Deserve’s Got Nothin’ To Do With it?

4 Mar

They say that “you can’t make this stuff up”, but sadly no one should have to, because it wouldn’t be funny even then. And even sadder is the fact that “this stuff” should be more criminal than we make it out to be comical…

The Republican Congress now controls both the Senate and the House of Representatives and they have vowed to follow the people’s mandate and finally get some real business done around the Capital and give the American people what they want! Which is: The repeal of medical care for those Americans who once didn’t have it but have it now. The return of freedom to banks and money lenders to wreak havoc on the U.S. financial system as they once did way back in 2008. And the reduction of pension benefits for millions of Americans who are currently retired after having worked hard and faithfully for many years.

These are the things that you want and have been begging for ever since President Obama was mysteriously elected twice over the past 6 years. Isn’t that so America?

Well you are getting it all right. And the Republicans are happy to serve, for now they have come up with an even better way to scare the shit out of us all just to undo something that our president has done. The president has issued an executive order that would create a new program of deferrals for approximately 4 million undocumented parents of American citizens or legal permanent residents, who have been in the country for at least five years. Deferrals would include authorization to work and would be granted for three years at a time. It would also expand a program created by the administration in 2012 called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which allows young people who were brought into the country as children to apply for deportation deferrals and work permits.

That sounds terrible, doesn’t it? It seems to me more like a compassionate response to a problem that has been lingering for quite some time in our country but to which the Republicans (and you?) are opposed. The Republicans are mad because the president took “executive action” and circumvented the Republican Congress and their immigration plan. And their plan is? They don’t have a plan. Apparently because their corporate overloads haven’t given it to them yet… but, I digress…

So what have the Republicans chosen to do? They have decided that if President Obama’s executive orders are not undone then they will refuse to fund the Department of Homeland Security which as irony would have it, is the agency responsible for protecting our borders from…you guessed it…allowing aliens to cross our borders illegally. When asked if this Republican policy of possibly shutting down the DOHS could lead to making our nation less safe, the Speaker of the House, John Boehner replied, “if ifs and buts were candy and nuts every day would be Christmas.”

Do you find that in the least bit funny, America? How about if you were a member of a terrorist organization? You might find a statement like that quite encouraging. Perhaps even rush some of your most fanatical extremists to our borders…just in case “Christmas” comes early?  What do you think? Is this a “you can’t make this stuff up” kinda moment or more like a “Get your moronic orange head out of the tanning salon you idiot and do something constructive! Or your fired!” kinda moment?

But here we sit…a captive audience in our cartoon world. Our political system is so broken that one of the foremost leaders of the free world…third in line to the Presidency of the United States…can be faced with a problem of utmost importance to the citizens whom he serves, shamelessly do nothing and then arrogantly mock us not only in a most literal sense… but figuratively as well!

It has been said that in a democracy, people get the government they deserve…but I ask you: What did we ever do to deserve this?!

The Unbearable Lightness of Knowing

1 Mar

Isn’t it ironic that for the past two decades, the trend in local, state and federal education policies has been to require more and more standardized tests as a way to establish common benchmarks of achievement and to hold public schools accountable for their student’s progress, while at the same time our nation’s politicians have become more and more ill informed and moronic when it comes to matters of common sense and common knowledge?

All of this testing ad nauseam to try and create a more informed and well educated populace and yet we now have a veritable gaggle of political leaders and representatives…Congressmen and state officials… who quite literally don’t know their asses from their elbows.

In Idaho a lawmaker thinks that if a woman swallows a pill it might end up in her vagina!

In Nevada an Assemblywoman believes that cancer is a fungus that can be flushed away with salt water and baking soda and wants to change federal law so this procedure can finally be made available to Americans!

There was a former Congressman who believes in “legitimate rape” and a woman’s natural ability to stop pregnancy while being “legitimately raped”!

How about the US Representative from Illinois who said that reducing our nation’s carbon dioxide output would be a bad thing because it would take plant food from the air!

We have Governors and Senators who believe that vaccinations may not be such a good thing when it comes to the future of the public’s health and well being!

Or there was the Texas Representative who thinks that wind is God’s way of balancing heat and that wind farms would only serve to “use up” all of that wind and make the Earth hotter!

Or our current Speaker of the House, who said that carbon dioxide can’t be a bad thing because every time we exhale we make more, just like cows do!

Or a Vice Presidential candidate who came very close to being elected, who proudly asserted that she could see Russia from her house in Alaska!

Or the Senate committee member who wanted to know what all the fuss was about the polar ice cap melting, because when the ice in his glass of water melts it never overflows!

And no longer can basic scientific principles that were taught in the public schools when I was a youngster 50 years ago be taken for granted in today’s hallowed halls of government. They must now be open for debate with these morons mentioned above and other political mental midgets, as though their resurgent medieval beliefs that were once and for all, finally and forever discredited as superstitions, myths and old wives’ tales, are now possible legitimate alternatives to actual learning!

So why bother testing America’s public school students on everything when we don’t test America’s leaders on anything? The only qualifications for public office in this country are citizenship and age!

Idiocy, ignorance and inanity disqualify no one from holding public office! They won’t even get you removed from public office. Try threatening to shut down your place of business every few months while accomplishing absolutely nothing in between and see how long you stay employed…but in our government that is absolutely no problem.

Why study and pass tests in school when all you have to do after graduation is suck up to one of our corporate overlords, take their money and promise to do their bidding? You can be as foolish, inept and irresponsible as you please!

So children of America: stop studying and stop taking those ridiculous tests! Rather you should emulate your country’s esteemed leaders and take a bribe from whoever is offering one then go shoot hoops or cheer-lead…

for knowledge no longer seems to represent power in America…All knowledge seems to represent today is an alternative way of thinking.

If we are not going to hold our politicians and potential leaders up to higher standards, and if they also believe that as American leaders and role models they need not exude intelligence, nor radiate knowledge about that which they have been elected to oversee in front of an electorate, before whom they are constantly expected to speak, then why should they be allowed to demand higher standards of our children?

Gesundheit!

27 Feb

Have you ever noticed how almost every politician these days begins every speech with, ” This is the greatest country in the history of the world.” Or “I’m proud to be a citizen of the greatest country on Earth.” Or, This great country of ours has the finest citizens and the best system of government in the world.”

And then they proceed to tell us everything that is wrong with the United States and how everything about it needs to be changed and how all of their opponents are NOT any of those finest citizens that they had mention the U.S. was full of. How can something so great require so much change?

Then of course every politician makes sure to end every speech with “God bless America!” I guess as though the greatest country and its people still need more blessings?

According to National Geographic, during the bubonic plague of AD 590,  Pope Gregory I ordered unceasing prayer for divine intercession including the immediate blessing of anyone who sneezed, since sneezing was often the first sign that someone was falling ill with the plague.” So saying the blessing, “God bless you”, became a common effort to try to halt the disease. But In some other cultures, sneezing is seen as a sign of good fortune or God’s beneficence and so they have alternative responses when someone sneezes.  For example, the German word Gesundheit, which simply means “health”.

So I propose that rather than finishing each speech with “God Bless America” as though we, the citizens of America listening to them are possibly diseased and need to get better, all politicians should end their speeches with the more simple “Gesundheit America”, as in, ” Now that I’m finished, You’re all blessed to be as healthy as you were before I started spouting all of this crap that I just made you listen to!”

Just another idea…

It’s Academic

25 Feb

In the history of the world there have been many great and prosperous civilizations and they have all failed. And usually at the time of the failing some few folks had all of the money and most other folks had none. They were either Kings or Queens or Popes or Emperors or Czars or Caesars or Pharaohs or whatever and they always invoked the divine right of the gods as the reason for concentrating all of that wealth in the hands of one man or one small circle of family and friends. Eventually the disenfranchised, poor populace grows disinterested and disaffected and the empire succumbs to a force of outsiders who invade and plunder. While the wealthy few run away or hide or are murdered or all 3! Then the new conquerors share in the plunder and even rejoice while sharing, and then the cycle begins anew as the new leaders emerge and invariably begin indulging in their own grandeur until…

Fortunately we no longer have empires such as those in the world today but we still have world leaders who rule with concentrated power and wealth. In the United States however, our president is not among the wealthiest men in the nation and we have no all powerful despot who rules with an iron hand under the divine rights of either religion or lineage but we still have concentrated wealth in the hands of a few and those few are now the business and corporate leaders of the world. Where we once had popes and kings we now have CEOs and corporations (The latter which ironically enough have recently been declared to be persons by our Supreme Court composed of actually real people!) and they have quite a large amount of wealth at their disposal which is growing while the wealth of the common population is shrinking. This is the historical recipe for national disaster. No matter how vast and distant the empire may reach, when the interior rots the empire always withers and dies.

Our public schools represent that interior. They are the nucleus which fuels the fire of freedom and free enterprise. We have built our greatness from the inside out and we look to replenish our strengths and our greatness through the rebirth and reaffirmation of our ideals in our children. In our best of times, We have spread our influence through the free trade and free movement of our citizens and by setting an example of economic wealth that can be earned and shared and experienced by all and not concentrated within a few.

Our public schools must be fortified and not abandoned. They must be embraced and enhanced and empowered in terms of anticipating and responding to technological, social, political, economic, and competitive change. Healthy cultures must always be willing to rethink their most basic assumptions about themselves in order to improve and grow and repair their societies and we must be willing to accept that what our schools need now more than ever is not a cut in spending but rather a renewed effort to spend more on the future and the future generations who will lead us.

Today’s students are willing to work hard but what makes us think that they are going to be willing to work hard for low wages that would suffice a life in China or India or some other-where where they don’t live? America’s corporate leaders and great men of wealth need to stop hoarding and start spreading the wealth. They can begin by first embracing the public schools of this country with largess and generosity and then by raising wages across the middle and poorer classes of society so that the term “working poor” is eradicated from our vocabulary.

Today’s students of the 21st century in America are beginning to notice that it is getting harder and harder to bring the American dream, a dream of studying hard then working hard, and then achieving affluence, into focus and for most of our poorest students that dream is nothing more than a taunting apparition of their hopelessness: a happy meal that they will never be able to afford

And Now a Word From the Vestibule…

22 Feb

This week, former New York City mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, made this statement during a speech at a Republican fundraising event in New York:  “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up, through love of this country.”

The next day when asked on Fox news if he wanted to apologize for that statement he responded, “Apologize? I want to say it again.” He then went on to emphasize that in his opinion President Obama is probably more of a communist than a christian and more someone who sees what’s bad about America rather than what is good. And he concluded with the basic rhetoric about how everything in America is good. Who doesn’t know that? Just NOT the president of America.

Wow! Pretty strong statements huh? I mean seriously if you believe that someone doesn’t love you and me, meaning everyone, right? And that that person was brought up incorrectly by others who didn’t have any love for this country, meaning foreigners, right? Then what are you saying? Mr. Giuliani even prefaced his remarks with “I know this is a horrible thing to say.” So he knows that what he said was horrible but he had to say it anyway! Our president is a horrible, unloving, foreigner who was brought up to be hateful!

Good lord! And this powerful insight comes from a man who knows a lot about love, communism and being brought up properly… In New York City as mayor, He cut city services for the homeless. He served an eviction notice on five community service programs, including a program for the mentally ill. He cut the public school budget in New York City by $2 billion and trimmed the school repairs budget by $4.7 billion and Two days after the Massacre at Columbine he stated that he would like to “blow up” his own Board of Education.

And speaking of communism…He barred public events from the City Hall steps, refused to allow taxi drivers to assemble for a protest, would not allow city workers to speak to the press, barred church members from delivering an AIDS education program in a park, denied a permit for a march to object to police brutality, issued summons and seized literature of workers collecting signatures to get a candidate on the presidential ballot, imposed strict licensing restrictions on sidewalk artists, used a 1926 cabaret law to ban dancing in bars and clubs, imposed an excessive daily fee on street musicians, and imposed varying city fees for newsstand owners based on the content they sold.

And speaking about being raised to love…the former mayor has been married 3 times so he does know a lot about loving relationships…especially since he began each one of his new relationships while still being married to the former wife.

So all in all “America’s Mayor” is just a great guy like you and me who like many politicians these days knows a lot about people and is an authority on human behavior and what it means to be a true American..and who just can’t wait to share everything that he is thinking, with us.

Why must we continue to tolerate these moronic “public servants”, both former and present, as though we really don’t know any better? Why do we even allow them to remain relevant and continue to let them spit out their hate speaking, fear mongering, vitriolic, rancorous, spiteful, poisonous rhetoric, just because we think it may be entertaining in the press or eye catching on TV…or just because they said it?

Why can’t everyone in this country just decide to grow up and act like we really are something special and then demand those same adult qualities from each other…especially our politicians: those who represent us all, in front of ourselves and the world?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could actually get some serious, intelligent, thoughtful, insightful, unselfish, compassionate, principled, scrupulous, well-mannered, civilized citizens, candidates and politicians to run for office…while shutting the others up? Is that just too much to ask…or demand… from our supposed representatives and leaders?

Then maybe the United States could actually return to leading the world someplace…better…and with the hopeful and deserved blessings of a more enlightened…and loving being, that those self same opportunistic politicians invoke after every speech they make.

The Wild Wild West

19 Feb

A mother in Nevada was out teaching her daughter to drive when they were passed by a speeding vehicle. The daughter honked her car’s horn at the speeder who took offense. That driver then stopped his car in front of hers, got out and approached her and her mom with angry words. That led to the mother driving home to pick up her son who came equipped with his handgun and they drove off in search of the rude road-rager. Amazingly, She found, and for a time followed, the vehicle she had been looking for but then decided to return home without incident where soon a car described only as a four-door gray sedan pulled up and someone inside opened fire. The son returned fire and during the shootout the mother was shot and killed and the sedan sped away… No suspects have been identified or arrested.

Nevada is among more than 30 states with “stand your ground” laws that allow deadly force against people who threaten to kill or seriously harm someone else. An armed citizen has no duty to retreat from danger and, in some circumstances, deadly force is justifiable. For this, the shooter must not be the original aggressor and they must have “a right to be present at the location where deadly force is used.

So who would you say was the original aggressor in this tragic incident? The speeding car operator? The horn honker? The irate driver who didn’t like getting honked at? The mother who insisted on following that driver? The son who decided to bring along his gun? Or the armed passenger in the gray sedan who took offense at being “chased and followed”?

…And who was “standing his ground”?

Now imagine this same incident without the free and ready access to guns?

In my home state of New Jersey it is now unlawful to drive with snow on one’s vehicle lest it fly off and into the face, as it were, of other vehicles or pedestrians on the roadway causing possible damage or injury. One could be fined up to $1500 for failing to properly clean one’s car during or after a snowstorm. For some reason our founding fathers never saw fit to provide US citizens with rights to own and operate motor vehicles without regulation, even though Americans count automobiles as among our most precious possessions, and to this day no one, not even today’s politicians, knows why. As a result the regulating of motor vehicles and their registration and use in the United States is nothing new to America’s drivers. We are used to it and we do realize that the regulations, no matter how onerous, are intended to keep us all safe.

Not so with guns. In America, thanks to those same founding father’s, and their having mentioned firearms so dearly in our constitution’s 2nd amendment… gunliness is next to godliness. And so now as a result of their foresightedness, or perhaps lack thereof, A person can absent mindlessly drive down the highway with snow on his car, have it inadvertently blow into the windshield of another unsuspecting driver. Who then in a fit of rage runs said snowy driver off the road where they soon find themselves drawing their concealed handguns, standing their own ground, with guns ablaze until one or both or maybe others are shot dead.

And the only crime committed will be?

“Any vehicle with a dangerous accumulation of snow must have it removed before entering a public road.”

But Thankfully it’s not all that bad because, “No motor vehicle points or automobile insurance eligibility points shall be assessed for this offense, however, any violation of this law will require an appearance in Court.”
Appearance in court?! Oh yeah? Over my dead body! Thank you founding fathers…For making life today, that much less complicated.

A Winter’s Tale

17 Feb

comparison of Arctic sea ice extent

Well, it’s cold and snowing here in the northeast again so the global warming deniers, Big oil company executives and evangelicals everywhere are probably having a field day. Winter weather during the winter? That’s Absolute proof that the Earth is getting colder not warmer and that we earthlings can do as we please here on Mother earth because…well, it’s ours and has been given to us by Our Father to do whatever we want to with it. So there, mom! Dad says we can go out and play!

Anyway, the scientific data still says that the ice is melting in the arctic and that is definitely having a global affect on weather patterns everywhere. Normally here at the Jersey Shore (and I say normally meaning over the last 10-20 years or so) the daffodils are beginning to bloom right about now. Which I found quite strange for February when it first happened, but not so much any more…And nowadays hurricanes come along quite regularly right as the beach season is beginning to end. Used to be that hurricanes at the beach were once or twice in a life time events. And summers at the beach now bring more than just tourists and sun seekers. They bring tornado season! To the beach! In Jersey!?!

So, have there been any climate changes where you live? And if so, who’s to blame, if anyone? Earth Mom? Father God? Or the 7.25 plus billion humans who live here every day producing waste, destroying forests, fracking shale, burning fossil fuels, growing feed for 10 billion animals to eat so that we can eat them in return each year, and blowing noxious gasses into the atmosphere at ever increasing levels?

These were just thoughts running through my head as I was shoveling the by product of another winter snow storm…in winter…Global warming? Nah!

…But would someone please tell that to the stray wolf chasing that polar bear past my driveway!

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