Sunday, November 29, 2009

There are days like yesterday where I was feeling emotionally down, but all in all, I have plenty to be thankful for. The attached article states that one in eight Americans is on food stamps right now. That is HUGE!!!!

We all know at this time the pay differential between the boss class and the hourly class is higher than it has ever been. Just after the bailout, bonuses are reaching record numbers. By the same token, foreclosures just keep marching along. You are just one medical bill away from that in most cases. and more people need unemployment and health care.

This administration faces larger issues than any since the Great Depression. The debt is increasing, the WORLD financial system had to be bailed out. There is little real manufacturing done in our country. The are two wars that were finally put on the books (in case you did not know the Iraq war was completely off the books, let someone else pay for it. Like your grandchildren. all that for the oil rights, that really are going to corporations, many of whom are not American anyway. Great deal for Shell.) Someone is going to have to reign in defense spending. Whoever does will be painted as unAmerican!!!! Medical costs are skyrocketing. There is no consensus that insurance coverage and the current rules are bad. Single payer is anathema to the right--How will companies survive with out the free market? The incessant whine is amazing. The national debt just keeps getting bigger! The bail out-- did it work? The world market did not fail. So in that sense it worked. You could have given money to every American with a bad mortgage and helped them refinance and maybe have gotten better results. Less foreclosures means less junk mortgages and higher property values all around.

Speculation aside, people are angry that they have lost their jobs, their houses, are on the government dole, have less health insurance and so on. Oh yes, credit card rates border on usary right now, too. Rates are changes becasue they can be. The consumer credit card protection bill goes into effect 2013, so you can bet rates will be increased to max, so card companies will maximize their profits until then, screwing people until the 2012 election. And if business wins the next election, the bill will be overturned and they get to keep their higher rtaes.

There is an increasing anger and there will be a concommitent rise in populism. Period! People know they are getting screwed. They don't know by who. and they will latch on to the loudest, angriest voice to lead them. If the far right gets its shit together, they will reap the harvest of the anger, even though the "supple side" economics--can we all sat "trickle down" together? really does not help anyone, except those making the rules and deciding how much they want to trickle down. Yes, I will buy that second Porsche today so we will help pay the wages of one truck driver to deliver it. Oh, and maybe a stable boy to help polish it.

The dems need to get on the stick and make themselves look populist, at least. Otherwise it will be a quick power cycle and all the news will be that the populist Republicans led by Sarah Palin and her ilk (I can see it now, Palin and Bachman, what a ticket!) could win. Currently that won't happen. Look at upstate New York. However, more people get angry and united, who knows what could happen? Break up banks too big to fail, go after credit card companies now, save Americans money, get a jobs program and the country will be Democratic for 40 years!

This to the middle bipartisanship will only doom the Democratic party. It may be good for the country, but...

Just a small taste of why health care insurance sucks. 1) I have had a number of Xrays and stuff on my knees. I can use them as flashlights at night if I care to bare the kneecap when walking the dogs after dark. I spent almost three hours on the phone making sure my doctor was on their list for knee replacement. No problemo. Schedule the surgery and then Explanation of benefits come back for routine exams stating "Doctor out of network!" Call and they said "oops, my bad." So one year of treatment and visits out the window, start looking for a doctor again. and start all over, for the third time. 2) my wife received a concussion one night while walking the dogs. They started to run, caught her unawares and she fell and smashed head on the sidewalk. A neighbor who witnessed this (I was out of town on business) took her to the emergency room. We received an invoice for a very large amount for her treatment. The hospital was covered, but the particular doctor who was on duty was out of network. So we pay 80%. When you go to an emergency room, do you need to check the hospital, the janitor, the doctor and the nurse beforehand to ake sure they are all in network? The helpful insurance representative stated we needed to check to see if that doctor was in network after we got the hospital to avoid such an incident. 3) My wife had a migraine and we waited to take her to an urgent care center, so it would be covered. Even though I could find them on the insurance list, they couldn't. and the billing done by a third party they couldn't find so I lose.

the deck is rigged, folks.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just One of Those Days

not everything is coming up roses.--


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tryptofan Shock, Anyone?

Happy Thanksgiving!!!! So many things to give thanks for and friends and family and everything else. What can I say? Have a happy.

As they used to say in Witchblade (the second season was can't miss TV) --Every day above ground is a good day!



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It has often been said that if you win the hearts and minds of the people, they will be your ally forever. In Charlie Wilson's War, it portrayed that our country was able to spend billions in military aid to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets, but none to rebuild the war torn country. Suddenly the Taliban arrived to fill in the blanks. The same happened in Palestinian settlements where Hamas provided aid.

Here in Central California, the Tea Party is doing the same. They should be applauded for their relief efforts. Compassion is always a good thing. But, what they then want is water to replenish the job and farm market in the Central Valley. Central CA has dried up lakes, rediverted rivers, tapped the rivers in Northern CA, all for farming in a desert.

When I drive through the Central Valley, I am amazed at how lush it , considering it gets maybe 9" of rain per year. Then I realize the canals from the Delta are bigger than rivers in CO and they are pumped over mountains to get there. and further south to LA and San Diego. How much power does that take? These areas cannot exist without the water from northern CA, yet the wildlife in Northern CA is dying. Salmon have disappeared.

And what frustrates me is the Tea Party is stating it is government interference that is changing their lifestyle, economy and way of life. If the government had not built the dams, the pumping stations, etc. there would be no agriculture in the Central Valley and LA would have no water. What don't they get about this. and it is the lack of government oversight that has let the water table be pumped so low that the ground is dropping.

What a mess! and how to resolve it. Not everyone can walk away from the table happy on this one.

Also, someone corrected me on yesterday's post stating that Liz Cheney can't go to war because she is a mother. Hell, they take daddies, don't they. let her go and have the old man stay home and be a house-husband.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Chicken Hawk Stew for Thanksgiving, please

Liz Cheney states that we are placing troops in danger because we are taking too long to make up our mind about sending more troops to Afghanistan. Well, well, well. Maybe she could VOLUNTEER. It is easy to send other people to their deaths while you sit on your fat ass and eat bon bons. I mean, WTF? In Britain, they are wondering whether war crime charges should be pressed against Blair because the war in Iraq was about regime change with no after invasion game plan to protect civilians as required by the Geneva Conventions. In America, we have Dick Cheney, who still believes that America would have won in Vietnam if we only sent more people, and his lovely daughter bitching about how we are not warlike enough. I would feel much different about their input if they actually had gone to war and seen it first hand instead of being armchair generals. How well would she and William Cristol hold up as shock troops? It is easy to serve from Board rooms and have your snacks catered. Why are fools like this even quoted by the press? and why is the press so damnably stupid? Wasn't it the press that actually gave the "swift boaters" traction, failing to point out one guy actually had a purple heart or two and had served with valor and the other was a deserter? and we wonder why our country is so ill-informed!

Also, current read is The King of California. It is a marvelous book, a well-told story of what makes sections of California what they are, with enough extra history tossed in to make you understand the zeitgeist of an era. You've got to love a country where the headline of a newspaper is "To Lynch Negro Tonight" in the editorial page. and we wonder why Oklahoma senators look like buffoons. They are actually clever men from a culture completely foreign to me.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

If It were Funny, It Could Be the Sunday Funnies!

Just outside Denver, a car dealership puts a birther sign on his dealership! Christ, I wish I could go up to a birther and ask to his birth certificate and then say, "So, prove it is valid." and after showing me birth announcements from the local paper say, "Oh, those don't matter. Show me proof!" and after seeing video of the birth, say "Photoshopped. Not good enough." I wish people would just be honest enough to say "A black man for President. Not a shit kicker. He doesn't want to beat people into submission with all our biggus dickus weapons?! I can't handle the change. I want it to be like it was in the 50s where everyone knew their place. and we were a Christian country."

Be honest. Grow a pair. Know the world has passed you by. and either get out of the way or engage. Being bitchy, buying weapons waiting for the next revolution and complaining about lowered taxes stating your taxes were raised really does nothing for the country, except maybe take us back to before Vietnam thinking. If you care that much about Muslim encroachment, sign up for the military. I hear they could use a few people.

One more little rant--The Iraq war was started under lies. Those who believed them and espoused them (yes, including many Dems, should STFU. Period. Who the hell cares about what Bill "Fish Lips" Cristol and Rush Dimbulb say? or John McCain, or John Cornyn. They have been wrong about almost everything for 10 years. They have a right to be wrong, but why do we pay attention to them at all. It is like the paying attention to the "Flat Earth Society"! Just like why does the State of Texas and its insistence on a 6,000 year old earth have to be included in text books sold nationwide as an alternative theory to science. Bad science is bad science, why teach it?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Peaceful Toone for a Frantic Three Weeks!

One of my favorite rock and roll pianists, just happens to have Jeff beck on guitar and Ron Wood on bass.

Nicky Hopkins, may he rest in peace.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Psalms 108.9

I see these guys every day and they scare the shit out of me. I work with many from Texas. or the Central Valley in CA. This clip from Rachel Maddow details their belief system. It is time to quit laughing at people on the fringes and castigate them as the crazies they are. I am about ready to hope Governor Perry secedes from the union so we can invade. People like Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin need to lose their fifteen minutes and be be sent to the corner of weirdness where they belong. When i grew up John Birchers existed, but were a fringe radical group. The extreme right needs to be treated that way once again by citizenry and the media. There is an American Christian far right movement that is the equivalent of the Taliban and they get way too much air time and not enough marginalization. I hope the FBI is tracking these crazies!

And for grins!!!! the University of Santa Cruz Banana Slugs!!!!!


Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday! Toone Time!!

Friday Ramblings

some thoughts for this week. Okay, not many, but...

I listen to a lot of radio. Thank all that is holy for XM. It saves me from the ugliness of what AM radio is. But I have heard so much talk of the military and Afghanistan, I am glad someone is saying, "What are we doing there and how many troops do we need? Really? and why are we there?" Bush could have had Osama delivered to him by tribal leaders, but he wanted a fight. And then another fight. The Clinton administration had almost 9 months of talks that did not culminate in Osama's arrest. Time ran out. Yes, you could say that it was poorly planned by Clinton. You could also say that the Bush administration was more worried about getting money back to contributors than national security. These are safe statements.

What scares me is the growing fundamental Christian movement in the military. They feel they are crusaders. It would not surprise me if there were late night semi-drunken talks about a coup if Obama does not keep going after the Muslims (substitute nicknames haji, raghead, whatever--deragotory nicknames of our military. kind of like gooks in Vietnam, that really won us the respect of our allies. NOT SO MUCH.) The crazies think it is okay for the military to be a Christian militia. Do the research. See what happened in the past 10 years at the Air Force Academy. Naval Academy. See how many different ethinicities and religious beliefs are honored. Gotta love the Christian soldier postrs that filled the football locker rooms there. And the military directly or indirectly gets over 50% of the US budget. Who has the moxie, the balls to say, hey we can eliminate our deficit by cutting back on military. Do we need bases in Japan? Germany? Turkey?

If you do that you are unAmerican. Yet we can't afford health care. In Afghanistan, did we ever build schools after we got rid of the commies? No! You can spend billions against the ENEMY! You need an enemy to keep the spending up. Humanitarian aid just doesn't work as a rallying cry for hate! And whether we like it or not, America is an extremely belligernet and angry country. Why? Because everybody needs to be as pure as us. I just don't get it. We wonder why other countriues don't trust us. Well, we act like bullies. Not hard to figure, is it?

One other topic. The Stupak amendment. Just great. How does any woman even vote as a Democrat after that. Sure, it is okay to pay for someone's little blue pills so they can get a hard on. Covered in insurance and is a God given right. A hard dick is a sacred thing! even when it caused chemically becasue your body doesn't work anymore. End an unwanted pregnancy--nope. Why not help produce (mandate) more children in unwanted homes. Or let the mom's die in delivery. Hell, it won't affect the men, as a general rule. Republicans can have abortion coverage in their health insurance in the National Republican Committee, but publically, these women are baby machines. just don't touch our sex toys. We'll care for them. I am surprised there has not been more Bobbitizing along the way. Just remember--Money for hard ons, good. Unwanted pregnancies, not my problem. Its about time the women "have to hit a man, to make him know she's there, I swear." I am a guy and am embarrassed at the accepted double standard. Guys, women outnumber men in population, in the workforce and if they ever organize you may be sorry you were such sexist asses. The god thing is that work for 70% of the pay.

Just kidding.


Monday, November 09, 2009

What, Me Worry?
Or let them eat shit.

great article with a good interactive chart of the most polluted cities in the US.


Sunday, November 08, 2009

Toone Time
Wyoming Football History and Racism

This is a very interesting article on racism in Western college sports in 1969. Makes you wonder how much still exists.