Saturday, April 24, 2010

Quality of Life

Living in the U.S. can be maddening. We’re wealthy enough that a utopian quality of life existence seems possible but it’s always just out of reach. Happiness almost seems like an arrogant goal in light of the poverty and oppression in the world.

Corporations are keeping it that way.

I’m convinced corporations are using tools like religion and greed to keep our noses to the grindstone. Maximize production and minimize cost. Remember God is watching. Everyone is completely stressed out.

People are taught that community means Communism.

We Americans are rugged individualists. We won’t support lazy parasites that drive their Cadillacs to the welfare office.

Wedges are driven between us. Karl Rove proved you could get an absolute boob elected by polarizing everyone and winning by 51%. I’ll never forget Bush calling his 51% a mandate from the people that gave him political capital he intended to spend.

Why is power so important to these people?

Life is short and we’re not earning points for an afterlife.

What can we do to shift the focus back to quality of life?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Up Front Response to Troubling Times Post

I’ve decided to respond to the kindly doctor’s comment on my Troubling Times post right up front.

I don't view taxes as theft or the result of greed. We need infrastructure.We are a society with shared needs. Lobbyist buying access to our representatives is another story.

The greatest economic engine this county has ever seen was during the Eisenhower administration. We were at a 91% tax rate. We were at 50% under Reagan. Obama wants to take us from 35% to 46%. Who’s the socialist?

Unfortunately we’ve based our economic growth on unlimited growth which is unsustainable. We need to stabilize.

We also have to curb our population growth which would require a different model anyway.


I drive around all day for a living. I find myself listening to a lot of talk radio. Everything but NPR is a screaming right wing nut talking about the liberal media. I’d like to know where they are!

There is one exception. In St. Louis we have a TV newsperson that does talk radio from 10:00 to noon with a different point of view. Charles Jaco on KTRS is a breath of fresh air as far as I’m concerned. I’ve actually found myself calling in.

A couple of days ago he was complaining about Obama cutting the manned space program. I called in to disagree with him.

Let me back up a little. First when people say we have more important things to spend our money on than NASA they’re not getting the picture. They seem to be under the impression that huge amounts of money are thrown at the program. The military spends more on toilet paper than NASA gets.

What I can’t believe gets missed is NASA’a payback. It’s permeated our whole society. Look at transistors, computers, laser technology and medicine. If I took the time to do a little research I could fill a book.

My disagreement with Charles was the very premise. Right now manned space exploration is bad science.

In a very rare case of Bush taking a lesson from history, in 2004 he announced an edict that NASA put a man on Mars. He was slipping in the polls and saw that Kennedy’s desire to see a man on the moon met with overwhelming public approval.

It became another one of Bush’s unfunded mandates. NASA needed between two hundred fifty billion and a trillion dollars to pull it off. Bush gave them one billion and walked away.

His total disregard for science has always been painfully evident.

We need to be focusing on robotics for exploration. We need to learn to generate oxygen and fuel on distant planets before we even think about going there. The logistics of keeping a human body alive would eat up exponentially more resources.

Bush is a perfect example of most people’s disregard for science and technology. If we are ever going to survive ourselves we have to start having a respect for science and education in general. The marching moron mentality is killing us!

I feel better now that I have that off my chest.

Oh, one more thing about calling the station. Charles was off the other day and Paul Harris took his place. Paul is decidedly more innocuous than Charles.

The big scandal in Missouri was the Budweiser bottler in Columbia sending expired beer to the local landfill. Two waste management employees took a company truck and made off with fifty cases of beer. They were caught by video surveillance. One of them resigned immediately and the other is expecting to be fired.

Paul was trying to figure out why they’d be fired for stealing garbage from a land fill, but what he really had a hard time understanding was the idea that beer expired.

My personal blog this week is about my skydiving experiences. I tried to call in to Paul with an anecdote based on an experience I had at a drop zone.

Budweiser bottled a millennium beer in a champing bottle for the year 2000. In the spring of 2001 we had a refrigerator at the airport full of them. I took several to a picnic. When they were opened the unmistakable odor of skunk filled the air, even though we were outdoors. They had turned into Heineken.

Beer does indeed expire. We drank them anyway.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Troubling Times

We are living in very troubling times. When I hear anyone using the word Socialist these days, I pictures strings being manipulated by Corporate America. These people have no idea what socialism is and have absolutely no knowledge of history.

When the Supreme Court decided Corporations could make unrestrained political contributions the argument was they had the same right to freedom of speech as the rest of us. I beg to differ.

Not only are they not human individuals without even the right to vote, but their access to money give individuals less access to our freedom of speech. Money talks in America and now my voice will go almost unheard.

They’ve already got the mindless masses marching to their tune. I doubt the Tea Party even understands what Astroturf means.

These people don’t believe in evolution, human influenced climate change or the idea that government is all of us. We have a right to health care, education, cops, firemen, roads, and the pursuit of happiness. Because we’re civilized!!!

A Tea Party person I know was asking why I hated Republicans so much. I said they were the party of greed and xenophobia. He asked me what was wrong with greed. (I don’t think he knew what xenophobia was.)

I’d have to say any time anyone is robbed greed has something to do with it. At its most simple that’s what’s wrong with greed. Multiply that times the complexities of human experience and most of us end up screwed!

We already have a right leaning Supreme Court so I was happy to hear John Stevens decided to retire early enough for Obama to pick his replacement. The party of no will bog down the process until after elections. It probably doesn’t matter. Obama will probably find someone to the right of Robert Bork anyway. I believe he's too much of a coward to put up a fight.

I can’t believe the press is letting the Right get away with calling him a Socialist, Commie, fag. His approach to war, big business, and social issues is right out of the Republican play book. What would they do to a real lefty?

Probably nothing if he was white.