Tuesday, November 06, 2012

MI Ballot Proposals: How I'm Voting and Why

(Feel free to copy my answers. Crib sheets are allowed in voting booths)

Michigan has six proposals on this year's ballot. I am voting NO-YES-YES-YES-NO-NO on them.

I have two main issues that drive my political activism. As a writer and artist, my number one issue is the right to freedom of speech. There's a reason our Founding Fathers made freedom of speech our first amendment. I've had my speech revoked from me once by my local politicians and police and it was the worst experience of my life. I don't wish that on anyone. My second main issue that makes me as passionate as I am is our fundamental right to Democracy. So it's especially upsetting to me to see democracy being attacked in any form. The very first proposal addresses the suppression of democracy as it has been victimized by the Emergency Manager Law. I support the law as it had originally been signed as the Emergency FINANCE Manager law, put into effect by Governor Granholm. But Governor Snyder has morphed the law into something it was never meant to be, in an overreaching tyrannical power grab and a way to break union contracts. Now Emergency Managers can take over a city and render its elected city board powerless. What this means is every person who voted in that city's election – no matter who they voted for – all of those votes were in vain because the officials elected to do a job can be ousted by an Emergency Manager on the request of the Governor. This is an insult to the very idea of what it means to be American. (On a side note, Debbie Stabenow's opponent Pete Hoekstra wants to repeal the 19th Amendment and go back to the time when state legislators choose the Senators to each state.) Is Democracy dead in Michigan? Why the hate?

So I urge you, if you vote on only one proposal, make it the first one. And vote NO.

The second ballot proposal is nearly as important, as it will protect workers' rights to collectively bargain and unionize and thereby thwarting efforts to make Michigan a “Right to Work (for less)” state. You might remember what Scott Walker did in Wisconsin? Let's try to avert such lunacy here by voting YES to allow collective bargaining rights to be safeguarded in our state Constitution. The naysayers are spreading falsehoods that unions will lead to repealing background checks for school employees and safety regulations for bus drivers, but that's a slippery slope argument. The right to unionize will only guarantee workers the right to bargain with their employers. What they bargain for will be whatever their employers will be willing to give them. Nothing less. Nothing more. Proposal 4 also addresses the right to collectively bargain, this time for home care workers, so I urge you to vote YES on that one as well.

Proposal 3 is to establish a higher standard for renewable energy. If it passes, electric companies will have to get 25% of their energy from renewable sources by the year 2025. These sources are clean and green – wind, solar, biomass, and hydrogen. Naysayers claim that electric costs would rocket, but the proposal buts a cap in place for the rates would not be allowed to increase more than 1% each year. I think that's a good investment for clean energy, so I vote YES to proposal 3. In the long run, it will save tons of money, and our environment. Michigan is a beautiful state. Let's preserve it. Thirty other states have similar measures on the books, and it's time we caught up.

Proposals 5 and 6 are less important to me, but I plan on voting NO to both.

How I'm Voting and Why

For President, as most of you already know, I'm voting to reelect President Obama. Notice I say President Obama and not Muslim Barack Hussein Obama the Kenyan Commie Socialist because he is Christian, and Hawaiian born, and as Commander in Chief he has so far not promoted or condoned any policy that requires the government owning the means of production, which is the true definition of socialism, just in case anyone is wondering. You still might be saying of course he's not all those ludicrous things, but why support him when the economy still sucks and gas prices are still bending us over at the pump? To which I say: You might be unaware that the private sector of the US economy has added jobs for 32 consecutive months, and overall since Obama took office in the middle of the Great Recession, more than 5 million jobs overall. (http://www.startribune.com/business/176942311.html?refer=y) I know that's nowhere close to Bill Clinton's 22 million jobs created, but it beats the hell out of George W. Bush's 2 million. Housing is also on the rise, manufacturing is back up, and gas prices, as always, are all over the map because their price is set by oil speculators on Wall Street more than simple supply and demand or anything a President can do. Unemployment is going down, albeit slowly but knowing history helps understand the complexity of recovering from an economic recession. During the Great Depression the only thing that saved us was spending our way out of it as a nation. FDR did just that, investing in America and creating jobs where there were none. Obama's stimulus was the same thing. Expensive yes, but it wasn't nearly the investment we needed to recover quickly from our Bush economic hangover. The fact that we're recovering at all is proof that the stimulus worked, even if it was watered down by Congressional Republicans. Could it have worked better... quicker, had it been bigger? Perhaps. But we'll never know for sure. Is there more work to be done with the economy? Of course. But Mitt Romney wants to return us to times of supply side economics, where the trickle down never trickles down, and the gap between rich and poor grows at a faster rate than it ever had in the past. He wants to lower taxes for the rich again, even though the last batch of tax cuts haven't even expired yet and were only supposed to be temporary.

It's about much more than economic policies, however. Obama supports my choices as a woman. The main reason I would never vote for Mitt Romney is because I'm a proud owner of a vagina. I only use the word vagina because earlier this year Lisa Brown, a Representative in the Michigan state house was barred from the floor for using that dirty term during an abortion debate. So I will say it again...

Vagina vagina vagina!

How does Mitt stand on my vagina? Very carefully, I hope! All kidding aside, Mitt has flip flopped so many times on the issues of choice and womens' reproductive rights, he's a regular hermaphrapolitician. Consider his actual quotes:

"I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, that we should sustain and support it."  -1994

As Governor, Mitt Romney would protect the current pro-choice status quo in Massachusetts. No law would change.  -2002 Governor platform

“I am pro-life. I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother. I wish the people of America agreed, and that the laws of our nation could reflect that view. But while the nation remains so divided over abortion, I believe that the states, through the democratic process, should determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate.”  -2005

“It is one thing to end federal funding for an organization like Planned Parenthood; it is entirely another to end all federal funding for thousands of hospitals across America.... That is precisely what the pledge would demand and require of a president who signed it.” (During his campaign in 2011, while refusing to sign a pro-life list pledging to end federal funding for abortions)

“My view is the Supreme Court should reverse Roe v. Wade and send back to the states the responsibility for deciding whether they’re going to have abortion legal in their state or not.” - on the campaign trail

“My position has been clear throughout this campaign. I'm in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest and the health and life of the mother. “ - on the campaign trail

"There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda."  -Oct 2012

So what does Mitt believe today, November 6th about my lifelong Constitutional right to choose? What will Mitt believe November 7th? How about January 20th when he'd take office if he were to win? Who knows? I can't trust him, and I can't take that chance. I do know that he would do everything in his power to stop funding Planned Parenthood, which would be disastrous for young, poor women who rely on it for a gazillion services (other than abortion) they provide like birth control and cancer screenings for the uninsured. Romney's right hand man, Paul Ryan is not so cryptic in his views concerning women and their health. Just last year he teamed up with Todd “Legitimate Rape Man” Akin to co-sponsor HR 212, the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which states that "human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization." This bill would've made the IVF process that created Mitt Romney's twin grandsons illegal, which means Thanksgiving has to be awkward for them. And while in Congress, Ryan voted for HR 358, otherwise known as the Let Women Die Act that would allow hospitals to refuse abortions to women even if their life was in danger.

Let me repeat that. Even if their life was in danger!

We're not talking about an abortion of convenience. We're talking about a woman... any woman carrying a pregnancy to term, when something goes horribly wrong and abortion is the last resort to save the life of the mother. Guess what, women? If that happens to you, Paul Ryan doesn't care if you die.

I don't want that maniac a heartbeat away from the presidency! And someone damn sure better keep Eddie Munster away from my lady bits.

I also can't take the chance of Obamacare being repealed, as Romney has promised to do. I am one of those poor people who will finally get affordable health care in 2014. I guess I should be thanking Romney for creating Romneycare for Massachusetts when he was governor, the plan on which Obamacare was designed. But if Mitt has ate his own baby, so to speak, why should I vote for him?

Let's give Obama four more years, and Hilary 8 after that. Let's finish what we started, America.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Election Round Up

August 7th is election day in Broken Springs and just because our town is broken doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to elect our best and brightest to try to unbreak our town a little more. There are some real doozies running locally, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. Here is an information guide that might help you decide the lesser of two evils to vote for.

Running to replace his daddy for Supervisor of Onoyoko Township is Mike Hildecrust, who shall henceforth be dubbed Baby Hildecrest. His opponent is August Zipke, who by all accounts, could use some more zip in his ke. Baby Hildecrust has served on the planning commission and August is currently already on the township board. The big controversy over this race has something to do with dirt, that is gravel, and who is allowed to mine it, where, and why. Frankly I haven’t been following close enough attention to the details but here is what I’ve dug up on the dirt issue. Baby Hildecrust, as illustrated by our compatriot and former rabble rouser Troublemaker Boob’s recent letter to the Editor in Sunday’s edition of the Herald Republican, insists that there’s no conflict of interest in having a gravel pit of his own while legislating other gravel pits in the area. And who can disagree with him? That’d be like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recusing himself from the Health Care debate simply because of his wife’s activism as a Tea Partyist in trying to repeal Obamacare. And we all know that didn’t happen.

August Zipke is Baby Hildecrust’s opponent, and I fortunately don’t know much about him other than that he hasn’t done any damage to the town as an Onoyoko Township board member. At least not so far. The only thing I really know about him is that he’s indirectly named after the first Roman Emperor who was very conservative, yet despite that character flaw, was a successful Roman Emperor all the same. According to the Journalistic Error, Zipke is also a card carrying member of the NRA, which means he’s a straight shooter - except in the bathroom, according to our very private sources.

So the choice is between the son of a successful supervisor with shady political conflicts of interest and a political softy with a shady connection to the nation’s most destructive and powerful lobbying group. Who is less evil? I will hold my nose and vote for Zipke.

The race for Clerk is also a controversial one, between current clerk Sue Frettin and Wildlife expert Dick Finkel. Both candidates have been accused of wanting to evolve Broken Springs into a metropolis - a position I vehemently oppose because the lines are already too long at our Taco Bell. But I can’t blame politicians for wanting to bring more taxpayers to our town (soon to be city), since it might someday raise their salaries. Frettin has 11 years experience as Township Clerk and her supporters keep bringing that up as if to imply that makes her the only one qualified for the job. Personally I think she’s done a pretty okay job and I’ve been impressed with her intelligence and independence in the past but she lacks one very important thing which Finkel does not - an Obama sign in her front yard. According to a letter to the editor in this week’s Journalistic Error, Dick Finkel is a closeted Homodemocrat. Mr. Finkel might be running as a Republican, but last election cycle was spotted sporting an Obama Yard sign (gasp!). This was much cause for concern for the letter writer who shall remain nameless (because I can’t remember his name) but for me, an Obama Yard Sign signifies that the Fink might just be a supporter of those radical notions like civil rights, humane treatment of the poor and female, and environmentalism. Although I personally like Sue Frettin, until she demonstrates such higher knowledge of national politics, I have to fly with the wildlife enthusiast.

The races for Trustee are a bit harder to figure out, as it’s difficult to find four people running who are worth voting for. I only wish Dorothy Hildecrust (no relation to Ernie or Baby Hildecrust) was still running so I would only have to choose three lesser of evils. Please check back tomorrow for my trustee election picks.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Photo of dog napped Aspen from Herald Palladium

Dog Napped Victims Had it Coming


Sorry but I don’t buy it. The dog napped Aspen’s previous owners say they deserve their dog back. It’s not because I’m a Broken Springs Village Council member that I support theft, but because I’m a former dog-napper myself. And as a former dog-napper I must side with the thief in this dog napping matter.

It should be clear to anyone that a dog properly fed, watered, loved, and cared for is neglected to the point that dog-napping is 100% justified. In fact the dog clearly must have been treated so humanely that larceny was its only possible fate. You may say that the dog’s rightful owners have rightful ownership of the dog, to which I say that’s dog’s poop. Clearly, if the dog would not have wanted out of such a loving environment he would not have gone with his dog-napper. And he certainly wouldn’t have stayed with them for as long as he has. If he wanted to return to his previous owners, he could just open the door and catch the bus home.

Now lucky Aspen, a Siberian Husky whose nature it is to want to be outside, is gleefully inside and safely guarded from the sunlight and fresh air that constricts so many other dogs.

If the people dog-napped the dog, they must have witnessed some wrongdoing, the same way a burglar watches a house that needs to be robbed, just like a killer realizes that his victim needs to die, just like a red light is meant to be run. Otherwise there is no justice in the world.

Sorry I just don’t buy it. Why buy it, after all, when you can steal it?

If Aspen’s former owners really want their dog back they should do the honorable thing and steal him back from his dog-nappers.

With a totally straight face,

Lonna Jackson

For the "real" story: http://www.heraldpalladium.com/articles/2012/06/20/local_news/10440482.txt

Thursday, April 12, 2012

God Misses Again: Santorum Drops Out

So far this primary election cycle God Almighty is 0 for 4 in His picks for a Republican Presidential nominee. The latest victim to God’s A-Rod like numbers is former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. This afternoon Santorum officially suspended his campaign, citing personal reasons, namely that he can no longer stop crying himself to sleep each night.

Before Santorum, or Frothy, as he is more intimately known, God struck out swinging with Governor of Texas Rick Perry, Minnesota Representative and Tea Party Darling Michele Bachmann, and Pizza enteprenuer Herman Cain. To add salt to His wounds, Santorum’s premature withdrawal has all but assured that the Republican nominee for President will be Mitt Romney, a Mormon.

God could not be reached for comment, but His spokesperson, St. Peter, issued this statement to the press: “Obviously He is very disappointed, but God is used to being disappointed with humanity. There is still one self proclaimed Christian in the Republican race, but let’s be honest here… He would rather vote for the black guy than a guy named Newt who divorced his wife while she died of cancer.”

Asked if God was then officially endorsing Barack Obama for re-election, St. Peter said that God was still undecided, but that He “liked Obamacare” because it reminded him of what His son tried to do while on Earth.

Meanwhile Mitt Romney reminded God of his Romneycare in a speech today in Washington. “I’d like to give a shout out to the man upstairs,” he said, pointing to the Heavens. “I was for socialized medicine before socialized medicine was cool. Despite that, I still support its repeal,” at which time a loud crash of thunder echoed from the clouds and Romney was forced to run for cover.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

HP Letter to the Editor

I hope Rich Camacho doesn't quit his day job to go on the comedy circuit any time soon. His recent letter to the editor ("There's plenty dish about on the talk-show circuit," Jan. 6) was so full of groaners I've decided to expand on it. Not surprisingly, I found more laughs on the other side of the aisle.

Speaker of the House John Boehner has had his yearly health exam by an under-qualified, overpaid HMO and besides the usual "Cut back your daily alcohol intake to single digits," there's another issue he must deal with. His skin seems to be gradually changing in color to a hue best represented by the planet Mars. This disorder is not much unlike that which affected Michael Jackson, except Boehner can't do the moonwalk. Is it any wonder why Speaker Boehner opposed the new energy efficient light bulb legislation? Due to his incandescent complexion, he hasn't had to use a light bulb since 1973.

Mitch McConnell, Republican Senate minority leader, is in slightly better health than Boehner but still suffers from a contagious streak of obstructionism. These days it's easier for the Republicans to pass a kidney stone than a bill through Congress. I've seen so many incomplete passes, they ought to move the Capitol from Washington, D.C., to Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis.

This obstructionism is likely due to a bad case of ITPS: Irritable Tea Party Syndrome. Symptoms may include a tendency to distort both U.S. history and the U.S. Constitution and a pesky compulsion to wear funny looking hats at political rallies.

It has been said that when President Calvin Coolidge died someone said, "How can you tell?" The same holds true for presidential candidate Ron Paul. I'm not saying the 76-year-old Texas representative is an old geezer, but if his belt moves any further north, he'll be in Oklahoma.

Our new Congressional Diet is similar to the Atkins Diet in that it's full of pork, and for best results needs to be accompanied with a strict exercise regiment. Unfortunately our Do Nothing Congress is still at the Couch Potato Phase, and the only way for it to lose inches off its budgetary waistline is to have its stomach stapled. And duct taped. And super glued.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is no stranger to diets. He has been living for the past two decades on a strict diet of flapjacks and waffles. He has flipped-flopped so many times Jimmy Buffet is writing a song about him.

In all seriousness, politics can often be hilarious. But when it's as ineffective as it's been the past four years, the joke is really on all of us.