Archives for January 2013

Mainstream Media’s Viewers: Want More Cheese With that Whine?

If you’re a political junkie like me, you’d likely discover there is no such thing as an off-season for elections. Campaign planning begins years before we ever see the faces of contenders and their contributors. Some election cycles get more coverage and national exposure than others, which lead us to believe that elections happen less frequently than they do.… [Read more]

Wacky Wayne Went Up The Hill

In February 1995, a 13-year-old boy walked into Andy Pope’s classroom at Nebraska’s Chadron Middle School and shot the social studies teacher and basketball coach. Fortunately, the bullet hit a rib, missing his heart by an inch. He survived and returned to the classroom less than a week later. Later the same year, in what would become one of his more famous paranoid pronouncements, Wayne LaPierre referred to federal agents as “jackbooted government thugs” in a National Rifle Association fundraising letter.… [Read more]

A Merit Badge for the Modern Era: Boys Scouts of America and Gay Rights

In another progressive victory lately, a favorite national institution may be amending its stance on the matter of gay rights. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) are considering officially changing their stance on acceptance of gay and lesbian scouts and scout mentors. This amendment would, if effect, remove the official national ban based on sexual orientation and leave the decision up to the local chapters and organizations to decide upon.… [Read more]

The Fake Tough Guys of the Gun Lobby

“Dirty” Harry Callahan had his .44 Magnum while James Bond preferred the sleeker Walther PPK. John Rambo and Tony Montana preferred larger automatics—the M60 E3 and M16 respectively. Omar Little and Ash Williams touted shotguns. And countless other action icons wield some type of Glock as their go-to firearm.

For decades now, possessing the bigger and badder gun has been a sign of toughness in American culture, most often associated with “manliness.” Real men not only own guns, they own the biggest, most effective ones; they master their uses; they fetishize them.… [Read more]

The Right War, the Wrong Battle

The United States Public Education System needs work.

This is not a secret, or even an opinion. It’s a complete fact. There are major problems with the public system that is in place from curriculum, to policy, to standards…the whole thing needs an overhaul.

For years politicians have been slapping bandaids on the problems hoping that it will hobble along enough until it falls into the hands of the next poor schmuck who needs to “deal” with it.… [Read more]

233 Dead In Overcrowded Night Club Fire: Will We Ever Learn?

Last weekend’s tragic fire in a overpacked night club in Santa Maria, Brazil, which killed more than 230 young revelers out for a fun Saturday night, indicates both the limitations of the Darwinian so-called “free market,” and the moderating, regulatory duty of a functioning government. It takes two to Tango.

I was part of the hospitality industry for many years.  … [Read more]

Michelle’s Bangs…

I love Michelle Obama.  She is beautiful, worldly and inspiring.  But I don’t love her new bangs.

Before the hate mail starts pouring in, let me say right up front that I have had bangs my entire life.  So I started thinking why do her bangs seem so wrong to me?

I have here for your consideration an assortment of hairstyles that I would like to see her consider as alternatives — and we’d like your vote, too.  … [Read more]

Help! Help! My ox is being gored!

The chill January landscapes of the Great White North were briefly thawed this week by the forces of (human) nature. Sun Television Network, unrepentant capitalists and right wing apostles all, are screaming blue bloody murder. The CRTC, our national telecoms regulator, banished the Sun to the cable band nether regions when the network was founded a few years ago.… [Read more]

The Immortal Filibuster

Amid all the Progressive wailing and conservative faux victory laps, last week’s “filibuster reform” came out pretty much as I had expected it.

Our Federal legislative bodies on Capitol Hill continue to stick pretty close to what the Eighteenth Century powdered wig framers had intended.  As a moderating influence to that rabble called the House of Representatives, the Senate is, by design, the “adult in the room.”  Some rabble-rousers, such as Sen.… [Read more]

Lee Stranahan — An Idiot Abroad

No, this is not a photo of some kidnap victim taken to prove he is really still alive.  This is a shot, self-taken by Lee “The Grifter” Stranahan. See, Lee talked some dumbass right wing donor into giving him money so he could travel from Dallas to Chicago, from Chicago to Pittsburgh, then from Pittsburgh to Steubenville, Ohio so Lee could be there, in person, to do…

Something.… [Read more]

Women in Combat

This past Thursday, January 24, 2013, the United States military has finally lifted the official, 1994 ban on employing women in combat positions — a ban which, in fact, had existed with almost no question nor articulation since the USA became a nation.

This is a victory for Feminism, just as the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was a victory for the LGBT movement.… [Read more]

It’s Not Fair

This week’s “Say It In Song” choice is by British singer Lily Allen. While the song isn’t political, most of the lyrics can apply to how many of us are left feeling after watching politics each week. We think our elected officials are supposed to care but, unfortunately, in too many cases the evidence points to the contrary.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: The three-month delay in the debt ceiling impasse

Dear Mrs. Vera,

I was hoping to take my family grocery shopping during the first quarter of 2013, but my husband wants to wait to see what Congress does first. He thinks if we wait until after June, it can be a sort-of early Christmas gift and teaching lesson for any of our remaining children, who are all convinced that Santa will surely step in and save them at some point, hopefully by running for the next available Senate seat in Alaska.… [Read more]

Kids and Screens – Part 1

My son is three and a half years old. He has used my husband’s tablet, my Nook, both of our phones, a laptop, and the wii. He has his own Leap Frog and a V-tech tablet. Yet, he spends most of his day having tea parties or playing trains or running around outside.

Some people are horrified at the number of “screens” my son can manipulate and use.… [Read more]

Hillary is STILL way out of your league.

In one of her last official acts as America’s most-travelled Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared Wednesday to testify about the tragedy in Benghazi which killed our Ambassador and three others.

Republicans were waiting to get their last licks in on Secretary Clinton (and pray she doesn’t run for President in 2016.) Complaints from the freshman cheap seats and from the past their  ‘Sell By Date” fossil obstructionists didn’t stick, except perhaps in the muddled mouthpieces of Fox News.… [Read more]

The Bizarro World of Joe Biden, Where 1,000 School Resource Officers are *Not* Armed Guards

If you’ve never read Superman comics or watched “Seinfeld,” let me tell you a little about Bizarro World.

In Bizarro World, up is down, black is white, ugly is beautiful. Listening to the Google+ “Fireside Hangout” on Thursday afternoon with Vice President Joe Biden got me thinking about this inverted universe, where everything is the opposite of the real world.… [Read more]

Unity, Progress and Peace

President Barack Obama’s second inaugural address to the nation on Monday was a reminder how far America has come and how far we need to go. He pointed out so boldly that America is at a turning point in its history. We can retreat back into the 20th century with old, stale and outdated thinking or America can forge ahead with a new dynamic, multiracial democracy, where all men and women of all races, sexual orientations and creeds are truly equal.… [Read more]

Let’s wait before we slam the POTUS’ picks for lack of diversity

Criticism is often offered before people know exactly what they are criticising; that goes for politics, interpersonal relationships and it’s certainly evident in social media interactions. Case in point: recent criticism over President Obama’s picks to fill his cabinet have reminded me very much of those people who see an article posted on Facebook and then make comments based on solely on the title without ever having read the article to which it’s attached.… [Read more]

Al Qaeda in Libya?

While Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s impassioned back-and-forth with Senators Ron Johnson and John McCain were the highlights of her testimony during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s hearing on the 2012 Benghazi attack for most media outlets, my attention was drawn to another portion of the hearing.

During his questioning of Clinton, Ranking Committee Member Sen.… [Read more]

What makes *them* so important? Bankers are not too big to jail!

FRONTLINE documentary titled “The Untouchables” aired on PBS stations last night. The focus on the financial system meltdown of over four years ago may have been eye-opening to anyone who hasn’t been paying attention to the financial services industry but, for the rest of us who have a Wall Street-sized chip on our shoulders, the excellent documentary served to heighten our disgust at the fact that no bankers were jailed for crumbling the U.S.… [Read more]