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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Not Now

Surprised. Yes and No.

My first surprise a few weeks back was the discovery that disgraced former Port Huron Police Captain Brian Moeller had been elected to Port Huron’s City Council and selected by the council to be Mayor of Port Huron. I have purposely avoided reading the Times Herald and making any attempt to follow any of the trials and tribulations of the failing City of Port Huron. I don’t remember why I finally bookmarked the online version of the Times Herald. Now, I scan the Times Herald and both Detroit newspapers every day.

And, today, surprise surprise. Brian Moeller has contacted a right-wing Christianist group to assist the city with the city council’s descion to continue having an Opening Prayer at each of its public meetings. It seems that an “ordained” Atheist wishes to be allowed to offer the prayer. Moeller decided to promote a city ordinance/policy that would only allow ministers listed in the telephone book to take turns at offering the invocation.

As far as I am concerned, a moment of silence and the Pledge of Allegiance are all that is needed to open a public meeting in Port Huron, St. Clair County, and Michigan government. Mr. Moeller’s personal religious affiliations and beliefs should not have any influence in city government. Unfortunately, it may not be possible for Moeller to separate his duty to serve ALL the people from his compulsion to practice his version of Christianism. I respect Moeller’s sincere beliefs, however, I can never support his actions in this matter.

Money quote:

When the Port Huron City Council decided Monday to adopt a policy on prayer before meetings, they dropped the city into a debate that is nationwide in scope and as old as the country itself.

Alan Lewandowski, the lone council member to vote against the resolution, is not alone among those who find prayer inappropriate for an elected government.

"Politics and religion just don't mix," Lewandowski said. "Right now is not the time to be doing this."

Officials in all other St. Clair County cities seem to agree with Lewandowski. No other city opens its council meetings with prayer, and officials from several said they can't remember a time when they did. They do, however, observe a moment of silence before meetings, say the pledge of allegiance or do both.

They have "art" (a video clip from a City Council meeting).

Just Quit

I have not been following the saga of Detroit's mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, very closely. All that I know and all that I will say is this: I HATE liars. If Mayor Kilpatrick has lied to the public and the courts, then he should resign. If there is clear evidence of perjury, then he should go to jail. If he used the precious treasury of the City of Detroit (including Michigan taxpayer dollars) to finance his lies and / or his adultery, then he should be at the end of his political career. (Does he think he is a Republican and can get away with this shit?)

The New York Times has this article today. And, these from the Detroit Free Press here and the Detroit News here.

Kids

If you have ever spent any time around 6 and 7 year olds you will appreciate the following YouTube. I am reminded of the classes of 1st graders that I taught.

Enjoy. H/T to Andrew Sullivan.

Viva Obama

H/T to Andrew Sullivan

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Field Trip


We took a day trip with Charter Club Tours to Tequila yesterday. We first went to the Jose Cuervo plantation to learn all about blue agave. It was fascinating to learn about the growing of the agave plant. We got to watch as a mature plant was harvested and the "pineapple" sliced open to reveal the tender heart that is used in the making of Mexico's national drink.

We then went to the Jose Cuervo distillery -- Mundo Cuervo -- in the town of Tequila. We saw the entire distilling process and we got to taste pure tequila, as well as, the "completed" product. It was an incredible tour and the professional guide that drove us from Ajijic to Tequila was fantastic.

And, as my fellow Michiganders were plodding along behind snow plow trucks yesterday, we found ourselves being held up in traffic behind -- a water tanker truck -- that was watering the lawn and flowering bushes in the median of the highway. Only in Mexico!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

GIANT Asshole

Rush.

"You remember, ladies and gentlemen, John Kerry, when he was running for the presidency in 2004, went down there to NASA, and he dressed up in a sperm costume. Remember that picture? It looked like John Kerry was running through the tubes, the shuttle launch complex, or whatever it was, looked like a sperm cell, with just his face sticking out. And everybody was laughing themselves silly, just having the greatest time making fun of Kerry because he did look like a dork. He looked like an idiot. He looked like a sperm cell. Now Obama dresses up like Bin Laden, and if you mention it, it's a scurrilous attack. This is the brilliance of the Obama campaign,"

Is He In, Yet?


Yep.

Scott Kleeb, a Nebraskan Democrat, is in the race for the nomination for the vacant United States Senate seat in the 2008 Election.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Endless War

From Vote Vets:

Vote

That old Monica Lewinsky campaign button is making the email rounds. Oh, you know, its the one with her picture and the words (more or less), "I'm voting Republican. Democrats left a bad taste in my mouth."

Ha Ha. Real funny.

I think that someone should create a button with the picture of Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) and the words, "I'm voting Democrat -- as soon as I clean the goo off my shoe..."

Nadermania

I stayed up late last night to watch the rebroadcast of Meet the Press. Yep, I had some perverse desire to see the train wreck that was the opening of the 2008 presidential campaign of Ralph Nader. Unfortunately, I sort of drifted in and out of Tim Russert’s interview and missed some of what was said. I really shouldn’t stretch out on a sofa if I expect to stay awake.

I do remember having a few insights and clever thoughts about what I had heard Ralph Nader say. I can’t recall any of them at the moment except I do remember, and this is the scary part, I agreed with much of what Mr. Nader said. Nader more or less admitted that he doesn’t have much hope of winning the presidency when he cracked that if the Democrats can’t “landslide the Republicans” they ought to wrap-up and close down.

As for being the spoiler in the 2000 Presidential Election, Ralph Nader unequivocally denies having done so in Florida. He stated that the vote margin between Bush and Gore was less than the votes received by OTHER third party candidates on the Florida ballot. Democrats should also blame Harry Browne (18,856 votes for the Libertarian Party), Patrick Buchanan (17,356 for the Reform Party), Howard Phillips (4,280 votes for the Official Constitution Party), and John Hagelin (2,287 votes for the Natural Law Party). Why, not?

Yes, it may seem flaky that Ralph Nader is running for president again. I’ve blasted him in the past and my opinion of him hasn’t changed much even though I agreed with what he said on Meet the Press. Maybe he has something important to add to the discourse during the 2008 election.

And then, again, maybe not.

Si Se Puede Cambiar

Yes, we can change! H/T Andrew Sullivan.

Above All

The United States Air Force has launched a new public relations campaign. This YouTube is a part of the new PR blitz.

Air -- Space -- Cyberspace!! Kewl.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

More Fun

Isn't YouTube wonderful?

The following videos were produced in response to the Republican video meant to scare Americans into believing that failing to give the telephone companies immunity from lawsuits for their role in the illegal spying on American citizens would put us in more danger. (Gee, George, if what you did was legal why threaten to veto a law that did not include immunity? And, for that matter, why put us at risk to save the telecoms from lawsuits? Asshole.)

Oh, and by the way, did you know that these illegal wiretaps were so very important that the phone company stopped providing its services when Uncle Sam failed to pay the bills? What the hell?



and

Friday, February 22, 2008

Stop the Spying

NO telecom immunity. No!

New Toys


Before we left Michigan, we purchased a Polaroid digital camera from our local Target store. It only cost $99. Unfortunately, we didn't get much use from it. It died. As we are "stuck" here, we are likely to toss the clunker rather than attempt an expensive return or exchange.

Last week, I bought a new Nikon digital camera from the Farmacia Guadalajara. I like this camera. I hope to take on a few photo projects with this CoolPix model. I have a new toy.

I also bought a new Toshiba Satellite laptop computer. I will spare you all the details of how I was able to get it down here from the retail store in Michigan. It is here. I am really happy with it. I have another new toy.

So, for now, I have a powerful and satisfying technology fix. Who knows what I'll be jonesing for next?

The picture above was taken yesterday from the Ajijic pier on Lake Chapala. I was facing west.

We not only live in the mountains of central Mexico, we live beside her largest lake. Lake Chapala is about 50 miles long and 15 miles wide at it's widest point. This is Paradise.

More Lies

LIARS!

Nothing changes with FISA. All the government has to do is get a proper court order. And, nothing happens with this law for another year. There is no urgency.

With Friends Like These

Liars. I hate liars.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Quick Hits

  • Wow! the temperature is rising in Axixic (original native spelling). It has been cool in the morning and cool at night. During the day, the temperature is getting into the low 80's. My favorite sister is here visiting and I may not be posting much until after she leaves. And, I may not be commenting much on the posts from the blogs that I READ EVERY DAY. I just haven't been in the mood to react or respond to many of your entries. Shit. I just realized something. In Michigan, we have a saying that if you don't like the weather wait a few minutes. As someone living with Bipolar Disorder --- just wait a few minutes...... moods change.
  • Scott Kleeb is expected to announce that he will run for the United States Senate seat representing Nebraska. If a Democrat can take the seat being vacated by a Republican --- well, that would be awesome (I don't use that word ever!). I have a Google Alert set up to let me know what Professor Kleeb decides to do....
  • Is John McCain in trouble? Fat chance. Republicans seem to have selective memories when it comes to Republicans that go awry. Cheat, steal, and screw around behind your wife's back --- and they say Democrats are immoral --- it's all okay as long as the politicians continue to PANDER to Republican interests. Republican Interests? Let's see....marriage (everyone else's), immigration, and continuous war seem to be the top three. Good Grief -- McCain has been divorced and they don't care. And, does anyone remember the Keating disaster?
  • It really does bother me that some Clinton people want to do to Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) as what was done to President Clinton (Whitewater) and John Kerry (Swiftboats). Don't go there. I won't vote for Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) if she wins the Democratic nomination the old fashioned way. Muzzle Bill and keep it clean or I won't bother to vote in the presidential election section of the ballot.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Totally For America

This YouTube put a smile on my face. Thanks, Andrew.

Warning: Explicitly Gay. Those with over-active gag reflexes may chose not to watch.

So Tired

I am tired.

This morning, I went to the veterinarian’s office that is two doors down. Dr. Jesus Medeles wasn’t available so I explained our problem to his wife. Minutes later I was home and then I returned to the office with Fergie. We had said out goodbyes to her last night and this short journey was one we had to take. We were prepared to inter her remains in the back yard, but this morning I changed my mind. I couldn’t face the prospect of being reminded nearly daily of her life and our losses.

Fergie lived 15-½ happy years with us. We adopted Fergie and her sister Diana from a family farm near Smith’s Creek. Both girls were supposed to have been weaned. Fergie wasn’t ready to eat solid food so we bottle fed her for the next week or so until we could move her on to moistened dry cat chow. She soon was eating well and grew to be a happy sassy cat.

We were smart to have waited a few years into our relationship before having “children.” We needed that time, as many folks do, to establish ourselves as a couple. We were ready to share ourselves and expand our family when we found the girls’ adoption notice in the newspaper.

We have many stories to tell about our Fergs. She sometimes acted as a watch/attack cat. She was particularly protective of me and would attack or challenge anyone thought to be moving to harm me. She was both fierce and funny when she was in her defend the castle and king mode. Ask Brother Dan – he knows. I am sure that he will still look over his shoulder when he comes to visit from Western Ajijic.

Diana and Fergie brought much joy to our lives. We have no regrets about bringing them home back then. Our lives have been fuller for having had them with us. And, there was never any question about Fergie, Diana, and Jadzea Dax coming to Mexico with us. Our family traveled down here together.

We are both struggling today. Losing Diana at Christmas and now Fergie, last night, is extremely difficult. Our thirteen-year-old baby and all four kittens will keep us busy. My sister’s visit next week will be a happy distraction.

We will all be okay.

.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Tit For Tat

Senator Hillary Clinton recently aired the following political ad in Wisconsin. It has been considered as the first "attack ad" in the Democratic Primary season. Senator Barack Obama responded with the ad that follows Senator Clinton's.

Did he win?



Senator Obama's reply:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Texas Taliban Law Overturned

You will all be happy to know that it is now legal to getting giggity with your sex toys in Texas. Feel those good vibrations! (H/T Andrew Sullivan)

The Federal Court wrote:

"Just as in Lawrence, the state here wants to use its laws to enforce a public moral code by restricting private intimate conduct," the appeals judges wrote. "The case is not about public sex. It is not about controlling commerce in sex. It is about controlling what people do in the privacy of their own homes because the state is morally opposed to a certain type of consensual private intimate conduct. This is an insufficient justification after Lawrence."

Straight Talk?


Straight Talk.

The presumptive Republican candidate for President, Arizona Senator John McCain, voted NO on a Senate Bill that would outlaw the use of the torture method called waterboarding. The former Prisoner of War during the Viet Nam War, McCain’s defense was, according to the New York Times:

… the ban would limit the C.I.A.’s ability to gather intelligence. “We always supported allowing the C.I.A. to use extra measures,” he said.

At the same time, he said that he believed “waterboarding is illegal and should be banned” and that the agency must adhere to existing federal law and international treaties.

If you can understand this, forgive me, tortured logic from the Man on the Straight Talk Express you must be smoking some bad mota. Either we are following the rule of law or we are not. Torture is immoral. Torture is a crime against humanity. Torture is a War Crime.

Those that employ torture and waterboarding, in particular, must be brought to justice. Anyone in our government that authorizes the torture (i.e. waterboarding, knucklebusting, rape) must be removed from office and prosecuted for their crimes. Anyone that has already broken the existing laws against torture must be exposed, expelled, and not allowed to escape justice.

This is a moral issue. Sorry, John, there is no wiggle room. You understand that. Don’t you?

Thank You, China?


This is important. How many more dangerous things are we going to allow China and other importers to sell here?

Dollar General Removing Pokemon Valentine Cards

Saudi Justice

A Saudi Arabian court believes that it is in the public interest to execute a woman accused of making a Saudi man impotent through the use of witchcraft.

The illiterate woman was detained by religious police in 2005 and allegedly beaten and forced to fingerprint a confession that she could not read.

Among her accusers was a man who alleged she made him impotent.

Once again, American seem not to care that our best Arab friend in the Middle East is a superstitious religious fanatic that was probably more responsible for the 911 attacks than the government of Afghanistan. This latest news about Saudi justice joins the long line of incredibly backward pronouncements made by Saudi courts. Recently, the Saudi king had to pardon a rape victim of her "crimes" saving her from the whip. Yes. I said VICTIM.

Let's not forget about the actions of the Saudi religious police that caused the deaths of Saudi school girls a few years ago. The victims of the school fire were forced to return to a burning building because they left the fire without wearing the required head and body coverings. Heaven forbid that a fireman or spectator get sexually aroused while the girls escape WITH their lives!

Homosexuality is punishable by death.

I once scanned someone's essay about our western culture being superior to others in the world. I was bothered by the premise but I whole heartedly agree with the conclusions. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a great example of a nation that is corrupt and at the mercy of religious fanatics. They are NOT our friends.

If the Western World did not have an oil addiction......would we really tolerate their views about women, non-Muslims, gay folk, religious conversion (not allowed), Israel, and more?


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

God's Waiting Room

It is amazing that you can Google "Ajijic" or search in YouTube for all things Ajijic. I found this documentary today. This is where I live. Enjoy!!!



You Want That When?

Oh, Really?

I read with some amusement an account of a “reporter” and his family’s stay in a little town in Mexico. He wrote about staying in a “guest cabin” maintained for tourists by the local Oaxaca government. He just had to tell us about his half hour wait to check-in to his cabin. Hilarious.

Surely, that reporter should have left his American impatience at the border. In fact, Folks, abandon all hope for a fast-paced lifestyle or whirlwind vacation in Mexico’s heartland. Do you really need that now? Can you perhaps wait until (dare I say it?) --- tomorrow. READ – maňana.

No one is in a hurry where we live. There is no such thing as fast food. And, even the promise for something to be delivered tomorrow doesn’t always happen. The only thing that I can count on having the next day is our laundry.

I am no longer in the hurry to do anything. I can wait or more accurately, I haven’t any expectations for speed -- just great performance. You cannot be disappointed if you have no expectations of faster service or more rapid anything. Relax. It’s Mexico.

Why would you want to speed through a stay in Paradise? How do you hurry perfection?

And, there was one major problem with the Oaxaca village article --- Shut up! If too many people discover Paradise, we may have to open a waiting room and put up a parking lot.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hope Changes Everything

Do the Democrats really wanna vote against HOPE?

Barack Obama is not just a candidate -- Obama is a movement.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Be Mine


Valentine's Day is nearly here. Are you prepared? Have you done your shopping and reserved your table? Hell no.

I have to admit that I see V-Day as a kid's holiday. Twenty-five years of cute cards, decorated Valentine "mail" boxes, and colorful cupcakes is all I can visualize about that special day. I never was all that romantic and being a teacher leaves me with mixed feelings about Valentine's Day and the other holidays celebrated from September to June.

Yes, I received some very special valentines over the years. My kids managed to surprise me with some great cards. I really don't know the number of times that Memo and I have exchanged cards over the last 18 years. Since I retired from the classroom, I have forgotten V-Day even more.

I don't know what we're doing this year. We'll probably walk to the town square and have dinner at a nice restaurant. That's not so special though, unless we splurge and go to a fancy eatery. Argentinian steaks sound good, don't they?

I doubt that I'll send my guy an e-valentine. It's not too late to go to a card store and find a gringo greeting card......

And would you believe that the Party of Lincoln, the GOP, the lame ass Republicans are pure Valentine Grinches. Leave it to them to spoil a perfectly profitable Hallmark Holiday with this shit.

Well, Happy Valentine's Day, Good People!

No, You Can't

I found these parodies while reading today.

Oh, John.......tsk tsk tsk.



AND

9 Months


We've been in Ajijic for nine months. We love living here. The weather is nearly perfect. The people are pleasant and friendly. The food is REAL -- it's healthy and tasty. The cost of living is low.

We have a great house, good neighbors, and we live in a prime location. The movie theater, a grocery store, a laundry, the weekly flea market (tiangus), the phone and gas companies, two pharmacies, and several restaurants are just minutes away by foot. Everything we need is within walking distance. And, that's a good thing considering the fact that we no longer own any vehicles and we do not intend on purchasing any.

We have a new life. Despite several bumps in the road, we love the journey!

So, while Michigan faces a deep freeze, Port Huron debates all-day Kindergartens, and Blue Water leaders hope for a casino --- we live in Paradise.

BTW -- it is a little chilly here today. I may have to put on a pair of socks with my tennie runners.

[Photo above: This is the view facing south from our rooftop mirador. Those are the roofs of houses, Lake Chapala, and the mountains on the other side of the lake.]
.

Verse 714


In the beginning, there was darkness. The light of reason and light of hope overcame the darkness. Depression and despair gave way to stability and growing happiness. My world changed.

I have a kept a blog for several reasons. My profile states that, “I thought that I might write about current events, vent about pet peeves, chronicle my vagaries, and generally rant, rave, and ramble on about ignorance and stupidity.” I have done that and more.

And, I am still having fun…. and I am successfully avoiding/disguising any malicious thoughts and comments…

Yeah. Right.

Sometime this week, With Malice Toward None by Lee Harris will hit the 5,000 mark – site visits. I do not pay as much attention to the SiteMeter statistics now as I did when I began blogging. SiteMeter provides loads of information with its FREE service. It has been fascinating to note the European, South African, Canadian, and other visitors from around the world.

I once toyed with the idea that I could create a for-profit website. My manic and depressive moments combined, collided, and gave me one heck of a reality check. Even now, a cursory review of my postings would reveal great gaps in the timing of my publishing of posts. Long gaps in postings seemingly indicate when I may have been working through another period of hypomania and/or depression. Multiple postings over short periods may indicate manic episodes. Who needs a daily mood chart?

I enjoy writing. I hope that I can continue to organize my thoughts about some subjects and put those ideas into a coherent essay or other informative blurb. Unfortunately, life can get into the way of living. Shit happens. Moods change. The roller coaster ride that is living with bipolar depression can be a real bitch. Nevertheless, I shall forge ahead.

Post number 714 is up. What do you think?

That’s okay. I don’t always listen to what others have to say…


Friday, February 8, 2008

The View From Our Window


The View From Our Window is from the mirador on the roof of our mountainside home. This photograph was taken around 5:45 pm Central Standard Time yesterday.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Phony Asshole


The Phony Asshole has suspended his campaign. Mitt has realized that:

"If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror."


The Pandering Prick equates voting for a Democrat for President with "aiding a surrender to terror." What a JERK.

Full statement here.

Poor Babies!

I don't listen to talk radio. Yes, I once spent a great deal of time listening to Air America when they first came on the air. I was a progressive talk fan during one of my many manic phases that has since passed. I NEVER tuned in to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or any of the other right-wing nuts that pretend to be journalists.

Unfortunately, my oldest brother was a fan of Rush Limbaugh. On more than one occasion, my dear brother let loose a tirade against Democrats that was wholly based in the LIES spewed by Rush. Have you ever tried to convince a Rushite that what they've been told was WRONG?

Right now, I am enjoying the spectacle that was once a Grand Old Party. What outrageous things will be said and will happen as the Republican party seeks its Presidential Nominee? Tune into Rush's show to find out. Limbaugh and his ilk seem to be in the process of attempting to derail the so-called Straight Talk Express. Yep, they don't like John McCain.

Tough cheese.

Really. It is interesting to watch the Republicans "eat their own young." Reuters.com has an article written by Matthew Bigg entitled "Talk Show Hosts Voice Alarm at McCain's Rise". In the article Bigg writes:

Their fears present a stiff challenge to McCain's efforts to unify Republicans along conservative lines.

The Arizona senator won nine coast-to-coast primary races in states on "Super Tuesday" to become the most likely candidate to secure the party's nomination ahead of November's election to succeed U.S. President George W. Bush.

"We are trying to stop the wanton destruction of the party, the wanton dilution of the party," said Limbaugh, whose daily show is syndicated on radio stations across the country.

"We are sick and tired of how the people who seem to be triumphing in our party are precisely the people who seem to be selling this party out in terms of its ideology," said Limbaugh, who criticized McCain for reaching out to Democrats.

Conservatives say they disagree with McCain on issues including taxes, free political speech, immigration and the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other prisons.

In one indication of doubts about McCain, evangelical leader James Dobson said this week he would not vote for McCain if he became the nominee, raising the possibility that some Republicans would sit out the November election.

Limbaugh's views on McCain reflect wider disquiet that Bush and Republicans have squandered years in power by failing to institute principles such as individual freedom and small government or to sufficiently write Christian values into law.

They say a McCain presidency would likely move the party further in the wrong direction.

At the same time, many conservatives are angry at what they see as a biased national media that applauds McCain for "moderate" views, relishes division within Republican ranks and misrepresents the influence of talk radio.

Fight, fight fight!

Yes, I'm enjoying this.....


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Oh, Get Over It!

Vindication?

I have a hard time letting go of the past sometimes. I still get angry when I think about living with chronic pain and seemingly no one believing me. I walked away from two automobile accidents and lived with chronic neck and upper-back pain for over 10 years. When did I ever get some relief? The doctor removed the causes of the chronic arthritis pain, excised two blown cervical discs, and fused donor bone in the places where painful ruptured discs had been -- last year.

And, does living with chronic pain fuck you up? Yes.

An article on Reuters.com about a scientific pain study sheds more light on the effects of chronic pain. It states:

Brain scans of people in chronic pain show a state of constant activity in areas that should be at rest, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday, a finding that could help explain why pain patients have higher rates of depression, anxiety and other disorders.

They said chronic pain seems to alter the way people process information that is unrelated to pain.

"It seems that enduring pain for a long time affects brain function in response to even minimally demanding attention tasks completely unrelated to pain," the researchers wrote in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Monday, February 4, 2008

HOPE Is On Its Way



This may be a Ron Paul song/anthem -- but HOPE is universal...

We Can Change the World

My HOPE is that the world will change. The United States can change itself and transform the world. It all begins with you.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Blast from the Past

I invite you to compare the 2004 music video below with the 2008 music video that I posted yesterday. We were angry in 2004 (and more so in 2006). We have HOPE in 2008.

We are invited to VOTE!

H/T to Ezra Klein

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Yes, We Can! -- Si, Se Puede!

Please watch the great YouTube or go to DipDive.com to watch a high quality version.

Nothing But Sunshine


A couple of weeks ago, I traveled to Guadalajara with an immigration lawyer to get my FM-3. The passport-like document proves I am a documented (READ legal) alien resident. After our visit to the immigration authorities we were treated to a bit of tour of parts of the city. Our lawyer once worked as a tour guide and her knowledge of Guadalajara was impressive.

One of the areas of the city that was highlighted was the medical black market. Doctors, pharmacists, and regular people go there to find bargains on everything they need. When my doctor talks about going to Guad to find my prescriptions, I now know what he means. He is always bragging about the bargains he finds when shopping for lamictal, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta and other medications. And, I am grateful.

An article from Reuters.com reports on the large number of American citizens that travel to Mexico for dental care. It states:

U.S. dental treatment costs up to four times as much as in Mexico, making it tough for uninsured Americans to treat common problems such as abscessed teeth or pay for dentures.

A dental crown in the United States costs upward of $600 per tooth, compared to $190 or less in Mexico.

Aspiring Mexican dentists are moving to border cities in droves and are luring American patients away from farther flung discount destinations such as Hungary and Thailand.

Americans have long crossed the border for cheap medicines, flu vaccines, eye surgery or specialist doctors, but dentists are now in highest demand.

We haven't taken advantage of the local dentists or any medical professionals other than our personal physician. Ajijic does have its fair share of medical specialists. The Lake Chapala Society monthly news publication has plenty of advertisements for professionals offering everything from tooth whitening to chelation therapy.

The cost of living here continues to amaze me. It really isn't such a bad thing to have had my retirement out-sourced to Mexico. The North American Free Trade Agreement does benefit some Americans.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Poetic


(H/T to Andrew Sullivan)

From the Los Angeles Times, an endorsement:

An Obama presidency would present, as a distinctly American face, a man of African descent, born in the nation's youngest state, with a childhood spent partly in Asia, among Muslims. No public relations campaign could do more than Obama's mere presence in the White House to defuse anti-American passion around the world, nor could any political experience surpass Obama's life story in preparing a president to understand the American character. His candidacy offers Democrats the best hope of leading America into the future, and gives Californians the opportunity to cast their most exciting and consequential ballot in a generation.

In the language of metaphor, Clinton is an essay, solid and reasoned; Obama is a poem, lyric and filled with possibility. Clinton would be a valuable and competent executive, but Obama matches her in substance and adds something that the nation has been missing far too long -- a sense of aspiration.

You Can't Make This Shit Up

In case you haven't been following the news about Fox Noise and Homeless Veterans -- here is a quick summary of the controversy. John Edwards's focus on the "Two Americas" gets some traction here. How could anyone be so blindly and willingly IGNORANT?