Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday Thirteen

1. The Bob McDonnell trial is an absolute embarrassment to me as a native Virginia. I don't care what party you claim, the guy has thrown his wife under the bus, maybe deservedly so because she sounds like a difficult person, but still, he is no gentleman. Why is his marriage even on trial? Either he took money and gave favors or he didn't. Why do we need six weeks of Kardashian-like BS to sort this out? What has happened to human decency? Good grief.

2. Young people, especially 9 year olds, should not be handling uzis on firing ranges. They shouldn't be on firing ranges at all. Gun culture nuts are creating their own demise either by killing one another or they will, ultimately, force even their own supporters to ask for better gun laws as their own personal brand of insanity seeps into mainstream life.

3. Businesses in general no longer care about customer service or providing quality items to consumers. All they care about is money. We need regulation and oversight of practically everything, because expecting any industry to police itself is by definition insane. Do you honestly think any business is going to set limits on itself on the basis of morality in this day and age? We don't even know what morality is.

4. Governments that deal in secrecy, whether at the local level (I'm talking to you, BOTETOURT), state, or national, are governments that are failing their citizenry. Fail, fail, fail. I'm so disappointed in our local representatives. About 20 years ago, we had no party politics here in my county and things ran much more smoothly, and common sense was present. Now things are rotten and smelly. At the state level, it's much worse. I used to live in a beautiful land, now it's a cesspool (see also #1).

5.  While the Affordable Care Act has helped some with insurance needs, it fell short (as I anticipated) and hasn't stopped the rampant costs in medicine and health care. That is only going to happen with dramatic change - as long as insurance companies cough up $100 for a $1 pill, things will stay as bad as they are for most people. The whole system reeks of corruption and complicity. The majority of Americans are only one car wreck or major illness away from bankruptcy. Why, as a society, do we allow that to be the case?

6. I do not pretend to know what is going on in the Middle East, anywhere. I am a pacifist by nature so I oppose killing. I do not believe there is ever, ever a good reason for nations to go to war (that includes the U.S.). Dropping bombs for the sake of dropping bombs is just asinine. That said, I am glad there has been a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas. I just hope it isn't over before you can read these words.

7. The unfortunate evolution of the police state in the US has been a natural progression as fascism has come to the fore and the lunatics have taken over the asylum. We are a scared, uneducated, and naïve citizenry, and we think we need arsenals to protect us from our neighbors, most of whom we don't know and don't care to know because our nose is buried in our cellphone. Call me naïve myself, but I think sharing lemonade and cookies would solve more problems than a militarized police force ever could.

8. Long ago, children ran and played unsupervised. Today, parents who do not hover can be arrested for imagined child endangerment. I see these stories popping up all the time now - a girl playing without supervision in her neighborhood playground is grounds for a mom to be jailed. I played unsupervised the majority of the time, as, I think, did most of my peers. I'm afraid most people under the age of 40 have no idea how to do anything on their own, because their parents always did things for them. How did that come about?

9. I rewatched the Dead Poets Society the other night. The movie is ambiguous in its political message. On the one hand, it says that we need free thinkers, not group think, and we need to rebel and rage against those would force conformity upon all of society. However, in the end, the conformists won in the movie. That flick shown in 1989, and the message is solid now. Conform or die.

10. Climate change deniers puzzle me. Why wouldn't you want cleaner air? Why wouldn't you want to minimize environmental damage for the next generation? What difference does it make, really, whether climate change is manmade or natural? The climate is changing - I'm 51 years old, I've seen it with my own eyes. Our summers are weird. Our winters are longer. The trees have funguses that previously were unknown here. We have bugs that used to not like this area but have become infesting pests. We have droughts and floods. Even the thunder sounds different. But regardless of the cause, I still don't understand why people oppose regulations that make industries take care of the environment. Isn't it rather insane to poison the grounds from which the foods grow? Do we think we are conquerors and must salt the earth?

11. Music is one way to soothe the soul and the savage beast. Some Alzheimer's patients have been helped with music and studies are underway to see how this can be used to assist people to have better lives. I can get behind this kind of research. This is the kind of thing our government dollars should be used for. We don't need another fighter plane.

12. We are, each one of us, an individual responsible for our actions and thoughts, but there are also circumstances all around us over which we have no control. We can't force businesses to be honorable, nations to be truthful, or group-think to be moral. All we can do is take care of ourselves as best we can, but we have created a society with multiple layers and systems, and circumventing can take a toll on the best of us. It is easy to slip and make a mistake. We need to understand that while we are individuals, we are also units of society and should work toward a greater good. That used to be a manifest concept that people understood, that your actions also impact your neighbor - that no man is an island - but somewhere in the last 30 years we've lost that lesson. Maybe people need to read more John Donne.

13. So current events have taken up my Thursday Thirteen. I've had a lot of this stuff on my mind for a while. I wanted to get it out and in the open. I'm a liberal and a feminist and I am proud of both titles. Thank you for reading. Feel free to disagree, but please do it nicely or I will delete your comment. It's my blog and I can do that.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here. I've been playing for a while and this is my 358th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. Right on, right on, right on!!!

    My premium to get the same insurance I had before more than doubled! So I can get insurance (and did) through the marketplace and it is cheaper but with a huge deductible. So now we are back to square one with catastrophic insurance only.

  2. I am so with you on number two -- I was speechless when I read about that yesterday. Children should be playing with dolls, trucks and games, NOT Uzis. And yes, as you said in number eight, we played unsupervised all summer long. In fact, my mom used to give my younger sister and I popsicles and send us down the block to the park to play while the baby sister napped in the afternoon. I haven't watched DPS in a while, but have been meaning to since Robin Williams died. It's one of my favorite movies. Mine: Recently Read

  3. Did big business ever care about anything besides money?


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