Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Will Saudi Arabia Buy Another Pass?

Now it seems that Saudi agents murdered a journalist at the Saudi consulate in Turkey.  Jamal Khashoggi was a voice for Saudi Progessives...and we all know how much the Saudi elite revere progressive politics.  Khashoggi had fled Saudi Arabia in 2017, in fear for his life.

The Saudis naturally lied about what happened to Khashoggi, claiming he left the Consulate in Turkey through a rear entrance.  Their bullshit has since been called out, and now Saudi leaders are rushing to disavow any knowledge of what might have befallen Khashoggi at the hands of "rogue agents."

I personally am sick to death of Saudi Arabia getting away with everything under the sun--from murder to terrorism to bribery to blackmail to extreme misogyny--because it happens to sit upon a mother lode of oil.  

All the more reason for alternative sources of energy to be brought online as quickly as possible...  Wouldn't we all like to see that pack of jackals become completely irrelevant when the world no longer clamors to buy what they're selling?  

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Taking a Break

I have been taking a break from FB.  I've decided not to post, like or comment on anything but photos, for now.  Facebook is not a place one goes to interact positively any more...it's rife with political squabbles even among "friends."  I cannot go there to be snarked at by my internet friends, whom I value probably way more than I should.  After all, I don't really know these people, do I...even though I have been communicating with many of them for the greater portion of the last 15 years.  And they don't know me. So what's the point?

Facebook is valuable as a way to keep tabs on distant old friends and family members.  But of the 47 Facebook "friends" to which I lay claim, only about a dozen are folks that have been/would be in my life outside of the internet.  And when it comes to internet "friends," social media giveth, and social media taketh away.

So I have slowly been going through my friends list and weeding out the people I have no business having little windows into their personal lives--like former employees.  They don't actually interact with me any more...I feel like some kind of creepy voyeur being interested in their lives seven years past their real-life association with me.  And it's not as if these young people were my "friends" when we were in each others' real lives.  So what the fuck am I doing peeping into their personal business now?  It's a little sick, really.

Looming in the background is the task of terminating my FB association with the last few of my internet "friends" from the old AOL j-land.  These are people with whom I once shared myself on a level which I have not before nor since shared with anyone...not my family, not my husband.  But that was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...  I have to come to accept that everyone has moved on from that place.  And so I must, too.  But it's just so hard to walk away.

As I've been ticking away at this post, it dawned on me that my "blog-a-versary" was 2 days ago.  

Fifteen years.  

Fifteen years I've carried on this love/hate relationship with the internet, its gifts and its poisons.

I really don't know how to comment on that, just now. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Yes. Just About Anything.

Saw this on Facebook this morning:

The answer is:  Yes.  

And not for the ragged bellbottoms, the braless tank tops, the muscle cars, or Led Zeppelin.

But I would do just about anything to go back...to a time in our nation's history when a president was exposed as a criminal and actually had to pay the price.  

When the press was more likely to report truth than lies.  

When an investigative report exposing the foibles of the POTUS was judged credible, and acted upon accordingly.

The 70's weren't ALL good.  But I'd trade NOW for just about any other time in our national history.

We have seriously lost our way, and it doesn't look good for us ever finding it again.      

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

This Says Everything

This is a screenshot of a FB meme that just blew me away.  Sometimes, somebody, somewhere...gets it right.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Friday, August 17, 2018

Even Reagan Understood THIS

I hated Ronald Reagan.

He was the first of a run of Republican presidents to whom I could not even stand to listen when he spoke.  His demeanor and cadence spoke of a man who had limited knowledge and insight of the position to which he had been elected; of a man who got where he was and "led" the country by pandering to the emotions and ignorance of the cross section of Americans who would vote for whoever their pastor or their boss or their neighbor told them to vote for.  (In fact, the pastor of the church I attended at the time told us to go to the polls on Tuesday and "vote for the Ronald Reagan of your choice."  From the pulpit.)  I was a Christian at the time, and I remember additionally hating Reagan because of his habit of embracing Christian-friendly policies like pro-lifism during his campaigns, and dropping them like the political hot rock they were as soon as he won the election.

But as stupid and pandering as Reagan was, he nevertheless had a shrewd understanding of American politics.  In the 1980's, American workers still had political power and worth, and Social Security was a sacred cow.  So Reagan knew better than to piss off that large voting bloc by demonizing Social Security, regardless of pressure from right-wing business interests to do so.

Big business and the GOP have been set upon destroying Social Security--along with any and every other provision of Roosevelt's everyman-friendly New Deal--from the day of its inception.  It has taken them 70 years, but they have finally driven Social Security to the brink of extinction through a decdades-long campaign of lies, chicanery and theft.

Let's be clear, friends:  The GOP's 70-year-long campaign against Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit, or some kind of moral objections to "entitlements," or indeed, ANY laudable or "fiscally responsible" policy.  Republicans have been anti-Social Security since its inception because it's a TAX that businesses must pay.  If you have employees, you pay Social Security TAX for them; you can't deduct or finagle or red-tape or off-shore your way around it. 

And American businesses don't think they should have to pay ANY tax.  EVER.

The GOP is now going about the business of monkeying with the benefit process of Social Security.  The House is proposing changes that will greatly reduce the benefits while exponentially complicating the application process and red-tape involved with accessing the benefit.  With the intended end result, I'm sure, that in ten years, maybe less, Social Security will be of so little value that people will no longer care if it goes away.

And that will be that.

And my husband and I will be spending our "Golden Years" living in a cardboard box under an overpass.   

Monday, July 9, 2018

We Will Miss You, Black Cat!

Shortly after moving to this neighborhood 17 years ago, we became aware of two black cats who seemed to be the most ubiquitous residents of the area: one scruffy, long-haired, bad-ass looking tom; and one round-bellied, smooth-haired, comfort-seeking guy who we thought at first was a female, and then realized he was a neutered male.  Every time we looked out a window or took a stroll around the neighborhood, one or the other of these two was in evidence. We dubbed them “Book” and “End.”  Bookends. 

“End” was never a friendly sort, and though he would hang around the yard and mark his territory all over my bushes, fences and doors, he would slink away from any chance encounter with humans.  I never could entice him to hang around long enough to start a relationship.

“Book,” on the other hand, seemed to be an affable sort.  He would stay around the yard…sleep in the shed or the greenhouse, consume food I put out for him.  He was not OUR cat for a good long while…but he was around, so we looked after him when we could.  And we learned his story:  A neighbor across the street had moved away and left him behind, probably just after we moved here in 2001.  He had to learn to fend for himself…and he did.  It was a while before we understood how WELL he had learned.

As he grew older and more in need of the comforts of life, we made him a home in our greenhouse.  We installed a kitty door, which we would shut and lock at night to keep him inside and safe from predators.  We kind of believed he had become “our” greenhouse cat.  But he maintained the disconcerting habit of disappearing for days or a week, then showing up back on the greenhouse deck one night as if nothing had happened, waiting for his meal. 

Eventually, we learned that “our” Book was called “Sunny” by the neighbors around the corner; and who knows how many other names by other neighbors who fed, petted and protected him.  He was the neighborhood cat…the Cat About Town.  Everybody loved him.  He loved everybody.

He loved laps.  I would go out to sit on my “coffee deck” in the morning, let the cat out, and he would climb up into my lap for a “pet session.”  This was the morning ritual.  He would get rather miffed if I went out of town or for some other reason didn’t have time to sit with him.

He loved catmint.  In my now defunct fountain garden, I would plant catmint for him every year.  He actually loved one or two of those plants to death.

He loved fried chicken.  We would go out to our favorite local cafĂ© once a week or so, and I would squirrel a chicken strip into my purse to bring home just for him.  I’ll never forget the time I left my purse sitting on the front porch step for a moment, and looked up to see Bookie trotting away from the scene with a fist-sized white prize in his mouth…  “What the hell has he got…OH!  The chicken!”  Well…it was for him, and he knew it.  I did track him down and take the napkin off it, though.

As he got older and more frail, we moved him into our garage.  Eventually, when he got quite old, he didn’t go outside at all anymore.  He was stiff and sore from old outside-cat injuries, and we didn’t think he could save himself from cars or nasty neighbors or coyotes or mean dogs.  He slept in the garage and spent his days sunning in front of the patio doors. 

About 18 months ago, he became very ill, developed such terrible diarrhea that he was nearly incontinent, lost a ton of weight…basically looked like he was done with life.  We knew he was already quite old—had to be at least 14 or 15, which is amazingly old for a cat who had spent most of his life outdoors.  So…we took him to the vet with the idea of helping him on his way to the Next Thing.  But, evidently, it wasn’t his time. 

Instead of saying goodbye, we came home with a couple of vials of last-ditch medicines to try to get his intestinal issues under control. 

Lo and behold, they worked.

We fed him the special food and medicated him daily…with an eye toward hopefully giving him a couple more months.  Long enough for him to see one more spring.  He surprised us all by hanging in long enough to see 2 more springs.  We were able to allow him a peaceful and comfortable old age, King of the Garage, Lap-Sitter Extraordinaire.

Two weeks ago, his old heart began to fail him.  He stopped eating.  His lungs and abdomen began to fill with fluid.  At last, it was his time. 

We said goodbye to him Saturday morning.

I don’t know why the tears keep coming.  He was old.  He had a decent, long life.  We helped as much as we could.

I told a friend that I don’t believe in that Rainbow Bridge stuff.  I don’t believe that there are animal spirits who are “assigned” to be eternal pets of human spirits.  What I do believe is that there are spirits that are eternally connected, who meet again and again as they return to the Creator and are released to new adventures.  Bookie is out there among the stars, now…  Or he could already be somewhere where we will be together again.

I told the same friend:  We have cohabited with a parade of over twenty cats and four dogs over our nearly 42 years of marriage.  The thing we trade for their unconditional affection is that they are bound to leave this life long before we do. 

We lose a loved one every couple of years.  You learn to accept it, but it never gets easier.

We will miss you, Bookie. 

Until we meet again.