Sunday, September 29, 2013

BP and the Evil Empire

Frankly, I'm not surprised that a corporation like BP is fighting, tooth and nail, every possible fine and payout they were ordered to make.  No culpability seems to be the multi-national conglomerate mantra these days.

This corporation did untold damage in the Gulf of Mexico by having a blow out at one of their deep water rigs, and now they are trying to find ways not to compensate gulf coast residents for their huge mistake. 

I've always thought pouring oil over the heads, bodies, families and homes of all BP executives; forcing them to live an oil saturated life for the next decade would be an excellent remedy and a cautionary example to avoid future catastrophes like this.  However, I like to live in a poetically just world, which is somewhat difficult on this plane of existence.

So, let's hit the ba$tards in the wallet and fine them appropriately; force them to make reparations for the extensive damage they've inflicted.  Unfortunately, this does little good to brown pelicans, who have trouble opening bank accounts without appropriate identification.  Shrimp, dolphins, sharks, red snappers and sea turtles suffer the same indignities.

Billion dollar corporations  like BP think they are above the law; they don't believe they owe anyone anything, (except, of course, themselves and their shareholders).  They actually do believe that the money they lost during the accidental pumping of 210 million gallons of crude into the gulf is punishment enough.

It's time Louisiana and the United States of America kicked British Petroleum, and other foreign corporations out of our coastal waters.  Exploitation is a crime and corporations like BP are just exploitative, fueled by insatiable greed.  Certainly we can do better, or at the very least, we can do less harm.  Maybe that's what our mantra should be.  "We won't hurt you as much".  Yes, it stinks, but it is still better than the arguments being put forth by BP in their weaseling attempts to renege on their compensation agreements. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

PooPooville and the Speed Trap

I live on the outskirts of Baton Rouge, so I have to drive a bit to get to the grocery store, or anywhere for that matter.  Baton Rouge, as I've said, is growing by leaps and bounds.  The traffic in the city is pretty horrendous during rush hours, and it's not all that much better any other time except Sunday morning, when everyone seems to be in church.  I spend quite a bit of time in my car taking in the sights while dodging the horrible drivers who have all moved to Baton Rouge.  On my way into town there is a fancy schmanzy subdivision where the speed limit drops to 30.  This is the only stretch of Baton Rouge on which I've ever seen a cop.  I guess it pays to have a big house with palm trees. 

The housing developers are straining to keep up with the demand for housing, and what was a soybean field yesterday is going to be the next subdivision tomorrow.  On this speed trap stretch, there is one such subdivision being engineered right now, close to the Albertson's where I do some shopping.  It's a large tract of land, and when I drive by it, it smells like crap.  My husband and I take turn naming this subdivision; PooPooville, Stinky Acres, Odoramaland, Gatorfartown, Pugh Palisades, Scratch, Sniff and Scream .... you get the idea. 

So I continue to think that the environmental issues here in Louisiana are a can of worms waiting for me to open them.  There's no reason soil that's been turned over should have the offensive stink it has in PooPooville unless someone was either dumping solid waste there, or spraying gray water.  I'm anxious to get to the Unitarian Church this Sunday and see what kind of environmental issues they're involved in.  I certainly hope someone's involved in environmental causes here.  I almost dread delving into this.

The bit of research I did so far has indicated that dumping treated sewage into a swamp and trying to sell the idea its healthy for the swamp is pretty much as bogus as building a subdivision on a mountain of $hit and calling it Sweet Blossom.

But I still like living here, I've just carefully avoided scratching the surface. 

I wonder what kind of death fills the rail cars that go by a couple of times a day from the chemical plants to the south.  A whole other mailbag of concern.

No place ideal.  All of this stuff is still 100% an improvement over living in Wisconsin with Scott Walker as governor.  That's a heaping pile of maniacal fan splitting $hit if there ever was one.  Of course, Jindal could well be his twin brother, so I look on the bright shortage of things to rant about here.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tea Party Plan to Keep America Stupid

It's easier to enslave people if they don't know you're doing it. 

I was going to avoid Louisiana politics as there's just too much fodder to fathom, but I cannot honestly believe that Bobby Jindal would actually oppose common core standards for Louisiana's public schools.  What is the point of educating young people if we don't have measurable standards? 

Tea party freaks like the "no common core standard" policy because it serves them.  They say they want smaller government and less regulatory interference, but that's just a deceptive cloak they stand behind.  Keeping the populace dumbed down has long been a plan by those who have it all.  An illiterate group of laborers can keep the machine cogs turning and the haves enjoy believing that these exploited workers are actually thankful to have some stinking, dangerous job that pays just enough to insure there will be no chance of any of them moving into the neighborhood.

Does anyone smell the strong odor of $hit Creek here? 

And speaking of $hit Creek, there is an article in the local paper today about pouring treated sewage into the swamps in southern Louisiana; such plan being touted as environmentally sound.  I don't know much about sewage treatment, and perhaps this is a viable idea.  I'll have to do more research on that.  Frankly, though, pouring anything into a natural swamp in the hope that the swamp will continue to clean the sewage as well as feed the swamp and keep it healthy sounds suspicious to me.  More on that when I've got a chance to study it. 

I don't have to worry about finding causes down here.  It's just so easy not to get involved though.  I've been enjoying being oblivious in this very summery climate!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hold Your Tongue and Say It

Okay America, everybody hold their tongue and say "Killings at the ship yard".

Jesus H. Christ, when are we going to get a freakin' clue that this country has too many guns, too few controls, and has become a total shit yard?

All you gun toting fanatics out there, spare me your bull$hit comments about your right to bear arms - what the f*ck about my right not to get f*cking shot?

I despise these yahoos and their bullets, truly. 

My next super power wish would be the ability to turn everybody's firearm into a pop out flag that says "bang, oops, and I better run my cowardly a$$ on outta here".

Monday, September 16, 2013

What's It All About, Sammy?

It's actually comical to live in Louisiana and try to follow politics.

Every single day, there is a news story about some politician or other, from local to federal, being indicted for malfeasance in public office.  They steal.  They lie.  They cheat.  They slide on their bellies like reptiles.  They get released from prison and run for public office, again.

In reality, it would seem to me that our entire government is made up of incompetent thieves, intent on getting their's (whatever their's is) and making sure the rest of us pay for it. 

I suppose one must be a little reptilian in order to enter politics - having a prehistoric skin would be very helpful in Washington D.C.  or any state capital.  Politics as we know it is a dysfunctional process that does very little to better us, as a nation.  In fact, it seems to work against us at every turn.

So I Say:  LET'S TRY THE JURY DUTY PROCESS.  We pick our senators, congressman, governors, mayors, president, vice president, ad infinitum, the same way we send notices to people who have been picked for jury duty.  I believe that the first incarnation of a government picked that way would be 100% better than what we're all stuck with today.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ugh - My First Altercation in New Orleans

My husband was drawing outside CafĂ© du Monde in New Orleans this weekend, while I walked around looking for certain items I wanted to buy at the various antique stores. 

Around 2 p.m., when the smells of the French Quarter restaurants were really whetting my appetite, I went back to collect him and drag him off to lunch.  That's when I encountered old drunk white lady, sitting next to my husband and complaining about how "nigger kids" had stolen her purse and shoes. 

The balloon man, who was the object of my husband's drawing, was busy making balloon animals for some kids, who just happened to be black, and old drunk white lady started to make comments about how much she hated "niggers".  Balloon man told her to shut up, but she belligerently stood her ground in racist comments.

Unfortunately, I had had enough and the black family standing, waiting for the balloons was very uncomfortable, but too polite to say anything.  So of course, I had to say something.  I simply told her that she had said enough, and that she needed to stop immediately.  When she continued, I again told her to stop, in a much louder voice, and asked her to take her hateful venom somewhere else because it wasn't welcome there.  Balloon man then flagged down an officer on a segue, and had him talk to the woman, who promptly left the area.

It was very unpleasant.  Obviously, old drunk white woman was also old drunk white mentally ill woman, and I try to abstain from conflicts with the mentally compromised.  You can never win because they're stuck in their emotionally charged loop of craziness and you just get taken for a ride that goes around and around.  But I'll never forget the blatant show of racist crap and the fact that I jumped into the fray, much to my husband's discomfort.  At any rate, it was an ugly little episode and I am a little sorry I got into it with this woman - maybe had I given her some money or a pair of shoes, she would have been better off, but I kind of doubt it.  In this day and age to see that display of ugliness shocked and saddened me.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sheriff Clarke No Show at 9/11 Memorial Ceremony?

I don't know who is running the PR for the Sheriff's Department in Milwaukee County, but they have their hands full with Clarke at the helm.

Two years in a row, the Sheriff is a no-show for a 9/11 memorial ceremony?  He was at a doctor's appointment?  Hopefully, he was having his head examined.  Sheriff Clarke is a public relations catastrophe.

What possible reason could the Sheriff's Office come up with that not one person from that agency would attend and so obviously disrespect a memorial service?

I'm in Louisiana now, and the politics here are every bit as crazy as Wisconsin politics.  In Lafayette, there was vandalism of the 9/11 memorial by so called "truthers", who believe that the U.S. government engineered the attacks on New York City.  It's a scary thought to think that the radically right-headed Sheriff Clarke might share the beliefs of this group.  I can't think of a single other reason that he would show such sincere disrespect to a 9/11 memorial gathering.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 11th

Today is my husband's birthday, and we were picnicking at an old castle on the Dingle Peninsula of Ireland when the first plane hit the World Trade Center.  Obviously, we were clueless.  Laptops were just becoming popular, and we would have never thought to stay connected on a beautiful fall day, on the beautiful Irish coast. 

On the way back to our rented cottage, we stopped at Inch Beach to buy gifts for our family.  As I browsed the aisles, I kept hearing about planes being hijacked out of Boston and New York from a television set at the clerk's station.  I found my husband and asked if he was listening; we both looked at each other and then went to the counter to ask what the hell was going on in the United States.  We were watching the television screen when the second plane hit and we were stunned senseless.  Leaving our purchases behind, we returned to the cottage and watched, in horror, like every other person in Ireland and the world, the beyond belief story unfolding in front of us.

It was a long time ago.  But I remember the devastation I felt and the unbelievably emptiness in my heart, that something like this could happen.  To us.  To America. 

We learned that the airspace over the United States was closed down (except for the Saudi royal family, who was allowed to leave).  We were scheduled to go home the next day, but that was out of the question.  It was impossible to reach the airlines.  Our wonderful landlord, who had rented the cottage to us, showed up and told us we were the last of the summer tourists and we could stay in the cottage as long as we needed to --- no charge.  Such a nice man, Sean Foley.

It took days before we could reach someone on the phone at the airline, and get on a flight to America.  The best we could do was Baltimore, but it was home, and we would eventually make it to Milwaukee.

Shannon Airport was a nightmare.  There were people everywhere; some had been there for days and days.  Student travelers were out of money and begging for food, chips, anything.  I remember thinking that I was a racist as I nervously checked out everyone at our gate to make sure they weren't Arabs.  It was my first experience with having my body and my luggage searched before proceeding to the gate.  The whole trip was uncomfortable, the plane was packed, the babies were at a full throttle howl and the flight attendants seemed harassed and tired.

Perhaps the most eerie thing I've ever seen in my life was O'Hare Airport, a complete ghost town, when we finally arrived in Chicago.  If you've ever traveled though O'Hare, you know what I'm talking about.  Only two flights had arrived at the airport the day we got back; it was dark, it was empty, it was quiet, and it was the most incredible reminder of just how much things had changed in four days.  There was one bus to take us to Milwaukee, in a deserted parking lot that seemed to stretch for miles.

This year, is a happier birthday for my husband.  We're living in Louisiana now, we're enjoying the start of our golden years together in a brand new house and we're going out for Japanese food tonight; because there will be plenty of opportunities for southern cooking on Saturday, when we take the short drive to New Orleans.

But forever, September 11th has sad meaning for us, because of the awful tragedy that we suffered at the hand of a bunch of miserably misguided terrorists; an awful tragedy for my family because my dear brother-in-law died in a motorcycle accident on September 11th, years earlier, and a sad day because no matter how much we try to be happy on my husband's birthday, the reminders will always be there of that awful, history changing day.

C'est la vie.  Happy Birthday anyhow, to a man who never lost patience while spending four days on the phone, trying to get us home.  I wonder, sometimes, if it wouldn't have been better to stay in Ireland.

What Would Eddie Munster Do?

Paul Ryan came out against President Obama's proposed plan(s) to deal with Syria and its use of chemical weapons against its citizenry.

Big Surprise.  Paul Ryan immediately opposed anything intelligent simply by virtue of the fact that it came from Obama.  Ryan definitely went to the school of adversarial academics.  He criticized the president for wanting to explore diplomatic solutions, while stating that military strikes would be ineffective.  God Forbid Paul Ryan ever would be president, because this joker can't come up with any plan for anything, except a plan to be negative and wishy washy.

I wish I had Paul Ryan's crystal balls, because I'd kick him so hard his past would be his future.  And his past shows him to be a very sore loser. 

I, along with most Americans, are sick to death of the oppositional politics of the GOP, especially members of the GOP who are not based in reality or committed to working harmoniously to solve problems.  The Paul Ryans and Scott Walkers of the country are key in destroying everything that makes America great.  Then again, the Ryans and the Walkers promise to be the downfall of the GOP, and in that regard, we can all rejoice.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Elysian a Big Bomb

My husband was excited that I suggested we go see the movie "Elysian".  It sounded pretty good as a premise; earth in a post apocalyptic anarchy, and the rich people living in a man made paradise on a space vehicle high above the chaos.  Oh, and the rich desperate to keep the rest of mankind off.  Sounds sort of like the Hamptons, or Beverly Hills.  At any rate, I went to see it and it stunk up the theatre.  Truly, I do not understand how Hollywood can take ANY creative idea, turn it into a bloodbath with Ironman hardware suits, and call it a movie.  I was truly bored, but now my husband owes me two chick flicks, so I guess suffering through it was worth it. 

I think the movie evaded the bigger question, at least for the super rich.  How will they keep out the riff raff?  I'm sure they spend lots of time thinking about that.  If this movie had addressed that issue, it might have been worth seeing.  Jodie Foster was a formidable stiff, reminiscent of Barbara Bush in her attitude toward the lower classes.

In other weird news, Iowa is going to pass a bill to allow people who are legally blind to have guns.  Glad I don't have any family in Iowa, which is short for Idiots Out Walking Around.

The debate rages on about what to do about Syria and its crazy leader.  I guess America should ask itself what the population would do here if Obama decided to use poison gas against its citizens. 

And just a personal note here, I'm so pi$$ed that the Packers failed to kick the a$$ of the 49ers yesterday, I've decided to become a Saints fan for the 2013/14 season.  Well, that's not true.  I'll always follow the Pack, but it was a disappointing season opener for cheeseheads everywhere. 
Hopefully, when the playoffs finally roll around, Green Bay will give them a drubbing they'll never forget, complete with a game ending bad call.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

People Who Live in Big Houses Shouldn't

Well, I thought I've seen it all; but Giselle Bundchen's (or whatever the hell her name is) and Tom Brady's new house in California is just so over the top, I can't stand it.

Alright, if you have the money and you can afford to buy all the furniture it would take to fill a museum sized home, more power to you.  I don't really care about flagrant, in your face, shows of status and money unwisely spent.  If it makes a person happy; better to be happy than unhappy.  I just sort of sense an emptiness about those big places that fills me with a strange, unexplainable sadness.  I really wouldn't want to live in one.  I lose my glasses too often to want to get that much exercise looking for them.

What's funny about the house that the Supermodel/Quarterback share is it's supposedly built to the highest green standards.  Excuse me?  Going green means going less.  When one considers the cost of air conditioning on a house that size, sorry - there's nothing green about it.  Just enormous consumption of valuable natural resources while most people in the world don't even have clean drinking water.  Alas, happiness does come at a cost, usually built on some misery of faceless others.  Or at least, status does.

It's hot in Louisiana this week.  My energy efficient house is nice and cool, and it costs me about $72 a month to keep it that way.  I would not trade this cute little place for any mansion in Bel Air or anywhere else.  I would simply feel like a very large pig, hogging the slop tray.  That sounds so Charlie Manson and I don't mean I think rich people are pigs.  I just think they are ignorant about what's truly meaningful. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Walker and the GOP Sickeningly Transparent

Scott Walker recently reneged on a $500,000 grant to a sportsman group in Wisconsin (that had supported his gubernatorial campaigns).  I guess when you set your sights on the White House, you can't afford to be seen giving taxpayer funds to your cronies.  Nevertheless, Walker would have given the money to this group, because this is what the Walker's of the GOP always do.  They complain about big government and how citizens can't afford it, but as soon as they're elected they distribute billions of dollars to their friends, while cutting social programs.   Citizens of Wisconsin simply can't afford Walker.

In more news, Walker admitted he erred in giving the Capitol Police Chief a huge raise.  Duh, ya think? 

I am so sick of the republican party and their insistence that they are out to save money and cut government spending.  Bull$shit.  They're out to steal as much as they can from people who have little to begin with.  This is their plan - kill off the poor and turn America into the amusement park of the rich.  As if the rich had any creativity or even were capable of being amused. 

GOP --- Get (to) 0 Poor.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fried Chicken Anyone?

Okay, so I just saw the doctor, who wants me to eat properly, exercise more and be mindful of getting certain tests done to insure continued good health.  I liked him - he was practical, personable and obviously a very good physician.

So my answer is to go out for a fried chicken dinner tonight.  Bad Bad Bad, but I'm doing it because southern fried chicken just can't be obtained anywhere except in the south (and a good friend of mine's house in Wausau, Wisconsin).  I think my friend must have been a slave cook in a past life, because her chicken is comparable to the chicken here.  She's not afraid of hard work either, which just proves my point that we all live many times before we get "it", whatever "it" is.  I'm sure I was a princess in a past life because I'm very comfortable with the royal treatment.  Obviously, I learned nothing valuable from that life.

I digress.  Fried chicken in the south.  Maybe I'll add coleslaw and red beans & rice, just to make it a little healthier.  All I know is that I smell chicken frying all over this town, and it sets my tongue to dripping.  It's Pavlovian.  My husband was going to come home tonight and make a tofu, noodle, vegetable dish, which I requested; but instead, I got a whiff on my way home of chicken frying, and just like that, our dinner plans have changed.

Now, you can eat shrimp cocktail.  You can eat lobster cold.  You can eat sushi, all relatively good for you.  But the only way to eat a chicken is to coat it and drop it in boiling grease.  I am not sure who figured out how to do this first (probably my friend in Wausau when she was a slave cook) but I'm glad it was figured out. 

Bon appetite!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Any Ditch'll Do?

Here I am in Louisiana, where I'm a little unhappy about the town I'm living in not having a recycling program.  Any Ditch Will Do?  Apparently, I can voluntarily recycle items, but I have to pack them up and drive them to a center.  Ah well, no place is perfect....but for a progressive city, not having a recycling program is a big negative to me.

Nevertheless, I'm out of Wisconsin, it's horrendous politics, it's apathetic citizenry and it's 65% of the time really intolerable weather. 

So far, I'm loving it.  Yes it's hot and humid.  Yes, Baton Rouge is very congested, especially at rush hour.  And yes, you cannot expect to drive up the road I live on during an LSU game because the people here worship football and the Tigers.  But I went to a Zydeco festival in Cajun country, and had an absolutely delightful time.  I've skipped Summerfest in Milwaukee for at least the past decade, because it seems to bring out a large group of bozos who ruin it for everyone else.  At the Zydeco Festival, everyone was having fun; dancing, singing along and behaving as you would expect people to behave in a civilized society.

And people smile and talk to each other - apparently, there's no such thing as a stranger in Louisiana.  At least, that's my experience thus far.

For a small city, I've managed to get lost a few times.  But I've found an absolutely fabulous Italian grocery store, a gigantic shoe store (my downfall - but I just unpacked my shoes and there will be NO more shoes) and a nice green market.  Tomorrow, I have a doctor appointment in a part of town that I've not been too, and I'm expecting I'll find other delightful places.

At any rate, I'm out of Wisconsin.  I'll keep up with the idiot Governor for entertainment value, and I sort of am putting off delving into Louisiana politics.  I guess the corruption here is so blatant, it's refreshing.  No one even bothers to hide their indiscretions behind closed doors.  But more on that as I become more familiar with the lay of the land.