Monday, July 9, 2012

Cheaper by the Dozen - June

Cheaper by the Dozen, a baker's dozen, is a summary outline of ponderings, if you will... My shortcut strategy to spout-off and over-share personal opinions (crap) no one gives a flying fuck about.

Here's what has been rolling around in my head this month... 

1) I'm not a fan of Speaker of the House, John Boehner. I consider him the ring leader of the dissenting GOP faction of stonewaller's. To make matters worse, while acting as House Minority Leader and President George Bush's administration point person assigned to negotiate a $150 billion stimulus package, he's been named among 34 congressmen, republican and democrat alike, to be involved in the so-called "coincidental" trades made just days prior to the unveiling of said stimulus package. Boehner declined to discuss his transactions, but he and the other congressmen, claim the timing of the trades was “coincidental” and  they did not adjust their portfolios based on what they were told by the administration officials prior to the stimulus reveal... This is highly suspicious. It would appear they acted within the law, but with unethical consequences. Saving themselves first ahead of the American people is akin to the Captain of a sinking ship making sure he's got a seat on the life boat. In a sad way, I can understand trying to salvage their portfolios, but to be anything less than honest about doing so ahead of public knowledge and consequentially playing a part in influencing the market, is really not okay.

2) Mitt Romney is one sketchy dude and definitely not a man of the people who is all about transparency. It's perverse that Mitt Romney won't share details about what he'd do for the millions he'd leave uninsured or at the whims of insurance companies when he 'kills Obamacare dead,' but he'll share the hourly details of his fundraising after the Supreme Court ruling. In addition to lacking constructive plans for our nations future, he is out of step with issues that affect women, such as his desire to overturn Roe vs Wade, his plan to eliminate Planned Parenthood funding and his lack of stance on equal pay. He is also facing additional criticism and questions about his offshore investments. In recent reports, he recently said that his offshore investments are managed by a blind trust and he has no knowledge of their whereabouts. In a radio interview with Radio Iowa's O. Kay Henderson he stated, "I don’t manage them, I don’t even know where they are. That trustee follows all U.S. laws. All the taxes are paid, as appropriate. All of them have been reported to the government. There’s nothing hidden there." His lack of knowledge as to the whereabouts of his offshore investments doesn't quite jibe with knowing the investments are otherwise, up to snuff. Another shady maneuver as reported by the Associated Press, Romney transferred Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd., a Bermuda investment company he owned, to his wife's trust the day before he was sworn in as Massachusetts governor. In light of his financial machinations, I'm hoping that the Dem's will pressure him to release multiple tax returns rather than his meager offering of 2 years.

3) No one in their right mind would welcome tax increases, but serious debt requires serious measures to improve our economic woes. Problem is, just as with any personal household debt situation, the way to get yourself out of the red and into the black is optimum money management, tightening your belt and generating more income. Along with reviewing programs and policy, eliminating waste, and cutting back, it's going to take sacrifice in the form of taxation to seriously combat our nations debt.

4) There is a definite obstructionist regime in Congress that continues to consistently block President O'bama's efforts to do his job and govern this country. By all appearances, this opposing faction would rather see President Obama fail than the nation succeed. The time and energy wasted in this stonewalling is deplorable. I never thought that when O'bama was elected that change and bi-partisanship would be so difficult to come by. I never imagined how hard he would have to work to accomplish his goals... and it makes me sad.

5) For the first time today I heard the coined term, "adultescents"... the perfect marriage of adolescent and adult. Kind of a new way of looking at the concept of 40 being the new 30, 30 being the new 20, etc...

6) Another term I've recently been introduced to is "gaslighting." It's the increasingly popular word for various ways in which men convince women they're "crazy," "over-reacting," or "hysterical." Gaslighting's goal is simple: Get you to tone down that oh-so-scary lady rage that frightens the menfolk. But there's another kind of gaslighting that's almost as common and which serves the same purpose. Call it the "I'm such an asshole" speech or call it strategic self-deprecation, the end goal is always the same: Deflect women's anger, breaking-off her attempt to push through to the man and resolve the problem, by instead instigating her to comfort him because he hates himself for being such an asshole. One can only hope that both men and women can make it a point to show up as an adult to any conversation, even a heated one.

7) The Media with its constant barrage of health related publications and ever-present tv spots that include symptoms and warnings in regard to every imaginable health issue in existence, has us running scared, or at least leaning towards hypochondria and self-prescription, while we turn into food Nazi's and Power 90 our way into an early grave. It's enough to make anyone paranoid about every ache and pain, bump and bruise, blemish, wrinkle and gray hair. Enough already. Moderation folks. Moderation.

8) Staying awake and alert throughout the day can be tough if you don't always get a good night's rest. Stimulants are often not the answer, as they can cause more problems in the long run than they immediately solve. In light of this, I do enjoy learning about alternative ways to rev up our engines. Recently, I learned that one very simple way to give ourselves a boost is to "drop and give me 20". Yup, pushups my dears. You don't have to do tons of them. Just a couple of sets of 10-20 should do the trick. You shouldn't get too sweaty from it either—just more alert... uh huh.

9) I was reminded recently that despite huge progress, our society is not a post-feminist era. Women earn less than 80 cents to a man's dollar, hold about 17% of the seats in Congress and represent 3.6% of Fortune-500 CEOs. And oh yeah...better-looking women are more likely to be hired and promoted than those who are less attractive. Yay!

10) Overall, I like Netflix except for one disappointing problem, and that is their inability to insure rental of all discs contained in a season of episodic television. Case in point... This month I finally was graced with a copy of Downton Abbey, season 2, disc 1 and 2 after an interminable time gazing at "Very long wait" on my queue, only to be left wanting when overnight the final third disc was immediately categorized as "long wait". They left me hanging mid-story and mid-season. Other than purchasing the desired dvd's, I suppose there is no way around this issue other than even stricter budgeting of my returns or subscribing to 6 discs at a time, which most likely is the hoped for outcome where Netflix is concerned. It sure would be swell if Netflix increased their disc inventory.

11) One of the hottest topics circulating now surrounds the concept of "having it all". In simple terms, here’s what Mark Morford has to say about the subject. He writes, "Everyone from Jesus to Buddha, the most attuned mothers to the most authentically successful (read: honest and humble) businesspeople say “having it all” really means: Being in true alignment. It means being so deeply present, so connected, so alive, so pulsing and breathing and awake in the moment you are in that no matter what your job status, kid status, celebrity status, no matter where you live or to whom you are married, life is already full to bursting. You have it all in this very breath, right here. Put another way: it doesn’t really matter if you have no kids or 10, a CEO’s desk or a flower shop in Des Moines. Tap deeply into the heart of the gist of the moment, be fully present in your skin, and there you go, baby. You’ve got it “all.” Or rather, you’ve got the right axis around which it all can revolve.

12) Heaven knows, politics is surely Satan's joke on humanity. I equate dealing with politics to any necessary evil, like root canals, income tax preparation and the birth process. There's nothing pleasant about politics, but it's our responsibility to keep abreast and educated in matters that affect our government. It's our duty to vote, and in order to vote we must be part of the process. We can't checkout. We can't give in to apathy no matter how, lazy, lied to, frustrated, impotent or angry we feel. I write this as a means to inspire and motivate myself to be a good citizen and a positive contributor to society, at a time when I truly do feel like throwing in the towel and giving up on the powers that be.

13) “Ladies and gentleman don’t be a fool. No siree. Here’s how to live to be 103. Always let your conscience be your guide. I will demonstrate this advice… now. Savor your youth and beauty, because wicked queens, mean stepsisters, and evil witches will try to steal them from you every time. That reminds me, don’t eat apples unless you know where they came from. Avoid anyone that has a fiendish cackle, a sinister smile, or a diabolical glare, not necessarily in that order. Never sell your voice to a giant sea witch just because you have a crush on some guy. It’s just not worth it. When selecting footwear for the big dance, go ahead and write your name in your shoes. There is nothing to see in the elephant graveyard. End of story. If your first name is Sleeping, and your last name is Beauty, don’t use a spinning wheel. Go out and buy a sewing machine. And hey, don’t steal bread. Maybe you’ll meet someone special. Maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have puppies. Maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll join the circus and learn to fly. Live in the jungle once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in the forest once, but leave before it makes you soft. Treat your elders with respect, and don’t be fooled by bad advice. If a guy named Foulfellow invites you to a place called Pleasure Island, don’t go! I mean, he’s got the word, “foul” right in his name! But trust me on the conscience thing.” ~ Jiminy Cricket

Hot Links for June
The Shelter Co. - A pop up lodging service catering to groups looking for overnight outdoor experiences.

Big Five Glories - A place to watch free classic movies online.

Night Thoughts of William Blake

Recipes for Health

From Alabama to Wyoming: A guide to find farm stands in all 50 states.

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