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Thursday, February 9, 2023

State of the Union

USA Today columnist Rex Huppke
From the article: Biden went off script regularly, parrying GOP lawmakers who heckled him, at one point backing the party into a corner and getting them to swear to protect Medicare and Social Security benefits... President Joe Biden, at the ripe age of 80, came out with ample vim and vigor in Tuesday night’s State of the Union address and proceeded to mop the House floor with the howling, discombobulated remains of the Republican Party.
Preaching populism and leaning hard on his noted skill as the empathizer-in-chief, Biden bounded through a speech that acknowledged the nation’s struggles while remaining unerringly optimistic. He went off script regularly, parrying Republican lawmakers who heckled him, at one point backing the whole party into a corner and getting them to swear to protect Medicare and Social Security benefits. I’ve never seen anything like it in a State of the Union speech – they ran at him like a pack of lemmings and, with a wink and a grin, he politely directed them to the cliff.
Whatever the White House cooks are feeding Biden these days, I’d like a plate of it myself. It’s like he’s Benjamin-Buttoning all of a sudden. And as he ponders running for reelection and nervous Democrats eye a younger candidate, Tuesday’s speech suggests he’s still got it when it comes to retail politicking. Biden, of course, will never be mistaken for a great orator. But his address relentlessly hit notes most Americans would cheer, putting the Republican lawmakers in a bind.
Biden said, “Our democracy remains unbowed and unbroken.” Republicans kept quiet. Bided talked about a boom in infrastructure projects. Republicans kept quiet. Biden quipped, “I’ll see you at the groundbreaking.” Biden said the unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in decades. Some offered tepid applause while others kept quiet. If you don’t cheer for democracy, improved infrastructure and a low unemployment rate, people are going to wonder whose team you’re on. The Republican lawmakers’ unwillingness to applaud popular accomplishments that help people, coupled with repeated acts of childish heckling that Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, seated behind Biden, tried and failed to shush, showed how weak and devoid of ideas their party has become. Throughout the speech, McCarthy gave a clinic on squirming uncomfortably. At one point, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene shouted “LIAR!” at Biden. When the president was speaking about a man who lost his child to a fentanyl overdose, Republicans began shouting Biden down, one yelling, “It’s your fault!” Biden responded by asking Republicans to join him and launch “a major surge” to stop fentanyl production and provide border agents with “more drug detection machines to inspect cargo.” That, of course, shut the Republicans up, because they don’t want to consider a solution, they just want to have something to holler about.
The midterm elections showed clearly that the American people are not buying the kind of performative outrage Republicans are selling. But on Tuesday night, while the older guy they routinely describe as “senile” was energetically promoting hope and ideas that might make the country a better place, performative outrage was, again, all GOP lawmakers had. You could see it in McCarthy’s face as he tried to silence the please-put-me-on-Fox-News loudmouths in his caucus. He looked defeated. He looked like he was going to race home after the speech, write mournful poetry and enter a lengthy goth phase.
At SOTU, Biden showed America who's normal and who's crazy
You don’t have to love Biden or even like him to see why he was feeling peppy Tuesday night. The 80-year-old kid from Scranton, Pennsylvania, was facing opponents who couldn’t stop punching themselves.... In the Republican rebuttal to Biden’s address, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: “The dividing line in America is no longer between right or left. The choice is between normal or crazy.” She’s not wrong. But I don’t think she understands which side the American people see as crazy. (Hint: It’s the side that let itself get outfoxed on live TV by a president they keep calling old and incompetent.) [](

Thursday, October 27, 2022

The Facts About the Economy and Gas Prices

In today's world, misinformation spreads like wildfire via social media.  Getting "information" from a Facebook post is the worst disservice you can do to yourself. People just keep reposting opinions as "facts" without any sort of attribution. 

The best thing you can do for yourself is educate yourself on the topics. Go back to what you learned in Economics 101, or if you never took it, do some real reading from an educational source that is neither "red" or "blue." Once you understand the basics of how economics works, it will be painfully obvious which politicians are not giving you the full truth and you won't have to rely on Fox, CNN, or Facebook posts to tell you what to think. The news media caters to the audience it is trying to appeal to. 

Let's get down to understanding economics and what to believe about gas prices and the current economy. I am linking a couple websites that have a reputation for being non-biased. 

And here's one on the current U.S. economy: 

Take what you can from those two sources and figure out what politicians are telling the truth or not.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Going Forward in a World with Covid

Since I've been directly affected by Covid, testing positive and having my travel plans significantly altered, I've been thinking about where we as a society have been since all of this started and how it has evolved over the past 2.5 years. Stacey and I are aware of about 15 people who tested positive and were denied boarding on this cruise. A common reaction I keep hearing is, "It's not going away and we need to learn to live with it." I agree. I'm a firm believer in the vaccine; I was horrified when we first heard of Covid, something for which there was no "cure" at the time. I excitedly jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the Pfizer vaccine study when I first heard of it, and I'm still participating. I have been communicating with them this week about my condition. FYI, Stacey is still negative; she had 2 booster shots, I only had one, which is what the study wants me to have. They did make a note that she has not tested positive so far, even though we've been together constantly through this trip. We are now on day 9 of our trip.

Going forward, now that the majority of the population has been vaccinated, had Covid, or both, I believe we need to watch out for ourselves. I believed in quarantines and shutting down before the vaccines were available, but I don't believe it's necessary anymore. Just like any other illness, I believe it's now up to the individual to take care of themselves. I believe a vaccine is the better choice, but if you don't believe in vaccines, that's your business (I'm not going to argue with you). If you're contagious, you should isolate, mask up, or use sanitizer. Likewise if you're vulnerable and want to protect yourself. I now long for the day when we can once again make our own responsible decisions about where we can go.

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Sunday Blog for April 3, 2022

I would like taxpayers to fund my business venture. If it's good enough for the Buffalo Bills, it's good enough for me. (or any of us).

An anniversary passed a couple weeks ago. Stacey and I first met on March 3, 2017 among a gathering of common friends who like to dance. We began a friendship that gradually grew closer and we started dating 5 months later, in August. I had wanted someone who I could come home to; someone who was a companion in life's activities. Stacey wanted someone who would accept her for who she is. We spent many hours just talking. I really listened to her. I found a really sweet, caring person who also wanted a companion. We both have disabilities. We look at each other's strengths and focus on what we are capable of doing, not what we can't do. We help each other out. I'm amazed at how much we've done together since we met; literally in places around the world.

People have often commented that we go on cruises or travel a lot. Yes, we do. It’s been my life’s goal to travel a lot when I got older, and Stacey has jumped right on board with me. How do we do it? By following my motto, “Live cheap and take expensive vacations.” If you keep your living expenses down, you’ll have more money left over to do the things you love.

Ending with a poem from my poetry book.....

Slow Dance

She sat, smiling

Thin, frail and elderly

Reveling the celebration

She asked, hoping

“Will you dance with me?”

Her eyes, lit

Grand anticipation

“Slow,” she said

“It has to be slow”

We waited for a soothing rhythm

She rose, gently

Taking her delicate hand

I guided her to the dance floor

“Tighter,” she said

“Hold me tighter”

I held her close to my chest

Eyes closed

Time stood still

Caressed in sentimental warmth


She relished anew

Memories of her youthful days

The song ended

A graceful twirl Then back to her granddaughter’s day

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Sunday Blog for March 27, 2022

I'm on a quick 1 ½ day trip to Baltimore. Two weeks ago I discovered I had several hundred dollars of Southwest Airline credit that expires April 1. I knew I had it, but thought it was good for travel until October. It was not transferable, so I had to use it for myself or lose it. I had wanted to do a quick getaway to Florida, but none of the schedules allowed for much time. Since all the routes transferred in Baltimore, I decided to go there for one night with Stacey's blessing. I booked a hotel near the Inner Harbor and an early flight on Saturday. I caught a tram from the airport and started my sightseeing journey along the harbor by 8:45 AM.

I was curious if there were any cruise ships in the Baltimore Cruise Port,, so I walked that far. There weren't any. On the return trip, I stopped at the Technology Museum and the Science Museum. The Science Museum has a planetarium, which is included in the price of admission. I stayed long enough to watch three different planetarium shows. Then I toured the nearby tall ship, USS Constellation, which was built in 1854. That price of admission includes a submarine and another ship, which I will be touring this morning before I head back to the airport.

I've heard it said that it takes three weeks to change, create or undo a habit. This was definitely the case when I had to adjust to trifocals. The optician had told me it would take about three weeks to adjust to them. And that's exactly what happened. But it would certainly also be beneficial to undo a bad habit or create a new good habit. I think about that when I hear of people trying to quit smoking or go on a new diet. I think the bottom line is you need to push yourself through it for the first 3 weeks, and then it should be a new habit. In that case, congratulations! Of course, if you let yourself drift from your new habit, you will essentially be creating another new habit to replace that habit. In this example, your new habit after 3 weeks would be to exercise. But then if you stop exercising for three weeks, sadly you've created a new habit of slacking off again.

Backlash against Russians who happen to be in America. I figured this would happen. But the blame should go squarely against Putin. Once again, another reason to fight against authoritarianism.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Sunday Blog for March 13, 2022

This week's blog is a follow up to some comments I made last week about Trump, who I believe is the most dangerous man in America. Since this is political, I will ask you not to post any comments about it on my Facebook page. Feel free to comment right here in the comment section at the end of this blog. (I have it set to be approved by me only because I'm trying to keep spammers out.)

In response to people who have often defended Trump:

In all of our conversations about politics, you seem to keep missing the point that it is Trump in particular that I have issues with. I do not follow any particular politician, such as Biden, like Trumpsters idolize Trump. Their fascination with Trump and willingness to blindly follow him makes them a part of a cult.

I do not follow any particular political ideology. Democrats have some valid points. Conservatives have some valid points and Liberals have some valid points. Republicans traditionally have held some valid points, although lately all of their values have been washed away by their support of Trump. If you want to promote Republican or Conservative values, please choose someone else!

You keep claiming that Trump is not a politician. He is very much a politician simply by the fact that he argues against so-called Liberal points of view. The moment he declared his candidacy for President, he became a politician. So any argument that Trump is just a businessman running for office is no longer valid.

Whether you recognize it or not, Trump very much fits the personality profile of a narcissistic person who cares only about himself. He demands loyalty, and when he doesn't get it from someone he takes revenge against them.

This is not how it should work in the American government. I don't know of any other US president that has ever exhibited that kind of behavior.

Trump wants to be an autocrat. This is dangerous! Autocrats generally have character disorders.

Trump is too cozy with Putin and calls him a genius.

Many Trump supporters form their opinion of him by watching Fox News and other conservative outlets and claim that the mass media is trying to bring him down. This chart shows how the information that Trump supporters get is skewed.

This goes for far left news sources as well. To me this means that anyone who watches one-sided news is doing himself or herself a disservice by not getting both sides of an issue.

Trump has a long list of chargeable crimes.

Trump has a long history of racism in his real estate practices.

There appears to be evidence that Trump was part of a conspiracy for January 6.

The Big Lie is exactly what the name says. A big lie. Over 50 courts have agreed.

Finally, I'd like to mention that I was sexually abused at a young age. The person who did this to me was male. When all the revelations were coming out in 2016 about Trump sexually abusing women, I saw in him the same characteristics of the person who abused me. I wrote this poem about both Trump and my abuser during the 2016 Presidential campaign:


 There’s no way you will ever see

the lasting impression you made on me

I was young and naïve

I had trust in you

But who would believe

the things you could do?

I am strong

I have gone on

though I haven’t forgotten

Your actions were rotten

Now I hear of others just like you

with victims who hide the things you do

Reticent to reveal

for fear of redress

A cruel misdeal

that force of aggress

Coming out

with a muted shout

They are victimized one again

by society who retorts with blame.