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The TSA and Other Things on My Mind Today

  • Posted on January 31, 2014 at 12:46 pm

I think this is going to be a long day.  I have a stressed out dog, a curious cat, and a backache.  It is the middle of winter and I am getting a new roof.  My animals, especially my poor dog, seem confused by the noise and feel somewhat invaded.  It is early.  I know that this day is only going to get much worse.  Speaking of feeling invaded, I just read the article, “Dear America, I Saw You Naked and Yes, we were laughing. Confessions of an ex-TSA agent.” by Jason Edward Harrington over at Politico.com.  I have to say nothing in it surprised me but it sure reinforces many of the things I had been thinking about giving up our freedoms and all for the sake of safety.  Some of it is just to keep us in line, so to speak.  Nothing more but to make it look like someone is doing something to keep us safe.  The next time you are traveling and have to be personally checked in some way, you might think more about why it is you.  He even suggested there is a special code for attractive women, no real surprise there.  It sounds more like a Frat house party than what we should consider serious government business.

Poor Ann Romney is still whining about the fact that she won’t be FLOTUS.  I am not sure why but I did watch the Mitt movie on Netflix this week during our hiatus from school because of the chilling weather.  The movie was a great, big, warm, and fuzzy fluff piece for Mitt.  Aw shucks people, he is just one of us!  We just don’t really understand what a decent, caring individual he really is.  While I am sitting here trying to comfort my poor dog, I cannot help but think back to another dog that spent a treacherous time on the roof of Mitt’s automobile.  Maybe Mitt is one of us, one of those people that don’t understand those of us that treat our animals as if they are human.  Enough said, but don’t be surprised if Mitt doesn’t run again.  The movie made me think it was a setup for 2016!

While I was home, I also viewed those annoying videos all teachers have to view yearly about everything from blood borne pathogens and sexual harassment, to chemicals in the work place and what OSHA means to me.  I am not sure why I have to view these every year because my memory isn’t that bad.  However, it is just one of those things that some government official thinks we need to freshen up on yearly.  I always find the sexual harassment video interesting.  When I see the young female teacher sitting at her desk with the lecherous older teacher trying to persuade her to get on his team, I can only wonder what female teacher wears a top like that.  It has spaghetti straps and I think she is ready for a party.  I know many young, female teachers and I haven’t witnessed any of them dressed quite like that at school.  If they did, the boys would surely be having much better attendance rates than some of them do.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending an online art conference put on by the Art of Education.  It was an interesting day.  There were many technical problems for people as the video streaming had some issues.  Even though there were problems, I still had a great day.  It was nice to feel like I was part of something bigger as I viewed and participated in conversations with other art teachers from all over the world.  Of course, art is universal and it is truly, a language that all people can understand.  AOE gave us a password so we can view the videos for the next six months or so.  This is great as I remember many times coming back from a conference trying to remember all of the different presentations I attended.  At AOE, I can review the videos and maybe get even more from them.  While they didn’t present enough material at the high school level, I was able to get plenty of ideas that I will be using in my own classroom in the days and years to come.  I really can’t wait until the next one.  Therefore, if you are an art teacher, you might want to look into the Art of Education website for future reference.

Speaking of art and websites, I want to give a shout out to my favorite online art teacher, “The Helpful Art Teacher.”  Rachel Wintemberg teaches in New Jersey and has only had her blog for a bit over three years, but it is jam packed with great lesson plans.  She shares everything and researches whatever she is posting online.  While the site visually may look a little simplistic, it is far from it.  I can spend days perusing Rachel’s blog.  It is just a treasure.  If you are an art teacher, you really need to check it out.  It is really geared for the middle and high school crowd but it is awesome.  I have nominated her blog for the Art of Educations Art Ed Blog of the Year Award.  You are welcome to nominate her as well if you are so inclined.

While I am hearing a lot of pounding, my baby dog, Brodie, has seemed to settle in under my feet, so to speak.  He pipes up once in awhile but he seems to be appreciating my presence near him and is glad that I am calm and not freaking out by the noise.  The geek in me finds this product very interesting and it reminds me of a piece of sculpture.  It could be revolutionary and it is based on an old concept.  How cool is that?

I talked with one of my ten brothers the other night about farm subsidies.  I won’t get into the sum total of our conversation but it had something to do with the concept of socialism and how some people that despise the concept of socialism are the biggest socialists, so to speak, as they get subsidized. So of course, I had to go find the website for myself and it is interesting.  If you would like to know who is getting farm subsidies in your area, just plug in the zip code.  This is for the period of years from 1995 through 2012.  I always find these things interesting because so many people worry about the $133.85 some poor person might be receiving from SNAP.  Maybe we should be looking beyond to the people that really get the lion’s share of government money through special programs, lobbying efforts, and no bid contracts.  Don’t even get me started on those charitable organizations like churches that get government money for “helping” other people.  I always think it would be better if the government just gave the money right to the people.  Think about how the bankers were all bailed out, if the government had just sent that money out to us, we would have gotten the economy going, by spending it.  Instead, the bankers kept it and then made it more difficult for businesses to get the loans they needed.  I am not an economist but something stinks in our government.  We have two parties that get their seed money for their elections from businesses that lobby for special treatment.  The rest of us out in the real world just keep doing what we are supposed to be doing and keep on hoping that something different will be done.  President Obama was going to bring us change but that’s not happening.  Washington is more gridlocked than ever and controlled by special interests that have nothing to do with most of the American people.  The one percent is getting richer and the rest of us continue to hang on….hoping to see something constructive done by our government.  I won’t hold my breath.  I don’t see any real change in anything but education and that’s just because there is money to be made there.

I have had fun writing my little thoughts.  I hope someone finds me somewhat entertaining and perhaps I can get someone thinking, a simple thing this teacher would like to do.  You don’t have to agree with me on anything, but just think.  I’ll leave you with a picture of poor Brodie.  As you can see, he is frightened but sitting under my computer chair knowing I will save him from all that is evil!100_2107

Why I’m Voting for President Obama

  • Posted on October 10, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Woman of Liberty

I think I have been silent far too long.  For the last several days, I have watched Morning Joe on MSNBC and put up with the hogwash about Mitt Romney and what a great debater he is.  I say, “Enough already.”   What is hard for me to understand is the lack of substance in his debate performance.  It appears at least according to the pundits, that telling numerous lies and changing positions at the drop of a hat is exactly what it takes to be a great debater at the presidential level.  However, I wonder how it could possibly make one appear presidential.   I frankly, just don’t get it.  I did not see much about Mitt that appealed to me as a woman.  I know that when I watched the debate I found him rude, obnoxious, desperate, and overbearing.  I found his eyes to be annoying, as they appeared as if they were frozen in some crazy stare.  I kept thinking about deer and headlights.  The president appeared reserved.  He did not have the energy that Romney had and he did not throw any zingers.  However, he did say some substantial things that I heard.  He has now said that maybe he was too polite.  We all know that politics and politeness are not usually used in the same sentence, so maybe he is right.

Anyone that is familiar with my blog knows that I have had contempt for both major parties these past few years.  It seems the only winners in politics have been corporations and rich people.  During the 2008 Democratic Primary, I was a supporter of John Edwards.  Do not get all bent out of shape about this with over moralizing the good and bad in politics.  Be real.  I do not look to politicians for my morality code.  Of course, when I supported him Elizabeth and John seemed like a great couple.  Regardless of his personal problems, the message he spoke about is one that is lost today.  Unfortunately, with John out of the picture, the message has died.  John always talked about giving a “voice” to the voiceless.  I never hear anyone today talking about giving a voice to the millions of people that do not have the money and power to speak for themselves in politics.  Poverty has become a silent, deadly killer of our hopes and dreams for our future.  We all know money talks.  People in poverty do not have money and sometimes don’t even vote in their own best interests if they vote at all.  Mitt Romney talked about the 47 million people that he didn’t need to woo to become president.  He called them President Obama’s supporters and implied that they believed in a “trickle down” government.  He actually thinks that people want to be taken care of by the government.  His thought process is so off from what we, as Americans, are really all about that it is difficult for me to take him seriously.  Does anyone really think it is the rich that fight these wars?  The rich prosper from war.  The poor and the middle class fight them.   The poor and the middle class take care of people like Mitt Romney so he can live comfortably in his many homes, so he can travel easily, so he can feel safe and protected from harm.  The poor and the middle class really have built and continue to build this country.  No building was ever built without the sweat of real people.  No road ever was created by the sweat of the wealthy.  Mitt depends on the very people that he simply cannot relate to or understand.  They take care of him in every way possible yet he only sees what money can buy.  He doesn’t see what the American spirit is really made from.  We all have benefited from our ancestors hard work, even Mitt Romney.  Yet, he is a self-made man in his own self-made mind.  I find him ridiculous.

However, what I really wanted to write about tonight is why I am voting for President Obama.  It has taken me a long time to come to this decision.  I have been so outrageously mad at the Democratic Party since the 2008 Primary that I have joked about having DDS (Democratic Deranged Syndrome).  I was driven to exasperation by my own party with their made up rules for the Michigan Primary and what they ended up doing to Hillary Clinton in the process.  Enter Mitt Romney and the Republican Party.  If there is one thing, I can see clearly the way women have been treated by the Republican Party and flip flopper Mitt.

I believe in the capability of women to make their own decisions about their lives whether it is about their bodies or their minds.  Women don’t need men making medical decisions for them and they certainly don’t need to be taken back to the fifties with political and religious monkey business.  President Obama made two early decisions that were extremely important to me as a woman.  He chose two women to be on the Supreme Court.  With President Obama’s decision, I have better representation on the Supreme Court than I do at any other government level.  We have far too few women in politics.  One of the first things the president did was sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.  He basically said that my value as an employee was equal to any man’s value.  The president also chose Hillary Clinton to become Secretary of State.  Hillary has done a great job tirelessly working for our country.  I’ve watched her with great interest as she travels almost non-stop around the globe working for the good of our country.  She has brought great strength to President Obama’s foreign policy with her work ethic.

There are other decisions President Obama has made that I think have been good.  The auto bailout has really helped our country.  I even bought a vehicle this year when my brother-in-law let me use his GM discount.  I can only imagine the domino effect that would have happened if the auto bailout hadn’t happened.  It would have been devastating to our state, Ohio, and many other states.    While the economy is still not where it needs to be I feel we are on the road to recovery.  My son bought a condominium and was motivated by the special tax incentive program back in 2010.  It was a good incentive for selling homes and getting buyers for those homes.  The Affordable Care Act has really been given a bad rap.  Mitt Romney says he will repeal it and Republicans will come up with something better.  I can truthfully say that health care has never been a Republican issue.  If it were, we would have had health care under Reagan, Bush, or Bush.  It just didn’t happen and they even degraded Hillary when she tried to do something with health care when Bill was president.  Don’t believe the lies and truthfully, when Mitt is speaking he is lying.  I cannot believe that any politician can take so many different sides on the same issue in such a short time.  There is video proof of Romney changing positions one day and staffers changing back for him the next.  What he says really depends on the crowd he is with that day!

I have grown to appreciate President Obama.  While he is still a flawed person, I can say he is a far better choice than Mitt Romney.  “Race to the Top” is too much like “No Child Left Behind” with its heavy emphasis on standardized testing and tying teacher’s evaluations to those tests. However, he is still much better than Mitt and the Republicans.  Democrats will fund the programs that they expect schools to create.  When things were getting tough President Obama sent money to the states to keep teachers and police officers employed.  We cannot forget some of the stimulus programs that people have benefited from.  The Democrats got unemployment extended for people that were out of work!  I am sure there is more that I could say but I know that there are clear reasons to vote for President Obama and not just against Mitt Romney.

I, as a woman, would rather have a President that I trust can make a positive decision for another choice for the Supreme Court should it become necessary.  I feel I have that with President Obama.  As I said before, I do not want to go back to the fifties.  I was born in the fifties.  I have ten brothers.  I grew up in a male dominated world.  I live in a male dominated world.  I want women to continue to move forward and make their own decisions in the world.  I want women to have the freedom to be whatever they desire to be.  I am proud to be a woman that takes her vote seriously.  I value my freedom.  I value my liberties.  I am proud of my heritage and I embrace a future in America where all people are equal regardless of race, color, creed, or monetary value.  The poor and the middle class need to vote.  You may not have much money but your vote is your power!

Mitt and Mini Mitt

  • Posted on August 14, 2012 at 7:37 pm

( Justin Sullivan / Getty Images ) Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) speaks as Mitt Romney looks on during a campaign rally at the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, N.C.

By now, everyone knows that Mitt Romney has made his VP choice.  I have had a few days to digest this information and really feel that Mitt just picked himself in many ways.  Not that Ryan had the same life as Mitt but Ryan looks a lot like any one of Mitt’s sons.  I saw the two of them on stage together wearing similar shirts.  It reminded me of an image I can remember of my many brothers lined up in their white shirts and dark pants, except for the pattern on the candidate’s shirts.  The image of Representative Ryan is that of an all-American family, much like Mitt’s image.  However, the family that currently resides in the Whitehouse is just as all-American as Mitt’s family except for the ingrained image White America has of themselves.  In many ways, the image Mitt portrays is a message he continually sends out when he refers to President Obama as not sharing your values.  This ad is a message about values that I personally find repugnant.

I personally believe in a separation of church and state.  I do not believe President Obama has declared a war on religion.  However, the image and message are clear.  If you are white, the president does not share your religious values.  He probably wasn’t even born in this country and he probably isn’t a Christian.

Therefore, we have the two religious candidates that share our collective values, a Mormon and a right wing Catholic.  I’m not sure that those protesting nuns agree with Representative Ryan on his vision for the poor, so maybe they too are un-American because they don’t share these exact values.

We are not all the same.  The beauty of our country is the fact that we are a melting pot of people, cultures, and ideas.  I believe our greatest strength is the diversity of our people.  With our diversity we are able to develop and create new ideas and stimulate thinking beyond the cookie cutter mode of one size fits all.  We are not a cookie cutter nation where the religious right owns our brains.  We can and must think for ourselves.

As an educator, I am appalled to be inundated with narrow-minded thinking that implies we are all of the same values…one size religion for everyone.  How many times are we going to be told that we are a “Christian” nation?  In our country, we are able to be what we want to be whether it involves religion or it doesn’t.  No one has to buy into any of this nonsense.  It’s like a subtle brain washing.  I always thought that religion was a personal matter between a person and their God.  I have never looked to a politician for my values and I doubt I ever will.   When I think of most politicians and how they got where they are I certainly don’t think of religion.  It’s backroom deals and money that talks.  You scratch my back and I’ll scratch your back.  We largely don’t have control over whom we get to vote for because it’s the money that gets them where they are.  It isn’t God and it isn’t love of country.  This is the same old crap they roll out every year to get the masses on board for the next big thing (You know tax cuts for the wealthy and shared sacrifice for everyone else).  They put up something about how religious they are and stupid sheep follow them.  Take your blinders off and see these people for what they really are.

Mitt Romney was a man born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  He used his own religion to get out of fighting in the Vietnam War.  He has five sons that will never go to battle for anyone except a hostile takeover of some company.  He had a “cushy” gig in France where he tried to convert French Catholics to the Mormon Church.  I think he converted two.  While he was there, he had a car accident that I would like to know more about than I’m currently reading on the web.  He is wealthy beyond our imaginations and he won’t let us know about his taxes because it’s none of our business.  He has a lot of money outside of this country and we are supposed to believe that is a patriotic thing to do.

Then there is Representative Ryan who cannot wait to dig in and dismantle the social programs created by FDR.  Here is a man that lived on the safety net of Social Security and Pell Grants but wants to deny them for the future citizens of this country.  He wants more breaks for the wealthy and less for the poor and middle class.  He believes in the same old trickle down bullshit the Republicans have been spewing for years.

I don’t see the pick of Ryan as being that big of a stretch for Mitt.  They both are really after the same things.  With these guys, the rich get richer and the poor look for the scraps left by the rich.  Social programs and social justice, those things we were taught in church when we were kids are just some left wing Commie plot that we should avoid.  In their world, they are self-made men and the rest of the world better get in line and pull up their bootstraps.

Last night I was talking to my son and he told me he watched “The Dictator”.  Now I am not a Sacha Cohen fan but Josh wanted me to watch the dictator’s speech on Youtube, so I did.  What can we learn from this?  Where is our democracy?  I will leave you with the dictator’s speech, as it is a parody filled with truth!

Mitt’s Money

  • Posted on July 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Mitt's Money: This is a photoshopped picture going around the internet but seems so fitting.

Lately I have been reading quite a bit about Mitt Romney’s money.  Mostly, I’m reading about the money he keeps out of the country.  Most of us don’t have the opportunity to hide our vast fortunes in other countries to avoid paying additional taxes on it.  We might have some money invested in a global stock or we might know someone working in another country to make their living.  However, we don’t generally look around for ways to hide vast sums of money from our country in foreign assets.  For me, it is very troubling that we have a person running for the office of the presidency that doesn’t appear to be fully invested in this country.  The American people have been told for years that the “job creators”  aka the “wealthy” should be given the Bush tax breaks because they reinvest their money to create jobs and of course this is all supposed to trickle down to the rest of us.  Obviously, in the case of Mitt Romney, he doesn’t feel the need to be a job creator in this country, unless it’s to create another job for one of his financial advisors or lawyers that know the inside and outside of the tax laws.  Maybe he’s creating those jobs.  It just seems like such a pity that this wealthy man doesn’t care enough about this country to invest that money here!

Many people might not think where he keeps his money is important.  However, to me, he is very unpatriotic.  President Kennedy asked us to not ask about what our country can do for us but what we can do for our country.  That thought process has always made me think that there is plenty the wealthy can do for our country.  The biggest thing is investing.  We all know that most of the wealthy will not be fighting our wars.  Mitt Romney has five sons.  I don’t believe any of them have served in the military.  Since we don’t have the draft the chances of these wealthy people doing their part for the country militarily are slim.  Unfortunately, it’s the poor and the middle class that fight the wars for the wealthy that send them off to war!

Now, some of you might be thinking that Mitt is creating jobs when he is building his summer home in California or taking his vacation over the fourth of July.  Perhaps, he has given some work to people that wait on him in this capacity.  However, with the 250 plus million that he has I think he could do far more.  After all he claims to be some great job creator and businessman.  However, it appears that he is in the “take over” business.  He swoops in like a vulture, takes control of his prey, cuts loose the fat (You know…real people.), shows some paper profit, and then sells for some great financial gain.  Oh, yes, I guess this is referred to as vulture capitalism, the American way.  It’s a sport without a conscious or any regard for the little people at the bottom that might get in the way.

With all of this in my head, I can only wonder what kind of president Mitt Romney would make.  He has a single ambition which involves taking care of Mitt and what belongs to Mitt.  He has shown his arrogance for laws the rest of us follow when he impersonated a policeman as a college student to frighten some young women.  When I read about this, I thought he was creepy.  His wife claims he’s a real prankster.  I just don’t really understand the thinking behind this kind of prank or the one where he gave some poor guy a haircut.  I confess I cannot get into Mitt’s mind.  However, I know that I don’t trust people that act like he has.  Some people may think that this is all in his past.  However, I think it is part of his character.  He shows a lack of loyalty to our country when he hides his money in other countries.  He shows a lack of respect for other people when he pranks them in ways that cause emotional disturbances for them.  What will this mean for the American people?

You can read more about Mitt’s money at Vanity Fair, the Nation, or Cannonfire.

Mitt Romney Calls Again

  • Posted on June 30, 2012 at 1:20 am

Mitt, calling me once again! (Picture is just for reference.)

Tonight I got another crazy call from Mitt Romney.  I decided one of my brothers must be playing a joke on me.  I cannot remember how many times I have been called by Mitt in the last two months but, it has been enough for me to feel like he has me on speed dial.  I did my usual hang up after he screamed how the first thing he would do is repeal Obamacare.

I frankly am not interested in what the Republicans have to say about healthcare as I am a woman and I had a sister who died an early death probably because she didn’t have health insurance.  What the Republicans offer women just in the area of health insurance is rather pathetic let alone in any other area.  By my understanding, they don’t want to cover much of anything that has to do with a woman’s vagina, let alone “say” that word!  All across the country the right wing Republicans have declared war on women.  They don’t like it being called a “war”.  They just think they know what we should do with our bodies better than we know ourselves.  It’s like they are the “daddy” and daddy knows what’s best for “his” little girl.  Unfortunately, daddy is living in the Stone Age and his daughter has grown up in the 21st Century!  Young women today had better start paying attention or they may end up with a daddy like Mitt who is willing to spend untold money for a prancing horse but unwilling to let his little girl take care of her own vagina.

You may think I find all of this humorous as I am laughing, but I really think this is serious business.  Women today are basically screwed when it comes to politics.  We have very little true representation as there are not enough women involved in writing the laws of our land.  The laws are still basically written by a steady stream of old white guys that don’t really care much for women and women’s rights.  They give us lip service when it’s near election time.  The Democrats try to appear to be on the side of women but hey fall far short representing my gender in any real meaningful way.  The only thing they really have going for them is the Supreme Court.  I cannot imagine another Thomas or Scalia selected for the Supreme Court but it could happen with Romney.  I don’t care much for President Obama but I am happy that he chose two women to be on the Supreme Court.  We now have better representation on the Supreme Court than we do in Washington D.C.

As far as the “Affordable Care Act” goes, I think time will tell how it is going to work.  I, for one, think we should let the dust settle and let the law blossom into what it is supposed to be.  Most of us don’t know all of the details in the law as it stands right now but people probably didn’t know how Social Security, Medicare, or any other program would work until they were enacted either.  Most of it isn’t going to kick in until 2014, so I say let’s see what happens.

The Republicans have spent far too much time strutting like Peacocks trying to get us to notice them.  However, while they have been strutting around trying to get us to fall in love with them, they forgot to do the business of the people.  They work far too hard trying to get rid of President Obama rather than working to push our country forward.  I am tired of the constant tension that is created by a party that wants to sit on their hands while the whole world crumbles around them.  They remind me of the old picture of “monkey see, monkey do”.  Instead of acting like true leaders, they watch each other and follow lock step whatever the first monkey does.  I guess that might be Grover Norquist because he seems to be holding all the cards on the tax situation or maybe it’s the Tea Party.  I don’t know why they have chosen to sit out and become the do nothing Congress that we all have witnessed.  I just wish some of them had the conviction to break from the pack and become true leaders and visionaries for the American people.  They wait until the last possible moment to pass anything like the current job and student loan bills.  They show their faux outrage at Attorney General Holder.   I guess thinking that this is what the American people want.  However, they are so out of touch with what we want that they can’t think straight.

Most of the people I know want to make a good living, take care of their families, be stress fee at work or at home from bills and the possible loss of their job.  Most of the people I know wouldn’t think of telling another person how to take care of their reproductive health or dog them on their church affiliation.  Most of the people I know don’t want to be hassled by the government in any form but definitely want health care to be available and affordable.  Most of the people I know, when they really think about it, don’t want to be sitting next to people that are ill at school or anywhere else that cannot get the health care they need because it is unavailable to them.  They don’t want their children exposed to diseases that were supposed to be eradicated just because parents cannot afford to get their children vaccinated.

I have to come back to what I think the main topic should be and it is the economy.  If you teach a child to swim he can probably save his own life.  The same can be said for people in many ways.  Most people want to work and take care of themselves.  The goal should be job creation.  If we get people working again they will take care of themselves.  It takes money to make money and to get this economy moving money is going to have to be spent.  Austerity measures aren’t going to do our country a bit of good.  We must be willing as a government to do whatever it takes to get this economy moving.  We all know there are bridges and roads that need to be built and repaired.  There are schools that need to be updated.  There are inventors, innovators, and creative young people sitting in classrooms waiting for the future to come.  What are we going to leave them?  Some pot holed roads and broken bridges?  Some school debt that follows them into old age?  Will they have memories of abusive politicians that cannot appear to be civil to each other?  We have choices to make.  I want my students to dream about a future that doesn’t include broken dreams, ineffective government, and a life time of debt.

Michigan Polls and Stupid Politics

  • Posted on July 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Some how this cartoon reminds me of our current politicians!

I have many different things on my mind today so don’t think I’m nutty when my thoughts hop around.  I watched a few minutes of the Chris Matthews show last night and Chris was bemoaning a recent poll from Michigan.  In the poll, if the election were held today, Mitt Romney would beat President Obama 46 to 42.  I guess that means that 12% of the people refused to pick either one in that poll.  Chris has always acted like Michigan will vote for Obama.  He obviously doesn’t realize that we have a Republican House, Senate, and governor.  He thought it was just because Mitt’s dad used to be our governor many years ago.  There is a lot more to it than that.  I’m one of “those people” that are still smitten over my stolen vote during the 2008 Democratic Primary.  Matthews and other political pundits seem to be blind to the fact that there are a number of people that are not happy with the direction this country is going.  The Tea Party is like the antithesis of how I feel, but when you put both the far right and the far left together, that’s a lot of ticked off people.

When Senator Obama ran for the presidency he talked about “hope and change”.  My problems with Obama started early on when he spoke glowingly about paying those math and science teachers more money than other teachers.  That is union busting language that just serves to divide teachers.  I figured he was secretly a Republican and I knew I couldn’t vote for him.  That was in July of 2007.  Now that wasn’t my first exposure to Barack Obama.  The first time I had ever heard of Barack Obama was during the Kerry nomination.  I really liked Obama’s speech at the 2004 convention.  I guess that line about red states and blue states but the United States really got to me.  I thought this guy could be president some day, you know like some time off into the distant future, not four years from then.  Then of course I heard the speech in 2007 where he spoke in front of the National Education Association and I was unimpressed.  It seems to me for being a “no drama” president; we have had nothing but drama since he became president.  Right now I feel that the American people have been whipped into frenzy over the debt ceiling debate just to get us bent to the will of both parties.  I don’t believe either party is innocent in this debate.  It almost feels like the only innocent people are the American people.  Just like the time when banks and corporations were just too big to fail, it seems like we are being brought to the edge of a cliff and told you must get down off the cliff and you have only two choices, now both choices are bad.  The Republicans want us to jump off that cliff and the Democrats want us to fly off that cliff.  Either way we pick to get off that cliff is going to end up with a similar result.  I feel there is much fake outrage about all of this.  I was over to Black Agenda and Bruce Dixon has written a piece that just says it all for me as both parties have been in cahoots for years in their “drama-o-drama”  machine playing good cop to the other guy’s bad cop.  You must read this piece!  http://www.blackagendareport.com/obama-fake-debt-ceiling-crisis_smarter-than-you

Now this is a guy that has supported Obama.  I probably would have supported him in the last election, if he hadn’t stolen my vote, because I have always been a lifelong Democrat.  However, after the election was over, I wanted President Obama and still want him to be a successful “Democratic” president.  He just hasn’t been that!  He has continued the Bush policies and even extended them into another war in the Middle East.  Most people, even Republicans, should be able to see that he is nothing more than an extension of GW, from policies to vacation taking.

We are being told he is a Centrist.  That is only true if the “Center” has shifted dramatically right.  Some people think he is like Reagan.  While I think he admires Reagan much more than any other president, I think he is more like GW.  He speaks better than GW, but the policies are the same which makes you wonder who is really pulling the strings in this country.  It certainly isn’t the American people because he doesn’t seem to care about us.  He can’t even get the “feel your pain” speech down like President Clinton could always master.  In President Obama, I am often left wondering just what the Republicans are holding over his head.  Is there something they could let out of the bag at any given time, some dark secret that we haven’t already heard?  Does he secretly wear tiger costumes and exhibit inappropriate behavior like Representative Wu?  I’m at a loss as to why President Obama acts the way he does.  He certainly hasn’t lived up to the rhetoric of what his promises during the campaign suggested to the people that voted for him.  I never believed him, so I don’t exactly feel betrayed.  However, those that believed in this guy have to be wondering what’s going on with him?  Did he change or is it a reality that the job of the president is just so overwhelming that us “little people” just don’t and couldn’t possibly understand what it means to be president?

Anyway you look at it the American people are always taking a back seat to the corporations and the wealthy in this country.  I don’t want to hear how I am pushing “class warfare” because the truth is the people in power have kept this war going for years.  The Republicans have fed their people the line about “personal responsibility” to the point where many on the right look down with disdain at the guy that isn’t making it in this country.  If it is their own kid, they are getting on the phone and calling in favors to get their kid employed the old fashioned way, not based on merit, but on nepotism.  They can’t stand the look and feel of affirmative action, but they love the fact that they can get their kid “in” because of who they know.  The poor have never had this advantage in life or politics.  The poor don’t have someone they can call when their kid can’t find work.  There is a divide in our country between the haves and the have nots, but most people are in denial about it.  They secretly know they make those calls but they pretend that their kid did it on his or her own merits.  I always find it so interesting when I watch TV pundits and discover that many of the young people getting their feet wet are the sons and daughters of those earlier figures.  It isn’t what you know but who you know that counts in this country.  If you know someone powerful, you probably will get what you need.  However, if you’re like most people you don’t have some sugar daddy just waiting to give you a job.  You must create your own life based on what you can get and what you can strive for.  Back in the fifties and sixties after WWII many people surpassed their parents economically by going on to college.  They benefited from low school loans, to the low cost of college, to even the GI Bill.  When they got out of college, they could live the American dream.  Some of them didn’t even have to go to college to live that dream.  They built automobiles.  The point is there was a dream that most Americans could grasp.  Now, after forty years of Republican and Democratic political failures, we have reached a point where some of our children may not do as well as their parents.  That American dream is becoming a nightmare of student loans, no job prospects, and even forced moves of hundreds and thousands of miles away from family just to find a job!  It is no wonder that if you have the means to help your child find work that you will pull in that marker that someone owes you!  The point I’m trying to make is that the current economic situation is very much related to the constant bickering between the two political parties and their need for greed.  While the politicians are busy shuffling the chairs on the deck of this sinking ship, they don’t deal with the reality which is jobs and job creation.  They only care about making businesses more comfortable and keeping the wealth in the hands of the wealthy.  Truthfully, businesses can go anywhere for their labor and that is what they’re doing.  Our governmental policies favor this.  Neither political party cares enough about our country to remember that our best asset is our people.  They care more about their own political careers than anything else.  They will continue to build their careers off the backs of the middle class and the poor.  They will continue to ask the American people to squeeze one more dime out of their crappy pension, Social Security, or college fund so they can give it to corporations and those wealthy “job creators” to piss away on anything but creating real jobs.  I’m disappointed in the politics of my nation.  I want the students that I teach to be able to have real dreams for their future.  I don’t want politicians that play these stupid games representing me.  If this is the best that we can do in our country, we’re in real trouble!

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