren’t supposed to have any, being feeble minded and all.  Another thing I forgot.  I see a pattern here, and I am embarrassed.  I just can’t seem to stop thinking!  So sorry.  So very sorry.

In spite of all the good will and taking care of my mental feebleness these males in the General Assembly are exhibiting towards me, I find I am a bit ungrateful.  Rebellious, even, if I dare proclaim anything above a whisper.  For I most certainly do not want any one of these males in my legislative bed any more.  It’s me…not them.  I just can’t handle their wisdom and their generous guidance any more.  I prefer to be wild…reckless…disrespectful…downright sassy…and take care of my cells myself.  Color me difficult.

Unless, of course…these males with bad hair and split cuticles in the General Assembly want to make a trade?  Reproductive cells for reproductive cells.  Show me yours, I’ll show you mine, sort of thing.  Control mine, I’ll control yours.  Give and take.

Hello?  Hello?

Mr. General Assembly Male…are you still there?

Hello?

 

 

Indiana Is Trying To Pass An Abortion Bill That’s So Extreme Even Republicans Don’t Like It

Seasonal Wishes 2015

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My seasonal wish for you all begins with a thank you.

Thank you to all my generous friends who continue to support me through positive, encouraging, often delightfully funny, words. My wish is that I am the same to you, so that you know the dignity and wonder of that which is you.

Thank you to my smart and wise friends who, although they may find my political views too opinionated and even wrong, allow me to feel/express them without insult, and continue to like other things about me. My Christmas wish for you is that you, too, find this gracious tolerance for yourselves and together, we begin to create the society of intellectual dialogue we so need.

Thank you to my compassionate friends who do not give a whit what my “religious” views are, but appreciate and embrace my spiritual intent to be kind and compassionate. My wish for you is that your security in yourself and your higher power, send ripples of sanity to a world that has lost its frickin’ mind. We need more like you.

Thank you to all my kindhearted friends who do not demand I be perfect, or stereotype me, or fear my femininity, but instead, show me I can strive for excellence as a human being and as a woman, flawed though I might be. And that I might actually be smart and charming, on occasion. My wish for you is that I return the same to you, and that you feel the honor and respect you deserve, and that together, we create spaces of such common sense and safety, that the world begins to be so, too.

To those of you who despise my views, are threatened by my female strength, and label me, thank you for showing me that shadows exist so that I know there is light. My wish for you is that your fear and insecurity dissolve, and you find the love in your heart of which we all are entitled.

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Happy Whatever You Want to Call It! May peace on this earth truly spread from our hearts to our neighborhoods, communities, state, nation, and the world. It is true, my friends: peace begins with us. And I thank you for it.

 

The Lorelai Lessons

Coffee… chocolate…Mountain Dew…sex …drugs…alcohol…and now…Netflix streaming.  (An abbreviated list of addictions.)

On Netflix one can find a series that is compelling and binge watch all weekend.  You watch one episode, like it, and then you tell yourself, “Well. It’s not really a full hour long, so what harm can another episode do?”  Hours later, you realize you’ve watched a whole season, and you don’t even have the audacity to be embarrassed.  You simply want to start the second season.  Now.

Not me, of course.  I’m talking about other people.

“Gilmore Girls,” is an older series that I just discovered.  I use the episodes as a sliver of light in between a darker series I have been streaming and watching (in moderation, of course).

Lorelai drives me bonkers.  It’s absolutely ridiculous how she rambles a mile a minute, like a thirteen-year-old in a thirty-something body.  Her blatant disrespect of appropriate adult behavior leaves me chagrined.  And her eating habits.  Come ON, people!  Who actually eats a spread of marshmallows, Pop Tarts, doughnuts, etc., for almost every meal and whose skin stays glowing, body trim and energy level up?  No one.  And cut your parents some slack for gawd’s sake, Lorelai.  Yes, they can be manipulative, but they care and they are trying and you need to give the defensive posture you always assume a break from the Friday night meals.

I love Lorelai.  She is enormously flawed with a fragile heart of pure gold.  She has taught me a lot about how to get along in life and with other people who drive me bonkers.  Here are the Lorelai Lessons on Life I have learned (I suspect Lorelai would have loved the alliteration there…anywho…):

  1. Make the most out of the moment, and have fun for once.

I am decidedly too serious…about everything.  So what if I make a mistake?  So what if you make a mistake?  Isn’t life supposed to be messy?  Lighten up, people.

  1. Rituals make the good life.

Albeit a trifle overdone in the series, Lorelai is spot on about the importance of rituals and habits of fun to mark the day…a holiday or any old day, doesn’t matter.  We are all creatures of habit, and we are glorious when we actively seek to change unconscious habits into conscious rituals.  It enriches life like nothing else can or does.  Way to go, Lorelai.  Now pass the pizza and start the movie.

  1. Let people be who they are.

This is the hardest part.  I want to ring Taylor’s neck for being so narcissistically suffocating.  Put a hand over Babette’s loud mouth (though Sally Struthers has me in stiches with how well she plays that character).  Kirk should be put in a corner for time out, like all misbehaved and lost children. Emily needs to be told off on a regular basis.  Luke disappointed me so I would have stopped going to his café, and quite frankly, I do not see Christopher’s appeal at all.  But after allowing people to be who they are…I’d visit Taylor’s sweet shop every week, just for the lovely nostalgic ambiance.  He was right about that, and his town festivals are so frickin’ charming.  I would want Babette as a friend because her loyalty is unquestionable.  Kirk has more to him than meets the eye. I’d cut him some slack, too.  Emily has a good heart, just a little constricted.  I’d get her tipsy when she wasn’t looking, about every other week.  With that quick mind of hers, I bet she would be hilarious.  I may not go to Luke’s café as much, but I’d go to him with a problem knowing he’d have a solution.  Christopher will grow up some day and for now, I’ll let him be in peace.  And so on.  People are quirky and flawed and hard to take sometimes…but isn’t the human character and spirit fascinating?  Isn’t it remarkable how decency is not dependent on logic or predictability, or even maturity?  Isn’t life RICH because of people!?!

But most important to remember, and this is what I owe Lorelai the most for…is that flaws make us human and therefore… actually…loveable.

Most of humanity IS well-intentioned, striving to be better than any flaw.  Our flaws do not need to trip us up, embarrass us or make us regret being alive.  They can be embraced and accepted, loved and shared at whatever stage they are in.  We can do the same with any “flaws” of our family, friends and neighbors.

In fact…thanks to Lorelai, I have come to view perfection not as an honorable goal to always strive for, but as an asinine, boring and ludicrous illusion.  It is the flawed human that melts my heart – and knees – leaving me feeling like I belong and deserve love, too.

Whodathunkit?

Three Open Letters to the Citizens of New Hampshire – March 2014

Republican representative, Kyle Tasker, has made the news of late.  He had a secret:  he is a closet misogynist.  In response to the topic of domestic violence, he came out, loudly and clearly, online on a Tea Party Facebook page, for all to see.  Tasker posted a cartoon of two stick figures, a man performing oral sex on a woman, with the caption, “Over 50,000 battered women, and I still like my plain.”  “Battered” women…women in batter, fried nice and crunchy.  Domestic abuse…physical torture on women…is as comical to Tasker and common and unimportant as fried food at a picnic.

Republican chair Jennifer Horn has demanded an apology.

An apology!?!  That’s what you give when you step on somebody’s big toe by accident – NOT when you make fun of women being punched in the face, stomach, arms…brutally beaten and raped by people they know and trusted.  And, regularly…murdered.

Tasker refuses and repudiated the demand by saying how pure his intention was.  I agree.  Pure evil.

Both parties, Democrat and Republican, are labeling the statement as offensive.  They are demeaning the statement by stopping at that.  The statement is also dangerous.  What we got here, Democrats and Republicans, is a man in a powerful decision-making role who can make laws that reflect his hatred towards women.  “Offensive” is restricted for jokes.  Tasker wasn’t kidding when he make that statement.  That’s what you are missing.

Apparently, all this media “fuss” has generated local conversations.  Oh…really!?!  I’m underwhelmed.  New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley is hitting the nail on the head, and for that, I thank you from my heart, Mr. Buckley.  Buckley stated,

“The Republican Party and House Republican leader Gene Chandler need to disavow this latest in a long series of embarrassing incidents involving Republican officials. Tasker has shown a disturbing lack of respect for survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Half of homicides in New Hampshire are domestic violence related” said New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley. “It is far past time for Republican Chairman Jennifer Horn and House Republican leader Gene Chandler to put a stop to the juvenile, repugnant and offensive behavior of their colleagues,”said Buckley. “Enough is enough. Every time we think a Republican member of the legislature has set a new low, another one does something worse.”

Therefore, three open letters to the citizens of New Hampshire.

Dear New Hampshire Republicans,

What the hell were you thinking in supporting a buffoon like Tasker!?!  If Tasker represents YOUR values, intentions and attitudes, please do us all a favor and leave public service.  For you are clearly discriminating, insulting and dangerously demeaning the majority of your public, who happen to be women.  Whether you like it or us, or not.

Dear New Hampshire Democrats,

What the hell are you thinking in blaming all Republicans for Tasker!?!  This is not a political issue.  This is a gender issue.  Stop blaming all Republicans, and start working hand-in-hand to get that jerk Tasker removed from office.

Dear New Hampshire Women,

What the hell were you thinking in voting this closet abuser into office!?!  Now is not the time to remain silent, or keep your disgust confined to “local discussions.”  Now is the time for all good women in New Hampshire to come to the aid of good women everywhere.  Stand UP.  Grab the hands of the two women closest to you, and in one voice, SCREAM your demand for this jerk to step down.  For I hate to be so descriptive…but a man who hates women – and flaunts it – is a jerk, minimum.  I am too polite, and too much of a lady to go any further than that.  You’re welcome.

Now get off your duffs, New Hampshire folks – and show us what you are made of.  I can only pray that what we see…is good, intelligent and strong citizens doing the right thing.

Freedom of Speech Does Not Mean the Right To Harass

Hmm.

1. Grandmotherly woman who protests at targeted health care clinics against women’s right to have control over their own reproductive organs, wants the “freedom of speech” to go up to the woman walking in for services and talk at her to “show her love”.

2.  Wikipedia:  “Stalking is unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group toward another person. Stalking behaviors are related to harassment and intimidation and may include following the victim in person or monitoring them. The word stalking is used, with some differing meanings, in psychology and psychiatry and also in some legal jurisdictions as a term for a criminal offense.”

I surely hope the justice system understands this and isn’t fooled by the semantic slight of hand sweet ole Granny is trying to pull.    And I wish Granny would devote her love, attention and effort to something that already exists:  children in poverty; single moms unable to make a living wage;  high infant mortality rate; child abuse; domestic abuse; sexual trafficking; poor education system….and the list goes on and on.  But I guess that would take actual action, as opposed to harassment.

For more info on this topic, visit:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/law/jan-june14/scotus2_01-15.html