Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Elvis and the American dream

Well, it's one for the money, 
Two for the show, 
Three to get ready, 
Now go, cat, go. 
But don't you step on my blue suede shoes. 
You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes....as sang by Elvis

Thank you all for reading my blog about "Where is the Outrage?" -- the question I got over and over was "well what are you going to do about it?" - funny I was kind of asking the same thing of the unions and all those who are reading my blog.  Yet that is the fundamental issue here isn't it - we are all kind of looking around and wondering what if anything can we do about it?  The issues are soo large and they seem to be backed by money and power that we do not have ..or do we?

No I do not have millions in the bank - and I actually think that Mitt Romney should not be skewered for the "13%" he pays in taxes, because it is all legal.  There is nothing wrong with being rich Mr. Romney - good for you and your family but should the law really say that you at billions pay a smaller percentage, which you feel less in your day to day activities, than pretty much everyone reading this blog?  I do not think he should pay more but I do think if the highest is 33% then dude pony up and let's correct the tax codes that allow you to do it.

I took out a paragraph which outlined how I pick companies I shop at and companies I avoid but after the horrific and scary news about "legitimate rape" and the absolute inexcusable laws about birth control that are being proposed it seemed that we need to be OUTRAGED about that ...Choices are what make us individuals - no one wants an abortion you morons but the option to have it is a personal choice and newsflash it is not a viable being it is a cell...laws outlawing not only contraception but also arguing that any woman using it (notice nothing about condoms) could be considered a murderer...laws that limit information about birth control options ....who are these people and how can we ask them not so politely to F*&k off!!!! OUTRAGE is good in an election year - Vote at every level - vote and ask everyone who you know that supports freedom to vote too....if you think things are great and these laws basically which would eliminate any leaps that women have made and reduce them to wombs, if you think that you are safe because you are not a woman, if you think they will not then keep coming to tell you how they will use your money, how they think you should live...well dude you have another thing coming - and your Outrage may be nothing but Pussy Riot in the US - criticize at your own risk. The Founding Fathers said all men (and that means all people so don't get lost on semantics) are created equal - therefore, I equally want my voice to be heard and my choices to be loud and clear.

The title of this blog....well last Thursday on my way to enjoy time for a mini family vacation with my family I was reminded that it was the anniversary of Elvis's death.  At the time of his death I was on a family vacation with my parents, Howard Johnson's room - on our way driving to Florida (yes in August - because as immigrants we had very little).  My Mom cried and my Dad may have too - I thought Elvis was old at the time (the arrogance of children...after all he was only 42 - and boy is that young).  I realize that Elvis and rock and roll were America in many ways for my parents.  The slightly brash nation where a young boy from a one room home could become the King...music that did not confine itself to old world ways but broke through with a sensuality and sexuality that said here I am and I can do what it says in the country's charter "pursue happiness" ....the reality was that the US at the time of his death was in dire financial straits, gas prices were soaring, had an ineffective president and debt mounting ...but they were Americans and if that young boy could tell you to stay off of his blue suede shoes well then my parents too could have the opportunity to get a pair.

That is what we can do - put our money where our principles are (when you can and with no recriminations when you cannot - Target is my weakness - Walmart a place I will avoid at all cost) - write and write and write on your Facebook page, to your politicians local and federal, to your newspapers (they care if they think it will sell more papers).  Be glad to live in a place where dissent is still tolerated (Pussy Riot in Russia - typical Putin - scary for this ex-Soviet bloc child in so many ways) and actually part of what created this country.  Most of all vote in local elections as well as national ones..you are one but you are one of many.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...Declaration of Independence

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wow they grow fast

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he'd learned in seven years.” Mark Twain

I look at my sons and amazed at how fast they are growing ...both physically and developmentally.  I feel sometimes that I literally blink and they sprouted up and matured a bit. 

It was only like 6 months ago that I was still helping them with bath time ...a ritual I really enjoyed ...and as of about 3 months ago they switched to showers - by themselves - and my sole contribution is helping them wash their hair  - though they still want me to sit in the bathroom while this happens and talk to them.  I will take it because exile cannot be far behind.  The talks range from my input on which super heroes would win if they fought each other, about their friends, what they want to see and a range of things - but they are the times that I feel as though they know if they can trust me to sit and pay attention to the little things, "little" to me but monumental to them, well then as they grow they may realize that I am to be trusted with their "big" things. 

They have their own conversations with their friends, for long periods of time, which the other mothers and I try and eavesdrop slightly on ...but to no avail we have not clue what they could talk about so much to one another.  

All mothers think this but I have to say others have said this to - he (and the little one too) are really smart.  This makes me happy, and maybe a bit sad because the world is more confusing and beautiful - painful and wondrous when you are smart, but it also poses some challenges as a parent.  The questions are tougher (what are clouds made of - THANK YOU Google) and they will wait while I look something up for an answer.  Their arguments are more organized - "you did not say I could not play on the computer you said I could not play on the Wii - they are different".  Their need to discuss things leaves me with the need to really think of my response - to put it into words that make sense for an 8 and 6 year old when the question is not a simple one.  

Our talks are the stuff that I shake my head and smile at long after they are over but then I look behind me and they seem to be growing again.  I want them to stay young and even when they exhaust me, and believe me they tire me out, to be these wonderful kids who love asking me questions because they still believe that I know it all - or at least where to find it.  I want them to be thrilled to see me and not embarrassed to be hugged and squeezed and loved in public or in private.  I want them to enjoy being with me as much as I enjoy being with them.  I know they will grow and I will be not so smart in their eyes - ok they will call me stupid behind my back or in a text- as they hit those annoying teenage hormones, where a nod of the head a smile may be all I get as a greeting when they are with their friends and that I will no longer be "the most beautiful woman in the galaxy who all superheroes want to marry" at some point.  I sighed writing that.  It is all natural and part of who they will continue to evolve to be  - that does not stop me from hoping the foundation I have built with them now will not evolve in to a great relationship we will share for life.  For now I have got to go - because personally I think an Ironman (billionaire, good looking and with loads of gadgets) and Batman (billionaire, good looking, with loads of gadgets) combo could so kick Superman's butt and I have to defend my point to the two mini men who are waiting on my every word.....

“Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up.” – Thomas Wayne in Batman Begins

Friday, August 10, 2012

Where is the outrage and the protests????

Let's start with full disclosure - I am a big believer in capitalism, abhor communism, have mixed feelings about unions and have voted for both parties and a write in once for Mickey Mouse as protest vote.  I believe that everyone should pay taxes at the percentage set for them and that the government needs an efficiency expert from the private sector.  I believe that no one wants to be average and that wealth to have more than just basic needs met  is what actually leads to innovation and hard work.  There should be a safety net, federal guidelines and laws that protect the environment, people and most of all a return to personal responsibility.  I am not all left or right or even middle - but find myself in all of those places depending on the issue. 

So now you know a little about me - tip of the iceberg - cause politics and history as well as trying to understand how I can make a difference are all topics that I can talk about for hours...which I won't here. 

What I want to know is WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE ???? Where are the protesters from the 60s ? Occupy Wall Street...please - lame - Occupy This (add Queens twang) to get meaning.  I am appalled at what is going on around me and more so at the way the media and the majority of people are just taking it (oh please do not bring up Europe which protests for a day to get out of work...throw them a day of vacation and they too back down).  WHERE is the Outrage ??? Westchester Medical Center - laid off nurses and other hospital support staff ..to be outsourced to a company that get this ...rehires said laid off staff at per diem rates (you work you get paid...no holidays, no sick day, no vacation days get paid), did I mention that the board and new CEO who instituted this "cost saving measure" got bonuses and increases in pay during this same time? If you do not care about the staff...think of yourself as a patient in a place like this and oh yeah your hospital bill is the same not a penny less. WHERE is the Union showing up on every news channel and loudly saying in an election year WHAT THE F&*K????? oh yea they stopped caring I guess too.  GE CEO is hired by Obama (now I would have expected this from Romney) to be Job Czar (maybe Mr O you should have looked up history before - czars in Russia were all for the monarchy and they did things like pogroms and starved peasants leading to a little thing called the 1917 Revolution that led to Mother USSR...remember them??) so maybe that is right.  This is the guy whose company pays no federal taxes, gets federal money and now has taken the billions (read that right folks) that were given to GE (you know from taxpayers money) and built a factory and created jobs...guess no one told him that it should have been in the US not CHINA!!!!!! 

WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE? How come no one is taking these candidates to task on these things ?  Where are the jobs? How do we ensure that while I am all about helping the world we look around and help the people of this country find jobs - keep jobs - get salaries to pay those taxes ??? Instead we sit around and debate if $250K a year is wealthy - well it is not chump change but it depends where you live and you will pay more of a percentage and feel it than the millionaire who is in the same tax bracket.  You are not wealthy in many parts of the country at that salary pre-tax - but you are not LeBron...nor will you ever be so can we not pretend they are one and the same.  We sit around and complain about doctors (you know those people who went to school forever, have debt when they finish said school oh and save your life) and have the NY Times tell us not to get physicals because it costs insurers money...umm don't we pay them to have that covered??? We worry about a woman's right to choose - to birth control - instead of worrying how to get her and her partner and that child she may choose to have a future!

WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE? That never mind $250K a year, the average American family is making less than they were and that they are sinking fast ...that we push you to get a college degree and then what?? hope your parents like you enough to fit you in the space they have since they may not have enough money to retire anyway??? 

WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE??? That CEOs and Boards of Directors keep getting bonuses, since when are those part of your salary and not extra for a job well done?, for short sighted strategies that ruin companies and for earnings that are not based on revenue but on job cuts??? 


No one likes to be poor, been there and IT STINKS, everyone wants to be successful and make money to not worry about their rent, mortgage, kids college, vacations, food --- I believe in capitalism but I believe in checks and balances.  I think bonuses and big salaries are a good thing if they are earned not as a reward for being someone Gordon Gecko would be embarrassed to be compared to. I believe in democracy and I actually believe in the United States with all it's flaws...I guess I am just outraged that our business leaders and government leaders no longer believe in the United States and have come to only worship at the altar of the moment that feeds their pockets.....

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The world is going crazy

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be all right.......Lennon/McCartney

So between shootings around the globe ...and I was so sure just tough gun laws would be the answer but then the psycho in Norway proved even a country with all the things the nice liberals tell us we need (really strict gun rules, national healthcare, a great attitude toward sex) proved that crazy is crazy and is going to be crazy.

I know crazy is not a nice term but am thinking if you shoot up innocent strangers you have forfeited many things including the right to ask for the politcally correct term on your crazy ass behavior.  People shake their heads and say the world is coming to an end, that we are becoming violent, that we need more government or less government interference.  Everyone knows what the other side needs to keep it from going crazy - but the reality - get ready for the scary part - we have no control and probably never have.  Maybe that is why so many people are still or just going to religion - a promise of a better less chaotic place after this one or at worst a more chaotic uncertain place somewhere below.  Maybe that is why so many people want to cram laws down our throats.  I am all about better eating, understand that smoking is not good for me or those inhaling it by me, and breastfed my children.  I, however, could not be more annoyed by the way people feel they can take anti-smoking to extremes (yes I can smoke in my apartment because hate to break it to you if you live in an urban area the pollution you breathe is more likely to harm you then the totally baseless claim that you will get it through walls), soda bans - I mean seriously I do not even drink soda but I do not need the government in my gut cause most ehem calorically challenged people I see usually are woofing down 2 big Macs with a diet soda (not covered by the ban and probably more chemically bad for you than even the guy smoking in his apartment 14 floors above you).  Then there is the new "formula is crack" gestapo.  Yes breastfeeding is better but formula is NOT crack or even smoking or even soda and making a woman who has gone through what is at best an exhausting experience and at worst an incredibly painful one not even hear the choice of formula unless she asks is just cruel - who are you to get into my life that way ??? Actually I know who you are - the right wing marriage is between a man and woman - left wing vegan is the only way to live - fundamentalists who are no better on either side than the Taliban that is so abhorred in the West.   Or any other terrorists - after all by definition terrorists want to disrupt a way of life by imposing their beliefs on you.  

So yes we should have easy information about bad food (I for one have found it very helpful to see the calorie count on menus to help me make choices throughout the day) or good food choices.  Women should have access to breastfeeding coaches and be told that this is not only the healthier option for both baby and herself but also cheaper.  Smoking in public places should not be allowed. EPA, FDA and other government is necessary to help institutions remember that we are not just consumers but human beings who deserve to not be mistreated at work or in our food and enviornment.  No it should not be easier to buy ammo on the internet that it is to buy Sudafed.

The world has always been crazy, read a little history and you will know that.  There is a violent side to human nature that defies laws and which no religion has ever seem to do more than aggravate and use for it's own benefits.  The world though has also always been a place of great creativity, wonder, love and incredibly flawed lovable people. So here is my crazy thought - STOP - make it hard to get guns and easy to get good non chemically laden food - remember the fault of the killer(s) lies with them not what we should have done differently and let people take personal responsibilty for their actions.  More rules and laws have always proven to be nothing more than things people get around - but balanced law and education now there's a crazy request ....