Ideologies or are they, 1900

One hundred and twelve years ago things were a bit different in this nation of ours. Women couldn’t vote, some states were still territories, Hawaii had only been annexed recently, Poll Taxes were still all the rage, child labor was an accepted standard throughout the land. The nation was very different indeed. Before I posit you some nuggets from the platforms of the two parties, let us take a look at what the administration and Congress were busy with leading up to the turn of the century and our first election year.

1898 – Spanish American War

President William McKinley ( R )

Both houses of Congress majority led Republican in the 55th Congress.

Senators were still selected by State senate’s rather than direct vote; this would not change until the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment to the US Constitution in 1913.

These are the key facts leading to the creation of the Democratic and Republican Platforms of 1900. Key legislation enacted by the 55th Republican led Congress were the following:

Dingley Tariff, imposed duties on woolens, hides, silks, china and sugar. The Dingley Tariff remained in effect until 1909 when the Payne-Aldrich Tariff was passed. During its effective period average tariffs on items it covered were 47%.

Erdman Act provided for mediation between railroads and workers. The most significant provision of the Erdman Act was the section prohibiting railroads from demanding workers not join a union as a condition of their employment. The act covered workers who on moving trains because of the interstate clause but not those who worked in the yards or offices.

Annexation of Hawaii, statehood would come later but this was the first step.

Rivers and Harbors Act, made it illegal to dump refuse in any harbor or navigable water. While the act goes much further than this the River and Harbors Act is the oldest environmental law in the United States.

Bankruptcy Act, provided corporations protection from creditors.

Gold Standard Act, established the value of a dollar at 23.22 grains of gold at 20% purity and as the only standard redemption value for paper money. This established the Gold Standard and stopped bimetallism.

Now to the platforms of the election year, I think if will be fun to post some of the key platform issues from each of party. I am not going to tell you which party they come from, you guess.


# 1:

Corporations should be protected in all their rights and their legitimate interests should be respected, but any attempt by corporations to interfere with the public affairs of the people or to control the sovereignty which creates them, should be forbidden under such penalties as will make such attempts impossible.

We favor an amendment to the Federal Constitution, providing for the election of United States Senators by direct vote of the people, and we favor direct legislation wherever practicable.

We are opposed to government by injunction; we denounce the blacklist, and favor arbitration as a means of settling disputes between corporations and their employees.

We are proud of the courage and fidelity of the American soldiers and sailors in all our wars; we favor liberal pensions to them and their dependents, and we reiterate the position taken in the Chicago platform of 1896, that the fact of enlistment and service shall be deemed conclusive evidence against disease and disability before enlistment.

In the interest of American labor and the uplifting of the workingman, as the cornerstone of the prosperity of our country, we recommend that Congress create a Department of Labor, in charge of a secretary, with a seat in the Cabinet, believing that the elevation of the American laborer will bring with it increased production and increased prosperity to our country at home and to our commerce abroad.

We denounce the failure of the <someone> to carry out its pledges to grant statehood to the territories of Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma, and we promise the people of those territories immediate statehood and home rule during their condition as territories, and we favor home rule and a territorial form of government for Alaska and Porto Rico.


# 2:

We recognize the necessity and propriety of the honest co-operation of capital to meet new business conditions and especially to extend our rapidly increasing foreign trade, but we condemn all conspiracies and combinations intended to restrict business, to create monopolies, to limit production. or to control prices; and favor such legislation as will effectively restrain and prevent all such abuses, protect and promote competition and secure the rights of producers, laborers, and all who are engaged in industry and commerce.

We renew our faith in the policy of Protection to American labor. In that policy our industries have been established, diversified and maintained. By protecting the home market competition has been stimulated and production cheapened. Opportunity to the inventive genius of our people has been secured and wages in every department of labor maintained at high rates, higher now than ever before, and always distinguishing our working people in their better conditions of life from those of any competing country. Enjoying the blessings of the American common school, secure in the right of self-government and protected in the occupancy of their own markets, their constantly increasing knowledge and skill have enabled them to finally enter the markets of the world. We favor the associated policy of reciprocity so directed as to open our markets on favorable terms for what we do not ourselves produce in return for free foreign markets.

In the further interest of American workmen we favor a more effective restriction of the immigration of cheap labor from foreign lands, the extension of opportunities of education for working children, the raising of the age limit for child labor, the protection of free labor as against contract convict labor, and an effective system of labor insurance.

The Nation owes a debt of profound gratitude to the soldiers and sailors who have fought its battles, and it is the Government’s duty to provide for the survivors and for the widows and orphans of those who have fallen in the country’s wars. The pension laws, founded in this just sentiment, should be liberally administered, and preference should be given wherever practicable with respect to employment in the public service, to soldiers and sailors and to their widows and orphans.

We favor home rule for, and the early admission to statehood of the Territories of New Mexico, Arizona, and Oklahoma.

We congratulate the women of America upon their splendid record of public service in the volunteer aid association and as nurses in camp and hospital during the recent campaigns of our armies in the East and West Indies, and we appreciate their faithful co-operation in all works of education and industry.


Okay, you guess whose platform for the election year 1900 was #1 and whose was #2? No cheating, no peeking! I didn’t take all of them and you might note some were interestingly close in their intent. They were also civil in their writing of their party platforms, very focused on the business of governing. While each take a couple of small potshots at the other, within the body of the platform there is nothing like you see today.

One thing you will not see is any mention of God! No mention of Church or of taking our nation back.

The winner of the election, by the way: William McKinley who was assassinated in 1901 and succeeded by Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, President 1901 – 1909

Reference sites:

Morphing through the Ages

I was recently spanked and I deserved it, I can sometimes forget my manners. Politics and religion brings out the very worst in even the best of us and I am far from the best as I recently proved. Though I apologized to the person I offended, I have been thinking about my terribleness since then and mentally kicking myself. I admit I am opinionated, highly opinionated if truth were told, but it has only been recently that I have found myself also being partisan or at least more partisan than is my wont when it comes to party politics.

Maybe it is time I clear the air. Not to defend myself but to put things on the table, allow things to be known about what I really think. In fact how I have always thought.

In 1975, when I turned 18 I registered to vote. I registered as an Independent. I have always considered myself a Progressive rather than a Democrat or a Liberal; I am certainly not a Socialist. There are many things within the Democratic platform over the years I have vehemently disagreed with and spoken out against. There are clearly things over the past few years especially within the Republican platform I have taken issue with, spoken out against sometimes insultingly so. With this in mind I thought I would kick myself a few times and go searching for why I am such an azzhat these days, what has caused me to become such stickler, you know so partisan in my views that I offend my friends with my intensity.

One thing I considered is I have changed, I know this is true. I have gotten older, but I feared I had truly changed and was incapable of hearing or seeing beyond my own personal views and considerations. The other thing I considered is our political environment and parties had changed so much there was no room for debate or civility any longer. I feared my ability to be respectful and loving was falling by the wayside when certain issues that squeezed my heart caused my humor and normal pragmatism to take a very quick walk to the darkside.

So, with that in mind I thought I would do a bit of research. Look at the parties, their platforms and the changes to them since 1900. What happened? What were the key hiccups? Where did they trade, what did they trade and ultimately who did they sell their souls to? Ultimately I can tell you what I believe and why I believe it, I can tell you what I want and why. I do not care what party offers it to me; I will pull the lever for the person who best represents my values. We are stuck with exactly what our Founding Fathers warned us against, a two party system that represents nothing and nobody but a small number of very wealthy corporations and their leaders. That at least is what I believe.

All of us, we align with a Party that somewhat, sorta, maybe kinda represents some of our ideals. Not all of our ideals mind you, just some of them. Whether these are the Social Ideals or the Economic Ideals, doesn’t really matter they are just the ones we think are the important Ideals. We identify the Party that says they will fix what we believe is broken –

  • Republican Party
  • Tea Party
  • Green Party
  • Democratic Party
  • Socialist Party
  • Libertarian Party

Once we identify with them we simply pin them with our hopes, align our ideals with them. In some cases we stop looking at the problems, we stop listening to what the candidates are saying or looking at the voting records of those elected to office under those party banners. Those are our guys and gals and by damned they can do no wrong! No matter what they do, no matter what crime they commit, no matter what moral lines they cross we will pull the lever and put them in office again and again. Hell, in some cases we will lionize them, make them national heroes (Ted Kennedy).

We have affectively created an oligarchy. We have affectively handed over the people’s power and failed in our duty to future generations.

Over the next few weeks in between beating the tar out of all those running for public office as they open mouth and insert foot, I am going to run a new series as a result of my research into the changes in both parties since 1900. The intent is to look at the official Platforms of the Parties, as well as, keynote speeches of the Presidents during this time. I hope you will join me on my journey.

I won’t promise not to offend in the future. I suspect I will, though I will try to keep in mind there are those I care for on the all sides of political spectrum. My vehemence, my passion comes only from my great love of nation and my great fear for our future. Feel free to spank me, when I go too far.

Brain Farts aka Gaffes

It has been an interesting week in the political arena, a week of revelation and frank nastiness. Stupidity on the part of some of our national figures seems to run rampant doesn’t it? Without fail some members of the GOP simply can’t help but open their mouths and thoughtless statements flow out from between their lips without any restraint. Shall we look at the blatant ideological stances and “oops I made a gaffe” of the week?

Please, keep in mind my personal opinion of a gaffe is simply the lips moved before the brain engaged. The speaker said what they thought before they could think of a plausible lie.

Representative Todd Akin, R-Missouri

“It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”

We all know this just started a storm swirling around every circle, Left, Right and Center. There were few who didn’t jump on the bandwagon to denounce poor Todd and demand he quit the race immediately. The GOP pulled funding for his Senate race and disinvited him from Tampa.

Bad Todd, bad indeed. But it wasn’t because he was taking a position so far out of the mainstream from his party, no indeed not. The fact is they were simply mad that he gave voice to their platform. Todd Akin let the cat out of the bag!

While all the controversy is swirling the GOP is hammering out their platform. Mitt and Paul are there, hammers in hand knowing this will be the soapbox they stand upon leading up to November. Oh, look at that there is that pesky language…..what’s that you say?

“Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We oppose the non-consensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide.”

There is more, you can read it here:

Next we have Mitt, the top of the GOP ticket who believes he can pretend to ignore the Platform he will be standing upon. Can we all say what a chump, you Mr. Romney courted the Wingnut Right and you will owe everything to them should you by some slim chance make it all the way to the White House. Your boy wonder VP supports Personhood Amendments to the Constitution and should he have a deciding vote in the Senate women will die in your new America, but let’s take a look at the statements of the GOP ticket shall we?

In an interview on August 20, with the National Review Online Mitt said the following:

 “Congressman’s Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong,” Romney said. “Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive.”

Love how he refers to himself as ‘we’, wonder if that is the royal ‘we’, he certainly isn’t talking about he and his running mate who had this to say.

“I’m very proud of my pro-life record, and I’ve always adopted the idea that, the position that the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life,” Ryan explained. “But let’s remember, I’m joining the Romney-Ryan ticket. And the president makes policy.”

From an interview with WJHL this week, see more here:

Just one more little bit of humor from he who would be king, yes that’s right the Mitt, good old Mittens. I wonder if he aspired to a career as a failed stand-up comedian in his younger days, do you think this is might be the reason for his board stiff stage presence. Also do you think he is taking advice from the Donald?

“No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate,” he added. “They know that this the place that we were born and raised.”

Next we have a few of the reasons why we all need to make certain we are getting out to the polls and voting this year. Here is Iowa Representative Steve King discussing his knowledge, or should I say lack thereof, regarding the incidence of young rape and incest victims (specifically twelve year old girls) who might need abortions.

“Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way, and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter,” he said.

Unaware of one of the more famous Tea Party Gaffes, teen mother Bristol Palin with baby daddy

Steve King is a staunch supporter of Personhood legislation and came out in support of Ted Akins. This is a Republican who last year refused to debate his female Democratic challenger, offering instead to debate her husband former Governor Tom Vilsack in her place. Want to see more,

Finally on the hit parade for the week we have this piece of awe-inspiring stupidity from my home state. This judge from Lubbock County is a real winner in judiciary prudence I tell you, or as we say down here this is one dumazzed sumbitch. Judge Tom Head, well he indeed had a full head in an interview broadcast on a local Fox station talking about what will happen if President Obama is re-elected, he had the following to say:

“He’s going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N., and what is going to happen when that happens?” Head said. “I’m thinking the worst. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. And we’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations. We’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy.”

“Now what’s going to happen if we do that, if the public decides to do that? He’s going to send in U.N. troops. I don’t want ’em in Lubbock County. OK. So I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say, ‘You’re not coming in here’.”

Of course, everyone in Lubbock, Right and Left are attempting to disavow his statements. Judge Head is an elected official and there are no real rules to remove him from the bench unless he can be shown to be just outright starkers. Currently the Judge is the head of the Emergency Management Plans for the county, he also presides over mental competency hearings (how scary is that).

Through all this the GOP has been pointing to the single statement by VP Joe Biden regarding Wall Street made in Virginia to a mixed crowd. The statement was as follows:

 “He is going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, unchain Wall Street. He is going to put y’all back in chains.” 

For the past two weeks, since the VP made this statement the Right and even some of those on the Left have been furiously hammering away at the Dog Whistle of race baiting this statement blows. But does it? I would say no, indeed we are not only defined by a single form of slavery and that being the horrific slavery of the African traded and abused on these shores for hundreds of years. While this was a terrible part of our history that continues to define a society even today, it is not the only slavery and not the only form of chains we endure.

The statement by Joe Biden, in my mind was not a gaffe at all but a very clear and truthful statement of where we are as a nation if we do not get back to some basic truths and basic facts. One of those is we must regulate Wall Street and Banking. How much clearer can we be than this?

So we all need to get over it. We are slaves to political correctness in this regard. We need to unchain our minds and allow ourselves to use the English language to express ourselves properly and with intent!

Rape is Rape. Force is Force.

Living breathing women must never be slaves to the moral choices of others who have no interest in their lives or futures.

Stand up, be counted.

Gentle Shackles

My second mother is 92 years old, that is a lot of years to live. For most of the past twenty-five years she and I have been estranged, or maybe a better description of our relationship is distant. I acknowledge she exists, at Christmas and on her Birthday I send a card, flowers and a $100 gift certificate to Nordstroms; she rarely ever remembers to thank me and I have long since stopped caring.

My second mother has spent the better part of the past forty years telling anyone who would listen what a miserable daughter I am. I have never defended myself nor attempted to correct her version of the truth, except with her. Ultimately I stopped trying to correct her and stopped looking for an apology.

I have covered all this before, I apologize if some of that seemed redundant.

As the day grows closer to her move to Assisted Living,  I realize I will have to get on a plane and take on the role of ‘caretaker’ to a woman I have, at best, a difficult relationship with and conflicted feelings for. I am still dancing around some very difficult and delicate realities. Initially I thought I could just deal with the checkboxes of what needs to be done; you know make a list of what it will take to move this woman from one place to the other. As anyone knows who has had to undertake moving an elderly parent it isn’t easy, there is a ton, a lifetime of emotional baggage. You can’t just swoop in and say to them, ‘come on old woman time to pack it in, we’re heading over to this strange new place where the nice people will take care of you.

This is especially true when you are talking about me and my second mother, we barely speak, barely know each other and I am not at all certain she trusts me.

But this doesn’t change the what has to be done or the reality of our situation, I am still left with the hard part. It also doesn’t change that underneath my somewhat tough exterior I am mushy, I have compassion and I am even likely a kind person (please don’t tell). My second mother is old, she has a touch of dementia and from all reports she isn’t doing all that well mentally. I feel sorry for her. My brother left this too long, he should have insisted she make this move two years ago but he didn’t. Now it is left to me because he can’t get home from Korea soon enough. At the end of the day I suspect I will wind up the bad guy, the one with the hard job. Funny I have always been the ‘bad’ daughter and her biggest disappointment, now I will be the ‘evil’ daughter the one who packs her off to assisted living potentially ‘against her will’. He will swoop in a few weeks later and pacify her and listen to her complaints, commiserate even; but it will all be done. Everything will be as it always has been.

I know this is the right thing for her. She cannot continue to live alone, she is not safe. I think there is something I am supposed to learn from this, perhaps some forgiveness I am supposed to achieve in this process, some softening of my hard-heart. Some peace I can gain, I hope so. Two weeks ago I was very angry and had a very difficult time with the situation I was left in. The more time I have the more I am able to find some peace in myself, though I haven’t yet figured out why this is left to me.

My brother hopes I will finally stop hating my second mother, he doesn’t understand I haven’t hated her in decades, I simply find a relationship with her to be toxic and not in my best interest.

My brother also doesn’t understand if I didn’t love him I would not do this. My true compassion is for him. I think I know in my heart, he left this so long because he couldn’t do this it is too hard. My big tough Special Forces Iron Man brother can’t do a little thing like move an old lady for her own good.

So one more time I am going to go be the bad daughter, the evil one. I think I am actually okay this time. Maybe my chains are finally falling away gently.

Native Tongue

One day not so long ago and not so long after I bought both my two new computers I had a problem, not a small problem either. Indeed no, it wasn’t a tiny problem that I could simply reboot and solve, were that it I would have done so. This was an ugly and profound problem, a problem none of us wants to see and especially with a brand spanking new and very expensive computer.

What the hell!

I had built this lovely from the ground up. Extra everything, it was turbo charged, built for speed.

What the hell!

I had also paid a pretty penny to have all my software loaded, the latest and greatest from Bill Gates, not just the basics but also all those business applications I need for my work. Things most people don’t need and perhaps hadn’t even heard of, pre-loaded and send me the CD’s just in case.

What the hell!

There I was though on a Friday morning, in a panic. I wasn’t sweating bullets yet; all my work was backed up. I hadn’t lost my work. Nevertheless, there I am on hold, waiting for Customer Service to come on the line to tell me what I need to do to recover my brand spanking new computer.

Did I mention I had dual hard drives? Oh, well I had dual hard drives yet still there I was, with;

What the hell!

Finally, Prem came on the line. He was very helpful he told me I had two hard drives and could I please boot my system so he could remotely log on.

Really? I explained I was unable to do so but would be happy to try if he would explain to me how I could do this.

Prem got very frustrated at my stupidity. Clearly the failed hard drive was my fault.

I asked to speak to his supervisor. Prem hung up on me instead.

What the hell?

I called back, when I finally got another customer service person on the line I explained the problem and asked to speak to a supervisor. This person was reluctant to pass me to a supervisor, but after a five-minute conversation did so.

Fasid, was very polite and explained to me he could not find Prem’s notes thus could not find any record of my previous conversation. I would have to start from the beginning, would I mind very much if he took control of my computer to discover the problem?

“No of course not, except my main Hard Drive has failed and I cannot boot up. The hard drive needs to be replaced. The computer is under warranty and I want you to send out the part with a technician to fix it. That is what I pay for.”

Fasid explained to me that he wasn’t authorized to do that, but he would send the request to another group who would call me back when they were in the office in two hours.

So I waited. What the Hell!

David Chen called me back late that afternoon; he was from the ‘Customer Care’ department. He wanted to know why I had lodged a complaint. Really?

  1. I have a business account with your company
  2. I bought two computers from you less than 6 weeks ago for a total of $4,900 including hardware, software and warranty
  3. One of those computers has failed, it is my primary computer for work
  4. I spent the better part of 4 hours on the phone this morning with people who would not resolve the problem, who hung up on me, who were not authorized to fix the problem or who did not speak the language well enough to understand the problem
  5. I have waited more than 6 hours for someone to call me back, meanwhile my computer still does not work

David was very conciliatory. Well I guess he had to be he was in customer care. He confirmed my hard drive had failed and he ordered the part and the service. Initially he tried to tell me this would take at least a week, but I reminded him I had paid the extra warranty. I also reminded him I lived less than 15 miles from one of their plants, I could walk there faster than he was proposing to have the part. He also proposed I could replace the hard drive myself, again I read the warranty to him. Not only would he send the technician to replace the part, they were responsible for making certain my hard drive was operational.

Then we talked about my unhappiness with the customer service experience. I obviously was unhappy with that morning. I was especially unhappy with Prem, who had hung up on me. Prem had another problem though, he could not speak English very well and he spoke very softly. I was continually asking him to repeat himself so I could understand what he was saying. I get it, organizations have outsourced and off-shored their tech support. There is no turning back from this and all the complaints in the world are not going to change this trend, it is here to stay. But can we at least set the standard, please. Can we at least say if you are servicing English speakers you must have conversational English, servicing French speakers you must have conversational French, and so on. Is this too much to ask?

Apparently, this particular computer company has found another source of revenue based on the complaints and feedback on this issue. David suggested I sign up for the added benefit of Native Tongue Customer Service at the low cost of $35 per year.

What the Hell !

Fraud or Ideologue

Want it all, blood, bones all of it. Never mind you might need it someday just turn on the spigot and start sending your lives work, your earnings, your retirement and anything else you might have to me. I don’t need it but I want it, dammit.

Ignorance is a terrible thing and we are a nation well on our way to being entirely and willfully ignorant. We believe anything that sounds good and fits our personal worldview, our narrow pathological, all too often simplistic and ideological sociopolitical porches.

Summer Vacation Sure Hope They Speak ‘Merican

Yes, I said porch. Most Americans have not traveled further than their own front yards, haven’t expanded their knowledge of the world beyond their most recent vacation to Disney World and the children’s ride of ‘It’s a Small World’, even that annoyed them when the song was in languages they couldn’t understand.

This is America, Dammit! Speak English.

We want our country back. We want to take our country back.

Have your heard these slogans? I certainly have and I constantly wonder about them, wonder first who wants the country back and who they want to take it back from. Then I wonder, just where the hell do they want to take the country back to?

Tea Party Rally

So what do these fearful people look like? These people who want their country back. Do they look like me? Some of them certainly do, my guess is most of them do. The difference between them and me, they haven’t the wherewithal to consider the consequence of regression, a return to our past. Then you have the new generation, those who weren’t part of the change, weren’t part of the Civil and Equal Rights battles, they don’t have a clue and are simply repeating the mistakes of the past. They have been educated in a system that promotes ignorance, refusing to provide historical context or train our young to think.

What is the result of this drive to “Take our Country Back”? It is a great question here is the answer.


If your ideas suck the only way to win an election is to gerrymander districts and suppress the vote. Here are two Republicans and what they have to say.

Jim Greer, Chair of Florida Republican Party

In the meantime, the GOP accuses the current Administration of attempting to block Veterans from voting in Ohio. This is of course, not the case at all. What they were attempting to do is expand early voting for all citizens of the State and keep early voting in place, not just for Veterans but for everyone. As I said previously, you are not allowed your own facts.

Patrick Murphy explains Veteran Voter Suppression in Ohio

The truth of the matter is, this is turning into the nastiest fight we have seen and we, the people are allowing it to continue without even a whimper. We refuse to hold any politician accountable and we allow media to direct the traffic of misinformation and outright lies into our homes and across the airwaves. Worse, we enable this trash into our schools so the next generation is even more poorly informed, less able to correct what has been so terribly mangled. We sit back wringing our hands thinking to ourselves, ‘Oh no, will I survive the onslaught? Will my Social Security be safe? Will my Medicare be there when I need it?” We fail entirely to consider the overarching horror story that is this nation’s future if we do not correct the regressive policies that are rolling toward us with ever-increasing vigor as we fail to take action.

In Florida the recent elections had a 6% turnout. Our apathy will be its own reward. The GOP doesn’t need voter suppression, we are our own worst enemy!

I leave you with this little diddy, one of my all time favorites I think Audrey II or Twoey is a great play on the current Tea Party / GOP. What say you?

No Facts Allowed

Opinions are great, everyone has them and even if they are poorly informed, we can’t create exceptions. The well informed may be easier for party conversation, but the misinformed are sometimes great provender for our social sharing. Truthfully, perhaps it is the misinformation and those who are so plugged into remaining misinformed that should be our highest priority of this silly season that is this election season. Everything, every single

Tree of Knowledge, something we should all be striving to grow

last thing flows from being well informed, knowledgeable and having fact-based information. Without a clear understanding of both present day, as well as the historical basis for decisions it is impossible to form well-informed opinions.

Do not get me wrong, I am not so presumptuous to believe that five (5) people given the same facts will arrive at the same opinion. In all likelihood, they will not. Each person, given the same facts will have still brought their own personal history, education and bias to the table prior to being presented with the facts. Based on these personal details, each person will form an opinion. If asked to solve a problem (non-mathematical), each person will apply their own skills and history to the solution, despite having been given the precise same facts.

However, you are not allowed your own facts!

It is that simple, there is nothing ambiguous about the above statement; or is there?

I will be damned if I don’t think there might be something wrong in the water we drink or the air we breathe these days, because it seems we are indeed allowed our own facts. It appears one can say anything, pull anything out of thin air and repeated often enough it becomes accepted truth.

Satire becomes Truth, repeated often enough.

Lies become Truth, repeated often enough.

Barack & Hillary working together to bring Socialism to America

Let us take a couple of my favorites as examples.

Barack Obama is a Socialist, or a Communist, or a Fascist, or practices Islam.

Well no, he is not a Socialist. In fact, he is a Centrist Democrat, a moderate. The following are Socialists.

Name Famous for Name Famous For
Hugo Chavez President Venezuela Friedrich Engels Godfather of Socialism
Norman Thomas Presbyterian Minister, Author, Activist Helen Keller Activist, Lecturer, Author
George Orwell Journalist, Literary Critic, Author Eugene V. Debs Founder IWW, Social Democratic Party
Francis Bellamy Author of the Pledge of Allegiance, Baptist Minister Cornell West Educator, Philosopher
Albert Einstein Scientist Bertrand Russell Philosopher, Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Howard Zinn Historian, Educator Naomi Klein Author, Activist
Karl Marx Father of Socialism John Dewey Philosopher, Educator
Bernie Sanders Mayor of Burlington, US Representative Tommy Douglas Baptist Minister, Premier of Saskatchewan

The names in the table above are all admitted Social Democrats or Socialists, some are early versions some are still alive and working in their fields of expertise. There is clearly a wide base of knowledge in that group, everything from Philosophy, Science, Authors and Educators and oh my Politicians. Odd, I simply can’t find our current POTUS on the list, not because I decided I wouldn’t put him there either; no it isn’t that at all. It is for this simple reason:


Here is another fun filled falsehood.

America is a Christian Nation.

No, it is not. Never has been. Never was intended to be. There isn’t a single shred of historical evidence to support the statement. On the other hand, there is significant evidence to support the historical view the United States of America was founded as a Nation that would be respectful and welcoming to all faiths and would be governed under Secular Law.

Another fun filled Fact:

Socialism ≠ Communism ≠ Nazism ≠ Fascism

These are all distinctly different political systems and in some cases economic theories. They are not the same. In fact, they have little to do with each other except in the minds of the ignorant.


We are in the silly season that is the Presidential campaign season. Thanks to the brilliance of SCOTUS we have the Citizen United ruling, making money talk and corporations people. Truth and Facts have taken a back seat to propaganda and outright lies. The problem is Citizen United was simply the Chocolate Sauce on the Sundae, since the 1980’s our public education system has been dumbing down our citizens so propaganda becomes the bar to climb over and it is a low bar indeed. Truth shouted on street corners is ignored in favor of the most egregious lie.

Both sides have their Pac’s, both sides have their defenders and both sides are able to distance themselves from these no holds barred swift-boaters. What should we do as responsible Americans? How do we distance ourselves from the garbage and educate ourselves on what is factual and best for our nation?

I will leave you with this, this is one of the lies, this is what the Conservative listens to and believe.

All I can say is you are not allowed your own facts!

Chaining the Past

My second mother is 92 years old. That is a great number of years to live in a bubble of your own sanctity, wrapped in lies of your own making. For very close to twenty-five of those years we have been on less than good terms, not entirely estranged but certainly not a normal mother-daughter relationship either. Those that know my mother think she is charming, funny a thoroughly likable woman; they do not understand our estrangement and blame me. This is true whether they know both of us or only her. This is also true whether they are family or just friends of my second mother. Those that know me intimately or have read the rest of the Broken Chains series, may have a slightly different view of my nemesis.

My second mother has a touch of dementia now; her body is beginning to fail. She has lived alone since her divorce from my father nearly forty years ago, the next stage the end stage of her life for her to be safe and comfortable she needs to in a place where there is help. This has been a battle between my brother and me, one we fought once before when my father’s health was failing.  Oddly, that battle had the same lines in the sand; with him saying there is nothing wrong and me saying there is and we can’t fix it. The difference this time is my brother is the only one close to our second mother, he had a different childhood than I did, lived in a different home I think.

I have been enraged for weeks now, but finally this weekend my rage hit a wall of secrets I have held and I discovered the batting I had wrapped around family so everyone could pretend there was nothing wrong. Already by Saturday I was hurt and angry with my brother for placing me in the center of ‘taking care’ of many of the issues surrounding my second mother and her care, move to assisted living and finances. I kept asking myself, why is this my problem? I realized I had to let go of the question, I was not doing this for her, but rather for my brother yet still I resented it and could feel my hurt and anger building with each phone call that failed to acknowledge my life was different from his.



My second mother has a sister, I actually like her a great deal always have. Perhaps this is why I have always kept silent. My oldest cousin was the first ‘Hippie’ I ever met, she was my idol, she died young and it was tragic. My other two cousins are not tragic, rather they are classic East Coast overly entitled judgmental twits, this is especially true of my youngest cousin; let’s just call her Snobbery.

Snobbery has interfered more than once in the care of my second mother. She and my brother have argued over this issue. This time apparently she sent an e-mail to her mother, my brother and friends of my second mother laying out what she believed was right and proper care. I was not of course included in this communication. My Aunt, not realizing I was not included picked up the phone and called me, it wasn’t a call entirely out of the blue so I did not think anything of it until these words came out of her mouth:

“Snobbery is unhappy that you and your brother haven’t acted on her recommendations, I thought we should discuss them.”

I didn’t know what she was talking about of course, had to ask. She told me and finally after nearly forty-five years of protecting my second mothers secrets gave up. First though I told my Aunt that her daughter Snobbery was simply an interfering Bitch and should mind her business unless she planned to pay for her recommendations.

I made my eighty-eight year old Aunt cry. It wasn’t my intention to do so; truly, I had intended to let her go to her grave never knowing anything. Why would I break my silence after all these years? The problem was I simply found I was worn down by the judgment of everyone who knew me, everyone who was supposed to be my family who had decided I was ‘bad’ and I was ‘evil’ and I was ‘ungrateful’. My Aunt tried to excuse Snobbery for her decision not to include me with;

“Well you don’t take care of you mother, you ignore her and her needs. She must have thought you were better left out of it.”

Really? I do that and it must be for no reason at all that I am just that mean!

I don’t know that what I did was the right thing. I certainly didn’t spill it all; only some of the doors were opened so my Aunt could peer inside my heart and discover that there might indeed be reasons for my choices.

More broken chains and I find I am bitter, angry even shattered that so many of my relationships remain tainted by this history of pain. By my choice to keep secrets. To protect those who did not earn my regard or deserve my protection.


These past two weeks have been tough; my soul feels as if it has been rubbed with sandpaper the constant grinding polishing until it weeps salty tears onto my heart. My heart in turn feels torn between my love for my brother and my need to distance myself, from my second mother and our history. Just when I think I am done with this the universe spins and the answer is …..

NO…not quite yet

Nevermore Forever

I sat back yesterday, I watched and I wept. Yes, I wept. In fact, I am still weeping, I can’t stop my tears from falling.

Israelites encounter undrinkable, bitter water on their journey

Every single time I read anything about the Sikh temple murders I start crying again. Not because I am personally related to any of the victims, rather because I am connected through my humanity, through my empathy and through my compassion for their loss.

We should, all of us be connected to them, weeping for them and reaching out to them in their pain with our sympathy. We should all be standing shoulder to shoulder with them offering our human compassion. We should all be offering to mourn with them.

When will it be enough?

When will there be enough innocent lives piled at the door of the NRA and those who do their bidding for sane people to say ‘no more’.

When will we say we have seen enough senseless death on our streets, in our town squares, in our public buildings, our schools and places of worship to demand change and stand up to the bullies. When will we stop, as a nation and a people, kowtowing to these tyrants with corporate money and an agenda that has nothing to do with our safety, our peace of mind and everything to do with xenophobia and fear-mongering. When?

Isn’t enough?

What will it take for us to change the hearts of the heartless?

I am not going to throw statistics out there of all the innocents dead this decade, or even this year; these numbers are easily found. I am not going to rail at those who demand their rights in the face of the horrifying and senseless violence; this clearly falls on deaf ears. I will only say this; I am speechless, heartbroken in truth at the depths we have fallen, the bitter water we drink and call it sweet.

I leave you with this, because this is what the victims will not have –

525,600 minutes or another Season of Love

Slide to Perdition Part 2

It didn’t use to be this way. I stand by this statement, this view of the world as I continue down my exploration of our Slide to Perdition or the Red Hat Series.

I am an independent consultant and I work out of my home much of the time, this means I have an office in my home. My office has two desks so I can work effectively on either my laptop or at my desktop computers. I have bookshelves full of books focused on what I do for a living. My office is a true working office, this is where the phone system for the house is hardwired and where the internet is hardwired, my server is here along with other backup. My office is the hub, if something goes wrong in my office we are in deep doodoo.

I love my office, I picked this space because it is in the front of the house and I have a big picture window. I can see when UPS drives up and when the neighbor’s dogs are running the streets (again). I can watch the Magnolia tree up the street bloom, it is beautiful and the teenager next door make-out with her boyfriend. All this being said, it is still my office. I spend a significant portion of my time in this one single room of the house when I am not with clients at their offices. This means my office must function, telephones and cable must work all the time and for this, I pay a very pretty penny.

Now, I don’t know about where you live but where I live there isn’t a competitive market for phone and internet services. Sure, you can get your television on Satellite or Dish, and there are a few different ways to get internet services each less reliable than the next. There are also several ways to buy land line services, but if you spend any amount of time on international calls, again these services become less reliable and more costly (always read the fine print).

When we moved to the Dallas area, we hunted for the best service group we could find at the best price. We had purchased a brand spanking new house so could add connections where we wanted and needed them. We settled

All the stuff you need?

on a bundled package from the only game in town, shocking I know but at the end of the day, they were the best price and the only one who provided all the services we needed. Only one problem, they failed to do the job they were paid for properly…..did you see that coming. Of, course you did.

Fast forward, three years after the original cable was laid I called them to mark the cable so we could add a walkway without cutting the cable. They marked it, no they didn’t. Their mark was 7 inches off and we found out they hadn’t buried the cable deep enough. Needless to say, my contractor cut the cable and I was suddenly without Internet or a landline. I called the cable company, here is the conversation:

Me: My cable has been cut and I don’t have service, when can you be out to fix it?

Cable Representative: Next week, our next appointment is Tuesday between noon and 6pm

Me: That is 6 days from now; I cannot be without Internet or phone service for 6 days. I run a business from my home and this will shut me down.

Cable Representative: We don’t show this as a business account. This is a residential account. There is nothing else we can do.

Caustic and Mean
With a Script

Me: Are you kidding me? If this were a business account when would you be out here?

Cable Representative: Tomorrow

Me: And how much more would it cost me to convert my account to a business account?

Cable Representative: $78 per month + taxes

Me: So, despite that it is your fault the cable was cut the only way I get service from your company is to pay $78 + taxes per month extra. If I convert today, will you be out tomorrow?

Cable Representative: Yes

Me: Fine, convert the account to a business account, immediately.

I take full advantage of my status as a business account holder. That day though, that next day when they came out to lay new cable I had my contractor there to watch them. He made certain they buried it to the correct 6 inch depth rather than what they had done before which was barely under the surface. He made certain they stayed right there while we tested every connection in the house, wouldn’t sign off the work order until we did.

The fascinating and twisted part of this entire situation was the complete lack of concern shown by this company for their customer. There are a few reasons there was no services to the house, they are:

  1. Their contractor had originally not buried the cable to the required 6 inch depth.
  2. Their contractor had not correctly identified the location of the cable.
  3. Frankly, they contract these services and do not hold their contractors to any standard.

I stand by my view of us as a nation. We are meaner and so driven by the bottom line we fail to value people. What if I had been a housebound person,

Where in Hades is the Fire Extinguisher?

someone with a health condition whose only access to the outside world was television, internet and the phone; I would have no access for 6 days because this company did not see me as important of valuable?

Is this what we are coming to; is this who we are? Worse, is this truly who we want to be?

%d bloggers like this: