Watering Hole: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 – Mandela

This a man that I greatly admire.  He was brave while he was imprisoned and even braver after he was elected President.  Nelson knew that in order for South Africa to move forward, it could not dwell in its past sins and atrocities.

President Mandela celebrated his 95th birthday on July 18th and he was hospitalized for a lung infection back in June.  Even though he is showing improvement, his situation remains critical.

Just like everyone else, no leader is perfect.  What is important is the legacy that their leadership gives to us.  Here’s to you, Mandiba.

This is our Open Thread.  Speak Up!

Watering Hole: Monday, October 31, 2011 – Happy Halloween

Two years ago, the most popular Halloween costume for adult women that I witnessed was the Sarah Palin look.  This year, I’m thinking that Guy Fawkes will be popular.  We were going to attend a few parties on Saturday dressed in our Guy Fawkes costumes, but the heavy, wet snowfall kept us home instead.

I don’t have much more to say at this moment so I will leave you with a song and vintage clips from the 1921 film, “Haxan Witchcraft Through the Ages”.


This is our Open Thread for today.  Speak Up on any topic.

Watering Hole: Friday, October 28, 2011 – Occupied and Stolen

When will the US Government’s abuse of Native Americans end?  When they are all dead?  Or is it when they all forget their great heritage?

This week, NPR did a mini series on “Indian Child Welfare”.  Even though the law states that Native American children are to live with a family member within the tribe, South Dakota places Native American children in foster care outside of the reservation.  Fifty percent of the children living in foster care in South Dakota are Native Americans.  In case you missed this story, you can learn more about it here, from Native American Netroots.

From PR-USA:

According to NPR Laura Sullivan is known for her investigative reporting on the plight of the country’s most disadvantaged people. NPR also lists Ms. Sullivan’s 2007 revelation of the widespread rape of Native American women on their reservations, committed largely by non-Native men. This tragic story took place, and continues to take place, on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in the Dakotas.

The Lakota Peoples Law Project (LPLP) has documented the theft and destruction of Indian children. Native children are being taken at an alarming rate. LPLP investigators and attorneys have found that the South Dakota Department of Social Services in a misguided attempt to help the children removes them from their families and places them in non-Indian households, foster-care settings, and state institutions for years. These children often experience sexual and emotional abuse, medical over-drugging, and inadequate education. According to LPLP lead attorneyDaniel P. Sheehan, the current system is a failure. Mr. Sheehan’s research shows that South Dakota, is one of the worst offenders nationwide. Nearly two-thirds of children in state foster care in South Dakota are Native American. By age twenty, over 60% of these children are dead, homeless, or in prison.

The greedy are not content with all the land that they stole over the past 150 + years. They are now going after more land.  So the Dakota Oyate have occupied the Crow Creek Reservation.

The Lakota have struggled for 158 years.  Here is their story which will not be found in any school board approved history book.

The genocide continues and the MSM is quiet.

I remember reading “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” and crying for hours.  It was an awakening.

This is our Open Thread.  Speak Up!

“May you have faith in your worth and act with wisdom”… Yogi tea tag.

Watering Hole: Monday, October 24, 2011 – Pick One or Two or Three…

This picture speaks for itself.

This is our Open Thread. I’m sure you can find something to say about any one of the issues presented on this picture, so Speak Up!

Watering Hole: September 19, 2011 – Energy Fest

This past weekend, I spent 2/3’s of my free time volunteering as a member of the “Parking Authority”, reporting to the “Parking Czar”, and parking cars at the Pennsylvania Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Festival.

The cars were parked a distance from the entrance to the festival so a shuttle was provided.

These horses are Clydesdales and provided the horse power during the afternoon.   The morning shuttle was powered by bay colored Shires.

Bicycle Man was at the festival and he had his “Conference Bike” available.  It’s a six seater which allows for exercise during serious discussions.

It was a beautiful late summer weekend in southeastern Pennsylvania.  As you can see, the leaves have not yet started to turn.

This is our Open Thread.  Feel free to Speak Up on any topic.  Happy Monday      🙂

Watering Hole: September 9, 2011 – Are you ready for some football?

This is our Open Thread.  That was quite the season opener last evening.  What are your thoughts about last night’s season opener?  Speak Up!

All cartoons are posted with the artists’ express permission to TPZoo.
Nick AndersonHouston Chronicle Editorial Cartoonist and Animation Artist.
For Nick’s animations, visit Nick Anderson: Animation Archives.
For Nick’s cartoons, visit Nick Anderson.

Watering Hole – Monday August 8, 2011 – Crises of Capitalism

This video is a little more than 11 minutes in length.  It’s an interesting perspective.  Last week was bad news week.  Can it get any worse?

This is our Open Thread today.  My apologies for not having much more to say at this point.  Perhaps you have something to add to the conversation so Speak Up!

Watering Hole – Monday, August 1, 2011 – Philadelphia Freedom

Today is our 30 year wedding anniversary and we will be spending the day in Philadelphia doing the “freedom tour”.

For most of my life, I have lived in the southeastern part of Pennsylvania.  During all these years, I have never seen the Liberty Bell.  With the looming shutdown of our government due to its inability to pay the bills or the closing of government buildings due to the cuts, cuts and more cuts, now could be my last chance to get to Independence square and see some of the artifacts that are part of our nation’s beginning.  It’s anybody’s guess as to what will happen if the US defaults on its debt.  One thing for sure is that government employees would be laid off, seniors would not receive their Social Security checks, veterans would not receive their benefits, and nursing homes could close which would create more job losses.  Basically, more people will be out of work and there will be less money to spend and BUSINESSES WILL SUFFER.  Default is NOT an option.  Our bills must be paid.

This is our open thread.  I won’t be around today as I will be searching for freedom. You will need to Speak Up and do all the chatting.

Continue reading

Watering Hole – July 18, 2011 – They Call Me The Breeze

Like many other critters, humans are hoarders.  Animals in the wild will hoard food.  Humans, will hoard anything.  Only the hoarder knows the true value of their “things”.  Hoarders will collect and keep anything and everything.  Another animal behavior is picking through things.  Again, this is usually a search for foods and sometimes tools.  There are humans that enjoy picking through things, too.  There are the junk collectors and if the items are something of value such as an antique or “collectable”, then the junk collector is given the high title of “picker”.  Both the junk collector and the picker are not opposed to dumpster diving which is a topic for another time.  Picking has been elevated even further by the History Channel when it created the show “American Pickers”.

As things go, a friend of mine will be featured on “American Pickers”, tonight, July 18, on the History Channel.  This dear person is a collector of many different things.  The item that I like best that he collects is the mechanical toys such as antique cymbal clapping monkeys.  This song is a tribute to my friend.

This is our Open Thread.  Speak Up and let us know if there is anything that you hoard collect.  I collect glassware.

Watering Hole – Monday, July 11, 2011 – All You Fascist…

A few supporters of fascism:

  • Governor Rick Snyder – denying the democratic process is fascism.
  • Governor Scott Walker – union busting is fascism.
  • Governor Rick Perry – secession is treason.

I could go on and on and on with a list of teabagger names and I’m sure that you could add names to the above list, too.  When Republicans are in the majority, they rule like fascists.

“This machine kills fascists”.

The “whites only” club is gearing up for 2012.  David Duke is touring 25 states to “explore how much support he can garner for a potential presidential run”.  I say, “run David, run”.  Let’s bring ALL the hatred to for forefront.  No more sneaking around behind the scenes and creating chaos.

Former (and current) Neo Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members, neo-Confederates, and other representatives of the many wings of the “white nationalist” movement are starting to file paperwork and print campaign literature for offices large and small, pointing to rising unemployment, four years with an African-American president, and rampant illegal immigration as part of a growing mound of evidence that white people need to take a stand.

Yes, indeed.  An African-American president is the cause of all of our unhappiness. What our nation needs is to return complete power to white men and then everything will as it should be.  This also means that women along with people of color, MUST lose their right to vote. Women better head back to their homes and be subservient to their husbands.  As for the blacks, then need to get their dupas (butts) back into the fields.  There’s crops that need picking.(sarcasm)

Not all fascists are racists.  All racists are fascists.

This is our Open Thread.  Do you have names and stories to add to the list?  If you do, Speak Up.  Even if you don’t, Speak Up.  If you have the time, check out more of the threads on this page.

Oh My Aching Back

Georgia has put tough immigration laws into effect and as a result, many immigrants, both legal and illegal, are refusing to work in the fields picking crops.  It is estimated that up to 40% of Georgia’s produce will be left to rot in the fields.

The governor of Georgia created a plan to help with the labor shortage.  Probationers are encouraged to work in the fields.  Unfortunately, it is not working out so well for the growers as these new workers quit half way through the day.  Productivity is low and is not sufficient to complete the harvest.

Mendez put the probationers to the test last Wednesday, assigning them to fill one truck and a Latino crew to a second truck. The Latinos picked six truckloads of cucumbers compared to one truckload and four bins for the probationers.

“It’s not going to work,” Mendez said. “No way. If I’m going to depend on the probation people, I’m never going to get the crops up.”

Conditions in the field are bruising, and the probationers didn’t seem to know what to expect. Cucumber plants hug the ground, forcing the workers to bend over, push aside the large leaves and pull them from the vine. Unlike the Mexican and Guatemalan workers, the probationers didn’t wear gloves to protect their hands from the small but prickly thorns on the vines and sandpaper-rough leaves.

Be careful what you wish for.

Watering Hole – July 4, 2011 – Independence Day

I have been contemplating several ideas for today’s “Open Thread”.  My thoughts started with the re-writing of the history of our nation.  Should I focus on Sarah Palin’s poor knowledge of the birth of our nation when she claimed that Paul Revere rode a horse, while ringing bells and firing a musket and telling the British that they couldn’t take our guns from us?  Or is Michele Bachmann’s revisionist history more interesting when she insisted that nine year old John Quincy Adam was a “Founding Father” and that Lexington and Concord were located in New Hampshire?  Instead,  I decided to focus on our national anthem.

Why does the United States have a boring war song as its national anthem?  First of all, most people can’t reach all the notes when singing the song.  Secondly, the melody is depressing.  And thirdly, it is uninspiring and unexciting and it doesn’t evoke patriotism or the love of one’s nation.  Here are some other choices. Just look at the excitement and joy in the crowd.

My personal favorite is Stars and Stripes Forever.  Here’s a link to the lyrics.  And a link to information about John Phillip Sousa.  I have a little personal connection to the “March King”.

This is our Open Thread.  Do you have a favorite patriotic song or other ideas?  Here is a chance to Speak Up!  And if you have the time, be sure to scroll down the page or the side bar and look for other new and exciting posts.  One more thing… the teabaggers and the Republicans do NOT own the flag.  It is our flag, too.  So they can go…

Love That Socialism

This will be brief.

Last week, my mother-in-law broke her hip.  She had to spend some time in the hospital and after three days, she would be moved to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation.  When presenting the list of facilities, the case manager asked this question, “Does she have regular government Medicare?”  The answer was, “Yes”.  We were then informed that all the facilities accepted Medicare and that only a few accepted Medicare Advantage (private insurance) and even then, there needed to be a pre-approval by the insurer before the patient can enter the treatment facility.

Medicare Advantage was created for the benefit of the insurance companies.  Sarah Palin was confused when she said that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would create death panels.  These death panels have been in place since 1997 with the creation of Medicare Advantage.

If my mother-in-law wasn’t enrolled in the socialist program known as Medicare, she would not be getting the care that she needs to “get back on her feet” again.

Score 1 for socialism and 0 for privatization.

Watering Hole – June 27, 2011 – Teach Our Children Well

Words of wisdom from a great Native American;

~Chief Seattle
You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children that we have taught our children that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.

What values are we teaching?

This is our Open Thread.  Speak Up!

Watering Hole – Monday, June 20, 2011 – Stealing From the Poor

Where is Robin Hood when you need him?  My most recent Northern Sun catalog has a picture of Robin Hood with those very words printed on the cover.

The Republican’s budget plans will decrease taxes on the rich while increasing the tax burden on the middle class and poor.

If the Republicans have their way, will our nation become the land of the “lords and serfs”?

This is our Open Thread.  Will we allow the Republicans to continue to steal from the middle class and the poor?  Speak Up!

Watering Hole – Monday, June 13, 2011 – While the Gotcha and Gossipy Media

Was focused on Weiner’s weiner, an important terrorist trial began in Chicago, IL.  David Coleman Headley, a confessed American terrorist and Pakistani spy, was testifying in the trial of Tahawwur Rana.  Headley is the star witness against Rana, his childhood friend.

Besides admitting to being one of the masterminds of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, Headley also worked for the DEA.  So instead of facing the death penalty, Headley is spilling the beans.  Then again, Headley is a known manipulator and liar so the outcome of this trial will be dependent upon whether the jury believes Headley or not.

Here’s some interesting links to this story.  From The Daily Beast.  And from an interview on Here and Now on PRI.

UPDATE:  Since I originally created this post (Thursday afternoon), the trial of Rana Tahawwur has concluded.  Rana was found guilty on two charges and he was found not guilty for the Mumbai charge.  Seems like the jury didn’t believe Headley’s testimony.

This is our Open Thread.  Here’s your chance to Speak Up!  Gotcha and Gossip accepted.

It’s Was Just A Matter of Time

The greedy Republicans want ALL of our money.  Last Friday, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), introduced a bill that would allow workers to immediately stop contributing 6.2% of their pay to Social Security and instead, put this money in a “Savings Account for Every American” (SAFE).

That would take the place of the 6.2 percent the workers now contributed to Social Security.

Another 6.2% is sent to Social Security by employers. Under the Sessions bill, employers would continue to make this matching contribution to Social Security, but after 15 years, employers could also send that amount to the employee’s SAFE account.

(Source:  The Hill)

Under the bill, employees would be able to make tax free contributions to their SAFE account, and take tax-free distributions at retirement age. The bill would also allow employees to stay with the Social Security program if they wish.

From “the bill”…

‘‘(2) The trustee is a bank (as defined in sec20
tion 408(n)) or such other person who demonstrates
21 to the satisfaction of the Secretary that the manner
22 in which such other person will administer the trust
23 will be consistent with the requirements of this sec24

A bit more from “the bill”…

‘‘(3) No part of the trust funds will be invested
2 in life insurance contracts.
3 ‘‘(4) The interest of an individual in the bal4
ance in his account is nonforfeitable.
5 ‘‘(5) The assets of the trust will not be commin6
gled with other property except in a common trust
7 fund or common investment fund.

H/T Blatant Liberal

So here it is, the privatization of Social Security.  This is what the Republicans have been working towards since the days of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

To the Republican plan, I’ll be saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.  I’ll be staying with Social Security.”

Watering Hole – Monday June 6, 2011 – I Only Ask…

I only ask God that I not be indifferent to the suffering.

I only ask of God
That i am not indifferent to the pain,
That the dry death won’t find me
Empty and alone, without having done the sufficient.

I only ask of God…

Link to the lyrics and English translation.

If you want to hear Leon Geico from Argentina sing this song and see how he inspires the crowd, click here.

This is our Open Thread.  These artists have spoken and now it is your chance to Speak Up!

The Next Progressive Era

Gar Alperovitz claims that the bombing of Hiroshima was a matter of economics and that the underlying purpose was how to run a global economy that favored American goals while preventing another economic depression.
Alperovitz is Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland. He is one of the founding principals of The Democracy Collaborative. Previously, he was a fellow at King’s College at Cambridge University, a founding fellow of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and a guest professor at Notre Dame University. He has also served as a legislative director in the US House of Representatives and the US Senate, and as a special assistant at the Department of State.
In an interview with Keane Bhatt at Truthout, Alperovitz states that he believes in “planned trade” where restrictions are placed on imports  so that the US can rebuild its manufacturing base.  He also believes that local non-profit “land trusts” will be a model for achieving “meaningful democracy”.

A land trust is simply a nonprofit corporation or a government agency that owns land, so that when development occurs, the profits of that development accrue to the owner, which in this case is public or nonprofit. And that’s very important in the context of gentrification, because if there’s a housing boom and the prices go up, poor people are kicked out because the prices are too high. So, if the land trust owns the land under the housing, it can stabilize housing costs. They already do this in many parts of the country because they are nonprofit corporations committed to low- and moderate-income housing.

Another example: when a city builds a subway system, land prices go up and the land becomes very valuable around every exit, because it’s a high-traffic area and commercial development is possible. So, who should own that land? If the city gives it away or sells it, then profits are made by the real estate developers. Many, many cities don’t do that now. They own the land and lease it so that they can make the profits from that implicit form of land trust, and pour it back, usually, into support for the mass transit system. That’s conventional now. What’s interesting about these various forms of democratizing ownership is that they’ve spread around the country in the last decade and a half and their numbers have gone from just a handful to hundreds. They answer a problem nothing else can. So, land trust development is an interesting example of what happens when there’s great pain. Traditional answers don’t work, and democratizing ownership in one or another way very often becomes a pattern.

You can read the entire interview here.  It is well worth the time.

Gar Alperovitz’s views offers hope and in this time of uncertainty, we need positive ideas and not more negative, fear-provoking disinformation from both our government and the media.

Watering Hole: Monday, May 30, 2011 – Memorial Day

We are a warring nation.  Some served in our military voluntarily while others were drafted.  Regardless as to why someone served, today is a day to remember those that served and lost their lives.

A list of wars:

  • American War of Independence – 1775 to 1783
  • Northwest Indian War or Little Turtle’s War or Miami’s Campaign – 1785-1795
  • Franco-American Half War – 1798-1800
  • Barbary Coast War or Tripolitan War – 1801-1805
  • War of 1812 or Second War of Independence – 1812-1815
  • Second Barbary War or Algerian War – 1815
  • First Seminole War – 1817-1818
  • Arikara War – 1823
  • Winnebago War orLe Fèvre Indian War – 1827
  • Black Hawk War or Black Hawk Campaign – 1832
  • First Sumatran Expedition – February 6 – 9, 1832
  • Second Seminole War or Florida War – 1835 – 1842
  • Texas War of Independence – 1836
  • Mexican War or U.S.–Mexican War – April 25, 1846 – February 2, 1848
  • etc…

There are 61 more wars to add to this list.  You can view the rest here.

Let us not forget the “TV” war – Vietnam.  If George W. Bush actually fought in Vietnam, he would not have been so eager to invade Iraq.  Approximately 58,220 American soldiers lost their lives in Vietnam.  This doesn’t include the millions of Vietnamese that were killed.  War is not the answer.  After all, what is war good for?

This is our Open Thread – Speak Up!  Our freedom demands it.

Watering Hole – Monday, May 23, 2011 – True Democracy

It’s the evil thing…

The Supreme Court of the United States of America spit on our democracy when they handed over our government to rich corporations, both domestic and foreign, by their decision to support Corporations Citizens United.

This is our Open Thread.  Speak up or Sing, which ever works best for you   🙂

Watering Hole – Monday, May 16, 2011 – Let Them Speak English

Making English the official language and banning the use of other languages in school is nothing new to this nation.  Pennsylvania Dutch was spoken freely in the schools in southeastern Pennsylvania until the early 1900’s when the Pennsylvania legislators decided that children should not be speaking both English and German.  They wanted to kill the use of languages other than English and by doing so, they hoped to suppress the Swiss/German culture in the state.  Despite their efforts, Pennsylvania Dutch can still be heard, spoken by many of the farmers living in southeastern PA.  A similar thing happened in Louisiana where the use of French was prohibited.  Banning French failed as the language lives on in music.

In the early 1900s, Louisiana authorities tried to suppress Cajun culture, banning the use of French in schools. But in recent decades, the Cajuns have repossessed their heritage and display an obvious pride. One major unifying force is Cajun music and dance, which is something of a family affair.

From one of the best… The Balfa Brothers

Today, it’s about banning Spanish and the Hispanic culture.  Si?  You can only speak English at Gino’s Steaks in Philadelphia.

Kill a language and kill a culture.

The English only crowd… en dummkopp iss and they deserve a swift kick in the dupa.

This is our Open Thread.  Feel free to Speak Up in any language.

Watering Hole: Monday, May 9, 2011 – Gone With The…

This past week marked the 75th anniversary of the publishing of Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell.  On May 4, “Talk of the Nation” (NPR) interviewed writer Pat Conroy who had this to say:

“When I was 5 years old, my mother read me Gone With The Wind at night, before I went to bed,” Conroy says. “I remember her reading almost all year.”

Listeners were invited to call in or email their comments.  Several women called and stated that Gone With The Wind taught them “how to be a lady”.  Hum… I wonder, is being a “lady” something to be proud of?  How would Mammy really feel about serving Scarlet O’Hara and all the other white ladies and white gentlemen of that time? No one asked and my guess is no one really cared.  With all the racism that has appeared in the open in the past 3 years, have things changed at all today?

This is our open thread.  Speak Up and let us know your thoughts.