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!

Change–we asked for it!

27 Sep

We’ve seen a lot of changes in the past three years.  Still, we asked for it, didn’t we, when we elected a president who’s entire campaign slogan was “change”>  So what have we seen change?  How much of the change is due to this administration and how much is just the cumulative change resulting from past political actions?

I know we’re seeing fewer jobs.  The local newspaper, which used to have a whole section devoted to “help wanted” now has a couple of columns, most of which are devoted to scam-like “work from home” schemes, and about a half dozen real local jobs.  It’s sadder yet to realize that the jobs I’m looking at are the ones in the region of the state with the highest number of jobs traditionally.  I hate to think of what it is like in the portions of the state that have always struggled to employ its residents.

I know that the people I know that are unemployed are staying unemployed, even when they have rarely seen long term unemployment before.  For those that have always job hopped, it’s worse.  For those that have jobs, they go to sleep at night worrying about whether that job will be there at the end of the work day tomorrow.  None of these situations lead to good health and happiness, let alone prosperity.

I’m seeing a lot of people drive cars long past the point of efficiency too.  Even those who are financially stable are not buying new or newer cars, but sticking with what they have.  Remember that cash for junkers program?  I didn’t know anyone who turned in their junker car that SHOULD have been turned in to buy a newer car–they couldn’t afford them.  The cars being junked were in better shape than a lot of the cars still on the road.  That’s only gotten worse, which means that the only ones making money these days are the gas stations and car parts sales…as they keep patching together junk cars with poor gas mileage and leaking oil.  Our own van has gone from reasonably efficient to wheezy in the past three years too, and we have no current plans (or ability) to replace it either.  It was also depressing to research new mini vans and discover that there is nothing on the market that compares in terms of passenger ability and gas mileage (it still gets 22-26 mpg with a passenger capability of 7 people.)

We’re also seeing inflation at the grocery store at completely unreal rates, with predictions of more over the coming months as the reality of reduced corn, soybean, and wheat production hits the market as a result of bad weather through the Plains states.  We’re also competing with ethanol production for corn products, which increases the price even further.  Add in higher fuel costs to get food to market, and there is no hope of prices stabilizing, let alone going down.

We’re at war…seemingly everywhere.  Like most Americans, I’m not even sure why we’re there, let alone what we hope to accomplish.  Iran, Afghanistan, and then this new war against Libya  has me even more confused.  I remember hearing about Ghadafi, but since when is America the world’s humanitarian police force?  We’ve got too much turmoil within our own borders to be pointing our fingers at other countries too much.  We need to focus on solving our own problems, which range from transportation, food supply, health care, and jobs on to issues such as human rights, police brutality, and border control.  Most of us support our troops, but we don’t support our politicians’ choices about where to send them.  After all, it’s not the soldiers who write their orders.  A lot of us know a lot of young people who have joined the Armed Forces out of desperation–there were no jobs at home and no way to pay for college for them either.

Then there is the current health plan, commonly referred to as Obamacare.  None of us have faith that it is going to provide most of us with actual health care, especially the group that it will affect the most, that vast class known as the Working Poor.  We aren’t destitute, so we don’t qualify for state health care plans, and we can’t quite afford to purchase insurance privately, as well as don’t have the option from our employers.  We’re also the backbone of America, the ones that do 75% of the work that keeps America moving and eating.  We work for thousands of small businesses, and often are entrepreneurs ourselves.  We are concerned, and our votes are more likely to have an affect in the upcoming elections.

Then this bit about social security.  Cutting the program isn’t particularly viable, and it certainly isn’t going to win awards with most of the over 50 crowd.  Over 50 is also the biggest percentage of voters that show up to polls.  Do these politicians really want to risk their actions at the polls?  Over 50 has paid in the longest, and is the closest to actually receiving benefits.  Are they going to vote to cut what is probably the biggest portion of their retirement?  Many Americans are approaching retirement age right after the recession, stock market, and real estate market have devoured huge chunks of their retirement funds.

So we take a look at our current crop of politicians and we grade them.  Few are getting passing grades, so then we look towards the upcoming crop of competitors for their seats.  Democrat or Republican, it doesn’t matter to many, we want and need some action beyond just “change.”  Even at the highest level, for the presidential seat, we assess our chances for something real to happen, like jobs, social security, and  health care that works.

The Republican party has a whole crop of candidates.  How many of them are viable?  Who would you vote for?  Is religion going to be the sorting factor among them?  Do we really want to use religion as that sorting factor?    Just who do we have?  Here’s the current list:

  • Rick Perry
  • Mitt Romney
  • Ron Paul
  • Michele Bachman
  • Newt Gingrich
  • Herman Cain
  • Rich Santorum
  • Jon Huntsman
  • Gary Johnson

So out of this bunch, who’s on top?  What do they have to say?  Who really has a chance at the seat?

Like a lot of people, I have some I’ve heard of, like Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Michele Bachman.  I’d guess they are front runners, mostly because people like me, who are largely apolitical, have heard of them.  Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich have been around a while, and are much more familiar names…but that may not be a good thing too.  Others, like Michele Bachman, have established themselves as ultra-conservative, and for moderates like myself…that’s not a plus either.  Too often, she’s played the religion card, which I’m not thrilled to see in politics, since America has long had this rule of separation of church and state.  Her tendencies towards muck raking are also not endearing.  Rick Perry has also not done or said anything to encourage my support as a moderate.  (Okay, technically, I’m a conservative-liberal, I’ll admit it.)  The others are dark horses, unknown to me, and I have no idea what they have to say or have claimed as their intentions if elected.  Out of the options in my list, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney are the best options in terms of electability.  Will the others and the Republican party think so too?  We’ll have to see.

The GOP has got to come up with a good line up and a solid platform, or it will be an election where most voters decide “better the devil we know.”  They may not like Obama, but they may not dislike him enough to vote for someone they also don’t like.  They may not cast a vote at all, leaving the entire opinion to the electoral college to decide.  That’s the other thing, too.

The electoral college does not have to follow popular vote.  It can vote opposite.  Many Americans don’t realize that the electoral college exists, let alone that their vote in the polls doesn’t influence or determine their vote.  (read more about the electoral college right here.)  Most electors follow their state’s vote, by whichever method determined by the state legislature, but there have been cases in which that was not true.  An amendment to the constitution, abolishing the electoral college and changing the presidential election to popular vote, has never been proposed.  When I was a child, the electoral college’s benefits were explained to me that such an institution prevented electing a charismatic leader as a dictator, such as Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, or Castro.  (Notice the examples chosen!)  I’m not so sure that it can in fact prevent such an event happening.

So what is the bottom line?

Do your research on candidates.  Skip the whole party rhetoric, decide on each candidate’s merit.  What are their goals in office?  It doesn’t matter whether they are running for local mayor or the president of the nation…pay attention to what they stand for and what their track record really is.  Here are some questions to put to yourself.

  1. Are they qualified to fill the office?  This includes technical qualifications as much as skills.  Residency, place of birth, work history, political history, etc.
  2. Do they have the charisma to do the job?  Face it, half the job of any politician is to get others to work with them.  Abrasive natures are not conducive to that happening!
  3. Do they have the political experience to do the job?  We may not need a lot of experience with the local mayor, but we need a lot more in upper level politics.  Presidents need to meet with other heads of state and perform many diplomatic actions.  Can they do this without irritating and aggravating situations?  Will they embarrass the country?  Can they successfully get opposing factions to work together?
  4. Are they capable of leading?  Not everyone is a natural leader, and not everyone learns how to lead.  Leaders don’t have to know everything or do everything, but they do need to know how to listen to advisers who do.  They need to know how to delegate authority, how to choose competent advisers and subordinates.
  5. What is their history with their staff?  Good leaders don’t have high staff turnover, for any reason.  Good leaders don’t treat their staff badly, nor do they select staff without considering their longevity.   High staff turnover indicates they may lack good leadership skills.  Former staff should also leave on good terms, when they do leave.  Frequent disgruntled former staff members is really not a good sign, and electing someone with high staff turnover is like electing that “bad boss”.  We all remember what that “bad boss” was like to work for!  Do we want them running our government?
  6. What is their track record for honesty, transparency, and due diligence?  Don’t elect someone who hasn’t got a good record in terms of these either.  “I don’t remember” isn’t a good excuse either.  Nor is “I didn’t pay attention” or “I didn’t notice that”.  Noticing, paying attention, and remembering are all things we want, remember?  Besides, how far would these excuses get you with the IRS or the court system?  Hiding history, whether its a doctorate dissertation, a political past, criminal history, religious records, family history, or educational error, are not good signs for future transparency in office.  It also implies that there is a reason for preventing some items from being made public.  Besides, who cares if they failed fourth grade, had a brief marriage in college, or  they have an uncle who was a ne’er do well?  It just makes the candidate more like a real person!  On the other hand, if they have a past closely tied with a foreign government, belonged to a anti-American club, or have a criminal history involving accepting bribes…that may be pertinent to their ability to properly perform their elected role.

Support your chosen candidate!  That can range from just telling others about their good points to financially contributing to their campaign or even serving on their campaign team.

Most of all, get out and vote.  Be pro-active, whether you like the current direction our government is taking or not, being involved and voting makes your vote count.  Too many people believe that their vote doesn’t count, that it doesn’t matter, but it does.  All the way from your local politicians, to the state, and ultimately federal elections, your vote does count.  It takes a lot of votes to get someone elected, but it doesn’t take many votes that never happen that sees a candidate not get elected.  The entire American political system is based on citizen participation, and if you think too often that special interest and minority groups are getting their way…maybe its because they DO get out and vote.  Protecting your rights starts with using your right to vote.  

 

The God Badge

4 Sep

I often contemplate the whole concept of God.   It doesn’t matter what name you give it, whether it is Allah, Jehovah, God, The Creator, The One, The Source, The God Head, whatever…it’s really the same concept.  A great source of the beginning, the spark that made us…the one and only source.

I watch other people with their evangelical practices, their recruitment to their particular flavor of religion.  I watch the play of politics and religion, and am somewhat horrified at the play of war for the benefit of God too.

So many people feel a need to announce to the world what name they call God, how they worship, and which flavor they are of worshiper.  It’s like some badge they have to wear in order to assure themselves that God knows they believe.  Does that badge make any difference really?

So…we are scheduled for this increased awareness event, this spiritual evolution for 2012…and all those who can’t make the leap to higher consciousness are going to get left behind.  Is that badge going to guarantee you a seat on that upgrade jet?

I mean seriously, do you think God cares if you post on Facebook that you believe in God?  Twitter?  Do you really think God has time for such trivial nonsense as Facebook and Twitter and Foursquare and whatever?  Do you think He cares what you say there?  Is your announcement that you believe in God going to cause any kind of change in yourself or anyone else?

It always reminds me of that old saying…if a man tells you how religious he is…or how honest he is…grab your wallet.

The truly religious, the truly devout, and the truly spiritual aren’t concerned about announcing to others that they are.

So what does all of this badge wearing, sign waving religion all about?

It’s about separatism, its about superiority, it’s about segregation.  It’s about creating friction.

To put it in very fundamentalist terms…this God badge is really a tool of the devil to create discord and strife.  As long as all of these religious factions are divided, despite their true unity with a single God, there will be strife and war and death and aggravation.  If they ever focus on their commonalities rather than their differences, there would truly be a wonderful peaceful world.  What better tool for the negativity that exists than to ensure that these factions stay at war with each other?

It’s scary to see the God Badge coming out in the presidential race too.  It makes me think of the old days with the British and their Church of England versus the Roman Catholic Church going back and forth.  I wonder…what is the religious majority these days in the USA, and what will this mean?  Will it mean that we’re allowed religious freedoms or will they be curtailed?

Maybe I’m a worrywart but then again, I start thinking about this cliche.  “When they came for the Jews, I said nothing, for I was not a Jew.  When they came for the homosexuals, I said nothing, for I was not a homosexual.  When they came for the infirm, I said nothing, for I was not infirm.  When they came for the gypsies, I said nothing, for I was not a gypsy.  When they came for the foreigners, I said nothing, for I was not a foreigner.  When they came for me, no one was left to say anything.”

Tolerance is sometimes a careful balance, and it seems the scales tip this way and that.  Too much tolerance, and we cease to have an identity or any rules.  Too little, and we’re living in fear of our government.  We need to find our balance.  We need tolerance…within reason, and that reason seems to have flown the coop, resulting in a backlash sort of reaction.

Backlashes can kill too.  

Reactionary government and society at large are a liability.  Lets get real, folks.  We don’t need the God Badge, God already knows and that’s the only one that matters.

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?

 

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