Tuesday, November 28, 2006
For the first time in nearly 4 weeks I have visited the sites of my Bipolar Planet friends and allies. Why?
Really, why did I not visit them sooner?
And, why now?
Before leaving on my Mexico adventure I had a Pdoc appointment. I told him that I was really f-ing tired of month after month of hypermania and some f-ing rapid cycling. So, guess what?
The psychiatric cocktail was tweeked. Double the dose of Lamital and add trazodone.....
Okay, yes, for the past several weeks I have had no problem with sleeping. My mind isn't racing. My mood seems to be rather stable. So, tweak away, Pdoc.
But...... what's with the f#cking hand tremors. It's tough to eat. Soup is a bitch! Paying for groceries, taco stand food, or whatever exposes my shaking palms and digits for all to see. Is this a fair trade off for mood stability?
This tremor "problem" is the least of my concerns. I have been feeling great these past weeks. I needed to visit my brother. I needed to get away from some responsibilities. I needed to forget for just a few weeks that I am pissed as hell at my condo board. All I want to do is sell my condominium and the condo board is breaking numerous bylaws and state laws................
Am I depressed today? Maybe blue, but not depressed. I look forward to going home, but not to return to any old habits. This month long visit is coming to an end. I miss Billy and our cats. I have to face the reality of the return to reality.
Mexico is so seductive.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Sunday, November 26, 2006
I have been checking out CNN on a more or less regular basis. I really don't want to spoil any part of my mental and physical health leave of absence by getting too much news. Watching an hour of CNN news assures me that I won't be getting too much news.
What a surprise.
I am truly disappointed with the so-called "news channels". Perhaps disgusted is a better word. Why do they all have to have fluffy, non-nutritious, high fructose corn syrup laden, human interest stories? The news channels need to skip their opinion pieces, as well. Enough!
Please, give me some real news stories. They must report the events and leave their interpretations to the viewer. Please, no more "Point and Counter Point" interviews or "news shows". Leave the pundits and hacks out of the news stories. Question the powerful for information and real news.
Yes, I am a baby-boomer longing for a return to the comfortable past.
As I continue my recuperation in Ajijic, I seem to have adopted some of my brother's eccentric daily schedule. Not to worry. I will see the popular sites and educate myself with outings to the nearby ancient ruins on another visit. And, I could be seduced to return to Mexico with a snow bird lifestyle. The relaxed, no hurry, time piece rejecting, and "Who gives a rat's ass?" day-to-day living is quite attractive.
Above? Your's truly on the rooftop of the Hotel Italia. Note the mountains in the background and a small part of the town.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
By now, I should have "recovered" from my vacation in Mexico and be getting back to my blog.
However, I am still in Ajijic and will enjoy two more weeks here. Today is the start of a Mariachi Festival that runs through the end of November. I'm happy that I can stay and see all the excitement.
Some quick hits another day ........
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Perspective, as shown in my night time picture of one of the churches in Ajijic, is surely in our own eyes.
When I took the picture I didn't pay attention to how level the horizontal line is and concentrated more on the lights and architecture. I even stopped in front of the church last night to ponder how I could get a level shot standing on a steep street. The only changes from the original photograph is some simple cropping. In that simple act, I both presented my newer perspective for you to interpret and started to accept another perspective of my own.
A classic theme or plot line in theatre, TV, and books is several re-tellings of a tale from each of several witnesses of an event with some plot twist or another. The "actual" event is often presented to conclude that every thing that we perceive is absolutely seen through eyes and thoughts that may have a "different view".
Ultimately, one of the lessons we learn is the answer to the question about "who makes who angry?" It is strange to think of my own anger as a "choice". I chose to feel "XYZ" about some event or decision I make. I could even learn to forgive without strings or retribution. Any of us could be as gentle and as forgiving as the Amish in the community where their children where murdered by a mad man.
Every minute in reality is forever a matter of perspective.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Or, is it the end of the world?
Is this a sign of the approaching latter days?
Stay tuned for the next round of defense of marriage proposals in those states not chosen already by Rove in his continuing mission to divide this nation to remain in power and win presidential elections. God has told the Pastors and Evangelists that they may still trust the Republican Party and not acknowledge the truth that they've been used by the Republican Party.
Ignorance is bliss.
It is taught that God will forgive those that have deceived them and those ignorant enough to be deceived.
But, REALLY NOW....
The New York Times has an article about various Florida officials clashing over the lack of state hospital beds for the commitment of criminals that are mentally unfit to defend themselves in court.
I wonder how many Bipolar I's and Bipolar II"s are among the group held in state prisons?
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
From the give credit when credit is due department:
Candice Miller (R-MI-1o) voted with the Democratic Minority in opposition to the passage of HR 5602 "To Authorize the Extension of Nondiscriminatory Treatment (Normal Trade Relations Treatment) to the Products of Vietnam" .
The Republican Majority did not get the required 2/3 vote even as 77 Democrats bucked the Democratic Party's position and voted with Republicans.
Okay, Candice, you did good.
This is the view of the mountains just west of the Plaza, the central town square in Ajijic. I am still having a lot of fun, especially as I try to remember my Spanish. I chose to learn Spanish in high school and the first year of University studies. I knew back then that I would probably use Spanish more since the United States had a growing Spanish speaking population. I had even considered becoming a teacher of English as a Second Language.
Today is a day off. I will probably spend the day recuperating from some neck strain yesterday and a minor fall when I tripped going up steps to a sidewalk. Tomorrow..... who knows -- it's time to visit Lake Chapala.....
Mood? Great. But, I do need to get some more sun.......... I am too pale.
Please note that I do not accept any "Comments" that promote any product.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Again, the view is of the street facing down the mountain toward the lake.
I had to turn the television off this morning. I am already over the spin and the declarations of political hacks and Congressmen. Please stop the analysis of the mid-term election and the silliness of making political soundbite promises. We have had far too many voices and far too long of a news cycle. This shit has to stop.
No amount of respect and reason will redeem the Democratic Party should it fail to remember that not long ago the Republican Party's "Contract With America" gave in to arrogance, greed, and the lust for power.
I would prefer that my Party demonstrate its principles; shun fame, power, and personal and re-election campaign donations and corrupting gifts from lobbyists, corporations, colleagues, and special interest groups; avoid arrogance; and serve the people that elected you.
Just -- Git-R-Done!
Sunday, November 12, 2006
I've been in the little town of Ajijic for only five days and I feel great. It seems that I must bare my neck to everybody to explain why I am so pale. The term recuperation is well understood in this small paradise. Fifteen thousand gringos, Canadians, and Europeans can't be wrong.
The weather, the lake, the mountains, the food, and the people -------- a little bit of heaven..........
My photograph above is the view UP the street from my brother's house.
I'll be back ............. maybe...............
Thursday, November 9, 2006
Needless to say, I am proud that the Democrats won control of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Democrats must remember that they owe their victory to the Independent voters. And, to a greater extent they owe President Bush a nod for his part in this election.
Now, we have the first Democrat to declare himself a candidate for the Presidency in the 2008 Election, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsak.
Let the games begin...
Monday, November 6, 2006
Sunday, November 5, 2006
If I have the time and the inclination, I'll post a few times from Ajijic.
I'll try to at least post a pic or two of the mountains, Lake Chapala, and Ajijic.
Until then, make sure you vote! And, I'll be back......
Saturday, November 4, 2006
And, if my life wasn't complicated already, LiberalLucy at Liberal, Loud, and Proud has introduced me to another Michigan Blog that will become an edition to my daily reading list -- christinebarry.com.
Okay, as long as it is current and newsworthy ............ (H/T to christinebarry.com)
One of the great things about being a teacher is having the captive audience. Out of sheer politeness and occasional interest, I was able to tell stories about real history -- the things that I experienced as a child -- to a classroom of my students. Forget about "teaching to the test" as the "No Child Left Behind" generation of classroom teachers is being forced to do by King George and Washington's Book and Test Seller Lobby, I could still cover the required curriculum and have time to really teach.
I remember when each year's new group and I would come across one of the best parts of education -- "the teachable moment." Yes, teachers were taught to take advantage of such times to stray from the lesson plans and just "go with the flow" so that some important and meaningful lesson could be shared. Those moments are probably more rare these days to the pressure of "THE TEST" and the cookie cutter Lansing curriculum. How very sad.
Get to the point, Lee!
I came across an article in the Michigan News feed at Michigan Liberal that made me even more concerned about the education of our kids. I won't get hysterical about it because it has been happening since before I became a teacher. I cannot remember a year when it didn't happen. It's especially sad that it's happening right here in Michigan.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, is under attack in Taylor, Michigan. Ignorance and stupidity has once again gripped the family and friends of a student required to hear fellow students read aloud from the book. I admit that having a class read a book aloud in the old "round robin" teaching style has been pooh-poohed by reading experts as potentially frustrating the student unable to read well. No one wants to draw attention to the fact that Dick or Jane may read haltingly or possibly mess up in some other way and become embarrassed.
Ah, but the objection to the book is not how its read. It is once more and for all time -- the content. Yes, the content of a historical novel is under attack. The historically accurate expressions used by the characters in Huckleberry Finn are offensive to the sensibilities of a student.
After listening to Bill Mayer last night as he tried to tell Democrats how to respond to stupid Republican attacks, my only honest response to this Taylor School District problem -- TOUGH SHIT. Tell the kid and everyone else to just get over themselves. Tell the world that we will not remove books from our curriculum and libraries because some bit of it seems racist or offends you in some manner. Stand UP Taylor Schools and act like you really understand the meaning of a "good education" and "loco parentis". Stop letting the loons and over-sensitive ignorant and uneducated sheep lead the flock. DO YOUR JOB!
The money quotes from the Associated Press:
"Mark Twain's classic "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" has been pulled from high school classes after a parent of a black student complained that a teacher had students read portions aloud.
There is only one black child in the English class where the book, which contains racial slurs, was read aloud and acted out, The Detroit News reported Thursday.
The book will remain on the shelves at Taylor School District's high schools. The district's curriculum committee will recommend to the school board whether the book should have a future in district classrooms."
And the real screamer:
"We want to be sensitive to how the children feel," said Lynette Sutton, assistant superintendent for secondary instruction."
When will this silliness end?
My mood improved tonight. I watched my favorite sci fi shows and Bill Mayer. And, I sat down to do one last look through my Required Reading, Michigan Blogs, and Bipolar Planet blogs. I then posted a couple of things.
Oh, I left out the bit of baking while watching my shows. I made some honey corn muffins -- comfort food....
Now, I am considering what to do when the curtain comes down on the November 7th mid-term elections. I actually have two weeks of sun, mountains, scorpions, long walks, and small Mexican village life to meditate on my life and my surgically repaired naval.
I have two weeks to visit my older brother, who has threatened to keep me for four weeks. Thank God, he has a computer and an internet account so I will not go cold turkey from this habit/addiction/obsession. I doubt if I go online every day but I know that I have to check at least four of my blogs from time to time. Yeah, Zack, make it five or six.....
I leave on Monday. Billy and I have already voted, so now it is just the wait.
And, all those damn political commercials!!
I swear if I see one more PAID s.ob.'n U.S. Senator, former mayor, or smarmy Michigan "leader" endorse that desperate "Let's Blame Her For the Welfare Moms", pandering, stealthy religious right funding, school voucher promoting, anti-everything, lying freaking Amway jerk, I'll go Bipolar I. (some folks will understand that one.....)
Let's speculate. Brain storm.
1. Get more active in the local Democratic Party.
2. Push the insurance parity issue until the jerks in Lansing get off their butts.
3. Thank State Representative John Espinoza (MI-83rd) for being a Parity Co-Sponsor!
4. Push campaign finance reform. Constituent Only Campaign Financing!
5. Bipolar education advocacy.
6. Bipolar Support Group member/leader.
7. Michigan political watchdog! Keep that Legislature working for US.
8. Netroots Activism. Keep the show going....
9. Become Candice Miller's worst nightmare if she is re-elected (somebody has to do it).
10. Continue researching the political hacks' campaign financing and write about it.
I'm getting tired. I think that is a good thing -- not depression. Back on the bipolar coaster ride tomorrow.
Friday, November 3, 2006
Candice Miller (R-10) has a formidable war chest. It is no wonder that the Democratic Party is unable to field a credible candidate to vie for the 10th Congressional seat. Candice Miller is a Republican Party Loyalist that rarely splits with her party on votes of any significance. Except for confusing votes against national and foreign clean water initiatives, she seems to be just another Republican political hack.
I don't care about her Macomb County and State Office experience. I do care that she was one of the last members of Congress to receive a reprimand from the House Ethics Committee. Shortly after her pathetic profanity filled contemptuous conduct, the House of Representatives changed the rules governing the House Ethics Committee. In the last few years we have had to rely on local, state, and federal prosecutors to weed out the Republican crooks and liars.
I am concerned that Candice Miller was unapologetic about her bad act.
I am concerned that Candice Miller has been a member of the Worst Congress ever.
I am concerned that Candice Miller shirked her responsibility as a member of the third branch of our republic's government. She and the rest of the Republican Party allowed Mr. Bush to sign legislation with signing statements that for all intents and purposes vetoed the laws. The Do-Nothing Congress has never provided any checks and balances to the assumed power of Mad King George. She enabled him. She stood by and said nothing.
Ms. Miller and her Republican cronies allowed our President to have a blank check to torture and suspend habeas corpus. She stood by and did nothing. Nothing.
Yes, I am embarrassed that Anthony America was in the Democratic Primary and received far too many votes. I have to admit that I met Mr. America some 14 years ago. I was familiar then about his forays into politics. I even wrote a letter to the Editor of the Times Herald defending him for voicing an opinion about something or the other. And, to this day I still believe that that gold lamee shirt just didn't suit him.
As for Ms. Miller, it is long past time that she put away her Republican power suits and get out her deck shoes and sail away.
Good People, it is time for a change.
It hasn't been a slow news day. I could have posted at least three interesting items found in my Required Reading:
1. Dick Devos is #2 in television political ads right behind the Florida guy running for governor.
2. Another hypocrite resigns ... how long before he runs to rehab?
3. The Bush Administration, the Congressman, and the "Intelligence" dipshits post atom bomb plans.
The internet is buzzing with all sorts of plots, politicians, punditry, and predictions about the elections on November 7th. WooHoo!
Yep, same crap, different day.
Today......... rapid cycling, again. I went to bed last night at 1 AM and got out of bed around 4 PM.
Triggers. One possible trigger was watching Michael J. Fox being interviewed by Anderson Cooper on CNN. The hope that embryonic stem cells could be coaxed into forming a "new" organ or treatment that matches the DNA of the person being treated is incredible. The "real" scientists interviewed used the liver as an example. All I could think of after that was "if a liver, why not a thyroid gland?"
Bush I and Mr. Barbara Bush would benefit. Their thyroids were purposely killed by the doctors with radiation because they over-produced hormones. My thyroid under-produces and occasional gives my body a spurt of chemicals that screw me up.
And, they talked about Parkinson's. A brain disease where the brain does not produce a needed chemical -- dopamine. Embryonic stem cell research could find a cure......
So, what about brains that also have chemical imbalances that wreck havoc on an enormous number of individuals and their families? Could that research bring about a cure or a treatment for bipolar depression?
F-ing roller coaster....
Thursday, November 2, 2006
I recently had a comment from a blog reader that stated that I have my head up the Democratic donkey's ass.......
Well, I guess I do. I would rather KNOW that my head is up the Democratic donkey's ass, than be plodding through Republican elephant shit and wondering, "Where is my pony?"
THIS IS WHAT I'D RATHER DO.........
Scott Kleeb is a threat to George Bush’s obsession to maintain power. The key issue for the Republican Party in the 2006 mid-term election is POWER. Never mind the poor; tough shit if you are jobless; screw New Orleans; no insurance – “get a job”; the hell with health care; we can’t afford port and border security; and ignore the disaster in Iraq – the Republican Party and His Imperial Highness must retain the Republican government.
President Bush is so concerned with controlling Congress that he must visit the Nebraska’s 3rd Congressional District to campaign against that upstart up-and-coming Democrat, Scott Kleeb. Republicans have held the disputed seat in Congress for the last 48 years. Mr. Bush will not concede the fact that Scott Kleeb is the more capable and competent candidate. The Republican’s are desperate.
I want Scott Kleeb to win, not just to defeat Bush and his machine politics – but for the sake of
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
The local newspaper, The Times Herald, endorsed the incumbent Jud Gilbert (R-Algonac) for the State Senate's 25th District. They claimed that his meager [sic] accomplishments were enough to earn him their endorsement to return to the Do-Nothing Michigan Senate. The Times Herald was critical of Senator Gilbert for his failure to denounce the state Republican Party's radio attack ads against his opponent Gary Orr (D-Marysville).
In my humble opinion, Mr. Gilbert is unable to offer any apologies and unable to stop his Republican cronies from airing those ads. When viewing just the first page of Mr. Gilbert's campaign finance disclosures it is apparent that a great deal of money comes from the senators and representatives that he works for...er, with in the Michigan Legislature. Many other pages of Mr. Gilbert's financial disclosure reveal contributions from the California mail-order pharmacy (MEDCO) that Michigan retired school employees are required to use; several out-of-state business and political action committees; and several Michigan business and political action committees that are outside of the 25th District. I actual gave up on sorting through all of the pages of his disclosure because I had a difficult time finding contributers that actual lived in the Senate's 25th District and because of the stomach-turning realization that even local politicians are bought and paid for by the Republican Party.
We all know about Tom Delay and the other Republican schemes to finance the elections of their loyal supporters...........
The Times Herald did have some positive things to say about Gary Orr:
"Orr is a credible challenger. As mayor, he has helped attract new business to
- the ethanol plant and a Meijer superstore. He also was part of the public-private effort to keep Schefenacker Vision Systems USA Inc. from leaving Marysville and taking about 700 jobs. Maryville
To be sure, Orr's campaign is appealing. He vows to strengthen
's economic future by supporting K-16 education and looking to our schools, community colleges and universities to train a work force that would attract high-paying employers. Michigan
Perhaps the hard work Orr has devoted to his campaign and his promise to fight outsourcing and speaking for the victims of lost jobs is making state GOP officials nervous. So they've resorted to attack ads."
As I stated in an earlier post, I already voted. My vote was for Gary Orr.
Finally, I know that sometimes I have some pretty unrealistic ideas, but wouldn't it be great to have all state and local political campaigns be financed with "constituent only" contributions? No PACs, no corporations, no soft money ads or influence --- just the money coming from the pockets of the folks these politicians want to SERVE.
Anonymous commented on my blog entry “Reality Check II” with these words:
“Well maybe when you visit
, you can Leave your Liberal Democrate [sic] ways here, and open your mind towards the Real meaning of Malice towards none....... Life is to [sic] short to worry about Politics, something that you can't change and have to live with. It is what it is....” Mexico
As usual, I must begin with a story and work my way toward the ideas that I intend to express…… A friend of ours has been gracious enough to bless us with some meals and companionship during my recuperation from spinal surgery. Our friend is a living saint. I don’t mean “saint” according to my family’s religious tradition, but as in her tradition of faith. I have known Mrs. C since before she became Mrs. C. We met during my third year of teaching and worked in the same elementary school. Through the years I have grown to appreciate her kindness, encouragement, empathy, and respect.
She appreciates my humor and I her’s. She has commented positively on my style of writing and the sarcasm that I often employ. Busted, eh? So, as I respond to Anonymous’s comment, I will endeavor to refrain from my baser instincts…..
I have chosen to do a self-assessment or “reality check” of my blog entries precisely because I intend to be consistent and true to the concept of “with malice toward none”. It is necessary to return to my inspiration to complete that task. Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, closed his second inaugural address with these words:
"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and for his orphan -- do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."
My journey through life has been influenced by a modern prophet’s call “to be in the forefront of those organizations that recognize the worth of persons.” I have never regretted my choice to serve God as a minister, my choice to become a teacher, and my choice to be an activist in those causes that put me in the forefront of organizations that indeed recognized and affirmed the worth of all people. These “choices” required me to be politic, daring, and, at times, fearless.
I believe I know the meaning of “malice toward none.” In a recent conversation with Mrs. C., I was asked which commandments were important to my personal faith. Loving God with all my might, mind, and strength and, loving my neighbor is the embodiment of “malice toward none” and “charity for all.”
Life is too short not to live it. Life is change and it cannot be avoided. Frederick Madison Smith wrote that we all change “as we progress or retrogress.” I do not accept the idea that we can’t be “change agents” and that we must accept “what is”. If I had ever persisted in the thought that I could not be an instrument of change, I would have been a terribly teacher, leader, and pioneer.
Laws can embody standards; governments can enforce laws--but the final task is not a task for government. It is a task for each and every one of us. Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted--when we tolerate what we know to be wrong--when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy, or too frightened--when we fail to speak up and speak out--we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice. --- Robert F. Kennedy