Eastern Ukraine’s New Reality

Eastern Ukraine, Russia and how things stand today

Will President Vladimir Putin stop at Crimea? While it appeared that the Russian leader was ready to accept a diplomatic solution to the situation in Ukraine, with civil unrest still pervasive in the country coupled with knowledge of Russian history and Putin himself, it appears that the answer to that question is a resounding “no.”

Some Background

After centuries of being ruled and divided by a variety of different entities, it wasn’t until 1991 that Ukraine became an independent country.… [Read more]

E-Gadgets to Keep Your Home Green and Lean

E-Gadgets to Keep Your Home Green and Lean

It’s one of the most exciting and deeply satisfying milestones of anyone’s life: buying that first home. It’s that feeling of coming home to a piece of land, plus some concrete, wood, and nails, and knowing that you’re in your own little piece of heaven.
Our generation is probably one of the most environmentally-conscious ever, so before you take out that housing loan, you’ll want to see these gadgets that can help your house stay green.… [Read more]

When’s the Water Safe to Drink? What WV Officials are Saying About Conditions

When's the Water Safe to Drink- What WV Officials are Saying About Conditions

After coal processing company Freedom Industries accidentally spilled chemicals into the Elk River, on January 9th, officials in West Virginia banned residents in several cities from using tap water for anything other than flushing toilets.

Officials lifted their tap water ban ten days after the spill; however, more than a month later, residents still have justifiable concerns.… [Read more]

Benefits of a Public Healthcare System

Healthcare system

Public health and the availability of healthcare services have become increasingly prominent issues in recent years. In the US, the controversial debate regarding the possible establishment of a public healthcare system has sparked many to revaluate their opinions towards public healthcare.

(Image Source)

How public healthcare works

The fundamental principle behind a public healthcare system is that the tax payments which individuals make to the State will be allocated towards the payment of their healthcare.… [Read more]

All By Myself

All by myself

It’s a challenge to feel ‘musical’ when surrounded by so much negativity. The “Say It In Song” space has always been used to connect songs of any era and genre to current political events but, given that songs often evoke powerful emotions, it has been difficult to post songs when political tensions are already running so high (or low, if one is taking the disgust factor into consideration).… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Do you find last week’s election results encouraging?

Mrs. Vera with Doll House

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Do you find last week’s election results encouraging?

Yours not convinced truly,
Ken…Cloacanellie?
Canolismelly?
Cootchycootchycoo-new-hell-pee?

Dear Mr. Cucinelli,

Not knowing the spelling of one’s last name can lead to some confusion at the ballot box and that may have been a factor in your defeat you could have anticipated, but it’s too late, now.… [Read more]

Poverty and Student Achievement

poverty and student achievement

“If you think education’s expensive, wait ’til you see how much ignorance costs.”

These were the words of President Barack Obama this past Friday  in Brooklyn, New York, at a local high school where he addressed students and faculty of the Pathways in Technology Early College High School, a joint venture between IBM and the NYC Public School System.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: How can I stretch my food stamp allowance to make healthy meals for my family?

Vera with wooly hair worms

Dear Mrs. Vera,

How can I stretch my food stamp allowance to make healthy meals for my family?

Kindest Regards,
Emeril J. Lagasse,
Fall River, MA

Dear Emeril,

Love your Yukon Gold potato nest recipe, the one filled with tiny creamed onions.  That dish could be scaled up to provide crispy housing for the homeless and starving, and any tiny onion babies they have still clinging to life in those red “right-to-starve” states.… [Read more]

Where Do We Go From Here?

Where do we go from here?

During this past week the debt ceiling was raised and a government shutdown was ended after 16 days of political rhetoric and hand-wringing. The attempt by the radical right wing of the Republican Party to defund the Obama administration’s signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was a complete failure. The Tea Party Caucus of the minority party held the federal government hostage over this one issue — at least initially — and they walked away with nothing and at the end of the day.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Are we still fighting The Civil War?

Vera, with peacock feather

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Are we still fighting The Civil War?

Fond Regards,
Charles Rangel (D-NY)

Dear Charo’s Tangles,

So lovely to hear from you again after all this time. My readers may not know this, but before entering politics and getting himself elected into office in New York, Mr. Rangel played a mean guitar and invented a much coochy-coochy-cuter version of twerking, one that you could watch with your mom on the Carol Burnett Show, or the like, without dying inside at the collapse of humanity jiggle-grinding before you.  … [Read more]

Collateral Damage

Collateral damage

As a result of their attempt to block the Affordable Care Act, the American people have become collateral damage in the latest Republican assault on the Presidency of Barack Obama. They have shutdown the federal government with smiles and glee in their heart — knowing, but not caring about the ramifications of such actions. Just as Robert E.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: So, is it time for the voters of Ohio to recall John Boehner?

Doodle_179_Why_Boehner_is_Orange

Dear Mrs. Vera,

So, is it time for the voters of Ohio to recall GOP Speaker of the House, John Boehner?

Regards,
Somehow uncertain independent Ohio voter John Q. Public

Dear Junk Pukeblitzer,

Thanks for writing in, yet again, as you begin the long process of letting somebody else eventually make up your State’s mind for you.… [Read more]

Into the Wayback Machine to 1000 CE

Social Safety Net

Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas) stated that harnessing wind power will make the earth hotter because it will make the wind slow down. This is not the first time members of the Grand Ole Party have made absolutely astonishing statements when it come to science. The Party of No is the party of No because they know nothing.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs Vera: Which is worse? The Shutdown or Barilla™?

Vera on scroll

Dear Mrs. Vera,

What’s worse, The Shutdown or Barilla™?

Guido Boehner,
Annapolis, MD

Dear Giovanni NoBarroehner,

This is a very easy question to answer, especially if you are a female lady who ever came from a family, even one of those families that doesn’t count enough to deserve eating a specific brand of dried paste that is for sale in many shops and markets.… [Read more]

The Inequality of Public Education

Public Education Inequality

I recently went to a meeting for the school district I work for. At the meeting other teachers and I were told how the district performed on the Tennessee standardized test issued during the prior year. The director of schools and his staff told us about the state of the school system; he revealed data, graphs and other information that each school can use to analyze student performance and focus our sights on raising student achievement for the current year. … [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Do filibusters actually accomplish anything positive?

Vera, with Henson magnets

Dear Mrs. Vera,

So, do filibusters actually accomplish anything positive?

Truly Yours,
Philip Ulcer

Dear Mr. Cruz,

On behalf of my readers, I must thank you for writing in, even if under a nom-de-plume (that’s Quebecois for faker) and calling attention to this most pressing of issues.  Being subjected to a filibuster-a-thon™ from a stubborn foreigner Texan truly feels like attending a function where everyone is depressed because the host is insisting on playing a party game involving running your head through a letterpress or embossing machine, with the most points going to the person who sustains the least brain damage.  … [Read more]

Make Them Eat Cake

Let them eat cake!

The US House of Representatives voted to defund  $40 billion dollars from the SNAP program of food assistance for the poorest of the poor. SNAP, better known as the food stamps assistance program, is claimed by some in the House to be a program steeped in fraud.   That’s right — people are stealing a whopping $4.50 a day and some people are getting fat off food stamps, making them lazy.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs Vera: Should Starbucks™ provide a place for customers to check their guns?

Vera at Starbucks

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Do you think that Starbucks™ should provide a place for customers to check their guns?

Sincerely Yours,
Jerry Baldwin,
Seattle, Washington

Dear Venti Grandewin,

Thanks for writing!  Despite how much everybody hates your company, they all agree that however gross the food is, and however soul-destroying the general aesthetic of these stores is, when Starbucks™  is considered in terms of its manners, nobody is arguing that the basic approach to the customer experience isn’t polite, tidy and nicely thought out — not compared to most addict shacks, opium dens and needle-drug shooting galleries.… [Read more]

A Teacher’s Value

Teacher Appreciation

After 25 years of teaching in some of the hardest and most challenging schools and situations in all of America, the State of Tennessee has determined my experience and my advance degrees mean nothing. Governor  Bill Haslam and his appointed henchman, Commissioner Huffman, have determined that teachers who have a Doctorate and/or a Masters degree should not get paid for the advanced education.… [Read more]

Dear Mrs. Vera: Please explain why people object to Obamacare.

Vera, with purple, wool do

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Please explain why people object to Obamacare.

Regards Sincerely,
Mrs. Petunia Kevorkian

Dear Please Put A Cork In It,

There are as many reasons for not liking something as there are people not to like out there, and our form of representational government insures that most of these unpleasant individuals will be front and center, right in the debate over Obamacare being held in the delightful thought experiment known affectionately, when you are trying to get in its pants, or abusively, if it lets you get into its pants, as Congress.… [Read more]