Monday, January 16, 2006

Maritn Luther King, Jr. Holiday

Spend some time today celebrating his life and legacy.

The King Center is an excellent place to start.


Blogger RR in FTL said...

Somehow today seemed the straw that broke the camel’s back. When the confirmation of Samuel Alito was announced, I openly wept in the presence of my grandson. I knew it was coming. I knew it was inevitable. But I cried nonetheless. The circle is now completed, the house, the senate, the judiciary, the constitution. They now control it all.

Shame on Tim Johnson and those like him, who don’t respresent their constituents and, more to the point, do not even vote their consciences, but vote in the hope of winning elections narrowly won last time. This country is doomed. I see that clearly now.

As a teenager during the “Cold War”, I sometimes paid attention to they hype about “the war to end all wars”. But, being a teenager, I was mercifully spared perpetual dread, being at times lost in thought of those things that preoccupy the minds of teenagers.

As an adult and parent of three children, two disabled, I was introduced to real fear. I hated Ronald Reagan for the hardships he inflicted on my children by cutting programs. The logic of providing assistance to mentally disabled children of “regardless of family means” and cutting services to all children who were otherwise disabled, i.e., those with physical disabilities, even those who could be educated and trained to lead productive lives, regardless of their income, escaped me. But Reagan made the decisions about who should be assisted and who should not.

I watched as my neighbor’s 13-year-old son, in a perpetual vegetative state, in diapers, blind, deaf, completely non-cognitive, and being fed through tubes, was picked up by a school bus daily, and sent to an "educational" facility to sit in his wheelchair for eight hours, before making the return trip home. I had to fight to get a walker and braces in order for my bright young daughter to be supported so that she could walk at school.

His father was a chemical engineer at Monsanto Corp. and his mother a stay-at-home mom. My husband and I struggled to make ends meet at our small business, until we lost it, compliments of the government, and until I ended up a single parent of three.

I watched as physical therapists and nurses visited my neighbor and I tried my best to administer p.t. three times daily to my daughter, as I had learned to do, while trying to save my home, feed my children, keep a roof over their heads, and work my 70 hour a week job. In addition, there were the counseling sessions three times a week and doctor visits for my younger daughter who had been hit by a car and received no settlement, the lawyer taking virtually the entire amount in the name of his “expenses”.
But not to worry, the sessions were billed to me on a “sliding scale”.

We lost just about everything a family could lose, except each other.

Yes, it did all begin with Ronald Reagan. I remember it well. Before Ronnie, parents could be home to dine with their children, it didn’t take two incomes to support and raise a family, jobs weren’t outsourced in order to provide huge bonuses to CEOs, and a family could occasionally look forward to a vacation, a break from the stressful day to day workathon. I have not had a vacation since 1981 when Ronald Reagan first took office. Probably never will have one.

And now comes this aberration, this George W. Bush, this un-indicted criminal. How did this happen. You have faith that, as a normal person of average astuteness, your peers share your view of reality. I fear I have few peers, for people of normal aptitude, people who know how to poke a hole in a punch card, would not have precipitated this present repulsion with that one poke.

Thank you Ronnie. As was your intent, we now live in a country where profit not only engorges the pockets of the wealthy it shapes the news. There is no “free press”. It’s all about the money, not the people, not their right to live, let alone exist, not about health care for all, not about anything but the goddamned money. When ninnies like Reagan and “pick a Bush”, can be elected to the highest office in the land, you know how they got there. It’s the money, stupid.

Now, I sit and watch as Iran awaits a potential assault by the U.S. Strike up the band and play “Get Rich or Die Tryin”. Yeah, let’s increase the mega fortunes of the already super wealthy. "It’s all about the money." And, don’t forget, a new “war” will certainly help the Repugnicans in the upcoming mid-term elections. It will allow those who seem not to be able to walk and chew gum (and they are many) to divert their attention from this administration’s attack on the constitution and its ongoing neo-con agenda for this country. And, while those “fortunate few” continue to expand their bank accounts, people will temporarily forget the fraud and deception that led this county into the illegal “war” with Iraq.

Sure, more young people will enlist. Right! Whachya gonna offer them. Less body armor, less health care, and longer tours of duty.

Along the way, China will be expanding its own pockets and power at the cost of the common man’s entire way of life on our country. As for the federal deficit, well let’s just suffice it to say that because of this administration, we now have (and no doubt will continue to have) the largest in the history of this country. The award for second place goes to none other than Daddy Bush. This family sure has a certain aptitude.

Of course, we will cut dramatically back on Medicare, Social Security, Education (What a joke, the under funded “No Child Left Behind”. The education president thinks that “exemplerary” is a word, one that he uttered not once, but twice on 60 Minutes while campaigning in 2000) and other services for the needy, elderly, and…..oh, we Baby Boomers, ….what can I say but, “FORGET ABOUT IT!”

Hey, how about that Outsourcing! People like my husband will continue to work a job for twenty years, only to be laid off, without warning, and at an age when they need it most, will find themselves hanging on for dear life. And good luck with that!

Health insurance - gone. Salary - gone. Live off those savings and dream about how in a once-upon-a-time world, you could have one day retired. KEEP DREAMIN’ AND HANGIN’ ON, YOU WAGE SLAVES.

Of course, that’s an overgeneralization. Some will retire quite nicely.

Come on guys, what about those contracts for Halliburton and other Bush cronies in Iraq, what about Valerie Plame, what about the torture, what about that Downing Street memo, what about FEMA, Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, Ken Lay (whom the president “doesn’t really know, but to whom he sends hand-written birthday notes:
Dear Ken:
One of the sad things about old friends is that they seem to be getting older -- just like you!
55 years old. Wow! That is really old.
Thank goodness you have such a young, beautiful wife.
Laura and I value our friendship with you. Best wishes to Linda, your family, and friends.
Your younger friend,
George W. Bush), Jack Abramoff (whom the president doesn’t know, but with whom he has been photographed repeatedly).

what about, What About, WHAT ABOUT??? What the hell warrants an investigation? A blow job? Oh, yeah, I forgot. You did investigate illegal use of steroids among ball players. Yippee. That affected the lives of the people of this country greatly. Gotta remember those family values, whether we take care of those families or not.

What are the Repugnicans doing? Not a peep. Not even from that "renegade" from Arizona, John McCain.

You remember Harry Truman, don’t you? He shook his head and investigated allegations of wrongdoing in a democratic administration ( I believe that was about contracts). But then again he was a democrat. Lyndon Johnson was criticized for his Vietnam policies – by Democrats. They felt it was their duty. It was their job.

The federal deficit is huge, middle class is quickly becoming non-existent, illegal wars where thousands of our young are meaninglessly dying (the result of an “appointed by the supreme court” president), freedoms disappearing, corruption throughout the government, health insurance gone at an age when you need it most, cutbacks in education. Watch out social security. Watch out Medicare. Another war is a’comin and you’re gonna pay.

"We have to unite with our allies against all enemies to democracy. Problem! We don’t have any allies. We alienated them all. The once admired United States has become the most hated country in the world and viewed by many as the most dangerous. Seems some cannot be bought. That’s funny. BOUGHT! WITH WHAT?

This administration inherited a vigorous economy, a policy that favored education, improving the environment, a policy that recognized the need for health care for all, inherited the strongest military in the world, one that was the envy of the free world. It took all that and proceeded to piss it away and twist it into something unrecognizable, a malignancy of unprecedented proportions.

All that, and yet another, the 2004 “, election“ favors this administration? As Congressman Peter King (R) stated in 2003, “It’s all over, but the counting, and we’ll take care of the counting”. That they did, along with their pals from Diebold.

One can only hope that this war, this period, this administration, are not all the beginning of a new and nefarious age. That it is not the true story of our times, a terrible dream from which we will wake up one day only to realize what we've lost – our freedoms, our liberty, our wealth, our health, our sanity, our lives.

Never before, even as that teenager growing up during the “cold war” have I felt that the end might truly be near. I fear, not for myself, but my children, my grandchildren, the children next door, down the street, around the world. I fear for them all, for now I believe that our way of life has been permanently and catastrophically changed.

This aberration, this George W. Bush, has run this country like he ran oh, shall we say Arbusto Energy. That is to say, into the ground. And soon the ground will be all that is left. Daddy won’t be able to bail him out of this one. Hell, daddy probably won’t even be able to save himself. And sonny will dodge taking responsibility for all these failures just like he dodged the draft.

I know that I am rambling, but there is so much that I am overwhelmed. I used to know where to begin and where to stop. Now, I don’t even know where I am going. I’m tired of hoping, tired or praying (yes, progressives do pray), tired of listening, tired of waiting.

You say, express yourself in your vote. You know what, I’m almost tired of voting. Why, what’s the difference any more? Is there any point in this futility? I have made donations, phone calls, emails, signed petitions. So what? So nothing. I’m just tired. All that’s left is the worry and frustration. And, all I wanted to do was speak my mind and my heart.

The world as it could have been, bright, filled with hope, intelligent thought, peaceful coexistence, healthful environments, concern for our fellow human beings, will not come to be. Hope has been shattered, by…. well, you know. Why repeat myself.

I think I’ll rest now, just for a few minutes. That’s all I have. In addition to my job, ( I work at night), I watch my grandson full time during the day, so my children can afford to work. But I guess that’s just part of this same story isn’t it?


2:33 PM, February 01, 2006  

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