Monday, March 29, 2010
Of course, I leave Minnesota on the week when temps are going to be close to 70. That's about 20 degrees above average for this of year, around here.
I leave also with the uncertainty of not knowing if Cooper and I will be able to secure the sponsorship needed in order to do the radio show, on AM950. I had a good meeting with with our core sponsor, but if they don't come though, there will be no way we can get this off the ground. At least, I think I have a plan B on that front.
It's also going to be tough taking a week off from the cab. Taking extended time off is something I just don't do. I am also going to TRY to clear my mind of all that's going on politically. This fight over health care reform and the subsequent name calling and other vile acts, have left me exhausted from just paying such close attention to it.
But what I'll miss the most is Lori. In the 5 years we've been together, this will only be the 3rd time we've been apart for more than a day or two. Neither one of us handle that very well. Much of what we do, we do together. However, she doesn't have the same tolerance for long drives that I do and her work schedule would have made it hard for her to take the trip with us. I will send her lots of pictures and pick up, at least, a few souvenirs. But I will miss my true life partner for the 4-5 days that I'll be gone.
It will be nice to take a trip and see a couple of people that I haven't seen since childhood, but I am already looking forward to getting back.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
I should be back by Thursday, ready to hit the ground running (well walking swiftly, at least). I will have an eye on the latest happenings and will have plenty of material for next week's show.
Until then, Adios...
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Even though Cooper won't be on this afternoon, today's show will deal with a topic that the normally fun loving Brian is very upset about, the backlash of racially charged innuendo aimed at black members of Congress, following the the passing of the heath insurance reform bill.
Since then, one member received "mysterious" white powder, while another had a brick thrown through his office window.
Now, every day Americans are having to deal with this over the top hatred. A man with an "Obama" sticker on his bumper had his car rammed by a liquored up Tea Bagger.
Are these isolated incedents or is it developing into something much worse?
I invite you to join me at 4pm Cental Time.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
These are just a few examples of incidents over the last couple of days, since the health insurance reform bill became law. Have the fucking Teabaggers just gone completely nuts? Or are these incidents being perpetrated by some whack job(s) with no real dog in the fight, that was looking for a reason to wreak havoc?
Call this what it is... TERRORISM!!!
Is it going to take someone dying before we understand this? Are we still a civilized democracy, where issues are decided at the ballot box or have we gone the way of some un-named third world country, where policy is shaped by intimidation?
Can we blame Limbaugh, Beck, Wiener (Savage), Bortz and Hannity?
Maybe not, but I haven't seen any reports that these individuals, or any other right wing show hosts, are condemning these acts.
Don't think for a moment that this president won't act to protect the country. If this keeps up or escalates, don't be surprised to see some sort of crack down.
This is the kind of crap that will cost the Republicans in the 2010 mid-terms. I'm not delusional enough to think the party is in anyway behind this. Non the less, this type of activity will begin to garner "sympathy" votes.
And I thought the liberals had some whack jobs...
More than likely an endorsement he wasn't looking for.
Earlier this week it was reported that the Acorn group has indeed folded. While there is no denying that this group was very poorly managed, I'm concerned that the group of people from the inner city that this organization helped rally for political causes will now have no representation.
The wealthy suburbanite wing of the progressive movement has no problem with being politically active. The middle class, working poor and the downtrodden, on the other hand, seem to be less politically active, unless there is a hot button issue that directly affects them. For the most part, the latter two sections of society are too busy trying to survive to get involved in the political process.
Unlike many people at my income level, I have a little extra time between runs to be able to gather information and to express my opinion via this blog. However, as much as I'd like to, I do not have the time to commit to be a full-time advocate for the poor. This is where groups like Acorn were important.
It is my opinion, that if we are to continue down the path of social justice, the more affluent members of the progressive movement may have to go out into the inner-city to help those individuals get involved in the political process. In other words, if things like healthcare and financial reform are important to you, it will take more than putting a sign in your yard for your particular candidate. You will need to go out into the community and help educate others who may be otherwise too busy to stay informed in the political process.
(I have since learned that the organization has changed names and has ordered certain "chapters" to cease and desist. The new name is Community Organizations International.)
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I get the right of free speech. Matter of fact, I encourage it. And don't think it's just my bleeding heart coming out. I said the same thing when people on the left were mocking George W. Bush on several different occasions. You wonder why no one takes you seriously?
A little humor is fine. But these are serious times for serious people. Nothing at all will get accomplished by name calling and spitting on members of Congress. All you have managed to do is embolden the wackos on the other side of the fence.
Is this the same group of people that I admired for self-reliance, love for God and country? I actually find this quite disgusting.
If this is the best you Tea Party types can come up with in the face of adversity, then you deserve to lose.
You know, this reminds me of that three-year-old at the family restaurant. The one that always throws a temper tantrum. After a while, you just ignore the the kid, for your own sanity. Trust me, that's how most sane individuals throughout this process view you folks on the far right.
My suggestion to you people is to do like I did, in November, take it to the ballot box. Until then, quit your bitching.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Fact is, this wasn't a big issue to Republicans. Status quo was working just fine for them.
I have never seen such a big disconnect from average everyday Americans in my entire life, as what I've seen from the Republican Party over this healthcare issue. It just goes to show you, that big business is going to win out over the little guy each and every time, when it comes to the policies of the Republican Party.
I was in denial myself. I didn't want to believe that the Republicans didn't care for the average working guy. Remember me? The so-called Redneck Cabbie? I was all for things such as self-reliance and less government intrusion into our lives. All I was looking for was an opportunity to buy my own health insurance. But it became obvious with my high blood pressure and type II diabetes issues, I was never going to be able to purchase health insurance regardless how much it cost. So when I looked to a Republican candidate in the '08 election for a possible solution to this problem, all I got was silence.
Oh there was plenty of talk about the Iraq War, even more about the economy. But Obama, Clinton and Edwards were all talking health care and yes, I was listening.
So, my Conservative friends, it is what it is. Senators Franken and Klobuchar, as well as whoever runs against Michelle Bachmann will have my full support. And if that means I have to put up with a little tree huggin', kumbaya hu-ha, oh well... Maybe some day, you Republicans will listen to all your constituents, not just the ones that can afford to pay ten grand to pose with Sarah.
That's what they will say too... Nobody wanted this bill. Funny... People I talked to were all for it. Those folks holding down 2 full time jobs, at minimum wage, that still couldn't afford health insurance for their families. Nobody at Fox News seems to be polling those people.
Don't underestimate this. The Conservatives are madder than the Stienbrenners when Joe Mauer re-signed with the Minnesota Twins. I can't wait to listen to Limbawl and Whaanity this afternoon.
All I'm saying is that if you were part of this "minority" of people that wanted (or needed) healtcare reform, you need to get out and support those members of the House and Senate that were in your corner through this process. Likewise, if your congressman was one of the obstructionists that did all they could to continue with the staus quo, send them packing, this November. Or else all that has been gained could be lost.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Those of us who cannot get affordable health insurance on the open market have waited for a long time for this moment to come.
This is been a long hard battle for Presodent Obama. One, that in the short term, may have cost him some political clout. Somehow, I don't think he cares about all of that. I think, down deep inside, this president feels that he was sent to Washington with a mandate. A "to do list," if you will.
I think if this bill passes, you will hear a gigantic sigh from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, that will be heard halfway to the Mississippi River. At that point, I think the president will be able to carry on with somewhat of a normal agenda.
I got to say I found this whole process of the health care reform debate quite exhausting. Emotionally, I'm drained from all of this. And I wasn't even the one fighting in the trenches.
Win or lose, I want to take this time to thank the president and those brave members of the House and Senate, who have taken a lot of abuse from those on the right . The ones who have spread a ton of mis-information on everything from death panels to spiraling increases in the federal debt.
After this is all said and done, I hope the president gets a chance to relax and maybe enjoy some March and early April basketball.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
This was on an account that I no longer post to. I've had a year to contemplate this post, which drew nearly 1000 times more hits than I get on a normal video posting and I've come up with these conclusions...
First off, I want to apologize for referring to these people as Somalians, the correct vernacular is Somalis.
Secondly, I want to acknowledge the fact that the level of gang activity by Somali youth is relatively small compared to be bigger issue of gang violence in the city of Minneapolis.
Lastly, I realize that bad apples come from all walks of life. Unfortunately, some of the dealings that I had with Somali cab drivers in the year leading up to the time that video was made left me jaded to the entire Somali community.
There are many things that I do not understand about the Somali culture. That said, there are many things that Somalis do not understand about American culture.
Americans have a tendency to be a little paranoid about things they do not understand. I, like many Americans, have little knowledge about Islam. That's why after 9/11 many Americans felt that those of Islamic faith were all looking to bring harm to them. Much like the reasoning behind the internment of Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor.
They say that time heals all wounds. I hope that those who read this understand that I was directing most of my disdain toward bad cab drivers, as opposed to a particular group of individuals. I don't say this very often, but I am sorry to those who might have offended by these comments.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Now, I'm not going to speak for Cooper, he does well enough on his own. What I am going to do is tell you what I think the major problem is, as well as my idea for a solution.
I don't think this issue has anything to do with race or culture. I think we can all agree that the Hispanic culture is steeped in tradition and that Mexican-Americans have made great contributions to our society. The problem is, in my opinion, the overwhelming burden that those here illegally have put on our education and social service systems.
I understand the desire help all those who are in need. It is really the Christian thing to do. But our economy cannot sustain long term funding of programs that are being used by illegals, without some form of compensation. Where would the compensation come from? Well, why not from Mexico? It is their citizens we're caring for, right?
Even if this country were to get a fraction of the cost to educate, feed and give medical care to those here illegally, we'd still be better off than we are right now. And just maybe, if the Mexican government had to chip in for the care of it's citizens that are in this country, they may do more to discourage the practice of jumping the fence to begin with.
Now, I'm not gullible to think this plan has a snowball's chance in Acapulco of coming to pass. But the fact is something practical has to be done, which will require thinking outside the box some.
We will talk about this more, this Saturday.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
I've wanted one of these things for quite a while now. I had settled for another kind of smart phone that worked OK, but nothing like this.
Of course, I won't do anything stupid like trying to text while I am driving. But I'll have at least a couple hours of downtime each day to get to know my new toy... eh... tool...
The lady said her son had health insurance, but was dropped when his doctor suspected his illness and ordered monthly colonoscopies. The young man could not afford the $1000 exam, so he went without the procedure.
After several months, his condition worsened. He was down to 115 pounds and was vomiting fecal matter. Mercifully, he passed away.
The sad thing is, this story is not unique. The United States is the wealthiest country in the world, yet day after day, people die, from conditions that could be treated, if they only had health insurance.
Congress has been volleying the heathcare reform issue around for over a year now. While the current senate bill does not contain important elements, like the public option, it is the best thing we as those who believe in reform can home for at this time. So let's stop the bullshitting around and get this thing passed.
In it's simplest form, the current legislation will stop insurance companies from dropping people that get seriously ill and require them to provide coverage regardless or pre-existing conditions.
I encourage anyone that reads this to get of your ass and call or e-mail your representative and senators and tell them to get this bill to the president's desk.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
But you know, I understand the frustration with those who abuse the system. Those of us who get state assistance should try not to burden the system with our bad habits.
I think someone that gets medical assistance should be trying to get some help beating that pack a day of heaters or half gallon of ice cream routine that's shortening their lives and breaking the bank of the program that taxpayers are funding.
And damn it, if you get today's equivalency of food stamps, try to make the allotment last more than a week. There are families that have over a 100k in household income that can't afford steak and lobster once a week. Somehow, it's not right that someone that gets government aid in order to eat blows the entire wad on ritzy items, only to hit up the food shelves half way through the month.
Abuse of entitlement programs only emboldens those who feel that there is no place for government in helping Americans wit everyday necessities.
So to those who rely on these programs, try to use a little common sense. Or someday, you could find yourself with no help at all.
Monday, March 8, 2010
It's not that the poor have turned to the teabaggers or anything like that. They just seem to think that by electing Obama, all their problems would be solved. Anybody that knows anything about politics knows that's not how it works.
The conservative minority is having no problem letting their voices be heard. Unless the working poor in this country start speaking out and get their congressmen busy passing the agenda this president has laid out, failure is imminent.
I know it's not easy. I balance working 50 to 60 hours a week with blogging and doing the radio show on the weekends. That doesn't make for a lot of free time. But it has to be done.
This president needs our support. I've said it before, people need to advocate for themselves, instead of expecting someone else to do it for them.
It's time to turn off the the TV and get to work.
Friday, March 5, 2010
I haven't decided what we're going to do tonight, after work. Lori and I usually will take the day off from the kitchen on Fridays and try one of our area restaurants. I may treat her to her favorite steakhouse, Texas Roadhouse
I'm really looking forward to Saturday. Brian and I are hitting on all cylinders with the hybrid radio show. We seem to have similar ideologies, but enough of a generational difference to make for great discussions.
After the show, I'll be joining my buddy, Murph to watch some indoor baseball. Yes, I miss baseball so much that I'm willing to tolerate an evening in the dome to catch the Gophers playing Oklahoma State. But, boy I can't wait for that new ballpark to open.
I think I may take Sunday to get out and enjoy an early spring day outdoors. I may take a short walk. Anoka has done a pretty good job of getting the streets and sidewalks clear. About a mile in the fresh air should do me good.
All in all, It should be an enjoyable weekend. I hope you get a chance to get out and soak some of it up.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
The city got off to a bad start early in the year when 3 Somali men were killed in an apparent robbery attempt of an east Franklin Avenue store. Most of the trouble however, has been on the north side.
Neighborhood leaders are pointing to increased gang activity. While that is a distinct possibility, I think the recent scrutiny of the police department with all the outcries of brutality may have emboldened some of these hoodlums who are now less afraid of being roughed up by the cops. Lets face it, there was a direct correlation between the number of complaints of over aggressive officers and the refreshingly low instances of violent crime the city enjoyed last year. Are cops afraid now to go all out to pursue these thugs out of fear of reprimand or dismissal?
I have long held the opinion that if you don't break the law, you have nothing to fear from law enforcement. Remember, criminals don't follow any rules. Handcuffing police officers by overanalyzing their methods of enforcement will only serve those who have little to no regard for the law or the community.
I think its time for these community leaders to get behind their police department if they want see this alarming number of murders drop.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Without knowing for sure, I can only assume that the kid's father was right behind him, telling him exactly what to say. Is it something that should happen on on a regular basis, well no, but like they say in hockey, no blood no foul. I'm sure that a write up and a standard lecture may be in order, but lets not go overboard in disciplining a father that was attempting to be a good role model.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Sen. Bunning's one-man filibuster is over - On Politics: Covering the US Congress, Governors, and the 2010 Election - USATODAY.com
Monday, March 1, 2010
I've never been a social butterfly, despite my outgoing personality. I've had a few close friends, usually those who tolerate my sometimes abrasive attitude. That said, I value each and every person that I've been lucky enough to call a friend.
Lately, a person that I thought were friends have became judgmental and have been inclined to poke their nose into areas of mine and Lori's life that I feel may be a bit off limits. When called in this, the individual "unfriended" us from her Facebook account. Am I alone in thinking that might be a bit petty?
I don't relish losing friends, even those that I may only speak to a couple times per year. I try not to do things to upset my friends, but I will call you, if need be, on being a busy body or passing judgement on things you know little to nothing about.
Like I've said before, live and let live and pay closer attention to what going on, on your side of the fence. This is the secret, in opinion to mantling long and valued friendships.