I’m alive and feeling better today. So in lieu of my whining about my health, here’s some news.

  • Have you ever been to Utah? I was once–went to Salt Lake City area to visit my sister who lived there at the time. It was a very beautiful place. Well, people have managed to ruin it. There is an inversion cloud hanging over Salt Lake City (same thing that afflicts Phoenix in the Winter) and it’s pretty much causing a health emergency. Only the human race can take paradise and turn it into a shithole.
  • The majority of Americans support the President’s gun control proposals that were issued recently and some of the specific proposals, such as background checks at gun shows, received overwhelming support. Nice to know Americans haven’t completely lost their minds
  • Next time anyone complains to me about how freedom of religion or freedom of speech is being stomped on the U.S., I’m going to lose my shpadoinkle. Christian groups in this nation enjoy unprecedented freedom. Take for example the Westboro Baptist Church, who routinely protests at the funerals of U.S. soldiers carrying signs that say “God hate fags” and “Thank God for I.E.D.s” and “God Hates America”. Why soldiers? Well they believe that the U.S. acceptance of homosexuality causes the us to suffer punishment from God and that includes our suffering from 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the deaths of our young men and women. But by golly, they are legally allowed to protest. Here’s another doozy. Have you ever heard of the FDLS? That’s the conservative arm of the Mormon Church–yes, Virginia, there is a more conservative arm than the “regular” Mormon church. Anyway, they believe in polygamy and that they have the right to force little girls to marry old men. To date the U.S. government has really done very little to stop such practices. I guess because who cares about little girls getting raped in some remote towns in UT and AZ. After all, it’s their religious practices. While there have been some attempts at curtailing such behavior, the most recent being the trial and conviction of Warren Jeffs, it has done little to stop the insanity. Indeed, Jeffs has been issuing orders to his Colorado City slaves…um, I mean, congregation….See the the young girl he raped/married at 14 was still being kept hidden within the congregation along with her 6 children. Jeffs decided to be a dick recently and ordered those children to only be given beans for food–they got very hungry, very quickly. The rape victim/mother, Ruby, finally found a way to escape from the congregation and Jeff’s control. At 26 years of age (yes, she had 6 kids in 12 years) she has finally escaped. My question is why on the Earth did it take so darn long!? I mean, Jeffs was convicted on audio taped evidence of his rape/molestation of a 12 year old girl (with three of his other wives present). I don’t know if Ruby was one of those wives, but does it matter? Any of his many “wives” who were married to him underage should have been removed from that community, protected, and been given chance to get deprogrammed. Clearly Jeffs wanted to punish them and the congregation only helped exact that punishment. And still, Ruby is the only one that has escaped. How many others are still there? How many of their children will become child brides in the near future. I believe in religious freedom, but there are still limits. And the fact that those limits are sporadically applied, when it’s convenient, is simply not acceptable.
  • The Secretary of Defense has opened combat roles to women. While this is an important turning point for women’s rights in the U.S., the truth is that women have been unofficially engaged in combat for quite some time. Basically no one is safe in a war theater and women have served in supporting roles all along. There is a story handed down in my family from the Revolutionary War. One of my male ancestors (by the surname of Craig, I believe) was killed during a battle and his wife took up his weapon to continue the fight. We know that during the Civil War, some women disguised themselves as men in order to be able to join the fight. In WWII, female nurses were in the front lines, often treated as combatants by the Japanese–they were shot, interned, raped and tortured. There were over 1,600 medals, citations awarded to the Army Corps of Nurses during WWII
    . Over the years women have inched ever closer to “official” combat roles by becoming plane and helicopter pilots used to transport troops and supplies. Most people know about this “exposure” of our female troops. One role they probably haven’t been aware of is in the Military Police. See women have been equals to their male counterparts in the Military Police since 1977. So when we decided to engage in “police actions” a few years later those women were in the thick of it in both Grenada (1983) and Panama (1989). In fact, in Panama they made up 4% of the invading force. But according to officials, they weren’t actually in combat. Well, the military hierarchy knew the truth all along and they’re just now owning up to it. Our women have proven they can do it. The women in other countries have proven they can do it (e.g., Israel). So it’s a long time coming. Hoo-rah!
  • Spain’s tourism based economy has been very hard hit by the Recession and the subsequent “austerity measures” forced on them by the European Union. Their unemployment is now up to 26%–greater than what the U.S. experienced back in the Great Depression. Do you hear that AZ? You can’t survive on tourism alone. You can’t recover from this kind of recession with austerity measures. If Arizona is recovering it is because the nation is slowly recovering and that is recovering because of the President’s stimulus. Choke on that Gov. Brewer.
  • Senate Republicans are appalled, just appalled at the liberal nature of the President’s inaugural address. And that problem with that is? The liberal tradition in this country is just as valid and just as important to our national character as the conservative tradition. It’s part of who we are and that, God willing and if I have anything to say about it, will never change.
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