I’m really sick of saying good-bye to crappy years and not knowing quite what to do in order to make the new one any better. I was thinking about it today, and to be honest, I can’t remember having a truly great year since maybe 1992. That in itself sucks. I mean, really. Each year that comes to an end brings with it a myriad of bad memories. The strange thing is though, that I always have hope that the next year will be better! Just since the year 2000, I have gone through the death of my husband, my sister, my parents and my basset hound. I made a major move to the Pacific Northwest, which has turned out to be like landing in a sand trap at a golf course but never being able to get out again. I have had one financial disaster right after another, my arthritis is worse than ever, and I barely leave home anymore. The only salvation is my family, and while I love them all dearly, they can sometimes send me into a mind frenzy where I’m Anthony Perkins in Psycho and they are Janet Leigh. I keep thinking if I just try harder, things will get better for me. I guess we’ll see. So far, New Year’s Eve has turned out to be a complete bust.
December 24th, 2012 · No Comments · Trivia
When I was finishing my finals in mid-December, I was really excited about the fact that Christmas was right around the corner. We quickly hung our outside lights, and we bought and decorated our tree. Then, all of a sudden, I wasn’t in the mood for Christmas anymore and I’m one of those people who loves the Christmas season. So, I began to analyze and reanalyze why my Christmas spirit went from 60 to 0 practically overnight. The first thing I blamed was lack of time. How could I possibly get my shopping done with such a short time left before Christmas? The next reason was my left knee, which has been giving me fits for years, but had recently become even more swollen and painful than it usually was. Today, I was finally able to get out and do a little shopping. But, even the shopping didn’t chase away my pre-Christmas blues. So, why was I still feeling so sad this Christmas season? The reason finally came to me during a telephone conversation I was having with my oldest son when we began discussing the school shootings in Connecticut; and I was once again overwhelmed with the same sadness I felt that Friday – that horrific day when I sat glued to the television news sobbing as I watched the tragic events unfold – that day when the only thing I could do was light candles and pray in memory of the murdered children and brave adults who went well beyond the call of duty to try to protect them from harm. How can I celebrate when the families of those who were brutally slain that day are suffering? How can anyone? I realized that there is no relief from the sadness that has rained on my Christmas parade because nothing can turn back time.
It has now been over a week since the Newtown travesty took place and the gun enthusiasts are out of their hiding places telling us how much good that guns do. They are trying to convince us that if we just add more guns into the population, it would keep tragedies like the Newtown shooting from occurring in the future. Yep, that’s it, that’s the ticket. More guns.
Huffington Post has listed the gun related deaths that have occurred since the twenty children and six adults in Newtown were murdered. These are shootings that we hear about on the news every day, or read in the newspaper or on our homepages. We see them, and cluck our tongues at them and then continue on our way. I hope that Huffington Post makes this a regular feature on its site so that we can’t forget about all of the victims who fall prey to gun violence everyday in the U.S. Maybe then, we will do what we should have done thirty years ago: GET THE GUNS OFF THE STREETS!
November 6th, 2012 · No Comments · News
Tomorrow is the day that we, as Americans, have our say-so when it comes to who is going to govern us for the next four years. We have been through an exhaustive process leading up to it and now it’s time to make the decision between President Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney. President Obama has been a remarkable President, particularly when you take into consideration what was going on in the country when he took office. He has fought hard to get the American public what we need even though Republicans took an oath before he was even inaugurated to make him a one term President. Has he done everything I’ve wanted? No. But, he has tried. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, will reinstate the same policies that were held by President Bush. He believes that the wealthy deserve everything and the rest of us can go to hell. For me, the choice was clear. I have cast my vote and I’m proud of the choice I made. Whether you believe the same way as I do or not – vote. It is the only time you have the power to make the decisions, and it feels great!
October 7th, 2012 · No Comments · News
On October 5, 2012, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics released its employment figures for the month of September which shows that the unemployment rate in the United States fell from 8.2% to 7.8%. The thirty-eight page report titled “The Employment Situation – September 2012” provides detailed data to support these figures as well as in-depth information about the state of employment in the United States.
A Fox News article released the same day titled “Labor report reflecting falling jobless rate stirs campaign firestorm” states that there is speculation about the validity of the report. The article has an overall negative tone and throughout it, Fox reinforces the notion that the Department of Labor’s report is fraudulent.
The bias in the content is easy to detect. The first thing Fox does is to tie President Obama to the report by noting, “President Obama’s team touted the numbers as a sign the economy is improving” (foxnews.com, 2012). This puts the report into a political context. They then connect Mitt Romney to economists that “expressed deep skepticism” (foxnews.com, 2012) providing his analysis the weight of expert opinion. No expert support is provided to President Obama in support of the figures. Fox also uses a tweet from former General Electric CEO Jack Welch “Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers” (foxnews.com, 2012). Fox doesn’t mention that Welch “confirmed he hadn’t spoken to any economists, analysts, or accounting specialists” (Wonderling, 2012).
This is a prime example of how media bias can lead the reader to a false conclusion. It casts a shadow on the Department of Labor, which feeds the American public’s doubt of that branch of the government, that it is biased toward President Obama. It makes the argument that Mitt Romney and experts are disputing the report in a non-partisan fashion, but insinuates that President Obama made these figures up to bolster his re-election campaign.
(2012, October 5). Retrieved from foxnews.com: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/10/05/jobless-rate-falls-to-78-percent-in-september/
(2012, October 5). Retrieved from bls.gov: www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf
Wonderling, Q. (2012, October 5). Welch: ‘I have no evidence’ for jobs conspiracy theory, but ‘I don’t take it back’. Retrieved from msnbc.com: http://leanforward.msnbc.com/_news/2012/10/05/14248410-welch-i-have-no-evidence-for-jobs-conspiracy-theory-but-i-dont-take-it-back?lite
September 8th, 2012 · No Comments · Trivia
There are plenty of news stories blazing across the internet about the 2012 Presidential race that are primarily focused on the RNC convention held last week and the DNC’s convention held this week. However, one story that isn’t getting attention is an exclusive carried by the Associated Press which details how since June, 2012, Mitt Romney has been utilizing a secretive data-mining project that sifts through Americans’ personal information “including their purchasing history and church attendance — to identify new and likely, wealthy donors.”
Data mining uses data that is bought and sold “behind the scenes” including information about “credit accounts, families and children, voter registrations, charitable contributions, property tax records, and survey responses”. It is legal, but people don’t know it’s taking place. This data is then combined with data that is gathered by marketing groups to create what is called “psychographic information about Americans”. As discovered in a recent test, by utilizing data mining, the Romney campaign recovered details of “more than 2 million households near San Francisco and elsewhere on the West Coast and identified thousands of people who would be comfortably able and inclined to give Romney at least $2,500 or more.” The data mining yielded the Romney campaign “more than $350,000” in donations this summer.
Now, who was hired to do this data mining? None other than Buxton Co. located in Fort Worth Texas, “a little-known but successful analytics firm that previously performed marketing work for a colleague tied to Bain & Co., the management-consulting firm that Romney once led.” Tom Buxton, chief executive of Buxton Co. confirmed to Associated Press his company’s role in helping Romney.
There is no record of payments made to Buxton Co. Federal law prohibits companies from using corporate resources like data analysis for “in-kind contributions to campaigns”. But Buxton stated that he helped Romney with the data mining because he wanted “to be on the winning team”.
The Romney campaign is the only campaign to use this technique. Is this going to be a new trend? If we don’t know about it, what can we do to stop it? One way would be to re-elect President Obama.
Gillum, J. (2012, August 24). Romney uses extensive data-mining to find donors, money. Retrieved from USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/story/2012-08-24/romney-money-hunt/57268154/1
August 24th, 2012 · No Comments · News
If women in the United States believe that Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his side ick Paul Ryan give a damn about them, they need to take a very long look at the viewpoint held by both of these men when it comes to rape and abortion. This week, the subject of abortion has once again come to the forefront of the news after Rep. Todd Akin (R) Missouri, tried to make the case that rape isn’t always forcible, and that women’s bodies know this and send off some chemical that kills the rapist’s sperm making it almost impossible for them to become pregnant. According to statements in the Washington Post, Akin said, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down”. He went on to say, “But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
What is extremely disturbing about these remarks other than the remarks themselves is that not only are women NOT considered the victims of rape, but if they choose to terminate the pregnancy, they become the perpetrators. Yet, this is the argument that Romney and Ryan plan to use in order to make abortions illegal for women who do get pregnant after being raped.
How does Akin tie to Ryan and Romney? Ryan co-sponsored a bill with Akin that was aimed at banning federal funding for abortions except in cases of incest and “forcible” rape. Ryan was the one who added the word “forcible” to the language of the bill, which was later removed because it narrowed the exception for rape victims.
Akin’s tie to Romney comes from the fact that the information he used about women’s bodies shutting down after rape came from Dr. Jack C. Willke, who was an important surrogate for Romney’s 2008 Presidential campaign. Even though Willke’s opinion has been widely dispelled by the medical world, Romney obviously embraced it, as he openly flaunted Willke’s endorsement for President. Romney also met with Willke during his 2012 campaign. According to The Daily Telegraph, Dr Willke met with Romney in October, 2011 when Romney stopped in Cincinnati, OH.
Of course, now they are all sidestepping what they did and said. Akin is claiming that he was taken out of context and Ryan is now claiming that rape is rape…Romney is denying everything as usual. But no matter what they say, remember this. They will say anything to patch up the damage that has been done in order to improve their numbers in the polls. Akin is running for the Senate, and Romney/Ryan are the Republican Presidential candidates. But, Akin’s opinion is part of the Republican platform as well as being the ideology of all three of these men. So, if they do get elected, laws will be created that enforce this batshit theory and there is no doubt that women will suffer.
August 17th, 2012 · No Comments · News
It seems that Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney is still refusing to show the American public his tax returns for the past five years. Hmmm….makes you wonder why, doesn’t it? I think the answer is a simple one. Romney didn’t pay any taxes for the past five years and he doesn’t want us to know he didn’t. He is definitely in the top 1% of the country when it comes to wealth. What’s more, if HE hasn’t paid any taxes for the past five years, who else in that category hasn’t paid any taxes either? Does the American public dare to press Romney on this issue? I certainly am going to do whatever I can to keep the pressure up. This man claims that he knows what middle/lower class people are going through in this country. He puts on his Levis and pretends that he is part of a working class that he doesn’t have a clue about because he has NEVER had to face the same problems. He has no idea whatsoever what it feels like to have to make a choice between paying the rent or buying food; or to have enough money to pay either the electric bill or the gas bill in the middle of winter; or be forced to stretch $100.00 for back to school clothing for three children. Romney is so wealthy that he actually had an elevator built in his mansion for his cars! Now, that’s something we in the working class deal with all the time, isn’t it??
August 9th, 2012 · No Comments · Trivia
Almost everyone has some topic of interest that they are geeky about. Mine is movie scores/soundtracks. I pay very close attention to the music that is playing in the backgrounds of films and can, at this point, pretty well pick out the person who has composed the score for the film I’m watching. There are a number of well-known and well-respected composers for film scores but my favorite out of all of them is Thomas Newman. I fell in love with his work while I was watching The Horse Whisperer, and have been following it ever since. His style is very easy to recognize, and if you look at the list of films he has scored, my guess is that you will be able to spot at least one film where the music is memorable to you. Newman has currently moved into scoring the music for some television shows too. One example is the new HBO series, The Newsroom.
August 4th, 2012 · No Comments · News
I love the Olympics. Whether it is the summer or winter games, I am in front of the tube watching as many events as I possibly can track down. The problem is, there are so many different events going on at the same time, that I end up missing many of the ones I like and watching ones I’m not particularly fond of. Of course, all of the events deserve their share of television coverage. But, like everyone else, there are certain competitions I enjoy more than others, among them are gymnastics, diving, swimming, tennis and track to name just a few. Naturally, I am prone to cheer for the athletes from the U.S.A. I find myself getting misty eyed when I hear the Star Spangled Banner being played when the medals are awarded. However, when all is said and done, I really don’t care if the U.S. wins the most medals. I think that it is important to honor the winning athletes no matter which country they represent. In fact, I think they all deserve recognition for the amount of dedication and training they put in just to take part in the Olympics. Isn’t that what the Olympics are all about?
July 26th, 2012 · No Comments · Trivia
We were lucky this summer to have my grandson Erick come and visit for a week. He arrived last Tuesday and will stay until this Tuesday. Not a super long visit, but it was his first trip away from home by himself so I didn’t want to push it. He is thirteen and is such a delightful young man. He is very intelligent and witty, and though he looks younger than his age, his demeanor and the way he handles himself in a conversation make him seem to be quite a bit older. The weather has been fantastic, and the whole family has chipped in to make sure he has had an entertaining visit. It has been so much fun having him here. Next year maybe he’ll be able to stay a little longer.