Monday, September 27, 2010

A Call to Arms

Really.
For my class on Political Theory (very interesting class!) I have to write a paper (which is not going well) and I have chosen to do so on Capitalism, Anarchism and Fascism. It is due in 2 weeks, I have plenty of notes and about half of 1 paragraph actually written.

But while looking for books on the above topics I found "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America," by Chris Hedges and it is scaring the crap out of me. My issue with alleged Christians is that they never seem to actually be Christ-like, but apparently I have not being paying attention, and many of my blog pals have not either. At heart is the fact that, as liberals, we have a 'live and let live' policy. I know I do and most of the 'blogs I read seem to espouse the same idea. According to Mr. Hedges, that is what is going to get us into trouble. The TEAbaggers and their ilk, Cheney, Romney, Falwell, Palin, etc are sucking in new members daily and assuming that people are smart enough to think for themselves will definitely make an ASS of U and ME.

According to this book (easy read of just over 200 pages) liberalism will be our downfall, just as it was Germany's in the 1930s. It isn't that the book says liberalism is bad, it is just that we are (normally) pacifists and we expect the same out of others. So while we may laugh at the stupid that comes out of Alaska (or Delaware, or Nevada, or Florida) we think that this is a small group of crazy fringeness that has a lot of TV time, but what is actually happening is that the rich are doing everything in their power to recruit more goons to their side in the upcoming Holy Wars and we are busy living our lives ("the busy majority") and assuming that others are like us. They aren't. They are scared and crazy and they think we hate them, so they are going to strike at us first.
Read the book. Let's chat.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Note About Life

BabyBoy has been out of town since the day after Labor Day. His girl friend began classes at the University of South Florida in August and he went down there to visit with her, sleeping double in a single bed for several nights and then venturing over to the east coast of Florida to spend time with his father.  He has not had fun there and went back to Tampa for a few days then went back to his father's, girlfriend in tow, this evening. We have spoken every few days, including today, then via text at other times.

About 15 minutes ago (via text) he said, "For real, I think I am going to marry this girl."

And I DID know that was in his head. He has been different toward her/about her/in his tone when speaking of her, BUT...

I want him to be happy, more than anything. And I do not think he means in 2010 OR 2011, but, WOW, mommy has been weeping since the message came in. He's my baby. My only baby. And this seems different from other girlfriends.

Please, please, let him be happy. And let him produce a girl.. so I can pass that doll on.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Have a Bad Feeling About This


TD # 15. Don't panic though, I get a bad feeling about at least one a year. And none have come close for several years.

I've got my eye on you # 15. Watch yourself.

News From Around the World

***Florida's ban on allowing homosexuals or homosexual couples to adopt has been declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL again. Maybe we are on the right track here.

***I heard this morning on NPR that if ALL of the Bush era tax cuts were allowed to lapse, it would put the US super close to a balanced budget. Why isn't that being screamed about elsewhere?

***Today mark's the beginning of the new Health Care Law. While many of us (and I mean me) think it didn't go far enough, there are many who will be helped and that has to mean something. So I want to take a minute to be thankful for that. And for a President who continues to care, even when he is constantly vilified.

***The Republicans have a plan. Why didn't they have a plan when they had control? Why do they think a list of "wants" constitutes a "plan?" Why do I torture myself with really stupid questions?

****Jon Stewart ROCKS!! Let's all go to DC!!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Rally to Restore Sanity
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

If You Vote Republican...

If you don't read the 'blog Margaret and Helen, please start now. This 'blog was started by a young man so that his grandmother could keep in touch with her best friend. Helen started writing little notes to Margaret, who sometimes writes back and sometimes does not and someone spotted this little 'blog and word spread and the 2008 election season kicked off and Helen kicked it into high gear. What a treasure these two beautiful, intelligent, wonderful women are. I wish others were as smart as they are.

I am completely copying and pasting from a post that was published on Sept 9th.

If you vote Republican today, what exactly are you voting
for? It’s certainly not smaller government. If you vote Republican
today you are telling “Pastor” Terry Jones that fifty religious
fanatics are more important than any chance for world peace. You are
telling Sarah Palin that when it comes to the presidency
- pretty is more important than smart. You are telling Glenn Beck
that honesty isn’t really necessary if you have your own cable news show on
Fox. You are telling Michele Bachmann that hearing voices in your
head isn’t cause for alarm. Hell, if you vote Republican today you might
as well just shove a few more dollars in Rush Limbaugh’s pockets and a few more
pills in his mouth. It’s all very entertaining, I’ll give you that.
But considering what they did when we gave them the keys to the car the last
time, are you really ready to put them behind the wheel again so soon? I’m
just not sure there are that many more countries we can bomb, world religions we
can vilify and oil wells we can drill before the rest of the world calls us on
our bullshit.


Read what they write. Share it with your friends. Spread the word. These women are wonderful. I wonder if Helen would run for... something.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Theory of Stupid

A couple of people requested that I email them my friend's theory about why the world is getting more and more stupid, but there is no reason not to post it. I am pretty sure he is not going to do studies on this issue. According to my son there is a movie out called "Idiocracy" but I have only seen the first few minutes of it.

My friend theorized that the average IQ (at least in this country) was dropping by leaps and bounds. He said it was because educated people finished high school and went on to actually become educated. Bachelor's Degrees, Master's Degrees, and Doctorates all take time and money and effort to attain and most people who do attain them do not do so with a wife and 10 children following them around (or a husband and 9 children, ha ha!!). Sorry that was sexist.

But, my friend said, some people married fresh out of high school, before they have enough sense to know that the world is not always fair and they start having children immediately. And (on average) uneducated people raise uneducated people. And those who start when they are 18 continue until their child bearing years are over. (And some men continue to have 2nd, 3rd and 4th families!!)

Of course people with advanced degrees normally wait until they are older to marry and to start having children, and then it is possible that there are health concerns that may or may not allow them to have children or which may limit their number.

Now this is obviously a very flimsy theory with absolutely no scientific principles behind it. It was just my friend thinking out loud. There are many, many people who do not fall into this category and I am one of them. I was married at 19 and pregnant at 21 with 1 semester of college behind me. There were no more pregnancies after that. Another of my friends is an M.D., the son of 2 PhDs and he is the oldest of 8 children.

But look around at the poorer neighborhoods, at the children with more than 1 sibling in your child's class. It is definitely possible.

And my ex is currently expecting his 3rd child. He turned 46 today. He has only a high school diploma, although his current wife (who is not yet 30) does have a Bachelor's Degree. But she still married him and she can't figure out how to prevent unwanted children. How high is her IQ?

"The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown

I read the book back in December, because DSD had gotten it for me for Christmas. I enjoyed it. It is a typical Dan Brown book, along the same lines as "Angels and Demons" and "The DaVinci Code," except this one was set in the U.S. DSD thought he wanted to read it, but he would rather watch TV, so the book sat on the end table for months. When we realized that his daughter would be getting married, he mentioned buying "The Lost Symbol" on cd for the trip.*

Ask anyone who knows me; the way to get me to spend money is to mention buying a book. Even a book on CD. For a book I had already read.

So we set off for Nashville and we listened to the CD, but we couldn't every minute of the trip. There were discussions about breakfast and lunch and his son would rise from what appeared to be the dead every once in a while to chat. So the 16 hour trip was never going to get us through the entire 17 1/2 hours of the story, but we only managed 9 out of 15 CDs.

Flash forward to today, when I was discussing our upcoming trip to Gainesville (Woo Hoo! Go Gators!) with the doctor friend that is going with us. We have over three weeks, so Doug suggested he listen to the CDs up to where we are and we can all listen to the rest on our trip. I happen to know this particular gentleman listens to books all the time. He thought it was a great idea.. until I mentioned it was Dan Brown.

Of course the same Dan Brown who told evil tales about Jesus. I asked him if he had read "The DaVinci Code" and he said he didn't have to.. he had read the Bible. How do I get myself into messes like these??!?!

*And I bet I would LOVE to listen to a book on CD if I was driving. But I am not driving, so I would rather read my Kindle.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Repeal Don't Ask/Don't Tell and Move on to the REAL Issues

There's going to be a showdown on the Senate floor this week -- and we'll have a chance to do away with "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" once and for all.
Right now, though, it's not clear we'll have the votes to win.
That's because moments after Sen. Harry Reid announced the vote, Sen. John McCain again threatened to stop the bill at any cost. He said he plans to filibuster not just a vote, but even the procedure to bring it up for debate.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" isn't about politics -- it's about discrimination. And when Republicans defend discrimination of any kind, they need to know that their constituents are watching and ready to respond.
It is up to each of us to let the Republicans who are blocking this vote know that Americans want repeal.
Call Sen. McCain at (202) 224-2235 now, tell him America supports the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and ask him to stop standing in the way.
As the President has said, we must end this law "because it is the right thing to do." A majority of Americans agree that those who are brave enough to stand up and serve our country deserve to do so openly.
Call Sen. McCain today at (202) 224-2235 to tell him to end his filibuster threat and get out of the way of change.
Thanks for your help on this critical vote,
Mitch
Mitch StewartDirectorOrganizing for America

This Day In History



James Meredith did not consider himself a Civil Rights Activist, he considered himself a man who was doing God's work.

And he spent the last 20 years as a Republican. Does that make sense to anyone?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I AM GOING TO DC!! JOIN ME AND JON STEWART!!

Really. I am rational. I am sane. Most days. And The Daily Show's Jon Stewart wants all of us rational and sane people to join him in the "Rally to Restore Sanity" in Washington, D.C. on the Mall Saturday 30 Oct, 2010.

This is the sort of thing that I always WANT to do, but never do. I always think of the cost and the time off work and blah, blah, blah. This time I mentioned it to a friend who thought she may want to go and then I came home AND BOUGHT PLANE TICKETS!! My friend is going to meet me and BabyBoy there. We will be staying at the Washington Marriott thanks to points from my Visa/Check Card.

I am in total shock that I have done this. Can any of you attend also?? Can we meet? Mauigirl may be there! Who else?!?

Let's all go to DC and show the crazies that Rational wins!!!

And, because we (BabyBoy & I) have never been to the capital of our great nation, we are going to stay for several days and see a few of the sights!

Friday, September 17, 2010

So Says the Prez.. So says me!


More tomorrow on the "Rally to Bring Back Sanity" or whatever it is called and the fact that I have BOUGHT PLANE TICKETS!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Do You Think Stupidity Caused the Fall of Rome?

A recent weekly quiz in my Political Theory class (AWESOME CLASS, btw) had a question about what I felt was the biggest threat to democracy* in this country. I took a full paragragh to answer a question that I could have answered with one word.

Stupid.

I even included a theory a research psychologist friend of mine shared with me a couple of years ago on WHY our collective IQ is dropping, but I won't bore you with it here.

As I sit in my office listening to a highly educated medical doctor babble bullshit about how the President is bankrupting our country.

Stupid is running amuck.



This is long, just over 13 minutes. Please watch it. Glen Beck and Sarah Palin are NOT part of this video. This is a video of a young man at the rally speaking to every day people who attended. People who believe television commercials, entertainment shows, and those emails which contain nothing but lies but spread like wildfire. You have a right in this great country to believe whatever you want to believe, but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE figure out WHY you believe the way you do. Learn to defend your beliefs so that we (Americans) can have a real dialogue and stop pointing fingers and calling names. And Please don't call anyone names if you don't know what they mean!!

H/T to The Swash Zone. Spread this video. Show the world our stupid.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Couch to 5K aka I Quit Smoking and Gained A Lot of Weight

I have always been that girl who was secretly hated by all of her friends. Of course I felt that I was fat in high school, but I wasn't. Through marriage and childbirth, my weight fluctuated, but when the numbers started climbing, I just made a conscious effort to walk a little more and eat a little less and voila! gone. I know, you can hate me too.


In 2004 I looked at the scale and realized that I had not been paying attention and the number was much higher than should ever be allowed. Plus my 20th high school reunion would be arriving and I needed to look good. So I joined an online weightloss group and lost 20 pounds and I did look good for my reunion!


2007 arrives and wedding plans are ongoing. And my weight had creeped back up some. With everyone going on, it is a wonder I managed any weightloss at all, but I did lose about 10 pounds.


2009. What I feel was an incorrect diagnosis of Lupus still spurred me into stepping away from the smokes. No more. Done. Fini. 14 months ago today. YAY! And the weight gain started. I joined a gym; I started a garden; I am trying to eat healthier. But I LOVE to eat. I have always LOVED to eat. A LOT.

My last posted picture was taken Jun 26th and it is a very good picture considering what I actually weighed. And I have gained 7 or 8 pounds since then. In less than 3 months!

Did I mention that I LOVE to eat??

So, yesterday, I stopped at a lovely place across the street and was fitted for running shoes. Because that stupid stationary bike is not working. And I downloaded the C25K App for my Droid. And I put on the shoes and put in my earplugs and AWAAAAY I went. And I thought I was going to DIE! I did not even make it through all of the running phases.

But I started and that is the first step.

And I will try again tonight.

So any great words of wisdom about running would be greatly appreciated. And any great, natural, low-fat, low-cal recipes would be appreciated also. Especially those that taste like French Fries, or baked pototoes. Because I love me some carbs!

Monday, September 13, 2010

My First Speech ***UPDATED*** Now includes a picture of the doll


Troy University requires a speech class to be a PoliSci major. I am taking this class locally at the community college, because I couldn't see taking a speech class online. Wouldn't that be wierd?
First speeches were due last Wednesday (9/8) and I went first because I was so nervous. Let me talk about politics or football, but an "artifact speech" dealing with something that can represent ME? Scary.

This is the speech I gave.

"Poor is a relative term. Growing up, I didn’t know that we were poor. We had a nice house. We got new shoes and new clothes every year before school started, and we always received nice things at Christmas. Most of the time that included more new clothes, but there were toys and bikes also. We also took a vacation every year from the time I was 6 until after I graduated from high school. The vacation was always to visit my dad’s family in northern Indiana, but, stopping at Opryland or the Caverns in Kentucky, we managed to have a day or two of fun also. I didn’t know that sometimes my mother stayed awake all night wondering where the money was going to come from to feed us and pay the bills, or how every single year we came close to losing the house because my parents always paid the taxes late.

But if poor is a relative term and we were considered poor, then there must be another term to use for the abject poverty my mother grew up in. There were no new clothes. There were no shoes. Not only did her family not have vacations or toys, but they didn’t have running water or indoor plumbing or toilet paper. She played with glass coke bottles as a child, holding them like baby dolls, pretending to feed them and change their diapers as she saw her sisters do with her younger brothers — and then with their own children, as they married young to escape.

On May 2, 1959, my mother’s 12th birthday, she received a real doll — a beautiful, porcelain doll that had turned 50 the previous year. This was a gift from her great-grandmother, because they shared the middle name, Lee. My mother carried that doll everywhere for the next 34 years. She moved to New Jersey in high school to live with one of her sisters. She met and married my father, had me and my brother, and moved from pillar to post and back again. When I was young, the doll lived in a shoe box in the linen closet wrapped in a dingy brown cloth where she wore an equally dingy brown dress,. Sometimes I asked my mom if I could look at the doll, sometimes I just looked at her when my mother was not home, but I was always careful, almost reverent when I took her from her box. Through the years this doll began to symbolize my mother to me— her strength, her beauty, her ability to withstand the years and live in conditions that were not the best in the world, but still to endure. To grow. To prosper.

As I got older— after we all managed to survive my teen years— my mother endured my marriage to a man she never liked or approved of, the birth of my only child, the sale of our family home, and a diagnosis of darkness in the not too distant future. She has not driven in 15 years. She chose to give up her driver’s license rather than risk the lives of others. Sometimes she is sad. Sometimes she is angry. Sometimes she questions why she has this horrifying disease, because there are others in the world who have never worked and never contributed. Her fondest wish is to have her eyesight restored so that she could go to the grocery store alone and work every single day for the rest of her life.

Sometimes I get tired. Or annoyed by having to run errands, go grocery shopping or car pool. Sometimes I think I want to never have to leave my house. Then I remember that while those things are chores, they are also a privilege. And I look at the doll my mother gave me on my 26th birthday, in its beautiful, white dress, in its glass case and I know that I can be as strong as I have to be, as strong as my mother has always been. "

He Said, She Said, They Said... And Nothing Gets Done **UPDATED**

House minority leader, John Boehner, desparately wants to be House MAJORITY leader, and with the way this country votes (without thinking, against its best interest, by watching commercials) it is possible. Several weeks ago Mr. Boehner was found to be screaming about the President's FAILED economic plans. He also seemed to think that if allowed the GOP could cut spending, reduce the debt and, maybe, pull a rabbit out of a hat. A dead rabbit, of course, for dinner.

I have debated for over a week about whether to mention this, just because I hate to even acknowledge the GOP's shyte, but, again, our country is at stake. Our future and the future of our future generations.

The Bush years were long, tortorous and illegal, but they are now in the past. Do I believe that W is solely responsible for the crap we find ourselves in now? No. One man can not cause this economic crisis, although he certainly did nothing to attempt to stop it. Housing bubble? Increasing debt? Immoral war? What? Dipshit.

The economy is cyclical. W pushed it in this direction, but it was already headed that way. President Obama is attempting to turn the Titanic. It does not happen quickly. It may not (has not) happen before there is some damage to the ship. BUT IT WILL TURN. Unless the Captain is shoved overboard and another monkey (or worse, a pitbull with lipstick) is given the wheel.

In a recent assignment for class one of the questions was to explain what I saw as the current threat(s) to democracy. While it took me an entire paragraph and an antidote about a friend who has a PhD in research psychology, my answer could have been written in one word. Stupid.

While I believe that George and Ben and James and Thomas and the others (aka The Founding Fathers) were amazing, intelligent men who created a masterpiece, I don't like having their thoughts thrown in my face, because they had no regard for me. Still, I think they did get one thing correct that they are never given credit for. They knew the average person was a moron. That is why they set up the system so that only those who were paying attention were allowed to vote.

Of course those were the same people who are members of the GOP today, so maybe that wasn't such a hot idea.

**UPDATED**
Boehner may compromise! Shhhh, don't tell or he will change his mind!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Labor Day Trip to Hell and Back*

As I said in my last post, DSD's daughter was scheduled to get married over Labor Day weekend, just north of Nashville. We loaded up in the car early Thursday morning, DSD, his oldest son, DSD jr and I, and set off. DSD jr was pleasant for the hour of the trip he was awake, DSD and I had Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" on CD** and away we went.

Now I have to interject here and explain that I have always felt that DSD jr has treated me with rudeness and disrespect, even during the 16-18 month period when he lived in my house. I had not had a problem with the daughter, whom we will call, SD, because I am not feeling too creative, until earlier this year. DSD's relationship with these children is not the best, most healthy in the world. I have never stood in the way of it, but they were graduating high school about the time we started dating, so they have been grown 90% of the time I have known them. When SD called our house last year on Father's Day to announce her pregnancy (she was past the 5 month mark) I was a little freaked, but she was 25 years old, would be 26 before the birth of the child and she was in a relationship and they weren't asking for money or our blessings. Great. Wonderful. Congratulations.

I jumped on board the baby wagon (hey! who doesn't love a baby??) and DSD and I immediately ordered the crib on her registry and I bought the baby (a boy) some great Florida Gator onesies and a couple of toys. (I did, those were not joint gifts).

Baby is born. I had a conference to Nashville. We meet the baby daddy and his 2 girls from a previous marriage (their mother died several years ago) and had a lovely weekend on the company's dime. Christmas arrived, I sent nice things for everyone and SD told DSD who told me she really loved everything. Rude? Well, yes, but BabyBoy has been guilty of the same thing, so I just went along with my life.

January 2010 - DSD received a Facebook request from SD.
Late January 2010 - LLL received a Facebook request from SD.
Early February 2010 - SD makes rude comments IN ALL CAPS about people (in general) on FB.
LLL (of course) immediately sends her a PRIVATE message explaining that all caps is considered yelling and I was just trying to help, because I didn't know how much time she had spent on social networking site.
Mid- February 2010- LLL is de-friended by SD.

I knew what had happened. But I feigned shock. And I said, "Hmmm, must've been a FB glitch." And I sent her another friend request. And she ignored it.

DSD finally asked her what had happened. And she told him (in an email) that she was a member of several different social (mommy) sites, that she had yelled intentionally, and that I had embarrassed her.

This was in March, maybe April.

We sent her a "First Mother's Day" card.

We sent her baby daddy a birthday card.

DSD received neither a Father's Day card nor a birthday card from her (or a phone call for either) and the wedding announcement was received via e-mail from her mother.

Fast forward to this weekend and you can understand why I was not looking forward to the trip.

Arrival at their house, hugs all around, weird. Discussion about the trip, see the girls (beautiful, well-behaved, literate girls), wait for the baby to wake from nap. Give baby his birthday present, take pictures of baby. Play with baby... from across the room, because I know better than to get to close. "Oh, LLL, did you want to help with the decorations? We are baking the cake and tying bows on really stupid stuff that was a complete and total waste of money, so THANKS for buying the beer!"

Friday, my in-laws arrived in a lovely reprieve of manners and kindness. Friday evening, was the rehearsal. No one had a clue. This song or that song, who is giving her away? DSD will walk her part way, then her step-father will walk her.. no, let's try this and that and.. Ok. That is the point of the rehearsal, except no one really figured out what was going on and it was still a fiasco on Saturday.

There is nothing wrong with a backyard wedding. Nothing. They are simple and sweet and inexpensive. There is nothing wrong with an outrageously stupidly, expensive church wedding an open bar and a sit down dinner for 500 of your closest friends. Just don't ask me to pay for it. And, please, don't combine the two, because that doesn't work. Aisle runners outside. First couple's dance with no other dancing. Champagne toast, but the rest of the champagne was hidden or something, because there was TONS left over that no one drank. (Because they didn't know it was there?)

The worst though, absolute worst part, was Sunday morning. We told everyone we would arrive at SD's house at 8:00, that we would visit for an hour or so and then get on the road. We arrived at 7:59. The house smelled deliciously of bacon. They sat down to breakfast at 8:20. At 8:30 I was asked if I wanted breakfast, because "there was plenty." DSD and I both declined and I had a couple of MickyD's cheeseburgers at 10:30.

Classy.

I am certain you really don't want to hear about all of this, but I vented to Facebook as much as I could, considering I don't want to hurt DSD's feelings. I tried to explain to a friend at work that maybe it was northern thing, but she corrected me, post haste. She is from Wisconsin.

So, that is my tale of woe. I do have something on the political front to post, but I have homework also. This took longer than I had anticipated. I am not holding my breath on hearing from his kids again. I will continue to send stuff to the children. But I am done with the grown ups.

*As opposed to the pizza joint in NW Florida Helen Back Cafe, which is supposed to have really great pizza.

**I would bet listening to a book on CD while you are driving would be great. But I was the passenger and I was bored. I would rather read if I am not driving.