ON THE TEXAS ABORTION LAW
Being pro-life has as much to do with abortion; as it has to do with healthcare, poverty, the education system, and gun control.
Being pro-life means believing that universal health care is a right and that all Americans deserve to never have to choose between life and homelessness; it means giving workers a living wage; it means that black lives matter too; it means that we need to educate our children on comprehensive sex education, because abstinence only has never been a fix for anything; it means ensuring that all women have the ability to have access to birth control and contraception, because we all know the wives, mistresses, and daughters, of the "pro-life" crowd can afford theirs; and it means we need common sense gum reform, so our children don't have to wear Kevlar backpacks and look over their shoulders every day at school; it means being vaccinated against COVID-19, so they can save their own lives and the lives of the people who actually can't protect themselves...
These people who call themselves "pro-life", are anything but...because they fight you when you want to protect their actual children from a global pandemic that could kill them and anyone around them.
Being pro-life means being anti-forced birth; because that child will be born into a world where an unvaccinated breath could kill them, an unregulated firearm can kill them at a school or concert, they can't afford to eat, they'll go to an under funded school, their parents both have to work 2 jobs because they are in the same cycle and aren't granted a living wage so that child is raised by an older sibling or by the streets thus continuing the cycle.
This is not pro-life. This is forced birth on the poor.
As I've watched the events in Afghanistan unfold, my heart first became heavy...for the women and girls who are watching their dreams, education, and freedom from oppression come crashing down; and for my friends, family, and neighbors, who have come home forever altered by the things they did to ensure our mission. As I look for an explanation, that heaviness turns to anger.
The result of the Taliban taking back over Afghanistan was inevitable, and the whole world knew it, no matter how long ago we forgot to think about it. Who's to blame for this? While it happened on President Biden's watch, he's the least to blame for it. Hell, he was the one person thinking this through back in 2009 when he opposed The Surge. Blaming him for this would be equivalent to blaming him for COVID. Bush became the occupier, and then installed a corrupt leader/government. Obama made it worse by sending 17,000 more troops within a month of taking office. Trump negotiated with the terrorists (remember when previous Republican administration said "we don't negotiate with terrorists"?) before inciting his own group of domestic terrorists. They're all to blame.
All I've seen from current elected Republicans are "now isn't the time for politics or blame"...but they say that because they know it was their politics and actions that caused this in the first place, they just refuse to acknowledge it.
However, this had to happen. We had to pull the plug...and if not now, then when? I ask that the Biden Administration expedite all requests from the citizens of Afghanistan, prioritizing those who assisted us in our mission and their families. Now is the time to be that World Power, and grant asylum to those escaping the monster we help to create.
ON THE ISIS ATTACK
Thoughts and prayers simply don't cut it anymore. Like you, I'm tired of seeing those tweets and meaningless gestures sent out whenever something like this happens. While our nation grieves the loss of these brave souls, who were killed trying to help the men and women of Afghanistan escape persecution.
They deserve to be honored, not by loudly screaming and taking cheap political shots in the wake of this tragedy. Rather, by completing their mission, swiftly granting refugee status to the folks they died trying to help evacuate, and getting every American out of Afghanistan to avoid any more bloodshed. Thank you, and may God Bless the United States of America.
ON REPUBLICANS VS PROGRESS
Republican Members of Congress are screaming from the rooftops. Again. Are they upset that the new Sheriff's in Town are fighting for the working class? They loved it when they removed the 'burden' of things like...taxes...on the wealthy donor class...who really don't pay taxes at all anyway… But now that the Democratic party are passing bills that contain ideas like; voting rights, saving pensions, investing in infrastructure and education, adding vision, dental, and hearing aids to Medicare, paid family leave, and cutting taxes for the folks who work for the people who don't pay any taxes...all of a sudden we're off a cliff like Thelma and Louise? Give me a break. They're not arguing for conservative alternatives, they just want to obstruct and get people hate the systems designed to help them. Bring me conservative, free market, alternatives to the collapsing bridges; not aging into poverty; educating the next generation; and choosing between paying rent and buying groceries; then we'll talk. But until then, get out of the way of progress.
ON THE CURRENT STATE OF THE GOP
Let's talk about the Trump Party. They're not Republicans anymore, so we can no longer refer to them as such. Long gone are the days when Democrats and Republicans could discuss sides to an issue - meanwhile always agreeing on the facts. The debates about should Healthcare be for-profit or not, should government or private enterprise solve whatever problem was before us, does having the biggest and most experience military or having diplomatic relationships promote world peace… The Republican party of thoughtful debate and personal responsibility, the party of which I am a former member, is dead.
I grew up in the rust belt - the heart of the Appalachian Mountains - in the Shenango Valley. I'm the great-granson of immigrant steel workers and bread basket farmers, the grandson of railroad and maintenance workers, the son of a carpenter and a nurse. We go to farm shows, Main Street Italian festivals, and county fairs; we go camping, and fishing, and never bring enough beer. We take our trucks off road, play in the mud, and can't figure out why the rest of the country doesn't put French fries on their salads. But most importantly, and the thing I perhaps love most, is our sense of community. If you're a Golden Tornado, Red Hurricane, Tiger, Mustang, Muskie, Scottie, or so on; you wear that on your sleeve, and don't need a hashtag to shop local. So I ask...where has that gone? Where did you go when the community needed you? Have we no sense of responsibility to one another? I hear "freedom isn't free" every other day...and they're right...it's not. But this was your time! Your time to be personally responsible, the thing about which the former republican party used to scream about the most...the opportunity for you to actually put your sense of community into action... With the freedom we have in this country, we have to duty and obligation of both personal responsibility, and community care. We have traffic lights and road signs, because with your freedom to drive comes the responsibility of doing so in a manner which does not harm others. Your freedom to drive a car, does not supercede my rights to not be hit by it. Nor do you have the right to drive so fast as to put yourself or others in danger.