Weather forecasters are calling for an “epic” snowstorm. It has begun. We are getting 30 inches. Shoot: I stand only 58 inches tall! The snowfall is supposed to be heavy and wet. Thus, tree limbs will fall under its weight, perhaps hitting power lines and Yo Mama will be sitting pretty with no power. Other than that, I plan to enjoy this epic event.
And it is time once again for some kudos and catcalls. Although I do have a fair number of events meriting kudos, don’t get excited: the underlying circumstances of these positive reactions are dire indeed. Let us begin with the optimistic developments, but remember, we are talking about a truly mixed bag and a fine line between kudos and catcalls.
First, Toyota has done the honorable thing and recalled hundreds of thousands of cars and backed up that recall with a shutdown of its production plants. I give them credit for acknowledging the flaws in their products and trying to make things right. That was my main gripe about American auto makers: they deny any problem exists even after thousands of drivers report serious problems, i.e. GMC ignoring the braking problem on its Suburban model for the last twenty years. There can be no responsibility if there is no accountability. Hey, wait: how long did Toyota know about their specific brake problems before they actually took action? Too long. So although kudos can be showered on Toyota for finally admitting and offering a solution to the problem, how genuine was their initial intent? To see this auto giant, at the top of its industry in sales and popularity, go from hero to goat in a matter of days has to make one wonder. Was this a deceitful coverup or an honest effort to right the wrongs?
Kudos to Representative Barney Frank for saying what we already know: America can no longer afford to be the world’s savior, militarily or financially. We cannot be the planet’s peacekeeper. We can’t afford services and benefits for our own population, so how in all Tarnation can we provide such basics for other countries? Read Frank’s comments:
It is a simple mathematical problem. If we stopped being the policemen of the world, i.e. Iraq and Afghanistan, we could well-afford health care for our entire nation. Feel free to call this outlook “isolationism”. In fact, call it anything you like. The fact remains that we need to divert the costs of conducting wars to attending our own people, offering them decent health care, education and jobs, before we do the same for any other country. Kudos to Representative Frank for being, well, so frank about this matter.
I offer kudos to the military bigwigs on publicly disavowing DADT. Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen both came out against this hypocritical policy of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” in our security forces. Besides having the effect of denying these soldiers their deserved respect as any human being, regardless of their sexual orientation, this policy is the biggest load of hypocrisy. How dare our powers that be accept gay people in the military, asking each and every one of them to be willing to sacrifice their life for their country, while at the same time, denying them their right to be who they are in that very same country? What? It is okay for gays to die for the good old US of A, but not to live as they choose? What a crock. Finally, the military brass is publicly acknowledging the hypocrisy of DADT. This is another stunning example of how the upper echelons of our society, regardless of whether it be the power or financial elite, use and abuse the “worker bees” to carry out the ridiculous policies that put wealth and power into the pockets of the chosen few.
Kudos goes to those who are still fighting for decent health care legislation. Even more than being a law that Americans so desperately need, health care reform is the issue on which all other issues hinge. If our paralyzed Congress cannot pass this bill, their future attempts at deciding policy on all other issues will be virtually non-existent. This HCR is the rubber match. If our leaders ignore this topic, their paralysis will spread to all other policymaking endeavors. They will be inclined to decline any other necessary legislation if it, in the least bit, threatens their job tenure and popularity with the electorate. To top it off, with over 70% of Americans wanting some kind of public option, Congress and our President have already stomped all over us. But some citizens are still fighting. The following video is an example of that:
Catcall time. While I am on the subject of health reform, I am filled with derision for my own, i.e. fellow Democrats. Leaders of our party, such as Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu and John Kerry, openly castigate the back-room deals that go on in our halls of government. However, that stance did not stop Nelson from cutting a deal (that he was essentially forced to give up due to the censure by his Democratic colleagues from other states) for free Medicare/Medicaid relief forever, nor did it influence Landrieu and Kerry, whose states are scheduled to receive around $500 billion to assist their states with health care costs. It appears that back-room deals are a no-no when applied to other states, but when offered to their own states, they are perfectly acceptable. To be fair, I must add that President Obama, a long-time supporter of cleaning up Washington (Give the man a snow shovel!!!!), is also responsible for cutting these clandestine, special deals to get the necessary votes on his proposed legislation.
This is precisely why the American public, both Republicans and Democrats, are fed up and mad as hell at our government. And this is why our system is so broken that we cannot pass one ounce of legislation that benefits our people. The business of government is not about helping Americans; rather, it is all about the mechanisms for our lawmakers to retain their jobs. Snot and sneers to our elected officials.
Those pesky American hikers held in Iran as spies surfaced again. And just who is more stupid? The hikers who just had to take a walk in the woods in enemy territory, Iran for labeling these idiots as spies, or we Americans who are now willing to swap jailed Iranians to get back our dumber-than-shit citizens? Boos and hisses to all three parties.
Bottomless catcalls to those American Baptist “missionaries” who tried to abduct 33 Haitian children in the name of “adoption”. Their religious order, New Life Children’s Refuge, is neither a bona fide orphanage nor a legally endowed charitable group here in the United States. I hope the Haitian government puts them all on trial and locks them up for a good, long time. One Haitian official rightly stated (and I paraphrase): “If it is illegal in America to scoop up children off the streets and offer them for “adoption”, what makes these people think it is legal to do so in Haiti?” While many of the parents willingly turned over their children to this group with the hope of offering the kids a better life, the missionaries’ mission is way in doubt. Further, these religious zealots attributed their intentions as being the will of God. Of course, this excuses them from having the proper paperwork and authorization. What a brown-bag excuse. It reminds me of a serial killer on trial telling the judge and jury that he was justified in committing the crimes because he does exactly what the little voices tell him to do. Whether or not you believe these “saviors’ ” noble intentions, their methods were illegal at worst, and downright murky and duplicitous at best. Have a look at a recent video by Anderson Cooper:
The ultimate incident inspiring jeers and tears is the possible suspension from school of a nine-year-old boy who brought into class a Lego figure with a Lego machine gun. The whole toy measured no more than 1 1/2 inches tall. Heavens to Betsy! Take cover, get under your desks, cover your heads and protect your eyes. There is danger amongst us in the form of a not-quite two-inch modular invader:
I will be hunkering down here waiting for the authorities to show up and arraign me for having a huge collection of Legos, every single piece that my then young son played with and now fills up an entire dresser. My ideas, my mouth and my outspokenness be damned: they will come get me for the most subversive action of all: owning Legos.
Please check back to this site often during the weekend. I will be posting pictures of our epic storm. If you thought I was routinely irreverent, just wait and see what cabin fever does to me. As long as the power holds out, so will Yo Mama.
Tags: American hikers in Iran, Back-room Senate deals, Barney Frank, Ben Nelson, DADT repeal, John Kerry, Lego, Mary Landrieu, MidAtlantic snowstorm, missionaries' abduction of Hatian children, reduction of military budget, Toyota recall