Saturday, November 21, 2015

Note:  I will be going off the internet around the 24th of this month.  I believe it is temporary, but am not sure.  I'll let you know if I renew this blog.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Politics, Racism and Racists

Isn't it strange how we can see racism in others, but be unaware of it in ourselves?  Of course, I take some guff for my brass in pointing out to African Americans that they are racists, too.  Bernie Sanders was calling Trump an old-time racist the other night.  I guess, by default, I am lumped in with Trump because I have pointed out that Trump is more right about Hispanic crime than liberal Democrats and Independents want him to be.

Frasier Glenn Cross, a dyed-in-the wool bigot, was just sentenced to death tonight for setting out to kill Jewish people at two Jewish facilities in Kansas.  (He killed, instead, three Christians, whose lack of bigotry, had taken them to the grounds of these facilities).  Yet, how many of the Jewish people shouting about his anti-Semitic views would recognize their own bigotry when going into a "tiz" over a family member deciding to marry outside of their race and faith?

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be proud of the students of the University of Missouri at Columbia this week.  They used a totally non-violent sit-in to topple administrators and open the way for real change to occur.  There was no cheapness -- no looting, no burning, no destruction of property.  It was a class act all the way.  National organizers could well take note and learn from them.

In earlier articles, I've suggested that celebrities get involved in calming the racial tensions.  Where are they when we need them?  Well, at the risk of having Gayle King say, "Oh, oh, you're not going to get a car", I'm going to guess that Oprah and her colleagues are out finding more movie themes inclined to fan the flames of racist feelings.  That's okay, Gayle, I can't afford the taxes on a gas guzzling SUV anyway.  Did I say, the racism being rehashed and misinterpreted in these movies just keeps the scabs picked off the wounds until the infection spreads and causes more and more problems?

We have the masses exposed to brief sound bites on hosted shows  --  with celebrities attempting to educate us about points they barely understand themselves.  Then the poorly taught listener acts out in the grocery or wherever, on his/her interpretation of a celebrity's poorly defined concept.

I can hardly go shopping these days without some incident.  Saturday I was at Aldis  --  again.  The incident happened there  --  again.  The young man entered the store right behind me.  I didn't see him in the store at all until the checkout lane.

My daughter had shared my basket.  She put her items on the checkout counter first.  I was totally intent on getting my groceries from the cart to the counter.  I was vaguely aware of someone crowding in on my turf, but didn't "surface" from my task.  All of a sudden the guy was right in front of me, touching even, grabbing for a divider.  I still didn't abandon my task, but I was getting a little tuned to the space invasion.  Then he began frantically saying he was sorry and moved back to the end of the counter.  I made some kind of a downward motion with my hands, meant to quiet him.  Then I reached for a divider and handed it over.  I said something like, I think this may be what you need.

As I finished my task, I turned and looked at the woman with him  --  probably his mother, judging from the age difference.  I thought there was mirth in her eyes, but I guess I was wrong.  When I moved forward, I heard her say, "Now that was racial profiling."  No, lady, that had nothing to do with race at all.

Had you been a white woman and it was a white woman's son that did that  --  and I had been the African American it happened to  --  I might have said to your son, "Yo Mama didn't teach you any manners?"  Instead, I used a gesture I might have used with a day care full of kids.  It was a gesture meant to calm and diffuse, and it did.  But you were hell bent, as are many African Americans these days, in turning nothing into a racial incident.

I clearly see Whoopi Goldberg sitting in one of her game show squares, a black person on either side, declaring, "Now, this is racial profiling."  Well, actually Whoopi, that wasn't racial profiling either, but it was closer.

Racial profiling is targeting a certain race or group of people, usually with the intent of harassing them in some manner, such as in police matters.

The problem with celebrities teaching their vague concepts of behaviors from the silver screen or the television is not only that they sometimes don't get the definition themselves, but they inflame the anger and retaliation of masses of individuals who are not nearly so smart as they are.

A little discretion would go a long way.  Or, if racial strife is what floats your boat, proceed as usual.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

You Don't Say!

Really, Mr. Vice President, if it walks like an enemy, talks like an enemy and acts like an enemy, it must surely be an enemy.  After the way Republicans have been treating former Secretary of State Clinton for around a decade, as well as her husband before her, I cannot believe you would say Republicans are not her enemies.

Perhaps you classify all the attacks they have made as simple politics.  If so, they have made them with great relish.  And they have lied and misrepresented facts in volume and circulated the trash to their gullible constituents who eagerly embrace it all.  We have the richest of rich sewing trash to their blue collar base and the base acting as though it is Biblical truth.

I'm sure politics has always been an ugly business, but beginning around the time of the Watergate break in, the Republican Party started on the fast track to a new moral low.  I know, I know!  The Democrats are not squeaky clean either, but they haven't quite stooped to the Republican level of disgusting behavior.

Would that both sides would "clean up their act", "straighten up and fly right" . . . behave in a Christian manner toward each other.  It isn't necessary to attack each other to win.  Just develop the best platform you can that shows both compassion toward the poor at the same time it cuts waste from necessary programs.  Remember the $100 hammers?

And you, the Republicans, wasted over four million dollars more on an eighth investigation into the same tragedy?  Don't you ever listen to the news reports?  A military leader assigned to the area at the time of the attack said there was not time for a military intervention.  It would have taken four days of preparation to get there.

But you guys have the nerve, after this kind of waste, to threaten more cuts to Social Security and Medicare?  You don't say!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Least Justifiable Tax

Perhaps the least understandable as well as least justifiable tax is the estate tax.  This is sometimes referred to as the death tax.

First, the company or corporation must pay taxes.  Then, if I understand correctly, the owner(s) must pay taxes on their personal income.  As if that isn't enough of a double whammy, that greedy gut vacuum called Congress just must get it's mitts on a death tax.  Holy smokes, folks, is there no end to this?  This morning on This Week, Bernie Sanders was spouting off about more estate taxes.

Let me refresh your memory.  I am not a wealthy individual.  Neurotic fantasies aside and the occasional Powerball ticket-- I have no real expectations of having to pay a death tax or to leave enough so my children or grandchildren would happen to have such an obligation.  This is pure, vindictive taxation.  It's like saying, how dare these individuals accumulate so much and not expect us to take one more swipe at it.  One could almost hear the anger in Sander's voice as he referred to the rich passing the wealth to their heirs.  I suggest you might want to watch a recording of the show on NBC's web site.

I am all for the rich paying their fair share of taxes with no access to loopholes.  But, really folks, the operative words are fair share and no loopholes.  It isn't any more moral to gouge the rich than to gouge the wage earners or consumers.

One of the things Sanders wants to do with the "extra" money is to provide free public college for all.  Laudable an idea as this is, the timing is piss poor, as the crude expression goes.  Such luxuries should definitely wait until our budget is balanced; our debts are paid.  Have Democrats totally lost their minds?  This is as unreasonable in one direction as the Tea Party extremes in the other direction.

 The good Lord forbid that I might actually vote for more Republicans next election.  I would like to see a little reality orienting among the candidates of my own party.

We need realistic taxes, realistic expenditures and cutting  --  not increasing  --  of waste in programs.  We don't have enough income from taxation to support the social programs we already have, much less for adding new ones.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How Dare You?

I've heard a couple of people recently say that people who want the amendment that gives us the right to bear arms upheld are the same people who don't trust the United States government.  One of these had very high status.  How dare the two of you or anyone else devalue what we believe by likening us to the militant lunatic fringe of this or any other country.  So, we don't believe like you?   What kind of lunatic fringe are you?  If we are casting aspersions at people who disagree with us, we can do it too.

Are you saying that all members of the IRA, the main organization upholding this constitutional right, are distrustful of the government?  Are you stating that all conservative Republicans don't like the government?  Even the ones in Congress?  The Democrats that own guns as well?  How about the hunters?  So we don't believe like you?  The constitution only applies to the likes of you?  The whole government and the country belong to you only?  And don't give me the crap that the people who negotiated the Bill of Rights and the Constitution meant that only the military should bear the arms.  I've done enough research on the topic and published an article that disputes that claim.  You should read it sometime.  In fact, maybe you should read all my blogs. 

Yes, I'm angry.  I ought to be.  Just a curiosity if you will bear with me.  I know, you like to quote your experts.  But do you know that you can get a team of experts to quote you stats that support about any stance on any subject?  I know that because I've been trained in research, and for that matter I even had a course in advertising.  Did you choose a smattering of experts from all sides of the opinions, or did you just find the ones that support your side?

I shall reiterate that we do not have a gun issue in this country.  We have a mental health issue.  We need to begin intervention with preschoolers and end it with the grave, because the insurance programs, the school districts, the military, and just about every other institution we have prefers to stick their heads in the sand and hide from the pure plain truth.  They don't want to support mental health issues financially.  Being mentally fit will cost plenty.

How dare you blame people who want to keep the right to protect themselves, when so much of the trauma in our country is caused by criminals and the mentally ill!  Get yourself out of denial.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Give Us A Break

My paternal grandmother once told me that she had always been a good money manager, but she couldn't hold a candle to my mother.  My Dad apparently felt my mother was good at stretching a buck, too.  One time he teased her by saying she could take a yard of fabric and get three dresses out of it.  She was not amused, but you get the idea of what kind of models I have had.

I learned as a teenager to sock away money to save for clothing and an occasional luxury.  We girls back then could not work before age sixteen, but boys could get paper routes at an early age (twelve, I think.)  One of the most lovely, generous things that has ever happened to me was my brother counting his money from collecting for his route, separating the paper cost from his tips and walking across the hall and giving me a dollar or two.  I saved these for future treats most of the time.

When I became old enough, I worked sixteen to eighteen hours a weekend in a local drugstore  --  for $1.00 an hour.  The summer before I went to college, the hours changed to five week nights and all day Sunday.  The dollars mounted up so I was able to buy a wool suit and a winter coat to start my college wardrobe.  And, it was from one of the best dress shops in town.  My Mom made some clothes and my grandmother, the good manager, usually bought me a nice dress for birthdays and Christmas.  These, and other ways, I've always managed to scrape by financially.  I paid most of my college housing costs by working part time and summer jobs.

After my husband got his doctorate, we bought our first house.  At some point I had promised I would be a stay-at-home Mom during the children's early years.  I kept my promise until he wanted a third child.  I agreed to the child, but went back to school after he was born.  I got an M. A. in Educational Research and Psychology one or two courses at a time while running a household and taking care of a husband and three kids.  Then, I completed most of a doctoral program before my marriage ended.

During the years of no work, I missed having a few dollars of my own.  I asked for, and received, twenty-five dollars a month for which I didn't have to account.  I saved all winter for a big splurge.  In the spring I bought enough bush honeysuckle to cover one entire side of the house, as well as two or three bushes each of forsythia and Japanese flowering quince.

Over the years, my husband, and then the children, got used to my rat hole of funds.  First the adult dude would say he had an emergency and needed to "borrow" some of my stash.  One time, I exhausted the fund I was saving to buy a studio loom because the dude got expenses paid to present a paper at a convention in Hawaii.  Wives were welcome to go as long as the couple paid the cost for her plane ticket and the extra for her staying in the hotel room.  By the time the trip came around I had saved spending money, too.

Once I was a single parent, the stash became a savings account upon which the children became dependent for emergencies.  It was as though they had read Mama's Bank Account and had quit before the end of the book.  They aren't the only ones who grew to count on me.  I had done so also.  A number of times I worked a "good" job days and a minimum wage or similar one nights so I could maintain a sense of security.  But, now I am a senior citizen, totally dependent on my Social Security, partly because some crooks squandered a retirement program I had earned; and also because the individuals for whom I have worked paid on the "cheap" where possible.  The government being reluctant to tax the rich who were even more reluctant to pay a living wage, at least to women, did not want to look into a crystal ball toward the future.  If they had seen, they would have realized that the minimum wage also dictated the hourly wage for the better positions.  What was earned dictated how much the employee and employer had to pay into the Social Security fund.  And how much we paid into the fund determined how much we would receive as retirees.  Or maybe they did "see" and just didn't care.  It never occurred to them it would come back to bite them in the rear later when Social Security was threatened and they had to support a significant number of senior citizens with medical care, food stamps and heat costs.

So, shortsighted, if not uncaring, government officials have borrowed and borrowed from our Social Security funds which they replaced with paper to call in at a future date.  In order to pay back for the "paper" now, the U. S. government, which has also squandered all our other funds, with wars and pork spending as well as unrealistic taxation and tax loopholes, has to borrow from China.  It is already borrowing from China to pay the interest on all our other debts.

After years of hearing that Congress was trying to chain our CPI so we got even less Social Security than the amount we can't live on now, I began receiving duns for money to be used to convince Congress to increase our Social Security base by $800 per recipient.  Like the dudes who want to chain the CPI would fall for that!  But, what do you know?  It seems to have been recommended by Senator John McCain, himself.

I've told you all before that I have $25.51 left in my savings account.  Many years, the rise in costs that immediately follow the annual announcement about Social Security increases, exceeds the expected raise.  Thus, seniors are left to face the coming year's inflation with less cash for expenses than they had the previous year.

I have to tell you, folks, unless you were paid like a man, or amassed a retirement fortune, it isn't pretty out here.  No matter how good you are at managing, survival depends on something to manage.  Give us a break!  And, please, quit bitching at us for needing it.  Sometimes it feels as if you would prefer that we just die so we wouldn't need it.  I hope the members of Congress haven't become that dysfunctional.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What's The Hubbub About the Keystone XL Pipline?

Sometime in the past year, I heard a reporter interview an upper management employee of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  During that program, the interviewer specifically asked the man from Keystone if it would bring many jobs to the United States.  He truthfully, but reluctantly, answered that no, it wouldn't mean more than around fifty permanent jobs.

The purpose of the pipeline, per articles I have read is so Canadian oil can be shipped to U. S. ports to be sent overseas.  This lays to rest a common belief that it would mean more oil for us.  If these reports are true, we would get fifty jobs and zero oil.  So what is this never-ending fuss about? 

Why exactly do the Republicans and their constituency want to risk the environment and ecology of any portion of our country for that?

Perhaps the press could take a rest from policing political correctness and find out what all this hubbub is about if we get no benefit from messing up our own ecology for Canada.