Support our troops AND the veterans TOO!

Support our troops AND the veterans TOO!

So the Detroit Tigers lose another game to Cleveland.
I flip to a local channel and there is a country music show on. A show put on in support of our troops. I want to quickly change to another channel but, lovely wife says “oh that’s nice, let’s watch that.”
I pick up my book and try to ignore the show. Then on comes a dude sharing the virtues of Walmart and how they have hired so many thousand returning vets. “Blah blah blah” I say to myself. “This is propaganda at its finest.” Not only are they tugging at our patriotic senses with the support our troops motive, they are also showing us what a good citizen Walmart is.
Damn, close your ears and concentrate on what you are reading. Complaining out loud will only get lovely wife upset and she is already tired. No reason to cause a ruckus this late at night. 😉
Show ends, lovely wife says “Well that was nice.” Damn again, just grunt and say politely, yes dear.
News comes on, starts with a lengthy segment about how the vets are being screwed over. It goes into some detail with veterans telling their stories of woe.
Can’t hold it any longer, “See if they really wanted to support our troops, they would do something about the vets.”
Lovely wife, “I am going to bed.”
Me, “night honey.”
Another crisis avoided.  🙂
Sleep well my friends, sleep well.

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Minimum Wage = Maximum Profits

 

I have been circulating a petition to put an increase in the minimum wage issue on the ballot in the upcoming election.
This activity has opened my eyes as to the conception of this action by a large percentage of the good people I have talked to.
Many people are turned off by my request with the most common reply falling along the lines of:
I make just a little bit more than the minimum wage, I just don’t think it would be right for someone to come into my place of work and make the same wages as me after I have worked all these years to achieve my current pay.
Bless your hearts my friends but consider this.
If you now make just a little more than minimum wage, your current position pays just a little more than minimum wage. Why do you suspect this would change if minimum wage were to rise?
There is a reason your job pays “just a little more than minimum wage.” Raising the minimum wage will not change that reason, therefore you will continue making “just a little more than minimum wage” at whatever level minimum wage is. That is, if minimum wage goes up your wage will go up in lock step with it. Voting to increase it will in fact be a vote to increase your wages.
Large corporations are the primary foe of raising these wages as it may cut into their massive profits.
Think about that for a bit and then get your name on a petition to put this issue on the November ballot.
Give me a call, drop me an email or send up some smoke signals. Whatever you have to do, do it now!
And as far as an increase in prices go, consider this, federal minimum wage has been stagnant since 2009 and in that time the price of a Big Mac has gone up 30 percent. ???

Walk with me among the crosses

Walk with me among the crosses

Watching a Sunday morning “news” show come to its conclusion with a listing of American troops that died in Afghanistan last week brought this memory to my mind.
There is a local anti-war group, Tri City Action for Peace (TCAP), this group gathers on a busy intersection on the first Friday of the month holding signs promoting peace and anti-war sentiments.
This group also stages an annual demonstration where they implant crosses in the ground with the name, rank, age and home community of all the Michigan military that have died as a result of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
This is a touching ceremony, individuals are handed a cross from the storage box, read out loud the name, rank, age and home community of the deceased, a single drumbeat is given and the cross is placed in the ground.
After all the crosses are neatly placed in rows, the group takes a slow, silent walk through the crosses.
As I walked, I read the names, ages and home of the deceased silently. This was enough to create a mental image of the person behind the name….
I would imagine some enjoying a fishing trip with their buddies, others I imagined arriving home from their tour to be greeted by family and friends and of course the large Golden Lab jumping up and almost knocking down the hardened soldier. These things could only be imagined, they will NEVER take place again in real life for these victims.
*“Joe Smith… PFC U.S. Marines 19 years old, Munising.”
Think about it for a minute or two.
Here is a young man that will NEVER know the joy of seeing his first born graduate high school.
Here is a young man that may NEVER even know the joy of seeing his first born.
Here is a young man that will NEVER again see the smile on his parents faces as he achieves yet another goal in life.
Here is a young man that will NEVER have the opportunity to go to a big league baseball game.
Here is a young man that will NEVER enjoy grilling a steak while drinking a cold beer.

I could go on but, you get the message.

NEVER is such a long long time.
So my friends, close your eyes and go on this silent walk with me. Read the names and put a face, a moment in the life of a real person, behind each and every name. Think about all the small things we all take for granted as just being part of everyday living.
And then think of all the small things these unfortunate souls will NEVER be able to enjoy.

*A pseudo name for all the real troops that have left us forever.

Time to ruffle some feathers of my fellow Dems.

A couple things that are taking place right now do not sit well with the general public. And this should be addressed if we expect to regain control of our government.
First some background from my perspective.
Not too long after Barack Obama was first elected to the presidency of the United States a personal acquaintance asked me what I thought about the new president. I replied “Well I am still hoping for the change that was promised.”
While the president has made mighty strides considering the complete obstruction coming from the Republicans, it is the negative actions that tend to sour in the hearts and minds of the enlightened citizens of America today.
By negative actions I am speaking of things like the TPP. This agreement is disliked by many in both the business and the labor community, yet our administration continues on with its efforts at pushing it through. Who, do you suppose, is pulling the strings on this one?
Link to more on this…. http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/05/02-5
Next item of concern is net neutrality. With the FCC being managed by attorneys from Comcast and Verizon how long before we lose our freedom of speech on the internet?
“Many have expressed shock that the Obama administration would walk back one of its biggest promises. On the campaign trail, Barack Obama said that he is a strong supporter of net neutrality. During a question and answer forum in Iowa, Obama explained, “What you’ve been seeing is some lobbying that says that the servers and the various portals through which you’re getting information over the Internet should be able to be gatekeepers and to charge different rates to different Web sites … And that I think destroys one of the best things about the Internet—which is that there is this incredible equality there.”
And again more on this …..
http://www.vice.com/read/former-comcast-and-verizon-attorneys-now-manage-the-fcc-and-are-about-to-kill-the-internet
Now carrying this a step further we find that many wealthy business folk have expressed opinions suggesting if they cannot get Jeb Bush as a candidate for Republican president over some tea party candidate, they will give their support to none other than Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton (Republican lite?)
Personally I think we live in a Plutocracy but studies have only declared it an Oligarchy.
“Researchers from Princeton University and Northwestern University have concluded, after extensive analysis of 1,779 policy issues, that the U.S. is in fact an oligarchy and not a democracy. What this means is that, although ‘Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance,’ ‘majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts.’ Their study (PDF), to be published in Perspectives on Politics, found that ‘When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.'”
Is it any wonder the youth of today are staying home during the mid-terms?
Sorry about the lengthy blog today but, these conditions have to be shared and discussed, if we expect to move forward my friends.

A few words of wisdom from Michigan Representative Dan Kildee

A few words of wisdom from Michigan Representative Dan Kildee

Dan Kildee (D) Michigan spoke at the Saginaw County Democratic Party Spaghetti Dinner last night.
Kildee represents Michigan’s 5th district, the fighting fifth, as Colbert would say.
This is not an exact quote but my paraphrasing of what he said.
Kildee said he is on the budget committee and they met for 10 ½ hours discussing the budget as presented by Paul Ryan (R) Wisconsin.
Ryan’s budget included cuts and/or privatization of Medicare and Social Security, this would allow for more tax breaks for the wealthy, the “job creators”.
The Democrats on the committee introduced amendment after amendment to this budget only to be shut down by the Republicans in control.
Kildee introduced an amendment stating. Anyone making over $1 million a year should pay 30 percent in income taxes, no special deductions or exemptions. This money could be used to eliminate the deficit.
Kildee thinking back to when Eisenhower was president and the top tax rate was 91 percent, thought 30 percent would be a fair rate.
The Republicans were aghast at such a recommendation.
A Texas representative spoke out saying. “You people are just jealous.”
“You People” How many times have we heard that phrase?
Kildee’s response went along these lines.
No we are not jealous, we would like to live in a country that provides decent education to its citizens, a country that provides affordable healthcare to its citizens, a country that people can work and make a decent living without having to worry excessively about what they are going to do when they can no longer work.
None of us are jealous, if you work hard and become a millionaire, bravo for you and congratulations on a job well done.
He went on to say, we would like to live in a country where we can pass on a better world for our children and grandchildren than we have, just like our parents did for us.
This is being shared today for those who did not have the opportunity to hear Representative Kildee last night.

Weirder than usual today

Weirder than usual today

On occasion we all let our minds wander. Sometimes those wanderings bring up some weird thoughts.
Here is one I had when walking the dog yesterday, you may or may not get a kick out of it, so read on.
I was thinking. If this world is still around in 20-30 thousand years, what do you suppose archeologists are going to surmise when they dig up thousands of plastic grocery bags snuggly tied with doggy poop in them?
Of course the question of the world still being around in 20,000 years is enough to provide lively discussion.
Some say climate change will soon bring the end.
Others have suggested that population growth and the finiteness of natural resources will bring the end. Mankind is going to screw itself into extinction, so to speak.
One of my favorite bloggers, notestoponder, has blogged about this today.
Read her blog here….
http://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/how-many-people/
As for me, I have begun to put one of those small fish emblems in the bag with the doggy poop. 😉
This should give future archeologists something to think about.
“Perhaps this was some sort of ancient religious ritual?”
Think about it.
And remember, if you don’t vote, you don’t count!

Boston Marathon Today

Thirty-six thousand runners today, more than any race in history. Boston Strong! Yes sir, we are going to show those terrorist thugs we will not be intimidated.
We will wave our flags with pride and glory, the terrorists be damned. If they think they can change us and our traditional actions and values, they better think again.
But, upon further review…

We find ourselves going through metal detectors at major league baseball games, we see on this morning’s news the areas in Boston that have been cordoned off. No vehicles allowed near the start or the end of the today’s marathon.
We see our local police departments arming up with military weapons obtained from the WAR department.
We see our local police pepper spraying and throwing peaceful demonstrators to the ground.
We see police arresting peaceful demonstrators in state capitol buildings across the nation.
We see laws being written banning peaceful demonstrations in public buildings.
We see hundreds of militia type individuals come racing, with assault weapons, at the ready to defend a scofflaw in Nevada as he refuses to comply with federal laws.
We see our citizens killing each other at the toss of a handful of popcorn or the booming sound of a car radio. And these homegrown thugs are getting away with this activity based on laws written to alleviate the fears fostered by the gun lobby.
We see laws being written to allow teachers to carry guns in the classroom.
We see laws being written allowing guns in churches.
We see laws being written allowing sawed off shotguns.
All these laws and changes in our society stem from a society that has been fed a constant message of fear.
So my friends, are we standing up to the terrorists or have they already won?