Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sometimes I want to smack a baby boomer

Anyone listen to Weekend Edition on NPR this morning?  The very epitome of the baby boomers was talking about her latest book.  Her mother had become very old, so of course in true boomer fashion she focused exclusively on how this affected HER and HER adjustments.  All I could think of was that whiny charactor Hope from the show 30 Something.

Remember them?  That self-centered group of so-called adults, facing life like every single adult has in the years since our ancestors crawled out of the primordial soup?  But because it was happening to THEM boomers had to moan and kvetch and analyse to death everything little thing.  Forgetting entirely that their own parents had done it all during a world war.  I'm a tail-end boomer myself, but I never identified with them.

The NPR interviewer wasn't helping either.  She actually used phrases like "totally unexpected tasks".  Who doesn't expect their parents to grow old??  Seriously have you been so wrapped up your youth that you never see old people?  The author did at one time admit she didn't grow up with anyone "old".  How does that happen?  Perhaps she was in a coma from birth until yesterday and I didn't catch that part.

Boomers - to use their favorite phrases I can't "wrap my head around them" and am "SO over them".

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Because you're a good listener

Lately my family has developed an extremely rude habit called "Not Listening To Mom".   I mean to a never-before-seen level.  As in "Honey, your pants are on fire!", followed by silence, followed by "What didn't you tell me my pants were on fire!!".   Frustrating doesn't even cover it.  I'm going to start tape recording myself, so I can play it back later when they claim I never told them about (fill-in-the-blank).  Then I will dance on the table and laugh in their face.

So anyway YOU will listen, won't you?

1. Mitt Romney is the very definition of the phrase "give him enough rope and he'll hang himself".  Yet thousands of FOX viewers making minimum wage, without health insurance, will still vote for him.

2. This summer Minnesota has been suffering with relentless heat and humidity.  Seems rather unfair give our inhumane winters, doesn't it?

3. I bought some produce at ALDI today because it's so cheap I could cry, and because I always have to work during the Farmer's Market.

4. My daughter and I have a bet - between July 13 and August 11 if either one of us eats a dessert or candy or treat etc, we have to pay the other one $20.  Let me say it's working beautifully.  And let me also say that Thank Jeebus that Chocolate Cheerios are exempt.

5. I know lots of wealthy people who are just dumber than a box of rocks.  How does that happen?

6. My car antenna will only go up 1/2 way, so the radio is constant static.  Which is probably OK since NPR news, well all news really, gives me a stomachache.

7. I don't understand the crowd who wants to add that insipid "defense of marriage" amendment to the Minnesota state constitution.  Show where in that document, or the Constitution of the United States, it says laws will be based on the Christian holy book.  Until then just keep your religious views inside your homes and churches and leave the rest of us in secular peace.  Amendments should always create MORE rights and MORE freedoms.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Yes, now is precisely the time to talk about gun control.

How does a person slowly sinking into the world of madness and schizoid delusion get a hold of so many guns?  Why do we allow this to happen?  Why what are we going to do about it?

I say a gun is a powerful tool - you don't just hand them out like lollipops.  Before you can legally get behind the wheel of a car, our society has collectively decided that you need some training.  Then you need to be tested on that training.  And if you flunk that testing, you can come back later and try again.  But you don't get the license until we as a society have determined that you are safe to operate a ton of steel.  That giant machine isn't designed to kill, but it could kill or do tragic damage if not operated safely.  We all easily agree that you don't just jump behind the wheel.

Why in the world do we let just anyone have a gun?

Now before anyone goes all bat-shit crazy on me about the supposed link between gun control and fascism, understand I'm not saying keep people from owning guns.  I come from a long line of hunters and I enjoy shooting some clay pigeons now and then.  What I'm saying is let's get some powerful programs that keep them in the hands of safe, sane, educated gun owners.

Rule #1 - no more gun shows.  I can't have a "liquor show" here in Minnesota because liquor sales are controlled by law.  Liquor has indirectly killed plenty of people, many of them innocent, but not directly.  Yet we are still OK with regulating it without screaming that our "rights" to alcohol are being trampled.

Rule #2 - put a ton of money behind treatment and research for mental illness.  Have lots of resources for folks slipping into delusion, including safe havens to live for as long as they need it.  Have a way to give them support.  And especially find a way to keep them away from weapons and explosives, such as daily visits at their home by a social worker.  Yeah it's going to fit right into their paranoid delusions but at least scores of innocent people can keep on living.

Rule #3 - mandatory gun safety training, testing, AND passing before you can get your hands on a gun.  You can't teach Kindergarten without 4 years of training, and your license can be revoked for illegal behavior.  Yet no one screams that their "right" to teach Kindergarten is being infringed.  We all accept that something as seemingly innocuous as teaching 5-year-olds can't be trusted to just anyone.

Rule #4 - allow random checks by trained authorities to make sure you are storing your gun safely and properly.  Three strikes and that gun is destroyed.   If you own a restaurant in America, you must pass multiple and random inspections by the Health Department.  If they find something amiss or unsafe, you get a hefty fine.  If it's really egregious you are shut down.  And no one screams about their "rights".  In fact, we all like that someone is taking a peek in that kitchen now and then.

Rule #5 - allow the manufacture of gun safety locks that can only be opened by the owner's password or fingerprint or whatever.  Mandate that all gun owners buy one and use it.  We all agree that seat belts in cars and life jackets in boats are necessary safety equipment, and that a fine will be issued if you aren't wearing one.

Rule #6 - repeal all conceal and carry laws.  They're just stupid.  If you have a license to carry that gun, put it out in the open where we all can see it and stay the hell away.

Rule #7 - this isn't a rule, just an observation.  The chance that an actual intruder will enter your home, and that you will safely defend your family with that gun is rather minuscule.  Scary?  You bet.  But statistically it's a very slim chance it'll ever happen.  However the chance that the very same gun will accidentally hurt or kill someone in your family is HUGE.  So why would you invited a blood-thirsty murdering machine into your home to protect you from a whisper?  That's insane.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Where the HELL have I been?

No, I didn't die, in spite of the heat and humidity.  Don't let photos of Minnesota like the one above fool you - it's either hot enough to bake your brain or cold enough to freeze off every appendage.  

I've just been very busy being a poor working person, AKA what the GOP considers public enemy #1.  You know, really subversive stuff like working the DFL booth at the county fair, going to the grocery store, running low on gas, fighting for all kinds of equality and other communist-type activities.

Speaking of the DFL - for you Non-Minnesotans, it's the Minnesota affiliate of the Democratic Party.  According the Wikipedia: It was created on April 15, 1944, with the merger of the Minnesota Democratic Party and the Farmer–Labor Party. Leading the merger effort were Elmer Kelm, the head of the Minnesota Democratic Party and founding chairman of the DFL party; Elmer Benson, effectively the head of the Farmer-Labor Party by virtue of his leadership of its dominant left-wing faction; and rising star Hubert H. Humphrey, who chaired the Fusion Committee that accomplished the union and then went on to chair its first state convention. Members of the party are frequently referred to as "DFLers".

The Minnesota Farmer–Labor Party (FL) was a left-wing American political party inMinnesota between 1918 and 1944. Largely dominating Minnesota politics during the Great Depression, it was one of the most successful statewide third party movements in United States history and the longest-lasting affiliate of the national Farmer-Labor movement. At its height in the 1920s and 1930s, party members included three Minnesota Governors,four United States Senatorseight United States Representatives and a majority in theMinnesota legislature.

You gotta love that Minnesota Progressive Ethic!!!

The 1922 Farmer-Labor Convention, held in Minneapolis