Saturday, May 28, 2011

Goodbye, Sonia...

On Friday, May 27th, Sonia Gaudet Worthington succumbed to illness, leaving her husband and best friend, John, who was side by side with Sonia for the last 23 years, and by her side as usual in her last minutes of life.

Sonia was special. I've never met anyone like her and will likely never meet anyone like her.

She was quick to laugh (and had a wonderful laugh, at that) and was extremely slow to blame or accuse. She humored me with my stupid jokes and one-liners, she loved John and all their animals, and she made some of the best jambalaya it was ever my pleasure to eat.

I met Sonia and John through my wife, who worked with Sonia at Alza (now Johnson & Johnson) back in the early 90s. Sonia was a force of nature in Alza's shipping and receiving department and my wife took an instant liking to her kind and gentle heart, which Sonia allowed anyone who took the time, to see. I loved her instantly as well, and I'd prefer not to meet or know the person who didn't.

This is a cliché, but it's true: the world is diminished with Sonia gone from it, but
through our brief chance to get to know her it was made a better place, and all of us, better people, by her presence, her grace, and her great strength.

I'll always love you, Sonia.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

WSJ slams Mitt?

The Wall Street Journal's editorial page has come out against presidential wannabe Mitt Romney saying he's a "compromised and not credible" candidate (and using the "RomneyCare" demagoguery they usually reserve for President Obama).

The newspaper's argument against Romney is that he put through a healthcare system in Massachusetts when he was governor. The WSJ (owned by Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp) is yet again on the wrong side of an legitimate issue.

Rather than use its editorial voice to put forward a real plan, to suggest a way forward, to report on anything that could help millions who need assistance, to report on the plans for healthcare reform being offered by its Republican/corporate masters (from which not a single real plan has been offered, by the way), the WSJ instead chooses instead to slam Romney for his good-faith effort to help the people of Massachussetts.

If this clear cynicism doesn't prove the point, then nothing does.

Mitt Romney, like him or not and regardless of his party affiliation, at least tried to do the right thing for Massachusetts. Full stop. His current calls for repeal of the Affordable Care Act notwithstanding (and seemingly hypocritical), the irony of the situation he finds himself in is that he's probably an honorable man who is being vilified for having tried to do something honorable, yet he's being dishonored by people without a spec of it themselves.

Is Massachussetts' health system perfect? No way! But doing nothing helpful, simply sitting on the sidelines and criticizing those who are at least
trying to help, is cowardly and shameful.

Now Romney is having to run away from the right side of an issue toward the wrong side only to be blind-sided.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Why attack our commuter rail when we're already destroying it?

The intelligence materials recovered from Bin Laden's compound indicate the terrorist was planning to attack the USA's commuter rail lines.

Consider the contempt our congress already demonstrates through their poor opinion of our rail lines: withholding rail funds; viewing light-rail as elitist and unnecessary; and seeing high-speed rail as a generally bad investment even as Japan and Europe effectively demonstrate its clear value.

Then, combine our government's general lack of leadership and interest with the public's general lack of ridership for Amtrak, and it could be argued that we're already doing far more to destroy or
own commuter rail system than 10 Bin Ladens ever could have.

Yes, Bin Laden has preceded it in death, but our commuter rail system is not far behind him.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Theocracy, here we come!

Rick Santorum, proponent of intelligent design, opponent of gay marriage, proponent of the need to fear sharia law, opponent of any Democrat simply on the basis of his claim of how unsafe they are when they're in power, etc., etc., is running for President of the United States, in 2012.

a recent interview with CBN, he and his wife, Karen, suggested this action is what God has "told" them to do in order to "defend God's truth."

OK. Maybe it's just me, but this is goofy on several levels.

First, when you lose your job as senator, it's usually for a pretty good reason: you probably did/said something to demonstrate you're not at all qualified for the position. So, what does Mr. Santorum do as a result of this clear demonstration by the voters of their gross loss of confidence in him (he lost re-election by 18 percentage points)? He decides to run for POTUS!

Riiiiight... Mr. Santorum might need to research "The Peter Principle."

When a mid-level manager loses his job for doing or saying something that results in a lack of confidence in him, chances are pretty good that then going for the CEO position is not a brilliant move.

Is Mr. Santorum demonstrating good judgment in his decision to run for POTUS?
Is this the act of someone who will (re)instill confidence in him?
Or is this the act of a man who's playing to a perceived base?

Second, I stake no claim to having a personal relationship with the Almighty. Back when I was in Catholic school, serving masses as an altar boy, and going to church pretty much every day, I made a couple of heartfelt pleas: when my dad lost his job and when I allowed his heirloom Elgin pocket watch to go through a wash and rinse cycle and come completely apart. But since then, we don't speak much.

Having said this, and given my admittedly limited intimacy with God, I'm nevertheless fairly certain He doesn't give a good running rip whether or not Rick Santorum runs for dog catcher, let alone POTUS. And while I also think that God doesn't much care that football players or baseball players want Him to care about the outcome of their kick-off returns or at-bats, if Mr. and Mrs. Santorum are suggesting their direct line to the man upstairs is manifesting itself in God's need to have Mr. Santorum run for president, then they're both not to be trusted on this score alone, along with Misters Falwell (RIP, 1933--2007), Farakhan, and Robertson, the Pope, and anyone else who thinks that God gives a good Hisdamn about what they think or do!

Finally, Mr. and Mrs. Santorum say they (and that
along with them we all should) fear the Islamic goal of establishing Sharia law throughout the world (their claim, not mine), and that this sort of forced theocracy is a bad thing.

OK. We finally agree on something. A theocracy is a bad thing. No argument there.

But in their hearts, what do they want here? What is it they're working for here? A Christian theocracy, that's what.

Aside from Christianity being their religion, aside from Christianity providing the laws in which they believe and by which they wish to live, a theocracy is a theocracy is a theocracy, and whether it's founded on Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Scientology, or
the Church of the Subgenius, a theocracy has no place in a democratic republic such as ours.

Look, like everyone else, Mr. and Mrs. Santorum have every right to say the things they say, to pray to whomever they wish to pray --- and about what they wish to pray --- and to believe the things they believe, but they have no right to force on anyone else what they claim is being forced on them, because just as there is freedom of religion, there is also freedom from religion.

I say good on you, Mr. Santorum! Run for POTUS. But what'll you do after you lose... yet again? Run for king of the world? Nowhere to go but up.

Good luck with that, Rick and Karen. Maybe you can sue someone for giving you bad advice.
Now... who might that be?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Give me a break, please!

A wonderful friend of mine who I've known for years sent me a link to another one of those sites that purports to have the real skinny on the whole Obama-isn't-one-of-us thing.

This friend is a good person who wouldn't harm a fly and who doesn't buy into any of this stuff, but he's being inundated with a barrage of emails from an acquaintance of
his who does believe this crap.

He asked me what I thought about the issue addressed in the latest hateful email he's received.

Following is my response to my friend.

CAUTION: This response uses a word that I never use and that should be offensive to anyone with even half a brain!

"This is just more of the same pure bullshit that Tates, Limbaugh, et al., have been spewing and nothing more.

Full stop.

The statement that says this is true is a lie, but these folks know that if you repeat any lie often enough people will believe the lie. For proof of this:
they believe the lies that all this is true!

See this link a
nd this link, which is GREAT as well! (the second one shows one of these fake certificates that someone actually created for Michelle Bachmann!)

This crap is just that. Crap.

Although I don't know him, please allow me to suggest that you find a new doctor, because yours is either an idiot, a bigot, a racist, or all three. Only one of these would suggest this BS is true, let alone believe it, and especially someone with a proper education.

This all comes down to one simple thing: some really cruel and stupid people are pissed because we have a n&@@er in the White House, and you know me, I do not use this word, EVER! I use it here only rhetorically, to make a point.

They just can't stand it. It's driving them nuts. They
're pissed. They're beside themselves.

Well guess what? The democracy they'
re so fond of waving a flag for works after all! Oh horrors. Go figure.

They're assholes, the lot of them.

Look, we have SO many truly important issues that we just HAVE to address before we EVER get to this sort of hateful, racist garbage.

Question: When was the last time a sitting president was asked to prove citizenship?

Answer: It's never happened.

Reason it's now happening: We have an African-American president whose name is Barack Hussein Obama and whose father is from Kenya.

Reason it's never happened before: see 'Reason it's now happening.'

I'll stop now."