Saturday, March 12, 2005


After I wrote my reaction to Prince Charles’ engagement announcement (summary: an asshole and his whore), a friend congratulated me on having the courage to publish a blog with such a strong opinion. This comment really threw me….I mean….I have an opinion about EVERYTHING and am always willing to share it! This person doesn’t know me very well, and maybe based upon the general tone of my blog doesn’t realize what an opinionated bitch I really am!

Although blogs are touted as the place to share your feelings and opinions with the world, this blog wasn’t set up for that purpose. This blog is being written so that Art and I will have a permanent record of our life here in Italy. I generally choose NOT to write about matters of a more personal nature…for example, I don’t write about every disagreement that Art and I have, or if someone in my family has done something really stupid or annoying. These things have nothing to do with our life in Italy, and if we have to read about this stuff when we’re ninety years old, it will seem boring and petty.

I try to write about the big things that are going on with both of us, and sometimes this does include disagreements or just my feelings. What I try NOT to include are things that would embarrass other people, and things that won’t be worth remembering a year from now. Still, I thought it might be interesting to just write one article with nothing but my opinions of the moment. This is made a little easier knowing that I’ve disabled the comments on the blog and won’t have to listen to everyone criticize and correct my opinions. With that said, here goes:

I believe G W Bush is not only stupid, but also arrogant and hypocritical. Oh, and a coward. To enter into this war under FALSE pretenses….and KNOWING that they were false is certainly NOT my idea of a good leader, much less a good Christian. Shirking your military duty…lying about it, taking advantage of connections, is also not my idea of a good Christian or a good leader. Allowing our soldiers to die for this unsubstantiated and poorly planned war is a sin.

Letting this country become so deep in debt is also not my idea of a good Christian. This family values shit is really starting to get on my nerves. Shouldn’t a good leader, a good family man, a good Christian, know the value of living within your means? If we reduced the country’s debt to a family scenario, who would feel sorry for this man who obviously lived well beyond his means and caused his family not only heartache, but also debt that would last for many generations to come? Family values? I don’t think so.

I believe that handguns are unnecessary and that the second amendment does NOT guarantee every American the right to bear arms. Our forefathers had no idea what the world would become, and their idea to keep the country well protected has now been misused to allow every idiot to own a gun. Handguns are made to kill people. Period. And who in the world needs to have an AK-47…..or an Uzi? The argument that they are collector’s items, or used for target practice, or just fine examples of craftsmanship is ridiculous. These weapons are made for one purpose: to kill people. We need to start somewhere in this battle….I know we’ll never get all the guns off the streets, but at least we could stop selling any more.

I believe that drunk drivers should be put in jail for a long, long time. I believe the way our society has looked the other way on this issue is unbelievably stupid. Yes, tougher laws are now being enacted, but how many people still drive drunk, and how many people still think that it’s not that big a deal? That it’s an accident when someone is killed by a drunk driver? That’s not an accident, that’s second degree murder. I believe that the first offense should also be the last offense, by whatever means necessary.

I believe that birth control is a very private matter…but unfortunately many many parents aren’t willing or able to give their children the information they need. Although I don’t have statistics, and although I realize that being an unmarried mother doesn’t carry the stigma it once did, there are still WAY too many unplanned pregnancies…especially among teenagers. And who’s footing the bill for these children? Take a look in your mirror. If you have a child, start talking to them about relationships and responsibility and about birth control. Becoming a grandparent at the time when you thought you were almost free can be a rude awakening to the fact that your child is sexually active.

I believe that most organized religion today is a sham. Having been brought up as a Catholic, I’ve had a ring side seat. There probably are some priests who are dedicated to God and who truly live a good and useful life, but there are many, many priests who are having sex with altar boys, with other priests, with married women in their parish. There are many priests who are alcoholics or chronic gamblers. And these are the people we’re supposed to turn to for guidance? No thanks.

The church has turned into one big machine…a machine that requires LOTS AND LOTS of money to keep it running. The people involved in the running of this machine become ambitious and greedy and petty. They want the power and prestige associated with the running of such a large and powerful organization. I’ve never been much of a group person, and I’m not sure if it’s because of what I saw in the church, or if I dislike the church because that’s my basic personality.

The church today isn’t much different than it was in medieval days…patriarchal, powerful and secretive. Promising people that if they will trust in the church, and give money to the church, everything will be okay. And people, being scared of the unknown, buy into this crap. For me, the church is just an unnecessary middleman between me and God. A middle man who wants my money, and who wants me to believe that only through them can I achieve salvation. Am I supposed to believe that God has somehow spoken to them directly? That’s what they want me to believe, because that’s the only way they can have any power over me. And I’m not buying it. I believe in God…it’s just religion I don’t believe in.

I believe that America’s dependence on foreign oil is incredibly, unbelievably STUPID. What are our leaders thinking? And should people this stupid, this short-sighted and this forgetful even BE our leaders?

Remember when we had the energy crisis in the 70’s? Remember sitting in line waiting to buy gas? Remember being glad that you could even find a gas station WITH gas? And here we are, thirty years later, with testosterone charged business men and soccer moms driving SUV’s that get gallons to the miles instead of miles to the gallon. And who the hell needs a Hummer? What the F&#* are these people thinking? Who’s crazier…the companies who makes these vehicles or the people who buy them?

And now the big news on CNN is that guess what? Someday we’re going to run out of oil and we have no contingency plan. And this is a surprise?

Where is the American ingenuity? For some reason, completely NOT understood by me, hybrid cars are only now starting to become a reality. I remember when the Big Three automakers were crying because they were losing sales to foreign car makers such as Toyota and Honda, yet for so many years they did little or nothing to make their vehicles more reliable, more energy efficient, or safer.

I believe that it’s VERY possible….even highly likely, that we are witnesses to the beginning of the fall and decline of the United States of America. Our currency is no longer the strongest in the world. Many of our products are now made wholly or in part, on foreign soil. We’ve lost the respect of the world. The world laughs at us, mocks us, and disdains our penchant for war.

Our young men and women are dying so that we can secure oil to support the above mentioned gas guzzling vehicles. Our president probably couldn’t even find Iraq on the map, and he still can’t pronounce “nuclear” correctly. CEO after CEO is found guilty of fraud. Religious fanaticism has begun to take root…and I’m not referring to Islam…..I’m referring to the religious right, and all it’s controlling and bigoted thinking. Fanaticism in ANY form…be it Islamic or Baptist…is a dangerous thing.

I believe that our founding fathers had no idea what challenges our country would face two hundred years after the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights were written. Like it or not, our country was founded to guarantee RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. Unfortunately, at the time our founding fathers were establishing those freedoms, Christianity was THE religion. Sure, they knew about other parts of the world where other gods were worshipped and other religions were practiced, but at that time those people and countries were so far away that they weren’t even worth thinking about. Today we can travel to one of those countries in a matter of hours, and television, radio and the internet can…and do… bring them directly into our homes every day.

So now what should we do? Do we continue to stand for religious freedom only for CHRISTIANS? And what about personal freedoms? Do we have the right to decide who can fall in love? Should people be penalized because they fall in love with someone of the same sex? Is love and commitment any less valid or valued because it doesn’t meet our narrow Christian viewpoint?

Where is the tolerance that the religious right likes to talk about? It seems to me that these religious fanatics only believe in tolerance for those who share their beliefs. HUH? Isn’t tolerance the ability to allow people who have different beliefs freedom from ridicule, discrimination and harassment?

I believe it’s time for people to wake up, get involved, and take a stand. Time is running out. What kind of world will we leave for our children and grandchildren? Will our stubbornness and pride allow our world to continue to crumble away? We see the retaliation continue in the Middle East…and to what end? At some point, SOMEONE is going to have to have to decide that looking to the future is worth more than retaliating for the past.


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