Sunday, May 29, 2011

Death by Drowning-Too Many Children

I can't wrap my head around the fact that even though the swim season has not officially started here in Arizona, 8 children have already died from drowning.  I couldn't even finish reading a huge article in the Arizona Republic about the problem.  It is heartbreaking to think that 21 children died last year, 20 in 2009 and 17 the year before.

How do these tragedies happen?  A parent is distracted for just a few seconds; a child sees the pool and finds a way to get to it; pool barriers are not in place.  In one instance a child crawled through the doggie door even though the door was smaller than he was.  Even when all precautions are taken:  self-latching gates, a 5-6 foot fence, doors that swing away from the pool - even with all these, children can find a way to get to the pool if they're determined.

I can't imagine their grief or the colossal sense of guilt & self-condemnation parents or caregivers are left with.  All the "what ifs" in the world will not make that intense pain in their hearts go away, ever.  My heart goes out to all of them.  They never expected this, never saw it coming, never in a million years thought they would suffer such heartache.  The death of a child by drowning in an event that could have been prevented is beyond comprehension.  My stomach is churning even as I write this.

According to the Arizona Republic's article, here are some ways to prevent drowning:
  *Adult supervision around the pool-
  *Pool barricades such as a fence which can be locked-
  *Lifesaving devices should be within arm's reach, like flotation devices and/or a pole-
  *Make sure doggie doors are locked and barricaded from direct access to pools-
  *Teach your children to swim at an early age-
  *And NEVER, EVER leave a child without eye contact near a pool, lake, pond, canal
  or any source of water...and that means bathtubs and toilets, too!

It is bad enough to read about these tragic stories.  It is so much worse to be the subject of them.  Please keep your eyes and ears on all children around any kind of water.  Keep them safe.  Please.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


This is what I know:

I was an elementary school teacher.  I did not get paid the big bucks!  I cared tremendously about the kids I taught.  During the course of my teaching career, I bought many, many schoolroom supplies,  I arranged for haircuts, snacks, and tutoring during my lunch time and after school, bought some new clothes for kids who literally were wearing pj's with a sweatshirt over them.  I did not get paid the big bucks!  What I did was prepare a new generation with knowledge, aspirations, a sense of community, a willingness to work hard and, I hope, the will to succeed at whatever they wanted to do in life.  I did not get paid the big bucks!  I did get paid in the satisfaction that "my kids" got the best I had and thrived.  And I did not get paid the big bucks everyone thinks teachers get.  They get paid way too little for what they are entrusted to do!

Likewise police officers and firefighters.  They lay their lives on the line for yours.  They should be paid way more than CEOs who do nothing more than push some papers, bark some commands, play golf and expect to be paid millions for screwing the public.  See Big Oil companies.

I, like many others, do not believe oil companies need government subsidies nor do they believe the CEOs who argue for them need or deserve the millions they are paid.  And for Big Oil executives to plead their case before Congress is disgusting.  They show just how out of touch with the human race they are, the greedy bastards.

Nor do I believe that making Medicare into a voucher program is a good thing.  Seventy, eighty and ninety year old people don't want to shop around for health insurance which will end up costing them so much more than the amount of the voucher. You don't actually think the health insurance companies are going to offer all the services seniors need at a reasonable price, do you?  And people eligible for Medicare sign up for it the minute they are able.  I was so happy to stop paying almost $1500 per month for my husband and me to get less and less coverage each year.  Seniors cannot wait to get rid of their private health insurance premiums: they pay too much for too little.

The low tax bracket that millionaires enjoy now does not translate to creating jobs.  What it does mean is that these rich creeps simply put their millions into off-shore accounts.  They buy more "stuff."  They don't create jobs.  They need to pay their fair share of taxes instead of enjoying the myriad tax loopholes which allows them to pay nothing.  Raise that tax bracket.  They'll never even notice it.

Being poor is not a disease nor is it brought on by laziness.  To think that way means you have your head up your ass!

All kinds of people have lost their jobs, from laborers to educators to business people.  They are not lazy if they haven't found a job to replace what they had.  Anyone who thinks that has his/her head up his/her ass!

No federal funds pay for abortion.  Defunding Planned Parenthood means millions of poor people, women especially, now have nowhere to go for preventive medical care. PP provided breast cancer screenings, pap tests, tests for testicular cancer, prenatal care, general health care.  It is disgusting for state legislatures/governors to take away the only place where it was affordable for so many people to get health care.

This I know:  Republicans are dragging this country back to the 18th century, taking away women's rights, slashing the Constitution into shreds by negating several parts of it (i.e. the 4th amendment), wanting this country to be Christian and white, denigrating all others through lies and innuendo, and generally making this country into a second class oligarchy.  We will be looking more and more like Soviet Russia was.

This I know:  Republicans make me feel ashamed of my country because they exhibit such viciousness and stupidity.  Republicans are two-faced hypocrites.  Republicans hate so many people who are not like them.  Republicans do not do things for or believe in the best interests of the United States.

This I know:  Republicans need to be reprogrammed!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Republican NON-Accomplishments

Let's see.  Republicans have done or proposed the following:

The GOP House passed a bill limiting ability of drilling foes to mount legal challenges on environmental grounds.  Big Oil is giddy with delight & probably paid for this.

The GOP House won't get rid of tax cuts for Big Oil even though those companies have made billions and trillions in profit.

The GOP House wants to gut Medicare/Medicaid & toss over 44 million low-income families into the ranks of the uninsured.  But, it will keep its own very inclusive health insurance, paid for by the taxpayers. 

The GOP House wants to gut Social Security so retirees can slip into the bowels of homelessness and soup kitchens.

The GOP House wants to gut public education in this country and privatize it.  Then only the rich will be able to send their kids to the schools of their choice and poorer parents will have to turn cartwheels to try to get a decent education for their kids. Private or charter schools don't have to comply with state laws and don't have to admit students they may deem ah, "to not fit in."   They have made sure that teachers are looked upon with disdain and labeled "glorified babysitters" thereby cementing the idea that Republicans are actually quite stupid.

In several states, Republicans have torn away the rights of women over their own bodies.

Republicans got the United States in a bogus war, causing the deaths of thousands and thousands of its citizens FOR NOTHING!

The current crop of presidential wannabees drip viciousness, unintelligent garbage, ideas on how to screw working people.

Republican presidential candidates have a warped sense of what the United States is all about.

Republicans haven't done the following:

Created any jobs.  Created any jobs.  Created any jobs.  Created any jobs.

Republicans are a terrible joke.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


There is absolutely no doubt as to who was responsible for the death of Osama Bin Laden.  All the credit goes to President Barack Obama, the intelligence community and the Navy SEALS who risked their lives to physically carry out their mission. 

Make no mistake, had the mission not gone as well as it did, President Obama would have been blamed.  He put himself on the line, his reputation, his credibility, his presidential "chops" as it were.  George W. Bush would not have made this call, not only because he didn't have the guts but additionally, he had no interest in the pursuit of the most wanted terrorist in the world.  He said so in 2002 and later.

So, it was up to the grown-up, the adult in the White house to make good on his promise.  President Obama is exceedingly intelligent, diligent, perceptive and able to make the decisions necessary for the good of the citizens of this nation.  He is an exemplary, outstanding President who has restored honor and character to the office after eight years of unscrupulousness.

I am very thankful and proud that Barack Obama is my President.