Saturday, November 29, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
5. Liberals are a bunch of elitists who hate decent working- and middle-class Americans.
...as opposed to those sainted corporate men-of-the-people who fly around in private jets and pull down eight-figure salaries while closing plants and cutting 10,000 jobs at a time. That's what real populism looks like, you betcha.
Liberals are funny people. We think that sending well-paid American jobs overseas is a bad idea. We think the minimum wage should be big enough to cover life's necessities, with some left over. We think it's insane that over half the bankruptcies in the country are due to lack of adequate medical insurance. We think everybody who has the grades should have a shot at college. And we believe that middle-class prosperity is absolutely essential for maintaining a healthy democracy—because history (via Kevin Phillips) has taught us that no democracy that's tolerated our current levels inequality has ever survived for long.
You'd be surprised (or maybe not) at how many conservatives making this accusation have never stopped and taken stock of the role government has played in making their own middle-class life possible. Their dad or granddad got through college on the GI Bill. They financed their own education with Pell Grants and federally-guaranteed loans. They grew up in FHA or VA-funded houses, and collected fat mortgage interest deductions—which, right there, ensured their family's place in the middle class. They went to decent public schools—and, perhaps, state universities. They're several thousand dollars richer every month because they're off the hook for Grandma's living expenses, thanks to Social Security and Medicare. They or their parents may have started businesses with help from the Small Business Administration, or relied on government advice and subsidies to keep the farm going. They work for businesses that depend on government contracts.
And then they'll sit there over the second helping of candied yams and loudly insist that they made everything they had, all by themselves, with no help from anybody and especially not from the government.
All you can do is laugh. And then, because they're family, go back to 1945 and start re-telling the family story—this time with Uncle Sam's forgotten role in the drama front and center.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
It's hourly wage earners that face economic disaster with any kind of hospital stay, or may die because doctors and hospitals won't provide services to those without insurance or cash on the barelhead.
It looked like the working class was going to get some kind of national health care when Bill Clinton was elected in 1992. The health care industry, Republican party and a fear factor ad campaign stopped it cold.
Sixteen years later the need for a sensible health care policy has reached critical mass. It's to be understood that the Republican party, being the fiscal conservative, free enterprise, government hands off party, and up for sale to the highest corporate bidder will try to block any attempt in the next year to pass a national health care bill. Again this is a no-brainer. The country needs it. The automobile industry needs it, most employers squeesed by rising health insurance costs need it. This economic slowdown needs it, the tax payers need it NO BRAINER.
So why is the Republican Party still so adamant about oposing it? They're kind of spitting in the wind here. U.S. News and World Reports have figured it out: If a nationalized health care bill is passed it will kill the Republican party!
They need the working poor to vote against their economic best interest on taxes, support waging logistical unwinable wars that ruin or kill their children, and turn a blind eye as they starve education while burdening it with unfunded mandates and useless testing. Will anyone listen to those like the late Jerry Falwell, Pat Robinson, James Dobsen or Rush Limbaugh if it means voting against your health care coverage? Not bloody likely, and they have Europe's experience with National Health Care to prove the point. Or as the Republican party is saying openly:
Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute,... puts it succinctly in a recent blog post: "Blocking Obama's health plan is key to the GOP's survival."
Having a father who the VA on two different occasions nearly killed by their rationing of health care (refusing to treat the problem by saying he didn't have it), and his life was prolonged only by a private health care plan. I'm going to look with a skeptical eye at any plan offered, but what is the 'NO BRAINER" here is that something is better than nothing, and right now too many people in this country have no health care at all.
Friday, November 21, 2008
And a heads up to Russ for posting it on his blog
The purpose of this letter is to outline a plan to suggest the kind of politics and policies that are needed to restore good sense to this important debate. With this letter, I hope to lay out some ideas and interpretations that hold the potential for insight. But first, I would like to make the following introductory remark: If you think that this is humorous or exaggerated, you're wrong. Mr. Patrick M. Prescott wants us to think of him as a do-gooder. Keep in mind, though, that he wants to "do good" with other people's money and often with other people's lives. If Mr. Prescott really wanted to be a do-gooder, he could start by admitting that he is a human leech dedicated to sucking the life out of our doomed corpses. This is equivalent to saying that he likes to cite poll results that "prove" that there's no difference between normal people like you and me and the worst sorts of dangerous crackpots I've ever seen. Really? Have you ever been contacted by one of his pollsters? Chances are good that you never have been contacted and never will be. Otherwise, the polls would show that that is no excuse for anything. To say anything else would be a lie.
In contrast, Mr. Prescott may unwittingly expand, augment, and intensify the size and intrusiveness of his coalition of callous spoilsports and temperamental, insensitive proletariats. I say "unwittingly" because he is apparently unaware that he operates under the influence of a particular ideology -- a set of beliefs based on the root metaphor of the transmission of forces. Until you understand this root metaphor you won't be able to grasp why I am not fooled by Mr. Prescott's homicidal and eristic rhetoric. I therefore gladly accept the responsibility of notifying others that the biggest supporters of Mr. Prescott's scabrous publicity stunts are cruel pests and power-drunk, froward sewer rats. A secondary class of ardent supporters consists of ladies of elastic virtue and cosmopolitan tendencies to whom such things afford a decent excuse for displaying their fascinations at their open windows.
Similarly, I strive to be consistent in my arguments. I can't say that I'm 100% true to this, but Mr. Prescott's frequent vacillating leads me to believe that our national media is controlled by the worst types of careless, dour traitors there are. That's why you probably haven't heard that Mr. Prescott's statements such as "Space aliens are out to lay eggs in our innards or ooze their alien hell-slime all over us" indicate that we're not all looking at the same set of facts. Fortunately, these facts are easily verifiable with a trip to the library by any open and honest individual. As this letter draws to a close, I want to challenge you, the reader, to tell Mr. Patrick M. Prescott how wrong he is. That's what I intend to do until my last breath.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Everyone is forecasting the largest economic catastrophe since the Great Depression. There are many similarities. The news, government and it seems most people think this is an attack on the American Dream, our pursuit of happiness and that our lives will not be worth living. They focus only on the bottom two levels of Abraham Maslow's pyramid and equate this with happiness. My thesis for this post is that hard times makes us stop and try to figure what is true happiness as opposed to the propaganda spread by social scientists, government experts and advertising agencies.
- Happiness is not a house, or a car, or expensive clothes. This only covers steps 1 & 2 of the pyramid.
- Happiness is not to be found in a job. Again this covers steps 1 & 2.
- Happiness is not found in the family. Steps 3, 4 & 5 all have to do with love, togetherness, emotional well being, accomplishment, serenity. Things we all need. Happiness, but just because we need it does not make for happiness.
- Happiness is not to be found in Religion or running away from it all. Sidharta Guatama (The Buddha) chose enlightenment over temporary fame, chose poverty in order to focus on his mind and spirit. In Christianity those who retreated to monasteries or convents chose a small cell and meager food to devote their lives to prayer and meditation. Others chose a life of helping and serving others. Other religions have similar practices of either escape or altruism. Giving up steps 1 & 2 and 3 to focus on steps 4 & 5 doesn't mean you'll be happy either.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
- Tenure: a person after attaining three years of probationary teaching has the right to be informed of the reason for being terminated or fired. In other words if an administrator wants to fire a teacher they need to say why!
- The red herring being bantered about is that teachers unions are trying to save the jobs of bad teachers. Nothing could be further from the truth. If there is a teacher who is not doing his or her job, or is in violation of the contract, good riddance to them. All the union and tenure requires is that there has to be a good reason for the termination. How many workers feel that before your boss fires you that they should have a good reason for doing so? Come on raise your hand. Isn't that the way things should be done in the workplace?
- Is anyone else bothered that a non-disclosed private source is funneling money into one of the largest public school systems in the country on the condition that tenure be abolished? Who's trying to buy our public schools? For what reason? What's next, mandated curriculum or they pull the gravy train?
- When there is a teacher shortage that is only going to get worse as the baby boomers (like me) retire, why is there so much emphasis on how to get rid of teachers?
- Public schools are too important for them to be placed in the hands of the highest bidder. Corporations have already seized our universities with their research grants and have turned them into their own research and development departments and in the process tying them up with contracts that limit their academic freedom. Do we need them grabbing high schools too?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
- USS Enterprise-Earth has experienced eight years of inept and bumbling Romulan-Republican Captain Archer-Bush. Proceeding blindly into the unknown without a map even resorting to torture to get what he wants. The only reason he was in office was because the Federation-Democrats could only find Spock-Gore and Tuvok-Kerry, emotionless Vulcans, to run against him. The real disaster of this Captaincy was that Archer-Bush chose 7 of 9-Cheney a Borg as Science officer. 7 of 9-Cheney's attempt to assimilate the entire world has nearly destroyed the USS Enterprise-Earth.
- This last election primary pitted Captain Janeway-Clinton against Captain Picard-Obama. It was nip and tuck, a knock down drag out, and even when everyone else was telling the scrapy Janeway-Clinton it was over she stood her ground to the very end. Janeway-Clinton's handicap in the race was that she had been stranded in the Delta Quadrant under countless attacks for years from the Romulan-Republicans and was a little too battle scarred for the crew. Pickard-Obama's approach was a "corporate board meeting leadership style" being inclusive to all members of the crew giving them a seat at the table. His confident, well reasoned fatherly manner galvanized the young, and previously dispossessed which has inspired the crew and USS Enterprise-Earth. Particularly his choice of Sisko-Biden as science officer, though not a star ship captain he does have years of command experience in Deep Space-Senate.
- The Romulan-Republicans gave it a valiant try by bringing out of mothballs, over the hill Captain Kirk-McCain. His shoot from the hip, bed every female he picks up in a bar, swaggering maverick style was once very popular with the crew (after all they chose Captain Kirk-Clinton twice) why not a third time? Unfortunately Kirk-Clinton was wise enough to choose Spock-Gore a dependable Vulcan as science officer while Kirk-McCain was letting the little head think for his big head and chose Yeoman Rand-Palin. Bad choice, as she turned out to be vain, expensive and inexperienced and worst of all: upstaged him. For Kirk-McClain it just shows that age does creep up on even the most vibrant of mavericks. There is grumbling by the Klingon and Borg factions of the Romulan-Republicans over who lost the confidence of the crew, but there will always be malcontents in any crew.
- With the USS Enterprise-Earth in the hands of the Federation-Democrat Pickard-Obama the crew has the audacity to hope for a resolution to the Federation-Cardassian conflicts, better living conditions and salary.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
- Reading all the news articles and blogs have to say about the past election and being grateful that NM for once isn't having to wait a week to know who won which race I have to say something about it.
- One thing you can say about Sarah Palin as she heads back to Seward's Icebox, it was nice to have a candidate for that high position that could have been picked for the Tonight show's Jaywalking.
- Everyone offering advise to President elect Obama: The din is so loud no one can hear you or remember what you wrote or said after ten seconds have passed.
- Ten weeks is one hell of a long time for all kinds of things (both good and bad) to happen. I will rejoice the day he takes office. I will not trust Bush or any of his storm troopers until the day I die.
- It would have been nice to watch the returns with those of like mind, but circumstances mostly quite good found us surrounded by truly wonderful and decent people that have political blinders. I tried to keep my mouth shut, but I did have to make a few snide comments about watching Faux News and why I would want to listen to comments by someone still in contempt of Congress. We went back to our room and celebrated our anniversary once Obama was declared winner.
- Too many people are rejoicing at the demise of the Republican Party. Not so fast. They were saying the same thing about the Democratic Party four years ago. The 2010 elections could just as easily reverse the political course as the 2006 one did. The electorate wants results.
- Today's lead article in the Abq Journal was about everybody rushing to buy assault rifles before they're banned. My father did that when Clinton was elected because all his VFW and State Defense Force buddies were just sure the big bad Democrats would take them off the market. When he developed Alzheimers I had to take his six hundred dollar AK-47 to a pawn shop that had ten of them in stock and they generously gave me twenty bucks for it. Clinton only stopped the sale of imported assault rifles, ones made in the U.S. were not affected. Had a Republican done the same thing he would have been praised for protecting American business. Let's see, ten weeks before he's sworn in and it took over ten years before the Brady bill was passed to require background checks on the sales of handguns. Yeah, Obama's going to be banning guns in the blink of an eye. At least it's nice to know one part of our economy is doing a brisk business.