Peruse my thoughts...
Have you had a chance to watch any of the hearing today? I did not watch all of it. I watched parts of it throughout the day and a sad day it was in America's History. Having been a school counselor for over 20 years I can tell you that girls do NOT report when they have been molested. I didn't for several months when I was 8 years old. But even at that when I told my mom she didn't believe me and told me not to tell my dad. The point is: Girls don't tell because they feel like they must have done something to "ask for it" whether it was dress provocatively ( they just thought they looked cute or hot ) gone into the wrong room at the wrong party (hey I have something to show you in the other room ) took a drink from the wrong person (Bill Cosby isn't the only one with access to drugs ) or simply went to sleep in one of the bedrooms ( and woke up with someone on her ) and so many other situations that barely touch the surface. What we are forgetting is that boys don't tell either. They feel like they are supposed to be tough so they should have been able to stop it, or that people will think they wanted it, or that people will make fun of them.
They result of not telling is that for many the incident lingers in the back of their mind and memory for the rest of their lives. Some can get over it and can move on and have a good life but others relive that event in dreams or flashbacks triggered by a completely unrelated incident. Some people don't remember because of the shock of what happened to them. It is as if their brain stores away the memory in order to protect itself and it isn't until years later that they realize what had happened.
Today's hearing was a travesty. A woman who had gone through years of counseling to deal with an event that happened when she was 15 was made to tell the "world" what happened in front of dozens of people, some sympathetic and some completely antagonistic and scornful. The fact of the matter is that none of US know what really happened and we never will. Only the two people involved remember and if it was a common event for one or the other they may not even remember because 'it was just another party...'
The real travesty though, comes in the fact that Democrats and Republicans again took sides and did not listen to what was being said on either side. I really worry about our children who are listening to this. Girls and boys are being taught that if they tell they will not be believed (I wasn't) and boys and girls are being taught that if a boy does something like this it is ok and just what boys do (and it's not).
This is NOT a democrat or republican Issue, It is a societal issue and it needs to be addressed. People are afraid that Judge Kavanaugh's life has been "ruined" by the accusations, but if Dr. Ford is telling the truth, her life was "ruined" a long time ago.
So many people complain about the taxes we pay for schools and yet those schools are struggling to keep afloat. Some have gone to 4 day school weeks. Teachers have not received raises in years, classroom sizes are getting larger as teachers retire or leave and are not replaced to save money. The question we should all be asking is if this is affecting the quality of education our children, the future of our country, is receiving. The answer is an overwhelming YES. The question we must ask ourselves and our legislators is this: Is education a priority in Missouri? To be honest and I have said I am brutally honest, I think this is a stupid question to ask. It had better be important because some of those kids are going to be future leaders and bosses and possible Governor or President some day. I want them to know how to spell words correctly, speak intelligently, and simply make good decisions based on fact and using history as a lesson on what worked and what didn't.
In our district the teachers average salary is $34,000. They have gone to college, some have student loans to pay back, some are supporting families, some are continuing their education as that is a requirement for a teacher to stay certified to teach. But I digress. The topic I want to talk about is this : Can someone tell me why the legislature each year discusses and argues about whether it should fully fund education? And to be honest they have NOT fully funded education since the Boats went in and started giving money to our schools. Yes, you read that right, "WE" are not fully funding education. Remember when we voted to allow riverboat gambling and everyone was fairly excited that there would be lots of revenue off the boats going directly to education? I have heard a lot of people ask what happened to that idea? Why didn't it happen? Well, it did .
The riverboat casinos actually do give to our schools. Since they started in 1994 they have given 6.6 Billion to Missouri Education. The problem and reason we don't see any change or difference is because the legislature decided that since schools were getting extra money the State did not have to pay as much! So what happened to the casino money meant for our schools? Basically our legislators stole it, diverted it, gave it to another area, who knows!?! We need to stop diverting money for what used to be a priority for our future and get our schools back in shape. The ones who have suffered the most are the rural schools. If we had better, full funding PLUS the extra given by the casinos we could hire teachers, keep more of the better teachers, purchase newer textbooks, computers for classroom use, expand our Band, Industrial Arts, Family and Consumer Science, Art and Business classes. Did you know those are being cut because they are too expensive to keep? Keeping buses running and picking up our students a priority? The reason some schools have gone to a 4 day week is to save money on this...
The time to do this is Right Now. If we don't correct and fully fund our schools we are not fully funding our future. I am a retired educator. This is a priority to me. I have been in the schools and have seen the shortcuts and dollar pinching that goes on; and that was in Blue Springs. One of the largest, most supported districts in the area. What are our small schools doing? Santa Fe in Waverly? Wellington- Napoleon? Higginsville? and the others?
I had the pleasure of going to TWO fairs this past Saturday and being in TWO parades! I spent the morning at Higginsville meeting lots of great people and learning a lot about what is important to people in Higginsville. We drove and walked some of the parade giving away some candy to a lot of kids. It scares me to throw it as the kids have no idea when they are running out that cars are still moving right beside them. Then in the evening we went to Waverly for the Apple Jubilee and parade there. I met up with my good friend Nancy Peters and we ended the evening in the beer garden.
The one thing that really got to me this day was that my teacher instincts are still very much in tact. It amazes me that people are so biased about political parties. This is something that didn't just show itself to me this week. We have had it come up since the first outing we went on in Mayview. People will ask what political party you are with and when you tell them, they will either say ok, I agree, I disagree or some other reply. The ones who make me want to "correct them" as I would a small child are the people who actually turn their back immediately, make a rude comment and walk away, or even the ones who don't even ask but actually turn their entire body away from you as the walk past, which is not easy to do.
I am afraid I get a little upset at complete rudeness. I have always been a person to make eye contact with people and just say hi if I am walking anywhere. I do this as people are walking past my booth at fairs and am not surprised when people do not look back. As a society we are afraid of the people trying to draw us in to a booth where who knows what they are selling! It's the people who I say hi to and ask how they are doing that when they see the political information actually snub me. Simply because I am running on the democratic ticket. Seriously? I am so much more than a D beside my name on the ballot. What happened to human decency, respect, getting to know someone before passing judgement. I bet if you spoke to me you would find out we would agree on many more ideas and notions than we disagree on. The reason I am running for office is because I believe that both Republicans and Democrats have good and bad ideas and we need people who are willing to look at the idea and not the person presenting it. Do what is RIGHT for Missouri and its citizens!
Moral of the story: Don't act like a child and ignore someone just because you THINK they are a different political party than you. How old are you, anyway? Cause you are acting like you are 6 and I am embarrassed for you.
There have been so many things happening the past week I have wanted to share and talk about, but time to sit and write just hasn't been available. I got to watch my 5 month old granddaughter and 5 year old grandson for 5 days and they kept me busy. During the time I had to have Aunt Lizzy keep them one night so we could go to the Concordia Fair. I will be honest. I had not been to the fair since my husband and I were dating way back in the early 80's! It has changed some, but I guess so have I. For one, I was old enough to go into the beer garden to eat some German Food! You may have seen me: I was the one with the white tennis shoes when I got there! lol Thank you, Lord God, for the moisture. We needed it and still do.
While at the fair I spoke to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. I have so much respect for these men and women. We can never repay them for their service and sacrifice. Some never came home, but those who did gave years of their lives away from family and friends to serve Our Country. I admit I am a little old school, but when an American Flag is being presented, it is our Duty to show our respect and honor it as we do the men and women who have fought for it. During the Parade several groups carried our flag proudly, presenting our colors, showing honor to who we are. What upsets me is that except for the opening of the parade and during the National Anthem, very, very few took off their hats, saluted our flag or paid proper honor to our History. So, here is the teacher in me saying, in case you didn't know, when a flag is being carried past in any parade or presentation, it is expected that we, as Americans, show the proper honor for it. Salute by placing your right hand over your heart, or if you have served or been active in any Scouting Groups, saluting by placing your right hand to your forehead in a proper salute. It is NEVER okay to leave on your hat, keep blabbing, or turn your back. Sorry, that is just the way it is...
The price of our freedom is High. Today is September 11. Again the price was high for our first responders on that day. Men and women who run into danger when everyone else is running away toward safety. May we never forget to include those who take care of us in our own towns with our respect and gratitude.
Today I spent the day walking around downtown Lexington and then Higginsville doing some shopping and meeting people. We only have two months until the election and I have not had the chance to meet all of you! I know that meeting several hundred or even a couple thousand people is a big order but I really wanted to meet many of you. I will be honest though, I am not a really outgoing, in your face kind of person. I remember a deacon we had once who said he preferred friendship evangelism rather than the hell fire and brimstone. I agree, I prefer to quietly meet you and let you get to know me. To that end I would like to ask for your help. If you are on this page and following me and KNOW that we need a change in Jefferson City, I am asking for your help. I keep telling people I want to truly represent you and not some party affiliation.
Here is what I need:
During the rest of September and into October I would like to schedule some town hall meetings to let people come out and tell me what they think is important for our district and state and to let them meet me and for me to meet you. I don't know all of the ins and outs of your communities like you do. Please help me and let me know where in your town or community would be a good place to have an open house. Remember that I am not taking in money like Mr. Kolkmeyer does and therefore I have nothing to spend for a venue or even refreshments. I can bake you all some cookies if you want though, depending on how many come! Please let me know in the comments or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org . I need your input, not only NOW, but after the election too! This is a representative thing and I want to represent YOU. Tell me what to do!
We just celebrated Labor Day but I wonder how many of us truly think about what this holiday really stands for. It stands for the people who fought and some who actually were injured and died trying to get companies to give workers some basic benefits. As I am writing this I had a hard time coming up with the word benefit. I thought rights, justice, and just couldn't really grasp a word that represented what was won through the strikes, walk outs and strife. Little things we take for granted were gained. A 5 day work week, 8 hour work day, overtime pay, the ability to take a vacation or even a sick day without losing your job, pay increases, insurance benefits, safe working conditions, and the start of child labor laws. There are so many things that we take for granted that simply didn't exist in the late 1800's. All of these benefits were introduced and fought for through the unification of a group of people who were fed up with bosses that lowered their pay simply because they wanted to but at the same time kept prices of goods and housing at the same rate. Kind of sounds like a case of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Sound familiar?
Here in Missouri we just voted for our legislature to remove the "Right to Work" amendment from our state constitution. We had not voted for it to be placed on there, our current legislators and our past governor decided to place it there and voted it through without our consent. Some Union members protested and decided to do something about it. They gained signatures that questioned the authority of the governor and and legislature passing this. The question was put back to the people of Missouri to decide. We voted and loudly said NO. But even after we voted and obviously don't want it, some of our legislators are saying they are just going to pass it again. Why?
Some people think the reason is that our elected officials are being "bought" by big business. Campaign funding and contributions have no limit in Missouri. Yes, it has to be reported, but there is no limit on who or how much can be given to a legislator. You know the saying that Money is the root of all evil? Well, corruption in politics is rampant. We need to do two things this coming November. 1. we need to see who voted to place Right to Work in place (my opponent Glen Kolkmeyer did) and if you voted to repeal it, don't vote for those people again. It would be like changing your no vote to a yes vote. and 2. We need campaign finance reform. We need to limit the amounts anyone can give a legislator or candidate. The Clean Missouri initiative will do this. Some politicians have donations that amount to the tens of thousands of dollars. Why would someone give that much to a candidate? Just to be generous? They really like the person? They are "hoping" the person will support the same ideals that they do? I don't want to be cynical but, I'm not talking about donations of $50 or even $150 I'm talking about donations in the thousands. Why would you give someone that much money without getting anything in return... I'll be honest, I wouldn't.