Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Morning Musings

Our newly elected Congress has proposed a budget that largely will defund programs that serve the elderly, the poor, women and children. Agencies that protect and watch the environment, no money for you!

See, dear working class and you people still managing to cling to your middle class status, times are tough. We all must make sacrifices. We all must share the pain.

Unless, of course, you are in the top levels of personal income, then Congress stayed late over Christmas to make sure your tax cuts stayed in place.

You know, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, those tax cuts that President Bush implemented way back in 2001 so that the rich could create jobs for us poor slobs? Um, have you seen a vast upsurge in jobs over the past 10 years? Cos I haven't.

And, of course, the big oil companies aren't taking any reductions in the estimated four billion, yes, BILLION A YEAR in subsidies they get from the taxpayers.

And yet, WIC, which assists with specific, high nutrition food items for poor WORKING families is going to loose $758 million. Here is a factlet: an entry level soldier in the army who is married and has a child would have an income to qualify his family for WIC.

So, Congress has decreed that you can die for your country, but your country won't buy your child a gallon of milk.

I bet they all got yellow ribbons on their cars too.

And yet, Title X which provides pap smears, mammograms, birth control and STD treatment, including testing and counseling for HIV, they are losing $327 million.

I guess Congress thinks that if all those damn poor women just die of cervical and breast cancer, oh well.

And if they have more children because they don't have access to reliable birth control, well, then we can just vilify them even more, can't we?

Wonder if they participate in Komen runs for breast cancer awareness and wear pink ribbons?

Both these programs could be funded from the money given to oil companies. And more. Seriously, I'm beginning to think that they do just want all us poor people to just hurry up and die so we'll stop getting in the way of the profit margins of the corporate citizens they really want to serve.

Big corporations have the money to buy influence, but we are the people who walk into the voting booths and push the buttons.

Let's start to remind them of that.

If they get one or two emails, they hit delete and it never gets beyond the intern they hired to screen the mail. They start getting thousands, and they have to pay attention.

Come on people. Hit the link, follow the "contact" links, fill in the form. It's so easy, you don't even have to walk out to your mail box! Or spend money on a stamp. Just quick, before checking your email or twitter or facebook or favorite blogs, zip out a note to your representative and senators, tell them what you want them to do or not do.

Pretty please, with sugar on top????

Thor sez: Only you can prevent corporate takeover of government!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thor's Day!

Random funny Thor because he wouldn't snuggle with me today.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My letters to my two Senators, now that the House of Representatives has passed the shameful CR bill that almost exclusively attacks poor women and children and will put many, many more Americans out of work:

I am writing the wake of the House of Representatives passage of their Continuing Resolutions Bill outlining their proposed budget cuts. I am concerned about two areas selected for cuts. $758 million from the WIC (women, infants and children) program and the $327 million from Family Planning.

I am a registered nurse and work as a neonatal nurse. Women and children are my business.

First off, let me say that I know that "tough decisions" must be made regarding the budget. However, to make those decisions on the backs of those who have the least resources seems punitive and cruel coming weeks after the wealthiest of Americans were saved from paying more taxes. They have resources.

They do not depend on the public family planning clinic for a pap smear or a mammogram or birth control. They do not depend on the clinic for treatment of STD's. And these clinics do not provide abortions.

As for WIC, I find it more than embarrassing that entry level firefighters, police officers, teachers and our military service men and women have incomes to quality their families for WIC services.

So, the House of Representatives of the United States of America is saying to our fine military families, "You can die for us, but we won't help buy your children a gallon of milk or a jar of peanut butter?"

That, sir, is not the America that my father, a career Air Force man, taught me to love and respect. Please work to ensure that these programs, so vital in such a poor state as South Carolina do not go unfunded.

Just click and type. Only took me about 15 minutes to send one to each of my Senators.

Please, people, I'm serious. If our representatives get a few emails, they ignore them because they owe the special interests groups more than they owe us. But if they start to get thousands of emails from the people who actually walk into the voting booths and push the buttons, they HAVE to start paying attention.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Teh Stoopid, It Bernz

I know I shouldn't be doing this because it an exercise in losing faith with the inherent intelligence and goodness of humankind, but there was a letter to the editor in today's Post and Courier.

The author, who I'm sure thought he was being so sharply witty, opined that the people in Egypt could be out protesting because the 1.5 billion dollars in yearly US aid sent to their country would pay for the days off from their jobs.

Um. Uh. Seriously?

The most charitable thought I can come up with is that the letter writer is being disingenuous on purpose just so he can make a snide comment.

Perhaps the people out protesting don't have jobs because the corrupt regime at the top is keeping all the money for themselves?

Just sorta tossing that out there, ya know? I'm just asking, okay?

Perhaps the oligarchs in America should look into this phenomenon.

The boyz say: Just keep the Fancy Feast coming and there will be no feline protests.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Let Us Begin Here

The US House of Representative's House Appropriations Committee has announced a Continuing Resolution Bill that contains an entire laundry list of budget cuts.

Among the cuts are 758 million dollars to WIC, otherwise known as women, children and infants. This service provides food assistance to low income families with children under the age of 5 and pregnant women. They also provide breastfeeding assistance and supplies when necessary. If you have a child with special needs for formula, they can also assist you with that. Contrary to what you may have been told, WIC is not a program for welfare mothers. Military families, families of police officers and firefighters, entry level teachers, all have incomes that qualify them for WIC assistance. So, your husband can go risk his life for his country, but his country can't help you feed his child.

And then there are the Title X cuts, found under family planning. 327 million dollars. Let's get this correct right up front:


Let me repeat that:


The public family planning clinics that rely on these funds do not provide abortions. They provide pap smears, mammograms, birth control, treatment for STDs, and pregnancy testing.

NO ABORTIONS. If anyone tells you they do, they are lying to you.

So, what will happen once the public family planning clinics are shut down? Do you think people will stop needing reproductive health care?

Or do you think they will just go to the emergency room and cost ten times more?

So, remember those links in the previous post on how to find your representatives? Did you put their email addresses in your address book? No???

Well, do it now.

Here is how I write a letter to my congressman:

Dear Congressman Scott:

I am deeply concerned about the House Appropriations Committee's Continuing Resolution Bill that includes cuts of $758 million dollars to WIC and $327 million dollars to Family Planning Services.

As you know, the tricounty area has a large population of poor and working poor and now chronically unemployed who desperately need the services provided by these agencies.

I know tough decisions must be made, but to make them at the expense of those who have no other resources is nothing short of cruelty. And it will not even save money in the long run, as people will turn to emergency rooms for care. Then hospitals will have to recoup the losses by raising their costs for others, then insurance companies will begin to limit services and payments in response to the hospitals higher costs.

And to cut WIC services when so many of our servicemen and women depend on the food provided by this agency to supplement their low income, is an embarrassment to our nation. You will ask a parent to go die for his/her country, but you won't buy his/her child a gallon of milk?

Please work to eliminate these two crucial services from the chopping block.

Thank you,

Janet L. Nye
Charleston, SC

See? Easy cheesy, breezy.

Your turn!

And it's 1, 2, 3, 4, What Are We Fighting For?

Back then it was a question about Vietnam, today it's the question I asked of my fellow working class and that most endangered of cultural species, the middle class.

Why are we fighting?

Why are we fighting while the rich laugh themselves silly over how stupid we are as to have let them systematically dismantle every protection given to the poor, the near poor and the two paychecks from poor in this nation?

Why do oil companies, on top of record profits counted in the billions, get federal money in subsidies and tax breaks to the tune of approximately four billion dollars a year, but we are snarling at each other over Title X funding, that provides family planning, birth control and reproductive health care (pap smears, mammograms, treatment for STD's including testing and screening for HIV. Oh, and state run family planning clinics do NOT provide abortions, don't try to tell me that they do because they DO NOT.)

Really, America? Multi-trillion dollar companies get federal funding and we shrug our shoulders, but god help a poor woman who wants a pap smear? We turn on her like a pack of mad dogs furious that she dare take one penny of our hard earned money.

As the brave people of the Middle East begin to stand up against autocratic rule, we watch the situation in Wisconsin, where ordinary Americans are standing up for themselves also.

Look at what has been happening. Most of the budget deficit could be amended by letting the Bush era tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans expire. (And if we can't do it because they create jobs, where are all the jobs they created since the tax cuts went into effect? In India, that's where.)

But look, really look at what they are doing, people. The wealthy get a pass on those "tough decisions" that have to be made.

Budget trimming is effecting the poor, children, women, the elderly and the disabled.

Those with power and resources are not being affected one bit.

Those least able to defend themselves are bearing the brunt of these "tough decisions".

And the networks that have been bought by those powerful wealthy, are feeding us a steady diet of hatred for one another. They lie, they mislead, they villify left or right or poor or brown skinned.

We have got to stop fighting with each other and stand together against the oligarchy.

Begin here: Find your representative's email address. Put it in your address book. Whenever an important issue is being discussed, write to him/her and let your opinion be known. If they get one email, they delete it, but if they start getting thousands, they have to respond. It only takes a minute, come on people, miss the first few minutes of American Idol.

Then find your Senator's email address. Repeat.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Loki Sunday

Loki and the water fountain.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thor's Day!

We all know that Thor is the cutest hambone on the planet. Soon, perhaps, the world will also!

See if you recognize this little face.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Inside Out

I'm redoing my master bedroom and bathroom. New furniture (the first time I'll have matching furniture in that room), new bedding, new paint colors. Everything.

Yesterday, I was coming home from Home Depot (because the guy at Lowe's was so rude, I told him that I was pretty sure Home Depot sold paint also and walked out). I had gotten my new paint color and was coming home to spend a crazy day of speed painting so I could finally finish up this phase so poor Jason could stop sleeping on the couch. (I used the low VOC paint and it didn't bother me, but poor fellow is in the middle of a week with no allergy meds in preparation for an allergists appointment on Friday.)

Anyway, stuck between my storm door and the door frame was another card for my card collection. I now have ten business cards left on my front door or handed to me directly by working men, who while driving by my poor house, felt so compelled to stop and offer me their painting services.

So, yes, the exterior of my house could use some sprucing up. I mean, it isn't horrible, falling apart, crack house looking. It could use some paint. The landscaping could be spruced up. The twin tracks of what used to be concrete, originally poured in 1960, could be revamped a little.

But yesterday it struck me, as I walked in with my gallon of interior paint, into the front room that I repainted and fixed up last year, through the kitchen that is half way through it's sprucing, into the back room that I just freshened up a few months ago (rearranged furniture, added a few lamps) and into the laundry room that a couple of years ago, I brightened up with a Mediterranean feeling bright blue and blinding white paint job.

The outside of my house gives you no clue as to how the inside looks.

And isn't that true with us as humans, also?

You hear that your house is a reflection of you by people wanting you to spend tons of money polishing up the outside of your house.

But the home is on the inside, not the outside. Inside is where I spend most of my time, the outside gets a look on my way in or out.

So, like my house, my outside is a little shaggy, a little dinged and wrinkled, a little neglected (ask poor Autumn who is in charge of my Brezhnev worthy eyebrows).

But my insides are the best they have been ever. I am constantly improving and learning about myself. I have been at a great place of comfort with myself, who I am and my place in this world for at least a decade now.

So I suppose my house is a reflection of me, but you've got to stop, come inside and spend a little time to understand what you are seeing. A drive by will tell you nothing.

The boyz say: I thought we were the best part of inside the house.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


The painting of the master bedroom and bathroom is done. Holy cats. I don't care if the paint turns to dust and falls off the walls, I am never painting in there again.

But, I am very happy with the new color. And I used the one I didn't like for the doors, it's a soft white, I thought it would have more of a blue/gray undertone, but it didn't which was why I didn't like it for the walls. So, a nice icy blue on the walls and this white for contrast.

Found some awesome light switch plates in silver today. The furniture I'm going to order, the dresser and nightstands have silver pull knobs, and the lamps I found are sliver with white shades. The bedding is a gray/silver with ice blue, a dusky blue and brown.

Waiting for Uncle Sam to return the money he borrowed last year and I can order the furniture and start putting things together.

Only two painting incidents today. I banged the heck out of my head under the sink, and forgetting I had the bathroom window wide open, let loose with a string of swear words that would have made a Hell's Angel blush. I hope the neighbor wasn't in his back yard. And Thor, who was supervising the entire painting project, sat down in some paint so needed his hind end washed. Let me tell you how fun that was.

Thor sez: I should report you to OSHA for having paint at cat butt level.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Loki Monday Valentine!

It's been a strange week or so. Overtime, root canal. Then I painted the master bedroom and bath. Had to use primer. So primed. Then painted. And now I don't like the color I picked out. So I have to paint again.

But first, the gum over the root canal tooth had been irritated after the procedure and last night decided to swell up and become exquisitely painful.

So back to the endodontist and who knows what he's gonna want to do about it, but I'm sure it isn't anything I'd volunteer to spend my valentine's day doing.

I don't think Valentine's Day is Loki's favorite holiday. (I think it's Cat Nip Day)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thor's Day

There is no 'tude like Thorbitude.

He's mad at me for working so much this last week.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Not Dead

I know, I know! The premature baby stork and the term baby stork got together and played a joke on us at work. I've been working. Night 4 of 5 tonight, then root canal Thursday afternoon.

I know how to have a week!

Here's your moment of kitten zen:

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Thor's Day!

Things Thor has destroyed:

This rug.

Several bras.

This laundry basket.

Thor sez: You knew I was a cat when you brought me home, human. Deal. Then feed me.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


Two thoughts that prove I'm such a pessimistic optimist:

1) I am breathlessly watching Tunisia, Egypt and the Middle East, hoping that the overwhelming majority of young people in the region(some countries have up to 50% of the population under 25)are finally taking their future into their own hands and are going to bring peace, stability and a more democratic society to the region because that is the only true way to peace.

2) I am hoping at the very least, the turmoil in the middle east will keep the terrorist organizations too busy fighting amongst themselves to bother us.

Two things I'm excited about:

1) I ordered the new bed set for my bedroom make over, so I can choose paint colors.

2) I know I'm not weighing myself until my doctor's appointment in June, but my waist measurement has dropped an inch in the week and a half that I've been watching my intake more carefully.

Two decisions I have made:

1) I'm going to stop shopping for agents for my completed novel, Since I've Been Loving You. I'm going to finish part one of the little romance novel I'm working on, get part two through at least the first re-write and have part three outlined, then begin to shop it. If I get an agent and by some great stroke of karma, it actually makes it to a publisher, I can always whip out Since as my "serious" novel later.

2) I'm not going to paint the outside of the house, but have vinyl siding installed. Just need to investigate financing and decide when to do it. I'll have one outstanding loan paid off in two months, and my car will be paid off in a year (with still less than 50,000 miles on it, boo-yeah!).

Two reasons y'all keep coming back. (Vintage kitten)

Yes, they are standing in water. Being Viking Kittens, they are fascinated by the maelstrom of the drain.

Guarding Valhalla.