Wednesday, October 31, 2012


The crows are roosting
In tall leafless trees
The rustle of feathers
Sound like Death's breath
Something disturbs them
The cacaphony begins
Cawing and croaking
The flapping of wings
Off they fly
A black soaring blanket
Wheeling and circling
They land once again
Restless and edgy
An ebony shroud
A-top the skeletal trees

Happy Halloween, Samhain, All Souls Eve.... whatever you want to call it, have a wonderful evening.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thoughts on Campaign Reform

After viewing one too many campaign ads, and after listening to yet another friend complain about how all the candidates are alike and that none of them are honest, I started thinking about how I would fix things if it were up to me. Which, of course, it isn't. And my guess is that those who are elected probably wouldn't like my ideas anyway.

But, here goes:

First, I'd leave the final vote for the first Tuesday in November. That much is okay. I would, however, get rid of the Electoral College. It is outdated and unnecessary. The primaries work quite well without it, as do all State and local elections.

Now, count back one month from that date to the first Tuesday in October. This is when ALL primaries will be held. I am sick and tired of evaluating candidates who are no longer running by the time the later primaries come along. It really isn't right (or fair to anyone) to weed out all kinds of qualified people in one or two primaries.

Then, counting back once again, this time 6 months. This is when the campaigning and fund-raising can start. Those who want to run, can enter. But, and this is a huge one, there will be limits on fundraising. There will be a set limit on how much can be had from any single entity. And once that cap is met, the candidate cannot go back for more. Caps is caps. Also, ALL money raised must be accounted for. Names will be named and amounts will be totted. You can spend all the money you want, but I think I'll throw in one more rule: Once the primary is done, the time for fundraising is too. The final month of campaigning and debates will determine how well any of the candidates can manage money and work on a budget. If you run out of money, oh well, too bad, so sad. You are done.

So, that would be a total of seven months of campaigning. It would be a really good idea to limit your campaign to what you would do. We are sick and tired of hearing how Candidate A really doesn't like Candidate B or how he/she does things. It really doesn't help us to make up our minds. Oh, and the debates that would happen after the primary? They must allow ALL of the remaining candidates to take part. Not just the two "big" ones. Any candidate who garnered the most primary votes in his/her party is going on to the general election. That means the Dems and the GOP will have to get used to the idea that they aren't the only fish in the sea.

So. Am I totally cracked or is this a good idea?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Conservative politicians, women's rights and birth control

Dear Conservative Representative and/or Senator:  About that problem you're having regarding insurance and birth control. I really don't think that the employer has the right to determine what coverage the employees get. After all, the employees pay for at least part of the premiums, all of the deductibles and all of the co-pays.

Second point: Not all of us are Roman Catholic, so stop trying to shove that down our throats. I'm not talking about a separation of Church and State. I'm talking about the 1st Amendment:  "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." So you go ahead and exercise your rights, and leave me to exercise mine.... as I'm sure you have found out, women don't have a problem exercising their right to free speech, either.

Third: You bitch and moan and complain about abortion and how you don't want Federal dollars paying for it. Okay. Federal dollars DO NOT pay for abortions. So, once you figured that out (after having it screamed at you for how many years??) you've decided that artificial birth control is evil as well. I'm beginning to think that this isn't about birth control or abortion after all. It is all about you having something to complain about.

Fourth: When you men (and it seems to be mostly men in this debate) can actually have babies, THEN AND ONLY THEN can you start micromanaging the lives of women. As it stands now, insurance (and Medicare) pays for Viagra, vasectomies and penile implants. As long as all those are covered, you had best make sure that the Pill, IUD's and other forms of artificial birth control used by women are covered.

In other words, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Lastly, it might be a really good idea to put a muzzle on your spokespeople. Some of them have a hard time thinking before they speak.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Birth Control: Apparently, Not a Choice Any More

I don’t care what anyone’s religious beliefs are. What I want to know is: Why should an employer be “morally outraged” by birth control to the point where they won’t let their insurance company offer it to an employee who wants birth control? Said employee obviously doesn’t have the same beliefs. It isn’t his or her soul at risk...... And, I really don’t think the employee’s “sin” would rub off (unless he or she is messing around with the employer, and that’s a whole ‘nother story).
So what seems to be going down here is (possible) Roman Catholic employer says NO to their insurance company offering artificial birth control. Apparently, even if the employee is NOT Roman Catholic, she will have to go outside of her health policy and pay 100% for any birth control, because her BOSS doesn’t believe in artificial birth control. Since when does an employer have the right to dictate what their employees’ beliefs are? Beyond that, if, for some reason, the employee ends up with an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy, it damned sure follows that if the insurance wasn’t going to pay to prevent a pregnancy it sure won’t pay to end one.

I wonder what the odds are that said employer will pay to raise, feed, clothe and educate the result? Hmmmm, probably nil.
Even in a so-so economy with high unemployment, I’ll bet that if these employers get their way, there will be a lot of people telling them to take the job and shove it if they can’t have standard healthcare included in their health insurance benefits.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Still Fighting for Rights

In 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified and women were given the vote. Fifty years before that, in 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment was passed and ratified, making it legal for men of all races to vote.  In the 1950's and 1960's, the Civil Rights movement marched on. In the mid to late 1960's, there were protests all over this country against the war in Viet Nam.....

We have forgotten, apparently. Because it sure seems like we're heading in the wrong direction......

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dear Far, Far, Far Right-Wing Republicans

Dear GOP Senators and Representatives:

Keep your draconian morals and religion far, far, far away from my health care choices.

The very idea of allowing one person's religious beliefs (i.e., the "boss") to dictate what healthcare choices everyone else (the "employees") gets is ludicrous. But, that is exactly what you are talking about these days. I think its time to look at what you are doing and pretend that you are a sane and intelligent person. And if that doesn't work, how about you just listen to the thousands of people who are outraged by this lunacy.

These ideas you are propounding sound like you want to go back to a time in history when women were basically the property of their husbands and fathers. That idea really does not have a place today. It doesn't even bear thinking about. I am NOT someone's property. No one makes decisions regarding my healthcare but me and my doctor.

I have no idea where you got the idea that birth control is immoral, but you really need to give it up. The days of "breed early and often" are long past. The days of old men deciding what is right for young, vital women is in the past (or should be). It is time to embrace the real world and give up these lunatic ideas.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012



For those of you who are unfamiliar with what we have been up to in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes area, here's a list of weather terms to help you understand:

Winter: Any month beginning with a consonant or vowel

Summer: (1) Mythical season mentioned in ancient epic songs and poetry. Said to be experienced sometime between June and September. (2) Season that appears as the great Nile floods used to before construction of the Aswan Dam -- Every seven years. Not known if building a dam will force it to appear more often.

Rain: Liquid falling from the sky.

Freezing Rain: Liquid falling from the sky, freezing solid upon contact with any object, such as streets, sidewalks, trees and slow-moving people.

Hail: Large ice pellets or balls falling from the sky -- very dangerous. Said to fall during the mythical season of "Summer" as well as at other times of the year.

Sleet: Partially frozen liquid falling from the sky. As with 'Freezing Rain' will freeze completely upon contact with any objects, depending upon the temperature. Slightly warmer temperatures result in an even layer of what looks solid, but is in truth a large puddle made up of material similar to a Sno-Cone without the flavoring.

Frozen Rain: Similar to Freezing Rain, but more solid. It mostly freezes before hitting anything, and then continues the freezing process once it has landed.

Snow: Fluffy white ice crystals that fall from the sky, creating mounds of not-so-fluffy white stuff on the ground. Must be removed from walkways with hours and hours of manual labor. Often results in death, especially the death of the snowplow operator when he/she covers end of driveway five minutes after completing the original task. Forecasts for snow often mention a range of amounts; i.e., 6 to 12 inches, 7 to 14 inches, etc. Most popular range mentioned is 1 to 27.5 inches.

Light Snow: Generally refers to the color as once you have shoveled it for about 2 minutes, each individual flake weighs about 10 pounds.

Overcast: The entire sky above you is covered with grey clouds. If it is during the daylight hours, it is believed that the sun has gone south. Generally a prelude to any type of precipitation.

Partly sunny: More clouds than sun. Nearly 'overcast'. Generally a prelude to any type of precipitation.

Partly cloudy: More sun than clouds. But not by much. Generally a prelude to any type of precipitation.

Temperature: In winter this means "cold".

Wind-Chill Factor: Fancy term for "damn cold!"

Wind: Works with 'temperature' to create "damn cold!"

Clear and Sunny: Usually means too cold to go outside.

Winter Weather Advisory: Snow, rain, sleet and/or freezing rain with some wind that will commence in the near future.

Winter Weather Warning: Snow, rain, sleet and/or freezing rain currently falling with some wind that will get worse.
Blizzard: Snow so thick you can't see your hand in front of your face, always involves high winds. Occasionally, when this happens, they call off school, but rarely work. If this occurs while you are at work, plan to stay there for an extended amount of time -- with no pay..... If this happens while at home on a day when work is scheduled, it is best to do your best to come up with a valid excuse for not coming to work. ANY MENTION OF THE WEATHER WILL INVALIDATE YOUR EXCUSE.