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Friday, September 2, 2011

A Labor Day Week-End Rant

 I used to be a certified news junkie.  First I got fed up with TV news so I started getting my daily "news fix" first thing in the morning - every morning - from my computer.  I'd pull up all the major news sources.  Then, I felt as though these sources were becoming more tabloid in content than I cared for.  Besides which, they were also beginning to read more like opinion pieces than news pieces.  (JUST my opinion. . . . )  Now, I read only two news sources - npr.com and bbc.com


I was especially a political news junkie.

 

The only political "news" these days scares the hell out of me, or it just flat makes me crazy.

 

Let's see - we have people who are actually being considered as viable candidates for the highest office in this country who don't know American history, and/or think it's okay to revise it to suit.

 

We have a bunch of people who were elected to SERVE this country, but who instead want to pander to their own selfish wants and needs by engaging in a never-ending pissing contest.   A constant game of "if I can't have my way, I'll take my ball and go home.  Nah nah na boo boo."  At the very least, it's embarrassing.   Let's not even try to bring the word "ethics" to the table. 

 

Wonder if any of them have ever read this:  

Photograph of the Gettysburg National Cemetery
© Abraham Lincoln Online

The Gettysburg Address

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
November 19, 1863
On June 1, 1865, Senator Charles Sumner commented on what is now considered the most famous speech by President Abraham Lincoln. In his eulogy on the slain president, he called it a "monumental act." He said Lincoln was mistaken that "the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here." Rather, the Bostonian remarked, "The world noted at once what he said, and will never cease to remember it. The battle itself was less important than the speech."
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.


Source: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler. The text above is from the so-called "Bliss Copy," one of several versions which Lincoln wrote, and believed to be the final version. For additional versions, you may search The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln through the courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Association.

*****************************************************************************

I think not.

And what do they care even if they did?!

 Poor ol' Abe seems to be out of favor in today's politcal environment.  Now it's for each his own.  Spend a beezillion dollars to get elected and in turn get a decent salary, with health benefits and a pension.  The things every American citizen would also love to have, right?  Add in those speaking engagements they'll have after they leave office.  How much will the average American rake in in speaking engagements by comparison?  Add in those book deals.  How much will the average writers make in book deals by comparison?

I am not even going to ponder what some of these people "might" receive in gifts from special interest groups.

In my ever so humble opinion, this particular crop of politicians "serving" us these days could give a flying fig about us.  And I don't really think I'm alone, or even in the minority, in my feelings.  The following polling data was found at RealClearPolitics.com  I'm using this source only because they appear to average out the polls from multiple sources.  You may, I'm sure, find different numbers elsewhere.  But, you know - this is my blog and I can rant if I want to (with apologies to Lesley Gore).



Here's the deal in a nutshell.  According to the latest polls, most people don't care for the direction of the county (see below).   Congressional job approval is in the toilet (see below).  President Obama's not doing so hot either (see below).

 

Direction of Country

Polling Data

PollDateRight Direction Wrong Track Spread
RCP Average8/1 - 8/2819.073.8 -54.8

 

 

Congressional Job Approval

Polling Data

PollDateApprove Disapprove Spread
RCP Average8/1 - 8/2212.384.0 -71.7

 

 

President Obama Job Approval

Polling Data

PollDateSampleApprove Disapprove Spread
RCP Average8/16 - 9/1--43.751.3 -7.6


So.  What do you think?  What the HELL is going on here?   WHAT is going on with this country?

First off - Where are our jobs????  Call a customer support representative for almost any major company and you tell me - are the jobs here in the United States?  If so, then how come I have a hard time understanding what these people are saying?  Before you call me an ignorant isolationist slut for being cruel to or about other cultures and about having to deal with a person I have a hard time understanding, let me just say this.  Back in the day when I took some business courses in college, I remember learning a very basic tenet.  That business was all about "communication."  Well, you know, I'm sorry, but my liberal ol' self finds it hard to justify that tenet these days when it's so hard to communicate with the business you wish to communicate with.  Either you can't reach them, or you reach them but then no one understands what the other person is saying.  I'm sorry, but this is just wrong.  And I'm not blaming the people from other countries who are doing the jobs - I'm saying it is just plain wrong for our government to have given those jobs away when we have people right here in our own country begging for work. 


So.  


We're short on jobs.


We're short on affordable health care.


People have lost their homes - and are still losing their homes.


So.


We're a country with a rising population.  The homeless population is on the rise.  Not just the homeless men we used to see in big cities.  We were scared to death of those men.  Now we're facing the fact of homeless families.  Men, their wives and their children.  HOW CAN THIS BE????  This is way more scary, in my humble opinion, than those dirty old men begging for a buck.


I mean - Hey. This is THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.  Right?!  

UNITED.  

Except that somehow we now have the government on one side of a large divide, and "we the people" on the other side of that large divide.

UNITED?


Really?


are we?


Is anyone in our governement in danger of losing their home?


Being laid off?


Is their job going to be privatized or sent abroad?


Are they in danger of losing their health care?


UNITED??


Pfft.


Do they have to worry about how they're going to feed their children?


If one of their kids is suddenly very sick, do they worry about the cost of hospitalization?  Do they face not being able to afford a doctor's visit?


Do NOT tell me that there are NO doctors or hospitals in this country turning patients away.  That is simply not true.


Yes, Yes, Yes - I do tend to rant.  And I cry.  And I worry about this country.  But no, I don't worry about the members of congress - they'll be fine fine fine.  They don't worry about me, why should I worry about them?

Has your salary increased at this rate (see below?) :


1965-1969 $30,000 per annum
1969-1975 $42,500 per annum
1975-1977 $44,600 per annum
1977-1978 $57,500 per annum
1979-1983 $60,662.50 per annum
1983 $69,800 per annum
1984 $72,600 per annum
1985-1986 $75,100 per annum
1987 (1/1-2/3) $77,400 per annum
1987 (2/4) $89,500 per annum
1990 (2/1) $98,400 per annum
1991 $101,900 per annum
1991 (8/15) $125,100 per annum
1992 $129,500 per annum
1993-1997 $133,600 per annum
1998-1999 $136,700 per annum
2000 $141,300 per annum
2001 $145,100 per annum
2002 $150,000 per annum
2003 $154,700 per annum
2004 $158,100 per annum
2005 $162,100 per annum
2006-2007 $165,200 per annum
2008 $169,300 per annum
2009 $174,000 per annum
2010 $174,000 per annum
2011 $174,000 per annum

Sources and notes

  1. ^ [1] Salaries of Members of Congress: A List of Payable Rates and Effective Dates on Senate.gov, Accessed 4 October 2008
  2. ^ Salaries. United States Senate. Retrieved on 08 August 2011.

16 comments:

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, well ranted, Kaye! I, along with many folks, am fed up with the gridlock and the pettiness and the incredible incivility-- for which I don't hesitate to blame the Republicans -- and increasingly annoyed with Obama's failure to stand up to them. And the lineup of potential candidates is pretty much terrifying. I keep thinking of Atwood's THE HANDMAID'S TALE...

billie said...

Well ranted. You lured me in with the hissy fit and now I'm having one too!

Byron said...

What a hissy fit! Powerfully articulated. And the next question is--what do we do when our representatives don't? (and the word verification code I have to type in below? stropt. As in, all those numbskulls ought to be stropt with grandpa's shaving strop!)

L.J. Sellers said...

I hear you! I'm so frustrated, angry, and worried every day about what the hell is going to happen to us. A young man knocked on our door today, begging for work, anything he said to earn a little money. He's homeless, can't find a job, and destitute.

There are many others like him here, including one of my family members.

We need to end the wars and start a jobs program instead. I'd like the city to pay that young man to fix the street in front of my house.

And I'd like the state to build and staff training centers where people can learn the skills they need to
fill the jobs that are available.

The national government needs a jobs program too, repairing road, bridges, and schools.

I could go on and on. I have a lot of ideas. But none of this will happen. And we all know why. The people who have and control the money don't like to spend it that way. It isn't punitive enough.

Okay, I'm done for the moment. Thanks for letting me join your rant.

LJ Roberts said...

I'm ranting right along side you, Kaye. This might cheer you up just a little, however. http://www.thechristianleftblog.org/index.html

Julia Buckley said...

I so agree with the decline in television news. People get into television news today to be celebrities, not to be broadcasters. I don't want to watch 30 minutes of narcissism.

I won't even get into the political thing--it's too depressing.

Bill Crider said...

Preach it, Kaye!

susied said...

I agree with you Kaye!

The middle class is slowly disappearing..we'll only have the rich and poor left.

And speaking of Abe Lincoln, he's a vampire slayer. Maybe he can stake some of those blood-suckers called 'Congress'. :)

Sandra Parshall said...

It drives me crazy that companies like Apple have NO manufacturing jobs in the US at ALL. Apple has 30,000 employes in the US, but not one of them actually makes a product. Chinese workers -- 240,000 of them -- make Apple products, and they are paid an average of 50 cents per hour for 60 hours of work per week. No benefits, of course.

But would Congress even consider slapping companies like that with import taxes and other penalties to force them to keep their jobs in the US? NO NO NO NO NO. Why not? Because, well, um...er... that would "kill jobs." What jobs??? Chinese jobs? It's insane. And it ought to be a crime for Congress to so blatantly ignore the crying needs of the people.

Patty said...

So Kaye, tell us what you really think! Love the rant, agree with almost all the points. Good on ya.

Alice Duncan said...

Amen and hallelujah, Kaye! As one of the gazillion and three Americans who don't have lobbyists knocking on my door, begging me to dine out or take vacations on their dime, I feel very lonely. But I'm not. When two percent of the population handles eighty percent of the money in this country, there's something DEFINITELY wrong. And I don't think there's a politician alive today who gives a fig about we, the people. Not that I'm bitter or anything. I keep thinking of Keven Tipple and people like him, and I just see red. Really. Red.

barbara said...

Hey Kaye,

i had a long post typed commenting on your well expressed rant - well really rant is not the right word, logically stated common sense essay works for me......

anyhow i abandoned the first post for a variety of reasons, foremost because i'm Canadian and it isn't my place....

but did want to say good on you Kaye, spread the word, the world needs to hear more rants - er - logically stated common sense essays such as yours!

Alice Duncan said...

Has anyone besides me ever noticed the signature line on John Bohnert's posts? "Every program that ever helped working people, from rural electrification to Medicare, was enacted by liberals over the opposition of conservatives."
George McGovern

carl brookins said...

So, now we know a certain governor is runnin' around the country 'cause he can't figure a way to help the folks burned out by wild fires and doesn't understand the disaster befalling the cattle industry? God moves in mysterious ways, but I doubt she uses earthquakes or hurricanes.
As a descendant of the original Tea Party patriots, I do protest!

le0pard13 said...

Hear, hear, Kaye.

Ken Lewis said...

I don't know about you, Kayester, but I know what I'm doing. I'm waiting until I see the whites of their eyes.

PS: I told you, and all the other Dlotties in 2008, that this was going to happen. Didn't I.