Tuesday, March 22, 2011

And they say mainstream media isn't biased!

Anyone who thinks the Right Wing is "crying wolf" about media bias and the mainstream media's lack of any semblance of balance, check this out.

First, search CNN or MSNBC, and probably others (I haven't gotten that far yet), and see if you can find anything on Bill Maher's vulgar reference to Sarah Palin during his HBO special. I have tried since this morning, and haven't come up with anything yet. This is what he said, along with a link if you have the stomach to watch:

This is NOW's response. The link will probably be down by the time you check...NOW membership seems to be pretty upset too!

I've got a few things to say on the latest "controversy" getting everyone all fired up:

1. Listen, supposedly progressive men (ok, and women, too): Cut the crap! Stop degrading women with whom you disagree and/or don't like by using female body terms or other gender-associated slurs. OK? Can you do that, please? If you think someone's an idiot or a danger to the country, feel free to say so, but try to keep their sex out of it. Sexist insults have an impact on all women.
2. We're on to you, right-wingers:
a. You're trying to take up our time getting us to defend your friend Sarah Palin. If you keep us busy defending her, we have less time to defend women's bodies from the onslaught of reproductive rights attacks and other threats to our freedom, safety, livelihood, etc. Sorry, but we can't defend Palin or even Hillary Clinton from every sexist insult hurled at them in the media. That task would be impossible, and it would consume us. You know this would not be a productive way to fight for women's equal rights, which is why you want us stuck in this morass.
b. As usual, you're looking for any way to discredit NOW. You claim we care and work only for liberal woman, but that's a LIE. We have defended Sarah Palin and other conservative women from sexist attacks. Maybe not on your schedule, but we've done so. And by the way, all those laws we advocate for -- we don't ask that they include a clause saying only certified liberal women can benefit from them. Conservative women benefit from them, too! Just because we don't open up a Palin wing on the NOW website doesn't mean we don't think that every single woman -- right, left and in-between -- deserves equal pay, full reproductive rights, justice in the courts, etc. So knock off the facetious whining that right-wing women are not represented by NOW's work.
c. Prior to the emergence of Palin on the national scene: Where the heck were you when Hillary and Nancy Pelosi and other women were being demeaned in sexist ways? Did you speak up once on behalf of a woman politician before you learned the name Sarah Palin? Did you work toward equality for women in any way prior to August 2008? It would be nice to think that you've suddenly discovered sexism and are interested in joining us in the struggle for full equality. But this really smacks of the worst kind of hypocrisy: Folks with no history of working on an issue trying to discredit those who have been working for decades on the issue.
Ridiculous.That's all I have to say on the matter. Now, back to business.

After several posts disagreeing with her, she responded:

This is the level of professionalism that NOW has been reduced to? I don't care who it is about, what it is about, which side of the political spectrum anyone is coming from. The vulgarities spewing forth from
Publish Post
Bill Maher's, and other mouths is unconscionable.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Shared sacrifice

In light of current news, I realized today that many in my family, including myself, are employed in controversial jobs. I have two family members that are teachers, two that are air traffic controllers, one that is a city employee and a son that is a Soldier. I am a military retiree.

Excepting myself, since I always wanted to be a career military man, most of my family didn't start out to be a public employee. My brother, an Air Force veteran, became an air traffic controller when President Reagan fired so many, creating an opportunity. My son followed in my footsteps and my niece followed in my brother's. Regardless, as it stands, several of us make a living off of the public dole.

My nephew, a teacher and I have been having a back-and-forth about the protests in Wisconsin. I just wrote a paper for college on the dated nature of tenure in our public schools. His input has been invaluable, and while I understand his passion for the subject, I feel both of us have missed the main issue.

Public employees, by definition, receive all of their pay and benefits courtesy of the taxpaying public. Although it is often glossed over, our military are public employees also.

Collective bargaining, the issue in Wisconsin, has elevated public employees' pay and benefits to a level above what we as communities, states, and a nation can afford. While not all public employees are making exorbitant salaries, union-negotiated contracts have raised the levels of most public employee compensation to an unsustainable height. Due to longevity raises, generous benefit packages, and a great retirement plan, the average salary of our public employees is higher than the non-public employee.

To break it down into easy math, we, the American taxpayer, make $10 an hour, and pay our public employees $12 an hour. It is not necessary to have a degree in math to recognize the incongruity and unsustainability of what we have created.

It is time for all Americans to share in the sacrifices that must be made. From what I have read and heard, the proposals in Wisconsin will have little, if any affect on current public employees. Governor Scott Walker is trying to remove the collective-bargaining provisions for all public employees except First Responders. He has proposed to keep collective-bargaining for salaries.

Is he really asking too much? One of the outcomes of the 1990-1991 recession was that they changed the military retirement system. There was very little outcry against this. As military members, we understood the importance of a strong national economy and its relationship to our national defense. In my case, as a serving Soldier, already on a retirement track, this change led to my retirement being reduced by over 17%. I had several years to plan and prepare, because the changes did not affect those nearer retirement than I.

We need to curb our spending within our state and federal governments. Raising taxes to cover increased spending will take us down the path to serfdom. We must cut spending. We must, as citizens, get involved, contact our legislators and tell them that the rampant and unbridled spending must stop.

In order for us to do this, all must share in the sacrifice. Entitlements like Social Security must be cut, golden parachute retirement plans for public employees must stop, and yes, even our defense spending needs to be cut.