This Is NOT A Truly Democratic Election

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Today I FINALLY get to go vote in my state’s primary. Frankly, I think it is a crock. Unfortunately, in the United States we have a staggered primary system that eventually determines which candidates will be each party’s nominee to run for president. This means that I am often denied the same opportunity to vote for who I really believe is the BEST choice for the job. By the time my primary comes around so many candidates have already been eliminated, not because they were not worthy contenders, but because they were not given the same amount of network air time, did not yet have the money to fight a decent campaign or have folded their tents for a multitude of other reasons.

I have to admit that I am discouraged and I am tired of not having the same opportunities as the folks in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, etc. to elect our leaders. We need to have a national primary so that people living in late voting states like mine get the SAME opportunity to vote for who they really believe is the BEST choice for president.This is NOT a fair and free election when I cannot help determine who will be the nominee. It is a boatload of crap.

While I recognize that there are millions of people on this earth who are truly denied a basic right to elect their own leaders and my complaint might seem feeble in comparison, the fact is that on some much smaller level, I too, am experiencing a type of voter suppression. In the land of the FREE it is ludicrous that my freedom to choose has been taken away by a system designed to reward the “chosen” few. And thats not even wading into the issue regarding the quagmire of super delegates who further restrict my vote rendering it null and void.

So today I will go and vote. It often feels like I do so in vain. But I still believe that it is my responsibility to do so… and so I will. But I will be voting, as usual, for real change. And even though the kind of change I would like to see happen probably never will, I will not give up in the belief that my vote really does count…even if it doesn’t.

 

 

 

 

Our Bodies Ourselves

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As women it seems like we have spent a lifetime trying to keep men away from our bodies uninvited. From the little girl who subconsciously realizes that having a man’s hands down her pants is somehow wrong, to teens who fight the pressure to go to “second base”  if you “really love me;” females are always having to fight men who are constantly deciding what “is right for them.”

Many years ago when I was in grad school I interviewed and surveyed over 100 teenage girls in regards to how they viewed feminism. Many didn’t know what feminism was. Even more commented that it was not relevant to them and that there was no need for feminist thinking in this day and age. I was shocked and dismayed.

As a child who grew up in the last 60’s and 70’s, I remember the feminist revolution very well. I remember Phyllis Schaffly condemning women who wanted something more for themselves than a frying pan in their hand. I remember women working hard to try to achieve equal work for equal pay. I remember women waking up to their own sexuality and unique health care/reproductive needs, and realizing that they could and should take those matters into their own hands especially when “those matters” concerned their own bodies.

Lately, the political right wing is getting louder in their demands to further control women’s bodies. In this day and age where access to abortion is harder to obtain than purchasing an assault weapon, and Planned Parenthood, where so many millions of poor women receive their gynecologic health care, is under attack and  being defunded; it amazes me how few women are doing anything about it. Once again men have their hands “all over our bodies” and once again women’s needs and wants are subjugated to men in power-conservative men in power who really want to put women “back in their place” where “they belong.” Yet, what I find really disturbing is that if God did indeed give us each free will that conservatives fail to honor this principle of self governance given by God when it comes to women’s minds and bodies.

When, I wonder, will women finally realize it is ALWAYS in their best interest to control their own reproductive health, their bodies and their souls? And when will these ideas that others should control a woman’s  body for their own political and religious gain ever stop? It’s time we end these outdated practices and let women live in peace without having men’s unwanted hands all over us.

Cameras on Traffic Lights

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The other day I noticed that a recently installed stop light had a camera nestled on top of the cross beam. This got me concerned so I decided to pay more attention to my surroundings. As I drove around town, I was amazed at the number of mounted “spy cameras” I noticed throughout the city. When did this happen I wondered? When did I, as both a citizen of this city and as a citizen of the United States give up my right to travel freely throughout my city without “Big Brother” watching me. I didn’t vote to allow this. I didn’t sign some sort of waiver. I didn’t agree to a bond measure that would pay for these mounted cameras…so how did this happen? When did it happen? And more importantly, how are these shots being used by my police department?

Today it is cameras on lights. What will it be tomorrow? Who controls this information that is obtained and what do they do with it? How long is it stored?

I am sad. I am disturbed and disillusioned. And I wonder who forgot to ask us if this type of intrusion on our personal lives is okay. No one asked me but if they had I would say NO it is not okay to monitor me, my friends and my loved ones. This is the United States of America. Home of the free…at least it is suppose to be.

Cameras on Stop Lights

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The other day I noticed that a recently installed stop light had a camera nestled on top of the cross beam. This got me concerned so I decided to pay more attention to my surroundings. As I drove around town, I was amazed at the number of mounted “spy cameras” I noticed throughout the city. When did this happen I wondered? When did I, as a citizen of this city and as a citizen of the United States, give up my right to travel freely throughout my city without “Big Brother” watching me. I didn’t vote to allow this. I didn’t sign some sort of waiver. I didn’t agree to a bond measure that would pay for these mounted cameras…so how did this happen? When did it happen?  And more importantly, how are these shots being used by my police department?

Today it is cameras on lights. What will it be tomorrow? Who controls this information that is obtained and what do they do with it? How long is it stored?

I am sad. I am disturbed and disillusioned. And I wonder who forgot to ask us if this type of intrusion on our personal lives is okay. No one asked me but if they had I would say NO it is not okay to monitor me, my friends and my loved ones. This is the United States of America. Home of the free…at least it is suppose to be.