Thursday, November 16, 2017

Dear Women-Hating Men

Yes, we sure do have some women haters out there! Why isn't that as horrible an insult as calling women, "man haters?" Ever notice that?


The purpose of "mild" sexually inappropriate behavior  is to humiliate women and to show us that we are powerless. Surely that is not a secret?


I am not talking about someone who misreads the cues and leans in for a kiss... Although saying "I feel like kissing you," would give men the answer.

Common acts of abuse of power as sexual misconduct:


+ Boys used to snap girls' bra straps when I was in HS. Back in the dark ages.

+ Boys used to "dunk" girls at the pool until I really thought that they were going to miscalculate and drown us. No they did not respond to fighting back nor to reason and logic. 

+ Boys in science classes at Janesville Craig High School made very inappropriate comments in science classes during group projects such as dissections.

The teacher told us that since he didn't hear it, he couldn't do anything about it. 

Why didn't I also call their parents? Why didn't he just make a blanket announcement: 
"Hey. Stop making sexually inappropriate comments in class. All sexual comments are inappropriate in class."

+ A boy at Craig was making a disgusting sexual play on words using a certain girl's name. She insisted that I not contact him, his parents, or the school. I told her she that had one day to stop it or I would stop it. She found an acceptable way to address it - through a friend.

Compared to gang rapes during war - and other extreme violence - this is very mild.

Yet, each of these event enraged me. They made me very aware of how small I was - and, I was. 

That I was fundamentally helpless. 

And, that was the goal: To show girls that boys are big and strong and we are helpless against them.

What if women went around grabbing me by the crotch? Do not tell me that any man would like being randomly grabbed.

What if we stuck our hands down men's pants or grabbed them by the balls, or rammed our tongues down their throats, or rammed broom sticks up their a$$es. If you find that inappropriate conversation...?

No! Adults & other teens do not help. Teachers did not help.

#TestosteronePoisoning
#TheFutureIsFemale

I love y'all!
V

Monday, September 11, 2017

Dear Immigrants: Ryan and Company

Dear Republican Immigrants:

No, not the newly despised, the formerly despised. YOU. All of you recovered immigrants.

Paul Ryan, remember when your Irish family came to these shores? Remember when they were starving in Ireland? Literally. Dying of malnutrition. Watching their children die. Of starvation.

Paul, I don't know your ancestry, of course, but if you have anything in common with other Irish immigrants... Did you just spring up in Janesville with a beautiful home in the Courthouse District. I doubt it. Even if you did, most of your fellow Irish did not.

Did you know that your kith and kin from Ireland came here in something very similar to slave ships? Called coffin ships. They were packed together in their own excrement with barely enough food to make it. Well, really, they often didn't. Just like slave ships.

Did you know that your ancestors were not considered "White?" The Irish were considered a minority race.

They were unwelcome and they faced a solid wall of discrimination. Businesses boldly put up signs: "No Irish Need Apply."

Your Irish family was dirt poor. They had to work at any form of job or hustle that they could get. 

Did your family come straight to the Midwest? Did they live in a single room (maybe even 10 ft. x 10 ft.) in a tenement in Chicago or Milwaukee first? All of them. Parents and children. Procreating, giving birth, wasting away, and dying all together in one room.

Without running water, ventilation, windows, electricity, or toilets perhaps? 

Remember when WASP's just despised the Irish? Wasn't one of those horrid diseases called "Irish Fever?" Oh, yes. Typhus. 

Notice how we associate contagious illness with the people who suffer the most from it? HIV in recent years. Typhus? Smallpox? Spreading wildly in tenements by.. What?  British Isles and European immigrants? 


They were dying of malnutrition or the contagious diseases of cramped squalid conditions: Poverty -> squalid conditions -> malnutrition -> poor health -> agonizing lives and deaths. And, oh, yeah,  being despised as lazy drunken people with too many children.

Oh, yeah! Almost forgot. The WASPS who got here first just hated you Catholic Irish. Hated drinking. Hated your large families. Hated your poverty and illness and squalor. Hated your religion. Hmmm... something like hating Islam?

Now, we would be shocked by those cruel attitudes  toward the Irish or the German or the ... well any of those former "good" immigrants.

And, I am shocked and enraged when people who belong to formerly despised immigrant groups blame people for their own lot in life.

Haven't you learned anything from being here?

You did clearly not get enough love when you were growing up. I am so so so sorry. Because people who did not get enough love grow up empty and lacking in compassion.

There is love enough. You can spare some for the current crop of despised newcomers.

Love, VLL


"From 1820 to 1860, 1,956,557 Irish arrived, 75% of these after the Great Irish Famine (or The Great Hunger, Irish: An Gorta Mór) of 1845–1852, struck. Of the total Irish immigrants to the U.S. from 1820 to 1860, many died crossing the ocean due to disease and dismal conditions of what became known as coffin ships." Wikipedia

http://www.history.com/news/when-america-despised-the-irish-the-19th-centurys-refugee-crisis

I highly recommend this book:
https://bookspics.com/ebooks/flesh-and-blood-a-history-of-my-family-in-seven-maladies/





Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Dear Fascists... errr Republicans

THE REPUBLICAN AGENDA

For decades now, the Republican Party, Republican leaders and officials, Republican talk radio, and Fox news have been aggressively pursuing an agenda that sometimes doesn’t seem to make any sense or have any cohesive message.

But, there is an agenda and the message makes perfect sense if the goal is to create an unquestioning citizenry willing to turn over US assets and commons to private corporations for the benefit of the 1%.

Long ago, we saw a marriage of convenience between Evangelical Christianity and the Republican Party. There is nothing quite like having God and the only true religion on your side! Evangelicals vote in droves for Republicans. And, single issue voters create a win for Republicans: Opposition to abortion sealed the deal.

A bonus is that creating a marriage made in heaven between the Republican Party and the religious right gives Republicans a large following of people predisposed to be authoritarian followers. See what I did there!

It is easy to fuel the fires of envy and jealousy and nothing does it better than propaganda against non-white non-Chrisitan groups. And, add a heavy dose of  “Us vs. Them” and you have a winning political strategy. We seem to have large numbers of citizens who
·        hate Muslims and African Americans, and immigrants, and…
·        approve a ban on Muslim immigration,
·        are happy to break up families to deport people who have been law-abiding hard working members of our communities for years,
·        believe that Black Lives Matter is a violent anti-white group and that white men are the most persecuted group in the USA.

There have been decades of Republican attacks on education – which makes a smooth transition to for-profit charter schools and religious schools which are able to further the Republican agenda. This paves the way for big tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporations.

Add to that, decades of slander against higher education, tenure, liberal professors, etc.and we are contributing to an uneducated unquestioning populace of followers. And, that is terrifying.

Countless attacks on experts and expertise, science and scientists have produced a devout citizenry who put their trust in … a political party!?!

And, that makes deregulation – of wall street, banking, environmental protection, media, etc. very very easy and very very profitable.

Yes, if scientists are liars and scientific processes cannot be trusted, but the GOP can… Well, cut more funding to universities, research programs, the EPA and give more tax breaks to the 1%.

All this leads us to the present where a large segment of the population believes politicians and no longer see science as a means of progress.

Then, falsely present pseudo-science as science and we produce
a voting public who are so ignorant of basic science that the non-expert doesn’t know what legitimate science is and what it isn’t. Global climate change? Accepting the science on climate change might put a damper on business, so that is unacceptable.

Now, we have a large minority of the population who do not believe that experience, knowledge, or expertise is needed to run the government! And, we get 45. His supporters are still happy with him.

Constant attacks on the free press have created a citizenry who seem to feel it is their duty not to listen to or read anything that isn’t specifically Republican. 

95% of talk radio is right-wing. Every day, our 45th president rails against “fake news.” And, every day, citizens flock to fake news sites and believe even the most demonstrably false information.

These attacks pave the way for total trust in propaganda and “fake news” while insisting that any divergence from the right wing message is “fake news” by definition.

After decades of hate talk about “libtard femi-nazi agnostic atheist humanists (!)” plus successful efforts to own the airwaves and end the fairness doctrine, we have a media dominated by the right wing.
But, large numbers of our citizens are unaware of this.

Listen to more Republican talk radio, watch more Fox News, read more “InfoWars.” We have an uneducated unquestioning populace that are willing to be followers of authoritarians – and, support Fascism.

Have mercy on us.
VLL



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Dear Evangelicals: Just Breathe

My dear evangelical friends, please relax! Breathe! You are not under attack. Whatever made you think you were? Oh, yeah. The Republican Party - who are manipulating and using you. And, Fox. You know that there never was a "war on Christmas," right? 

Do facts count? I do hope so.

More than 90% of our House and Senate are Christian! If you count Catholics. You do count Catholics as Christian, don't you? 

Those who are unaffiliated with any religion (terrifying, I know) make up about 20% of the general public but only 0.2% of Congress. That's because voters would rather elect thieves, liars, cheaters, divorcees, drunks, and ... well anyone as long as they are a proclaimed Christian!

There is generally 0-1 person in Congress who is not Christian. Is that one too many for you?

Jews - who are rumored to be taking over the world in spite of being only .02% of the world's population - make up ... oh... about 1 person in the the Congress at any given time.

Over 90% of Republicans in the House are... Christian!

Around 80% of Democrats in the House are... you guessed it! Christian! We do have some diversity - a few Jews, Mormons, occasionally a Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist thrown in.

Does it really sound like Christianity is under attack? 

Our currency does not have "In Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Johovah & Yaweh We Trust" on it, now does it?

After asking for donations, our city council had to have a talk to decide if it was OK to add a dreidle to the holiday decorations. What about all that "Judeo-Christian" BS?

Are the 6 major beliefs and the 5 pillars of Islam up in the courthouse? 

Hey, I want the Jewish commandments on the wall of the courthouse! All 613 of them!

What if... we got a school holiday for every Jewish and Hindu and Buddhist and Muslim religious holiday?

So, cool your engines. The gestapo is not on its way to your door. You are the gestapo! No worries!

Love and Peace, 
VLL

Statistics from PEW

Monday, July 3, 2017

Democrats and Republicans Have So Much in Common!

Dear Friends,

It has been utterly shocking to me to discover that Republicans and Democrats share virtually identical beliefs!

Liberals believe that they play fair and conduct themselves with decorum and that Republicans don’t. Republicans believe – well, you can guess!

Republicans believe that Democrats value nothing but power and winning – and Democrats view Republicans the same way. Amazing!

Liberals don't believe that Republican positions are legitimate. And, vice versa!

Republicans want to shut up Democrats and make them go away. And… you guessed it!

Democrats view Republicans as racists, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic because they do not speak out against racism, oppose access to birth control and OB-GYN care for women, oppose same sex marriage, and oppose immigration.

Republicans view Democrats as “bleeding heart liberals” who choose these positions because they are fashionable.

Republicans and Democrats both believe that, “These people are not arguing in good faith. I'm convinced that many of them don't even really believe their own crap.”

They both believe that the "other side" is destroying our country!

Liberals and Conservatives both believe that they are “Going to have to come to terms with this reality (the lack of good faith and good will) and start playing hardball back.”

Both sides believe that going low is “a coordinated strategy” on the part of the other side. So much in common!

 Each side sees the other as “vicious.” Evidently, the viciousness of the other side explains one’s own viciousness.

Liberals and Conservatives both believe that the other side is evil.

Many on both sides seem to believe that “the ends justify the means.”

Republicans seem to be aware of every insult to their side and their politicians and completely unaware of negative behavior on their own part. And, vice versa!

Democrats think that Republicans “never turn their backs” on one of their own and…Surprise! Republicans believe that to be true of Dems!

With so much in common, it would seem that everyone could put the welfare of country first and work toward solutions!

Nah… Not gonna happen.  But, I can hope, can't I?



Hoping for reconciliation, 
VLL
















Monday, June 26, 2017

A Love Letter about Health Care

Dear Republicans:

I am going to hold you responsible for every single death that results from lack of health care if your catastrophe of a bill passes.

Remember facts? Those pesky things! Read on. You can do it!

I really love health care! And, life. Life.
V

FACT SHEET ON THE HEALTH CARE DELIMMA

Health care is a moral issue:

 “The issue of universal coverage is not a matter of economics. Little more than 1% of GDP assigned to health could cover all. It is a matter of soul.” (amsa.org)

There are 18,000 excess deaths for people between age 25-64 per year because of lack of insurance and health care.  (amsa.org)

Our friends, neighbors, and family are suffering:  emotionally and financially.  (amsa.org)

The United States of America is the only developed country in the world that sees health care as a privilege and not a right. (amsa.org)

The US treats health care as a product – an economic product – and, not as a social good.
(amsa.org)

Who are the uninsured?

80% of the 45 million who don’t have insurance and health care – or it isn’t adequate – are employed or from working families.  (pbs.org)

How does lack of insurance or under-insurance affect the lives of our fellow Americans?

The uninsured are more likely not to fill their prescriptions. (amsa.org)

They are more likely to pay more. (amsa.org)

The uninsured are more likely to have difficulty getting medical care. (amsa.org)

More than half of the uninsured postpone medical care for financial reasons.  (amsa.org)

Over 1/3 do not have recommended medical tests or treatments because they cannot afford it.

40% of our uninsured do not have a regular source for medical care. (amsa.org)

20% of those without insurance get their care from and ER while only 3% of those with insurance use an emergency room for regular care. (amsa.org)

The uninsured are 50% less likely to receive preventive care.  (amsa.org)

The uninsured are far more likely to be diagnosed late and begin treatment late.  (amsa.org)


Health insurance and health care have become unaffordable for Americans.

Health insurance premiums have been rising at a rate of increase that is 2-3 times the rate of inflation. (amsa.org)

These costs have led to a large increase in the number of people without health insurance and without health care. (amsa.org)

Before the ACA, 45 million people were without health insurance and millions more had insufficient insurance. (amsa.org)

More and more middle class Americans are unable to afford insurance and have no access to health care. (amsa.org)

Fewer and fewer employers provide insurance to their employees. (amsa.org)

There is a trend for employers to provide insurance with higher deductibles that cover fewer and fewer medical expenses.  (amsa.org)

As fewer employers provide insurance, more people turn to Medicaid – the safety net – but there are constant cuts to Medicaid funding.  (amsa.org)

There is vast room for improvement in quality of health care, in delivery, and in cost cutting in the USA.

The USA spends $8,233 per person per year. (pbs.org)

Our health care budget eats up 17.6 percent of our GDP.  (pbs.org)

We spend more than 2 ½ times what most other developed countries spend.
(pbs.org)

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development:

The USA has fewer practicing doctors/population than most other OECD countries.

We have fewer hospital beds/person than other developed nations.

Our hospital stays are shorter – yet, our costs are much higher.

Our life expectancy is one year less than other OECD countries.

Life expectancy in the USA increased by almost nine years between 1960 and 2010. There was an increase of over 15 years in Japan.

Other countries use a common fee schedule, but in the USA how much a health care clinic or hospital gets paid depends on the kind of insurance a patient has. 
(pbs.org)

Providers can choose which patients they will and won’t see based on insurance.

U.S. payment rates are less flexible than those in other countries: They can address increases in costs easier and faster.

The USA has fewer methods for cost containment because our for-profit insurance companies find it easier to pass on the costs than to negotiate with providers – doctors and clinics. (pbs.org)

We spend three times as much on administrative costs than France does.

Our hospital costs are higher than other countries – it isn’t that we deliver more hospital services. (pbs.org)

The quality of care in hospitals in other countries is a good as in the US and they are still able to attract people to health care professions. (pbs.org)

Many common procedures cost far more in the US than in other countries with comparable quality of care. (pbs.org)

Why does the health care cost so much more in the US?

U.S. doctors make far more money than in other countries.

We use more expensive diagnostic procedures.

No organization has a motivation to cut waste – from insurance companies to clinics to doctors: this is a for-profit industry.

The US does more testing and more expensive testing than other countries and performs more of some procedures.

Providers make more money the more that they test, treat, prescribe, etc.

“The uninsured are more likely to receive poor care for chronic diseases.” Living and dying thus are determined by financial status. (pbs.org)


The Case for Universal Health Care

There are costs of not having UHC:

Fewer years of participation in the workforce. (amsa.org)

“The annual cost of diminished health and shorter life spans of Americans without insurance is $65-$130 billion. People who do not live as long do not work and contribute to the economy as long.” (amsa.org)

Developmental delays for children without health care. (amsa.org)

“Medicare, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and the criminal justice system have higher costs than they would if there were universal coverage.” (amsa.org)  (amsa.org)

There is a cost to communities that have more uninsured people (poor communities): Providers leave, reduce staff, or relocate and there is less availability of health care. (amsa.org)

Emergency rooms are over-burdened and the insured and uninsured suffer from lack of availability Some ER’s shut down. Some reduce capacity. (amsa.org)

Lack of health care facilities in areas with high uninsurance rates weakens the local economy. (amsa.org)

“Communities with high rates of uninsurance have less effective control of communicable disease (e.g. less vaccinations, less surveillance of TB) and an overall greater disease burden in general.” (amsa.org)

Unnecessary use of ER’s is a financial burden. It is estimated that over 10% of ER visits are for non-emergencies, costing the health care system billions of dollars. (amsa.org)

The under-insured and uninsured don’t get the preventative and maintenance care that they need are more likely to need more expensive care later. (amsa.org)

Lack of Universal Health Care results in “job-lock” (people who have insurance through a job cannot afford to leave) and people may not be able to retire because they cannot get or cannot afford insurance. (amsa.org)

Lack of health insurance and health care stops people from opening their own businesses. There is an “entrepreneur” cost. (amsa.org)

The employer based health insurance system in the USA puts tremendous strain on businesses. (amsa.org)

And, the costs of insuring employees is added in to the cost of products making USA made products more expensive. (amsa.org)



 “In summary, the cost of universal health care would be at least $34-$69 billion, plus whatever costs are associated with covering out-of-pocket expenses and uncompensated care for the uninsured. Specific solutions may entail additional expenses as well, depending on their design parameters.” (amsa.org)

But, “The issue of universal coverage is not a matter of economics. Little more than 1% of GDP assigned to health could cover all. It is a matter of soul.” (amsa.org)


SOURCES:

https://www.amsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/CaseForUHC.pdf



http://kff.org/uninsured/fact-sheet/ke

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Dear Liberals, Progressives, Democrats: Join the 21st Century!

My dear liberals...  Oh, how I love you! But... Well... Something is wrong!

Liberals, progressives, and Democratic Party organizations – formal and informal - need to get organized to meet the demands and challenges of these times using 21st century means.

Many of us are using tactics that are outdated and ultimately destined to continued failure.

Political organizations must use social media.

Every political party unit should have an updated easy to navigate web-page, a Twitter account, a Facebook Group, and a Facebook Page.

Then, get to work connecting with other groups, sharing your info and events, and promoting your message!

What about live-streaming a meeting, a speaker, a portion of a meeting, an event…? Using Twitter during a meeting? Taking pix and sharing them on FB & Twitter?

Social media is a very powerful tool that cannot be ignored. It may not be the answer to everything but it has to be a part of the plan.

A look around social networks reveals that many groups, including local Democratic political parties, are not using social media effectively, if at all.

The boards of directors or the executive committees of some groups purposely refuse to support the use of social media: to allocate resources (money and time), to learn to use social media as individuals, to hire consultants to train board members and members, etc.

Why? They believe that it is a waste of time.

County Democratic Parties and other progressive groups often don’t have Twitter accounts or don’t use them and may rarely even post on their own FB pages and groups.

Board or committee members of liberal organizations often do not “Like” or “Share” the posts on their own pages/groups to increase their own Facebook visibility.

Chairs or other leaders of liberal groups refuse to share their events on other FB pages or on Twitter.

This means that other people and organizations using social media have to check numerous other groups and pages to collect info that should be shared by the groups themselves. Whew!


It's 2017! Get crackin'!

Love,

VLL