Tag Archives: Obama

Obamacare?

10 Nov

Everybody seems to be up in arms about it, either defending it or trying to destroy it.

Ideally, it would have provided something called universal health care. A basic level of health care for everyone, regardless of income. It doesn’t do that. But, that’s what conservatives were afraid it was going to deliver, since that smacks of “socialism” and they drag up old Cold War phobias to make us fear the concept.

So, what we really got was federally mandated health insurance.

Sort of.

From what I can find out, it isn’t universal. If you are low income, you are likely to still not have any health care coverage, so you are still regarded as one of the “leeches” on the system and the reason that health care costs keep rising.

From where I’m sitting, in Mississippi, it looks like business as usual, but great for insurance companies.

Okay, I went through the enrollment process.  The website everyone makes fun of worked just fine for me, and this was a couple of weeks ago when it was all new.  We were offered very limited choices to start off.  One company, that’s it, folks.  Reminds me of the electric company, we’ve got another monopoly going on.  Maybe we’d have had more options if we lived on the coast or in Jackson, but even so, we’re only 30 minutes from Hattiesburg now, and that’s one of the larger cities in Mississippi.  So it’s one company with two plans, and they don’t include the highest coverage, the platinum level.  (Not that it mattered, we couldn’t afford either one we were offered anyhow.)

The two lowest plans did not offer very good coverage, and it included a large deductible.  To add to the injury, the crappy plans cost roughly $850-950 per month for a couple.

The state of Mississippi, like a number of other states that have vocalized their dislike of the “Obamacare” Affordable Health Care Act, has refused to consider expanding their Medicaid program.  Likely it’s due to the impoverished state of the Mississippi economy to begin with.  After all, where would the money come from?

They are being generous.  They will not fine those below the income threshold, which I assume is the poverty line.  Whatever that line is, we’re below it.  So, it is status quo.  No fine, no health care, and nothing has changed at all for us.

But let’s do some math.  Let’s assume that a couple who is working 40 hours a week at minimum wage ($7.25 per hour).  That would mean that they got an annual gross income of $30,160.  They are paying an average of 26% of their income to taxes, Social Security, etc.  That’s $7841.60 leaving them with $22,318.40.   Let’s say that they select the lowest cost plan at $850 per month.  Their annual costs will be $10,200.  That leaves them with $12,118.40.

That sounds reasonable, right?  Surely they can live on that, right?

Well, let’s experiment.  The average rent is about $600 per month, totaling $7200.  Their annual income is now down to just $4918.40.

But, they have to get to work, and most of Mississippi doesn’t have mass transportation of any kind.  They don’t live close to work, but they are careful with managing their lone vehicle so they are both able to get to and from work.  Even so, they average 25 miles round trip each day, their vehicle is older so the annual cost of license and tags, combined with the inspection, totals to just $45 per year.  They carry the minimum insurance, but it still costs $90 per month.  Being an older  vehicle, it also does not get good gas mileage, coming in at only 20 mpg, at an average cost of $3.15 per gallon.  It also requires two annual oil changes, which cost $35 each, for another $70 per year.  On average, they have to buy tires every fourth year, which cost $400, adding another $100 to their annual expenses.  They pray it does not break down, as they are already spending a lot on their transportation, a grand total of $2732.19.  That leaves them with $2186.21.

But, remember, they are still left with bills to pay for utilities, clothing expenses, and their grocery bill.  The real problem is that after getting their affordable insurance, paying their rent, and getting to and from work, they are left to figure out how to survive on $182.18 per month.

That won’t even cover their utilities, let alone let them cover their deductible, pay a co-pay, or buy a prescription.  They won’t be able to eat either.

But, a couple earning minimum wage, in the eyes of many, is not below poverty level.

I’m not seeing anything affordable in this.  I’m not seeing anything resembling universal health care either.  I damn sure don’t see anything resembling socialism in it. The only ones who are actually going to have health insurance are the same ones that have it now, barring the ones who can afford it but are too cheap to pay their portion of the premium for their families through the plan offered by their employer.

I can remember those people well.  Back in the “good old days” when I had an employer that offered health insurance and treated their employees as though they were a company asset (like good companies do), we had a giant hike in our health insurance premiums.  They had a meeting with all of us, explained what was happening and why, as well as what their options were in terms of offering us health insurance plans.  They listened to us, then came back with an option.  The costs of extending insurance coverage to our families was going to have to be deducted from our paychecks, and we could elect to have coverage if we so desired.  I desired–I had a kid with a chronic health problem (she was a type 1 diabetic who was often in the hospital).  My co-workers, knowing that I paid about half of my paycheck to health insurance, asked me how I could afford it.  For me it was simple.  I could not afford to NOT have it.  There is a vast difference in the kind of health care one receives with health insurance versus without it, and I had witnessed it first hand.

I also had pretty good insurance.  I didn’t have a lot of out-of-pocket expenses.  Sure, I had a co-pay at the doctor’s office, as well as for prescriptions, but it was reasonable and affordable.  I didn’t have big bills for the hospital stays, and I had both dental and vision coverage as well.

Even if I could afford the insurance plans offered via the so-called Obamacare plan, neither of them included dental or vision insurance.  The co-pays were reasonable, but the deductible was a serious issue.  So was the percentage of coverage on procedures and hospitalization.  With only 60% coverage on these things, how is someone with $182.18 per month to pay utilities and groceries out of, going to pay even a $1000 procedure (far less than a single emergency room visit) which is going to cost $400 out-of-pocket.

The Affordable Health Care Act may have had some great intentions, but some how, along the way, it got left with loopholes and giant black holes that once again put insurance corporations into the drivers’ seat leaving the rest of us clinging to the bumper and terrified.  The worst part is, it hasn’t even gone into effect yet.  We have sticker shock, as well as discovering that we’re ordered to choose from models X, Y and maybe model Z for health insurance, but we’re standing here realizing that the other shoe hasn’t dropped yet.  What kind of problems are waiting to appear?

We, as a population, has little faith in the government in general and even less in the federal government.  It’s notorious for favoring those with mega-money and tromping on the little guy without regard for the welfare of the masses.  It’s all about special interest groups, with an ample seasoning of mismanagement and bureaucratic red tape.

It seems that there is only one escape from the tyranny of the Affordable Health Care Act.

Get elected to Congress.

Yep, they were smart.  They made sure none of them would ever have to deal with this monstrosity that is neither affordable nor healthy.

Writing to the White House, Representatives, or Senators

27 Aug

Do you need some highly delayed aggravation in your life?

I’ve discovered one in the  past year.  On two separate occasions, I wrote to the White House.  Months later, I believe about six of the them, I would receive a response.  Once I wrote to the President, and once to the First Lady.

Now I’m not naive enough to think that either one of them read either letter.  I know that they were read by a junior staff member who probably despises the chore.  It certainly takes long enough to get around to the task of responding.

The length of time makes you feel as though what you had to say fell on deaf ears and was essentially a wasted effort.  I can vent in a blog with more satisfaction and probably with equal ability of creating awareness with those who represent us in our government.  I’ll certainly feel as though I’ve done something.

Unlike the letter to the White House, or the ones I’ve written to our representative or Senators.  The senators never responded.  The representative responded slightly quicker than the White House, but committed the same grave error.

None of them apparently actually read & comprehended the letters.  A computer algorithm could have come up with a better response than the semi-human operated bot did.  It was as though the response looked for a few key words and then spat out a form letter that was supposed to address what you had said.

Wrong.

This morning, I received a letter from the First Lady (or rather her automated staff/email response team).  It went on about the Let’s Move campaign and childhood obesity.  Was that what I wrote about?

No.

I had written to her asking her to support gardening as a way to fight obesity, and specifically urban gardening’s need for her support.

I merely got a form letter thanking me for supporting Let’s Move and the usual propaganda about how wonderful it is.

I’m disgusted.  I wasted my time, and then…I wasted more time with reading the response. The White House also wasted time sending it.  I got the same sort of nonsense from my representative and senator, the same nonsense from the President.

I guess my complaint is that it is worse than a waste of time, it’s insulting.

Stupidity of Daylight Savings time and election mania?

4 Nov

I’ve ranted about it before, and I will rant about it again today…and twice a year for as long as the idiocy continues.  Daylight savings time is an idiotic concept, dreamed up and perpetuated by ridiculous propaganda that far too many people buy into.  If it saves so much energy…why don’t we just STAY on that time?  What do people really think they are saving?

But speaking about ridiculous propaganda, have  you paid much attention to the stuff circulating on the social media sites as people wave the figurative flag of their favored candidate?

It’s made me realize, with a two party system, we really are given a choice.

Between a rock and a hard place.

That’s about all the difference I really see between the parties.  The parties and their candidates are so far out of touch with what life is like for Average Joe and Average Jane that we may as well elect Brad Pitt for president.

Heck, he might even do a better job.  If not, well, at least he’d make interesting photo ops, right?

Neither party represents what we’ll call the “working man” of American society.  They don’t have a clue what our lives are like.

Like Mitt Romney’s wife, featured in an article about how she went shopping at Sam’s Club.  She was immensely proud of her ability to feed a large gathering of family for only $4.50 per person for the meal.  I don’t think she’d be too happy with my food budget, capped at $5 per person per day.  Some months, if there are extra bills to pay, well…the food budget gives up a portion of it’s funding to cover the deficit.  She’d even be more horrified to discover that if I’m serving guests, it comes out of the monthly budget, not an extra slush fund.  So does holiday cooking, as a matter of fact.  While the Romneys might not be concerned at the reports of higher prices for serving up the traditional turkey dinner later this month, for the rest of us, that IS a concern.  We can’t spend what we’re not earning, and there are still not enough jobs to get everyone back to work that has been looking for work since this recession started.  It’s unfortunate that with each passing year, we’ve seen more jobs going overseas too.

For those of us struggling to make ends meet, to pay our bills, and to just get by, while family members are unemployed or underemployed…having to deal with an English-is-a-second-language customer service rep in some foreign country is really a slap in the face.  It’s another reminder of how many jobs we’ve lost to countries with lower standards of living and more relaxed workplace laws.

In the stores, it’s hard to buy American made goods.  It’s harder yet to buy from companies that have American based customer service.  I don’t think it’s an unrealistic expectation that if I buy an item or service with American money while I am in the United States, that customer service will be provided in the United States as well.

Then, there is health care.  I’ll admit, I am not thrilled with the Obamacare package, but…I wasn’t thrilled with nothing either.  Do I think that it’s the best that our government could come up with?  No…and it shouldn’t be so long that nobody can possibly read it and understand what it says either.  That’s the problem with these bills–they are excessively complicated and too often contain unrelated stuff.  Each bill should be one thing, written in a manner that any average person can understand it, but they aren’t.  Washington has become a place of bureaucrats worried about perpetuating their own existence, whether elected or appointed or hired.

The part that I think stinks is the idea that people are to be forced to buy health insurance.  Seriously, I don’t know anyone who can afford health insurance and opts to just not buy it for some reason.  I’ve priced it, long before Obama was ever heard of, and there was no way I could afford it, even just major medical was about 30% of my monthly take home pay, and there wasn’t any way I could give up that much of my monthly income and survive.  Utilities, rent, and automobile insurance already took care of about 80% of my net pay!  That left very little for luxuries such as food, gasoline, clothing, medical expenses, and assorted sundries.  Taking a second job wasn’t an option, really–my job required extensive overtime already, and while I was paid for it…that extra overtime is what was used for those “luxuries” I bought.

So I read the things that the candidates say, I read the things that their opponents say about them.  I read the things their supporters say about them.  I read the “fact checker” articles.

I’ve concluded that I was right.  We do have a choice between a rock and a hard place.  It then comes down to specific issues that are…or are not…supported by the two parties.

What concerns me?

  1. Women’s rights, including reproductive rights.  I’m pro-choice, and before anyone gets their underwear in a wad over that…let me clarify that statement.  I am pro-choice, not pro-abortion.  There is a very clear difference.  While I don’t think that abortion is the right choice for me, in any circumstances that I have actually faced, I also don’t think that it is the government’s job to make that decision for me…or any other woman.   I don’t think my boss should be able to decide if my insurance is going to cover birth control either.  There are many reasons and many circumstances for a woman’s choice, and few women are going to choose to use abortion as birth control if they have any conscience or concept of right and wrong.  If they don’t have those things, well, do we really want her reproducing anyhow?  Morality cannot be legislated, and there should not be an attempt to do so.  Laws are to protect society as a whole, and allow individuals to not have their personal rights infringed upon by others.  While that includes freedom of religion, it does not give anyone the right to impose their religious standards and expectations on others.  Period.
  2. Right to bear arms.  Okay, these mass murders we’ve had at schools and theaters have been horrific and shouldn’t have happened.  Yes, I know many other civilized countries have banned weapons of all kinds.  That doesn’t mean I support weapons being banned in this country.  Regulated and restricted perhaps, but not banned.  Assault rifles aren’t needed for hunting or self-protection.  Automatic rifles and handguns aren’t either.  Armor penetrating ammunition and weapons are also not particularly appealing to think of my neighbor having and using for target practice.  I think we need to address the underlying causes of these incredible acts of violence more than act on restricting gun ownership excessively.  Do we ban bathtubs for the accidents they cause?  Have pools been banned due to the high numbers of children that have drowned in them?  Do we still allow downhill skiing after people die in skiing accidents?  How about cars and car accidents and their fatalities?
  3. Same sex marriage.  I’m not gay, and I never was.  I’m not even bi-sexual.  I am in a traditional marriage, even if our wedding was far from traditional.  My parents weren’t gay, neither is my daughter.  That doesn’t mean that I can’t support the concept of equality among all Americans.  While I don’t deny that states can allow or forbid same sex marriage according to their citizens’ wishes, I don’t think that the federal government should be able to override those states’ rights to choose either.  Currently, federal law does not allow federal employees in a legal same sex marriage to enjoy the same benefits for their spouses that someone in a so-called traditional marriage enjoys.  I think this is wrong.  I have little hope of Mississippi, my current home state, is going to legalize same sex marriages anytime soon.  It’s got far too high of a percentage of ultra conservative citizens for that to happen.  But, if it was allowed…I don’t think the federal government should deny benefits to those people’s spouses because they don’t agree with it.
  4. Education.  It wasn’t working, so they tried “No Child Left Behind.”  That’s working about as well as new math did.  It’s absolutely not working, instead of educating kids and preparing them for the real world, whether that includes college or a job, kids are spending the year prepping for their standardized test.  Something else needs to be done, and this ineffective method of measuring both school and teacher performance needs replaced with something a bit more effective.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you went to a fast food restaurant, local store, or other location with staff that needs nothing beyond high school to get a job…and they actually could SPEAK American Standard English?  How many high school students can actually write down a coherent telephone message that anyone could read and understand, let alone write an essay for a college class?
  5. Jobs/Industry.  Face it.  We lack an industrial base and we’re importing too many goods.  We need jobs, we have willing workers.  We need to figure out how to get people back to work, back to creating the things that made America into what it was.  We need factories running, producing goods that are high quality and reliable.  We’ve all had enough of cheap, shoddy, imported garbage.
  6. National Transit System.  We rebuilt Europe’s trains after World War II, or so I’m told, but we can’t get trains to cover the USA in anything resembling efficient and cost effective.  It costs more to ride a train than it does to take a plane or even drive, and Amtrak is subsidized by the federal government.  Few cities have train stations where passengers and small freight can be economically transported to the next city, county, state, or anywhere.  In addition, the transit times when trains are used are utterly ridiculous.  We need efficient mass transportation beyond the urban bus and subway systems.  We need it both within states and to other cities and states, providing efficient and low cost transportation coast to coast.  Putting such a rail system into place would employ thousands of people, from creating the infrastructure to service jobs when it is up and running.  It would appeal to foreign tourists as well, especially since most industrialized countries have train systems already.
  7. Legalization of hemp & medical marijuana.  Hemp is a good crop, and it’s good for a lot of applications.  It can be used for making rope, paper, and clothing, as well as a host of other things.  It’s a good fiber, and more durable than cotton.  Medical marijuana is a good product too, when properly used.  Even recreational marijuana is less of a problem with the users than those people using alcohol.  Taxed and regulated, it would remove marijuana from the hands of drug cartels, reducing their income and clout not only in the United States, but in the countries where their supplies of marijuana are grown and prepared for smuggling into the United States.  The tax revenue would enhance the American budget, maybe even bringing the annual deficit down a notch, especially if recreational use was legalized.
  8. Energy.  We’re going to have to bite the bullet and come up with alternative energy plans.  We’ve seen the disasters nuclear reactors can deliver.  We’re seeing the disaster of the oil industry, each and every day.  We need inexpensive and efficient energy to recreate a strong economy.  We don’t have it, therefore, we need to figure out how to get it.  If we got a man to the moon, not once, but several times, and did it with computers that had less power than the old Nintendo 64…surely we can figure this problem out.  Quit subsidizing the oil industry and let them struggle on their own, they’ve been milking America too long.  Devote attention to alternative energy that is less costly, both to the consumer and the environment, and put America at the forefront again.
  9. Taxes.  Corporations.  Okay, taxes are something nobody wants to pay.  We’re all a bit tired of corporate entities making huge profits while paying little in terms of taxes, and then adding to the insult by outsourcing portions of their business to foreign countries.  We’re sick of them lobbying Congress for favoritism.  We’re tired of paying the bill, you might say.  It’s time to start taking a good hard look at how corporations are affecting the way we elect politicians, and how they affect the bills that go through Congress to become laws.  It’s a form of corruption, folks.  Plain and simple.  These corporations are doing nothing more than paying politicians for favors, no matter how it is sugar coated.
  10. Foreign aid.  I really do not understand why we are borrowing money only to give it away to other countries.  That makes no sense to me.  If I am unable to pay my bills without borrowing money, it would be foolish to give my money to other people after I borrowed it.  Why is the federal government continuing to do something that any of us would look askance at a private individual doing?  I think it’s time that foreign aid is cut back, if not eliminated, and there should be more accountability as to why we’re giving it to anyone.

There are a lot more issues too, more than I could possibly put in here, but those are the top ten ones.  Neither party is very concerned about all of them.  None of the candidates are either.  So who do I vote for?

I’ll cast a vote in less than forty eight hours now.

I have no idea who I’m going to vote for right now.  Just when I think one candidate or another has trumped finally, they show signs of obviously reneging.  I was never a fan of Obama, so I have to admit that he has done better than I thought he would.  At the same time, the Romney/Ryan ticket isn’t exactly thrilling either.  I’m not a Romney fan, and the idea of something happening that would catapult Ryan into the Oval Office makes me gag.  Biden’s not a rocket scientist either though, and I actually had someone crack a joke about Biden being Obama’s “insurance policy” so that no one would assassinate him–they were afraid that Biden would then become president.

Once again, it seems that I’m faced with a choice of who I am going to vote against rather than who I am going to go vote for.  Which candidate has the most potential to cause harm?  Are we better off with the devil we know…or a new devil?

Oh will I be glad when Tuesday is over.  I’ll have my mind back, as well as cease to see the endless parade of pro-this candidate or anti-that candidate on my Facebook wall!

Ron Paul–a real media black out or just a lot of whining?

23 Feb

I’ll confess.  We don’t have a television in our house.  We own one, technically, but after over a year in our storage unit, it was “loaned” to our granddaughter.  Therefore, I have to confess, I have no clue what is available on television.  I do read the local paper several times a week, but most of my news is found online, via Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

That means I find out about things in a haphazard manner, I suppose, and see the world through slightly distorted glasses as a result.  I don’t really know what the big networks are putting out in their news programs.  I also don’t think I’m missing much.  I was disgusted by television programming a long time ago.  I’m equally disgusted at the packaging of channels by cable and satellite companies.  I deeply resent being forced to buy channels that I will never watch just to obtain a handful that I may watch sometimes.  So…we opted out, a very long time ago.  Contrary to what some people think, I’m not a television snob…I’m just not interested in a non-stop parade of pseudo-news, sports, soap operas, silly sit coms, and game shows.  I don’t have the attention for “night time drama” either.  I refuse to schedule my life around television programs.  But…there are some programs I love…when I have the chance to see them.  Like “River Monsters”…or “Swamp People”…and even a lot of the cooking shows.  I think Ellen Degeneres is hilarious, and I like her talk/variety show.  I liked Oprah too, and I think she is an amazing woman.  There is a lot of great stuff on television…I just can’t be bothered with remembering when and where to find it.  On the other hand, the trashy stuff…is just trashy.  It encourages people who lean that way to indulge in progressively trashier behavior in my opinion, but they’d likely find an excuse anyhow.

But enough on the whole television thing.  What has come across my screen in a gazillion posts, blogs, websites, etc. is how poor Ron Paul is being blacked out from the media.  Now I’ll admit, I have a bad taste in my mouth over Ron Paul courtesy of one fanatical supporter who spammed me to death last week with garbage about him.  That chip on my shoulder has already got me glaring at his name.  But I can’t help but wonder…

Is all of this hype about how he’s being shut out by the media and “powers that be” of GOP more publicity to gather attention than reality?  It’s starting to look like that perpetually tattling 5 year old on the kindergarten playground running to the teacher with 101 offenses by his classmates to get attention for himself.  I see something about Ron Paul on the average of once every five minutes.  How in the hell is that a media black out?

I will admit…fanatics also scare the dickens out of me.  Fanatics are the kind of people that make car bombs, that shoot doctors outside of abortion clinics, that try to hire a hit man to shoot someone wearing fur, or do any of the other 1001 acts of terrorism that occur each year.  Ron Paul has what seems like an inordinate number of fanatical supporters.

I wonder if these are the same kinds of supporters who think that same sex marriages are a hazard to our society, that think that personhood laws should protect fetuses and embryos even at the cost of the mother’s life, who think that those who think or act differently from them should be punished for the offense…or any one of the other really scary right-wing bills we’ve seen floating around the nation are good ideas.

Don’t get me wrong…I’m not a true liberal.  I’m a conservative liberal on even days, and odd days, I’m a liberal conservative.  I believe in balance and common sense.  I don’t like a government that is invasive into normal, law-abiding citizens’ daily lives.  I also don’t think the government has any business deciding whether or not I will have a baby, get my tubes tied, take birth control pills, who I should or should not marry, etc.  (I’m done on the marrying front, by the way…Greg and I did tie the legal knot last fall.)  I do think we should have universal health care, but I’m also not convinced that the current Obamacare plan is going to do anyone a favor, let alone make universal health care available to everyone.  I think our government is too big, that corporations and big business have gone too far in terms of our politics and their ability to influence laws and politicians too.  I believe in our constitution too.   I think we need some serious house cleaning in terms of Washington D.C.

But I’m questioning whether I want someone like Ron Paul doing it.

I’ll admit, I like some of the things he says, but I’m also old enough to know that a lot of what is said will never happen after the oath of office is taken.  His supporters are what scares me, as I wonder…how much of their ideology does he really support?  How many of these people will follow him into Washington if he is elected?  How many of these people are going to have the ability to influence how I live my life?

That is what scares me.

That and the whining about how he’s being picked on.  Is it real…or just an attention grabbing ploy?

I don’t know, and it’s still months until ballot time, but this upcoming race is depressing.  We have few choices, and most of it looks like a choice between a rock and a hard place.  Sometimes, I think that the GOP offerings are designed to ensure that President Obama has another four years in office.  They are doing their best to make him look good, middle-of-the-road, and far less frightening than what they are intending to see happen in the Oval Office.

What do you think?  Which of the Republicans do you see making the grade and ending up on the ballot?  My best guess is that it will be Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, or Newt Gingrich.  I can’t see any of them choosing their competition as their running mate either, so the VP candidate could be interesting too.

November doesn’t seem far away enough right now to suit me.

A real presidential candidate

14 Jan

I look at the upcoming presidential election and just sigh.  Once again, we don’t have anyone to vote FOR–they are all wolves in sheep’s clothing.  How can we seriously believe that the president or any federal politician is going to represent us, the 99%, the common man?  They are all wealthy people, far wealthier than the average, and they are all elected after using vast sums of money donated by their corporate sponsors.  Is it any wonder that they are primarily concerned about protecting corporations and the wealthy when that’s who funds their campaigns?

So…I have a fantasy solution, probably no more viable than fantasy football, but nonetheless, it’s a great fantasy.

First, it would be a woman, and a former single parent at that.  Who else is going to be able to balance this incredibly out of whack federal budget than someone who is used to taking practically nothing and making it stretch to cover all of the essentials?

That former single mom is used to wearing a lot of hats and being efficient at managing time too.  She’s got years of experience at figuring out how to cope with a sick kid, a job, shopping, laundry, doctor appointments, school activities, and everything else that a single mother has to juggle.  She’s also skilled at preserving peace, because the Congress acts a lot like a bunch of kids who all want the same piece of cake.

She’d have to be firm and decisive, with a streak of pure iron.  For that reason, we’d be looking for a menopausal former single mom.  Nobody has the kind of decisive ability to just make things happen with a sheer fury than a menopausal woman.  Wars would last a single day, because nothing can stop the fury of a menopausal woman either, and she won’t play namby pamby games about it once its deemed necessary.  Don’t mess with Uncle Sam when it’s Aunt Sam in the suit, ya know?

All those bureaucrats with their cushy jobs that don’t do anything?  They’ll be booted out of their offices so fast they won’t even remember their own names.  Our dysfunctional departments?  Gone…with the wind.  Forget Obama Care–she’ll have a decent and workable health care plan ready for Congress to sign so fast that they won’t be able to call their corporate sponsors in time to get advice.

The ridiculous “No Child Left Behind” program will be dumped in the trash where it belongs, and real education will start to be readily available, nation wide, as she put a workable and modern system into practice.  No more spending all year preparing for that single test that determines a school’s fate at the detriment of educating children.  For the first time, real interactive educations could be obtained using the internet, letting kids from rural Minnesota participate in classes taught in sunny Florida, and kids in rural Alaska taking classes alongside kids from New York City.  Any adult who wished to get an education would be able to get a grant to cover tuition and books at a government supported college or university, as long as their grade point average was high enough.  Community colleges would offer community education classes again, allowing everyone to learn local arts, crafts, and skills that would entertain and interest them again for low fees.

The FDA would be reined in, no longer at the beck and call of pharmaceutical companies.  Rules and regulations would be revamped and made both understandable and reasonable.  Medications for the average person would be made more affordable, lowering health care costs, without discouraging the development of new medications.

A new program encouraging the consumption of local foods would be put into place, and farmers markets would be doing a booming business too.  People would be able to buy these locally produced foods directly from the growers, including things such as meat, raw milk, and eggs, without a long list of regulations making it impossible for small producers to meet them, and allowing the consumer to make an educated choice about who they purchased these potentially risky foods from without Uncle Sam interfering.

Oh, and the war on drugs?

President Menopausal Mom may not be crazy about drugs, but she isn’t stupid.  We’re dropping, as a nation, an immense amount of money down a rat hole with no end in sight.  In the meantime, drug gangs and other organized criminal elements are collecting huge paychecks, just like they did in the days of Prohibition.  This isn’t rocket science–this is pure economics and actual American history here.  If we make it legal, we can regulate it and tax it, turning it into a source of revenue and reducing the strain on our states’ correctional systems as they deal with the aftermath of this war on drugs.  After all, we have the largest prison population IN THE WORLD!  Let’s let some totalitarian nation have that title, it’s not one we need anymore and we sure can’t afford it.  Besides, raising hemp and cannabis (the same plants, but with different end purposes, sort of like comparing sweet corn and flint corn) will give farmers another crop, and processing plants can employ other people, as the products are turned from their raw state to their marketable state.  We could quit fighting in Afghanistan if we produced our own opium too.  Why not?  We import a substantial amoun t in terms of pharmaceutical products, and a much larger amount as illegal drugs.  All of those so-called “FEMA Camps” can become “Addict Camps” where addicts can live and work, sparing the rest of us the crime we see today, and allowing their families to quit worrying about them as much.  If they want to get “clean” and resume their lives…well, we are already paying for that to happen in jails and institutions around the country, we could have a program to allow them to do that too.

Just spend a little bit of time imagining what Menopausal Mom would do for this country, and then compare it with the politicians of the past and present.  We haven’t seen this much action in office since the days of the “New Deal,” and maybe not even then.  Each politician that has taken the oath and filled the Oval Office has failed to live up to their campaign promises, and they also always have an excuse.  She wouldn’t take excuses, she’d be busy DOING something because that’s what a single mom has always had to do.

Fantasies…

But, if something is never imagined, it will never happen.  From our cell phones to space travel and even to the political machine of today, they are all born from someone’s imagination.  If we all imagine a better world, with real change instead of lip service change, then we’ll get it.  If we just sit around and whine, or stand on street corners shouting angry words and waving signs, nothing real happens.

We need to quit demanding politicians who can produce the illusion of having lived a perfect life without error and start looking for people to elect who have lived real lives, made real mistakes, and really learned from them.  We need someone to believe in, not a story to believe in.

Right now, neither the Democrats or the Republicans are delivering that.  Instead, they are delivering more rhetoric and illusions.  I don’t want the man behind the curtain anymore, he has not done us any good.  Give me Dorothy instead!

Confessions of a middle aged American

18 Aug

I’m sick and tired.

I’m sick and tired of a lot of things.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the United States is a pretty darned good thing.  I have no desire to move to somewhere else, and don’t perceive the situation as “better” in other countries.  Apparently, I’m not alone.  There are an awful lot of people trying to cheat the system and bribe, lie, and sneak their way into the country.

I don’t feel that I should be apologetic about being an American either.  Not to anyone.  Granted, some of our foreign policies have been downright awful, but I also don’t expect every Japanese person to be apologetic over Pearl Harbor, or everyone that follows the Islamic religion to be apologetic over 9/11.  We’re not alone in the guilt thing in terms of genocide, persecution, colonialism, etc., and individual citizens can’t do much about official policies at the international level anyhow.

All any one individual can do is take care of their own little patch of the world.

The problem is…I feel like my patch is getting stomped on, run over, sprayed, and dumped on by a whole lot of outside influences, and its already so small that I grow tomatoes in recycled plastic pails.  I don’t have room for this stomping, dumping and spraying!

So the logical next step is to look for who is responsible, which means determining essentially who my enemies really are.  That’s what starts getting scary.

Our government should feel like our protector, not like our enemy.  Instead, I am regarding it as a growing monster, a Godzilla of epic proportions, out of control and running amok in our world.  The American government is supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people.  The last few decades, the perception has shifted however.  It has become a cancerous growth that all too often is not for the people, but for that other “citizen” that has no face.

So who is this faceless “citizen”?

The Corporation.

And we seem to have an awful lot of them these days, doing things that certainly don’t put the health, wealth, and well being of our society in general at the top of their priorities.  They have a single priority.

Maximum profit.

Our government’s alphabet soup of agencies seems to have come under the control of the corporations that they are supposed to be regulating, supposed to be monitoring, and supposed to be taxing.

So consumers are faced with hormone laced meats and milk, contaminated with antibiotics to boot.  We are faced with GMOs entering the food chain without regulation or even labeling to allow consumers to choose whether they wish to be part of the biggest genetic experiment this planet has ever seen.  Drugs are released onto the market with minimal testing, while familiar herbal products are jerked off the market because of lack of testing.

We’re told that same sex marriages just can’t be, because of the sanctity of marriage.  Huh?  Over 50% of marriages today end in divorce.  How much sanctity is there in that?  Or can’t we call it something else, like civil union?  We’ve got way too many people spending way too much time worrying about other people’s sex lives.  Maybe there would be fewer divorces if less attention was given to other people and more attention paid to their own relationship?  Just a thought there…

Then, we have that good old national debt thing.  It seems to have gotten way out of control, and the government’s spending consistently exceeds what its income is.  Now as a person who’s worked for a living, I’m pretty certain that is a sure fire route to economic disaster.   Our interest payments are already exceeding what we’re actually spending on very important programs, and there is no paying down on the debt happening, but rather it is steadily increasing.  Something has to give, right?  As a citizen, if we do that with our personal budget, before long, we’re in really deep and hot water, and to prevent that, expenses have to be cut.  Just like in our personal budgets, we don’t cut essentials and keep the discretionary spending.  So why are we sending foreign aid, which we have had to borrow and we will be paying interest on for eternity, to over 150 countries, most of whom don’t even LIKE the United States to begin with?  The foreign aid is like a “donation” to a cause.  When I’m broke, I can’t donate to anything.  I have to take care of essentials before I can do the donation thing.  Why should our government be any different?  It’s time to cut off the aid, and quit giving away money we don’t even have to give.  Okay, so we have to help out some of these places…but do we need to be helping almost every single country?  Do we have to help as much as we’re helping?

Then there’s the real core of the problem.  Congress.  The White House.  The Supreme Court.  What is wrong with these people?  Have they lost touch with reality?  We have professional law makers there, men (mostly men anyhow) who have spent decades in Washington, buddying up with the lobbyists and the corporate retrievers who ensure that Big Corporations remain faceless “citizens” exempt from the restraints that are put upon those of us who were born of flesh and blood and not pen and ink.  They appoint more bureaucrats to run agencies and offices, perpetuating their evil deeds and further muddying the waters of responsibility.  I’m not sure what the best method of cleaning out those houses, but it sure needs to happen.  Maybe a good old fashioned lesson in “civics” will do the trick, as they memorize documents like the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution.  It would be a good start, since they seem to have forgotten what it says.

Since 9/11, we’ve been regularly innoculated with propoganda ensuring that as a society, we’re afraid and insecure.  We need to live in terror of the terrorists who just might crop up anywhere, any time.  We have Homeland Security, we have FEMA…

But we don’t have any security at all.  Conspiracy theories abound about how we are potential victims of Homeland Security and their secret alliance with some faceless entity that controls the government behind the scenes.  Rather than the Bilderbergers and some secret royalty…our real faceless entity is one that was created and born right here in America–the Big Corporation.

And still, mainstream society sleeps on, lulled into complacency by empty promises and low interest rates.

Yeah, I guess I’m mad.  I’m also sad.  I look at our country, and see the increasing apathy seasoned by growing separate factions, and each group is pointing its finger at the others to cast the blame.  I don’t want to see America go the way of ancient Rome or the Incas or the Mayas…or any of the other societies that grew, became dominant cultures, and then…died an agonizing death.  I want to see this country become vibrant and alive again.  I want to see industry return, and people turning out to vote on election days.

I don’t want to see a re-make of the burning of Rome as the fall of Washington.  We’ve worked too hard to make a great society, we now need to fix it and get it back on track.

Will we?

 

Other people’s predictions, assembled without credits

28 Jul

These are all other people’s prophecies and predictions, just to clarify that.  I’m not going to try and pass on credit as to who says what, if you really want to know, you might try Google and see what you find.  I’m not so worried about who said it first, I guess.

It seems that we’re in for a busy year or so, as we have a LOT of stuff happening.

The Rapture from May was rescheduled to October, I forget the exact date, but I doubt anyone is holding their breath on this one either.  Now IF you are planning on attending this Rapture, you obviously won’t need your worldly goods any more.  Please donate them to me, and I’ll see that they are used wisely.

The economy is supposed to collapse at the end of the October, so don’t put your money in the bank then, or keep it in a cash form.  Put all of your money into pork bellies, gasoline in 5 gallon jerry cans, dehydrated food, coffee in 1 lb. cans or sugar.  These should be hot products on the black market after the complete crash.  I’m a little bit more worried about this issue, as our wedding date is the very last Saturday in October, and that could mean our guests are stranded in Mississippi, if they are from other parts of the country.  Maybe I should tell them to skip the clothes and bring bacon and coffee in their suitcases for bartering purposes?

Also scheduled for late October or November is an alien invasion in the American Southwest.  I’m not sure why only that part of the country, so maybe I should tell my family that lives there to come to the wedding early and hang out a while in the Southeastern USA?  Maybe caliche clay is highly valuable on Planet Zarnek 5?  Or the javalina is a hot second for their favored deity on Jujube 27?  Oh, I know…they wanna see a live performance of the Coyote vs. the Roadrunner!

The Planet/Comet/Space ship Elenin is also due to arrive in October, providing us with ample end-of-the-world apocolyptic possibilities.  There are an amazing number of creative results from Elenin, ranging from the total destruction of the planet as it is torn apart by tidal forces to large meteoric impacts resulting in a nuclear winter, acid rain, and certain death.  There is also the possibility of alien intervention or invasion, as well as vague disasters from which only a select few shall survive.  From the way things are going, you might do well to tattoo “Select Few” on your back–it might work!

Also scheduled for November is a mass round up of selected citizens of the United States for incarceration in FEMA camps for some unknown reason.  Enemies of the State?  Protective custody?  Just who these selected citizens are is yet undisclosed.  Theories have anyone with connections to environmental issues, conservation issues, anti-government concerns, pro individual rights, membership in certain churches or religions, the unemployed, the homeless, the old, the young, women, political activists, religious right wingers, liberal leaders, conservative advocates, homosexuals, heterosexuals, non-conformists, low income, middle income, well educated, handicapped, mentally impaired, chronically ill, etc. groups would be among those selected.  From the suppositions of who will be among the selected few, it appears that almost everyone will qualify for the free housing program in FEMA concentration camps.

December is the deadline for stepping up the genocide programs to reduce the population of the United States.  That means that from October through the end of the year, there will be an increased death rate, targeting primarily the uneducated, unemployed, low income, youth, elders, young adults, and middle aged segments of our population.  Check to make sure your will is in order–your worldly goods might be enough to help your loved ones from also being targeted.

January through March appears to be a period of relative quiet as the only scheduled activities is the round up of all citizens who disagree or oppose any of Obama’s political plans, bills, etc.  At that point, I’m not sure there is anyone left to round up anyone, let alone anyone to round up.  Even so, our government proceeds with its devious and evil plans, despite a derelict planet with most inhabitants locked up in concentration camps.

In spring, renewed efforts from HAARP will begin the near destruction of many coastal regions as efforts to cause severe typhoons and hurricanes are stepped up.  With earthquake research also being conducted, tsunamis will be hitting in locations previously thought immune.  Japan is practically destroyed, as are the coastal regions of Chile, Ecuador, Korea, China, and India.

An unexpected tsunami strikes Europe, killing millions.  Another strikes Florida, sweeping entirely across the southern tip of the state and carrying everything in its path along with it as it enters the Gulf of Mexico.  Hours later, thousands of victims are flung onto the coasts of Texas, man and beast.  Many alligators are still alive.  On the East Coast, one massive tsunami manages to strike from Boston to New York, killing millions with thousands missing and entire city blocks flattened.

A flu epidemic strikes in early April, attacking primarily young adults ages 23-40.  Out of those that contract it, it is universally fatal.  Some regions see as high as a 95% infection rate, and an entire generation dies in a few weeks.  Millions of orphans are transported to orphanage farms alongside the FEMA concentration camps, where these youth are trained by the government, ensuring cooperative citizens in the future.

May seems to be quiet, unless there is to be another Rapture event.  The following summer is a season plagued with Mother Nature’s retaliation against HAARP and government meddling, as one storm after another batters the US coast lines.  The storms continue all through the summer and September as well.

October sees another shift, as icy cold weather grasps the nation.  Early blizzards start marching across the nation, having swept southward from the polar regions.  They dump feet of snow on the few survivors left in the interior of the country, battering them with winds that drive snowflakes as though they were daggers.  Temperatures plummet to record lows and stay there for days at a time, and no sooner do citizens dig their way out of their buried homes, and another storm comes, bringing even more snow and cold along with them.  Powerlines are snapped, rescue efforts impossible, supplies can’t move, railroads and highways are closed.

By the time that November and Thanksgiving roll around, those who have survived are truly thankful.  Even so, the worst has not yet passed, as more winter weather and lack of supplies must still be faced before spring’s arrival.

December means the end of the world prediction of the Mayans.  Will their alien gods return?  Will there be some great calamity?  Does it really matter?  Only about 10% of the population is still alive.

Okay, I’ll admit it…I took some of these predictions and sort of ran with them, using poetic license to paint the picture.  It’s definitely a worst case scenario. At the same time, we are being inundated with disaster predictions.  Does that mean that they are true…or are they a reflection of our fears?  Will our fears and thoughts manifest themselves and actually CREATE events such as this?

Think.  Be real.  Be HONEST most of all, with both yourself and the outside world.

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