Florida Republican Fuckery II: Banning Books & Tracking Girls Periods is Priority. Saving Lives via Sensible Gun Control is Not.

When someone says who they are (specifically in politics), we should believe them. Whether we believe it or not, they hold our collective future in their hands.

The recent Republican fuckery from Florida is as follows:

There is a debate going around as to whether or not high school-age female student-athletes should be required to provide details about their menstrual cycles. Aside from the anti-transgender laws, the consequences of the potential loss of a woman’s right to privacy cannot be ignored. Whether it is a question of the ending of an unintended pregnancy or forced birth (a la The Handmaid’s Tale), we should not be looking away.

Adding insult to injury, teachers in the state are being forced to make a choice that no educator should be forced into. They can either remove books from their shelf/curriculum that have been labeled as “woke”. If they choose to ignore the law, they face a possible jail sentence of five years. And then, there is the proposed legislation to allow anyone to buy a gun without requiring permits.

I don’t know about you, but DeSantis’s priorities are seriously screwed up.

I am going to end this post with two Instagram posts from Danielle Moodie (co-host of The New Abnormal podcast) and actor Leslie Jones.

Warning: Moodie is not above using the F-Bomb.
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Republican Fuckery Part VI: Florida Grand Jury Investigation on Covid 19 and Texas Lists of Transgender Americans

I would love to say that those in power have their priorities in order. Some do, while others think that their job is to police those who they deem as “different”.

As usual, the fuckery comes from Florida and Texas. Instead of using taxpayer money to fund schools, roads, or hospitals, Governor DeSantis has decided to convene a grand jury. The purpose is to investigate so-called “misconduct” in regard to the Covid 19 vaccine.

Given the rapidity of the vaccine’s release, I am guessing that there was a mistake or two along the way. However, given that it has saved countless lives, I think that is nothing more than another stunt to rile up the base.

In another potential waste of taxpayer funds (which was thankfully averted), Texas AG Ken Paxton asked state employees to put together a list of transgender citizens. This record was supposed to come from requests to change the listed gender on driver’s licenses.

This is not the action of a democratically elected government official. This is what happens in countries run by authoritarian leaders. Though the specific details change, the tactics are the same. A minority is blamed for the nation’s problems to distract from the lack of rights and freedoms. By singling one group out, it is easy to point the finger and state they are the problem.

I don’t know when or how this is going to end. But it has to, for the sake of our country, our children, and our future.

Flashback Friday: Only the Strong (1993)

When we are young, there is nothing like an adult who believes in us. That experience has the potential to positively affect the rest of our lives.

In the 1993 film Only the Strong, Louis Stevens (Mark Dacascos) has been out of the country for the last few years, serving in the military. When he returns to his former Florida high school, he discovers that it has become a hotbed of drugs and violence.

Using the Brazilian martial art of capoeira, Louis is determined to help the worst of the worst of the student body turn their lives around. While the students regain a sense of self and purpose, the local druglord Silverio (Paco Christian Prieto) is not pleased with this change. He will do anything to take back what Louis took away from him.

And of course, there is the romantic relationship that Louis has with Dianna (Stacey Travis).

On Rotten Tomatoes, the reviewer’s score is 8%. It’s a fair score.

Though it has a similar narrative to Lean on Me (1989), it lacks to the originality and force of the movie. The story is almost too predictable. There is nothing wrong with a predictable tale, but a littl originality goes a long way. Though adding the element of capoeira does help, it does little to make it stand out.

What gets me is that there is only one female, and as is expected, she is the love interest. She has nothing else to do other than being the one who walks off into the sunset with the hero at the end. Adding insult to injury, Dianna isn’t even given a last name.

Do I recommend it? No.

Thoughts On the Damage Created by Hurricane Ian

Mother Nature is a powerful being. She can easily provide for those who rely on her. She can also take away.

Last week, Hurricane Ian tore through Florida and North Carolina. As of earlier this evening, the number of dead has risen to 100.

This is climate change, pure and, simple. Granted, we are in the middle of hurricane season. But given the power of the storm and the destruction it left behind, it is obvious that we, as human beings, are contributing to our own demise.

Ian did not care about anyone’s skin color, religion, political affiliation, family origin, etc. The water still came and the wind still raged. Homes and businesses were destroyed. Many were left with only the clothes on their backs and the possessions they had with them.

What makes it worse is the continued callousness of Republican politicians. While their constituents suffer, Florida Republicans vote no on bills that would provide much-needed support. Just another reason to vote blue next month.

May the memories of those who died be a blessing. Z”l.

DeSantis and Abbott Should be Charged With Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is both a crime against humanity and a crime in the United States. At the same time, it is not against the law to ask for asylum in this nation. Immigration has been the backbone of this country since its founding. And yet, there are some who want to restrict who can enter the US.

Over the last few weeks, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott have been using tax dollars to ship South American migrants to blue states. Not knowing where they were going, they were expecting that jobs were waiting for them when they reached their final destination. Instead, the locations they arrived in (New York City for the migrants sent from Texas and Martha’s Vineyard for the migrants sent from Florida), the local officials were not aware or prepared for the new arrivals. As of this past weekend, NYC is looking at the possibility of taking legal action against Abbott.

This goes back to what we all know. Serious reform of our immigration policy is necessary. The most recent change was a decade ago with DACA. While DACA was a huge step forward, it does not solve the overall issue. The problem is made worse by our current political climate, which has at best led to mostly partisan legislation and at worst, created a deadlock that cannot be overcome.

I think the answer to the question should be yes. They have broken the law and like anyone who has been accused of a crime, should have their day in court. But only time will tell if this comes to pass.

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P.S.: A woman who was among the over 10,000 migrants bused from Texas to New York killed herself on Monday. Abbott has blood on his hands.

Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t: The Florida Teenager Who Will be Forced to Give Birth

Being a parent, especially when your children are young is an all-consuming task. It requires one to be financially stable as well as emotionally and physically present. While I would love to say that every adult is able to materially and emotionally able to care for their children, the truth is that some are not.

Last week, in Florida (because of course it’s Florida), a court told a teenage girl that she cannot have an abortion. This girl is an orphan and is without the support system that other young ladies in her situation have. Though she clearly stated that she is not ready to be a mother, the court decided that she was too immature to make the decision herself.

Let me make sure I understand this. A young girl, who is a ward of the state because she is without family, is told to have the child. Even though she clearly stated that she is unable to care for said child. This means, that when she or he is born, the cycle of poverty and relying on the government will potentially be repeated for another generation.

This is the bullshit that the pro-life movement propagates. They are all about the 9 months of pregnancy. But after the birth, the parent(s) are their own. They then complain that precious tax dollars are being given to Americans who are not pulling their weight. If this girl would be allowed to make the decision about her body and her future, then she would be able to one day stand on her own two feet and not be a “burden”.

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Billy Porter on Progress and Those Who Hold us Back

Martin Luther King Jr., was above all things, a wise man. He once spoke of justice and truth in a manner that is timeless and universal.

 “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” 

Last week, actor/director Billy Porter was on The View, promoting his new film, Anything’s Possible. Towards the end of the interview, Ana Navarro asked Porter about his opinion of what is happening in Florida.

Starts at 6:22

Progress happens whether we like it or not. What the haters don’t like is that they no longer have all the power. Those of us who have been denied our rights are no longer silent. The only thing we want is a seat at the table. If it means marching, protesting, and passing laws to protect what should have been ours in the first place, so be it.

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Republicans and the Hypocrisy of Small Government

Every political movement, big and small, has a core ideal that governments their policies and legislation.

If we are to believe the current Republican party, they are governed by the idea of small government. As per Thomas Jefferson, it is as follows:

[A] wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.

On paper, it doesn’t sound hypocritical at all. It comes off as fairly reasonable. The powers that be should not be interfering in the day-to-day life of the average person on the street. But the reality is another story entirely.

When they are called out for their duplicity, they claim “free speech“. What about my right to free speech? Why is it they are allowed to speak their truths, but if I do it, I am labeled a radical lefty snowflake?

If they want to live in a right-wing, sexist, and racist Christian theocracy, that is their choice and their decision. As we say in Judaism “Zolst leben un zein gezunt!” (Yiddish for you should live and be well!). but do not impose your beliefs on me and expect me to quietly give in.

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Dirty Rotten Cleaners Review

I don’t know about anyone else, but I find cleaning my home to be a chore that I would do without if I could. But it has to be done, so I just suck it up and get it done.

Dirty Rotten Cleaners premiered on A&E last year. This reality show follows two different cleaning companies in Florida as they clean the properties of their customers. Their task is more much than the standard clean. Many of these houses are filthy, filled to the brim with junk, and covered in mold.

What I like is that unlike other programs within the reality television genre, the truth about this job is not glossed over. It is genuinely gross and dangerous. Similar to its’ sister show, Hoarders, the clients are not used for a laugh or pushed into a stereotype. They are merely the patrons who need their properties cleaned.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Dirty Rotten Cleaners is available for streaming on Hulu.

Cutting SSI & Medicare Benefits is the Wrong Decision For the GOP (Unless They Want to Lose)

As we get closer to the 2022 midterm elections, politicians and those around them need to make smart decisions to ensure that they either maintain their position or win their election.

Possibly cutting SSI & Medicare benefits in five years is not a smart decision.

Last week, Senator Rick Scott of Florida proposed a bill that states that Congress has to reauthorize SSI and Medicare benefits every five years. His rationale is as follows:

“Force Congress to issue a report every year telling the public what they plan to do when Social Security and Medicare go bankrupt.”

Of course, Senator Scott is a member of the GOP from Florida (why would he not be?).

Historically, Americans of a certain age are known to vote in larger numbers than younger citizens. If these benefits are cut, how many of our elders would be on the streets and without access to medical care.

Potentially cutting off these programs is practically handing the Democrats a win in the fall. If they want to shoot themselves in the figurative foot, that’s their decision.

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