Thursday, April 29, 2010

What Were They Thinking

I don’t like the politics, the homophobia or the pedophilia of the Boy Scout Organizaiton. Those aspects of the organization are jingoistic, intolerant and immoral. Now they have proven the organization to be down right ludicrous. Boys can earn merit badges for things such as archery, carpentry and canoeing and the many things of that ilk that we associate with Scouting, but now, dum ta, ta dumb, they can earn one for PLAYING VIDEO GAMES.

What were the executives of the organization thinking when they decided to give out a merit badge for sitting on the couch playing video games? I thought Scouting was about being out doors and science and helping old ladies across the street, not being a couch potato. Actually I thought it was about everything that couch potatoes are not.

I guess I’m just getting old. My children constantly tell me that childrearing isn’t want it used to be. I’ll say not!

I'm Boycotting AZ

I am so thankful that my husband chose to retire rather than to transfer to AZ! What is up with those people? First they did not want to observe Martin Luther King Day and now they want to lead us down the road to a national identity card. If you think such a card would not have a computer chip in it, think again. When I think of people having to produce identification randomly I think of Nazi Germany—and by the way Homeland Security sounds a lot like the Fatherland and always has.

We are a nation of immigrants and if we need reforms on immigration instead of harassing people who may well have been born right here and therefore will have to prove they are Americans. That’s not acceptable. I know that other countries have identity cards, but we aren’t other countries. We are a nation of immigrants where people have historically come to make a fresh start. Why not make it easier for them to come here legally?

No, Mexicans are not going to take jobs that Americans could have. Americans are too spoiled to be picking fruit and vegetables, cleaning motel rooms and mowing lawns. Yes, we do need immigration reform, but passing laws designed to target aliens and intimidate voters is not the way to go. I have a son whose father came here from Iran as a teenager. He went to college, applied for a green card, and became a naturalized citizen. My son was born in Castro Valley, CA, but he has a Persian name and dark hair and eyes. After 9-1-1 I truly worried that Bush would round up all the Arabs and Persians and put them in concentration camps ala Roosevelt and the Japanese-Americans. South Carolina’s Congressman Barrett (R) attempted to have all Iranians deported earlier this year.

It is typical during an economic depression/recession for Americans to become more jingoistic and look for scapegoats for their distress. Sending all the illegal Mexicans back to Mexico will not improve our economy. Quite the reverse. And I have no wish to be forced to prove that I was born in Kansas. I will not be buying anything from or visiting AZ anytime soon.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Buddy Can You Spare a Dime?

Since the beginnings of civilization society has had those individuals who for one reason or another find it necessary to ask—beg—for help from those more capable of making their way in life. They have always been with us. During hard economic times even more so. They make us uncomfortable and we’d rather they be invisible so we don’t have to think about them. We pass laws against panhandling as though we can outlaw homelessness and poverty. Tacoma has tried it with the result that the beggars came to Gig Harbor. Gig Harbor prefers to keep those things invisible or on the other side of the Narrows Bridge.

Up until recently there have been three or four individuals (never more than two at one time) standing at the intersection of Pt. Fosdick and Olympic Drives holding signs asking for help. Since the appearance of an article on the phenomenon in the Peninsula Gateway, Gig Harbor’s weekly newspaper, they have disappeared. Did they all get jobs? Were they all run out of town on a rail? Are they in the bushes behind Safeway where homeless people, some of them Tacoma ex-gang members, have lived for several years?

I don’t have a problem with panhandlers or beggars. It reminds me that we are not doing enough to care for each other. If I’m not the one driving and we are stopped at the intersection I will give them a $5 bill. No one need feel obliged to give money to these people, but our family firmly believes that there are people for whom it is just impossible to hold a job. Most of us would not even want to attempt to employ them. Does this mean that they just deserve to starve or die from the elements? I don’t think so. The fact that people are in a position where begging has become their only option speaks to our failure as a society to care for our own. The way we outlaw poverty is to provide support for these people not pass laws that attempt to make them invisible.