Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Not really a post... but I link to something funny so it's not all bad.

I just thought I'd check in to let you all know that I'm still around. I'm working that other job I cover at work this week and I had hopes that I would be able to manage a blog post during the week but I've decided that I probably won't be doing so.

So, in lieu of an actual post you get an apology and a link to an article I found that made me chuckle.  Perhaps it'll do the same for you.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Saturday Six - November 24, 2012

1. L is for LACTOSE: What’s your favorite dairy product? This is easy:  Cheese!

2. L is for LANGUAGE: If you could learn any language that you haven’t already studied in any way, which one would you choose? Chinese

3. L is for LAUGH: Who is the last comedian to make you literally laugh out loud? I'm not sure... Maybe Billy Connelly as I recall hearing an interview with him a couple days ago (or maybe yesterday...) He's a funny man and he was making the interviewer crack up, as well, so it was doubly funny.

4. L is for LEATHER: How many items made of leather do you own? I don't think I own any. I used to have a leather coat but it was so heavy, I didn't enjoy wearing it. 

5. L is for LEFTOVER: Which specific food leftover from Thanksgiving dinner do you tire of the fastest? Turkey - unless it is combined with something else as in a casserole.  It is a rather bland meat to eat by itself. (thank goodness for gravy!)

6. L is for LIBRARY: How often do you visit your local library? I really don't anymore. I get books through Paperback Swap online so I almost always have a pile of books waiting to be read.

These are the Saturday Six from Patrick's Place.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Are Human Beings Naughty or Nice?

Are people essentially good or evil?  Do we have to work to overcome our natural selfish tendencies or is our first impulse to be cooperative? Philosophers and theologians have argued over the nature of human beings for centuries.

Most of us are aware of the concept of original sin which has a basis in Bible scripture, Romans 5:12 and 1 Corinthians 15:22.  In short, the actions of Adam, the first man in Christian doctrine, caused sin to enter the world and, as his descendants, we all are sinners. (If I'm stating that incorrectly in my attempt to simplify it, I apologize.  Feel free to correct me in the comments.) This implies that we have a tendency to act evilly.

Thomas Hobbes, the English philosopher, also thought that men, without an authority to govern them, would quickly turn to their evil nature. (though he didn't attribute this to any sort of religious basis)

The Swiss philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rosseau, adamantly disagreed with Hobbes citing the behavior of Caribbean natives and their "uncorrupted morals" as his proof.

A new series of scientific studies may help to resolve this argument once and for all.  Scientists studied the behavior of thousands of subjects who they had play a market game.  Individuals were divided up into small groups and an individual had a choice of either keeping money they earned for themselves or contributing it to a pool which would increase if all contributed and would benefit the entire group. They timed how long it took for a subject to make up his or her mind. People who made their decision quickly would be more likely to use intuition than those who stopped to think it over.

It was determined that people who made quick decisions - and therefore acted on impulse - were more likely to share their earnings with the group and those who took longer to make their decision tended to keep it.  This was seen when they made people wait to decide or made them make quick decisions as well as when they allowed them decide in their own time. This suggests that human beings are not intuitively selfish individuals.

So!  It seems that these studies indicate that human beings are basically non-selfish which we can take to indicate that we are good by nature.  No wonder Santa brings us all gifts every year...

Image in the public domain and I found it here

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving, All!

I love vintage cards and such so I'll give you two to enjoy this year!

Have a lovely holiday (if you live in the US) or a lovely Thursday if you don't!  Take care travelling, and I'll see you back here on Friday. 

(provided I find some blog fodder over the holiday)

No, I've no idea why the girl is riding the turkey and I truly doubt that one would allow it but whatever!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

No More Twinkies?!?

A note to my readers:  I wrote this post after Hostess had requested to file for bankruptcy but before the judge ordered mediation between the company and its employees.  I'm not going to go back and alter the post again - as I already did so once when the Canadian company spoke up telling everyone they could get the products through them. Just keep in mind the time frame if something isn't accurate. Thanks! 

I'm sure everyone has heard by now that Hostess Brands, maker of Wonder Bread, Twinkies and Ding Dongs will be shutting its doors.  Most new sources are quick to point out that we may not have seen the end of some of their more popular products as other companies could buy the rights to make them themselves.

I also heard that there is a Canadian manufacturer who has the rights to make many of the Hostess products in Canada and this company will still be making them. So you might still be able to get your Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and Twinkies if you order them from that company.  It's thought that the company might look into opening some factories in the US to make them, as well, as there is now a market for them.

In any event, I'm going to focus on the Twinkie today in my post. I think all or most of us are familiar with that particular Hostess product.

To be honest, I'm not a big fan of the Twinkie. They've been reformulated over the years to the extent that I don't think they are anything like the originals - though I'm way too young to know for sure! They look the same but I'm sure the flavor has changed - especially with the addition of the high fructose corn syrup and such.

Interesting facts about the Twinkie:
  • Twinkies were invented in 1930 by James A. Dewar. He wanted to find a product to make on the strawberry shortcake machines which sat idle when strawberries were out of season.
  • The cream filling in a Twinkie used to be banana creme.  During World War II, bananas were rationed so the manufacturer switched to vanilla creme.
  • The Twinkie was Archie Bunker's favorite in his lunch kettle on the TV show All In The Family 
  • "Twinkie defense" is the name given to an unlikely legal defense and stems from the trial of Dan White who was charged with the murders of Harvey Milk and George Moscone in San Fransisco in the late 1970s.
  • Twinkies appeared in the movies Ghostbusters and Zombieland. (These are the ones I'm familiar with.  Let me know if there are more that you know of!)
  • Woody Harrelson's character in Zombieland had to eat a Twinkie which caused a problem because Harrelson is a vegan so he couldn't eat a real Twinkie. They had to make a vegan version for him to eat for the taping.

Finally, if you really truly think you'll miss eating Twinkies you can always make your own! There are several recipes around the internet but I thought this one looked promising.  I'm thinking they might actually taste better than the ones you could buy, anyway, as we don't add preservatives and odd sweeteners when we cook!

Image taken by Evan-Amos and found here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Feel Like Skipping Christmas This Year?

Someone in my circles on Google+ linked to an interesting article on CNBC this morning.  A poll seems to suggest that up to 45% of us would rather skip Christmas this year.  It appears that the major reason for this has to do with stress and financial reasons (or stress due to financial reasons, perhaps?)

This sort of thing always strikes me a bit odd.  Perhaps this is because no matter how poorly I was doing financially over the years (and believe me, there were some lean years) I never felt that I had to spend a certain amount of money to make the holiday right.

My parents were brought up during the depression so they knew how to live within their means. They never placed a huge value on the gift part of the season. Yes, we exchanged presents but that wasn't a big deal.  The family meal with all the siblings and our aunts and uncles was more important.

I won't say that my mother didn't get stressed out about preparing the feast because that wouldn't be entirely accurate.  I will say that much of that had to do with my mother wanting everything to be perfect and that this was simply the way she was about these things.  It was largely self-imposed stress that the rest of us didn't feel.

Now, yes.  I'm not a Christian and you might think this has a lot to do with my point of view but you'd be wrong.  See, even when I was a Christian I never felt this sort of financial stress around the holidays.  I just did what I could do with what I had. This is because the most important part of the entire holiday season to me is getting together with family and friends - not what we purchase for each other.

I guess you could say that the most important gift my parents gave to me was the ability to live within my means and I learned that from their fine example.

Image found here

Monday, November 19, 2012

Energy Drinks Linked to Deaths?

I heard a story on NBC Nightly News stating that the FDA is looking into whether 5-Hour Energy Drinks are linked to 13 deaths over the past 4 years. This is not the first time that energy drinks are being investigated by the FDA for safety concerns.  Monster energy drinks are being investigated, as well, to see if they are the cause of 5 deaths.

Note: It is important to realize that just because a product is being investigated in this way does not mean that it is actually responsible for the deaths or injuries! Incident reports like this are filed  with the FDA so that the products can be investigated to determine whether there is a problem or not. 

The main concern with these sort of drinks seems to be the caffeine contained in them. The manufacturer states that one dose of the 5-hour energy drink contains about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. I should note that if you read the label a "dose" is actually half of one of those mini bottles so if you drink the whole thing, you are getting 2 doses with caffeine equivalent to about 2 cups of coffee. Still, this doesn't seem like an extravagant amount of caffeine for a grown adult -especially if he or she is accustomed to consuming caffeinated beverages.

Dr. Sean Nord tells ABC News in this article that if a person drinks multiple shots of this drink, they could get "astronomical amounts" of caffeine equivalent to 30 to 40 cups of coffee which could cause side effects.  Now, to be fair, it seems unlikely that one person would consume 15 to 20 2-oz. bottles at a time - especially at the price of practically $3.00 a bottle! (Although it appears that you can purchase them in 12-packs through Amazon for a much lower price)

A lethal does of caffeine for the average person seems to range from what is contained in 80 to 100 cups of coffee - though this depends on the weight of the individual as well as other factors.  That amount of coffee would translate to 40 to 50 5-hour energy bottles.  Again, an extreme amount for any one person to consume - at least in my opinion.

Now, to be honest, I'm not a consumer of energy drinks of any kind.  I prefer to get my daily caffeine through my numerous cups of coffee throughout the day and I am an unashamed coffee aficionado.  In short, I love my coffee.  I'm unlikely to consider ever purchasing these energy drinks but, as a caffeine consumer, I am skeptical of the demonization of the chemical that I've seen over the years. I still recall hearing about studies that seemed to suggest that caffeine causes cancer, raises cholesteral and causes high blood pressure  before more recent studies came out that seemed to show no connection at all between caffeine and these conditions.  So, I will remain skeptical about claims between caffeine and these deaths unless science proves otherwise!  Your opinion may vary.

In any event, the take-away from this situation should be not to panic but it would be prudent to stop drinking or limit your consumption of these energy drinks if you are concerned until the FDA has time to complete their study. Of course, minors should NOT consume these drinks as they are intended for adults.

Oh!  and while I was conducting research for this post, I came across this bit of dark humor. You choose which caffeine-containing product you want to consume, put in your body weight and it will calculate exactly how much you would have to consume to reach a lethal dose! Enjoy!

Image of a caffeine molecule found here

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday Six - November 17, 2012

1. K is for KAKISTOCRACY: Which president would you rate as the worst in history? Wow.  What a question.  Without putting too much thought into it, I'd say Herbert Hoover.

2. K is for KARAOKE: If you had to sing a song in a Karaoke tournament, which song would you choose? Oh, dear...  I really don't sing well, but if I got up the nerve, I'd go all out!  "Don't let the sun go down on me" would be my choice.

3. K is for KETCHUP: Which condiment do you use the most? Mustard.  I'm not a big fan of ketchup but I have 3 or 4 different kinds of mustard in my fridge and I use them all!

4. K is for KEY: What does the oldest key you own open? Perhaps the one to the house that I grew up in.  My mother no longer lives there but I can't seem to get rid of the key.

5. K is for KITCHEN: What would you most like to change about your kitchen? The floor.  I would like to put down tile in there.  Right now we have linoleum but it's not in the best shape.

6. K is for KNOWLEDGE: Which single school subject has served you the best in your adult life? That's easy:  Math! (I work in accounting...) English would probably be a close second.

These are the Saturday Six from Patrick's Place!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Pizza CEO To Raise Pizza Prices Over Obamacare

Papa John's CEO, John Schattner, has an issue with the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Part of the plan that has yet to kick in will require any employer with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance coverage for them or pay a fine of $2000 per employee per year. Currently, Mr. Schattner doesn't provide health insurance coverage for his employees.

Now many employers in this situation would simply decrease the wages for the employees to help cover that cost.  Mr Schattner's company, however, hires many of its workers at minimum wage so he cannot reduce their wages.  He'll have to pass that expense on to his customers, he declares!  It will now cost an extra 11 to 14 cents more per pizza!

Well, now.  Things might not be exactly the way he wants us to believe.  For one thing, Clare O'Conner of Forbes says it will be more like 3.4 to 4.6 cents per pizza, not the 11 to 14 cents more that Schattner touts.  Secondly, I don't know about you, but personally I wouldn't mind a 15-cent increase in the price of a pizza if I knew that extra money was going to insure the employees of the company.  Seriously.  15 cents isn't going to break me.  I find more change than that in the laundry every week.

Now, I'll be honest.  I'm not a fan of John Schattner. No, it's not because he was a major Romney supporter and fundraiser nor because he is a multi-millionare who lives in a mansion.  Nope! What gripes me is that he makes that much of a profit while he pays many of his employees minimum wage -which isn't enough for a person to live on now days- and then he turns around and gives away 2 million free pizzas this year as part of an NFL promotion. And now he has the nerve to complain that he will have to spend money to do right by his employees by offering health insurance to them.  There is something wrong with this picture, don't you think?

Sorry, Papa John.  I have no sympathy for you. I would feel my nerve to have to admit that I pay my employees minimum wage and then complain about a program that will cost me $5 to $8 million a year while I'm literally giving away $24 to $32 million in free pizzas.

Image obtained here

Thursday, November 15, 2012

R.I.P Thanksgiving?

A couple years ago, I complained - loudly - about the fact that our local radio station started playing Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving.  They played nothing but Christmas music 24/7 until Christmas.  I thought they were pushing things.

Well today I was sitting at work, listening to the local radio station, and I realized that they are playing Christmas music.  ALL Christmas music. It is a week before Thanksgiving!  What the heck happened to Thanksgiving?

For years we've been hearing about The "War" on Christmas from conservative media sources.  Well, now it appears that there is a War on Thanksgiving!

  • Several stores aren't waiting until Black Friday for their holiday sales but are opening in the evening on Thanksgiving this year
  • I've seen houses with Christmas lights up that the homeowners actually turn on at night already!  I've nothing against putting them up when the weather is nicer but don't light the darn things until the holiday  season begins!
  • I drove past a house the other day with a Christmas tree up inside - and it was decorated and lit!
  • Christmas music is playing in stores and on the radio!
  • Stores are already decorating for Christmas!
Now, I enjoy the Christmas season as much as anyone does who isn't a Christian.  I enjoy the pine and holly decorations and strings of lights glowing in the dark of winter and gatherings with family members.  I enjoy giving gifts to others and like to see the expression on their faces when they open them.  I even enjoy shopping to find the perfect gift for a loved one! (and I hate shopping generally)

I do think there can be too much of a good thing, however. As far as I'm concerned, I don't want to hear Christmas music or see Christmas decorations until two weeks prior to the holiday. I'll even give you more than that if you insist!  Start the day after Thanksgiving if you have to!  But let's not forget Thanksgiving! 

It's a lovely holiday itself! The football games, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, the family gathering for the feast, the autumn decorations and the remembrance of the first Thanksgiving long ago are all worthy of celebration and should not be overlooked.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Christmas Present for Ugandans

I'm sure my readers are aware that the US re-elected President Obama to serve another 4 years.  I'm obviously pleased with this outcome but there were some other results that I'd like to focus on. Voters in Maine and Maryland approved legislation to allow same-sex marriages in those states!  This is historical as these are the first states to legalize gay marriage by popular vote.  I also consider it a sign that the tide has definitely changed and we are headed in the right direction here in the United States when it comes to LGBT rights.

Meanwhile, half-way across the planet we have countries where simply being homosexual is illegal and could land you in jail. In the majority of countries in Africa being gay is illegal. The leaders in these countries state that there are cultural and religious reasons for this discrimination.

One of these countries, Uganda, has one of the strictest pieces of legislation already in place and is looking to pass another law by the end of the year. This bill was previously referred to as the 'Kill the Gays' law because the highest penalty for being homosexual was death. Because of international outcry, this language has been removed but the current version requires teachers, doctors and other professionals to report gay people to the authorities or be arrested themselves and the penalty for being gay can be life imprisonment for repeat offenders.

Rebecca Kadaga, Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament says that a group of clerics asked her to pass the legislation as a Christmas present and that Ugandans are "demanding it". She says there is a serious threat posed by homosexuals to Uganda's children.

I'm sorry but what?!?  Gay and lesbian people aren't a threat to children!  These people who are demanding this sort of legislation in Uganda are operating from a position of ignorance!

I delved deeper into the situation. First I noticed mention of alleged wealthy homosexuals who were supposedly recruiting young children into a gay lifestyle. Seriously? Who are they?  Where is this happening? Citation needed.  Show me the evidence and I will believe this one. Otherwise? Sounds like a crock of bull to me. (and to Rachel Maddow as well as others, I'm sure.)

See, one of the first things that people do when they are operating from a position of fear and ignorance is to bring up concern for children. As the article I referenced points out, this is nothing new. In this particular case, the protection of children from homosexuals is mentioned. This thinking is flawed and comes from a distrust and dislike of gay people not from facts.

I then realized that one of the articles I read mentioned anti-gay activists holding signs that say that homosexuality is "an abomination."  Now where have I heard that before? Ah, yes.  The bible.  Leviticus 18:22 to be specific.

So, not only are people making claims that are not based in fact but they are justifying their claims with their religious beliefs.  Brilliant.  Ignorance backed up by superstitious nonsense. The perfect storm, if you will.

Now, I am outraged by this situation and you should be too - especially the American people reading this. Why?  Because religious organizations based in the US are funding and supporting this ignorant legislation!

David Bahati, who proposed the legislation in Uganda, is a member of The Family, an Evangelical Christian political organization based in the United States. (according to author Jeff Sharlet) The Family, also known as The Fellowship, is the group that holds the National Prayer Breakfast that our US Presidents attend almost every year.  It is not clear how influential this group really is but it is clear that they do not respect the idea of the separation of church and state here in the US or in Uganda.. Uganda's constitution guarantees freedom of religion and states no official state religion so this implies that their founders, too, believed in a secular government.

Then there is the Family Research Council.  When Congress wanted to pass a resolution denouncing Uganda's plan to execute homosexuals (back when capital punishment was still on the table), the FRC was lobbying members of Congress to kill the resolution.  Did they succeed?  Well, it passed in the Senate but was given to the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House.  It's not seen the light of day since.  Now, granted, the Ugandan government did revise their legislation to remove the death penalty but this doesn't change the fact that members of the US Congress were unable or unwilling to pass a resolution denouncing killing people because they were gay.  And this, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly why we should be alarmed!

While we here in the US are making strides in the fight for civil rights of LGBT individuals, we have groups who are working both here and abroad to prevent this move forward and they are using religion to justify their actions!  Think of that next time you chow down on waffle fries at your local Chik-fil-a. Why? Because the Family Research Council is one of the groups that the company donates money to through their WinShape Foundation.

Image courtesy of Benson Kua and found here

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Influenza Facts and Fiction

I got my flu shot this morning at work.  Did you get one this year?

According to the CDC, about 5% to 20% of Americans come down with influenza each year but each year is different and it can spread quickly through a population that isn't vaccinated.

I was curious how many of us get the vaccination each year so I looked it up.  Last year only 42% of the US population received the vaccination.  I was a little surprised by this until I realized that a quick poll of my coworkers showed that only 38% of us got them this year so that seems like it might be accurate. (Admittedly my poll is not at all scientific - I simply asked all my coworkers in my small office whether they got the flu shot this year.)

I've heard many reasons why people don't get the shot but some of them are based on misconceptions. One big one is that flu shots can cause the flu.  This is false.  The virus used in the flu shot is dead so it cannot cause you to get the flu.

Another misconception is that if you are young and healthy, you don't need to get the flu shot.  While it is true that you might be more likely to fight off the illness without any nasty repercussions, you might want to consider those around you.  Infants younger than 6 months old and people allergic to eggs are unable to be vaccinated against influenza so they could catch the disease from you.  It's something to think about.  I know one of my reasons for getting the vaccine is so that I don't infect any of the infants or young children in our family when we get together over the holidays. Unfortunately, one of my nieces has refused, thus far, to allow her son (who is 3) to receive any vaccinations at all so I feel I should get vaccinated, myself, in an attempt to protect him from his parent's ignorance. Yes, I am really bent out of shape by the whole anti-vax movement. Don't get me started.

There are tons of myths concerning the flu as well as the vaccine.  I found a good list of them here that I highly recommend reading.  If we make a point of educating ourselves, we can make decisions based on facts rather than myths.

Image by United States Department of Health and Human Services [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Monday, November 5, 2012

Voting Traditions

I've often thought it odd that we vote on a Tuesday here in the US and I've wondered why.  Turns out that today this is largely because of tradition.

There was, of course, a valid reason when it was decided on in 1845.  It had to do with the fact that many voters would have to travel an entire day by horse and buggy to get to their polling place and it would take another day to get home.  The source I found mentioned that many wouldn't be able to travel on Sunday - the Christian day of rest- and Wednesday was traditionally market day and thus an important day to farmers so Tuesday would be election day.  (Travel Monday, stay overnight, vote early Tuesday, then travel home that same day)

Of course, as I stated, there is no real reason to continue to hold elections on Tuesday these days.  The vast majority of people work Monday through Friday so Saturday or Sunday would work better for most. Bills to change Election Day to a weekend day keep dying in committee in Congress, so I guess we may not see this change any time soon.

Even better, in my opinion, would be to allow early voting in all states for the two weeks prior to Election Day so as to make it easier for everyone to make it to the polls. I'm honestly not sure why some states don't have early voting in place.  My state, Pennsylvania, does not have any sort of early voting and some years there is quite a line to get in to vote on Election Day!  I haven't been able to find an online source to explain why my state will not allow early voting but I imagine the answer will be the same as why we vote on Tuesdays:  Tradition.

Image found here

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Saturday Six - November 3, 2012

1. I is for ICEBOX: What’s your favorite food that’s in your refrigerator right now? The refrigerator is on the empty side right now as I am doing the weekly shopping today.  So...  I guess I'd have to say black olives.  

2. I is for INANE: Of the television shows you watch regularly, which would you call the dumbest? It might be 2 Broke Girls.  It started off alright but I think it might be getting a bit far-fetched now.

3. I is for INCOME: Do you think the wealthy should receive enough breaks to pay a lower tax rate than the middle class? Nope!  I think the current tax code has entirely too many loopholes that allow this sort of thing to happen.

4. I is for INEDIBLE: What’s your least favorite vegetable? Brussel sprouts.  I've never learned to like these but I'll eat them.

5. I is for INJURY: What’s the worst injury you’ve suffered in your life? I guess when I broke my left wrist. That's the only bone I've ever broken.

6. I is for INK: Which color ink do you prefer to write with? I prefer black ink - fine point

These are the Saturday Six from Patrick's Place!

Friday, November 2, 2012

News Bits - November 2, 2012

The big news this week is Hurricane Sandy.  I won't dwell on the storm or the damage as you can easily find more than enough information elsewhere about that sort of thing.  What I wanted to point out was a little story that demonstrates, to me, who we as Americans - and human beings - really are.
In Hoboken, New Jersey, there are folks who are still without electric.  Some residents, however, do have electric and are sharing their good fortune with others.  They are running extension cords outside so that people who want to charge their cell phones and other electronic devices - their life lines, really - can do so.
This reminded me of what I see happening all around me. When disaster strikes, neighbors help neighbors. In my neighborhood, people are helping others clear away fallen branches and trees from their yards. This is who we are and I hope that we always remember that.  It doesn't matter what our race or skin color is. It doesn't matter what our sexual orientation is or what gender we are.  It doesn't matter what political party we are affiliated with.  It doesn't matter whether we are religious or non-believers. We help each other.  When we come together, we are strong and there is next to nothing that we can't accomplish.

In other news, I heard yesterday that some Ex-Penn State officials are being charged with trying to cover up the actions of Jerry Sandusky over the years.  I hope that if they are guilty, they throw the book at them. Imagine all the suffering that could have been avoided it just one of them would have contacted the authorities and put an end to the abuse.  It boggles the mind that they could put anything above the safety of young boys.

In more positive news, I found this montage of the Best Inventions of 2012 on Time magazine's website. I, personally, am totally blown away by the indoor clouds, Google glass, the Mars rover and even the idea of self-inflating tires but am amazed it took this long to come up with body armor that fits women properly!  What are your favorite new inventions?

This week - today, in fact - the last space shuttle (Atlantis) is travelling to it's final resting place at the visitors center at Kennedy Space Center. I hope one day to travel to see one of these marvels of science up close. I never did make it down to watch a launch as I had once hoped to do. I guess we shouldn't put off doing things that we really want to do, should we? Life is too short and before you know it, the opportunities pass us by.  I hope that the US Space program continues to thrive and that we elect people who value the knowledge we obtain when we explore outside the earth's atmosphere.

Speaking of elections, this time next week we will have elected our next President of the US. At least I hope we know who won by Friday next week!  Things are looking plenty close in the polls right now - enough to make me one nervous individual! I've made no secret of the fact that I am strongly in support of President Obama in this election and that I think it would be truly disastrous if we were to elect Mitt Romney. I've enumerated my reasons in several posts which are summarized here so there's no reason to go into them again.  I hope that if you are registered to vote, that you do get out and vote next week.  Your vote really does count.

Have a good weekend, folks!  I'll be doing some canvassing for Obama on Saturday and perhaps Sunday, as well.  Hope you find something enjoyable to do, as well!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why I could never vote for Mitt Romney

Now, anyone who reads my blog knows that I am a liberal Democrat and that I am voting for Barack Obama in this election.  In fact, one could say that I am solidly behind President Obama in this race.  There is no question in my mind that he is the better candidate for our country.

Now, truth be told, President Obama is not my idea of an ideal President.  He's a moderate while my views are far more liberal.  That says a lot.  Still, there are certain problems that I have with Mitt Romney that ensure that I could never, ever vote for him.
  1. We really don't know who Mitt Romney is!  What does he actually believe?  Who knows? What will he do when in office?  I've no idea!  Why?  Because the man seems to change his position to whatever he needs to say to get elected.  When he ran for office in Massachusetts, he was much more liberal.  Now?  Right-wing conservative.  Who knows what he really will do when in office?  I certainly can't say!
  2. Mitt Romney lies.  Easily.  Now, yes.  Many politicians are dishonest or don't tell us the whole truth.  Unfortunately, that is what many people do now days to get elected.  Most of them do not desperately formulate total lies just to make the other candidate look bad so close to the election that the other party hardly has time to counter the statements with the truth!  One example? His television and radio ads about Chrysler. Other examples of his dishonesty can be found here or just Google Romney lies for more examples.
  3. Mitt Romney thinks that it is the role of the government to tell women what they can or cannot do with their own bodies!  Now, yes.  He says that he has exceptions to his pro-life stance for the life of the mother and for rape victims, etc, but quite frankly I don't believe a word of it.  He has stated before that he would like to see Roe vs. Wade overturned! The man doesn't think that businesses run by religious institutions should have to pay for health insurance that covers birth control, either. Worse, he wants to defund Planned Parenthood.  Frankly, I don't think he really knows what goes on in those clinics and he really doesn't care.
  4. Mitt Romney does not comprehend the concept -much less the importance - of the separation of church and state in our country.  Oh, yes.  He says he does but then he says that he thinks that it has gone too far.  Look, Mitt.  You either have separation or you don't.  There is no "too far" about it.  This separation is especially important to people who have less popular religious beliefs - like he does - or those without such beliefs to ensure that they do not feel discriminated against.  Sadly, he is too busy pandering to the religious right to acknowledge this.
  5. Mitt Romney is so far removed from the reality of how life is for the rest of us that he cannot possibly govern us properly!  He thinks that emergency room treatment is an acceptable form of health care!  He thinks that FEMA should be dissolved and that the states should fund their own clean-ups in times of disaster although he seems to have flip-flopped on that one in the wake of Hurricane Sandy (quelle surprise).  He thinks that college students should just borrow money from mom and dad if they need more money for college and it doesn't occur to him that mom and dad may not have it!  Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, thinks that social security should be privatized! Romney doesn't seem to realize that middle-class people do not generally make a living off of capital gains, interest or dividends so telling us that he won't tax this kind of income doesn't do anything to help us! Worst of all, in my opinion, is that Mitt Romney doesn't realize that people in the US aren't stupid.  In fact, he's so sure that we are that he doesn't even try to explain why he changed his mind on major issues because he doesn't think we realize that he has!  
  6. Mitt Romney doesn't appear to have an ethical bone in his body despite attempting to represent the moral majority.  He's been caught lying countless times, he changes his stance on topics depending on who he is talking to, he holds some of his fortune in offshore accounts (which seems fishy to me, although it isn't illegal), and now it appears that he may have benefited  by the auto bailout without disclosing it, as well! The man isn't to be trusted with the office of the Presidency and there is no way I could ever vote for him.
image found here