Friday, October 30, 2015

Time for a Revolution

As I listened to Senator Ted Cruz's speech after the House of Representatives passed the latest budget bill I began to wonder who he was kidding. Yes, the budget is an unlimited credit card for Obama to indulge himself with over the next 15 months and it will be abused as Obama has abused every other aspect of his lofty position while pretending to care for and about the American people, but what did Cruz get out of the deal? Probably not much yet since the Senate has not voted on the bloated budget, but how much theater do Cruz and the rest of Congress expect us to swallow when we know that every greedy finger got their share of the American pie?

I'm not saying that Cruz is as corrupt and greedy as every other elected representative in Washington on Capitol Hill, but I know theater. Just like in prize fights, someone always has to take a dive in order to keep the bookmakers happy while making it look as good as possible that the fight was clean and honest. There is very little that I have seen in American politics over the past decade that remotely resembles a clean and honest fight or a single member of Congress that has been willing to stand up the Washington Machine to protect the interests of the American people, the very people who were hoodwinked into voting these thieve, liars, and con wo/men into office to suck on the taxpayers' teats. Here's how I think the budget deal negotiations went down.

Retiring Speaker of the House, John Boehner, just wants to go home and get out of the Capitol Hill slug fest that has become the daily grind of gridlock and dealing with an obstreperous President. He's willing to make any kind of deal to get out of town, including selling the taxpayer down the river. He did his tour and he is has a few days left to make his getaway with whatever he has managed to gather into his personal retirement fund over his years in office.

Pelosi, Reid, and Boehner sat in the conference room and hammered away at the budget proposed by Obama. Pelosi and Reid reminded Boehner what happened in 2011 when Republicans in the House under his leadership decided to refuse Obama's budget and passed a very slimmed down version of what Obama wanted. Harry Reid, then Majority leader, refused to put the new budget passed by the House of Representatives to a vote thus holding up funding the government. Reid knew that Obama would never sign the new budget since it had none of the items he listed in his original budget proposal and who took the blame? The Republicans. No doubt Pelosi and Reid promised Boehner they would do everything in their power to shut down government again and would allow another default of payments to creditors that resulted in lowering the United States's credit rating as the Republicans took another political hit. The American people would not stand for another government shut down and more national monuments cordoned off and guarded from the public as they had at the Vietnam Memorial in 2011. Either agree to the proposed bloated budget or the Republicans would never eat in Washington again -- or anywhere else.

They knew Obama would veto any budget that denied him what he wanted and how he wanted it so either give in now or risk not being re-elected next time around and maybe end up with Hillary as President in 2016.

I don't think it occurred to Boehner to fight or remind Pelosi and Reid that a 2/3 majority would overturn any veto Obama saw fit to use, but time was against him . . . as he saw it . . . and so he caved and the budget was passed.

Ted Cruz must have known something about what was going on behind the scenes and how the deal was brokered but, as he railed against the Washington Mafia and their corporate money and lobbyists bribes lining so many pockets, he didn't mention how he was involved. He may have voted against the budget, but just like that prize fight someone has to take the fall. It makes the whole theatrical performance that much more compelling and believable. If everyone falls into line like lemmings going to their deaths without a fuss even the average American would smell the rot.

I remember 4th grade and learning about Patrick Henry and his fiery speeches, especially, "...I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" still rings in my mind. I remember standing in front of the class and speaking those words, my small fist crashing down on the podium as I said the words, my body flushed with righteous anger and determination. I meant those words, but I wasn't a colonist fighting for freedom from an oppressive government using me to fund King George's excesses and eccentricities and being forced to pay higher taxes on tea and sundry goods imported from England. I was a fourth grader who believed freedom from oppression and taxation was worth fighting and dying for. I was an idealist -- and I still am.

Ted Cruz did not stir me with his words, but he did make me wonder whether he had been paid to take a dive. He is after all running for President in 2016 despite not being eligible by being born in Canada and a Canadian citizen. I know he held dual citizenship with Canada and America until fairly recently, but he is still not an American citizen born on American soil to two American parents. I know how lawyers tend to twist the words in contracts and agreements until they get what they want out of the deal regardless of the intent or the spirit of the contract and I see that Cruz is no different. He says he believes in the Constitution and yet he cannot understand the basic tenets of that document that deny him the right to run for President. That speaks volumes about his ethics and morals and certainly points to a big payoff for taking a dive.

He is right that the budget currently before the Senate is appalling, a betrayal of the American people in favor of a tyrant and a despot drunk on his own power while his wife, Michelle, is over in Pakistan giving Pakistani women $70 million of the $85 million allocated in the budget to pay for their education. I guess it doesn't matter that Muslim women, and these Pakistani women getting an education at the cost of the American taxpayer will be killed for seeking that same education. That's okay. It's only money. Money Michelle and Obama didn't earn and have no right to give away to Pakistan or Pakistani women when it could be used to pay for a college education for so many Americans while reforming the usurious rates charged for college loans. That $70 million would keep politicians from raiding social security to the tune of $150 million and continuing to use social security trust funds as their own personal slush fund. That $70 million would do so much good here in the United States of America where it was taken from Americans in taxes. I don't know about you, but I see the American worker being fleeced for the sake of a foreign country who should be taking care of their own people and not expecting America to do it for them.

I have listened to the world complain about American aggression and American wars and playing cop on the block to the world until I'm sick of it, but I have yet to hear even once complaints about American dollars to those same countries who take American money while spitting on the American flag and the American people without turning a hair or blinking. And they will continue to take American handouts while vilifying our government, our way of life, and our military as long as we allow it.

I am not advocating an isolationist policy, but I think it is time that Americans wake up and see that you are being fleeced without representation because our representatives are busing lining their pockets with soft and hard money, pandering to lobbyists and PACs while setting up their golden parachutes and socking away the taxpayers' hard earned dollars in the Cayman Islands or wherever the really chic and wealthy people keep their ill gotten gains far away from the reach of the IRS and the American government.

We cannot let this budget stand. If Congress hasn't the fortitude or the honesty or the balls to face down Obama and tell him NO then it's time for the people to do it for them. We got rid of one despot only to end up with another tyrannical despot living large off the American people. Throw them all out, Ted Cruz included, and start again. Make sure no politician who has made a career and made himself very wealthy can continue to feed off taxpayer dollars like a bloated leech. Vote for term limits.  Vote for no one who has spent more than 5 years in a political office. That kind of experience we do not need. Put men and women in office who will impeach Obama and hold him accountable for his crimes and misuse of his office. Put men and women in office who will not stand for another Clinton in office and make sure she and Lois Lerner and Koskinen, chief of the IRS, are brought up on charges and put on trial. Ban these people from ever holding political office again. Stop grousing and complaining and rise up against abuse of power. Take back this country.

And do not stand for politicians like Senator Ted Cruz taking a dive to look good for the camera while he betrays the American people. Stand up and fight for your freedom instead of standing their with your mouths hanging open while every freedom our fathers and forefathers ever fought and died for are taken away from us. Do not stand by while our country dies not with a bang but a whimper.

That is all. Disperse.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Careful What You Wish

\I know that I must be careful what I wish, but I didn't know it had already happened, that I got my wish. Here I am in the middle of it and I realize the wish came true some time ago.

The thing is, most people wish big. They want to win the lottery. They want to find Mr. or Ms. Perfectly Right. They want to own a huge estate with servants and oodles of money and everything they ever wanted displayed on every flat surface and on every wall. They want, want, want, want, want.

I didn't want much. I remember wishing that I had enough money not to have to look at price tags when I bought food and clothes and that I had enough of what I needed and not everything I wanted. One must always leave room for improvement. I reached that a long time ago -- at least where having enough is concerned. I have enough not to have to stress over price tags and have to decide what clothes, foods, whatever to give up to have something. I'm not wealthy. I'm not poor. I have enough. In fact, I have a little too much, but I did get there.

That's the thing with having small wishes. The wishes are fulfilled and it takes a while for that fact to settle in. I remember someone telling me that rich was hard. What's hard about being rich?

Okay, there is worrying about whether someone wants to be with you for the grab bags and door prizes or if they really like you. There's having to maintain a style to which one has become accustomed. There is the lifestyle that is expected of someone who has money, lots of money. There are expectations, people with their hands out, and the taxes -- unless you're rich enough to own a senator or four and do not have to pay taxes because, between the lawyers and the senators, you are exempt by law. Then of course one must pay for the lawyers and senators and it might have been cheaper to just pay the taxes. At least taxes once paid don't have to be paid again until the following year. Lawyers and senators keep sucking at the checkbook until there is nothing left or they die (or are bumped off). In that way, being rich is hard. So much upkeep.

My wishes were small. I still want a few million books sold, but it's not about the money. It's about having millions of my books in readers' hands. Doesn't mean I will write for free. Writers should be compensated for their hard work, sweat, blood, and tears, not to mention start up costs. Cover illustrators and editors also expect to be paid for their hard work, sweat, blood, and tears, not to mention for their expertise. It's the way of business, and one I've no problem paying for services rendered.

But I arrived. I really have what I wanted. A good income sufficient for my needs and some of my wants with a great view outside my windows and doors. I'm even living in my dream home.

My only wish now is not to have to work for the corporate thieves that currently - and begrudgingly - pay my salary. I have enough even without them, especially since my paycheck is less than workers at Burger King make, and I have skills, experience, expertise, and knowledge. None of what I bring to the corporation has been earned without expense and I am not being compensated accordingly. I'd rather they fire me so I can collect unemployment, thus giving me time to finish a few more books and hone my artistic abilities. I don't think it will take me long to figure out when that wish comes true.

I'm no slacker, but I do object to being used and abused and treated like a nickel whore picked up on some alley and taken for a spin in the alley by the dumpster. Like everyone who has earned their stripes and done their time in the field, I expect to be paid what I'm worth, which is probably why you won't find me leaning up against a lamp post or lurking near an alley waiting for some cheap john to throw me a nickel or a dime for my time. Even toilets get better treatment.

I had a chat with my supervisor the other day and she informed me that I must find a better solution to having the electricity going out than calling off work or cutting my shift short. I told her that I am saving for a whole house generator, but it is currently beyond my means on the pittance they deign to pay me. Her response was to give me a verbal warning about my attendance. And I was so hoping she'd fire me, except that's not going to happen since there is NO ONE to take the graveyard shift and work the accounts and hours I work.

I am the squeaky wheel in the corporate machine. When a doctor fails to do his job, I let my supervisor know. Every Single Time. I believe that doctors should be held accountable for the same rules I must follow: accurate information and accuracy in performing the job, especially since patient safety is the most important part of the job. But, no. That is not the case.

Doctors are exempt from following the rules and accurately doing their job. After all, they have malpractice insurance for that eventuality. At least that is the corporate policy. Doctors get a pass on following the rules and I must fill in the blanks and cover the doctors' collective asses.



I understand that doctors have degrees and experience, but they are not above the law -- or the rules. And I am going to keep reminding them of that fact as long as I am still breathing. That is my job. I am not going to cover their asses and I am not going to lie for them. I won't lie for anyone come to that.

In that case, enough is enough -- and far too much. Do your job. I'll do mine.

As for compensation, I will continue to be the squeaky wheel. Someone is bound to notice soon, either to pay me more or fire me. Either way, I win.

Enough is enough.

That is all. Disperse.