Sheesh, Why so Serious?


For the second time in a year, someone has compromised my debit card. Yikes! How’d they do it? I have no idea, I might be tech challenged, or disinterested in the how.

I wonder who does these things and always want to make up a back story, an interesting story. Again though, who ever did it has low standards. What did they do? Bought gaming software, just like the last time. So I picture some kid, living in his parent’s basement, playing World of Warcraft all day and compromising cards by night.  The usual calling of the bank, reporting the fraud, filling out forms, and having to wait for a new card to be delivered is done. No back story to make of that. I come from a long-line of un-solemn people. I come from a long line of people who can find humor in anything.

In looking at my banking statement today while on the phone with my bank, I had a moment when I saw to whom the charge was made, MoneyBookers UK, when I told the bank person, “YAY! someone bought hookers, finally a good story!” There was that moment of silence when she couldn’t tell if I was serious or not and refused to say a thing. Honestly some people are so serious.  What a great story that would have been if someone  bought hookers with my card! Gone to Tahiti, ridden the Orient Express! What do I get? A snot nosed kid living in a basement terribly pale due to lack of sun…and not because he’s a vampire.

Once, while working some glass in a friends shop, we were making up stories about people who walked by.  While we were yakking it up and cutting glass, two men came in and started wandering around. They were speaking in hushed tones and touching items, not really showing an interest in us, the items, or the fact that we offered to help them. Never one to leave things alone…when they walked closer looking at our work, I started in. “You two are awfully quiet, may we help you with anything?..”No thank you we are just looking around.” “Well, I said, since you are terribly quiet I was just wondering if you had heard the rumors about the shadow government being in the basement of my friend here’s shop?” Dead silence. My friend, the shop owner, plays right along. “Oh yes, they have been there for quite a while and we always whisper when we know they are listening.” Still, no reaction, no comment. So I looked at them again, and in all deadpan seriousness said, “Look if you are casing the place for a heist later, you should know we are broke, the cash register owes us money, and we are after all protected by that shadow government in the basement.” Finally, one of them looked at me, slowly pulled his sport coat aside, and there was a gun and an FBI badge. Oops. Honestly some people are so serious.

My Mom had cancer. When they found it in her brain, we all knew the outcome. During her time of illness, she had a birthday. I bought a card with a bunch of old Italian women standing around a block of ice. Encased in that ice was a woman. The old women all looked very serious staring at the woman in the ice. The card had some inane saying like, “She looks like time stopped for her”. I thought it was hysterical, and I knew mom would too. My husband had a coronary. We had a row about how he thought it was in bad taste, I thought my mother would think it was very funny. He refused to sign it so I gave it to her from just me.  She laughed so hard tears were rolling. I looked very smugly at my hubby. Honestly some people are so serious.  I get that find humor in everything from her.  She called me one night a little bit panicked that she had just gone to the “ladies room” and her “poo” was black. She thought she was having blood. We spoke about it a bit, and I told her I would come the next day and take her to the doctors. This did seem rather serious. I worried all night only to have her ring me the next day and tell me to hold the ambulance, don’t call the funeral home yet…she was fine. Turns out she’d eaten a slew of black jelly beans the night before. I know, indelicate, but we thought it was funny.

One of my brothers once complained to an HR person on the phone, in another state, that he was frustrated beyond good measure that he couldn’t get a simple issue resolved. He made some silly statement like, “I am so frustrated you all may read about me taking hostages”, he then laughed and so did the guy on the other end. They both knew at the time he was joking. The comment made its way up the chain, and they called him and asked him to come in to work. When he arrived at the gate, they dragged him out of his car, searched him for weapons, inspected his car for bombs, then took him to a shed all night…like a scene out of Homeland. Honestly some people are so serious. Finally, his boss called and told the security folks it was simply his sense of humor, let him go. The retelling of this story by my brother had me shocked on his behalf and cracking jokes all the way through.  We thought it was so funny.  He could have however have ended up in a prison with no one knowing where he was, and still we laughed and laughed. His work does require a security clearance.  He uses me as a reference for that clearance, risky since every time they call I say stupid things like, “I don’t think this is funny, they only let him out for the weekend”, or “Oh, he is out now? Great!”

My Dad had brain cancer. While he was ill, we were watching the debates between John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama. He a strong conservative, me a bleeding heart liberal. Half way through the debate my dad turns to me and says, “Hillary is the smartest person on the stage tonight.” I jumped up, ran over putting my hand on his brow as if he were fevered and said, “Oh my God, you really do have a brain tumor!!”  We thought it was funny.

My other brother had an ear removed due to a large growth. After it was over, we couldn’t help ourself….Want to borrow my glasses? Oh wait, they won’t stay up…How’s that blue tooth working? Can you hear me now? got a lot of play. One of us gave him Micky Mouse ears…we tortured him with good fun. Yesterday, he sent us a text with two fake ears on that looked suspiciously like elephant ears. It must be genetic.

I like finding humor in life, I get that from my family. I can’t figure out people who are so damned serious all the damned time. Aren’t we supposed to be enjoying this brief life? After all, rumor has it no one makes it out alive.

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Daily Prompt: Connect the Dots – SELF, SELF, SELF


Definitely worth a read. Check it out. Sistasertraline has a way with words. 🙂

Corporations Have Religion…hmmm


So the courts have determined a corporation has religious views. Hmmm….

I am not a legal scholar, nor am I even sure my opinions holds water, but what I want to know is, if a company’s owner are Catholic, as are Freshway Foods owners, and they do not want to provide birth control options under their health plan because it’s against their religion, are they practicing discrimination in the name of the Catholic church?

Since a person would be working for Freshway, a corporation, not as personal household staff, can Freshway deny employment to someone with different religious views? According to the EEOC re the Civil Rights Act, “The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.”

How do they know that the people they hire are in agreement with their personal views? Do they ask them their religion? Isn’t that illegal in a job interview? Asking such questions can lead to legal problems if the employee believes he/she been a victim of discrimination. Does this means if they hire me, and I am of a different religion, couldn’t I then sue them for workplace discrimination if my religion is not opposed to birth control? The EEOC says, “An employee cannot be forced to participate (or not participate) in a religious activity as a condition of employment.”

According to the Department of Labor, “You have the right to work in an environment free of discrimination. You cannot be denied employment, harassed, demoted, terminated, paid less, or treated less favorably because of your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran”.

Since this Supreme Court ruled for Citizens United, allowing that corporations are people, does this leave these companies and their owners open to litigation by employees who may disagree with their employers not covering a service they may need or want. After all, not every woman uses birth control to prevent pregnancy some take it purely for medical reasons.Is it posted that the company follows all the doctrines of the Catholic Church? Does anyone paid by, or contracted by the company, work on Sunday’s to keep that supply chain going? Catholics believe the Bible is the inspired, error-free, and revealed word of God. Does this mean they can sell their daughters for a few goats? Do they wear mixed cloth? Do they follow the Bible exactly or only when suitable for them? Does the Bible mention birth control? I don’t know but it does mention these doozies, and I want to know if the good brothers follow them, not for any reason other than I really just want to know…

Leviticus 25:44: “Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.” Didn’t we fight against this already in the US?
Deuteronomy 13:12-15: “If you find that the people in the city you’re visiting worship another god, you have to kill them all.” Every last one of them. Doesn’t make you a good visitor though.
Leviticus 10:6: “Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people.” Yikes. Run teenagers run!
Leviticus 20:10: “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” Well, it does remove the need for divorce right?
Leviticus 20:9: “Anyone who dishonors father or mother must be put to death. Such a person is guilty of a capital offense.” Can someone define capital offense?
Deuteronomy 28:53: “Then because of the dire straits to which you will be reduced when your enemy besieges you, you will eat your own children, the flesh of your sons and daughters whom the Lord has given you.” I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
Genesis 19:8: “Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.” We all appreciate a good host.
1 Corinthians 14:34-35 states: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.” We know there is nothing better than a quiet woman, right?

Bless their little hearts, I appreciate that Frank and Phil Gilardi are hoping to keep my lady parts ready to accept the seed of my lord and master husband, but when religion and the work place are intertwined, and not in a church or catholic school setting, the two worlds will collide and may cause war between Adam and Eve, or Adam and Steve.

Peace

God

Image

Religion and Politics- My Conundrum


Not to stir the pot but I believe viewing a religion based solely on its extremists is not a view that holds water and is a position I opt not to take.  After all, violence in the name of religion has a long  history, and this is proven in the horrific accounts of the Crusades, the Inquisition, as well as the Holocaust. Religious imagery is rife with weapons, conquests, war and death. It is not specific to any one religion, not at all.  Every religion has had it disciples go out and conquer in an attempt to convert or eradicate.  Why do I mention this? There is a push to have religion in politics, and it is rather unabashedly done. Some feel that politicians should be allowed to advocate for the doctrines of their specific religion in order to push a social agenda that fits their views. Others feel religion has no place in politics and only forces ones moral code on another. We live in a beautiful melting pot where not everyone is a Christian, a Jew, or even a Quaker. We need to remember this in the push to have religion seep in to our politics.

This should concern every voter in America. One of the driving forces in the founding of this country was the goal of freedom from religious persecution, a clear line between religion and politics. We seem to be forfeiting this separation as the scales tip to religion. We now demand to know what religion our president embraces, how often he goes to church, where he goes to church; our senators are going from event to event talking about their faith and how it’s their faith that helped shape their politics. Should we be voting on the basis of someone’s faith? I think it is a bit of a slippery slope.

I sit on the steering committee of an interfaith group. We work toward unity in faith always with the goal of advocacy for social justice. Our issues are poverty, criminal justice reform, hunger, predatory lending. Simple issues that affect everyone in some way. I may not be living in poverty, but I know someone who is; I may not go hungry, but I know people who do. Don’t I have an obligation as a human being to attempt to help my fellow man? I believe it is my imperative as a human to do this type of work.

Here is the complication with faith and politics. I think laws should protect people from harm, harm done by hunger, poverty, exploitation. All of these issues are tied to current laws or lack of laws so there is a political component. Is it fair for me, through my community work with this group, to advocate for these issues on a political level? Am I any different from the person who says their faith says women shouldn’t have choice or that marriage equality is the devil’s work?

I’d like to think I am different in my community work. I am not telling people they can’t do something, I am telling them they can. I don’t feel marriage equality lessens the value of my marriage. I don’t think feeding the hungry takes food out of my mouth, I don’t feel protecting people from predatory lending makes my life any harder. None of this work compromises my faith. I simply don’t think God is going to smite me for believing in a society where there are no hungry children, where people can marry for love no matter their gender, where I have no right to choose for another woman since I am not walking in her shoes.

Some criticize other countries ruled by religion and call them zealot nations, while at home there is an attempt to put religion in our politics. Some can’t see their push to ‘religionize’ our politics is a slippery slope.

All of these questions make me question organized religion.

Women are Crazy (The way to lose your female readers)


A great blogger with an opinion on everything! What could be better?

ACA


As the parent of a 30-something with a “pre-existing condition”, I am embarrassed at the riches this country has and yet some in power have no interest in supporting good health in people like my daughter. Does she have a condition that requires constant care? Nope just careful monitoring by her, and annual visits to a specialist. She is too old for our policy and was denied coverage of her own at every turn. I exaggerate; there was one insurance company that did offer her a policy… at what was almost equal to her entire paycheck. This is an American who has worked since she was 14, certainly not a drain on society. She is the face of this issue.

She once had an expensive diagnostic test & rather than allow her to make payments based on her income, the hospital sent a sheriff with a summons for court. After thousands of $ in doctor shuffling, tests, and 17 daily rx’s, turns out she needs no meds and should see 1 doc annually. Where is the cost sensitivity in that?

We as a nation spend money on the most ridiculous things but allowing for the health of our people is tantamount to a government takeover? Free market forces cannot be used to direct this particular issue as long as health insurance lobbies own the issue. Huge admin spending, cherry-picking enrollees and lobbying to keep these spending patterns in place will forever disenfranchise people in lower-income brackets.

Insurance premiums have gone up annually, covered services down, and policies cancelled long before the ACA went in to effect. And free market insurance did not control costs. We have belonged to a fed
‘exchange” for years. We look at our options annually; decide what we can afford and what we need covered based on our history. The ACA is identical. You can pay $x for X coverage. It does mandate what every provider says are minimums standards of care so now your insurance provider can’t say, “Sorry we aren’t paying for that check-up”.

Employers dropping plans isn’t the fault of the ACA. Blame lies with the insurer and the company. Basic standards of care should be in every policy and employers who drop coverage are choosing to do so on their own, not because the ACA said they should. Companies can shop around and keep coverage just like the rest of us. Insurance companies are simply trying to get people to buy more expensive plans and are using the ACA as cover.

The constant noise against the ACA simply feeds the greed of insurance companies who have long been the arbiters of care in the US.

I’M LATE POSTING, BUT MY NEW GOVERNOR WON’T BE ARRESTING ME!


I live in Virginia where I’ve spent the entire evening moaning, groaning and wondering what on earth were people thinking? Of course if Cuccinelli has won, that moaning and groaning would probably be illegal, and I’d be in jail. But as Lawrence O’Donnell said, Virginia is once again for lovers. In my mind this election was too close for comfort. I find that I am continuously surprised by who people vote for, and why. In 2012 women comprised more that 50% of the population of Virginia, we should be able to coast a candidate to office pretty handily.

When according to Guttmacher.org, more than 99% of women aged 15–44 who have EVER had sexual intercourse have used at least one contraceptive method, why would any woman vote for a candidate who wanted to make contraception illegal? Cuccinelli wanted to make it more difficult to get a divorce if you have minor children, he attempted to get a personhood bill passed which if a woman had a miscarriage could potentially see her being subjected to police involvement simply by the law of unintended consequences, he tried to outlaw oral sex! I had an elderly woman tell me she was glad he failed; she was too old to be jailed. His list of misogynistic beliefs is long. Why any woman would vote for him is beyond me. if you are for any of the issues he espoused, why would you vote for someone who wants to take away choice for women? It’s not always about abortion as so many women assume. It is about the right of a woman to make her own choices in her life.

So why did some women vote for Cuccinelli? Are there more important issues on the horizon for them? Everyone is concerned about jobs, but every candidate had a plan for jobs and if they failed, they would most certainly hear about it. Gun ownership? You got me on that one, I haven’t a clue. Taxes? There is a sense in Virginia that taxes are too high, and they pay too much for entitlements for the poor.

I don’t think it’s any of those things. I think Virginia is a rural state with women still living under the rule of a rather patriarchal society. I decided this year to take a sign and join a local “protest” for marriage equality. I was speaking to a woman I asked to sign a petition to support this issue, and she said, “I’ll have to ask my husband.” I was shocked to say the least, but I respected her statement and let it go. There is a sense that men take care of their women folk here. If I actually said I’ll have to ask my husband, my husband would be the first to keel over from a heart attack, and I would then probably check myself in to a mental health facility.

I understand that not all of Virginia is like this, so please don’t get on me about that, but I’ve heard that sentiment more times than I can count. I can remember my mother having a bible study with some women and they actually had an argument with her because they said the bible told them they had to submit to their husbands, and my mother said she felt that’s not what it meant. This view is still circulating like it is still 1950.

Some women have been lucky to break the glass ceiling, some women are strong enough not to be strong armed, some women make the choice to be submissive, and some women don’t actually care. These are their choices, choices earned through hard work and proof of our value.

I know a great many men who believe in a woman’s right to set her own course and they provide this support with great enthusiasm; my husband is one of them thank goodness.

But in 2013, “I’ll have to ask my husband” are words that shouldn’t be spoken by a woman unless she needs to know if her husband will pick her and her girlfriends up after a night out.

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