June 2012


Yes, to all of the people mourning the Supreme Court decision today:  it’s true, your liberty has died.  As someone who grew up under a universal health care system, I can tell you that it’s just complete tyranny.  They forced you to go to the hospital!  They forced you to take an ambulance!  Even if you weren’t sick!

Actually, no such thing happened, of course.  When we lived in Holland, we went to the doctor and got the same treatment for our problems as we do here, except that over there, we didn’t have to worry about the financial aspect of the situation.  The people we know in Europe who get a serious illness only have to stress about the illness, which is bad enough in itself.  They don’t also have to stress about going bankrupt.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’ve already mentioned all this in previous blogs, but it bears repeating, since people continue to tell fables about how in a single payer system, you will no longer have “freedom” when it comes to your health care.  The only loss of freedom which I will freely acknowledge happens under a single payer system is that you may end up paying higher taxes.  Speaking of which, I’m thinking of taking the train to the library tomorrow–yet more terrible impositions from my local government which I will have to suffer under.

On a small added note, I’m so glad I was wrong about how this decision went today.  For once, my pessimism was proven incorrect.  But I’m still feeling pessimistic about the election in Nov…hope I’m just as wrong about that one!

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The recent brouhaha in the Michigan legislature, in which Republican male legislators got their panties in a bunch over a female legislator using the word “vagina”, got me to thinking about my vocabulary.  The men involved claimed that they were trying to defend the ladies and protect our virgin ears from hearing such vulgar language.  I’m grateful for their…ahem, assistance.  But I’m also realizing that I don’t know enough about conservative linguistics, so I may need some help.  Which word would these guys have considered acceptable instead of vagina?   Obviously pu**y would be out of the question.  (Putting in the asterisks as I’m not sure which words WordPress might get offended about.)  Would lady cat be better?  And don’t even get me started on the c-word…I don’t particularly like to see that one used myself.

An Internet search revealed some intriguing alternatives.  Some were disturbing, such as “sugar box”, others hilarious, like “sinhole”.  I think “sinhole” has a lot of potential for the Michigan House reps, and while we’re at it, why not go straight to “monster” or “soul-devouring void”.  Let’s face it, a lot of those guys still believe we have vagina dentatas down there.  That might explain some of the secretive gay sex on the conservative side.

Seriously, though, what would conservatives find to be acceptable wording?  Help me out here.  Lady parts?  The unmentionable place?  “Their thing”?  Sadly, I have a suspicion that they would prefer it if our vaginas–and the rest of our bodies–were just not mentioned at all.  Well, tough ta-tas–those days are dead and gone.  Personally, I think the word vagina will do just fine, thank you.  It’s the medical term, it’s not insulting slang…and if you try to stop me from saying it, you may end up hearing some far more colorful language from me.

What I used to think Facebook would be like:  An exciting rendezvous with friends, during which we share our secret hopes and fears, express our controversial opinions, and have philosophical debates….

What it is actually like:  A formal dinner party with acquaintances, co-workers and neighbors, during which we make small talk about the weather, quote funny stories we heard on the news, show each other pictures of cute cats and babies…and there are salesmen constantly trying to crash the event.

Mind you, I don’t think this has anything to do with Facebook’s lack of success on the stock market…If Facebook was the kind of place I’d like it to be, its stock value would be even lower.

I’ve always had a tendency to make fun of the kids who play video games all day, but am now starting to wonder if my blogging activity is really that much more valuable.  Do I not essentially spend my blogger’s life in a fantasy world, conducting imaginary “raids” on enemy conservatives, part of a team of liberal bloggers who chat with each other, preaching to the choir with their witty quips?  Imagining that I’m engaged in some enormous battle, when in reality I’m involved in minor verbal altercations inside of a conservative-liberal duality which was most likely constructed and is being manipulated by somebody else.

Don’t get me wrong, I like having my blog.  And my favorite thing about having it is the fact that I’ve found a community, a group of peeps who are just as obsessive about politics as I am.  And I do know that the issues we write about can have life-or-death consequences, so I’m not dismissing the problems themselves as imaginary.  But isn’t my writing about them just that…words?  For all the effect it has on the real world, I might as well be living in my Mom’s basement and eating chips while fantasizing about being a powerful wizard.

My one hope is that putting an idea out there into the ether often enough actually does leave an imprint and influence how things are discussed and thought about.  So perhaps what we do will make a difference.  However, I’m also going to lose my attitude about the World of Warcraft kids.  I’m just as addicted to sitting at a computer as they are.

Also, there’s always Alan Scott.  As long as he’s around, I will never feel like I’m preaching to the choir.  Congrats on sticking it out so long with us liberals, Alan.  I’m making you a tag in my blog post….

Hmmm, so the same people who can’t quite decide how to help college students and prevent student loan interest rates from doubling, will gladly spend the day kissing up to Jamie Dimon and telling him what a wonderful, wise CEO he is.  I suppose this shouldn’t be surprising, as over half of the Congresscritters are millionaires.  Naturally they can relate to him better than they can to the rest of us.  This isn’t meant as a partisan observation, by the way.  Both the Republicans *and* the Democrats in Congress are corporate-owned and mostly out of touch.

Still, I wish they would at least not be so obvious about it.  Raise your voice at Mr. Dimon just a tad, will you?  Pretend like you care.  But no, next time you do raise your voice it will be when you’re upset about those elderly again, exploiting the system with their greedy retirement needs.

All I can say is that if President Obama really does go for a Congress-bashing strategy this election season, as some say that he will, it may just work with this bunch.  Who knows if it will—I don’t think anybody is particularly well-liked at this point, not Barack, not Mitt and not the rest of the government.  It will probably come down to whoever is the least disliked at that crucial moment.  I’ll go with Barack, but I’ll be holding my nose just like everyone else will be…

I don’t know if it’s global warming or cooling, don’t know if it’s long-term climate change, man-made or just a freak natural occurrence, but my corner of the world has gotten colder and rainier over the past few years.  And yes, I know, it’s the Pacific Northwest—it’s cold and rainy.  But I moved here back in the mid-90s and I remember the weather being very different:  milder temps in the winter and summer, more sun in the spring.

Now, the winters are getting frostier.  We are running the heat more.  January-style rain and wind continue through the spring and all the way into the start of summer, with cold snaps which threaten our backyard veggie garden.  The weather is very unstable, with more thunderstorms and hail, more sudden storms.  When the sun finally does kick in, things turn hot quickly.  I have memories (maybe delusional ones?) of weeks and weeks of temps in the 70s…now they go from highs in the mid-50s straight into the upper 80s, and in turn we end up running the AC more than we used to.

Again, I don’t necessarily see any kind of abnormal trend here.  For all I know, this is a natural process of climate flux.  (I’m still hoping it’s temporary).   All I know is that our climate is gradually becoming more of a northern one.  I have sometimes fantasized of living in Scandinavia, but come on.  Still, even if there is an Ice Age apocalypse approaching, the Northwest remains a lot milder than most places out there.  I just miss the perfectly temperate Paradise I remember…or, perhaps, have only imagined in a fit of nostalgia.

When JP Morgan experienced its humongous loss of 2 billion dollars recently, there were, as always, people who benefited from the situation.  According to Business Insider and other sources, one of those who made the biggest profit was Boaz Weinstein, a “legendary credit trader”.  He made so much money off the JP Morgan catastrophe that he is currently in the process of purchasing a pricy Manhattan apartment.

And what interesting tidbit of info has come to light about this guy?  Why am I not surprised to hear this?  He was banned from a Las Vegas casino for counting cards at blackjack.  Right.  All of these Wall Street sharks have been cheating us in a giant card game for years now.  I have no objection per se to the idea of hard-working businessmen making a profit…and I think most of us don’t…it’s just that I have the impression that this isn’t a world of hard work and reward anymore—rather, I’m living in a casino, and the blackjack game is rigged.

Can we get these guys kicked out of the game already?  Seriously?