Editorial “Suggestions”

The Washington Post wants suggestions for topics of editorials.  Here is a link to the ten finalists: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2016/08/24/vote-on-the-topic-for-a-future-washington-post-editorial/?utm_term=.2ea8c7abb735. You, yes YOU, can go online and vote on which topic you want the Editorial Board to pontificate.

  • Lowering the threshold for participation in presidential debates from “15 percent in five national polls” to make it easier for third-party candidates to participate
  • Whether direct marketing of prescription drugs to consumers through television advertisements and the like should be restricted or even prohibited
  • Policies to address rising homelessness in a number of cities around the country, such as Washington, D.C., Seattle and Los Angeles
  • Whether young Americans should be required and/or incentivized to spend a period of time in a program of national service
  • Whether the U.S. should adopt the metric system
  • Whether the U.S. government should reduce restrictions on foreign adoptions to make it easier to adopt children from other countries
  • Whether the U.S. should continue to use the electoral college
  • Whether the government should take further action to reduce robocalls
  • Whether public lands such as national parks should be sold to pay down the national debt
  • A nationwide ban on texting and driving

When I first saw the List, I snickered.  Talk about all over the place.  And are these the issues that WaPo readers care most about?  I hope not.  And do we really need to debate converting to the metric system again – tried and failed.  I mean, there is not much about the mid- to late 70s that I want to repeat and that includes the attempt to go metric.  We’re Americans, dag-gumbit, and we ain’t using no sissy European metric system, even if we do use it every day, we ain’t gonna make it official.  It’s kinda like a common-law marriage.  Sure, we live together, and most of the time we act like we are married, but there are occasions were it benefits us to stay “single” and we are not quite ready to “forsake all others.”  And quite frankly, going “metric” will no doubt cause more homelessness and make it harder to adopt foreign babies, and may or may not make it easier for third-party candidates to participate in debates – you know, the percentages will be all wrong.  And of course, if we use the metric system, everyone over age 16 will need to be on their phones while driving in order to convert miles to kilometers to avoid speeding.  That will never work.

But then I thought – maybe this is just the inspiration I need. I am going to take several of these and share my thoughts.  Stay tuned!

 

Freedom for Thee, but Not for Me

“If it weren’t for double standards, they’d have no standards at all.” So says radio talk show host Chris Plante about liberals. Here is yet another example of liberal hypocrisy – it is okay for them to discriminate based on viewpoint, all the while decrying viewpoint discrimination by those who don’t agree with them.

A group promoting North Carolina’s HB2 (the so called “bathroom bill”) were filming two ads in support of the new law.  They had gathered at the venue with the  women who were to appear in the ad, actual victims of abuse in public facilities, with the make-up artist who was to get them camera-ready. The make-up artist asked about the shoot. When she was told that it was an ad in support of HB2, she abruptly made a phone call, and then informed the group that she could not stay and finish the job because she was opposed to its content. She immediately left.

If the Christian baker has to bake the cake for the gay wedding, why doesn’t the liberal make-up artist not have to do her job for the conservative group?   Nice display of tolerance, liberals.

Voting my gender or my convictions?

Feminism, according to the Dictionary, is, “the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.”

So, if I vote for a man just because he is a man, that is bad.

And likewise, if I vote for a woman, just because she is a woman, isn’t that also bad?

But what if I think that a female President would be “better” or even “beneficial” just because she is female – isn’t that sexism? If not, why not?

Didn’t feminist’s spend my lifetime telling me and other women that there is no difference between men and women?  Or do they just think it is wrong to identify negative ways women are different than men?  But if you point out there are positive ways women are different (generalizations, of course) – more likely to compromise, more compassionate – feminists say this isn’t sexism!  Yes, it is.  Feminists and gender/sex equalists have told me over and over again that there ARE NO differences between the sexes, only those the society and culture have created.

Either there are differences, in general, between women and men (sexism) – or there are NO differences.  If there are no differences, why should I vote for someone just because of private parts?

If I point out the differences, am I a sexist?

If I don’t, why should I vote for a female just because she is female.  That is sexism.

I think I will just vote for the candidate whose beliefs are closest to mine – who wants to follow the Constitution regarding the size and scope of government, who believes the Bill of Rights are worth fighting for, and respects the idea of individual liberty and encourages personal responsibility over government mandate.  Male or female, white, black or some other shade – ideas should trump all.

Because Forgiveness is the ultimate Freedom

Yesterday, my nine-year old daughter did something wrong.  It wasn’t a mistake or a misunderstanding, but flat out wrong.  No matter how enticing it might look and how fun it might be to propel a glob of jello onto the ceiling using a spoon as a catapult, it was wrong.  And getting it stuck on the ceiling was evidence of the crime.

To her credit, she fessed up when the after-care helper noticed the mess.  But with no ladder immediately available, and a high ceiling to boot, there was no way for her to remedy the wrong at the time.  The after-care aide informed her that the headmaster at her small, private school was going to be notified.

My daughter was distraught when she got in the car.  Her older siblings and I tried to contain our laughter, especially since her infraction was reminiscent of an incident several years ago involving chinese noodles and a very naughty little boy who has since transferred to another school. “We hope you don’t get expelled,” we joked, not realizing the depth of her despair.

When we got home, she was practically hysterical.  “You said confessing would make me feel better,” she cried, “but it doesn’t.”  Oh no!  Time for some real parenting here – how to transform this into a teachable moment.  “Well,” I said, “maybe you can write a letter of apology to the school.  And I am proud that you did confess.  In the end, you will feel better having told the truth.”

WIth all the confusion that evening, we forgot about writing the apology note.  In fact, I  forgot all about the incident until my phone rang this afternoon.  It was the headmaster calling.  “Major parenting fail”, I thought.

“Mrs. Ullman, I don’t know if you heard about the incident in after-care yesterday,” she began.  “Yes, I was aware of it,” I assured her, and started to apologize for the lack of  . . . something on my part.

“Well, I had a talk with your daughter this morning, and told her how proud I was of her for telling the truth about what she did.  She seems genuinely remorseful and even had a talk with the aide and expressed her remorse again.  We both assured her that she is forgiven.”

I mentioned that my daughter was very upset about it, and concerned that her confession had not made her feel better.  To which the headmaster replied, “Yes, we assured her that forgiveness means that she no longer has to carry the guilt of her actions around with her. She is free from the guilt, and must release it to accept her forgiveness.  We will not carry the memory with us, so she, too, must accept the freedom and return to her joyous self.”

Yes, this is a blog about freedom.  But there is no greater freedom on this earth than to know you are forgiven.  At Easter, we Christians celebrate the release that forgiveness brings through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  What a timely and wonderful reminder.  Brought to you by a blob of jello on a school ceiling.  Amen.

I was micro-aggressed and lived to tell of it!

Maybe I’m old, not hip or just not a politically correct liberal, but I first heard the word “micro-aggression” a couple months ago when my husband came home from a meeting with some college students and asked if I had ever heard the term.  He hadn’t either until then, and got quite a conservative chuckle out of it.  Since then, we have heard it bantered about quite a lot by the PC crowd.  Basically, any affront to your gentle liberal sensibilities by another (usually a dolt or a conservative) is an act of micro-aggression.  For example, the University President who said that “all lives matter” instead of the politically correct “black lives matter” committed a micro-aggression against people of color.  And since aggressions, large or small, are taboo, and apparently the First Amendment (or is it the First Commandment?) has been reinterpreted to mean that “You shall not be offended/annoyed/slighted or get your panties in a twist, ever, by anybody”, micro-aggressions are NOT COOL.

So last week, I was in the Green Room before an appearance on the Thom Hartmann Show (a delightful, however misguided leftie who has a radio show and a TV show on the RT – Russia Today – network. I won’t be offended if you have never heard of it, although it does have a small cult following by certain members of the US Military who are tasked with monitoring what the crazies do and say.)  My co-conservative panelist was there, as were his daughter, a friend and two RT employees.  The RT folks (we didn’t know them) were talking about how awful, of course, American Sniper was and the US Military and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, blah, blah, blah.  You know, . . .  the usual.

The conservative guest politely chimed in with his thoughts about the US Military (worthy of support and thanks) and the wars in general (we can’t really pass judgment unless we were there, etc.)  Well, the liberals about passed out!  The discussion got a little heated, but Mr. Conservative was enjoying it – that IS what we go on Thom Hartmann to do.  After a few minutes of slightly raised voices and the appearance of some lefty reinforcements, the show’s producer came in and told the RT folks to settle down.  They all left in a huff, and we thought, “That was fun!”  A good warm up for the Lone LIberal Rumble to come.

Well. the producer of the show came back in and wanted to know “how that all started.”  He was very upset that RT employees would attack Thom’s guests like that.  “You mean, they committed a micro-aggression on us?” I asked.

“Yes! Good use of the liberal term, Kris!”  I was told.  The other conservative and I laughed – we were fine, we assured him.

“I didn’t know that conservatives COULD be victims of a micro-aggression,” I replied, “I thought we could only be the perpetrators.”

While I agree that generally it is a bad idea to “verbally attack” guests of a TV show in the Green Room, neither I nor the other conservative felt attacked. We thought we were having a voluntary conversation with people who held different opinions.  I thought it was pretty tacky of them to huff off when they clearly were not going to change our minds, but hey, its a free country.  We go on that show – on that Network – because we believe that even the most committed liberals can benefit from at least hearing what others think.  If we didn’t, we would sit at home and talk only to our like-minded friends.

So the good news is . . . I survived my first micro-aggression!  I’m sure it won’t be my last.

Paid leave for all – will leave us paying the price

It is not a shock that the left is finally pushing for mandatory paid leave.   Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act in the 90s and we all knew it wouldn’t take long for the economically uneducated liberals to figure out that unpaid leave is not really valuable if you can’t afford to not get paid.

So now Obama comes out with this great idea – mandating paid leave for maternity and sick leave.   Great!  Wonderful!  How right and just and fair!  Sure, sounds great, but it won’t work in the “real world” i.e. private sector. Of course, the intelligentsia leftists, who have never owned or run a business (Obama), have no perspective on the downside.

Now before I upset many friends and neighbors, let me say that I was, at one time, a “government” worker – employed by the federal government in an executive agency.  Yes, I was a political appointee, but I still got to see how the agency works . . . . so very slowly.

Because you see, mandating this for federal workers will not have the same impact as mandating it on the private sector.  That is because the federal government is extremely inefficient.  If someone in your office is out on paid leave . . . well, the work will wait until they return.  No big hurry, no rush.  I love to tell the story of how on my first week at DOJ, I was given an assignment to reply to questions from a Senator to the Attorney General.  I drafted the answers and put them in a nice envelop labeled “Exec Sec” so that they could be reviewed and approved (Executive Secretary, but I never did figure out who or what that really was).  Seven months later, during my last week employed by DOJ, I received a nice envelop on my desk from the mysterious Exec Sec.  In it were the answers I had drafted months ago, with a polite note asking me to please review and approve the enclosed so that they could be delivered to Capitol HIll.  WHAT???  Where had they been for all this time?  Was Exec Sec out on paid or unpaid leave?  Did no one, save the Senator, care about the timing of the reply.  I felt like a failure – but no one else at DOJ shared my view.  “Don’t sweat it,” I was told, “that’s just the way things are done . . . it takes a while for these things to make their way around all the offices that have to sign onto something.”  No rush, no worries.

In addition, Federal Government Departments hire as many people as the funding will allow.  If they don’t spend it – their yearly appropriation, they will “lose” it, and future increases as well.  It a perverse system, unless of course, your running it or employed by it.

But in the private sector, employers hire only the employees they need, and many times fewer than the need.  If an employee is not there, the work either doesn’t get done, resulting in loss of earnings to the business or the co-workers have to pick up the slack.  For example, if your favorite waitress is out on leave, will the restaurant pay someone else to fill in, or will service be slower?  If they are forced to pay the employee who is not working, they will not have the money to pay someone else to take her place, and you will suffer, and the servers who do show up will resent the one on paid leave for making them do twice the work for the same money.

But Obama and his ilk don’t get this, don’t want to and don’t really care if employers are hurt by it.  They think a loss of business earnings just means less profit for the evil business owners.  But it really means higher prices for you and me, poorer service,  and could even lead to [gasp] discrimination against women of child-bearing age, the obese or sickly.  No business will hire anyone they think will have higher than average sick leave needs.

Ignorance is not bliss . . . and mandated paid leave is a bad idea whose time has not come.