Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Going to be away for a month.

I'm taking off this morning for a 29-day trip that will literally take me around the world ... and most of that will be by train. Internet access will not be available along some of that itinerary, but I'll do my best to post photos and comments on my travel blog as often as possible.

One brief commentary before I leave: The price of a first class seat on my flight from Los Angeles to London is $11,660 … one way. If the person in that seat is traveling on business, it’s a deductible expense, which means there will be no tax paid by the corporation on the income earned to pay for that ticket. Meanwhile, the Republicans are demanding that we cut benefits for retirees. See anything out of whack with this picture?

By the way, I just looked on line again and my Social Security check is now four days past the usual date of deposit into my account.

Oh well ... see you in a month.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Revealing Interview With a Tea Party Supporter

Q: What’s the most serious problem facing our country today?

A: Big government and high taxes.

Q: Well, how do we fix that?

A: Smaller government and cut taxes.

Q: But there are so many problems that we need to deal with. For instance, what should we do about someone who looses his job?

A: Smaller government and cut taxes.

Q: But now this man has no health insurance, and that means his wife and kids are uninsured, too.

A: Smaller government and cut taxes..

Q: But his wife has a pre-existing condition so they can’t get private insurance. And, besides, how can he pay for it? He’s just lost his job!

A: Smaller government and cut taxes.

Q: OK, new topic: What can be done about our crumbling infrastructure -- bad roads, unsafe bridges, overcrowded trains and transit?

A: Smaller government and lower taxes.

Q: OK, what about …

A: Smaller government and lower taxes.

Q: But …

A: Smaller government and lower taxes.


Think I’m kidding? Try having a serious discussion with someone from the Tea Party about the problems confronting ordinary people. They offer no solutions. Zero … zip … nada!


Friday, July 22, 2011

The Big Republican Advantage: Dumb Democrats

A recent survey shows President Obama’s popularity is declining. Well, sure, you say, it’s those damn Republicans. If Obama says the sky is up, they’ll stand on their heads and shriek that it’s down.

Nope … the main reason Obama’s job rating is slipping is because of the liberals who are mad that he’s been compromising with the Republicans … which, of course, is exactly what he said he would do during the 2008 campaign. I certainly understand that. It’s very frustrating because it sure doesn’t seem as though the Republicans in Congress – at least the loony half of them – have been willing to meet the president even a quarter of the way.

But this is the Republicans big advantage: They stick with their candidates right down the line no matter how ignorant or incompetent or just plain loony they might be. Never mind that. He or she’s a Republican … vote for ‘em anyway.

But we Democrats? We managed to elect a president who’s inspiring, thoughtful and smart, and is doing his best to deal with the monumental problems facing the country despite being vilified and frustrated at every turn by the Republicans. And the first time he takes a position we don’t like, we’re ready to throw him under the bus.

And that is really, really, really dumb!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Caylee Anthony … and the Bigger Picture

Photo from the Indianapolis Star

(The following is an excerpt from a column that recently ran in the Indianapolis Star and is part of the response to a question about how someone of faith should react to the Casey Anthony trial and the resulting not-guilty decision.)

The selfish clamor for tax cuts during the worst economy since the Depression is resulting in the wholesale slashing of society's safety net -- recreational, transportation, educational, medical, mental health and other essential human services. Do we seriously believe that this state-sanctioned callousness will not lead to the creation of future Caseys, or Jared Lee Loughners? When that happens, won't society be responsible for the next Caylee eulogized by the tabloid press?

The cowboy, "pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps" ethos in vogue in America can only produce more victims. Our nation needs a return to genuine societal values -- not to a deranged and mythical Ayn Rand world. This means helping the least and most broken amongst us. And this just so happens to also be the teaching of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

The Rev. Carey A. Grady, senior pastor at Bethel AME Church

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Nailed It, Didn't She!

This young woman, cartoonist Jen Sorensen, is really gifted.