Responsibility and Entitlement

Take responsibility for your own actions.  I get that no one likes to make a mistake or screw things up but it happens to all of us.  No one is exempt.  The only thing you can do when it happens is take responsibility.
A friend told me today that her ex-husband said he just needed time off from being a parent.  Being a parent is exceedingly stressful and not for the lightweight.  When my kids were little I got an afternoon or day off occasionally.  I was always better for it in the end.  This person though is taking six weeks off.  How is he meeting his responsibilities by behaving this way? 
This is just a symptom of the entitled attitude that so many people have.  People take the attitude that something is owed to them and they should get it whether they have earned it or not.  Here is a news flash.  It isn’t.  You get nothing in life unless you work your butt off for it.  Even when you work your butt off, you sometimes don’t get what you were working for.
In the news I’m hearing about how restrictive the conservatives are being.  Politicians who come out and say that women shouldn’t have the vote; laws against teens holding hands in public; and other nonsensical laws, rules, and news stories.  All of these types of news stories are ruses to misdirect our attention from the real problem.
I recently listened to a man (yup a man) talk about contraceptive services and also about the problems facing our country.  I don’t know how Bernie Sanders (Independent from Vermont) has voted or what he is about.  However here are two youtube videos that are worth watching and worth sharing.
It isn’t that I think we should be giving away things to people.  I do think we should hold responsible the people who caused the problems with our economy.  Certainly the elderly, sick, poor, and unemployed didn’t cause the problem.  Our public employees didn’t cause the problems.  The republicans (George W Bush mostly), oil companies, wall street, and the very rich who aren’t paying taxes are the ones who’ve caused our economy to fail.  Their failures and faults are the ones who need to step up and say okay we screwed up.  Now let’s fix it. 


Two days left in my vacation.  It has been a particularly good one.  I still have to go through my books – probably tomorrow.  Today will be spent running errands and hanging out with the kid.  Tomorrow I hope to go through my books and work on writing. 

This is one of my better vacations.  I relaxed, slept when I wanted, and wrote a lot.  Yesterday I visited with Laura.  It was a bonus to the week.  We always have such good conversations.  We talked about politics.

Politics are the most difficult topic.  Walker came out on top which was my fear when Barrett was his opponent.  I didn’t feel he was a strong enough candidate.  My fear is that he thinks that all the things he has been doing are justified.  However, he again didn’t win by a large margin which means nearly half the state does not like his policies.  I guess only time will tell if he has learned to play nice or not.  My guess would be not.

The only hope I see on the horizon is that the democrats may have won back the senate.  It seems like the count is for the democrat but the republican has asked for a recount.  We wait to see.  If the senate is democrat controlled then hopefully Walker won’t be able to ram through more of his destroying policies.

Polite and intelligent

On Facebook, I just watched a video of protesters talking to police about why they were being forced to take down signs in the rotunda.  The young man speaking was eloquent and intelligent.  He spoke passionately but politely.  The police were polite and asked nicely.  The protesters took their tickets.

It is amazing to me how some people can characterize the protesters as thugs, violent and other unpleasant names.  In reality from what I’ve seen and heard they are polite and firm.  They are there to state their opinions and protest.  They aren’t causing damage.  They aren’t breaking things.  They aren’t threatening anyone.  They are there voicing their opinions and beliefs (loudly). 

They aren’t getting discourse from the Republicans.  What are the Republicans afraid of?  Why won’t they discuss with an open mind and heart?  What stops them from listening to all of these people?  Unfortunately I don’t have the answer to that.  I can make assumptions but I’m not willing to do that. 

When I went to the rally and meeting I was hoping for a republican or two to be there so I could hear their side of this.  I want to KNOW why they are doing this and what they think they will accomplish.  Sadly none showed up.  All we get from them is name calling and bullying tactics.  The rules only apply to everyone else, it would seem, not to them. 

Core Beliefs

With all the posts on politics I’ve offended some people.  Some of these people were long standing friends.  I’m not sure whether they will continue to be my friend after this bout of political sharing.  In every day life, I’m pretty middle of the road.  I’ll vote for the candidate and how he or she represents themselves.  I don’t consider myself either Democrat or Republican.

One of the friends who disagrees with my point of view told me to explore the different beliefs of the parties and present a more balanced view.  My first thought was – it isn’t supposed to be a balanced view – this is my blog about MY opinions.  However, I like to keep an open mind and I like to listen to a lot of different perspectives.  So I thought I’d start at the heart of the beliefs. 

Here are the core beliefs of the Republican party (

What we believe
We’re fortunate to live in America
You can be what you are, and become what you are capable of becoming
Helping those around you is worthwhile
Small government is a better government for the people
You know what to do with your money better than government
Free markets keep people free
Our Armed Forces defend and protect our democracy
Now to be fair – after each of these statements on the site they have a statement of what this means to the republicans. 
Here are the core beliefs of the Democrats (
We stand for:
•Equality for all
•Strong Middle Class Jobs
•Defense of our shores
•Modern Infrastructure
•Economic Stability and Prosperity
•Energy Independence
•Environmental Protection
I look at these two lists and think – were they copying from each other the day they wrote these?  Okay there are a few differences in their wording but let’s look at these lists.
Dems – Liberty, Defense of our shores  Rep – Our Armed Forces defend and protect our democracy :  This seems pretty equal to me – not the same wording but the core ideas are there.
Dems – Community    Rep – Helping those around you is worthwhile :  Here we might be a bit further apart.  The Republicans seem to be saying that it is OK to help others… the Dems seem to be wanting you to be involved in your neighborhood and society – maybe a bit broader point but without further definition it is hard to tell.
Dems – Justice and Equality for all     Rep – You can be what you are, and become what you are capable of becoming:    Dems seem to be spewing words from the constitution – not a bad thing but how are you defining it?  Reps are just vague and here is where I have to say I take SEVERE issue with them.  They have this in their core beliefs but if you are a woman they are going to tell you what to do with your body.  If you are gay or lesbian they are going to prevent you from being married… so maybe they need a codicil on their statement.
Dems – Economic stability and prosperity     Reps – You know what to do with your money better than government:    Reps – have you seriously looked at the bankruptcy rates and the credit card debt – are you sure that Americans have a clue about money?  I think we may need a remedial course in money management all the way around… Dems – true statement and any reasonable person would read this and say “yes I agree” but what do you mean by it, how will you achieve it?  I want more details from you on this…
This leaves four principles for the Dems and three for the Reps which I can’t really match up – perhaps they decided to have things just slightly different so the teacher wouldn’t think they were cheating??? 
The Dems say they want a strong middle class and the Reps say they believe a free market keeps people free.  Economists will tell you that if the middle class is doing well the the economy is doing well.  I believe (not an expert) that most economists agree on this …  
Free market is a whole different thing.  If we look at NAFTA and other free market deals all that really did was allow companies to take jobs out of the US and move it overseas.  Now nearly everything is made overseas where there are little to no workers rights or protections..  Do you know if your clothes were made in a sweat shop?  ABC news did an interesting report where they took everything out of a house that was not made in America.  The house was nearly empty.  They then put back only made in America items.  Overall I believe (didn’t see every report) they found items that were the same cost or less that were made in the US.  The only items they didn’t find to be less expensive were the appliances – only ones still made in US are the top of the line WOLF appliance (made in WI I think).  So why are we buying foreign made goods so much?  Why aren’t we putting our neighbors to work?
The reps also say we are fortunate to live in America – yes we are.  That doesn’t mean that things are perfect here.  They also claim to believe in small government being better for the people.  A principle I agree with.  I don’t want the government regulating my womb.  I don’t want the government telling me who I can marry.  Oh wait the reps do that – maybe someone should show them their core beliefs and explain them to them so they remember that.  (That may have been slightly bitchy or all out bitchy but I’m not apologizing for the republicans)
On the other side of the aisle the dems stand for modern infrastructure, energy independence, and environmental protection.  I’d argue with this but I can’t.  I too believe if we have these things it makes our country better.  Yet I don’t want to go into debt to achieve these things.  If we go into debt though initially will it stimulate the economy enough that more revenues will be generated to cover the debt?  I don’t know – again I”m not an economist. 
Here is my thing – when we are talking about ideals.  I agree with both parties.  I like the principles of each and think they have some great core beliefs.  The problem occurs when they try to implement these beliefs.  There needs to be a strong independent spirit in our politicians.  They have to be above things like their own greed in accumulating power and money for their own aggrandizement.  Unfortunately most politicians aren’t. 
I see these beliefs and I want to weep for joy in the wonderful idealistic tone of them.  Then I look at how they have been applied.  I think at the heart of it our politicians have forgotten they are hired by the people to serve the people.  Few of them are doing a good job.  Sadly it seems to me that recent events have proven that money can buy an election.  Just look at Wisconsin.


I watched the Governor’s news conference today.  He tried to convince all of us what a horrible position we are in.  He can say we are broke a million times and every time he does I think about the tax breaks he gave his cronies.  What he really said were half truths and lies.  I get that he is trying everything in his power to convince the citizens of Wisconsin that he is being truthful and trying to do what is best for Wisconsin.  He comes across as a slick used car salesman.

I watched the Democrats’ response to the Governor’s news conference.   I think they were genuine in their response.  I listened to the Republicans attempt to bully the Democrats and realized that they were doing their best to stand up to them. 

Walker says that the stimulus money was misappropriated.  Where is his proof?  I worked for the DOT and I know how careful everyone was for making sure about how the money was spent.  I know that we let (this means to put out for bid) a billion dollars worth of contracts which is twice what we normally do in a year.  We worked our asses off to get that money out to the contractors.  I’m offended that he would accuse us of spending it unwisely or erroneously. 

Walker said nothing new in his speech.  He just spewed more of the same rhetoric.  I saw Republicans yelling at Democrats because they weren’t getting their way.  It is sad that adults who are supposed to be leaders act like bullies on the playground.

Go Democrats!!!

I’m not a political person – yes I know I’ve posted so much this week on the issues going on but under normal circumstances I’m just not.  I don’t vote by party lines.  I don’t discuss my votes.  I vote – every election.  I despair that our politician will ever get what is needed for our country.

Today though, I was PROUD of our state Democrat senators.  The Republicans and Governor have closed their minds and their ears to the pleas of the workers in the state.  Walker said he had 8,000 emails supporting what he is doing.  How many did he have wanting it to stop?  How many people have protested – somewhere around 50,000. 

I watched the national programs tonight – they were amusing.  They also got to the heart of the matter.  I think this is the first time I’ve heard the other side of the story.  It has been the Republicans BLASTING away at the “evil” state workers and unions. 

The overly dramatic presentation of the information was a bit much (maybe because I’m from the Midwest) but maybe that will start people thinking.  Paul Ryan is an idiot.  He accused the protesters of being violent.  I say come to Madison and see for yourself.  The Madison police had only good things to say about the protesters.  Apparently Ryan thinks the teachers are a bunch of violent radical people.  Well they are radical – they want to keep their rights.

If Walker and his cronies have their way, Wisconsin will become a state of haves and have nots.  It isn’t the state workers who have.  It will be the corporations, big business, and the politicians who have.  The workers – everyone else will be a have not.  State worker (those that don’t already have second jobs) will be looking for a second job. 

I hope the Democrats drive their point home and stick together.  They are doing what’s right and I intend to support them.

Check out these articles…

Building Wisconsin’s Economy?

Here are a few numbers for people to consider.  Since before Walker took office here are some things he has sent away for us.
·         800 Million in High Speed Rail funds
·         23 Million in Broadband funs – WI libraries fought for this and it was supposed to go to schools, libraries, police, fire and hospitals in rural areas for the last three
·         70 – 75 million in transit funds will be lost if the collective bargaining goes away because the Federal Dept of Labor requires this be in place to receive federal monies.
Approximately 900 million will be lost by this man in six weeks of being in office.  For those who cry out for recall – recall of public officials cannot begin until they have been in office for 1 year.  Impeachment is reliant on the legislators to impeach him.  Do you see that happening with a Republican legislature? 
How much can Wisconsin afford to lose?  These funds were going to go towards making a better Wisconsin and now we are out nearly a billion dollars. 
Governor Walker – How do you intend to replace these funds?  I can guarantee that state workers will stop existing if you take more from them.  Private sector employees should pay attention because what happens in the public sector will happen in the private sector.  You think you are paying a lot now for your benefits – wait till this goes through.  You will pay even more and you won’t have a chance of getting a union anywhere.
I’d like to believe that our representatives would listen to the outcry of the workers of this state but they are sheep all following party lines. 
I’ve read some of the comments about state workers on the Journal Sentinel and other sites.  Here are a few things I’m sure the general public won’t want to hear.  State workers tend your old, your poor, your battered, your roads, your schools, and your safety from crime and fires. 
Some of the workers are lazy.  They do only what they have to in order to keep their jobs.  These workers are few and far between.  Most workers for the state give of their time and energy for a paycheck that is smaller than what they could get in the private sector.  Yes their benefits are better than the private sector.  No state worker has said they aren’t willing to pay more for any of the benefits.  However, taking away collective bargaining rights is not going to balance the budget. 
What that does is allow Walker to make arbitrary changes.  He can then fire people for no reason other than he wants to save money.  He can add furlough days and state workers have no choice or protection.  He can make all sorts of changes.
Here is the thing – the state of Wisconsin is not a business.  It is a complex government body that needs careful consideration in how it should be run and where cuts can be made.  Walker does not care about children, women, workers, poor, middle class.  He cares for the rich and businesses.