Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My Reaction to Ms. Rogers

Yeah so I listened to the Presidents State of the Union address, waited patiently for the rebuttal...  And was seriously disappointed in it.  I was waiting for the hell fire and brimstone to come falling from the sky, the accusations of lies, the 4 Horsemen to roam the land, you know the post apocalyptic stuff.  Maybe we would see some other bizarre behavior, nervous ticks, maybe a sentence and sip, a staggering politician leaning against a podium, or someone falling on the floor while trying to sit on a couch. Instead I got an old Toby Keith song.  I wanna talk about me, wanna talk about I....

No, none of that.  Nothing really outside of that flag folded in the corner of the room.  I do not take exception to an American flag, but the way it was folded, its appearance, I have only see it in that manner a hand full of times in my life.  Normally reserved for police officers, military or retired military.  Now, I admit I am no expert on such matters, but it was one of those details that I noticed.  It was like a subtle scene from a Kubrick movie, could it be a subtle image to let us know the Grand Old Party is dead?  Well, lets see what November has to say about it.

So, by most accounts from the left, Rogers was a major flop.  As I listened to her speech, it was a challenge to focus, I heard a lot of fluff no substance, so here is my reaction to her rebuttal.  So we are a nation defined by our potential not out limits.  Ah, that is so cute.  There are no limits placed on us, such as not having a sound education, being held down because we are poor, and being gay or a woman.  Sure, alright, so if we have a high potential, which can be screwed up because of things like poverty.  Well, she worked at McDonald's when she was in college.  How adorable, she actually worked a real job in college, like so many people do.  Reality, I worked 40+ hours a week getting three BS degrees, often times being so tired it was a challenge to even sit in an erect fashion, while maintaining a 3.9 GPA, choosing which I could do without because I needed a text book, or a computer, or repairing my vehicle.  I didn't help pay my way through college, I paid my way through college, Mommy and Daddy helped if they could, but it wasn't often.  I actually felt the next 6 comments were fitting in a way.  Our families, our friends, our lives are the most important things happening, but Washington DC is not separate from these things, Washington DC directly influences these things, and is just as important as waiting on a call from a loved one, checking on your children, planning on how you will pay your bills, and everything else she mentioned.

Ah, the no challenge is too great, no dream too big comment.  You know when I was younger, I dreamed of playing in the NBA, becoming a superstar there, to be recognized by my Dad.  I wanted him to cheer for me, be proud of me, I wanted his respect and his admiration.  I always had it, but when you are a kid, and your dad is always working, always struggling with his demons, always to tired to even toss a football with you, it hurts.  Well, the NBA dream went out the window, you see, I have a severe vision issue with one eye.  That dream was well outside of my reach.  Even without the eye issue, my knees would never hold up, even in the best of physical condition a run of 100 yards on sand or grass puts me in agony for a day.  Yeah pro-sports is out.

Our president made more promises that sound good, but won't solve the problems Americans face.  Which promises were those exactly?  Raising the minimum wage, investing in a crumbling infrastructure, the PPACA, or maybe fixing income inequality?  I am not looking at or listening to Mr. Obama's speech, just hers.  But who is she to say his promises of what he wants to do won't solve anything.  Have we tried what he wants to accomplish?  Sure we have raised the minimum wage, but that game is rigged, corporations see to it.  We have a handful of projects, when we really need to start laying new pipe, running new lines, paving new roads, coast to coast, boarder to boarder.  New damns, levees, locks in waterways, and the like.  Then it would work.

Empower the people, not the government, a little history lesson for her and everyone else.  We, the people, are the government.  She then goes on to say that it champions a free market and trusts people to make their own decisions.  Lovely, we have had a free market for ever, and you know what Ms. Rogers, most corporations have mucked up everything they have touched, because they make their own decisions, what is best for them, not the environment, not the people who live around them, and certainly not the people that work for them.

You know you sat there and not ten minutes before talked about no dream to big, but then you say that if someone told you as a little girl you would be the 200th woman elected into the US House, you would have never thought it possible.  Really, I thought no dream was too big, that we are defined by our potential, not our limits.  Surely she was a bright articulate child, the only limit on a woman just 12 years older than I am, would have envisioned becoming PotUS, maybe a Senator, a lawyer or doctor.  But she never foresaw the possibility of becoming a Representative.  I know, I never really thought about it myself, until I got into my twenties.  But that indicates a direct contradiction in her speech, you know limits placed on her because of her sex, not her potential.  Anyone can become anything they want, but there are limits, even to potential.

Lovely she grew up on a farm, how sweet.  I grew up on one too.  Every morning before school, I was out pulling goat teets, feeding this or that, I even missed school once because while milking a cow I got was kicked and broke some ribs.  My Step-Father, he paved roads, if you are in the Northern Virginia area, you are likely riding on something he designed and paved with his crew.  If you watch NASCAR, he was the one that created the asphalt mix at Richmond, Daytona, Talledega, Texas, Martinsville, and many other tracks that other series use today.  6 sometimes 7 days a week he worked.  That white asphalt at the White House, yeah, he created the mix for it, his last job at that company.  My Mom, when she wasn't doing for the farm hauled heavy equipment, started a side business, if you were in that area of Virginia in the mid to late 90's you might remember hearing about Starvin' Marvin Hauling, you might even remember a little place in King George called LittleRich Farms, which could be toured for a few dollars a person.  So yeah, you went from a dirt farmer to politician.  Good for you, you made it from a middle class family to an upper class family.

I am going to skip over part of this, because well, its not really relevant, I mean I can go anywhere to do anything, it doesn't mean I will succeed.  I mean, I intend on going to Washington in the future to make this a better place, but that doesn't mean I will get there, and if I do get there it doesn't mean I will succeed in my endeavor. 

A job is more than a paycheck.  Well, not really.  Did your time at McDonald's give you purpose in life?  I know my stint working security didn't do a whole lot for me, I was responsible for millions of dollars of equipment and other property, but did it give me purpose, no not really.  It was a job, it had a paycheck, but it didn't make me feel better about myself, my direction in life.  A paycheck is just an added bonus for someone who is content with their career, but what many people have now is a job they work at their entire life.  I was treated like shit by my employer, by the people whose property I was to protect and watch over.  There is no dignity in a job where you get no respect.  I had no purpose other than to be there, with a body temperature around 96 degrees, and breathing, that was all the purpose there was there, except when something went wrong, then my purpose was to shoulder all the blame.  And yeah at 217 a week, there is no building a foundation for a future, there is survival.

Ah, we are introduced to Ms. Rogers neighborhood, which is like watching a rerun of Leave it to Beaver.  She was single, got married, had three children, one of which has Down's Syndrome.  Such a shame, that poor child is going to have a very difficult life, and no I am not making fun of her son.  And you know, that is great that she can see the potential in every human being, we all have potential when we start life, and it is good she remembers that.  But that potential is limited by many different factors.  Her son does not have the same factors as my son, or your son dear reader.  She forgets that overcoming the limits we face can become a very daunting task.  I can promise you her parents did everything they could for her, not everyone is that lucky.  I can promise you that things went exactly according to her parents plans, just as hers might well for her children.  And thats fine, but not everyone is that lucky.

This is the most honest comment she made in her speech; "But the real gap we face today is one of opportunity inequality…"  Finally a Republican says it, something that so many of us have been seeing and screaming about for decades.  And as quickly as she scores a point, she turns around and takes several fouls.  The president for all his power does not set policy, he can say I want this or that, he can refuse to adopt a policy brought forth through the Congress, but he really cannot put a pen to paper and craft the direction of the country.  But the Republicans have plans...  Really what are they, show them to me, let me read them, but no they are not meant for us, they are just words not plans.  Sad really, I have a plan, I mentioned it here in this entry.

Going to skip more of this speech, and end with the prayer.  A prayer!  At this point, you know I really wonder about these people.  Does she not realize or even know that some of the people who voted for her are not Christian?  So God is supposed to guide us and bless us with Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  I got my life, I have most of my liberty, and there is no pursuing happiness, not now.  There is little time to be happy when you are surviving, when you work so long that you cannot even function for the benefit of your family.  Rather than pray to God for those things Ms. Rogers, get off your ass, and do your job.  Represent the people who elected you, not be a crony for big business.