Posted by: Helen Philpot | August 12, 2009

I remember an America where black men didn’t grow up to be President.

Margaret is it just me or did combing your hair become optional when going out in public?  I’ve been watching news clips of these town hall free-for-alls and we have definitely become a nation of tired,  poor, and huddled masses  clearly tempest-tossed, but without access to a good beauty salon.   Universal Hygiene – now that is something I could get behind.  And all of them are asking for their America back.  I wonder which America that would be?

Would that be the America where the Supreme Court picks your president instead of counting all the votes?  Would that be the America where rights to privacy are ignored?  Would that be the America where the Vice President shoots his best friend in the face?  Or would that be the America where an idiot from Alaska and a college drop-out with a radio show could become the torchbearers for the now illiterate Republican party?

I fear that would not be the America they want back.  I fear that the America they want back is the one where black men don’t become President.

I remember that America.  In that America people screaming at public gatherings were called out for what they were – an angry mob.   Of course, they wore sheets to cover up their bad hair.  Let’s be clear about something:  if you show up to a town hall meeting with a gun strapped to your leg, the point you are trying to make isn’t a good one.  Fear never produced anything worthwhile.

And what’s all this crap about killing your grandmother?  Are you people honestly that stupid?  This has become less an argument about healthcare reform and more a statement about our failed education system.  Margaret, I don’t know what plans you’ve made up there with Howard, but down here with Harold, we have living wills to determine how we will leave this world when the time comes.  Mine states that unless the feeding tube is large enough for a piece of pie, I don’t want to be hooked up to it.  Harold, of course, says his can only be connected to him if the other end is connected to a bottle of single malt scotch.

Now shame on me for making a joke about a serious subject, but if these morons are going to show up and scream at their elected officials, they need to educate themselves about the subject at hand.   No one is planning on killing you or your grandmother with rationed healthcare or death squads.  By the looks of the American citizenry turning out for these town hall meetings,  we’re doing a fine  job of killing ourselves with fast food, cigarettes and an overindulgence of ignorance.

The Founding Fathers couldn’t have seen this coming.  If they had, the right to free speech would have been conditional upon one’s ability to read.  But the  Founding Fathers didn’t plan on the likes of Palin, Cheney and Limbaugh.

I too long for the America I remember as a child, Margaret.  The one where men used guns to hunt quail and women visited a beauty salon at least once a week.  Oh, those were the days. I wish we had them back.  I mean it. Really.


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  18. “And what’s all this crap about killing your grandmother? Are you people honestly that stupid? This has become less an argument about healthcare reform and more a statement about our failed education system.” I hate to tell you fine ladies that it’s in there—and I did read it, thank you very much. What it says is: there will be NO MORE HOSPICE; it also states that the decisions to treat you will be made by members of the healthcare panel–and not by you or your physician. Therefore, if your case is terminal, your family will be provided on information (via a brochure) on how to care for your at home and how to make you “more comfortable.” Believe me, the Obama-Pelosi-Reid “Healthcare Reform” is nothing more than a death bill. Please, call it by its correct name and stop inflating it as something great. And, by the way, if a child has a terminal condition, the family gets the same termination information as grandma gets. In other words, if you will not heal and become viable once again, you get NO medical treatment. End of story.


  19. […] I remember an America Where Black Men Do not Grow Up To Be … People are relatively friendly destination you can "feel the tension building. Decided I Can Take That my knee stood up for so long – and now Since FL concealed weapon Is A law allowed, Do I really want to risk the safety of My Own. … … Recently there was a brief Whether an event we are bringing the national news about Study Published in New England Journal of Medicine titled "The Death From Prostate Cancer Screening-A Randomized Trial. … […]


  20. […] Thank Deity there’s still sense in the world. If a fat, 83-year-old Texas woman gets it this clearly, perhaps there’s hope for us yet: Margaret is it just me or did combing your hair become […]


  21. wow its so nice i really like this site.


  22. All these “tea party patriots” are just mad because there’s a black man in the White House, a woman is Speaker of the House, there’s a Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay man in Congress. They’re afraid of being disenfranchised — you know, the way that they have traditionally done to others?

    Sad little people, trying to hang on to their ignorance and hegemony. 😦


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  24. […] and Helen are older ladies and I love their blog. They comment on the townhall meetings and the good ol’ days. Supermodels without makeup. This does have […]


  25. My aunt, mom, and their friends are in their eighties. They can’t stand Sarah Palin, and her shenanigans. They are from the old country-Japanese heritage, and if English was more their language, I know they would love this blog. I have other eighty-something friends who are down-to-earth, common-sense intelligent Americans who are of the same mind as Helen. Real intelligence and patriotism comes in all ages, shapes, and sizes.. and ethnicity. I love this blog. So do my children and grandchildren. You say what’s in our hearts and minds of all generations.


  26. I just found your blog and I have to say I haven’t laughed like this in ages! Thank you so much for the wonderful posts. I’ll sign up for your RSS feed now.


  27. What you’re looking for is in no relation to politics so don’t bloody infer causations to such obsequious correlations. If you want something done, know how you are to do it, and how you want to tell people it will be done. I do agree with you, although you’re not quite sure what you really want – and that is to bring back a moral standard. cheers dammit


  28. […] Philpot, a woman my grandmother’s age, nails why I feel so angry about all of this.  Take it away, Helen: And what’s all this crap about killing your grandmother?  Are you people honestly that […]


  29. A few hundred years ago the “average Joe ” on the street thought the world was flat.

    Even after it was proven to be untrue they refused to believe otherwise.

    When the worlds population thought and acted like the world was flat………… wasn’t

    Most folks today know about the human genome project, funded by the federal government:

    Completed in 2003, the Human Genome Project (HGP) was a 13-year project coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. During the early years of the HGP, the Wellcome Trust (U.K.) became a major partner; additional contributions came from Japan, France, Germany, China, and others.

    AND that we all originate from south east Africa.

    This National Geographic project, The Genographic Project, has been all over the radio and television airwaves, news papers and magazines since April, 2005.

    The same people that reject this science, continue to reject evolution and think that the world was created in 6 days.

    Rejecting knowledge and choosing ignorance do not change facts.

    These same people did not want Sotomayor as a justice because she was of color and they assumed her to be Mexican.

    It would not matter what South American country or Island nation she came from, she had color.

    These Americans would be reacting this way if their president had anything more than a John Bonehead tan.

    It IS about every color but white.


  30. […] […]


  31. Brilliant post! I am saddened by all the rage and hatred right now.


  32. I believe this is my first visit to this blogsite and will return. In a bit of a hurry at the moment, but want to add something to “Graydog’s” comment. Are blogger’s actually doubting that an 83 year old woman is capable of thinking logically? Well I’m going to be 90 my next birthday and I invite anybody who wishes to, to join me on my blogsiter. Meander With Me. As for Margaret and Helen? Wish they were my next door neighbors!


  33. Anyone else notice how, whenever there’s a new posting, someone always shows up decrying the idea that Helen is an 83 yr old woman. Makes me wonder if these asshats would be as suspicious if this blog was called Max & Hank. . . . Colby T, if the only thing you & your frat bros have to do is try to debunk an 83yr old blogger, then you’re not spending enough time studying or sitting in class. Surely you have better things to do with your time ~ like keggers, figuring how to get some for the coming weekend, what body part to paint for the football game, and of course bookmarking all your cheats on your iPhone so you never miss out on the correct answer during exams.


  34. There is no way that you are an 83 year old woman. I have a bet going with a group of my fraternity brothers to see who can uncover your true identity first. Watch out “Helen”. We are about to call bullshit!


  35. Helen,
    I live in Austin too. I would love to pick you up and take you out for pie sometime. You are an absolute hoot!
    I will send you an email.

    Have a great weekend!


  36. Happy conservative

    Fraud/theft drives up the cost of everything, from the healthcare policy that you have now to the apple you purchased at the grocery store. I don’t see why providing a public option would cause the cost of health care to be anymore or any less than it is right now.

    The resources you speak of.. I assume you mean Doctors? Obama has spoken to that issue by suggesting we forgive portions of student loans for students that chose to be primary care providers, he has also suggested a program where the doctor agrees to so many years as a primary care Dr and all of their loans will be forgiven.

    As it stands now a corporate bean counter is “rationing” you health care. I would much rather a DR. do it.

    Lastly no one is talking aout a nationalized health care plan, if you have private insurance, and you like it you may keep it. What we want is a public OPTION.


  37. happyconservative, I advocate cleaning up our government and taking it back. I am behind transparency in government and term limits, elimination of lobbies and less government intervention. Our government has been being taken over by big business and special interests that have had their hand in it for over a hundred years. We need to take it back and get it to work for us instead of against us. With a transparent government and our intervention, we could have the best health care in the world. Right now the insurance companies are rationing care and provide our “death panels”.

    And as far as raising our kids, it is every parent’s responsibility. Unfortunately, most are lax when it comes to raising them and would rather the TV or computer babysit them. This has greatly led to the decline in our kids being instilled with high morals and a strong work ethic.

    Also, you do know Helen has posted anew yesterday, and most of us have moved over to there.


  38. happyconservative, I agree that parents are the biggest influence on our kids. We can’t put it all on the teachers. My husband and I pushed our kids, checked to make sure their homework was done (didn’t do it for them) and no TV till homework was done. We do not own video games and there are no TV’s in the bedrooms. (we’re soooo mean!) We encouraged reading for relaxation and pleasure. Both my girls are avid readers and my youngest is doing well as a college sophomore. I also know I was not the ONLY influence on my kids. I wanted as many people to encourage them to stay in school and learn — from grandparents to friends to teachers to people in the media. It is a message that isn’t said often enough and needs to come from many places to ensure the kids hear it. And perhaps, when kids hear the President tell them to set goals and stay in school next week, it may be the only voice in their life telling them that. While many people should encourage their kids, they do not.

    Also, people keep throwing the word “freedom” around. Here is what I told my girls as they grew up “With freedom comes responsibility”. That is true with our nation too.


  39. Poolman,

    I was reading some of your earlier posts, and I have to agree about Medicare reimbursements being to low for some doctors to accept Medicare. Fraud is also a problem. Those are exactly two of the problems that people from my side of the aisle have with nationalized health care. We think that many doctors will simply refuse to accept it because the low reimbursements will be too low. That’s one of the things that we think will lead to rationing. Too few resources lead to rationed care. The fraud is another issue. If fraud is a problem with Medicare, how big a problem do you think it will be if we nationalize the whole health care system? Again, this is something that we think will lead to rationing and/or a lower quality of care. Fraud will drive the price up, leading to scarcer resources.


  40. Susan and Whirled,

    What ammo. It sounds like democracy in action to me. Both sides standing up for their views; exercising their free speech. I say good for everyone.


  41. I certainly understand everyone’s concerns about education. But, parents bear a good deal of the responsibility for that failure as well. A friend of mine, a guy I went college with, wanted nothing more in life than to be a teacher. He graduated with a degree in chemistry and got his teaching certificate. But, try as he might, he could not get a teaching job because he didn’t coach anything. He just wanted to teach science. But, he persevered. My friend took substitute teaching assignments which gave him the opportunity to meet all the school principles and get to know the faculty at the local schools. After about a year and a half, he was hired as a science teacher at one of the local middle schools. He quit after a year. You know why? He got tired of parents blaming him because their kids weren’t doing well in school. So, he would show him his grade book with all the empty spaces where their kids should have homework grades. My friend got tired of middle school kids threatening him physically. He got tired of coming to work every morning to see the police patting down kids in the parking lot.

    I have to ask myself, why didn’t the parents care enough about their kids to make them do their homework? Mine did, continually. I’m sure they got tired of it. Why aren’t parents teaching their kids how to behave? I see it as a symptom of a much bigger problem in our country. In a sense, we’ve really become spineless. We are changing from a nation of independent people who took care of ourselves to a nation of people who expect others to take care of us. And, when someone else doesn’t take care of our problems for us, we blame them, instead of realizing that it was our job in the first place. I believe that what we are seeing in education is the symptom of an overall cultural decline.

    I agree with you that it is appalling that kids can’t even count change these days. I could count change when I was in grade school, but the school didn’t teach me that. My mother did.


  42. Whirled Peas,

    Thanks for that condescending video. When you’re freedoms are stolen, it’s usually done by some arrogant zealot who thinks they know better than everyone else.


  43. “suggesting that students write a letter to themselves about how they meet their own long-term goals”

    That would be a good question to ask.


  44. Honolulu Sally

    Thanks. It’s not just who’s President, although I do disagree with most of his policies. It’s the continued growth of government. And, you can’t blame the Democrats alone for it. The Republicans are expanding government just much. They just do it over different issues. What many of fear we are seeing these days is the incremental loss of our freedoms.

    Unless a foreign power invades your country, freedom isn’t lost overnight. It happens incrementally; step-by-step; a little bit at a time. It’s like boiling a frog. One day, you wake up in a totalitarian state. And, nobody saw it coming.


  45. Oops — double entry, not intended. Sorry.


  46. “Is the question, “What can I do to support our President” in the questionnaire?”

    According to the Hartford Courant (a hateful commie rag or a boot-licking right wing rag, depending on where you stand), the “initial suggestion in the lesson plan to write a letter to themselves about what they could do to help the president REDUCE THE DROPOUT RATE” [my emphasis] was changed to “suggesting that students write a letter to themselves about how they meet their own long-term goals, U.S. Department of Education spokeswoman Sandra Abrevaya said.

    “It was to make it easier to use and to make it a clear document,” Abrevaya said. “It was not a reaction to anything political,” she said.

    “Copies of the speach will be posted online Monday morning before the webcast, Abrevaya said.

    “The goal of the speech and the classroom activities is to challenge students to work hard and to say in school. It’s not a policy speech. It’s a speech designed to encourage students to stay in school, aim high and meet their goals,” Abrevaya said….

    “Chris Healy, chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party, called Obama’s speech ‘perfectly appropriate’ and predicted that children would be excited to hear it.

    “I think people have got to relax,” Healy said.”


  47. “Is the question, “What can I do to support our President” in the questionnaire?”

    According to the Hartford Courant (a hateful commie rag or a boot-licking right wing rag, depending on where you stand), the “initial suggestion in the lesson plan to write a letter to themselves about what they could do to help the president REDUCE THE DROPOUT RATE” was changed to “suggesting that students write a letter to themselves about how they meet their own long-term goals, U.S. Department of Education spokeswoman Sandra Abrevaya said.

    “It was to make it easier to use and to make it a clear document,” Abrevaya said. “It was not a reaction to anything political,” she said.

    “Copies of the speach will be posted online Monday morning before the webcast, Abrevaya said.

    “The goal of the speech and the classroom activities is to challenge students to work hard and to say in school. It’s not a policy speech. It’s a speech designed to encourage students to stay in school, aim high and meet their goals,” Abrevaya said….

    “Chris Healy, chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party, called Obama’s speech ‘perfectly appropriate’ and predicted that children would be excited to hear it.

    “I think people have got to relax,” Healy said.”


  48. @ Sherri Δ 9/3 – 9:21p:

    “I don’t care how many disagreements or differences one has with President Obama, we ought to jumping for joy and thanking the heavens that he is addressing the dropout crisis in this country and encouraging kids to finish high school.”

    Yeah Sherri Δ,

    Could be what Hc says…or THIS.

    I wonder what happened to James? 😉



  49. HappyConservative,

    Is the question, “What can I do to support our President” in the questionnaire?

    If so, I think that should be deleted to ask “What can I do to support the message of our President”.

    If the message of the President is to stay in school, become the best that you can be, and that causes kids to start setting goals of graduation and beyond with either education, career, or business goals, then who in their righteous mind would object to that?

    If the President asks students to respect their elders and teachers, and what can they do to support their elders, teachers, would you object to that? Is that control, indoctrination, political?

    Pres. Obama had 3 cornerstones in his campaign. Energy, Education, and Health Care for all. BIG stuff needing BIG solutions.

    One day I hope you can be glad that Barack Obama is President. You seem to be open minded enough to allow that change of heart.


  50. Sherri,
    Teaching kids to stay in school is important. That’s not the problem. A lot of parents see it as an attempt to indoctrinate their children into a political philosophy that they don’t agree with. They also see it as a government attempt to usurp their roles as parents. I’ll give you an example of why they think that.
    The workbook seems geared toward the Liberal agenda. Again, it’s an agenda that a lot of people disagree with. As I understand it, one of the exercises asks the kids to write a letter to themselves about how they can help the President. Not about how they can help the country. Not about how they can stay in school. But, about how they can help the President. To a lot of people, it looks like an attempt to get the kids to support the President’s agenda. Hence, it is seen as a form of political indoctrination.
    I understand that many of you who read this blog like President Obama and approve of the job he is doing. OK. Try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. How would you if President George W. Bush asked your child to write a letter about how to support him, as President? How would you react to that? That’s all I’m saying.
    The ruthless pursuit of diversity is also a problem because of the way it is abused. When you talk about things like diversity and political correctness in terms of respecting each other, that’s a good thing. We should respect each other. But, those are values that parents should be teaching their children. When parents see the government trying to teach their children values, whatever those values are, they view it as the government trying to take over, and the parents rebel. Any attempt by government to usurp the parental role is Orwellian.
    Causes like diversity and political correctness too often manifest themselves as a form of discrimination. They also seem like attempts to control what people think and say. “Correct speech” and “correct thought” are not democratic ideals. They are in fact Orwellian forms of control. They also smack of the kind of control that the Nazis and the Communists exercised on their own people. I understand that is not the intent, but that is often the result. You may not agree with what some people say. You may even consider it despicable (I often do). But, everyone has the right to free speech. Any attempt, no matter how subtle or unintentional, to suppress free speech is unacceptable.
    That’s why so many people object to this thing. It doesn’t seem like an attempt to keep their kids in school. To them, it looks more like a government attempt to control their children, and an attempt by a political party to indoctrinate their kids.


  51. Whirled,

    Now I know why Fox News exists. It exists so it can be the fodder for comedy. It gives Jon Stewart more material for his fantastically funny commentary.

    Sad to say that the FCC does not have fact checking results on the screens for ALL news shows.


  52. Another wingnut meme
    goes down the drain.


    Good work Honolulu Sally. And everyone else, thanks for the reports from the ‘front lines’. I’ll be here piling up the ‘ammo’.



  53. I arrived too late to be able to get into the packed meeting at our Town Hall on Wednesday evening. I stayed at the … “event” outside, and this is what it was like:

    The pro-reform folks were on the right side of the stairs, the anti-reform folks were on the left. And they’d chant back and forth, sometimes in a call-and-response form — “Yes We Can!” “No You Can’t!” (as opposed to No We Can’t).

    On the pro-reform side were men and women, medical students in their white coats, parents and children, black-white-whatever. On the anti-reform side were whites with a majority of men, most of whom were middle-aged and older. The anti-reform side wanted to know where the pro-reform side’s flags were. The anti-reform side at one point started chanting “Get a job! Get a job!”

    Every fifteen minutes or so two pickup trucks would drive by and slow down in front of town hall. They had hand-written posters on their sides, saying “Kill Bill” in large letters and the HR number in small letters below. Their horns or course were braying as they’d cruise by.

    A Lithuanian man and his American-born wife explained to me that this kind of government take-over was just the kind of thing that started socialism / communism in eastern Europe. He escaped and came to beautiful America in 1948. His wife said that Glenn Beck had written about the problems with government takeover.

    The pro-reform side had signs like “We are our brothers’ keepers” and “50 Million AMERICANS uninsured. 18,000 AMERICANS die due to no health insurance annually. We should all be ashamed!!!!! Public Option Now” and “Health care is a Human Right” and “Health Care for Profit Is Sick!”

    The anti-reform side had signs like “No government run healthcare. My doctor works for me” and “Evil is powerless, if the good are unafraid — Ronald Reagan” and “Man is not free, unless government is limited — Ronald Reagan” and “Stop the madness — Liberty is under attack.”


  54. Desperation causes people to take some desperate measures. The newest version of the “tea baggers” the “indoctrinators” …. are simply more of the same people we have seen since Obama trounced M C Cain.

    You don’t have to look any further than post election analysis to understand these people and what is motivating these antics.

    In simple terms the republicans message and tactics didn’t work and as demographics suggest, won’t be working for a decade or so. The typical republican is a white male, over 50 , lives in the burbs or rural, is college educated, has at least 1 year of military service, married, Christian and attends church weekly, and until recently their wives voted the same.

    For the last 20 years this demographic was enough to eek out a couple of national elections, not anymore. Why? 1. cities are making a comeback. The population of cities are increasing drastically. Repubs (conservatives) don’t live in cities. 2. It is predicted by 2020-40 Caucasians will be the minority race in the United States. 3. Christian conservatives (18-35) have become increasingly disenchanted with the republican party. Instead of being single issue voters (abortion) they have become interested in other areas of the Christian teachings and are no longer focusing on JUST abortion, but are now looking at the environment, feeding the poor, homeless etc. Also older Christians are looking at the last decade or so and realizing when the repubs were in power they failed to do anything about their HOT issue (abortion) and failed miserably in the Terry Schiavo case. On the other hand, democrats start with about 20 million more registered voters, our demographic is growing, and we have recently inched ahead in fund raising.

    The republican party is desperate, their followers scared witless.. They look around a see an unfamiliar neighborhood. They turn on the TV and see a president that does not resemble themselves. THEIR America is slipping away… And they are mad as hell …. What we are seeing now are cornered rats. They will stoop to the lowest forms to hold on to what they perceive as theirs, and we ain’t seen nothing yet! They are just that desperate.

    Two things give me satisfaction as I look at poll numbers. 1. Obama’s losses are NOT the repubs gains…. 2. 52 -57 percent of the country think democrats will move us in the right direction, when you look deeper the numbers are even more promising.

    Soooooo keep the faith my fellow pie eaters….. just when it seems the world has turned upside down look again. We are still strong and proud, we just need to get LOUD.

    I know I have repeated this at nauseam but ignore the shiny objects in the room… It is a political ploy to accomplish 2 things. 1. take your eye off of the healthcare debate that we are now winning 2. make the objects in the mirror appear closer then they are…. for example …. ALLLLLLL good American parents are calling the schools and pulling their kids out of class when obama speaks. It’s not true.



  55. Yer welcome, VK Yama!

    PalinShutUp, you go girl!

    Rah Rah Ree!

    Kick ’em in the Knee!

    Rah Rah Rass!

    Kick ’em in the Other Knee!


  56. us (today at our health care reform event)

    ‘what do we want?

    health care!

    when do we want it?



    ‘Obama is a socialist with a hitler mustache’

    me (chuckling):

    ‘If Obama was hitler you’d be worshiping him’




    ‘Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!

    Get up, stand up: Dont give up the fight!’


  57. Honolulu Sally,
    I’m glad I logged in before turning in. I was so bogged down from shock and dismay at how much lower people could go, I’m referring to all the hysteria over the announcement of Obama’s address to students. And I thought shrieking about wanting “their” America back was a low point…
    Your previous post and your offering (the Virginia speech) have pulled me back from the brink. Thank you.
    I was starting to succumb to a fear myself — that crazy and stupid MUST be some highly contagious, flesh and brain eating virus. I’m not afraid to go outside anymore.


  58. Whirled, if this doesn’t work, can you somehow find and post Obama’s last campaign speech in Virginia? I needed this – all the negativity, hate, and lies being generated got me feeling down.

    Here’s a picker upper (and we WON!)


  59. Susan in CT, I so agree with you. With all the fearmongering going on, no deep thinking is going on about that aspect of the debate. When was the last time anybody with insurance has been free to just go the his or her doctor of choice? Raise your hand and you will be outnumbered by the rest of us that have to deal with PPOs, HMOs, and so on. The insurance industry is already choosing our doctors. It just want to keep the monopoly of imposing its will on us, forever. The insanity of it all is hard to take sometime. I could not believe it, when our dental insurance company asked my husband’s dentist to justify why he needed a crown. Yes, I said, my husband should have made his dentist say how he just woke up one morning, and decided, jeez, today, I feel like sauntering into my dentist office, and sit in his chair and get a shot of novocaine and get a drill into my mouth and get me some fun! How asinine to waste people’s time on questions like that? That is what is making the system expensive, all the crap they are heaping on doctors. Justify this and justify that, this is not covered and that is. It used to be much simpler. Let us get back to basics. And people in the crowds repeating things they hear other people say without thinking them through, just look like sheep to me.


  60. vgman, the avatar changes automatically in all my posts as soon as I change it as long as I’m logged in. Did you notice when Werner and Greytdog updated theirs? I kind of wish it didn’t, but I got used to that on FB, as it does the same thing there.


  61. I believe you can fix stupid. But stupid needs to want to be fixed. Crazy….. well, that’s a harder battle.

    So, is this like a Venn diagram (remember those from grade school?) where different circles were of certain types, and they overlapped if there were a commonality within some circles?

    Seems to me, there would be a circle of racists who just hate Obama because he is black or of mixed race.

    Then, some who are just died in the wool Republicans.

    Some are Christian (or Scientologist) believers who think Obama is bad because of his non Christian beliefs (pro-choice, Muslim) or his non-believing in man living alongside dinosaurs.

    Some just don’t believe in politicians or government of any color, size, or smell.

    Some are the big boys or girls with corporate interests to protect.

    Some are still pissed off that Hillary and/or Palin lost.

    Some don’t have a tv remote and so their tv is stuck on Fox News Channel day in and day out.

    All these circles have some people with common elements in all of the above, and overlap with other circles, and the center of them is the worst bunch of all.

    Those are the ones that aren’t necessarily stupid or crazy. They are downright scary, like the Ku Klux Klan.

    The good news is, as Helen mentioned in this post, back in her childhood, there were 5 million Ku Klux Klan members, and now there are 5,000.

    America’s righteous, mean, narrow-minded, supremist led pointy heads are shrinking. There will be less of them to poison the stupid and crazies.

    There is hope for the stupid and the crazies if their numbers keep shrinking because their hearts and brains start growing.

    I do still hope, and pray.


  62. (warning: I am so spitting mad about this issue I am not responsible for typos.)

    I am waiting with bated breath to hear what you have to say about all the opposition to Obama addressing our school children on Sept. 8th. This would be laughable (that so many parents are demanding that their children not be exposed) but the level of xenophobia it reveals is just heartbreaking.

    I agree with you completely with one exception: your “WTF” comment is too gentle….

    In Kern County (central Calif.) Superintendents have sent out a memo to teachers that essentially discourages them from using class time to show this address. Holy Crap on a Cracker! All this whining about Obama being un-American. If this isn’t Anti-American, I don’t know what is.

    It profoundly concerns me that there IS a ‘concern’ that the President wants to give a back to school message. It seems logical, and I dare say even appropriate, that a president with school age children of his own shows interest in education.
    What are ‘they’ afraid of ?! (That a special frequency, only heard by minors, will be used to deliver a secret message none of us can hear??)
    Kids SHOULD be inspired by their president. You can still disagree with his policies. I got an idea: How about modeling some adult behavior? Even if you disagree with something at the very least there can be engagement (rather than just fear based avoidance.) In class teachers could ASK engaging questions after the address. TALK about it — and LISTEN to each other. Mediate and foster mutual respect for differing opinions.
    When did we become a nation full of whiners and screamers the SECOND we disagree with something? When did critical analysis become a bad thing and something to be feared!?
    This could be a fabulous opportunity to for “Synergy.” How powerful it would be to model critical thinking for our youth rather than rant like a village idiot?
    To all those concerned about this being a waste of class time, you have NOT been paying attention to how our education system has changed in the last 8 years.
    Because of the overly high priority put on standardized testing (as per NCLB) our education system routinely produces students with permanent deficits to their problem solving skills. (Evidently it was contagious because many of them gave it to their parents.)
    How many parents are aware of the days and days taken used every school year to prepare for these standardize tests. The once rich, complex and interesting lessons found 9 or 10 years ago in classrooms have been replaced with dull, fact laden, curriculum that has been purposefully designed to emulate the format of standardized test (designed to raise the scores, but these lessons do NOT necessarily make the student smarter and they certainly don’t foster any analytical thinking skills.)
    Fill in a bubble?— yup, they can do that. But figure out change for $16.28 if you hand them a twenty, a one, and three pennies when the register already showed what the change would be for a twenty? Not so much. Defend an opinion? Can’t do it. (and shrieking at a town hall meeting doesn’t count)
    We have an articulate, calm, president who wants to address school children and wish them well. Grown ups can lead by example and show their children that you can disagree and you can be mature enough to listen, especially if a person is wishing you well.
    True, I haven’t seen an advanced copy of his address so I am writing with the naive assumption that his address will be along the lines of a ‘work hard, stay in school, have a nice school year’ message. If that’s indoctrination, then bring it on!


  63. Poolman,
    Noticed your new avatar. My question is how did you get it to change in all of your previous posts?
    Maybe it’s a stupid question or maybe I’m talking with my mouth full of pie.


  64. I can’t believe some schools are not airing the president’s talk to the school kids. Some are afraid their kids will be “brainwashed”. Like some curriculum isn’t questionable. A lot of white-washed history books I had to study come to mind.

    We will let them sit in front of a TV or computer all day without concern. We let them go to movies with questionable themes. But let an intelligent and well-spoken leader of our nation with two grade school kids of his own determine to talk to them about positive things and they freak.

    You can’t fix stupid. I hope crazy isn’t winning. Crazy is getting its share of media coverage. It sure is an uphill battle trying to repair this nation! God help us.


  65. Rochester, NY has a dropout rate of 61% You read that right…only 39% of our students are graduating from HS. That statistic does not include anyone who drops out prior to 11th grade — and there are MANY, but they become non-statistics.

    Unfortunately, Rochester is not unusual. That’s the going dropout rate for most large cities. 6.2 million 11th-12th graders dropped out of high school in 2007 in the United States. I shake in my shoes when I wonder what’s going to happen to our country 20 years down the road when the majority of American adults are high school dropouts.

    I don’t care how many disagreements or differences one has with President Obama, we ought to jumping for joy and thanking the heavens that he is addressing the dropout crisis in this country and encouraging kids to finish high school.


  66. Hey Mike T. How have you been since High School? Funny to find you here. You look good.


  67. I think Rush offed Helen.


  68. It’s insane, Sherri. Nobody acted this way when Reagan and GHW Bush did the same damn thing.

    (*smacking head on desk*)



    I’m sure you’ve all already seen the above news link re: President Obama’s direct address to school children next Tuesday. In the 6-12 building where I teach, students have already been opted out…parents are calling to say their child(ren) are not to listen to the President speak.

    We’re airing the speech live in many classrooms, but the students who have been opted out have to leave the class for an alternate activity, and all other students have to be given the option of going to the gym instead.

    WTF?!? How do you teach a kid to value diversity and disagree with others respectfully when their parents won’t even let them listen to the president tell them it’s important to finish school and to do their best!?!


  70. I like your sense of humor, happyconservative. (Heard that joke before, and I still laugh at it. 🙂 )

    Now that the kiddies are in bed, I’m pouring that glass o’ vino for real. Chardonnay, some popcorn, and the news are up next for me tonight.


  71. State Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCU)
    Annual Report
    Fiscal Year 2008

    “This report covers Federal fiscal year (FY) 2008, commencing October 1, 2007, and ending September 30, 2008… …In FY 2008, MFCUs recovered more than $1.3 billion in court-ordered restitution, fines, civil settlements, and penalties. They also obtained 1,314 convictions. MFCUs reported a total of 971 instances in which civil settlements and/or judgments were achieved…”

    Click to access mfcu_2008.pdf

    These are just the ones that were caught.


  72. Cute duck-joke. And it kind of reminds me of one “definition” of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The duck got away with his joke, but he still got the same response.

    Tangentially, it seems like the insurance companies are trying to get us to do the same thing over and over, and we’re not going to get any different (read: better) results.


  73. “But, how is that going to change if the government takes over? Even now, there are many doctors who don’t take medicare or other government programs.”

    Well, FWIW, it’s claimed that this WON’T happen under the new reforms. And the point I was making was that people are being scared by a threat of something that already exists.

    (Kind of along the lines of “get your government hands off my Medicare.”)


  74. Susan in CT,

    We’ve all experience that. It’s a bummer. But, how is that going to change if the government takes over? Even now, there are many doctors who don’t take medicare or other government programs.


  75. Here’s a joke for everyone. You can find it at

    A duck walks into a bar and asks: “Got any Bread?”

    Barman says: “No.”

    Duck says: “Got any bread?”

    Barman says: “No.”

    Duck says: “Got any bread?”

    Barman says: “No, we have no bread.”

    Duck says: “Got any bread?”

    Barman says: “No, we haven’t got any bread!”

    Duck says: “Got any bread?”

    Barman says: “No, are you deaf?! We haven’t got any bread, and if you ask me again and I’ll nail your dang beak to the bar you irritating dang duck!”

    Duck says: “Got any nails?”

    Barman says: “No”

    Duck says: “Got any bread?


  76. I hear what you are all saying about Pfizer. You can say the same or worse about Madoff. Those people should be in jail. But, are you implying that all corporate executives are corrupt in some way? I would have to disagree with you. Most of the high level executives that I have met are good people. Granted, there are some bad apples out there, as there are in any demographic group. You can take Don Carty who used to run AMR as an example. But, by and large, you just can’t get to that level without having a certain amount of integrity. You get weeded out if you don’t, because people have to trust you in order to do business with you.

    Anyway, before I go off on rant, no group is either all good or all bad, no matter how you slice, dice, or label them.


  77. Anne refers to the Newsweek story and “the five biggest lies in the health care debate…”

    What I don’t get is why people scream that The Government will choose your doctor for you!

    My goodness, the insurance companies do that NOW.

    I really liked my dermatologist, but had to change because my insurance plan dropped that practice. And how many times have you tried to make an appointment with a new practice only to be told “sorry, we’re not on that insurance plan ?”


  78. I’ll have a glass of port if you’ve got one!


  79. Palin,

    I have to agree with you. I expected her to be a little tougher.


  80. More culprits involved in for profit HC:

    “The Gulf War veteran and former Pfizer sales representative will earn more than $51.5 million as a result of his whistleblower lawsuit against the world’s biggest drugmaker and the record penalty the company must pay the U.S. government for its massive marketing transgressions.”


  81. kitkat, medicare for all is what HR 676 single-payer is all about. Everyone I have talked to on Medicare love it. The only difficulty right now is finding doctors that honor it. The docs are not being paid well or enough for it and there is too much paperwork involved, I heard. Additionally, there is a lot of corruption and redundant claims by hospitals and doctors that are bankrupting the system. That is part of why it is running out of money. Part of HR 676 addresses these issues with electronic (digital) records and oversight into fraud. With these safeguards in place, Medicare for all would be the best and most cost efficient solution. If we could keep the greedies for stealing from the pot. It gets the insurance companies out of our healthcare, which is what they are fighting tooth, nail, and claw to keep from happening.

    I will have a beer, you guys can have the wine. My wife loves Merlot. Her favorite is a very inexpensive one. Sutterhome is the brand. She has had the expensive and exotic, but prefers the Sutterhome over all the rest. Enjoy!


  82. Just talked to my Mom last night about how Medicare has been so good paying for her cancer treatments. She has had only a few small out of pocket expenses (other than the fact that she is now in the donut hole for prescriptions). She is concerned about Medicare running out of money. If we expand medicare to everyone, wouldn’t that help with the costs as those who aren’t using the benefit would help pay for those like my mom who are using it? I really like that idea or the single payer. “Keep it simple, stupid”, should be Congress’ mantra.

    Just making pasta for dinner — so will have a nice Merlot with you all. 🙂


  83. @ SouthPaw

    slinky ballpoint pen with the big pink daisy on top, with perfumed ink


    I had the exact pen in junior high school LOL!


  84. Oh great, now I want wine.


  85. Here’s a zen moment from a friend:

    If you can start the day without caffeine,

    If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

    If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

    If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,

    If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any

    If you can take criticism and blame without resentment ,

    If you can conquer tension without medical help,

    If you can relax without liquor,

    If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

    …Then You Are Probably The Family Dog!

    And you thought I was going to get all spiritual.


  86. Profit Before Patient


  87. Cost of the war in Iraq about $255 million per day, or a little less than $1.8 billion a week

    “The health insurance industry is pulling out all the stops to kill meaningful reform. Their main objective is to kill the crucial public insurance option and to force all of us to buy overpriced policies from them. Their greed knows no bounds. We must not let them win”

    “The Health Insurance Industry today is based on Wall Street greed.”

    Wendell Potter, former head of public relations for CIGNA-turned whistleblower after 20-years of knowing what went on in the insurance suites


  88. Sarah Palin Pens Her Way to Infirmary (sic)

    I have this image in my mind: Snow Flake sitting at a table with her spiral notebook in front of her, you know the kind with the extra wide lines, tongue hanging out of corner of mouth as in deep thought, her slinky ballpoint pen with the big pink daisy on top, of course with perfumed ink, hard at work on her Book. Of course behind her is Murdock, hand rubbing his chin, Coulter in the middle, hands on her boney man-hips and Beck arms accross chest saying “Comeon Sarah, we know you can do it…just give us one complete sentence, will ya?


  89. Girls! time for a new post!


  90. Wine? Did someone say wine? Make mine a red zinfandel or a New Zealand sauvignon blanc. But, I did find an exquisite port while in Hawai’i (can’t remember the name, sadly). Maybe it was the enchantment of the patio lounge at the Moana Surfider in Waikiki. I don’t know. But, I swore it had macademia nut undertones. Either way, I’m with Auntie Jean and Δ Tine!!

    Cheers to the unsung heroes. Thank God for them!


  91. Jean: Yes indeed, I will raise a glass (make mine Bordeaux) to the unsung heroes of research. Salut!


  92. I’m with Anne on Levi. Although I still loathe Sarah Palin as a politician, I will reserve judgement of her as a mother.
    I really wish the democrats would have sold this entire thing as a expansion of medicare to cover more people – would have been much harder to make up crap about since everyone is familar with it.


  93. Also in that Newsweek, the five biggest lies in the health care debate, how they originated and why they’re wrong.

    You’ll have no choise in what health benefits you receive.
    No chemo for older medicare patients.
    Illegal imigrants will bet free health insurance.
    Death panels will decide who lives.
    The governemtn will set doctor’s wages.


  94. Read a great editorial in Newsweek yesterday about Ted Kennedy:

    “To cast him in a sentimental warm light (the left) or to demonize him (the right) are equally inadequate to capturing his character…Two lessons from Kenndy’s life seem worth mulling. The first is that the contradictions of his character–the rake who cared about the poor and dispossessed–should remind us that reflxively caricaturing and criticizing politicans is unproductive. On close inspection, most public figures are pretty much like us..The seocnd lesson is about the utility of compromise. Kennedy essentially embodies liberal orthodoxy, but he was not a purist. He believed in getting things done and never let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” Well said.


  95. I heard about the Vanity Fair article this morning. Though I’d love to take everything Levi Johnston said at face value, I tend to think he’s motived by self-interest. I imagine the true story lies somewhere in between his version and Palin’s version.


  96. Hi gang and Tine,

    You might be interested in this, Tine. As a science editor, you would know probably better than anyone what precise, exacting details are required in science writing.

    Recently there was a brief report even on the national news about a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine entitled “”Mortality Results from a Randomized Prostate-Cancer Screening Trial.” If you would like a copy of the NEJM article, go to:

    For a number of years, I have been involved with this long-range study, PLCO (Prostate, Lung, Colon, Ovarian) being carried out through a program of the National Cancer Institute. Here in Hawaii, it is ongoing at Straub Hospital in Honolulu through the auspices of The Pacific Health Institute. PLCO maintains screening centers at nine other universities and health centers across the country, including Washington, DC; Michigan, Wisconsin, Alabama, Colorado, Minnesota, Pittsburg, PA; Idaho and Missouri.

    Here’s how the study goes. Men and women, except for the prostate study, were screened for these types of cancer. There were 76,693 men involved in the prostate study. Blood tests, specific physical exams, X-rays, etc.

    The participants were all volunteers in certain age groups. The tests were free. We all know that these tests are expensive. The results were sent to the participant’s personal doctor so he could have a baseline for ongoing future health care. Further, a very lengthy annual questionnaire is required regarding diet, personal habits, etc. Considering the racial and ethnic mix here in Hawaii, the data is very useful in factoring in heredity.

    You can only imagine the enormous amount of data to be gathered and analyzed. The results can be fairly reliable since there is not a pharmaceutical company or otherwise pressure group involved with a KNOWINGLY biased or vested interest in the outcome. This study is about as close as you can come to pure applied science.

    There are innumerable doctors, nurses, technicians, statisticians, administrative personnel and on and on involved with this enormous undertaking. These are what I consider unsung heroes who have dedicated years and years of their lives to unlocking the secrets of these dreaded diseased in order to find treatments and cures. I salute all of them!!!!!

    I’ll raise a glass of White Zin to these fine people. Would you care to join me, Tine?

    Does this have anything to do with the Health Care debate? You bet it does!!!!

    Aloha! 🙂

    Auntie Jean


  97. she does not support allowing abortions for victims of rape and incest

    she said “I think that a culture of life is best for America”

    and Americans watched stunned and in shock and ran to the voting polls


  98. Anonymous September 2, 2009
    at 6:22 PM, I don’t know who you post for but personally I dont have a problem with spector, dont agree with everything he does but I dont agree with Obama 100% of the time either

    Palin is a different animal

    ‘I know that governor Palin quit. What’s your point?’

    that she’s a quitter when the going gets tough

    ‘If you had faced the firestorm of false accusations and unjustified probes that she had, could you have stood up to it?’

    when you are in politics your life is an open book, I have a particular friend who could be mayor right now and wont, despite the fact that she is a great leader and has been asked by several people in office to, but she knows once you are there anyone can look into your life with a magnifying glass

    when you step on to that frying pan you have to be ready to be scrutinized this is not russia or Cuba, this is NOT a dictatorship, Palin worked FOR THE PEOPLE

    did you forget?

    Anonymous on September 2, 2009
    at 6:33 PM, I have a long list of reasons why I dont like her but my primary one was that she was poised to take away my rights as a woman to my body and wanted to force her religious beliefs on me


  99. happyconservative, good of you to drop back in. Palin has been topic of discussion here for some time. A lot of Alaskans post here and at the various Alaskan bloggers’ sites. We get the inside skinny on her from the locals. Now Levi Johnson has done an interview with Vanity Fair and it paints a different picture of her, and not very positive. She left the state of Alaska in a mess and they had to have a special session to fix some of her mishaps. Here is some proof regarding her antics and lack of credibility from a conservative source:

    I have checked all sources on this healthcare debate and have read the proposed bills. HR 3200, in it’s various forms is merely health insurance reform. I support a single-payer system, which is not what is on the table yet. HR 676 is a smart bill, 30 pages long, and provides for funding and essentially provides medicare for all. It is supposed to be introduced to the Floor of the House this session. That would be my choice for health reform. The best we could hope for from HR 3200 is a public option. If we get that, then it will eventually evolve to single-payer.

    With the greed and big bucks made and being spent by health insurance to maintain the status quo, it is doubtful we will see true reform. They have instigated the misinformation campaigns and spread the death panel and government-controlled scare, along with the rationing fears. They are the ones that ration care now and deny coverage. They make a lot of money from controlling the industry. They have paid many politicians in both camps to vote in favor of them keeping us under their thumb. There are so many links and articles supporting this, I think even some in this thread.

    There are wackos on both sides of the issue. What about Betsy McCaughey? I saw her on the Daily Show and she just proved her ignorance over and over. It was an extended interview and she lost her job right after that. For the left, some unions were employed to counter the bussed in protesters supported by Freedom Works and other “grassroots” movements with large corporate backers. Tit for tat.

    So in short, I support HR 676. It was written in 2003 and not in layereze. Makes sense and many here support it. Many doctors and nurses are infavor of it also.

    But more importantly, I think we need to clean house in the government. Lobbies and big business craft our legislation and we are not represented. We need to repeal the Patriot Act and audit the Fed. There is legislation crafted to do just that and I support it. I have left links everywhere to get the word out. A good source to find the proposed legislation and follow our representatives and the money trail is at:

    Happy hunting!


  100. But still…Happy is polite. I give her the benefit of the doubt that she means well.


  101. oh ye gads!
    Someone want to point happyconservative to the opinions of Alaskans – of all political stripes- a few threads back regarding Sarah Palin?

    happyc- The ex-ghastly gov held 2 elected positions. NOT many… 2.
    Mayor of Wasilla and Governor of Alaska- period.

    She quit a job she got as a political favor from then Governor Murkowski and parlayed her phony( now we know just how phony) ethics stance into a run for the governor. If Murk hadn’t been quite such a slime himself, we might have seen hers sooner.
    If you talk about Alaska , forget the R & D thingy…over half of the registered voters here are non-partisan or undeclared. And most of the D’s here (barely over 70k) are more like the old moderate republicans from Outside…

    You want to like SP- go ahead but get straight on the basics…
    SP was mayor of a podunk town- even by our AK standards. We are made up of podunk towns… some more podunky than others.
    She quit a state job she didn’t like … and she quit the Office of the Governor. We don’t like quitters.

    We fell for the horse pucky… sounds like you have too. Good luck- it always ends badly with her…

    Helen- your soiree is still the nicest in town here. Though I don’t stop by often these days. thank you -and Margaret- for having us all in..

    (hey Grandma Katie! Greyt!)


  102. Everyone,

    I’m new to this blogging thing. I just created my ID last night, so I’m still learning all the simple things like how to type my screen name in the “Name” field. (picture me slapping myself on the forehead at this point) Anyway, I wanted to claim the “Anonymous” posts starting with my response to Poolman on September 2, 2009
    at 6:22 PM up to my response to Palin at 6:41. Just so you’ll no. If you have any responses to those posts, you can direct them at me.

    You may laugh at will . . . or me, which ever you prefer.


  103. Anonymous,

    Please give yourself a name, or at least a number.

    To paraphrase the Dalai Lama:

    When asked by an audience member, “What happens to us when we die?”, the Dalai Lama responded, “In a sense, you cease to exist.”

    So, when Palin quit, in a sense, she was a quitter.


  104. lori,

    You’re missing one tiny fact. Everybody knows who won. What’s your point?


  105. Palin,

    there is a big difference between socializing with folks of opposing political views, which I do and often and listen and realize we have much more in common than not . . ”



  106. Tine,

    Back atcha! We’ve waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more on Social Security than we ever have on the war. Entitlements are killing us. So are all the duplicate programs.

    And, I’ll debate the legitimacy of the war with you all day; both the war in Iraq and the Global War on Terror.


  107. PalinShutUp,

    I’m interested in hearing your views on Governor Palin. When she was first chosen as McCain’s running mate, I dug some articles about her, and she pretty good to me. I thought her view points were solidly conservative. I would be interested to hear why you think differently.



  108. Greytdog,

    Sound advice. Thanks. Dad has a living will. A Terry Schiavo situation is exactly what we want to avoid. It’s also good to know that veteran’s groups are standing up for those who have served us so well.


  109. Grandma Katie…So nice to see you’re OK. I was starting to get worried about you. The fires in Palos Verdes are a little closer to you, but if the wind picks up who knows what will happen.

    Eugene Robinson had a good article in Wasington Post yesterday about our continued building in places where we shouldn’t be building anymore.

    Here in my neck of the woods, we have a builder, Shea Homes that wants to drain precious buffer wetlands to build 130 homes which will further deplete our water supplies not to mention what severe and long term impact these homes will have on the barely surviving wetlands. Seems our City Council doesn’t remember Katrina and what happened in New Orleans.

    A group form our neighborhood has been fighting them for some 15 years and it continues to this day. Money talks as you know and they have alot of political influence in thi$ town.

    Anyway so glad your hanging there, hopefully trying to keep cool.


  110. Poolman,

    Thanks. It’s good to know that some people can still exercise their constitutional right to bear arms. Let freedom ring. I know that governor Palin quit. What’s your point? If you had faced the firestorm of false accusations and unjustified probes that she had, could you have stood up to it? And, it wasn’t just her. The attack dogs went after her family, too. And, how do you know how Alaskan’s feel about it? Who’s survey did you look at?

    There have been other documented incidents of paid union members showing at town halls to disrupt and harass the attendees. At one of Arlen Spector’s town halls, a man was at the microphone criticizing the health care proposal when another attendee tried to push him out of the way. To Senator Spector’s credit, he personally chastised the attacker and put a stop to the abuse. Whatever else you say about him, Senator Spector tries to be fair man.

    As for the lack of resources, run the numbers. You cannot tax enough to support any of the plans in the three health care bills that are now before Congress. Even the Congressional Budget Office says that nationalized health care is not economically viable.

    I think the call to challenge yourself goes both ways, Poolman. You’ve got to look below the surface and past the rhetoric. What does the CBO say about the health care legislation (or any other legislation for that matter)? What does the legislation actually say? What are the implications? Also, look at how it’s being handled. In my experience, if some is trying to ram something, anything, through as quickly as health care, their trying to hide something.

    Thanks for your feedback, Poolman. I enjoy discussing issues, so you have made me a very happy conservative.


  111. Whoa Donna, thanks for the heads up!

    her not being a ‘reader’ did not surprise me, what did surprise me was those kids having to take care of themselves and essentially a lazy ass, not the ‘nurturing mother’ she made America think she was, boy what a windbag that one really is

    nothing but a shell

    the one thing I had respect for was her mothering and now that’s shot to hell as well

    of course, they will call him all kinds of names including liar

    prouder of my avatar every single day


  112. anyone read about the Vanity Fair article that’s out with the Levi Johnston interview?


  113. ThymeCher- I”m still here, mostlyjust reading not posting.EVeryone seems t o put into words what I th ink only so much better!
    I swore I had you email address somewherre but have scrolled through everything and can’t find it.
    I hopep the fires don’t come down our way!! Palos VERdes is too close!!

    Conservative – why6 don’t you read some of the Alaskans views on Palin. Whatever her title, she is still an idiot.


  114. LOL you go PSU…. lmaoooo you tickel me…


  115. whirled, you are not kidding when you state laughter is the best medicine

    thanks for all the great info too

    what I post comes across as too harsh most times
    because Im a yankee, we werent taught to sugar coat

    online it doesn’t translate very well


    anyway, just dropping by to urge you all to make it to your nearest Health Insurance Reform Now Event, I am so proud of my buddy’s 78 year old mom, she marched for two hours in the rally waving her two handmade signs demanding the single payer option

    In a couple of days it will be our turn

    nothing will get done if we just sit back, we CAN make more noise, remember we are the majority

    gotta run

    oh yea, just finished my down dog 🙂


  116. Hiya Ocean, your story of your little girl caused a huge smile to come across my face… I have 2
    little girls too… 21 and 16…;-) I thank my lucky stars each day for the yellow that has been sent my way…. They truly are heaven sent aren’t they?

    namaste’ means many things to many people…. to me it means respect, to all who gather in my “”presents”, if indeed I mean it ,and feel respect…… 😉 It also means peace ….. hello and goodbye….. I am a novice at many things.. LOL one of them being yoga… ( I think giving up the margaritas would help… but not sure and not willing to try..LOL )

    I have followed your posts/family and have too found you to be delightful in all ways…. I know that little girl of yours will grow up to know the true meaning of namaste’… Yellow always shines through….. namaste fellow blogger.. 😉


  117. Whirled, the rabbi and dog cracked me up too. Reminded me of the time I was belting away on our karaoke machine and the dogs in the neighborhood started howling, much to my husband’s chuckling.

    To the Obama haters, i.e. Arizona “preacher” wishing brain cancer, etc., I truly wish them an epiphany of namaste.

    I thank all of you here for your namaste-ing, yoga wannabees and all.


  118. I remember a world where a dictator and his minions could lie his country into a premeditated war of aggression that would eventually involve the globe.

    No, not ‘The Dick’ & his neocons.

    As it was: Sept 1 back thru Aug 26, ’39



  119. Hiya Δ Tine,

    To be honest, I start my morning surfing the web (free time permitting) for what my day’s postings will be about; gathering links and quotes to help convey my thoughts on whatever today’s topics may be.

    On any given ‘on-line’ day (I don’t do TV), I go to up to 100 individual websites and can scour hundreds of different pages, bookmarking along the way (thousands by now).

    I’m a news and politics junkie [admission is the first step to recovery 8)] with a bit of Paul Revere in me. I enjoy finding a news item that hasn’t broken around and getting it to the blogs until it pops into ‘MSM reality’; hours, days, weeks (or more) later.

    People who know me call me Israel Bissell.

    I also enjoy taking ‘the present’ (or near future) and researching from the recent past to the long forgotten history, to help get a better perspective on the difficulties we can avoid, while exploiting successes, for our current situations.

    I’m a ‘teacher’ at heart and online I try to get the information to where the conversation and critical thinking is happening; like delivering ammunition to the battle.

    With all the brouhaha surrounding US, it helps one’s sanity to try to find ‘the funny’ every once and a while. I come across many amusing things in my travels, always trying to keep things ‘Light’.


    I live by a few basic beliefs:

    Laughter is the best medicine…

    Education to the great equalizer…

    Information is power…

    Understanding that is PEACE!




  120. Hi there, OceanGypsi! (*waving*)


  121. Greytdog, thank you for the “Jayzus” chuckle and the recipe!! I was feeling frisky last night and used macademias. Num Num!!! Happy belated birthday, too!!

    Hey, Δ Tine!!

    lori, I have noticed that you usually close your posts with “Namaste”. I have a namaste moment that I would like to share with you. This weekend, I decided it was time to stop dickin’ around. I’ll be 3gr8 next month. I need to be more aggressive with my exercise routine and start yoga again. On Sunday, I burst out the DVDs and my mat. I did it for 30 minutes before I had to quit. He was kickin’ my butt. Later that afternoon, I came out of the kitchen to find my daughter (6) on my mat, watching the DVD, and doing the yoga moves better than I. When she finished, she turned to me and said, “Namaste”. I took several pictures. I will upload them to my blog when I get a chance.

    Happy Wednesday to ALL!!!!!


  122. Where do you find this stuff, Peas? Hilarious. 🙂


  123. Quick laugh for the M&H crowd:

    ‘The Rabbi and the Pooch’

    8) ~ Δ ~ PEACE


  124. Happy conservative, there is one tiny little fact you seem to ignore when you discuss the angry mobs disrupting the town hall meetings.

    The democrats who now control the House, Senate and White House were ELECTED by the people of the United States. They did not get there by some random coup staged by the Democrat party they were sent to Washington because MOST of the people in this country wanted them there and agreed with their politics!

    The angry mobs side LOST! When I hear conservative talk about taking back their government…. you will have the chance… it’s called an election for heavens sake. Get out there and work hard to elect the person you want to represent you instead of flinging tea bags and carrying signs with the president of the United States portrayed as a Nazi and joining malitia groups!

    As for Palin having a D or an R after her name…. I have to admit I have never voted for a Repub in my life, and never missed an election in my life. I have already told my husband (who is a registered repug… yes we have a mixed marriage ;-)) I wouldn’t vote for him. I am THAT partisan…..HOWEVER, if Palin was my only D candidate I think I MIGHT have to consider not voting in that election. That woman is just kukoo for cocoa puffs crazy!


  125. Takeover of the healthcare industry. . . hmmm. Strange, but my doctors, who support the public option, aren’t concerned about any takeover. And considering they are the ‘frontline’, I’ll pay attention to their opinions on this rather than to such silly “boo!” tactics as you’ve presented. What’s next? (tapping chin with finger) Oh right: let’s see, all those poor unwashed uninsured welfare queens will be having babies at the taxpayers’ cost and/or abortions and we’re all going to hell because Jayzus hates THOSE people


  126. I too long for the America I remember as a child, Margaret.

    You’re trying to remember an America with a child’s mind. Do you actually believe that a takeover of the healthcare industry will make things better? Social Security is going broke and don’t try to blame that on anyone but you dimocrats. Medicare, the same. You all can’t even run the Post Office or Amtrak. Grow up and support yourself and as many charities that you care to.


  127. Fred: Why yes, I do drink. (hic!) What’s yer point? 😉

    Happyconservative: Speaking of happy, thanks for the giggles. Here’s my favorite line…. “It started getting out of hand when the Democrats took over the House and the Senate, and it has just gotten worse since the ’08 elections.” Oh really now. So…nothing your spendthrift neocon buddy GWB did before 2006 had *anything* to do with the deficit? Cutting taxes whilst launching a fraudulent trillion-dollar war doesn’t count? You need a different adjective in your screen name, my friend. “Blind” or “crazy” would serve quite well.


  128. And I’m supposed to teach my 5th graders to think critically, listen to others and grow up to be productive citizens–
    It’s a little scary in light of everything posted above.
    But…..a social contract is a contract. No matter how messy it is.


  129. Happy Conservative writes: “My father is 74 years old. He has already made up his mind about how to handle end-of-life situations, and made his wishes clear to all of us. What ever he decides is fine with me, but I don’t want the government pressuring him one way or the other.”

    I am very glad your father has made his wishes clear. Get them in writing. Otherwise you might be facing a Terry Schiavo situation.

    And BTW, both IAVA and Vietnam Vets and the VFW have denounced the scare tactics being used against vets concerning living wills and final directives. We actually have that booklet here – and it contains excellent information PLUS the questions it asks are ones that all families should be asking and discussing.


  130. happyconservative, I think you wandered off trail. You don’t even sound happy. Let me just say, all your points have been hashed and rehashed here before. Facts are stubborn things. I’m sorry you did not get your candidate elected. Try again in 2012.

    For someone with a master’s degree, it is not showing. You shouldn’t just put that thing on the wall and shelf that brain, you know. Palin quit her job, remember? One of those facts you’re missing. She is not the governor anymore, and the majority of Alaskans are glad.

    One poor quality video from Fox news showing someone YOU claim is an “Obamacare” supporter and then stating “The violence at the town halls is being perpetrated by the left.” is poor deductive reasoning. And we have had several attending show up with weapons here at town halls in Arizona. We even have good video of it, including interviews with those with strapped on firearms and even assault weapons. So believe it, it is one of those stubborn facts.

    The lack of resources and funding is the same unsubstantiated rhetoric that come from your source of “news” and relate to the scare tactics that are being spread by the insurance companies that make our health decisions and do the rationing now.

    So “hate speech” aside, if you are not going to challege yourself to seek the truth and see things as they are, maybe some of the labels do accurately describe someone similar to yourself.


  131. Im so glad I was raised by conservatives! It gave me a good idea of REAL conservatism and it isnt Sarah Palin

    We have a ‘Health Insurance Reform Now Event’ coming up, I have a box of feather boas and a some trinket jewelry….maybe I can convince my friends to dress-up as Billionaires for Wealthcare 😀


  132. oh, and Happy–I am sure you are well-meaning and you certainly try to be polite. But I believe there are a number of inaccuracies in your post. You might wish to look into the true facts concerning the veterans’ guide, as only one example. As another, you might wish to check on our President’s true voting record as a senator, as well as the significance in Illinois of a “present” vote.

    Now, I can tell you with out a shadow of a doubt that I would consider Ms. Palin as unsuitable for public office if she were liberal. Her party affiliation is not the issue.


  133. Did I actually read the words “Orly Taitz” or are my old eyes deceiving me? Now, there’s a topic.

    I have been practicing law for 30 years. I have had cases all over the country. Not to brag, but I have the highest professional ratings from the objective services that rank lawyers. And I have seen lawyers of all levels of competence.

    I’ve read the filings that the dentist/lawyer/real estate maven files and I can tell you with absolute certainty that I have never EVER seen poorer quality work. The woman is a complete incompetent.


  134. Helen?

    Can you hear THAT one??



  135. I’m not really sure where to begin other than to say that I am continually disappointed by the venomous hate speech I hear from the left. Come on Helen; “illiterate Republicans”? I have a masters degree. An “idiot from Alaska”? She is a female governor, and a woman who has held many elected offices. If she had a “D” next to her name instead of a “R”, she would be hailed as an accomplished woman. How the National Organization of Women have any integrity left when they allowed such vicious and unwarranted attacks, not only on Governor Palin, but on her family as well? Oh, wait! NOW said something about David Letterman’s comment!?!? Wow! One instance out of how many hundreds? And, how is Governor Palin less qualified than a less-than-one term senator who almost always voted “Present”?

    The angry citizens who show up at town hall meetings are not mobs. Characterizing them as such is just another attempt by the left to silence the free speech of those who have the gall to disagree with them. It’s just one more example of liberal thuggery. The people who show up at those town hall meetings are angry because their government isn’t listening. People from all walks of life in this country are tired of the spending. It started getting out of hand when the Democrats took over the House and the Senate, and it has just gotten worse since the ’08 elections. The violence at the town halls is being perpetrated by the left. Here’s a link: And, by the way, no one has ever showed up at a town hall meeting with a gun strapped to their leg.

    I will concede that the “idea” of some type of universal health care coverage isn’t all that bad. I also believe that reforms are needed in our current health care system. But, the way the current administration is going about is disastrous. It will ruin both our economy and our health care.

    And, as for “all this crap about killing your grandmother”; in July the administration reinstituted the “End of Life” guide for vets. It contains a survey that seems to steer our veterans toward death. We take that as an example of what the “end of life” counseling will be. My father is 74 years old. He has already made up his mind about how to handle end-of-life situations, and made his wishes clear to all of us. What ever he decides is fine with me, but I don’t want the government pressuring him one way or the other. I’ll tell you another concern we have. There will not be enough resources to support the current health care proposals coming out of Washington. When the system runs out of money and other resources, the elderly in this country will get left out.

    So, when you use terms like “idiot” and “illiterate” you sound like an over egoed junior high kid. If you disagree, great! This country was founded by people who disagreed with their government. We should be able to disagree. Comparing me to a Klansman isn’t disagreement or debate. It’s hate speech. If you want to know where the problem lies in this country, look at the words you’re typing into your computer.


  136. Poolman, thanks very much for the info about the bill proposing the extension of the Patriot Act (what a name). We should all pass that one along.

    And just thinking about that: I probably have posted this before, but if you’re thinking of changing your mobile phone carrier, consider Credo Mobile — they were NOT involved in warrantless wiretaps (like AT&T and Verizon among others), plus part of their earnings goes to good causes (and you can direct them). And nope, I’m not connected to them — just glad to be using a provider that’s on the “right” side.


  137. ‘Anonymous you could post as anti-james. Has a nice ring to it.’



  138. “The Safe and Secure America Act, H.R. 1467, was introduced on March 12, 2009 by Sen. Lamar Smith (R-TX). The bill proposes a 10-year extension on “roving” wiretap powers and government access to library patron records. These provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act are scheduled to sunset this December. Rather than revise the constitutionally questionable sections, this bill would extend them (and the much contested FISA Amendments) until December 31, 2019.”


  139. I’m ignoring you. I didn’t even see what you posted. I’m never reading another post of yours again.


  140. Yeah Obama’s the Antichrist
    Santa Ana, Calif, Orly Taitz court hearing of her case
    Go massively and protest there
    9/8, 8 AM
    Oust the Antichrist jail him for high treason and put him on death row


  141. Anonymous you could post as anti-james. Has a nice ring to it.


  142. Anyone have a good sugar cream pie recipe? Been looking for one for years.


  143. Damn I am going to have to come with a name to post, that wierd anonymous is trying to negate all that I said. James is a hypocrite, period.


  144. You too thymeCher! What kind of a name is that anyway? What kind of fool do you take us for? You think we’re idiots? We’re not! You’re the idiot!


  145. thymeCher, that isn’t fair. I can taste that and my stomach is waiting for it. 😀


  146. Just trying to change the subject before James pulls a Michelle Backmann…


  147. And you’re ugly too.


  148. Poolman…in the summer my mother used to make Jello chocolate pudding pie with sliced bananas and a dollup of real whip cream on top.



  149. And those long convoluted stories ending with you the big hero, particularly this last one, what kind of fools do you take us for?


  150. James, once again, you are acting like a hypocrite. Yes Jean smuggled in olive trees, but you, James, hired illegal aliens on your farm, how does that square with your holier than thou self-image?


  151. I am with you, thymeCher!!!

    (I bet Margaret even hurled on that one)


  152. Sorry James for me it’s just WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION. This isn’t eHarmony for kripe sakes.

    Sorry ’bout the mini spiel, too much smoke & heat here in SoCal, near the fires and my (scrolling) finger is still hurting from the cortisone shot.

    Non-the-less M & H thanks for allowing us all onto your porch, no matter what we have to say.


  153. Support these bills for Auditting the Fed!


  154. peach here. Ditto on the vanilla.


  155. I’ll have a large slice of warm blueberry pie with a dallop of vanilla bean on top, please.


  156. Time for pie.


  157. there is a big difference between socializing with folks of opposing political views, which I do and often and listen and realize we have much more in common than not

    and biting tongue when, as an example hear a bigoted joke

    and I never claimed I was passive aggressive, you misread my post

    as for chips, we all carry them and I will be the first to admit to them


  158. PalinShutUp, there is a difference between opposing bigoted comments & picking unnecessary fights. When I am with people I know only from certain social settings or have to work with, I see no reason to start browbeating them because of their beliefs. They believe what they believe, just as you do. Several of my clients are Republican fundamentalist Christians, who, despite our polar differences, are good people. I try to hang onto our similarities rather than neon-lighting the differences. They believe that America is God’s gift to the world while I, quite frankly think if that’s true, God needs a personal shopper. When I am working, I rarely engage in political or theological discussions – we stay on point, focusing on the health and wellbeing of their pets & extended family. I believe if finding common ground rather than painting everyone with a broad brush. When you do that, IMO, you are as guilty of hatred and discrimination as those against who you rant. And darlin’, no one would ever think you were passive aggressive – you have the biggest chip on your shoulder that I’ve ever seen online.


  159. gd contrary to you, I did not bite my tongue in FL, whenever I heard bigotted comments I confronted them straight up, the reason those people say what they say is because they think its ok

    I dont believe in passive agressivenes, which is probably why you stand by james, I completely get it now

    told you I dont care what side of the fence you are on

    I do hope you are feeling better and belated bday wishes, thanks for the recipe

    james repeats the same thing over and over

    and anne posts

    ‘What can I learn if everyone repeats the same thing?’

    exactly 😀

    that billionaires for wealthcare link is priceless

    must share…


  160. You, Greytdog, are a saint!


  161. In honor of September:
    Apple-Gingerbread Cobbler


    * 1 (14-ounce) package gingerbread mix, divided
    * 3/4 cup water
    * 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    * 1/2 cup butter, divided
    * 1/2 cup chopped pecans
    * 2 (21-ounce) cans apple pie filling
    * Vanilla ice cream


    Stir together 2 cups gingerbread mix and 3/4 cup water until smooth; set mixture aside.

    Stir together remaining gingerbread mix and brown sugar; cut in 1/4 cup butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in pecans; set aside.

    Combine apple pie filling and remaining 1/4 cup butter in a large saucepan, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes over medium heat or until thoroughly heated.

    Spoon hot apple mixture evenly into a lightly greased 11×7-inch baking dish. Spoon gingerbread mixture evenly over hot apple mixture; sprinkle with pecan mixture.

    Bake at 375° for 30 to 35 minutes or until set. Serve cobbler with vanilla ice cream.

    PS I’ve often substituted the pecans with hazelnuts and walnuts, but I think most any nuts work. I also found slightly toasting the nuts prior to mixing the topping gives the cobbler additional flavor. Also Tree of Life makes a wonderful all natural organic pie filling that’s not uber sweet.



  162. There is nothing wrong with the fact that sometimes Helen posts a conversation starter and before we know it, it takes on an organic life of its own and all sorts of different topics grow out of the original (com)post.

    I have learned alot from the extended threads including knowing when to read and when to scroll. I have also learned that the more a troll gets attention the more likely it is that said troll will keep coming back for more. I know I tend to act like the bossy hall monitor in my reminders about this phenomena, so for those who are sick of my “don’t feed trolls” mantra – scroll away!

    Poolman – I hear you about being embarrassed by Arizona and the complete dickishness of certain (internet ordained) pastors, not to mention the gun crazies with their penile extenders strapped on showing up at the President’s town halls. I mean, WTF? As I recall it wasn’t all that long ago that you could be picking pavement out of your face for wearing a friggin anti-Bush T-shirt, fer deity’s sake.


  163. Don’t listen to her…Tine drinks…This place is better off without James!



  164. I shouldn’t be here. Too many looming deadlines, and the kids are *finally* back in school! Just want to say this, and then I’ll duck back out….

    James, you bug the crap out of me. Your posts here *are* rather wordy and repetitive and self-absorbed. (It’s my job to recognize such problems in writing, so I say that with professional confidence in addition to my own personal opinion.)

    But I don’t think you’re a troll. (Unlike a certain other person whom I refuse to name ever again.) You’re mostly civil. You consistently try to support your claims. You answer questions.

    When I’m annoyed by you, I scroll by your posts. When I’m not, I read them. It’s pretty simple.

    I hope you’ll stay. We need other voices here — even annoying ones.




  166. Pie is the answer to everything in my book!


  167. We just need some new pie recipes. That would make it all better. 🙂


  168. […] and Helen, a pair of delightful seniors who don’t mind saying what they think.  Although this post is a few weeks old, I recommend it to your reading […]


  169. oh we are starting to cannibalize aren’t we? Seems we are a microcosm of the Democratic Party – shooting ourselves in the foot. So much for civil discourse on M&H’s blog.


  170. Sorry to say, I agree with most here. James was too long winded with his comments. So far off topic. This is Margaret and Helen’s Blog. Comments should be about their post. Right??


  171. Good Riddance, James!
    You are nothing but a sorry asshat!

    See him for what he is folks!!!
    I mean it. Really.


  172. Greytdog, I hadn’t read your post before I made my comment a minute ago. Glad to hear it.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery! I love your posts, so I’m enjoying your down time. 🙂


  173. Frankly, Poolman, I hope the Secret Service or CIA or whoever has a close eye on that ‘pastor’. And the IRS for good measure!

    He makes Rev. Wright seem tame.

    How anyone can claim to be a man of God and pray for something like that is shameful.


  174. Matthew (or M&H), could you maybe consider creating a new thread occasionally even if a new blog post isn’t ready? Just do a post that says “open thread” and go from there?

    When there get to be so many comments (1000+ on this one) the page loads pretty slowly.

    Just a suggestion. I’ll keep reading either way. 🙂



  175. James, I second the thought by Anne. People are free to scroll through your posts if they don’t like them. Me, I enjoy hearing from both sides, when the thoughts are rational. I wish we could all just get along, but that’s only in an ideal world, which we don’t live in. Anyway, I hope you might still stop in from time to time. If not, good luck to you in whatever you do.

    Peace to you!


  176. James:

    I just read your last post and really hope you don’t leave. Without different opinions this site would be really boring. I’m trying to learn, here. What can I learn if everyone repeats the same thing?


  177. I have been reading this blog for some time and want to express my appreciation for the insights and thoughtfulness of so many of you bloggers here. The healthcare proposals on the table haven’t been easy to decipher and I’ve learned much here.

    I am hoping to see patient wellness education become more of a priority in whatever plan is finally passed. Teaching folks about diet, juicing, herbs and natural means of detoxing their bodies would greatly lower the need for costly surgeries and expensive drugs which rarely cure the illness and have debilitating side effects.

    There are safe and effective natural remedies to protect ourselves from everything from swine flu, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancers and pretty much any ‘illness’ you can name.

    I think of these natural approaches as “God’s Medicine”. Big Pharma looks to nature to see what’s working and then tries to re-create the chemical structures of these herbs and nutriceuticals to make their “Frankenstien” drugs which are usually expensive and often have side effects that further compromise the patients health.

    I want to work hand in hand with the medical community, teach folks to restore health as much as possible and use the medical interventions of surgery and drugs only when necessary. I’d like to see us return to the days when we grew our food free of chemical carcinogens and ate wisely, not addictively.

    Oh, and I’d like to bring some watermelon, figs and blueberries to the porch.

    Here’s an inexpensive electrolyte rich beverage we can all enjoy and benefit from:

    In a glass combine 1/4th juice of your choice,
    top off with good water and add a couple pinches of good sea salt (must be evaporated sea water not sodium chloride) stir and enjoy at least once per day.

    Hope my post wasn’t too long!



  178. First of all, Donna, I never post as annoymous. I don’t have time to post that often. I read when I can and have found James to be rational, calm and explain his thinking very clearly. He doesn’t alway reach the same conclusion as I do, but he asks questions rather than just making statements that could fit on a bumper sticker. I went back over yesteday’s posts to read them again and make sure I didn’t miss anything. I didn’t. The intollerance I say came from PalinShutUp. Perhaps you thought you were reading her statements?

    James, I think I’ve finally figured it out. When you express a different opinion with something like firmness, you are being “rude”. It’s a whole peer pressure thing. If you don’t repeat the same things everyone else says and agrees with, you’re being intolerant. The problem, you see, is that you’re being honest about your beliefs. You need to stop being truthful and get on the PC train. Join the herd.


  179. Jean

    Since you asked,

    I was not a prisoner of war. I was transferred to a base that was out of control with a high suicide, drug and alcholism rate. We medics and supply personnel lived in an isolated site in six man quansite huts a mile from the main base.

    Some of the airmen ran a protection and prostitution ring, and every one was afraid of them. For me, it was like moving into a western town in an old movie where everyone was cowed by the bad guys and waited for the sherrif to rescue them.

    No one would file a complaint because of fear. They smashed a man’s face with a two by four for example, but he refused to give the officers any information.

    We needed cats to eat the rats. They took one man’s cat, and kittens after they strangled them and hung them on his door way like dirty laundry. They caught our cat and put her in our stove, but she escaped before they could shut the lid. She was partly on fire and ran under the hut. They got shovels, but they couldn’t dig her out. It was relatively penny anne stuff, but I didn’t want to face two years of it.

    One night, they broke in and beat one of my hut mates pretty badly. I had only been there three weeks, but as we cleaned the blood from his nose, I decided to file a complaint. Two others, including the man who was beaten followed suit because I did. I thought they would be arrested and that would be the end of it.

    The squadron promised protection, but they didn’t tell me they wanted to use us as bait. Since the other two were in hiding, I was all of the bait. They wanted the bad guys to do something more violent so they could press heavier charges against them. No one told me we were being watched.

    One of the guys hid out in a barracks under construction and the other moved in with his British girlfriend. I stayed in the quansite hut because I had no place to go.

    You know how people are. After wishing someone would turn the bad guys in, they one by one decided the men weren’t so bad after all. I became a pariah. No one wanted to associate with me off duty for fear they would suffer my fate. One of the men moved out of the quansite hut. Since he had a key, I couldn’t lock the door.

    An office pool was organized as men bet on when and whether we would be killed or merely hospitalilzed. Each day a number appeared on the bulletin board, and each day it was smaller. Our NCOIC yelled and threatened, but he couldn’t learn who was doing it or to make them stop.

    They came for me at night, sometimes ten, sometimes thirty or so. I trained myself to wake up angry to intimidate them. One night, I woke with a knife on my throat, so I got my own knife and kept it hidden. They were trying to intimidate me so I would recant, but I refused.

    One night, they grabbed me while I was asleep and held me down as they took my right arm and slowly twisted it where it wasn’t supposed to go. Then they twisted it the other way, then back. I tried to escape, but they were too strong. It seemed like all night, but it was probably only an hour or so. They damaged the carpules.

    They also took my arms and pulled them over my back toward my head. That wasn’t so bad because I am double jointed and can touch my ears that way. I pretended to be in more pain than I was.

    I told the officers, and said I was afraid they were about to kill me. The officers said they would soon make arrests and not to worry. The men returned with a hammer and smashed my thumb which had been broken a year before. They were creative. I’ll give them that. Instead of one fell swoop, they began with light taps and increased the pounding until my thumb was filled with bone fragments as it still is. My right hand was virtually useless after that, but I am ambidextrous, so I could still work. Six weeks of physical therapy gave me the use of my hand, but when I left the service they listed me as minimally disabled.

    A lot of other stuff was going on at the same time. One NCO snapped on duty, and we had to restrain him until he calmed down. He wanted to kill our CO. Another man took his pistol and said he was going to kill all of the bad guys. We disarmed him and he spent a vacation on the psycho ward for his own good.

    As the appointed time approached, my emotions went numb. I knew I was going to die, and I resolved to take as many as I could first. Each night, I played scenarios in my head, so I would not hesitate. These men were not abstractions. They were people I knew. Yet I resolved to slay them, and the thought gave me pleasure. I planned to kill them with my knife and bare hands instead of a pistol because I thought I would have a better chance of beating the rap if I survived.

    The worst was the man and daughter who burned to death in the wrecked truck. I still “hear” their screams and their begging to be shot. Curiously, their screams reminded me of squealing pigs near the end before they began to gurgle.

    I resolved to live a good life to give theirs meaning, and I have. I never did drugs, smoked, or drank after grad school. My wife and I made a successful business which will take care of us, we have helped people who needed it, and we raised two successful children. Life is good.

    My only addiction is danger. I chase storms and lightning. I have been struck by a feeder charge, and I have looked up into a tornado funnel. I am a volunteer weather observer and storm spotter. Posting here has been more challenging than where most people agree with me.

    I am one of the luckiest men I know. Unlike many soldiers and civilians who have suffered real brutality, my adventures were just bad enough to let me know I was capable of bravery. I can look myself in the mirror and like who I see.

    I post on two different message boards, this one and a conservative one. I am another face in the crowd there. I like it better there. I made friends with liberals, on the Janeane Garafalo board and some of us have personally met. Apparently, they are a different breed than some who post here.

    I came here because I didn’t want to sing to the choir, and I wanted to test my opinions. Its boring when everyone agrees with you. I was ready to leave permanently back in May when my left eye was bothering. Someone asked me not to leave because the forum needed alternative views. This country has divided into ideological camps and has relatively little civil contact with itself. My goal was to bridge the gap and convince people neither side possess all of the truth.

    I don’t want to be the center of attention. I saw it as my duty to post here as much as anything. So break out the party favors. I am leaving for now until the bile subsides.

    I’m not complaining because of name calling. I am calling some out because they are showing themselves to be not the liberals they pretend to be. They are no different from the fanatical conservatives they profess to hate. They are the same animal with a leftist ideology. They are mini- Rush Limbaughs without the skills or talent.
    This a message board, not real life. Names can’t hurt anyone.

    For some reason, I still like Palinshutup, because even on her bad days, she is better than you.

    You, Miss Jean Brodie, are among the worst. You seem so gentile with your honeyed words, “history lessons” and travelogues. Yet you break the law by smuggling olive trees into the country. I noticed early on you waited for someone else to attack me before you piled on. Now, you ask questions, add insults, and tell me you don’t want to read my response. That dear lady, is the mark of a coward. I hope you scroll by. You may not read it, but others will. Your “prime” left you long ago didn’t it?

    I have come to believe that the purpose of your life is only to serve warning to others. You turn my stomach. That goes for you too MLP. You can’t even do your own dirty work. You have to cheer from the side lines.

    Juneau Joe,

    I respect you, and ask you to check the latest edition of Atlantic Magazine. It has an article about health care, insurance and suggestions to fix the system. Maybe you could share what you think. I won’t be here to read it, but others will.


  180. Mid-day and just finished with therapy. OW. When they say feel the burn, they really mean it. I told my PT guy he should work for the CIA. I have to relearn how to flex my knee properly so I have weight evenly distributed on my recovering ligaments and such. . . Next session more flexing more stretching and more feeling that burn. . .which I’m still feeling.

    DeLurker Girl & Poolman, the Secret Service has already interviewed that “pastor” & are monitoring him AND his connections. He’s not even an ordained minister, just some Elmer Gantry who found a way to “justify” his religious and racial hatred and make money. His church even looks like a discount dollar store front. I remain amazed at the ability of these folks to attract “true believers”. . .but I know a couple of such folks, and I have to admit, I do sit there with blood running down my chin from biting my tongue. But for real fun, if you’re so inclined, check out Bob McDonnell’s master thesis – he’s running for governor of VA. oohhh. Here’s the TPM summary and they have a link embedded that takes you to the actual thesis. Very interesting reading. . . .McDonnell’s disavowing the thesis premise now, but from years of editing and proofing theses, I suspect he really hasn’t moved all that far from his premise.
    Let me know what you think. . .


  181. Delurker Girl Δ, that is unbelievable! I am embarrassed to say that came from my state. The ignorance is rampant. I guess we will be keeping an eye on that one. And only 30 members in that congregation. It will be interesting to see if his church grows or shrinks after this. What a loon!


  182. Did you ever hear the one about the preacher who hoped Obama would get brain cancer and die?

    It’s not a joke.


  183. This weblog is being featured on Five Star Friday!


  184. *Pelosi


  185. Good morning Joe, all, thanks for the links. I think they pretty much tell the story.

    The GOP has made a political decision. They have decided that the only way to win in 2010, or 2012 is to oppose Obama at every turn by making as big a stink as possible over EVERYTHING. They will hammer on Socialism, deficit, and tax and spend for the next 4 years.

    One of our biggest mistakes, this time, and always, is we get distracted by these red herrings. America WANTS healthcare for all, there is no doubt about that, we must remain focused.

    Democrats are really good at shooting ourselves in the foot by infighting and compromising. Let us hope we have learned the lessons from the past and we use whatever means necessary and avaliable to us to ram this legislation through. I hope we grow some and do it. Screw bipartisanship… they have already shown they are not coming to the table in good faith… I will be watching for signals in the next couple of days from Reid and Polosi. The word on the street is they are prepared to get er done… Hope my sources are correct.


  186. Billionaires for health care reform or Put more money in my trust fund.


  187. Check out this ad against Grassley in Iowa. It is about time.

    The Republicans want to take away choices to the public and make a bigger pool for insurance companies so they can make bigger profits. How many millions has the insurance company given Grassley? Pay Off? Is saying NO to a public option the best idea for the average taxpayer? I think not.


  188. Health care, the business, explained.

    very interesting


  189. Helen was on T.V.????
    When??? I want to see that!

    Margaret and Helen NEED to be on T.V.!


  190. Way to go, Jean!!!!!


  191. Meet…Erika

    They haven’t officially named her yet…but they should be by tomorrow.



  192. Except these two ladies are real and those to ladies are men. Many of us have seen Helen on TV to know that she is not one of the Tuna characters.

    Also, you can go waaaay back into their posts to see they were around just sharing normal stories before the election came along.


  193. New to this party, but could have sworn I spotted Helen and Margaret during a recent production of “Tuna Does Vegas” in Galveston.


  194. Hi gang and James,

    Enough already. When I came back after being away for a while, I only read a day or two of comments. There were MANY, MANY positive and thoughtful comments as well as Gawd knows PLENTY of the same ole stuff!

    1. I have three questions for you, James. In all your ramblings, whom are you trying to convince? The folks here at M&H’s or yourself.

    2. You have alluded INNUMERABLE times to having been ‘mildly tortured’ but never mentioned having been a prisoner-of-war or for how long. So who ‘mildly tortured’ you and on which side were they? What exactly constitutes ‘mildly tortured’.

    We all have family and friends who were veterans of WWII, the Korean ‘Conflict’, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Iraq War and now the Afghanistan War. Many did not come back at all. Others came back as wounded warriors with serious life-long disabilities. Many, many, many others came back, adjusted to civilian life and have had satisfying, successful lives.

    3. You have described yourself as ‘a kind and cheery man with a sense of humor’. How is it that you have rarely if ever displayed those characteristics of your personality here at M&H’s? You have chastised people for being ‘ignorant’ (isn’t that name calling?), questioned the state of their mental health and any number of insulting insinuations. Yet, you fire back with vehement vitriol whenever you are challenged. If you are going to dish it out, you better be prepared to take it!

    I suspect that if you were to go to even a moderately conservative blog, you would only be another face in the crowd. As such you would not be able to attract the ATTENTION that you crave and get here at M&H.

    May I remind you that we are all GUESTS here on M&H’s porch and share in her tea and pies. I don’t believe you have ever acknowleged that.

    Never mind answering. When I get back, I will only scroll on by your comments as usual anyway. Maybe you are just a lonely old man with nothing better to do than argue, argue, argue and defend your little tiny center of the universe as you have always seen it. By now you should have picked up on the impression you leave that you are very much a minority of one – yourself.

    Aloha! 🙂



  195. A Republican is challenged on his health care facts by people in the audience.

    I have read that not many Republicans are having town meetings – this is probably why.


  196. Dear Helen,
    We miss your blog entries, hope you’re feeling o.k.!

    Take care,
    Clyde and Linda
    Poteet, Texas


  197. interesting little tax article some here may be interested in reading


  198. August 29, 2009
    at 11:46 AM

    “….However, one person has been sadly neglected all of these years–Mary Jo Kopechne…..”

    1:13 PM

    “….Kennedy caused her to die when she might have lived if he had cared more about her life than his own welfare…..”

    1:34 PM

    “….Kennedy and Laura Bush are imperfect humans, and each caused someone to die…..”

    2:15 PM

    “….The sights and sounds of death never leave. They are horrible as are the lives cut short. Maybe it is why remembering Mary Jo is important to me…..”

    11:10 PM

    “….Ted’s causing Mary Jo’s death also made Joseph lose the will to live…..

    None of the mourning Kennedy family will read this so what I wrote won’t hurt them….”

    August 30, 2009
    at 11:37 AM

    “….I brought up Mary Jo Kopechne because much of the press downplayed the horrible way she died…..”

    August 31, 2009
    at 7:44 AM

    “….Our latest Time Magazine is a memorial to Ted Kennedy. Though writers glossed over the effects of Mary’s death….”

    knock knock hello??? Im not disagreeing, I am saying that there is no need to spam the blog over and over with the same thing at least uaw had the sense to make his crude comment and be done with it

    not you, you have to ram it in until someone calls you out on it then you act like the innocent


    we know she died in a tragic accident and Ted was responsible what the hell else you want?

    the man is dead and now its between him and God

    all I asked is that you have a little respect for how some of us feel, that’s all, but you obviously couldn’t give a rat’s ass


  199. Oh boy…Mercury is going square with mars on the 3rd AND we have a full moon in Pisces on Friday to make matters worse! What does that mean you ask??? LOL Welll there is gonna be a whole lot of arguing and twice as many hurt feelings. Maybe we got a jump on the stars?? 😉

    Happy natal return Greytdog… !!!! I bet you have an interesting chart!



  200. It’s like a long trip in the car and we keep asking, “are we there yet?”. Everyone gets kind of snippy when we are so long in between posts.

    This blog definitely leans more left. I consider myself moderate, but lean more left the older I get. It may just be to disassociate myself from the right that seems to have degraded rapidly in the past few years. I have been to right leaning blogs and most are pretty angry and jump on anything that appears left leaning. It is still kind of childish when I see it. Most are saying the same things over and over. Obama lies, he’s the antichrist, he’s a facist, he’s a socialist, he’s a communist with his czars and spending our future away and dismantling our military and taking away our guns and making us less safe and blah, blah, blah. Any opposition and your labeled ignorant and an Obama messiah worshiper. I can make no headway in those forums. It usually isn’t worth trying. It’s like chumming sharks. There are lots of hungry sharks out there looking for anyone that doesn’t ditto up to the bar so they can tear them limb from limb.

    Most of my friends and relatives lean right. I can talk politics with my Mom to some point, then she just locks up and I hit a wall. It is hard to go against the grain. My people have been republican all their lives. As a result I always heard what a bleeding liberal heart Ted Kennedy was and that all he wanted to do was hand out taxpayer money to everyone, making us hardworkin’ ‘mericans pay for the lazy people on food stamps and welfare. That whole rhetoric. And Mary Jo was always brought up. They like beating a dead horse, for sure.

    My Mom sent me Glenn Beck’s book “Common Sense”. I have so little respect for Glenn Beck after the BS I have seen him accomplish over the past year or so. I am not much of a reader, but I guess I should give it a go. It isn’t very long. I just don’t know what she is trying to get me to see. I guess since it is “inspired by Thomas Paine” it may be okay. I would hate to read it and end of feeling I just wasted a chunk of my life that I can’t get back. It is bad enough Mom contributed to Glenn’s income and thinks he is someone worth hearing from.

    Greytdog, that sounds like a wonderful meal, though I know you miss that hospital food. I would think hospitals would serve healthy and appetizing food, to help people get well and improve attitudes. Especially since they know so much about improving people’s health and how much psychology comes into play.

    I can’t remember what a dial up connection is like. That seems like light years ago. I have been spoiled with my cable connection for the past 5 years. I would do fiberoptic if they ever get it to my neighborhood. My brother swears by his FO connection. Me, I got to have several windows open all the time and doing multiple things. Dial up would not work for me.


  201. Happy birthday, Greytdog! The dinner sounds scrumptious . . . you are truly blessed to have such a good friend. I hope you enjoyed the day.


  202. Got here too late for the fun – what a shame! Anyone who missed T.R. Reid on Fresh Air earlier this month missed an excellent discussion on other countries’ health care plans and how they compare to ours. There are other options besides Canada and Britain, you know…

    Rationing already exists here in our health care, by the way – the poor and the people with “pre-existing conditions” get less than do the perfectly healthy and the wealthy. In a society like ours, that’s just not right. Everyone should receive a baseline of care that enables them to be a contributing member of society. That’s all the current administration is trying to do.

    I mean, besides killing all the old people…


  203. Whew! Leave for a day’s work and what do I come back to? People glaring at each other across the porch!
    I agree M&H have a left leaning blog here–but let’s not forget that the leaning is a result of being attached at the base somewhere in the middle.
    Otherwise, how could something lean?

    Do you post on any right leaning blogs? If so, what are you reactions/statements like?


  204. Sandra–you and me both. “I am…filled with certitude.” How special–and this is someone who denies he self-aggrandizes.

    No–he is not rude in response to others. He is flat out inconsiderate with his repetitive, interminable posts. He’s like someone who insists on smoking and believes that people who would prefer not to share in his habit are somehow intolerant.

    As for whether people act this way in real life, I assume there are many who, for example, when faced with a colossal bore at a party might try to change the subject, might suggest that others would enjoy getting a word in edgewise, and finally might say “enough!” People lacking social antennae just do not seem to get when they are running on and on.

    As for Greytdog–that is a lovely sounding dinner and you should enjoy every bite.


  205. Our current health system breaks up families.

    Sad but true! 56% of bankruptcies are caused by medical bills. This is a very sad story.


  206. okay I’m braggin here – my bestest friend in the whole wide world showed up tonight with DINNER!!!! Now you have to understand, my friends are great but only a few can really cook – and cook well. The type of food that says sit down, dig in, laugh, and enjoy!! And oh my. What a wonderful feast she brought – fresh fresh salmon (grilling now) baby yukon potatoes (currently being blanched before roasting), fresh from her garden asparagus (smells like heaven) and a huge beautiful fruit salad with mango, papaya, fresh pineapple. . .oh jeez I’m drooling. And if that wasn’t enough – OMIGOD. She made her very special Dark Fudge Mousse Cake to celebrate my birthday. I am in heaven – I only wish I could share with everyone. . . thank you to my friend Devon for this wonderful feast!! I wish I could post a picture cuz the table looks so yummy! Okay – y’all gotta go eat!!!


  207. Blah, blah, blah…..

    From now on, I promise to scroll everytime I see the name James. Really. I mean it.


  208. Thank you who defended me.


    I know this is a left wing blog. What does that have to do with anything? You liberals are supposed to be tolerant of other views, but over the years I have noticed a tendency to shift from “I am right and you are wrong” to “I am right, and you are evil”.

    It is true of conservatives and especially liberals. I asked a woman I met on the Kathy Griffin message board when we posted there to try this site. She is more liberal than I and yet, she lasted a day and told me you all were bigots.

    Some of you are so sensitive you can’t stand a negative word about Ted Kennedy or other sacred cows. With the slightest hint of negativity your sensitive skin sends you into vapors. This latest feud started because I thought much of the press gave Mary Jo a raw deal, and I supported my opinion.

    Lori is wrong. I didn’t get my information from Rush etc. I probably listen to his show less often then many here do. I have never seen Sean’s show, and I have never checked his or Rush’s websites. I do follow Drudge, and the talk show hosts probably do too. I think for myself. If they said the same things I wrote, we were reading the same material.

    I also read Time, Atlantic, and US News among others. Because Time’s conclusions about Kennedy dovetailed with mine means we decided independently of each other. I suspect Lori feeds at the party trough. She often repeats party talking points.

    Do you think Kennedy would have been such a successful legislator with your attitude? He made common cause with powerful people of all political stripes as Anne mentioned, and knew how to negotiate. Mitt Romney and George W. Bush are two examples. Some conservatives were his friends.

    Yes, I am rude after you are rude to me. Yes, I can be combative on screen or to your face. I am assertive and filled with certitude. So are some of you. If you are courteous to me, I am courteous to you. Its a simple rule some of you should have learned in kindergarten.

    I am a fast typist and try to respond to everyone. I explained why our slow connection makes it hard to make multiple posts, so I put them all together. I applogize for that. I don’t have the time to wait so long.

    Some of you are fine examples we should all emulate. I hesitate to name them for fear you will launch an attack. Since she just brought it up, Greytdog is one.( I forgot to mention worms and compost.)

    She is one several I have a lot of respect for. She would love to bash my head, and sometimes her views make my skin crawl, but we agree to disagree most of the time.

    As for a small number of you, do you actually act this way in real life, or do you become braver than you are when you face a computer screen?
    You give liberals a bad name, and you certainly dishonor Ted Kennedy’s legacy.

    I try to read everything. I am a speed reader. As for the rest, of you, scroll baby scroll.


  209. Anonymous: any chance of something approaching originality? Yesterday it was more of the same. Your tune has worn pretty thin.


  210. Whirled, thanks but I know (& peeked in on) about the right wing blogs. And I have to deal with white-ringers in my day to day life. But please tell me the specific post when Margaret & Helen, despite Helen’s progressive political editorials, became the place for left-wing Taliban and group-think? I don’t see James as a right-wing nut – but then again, I don’t see you or most anyone on here as a wingnut. This is one of the few blogs where a person can go, read, comment, and not be required to be a sheep. or at least it was.


  211. Whirled and Donna always say it so much better than me

    the elite M&H I will never be, Im usually on the fringes, that’s me, I think for myself

    anyway, Im off to the garden and probably wont be back till M&H post again, Im sure to james’s relief LOL!

    I chatted with him much earlier on and did respect many of his views, obviously some of you weren’t reading

    so take care and see you later


  212. A little Monday afternoon Whirled Hate.


  213. Quoting Greytdog @1:25p

    “i disagree. This is not a left wing blog nor a right wing blog.

    Oh GD,

    You need to get out (on the web) more. If you cannot clearly see that M&H is a left- leaning liberal blog, then you haven’t seen the other side. I’m sorry I won’t link to any, but you can find them easy enough.

    Put your cyber-nose to the wind and sniff out the smell of a burning cross and gunpowder. Head that way until you run into a stack of bibles and/or everything is carpeted floor to ceiling to bloody flags.

    I’d stop there if I were you. You’ll find enough putrid bile covering the floor to make you pray that it’s just a joke. But it isn’t. It is what remains of the on-line Republican party in this country.

    The sleaziest bunch of jingoistic, xenophobic, delusional, anti-evolution, close-minded, paranoid, homophobic, anti-choice, dare I say racist?, authoritarian followers that ever called themselves a political party.

    Obviously Greytdog, they’re all not that bad but it really depends how deep into the ‘Abyss of the Right’ you wanna go.

    I do warn you; too far and you get into blogs that are, right now, discussing how praying for Obama to die is a good Xtian thing to do, the best way to torture (blow torches, bolt cutters, etc.) and how to make Sarah Palin president; all on the same thread. 😉

    Get well soon GD.


    Quoting MLP at 9:48a

    “Compost? Boy, are YOU asking the right person!”

    Go right to the source…good one.

    PSU, Donna, lori,
    Call ’em the way ya sees ’em. 8)
    ‘Anonymous’ is just James 2 / too?

    Honolulu Sally,
    Glad you like my links. I try to keep it lively.

    Dreck and Palin

    PEACE ~ Δ


  214. I’m sorry–you apparently aren’t reading the posts that you are criticizing. (and, to the extent your avatar looks surprisingly like one of a few minutes ago, you are the “anonymous” who engaged in exactly the insults to which you supposedly take offense.)

    Let me try it again, although it’s certainly been made clear. I don’t believe anyone is “bashing” James for his viewpoints. However, I do believe that a number of people–myself included–belive he is discourteous in the manner in which he expresses those viewpoints.

    As for your intimation that you might “stop visiting,” if you are, in fact, the troll who was insulting PalinSutUp earlier today, that would be an excellent idea. If you are not that person, perhaps you might wish to actually read posts before opining on them.


  215. Oh, we’re back on the James-bashing bandwagon, are we? The “Oh, he doesn’t think the way we do, let’s insult him” bandwagon. Let’s continue on our way to Bill Bishop’s Big Sort. Let’s move beyond Ted Kennedy’s death by forgetting about the fact that he could talk to and compromise with the most conservative of conservative republicans to pass legislation in the Senate. We need to perpetuate a country where we choose sides from which to sling verbal insults at each other.

    God, how boring this blog would be without people who didn’t once in awhile express a different opinion backed up by some evidence. I would simply have to stop visiting. The intolerance is beginning to get boring….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


  216. Greytdog,

    Compost pile! You just happened to hit on my newest favorite project.

    Worms!! Red worms that look like earthworms, but you don’t put them in the ground. Since you live in Florida (same temps as Hawaii), you can keep them outside. If you lived in a more severe climate, they have worm apartment houses (no joke).

    I love my worms, I feed them my old veggies that I forgot to eat, bread, coffee grinds, papaya peelings, etc.

    Then, within a few weeks, they eat it up and leave a very rich dark brown vermicast that can be used to mix in with soil, and also give off “worm tea” that can be mixed with water and sprayed on or watered on plants.

    My plants are happy, my worms keep growing and multiplying, and I am a happy worm mommy.

    Don’t want to take up too much space here, but I get a lot of my info from a store in town, Waikiki Worm Company. They have a website:

    Whirled, I have to tell you, that link to Glenn Beck was hilarious. Then, I checked out Glenn Beck with Sarah Palin and their “discussion” about their concern about Obama’s secret army and how they have to form their own army. ROTFLMAO!

    Jon Stewart makes us laugh on purpose. Glenn Beck makes us laugh unintentionally.

    Maybe that is what separates us M&H people with non M&H people. A sense of humor. Even UAW – you have a rough facade with a chuckle under it all the time.


  217. newsflash, most of the people who follow this blog, agree with M&H…are left leaning, dems…

    as posted before and some seem to ignore, it isn’t the dissenting or disagreeing

    it is the parroting of what rush and his ilk are regurgitating from their sewers, not once, not twice…I dont know, I lost freaking count of how many times james beat the Mary Jo horse

    I do not place Ted on any pedestal, dont insert words or thoughts in my head, I know he wasn’t perfect, I agreed with a lot that he did and as with Obama disagreed with some things too

    I have friends from all political affiliations and they will be the first to tell you that I call em as I see em, I dont care what side of the fence you pitch from

    AGAIN, it is not that james disagrees, I even thought, ‘how touching’ the first time he mentioned MJ but when he continued bringing it up and then it turned into ‘letme insert the tragedy whenever I post about anything remotely having to do with Ted Kennedy’….

    well, sorry if Im not as perfect and patient and forgiving as some of you

    james is posting in a LEFT LEANING BLOG, what in freaking hell does he expect?

    maybe what ever is going on in your life at this time is short changing your patience, feel free to scroll when you see me

    I wont take it personally

    I mean it, really!


  218. lori, you were post 1,000 🙂


  219. I call em as I see em and anyone is welcome to scroll past my posts as well


  220. YouHOOOOOOOOOOOOO Helen & Margaret 🙂

    Time for a new post, I hope. My scrolling finger is getting very seriously cramped.

    We miss you and enough of James already! OY!


  221. Palinshutup, A couple of months back I noticed the connection between what Rushbo, Sean, Drudge (all the other whackos) had on their website (or “show”) and James daily deposit on this blog. In many cases it is word for word..I called him out and low and behold I had a few Anonymous jibes too … What a cowinky LOL!!!

    Hang in there girl!


  222. Donna, thanks for the wishes! Comfort of 4-leggeds? oy! as the sayin’ goes with friends like these. . .but I love ’em.

    Sorry about the avatar but I’ve got a couple of projects in the works and needed a commonality avatar.

    As for the courtesies of posting online, I don’t know. I think it really depends on the blog-owner. Margaret & Helen have some ground rules regarding language. And james has explained that he’s on dialup rather than broadband. . .and sometimes James writes stuff that makes me uncomfortable because it’s stuff that you don’t normally discuss. And personally, if it helps James, then so be it. I’m sure there are folks who see my name and cringe as they scroll by. C’est la vie.

    But as far as common courtesy goes, yeah I think we could all use a good dose of it. And not just on the blog.

    I have five more PT sessions – then they’ll re-evaluate to ascertain if I need more. And next week, Willie the Newfie comes for three night and four days to prepare for his State Water Trials. . .


  223. Greytdog: I always enjoy your posts (even though I mourn the change of your avatar). So here is my topic–what is courteous when posting? In my view, courtesy involves:

    1. Putting a reasonable limit on the length of one’s posts.

    2. Not saying the same thing multiple times.

    3. Not telling people what they “think” or “know.”

    4. Not engaging in preening, self-satisfaction.

    IMO, James regularly violates these very basic courtesies. Because of that, I (and it appears some others) are frustrated with him and believe he is imposing on those of us who really enjoy this blog and the vast majority of those who post on it. Sometimes, we have expressed that frustration–certainly, I have.

    Courtesy is a two-way street and I have found James to be sorely lacking in it. And, again, it is not remotely tied to what his views are–it’s the way he insists on subjecting others to them.

    So, I do scroll past James—for the most part. But, when I am scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling because he has typed an interminable missive, then I get a wee bit annoyed and wish he’d exercise something approaching self-editing.

    And so, with those words, I wish you a continued recovery and the comfort of the 4-legged ones.


  224. PalinShutUp – i disagree. This is not a left wing blog nor a right wing blog. It’s Margaret & Helen’s blog. There are times when James pisses me off, there are times when I just want to find UAW and kick him in the shins, and yes, I’m sure it’s quite mutual. Did I like what James said about Kennedy? No. Did I snark back? Probably, altho I think I was being polite. There are days when I have reached the end of the rope and would love to take some one down with me. . .Ted Kennedy was my hero. But he was also human. There were times during his career when I wanted to kick him in the shins and ask WTF???? Kennedy no more wanted to be on a pedestal than he wanted to be President. My dad was a die-hard Kennedy Democratic Party loyalist – and Ted broke his heart with Chappaquiddick. It took him a long time to forgive Ted. . .until they had a chance to talk face to face several years later. IMO if you truly believe in what Ted Kennedy stood for – and not just his policy stances – but in him as a person, then you know that James would be the first person that Ted would sit with and talk with and listen to – for a long time. That is Ted’s legacy – the understanding that unless we listen to and talk with each other and give the same measure of respect to those with whom we disagree as to those with whom we agree, then we as a nation are doomed to an endless cycle of recrimination and blame and all will be for naught.

    And frankly, IMO, if you don’t like what James is saying, then effin’ don’t respond. Scroll on by. Bring in another topic while we wait for Margaret & Helen to post.


  225. Donna, most of what his rushness vomited is about Mary Jo Kopechne and how ‘the media coverage of Ted Kennedy’s death is sick.’

    sound familiar?

    I tell you, james is good


  226. PalinShutUp:

    I agree with you! Kennedy was a man of greatness with weaknesses for all the world to see. He did not try to hide them. He worked harder for the good of all to make up for his many failings.

    Kennedy got Title 9, Medicare, Special Education legislation IDEA – can all be attributed to Edward Kennedy.

    Kennedy also went to all the funerals and memorials for the soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan – that says a lot.

    James: You are beating a dead horse.


  227. James, oh how I wish that rich flood plain soil of yours would open and swallow you up.
    Really. I mean it.


  228. PalinShutUp–I don’t have the stomach. What’s it say?


  229. wow james, your minions are fast

    ‘By: Anonymous on August 31, 2009
    at 12:41 PM


    This ain’t your porch biyotch.


    never saw a troll come out of the woodwork so fast before


  230. ps for those who doubt what james is doing, hold your nose, take a quick glance at what rush has on the upper left corner of his website


  231. PalinShutUp,

    This ain’t your porch biyotch.



  232. anyway, before I got distracted – which is most probably his intent anyway, I came to post this

    if you’ve got a video camera and if you gotta story – here’s
    your chance

    A Reality Check from the Vice President


  233. james, sweetheart, this is a left wing blog

    did you lose your way?

    here, let me help you

    go in peace

    take care…..


  234. lord have mercy


  235. Palinshutup

    There you go again with the insults and name calling. What about the awful things some people have posted about Republicans, conservative Democrats, Tea Party protesters and others who believe differently than most people who post here? That’s all right isn’t it?

    Thanks for supporting my point. You are certainly a TRUE BELIEVER aren’t you.? Hit a nerve didn’t I? Or is it your anger problem?

    This one’s for you.

    “I don’t know if I can yell any louder.
    How many times have I kicked you around here?
    Or said something insulting?
    I can be so mean when I want to be
    I am capable of really anything
    I can cut you into pieces.
    When my heart is broken.

    How did I become so obnoxious?
    What is it about you that makes me act like this?
    I’ve rarely been this nasty.
    Can’t you tell this is all just a contest?
    The one that wins will be the one who hits the hardest.
    But baby, I don’t mean it.
    I mean it I promise.



  236. very interesting the touch of ‘niceness’ towards some of the more frequent posters here and the comments about his past service which should make anything he posts alright because he may be suffering from some sort of post traumatic syndrome….


  237. what Donna wrote


  238. Palinshutup–it’s hopeless. James is clueless. Having been on (and enjoyed this blog) since it’s beginning, I have never seen anyone who so blithely subjects others on a regular basis to excruciatingly long posts. And now he rationalizes it out of his personal convenience, based on his slow dial up service.

    Yes, there are many posters with whom one can disagree–and it’s easy to scroll past them. But James’ insistence on turning his every thought into an operatic saga makes even that difficult.

    Again, it’s not a question of disagreeing with his differing viewpoints. It’s that he’s so bloody inconsiderate in expressing them. (and expressing them, and expressing them, and expressing them….)


  239. Thank you OceanGypsy. I have never heard of The Power of Now. I will certainly look for it.

    Greytdog, I would buy any book you wrote. Maybe someday you can get it done.

    I’m glad the first physical therapy session went well. How many will you need?

    I don’t know much about composting because our flood plain soil is already pretty rich. We tried one this year to partly fill a plastic swimming pool for an extra small garden.

    A compost pile needs green garden debris as you know, and brown debris like dry leaves. The ratio needs to be about one part green and two parts brown. Otherwise, too much green can make the pile smell bad. I think you can use paper products too if they are in the right proportion.

    Mix the two and make the pile at least 3 feet by three feet by three feet. Compost needs the right moisture level to break down. That may be your problem. The compost should feel like a damp wrong-out sponge. Too much moisture can make temperatures fall . Too little moisture slows the decomposition rate and keeps the pile from heating up. If you have a rainy spell which would change the moisture balance, it you could cover the heap during storms to prevent its from getting too wet. Otherwise when it is too dry, you can add a little water.

    You should turn the compost pile once a week.

    If you have the time and don’t want the hassle, pile grass clippings, etc in a corner of your yard and wait about a year.

    If you liked, I could call our extension agent and ask about your temperature problem.

    I make long posts because our slow dial up service takes ten or fifteen minutes to let this site reload, and I don’t want to waste the time waiting.


  240. james, just because you make your ‘disclaimer’ before you start on your daily bashing routine of hammering the same point over and over while pissing here [as some turn their heads and call it something else] doesnt make it OK

    you have the nerve to tell Lori the reason you keep hammering your point is because we wont drop discussing Kennedy? you are one crafty troll james, I do have to hand it to you

    you succeeded in pulling the wool over some eyes, had me fooled for a while I will admit

    as long as you continue pissing on this porch some of us will continue telling you to close your fly


  241. How to make compost…

    …out of your brain.

    Watch Glenn Beck!



  242. TapDuncan, thank you. I vote about half Democratic for the same reasons. Have you ever been in the Nebraska Sandhills? It has some of the best grass in the country.

    Unlike other places, we have had so much rain the center pivots have set idle all since late May. Crops look good, but our cool summer has slowed development. We’ll be fine if an early frost stays away. I hope things are well with you.


    Thank you. I like to explore ideas and test them. If they survive attacks from a den of ideological enemies, they are probably right. I have learned some things here and changed some of my opinions.

    Thanks to my earlier life, I don’t feel emotions the way most people do.


    I am not practicing self aggrandizement. I am aggrandizing ideas which I believe to be true. Since I don’t usually argue unless something is based in fact, I am usually at least partly right. I pound it into the ground when someone keeps arguing or resorts to name calling or insults.

    My history, most of which you don’t know, gives me good reason to be self confident.

    I will provide a detailed list of my shortcomings if you want.


    If you argue like a moron, you deserve to be treated like one or maybe a small child.


    Do you enjoy the sizzling sound of a steak on the grill or frying pan? A famous line from Solent Green is “ITS PEOPLE! ITS PEOPLE!” Do I have to spell it out for you? “Circus freak eh?” Better to be a circus freak than someone like you.

    You remove all doubt when you open your mouth don’t you?


  243. Compost? Boy, are YOU asking the right person!


  244. Good morning, all!!

    Greytdog, you so made me chuckle. Are you familiar with the “Animal Conspiracy”? I included the link. I think it is hilarious.

    Honolulu Sally, I could not agree with you more on Hawai’i being a great place to raise a child. Because if its cultural diversity, that is precisely why I moved my Happa daughter there. But, life happens. We will make it back one day.

    James, I know that you and all Viet Nam vets were treated horribly upon your return. Sorry will never be enough. Have you ever read the book, “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle? My friend recommended it to me. He got a lot more out of it than I did. But, it did have some very profound and helpful information.

    Everyone else, Happy Monday!!!!!


  245. Had my first PT session. The therapist is a nice kid. . . & we spent a lot of time trading tips and techniques & discussing health care of course. . . he doesn’t think I should start dancing yet. . . no more ballet moves for awhile. Gee, I’m so disappointed. I had visions of reenacting Billy Elliott.

    James, that was a nice compliment. I’m flattered. really. I’ve tried writing things before but my brain wanders away and then eventually the fingers follow. . .

    james since you’re a farmer I’m gonna pick your brains. When I was growing up we always had a compost pile. . .a real necessity in order to have good soil for growing. So. I want a compost pile. I’ve a compost bin, but I can’t get the internal temp high enough someday or it gets rip roaring too high. What am I doing wrong? And can I include shredded paper & the cats discarded cardboard scratching pads? It’s biodegradable. . .right?


  246. This morning’s low temperature was forty degrees with ground fog–unusual for August.


  247. I am not beating the same dead horse. I am making a different point.


    was a stoic philosopher who worked for Nero at times. Thus, he lived with anger on a daily basis. He believed anger came from disappointment and failed expectations. It was a reaction to a threat. One of his solutions was to lower expectations. Assume events or people will treat us harshly or deliver unpleasant truth or views. Then we will not feel threatened by what we expect.

    Eric Hoffer,

    who called himself a longshoreman studied mass movements and their roots. Through his book THE TRUE BELIEVER, he discussed religious, political, and other movements, and realized they were interchangeable. He noted fanatical Nazis who became fanatical communists and later fanatical anti-communists.


    , the substance of the mass movement is less important than his/her’s being a part of a movement. Mass movements in Hoffer’s opinion are a function of self esteem. People who are down trodden or feel they are become devoted followers of Ronald Reagan, Pat Robertson, Barack Obama, or Hannah Montana.

    Our latest Time Magazine is a memorial to Ted Kennedy. Though writers glossed over the effects of Mary’s death on her they did portray it as one of the most important times in Kennedy’s life almost exactly as I did. Joe Klein, no conservative wrote “…after he had somehow allowed a young woman to die, they still wanted him to run for president. There was no way to convince them that he was a hollow shell of the dream.” True believers wanted a standard bearer who would become his martyred brothers.

    Lori, gave her definition of conservatives and progressives, and one of the Time writers wrote something I had been thinking. Ted Kennedy was a conservative with a liberal ideology. He was locked in the New Deal, and even when proven wrong he could not easily change. For example, Kennedy believed Clinton had gone too far when he drifted toward the middle, even when his policies worked and lowered deficits. That is the mark of a conservative, and it applies to some people who post here.

    However, Kennedy was one of the twentieth century’s most effective legislators with over 130 laws to his credit. He knew how to find common ground, to compromise, and was a like able man. As Rush was born for talk radio, Ted Kennedy was born to legislate. Time and his special talent let him influence the world far more than his supposedly superior brothers.

    These thoughts apply to this forum. When someone gives opinions outside the accepted orthodoxy, a few people indulge in personal attacks and name calling instead of disproving the ideas without anger. Its as if something new is a threat, especially if it happens to be true. Such people behave here like conservative true believers with the anger Seneca described.

    once wrote my arguing was like a dog with a bone. She was right. I keep harping on the same thing because others don’t drop the subject. When they do I do.

    Someone wrote I was indulging in self pity, when I hinted about the bad times. In my clumsy way, I was giving you a warning. People of my generation created me. They sent me into danger . When I came home, they betrayed me with tomatoes and harsh words. I was broken, but I rebuilt myself into something better. Millions of us did the same.

    Aurthur Koestler wrote “One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth or else shut up.” That thought served me well in graduate school and later. I am a pain, and it is hard to shut me up. Obviously, I am not in the same league as Ted Kennedy, but in my way, I am as relentless as he was.


    I remember wading through a manure pit with five buckle overshoes, but I never lost a shoe as you did. Yuck!

    My wife who was born in Cherokee County and grew up on a farm with lighter soil. She had never seen the black “gumbo” clay we have on our farm in the Missouri River valley. The first time I showed her around in early spring, I told her to be careful around our lake shore. She thought I was silly until she lost her shoe as you did and her feet got so stuck I had to pull her back onto dry land.

    Our daughter told us she decided to become “town folk” after we cleaned out a bin of soybeans damaged by a flood. There is nothing like the stench of rotted soybeans or a manure pit to send you to town.

    Greytdog should write a book about her animals. She has a way with words.


  248. Poolman that’s exactly what S.O. said when I had to explain the disarray in the office area. . . sigh. I’ve tried really hard to turn the backyard into a safe habitat for the local wildlife. . .and my pups. Of course the dogs think I’m just bringing so many new “toys” to play with . . . maybe I need to start thinking about turning the yard into a safe habitat for ME. . .
    I’ve had squirrel once – eons ago when I was working in Eastern Kentucky, Cumberland Gap area. I may have to remind our local squirrels that it is hurricane season . . .and they can easily be grilled. . .


  249. They say animals help add years to our lives, but in Greytdog’s case, they may have to make an exception. Wasn’t it the dog-squirrel thingy that made it so you needed the knee surgery in the first place?


  250. Lesson learned, Greytdog?


  251. Hi gang and Greytdog,

    Atta girl, Greytdog!!!!!

    Before I disappear again for a while, I want to share something with you. It is from a delightful little book by Dan Greenburg and Marcia Jacobs. It’s an old book that breaks me up. It’s entitled “How to Make Yourself Miserable.” (A vital training manual.)

    “Aid to Evaluating Your Accomplishments.

    Compare yourself with these four ordinary people who were chosen at random.

    1. Twenty-six-year-old patent office clerk, A. Einstein, formulated theory of relativity.

    2. Swedish singer, Jenny Lind, was so popular that men paid $658.00 per seat to hear her.

    3. Youthful piano player, W.A. Mozart, had already composed his first symphony and three sets of sonatas by the age of eight.

    4. Civil servant, Abdullah al-Salim of Kuwait, received a salary of $7,280,000 per week. Every two hours and forty minutes he earned the equivalent of the average American’s lifetime income.”

    Are you miserable yet?

    Aloha! 🙂

    Auntie Jean


  252. Today was an almost picture perfect day in FL. . . blue skies, soft breeze, sun scorching the sandy soil. . . but I decided I’d had enough. Had to get OUTSIDE. So. . .I thought, why not start my own PT program now? I hobbled ever so carefully towards the backdoor leading to the patio. . . being careful to not put hardly any weight on my leg. . .just enough to keep from teetering over. . . I opened the door – and three furry bodies flew past me, leaving me to pirouette with a distinct lack of aplomb and a severe sense of “oh shit”. I managed to latch onto the bookcase, not realizing that cat was nestled on top of the books and grabbed a furry tail! The cat reacted with amazing agility, bouncing off my head onto my back and across the desk. . . .while I had visions of the whole bookcase crashing down on me. . . the dogs heard the noise (I do believe I might have cussed quite loudly) because they came flying back into the house to roundly chastise the cats. . . my big red retriever saw me wobbling and hissing and thought Oh look! Mom’s dancing! So he immediately joined in and bodyslammed me into the bookcase. At that point, I just slid down to floor, looked out the open door to the green yard. . . in time to see a squirrel swinging madly on the bird feeder until the feeder flew free of its hook & fly across the yard, scattering blessings on the rest of the squirrels. I closed the door and crawled back to the couch. I’ll try again tomorrow.


  253. I have a witness. Her name is Nicole. Last night at a BBQ. I said, “Does this smell like suntan lotion to you?” She said “Yes.” Pushed it to the back of the plate. I’ll admit it was Safeway inspired–not homemade–whereas the pecan was.

    Thanks for the interesting links. Way, way back you had some links on the Federal Reserve, etc.
    Saw some signs today at the townhall that said do away with it, etc.
    The Lennie story was powerful in many ways. But most of all in the goodhearted way. She is a beacon of hope to all who experience such tragedy.

    Haven’t responded to your comment of stinky feedlots, but do have a memory to share.
    I lost my shoe in hogyard, deep in a manure filled wallowing pit when I was but a toddler. I like to think it was the reason we became “town folk” soon after.

    Good luck with your PT. Your actions and reports from the front lines of health care had me in stitches.


  254. are you speaking metaphorically?


  255. I had the most awful piece of coconut cream pie last night. It smelled like suntan lotion. Thank goodness it was right next to a terrific piece of pecan pie.


  256. Might I be so bold and ask Matthew the moderator to please inform us as to the where abouts of our esteemed hosts?

    Maybe Helen is truly teaching us patience in her own unique way.

    “Ummm…..what’s for dinner” my stomach is saying.


  257. Poolman, thanks for sharing ShannynMoore’s page. Gives me chills to read it, but makes the point in a powerful way.


  258. It’s not that he has a different perspective–believe me. But I do object to the constant, grinding repetition and the needlessly (in my opinion) Wagner-ian posts and to the attitude of “I know so much more than you do.”


  259. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…..

    1/3 the way left to 3 million hits!

    Let us hear a word of wisdom, Lady Helen Please.


  260. sort of reminds me of a pit bull with his jaws locked on something


  261. james already admitted a while back he is into pain lol!

    and yes, he tells a story many times, as if some of us are morons, just to highlight the negatives many times over

    wanna take the time to count how many times he posted about Mary Jo?


  262. Or mother…..whichever way you look at supreme beings.
    One thing I do know, the matters of life and death in the short span of time we live on this planet are made a lot easier when relations between all humans result from a good heart rather than a mean spirit.
    So a tax on the 1.2 % of wealthiest Americans will take a little bit of their “corner of the sky”–isn’t it worth it to live on a planet where there are more good hearts than mean spirits?
    I’m tired of seeing too many of us living in the shade and not even seeing a corner of the sky.

    Went to a town hall meeting today hosted by Rep. Jay Inslee, Dem, 1st Cong. District, WA state.
    For the most part, very civil. A few boisterous voices. Many of the same questions, issues, concerns, etc. we’ve been seeing for weeks.

    I, too, appreciate the viewpoints of James and others.

    I could a use a pool today. Wish I could snap my fingers and make one appear.
    And I’d share it with everybody!


  263. I don’t have a problem with James’ posts. I like a different perspective to liven up the discussion. I think it is quite amazing he still comes here after experiencing much verbal abuse, but hey, maybe he is looking for some abuse. Whatever therapy we can offer each other is good. None of us is perfect, except, as James pointed out “Jesus was a perfect human.” But then, He has an amazing father.


  264. Shannyn Moore had a good post regarding Lennie, a gal that was hacked up by a machete almost 2 years ago in Alaska. Some might remember the gruesome story. It is worth the read and gives one perspective how some would benefit from true healthcare reform passing in this country.

    It is good to hear from all sides on this issue. I have been very fortunate to be healthy for my life. The longest I have spent in any hospital was when I was 14 and dislocated my elbow during a game of keep away/basketball. Then it was for only 3 days, and only because I had a weak pulse in that arm and they were monitoring me. But all I remember about that time was flirting with the nurses and getting to cruse the halls in a wheelchair racing with some of the other kids that were in the same ward as I. Other than that, the most time I have spent with any doctor was during the discussion of his or her swimming pool that I was going to build for them.


  265. James, I’ve enjoyed reading your insights. I’m a horse farmer, hay farmer, and rancher. I still vote D because they were the ones who saved our asses.
    Either way, I hope good weather is coming yer way.


  266. I’m with Donna.

    I also think it is time for another Margaret and Helen post.
    Could they be on vacation?


  267. Rita, maybe some people believe that Obama is “only” black. I think most of us know that he is mixed.

    In Hawaii, he is “hapa” (half/half or mixed). He lived most of his childhood years here. Those are important formative years. Hawaii isn’t perfect, but it is a wonderful place to be raised. There is discrimination here, but it is polite discrimination (unless you act like an arsehole).

    Michelle Obama was quoted – and in all places I saw the quote on an ebay sale for an Obama dashboard nodder – “To understand Barack, you need to understand Hawaii”.

    Here, we would probably think he was black, and upon finding out his mother was white, we would say, “Oh! You’re hapa!”


  268. not hate at all. Not in the least and that’s a pretty silly thing to say. I’m simply pointing out that, in my experience, James (a) always has to be right; and (b) always uses an exchange to point out what he apparently considers to be his superior insight.

    And, Anonymous, I hardly appear to be the only person who is taking exception to James.


  269. OH. James killed someone. NOW I understand why he is nothing but a circus freak now. It ALL makes since.
    Okay…rant away. I get it now.


  270. Sunday afternoon Donna hate.


  271. James–you truly don’t miss an opportunity for self-aggrandizement, do you?


  272. On the “bi-racial” p.o.v. I am bi-racial – although I don’t think of myself that way. I’m just me – bitchy, snarky, lovin’ my animals & family, and so on. Now according the EEOC officer at UF when I worked there I was considered a “double with “oomph” – a minority minority female. That is, I’m a member of a small ethnic minority within a larger ethnic minority group. . .very annoying because I’ve never considered myself a member of either of the groups. Whenever I fill out forms asking about this, I usually write in, as I’ve said before, 5K/10K for race, or some snark about walking rather than racing. . . I had to fill out one of those forms when I was in hospital – wrote “Race Cars Not Dogs” & under religion I chose to write “narcissism”. They were not amused.
    But, anytime I hear someone complain that Barack Obama is biracial and therefore half white I do wonder what’s so frightening about his other half that they get so upset? No one complained about W ignoring his English side or his whatever side. . . for those of us who are mutts, we define ourselves by culture and heritage, not by race. For those who insist we define who we are by race, STFU.


  273. Yes, Susan in CT,

    that is exactly what I was trying to do. Thank you.


    Yes, I am happy now. Supremely happy.


    Sorry you missed my point.

    We told stories good and bad at my cousin’s recent memorial service. She wanted it that way. She was an inspiring woman, but she didn’t want us to remember her without her faults.

    I brought up Mary Jo Kopechne because much of the press downplayed the horrible way she died. Ted Kennedy redeemed himself, but Mary is still dead. It would make a good sermon to illustrate personal redemption . Resenting your slur is hardly worth the energy today


    That is one of the best questions in a long time.

    I agree making war too costly to fight is the only way to stop it. I don’t know how we can squelch the profit on a world scale.

    Maybe a world government with checks and balances to solve disputes as in the United States and other democratic republic would work. Or as some Indian tribes did–settle disputes with athletic games.

    Nuclear weapons were useful to keep the West and Soviet Union from directly attacking each other, because each side didn’t want to risk blowing the world to smithereens. Obviously that is not a long term solution against a nihilstic opponent.


    why don’t you move out of the peanut gallery and actually think . Answer Judith’s question.


    “live by by believing and not by seeing…” I like that.


  274. People of mixed race, like Obama, have had to put up with prejudice from both whites and blacks. Blacks will reject him as being part white, and whites would reject him for being black. His dark complexion would have kept him with the blacks in a segregated society.

    Obama identifies himself as a black man, and that is how the world sees him, so yes, we have a black president. More importantly, we have a moral and intelligent president that happens to be biracial.

    In a way, blind people are blessed in that they can’t judge people on looks. We, as seeing folk, haven’t achieved that ability. Many times our understanding and growth is hindered due to making visual judgments that impede our ability to “see” past the physical to the essence. It can and will continue to be a trapping for us.

    That is why we live by believing and not by seeing. 2 Corinthians 5:7


  275. “It seems to me that this war mindset was and is pretty ridiculous. So why is it still going on? The technology of war has become untenable in terms of expense as well as far too deadly to be considered.”

    It’s still going on because it’s ridiculously profitable for certain people and they pass on just enough of that profit to the decision-makers.

    None of them (either group) or their families are ever exposed to the true cost or to the death. It’s all profit, with zero risk for them. And, like water, money will always find a way.

    So, the only way I can think of to stop this is to somehow stop the profit. Without that, they have no reason to continue and will look to find their money elsewhere. It would likely be just as ridiculous, but maybe a bit less damaging.

    Ideas, anyone?


  276. Margaret and Helen are Fantastic!!! James…not so much.


  277. Rita, I can not speak for M&H but I will venture to guess they haven’t forgotten the president’s mother was white and his father was black. I dunno that is just a feeling I have!

    If I remember correctly,Obama in one of his speeches, said something to the effect that he had a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas and have many relatives of every color in the rainbow (paraphrasing). So he has certainly acknowledged both of his parents races.

    I think the explanation to your question has as many answers as there are neighborhoods in this country. It has been MY personal experience that people who have parents from two races refer to themselves as either “mixed” or the race that is the minority. (i.e Anglo/Mexican they refer to themselves as Mexican) OR more often than not just refer to themselves as “light”. I have never heard the term bi-racial except when they had to check the box on some sort of form. One of my friends who is white/black once told me that a person who is mixed has the option of indentifying with the race of their choice or if they choose both.

    It is my observation that President Obama identifies as a black man…

    But your question is an interesting one (even though I think you meant it as a slam), and I would like to hear what others with more knowledge on the subject have to say.



  278. A black man STILL isn’t president. Obama is biracial. Why do people seem to forget that???


  279. “I was able to climb inside Ted’s head. That show confirmed what I already knew”

    Bully for you James. Are you happy now? You aren’t pissing on anyone, you just always have to be proven correct.


  280. Bill Moyers Journal:

    *transcript & video



  281. It is no answer to say that the Kennedy family will not read this blog and be hurt by what James says. If someone made a racist or homophobic statement here (or anywhere), it doesn’t matter whether it’s read by someone Caucasian or straight: it is no less ugly.

    James is no better in his behavior than the noxious Sean Hannity, who said that he would not bring up Mary Jo Kopechne out of “respect” for the family. Hello? Didn’t you just bring her up by telling your listeners you wouldn’t bring her up?

    A man died. Whether you agree with his politics or not, he was someone who chose to spend his life in public service. He could have simply enjoyed his wealth and privilege, but he made the decision to go beyond them and he stayed with that decision.

    His family and friends mourn him. Those of us who–despite his personal failures–valued and respected his efforts, also mourn him.


  282. Why do I think James wasn’t pissing on Kennedy, but acknowledging the various facets of Kennedy’s story? I’ve heard quite similar commentary on the news, and it wasn’t considered throwing dirt but rather telling the story.


  283. NO COMMENT!
    PEACE ~ Δ


  284. Amen Palin!


  285. james is no fool, he knows exactly what he is doing

    it is not the first and wont be the last time he comes to this blog to piss on anything we have respect for


  286. Welcome back for a brief bit, Dear Jean, and mahalo for the history lesson.

    James, the demons of Vietnam are indeed great. You killed and you still are paying for it. Shit happened, people died. We all will die one day.

    I am sorry for your angst, and I hope being in this parlor helps. You are amongst compassionate as well as irritated company here. Scrolling is a blessed privilege.

    I used to think that Ted Kennedy was a spoiled scum bag after the Mary Jo incident, but it became secondary after the great works he did. From tragedy and loss, he became a better man, for all of us. He overcame, and let anyone who is perfect throw the first stone. Evidently Rush Limbaugh thinks himself perfect.

    In a sense, his death may serve an even greater cause – his passing can be the banner for universal health care. It cannot come too soon for my husband and I, as well as our grown up kids.


  287. Okay James, I am assuming you are thinking back to Viet Nam, remember you were an enlisted man, you went and did what you were ordered to do. If you need to talk to some one please do, a professional or a clergyman. You have no idea nor do I, what mental hell Teddy Kennedy put himself through, but you want him damned by one and all even now, but you say “I don’t need my friends giving me side long glances ….” Quit lying to yourself, you have no empathy.


  288. I just finished watching the American Experience, a documentary on the Kennedys on Public television, and the thrust of the story was almost exactly as I posted here. I knew I was right, because though extrapolation of what I already knew about trauma and guilt, I was able to “climb” inside Ted’s head. That show confirmed what I already knew.

    Unlike most of the network news readers, the narrator did not gloss over Mary Jo’s death and Kennedy’s failure to report the accident for ten hours. Kennedy was not quite the same afterward, and in several ways, it contributed to the failure of his presidential bid in 1980.

    Ted’s causing Mary Jo’s death also made Joseph lose the will to live. When Teddy told his father who had had a stroke, Joseph rolled his head back and said nothing. He quit eating much and died in 1969. Surely Ted carried the guilt of his father’s death with him also. Tapes of Ted at Mary’s and Joseph’s funerals showed a man in agony.

    As the show closed, the narrator said “Joseph Kennedy was willing to pay any price for power, and in the end he never dreamed the cost would be so high.” That generation of Kennedys lived an American tragedy worthy of a Shakespearian play.

    Farona Harrop’s latest article printed in the Omaha World Herald today also alluded to what I wrote. Between the two extremes of Kennedy lovers and Kennedy haters resides the middle ground which harbors a more accurate picture of Ted Kennedy. I share her feelings.

    So, Francis, in light of the two sources I just saw and read which support my views, I should care what you think, when I know I am right?


    None of the mourning Kennedy family will read this so what I wrote won’t hurt them. I was lamenting how reporters glossed over the death of woman who did not deserve to die and how it likely affected Ted. I could have slung dirt, but I didn’t.

    At least one commentator, the narrator of the American Experience documentary said roughly what I did, so I am vindicated and satisfied. Now, I’m as tired of the subject as I am of Sarah Palin.


    I am not wallowing in self pity. I just judge myself more harshly than Ted Kennedy. My situation was not like Kennedy’s but thinking of Mary Jo gave me a flashback. When that happens, I sometimes vent to get it out of my system. Deaths not death is more accurate. You really don’t want to know.

    I don’t need my friends giving me side long glances or feeling sorry for me. They see a kind, cheery man with a sense of humor who helps people. Not even my wife knows the full story, and I plan to keep it that way. It is your misfortune that I let things slip out once in a while where it is safe and no real people are around to know.


  289. I’m tired, emotionally & physically worn tonight. Today has been exhausting, not because of physical pain but because of loss. Ted Kennedy so informed, affected, and help shape my life. . .and while I am at a loss for words, an inability to articulately explain what he meant, means to me, I find myself saying “yes” to this very simple statement:

    “The greatest expectations were placed upon Ted Kennedy’s shoulders because of who he was, but he surpassed them all because of who he became,” the president said. “We do not weep for him today because of the prestige attached to his name or his office. We weep because we loved this kind and tender hero who persevered through pain and tragedy — not for the sake of ambition or vanity, not for wealth or power, but only for the people and the country that he loved.”

    James, continue on, if it gives you comfort, with your self-righteousness in overlording whatever sins you feel Ted committed and failed to do the penance you feel is justified. Because though you condemn him, he worked his ass off for YOU. I hope when you reap whatever bitterness you are sowing, that you will find, instead, the same peace, the same compassion of spirit, that guided Ted Kennedy through his life and death.

    And now, I am going to bed because there’s a lot of work to do. And I am moving forward because in a very small way, I am part of Ted’s legacy. The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on.


  290. I just wanted you to know how much I love this blog – I have it linked on my own blog – hopefully some new people will head your way and catch the wisdom of Margaret and Helen.

    Keep up the good work.

    — hippieprof


  291. Hi gang,

    I’ve been out of the M&H loop with no time to read comments, so haven’t a clue of what’s going on here. I imagine the health care ‘debate’ drags on. But I am taking a short break to share with you something that might, just might give you pause to think about.

    During my recent hiatus, I read “The History of the Peloponnesian War” by the Greek historian, Thucydides. I like to read on airplanes and in bed at night until I can’t keep my eyes open any longer. I must admit, often I don’t get beyond a page and a half.

    In case you aren’t up on this book, it’s a history of the 27 (that’s TWENTY-SEVEN!) years war between mainly Athens and Sparta, Greece, 431-404 BC. Greece was anything but a united country, just a collection of feuding little city-states. They did manage to come together to defeat the powerful invading Persian Empire. However, as soon as that war was over they got busy quarrelling among themselves. (Does this sound anything like the mentality of our present political climate?)

    Athens was and is located in the area of ‘Attica’ on the Greek mainland. Sparta is on the very large island of Peloponnesus, connected to the mainland by only a narrow isthmus. Athens and Sparta were only about 100 miles apart. Traditionally, as we all know, Athens developed great literature, the arts and philosophy that has been handed down to Western civilization ever since. Sparta. Well, their whole society was devoted to nothing else but war. Little boys about the age of 6 were separated from their families and went into lifelong military training. Sparta was mainly involved in land operations while Athens developed an extensive navy. Also by then, Athens had become an Empire with colonies all over the Aegean Sea and beyond.

    Here’s how the Peloponnesian Wars went. During the winter, both Athens and Sparta were busy making and breaking alliances with other city-states. Lots of ‘diplomatic’ speechifying going on. Then in the spring they each decided whom they were going to war with. Their military consisted mostly of helots (slaves) and ‘hoplites’ (citizen soldiers. Socrates was one. Thucydides himself was an Athenian General). First they ‘laid waste the country side’. It was similar to Sherman’s scorched-earth-march-from Atlanta-to-the-sea-policy. Then each side lined up and almost as if a whistle blew, the battle started in or around the walls of the city. Whoever ‘won’ usually killed most of the men and took the women and children into slavery. Back in those days, slavery was the result of captives in war and had nothing to do with race.

    Then there was an armistice long enough for each side to collect their dead off the battlefield. Also the ‘winner’ carted off all the wealth and valuables that were not nailed down as the ‘spoils of war’ and burned the defeated city to the ground. The ‘winner’ put up a trophy to commemorate the ‘victory’ and went home in triumph for the winter. Of course, they arrived home to great glory and went to the ‘pagan’ temples and made sacrifices. Then they hunkered down for the winter to plan the ‘expedition’ for the next spring. Sometimes a city knew it couldn’t win against the power of Athens so it capitulated in order not to be enslaved and destroyed.

    If you are interested, you can read the FAMOUS “Melian Dialogues” from this book. You can find a summary on Wikipedia with also the text under “External Links”, the “Melian Dialogues”. (Better still, you can read all 682 fine print pages of the entire damn book!) As I’m sure most of you know, Wikipedia lets ANYONE edit the entries. So the “Melian Dialogues” there are only part of the text and quite different from the book I read. It probably has something to do with the translations from the original Greek, and also the personal bias of the translator/editor. THERE IS A LESSON THERE! TO REFRAIN FROM TAKING LITERALLY AS FACT WHATEVER YOU READ OR SEE!

    Melos was a tiny little island and Spartan colony in the Aegean Sea. Athens wanted it for an ‘ally’. It was strategically located to Athens’ advantage. Melos would have to pay annual tribute, provide military personnel, ships, etc., and essentially be subject to Athens. The dialogues give all the arguments on both sides and the results.

    This went on, year after year, over and over again for TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS!!!!!

    Of course, ultimately, the Roman Empire conquered the Greek. Then along came other Empires, the Ottoman, the British, etc. The American Empire???? I certainly hope not!

    It seems to me that this war mindset was and is pretty ridiculous. So why is it still going on? The technology of war has become untenable in terms of expense as well as far too deadly to be considered. We are no longer lining up shoulder-to-shoulder, eight or so deep with shields, swords and javelins to go out and meet the ‘enemy’.

    War has traditionally been a guy thing. Let’s get over it. We could better spend our time and money on issues that benefit humanity rather than destroy it. (Like health care, education and infrastructure for all our people???)

    Aloha! 🙂

    Auntie Jean


  292. Whose dealth are you responsible for James? You have hinted at this before, just tell the story and quit wallowing in self-pity.


  293. Great post Helen. I couldn’t possibly agree more.
    Anatomy of American Ignorance – Part 1


  294. James,
    You are just pathetic. You really are. I have been followling your comments for months. Sometimes you come across as someone who has something to offer. But lately you seem to have gone off the deep end.

    You are a fool. You are really just a complete and total ass. Now just do this place a service and leave.


  295. Helen,
    First off let me tell you how much I love your writing. Top shelf stuff. I mean it really. Second, I was hoping you could answer a question for me. Why do you think so many seniors that are taking advantage of medicare are so opposed to government health care? This one really makes me scratch my head. We already insure the people that are the most costly to insure (senior citizens), and I’m no economist or financial whiz, but I would assume that the best way to strengthen the system would be to let younger people buy into it. Keep it up, you lovely ladies rock my world.



  296. Hi thymeCher,

    GK was here yesterday.



  297. We haven’t heard from Grandma Katie in awhile. How you doing in this heat dear?


  298. WWJD / Good one Whirled 🙂


  299. W.W.J.D.???

    Who Would Jesus Deny ???

    8) ~ Δ


  300. uh

    things to do people to see

    correction as I rush out the door

    ta ta


  301. are we to suffer another litany from you about Kennedy now or are you done?

    I wont be around to read it btw

    things to do please to see

    have a nice day


  302. oh please james stop it, I didnt mean anyone’s life was dirt what I meant was that you cant wait to come here and dredge the man’s faults and misdeeds while his family is mourning him

    I would expect that from a troll

    are you or are you not?

    sometimes I cant make up my mind


  303. The sights and sounds of death never leave. They are horrible as are the lives cut short. Maybe it is why remembering Mary Jo is important to me.

    Knowing you caused someone to die is shattering on some level. If you are a normal human, I don’t think you can get over it. Maybe it explained some of Kennedy’s later bar hopping behavior. Maybe Mary’s death made Kennedy become so determined to change lives or to become a legislative work horse instead of show horse.

    “And it starts sometime around midnight.
    Or at least that’s when you lose yourself
    for a minute or two
    As you stand under the bar lights
    And the band plays some song
    about forgetting yourself for awhile…

    But you know that she’s watching
    She’s holding her tonic like a cross
    The room’s suddenly spinning…
    And so there’s a change in your emotions
    And all those memories come rushing
    like feral waves to your mind…
    And you feel hopeless and homeless
    and lost in the haze of the wine…

    Your blood boiling
    your stomach in ropes.
    Oh,and when your friends say,
    ‘What is is it? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.’
    Then you walk under the street lights
    And you’re too drunk to notice
    that everyone is staring at you.
    You just don’t care what you look like,
    the world is falling around you.”

    Been there done that. I’ll bet Ted did too. Probably Laura too.


  304. Not so. If you believe the Bible, Jesus was a perfect human.


  305. imperfect, humans = redundant


  306. The networks hinted at Kennedy’s seamy personal side, and had I wanted to throw dirt, I would have.

    Kennedy and Laura Bush are imperfect humans, and each caused someone to die. They didn’t plan to, but they did. To hide lost lives as the press tries to do is wrong. I am judging the press more harshly than Kennedy.

    Those lives are not “dirt.” They were snuffed out because of stupid mistakes, and they are gone forever. Kennedy and Laura seem to have redeemed themselves, but two people are still dead. The press seems too willing to air brush them away when they must have had a profound effect on how Ted and Laura lived the rest of their lives.


  307. I forgot log in again.

    Mary Jo’s parents even said they would vote for Kennedy during his failed attempt to snatch the presidential nomination from Carter, but it doesn’t change anything. The tragedy was not Kennedy’s. It was Mary’s.

    Kennedy caused her to die when she might have lived if he had cared more about her life than his own welfare. It is irrelevant whether God or anyone forgave him.

    Mary’s death is something Kennedy had to live with all his life. I wonder if he forgave himself. In the end, that is all that mattered to Kennedy. I know from personal experience self forgiveness is almost impossible. Faces of the dead never leave.

    One can forgive an action, but still acknowledge its results. Likewise for Laura Bush. Her accident which made someone die was swept under the rug the same as Mary Jo’s, and it was wrong. I am only judging Kennedy on his actions that night, and I can do the same to Laura.

    I remember hearing about the accident, but reports I heard didn’t even give us a name. I am not judging them for the people they became. I am judging the press for trying to ignore people who died because their deaths were inconveniences which tarnished political resumes.

    Cheney is a different case. He didn’t personally “torture” anyone. He approved what he thought was good for the country at the time. Right or wrong, he probably believes he did the correct thing. The Kennedy- Bush related deaths were accidents. Whatever Cheney did was premeditated. It is a big difference.

    I could tell you how I judge myself more harshly than any of those folks, but you wouldn’t be interested.


  308. Thank you Helen, you gave me a little hope today.


  309. Lori, loved your posts. Today, I understood much better the two schools of thought in this country by watching Senator Kennedy’s funeral. There are those who like to hang on to the past and those who like to move beyond it and use the past to build a better future. The battles going on in the political arena have to do with these two schools of thought. And so, a young senator was involved in an accident that killed a young woman. It was an accident. He left the scene, the epitome of bad judgement. He was filled with fear and did not think beyond that. Fear is the greatest ennemy of man. It blinds us and pushes us away from God or the lifeforce.

    Senator Kennedy lived to accomplish much for this country. It is about redemption. He used his talents and time in the Senate well and fought for the right of all. I, for one am grateful that he was here.


  310. The program for Teddy’s funeral.

    Click to access 47d53e97b2c667bac5_a3m6ii1zo.pdf

    james, would have been nice if you waited till the guy is buried to dredge the dirt on him, just out of simple human respect


  311. there goes james kicking the dirt around

    so what else is new

    ‘Socialism is not what this country is about.
    I dont want to pay for yours, i want to pay for mine.
    If you have a problem with that, you need help.’

    ccw = ignoramus

    I guess ccw doesnt pay taxes LOL!!!


  312. Liberalism or conservatism are mental predelictions independent of political philosophy. A socialist, for example, who espouses old verities would be the conservative while someone who espoused capitalism in a new environment would be the liberal. It was so when the Soviet Union fell.

    Standards and definitions change with time. JFK was a cold warrior who believed in tax cuts. He was also initially suspicious of Martin Luther King who’s protests he believed had the potential to hurt the war effort. By the standards of the day, especially when measured against southern Democrats who opposed civil rights, Kennedy was a liberal. Now, he is closer to a moderate Republican.


  313. In the Kennedy/ Cheney comparison, it seems to me that Kennedy felt and showed remorse for his actions (in regard to Mary Jo’s death). He spent the rest of his life trying to live a better life and giving to others.

    Cheney does not appear to feel remorse and is proud of his actions (in regard to torture). He thinks it was right, and would do it again if he were in position to. He doesn’t act as if he’s done anything to be ashamed of.

    I don’t expect our leaders to be perfect and not make mistakes. But I hope they will acknowledge mistakes and learn from them.


  314. Mary Jo’s mother forgave Senator Kennedy and I am confident my God has as well. Perhaps us bystanders could learn a thing or two?

    Who among us is without sin, or bad judgement? Not I said the duck…

    WWJD? mmmmmm forgive?

    Mary Jo is not forgotten, just as the person who died in the accident caused by Laura Bush is not forgotten. They will live on in the memories of all who witnessed their being.


  315. Has anyone read the thoughts of Seneca, the Roman Philosopher? With all of the anger in the country now days, it would be good reading for us all.


  316. I forgot to log in. In case there is any doubt. I posted the two anonymous screeds.


  317. One thing about Senator Kennedy was his being honest about who he was. It didn’t matter if liberalism was so out of fashion some denied they were liberals, Teddy was always forthright and didn’t try to hide his views. And he worked both sides of the street to achieve his goals. Republicans also declared him their friend.

    However, one person has been sadly neglected all of these years–Mary Jo Kopechne. Lynn Vincent who researched and co- wrote “Cons:Sex, Crime, and Corruption” and described the events of July 19, 1969.

    Kennedy and friends were celebrating a with a post regatta party after Kennedy finished with a respectable rank in the top ten of the race. The group drank heavily. Kennedy drove Mary home after she said she was tired. As we know, Kennedy’s car plunged into the water.

    Kennedy freed himself, while Mary Jo found a small air pocket at the rear floorboard of the overturned car. She waited for rescue for possibly as long as five hours. She did not drown, she died of asphyxiation.

    Ted walked back to the party and tried to concoct a story as his cousin Joe Gargan later recalled. His cousin refused and later Rose disowned him at least for awhile. Family connections and a probable bribe to the family left Ted charged with merely leaving the scene of an accident. Kennedy’s cowardice and desire to avoid jail and ruin killed a young woman.

    Mary Jo was a young liberal woman with a future. She had gone to Alabama during the civil rights era, and she had become an experienced political operative for someone so young. The woman’s movement was just becoming successful, and it is possible Mary Jo could have used it to propel her into a successful political career.

    Kennedy was a good legislator with many good qualities but on July 19, 1968, he was a coward who used his name and money to escape what for most of use would have been jail time.

    The notion that Chappaquiddick was a “tragedy” who’s main victim was Ted and the Kennedy “legacy” is wrong. Mary Jo deserves better.


  318. Ladies, I can’t tell you how much I enjoy and appreciate what you are doing here. For the past 14 years, I have lived in San Francisco, where progressive values abound but plain-spoken common sense is hard to find. In your blog, I hear the sensible voice of my Texas-born mother, whom I lost to cancer three years ago, and who remained a feisty Texas liberal to the end. Also the voice of my 90-year-old Texas grandmother, and of course Ann Richards and Molly Ivins, who are both sorely missed. You have a new devoted reader.


  319. Amy Tan, you have no idea. When I was tortured, I learned some things–Don’t leave marks or witnesses. And don’t leave your victim with the capacity for revenge. Most importantly, revenge is sweet.

    Beatrice, is that the best you can do? I hope you find help with your identity problems.

    I read the Atlantic article, Anne. Paying for our own health care as we do our auto repairs and saving insurance for big things is an interesting concept. Too many of us are detached from the real costs of our health care. I told my representatives but they probably won’t do anything about it.

    vgman, a sister in law attended Dort College. A college professor, Dr. Kempers, grew up in Sioux County, and I knew him at Westmar College in Le Mars. His son died in WW11, and the pain stayed with him for the rest of his days. He told us guys in a history class how to legally avoid the draft. I didn’t listen, because I thought it was my duty to serve.

    Do your remember the stench of all of the feed lots and people’s saying it was the smell of money. Sioux Center has liberalized a bit, but thirty years ago, the place was shut down on Sundays.

    My father in law had a thriving livestock product business but when he reached Sioux County he hit a brick wall because he wasn’t Dutch. He made his Dutch son in law part of the company with the farm a branch office. Then, he did business in Sioux County.

    Brule plays good music, in my opinion, and they are nice people. The young woman who plays flute attacks it as she plays. That she is attractive adds to the effect. The patriarch of the group wrote Hidden Heritage which explains his connection with southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa.

    Thanks for the good comments.


  320. I just stumbled across this blog for the first time today and I have to say I am laughing so hard that tears are rolling down my face!

    Keep it up ladies! This is great!!!


  321. Hello, all. I’ve been uber-busy lately and haven’t been able to keep up with all of the comments. Oy vey!!

    I am sitting on my sofa watching the funeral of Senator Ted Kennedy. The Obamas, Bidens, and Carters are sitting on the front row. The Clintons and Bushes are sitting on the second row. Prior to the arrival of the Kennedy family and the body of Senator Kennedy, each President and First Lady (past and present) were sitting and chatting with one another. Death, as final and permanent as it is, is a magnet that brings opposite ends together to celebrate a life. The fighting and bruhaha between the Left and the Right will resume in just a short time. But for a moment, a brief moment, they met in the middle to honor a man whose presence on the Hill will be missed. That, my friends, was heartening to me.

    I hope that everyone is having a relaxing weekend. It looks like rain in Arkansas today, nap weather if I do say so myself.

    Love and kindness to all.


  322. yes VG and that has flip flopped a few times through out the years, IMHO the last flip happened when with JFK, when he was bold enough to stand up to the southern strong hold and champion civil rights… For that and 100000000 other reasons, i am a proud LIBERAL..;-)


  323. I agree with you lori,
    In our past, different views of progressivism and conservatism have found their way into all parties in our history.
    It’s interesting that the foundation of our country, through a social contract, was viewed as “progressive” in light of the Federalist outlook–needing to stronger band together the individual states to further strengthen an increasingly weakened confederation. The first political battles of 1800 showed that the Democrat-Republican party (present day Dems) were the conservative ones wanting to resist the forces being applied by the Federalists. For the early part of the 1800’s the Dems won out. Whigs were then considered “conservative” as the Dems became the progressive movement in regards to power attained by the people. And yet, with the progressive stance, a conservative issue was at the Dems core–slavery. The Republicans would have been the progressive party in the 1850’s and 1860’s.
    I think it’s relevant that progressivism is seen as the body of change when it comes to our social contract.
    Therein lies our history lesson. Now, it’s Saturday morning and time for recess.
    Have a good day everyone.


  324. HRH, I too wanted to understand my opposing view to universal health care. To me is seemed a no brainer and I figured I must be missing something.

    I have to say after speaking with some extremely intelligent ( and some not so much) conservatives about this matter I have concluded it all boils down to the basic difference between progressives and conservatives….. Conservatives are fearful of change and resist with all might anything “new”, they cling to their past, the most familiar and the tired ways… progressives look forward with courage and confidence that new and change are things not to be feared but embraced.

    When you cut through all the bs that is truly the difference in the thinking of the two parties

    A few months back, on Huffingtonpost, I read this comparison. I am sorry to say the authors name accidentally became erased due to the many times I have copied and pasted it… I thought it that good…..

    “the progressive feels that a good strategy in life is to ask all to enter and to develop an inclusive atmosphere. to welcome and try to accommodate others. we can all share together and succeed.

    the conservative feels that the environment can’t accommodate all and to try to do so would disadvantage the people closest to the myself, my family, my friends, etc.”

    they are basic and fundamentally different ways of seeing the world.


  325. Bill Moyers With Bill Maher…

    PART 2


    PART 3



  326. Greytdog, congratulations on your new knee!!! I know you’ll work hard on you PT, I found many small victorys while doing it. Like, look Mom, I can move it 3 more inches today. And each week when I went back I was given a new exercise. It almost seemed like a reward.


  327. CCW, my response to your statement
    “Most Americans don’t want anything that resembles Socialism.
    Plain and simple.” is always the same. Please describe to me exactly what “socialism” means to you. Please explain to me exactly what it is that you find fearful about it. Is it from boogy man stories you heard as a child in the 50’s or just what exactly is bad. Your later post “I dont want to pay for yours, i want to pay for mine” sounds mostly selfish and a bit childish. Usually children outgrow the “me first and only and it’s mine” when they’re 6 or 7 yrs old, maybe earlier. Are you younger than everyone else who posts here. Are you old enough to operate the computer without parental controls?

    I really DO want to understand what those who abhor socialism are afraid of. In current usage, it’s mostly just a word and seems to mean many different things to different people.


  328. “I dont want to pay for yours, i want to pay for mine.”

    CCW hate to tell you, but you’re already paying for everyone else’s, you just don’t see it.


  329. Really CCW You would be willing to pay to use EVERY single road you travel or paying an entrance fee to walk around your block at night? You are ok with private corporations taking over our national treasures the Liberty Bell, Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls? You wouldn’t mind your children’s education costing you ten thousand dollars just for a high school education? You are fine with leaving the disabled to languish in despair?…You wouldnt mind some private corporation taking over our national security needs?

    On the contrary CCW, our country decided a long time ago there are some things that should not be left up to a capitalistic economical system and I betcha if you would ask MOST people would still agree with that decision. Even the uninformed conservative woman that stood u at a town hall meeting and screamed to leave her medicare alone agrees we DO NEED socialism at least when it comes to basic needs, anddddddddd health care IS a basic need…

    So CCW go troll on a site where the bloggers don’t understand what socialism means… Cause that dog wont hunt here.


  330. CCW,
    By chance, are you eligible for Medicaire?
    Did you attend public schools in your lifetime?
    Or are you ignoring that some programs by our government are meant to make sure all people have access to equal care, education, and treatment?
    Evidence of our social contract, otherwise known as our Constitution. You breathe it, I breathe it, we all breathe it. And thank God, we can make changes along the way!
    Health care reform begins the process of making sure all members of this social contract have equal access to health care.
    Or perhaps you wish to go back in time….as our host has suggested some people like you prefer.

    Take your head out of the sand and stop ignoring the fact that you are not the most important individual on the planet. No one is. And in this part of the world, we have an obligation to each other–SOCIAL.


  331. Look at this lady’s articles; she calls everybody she disagrees with names.
    She is pure HATE


  332. Socialism is not what this country is about.
    I dont want to pay for yours, i want to pay for mine.
    If you have a problem with that, you need help.


  333. CCW, I hope you’ll take the time to read all the well-reasoned comments here. There are hundreds of them. There’s a bit of wackiness as well, and some side-themes, but there are many explanations of why we need a new and different system, whatever name the form goes by. “Socialism” might just mean everyone has an equal opportunity for good health. What’s so scary about that?


  334. Bill Moyers With Bill Maher



  335. Most Americans don’t want anything that resembles Socialism.
    Plain and simple.


  336. Why do liberals spend most of there articles bad mouthing and name calling?
    I guess when you have no logic and no common sense that’s what you get.
    Shes full of hate.


  337. President Obama’s
    Weekly Address 8/29/09

    Lessons and Renewal
    Out of the Gulf Coast



  338. August 28th 1963:


    PEACE…I mean it. Really! ~ Δ


  339. Oh, I just love this interpretation of the opposition–since those folks at the town hall meetings behave so irrationally, and even refrain/forget to comb their hair, any and all opposition to health care reform is ridiculed.
    Of course, this is what we’re seeing on TV and in papers–the wackos. This is what the establishment media wants us to see. Many, dare I say most, Americans no longer think for themselves thanks to our education system. So we let the media do our thinking. What if these wackos represent the tiny minority of people who oppose the health care reform? What about the other folks who do not call health care rationing ‘death squads’, but worry about it nonetheless? I believe that even Americans, once they’ve become accustomed to universal socialized health care, will understand fully what that rationing means. And of course there will be rationing, especially in elder/terminal care. Even Obama doesn’t shy away from this topic (look up an interview in New York Times earlier this year).
    If you look up Swedish health care in English, mostly you will read that it’s great in every way. Look up ‘Swedish health care problems’ in Swedish and you can read a host of stories by people who have in one way or another been shorted on vital care in a socialized system. People always counter that ‘at least everyone will be covered’. The people is too polite–why can’t we demand a truly better system? Why do we have to always compare this mess with other countries? I don’t believe there is one country on earth where the establishment really cares about its people, more than keeping them well-functioning enough for labor and to some degree reproduction.
    What I see is that a terrible health care system will be replaced by another terrible system. The same players currently managing it will remain. Our government is always the same, controlled by the same greedy people, no matter who is ‘elected’ president.


  340. You are “Right On”, Helen. Give Margaret a big mmmwwwwaaahhhh….


  341. I hope all of you got to see Bill Moyers Journal tonight about the roots of the conflict between medicine and insurance companies.

    The point was very clear. Doctors exist for the patient but insurance companies exist for the stockholders. With medical decisions under the control of the insurance companies there is no question whose interests will be served first.


  342. Good night, rest well, and heal quickly, Greytdog.



  343. I’m home. The dogs think I’ve been gone like forever. . . and they were horribly starved. . . and no one paid them any attention. . . and . . .they so lie. Trying to navigate into the house while three dogs are going crazed made me almost wish for another night in the hospital. Got settled in, leg propped up and I swear within 5 minutes I had a zillion dog toys on the couch and three faces begging to go outside outside outside. . . I bribed them with treats to leave me alone. It’s been kind of funny – they seem to have taken over the shift thing from the hospital. . . about every hour I’ve had a cold wet nose stuck into my face. . . and the cats are delighted that I am stationary. . . finally managed to dislodged them from my body, the furry little leeches. . .
    And now it’s off to bed – a real bed – for a good night’s sleep.


  344. poolman sez “There needs to be reform in our food products and get rid of all the government subsidized corn syrup that is in everything, contributing to obesity and diabetes. ”

    Sometime in the past year I read that part of the reason that (many) Europeans are healthier and need less medical attention is because MANY of the ingredients that we allow here are banned there.

    And yesterday MomsRising sent out a note about Kraft Mac and Cheese: in Europe, they’ve had to take out all the crap, but guess what, that crap is still in the packages here!


  345. More reasons healthcare costs are high


  346. Helen – you are a treasure. A delightful treasure.


  347. Very well said, and so clearly put! Thank you for making sense in a world where it sometimes seems that sensible people are becoming increasingly rare.


  348. Oh God, Greytdog, poor Ann! That was a hard, hard update to read! Thank you, though. I do hope that God will wrap Ann in his comforting embrace and help her as she forges ahead without her husband. She will emerge strong, but what a painful road…


  349. Apt description Greytdog! Death panels indeed! Those nightly visits should be banned, safe for people on life support.

    Things seemed to have gone well for you, your sense of humor is still intact. Sending all kinds of good thoughts your way.


  350. […] Shhh! Helen's talking: […]


  351. […] Shhh! Helen's talking: […]


  352. Ladies, you may know this already, but Bill in Portland Maine, who writes Cheers and Jeers every weekday for DailyKos is a huge fan of yours.


  353. &H and fans, if you have the chance to see Bette Midler @ Caesars in Vegas run don’t walk to buy your tickets. The divine MISS M knocks it out of the park…. In her opening act she does some palin jokes that had me howling!

    Greytdog…. Sending love and light your way…..Godspeed and so true yes WE can..

    To all who called out the PUMA sham …. kudos…. PUMA was a FOX NEWS fabrication…. It was just one of their attempts to hijack our national election by media generated propaganda.

    Susan in CT Aug 26 10 07 Right on! Campaign reform is about 75 years over due.

    Senator Kennedy sent our family a hand written note 6 years ago when my mother passed away from brain cancer…. In his note he encouraged me to be strong in the face of such a sorrow filled time and to celebrate her life….. I wish the same for his family….. I will celebrate his life tonight….. Mr. Kennedy…. Rest peacefully… Salute!



  354. Anne, even though all costs are going up, we spend twice as much per person as those other countries and do not have full coverage for all. Eliminating fraud, implimenting electronic record keeping, concentrating on wellness and preventative care will help keep the costs in check long term.

    Much of our health problems are due to poor eating and lifestyle choices. These will have to be improved to make a lasting impact. There needs to be reform in our food products and get rid of all the government subsidized corn syrup that is in everything, contributing to obesity and diabetes.

    Then there is tort reform. We have too many lawyers and lawsuits with huge awards given out that continues to drive the cost of insurance premiums that our care professionals have to pay for. We need caps on these lawsuits and elimination of the frivolous ones. Transparency is good. Competition between doctors and clinics and hospitals would be good, not health insurance companies.

    Competition between insurance companies we HAVE had all along. They get together and band against us and ration our care. Additionally they complicate their paperwork with much lawyereze that we don’t know what is covered and what is not. These practices have been ongoing and have denied care (rationing) and upped cost (more paperwork for all to deal with and try to decipher). The PRIMARY objective of private health insurance is to make a profit. They have continued to be profitable in this down economy. That should say much for their “contribution” to society. Right now they are spending millions daily to keep the status quo.


  355. Greytdog….
    I’m glad everything went well for you…..keep up the PT…


  356. Quick FYI: There is an update on Ann Strongheart at

    There’s also info on how to donate to the Education Fund for Ann & Segundo’s children.


  357. I’m reading this article in The Atlantic that makes the point that without any kind of reform to address rising costs, giving people access to health care won’t really fix the problem. It’s a valid argument. Even single-payer systems are struggling with rising costs. France is non-profit and still has rising costs, so the problem is something beyond greedy insurance companies or overpaid physicians. This author argues that more competition and transparency in cost would drive costs lower in this business as it does in others. I don’t know. What do you all think?


  358. GReytdog- it is me again.
    I have told a few about your “angel” who took care of your hospital expense. In return I have heard several other “angel” stories.
    Next week a lady I am on a chat line with goes into the hospiital top h ae both kidneys removeddue to polysystic kidneys. A lady from her church has offered one of kidneys if they match. And think of all the food packages the vilages inAlaska receivied last winter. The stories keep appearing. The nation seems to be filled withu the angels.
    Bless you and a speedy recovery.


  359. Greytdog- I see you make it through the surgery with your usual sharp ming. I had you in my thought s all day yesterday.
    So enjoyed your description of the 3am visits to take blood. And to think after the stroke I spent 2 months in a rehab hospital!! After I complained about all t he eggs(scrambled, fried, poached etc) siiiiiiiiiifive days out of 7. I told the nutritionist that my idea of a good breakfast waaas a scone from Starbucks. So in retaliation ffor the last two weeks I was there, every morning I got ansmallscoop of cottage cheese,two triangles of limpp tooast with no butter or jam, a bowl of watery cereal , milk and juice. Took the milk and sent the rest all back. for two weeks!! (I had a can of protein mix my son brought)
    So I am very happy to see you made it ok and are your usual cheerful self! Now just recover and back to work with the puppers!!


  360. ‘How did we end up with this plague of inch-deep, self-absorbed, clueless Americans?’


  361. Greytdog, may you heal quickly and always keep that great sense of humor. Best medicine of all.


  362. ‘How did we end up with this plague of inch-deep, self-absorbed, clueless Americans?’

    they are not clue less they are being paid by the In$urance Companie$ to distract, spread lies, instill fear and panic…

    I guarantee you the majority of them will be using that health care once its passed

    sending healing vibes to Greytdog


  363. Oh and thank you all for the positive energy! I’ve been sitting here laughing while typing – the poor LPNs think I’m working – they keep telling me “you need to rest, you shouldn’t be working” – good thing they won’t be able to follow me home!


  364. Changing of the guard here. A regular beehive of activity right now – oh and lunch arrived. I have jello, some animal corpse smothered in a wet grey blanket, mashed potatoes (didn’t stir those potato flakes very well though), and some really sad looking lettuce melange. Oh and Coke. Yeah, eat healthy at the hospital! So I jiggled the jello – it’s that really ugly green type – poked at the smothered carcass (phew! LOTSA salt), & said a prayer of remembrance for the long deceased lettuce. I am waiting rather patiently (for me) for my special delivery of fried olives & a mushroom-turkey melt from my favorite deli. . . but I must say, the surgeon was in to check his handiwork and the PT folks are supposed to be later today to bring me my brace & set up my schedule. I hope it’s not too late cuz I’m already making ready to get outta here. . .
    And yes, my Cinnabon & coffee arrived – at the same time the surgeon did. So I shared some of the Cinnabon with him. Some. I protect my Cinnabon from infidels.


  365. Hey Peas, thanks for that clip of Anthony Weiner on Fox & Friends. I think I’m in love (politically speaking, of course)!


  366. Single-Payer progress. Get on board. Real reform. Replace HR 3200, nobody likes it.


  367. Greytdog: The true heart of an optomist revealed in your capacity to turn ‘trauma drama’ into light-hearted comedy.

    Hospitalization is always serious and you are so on target to be the one in charge of your personal medical present and future. No one looks out for you like you yourself.

    Greatest wishes for a speedy exit from the hospital!

    Keith in NM


  368. Greytdog, give “em hell” 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂


  369. The hospital 3AM death panel + propensity to create medical problems where none previously existed is precisely why I birthed child #2 at home.

    After child #1 made his appearance, I had hubby sneak in some red wine for me. Now *that* was a medical necessity. 🙂

    Speedy recovery, Greytdog!


  370. The death panels are already in place with our current system. I don’t know what Sarah ‘the Quiter from Wasilla’ Palin is talking about (neither does she). Actually we have a much more cost efficient ‘panel’ of one or two. No insurance, no life saving ANYTHING. Have insurance and need something costly, no life saving ANYTHING. So why don’t we just give healthcare reform to those that want it and let those that don’t keep what they have? Oh yeah, that’s what we’re trying to do.

    Margaret & Helen: Come Back!


  371. Greytdog,
    You had me laughing. And remembering how my friend and I snuck a Big Mac in for another friend in the hospital after being hit by a pick-up truck.

    That was pure friendship in high school.

    (Big Macs didn’t have the notoriety in 1982 that they have today.)


  372. Greytdog, best wishes on your recovery. Sounds like all went well if you can fight off the death panel 🙂


  373. Greytdog sez “I found the death panels. Really. It’s the 3AM gotta take your vital signs crew. . . who chastised me for being awake when they came in to wake me up . . ”

    I can relate! All those years ago when I was in the rehab-facility third of my recovery from that accident, there were the wee-small-hours sneak-attacks — and I wasn’t there because of illness, just because of breakage!

    I got the facility’s physician to let me sign a form that promised I wouldn’t die overnight, and the visits stopped. You, thank goodness, won’t be there long enough to have to work through this — but yeah, no such thing as rest in a hospital.

    Mend well, Greytdog! And be skipping and dancing very soon!


  374. I found the death panels. Really. It’s the 3AM gotta take your vital signs crew. . . who chastised me for being awake when they came in to wake me up . . .hello?? Just makin’ your job easier, folks. . . then they give me a sleeping pill that’s contraindicated for my heart condition. . .so it became a game of “well your doctor order it. . .” with witty riposte from wide awake me of “then he needs a new PDR, doesn’t he?” Finally after much confusion & back and forth, the correct sedative came up to the room. . . .and I was told to put away my laptop. One nurse told me I was stubborn! (Me? surely not!)
    Breakfast in these places are so much fun. . .I am hoping that a good Cinnabon & a venti Mocha will be snuck in soon. . .


  375. What frightens me most about this country today is not the health care debate, the economy, or politicians….it is the stunningly ignorant people screaming and yelling at these town hall free-for-alls. How did we end up with this plague of inch-deep, self-absorbed, clueless Americans?

    I am surrounded by people like this in our red state…the ones I know behave like this pretty much everywhere they go. They can’t have a conversation without mentioning a book of the Bible they are reading, or how their daughter is going to be a missionary!, or how this country is going downhill, or how foreigners have ruined America. They’re perfectly happy to drive through the local fast food joint and get a cheap super sized junk food meal from an Indian worker though, or have the Mexicans mow their lawns! And somehow they missed the bible verses about loving other people…(or maybe they have the Intolerance Version that says instead “love other people, but only if they look exactly like you.”).

    Unfortunately, they are also raising a new generation of idiots, like the 2nd grader in my son’s class last year who said “If Obama is elected, America will be destroyed.” They are frightened of everything–any change from what their own childhoods were like, people with different colored skin, kids that don’t look like theirs, any family that doesn’t conform to their idea of “Real America”. Most of them have never been further than 200 miles from home, and have no interest in anything happening outside their own circle of privilege. It’s like a microcosm of ignorance, fear and apathy, repeated all across the country.


  376. Margaret & Helen, we miss you around here. 🙂


  377. You ladies are awesome and the comments are just as entertaining as the articles you write.


  378. To learn I read many times your articles Helen. I wish learn more about you. For much time. In my country all the people sees Obama like a person with a strange power to charm to the others but not any more. Things gone better for the rich people and harder for the rest. That’s all the game.

    Tell more about you. All the people wants a time like you said. Helen, ¡ Fantastic.! I am a young politic and i learn more every day here at your blog. More every day…


  379. Ron Paul proposed a bill to audit the Fed. Get behind it.


  380. Well, most people don’t do the research and trace the paper trail to see where it is all going. A great example of this is that people in my hometown still get bug eyed when I tell them that we have a surplus in our little town my just millions and that the budget is not what we have left over, it’s just what we spend. And I get these looks like you wouldn’t believe. Like they can’t believe our state has been hoarding out taxes and funneling them for personal use. Proof is everywhere, but the good boy network is hard to get through… but then again, so are peoples skulls.
    Sometimes I ask people if they know that the Federal Reserve is a private corporation that can’t as it were legally be audited by the government. A lot of them don’t even know what the Federal Reserve is!!! Talk about unbelievable. The most commonly exchanged piece of paper in America and no one is reading it.
    Evey day I wake up and I think it can’t get any more absurd and then LOW AND BEHOLD!!!


  381. Health Insurance Companies are the biggest problem and are the ones denying care, rationing if you will, and all to save the bottom line.


  382. kitkat sez “But realize that educating ourselves on this healthcare issue has more to do with educating ourselves on the excess profits that are being made by the health insurance companies and how little money is actually going into health care to benefit people.”

    I heard today that the head of Aetna’s health insurance division (here in CT) makes SIXTY MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR. What if he made ONLY, say, five million? Just think about how many people the remaining fifty-five million would help. How many suits / cars / houses / boats / bathrooms does a person need?


  383. Emerald444: I agree with you that education is important. We all need to educate ourselves on what we put into our bodies and what we can do to stay as healthy as we can. And I’m all for looking to alternative treatments. However, no matter how educated and aware, herbal remedies are not going to cure my mother’s cancer. She jogged 3 miles a day and played tennis 3 days a week. At 69, she looks 55. She eats well, doesn’t smoke, and tho she drinks wine, all in all, she takes care of herself. It turns out she has a genetic predisposition for cancer. Her mother died at 42 from it. At 25, most people rarely if ever go to the doctor. You’re lucky you haven’t been in an accident as Susan described. We aren’t all so lucky.

    But realize that educating ourselves on this healthcare issue has more to do with educating ourselves on the excess profits that are being made by the health insurance companies and how little money is actually going into health care to benefit people. It comes down to greed at the expense of people’s health. That is why we are fighting.

    I don’t know if your grandma is like my 96 year old great aunt or not, but she has wonderful stories about her youth. I love to listen to her tell how she got her first job and the parties she and her brothers went to and her first apartment living with a friend. I also know that things weren’t as wonderful as she remembers them, but she is remembering the good times.


  384. John McCain just dishonored his friend, Ted Kennedy, by lying about the healthcare bill, that it would pay for abortions, already illegal and still illegal after a healthcare bill. McCain deserves a lifetime sack of shit award, oh that’s right he’s already got one for nominating Palin for VP.


  385. Thanks Whirled Peas for the link on Rep Weiner. He is on Rachel Maddow tonight and she has him on quite often. I think you’re right that he is a bright star on the rise.


  386. Emerald444: Many of us of all ages DO try our best to take care of ourselves. But even then terrible things happen. I am a person who hasn’t had a flu shot in 35 years, and haven’t had the flu either. I get a cold every couple of years (unless I’m on a plane next to someone who’s hacking and wheezing). I exercise. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t eat a lot of crap. BUT one night I was on my way home and got head-ended by a van driven by a reeeeeeeeeeeeally drunk driver. Bam. A month in the hospital, a month in a convalescent home, a month in a rehab facility. Additional surgeries in subsequent years.

    A friend who’s a Pilates devotee, who SCUBA-dives, rides horses, and dances, and who drinks only moderately, doesn’t smoke, and eats carefully nonetheless had to have a double mastectomy last year.

    They’re pretty sure now that autism ISN’T caused by childhood immunizations, but it happens.

    These are examples of why we need some sort of plan that covers everybody.


  387. Hey UAW. I have a question you might be able to answer…..
    I overheard a guy at work going on and on about how many assistants Mrs. Obama has. Since you are the only person I know who watches Fox News, and I believe they are the likely source of guy-at-work’s ramblings, can you enlighten me? Are the Repubs haranguing HER now?
    Thanks in advance.
    Your friend, Maven Δ


  388. Emerald,
    If this is your first visit to M&H parlor, Welcome!
    It’s refreshing to hear the perspective of a 25 year old–and many of the things you stated were very well thought out.
    Your blood-sucking “poly tics” had me laughing.


  389. There are a lot of good points and I think overall a very good post. But I also want to point out a few things that I hope will be reflected upon. The first one is that there are quite a few morons in both parties. The second is that I am 25 years of age and when I was young I would listening to my grandmother speak about life as a child. By no means did I ever think it was perfect. But I came to understand one thing that was true. The was an air of simplicity (comparatively speaking to today’s chaotic mess of business, electronics and a myriad of mental illnesses). And there was also something pure about it. I found myself missing a time I had never even lived.
    In today’s world, it doesn’t matter what party you belong to. The goal of government (or anyone in power) is to maintain that power at any cost. Now by no means am I an anarchist. I am merely pointing out the meddlesome ways of our politicians. It seems there is nothing pure about the world I was born into.
    Aside from that, I am not a fan of our current President any more than I was a fan of the last. Many people are racist and many people are playing the racist card. But in truth, I don’t like the idea of universal healthcare. Hell, I don’t even go to traditional doctor’s. Ha, for that matter, I haven’t seen a doctor in years and could count on my hands the number of times I’ve been in my life. But then again, fast food isn’t my staple diet and apple cider vinegar still worked for food poisoning, sore throats and acid reflux. But ow many people know that? How many people educate themselves? In my opinion, people need to stop blaming the education system and asking the government to fix it… because they will come in and “fix” it. Educate yourself. Personally, I learned more from reading one book than I did an entire semester in college. People need to stop blaming the doctor’s/insurance companies and stop asking the government to “fix” it because they will fix the healthcare like our education system, like our financial system, etc. Heal yourself. How? Education.
    Anyway, I understand a lot of the points here and even agree with some of the principles. But just because the Republican party has made bad choices, doesn’t mean the Democrats are the ones for us. Seems to me that for the most part they are all on the same side anyway, just fighting like brother and sister, but when it comes down to it, they are one big family. After all, the definition of Politics – Poly meaning many and tics meaning blood sucking creatures. lol 🙂
    But seriously, if all we listen to are the voices of the television, radio, or paper and never critique even the points we agree with (or our own mind for that matter), we will never learn.
    The voice of truth is usually the most quiet. And in politics, it’s not what’s being said, it’s what’s not being said. There is a great book that I think people who like the womens’ posts would really understand. It’s called, “Amusing Ourselves to Death” by Neil Postman. It brings to light a whole new understanding why we are dumbed down.
    To conclude, I would just like to say that although as a whole we are becoming a less educated people, there are still some young people who read and think… so don’t give up hope yet.
    P.S. The founding fathers also said when asked what type of government they gave the people replied, “A Republic if you can keep it!” And there is a lot about American History that was never in any History text any generation has seen.
    Visit Solutions in Commerce if you are interested.


  390. Hey Keith in NM,

    “I fear there’s no one to fill the void we now face.”

    Keep an eye on this guy…

    Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY)

    8) ~ Δ


  391. Anne, maybe the republican party admires Reagan because he didn’t disgrace himself. They have to find someone to admire 😉

    Greytdog, surgery must have gone well since you are up and posting.


  392. Greytdog: Well said. We, the citizens of this great country have just experience a loss that we have only just begun to fathom.

    Ted Kennedy was a rich boy that had no need to be the man he was other than his compassion for his fellow man. He fought for us, the average person, with courage and conviction, passion and promise. I know of no other member of either the House or the Senate as selfless as he. While others were representing corporate America, he represented ALL of us.

    I fear there’s no one to fill the void we now face.

    Keith in NM


  393. Mary Jo Kopechne’s mother granted forgiveness to Ted Kennedy and urged him to remain in the Senate. The people of Massachusetts had the opportunity to remove him from office, and they never did. And frankly, that’s all the forgiveness & redemption he needed. I don’t know if Ted would have made a good president or not. I know he made one helluva fine Senator and that we could use more like him today – people who not only represent the people of their state but understand that they also represent the PEOPLE of THE United States.


  394. Honestly the only people I hear talking about Cheney’s shot gun issue are the commedians. And as far as I’m concerned they get to say whatever they want are you are an idiot if you take it seriously.
    The real liberals have many OTHER reasons to be concerned about Cheney.


  395. UAW:

    My reply would be this: I’m willing to look past an accident he clearly regrets as he spent the next 40 years of his life trying to make lives better for millions of people. I’m not willing to move past a vice president who still defends a war and policy on torture that even Bush has stopped talking about.


  396. Good ol’ UAW sez “How about Ted Kennedy’s car has killed more people than Dick Chaney’s shotgun…..”

    And Kennedy’s screw-up forty years ago, whatever the causes, was fatal and final. In the 40 years following he has not exactly redeemed himself, you can’t from a situation like that I think, but he’s given a great deal of himself to people he didn’t know. As someone stated, he was able to do more as a senator than he could’ve done as a president.

    In 40 years will we think more kindly of Cheney? (Well, I won’t be around, but) somehow I don’t think so — I don’t see him doing anything for ANYbody who’s not connected to him.


  397. Really loved this post. We constantly need this reminder of our recent past. Thank you.


  398. UAW
    You are one upon whose nature nurture could never stick!

    (That’s my favorite line from a 1967 Disney movie called Bullwhip Griffin)


  399. The SLUT? UAW, were you there? Did you know her?


  400. Helen, where have you gone? Haven’t seen a post in awhile. Everything okay?


  401. Anne….
    How about Ted Kennedy’s car has killed more people than Dick Chaney’s shotgun…..

    Yes both were terrible accidents….but don’t forget the double standard thingy and how most people here have commented….even Helen slammed Chaney for that accident…..

    or did Kennedy drown the slut on purpose?????

    probably shouldn’t have added the last part…

    R.I.P. Ted


  402. some thoughts on universal health care and medical health cards….
    make everyone 18 and over have one….
    make everyone show it when voting(if you vote twice you loose it)
    if you don’t vote you loose it….

    hope everything goes well Greytdog….


  403. Raji:

    Thank you for your reply. I think it helps explain why Regan got elected, but not why he’s so admired in the Repubican party. I just want to know.

    I have been waiting to get some kind of ani-Kennedy email from my father-in-law. He loves to forward anything that puts down liberals whether there is any truth to it or not. Usually when I look on it’s completely untrue. I think if conservative Republicans who worked with Kennedy respected and admired him, then others should, too. You don’t always have to agree with a person to admire their convictions, and Kennedy’s convictions seemed sincere. And he could actually listen to conservatives and compromised with them to pass meaningful legislation. He did more as a senator than he ever could have as a president. I’m sorry he’s been missing from the discussions on health care.


  404. What do Health Insurance companies do?

    What value do they add?

    I mean besides…

    …denying you coverage…
    …to up their profits…
    …to give out as bonuses and bribe/lobby Congress not reform Health Insurance.

    Been there, done that!

    PEACE ~ Δ ~ 8)


  405. Bumper Sticker Wisdom

    Here are the top 10:

    1) My Other Car is a Health Insurance Payment
    2) My Car Has Better Insurance Than I Do
    3) My Death Panel is an HMO
    4) Underinsured Baby on Board
    5) Hate Socialism? Repeal Medicare!!
    6) Sanctity of Life should not end at Birth!
    7) WWJD: Who Would Jesus Deny?
    8) My single prayer is single payer
    9) The Public GOPtion: Don’t Get Sick
    10) GOP: Rest Uninsured America

    See more at the link.



  406. Health Insurance Reform…

    on the back of a napkin!



  407. HRH Sofia EQ
    Nancy Reagan did have star quality, didn’t she. 🙂


  408. …and #2 is folk-style:


  409. I can’t seem to be able to load two video-links in the same message so let’s see if I can do one at a time. These are lighthearted looks at love and health insurance (a great couple if there ever was one!).

    #1 is urban-style:


  410. Lightening up a little: two songs about health insurance and true love, one urban and one folkie:

    Boyfriend with Health Benefits

    Insurance Plan


  411. Thank god we still have a few smart people left.
    The town hall meetings are a black mark on this country, when did it become O.K. to not let someone have a say? I don’t care if you agree with what they are saying, but they do have a right to say it! if you don’t like what you hear, you listen and then give your reply.
    I have read the Health care reform bill (yes all 1016 pages of it) and I don’t think there is any thing in it that you could not be in support of,
    because ther is nothing in it. The part that should upset everyone is the fact that it makes no sense, has no plan of what or how it would be run. it just leaves it all up in the air.

    What we need to do is reform how hospitals charge ($15 for asprin $20 for a cup of jello is B.S.) and then go after the ins. co.
    and that includes car ins.


  412. Greytdog, good luck on your surgery tomorrow. Hope all goes well.

    About Senator Ted Kennedy, may he rest in peace. He has done a lot for this country.
    I usually try to stay out of politics in the workplace. But since I live in a red state, from time to time, I have to defend a liberal position. And so I did today. They are so rude and vocal with their closed-mindedness! A lifetime of work for the public good did no good in some people’s eyes. I stated that Senator Kennedy had compassion for his fellow humans. No, I was told, he belonged in jail, for past misdeeds. And then on to healthcare, the government is trying to take their money and give it to other people. They work for their money and they mean to keep it for themselves. I said, well, nobody asked me before my hard earned money was sent to the wasteland of Iraq. Well, nobody won that argument. That will show me to try to engage people I have nothing in common with.

    Greytdog, once again, you had it right about that “survival of the fittest” idea. You really were on to something.


  413. Workers Comp injuries are coded and paid differently from personal health insurance. And premiums for W/C are usually dependent on the type of work being covered. Construction is usually a higher premium – while first responders & state employees seem to have a higher rate of litigation for W/C.


  414. Interesting, Kitkat. So, the health insurance industry has actually been doing us a favor, saving the doctors for those of us with insurance. I can’t quite get my brain wrapped around their ‘logic.’
    In our area, we have a couple of ’emergency care’ clinics. They seem like a good idea but I doubt they exist in most areas. When Sebastian stomped on a wire from the tree basket and shoved it 2″ into his foot, we took him to emergency care. He doesn’t have insurance and they billed workman’s comp. And he promised to wear better shoes and be more careful about what he stomps

    I do wish they would talk about this issue, though. It would make them seem less unfeeling.


  415. “For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die.” Ted Kennedy Aug 1980

    Hope your healthcare dream comes true, Mr. Kennedy. RIP


  416. Ted Kennedy / Dignity, Honor and Commitment


  417. HRH Sofia EQ, here’s something I heard today that got me wondering. On a anti-health reform commercial, it said that if we give 48 million people health insurance, there won’t be enough doctors. Now, do they expect the uninsured to rush to the doctor all at once or do they not realize that those 48 million are currently seeing emergency room doctors when they need a doctor?


  418. Thank you Palinshutup. I usually skip Bill Maher, he used to be funnier and less annoying, but that was well said. I enjoyed reading it.


  419. Raji, about Nancy Reagon.. Did you forget she planned her days based on the stars and their conjunctions. Can’t remember the name of her astrologer (heck, I can’t even spell it) Many of us felt Presiden Raygun had early onset alzheimers disease. My opinion of them has never changed, and is proving to be more and more correct.


  420. Disclaimer… took me awhile to type this with my poor arthritic fingers so maybe you all were already talking about it… James and Katherine seem to be in time out, maybe I can fill their shoes. …

    While we wait for Margaret or Helen to come up with another topic to discuss, as someone above said, let’s talk about health care. No one seems to be talking about the fact that when people ‘just go to the emergency room if they don’t have health insurance and are sick, SOMEONE PAYS. True, it’s probably not (but sometimes IS) the person being treated, but SOMEONE does pay, and it’s not God I don’t know the exact process, but it seems that all those $26 aspirin and other super inflated services charged to the uncomplaining insurance companies, and to many numb and suffering patients are really just a subsidy to cover services hospitals deliver but can never collect on. Sure, it gets the hospital the funds it needs to stay in business and provide very necessary services to us all, but it disguises the problem. AND it encourages corporations to be dishonest in their billing practices.

    Another way for medical service providers to ‘make gravy’ is to bill for services that are never delivered. I know of a woman who went to an incontinence clinic for, ahem, incontinence. She had the checkup and decided not to do anything, but when she got her copy of the bill sent to Medicare (I’m new to Medicare so I’ve never seen the way this works but my insurance company sent me a copy of the bill when they did my hip and it was shocking so I’m assuming it works similarly with Medicare)… , she found they had billed Medicare TWICE for a procedure they had never performed. Now, some people (right wing conservatives?) might say it’s the government’s fault for accepting the bill and paying it. I say, it is the greed of the clinic, making hay on someone’s problem. I don’t know what percentage of billings are this fraudulent. I hope pretty small. None the less, it increases the cost to Medicare and it makes our government look bad, like they can‘t figure our what‘s going on, even though they‘re just trying to keep people healthy and provide the services we want.

    These specialized clinics that treat specific not-life threatening problems seem to popping up like mushrooms. I think they’re real gold mines in some cases. The one I mentioned above advertises on billboards all over our county, and while I’m sure they help some people, I’m also sure they show a nice profit after they pay the practitioners a really good salary. They’re businesses, people!!! In our capitalist society, they are lauded.

    I would like to see… more general health clinics for people who need them in places where they need them, ie where there are few, if any general practitioners. If government health care could fund these by paying for the care given, our health care costs would probably either go down or at least level out. With public insurance that competes directly with insurance companies, (thereby keeping the insurance companies a little more honest and keeps drug and care costs down just by being) people could pay for clinic visits with their (government or private) insurance. Maybe an incentive in rates could be allowed for areas where no one wants to be a doctor (you know, like Alaska or Oklahoma. (I was entertained for many years by Northern Exposure, back in the, what, 80’s, can’t quite remember exactly) If every one had the right to an annual physical and was told their blood sugar or cholesterol or whatever was bad and they will DIE or have a leg amputated or worse, and they should start changing their habits, by someone with authority, they just might start being better, healthier people. I still think the HMOs have the right idea. Encourage healthy living so you have to treat fewer sicknesses.

    And then I want to talk about our education system, where teachers are not respected by the parents who feel they are somehow not part of the problem. If children are brought up in homes where learning and reading are honored, the children grow up to be readers and learners. The Indians, Chinese, and Japanese know this. The children of our fellow Americans all want to grow up to be like Britney or whoever is currently the STAR


  421. The Fight Of A Lifetime

    In lieu of flowers, let’s pass health insurance reform.

    PEACE ~ Δ


  422. Stacey, no harm, no foul!


  423. Anne, you brought up an interesting question. I am going to approach that question from my personal point of view from facts that I remember. When my husband, a native Floridan, and I moved back to Florida in 1970, we registered to vote as Republicans because there was no registered Republican party in FL. our way of making a statement. The Nixon affair was a shock and an embarrassment to those of us young republicans trying to break the Democratic stronghold, similar to the young democrats of today trying to break the Republican stronghold.

    I think we wanted to recover our image. I always felt Carter was elected because he represented the exact opposite of Nixon. For many of us, watching a POTUS wear sweaters at the White House and refuse to serve wine with State dinners was another embarrassment as we felt this was not how we wanted to be represented internationally.

    So my belief is when Reagan appeared on the scene with all his charisma, he represented a new world. Nancy added that dash of glamour so missing from the Carter years. People were looking for an idol as Jackie had set the stage. As history has shown, Reagan did not have a clue how to govern but Nancy did.

    Then as it is now, it was all about the image of POTUS not the government. That idea is what needs to change.


  424. O M G

    freaking hysterical

    Bill Maher sometimes makes sense

    ‘…And these are the idiots we want to weigh in on the minutia of health care policy? Please, this country is like a college chick after two Long Island Iced Teas: we can be talked into anything, like wars, and we can be talked out of anything, like health care….’

    New Rule: Just because a country elects a smart president doesn’t make it a smart country.


  425. Oh, and sorry about spelling republican wrong.


  426. I think you answered your own question Anne – it was because he made people think that government is evil and that struck a cord with replubicans. I think the charisma didn’t hurt either.


  427. Hi –

    This is a cool and humorous blog site. Here’s the America I DO NOT want back.

    I grew up in a time in the late 70’s/early 80’s, where every Thursday in eighth grade, all of us were sent to an auditorium to watch movies. Who knows what the teachers were up too… lol.

    Well, these movies were all full of “scare-the-crap” out of you tactics to get you motivated to save the world.

    Here were the topics:

    1. America is strip-mining our land into oblivion. This must change.

    2. America is too dependent on oil & rock shale for energy. This must change.

    Geez – what has changed. Not much. In Illinois, we are embarassingly the leaders of coal mining. Strip mining of it. Nothing has changed.

    We all know what a disgrace the USA is in depending on oil. Thirty years after those film strips in 8th grade. Where is the innovation and why does the US not invest in SUCCESSFUL R&D that gives tax-benefits to those companies that show not only a success of technology, but success of a technology that is sold to American corporations. Technologies that reduce dependency on foreign soil natural resources? If we could quantitatively measure usage of technology and matching reduction in dependancy on foreign resources in an objective way, those companies investing in that R&D would benefit. Let’s require they reinvest a percentage of that money back into R&D to continue SUCCESSFUL TRENDS that help the average-Joe’s pocketbook at home!

    OK – here’s my first blog. Go to it strategists, engineers, policy-makers. My degrees are in graphic communications and nursing. Please use your influence where you can! I’ll keep up my end of the deal with reuse-reduce-recycle & FREECYCLE!

    Gail 🙂


  428. Raji, I heard the same interview on NPR and it was very telling. Senators (and Congressman, I’m sure) have to spend so much time raising money to get reelected that they don’t spend as much time as they should actually doing their job. The sad part is, it’s not likely to change because who’s going to vote to give money to politicians to be reelected? And those with the ability to raise more money are not going to want to be on equal footing with people running against them.

    On another note, can anyone explain to me why Regan is so reveered in the Republican party? I remember, even when I was young, hearing about how Regan’s policies ran up the deficit. Also, we lost all the ground we’d made during the Carter administration towards finding alternative energy sources because Regan said American’s shouldn’t have to sacrifice. Also, Regan was the one who put into our heads the idea of BIG GOVERNMENT, and how the GOVERNMENT is BAD and can’t possibly run anything as complicated as health care (even though they run Medicare and the VA). I’m just wondering. Is it just because of the Soviet Union collapsing? Because the Soviet Union kind of did that to themselves. Oil prices dropped and they kept spending like it hadn’t and the country went bankrupt. Am I missing something? Was it just charisma?


  429. I was searching for a way to honor Kennedy on my Facebook page this morning and found the following quote:

    “The More our feelings diverge, the more deeply felt they are, the greater is our obligation to grant the sincerity and essential decency of our fellow citizens on the other side….”
    — Edward Kennedy, 1983

    Wise words.


  430. #$%%^^&*GFTHJjkgyfy6h yti7&*()& %FF J”
    I’m just exercising my fingers.
    (sigh) Twiddling my thumbs while we wait for a post from Helen and Margaret.

    and……RIP Senator Kennedy. Your devotion to the citizens of our country was very much appreciated and will be remembered.


  431. frankly, I find the term “Puma” insulting to the great cat. Those creatures have so much more integrity and dignity than the self-styled PUMAs like Kathleen.


  432. Kathleen, just a suggestion: but you’d probably enjoy the company over at Palin’s Facebook page. The comments there are more in keeping with your mindset, or lack thereof.


  433. Thank you ΔTine. I agree. She has to keep me in line on occassion.

    Many of the people who steer our worlds are on this list.

    The front men are just the messengers. It is, afterall, our tradition to shoot the messenger.
    Colorful, if you’re out there, pray for these powerful humans.


  434. I just had to respond to Kathleen’s comment yesterday extolling the virtues of Sarah Palin taking a 10% paycut in her $68,000 salary.

    That is $6,800. She then had to hire a $54,000 year City Manager because she couldn’t handle things. Towns that size are not generally requiring of a City Manager. So the net loss was $47,200. Doesn’t seem fiscally responsible to me. Add that to $50 remodel and she cost the small Town of Wasilla almost $100,000 just within her first several months in office.


  435. And now that she who must not be named (rhymes with Bathspleen) has been called out for the troll that she is – poof! – gone. Typical but welcome.


  436. Your wife is a very smart lady, Poolman.


  437. My wife was reminding me just a little while ago, that as Christians, we are all part of the same body. With Christ as the head. She was saying that we all look different and serve different uses. Some parts are acceptable to display publicly, others are not. Nevertheless, we are all needed and someone has to make up the unpleasant parts. 😀


  438. @Beatrice 8/25 6:46pm

    “I wish all of you would stop attacking James. I quite enjoy the rantings of an intelligent gay man every now and then. Keeps things interesting around here while we wait for another post from Margaret and Helen.

    I’ve got your back, James. You go girl!”


    I’ve always thought of James (and UAW) as a cross between Frank Burns and Archie Bunker…without the wit and charm of course. 😉

    By chance I came across some video of UAW’s freakout the other day.

    😉 ~ Δ


  439. Actually I do think there was some sexism directed at Palin. But that doesn’t change the fact that she is a blithering idiot.
    I feel bad that I seem to have brought Kathleen out.


  440. PUMA wrecked any credibility they had by going McCain and ignoring Hillary’s political loyalties and Palin’s idiocy. They’ll have a hell of a time digging themselves out of the misandry / conservative useful tool holes they’ve put themselves in.


  441. PalinShutUp–I stand corrected! You are absolutely right.


  442. Donna, I agree with everything you posted with one exception, people of all parties voted for Obama 🙂

    Kathleen is bitter


  443. Go away Kathleen and take sp with you


  444. Obama owes it to Ted (and the rest of the American people) to pass that Health Care with Public Option ASAP


  445. Ted Kennedy on Universal Health Care

    Very compelling story.


  446. but…but…but…Palin is a woman! And anything said about her MUST be sexist!!!

    Obviously, I’m being facetious here, but this has nothing to do with Palin’s policies or competence or anything other than her chromosomal makeup in Kathleen World.

    As for passing a health care bill to honor a great man, I couldn’t agree more.


  447. Kathleen,

    Check this out: It is about the public option in health care from FOX NEWS of all places.

    When I think of Palin: I think of made up death squads and real starving villagers. I also think of abstinence and telling kids to do well in school as her own kids drop out and get pregnant under her roof.

    Say one thing – do another.

    RIP Edward Kennedy. Now, we need to pass a health care bill to honor his memory.


  448. I’ve always thought the PUMAs were pretty screwy. It’s absolutely fine to support a candidate–that’s what the system is all about. And you can disapprove of what you see as media bias. But to actually go and vote for a candidate who is completely antithetical to what your candidate stood for is not only childish, it shows that your support for your candidate was based on nothing but image and what you projected onto her.

    Ms. Clinton herself deeply and publicly disapproved of people like Kathleen. And now, well after the election, Kathleen is still trolling websites and attacking the President and making unhinged accusations such as the one about Mark Sanford. And so, as part of that, she appears at this site, pretending to offer a particular point of view when it’s just a chance to spew her bizarre theories and ventilate her hatred of someone who was preferred as a candidate by the majority of Democratic voters.


  449. Keith–she’s a PUMA. Google her name and Obama and you’ll see her. She voted for McCain out of her angst about the supposed mistreatment of Hillary Clinton and she actually posts that she believes the Obama administration leaked Sanford’s whereabouts in Argentina to retaliate for his opposition to the bailouts. She claims to be “committed to sticking it to the Democratic Party.”

    So, she’s not only a plagiarizer, she’s a complete scam…and a conspiracy nut. Tine, my girl, you called this one!


  450. Funny, isn’t it, how Kathleen first edged her way onto the porch by pretending to be so aghast at the way “poor Hillary” had been treated. Once she got people to engage she went full throttle Palin. Time to kick her down the stairs and ignore her yelping and whining to get back up on the porch. She’s a troll and a plagiarizer- treat her as such.


  451. Kathleen: Honey, you must be bored out of your gourd. Otherwise, why the hell are you beating your head against the wall here? We enjoy a vigorous debate of the issues here, and we often disagree on the issues, but we do so respectfully.

    Fight the fights that matter. Fight the fights that have the chance of forging a change. Otherwise just shut the hell up and go away if you can’t CONTRIBUTE!

    Keith in NM


  452. That disaster, Rush Limbaugh, just spoke of the passing of the “Lion of the Senate” and then said “and we were his prey.” Poolman–you are so right. These people are ghastly.


  453. You can always tell those that have no respect for our president because they never capitalize his name like they do everyone elses. Conscious or not, it is always a tell-tale sign. We used to treat with respect the people that were elected to that office, no matter what our political views were. No longer is that the case. Many have proved themselves not worthy of respect over time, but we used to give them a reasonable chance and benefit of the doubt. Those days are gone in America. Now we debase them in the mainstream media. What was once considered treason is now labeled free speech.


  454. NPR replayed an interview with Ted Kennedy in 2006 this morning. Several pertinent points that Kennedy made relate to our concerns today.

    He compared Congress in the 60’s to Congress today. He said then the job was for 12 months with normal holidays such as the 4th of July, Labor Day and Christmas. Congressmen today leave on Thursday each week in order to seek campaign funds. In essence he said they were failing the American people.

    He said the principle reason to be a Senator was “to get things done”. He stated Lobbyists spend about Ten Billion dollars to influence legislators. He particularly spoke about the need for campaign reform in terms of the use of public funds.

    A lot of these points we probably all heard him say but didn’t ingest the importance at that time.


  455. I don’t know where Kathleen is coming from. Maybe she’s a PUMA. Who’s knows? But to cite HuffPO and AmericBlog as the end all be all of true journalism is a joke. Soemtimes HuffingtonPsot is informatie, but majority of the time it can be pretty off-key.

    I second your comment Donna. I have been reading this thread and Kathleen seems very disingenious with her information. She seems to be excreeting bile. In very large amounts.

    I call troll.


  456. Kathleen is obviously a Palin worshiper, who occasionally shows up and feigns a veneer of “here’s an opposing point of view from someone who has thought long and hard about the issues, blah blah.” But that veneer is very thin and underneath it is exactly what she accuses others of doing. So Kathleen–why plagiarize Wikipedia? And why leave out all of the information there that’s contrary to your insisted portrayal of the Disasta from Alaska as a competent and ethical public “servant?”

    Why not go back to C4P since your claim of being anything remotely approaching independent is an utter farce. And please be clear–I welcome opposing points of view. I just have problems with frauds.


  457. vgman sez “I believe Obama would create a lasting legacy by sweeping the Beltway free of corruption. We are tired of politicians who view their role as “deserved”. ”

    Of course part of the problem is the money the elected reps “need” in order to campaign and re-campaign. I’m not sure term-limits are the answer, but campaign reform sure might be. It the field were leveled, if candidates were allowed X-amount of publicly-funded time on TV and in print ads and no more (and not until six months or so ahead of the elections), they wouldn’t need all the money they receive from special interests — whether those are my special interests or yours or hers or his.


  458. Hoping for a post on the health care debate. Would love to read your thoughts about the crazy myths out there…


  459. Kathleen: I lived under Queen Crazy Palin’s rule!

    I saw first had the do as I say, NOT AS I DO, behavior which was common for Crazy Sarah.

    Open decision making for all but her. The natives are starving, let us pray and I will bring some cookies.

    Her inrterviews on national tv showed the word salad which is Crazy Sarah.

    The koolaid must taste good.


  460. This explains everything…
    ONN: Obama is Bipolar!

    😉 ~ Δ


  461. Bush was not smart enough to know he was not smart enough to be president. I’m afraid Palin suffers from the same limitation. If only ego were brains.

    RIP, Mr. Kennedy. You did good.


  462. What we do know for sure, Kathleen, is that you are the devil.

    Have a nice day…now leave the porch, please.


  463. Defending Palin against the same kinds of attacks you obama supporters screamed about during the primary, has nothing to do with credibility. It has everything to do with seeking the truth and not becoming that which all democrats protested against, when it was the republicans attacking democrats during the 2000 and 2004 election cycles in much the same way the democrats are now attacking Palin.

    In fact, I’m proud not to be part of such behavior!

    Maybe if you took your head out of obama’s butt for a moment, you might see what’s really going on around you and stop with the knee jerk responses to anyone who doesn’t agree with you and obama.

    If the Black Agenda Report is willing to view the political spectrum with open eyes, instead of rose colored glasses, why can’t you? I would be surprised if any of the staunch obama supporters here read it’s most recent article with an open mind…but miracles do happen:


  464. Right on! Oh how I wish the rest of the Seniors were that smart. Our education system is failing us and therefore, our democracy. Aided by the News Media, I may add.


  465. It is time to pass health care legislation in the memory of Ted Kennedy. (With the public option)

    Whirled Peas: You are right on about Howard Dean. He has been out front making the case for the public option. He is showing himself to be a leader for the time.


  466. Today the Senate lost its heart.
    Today Congress lost its center.
    Today Massachusetts lost a Senator.
    And we Americans lost our champion.

    RIP Ted Kennedy. Thou has been a good and faithful servant and the Lord Thy God is well-pleased with Thee. May the Angels sing you home borne on the gratitude of this nation whom you loved.


  467. The opportunity to truly lead is here and now.
    If we view this health care debate in hindsight, it is paramount for Obama to see that GREAT presidents always stood their ground in the face of adversity.
    Do we remember what Millard Fillmore accomplished? Benjamin Harrison? or others?
    No. We connect with great movements led by true leaders that accomplished much.

    Andrew Jackson spurned the wealthy and corporate interests of the day. I believe Obama would create a lasting legacy by sweeping the Beltway free of corruption. We are tired of politicians who view their role as “deserved”.
    Lasso up the lobbyists and tell them they will not be needed.
    If four years of leadership are the result of a committed battle to give the country back to the people, so be it. Andrew Jackson knew he had the people on his side. It propelled him to another four years and a place as one of our GREAT presidents.

    Much can be learned by studying the early, youthful years of our presidents. Their character and “backbone” formed from life’s experiences.
    Andrew Jackson received a slash on his cheek from a British officer’s sword during the Revolutionary War at the age of 14 or so. He had been captured along with his older brother. After being ordered to shine the officer’s boots in front of others, Jackson refused–and then received the mark that would determine his future of fighting the rich and powerful four decades later.

    Obama can prove himself as a leader if he puts the interests of millions Americans front and center.


  468. Whirled, excellent comments. I’m not as verbose as many on this site and you expressed my thoughts eloquently.

    I have always admired Howard Dean and think he may be in the right place at the right time. I didn’t think he would make a good President but now I wonder if any one can be a good President under the circumstances this country has found itself in as Poolman has stated many times. Reboot is right!

    I too am not sure what direction Obama is heading but if his press secretary Robert Gibbs is correct, he is going to put up a good fight.

    GIBBS: “I have heard the President say that if making tough decisions in getting important things done that Washington has failed to deal with for decades means that he only lives in this house and makes those decisions for four years, he’s quite comfortable with that.”

    However, I think that is what we are all waiting to see..Tough Decisions.


  469. Let me begin by saying you people here make me proud to be a ‘Wedgie’ {Δ}.

    I’ve watched the M&H crowd mature over this past year into a first-rate community of intelligent and informed commentors. The stories of your life experiences, backed by the courage of your convictions and mixed with fresh news of the day, makes this one of my favorite stops. Everything anyone could want in a blog; informative, entertaining, enlightening and welcoming.

    Thank you all…and M&H.
    (and Matt)


    As far as a leader…

    We know where W & the Dick led us. We can ‘guess’ where McNasty and Sockeye Sarah would have gone. We can see that ‘The Big O’ needs to be prodded along…

    …so that’s why I like Howard Dean.

    He’s one of us! ~ Δ ~ PEACE


  470. 😦


  471. hahaha!!

    ‘so McCain’s VP pick was mayor of a laundromat?’


  472. Ted Kennedy died!


  473. Politicians and wrestlers…


  474. Hey, Sarah Palin had a drive thru window installed at the Wasilla town hall:

    Wasilla City Hall

    Now if that isn’t worthy of presidential greatness, I don’t know what is. Plus, she’s hot!


  475. Reboot the government


  476. Kathleen, You are a crazy Palinista! My God!

    Sarah did file charges against others and picked her way through politics to be Governor. SARAH THEN DID ALL OF THE THINGS SHE ACCUSED OTHERS OF and objected when people called her out on her crappy dealings.

    Remember TrooperGate: She and Todd tried to get the Trooper Commish fired because he would not fire her brother in law.

    Sarah said she was going to have an open government but ran a very closed government. She would not allow access to emails about government business. (In this day and age emails should be made available.)

    Wasilla: Was it 20 million dollars of debt she left for the city?

    Palin and Natives: Sarah did nothing (gave out a few cookies) to help the starving Yukon Village peoples who were starving and paying $9.00 a gallon for gas and home heating oil.

    Palin was worthless as governor – glad she is gone.


  477. There goes Kathleen again, spewing the palin propaganda, the only kool aid is the one Kathleen is drinking

    Kathleen, dont you have a blog where you can go spew your garbage? Its beginning to smell around here

    Kathleen, I can count a whole bunch of issues I disagree with Obama on, the right for gays to marry is only one so Im sorry to disappoint but the only blind follower around here is yourself

    Greytdog I agree with you on most of what you wrote about Obama

    Im not discouraged completely, I think he has done a hell of a lot more than Bush did in just the beginning of his presidency and I believe something will be done about health care but I am impatient as well and I want it done yesterday, I am beginning to get frustrated, specially when I am seeing so many people in my life suffer without enough coverage or going through the hoops insurance cos make them go through while they are dying and Obama knows what fighting insurance cos was like because his mother died doing just that so Im sure he hasnt forgotten

    I think part of the problem with Obama is he is not as liberal as many of us would like him to be and he tries to work it out with the right to a fault

    I just heard McCain talking crap about how the American people cant afford health care with the debt, well, they should have thought about that when they started the wars in the Middle East

    they didnt care how many billions were wasted there and I dont want to hear how much money health care is going to cost, McCain and the rest of those repubs…can kiss my ass too 🙂


  478. I loved all the comments responding to Kathleen re: Palin. Really enjoyable read this evening.

    I certainly don’t have a blind allegiance to Obama, but why is it bad he has an ivy league education? IMHO, a good education should be a requirement. Even W went to Yale (thanks to Daddy). I definitely do not want a VP who took 5 years to get a bachelors at 3 different schools (was it 3 or 4?).


  479. OK–this is one of the blessings/curses of having something close to a photographic memory for words (even old as I am). I kept thinking….”why does Kathleen sound so, well, canned?” And the reason, mes amis, is that she PLAGIARIZED Wikipedia on Palin. Verbatim. However, she left out the unfavorable facts from the same piece. And this is the woman who accuses other people of lacking critical thought? Hoo-haw!

    Wow, Kathleen–you must be so proud. Ms. “I Don’t Like the Elite Folks” and “I’m all about integrity” is the cheapest sort of plagiarizer.


  480. Kathleen, in case you didn’t notice, Palin QUIT rather than see the job to the end. She QUIT. WALKED OFF THE JOB. And left a mess behind her that required a Special Session of the AK Legislature to clean up. And a QUITTER is not my idea of a person with character.


  481. Kathleen Wynne sez “By attacking Palin, you sadly show your crippling, blind allegiance to obama.”

    Are you serious? You mean those are the only choices, and one must be blindly allegiant to one OR the other? That makes no sense at all.


  482. Thanks Anne, Donna, thymeCher, Raji, Tine. Good posts. Sarah Palin being sold to the posters on this blog? Yes, I could not help but chuckle also Greytdog. What a hoot!


  483. Hoo-ee, where to start?

    Let’s just go with the whole ad hominem attack thing, shall we? That’ll cover everything nicely.

    You are apparentl a master of the AHA. You have made many, many assumptions about me, all of which are false.

    I do not *ever* read MSNBC. No hyperbole. Never.

    I was and am a Hill Gal. I was sorely disappointed when she lost the nomination. But I moved forward, because there wasn’t much point in bitterness, and I found much to admire in Obama as well. He was definitely the best choice on election day, and I remain convinced he’s doing a much better job with the pile of shit Bush created than McCain could possibly have done. I have no “crippling, blind allegiance” to him. He has disappointed me already.

    I formulated all the opinions about Palin expressed in my last post, as well as other posts, not from blind allegiance (which I do not possess for *anyone*) but from (a) my own observations of her and (b) people who actually live in Alaska and are in a much better position than I to know what she really has and hasn’t done. Those people are not all anti-Palin. But the overall consensus from the folks I read and discuss Alaska issues with is…how shall I put this….QUITE different from your assessment of Palin’s performance.

    Nice try casting aspersions on me, though. Unfortunately, you know nothing about me and have proven it — and displayed your own blind allegiances — in a most unpleasant way.


  484. I wish all of you would stop attacking James. I quite enjoy the rantings of an intelligent gay man every now and then. Keeps things interesting around here while we wait for another post from Margaret and Helen.

    I’ve got your back, James. You go girl!


  485. New Rule: No Shame in Being the Sorry Party
    New Rule: If Mitt Romney, Karl Rove and Sarah Palin all think America has never done anything wrong, we must be doing something wrong. Look at them: an empty suit, an empty heart and an empty head. It looks like the news team on Good Morning Hell. And what they’ve been competing about lately is who would not apologize the most. America is infallible, and apologies are horrible things that must never, ever be given. Except by me when I make a joke about the Pope. “We’re perfect — deal with it,” is their new handshake. But I say, what’s wrong with America occasionally saying, “I’m sorry”? Because these are the three sorriest white people I’ve ever seen.

    If in your eyes America can do no wrong, you should really look into Lasik surgery. There’s the rational, mature assessment of our country: that it’s a great nation — especially if you like fried foods — but it also has its faults. And then there’s the Republican view: that it’s perfect and pure in every way and it’s always right all the time, just like Leviticus and Ronald Reagan.

    If the founders were alive today, Republicans would be giving them shit because the Preamble to the Constitution says, “In order to form a more perfect union? Hello, it’s already perfect! Why are you suggesting American apologetics, Ben Franklin?”

    One of the things that makes Republicans furious about our current president is their idea that Obama is always apologizing for America’s biggest mistakes. Unlike President Bush. Who was one of America’s biggest mistakes.

    In his first week as president, Obama did an interview with Arab TV in which he said, “We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect.” Thought crime! And then he went to Cairo and violated one of those absolute eternal rules the Right Wing is always making up out of thin air: “The president must never apologize on foreign soil. Lest our allies begin to doubt that we’re assholes. ”

    But what did Obama actually say to make Karl Rove’s head explode and the popcorn fly out? Cover your children’s ears: When he was asked if he believed in American exceptionalism, he said he did, the same way “the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks in Greek exceptionalism.” Yes, our so-called president actually said people in other countries might like their countries better. I was so shocked I nearly dropped the Bible I was using to help me masturbate into my gun.

    In her farewell speech — if only — Sarah Palin kept telling us “how she’s wired.” Now I’m not a doctor, or an electrician — but this is faulty wiring, this worldview that, in her words, “we should never apologize for our country.” Really? Never? Not for slavery? Or Japanese internment camps, or if we tortured the wrong guy at Guantanamo? The Indians? Nothing, Sarah? “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”? Shouldn’t John McCain apologize for… you?

    When did intractability become a virtue? Mitt Romney’s new book is called No Apology: The Case For American Greatness. You can find it at Borders, in the “Suck-Up” section. It’s such a perfect title, combining paranoia with arrogance: “No one has yet asked me to apologize but, if someone ever does, fuck them.”

    Conservatives think apologizing is a sign of weakness. It’s what liberal pussies do, when they’re not busy driving electric cars and feeling empathy. When in fact it’s the weak and the scared who are too insecure to apologize. Apologies are actually a sign of strength. That’s why six-year-olds hate them.

    In Rwanda, after a genocide that killed a million people, they set up special courts where people stood up and said, “Hey, sorry I macheted your entire family. My bad.” And believe it or not, in most cases, that was enough. That’s the power of an apology. A recent study reveals that doctors who are willing to apologize to patients for their mistakes are sued for malpractice about half as much as doctors who aren’t willing to apologize.

    Apologies can do great things, and they can enable great things. And if you still don’t believe me, I have three words for you: make-up sex.


  486. There are those that just see Sarah as a victim and unfairly treated by the mainstream media. Was she abused by the media? Yes – just like all public figures are. That is what we do. We attack the character of those seeking to represent us. It is part of the job description. It is in the rule book on both sides. It isn’t pretty. Some can handle it and shrug it off. Though Palin said she could, in truth, she could not.

    Don’t become a boxer if you can’t stand to be punched. Don’t go to a bullfight if you can’t stand blood or gore. I can make a case for unfair treatment of all our elected leaders by those that oppose them. All we end up debating is the degree of slime that is slung. It says more about us as a society than the people we elect to represent us.

    Is it fair? What is fair? Tit for tat. An eye for an eye. We learn this with our siblings and peers in grade school. Life isn’t fair, we’ve been told. We can all recall times when we have been treated unfairly. The best of us don’t blame others. We become stronger through the storm. We know in our heart the truth and continue to stand for what we believe. “Sticks and stones…”

    I recall a time in our history when it appeared that we had matured and were above that. I am not sure when we peaked, but I know we are no longer on that summit. And we surely are not on the upside anymore. Like our education system, we have dumbed down.

    Public figures should be judged by their fruit – their accomplishments. What do we find in their wake? It is said “talk is cheap”. It sure gets us riled and emotionally involved. When it leads us to action and positive influence for our society, then we can measure results. Then we can assess character. Then we be critical.

    Right now we need to capture our government back from corporate interests. That is the greater threat. Politicians are merely the actors on this stage. We need to get back to the original script, IMO.


  487. thymeCher, you’re quite the poet.


  488. On the naked dancers…….

    “Gosh darn, that was fantastic! You betcha that was pure talent. (Wink!)”


  489. thymeCher wins with best summation:

    “Palin is a political version of fast food. Cheap, messy and truly empty calories. All we are left with are paper wrappers and toxic waste.”


  490. Time out for a chuckle, just the mention of SP’s got my blood pressure up again.

    Move over Susan Boyle 🙂


  491. Palin is a political version of fast food. Cheap, messy and truly empty calories. All we are left with are paper wrappers and toxic waste.

    As much as I loathe giving credit to republicant’s, they have elevated insanity to an art form and the bitter twitter quitter is their Picasso.


  492. “By attacking Palin, you sadly show your crippling, blind allegiance to obama..”

    or by pointing out Palin’s painfully obvious inadequacies you show you are not drinking the kool aid. People who complain about attacks against Palin are the same people who said we should blindly and unquestioningly support Bush while he was ginning up a fake war against Iraq and called anyone who did so unpatriotic. Look how well THAT turned out.

    For God’s sake, girl, Palin is a fool. She proves this over and over. She is the example that proves the Peter Principle. Why on earth would the republican party want this woman-in-search-of-a-predicate to represent their party?


  493. “Disliking Palin does not mean I have blind crippling alleigance to Obama.”

    Right on, Anne!

    I can’t agree that she’s an idiot, though. I think she knows just enough to be classified as a hazard, and the destruction she’s wrought in Alaska is my proof.


  494. I agree. Tine wins. Between the ethics probes and the sudden stepping down from her office, I daresay we don’t need any more politicians like Palin. Why is this even in question? Ask most registered GOP why the McCain campaign failed. They’ll undoubtedly say that she detracted more than she ever helped. Why is this even in question? She shoots freakin’ wolves from freakin’ helicopters!


  495. Kathleen, you have lost your credibility with your defense of Sarah Palin. Have you not read any of the Alaskan blogs or newspapers? Can a whole state be wrong and you right?


    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂


  497. I greatly admire a number of women in government–both Republican and Democrat. Regardless of whether I agree with them on a particular issue (or any issues), I often deeply respect and appreciate them for their accomplishments and public service. However, it is because I so admire intelligent and accomplished women that I have little use for frauds like Sarah Palin who have neither intellect nor character but who rely on their appearance and manipulative tricks in lieu or either.


  498. Donna, do you hate all women or just women in government?


  499. Kathleen, do you hate all men or just black men?


  500. Anne–like Tine, you rock.


  501. “By attacking Palin, you sadly show your crippling, blind allegiance to obama. No politician should be above reproach and all politicians with different party affiliations are deserving of your ad hominem attacks.”

    Disliking Palin does not mean I have blind crippling alleigance to Obama. It means I think she’s an idot.

    “It is as throughout all Alaska that big wild good life teeming along the road that is north to the future.” Sarah Palin, extolling the virtues of the Alaskan wilderness during her last speech as governor.


  502. I am falling over laughing. Let’s see…while mayor she spent $50k redecorating her office without approval and left the city in huge debt and with significant legal problems as a result of the incompetent handling of the sports complex. The fabled “conflict of interest” reporting concerned, in part, actions that Palin herself took while governor. Yes, she sold the jet. She also took per diems for staying in her own home and bilked the taxpayers of thousands of dollars to truck her children to events. And it appears she used her position to advance her husband’s financial interests (and, therefore, her own), although she has played games with releasing the details of the Arctic Cat sponsorship.

    The fact is that she was a disaster as mayor and didn’t even serve out her term as governor. She used both positions for personal advantage and, to the extent she had any talent, it was for cheap political stunts of the sort you cite.

    Actually, the psychological phenomenom of projection is an interesting thing. You accuse people of “crippling, blind allegiance to Obama.” There are many people on here who have issues with Palin but are equally clear on the pros and cons of the current president. I would suggest that your statements about Palin’s “accomplishments”–which are refuted by the most basic research–reflect far more on your own lack of critical thinking than anything else.


  503. There was an excellent interview with T.R. Reid on NPR yesterday. He’s the gentleman who wrote a book about traveling to different countries with his bum shoulder to see what they would each suggest. Anyway, the Brits LOVE their universal coverage. They take pride in the system and even though they can have private if they want it, any important medical issues, like having a baby, they trust to the national plan. Canada has a similar plan, and even though it has its own problems, like long wait times to see a specialist (which they’re working to reduce) whenever anyone complains they say “At least we’re not the US!” As much as some politicans use the Canadian system as a fear tactic, they use are systems as a fear tactic whenever anyone complains about Canada’s system. Germany has a system that I think we could emmulate. They have several different private insurance companies, but they’re non-profit and you can choose whichever one you want and switch at any time and they have to take you. The hospitals are private too. Basically they’re heavily regulated. We need a system where every fee costs the same amount so we don’t need such a complex structure. That accounts for 17% of our health care costs, where in Germany and France it’s only 5%. Great interview. I’m thinking about buying his book.


  504. Correction: “all politicians of different party affiliations are NOT deserving of your ad hominem attacks.”


  505. Tine,

    And I can’t let what you said lie.

    You state that all politicians are alike and are elitists. I say, not all of them. I also notice some of you use any excuse to bash Palin on a personal level and I bet you’ve never researched her background and work, but totally depended on getting your information about her from MSNBC, which, ironically, is exactly what the obama supporters and the MSM did to Hillary during the primary.

    Here’s the difference between Palin and “all politicians”:

    In her first term as Mayor of Wasilla, she reduced her salary of $68,000 by 10%.

    She also kept a jar with the names of Wasilla residents on her desk. Once a week, she pulled a name from it and picked up the phone; she would ask: “How’s the city doing?”

    Using income generated by a 2% sales tax that was enacted before she was elected to the city council, Palin cut property taxes by 75% and eliminated personal property and business inventory taxes. Using municipal bonds, she made improvements to the roads and sewers, and increased funding to the Police Department. She was reelected with 74% of the vote.

    Palin was appointed to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. She chaired the Commission beginning in 2003, serving as Ethics Supervisor. Palin resigned in January 2004, protesting what she called the “lack of ethics” of fellow Republican members.

    After resigning, Palin filed a formal complaint against Oil and Gas Conservation Commissioner Randy Ruedrich, also the chair of the state Republican Party, accusing him of doing work for the party on public time and of working closely with a company he was supposed to be regulating. She also joined with Democratic legislator Eric Croft to file a complaint against Gregg Renkes, a former Alaskan Attorney General, accusing him of having a financial conflict of interest in negotiating a coal exporting trade agreement,while Renkes was the subject of investigation and after records suggesting a possible conflict of interest had been released to the public. Ruedrich and Renkes both resigned and Ruedrich paid a record $12,000 fine.

    Following through on a campaign promise, she sold the jet purchased by the previous governor to save the taxpayers money.

    These actions are what defines a “public servant” working in the best interest of her constituents. When was the last time you heard about a democrat calling out party leaders on ethics violations and at their own political risk?

    If you consider Palin just like any other politician, then I say, based on what she did while in office, we need a hell of a lot more just like her because the majority of politicians are elitists and think the government is their very own fraternity house to be used to advance their own interests and the people be damned.

    By attacking Palin, you sadly show your crippling, blind allegiance to obama. No politician should be above reproach and all politicians with different party affiliations are deserving of your ad hominem attacks.


  506. Tine–well put! It’s utter nonsense. You have our last President, who came from great wealth and went to an Ivy League school. You had Ronald Reagan–a wealthy actor before going into politics. Good Lord–John McCain came from a privileged background, went to one of the premier military schools, and married a multi-millionaress.

    And yet, the term “elite” is being now used as a slur. As for Palin, you are correct that she and her family have a lot of money. To the extent she is uneducated and uninformed, I’d hardly look at that as a positive.


  507. poolman sez “The balance of power was correctly placed in all 3 branches of our government. ”

    Interesting that Cheney was and is so interested in a more powerful presidency……. Doesn’t mean that such a president would be independent, and in fact would probably be more subject to the kinds of influences that seem to be so rampant.


  508. well, vgman, i’m glad you feel we are in agreement especially since you initially accused me of stating something i didn’t state. As for the “those days are gone” comment, I’m largely going by the ‘kids’ (okay, i’m old. everyone is a kid to me) I encounter in my daily life and the rampant bad grammer I hear. Please, also, don’t ask them to write a complete sentence. This is stuff that should have been squared away by the third grade but for some reason fundamentals seem to have fallen by the wayside. What else has a fallen away? I do NOT blame teachers for lack of dedication and effort.

    RE: the reference to the new Japanese residents in my home town starting a new school for their children, they did so because they felt the public schools were too lax and did not push the children enough. In fact, their school was in session monday through Saturday. these are the people our children are going to be competing against in the global market one day. Meanwhile, our kids get trophies for just showing up.


  509. Kathleen, you said: “Yes, indeed, I like and respect Sarah Palin because she’s genuine and she’s NOT ivy league and comes across as an elitist.”

    OK, I can’t just let this lie….

    First of all, what the hell is an elitist, anyway? It’s the latest trendy, meaningless insult. Everyone uses it for his/her own purposes, just like “Nazi,” “fascist,” etc. I was calling Bush both of those names way back in his first term, because his jingoistic militarism and stripping of civil rights seemed creepily fascist to me. I was floored when I started hearing people call Obama a fascist. I cannot for the life of me figure out what people think is fascist about him. Do they even know what “fascist” means? Sigh… But that all just goes to show that a word can mean different things to different people. Elitist, schmelitist.

    As far as I’m concerned, ALL who run for major government offices — and especially those who win — are elites. It’s unavoidable the way our system is set up. You have to be rich and privileged to have a fighting chance.

    Sarah Palin is as much an elite as anyone. She is rich and privileged, not working-class. All the evidence I’ve seen shows she is a winky-winking, you-betcha-ing, smarmy spotlight-chaser, not a “genuine,” ordinary American.

    As an ordinary American, I resent the comparison.


  510. First to James – I apologize for including you in my “blanket” snark at the current townhall “rage” & groupthink concerning healthcare reform. Just like you (&others) I get sooooo frustrated, especially by the folks who have a NIMBY attitude while proclaiming themselves Christians. Some days, I just snap & snarl. I apologize.

    jsri – your wife’s experiences in teaching remind me of my grandmother – who retired three times – but when asked, always returned to the classroom. When asked why, her response was always “the students need me”. And when she died, her students came from far and wide to pay respects to the teacher who changed their lives in small and big ways. It was amazing. I’ve taught elderhostel classes, and adult education. I simply don’t have the patience for high schoolers, and tend to revert to the same age as elementary kids whenever I’m around them (in other words, we meltdown together). I’ve had several teachers who have mentored me along the way and will be forever grateful for their faith in me.

    I haven’t been following the debate with Kathleen. But let me just throw this into the ring: When I voted for Barack Obama it was because he made me believe again that one small voice such as mine, when combined with other voices, can indeed create change. Since his election, yes I’ve been discouraged – I’m a kind of let’s get going, do it do it do it now person – but I’ve always remember that Obama’s slogan was not Yes I can nor was it Yes He Can, but Yes WE Can. So if we want change, if we want accountability, health care reform, transparency, etc. then WE must speak up – and speak loudly, and speak with conviction. Yes WE the people can.

    And my surgery is scheduled for Thursday AM. I had hoped to have it as outpatient but due to my heart condition, the ortho wants me overnight. Sigh. I hate that. No sleep. So I’ll be taking my laptop with me :::::hehehe:::::so I can blog, tweet, & write. AND my new book. The surgeon thinks that all will go well and I should be able to return to full time swimming with the dogs within 3 weeks.

    PS Donna – Kathleen is quite correct – Sarah Palin is genuine – a genuine idiot. 🙂


  511. ah, yes–Kathleen’s at it again. If you don’t share her disapproval of the President, you are a “kool-aid drinker.” On the other hand, she can form a judgment about Sarah Palin that she is “genuine.” How do you know? What on earth qualifies you to make such a judgment? Unless you have personally known the woman in any meaningful way, you are simply projecting your views on to her.


  512. Here are some links for “who is in control of our government”.


  513. jsri – I too get rather miffed at all the anti-teacher comments. Are there bad ones – sure. I’ve run into a couple, but its not that rule. What is wrong with our schools is actually quite simple – lack of money. If you’ve worked in the private sector you know that the easiest way to kill something that you don’t have the cohanes to kill outright is to underfund it. And that’s what the “anti-tax” activists out here are doing to our schools. It gets me very angry.
    I don’t teacher, just volunteer, and I continue to hand out hugs (but I ask first) I sure hope they don’t tell me I can’t. 5 and 6 year olds need hugs.


  514. Kathleen, Our presidents did have power originally. We all want to have a leader. It is our “give us a king” mentality. The balance of power was correctly placed in all 3 branches of our government. The founding fathers were careful to put in many safeguards. Lawyers and special interests have been over-riding those over time. We lose more every wartime in the name of security. Money and greed have been eroding our freedoms. That has escalated in the last century. We’ve been played like a giant chess game. Unless we take it back, we are at the mercy of industry and will be enslaved by the very government we set up to protect us.

    Instead we bicker among ourselves and are oblivious to the fact that the emperor has no clothes.


  515. To all you teachers and ex-teachers out there:

    I don’t understand how teachers collectively get such a bad rap. As in any occupation, there are the good, the bad, and the ugly. But public school teachers seem to get the most heat when one is not up to par. And often the subversion of their best efforts comes from within the system.

    My wife Em taught elementary school for almost 35 years. An English Lit major in college, started in 1955 with an emergency teaching certificate and zero experience, in a 2-room schoolhouse, with three grades and 22 pupils. It was a loosie-goosie operation, with little supervision, where she was allowed to determine her own curriculum. Parents appeared periodically bearing cookies or birthday cakes and were invited in where she would put them to work. She could hardly wait to get home to regale me with tales of the ebb and flow of her days.

    Six years later, when the town closed the school, she found herself unwittingly in the middle of a three-way battle for her services by the three elementary school principals in town. She chose one who had a large family of his own, a wise decision because his experiences were invaluable in dealing with doting but blindered parents. It was at this point that she began teaching grade one, the grade she taught until retiring. Along the way she gathered up all the necessary certifications plus an MEd and a PhD in Elementary Ed. She is still the only teacher I know of who had a PhD but insisted on teaching grade one. When questioned about why she did not want to go into administration, she always replied that grade one was the bedrock of education and that she was exactly where she wanted to be. She became a cooperating teacher for a nearby teacher’s college where she eventually became a member of the faculty but continued teaching grade one in the laboratory school there. This is also where things began to unravel.

    She spent a lot of money for supplies and display materials and she was never far away from thinking about her classes. Her classroom was funky and gaudy, guaranteed to capture the attention of her little charges. Some of her decorations were collected painstakingly for their worth as well as their educational value and many were recycled year after year. But one time toward the end of her career, she returned in the Fall to prepare her room for opening day and found it had been stripped clean. All her decorations were gone and she was faced with five rows of desks and blank walls. During the summer recess, the head of school decided that the room was a fire hazard and dumped everything he thought was unnecessary. All her time effort and energy went into the dumpster.

    Later that same year she ran into another snag. When her pupils lined up in the corridor in the morning, she always stood inside the door and greeted each one by name as he or she entered the room. She also took each one by the hand, or touched them on the arm or shoulder while welcoming them into the room. The connection by touch was very important in making them feel welcome. However, another teacher in one of the upper grades had a run in with the parent of a bully in her classroom. That teacher had to pull him away from beating up a smaller child. Later that day, the mouthy mother of the bully was heard in the halls berating the teacher and threatening the school and the teacher with a lawsuit. A new rule was promulgated on the spot and all teachers henceforth were forbidden to touch a pupil except in an emergency. When the principal saw Em still greeting the students in her usual way he announced that she could be put on administrative leave if she continued.

    She retired at the end of the year.


  516. and Kathleen, you may have missed it before because you were probably too involved in your whining but I said it before, SP can believe whatever the hell she wants to but I’ll be damned if I let her dictate what I should believe in

    take your BS propaganda to those who will appreciate it, I dont and will continue telling you so

    Thank you alivenkickn

    That is what is really important


  517. we all have our priorities


  518. Please….I’d take whining over blithering.


  519. I would rather read James’s stories than Kathleen’s whinings, its making my eyes bleed


  520. ‘PalinShutUp,

    Wow! You don’t consider what happened to Hillary worth acknowledging?’

    Didnt say it wasnt worth aknowledging what I am saying is that enough with the beating of the horse every single blog M&H post, that’s what Im saying.

    Its a new day and the thing we should be fighting for today and making LOTS OF NOISE ABOUT is HEALTHCARE for EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THIS COUNTRY

    pardon me if Im a bit touchy about it, I recently lost a friend to breast cancer who was practically reduced to BEGGING people for money in order to CONTINUE LIVING!!!!

    So yea, I am a bit TOUCHY these days

    and Sarah Palin can KISS MY ASS


  521. Poolman,

    Then why do we have presidents, if they are only telling us what we want to hear to get elected and then we make excuses for them after they are in office, that they are powerless?

    I agree that there are powerful forces behind the scenes pulling the strings, but, I also believe many who are running for office are more willing puppets than others and will say and do anything to obtain power.

    I think it’s time for a revolution of citizen outrage that our government is no longer one “of, for and by the people”, but a government for the power elite and an agenda which has nothing to do with a democratic republic, as we know it.


  522. Judith, did anyone answer your avatar question? I’ve been out of the loop the past few days…but a quick scan suggests no. Go here: In the upper left corner you’ll see where you can click to sign up for a gravatar (globally recognized avatar). All ya need is an e-mail address and a photo.

    To all who have expressed appreciation for teachers: On my husband’s and sister’s behalf, thank you.


  523. We expect that our presidents can get in there and keep their campaign promises. We think they have that power. To me it seems though many are sincere, they really have little power to do much once elected. Our government is run by corporations and men of wealth that have, over time, taken over the helm. We spend our time blaming the front men and dividing them into us vs. them. We fight amongst ourselves and argue semantics. Meanwhile, behind the scenes we are losing, or have already lost our nation. Time for a reboot.


  524. Susan,

    IMO, his books are not where I would look to find an “objective” picture of who obama is. I think you find out who obama is through the documentation of his past such as his records while a child, records from the colleges he attended and his state senate records. What concerns me is that obama has lived for 48 years without leaving any footprints. There is no obama documentation — no records — no paper trail. I find that highly suspect, particularly for a man who has lived almost his entire life in public office.

    In fact, Judicial Watch is having a problem in locating any of obama’s records. Here’s a report from them regarding this curious lack of a paper trail:

    “The president of a prominent watchdog group said Wednesday that he believes Democratic presidential frontrunner Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) “intended to leave no paper trail” during his time in the Illinois Senate.

    Judicial Watch, which has been seeking access to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) records from her time in the White House, argued Wednesday that the Illinois senator, who has criticized the former first lady for a lack of openness, has his own “records problem.”

    “The more we learn about the Illinois Senator, the more obvious it becomes that he is anything but the ethically upright outsider he purports to be,” said Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch.

    The group rose to prominence when it repeatedly took on former President Bill Clinton during his time in office. It also sought records from the Bush administration regarding Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force.

    In a statement, Fitton noted that his group has sought access to Obama’s records as a state senator and questioned whether the presidential candidate has been forthcoming with regard to what happened to those documents.

    He said that “nobody knows where they are, if they exist at all” and claimed that “Obama’s story keeps changing.”

    IMO, any politician who has no records of his past or his work while a public servant, is certainly open to question and concern. If this were any other politician other than obama, I would bet the farm that the media would be all over it.


  525. Kathleen, read his books, then you will know who Obama is.


  526. PalinShutUp,

    Wow! You don’t consider what happened to Hillary worth acknowledging? I bet if the shoe were on the other foot and it was obama who was treated the same way Hillary was treated, with the media protecting and defending Hillary, while spewing racist epithats at obama every dim, damn day, you would be screaming to the rooftops. I’d advise you pull back your arrogance about those of us who will not let you forget what happened during that primary which literally split the democratic party apart.

    Oh, your name shows the calibre of people who support obama because you believe being antagonistic for its own sake is somehow cool.

    Yes, indeed, I like and respect Sarah Palin because she’s genuine and she’s NOT ivy league and comes across as an elitist. I don’t agree with her politics but I since we still live in America, I respect her right to her beliefs. On the other hand, I still don’t know who obama is and I’m not willing to drink the kool-aid so that I can make him into whomever “I” want him to be, regardless if the evidence of who he truly is has begun to surface with his flip-flops on major campaign promises.

    So much for that “superior judgment” you all were crowing about during the primary, which was all but enough to make up for his lack of experience.


  527. Susan,
    I agree. I have learned a lot from James’ posts about his military experience. Farming never interested me and I usually did my best to avoid getting a part time job on a local farm even though my father expected me to.
    Thanks for your perspective on teaching. I knew I wanted to be a teacher since I was a small child.

    You probably have heard it many times before, but thank you for your service to the country.
    I have never heard of Brule, but after looking it up I noticed they were named by the French.
    We very well could have bumped into eachother since Hull is only about 100 blocks square with a population no bigger than most large high schools.
    I lived in Hull from age 2–22. Moved away after graduating from Dordt.

    Honolulu Sally,
    Respect between the sexes is a good thing. To much degrading in the media IMO. I always teach my male students that they wouldn’t be here without the females and to always open the door for them.

    I respect Hillary for her smartness and determination. She has shone a spotlight on the glass ceiling like no other female in our country and set a good example for all girls. I just thought Obama had a stronger message last fall.

    Well, it’s Tuesday morning, the porch is swept, the coffee and tea are brewing, maybe Helen and Margaret will come out and join us today. Let’s all hope!


  528. I have no doubt you can, James.
    You amaze me.


  529. Raji, thanks for the info. The 80yr old mother of the 60yr old woman I landscape with swears by Absorbine (spelling?, and not Junior) horse linament. They always had horses when living near Chicago. She still gardens and uses the Absorbine now in Florida.


  530. vgman,

    Wow! We might have bumped into each other. Our relatives are mostly from Hull.

    Have you heard of the Native American group Brule? They also have southwest Minnesota/northwest Iowa connections.

    I usually vote for half Republicans and half Democrats. I nearly wrote in Daffy Duck because I didn’t like any of the presidential candidates.


    I am not whining. I am agreeing with Kathleen that sexism still exists. The press’s job is to report the news, not fawn over a candidate regardless of his/her good qualities. I think the right woman as president would be a good thing.

    Honolulu Sally,

    I think it is a wash. Men and women are just different. One isn’t superior to the other. Your joke was amusing, though.

    Amy Tan,

    You really want to be waterboarded? I can show you how its done.


  531. In case you don´t know what s happening in your Country, here s a little help from abroad about what s happening in “Gods own Countryl”.

    The stupidity of some Americans is beyond all bearing.

    I´m outraged


  532. Well………. some of James’s “thoughts” are very good descriptions of farming life, a life that is further and further away from the experience of the average American; some of the thoughts are about his military experience, experience that many of us haven’t been through — so let’s not dismiss him quite so out-of-hand, eh?


  533. Please Helen,
    We ask that you post another one soon or we will have to spend our days reading the “thoughts” of James…

    I’d rather be waterboarded…
    Really. I mean it.


  534. Kathleen,

    I’m not sure if Obama had a harder time than Hillary during the election because of race. I just meant that I feel it is much harder to be black than to be a woman – in general. Everyone has a woman they love (mother, wife, daughter, aunt, etc.). Not everyone can say they have a black person they even like and/or respect.

    I also believe that woman are the superior sex in many ways, and we sure have more fun getting together and talking about the men without our gonads getting in the way.

    Men tend to have louder belches, speedier spitballs, and larger arseholes (bigger farts). They also have more perverts and asshats as evidenced by Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Company.

    Heard on the financial news today that Rupert Murdoch (owner of Fox News and a media conglomerate) is trying to sell his Dow Jones Industrial company – perhaps because he is facing economic woes – perhaps because many sponsors such as Lowes are pulling their ads from Glenn Beck.

    I think I’ll go give Lowes some business.


  535. Tell me about it. I just spent $75 on graph paper notebooks and a desk calendar.
    Over the years I’ve affected the lives of 925 students and I’m still going strong.
    Wall Street has affected many lives as well–as in millions of US citizens now losing homes, health care…….
    But in the end, I just need to be able to sleep at night.


  536. Well THAT response was a whole mess! Durn hair-trigger pad on this laptop!

    I retired early in the decade, but on these hot August days I can remember being in that unshaded un-air-conditioned west-facing classroom with its 50′ of windows, preparing packets for all of my students (including an initial out-of-my-own-pocket bunch of supplies), getting the syllabus just right, trying to think of every last thing possible for when the kids came back.

    And being in that room sometimes from 7:15AM to 10PM when the custodians finally kicked me out because they were locking the building up. And going in when I felt horrible (but hopefully not contagious) because I knew what would happen in that room with that in-school sub who was a friend of the principal’s.

    These aren’t complaints, just descriptions, but the people who are moaning about 9-month years are probably getting consistent raises and bonuses and Christmas presents from their bosses. And not involving themselves a whole lot in their kids’ educations.

    But I’m not bitter…..


  537. vgman sez “As for the 9 months of work for an annual salary?

    “They’re not reporting the often 12 hour days during those 9 months.

    “My school calendar goes from Sept. through the third week of June. Add on the prep weeks of mid-August and you soon have 11 months. I laugh whenever I hear the “9 months” comment.””

    So so true.


  538. Helen,
    My mother thinks she went to school with you in Texas. She says you were a hoot then and you are still a hoot!


  539. HRH Sofia EQ, if you are looking for a good arnica gel check out Equilite Sore No More gel. Yes, it is a horse product but I use it. Arnica is very good but usually only for a short period of time. I have had more success with Capsaicin which I purchase in the form of a product called Equiblock. Both of these products are more cost efficient in the horse products than human. I am basically an arthritic cripple who should have hip, knee and back surgery but am surviving on homeopathic treatment as I am sensitive to chemical drugs and cannot tolerate the normal treatments.

    One warning to landscapers if you use a capsaicin product , when you sweat, you heat up with this product.


  540. M&H fan,
    I think you and I both agree. Many of your comments sound like I could say them. It just seemed like your statement ‘those days are gone’ negated the successes that do happen in our nation’s public schools every year.
    ‘A mighty fine education’ can be had by any student when the teacher is willing to put in the time and effort to reach each individual.
    For all those who are not teachers, can you imagine having 25 different personalities always at your elbows for 8 hours a day? I personally love it and always say….there’s no better way to spend a day than with children who make you smile.
    As for the 9 months of work for an annual salary?
    They’re not reporting the often 12 hour days during those 9 months.
    My school calendar goes from Sept. through the third week of June. Add on the prep weeks of mid-August and you soon have 11 months. I laugh whenever I hear the “9 months” comment.


  541. vgman – when did I put down the hard work of teachers? I worked in the education industry (not school system, however) for many years and saw first hand how hard teachers worked, how little they were paid, how often times they put their hands in their own pockets to pay for a little something extra in the classroom. My comment is addressing the government cut backs that cause public schools to many eliminate valuable programs (starting with art, music, physical education, all of which have been proven to contribute greatly to the development of students’ minds for other subjects).

    Also, I’m not saying this is happening in every school, but I live in NYC and many public schools in this area are in appalling condition – and then people are shocked, shocked at the high drop-out rate. Of course, most – but not all — are those schools in the poorer neighborhoods so needless to say, they fall off the radar. What these fat cats cutting budgets (while sending their children to private schools) don’t seem to realize is this is the future of our nation we are educating and if fewer and fewer are getting an education that will prepare them for the world, the country as a whole is going to suffer.

    I remember a conversation with a Republican who was whining about how we are paying teachers an annual salary when they only work nine months out of the year. In his limited, twisted little mind, we should be paying teachers LESS! This stupidity of this comment was stunning.

    I also know that in my home town, which is actually known to have a supurb public education system, there was a period of time when many Japanese companies moved into the area and they brought their employees with them. They took one look at the local education system and decided the best course of action was to start their own school just for their children. That was a real smack upside the head.

    Imagine a country where we make it the utmost priority to nurture our students to the nth degree and churn out, year after year, well educated, accomplished, proud students… and then send them out into the world. we would kick ass.

    And James, a little brevity wouldn’t kill you.


  542. James,
    you might very well be able to guess what the “v” in vgman stands for if you are Dutch or have Dutch relatives. I was born in Orange City. The Tulip Festival was a yearly tradition for my family.
    I always tell people that Sioux County has the highest concentration of Republicans per population anywhere in the 50 states.
    The Spencer Fair was also a sometimes event for our family.
    Last fall, I had a good time discussing politics with my father. He was interested in Obama and I closely watched how many votes Obama received in Sioux County.
    I voted for Bush in “88 (my first election) and then Clinton in ’92. Over the years, I’ve turned more independent. Someone posted earlier that the party isn’t as important as the individual anymore when it comes to choosing a candidate.
    For me, it comes down to character. I watch closely their speeches, mannerisms, interactions, and especially how they treat the down-trodden in society. For me, Bush II paid lip-service to this group. Obama has a proven record of working for the average American.
    I have a quote in my classroom on a bulletin board that says,
    “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, and become more, you are a leader.”
    –John Quincy Adams.
    For me, Obama fulfills this quote a lot more than Bush did for the last eight years.

    OK that’s enough from me. I’m off to sweep the porch because I have a feeling we’ll be entertained by a new post very soon.


  543. ‘PalinShutup,

    the bigotry you mentioned came from private citizens or talk show hosts, not the mainstream press. The favoritism was so blatant Saturday Night Live played a Hillary-Barrack debate skit where the questioners fawned over Obama.’

    why shouldnt the press fawn over Obama? he was the best candidate and worthy of fawning over IMHO

    get over it already and discuss important stuff, this BS about female bias is making my head spin

    I am FEMALE and the whining is hurting my ears

    thank god black people now cant say we will never elect a black president, yes, there will ALWAYS BE some sort of racial bias just like there will always be gender bias

    someday we will have a female president and then what will you people whine about?

    personally I will rather bitch and moan about people dying without health insurance than about campaign BS, but that’s just me


  544. Folks, just wanted you to know – today is Segundo Strongheart’s funeral. AKM at mudflats posted this:

    The Mudflats » Light a Candle for Ann and Segundo Strongheart.


  545. Please read this post at my blog. It’s by Thom Hartmann & it’s the simply honest answer for the uninsured. We already have the program. We don’t need another 7000 pages of bullschitt to provide health care for the uninsured.

    Dear President Obama: A Modest Medicare Proposal


  546. Gale,

    Well, in wikipedia it’s entered as the “first African American” woman to run for president!

    In any event, I admired her courage to do so and I appreciated her stating that she had to face more discrimination as a woman than as a black.

    I hope to live to see the day that sexism receives the same attention and outrage as racism has lately. Both are terrible wrongs because both deprive people of the opportunity to realize their full potential.

    Imagine what the world has lost as a result of these two “isms”.


  547. Thanks for the advice guys, I will look into that. This is a nice group of people. I just had someone call me phony on another comment post. How can you be phony when writing like this? How would you know? LOL!! Anyways, I enjoy reading everyone’s ideas and opinions. Talk to you soon…


  548. Should they change the title of this blog to “Margaret, Helen and James”?


  549. Mrs. Elizabeth Whitaker

    I do get verbose, don’t I?

    Just don’t get me started on storm chasing and weather. Then we really have trouble. At our high school reunion on Friday night, a friend said he knew I farmed only to pay for my storm chasing habit.


  550. Poolman,

    Your welcome. Several years ago a friend and I were waiting to estimate our acreages and trying to make sense of all of the forms. He said “I’ve had it. I don’t need this any more.” He had his farm sale that winter, rented out his land and worked for another farmer. Many farmers like us own multiple farms. Each must be managed separately. A man from Nebraska farms four hundred acres near us. The family of one of my wife’s students has land in South Dakota.

    Most of our land is rented out because of my back. This is my last year.

    Remember what Shakespear said about lawyers. Our late family friend and lawyer told me “the law is a wonderful thing. You can make it do anything you want.”

    I seriously considered voting for Ron Paul too. I dropped him for reasons similar to yours, and for his position on the Iraqi war. I considered a write in vote–Daffy Duck.


    we lived the same lives. Our family was the same, and I did as you. I used to listen to my 94 year old grandmother tell stories about the old days.

    Have you been to Sioux County? We have Dutch relatives there. Orange City has a nice tulip festival in the spring. Did you ever attend the Spencer Fair?


    vgman said it very well. My wife sometimes moves close to tears when a former high student tells her how much her teaching helped. Sometimes a note on a Christmas card is good too.

    Our son’s kindergarten teacher taught his class during her first year, and she followed his class’s progress until they graduated. She carried a sentimental illusion that she was as special to them as they were to her.

    Our son and his sister remembered her with invitations at graduation, but many didn’t. I didn’t know how much it hurt her feelings until I made a little music video following the class from kindergarten to our son’s moving into college. She cried when I gave it to her, right there in the school office. Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to let a teacher feel appreciation.


  551. James,
    You certainly have alot to say! Goodness gracious. I had to reheat my coffee, let the dogs out, and water a plant or two before I could finish just one of your comments. 🙂

    Great post, as usual, Helen!


  552. To Kathleen Wynne

    Shirley Chisolm was actually the second African-American woman to run for president. Charlene Mitchell was first, 4 years earlier.


  553. James
    Growing up in northwest Iowa, I experienced a tradition that I will always remember. Reading your previous farm subsidies post reminded me of that tradition. Each Sunday morning, after church, my father’s side of the family would get together for coffee on a rotational basis between my house, two of my aunts’ houses, and my grandparents’ house. Four Sundays, four “coffees” per month. But what I found impressionable was how the males all sat in the living room and talked politics and farming, while the females all sat around the kitchen table talking (gossiping) about whatever. Where did I choose to sit and listen? With the females. One little boy with all those women around the table.

    I have so many mugs over the years that I have been able to put on my “thank you for the mug!” face over and over and over and over again.
    My favorite and most memorable gifts have been….
    A small ceramic turtle that a boy brought back from Brazil
    A 3D puzzle (political view) globe that we assembled together (I collect globes)
    A tiny drum painted with Mowgli and Baloo the Bear (because I directed ‘The Jungle Book’)
    A small stained glass globe lamp, among many globes given to me over the years

    I could go on and on, but the important thing is to find something that comes from the heart.
    Find out what your child’s teacher collects (if anything).
    I always write the name of the child on the gift, if possible.

    This past June, I received a $50 gift certificate to Starbucks. That gift lasted all the way through the end of July. I only do a venti drip.

    And now I think I better get some coffee and get into my classroom–school begins in two weeks!
    Have a good day everyone!
    P.S. Anybody have some good ideas how to stage Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory?


  554. Honolulu Sally,

    With regard to your view that as a black man, obama had a more difficult time running for president than Hillary did as a woman, here’s a quote from the first African American woman to run for president, Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm (whom, BTW, I witnessed achieve this highly historical achievement), stating what she had to deal with during her NY legislative career:

    “Chisholm said that during her New York legislative career, she had faced much more discrimination because she was a woman than because she was black…”

    Regarding the election and your satisfaction with the outcome…well, I would hope that you would want an honest and fair election, no matter what the outcome, because that is the foundation upon which a government “of, for and by the people” can stand. To turn the other way if there evidence that documents fraud, then I would hope you would never be satisfied with the outcome, no matter if your guy won or lost. Here’s a video clip of a documentary that was produced after the democratic primary, which clearly shows that methods used during the caucus by the obama campaign and his supporters had nothing to do with “fair and honest”, but to win at all costs:


  555. Thanks James. A very thorough answer, and as I expected. The government sure likes to complicate what it does. I guess where there are many lawyers, expect many rules. Alas, life will never be simple again, I’m afraid. I can see why most people would rather stay in their own little worlds with all the distractions and escapes we have and thus avoid the fact that the sky is falling.

    I wonder if things could be changed if we were all able to get behind a candidate like Ron Paul and get him elected. I really considered voting for him, but knew he did not have a chance.


  556. Poolman,

    Farmers and the government have had a socialistic relationship since the Great Depression. Farmers are about the only business people who cannot set a price for their products. They take what the market gives them regardless of how much money they earn or lose.

    Farm programs change regularly, so what is true in one period is not true in the next. Livestock and vegetables are on their own. Most of the attention is directed toward grain. The government wants cheap food and pays farmers enough to keep them in business.

    During surplus years, farmers reserved a portion of their land as a “set aside.” Its purpose was to lower the supply of grain to raise or stabilize prices. The government determined how much it would be and photographed each farm to be sure farmers were in compliance with what they had certified to be acerages of each crop.

    They planted small grains on the set aside and mowed them at maturity to stop weeds from maturing. The small grain had to be planted by a certain date. An out of compliance farm is fined and may expelled from the system for a year or two. The set aside, soil bank or whatever it was called varied from year to year. We averaged around 20 or 30 acres per year. The idle ground was good for wild life, and the pheasant population was good in most set aside years.

    In another year of surplus, the government provided low interest loans to farmers to build grain bins. The farmer could in effect “sell” the grain to the government at a higher than market price. The government calculated “rent” payable to farmers who agreed to deliver the grain at a specified date. If the price of grain rose above the government target price, the farmer could sell the grain after the government deducted what it was owed.

    We got lucky the year we bought a new bin. The price of corn was about $1.80 per bushel that fall, but during the winter, it surged to over $3.00 per bushel. We sold the corn, paid the government and had enough left over to pay for the bin in one year.

    Ethanol and increased world demand have reduced surpluses. Farmers no longer set land aside. They still must report the number of acres they plant to a crop, and the acreages are determined by past growing history called a crop base. We added to our permitted corn acres by combining our wheat and oats bases with the corn. Soy beans are not part of the crop base system.

    Under the current plan, the government sets a break even price for corn, wheat, and similar grain. If the year’s average market price falls below that level, the government pays the difference. It also pays “counter cyclical” payments to help farmers break even. The price supports and counter cyclical payments trended down each year under the Republican’s Freedom to Farm Act since the government at that time attempted to wean farmers from the subsidies.

    The most recent plan sets two tiers of subsidies if the market price goes too low. They base the difference between the government’s definition of fair market price and a year’s county average to determine the payment. If a farmer can document actual yields and total bushels produced over ten years or so, and they are above the county average, the government will pay more money based on the larger number of bushels produced. Each farmer could be audited and if he/she lies, fines are imposed.

    The government will also loan money with grain as collateral. The farmer is paid a set amount based on that year’s target price. I think some loans are good for as long as three years. When the loan comes due, the farmer delivers the grain and pays any additional interest. If the price rises, the farmer can sell the grain, pay what he/she owes the government and keep the difference.

    If a farmer doesn’t have enough bin space he/she can deliver it to the Coop of which the farmer is likely part owner and pay storage until the grain is sold. If the farmer underestimates the bushels or grain is damaged at home, he/she must buy more grain to make up the difference.

    As I wrote, ethanol, and world shortages changed the system. Government subsidies are much more meager because prices have been higher than government target prices.

    I mentioned subsidized insurance as a possible way to fix problems in our health care system. Farmers buy affordable crop insurance with government help, and they can also insure yield and price. One can choose the price needed to break even or provide a profit. If the price is too low, the insurance company makes up the difference.

    That is a useful safety net for farmers who attempt to enhance income while forward contracting or playing the grain market on the Chicago Board of Trade. Farmers can buy and sell crops which won’t be planted for several years.

    Farmers are sometimes eligable for disaster payments, but if they are not insured, they don’t get as much as those who are.

    So to answer your questions simply, the government can buy farmer’s crops as I described.

    The government does not currently pay grain farmers not to grow crops.

    The government does guarantee an income during low prices. The government does not guarantee a market place for commodities because it doesn’t have to.

    I’m sorry to make it sound so complicated. You should live through a visit to the FSA office. It is not my favorite way to spend a day. Ask me anything you want, and I will try to answer.


  557. Vgman, I agree that the much alleged destruction of our education system is an unfair generalization. All of my children’s teachers have worked hard to teach their students despite contract issues, unfortunate classroom conditions, too many students, and having to pay for supplies out of their own pockets. I don’t always agree with the curricula decisions that are made, and hate the obsession over standardized testing, but the teachers do their best to comply. They encourage their students, often feed them when it’s clear they are unfed, and help in other unrecognized ways.

    I hope your students and their parents appreciate you and show it regularly!

    By the way, what’s a good teacher gift for holidays? Anything I come up with has probably been done to death during our teachers’ careers!


  558. oh for the love of god…


  559. Anonymous, I know the people who sent the group e- mail. Her husband helped our son get a chance to make a speech to the American Legion in a contest for a small college scholarship. Several others on the list are my cousins. I believe them because I have known them all my life. They are speaking the truth.

    I don’t expect you to take my word for it. Do some research and see what you find about limits of Medicare and Medicade. The doctor’s comments supported what Jo wrote.


    I already wrote “death panels” are not explicitly in the bills. Nobody is going read though lists of names and decide who will live or die. That is silly.

    I did write rationing would be inevitable as the government’s scarce resources were allotted to those with the best potential outcomes.

    That is implied in HR 3200. It happens now in government and insurance plans . It happens in single payer systems in other countries. I wrote “death panels” are an over symplification of reality, but they do make an attention getting slogan the same as “Bush lied people died,” or “Hey Hey LBJ, How many babies did you kill today?.”

    In 1997 the VA advocated an end of life pamphlet, “Your Life, Your Choices” for its customers. It was slanted toward making patients feel guilty about asking for life prolonging treatment. At one time suggested reading resources included Hemlock Society literature which was later removed after complaints.

    When someone complained to Bush, he stopped the pamphlet. Obama is bringing it back. ? Duckworth a VA official tried to deny it, to Chris Mathews on the network (not cable) Sunday Fox news show, but they showed the web site notation written in July. Even Arlen Specter who appeared to defend the health care legislation said the VA should not be using the pamphlet. I am certain, something like it will be used in the end of life counseling once the new law is in effect.

    Our father had some home health care before he died because we were giving him 24 hour care. His mind was sharp, but his heart tended to race uncontrollably at unexpected times. I farmed at night and on weekends when my wife and kids were home to watch him. His orders were that he be revived if he was found near death. I had his medical power of attorney, so I got the attention.

    The home health care boss put weakly pressure on me to make him change his mind because he was almost 95 and had lived a good life. He was draining our resources and Medicare’s.

    She wouldn’t let up, and finally tried to “counsel” with my father privately. She threatened me and I ordered her out of our house. So don’t tell me “death panels” won’t exist in the form I described. They will, and they do.

    Socialist camps, Obama’s birth certificate and others are too silly to mention. If there is anything else along those lines you didn’t mention, they are silly too.

    I don’t care if you read my posts or not. Others will, even if they are casual observers reading by accident. I should be challenged. If you don’t, good for me.

    Many of the protesters are to my right. They shout when I wouldn’t shout. Some of what they say are exaggerations or lies. It is true of every movement. The anti -war protesters were in league with communists and anarchists. They didn’t condemn violence. They operated under a time tested tradition–“the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and you get friends where you find them”. NASCAR is a real life example of that truism. Roosevelt, I think said of a Caribean dictator, “He may be a SOB, but he is our SOB.”


    the bigotry you mentioned came from private citizens or talk show hosts, not the mainstream press. The favoritism was so blatant Saturday Night Live played a Hillary-Barrack debate skit where the questioners fawned over Obama.


    Good for you!. My wife is a teacher too, and she gives her students extra credit for attending caucuses of either party and writing their representatives. You teachers are unsung heroes who sometimes change lives.


  560. kitkat I love my netti pot also

    I suffered from chronic bronchitis and pneumonia for years, relying on antibiotics until I changed to herbal remedies including Zinc, C, my netti
    pot…havent been sick with either since 2004


  561. ‘Obama was treated with kid gloves by the press. Hillary was fair game and nothing was out of bounds.’

    please, I guess you missed all the racial jokes, the monkeys with obama’s name, the bigotry at the palin rallies?

    let me get you some cheese for that whine


  562. Jo, the poorest people in this country are those who are single (young or old) they work their butts off and pay the highest taxes in the nation, something’s got to give


  563. Kathleen, I love my avatar and name and I love how it gets under the skin of palinistas like yourself

    Why are you still crying about how Hillary was supposedly mistreated during the
    campaign? and why are you ignoring how she accused Obama of paling
    around with terrorists? and all the other lies she told?

    politicians lie Kathleen, they all do, Im sure Obama exaggerated just to get himself elected also

    its a new day, get over it already

    Hillary has, didnt she tell you?


  564. I have been tossing and turning and humping the leg of a blog about this called ‘a little socialism anyone?’
    now i don’t have to say a thing because it all has been said here. well put and hugs to Tammy



  565. And while we are focused on healthcare…


  566. I find it rather amusing and ironic that James is all bent out of shape over what Obama has said regarding the various health care bills, but not one peep of repudiation concerning the Republican Wingnut chants of death panels, socialist re-education camps, internment camps, blah blah. Sorry, but until I hear a succinct and clear repudiation, James, I ain’t listening to your rants.


  567. Margaretandhelenfan……
    As long as we stepped into the classroom for a moment, as in “those days are gone”–
    I would like to announce that there is a strong possibility that my 5th graders will participate as an audience in a townhall debate for our local mayoral race. My idea. I ran it by my principal a few days ago and he thinks it’s a grand idea.
    In our school gym. Townhall audience in front–general public filling up the rest of the gym.
    Now what questions could my students ask?

    Ahhh! Not all public education classrooms are going down the drain. I get tired of too many people putting the hard work of many teachers down.


  568. I love the phrase “who gives a rat’s ass?”
    Makes me laugh every time. I once responded to my teacher in the second grade with that phrase. She didn’t think it was so funny. My classmates, however, thought it was a riot. My parents…not so much.


  569. Sorry folks. Thought I had added that I think alternative remedies are often more helpful.

    I agree with Shelly, we need a new post. Hope to hear from Helen soon 🙂


  570. Who gives a rat’s ass about your opinion?


  571. James, all of these emails—are “friends of friends,” there is no way to verify the story without an actual name, spreading the story is just rumor mongering in my opinion.


  572. It seems of little consequence now to argue about the past election. Obama won, period, now let’s look ahead, there is plenty to be done. Kudos to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, so far she is doing a great job, she looks like she is enjoying it too.


  573. My mother is a republcan. She is caught up in the “socialism” screed of the Rebuplican party. Yet, at 85, she is cashing her long deceased husband’s social security checks, letting medicare pay for her knee replacement and eye surgery, and certainly enjoyed sending her three children to public school for free for what I might add was a mighty fine education. (those days are gone.)

    yet when I point these things out to her, her response is, “that’s different.”

    Yes it is.


  574. James, this is off topic but I figured you would be the best one to ask regarding farm subsidies. How does that work as far as the relationship with the government? Does the government actually buy up crop and do they sometimes pay for farmers to not grow crops? Or certain crops? Do they guarantee any of your income or a market price for commodities? It would be nice to be informed as to how government and farming participate. Hopefully Jackson will get his scroll wheel working, or maybe Helen will bless us with another poignant post.

    Meanwhile, I’m here to learn and grow my understanding…


  575. Hello Helen?
    We could probably use another post right about now.
    Can you say “Netti pot”?


  576. had sinus issues for years. Even had surgery. On antibiotics all the time — one year on about 10 different antibiotics. Finally saw an acupunturist for treatments. She also had me switch to soy from dairy and use a netti pot. Not had problems since. I start to feel congested, I use the netti pot — problem solved.


  577. Greytdog, Had never heard of arnica gel, just looked it up and Sloan-Kettering agrees it might be good for osteo of the hands, equivalent to Ibuprophen. Thanks for the info, a friend/co gardener feels the pain more than I do, maybe we’ll do a test ourselves.


  578. I agree Poolman and Honolulu Sally.


  579. I’ve been using arnica gel on my knee as well as on my arthritic hands. The arnica has really helped relieve the pain – without having to rely on painkillers. Hard to swim dogs when you’re doped up.


  580. Honolulu Sally, your post regarding the herbal remedies is spot on. I don’t think big pharma would like all that info to get around. I believe we are equipped with much in nature that will better suit us to combat what ails us, and without all the side effects. Antibiotics are great, but over prescribed. We have done much to worsen our health in the name of modern medicine. We have been playing god much too long thinking we are smarter. Many of the medicine men of the past that we labeled as “primitive” and “savage” were better able to deal with what ails us. Just another way our “progress” has made us less healthy.


  581. Honolulu Sally, sexism is as ugly as racism. It is endemic to our society in a way that equals or surpasses racism. Neither is as blatant as it was, but it still exists.

    As a woman, you will “NEVER have the respect of some people who have lived their lives looking down ” on women. It probably applies to men like me too, but society gives men more power.

    Consider the double whamy of being a young urban black man. He suffers from racism and sexism because society regards young black women to be less dangerous than young black men.

    Obama did sling some mud, during the campaign, though he was more subtle about it than his competitors.

    As you wrote, he ran a masterful campaign and won with the help of friends in the media. Had Obama and Hillary both been the same gender, Obama would still have won.

    I can’t speak for Kathleen, but I don’t feel cheated. Obama is a good man with good family values as you wrote, but after his failures and duplicity, I no longer trust him. It is our duty to defeat the policies with which we disagree and support the rest. Hillary said that.


  582. Oops, correction to my previous previous post re Obama. He didn’t have a lower class upbringing.

    He had a lower middle class upbringing. Growing up in Hawaii in rental apartments and going to one of the best private schools on full scholarship is what qualifies for lower middle class to me.

    Most of the wealthy send their kids to Punahou (his Hawaii school). The non-wealthy have to really scrimp and sacrifice to pay for the tuition costs there. The ones on scholarship get half or full rides, and usually for reasons of athletics or exceptional qualities, and based on economic situation.

    I believe that Obama saw the differences between the rich and the non rich, the haves and the have nots, and his compassion for the average Joe is genuine, because he has been there and walked the walk.

    Kathleen, I don’t want to offend you about the electronic election process. I don’t understand it enough, and you seem to. It probably has too many flaws – those were very evident during the Florida recounts that happened in 2004.

    The fact is that it was the system in place this last fall and I liked its results this time.


  583. Obama ran a very smart campaign and did less to criticize McCain and Hillary than they and their campaign did to him. He also was a much better orator than the others. He had much greater financial support. His demeaner during the campaign was much more presidential and that appealed to voters. He presented the greatest contrast to Bush. That is how I saw it. I was very surprised that he won, because I don’t feel our votes truly count and fraud is rampant.

    Unfortunately, I think McCain and Hillary knew much more about how things really run behind the scenes in our country. I do not feel that the president holds much real power in our government. It does not operate how it was originally intended. Therefore much that Obama has hoped and promised to accomplish may not get done. This is not a democracy, not even close. Anyone who believes it is is deceiving themselves. We will need a revolution if we have any chance to get back to a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.


  584. Jo,

    You are still young, and hopefully your asthma can be cured.

    My girlfriend used to have asthma from childhood. She used to blame my dusty house for her attacks when she would come to visit, ha ha.

    On her wedding night, she was rushed to emergency for an attack, and then she started doing something about it with herbs.

    If you can find a really good herbalist (not condensed pill placebos), you might be able to breathe freely for good. She went on a regime of red clover, lobelia combination. She coughed and coughed, and hardened white stuff (old dried up mucoid from her lungs) was kicked out.

    It is this old stuff that got activated and antibiotics, medication, etc. would help to build up more and more of it by drying up the mucoids, relieving the symptoms, but growing the disease.

    I can attest to these herbs. When my son was a toddler, I would take him in every 2 weeks for a bad cough. Doctor said it was bronchitis and he would soon get asthma. Every 2 weeks I would get antibiotics and a cough suppressant and then return again when my poor baby would get sick again.

    I gave him the herbal stuff, made him drink a lot of warm liquids, and he coughed worse than before, and then it stopped.

    No more doctor visits for bronchitis, clear lungs. He is a grown up healthy young man now.

    Hope that helps, and in any case, I wish the best for you.


  585. Off topic

    Geeze. Go off line for a few days and I return only to find that the discussion has lurched off in a completely different direction and I don’t want to plow up some of the same old ground. But I must admit that as a member of the same age cohort as M&H, the “Cash for Codgers” joke that showed up a couple days ago makes me a little nervous. Medicare and the supplemental health insurance programs I’ve paid into over the past half century or more have served my wife and I well, especially during the past ten years, but I would still hate to have the plug pulled just when I’m getting cranked up to give back in a different way.

    Keeping busy. Where I live we have a regional, non-profit blood bank that serves most of the hospitals within a fifty mile radius of its location. On a daily basis they have a half dozen mobile bloodmobiles out and about collecting donations which have to be ferried back to the central processing lab every few hours. I am one of a number of volunteer couriers who do that for the program and in doing so am left with less free time to catch up daily on M&H’s blog,

    When my wife was diagnosed with a form of Lymphoma about 6 years ago, treatments were administered at a unit in a Boston hospital that shared space with the hospital’s blood bank. Very soon I began donating blood on a 9 week schedule and as a result, over the past six plus years have managed to donate several gallons of blood there. At first I thought my medical history would be disqualifying but quickly learned that this was not a problem but when I told them that I intended to be their oldest donor, they laughed. They already had a lady of 93 who donated every other month and when I told my son after I passed the first gallon mark that I was about to catch up to him, he told me that I was already a half dozen gallons behind and he had no intention of losing to anyone who is older than dirt.


  586. Kathleen, saw the clip criticizing Keith Olbermann for not accepting as his viewpoint that Obama was an affirmative action “hire” as candidate just as Geraldine Ferraro was an affirmative action hire as VP back in 1984.

    Before I go on, I want to again let you know that I really really LIKED Hillary, and it was great to have two really good candidates running neck to neck.

    Hillary and Sarah Palin DID face sexism in this past election.

    However, as a woman, I would like to say that I would MUCH rather be a woman facing sexism than a black man (or woman) facing racism.

    As a woman, Sarah Palin won the dicks of low intelligence or high drive.

    As a woman, Hillary Clinton won the admiration of women libbers and is truly an example of woman as equals.

    As a black man, Obama will NEVER have the respect of some folk who have lived their lives looking down on “those people”.

    Racism is ugly. Sexism is sexism.

    Maybe Obama won because he was black. Maybe Clinton lost because she was a woman.

    You and James would have been happier with the other universe that didn’t happen. (Had Clinton won the Democratic nomination, would she have been able to beat McCain?)

    Obama ran a perfect campaign. No slinging of dirt back, no straying from the message, giving hope rather than fear.

    I am very glad to be in this country at this time with an electronic election Presidential winner who is a good family man with middle class values, lower class upbringing, and high class ideals for what is right and best for us all.

    I am sorry you feel cheated. I felt that way for 8 years prior to this year, and that feeling does suck.


  587. Jackson,

    Can you put more than ten words together to convey a rational thought? Take an aspirin and try it sometime.

    Name calling is for lazy and ignorant people.

    Kathleen Wynn,

    “Not one person…” covers a lot of territory. I happen to agree with you. Sexism is rampant.


  588. James, I guess you don’t. You are far too busy high jacking other’s. Asshat.


  589. PalinShutUp,

    I feel the same way about the obama supporters when it comes to “shutting up”, in light of the total lack of transparecy and change he was going to bring to Washington and rise above “politics as usual”, which he promised throughout his 2+ years of campaigning! You can give a pass to these numerous and significant broken promises.

    Yes, I did post further up what Hillary went through during the primary. You must have missed it. Here are a couple of links that clearly show what she had to deal with throughout the primary and obama did not. Obama was treated with kid gloves by the press. Hillary was fair game and nothing was out of bounds.

    The fact that you didn’t see the misogyny that was spewed by the so-called progressives and the “unbiased media” against Hillary and then against Governor Palin, indicates to me that you get all of your information about the campaign and the candidates from MSNBC, CNN, CBS and ABC. I was ashamed of the way the progressives attacked Hillary and then Palin. Whether you agree with either of their politics or not, neither deserved to be treated the way these women were.

    Obama supporters appeared at a Hillary rally with signs that said “Iron My Shirt” and not one word from the media admonising them for their clearly sexist behavior towards a sitting Senator. However, I’d bet the farm that if Hillary supporters had appeared at an obama rally with signs that read “obama, shine my shoes”, they would have first been beaten up by the obama supporters and then the media would have admonished them ad nauseum and called them racists.



  590. The Law: Can Atheists Be Parents? – TIME


  591. Jo,

    This dovetails with what you wrote about Medicaid and Medicare.

    Here is part of an e mail we got from a friend of a friend.

    ” I have taken care of Medicaid patients for 35 years whil representing the only pediatric opthamology group left in Atlanta Georgia that accepts Medicaid. For example, in the past six months I have treated three young children on Medicaid who had corneal ulcers. This is a potentially blinding situation because if the cornea perforates from the infection almost surly blindness will occur. In all three cases the antibiotic needed for the eradication of the infection was not on the approved Medicaid list. ”

    Each time Medicaid denied the doctor’s request, so he provided the treatment at his own expense.

    “Get the point–rationing of care.”


  592. Jo,

    I’m sorry you have had such a problem.

    I agree it is good Obama made health insurance reform an issue. However, we can fix failures without dismantling the system–make everyone who can’t afford any other plan eligable for Medicaid, for example. Features of the dominant Democratic proposals would do more harm than good during the long run, in my opinion.

    Your experiences with elderly people seeing the foot doctors would not change for long with a single payer program. I believe they would worsen as the government insurance fell onto hard times as Medicare has now. Privately run insurance cooperatives might be more successful in covering people who now cannot get adequate insurance. They would be less a drain on our government’s budget.

    So far, no one has been able to show me a plan similar to what House HR 3200 would give us which has worked on a national level. We see many examples of struggle and failure.

    Congress could fix this quickly by putting us all on their government insurance program, but they won’t. And they won’t replace their coverage with what will eventually become a single payer reality if something like HR 3200 becomes law.


    I “don’t need no stinking” blog.


  593. How do you make an avatar? Do you need to have a blog, or be an official member of WordPress? Can you be an official member of WordPress withouth having a blog? I’m new to this.


  594. Greytdog, thanks for the link to their blog. I love Fjords 🙂


  595. […] also like you to check out a new blog I added called, “Margaret and Helen.” I think we are never to old to learn and we can all learn from our elders. These two ladies […]


  596. James,
    Really, get your own blog already.


  597. I applaud Obama for having the courage to take this thing on. Healthcare in this country is much like everything else, the people that have it really have it, and the people who don’t, well no one really cares about them.

    I have been a chronic asthmatic since birth. I have always been on medicine to control it. After I hit a certain age my mother couldn’t carry me on her work insurance anymore. I was going to school full-time, and working full-time for five years. I couldn’t afford my own insurance, and my job didn’t offer it. I tried to apply for Medicaid but was turned down because I made too much money. The only reason I have been able to get by is because a friend of mine had her mother bring me samples of Singulair. And instead of taking daily, I take it weekly. And a few times I warded off attacks by sitting in a steamy shower.

    Another story- I used to work for a foot doctor. We saw a lot of elderly people come in. They either couldn’t see their feet, couldn’t reach them, or were diabetcs and were hesistant to cut their nails themselves. With medicare as a primary, unless they had a whole list of problems with their nerves, circulation, etc, they could not get their nails cut. Even with a secondary, if Medicare wouldn’t pay for it neither would the secondary. I know toenails don’t seem like a big deal, but those same patients would have to return due to an infection, or ulcer that could have easily been prevented. The insurance would pay like $8-10 for a nail cutting, for an ulcer or infection $45-150.
    The system isn’t working.


  598. I agree with Kieth about Hillary. Our prospects would be much better if she was our president now.

    If “Cash for Codgers” worked as well as Cash for Clunkers, the number of octigenerians would surge.

    I don’t get mad often, but this morning, I am as angry as UAW Tradesman was. I hope most people scroll on by, because I am blowing off steam.

    Yesterday, I heard Obama say that the health care proposal will not take our choice of insurance providers away. I have read HR 3200, and as it relates to that bill, Obama is lying. Like Bill Clinton he is quibbling over the meaning of “is”.

    Of course we have no single bill yet, and who knows what will be added early in the morning before the vote? Nevertheless, Obama assures us of what it will contain. And he’s not writing it.

    The Cash for Clunkers program is a relatively small bit of government activity. I supported it. I thought this was just the sort of spending we needed to move more money into the economy. Yet, Obama’s administration couldn’t even do that right. The percentage of dealer claims that the government had reimbursed by Thursday was seven.

    First, the administration misjudged the demand and ran out of money. Now, they have hired 300 contractors from Citigroup to work seven days a week to review applications and pay auto dealers for rebates advanced to consumers. FAA employees may help too.

    Unintended consequences include lower future auto sales because of the large number of people who chose to take advantage of the windfall. Jeremy Anwyl, CBO of the Augo Website wrote “There’s not going to be much momentum that’s going to drive sales to the level that we’ve seen.”

    The scheme helped foreign auto makers more than native companies. It will also drive up the price of used cars which is all many poor people can afford. More people who formerly owned cars free and clear are making car payments with money they might have spent next Christmas. And we want to trust the government with our health insurance?

    Mark Steyn said in Brazil, India, China, Japan, and much of Continental Europe the recession has ended. Both the French and German economies grew by .3% while ours shrank by 1%.

    Unlike America, they had only minor stimulus plans, and the Germans explained by saying they couldn’t afford Obama style spending. The US, Britain, and Italy which spent large amounts of money on stimulus plans face still contracting economies. Surely other reasons than big spending or its lack helped make the difference, but I wonder if we are taking the route which gave us the “Great Depression” while for much of the world, it was merely a “depression.”

    Obama supporter Steve Davis said in October, 2008, according to a blog poster, “He communicates god-like energy.”

    In June, 2008, Mark Morford wrote “Many spiritually advanced people I know ( not cowardingly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet…These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order,and they speak not just to reason or emotion,but to the soul.”

    The our economic and energy crisis will be solved if we tap into President Lightworker’s chi-energy–otherwise known as Obama’s “Wee Wee” Plan.


  599. Raji you might like this blog. They’re friends of mine
    and terrific folks


  600. Oh wow Keith – I think your nephew must be a buddy of my stepson! 🙂 Sometimes I sit and stare in amazement at the sheer. . . .stupidity he displays as ego. . . sigh. It’s never their fault though is it? Oh well…

    So y’all a friend brought over some fresh peaches today. . .and there’s warm peach cobbler on the kitchen counter and fresh hand-churned vanilla ice cream in the freezer – if you want to stop by! Just sayin’ . . . and tomorrow, I’m making homemade catsup with the tomatoes that came along from another friend’s garden. I’m very excited!! It’s starting to feel like summer. . . but then it always feels like summer in Florida. . .


  601. Oh, and Honolulu Sally…. I think Hillary has more balls than most of the “men” in Washington, not to mention she could run circles around their collective intelligence!

    Keith in NM


  602. Poolman… interesting proposal (Cash for Codgers)! But on the other end of that, I’ve got two nephews I’d gladly donate…. they’re got a lot of years ahead of them, or so one would assume, and will cost the ‘system’ a lot more than I will if we’re using the present as a starting point. That way we’d avoid their long-term costs, especially since one appears to be headed for state incarceration (even bigger expense to the system), and maybe I’d have enough credits accumulated for my old age… especially since I’m relatively close in age… almost 53. At any rate, I owe you for one of the first smiles I’ve had on my face all day (back to the one nephew and the likely incarceration).

    Helen, what I’d like to hear from you is a good, old-fashioned lecture on the difference between a mistake and a bad choice. Seems I can’t get my nephew to understand that his arrest for burglary (of which he’s admitted guilt) does not stem from a mistake but a choice. Huge, huge difference. Just happens to be my current beef-of-the-day.

    Keith in NM


  603. Greytdog, the story of Koda is inspiring in that the vets have been willing to offer their services. However, dwarfism is a side effect of breeding mini’s. I have known several cases. I prefer the story of Molly the pony, a Katrina rescue who is now an ambassador.

    OT. If there are any readers from Virginia, please read about the rescue of horses in Orange County, VA and the circumstances behind this case. 21 dead horses and 20 emaciated horses were found on a 70 acre property determined to be a horse retirement foundation. This is not just your usual abuse case like Vicks. There was money and power behind this connection and there is a possibility this case will not be prosecuted due to deals between the Mackall family and the Commonwealth attorney Diane Wheeler. A forum has been activated and over 33 people showed up for the arraignment which has been reset for Oct. 16th.

    Please at least read about the case.


  604. Alice, good one! Poolman, guffaw guffaw! Cash for Codgers…

    Greytdog, with that mixture, you must be very beautiful. Hawaii has more “hapa” (white mixed with Asian, etc.) people and they really are the beautiful ones.

    Kathleen, glad to know that you aren’t a Bushie.
    It seems your voting for the person rather than the party is a good philosophy. However, I get the feeling that you feel that Hillary was a better candidate because she was a woman.

    When I first supported Hillary, it wasn’t because she was a woman. I thought she was the best candidate. That is until I started listening to the message Barack had – that I count, that he cares, that we need change.

    If Barack hadn’t won the Democratic nomination, I would have voted for Hillary. Again, not because she was a woman, but because she would have been the 2nd best candidate (IMHO).

    Another question for you: Sarah Palin and Camp also said repeatedly that she was the target because of sexism. What did you think of her and her stance on sexism?


  605. they want THEIR america back! i wonder what the american indians would say about that!!!!!!


  606. Ann Strongheart: Update since Segundo’s passing –

    HRH Sofia – thanks for the tip! My ortho told me that if it weren’t for the hours I logged in while swimming the pups, my knee would be in worse shape than it already is. . .he also told me that I cannot substitute doing canine hydrotherapy for actual human PT. Sigh


  607. totally off topic but not exclusively for Greytdog…
    regarding joint replacement… I had a total hip replacement 18 months ago. The MOST important thing you can do for yourself is EXERCISE. It sounds like you do plenty but it’s too important not to mention. I was able to delay my hip replacement for 7 years by doing weight lifting/nautilus exercises and Tai Ch’i and worked as a landscape gardener during that time. Eventually the ball part was ulcerated and ready to crumble and the dull pain of walking on concrete sidewalks became too painful and I had the replacement (I’m fortunate in having pretty good coverage from an HMO and the $40,000 including 4 weeks physical therapy was all covered) (btw I’m 65 now) Since my muscles were in such good condition from almost daily gym visits, my incision was held together with tape, no stiches or staples. I’m know my hard work payed off in a quicker recovery. I was back at the gym 4 weeks after surgery and back to landscape work 4 months after surgery. You sound like such a wise person, you probably already know this stuff but maybe someone else will benefit.


  608. UAW the only folks who I call racist are the folks who seek to dehumanize folks because of race. There was a really great post on HuffPo by Kimberly Krautter where she coined the phrase: Hatriotism. Hate masquerading as patriotism. I don’t like mindset that requires a separation of humanity into them vs us. I can respectfully disagree with you, I can yell at you, I can tell you that I don’t like the way you arrive at conclusions, but I would never say that you are less than me, or less than anyone else. And I would call out anyone who does. Sometimes everyone’s thinking gets muddled in the heat of emotion, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up the very tie that binds us – our humanity.

    Thank you all for your best wishes. I’ll let ya know what happens.


  609. My friend Darlene Jones-Owens on FB had this in her notes. I thought you might enjoy:

    Obamacare 2009

    Democrats, realizing the success of the President’s “Cash For Clunkers” rebate program, have revamped a major portion of their National Health Care Plan.

    President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Sen. Harry Reid are expected to make this major announcement at a joint news conference later this week. I have obtained an advanced copy of the proposal which is named….

    “CASH FOR CODGERS”: and it works like this…. Couples wishing to access health care funds in order to pay for the delivery of a child will be required to turn in one old person. The amount the government grants them will be fixed according to a sliding scale. Older and more prescription dependent codgers will garner the highest amounts.

    Special “Bonuses” will be paid for those submitting codgers in targeted groups, such as smokers, alcohol drinkers, persons 10 pounds over their government prescribed weight, and any member of the Republican Party.

    Smaller bonuses will be given for codgers who consume beef, soda, fried foods, potato chips, lattes, whole milk, dairy products, bacon, or Girl Scout Cookies.

    All codgers will be rendered totally useless via toxic injection. This will insure that they are not secretly resold or their body parts harvested to keep other codgers in repair.

    Run my old friend, Run! And remember you heard it here first. Please don’t send me any hate mail..


  610. For those that know of Leonard Peltier, he was denied parole recently, so the fight is not yet over. There is still much corruption to expose and still much healing that needs to take place in our nation.


  611. ….’Became an independent after the democratic primary in response to the DNC’s silence to the horrific treatment Hillary received from many of the obama supporters’….

    Kathleen, wasnt it you who posted this same thing a few blogs back?

    except you threw the blame at the ‘Obama camp’ itself that time?

    I asked you to specifically show what ‘horrific treatment’ Hillary received? but you never replied?

    I dont mind when people make statements as long as they stand behind them

    I have to question the sincerity of your statement

    specially when Hillary is the one who started the ‘Obama pals around with terrorists’ rumor that later the McCain palin ticket ran with

    excuse me if I dont feel too sorry for the treatment she most probably deserved


  612. They say all is fair in love and war. I say all is fair in politics. At least that is what it has come down to. Whatever it takes to win. Racism, sexism, liberalism, conservatism, socialism, and all other labels we either wear or use to label others are mere mechanisms we need to justify our own isms and actions. If we could practice the golden rule, we would be able to advance as a people. The golden rule exists in all cultures and religions, but is the one rule we have the hardest time living up to. We usually discount the simplistic and prefer the complex, somehow believing complexity is a higher path. Instead of tit for tat, we should rise above and realize that those that label others and take sides haven’t yet matured, and truthfully may never get there. It is a reflection on their upbringing and a reason for us to continue to strive for perfection. Not that we can ever get there in this life, but the journey would be more pleasant and we would bring many more along, IMHO.


  613. UAW,

    I agree with you that racism is wrong and it’s still exists; however, sexism is wrong too and I never hear the same outrage or concern over that ‘ism that I hear about racism. Throughout the democratic primary, that’s all we heard about and everyone was being accused of it if they did not agree or support obama. That’s wrong too. Obama was given an unprecedented opportunity by the MSM giving him 30 minutes of free prime air time to lecture the country about racism. Hillary wasn’t even allowed to defend herself against this ad hominen attacks, much less be given equal time on prime time TV to lecture the country about sexism. Where were our so-called progressive brothers, to whom we trusted viewed women as equals and respected them as well? The women make up the majority of the democratic party and we are the deciding factor in whether or not a democratic candidate gets elected and the democratic party had the unmitigated nerve to treat one of their own in such a dispicable manner?

    Hillary was being attacked with vitrolic misognynistic/sexist attacks daily by a media that is supposed to be “objective” and not spew opinion nor choose sides for one candidate over another. But they clearly were biased in Obama’s favor (except for Fox News). She also was attacked with dispicable sexist epithats on the progressive blogs – DailyKos, Democratic Underground, The Huffington Post, and others, who supported obama.

    Women represent 52% of the population in America, but we are still treated like second class citizens, much like the AA’s were throughout American history, but things haven’t changed as much for women as they have for AA.

    Obama could not stand up and do the right thing by defending Hillary during the primary against these sexist attacks, but he can defend Prof. Gates during a WH press conference, without knowing all of the facts of the case.

    Many of us who supported Hillary were also attacked in similar fashion by our fellow democrats. We were called horrible names that rivaled those used against AA’s and no one, not one person of the DNC leadership, democratic party (except for a few brave ones, like Geraldine Ferraro and Governor Rendal) stood up and defended Hillary and all women against these outragous sexist attacks. Where were you?

    You come here and talk about racism, but not a word about the rampant sexism that still exists in this country. I would think anyone who was sensitive to the wrongs of racism would be equally as sensitive about the wrongs of sexism and speak out against that as well.


  614. Lori,

    I’m civil to you, yet you are not. Did I touch a nerve?

    Please read slowly so you will understand.

    Obama gambled that he could force his agenda rapidly before the opposition could organize. He knew his proposed changes were more radical than half the country would accept without a connection to a true emergency.

    He wanted to improve his odds with a quick pre- recess vote. Obama knew persuasion would be more difficult after protesters had their say during the recess.

    Thus, introducing so many new changes so quickly was a gamble. Rushing a vote in late July was playing it safe. I would have done the same.

    Do you now understand two simultanious strategies were in play?

    Anonymous, the next few years will prove which of us is silly.

    Greytdog, I like your comments, especially since we have Koreans and Filipinos in our family. Good luck with your operation.


  615. greytdog….
    “on the subject of racism: it is my opinion, and my opinion only, that racism is wrong. But it does exist – everywhere. Sometimes its disguised as nationalism, sometimes it pretends to be patriotism, sometimes it pretends to be Christian, or Muslim, or Jewish. But at all times racism is fear.”
    did you just call Lori,Tine, and Teresa racists….In my 35+ years of “shop talk” I can come up eith a lot of names for them but racist wouldn’t be one…unless they have something against Magyars


  616. Greytdog,

    Thank you for your kind words. The work is far from done, though. We desperately need the American people to unite, as they have on the healthcare reform issue, and put that same passion into taking back our elections.

    It just drives me nuts when people say that “we are going to vote them out”…well, no you’re not. It’s a shuffle game and the power elites control who gets into power and who is kicked out. The citizens have no say in the matter. For any politician to be “voted out” by the citizens, there must be such overwhelming citizen opposition to that candidate, that they simply find another “political cog” and run that person to offset the citizen’s outrage for any particular politcian.


  617. greytdog….
    Goodluck and a speedy recovery after your operation…..


  618. To Kathleen Wynne – Thank you thank you for all the work did in Florida. You guys so totally rock!


  619. UAW et al, on the subject of racism: it is my opinion, and my opinion only, that racism is wrong. But it does exist – everywhere. Sometimes its disguised as nationalism, sometimes it pretends to be patriotism, sometimes it pretends to be Christian, or Muslim, or Jewish. But at all times racism is fear. When I was in elementary school, I was knocked over on the playground, kicked in the ribs, spit on, and called the “n” word. Didn’t have a clue what that meant. Had to ask my mom what I had done to make those kids so mad at me. Now when I lived overseas, I had to straddled two cultures – the Filipino and white cultures. Filipinos often regarded me as less than because of the Asian idea of racial purity, and the white culture saw me as “not worthy” because of the belief that Mixed raced kids were just garbage kids. In Europe, I was mocked for looking Spanish; in the USA I was mocked for having a slight British accent. . .as I got older people started seeing me as “exotic” which in So GA meant whore. Sheesh. You can’t win. So now I’m just me and when someone chastises me for not speaking Spanish cuz they think I look like I should, I usually respond with a not so polite French response. If someone accuses me of trying to pass as white, I point out they are successfully passing for stupid. The point is is that we all have our prejudices and we all compartmentalize the world. I don’t like it, I understand it, but I don’t always try to play by those rules. UAW if someone calls you a honkey, respond as my nephew once did – “Thank you very much for noticing”. Don’t nurse or nurture someone else’s prejudice, give it back, tell them it belongs to them, and carry on with YOUR life.


  620. Delurker Girl,

    I have and still do work on election reform. I am the former Associate Director of Black Box Our investigative work into the election issue was featured in the HBO documentary film, “Hacking Democracy”. Reality check, if citizens don’t take back their elections by demanding a return to hand counts, at the precinct on election night, out in the open for all to see the actual counting of the votes, then we will not be able to take back our government.


    Sorry, I missed your questions about what I thought about Bush & Co. – Hated them!

    Became an independent after the democratic primary in response to the DNC’s silence to the horrific treatment Hillary received from many of the obama supporters and, in particular, the MSM and most of the political pundits. I believe both parties are corrupt and didn’t want to be part of either of them.

    I now look at the person running for office, and not the party. Ideology is not good for the democratic process as it is intolerant of opposing opinions and beliefs. America is not made up of only liberals or conservatives. It’s a mixture of both and we cannot achieve anything of substance governing either from the far right or the far left. It causes division and chaos.


  621. Here’s your Weekend “AWWWW” moment folks

    Meet Koda, the little horse who could – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)


  622. A gem from Jon Stewart. He’s on a roll these days.–the-new-liberals


  623. Imaginista……yes some people where nice to me and others told me over and over that the ONLY reason I didn’t vote for Obama was because I was a RACIST….I’ve never called a black man a Ni#$*r but i’ve had more than one look at me and call me a HONKY MOTHERF%$R to my face….which one is the racist….
    you’re damned right I was pissed…and I don’t feel that what I said was any worse….


  624. whirrledpeas…
    the girl that barney frank insulted was a Democrat……a LaRouche Dem…but still a Dem
    but he has one thing right….Frank admonished “I never asked you to trust the government. The government is not your mother or father, or your doctor…No one should ever trust the government, people should use their rights as citizens.”……that includes protests doesn’t it….


  625. James has gone silly on us again. We all know his duel personality. anonymous, hah.


  626. James your mouth is like a ducks ass shit just runs out of it…

    Wasn’t it just a day or so ago you were arguing with me about how Obama DID NOT take a gamble on allowing the recess to take place without a bill? Now you are saying he gambled? Do you ever read your own posts? EVER>?


  627. I am this Anonymous. I forgot to log in.


  628. Headlines on this morning’s Drudge Report include:
    Obama Hikes 10-Year Deficit to $9 Trillion

    Charlie Cook: Dem situation has ‘ slipped completely out of control’…

    Pelosi: House Can’t pass Bill Without Gov’t Run Plan

    Noonan:Pull the Plug on ObamaCare

    Stephanopoulos: Americans ‘Worried He’s Getting in Over His Head…’

    Obama’s Blame-game list…

    Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei of Politico wonder whether President Obama’s “Big Bang” approach to his first year in office might have been misguided. The term applies here to Obama’s pushing a variety of major changes into law within months.

    A “good crisis” does give a president the opportunity to enact legislation which in normal times would have been regarded as too radical. But the legislation must be seen as connected to a serious problem.

    Our major problem is now the recession and huge deficits. Cap and Trade is viewed as anti- growth, and the health insurance plan as too expensive. Hence there is a disconnect between those bills and the problem among over half of the voters.

    Allen and Vandehei also wrote ” The confidence of Obama’s aids was bolstered by their fresh memory that a similar approach had worked very effectively for then-President George W Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks. With the public on edge, Bush was able to enact restrictive polices under the banner of protecting American soil, and build an entire new department of government that voters otherwise might have opposed. The economic meltdown would be Obama’s Sept 11- the predicate for sweeping legislation that he wanted to enact anyway. ”

    Bush’s post 9/11 policies were correctly preceived as directly related to 9/11. His anti-terrorism polices had bipartisan support. In fact it was the Democrats who wanted the new government department Obama is proceeding with virtually no Republican support.

    In my opinion, Obama should have concentrated on stabilizing our economy. Later, he should have introduced other changes slowly over time. Obama took a gamble because he believed he would never again own such political capital. He may get his insurance bill, but the rancor it has caused will cost Democrats in the next election.


  629. I haven’t had time to check here, and I am tired after an all highschool reunion last night. The festivities resume in a bit.

    I was in a hurry and used too few words to clarify my position when I last posted. Obama outsourced the bill to the House.

    I didn’t mean to imply Nancy wrote the bill. As Speaker of the House, I am sure she made her opinions known and watched the bill’s progress as part of her job. In that sense, Pelosi was more involved in the bill than Obama. Many people wrote the bill, many of them unknown to us.

    A Democrat on a talk show said Republicans and conservative Democrats contributed heavily to the bill and he cited scores of amendments. The Republican replied they were mostly procedural and not substantive.

    That conservatives would write and then oppose what they considered to be objectionable parts of the bill defies logic.

    Obama “Allowed” various versions of the health insurance bills to pass because that is how it is done. Competing bills are born on most issues. He and his advisers hoped to avoid what they regarded as Hillary’s mistakes by speaking in generalities. Letting Congress write the details gave his office cover.

    It is also fact that Obama wanted the bill out of committee and put to a vote before the August recess. He likely knew the political momentum would slow during August.

    It is also fact that many in Congress had not read the bill. Rep Dingle, I think said it would be silly to read the bill without a couple of days and lawyers to help.

    Just before they went home representatives had a cram session because they realized many of their critics had read the bills. They were told to be quiet and take notes as aids read the bills’ contents. Had Congressmen not realized people would be grilling them on the details they would have been as ignorant about the bill as with the stimulus bill which many had little time to read.

    To say that Obama won and it is time to get on board is not what liberals said when Bush was president. They fought him whenever they could as they should have. Now that the tables are turned it is our duty to oppose policies we feel are bad for the country. Our legislators and president are not dictators. They must listen to everyone if they want to stay in office after the next election.

    Obama didn’t liberate Iraq. Bush did, and now the president is largely following the policies Bush set in place before he left office.

    I have been mildly tortured, and I know the difference between torture and abuse. It gave me a slig