Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tracking the flu

A word about this widget.....

This is a link to the CDC. It has updates to the H1N1 form of swine flu, in the United States.
It seemed like they were slow on reporting the numbers, but they ONLY report lab confirmed cases. Suspected outbreaks are not included, and those pending lab confirmations are not included, so if you are hearing about other States being reported or the numbers seem delayed, it is because they are only reporting officially confirmed numbers.

In a way this seems to be a disservice. They should post a pending, or suspected cases, in a different chart, perhaps, because by the time the State shows up on the grid, it could put lots of people at risk.

Google has a US map that does include suspected and pending data

I don't want to engage in panic, but staying informed & taking precautions is recommended.
We will need to tune in to State & local news to get regional updates.

Right now, there are no reported cases in my State, but I am going to buy some of that alcohol based hand cleaner gel anyway, for work. We have 300 people in a our building, and because it is a travel industry, workers take trips all over the world, and recently to Mexico as well.

The new strain of swine influenza A (H1N1) is currently listed by the United States and World Health Organization as a Phase 5 pandemic virus. Serious stuff!

Feel free to link the Widget, and WASH YOUR HANDS!

Sticker Shock

When I was a kid, I was constantly bombarded with comments from my parents talking about
"When I was a kid (fill in the blank) only cost (fill in the blank)"
Usually, this resulted in me thinking, yea well, you are old.
But now I find myself reminiscing about yesteryears prices.

Circa 1958 prices:

House: $30,000 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now $100,000
Average income: $4,650~~~~~~~~~~~~Now $35,000
Ford car: $1967-$3929~~~~~~~~~~~~Now $15,000 Plus
Milk: $1.01~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now $3 bucks a gallon
Gas: $.24 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Now $2.25 a gallon
Bread $.19~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now $2.50 a loaf
Postage stamp: $.04~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Now .44 cents & features the Simpsons!
Chef Boy-Ar-Dee spaghetti, 15 1/2 .oz can.: $ .19
Corned Beef: $.59 lb.

Swiss Steak: $.75 lb.
Libby Tomato Juice, 5 (46 .oz) cans: $1.00
Kraft Carmels, 1 lb pkg: $.37
Uncle Ben’s Rice, 14 oz box - $.19
Sunkist Oranges, 5 lbs.: $.49
Cantaloupe: $.05 lb.
Celery: $.04 lb.
Tuition at Harvard: $1,250 yr.~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now $35,000
Nathan's Hot Dog: $.25
Roundtrip airfare London to New York: $453

I was floored the other day, when I went to the toothpaste aisle. Since when does toothpaste cost $3 bucks a tube?
I'm not talking abot the designer stuff, most all of them- the vast array cost $3 bucks.

All along my grocery store excursion, I kept thinking, these prices are **crazy**.
The $10 watermelons, the $4 medium sized bottle of green Tabasco sauce, most everything just seemed over the top, pricewise.
I also noticed the ever shrinking product size. Cereal prices are through the roof, and the Quaker guy should hang his head in shame - $4 bucks a box for little packets of oats?

I suppose I should shut up, and go put $45 dollars worth of gas in my tank, and shell out $3 bucks for a tube of toothpaste.

I'm making myself look old.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu Q & A

Please pardon this goofy graphic "swine flew"... what follows is a serious Q & A about Swine flu. I work in the travel industry, so I am bracing myself for people in  an absolute panic about going to Mexico & hoping the corporation allows us to let people change travel plans w/o penalty. 

Bloomberg posted this Q & A about Swine Flu-

Q: What is swine flu? A: Influenza is a virus that infects people, birds, pigs and other animals such as ferrets. Swine flu, or swine influenza, is a form of the virus that normally infects pigs. There are many forms of flu, and the different varieties have the ability to exchange genes with one another. The form of flu that originated in Mexico is a genetic mixture of viruses that have been seen in pigs, birds and people. It’s being called a swine flu because the overall structure of the virus is of the type that affects pigs, said Keiji Fukuda, a WHO official.

Q: What are the symptoms of swine flu? A: About one to four days usually elapse between the time a person is infected and the onset of symptoms. Influenza normally causes symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, headaches and body aches, fever, chills, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Swine flu causes the same symptoms, and may be difficult to distinguish from other strains of flu and respiratory illnesses. Severe cases of flu that lead to death are normally seen in very young and very old people whose immune systems are too weak to fight off the virus. Adults with severe illness may also have difficulty breathing, dizziness, confusion, or severe vomiting and diarrhea.

Q: Why are health officials concerned about the outbreak of swine flu? A: When flu viruses mix their genes with one another, they can take on new forms. New flu viruses are harder for the immune system to defend against. With little or no opposition from the immune system, they can grow quickly and invade many tissues and organs. They may also set off a harmful immune overreaction in the body, called a “cytokine storm,” that may be lethal in itself. The swine flu virus from Mexico may have the ability to spread quickly and kill people, possibly causing a worldwide pandemic, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are conducting studies right now to determine how easily the virus spreads in people and how dangerous it is.

Q: What’s a flu pandemic? A: Flu pandemics occur when new influenza viruses emerge that spread quickly and few people have immunity to them. While influenza viruses were only discovered about a century ago, researchers believe flu pandemics hit about twice or three times each century. Some pandemics are relatively mild, killing just a few million people globally. The most severe flu pandemic on record was the 1918 Spanish Flu, and researchers estimate it killed about 50 million people around the world.

Q: Is there a vaccine against the swine flu from Mexico? A: Flu vaccines generally contain a dead or weakened form of a circulating virus. The vaccine prepares the body’s immune system to fend off a true infection. For the vaccine to work, it must match the circulating, “wild-type” virus relatively closely. There is no vaccine currently that exactly matches the swine flu. However, if the virus is sufficiently similar to circulating forms of H1N1 flu that are included in current vaccines, they may offer some limited protection from swine flu. While U.S. health officials are investigating this, the possibilities for this protection are poor, they said yesterday on a telephone call.

In addition, millions of people in the U.S. were vaccinated against swine flu in 1976. While that was not the same strain of flu as the one from Mexico, people who got the 1976 vaccine may get some limited protection from the currently circulating virus. Health officials may do some research on this issue as well.

Vaccine makers have contacted the World Health Organization about obtaining samples of the virus needed to make a vaccine. Making flu vaccine can take three to six months, depending on the type of manufacturing used.

Q: Are there drugs that treat swine flu? A: Roche Holding AG’s Tamiflu and GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s Relenza both have activity against swine flu. The U.S. has released its stockpile of Tamiflu to treat people with swine flu. Flu viruses sometimes develop resistance to antiviral drugs. The human form of H1N1 that’s currently circulating is resistant to Roche’s Tamiflu (not Relenza). If the two viruses were to exchange genes, the swine flu might become resistant, too.

Q: How else can I protect myself from swine flu? A: Personal hygiene measures, such as avoiding people who are coughing or sneezing and frequent hand-washing, may prevent flu infection. Those who aren’t health professionals should avoid contact with sick people, or those who are coughing or sneezing. People who get sick with flu symptoms should stay home. Studies have suggested that closing schools, theaters, and canceling gatherings in the early stages of a pandemic can limit its spread. Such measures would likely take place if health officials determine that the virus is spreading quickly enough and is deadly enough to cause a pandemic.

So there you have it. Or should I say I hope none of us has it & this is curbed & curtailed, or many people have some kind of immunity is circulating that will make the majority who are exposed experience it as a flu & not a deadly flu. I think the precautions Europe has advised- only visit Mexico & the US if it is necessary, and the ban on meat exports, are wise ideas. Since they don't really know the source right now, these simple measures are reasonable steps while they try to figure it out.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Texas Secession Movement

Hat tip to Wonkette & Dada

1 in 10?

Hard to think about another brutal wave of junk mortgages about to hit the fan, defaulting even before the monthly rates double.

I wonder if the Government is really thinking ahead on how to deal with the homeless masses?

One friend suggested starting to buy the empty retail space & create living spaces out of them- community kitchen, build walls to have individual spaces. It's not a bad idea-- there are a whole lot of large retail spaces that will sit vacant.
Tighten your seatbelts kids.... this is going to be a very bumpy ride.

Ain't seen nothing yet....

All along the Watchtower

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rough day at the market

This bull escaped from a cattle market & made it's way into an Irish grocery store.
Cleanup on aisle 4.....

Clusterf#@k explained....

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Clusterfu#@k to the Poor House - Goldman Sachs' Connections
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

We could not have made this stuff up!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's been torture

We won't get the type of country in the kind of world we want unless people take part in the public's business ~ David Brower
There is just so much people will put up with from the government, we may not agree with, or outright dislike, but as a people, in a civilized society, there needs to be a bottom line. When it comes to civil rights, human rights, and torture, there has to be a clear and universal boundary. 
Because we know now for fact, that torture was approved, allowed and administered, we have a duty to prosecute. To ignore the lawless violations of basic human rights would be an additional crime. 
"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. "~ ML King 
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.
~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

There are a lot of people who lie and get away with it, and that's just a fact.
~Donald Rumsfeld

Evil men, obsessed with ambition and unburdened by conscience, must be taken very seriously--and we must stop them before their crimes can multiply.
~George W. Bush 
 Veteran's Day Speech (11/11/05).

How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think.
~Adolf Hitler

Demand a Special Prosecutor for the Torture crimes.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Sarah McLaughlin & Friends~ Big Yellow Taxi

Amazing Planet Earth


What a wonderful gift we have been given~ this planet Earth, we need to respect & care for her.
Our habitat, our children's future.
It's a pretty amazing thing, nature is.
Love Your Mother!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lemons, Layoffs & Lobbying~ Oh my!

Yahoo News reports:
"General Motors Corp. started firing 1,600 white-collar workers Monday, continuing its effort to slash costs and qualify for more government loans on the same day it revealed it spent $2.8 million in the first three months of this year to lobby federal lawmakers.

GM spent $2.8 million in the first quarter lobbying the U.S. government on a range of issues, including the economic stimulus package, and environmental, consumer safety and health issues.

GM's lobbying costs fell 15 percent from the $3.3 million it spent in the fourth quarter of 2008, but they rose from the $2.7 million GM spent in the third quarter.

Chrysler LLC, which got a $4 billion loan, and parent company Cerberus Capital Management LP together spent $1.1 million lobbying during the first three months of this year, according to filings. That's down about 50 percent from what the two spent during the last three months of 2008.

GM has said it will eliminate 47,000 jobs worldwide by the end of 2009, but the cuts may go even deeper as the company moves toward its deadline. CEO Fritz Henderson has said the automaker will close more factories beyond five announced in February. The factories to be closed have not yet been identified. "

I'm so tired of all this circling, GM really needs to file for bankruptcy. 

They need forced reorganization & they need it NOW. 

Their ads are pathetic-- put on our "rally caps"?

Forget the rally caps-- bring on the affordable electric & hybrid cars. 

They still don't get it!


How's this for a job proposal?
Targeted to College Students & grads....

• Commit to 40 hours per week

• This is an unpaid position.

• Stipends for food, transportation and housing are not available.

• Can I get college credit for my work as a Summer Organizer?
Contact your college/university with questions regarding college credit. Organizing for America cannot guarantee that you will receive college credit for work as a Summer Organizer.

• Support this program by making a donation to Organizing for America.

• We will be operating our Summer Organizers program only in select states. If you live in a state where we are not running a Summer Organizers program, you will be asked to move to another state.

This is from the Obama camp. To expect a full 40 hour a week work commitment, for not a dime.... maybe even have to relocate to another state, means they need independently wealthy people to do this work. 

This really seems exploitative to me. People need to eat & have shelter. 
I voted for change I can believe in, this is unbelievable

Way not call it the Summer Poverty Program?

If you are going to have such a program, how about letting people participate 20 hours so they can also make a living?

WTF Obama!

Tuesday tune

Doctor my Eyes~ Jackson Browne

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Music

Yardbirds~ For your Love

Sunday, April 19, 2009

We're #2!

 This is nothing the cheer about- the official State of Oregon, March unemployment rate numbers are in- 12.1%, second in the nation only to Michigan at 12.6%. 

The Pacific States- Oregon, Washington, California, Alaska & Hawaii- had the highest combined jobless rate of any region at 10.8 %. 

This would explain why I am seeing more notices of people holding "medical fundraisers", to help people with serious health conditions, raise money, to pay for medical care. 

I saw a line in the weekly happenings paper "Admission $5, students & unemployed, free."

There has just been a wave of things that catch my eye & make me think- Wow! I've never seen that before...

• Foreclosed homes bus tour, 9am, Such & Such Real Estate Company

• “Help in Hard Times: A Forum on Local Services”  @ the Senior Center

For the most part, I try to just forge ahead...don't allow myself to think about worst case scenarios. 
Every now & again, I do think about all the people who have lost their homes.... foreclosed. 
How so many of them never thought they would get to that place. 
Rather than just lie awake at night worrying about the future, we are doing everything we can to run lean, save mortgage money ahead, but those statistics are not helping! Damn!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Meet Pete Colt

KVAL & KATU News reports: "PORTLAND, Ore. – Neighborhood activist Pete Colt caused a stir at a Portland city commissioners' meeting Wednesday when he pulled out a paper bag and dumped dozens of used hypodermic needles, crack pipes and used condoms on a table in front of stunned city officials.

Newly elected city commissioner Nick Fish called the display a health hazard and Colt readily agreed with him.

Colt said he had personally collected the items from around his Northwest Portland neighborhood in just a week.

The meeting was delayed while a staffer removed the objects and sanitized the table.

Colt said his initial reason for going to the meeting was to thank officials for their service, but the collection of drug and sex trade detritus overshadowed that sentiment.

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the actual evidence is worth a million,” Colt told KATU News.

Colt said he was trying to make a point and that the gesture at the meeting was designed to draw attention to what he calls a serious safety problem in his neighborhood due to drug use and prostitution.

No action was taken against Colt for dumping out the items at the meeting and several people in attendance shook his hand in support.

Colt said "You think I was over the top today-- Wait till I start talking about Dog Crap!"

How about the Commissioner's comment " What you've just dumped on the desk here are considered Hazardous materials. We now have a public health issue"

Colt responds-"Thank you for agreeing with me"

As radical as his approach was, I bet the Commissioner's have a better understanding of the issue. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Tune

Steely Dan~ Do it again

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chris Rock Rocks!

Chris Rock on Marriage *

* This was posted on Feb 29, 2008, so the president he would have been referring to would be Bush.....
But how much has changed???

For a minute there, I was not sure which president he was referring to!

Just sayin'
Wars are still going on
Economic indicators are still being indicated
We still have Don't ask, don't tell
We don't have Equal right Federal protection for ALL marriages.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hey America!

Rethink Afghanistan

While we have fresh in our minds the paying of taxes..... think about this....

Monday, April 13, 2009

$#^!#%!$ Tax Day

Check out this Vintage tax propaganda Disney film -- Democracy on the March!


Creedence Clearwater Revival~ Fortunate Son

"But when the tax man come to the door- lord the house looks like a rummage sale
How much should you give~ the answer more more more.....
It ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one"

Sunday, April 12, 2009

First Dog

The latest buzz from D.C. is something going on in an undisclosed location.

Welcome Bo! The kids named him.

I love this picture of the family gathered around meeting the newest addition to their family, not posing for the cameras, but focused on "Bo".

Bo is a 6 month old pup, a gift from Ted Kennedy. Bo was not a shelter dog, but he did have a different family that he was not a good match with.
Anyway.... the whole family has never had a dog before, so it is a new experience.

The L.A. Times reports:

" A secret get-acquainted session with the family occurred at the White House a few weeks ago. The visit, known around the White House as "The Meeting," was a surprise for the girls. Bo charmed the first family, a source who was there said. He sat when the girls sat, stood when the girls stood. He made no toilet errors and did not gnaw on the furniture. Bo has, after all, been receiving lessons in good behavior from the Kennedys' dog trainers. These lessons have been taking place at a secret, undisclosed location outside Washington.
Bo's a handsome little guy. Well suited for formal occasions at the White House, he's got tuxedo-black fur, with a white chest, white paws and a rakish white goatee."
Bo is a Portuguese water dog, wearing a multicolored Hawaiian lei.

How does the quote go....: If you want a friend in D.C. - get a dog.

Easter fun

The Obama's follow the fashion trend of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, for their Easter garb.

Soo glad they chose those hats, rather then the Bush #1 hat atyle!

Did Obama give the Queen of England an o-pod???

Friday, April 10, 2009

They tell us it's a recession...

Another one bites the dust

 It just keeps snowballing!

Joes (formerly GI Joes) sporting goods~  
Seattle Times reports:

Initially, Joe's filed for bankruptcy as a means for reorganization, not long after, this news...
Joe's fate was sealed Thursday at a federal bankruptcy-court hearing in Delaware, where Boston liquidator Gordon Brothers Group offered to buy $128.5 million worth of merchandise for $61 million. It was the highest of three offers liquidators made in the five weeks since Joe's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

No offers were made to keep any stores open.

Going-out-of-business sales begin today and continue until the merchandise is gone.

Joe's said it had suffered, like other retailers, from "very weak sales" in the recession. It was also hurt by poor holiday sales caused by "unseasonably dry weather throughout the Pacific Northwest."

In turn, Joe's pumped up promotional spending to try to boost sales, and its profit margins shrank, according to its bankruptcy filing.

Joe's has 15 locations in Washington state, a dozen of them in the Puget Sound region, as well as 14 in Oregon and two in Idaho. It is based in Wilsonville, Ore., and has about 1,600 employees.


An upscale cruise line gave employees notice the company is cutting back on several guest perks, one of which is the *chocolate mint on the pillow*. The end of an era???

Also there will be no raises this year. Granted a .23 cent raise for the entire year is not keeping pace with the cost of living.  It is an "employers market", and they can get away with this kind of thing, and everyone knows, you are lucky to just have a job. 

Ironically they DO have money to purchase TWO brand new ships at $1.4 BILLION each.

You might say the employees are Royally screwed.


Double take~

I saw a concert advertised in the newspaper

Tickets $38, $30 & $22 bucks.... those prices were crossed out & is now advertised as:

Ticket Pricing: Pay-What-You-Will; At the Box Office

Wow! I have NEVER seen a formal concert advertised as such. 


Mickey Mouse Economy?

Disney has eliminated 1,900 U.S.-based positions since mid-February. Some 900 salaried employees working at Disney's theme parks in Florida were laid off, and 700 open positions were eliminated, said communications Vice President Mike Griffin. In California, 200 workers were laid off and 100 open positions were cut.

So kids--- do you still think we are in a recession?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Audacity of a good deal

Some sarcastic 'toons for your Friday~

Barry's Auto Emporium

Leverage me tender

Notice me now Rocket

Thursday tune & Vintage Molly Ivins

Horse with no Name~ America

Better I stay away from current topics. Taxes are done, the weekend is just around the corner.
Some early flowers are in bloom, and pollen is in the air. Ahhh Chooooo!

I miss Molly Ivins~ here are some quotes:

• The first rule of holes: when you're in one, stop digging.

• What you need is sustained outrage...there's far too much unthinking respect given to authority.

• The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion.

• I am not anti-gun. I'm pro-knife. Consider the merits of the knife. In the first place, you have to catch up with someone in order to stab him. A general substitution of knives for guns would promote physical fitness. We'd turn into a whole nation of great runners. Plus, knives don't ricochet. And people are seldom killed while cleaning their knives.

• One function of the income gap is that the people at the top of the heap have a hard time even seeing those at the bottom. They practically need a telescope. The pharaohs of ancient Egypt probably didn't waste a lot of time thinking about the people who built their pyramids, either. OK, so it's not that bad yet -- but it's getting that bad.

• The United States of America is still run by its citizens. The government works for us. Rank imperialism and warmongering are not American traditions or values. We do not need to dominate the world. We want and need to work with other nations. We want to find solutions other than killing people. Not in our name, not with our money, not with our children's blood.

• from her last column, January 11, 2007: We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. Make our troops know we're for them and trying to get them out of there.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

And doggone it, people voted for him!

Hard to believe, but the Minnesota Senate race is still dragging on. Al Frankin-- the ex SNL guy, whose character "Stuart Smalley", staring at himself in a mirror, saying
 * I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me. *

Well apparently that is ringing true, even though his political opponent- Norm Coleman is going to need some self therapy time at that mirror.... 

I lost the election, I have to stop the legal appeals, and doggone it, more people voted for Al Franken!

Months after the elections are over they are hashing over what counts and demanding recounts... but each time now that Norm pushes another legal appeal, Franken keeps getting a few more votes. The recent appeal & addition of absentee ballot votes counted, pushed his lead to 312 votes. 

Coleman is coming off as really pathetic now... he has said he will appeal to the state Supreme Court if he loses.

Apparently, Norm Coleman's strategy, is if he can't win, he will drag out appeals the full four years of the term.

If Norm can't win-- Nobody wins!

Loser Norm Coleman applauding the Decider.----------->

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Three Dog Night ~ Liar!

Still sticking with a music theme.....
* Ignore the 70's garb/visuals (red pants & white shoes??) unless you want a laugh from garb of the past.....this is for the music element only.

It seems to me we've all been sold a pack of lies.
The billions to Wall Street without investigating what the hell went on there to get immersed in toxic loans?

Even our new president.... as far as I am concerned- is too slow in getting out of Iraq & shutting down Gitmo, and too quick in letting the bombs fly in Pakistan.

I'm not nitpicking Obama's every move.... but the "staying the Course" with ongoing militia/ occupation in Iraq & a surge in Afghanistan are really not happening.

Letting old Ted Stevens skate away without prosecuting him.

The programs designed to help people in this Depression... have as many holes as a sieve.

Insurance COBRA assist packages that don't take into account employers going into bankruptcy.
Worker retraining programs that consider your unemployment check as "income" that disqualifies you from utilizing the resource.

I know it's all new & inherited from the damned Bush admin... but it's still real & it sucks.

There I said it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

workin' like a dog.....

Hard Day's NIght ~ Beatles

Yea, when things get tough, it's time to resort to music.
I do feel like I've been workin' like a dog.
The workplace has become this place where they demand a breakneck pace, while insisting on top quality customer service.
I wish the effing whip crackers had to actually do the job-- because the high quality service takes time.
Even if one blazes along at the required pace, we get caught up in our own lack of timely service between departments- experiencing long holds & slow service.

Do you feel with tough economic times, the workplace demands are heavier?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

the angst of it all

We hear about soaring numbers of unemployed~

(CNN Money reports)

"Employers trimmed 663,000 jobs from their payrolls last month, roughly in line with forecasts of a loss of 658,000 jobs, according to economists surveyed by

For the first three months of the year, 2 million jobs have been lost, and 5.1 million jobs have been lost since the start of 2008.

To put the three-month loss in context, if no more jobs are lost over the next nine months, 2009 would still be the fourth worst year for job losses since the government started tracking the number of workers in 1939.

March's monthly loss is up slightly from the loss of 651,000 jobs in February, although it's less than the number of jobs lost in January. That figure was revised up to a loss of 741,000 jobs -- which now stands as the biggest monthly drop in 59 years."

There have been some stories of people beginning to snap under the pressure. Having our main wage earner out of work now for 3.5 months, we are feeling the pressure.

I've always considered ourselves "bootstrap people"- we've made it through tough times, and lean times before-- but never in a situation where the entire economy was tanking. There are times I just forge ahead and want to trust everything will work out, and there are other times I start to think of the future, and a wave of fear, worry, even despair washes over me.
I can't even allow myself to think *what if* worst case scenarios.

Would I be tough enough to live in a homeless camp?

Discussions change--

We can't afford to get this item anymore.

Eating out becomes something of a coupon strategy... deals & bargains must be on the table.

Should we bite the tax bullet on unemployment compensation now or take the hit later? (We decided to take the hit now).
But that's $300 a month.

Could we refinance our mortgage? We are seeing articles that mortgage payments stay the same.... but just lengthened loan periods. Don;t want a longer term, and being on unemployment is probably a disqualifier anyway.

Not having discussions about vacation plans.

This weekend I just felt the stress and pressure hit me all at once.

It's not helping to read about people beginning to really lose it with the family killings or gun rampages.

I am not a gun person.

But I can see how total despair and concern that everything is going to hell can really overwhelm.

Just read an article about 1000 people attending a hiring fair for 600 jobs.
Who is hiring? A contractor handling the Hanford Nuclear Reactor* cleanup.

* The weapons production reactors were decommissioned at the end of the Cold War, but the manufacturing process left behind 53 million U.S. gallons (204,000 m) of high-level radioactive waste that remains at the site. This represents two-thirds of the nation's high-level radioactive waste by volume. Today, Hanford is the most contaminated nuclear site in the United States and is the focus of the nation's largest environmental cleanup.

How depressing is that???

Maybe it is time for me to do a news blackout?

So I am drinking Tension Tamer tea & going to bed early.

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day?

Friday, April 3, 2009

True honor

What's wrong with this picture? Yes that's George Bush laying a wreath on the tomb of Martin Luther King jr., While Coretta Scott King looked on. This particular incident happened in 2004.
A visit by President Bush, to the grave of Martin Luther King Jr. was denounced by some black leaders and protesters in Atlanta who say his record on social issues and the Iraq war is not in keeping with the beliefs of the civil rights leader.

As Bush placed a wreath on King's crypt in Atlanta, a low chorus of boos could be heard from across the street. There, an estimated 700 protesters beat drums and waved signs that read, "War is not the answer" and "It's not a photo-op, George."

Police had parked five city buses on the street to separate the protesters from the president's motorcade. Officers in riot gear stood on top of the buses.

Bush, who could not see the protesters, laid the wreath, bowed his head and said a silent prayer.

Earlier in the day Bush said "It's important for our country to honor his life and what he stood for," he said, speaking from a pulpit where King spoke 42 years ago.

Therein lies the problem.
It is our duty & obligation to not allow the life's work of Dr. Martin Luther King to become a past -tense historic reference.

I cringed to see Bush laying a token wreath at the grave of Dr. King. How dare the war monger, anti humanitarian feel that he has a right to pretend to honor King's dream?

All of what Bush did would have been Dr. King's nightmare.

I don't want to see any more presidents pretending to pay homage, placing wreaths on Dr. King's grave, with their blood stained hands of war.

Back in the day Dr. King was hip to the fact that the poor are the ones who pay the biggest price of war- doing the fighting & dying. and that people need education & health care- social uplift.

So it is hard to believe this non violent visionary, and natural born leader was assassinated April 4, 1968 ~ 41 years ago today.

Let's not degrade Dr. King's memory by letting his life's work be left unfinished, or worse, make a token laying of a wreath on his grave, good enough. I know in my heart he would not want it that way. Forget the wreath, and work for civil rights, peace and justice. That's the REAL honor~ keeping the dream alive .

His thoughts are still timely & relevant today.

MLK on War

Beyond Vietnam~ 41 years later

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Smoke smoke smoke

Asleep @ the Wheel~ Smoke Smoke Smoke that cigarette & vintage cigarette ads

Well here is a tax I don't mind--

(KVAL News reports) As of April 1, 2009: a 62 cent increase in the federal tobacco tax, from 39 cents to $1.01 per pack.

Add in Oregon's tax of $1.18 per pack -- which some lawmakers in Salem want to increase by another 60 cents -- and Oregon smokers pay more than $2 in taxes per package of cigarettes.

The new tax revenue will pay for a major expansion of health insurance for children.

Smokers make this choice. Not like the old days when commercials with slogans such as "Just what the Doctor Ordered" prevailed. Smokers tax the health system, and I have no problem with them paying more into said system.

The Truth. The real Marlboro Cowboy

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools Day

它是愚人節。 肯定您期望我也許做某事牆壁。 如此有中國語言影片,以及說明用中文似乎像樂趣事做。 我希望我浩大和膨脹的讀者讚賞幽默。