Tuesday, October 17, 2006

An Open Letter To Congressman Donald Manzullo,

Today I opened my yahoo account to find this email from my Congressman, sent in response to an email I sent nearly two months ago regarding the Pledge Of Allegiance:

"Dear Charlene,
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Pledge of Allegiance. It is good to hear from you. Representative Todd Akin introduced H.R. 2389, the Pledge Protection Act of 2005, on May 5, 2005. H.R. 2389 amends the federal judicial code to deny federal courts jurisdiction over any claim involving the interpretation of the Pledge of Allegiance or its validity under the Constitution. I am a proud cosponsor of this legislation. Those seeking to eradicate the acknowledgment of God from the public square undermine the foundational principles of our nation. In drafting the Declaration of the Independence, and the Constitution, the Founding Fathers looked to "the Law of Nature and Nature's God." Judeo-Christian moral principles cannot be divorced from our national history without rewriting history. Yet, that is exactly what many judges are trying to do by manipulating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to make historically absurd rulings like the recent cases banning the pledge of allegiance because of the phrase "under God." H.R. 2389 would prevent these types of ruling by preventing federal courts from deciding cases involving the Pledge. On June 6, 2006, the House Judiciary Committee reviewed H.R. 2389, but it failed to report the measure out of committee for consideration by the whole House. Please rest assured that should this or any similar legislation be considered in the future, I will give it my utmost support. Thank you again for contacting me on this issue. Your input is important to my work here in Wahington.
Donald A. Manzullo

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(The Declaration of the Independance?!)
(Is foundational even a word?!)

So I sent this email in response, which I am posting here as an open letter to Mr Manzullo, in the hopes that somehow, he will see it:

Dear Mr Manzullo,
Do you even read your email? Does anyone in your office do anything more than scan the subject lines? You were elected to REPRESENT the people, yet you ignore what we say! It is obvious from your reply to my previous letter (see below) that you have no idea what the hell you were replying to. The words "under God" were ADDED to the pledge in the 50's, they are absolutely no reflection on the founding fathers or their intentions. They were added as PR for the fight against "Godless Communists". I was asking that you try very very hard to see this issue from the other side. This world, and this country, are NOT Judeo-Christian. The U.S. is Judeo-Christian-Muslim-Buddhist-Hindu-Pagan-atheist. And ALL people should be represented equally. Your religion should not be pushed on my child any more than mine should be pushed on your kids. How long would this very debate rage on if the words in question were "under THE gods"?
I may have only one vote, but so do you. And I can assure you that when I enter that booth next month, yours will not be the name I cast my ballot for. This is the second email I have received from you that has blatantly shown that you have NO concern whatsoever for what your constituents say. I do you the honor and show you the respect of reading the form-letter tripe you send me. Show me the same respect, you worthless hollow party-line slave.

Charlene Melton,
Recently reminded of why I register Democrat

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Regardless of your personal feelings on the subject of the Pledge, does it bother anyone else that this guy obviously never even read my email? I mean, sure, he's probably a busy guy, but shouldn't he have some staffer whose job it is to read through emails and reply with an appropriate response? If the thing had said, "Fuck you you liberal commie," at least I would have known that he read it. But this "Thank you for your support" bullshit is ridiculous! This is pretty much the same letter I got from him after my gay-rights email. These guys are supposed to represent US, the people in their districts. It's sad enough when no one is surprised at headlines outing them for corruption or bribery or adultery, but this is a new low. It's an election year! Isn't this the one time when they are supposed to at least pretend to care what we think?

Politics is a sore subject for me. I watch the news, my google homepage is full CNN, MSNBC, and Reuters, but it never ceases to amaze me how much stupidity there is in our nation's capital. Corruption is, sadly, par for the course. But the contradictions these guys will spout off within the same speech, the BS they expect us to believe, is the single reason why the ONLY talking head I will watch anymore, is Jon Stewart. Remember that guy in school, the tall one with the letterman jacket and clorox teeth and IQ of 20? That guy runs our country. That one guy, cloned in a secret Washington laboratory, is running around in a pinstripe suit carrying a briefcase full of mad-libs to pass the time during filibusters.

Every year my kid gets President's Day off. Every year she spends the week before the holiday filling out workbooks and reading stories about cherry trees and log cabins and wooden teeth and slavery. In 200 years, who from the last century is going to be added to those workbooks? Is Clinton going to be? Nope, too scandalous. Either President Bush? Nope, too stupid. (Plus, one puked on the Prime Minister of Japan, which was really funny but not quite respect-worthy.) I truly believe that the only president who will ever be added to President's Day will be the next "first". The first Jewish president. The first black president. The first female president. But they don't do anything noble anymore. Lincoln stood up for what was right, against popular opinion, by ending slavery. No president today will stand up for anything unless they have fifty financial supporters and a hundred lobbyists holding them upright at the podium. Equal rights for gays? We need a popular vote. But go to war? Well the oil companies and weapons manufacturers say it's cool, so let's do it!

What we need to do is ban all political ads, all campaign tours, all financial contributions over $50. Give the polititians a LOT more network and radio airtime, and hold a LOT more debates, with questions submitted by the voters. Take away the negotiations over what can be asked and what can't, and fine them talk-time for anything negative they say about their opponents. Redesign the system so that ANYONE can run for an office, without having to fund cross-country tours and ad campaigns. Make it easier for an average guy to get his position out without having to tow a party line to secure party endorsement. Presidents used to be the best of the population. Now they're whoever has the money and the connections to play the game. That's why, in my opinion, we have such door-mats running the country.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Kids These Days!

When asked to describe my teenage years, the examples I most often give are Ally Sheedy in "The Breakfast Club" and teenage Darlene in "Roseanne". I was quiet, wore dark colors, and kept to myself. I once had someone describe me as "pre-goth" and it made me laugh.

Goth is black lipstick and dyed-black hair, heavy black eye-liner and nail polish, a perpetual scowl, cynicism and anger. I wasn't angry, I was just a loner, an outcast. I wasn't goth. I wasn't one of those kids with black hair and blond roots, with peel-off wrist scars and red contacts. But now I wonder...

Goth has become emo, and I'm afraid I'm too old to know the difference. If it can change like that so much, and self-proclaimed goths can react to being called emo the same way I react to being called goth, then what came before? What was in the early nineties? Is there really much difference between Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper? Same shades of make-up, same black and blood imagery. What about Korn and Megadeth? I try to envision myself at sixteen and to look at myself the way a stranger might have. Ripped jeans, black shoes and shirt, black coat, long hair in my face, notebook under one arm and a perpetual cigarette clamped between my fingers. Was I just a depressed kid, or was I goth? I was blond and I never wore make-up or nail polish but then, that goth scene hadn't really started yet. Maybe the Darlenes and Ally-Sheedy-Breakfast-Clubbers and I were goth, for the time. I thought I didn't fit a mold, somewhere between head-banger and grunge. But maybe I just had to wait a few years (okay, fifteen) to see my label.

It's kind of funny. Imagine if all of those dark and moody dyed-black girls out there knew that sometimes, goths become housewives and drive minivans and marry high school jocks. I know I wouldn't have believed it. But then, Tom wouldn't have believed he'd grow up to marry a goth either. The joke's on us, I suppose.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fine, But Just This Once

Mark Foley, a republican congressman from Florida (or if you believe the Bill O'Reilly show, a democrat from Florida) who recently resigned his post after news broke about his attraction to and interaction with teenage boys. It's a big deal on every news program and just about every point has been made by someone already, so I wasn't going to do a post on it. But today I will give my thoughts on the subject and then be done with it.

I believe, like many Americans, that the focus of this scandal, is not where it should be. A man, political party affiliation aside, abused his authority and the respect of these kids. It should NOT matter whether he went for boys or girls, or whether he was abused by a priest when he was a kid, or whether or not he is gay. Who he would choose to form an adult relationship with most likely has nothing to do with what sex he preys upon. Most sex offenders are, by far, heterosexual men. It is easy to see a sexual behavior one feels is 'wrong' and then assume that person must engage in other behaviors seen as being equally 'wrong'. Gays have been linked to child abuse, beastiality, rape, etc for generations, with little to no evidence to support those links. It also should not matter that Rep. Foley was molested by a priest, if his claims are to be believed. Many people are victimized in some way in their lives and don't go on to repeat that abuse. If suffering abuse was a viable excuse for becoming an abuser, every person who had ever been mugged would be out stealing wallets. If prior molestation has formed an attraction for teenage boys in Mark Foley, it was still his choice to act upon it.

Also, the term "pedophilia" has been tossed about by just about everyone during this mess. But the fact of the matter is, Mark Foley has not been shown to exhibit any pedophilia. That's right, NONE. Pedophilia is a psychiatric term, not a legal one, and this situation doesn't fit the definition. Pedophilia is, literally, a sexual attraction to or romantic love for a pre-pubescent child. In other words, once the kid hits puberty, it is impossible for that child to become a victim of pedophiles. They simply wouldn't be a suitable victim; their body would be too adult to appeal to a pedophile. Pedophiles want baby-fat and hairlessness and a complete lack of all secondary sex characteristics. And just like those female teachers who have been in the news so much in the past few years, Mark Foley never went for kids young enough to classify him as a pedophile. These kids are at an age where they have developed sexual urges, where they were capable of consent. A sexual attraction to or romantic love for a post-pubescent adolescent is classified as ephebophilia. It is not a predatory behavior so much as it is symptomatic of stunted emotional growth. Ephebophiles, since the age of cultural pederasty, generally relate to their chosen partners as peers. Did you read the instant messages from Foley to the page? Those were not the speech patterns of an adult. Mark Foley views relationships and potential partners through the eyes of a teenager. He is not out to teach or control a child, he is out to find a partner on his own level. To him, a 52 year old man would be as inappropriate as it would be to the average teenager. (Which makes me wonder about the kids he was chatting with, if they weren't just blinded by Foley's congressional status.) In fact, the age of consent in Washington is reported to be sixteen, meaning that no crime may have even been committed. Mark Foley exercised incredibly poor judgment, and no doubt took advantage of his position of authority over these kids, but he should not be categorized as a sexual predator.

For the democrats to throw around terms like preying and pedophile is just ridiculous politicking. For republicans to throw around terms like homosexual is the same. Both are trying to make Foley the poster-child for the other side. "Foley is a republican, so republicans must have protected him." "Foley is gay and he hit on kids. More proof that gays are evil!" (The assumption there being that democrats are the gay-friendly ones.)

This whole thing is a mess, and has been beaten to death already. I just wanted to put out there the fact that not everyone is falling for all of the trash that's being put out there. Personally, as long as he's not persuading anyone to be with him, if he's not using status or authority to convince anyone to do anything they would not normally do, and as long as whoever he's with is of legal age, I don't care if Mark Foley moves to Massachusetts and marries the youngest guy he can. Obsession with youth is nothing new, especially not for men in their fifties.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Crystalline Heart

Your sweet velvet voice center-lit on dark stages
The glint of a smile you’re seducing the ages
Made up to perfection a mask for a fool
Setting the scene with all that you do
Sing your siren’s song and you lure them in
Cashing your checks it’s your business of sin
Such smooth seduction you have your choice of takers,
Playing at love you’re the queen of heartbreakers,
You spin a new web a true black widow female,
Holding their hearts it’s emotional blackmail,
You kept his soul captive when he’d take it back,
Think another’s conscience can provide what you lack,
You thought that you broke him but you gave up too soon,
He’s built his strength back again and won’t fall for your tune,
I won his heart once and I won’t give up now,
I may not have your talent but I do know how,
To show him the truth of all that he is,
To show him he’s better than your viper’s kiss,
For all of your beauty the charm that you flaunt,
There’s nothing you have that he needs or wants
He’s seen through the smoke that you blow to disguise
The fangs in your smile,
And the truth of your lies

Monday, October 02, 2006


About a year and a half ago, I set my husband up with a hotornot account. About an hour and a half ago, I found an old email in his account from him to some woman who had "double-matched" him on hotornot, detailing exactly what he'd like to do to her nether-regions. He insists it is just innocent flirting; I insist that he would feel differently were the shoe on the other foot. So tell me, blogfans, would it be just innocent flirting if I were to find some stud online and tell him how I would suck his cock? Or is that, perhaps, just a teensy bit over the line?