Sunday, January 29, 2017

Tapping The Brakes

I'd like to comment on President Trump's recent order barring people from certain Muslim countries for 90 days, or something like that...
But I can't...
Because I do not trust a single news source out there to give me an honest take.

Instead, I'll just explain my thoughts on the issue.

First off, every single nation has the absolute right to decide who does and does not enter their territory. This is what it means to be a nation. Take this away, and nationhood ceases to exist in any real sense.

We got that right, right?
(if you disagree, just 'click' the fuck out of here now, ok, because we got nothin else to talk about...)

Is it a good idea to tap the brakes on refugees coming from Muslim lands? Well, considering the terror threat and all, I'd say 'Yes'.
ISIS has already declared their intent to infiltrate the refugee hoard that invades Europe, so where is the issue here?
Why is there even an issue?????

Yeah, I know... only 1% of Muslims suck, or something like that... and the other 99% are totally cool. I get that.
I also get that it only takes one of those muslims-that-do-suck to create a disturbing level of havoc.

The San Bernadino Christmas party that became a massacre hit me a little closer to home that most people know.
It occurred in a neighborhood that I frequently find myself in.
But there is more to it than just that: a personal friend of mine (my tax person) was a  personal friend of a man who died there.
From my perch... shit is real, ok?

I know, I know...
People seeking refuge.
The 'tempest tossed', if you will.
America should always be a beacon.
It is who we are.
But we also need to be careful.
Even back in the glory days of Ellis Island (my Nonuzz entered there in 1919, along with his father (my Nonuzzo) and his older brother) we were careful about who we allowed in.
Health, and other standards had to be met.
It was not uncommon for somebody to be refused entry on account of health and disease issues. (That's right... back in boat, sucker... we don't want you.)

Coming to America was a privilege, not a right, and many people, through no fault of their own, were not welcomed here.
America is a special place.
It is unique.
Nobody, not one person, from anywhere, for any reason... should be entitled to enter our land.

We need to get back to that notion again if we want to preserve the specialness of American identity.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Somebody On Our Side For A Change

"Somebody on our side, for a change."
I heard variations of this phrase most of the day.

As I've stated before, I'm a mill worker. I've been there just shy of 25yrs. Fully one half of my co-workers have been there longer than I. Needless to say, we are an aging bunch without many options left, and this is still the best gig we can get.

It's still the best gig because after this, there is not an other gig to be had.
The factories are closing. Automation has made it possible to do more with fewer workers. This is not a bad thing. Automation also makes the work a little less hard on our aging bodies, too.

Progress being progress, me and my 125 co-workers are under pressure with every contract. Give up more benefits (we've not much left anymore). Give up more pay. (a 40hr paycheck can no longer pay a man's rent in Southern California. There was once a time men bought agreeable homes and raised families with stay-at-home mothers. Those guys are all retired now.)

Our medical plan, once an envy to all who didn't have it, has been shit-canned as well. We now have this shiny new plan, (take it or leave it, bitches), where the out-of-pocket costs amount to just shy of 20% of our gross 40 hour earnings. Gross, not net. Get that.

Our employer labels it "Consumer Driven Health Care"... because we, the insured, are in charge. In short, the price of a doctor visit is often too prohibitive, so the consumer (us) decides not to see one. It is why I cancelled doctor mandated yearly MRIs of my brain stem. It's why many of us don't have procedures and tests done when we should. We'll save that for next year, and maybe put two or three surgeries together and meet our maximum early... and then ride gravy the rest of the year. We got rent to pay, ya know, because most of us lost our mortgages already....

Last March, a co-worker, and a friend,  passed away due to kidney failure.  He was a hard working man, raising a son alone. He had choices to make. Sure, being severely diabetic he should have done more to take care of himself, but he kept putting shit off... (have you seen my last bill?)... Dude, get to the fucking doctor!!!!...  (have you seen my last bill?)
He collapsed at work and the ambulance took him away. I was there. Yes, I was. (grasping his hand... I got you bro, we got this. Ok. We got this shit.)

It was the last time he and I would speak in person, though we did text regularly.
"Kidneys are shot..,,, told me I cant go back" . This was the last text I got from him. He soon went coma... and was gone 25 days later.
I miss working with him, seeing him every day, the jokes, the laughs, his unique character, his sense of humor. Few people are like him.
He was such the wit.
Manuel was 46.

Forty fucking six!

Manuel was a real person. A human being. A devoted father. A hardworking American, who rarely called off.
His grandchild will never know him.
He had real value to those of us that knew him. But not so much to those in charge. We are just a bunch a worker ants,ya know.... disposable... to serve the queen.
To serve Wall Street and the interests of corporate donors.
Because being an American doesn't carry much weight anymore among  those who populate the American government...
There is always somebody else, south of the border, willing to service 'America' for much less.
I dont know  how much less 'less' can be...
I don't  know what 'America' is anymore, or if I am even allowed to be a part of it.
Maybe, I just might be better off in the eyes of America if I wasn't an American anymore???
I don't know.

Manuel deserved better.
That I do know.

A nation should exist for the benefit of it's citizens.

Viva Trump!
He gets it.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Whoring The Sidebar

I've been a regular follower of The Lumberjack since about the first day of my blogging life. A prolific producer of witty photoshops, he's actually more like the blog version of the traditional political cartoonist.

He doesn't usually do much in the way of writing most times, but there is this saying about pictures equaling words. In this respect, he pretty mouthy.

He created this image 8yrs ago. Google it, and you will find it has been borrowed by several other sites as well. He's now merchandising it just in time for Trump's inaugaration. All proceeds, I'm sure, will go to benefit somebody or something or maybe even himself...
Either, or or whatever... It's a worthy cause.
And what better way to commemorate the end of the Obama era?

Well, what you waiting for?
Click over there and give him your money!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

HI there!

Been a while, I know.... I apologize for the slow start after pegging my return at 'around the first of the year'... but I'm here, now.

I want to start with several thoughts of the past year, election-wise, since that seems to be what's in the news.

First off: I voted for Trump. Yes. I did.
I had honestly spent most of the past election season fully expecting to not vote at all. Then Comey decided Hillary wasn't worthy of prosecution and I knew I had to vote. Not for Trump, but as a statement against Hillary and the Clinton corruption machine.
One these only two were going to become the next POTUS.
Carrying 3rd party water was a cop-out in my opinion, so I went all in for Trump. "Loud and Proud", as I called it, and I really didn't care who was upset by it.
I made a choice.

A few long time friends (even two blogger ones, where, ya know... the exchange of differing thoughts and opinions is kinda the accepted norm and is a primary basis for the friendship to exist in the first place) were genuinely upset and 'disappointed' by my decision and decided to cut ties.
I thought they were better than that.
It's all good.

My appetite for another's uppity, self-righteous prickery is limited... so Fuck You! anyway.
They aren't missed.

It wasn't too hard of a choice for me, really.
Though it was a choice I had decided to not make in the beginning, Trump was the only one out there actually speaking to the issues that mattered the most to me, and to most people who reside within my socio-economic tribe: the loss of our nation's manufacturing base, the transfer of decent jobs across the border, the unwillingness to defend our borders, and a perceived (if not real) all out assault from the Powers That Be on what being an American was all about.

Standing where I was on the sidelines while in much agreement with those of my Tribe on the issues, it really pissed me off seeing Trump's supporters branded as ignorant, racist, stupid, deplorable, and 'not part of America'.
I had to stand with my people. There was nothing else... no other righteous decision left for me to make.

Something very different and polarizing was happening in my country... Where one side used to try to convince the other side that their cause was better, we had a complete turn around. It came down to "if you are not on our higher moral plain, then you suck!"

Well, guess what, you uppity prick motherfuckers?... We are part of America. The part that is in charge now. Your weeping, protesting and marching humor me.

I just hope to God that Trump doesn't screw shit up.