Saturday, January 27, 2007

Under the Category of: Things I Already Knew and/or Suspected

I did not watch the SOTU show the other night. I knew that it would just piss me off. I figured that I would hear enough about it in the following days and if I was so inclined I could even read the entire text anywhere online. So, instead I went to bed. Now, days later, after the smoke has all died down and the "cat is out of the bag", so to speak, I have had enough time to do a slow burn and found the time to post about said burn.

I knew that this address was going to be allot of smoke and mirrors. Much yadda, yadda, yadda about nothing. No health care for those without, no real standards set for fuel emissions and the list goes on. The "Decider" and "Decision-Maker" hath spoken. Well, as I was following my daily news reading, this AM, I found a nice little piece over at Mother Jones and it provided many interesting figures.

We all know that those who lobby give much dinero to the political world and this is a HUGE reason why many in various office do not like to rock the boat when it comes to the changes that most of us want to see. Like in health care. The struggles are famous. When the Clintons wanted to make changes in the system you would have thought the world was coming to an end! There are so many, in this country, that are without and due to the risings costs more and more yearly. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Prioities in 2005 we hit the record high with 46.6 million uninsured. Of these numbers 360,000 were children. My own family is STILL uninsured because I have not yet hit the required hours to qualify and SO's company has something that they "call" insurance, but it really is just a "you pay as you go and when you hit $2200.00 we'll chip in" plan.

When you see how much money comes from the health care lobby you can see why the Republicans are hesitant to make any waves. Accident & Health Insurance gave $ 7,320,915 and 68% went to the Republicans. Health Professionals $49,717,325 and 63% to Republicans. Pharmaceuticals gave $17,865,648 with 68% going to the team. So you can see that the health care people are most concerned with maintaining the status quo. They like things the way they are and defy anyone to try and make changes.

Then you get in to the environment and clean air etc. and you see the kind of money that is given by the oil groups, coal etc. The only group that mightily to the Democrats were the Environmental groups. They gave $889,748 with 83% going to Dems.

It is a short, but intersting read if you care to trot over to Mother Jones and take a look. There is also much other good news to be found in those pages. One that I will be adding to my links list.

So, in the category of Things I Might Rather be Doing While President is on Air Speaking About Things Nothing will be Done About, I think I will watch a TiVo'd Daily Show and get some real news.

Monday, January 22, 2007


Saturday there were 2 more Marines killed in Anbar Province. One of them was the best friend of my girlfriends son, Brett, who is in Iraq. They were together. Brett is fine, he called his mom to tell her of his friends death, and he wanted her to know that he was okay. I know nothing else about this young man, she was too upset and I did not want to press the issue right now.

This war is just getting too close. How many more young men, or any men or women, must die?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Blogging High Five

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! I passed my final with a 90%. The last class, written final. Now all I have to do is wait for the school to release me, to the state, and I will find a site to take the National Registry Exam. It is something that I wish to do ASAP while the info is still fresh in my brain. In the meantime a few friends are taking SO & I out to celebrate tomorrow night. He will be the one with toothpicks holding his eyes open as I am picking him up from the airport tonight as he returns from Australia.

YES!!!!!!!!!! Soon, I will be legally allowed to either deliver a baby or splint your arm. Cool. My teachers dept. is one that will secure the loan for you to attend paramedic school as long as you agree to give them 2 years. I am applying. I will also look for another dept. that I might be able to work part time and keep the coffee job just very part time. Gotta keep those "perks" if I can. Gotta love that coffee humor.

Have a "grande" day!!!!

12 Angry Men

If you are one of 12 men, in Texas, that has been exonerated by DNA testing I would guess that you might be angry. Barry Scheck, of the Innocence Project, says that there are 12 and counting in the Dallas area. No one knows why, but they are looking in to it. One Texas lawmaker, State Senator Rodney Ellis has introduced a bill that would establish a Texas Innocence Commission to study exonerations and wrongful convictions.

The most recent example is James Waller, a 50 year old man, convicted of a heinous crime against a 12 year old boy that had him spending nearly half of his life in prison. Wednesday he became the 12th man, since 2001, to be exonerated due to DNA testing. Mr. Scheck stated that," Nowhere else in the nation have so many individual wrongful convictions been proven in one county in such a short span." More than have occured anywhere except the entire states of New York and Illinois since the nations first DNA exoneration in 1989.

Thank God that there are people are there that can and will champion the case for those who are less able to do so. The Innocence Project has grown and it is good to see that more and more people come aboard to carry the torch. It is good to see that men like James Waller can be given back their life despite having lost over half of it in a crappy place like prison. There need to be more champions of the downtrodden.

"The sad thing is," said Dallas County's District Attorney Craig Watkins," the person who actually did this crime is still out there on the streets." It is very sad, but we can only hope that they are possibly locked up for some other crime and maybe , one day, their involvement in this crime will come to light. Just like the innocence of James Waller.

Monday, January 15, 2007

An Ego War

"I think the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude."

Gee, one guess who made that assinine remark. Yes, I bet they want to thank us for the huge lack of any sort of infrastructure left in their country, for lack of utilities etc. and for the streets that are so unsafe to walk that people are living in fear. Yes, I am sure that they want to personally thank each and every one of us for that. Not to mention the flowers that they would like to give to every U.S. soldier that is over there.

I am amazed every day at the self-grandure that Bush & Cheney have. They are ready to take all challengers. Like the bullies on the bloock daring anyone to step across the line that they will draw in the sand. They are truly scarey individuals!!

The article over at MSNBC, much like many that will be abounding, shows how little regard they have for the thoughts and desires for the people of this country let alone the Iraqi people. Bush is quoted as saying that he is going forward. So, no matter what it is full speed ahead. The article states that Cheney had to point out that Bush is the commander in chief, well if anyone had any faith it would not need to be pointed out. People would respect tha man. I repsect the position, but most certainly not the man. Even Republicans are expressing frustration and that they too are unimpressed with the way Bush is handling this entire situation.

Glad to see that some of them are finally seeing the light.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

No Cake for You!

Well, another year down and I can not believe it, but another in a line of crappy birthdays!! I just always seem to have some sort of catastrophe.

By the way, I PASSED my practical final!!!! Yes, I had that to be very happy about. It was hard and half of us had to repeat the medical a second time. Intense. I passed and that had me on a good high.

Went out with some class memebers for a congratulatory adult beverage and lunch. Still on a high note. Came home and got dressed, back over night bags etc. Looked good and ready for a night out. Spending the night at moms I planned to have a few glasses of wine and cvelebrate all around. Until...........

We stopped at the coffee mega giant for a beverage en route, and maybe it was a good thing, because upon trying to leave the battery was dead! Had to call AAA for a jump. Sat there and waited for an hour. IT is getting later. Called my mom and let her know that we would be late. Once the guy jumps me and does the battery test he informs that the battery has a chanrge and it might be the alternater. So, I drive down the street to Autozone and they put some various machines on and tell me that ,yes, it is the alternater. Something about the charge or whatever. I could not buy one becasue SO is in Australia and no one else can put one on. So, he jumps me again and we drive home. Today I have to get another jump and drive it to the place that usually works on our cars and hope they can get it in first thing Monday AM.

Now I am without wheels for what could be a few days and have to try and find rides to grocery store and most of all class Wed. night. That is the last written final. Once I pass that then the school will release me to the state and I can apply to take the National Certfication test.

No cake and no embarassing happy birthday song. But I miss that.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Happy Birthday

Today is not only my birthday, but also that of Mixters daughter!! So I wish her a happy, happy birthday too!

Yes, today is my birthday. The only time I am going to say this...... it is 46. Ouch. That hurt. Not that I am as hung up on that as I used to be, but it does not sound as cool as maybe......36. But I am coming around. I am beginning to finally feel comfortable in my own skin. The Drew had an excellent post about Reubenesque women and art . Great post Drew and it made me feel very good. Too bad society, this society, has gotten everything all screwed up. Older woman are and can be hot!!

So, what very NON hot things do I have planned for the big day? Well, let's see shall we.......

Last night I went to a local fire station and practiced for a few hours with the EMT's to prepare myself for todays practical exam. I was, and still am, VERY nervous. They were great help though and went through and made up traumas for me and showed me various pieces of equipment. Thanks to them! It helped me to feel more confident. So this morning I take that practical final. I am stopping at the coffee mega giant to pick up two coffee travelers for all of us, sort of a birthday thing, not a bribe thing. :-) This really is taking the fun out of any celebrating because I am so nervous. Really, yesterday I thought I was going to cry. I can take any kind of written test and I can write an awesome paper, but I have never done anything like this before. It scares me that I could have made it this far, after paying for the class and maybe not pass today. I am freaked.

Then tonight the child and I are driving out to go to TGIFridays with my mom for dinner. Then, here comes the exciting part, we are going back to her place to play cards with her 82 year old girlfriend. Does that sound like kickin' it or what!! Can I party? For some reason the idea of a hell raisning night on the town just did not appeal to me this year. Maybe because I have friends that I don't even really like right now. Who knows, but we are going to spend the night down there, so I plan to have some wine or other intoxicating beverage.

So, all that said, another day..... another birthday, but it has the potential to be very memorable if I pass this test today and that is what I am going to focus on. Just have to remember, airway, airway, airway.......

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

To Surge or Not To Surge ?

I am not a fan of the "surge" that is being talked about in context with this war and, so it seems, others agree. I am actually attending a protest with a local peace coalition on Thursday evening.

Yesterday I had some time, before going to the hospital, to sit and have a quiet coffee and even catch up with some newspapers and editorial sections. It seems that even Retired Army General Wesley Clark and N.Y. Times columnist David Brooks have some very good points about the proposed "surge" and the whole Iraq situation. They make very good points.

Gen. Clark said that, "Yes, several more brigades would allow for more roadblocks, patrols and neighborhood clearing operations. Some initial successes would be evident. But how significant would this be?" So, very true, but of course you know that they would constantly point out whatever successes they have and not not the bigger picture. They would, as they do now, try to over look how it is more of a big, huge mess.

He went on to say, "We've never had enough troops in Iraq. In Kosovo we had 40,000 troops for a population of 2 million. That ratio would call for at least 500,000 troops in Iraq, adding 20,000 now seems too little, too late." So true.

David Brooks almost mimics the exact same thoughts. ".......putting 20,000 more troops into Baghdad, finally occupying the dangerous neighborhoods, finally starting a jobs program, finally forcing national reconciliation....if the goal is to create a stable, unified Iraq, the surge is a good policy three years too late."

Also a good point. If they wanted these things to happen it should have happened years ago. Not now, after so many have died, and his approval rating and that of this war are down around 17%. Last night, on Keith Olberman, the approval rating of this war was shown as 63% of the American public disapproves. I, of course, agree.

My girlfriends son was due to be out there this summer and now I fear that this surge will end up keeping him there longer and, after 2 years, ups the danger that he will face. Every day that I hear more Marines are killed I am afraid for her loss. Hers and every parent out there.

General Clark made a good point that I think works well as a closing remark, he said, " What the surge would do is put more American troops in harms way, further undercut the moral of U.S. forces and risk further alienating elements of the Iraqi populace."

' Nuff said.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Bob Schieffer, over at CBS, had a great, although short article about things to NOT care about this year. As in the news type things and I agreed with many of them and even thought about a few more that I would personally like to add.

Aside from Britney & Paris I would also like to add Lindsy Lohan. Who I believe is a big drama queen as well. If it isn't a story about her probable anorexia they then say she is a cutter, or going along with the previous two females all sans underwear. Pam Anderson too. Why does she or anyone bother to cover her marital status? She'll probably just do it again!! Duh.

Yes the Donald & Rosie thing is just plain annoying. She couldn't ruin the View since it already is quite annoying.

I don't care how many "professional" athletes get into assorted brawls. They all seem to exhibit bad behavior anyway. Oprah and Dr. Phil are not the end all be all and we don't have to hang on their every word. It is wonderful that Oprah donates money, but so do many others that don't ask for major acknowledgement.

Also, red carpet moments.... famous and made over people wearing designer clothing is not a major news event. They have not solved world hunger or found the cure for cancer.

Just a few that I could think of, at 3:00 in the morning, what things would add? Or do you just not care what bloggers have to say?

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Keith Olbermann has a great, although very disturbing, article over at MSNBC. It is all about the plan to "surge and accelerate" with as many as 20,000 more troops in Iraq. It was reported, by the BBC, that this is the plan that Bush has finally put together after a month since the Irag Study Group gave their thoughts and proposals. The word sacrifice is often used. That families will have to just sacrifice more. Well, as a parent of a male that will be 17, this year, I am very unhappy and uncomfortable with the direction that this is going. I have begun to worry that this is going to be a long haul.

I do not wish to make that sacrifice. More than 2/3 of Americans already do not agree with this war. If it was something that I could believe in I imagine that I would go along with whatever choices had to be made. If my son even came to me and told me that he wanted to join the service. This has turned into such a mess and daily it becomes more violent and deadly.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Holiday Booty

Casey guarding her Chirstmas toys!!

Looking Ahead 2007

The holiday break always seems to be too short and fly by far too quickly. It was a wonderful time spent with family and reconnecting. Not just with them, but also myself.

I am not one who makes "resolutions". I think that any changes that I feel the need to make should just be a regular part of the "work in progress" that I am on a daily basis. And that is some work!!! :-)

One area that I know that needs osme work is the area of ACCEPTANCE. That of myself and others. I am far too critital of others and not very good at self-acceptance. One new mantra is going to be," accept it, let it be." I am going to try and follow a more Buddhist approac and say," Things are as they are or " This is what is". I am going to try very hard to not always want things to be the way that I think they should be. Stop trying to control life. Let it be what it is. I have to say that I have been trying this in a small way and I am already feeling better.

I am going to try and eliminate the "shoulds" and "coulds" from my thought pattern. Stop the pattern of thinking that I have that tells me that thing should be a certain way. I have been too rigid. I need to be much more flexible. I also gave that a shot over break and the entire week was so much more enjoyable. I actually went with the flow and it was so free of stress and every moment was enjoyable and fun.

I have gone back and re-read and re-highlighted the book by Abby Seixas, that I had read rather too quickly, and gave myself an opportunity to really absorb the words. It was MUCH better the second and third times.

There is an exercise called "Wabi-Sabi Eyes". This is a Japanese exercise that focuses on the beauty in simple, humble things that are imperfect, incomplete and/or impermanent. It is a good antidote to those of us who see things through the eyes of perfection.

I am looking forward to finishing my class, the 20th, taking the final on-line test and then turning ym time to becoming my focused and active in and / or with issues. After watching "An Inconvienient Truth" I really want to find a way to become more involved in the global warming efoorts and awareness. We are totally boring, that is what we did on N Y Eve. Watched that movie and ate finger food!! If I was still teaching I would not be affraid to show it in my classroom. That was always the advantage of teaching in an alternative school, you did not have march to the beat of anyone elses drum! My 16 year old watched it and was very interested and blown away.

I am looking forward to a birthday, on the 13th, and thinking of doing something very different this year. I had thought about a trip to New York to visit a dear old friend, but to get a hotel package and a show was just TOO expensive, so I am thinking a bit smaller in scale and maybe just a hot tub and a pedicure. Something that I don't usually do. Something quiet and with few people. SO left on the 2nd for Australia, for a month, and so I will be entertaining myself until his return.

Well, I am off to work on my balance & meaning as I take my chicken enchiladas out of the oven!!

Monday, January 01, 2007