Sick and Tired!

In light of an incident involving the NFL’s Miami Dolphins a conversation on bullying and hazing in the NFL is going on.  The conversation is as hypocritical as the one, that found New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator and coach suspended last year for placing bounties on players from opposing teams.  People knew it existed, but did nothing until there was a public outcry.

Fraternities and sororities have traditionally hazed.  Playing sports is like joining a fraternity.  And none is larger than the NFL.  How big is the fraternity, how powerful?  Big and powerful enough for years to keep former football players from suing for head trauma even though they knew their insomnia, mood swings, depression, suicides, and other maladies were caused from playing football?  Powerful enough to convince them that there was an unwritten code, you don’t sue the NFL.  

The players didn’t sue, and why didn’t the fans stand up and say more for their favorite players?   Was it because they love to watch the gladiators do battle on the field?  And why wasn’t there an outcry when the NFL settled out of court for 750 million dollars and got away with language in the settlement absolving them of fault?   

My point is bullying is in front of us all the time.  Trayvon Martin was bullied and killed by George Zimmerman.  If Zimmerman didn’t have a gun he wouldn’t have followed Trayvon, let alone confront him.  The gun argument in America is about men needing to feel power.  Most can only get it by threatening others usually because they have a gun or threaten that they do.  

And police are among the biggest bullies.  Oscar Grant III’s killing at Fruitvale Station and too many killings of unarmed citizens by police is bullying! So is Congressional failure to pass a Jobs Bill, and shutting down the government.  It is bullying especially when you know others are victimized. 

But what makes our country great and our history relevant, is that men and women at tumultuous times in our history found a reason to stand up to the bullies.  Today, we read with pride their courageous stories.  Whether it was Bull Connor’s firehoses, or laws that protected the institution of slavery,  courageous men and women stood in the face of danger.  This is what parents have to teach their children again, the spirit of not backing down.   

Today, the conversation may be about Jonathan Martin and the insensitive criminal behavior of Richie Incognito.  But the broader conversation should be, when will good people finally stand up and face the bullies in schools, sports and politics. 

When are we as Fannie Lou Hamer said, going to be “sick and tired of being sick and tired?”    

 

Tea and Sympathy

Ted-Cruz-Wrecking-Ball Thousands of  federal employees returned to work this morning as the 2013 #GovernmentShutdown ended.  With the damage left by The Tea Party, a small faction of the Republican Party being assessed.

Perhaps they intended to create waves and ripples of destruction.  Or perhaps, they were just immature and didn’t realize their actions would take $24 billion dollars from our sluggish economy.   Perhaps, they believed seventeen days of bickering over a continuing resolution and raising the debt ceiling would strengthen our economy.

What I realize is that the resolution passed by Congress only provides, a short term solution.  There still is no resolution of the bigger problem, we don’t have a budget.  So the continuing resolution creates more uncertainty as we creep closer to another potential shutdown in 90 days.

The President in his statement today summed up the shutdown and damage from it with this, “we don’t know how much damage this has caused….we do know it has caused unnecessary damage to our economy.”

And though we don’t know how much, we do know this. Everyday working Americans and the poor were hurt by the shutdown.  We know our economy didn’t create jobs during the shutdown.  We know consumer and business confidence was impacted.  And we know that in the days to come it translates to slower future job growth and less money for consumers during the Christmas season.

That is why it is WE the People’s turn to focus on ways to create broad based prosperity.  It is our turn to rewrite history, by never forgetting the past seventeen days.  By collectively pointing the finger at ourselves.  By looking in the mirror and figuring out how to send responsible elected officials to Washington, that unite, not divide.

In the aftermath of this, it is our turn to remember that government is not the problem.  Not this government, that seeks to play a vital role in taking care of our elderly and our poor?  Not this government that protects our food supply, guards our waterways, expands our technologies, secures our national parks and protects us after a natural disaster.  This government is not the problem!

The Tea Party, that extremist faction of the Republican Party that is spewing hate, waving Confederate flags and trying to return  America back to the ideological age of slavery and segregation, is the problem.  They are a dying breed that is unpatriotic and un-American.  Who instead of passing a budget, immigration reform, gun control legislation, a jobs and farm bill, use tactics to manufacture a crisis that weakens our economy, instead of strengthening it. This government is not the problem, irresponsible governance is the problem.

If we want a resolution that solves the problem, we must take hold.  We must have hope.  We must move FORWARD.  That is why it is time for us to go Back to the FUTURE.

WE, the People must move out of the way those who wish to obstruct us from progress.

WE, the People must take responsibility in removing those who seek to destroy opportunities for upward mobility in wealth and education.

WE, the People must replace them with elected officials who wish to construct the bridges of opportunity that open the gateways for prosperity.

WE,the People must send to Washington, men and women who promote the founding fathers fundamental principle of “one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

So let us not forget in 2014, what irresponsible stewards of our American democracy on Capitol Hill sought to do in 2013.  If we do that.  If we vote our conscious in 2014, we will find a responsible resolution to the problems that cause the dysfunction in Washington.

Time Out!

Spear_3301

Politics has become a childish blame game. Right now led by Republicans pointing fingers at everyone but yourselves, in the US Congress. So We The People want YOU to go to the Time Out corner.

My great-grandmother Georgiana used to recite us portions of Edgar Guest’s poem “Myself”.

I have to live with myself, and so,
I want to be fit for myself to know;
I want to be able as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don’t want to stand with the setting sun
And hate myself for the things I’ve done.

Republicans what are you doing for the country, workers and the economy? Can you look yourself in the eye and say you are doing all you can for the American people.   Go to Time Out until you get through this temper tantrum.

Your tantrum hurts America. You have cut wages to federal workers and defeated gun reform with valid mental health guidelines in it.  Now you fight a budget and debt ceiling deal.

You need to stop whining and get Americans working.  We need you to pass a Jobs Bill to get millions of Americans working again.

Stop whining and attacking President Obama.  Senator McConnell you smirked years ago saying your number one priority is making sure the President wasn’t reelected.  Well he was reelected, you lost, move on.

Your whining, pettiness and bitterness hurt the country.  Going after one person while holding millions of Americans hostage in an attempt to do what?

That is the question, What is your end game?  It isn’t ObamaCare.  That’s the smoke screen.  Is it to expose the Cruz/Tea Party element to get moderate, traditional Republicans into office?  There are better ways to do that.

Is it to destroy the President’s legacy?  That’s not good for America?

As elected officials, leaders of your political party, you are failing the American people.  That’s not good for America. You have focused on repealing laws rather than offering ideas to strengthen them.   You haven’t introduced or passed anything to promote strengthening our economy. That’s not good for America.

Senator McConnell, Speaker Boehner, where is the legislation that puts Republicans at the forefront of pulling the poor from the depths of poverty?  Moves the middle class into the upper middle class?  Makes small businesses stronger and lowers the unemployment rate?

Your attention is so focused on defeating Obama, you forgot to position the Party to win in 2014 and 2016.  Instead you pulled the victim card.  You scream, lie and cheat the American people.  Crying foul and painting yourself as the victim.

It is sickening to watch grown men cry foul, sounding like crybabies.  So you go to “Time Out.”

Sit and reflect on what you are doing that is hurting the country.  You can’t come out until you tell us how you are going to help Americans get back to work.

Stop whining!  American families need to know when this #governmentshutdown will stop.  We need you working for the American people not against them working.

As we wait and you sit in the Time Out corner, I leave you with this portion of Guest’s poem.  Wondering at the end of the day at the setting sun, one day will you hate yourself for the things you have done.

 I want to deserve all men’s respect;
But here in this struggle for fame and pelf,
I want to be able to like myself.
I don’t want to think as I come and go
That I’m for bluster and bluff and empty show.

Congress or Progress

The American people have been conned.  Congressional Republicans have fooled their constituents into believing that repealing laws like ObamaCare is progress or that continuing a budget sequester is best for the country. 

Congress is proving that it is not about Progress.  The arguments over immigration, budget sequester, debt ceiling, gun reform, Syria has divided our nation. We are sinking deeper in quicksand.  Congress is working against the people. It has conned some to believe repealing laws is progress.   The proof? Congress has made no progress in successfully lowering the unemployment rate, getting people working, educating more of our young people, or stabilizing our economy.  James Carville and the American people should be yelling as loud as they did over Syria, “It’s the Economy Stupid!”

Instead, now Democrats will use the mass shooting at the Navy Yard to bring up the gun debate and get nothing done. But it’s good politics.  Let’s not be fooled again.  Guns are dangerous. They give people a false sense of power and security.  Does Zimmerman follow Trayvon Martin if he didn’t have a gun?   

Politicians are just as dangerous as a person with a gun.  Those in Washington use their votes like bullets, recklessly voting for a budget sequester and against laws like ObamaCare that impact families and eliminate jobs.

The House of Representatives has voted unsuccessfully 40 times to defund ObamaCare that can help American families but not once on a budget?   Wouldn’t a budget deal help America step forward from the devastation incurred by reckless behavior on Wall Street, in the housing market and banking industry?  

The people bailed out Wall Street, bankers, the auto and housing industry, but who rebounded quickest? For once Congress think progress for the American people, end the budget sequester.  No more arguing over trivial issues like immigration that will strengthen our nation!  No more widening the gap between the poor and the rich. Stop claiming that some of the poor who were once middle class and lost their jobs and homes during the recession are lazy. Stop threatening to cutting them off from benefits that will hopefully keep from falling deeper into an economic abyss that you created.

Congress get out of the way. Make government again about the People, but about all the People. If not, then the Government for the People will be forced to find a way, to make it of the People again.