Monday, December 28, 2009

Liberal? You Bet Your Sweet Ass I Am!

Years ago, there was a charity club called the "Turtles" and if you were a member of it and someone asked if you were a "Turtle" the stock answer was, you bet your sweet ass I am! So I'm proposing the same club-like answer to the question of, are you a liberal? You bet your sweet ass I am!
Back when I began voting in elections, you had two choices, Democrat or Republican. You also had to be 21 years old to register to vote back in 1964, so that's the year I turned 21 and of course I registered as a Democrat. Back then it was pretty easy to tell the difference between the two political parties. If you were a person who cared about the welfare and well being of fellow human beings and the world around you, you registered as a Democrat. If money was more important to you than people, especially the great unwashed masses of working people, you registered as a Republican. It was pretty simple. Not any more!
Now, both political parties have melded into an unrecognizable single entity, the purpose of which is to do anything and everything to take away whatever might be of any use to the common everyday citizen. The people elected to represent us have instead turned into our worst enemies. They are paid a very good wage to do their job, plus all the perks of the job. But that's not enough, they want to be treated like royalty, bribed by their corporate masters and could care less if the people they work for are suffering. We would be better off if they quit pretending they care about us. I also think we would be better off if we let them know how useless they are to us.
I have been a liberal person since my earliest memory of what that means. Even before it became a derisive label. I will probably die a liberal person, because that's who I am. I care about fellow humans. I want them to be healthy, happy and able to live their lives without the government screwing up everything it touches. I no longer match the description of the two political parties. It was they who have forgotten what they stand for. They left me, and you to fend for ourselves. I have proudly gone to the polls and voted at every election since 1964, and I will still continue to vote in local and state elections. However, unless something drastic happens to remind our national elected officials of who they are supposed to be working for, I will never vote in a national election again. I refuse to vote for anyone who doesn't care about anything but their own greed. If I do decide to vote in a national election, it will be a write-in vote, just so they know I didn't just drop off the face of the earth. I am no longer what they call a Democrat, but I am a liberal, secular humanist who thinks that our political system is so broken, it can no longer be fixed. I will not campaign, give money to, or contribute in any way to a corrupt political system.
The next time you hear a politician or pundit say they work for the American people, laugh out loud and repeat after me, am I a liberal? You bet your sweet ass I am! And I own my own soul, too! Unlike all the assholes in Washington, D.C. It's good to feel free.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Communication Is A Two Way Street

For the last week or so quote from the old movie, Cool Hand Luke has been running through my mind on a daily basis. It is when the prison official tells wonderfully hunky Paul Newman that,"what we have here is a failure to communicate". Yes, I know that calling Paul Newman hunky dates me, but I don't mind at all!
We have 24 hour a day news coverage, movies, television, radio, internet, newpapers, magazines and person to person conversation in our political discourse, but yet we have a failure to communicate. I email my congress people on almost a daily basis, and yet, when I receive a reply from them it is always in a form email, thank you for expressing your opinion yata, yata, yata. You can tell by the reply that a human being has never laid eyes on the email you sent, it was automatically generated. I speak, no one listens. I have written them letters also, by hand, with the same resulting form letter in return. I have phoned them, of course never getting to speak to them in person, and tell the person on the other end of the phone my opinion on healthcare insurance reform for instance, only for them to say, I will let him/her know. After living as a democrat in a republican dominated state, you think I would get used to being ignored, but it always surprises me how little they care about their constituents. These elected officials are getting very good wages and benefits at public expense and still don't hear or care what we common people say. What exactly do we have to do to be heard? I mean really heard! We don't have huge bankrolls to give them like the corporations do, so does that make them deaf or just uncaring?
Take President Obama, for example. Millions of us voted him into office and yet, the only ones he hears are the wealthy. He has got to be aware of what is going on in the economy, the healthcare insurance reform, the mortgage foreclosures, job losses, all being suffered by the quaintly named "middle class", but other than some pretty words, no recognition of their pain. If Goldman Sachs speaks, he jumps, if a poor child dies from lack of medical care which his parents can't afford, he speechifies, then forgets the child ever existed. All talk, no action. You will never convince me that there isn't more he could be doing to threaten and cajole the congress into action that would help the middle class and lower class. Yet, he was able to decide to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan at a cost of one million dollars per man/woman per year with absolutely no qualms. No money for butter, lots of money for war. Let me tell you, President Obama, and members of Congress, I think your priorities just plain suck! Open your eyes and ears before our country implodes. It is just a matter of time before we will be in worse shape than any other 3rd world country. We can't leave our fate in your hands or those of the corporations you pledge allegiance to. Wake up! Pay Attention! Do your job! Listen to the people and do what we need and want you to do. Together we can save ourselves. We're running out of time! Do you hear me now?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Letter to President Obama: What In Hell Are You Thinking!

As we all know by now you,our president, have decided to send 30,000 more military troops to Afghanistan. Is there any way I can get my vote for you back? During the run-up to your being elected, you spoke mightily about so many things, change, hope, accountability,respect, among others I won't list. What has happened to you? I feel rather stupid for having voted for you and can only rationalize it by realizing that 69,498,214 voters made the same mistake that I did. We all drank the Kool-aid you dispensed with your wonderful speeches. After 8 years of the Bush/Cheney debacle, I dared to hope again. I divorced the last man who deceived me, but how do you divorce a president?
Lest you think that I'm being petty, you have done a lot of small things rather well since being elected. However, on the big things, you are batting zero. Talk is easy, action is what is called for.
How could you have possibly missed what the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center report that said 43,000 of our troops were considered nondeployable 3 months before shipping out to Iraq? How could you have possibly missed the statistic, also from Army stats, that 12% of our combat troops in Iraq and 17% of our combat troops in Afghanistan are taking antidepressants or sleeping pills to help them cope? Or the fact that over 300,000 of our troops suffer from PTSD or major depression, and over half go untreated!
The incidence of PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries have increased from 38% to a whopping 58% since August of 2008. There were 128 officially listed suicides in 2008 and are on track for an increase in that number in 2009. That's not counting military suicides after leaving the services, nor is there an accurate count of spouse and child abuse by service men and women by veterans of both war theaters. How can you send 30,000 more troops into the meat grinder, when the ones who are serving there now are not being dealt with fairly? I know, you inherited a lot of these problems from the previous administration, but you were voted in so that there would be changes made. You didn't tell us the change would be from bad to worse! The decision to send more troops to Afghanistan is all yours now. You no longer have my support, and I'm not sure how many of the 69,498,214 other citizens who voted for you support you in this decision, but I would guess you don't really care. I can't speak for the others, but I will personally hold you accountable for each and every death which occurs in both war theaters. This is not to say that I won't support you on some things, but I truly believe you have been swayed by the military-industrial complex. I won't even go into things such as health care and the economy, because I already understand that a foreign country takes precedence in your priorities over that of your own. Our nation is the one that needs rebuilding, and our military troops have been misused and abused and deserve to be treated better than they have been by the government they served.
You, Mr President, are a major disappointment. What in hell are you thinking? Some CHANGE!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Jigsaw Ownership of Jim Bridger Power Plant

If you live anywhere in Sweetwater County, you are familiar with the 4 unit, coal-fired power plant located 35 miles east of Rock Springs, Wyoming. It is named after Jim Bridger, an earler years mountain man who trapped and lived a pretty solitary life. It is aptly named as it stands like a monument to coal energy out in the middle of nowhere. When I was still working construction, I drove that 35 mile stretch twice daily to work more times than I can remember. Almost every person you meet around here has some ties to the Jim Bridger Power Plant. If they haven't worked there, someone in their family has, and we are all customers of Rocky Mountain Power which operates the plant. In turn, Rocky Mountain Power is a subsidiary of Pacificorp, which is a subsidiary of Midamerican Energy Holdings Company which is owned by billionaire, 79 year old Warren Buffett. Did you get all that?
The day before Thanksgiving, a letter to the editor of the Rocket-Miner written by one of the union employees at the power plant let us all know that on November 20, 2009, Pacificorp notified UWUA Local 127 that it intended to terminate the current existing contract effective January 19, 2010. They are currently engaged in contract negotiations in which Pacificorp wants to do away with pension benefits and raise costs of medical care over 100%. Naturally, the union and its members do not agree with that stance. Nor do I. When the power company raised basic rates and changed the monthly bills so that you need to be a CPA to figure them out a few months ago, it increased my monthly bills by over $20 a month. They also included a statement that in the long run, we would find our electricity bills cheaper. I didn't believe them in that case and I don't believe them now either. When notifying Local 127 of their intent to terminate their contract, they started training replacement workers who, with only 60 days of training, they expect to man and run the plant. Having worked there, I know this would be a disaster for the customer and the community. It would be like having brain surgery performed by someone with only 60 days of training! I already contacted Pacificorp and told them at some length, what a stupid thing they are doing. Throwing away experienced journeymen and replacing them with 60 day wonders is not what I want from a company that supplies the power my money pays for.
I was reading a biography of Warren Buffett, which said he is planning to give 85% of his billions of dollars of wealth to charity before he dies. He is currently 79 years old. I think it would behoove him to pay out some of that money instead to keep the hard working people who staff his various energy companies the pensions and medical care costs they have earned. Without their strong loyalty and work ethics, he wouldn't be sitting on such a huge pile of wealth. When did it become okay to treat workers as disposable, to be discarded like a used tissue? As a customer, I expect the employees of a company to be treated fairly in the workplace and compensated well for their work. Profit hungry corporations should never take priority over the well being of their workers and customers. What kind of country have we become if we let this happen? Certainly not one where I'd want to live!
I sincerely hope that Rocky Mountain Power, Pacificorp, Midamerican Energy Holdings Company, also known as Warren Buffett, reconsider this ghastly decision and instead ratify a new fair contract. If not, I will be investing in a home power generator for when the lights go out!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

America's War Chickens Come Home To Roost

This morning while driving home, I heard the beginning of the memorial President Obama was giving for the military personnel gunned down in cold blood by one of their own at Ft. Hood in Texas. As soon as I realized what NPR was broadcasting, I changed the station, because I just couldn't stomache any more hypocrisy .
Our government has been using and abusing the military for many years now. Historically, military personnel have been used for cannon fodder from the very beginning of our country. In recent years, the United States' War on Terror has taken men and women from every corner of our country and turned them into lethal killers, an all volunteer corps, mostly made up of poorer individuals who joined the military or National Guard for the educational benefits attached. They were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan war theaters multiple times, for longer and more intense deployments as the years passed. The National Guard units, which are designed to provide security in our own country, were regularly deployed to war zones and, more often than not, left a gap in their communities and their families that is an unforgiveable act of the government. Schooled in brutality, war crimes were committed on people of invaded nations, at the direction of their military commanders and the Commander in Chief. When these "good soldiers" returned home, broken in mind and spirit, the government essentially turned its back on them. If a local grocery store treated their employees the way that our government treats its personnel, they would soon have to close their doors, because no one would work for them.
Our military troops have been subjected to horrors that defy reason. Both their military commanders and the President who is Commander in Chief, owe them much more than they will ever receive in compensation. What price do we put on broken minds and lives?
Now, they can't figure out why a military psychiatrist turned into an assassin when faced with deployment to a country where he might have to kill members of his own religious faith! Our government, the media and every frigging politician in sight is horrified that such a thing could happen. Human beings were not designed to be killing machines. When you turn a human being into a vehicle of murder, how can you express outrage when he does what he was taught to do? I'm surprised that they are surprised. Sadly, this will not be the last time this will happen. You can't keep pushing people beyond their endurance and expect them to happily adjust to it. People break, even military people, maybe especially military people. I cannot fathom the suffering and destruction they live through on a daily basis. There have been too many lives destroyed by war, not just the lives of those we are at war with, but also the lives of those we hire to wage our wars.
I firmly hope that President Obama realizes this, because the absolute worst thing he could do is send more young men and women to their deaths by expanding the Afghanistan War. It would be much better to end both wars and turn all those resources being wasted into furnishing decent jobs for the rebuilding of our own country. Surely there has to be a more constructive use of our resources. I would rather see our young military personnal working in our country, and I'm sure they would too. If not, we are going to see a lot more of these mass shootings that desperation is the cause of. Not all heros have to be dead heroes, you know!
I dream of a world where all people live and interact with each other with respect and not fear.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Kudos to Thomas Friedman and NYTimes

Sunday, November 1st, in the New York Times, opinion writer Thomas Friedman had a column titled, More Poetry Please. It pretty much mirrored my feelings about what our President Barack Obama needs to do to get our country back on track. The bickering going on in the national political scene has become more than a sane person can take. I believe if Mr. Obama would take Mr. Friedman's advice we could take a huge step toward accomplishing what we elected him to do. The only thing I would add is, you won the election so act like it! Those of us who voted for you owe Thomas Friedman a big bouquet of flowers for laying out the plan you need to follow. Don't let the big, bad Republicans scare you, we've got your back. Don't let them do to you what they did to Bill Clinton, they are the ones who are irrelevant in this scenario. We don't pay them any heed, neither should you. Go get 'em

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Women: Not a high priority for Wyoming Senators

In July of 2005, a 19 year old woman from Texas, accepted a job with employer KBR, which employed her to work in Iraq. As a matter of employee policy, KBR, which was then a subsidiary of Halliburton, made her sign a contract that would force her into binding arbitration if she were to become unhappy with her employment. In other words, she would have no recourse to sue the company if something happened to her in the course of being employed by them.
When she arrived in Iraq, she was housed in a barracks with 400 men and a few other female employees. The sexual harrassment began almost immediately and was reported to her supervisor. She asked for safer housing for the women. That was denied. When she had been there only 4 days, she was drugged, gang raped and sodomized by male employees. She requested a doctor's examination, which she got, and the resulting rape kit was turned over to the company. She was then locked into a carge container guarded by armed guards, and has held incognito against her will. She was able to persuade one of them to lend her his cell phone, she called her father, and with the help of Ted Poe, a Texas Republican congressman, her father finally got her back to the U.S. The contents of the rape kit were somehow "lost" by KBR. When she tried to file suit against the company and bring her rapists to justice, she was told that her signature on the employer-employee agreement would not allow that. Can you put yourself in her place and imagine how she must have felt? Gand-raped and sodomized, and no place to turn for help? This brave young woman went public with what had happened to her while in the employ of a government funded contractor.
A few weeks ago, the 5th Circuit Court, which has jurisdiction in the states of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, finally ruled that a person's rights cannot be signed away in the case of assault and battery, infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, and negligent hiring, retention and supervision. Her suit will now be allowed to move forward.
On October 6, 2009, Senator Al Franken proposed an amendment that would block federal funding for defense contractors that force their employees into binding arbitration in cases of assualt. The measure passed the Senate by a vote of 68 to 30. His hope is to bring the federal government in line with the 5th Circuit Court ruling and protect all employees from signing away their rights.
You might ask, who would vote against such a noble amendment? The 30 Senators who voted against the amendment were Republicans. When I read the list and found the names of both Wyoming Senators on it, I was livid! I immediately emailed Senator Mike Enzi and Senator John Barrasso to ask them to explain to me how a senator from the State of Wyoming, (the Equality State) could justify voting against the amendment. I know at least one of them has daughters of his own and I can't believe he would not want to protect them from this blatant exploitation. As a female resident of the state they represent, I will do my best to let every female citizen of Wyoming know how little their elected officials care about their rights and safety on the job. I have not received a reply from either of them yet, but I will post them when (and if) they arrive. There is no room for sexual harrassment, rape, sodomy, or false imprisonment in the workplace. They are supposed to be safe and secure environments, and certainly shouldn't be funded by taxpayer money. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso should be ashamed for not thinking that workplace security and safety are important enough to withhold government payment from those contractors who violate the rights of their employees. I wonder how they would have reacted if a female member of their own family had been treated this way? I have no respect for either one of them after this disgusting vote. The working women and all female citizens of the State of Wyoming deserve better than that! I am ashamed to think that the people of Wyoming elected them and have expressed this opinion to both of them. Surely we can do better than them!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Afghanistan costs American taxpayers $180,000,000 a day!

Yes, that is what we American taxpayers are putting out to run the war in Afghanistan for ONE day. That's five billion, four hundred million a MONTH, sixty-five billion, seven hundred million a YEAR. That does not take into account the war in Iraq, or the costs of having our military at over 800 bases across the world, or for that matter, does not include any costs of our navy, or the cost of our torture camp and prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. It also leaves out what we are paying to Pakistan to fight Al-Queda and the Taliban, and to Israel as military aid so they can antagonise and occupy the Palestinians. It comes no where close to what the Pentagon spends each year, supposedly for our defense.
Now, do you finally understand why American citizens have no public healthcare option other than Medicare? Do you finally understand why the national infrastructure has been neglected for so long? Do you finally understand why there are no plans to put unemployed American citizens back to work? Do you finally understand why our public education system is racing toward not only mediocrity, but also complete failure? Do you finally understand why Wall Street has all the money while main street has none? Do you finally understand why our politicians have no inclination to worry about common everyday people? Do you finally understand that our country has become THE major exporter of military hardware to the world? Unfortunately we have become the kind of country we accuse the rest of the world of being. We export only death and destruction in the name of peace.
My question to you, my fellow taxpayer is this. Are you happy with the way your hard earned tax money is being spent? Would you rather see it spent on something that will benefit people? You know who to call! I would rather my money be spent to help people live healthy, happy lives. I know who to call! Do you think they will listen before we totally collapse as a viable country? Who knows! Let's at least try.

Friday, October 9, 2009

What an incentive...the Nobel Peace Prize!

The Nobel Peace Prize pointed out to the world what we Americans should have always known. When they awarded their Peace Prize to our President Barack Obama, they were giving Americans an honor through their president. I know the opposition party doesn't feel that way, they are already spewing their rancid garbage talk all over the place. They haven't realized yet, that not only does the average citizen repudiate their awful rhetoric, but the rest of the world does too. The world community recognizes just what a hopeful, peaceful thing American citizenry did when we voted to elect President Barack Obama. He was, and hopefully will continue to be, the antithesis of what we have been governed by for the past eight years. The Nobel Peace Prize Committee has given us just the nudge we need to push our President in the direction of peace and global understanding. We are, after all, citizens of the same planet. We have been given a gift from them to give us the courage to put aside disagreements and work to leave a more peaceful, healthier planet for our grand and great-grand children. Silly us, we thought that all we had to do was vote and everything would magically change. We forgot that our President is only one man, he needs all of us to push not only him, but all the members of Congress, our elected officials towards the goals we want fulfilled! We forgot that the opposition party would muddy the political waters every chance they got, We forgot that the corporations were not going to give up their selfish ways without a whole lot of pushback from the citizenry. We forgot that cable news is not in pursuit of the truth, but rather in ratings and monetary gain. We forgot that to have a better future, we have to invest in the understanding between peoples, not only in our neighborhoods, but also all over the world. We forgot that politicians, even in our own Democratic Party, have gotten lackadaisical about their role in government, paying more attention to lobbyists than their constituents. I could go on, but I'm sure you get the gist of where I'm going here.
People, we have won the Nobel Peace Prize! It's time to pull out all the stops and inform the rest of the world that we are going to mobilize and push our government to stop the wars we are currently engaged in. It's also time to push our government to take care of the people in our own country and quit sticking their noses into every other countrie's business. It's way past time to let the opposition party know that it's time to get with the program or get the hell out of our way. It's time for our government to promote full employment for it's citizens at a decent living wage. It's time to quit making the world a hostile environment and work to make it a better place for all living things. Enough with bombs and military armament, let's push our government to promote something that will help the people live better lives.
Thank you .

Thursday, October 8, 2009

There has to be a better way, America!

In the fictional account of our United States of America, we are the land of the free, home of the brave, liberty rings, flags wave, elections are held for representatives of the people, by the people, for the people, free speech reigns, and any child can aspire to be the best he or she can be. There lies the fiction. The reality has become very much different.
At the moment, and for many years indeed, our country has become one run by the rich, for the rich. The majority of the population exists only to work to fill the coffers of the corporations, or die to further the aims of the government. In between birth and death, we are occasionally urged to vote for representatives who make all major decisions for us, you know what I mean, of the people, by the people, and FOR the people. Once they are elected, they promptly begin to change their obligation to serve the people to filling their pockets and those of the corporations, screwing the common citizen without so much as a kiss. They become so far removed from the concerns of common folks, that they can no longer hear our concerns. Healthcare? They have it and could care less about the 45,000 citizens who die every year because they cannot afford it. Jobs? They lied their way into their position and no longer remember what it means to work to keep the wolf from the door. When 9.8 percent of the total population is unemployed, it's no skin off their asses, we pay them! We have wars, started by our country, in at least two countries, spending billions and billions of dollars on killing their people and ours. Not a penny to spare for the unemployed and uninsured! Wall Street gambles away the money of investors with gimmicks almost to the point of ruin to the domestic and world economies, and what does our government do? It rewards them with bailouts, courtesy of the taxpayer. A citizen who has worked all of his or her life to own a home, suddenly becomes ill and loses everything due to medical bills. Who cares? Not a penny to help. That is the real story of our United States of America, we are on our own.
If every working citizen quit paying income tax, it might get their attention. Something has to, there has to a better way to run a country than this. There is no excuse for all the horrible representatives we have elected who have led us to ruin. We should fire them all. Let them find out how it really is in these United States of America. A great nation? Hardly!

Monday, September 28, 2009

An apology to Fareed Zakaria

When I did my last post critiquing Larry King and Fareed Zakaria on their recent interviews with heads of states not popular with Americans, I hadn't watched the whole interview of Moammar Khaddafy by Zakaria. I remedied that. I now apologize to him for what I said when I had only watched a portion of the interview. It still wasn't the best work he has done, but it was way better than the portion I had previously viewed. At least he was a little more probing and not condescending. My abject apologies, Mr. Zakaria, you are still one of my favorite interviewers.
My opinion of the Larry King interviews still stand, however! Note to CNN bosses, never send an older uninformed man to interview Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadenijad again. He just ended up looking silly and outclassed. My opinion!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The end of the world (as we know it)

When CNN has foreign leaders of countries interviewed by Larry King (Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran) and Fareed Zakaria (Moammar Khaddafy of Libya) you have to wonder if the world is coming to an end. It didn't take long to put my fears to rest, however. Before I begin to critique these interviews, let me state that I never watch Larry King, because he usually interviews brainless celebrities and couldn't ask a smart question if it bit him. I do watch Fareed Zakaria quite a bit and have a fair amount of respect for his questioning style. I am usually not a tv viewer except for a few of my favorite people, like Bill Moyers on PBS, and pride myself on investigating both sides of any story or interview I watch. I have always believed that you should know how both sides of any issue feel, and then make your decision based on your own feelings and experience.
So when I heard that Hugo Chavez was going to be on Larry King, I decided to watch it. We have been brainwashed in the U.S. to think that anyone who isn't American is lacking in intelligence. In my reading about Chavez, I have found him to be highly intelligent and have come to admire him. Needless to say, Larry King was not only overmatched by Chavez' calm and measured answers to the questions, but also upstaged by Chavez, who knows how to play to the camera. Larry King had obviously thought Chavez would be a pushover for his list of questions right out of the mouths of American politicians. Boy, was he wrong! I laughed as Hugo led him around like a puppy on a leash.
Then came the interview with Ahmadinejad. By that time I almost felt sorry for Larry King. Who at CNN had roped him into this assignment? By the time he kept asking the president of Iran if he believed the Holocaust had happened for the umpteenth time, I no longer felt sorry for him. His question had been answered by Ahmadinejad when he said that it makes you wonder why politicians fixate on an historical event and fear any investigation of it. Larry King was too dumb to realize that by calling it an historical event, Ahmadinejad had already acknowledged it was, indeed, real. Not to be thwarted in his attempt to "trick" the president of Iran to give him an answer, King repeated it yet again. And again. And again. Again he was outclassed by the calm, measured demeanor and speech of a man who wouldn't be tricked. Larry King should just stick to Interviewing celebrities, at least then he won't come off as a network mouthpiece and can still keep his ratings safe. He looked so frustrated, which made him look silly next to the mild-mannered soft-spoken president of Iran. He was so calm, like Chavez, he made good use of the camera. He definitely has a point when he asks what the Palestinian people had to do with the extermination of millions of Jewish people by the Germans in Europe. Absolutely nothing.
Next was the interview of Khaddafy by Zakaria. I didn't finish watching the whole thing (I did watch the whole speech that Khaddafy gave to the U.N.Assembly) because it became apparent to me that Zakaria had been influenced by his boss at CNN or someone, to only ask questions that would make Moammar Khaddafy look even more bizarre than he did on his own. If you ever need a hairdresser, please don't ask Moammar Khaddafy for the contact information for his! The guy is so flamboyant he gives a whole new meaning to the word. Anyway, I thought that Khaddafy has made some good points in his speech to the U.N. Assembly about the imperial overreach of our own government and others, and had hoped that Zakaria would zero in on some of that, but it soon became obvious that it was just another network hatchet job. I have seen Fareed Zakaria do some good work in the past, but this was not his finest hour. It was like watching a drunk get beat up. Sorry, that's my opinion.
We Americans need to start doing our own investigation and our own thinking. Don't let tv pundits and commentators color your outlook on the world. If you read something written BY these three interviewees instead of something written ABOUT them, you will get a much more accurate picture of their beliefs and values. Just because they're not American doesn't make them stupid. However, believing everything reported on tv as gospel truth could certainly make you run the risk of being duped! Use the brain you have, don't give others the power to make your mind up for you. You may even find out that Americans are not as all powerful and smart as they think, humility can be a great tool for learning about the rest of the world. Go on, make up your mind all by yourself! Now, that's power.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Milk of Magnesia for Constipated Party of No

If you want to read my feelings and thoughts about 9/11/2001, please go to my other blog at www.oldwomanwaits, Thanks!
What I feel compelled to address in this post is the feeling I was left with after watching President Obama address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday evening. As you know, the address was on healthcare insurance reform. As usual, he was masterful in the art of persuasion through rhetoric. I found myself almost buying into it, call me cynical if you like, but I'm getting a little too wise to his rhetoric anymore to fall for it right off the bat. What was much more instructive to me was watching the expressions on the faces of our illustrious opposition party of no, formerly called Republicans. At first, I thought that they looked like some crazier version of the Stepford Wives, even though most of them are of the male persuasion. As I scanned their faces, My gaze finally fell on the suave, tanned visage of John Boehner. That's when I finally realized what their collective problem was. To a man (with a few females sprinkled in for diversity) every single one of them looks constipated. For you laymen(women), that means that they are full of crap and are unable to take a dump! The only way we can expect them to rejoin the human race and become healthy again is to give each of them a massive dose of milk of magnesia, which will clean them out so that they can feel better. I suggest a full week of this dosage taken daily, because as plugged up as they are, it will take some perseverance to clean them out. A lot of the Democrats look like they could also benefit from this regimen. Namely, Harry Reid and Max Baucus come to mind. You can't possibly look that uptight unless you have a major case of constipation. A few Democrats like the former Republican Joe Lieberman will take at least a two week program of milk of magnesia to clear him out. I'll bet that any uninsured member of the public would be more than happy to send a complimentary bottle of m.o.m. to his or her own elected official, as we can't expect them to pay for their own medicine! Those who won't cooperate by taking the laxative should be fed the medicine by force, if necessary.
Just visualize all of them crapping their guts out and tell me that doesn't make you smile. My state of Wyoming elected Senators, Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, and Representative Cynthia Lummis will probably fight the dosage, but since Barrasso is a doctor, he can probably figure out a way to make money out of powdering their poor sore butts after all that elimination. Now, that's what I call public service!
End constipation in Washington, D. C., send your elected official a bottle of milk of magnesia. Then, maybe they will be able to understand what it feels like to be a common citizen barely able to afford toilet paper. Or decent healthcare. Or proper food to eat. Or a decent place to live. All the things that these sorry, constipated assholes never worry about because we citizens take better care of them than we do ourselves. Sounds like a movement to me!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fire it up! Get it going!

I happened to watch Obama's speech to a Labor Day rally today, and was quite amused at the story he told regarding the lady who got him started using the expression, "fire it up!" I have lost so much faith in him of late, that It made me feel a little better to hear him tell that story. The truth be told, he had better reach out in humility and take that lady's advice to heart! During the campaign which resulted in his being elected President of the United States, we citizens "fired it up" and got him elected. Then, it seems, he promptly forgot how he got there. I even went back and looked at some campaign stuff I saved that trumpeted a call for single payer government run health insurance for all who subscribed to it, equality and inclusion for all citizens regardless of gender, monetary worth, government accountability, an end to the Iraq war, etc. As I browsed through the campaign materials, I didn't know if I should laugh or bawl my eyes out. I am not naive enough to believe all the things politicians promise during a campaign, but to realize that we are actually in worse shape as a nation than we were back in November, 2008, was pretty sobering.
We are close to 10 percent unemployment, that equals about 30 Million people without jobs. Wall Street is still being treated like royalty and Main Streeters are being played for suckers. Foreclosures, bankruptcy, lack of health insurance and adequate health care, global climate warming, the service economy, a Congress out of touch with reality, hate spewing pundits, the list goes on, continue to grow without anyone in power even showing a single concern. What is a citizen to think?
Wednesday, Obama is supposed to address a joint session of Congress about health insurance reform. I hope before that day, he revisits the advice that good lady gave him. "Fire it up!" "Get it going!" We citizens are more than a little tired of lackadaisical leadership. We want the man who promised to stand up for us to do just that! If we wanted Republicans to be in charge of things, we would have elected John McCain! We took you at your word and got you elected. Now is the time for you, President Obama, to live up to your billing. "FIRE IT UP!" Don't take no for an answer, get the public option for the American people. We backed you when you needed it, now return the favor. We don't mind sacrificing for the public good, but we want the insurance peddlers to sacrifice too. They have had us at their mercy for too many years. Repeat after me, "Fire it up!" Don't take no for an answer! That's what I hope to hear come Wednesday.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wyoming Democrat /No Representation!

If you are a Democrat who lives in the state of Wyoming, I'm sure you know what I'm saying. Our state is largely managed by Republicans on the national level. Yes, we are fortunate to have a Democrat as governor, but both senate positions and the one member of the house of representatives are Republicans. Not just with a small r, with a big,boot-wearing R. The boots are for kicking populist,democratic ass!
During the current debate about healthcare insurance reform (the calm, rational one, not the half-crazed people you see on Fox News), I have sent many emails, made phone calls, and generally let these three people know that there are people in Wyoming who are for a government run,single payer healthcare insurance option. Just like Medicare! In fact, huge amounts of taxpayer cash could be saved if they would just expand Medicare to include those who wish to be insured in the plan, and utilizing the structure that is already in place and very successful at getting the job done. No luck, that is too sensible and cost effective!
I have received letters from all three of them, Cynthia Lummis, Mike Enzi and john Barrasso, assuring me that they find my input valuable on this matter and then in the next paragraph (in much nicer words, of course) tell me that no way in hell anything will be done to help the working family get cheaper healthcare as long as they are in office. Let me say that I am a participant in Medicare and am a senior citizen, so there is no conflict of interest on my part. I already have government run, single payer health insurance. My interest in this is not selfish, I would like to see the average working family get a break for a change. They have been paying for these three government officials healthcare out of their tax dollars, and I think they should be afforded equal access to the same healthcare that these three jackasses get.
It would be nice if the health insurance companies would line the pockets of the taxpayers the way they line the pockets of these three politicians with money, but I do try to be realistic about life. Historically, they say Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. I'm pretty sure that Cynthia Lummis, Mike Enzi and John Barrasso got a lot more than that from their contributors, the insurance companies. Betrayal of the working class taxpayers in the state of Wyoming doesn't come cheap. Judas would be proud to know these three! They should be ashamed.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dumbing down America? Mission Accomplished!

While watching all the falsified brouhaha over the healthcare insurance reform, I suddenly realized that the dumbing down of my country is complete. I have felt for quite some time now, that our public education system was being starved and mishandled deliberately so as to furnish large corporations with workers who could be worked hard and paid little. The large corporations like ignorance in their employees, because it makes them easier to manipulate and frighten. The huge big-box stores have made billions in profits using this model. Keep your associates ignorant, scared to unionize and pay them minimum wages that keep them trapped in poverty.
We have a column in the Daily Rocket-Miner on Saturday that solicits local opinions about current issues. Yesterday the question was, "As a nation, what should we do about healthcare"? Of the 6 individuals questioned thus, 2 gave pretty well thought out answers. The other 4 regurgitated the hard-line corporate and right-wing opposition party line that they borrowed from the television pundits, who are now apparently in control of all public information. That's when I realized that the ignorance of our citizenry was present in a huge majority of people. The know-nothings have finally taken over. To me that means that 66 percent of our local citizens have lost the knack for cognitive thinking! That's scary.
In my less than humble opinion, decent healthcare is a right, not a privilege. By law, we must insure our cars, trucks, and property against loss, but human health doesn't even rate a passing thought. I also firmly believe that if our national government would quit spending billions on killing and maiming people in useless wars, there would be plenty of money to ensure that all citizens recieve healthcare at an honest, affordable cost. A lot of the major diseases that are rampant in our country could be prevented by good nutrition counseling, but unless the symptoms can be treated by yet another expensive prescription drug, government pays no heed. Everytime I see a local citizen pushing a cart out of the grocery store piled high with soda pop and very little else with any nutritive value, I inwardly shake my head and think, there goes another future diabetic!
I think it is time for the 33 percent of us who can still use our cognitive powers to start raising some hell about the current state of healthcare. We make sure our vehicles have the proper fuel so that they run well, but we feed our bodies crap and expect them to run efficiently. I know personally, that when I eat good nutritionally balanced food, I feel better. Except for a quarterly visit to a chiropractor for a tune-up, I can't remember the last time I needed to go to a doctor because I was sick. That's not bad memory, just good nutrition. Take your health into your own hands and eat better. The life you save may be your own! Just a final thought! Thinking, that is, exercising your brain is very much like exercising your muscles. If you don't use it, you lose it! Quit letting those ignorant 66 percent do your thinking for you. Again, the brain you save may be your own.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Am I surprised? Not even!

I have started to do this post at least three times in the last week, but each time I get ready to start, an almost overwhelming angry urge tells me to calm down and wait a couple of days and see if the situation changes. I am, after all, an eternal optimist, who believes that people can and do occasionally change. Now, after procrastinating long enough, I have to acknowlege the fact that the elected Republican Party minority have changed. They've gotten even worse. They are totally out of touch with the health care dilemma that ordinary citizens are faced with. And, why not? We ordinary citizens have provided them with the best health care for them that our taxpayer money can buy. Then they stab us in the back. Once again, they have proved that they feel no responsibility to their constituents.
Do I think that the elected Democratic Party majority is any better? Not one little bit! Sure we have a few good people who actually seem to understand what the guy or gal on the street are going through, but they are overshadowed by the ones who are more interested in re-election and lining their own pockets with 30 pieces of silver to betray their constituents in favor of the insurance companies. They can call themselves Blue-Dog Democrats or whatever they want. They are outdoing Judas in the betrayal business. President Obama is being so careful not to alienate any of them, he too has become ineffective. I never thought of him as meek during the election campaign, but each time I hear of yet another conciliatory statement made so as not to offend anyone, I think meek, which rhymes with weak. He needs to put on his mean face and tell all the sorry SOB's that the public has had enough! Nearly 80 percent of the citizens polled want a public healthcare option, so what is he afraid of? Most of the D.C. elites will never like him anyway, for sure the insurance companies are not going to name him "man of the year". The common citizens are the ones who elected him, and if they can't count on him to stand up for public healthcare option, then why would they ever vote for him again? I have signed petitions until I'm blue in the face. My Wyoming representative and the two Wyoming senators are all happy about following the Republican Party line and one of them is a doctor! Who in the hell do they think they're fooling? They couldn't care less about you and your healthcare. They've got theirs, thanks to us.
Politicians are a useless lot. Am I being cynical? Yes, a little. Am I surprised? Not even one little bit. Until the citizens take away the healthcare privileges of those who are supposed to serve us, NOTHING is what we'll get from them. They have it too good! Why would they want to upset their own benefactors? They wouldn't, and they won't. So much for being an eternal optimist, I'm finished.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Judge not, lest ye be judged

If you want a laugh a minute, watch the questioning of Sonia Sotomayor by the right wing D.C. Republicans or what is left of them. It will thoroughly piss you off. It reminded me of a quote in my high school yearbook, to the effect that you appear to be intelligent until you open your mouth and speak, removing all doubt. If there was any question of the racism and misogyny rampant in the Republican Party, all doubt has been removed. Let me start by telling you that I don't consider myself a feminist, but rather a humanist. I believe that every human being rises or falls by the quality of their own abilities. Sex or gender should never be part of the equation. One thing I can state unequivocally, when Judge Sonia Sotomayor answers these dolts questions, she is clearly the most intelligent person in the room. Don't they love to posture and preen and play to their base? Obviously, they don't have any respect for the intelligence of the American citizen they claim to represent. If their base is as ridiculous as their representatives views and questions, then they got the representation they deserved! There are plenty of phony intellectuals in that bunch. It makes me wonder if they have ever read a book, or if they just parrot what the Republican political advisers tell them to.
Judge Sotomayor is a nicer person than I would be. If I were being questioned by those supercilious SOB's I'd have smacked a couple of them already. Do they really believe that the sun rises and sets on and in their bigotry? Judge Sotomayor will be an excellent Supreme Court Judge, at least she remembers what it is to be a common citizen with an uncommon aptitude for justice. Justice may be blind, but she's not stupid. I hope every person who displayed their ignorance and prejudice in these hearings will be sent packing by the voters in their home states next election cycle. Surely there must be better representatives than that in each respective state. One can only hope.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence or Imperialism?

Today we celebrate our country's Declation of Independence from the British Empire. I got a form email from President Obama wishing for me a joyous celebration of our independence day, along with a few sentences of gratitude to our military personnel who are protecting us around the world and our founding fathers for the Constitution they wrote declaring all people to be equal. Fine words.
It would be nice if our poor military people could be protecting us at home. Instead, they are stationed on bases in almost every country in the world, enforcing the imperial reach of the United States, fighting wars in two separate countries, and cross border attacks in a third country. The military are essentially protecting the rights of corporations in our country to interfere in other countries for their own benefit. Believe me when I tell you that I would never personally want any other mother's son or daughter to die in a foreign country in the name of defending my freedom. If I were attacked, I would rather defend myself, than ask someone else to do it for me.
As for the Founding Fathers, and the Constitution which laughingly declared all men equal. Except for slaves, who were only a percentage of a man, and women, who were to be protected from having the vote because they were the weaker sex and thought of as chattel for many years, someone to take care of men's needs, but not equals. You know how those women are, give them an inch and they'll take a mile!
What a grand notion they had, independence from the Brits. When they declared their independence there was yet another major problem to contend with. The indigenous natives who inhabited the country before the French and the British Empires took it over in turn. The newly minted Americans had to wipe out the original inhabitants of the country. They did this with a lot of relish, and the few that were left alive, had to be put on reservations so as not to offend the delicate sensibilities of the white Americans. It was okay to use them and their African brothers as slaves, but not to live in the white American's neighborhoods. To this very day, the descendants of those native tribes are treated as less than first class citizens. What part of equality am I too stupid to understand?
I didn't learn all of this until my later years when I took it upon myself to learn the real history of these United States. It is not a pretty picture. The history books that we were taught with in school as children were mostly fabrications. Fabrications hell, outright lies. The truth is much uglier, and not a lot has changed in America after all these 230 plus years. We still run rough-shod over anyone who doesn't completely agree to let America rule the world. Am I proud to be an American? Not so much. So celebrate with fireworks and fine words. Maybe no one will notice what forked tongues the American Imperialists speak with. If you want the truth about America, you are going to have to find it out for yourself. Fortunately, there are many truthful books out there to read at your public library. That's how I found out the truth about America. The truth does indeed set you free. From illusions about your country and the evils it has perpetrated all over the planet. I must warn you, however, you may have trouble sleeping at night while learning the truth, but you will sleep a lot better once you realize that you can't believe everything you hear from a politician. Then you can celebrate your personal freedom and independence. Start now.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rest in Peace, Michael Jackson

I had just come home from lunch with the girls and was posting on my other daily blog when the old man switched the TV channel and the news was that Michael Jackson had been taken to the hospital. By the time I had finished that posting and checked the news, he had been confirmed dead. I'm not normally a celebrity buff, but when I read that it saddened me. Let me tell you why.
He was only four years and a few months older than my son. When my son was in grade school, he thought that Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five were the greatest. We were living in Portland, Oregon at the time, and when a Jackson Five concert was booked at the Coliseum. we bought tickets so my son could see them. You can just imagine two adults taking their child to a concert attended by mostly bubble gummers. I have to admit, they put on quite a show. That was back when Michael was not quite a teenager yet, so he had his own original nose and his own original face and he was not only cute, but you couldn't help but enjoy watching him perform. This post is for that child.
I don't know what was done to him as a child to turn him into a self mutilater (by cosmetic surgeons) but as I looked at pictures of him through the years, I always felt that he was trying to erase his own identity. Maybe by working his whole childhood in the public eye, he didn't get a chance to just be an ordinary child. Maybe he was forced to erase himself to find himself. Whatever the reason was that made him into a caricature of his former self, I always sensed a tremendous sadness in him. I hope he is at peace now.
We seem to feed off the personalities of those we deem celebrities, but we forget that they too were someone's child. As a mother myself, I feel only sadness for his mother, I can't even imagine that kind of loss. Mother's aren't supposed to have to bury their children. I'm glad to have the memory of watching him and his brothers performing in that concert many years ago. Most of all, I'm glad that my son isn't a celebrity, except to me. There is something to be cherished about being able to live an ordinary life. Celebrity gives no guarantee of happiness, it just guarantees that your death will bring up the ratings on the cable news shows. Too bad he had to die to do it. Rest in peace.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Not my money, nor my vote!

I usually receive at least one piece of mail daily that is asking for a donation of money. The bulk of them are from politicians, with an occasional one from a cause I feel is worth contributing to. I don't have much money to play around with, so I choose very carefully. I can't tell you how many I have returned to the DNC (Democratic National Committee) along with a note letting them know that I would never send them one red cent until they grew a backbone and started doing their job in the public's interest, not their own. They still haven't gotten the message, because they keep sending me the same form time after time.
During the last election campaign, I did some volunteer work here locally for the Obama campaign, but did not give money. I was initially for Dennis Kucinich for President, even though I knew the national media and the Democratic Party would never back him because he is too honest and not a pretty boy. I even told the guy at the Obama campaign headquarters here in Rock Springs, Wyoming, that Obama was not my first choice. However, after he answered some specific doubts and questions about Barack Obama, I became an ardent supporter and did whatever I could as a volunteer, short of contributing money. Not since the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy had I done any work for a candidate. After he was murdered, I had lost faith in politics. It felt really good to be able to believe in a candidate again after all those years. With each new speech he gave and each policy statement of his I read, I became genuinely convinced that Barack Obama deserved to be elected President. I wrote letters, answered phones, made calls, talked to people, voted for him in the Sweetwater County Caucus, and totally backed him as a candidate. To my surprise, along with millions of other hopeful American citizens who voted for him, we got him elected. The hopefulness and pride in what we Americans had done was almost overwhelming.
Now that he is our President, I am seeing some very distressing signs that my vote was obtained with more than a little truth-bending. I still approve of a lot of what he has achieved in a short time, but am growing uneasy with his waffling on single payer health care and his back-stabbing of the LGBT community, denial of the release of torture pictures, the expansion of the war in Afghanistan, the cross border bombing of Pakistan, the continued use of non-military security in both wars and the supplemental budget for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I could list a few more things also, but when I think about the list it makes me both sad and angry. I'm not naive enough to think that all promises made on the campaign trail will be kept, but I also did not expect to be lied to yet again. I keep hoping that he will do a turnaround and show us the face we believed in during the campaign, but I won't won't hold my breath while waiting. You know that old saying; Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me? That's how I feel. Not only will I not contribute money, I will not contribute my time either. Unless I see some real progress for the American people in the next three and a half years, I will not vote for him again. In fact, I won't vote for President at all, I'd rather withhold my vote than vote the wrong way again. I don't like being lied to, and I'll bet that there are a lot of unhappy Obama voters out there who feel the way I do. Fool me twice, shame on me!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Losing Hope for Change

When the last election turned out to be a huge landslide victory for Barack Obama, a Democrat, I was filled with hope that he would be an agent for change in our battered and bloody America. It was what he campaigned on, which was why I voted for him. He promised to bring an end to the war in Iraq and change the way way our government governs. He championed the underdog and cautioned the corporations, and the moneyed class, that ALL people deserved decent treatment and the right to earn a decent living. He spoke of the citizens working together and creating a better world, a world where every citizen counted. He told the uninsured that he would work to see that all would be able to have healthcare, without discrimination. He spoke of backing the Employees Free Choice Act to ensure that anyone who wanted to could have a union. He assured our diverse citizenry that there would be no discrimination by government on the basis of race, gender, creed, sexual orientation or poor versus rich. On the night of his inauguration, we watched along with millions of other Americans, with tears of joy as he was sworn in to lead our country out of the mess we have gotten into. For the first time in a long while, I was hopeful that change would indeed happen.
I am now, five months later, becoming more than a litle alarmed that a lot of those promises are either getting amended or blatantly broken. The Democrats in the House and the Senate seem to have forgotten that they work for the American public. President Obama seems more interested in placating the Republican Right Wing than in working for the people who elected him. I'm only going to say this once. The Democrats won the Presidential election by a large majority. So why are we being governed as if we were the minority? The vocal representatives of the Republican party, who are a very small minority, are being treated by the media, the press, and yes, our elected officials as if they are super-important. The voters be damned. I have signed petition after petition online, called representatives and senators, written letters to them, and I have yet to feel like any one of them heard what I was saying. I'm not saying that I think voting for President Obama was a mistake, I'm just saying that he and his administration should do a little more listening to their constituents. Some of his actions I am applauding, but I am also aware that saying you are going to close Guantanamo does not make it so. Actions have to follow the speeches to make the deed complete.
I'm watching everything that is happening in D.C. very closely, and the speeches far outweigh the done deeds. At this point, my hope for change is feeling like it has been badly bent, if not completely broken. I'll keep watching and listening to see or hear some sign that our politicians are listening to the public, but I'm not holding my breath. Hope dies hard.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Linguistic Suicide

As usual, the Republican Party has diarrhea of the mouth. As if they haven't pissed of everyone above the age of reason already, they just can't stop themselves from making it worse. If they weren't so awe -inspiringly incompetent, it would be sad to watch them stick their feet into their mouths. As a political party who espouse pro-life and strong moral values, they seem hell bent on a mission to destroy what's left of their own brotherhood, in a flurry of suicidal rhetoric.
Just since the last election, they've managed to alienate just about every constituency whose vote they need. They just can't seem to stop spewing bigotry, misogyny, race-baiting, narrow-minded linguistics, much in the same manner as their hero Dick Cheney's shotgun scattered shot, but with less accuracy. If there were a Doctor Kevorkian who put political parties out of their misery, he couldn't do a better job than they are doing themselves. Do they even have a clue? They are becoming a laughing stock caught up in their own bitterness and stupidity. I can't help but hope that they continue their insane diatribes until every last one of them are defeated in the next election cycle. It's what they deserve, political death, by their own hand. Or should I say mouth?
And they're not the only ones. The Democratic Party is squandering an immense opportunity to lead the country out of the dismal mess we are in. They too, are so caught up in their own egos, that they have forgotten who they work for. It's supposed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people, but instead they have changed it to screw the people, the corporations are the ones who are lining our pockets. I have been so disgusted with their performance on the issue of health care. Except for Ted Kennedy, who truly wants a single payer government health care option, they are too busy making sure they get re-elected and taking money from insurance companies to care about whether the common citizen has healthcare at all. They didn't have any trouble voting for billions more for the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, don't tell me that killing more poor people in other countries is more important than keeping our citizens here healthy! Get your priorities straight, people, we need to start taking care of our own citizens, and spend money on things that help them, not harm others. Think how much better life would be for all of us if our politicians would work for us not against us! Call your Representive or Senator and tell them that we won't accept anything less.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Seeing Cheney on TV Daily Constitutes Torture

What happened to make Dick Cheney think that he needed to appear on TV every frigging day? I have to admit, having him out and around the pundit circus has its advantages. He is not in Wyoming polluting the air with his ridiculous lies, but his face is everywhere. I could have gone to my grave a happy woman if I had never seen his face, or heard his voice again. Instead, it's as if the old neocon bastard is a fly on a cow pattie, thriving on the smell that his administration has left on our country. He has no shame.
Basically, I think he should be barred from ever appearing in public again. Having his sneering lopsided face popping up all over the place is surely a form of torture. There would be at least one time that I would gladly tune in to watch him; if he was being dragged away in chains to pay for the crimes he committed in the name of and against the American people. I'd even pay the cable premium pay-to -view for that! Until that happens (and I hope it does) shut off the TV, call the networks to complain about the ongoing torture of having his face and voice in the public domain, and call everyone you know to boycott any news program who invites him to appear. While you're at it, why not start a petition to prevent him from returning to Wyoming? Let's give him to Texas, that's more his style anyway. I'd be thrilled to sign it! Hell, if I see his bilious face one more time, I may even start the petition myself. No more torture by Dick, Dick go away!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oxymoronic Social Security

When Social Security was instituted in America, it was supposed to provide a safety net for older people, so they wouldn't starve to death in old age. Then, it was expanded to cover people with disabilities for many of the same reasons. Let me make this perfectly clear! No person draws Social Security or Disability/Social security without having PAID into the trust fund. Even the children who are due payments from the trust fund are qualified by having a dead parent who paid into the trust fund when they were alive. At the present time, there are about 50 million recipients of the Social Security Trust Fund. That is approximately 17 percent of the total population of the United States.
When the people who are supposed to be representing us in Washington, D.C. start to talk about Social Security and Medicare as entitlement programs that need to be "reformed" they piss me off. Of course, they are entitlement programs, we have paid into them for all our lives while working, and now that we are retired (or disabled) we are entitled to these payments. If you pay an insurance premium for your automobile policy or on a life insurance policy and you get killed in an automobile accident, both policies entitle you or your survivors to payment.
The only reason that they want to "reform" Social Security and Medicare is that they have been using the trust fund assets for years and replacing real cash with I.O.U's and they don't want us to find out about it! Do we look stupid to you? Any member of the Senate or House of Representatives who serves out their term of office receives a much larger pension payment than any Social Security recipient does. If they want to reform something, why not start with that? Plus, they have full medical coverage that is paid for by taxpayers. How about they start paying for their own coverage? Out of their own well padded pockets. And quit picking our pockets!

The next time you hear a politician talk about how Social Security and Medicare need to be "reformed" you or I could write them a letter offering to trade our meager Social Security benefit check for their more well endowed pension check and see if they'll trade. A special tip to those in Washington, D.C., who think that the Social Security beneficiaries are just a bunch of old (or disabled) dummies you can mess with. We have been paying our taxes for years (along with your wages and benefits), so think twice before you screw with 50 million of us. 50 million people pissed off at greedy and self-serving politicians is not a pretty sight!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The 60 Minutes Blues

I started to watch 60 Minutes on CBS a few minutes ago and watched a portion where they were exploring the program instituted by the Saudi Arabian government where "enemy combatants" captured by the U.S. and held at Guantanamo are reintegrated into society when released by the U.S. They have an intensive program based on anger management, art therapy, health treatment, financial help and a residential program to help these men, many of whom have been tortured by the U.S. while incarcerated. Apparently they have been very successful with this program and many are returned to society. Those who are not rehabilitated are kept in Saudi prisons. I was impressed with the presentation of information by various Saudi officials who work with these men. What I was not impressed by (actually pissed off by) was the way the 60 Minutes reporter posed his questions and observations. I was so distracted by his superior attitude toward those he was questioning, I didn't catch his name. Have you ever noticed how those people who think that they're better than everybody else, talk to someone to whom they feel superior? This reporter just reeked of the Exceptional American attitude. Each person he spoke to as if they were either stupid or beneath his obviously American contempt. Except when he spoke to another American who was on the program. Only then did he speak normally. As I watched, I couldn't believe the unmitigated gall this reporter showed in his questioning of a Saudi. Not just one, but every Saudi he spoke to. It's no mystery to me that Americans are thought of as arrogant by the rest of the world. All you have to see to understand this is an interview by a 60 minutes reporter making an ass of himself by disrespecting his interviewee and his national and international audience, who he obviously looked down on. It's no wonder that TV viewership is down, if this is what even 60 minutes has come down to. We need to treat everyone with respect if we want to be respected ourselves. There was a total lack of respect shown by this reporter, both to his subjects and his viewers. I will not watch 60 Minutes again. Well, maybe Andy Rooney, but not the rest of it. What an ass.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Abandon ship!

With Arlen Specter abandoning the Republican Ship of Fools to become a Democrat, it made me wonder if they'll finally get the message. At the last election, people flooded the polls to get the Washington, D.C. insiders to pay attention to what we want. We want an honest government that does the job it was elected to do. Now, I'm not so sure that Mr Specter heard that mandate either. I read part of his statement that said he would still not vote for the Employee Free Choice Act even as a Democrat. If that is true, then I would have to question the motive behind his switching political parties. I can definitely respect his not wanting to be considered a Republican since they are about one level above a man-eating snake. I can't even imagine having to be in the same political party as Rush Limbaugh, or some of their other leading politicians and pundits. On the other hand, I also can't imagine being a Democrat and not believing that the Employee Free Choice Act should be passed into law. The hard working men and women who have built this country have been getting shafted by both political parties for a long, long time. Getting this Act passed would help make up for some of the losses they have taken in the workplace and the pocketbook. Please, Mr. Specter, say it out loud, repeat after me, the American working class deserve more than they have been getting. They deserve not only praise, but also a living wage, so that they can raise their families and live well. As a newly minted Democrat, I will be proud to vote for the Employee Free Choice Act as a first step toward righting the wrongs done to the American worker by corporations and their own government. If you can't do that, Mr. Specter, then you're just another Republican in Democrat's clothing. We've seen how well that's been working! Stand up for the working people, let them choose to unionize or not, that is their right. Just in case you are having trouble making up your mind, remember, you work for us, we don't work for you!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Is marriage obsolete?

Every where I turn for information lately, the focus seems to be on marriage. Should it be for one man and one woman? Should gay and lesbians be able to marry? Should the government tax married people differently than single people? Does organized religion have the right to say who should marry? The list goes on. My question and observation on this subject is; Is marriage obsolete? Now, I have been married more than once, and believe me, marriage is no panacea for happiness. Nor should marriage be forced on anyone. I truly believe that anyone who wants to marry another person, regardless of being gay, straight, ethnic background, social status, religious affiliation, whatever, should be able to so legally. I don't believe that anyone has the authority to deny a person this right. Not government nor religion. On the other hand, if two people wish to cohabit without a formal marriage contract, they should have the same rights afforded to married people under the law. Among them (rights) would be the right of hospital visitation, right to own property together, right to help make medical decisions, right to help make financial decisions, and most importantly the right to love anyone who also loves you. Governments and organized religions should not have any say in it. If we let them, they will control our lives from the cradle to the grave. In the old days, if you had a child outside of the marriage contract, society labeled them "bastards", these poor little babies had no protection from the nasty whims of society. Nowadays, I don't think society views them in the same way, we have progressed to the point that they are viewed as being babies, no label required. Most of the labeling of people comes either from the government or from organized religion so that they can be controlled. Even the census bureau labels people's ethnic background so they can know how many of "them" there are. I think that in the very near future most of these labels like married, unmarried, religious, unreligious, Democrat, Republican, white, black, etc. will be relegated to the obsolescence dustbin. That's because we are all people, more the same than different, and we all have the same rights. That includes the right to be who we are, not who "they" think we should be. When that finally happens, the world will be a better place for all living beings, no matter who they are!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Do politicians have souls?

Over the years, as I follow the machinations of politicians, I have formed the belief that the vast majority of them have one distinct difference from the rest of humankind; they have no hearts. How else can you explain their unremitting devotion to wars that never end, their utter lack of interest in the lives of their constituents who are trapped in poverty, their disregard for the needs of children who require nourishment of both body and mind? There are many more problems that plague the common folks that require the politician's interest to be solved. However, they seem to only be interested in their own well being, and the next election. Their most common way of dealing with any situation seems to be, what's in it for me? They may have biological hearts which beat in their chests, but they no longer have any emotional heart for anyone but themselves. They believe that they are all powerful, their lives the only important ones. Now, that explains why they have no hearts, at least in my opinion.

My next question is even sadder. Do politicians even have a soul? The reason I ask that, is because it seems that to be a politician in today's world you not only have to be heartless, but hate anyone who doesn't believe, or live, or vote exactly the way you do. I can't remember a time in politics quite like this one. Forget working across party lines, forget equality between the religions, forget equaliity of the sexes, forget the definition of equality completely! Although the Republican politicians seem to be more like this than the Democratic or Independent politicians, there are way to many politicians who hate everything and anyone not exactly their own carbon copy image. If you dare to not fit their image of what you should be, they hate you. If you are non-white, they hate you. If you are gay or lesbian or transgendered, they hate you. If you voted for Obama, they hate you. If you are poor, or old, or not drop dead gorgeous, they hate you. With that much soul killing hatred in an individual, it makes you wonder if they even hate themselves? I would be willing to bet they do. Maybe there is room in our country for a new political party. One with a soul (and a heart). How about a Tolerance and Inclusiveness Party, or the You, Me and Us Party, or even better yet, the Party Party. Anything would be better than what we have now, maybe we could even get along with each other for a change and become friends and exchange opinions! What a party that would be!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Nothing in particular, just a note to myself!

I thought it was about time to post something to Old Woman Waits...For No One, blog #2. I almost forgot this one was here, because I go to the other one first, and being of an elderly persuasion, never take the time to write on this one. That situation is about to change! I will be posting here periodically, not daily, so the titles will not be days of the week, but whatever strikes my fancy. Believe me when I say this, I never know what my fancy will be! Sometimes a thought about the world in general, other times about nothing in particular. I may even stretch my imagination and make up things, or post something I find funny, or sad, or disgusting, or just plain interesting, you get the drift. So just think positive like I try to do and together we'll see where the ideas come from for this blog. Nothing too regimented, to be sure!