Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Influence for Sale

I don't like Joe Scarborough. He is an overbearing, condescending ass. For instance, today he said people who follow Paul Krugman aren't very smart. I suppose this second rate Congressman considers himself intellectually superior to the likes of Rachel Maddow. At any rate, occasionally and by accident I am up early enough to catch him and his silent blonde friend on MSNBC. Today he actually did have a guest who offered some intelligent information. Checkout this website. I will warn you, strong stomach and even temper required. Might as well be called, "Look Who Owns Our Government."

Monday, April 29, 2013

Self Promoting Interference

When the Congress is capable of dictating what will or will not be researched in the scientific community, be it hard science, social science or political science, based upon their political or religious agendas then we can no longer trust our science any more than we can trust the monsters who would insist upon such control before parting with taxpayer money. While Tom Coburn is responsible for the abuse of power related in this article it is worth noting that Lamar Smith, House Chairman of the Science, Space and Technology Committee, is floating the same kind of nonsense with regard to the purse strings he controls.  This cannot be tolerated.  It is a profound undermining of public trust and an egregious example of the bloated egos and unfettered corruption that is a hallmark of our politics today.  These people are not working in our best interests.  "Saving money," "reducing the deficit," and "establishing fiscal health," are code for rigging the game, weighting the scales and controlling through ignorance.

  . . . From the Chronicle of Higher Education

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hey Sailor

So, the hey-sailor-votes-for-sale-bunch just defeated Universal Background Checks in the brothel that was once the Senate.  Well done you vile bastards; next time a Newtown happens please spare us your shallow grief and sympathy. Hiding behind Boston and in the hope one tragedy would replace another in the public's mind, they put their tail between their legs and ran for cover.  Was this a majority vote?  No, this was the minority manipulating the system once again.  Is this about principle?  More likely it is about longevity.  Is this the will of the American people?  Hell no, this is the will of the NRA that represents a small faction of the people.
What this must be is an issue in '14.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Now You See It; Now You Don't

For many years before his death I contributed to Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s defense fund.  Like many associated with the medical professions I supported his work.  Dr. Kevorkian was a fully trained and long practicing pathologist who knew a good deal more about disease than most other doctors.  His thesis was simple: when life becomes intolerable because of pain, disease or the crippling debilitation they engender, a sentient human being has the right to decide to end their life.

His ideas and his acting upon them soon ran afoul of this good Christian nation of laws and not men.  He was vilified, called Dr. Death and eventually imprisoned.  Ostensibly, he endured this because the decision to take one’s life, directly or indirectly, runs contrary to the moral mandate of the Christian faith.  It seems to be more ethical, morally correct and honorable to suffer, as the Savior suffered.

The insidiousness of this covert and unspoken ethos has seeped into every area of public policy; albeit, suffering is more noble for the have-nots then for the haves.  Thus, it seems to me that the current idea being advanced by a Democratic president and his assorted aids and advocates with regard to Chained CPI boils down to one thing; the older I get the less I need to eat, and this suffering shall be good in the eyes of my government and its god.  Verily they say unto me, that the implementation of these cuts to a much maligned and misrepresented “entitlement” will somehow aid in balancing the budget, reducing the deficit, ending our joblessness and allowing the Chicago Cubs to win a World Series after a 104 year dry spell, or at least get the Republicans to end sequestration.  In a word I say, crapolla.

From a purely political standpoint I resent the Social Security Trust Fund being used as a pawn in an ideological chess match.  First, Social Security is not welfare, or oil company subsidies come to that, and politicians should show enough respect for their elders to stop calling it an entitlement.  Secondly, the fund has never, ever impacted the deficit.  In any case, the deficit is currently being reduced under this president.  It is worth saying that it was not born from the over use of social programs, but rather from a sterling surplus left behind by another Democratic president and summarily squandered – with much more – by his reckless Republican successor in consort with an equally reckless Republican cabal on Capitol Hill.

The loudly touted insolvency of Social Security is either a politically advantageous myth or the greatest slide-of-hand in the history of the con.  What is not a myth is that the chiselers on Capitol Hill have been “borrowing” from the Social Security Trust Fund for decades.  The understanding was that the money would be paid back with interest.  When the government of these United States borrows my money they have a fiduciary responsibility to return it with the interested agreed upon.  If the fund is no longer solvent or becoming insolvent where the bloody hell is the interest?  If the fund is no longer solvent or becoming insolvent it is not the fault of the investors.  The money was taken out of our pay, in a mandatory way; invested, without our consent; borrowed, without our knowledge and apparently has vanished or is vanishing.  Incidentally, I am tired of listening to the whining about the size of the Baby Boomer Generation.  We didn’t jump up out of a storm drain – we have always been here.  We paid a large generation’s Social Security Taxes; so where is the money and where is the interest, and why aren’t we talking about this?

Finally, given the history of retirement funds in the private sector from the corrupt unions of the 50’s to the market meltdown of ’08, Social Security is and always has been the most stable option for Middle Class and Working Poor retirees.  If this stability, and the public trust it is founded on, has been broken that is a criminal act.  If this stability and public trust have been shattered it is down to a corrupt and criminal government and their enablers, not to a-few-cents-on-the-dollar in cost of living adjustment.  Let’s talk about what is really going on, Mr. President.

Since I started this blog by talking about a man I respect for his decency, empathy and desire to end suffering, let me just say that I don’t revere suffering for the same reason I don’t revere disease, air pollution and Rush Limbaugh.  The suffering of a Savior is not mitigating, particularly when it is used ever so subtly by so few to relegate the needs of so many to the ashcan.  I am a Pagan lady; I don’t need a savior.  My Goddess did not dump me in the pit of hell the day I was born.  That fell to my government toward the end of my life.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Crossing the Line

Mitch “Pigpen” McConnell’s campaign staff are caught on tape giving consideration to using Ashley Judd’s depression as a disqualifying factor should she decide to run against him for the Senate.  Millions of people in this country suffer from depression or some other form of “mental Illness” – be it acute or chronic.  I am a diagnosed and treated manic depressive. 

Before anyone jumps up to correct me and inform me that the new term is bipolar disorder, let me be clear.  I don’t like that term.  It is my god-damned disease, and I will call it whatever I like.  I fought my way through the nightmare and emerged on the other side, in treatment and in control of my disorder rather than being controlled by it.  Anyone who has done this, Ms. Judd included, has nothing to fear from bottom-feeders like McConnell.

The stigma of mental illness and emotional instability is something we have all had to fight at one time or another.  It is one reason many of us run and hide rather than seek treatment.  In point of fact, I see a resurgence of this ugly stigmatization rising to the surface of the gun debate.  It seems to me that people like LaPierre are angling to blame all the violence on crazy people.  It is not the guns, it is the nut cases – bring back the snake pits and forget the guns.

For my part I learned early on that it isn’t being crazy or sane that gets you.  It is crossing the line.  By that I mean once you own the disease there is nothing more to fear.  When I hear the old smug, semi humorous and pejorative references to mental illness and emotion instability my attitude is, damn straight.  Want to make something of it?  I know what I am, and who I am.  I know that my mind doesn’t work like most people and without my drugs I am crazier than a March hare. 

What is it that McConnell and the other demagogues who pollute this society like heavy metal in groundwater know about themselves?  For instance, do they understand that the qualities for which most American politicians are so well known, and apparently of which they are so proud, like glibness, habitual lying, self-serving manipulation, grandiose self worth and a total lack of empathy, remorse, shame and quilt are actually some of the primary symptoms of the sociopath?  Well, as the fellah said, “If the shoe fits,” put it on Pigpen.

Monday, April 8, 2013


The conservative philosophy seems to be basically this:  we love war as long as we don’t have to fight it.  We love wealth as long as we have a monopoly on it.  We pay lip service to the concept of equality in order to gain the trust of the people we will use to fight our wars and earn our wealth.  No matter what we say, there is no percentage in elevating those we use.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Ah, The Stink of Government


President Obama signed section 735, the Monsanto Protection Act, of HR 933 the continuing resolution that kept the government from shutting down.  Quid pro quo, maybe, but I am not in much of a mood to be charitable to any politician right now.  The Act was written largely by lobbyists for Monsanto and Senator Roy Blunt, political embarrassment from Missouri, who received $64,250 in campaign donations from Monsanto between 2008 and 2012.  This particular legislative hooker is somewhat low rent as politicians on the Hill go these days.
Consider Senator Mitch McConnell from Kentucky.  He has turned the filibuster into a gold mine. He received $131,500 for his re-election war chest from Texas oil interests on the day debate began on a bill to repeal oil subsidies.  Not surprisingly the bill failed by filibuster three days later.  Companies that receive tax breaks for off shoring American jobs gave McConnell $1,000,000 ostensibly for his re-election, or was it just to look out for their interests?  It was no accident that a bill sponsored by Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, the Bring Jobs Home Act, was defeated by filibuster.  McConnell lead a filibuster against one Jack McConnell, no relation, who was a district court judge nominee, and opposed by the insurance industry and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Senator McConnell has received $1.7 million from insurance interests.  Even though McConnell once advocated for transparency with regard to money flowing into elections, he has blocked the Disclosure Act that would shed light on the vast sums that the wealthy have contributed to elect Republicans.
How much more blatant does it need to get before our media starts to report loudly and consistently on these issues?  When is someone – Maddow, Hayes, Klein, Shultz, Matthews – anyone going to start breaking this down dirty deal by dirty deal?
The Legislative Branch of our government is the bedrock, the foundation of our laws and civil society.  However, currently it is the cesspool from which all injustice and corruption seems to bubble to the surface.  Any attempt to redress social or economic injustice without draining this septic tank is a kin to putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound to the head.

Government in this country at all levels is a disgrace.  People worried about the government stripping the American people of their rights best put down their guns and pick up a calculator.  They are bankrupting us, shattering the 99% without firing a shot.

Friday, April 5, 2013

The View from the Bubble

Am I alone in feeling like an isolation patient living in a glass bubble, watching my life being lived and decided for me by a bunch of got-nothing-to-lose-looking-out-for-myself politicians who spend half of their time hiding from a small minority of vicious loud mouths and the other half sloganeering and trying to turn their stunning failures into brilliant successes?  Doesn’t it seem that the view from the bubble is constantly being obscured by pernicious, self congratulatory, circus freaks in the media who spend most of their time pulling trivia out of a top hat to distract us all from what is really at issue, at risk and at stake?

We are not seen; we are not heard.  We are spoken of in abstract terms and treated like specimens under glass or rats in a lab.  There is no real relationship between us, the politicians and the media circus.  We are an excuse not a reason.  We are an inconvenience not a consideration. 

Obama proposes trading the economic security of the old for a few concessions from the rich.  The Republicans are willing to continue to hold a struggling economy under water in order to keep a bogyman of their own making from challenging them via primary for their seat in the next election.  LaPierre is using the trust of thousands to pad the nests of a few.  It appears that he is ginning up as much fears as possible to keep the world safe for gun sales.  In the meantime a nation that is seriously divided, fractured and split has come together in huge numbers to demand that sane gun laws be passed, and we as a body are being ignored by the sycophants we put in public office.

Still in all the apologists for the Administration keep sniveling about not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good – the perfect, really?  Since when did the will of the majority of the American people constitute the perfect and become too good for the common good?