Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Embracing cultural differences …

You know, enjoying bits and pieces of different cultures can be a fun thing. The tradition of Las Posadas and La Cena de Nochebuena are family-worthy events that transcend cultures.

The practice of “me la robo” is not worth embracing. Me la robo is an indigenous Mexican tribal practice where the “groom” decides he wants a young woman for his wife (and I do mean young!), so he kidnaps her, has sex with her, then returns to ask permission to marry her. Of course the girl is tainted and no longer a virgin, so more often than not, permission is granted.

The practice has been going on in the small rural armpit town of Greenfield, in the Salinas Valley, for some time. The Triqui “tribe” is from the Oaxaca region of Mexico, and not only do they keep to themselves, they speak a tribal language and very little Spanish (and their children attend public school and of course require bilingual education that is a bit more complex than just teaching in Spanish and English.), they happily practice the act of me la robo. Never mind that it’s illegal in the United States to rape a girl and then “sell” her for beer, meat and cash, which is supposed to be used for the wedding celebration.

Late last year, 36-year old Marcileno Martinez allowed Preciliano Sanchez to act as a broker in the marriage for his 14-year old daughter. His neighbor, Margarito Galindo, 18, asked for the girl in marriage and agreed to pay a “dowry” of $16,000 cash and hundreds of cases of beer, wine, soda and meat for the wedding. Galindo bundled up the girl and took her to nearby Soledad, had sex with her, and then returned to Greenfield.

Martinez called the police when the dowry failed to appear, claiming his daughter had been kidnapped by Galindo. The girl and Galindo were found in an apartment three doors down. Galindo’s family produced the marriage contract and the girl claimed that everything was consensual.

Martinez is charged with providing his daughter for lewd acts, aiding and abetting statutory rape, both felonies, and cruelty to a child. Galindo has been charged with misdemeanor statutory rape.

All are illegal aliens.

It Is my understanding that the schools in Greenfield are broke because of the cost of educating the illegal alien children (and of course anchor babies) of the Triqui tribe. These kids do not speak Spanish, and no doubt their parents do little to nothing to help themselves or their children assimilate into the prevailing culture—which used to speak English and did not encourage sex with underage girls! I’ve been told anecdotally that a popular source of income is selling drugs. When I was a child, Greenfield was a quiet, clean and close-knit little town with Swiss-Italian farmers and dairymen, and the Hispanic families who lived there had deep roots in the community.

It’s a cesspool today. The dairies are gone, and the family farms have been gobbled up by larger agribusiness commercial faming firms. The city has a huge gang problem.

The bigger picture is this: the U.S. government’s failure to secure the southern border has destroyed Greenfield, just like it has destroyed hundreds of small towns all over the nation. The “benefit” of cheap illegal labor in no way can make up for the costs incurred by local and state government by giving taxpayer-subsidized services to the overwhelming illegal alien population that puts little financial resources back into the pot.

I have asked this rhetorical question before and I’ll ask it again: just which political party is dragging its heels the most when it comes to securing the border. The technology of fence building is pretty old and well-established. It’s easy to do. So that’s not the issue here.

Are Republicans the ones dragging their heels because of the cheap labor? Are Democrats pandering for votes and future Democratic voters? Isn’t it about time we really answer that question once and for all?

I’ve done farm work. It’s hard work but no worse than digging a ditch or picking up garbage cans. There are thousands of unemployed young people who reside in the U.S. legally. There is no reason those young men and women couldn’t do farm work for a season or two. It beats unemployment. Or does it?

And with the messiah president closing Gitmo, it’s going to be a simple thing for those prisoners to make the quick hop from Cuba to Mexico, and then north. Ah what the heck, there are probably maps being printed while I type this. Securing the border is for our own security, both physical and economic. Why can’t politicians get that?

You can read the latest news story about the Greenfield me lo robo case here.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Incoherent Sunday ramblings ...

I was going to write about the TyGirlz dolls “controversy” but I’ll save that for another day. (Needless to say I think the whole thing is ridiculous …)

In today’s LA Times, former Congressman Mickey Edwards (or am I supposed to call him a congressperson?) published an opinion piece titled “Reagan wouldn't recognize this GOP.” The article is here if you are interested.

I didn’t recognize Edwards’ name, so being the astute writer I am, I Googled him. He served as Oklahoma’s 5th District congressman from January 1977 to January 1993. His education includes an undergrad degree in journalism and a J.D.

Anyway, it got me to thinking. Would Reagan be shocked at what’s happened to us? Why is it that our political party is thought of as the party of “exclusion, division and nastiness.” The article also describes the GOP as “not a conservative party, it is a party built on the blind and narrow pursuit of power.”

Personally, I think that phrase better describes liberals. When there is a president in office carping “I won” during a working discussion with congressional leaders regarding the president’s proposed economic stimulus plan, you should know we are in trouble.

So who are “we” excluding anyway? Is the problem with the GOP that first and foremost we embrace the concept of personal accountability and that government in any size is not the teat that nourishes us? Why does history seem to forget that the Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, and that a Democrat, FDR, was the knee-jerk reactive idiot who implemented Executive Order 9066 which locked up Japanese Americans in internment camps after Pearl Harbor? Okay, so maybe Lincoln is “ancient history” in our here and now-oriented society, but there are people who lived through the “War Relocation Camps” who are still with us. We’d like to think that couldn’t happen today, but Democrats of course also believe that government is infallible and wants to take care of us.

I attended a ceremony for the 20th anniversary of Reagan’s Civil Liberties Act of 1988 this past summer. You’d think that many of those Japanese Americans in attendance would be members of the GOP or at least not broadcast their affiliation. Of course when the usual Bay Area political personalities (including the Democratic senator from the area and a certain former Secretary of Transportation) started talking about the opportunity we all had in electing a black president, the room erupted in cheers. Electing a black president was an opportunity? Never mind no one had any idea where this candidate stood on issues of interest to Japanese Americans (or any Americans for that matter)—his “blackness” was just too good to pass up.

Anyway, to a point I agree with Mickey Edwards in that Reagan would not recognize the GOP today. The party has lost its spine. It used to be unafraid to stand up and take a position on issues. Among my biggest pet peeves is the failure to secure the southern border. I honestly believe that most Americans want the border secure, period. But you have each party pointing the finger at the other, those evil rich Republican businesspeople like that nice cheap illegal Mexican labor, and those kumbaya Democrats want more Democrats, so certainly they cannot offend an entire group of people by not letting them pass freely into the U.S.

And why is it that whenever an article regarding crimes by illegal aliens pops up in the SF Chronicle, an overwhelming majority of comments are for securing the borders and in favor of deportation?

Are people ashamed to admit to conservative leanings, because in today’s “we’ve got to include everyone” mentality, it’s unfashionable to think of America first?

And why is it that if a Republican does the right thing by civil rights or looking at the bigger picture (for example, working to keep terrorists out of our country and protecting ourselves from extremists via Bush’s war on terrorism), everyone seems to forget? As I recall, the biggest opponents of civil rights in the 1960s were southern Democrats … how soon they forget! Have we already forgotten Clinton’s laughable response to the bombing of the USS Cole?

I sure hope that the individuals who claim to be members of the GOP are able to remember just what they are supposed to stand for. I’m not against compromise but I sure am against just rolling over and doing nothing just to remain in office …

I am somewhat incoherent today due to sleep deprivation. My back hurts like hell and of course the comp carrier didn’t contact me on Thursday like promised… I was nice and gave State Fund the benefit of a doubt and didn’t get on the phone Friday, but you can bet I will tomorrow. I guess in their eyes it’s okay for me to be locked up at home, eating 8 double-strength vicodin a day, even though I find that taking so much medication is not a good thing to do … I guess it wasn’t such a good idea to stay up late last night to watch the NASCAR race from Irwindale last night. Yes, I admit it. I did watch a NASCAR race. I used to be a much bigger fan until my favorite driver, Bill Elliott, cut back on his racing. My daughter and I watched because she is long-time friends with one of the guys who was in two of last night’s races. His name is Auggie Vidovich, and despite his talent as a driver, he can’t get a full-time ride because he’s not marketable because of his last name … it’s just not American enough. Blech!

Friday, January 23, 2009

So what is the difference between me and my raging dem friends?

Sometimes I just can’t help but talk political beliefs to my co-workers who claim to be hard-line totally loyal Democrats. I want to better understand what it means to be a “democrat.”

I am going to make a hard confession here. I was briefly a Democrat. In 6th grade.

It’s an election-year staple to have mock elections in civics/history class when you are in grade school. It is supposed to help you learn about the electoral process, help you learn to make decisions for yourself regarding where you stand politically (independent of your parent’s beliefs), and build a sense of pride and patriotism in being an American and having the right to choose a president.

So two kids stepped up to the plate, one girl (Deanna) representing the Democrats and Hubert Humphrey, a boy (the smartest person I knew when growing up, his name was Glenn Crow) representing Republicans and Nixon. We had a mock convention and after the class heard each platform, you chose which side best represented your beliefs.

I quickly saw the writing on the wall. All of the popular kids were taking the Humphrey side, even though Glenn had done a much better job of explaining the differences between the candidates. Being that I was not one of the popular kids, I decided to go with the pack and decide I was a Democrat. Even though I knew I wasn’t. Poor Glenn had few kids on his side.

Anyway, I went home and was talking to my dad about what had happened in class, and how I thought I was really a Democrat, even though I disagreed with pretty much everything Deanna had argued. My dad told me that it really wasn’t too bright to ever vote against your conscience just to be part of the prevailing in-crowd.

The next day I went over to Glenn’s side and haven’t looked back (well, except for the Terri Schiavo thing).

So fast-forward to today. When I talk about what I expect from government with my supposed liberal friends, we end up wanting the same things. Don’t raise taxes, curb spending, secure the borders, smaller and less intrusive government is better, etc.

(One could argue that in reality, neither side wants secure borders, but for different reasons. Republicans want that nice cheap undocumented labor, and dems are looking for new Democrats! Why can’t we simply admit that a secure border will allow us to know exactly who is in the U.S., and it’s not about whites versus Hispanics, etc. Besides, I don’t hear about illegal Canadians getting welfare or CalWorks benefits and bankrupting California …)

What I want to know is this: I thought the basic beliefs of Republicans were less government, not overtaxing the citizens, promoting personal responsibility and protecting personal freedoms, and that Democrats believe that government is the teat that feeds us all, and that we need government to keep us safe from ourselves, and that it’s okay to spend irresponsibly as long as it feels good.

Why do so many of my so-called Democrat friends expect the same thing from government than I do? Are they really Republicans who don’t want to do the unpopular thing and admit they are somewhat conservative, or am I a closeted Democrat?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

So the coronation is over ...

I am certainly glad I did not visit one of my worksites yesterday. I was going to go in and catch up with a coworker I haven't seen since the end of October, but sort of thought I might be walking into a raging dem celebration with the big screen TV in the main conference room blasting the goings-on in D.C. I did that visit today and learned from another co-worker (who is a Reagan Democrat who has voted Republican ever since) that she just about went nuts with all of the "partaying." Yes, the big screen was going full blast, people were wandering around the office eager for the change to come, and yes, even watched the idiots disrespect Bush.

It was nice to learn that there are two of us in that office. The upper management pair are lifelong democrats who have served in elected office; one was finally termed out of a supervisor's job. The marketing person is a raging dem. My friend I was visiting claims to be dem, but when we talk about politics, we rant and rave about the same things, which makes me wonder is she really a dem or am I really a Republican?

But she swallowed the Obama kool aid and doesn't care if there are all of the unanswered questions about his background and character.

Anyway, I gave my newfound ally the link to Sweetness & Light and told her it might be a good place for her and her Republican husband to hang out the next four years or so, with a community of like-minded people who are asking the questions, waiting for the answers, and *not* drinking the kool aid.

I also learned that a television crew showed up at one of the community colleges and took video of kids sitting around cheering the coronation. Big effin' deal. Dumb kids, I doubt many will ever see the light.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Taking part in history

I'm sitting here thinking about all of the crazy people in Washington, D.C. who are there in the name of "history."

I am as interested in history as anyone (it was one of my best subjects in school, look at all of the good it did me!), but I sure wouldn't put myself out that much just to say "I was there."

But actually I did that once—on September 17, 1987, when Pope John Paul II visited the Monterey Peninsula. I am a "cafeteria Catholic" but like many Catholics, felt there was just something special about this Pope. So when the opportunity to volunteer came up, I stepped up and offered my services as an RN, wherever they were needed. All I'd hoped for was a glance of John Paul II.

The Pope offered mass for 50,000 people at Laguna Seca, a world-famous road racing track. I'd hoped to end up there, working in first aid, but I was assigned to the press room at the Carmel Mission Basilica, where John Paul II was holding an audience with 3000 people following the mass. He was to visit Junipero Serra's grave, have lunch onsite at the mission, and then take an afternoon nap before he departed. I was there to attend to the medical needs of the several hundred media types who'd been following the Pope during his U.S. tour. I handed out tylenol and motrin, but I was there because I'd had advanced life support training, and could start medical treatment in case of catastrophic collapse of a media person.

There would be no opportunity to see the Pope. Or so organizers thought.

Somewhere along the line it was decided the Pope would slightly modify his route out of the Mission, and all volunteers were allowed to stand in a plaza area and watch him get into his car and drive off. He looked back at all of us, raised his hand in that way he did, got into the car, and drove around a roundabout, looking at us all of the way, with his hand raised in blessing.

That image is burned into my mind. When John Paul II died in April 2005, I held that image in my head and whenever the sadness was overwhelming, I'd close my eyes and see him, alive, waiving. He went out of his way just to see those of us who chose to serve him that one day.

I would go out of my way for the Pope, even though I disagree with so much of the Catholic church's doctrine. I would never go out of my way for the cult of personality that is our commander-in-chief, starting today.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Why must certain professions be so strongly linked to liberalism?

Hindsight is of course 20/20. And as you get older, usually you get wiser.

I decided to become a registered nurse when I was 19 years of age. It wasn’t so much a love of mankind but a conscious decision to have a career that for as long as I chose to work, I’d have a job (boy was I wrong about that!). After a couple of false starts at college (dropping out due to knee problems that I thought were fixed—ha!), I began to work toward an associate’s degree in nursing in 1978, starting the actual two-year nursing program in 1979.

As I learned more about the profession, I discovered there were two areas that I was pretty darn good at—labor and delivery and surgical nursing. I caught on real fast in both areas, and was among the few students in my cohort who was invited to scrub into actual surgeries and to fully participate in managing laboring mothers, including internal exams.

I ended up working at a place I had no desire to work at, but I was unable to leave the area, being married and thinking my husband was right in his desire to stay in the area. One of the first things I had to do when I acquired that job was join the California Nurses’ Association—a union.

My experience with unions up until that time had been watching the United Farm Workers use intimidation methods to achieve their goals. I sure hated the idea of giving a union my hard-earned money to do next to nothing for me.

Naturally union membership included subscriptions to newsletters, and it was then I learned that being a nurse meant being a liberal Democrat. Calls for donations for PACs and other liberal special interests came in the mail thanks to my union membership.

In retrospect, would I have sought another career if I’d known that my career choice would have linked me to liberal ways? I admit I am pro-choice, but I am also pro-spaying and neutering of repeat welfare offenders.

I am also against universal healthcare, but I am for the government getting truthful answers as to why health care is so costly (is it really lawsuits and insurance premiums or just greedy doctors?). I am against non-taxpayers with social security receiving care (especially adults). I am against illegals specifically coming to the U.S. to get free health care. I am against the misuse of emergency room services for routine health care, too. I saw plenty of abuse while working at that hospital.

Today I received an e-mail blast from a freebie nursing publication, “inviting” me to click a link to be part of tomorrow’s inauguration celebration.

The e-mail read:
“Nurse.com presents Inauguration 2009: Where will you be on Jan. 20? Go to nurse.com/inauguration to be part of the crowd!”

Our nurse writers and editors will be covering the historic inauguration of Barack Obama. We’ll travel by plane, train, and bus to bring you reports from…

• A Chicago-to-the-Capitol-bound busload of nurses who knew Obama way back when

• A special medical unit stationed smack dab in the middle of the crowd on the Washington Mall

• And from the hottest seat in town, front and center in the media section at the swearing-in ceremony

I deleted the e-mail.

I do keep my nursing license active but sometimes I question my sanity. I will never work as a nurse again because of my job-inflicted back injuries. I do not have the proper degree to do any sort of administrative or research work as a nurse. Yet because of my career choice, I am assumed to be liberal and receive plenty ‘o propaganda in my snail mail and e-mail.

I do not expect any liberal cause to help me get work. Being liberal is all about being “young” and “hip,” and I am neither.

Not that I've done any better with what I ultimately did when I did finish a four-year degree. My BS is in public relations, a profession that is highly linked to journalism. And we all know where most journalists stand politically nowadays ...

More writing for me ...

Not paid writing, mind you, but I've been asked to contribute on a regular basis to the Trials & Tribulations blog. Right now this is the only place you can get decent information on the Phil Spector trial; the blog owner attended most of the first trial and is the only person other than the judge, attorneys, support personnel and the defendant to attend every day of testimony in this second trial. Mainstream media isn't even covering this trial on a daily basis!

My usual "beat" will include Bay Area shenanigans, including noteworthy and unusual crimes (usually involving murders), along with sanctuary city and illegal immigration rantings. It's a very entertaining blog with several contributors who are watching such cases as the Caylee Anthony tragedy and the Haut de la Garenne trial in France.

I should have something up later today about the BART shooting on January 1 and its aftermath (thus far).


Sunday, January 18, 2009

All Coronation, all of the time

I honestly can't remember this much bullshit leading up to an inauguration. There are "inauguration specials" everywhere.
Of course this is a "historic" inauguration.
Aren't they all?
I remember laughing at the Carters walking down D.C.'s main drag, waiving madly at the gathered crowds and thinking "how silly."
I remember Reagan's inauguration and feeling hopeful ...
I remember Bush I and feeling okay about it ...
I remember Clinton and thinking "oh no... we are in for a rocky ride." Little did we know ... out of that administration would come a new definition of how "sex" is defined.
I remember Bush II and thinking "well, I did prefer McCain, but okay ..."
I hope to forget the feeling of doom I'm feeling with January 20, 2009 so near.
I confess to being angry enough at Bush II one time during his eight years that I considered re-registering as an independent. That was during the Terri Schiavo fiasco, when he brought the government's business to a halt while legislating more torture for that poor woman. I don't exactly love the idea of Iraq, but withdrawing now is equal to Vietnam II. A bit less respect for the U.S. on the global stage ...
Could someone please wake me in time for the 2012 primaries and election?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Captain Chelsey B. Sullenberger III—An American Hero

I have been thinking a lot about the actions of Captain Sullenberger the past couple of days. He's the US Airways pilot who safely landed an Airbus A320 passenger plane on the Hudson River after the plane's engines were disabled, probably by a flock of birds (or a couple well-placed Canada geese). Captain Sullenberger's cool thinking and knowledge of his airplane saved the lives of 150 people.

Captain Sullenberger is 57 years of age.

How many employers/industries would have tossed this man aside by now? Fortunately for those 150 people and their families, US Airways had the good sense to keep him around. Captain Sullenberger is a prime example of smarts, good military training and a personal interest in investigating aviation crashes and improving training for evacuating airplanes during an emergency.

I will repeat this until I am blue in the face: Older workers have so much to offer today's workplace, and today more than ever. With our economy in the toilet there is little time for people to learn on the job, even with the most impressive college credentials. The biotechnology industry is starting to whine about a shortage of qualified scientists—and of course bemoan the poor quality of education in the U.S. so there are few qualified scientists in the U.S. or in the pipeline. (Do you smell a plea for more guest worker visas?)

I know there are qualified older scientists out there who have been discarded in the name of "cost." I also know that in today's economic uncertain times, older workers do have the good sense to understand the need to bite the bullet and accept a somewhat lower wage than they are really worth. Why is it that employers believe that all older workers will demand too much in salary? Why is it okay to hire a younger worker at (presumably) a lesser salary, only to have to take the time to train that person? Wouldn't it be wiser to hire the older worker who is ready to hit the ground running?

Sadly, I don't see our incoming president select having the testes to take this on. Even though he himself is a "young" baby boomer, he doesn't seem to relate to this generation. By denying the talent that boomers do possess, he (and the rest of the U.S.) is missing out on a wonderful resource that could no doubt assist the nation out of the pickle we are in thanks to the Democratic Congress and the mortgage failure crap quagmire we are all caught in.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I can't help myself with this one ...

An Associated Press story that was in the SF Chron yesterday ... note the headline!

Bathroom Break: Will inauguration have enough?
By Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press Writer, Thursday, January 15, 2009

To Conrad Harrell of port-a-potty supplier Don's Johns, next Tuesday's inauguration of Barack Obama will be historic, but not in the way you might think.

"This is the largest temporary restroom event in the history of the United States," he said.

Don's Johns is providing many of the 5,000 port-a-potties for the inauguration, but there are other suppliers as well, such as Mr. John, Johnny Blue and Johnny on the Spot.

In all, there will be 5,000 port-a-potties from about 10 different vendors for Barack Obama's inauguration. On Thursday, they stood ready on the mall, port-a-potty-to-port-a-potty, some green, some blue, others gray.

The big question: will they be able to handle the call — er, nature's call — of the up to 2 million people?

"We think we've reached an appropriate number and can accommodate the crowds," said Kevin Griffis, a spokesman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, a privately funded organization that is picking up the cost.

But Bill Line, a spokesman for the National Park Service, said there was really no way to say for certain.

"Ultimately, does anybody know how many people will show up?" he asked.

Line said that the Park Service recommends that organizers provide one port-a-potty for every 300 people, but stressed that it was up to the Presidential Inaugural Committee to decide whether to follow that. At that ratio, 5,000 port-a-potties would handle 1.5 million people.

For other large events, such as July 4 and the Cherry Blossom Festival, there are usually around 800 port-a-potties, Line said.
Harrell said that Don's Johns, based in Chantilly, Va., will have trucks on hand to handle any overflow situation, but attendants would hopefully pre-empt that by locking port-a-potties that fill up.

Organizers also point out that museums will be open for people to use bathrooms and escape from the cold. Griffis said the Presidential Inaugural Committee has paid the Smithsonian Institution $700,000 to open two of its museums, the National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian Castle, early at 8 a.m.

In addition, the Old Post Office Pavilion will open at 5 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. and the Ronald Reagan Building will be open 24 hours Tuesday, according to a news release by Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington D.C.'s delegate to Congress.

Harrell was confident there will be enough port-a-potties. "Absolutely," he said. "Absolutely."

Me here. This is just too easy! Does anyone remember stories about past inaugurations and concerns about the ability to handle the shit? At least according to the article the cost for the crappers is being borne by Presidential Inaugural Committee, a list of Hollywood and wealthy types looking to buy some favor with the messiah.

Perhaps some of that money would have been better spent in taxes? Are donations to this Presidential Inaugural Committee deductible?

The true meaning of this article: liberals are full of crap and Washington D.C. isn't sure it can handle all of the shit!

Gah, what a crock of doo-doo!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Finally ...worker's comp is doing something!

I heard from State Fund yesterday, and my file is at least in the hands of a utilization reviewer. Too bad my doctor is more qualified than any reviewer, but I digress. My file is also in the hands of a female adjuster who sounds a whole lot smarter than the last affirmative action beneficiary who had my file.

Now on to the not fun stuff. My contract was terminated by the community college district I'd been working for since the fall of 2005. I had been doing communications for this district, and doing a pretty darn good job. I was getting stuff placed in industry publications and to a lesser degree, in local medias. About six months into the job, in the spring of 2006, I was promised the full-time position (when it opened up and an official job description was created) by the chancellor of the two colleges and her assistant.

Last March I interviewed for the job. I showed up to the interview with a fever of 101 (something I'd never do for a normal job interview, but I felt my work spoke for itself), feeling like crap after working an event the previous three days that was produced by the district itself. My references weren't checked. Each were prepared to say I was the right person for the job.

In June I received a letter saying I did not get the job. In July, I received an e-mail from the chancellor asking me to fix a news release draft written by the person who did get the job, and who would be starting in the fall. I can usually edit/fix anything, but that blob of words was impossible. To this day I am not sure what the thing was supposed to be about.

The person who got the job was a Latina with a history of being fired/asked to resign from a pair of high-profile PR jobs due to incompetence.

Because of the budget crisis here in California, the community college district cut all independent contractor contracts. Now tell me this, why not keep someone who costs you $40 an hour (and worked maybe 80 hours a month) versus someone who costs the district $100K (salary and benefits) and that someone cannot do the job? One of my duties was to produce a monthly newsletter, which means figure out what to write, research/interview, obtain photos and ultimately do an 8-page layout using InDesign and Photoshop. Once I'd been told my contract was no more, I was asked to turn over the work I'd done thus far, which I did. It was all done in InDesign.

The "new" PR gal had a fit because she does not know how to use the program! She is also having a fit because I did not turn over notes to the stories I was going to do—because I had taken no notes!

She's in her mid-30s, I am not. I have had three prior back surgeries. I have an advanced degree; she does not. She has been the beneficiary of affirmative action all the way through school; I have not.

What I want to know is this: what plans does the messiah have for people like me? I have no recourse regarding the "job promise" because there is no way anyone is going to admit to having told me that. But why is it once a person is "in" they keep getting chance after chance based on ethnicity? Answers ... anyone?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Free speech is on its way out ...

So much for free speech … and the ability to criticize the messiah.

Posted on the SF Chron’s message board by Chron management/editor regarding the appointment of Leon Panetta as head of the CIA (oh Lord, where did that one com from?)

“Comments that criticize the judgment of the person who made the appointment will be considered to be a hate crime by the editorial policy of SF Chron.”

Okay so it's okay to call Bush dumb because he's a white male and it's not okay to criticize the messiah because he is a black male? So people of color, whatever color other than white, are off limits because criticizing them is a hate crime?

We are in trouble. I wish I spoke German and had dual citizenship. I'd enjoy living abroad for about four years ...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

More thoughts on Caroline & her father

Funny that I was ranting about Caroline Kennedy and her sudden interest in “serving” NY state and the same day I tripped over a program on the History Channel that revealed things about her father’s personal life and presidency. My father was right all those years ago! The program went in-depth about JFK’s health problems (I had no idea about his colitis, and the way it was treated, with steroids, is what caused his Addison’s disease) and how precarious his health was. I can’t help but wonder if Caroline perhaps may share some of those problems, specifically the colitis simply because of her drawn and elderly appearance. Gosh, she looks so old! I know 51 isn’t exactly a spring chicken but with all of the money she’s got, she should look like a million bucks. Which of course she has! Have there been any media inquiries into her health?

I had no idea that JFK was treated by the notorious Dr. Feelgood, and just how dependent on some very serious medications he was just to be able to function. His inner circle did a great job of keeping that quiet, even though according to the program, RFK did confront JFK regarding some of the prescription drugs and was told in no uncertain terms to butt out.

JFK’s womanizing makes Bill Clinton look like a choirboy. I’m kind of surprised no mystery children of JFK have popped up. Not that being unfaithful to your wife is any reason to not be elected, witness Clinton.

I was also surprised to learn JFK wasn’t quite the civil rights champion he has been made out to be. Why is it that some of the presidents who did some pretty rotten things civil-rights wise aren’t condemned more by historians? Roosevelt ordered the Japanese rounded up after Pearl Harbor; Kennedy was slow in sending in National Guard troops during times of civil unrest in the deep south (and I wonder if he had sent in troops just what would they have done, what would their mission have been).

JFK was no saint. Funny thing I remember about my German-born mother’s comments during those days in November 1963 was if and how JFK would be fast-tracked to sainthood. I am serious. I have no idea if that was a media thing or a Catholic thing, but I do remember my mother arguing with my father about just that. With everything we are learning about the man himself, I guess that’s not going to happen.

The media back then didn’t have such instant communication methods, and they were a bit more controllable. There is no doubt in my mind that JFK was the first president elected by the media, and had he lived, RFK would have been the second.

The early 1960s were indeed a scary time with the Cold War, but when you think about it, we are in equally scary times. We have a president who has a whole lot less experience than JFK had (at least Kennedy served in the military) and I think that Obama’s Cabinet is as inexperienced as Kennedy’s was. (Unlike Obama’s Cabinet which is chock full of his cronies and people he owes favors to, Kennedy is said to have hardly known anyone on his Cabinet at all, except of course for his brother.)

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