Browsing All posts tagged under »Politics«

“Thank You For Your Service.” What Do You Really Mean By That?

September 18, 2017

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Instead of a thank-you, I’d like something different:  I want you to pay attention, stay informed, and get politically involved.   In recent years, more veterans are letting us know that they find it a little off-putting to be thanked for their service. The exact reasons vary, but I have my own, so count me […]

Please, No More Tourism to Cultlike, Repressive Dictatorships Like North Korea

June 26, 2017

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We originally published this article on 2 January 2015.  At that moment, there were no Americans in North Korean custody, thanks to an embarrassing and expensive mission by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to retrieve the last two American prisoners in late 2014.  Thus, we implored the American traveling public to adopt a New […]

Transgender Bathroom Laws: Kind of Useless

May 2, 2016

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Which bathroom should a transgendered person use, and should the rest of us even care?  Would we even know?  If we don’t know, how can we know if a law is being broken, and how can we be traumatized? There are several variations on this, and Lila’s feelings range from “meh” to  “it’s complicated.” The […]

Dear Aggressively Hypersensitive Victims, Shaming Others Does Not Help Your Cause

April 25, 2016

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I’m tired of aggressively hypersensitive victims acting as if the whole world has to stop and change the way they live, laugh, and relate. Saturday Night Live is not exactly known as a bastion of gentle humor.  It is crass and stupid and cutting and spot-on and hilarious and fun.  So, it should not have surprised […]

Stupid Tuesday and the Voter’s Quandary

March 7, 2016

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Hubby and Lila went to the polls on Super Tuesday.   It felt more like Stupid Tuesday. You know, during general elections, there is a scrum of activity that assaults your eyes and ears all the way up to the “no campaigning beyond this point” sign:   posters, campaign workers, pamphlets and last-second slogans urging you on […]

Joan Larsen on Getting Older… and Becoming the President of Our Country

February 29, 2016

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By Joan Larsen   You know . . . while we don’t like to admit it, I think we all – well, once we are 55 or so – think about age more than a little.  There is so much emphasis on youth now  (way too much if truth be told) and most of us […]

This Conservative Meme Got It All Wrong on Reproductive Rights and Responsibilities

January 25, 2016

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Fact-based critical thinking is seriously wounded in this country. So… one of my rather conservative friends… a very religious and avidly pro-life individual… shared the below meme, from a Facebook page called “Right Wing News.” A quick scroll through the posts on that page pretty much confirm that it is rabidly uber-conservative, sometimes nonsensically so. […]

Revisiting and Re-Living: the Beginning of the End of European Tolerance?

November 16, 2015

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Extremism threatens everyone, but ordinary citizens who happen to be Muslim have the most to lose. After the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, we wrote the following piece.  Now, following the coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday, it seems more relevant than ever.  Extremist violence in Europe is escalating, and nowhere is this more […]

No, Gun Violence is Not the Fault of Gun Manufacturers

October 12, 2015

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Here we go again: some loser commits a high-profile crime that goes viral in the media, and then we have the predictable calls for gun control… some of it sensible, some, well… less so. My current peeve is with those who want to blame gun manufacturers for the actions of criminals who use guns in […]

Donald Trump: Dangerous Rhetoric

August 24, 2015

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Trump’s brand of intolerant, divisive rhetoric is mightily reminiscent of a certain historical figure. Four years ago, in 2011, Donald Trump was crashing around the Presidential campaign like an obscene bull with Mad Cow Disease.  This is what we wrote at the time (go to the link for the full text): Donald Trump has thrown […]

Cultural Appropriation: I’m Drawing the Line… ALL the Way Back.

July 13, 2015

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I have traveled the world, and there is a lot to love. If I want to wear, eat, own, use, or display anything that takes my fancy, from ANYWHERE… I will. You can stuff your “cultural appropriation” right where the sun don’t shine. A friend recently pushed my buttons on this topic by telling me […]

Bristol Palin, Pregnant Again, Doesn’t Want Any Lectures. Good. Neither Do We.

June 26, 2015

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If ever there were an argument that we should all butt out of each others’ reproductive business, this is it.   Time for a quick Friday rant: Bristol Palin is pregnant out of wedlock for the second time. “Bristol Palin announces second pregnancy, schadenfreude-tinged pile-on begins,” trumpets the Los Angeles Times. I’m not into the […]

Welcome to the Plutocracy: S**t Flows Downhill, and You are on the Bottom

February 20, 2015

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Rude little rich boy Conrad Hilton is an overgrown spoiled brat, but he may have been on to something by referring to everyone on BA Flight 269 as “peasants.” Wake up and smell the plutocracy! Americans like to think we are all equal under the law, that we all have equal opportunities, that we all […]

“I Am Charlie” May Signal the Beginning of the End of European Tolerance

January 12, 2015

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Extremism threatens everyone, but ordinary citizens who happen to be Muslim have the most to lose.   The extremist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo staff and a Kosher grocery in Paris mark a tipping point in Europe. It has been building for years: ethnic Europeans have become increasingly frustrated and angry with escalating intrusions of […]

New Year’s Resolution: Please, No More Tourism to Cultlike, Repressive Dictatorships Like North Korea

January 2, 2015

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Now that “The Interview” has been released, woe unto any American snared by North Korea. North Korea has a well-known history of imprisoning Americans (see the summary of recent cases at the end of this article), sentencing them to hard labor, and then – after weeks, months or years – granting the American’s release only […]

“Thank You For Your Service.” What Do You Really Mean By That?

November 10, 2014

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Instead of a thank-you, I’d like something different:  I want you to pay attention, stay informed, and get politically involved.   In recent years, more veterans are letting us know that they find it a little off-putting to be thanked for their service. The exact reasons vary, but I have my own, so count me […]

It’s Past Time to Get Off the Fossil Fuels: You Can’t Drink Oil

October 13, 2014

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Here’s how Lila knows we are doomed as a species: there’s hardly any water left in California, and we’re letting Big Oil ruin it by fracking. News flash: you can’t eat dollars or drink oil. Lila’s undergraduate degree is in Geology. Decades ago, we predicted that economically accessible oil supplies would run out by the […]

In Defense of Dictators… and Stability

September 8, 2014

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The US has a history of embracing a lot of not-so-benevolent dictators.  We also are swiftly establishing a history of promoting “regime change” with visions of democracy dancing in our heads, but what emerges instead is all too often a dangerous brand of Islamic extremism.   Back in the 1970s and at the height of […]

The VA Secret Backlog Shows A Lack of Moral Courage

May 5, 2014

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I’m not angry with the VA for long delays, but I cannot forgive their lack of honesty and courage… and that lack of honesty and courage is killing veterans. When a leader is told, “There is no possible way we can do all this,” there are many ways to react. Can we request a bigger […]

Women Beware: Your Living Will May Be Ignored, and Your Family’s Finances Devastated

January 13, 2014

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If you are even one day pregnant and suffer a medical catastrophe that renders you brain-dead, your wishes, even  in a written living will, might not be honored.  Depending on where you live (or are hospitalized), your empty husk could be kept marginally alive, at your family’s great and unwilling expense, until your fetus can […]

Dennis Rodman and North Korea: Playing With Fire

January 10, 2014

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He was naive.  He should never have gone to North Korea in the first place.  But human-rights activists expecting him to free an imprisoned American are expecting far too much. Dennis Rodman first traveled to North Korea under the auspices of Vice Media, which was filming a documentary there and used Rodman and several members […]

Lila’s New Year’s Celebration With “the Enemy,” 1988-1989

December 30, 2013

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A little respect and genuine interest goes a long way toward setting tensions aside, at least for one night. In February of 1988, two US grand juries indicted Panama’s de facto military dictator, Manuel Noriega, on drug trafficking charges.  It was a messy situation.  Noriega had been on the CIA payroll in the 1970s, until […]

A Mileage Tax in the Land of Suburban Sprawl? Not Likely

December 6, 2013

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Writes Tom Curry for NBC News:  “By driving more fuel-efficient cars and by driving fewer miles than they did back before the 2008-09 recession, Americans are starving federal funding for highways and commuter rail and bus systems across the nation.” Why, those inconsiderate jerks, with their accursed fuel efficiency!  How dare they! So, of course, […]

The German American Bund: Our Forgotten Embarrassment

November 8, 2013

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Back in 1936, with Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of an increasingly powerful and nationalistic Germany, Rudolf Hess authorized the formation of the Friends of New Germany in the United States.  As that name was soon deemed insufficiently patriotic toward America, the organization was redesignated as the German American Bund.  The purpose was to promote favorable […]

Virginia Governor Election: Voting My Conscience

November 1, 2013

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If voters really want an alternative to the same old bad choices, they have to vote it in. When it comes to elections, Lila has been around long enough to recognize the voter strategies… or voter despair.  In too many elections, I have felt that I was reduced to voting for the least awful of […]

Food Stamps: Example of a Lot That’s Wrong With Government Entitlements

October 17, 2013

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Government handouts of any kind should enable basic emergency survival only, nothing more. When we wrote about “Mountain Dew Mouth,” we touched briefly on one advocate’s efforts to ban the use of food stamps to buy sodas.  I agree, but not because of obesity or dental ramifications; what concerns me is that food stamps – […]

Prospects of Default: Why Are Republicans So Stupid?

October 8, 2013

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I’m not liking either of the major parties in American politics these days.  I may very well never vote for any candidate from either of them again.  But the Republicans take the dubious prize for stupidest, most reckless, and most clueless about… well, just about everything, but at the moment I am thinking of a […]

Dear Congress: F— You, Too.

October 3, 2013

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This Internet meme turned up on my Facebook page a few days ago.  Ironic, isn’t it, that we have to keep paying our taxes… that government workers are furloughed… that government-owned facilities like parks and museums are closed… that veterans may soon lose their VA disability support… that new applications for social security or passports […]

Syria: For Once, Congress is Asking the Right Questions

September 2, 2013

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Maybe the 10-year Iraq War, too eagerly launched based on faulty intelligence, no clear national security threat, and no vision of an end state, is too fresh in American minds. On Saturday, President Obama asked Congress for approval to launch military operations against Syria.  He claims the authority to act on his own (and recent […]

Education, Civic Duty, and Freedom

July 5, 2013

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Continuing with the occasion of Independence Day, I ran across a thought-provoking article by Robert Pondiscio:  “Do Our Children Know How to Be Citizens?”   It seems especially relevant, connecting some rather disturbing dots between our dumbed-down education system, our views of its purpose, and the erosion of some of our most basic freedoms in the […]

The Problems With Saying Obesity Is a Disease

July 2, 2013

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Is it or isn’t it?  The American Medical Association and the general public are both sharply divided, but the hotly contested AMA decision to call obesity a “disease” will have far-reaching and as yet unforeseen consequences. As of yesterday, Medpage Today was running an informal survey asking “Is obesity a disease?”  Of 1729 votes when […]