Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Before 1970

Ponder all this, my gentle snowflakes, before 1970, an American woman could not:
1. Keep her job if she was pregnant. Until the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978, women could be fired from their workplace for being pregnant.
2. Report cases of sexual harassment in the workplace. The first time that a court recognized sexual harassment in the workplace was in 1977 and it wasn’t until 1980 that sexual harassment was officially defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
3. Be acknowledged in the Boston Marathon. Women could not don their running shoes until 1972!
4. Get a credit card. Until the Equal Credit Opportunity Act in 1974, women were not able to apply for credit. In 1975, the first women’s bank was opened. [Following my divorce in 1983, I had a fairly hard time getting a credit card in my own name. Of course, I was living in Oklahoma at the time.]
5. Refuse to have sex with her husband. The mid 70s saw most states recognize marital rape and in 1993 it became criminalized in all 50 states. Nevertheless, marital rape is still often treated differently to other forms of rape in some states even today.
6. Compete as a boxer in the Olympics. It wasn’t until the 2012 London Olympics that women could compete in boxing in the Olympics. This was marked with the amazing victory by Britain’s Nicola Adams.
7. Get a divorce with some degree of ease. Before the No Fault Divorce law in 1969, spouses had to show the faults of the other party, such as adultery, and could easily be overturned by recrimination.
8. Celebrate International Women’s Day. In 1980 President Carter declared one week in March to be National Women’s History Week, including International Women’s Day on March 8th.
9. Have a legal abortion in most states. The Roe v. Wade case in 1973 protected a woman’s right to abortion until viability. 
10. Read Ms. Magazine! Ms. was launched as a sample inset in New York Magazine in 1971.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Oh, Dear, I Was Wrong----

I once posited that upon leaving the White House, George Bush 43 would retire to a life of cutting firewood outside Crawford. Instead, he moved to Dallas and stayed hidden (as he should).

Now, we finally know what contributions he is finally going to make for the good of the nation and the world. He is going to paint. And paint.

And the world, my gentle snowflakes, was at peace.....well, maybe not. We are now in the 12th year of the Bush 43's wars. Dead in Iraq as of 4 March 2013 = 4488. Dead in Afghanistan as of  10 March 2013 = 3259. Total dead 7747. And enough wounded and maimed to populate a good sized city. And no end in sight.

Think about it:  That means that this year's (2013) graduating seniors have seen the United States at war since they were in the 1st grade. Quite a record.

Friday, January 4, 2013

"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." Thomas Paine

There is no war against Christians or Christianity. 

Morning "news" show hosts and the so-called Christian leaders in this country need to give it a rest. Or at least, they should STOP presuming to speak for any other person who calls themselves a Christian.

In addition, if they really want to be perceived by the world as Christians, they need to stick with the New Testament--preferably the Gospels and maybe the Acts of the Apostles. You know, the parts that actually involved what Christ said and did? 

OK, my gentle snowflakes, I will climb down off my soap box now.

Remember when we all studied our history? We learned that this nation's first European settlers came here to escape religious persecution. I say it again, escape persecution.

Because of that, the Founders of this nation made sure that our Constitution prohibited the formation of a NATIONAL religion. In the First Amendment. The FIRST AMENDMENT. First.

So, by our founding document, this cannot be declared a "Christian" nation. " Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." In the First Amendment. The FIRST AMENDMENT. First.

You can practice all the Christianity you want, in any way you want--from going to church only on Easter Sunday or Christmas Day, up to and including handling snakes every week and speaking in tongues.

But your Buddhist neighbor has exactly the same right to practice Buddhism. According to the founding document of this nation, you may not force upon her, your Christianity. The same goes for the sikh or the atheist next door.

However, for some people, "religious freedom" is really indistinguishable from the "freedom to impose MY religion on others." Nope. Wrong. Remember that whole "make no law respecting an establishment of religion" thing-y?

And, think about it, Jesus loved sinners. It was hypocrites he couldn't stand. Remember, the only time he descended into violence was at the hypocrisy being practiced at the temple.

I mean it. Really.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Few Thoughts on Gun Ownership


Let's see here, the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of--moviegoers, kindergarteners, mall shoppers and folks gathered to worship? You must explain to me exactly how is that ensuring freedom.
Understand, I'm not for ending gun ownership. I own guns. And I like mine. And I am not prepared to give them up. 
But in this country, my uterus is subject to more government oversite than my guns. 
Birth control and access to reproductive health services are harder to get than bullets. 
To see a gynecologist, I have to drive a minimum of 150 miles--round trip. Bullets, on the other hand, I can purchase from several places in my little hamlet of 5000 people. 
Justify that one for me:  Guns don't kill people -- vaginas do?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bigger is Not Always Better

My gentle snowflakes, I think, and I have written in the past that we need to think smaller in order to think even bigger. Now, the forecast for green power is just that: Smaller.

Each house/home/building should be a source of electrical generation. Instead of investing HUGE amounts of money in large wind farms or big mirror arrays that tend to be far removed from the need for the electricity generated, the government money could go into retro-fitting every building with a combination of solar and wind generators--small units. Check here and here and here and here and here.

Perhaps the best part of this idea is that it could put thousands of people to work fairly quickly.

The Vocational-Technical schools could be subsidized to train citizens locally to do installation and maintenance. Many of those no longer working in home construction because of the downturn in the housing market could be cross-trained, with pay, for solar and wind systems. The newly trained could then be paid from a government fund (think the WPA) while all this retro-fitting is going on.

But this will take time, you say. Well, that is true.

But U.S. manufacturers will need that time to gear up their assembly lines to meet the demand for their products. Manufacturers would also require additional employees to make the systems. And since there are only a few manufacturers, the trucking industry will need more drivers and more rigs to move the newly produced systems around the country. We are really getting folks back to work now.

As an added benefit, as more and more units are installed the prices should plummet. With more and more units in operation, R&D would learn more and more about functionality and improved efficiency.

Finally, with all those systems pouring energy into the grid, black-outs (or even worse, the dreaded, rolling brown-outs) should be greatly reduced. The energy is largely consumed exactly where it is created. Any "left-over" is put out on the grid. Areas in greatest need at any time will be supplemented by those areas with less need.

As a recovery takes place and new houses are starting to be built again, the installations can be mandated to be incorporated into any new construction.

Next, we can get busy figuring out what to do about vehicle emissions.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Medicare for All

And now, perhaps, the BEST argument for a single-payer system--Medicare for All--or, at least, a public option.

The situation begins, finally, to highlight why it is essential that health care be completely and forever severed from employment. Until that happens, the banker-owned companies, and the CEOs that run them, will continue to whine and moan and screw employees in the name of keeping their "shareholders" happy.

You see, the oligarchs are grumbling, frothing at the mouth, shaking their fists and stomping their tiny, little, Louis Vuitton-clad feet over ObamaCare.

Surely, you have already heard about the miserable jerk (Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy--you know, the ass hat who ordered his miners to take the day off, without pay, to show up at a campaign rally for Mitt Romneywho recently prayed over his employees before letting approximately 150 of them GO. But, wait, it's about to get better.

Papa John's Pizza CEO John Schnatter, who has declared he will cut employees' hours to bring them below the full-time threshold which would require him to provide full coverage for those employees. Evidently that 14 cents per pizza is just too heavy for Wall Street to bear.

Schnatter also said he has a legal duty to shareholders to provide the maximum rate of return. Might be worth knowing who the shareholders are? Seems 74 percent of Papa John's stock is institutionally owned; that is, owned by investment firms and other Wall Street funds.

Darden Restaurants: i.e., Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V's and Yard House

Yes, Darden Restaurants which is a public corporation, but largely owned by bankers and hedge funds to the tune of about 84 percent.

Darden's solution to the problem is, also, to cut employees' hours so that those hours are under the minimum required to provide health insurance because Darden's just will not tolerate the idea of actually doing something that might cost a little bit in order for employees to live better,  happier, healthier lives.

Zane Tankel, CEO of a large New York Applebee's Franchisee

Zane Tankel, the CEO of a very large Applebee's franchisee in New York (only in New York), explains how he will jack the rules in order to avoid providing health insurance to his employees.

This one is particularly nasty, because other Applebee's franchisees--in other areas--do offer health insurance to their employees.

"Bad Actors"?

Each and every one of these greedy CEO's is NOT trying to figure out HOW to get health insurance for their employees. NO, they are trying to figure out ways to avoid paying the penalty for NOT providing health insurance. Because they have no intention of providing health insurance to their employees despite the fact that in every case they could, in fact, adopt a nationwide group insurance plan which would be less costly after tax deductions than paying the penalty. You see, it is a temper fit--you know, like a two year old would throw?


It is time these corporations and banker-owned franchise chains learned they must play by the rules. If they don't like the employer penalty, perhaps the government could slap a transaction tax on share trades to help pay for the health care benefits they don't give a damn whether their employees get or not! And with Elizabeth Warren on the Senate Banking Committee, we just might get it.

Medicare for All

(Different links to different sites)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Medicare Vouchers?

Oh, my gentle snowflakes, I don't think so.

In 1964, when Medicare became the law of the land, only 50 percent of the elderly even had insurance and of those that did only fifty percent of those policies would cover hospitalization. That’s the free market! 

Old people, when they get sick, need expensive care. Old people aren’t attractive to private insurers even if they have more money than Ann Romney’s dancing horses’ Cayman Islands trust funds. 

Why on earth people think that the free market system has gotten "kinder and gentler" since 1963, and why any thinking person can believe that a voucher system isn’t the moral equivalent of marching grandma onto an ice floe and pushing her out into a frigid ocean, is beyond me. And, as a grandma myself, I don't want to go.....

No vouchers (even by another name) for Medicare.