Pencil to Paper

The Daily Life of a Compulsive Writer

Election 2012 November 7, 2012

Filed under: Politics — katblogger @ 1:25 PM
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These days my tendency is to only post on the weekends, but I’m breaking tradition to gloat just a little bit about the events of last night.

We won.

President Obama was elected for another term. That wasn’t our only victory, though. Gay marriage was legalized in three states. A motion to ban it failed. A lesbian senator was elected, while legitimate rape candidate Todd Akin found his election shut down. I stayed up almost to midnight watching the results roll in, and I couldn’t be happier.

Way to go, America. It’s going to be a great four years.

Tune in this weekend for tips on getting through the deadly second week of NaNo.


Look at me, I’m a citizen! October 14, 2012

Filed under: Politics — katblogger @ 12:33 PM
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Voting is hard.

You’d think they’d make it easy. It’s our civic duty after all. Our politicians should want to make sure we all make our voices he- oh. I may have found the problem.

Anyway, I’ve always been judgmental of the low turnout of young voters. 51% went out and voted in the last presidential election, and that was considered a high percentage! But I had no idea how much of a pain it is.

Since I’m at college, I had to register for an absentee ballot. When it eventually came in the mail, I filled it out excitedly after checking the rules over and over to make sure I wasn’t screwing anything up. Once I’d finished, I was faced with a problem. I had to get this thing notarized.

Basically, a notary makes sure that you’re voting as you, and this whole absentee thing isn’t a clever ruse designed to commit voter fraud. This is all well and good, but the notary closest to me was over a mile away. I got to walk on the grass next to a busy road, cut through a parking lot, and find my way over the practice field in the Rec complex. Finally, I got everything taken care of and returned to my dorm. (The round trip took an hour. It was cold. And windy. And rather irritating.) I was beginning to understand why some kids my age blew the whole process off. It was complicated.

The election board is kind enough not to require postage (that would be just plain rude) so my last act was to laboriously shove the bulky envelope into our much too small mail slot. I hope no one else had letters to send. Long walks and difficulty aside, my vote has been cast and will be counted. I may live in a state whose electoral vote will almost assuredly not go my way, but every bit counts.

Look at me, doing adult stuff!

It’s weird.


The Perfect President September 22, 2012

Filed under: Politics — katblogger @ 12:51 PM
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Someday, I would like to have a president who has suffered.

I would like to elect someone who had to drop out of high school to work an extra job. Someone who watched the sidewalk for pennies because every cent mattered. Someone who didn’t wonder what to eat for dinner, but if there was anything to eat for dinner, and if they could afford it.

I would like to elect a woman who was been called rude names on the streets, harassed, raped, had an abortion, been overlooked for a promotion or paid less than her coworkers because of her gender.

I would like to elect someone who has been gay bashed, physically assaulted, bullied in the hallways between classes.

I would like to elect someone who grew up in a neighborhood where you were more likely to hear sirens coming down the street than the ice cream truck. Where going outside risked being mugged or being shot not for any reason beyond the fact that you were there.

I would like to elect a president who doesn’t talk about how perfect America is all the time because he or she knows there are problems, and they are actually going to fix them.


It’s the Economy, Stupid (Or is it?) September 5, 2012

Filed under: Politics — katblogger @ 1:45 PM
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I’ve witnessed quite a few political arguments over the past few months, although these days I’m trying to stay out of them. (My workload is ample reason to avoid getting worked up every time someone is wrong on the internet.) Going to college was a relief in many ways because I no longer have a television. The hated campaign ads can’t find me.

One argument I’ve seen a lot is “You shouldn’t vote for a candidate just because of social issues like abortion/gay rights. Other things are so much more important.”

This argument is almost always made by middle to upper class white straight individuals, typically male. From their viewpoint, such matters are fairly insignificant. But for people living lives affected or shaped by civil rights constraints, they are vital. An abortion might be the only thing protecting a poor woman from complete financial ruin and life on the streets. Legal protection might keep an outed employee his job.

Yes, the economy is important. So is foreign policy and environmental programs and a thousand other things. (Luckily, I agree with my candidate of choice in most of these areas as well.) However, these ‘insignificant’ civil issues are anything but. They are, in essence, treating our fellow humans as equals. Giving them the same rights and opportunities as the straight white men drafting our laws. If a politician doesn’t support treating everyone as his/her equal, then I don’t think they ought to be ¬†in a place of power over his/her fellows. So yes – if a politician is holding on to conservative, suffocating ideas of civil rights, I won’t be voting for them. They are not qualified to be a leader.


I’ll Admit It – This Scares Me. A Lot. August 25, 2011

Filed under: In the News,Politics,Religion — katblogger @ 6:39 PM
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Check these fun people out:

This is absolutely freaking horrifying. Not only are they a group that:

– supports measures in Uganda that can kill homosexuals for certain offenses

– intend to dominate and erase all other religions

– think all non-Christians are influenced by demons

– and even more…

But not only this, they’re showing support for Rick Perry. A presidential candidate. Running for President. Of here.

Am I the only one getting nervous?

Maybe I’ve read too many dystopia novels, but I know how people build up to lines and then just jump across them. This is the reasoning I can easily imagine:

1. Non-Christians are under the influence of demons.

2. Non-Christians are demons.

3. Non-Christians should be killed for the greater good.

Maybe I’m overreacting. I hope I am. But if this group gains power, I fear for the future. The future that they and I have very different hopes for.






This Land Is My Land, None of It’s Your Land… Isn’t This Fun? August 9, 2010

Filed under: In the News,Politics — katblogger @ 2:26 AM
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Almost all my views yesterday were ads, but I’ll press on… even if I’m only talking to myself.

So… anti-immigration people want to adjust the 14th Amendment? Let’s take a look at that:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

That’s just one section, but it’s the important one. It states that all those born in the US are citizens. This was designed to make sure slaves became legal citizens and that they would have full American privileges. Now politicians are worried that illegal immigrants will abuse it to make sure their children will become citizens. And now they want to – gasp – change it. These mostly being the people who talk about staunchly following the Constitution, and protecting gun rights because it’s in the Constitution. If we’re getting out the big Constitution eraser, can I borrow it and get rid of the 2nd Amendment, so we can abolish guns once and for all?

Honestly, the immigration debate is getting on my nerves. All these people who talk about ‘our’ country seem to be forgetting that Native Americans lived here first. That debacle drives me nuts every time I think of it. (No, I’m not Native American, I just don’t like injustice.) The settlers showed up, gave them smallpox, called them Indians, killed off most of the rest, and proceeded to shove the survivors into smaller and smaller areas of land. Then, as soon as people found out the land Native Americans were on had oil, gold, or just good grazing area, they sent them packing somewhere else. Honestly, if space travel had existed when the colonists were settling the Americas, they probably would have sent Native Americans to the moon.

I’m sure there’s got to be a political cartoon talking about this. Let’s see…

There we go. Where was I? Right… illegal immigration. And the 14th Amendment. Geez, I rambled quite a bit. Basically, make sure your own home is clean before you start criticizing someone else’s. I’m not saying having a baby here deliberately to make them a citizen is right, but how many of our ancestors came here taking the citizenship test and filling out papers? And ironically, I’m hoping that someday I’ll be rich enough to get out of here and into France. So if someone wants to come here and start a better life, we should give them a chance. And for certain, don’t assume every Hispanic-looking person is here illegally. That’s just rude.


Damn Commies… July 17, 2010

Filed under: Politics,Religion — katblogger @ 8:57 PM
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Look, I think I said somewhere I’m an atheist. If not, I am. Or non-religious, really. Atheism has been related to aggressive anti-religious activists, and I really don’t care what anyone else believes as long as they leave me alone. However, I’m not happy when there’s religious favoritism. And, as I live in America, I’m going to run into that. A lot.

For example: one of our national mottos. I say ‘one of’ because we really have two. E Pluribus Unum (Out of many, one) was our original motto. It makes sense. Thirteen colonies combined and made a single country. And it’s in Latin, which is cool. Ask a university. Their mottos are always in Latin. That way, you have only a vague idea of what it means. Dead languages are in.

However, people began pushing the religiously oriented ‘In God we trust’ in the 1800s. Francis Scott Key put it in the Star Spangled Banner. Variations on it appeared on currency afterwards. But E Pluribus Unum was still our country’s motto.

The official switch occured in 1956. Why? America was in the middle of the Cold War, fighting against the Communists. There was an effort to be as non-Communist as possible. As Stalin attempted to make his country secular, America embraced religion. Changing our motto to ‘In God we trust’ kept us away from Communism, and made us feel better about ourselves. ‘Under God’ was added to the pledge at about the same time.

This isn’t a problem for a majority of Americans. After all, Christianity is the most common religion in the country. But for those non-Christian and non-religious, it alienates us from our own country. It tells us we are the minority, unheard, unimportant. Every time we hear the pledge, or pay with cash, we’re reminded of the government’s bias. And it needs to stop.