Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Twitter Friend, 42bkdodgr Wrote This. It's Exactly How I Feel

Ashamed
I am ashamed by what is happening in our country.
I’m ashamed that we have a political party that has nothing to offer but fear and hate, so it creates chaos on non-issues such as “death panels” and having a “Cultural Center and Mosque near the 9/11 site”.
I’m ashamed that we have a political party that boasts it believes in the Constitution, then does everything to rip it and tear it apart; by wanting to change the First, Fourteenth, and Seventeenth amendments, because they don’t meet their ideology.
I’m ashamed that one of the purported leaders of a political party has no understanding what the First Amendment means.  A person who feels she can say whatever she wants without being criticized. A person who believes if you criticize her you are infringing on her freedom of speech, yet doesn’t understand that railing against those who criticize her, she is infringing upon their First Amendment rights.
I’m ashamed that we have a political party who thinks its more important, during our worst economic times, to block or delay everything that would improve or help the lives of the American people that the President or Democrats in Congress propose.
I’m ashamed that a political party would vote NO on practically every bill, even on ideas they previously supported, only because the president has adopted them.
I’m ashamed we have a political party where its more important to make the president look bad than do what is best for the country.
I’m ashamed that we have a news network that purports itself to be “Fair and Balanced”, then does everything to demean and spread misinformation about  our president, while openly supporting the Republican Party and Tea Baggers.
I’m ashamed at what has happened to the civility in this country during the last 18 months. We can thank Rush, the right wing media, especially the “Republican Fox New Network” for this.
I’m ashamed that the right wing likes to treat our president as “not one of us”, with their outrageous accusations that he wasn’t born in the USA and that he is a Muslim, when evidence proves they are wrong.
I can go on and on about what makes me feel ashamed or embarrassed about what is happening in our country, but one thing I do know, we are destroying our country from within and doing Al-Queda’s work.
I am ashamed, but still very hopeful, that Americans who truly believe in the principles of the Constitution and for what it stands will reject the fear and hate being spread, as they have done in the past, and move this country to a better tomorrow.
 This was first posted at: The Political Carnival

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mercinaries: The Threat No One Is Talking About


As I was watching MSNBC’s live coverage of the withdrawal of American combat troops from Iraq Wednesday night, I kept thinking about our troops left behind. We left 50,000 non-combat troops in Iraq to provide security for our Embassy and “other” interests. 
MSNBC had some vague mention of private (for profit) contractors in their coverage last night.  Mentions of private contractors are always vague.  I want a policy-wonk journalist to go after this story, find out what they do and for whom and at what cost.  What are we paying them to do? What have they done?
We know so little about these private contractors with huge no-bid contracts for…whom? the CIA? the State Department? the Pentagon? the Defense Department of the United States Government?
We know that the State Department uses private security forces to guard diplomats and politicians traveling in foreign countries.  We know that they work for the CIA. We pay their salaries.
One of the private contractors is Xe Services LLC; that is their official name now. They used to be called Blackwater, and then Blackwater Worldwide until that name became too associated with lethal lawless cowboys, unrestrained, unregulated, uncounted, murdering civilians in Iraq. 
When Blackwater became an embarrassment for the United States, Eric Prince changed the name of his private army. But Blackwater by any another name is still a lethal and uncontrolled threat.
To me, they represent the most lethal form of cancer a body politic could have. No one in our government controls them. They are not part of the government, we do not control them but we pay for them.
Wikipedia tells us that “Blackwater USA was formed in 1990 to provide training support to military and law enforcement organizations.” The part of that simple statement that takes my breath away is the “…law enforcement organizations”.  I imagine by now they are everywhere. 
A private army embedded in our body politic is a dangerous thing.
In a time of economic difficulties where corporations are bigger than countries and authoritarianism is on the rise, a private army training 40,000 people a year to embed our law enforcement agencies (but not playing by the same rules) is insanely dangerous to the security of our country.
Fascism with a private army is a time bomb within and it’’s ticking.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fighting Like Cats and Dogs

Bob is obviously quite relaxed with Marley.  They sleep together often.  But when they play with each other it looks like Marley is going to kill Bob.  Marley's long mouth is open wide like an Alligator and she seems to be trying to gnaw through Bob's throat.  Bob's arms are either softly embracing Marley or Bob looks dead: limp on his back, legs splayed, tail relaxed. Then Marley switches her attention to taking Bob's mouth and nose into her gnawing jaws.  She makes a moaning kind of vocalization.  Bob occasionally squawks.  I make Marley back off and Bob pounces on the obedient Doxie, doing all the same things to Marley that were done to him.

Bob will walk away like a matador, then turn with his ears back and flat, whirl and make a run at Marley. Sometimes he attacks and sometimes he just pretends to attack.  It's a very engaging play.  I wish I could film them.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sanctify This!

Religious freedom is supposedly the reason you descendants of the English came to this continent in the first place.  It is the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.[1] 


And yet, the GOPers want to deny Muslims the right to build a Mosque in lower Manhatten.  They want to make it a campaign issue in the upcoming mid-term elections.  So we have an oportunity to talk about all religions.  As an atheist I think they're all bunk, but I would, as a citizen of this country, defend your right to believe whatever bunk you want in the name of "God" and call it religion.  I don't think any of you deserve tax exempt status just because you call the space you "worship" in a Church.  But, I don't have the power or the right to deny you a status you claim as a religious organization.  I don't want you building a Church in my neighborhood, but if you own the property and have the money to do it, you can build your Church Of The Christian Holy Mumbo Jumbo any place you want.  But you Republicans want to deny this freedom to American Muslims.  Notice that I said, "American Muslims?" How do you justify this bigotry and call yourselves Christian or American?


White people on the political right seem to have forgotten American History.  This seems to me to be a failure of our education system that so many white folks graduated from High School without learning anything about the founding of this country and the establishment of our government.  Tea Partiers need a remedial course in the Constitution.  The Second Amendment seems to be the only Amendment that makes sense to the far right, and yet they claim liberals want to destroy the Constitution.  It's a kind of mass projection to blame your opponant or competeter of that sin which you commit.  If you Christians hold any document sacred, it ought to be the document that guarantees you your religious freedom.  Just remember it also gives the same rights to anyone from any culture who has become a citizen of this country the right to worship in a Church of their choosing.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Well Is Empty

I feel I have nothing to say. If someone asks me a question about politics, I can answer it,  but I can't write about it anymore.  It's just as well since there are a million things that need doing in my domestic life.  The yard's too big and too much for me to handle alone.  I wish the boys would step up to the plate and help out a bit but it isn't going to happen.  They're into sports in a big way and into their girlfriends, which is as it should be.  I'm so glad to be rid of the black cloud that was the couple before the boys, so I do the minimum necessary to keep the trees alive and don't water the lawn much because I'd just have to mow more often if I kept it greened up.  All my neighbors have taken out the grass on their parking strips and have zeroscaped.  It's the smart thing to do, and I plan on doing it every year, but just don't get around to it.  Maybe next Spring.  But now it's time to get the yard and garden ready for Fall and then Winter.  It will be a lot of work for the next three months. I have so many trees and none of them are on the same leaf drop schedule.  It all begins with the biggest tree in my urban forest and for two months I'll be cleaning up leaves.

I worked pretty steadily on enlarging my walkway and patio space back here, around the gazebo, until it got too hot and then I moved inside and stopped doing anything as I got my Facebook addiction up to the level of my Twitter addiction.  Cyrus died, Roscoe moved to Savannah, and then Bob showed up.  I'm happy to have a cat again.  I didn't realize how much I've missed having a cat.  Now I want to get or make a big scratching pole for Bob. I'm also happy not to have to pick up fifty pounds of dog shit a week. I'm glad I no longer have the big Vet bills that taking care of Cyrus generated.  He had so many health problems.  And yet, there isn't a day that I don't look at Cyrus' bed area expecting him to be there and most days it feels as if he's still with us.  He and Roscoe ate mass quantities of dog food.  Marley and Bob are very dainty eaters in comparison.  Well, Marley isn't exactly a dainty eater, but you know what I mean. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

MEAN, WEAK, LAZY, STUPID: THE REAL AMERICA

We're now seeing a large swath of our populous yearning for the good old days when "Mean, Weak, Lazy & Stupid were traits they shared with the guy they elected.  He's their kind of guy, the sort they'd enjoy having a beer with.  He's actually the Teabagger King in many ways.  They were the boys who couldn't get on the football team so they became the schoolyard bullies, now grown up and still loving the power the bully believes is his birthright.

When I was in high school the bullies either ended up on the police force, the military, jail or (if they were well connected enough) a secret society like Skull and Bones or just a fraternity of drunks. 

Now they have their own political party funded by men who see them as the riffraff they are and who feel utterly superior to their creation while pulling the strings and bussing in the rest of the bullies so the numbers look good for the cameras.  They have many PACs and "Think Tanks" and "Religious Leaders" who validate and send them talking points delivered by a nice looking woman willing to be a tool of the fascists for fame and the money that comes with fame.  The words ring like a dog whistle to the bigots and fools with guns, who never felt good enough, and now feel outrageously inferior because that black man in the White House is smarter than they are, so he can't be one of them, because they are the REAL AMERICA! THIS LAND IS THEIR LAND AND GOD GAVE IT TO THEM.  YOU'RE EITHER WITH THEM OR YOU'RE THE ENEMY!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010

JEEZUS H CHRIST! PAT BUCHANAN SAID SOMETHING SMART!

I swear it's true, I was taking a smoke break and watching Andrea Mitchell because Rachel Maddow was on.  Then not more than a few minutes later Andrea had Pat Buchanan and Bob Shrum on in order to... I don't know, maybe balance the awesome intelligence of Rachel?  I tend to try not to pay too much attention to anything Pat Buchanan says, since I end up screaming at my TV machine and scaring my dog.  Nothing scares the cat.. 

So, this is the smart thing Pat Buchanan said: "bla bla bla...the eight years of Bush were a disaster for the economy and he shipped millions off jobs to China...bla bla bla"  I put those bla bla blas in there because something stupid and racist must have either preceded or followed those words or both.  But I swear on my cat Bob's life that Pat Buchanan said something smart.  I think I might have given several people on Twitter and Facebook a heart attack or a stroke.  Several people suggested I was dreaming again.

Last time I took a nap when I woke up gay and lesbian citizens were given back their civil rights; Prop H8 was ruled Unconstitutional!  At least until some fuckwad with millions of $$$$ from the Mormon Church tries to take their civil rights away again.  'Cause that's how we roll in the land of the free, and the home of the brave.  I know I was really young the first time I heard the words, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,[72] that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"  So here's the deal, my Creator was my heinous mother and my crazy father.  It doesn't necessarily mean "God"  "Unalienable Rights" means we're born with them and they can never be taken away.  The word "Men" is archaic, in this sense, since women weren't considered much more than chattel at the time, but things have changed and now I can vote and own property and have all the rights and bla bla bla.   And if marrying the one you love isn't in pursuit of happiness, what is?  It's no guarantee of happiness.  I know, I've tried it many times and failed.  And I'm just sure someone is thinking some snarky thing about blow jobs or football or Jack Daniels or new shoes.  But you know what I mean.

So I'm thinking, I should nap more often.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Shock Absorbers

I have three things going for me in this long brutal recession.  I'm a recluse.  I don't like my fellow man much, so going out to be with my fellow man holds no attraction.  And on the rare occasion that I do venture out for a meal, my favorite dining spots are the taco stands and the cheap Mexican diners.  I read restaurant reviews just to gasp at what they're charging for a pork chop or a single egg Benedict.  Homemade cream corn as a side dish is outrageously expensive.  I know, it's amazing that anyone is serving homemade cream corn in a restaurant as a side dish, especially in Utah.  So, I save a lot of money by not wanting to eat out.  And I'd rather watch a movie at home lying on my bed, smoking whatever I want and drinking good iced tea.  I couldn't buy a glass of really good iced Earl Grey tea out in the world, even at a tea house, if my life depended on it.  I'd rather stay home.

I'm old. But I'm still continent.  This means I get Social Security and Medicare but I don't need to spend anything on adult diapers.  Lucky me.

The third and most important shock absorber is the house I own.  Sure it has it's problems and I could pour a fortune into it.  But I haven't.  I never borrowed against it. I couldn't.  My credit wasn't good enough since medical bills and my mother's care bankrupted me.  Chapter 7.  It's been five years, so I still don't have good credit and still can't borrow against it.  Hell, I can't even afford to pay all my property taxes each year.  Certainly never on time.  I still have fairly hefty medical bills. But that which has prevented me from borrowing against my house, has saved me from losing my house and have made me a perfect candidate for a Reverse Mortgage!  Any day now, I'll find out how little money it's now worth after the housing crash.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bob's Back

Bob's home.  And I'm so relieved. Had I not gone all sleuthy and snoopy, I'd have never seen Bob again. And yet, Bob is already driving me crazy.  Soon I'll go to Pet Smart and buy him a breakaway collar so I can send him outside again.  Because already I'm wanting to strangle him.  He's very funny when he and Marley are rolling around on the bed looking like they're killing each other.  But when Marley goes outside, Bob turns his razor like claws and needle teeth to the fragile skin on the inside of my upper arm or my ankle, since nothing says loving like an ankle bite.

Marley is beside herself with joy.  I'm beside myself with relief.  Bob's just beside himself with mischief, so we're all happy.

Here is how Bob went missing: When Bob goes out he goes visiting, anyone outside working on their flower garden or sitting on their porch gets a visit from Bob.  Kids playing are treated to a bit of Bob fun. So when Bob saw several people on the porch of the only house on the block that's been converted to a fourplex, Bob went calling.  Thing is, these people were moving out of the front unit of the fourplex.  Instead of asking around before packing Bob up with their actual belongings, they just decided to take him, "cause he was so cute and friendly."  I'd never met these kids.  I had no clue that anybody would be that stupid and ballsy as to take a kitten without checking around to see who might know if that kitten had a home.  All my neighbors knew I was looking for Bob.  All these kids would have had to do was call across the street to Mayor Kim to find out who Bob belong to.  But no.  They just bundled him up and drove to Rose Park, which is very far from this neighborhood.When I was a kid my parents would have said, "Rose Park is on the wrong side of the tracks," and everybody knew what that meant.  But now, to me, it's just BFE.  Outside my territory, too far to visit, wouldn't want to go there anyway, and, if I need to spell it out, means Bum Fuck Egypt. I should probably look this up in the Urban Dictionary, but I'm lazy and still have miles to go before I nap.

So anyway, I don't usually walk down the driveways of people I don't know, but yesterday evening I was desperate to find Bob, I was snooping around all the cars and looking into the backs of the carports when I heard a soft meow.  I followed my ear, a tricky thing in and of itself, until I was looking face to face with a grey and orange tabby lying on an inside window ledge with the window open, watching me case the joint.  To my longing eyes, from across the parking lot and through a screen, that softly mewing cat looked exactly like Bob.  It wasn't till we were nose to nose that I realized this cat was a full grown cat of a different color. Goddammit!  And as this cat and I were having a conversation a woman walked into the room and said, "Can I help you?"

I told her the story of Bob's disappearance and she took me into the laundry room, the hallway with the open door upstairs.  No Bob.  Bob was gone.  I'd put posters up around the neighborhood. I'd gone door to door with all the neighbors, even to the woman who manages the fourplex, and no one had seen Bob after around 4:00 in the afternoon the previous day.  The manager had checked the empty apartment the kids had vacated and found no kitten, but said she'd keep her eye out.  But this woman was a lot more helpful.  I left my phone number with her.

About an hour later I got a call from the woman in the back apartment of the fourplex and she'd called the kids who'd moved to Rose Park asking if they'd seen Bob.  And yes, why yes they had.  In fact they'd taken him with them.  He's such a cute friendly kitten and they didn't know who owned him, so...  Little motherfuckers!  Fortunately they offered to bring him home.  So an hour later they delivered Bob, no worse the wear from his misadventure.  And now Marley is a hap hap happy wiener dog once again.  Bob's napping on my printer and Marley's napping on a pillow beside my desk.  Now I have to vacuum.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bob's Gone MIA


Marley is inconsolable.  We went on a walk just looking for Bob.  Last night was the first night Bob slept with Me and Marley.  After breakfast Bob and Marley went out. Bob didn't come back. He's a sociable guy and has made the rounds of the nighbors. I'm guessing he visited someone who thought he was looking for a home.  I'm hoping as soon as they open the door Bob will escape and run home where the chow is good and the play is rough and tumble.  Here are a few of the latest photos of Bob & Marley wrestling.