Friday, December 31, 2010

Duke's Annual Mid-Winter Shut Off Rampage.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
and
Fuck off, Freeze to Death and Die
from your friends at



It seems Duke Energy is going to make an annual habit of trying to raise funds by shutting off gas and electric service mid-winter when it's obviously most needed. We need to change the law so Duke Energey cannot hold people hostage and establish winter rules -especially for families with small children. Ebeneezer "Duke" Scrooge should be held accountable.

Check out this January 2010 post from Cincy Mom's:

originally posted by Mauirobin

Our fault that we have been almost 200 bucks behind the last two months, but they came and disconnected us yesterday. (We still pay something every month, usually more than half) No warning, no knock on the door, no post on door. We scrambled and got it turned on, but my concerns are with the elderly, single parents with young children, etc. They said that since it was 40 degrees they can turn it off....my concern is 40 degrees at noon still means freezing at night. How many folks out there that couldn't get their power back on?

I did some research and discovered that Ohio does NOT have a no turn-off winter rule. We did at one time for 90 days, but that's it.. Despite the fact that I think the elderly have paid more than enough taxes in their life-time, to NEVER have to have their utilities shut off....and most pay school taxes for years past any kids of theirs even go to the schools.

I think we should do something to get that law enacted here, as it is with many other states. No winter turn off during Jan, Feb, Mar. at least if their are elderly, or young children in the house. Any comments, or suggestions? In case you are wondering, I have no young children or elderly in my house, but I'm probably one of the rare households out there.


Here was my response to the initial post:

The rampage continues....

First off - this post starts off wrong. Not your fault. The economy is tough for everyone. When $200 can be a month's worth of groceries for some people - and you've been making an effort to pay - Duke is being real jerks.

Some friends of mine are due for shutoff today. And for again2 They did NOT get a notice. No little pink slip. Not even a line of type on their bill. How do I know? We just spent all morning going over all 12 of their last year's bills as they have kept them all down to inserts and envelopes.

They have been paying what Duke has said is their minimum balance and sometimes a little over if they could. Duke summarily decided that minimum balance isn't good enough. Their reasoning, according to this article I found online, is that people are probably spending the money they're spending $75 bucks on cable or "unneccessary" items and that money should rightly be theirs. God forbid a family spend $75 bucks a month on what is probably their only entertainment than give that measley sum that wouldn't cover their bill to Duke.

If shutting people off without notice after accepting what Duke says is a minimum payment isn't illegal, IT SHOULD BE. If a landlord accepts part of your rent, they have to let you stay and reject your next payment, they can't evict. If a credit card company accepts your minimum payment, then they can't just cut off your card. Likewise, if Duke says "this is your minimum payment" then they should be made to abide by the common sense rule that acceptance of payment means they agree to continue service.

The family I'm talking about has small children in the home, it's effing January and Duke basically said "too effing bad" - we're cutting you off and nothing but the full amount of the bill will do.

It's a damned shame and you can bet our new Governor Kasich couldn't care less. After losing over 800 million dollars already in transportation and education funding, his "let them eat cake" attitude is going to be solely with Duke, not with the constituents he should be protecting against their avarice.



Saturday, December 25, 2010

Our Christmas Family Photo Album

Merry Christmas!

Our Christmas Family Photo Album as shown by our Facebook profile pictures.

That Deborah Girl





Ye Olde Matey





College Arabella

Grandma

lol, we finally convinced her to join Facebook thank goodness
My New Year's resolution is to teach her to use it

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Start the Revolution

What we should be doing:

Sharing, Helping, Loving, Teaching


What we are doing:

Hoarding, hindering, hating - honoring ignorance



What we should be doing:

Figuring out life and the universe


What we do:

Kill what we do not understand



What we should be doing:

Figure out how best to serve humanity, helping people live happy, healthy, worthwhile lives


What we do:

Discriminate, fear, step on and manipulate others to advance our own causes



Humanity is at a crossroads.

How long until we free the planet?



White People

Tired of living in fear of the other

Tired of being called racists

Tired of being taxed to death

Tired of being disrespected and taken for granted by Republicans



Minorities

Tired of living in fear of the other

Tired of discrimination

Tired of being America's scapegoat

Tired of being disrespected and taken for granted by Democrats



Turn off FOX News and all the other channels for that matter.

But especially FOX. That's right. Just walk over to you tv and turn off FOX and NEVER tune back in.

It's time we all woke up, smelled the coffee and started the revolution.

Not against each other.

But against the puppet masters pulling our strings.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Kasich: Between a Rock and Rail Place



If this Enquirer article on Governor Elect John Kascih can be trusted, then 2011 is going to be a God-awful year for Ohio. If the article was reporting something a Democrat said, I would only give it half a glance, but the Enquirer treats conservatives with reverence and so the quotes can more likely be taken as gospel, not spin.

You can tell the difference because Democrats are usually relegated to one liners with the Enquirer's snide interpretations laced in between short quotes. Kasich's quotes lead in the paragraphs and the Enquirer happily expounds on his ideas as if Kasich were the Second Coming. Even so, whoever wrote this article did an interesting job of fulfilling the Enquirer mandate to never make the GOP look too bad while still getting a couple of skeptical zingers.

Starting with the title: Kasich, GOP: Ohio can cut way out of deficit. That one statement is nearly begging for a question mark and leaves the reader asking, Oh, really? They can? OK, let's settle in for a good read and see how Kasich and the GOP plan to keep this promise without backtracking.

Because Kasich has already been left stuttering over transportation funding that incumbent Governer Ted Strickland worked his ass off to bring here. A 400 million dollar investment and, depending on who you read, between 8,000 to 16,000 permanent jobs, not just temporary construction jobs, that would provide not only an investment in jobs, but an investment in Ohio's infrastructure and economy. Kasich ran on the fact that he would kill that idea and make sure the money was spent "responsibly" (lining the pockets of his GOP buddies at every turn).

Well he was only half right. He killed the idea for Ohio (mirroring the exact situation for the Governor Elect of Wisconsin), but the money is still going for rail projects and will be split between other sates and that's where those jobs will go as well. In at least one state, a billboard has gone up, sarcastically thanking both governors for declinging the funds and sending the money and jobs their way.

It's sad and quite telling that Kasich truly believed the GOP hype. Like someone who sees a $4.99 price tage and doesn't realize the price is really $5.00, Kasich only saw the 400 million dollar carrot, but not the regulatory stick.

At first our Governor Elect truly didn't seem to understand that he can not dictate to the US Department of Transportation where that money will go. While Ted Strickland sat shaking his head watching his hard work go out the window, Kasich was still trying to make his campaign talking points into real-world policy. Why can't the money still be given to Ohio for other projects? If Ohio declines the money, why can't it just be returned to treasury to redcue the deficit?

I'm going to tell you why John Kasich. Because the US Department of Transportation is run by rules and guidelines, unlike the GOP which is powered solely on talking points and unending conservative rhetoric based on the premise that if you repeat something long enough it becomes fact. That only works until you hit a real brick wall - a wall made of real adults not merely playing the political game but working to make sure rules and regulations are followed.

Feds To Kasich: Not Building Rail Line? We'll Keep The Money


U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Tuesday that the money can't be used for other programs.

In a letter to Kasich, LaHood congratulated Kasich on his election, but then said that, "I wanted to let you know that none of those funds may be used for anything other than our High Speed Rail Program.

LaHood pointed out that Ohio has already received $1.1 billion in stimulus funds for nearly 500 transportation projects and hoped Kasich would continue the passenger rail plan.

If, however, you choose not to participate in the program, we would like to engage in an orderly transition to wind down Ohio's involvement in the project so that we don't waste the taxpayer's money," LaHood wrote.

The governor-elect "is fully aware of the rules surrounding the use of federal funds and remains interested in pursuing additional flexibilities on this issue," said Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols. "It is, however, refreshing to see that Secretary LaHood understands the importance of preventing anymore wasteful spending on the passenger rail project."

Wow. They simply cannot help it. Team Kasich still makes a pathetic effort at making it seems as if Secretary Lahood's message is "I agree with you, the rail project is a waste of taxpayer money" when what Lahood really said was, "The rules say the money has to be spent on rail. If you're not going to spend it on rail, you can't have the money. Now hurry up and make up your mind so we don't waste more taxpayer time and money while you play politcal games."

Which leaves Kasich between a rock and a rail place. Supposedly there's still a chance Ohio can still have the money for the rail project. Liberals have wasted no time in painting Kasich with a broad brush as the idiot who lost Ohio 400 million dollars and 16,000 jobs before he even officially took office. I don't care what kind of spin the GOP does, not even the Enquirer can make that sound good.

**

But the Enquirer sure as hell tried.

"[Kasich] will put all programs under the microscope," said Rob Nichols, Kasich's spokesman.

And so the spin begins anew. The GOP narrative is that Ted Strickland was out gallivanting around spending hardworking Ohians tax money on ideas like a train but Kasich will keep his campaign promise to stop the wasteful spending on frivolities like investing in the upkeep and future of our infrastructure. Furthermore, Kasich will carefully consider (read willfully cut) every single program that is seen by conservatives as "rewarding" the poor or minorities.

Because the rail program is not all Kasich wants to cut.

Republicans say they'll cut Ohio's way out of a potential $8 billion budget deficit - but there's only one way to do that: by cutting money for schools, universities, prisons and social services, including Medicaid.

So while Kasich is cossetted in the governor's mansion, let the peasants eat cake. Well, maybe that's a bit harsh because Kasich's idea about the jails is actually a good one.

Kasich said there would be obvious taxpayer savings in keeping people who bounce checks or fail to pay child support out of prison. He said the nonviolent offenders should undergo treatment, be put on a work-release detail, placed under house arrest or jailed by counties before sending them to state prison, which costs an average of $66 per day per inmate.

Bipartisan legislation to relax criminal sentencing laws and keep nonviolent offenders out of prison - as proposed by Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland and state Sen. Bill Seitz, a Republican from Green Township, failed to pass the Republican-led Senate the past two years.

Ok. Wait a second. Why did this idea fail? Because Kasich's idea about how to hanle non-violent offenders is actually an Republican idea. I like it and so does Ted Strickland because he backed it. It should have been a slam dunk for bipartisanship -but as you can see from the article, the measure failed.

You see Strickland who was supported by Obama, who is not only a Democrat but he's black and he's the President to boot. So a Republican idea is automatically becomes a bad idea when a Democrat supported by a Black President embraces it.

Got that?

Again, the GOP narrative fails. Far from being wasteful, in his term of governor, Strickland battled his way through 4 billion dollars worth of spending cuts. Repbulicans who keep shrieking about "fiscal discipline" atually kept Strickland from making additional and sensible cuts to the budget that would have saved Ohio some additional money.

I, and I'm sure many other Ohio citizens and taxpayers have no patience for this type of blatant bullshit. I keep waiting for other conservatives to stop saying "no" to everything progressive, liberal and proposed by Democrats simply for the sake of doing so. But they are children and right now, happen to the biggest bullies in the American media and corporate American playground.

For better or for worse, Ohio under Kasich is going to become Arizona 2.0. Arizona has blatantly decided to be the state where conservatives will try out the worst of their ideas in discrimination and bigotry. Ohio, it seems is destined to be the state where the GOP tests out their fiscal ideas, which basically amounts to saying no tax dollars allocated to anyone but large corporations and privatizing any and all public utilities. Their theory is that they can provide minimal to no public services and infrastructure investment to a struggling, unemployed populace and still have people elect them year after year.

It seems, if you are determined to kill any and all initiatives that are even remotely approved by a black Democratic President, it's altogether possible.

It leaves us all between a rock and a rail place. Always holding to the past or boarding a train to the future. One thing is for certain - people are definitely packing up and leaving Ohio.

Ohio is Number 3 on Forbes 2010 list of Top 10 States that People are Fleeing. I don't see that trend reversing under Kasich any time soon.

***

Related Articles from a new favorite blog Plunderbund:
John Kasich thinks he was elected Emperor of Ohio, not Governor.
John Kasich: I’m going to cut higher education and worker training for the unemployed



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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Forgiving the Unforgivable

Forgiving the Unforgivable

Hate is their currency. Ignorance is their sacrament. Racism is their communion.
North Carolina Senator Julia Boseman

I haven’t been able to write about politics lately. That’s why you’ve had the commentary about Deb’s Life or other things because ever since the midterm elections I have been afraid and angry. Trying to write about the current political scene leaves me sputtering, bitter and simply pissed off to the highest level of pisstivity.

The midterm elections left me rather despondent over the state of our nation. Despite the fact that many have pointed out that Obama’s numbers are better than Clinton’s or Reagan’s at the same point during their time in the Oval Office; despite the fact that many have pointed out that Clinton lost both houses while Obama only lost one; despite the fact that Obama continues in the same vein as he has since day one, there remains a certain lingering dissatisfaction with President Obama. Conservatives have never cut him an inch of slack and liberals are tired of seeing him bullied without fighting back. We keep waiting to back him, the champion of our cause, but he never seems to rally us troops. He merely says wait, no need for battle. Meanwhile the battle rages around him and he never seems to see it. There was that one slip about them “talking about him like a dog”, and it’s true. The GOP has never stopped short in their racist bashing of Obama. Yet, he is the one who has called these types of slights “petty”. Yet his refusal to respond to them makes him seem na├»ve and unwilling to admit that racism isn’t a petty faux paus committed by ignorant white people. It is a sharp edged tool, wielded by those in power and keeps us all on the razor’s edge between life and death.

No, thehe media and the Republican party certainly aren’t letting up on Obama. Their half-hearted and backhanded racist attacks have not abated one whit. The 2010 Midterms spurred the GOP to battle the President on any issue from Cabinet Appointments to whether or not his birth certificate allows him to have a driver’s license. The GOP continues to respond to the call of the likes of Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly. Like tired Orkai on the way to Mordor, they cannot help but heed the drumbeat of the media cycle and Beck’s madness. They’re tired and not sure really what they’re fighting against – and they even fear that their own destruction is at stake. But they’ve been created for this cause, so fight they must, even at their own peril.

Once the GOP only had to fight Barack Obama, but the Tea Party has divided Republicans against themselves. Many Republicans have walked the fine line between not angering the Tea Party and keeping office but they have only done it by paying homage to Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin who remains the fly on in the ointment for conservative and liberal alike. The buzzing mosquito that and self-respecting liberal would love to swat but can’t catch

Sarah Palin is such an awful person and politician that she actually has liberals like me longing for the days of simply evil Bush era politics. Even Bush could be made to blush now and again over his gaffes – not being able to open ornamental doors, giving unwelcome backrubs to the Chancellor of Germany; or say, letting New Orleans drown and die for five days before sending help. He even squirmed a little through the press conferences of the Plame affair once he realized Rove and Cheney were involved. Of course he came through it in fine fettle and he never apologized for anything, but he did at least recognize a problem when he saw one or when people told him there was one.

Sarah Palin does not know the meaning of the word blush or shame. Her many gaffes, errors and plain spouting of erroneous information have been well documented yet thoroughly ignored. The media and her supporters simply explain away her incredible and appalling dim-wittedness as one would overlook a child’s tantrum.

Because we tend to think in terms of the current news cycle, maybe only the most recent Palin gaffes or errors will come to mind. But it takes this list of Palinisms to make one realize that she has committed enough gaffes and errors to enable someone to create an entire website around them.

Barbara Bush, recently quoted as wanting Sarah Palin to go back to Alaska and stay there, has nothing on me when it comes to having a distinct dislike for Palin. Unfortunately, we share a dislike of Palin for entirely different reasons. Palin represents a populism that threatens the Bush family dynasty hegemony. In my case, Palin represents a “whites only” populism that threatens my life. I don’t think Barbara Bush really cares much about black people but I don’t think she questions our right to exist. In her world, someone has to do the work and it may as well be the brown people she doesn’t have to worry her “beautiful mind” about.

Palin on the other hand would take even Barbara Bush’s loathsome “stay in your place” racism and turn it into a rootin’ tootin’ open season shootin’ match on all minorities. She thinks in the simpleminded terms of an untrained hunter – aim, shoot, kill everything that moves and doesn’t look human.

And to the likes of Palin, black people and other minorites don’t seem human at all.

Americans of all colors are a forgiving people. We’ll forgive Bill Clinton for shagging Monica Lewinsky. We’ll forgive Johnny Bench for betting on baseball or Michael Vick for bashing in the heads of a few mongrels. Hell, we even forgave Bush for blowing up Iraq and making sure Sadaam & Sons got good and hung. After all, the bastard had it coming for trying to have his dad killed and we don’t even know where the hell Iraq is on a map and we had to kill something or somebody after 9/11 – Iraq was as good as anywhere else, just killing two or three million birds with one stone – after all, those people don’t seem human at all.

How much more are we willing to forgive. Julian Assange sits in a jail cell at this moment and I’m sure he’s shaking his head, ruminating over the fact that he is in jail for telling the truth. For exposing American lies, propaganda and our death march that seems to encompass the globe.

And what’s more, American’s don’t care. We are quick to make people out to be villains and Assange is an easy target. But it’s much harder to point the finger back squarely where it belongs – at us.

How long will we continue to allow our government to sanction war and killing in our name? How long will we allow our government to spin a narrative of freedom, justice and sacrifice when we are the only ones doing the sacrificing? We are sacrificing our soldiers, our way of life and everything to hold onto the ideal that America is the good guy. That what we do is always in the name of good.

But what if that isn’t true and hasn’t been true for a really long time? How long will we continue to forgive the unforgivable? Indiscriminate killing in the name of the American people and locking up or outright killing anyone who dares to expose it.

Hitler only dreamed of such power. Even Russia has never really pulled it off to the levels they liked. Will such power finally be wielded by the United States?

And if so, can it be stopped?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Calling Home

College Arabella has settled in quite nicely at school. Despite a few bouts of homesickness and an 8am-Fitness-Class-That-Must-Not-Be-Named, she's taken the college tiger, or, uh Cardinal, by the tail and is doing well.

We were talking on the phone the other day, in what was our longest conversation to date since she's been at college, including the times I've visited. Our conversations are usually hurried and frantic and always involve several of her friends and a television in the background. Imagine my surprise where this was a conversation where she actually wanted to...well...talk.

We parents/guardians were warned at orientation that conversations with college students can take on a surreal quality. For them, the conversation may not be about conveying information or actually conversing. The phone actually creates a space where the student is bridging the gap between college and home. So we did talk for quite some time and then, gradually, she began to drift into watching tv while I was on the phone.

At first I was a bit annoyed by her distraction. And it's only now, writing this that I understand our conversation was, for her, as if she were home and we were watching television together. She began relaying the events on television to me and even though I was quite ready to move on, something told me not to disengage her just yet. What I wanted was a conversation - how are you, are you eating, how are your classes. What she needed was the easy banter of being at home - a conversation punctuated by the silence of shared television watching and then picking up the conversation or starting a totally new track.

One bit of the conversation took an interesting turn. She was describing someone at school, who she feels is effortlessly funny. Even without trying, this girl keeps the class in stitches.

I replied that I tend to be that person at school and at work. I often don't mean to be funny - and it's generally when I'm most sincere that people find what I'm saying hillarious - and when I try to be funny, my jokes mostly fall flat. But the modified class clown act, tends to be mine.

"I don't think I know you at all," CollegeArabella replied, her meaning immediately plain to me. I knew she'd be surprised when I said it. She knows me as, what we affectionately call, The Mommy Person. The mommy who joined the PTA and made rice krispie treats and cupcakes when she was young, although no one was really fooled by that woman at all, least of all me. The one who lectures, scolds, hugs and cures all known illnesses with chicken noodle soup and jello. Mommy who dispenses advice that is always belatedly taken by a reluctant teen.

And although she's had several epiphanies that I had a life before she was born, I don't think it ever quite occured to her that I had an entire existence that didn't quite include her since she's been here. That I can tell a decent knock-knock joke and am prone to odd puns and falling back on shared movie references to illustrate my points, is the limit of my sense of humor as far as she's concerned. She see's me as lamely humorous, the way most children view their parents. That others may see me in another light, was nothing short of a minor epiphany for her.

Her comment was very astute. She doesn't really know me. She knows The Mommy Person and this is not entirely my fault. She made it plain, when she was younger that The Mommy Person is who she expected me to be. And so that's who I became with some minor points of rebellion where Grandma has filled in the gaps nicely; taking her to Church and Sunday School reguarly, making sure she went to daycamp every summer where I would have left her home to her own devices as I had been. Between my mother, Ye Olde Matey and me, we've given her, if not exactly a golden growing up, then definitely a rosy one. We look back on her growing up years through a lens that is dusty with dog hair and chipped around the edges in a few places by my early anger issues - but it's not a painful lens. If we'd only known then, what those days would mean to us now.

I thought for a long moment. Of so much I could have told her...so much I wanted to say...so much she needed to know. So many things I could have shared, but in the end, things that will bide their time.

What I finally said was a bit between reality and honesty.

"No, I don't think you know me at all. I'm not even sure you'd like me, " I chuckled, grinning into the phone. "But you like the Mommy Person." It was nearly a question, but more a confirmation.

"I love the Mommy Person," she said with affection and sureness, her voice holding the slightly fierce quality of her hugs that I miss so much.

So there it was at last. She knows and I know. Who I've been all these years is my expression of the depth of my love for her. But it's not exactly who I am. Not really.

So for now...just a bit a longer...that's who I'll be.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Scavenger Hunt Prizes

The Mid-Term election was one of the biggest disappointments I've had this year. It ranks right up there with CollegeArabella and me fighting like cats and dogs to get her off to college (granmda took over and got it done) and my Anniversary Scavenger Hunt being a bust.

I actually thought I had a few entries, but they turned out to be spam. LOL. At first I was all sad. I promoted it here, on facebook and hung up flyers all over but still....no takers. Oh well. I'm not Frito Lay.

At any rate, I have five t-shirts to give away so give them away I shall....and I've decided to give them to my favorite bloggers.

T-Shirt #1...
..goes to my blog pal Jo over at TheSkeptic One.
Ever the voice of reason, always with a perspective I haven't considered and just an all around cool person. My sometimes breakfast companion whom I've neglected for well over half a year. We will get together soon. Let's have breakfast and I'll bring you your t-shirt.

T-Shirt #2
... goes to Mike over at CityKin.
Half of my meager blog traffic comes from his blog and the other half comes from people looking for Ethan Kilmer. But I love his blog - it never fails to remind what a good place Cincinnati can be and how much better it could become if only people loved it like he does. Although I have it on good authority from Ye Olde matey that my t-shirt design is "too girly", I'm going to give one to Mike in the hopes he'll pass it on to a female family member.

T-shirts #3 & #4...
...go to Leesee and Reenee at Hasta Los Gatos Quieren Zapatos
A new blog I've come to love for many reasons, not the least of which - because they like me! The feeling is definitely mutual. Leesee and Reenee, "two hermanas sharing their wit and wisdom with the huddled masses" featured me in their weekly Blogs of Note and their comments made me ridiculously happy. Hasta Los Gatos Quieren Zapatos is insightful, quirky and a riot to read. Not for the politically correct, they have embraced the Blogger content warning wanner - and although I have yet to read anything objectionable there - it's a reminder that this blog is for adults.

That's four t-shirts and I still have one left....hmmm....I think I'll keep it just in case I ever do the scavenger hunt again. I'd give it to Drug Monkey but I already made him his own.

So....to claim your prize, please contact me with the DebLite contact me thingy over in the sidebar.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Who I'm voting for - all Dems with the notable exception of Chris Monzel for County Commissioner. I wouldn't vote Tarbell for dog catcher and I'm sick of him and his giant mural.

Governor/ Lt. Governor
Strickland/ Brown

Ohio Attorney Gen.
Richard Cordray

Auditor of State
David Pepper - Pepper for President? Hell why not? (sarcasm) Annoying DINO berk. Our side's answer to Leslie Ghiz only not quite as dense. We didn't elect him as mayor or to council, he finally ended up on the County Commission (God, I wish my family had the money to keep running me for stuff until I lucked up and won something) and now I guess we'll keep electing him on up the line until his picture is next to Peter Principle in the dictionary.

Secretary of State
Maryellen O'Shaughnessy

Treasurer of State
Kevin Boyce

US Representative
Steve Driehaus - more I know about Steve, the more I like him. I want your job some day Steve.

US Senate
Lee Fisher - I guess

State Representative - Dist.29
Liz Ping - knocked on my door and shook my hand. I liked her and Lou Blessing has annoyed me for ages. You have been Ping'd! Vote for her : )

OH Supreme Court
Eric Brown - Chief Justice
MaryJane Trapp
Pfeifer (unopposed)

OH Court of Appeals
Martha Good
William L. Mallory, Jr. - still don't like family dynasty's in politics. Like with Pepper, this is a problem.

Cour of Common Pleas
Luebbers (unopposed)
Ruehlman (unopposed)
West (unopposed)
Winkler (unopposed)
Nadine Allen

Court of Common Pleas - Juvenille Div.
Tracie Hunter

Court of Common Pleas - Domestic Rel.
Stephen Black
Tolbert (unopposed)

State Board of Ed
Pat Bruns

Hamilton County Commissioner
Chris Monzel

Hamilton County Auditor
Dusty Rhodes

Saturday, October 02, 2010

DebLite Anniversary Celebration!







What happens when you combine five years of blogging, an impending anniversary date, a screen-printing class and the twisted mind of the Notorious TDG?


Welcome to the DebLite Anniversary Celebration Scavenger Hunt!



The Contest

In the spirit of Gilderoy Lockhart, the majority of the questions are about me and the blog. To commemorate 5 years of blogging, I’m posting 15 questions, all of which can be easily (or maybe not so easily) answered by perusing the 5-year annals of DebLite.

The Prizes
I’m currently taking a screen-printing class. Of course the first thing I did was make DebLite t-shirts; and though it’s going to be very hard to part with them, I’m giving away five of the shirts I made as the prizes for the contest. Believe me, they are truly a labor of love and I do love my readers. You all make me happy!

Now…Two of the shirts are perfect. They will be prizes one & two. One has a minor imperfection. It will be prize 3. The last two are rather, shall we say distressed, but still wearable so they will be prizes 4 & 5. So the better you do in the contest, the better your chances at a better shirt!

The Rules
  • All entries must be submitted through the "Contact Me" function on the DebLite blog, located in the sidebar. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m., Sunday, October 31, 2010. Please put the word "SCAVENGER" in the Subject Line of your entry.
  • Winners will be announced on Friday, November 5, 2010. 5 prizes will be awarded.Each winner will receive one of 5 DebLite t-shirts.
  • Prizes will be awarded by priority of most questions correctly answered, by entry date and random drawing. Good Luck. May The Force Be With You! :)
DebLite Anniversay Celebration Scavenger Hunt Questions
  1. What is the date of the first DebLite post?
  2. What is TDG's favorite Harry Potter website?
  3. Is TDG a liberal or conservative?
  4. What Bengals football player did TDG & Little Arabella wait 3 hours for to get an autograph?
  5. When is TDG's birthday?
  6. How many posts did it take to explain why TDG doesn't trust CPD?
  7. How many things did TDG admit to that may make you like her less?
  8. How many Arabella's have their been in DebLite History?
  9. What political candidate did TDG support for Hamilton County Commisioner in 2006?
  10. Finish this blog post title: God Hates Haiti, Everyone Else Hates-__________?
  11. In the post "Denied" what purchase was denied?
  12. Who is the only person who has ever threatened to sue TDG?
  13. Who played Gwen Ifil in SNL's skit on the Biden/Palin debate?
  14. Finish this blog post title: Cincinnati Does Not Need a New-__________?
  15. On what date did TDG declare herself a Republican?


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Friday, October 01, 2010

Why John Boehner Deserves to be Booted Out of Office

...House Republican Leader John Boehner told an audience yesterday at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based group that favors smaller government. “You can’t have a healthy economy if you raise taxes on those that you expect to reinvest in the economy and hire more people."

Yeah. Especially if the people you raise taxes on pitch and moan about having their taxes raised a lousy 3% and will hold their breath until they turn blue before they see this country get back on it's feet. Especially if that means they have to actually hire from among the plebian masses.

The tax cut that Republicans want - they already have it. They're fighting to keep it. How many people are getting hired due to this tax break right now?

I think we can safely say NONE since employment is at disheartening record breaking levels.

So just let your soul glow orange John Boehner wants us to believe that if companies get to KEEP the sweet ass tax deal they got under George W. Bush, then and only then will they start hiring. Otherwise, they just can't afford it. Sorry, no jobs for you America.

And if you believe this cadswallop I have a bridge to sell you.

This is what Corporate Owned Republicans want you to believe. If you bail out their banks and funnel our tax dollars to them so they can maintain more of the wealth they already have - then they'll generously pass on a few measly 8 or 9 bucks an hour back to us in the way of jobs. Hell maybe even 10 bucks an hour. Why not? The sky is the limit.

As long as they get to keep their sweet tax breaks gifted from W.

It's effing blackmail is what it is. And what I say is to hell with Boehner and the rest of the GOP who want to hold America hostage. This country is still bleeding jobs. Most major corporations are sitting on surplus cash and they refuse to hire people.

As Flava Flav and Public Enemy once cautioned us - Don't believe the hype.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Will Raj Bhat Die?

"This apple grew in Raj Bhat's backyard.
An apple still waits a bite."


Raj Baht is a pharmacist. He's on a hunger strike to protest the unfair working conditions of his former employer Medco.

Around half of all Americans are on prescription drugs. Many insurance companies now make patients get them filled by mail instead of the pharmacy down the street. Mail-order drug giant Medco fills more than one million of these each week. Such high demand may be putting potentially hazardous pressure on the pharmacists who process prescription orders.

Bhat says the company enforces hourly quotas on pharmacists that leave little room for careful scrutiny of doctor handwriting, and reprimands those who call for clarification.

He says this leaves room for potentially deadly errors.

Bhat has eaten nothing and has had only water to drink since July Fifth. While he waits to see if the appeal gets taken up, he says his other hope is that the Senate Finance committee looks into the case.

-Pharmacist on hunger strike against prescription giant Medco


I first learned about this story here.
Then I read his blog. The blog he is now to weak to update.
Then I read this article, which I have excerpted above.
And this one where he was on day 7.
And this one where he was on day 75.
And I got the story greenlighted on FARK.

He is protesting to help save us.

How do we save him?

Start by calling MEDCO Health Solutions and demanding answers.
Delaware 1-31312 22-3461740

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wide Open Spaces

And so, TeenArabella is now College Arabella.

Two weeks before Labor Day I took my daughter off to college and left her there. My next sentence is going to surprise you.

I was as happy as a pig in shit.

Rewind to last April with her approaching graduation. I was feeling all the proper emotional angst and pressure of family travel arrangements, graduation announcements and all the final things that go along with the end of the school year. Never, it seemed had so many of these things fallen so quickly and back to back.

And I was right. The school year was ending a bit earlier because of all the building of new schools that Ted Strickland is determinedly building all over the state in his eventual plan to switch to a year-round school. Our school district has not escaped the round of we will build you new schools and funnel you money in exchange for promising to drug test your kids and God only knows what all. And who cares. Come fall we would have shiny new buildings for our kids to go to and God Bless America, that's what really counts. Right?

Back to my life. The day before graduation, half of our duo of Mighty Mutts Inc. died. Tipper, who as technically and officially My Dog was suffering badly. Hip Displasia, fever, in and out of lucidness. She was a big dog and it seems for big dogs, 9 in human years is ripe old age in dog years. "The Decision" had to be made. The kind of decision where you go to the vet with Two Dogs and walk out with One Dog.

It tore our hearts out. I'm every day of 39, but my mother held me and rocked me like the last 30 years had never passed and I'd just come home with a skinned knee while I sobbed out my grief over our fallen doggie.

When graduation came we had no tears left for our graduate walking down the aisle. We were all watery smiles because we had a reason to celebrate after the day of grief before. While other people were merely snapping photos of their child we were showing pictures of the child we had buried just the day before. See, this was our dog...she's gone now... "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion," Dolly Parton says in Steele Magnolias and that day was our day to cry and to laugh.

Mind you Arabella (not her real name, but what I call her on this blog) is my only child. When I first stated blogging she was LittleArabella, and she and I got along famously. My pathway with Teen Arabella was not exactly strewn with roses, but I think we got along better than you would believe. But what I didn't realize is that four years of unexpressed Teen Angst would rear their ugly head in I'mNearly18Arabella. It seems with college on the horizon, some idea of being beyond her parents reach and therefore constant and unyielding care beckoned to her like a siren song to sailors.

Suddenly, I was wrong about everything. Everything. My brain had melted and was suddenly mush. Angry mush. We could not have a conversation about so much as oatmeal without it turning into screaming matches that were unparalleled in our history.

I was not ready to let go. She was not ready to budge an inch.

My mother played GrandmaReferee and was more successful than I'd like to give her credit for. I wanted Arabella to listen to me! But oh well. We were moving towards orientation weekend. Which was hell by the way. They immediately separated the impending college students from their guardians, which, as far as I was concerned was fine with me. The few times we were together, we fought like cats and dogs.

My mom's hearing is not as good as it used to be. She would miss Arabella's snide remarks which, like a dumbass, I would insist on responding to. My mother, not hearing, would wonder why I was fuming, Arabella was pouting and we would explain and explain again. And when she still couldn't hear, shout an explanation to which she would say, OH! and reach a conclusion we'd already done except now we were mad all over again from having to explain our sides of the argument all over again.

Like I said, Orientation weekend was hell.

I wish I could say it got better as we got closer to her leaving date, but it didn't. My mother took over completely the washing and packing of Arabella's stuff. I was merely the checkbook and the ride to Wal-Mart. We did have a couple of successful shopping trips because we both can be hypnotized by thrift stores, bargains and shopping even under the worst of circumstances. But these trips were not what they once were....something between us had changed.

The daunting task of moving my daughter to a college campus in another state, albeit only two and a half hours away was set. We had our hotel plans, her dorm assignment, her class schedule and a list of things to settle with financial aid.

I insisted that my mother go with us. I was afraid I would be over-emotional. I was afraid we would argue. I was afraid. I really didn't know what I'd feel but a sneaking suspicion was coming over me.

I wasn't going to be sad. I was going to be happy. Relieved.

I mean really, college was the best place for her at this point. She had the academic achievements and talent to be there. She wasn't quite adult enough to be completely on her own, but she did need to spread her wings. Cue the Dixie Chicks singing "Wide Open Spaces". I mean really, did I really need a country song to drive home the point?

And we fought a big while we were there, but it was a token resistance. I think I planned to stay on campus too long. We should have dropped her off and left, but honestly, dragging my mother with me and all that her MS entails, I owed it to her to be able to travel and rest. We drove up on a Wednesday and got her moved into the dorm. We stayed over on Thursday and went to Financial Aid and got her room arranged. I had planned for her to have dinner with us that night but she was busy with her new friends already.

Friday was leaving day. We made a last minute trip to the ubiquitous Wal-Mart for things we had forgotten or never had. We took her back to the dorm.

And then the oddest thing. She went into her dorm and brought me out a lovely red purse. She'd bought it at Target the night before with her own money. She saw it and thought of me.

And we hugged. And then we said goodbye. She walked into her dorm and looked back a couple of times, but she went through the door and didn't come back out again.

And we drove away.

My eyes were dry.

It is possible to leave your kids at college and not be sad. I was telling this to my blog pal, Jo, over at TheSkepticOne and she said, "You should write about this and tell other parents that they can survive leaving their kids at college."

And so I did.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

That Agonized Howl You Just Heard...


...is Newt Gingrich realizing he will never be President of the United States.

I don't know if you noticed - GOP, Conservatives, Tea Partiers, Right-Wingers - have all lost their collective minds and Newt Gingrich is no exception. This poor guy, who's chin wagging blow-hardiness is only second to Jay Leno in lack of sincerity, had convinced himself he had a shot at the Oval Office.

See, while the GOP was running around screaming that the sky is terrorism, economy, bank bailouts, GM, BP, foreclosure, cash-for-clunker, healthcare reform, death panels, illegals, border fence, mosque at ground zero, still no birth certificate (you've gotta be kidding me), wise latina, Glenn Beck is the new Dr. King like New Coke was the Old Coke is the New Coke falling, falling the sky is falling and it's all Obama's fault....

Yes, while the GOP has been running around screaming that Obama is the worst thing to ever happen to America since the McDonald's drive thru, President Obama - yes, PRESIDENT Obama, has been acting like the only adult in a room full of preschoolers and has been ignoring the din and actually governing.

And the poor GOP'ers. They thought they were gaining ground with all their rhetoric, especially with FOX cheerleading them on and making sure that the entire world knows their side and the rest of the MSM discusses their side so Obama's message gets tossed in the wind and maybe, just maybe you might here something like, "know who's ass to kick" or "talked about like a dog" or

Obviously the country has gone through a tough stretch since I took office. When I was sworn in, I know you showed the Inauguration, we were losing at that time 750,000 jobs per month, the economy was shrinking at a pace of about 6.5%, which is unheard of since the Great Depression, and so the last 20 months has been a non-stop effort to restart the economy, to stabilize the financial system, to make sure that we’re creating jobs again instead of losing them, and in the midst of all that we’ve also had the oil spill, we’ve also had two wars, we’ve also had a pandemic, H1N1, that we had to manage, and a whole host of other issues. What has been gratifying is the fact that the economy now is starting to stabilize and grow again, and what’s been satisfying is seeing how resilient the American people are. As much as you said it’s been tough for me, the truth is, it’s not tough for me; you know I’ve got people, pundits on the news who may say things about me.

Of course, you think about what the American people have gone through, losing jobs, seeing their home values go down, their 401Ks declining, those are the folks who
I draw inspiration from because I get letters every night from them and I read them. And as tough as it’s been, they remain hopeful, they remain optimistic about America, and so I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about me. I spend a lot of time worrying about them.

- President Obama from his appearance on "The View"

And that was just from an appearance on The View. LOL. The View! He went on The (Not So Subtley Color Coordinated Black and White and Elisabeth with the precious S in her name instead of a common Z was in ALL WHITE get it, get it, huhn huhn?) View and let Queen Barbara Walters lisp him right back into the hearts of American women everywhere who know the truth when they hear it. Which is kinda funny how most of the time they fall for FOX lies.

Anyhow, I'm not gonna look a Barbara Walters gift horse in the mouth. She is the Queen for a reason folks.

So a few speeches later and Obama telling all of congress to fuck off, the rich are not getting the free ride that was the Bush tax cuts anymore, and even more surprising, holding his ground, suddenly, Newt Gingrich and the rest of the right realizes that all their efforts at misdirection, lies, spin, and downright idiocy of the past two years don't amount to a hill of beans and that he will only be President of his local Hair Club for Men chapter if he's lucky.

Because Mr. Obama is the President and he's actually governing.

Can I get an Amen.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Net Neutrality

You've heard the words "Net Neutrality" but do you know what they mean?

It's time to educate yourself on the issue of Net Neutrality because Republican interests don't just own FOX but also control the rest of our media and telecom companies and now they want the Internet, lock, stock and barrel.

It can not be stated enough that only six companies own all the media in the United States. All the cable and network television stations; all of the radio stations; all of the print media & publishing companies; all the movie houses and film studios - all the media we consume is controlled by only six people at the head of six corporations

General Electric - Jeffrey Imelt
Walt Disney
- Robert Iger
News Corp.
- Rupert Murdoch
Time-Warner
- Jeffrey Bewkes
Viacom - Sumner Redstone
CBS
- Leslie Moonves

That's it. Six extremely wealthy, conservative, white men control all the public media you will ever consume. So if you wonder why President Obama's overall message and accomplishments ALWAYS get buried. Well, now you know why.

If that little cartel isn't bad enough, the telecom companies are not much better. Although there are significantly more telecom companies than there are media companies, the major players outweigh the small fry to laughable degrees. For instance, I'm sure you've heard of AT&T and Verizon. Depending on where you live you may also be familiar with QWEST, BellSouth and Honeywell. These are the providers. The other companies are mostly providers of equipment and telecommunications software.

You don't have to be a tech geek to know that Google is a major player in the internet game. Google was started by two guys in their garage and has grown to be a global behemoth. Google's motto, when only run by the two guys in their garage used to be "Do No Evil" - but gradually, those two guys from the garage are either corrupted by the almight U.S. dollar or have long since caved to the pressure of the company that's far outgrown them and is now run by the demands of investors, shareholders and the people who run the place - not them.

So, it's the providers and Google however that want to change the Internet forever and not in a good way.

The Internet is truly the last bastion of free space in the media conglomerate that is America. However the government and corporate version of the Internet will look much like television. Only the richest players in the game will be allowed to play at all. More and more, despite what we pay for in equipment, internet service fees and our taxes that support the entire infrastructure, we're being told that what we're getting online is "free". Ever willing to milk every dime and dollar from the American people, we are to pay for "content" with either hard cash or by renting our brains to corporate advertising. Consume our message - buy buy buy - or just pay up in advance, either will do. But you will pay.

And once you do finally get to see whatever it is you wanted to see, woe betide if you "share" that "content" with anyone else. The media you "buy" you never really own. You can show that Harry Potter movie to your friends and family in your own home but pass it on to a friend on the Internet and you've crossed the line from friend to pirate. Or that's the bill of goods we're sold.

Censorship is nothing new in America. The fact that our government and those six media companies work together to control the entertainment we consume and the information we get should be taken as as fact, not conspiracy theory.

The company that provides your internet service (ISP) more than likely censors and or "throttles" your service. These are not the same things.

Censorship means that there is more than likely a site or two - you may not even be aware of - that your ISP outright blocks. Yes, Time-Warner/Road Runner is more than likely blocking a site or two - or few hundred. Yes, the same for Cincinnati Bell/Fuse and OneNet and AOL doesn't even bother to hide that they block sites - they use it as a selling point. After all, it's for your own good and please, won't someone, think of the children?

OK. So maybe they're just blocking kiddie porn and that's a good thing, we'll agree. But they're not. What they're doing is far more insidious. Censoring content they don't like, slowing down traffic to sites that compete with them (throttling) and elimnating competition from small cities and towns that decide to skip the big providers and provide their own broadband and wireless services to their citizens.:


ISP Censorship

August, 2007
A Pearl Jam concert at Lollapalooza this past weekend seems to have been censored on AT&T’s Blue Room media showcase, causing quite an uproar from Pearl Jam, and other Internet (Internet) public service groups.

The argument centers around the need for net neutrality, which would even the playing field for ISPs and be in the better interest of the end consumer. When Pearl Jam’s performance morphed into a song about George Bush, asking him to “leave this world alone…and find another home,” it would appear that AT&T wasn’t too pleased with the medley, as these words were not heard in the Blue Room version of the concert. AT&T says that the censorship of this particular part of the concert was a mistake, but Pearl Jam thinks otherwise.

Pushing even harder for net neutrality as a stance against content “nannies” and media censorship, Pearl Jam and AT&T seem to be at odds on this particular argument. This is mainly because AT&T doesn’t regard this situation as a correlated issue to net neutrality. As AT&T only censored its own streaming version of Pearl Jam’s concert, it’s not very different from a broadcast or cable television station bleeping out profanity.
And the fact that AT&T was going along full steam with George Bush's illegal wiretapping of American citizens at the time, of course, had nothing to do with them censoring a lyric criticizing Bush at all.


ISP Throttling

Comcast advertised to the customers unlimited "Downloads at Crazy Fast Speeds". When their customers took them at their word, Comcast decided that certain types of traffice - say people downloading or sharing music on Bit Torrent (file sharing) sites - wasn't exactly what they had in mind.

So what did Comcast do? They simply started slowing down traffice to the sites they didn't like. And when their customers asked them about it, they lied and said no, they weren't doing that. And when it got out to the press, they lied again and changed their advertising. However their customers didn't let them off that easily.

November, 2007
Comcast Sued For Traffic Shaping
Plaintiff Jon Hart, represented by the Lexington Law Group, argues that Comcast's promises of providing internet connections that let users "Download at Crazy Fast Speeds" are false and misleading since Comcast limits downloads by transmitting "unauthorized hidden messages to the computers of customers" who use peer-to-peer file sharing software. Hart wants the court to force Comcast to stop interfering with the traffic.

February, 2010
Comcast P2P Throttling Settlement
Comcast has settled a class action over the whole throttling kerfuffle you might recall began right here in the forums at Broadband Reports back in 2007. Our users discovered that Comcast was throttling all upstream subscriber P2P traffic by forging user TCP reset packets, though Comcast repeatedly denied the practice to consumers, regulators and the press.

While Comcast has settled the case without admitting any fault, they're still fighting with the FCC in court, arguing that the agency lacks the authority to dictate how Comcast manages its network.

The outcome of that case drastically impacts the authority the FCC has over broadband ISPs. Consumer-focused policy folks like Art Brodsky and Harold Feld this week have been highlighting the carriers' one/two punch effort to strip the FCC of all authority moving forward. Should the FCC find itself on the losing end of that scenario, carriers in the future could simply ignore your complaints over heavy-handed throttling practices.

ISP's blocking competition

July, 2008
Municipal Cable Blocked by Time Warner
In Wilson, North Carolina, a small city of about 47,000 residents located in the middle of North Carolina, launched a $28M program to deliver cable services at much lower rates than local service providers Time Warner Cable and Embarq.

North Carolina’s State Senate has now proposed bills to not only effectively crippling or banning the local service, but also to prevent such services from getting funds under the broadband portion of the national Stimulus law.

The city, has blasted the move, launching a new blog and urging the state government to reject the initiative.

Brian Bowman, Public Affairs Manager for the City of Wilson, stated:
If the cable/phone companies really want a level playing field, they’d open their books just like we do in the spirit of open meetings and open records law. They don’t want a level playing field. They want to be the only team on the field.


These are only a few examples of what the future of the Internet will be if the giants of telecom that also function as ISP's are allowed to sidestep the FCC and have their own way.

Google and Verizon have the unmitigated gall to feel that they are entitled to hashing out how the rest of us would like to live and work on the Internet. Instead of having the vision to provide new and better service, their main goal is to tie us in servitude to whatever draconian measures they dream up.

Conservatives from John McCain to your average Tea Bagger have all jumped on the corporate bandwagon and as usual, are more than willing to sacrifice freedom to our corporate masters for the sheer sake of doing what they always do - vote against the best interest of everyone for the sake of a chosen few. So please, feel free to ignore all Republican, GOP, Tea Bagger conservative based rhetoric on Net Neutrality. And John "I Don't Even Use the Internet" McCain, really needs to stop because this is one issue, I can assure you he knows nothing about. I don't how to operate a fighter plane either, so I suppose this makes us even but I think we can safely assume that McCain's only interest in the Internet is whatever Verizon and Google tell him his interest will be. Please note that "John McCain's bullshit "Internet Freedom Act of 2009," which is exactly the opposite of what it sounds like."

Net neutrality, the way it is meant to be, will ensure exactly that. That giants like Google wouldn't be able to prevent people accessing my own humble little blog, despite the fact that they own Blogger, the site I publish on. That you can access every site in the same manner without interference.

That is the spirit of Net Neutrality and it it needs to be upheld at all costs.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

PNC Bank Should Start Shaking In Their Soulless Evil Corporate Boots About Right Now



I feel another lawsuit coming on. PNC Bank are the masters of this blatant robbery.

In a decision handed down late Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Alsup accused Wells Fargo of "profiteering" by changing its policies to process checks, debit card transactions and bill payments from the highest dollar amount to the lowest, rather than in the order the transactions took place. That helped drain customer bank accounts faster and drive up overdraft fees, a policy Alsup referred to as "gouging and profiteering."

"Internal bank memos and e-mails leave no doubt that, overdraft revenue being a big profit center,
the bank's dominant, indeed sole, motive was to maximize the number of overdrafts," Alsup wrote. That policy would "squeeze as much as possible" from customers with overdrafts, in particular from the 4 percent of customers who paid what he called "a whopping 40 percent of its total overdraft and returned-item revenue."

Read the entire article here. It's the stuff that dreams are made of. I've long since moved on to another bank that doesn't perpetrate this fraud, and has an online banking service that is tops in it's industry.

It's only a matter of time until PNC gets hit in the wallet for this same crime. I can't wait! The only language corporations understand is money and it's long past time they quit holding the American People for ransom.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Away we go

I saw the sign, several times. And I thought about going but, honestly, I am the stereotypical lazy American. I may have thought about going, but that's truly the most effort I had made to stopping my couch-potoato-itis. Or to be more exact, comfy-computer-chair-itis.

But then, I got the call. You know the one. One of my girlfriends. "Girl, I can't believe how much weight I've put on. I've got to do something about this."

Now mind you she's smaller than me and always has been. Where she could reasonably be called "thick" I passed the line into just plain "fat" ages ago. I know that may seem exceedingly hard on myself (omg, is TDG developing self-esteem issues?) where the word "fat" is only a few degrees removed from words like "terrorist" or "unemployed". Just know that I call myself "fat" yearning back to a gentler time where being fat was not a crime against humanity, but merely a descriptive word that was not meant in an unkindly way.

She was fairly frantic and a bit depressed. I've been there so I could more than sympathize. She's talked me through many a moment like this. Over partners and children and parents and jobs - our troubles thoroughly hashed over as girlfriends do. Sometimes a listening ear is all that is needed, but I felt this needed more. A call to action of sorts.

Of course, when she called, I was sitting at the computer, happily munching honey barbeque potato chips and sipping a bottle of water. And quicker than you can say "Google" I'd found a website declaring that there were 48 Zumba clases within a 5 mile radius of where I live.

Geesh.

So I'd seen the sign. And as it turned out, she had too. She travels the same stretch of road, and the conversation went like this.

"I saw this sign for one of the classes."

"Yeah, I've been seeing one too. "

It was only a matter of time before we realized we'd been seeing the same sign. And the class we'd both been seeing was listed on the website I found. Hmmmm....

Now mind you, even as we were searching and planning, I never really thought we'd end up going to the class. As outgoing as I may be in political and most social arenas, the thought of going to an aerobics class set me up for an echo of the remembered mental anguish of junior high gym class.

Yet, I had a sinking feeling that this was one time I was going to end up shaking my ample booty in a room full of strangers. Somehow, this would be the one time that didn't end up with making an excuse or coming up with a sudden emergency, although even in the back of my mind, I was already coming up with strategies to get out of going.

But my friendship loyalty won out.

"You're not gonna back out on me are you? Promise?"

I could only pray that there would be a big enough crowd to hide my just barely on rhythm machinations and hope that I wouldn't pass out. The last time I excercised on purpose had to be sometime in the mid 1990's. And I'd never attempted anything so ambitious as a group aerobics class.

But the day came and I found myself, unable to think of an excuse not to and really didn't want to. Not only had I promised, but maybe, just maybe, this might be one of those "first day of the rest of my life" kind of experiences". Maybe, just maybe, I wanted to go and do something - I've accepted and rather like being a big woman - I have no desire to be what American's call thin. Because even I've noticed that some of the "gains" I've made recently are maybe just a bit wearing and maybe, just maybe, I can stave off the shift from "fat" to "rotund" with just a tad bit of effort.

I strapped on the only pair of Reeboks I've ever owned, threw on the only the pair of stretch pants I own that could be remotely considered excercise wear and a t-shirt that, only later would I learn, was far to heavy for this first work out.

If they had put up signs, we couldn't have spred ourselves out more judiciously but there was no need. Just walking in the room, it was easy to tell, where one belonged. The experienced and exuberant took their places up front and in the middle of the large room, spread out at intervals. The newbies that were ready for a challenge took their places in the rear to the left. They may have been new to this particular class, but they certainly weren't new to the idea of it all. The truly new, rhythmless and various older folks staked out their spots in the middle but firmly to the rear, near the few chairs. The right and rear was definitively Fat Chicks corner, newbie or no. These would be my comrades who would tire and modify all dance moves to the level we could perform, no shame, no questions asked. We would drink more water, hug the fans as if they were lifelines and tip out early when we simply had nothing left.

But it was fun, this Zumba experience. And next week will find me back in Fat Chicks corner, eyeing my bottle of water, waiting for the end of the dance, and maybe just enjoying the motion and music. I may even last the entire hour. For now, my record is 45 minutes with several generous breaks.

Maybe, just maybe, it was the first day of the rest of my life.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Afghanistan but Were Afraid to Ask

Holy. Shit.

The traffic for this site is off the chain right now, so it may not load. Be patient or try again, today, tomorrow, the next day.

It doesn't matter when but you should read it. And then realize why our troops should come home.

Now.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dear President Obama: You Do Not Stand Alone

Dear President Obama,

So, yesterday was not such a good day. The GOP rallied up their troops over at FOX, they got some underdog soldier named Breitbart to fire a volley, that unfortunately, would have fallen well short of your castle walls, had all your frontline soldiers not blinked and scattered.

And I see you...this solitary figure....standing up on top of the castle, watching the volley fall well short of the castle, but all the figures in front of you, running, scattering, fearful...and for an instant you can't help but wonder: Is this all I have to work with?

The answer is no. Just turn around for one instant and you'll see. The rest of us are behind you. In great numbers. Many of us just waiting to push forward, defend and shore up the scattered troops in front.

Make no mistake, this is a battle. Use us. We are here. To fight the good fight, to blog, to talk, to counter and if necessary, burn FOX News to the ground.

But you have to stand with us. And you cannot blink. You have to believe that we won't fall for GOP nonsense. You must believe that the liberal cause is a good one. And you can't keep charting this middle of the road course because sir, everyone knows, the middle of the road is where you get run over by both sides.

But the left side of the road, is ready, willing and waiting for you to lead - and we will march - but you have to be willing to say the word - That the Tea Party has long passed it's 15 minute expiration date. That Van Jones and Shirley Sherrod didn't deserve what they got. That ACORN will be rebuilt and refunded.

That you can no longer be made to be ashamed of being black and President.

No more blinking sir. And know that we're behind you. We voted for you and make no mistake - we will kick ass for you.

Just say the word.

You do not stand alone.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fuck You Drew Curtis

Got banned from FARK today for pointing out that a lot of white people on FARK are racists. Mainly because their site members posted typically racist ass pictures in one of their Photoshop contests.

White people on FARK are allowed to post anything they want about black people whatsoever short of the N" word which doesn't get them banned, it's merely filtered.

People who point out that this policy is racist get banned. Drew Curtis, like most unenlightened white people, couldn't care less. He's a cowardly racist & misogynist who, like Seth McFarlane of Family Game fame, thinks rape jokes are funny.

So, a big FUCK YOU to Drew Curtis of Fark and second FUCK YOU in general to Seth McFarlane.

It never ceases to amaze me how white people reward their own for being racist and anti-woman.

Burn FOX to the Ground

Before I get to the fact that worthless FOX News needs to be reduced to ashes, I'm going to deal with my own first.

How many other black folks has Obama "distanced" himself from, wrongly, in order to save face?

How many more black people or organizations is Barack Obama willing to allow the right wing machine to destroy "for the greater good"?

How long until we burn the FOX News building to the ground?

If you're not hip, to what happened in the latest fiasco where FOX is spinning the narrative that "black people are more racist than white people" and how the Obama White House fell for it, hook, line and sinker, check it out here.

Our former Commander in Chief said it less eloquently. "Fool me once, shame on you? Me? Fool me once....can't get fooled again."

I'm going to put this smack dab in the lap of whoever is handling Obama's press and right now, they're going it about the wrong way and they look like punks.

From Rev. Wright, to Van Jones, to ACORN and now Shirley Sherrod, Obama is showing that he's willing to cut loose anbody and anything that looks like a "brown people" problem. He may alienate his supposedly "independent" white voters by their disillusion at his not being a magic negro, but the pereception of his black voters is going to quickly become that Obama doesn't want any problems with black folks. We are to stay in line as long he's president and if we don't, he'll drop us like a bad habit.

This too much mirrors the GOP and their "problem" with Michael Steele, and is too close to the Tea Baggers who want anyone that's not white to either get out of the country or "stay in their place". If Obama thinks black folks are going to vote for him by default, he needs to look at what happened to Ken Blackwell in Ohio when he ran for governor.

Obama got punk'd on this one, but he's been fooled too many times now and it makes for a sad view of our commander in chief, huddled in the oval office afraid of being associated with black people. I hate to break it to you Mr. President. You're black. You checked the box on your census already. Deal with it. If Bush can tell Brownie he was doing a "heckuva job", then you can put Shirley Sherrod back on the payroll. That would be a good start. Just admit the mistake AND WHY! It will be a healthy way to talk about race, just quit dodging it already and put it out there. Remember how you handled things at the GOP swap meet in Boston? Hell yeah. Bring out that guy again. We NEED that guy.

All that being said, I'm sick of FOX News controlling the narrative and honestly, I'm ready to head to New York and burn that sucka down. If you really want to start the revolution, it's time to get out in front of that damn building and flush those bastards out. Briebart, O'Reilly, Beck, Hannity and all the rest. Hang the bastards in effigy and keep up the pressure until they recant this bullshit publicly. I want 'em screaming uncle and I want them all fired. Forget going after their sponsors, I want to seem them out of a job. Period.

We need to put the Radical back in front of Left and make these people afraid again. Don't Tread On US.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Boehner, You Orange Inglorious B******


And so, I'm not the only one who's sick of John Boehner's bullshit. It seems the idea of him becoming Speaker of the House is so effing distasteful that some folks are sponsoring a billboard out in West Chester to point out that he's spending more time drinking and playing golf than he is doing whatever the hell he's supposed to be doing as a Congressperson.

So my promise is this: Once the billboard goes up, I will make a daily pilgramage to the billboard and do a dance under the sign for as long as it stays up.

Yep, I hate this Inglorious B****** that much.

This is one promise I intend to keep.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Time to Laugh at the GOP

Joe Scarborough, who I normally have no use for, actually managed to start out my day with some pretty good laughs with his comments over the GOP's nonsensical statements during the recent Supreme Court Nomination Hearings.


Watch the video here at Crooks and Liars
.

My comment:

What boggles the mind is - why aren't most Republican arguments and talking points treated in this same fashion by ALL of the media.

We can't really afford to laugh them off because they're sincere and their followers are zealouts - but honestly - it would be nice if the "MSM" just called it a wash and took Scarborough's example and just laughed the GOP out of existence.

Because honestly, most of their ideas and agenda are laughable if not just downright racist and divisive. Anything the GOP can do to drive a constant wedge between people with any sort of differences they do

straights against gays
whites against all minorities
evangelical christians against any other religion including other christians
natural born citizens against immigrants
rich against poor
men against women
employed against unemployed
working women against stay at home moms
military/police against civilians
America against any country that gets in our way

America is weary and broke. And I think Americans of all races, colors and creeds feel we've gotten far off our original track - that yes, we may have differences - hell yes, my people may have even been slaves and white folks the massas and we have screwed up this experiment called Liberty and Freedom more times than not...

But as a nation, it's time we grew up - put the old slings and arrows behind us; and the Republicans are the sad little grandpas holding us back to "a better time" that honestly, wasn't better.

The better times are ahead - in the future - if only we can get them off our backs.

And we can't do it by fighting them - much as they want to war with any country - we can't war with them in the same vein - we can only do it by laughter. It's the Colbert's and the Stuart's and yes, the occasional Scarborough's and all of us who are willing to finally laugh at the GOP thought Emperor - laugh our collective asses at them and point out that they truly have no clothes - and no hold on what is truly the American ideal...

Laugh and the world will laugh us.

Cry - and we're stuck with the GOP.

Alone.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Quick Takes

Oil Spill
Between Kevin Costner (Actor Kevin Costner Helps Fight Oil Spill) and Barack Obama's new A-Team of scientists (Obama Taps Crack Team Of Scientists To Do The Job BP Can't), they're gonna do what BP can't seem to figure out how to do - clean up and fix the oil disaster taking place in the gulf. Will this be the end of BP? I certainly hope so. Let them spend every last penny cleaning up this mess and compensating the people's who's livelihoods have been lost over this. Then hopefully, that will be the last we'll ever hear of BP.

America's Unofficial War With Pakistan
You may know that we still have troops in Iraq & everybody knows we're at war with Afghanistan even if we don't know why. But now we need to add the unofficial war we've got going on with Pakistan. Everybody knows about the attempted Time Square bombing by now and that is was attempted by someone from Pakistan, but the media is ridiculously complicit in asking the dumb question: "Oh noes! Why would people from Pakistan want to hurt us?"

The media knows the answer to that question and they're determined to make sure you don't find out. But here it is: It's because we're indiscriminately killing Pakistani civilians, including children (Bomb in Pakistan kills schoolgirls) which, in essence, makes us no better than Israel picking off the Palestinians. Hmmm...indiscriminate killing. No wonder Israel and America are so close. We have so much in common. See TruthDig's succinct summary here: Blowback: Why They Try to Bomb Us

Obama Jokes about Predator Drones

Remember Bush making the joke about being unable to find the weapons of mass destruction? Well Obama has his equivalent joke about predator drone strikes...yeah, the robotic planes we're using to drop bombs on Pakistan...the President thinks is funny. Jokes like this are why women sigh and claim that all men are stupid - and this time, Obama is no different. I hope Michelle popped him upside the head for this one when that insipid White House Correspondent's dinner was over. What is it about that stupid annual event that encourages Presidents to make the dumbest jokes? You don't get presidents as disparate as Bush & Obama, yet they've both made the same error in judgment, at the same event, on practically the same topic...killing people.

Kroger Boycott
I am still boycotting Kroger. It gets easier every day. I have simply re-routed my shopping to the Save-A-Lot in Northside (for such a tiny and run down store they have decidedly fresh produce even if the selection is not that large; but they had large collard greens in enormous bunches!) and Aldi at the corner of Galbraith & Pippin which I loved dearly even before the Kroger fiasco. Aldi meats are impeccably fresh & clean, whether frozen or refrigerated. Their off-brand (for America anyhow) canned goods & dairy are also always well priced. Shopping at Aldi is a learning curve, but well worth the time & effort - the prices can't be beat.

I've tried grocery shopping once at Wal-Mart but it was too depressing and I haven't been back. The store is too dimly lit, the aisles are dauntingly long, the dairy is miles away from anything else, and heaven forbid if you need health & beauty items(HBA). They don't keep any of them stocked on the grocery side so you have to walk ALLLLLLL the way past the women's wear, men's wear, baby's wear, electronics, automotive, housewares and art supplies just to get a lousy bottle of lotion. And in a dark little corner BEYOND that are the pet care items. No way am I putting myself through that again. I only go there for dog food now. One item, in & out. And it's worth shopping at 3 different stores (Save-A-Lot, Aldi & Walgreens) just so I never have to step foot in Kroger again. Yeah, they made me that mad and darn, I really miss Biggs.

Dancing Girls
Check out the video here. Yes, the parents are delusional if they see nothing wrong with this. Most of the dancing moves are not too bad, but the clothes the girls are dressed in serve to make the entire visual tantamount to kiddie porn. The fact that they got their dance ideas, not from the Beyonce video, but from the Chipmunks movie is a sad commentary on the unhealthy ways we over-sexualize children. That the parents don't know any better makes them dense beyond belief. It's not ok to put our daughters on display as if this is all they have to offer. As one comments:
SparkinNparkin
At least they willl be able to put this on a resume when they get their 1st job at the local strip club


I think it's telling that if you watch the video, you automatically age up the girls. How old are they? Seems they're either 8 or 9 depending on what report you read.

Good dancing but too suggestive and the stripper wear should never have been considered.