Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Life Ain't Fair - Deal With It

Obama is on the campaign trail again talking about eliminating inequality and establishing fairness. Doesn't that sound wonderful? But you know what, life ain't fair. And trying to make things fair is just bringing unfairness to a different group of people.

It was the government trying to eliminate inequality in the banking industry that got us into this financial mess in the first place. They thought it was unfair that only people who actually pay their bills should be able to get a loan. Oh the horror. Oh the travesty of justice. So the government forced the banks, through legislation, to loan money to people they shouldn't have. And then shock ensued when the people who shouldn't have gotten the loans defaulted and the banks had no more money to loan out. Now people who day pay their bills are having to fund those who don't. Is that fair? And the government is blaming the banks for making the bad loans that they were legislated to make. Is that fair?

If we want fairness in the country then why don't we start by treating Congress and Presidential appointees to the same treatment the rest of us get. Subject to the same taxes, held to at least the same if not a higher standard of ethics, and with the same retirement benefits as the rest of us.

Why aren't we encouraging people to take responsibility for their own success? Nobody can improve your lot in life except for you, and if you're waiting for the government to do it, you'll find their methods just aren't fair.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

May I Have Some Term Limits Please

Today Senator Arlen Specter, realizing that he didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning his primary, switched parties so that he could run as a Democrat. This is reprehensible. Not because he changed sides, but because he did it not for matters of principle, but in order to keep his seat. He accuses the right wing of the Republican party of hijacking it so that moderates such as himself could not be re-elected. But how did they hijack the voters. The problem is not where the Republicans in Congress stand, but where the Republicans in his district stand. And they were not happy about where he stood on the stimulus package.

What I find the most disturbing about this switch is that Sen Specter has been in office for nearly 30 years. He's also over 70 years old. Why then, when faced with the loss of his primary, does he not bow to the voice of the people and retire? Why fight to hold on to his seat and his power with such a death grip that he switches allegiances? If he decided to run as an Independent that would be one thing, but running as a Dem (so he could get their help in fund raising) is reprehensible.

With his behavior Sen Specter has illustrated exactly why term limits are an absolute necessity. It's bad enough when we have Congressmen so ill that the can't fulfill their duties still running for re-election or still holding on to their seats. But now, knowing you'll lose the election appears to not be a valid reason to give up your seat either. After all, what does the will or the voice of the people have to do with anything. Just because the people don't want him in office doesn't mean he should leave.

The tenacity with which Congressmen cling to their power is a sad commentary on our government. It's no longer about serving the people but about serving their own self-interest. And nothing illustrates this more clearly than Senator Specter's party hop.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Healhcare Is My Top Priority - Except For Appointments

Our current president ran on a platform that stressed the importance of health care for all Americans. He thinks it is so important that he and Congress are trying to rush through legislation on creating Government run health care with very little debate. However, although he has had the time to appoint 9 different Czars (including a car Czar), and he had time to create positions for Czars which didn't exist under any other president, what he didn't have time to do was appoint the cabinet and sub-cabinet positions that have to do with health care.

His protestations that ensuring health care for every American rings a little hollow when he has yet to appoint even a Surgeon General. In this current Swine Flu potential crisis, we don't even have a director of the CDC. Obama hasn't gotten around to appointing one yet.

Czars - 9, Approved Health care appointments - 0. Perhaps President Obama needs a Czar on cabinet appointments to advise him on how to get them done.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Unbalanced Branch

The writers of the constitution thought of additional rights that were so important that they immediately added them to the articles they had already written; thereby giving us the Bill of Rights and the first 10 amendments to our Constitution. Several of these amendments have been getting pummeled a bit, but one has been all but pounded into dust. This is the 10th amendment and a very important one. In fact, it was the violation of this amendment in the abolition of slavery (a very good violation but a violation all the same) that caused this country to split and erupt into civil war. But did we learn from this? Nope. And who has been the most guilty in the violation of this amendment? Why the very branch of our government whose sole purpose is to protect and uphold it. And now the Legislature, which the Judiciary is supposed to keep in check, has also decided that the 10th amendment no longer exists.

The wording of the amendment is, as you'll see, so very complicated that it's easy to understand how it could be misinterpreted. The amendments states; "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Easy to see how this could be misinterpreted isn't it? Perhaps this is why the Supreme Court and Congress read this to mean that anything not prohibited by the Constitution is covered under the Constitution and any state law against it is in violation of the Constitution. Perhaps this is why Congress now thinks that they can give money to the states and tell the states exactly how that money should be sent. Perhaps this is why Congress thinks that they have the right to dictate what programs the states will have and how they will be run. Perhaps.

Each branch was set up with a check and a balance by our founding fathers in an effort to keep any one branch from gaining too much power. However, the balance we have for the Judicial branch is simply who is appointed. The problem with this has become pretty obvious. The Executive branch has appointed Judges that will interpret the Constitution in these broad terms and these appointments are approved by a Congress who wants the same. Therein lies the lack of balance. When the other 2 branches appoint Judges who will rule in violation of the Constitution instead of in support of it, then our system of checks and balances is out of balance. And when that amendment is violated by our Supreme Court, who do you complain to? What recourse do we have?

The only control we have is to pay attention to who is appointed and to speak out. Let your Congressmen know how you feel. Absolutely let them know whenever they do anything you don't agree with. They are there to serve as a representative for you. They are supposed to be representing your views. How can they do that if you don't let them know what they are. Read the Constitution. Know it. Teach it to your children for the schools may not. Educate yourself and those around you. Serve as the final balance in our system to counter that out of balance branch.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Chicks with Chainsaws

Is there a truer image of what makes this country great than seeing women with chainsaws clearing brush. The perfect image of independence, ownership and accountability, plus the willingness to work hard. My morning was exactly this image. I had some brush in my back yard that needed to be cleared and 2 of my spinster friends came to lend their aid. One brought a chainsaw and the other brought a trailer. My parents are visiting so my 66 year old mother helped out by pruning trees and weeding the garden while my father went fishing with his brother. To be fair to my Dad, he didn't know the women were coming over to help with the yard when he made his plans, but not having a man around didn't stop us either.

Since we had the trailer we even stopped and got more gravel for my driveway and one friend and I spread one half ton of gravel in my driveway while the other continued cutting down trees in my backyard. The gravel was a side thought since we had the trailer, but I was surprised to find that there was a load and go landscaping supply store very near my house. My friend and I pulled the jeep in and got loaded up with a half ton of gravel. I went inside to pay and was flirting a bit with the man behind the counter. Just having a good time. Then when I walked out I realized something humiliating. Since I was planning on sweaty yard work, I hadn't taken a shower this morning. I also still had the residual of last night's make-up on my face, and with as much sweating as I'd been doing that make-up was in all the wrong places. But oh well. I was still having fun. We unloaded that first half ton (the trailer could not hold more weight than that) spread out the gravel and took a break for lunch. When we went back to get the rest of it, the guy at the landscape place remembered us and just hopped into his CAT tractor with the big scoop and loaded us up another half ton. We were pretty impressed with him remembering us so clearly, great customer service, but then how many people paint their trailer to match their Jeep?

My friend has a Jeep, of course she does, a very nice white one. The trailer that she has was modified by my spinster friends (a spinster ain't what she used to be) to have a smooth bottom and sides added. They then painted it so now the trailer has a black metal frame with white panel inserts. Exactly like the Jeep. But of course who wouldn't want their trailer to match their vehicle. You can't have them clashing. Color coordination is very important. As you're driving down the road hauling brush you don't want people to look at you and think "now isn't that color combination tacky!" We got back with the other load of gravel and the chick with the chainsaw had finished up and was piling the brush up to load into the trailer to haul off. We had almost all of the gravel out of the trailer, and the brush piled and ready to load, when the men came back. They had the audacity to grin at us as they pulled up from their fishing trip to see women with shovels and rakes spreading a ton of gravel. My father did help with the last of the spreading and loading, my uncle waved and drove away.

Independence and ingenuity are what this country is all about and my spinster friends display this in spades. This is not the first time they've assisted me with a brush clearing. Last year they did the same and the chick with the chainsaw actually had to shimmy up a tree to tie a rope around the top so the other lady and I could pull it as it was cut with the chainsaw. This was due to the power lines running very, very close to the tree. We had to make sure it didn't fall on those lines, but the ingenuity was displayed and we got the tree down with the power lines intact. We did what needed to be done.

These women will not sit around and whine about what needs to be done and that there's nobody to do it. They just do it. They might covent large construction equipment (one was commenting today on how handy it would be to have a back-hoe), but they do what needs to be done. We work together and help each other out so big jobs are smaller. This is what America is all about. Chipping in to help your neighbor and your neighbor chipping in to help you. Unfortunately we've gotten away from taking care of each other and started expecting the government to do it. An exercise in futility. But as long as there are people like my chainsaw chicks out there, this country will always be great.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Candy Ass and Chief

It's become plainly and painfully obvious that our new president does not have the backbone to stand up to the extreme left wing of the Democratic party. This was one of my main concerns when he ran for president but I hoped (vainly it seems) that he would rule as a moderate since he ran as one. But he's not doing that. And he's caving in to any pressure from his own party. As inexperienced as President Obama was, there's one critical part of being President that he was wholly unprepared for. It has nothing to do with domestic policy or foreign policy, but basic management policy. Any management course will tell you that you have to be prepared to be disliked. President Obama based so many of his policies on his confidence in his likability that he doesn't know how to deal with criticism from his own party. Being criticized by the other party he can attribute to partisanship, but from within his own? Oh my gosh! How could this happen? Say it ain't so Joe. He's so afraid of not being liked that he's doing things he should not be doing and releasing information that he should not be releasing. He's putting his own personal popularity ahead of national security. And he thinks we're pretty much too stupid to figure out what he's doing.

This is a man who is totally unprepared to be questioned, second guessed, vilified, criticized, disliked, disapproved of, despised and downright detested. Did he honestly believe that the love fest that the media engaged in during the campaign would continue indefinitely? I guess he could count on NBC for the continuation but eventually reporters and the media would have to start doing their job. So now, people have stopped singing Kum-Ba-Ya in a circle around him, and have stopped hearing angels sing when he speaks, and they're actually paying to attention to what he's saying and doing. And his personal popularity is steadily decreasing. Not dramatically, and not quickly, but steadily. He still has a very high popularity rate, so he's still hanging in there, but eventually he's going to realize that personal likability is not a reliable policy cornerstone. But never fear, I'm sure he'll appoint a Czar of Presidential PR to take care of that.

I hope that Pres Obama will find the strength and the leadership to stand up to the extreme side of his own party and lead from the middle where most Americans reside. I hope that he does not continue to let the ACLU and dictate the release of classified information. I hope he can stand by promises he made to look forward and not look back. I hope he can become the leader of his party and not just their rising star. I hope, I hope, I hope.

In the next 4 years we have 3 possible outcomes. First, Obama will take control and refuse to let the far left dictate national policies. He'll put his foot down and really become the leader. This is becoming more and more unlikely. Second, he'll continue to cave in to pressure and the country will end up being led by a minority of extremists. If this is the case we can only pray that the moderates in Congress will object and actually put the best interest of the country in front of party loyalty. If they don't, then the third possibility will occur. And that is that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reed will rule our country until the next Congressional election. If they take us too far to the left, then the Democrats will potentially lose their control of Congress. So the next 2 years will tell the tale.

But lucky you. You have me to give you my opinion on what's going on. A different perspective to help you make up your own mind. Which is exactly what we all should do. Gather information on what's going on and then make up our own minds. And act on those decisions. Speak up and speak out. Our democratic process only works for the people if the people stay involved.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Punish the Innocent and Protect the Guilty

There's a rule, which most of us know, that states that Congress cannot be prosecuted for any decision they make in the execution of their duties in Congress. They did not pass this law to cover themselves. They did not pass this law at all. It was written into our Constitution. This was done by our founding fathers because there was a history, in Great Britain especially, where the monarch would file civil or criminal charges against Parliament for disagreeing with them. It was used for totally punitive and political reasons. It was a good thing to have in place and a smart thing to put in our Constitution.

Now, in the calling for prosecution of Bush officials for the "torture" issue, has Congress become the Monarchy? This is being called for by certain Congressmen for punitive and political reasons. That's it. So they are now exhibiting the exact behavior that they are Constitutional protected from. This was set up to preserve the integrity of the legislative process. Well where the bloody bloomin' hell as the integrity in our legislative process gone?

They say that this is to preserve the principles on which this country was founded. I'm all for preserving those principles, but most members of our government pick and choose which of those principles to preserve. We don't seem to be worrying too much about personal accountability and that with hard work and determination you can benefit from the fruits of your own labor. Nope, those have gotten tossed out the door. They say we, as a people, don't engage in torture. But there are some anomalies in their standing.

We're awfully worried about how enemy combatants are treated. What is considered humane. The same thing applies to our convicted murderers and rapists. They're so worried about how these people are treated. Concern for our fellow man is a good thing and I don't denigrate it, but it's applied inconsistently. These are the same people who support abortion, including partial birth abortion. No matter your stance on the abortion issue, it's inconsistent to say that we must preserve the life of a serial rapist and yet allow the destruction of someone whose only crime is being inconvenient. And partial birth abortion is indefensible. If you're unaware what it is, the baby is forced into a feet first birth, when nothing but the head remains in the birth canal the doctors hold it in there by force and then suck the brain out. The child has entered the world with everything but it's whole head and it is killed for no medical reason. No reason at all. This is something Obama supports. So these statements that we have to preserve our principles is bogus.

So now, we may punish people for making a legal decision (but of course not Congress for their culpability because they're immune) in order to protect terrorists. In essence, as we do in so many other areas in this country, we are willing to punish the innocent and protect the guilty.

And shame on Congress for hiding behind their Constitutional protection while exploiting an other's lack of the same protection. If you add on their attitude on taxes, their disregard for the voice of the people and their behavior regarding the anti-tax tea parties, you'll find that the 111th Congress is beginning to bear a striking resemblance to King George III. Especially with the insanity they display.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Marsupial Love In My Own Back Yard

I'm a city girl by nature. I like the IDEA of the country but I don't want to have to drive more than 5 minutes to the grocery store. So I live in the city. Not a big city but a city all the same. I'm even within one block of a major intersection in town, and yet I have a groundhog that lives in my back yard and I'm frequently visited by possum. It's the possum (or opossum if we want to be really correct) that I'm going to discuss today.

I've had several encounters with the pointy nosed, knuckled tailed marsupials in the past. There was one night I was watching a movie when I heard scratching at the front door. Thinking it was one of my many, many feline family requesting entry into their domicile I rose from my perpetual position on the couch to let them in. I was engrossed in the movie so opened the door without looking out, but no cat came in. When I looked up I realized that all of my cats were staring at me in curiosity and they were doing this from INSIDE the house. When I looked outside I became aware that I was graciously inviting a possum into my home. It stared up at me with nose and whiskers twitching and sharp teeth prominently on display. I just thank God that my invitation was declined.

There have also been occasions when the creatures which are both scary and cute were staring out at me from within the confines of my own garage. So they are pretty prevalent in my area. However, the other night something new occurred. It must be marsupial mating season in Missouri because a couple of possum were feeling frisky. Que the romantic music and the candlelight because as I watched these funny looking critters get their groove on I could definitely hear Barry White singing in the background. But it gets even better. There was a third possum on the scene. So I was not the only voyeur on the premises. As I think back on the occasion now I'm reminded that on my next 5 minute trip to the grocery store I need to pick up some C cell batteries. Marsupial mating will do that to you if you know what I mean.

I have no idea how my house became such an attraction for these critters, and why the cats don't seem to scare them off. For a city girl I seem to have too many brushes with wildlife. Perhaps one day I'll tell you about the squirrel in my closet or the stray cat that broke into my house through the heating vents.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Letter From Clair McCaskill

I wrote a letter to my Congressmen and to President Obama. This is something I encourage everybody to do regardless of your political views. Make your voice heard. The squeaky wheel and all of that finds no better venue for it's truth than in the world of politics.

Ms McCaskill responded to my letter, which I do give her credit for, but I still disagree with her. I have copied her letter with my sometimes snide and sometimes sarcastic responses. I also sent these responses back to Ms McCaskill. It's pretty enlightening.

I just want to set the record straight in regards to the recently passed Economic Recovery Act.First, this legislation provides one of the largest tax cuts in American history. (Bullshit!)Unlike tax cuts passed in the Bush administration, these tax cuts will go to most people who live in Missouri, instead of primarily helping those people who make more than a million dollars a year. (Yes of course that $7 and change per week will make all the difference in the world with a 13% rate of inflation)Almost one third of the bill, over $247 billion, will go back directly into the pockets of hard working, middle class families and individuals. Also included are a series of important tax cuts for small businesses that are the engine of our economy. These small businesses will be a big help in creating jobs to get us out of this economic mess. (So are you finally acknowledging that imposing the 2nd highest corporate tax rate in the WORLD may have contributed to our current situation?)
Second, this legislation provides a massive investment in our roads, bridges, electric grid, railways, alternative energy, rural broadband, and scientific research. Jobs, jobs, jobs – millions of jobs. ( but aren't most of these construction type jobs? And isn't that an area where illegal immigrants are pushing out American citizens? Aren't these the same jobs you said we need illegal immigrants for because Americans won't do them?)Within hours of the President signing the bill, Missouri was the first state to put people to work as MoDOT began fixing a dangerous bridge over the Osage River near Tuscumbia (Why was this bridge allowed to become so dangerous and why does the state of Missouri need the federal government to bail us out?)using the additional federal dollars for Missouri’s highways. We will receive $637.1 million in additional funds for Missouri roads and bridges. (So because we benefit from the irresponsible spending that makes it OK?)
There is a lot of misinformation about this legislation out there (Most of it coming from Congress who failed to read it before signing it). All of the spending in this bill is through formula funding or competitive grants or loans. There are no earmarks. (The bill is one GIANT earmark) The money in the bill for rapid transit will be available to eight different high traffic corridors in our country, and they must compete for those funds. There is no bullet train to Las Vegas in this bill. Yes there is some funding for helping American manufacturers build alternative energy products, including batteries. Once again, this will create jobs and has the added benefit of getting us out from under the thumb of foreign oil. (of course we would already be out from under the thumb of foreign oil if we were allowed to use our own resources. And even if we do find an alternative energy source, one of two things will happen. Either environmentalists will object and put a halt to it, or the jobs will be sent overseas)This legislation is not perfect, (no shit!) but the Chamber of Commerce, most Republican governors in this country, economic experts, and the National Association of Manufacturers supported it. (so it has the full support of the people benefiting from it. Well doesn't that make all the difference in the world) And the alternative was to do nothing. (which is looking like a better and better option) With thousands of Missourians losing their jobs every month, doing nothing just didn’t cut it for me. (So you rushed to sign a bill you hadn't had time to read just to LOOK like you were doing something) I’m proud I was able to work with some of my Republican colleagues to take some spending out of this bill that wasn’t going to create jobs and add oversight and accountability. (Because we all know that oversight and accountability are what the government does best. Yeah right!) We have to remember that America can handle any problem that comes along. (The American people definitely can if the government would get out of their way and let them) Our work ethic and ingenuity will prevail. (So why are we punishing people with a strong work ethic by taking their money and giving it to people with no work ethic? Doesn't really show a respect for our work ethic and ingenuity) This tax cut and stimulative spending will not cure the illness, (kind of like chemo where the treatment makes you sicker than the disease) but it will stop the bleeding (now that's just laughable. It's like being proud of putting a bandage on a skinned knee while ignoring a severed femoral artery). Together the tough grit of the American people will ultimately cure the illness. (If the government would butt out we could do it faster) Don’t bet on failure, not in America. (This I found really offensive. I'm not sure where in my original letter she thought I was betting on failure. I bet on the success of the American people but they're currently being hamstrung by the American Government.

All best,Senator Claire McCaskill

The Trials of Spinsterhood

Since my blog is titled This Spinster's Point of View I thought I ought to tell you a bit about being a spinster. I've never been married, hence the spinster moniker, and I've lived alone for the last 25 years. I even, in stereotypical fashion, have way too many cats. Living alone for so many years I've developed a level of independence that makes me even less desirable to the men who already weren't interested. As a spinster I have to take out my own garbage, fix my own appliances, mow my own lawn and even kill my own rodents (which is why spinsters have cats). One of the biggest trials of being a spinster is all of your married friends and family pushing you to find a man. "You need to get out more" they'll say. "You need to find a way to meet men" they encourage. I have to admit that every couple of years I decide that this might be a good idea. The results usually turn me off of dating for another couple of years until I start the cycle again. I have even tried Internet dating and found that it simply opened up new avenues for rejection.

I know other spinsters who are as happy in their unmarried state as I. Fabulous, smart, funny and successful women who don't need a man to be happy and, as a result of not needing a man, can't seem to get one. Since we don't need a man we aren't looking which many others can't understand. The concept of being happy while uninvolved is beyond the grasp of many in contemporary society. And yet, I've never understood the "any man is better than no man at all" philosophy. With some of the men I've dated I can assure you that no man at all is definitely preferable.

I'm not a man hater. In fact I'm quite the opposite. I love men. Preferring the company of men to that of other women. I have many good men friends and acknowledge that most of my married friends are lucky in their mates. But having so many good male friends is one of the reasons that I remain a spinster. Why seek out the complications of a romantic relationship when I already have the uncomplicated friendship of some truly great men.

At this point in my life there are only 2 things that marriage might give me that my current status does not. Both would depend quite strongly on the man I married. One potential benefit would be additional financial security. I make a good living so I don't need a man to support me, but a second income would help. Especially if it was more than my own. But of course our combined salaries could not exceed $250K or we'd be taxed into oblivion. The other benefit would be lots and lots of guilt free sex. This would be my main reason for marrying. So of course I'd need a man with a healthy sex drive and certain natural talents.

Even reaching my mid-40's without marriage and without a relationship that could ever have been referred to as "serious", I am still not averse to marriage. To the right man of course. Although I have to admit that the idea of the wedding holds more appeal than the marriage. The receiving line especially. I really like the idea of people standing in line to fulfill their obligation of telling me I look beautiful. Now that holds some appeal.

So in conclusion, being a spinster has it's pros and it's cons just like everything else. It's a situation that I embrace and enjoy but sends others into depression. But if you're a spinster and feel like there's something wrong with you because you've never married, the opposite could be true. Perhaps you've never married married because there's something right about you. You're in good company. And at least you don't have a crazy ex-husband. There's always a silver lining. So you've never been married, you've also never been divorced.

Janeane Garofalo - A Study in Stupidity

I had told myself that I wasn't going to post about this. But I just can't seem to shake my disbelief at the levels of stupidity of this actress and comedienne whose work I once enjoyed and admired. But her statements regarding the tea party protesters (and I am one) was sheer stupidity. Her stance that we are all a bunch of rednecks objecting to a black man in the white house left me resembling the slack jawed yokel she thought me when my chin hit my chest in shock and dismay. Of course the protest couldn't have anything to do with the trillions in debt we are in as the result of irresponsible spending on both sides of the political isle. It couldn't have anything to do with the government bailing out companies who have mismanaged their assets and should fail as a result of their bad management. It couldn't have anything to do with our government officials, most of which don't know their ass from their elbow, thinking that they have the right to fire the CEOs of private companies. It can't have anything to do with printing more money when there are no assets to back it up. Nope. All of those things were just a smoke screen for out bigotry and racism according to Ms Garofalo. The funny thing is that her assumption of the reason behind the protests was way more racist that the actual reason. Her first assumption was that it was due to the color of our president's skin. A very racist stance. For a comedienne she doesn't appear to have much of a sense of humor when it comes to people with different political views from her own.

Making a judgement based on assumption, and stating it as fact is stupid. She made no attempt to find out from the actual protesters what their stance was. Instead she stated her opinion based on her own prejudices and even went so far as to state that there was no other way to see it. That is the essence of stupidity. So to Janeane Garofalo, a big thank you for illustrating to the world what stupidity looks and sounds like.

Day of the Living Dead - An Insomniac's Story

I'm a chronic insomniac which means that too many nights I lay in bed counting down to how many hours of sleep I could get if I fell right now. And of course watching that number twindle. Then waking up (if I ever did fall asleep) and behaving like a pinball bouncing from this wall to that as I desperately seek out salvation in the form of my coffee pot. I've always been an insomnia. In fact, I first realized I had a sleep problem when I was 5 years old and sleeping with my grandparents. I was tossing and turning as I normally did, flopping around like a bass on a river bank, and they kept telling me to lay still. I knew then that something was wrong. However, knowing all of this, I didn't actually seek treatment for insomnia until I was 40. Really until my body was too old to function with no sleep. I'd attempted some over the counter medications but they didn't work. I tried several of the prescription medications and they didn't work either. It seemed I was destined to be a zombie because the only thing that really put me to sleep was anesthesia. There were many stretches of insomnia where I got enough sleep to keep me from hallucinating but that's about all I can say. Too many times I felt drunk, or stoned, as a result of sleep deprivation. My brain functioning at about 25% of it's normal speed. I'd get strange looks as people would ask me a simple question and it took real thought and concentration to formulate and answer. But finally I found something that worked.

I discovered that I had RLS (Restless Leg Syndrom) and found a medication that actually works. And then I did something stupid. I mentioned in my first post that I would point out even my own stupidity. And this was stupid. I used it to great advantage but then my prescription ran out. I'd taken it for several months, and my memory must have been short because I seemed to have forgotten how bad the insomnia was. Instead of calling my doctor and setting up an appointment so I could get my prescription renewed, I decided I didn't really need it. Stupid, I know. But wait, it gets even worse. I went months without getting the script refilled and the insomnia kept getting worse. I had nights where I didn't get a single wink of sleep. I had no energy and was getting seriously depressed. But did I call my doctor? Well of course not. I kept telling myself that it would pass. In the meantime I was turning into a total bitch (more so than usual) with a very, very, very short fuse. Finally, after screaming at my mother, I decided that maybe I should do something about this. Ya think? So I broke down and got the script refilled and low and behold I'm sleeping again. Isn't it funny how things work out.

Insomnia is no picnic. If you've never dealt with it then you have no idea how debilitating it can be. Which is why it was so stupid of me to resist the medication and attempt to suffer through it. Lack of sleep can actually make you crazy. You're never really awake and you're never really asleep and you can even begin to have hallucinations. Sleep deprivation is used as an interrogation method for enemy combatants so you know it can't be pleasant. And yet, persistent insomnia is not treated as an emergency. So we get so desperate for sleep that we overmedicate ourselves. We risk death for the vain hope of a good night's sleep. But insomnia's not an emergency. The sad thing is that even knowing it's effects first hand, I tend to treat it the same way as the doctors. That it's no big deal. That's because I'm stupid when it comes to my health. I broke my wrist and waited 3 days to go to the ER and then drove myself. And I drive a stick shift. But insomnia affects so much more than the physical. It affects our mental capabilities and our emotional balance. But still people see it as no big deal. I suggest keeping yourself up for at least 36 hours to see how you feel. You'll get a bit punchy and for a while everything will be funny. But things stop being funny pretty quickly when the sleep deprivation is consistent.

So here's to my own stupidity, and the stupidity of the medical community for not considering the absence of something the body MUST have in order to live as a serious problem. The body requires sleep just like it requires food, water and air. So here's hoping everybody (including me) gets a good night's sleep.

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's all about me

Since this is my first blog I thought I'd tell you a little bit about me. Only because I'm sure you're just DYING to know. I'm in my mid to late 40's so have amassed tons of wisdom in the last 4 decades. I also have some pretty strong opinions and I'm absolutely convinced that I'm right. Historically speaking I usually am. I'm a logic based person so most of my posts will be about things I find illogical and stupid. So they'll be politically based for the most part. Congress is, after all, the well spring of stupidity.

Speaking of governmental stupidity....because you know you want to ..... does it strike anybody else as odd that we're passing huge stimulus packages at the same time that we're talking about legalizing illegal immigrants and allowing more money to go to Cuba? So if I understand this correctly, and I'm sure I do, the economy is struggling with high unemployment rates to the point that we have to spend billions to save it. So of course the first thing we want to do is legalize the illegal immigrants so that they can now more easily compete for the job that you already can't get. At the same time that we're stimulating the economy to keep the money flowing in it, we're approving that more money flow out of it to Cuba. These things seem to be counterproductive to me.

Another interesting point is that at the same time that we've stopped saying "war on terror" and downgraded it, the Dept of Homeland Security has released that outspoken Americans and returning vets may become terrorists. So we pay less attention to the real, documented and quantified threat to focus on what-ifs and long shots. That's an effective use of our tax dollars. But I better not complain too much or the Dept of Homeland Security will be knocking at my door and hauling my wide behind off to the big house. A clear violation of my first Amendment rights, but I'm not sure those will apply to everybody in another month or so.

But now you have me. The vigilant supporter of logic and common sense. I will seek out and expose illogical decisions and statements and will giggle with glee at the opportunity to mock them. There's something about having an on-line voice that gives me a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling inside. It's either that or the Prozac I took this morning. Either way, it feels good.