Monday, February 8, 2016

We, the People Idealist

During the Vietnam War, I spent a whole lotta time protesting against the government of these here United States' execution of a war that was clearly none of our business and, more importantly, immoral. The police action that ultimately divided North and South Korea was dodgy enough, but our involvement in Vietnam was a travesty. 

I had long harbored the hope that as the old guard faded away into cemeteries, We, the People the Younger, filled with idealism, rationalism, and social justice, would take over the nation and we would once again be on a road to social maturity. We, the People Idealist, would even the racial playing field and equal rights for all would be the norm, not the exception. We, the People Rational, would be the ones to change the course of fuel consumption and present a unified vanguard leading the way to clean, renewable sources of energy and responsible environmental legislation. We, the People Social Justice, would finally create a country where education and health care would be readily available, and gender discrimination would be a concern of the past.

What were we thinking?

We have become We, the People of Everything We Despised. We have been unable to deliver that precious idealism into the next group. Instead, we have Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, sons of immigrants...people who came to this country to escape whatever....only to produce children that fear diversity. We got Scott Walker who took his state on a joyride of working class destruction. We got Hilary who can't seem to just say, "I fucked up, I was wrong about Iraq." For G-d's sake, just say it already and get it behind you. 

We have a whole field of would-be presidents who want this entire country to accept their version of faith...THEIR version. When did taking communion become a litmus test for being a real American? It's beyond just Christianity; it's sectarian, we are just a couple of steps from blowing up churches. Shooting up and firebombing churches we already do. Mosques and synagogues are not exactly exempt either.

On the way into work this morning, I listened to a discussion about rocket booster engines and how the ones NASA uses are the Russian made RD-180s. That the US has one in development but that it won't be ready until 2019 and that's being optimistic. Excuse me? This is still going on? I thought the RD-180 was a temporary stopgap measure, not one that was gonna be in play for 15 years. 

Everyone talks college and no one talks production. Everyone talks about "training," but no one talks about building stuff. Everyone talks about "fair trade," but no one talks about making something to trade. We don't have American rocket boosting engines not because cannot design them; we unable to build them. 

Where is the respect for the workers and the trades? We need the mechanics and the carpenters. These are not jobs; these are careers. These are professions. We should be focusing on dealing with our dearth of manufacturing workers. 

That's not what the US economy is exploring. No, the US economy is exploring new and improved ways to "act globally," which is a euphemism for off-shoring. Our economy is focused on selling drugs on the boob-tube so you can tell your doctor you need Ambien and Xanax and whatever to help you cope. It's not that you'll pay a lot, assuming you have  a prescription drug plan. Suddenly you're such an expert from watching TV? 

Don't leave home without it. 
And speaking of TV, I saw a dilly on the early evening news today. The national news at 5:30 people. Right at the end. Right at 6. Right when the kids are hanging around the television waiting for food. Viagra one-packs being peddled by a voluptuous woman who was insinuating herself all over a bedroom, ostensibly preparing herself for a night of unbridled passion and explaining to women why it was important for men to have easy access to Viagra. Yeah, it's for our benefit. 

What are these people thinking?

I know what they were thinking. They were thinking: how much can I rake in showing a woman selling sex during prime time TV? Women selling sex. What a novel concept; tell the guys, Oh, baby, baby; pop one of these and come hither!

Increasingly vast numbers of women cannot get basic reproductive health care, and this is what they sell in prime time TV. More pregnancies. Because gee, if you can't get birth control but every guy is running around with power poppers in his pocket, what the hell do you think is going to happen?

Maybe the scariest thing so far in this election circus is the lack of the common good. Trump and Sanders are not too far apart on their domestic agendas when it comes to infrastructure and wage equity, and it’s just a pity that the Donald is a bombastic asshole about everything else. It’s a shame that Hillary just can’t own up to stuff and get past it. It’s a real shame that guys like Cruz and Rubio have managed to get as far as they have gotten by preaching fear and loathing. This is all fundamentally broken.

Ted Nugent posted a thing on Facebook today. If you have FB, click here. This is not isolated and he is not alone in preaching Fascism on social media. But if you think you are immune from his attacks, you are not. It’s but a stone’s throw from anti-Muslim to anti-Jew. Not sure, read a bit about the BDS movement. It’s not about the welfare of Palestinians; it’s anti-Semitic bullshit masquerading as social justice. Read what they say, look at their campus activities, and you’ll see the pattern. And it’s directed at Jews. Not Israelis. There is a difference. 

We, ALL the People are in serious trouble.

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Do yourself a big giant favor, start throwing stuff out now;
don't wait until you think you're gonna  move. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Oh, there's nothing halfway about the Iowa way to treat you....

Tonight, right as I arrive at Talmud class, the Iowa caucus will just be getting under way a scant 100 miles straight south on I-35. By the time you read this, they will all be over and once again, Iowa will have chosen the losers. Okay, they've picked a few winners, but not as many as they like to think they have:


Exactly one month from Iowa night, precinct caucuses will be held in Minnesota. I've been to a few of these; they are strange. In MInnesota, we select the delegates to the state convention where they will vote accordingly for the candidate we voted up in the caucus. Here's how the DFL describes it:

The Process

The DFL Party uses precinct caucuses and conventions to endorse candidates and to debate and set the issues the Party will stand for. The caucus and convention process sets the framework for the DFL Party by helping shape the platform and Action Agenda, selecting candidates who will receive endorsements, electing party leaders, and voting on the party constitution and bylaws. These meetings are a great way to get involved in the democratic process and make your voice heard—even if you’ve never attended before. Browse through this section of the website for more information, or please contact us with any questions you have on how to participate.


  • Election of local party leaders
  • Election of delegates and alternates to the next level of conventions in the DFL structure
  • Discussion of proposed resolutions to the DFL platform and Action Agenda
  • Endorsement of Candidates
  • Deliberation of party unit constitutional changes
  • Elect Delegates to both the State and National Convention
  • Choose the Nominations for the President and Vice-President of the United States
No one except other Minnesotans pays much attention to the Minnesota caucuses. It's not like we're got any real weight in the process, and we are kinda boring... politically... unless we're electing a wrestling guy to the governorship. But there was a good reason for that, and it turned out not to be a bad decision. 

People wanna compare that "no" vote to voting for RumpledTrumpskin. There is no comparison. Jesse talked about practical things that needed to be done in the state. His take on most everything was, If it's broke, fix it. If it ain't  broke, don't fix it. And he held that pretty close to the chest. He recognized that a tax rebate only worked if you didn't clean out the whole slush fund thing. He understood that if we didn't get our own house in working order, the feds weren't about to do it for us. And then he went a little batshit crazy and thankfully, he didn't run again. But his election did not harm but had a very positive after-effect. 

The problem with Trump is the more press he gets the more  bloviation we get. I'm getting tired of saying he's doing this to see how far he can push his little manila envelope. And he's getting away with it. It's not that he's an asshole who sounds like a cross between Pol Pot and Kim Jong Un, it's that people are vigorously nodding their heads in time with his nonsense syllables. 

Ted Cruz, on the other hand, is just noxious. He was into world domination when he was just a high school kid and said so in a TV spot. BIG CLUE, people: he's still into world domination. Despite his Grandpa Munster good looks, Ted Cruz has a Daesh mentality that should be anathema to any red-blooded American who believes in the Constitution of these here United States. This is a guy who said, "Any president who doesn’t begin every day on his knees isn’t fit to be commander-in-chief of this country." 
Frankly, I think that is just too creepy.

So here's a pop quiz: Can you tell who said which?
  1. The days are gone forever when our enemies could blackmail us with nuclear bombs. 
  2. Since he is of no use anymore, there is no gain if he lives and no loss if he dies. 
  3. With nuclear, the power, the devastation is very important to me.  
  4. I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out.
If you cannot because they all sound so similar, you should probably ask yourself if you really want someone who sounds like that to be POTUS. 

This is not a jokey thing, folks. This is for real. Right now, there is a chance either Cruz or Trump could get the nomination, and could then possibly win the election. If the racism and the bogus religiosity doesn't disgust you into a coma, their version of Constitutionality could easily becomes the next putsch. What? You think it can't happen? Guess again. It happens a lot. All over the world, and there isn't a reason in the world that these two can't scare enough people into believing that they are there to protect America, when, in fact, they have come to dismantle everything we have come to believe about who and what we are as a nation. The Constitution is about all people being created equal; Trump, Cruz and the rest of the Clown Cavalcade have a long list of exceptions to that rule, beginning with Muslims. And do not think for one New York minute that Jews won't be next on that line. 

And now, the results are coming in. Cruz has won the caucus with 27% of the vote, with Trump coming in a couple of percentage points behind at 24%. But the big surprise of the night is Marco Rubio coming with 23%,a very close third. Huckabee has suspended his campaign.There's a surprise. 

On the Democratic side, Martin O'Malley has also suspended his campaign. Clinton and Sanders are virtually, tied; Hillary has 640 delegates, Bernie has 636. Not much of a difference. This is a harbinger of things to come. 

The NY Times has some good graphics on the results.

So here's the WP's take on the Iowa caucus: Cruz will not stay on top. Rubio will begin to inch forward unless he does something egregiously stupid. Interestingly, Fiorina outpaced Chris Christie by one tenth of a percentage point.....1.9% versus 1.8%.  Well, ok, it's terribly slim over Christie which isn't saying much...other than both are probably toast at this point. Which isn't a bad thing. These people have got to stop wasting other people's money. It's not nice. 

As for Hillary and Bernie: I like them both, but have problems with them both. I'm not willing to write either off, but I'm not throwing my support behind either. That said, I must confess, I do own a Sesame Sanders button:
Sesame Sanders

I am such a sucker for Muppets. 

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
If you're looking for a new house in Mendota Heights,
I know one that's for sale. 

answers to the pop quiz:
1 - Kim Jun Un
2 - Pol Pot
3 - Donald Trump
4 - Ted Cruz

Monday, January 25, 2016

And So It Begins

Days away from the Iowa Caucus, Donald Trump has yet one more truth-is-definitely-stranger-than-fiction moment when he hands the microphone to Sarah "The Verbinator" Palin. 

Why would anyone with half a brain in their tuchus give that woman a microphone, much less a podium? Really? 

If you haven't listened to her hippy-hoppy rant, skip the video and read it. Really. Everyone in this country needs to actually read what she had to say. And then everyone gets to wonder why anyone in their right mind would let her talk out loud. 

But they do. There is a whole party of peeps who want to her what she has to say. They believe what she has to say. And they will vote accordingly. 

Some people think that voting does not make a difference. If that was truly the case, why do both parties work so hard to suppress voter turnout with gerry-mandering? It does matter. And if you think it doesn't, here's a textbook example why and how it does: Flint, Michigan. 

Here's the short course:
[Governor] Snyder appointed Ed Kurtz to be Flint’s second emergency manager and Kurtz selected Jerry Ambrose to be the city’s chief financial officer. Both men were tasked by the Republican governor’s administration with restructuring the city’s government to save money after it was in danger of becoming insolvent. One cost-saving measure considered was to quit buying municipal water from Detroit.

In a civil deposition not reported until now, Ambrose testified under oath that emergency manager Kurtz considered a proposal to use the Flint River, discussed the option with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and then rejected it.

In 2014, Ambrose was deposed in a civil lawsuit brought by retired Flint municipal workers against the state over severe cuts to their health care benefits. Attorney Alec Gibbs questioned Ambrose about the water decision (a year before Flint learned it was being poisoned).

“There was brief evaluation of whether the city would be better off to simply use the Flint River as its primary source of water over the long term,” Ambrose said. “That was determined not to be feasible.”
“Who determined it wasn’t feasible?” Gibbs asked.

“It was a collective decision of the emergency management team based on conversations with the MDEQ that indicated they would not be supportive of the use of the Flint River on a long-term basis as a primary source of water,” Ambrose answered.

“What was the reason they gave?” Gibbs asked.
“You’ll have to ask them,” Ambrose said.

How could the river that was rejected as Flint’s permanent water source in December 2012 suddenly become suitable for consumption a mere 16 months later?

And who actually made the disastrous choice to start using the previously rejected river as the city’s temporary water source?

Howard Croft, the former director of public works for Flint who resigned in November 2015, asserted more than four months ago in a videotaped interview with the ACLU of Michigan that the decision to use the dangerously corrosive river came directly from the Snyder administration. 
In the interview, Croft said that the decision to use the river was a financial one, with a review that “went up through the state.”

“All the way to the governor’s office?” the ACLU of Michigan asked him.

“All the way to the governor’s office,” Croft replied. 
01.24.16 8:00 PM - THE DAILY BEAST 
This was not an accident. This was a deliberate game of roulette. Governor Snyder and his appointees were playing Russian Roulette with the people of Flint. He was told the water was unsafe, but he permitted the switch-over. What was his motivation? Follow the money. The Flint River option was cheap. No way would this question ever be asked in Grosse Pointe. 

Tap water in a Flint hospital on Oct. 16, 2015.JOYCE ZHU / FLINTWATERSTUDY.ORG
The deeper we dig into this polluted and terrifying well, the clearer it becomes that the managers of Flint and the state of Michigan are not merely Republicans, they are anarchists. Their concept of small government is really not government, simply a hierarchy of feudal war lords appointed by despotic masters in an attempt to disregard the purpose of government....which is, at its most fundamental level, a system devised to protect the inhabitants of a given geographic area. The decisions made for Flint were despotic and knowingly destructive. At the same time, the Clown Cavalcade may be pretty vociferous about Daesh and carpet bombing Syria, but have you heard any of them talk about the murder of our own citizens by polluted water intentionally sent through the tap? Even into hospitals?

One might extend that same model to the Clown Cavalcade itself. They knowingly and willfully preach the destruction of social safety nets in favor of sink-or-swim survival tests. One must ask "who's next?" after the demise of the lower economic strata. When your worker bees are sick and unable to work for you, will you be able to manage without them? Where is the responsibility to the tax payer? After all, we do pay taxes with the expectation that we get something in return. 

The Flint River debacle is not an isolated incident. Porter Ranch in California. Fracking and the removal of waste water. This stuff is happening coast-to-coast, and We, the People, have a communal obligation to speak out against the destruction of our own nation. 

You get the government you deserve with every new election. If you vote for candidates who dismantle your public services, then you must be prepared not to have any. And that is a choice we all get to make. You can vote for a Trump or a Cruz and you will get their vision of American, complete with an entirely new poverty class. 

It's all very short-sighted. And the worst part is, the people who would be hurt the most by this evisceration of the social service system are the ones cheering on Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Fiorina, and the rest of the clowns. 

Makes you also wonder about the education system in this country. 

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Pay attention to the topics. That's a big hint for who cares about this country.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Fear in Terror's Clothing

I had a much different blog in mind for today, one about the Democratic debate and how I really appreciated the exchange of ideas, as well as the lack of the use of the word, “mess.” But then I read about Dafna Meir. And then, in the New York Times,  I read this:

             Palestinian Wounds Israeli Woman in West Bank, Military Says
A Palestinian stabbed and wounded an Israeli woman in a West Bank settlement on Monday, according to the Israeli military.The attack came the day after an Israeli woman was fatally stabbed at the entrance to her home in a settlement to the south. Searches continued for the assailant, who managed to flee after the assault on Sunday in the settlement of Otniel, south of Hebron.The assailant in the attack on Monday, which took place in the settlement of Tekoa, south of Jerusalem, was shot and wounded at the scene.
According to Israeli news reports, the assailant was a Palestinian boy, who was about 15 years old and who had entered the settlement through a hole in its perimeter fence.The focus on settlements signaled a possible shift in the recent surge of violence, during which Palestinians have attacked Israeli soldiers, police officers and civilians, usually using knives, cars and guns as weapons.Most of the previous attacks took place on the streets of Jerusalem, in cities around Israel, or along roads and at military checkpoints in the West Bank.
Dafna's Funeral /AFP-M.Kehana
Since Oct. 1, Palestinian assailants have killed more than 20 Israelis, an American student and a Palestinian bystander. More than 150 Palestinians have been killed during the same period, many of them after they attacked or tried to attack Jews and others during protests and clashes with the Israeli security forces.The attack on Monday occurred as the funeral was beginning in Jerusalem for Dafna Meir, 38, the woman who had been killed the day before. Ms. Meir, a hospital nurse, was a mother of six, including two foster children. At least three of her children were in the house at the time of the attack, but they were unharmed.

The victim on Monday, a pregnant woman around age 30, was stabbed in a clothing warehouse in Tekoa.
This line really got me: "...many of them after they attacked or tried to attack Jews and others during protests and clashes with the Israeli security forces."  Can someone explain this excuse to me...and to the families of people standing at bus stops who have been mowed down by terrorists?

I went back to look for the headlines for Dafna Meir’s murder, and found 2 in the Times:
Two young Israeli women were fatally stabbed by assailants unknown to them simply because they were Israeli. They were not the first to be murdered in such an act, and they will not be the last. The headlines don't say this, but these are acts of terror. 

Reem Riyashi -homicide bomber
The men who murdered them were Palestinian. They had been taught that to murder women is a pathway to heaven, an act of holiness. They believed that murdering a young mother and a pregnant woman was an okay thing to do. 

This line really got me

Who taught them that? Was it their own parents? Was it the teacher in the school? Was it the imam? Does it matter?

Well, actually, it does. Throughout Israel, Palestinians are walking up to street corners, into markets, into restaurants, onto beaches to randomly stab people who are doing nothing more sinister than breathing. Some die, some live. Some of the murderers die, others who are wounded receive the same superb medical care as the victims who survived. Despite the acts of terror, that is an act of humanity in the face of terror. 

Dafna Meir/ blog photo
Interestingly, Dafna Meir, the mother of 6 murdered in the doorway of her home while her children were there, was a nurse at Soroka Medical Centre in Beersheva; she was studying Arabic to improve her communication skills with her Arab speaking patients. Her death means there is one less skilled, Arabic speaking nurse who can treat and care for Israeli Arab and Palestinian patients. While the loss to her family is incalculable, the loss to her patients and future patients is equally staggering. 

Terror is not knowing if you will be safe when you open your front door. Terror is kissing your kids goodbye in the morning and really not being 100% sure you will see them in the evening. Terror is knowing that there are people walking the streets who believe that killing you is a good thing. And terror is knowing there are whole schools and playgroups devoted to teaching 4 year olds to be suicide bombers. 

Terror is not what the GOP Clown Cavalcade thinks it is. Trump is afraid of his own shadow, Christie is paranoid, Cruz is delusional, Rubio...well....he's just naive. These clowns think you deal with terror by carpet bombing another country. That wholesale destruction of a country far, far away will stop Daesh from coming here. So they dress up fear in terror's clothing. They tell us the only way to live is to cringe behind the closed door they want all America to be.  

Israelis open the front door. Israelis kiss their kids and send them to school before they go to the office. Israelis go to shopping malls and restaurants and bars and clubs. Israeli civilians rarely own guns; permits are almost impossible to get. What Israelis don't do is hide. If you hide, the terrorists win. 

Whether or not the Associated Press or the New York Times wish to acknowledge that terror is what's happening in Israel speaks volumes about their shared perspective. Those two news outlets are willing to call anybody and everybody a terrorist....unless they are white and taking over federal lands in the Pacific Northwest....or Palestinians committing murder in Israel. In reporting, headlines matter. 

The media has become the message. Whether it's an attack in Marseilles or in Otneil on the West Bank, not calling it terror implies that this is random thinking, not intentional attacks on an identifiable group. 

Draw your own conclusion. 

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Routinely, throw stuff out. You don't need it. 
It makes thinking about moving much less terrifying.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Truth, Justice, and the American Way of Not Thinking

I'd been  harboring hopes, I am almost ashamed to admit, that when one year turned into another and the first primaries were about to happen, the Clown Cavalcade would round up the wagon to begin talking sensibly. Not so, Kemosabe. In fact, the rhetoric has gotten worse. There is something so disheartening about that. 

So, let's go back to birther business: one might think turnabout would be fair play, but there are no Democrats holding up birth certificates in this one. No, Republicans are holding up Mama Cruz's birth certificate at the same time they point out that very same Mama Cruz was counted in the Canadian poll count. Now, if you even do the most basic homework, you know that the Canadian poll count is kinda like a census; it counts age-eligible potential voters, it does not mean you a) get to vote, b) give up your citizenship if you're a citizen of another country or even c) you get to be Prime Minister. No, it's just means you are a person of a certain age and therefore may be eligible to vote if you meet all the other criteria. For pity's sake, folks, the woman was born in Delaware, the first state admitted to the Union on December 7th, 1787...the FIRST STATE, people. Mama Cruz is definitely an American citizen. Her son, however, was born in a foreign country and happens to have had two citizenships, Canada and the US. 

Of course, that didn't stop Ted Cruz's fire'n'brimstone spewing pastor Dad from demanding Barack Obama "go back to Kenya" even though POTUS's mother Stanley Ann Dunham, POTUS's mother, was born in Wichita, Kansas...Kansas, admitted to the Union on January 29th, 1861 and her son was born in Hawaii, admitted to the Union on August 21, 1959 two full years before Barack Obama was born there. POTUS was born in an actual state, not a province, so if we're gonna have a "who's-more-a-citizen-of-these-here-United-States contest, someone has a definite leg up just cuz he was born here....and it ain't Señor Cruz. 

Does anyone know exactly what means, "natural born citizen?' Does that mean it was a vaginal birth as opposed to Caesarean section? Or birth without drugs? Or do they have something else in mind altogether? Like citizenship is automatically bestowed... because his mother was a citizen of these here United States even though he was born in another country????? Really people; make up your collective pea-sized minds!

And for a guy who claims he's the poster child for fiscal responsibility, Cruz keeps talking about carpet bombing Syria. He's threatening the entire region. And he's going to use our kids and our money to do it. Ask him how he's paying for this little misadventure. If you think the 2% are going to contribute, guess again. It's gonna come right outta the paychecks of the working classes. This is at the same time he's defunding the ACA without any offer of an alternative, leaving millions without access to health insurance. 

Not to be left out, the Donald has his own issues. According to the Huffington Post, Herr Trump has received the coveted endorsement of the American Freedom Party. If you are unfamiliar with their True American Platform, you might want to check them out. After all, they have dialed over 200,000 robo-calls in Iowa on Herr Trump's behalf. Listen to the call; this is the voice of the New America...according to supporters of the Donald. These guys are the direct descendants, and proud ones, at that, of the Brown Shirts. And they have every intention of promoting that cause through the Donald. He has other endorsements as well, ones worth noting include: Dennis Rodman (yeah, he's still around,) Mike Tyson, Stephen Baldwin, Gary Busey, Ted Nugent, Tila Tequila, Wayne Newton (yeah, he's a walking testament to plastic surgery...and is still around,) Hulk Hogan, Charlie Sheen, Mike Ditka, some guy from Duck Dynasty, and, I am so sorry to say, Jesse, The Governator, Ventura. This is a veritable brain trust....between them I have to trust they compose a single brain. Not a real high functioning one, mind you, but a brain nonetheless. 

Which makes me wonder why the general membership of the GOP doesn't rise up and protest. Do they really want one of these clowns negotiating for anything more than what one is served for breakfast? 

If this was an isolated case of mass stupidity, I might be able to better look past it toward some kind of sensible reality. But it's not. The absurdity is ongoing...relentlessly so... think about Planned Parenthood for a moment. Federal funds cannot be used to perform abortions, so that's a non-issue. When the GOP Clown Cavalcade talks about defunding Planned Parenthood, they're really talking about defunding breast cancer screening, STD screening, annual physicals, pre-natal services, and post-natal services, all stuff the GOP should be supporting if they were supporting the preservation of families. But they're not. 

In the same vein, the GOP is against gun control of any kind. Doesn't matter that the laws are already on the books and the President's executive order only requires the laws be enforced; to the GOP, it's an infringement on the right to bear AK-47s.  It has nothing to do with sane gun laws; it's about how big a dick you don't have. Good grief, people; if you have to license and insure your toy drone, don't you think you should license and insure a gun? Guys if you have to sling a semi-automatics over your shoulder to feel safe while walking through a store, you don't need ammo; you need testicles. 

Do you know about the gas leak in Porter Ranch, California? Bigger than the BP debacle in the Gulf....and no one has a clue how to stop the stuff from spewing into the atmosphere. Southern California Gas seemed to think it was okay not to have a contingency plan for emergencies. We don't need no stinkin' rules or government regulations. Sure, GOP, we need less government oversight.

I could go on forever, but I won't. I'm too tired to keep writing about this stuff. It's so depressing. Guys like Trump and Cruz want to defund everything.....and then what?

We, the People, get the government we elect, and we elect the government we deserve. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Day....
for Viking Blair Walsh
When you score all your team's  points in the game 
then you miss the last field goal,
the correct response is not 
"It's all my fault we lost the big game," 
the correct response is, "I'm truly sorry I missed the field goal, 
but was I the only one on the field today?"

Monday, January 4, 2016

So I Went To The Movies

So, here's the thing. I started writing this week's blog on Saturday night, right after news of some kind of event was slowly slipping out of Burns, Oregon. By Sunday afternoon, there was more news, but that "Peaceful protest in Oregon ranching case followed by building takeover at wildlife refuge" headline courtesy of the Associated Press was getting lots of cyber-inches, even though this was a self-proclaimed act of domestic terrorism.

Ammon Bundy and friends
The marvelous coincidence moment came when Ammon Bundy, son of standoff guy Cliven Bundy, announced that the penny-tossing, flower-sharing march and rally in support of Dwight Hammond, Jr, the guy arrested for setting wild fires on federal land, was really a red herring, and the plan all along was to take over a nearby federal building to occupy it for years, if necessary, in order to free federal land for use by ranchers, loggers and miners. Of course, they are a militia. Really. That's what they say they are. And, as any other self-respecting militia would do, they brought guns, ammo, and plenty of ramen noodles. Just in case they got hungry while fighting for freedom from anarchy. So where's the coincidence?

Gee, did the Bundy Gang take a page from the BLM playbook? 

A couple of weeks ago, the Black Lives Matter movement staged a rather small protest at Mall of America. It was well publicized and there was lots of press coverage. When the demonstrators were warned off by the mall cops ....they exited the building...only to get on the light rail and head over to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where they made their way out to Highway 5 where they disrupted traffic access to and from the terminals... on the afternoon of December 23rd. Not exactly a light travel day. Leaders of BLM said the Mall event was merely a diversionary tactic; the real target had always been MSP: Black Lives Matter’ Protesters Gather; Mall Is Shut in Response (NY Times.)

There is a big difference though: while the BLM protests were actually peaceful demonstrations, the takeover of the federal building in Burns, Oregon, was an armed insurrection. The Bundy Gang has guns and indicated they are not afraid to use them on federal agents. They call themselves a militia, they dress like a militia, and they are armed like a militia. So whaddya think? Militia....or just fun-loving survivalists?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Dwight Hammond and his son, Steve, the fire-starting guys, are working really hard to disassociate themselves from Bundy Gang. Gee. I wonder why?

And here you thought there wasn't a problem with how news is reported in this country. Guess again, people. Social media, however really took these guys to heart, and the following hashtags are trending on Twitter:

Y'all Qaeda

Vanilla ISIS

Yee Hawdists
Yokel Haram
Meal Team Six

Cute, right? Let's not lose sight of the reality that Team Bundy's stated goal is the overthrow of the United States as we know it. And that, dear readers, is an armed insurrection and most definitely qualifies as terrorism.

And not a Muslim amongst them.

But all this stuff is all over the news. Now, it's old and stale. So, rather than rehash this crapola yet again, I went off to see STAR WARS in 3-D. 

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
It's a great diversionary tactic. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Great American Delusion

There's this white stuff falling outta the sky at the moment. The weather pundits started out predicting 5-10" but it's bargain time of year, so they've reduced the prediction to 1-3". Meh. There will be minyan tomorrow morning. 

Tuesday will mark the 30th day since my Dad's burial. To those of you familiar with Jewish law, it's the end of Shloshim. No more torn ribbons. I can get a haircut. I can fully return to the world. Ready or not, here I come. 

Honestly, I am glad to see the back-end of 2015. It's not been a great year. Oh, yeah, I've weathered it all in my take-no-prisoners-Spartacus-kinda-way, but it's not been all that easy, and I am tired. Really, really tired. Okay, it might be the letrozole they've got me taking for this cancer thing, but whatever it is, I am bone weary and would like to sleep for a couple of days....or weeks. Not happening. 

On the flip side, this has been the first year I've lived on my own. Not in my childhood home, not in a dorm, not with my husband, kids, or father-in-law. Just me and the dog. And although she's lousy company, I find I rather like it. Which is a bit of a surprise. 

The blog has had a resurgence of late. For a while, readership had declined, but suddenly, it's back with a vengeance. Emails are up, and frankly, pretty interesting. I continue to be annoyed with the new commenting policy over at the NY Times. They no longer publish opinion at 10 or 11 p.m. Eastern time, which means I don't see the columns until the morning, and then I don't feel much like opining. I opine best late at night. And that they keep publishing Ross Donut remains an utter mystery. 

Meanwhile. back at the ranch, GOP Clown Cavalcade seems to have stalled. I keep waiting for a policy statement from someone, anyone, and all I hear is crap fluttering outta their mouths. This really pisses me off. Not because they are saying stupid stuff, which they are, but because they are expecting We, the People to be distracted from issues by their non-stop obfuscation. They keep lining up on the stage like game show contestants...the winner being the one who can get the most LIAR-LIAR-PANTS-ON-FIRE ratings from the fact-checker groups. 

I cannot wait for Iowa and New Hampshire. I want to see what people actually do when asked to make a decision about who should actually run. I want to see who is left standing at the end of those two events. Keep in mind who won Iowa in 2012. Just because you win in Iowa it doesn't mean you're gonna take the cake. And in New Hampshire, Romney took only 39% of the vote. 
As of Dec. 23rd-Huff Post

The best anyone can hope for is the winnowing of the field. These are the standings as of December 23th...a little old, but close enough for government work. Still, it's a field crowded with inconsequential would-be politicians who have, one and all, sold the electorate down some cockamamie river of no  economic return. 

Dr. Paul Krugman, in his NY Times column this morning, wrote:

You might think, then, that Bush-style tax cuts would be out of favor. In fact, however, establishment candidates like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are proposing much bigger tax cuts than W ever did. And independent analysis of Jeb’s proposal shows that it’s even more tilted toward the wealthy than anything his brother did.
Oddly enough, this is the key. What Krugman implies is that those who would support either of these two....or any of the Clown Cavalcade for that really supporting a FantasyLand kinda pipe dream. Why would someone who barely makes a subsistence living cast their vote for someone who is going to give more tax breaks to the superrich while cutting back basic human services? Well, the answer may be easier to discern than one might think. It's all about The Great American Dream, or, in this case, The Great American  Delusion. 

We, the People hear talk about how wealth has to be protected and that by ensuring the wealthy retain and increase their own incomes, benefits will trickle down to the masses because the wealthy will have more to spend. Baloney. There is a whole segment of the population that honestly and whole-heartedly believes that if they wish/pray/buy enough lottery tickets, magic will happen and they will be super-rich, and once that happens, they're gonna need that write off for their new personal Lear jet. It's not about hard work or start-ups in the garage; it's about money falling outta the sky....or out of the lotto kiosk at the local 7-Eleven. 

The Great American Delusion brings with it all manner of scary stuff. There is blame to assign, people to hate, and laws to repress. It's not about's about promulgating fear and making sure We, the People, have a target to hate. It's not about defending the Constitution, it's about defending our right to own a war-machine-type-rifle that we can shoot at will at anyone or anything. 

Nazi Germany did not begin with gas chambers. Nazi Germany began with a party that instilled fear of the other in its citizenry. They found an outsider to blame. They found a way to round up segments of their own population. And they found a way to manufacture death in a canister. Nazi Germany began with Adolf Hitler telling the people who to blame for whatever was wrong with their own lives. This is NOT American thinking.... least not yet. 

Bring on 2016. I am more than ready for the Clown Cavalcade to move on!

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Resolve to regularly read an actual print newspaper this year.