Tag Archives: president

Social media & politics

12 Oct

I have been seeing a lot of political commentary posted to Facebook, as well as receiving a fair amount of political based commentary on things I post to my timeline. It’s made me realize something.

A lot of people are pretty clueless about how our political system works, not that I’m an expert on it.

Many people truly do not understand that the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) was not passed by the President. Presidents cannot legislate, so unless it was an executive order, he cannot be the one responsible. The ones responsible are the senators and representatives in Congress who passed it. The only direct action on that health care bill that was an option for the president was to veto it when it landed on his desk afterwards.

The government shut down was not orchestrated by the president either. That was the direct result of Congress’ inability to compromise on a budget. They knew it would happen when a budget was not agreed upon. They knew the deadline too.  In private industry, we call that “incompetent” and “irresponsible”.

I understand that there is a lot of conflicting ideology around the budget.  There is the rising debt and the continual stream of tax credits and government hand outs to a wide assortment of corporations and industries, let alone foreign countries’ aid packages.  There is the Affordable Health Care Act, with its confusing assortment of rules and regulations, as well as rampant rumors that affordable is the last thing it will be in practice.  If half of it is true, I will be destitute and homeless within two years of it going into effect.  Average citizens, such as myself, are left without answers about what is actually true and what is just one more piece of fear-mongering propaganda being tossed about by the anti-healthcare faction.

Most of all, I’m seeing an increase in dissatisfaction with the federal government.  I’m also seeing an increase in fear of the government and a perception of it as a totalitarian force.  I hear more  about secession than I would have ever dreamed of hearing too.  I look back to history, to the antebellum era, and I’m seeing a frightening parallel.

If you don’t like it, whatever the it is, do something about it. Write your congressmen & women. Call them. Don’t vote for their re-election. Work to get them recalled if necessary. Ignore the continual and useless online petitions.

Whether you like or hate Obama, he can’t be re-elected. That is courtesy of an actual amendment to the constitution, the same thing that a lot of people have been ranting about lately.  It’s the 22nd amendment.    That means that Obama is on his way out with the end of this term. In the meantime, we’ve still got a corrupt & incompetent Congress…being re-elected over and over.

Maybe we need to limit terms as a senator or representative too, and put an end to the career politicians.  Of course, that could be a problem.

We’d have to have the same ones we want to put an end to vote to pass it.

Right now, it’s a great job.  You get to vote on your own benefits and pay.  You can take off time as you please.  You can take bribes and distribute favors.  If people don’t like what you do or don’t do,  you simply point your finger at the POTUS and pass the buck.

So, give up on the useless online petitions–they are not going to do a darned thing.  Give up the chain emails and shares and likes–they don’t do anything either.  Neither do blog posts like this one, other than to urge others to take some sort of useful action.

DO write and call Congress. Be loud.  Be persistent.

DO vote!  It does make a difference.  Voter apathy bought this Congress, folks!

If you don’t like what Congress is doing, we have a system in place to do something about it.  Use it.

Shutdown Solutions?

3 Oct

Face it, no matter how hard we try to NOT think about it, we’re all faced with the shut down of the federal government.    Probably the ones feeling it the least are the same people responsible for not agreeing on a compromise for the budget.  While those who are not members of Congress lack the fine detail of why there has been no agreement in our lame duck Congress for a budget, one single fact has become quite obvious to everyone.

Congress failed to do its duty to America and its citizens.

In my eyes, its the equivalent of treason because it goes way past inefficiency and lack of sincere concern.  The shut down isn’t merely a mild inconvenience, it is putting America at genuine risk.

All because they can’t get their own way?

Everybody wants to point their finger at Obama as being the one responsible for everything from the Affordable Health Care Act to the economy.  The reality is that the executive branch does not legislate.  Unless the action was the result of an executive order, it was the result of legislation passed by Congress and then, only then, signed into law by the president.  That means that the so-called Obamacare plan was enacted in a lawful manner by Congress, whether you or I either one actually like it or wanted it.  Our representatives and senators are the responsible parties, not Obama.  If you hate it, hate them.  If you like it, like them.  All Obama did or could do was advise during the legislative stage and sign it into law after Congress had brewed and stewed over it.

So with that understood…understand this.  The government shut down came about because Congress could not reach an agreement on a budget.  It wasn’t the supreme court’s judges or the governor of California or the prime minister of the United Kingdom’s fault, and it’s not Obama’s either.  The responsible parties are the ones that you elected, right in  your home state, and they likely have offices near your home so that they can theoretically keep in touch with their constituents.

You can believe me that I know the name of our two senators and my representative, and I know their email addresses too.  I also know exactly how long it takes for me to receive their form responses to any comments I email them–1-4 months.  Do I think they are particularly responsive to their constituency in this day and age?

Hell no.

Will I vote for any of them ever again.

Double that hell  no.

But you know what?  Incompetent job performance, which is what has resulted in the government shut down, should result in termination.  That creates a bit of a dilemma.  Some of those in Washington probably put sincere effort into trying to do their job, but were hopelessly outgunned by the majority who were refusing to do so.  With so much incompetency though, we are stuck with a blanket solution in order to have a plausible solution at all.

I think a government shut down should have serious repercussions for the ones responsible for causing it.  Things like:

  • No member of Congress should receive pay or any other benefits during a government shutdown, including retirement pay, medical care, per diem, etc.
  • No congressional support staff should receive pay or any other benefits during  a government shut down, and cannot be coerced into performing their duties during the shut down.
  • No member of Congress or congressional support staff shall receive retroactive pay or benefits for the duration of the government shut down.
  • 30 days after the initial day of a government shut down, all senators and representatives will be facing elections in their home states to maintain their seat or be replaced for the duration of their term.  That would at least give us a new Congress that might get something done, as well as reducing the likelihood of any shut down occurring to begin with.  We all know how these career politicians like to protect their cushy jobs.

When the discomfort of shut downs are affecting Congress as much as they are everyone else, perhaps they will work a little harder to try and do their job.  Besides, if they aren’t getting paid or enjoying the many perks of their position, we might save a bit on the budget and make a shut down worthwhile.  And the best part of a shut down? We would have a national opportunity to clean house and get a new crew in that just might do the job the way they are supposed to.

Can we say “congressional job fair” folks?

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.

The world’s greatest psychic

6 Nov

I know the world’s greatest psychic medium.

She knows everything, or used to.  For some reason, her amazing powers have diminished with age.  Maybe it’s reduced desire or need that has caused her powers to begin to withdraw from the heavy duty work she saw in the 60s and 70s.  She was amazingly accurate most of the time.

Even so, few people have heard of her.

She was my mother.

Well, she still IS my mom.  She’s just not as busily psychic and being mom as she used to be.

Do I have proof of her abilities?

Of course not.  Like anybody documents the stuff their mom says!

Things my mom said that came true:

  • Someday, you won’t want to help me anymore.  Yep, she was right.  Someday, I was going to have other things I considered more important than helping her with housework or cooking dinner.
  • Someday, you are going to grow up.  This one was true too, but she forgot the growing “out” part.  Why didn’t she predict I’d have a slim waistline and never have to worry about it?
  • You are going to get hurt if you keep doing that.  Oh, I can’t count the times that she was right on this one.  I have scars on the top of my head from a rake colliding with my head after I had the idea of hanging it in the tree.  I have assorted scars and aches and pains from other occasions when she was right too.  She really called this one.
  • You are going to have a daughter who gives you ten times what you gave me.  Oh, why couldn’t she have cursed me with a docile and obedient daughter who was good looking, smart, neat, well mannered, and socially adept too?  That perfect child like all my friends supposedly had…instead of a blond headed little firecracker who knew what she wanted and would figure out how to get it.  Then again, I’d have missed the opportunity to be loved by that blond headed firecracker too.  Even so, I have plenty of gray hair to attest to that ten fold remark.
  • One day, we’re going to have a black president.  She was right here too, but it wasn’t because she voted for him.  At least I don’t think so.  Maybe she did?  I’ll never know for sure, now will I?

Some of her predictions haven’t come true…yet.  Things like:

  • We’ll have a woman as president.  We have only had a few even run as vice presidential candidates, and the only serious contender for the president was Hillary Clinton.  Personally, I doubt she is going to run again, but…I think she was a capable person who would have likely done a good job.  After all, she had the rare opportunity to do eight years of back seat driving, now didn’t she?  I’d probably vote for her too.  On the other hand, the vice president add-ons that were women weren’t that impressive.  I can’t remember even what Geraldine Ferraro looked like.  I didn’t even realize she had passed away in 2011 until I looked her up online.  Sarah Palin…well, I’m not a conservative of that flavor.  I wasn’t enthusiastic, to say the least.  I honestly thought John McCain made a critical error in choosing her as a running mate.  I still think so.  The media turned Palin into a clown, and he was her puppet as the campaign progressed.  I have no idea who the next woman candidate would possibly be–no one has emerged in the political news that has caught my attention as a “oh yeah I can vote for her” kind of candidate.  Like a lot of people, while I’d love to have a feminine president, I’m not willing to vote for anyone wearing a skirt to make that happen.  It’s got to be someone who can do the job.
  • We’ll have a colony on the moon and Mars.  We’re a long ways from this one.  We’ve not been to the moon in decades, and never have sent a man to Mars.  I’m not so confident about this one.  We may likely have a woman president before this happens.
  • There will be another world war, and we’ll be in it.  This is one that I hope she was wrong about.  Really wrong.  I’m going to work towards having peace and making her wrong.  No one in their right mind wants this one to be correct.

Moms.  They are all the world’s greatest psychics, but what makes a great psychic?  In my case, it was the fact that my mother usually found out about any shenanigans I’d been involved in pretty fast.  Sometimes before I got home, other times before the following school day ended, and she knew.  Then, there was the consequences to face.  I think the worst one was when she was disappointed in me.  I still do.

I consider myself lucky to have my mother.  I love her, I admire her, and I think of her as my friend.  She’s known me all my life, after all.  No matter what I do, she still loves me, even when she’s upset at my choices.  We disagree on a lot of things, and agree on a lot of other things.  Often, we merely agree to disagree, and leave the topic alone.  Some sleeping dogs are best left that way, it seems.  She’s not  young anymore, and it’s just as hard to accept that as it is to realize that I am also “ever so much more than twenty.”  Heck, even my own daughter is now “ever so much more than twenty.”  I’m a grandma, and my mother is a great grandma four times over, with three great granddaughters and one great grandson.

I’ve learned over time.  When I was angry because of the decisions that she made that weren’t the right ones, she still was trying to make the best decision she could with the information that she had available to her at the time.  None of her decisions were made because she didn’t care, ever.  I learned this by walking in those same shoes, and making decisions that maybe weren’t the best ones, but they were the best ones I could make with the available information.  I learned that some of the things she chose weren’t because she didn’t believe in me, but rather that she couldn’t believe that other people would betray either her or me in that situation.

I couldn’t learn these things without being a mom myself.  For some perverse reason, it was one of those things that there is no class to take, no book to read, no list of rules to follow.  You have to do it the hard way.  No kid arrives with an owner’s manual, and they are all different models.  They usually have entirely different operating systems too.  You wing it, learning as  you go.  You do the best as you can, worry a lot, cry some, laugh some, and sometimes, you are as proud and thrilled as can be.

Not even the greatest psychic in the world could have predicted that I’d lose a child myself.  She couldn’t give me an owner’s manual on how to cope with the grief and guilt and sorrow and everything else that floods you while you are grieving.  She did prepare me to cope with what life sent my way as best as she could though, and was always there to share the pain and joy alike.

I had my day as the world’s greatest psychic too.  I don’t think I made as ,many momentous predictions as my mother did.  I know I did repeat the ten fold one though, and guess what?  I’m the grandmother to a little blond haired toddler that shows signs of being a firecracker too.  She reminds me a lot of the uncle she never got to meet as well, with her ability to love so unconditionally, without prejudice or reservation.  I love that little girl to death, and I put my flour out of reach.  I still remember how far her uncle could spread a few cups of flour through a kitchen…vividly.  The vegetable oil is up too.  I remember having to figure out how to clean up a few GALLONS of accidentally spilled vegetable oil off of a kitchen floor.  (Spread newspapers over the mess, soak it up, bag the papers, and repeat.  When it’s no longer slippery with oil, lay another layer of paper on the floor and leave it there for several hours before scrubbing the floor with soap and water.  Voila!  It’s all gone!)  Crayons are kept on top of the refrigerator, and issued one at a time.  I didn’t need to remember this one, she’s illustrated her imagination at home a few times.  I’m too old to make a toddler stand and scrub it all off of the wall while crying these days.  Besides, I’m the grandma now, I get to say things like “that’s okay honey.”  i can let her have cake for breakfast too…even if she only eats the frosting off of the top.  I don’t have to be responsible anymore.  That is what parents are for!

And it’s her mom’s turn to become the world’s greatest psychic.

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!

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