Monday, October 31, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The "S-word"

Yes, it is snowing in Washington, D.C. as I type this. On the news last evening, they showed a line-up of plow trucks ready to hit the roads. Can't see that happening anytime soon. Outside the city could be a different story, however. During our visit to the grocery this morning, we drove through sleet and had an accumulation of it on the windshield when we came back out again. The pretty little flurries have now changed back into rain. So much for snow. I just hope everyone doesn't panic and close the schools on Monday. . . . *sigh*

Friday, October 28, 2011

A "Catch 22"

Since late September, a ten-year-old boy has been held in a psychiatric ward of a D.C. hospital. He was admitted because he had stabbed another child in the eye with a pencil and had threatened to kill himself. He has quite a history. His mother and stepfather don't want him home, I suspect because they cannot cope with him. His father has no visitation rights following a bitter divorce. The Maryland county he lives in can't do anything without parental consent and the hospital needs the bed for other patients. His doctors know that he needs to be in a more open facility. Right now he feels abandoned and unwanted. Our local newspaper has been following the court case over this boy's legal conundrum. The hospital feels like it's being forced to "warehouse" the boy and cannot provide him with the services he needs. The boy's father has said he is willing to take in his son to join him and his second wife and their young daughter. I wonder if he realizes what this could mean for all of them. The real tragedy is that this child, who clearly seems to have serious mental problems, is caught in a situation wherein no one wants to deal with him. His fate is being left up to a judge who sounds equally frustrated and perhaps disgusted with the whole situation. When people decide to make a baby -- and let's face it, few actually conscientiously decide on such a major move -- they have to know there are no guarantees. You may end up with a perfect angel of a child or you could produce one with mental or physical problems. Trying to ignore a child with problems, as this mother seems to be doing, is against human nature. So I have to believe she is at the end of her maternal rope. Still, she owes it to her son and society to do what is necessary to provide the best possible life for him. This may require placing him in an institutional home or letting his biological father try to help his son. Either way, he is losing whatever ground he gained in treatment by being left in limbo. What do you think?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What a Pity

Only a handful of Libyans witnessed and participated in the downfall and death of Moamar Gaddafi. If I had been in charge, he would have been arrested, jailed, then put on public trial for his countless crimes. He deserved to have his nose rubbed in to the truly evil things he did to Libya. His trial should have been broadcast to the entire world. His humiliation might even have caused tears and begging, something he and his sons ignored time and time again from people who disagreed with them. Competitors and dissenters were tortured or simply dispatched. Imprisonment would have been a problem because enough people would remain on his payroll, paid from secret accounts and therefore, would remain loyal. Now, they have a chance to escape back into anonymity or to another country. I hope people remember their faces and names so that they, too, can be pursued and punished. Now that the monster is dead the tribes he controlled with iron fists will start battling each other for supremacy. Tribal loyalties outweigh national loyalty in most Middle Eastern countries. I just hope the "New Libya" can weather the fractious next few years. Perhaps the smartest thing for the U.S. to do is to demonstrate how the somewhat democratic process in individual tribes could work on a national level. Tribal leaders will need to meet and hash-out how they can work together for the welfare of each tribe without destroying each other or their country. National identity must become their goal.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Where's the Respect?

I am so fed-up with the bickering and back-biting among political candidates and political types in general. What role does religion play in federal government anyway? I thought we'd gotten over that when John Kennedy a (gasp!) Roman Catholic, was elected president. I remember the hand-wringing and panic during his campaign and after he was elected. The United States did not become a Papist outpost as so many had loudly feared.

Now it's "Mormonists" who threaten the American Way of Life. The Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints has been labeled a "false religion" and "cult." It is supposedly not even Christian. So . . . . . . .?

When Barack Obama was campaigning for the top job, and even after he was elected, he was falsely labeled a Muslim. Again I asked, so . . . . ..?

The religion or lack of religion of a candidate running for President of the United States has no place in the discussion of his or her qualifications for the job. If people insist on thinking that way, perhaps they should consider the following:

If a Christian Scientist was elected POTUS, would we lose Medicare and Medicaid and be encouraged to give up professional medical care all together?

If a Druid ran for POTUS, would we all start worshipping rocks?

If a Zoroastrian ran for POTUS, would we celebrate the New Year on the Vernal Equinox? [Not a bad idea: the first day of Spring makes for sense than a day in the middle of winter!]

If a member of the Society of Friends (aka Quaker) ran for POTUS, would the Defense Department be eliminated?

How 'bout an atheist? Would that mean the demise of every religion in America?

The answer to all of the above is, of course, NO. So why are the media giving so much credence and attention to a few radical, close-minded vocal types? They do it because it sells not because it is necessary.

Freedom of speech allows for questioning other religions. ["sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"] And, it's fine that someone feels guided and comforted by his/her religion. That does not, however, give them the right to chide members other faiths for their equally sincere beliefs.

The Bible, Koran, Torah, and every other "holy book" was written and interpreted by humans exercising free will. A quick, even cursory study of the history and principles of different religions quickly proves how much they all actually have in common.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Choking

Yes, I'm gagging about a photo that appeared in today's Washington Post. I honestly cannot say whether its more in outrage or sadness. Both feelings keep hitting me in the gut each time I look at the pic. John Moore of Getty Images captured a scene that every damn banker in this country should have to take a good long look at. A one year old, standing in his frilly little playpen watched as a sheriff's deputy shoved some of his toys as well as other household items into a giant plastic bag during an eviction. The little guy had a smile across his face because he clearly had no idea what was going on. I would hate to have been that deputy, standing inches away from the baby, hauling away his toys, knowing he would not have a home at the end of the day. We've all read about "sweat shops" where people sign thousands of foreclosure notices as quickly as they can, falsely claiming to be a bank vice president or someone else in authority. Perhaps they bury their shame about doing it because they are among the long term unemployed and need to feed and shelter themselves. We've also read that the majority of these foreclosures are unnecessary at best and illegal at worst. However, people who are living on the edge have very little recourse. What has happened to American Society that this sort of thing is happening? Innocent people trying to hold themselves and their families together during very hard times are being attacked by voracious gluttons who seem to have insatiable appetites for wealth. Several times in the past few days, I've heard a statement, backed by research, that 25% of America's wealth is controlled by 1% of it's citizens. Seems obvious that they're sitting on it rather than spending some to give people jobs. Noblesse oblige is an archaic mindset, but seems to be something the wealthiest among us should consider. There is nothing noble about watching one's neighbors struggle and then lose everything when one has so much more than necessary. Socialist? Perhaps. Humane? Definitely.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Brain Spit

My mind wanted to vomit something I read in the newspaper today. Like tasting something rancid I wanted it out of my body!

I've mentioned Rick Perry once before in this blog. I hope this will be my last mention of him. I don't want to draw any attention to a guy who panders to the lowest of the low. I am an independent, but I have to believe he's an embarrassment to his own party.

Reading a story about his family's hunting camp reinforced my low opinion of the guy. Granted said camp was named before he was born, but he's been a regular, proud host of visitors there.

Forgive my naivete, but by now I thought that even West Texans had learned what was, at the very least, polite language when referring to persons of color. Apparently not all of them have. The name of the camp is painted on a big, black boulder at the front gate: N-ggerhead.

That there are still such conspicuously displayed, insulting epithets reminiscent of one of America's most shameful periods is sickening. If this guy keeps spouting his racist, fundamentalist, backwards thinking he's going to dig himself into an even bigger ditch. Hmm -- maybe that's a good thing. Out of sight, out of mind . . .