TRUMPZYMANDIAS

With apologies to Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a Republican from Washington D.C.

Who said: The wall will keep out the rapists.

The parents and the children; Not innocent. Not worthy.

But I say:

The Real Estate King number 45

With cold command and ridiculous pride

Will tell his sculptor to build his name

At the top of the wall, while he plays this game

And rapes the employees of the Federal Tribe

Who are really just trying to stay alive.

And at the base, these words could appear:

My name is Trumpzymandias, king of kings.

Look on my works, ye Americans and despair.

Nothing will remain. The decay of our democracy

Will stretch far away.

Unless we encircle him with his very own wall

Of his lies and deceit and make that call.

The words that should appear are; traitor

Russian-owned Alt- Right agitator.

We Are the UNITED States of America. Remember?

Every morning when we wake up, my husband and I turn on the television to see what new national calamity has befallen our political climate.

I cannot take it anymore.

I cannot last three more years.

I cannot help but resent the divisiveness and the name-calling.

I have a right to live in a country where people agree to disagree politely, without threatening harm to, disrespecting or belittling the opposition. I am afraid this starts at the top. Mr. President, are you listening? You need to cool your jets and get it together. And the news show interviewees, who represent the president, are frankly rude as hell on TV. They may think they’re selling the president’s position, but the only thing I see is a panel of obnoxious people talking over each other. That’s neither an interview nor a discussion.

Remember, we are the UNITED States of America.

We are ALL Americans. We come from different backgrounds, religions and political parties. The point of our elaborate government is to ensure freedom and democracy for all, not the existence of an oligarchy that flexes its political power through a financial, or physical stranglehold on the people. We don’t exist in servitude to those who harbor more green pieces of paper. And yet in truth, the very act of having opposition is exactly what MAKES us Americans. The opposition has the RIGHT to oppose us, respectfully, legally and safely, without verbal or physical abuse. No one is supposed to be threatened for expressing his or her views.

THAT’S what makes us special.

To me, THAT CONCEPT is the American dream. Moving up the social ladder, buying a home, educating one’s children and starting a business are all important of course, but these goals start with the ability to speak up safely and engage in public discourse in our American society without reprisal.

I can post on social media that I disagree with the “Right to Life” movement and that I don’t think there should be prayer in public school. I have the promise that I can express myself without retribution.   I should not be belittled or blocked from a Facebook group for expressing an unpopular point of view. Likewise, I should keep it civil when for instance I am discussing the president, reproductive rights or my reaction to the Republican stance on immigration.

Yes I’m guilty of calling the head guy an asshat on Facebook…repeatedly. I apologize and will refrain from it in the future. I am not apologizing because he is the president. I am apologizing because although it felt good to vent, it did nothing to help the circumstances and it was disrespectful to my fellow Americans, Mr. Trump included.

This continued animosity in our society that plays out everyday on the television and in the newspapers is criminal. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much anger in this country. It is debilitating. It is exhausting to listen to every single day. And it is absolutely threatening to our democracy.

Propaganda is used against us by our fellow Americans every day. We are being manipulated. It has become such a constant that we are now literally ripe for a fascist coup.

Granted, I have my share of frustration with the current administration too. But, we must stop villainizing our opposition and start remembering that we are Americans first and Democrats or Republicans second. Finding common ground is important. Being inclusive is important. Remembering the words on the base of the Statue of Liberty is important. Those words stand for something that is uniquely American.

All of the energy we are using to trash the opposition should be used to try to find some common ground. What are the REAL objectives of the political parties? Can they just lay it out there, once and for all in the open?

Do Republicans really feel this country only exists for rich, white men and the rest of us should do their bidding? Do they think that every American should be Christian and that the bible should supersede the Constitution? That’s what it looks like. If they want to rein that in a little, perhaps they need to work on it.

Do Democrats really believe that social programs do not need to be audited? Do they understand that a budget needs to be restrained even when there are lofty goals to help the underprivileged? Do they think that immigration is a right or a privilege?

I feel like Congress is comprised of High School wrestling teams that forgot the rules of engagement. The point is to win your match, not to destroy the other team. If you destroy the other team, you destroy democracy, the pillar of the American dream.

Assuming the president is of sound mind and that he has some heartfelt ideology, I would implore him to print out his current mission statement. I wouldn’t mind seeing that from the two major political parties either. I do not like this waffling. I don’t appreciate the constant name-calling and the fear mongering. I don’t like feeling that Congress, and frankly the President, are operating at middle-school level.

I wish we could get an arbitrator to work with the Senate and the House to teach them team-building exercises. They need to actively listen to the objectives and motivation of each side WITHOUT talking back, if only for one day. Is there a Social Psychologist out there up for this task? We could start a go- fund -me to send them to the hill…

Perhaps we need to really understand those mission statements before we slug out the details. It’s time for Congress to take in the mats and go back to the training room. They need more coaching.

ABORTION IS ON THE TABLE AGAIN? #PolitePenises

With the advent of Trump’s presidency looming, women’s reproductive rights are once again being threatened by a potential new regime of Supreme Court appointees. I am tired of seeing citizens and statesmen debate abortions and reproduction rights again, when there are really simple answers to this challenge, so I am going to be proactive. This should never be a political debate.

There is no debate.

I own my vagina. I own my uterus. You own your penis. Men, keep it to yourself unless it is invited to visit, and there should be no problems. I have a way to save money, time and incessant chatter about what people do with their own bodies. Here is a solution once and for all.

Sex and reproduction come with certain societal responsibilities due to the financial constraints of potentially creating a new life and/or the psychological possibilities of destroying an existing life; that is the woman who is here and already living for those of you who don’t get it. Thus, since the anti-reproductive rights bastion has once again inserted itself into strangers’ lives, let us prevent expensive and lengthy court cases and psychological treatment and simply sign contracts before having sex…every time.

I propose a signed, licensed agreement every time a man has a consensual or non-consensual sexual act with a woman.  For consensual sex, he either signs a contract that he will use a condom or he certifies that he has had a vasectomy. Then he must sign off that he has visually observed his female partner utilize her birth control including confirming that she took her pill or that she inserted her diaphragm, etc. prior to the sexual act. There also needs to be a witness over 18 who signs an application every time someone wants to have a sexual act, even within a marriage.  (Look I just created new jobs too! Note the witness is for the application only).

In the cases of rape or incest the man needs to sign a contract stating that he knows that the act is illegal, that he is using a condom so the victim will not get a disease, that his wages will be garnished by the government indefinitely to pay for psychological therapy for the victim, her legal fees to prosecute him and all of her related medical fees. Further, he understands he will have his testicles and penis cut off and dried and that he will be required to wear them around his neck in a small plastic jar for the rest of his life. The Scarlett Letter has been changed to R.

Should my fellow citizens and congressional representatives also insist on an anti-abortion clause, the perpetrator must sign a contract that he will pay for every financial need of the child and mother in perpetuity, even if the child is adopted out to another family. (This will encourage more adoptions too if we can make it financially easier for a family to provide a home for a child).

Presently I have a team of engineers working on a Sexual Act Remote Registry. (I have hired on-shore Americans because I am trying to do my part to keep jobs here). Each contract much be scanned into the National Registry and approved prior to each consensual or non-consensual act. This way we will spend far less money and time in courts if everyone’s responsibility is clearly spelled out prior to consummating each sexual act. Should a rapist fill out the contract prior to attempting rape, the police will be alerted immediately to save the potential victim prior to the approval. The potential perpetrator who signs his intention to commit a crime will still receive a dried version of his penis and testicles for the jar on his neck…

One call does it all. Or click.

Get Uncle Sam’s arm out of my vagina. I appreciate the passion of the religious anti-abortion right, but yours is not the only passion, religion or set of beliefs in these United States, the land of the free.

My autonomy over my heart, liver and uterus trump your religious beliefs every time. I own my vagina.

To the real men out there in anti-reproductive rights land, you should spend more time and attention educating other people with penises to stop inserting them violently into women they grab on the street or their own nine -year-old daughters. You anti-reproductive rights supporters have completely missed the point.

Men are responsible for the pregnancies.

They are the ones who pushed their way into a vagina. You don’t like graphic? Well you throw it around all the time with baby killer pictures. You need to spend your time and resources teaching men to be Polite Penis Pushers. If a woman says “no” simply stop pushing your penis where it doesn’t belong. If you are trying to rape a woman, kindly take your hand off her mouth first so you can hear her saying “no.” And just let’s assume your nine- year- old daughter doesn’t really want or need to be introduced to the sex act by you, her father, or stepfather, uncle, brother, cousin or any male member of her family friends or circle of acquaintances.

In the event a woman used birth control and still got pregnant or she had a test result that showed that the fetus was at risk for any significant medical problem, or she simply doesn’t want to be pregnant for whatever reason SHE wants, the woman has the right to terminate the pregnancy. End of story. You do realize what it takes to bring a fetus to full term right? Well having had two successful pregnancies myself, I am certainly more qualified to speak on this subject than any male anti-women’s reproductive rights supporter out there so listen up. It is a huge responsibility to eat right, exercise, and curtail threatening activities, etc. in order to bring a wanted fetus to full term. If someone wants an abortion and you stand in their way, how are they going to bring a healthy life into the world anyway? Oh I guess you are planning to lock the woman up in a breeding house until she gives birth?

The truth is that no one can make any decision about any other woman’s reproductive rights except their own. The right-wing extremists have to understand one thing. You do not have the right to push your religious beliefs on anyone else. If you do not want an abortion, do not have one.

I think abortion is a terrible thing. I do not know that I could have had one under most circumstances. But I believe it is a personal choice.

I can support that choice without condoning abortions and therein lies the solution to this haunting religiously- based controversy that needs to end.

You, anti- reproductive freedom people are wasting time money and resources with something that shouldn’t be political sport to engage voters and get votes. It is not your business how each woman and her family deal with an unwanted pregnancy. It is not your privilege in life to make a rape or incest victim deal with a lifetime of pain based on your religious values. If you believe in God, then I am pretty sure that God can deal with the issue with each individual woman and her family, without you interfering.

So where do we go from here?

First if you are totally sold on still encouraging anti-reproductive rights legislature, I implore you to adopt a child. As I understand it older children, children with disabilities and bi-racial children are the hardest ones to find homes for, so why don’t you start there. You can also help bring down the cost of college, and raising a child and I may join you.

Then, let’s enhance our sexual education programs, teach abstinence and self-control but realistically teach it along with birth control. Let’s keep birth control affordable. Let’s teach more life-skill courses where teenagers spend a week caring for those cute, yet annoying baby dolls that give young people a real sense of the immensity of being a parent.

Then let’s encourage people across the nation, especially teenagers, to volunteer at rape crisis centers and orphanages. Let’s spend money on counseling and guidance and mental health to avoid rapes and incest in the first place. Most importantly, let us review our acceptance of  “sex sells” marketing, inappropriate presidential communication and the general rape culture and teach men to respect and cherish women.

It is frankly unbelievable to me that we are dealing with this yet again. We have more important and pressing issues to deal with like Climate Change and those natural resources that we are destroying at a rapid rate. You know keep it up and we won’t have a planet to sustain life anyway, so this will all be moot.

In conclusion, dear anti-reproductive rights supporters, your hands do not belong in anyone’s vagina other than your own and that of your wife’s, if and only if she consents and you sign the aforementioned contract.

And finally, to my fellow citizens everywhere, let us remember that you own your penises and I am pretty certain that I own my vagina.

I BELIEVED IN THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT

I believed in the United States government.

It was my family’s salvation. If my great-grandparents had stayed in Russia, they would have been destroyed by pograms and starvation. I thank my ancestors daily for having the chutzpah to beg, borrow or steal to get themselves on a boat to this new world of promise, the USA. I was taught that this is the greatest country in the world, not because we always make the right decisions, but because mistakes can be changed.

We can change things as a country.

I can change things.

I can ask my congressional representative to change things.

I can even ask other people to join me in a movement to change things.

But the part about it being very, very hard to change, was left out…

I am disillusioned to say the least.

I have been abused by the United States governmental infrastructure because I have the “poor luck” to be self -employed. I am buried in paper work, tax reporting, The Affordable Care Act, 940s, 1040s, 1099s, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

I would like to be enhancing our website, contacting advertisers and executing the newest idea for our business; you know the thing that makes us money and keeps us off government assistance.

But the immense amount of reporting entities that do little more than shove my call from place to place, “accidentally” hang up on me and give me ridiculous explanations for why things don’t work, is stealing my life’s breath from me…daily. I have little left to give my business or my family.

I am drowning in a man-made river of paper and lost opportunity and I heartily resent it.

I am a managing partner/ co-owner of my family’s LLC. We are a real business with a website, contractual skill for sale, business cards and tradeshows. Yet we do not count as a business for the Affordable Care Act. We do count as a business when we are taxed to death. I have to pay unemployment insurance on my husband and me, but we will never be able to collect it, when a contract ends. I have to pay payroll tax. I have to pay a Corporate tax. I am not allowed to keep my retained earnings because I am too busy paying legal and accounting experts for poor advice as to how to pay the taxes, that never, ever is the same. I end up repeatedly on the phone for hours and hours trying to rectify other people’s clerical errors that affect me, or fixing what happened due to the experts’ asinine advice all while trying to keep myself from having a heart attack.

After the 1994 Nothridge earthquake at 4:30 in the morning, our home in a luxury condominium building was destroyed. The HOA president gathered all of the residents in the outdoor patio, after the sun came up where we could see the blasted out windows and frames hanging off the building, gigantic cracks, half of the lost water that sloshed up from the pool and the elevator hanging outside of the encasement on rubber tendons. We smelled the gas lines that broke and heard the sirens canvassing the main boulevard around the corner. But no one checked on us. No policemen or firemen came by. If a government official gave a press meeting, we did not see it. Our electricity did not work. Our TVs were broken. Our food was rotting. Our personal treasures were destroyed.

The HOA president looked at all of us and what was left of our beautiful building and said dismayed, “We are on our own.”

Well Virginia, we are on our own now; really on our own.

My beloved United States is failing me. My first love, the thing I believed in the most, my religious, zealous love of freedom and opportunity is buried in the dust. It is the dust of government appointees and congressman who have nothing better to do than draft ridiculous, copious rules for cheating me out of my hard-earned money and then failing to deliver on promises like a safe, clean country and affordable food and medical care for everyone. Between ISIS, crumbling infrastructure, GMOs and the Affordable Care Act, I don’t see that promise. I don’t even see logic. In between my fury fits, I can’t see much of anything, except a future that looks like more paper wars and more phone calls and more frustration.

And then I see candidates lying in my living room. They lie about each other. They lie about their innovative plans, their wonderful ideas, their understanding and empathy for small business and wounded vets. I cannot take it. I cannot bear to see my beloved country become a waste pile of dirty dreams and still more tax laws. If you cannot hold a tax volume comfortably in one extended hand for two minutes, it is simply too big.

We are more important.

Our collective soul is more important. Our country is more important. And the need for easy, soul-satisfying logic and systems that work is more important.

I do not want to get annoyed at the clerk with the thick accent who asks for MY birth certificate, for the umpteenth time, because someone typed in the wrong information about my account yet again. Ironically I am being called out on “lying” that I am indeed a second-generation American by someone who obviously isn’t. (For the record, I don’t resent the immigrant. I resent the repeated error).

I also want the phone to be picked up by a friendly, knowledgeable voice within five minutes of calling. And I want complete, correct answers for my questions. I want the paperwork to be easy and less than three pages of double typed simplicity with pertinent questions that help me pay the tax I owe, simply with out the benefit of paid-for accountants, attorneys and advisors.

I want the company, whoops, country to run smoothly and equitably with respect for me and the vets…

And I want the Affordable Care Act to cease to exist. I simply want to shop for a fair price for health insurance, fill out a form, pay the bill and have reasonable health insurance for my family.

I want to spend my days taking affordable classes at an affordable university, while working on affordable new streams of income for my affordable company, so I can make money to buy an affordable house in an affordable neighborhood and retire one day in affordable splendor.

Fat chance. I can’t talk now. I am on hold with Covered California. Again….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because someone has to stick up for consumers

I despise injustice. And I hate dealing with people who think I’m just a number and don’t care about customer service. I don’t like institutions that think that being a corporation gives them the right to hide behind that shield.  I have a voice and I have the internet. I have THE GAYLE SCALE and I’m going to use it. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the lowest of whatever it is I am scoring that day, and 10 being the highest, I will share my experiences of things that happen in my simple, mundane daily interaction with people and corporations out there in the world. Alone, I am just the little gal, but if enough people are annoyed with corporate bad behavior, maybe we can change it. I am not anti-capitalism and I am not anti-corporation. I am anti lack of “personal responsibility” and plain old good manners. And admittedly sometimes I get really annoyed too, but I have found that it only happens when someone out there in corporate land gives me a standard, follow-the lemming kind of answer for a simple request. Look, I would rather be hanging out with my family then talking to a clerk about an incorrect charge or an address that needs to fixed after the seventh request. So, to the clerk out there, could you take a look and maybe change the ‘tude?

As I  have an interest in the political process, I decided that these issues also come under this banner. Voting is participating as a consumer of sorts, so political opinions and commentaries are on the ticket too. Your comments are welcome. Let’s just keep it respectful. Thanks!