Wednesday, April 27, 2011


1138 = The number of statutory rights granted to married couples.
1138 = The number of statutory rights denied to same sex couples who cannot legally marry.

That's a big number.


I try to avoid writing articles that everyone else is also writing unless I have some unique perspective or a solution to the issue. I also avoid calling anyone a racist unless it is beyond a doubt - and I don't believe that just because you dislike someone doesn't automatically make you a racist. So, I have avoided using this label on this whole Birther issue until now. I am officially calling the Birthers racists. Also, most of the Tea Party fit this label as well. These people are out to discredit President Obama - not because of any policy issues they disagree with or with anything he may have said or done. They simply do not like the fact that he is a (half) black man. And I think it bothers them even more that he is a (half) black man who is doing a great job as President.

President Obama released his original birth certificate today to try to appease these racists. It won't work. He had already provided all the needed legal documents and newspaper articles of the birth announcement in the years since this stupid issue came about (Hillary Clinton who first brought this issue to the public attention has long been convinced Obama is indeed a natural born citizen). The documents he provided are more legal in the state of Hawaii than the ones the birthers demanded. Already - on the same day as they received the requested document, the birthers are questioning it's authenticity or the motive for not providing it sooner. These people are class A idiots - bigots and racists of the worst kind.

These same people accuse President Obama of being a Muslim (not that there is anything wrong with being a Muslim). They are conveniently forgetting that THEY are the ones who forced him to leave his long time Christian church over the Reverend Wright controversy. All of these baseless lies are only used to fuel their unfounded racism.

Certainly nothing I can say or do will change their minds either. But it is time for me to officially use the word they deserve. Racists.

Now, speaking of birthers - can we please have that birth certificate we were promised for Trig Palin?! There is the real controversy my friends.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

She's A Lady

I'm finding it so interesting having a female dog for the first time. I've had 4 canine companions in my adult life - all rescue dogs and all male except for my current one Loretta. Even though Loretta is a devoted hunter of all things moving, can get dirty from top to bottom without a thought and has a strong forbidding bark to any stranger that dare walk our street - she is way different than the male dogs.

I've found most dogs will provide unconditional love. They are always there for you, seem to know your moods and how to comfort you when you are down. Maybe it's not that Loretta is female but just that she has her own unique personality. Whatever the case, she does seem to have a few "conditions" to her affection. All my male dogs have energetically met me at the door - tails wagging with some joyful yelps - unable to contain their joy of my return. And that's if I only took the trash can to the curb! Loretta did that too while Oscar was alive and even for several weeks after. But soon her own unique personality came out. She seems to be somewhat of a loner and likes things quiet and calm. After a few weeks she stopped meeting me at the door because she was fast asleep on her royal love seat when I arrived. She gets up and stretches - but she prefers I come to her for her greeting - which she gladly accepts with a lick and a wag of the tail.

All of my male dogs have sat with me while I watch TV as close as they could get. Sometimes I would have to schooch them down a bit so I could stretch out. Loretta needs to be invited to the couch where she happily gets some attention from me before the show starts. She might lay down for a bit but not close - she needs her space. She quickly gets bored and either wants to go outside or to the other room where she can sit in quiet. Sometimes she goes to bed and licks my pillow waiting for me. I go into the bedroom and invite her to join me again and after a little coaxing she happily does. Lately, as she has gotten to know and trust me more and seems to spend more time where I am - but always at a bit of a distance. If I were to fart she will give me that "look" and promptly leave the room. My male dogs always joined me in the farting and we all got a good laugh out of it.

Loretta likes to be told she is pretty and pet in a more gentle manor. She is more submissive and always want's her belly rubbed. She is good with children and always ready to meet someone new on the street. She accepts compliments on her beautiful blond hair and enjoys any attention she gets.

So Loretta is very different from my male dogs but not in a bad way. I've recently started calling her my Golden Girl and jokingly referred to her as my blond bitch. But my favorite nickname for her fits much better. Mi-Lady.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Corporate Controlled Elections

Florida is in big trouble! When you hear people argue that our crooked Gov. Rick Scott was chosen by the voters to run this state they are lying. This last election was a vivid example of the power of corporate control over our national elections. Mr. Scott was purchased for this state. The goal? Unregulated business which includes unlivable wages, no environmental responsibility, and reduced legal responsibility. In other words huge profits at the expense of everyone.

Please read this alarming article printed in the Fort Lauderdale local newspaper:

Corporate millions have paid off in 'pro-business' legislative agenda

Here is a snippet:

"An Orlando Sentinel analysis of campaign-finance data released last week shows the top two dozen companies and interest groups gave a combined $4.2 million during the first three months of 2011 — a bit more than $500,000 to Democrats and the rest to the Republican Party of Florida, individual GOP lawmakers or the political funds they control.

Those same 30 largest Florida contributors combined to pour more than $45 million into the 2010 elections, the vast majority of the money put to use for Republicans.

It has paid off.

Business interest groups in Tallahassee are already describing this year as a "generational opportunity" to pass sweeping "free-market"' reforms that have sat on their shelves for years."

Friday, April 15, 2011

$10.50 Bump Knob

It's not as fun as the title sounds.

This little plastic part to my weed eater cost $10.50! This is a great example of my claims of over-pricing. I'll bet they would still make a profit if they sold it for $2.00 (I'm told the spring costs that much!), I would consider $2 fair pricing. This is just greed.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

I Cut My Spending and I'm Still Broke

I used to have the American Dream (or what should be the American Standard). I own a very modestly priced home (by Florida standards) I have my own car, I'm insured (sorta) and I have a decent job. I used to be able pay for all these things and still have some left over for a nice vacation or an improvement on my house etc. Now I just can't seem to keep things afloat. What happened? Well there were 2 major events that caused this shortage:

1. I ended a 10 year relationship (that should have ended after year 2). This cause me to be a single income household rather than have 2 incomes.

2. The economy took a giant dump and I was forced to take a big pay cut at my job.

So, I've been trying to adjust. I've cut out all the extra things I used to enjoy and only pay for what I truly need. I got rid of magazine subscriptions, cut my cable bill, searched for cheaper insurance (which lowered my benefits), cut entertainment costs such as going out for dinner or a drink and only spend things on necessities - food, clothing (ha!), shelter, health-care . Still - I'm not quite making it - even by mowing lawns and doing handyman jobs on the side.

You see - I don't have a spending problem. I've taken control of my spending and cut out all those things that were not really needed. What I have is a REVENUE problem. The sad fact is that I will not get my budget balanced unless I get a better paying job, a second job, or somehow inherit some money.

Our country is in the very same spot. We were doing very well for a while then the economy took a dump and now we can't pay for things we want or even truly need. We can cut and cut and cut our spending, but the sad fact is that we have a revenue problem and not just a spending problem. Those who want to cut benefits for education, the elderly, disabled and sick - without first fixing the revenue problem must have a vested interest in that course of action at the expense of those less fortunate.

Fixing the USA's revenue problem is far easier than fixing mine. All we have to do is close tax loopholes and force corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share. That, combined with some careful spending cuts should get us on the right track quite quickly.

As for me - I suppose I could sell my house - find a job somewhere with a cheaper cost of living and give up my life as I know it. Not yet! I'm gonna work a few extra hours and try to fix my revenue problem first. I got a roommate and I'll do whatever is necessary to increase my revenue so I can balance my budget. I simply can't do it just by cutting spending - the math doesn't add up.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Three Days Later

I wish there were no abortions - I really do. However I understand there are extreme circumstances and I have compassion for those who have to make this very difficult decision. South Dakota - my home state - under a Republican Governor just enacted a law that requires a 3 day waiting period for a woman to have an abortion.

Nature works fast.

Three days later - a group of cells may have formed a hand.
Three days later a heart may have started beating.
Three days later a consciousness may have developed.
Three days later a life may have truly started.

Few women make the drastic decision to have an abortion without careful thought. When this very difficult decision has been made - waiting 3 more days could make the difference on taking a life. There is much debate on when life begins. Personally, I believe that life starts at conception. Perhaps in God's eyes life doesn't really begin until he strikes the heart to beating. Maybe life doesn't begin until the first brain synapse occurs - or maybe it's the first breath.

I don't have the answer on when life begins. I just know that 3 days later there is more life. If that life actually begins during those 3 days (in God's eyes) - who is to blame?

The American Standard

It's been said over the years that the American Dream is to own your own house and car and to be able to provide for your family the necessities of life, food - clothing - shelter - health care. This should not be the American Dream - it should be the American Standard.

This country has the potential to provide that standard to MOST of its citizens yet, sadly, it remains only a dream from many. It is not that these people do not work hard - in fact many work several jobs in order to pay their rent and basic expenses. The problem is greed by a few that make prices far higher than they need to be and wages far lower than they should be.

President Obama and the Democrats have been called Socialists because of their attempts to empower the middle class. Meanwhile the Republican Party has made it their primary goal to empower corporations at the expense of the common people. Corporations do not care about your dream of a house or health care - they would prefer to own both and over charge you enough that your American Dream will remain just that - a dream.

If we want the American Dream to be the American Standard - we need to support policies that support the people. That is in fact the Democratic agenda.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Pro-Business is Un-American

It has been a couple of months now with a slew of new Tea Party Governors and Senators in office and their agenda has become crystal clear - it's all pro-business. You might imagine that pro-business means pro-jobs (it's what they want you to believe) - but you would be very wrong. Pro-business actually translates to anti-worker and anti-consumer. You will notice in all the states where new Tea Party Governors have been seated there have been immediate job cuts - mostly Federal jobs but those are real needed jobs held by real people. Plus, we can't ignore the drastic efforts to stop the employees from having a voice. By putting a stop to union collective bargaining, they open the door to lowering wages, eliminating benefits, and removing any way for a typical employee to bargain against the corporate giants. Corporations will not stop until it is cheaper for them to make products here than over seas. That means they expect us to work for pennies so they can increase their profits. It is very pro-business but also very anti-worker.

The Tea Party will respond that these measures are necessary for businesses to be competitive in this country. They claim those cost savings will be passed on to consumers in the form of lower prices. This is the big lie. Corporations do not have the best interest of the consumer pocketbook in mind when they cut operating costs. Their only motive is profit. Let me repeat - their only motive is profit. Cutting costs increases their profit - it does not increase your savings.

On taxes the Tea Party claims that businesses need to be exempt - again in order to be competitive and provide all those needed jobs. Guess what - they have had giant tax breaks for many years and yet we still have a job shortage. Some of the largest corporations in the country (like GE and Exxon/Mobile) pay no U.S. taxes at all. Clearly those savings are passed on to the consumer in great prices - right. Another grand lie. Gas prices are higher than ever - and GE products are anything but inexpensive. By the way - if you thought that BP would pay for their own disaster you can think again. The gas prices we are paying today are covering those costs. There is no shortage. Gas prices were already on the rise before any of the Middle East uprising.

The Tea Party also believes we need less government oversight on businesses so again - they can be more competitive. What they really mean is that they do not want to be held accountable for the quality of their products, the condition of their work environment, or the protection of the Earth. Fewer regulations will not bring cheaper prices to the people - just more profits for the shareholders.

We need policies in this country that are pro-worker and pro-consumer. We need MORE government regulation to keep our workers and products safe and to protect the environment. The Tea Party has also pointed out quite clearly that we need more unions in this country so the people's voices can be heard next the the voice of the corporations. We cannot allow corporations to run uncontrolled and unregulated. Greed and corruption must not be the norm. Corporations can and do make a profit even while paying taxes, fair wages, and making quality products that are safe for the environment.

My favorite protester sign I saw recently said "Don't Drink The Tea - It's Full Of Crap". I couldn't have said it better.