Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hot and Tired and Annoyed!

We had a lovely day of cloudy, raininess yesterday, so today's high humidity and temperatures have sucked the energy right out of me.

Things are bad. Really bad. The Republicans picked up their toys and went home over the fact that the Democrats & President Obama want to raise taxes on those poor, starving millionaires in order to raise a couple of dollars toward the debt. Fine. Boehner & Cantor are rolling in cash and don't want to pay more. But WHY is it that POOR people think this is ok? People who are just getting by? People who aren't white?

Do these people think they are going to win the lottery and then they won't want to pay taxes on their millions? Do these people think that the "Christian" conservatives care about them one little iota?

Do I think that the President's latest pronouncement on raising taxes on the rich is something that he is going to stand behind? Or will have cave (again) like a poorly built house of cards?

I love the man, I really do, and I can list an incredible amount of things that he has done that has benefitted this country and the people in it, but if he had stood his ground about the tax cuts last December, maybe we would not be entering another dip in the recession that will not end.. although it has been over for TWO years.

DSD and I are doing ok, but things are tight everywhere. And I cannot imagine where we would be without his retirement and Tricare benefits. He is now on daily medication and I meet with a surgeon tomorrow to schedule surgery for an umbilical hernia. What if I weren't covered? Would I just suffer?

I have not talked to my friend about her mom in a couple of weeks. Last I heard there was a meeting scheduled with an oncologist and the mom said that she may opt out of treatment. My friend said that treatment would probably only give her another 12 months, but 12 months is a loooooong time if you are thinking about losing your mom.

Stepdaughter, son-in-law, and the grandchildren will be here in 10 short days! I'm taking the entire week off to spoil all of them. Beach, pool, snorkeling, sand castles, shrimp boil... all the things the Florida Gulf Coast is famous for! (So y'all can stop doing that rain dance now!)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

In Pain? Turn to Blogger!

My 26th high school reunion is next weekend. 26 you may ask? What?

Last year there was a reunion for all of my classmates who are on Facebook who graduated 1983-1988. It went well. LOTS of people showed up. There was mucho drinking and lots of good times. My time was so-so, but that is another post. (Which I may or may not ever do!)

So next week.. 45 minutes from here. A friend is arriving Wednesday or Thursday to stay at my house until Friday morning then we shall venture to the lovely Destin, FL for 2 nights in a free if we clean it on Sunday 2 BR apt. DSD was hoping to spend Saturday & Saturday night there (I was looking forward to showing him off!) but he has to work. :-(

However, a friend (how long have we been friends? I have memories of her from when I was 4! And my 44th birthday was in April!) just sent me a private message telling me that her mom has lung cancer. And it's not good.

Ok, she's smoked for 55 years.. but it isn't supposed to happen to those that I love.

Why does it happen at all?

First a first grade teacher then an ESP teacher, mother to 3 (my friend is the baby!) step-mother to 4 (?) more, such a wonderful person.

My friend says her mom is in great spirits. I hope she stays that way. Me? I'm not doing so well.

Love your people! Hold them close.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Drug Tests For Those Who Need Temporary Assistance From the States.

"Florida is the first state that will require drug testing when applying for welfare (effective July 1st)! Some people are crying this is unconstitutional. How is this unconstitutional yet it's okay that every working person had to pass a drug test in order to support those on welfare? Re-post if you agree!! Let's get Welfare back to the one's who NEED it, not those that just WANT it!"

I copied and pasted this from someone's Facebook status, NOT BECAUSE I AGREE WITH IT, but because I can't keep typing the same thing over and over and over on the status of others. You can disagree with my thoughts on this, feel free to comment and tell me why I am wrong, and I will return the favor.

First, let's look at the original post. "Some people are crying this is unconstitutional" Well, not just SOME people, actually, but those in the long black robes. You've heard of them. SCOTUS. Yes, the Supreme Court of the United States, those 9 people created by that Constitution whose soul job it so interpret that Constitution. And they have stated that blanket drug testing is not acceptable unless there is a basis for it. A basis such as the appearance that a person is using drugs, drug paraphernalia, etc, in lawyer speak that's called "probable cause," and it can't be based on a person's race, sex, sexual orientation, or religion. According to the SCOTUS blanket drug testing is a violation of a person's right to privacy and their protection against unreasonable search and seizure (pesky ol' Constitution!!!!).  The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed blanket suspicion-less drug testing only if "the risk to public safety is substantial and real." Walker vs Georgia (I think).  I am guessing that maybe this is the reason that the military must be able to pass random drug tests, but it is possible that no one has thought to challenge that yet.

"How is this unconstitutional yet it's okay that every working person had to pass a drug test in order to support those on welfare?"  This is false because
A) I didn't have to pass a drug test to get or keep my job. I am guessing that if I fell down the stairs and needed to go to the hospital that I would be tested there to receive worker's compensation, but I don't know that. The only drug tests I have ever had to take were when I was active duty and I wasn't bright enough to tell them NO!
B) I didn't take my job nor do I keep it to support people on welfare. I took and keep it to support myself and my family and I pay my taxes so that the government can give a helping hand to those less fortunate than I.
C) Why would those on drugs not NEED welfare? All of their money is going to buy drugs. (That was supposed to be funny)

My thoughts and feelings on the subject:
A person who has spent his or her life being a contributing member of society and now is so far down on his or her luck that they need public assistance should not be kicked for being down. And why would we as a society do that to them? This law (as far as I can ascertain) is ONLY for those who need TEMPORARY assistance. TANF = Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. So a single person does not qualify for this. Only a family. With children. So those parents are now required to pay for drug testing instead of buying diapers or wipes or food. Sure if they pass the drug test they get that money back, but how long will that take? This is supposed to be for the children. And forcing their parents to drug test is not in their best interest. IF the parents ARE on drugs, what? No food for the kids? Or are we then going to remove the children from the household and put them into an already overburded foster care system that has just been sliced to the bone? That's going to save the state money, isn't it?

Random drug testing doesn't work. Ok, it does catch the occasional pot smoker, but how long can a person be tested for THC after they have smoked? I think for a full time smoker it's 30 days. So on day 29, this person who has cleaned up their act still can't have help? What if I snort cocaine? If I snort RIGHT NOW, I can pass a drug test before next week. And what if I abuse prescription pain pills? Elvis Presley would have only failed a drug test once or twice in his life (Priscilla admits in her book "Elvis and Me" that they tried LSD at least once in the 60s), but how many drugs were in his system on that fateful day in 1977? And testing for everything in the world is almost impossible and EXPENSIVE. Are they going to test me to if I huff paint? Where will it stop? I accidentally took my son's muscle relaxer thinking it was my Midol and you are going to penalize me for that?

What happens to the false positives? I was told when I was active duty to not eat poppy seeds, because they can cause a false positive in a drug test. I don't know for how long. Is it another 30 day thing? Now people who do not take drugs have to PROVE THEIR INNOCENCE. Is that another constitutional thing?
I find it completely amazing that the "party of small government and fiscal conservatism" only wants small government when it comes to them and their families. Or other people of means. But they want to blame this entire recession and economic crisis on POOR PEOPLE and the ELDERLY and punish them by taking away the very benefits that keep them alive, food and health care. (Not going to start on how much the Republicans hate women, that is an entirely new note).  This is government expansion on the most basic level (people's right to EAT) and yet the internet is celebrating like we've discovered a cure for cancer.
Originally this law proposed only allowing those who were to be tested to have it done at a specific clinic if within a certain distance. And if that clinic happens to be in the name of Mrs. Rick Scott (no idea what her first name is, don't care enough to look it up) and it was formerly in the name of Mr. Rick Scott... what difference does it make, right?

Here's a thought! Why don't we start new poorhouses and shove these poor people in them? They DON'T WANT TO WORK, they just want to sit on their butts and keep popping out babies, right? We can put their children in orphanages run by the state, because.. you know.. that's healthy.
Or an ever better thought "Welfare Reality" Those who think they have the right to eat on money provided by Hard Working Americans can BEG for it on national TV. We can vote. "Decide to eats this week and who goes home hungry!"

Look, I hate welfare. But more than I hate it, I hate the NEED for it. I hate the fact that we, as a society, are failing to provide jobs for each and every person who wants one, or needs one (because I don't WANT to work!) at a rate of pay that allows them the basic necessities of life - a roof, food, clothes, transportation, health insurance, a little pocket change, and an emergency savings.

You can call me names. Liberal. Democrat. Tree Hugger. Socialist. I am all of those things and none of them. But you can't say that I am a person who has any interest in stepping on people who are already down or who has a problem lending a helping hand.

I posted this in a note on Facebook because I was tired of typing the same things over and over and over. But I hadn't taken time to do any blog posts lately, so I thought I would share it with you too!