Friday, September 18, 2009

The Trouble with Joe

Yea, yea. We’re all about sick to death of hearing about Joe “you lie” Wilson’s outburst during the President’s speech to the joint session of Congress the other night. Humor me, though. I have a different viewpoint on this.

I have no problem with Joe Wilson disagreeing with our President (whether you like him or hate, him he is OUR President, just as George W. Bush was OUR President): our Founders wisely set up a system of government that allowed for healthy debate and disagreement. What I have a problem with is Congressman Wilson’s lack of leadership. Yep, leadership.

Help me here. As far as I know, we still have a representative democracy – I don’t think that’s changed during my many years on this earth. And as far as I know, that still means we the people elect other people to represent us the people in Washington. We elect 100 Senators, 435 Representatives, and one President. (We don’t really elect the Veep; that choice was left to the candidtate). So…in Congress, we have 535 people to do the business for ALLLLLLLLL of us other folks here in our great country. Well I don’t know about you, but (a) I expect every one of these elected people to do the job we’re paying them to do, and (b) by golly I expect them to LEAD.

Now…. Leaders are, by default, role models. And therein lies the problem with Joe. What is he teaching the young ones? That it’s perfectly OK to disrespect the President in front of a nationwide television audience, that’s what. And what is he teaching the rest of the world? That we don’t give a rat’s ass about any sense of decency toward the leaders of this country, that’s what. So I ask you…can this be good? Of course not.

Let’s agree that two wrongs don’t make a right (so we can eliminate the “well so-and-so did such-and-such” argument) and agree that both sides of this mess we call a governing body have done their fair share of being complete jerks. I want to put that behind us and ask our elected leaders to do some leading.

I do NOT want Senators and Representatives that play to their base. They should be smart enough to know that the base will not get them re-elected, and the base will not leave for the other party, either. I want Senators and Representatives that want to do what is best for ALL the people of this great country. So here’s what I want ALL of us to say to our elected officials:

You are NEVER going to make everyone happy, so quit playing to the lowest of the low. Yea, I may not get everything I want in health care reform, but shouldn’t there at least be SOME reform? Everything the Dems do can’t be right/wrong, everything the Reps do also can’t be right/wrong. So how come all you “guys” up there on The Hill have to vote along party lines all the time? Why is it so cool to side only with your party and treat anyone stepping outside the box as an outcast? What the hell kind of leadership is this? And why the hell aren’t you speaking out against the left- and right-wing nutjobs out there? Why aren’t you demanding that people within x-distance of the President do NOT carry weapons? Why aren’t you insisting to the birthers that the President is indeed a native-born citizen? Lead, damn it! Barney Frank seems to be the only one amongst you with gonads! Talk back to the morons and work to LIFT the level of intelligent debate, not toss it down to it’s lowest level. For when you allow the nutjobs to run the place, you end up making ALL of us have egg on our face when the world sees Joe Wilson disrespect our elected President.

And THAT, my friends, is the trouble with Joe.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ramblings from a little left of center

Weird thoughts go through my mind when I’m doing work that doesn’t require brain cells. Here are some of today’s thoughts.

When any guest on any of the political shows says “let me finish”, I hear “waa waa waa”.

I would listen to Bill O’Reilly except that he seems to have a profound aversion to facts. Even when they’re pointed out to him. Especially then, actually.

Anyone that proudly calls themselves a “Dittohead” needs to maybe practice thinking on their own again. I don’t “ditto” the thoughts of ANYONE! Hell, I don’t even agree with myself sometimes!

Is there any excuse for Glenn Beck? He’s such a waste of good oxygen!

When I hear people say “I want us to get back to what our forefathers wanted” I wonder what they mean? Can you be more specific? Oh….by the way … if you’re a woman or a black person or don’t own property, don’t bother telling me what you mean because you didn’t count back then. (soooo…. Are you SURE that’s what you want?)

George W. Bush (43) loved to talk about his dislike of activist judges. Just exactly how does he think he got into the White House?

How come anyone still listens to anything Sarah Palin says? She was elected and quit…what kind of character is that?

Does anyone really believe that one party loves America any more (or less) than the other party?

Why is it so hard to accept a change in government? Hell, we all get another chance to overthrow the government every 4 years! Some people are just sore losers.

Why is the right suddenly aware of fiscal responsibility? Did you think these wars were free? Or the tax cuts? How’s that trickle-down economics working for you so far?

Why don’t we prosecute those that break the law? Oh…they’re Presidents and Vice Presidents….I guess they’re above the law.

Give me a reasoned argument instead of whiney bullshit and I’ll listen to you. This immediately discounts Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck and O’Reilly.

Rachel Maddow is a reasonable human being! I highly recommend her show.

I wonder if Mary Matalin & James Carville have civil discussions at home? I bet they’re fascinating! I think it’s sooo interesting to talk (not rant) with someone that has differing views! It’s the only way to broaden your mind.

I love “the media”. I don’t want a world without them. I DO wish, though, that the honchos in the news business were still good gatekeepers instead of the money-seeking executives they’ve become. News is NOT entertainment.

When you watch the political shows of your choice, please remember that you’re listening to people in search of ratings. You need to ask yourself if even the host really believes what s/he is saying.

What makes Sean Hannity a great American? And why does he think every caller to his show is a great American …. Until they disagree with him? Then he gets mad, whines, and hangs up on them. Sheesh what a grouch.

I think the lefties don’t get mad often enough. Except for Keith Olbermann. He rocks. He’s like Max from “Network” – mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore. “Good night and good luck” back at ya, O-mann!

If we don’t require everyone to have health insurance, can hospitals refuse to treat the uninsured? If yes, then I’m OK with not having insurance. If no, then what’s the justification for letting health insurance be a choice? (In other words, who’s going to pay for the uninsured people?)

I hate the idea of government regulation just as much as the next person, but do you really think big corporations will be ethical without the Mommy & Daddy hovering? They certainly don’t have a very good track record so far, do they? Sometimes we have to hold our nose when we take some of the actions we take.

So….now that we’ve shipped all the manufacturing to other countries, and shipped all the servicing/help desk jobs to other countries….. just exactly how do we expect to employ people? What if the unemployed worked at the hotels in Las Vegas and picked the produce we grow instead of leaving these jobs to illegals? What would the unemployment rate be THEN? But …. I guess these government-program hating folks would rather collect an unemployment check.

If you really believe we live in a free market economy, you need to check your facts. We subsidize an awful lot of stuff, and guarantee the price of a lot of other stuff. Doesn’t sound much like “free market” to me!

Do you think we should have let the banks and the car companies fail? What do you suppose the unemployment numbers would be then?

Seems to me that the Democrats always have to raise the taxes because the Republicans always cut them so low the government can’t run. It’s a mad game, I’m telling you!

We sure could solve a lot of problems if every one of us spoke up every time we encountered cheating, injustice and unfairness instead of just closing our door because it didn’t affect us.

Obama is an illegal alien? Please!!!!!!!! These "birthers" are assholes; there's no other word for them. Oh and by the way, Kanye West is also an asshole.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dickie and Rushbo are just giant whining babies

So I said to myself ….. just when is it that we DO prosecute?

Cheney is shooting his mouth off again about how the Obama administration isn’t capable of handling national security. Well you didn’t do such a swell job yourself, did you Dickie-boy? We got hit on whose watch, exactly? Not to mention got ourselves into a war based on a pack of lies that you and your cronies concocted, we lost respect around the globe, lost a tremendous amount of personal privacy, and we decided that the Geneva convention agreements were better used in the outhouse rather than be followed. Talk about talking your ball and going home!

I just want to know when we’re going to prosecute people that break the law. And don’t give me this “following orders” crap. We didn’t accept that excuse in WWII did we, now? Where do we draw the line? Killing people? Putting them in camps? Taking away all their belongings? Can somebody please define the line that separates “following orders” from “what in Sam’s hell made you think this was OK”?

Even comedian Rush Limbaugh was getting in his jabs today. Rush determines “the line” by asking something like “if it is your child that’s kidnapped, just how far would you want the interrogators to go?” Well Rushie, that’s just about as logical as men making decisions about pregnancy. If it was my kid, I’d want the interrogator to string the jerk up by his balls and torture him till he died. What other answer did you expect? Any parent worthy of the title is going to want to torture anyone that hurt their child. So your question is ridiculous. The question we should be asking is “Is it OK to do this to our uniformed men and women?” (How many times do you need to be reminded that we prosecuted people for waterboarding?)

As for the law, just as it is not OK for a parent to go out and shoot the person that raped and killed their child – because it is illegal – it is the same amount of NOT OK to torture. Because it is illegal. If you don’t like the law, change it, but none of us get away with just blatantly breaking it. Unless of course you’re Dick Nixon … pardoned for Watergate, Ronald Reagan……not prosecuted for the Iran-Contra mess …. And so on. Maybe if we’d have prosecuted Nixon and Reagan, we wouldn’t have Presidents and their compadres that keep breaking the law.

So button it, Dickie and Rushbo. You had your eight years and a damn fine mess you left us to clean up! Quit whining like a bunch of big babies who lost the game and let the current administration do their job. If they fail, we’ll boot their asses out, too.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Who Runs the Country?

Yesterday I watched my usual selection of Sunday Morning Talking Head shows. I watched a few politicians be interviewed, but mostly it was conversation between political pundits and party strategists. Hmm. Who's minding the business of the people?

Today we're attempting to confirm a Supreme Court justice - which has, of late, turned into nothing more than a show for political posturing by both sides. Again ...who's minding the country?

Agendas abound! Pundits want more air time. Talking Head shows (both radio and television) want ratings. Elected officials want to get re-elected. Party strategists want to ensure their party wins the next election.

Who's minding the country?

Now really ... there's little doubt that Sotomayor will get confirmed, so why are the Republicans posturing? Is it for the good of the country, or the good of the vote count in their re-election runs? Democrats did it too, with Roberts - neither side is innocent, here! Is it too much to ask our politicians to do what we pay them to do? (For the record, OF COURSE we should have hearings! But they should be meaningful and productive, not the side-show they have become!!!)

I still say term limits would help with some of this.

As for the Talking Heads - I really wish they'd contribute to the conversation regarding "how ought we live" rather than stirring up misplaced passion in their listeners.

Just my two cents.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Chemo and Democrat Socialists

Let me start this post by saying that I am discussing medical treatment of a child. I am not saying one can “treat” a child however they want – tying them to beds, beating them, indentured servitude, etc. I am talking about medical treatment. Period. Ethics has a hard time keeping up with science. Science progresses rapidly; ethics needs lots of discussion. The basic question asked by Bioethics might be phrased as “just because we can, should we?” It is in that spirit that I continue this post.

- - - - -

While I listen to the RNC muse about “rebranding” the Democratic Party as the Democrat Socialist Party, I don’t hear anyone from the RNC (or the DNC, or Capitol Hill or the White House) being outraged that our government is hunting down yet another mother that refused chemotherapy for her minor child. This mother has chosen more natural treatment methods for her child’s cancer. Because of this she is on the run from law enforcement and will most likely have her child taken away when/if she is found. So I could translate this to mean that government stepping in to bail out companies in trouble, then demanding a little accountability for the use of taxpayer dollars, is not OK, but the government telling us how we must (medically) treat our children is just fine.

But wait! Children in Christian Scientist families are not required to have immunizations. Is this any more endangerment of a child than opting for other-than-chemo treatments? You say to yourself “Yes, but that’s because of religion”. Right you are! But if the child of a Jehovah’s Witness family needs a blood transfusion to prevent death, the courts will, at the request of the medical team, step in and always allow the blood transfusion. What happened to religion here?

The problem, of course, is the clashing of rights. The family has a right to provide their chosen form of medical treatment to their child until the right to life of the child becomes endangered. Should it be this way? Granted that denying the blood transfusion may result in the physical death of the child, but once given the transfusion, will the child suffer in other ways because the parents are certain that the child’s spiritual life is now gone? It must be tremendously difficult for parents to deny a life-saving blood transfusion to their child; the refusal of treatment doesn’t seem selfish – it seems based on their faith. Sticky wickets, yes?

The current case in the news can be easily found in Google, but here’s one article.

Here is another article about Dax Cowart – a 25 year-old Vietnam Vet – who was also not allowed to make his own medical decisions. (This case is studied in just about any Bioethics class and covers many, many challenges that arise in conflicting medical treatment opinions.)

And yet another article about 13 year-old Katie Wernecke, whose parents did not want her to undergo radiation therapy – even though she had undergone chemo. Katie was removed from the home.

It is my opinion that none of these cases constitute “child endangerment”. The issue here is that the medical teams sees a different option than does the family (or the person, in the case of Dax). The other issue here is that our elected officials are busy rebranding the other guys rather than having some genuine discussion around the inconsistent way we treat families. In the United States, medical students are taught how to save lives but receive very little training on how to let a patient die (usually only one semester). This contributes to the god-complex of doctors but does it do anything for the patient?

I mentioned in my Facebook post that the above subject was my original choice for my thesis. Research to write that thesis landed me on a different subject, even more controversial, asking if every life is worth saving. In the case of Dax, even though he was old enough to make his own decisions, and even though we think he went on to do great things, Dax still thought he should have been allowed to die. Dax did not think his life was worth living; only his medical team and his mother – who had just lost her husband – felt that way. Who was being selfish? Dax, or the medical team (including mom)?

I have no wish to change anyone’s mind: I wish only to encourage deeper thinking and genuine discussion. It is for this reason that I write about Politics, the Media, and other Funny Things. Thanks for reading and I welcome your comments.

Friday, May 1, 2009


I'm heading to the beach for two weeks. The place I stay is a definite "dead zone" - no cell service, no wireless service ... Yikes! But ... perhaps when I return, everybody in Washington will be getting along nicely in the sandbox. Yep. That'll happen!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are having mega-batches of kittens today. (Senator Arlen Specter changed party affiliation.)  I think it's rather funny, actually.  One person actually commented that we'd end up with a one-party system.  First, I don't recall the right making those comments when they declared that they had a "permanent majority" in 2004.  Second, .... no freakin' way.  If magically everybody was a Democratic (or Republican, take your pick), how long do you think it would be before we split into two factions?  I'd give it 20 minutes, max.  The pendulum swings.  Right now the momentum is with the left but rest assured that some day it will swing back to the right.  Stop having kittens already!!!

The left has high hopes for President Obama; the extreme right wants to find everything wrong.  I think 100 days is nowhere near enough time to "pass judgement on a president.  I'm waiting to see but I DO have high hopes.

The torture thing is heating up.  Sure is a mess.

The photo op in New York with the low-flying plane was stupid stupid stupid.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The art of compromise

There is a very interesting maillist thread ongoing on one of my lists about bullets flying in the night.  The amusing thing is this .... the originator of the post commented about the green casings.  Another poster said that if they're green, they are the non-lead casings.  Is it me, or is there something very bizarre about "safer bullets"?

About gay marriage:  suppose we called everything outside of church ceremonies "civil unions".  Only churches would perform "marriages".  Would this solve the controversy?  (Full disclosure - the fact that same-sex marriages are not allowed is ridiculous!!!!!)

The pro-gun and pro-choice people make too much (invalid) use of the slippery-slope argument (if this, then that).  It's a bunch of BS.  Suppose the pro-choicers give up late-term abortions and the pro-gunners give up assault weapons.  Is that a compromise we can live with?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I spent 5 minutes of the ride home listening to Sean Hannity. (It's really all I can take of him anymore; he DID drink the Kool-Aid). Hannity thinks we should pull out of the U.N. and he thinks torture ("enhanced interrogation techniques") works.

RE: the United Nations: if we don't like something, should we take our ball & go home? I thought we were taught better as youngsters. We may not like it but my opinion is that we must remain as part of the world.

RE: torture: did we? should we have? I think there's an easy answer to the question of whether or not something is torture: would we accept it if done to our troops?

I've noticed that, the last two times Democrats occupied the White House, the political right acted as if the world was about to end and the country was about to succumb to ..... well, to what, I have no idea, but definitely to something. I worried more about the idea of freedom over the past 8 years - I was not sure we would still have Freedom in this country by the closing days of Bush 43.

I guess that's what makes people great! There are different ways of looking at the world. I personally prefer the liberal way of looking at the world but definitely "get" that the conservatives will have their time in the White House as well. We've made it this long - I wish folks wouldn't stress so much!!

(I love blogs - I can express my opinion all I want!!)
Dick Cheney is an ass.

Eugene Robinson: Mega-congrats on your Pulitzer Prize!!!!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Really Dumb Things

- The commercial for Astepro says that if you're allergic to Astepro you shouldn't take it.  Have we really become that stupid?

- Why do they put "Do not eat" on packets of silica beads?  Again, have we become that stupid?

- Charging teenagers for "sexting" then branding them "sexual offenders" for the rest of their lives is about the dumbest thing I've heard this year.  

- Speaking of teenagers, I think that if a prosecutor chooses to charge a teen as an adult, that prosecutor should also have to buy that teenager a case of beer.

- I still don't understand how 2 gay people being married is going to upset anyone else's marriage.  Isn't this similar to the argument that was used to prevent interracial marriage?   

- There's a stalker on Craiglist - why is it that someone has to come along and ruin something that works well for most of us.  Wouldn't it be fun if we could still have public stocks so we could all go shoot spitballs at these kinds of people?  (Before we lock them up for good, of course)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Car chase in California!

Please please please!!!  Why is this "news"?  MSNBC is following some obscure car chase.  Why do I care?  

I think 24-hour news has destroyed the news industry.  Our gatekeepers - those tasked with presenting us the news each day - have fallen to lows I would never have dreamed.  There's nothing newsworthy about this car chase.  There's nothing honorable about hundreds of reporters camping out on the lawn in front of the home of the captain currently being held hostage by pirates off Somalia (doesn't that truly bring to mind a pictures of vultures hovering???) There's nothing newsworthy about tagging some (probably not stable) woman as "Octomom" (I personally have no desire to see any limits put on child-bearing options, do you??)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Not tort reform, but SOMETHING!!!

There’s something very sick about a society that has such a large population of members who think the way to prosperity is through lawsuits. Commercials that ask you "if you’ve been in an accident, call x (fill in the blank) to get the name of a lawyer that will refer you to a doctor” are so far past ethical that it should be a crime. What lawyer of any integrity at all – what doctor of any integrity at all – would be involved in these schemes? Don’t lawyers and doctors take vows? I guess that’s just a word now – “vow”. It means just about as much as “accident” (which may as well be banned from the dictionary, considering the lawsuits flying around these days!). How shall we repair our sick society? Can we swing the pendulum back to ethical and honorable?