Tuesday, August 31, 2010
There's only two more months until the 2010 elections and the Republicans are still holding fast to their campaign strategy -- sabotage the economy and try to blame it on President Obama and the Democrats. They are convinced that if the recession is going strong and the economy is still in bad shape on election day, then Americans will vote against the party in power (regardless of who caused the recession and is voting to continue it).
"I was born in New Hampshire, raised in Brattleboro, Vt, graduated high school in Ashburnham, Mass. and moved to New York City. I worked for Blue Cross, got married, sold insurance, had my son, worked as a waitress, worked for a moving and storage company, got divorced.
I bought and ran my own company for 10 years. I worked for a treatment facility for disturbed adolescents, operated a group home for them then moved to Texas. I worked as a union organizer, married again, went to college, got involved with a local HISD school, went back to college for a Masters of Education and taught school. I retired last year.
So, I understand how it is to be a single parent, how it is to put children through college, how it is to run a small business and put in 12 to 15 hours a day. I know what it is like to do hard physical labor and how you feel at the end of a hard day. I know how it is to deal with difficult people and what sometimes terrible difficulties they face. I know what it is like to be a cog in a large machine, and I know what it is like to have the buck stop at your desk, to be the one responsible for what happens next. I also know that teaching is demanding, rewarding, critically important, grossly underpaid and over regulated by those whose knowledge is limited to their own experiences when they went to school.
I have two great families, mine and my husband’s. We have 4 children, 7 grand children. We have a new dog, 3 inside cats, 4 outside cats and innumerable birds who seem to like our cat food even more than the cats do. We have a pond in the back yard which we regularly stock with goldfish. The neighborhood raccoons seem to be grateful."
Monday, August 30, 2010
Normally after an Emmy Awards show I am kind of disgusted and left wondering just what the hell were the voters thinking. Surprisingly, I find myself in complete agreement with many of this year's winners. It's got me kind of worried. Is the world coming to an end? [:-)]
Sunday, August 29, 2010
These are new over-the-top anti-religious posters actually being put up in New Zealand. Looks like they're based on the "garbage-pail kids" craze of a few years ago. I'm an atheist, but I don't know about this ad campaign. I doubt it's going to win any converts, but then atheists aren't trying to win converts. They just don't want religion forced on them or their children. As angry as christians (and others) got over the much more innocuous bus signs, I doubt these will cause any more of an uproar. And they are kind of funny. Found at the website Ads of the World.
The silly (and unconstitutional) opposition to the building of a muslim community center in New York City has been hogging the headlines for the last couple of weeks. But it is far from the only religious intolerance happening in the United States. It seems that right-wing "christians" have decided that an American citizen cannot be a good patriotic American unless he/she is a christian.
Another school year has started and school districts across the state are still wondering whether they will have to lay off teachers to meet their budgets in this recession economy. There's $830 million sitting in Washington (D.C.) that has been appropriated to help Texas schools and save the jobs of at least 14,500 Texas teachers, but that money can't be released unless and until Texas complies with the rules Congress attached to the money.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
The mainstream media is still talking about the Republican Party making significant gains in the 2010 elections -- maybe even enough to take over one of the houses of Congress. That may or may not be true, but if it is true, it will not be for the reason being touted by the media.
– American Crossroads has pledged to spend $52 million
– Americans for Prosperity has pledged to spend $45 million
– Republican State Leadership Committee has pledged to spend $40 million
– American Action Network has pledged to spend $25 million
– American Future Fund has pledged to spend up to $25 million
– Club for Growth has pledged to spend at least $24 million
– National Republican Trust PAC has pledged to spend at least $20 million
– An unnamed health insurance industry coalition has pledged to spend $20 million
– National Rifle Association has pledged to spend $20 million
– Faith and Freedom Coalition has pledged to spend $11 million
– FreedomWorks has pledged to spend $10 million
– Americans for Job Security has pledged to spend $10 million
– Susan B. Anthony List has pledged to spend $6 million
– Our Country Deserves Better (Tea Party Express) has already spent $5 million
– Tax Relief Coalition has already spent $4 million
– Republican Majority Campaign has pledged to spend $3 million
– Campaign for Working Families has pledged to spend $2 million
– Heritage Action for America has pledged to spend $1 million
– Financial Services Roundtable has already spent $0.5 million
– Family Research Council has raised $0.5 million
– Citizens United Political Victory Fund has pledged to spend $0.2 million
As we have discussed before on this blog, there is a proposition (#19) on the California ballot this November that would legalize marijuana and allow it to be taxed and regulated. If passed it would make California the first state in the union to legalize marijuana, and could well spur some other states to do the same. Now that the question has finally made it to the ballot the question is "Does it have a chance to be passed?"
It's been about five years since the devastation of New Orleans and the surrounding area by Hurricane Katrina -- a disaster made even worse by the incredibly slow reaction to it by the Bush administration. The city of New Orleans is still trying to recover from that storm and its aftermath.
Friday, August 27, 2010
A couple of weeks ago the United States withdrew what it said were the last "combat troops" from Iraq. But there are still 50,000 troops in Iraq and it's hard to believe they are all there for "training" purposes. President Obama has said these 50,000 will all leave Iraq by the end of 2011, but both the American military and the Iraqi military don't see that timetable as an achievable goal. They believe more time will be needed before American troops are needed.
The Texas State Fair will be cranking up again very soon. It is scheduled to run from September 24th through October 17th this year. That means it's time to see what new deep-fried treats will be available for Fair-goers. The Fair proclaims itself to be "the fried food capital of Texas for 24 days" and each year it offers prizes for Best Tasting New Item and for Most Creative New Item.
It's simply amazing how many rabidly anti-homosexual Republicans have either come out of the closet or have been exposed as being gay. I guess it just goes to show that Shakespeare knew what he was talking about when he said "The lady doth protest too much, methinks" (and the quote applies to both sexes). Those who protest the loudest are usually guilty of what they are protesting against.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The National Football League owners met in Atlanta yesterday, and they are unified in wanting one thing -- an 18 game schedule for the league. If adopted, this would mean they would reduce the number of pre-season games to two, then have a bye-week for all teams, and then start the 18-game regular season schedule (with an additional bye-week happening for each team sometimes during the season -- as is currently done).
"Businesses are ordering fewer goods. Home sales are the slowest in decades. Jobs are scarce, and unemployment claims are rising. Perhaps most worrisome, manufacturing activity, which had been one of the economy's few bright spots, is faltering.
"The odds of a double-dip are rising and uncomfortably high," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, referring to the possibility that the nation will tip back into recession. "Nothing else can go wrong. There is no cushion left."
On Wednesday, the government offered the latest dose of grim news about the economic recovery: Companies cut back last month on their investments in equipment and machines. And Americans bought new homes at the weakest pace in nearly half a century.
Earlier this week came news that sales of previously occupied homes fell last month to the lowest level in 15 years.
Unemployment remains near double digits because job growth in the private sector has slowed."
I saw this headline yesterday in the Los Angeles Times:
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
A new Rasmussen Reports poll has been issued for the governor's race in Texas, and it doesn't really have any good news in it for the Democratic candidate. It shows him with an 8% deficit, but even worse it shows there has been no real movement among voters in the last month. Here are the numbers for the last two months:
A few weeks ago the small Nebraska city of Fremont (25,000 residents) decided that undocumented immigrants were a problem and they were going to deal with it. They passed a voter-approved ordinance which banned not only employment, but housing for undocumented immigrants. I'm sure they were proud of themselves for passing their racist ordinance, but now the time has come to pay the piper.
I found this over at Common Sense Atheism and thought I would share it with my readers. It was written in 1951 by the writer and philosopher Bertrand Russell for New York Times Magazine. Russell called it the "Liberal Decalogue". Whatever you call it, it contains some thoughtful advice.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
It's not very often that I agree with anything that Rep. Ron Paul says, but this is one of those times. He has come out and scolded neoconservatives and other right-wingers for making the proposed muslim community center in New York City an issue. He says they "never miss a chance to use hatred toward muslims to rally support for the ill conceived preventive wars." He goes on to say:
"Many fellow conservatives say they understand the property rights and 1st Amendment issues and don’t want a legal ban on building the mosque.They just want everybody to be “sensitive” and force, through public pressure, cancellation of the mosque construction.
This sentiment seems to confirm that Islam itself is to be made the issue, and radical religious Islamic views were the only reasons for 9/11. If it became known that 9/11 resulted in part from a desire to retaliate against what many Muslims saw as American aggression and occupation, the need to demonize Islam would be difficult if not impossible. [...]
It is repeatedly said that 64% of the people, after listening to the political demagogues, don’t want the mosque to be built. What would we do if 75% of the people insist that no more Catholic churches be built in New York City?The point being is that majorities can become oppressors of minority rights as well as individual dictators. Statistics of support is irrelevant when it comes to the purpose of government in a free society—protecting liberty. [...]
This is all about hate and Islamaphobia."