Tag Archives: Pushing Buttons
First, thank you all who read my post Immoral Dilemma and offered words of comfort, advice and all manner of expressions that showed that my bloggin’ buddies really get me!
To anybody who didn’t read that or click on the link: On Saturday, a GOP primary was held to choose the GOP’s candidate in my congressional district. I detest the front-runner (I’ll show you why later on in this post). Virginia primaries are open primaries — regardless of how you register, you can vote in either side’s primary. However, this time, if you voted, you were required to swear an oath to support the GOP candidate in November. My question was basically is swearing an oath, an illegitimate, possibly illegal, unethical oath binding? Could I just go and vote and swear the oath and do as I pleased in November? Could I go there intending to lie, even if I felt it was for an important goal.
Comments were on both sides of the question — and if you look at my answers to them, you will see that I went back and forth with each one. Apparently, I sway with the gentlest of breezes. Thank you all. Truly. Did I say that? Yeah. Well, thanks again.
I tossed and turned Saturday night, and did a lot of soul-searching for most of the day. I read and considered everybody’s comments and realized that both sides were right, which is why I was having such a hard time. But then just as I had to really make my decision, I read Mae’s (of Maesprose) comment:
Do what you feel is right but when you call someone a liar or not truthful – like the Republican party – remember, what you hate may become your own definition. Just sayin.
And I realized that she summed up (at the 11th hour as it were) just what I thought. I’m not a liar. And I don’t want to take on the characteristics of the GOP that I find so disgusting. So, while on a long, thoughtful walk, I decided against going.
When I got home, though, I found that I had a little elf at home who was helping me. My husband John had learned that, while they were calling it a “primary” it was really more of a “straw poll” — there were about 6 places around the district (which is huge) where Republicans were meeting in a large room where they would vote — no voting booths, no anonymity, no semblance of a real primary. Names and registration were taken.
I would have been turned away at the door.
So in fact, the decision was made for me. But I wouldn’t have gone — as much as I loved how Val of QBG Tilted Tiara suggested I look at it:
You do know acting like the enemy is nothing more than ‘going undercover’. Perfectly acceptable during wartime.
Predictably, the candidate I most feared won. Barbara Comstock. She is currently in the VA House of Delegates, where she has voted consistently against women’s interests, and bizarrely, against spending funds for transportation here in NOVa. She worked as an opposition researcher for decades. In fact, was one of the main people working on Travelgate and other Clinton-era scandals. She is a pit bull. If she ends up in Congress, she will make Daryl Issa look like an amateur. She is a nasty piece of work. And this district is so heavily gerrymandered, that she will be there for the rest of her life.
So it looks like I will be busy in the fall.
Thanks again to everybody who offered opinions, options, words of comfort. You guys are the best. Can I come and live in your political district?????
You guys know that I take voting seriously. I believe in it with every fiber of my being, actually.
it’s not just that if you can’t be bothered to show up and vote that you lose your right to complain, although you should. But it remains everybody’s right to bitch. Look it up — it’s in the Constitution.
but really, I think it is important to pay attention, and express your preferences in local, county, state and federal elections. Primaries count too — because in these screwy days, primaries are often more important than the actual election in November.
which brings me to my immoral dilemma:
Tomorrow is the Republican primary in my congressional district.
Now Elyse, you are saying, “you are too smart to be a Republican!” Which, of course is true.
However, in Virginia, all primaries are open; I don’t have to be a Republican to vote in tomorrow’s GOP primary!
And frankly, since there is a good chance that whoever is chosen on Saturday will end up representing me in Congress, well, I want input. And the field is wide open and filled with lunatics. Some of the lunatics like Bob Marshal are known crazies. But the front runner, Barbara Comstock, is hardly any better, and she looks like she is always sucking on a lemon. So I don’t want her. If I go and vote for one of the real way out loonies, the Democratic candidate stands a better chance.
Are you still awake? No? Then how come you’re answering my question?
Now I am getting to my immoral dilemma.
If you vote in Virginia’s GOP primary, you must swear an oath to support the GOP candidate in November.
It is, of course, un enforceable. They will not know if I break my vow. Personally, I don’t think it is either legal or ethical of the to ask for such a vow.
Still, I try not to lie, especially when swearing oaths.
But does it count to knowingly make a vow you have no intention to keep because the vow shouldn’t be asked for to begin with?
Sorry for all the typos. My computer died. Obviously a Republican.
It’s the mantra that makes me want to grab the TV remote, smack the person who held it, and change the channel ASAP away from FOX News.
THERE’S TOO MUCH REGULATION!
Me? I ♥ Regulations. I dote on them. I support them.
I understand them and why they are there. I even lecture about them (and not just here on Word Press – people actually pay me money to do so).* Regulations, I always tell folks, are the IKEA instructions that accompany the bookcase. They are the “how-tos.”
Laws are enacted in response to our understanding that a problem exists, and we need to change what we do as a country to prevent it from happening again. At the same time, we hopefully have enough vision to see some of the related problems that might occur and try to prevent them from occurring. A few examples:
Our current Food and Drug laws, the Food and Drug Act of 1936 and the Food and Drug Act Amendments (commonly known as the Kefauver-Harris Amendments). The FDCA was first enacted after a manufacturer added antifreeze (without testing its effects on people, animals or using their brains very much at all) to a cough remedy to make it more palatable to the kiddies. The then-current law didn’t actually say that they couldn’t add antifreeze. Guess what happened! 105 people died.
Another disaster involving a drug that was tested and tried, thalidomide, was found to cause serious birth defects in the babies born to pregnant women. It wasn’t ever approved in the US thanks to Dr. Frances Kelsey
Laws designed to safeguard our waters and land came about mostly in the 1970s after two hundred years of treating our country’s land and water like a sewer. Diseases were springing up in neighborhoods where chemical companies had dumped chemicals.
Our rivers were polluted. If you fell into the Potomac River when I first moved here in 1979, you had to get a typhoid shot. The Cuyahoga River in Cleveland burned.
And so our then-FUNCTIONAL Congress (made up of folks who understood why they were elected and who believed in compromise and who believed in the need for government) passed laws to protect us and our land and our water and our air. Now, our hazardous materials and hazardous waste are to be carefully monitored under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. Under the Clean Water Act. The Clean Air Act. And a bunch of others designed to keep you and me safe and keep industry behaving itself.
But laws only say:
We’re Gonna Fix This Problem
Regulations give us step by step instructions on
How to Fix This Problem
Regulations are very specific. In order to comply, you must do A,B and C, according to specific instructions. When regulations are promulgated the agency asks the regulated industry to comment on them, how to make them more manageable, workable, less expensive to follow. But the regulations cover testing, manufacturing techniques, storage, monitoring, record-keeping, transportation, the works. Regulations have the force of law. If a company doesn’t follow them, they are liable for penalties and/or imprisonment.
I ♥ Regulations
Regulations protect me. They protect you. They protect the United States of America from bad manufacturers. They penalize the bad ones so that they don’t get away with messing up our planet. They must be strong enough so that manufacturers fear them and therefore follow them. Slaps on the wrist are ignored when there is money to be made by ignoring regulations. They must be strong. (Because remember, there are idiots who would add antifreeze to cough syrup for a buck.)
Regulations are the rules that society agrees to adhere to often in spite of the fact that they are a serious pain in the ass.
Regulations, I say to those still awake in my lectures, are like the IKEA instructions. The furniture is no good without them. But they need to be followed.
Take this week’s Freedom Industries leak of 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol, or Crude MCHM, a heavy-duty chemical used in processing coal. Current estimates are that this leak — from a facility brilliantly located upriver from a water purification plant — contaminated the drinking water of more than 100,000 residents of West Virginia.
Freedom Industries has said don’t know when the spill started. They don’t know how much spilled. They don’t know whether the stuff that has made the entire area smell like licorice is, in fact, terribly toxic to people or if so, how toxic it is to human health.
They are supposed to know or they didn’t comply with the regulations.
They are supposed to measure the amount in the tanks. Frequently.
They are supposed to record the amount they add or remove from the tanks. Every single time they do this.
They are supposed to test. Frequently.
They are supposed to monitor for leaks. Frequently.
They are supposed to comply with the regulations. It seems as if they did not.
They are supposed to make sure that they don’t fucking contaminate the fucking water for a hundred thousand people and possibly, probably more.
And if they didn’t they should go to jail.
I’m betting that they didn’t — that they didn’t follow the regulations. Time will tell.
Just imagine what the rest of our country, our land, our rivers, our air, would be like if there were no regulations. And you know, don’t you, that the Republican party is oh-so-determined to cut regulations. To protect industry. Not you. Not me. Industry. Like Freedom Industries.
Do me a favor. Think of Freedom Industries whenever you hear someone bitch about the loss of freedom from regulations.
Think of what we’d lose without regulation.
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* From 1980-1989, I analyzed environmental regulations and drafted memos to folks on the steps they needed to comply with the regulations that are designed to keep our land, water and air cleaner.
For the past 10 years, I’ve examined a zillion company documents that show how they comply with their IKEA instructions.
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Yeah, I know I said I wouldn’t be around much. But sometimes I just can’t shut up.