Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Goodbye 2010 Blues

I really can't wait for 2010 to be over! Ten more days, and it seems like a lifetime away. As a person who has been alive for 67 years, I can't remember ever being as disconcerted by the world of politics as I am now. In a previous post I explained how the national political parties had morphed over the years into unrecognizable monsters...enough to scare anyone out of their wits! Not only are they much different than they were when I was a young woman, but they have both become hardened to the suffering their posturing and faux promises causes the ordinary citizen. I know it has become popular in America to become successful, i.e., rich, but even when they are rich beyond anyone's wildest dreams, it is still not enough for them. It seems that they want to rub our noses in it, as if to say they have it all and we don't deserve any!

Just two years ago, I had hoped to see the Employee's Free Choice Act have a chance to be passed into law. Now, I realize that it'll never happen without the plutocracy's permission. I didn't even want it for myself, as I am retired and thankfully have a pension earned while working through a union to ease my retirement years along with my Social Security. No, I wanted it for all the lower class, who work for employers like Wal-Mart and Home Depot and all the corporations who suck out the life blood of working men and women for a less-than-living-wage! Hell, not only that, but most jobs now have no pension, no benefits and no protection in the workplace from abusive employers. The plutocrats have instigated their workers into even voting against their own personal interests in favor of the rich getting even richer. It's long been my belief that if a person is working 2, 3, or more jobs just to feed a family and keep them sheltered, they have NO time to realize that they have been used and abused by the very people they are employed by! Not accidentally either...the Chamber of Commerce and their ilk promote low wages and miserable living and working conditions on purpose...after all, masters have to have slaves, otherwise how could they be masters? Everything I read and learn about confirms that the ruling class thrives on ruling, they must be superior and the working class MUST be inferior.

Almost everything in the news media reaffirms this! Those people who are receiving unemployment benefits are just being spoiled, if they really wanted to work they'd take a minimum wage job flipping burgers! The children brought into this country as babies when their parents crossed the border looking for a better life are being punished for the "sins" of their parents, even though they have no idea that "The American Dream" doesn't include them! That is, unless they serve in the military and get shot at or killed, then they are useful! Each time I hear a politician say the phrase, The American people want!...it makes me wonder just how they know what we want because they never consider us when they make their laws. Laws to keep us in our places. Under their thumbs. Disconcerting, isn't it?

Homeless, jobless, hopeless...how much more can the lower class, the working class in this country take? I saw a piece in the New York Times about how wonderfully happy all the Wall Street money makers are to spend their bonuses on fun things like jewelry and world vacations. The poor people who work at one of the big box stores need to use food stamps despite being employed 40 hours a week... or the food bank so they can have a decent meal for Christmas. There are a lot of Tiny Tims out there this year...unfortunately, they are outnumbered only by the Scrooges. Unconscionable! Bah! Humbug!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pondering Our Political Pandering

Since I last posted, it seems like all hell has broken out on the political front in the old U. S. of A.! I have to admit, I think Wikileaks has done a masterful job of outing the hypocrisy of our political establishment. Nothing hurts more than the truth. If our government did even half of the good things in the world that they publicly profess to do, it would be a mighty fine country! When all the crap they have caused and/or instigated comes to light, they fall all over themselves blaming the messenger again, as usual. There's not an ounce of common sense or shame for what they have done, no, instead you hear the know nothings repeat the same old national security mantra to try and cover their own asses! I've said it before, and I will say it again...Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, is more patriotic and deserving of recognition than any politician we might have in our country. I don't know who has given him the information that he has dispersed, but if it was Bradley Manning, an American service member, then he (or whoever it was) deserves to be exalted as a visionary! You hear everyday on the news media that we live in a free country, where freedom of speech is a right...then in the next breath they holler because someone actually spoke the truth! Mind you, most of the pundits on the news wouldn't recognize the truth if it reared up and bit them one the ass, but you know what I mean, two faced as can be!

Now, my next thought...if we had wanted to have the Republican Party make all our national decisions for us, wouldn't it have made more sense for us to elect dried out old John McCain as president instead of who we did elect, President Barack Obama? So, you agree with me! The question of the day is whether or not President Obama is strong enough or angry enough to be the leader of the United States? Let me qualify this by saying that he got my vote, mostly because he said he would work for the common good and get out of Iraq and, most important of all, do something about the health care costs, make sure that insurance companies were facilitating good health care for the exorbitant premiums they were charging. Did it happen? Not quite!

We still have lots of military troops in Iraq, even though we are told that it is "winding down". Most of the troops brought home from Iraq were sent to Afghanistan for a "surge" while also assuring us that they would be brought back in 2011, than later, 2014. We got a health care bill, of sorts, without a public option which would have lowered costs dramatically, and while it does some good things, they are not going to all go into effect for several years. Drug costs are going up rather than down, because negotiating was deemed out of the question. Some days I have to pinch myself just to be sure I haven't entered some parallel universe by mistake!

I know that half a loaf is better than none, but when you have to borrow the money for that half a loaf from China, what exactly are you gaining? Our jobs outlook is so dreary that it makes me grateful to be retired, I may not be rich, but I can afford to live and eat. However not all my fellow countrymen/women are so lucky. I will never understand how a country can keep borrowing money for engaging in war when the populace needs to rely on food stamps. Doesn't make a lot of economic sense.

Adding insult to injury, now the President wants to keep the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy in exchange for an additional 13 months of funding for unemployment benefits. I don't pay a lot of taxes these days, my income is pretty low, actually poverty level...but I would rather see all the tax cuts expire at the end of December, than see one more iota of wealth go to the people who selfishly brought us to our knees.

It is my fervent belief that we common folks need to strip all politicians of their pensions, their paid health care, their huge salaries, their franking privileges and make them all work for a minimum wage, just like they expect us to. Oh, and while we're at it, how about they work a full 40 hours a week with no paid vacations and have to punch a time clock to prove that they are actually at work? It's what they want us to do! Politicians....pooey!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thoughts On Censorship, Citizenship And Truth

We American citizens are a weird lot. Daily, plentiful truths about how our government deceives us, betrays us and downright lies to us are out there for us to ponder on, but instead, we just keep on being the faithful sheep waiting for our own slaughter. Are we Democrats or Republicans? Big questions like this seem to confuse the hell out of us!

In the middle of the worst economic times since the Depression, our local big-box store sold about $980,000.00 worth of foreign made goods to local folks on the day after Thanksgiving. What were we thankful for the most? That our country no longer even competes in factory jobs that make tangible goods, or that Wall Street is now even more flush with cash than ever thanks to the taxpayer bailout? A couple of days before Thanksgiving Day, I drove past the local food bank and saw long lines of local people waiting for a food distribution, think about that...waiting for food so that they could feed their children! A few days later, almost a million dollars left our community for the trip back to China. Boggles the mind!

Julian Assange and Wikileaks have released reams of information on how our government and others have been screwing each other in the name of diplomacy and the only reaction to these releases of information is to try to shut them down, one politician has gone so far as to say Mr. Assange should be treated as an "enemy combatant" and shot on sight. Yet, in the middle of a discussion on whether or not to reverse tax cuts on the wealthiest of Americans because of federal budget deficits, the sum of $274,725,200.00 a DAY of money borrowed from China is being thrown down the rathole of the Afghanistan War with nary a look back. Not a whole lot of common sense there in Washington, D.C.! If we demanded the truth from our government instead of blindly doing what we are told to do, like a bunch of sheep, maybe we could sort some of this mess out! Instead, we have lost all control over our own destiny and our minds have turned to mush watching such highbrow shows as "Dancing With The Stars" on tv.

At this time of year, when holidays are supposed to be shared by families, and good will is to be shared by all, the best we can do is wait for the axe to fall. Don't worry, it will fall...unless we quit thinking that the most expensive present to give is better than the one made by our own hands.
Cheap goods are no bargain when your earned wage is too small to feed and house your family.

Censorship of truth by our government is made easier when the citizens don't even think for themselves...we have become cheap commercials for the American Dream which, incidentally, hasn't lived up to its billing...it has become the American Nightmare. Living from paycheck to paycheck, until the time that even the paycheck is gone. Too late then!

What kind of country have we become? Is there any hope? Not until we wake up and look reality in the face and hold our government officials accountable for their rotten choices. It is our choice...war versus peace...greed versus sharing the wealth...a healthy economy in China versus a healthy economy in the United States of America. It's up to us now, are we sheep or citizens?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Extrapolating On "Worse Than Vietnam"

There was an excellent article in the New York Times this morning by Robert Wright called "Worse Than Vietnam", which compared effects and consequences of both the Afghanistan and Vietnam wars. Hence the title, he said that the war the United States is waging in Afghanistan is worse than the war in Vietnam on all counts.

He said the war in Afghanistan is costing 100 Billion dollars a year...my mathematical brain kicked in and when the math was complete...one week is costing $1,923,076,800.00...one day is costing $274,725,200.00...each and every hour of a 24 hour period is costing $ll,416,666.00! Yes, I said eleven million, four hundred and sixteen thousand, six hundred sixty-six dollars an hour. If that doesn't make you sputter to life and start realizing why our country is too broke to help it's own citizens instead of screwing up Afghanistan, well, I can't imagine what would! This doesn't even take into account the broken lives of our military troops, those young men and women we employ to fight our stupid wars. Nor does it take into account the fact that our own country is going down the tubes because of the policies of our government!

The amount spent on one hour worth of destruction in Afghanistan could surely be put to much better use in your town or mine. Eleven million dollars plus would fill a whole bunch of potholes or feed a lot of unemployed people. However, according to the Republicans,(and some fake Democrats) we must cut the federal government deficit and keep unemployment at record high levels so that the rich can keep their Bush tax cuts! Duh! Most of our elected officials are getting the Bush tax cuts, rich people take care of their own!

Don't you think the time has come for all of us to tell the government that we are sick to death of squandering taxpayer dollars on death and destruction in other countries and start to rebuild our own? Think of what 100 Billion dollars worth of new factories could do here in America, then call and write to your elected officials and tell them enough is enough! War is such a lousy investment...we can do much better than this!

Instead of falling for the day after Thanksgiving Sales pitch, get out there and tell our government that we want our money to be spent on our own population, creating jobs and a decent life for anyone willing to work for it. Much better investment strategy!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Magpies And Hyenas

Have you ever seen one of those nature films where a bunch of wild hyenas are ripping apart some carrion, killed by someone else? Or to put it in vernacular easily understood by us Wyoming natives...a couple of magpies fighting over a tasty bit of roadkill? Well then, welcome to politics in the United States!

Watching the media and reading the newspapers following the mid-term elections has been like being in the middle of one of these feeding frenzies. I must admit though, I admire the manners of the wild beasts and birds much more than those of their human counterparts, the Democrats and Republicans...at least they are just trying to survive!

Both national political parties are out of control...hard to pick which one is the most disgusting. The electorate has been taken for granted by them both, although the Dems at least have a few good things going for them. The Republicans are going to have to come up with some other strategy besides NO if they want to continue in office. In fact, the President should make them state exactly what their plans and ideas are. I'll venture to say that this novel idea will either make or break the stranglehold they now have on anything resembling truth in governing! It's way easy to throw stones if you are in a gravel pit, not so easy on a paved highway or newly constructed school that you voted against.

In one of my posts, not too long after President Obama was elected, I remember telling him that he needed to put on his mean face and show the opposing party who the president was. I'm still waiting...good thing I didn't hold my breath! Joking aside, there have been a few good things coming out of the Obama White House, and there is a lot more that could be done, he just needs to understand that he has to lead the march towards a more progressive country.

Jobs should be the first priority...people don't feel good when they are un or underemployed. When a person has the means to house and feed their family and themselves, then they're happy to become involved in governing. You don't find many politically active people in a soup kitchen, survival is uppermost in their minds!

Have you ever noticed, that when politicians want to balance the federal budget, they never say anything about fighting two wars, or the pay congressmen/women and senators receive? No, it's cut Social Security, or education, or some other program which the general public depend on. It's up to us to help these hyenas and magpies change their priorities. Speak up...write a letter to the president...or to your local paper...protest! If we are not communicating our needs and wants to them, how will they ever know them?

Damn, I miss the 1960's!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Make Sure You Vote Tomorrow

I know, it seems like everyone is always pissed off about something these days! However, if you don't vote, you lose your privilege to bitch, that's just the way it is!
I will celebrate my 67th birthday later in the week, and I have voted in every election since I turned 21 years of age. That's 46 years of voting. Of course, sometimes we are disappointed in the outcome of the elections, that's also just the way it is! Life brings disappointments as well as joy, otherwise how would we know the difference?
So, promise me you won't give up your right to bitch willingly...vote and together we will bring our country back to what we want it to be! Live long, love hard, and VOTE!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Wake-up Call

It's been 116 years since the first Monday in September became a national holiday called Labor Day to honor the men and women of America's working class during the administration of President Grover Cleveland. Yet, the plight of the working class in 2010 is about as bad as it can get! Pensions, job stability, medical insurance benefits with employment, work safety rules, decent wages and workplace dignity are becoming as endangered as polar bears facing extinction. The goal of most corporations is to make the highest profit possible with the lowest number of people employed. CEO's don't get "downsized, the working stiff does. Unemployment is at record highs with no light to be seen at the at the end of that long tunnel of downsizing to keep up record profits. All the benefits earned by over a century of advances made by the workers are being tossed aside. These are a few of the things working people cannot now take for granted, an 8 hour work day, a 40 hour work week, paid vacations, protection for child workers, safety rules, extra pay for overtime work, holiday pay, there are more, but you get the idea! Gains made by labor through union membership, strikes, work stoppage, legislation and yes, the shedding of blood, have been ground up finer than a MacDonald's hamburger so that more profit reaches the top and less compensation reaches the bottom. Union membership is down, unemployment is up. Corporate profits are up, a huge segment of the American population doesn't know where their next job, or meal is coming from. Having a holiday named Labor Day in honor of workers seems pretty shallow comfort if you are undernourished or unemployed. Our ancestors in the labor movement must be rolling over in their graves!
Short of a worker's revolution, what can be done to get back to justice and equality in the working world? Work to push enactment of the Employee's Free Choice Act would be a great first step. Then, join a union to represent you in bargaining with employers. If there isn't a union for what you do for a living, start one. Demand a living wage, no one should work for less than what their labor is worth. Do you honestly believe that CEO's deserve to make millions while the people who produce their profits get a pittance? Next, work to get rid of the minimum wage law and change it to a living wage law. The original intent of the minimum wage law was that no should have to work for less than that amount, but has been subverted to become a slave wage. If you can't feed yourself, and house yourself and live in a decent manner on the wage you are paid, then it's a slave wage!
The final comment I would like to make is, don't undervalue your labor. If you can, get educated on labor laws and get as much information as you can find on unions. If we organize and educate ourselves, no one will ever pull the wool over our eyes again. When President Obama asks Congress for the 50 billion dollars to repair the infrastructure and create jobs, support him by contacting your representative or senator and tell them you want it passed! Don't take no for an answer! This country was built by working men and women and we deserve a piece of the compensation pie! Jobs, unions, living wages, workplace dignity can be achieved if we all are involved. Solidarity, solidarity! Then we can really celebrate Labor Day!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

August Angst

I don't know what it is about the month of August, but it seems to last forever! Possibly, it's because after the heat of July and most of August, people are just crankier than hell. Or another possibility, after watching all the doom and gloom on the television news and in the daily newspapers, people feel hopeless and helpless in the face of it all. As usual, the talking heads are whipping up the population to be afraid of so many things, it's almost hard to prioritize what we should fear the most. Here's a partial list of the things that scare us most this August: An Islam Cultural Center being built in New York City near where the World Trade Center stood, for some reason, folks seem to be afraid of being to close to a Muslim culture center even though it's not a mosque, because of 9/11. I wonder why they still let Roman Catholic churches in every neighborhood in America even though their priests have been molesting our children for years, why doesn't that get the same media scrutiny? Here's another, our president is supposed to be Muslim! Call me silly, but even if he were, which he isn't, what difference would it make? There's a separation of church and state, right? I could care less what religion he practices, as long as he does his presidential duties. Here's one close to my heart (and my pocketbook), the Social Security program is being attacked by politicians on both sides of the aisle, who think it's too expensive to take care of older and disabled folks. This, despite the fact that Social Security is self funded by those who draw it. They even have a commission to deal with the federal budget deficit and made an old codger from Wyoming, former Senator Alan Simpson a co-chair of it. The choice of him as co-chair makes me question President Obama's judgement a lot more than any religious choice of his would! Simpson is not only a cantankerous and cranky older man, but also one of the retired senators who draw a six figure retirement from the same government tit that he worries and fumes about paying a mere pittance to Social Security retirees! Note to Simpson, we paid into it, we are entitled to our benefits. How much did you pay in?
The politicians are afraid they won't be re-elected because there are so many people unemployed in the midst of a depression/recession. Not worried enough to do something to help those whose jobs have been sent to other countries, or lost because all the government's (i.e. taxpayers ) money is being spent on wars and banks. They should all be required to spend the hot month of August in some regular person's foreclosed home without the benefit of air conditioning and see if they will develop any understanding of what everyday people's lives have deteriorated to. Nice dream, huh?
I have to confess, it is fantasies like that which keep me from being afraid. Also a firm belief in karma, what goes around comes around! I left a whole bunch of fears out of this post, because the list was just so long! However, I will be covering all of them in good time. Don't miss the one on immigration, it's going to be a doozy! In the mean time, turn off the tv, don't read the newspaper, and don't vote for anyone who tries to scare the hell out of you. Let's give them a taste of their own medicine! It'll scare the hell out of them, turnabout is fair play. Later!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wondrous Wikileaks

I now have a new hero, Julian Assange, spokesman for Wikileaks.org. When Wikileaks published all the military reports regarding the Afghanistan war and the Apache helicopter video from Iraq, it did a wonderful bit of tribute to the truth. Nothing contributes to the education of a country like the cold, unvarnished truth. As Mister Assange said, courage can be contagious, and I certainly believe that. He and his board at Wikileaks have the courage to publish that which has been kept out of the mainstream media for years. They also protect the identities of people who provide them with data, in the true spirit of journalism in the highest form. The newspapers and media outlets have hidden the truth about both these wars and their consequences for so long that unless you journey through the many websites that deal with such matters, you might not even know a dribble of what has really gone on in Iraq and Afghanistan. The only time that our government gets truthful is when their lies are brought out by some enterprising online or print journalist, then they are forced to divulge just a bit of information about it. Even then, it comes out in dribs and drabs, as censored as possible, always dressed up to make the government look good.
I really admire the way that people like Julian Assange of Wikileaks.org and like Dahr Jamail trust the common citizen to comprehend and evaluate truthful, realistic information. We are so used to being treated like simple, stupid, unthinking and uneducated people by our government, that it is refreshing to be communicated with in an adult manner. I salute them and hope they keep up the good work. Our country is in dire need of a good airing of our dirty linen! The only ones who fear the truth are those who have something to be ashamed of, why else would they fear it so much?
It is so very important that the public support those who have the simple courage to bring the facts to our attention. That's the real stuff of patriotism! Kudos, Wikileaks.org!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Lost Art Of Civility

It is way past time for us to relearn a little civility in our interactions with other people. I've always prided myself in listening to another person's point of view on any subject even if I didn't subscribe to those views. I love a lively political discussion, a healthy discourse on the ins and outs of the daily workings of the government and our elected officials. In recent days, I have gotten doubly discouraged by how badly the truth about life in the United States of America has been mangled by our newspaper reporters and pundits in mainstream media. I get really tired of hearing or reading about how exceptional we Americans are, and how destructive and uncivilized citizens of other countries are. Most of the news is presented handily wrapped in the great flag of patriotism, lest we forget how lucky we are to be Americans.
I was in a local grocery store last week, the last remaining one in Rock Springs, Wyoming, which still has the employees represented by a union contract for wage negotiations. I was by the meat display, comparing prices on chuck roasts, but I needed to get my reading glasses out to see the prices. As I did, there was a man standing very close to me and I babbled something about needing to see the prices and about how expensive meat had gotten. The man blurted out that it was because the country was now being run by Communists! I questioned, Communists? Yes, he said, Communists, that's what I call the President and his Democrats, bunch of Communist Democrats! Never being one to hide my political affiliation, I told him that I was one of those "Communist Democrats", and said I certainly hadn't come to the grocery store to be insulted. I turned and continued in my pursuit of a nice chuck roast and ignored him until he left. The more I thought about our verbal exchange, the funnier it got. I soon realized that not only had we forgotten as a society that manners and civility counted for something, but that much of this loss is caused by rampant ignorance as well. This poor man had been indoctrinated by the rantings of people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck to believe that because our President is a black man, we were on the road to hell in the handbasket of a bunch of Commie Democrats. Oh my!
In the days of the cold war between the USSR and the US, it would have been called propaganda, but now that our society has been polarized into an us versus them mentality, it's called fair and balanced! Never have I seen such a pile of bull shit without a cow in sight!
Ignorance begets ignorance. I was going to write a letter to the editor of our local newspaper about the grocery store incident, but I decided not to, because I realized that the poor ignorant man was probably illiterate, how else would you explain someone not knowing the difference between a communist and a democrat? I wonder if Limbaugh and Beck know the definitions?
I know that ignorance is supposed to be bliss, but I prefer to think that an educated, polite, well-mannered and informed electorate would be beneficial to our country. Never let it be said that an old Rock Springs native can't still dream! At least give manners and civility a chance!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Swindling Social Security, Deficit Just An Excuse!

Okay seniors, time to pay attention! There is a movement in Washington D.C. to screw with Social Security. They say we old folks are just costing too much, that our "entitlement" is adding to the federal budget deficit. Their way of solving this imaginary problem is by reducng future benefit payments for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and raising the retirement age even higher and cutting future benefits for anyone 55 years old or younger in 2001. Representative Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin has drawn up what he calls "Roadmap for America's Future" It should be called "Taking America's Senior Citizens to the Dump", sorry, the politically correct word is landfill! The AARP Bulletin for July-August has an excellent article on this attempt to blame older, retired from working, folks for all of America's federal budget deficits. Of course, no mention is made by Rep. Ryan of the multiple billions of dollars spent on useless military weaponry and ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that would be unpatriotic! He hasn't offered to take a pay cut either, to help bring the deficit down! Rather, blame it on the old, infirm and no longer revenue producing population, the old folks did it!

Now, let me present a few salient FACTS about Social Security. Social Security is financed by a 12.4 % payroll tax, split between employer and employee not by money from the federal budget. It pays benefits to around 53 million Americans. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the reserve fund and payroll taxes will cover full payment of SS benefits until 2043. Pay close attention to this one! For the past 25 years? it has been TAKING IN more than it has been PAYING OUT, and now has a $2.5 TRILLION reserve fund invested in government bonds. Yes, that's right, 2,500,000,000,000 dollars. Imagine that! The government, however, has been borrowing from that reserve fund since Ronald Reagan was president (as if it was a petty cash fund) and wants to renege on it's IOU's. At our expense! They've been spending our retirement insurance money like a drunken sailor, and we are supposed to forget that this is money we all contributed to this fund during our years of working at our jobs. We are not going to let them get away with it! To quote A. Barry Rand CEO of AARP, "If Wasnington wants to restore confidence in our nation's budget, lawmakers should deal with what's really caused our federal deficit. The fact is, Americans pay for Social Security, and it hasn't added one dime to the deficit. It's a sacred promise we make to seniors, our children and our grandchildren--one that must not be broken. We believe that."

So do I! I think all 53 million of us who are beneficiaries of Social Security should stand up and demand that the government keep it's promise. After all, we already had that money deducted from our paychecks through our working years, we are entitled to the benefits we paid for. Call Washington, D.C., let them know we are paying attention to their attempt to swindle us. It's either that or the (formerly known as dump) landfill! It's our money!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Apologies, Oil Consumption And Greed

Just when you think that the Republicans can stoop no lower, they put their greedy little selves in high gear and surprise you! If you know me, you probably know I don't hold either political party in high regard, but Joe Barton brought Republican esteem down to about the belly of a skinny snake with his comment about the "shakedown" aspect of President Barack Obama's getting BP to put up a twenty billion dollar fund to pay claims by residents harmed by their massive and ongoing oil spill. Way to go, President Obama! I also hear that BP is going to donate net proceeds of the sale of the reclaimed oil being captured in the Gulf of Mexico to benefit fish and wildlife. That may just be their way of trying to clear their name and make their public relations better, but it's still a step in the right direction. Of course, Barton made a half-assed apology, but it was too little too late. He cooked his own sorry goose!
Tonight I read the results of a poll, that said a majority of the public is STILL in favor of deepwater drilling. Goes to show just how selfish people can be. Hundreds of thousands of their fellow citizens are losing their livelihoods, millions of gallons of oil has fouled the Gulf of Mexico, marine life has been devastated and the oil is still gushing out of the ocean bed daily, but they still think it's okay to drill in deepwater! God forbid they should have to cut down on their fuel consumption, or conserve fuel, or find alternate transportation like an economy car instead of a Humvee! We are some of the most selfish people on the face of the planet, us exceptional Americans! Nothing will deter us from our own self destruction or that of the planet we live on. Thankfully, I am a retired older person and I probably won't live long enough to see the end of our consumer economy or the world, whichever comes first. But then again, at the speed which we are approaching doomsday, I may still be around to see it. Like the old saying goes, not with a bang, but with a whimper!
How did we get to the place where are, the rampant greed, selfishness, uncaring about other lives beside our own? We are throwing billions of dollars down a rabbit hole every day killing people in wars of choice, wars which are also killing and maiming our own young men and women. Think how much good could come from that money if it was spent on renewing and rebuilding our own infrastructure. I often wonder which one of those young men and women killed in war would have been the one to help lead us to peace, had they not been killed. We'll never know, will we?
Finally, I want to applaud President Obama on holding BP accountable for all damage done to the environment, the people, the marine life and the ecological system we all need to stay alive. I haven't always agreed with his actions, but he deserves praise for his handling of this massive mess. Give me a leader who thinks before he speaks any day of the week! I've heard about all the bluster and bull pucky I can stand from the apoplectic Republicans a long time ago. It's reassuring to know that we have a President who cares about accountability and responsibility. Way to go, Mr. President, job well done! Little by little you are regaining my trust, keep up the good work. Maybe we can escape doomsday after all!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Where's Freedom Of Speech For Helen Thomas?

On the top of the opinions page of our local newspaper here in Rock Springs, Wyoming, Rocket-Miner, there has always been (and still is!) a quote attributed to Voltaire in defense of free speech. And I quote, "I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it". We may not be too citified in our part of the country, but we do honor that quote. We have some lively discussions in letters to the editor, and op-ed columns from many partisan and non-partisan contributors, and that quote is always upheld. The citizens of our town truly believe in the right to state our opinions, but not to the exclusion of others to state theirs! We never tell others to shut up. We listen, then disagree or agree.
Not so in the nation's capitol, Washington, D.C.! The well respected, veteran reporter Helen Thomas, who joined UPI in the year I was born, 1943, and has spoken truth to power ever since. Then along came Rabbi David Nesenoff, who has a website, rabbilive.com. He asked Miss Thomas if she had any comments on Israel. Please keep in mind the close proximity in time frame to Israeli soldiers killing 9 people who were trying to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip by sea. She said, Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine. Remember these people are occupied, and it's their land. It's not Germany, it's not Poland." Rabbi Nesenoff asked where they should go, and she said, "They should go home." He then asked, "Where's home? Miss Thomas said, "Poland, Germany and America and everwhere else". As a result of these seemingly (to me anyway) mild comments, she has been practically ridden out of Washington, D.C. on a rail. She essentially had to retire from her life-long career as a columnist and journalist and face criticism from all quarters of the holier-than-thou D.C. crowd. White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, called her remarks "offensive and reprehensible". The White House Correspondents Association, her colleagues, admonished her remarks, calling them "indefensible."
Now, I'll tell you what I think is indefensible, offensive and reprehensible! Helen Thomas has been vilified by the very same people who wouldn't know the truth from fiction! Not one peep from them about the killing of activists trying to help the residents of Gaza Strip for fear of upsetting Israel. But when Helen Thomas spoke truth, she was sacrificed on the alter of political correctness! They are shameful and would be ashamed if they had a collective conscience.
Now, I know nothing about Rabbi Nesenoff, but I did check out his website, where there is a stylishly posed picture of the rabbi, wearing a black leather coat and an arrogant Rush Limbaugh kind of smiling sneer. It reminded me of someone I'd rather forget, our last president. Go look, see if your blood pressure increases, like mine did!
One Helen Thomas is worth more than a thousand of these politically correct hypocrites. Thank you, Miss Thomas, for all your years of seeking the truth, there are many people out here who respect you and admire you for that quest. If anyone asks if there is freedom of speech in the United States, tell them it died the day you retired by force. Shame on those who did this to you! Peace out and don't forget that a lot of us will miss your splendid questioning style. You are a true American icon!

Monday, May 31, 2010

BP--Show Me A Plan!

I have been mulling over the human caused catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon killed 11 oil rig workers on April 20, 2010. Each article I've read or show I've seen on television seems to think it was just another "accident". I've been devoting a lot of time to finding out everything there is to find out as to the cause of the explosion, which is still gushing forth millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf. As a break from all the news coverage, I was watching a silly television drama , The Good Wife, the main character is talking to her love interest on the phone while her politician husband beckons to her to join him on stage at a press conference to announce his candidacy for some political plum job. The man she is talking to tells her that he loves her and wants to have her in his life and she tells him, that's just flowery talk, show me the plan! That stuck in my mind and seems very pertinent to the drama unfolding (or gushing) in the case of BP, the federal government and offshore oil drilling. Show me the plan! Obviously, neither the oil company or the federal government had any plan as to what could be done if oil was struck but not contained.
Not a thought was given to the damage to the environment, marine life, human life, nope, who cares about all that, we are making a profit! We have been treated to the finest display of corporate greed and government incompetency possible, and it took a lot to top what has become obvious to anyone with half a brain. Money rules, people are unimportant. If we wipe out the way of life for millions of people who live and work in the Gulf states, who cares, we're rich! Who needs diversity in ocean life and water to live in, it's a big Gulf, we're rich, to hell with fish, and birds and turtles. You get the idea!
No plan, just greed.
After watching one half-assed attempt after another to stop this crude oil, they still have the audacity to call it an accident. I call it mass murder. Who knew that we were so suicidal that we left our fate and the fate of the planet in the incompetent hands of our government and the greedy corporation? People, we are in big trouble! STILL NO PLAN!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Price of Being A U.S. Soldier

Last week on Frontline, there was a documentary called, "The Wounded Platoon". It told the stories of several soldiers from the 3rd Platoon, Charley Company, Fort Carson, Colorado and what has happaned to them and others in the aftermath of their service in Iraq and Afghanistan. As if the statistics regarding divorce, suicide, murder, PTSD, TBI and killing of both comrades and foreign civilians weren't horrifying enough, as each young man's story unfolded, the hopelessness in their eyes and voices was almost unbearable to see and listen to. The program is available from PBS.org/frontline and I think every citizen should make an effort to watch it. War is never pretty, so why do we still insist on engaging in them?
I have been called a bleeding heart liberal many times in my life and it is a label I'm proud to carry! It seems to me that our country is about the most blood-thirsty in the world. The young men in this film are and were someone's son, brother, husband, father, grandson. Surely the families of these young men didn't think that serving their country in the military would turn them into what they have become. The military trained them to kill, kept them in the military theater for extended tours knowing it was breaking their bodies and minds. Then they gave them psychotropic medication to keep them in the war zone, sleeping pills to chase away the symptoms of PTSD and finally, when they were to broken to do their jobs, cast them out with a less than honorable discharge. No support, no counseling, no disability, just back to the streets where they lived to fend for themselves and their wounded spirits. It should come as no surprise that these poor broken young men ended up doing terrible things. However, I can't keep myself from believing that they are not solely to blame for what they did. From the President of the United States, to the Pentagon officials, to the Congress, to the war profiteers, all the way down the chain of command to their platoon officers, each of these are responsible for what happened to these young men and for the crimes committed by them. There is plenty of blame to be shared by them. If you take the time to watch this documentary, I'm willing to bet you'll agree with me. No one should ever have to endure the conditions they did in service of a country they are a citizen of.
We need to find a way of dealing with other countries with respect and diplomacy. The United States has become so soaked in the blood of the innocent people it has murdered in the name of patriotism and national security. We need to do as we say, not as we do. Peace can only be achieved by understanding and compromise, it will never be achieved by becoming worse than any terrorist who ever lived. We have more to fear from the deadly actions of our own government than from Bin Laden or others like him. Our own bloodlust will be what finally brings down our country, we have lost our souls!
I had hoped that a new administration would see that wars are sucking the life out of America, but no. The young men in this documentary are collateral damage in our countries race to doom. They, and we, deserve better. Wake up, America!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pondering Dumpster Politics

Each day the news brings more corruption, abuse of power, greed, hypocrisy, racism, (feel free to add your own words to the list) and political bullshit to the attention of an overloaded public's eyes and ears. So much contradictory information, that after a while, much of it ceases to excite much. I've come to think of it as a political dumpster. You are all familiar with what a dumpster is, a garbage container. Each time I reflect and ponder over each new news item, I'm reminded of an ancient joke. Two hunters are out hunting when one accidentally shoots the other. He takes his buddy to the hospital and begs the doctor to save him. The doc does his best, but to no avail. When the hunter asks why the doctor couldn't save him, the doctor replies, "well, it might have been possible if you hadn't already gutted and dressed him out before you brought him to me!" That, in a nutshell is what has been done to our country over the last 30+ years. Any safety regulation, bank and insurance regulation, business regulation, food safety regulation, indeed, any regulation that protected the public interest and not that of corporations, has been gutted and dressed out, like that hunter's buddy. Blow-job Bill Clinton and Dubya Bush de-regulated any and every industry law that had the teeth to bite the hand of their corporate benefactors, and the whistle-blowers were prosecuted instead of the real offenders. Miners are blown-up in a methane explosion, oh well, that's a dangerous job! Mexican-Americans in Arizona have to be able to prove their citizenship to walk down the street, oh well, we're not being racist, this is America! Breast cancer patients are thrown off insurance rolls at the first sign of diagnosis, oh well, that's just good business not to pay for their care! Diabetes type 2 has become epidemic because of the awful practices of the fast food industry, oh well, people just need to watch their diet! Home foreclosures are rampant because of sub-prime mortgages sold by corporations who knew they would be unaffordable for homeowners, oh well, we were just following the same business practices as the other mortgage sellers! People are getting poisoned by the "wholesome" food being sold at the supermarket because food producers have the Congress in their pocket, oh well, let the buyer beware! This is just a peek at what is in the political dumpster. I'm sure you could add many more stories to the mix.
The only way to fix this mess made by our political forebears it to regulate all financial transactions, and prosecute any offenders. It would do my old heart good to see some higher ups from Goldman Sachs and the CEO of Massey Energy, for instance, serve some stiff jail sentances for their greedy fraud and downright murder, respectively. Government can be a power for good if it's done appropriately. It can start by making corporations take responsibility for their crimes. They are crimes, not merely misdeeds. They have been deliberate, with malice and forethought. The public has suffered enough, it's time for the corporations who have brought our economy to its demise to do some jail time! Our elected officials on all levels need to do their jobs to protect the public from these leeches. Yes, we the public need to push them until they do, and if they don't do their jobs, we should vote them out until we finally clean out our political dumpster! Then, maybe, we can be proud of ourselves again. I will, and so can you! Let the jail sentences begin!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Coal Mine Deaths Not Accidental, Corporate Murder

My heart goes out to the families of those 25 men who died in a methane explosion in a coal mine owned by Massey Energy. As the daughter of a coal miner, I fully understand their grief. My father was different in that his job was covered by a union agreement by the United Mineworkers of America. This kind of work is always dirty and difficult, but thanks to the UMWA, at least the workers had pretty safe work conditions. These men, on the other hand, worked for a non-union company and not one that cared much about their safety. Last year they had 458 safety violations just in that mine alone. That's an average of 38 safety violations a month, more than one a day!
We are in the year 2010, and there is no excuse for having people working in unsafe conditions. There are plenty of technological advances available that can make working underground as safe as working above ground. Massey Energy obviously cares little about the people who work for them, their profits are much more important to them than the safety and lives of their employees. That is why I can't understand why this is being reported by the media as an accident. Due to the fact that there are safe ways for this work to be performed, Massey Energy has made a conscious decision not to implement such safety measures, so these deaths are an act of deliberate murder. Their profits are more important than the lives of the people whose labor helps them reap those same profits. To call this an accident makes no sense to me. Each of those 25 miners (and possibly the other miners still missing) was an act of murder and should be prosecuted as such! Furthermore, any and all coal mines owned and operated by these murderers should be closed down (with the miners being paid their weekly wages) until Massey Energy brings them up to code to be safe to work in. These miners lives were snuffed out, Massey Energy should be made to pay for these crimes of murder, both in money and jailtime. A perfect punishment for them would be for them to work in one of their own mines. The families of these miners deserve justice. May their faces haunt the management of this company forever!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bless You, Maureen Dowd!

I'm up in the middle of the night unable to sleep, during the past week or so having read a number of articles on the ever growing pedophilia scandal in the Roman Catholic church. One I read today told of Pope Benedict XVI apologizing in a pastoral letter to Irish parishioners. When did it become okay to "apologize" for ruining lives by criminal acts of sexual trauma and abuse?
Just so you know why I feel so deeply about this, I was raised as a Roman Catholic child, 9 of my 12 years of schooling before adulthood were in a parochial school. Unfortunately for them, fortunately for me, the doctrine didn't stick with me, even as a child I didn't buy into organized religion and its form of mind control. I have long considered myself a secular humanist and belong to no church. I believe in being a moral person with a deep faith in my fellow inhabitants on earth, not including any clergy in this group. My younger sister was a victim of one of those Roman Catholic clergy at a young age of about 14, so this is also a personal issue for me!
Before starting this post, I read Maureen Dowd's column in the New York Times for this date. The column was partly about Bart Stupak and his ongoing hissy fit with the abortion language in the healthcare bill. He's a Catholic, you know. Anyway, she also gave an excellent analysis of the way the Pope and the rest of the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church are handling this issue of sexual abuse of children. For that analysis I would like to commend and bless her for a job well done. Read her column, it's a good one.
Now, back to "apologizing". The Pope, the Roman Catholic church and any and all of its pederast priests, brothers, etc. should be held accountable for this massive offense against the most innocent of mankind, children. No parishioner should give a penny to the church, every asset of that church including all the wealth of the Vatican should be seized and held in account until every sexual abuse case in the world is prosecuted. Churches should be stripped of their tax exempt status and precluded from permitting and covering up these horrible crimes. Every victim should be compensated for the abuse they suffered. No child should have to fear abuse from a representative of the same church which professes to represent an Almighty Being! I contend that any God represented by these kinds of abusers should at least, at the very least, wipe them off the face of the earth! I believe that would be the best way for God to apologize! The Pope should save his breath, he may need it, if indeed there is a Hell, because, he will surely be one of the future inhabitants there!
Even that would not be apology enough.
Now you know why I am sleepless, I can feel the pain of those poor children betrayed by pedophiles in the name of religion. It also makes me wonder if the Pope and the rest of his abusive minions have any trouble getting to sleep? Justice for those spoilers of children, not apologies.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

If Not Now, When?

Silly me, last November when the voters elected a Democrat as President, and gave both the House and the Senate majorities to the Democrats, I thought that there was a good chance to finally get health insurance coverage for all American citizens. Boy, was I ever wrong! From President Obama down to the newest members of both branches of Congress have made it a point to cater to insurance selling corporations to the detriment of each and every citizen, both insured and uninsured. These are supposed to be smart people we elected, educated people, people of vision. Not so much! They have talked, groveled, preached, argued,lied, and pretty much alienated any sensible voter over the past 14 months. The only deals made regarding health insurance were the ones that lined the pockets of politicos and insurance sellers. The ordinary citizen be damned, we have no voice. Our pockets don't have enough money in them to buy our elected officials interest!
To me, the simplest of solutions would have been to make Medicare available to all citizens, regardless of age, contingent upon monthly premiums just like us retired folks. The next step to opening up health care to all would be to make healthcare a non-profit enterprise. Can you imagine what it would be like to be able to see a doctor without worrying if you are going to bankrupt your budget? Or pay a reasonable price for a prescription medication made without television commercials, and profits and other advertising costs being included in the price of each pill? If we all belonged to Medicare and paid our monthly premiums that would be a very large pool of premium payers, about 300 million subscribers. Multiply 300 million by 2 thousand dollars a year. No insurance companies advertising in the media, just a very large pool of people paying a decent price for access to health care. Add to that, the blessed relief of never again having to watch a television commercial about insurance, wonder drugs (along with their horrible side effects), or Wilford Brimley hawking diabetes supplies every 5 minutes. A person can dream!
All of our politicians want us to vote for them. Why? They don't pay attention to our wants and needs, just their own greed. I wonder what they'd all do, if in 2010 and 2012, the elections were held, but not one single, solitary citizen voted? They haven't heard any of our other messages to them, maybe if they were unemployed they would learn to pay attention. Do I sound cynical? Of course I do. What a bunch of do nothing, greedy, heartless, useless politicos we have on our public payroll. We should fire them all!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Our Militarized America

In this morning's edition of the Rocket-Miner, smack on the front page is a full color picture of a crane rotating an M60 tank at Veteran's Park in East Flat. Apparently, the tank had originally been placed in a "retreat" position. I'm not up on military terms, but I would guess that it was changed to the correct position to attack, instead of retreat. This entailed a crew of 3 men, plus the crane operator, I don't know how many other men were standing around watching, because the picture only showed the four men! Is there some arcane army guide which states how a tank is supposed to be displayed? I mean like the flag and how it's officially meant to be displayed according to some rules of protocol? It must have
been a really important mistake to employ 4 men to correct it!
With all the winter damage to roads and potholes and such that need to be fixed, It must have been a high priority job! I was amazed that in these poor economic times, that they would have the gall to show this blatant waste of taxpayer resources on the front page.
The Defense Department budget for the next fiscal year is about 744 billion dollars. That's 2 billion, 38 million dollars + a DAY for military spending! This in a country where 45,000 citizens a year die from lack of health care, where our duly elected Congress is telling us there just isn't a concensus for passing a health care reform bill that includes a single payer option. No, indeed, they say we must be mandated to buy insurance from the very same insurance companies who have been ripping us off for years. Not to mention their handy contributions to those same lawmakers!
We have to change our priorities. I don't know when the Department of Defense changed it's name from the War Department, but it is very telling when huge amounts of taxpayer money is spent on killing and destruction and munitions, but no money can be found to create jobs, decent health care, food safety, schools or build and repair infrastructure. Bullets yes, butter no! Then they have the balls to wonder why taxpaying citizens are pissed off at them. At this point in the world, I can't think of a single country in the world that would be suicidal enough to attack the U.S. of A., so who are we supposed to be defending ourselves from?
How many more enraged and insane citizens will fly their planes into a government IRS building (who can afford a plane?) before the politicians finally wake up and smell the rotten smell that our government exudes?
I'll bet that 2 billion, 38 million +dollars a DAY would go a long way towards fixing what is amiss in our country, if only the President and Congress would get their heads out of their posterior regions and pay attention to what the people are saying to them! I'm a betting woman, how about you?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

In Memory Of Howard Zinn, 1922-2010

I was watching Bill Moyer's Journal on PBS last when he informed me of the death of Howard Zinn. He had just been on the Journal last month talking about history and a program on the History Channel, The People Speak. He was 87 years old, but had a vigor and interest in life that belied his years. He wrote the book, The People's History of the United States in 1980, but I didn't become acquainted with it until my 2005 retirement.
I had always liked history in school and, of course, was also interested in current events, but when I retired from working I was finally able to take the time to read as many books as I wanted. When you hold down a job in the modern day world, which is pretty much run by moneyed corporations to the detriment of their workers, you don't have a lot of time or energy to do anything but work. I figured out after retirement, that is exactly how they want it, a worker who is too tired to be well-informed meets their needs best, and cheaper.
So finally, in retirement, I haunted the library and started devouring books on history and current events. One of them was The People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn. I soon realized that most of what I had been taught about American History in school had been a collection of bald-faced lies. By the end of the book, my eyes and mind had been opened and a deep sense of indignation took the place of my former trust in my country's government. A couple of years ago, a comic book version of the book was released, and I donated a copy of it to my local library. It is my fervent hope that more than one young person has been attracted by the format into reading it. Ours is not the history we were taught, the real, much uglier and honest version is contained in Zinn's book. It took me 62 years to really be educated about American History, and I am so grateful to him for making that possible. Thanks to him, I now ask questions about the news and don't just swallow it whole. I am much better informed about the reality of our country's government than ever before in my life. His search for truth has certainly aided mine.
I plan to re-check the book out next week and read it again so as to refresh my memory and to honor the truth-seeker who wrote it. Truth seekers and truth tellers are an endangered species in the United States of America. Howard Zinn was almost the last one left, and he will be remembered by many people who, like me, had their minds opened by him. It's a sad day for truth and honesty and justice, their defender has left us and counts on us to follow in his footsteps. I only hope we are up to the task! Rest in peace, Mr. Zinn. Thank you!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

President Obama Meet Senator Scott Brown

As I had feared, the voters of Massachusetts sent President Obama a special delivery verdict today with the election of Scott Brown as a replacement for Ted Kennedy. I'm sure in the next few days, Democrats will find all sorts of circumstances to blame this on, but they need to take a good long look at themselves in a mirror. That's where they'll find the real culprits! In November of 2008, voters on the national level delivered a mandate to the Democrats for change that they ignored. President Obama, along with almost every other Democrat I can think of took that mandate and turned it into a politically expedient joke. Not a funny one either.
What they have shown us since that mandate has been a total slap in the face for the common, working citizen. They bailed out Wall Street, dickered back and forth over a health care reform bill that forces people to buy insurance from the very same insurance companies who have been ripping of the public for profit for years. Not only are the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan still ongoing, but Afghanistan is being accelerated to the tune of 30,000 troops, and Pakistan is being bombed by drones. The unemployment figures are rising like a tide of humanity forgotten by the politicians who are too busy filling their own pockets to care that the weary taxpayer can't take care of their daily needs. Lest I forget, Guantanamo is still open, and if there is one country anywhere in the world that doesn't hate America, please feel free to inform me of it's name. The American public is pissed off and tired of being lied to and treated like an ATM.
While these self-serving politicians look into that mirror, they might want to give a thought or two to creating jobs. You can't raise money from taxes on people who aren't working! That's what America needs, jobs, jobs, jobs. I'm not an economist, but it's not rocket science to know that when people work and are able to take care of their needs like food and housing, money they spend translates into jobs for others also. Both major political parties are so bound by their obligations to the corporation who own them, the taxpayer is on the bottom of their list of priorities. That has got to change. Someone somewhere has got to act with some audacity to recreate the economy. Consumer spending is not going to do it, but jobs will. Can you imagine what all the money being spent on wars could do for if it were spent on rebuilding our own United States?
So, to all the Senators and Representatives and you, Mr. President when you start to employ those who are un or underemployed, you may also be saving your own jobs! Get off your pampered butts and do your jobs, let losing the State of Massachusetts be a lesson to you. We voters are not kidding around. We need jobs, not more rhetoric!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Local News And Local Blues

I have been reading in the Rocket -Miner recently about our state legislators trying to raise the minimum wage in our state. We are currently linked with illustrious states like Georgia as the lowest minimum wage states. It didn't surprise me, because I have always advocated for a living wage, tied to things like housing costs and such, rather thann a minimum allowable wage. Part of what is being discussed is the minimum wage for waitresses/waiters, which is currently $2.15 per hour. Yes, you read that right, $2.15 per hour. Not only are you paying for the food you eat when you dine out, but you are also expected to subsidize the wages employers pay by tipping their employees! Having been a waitress in my younger days, I have always been a good tipper, because I have walked a mile in their shoes. But I rebel at subsidizing greedy employers. What universe do they live in where they expect a person to work for $2.15 per hour?
I also read that the union employees at the Jim Bridger Power Plant voted to accept the new contract the employer offered. I talked to one of them at the store today. He thanked me for my letter to the editor written in support of the union employees, and told me that they hadn't gained much in the contract, but with the way the company was acting, he figured they'd be locked out if they actually went on strike. He said that at this point, in this economic downturn, the employees were scared to lose their livelihood, so they felt they had to accept the contract.
I also talked to another friend, a union carpenter, who was telling me how bad a hit their union pension fund suffered in the Wall Street rip-off of main street workers. Workers, who now may never recover what these crooks stole from them. Millions of dollars, never to be recovered. How do you think he felt? He is only working part of the time, because of the recession, as it is, and then he finds out he may never get the pension he has worked to secure for years!
I wish I had a way to comfort these friends. I came away from these conversations angry as hell for what the elected officials have done to the working people. From the President on down to the lowliest politician, they have sold out working people to secure their own greedy aims. Major corporations and bankers have bought and paid for the demise of the working man. I wonder how theses greedy people can sleep at night knowing to what degree they have wrecked the lives and the livelihoods of so many Americans. It's no wonder that so many ordinary folks are pissed! The greed of those who run our government is so rampant, that you wonder how long before the collapse finally comes. WE HAVE TO GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS BEFORE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS OBSOLETE. It worries me that we already may be to late to save our country. When the last working person dies from neglect because of our politician's greed, we can only hope that some future archeologist digs through the ashes of our lost civilization and warns whoever might be left.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, New Possibilities, Old Lessons

As I usually do this first day of the new year, my mind has been busy rerunning old memories of lessons learned. These are personal memories mostly, but a few are pertinent to the political arena. I have been really down in the dumps recently as I have watched how our career politicians have screwed up everything they touch. They have perfected the Midas' touch in reverse, every thing they touch turns to crap! I had pretty much given up my belief that a single person could have any effect on them. Each time I thought about the events in the year just passed, I came closer to political despair. My ever so slight faith in political saviors was demolished. A presidential candidate was elected by a huge majority (my personal vote included) and after a few hopeful signs, he elapsed into just another run of the mill politician. Oh woe is me!
One thing my romp with memories teaches me every year, whether personal or political, is that each mistake we make teaches us to be just a little bit stronger person. I never lost my faith in myself, just in politicians! I suddenly realized that I wans't going to be deterred in my challenge to myself to make the world a better place. In other words, I scaled back my efforts to change things on the national political level, and have instead decided to give it my very best to do what I can in my own community. My area of interest is in helping people to live healthy lifestyles, aided by good nutrition. I am an avid gardener, so I plan to use that to help make changes in young children's lives. This coming summer I am going to teach kids how to grow a garden. If there is no room for me to volunteer at the new Community Garden, I will find some volunteers through the local community and teachthem here in my own yard. Now that I have made this decision, the possibilities are endless. If I can teach one child how to live a healthier life through good nutrition it will be worth the effort.
Does that mean that I will no longer be following the political arena with an endless obsession? Oh hell no! I will still lambast every crooked politician who crosses my line of vision. I'll still be hitting my head against that old political wall, but I will balance that out by rounding out my hopeful side with a little youthful enthusiasm digging in a garden with me. Thinking about that possibility makes me already feel a lot more hopeful. New year, new plan, endless possibilities! If you want to join me, we will make the world a better place, one kid at a time. Who knows, maybe it'll make a difference!