State of the Union Bingo Card 2012

Play along with the State of the Union Bingo Card

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we need to focus on education, not abortion

The US Congress has been focusing on abortion a lot lately. Abortion — the word alone causes an immediate and strong reaction, and it should,  it’s horrible when a woman finds herself in need of an abortion. The best plan is to not get into that situation in the first place, if at all possible and that’s why it’s important for the American agenda to focus on education,  not abortion.

I want unborn babies to be saved,  there is nothing better than a baby being born to a mother who is healthy, educated and able to financially and emotionally support her child. But, in order to do that, the focus of the American agenda needs to  provide a better support  to young women in ways that they may become independent, self-empowered people with great goals for becoming a vital part of her community. As such she will be more likely to postpone pregnancy to a time when she is able to take care of her children and to be healthy enough to carry to full-term.  This can be done in three ways, supporting the physical health of young women, support the self-esteem of high-risk young women, instilling within them financial literacy skills, and any support emotional or tutorial needed to finish high school and get a Bachelor’s Degree in a field where she may excel. By giving a young woman the ability to go to college and have something to work toward besides attracting a man at a young age, helps to prevent her from using sex as a method of self-esteem and security which may result in an unplanned pregnancy. This is the most effective way to protect the unborn in America.

I wish you had come to me with your birth control offer years ago so I wouldn’t have had 14 babies.

– Sharon, client #24 from projectprevention.org website. 

Another way to prevent unplanned pregnancy is to make birth control readily available to low-income couples. Statistics show that many unplanned pregnancies are a result of not having the proper birth control available or affordable to low-income couples. It’s important to address unplanned pregnancy as a cultural issue, the glorification of having unprotected sex as a status symbol needs to change, women need to perceive that their ability to bear children is a sacred right and to use their age old responsibility to be discerning about the man allowed to have the privilege of being with her. Our sisters in the animal kingdom know this, they don’t let just any random animal mate with them. They look for the one who will be there to provide and care for the babies once they are born. How did this simple rule of Nature get lost in our culture? Male animals work to be worthy of being a father the status is in being a stable provider of love and objects of necessity to his offspring and mate especially while the babies are nursing. To have this honor males in other species sometimes fight to the death for the chance to be with a female. Not to advocate violence, that’s not my point, my point is to be more discerning about one’s sex partner and not to devalue sex to the extent it has been degraded and devalued in the American culture.  The second part of  the equation is to make birth control readily available to those who could wisely plan their pregnancies, avoiding an unwanted pregnancy. The attack on Planned Parenthood has the distinct unintended possibility of creating more, not less, unplanned pregnancies. Once it gets to that point, once there is the horribly painful situation of an unplanned pregnancy at hand, history shows that people have taken matters into their own hands. It doesn’t have to be that way. The lower cost solution, both in human and taxpayer cost is to focus on a positive way to not let it get that far.

Lastly, there needs to be good pregnancy planning education and sexual health curriculum  in place in public schools. Although people would like to assume that all parents are present, prepared and willing to have “the talk” it simply isn’t the case for many children. They are left to fend for themselves,  given misinformation or no information at all,and many times because they are using bad information to make decisions, things don’t go as planned. Places like Planned Parenthood can offer medically trained professionals with the most up-to-date information to be a resource for “the talk” if needed . It is important that good information is given to young adults so they can make the best choices for themselves.

The best way to stop abortion is through abortion prevention, a good education, self-esteem and a hopeful future worth abstaining  or at least using birth control for, can be some of the best  measures for abortion prevention available. Give young women an attainable, and worthwhile goal to work toward so that their pregnancy can be a planned and joyous occasion as  it is meant to be, which is the best scenario for everyone involved.

we need to focus on main street, not wall street

A rising tide lifts all boats. This is a phrase originally used by JFK in the 1960’s and it still rings true today. Through the years the phrase has been distorted by conservatives to justify trickle-down economics. You make things “almost free” (as the salesman on a Mexican beach may say of his wares) for the top 5% of wealth holders in America and they will be so touched by the generosity of the nation as to be inspired to make that money rain down on the nation in the form of jobs and abundant prosperity for all. –Amen.

Well things have been trickling down for the last twenty years but it hasn’t been prosperity. It seems to be a mechanical problem. I propose the trickle up theory of economics. It seems after reflection that America would have been better off giving a check of $500,000 to every American rather than giving it to the banks. The banks who by the way still sit on lending money. True many institutions given TARP money have paid it back. However, the lending to stimulate the economy didn’t happen.

What happened was record profits and bonuses. Well good for them. However, it still doesn’t solve the problem. So here’s the thing I am thinking about Wall St. vs. Main St. Wall St. can invest anywhere and they have. They create derivatives and hedge funds to protect their portfolios. Again fantastic for them. They know how to make money and they have the resources to do it. I feel no need to punish them for being good at what they do.

At the same time Main St. who isn’t going anywhere is being fiscally starved of capital. If America were a business Main St. would be our regular customers. They aren’t going anywhere else, they couldn’t if they wanted to at this point. They spend their money locally and it circulates locally, nationally and internationally to manufacturers and customer service centers abroad. Where Wall St. is the spleen and marrow creating and storing the blood of the economy, money. Where government is the veins, arteries and capillaries guiding the flow. Main St. is the heart, keeping things pumping and when the heart isn’t pumping the whole system dies.

“Rising tide lifts all boats”. ~John F. Kennedy

What good is having things to sell if there is no confident consumer to purchase it? The cycle of the economy needs to be complete to work. Main St. doesn’t have the resources that Wall St. has and the people of Wall St. used to understand the important part it played for the nation. I think Wall St .has lost it’s way. When did it become so “Me” and so not “We” where did the patriotism go? And if it is gone forever then the whole dynamic must shift to reflect that. To see Wall St. in an expatriate status.

Main St. isn’t going anywhere. It is the nation. When Main St. does well, everyone does well. It is time that public policy more accurately reflect this reality. The nation has tried the “voodoo economics” of the trickle down theory for a few decades now and it is a failed experiment. I say we put more money in middle-class pockets and they will distribute the money in a very capitalistic way. Rising tide lifts all boats. Grow the tax-base and the rest of these problems will take care of themselves.

we need statemanship, not brinkmanship

“Demotivation – Sometimes the best solution to morale problems is just to fire all of the unhappy people.”~Larry Kersten

If only it were that simple. In Congress that simply is not possible. Hence we have the awkward three-legged race only it has many legs and they are at this time going nowhere. Okay admittedly nowhere is harsh. There is progress being made and President Obama continues to assure us that the gap is closing between Republican and Democrats demands and the debt ceiling will be raised in time to save the United States’ pristine credit rating.

What is the cost?

At what cost? Is the question that comes to mind. What is  the cost to consumer confidence and the American morale in this brinkmanship? Is it worth the cost? So many Americans are facing their own real hardships right now. Is it not self-indulgent for these politicians to be playing these political games when what so many Americans really need to hear right now is “Don’t worry, everything is under control.” That is really what Americans need to hear right now. That is really why people send representatives to Washington D.C. in a crisis. To create innovative ideas to pull this economy up by its boot-straps and make everything okay again. However, that does not appear to be what’s happening.

It is much like the children watching their parents fight. It is scary because the children think to themselves “These are the people in charge?” When the people who are in leadership appear to be out-of-control it is a very unsettling feeling. An unsettling feeling when so many are already so unsettled is bad for morale and that is not good for America.

Americans need thoughtful, dignified statesmanship, not the out-of-control bullying of brinkmanship.

I grow tired of these bundling games. Trying to forcing complex issues through on mandatory legislation to force them down the throats of the voters is not what Democracy is about. Having a small minority hold the majority hostage is not what this is about. Yes we need to get our debt down. Okay. However, how do the Freshman members of Congress get such amnesia about how the money was spent?  In a deep Recession the pumps need to be primed, if it was done well and without interference it is very possible there very likely would be a much more robust tax-base to help repay some of this debt.

It is about investment. What private company is successful when they say “Oh we are low on funds let’s cut back.”? That doesn’t happen. They invest, expand, beg, borrow and steal to get more capital flowing into the coffers. None of this cutting back to create jobs makes sense. The US government is not a household and macroeconomics is not microeconomics — statesmen know this.

What will be left when the dust clears?

My biggest concern at this point is what will be left of American morale and consumer confidence after this debate has ravaged them? How long will it take to bounce back? As this game of chicken is being over-played in DC to make political points with DC insiders. Those who live outside the beltway are losing their patience with the games.