Monday, December 31, 2007
We have been having a difficult time dealing with the loss of our cat, Diana. She had a long and good life. Unfortunately, a kitten that we had adopted before Diana took sick also died the day after Christmas. Isabel Windsor was a beautiful gray kitty.
We are reminded about why most animals have litters. Survival. Izzy's sickness and death was another part of The Plan.
We went to the vet yesterday to have the other 4 adopted kittens treated. We had antibiotics all around and the oldest got a feline leukemia vaccination. Call us crazy, but bringing home the last three babies has been a blessing.
We have become supporters of Anita's Animals, a local animal rescue shelter. Anita and her friends bring kittens and puppies to the weekly flea market (tianguis). They sell used books and clothing to help support the shelter. The tianguis shoppers are encouraged to adopt the cats and dogs.
We did. We adopted Victoria in late November. She looks like a very blond and young Diana. We adopted Isabel just three weeks ago. On the same day, we brought home three kittens whose mother disappeared. We were just going to be foster parents for 2 weeks.
Great plan. Given the size of our hearts, we will not be returning these little ones to Anita.
So, the old cats, Fergie and Jadzea Dax, have four kittens to tolerate. And, life continues.......
Welcome home, Eeny Meeny, Miny, and Moe!
I don't believe that we are judged and "rewarded/punished" in this life. Yes, I am guilty of wanting some folks to get "their just desserts" while we all watch. But, my concept of a Just God doesn't provide it. And, yes, I am guilty of wanting some good fortune coming my way to balance out the bad.
A recent Detroit TV news report tells of a robber being killed by his intended victim, then being robbed by his cohorts. Karma.
Can you believe that even in the musical Sound of Music there is a reference to karma?
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
It seems like I have been wetting my pillow for over a week. Her quick decline took us both by surprise. She was really sick.
We have been crying since she first got sick. We've been sobbing since her passing on Sunday. Our Diana was 15 1/2 years old. She was an old old cat.
Diana and Fergie came to us from a farm near Smith's Creek. We often joked about how we saved them from becoming flat frozen barn cats. You know -- those poor kitties that sleep next to sleeping cows in winter. Farmers sometimes haven't time to bury the cats that don't move quickly enough when a cow shifts in her sleep. So, over the back fence they go until later....
Ferggs and Di were sisters/litter mates. They were delightful kittens. We fretted when Fergie wouldn't eat and we had to bottle feed her for a time. Both kittens grew to be beautiful loving cats.
Di Baby was special. Unique. Loved.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
We've been living in Mexico for 7 months. Adjusting to the BEST weather in this hemisphere has been easy. Adjusting to the altitude has been easy. Adjusting to water rules has been easy. (We don't use tap water to brush our teeth. We only pay 15 - 20 pesos for a 20 L bottle of water.)
It really has been easy.
Never mind the cultural differences -- waking up to fireworks, church bells, or Mariachi bands is wonderful. Never mind the language differences -- I am often finding myself questioning whether I just conducted that conversation/encounter in Spanish or English (Billy talks in his sleep in Spanish, sometimes). Never mind the hilly village with rocky roads -- I'm getting exercise and losing weight.
I absolutely love living in Axixic. What better place is there to lick one's wounds and heal? What better place to become a new person? What better place to live the last third of your life?
There is no place like home. There is no place like home. There is no place like home.
I'm here. [Put the slippers away, Memo (may - moe)]
Monday, December 10, 2007
I find it ironic? -- is that the right word? --
The 2008 Republican candidates for President would probably to a man, pledge that no tax-payer dollars would ever be used to fund any abortions.
My question is this:
How do you feel about tax-payer-funded adultery?
Why isn't the religious right going apeshit about Rudy Giuliani's "Sex on the City"?
Watching U.S. programs on Canadian stations is a treat. We don't get the American government's censorship. We regularly hear the F-Word and see many television commercials that will never be seen in the United States.
We saw this gem tonight.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
My only comment about an Episcopal diocese's vote to secede from the Episcopal Church (NYT / BBC) over the issue of gay rights is this:
Which of the 173 to 22 delegate votes were to invite others to Christ?
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I grew up in an unchurched household. Our family "flirted" with the Church, yet no one made any commitments to study and become a member of the Church. We attended Men's Club summer picnics, the occasional summer Bible School, and some services.
My mother's side of our family (and one of Dad's brothers) had a 6 generation legacy in the Church. A famous missionary to Michigan and Ontario, J.J. Cornish, wrote a book about his travels and church work. Our family is given mention as Brother Cornish baptized the Edwards family near London, Ontario, Canada.
For at least the first 100 years of the Reorganization of the Church, the official church newspaper carried a banner declaring in essence that "We are not Utah Mormons." It was kinda like meeting a nationalistic Canadian that spends more time explaining why the United States is so bad and little time bragging about what is so wonderful about Canada. The search for a unique identity gets lost.
I have been a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS) since the age of 17. I chose to make a commitment to Jesus, God, His Holy Spirit, and the Church. I have not wavered.
Today, the Church is known as the Community of Christ. A central claim is that Brigham Young, who illegally obtained Church leadership, is responsible for much of the spiritual wife nonsense and temple ceremonies. The true wife of Joseph Smith remained behind when the Brighamites moved west. The son of Joseph Smith became the first leader of the Reorganized Church.
Anyway, the following video is truly weird. Some of its claims mirror what I know about the Utah Church. Some of it is downright strange and "out there".
And, like most things....... it's up to you to decide.......
Let me tell you about hard work
Getting up in the morning
Sometimes, it just is not done
Flagging the water truck
Pre-paying the gas
Hard work, if you can get it
Have to be up by two when the maid comes to work
Have to be around people getting to the bank
Bipolar coaster ride in Paradise
Up and down the mountainside
Up and down the mental slide
Fucking hard work
jlharris -- 4 dec 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
I have one opinion to express to all the pundits and bloggers when it comes to the subject of health care, "Get Over Yourselves." They and the folks in the "media" seem more concerned with which presidential candidate is lying about their universal health insurance plan's potential coverages and benefits. Mandates? Who pays?
We need universal health care. That's it. The current "system" and lack thereof is unacceptable. We have 40 million Americans that cannot afford health care. According to a government report:
"In 2005, more than 40 million adults did not receive 'needed services' because they could not afford them," the report said.
"Nearly 15 million adults did not obtain eyeglasses, 25 million did not get dental care, 19 million did not get needed prescribed medicine, and 15 million did not get needed medical care due to cost."
Who really gives a rat's ass if Barrack Obama's plan is superior to Hillary Clinton's? Just provide the equivalent coverage benefits that all those national, state, and local politicians give themselves.
And, don't forget parity for mental disorders. I still can't afford "talk therapy" or any counseling for my bipolar disorder. And, I have insurance....
I've read that challenging one's mind with math and word puzzles helps to stave off the effects of mind numbing diseases. Re-calling and learning MORE Spanish has been a treat and a challenge. Exercising my mind is just one more plus about life in central Mexico.
Billy is amazing. He is picking up the language very quickly and, well. His accent/pronunciation is good and he is even writing some basic sentences (-- notes to the maid). He is as eager to learn as I am.
And, why not? We will not be like the (too) many gringos and canucks that have visited and lived in the Lake Chapala region and never bothered to learn much Spanish or even pronounce what they "know" correctly. Bart Simpson Spanglish is forbidden in our household.
I guess that I am "lucky" to have had a talent and ear for Spanish. I'm certain that I chose correctly in high school. Latin, German, and French were the only other alternatives.
Latin would have been a great academic / egghead choice. 1/4 of my grandparents spoke German. French was never considered.
I remember making a calculated decision based upon the growing Hispanic population in the United States. I would use it more, here. And, my early 6th grade class exposure to Spanish instruction was a factor. I liked that cigar smelling Cuban teacher. He called me, Julio.
So, here we are. I once had the opportunity to participate in a St. Clair Community College summer semester in the Yucatan. Money was tight and I had to make other choices. This REAL LIFE experience is way better.......
Me llamo Lee.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Does anyone know how many of our "partners-in-warcrimes" are left in Iraq? Does anyone know how many governments have toppled because of an elected leader's support of George Bush's War? Didn't Bush lose Spain and Portugal that way? (and Poland, and ........)
Australia is not far behind. Their troops will be leaving, too.
While reading The Daily Dish, I found an article about another superhighway. This is certainly special.
I am reminded of how incredibly astonished I was when we traveled through eastern Missouri. Interstate 44 was littered with billboards advertising all of the titty bars and clubs located along that road. Nowhere had we seen anything like it.
Missouri. Saintly, conservative Mo. The "Show Me State" isn't so shy and mighty.
Perhaps, the Christianists should protest along that highway.......
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Change streets! Go another way. How stupid are we when we continue the same-old-same-old and somehow expect things to change? When we do "new" things, does anything really ever change? Is it always "the same shit" but a different day? It seems so sometimes.
Disappointment and fear can kill all momentum. Losing your way and losing HOPE can create one huge hole in the road.
So, what's next?
If I can't capture a new dream, may I at least look forward to what is next? May I hope and trust that I am ready and able to meet it well? May I anticipate success? Do I have the confidence?
It is just around the corner. It is just down the way. It is waiting for me.
Hell. I can do this.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
We dream of inventing that one idea, the one little gadget or "pet rock" that will make us rich and famous. We dream of travel and adventure. We dream of comfort in our retirement years. We dream of success. We dream.
More. More. More. Better. Better. Better.
Do I still dream? No.
I am where am I. I have a post graduate education. I've traveled. I've been a union leader. Sometime in my early teaching career I was making more money than my Dad. My pension check is much larger than Dad's last paycheck.... I haven't invented anything, written anything special, or been "discovered" to have exceptional talents....
I stopped dreaming during the 10 plus years of chronic pain. My life was over. My career was ended. I was more concerned about obtaining a full pension and avoiding a disability pension... I wanted to reach retirement on my terms...
Over the last few years I have been living from paycheck to paycheck and crisis to crisis. My bipolar disorder can help to explain some of my poor choices and other problems. I really could not afford to retire when I did.....but the pain... I tried and failed...
Here I am. What more do I need?
I shook his hand. I was just a little kid watching the annual Blue Water International Day Parade and Dad sent me into the street to grasp the governor's hand. Neat, eh?
I've made a few comments about Romney and Mormonism......and will make more. The following political ad is sooooo much like a Mormon TV commercial......(H/T to The Daily Dish)
BTW - I do not support this flip-flopping pandering politician!!!!!
Friday, November 16, 2007
It only took a few minutes to see that Wolf Blitzer's CNN Presidential Debate would be unwatchable. Why he and his producers decided to broadcast the minutia of grand introductions followed by a cut-away commentator moment is beyond reason. What a freaking waste of time.
It was the Wolf Blitzer Show. It was me me me me look at me me me... And, his questions were incredible stupid. Can I get a show of hands?
I tuned out sometime in the last half of the first hour of Wolfie's Big Show. Did I learn anything new? Nope.
Yes, Senator Joe Biden did have a near tear jerking "American President" moment. It wasn't an "American President" moment for me. Having seen the movie more than half a dozen times, I didn't tear up. Nope, sorry Joe, it was too staged.
The 2008 Presidential Campaign continues....
Oh, and BTW -- would someone please find some honest grown-ups to REPORT the news. Some of these so-called journalists are just plain dumb.
This bit of news is, well, weird.
Imagine that you are in your rented room having consensual sex with your bicycle and you get caught by the cleaning staff. Yes, bicycle. Yes, rented room.
Busted. Convicted. Sentenced to 3 years of probation. Oh, and don't forget the 3 years on the Sex Offenders' Register.
What a ride!!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
It seems there is still some interest in Scott Kleeb's public service. This Nebraskan won key endorsements and a respectable number of votes in his failed 2006 bid for Congress. Scott Kleeb is one Democrat to keep an eye on.....
H/T to Daily Kos
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I've never been one to appreciate what I call vocal acrobatics. Ask Billy about how I like "screaming" musical artists. I do like the "opera" vocals in the movie Fifth Element.
Here is one of my favorite scenes.
I've been riding the "high" of hypomania. I can accept the OCD sex. I can accept the OCD computer gaming. It's those really f*&@ed-up thoughts that make me want to run out and get my Lamictal renewed.
I've not been this close to mania in a very long long time. And, I will not be very happy if I am seduced by crazy thinking.
I am not depressed. That's good.
So, for "God Knows" how long, I will be watching myself...
...waiting for the next quick cycle.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Teachers are predictable sometimes. So are former activists. It only took me 15 minutes to begin to consider JOINING the local political activists when chatting with one of the mucky mucks in the Democratic Party the other day. Being a part of something.....
I don't want to commit to anything right now. I'm REALLY retired, now.
I do want to maintain this space. I do get a few ideas and I like to respond to what I read. Telling tales about the bipolar disorder roller coaster is important to me, as well.
I like to be informed. In fact, twice today there was something on cable news that I had already read about online. I even had the Pat Boone story up on my site before it was posted on one of the major sites that I visit every day. I like that.
Not all of my daily reads are "reliable". One blog's staff writer stated that Lou Dobbs was a racist. I've watched him enough to believe otherwise. Yes, his anti-illegal immigration rantings are strident, but sincere. Lou isn't racist, he is a pitchfork patriot. Watch out for that torch!
Read and think for yourself.
Just do it. Stay informed. Be vigilant.
Join with others for support and action if you are so inclined. The important thing is to stay on top of current events. We live in interesting times.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
We have another sunny day in Paradise.
A fellow blogger with Bipolar Disorder wrote:
"I am SO damned sick of fighting this disorder.
My medication dosage is not high enough to handle my symptoms, but if I go higher, I impact my ability to function at work. And I'm absolutely terrified of losing my income source, or of having it cut significantly.
Because of some personal stuff I went from hypomanic to depressed in a day. I know that can happen to anyone, but I can't concentrate...."
Well, slap me and call me Sally -- My day is f*#ked up, too. I have been enjoying a depression free couple of weeks. I have only had some minor problems sleeping due to my mild hypomania. So, for the most part I have been zooming near the top of the bipolar roller coaster and hadn't been thrown from the ride.
My coaster car just struck bottom. Now, I am afraid of rapid cycling from THIS depression to hypomania and back to depression, again and again. There is no "winning". A major stressor and wham! All of the things I might ordinarily do are seemingly put on hold while I fight just to shower and leave the house right now....
And, I'm at the bottom of the ride. I NEED to take care of some "business" and I am stuck. I just want to curl up into a ball and sleep... I have so much to do and I am stuck. For the first time in a very long time I just want off the damn ride...
There are no "magic" pills to take. I just have to "ride it out".
Tomorrow will be a sunny day, too. I'm in Paradise. I shouldn't have a care in the world.....
Sunday, November 4, 2007
My congratulations to Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher for his desperate and no doubt effective smear against his Democratic opponent, Steve Beshear. Call him a "Fag Lover" and wait to win re-election.
Pat Boone? He is a bigot. Listen for yourself.
Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher is two days away from an election. He is 20 points behind in the polls to Democratic challenger Steve Beshear. He sends out an automated telephone message to the people of Kentucky.
"The state GOP is now sending a robo-call throughout the state featuring none other than Pat Boone, warning that as a Christian he is concerned that Democratic nominee Steve Beshear, who has been way ahead in the polls, will work for "every homosexual cause."
"Now do you want a governor who'd like Kentucky to be another San Francisco?" Boone asks. "Please re-elect Ernie Fletcher."
(H/T to Talking Points Memo)
And, from the speech Barack Obama gave in Chicago on October 2, 2002, five months before the war:
I don’t oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war … I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
We have poison toothpaste, lead in children's toys, and God-Knows-How-Many hazardous or deadly products coming from Communist China. And, what is the U.S. Government doing? Nancy Nord wants to cut the budget of the CPSC.
Oh, and BTW, Nancy Nord is ethically challenged. A duck is a duck and her Free Travel/Vacations are a BRIBE.
I would challenge any sporting event (READ Soccer) in all of the world to match the respectful closing game ceremony held after today's Navy v. Notre Dame football game. The stands were not clearing. School anthems were sung. Hands were held. Respect.
After 3 Overtimes, Navy ended a 43 year losing streak against Notre Dame with the score: Navy 46 -- Notre Dame 44
I didn't see all of the game. I watched the overtime play and the game-final sports broadcast. College football and Fall weather go well together...
I AM in Paradise.
I watched Bill Moyers on PBS last night and was amazed/disturbed that the media giants had failed to report the anti-war marches that took place last weekend. Several major U.S. cities were host to huge protests. No one told me about them.
What the Hell?
Bill Moyers also reported on the newest FCC moves to further erode fairness and competition. By mid-December Federal rules may be changed to allow the big 6 media conglomerates to continue to purchase/create media monopolies in most major markets. This battle was fought and won 3 years ago. Once again, a Bushie wants to please the big corporations at the expense of the people and we need to fight it, again.
Will the Democrats make a fuss?
I am reminded of the consternation that both Bill and I felt in the Spring of 2002. We were in London, England over the Easter Holidays and came upon a huge street protest. The march featured signs saying "No War for Oil", "No War in Iraq", and various anti-Bush slogans. We were perplexed and embarrassed. What war? What the Hell were they shouting about?
The drumbeats of war had yet to begin in the United States. It was September, 2002 before Americans were being "sold" on the need to go into Iraq. The international media and it seems the rest of Europe knew we were heading for war. As someone that pays attention to the news, I was angry. Angry that we in the United States were uninformed and/or misinformed by the media.
I was more skeptical about the coming war due to the Piccadilly Circus protest encounter. And, like many Americans, when General Powers and others warned us about mushroom clouds I grudgingly conceded that we should go to war. Assholes.
We are not being served well by the "mainstream" media. Read. Read. Read. Read Blogs, news sites, foreign news sites, and more. We must be vigilant. Clear Channel, Fox, and it seems even CNN and MSNBC cannot be trusted.
"Trust, but verify," said Ronald Reagan. Words to live by.
A Last Thought Before the Senate Judiciary Committee Confirms Judge Mukasey
By John W. Dean
As the Senate Democrats complete another sad concession to President Bush, and confirms a nominee who refuses to declare “water-boarding” torture, allow me to offer a brief historical reminder: the Senate Judiciary Committee has conspicuously forgotten that there are direct situational and historical parallels with Judge Mukasey’s nomination to be Attorney General and that of President Richard Nixon nominating Elliot Richardson to be Attorney General during Watergate.
Nixon’s Attorney General had been removed (and was later prosecuted for lying to Congress) – a situation not unlike Alberto Gonzales’s leaving the job under such a cloud. Nixon was under deep suspicion of covering up the true facts relating to the bungled break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate, not to mention widespread rumors that he had engaged in abuses of power and corrupt campaign practices. Today, Bush is under even deeper suspicion for activities far more serious than anything Nixon engaged in for there is evidence Bush has abused the laws of war, violated treaties, and ordered (or approved) the use of torture and political renditions, which are war crimes.
Since Judge Mukasey’s situation is not unlike that facing Elliot Richardson when he was appointed Attorney General during Watergate, why should not the Senate Judiciary Committee similarly make it a quid pro quo for his confirmation that he appoint a special prosecutor to investigate war crimes? Richardson was only confirmed when he agreed to appoint a special prosecutor, which, of course, he did. And when Nixon fired that prosecutor, Archibald Cox, it lead to his impeachment.
Before the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee completely cave-in to Bush, at minimum they should demand that Judge Mukasey appoint a special prosecutor to investigate if war crimes have been committed. If Mukasey refuses he should be rejected. This, indeed, should be a pre-condition to anyone filling the post of Attorney General under Bush.
If the Democrats in the Senate refuse to demand any such requirement, it will be act that should send chills down the spine of every thinking American.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
The Shrub was on the TV today dissing MoveOn.org and CodePink. He went out of his way to recognize these organizations. In the typical Republican manner, we may therefore interpret that these folks hate the troops, are enabling the terrorists, and would let Crawford, Texas disappear in an atomic inferno just because they are too liberal, too effete, and too wimpy to allow Jack to TORTURE that alleged evil-doer.
I support MoveOn.
I knew little about CodePink until today. Thanks, King G, you just learn me somethin'.
Read for yourselves.
Twenty years ago in an enthusiastic attempt to complete a colorful and comfortable wardrobe I purchased 4 pairs of Levi jeans from a Spiegle clothing catalog. Those Levi's, ones still MADE in the USA, were carefully tucked away in a drawer for future casual wear. The powder blue and white pair wouldn't be trotted out until Spring.
Unfortunately, the 36" X 32" pants never made it back onto my growing thighs and waist. They remained in a bottom drawer for a very long time. About 3 years ago, I decided to finally pass them on to the Goodwill or St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Store. Memo (Billy) intervened. He kept 3 pairs of the pants. Only the powder blue and white Levi's 505's made it to Mexico with us.
My "traveling pants" now fit. My 40" X 32" denim Levi's (and various LARGE walking shorts) have been folded and placed in the bottom of the guest room's wardrobe. I NEVER want to have to wear any of them again.
Healthy and Happy? You bet my narrow ass I am!!!!
Bragging? Yeah, maybe. I am also acknowledging that my outer appearance is important to me regardless of any protests to the contrary. I look better. I feel better.
And, to the chagrin of Bill, I am wearing Large dress and casual shirts, again. Though I brought very few of my clothes with us, my wardrobe has nearly doubled when I now may lay claim to Billy's. Sweet.
Don't try this at home! I attribute my weight loss to my severe depression following the deaths in my family, my bipolar disorder medications, and the nasty bug that welcomed me to central Mexico. It is what it is and I am okay with it....
At the end of my first 26 years, I was a sickly lean 165 pound, 32" X 32" jean wearing joven. The middle 26 years are over. The next 26 years?
The adventure continues.
Every now and then I read a blog entry from one of my Bipolar Planet friends and feel a modicum of despair. It is painful to read and understand the hopelessness and helplessness conveyed in a few short sentences or lines of poetry. My own compassionate spirit will ache and only prayers for hope and peace can be offered.
How do I share my knowledge of God's love with folks that are convinced that His judgment and "punishment" are already upon them? Why are so many willing to accept that God would give them pain and blessings?
We are taught that God is unchanging. Okay, but do we not change our perceptions of God as we mature and grow? Are we not the only one's in His creation that must struggle to know HIM?
Many Christianists and sincere believers would reject my God as I know Him. He loves me as a son. He gives me unconditional love and expects that I love others without reservations. His blessing and gifts are not given to me alone, but for the edification of His Church -- His Creation -- His Children -- my Earthly Family.
God asks me to become more than my mind can imagine.
And, God asks me to INVITE others to Christ. This invitation is just that. We are not compelled to join and ally ourselves with His Church. The call from God must not be delivered or perceived as a threat or ultimatum. We have a choice.
I choose to worship a patient and loving Being whose Son came to Earth, to mankind, and taught that we must love God and our neighbors as ourselves. I could make a long list of what Christ DID NOT teach -- and all those alleged family focused POLITICAL "christian" groups with all of their "learned" pastors that promote hate, intolerance, and ignorance of the true love of Christ may... someday... repent and acknowledge their false teachings...
God loves me. God blesses me. And, all of these gifts are not given "in spite of" who I am, but because of who I am. I am a child of God.
Those Christian pretenders from the Westboro Baptist Church, led by "Reverend" Fred Phelps, have to answer to the higher-power of the American Judicial System. They took their hate-filled protests to the funeral of an American hero and the soldier's family sued. And, won.
"The jury first awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages. It returned later in the afternoon with its decision to award $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and $2 million for causing emotional distress.
U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett noted the size of the award for compensating damages “far exceeds the net worth of the defendants,” according to financial statements filed with the court."
You may read more here and/or here.
What more can I say? Those insane jerks deserve some "Hell on Earth" and their own special place in Hell.....
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Bill and I made it over to the weekly "flea market" today. The variety of goods for sale is incredible. They literally have everything from soup to nuts. We didn't buy anything. We did come home with a new addition to our family.
Her name is Victoria Guadalupe Harris-Crouser.
A group supporting "Anita's Animals", a local animal shelter, has a used book stand at the market every week. We saw the books. We chatted with one of our gringa friends. And, there they were --- half a dozen assorted kittens and an adult cat in various cages.
It was love at first sight. Billy (Memo) picked up the only blonde (orange) kitten and .... how could we say "no"?
Welcome Home, Victoria.
Larry Craig -- just plain dumb -- tea room sex is extremely risky, if not sheer stupid self-destructive behavior.
Paying for sex and calling the cops to complain about the "whore" -- that's just plain dumb! A Washington state legislator, Representative Richard Curtis (R - La Center), demonstrates the incredible stupidity of some married, but gay, men. Here is the official police report.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
It was Sunday night when I finally realized that I had risen to hypomania from a more-or-less moderate depression. Just great. Really! The last two days have been relatively productive and I have no regrets.
I don't have regrets. I don't regret our move south. I don't regret anything that we have explored and completed since arriving in Axixic (old native spelling of Ajijic). I don't regret abandoning my medication routine. I don't regret the illness that knocked me down and accelerated my weight loss. I don't regret the broken rib and bruises (now healed).
What is done is done. Everyone now knows that I am not my older brother. I am quieter, have less hair, thinner, and I do not get drunk... (Once was enough!) All those that respect my brother for his honesty and "gentleness" seem also to like me, too. My brother and I go to the same Mexican doctor and he considers Dan to be a genuinely respectful, polite, and courteous gentleman.
I am "off" my meds. No. Don't worry. My wonky thyroid and heart are being treated. My new doctor has adjusted my synthetic thyroid medication and made substitutions for the high blood pressure medications that are not available in Mexico. I am still taking a beta-blocker medication to prevent the damned supra ventricular tachycardia episodes that always knock the snot out of me......
Yes. I will forever take an anti-depressant. I am taking my Wellbutrin. I'm not sure if or when I will resume Cymbalta and Lamictal. I have several months of those meds waiting for me in Michigan. Unfortunately, "start-up costs" since the move have made those medications cost prohibitive. And, the meds for bedtime are not available here so I do without or take an alternative.
Yes. I have been busy these last couple of days. Rent - paid. Med resupply - completed. Propane fill-up - paid/completed. Bi-monthly electric bill - paid. Telephone - the money is in an envelope in Mom's "red box". November's wages for the maid - the money is in an envelope in Mom's "red box".
I had an appointment with an immigration attorney today. I was able to present her with nearly all of the paperwork, including passport photos, that is needed to apply for an FM-3. My Michigan brother is sending us the last papers required. My tourist visa (FM-T) is expiring next month and it is time to obtain the "license" to live in Mexico.
I will be a LEGAL immigrant. Got that, Lou!
"too many mosques in America"
"We want sodomites quarantined"
"gender identity confusion"
"abortion is the number one killer of black women between 25 and 34"
Please watch the short report by Max Blumenthal -- Theocracy Now!
Monday, October 29, 2007
Religion is dividing our country. The Republican Party has used its resources to promote intolerance based upon fundamental religious dogma. The so-called values voters make a mockery of a political system based upon broad representation and compromise. The political process can not be effective when one side takes a "winner takes all" view of politics.
Personally, I have a growing HATRED for folks that claim to be Christians and act otherwise. Not only do these pretenders sully the name and message of Jesus, they often drive folks away from Christ. I was taught that anything that does not INVITE you to Christ is not of God.
Anti-Gay rhetoric is among the most foulest of crap spewed by Christianists. The recent remarks made by a Barack Obama supporter illustrate the not so subtle anti-gay message that is too often promoted. The Rev. Donnie McClurkin's assertion, "God delivered me from homosexuality" is self-delusional.
I don't doubt his sincerity. I do doubt his conclusions about whatever "revelation" he believes to have received. In time, we may see him repent.
Unfortunately, Barack Obama has not handled this little controversy well. But, what the heck. Our friends and family often embarrass us with outbursts of idiocies. In time, Obama will find the right voice on this issue and may be more careful with whom he offers and accepts support.
Unfortunately, I also feel unconstrained to speak out about what seems like a flaw in the thinking of some African American political activists. Much to my chagrin I have met too many African American's that don't connect their anti-gay religious views and actions with the LGBT struggle for basic human rights.
I once attended a Michigan Education Association Unity Conference. The Unity Conference grew from the separate women's and African Americans' gatherings. The first year of my attendance, I made it my mission to point out the lack of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender issues presented (none). The incredulous looks on some faces made me both sad and frustrated. Nevertheless, I pushed and pushed...
I still remain saddened by the fact that many so-called MEA leaders just don't get it.
So many bigots and so little time.......
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Halloween evokes memories and numerous responses from many folks. Some hate the children's holiday. Many enjoy the permissive attitudes that come with the one legal day to play dress up. In some parts of the "gay community" Halloween is the biggest gayest day of the year.
I'm not sure if I really like to play dress up and wear costumes. I don't do drag (dress in women's clothing). And, I always have the hardest time deciding on a costume to wear for school or if I ever do go to a Halloween party.
Halloween is for the kids. It was easy choosing a costume when I was young. We didn't have the latest and greatest outfits. We had a skeleton suit and mask, a magician's top hat and cape, a Japanese geisha costume and a few other odds and ends to wear. I'm not sure when we outgrew those hand-me-downs and started buying or creating our own Halloween wardrobes.
I never really enjoyed passing out candy, either. In our 18 years of living in Port Huron together, Memo and I stayed home to pass out candy for less than half of the annual beggars' days. When our nephews and nieces were young we made sure we had treats for them and stayed home to pass out candy. We eventually discovered the fun of going out to a less crowded movie and/or enjoying dinner with numerous adult beverages.
Yes. Having been a teacher probably influenced my ambivalence towards Halloween. The school "celebrations" were stressful. I applaud the wise folks that arranged for morning Halloween Parades, brief parties, and the afternoon teachers' meetings/training. A half day with crazy kids followed by a lame conference was pure genius.
I also liked the grade level agreements that some teachers had which allowed us not to have to dress up. One year, all of the 2nd grade teachers in my building decided to get together and decorate sweatshirts. They became our official teacher costumes for several years. No troublesome worries about putting together costumes....
We won't be passing out candy or dressing up this year. The children in Axixic will be celebrating Death in the early days of November. The Day of the Dead festivities will certainly be interesting. What a treat!!!
Happy Halloween, Miss Hepburn, and all you costumed revelers!
Saturday, October 27, 2007
My brother in Michigan forwarded this "Select a Candidate 2008" survey. I really wasn't surprised about the Democratic candidate results. I scored a "50" with both Chris Dodd and Dennis Kucinich. The rest of the front runners matched my views with a score of "47".
I disagreed with Messrs. Kucinich and Dodd over the issues of Iraq, Immigration, and the Line-Item Veto. I have the a conservative view on Immigration (see the survey), support the Line-Item Veto, and have the sober belief that Iraq must become 3 entities and we need to get out in an orderly fashion.
Of the Republican Party candidates only Romney and Giuliani have a score in the 20's. Romney 28 and Giuliani 26. The three of us agree on very little of any importance in a presidential election.
Indeed, what is really important? I am not one of the nitwit single issues or values voters. Anyway, try the survey. Enjoy.
We've been watching Lou Dobbs lately and Memo is fond of screaming at the TV, "Step away from the edge, Lou!" Believe it or not, Lou Dobbs is sounding a little shrill lately. Since returning from his tonsil surgery, Lou has been less than reluctant to share how f*#ked up the Bush Administration, the Democratic Party, the Republicans, and most politicians are today.
Keep it up, Mr. Dobbs.
He is right. New York should not give driver's licenses to criminals -- illegal aliens. The toy companies have failed us. The "middle class" is being hosed by everybody. George Bush is a miserable failure. And, we all should "register to vote" as Independents to send a message to the fat, old, white men that run the political parties --- STOP!
Lou has also challenged the former President of Mexico, Vincente Fox, to debate illegal immigration, border security, and other related issues. We will see, if and when they meet in San Cristobal, in the State of Chiapas, whether or not Lou Dobbs and President Fox can defend their views coherently. Who knows, perhaps, Lou's crack team of reporters will uncover the truth about the REVERSE flow of economic refugees.
I've come to Mexico to escape the high cost of living in Michigan and make a meager pension stretch for two..... among other reasons.
Aren't we all looking for a better life?
Monday, October 22, 2007
My story is much too sad to be told ....
After more than 5 months of living here in central Mexico -- what have I got to say? I have tried some new things and been "bored terrifically, too". I have some challenges. I have a great future, too....
I don't know where to begin since I have not shared much lately. There is a lot of Corona in my life, but it isn't the beer (cervesa). A mixture of fresh squeezed lime juice, sugar, and ice water is my beverage of choice.We buy Corona sausage and Corona smoked bacon...
We are starting to shop and cook like Europeans. We buy our meal ingredients nearly daily. The grocery store is just around the corner. So, too, is a tripleplex movie theater, the Del Lago bakery, two restaurants, a drugstore, and more.... The telephone company and a gas company are just across the main road from the Mall. Location, location, location!!!!
We have had a cold snap. It has been in the 50's at night and low 70's in the day. Lot's of folks are wearing sweatshirts and jackets. We even burned two Duraflame logs in the fireplace last night.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Blackwater --- We (the US Taxpayers -- yes, I pay Federal Taxes in the US) are paying for a very expensive private army to do the work that the American military can not. Out-sourcing in the most absurd manner EVER!! And, we are supporting OUR troops with low wages, cuts in benefits, and more time in the war zones...... while some pendejos make HUGE profits.
Nobody should profit from WAR!
Medical Insurance Companies --- I believe that all health care should be NON-profit. My health insurers (MESSA - when a teacher / Blue Cross - as a retiree) have always been non-profits. We should put people first -- not corporate profits.
When MESSA had "profits" the company expanded benefits for the education employees covered. That was -- until Michigan for-profit companies demanded that their State Legislators screw with MESSA. It didn't take much to convince anti-teacher anti-union State Representatives and State Senators to f*@k with hard working dedicated teachers, secretaries, bus drivers, and custodians.
Nobody should profit from injury and illness.
United States Senator Larry Craig (R - Idaho) needs to shut up. No one lurks in tea rooms (Public Restrooms) peeping through cracks in the stall walls and taps their toes to signal other "straight" or queer men unless they are looking for some ACTION..........
Is Larry Craig gay?
He is not a "Perfect One" on the Kinsey Scale (I'm a 5).
The elfish (READ: troll) president of Iraq spoke to a highly educated crowd at Columbia University yesterday. Rather than focus on this dishonest academic pretender's propaganda message the wingnuts in Republican Party want to punish Columbia University.
Not only is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad advocating that science revisit the Holocaust (after denying that the "historical event" ever happened), the provocateur blandly stated yesterday that Iran does not have homosexuals. Did you hear the student laughing and booing? Pendejo!!!
The western world will always keep a wary eye on leaders of countries where science is shoved aside by superstition and stupidity....... Oh, shit --- so much for Bush and the U.S.A. ----
The Iranians murder their gay folk by hanging -- our Saudi "friends" chop off heads..........
Friday, September 21, 2007
Why in the Hell is Mattel apologizing to China?
Duh, we're sorry that you Commies made OUR toys with lead paint.....
Duh, we're sorry that some US citizens now know that "Free Trade" is bullshit....
Duh, we're sorry that some US citizens now know that China's 40 Hour Work Week, Work Place Safety, and Wage Standards are mere fantasy....
I suggest we have a Mattel Free Christmas this year!!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Living in the mountains of central Mexico is an adventure of a lifetime. I am reminded daily of the majesty of God's Creation. I will not pass by "the color purple" without appreciating what the Lord has given us!
I had to WATER plants in the back yard today. The rainy season is coming to an end and some of the plants in the back still needed water. And, we discovered that the banana tree has been blooming (SEE ABOVE).
I've shaken the bug(s) and I am feeling better. The nausea is gone and I have an appetite. I don't want to put back any of the weight that I've lost but, I didn't intend to lose all that I did so quickly.....
Mood? Good. Meds? Some ... well ...