A Real Sweet Deal…

Source:  Hostess to Seek Approval for Executive Bonuses – ABC News.

Hostess Brands Inc. plans to ask for a judge’s approval Thursday to give its top executives bonuses totaling up to $1.8 million as part of its wind-down plans

It seems in the upper echelons of the business world you get a big bonus if your workers work hard and the profits come in.  But it also seems that if you screw up the company and turn it into a tear-apart bankruptcy you also get a big bonus to stay around to rip it apart.

The little guy just can’t seem to win in today’s capitalistic world. I will lay dollars to donuts (pun definitely intended) that the line workers will be summarily terminated without a dime’s worth of severance.

BTW, For all you guys that are panicking because you might lose your ding-dongs not to worry as the article says there is a lot of interest in buying up the parts. Ding Dongs will stay a vital part of your life. 🙂

The Pit And The Pendulum….

source:  Romney: Obama won by giving “gifts” to voter blocs – Political Eye – CBS News.

In a phone call with his presidential campaign’s financial backers, Mitt Romney today said he lost the election to President Obama because of the “gifts” Mr. Obama gave to certain constituencies, like young voters and Hispanics, the Los Angeles Times reports. “The president’s campaign,” he said, “focused on giving targeted groups a big gift — so he made a big effort on small things. Those small things, by the way, add up to trillions of dollars.”

It seems that Mr. Romney is pretty much a run-of-the-mill politician. He wants to blame his defeat on everyone else but himself. In his mind he ran a perfect campaign so it must have been something else that caused him to lose. In his case he wants to blame it on “gifts”.

He seems to ignore the “gifts” he was trying to give his billionaire buddies. That included the elimination of the “death tax” and the capital gains taxes along with a lower tax rate for the few other dollars they count as income. To him those were not “gifts” but instead things that would back bring economic prosperity via the trickle-down effect.

It is becoming obvious from all the negative responses to Mr. Romney’s words from within the Republican party that many just want him to disappear.  They were never that keen on him to start with. Since the GOP now seems to be headless, kind of like a chicken after the chopping block, there are many who are coming forward trying to take over in that power vacuum. I hope at least some of these wanna-be’s are the moderates of their party. They say that U.S. politics is like a giant pendulum in that it swings from left to right and then back again. In my mind it has been on the extreme right for far too long. That is the “pit” part of this post in the title above. 🙂  I do hope it will move back toward the middle soon.

I am now basically aligned with the Democrats when it comes to social issues.  I believe in a strong safety net and appropriate social services but I believe in doing that in a fiscally responsible manner. That it where a moderate Republican party comes in.  When it comes to money no one does it as well as the Republicans of old. Will Rogers even recognized that eighty years ago.  I don’t need the old time religion but give me back the old time  moderate GOP.

I think this post has finally extinguished my presidential election fever. So, I will now take that pot off the back burner and put it to rest for a while. Hopefully it will be at least a week or two before the 2016 presidential campaign begins…..

They know it is painful; they know it is damaging but….

Some call them sexy; some call them erotic. I call them gross!!!!

I’m sorry ladies but I simply can’t understand why you torture yourselves so much? Do you think if you are six inches taller people will be more attracted to you?  Do you really think they make you look sexier?

Here is what I think and of course since I am just an old guy I’m sure you could care less but I am going to have my say anyway.  I kinda believe the a woman’s IQ is inversely proportional to the height of her heels.  When I see women prancing around on the tips of their toes I wonder who they are trying to impress.  I just can’t understand why so many women, who usually have more common sense than most of us men have, do such stupid things to themselves simply because someone tells them it is the latest trend.

It seems that women need to be guided around like sheep when it comes to the fashion world. No matter how absurd so many seem to jump in line with every trend that comes along. It just doesn’t make any sense to me; I guess I am just too practical or maybe to contrarian for fashion trends.

Here is an article about how women are undergoing surgery in order to fit into these monstrosities. I’m just a simple guy so what do I know….

via Women undergoing foot surgery to fit into heels better – CBS News.

Despite the risks, women are increasingly requesting cosmetic foot procedures — including shortening their toes, adding collagen to their heels and even removing their pinky toe — in order to fit into those sky-high stilettos. Others opt to lop parts off in order to fit into a smaller size….. She also said that wearing shoes is like counting calories in a diet: We should set a time limit to how long we should endure the pain. Brenner suggested give or take two hours for heels, three hours for flats, six hours for boots and all day for sneakers.

Those Words….

Source: Sojourner Mail November 16, 2012

The day after the election, Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler said, “I think this was an evangelical disaster.”  Not really. But it was a disaster for the religious right, which had again tied its faith to the partisan political agenda of the Republican Party — which did lose the election. But Nov. 6 was an even deeper disaster for the religious right’s leaders, because they will no longer be able to control or easily co-opt the meaning of the term “evangelical.” 

During this election, much of the media continued to use the word as a political term — as a key constituency of the Republican conservative base. But what the media really means when they use term “evangelical” is “conservative white evangelical.” All other kinds of evangelicals are just never counted. Just as the 2012 electoral results finally revealed the demographic transformation of America — which has been occurring for quite some time — it also dramatically demonstrated how the meaning of the word “evangelical” is being transformed. 

It is sad how some words can drastically change their meaning over time. One word like that is the word “gay”. I looked it up in the dictionary just now and the first definition relates to homosexuality. “Bright and pleasant; promoting the feeling of cheer” is much further down the list. Please don’t get me wrong here I am not lamenting homosexuality, everyone has a right to be who they are. What I am mourning is the transference of the word gay. I think of myself as a gay person but would never use that description now.

Another word in this category is “liberal”. The Republicans have defamed that word for so long that it is not used much anymore.  I now have to describe myself as “progressive” at least in the social sphere area. That is a good descriptive word in itself but I am still consider myself, at least in my heart, a “bleeding heart liberal”.

As cited above the word “evangelical” has come to mean a religious person who holds radically conservative political views. The word also has a Christian meaning but that is again being lost due to the overwhelming political connotation. As Jim Wallis says above maybe it is not too late to take back this word and put it back totally in the spiritual realm. It would be nice to take this word back from the politics of today. It would be nice to win one once in a while. But I kind of think the word has probably been tainted too much now.

For those who follow my RedLetterLiving blog you know that I have the same feeling about the word “Christian”. To me being a Christian means that you are a follower of Jesus Christ. You live your life as he taught you. You do your part to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth. Today being a Christian most often means that you cite a litany of “beliefs” about Jesus (and often time country) instead of trying to “be” what he taught. Someday I hope we can rejuvenate that word also.

About The Debt…

We are three billion in the hole and will be three billion more next year, and not a Congressman has got the nerve to ask voters to pay part of it.  —  January 29, 1933    Will Rogers

Obviously this quote was said long before even Grover Norquist’s parents were born but it is equally true today as it was in Will’s time. The fact of the matter is up until President Bush, taxes have always gone up to help pay for our wars. But when so many  from the GOP crawled up to the altar of Mr. Norquist with their pledges to NEVER raise taxes this tradition was very unwisely flushed down the toilet. When will we ever learn to never say never? Sometimes it seems that those guys in congress love their party more than the love their country. I don’t know; I’m just a simple guy but it seems that way to me.

Here is some now insightful words from 2007:

Source: Bush Breaks 150-Year History of Higher U.S. Taxes in Wartime – Bloomberg.

Republican Senator John McCain said that while he’s “not averse to asking for more sacrifice,” he rejects a tax increase, even one on wealthy Americans, to help pay for the war. “I’m not sure what the point would be,” said McCain, who supports Bush’s troop buildup and may run for president in 2008. “I would ask them to make other sacrifices, but I’m not sure I would want to raise their taxes just because we’re in a war.”

Unlike apparently Mr. McCain I am a history buff and I firmly believe in learning from the past in order to keep from making the same mistakes over and over again.  The sharpest rise in the national debt in the last sixty years came as a result of taking President Bush’s wars “off the books”. It is the primary reason we are where we are today.

As Will says their  doesn’t seem to be a congressman, especially those of the GOP variety, who have the nerve to ask  at least some of the voters, especially those who have profited greatly during these times, to help pay for these wars.

It seems pretty simple to me that if wars are necessary then asking citizens to pay for at least part of them is the right thing to do. But maybe the problem with this one, and in fact most of them in my lifetime, is that none of them were really necessary.

When we get into hard times in this country we have always asked those who are much better off than the rest of us to chip in a little of their wealth to help out and in the past they have for the most part gladly done so.  There is a bible verse that goes something like this, “For those who have gained much, much is expected”.  When will we start living by that code again?

Power to the People…..

source:  Nonwhite voters and changing values make 2012 election pivotal – Los Angeles Times.

The 2012 election marked the point at which a new American electoral coalition solidified its hold on politics, one built on the country’s growing nonwhite population and on cultural changes that have given younger voters of all races a far different outlook on political issues from that of their elders.

It is still not clear just who made up the majority that swept President Obama into a second term and seemingly muted the Tea Party’s power in today’s politics. But it is obvious that the $1 billion spent by the 1% had little effect on who won elections. It is obvious that the common people, many of color, gained power from this election cycle.

The old rural white, mostly southern, men are running scared. They now make up the majority of a shrinking GOP so it is panic situation for them. They are signing petitions to secede their States from the Union.  They are running about as scared as the McCarthy Republicans after they fell from grace in the 1950s.  If they can’t accept that our nation actually celebrates diversity then good riddance to them. Let them hunker down in their bunkers.

The vast majority of the current national office holders in the GOP are also old white men. It is exciting to see so many women even if they are all of the other party going to the Senate next year. I hope they bring a new perspective to that end of Capital Hill. Women are now the majority in this country and in my mind the sooner they also become the majority in congress the better. Many of the grumpy old white men who now occupy those offices need to retire.

One group of voters that have dramatically increased in the last two elections are the young people. That is the most exciting news to me. Those under twenty-nine make up the largest increase in those who voted in the last two presidential elections and that is a good thing. Now if they also can just take over more of the seats in our congress maybe gridlock can become a thing of the past. It seems young people just don’t have the political baggage that us older folks have.

Of course people of color also came out in groves in this and the past election. I celebrate that also.  Many of them steadfastly stood in hours long lines in Florida and Ohio to vote.

The Grand Old Party (GOP) is indeed living up to its middle initial and becoming old.  While I myself am an old man I celebrate all these new voters. Diversity is what makes our country different from most others in the world. We should all be celebrating that fact. When the GOP sets out to stifle, instead of encourage, the vote in order to win elections they are putting a stamp of doom on their party and for the most part they don’t even seem to realize that fact.  I hope they wake up soon.

But I’m just a simple guy so what do I know….

Bumper Sticker Says It All…..

I know I promised to move away from politics but when I saw this bumper sticker last week I couldn’t resist showing it to you. Especially because it was in Indiana which is a very red State. It kind of surprised me like when I come across another deaf person. 🙂  If anyone has something similar for Democrats I would love to see it. But then again an elephant has to hurt worse than a donkey…

Karl Rove on why Romney lost: Obama was ‘suppressing the vote’

Source: Karl Rove on why Romney lost: Obama was ‘suppressing the vote’ – CSMonitor.com.

“He succeeded by suppressing the vote, by saying to people, ‘you may not like who I am, and I know you can’t bring yourself to vote for me, but I’m going to paint this other guy as simply a rich guy who only cares about himself,’ ” Rove said.

By his definition of suppression, it sounds just like traditional “opposition research” and negative advertising. Does Rove (himself a purveyor of negative ads in his work for George W. Bush and now at the Crossroads GPS group) have some different point to make, or is this just sour grapes over the election outcome?

Karl Rove has a lot of explaining to do. He took over a $1 billions from some very rich folks and delivered virtually nothing for them.  Not only did their candidate Mr. Romney lose the election but many of the tea party also came up short. Mr. Rove has a lot of explaining to do but even I did not imagine he would blame it on President Obama suppressing the vote?

Before the elections we heard news that Republican governors in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida were doing things to make it harder for people to vote. They were instituting last minute voter ID laws and such; thank heavens our judicial system cancelled most of them before they were implemented.   They were shutting down early voting because it looks like minorities were the predominate participator in that process.  They made some, mostly in Democratic districts, stand in line for over seven hours when they tried to vote early.

So, to hear Mr. Rove explain why he wasted so much of his donor’s money is a total surprise to me.  He wants to blame it on the very thing that he so successfully instituted for George W. Bush.   He practically invented the modern day version of mud slinging.  I just couldn’t help but laugh out loud (that’s “LOL” to you young folks) when I saw the above title.  I laughed even louder than when I heard of his childish rants about not conceding on election night.

Mr . Rove has done a great disservice to the GOP with much of his meanness  over the years.  He is sixty-two this year so maybe it is time for him to retire. I’m sure he siphoned all a pretty big chunk of that $1 billion in personal fees so he shouldn’t have to worry about money.  But of course for people like him it is all about power so I doubt that he will leave the playing field voluntarily.

I wonder if any of the GOP hopefuls coming up will go to him for any advice? We would all probably be better off if they didn’t. Maybe the next generation of GOP leaders will be more tolerant of differing views.

But I am just a simple guy so what do I know….

Intolerance….

Many times Will Rogers’ words are an inspiration to me. Of course he saw a lot of prejudice in his times. Maybe more so than even I do today. When I found these words from him about intolerance I found them indeed inspiring.  No explanation is needed. These words stand on their own today as much as they did in Will’s day.

I have sometimes wondered if the preachers themselves have not something to do with intolerance. You hear and read a sermon nowadays, and the biggest part is taken up by knocking or trying to prove the falseness of some other denomination. They say the Catholics are damned, that the Jew’s religion is all wrong, or that the Christian Scientists are a fake, or that Protestants are all out of step.

Now, just suppose, for a change they preach to you about the Lord and not about the other fellows’ church, for every man’s religion is good. We are all trying to arrive at the same place according to our own conscience and teachings. It don’t matter which road you take  –  March 11, 1923    Will Rogers

I Got Some Explaining to Do……



I have some explaining to do here. In alignment with making a new design for this blog and this morning’s post about remaking ourselves I am making a new commitment to going back to the roots of this blog.   In other words I am turning over a new leaf. (I got to figure the origin of that phrase sometime) The words of Will Rogers have been a significant part of my life and of this blog. Regrettably I have been straying from that general area lately but I intend to make a course correction going forward.

That does not mean that I will quit talking about folks that might be controversial in one way or another but now I will do it in a more lighthearted mode. In other words I am going to move away from the dark side of politics.   I will also be going to Will’s words more frequently than I have in the past.

And that’s a promise….

We are living in an age of explanations, and plenty of  ’em too. N0 two things thats been done to us has been explained twice the same way be even the same man  – January 28, 1934    Will Rogers

 Now that I am done explaining it is time to get to work 🙂

Remaking Ourselves….

As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world — that is the myth of the atomic age — as in being able to remake ourselves. — Gandhi

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood  behind me.  — 1 Corinthians 13

Looking back on my life Gandhi’s quote above inspires me with its wisdom and the second quote from the Bible mirrors the same message.  Being able to see the circumstances and the facts and then making changes is where the greatness lies.
This seems to be a very tough message in today’s world where gridlock and stubborn instance of being right is the norm. There are just too many in the world who are consumed by their current worldviews  and are totally unwilling to even consider that they just might not have all the answers. Read more

Happy Thanksgiving….

While this post is being automatically published I am busy working in the Backstreet Soup Kitchen preparing a Thanksgiving for those homeless and financially challenged in my area.  I can’t think of a better place I would want to be. Thank you Lord for showing me my purpose in life. Caring for others is MUCH more rewarding than focusing on myself. Thank you for the many blessings in my life….

What Happened To You John???

John, I can’t tell you how unhappy I am to see what you have become. I so admired you in the past.  You were the self-proclaimed “maverick” in the senate. You were a moderate when so many of your GOP colleagues were turning to the right fringes of your party.  You did not strictly tow the party line when so many other were afraid not to.  I actually looked up to you as the person who would bring the GOP back to the center.

But then in 2008 you seemed to start unraveling.  When you chose Sarah as your running mate I began doubting your wisdom.  I couldn’t have dreamed of a worse choice, that is until Romney’s choice. (I just don’t understand why the GOP guys pick such radicals to be “a heartbeat away”?)  Then came the campaign season where like so many others in politics you mutated into something completely unlike the original you. You seemed to bend in whatever direction your handlers instructed you. I couldn’t understand why you did not hold to your principles. Read more