Posts Tagged ‘human rights’

These last few weeks – no, really, months – have been very challenging for me. I consider myself a moderate liberal. The progressive side believes in true equality for everyone: a human is a human is a human, and all us humans have the same basic rights. Things like the right to be free, to the pursuit of life and liberty and happiness, to free speech and open peaceful assembly; you know, those things put forth in the USA’s founding documents. [1] In fact, I take those rights to also include a basic standard of living for all, even the unemployed and disabled.

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights[2], drafted in the aftermath of WWII and proclaimed in 1948, lays out an international groundwork I find even more compelling. Especially Article 25. Take a minute and really look at it.

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Now think about it. A bunch of people from all over the world, all sorts of cultures and backgrounds and religions and ethnicities, came together to craft this document, and said there should be a security net for those disadvantaged among us, and that mothers and children deserved special protection. In 1948. That’s sixty-nine years ago. And the United States is a signatory. We’re also signatories to the Declaration’s sister documents that were drafted in 1954: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We, as a people via our duly elected representatives, agreed to these documents and their intent.




So why is it we, in the current age, as a people, duly elected representatives that seem to want to throw all that out the window? So far, we – and I do mean the collective we, because it’s our fault as voters that we’re in this situation – have stopped funding NGO’s that provide basic healthcare services to millions across the globe just because there might be some birth control and abortions involved.[3] Why are we even discussing this in the 21st Century, when it’s been clearly shown repeatedly that greater control over reproductive health leads to better lives in general (and a significant reduction in abortions – what’s that, “pro-lifers”…)? Why does somebody in a big house thousands of miles away have more say over a woman’s body than she does?

We’ve also said it’s okay to build more oil pipelines, while “expediting” environmental impact studies, and gagging the Environmental Protection Agency.[4] Yeah, toxic sludge, poisoned water, and smog alerts are something I really miss from my childhood. Hey, guys – this is the only planet we have. And we are certainly capable of living on her a whole lot more intelligently. You wanna make money, fine. There’s a shit-ton of it available in advancing our clean energy technologies. Just ask California.[5]

And then there’s our latest debacle: a nation formed of immigrants and refugees has banned entry of immigrants and refugees trying to escape horrific circumstances. We’ve allowed fear and anger and hate to fuel a prejudice that is largely unfounded, and inarguably inhumane. Most of these people have already gone through some of the toughest background checks available.[6] Most of them literally have no where else to go because it means certain death to return “home.” Our small-minded leaders and their “America First” ideology are causing a human rights crisis of epic proportions. For all their purported “Christian” ethics, they seem to have forgotten something Christ Himself said:

Matthew 25:40   King James Version (KJV)

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.[7]


Jan Wijnants (1632–1684) “Parable of the Good Samaritan” 1670 oil on canvas 127 × 137 cm (50 × 53.9 in) Hermitage Museum


There are three things that humans must have to survive. The first is air. Without air, we are dead in minutes. The second is water. Without that blessed liquid, we are dead in days. The third is food. One must take in sustenance to fuel the body, or we are dead in weeks. Deliberately depriving someone of any of these is murder. You saw that right: MURDER. If you are one of those people that think people living in disadvantaged areas where food, water, and even clean air are luxuries just need to “pull themselves up by the bootstraps,” then you are complicit to murder when they die. Because there are no bootstraps – there are no boots. Sometimes there are not even feet.

We in the USA live in the richest, most technologically advanced nation on the planet. We have more than enough money and resources to give everyone of our people a basic standard of living, and help him or her become a more productive member of society. I would rather my tax dollars go to feeding a hungry family, or educating disadvantaged youth, or making sure even the most poor among us have decent health care, than feed our already-overwhelming military machine, offer up corporate subsidies to industries already making billions of dollars, or support a hateful rhetoric of discrimination.

I believe in giving people a hand up when they’ve fallen. I believe that helping one person is helping us all. As the old saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. Giving tax cuts to the rich and corporations while gutting the social services that help the least among us only causes even more boats to sink. It’s more than hurtful and hateful, it’s shortsighted. Sure, you might have a pristine view and clear sailing for your yacht for a while, but eventually you’ll need repairs. And without the rest of us to support you with our backs and our money, where will you be?

Contrary to what some of you might be thinking, I have no problem with people being rich. My problem is with the rich that got there and stay there at the expense of others. Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg are just some examples of wealthy people who use their money for the good of all. They’re still rich, despite giving away millions – even BILLIONS – to charitable causes. They can still have their fancy lifestyle, while people all over the world have better access to clean water, education, and health care because of them. The more balance we can bring to the world, the less anger and hate there will be.

There was a part of me that really wanted to stop writing about politics. I’m sure there are those of you out there who would much rather read about my latest cat adventures, the silly things I do to avoid writing, and my sometimes-humorous battle with depression. But I just couldn’t sit back and be silent. Not when we in the arts and the press are told to just shut up, that we don’t have a right to speak our opinions.[8]

Not just no, or hell no, but FUCKING HELL NO!!!

Read the Bill of Rights, asshole. Free speech, freedom of the press, freedom to peacefully assemble, all guaranteed right there in a 230 year old document you, as a member of this great republic, agreed to uphold. Don’t like what I have to say, feel free to take a hike and find somebody more appealing to your sensibilities. I’m not going to hold my tongue when basic human rights are threatened by a narcissistic bag of wind with delusions of god-hood and his sycophantic hound dogs. Don’t like seeing that said about our president? I don’t like saying it. But, believe me, I’d much rather be on the other side of all this going “Damn. Sorry. I was wrong.” than “See, I told you so.”



[1] https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights-transcript

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/23/trump-abortion-gag-rule-international-ngo-funding

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/24/epa-department-agriculture-social-media-gag-order-trump

[5] http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/experts-say-california-s-environmental-polices-are-bellwether-economic-growth-n631841

[6] https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/29/us/refugee-vetting-process.html?_r=0

[7] https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Matthew-25-40/

[8] http://www.themarysue.com/meryl-streep-globes-speech/


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In my thirty-seven years of participating in the United States democratic process, I have been satisfied with some results and disappointed with others. Never have I been sick-to-my-stomach-afraid. Until now.crowd-of-purple-minions

Afraid for my LGBTQ friends.

Afraid for my friends of color.

Afraid for all of us women.

Afraid for our veterans.

Afraid for our seniors.

Afraid for us non-Christians.

Afraid for the homeless, and the mentally ill, and the disadvantaged, and the drought stricken parts of the planet where climate change is doing its worst damage because it snowed in New York so it’s all really just a liberal hoax.

Afraid the majority made a terrible mistake.

I know there are those among my circles of family and friends that don’t understand why I feel this way. They are convinced the right choice was made. They see a savvy business entrepreneur where I see a vacuous conman. They see a return to “traditional values,” where I see a regression in human rights. They see a bright future led by a charismatic leader, where I see Germany in the 1930’s. They see me being a liberal stooge who has bought into the rhetoric of a stronger tomorrow together, and I see them buying into the hateful conspiracy theories force fed them by the liars at False News. Neither side seems to be able to see the middle ground.

I was hoping for the universe of Star Trek, but instead we’re getting the Hunger Games. All the people who literally died to help gain equal rights for women, minorities, and the LGBTQ community are spinning in their graves right now.

I’m sorry if you’re one of the people who can’t see why what just happened here is scary as shit. I’m sorry facts mean nothing anymore, why screaming a lie at the top of your voice over and over again carries more meaning than the truth brought out over years and millions of dollars worth of investigations. I’m sorry hate and fear and anger seems to have won out over love and hopefulness and kindness.

My husband has said this is just the death throw of the extreme conservative right, kicking and screaming on their way out the door. He may be right, but I’m looking at 50 years of civil progress that could be undone in the next few years by those kicks and screams – as people who believe in gay conversion therapy, that women should be punished for having an abortion but the guy who was also involved goes on his way unharmed, that God wrote the Constitution, are now in charge. If you’re a white, Christian male, you’ll be fine. But I wanted EVERYBODY to be fine, and this year’s election results leave little hope of that.

So I’m going to be afraid and angry for a while. I’m going to hug all my friends and family who may be threatened by the Trumpocalypse, and cry a little to wash all the anxiety chemicals away.

But I won’t just lie down and take it. I’m a writer, and words have power. And this Crone will be using her power for good. It’s even more important now that we stick together and voice our beliefs and fight for what we think is right. It is not the time for violence, but it is the time for action. I will write, I will vote, I will stand in peaceful protest – whatever I can do to make my beliefs known and to support those of like mind. I invite you to join me, however you can.

And to those who think you have “won” and put us liberals in our place:

  • Be careful what you wish for…
  • Never piss off a Witch…


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