Friday, December 28, 2012

The Cliff

Honestly, have you ever seen a bigger bunch of pre-schoolers? This Congress just wants to hold it's breath till it gets its way. Children. Why do we pay these folks, anyway? Shouldn't we have some recourse to force them into doing what we pay them to do? I need to think about this.

As for the farm bill, wouldn't you think they'd just pass that and get it over with so our tax dollars won't be spent on exorbitant prices for milk (that we'll then have to pay even more for at the grocery store)? But no ... this bunch of babies will use the farm bill as "bargaining" power. They have forgotten that we matter. That real people - not phantom voters - are affected by their lack of activity.

Seriously - we need to implement term limits on these people so they aren't always worried about their next election. Getting the money out of elections would help a lot, too.

Our democracy is severely wounded: we need to fix it before it's too late.

That's all.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas and to a New Year

(Wow! No posts this year. Shame on me.)

I just read an article about how "shoppers disappoint retailers" this holiday season. I was going to make a comment (in the article's comment section) regarding our American consumerism, and why does it always have to be about getting more stuff and when do we have enough? To my (happy) surprise, ALL the comments were about that! How refreshing!

I understand that an economy depends on consumerism, but maybe - just maybe - us gluttonous Americans (yes, I include myself in that group) have had our fill of being "told" to buy more. That would be a good thing.

Here's to a 2013 filled with less.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Planned Parenthood under attack

You know, there's so much to say about the Republican presidential candidates that I hardly know where to start. But I know this: if this bunch is all there is to chose from, voting for the Democrat is the way to go. That, however, is irrelevant to my thought of the day.

I don't get how the hypocrisy and contradiction can be ignored by people intelligent enough to inhale and exhale. Seriously. Just to go off on one rant: Planned Parenthood.

OK, you tell me you're pro-life. (I do not ascribe that term to the anti-choicers, but that's a post for another day.) Here's the thing. Already there is no ... NO in NOT ONE CENT of ... federal money used to terminate a pregnancy. Second. This is 2% of the business of Planned Parenthood. Not 90%, as Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) said on the House floor (then blew off as a "non-factual statement" ... seriously?). Most of what Planned Parenthood does is well-woman (and -man) care, and pregnancy prevention. "Planned" parenthood. Get it? Not "accidental" parenthood! Yet, the Republican Party has let itself be dragged by a few extremists into religious-zealot land. By saying/doing nothing, too many Americans are agreeing with this extreme position.

This fanaticism, for that is what it is, is threatening the lives of the millions of women that use the services of Planned Parenthood to stay healthy. Please tell me how you can say you respect life when you clearly want to remove means of care from these women (and men). If you disagree with your party about this, then you need to speak up. Now. Loudly. Often. Otherwise bad ideas will take over simply because good people did nothing (that saying is so old and familiar there's no need to attribute it here).

Speak up! If you're seriously pro-life, tell this crop of candidates - and your Republican representatives in Congress - that they should continue to fund PP so that there are far fewer unplanned pregnancies, and undiscovered cancers in the population of your fellow Americans. THEN perhaps you can perhaps begin to claim the "pro-life" mantle.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thinking Alike?

My country is turning into something much less than “free”.  In my country you are suppose to be free to think, do and say pretty much what you please (within the boundaries of the law of course).  It seems, though, that there are many exceptions to this rule. To name only a few: you are not free to be Muslim; apparently the “new rule” is this: some Muslims are radical therefor all muslims must be bad.  You are not free to need help to get through bad times. (Rule: there are some who take advantage of “the system” thus all help must be done away with.) You are not free to be homosexual.  Oh - well - you can be homosexual, just make sure you keep it to yourself and don’t ask for any special “privileges” like marriage or equal treatment or equal protections or anything.  You are not free to provide abortion services to those who need it even though it is a legal procedure.  Some would like to make you think you’re free to do so, but when targeting of such providers is allowed to go unrestrained, you really are not free.  You’re not really free to have an abortion either - not unless you want to be harassed as you walk into a clinic (IF you can even find a clinic!)  I wish we would start making it really difficult to get ammunition.  Yep, you can have your guns, but I’m not letting you buy ammo.  Sort of the same thought process as “yep, you can have your right to abortions but we’re gonna target anyone who dares to provide such a service and close every clinic we can.”
Think of the many things that are changing since the Republican sweep of 2010. Union busting is suppose to be illegal, but apparently not when being done by the government. Imagine what we would have if unions died out: huge corporations run by ethically bankrupt people could require 80-hour workweeks, no vacation, no holidays, no overtime pay, and how would people fight back? Go to another job where the same thing would happen?  Public television and radio are being defunded. Really? Is it too liberal? Has the right ever actually watched/listened? Or is it just another case of silencing any voice that does not think exactly like you? Planned Parenthood is being defunded. Apparently the right thinks poor women should not have access to birth control then when they get pregnant they should not have access to abortion or prenatal health services then when they have the babies, they should have to go hungry because no public assistance should be provided. Honestly, conservatives ... have you ever actually thought through the consequences of your sound bites? Or are you just swallowing the kool aid?
Public schools are not even free anymore. Every time I turn around, education funds are being cut AGAIN. Now some public schools are charging for books.  BOOKS! Seriously? Please tell me how voucher programs would help improve public schools? Do you not want ALL our children to be educated? There are many people that cannot afford books and other fees piled on due to cuts in our education programs. Apparently we are not free to be poor anymore. Has the USA become a place for only the wealthy? How does this contribute to making our - OUR - country “the best”?
Scariest to me is the overt, blatant voter suppression. Have you been following the stories of new requirements for voting? A photo ID is required.  Not a photo ID from a college or university (which has been accepted since Methuselah was a baby)  because students tend to think liberally thus vote Democratic (this was actually said; it is not my opinion). No, your photo ID needs to be from a government agency (think DMV). Meanwhile DMV offices are being closed in heavily Democratic areas while new offices are replacing them in heavily Republican areas. This makes it almost impossible for the poor (who tend to vote Democratic) to get to the DMV. This is not a joke. This is serious. This is going on in your country - my country - as I write this. I guess if you can suppress the voting of those who would vote against “your guys”, you can win ALL the elections ALL of the time. How is this different from Hussein-era “elections” in Iraq? How is this “freedom”? 
Apparently you are not free to think differently from the right anymore. The right has taken the stance that they own all elected positions, it’s their way with no compromise, and either think like them , shut up, or get out.  (How many times have you seen “I want my country back” since a Democrat became President?) Someone please tell me how this is different from the Taliban? From communism? From religious extremism? Can I think whatever I want and say whatever I want just as long as I never expect to be able to have anyone representing my idea of “how ought we live” to hold office?  It’s a sad time, Americans.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Anger and Unhappiness

I wonder why some people are so thrilled to be unhappy? Really.  There is one blog I follow (well ... I follow a lot of blogs, but right now I'm just talking about this one) ... that woman is one of the most miserable individuals on the planet! Honestly, every blog post has some level of woe-is-me in it!! I may have to stop following her even though I like her creativity.  I have another friend who is a mega-hypochondriac! She's "had" every disease under the sun! (In her mind, anyway) Remember when there used to be a "disease of the week" movie? Well ... she could star in them!  I don't see her much anymore.  Unhappy people are energy zappers. I'd rather zap my energy on about a zillion other things, thanks!

Then there was the road-rage shooting on the Buckman (bridge) yesterday.  One person arrested so far, and the mugshot is of one miserable angry-ass dude! You don't even have to talk to him to know he's angry - you just look at his face! Why are so many teenagers (yep, he is a teenager) so angry? The better question might be "what can I do to help/change the situation" but wouldn't I have to first know why the anger is there? I guess many of them don't feel their life is worth anything.  It's probably not worth much once they reach for a gun, is it? This kid wasn't the shooter .... maybe there's hope for him. He does appear to be the one that started the whole altercation, though.

I've read (more than once) that if you smile even when you aren't happy, you will get happy. I think it's true. Remember when we were little kids and the grown-ups would always try to make us smile or laugh when we were mad? There's something to it. I smile a lot!!! And it's not even fake. (OK once in awhile it's the smile to get myself out of a funk, but mostly it's genuine!! I'm a happy person! :-) I wish I could help unhappy people get happy.

Just had to get that off my chest.  Thanks.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Less Government: Hunger

"On the tiny farms on Mashonaland, which once provided the entire region with food, villagers have been reduced to eating crickets and beetles"
(full story and credits here:  BUGS )

Don't listen to just the soundbite.  Be careful what you ask for.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Less government: Rivers shouldn't burn

Time magazine. August 1, 1969:

"Some River! Chocolate-brown, oily, bubbling with subsurface gases, it oozes rather than flows. "Anyone who falls into the Cuyahoga does not drown," Cleveland's citizens joke grimly. "He decays". . . The Federal Water Pollution Control Administration dryly notes: "The lower Cuyahoga has no visible signs of life, not even low forms such as leeches and sludge worms that usually thrive on wastes." It is also -- literally -- a fire hazard."

Here's what "self regulation" looks like.  Are you sure you don't want any regulation?