Friday, November 9, 2012

America exactly?

Every candidate--every single one of them that voiced the opinion that women's bodies are something to be legislated or controlled lost in this election. If your response to rape is anything except AW HELL NO doesn't deserve to hold office.
I wish this would give conservatives the opportunity to re-think their values. But what I see on Facebook a lot, because I have Republican friends and family, is this woe-is-the-country America lost, the Constitution lost, things like that.
And I'm trying to figure out how letting people love and marry whoever they damn well please is a loss. I'm trying to figure out how women holding more elected offices than ever before is a loss.
As I teach my students in my critical thinking classes, you MUST look at both sides when writing an essay or academic paper. So I'm trying to take my own advice. Why exactly is this a huge loss "for America?"
The argument seems to be mostly about welfare and taxes. It's this idea that we will be thrown into TAXAGGEDON (in caps to covey more fear) and that we'll be so taxed at the end of the next four years we'll barely have a paycheck left, and all our hard earned money from people who actually work for a living will be given to lazy people who don't feel like working, affording them food, free healthcare, iPhones, stops at the beauty parlour and flat screen tvs.

I  never really thought of myself as a liberal until I moved to the tiny rural and very conservative little mountain town I live in. I had no idea that that thinking gay people are you know, human beings and that women can make their own decisions about their lives was a radical thing.
Let it be said that in addition to being a teacher, I also work part time with the Division of Aging and Elder Services--most commonly known as the Meals on Wheels program. This program provides a free hot meal to elderly people, and the homebound elderly in my community.
 That's what Fox News doesn't tell my conservative relatives and friends: the majority of people on welfare are: the elderly, the genuinely disabled, and children.
Of course there are people who take advantage of the system. Of course there are--and people like that will always exist. But it's not the majority of people.
Let me tell about the time I was in grad school. I was working two jobs and going to school, and while I could see the clinic on the campus for something small, like a cold or the flu, they couldn't help me after hours or if something really majorly bad happened. And something majorly bad did. I didn't know anyone in the city, so I had to call an ambulance and get rushed to the hospital. If I hadn't gone to hospital, I would have died. I was not a bum. I was working. I was going to school. But I could only afford so much as a young single girl trying to make it on her own.
That's who Obamacare is for--the working people, the working students like I was who might be able to afford a roof over their heads, but not much else. I used to get so irritated with the insurance people for coming into my two jobs and trying to get me on their insurance plans for a mere $500 a month.  If I had an extra $500 a month I would have been able to pay my phone bill and not ride around in my car on gas fumes. I would have been able to afford something other than fast food for dinner. When my evil roommate kicked me out because she wanted a new place, and gave me exactly one week to move my belongings, (which is ILLEGAL, by the way) I was essentially homeless, because like most young people, I didn't have a back up plan. 
The response from conservatives usually is "Oh, I would support it for YOU, but not anyone else."
I "made too much money" to receive any kind of government assistance, so I was stuck with bills that I'm still paying for, years later. Am I hearing from conservatives that I would have been better off dead? If I hadn't gone to hospital, I would have died. There it is, plain and simple. 

Here's an sample from the article titled "Your Lack of Insight and Compassion Make You Ugly" written by Lorelei at  and the link is here, and I want to promote it as much as possible. The article is well written, and contains many wonderful responses. There is a Creative Commons license on their website that I am using. The article was posted September 12, 2012.
 I always tell my students that when they research something, they need sources to back them up. Well, here's one of mine. Apologies for not putting this into MLA format!

"Hey, people on welfare, conservatives would like you to know the rules. So here they are:
  1. If / when you lose your job, be sure to sell all your nice electronics and luxury goods immediately and make sure you are always dressed well in public (but not too well, because then you are clearly not in need of any financial assistance and will be judged for not immediately selling all your nice clothing, too).
  2. Cover up your tattoos, or people will snark that you are spending your welfare money on body art, even if you have had those tattoos for years, or you have a friend who is a tattoo artist who did them for free.
  3. Are your shoes nice? Better not wear them in public, especially while at the grocery store paying for food with food stamps, because you MUST have somehow magically converted those food stamps into enough expendable income to buy those shoes. Never mind that they were a gift, or you bought them years ago, or that they actually have huge holes in the soles and tattered insoles because you can’t afford to replace them.
  4. As a bonus, be sure not to have a job with flexible hours or work from home or work as a stay-at-home parent, because judgmental people will be on your ass and assume you are on welfare based on limited or non-existent evidence (even if you are not) and whine bitterly about having to contribute to social safety nets for the needy. That is right: You don’t even have to be on welfare at all, you can simply be out in public with your kid(s) during normal business hours and have total strangers assume you are on government assistance if you don’t look prosperous. Isn’t that cute? "
And more from the same article:
“If you think someone on welfare can afford an iPhone, you are mentally deficient. It is more likely that they fell on hard times after purchasing the phone or being given the phone as a gift (such as being laid off or having a family member die, or dealing with medical expenses). Welfare checks do not come anywhere close to covering the cost of a new phone. Further, that person on welfare probably paid as much in taxes over the years as you have, if not more, so it is their own tax money being used to help them out when they have fallen on hard times. Try a little more compassion and a lot less of this bullshit “let’s pick on the poor” fantasizing.
I have also just been informed by someone who should know first-hand that sometimes the government hands out a cheap pre-paid mobile phone with 250 minutes on it to the very poor who can’t afford a landline, so they can look for work and communicate with officials handling their accounts. And yes, that phone does look, at a glance, like an iPhone, but it is not. It is a cheap piece of shit. They didn’t buy it, there are a limited amount of minutes allowed, and they do not own it; once off welfare, they have to give it back. (P.S. Did you know that about the pre-paid phones? I didn’t. I learned something new today.)
If you are on food stamps you can NOT buy non-food items AT ALL. No alcohol. No tobacco. No “hot” food from the grocery deli. No pet food. No toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, razors, aspirin, vitamins, etc. Just food. And some jurisdictions do not allow pre-prepared foods (like frozen dinners). Food stamps are distributed via debit-card like food stamp cards, they are not little pieces of paper you can buy or sell or trade for things. The average allotment per meal for food stamps is a dollar and change. Think hard about how well you can eat for less than two bucks, then do that three times a day for months on end.
Oh, people on food stamps can buy birthday cakes from the bakery, but I suppose they should just suffer in silence and not waste their food money on something as frivolous as a child’s birthday cake. Your anecdotal evidence of one or two assholes you know working the system does not indicate that every single other person receiving aid is likewise irresponsible or taking advantage.
There will always be stupid people who do not manage money of any kind well, but that is not an excuse to pretend that the poor, who are struggling to EAT and not be homeless, and to find work when work is hard to find (I have three advanced degrees, great references, a lot of skills, a lot of experience, and I send out a MINIMUM of 50 applications every single day and I have been unemployed, after a layoff, for almost a year…why & how would someone who has fewer of those qualities and advantages than I have manage get a job more quickly or easily than I?) and I hope that some of the most judgmental among you have to experience what it is like to fall on hard times through no fault of your own and to hear nasty comments about it constantly from uninformed, rude, thoughtless people like yourselves who think it is funny to mock the down-and-out and impoverished and to make snap judgments about them.
When and if it happens to you, I hope you will remember every single derogatory and nasty comment you ever made about your neighbors and fellow citizens who are struggling to survive, and I hope you will feel a little shameful about it.
Be sure to sell all your worldly goods, even if you have to take a financial loss (because poor people don’t deserve anything nice, right? and it is your job to assume that they spent “your” money on anything that isn’t completely crappy, correct?) and never buy anything but the bare essentials while you are at it, too."

And I haven't even started in on the misogyny and the anti-women regulation over female bodies and their respective parts yet. I'll have to save that for another post. Till then, dear reader.

1 comment:

  1. There is a chance you are eligible for a complimentary Apple iPhone 7.


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