Friday, April 8, 2011

The Mother of All Rants

It is 2011, right? For all that is going on in the world, you’d think we were back in the 1970’s. Take the current potential for a government shutdown, just the icing on a layer cake; each layer made up of one political, social and global issue after another. All of these issues have been visited before…over 30 years ago.

1) Women’s Rights - Planned Parenthood is the tipping point for the budget. Basically women’s health and if you really want to get down to the core – abortion.

Back in 1973, Roe V. Wade hit the Supreme Court and the decision, which launched women’s rights ahead decades (or so we thought), really pissed off conservative Republicans and they have never been able to get over it. Once again, in 2011, women’ rights hang in the balance.

2) Environment - On April 22, 1970, the United States celebrated the first Earth Day. Despite this progressive moment, and massive protests, the government and greedy oil companies moved ahead and began construction on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in 1973. The BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico a year ago? The result of government and greedy governments.

In the same decade where the U.S. celebrated the earth and recognized the need for more environmental protection, a partial nuclear meltdown occurred at Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant on March 28, 1979. Now, Japan is reeling from one of the top three largest nuclear disasters in the world. Fingers are already being pointed towards Tokyo Electric Power Company for their faulty oversight.

The damage to the environment, from these two most recent disasters, is incalculable. Dead, baby Bottlenose Dolphins are washing ashore in the Gulf region; many pre-term fetuses. Farmers and fishermen in Japan have had their livelihoods snuffed out practically overnight as a result of radiation contamination and fears.

3) Immigration and Labor – Citizens and legislators fought hard in the 1970’s to establish legislation which put an end to discrimination. Affirmative action and equal opportunity employment were important policies passed with hopes that our segregated history would be just that…history. Our country no longer needed to stand divided and we could move forward in a positive direction.

In 2010, Arizona’s Governor, Jan Brewer, made national headlines when she basically declared war on the national immigration policy and tried to pass a bill which made racial profiling acceptable. Then there is the so called “Birther Movement”, which is spawned out of ignorance by people who believe President Obama was not born on U.S. soil, despite documentation being provided. Why, because he has a different sounding name and darker skin? Not since the 1970’s has our country seen so much divisiveness.

In 1975, the Mexican – American United Farm Workers walked away victorious when California required growers to collectively bargain with the elected representatives from the union. Wisconsin, as well as other states, are now re-examining, and attempting to strip away these collective bargaining rights. Workers are once again forming picket lines and protesting to keep what is rightfully theirs.

Sure there has been some progress…we have phones that think for us; beta was replaced with VHS, which was replaced with DVDs; the Berlin Wall was torn down and there have been great advancements in medicine.

Technology aside, when I examine the parallels between now and then, it’s sad to see how little progress has been made in my lifetime. The global climate (environmental, socio and political) has changed and we as a country, and as a people, have to evolve with those changes. Going backwards isn’t the answer. We certainly don’t want history to repeat itself (ie: Civil War, Hitler).

For those select few in our leadership who wish to remove funding for Planned Parenthood, maybe wait until everyone has health coverage under a national plan, with affordable access to all the services Planned Parenthood provides. Otherwise be prepared for back room abortions, self-abortions, and/or children which are unwanted and wind up burdening the system.

As a woman, I don’ think the government should have a say on when I should or should not have sex, conceive, go on birth control, or have any say over my body at all…period.

For those select few who have issues with immigrants and minorities, our founding fathers were immigrants. The Statue of Liberty is revered as a beacon of hope for a new life in a country which won't oppress and offers oppotunities. The “White America” you believe you are preserving doesn’t exist anymore. We are a multi-cultural, multi-racial nation. President Obama, who was elected by a majority, is representative of this fact. You need to stop trying to hold the country back and let our government evolve as needed.

If worker's rights are infringed upon, prepare for companies to take advantage of their employees and for unsafe working conditions to resurface. It's happened before and it can happen again.

Where the environment is concerned, I really hope history doesn’t keep repeating itself. Face it, nuclear power is bad. It’s like creating a disease without the vaccine. Maybe oil is so difficult to extract for a reason. What happens when you stick a syringe in an orange and suck the juice out? Exactly. Is oil a cooling barrier between the Earth’s core and its surface? What happens when the oil is being extracted faster than it can be replenished? It’s not just “we should” look at alternative energy sources, but we need to implement them.

Government pockets shouldn’t be so easily filled by corporations either, but that is a much longer rant and I’m running out of steam here. When I get mad and frustrated I need to write it out. Thanks to the many advances in technology, I’m able to share this on the internet, and will do so while this is still a free country.

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