Thanks for making those points. Some times I think I'm beating a dead horse in this thread making the same observations but I know most of the Deadhead baby-boomers are of like opinion. A Republican showing empathy to LGBTers (which includes even being seen talking to Gay Congressperson Barney Frank) is sure not to last long. Empathy and compassion are hard to come by when one of your main allies is the Christian right. The money for re-election dries up or somebody, well-financed, cuts you down in the party primary. Humans are slow to show empathy and compassion when their own continued source of wealth is concerned.
I realized that the sons and daughters of Congresspersons were getting a free pass when I was an activist at Brown University in the early 70s and met a guy who earned his BA in a liberal arts major after matriculating from 66-74 at the least rigorous Ivy school in the club. Then he took a cushy job in the family company and lived happily ever after. On a side-note, Jerry already served in the service and the rest of the boys got high draft numbers, virtually assuring none of them would be called to service.
Parkas has some good points also. I don't think another knuckle-dragger will be elected for the next 50 years except from a "red" state. There are so many knuckle-dragging tracks in Kansas, around the Wichita world-wide headquarters of the Koch Brothers, that their recent tracks have been mistaken for crop circles!
Many of us remember the surpluses of the dotcom bubble years. They were built not on Clinton's smarts but on another financial gimmick that eventually crashed and burned (It's not about making money, it's about getting to the IPO quickly and raking in investor money). Still, the Federal Treasury could boast a year-to-year surplus. That was quickly blown away by Dubya and his tax cuts and dishonest book-keeping when it came to financing the Iraq and Afghan wars. I won't even mention the rest of Dubya's screw-ups. Besides the obvious burst of the housing bubble there was his next to the last act as President: Bailing out the auto industry. This after proclaiming like a mantra that government is bad and shouldn't effect the free market as the hallowed creed of the GOP party for the last 33 years, at least.
Dubya was the ultimate example of how irresponsible and vindictive and menacing his fellow ideologues were (as a neo-con he was the Goldwater radical right of his party) Thanks, Parkas, for reminding us. We should be reminded on a regular basis so as not to repeat the mistake of electing another GOP president, ever.
Do I detect the presence of a fellow "Real Time with Bill Maher" fan? Because he said much the same about Republican Congress(wo)men on a recent episode, and it's, sadly, very telling of the type of people running the show in Washington, D.C.. What saddens me is the utter lack of empathy the Republican party seems to have for...well, all of us that aren't part of their individual families. United we stand? I don't think so, at least not in this country. Not anymore.
I have to say, a very, very small part of me hopes the Republicans win the next Presidential election, and I'll tell you why: A) No one whines quite like a Republican, and I am SO SICK of hearing them whine; and B) I think the knuckle-dragging morons of this country need to be reminded what happens around here when a fellow knuckle-dragger is sitting in the control booth. No one finds it pertinent to recall that the greatest economic surplus was turned into the second greatest deficit this country has EVER SEEN, and all in less than 8 years. It's no wonder that, when the media talks about the economy, they fail to mention not only Bush II but Clinton as well.
Several years ago, I said that I could see another Civil War on the horizon, and I feel more and more that I just might be right as the days drag on and on. I mean, c'mon, I'm only 32, and I can remember when anybody could talk politics and not want to immediately stab the other person in the face simply by citing their party affiliation.
AAAAAAAAARGH...I FEEL LIKE I'M TAKING CRAZY PILLS!!!!!
Buddhists are fighting Muslims in Burma, I am sorry to say.* It is not a general adversity between the two religions, just a local flareup for that part of the world, confined to a province. Buddhism is the main religion of the Burmese people.
*BBC Reporting 3/22/13
"Occasional isolated violence involving Myanmar's majority Buddhist and minority Muslim communities has occurred for decades.
Under the military governments that ruled Myanmar from 1962 until 2011, ethnic and religious unrest was typically hushed up, an approach made easier in pre-Internet days, when there was a state monopoly on daily newspapers, radio and television, backed by tough censorship of other media.
But since an elected, though still military-backed, government took power in 2011, people have been using the Internet and social media in increasing numbers, and the press has been unshackled, with censorship mostly dropped and privately owned daily newspapers expected to hit the streets in the next few months.
The government of Thein Sein is constrained from using open force to quell unrest because it needs foreign approval in order to woo aid and investment. The previous military junta had no such compunctions about using force, and was ostracized by the international community for its human rights abuses."
From the AP report 3/22//13
GOP Senator Rob Portman of Ohio changed his personal opinion about same-sex marriage only after his son, Will, came out in 2011.The senator was quoted as saying, "It's a change of heart from a father's point of view." Why didn't he have a father's point of view in the first place and ask himself, "How would I feel about this topic if I knew my son was gay?"
One more changed mind is a good thing, but is this what it takes? Direct personal involvement? Short-sighted people in a place of power is some scary shit!! (stating the obvious)
Instead of galloping off to paid-in-full ivy league educations, what if, directly after deciding to invade a country, all of the "of age" congressional spawn were required to be the first on the front lines? The first to receive IED fragments, the first to take sniper bullets, the first to ferret out the suicide bombers, the first to fill the rooms of Walter Reed and the first body bags to be saluted.
Does - God forbid - an entire congressional family need to be mowed down by some f*@#*ng lunatic with an assault rifle to finally ban assault rifles? An entire classroom full of 6 year old children couldn't do it.
I know the answers; I'm just ranting.
- subject - John Prine "Far from Me"
Just dropping a post in this new thread so that it comes up in my subscriptions.
What we all knew and predicted would happen has happened. No real gun control legislation will pass. Reid told Feinstein, author of the bill with assault weapons ban (and multi-bullet clips) that though she has 22 co-sponsors there are no more than 40 votes in the Senate in favor. They need 60 these days.
Lets hope that a bill passes that closes the gun show loophole. It won't matter for those who already have or are willing to sell guns but it does make a difference for those who shouldn't have them and have paper behind their names saying they shouldn't, like people who are spouse batterers.
After Newtown, how could we not act? The Democratic Governor of Vermont is against an assault weapons ban because hunters are for it and the fad of deer-shooting is waning badly and the Vt. Chamber of Commerce is trying to get more young people into the woods with guns.
Wait a second. Get more young people into the woods with guns?!? (It supposedly turns them into lifetime hunters who will buy guns, bullets, clothes, provisions, motels, alcohol in the state.)
Assad's back is up against the wall. The 10th anniversary of the Iraq war with all those pictures of Husein's haunted face looking out from the spider hole where he was captured must have spooked him. What kind of a megalomaniac actually looks for an excuse to use chemical stockpiles on his own people?
If that happens Obama's word will fill the Syrian sky with flame. Were the chemical stockpiles are, anyway. It's already a promise made.
Breakfast of champions!
Monsanto is not a socially responsible corporation and their Roundup line of products is killing us.
I love the emphasis on organic gardening here in Vermont. I go to the farmer's market every Saturday in season. I very rarely buy very much. The price are very high compared to cheap supermarket produce. I asked one of the organic growers "How can you guarantee to me there is no cross-pollination from GMOs?" His reply to me? "Good question. I can't."
I don't think produce should be priced as a boutique product because it's supposedly "organic". The growers shouldn't charge as much as they can get. Shouldn't the price be based on the absence of paying for pesticides plus the increased cost of labor for weeding? All other expenses are the same.
Well, I can always ride the rural highway and stop at the family farm stands.
At my place of work, we grow around 150 species of north american native perennials annually. 3 of those species are native forms of milkweed which constitute an average of 20,000 potted plants; about 6% of all of our plants grown.. I'm always amazed at how the female monarchs will rule out 147 species in twelve greenhouses and can find the only 3 species which will support the development of their eggs. Every summer, as the caterpillars develop, they also devour and defoliate those species as each grow, so three of us with 5 gallon buckets will spend about an hour removing them and then replace them one-by-one on native milkweed plants in a nearby ditch.
The last two years we have grown the same amount of milkweed as usual and have not seen even so much as one monarch caterpillar -- not one.
At the same time, GMO cropland of corn, soybeans and cotton in the US has exploded - as of 2011 - to 135 million acres -- 37% of total US cropland. Native milkweed, the essential ingredient in monarch caterpillar development, is considered a weed in US cropland and is intentionally targeted. There is no substitute plant for milkweed -- it is vital to their life cycle. Diminish a species food supply and you diminish that species population. In 2011,the USDA green-lighted Roundup Ready (GMO) versions of alfalfa, sugar beets and Kentucky bluegrass, all of which will add millions more acres to this practice of growing GMO plants -- good for Monsanto stock prices because farmers who are forced to buy Monsanto seed are also legally required to buy Monsanto brand Roundup and not the cheaper generic versions -- and as we all know in this land of plenty -- hordes of easy money is the only thing that really matters.
"Enjoy 'em while you can" is not too far off. Or enjoy them when you can. Their sightings will be declining in the US in the coming years and you can count on it. I hope to be able to pick the caterpillars this year, but I'm not holding my breath. PBS's documentary on monarch migration is, as usual, outstanding and completely fascinating and a visit to Pacific Grove, Ca. and/or El Rosario, Mexico for the annual monarch festival is on the bucket list. They truly are amazing creatures that add interest and beauty to our existence.