Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Farewell Good Friend

March 28th we lost Casey. She just suddenly passed away on a Sunday afternoon. She had been having some back trouble, pinched nerve, and was recovering nicely. Her death came as quite a shock. We were, and are, still numb.

She was just eleven and we had expected her to live at least 5 or so more years. John and I were having our usual Sunday. Eating some junk and watching Weeds. I walked into the dining room to put the disc in the Netflix envelope and noticed that she looked odd lying on the floor. An unusual position. That was when I realized that she was not breathing.

Monday we buried her in the spot where she used to lay behind our yard chairs. It was the very same hole that she had been digging last summer. We figured it was her favorite hole and it was only fitting that she be buried in it. I plan to plant many red impatiens there this summer.

It will be the first time, in almost 20 years, that we will not have a dog in the house. It is so quiet.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Catholic Follies

You would have to be either living in a cave or under a rock not to know all the latest about the Catholic church and their carrying on with little boys. Not to mention the cover up. Ah yes, the cover up. How crafty and clever they had been with the cover up. Their solution ? Just move the offending individuals to new locations, yet still near and involved with children. Let's just put the fox right in the middle of the hen house!!

"Pope Benedict XVI’s latest apology for the emerging global scandal of child abuse by predatory priests — an issue that the Roman Catholic Church should have engaged years ago — is strong on forgiveness but far short of the full accountability that Catholics need for repairing their damaged church. "

More than falling short on accountability it holds no one accountable and seems to let them roam about unhindered still within the church! Forgiveness my ass! The axe should be falling and heads should be rolling...including the pope's. The fact that he had knowledge long ago just makes the situation worse. The church has hidden behind the big hat for too long. They are a black eye on and for all who belong to that church.

Now there are deaf men coming forward to say that they had been abused, as children, by the priests! Deaf children! Is there anything more repulsive! Not just children, but those who are less able to report and respond to what they were going through.

"Three deaf men who say they were repeatedly sodomized and abused by priests as children confronted the church diocese yesterday about why it had not punished their abusers, saying they wanted justice.

The three men first interviewed last year by the Associated Press, appeared on a prime-time talk show on Italy's state-run RAI television, squaring off with the spokesman of the Verona Diocese amid a global sex-abuse scandal that has inched closer to Pope Benedict XVI."

By the time the pope apologizes to every person and country that has suffered abuse by his priests it might be the "end of times". He might just as well throw in the towel, put the big house up for sale and take the big hat and get out of Dodge. The church is falling down around him. Just like the pants of the priests!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pitchforks & Torches at the Gates

Just like the days ,when the angry mobs were at the castle gates looking for the Wolfman or Frankenstein, I expect them to show up at the gates of the White House any day now. Yes, now that health care seems to be on its way, their are Republicans that are ready for blood.

In the mornings, as I get ready for work, I listen to talk radio. The guy is not a real big name, but syndicated I believe. As you might suspect, VERY conservative. The caller told him that he, Rush and Sean Hannity are the voice of their future. The torch bearers for the voice of the party.

They scare me. It reminded me of the way the villagers would storm the gates of the castle. They get people riled up after they are already not happy with the way things are going. I just get so pissed off at the juvenile ways that they pick at and on people to stir the pot. Very high schoolish.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Health Care Reform & Welcome to Barbara O'Brien

Owner/proprietor of The Mahablog (est. 2002)

Guide to Buddhism at

After several years of editorial and production management in the book and magazine publishing industry, I set out to be a freelance web content provider. My personal politics blog, The Mahablog, was launched in 2002. I am a frequent contributor to several websites, including The Guardian’s Comment Is Free site. Since 2008 I also have been the Guide to Buddhism for

Note: I’m looking for work as a writer — permanent, temporary, part time, full time, on location (New York City area) or telecommuting. Contact me by email if interested.

Barbara contacted me, via e-mail, and asked to be allowed to publish on my little blog. As someone who appreciates those with liberal and vocal viewpoints I heartily welcome her and add her to this little corner of the blogosphere! She has an excellent blog of her own and you should think about checking it out.

Would Health Care Reform Help You?

Many obstacles and stumbling blocks remain in the way of health care reform. The House and Senate bills will have to be merged, and then the House and Senate both will vote on the final bill. We don’t yet know what will be in the final bill, or if the final bill will be passed into law. Passage will be especially difficult in the Senate, where it will need 60 votes to pass. It is still possible that after all this angst, just one grandstanding senator could kill the whole thing.

But just for fun, let’s look at what conventional wisdom says will be in the final bill and see if there is anything in it that will be an immediate benefit to people with mesothelioma cancer and other asbestos-related disease.

It is likely that the final bill will provide additional funding for state high-risk insurance pools. Currently more than 30 states run such pools, which are nonprofit, state-sponsored health insurance plans for people who can’t buy insurance because of pre-existing conditions. The biggest problem with such pools is that, often, the insurance they offer is too expensive for many who might need it. Both the Senate and House bills provide $5 billion in subsidies for state high-risk pools to make the insurance more affordable.

Under the Senate bill, beginning in 2014, private companies would no longer be able to deny coverage to adults with pre-existing conditions, nor could they charge higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions. Until then, the state high-risk pools could provide some help.

Closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap — also called the “doughnut hole” — is another potential provision that could help some patients with asbestos-related disease. The “doughnut hole” is the gap between the coverage for yearly out-of-pocket expenses provided by Medicare Part D and Medicare’s “catastrophic coverage” threshold.

For example, in 2009 Medicare Part D paid at least 75 percent of what patients paid for prescription drugs up to $2,700. After that, patients must pay for all of their prescription medications until what they have paid exceeds $6,154. At that point, the catastrophic coverage takes over, and Medicare pays for all but 5 percent of the patient’s drug bills. The final health care reform bill probably will provide for paying at least 50 percent of out-of-pocket costs in the doughnut hole.

You may have heard the bills include budget cuts to the Medicare program, and this has been a big concern to many people. Proponents of the bill insist that savings can be found to pay for the cuts, and that people who depend on Medicare won’t face reduced services. But this is a complex issue that I want to address in a later post.

The long-term provisions probably will include many other provisions that would benefit patients with asbestos-related disease, including increased funding for medical research. Although there are many complaints about the bill coming from all parts of the political spectrum, on the whole it would be a huge benefit to many people.

— Barbara O’Brien

March 16, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Divider & Hater

Glen Beck is just another, in a long list, of TV talking heads that pisses me off and drives me insane! He is another one of those talking heads who is also not very nice. Sure, some may call that his "schtick", but I don't think so. I think he is just as narrow minded, racist and fear mongering as many of his contemporaries.

Fox may claim various things about him
, but they have to be loving all the attention that he and their network are getting due to his asinine behavior on air. Someone once said that there is no bad press.

He epitomizes the typical conservative Mormon man
. Anything that is not like him or his faith is suspect. As someone who spent many years around them, and is a recovering Mormon, I know what I am talking about. They are rigid and afraid of anything that is not part of their faith and church. This is why the crap he spews on his show is real. He really IS that conservative, religious whack job.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Jefferson Who?

Are they or have they gone crazy in Texas? I can not believe that they are still so backwards and conservative. I lived there in the early 80's and found them to still be very critical of the North. They used to say, about the Civil War, that there was nothing civil about it! Until I adopted the local accent I would get all kinds of comments and stares. That was 20 years ago...yet they are now re-writing history. ACTUALLY!

Jefferson who? Yes the Texas school board is opting to leave Thomas Jefferson out of their new text books and replacing him with John Calvin.

"The Board removed Thomas Jefferson from the Texas curriculum's world history standards on Enlightenment thinking, “replacing him with religious right icon John Calvin.”

How can this even happen in 2010?

"After three days of turbulent meetings, the Texas Board of Education on Friday approved a social studies curriculum that will put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks, stressing the superiority of American capitalism, questioning the Founding Fathers’ commitment to a purely secular government and presenting Republican political philosophies in a more positive light. "

"The board’s far-right faction has spent months now proclaiming the importance of emphasizing America’s exceptionalism in social studies classrooms. But today they voted to remove one of the greatest of America’s Founders, Thomas Jefferson, from a standard about the influence of great political philosophers on political revolutions from 1750 to today. "

“We are adding balance,” said Dr. Don McLeroy, the leader of the conservative faction on the board, after the vote. “History has already been skewed. Academia is skewed too far to the left.”

I actually laughed at this one, BALANCE? How can they even think that they are offering any balance when they are taking pieces and parts out they THEY disagree with and do not like.

Just another example of the conservative movement to make the world into what they want it to be. They don't like history, so let's just change it and make it into what they want it to be with the values they want to reflect.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Home School Scary

Ahhhh, welcome back from your brief hiatus Mix!! Nothing says welcome back like a good scary post about the crazies known as "home schoolers". I know it might be hard to believe but can you even imagine that they actually have text books that dismiss Darwin and state that the Christian worldview is the only correct view of reality. It's true!!

"Christian-based materials dominate a growing home-school education market that encompasses more than 1.5 million students in the U.S. And for most home-school parents, a Bible-based version of the Earth's creation is exactly what they want. Federal statistics from 2007 show 83 percent of home-schooling parents want to give their children "religious or moral instruction."

As a parent I have no problem with parents giving their kids the necessary tool of morality, and even religious training if that is their bag, where I draw the line is when they want to begin to act as if religious crap is REAL and science is the fake.

"The textbook delivers a religious ultimatum to young readers and parents, warning in its "History of Life" chapter that a "Christian worldview ... is the only correct view of reality; anyone who rejects it will not only fail to reach heaven but also fail to see the world as it truly is."

The fact that they are telling kids that folks will not reach Heaven if they do not believe this shit is outrageous!! How can any decent parent even fall for this shit. This is why home schooled kids and their parents are frightening. To everyone.

Granted, there are some people who home school and they are serious about the academics and NOT the Jesus curriculum, but they are getting lumped in with the nut jobs for sure. Sadly the squeaky wheels are the ones that get noticed and the Jesus nut jobs are making all the rest look like they do. Crazy and unintelligent.

Farewell Good Friend

It is with great sadness that I and others are bidding a fond farewell to our good friend and fellow blogging Mixter. Mixter and I met by accident on the world wide web. I just followed a link which lead to a link and is history. I fell in love with Mix's point of view and began to be a regular reader and commentor.

Through all the social commentary and changes and points of view I followed along and was eventually asked to join the Mix and become a fellow writer. Thus began our reign of atheistic terror!! We began to have many months of religious discourse with several followers. Now....we must bid it all farewell.

I am sad at the loss of the Mix and hope to continue some of her spunk here in my little corner of the world. With far less readership, but with lots of heart! I hope her spirit sticks with me.

Best of luck Mix in all your future endeavors. That includes Guy too.