Thursday, May 15, 2014

A little of this, a little of that.

I've been having some trouble with my post office. I thought it was done, after finally visiting the PO, putting in writing, as suggested by the postmaster, that my mail could go in my tiny little mailbox, but that packages needed to be left at my door. The box is so small, I've had magazines, books, and other things ruined while trying to get them out of the box. Or when they shoved them in the box. I told all of this to someone at the national level, and to my postmaster. 

A couple of weeks went by just fine. Packages on my door step (It's upstairs, one flight), mail in my box. And then, again, packages in my box. So, I put a note on the delivery side of my mailbox (one of six, each about 5 X 5 inches) that packages were not to be put into the mailbox, but delivered to my door. The next day, scrawled on the back of one of my incoming mail, was this note:

"We put packages were (sic) it's best for our time. We are on a schedull (sic) so if putting in mailbox is better that't what we have to do."

Hmmm. So, my postal service is at the convenience of the delivery person. News to me. Especially since the postmaster of my local post office and told me that the note I gave him would solve the problem. 

So, once again I call the USPS, since I can't call the postoffice. (Well, I can call, but no one ever, ever answers the phone there, not between 7:30 am and 5:30 pm). I get some guy there who says he can't help me. That it's up to the postmaster of my local PO to handle it. And remember, the PO is understaffed!.

You know, I commiserate with this guy. The PO is being killed by the jackasses in Congress (but then, who isn't?). I know theyre understaffed. I know it's hard when money is tight. I still don't think that's an excuse for rude behavior and failure to do their job. So, once again, I'm off to my semi-local local postoffice, to ask, again, for them to stop smashing my packages into a mailbox designed to hold only letters and such.

Another high point this week was watching Marco Rubio explain how his "knowing about abortion" meant he could deny climate change. Right. Or Karl Rove, explaining how he didn't say Hilary Clinton had brain damage when he questioned her mental fitness for office because she was wearing "those glasses that are only for people with traumatic brain injury". Right. (I loved Jon Stewart's take on it, Brainghazi!) And nearly every Republican mocking the #Bring back our girls poster held by Michelle Obama. 

My father was a Goldwater republican. Conservative really meant something to him. But today? He'd be deeply ashamed of Republicans, and angry at what they are doing to the country he so loved. Thank God he didn't live to see the mockery they've made of this.

The seas are rising, the poor are villified, women are fighting to be treated as equal, again, to have charge of our bodies, our lives, our work, again. Money is the key to political success, and our Supreme Court seems to favor oligarchies, not democracies. 

Our Congress seems to have lost its way. Or been hijacked by idiots, at least. And yet, the public, which so strongly disapproves of Congress, keeps voting the idiots back into office. I'm lucky, I guess, to be living in a progressive state, California. My senate and house reps usually fight the good fight. Not always, but usually. But, you know, where you live in these United States should not be the determining factor in what government does for you and to you. The federal government should level the playing field, not put up roadblocks and blow up dams to make it harder. 

I retired this year from teaching, after 25 years. I was tired of it by then. Sure the kids were less well-mannered and more needy, but what tired me out so much was the  policies and programs foisted on teachers by every Tom, Dick, and Koch around. In the 23 years I was at the same school, I had 7 principals. A couple of whom were truly awful (one was terminated in April after we revolted and she committed a crime, one was returned to the classroom at the end of his third year), but most of them truly wanted to be good. And were handicapped by the central office, who was handicapped by the state and federal government. And so, each year, more and more days were spent out of the classroom, being "taught" a new trick to success. Our kids spend 180 days in class. Tell me how having a substitute for 15 to 20 of those days leads to success. I retired because I realized, even with the Common Core, which I liked, it was still, forever, going to be a circus of unending new programs, new policies. And one-day seminars were never going to be enough, but were too much time to be missing from my classroom. 

I am 61 years old, and I have been a liberal (only now I guess I'm called a progressive instead, since the Repugnacans killed "liberal") I have been active throughout my life ~ participating in protests, donating to causes and candidates (not just local ones, but progressives where ever they ran for office), signing petitions, calling representatives, phonebanking during elections. I don't regret a single moment of it, but really, after more than 42 years of it, I have to ask, why wasn't it enough? Why is the country worse today than it was when I was a kid? Sure, we've made serious progress on civil rights for blacks, Hispanics, and gays. But women haven't made much progress at all. We're fighting the same abortion fight I fought in my 20s. Corruption in government is higher than ever, and apparently doesn't even disqualify you from serving a member of Congress. (When did become okay to put criminals in office?) The "good ole boy" network is running strong all across the country, welfare daddys are raising armies of thugs with guns to protect their public mooching. 

What in the hell happened to us?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

What is wrong with America?

I've been reading the news for quite a long time, and each day it seems as if another crazy Republican says something incredibly stupid and/or offensive. And Fox News(? Is it really news when they apply an extreme bias to how it's told?) can't seem to stop cheering for people who are at best dangerous lunatics.

What else can you call a person who threatens to shoot Federal employees for doing their job, because he doesn't want to pay the Fed what he owes them? I mean, seriously, he spouts absolute drivel, is engaging in armed insurrection, and is totally insane. And Fox News and Republican reps and senators hold this a*&hole in high regard? (Oh, wait, once Bundy began to sound wackyracist, the praise for him began a slow decline, but his armed insurrection continues to be praised.

If Bundy doesn't want to pay the government for the land he is using, fine. Let him find some other rancher who would let him graze for free. (Only you can't, you know. Private lands cost money when you want to eat off their land.) But when you've already spent 20 years freeloading off public lands, you can't seriously believe you have a right to defy the government over collecting the fees you agreed to pay 20 years ago.  And public land doesn't belong to Bundy. It belongs to me, and you, and you, and you. We pay through our taxes to help support the public lands. We pay fees that help support the public lands when we use them.  We all pay to hire people to protect the land, and the people using them, from all sorts of dangers. Those public lands are held in trust for our children, their children, and their children's children. Not for Bundy.

And frankly, I am appalled by the media apparently coddling this traitor. The Constitution does not include the right to violently overthrow the duly elected government. No where. Yet, here is a man who, after using the government for his entire life, has decided to round up a bunch of highly unstable, trigger-happy, delusional bully boys to defend his right to mooch off the public. And those bully boys are now putting up checkpoints on public roads, and demanding proof you have a right to be there? Oh, and let's not forget their first plan. To put their wives out in front, so that if shooting began, seeing those women die would be the most effective propaganda for these idiots. What in God's name is going on that all of America sits here twiddling its thumbs while a blatant insurrection is happening? 

I do agree that the embattled BLM agents did the right thing, and backed away from this traitorous action. I don't agree, however, that the best policy is to do nothing. Freeze all their assets. Make sure they don't have the funds to buy more guns and ammunition. Call out the National Guard and blockade the Bundy ranch. Arrest anyone trying to enter the ranch on charges of treason, for participating in Bundy's attempt to overthrow the legitimate government. ( Just listen to his demented demands to confiscate the guns of federal agent and deliver those guns to him. To "free" all the parks by demolishing their Service buildings and entrance gates. To basically set himself up as the new government.)

Unfortunately for Bundy, he is a citizen of these United States, and not the state in which he resides. Citizenship is a nation's designation, not a state's. The fact that he doesn't "believe" in the federal government speaks to his insanity, and not to his defense. He has no legitimate defense. He's just a whiney, despicable man, with delusions of grandeur. And in armed rebellion against the United States of America. All those pundits and broadcasters who "admire" his stand against our government are supporting a violent overthrow of our government. They should really think twice about what they are saying, and what they are supporting. Giving aid to the enemy isn't smart. Or legal.