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It Takes a Village and Other Thoughts

  • Posted on October 5, 2013 at 11:17 pm

I have deliberately not spent much time writing about the politics of D.C. this year because it is just so depressing.  However, I must clarify that the D.C. is not really the District of Columbia when it comes to politics; it is disastrous corruption.  This week, it appears we are on the brink of disaster once again.  The focus now is on the blame game, but I am tired of the unreality of the Tea Party movement.  If you just do a little reading on the internet, it is not hard to see that much of the financial backing of this “movement” is from the Koch brothers.  What is going on in politics is about money, not from the little people but from big business and influences that have nothing to do with the masses.  We are fed information from corporate owned media that wants to perpetuate their own purposes.  I notice on Facebook the Tea Party is alive and well, infiltrating and rotting the minds of people by making them more concerned about some person on welfare than the corporate welfare that permeates Washington.  There, I got that off my chest.  Now, I can write about what is really on my mind and that is children.

Global Children

Let’s Embrace the Creativity in our Children


I recently reread Hillary Clinton’s book, “It Takes a Village” and I feel a need to share what I am thinking about politics, children, and how it all fits together.  Hillary wrote this book long ago and some of the data is outdated, figures are probably even worse today, and of course, she wrote it before the technology revolution of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, iPads, iPhones, and everything else that kids are exposed to today.  I have a couple of brothers that think “It Takes a Village” is funny and they have made sarcastic remarks to me about this, but I don’t think most people understand how important it is that we all are part of creating the next generation of adults.  I think if we start at the top, and I mean the politics in Washington D.C., it isn’t hard to see how uncivil our country has become.  How could this hatred and bullying not permeate down into the minds and thoughts of our children?  People seemed shocked when some kid takes out many people at a mall, theater, school, or any place else where an opportunity is presented.  I think it isn’t hard to understand the pain and the suffering that these young people are going through.  Mental health is just not there, but mentally is there anything right with what is happening with the politicians that are in Washington supposedly leading our country?  I believe the political discourse has much to do with all of the negative things that are happening in our country.  Since Barack Obama became president, there has been an unprecedented amount of blatant racism.  Obama was not my first choice by far, but he is president and he was even reelected.  It is time that the party of “no” started to understand that what they are doing is destroying this country.  As far as the “Affordable Care Act” goes, it is now the law of the land.  I say, “Get over it.”  I wanted single payer.  I didn’t get my way but it is now time to see how it works.  The Tea Party Republicans have turned into nothing but bullies.  They want their way and nothing else.  They don’t really care about people, it is just about the next election.  Seriously, I care about my job, just like the next person.  However, I am not going to destroy some children in order to get what I want with the ones that are going to help get me a better evaluation.

It’s time our country started caring about their most important resource and that is our children.  Politicians battle it out while kids are suffering in homes where stressed out parents are out of work, where money is a constant source of frustration, and where affordable, good daycare is difficult to find.  If these politicians would focus more on getting the economy going instead of worrying about who can cut the most fat out of the budget, we would all be better off.  These are the same people that in one breath tell you, “You can pry my gun out of my cold dead hands.” but in another will be telling a woman whether she can have birth control or not.  If that isn’t crazy, I don’t know what is.  The Tea Party wants less government control but actually, they want to control everything that happens in our lives.  They want to keep the government out of their lives but want it when they want it for their own gains.  They can give government funds to churches to feed people but not to people to feed themselves.  Our children today are growing up in a society filled with hate, so if they hate, it is understandable.  I am the most positive person I know and truthfully, it has caused me pain at times because I tend to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe that’s naïve of me but I think I’d rather have a heart than be heartless and I see the Tea Party Movement as a heartless, soulless, creature that cares for no one, least of all the children.

When I was a kid, I became involved in politics because my family was into politics.  My parents were FDR Democrats.  I can remember some very heated discussions with different members of my family.  Many of my brothers today are staunch Republicans.  I think my parents would wonder how they could be so far from their roots.  However, we know our children are not cookie cutter reproductions of us, so it is understandable when some change from their roots.  What I don’t understand is how today there is so much hatred for both parties with each other.  There is a lack of respect for the president and the Democrats and there is a lack of respect for the Republicans.  I think the Tea Party Movement has brought out the worse of both parties.  They have decided that they are not going to negotiate anything which means absolutely nothing is going to be done.  From my point of view, it seems like there should be more being done to get this economy moving.  All that is happening is fighting.  How much money has to be wasted on the countless number of times the House has tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act?  I’ve lost track of how many times they have voted on it.  It must have cost many trees and hours of work for that legislation to be re-voted on in the House.  They don’t mind wasting that money but as for some person out of work hoping to get an extension on unemployment well, he/she is just a lazy bum looking for a handout.

Our children deserve better.  We had a better country when I was young.  We cared about each other.  I went to college and my school loan was $3600, something I didn’t have to kill myself over to pay back.  Kids today come out with unbelievable stress from school loans that would break the back of anyone.  It seems that education is for only the rich these days or those willing to live in a debtor’s hellhole for most of their lives.  We promise them that if they do well in school, they will get a good job when they get out.  Then we send those good jobs overseas or bring workers here because “We don’t have enough qualified people to do those jobs.”  Most of us know that this is just another way for business to get cheaper labor.  We send our kids off to fight wars that are made up of faulty intelligence only to act like, “Oh, my bad!”  Peoples’ lives are manipulated, so when one of them comes back and shoots up something, should we really be surprised?  Our children deserve better.  We send them off to school, which used to be fun, but is now turned into some kind of testing nightmare, should we really be surprised when they’re turned off and tuned out?  Our children deserve better.

We put kids under an unbelievable amount of stress from the constant talk about being fat, to what not to wear, to how they are constantly failing in schools, and how we were so much smarter than they are today.  I am so tired of the way we treat our children.  We tell them that they don’t measure up at every turn.  “Oh Johnny, your test scores really do suck.  I didn’t mean to say you are stupid but…..”  When does this abuse of our children end?  When are we going to look at children and see them as the gift they are?  When are we going to look at a child without measuring how fat or thin, or stupid or smart, or whatever other label we have deemed to put on them but as a person to nurture and help grow into a productive adult?  If we want a better country, we had better start taking care of our children.  We cannot simply drop them off at daycare or at the school door hoping that something better will appear.  We have to all nurture these children.  If you are a storeowner, do not act as if that child is there to steal from you.  Show some interest in the children in your community.  If you are a teacher, try to figure out why some children are misbehaving for you, maybe you will be the only real friend they have that day.  If you are a politician, think about how your actions are destroying our country and causing the nightmares of today for countless children across this country that go to bed hungry, poor, and tired, and wake up to the same nightmare they had when they went to bed.  I feel strongly that if a child lives with hatred, he/she learns to hate.  Do you remember this poem?  It is time we thought about how to take care of our children.


Dorothy Law Nolte

If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.

If a child lives with fear,
he learns to be apprehensive.

If a child lives with pity,
he learns to feel sorry for himself.

If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.

If a child lives with jealousy,
he learns what envy is.

If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.

If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns to be confident.

If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with praise,
he learns to be appreciative.

If a child lives with acceptance,
he learns to love.

If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with recognition,
he learns that it is good to have a goal.

If a child lives with sharing,
he learns about generosity.

If a child lives with honesty and fairness,
he learns what truth and justice are.

If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him.

If a child lives with friendliness,
he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.

If you live with serenity,
your child will live with peace of mind.

With what is your child living?


Wisconsin Protests

  • Posted on August 12, 2013 at 11:52 am

It has been a fairly quiet summer, or so I thought.  I just realized that protests at the Wisconsin state capital have continued for a long time.  I thought they had been shut down long ago by Governor Walker and his austerity plan for unions.  They just haven’t been getting the national coverage they got when the “Ed” show managed to showcase them on MSNBC.  I watched daily on Big Eddie’s show to see what was going to happen.  Of course what happened was the same thing that happened here in Michigan.  Unions took a giant hit with Republican legislatures and governors.  Here, in Michigan, we became a “right to work” state which loosely translates into a “right to work for less” state.

As an art teacher, I saw the pinch of what all of this means immediately last fall when I had to have my union dues taken out of my bank account and not out of my paycheck.  They can take money for other things including charities, but union dues, not so much.  It really annoys me and I do my own form of protest for this.  It was set up this way to really try to break the union by hitting them in the pocketbook.  Who knows?  Perhaps some teachers have opted to not pay their union dues, thinking that they aren’t getting anything for their money.  However, I am not willing to go back to the dark ages of no representation other than who you know and how popular you personally are with them.  It is sad really as this past school year was the most stressful that I have witnessed in all of my years of teaching.

The stress was caused by all of the legislation going on at the state level.  Most interestingly is the way teacher evaluations are configured.  All teachers at my school have a portion of their evaluation tied to a group of student test scores in reading and math.  This means I have a mentor class that I see for 35 minutes each day that I must nurture so they can perform on a standardized test.  If they improve, I get more points on my evaluation and get to breathe for another year.  If they don’t, well, in time it means I’m a lousy art teacher I guess.  This group is not handpicked by me or any of the other teachers.  Although, if an administrator was so inclined I suppose they could give a teacher a tough load just for fun, to drive them crazy, or to try and get them to retire.  So, we have our own little hell here in Michigan.  What I didn’t know was that Wisconsin union workers have continued to protest.

I want to share a couple video links here so people can become more aware of what is still going on in Wisconsin.  We, as teachers, and other union members, have really taken a hit in the past few years.  We have had changes made to our pensions, pay, union rights, and insurance all because of the Republican power at the state level.  I’m calling it like it is as there is no way this would have happened to this extent under Democrats.  Often I say there is no difference between the two parties anymore but this is really not true. The right wing agenda is about privatization of everything and spreading the word of God as they take away programs for the poor, women, and disenfranchised.

We must be diligent in understanding what is going on across our nation.  We cannot sit back and idly play through the summer months without being more aware of what is happening to unions, the middle class, and the poor.  I am not saying to skip any vacations.  I just want people to be aware of what is happening.

Wisconsin Capital Protestors from the Real News

From Blue Cheddar (They will be doing a live stream today at 12:00 Central time here as well.)

Blue Cheddar Video

The Courting of Hillary?

  • Posted on January 28, 2013 at 6:44 pm
, via Wikimedia Commons”]

I watched 60 Minutes last night because I wondered what the Obama, Clinton interview meant.  I was somewhat surprised by the relationship that appeared between the two.  Of course, there is much speculation as to what is really going on.  Will she run in 2016 or won’t she?  I came away with many different thoughts but number one I do think President Obama wanted to thank Hillary for her service to the country.  The Republicans have bullied her for years and they continue to try to take her down only to discover that she is more popular than ever.  President Obama praised her for being an exemplary Secretary of State.  I agree with him.  She has worked tirelessly to try to improve our foreign policy and our standing on the world stage.  Her tireless effort more than likely has contributed to her current health situation.  Hillary has given much to his country.  No one can question this.  I have no doubt that President Obama does have feelings for Hillary and he must admire her for her effort and unfailing devotion to her job and country.

If you think about it, women have always surrounded President Obama.  His mother and grandmother played key roles in his young development and of course, his wife and young girls continue to provide a certain female perspective for him today.  The recent appointments that he has made and the picture depicting so many male staff members has been talked about in such a way as to suggest Obama has no room for women in his cabinet and his life.  Could he have taken this time to thank Hillary to remind people of how closely he regards the counsel of those women around him?

Perhaps the president needed a moment to show women that appreciate Hillary that he too appreciates her.  I don’t know what caused him to take this moment to thank Hillary but me for one am glad he did.  Hillary deserves recognition for her years of service to this country.  I am glad that Hillary and Barack could look beyond the 2008 primary to get some things done for the good of the country.

I can only hope that the Republicans could learn from this relationship.  Hillary called the president, her president.   It’s about time the Republicans understood that he is their president as well as ours.  He won the election.   I think the president should pick the cabinet he feels is the best choice for the country at this time in history.  I also believe that the Republicans should be thinking about the good of the country and not their next election.

On Meet the Press Sunday, I saw Rep. Paul Ryan.  He still doesn’t get it.  Obama won and he won decisively.  It wasn’t even close, as the Republicans want us to believe.

Ryan feels like Obama has to make nice with the Republicans on their turf.  In one breath, he says we have a majority and then the next he talked about how he was disappointed that Romney didn’t win so they could put forth their “agenda”.  It is obvious that he felt that if they had won they would have the backing of the people to put forth their agenda.  My question is why he doesn’t feel the same way when Obama won?  It just dosen’t make any sense at all to me.  He also mentioned Hillary in a positive way, which is just bullshit from his mouth.  Is he really thinking any of us that like Clinton could possibly like his policies?  Dream on Paul.  If you want to watch him click .

His biggest regret is that they didn’t win and they didn’t get to put the kind of “reforms” that he thinks the country needs in place.  He says this around 17.26 into the video.  He understands that his party needs to expand their appeal but he still just doesn’t get it in my mind.  Ryan thinks the president is more worried about a political conquest of the Republicans than with doing what is right for the country.  He went on to talk about if we had a Clinton presidency he thinks we would have fixed this mess by now.  This is all Ryan bullshit because he would have been doing the same thing to Clinton that he has done to Obama.  The Republicans are disappointed about the election.  After all, they had planned on Obama having only one term as president.  They were going to do everything in their power to make it so.  Well, they lost and the American people made their choice.  Now, they expect Obama to come crawling back to them with his tail between his legs like some whipped puppy.  I don’t think so.  Obama does have the backing of the people.  I like what has been happening with my stocks and I sure don’t want those Republicans to start putting the stops on the economy.  If anything, the government needs to put more money out to build up the infrastructure and get this economy moving even better.  We don’t need the boogey man Republicans constantly holding the fiscal cliff over our heads causing chaos and instability.

As far as Hillary goes….she rocks and the president knows it!  Unfortunately for them, so do the Republicans!  She had Paul Ryan singing her praises this weekend.  This coming the same week when the Repubs showed their despicable behavior to her which culminated with Sen. Rand Paul dreaming about being president so he could have the opportunity to fire her.  These Republicans are funny.  They fear Hillary and they will do anything they can to keep her from running in 2016.  I’m sure it won’t take long until the crazy nuts start talking about how she killed Vince Foster.  Hillary, if you run, you got my vote.  If you don’t, have a long and happy life.

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!


  • Posted on August 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I am so fortunate to be visiting the northern Michigan area this week.  I had a get together with some of my brothers and it was fun.  Thankfully, I am sitting in front of this view and can keep my head clear of all negative thoughts.

Beautiful Duck Lake near Interlochen, Michigan

I was the only liberal person at the party Sunday night.  One of my brothers actually thinks that Democrats are the root of all that is seemingly evil in our society.  To him it seems that it is Democratic policies that destroy cities and lead to the destruction of our nation.  He sees Democrats as not wanting to work.  I thought that was a broad brush to paint people with and rather narrow minded.

I grew up in a FDR Democratic family.  It’s a wonder that these brothers grew up with the same parents that I had.  My parents would never agree with my brothers, not by a long shot.  Like our nation, my family is deeply divided by politics, religion, and basic world views.    I think politics in general tends to divide families especially in the last twenty years or so.  The right wing ideology of bible thumping Christianity scares the hell out of the free thinking left ideology.  For the most part, I believe in tolerance of other peoples’ ideas, unless it infringes on my life and my freedoms.  I don’t want religious zealots creating policy for our country and especially for women’s reproductive health.  Regardless of how I feel, it has made me realize that it is up to the people of this country to start making the real decisions and not leaving it up to the imperfect and bought politicians.

There are two things that I think are essential to being a true and devoted citizen of our nation.  These are to become educated and to vote.  If you aren’t voting, you need to start.  We have really only our vote as a check and balance to keep those in government on their toes.  It is so obvious across this nation this year that there are many things being done to prevent certain groups of people from voting.  This tells me that our votes must really be precious.

Recently, there was an editorial in our local paper, the Sturgis Journal, in which the writer was appalled at the lack of people voting in the August election.  I did vote but I find it a bit frustrating as I live in a Republican area.  What I am noticing is many of the local offices have people that run unopposed.  Either the Democrats feel it is a lost cause, it is too expensive to put together a campaign, both of these or something else is going on.  I also saw where some representatives want to repeal the 17th amendment which would mean that we would no longer vote for our senators to represent us in Congress.  That is unbelievable to me.  We must vote people or maybe they will start taking that vote away.  Yes, I know what you may be thinking…There seems to be no difference between the two parties these days.  I’ve said it myself.  However, that is not totally true.  One is way right and one is a bit right.  Lefties have the Green Party but in our two party system; it really leaves a lot of people out in the cold on making a statement with their vote.  I think this is why many don’t bother voting.  They don’t feel they have a real choice; they only have bad candidates and then there is worse.  It is frustrating I know but we must do our part and vote or soon we may not have the right.

Look at it this way.  If so many people are trying to limit voting it must be something special.  Regardless of how you vote, if you are of voting age, I hope you do vote.  I remember how excited I was the first time I voted.  I felt really great taking part in our government.  I grew up with political discussions about everything from the Kennedys to the Vietnam War.  To me voting was a great privilege.  I have always voted and probably always will vote.  When I moved to Oklahoma, I participated in a Caucus.  It was interesting.  Politics has always been interesting to me.  What most people don’t seem to understand is politics and those political decisions do have an effect on your life.  Politics affects everything from the minimum wage to education, and even the draft.  If you don’t get involved and vote you are leaving the decisions to other people that may or may not have your best interests in mind as they do their job in government.  So this November become a participating member of our nation.  Get educated about the issues so you truly understand the consequences of your voting decisions and then VOTE!

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.

Thank You Rachel Maddow and What’s Happening with Michigan?

  • Posted on April 22, 2012 at 3:21 pm

The Alien Take Over by Dana (Just click on this to see it larger.)

A lot can happen while you’re sleeping and going through the routine of everyday life so to speak.  If you haven’t been paying attention here in Michigan, much has been going on with politics and governing.  While the national focus was busy on Wisconsin, here in Michigan all manner of craziness has been taking place through the passing of legislation stealthily under an emergency provision.  The only national figure that has made much of a fuss about what is happening in Michigan seems to be Rachel Maddow.  For this I thank you Rachel.  I didn’t know about the over five hundred bills that have been passed with this emergency situation.  I knew about the emergency manager law that installs a little “dictator” in the place of people that have been voted into their positions, essentially denying voters their voted choice.  I did not know the manner in which the bulk of legislation has been passed this past year, through an emergency bill that doesn’t even take a roll call vote.  How 73 votes can be counted in a few seconds by a human being is beyond me.  Rachel has a video here that shows how this is being done.  I haven’t read about this in any local Michigan paper and I have been wondering why the Democrats have been so weak.  Well, now I know!  Please watch this video all the way through.  It is radical what is happening in my beloved state.  This is not democracy!

As a teacher here in Michigan, I feel like I have a target on my back.  It is all related to the fact that I am part of a teachers’ union more than anything else.  The Snyder government is swiftly doing whatever it can do to destroy any teacher union in Michigan by passing legislation that essentially disrupts the bargaining process.  The Republicans will say it is about money but it really is about the politics of it all.  They recently passed legislation that will not allow schools to deduct my union dues from my pay.  Now I have direct deposit and money is taken out for a lot of different things including United Way and the Sturgis Foundation.  It just doesn’t make any sense that my union dues couldn’t work the same way as the United Way.  This is just a way to make it more difficult for me as a teacher.  I will protest this and it may be through things like the United Way.  This legislation needs to be stopped.  As a teacher I haven’t been a part of a team that is just concerned about money and insurance.  Class size is an important issue.  It’s difficult to get around to students if you have a large class.  Our advanced math class has 37 students in it.  That is just too many students for one teacher to really get around to every student, no matter how great a teacher he/she is.  The issue of class size is basically a dead issue.  Nothing is going to happen to improve this situation with the current legislative body in Lansing.  I encourage everyone to please get involved and find out about these issues.

The pressure for teachers is very great right now.  They have to produce some kind of result based on a test students take.  If you think this is not going to have any kind of affect on your child, you must be kidding yourself.  Emotionally, your child might be feeling beat up by a system that tells him/her that they just aren’t good enough.  In other ways your child might be denied exploratory classes that might help him/her develop special talents.  This is a frustrating time for educators, but I think it is apt to be even more frustrating to the child that can’t seem to fit into the square peg when they might be more like a circle.  Just as we, as adults, aren’t all the same, children learn and develop at different rates as well.  In my seventh grade art class, I recently had a child create a comic strip called “The Alien Take Over”.  Just so you know, MEAP stands for the Michigan Educational Assessment Program….you know, THE TEST!  Now for the child that is brilliant, this may not have a big effect on him/her.  However, if your child gets stressed out easily, lacks self esteem, needs more time, or is a perfectionist, he/she just might get even more stressed out with what’s happening in education today when they just don’t quite “measure” up!  In the comic strip the student is abducted and taken to the MEAP.  I really wouldn’t want my child’s memories of school to be about some big test.  I remember one big test when I was in school and that was the SAT.  I certainly wouldn’t want that test to be the only thing I remembered in my K-12 experience.  I remember good and bad teachers the most.  I remember the kindness of my second grade teacher, Mrs. Smith, when she gave me a brief case to hold my books because we were moving.  Above all else that stands out in my mind.  I hope you can remember some teacher that made you feel special, not one that made you feel stupid because you failed to pass the MEAP.

By the way, Rachel Maddow, keep it up!  I appreciate all that you do to shine a light on what is happening in Michigan and for that, I thank you!

The Definition of Insanity

  • Posted on July 30, 2011 at 4:41 pm

This guy may look unassuming and normal, but he has the power!

We’ve all been told that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting a different result.  This came to mind to me when I thought I was going through a “Ground Hog” moment when I heard the House passed their bill again last night.  Yes, they may have made some minor changes to it, but truthfully, why waste our time with something that you know isn’t going anywhere?  Steadily this week I watched the “Dow” go down, down, down, and I thought about how it had just recovered after the big slump of 2008!  Leave it to politicians to play political games that make everything unstable for all people.  Waiting until the last possible minute to settle this issue is costing our country in many ways.  I still feel that this was orchestrated just for political reasons and that both parties want to dig deep into Social Security and Medicare and make changes that aren’t probably what the American people want. Here is an opinion piece from Patrick Martin at the World Socialist Web Site.  Now, don’t let the fact that it’s on the WSWS website deter you.  This is interesting and really should be read.

I don’t trust either party, but I have to wonder what’s going on with the Tea Party people because most of them seem absolutely clueless!  The Republicans have prostrated themselves at the altar of Grover Norquist.  He has far too much power, far more than any one person should have!  Here I found a video way back in the 2008 primary where Grover gets to ask a question during one of the Republican Primary debates.

Many of the guys took the pledge to never raise taxes.  If you don’t take the pledge, you don’t get any love from Grover.  All I can say is “never” is a long time!  I just can’t get over how powerful this guy really is.  He seems to come before God and family for politicians!  I went to Wikipedia and he has a long history of working for lower taxes.

Now I don’t care much for Lawrence O’Donnell or his show but this is a good clip to watch.

So, the real question is why is Grover so powerful?  It appears to me that he has deep pockets and the total backing of the Republican Party.  This document should be read but it has some scary bits in it.

I thought these two items were very telling of who is behind Grover and what the plan is.

On Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, Norquist said the following about the Bush Administration, “We is them, and they is us. When I walk through the White House, I recognize as many people as when I would walk through the Heritage Foundation.”

“My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”— The Nation, 10/12/2004

Both of these quotes should disturb anyone reading them.  This is the guy that has the power in Washington, not you or me.  We should all be afraid.  I’ll end this piece by letting you know that Grover can be a funny guy.  Maybe it’s his “good old boy charm” that has helped him get where he is today!  This is from his own website doing a comic stand up routine for the “Funniest Celebrities in Washington”, whatever that is.  This is his baby, Americans for Tax Reform.

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!

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!

DINOS, RINOS, and the Two Party System

  • Posted on July 22, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I have been wondering what happened with Cenk on MSNBC.  I noticed that Al Sharpton was working during his time slot.  I thought Cenk was on vacation but since I haven’t been really watching much of MSNBC this summer, I didn’t really know what was going on until I came across this video today.

I’m not writing about Cenk being canned at MSNBC.  I’m more concerned about something he said in his video.  Like many people that think like I do, he states in the video that President Obama is a Republican.  I’ve been saying this for a long time.  However, what really got me was that he basically said he knew this because he was once a Republican himself.

The Democratic Party was infiltrated by these Republicans, probably because they lost their own home in their own changing party.  As the Republican Party moved more right, so did the Democratic Party because of the shift of these people from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party.  I always have found it strange that people like Ariana Huffington and Markos Moulitsas were speaking for my party.  They both were Republicans before they were Democrats.  I could never understand how this happened in “my” party.  Who would have ever thought that both Governor Perry from Texas and Representative Bachmann from Minnesota were once Democrats?

Yesterday I read something over on Hullabaloo that just made me angry.

Now I want to disclose here that I haven’t really associated myself with the Democratic Party since they stole my vote during the 2008 primary.  I consider myself to be an FDR democrat.  In fact I passed out flyers for Michael Dukakis long ago.  So when I say, “We Democrats!” this is what I mean.  It seems that we Democrats, are supposed to keep carrying water for President Obama because he’s the best we’ve got.  I never got on that ship to begin with, so when it’s sinking it’s not my job to bail out that water.  If President Obama wants to get my vote, he needs to stop modeling himself after GW and start reading books about FDR, protect the programs FDR helped create, and get us out of these wars.  In the article that I mentioned here, there was much talk about “progressives”.  I just want to state right now that I have come to hate that word.  It’s bullshit really.  In my own life, I consider myself to be liberal in my politics.  That word has been so libeled by the media that people are afraid to admit their liberal.  I think of liberal as being “mind expanding, open minded”, and not closed off to new ideas.  Essentially, I am liberal because I believe in letting people make their own choices in life.  While I am rather conservative in my social values, I believe that everyone needs to be treated with respect and that includes respecting their choices.  I personally don’t believe who people are sleeping with, or their religious choices or non choices needs to be a part of politics.  This is why I can still be deeply disappointed with what John Edwards did to his family but still understand the politics when he said he wanted to be a voice for the voiceless.  I am not moved by the scandal story of the day that is probably put out there at some opportune time to get rid of certain politicians that aren’t quite “falling in line”, much like Cenk at MSNBC.

My politics speak more about social justice than anything else.  I find it, yes, morally offensive, when my government decides it is more important to feed and clothe the wealthy than to take care of the least of its people.  I know that sounds rather religious in tone but truthfully it is about being human and compassionate.  How can a real human walk by and ignore suffering that they see?  Too many times I’ve heard conservatives use those words, “They should just pick themselves up by their bootstraps.”  The problem is what if they have no boots, little education, and no hope?  When we can provide all three, a pair of boots, education, and hope, we should do it.  In the end, everyone will be better off because that person will become a productive member of society who could potentially be the next person to give a hand to someone else.

A few weeks ago, I saw part of an old movie, Spencer’s Mountain, with Henry Fonda and Maureen O’Hara.  The movie is about a family.  The dad is a miner and he comes from a family of miners.  His oldest boy is the top in his class and the family realizes that this is an opportunity for their son to create a better life for himself and potentially the rest of the children by going to college.   Yes, I know you can remember the show, “The Walton’s”.  In Spencer’s Mountain the father’s dream was to build some grand home for his wife and family.  However, he eventually gives up that dream for the real dream which is his family, and helping them have a better life.  Here is the most important part to the movie and it is the point I want to make here.

As a person who really has the heart of the real Democratic Party in her soul and is not some come to the party lately person, I think our country should be helping those at the bottom elevate so they can have dreams too.  I’m not talking about letting people sit and do nothing.  I’m talking about helping people get a good education, find a good job, and fulfill their dreams and even help them get dreams.  As an educator, I think we must fund quality education for all.  Job creation should not be a problem.  There are plenty of things that need to be done in this country.  Instead of building roads and bridges in Afghanistan, we could be building and fixing them here.  We have an infrastructure that is failing from our road system, to our electrical grid, to even some of the old schools that need to be updated.  There is plenty to do here.  Some of our big cities look like war torn zones.  We could go in and fix these as well.  We should be thinking about the future.  What is going to draw business to your state or my state?  It seems to me that as a government we aren’t doing much here in our own country which is leading to not only a failing economy but also a failing of our people.

We should all be frightened by these two current parties!

My sister and I were talking last night and we both felt that the American people weren’t worried about some terrorist coming in the night and yet the American people are being terrorized by high unemployment, high prices for everything from gas to food, and now the latest threat, losing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  The terrorist in our lives happens to be our inept government!  The politicians have all swung so far right that they have lost touch with the American people.  I live in a Republican community and I have to say on any given day when I really talk with my Republican friends they aren’t that far away from my own thinking.  It seems that most of us want to be able to raise our children in peace and know that there is a good future waiting for them when they become adults.  That is the American dream!  We may have different ways and ideas about reaching that dream, but truthfully that American Dream is being threatened by a two party system that essentially has turned into a one party system.  Our government has swung so far to the right that they have forgotten that most of the American people are more concerned about their own personal families than anything else.  For years we were threatened with the” imminent” attack that awaited us from Osama Bin Laden.  I can remember many police sessions at my school where I was informed that it was an ideal place for a terrorist to show up because it was so unexpected.  We have been prodded like cattle to get on a plane or attend a political rally and we have given up the very freedoms that we proclaim to love so much.  Now, in addition to those freedoms, we are expected to give up those standards of American life, like Social Security, that we have paid into for all of our lives, to once again, stave off terrorism.  We have to pay for all of the things that we cherish like more money for defense, more money for homeland security, more money for politicians to run their offices, less money for education, less money for the arts, less money for Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.  Yes, for those of you that don’t understand sarcasm, I am being facetious here.  The politicians from both parties are telling us if you want to feel safe at night, this is what we have to do now.  I’m not buying it.  If this were all true they shouldn’t have taken 2% out of my payroll taxes and kept the Bush tax cuts in place last December.  Once again we are being sold a bill of goods.  While it appears that the two parties are so far apart that they are at an impasse, don’t buy it.  Something will happen and they will get a plan.  Unfortunately, it will not favor the majority of the American people.  We will once again be told that we all must share in this “sacrifice” when the only ones doing the sharing will be you and me.  I don’t have the answers but I know our two party system is broken.  We need to get rid of both of these pathetic parties and get fresh people in Washington that are not bought and paid for, that care more about the promise of America than the promise of their next election.  We have been told for years that we are stuck with the two party system but we have to change this government.  We need people in office that are not loyal to either party but loyal to the American people.  I cannot understand anyone in a party that would sign an oath to a person such as Grover Norquist.  The only oath they should be taking is one to the American people.

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