Monday, November 30, 2009

Obama The Best Economic President Since Roosevelt

I just heard Bob Beckle reiterate his view that Barack Obama is the best economic president since Roosevelt, and I have to agree with him, but I'd change economic to un-economic. The two presidents do have a lot in common. They are both great speakers who promised prompt action and did not deliver.

At the beginning of both of their presidencies they were faced with rising unemployment and banking crises and both rushed into stimulus packages and bailouts. Roosevelt was elected in Nov of 1932 and inaugurated early 1933 and two years later, in spite of his prompt actions and urgent stimulus package, the country could only boast "some measure" of recovery. Roosevelt's answer to this was a government entitlement program, higher taxes on the wealthy, control over the banks and a general expansion of the power of the federal government. Roosevelt is responsible for the Federal Reserve as well. A great legacy as we can see it now.

After his re-election in 1936, which of course was the result of promises to fix a problem he hadn't yet been able to impact in his first 4 years, he attempted to change the Supreme Court to load it with supporters who would not object to his New Deal initiatives. He failed, but this opened the door to government regulations on the economy. Thanks Frank. More Power.

With the war growing in Europe, Roosevelt failed to send troops and help our allies, waiting until the Nazi army had spread nearly beyond control and until we were attacked ourselves. His isolationist ideas would not risk our men to stop the Nazi's because, after all, what does the holocaust have to do with us over here. No moral or ethical stance was worth a human life. Gee, sounds familiar.

Roosevelt's economic policies are credited with delivering us from the depression, but the facts don't support this. After 8 years of Roosevelt's rule the unemployment rate had stabilized in the mid-teens. In 1941, before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the unemployment rate was still 14%. Roosevelt had taken an astronomical employment rate and after all of his years of his policies, failed to even cut that in half. All Roosevelt really did was prolong the pain.

There are many parallels between the two presidents, but what I can't understand is why Roosevelt is considered to be a great economic president. The unemployment rate was never under control under his watch until we joined the War and sent our men overseas to fight. Then the unemployment rate was so low that the women were encouraged to work. The issue with this is that it could have, and should have, happened sooner.

The philosophy of government control of all things that Roosevelt began and Obama is following has already proven itself to be ineffectual. Not only that, but the majority of the economic problems we currently face are the result of programs that Roosevelt initiated.

If Bob Beckle is right and Obama is the best economic president since Roosevelt, then we're basically screwed.

The information on Roosevelt was obtained from

The Obama Implosion

With harsh criticism coming now from both the right and the left, I can't help but wonder how long it will be before Obama implodes. By this I don't mean the Obama administration, I mean the man himself.

Obama the man thrives on adoration and takes the worship of the unenlightened masses as his due. This is how it is supposed to be for him. This is evident in every gesture he makes, most especially the way he cocks up his chin to look down his nose at the people. I must admit that I've been known to cock up my chin when I talk to people, but I'm 5'2" so I do that in order to see the face of the person I'm speaking to, Obama is how tall exactly?

Anyway, moving along in my rambling thoughts, I think back to the first cracks we saw in the Obama veneer of calm as harsh criticism began as early as February. That was just the usual criticism of anybody in the highest office in the land but he had a problem masking his irritation that he would be so questioned by the plebeians that voted him in and yet which he despises.

How then, as criticisms escalate that he's moving too far to the left and also not far enough to the left, will he deal with this? His infomercials aren't working any more and serve more as an opportunity for additional criticism than a deterrent to it. This leads to wonder when the last straw will fall and the man will go totally ape shit on the air. I have a feeling he already goes ape shit in private on some occasions. We all do. My definition of an implosion though will be when he looses that cool and shows his derision for the American public in a way that not even an avid supporter could justify with a straight face.

I've thought about starting a pool on when that day will be. I'm reserving November 3, 2010 for myself as I believe the results of the mid-term elections will make the man apoplectic.

Reserve your date now and we can begin the Obama Implosion Watch. May it happen sooner than I predicted.

Copenhage Schmocenhagen

Let me start by saying that I believe we should be good stewards of our planet and do our best to preserve our natural resources. That being said, I am strongly, really strongly, adamantly opposed to signing any legally binding treaty that gives the UN authority over our businesses.

We are a self-governed nation which means that we the people make the decisions on what will and will not happen in our nation. We may elect officials who don't follow-through on our directives, but we at least have the authority to vote the bums out of office. If Obama signs a legally binding treaty in Copenhagen then the UN will be able to impose crippling regulations on our already struggling businesses and we will have no say whatsoever in what happens. We will not be able to vote on what is done, we will not be able to voice our displeasure to the imposers, and most importantly, we will not be able to stop it by exercising our voting rights. We will be under the control of a group of people unanswerable to the people of the United States of America.

Much has been said about American principles, but the most important is that we are a nation governed by the people. Should a legally binding treaty be signed at any time in the future, then we will no longer be in control of our own destiny. This may start with regulations on our businesses, but just imagine what the panel of experts in control of our fate could deem necessary to affect global climate change. Is it beyond the realm of possibility that they could dictate what car we can drive or how many vehicles we can have? Or even how many miles we are allowed to drive in a year? We would be abdicating our sovereignty our our rights to self-govern to a group of people we know nothing about. This absolutely cannot happen.

I read in November 6th article in the Timesonline, a UK organization, that "The Global Humanitarian Forum, based in Geneva, has estimated that more than 300,000 people are killed each year by climate change, nearly all of them in poor countries." How can something like this possibly be quantified? I'd love to see the data on how this number was determined and how the deaths were sourced to climate change. But then again, it's probably been dumped or shredded and the raw data is gone with only the summary remaining.

We do need to be good stewards of our planet, but we absolutely do not need to abdicate our sovereignty in order to do so. Quite frankly, Copenhagen should mean nothing to the American people except as a chewing tobacco.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Kinder Sweeter US Military

The current trend with our military is to treat the terrorists like sympathetic creatures and our soldiers like criminals. It's a trend that has begun to make me physically ill. After hearing the story of the Navy SEALS being court marshaled for giving a high value terrorist target a fat lip during capture, I can't help but wonder how our soldiers will soon be required to handle these capture situations. Here's how I see the future of our military.

In the stygian darkness of the Afghanistan mountains four soldiers approach the hide out of a top terrorist target. The man they seek is responsible for the murder of 18 soldiers resulting from a bombing of their barracks, and 14 other attacks around the world. In total, he has killed 486 people of varying nationalities. The soldiers have their night goggles on and their weapons drawn and trained ahead. Unfortunately those weapons are only for show.

Military commanders, at the urging of Congressional leaders, have determined that in order to avoid civilian causalities which impair our image in the world, the soldiers will have no bullets. "The sight of a weapon trained on them will be enough to bring a target to heel," one Congressman was heard to say. "There's no need to fire the weapon and if that's the case, there's no need for bullets in the gun. We can save $20 million a year by cutting bullets from the budget."

The soldiers hang back as they scout out the building to identify any guards they will have to attempt to slip by. There are ten guards all heavily armed with automatic weapons, but our men and women in uniform are creative and resourceful. In the cover of darkness they make their way into the building, avoiding the guards, and physically subduing those they cannot avoid in the most humane way possible.

At last they are entering the room where the target lay sleeping. One soldier steps forward and shakes him by the shoulder to wake him. The target surges up from the bed with fists flying and reaches for a weapon he keeps close to the bed, but the soldier, luckily, beats him to it.

Once the weapon is secure, a soldier steps forward and says, "Excuse me sir, but it is necessary that you accompany us back to our base. There you will have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be held against you. You have the right to an attorney and if you cannot afford one, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you?"

"Burn in hell you infidel. Allah will wipe your country from the earth for the atrocities it has waged on my people. We will not rest until all are dead or converted to the beautiful religion of Islam and serve under Sharia law," is the less than contrite response from the terrorist.

"Sir," says the soldier, "We need you to come with us. Please get dressed so that we can begin the journey back to the base. Then if you would be so kind as to place your hands on the back of your head we will secure you for transport."

"Never," the terrorist snarls. "I will go nowhere with you, but you will shortly be in Hell where the sins of your country will cause you to burn for all eternity. It is Allah's will."

At a stalemate and nonplussed as to what to do (the military manual has no instructions on what can be done if the target refuses to accompany them) the soldiers then have their attention captured by several guards bursting through the door. The soldiers drop their weapons and go into hand to hand combat in order to subdue and eliminate the threat posed by the guards. During the scuffle the target is injured and one soldier secures him for transport. At this time they begin their journey back to the base.

Less than one week later, the four soldiers are brought up on charges for assaulting the guards and violating the civil rights of the terrorist target. The four men are court marshaled and given a dishonorable discharge. The terrorist is released as the result of the violation of his rights and immediately begins planning another bombing of the barracks. When the attack comes, the media and the political leadership blame the techniques used by the soldiers for enraging the terrorist and causing the attack on their own barracks.

Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? But isn't this exactly where we're going?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

From Selfless to Selfish - An American Journey

Much has been said about the path of our country and whether or not we are headed in the right direction. I would like to share with you my perspective on the path we, as a nation, have embarked upon. To do so I must begin with the history of what we were, how many of us still are, and how we continue to view ourselves.

I have repeatedly heard it said that the USA is the most generous nation in the world. We see ourselves as a nation of generous people quick to lend a hand in times of trial or tragedy. To a certain extent this is still true, though what constitutes trial or tragedy appears to have changed from an illness or loss of job to a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

We were once a nation of self-sufficient people determined to carve out their own destiny from the hard earth beneath their feet. They faced hardships head on and accepted that life was a challenge to be risen to. We once understood that what you earned for yourself was of far more value that what was handed to you and we worked and sacrificed in order to make a better life for ourselves and our children. We were a nation of people who would go without so another could have. We would assist when someone fell on hard times. We would open our homes to family members in need of our aid and help them get back on their own feet. We understood the pride of earning what we had and would find ways to assist an individual that allowed him to keep his pride intact. Most importantly, and most definitively we would sacrifice our own lives in order to save the life of another. This is who we were.

Although we would still like to view ourselves in that soft light, that is no longer who we are. So what have we become instead? We are now a nation of people willing to delegate our responsibilities to another to uphold. We cry for our fellow man to bail us out of situations we created for ourselves. We sacrifice our children's future for a more comfortable present for ourselves. We spend money we don't have on things we don't need and wonder why there's not money for what we truly require. We believe our government when it tells us we are owed something and we expect somebody else to pay for it. We embrace new social programs but we cry out in anger when we are expected to foot the bill. We tell our officials and ourselves that we should not be responsible, that the man next door is more able to afford it so he should be the one to pay. Instead of sacrificing ourselves for others, we now sacrifice others for ourselves. Instead of liberating the oppressed as we have always done, we now trade our own liberty for a creature comfort we are more than capable of earning for ourselves with the hard work and perseverance that served us so well in the past. We expect things to be fast and easy and throw in the towel when they turn out to be long and difficult tasks. Life is no longer a challenge to be risen to, but a reason to protest. Instead of sacrificing so our children are cared for, we sacrifice our children on the altar of our own convenience and comfort.

We are steadily moving down the path from being the most generous nation in the world to being the most selfish and this quite literally breaks my heart. I love this nation and her people. I love the true American principle that with hard work and perseverance you can change your life and forge your own destiny. I believe in what we once were and with all my heart and soul I want to see us turn back on our current path and return to the selfless generosity we once possessed. I believe that the USA is still the shining city upon a hill, the beacon of hope and liberty to the world, but there are those among us who wish to douse that flame of hope and liberty. They wish us to follow instead of lead and they wish us to sacrifice our liberty for new government programs. They wish us to abdicate our American right and privilege of self-government so that we can be taken care of. A concept that would have filled the people we once were with outrage and disgust.

I pray with every fiber of my being that we, as a nation, remember who we were meant to be. That we are designed to be a nation who takes care of ourselves and neither needs nor seeks to have a keeper in our state or federal governments. We are a free people and we do still control our own destinies if only we would remember to do so.

May that beacon of hope forever shine in the glorious city upon a hill.

Friday, November 20, 2009

So I Don't Need A Mammogram

A panel of experts, always a scary thought, have determined that women in their 40's no longer need a regular mammogram. The funny thing is that my doctor didn't think I needed one every year anyway, at least not yet. I've had one so far, and that was enough for me, and that was to establish a baseline so future mammograms would have a basis for comparison. The panel says that we don't need the yearly until we're 50 years old, but then what are we comparing that mammogram too? Since I have no family history of breast cancer, for which I humbly thank God, my doctor agreed that I didn't need a yearly mammogram but should have one every 5 years. Also, I don't think I would have subjected myself to that once a year. If you've never had a mammogram, please allow me a few moments to describe the process to you.

To begin the process, you are referred by your doctor to a group of sadists. There you go and sit in a waiting room until you are called. At that point you are escorted into a cubicle where you remove your top and bra, and even your deodorant, and replace it with a very stylish blue paper gown. Then you are taken down a hall to a small room dominated by the device which is about to torture you and change your perspective on life forever.

The mammogram machine is monstrous and at this point you might feel a little trepidations over literally offering your breasts up on a platter. Then the woman who has escorted you, assists you in stripping off one side of the blue paper gown and grabs hold of your breast and begins tugging and pulling on it like taffy. She then adjusts a few knobs so the platter is perfectly positioned for the breast about to be sacrificed upon it. Using your breast as a leash, the woman will now pull you forward until you are smashed up against the edge of the platter and your breast is placed upon it to her satisfaction. Then the real fun begins.

Another plate begins to lower until it sits upon the breast, and then it keeps lowering, and lowering, and lowering. To add to the degradation and humiliation of this process, the top plate is clear so that you can see your breast flatten and spread like cookie dough under a rolling pin. (I apologize for the food references but even thinking about this process causes a craving for comfort food). Still it gets worse. Upon that clear plate is a dotted line etching of a breast complete with nipple. I believe it is placed there only to mock you. Like having a mammogram wasn't traumatic enough, now you have this etched breast as a comparison to your own. I may have no family history of breast cancer, but I sure have a family history of breasts. So I stood and watched my boob flatten and spread well beyond the boundaries of that outline. For a brief moment I feared that she would squish until it oozed over the side of the plate itself. I can only imagine what it's like to have your breast smashed into nonexistence and still not fill out that dotted line. sadistic woman who does this all day everyday says to you, "Now don't move." Where How demoralizing.

Once you are standing there, pressed hard against the edge of that plate and your breast smashed beyond the point of pain and crossing the threshold to agony, the the hell would I be going with my breast held captive in a two ton machine bolted to the floor? But I comply and don't move an inch. The last thing I want is to have to go through this again because the image was fuzzy. There's also the fact that I'm a bit of a klutz. I bump into walls and trip over imaginary lumps in the carpet, so I have this image of moving and stumbling and being left dangling from this machine by nothing but my right breast. At this thought I begin to sweat.

The woman returns and lifts the plate allowing me a brief minute to sigh in relief before she begins pulling on my tortured breast again. This isn't over. We're going for another view. Now my poor mammary glands get to be pressed into a side view. The process recommences but at least this time I can't see the spread. Again she leaves advising me not to move. Again she returns, and now the worst of all of the views comes.

It is time for the diagonal view of the breast which includes the lymph nodes. This means that she tugs and pulls and pushes in order to get my underarm into the vice. She pulls until I swear that everything from my back is in my front and my left breast is at least in my armpit if not protruding from my back as my right breast and any other available tissue is placed on the platter. This is by far the most painful of all of the views and again she tells me not to move. There's not a chance of movement as even breathing hurts in this position. She's gone for what feels like hours before coming back and releasing me, but by this time I'm on the verge of tears. When my poor beleaguered breast is finally released and tucked back inside the blue paper gown, I'm tempted to collapse and sob in relief that this is over, but then I'm that we must do the entire process again on the other breast as the blue paper gown disappears from my other side.

By the time I leave my mammogram, I'm ready to stick my thumb in my mouth, curl into the fetal position and whimper for at least three hours.

My question is this, why, if a mammogram really doesn't do anything to save lives, are we subjected to this process? The reason is that it does save lives. The panel even acknowledges that it saves lives, but it doesn't believe it saves enough lives to be warranted. Say what? Since it only saves 1 life for every 1,900 women in their 40's tested, we don't need them anymore. Oh, OK, so those women who are saved by the routine mammogram can just die now without them. That's way more cost effective don't you think?

I find it really interesting that with all of the talk about the importance of preventative care in keeping medical costs down, that we now have a panel saying we don't need this preventative care. In reality, the decision on whether or not to have a yearly mammogram is up to you and your doctor and not a panel of so called experts. If your doctor thinks you need one, then take some serious pain killers and go get squished.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Who Knew Cats Could Snore

If you haven't already deduced it from my blog name, or didn't already know, I'm a spinster. I'm in my 40's and I've never been married so I qualify. As a spinster, I am required under the bylaws of Spinster's Local 978 to own at least one cat. Always trying to be a good spinster I have more than that, but it's only one I'll be talking about today.

One of my cats is named Mite. She got the name because she was a tiny little thing, no bigger than a mite as my mother would say. She stayed pretty small, almost like a miniature cat until I got her spayed. Once that happened she really started packing on the pounds. The funny thing is that the same thing happened to me when I got spayed. But I digress.

Mite has taken to sleeping on me. Not with me. On me. This has become problematic for two reasons. The first is that I have restless leg syndrome and though I take medication for it, I still toss and turn a lot while attmepting to get to sleep. My nocturnal ramblings about the bed have not deterred Mite from her desire to use my body as her own personal cat bed. Instead she rides the tide of my moving body with a grace and agility that only a feline can maintain.

There have been occassions when she has slid off of my side or my back, but this is usually because she is moving herself around in order to give me the best access to her belly for scratching. Very considerate of her don't you think? She especially likes to lay on me in such a way as to have her head draped over my shoulder and the side of her furry faced pressed against mine. This is where the second issue comes into play. Mite snores.

A cat purr, as it rumbles close to your ear, can be really loud, but it can be soothing as well. Her purr doesn't bother me and actually offers some white noise which assists me in falling asleep. However, Mite has gone beyond purring and she actually snores now. I don't know how, and I don't know why, but she does. Unfortunately my cat finds it far easier to fall asleep than I do which means that she is snoring away while I, a chronic insomniac, am still trying to quiet my mind and body enough to actually drift off.

"Well close the bedroom door you idiot," you might be thinking right now. A good suggestion and one I have attempted on several occassions. However, my smart little kitty has learned the signs of when I am headed to bed and she beats me there. She also watches for when I go to my room and she will slip in with me thereby not allowing me to close the door when I leave again.

As you might have guessed, I'm a bit sleep deprived at the moment. I will be taking this up with my Spinsters Union rep. There was nothing in the contract about dealing with a snoring cat on your back. I guess it's just another unintended consequence of a requirement. Something we see far too much of.