Friday, January 28, 2011

Bass Pro Shop Teaches a Lesson in Business Ethics to Scott Walker

It is a great day when a business says, "Gee, that's real nice of you to change an environmental law for us, but we're not going to build on a wetland, anyway".  My interpretation:  thanks, but no thanks, Dick Head, aka, Scott Walker.

One of the first thing Scott Walker did upon taking up his new position as Governor was to rush through legislation so a major retail operation could be built on wetlands in Brown County.  Showing his usual lack of foresight about environmental issues and being all about "business development", I'm sure Mr. Walker thought this would be a real feather in his political cap.

And it is.  A duck feather.  And it's not in his cap.

That a major retailer would not upset a wetland is encouraging, more so than Scott Walker's political career is discouraging.  Mr. Walker is still planning to push this legislation through, and has completely disrespected Bass Pro Shop by saying if the legislation was more timely, the company would have gone ahead with the planned development.

As is usual and customary in republican politics, the politicians believe the business climate in the United States is as corrupt as the political environment, and also willing to do just about anything to earn a buck.  Thank you, Bass Pro Shop, for proving Mr. Walker is a blow hard who knows nothing about environmental issues, and has never earned an honest buck in his miserable life.

Perhaps another retailer will be found that will go along with developing a business on a wetland.  But hopefully the good citizens of Wisconsin will not support any business with such ignorance about truly important issues, like the environment.

Round One  --- Bass Pro Shops.  Go Team!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Green Bay Packers

Whether or not you are a football fan or a Green Bay Packer Backer, it is hard not to get caught up in the amazing fever pitch that Wisconsinites have for their home town team.  You wouldn't believe all the businesses that are closed today here in Milwaukee.  When watching a game takes precedence over making a buck, you just KNOW this state loves it's Green and Golden Boys.

It's the 3rd quarter of the NFC Championship game between Green Bay and the Chicago Bears, and the Pack is up.  Still, it is hard, hard, hard for me to watch this game because I am kind of psyched about the whole team playing the best football of their career this year, and since I am what you would call a mainly noncommittal, unathletic and non-sports type of person, I feel like I might jinx them......and I do want them to win.  Fair weather fans are such a pain in the butt.  I love Chicago, but I've never liked the Bears, they are always so freaking arrogant.  The Packers deserve to go to the Super Bowl, much the same way the New Orleans Saints deserved it last year.

Anyhow, I came up here to write on my blog, because I'm nervous watching the last quarter of the game.  I don't hear my husband screaming, so I'm getting doubly nervous.  But I guess I'll go back and just sit through the nail-biter last quarter.  Hope I have good things to report tomorrow.

One thing for sure, with the beating Wisconsinites took at the polls last November, and a new republican party at the helm in Madison already creating situations of questionable ethics and abuses of power, Wisconsinites sure need something to feel good about.  Maybe the Packers win today could be just that perfect start to 2011 ---- since politically, it sucks here.

Then again, it's just a game, right?

Well, apparently everywhere but Wisconsin that would be true. 

Just a Little Later................
After the game ---- I think it's important to know who the real hero of the Big Green Bay Win actually was.  Not Rodgers.  Not Raji.  It was my dog, Tara, the WonderSpringer.

Tara was born and raised in the upper peninsula of Michigan; which means she's been raised to support the Vikings.  Always.  (Yoopers DO NOT support Detroit.  They try to distance themselves from the lower peninsula).

Anyhow, the Bears had the ball, and were starting to light up the scoreboard.  It was not looking good, and I had bitten off one of my fingernails already.  I looked at Tara and told her, in no uncertain terms, that she no longer supported the Vikings, she was now a Packer Dog.  She looked at me like I was nuts, with that one raised eyebrow she's so good at.  I got in her face and told her we needed an interception and a touchdown run and that she should work her dog magic and make it happen.  She's still giving me that dubious, nutzoid look, but the tail is wagging.  The very next play, B.J. intercepted and ran for the touchdown.  When I scream, my dog gets all riled up and nervous and assumes something major is wrong.  My dog deserved the chicken wings I fed her.  My dog is priceless, magical and a converted Packer fan. 

I'll be in Costa Rica for the SuperBowl.....but my dog will be here, and the dogsitter has instructions on telling her what plays we need when we need them. 

Go Tara.  Go Green Bay.  Go Wisconsin.  I guess it ain't all bad here, today!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

To the Sick Person

I have to take a moment here, because so many terribly mean and miserable people think they live in a world where their meaness and miserableness is invisible.  I have to take a moment to let them know they are not invisible.  We see you.  And what we see appalls us.

This mean and miserable person is completely without any kindness inside her; if kindness ever existed at all, it has shriveled and died.  In fact, I don't believe she is capable of kindness, unless there is some reward for her at the end of it, and even then, the kindness is just a means to whatever end she has in mind, and merely an act.

To you, and you know who you are, and if you don't, than you're as stupid as you are mean and miserable, we think, and by we I mean all caring, sensitive and decent people in the world, that there is something terribly wrong with you.  You are mentally ill.  To be mentally ill and not not seek professional help for your mental illness is your prerogative.   But to lead your son down your path of mental illness so that you won't have to live in your desperate misery by yourself is a sin against nature.  Your son is exhibiting the same mental illness you have, and you are creating it.  But then, misery does love company, doesn't it?  Why not create a monster to take your place once your miserable life has come to an end.  That way your evil can live for at least another generation.

Get help, not for you, because I believe you are totally beyond redemption, but for your son.  You're an awful parasite, one who will live off your own children's unhappiness to attain some goal you have for yourself.  That is a sin against nature.  You are a sin against nature. 

The word despicable is too kind for you.

Friday, January 21, 2011

America --- Let's Put Her on Pain Meds

I have an autoimmune disorder, which is rare and basically causes my vascular system to attack itself.  This, in turn, causes painful ulcers where the blood supply is compromised because of restricted blood vessels.  Enough said about that.  Other than the fact that it took two years, four doctors and a trip to the Emergency Room before I was properly diagnosed and treated, I am in relatively good health now.  I did lose two years of my life to pain and misery though, and I blame it on what's wrong with America.

America is a land full of substance abusers.  I'm not so sure that it's because people here have more addictive personalities than people elsewhere, or it is a normal reaction to a profoundly sick society, or a combination of many factors, including the fact Americans want instant fixes for whatever ails them.   To be perfectly honest, I used recreational chemicals in my younger years.  Thankfully for me, I woke up one day after quite the party, and realized I needed to use about three different chemicals just to feel normal enough to take a shower.  At that point, I understood that if feeling normal was the goal, then doing normal things did not include abusing substances.  I call it the day I got my sunshine back.

When I started to show symptoms of my autoimmune disorder, my regular doctor was an internist who had taken relatively good care of me.  In retrospect, that he missed this diagnosis completely, and even pooh-poohed me when I mentioned that I wanted him to look into the possibility makes me wish I had sued his pompous ass, but I just wanted to feel better, not enrich myself.

To make matters worse, he was convinced I was suffering from something I knew I was not suffering from.  So he put me on medication for the illness he thought I had and sent me for lab tests to confirm his diagnosis.  Meanwhile, I was in enormous pain; pain that woke me up, kept me up, made talking difficult, pain that was a ten on the one to ten scale, twenty-four/seven.  And because my internist was from that school of medicine that believes everyone is an addict and everyone is drug seeking, he told me to take aspirin. He also failed to even look into the possibility of my autoimmune disorder, so convinced was he that he was right.  Had he done so, he would have realized that he was putting me in severe jeopardy as this disease takes many courses, none of them good.

I will say this.  Pain is a terrible thing.  Eventually it wears a person down and the pain becomes the focal point of their life.  One year into not being diagnosed, my life was painful episode after painful episode, and my internist continued to tell me to take aspirin.  I will never forget the look of surprise on his face when he opened my chart and discovered the lab report stating I did not have what he believed I had.  So a year had gone by and we were back to square one.  He was surprised, but I was suicidal.

I realized it was time for our relationship to end.  I paid a visit to a new general practitioner, who took one look at me and my very visible problems and prescribed three different pain medications, all narcotic and all that put me in a complete fog.  But thank God for her.  I think I might have just given up had I not gotten some relief at that point.  I still had no diagnosis, but I had a doctor who was treating me for my symptoms, not assuming I was a drug seeking addict.  Before we could even start the investigation into what was ailing me, I had an episode of severe pain.  I ultimately ended up in the emergency room of a big medical center, where a young doctor, probably one year out of medical school, listened to my symptoms and correctly diagnosed me, referring me to a rheumatologist at the center.  The rheumatologist has taken excellent care of me ever since, although my disease has flares and I have occasional bouts of moderate to severe pain.

Here's my point.  I saw my rheumatologist last week, as I had been having issues related to my disease and was experiencing some rather severe pain.   I was actually afraid to ask my physician to prescribe pain medication for me for fear of a negative reaction.  Imagine my surprise when my physician actually agreed with me that to suffer pain so severe it prevented me from answering the telephone was, indeed, ridiculous and did not have to be tolerated.   I almost cried and I am so very fortunate to have a physician in charge of my health care who actually cares about me and does not assume that I am a junkie.

What is really interesting about this story is that I had never, in the five years I had seen my previous internist, asked him for pain medication, or any other habit forming drug.

I don't like taking pain medicine; it makes me feel not quite normal, and normal is the goal.  I guess my "normal" is an okay place for me to be and I'm lucky for that.   But pain makes you abnormal, too, so taking the meds is the lesser of two evils.  Meanwhile, I am following physician's advice, and doing everything I need to do so that, hopefully, the prescription for pain medication will end up sitting on the shelf for a long time, unused and unneeded, after my current situation resolves.

Because Americans are emotionally sick, American physicians are doubly challenged to get to an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Americans are emotionally sick because our culture is dysfunctional.  The cultural dysfunction manifests itself in very real and obvious ways, and extremely subtle and barely noticeable ways.  However it manifests itself, we are a nation of obese people literally starving to death, both physically and metaphorically.  We have everything and it turns out that having everything is the same as having nothing.  Whatever it is that we lost along our path to the misconception that we are vastly superior in the world, we'd better rediscover it.   I see us perishing in our vast emptiness.  America is suffering.  And no one can diagnose why.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Catholic Church

As a child, I was raised in a Congregational Church (I have since separated from Christianity as a religion; it just doesn't work for me).  However, when I was young, most of my friends were Catholic and I was fascinated by all the wild and ornamental rites and icons, pomp and circumstance.  Going to confession sounded so very scary to me.  I thought rosaries were the neatest thing and I loved that you had to kiss it if you dropped it.  The Catholic churches were pretty awesome too, compared to my little white dwelling with the tall steeple, where the biggest mystery and the best teachings revolved around how to be nice and do nice things in an increasingly ugly world.

Anyhow, my father used to wake me up on Sunday mornings and tell me to get to the bakery before the Crazy Catholics got out of church.  It used to make me so mad, I mean come on, he was already up; why didn't he go to the damn bakery?  But since he never asked for change from the $20 he gave me, I readily went.  On those days when I didn't beat the crazy Catholics out of mass, I was unhappy.  Catholics always had so dang many children and it was beyond me why they all had to troop into the bakery to each pick out their stupid cupcake.  There were always fifty Catholic people in Grebe's if mass got out before I got up.  And fifty more Catholics parking their station wagons. 

At any rate, I wasn't particularly interested in religion at that point in my life, I just thought the Catholics had a better place to worship than the protestants and cooler ritualistic stuff, like rosaries and communion wafers, stations of the cross and holy communions with really white dresses.

Flash forward to 2011.  My deceased father-in-law, Vince, was a devout Catholic and he made many donations to Catholic charities.  Vince died quite a few years ago, but we're still getting solicitations from the Catholic charities he supported.  My husband jokingly tells me that a dead man gets more mail than I do. 

The latest thing Vince got was a letter from the Office of The Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, explaining why the Archdiocese was going to file for Chapter 11 Reorganization.

Well, there it was.  The most wealthy of all tax free organizations on the planet was going to file for bankruptcy so as to cut their losses for the actions of their pedophile priests, and the mismanagement of those pedophile priests by the church administration. 

The bastards had the audacity to include a flyer entitled "Creating a Safe Environment for Children and Young People".  You know what? If you want your children to have a safe environment, send them to the Lutherans or the Congregationalists, the Jews, the Buddhists, the Hindus,  or the Universal Unitarians.  It's a little ridiculous to make a claim that the church, after centuries of ignoring the horror of child sexual abuse by pedophile priests would now come up with a plan to safeguard the little catholics.

Sorry.  The Vatican and the Catholic religion is corrupt.  That's my final determination after spending a little time looking into their history. 

And here is another thing I believe.  Evil won't show it's face on the planet as a hoofed, horned devil with a tail and a bunch of minions from hell to do evil's bidding.  It will masquerade as something good and wonderful; something you can sink your beseeching teeth into for all its glory; that is the seduction of evil. 

I'm intolerant of people who abuse the most vulnerable members of a society. 

I am appalled by the Catholic church and believe it to be one of the biggest mockeries perpetrated against an unquestioning, gullible public.  The fact that the Catholics are filing bankruptcy is just an indicator of how morally bankrupt they are.  No one on the planet has more money than the catholic church.  And its all blood money.

Of course I also believe that everyone has the right to believe what they wish.  I just don't know how catholics wrap their heads around the atrociousness of the Church's actions.  I guess some would call it blind faith.  I call it like I see it; an opiate for the masses who are too uncreative to come up with their own religious doctrine.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Know I'm Not Pregnant-Why Do I Have Morning Sickness?

I really wish network television would pay more attention to programming issues so they don't cause unnecessary illness in the viewing public.

This morning, I was treated to Sarah Palin's face discussing "blood libel".  Sarah Palin's face is enough to inspire a real retch reflex in me.  Her ignorance is legendary, and yet, her media coverage continues to grow.  Americans are fascinated by the aberrations of our society.

Next, I see Dick Cheney discussing his memoirs.  Anyone who wants to read Dick Cheney's memoirs is suffering a serious obstacle to anything resembling a life.  Dick Cheney?  Please.  Unless he wants to tell us how he "accidentally" mistook someone's ass for a bird during a hunting trip, who the F cares about anything Dick Cheney has to say.  He needs to go to the place where old Warmongers go to die.  Apparently, Mr. Cheney is waiting to see if he qualifies for a heart transplant.  News Flash.  He doesn't.

Finally, there is footage of Ronald Reagan in full Hollywood makeup giving a speech, and an image of his son, claiming the President had Alzheimer's Disease during his oval office tenure.  I don't think any American is particularly surprised by the son's allegation, but wasn't living through Ronald Reagan's speeches once enough punishment for any American?  Even when old blowhards die, they come back to haunt us.

Again, the GOP lives in the past.  The media and desperately greedy book publishers help them revisit that past on a regular basis.  For those of us living in the now, can we lay these less than stellar political figures to rest and put them in the past where they belong.  I'm dreaming of a sane future......I seriously doubt I'll find it here in Amerika.

Friday, January 14, 2011

King Walker Scotty God

The very saddest thing about an incompetent person being in a position of authority is watching their first attempts at overstepping reasonable boundaries.   It's sad because by very virtue of their incompetence, they don't get how unreasonable their actions will be perceived. 

Scott Walker's latest power trip is a bill proposed to sidestep a Department of Natural Resources' review of a wetland at a Green Bay-area retail project.  This bill is drawing sharp criticism from environmentalists, while also signaling King Walker Scotty God's willingness to use his gubernatorial powers to advance his economic agenda.

Why would King Walker Scotty God try to weaken the authority of a regulatory agency?  King Walker Scotty God actually believes that state regulatory agencies have become too powerful, and has vowed to streamline the agencies to be more business-friendly.  In other words, King Walker Scotty God believes far more in the business of a buck than he does in an environmental issue.  Not a real surprise, but it is disheartening to see that an undereducated schmuck like Scott Walker can skirt the REAL issues in the name of money and business.

Why do Republican politicians only see things in terms of dollar signs?  Wisconsin lost the high speed rail route.  Republicans hail this as so wise and correct and such a victory.  But when we're all standing on the side of the road because we can no longer drive our cars due to environmental impact, or lack of gasoline, or something more intense and imaginative, won't we be ruing the day King Walker Scotty God canned the train we now wish we all could board?  Ah, but I speak of the future, a murky impossibility for the likes of King Walker Scotty God to grasp. 

There is no future to a Republican, only a past they'd like to revisit forever so they can pay homage to the dollar they spent that day and worship it on reverent knees.  There is only one God for a Republican, and it is money.  If you don't have any, you are Godless.  Remember that you poor folks.  You are the atheist enemy to the Republican party.  But they won't say a prayer for you.....God NO!  Sacrilege!  Being poor means God doesn't love you.  At all.  (I say, keep the faith, the meek shall inherit the earth, sooner than you might think!)

King Walker Scotty God wants more power in the hands of elected officials and less in regulatory agencies.  This guy's ego trip has clearly gone nuclear.   If he's not careful, his head will explode from all that Power Dreaming.  Alas, that scenario wouldn't create much of a mess.  King Walker Scotty God got no brain, got no guts, got no glory.  He does have this tremendous ego, though.  Citizens of Wisconsin, you need to watch his power grab and not hesitate to trim this guys sails.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The United States of Violence, Murder and Mayhem

I'm really sick to death of seeing makeshift memorials to victims of violence, particularly gun violence, on national television. 

I'm sick of people like Sarah Palin, and other right wing tea party twits posting politician's faces on their websites in the cross hairs of a deer rifle. 

I'm sick of stupid Hollywood movies that glamorize violence, death, horror and gore, and I'm especially sick of the ignorant Americans who pay good money to go see these stupid, plot less movies, whose biggest budget expense seems to be fake blood.

I'm sick of the NRA and their constant message that to bear arms is our RIGHT.  I have a right to live a peaceful life, but no one takes it seriously, because I refuse to arm myself to insure that I get the right to live a peaceful life.

I'm sick of America being involved in wars that can't be won because the whole purpose for going to war was ludicrous in the first place.  These wars only drag on and on and on while supporting the military/industrial complex and our economy.  I'm sick of America as the Warmonger.

In short, I am sick to death of America, Americans, violence,  ignorance, Hollywood, and makeshift memorials to the dead.  If we don't get a clue soon, America is going to be a makeshift memorial.  That seems to be our karma.

More than a million people have been killed with guns in the United States since 1968.  More than 151,000 Americans have been murdered since the beginning of the 21st century.  Does anyone even notice the horror of this statistic?  As Bob Herbert said in The New York Times, "Homicide is white noise in this society".

Mr. Herbert goes on to say:

"The overwhelming majority of the people who claim to be so outraged by last weekend's shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others, six of them fatally, will take absolutely NO steps, none whatsoever, to prevent a similar tragedy in the future."

America needs gun control.  We don't need the police to be given the authority by the Supreme Court to bust down doors if they smell marijuana.  Everyone knows marijuana users can't remember where they put their bullets, if they even own a gun. 

America needs to end the violence and Americans need to demand that it end, through gun control.  We may have the constitutional right to bear arms, but I don't think the violence every American is exposed to everyday is what our forefather's actually had in mind. 

We are a nation of hardened criminals, ourselves, if we don't see the horror in the gun violence and murder rate.  The intergalactic constable claims we're all responsible.  And we are.  And sometime, we're all going to have to pay the price for our apathy.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Politics as Usual in Milwaukee County

Temporary County Executive Lee Holloway has given a top cabinet post, Director of the Department of Administrative Services, to Renee Booker.  For those of you with a short memory, Renee Booker ran the child welfare division for Milwaukee County, which triggered the state's takeover of that very troubled and financially disastrous agency.  The Department of Administrative Services oversees all of Milwaukee County's finances.  No stretch of the imagination can accept this as a sound act of a sound mind. 

This is cronyism at its worst.  What else would you expect?  Mr. Holloway is, after all, a slum lord, and now he can take the opportunity to turn Milwaukee County into the nation's largest slum.  I really feel avarice and ambition is detrimental to the politics of good governance.  This is why there should always be term limits on elected officials.  At least then only people who honestly care about government would get involved with it as a service, and not as a career. 

An interim ANYBODY should not be allowed to name anyone to cabinet posts. Mr. Holloway is trying to make a name for himself in the (hopefully) very short time he will hold the post of County Executive.  What Mr. Holloway does not understand is what that name will actually end up being. 

Mr. Holloway's power trip is off to a roaring start.  Now we have two clowns running things, one in the Governor's seat and one in the County Executive's office.

Tom Barrett must feel a little bit like Alan Bates in "King of Hearts"; the lone sane person in the asylum of Wisconsin politics.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Costa Rica Culture Shock

I'm staring at a big pile of summer clothes that I need to wash and pack in a suitcase for an upcoming trip to Costa Rica.  My question is, why did I wash all these clothes last fall to pack them away in the attic, only to have to wash them again.  Why don't we just hide our dirty laundry at the end of summer and wait until spring to wash it.

I'm a little apprehensive about going to Costa Rica, which has been designated "the happiest place on earth, with the happiest people".  Coming from the neurosis-ridden, depressed and violent United States, I'm kind of worried I may just die of culture shock two minutes after deplaning.  However, the opportunity to get out of Wisconsin in February means I'll take the risk.

I honestly won't know how to handle a happy culture.  America seems so negative on so many levels, it's almost as if I've gotten used to being surrounded by the permanently unhappy.  Even our birds seem to be falling dead out of the sky....which is so ominous because a world without birds would be so sickeningly quiet and visually drab.  I've always loved birds and I make my cat wear a bell so he can't kill them.  The unexplained bird deaths is a source of anxiety for me.  Costa Rica has many rare and exotic birds.  Glad I have binoculars.

I've been to the the big island of Hawaii twice in my life, once when my mother was in brief recovery from breast cancer treatment, and again on my honeymoon.  Both times, the normally very active Mauna Kea volcano went silent and stopped erupting the whole time I was there.  I hope this is not going to happen when I visit the Arenal Observatory Lodge in Costa Rica.  My husband will really be mad if I manage to shut down a volcano again, especially considering what we're paying for a few days lodging here.   I've not mentioned that I have this uncanny ability to our traveling companions.  I'm fearful they'll banish me from the side trip.  I have always liked to play with fire.

I think I may take a surfing lesson, even at my age.  It just looks like a ton of fun to me.  Snorkeling and swimming are always givens on our trips.  I may try a zip-line, too, just for the pure thrill of a ride under the rain forest canopy.  Anyhow, my point is, I'm ready to be in a happy place, doing some fun things instead of being here, watching congressional representatives get shot in Arizona parking lots.  Republican or Democrat, no one wants to watch the country fall into this sort of anarchy; which seems to happen more and more these dark days. 

Maybe I'll learn something about a successful lifestyle in Costa Rica.  Maybe I'll stay there.  Maybe I'll meet an indiginous shaman who can give me some magic beans to get America on the right track.  Whatever, the news here seems to be all bad; and I'm glad I'm leaving for awhile.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Wisconsin's New State Housing Director Doesn't Pay Taxes

Isn't it a trip and a half that Wyman Winston, recently appointed head of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority in Scott Walker's administration, was delinquent in paying property taxes in 2009 for six duplexes he owns on Milwaukee's north side.  The taxes were nearly a year past due; total amount owed:  $14,541.  What next, the head of the highway department who doesn't have a driver's license because of a long list of OWIs?

Welcome to the Madison, Mr. Winston.  As is typical, you fit right into Mr. Walker's administration; no ethics and no business sense.  Gees, are the citizens of Wisconsin in for the amusement ride of their life, "The Tunnel of Embarrassment".  Scott Walker.  Once a joke, always a joke.  This should be his slogan and his motto.

And speaking of old jokes, just what was in Walker's file cabinets, discovered as being emptied out after his rather hasty departure from Milwaukee County.

Let's speculate what was in those cabinet drawers.

1.  A map showing the exit out of the courthouse, which he referred to every night.
2.  A large list of questionable campaign contributors.
3.  A picture of Lee Holloway with lots of dart marks on his face.
4.  A bottle of gin.
5.  A picture of the White House in Washington D.C., semi-defaced by drool.
6.  Odor eaters.
7.  Fresh underpants for those many moments when he was under fire by everyone, and almost shat his pants.
8.  A "How to Determine if You're Suffering a Mental Illness" self test, never taken.
9.  A huge stack of I.O.U.'s to various special interest groups.
10. A Rubik's cube he's been working on since 1979.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Nothing to Say

I'm a firm believer in saying nothing if I have nothing to say.  I feel the airwaves are polluted by too much senseless noise anyhow.

But I saw two movies this week that I must recommend.

Black Swan, with Natalie Portman, is possibly the best psychological thriller I've ever seen, and I will be forever delighted that Ms. Portman's performance happened during my lifetime and I got a chance to see it on the big screen!

Mark Wahlberg's "The Fighter" is a wonderful movie, gritty in its portrayal of family relationships.  I'll just say that the group of women who played the nastier than sludge sisters brought me much joy!  Personal reasons!  And remember, although not all family relationships are as dysfunctionally in your face as the Ward family, there are truths exposed in this movie that apply to every family.  It's a "How To Not Be A Family" handbook.  Unfortunately, lots of families don't need a handbook; they've got it down.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bad Government for Wisconsin Already

One of the first orders Scott Walker gave to J.B. Van Hollen was to join a lawsuit challenging federal health care reform. 

I can't help but wonder why people who are aggressively powerful and atrociously right wing ALWAYS go after the most vulnerable members of our society.  Why do they actually believe that only rich people are entitled to good health care?  Is there some bank account related system of natural selection to which the Republicans subscribe? 

And for someone who claims to be frugal, why is Scott Walker joining a federal lawsuit that will only cost Wisconsin taxpayers money, and hopefully, if there is intelligent life in our judicial system, will be slapped to the ground by the Supreme Court?  Can this be considered fiscally frugal?  Aren't there enough red states involved in this lawsuit already?  Or is it just more posturing to show that the Republican bullies will do everything they can to derail a truly democratic society so we can go back to the time of robber barons, our heritage!

I heard that Scott Walker and his wife had to take dancing lessons so they wouldn't embarrass themselves at the Inaugural Ball.  Well, I suppose not everyone can dance, but you have to wonder if non-dancers hear or feel much of anything.  And though Scott Walker can't dance, he can tap dance, and he does so regularly around the truth.  Reminds me of a story from a Kurt Vonnegut book.

Aliens land in Black River Falls and notice that a farmer's barn is on fire.  They rush to tell the farmer to call the fire department, but the Aliens only method of communication is farting and tap dancing.  Naturally, the perplexed farmer scratches his head in confusion, while his barn burns to the ground.  I suppose he could have smelled the truth if there hadn't been such a stink in the air.

Is Wisconsin Burning?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Scott Walker's Swearing In Photo

I'm particularly biased against Scott Walker, so maybe it's just me, but the idiot looks as if he's giving the Nazi salute with his hand raised so high in the air at the podium.  I can almost hear the "sieg heil". 

At any rate, here it is, Walker sworn in as our governor.  Ugh. 

All of these radical right wing politicos and their sponsors seem to have one thing in common; membership in The Heritage Foundation, a right wing group dedicated to fighting any progressive change in America.

Let's take a look at that.  What's so great about American Heritage in the first place?  I mean, really, if you can get past the red, white and blue bull (oops) propaganda, America has a long history of negative behaviors.

We stole this land from Native Americans.

We endorsed slavery and fought our only civil war over it.

George Washington kept slaves.

Thomas Jefferson, surely a part of our heritage, fathered children with his slave gal, Sal.

We were first to use the atomic bomb.

We basically ignored what was happening  to the Jews, the gypsies, the blacks, the mentally ill, etc. in Nazi Germany, and by the time we did take a look at it, six million people had been slaughtered like animals.

We fought a phantom enemy in Vietnam, an enemy totally engineered by the military-industrial complex, and lost 55,000 soldiers --- for NOTHING!  Next time you're at a sporting event in a large arena, look around and try to put that in perspective.  55,000 people is a lot to lose; not to mention the ones who came home maimed or strung out on drugs.  You put sane people in insane situations, you take away their sanity.

It took one hundred years for black people to attain the same rights as white people after slavery was abolished.  And in some cities, like Jackson, Mississippi, "it ain't never gone happen at all, ya'll".

Anyhow, these groups whom are dedicated to "saving" America's Heritage don't have a clear idea of what America's heritage encompasses.  They see eagles soaring over great western canyons.  I see innocent black men lynched in trees.  We are not the greatest nation on the planet; there probably isn't one.  We are certainly one of the most dysfunctional though.  And that's the heritage these right wing clowns want to preserve. 

Catfish and Crocodiles; we're in a hell of a murky mess here!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dennis Smith, Department of Health Services

This is an unfortunate pick for the Director of Health Services for the State of Wisconsin.

In brief research, Mr. Smith shows himself to be anti-abortion, anti-sex education, anti-senior, anti-BadgerCare, anti-Medicare and anti-progressive thought. Face it, he's anti-humanity. Well, at least we know why Scott Walker wants him on his team.

Mr. Smith advocates an abstinence approach to dealing with teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The abstinence approach is ludicrous. There is no surer picture of human beings as sexual animals as the face of a teenage boy, or girl for that matter. Abstinence tends to ignore the basic fact that we are far more animal than intellectual when it comes to sex. I think Mr. Smith has parlayed the fact that he couldn't get laid in high school into a morally superior rationalization for his existence.

Mr. Smith also believes that Planned Parenthood promotes promiscuity and alternative lifestyles. Planned Parenthood gives complete information to anyone seeking it, and offers family planning to sexually active men and women. The information provided by Planned Parenthood is non-judgmental and completely accurate. Planned Parenthood provides services; services that are not otherwise available to children of ignorant parents. The kind of impassioned ignorance that Mr. Smith promotes is devastating to the uneducated teenager who finds himself in a bad situation that could have easily been avoided. Ignorance, as we've all been told repeatedly, is no excuse.

Mr. Smith seems to think that parents should guilt trip their teens into not having sex. Right. Good luck with that one. Any parent who relies on guilt as a way to control someone's behavior is going to be unhappy with the outcome. Just ask all the nice Catholic girls who delivered babies they were completely unprepared to care for. Guilt, unfortunately, does not prevent pregnancy, nor does it impede raging hormones. It does, however, damage people's perception of themselves and their lives for many years. Guilt, as a tool, only works if your objective is to be responsible for completely screwing up someone's future life. I say no parent has that right, although too many exercise it.

I am dismayed that Mr. Smith is in the position he is in. We are going to take a giant step back from where we need to be once his skewed sense of morality takes over this important cabinet post. A bad pick for Wisconsin, but certainly the right one for Mr. Walker. Not quite the blind leading the blind, but certainly the sexually uptight seeking each other out for solace and comfort. Too bad they'll take a lot of people along for their silly ride.