Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday, Sunday

We're just hanging out today watching the Cards and the Raiders. The lead has been going back and forth, so at least it's interesting this week.

We had another eventful week last week with Vicki's 2 MRIs and PET scan at St. Joes on Thursday. We will meet with the radiologist on Monday to review the results. We met with the team coordinator for the skull based tumor group at Barrow's Neurological Institute on Thursday as well. She explained the team's history, goals and approach to treating Vicki's cancer. One thing has happened to bring an extra level of uncertainty and frustration to my wife's world.

She woke up the morning after the tests with an unexplained swelling on her side, which remains still. Because of this we will go in early on Monday in case they need to send us somewhere else for help or diagnosis of this new issue. It pretty much bummed Vicki out and pushed her into into tears of frustration and fear.

It is hard to think outside of our immediate needs and situation, but I am still able to be appalled at both local and national politics. On the local level our esteemed Sheriff Arpaio is under investigation for potential misuse of an estimated $80 million dollars of taxpayer money. A local add about Brewer is attempting to associate her with the private prison company responsible for allowing the escape of three dangerous inmates and the murder of two more innocents before they were apprehended.

The national seen is worse with the Dems folding on shutting the door on charity for the rich. The Bush era tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% seem to still have enough support from both Republicans and Democrats to be renewed. The sad truth is that no matter what party is allegedly in power; money still rules our government at every level. Now, with the effects of the recession it is extremely aggravating to watch the rich get richer and the poor continue to get poorer and poorer.

And as if that weren't enough, the nutjob teapartiers, (those brilliant patriots and conservatives, just ask them) have gotten the right wing fringe fully engaged in the national arena. Some even hope for a Palin presidential run in 2012. Are we really that stupid? Maybe!

I must admit to serious disappointment with the achievements of this current administration and the Democratic party as a whole. They have once again managed to shoot themselves in the foot instead of seizing the initiative and being productive. The time is now past when effective reform for the financial sector is possible. That ship has sailed. The Dems allowed the Republicans to stymie and dilute the health care initiative and everything else they put forth.

And now we are blessed with the most devisive and ineffecient congress in many years. I truly dislike modern day republicans and their policies, but the Dems would be better served if they learned from their ability to execute a plan.

Especially troubling to me is the seeming "coupe de grace" of the right wing in demonizing "Big government" and immunizing "Big business", as if unelected CEOs and corporate hacks care more about social justice and national welfare than the people we elect to protect us.

I remain dismayed out our national naivete and the continuing ability of the right to be bamboozled by the Madison Avenue types in charge of Republican and now Tea Party strategy and tactics.

I guess the only thing to do is laugh. Without some humor it would be hard to live in this country at this time.

Best to all


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Labor Day 2010

It's that time of year again when we say goodbye to summer pleasures over the labor day weekend and get ready for school, fall, elections, winter holidays and all things long sleeved and cozy. We will be hanging out this weekend around the house and enjoying the three days off. This is our Labor Day.

Labor day has an interesting and perhaps unknown origin in Canada going back to the 1870s. For a look at the history of this Holiday go here. To summarize the history; it began as a celebration of trades and trade unions and evolved into what it is today. It is ironic that we find ourselves in the worst time ever for unions and trades in the US. Starting with Reagan killing the air traffic controllers union and moving forward through the massive exodus of manufacturing and value added jobs from our country to the takeover of our economy by wall street, we have witnessed the fastest and deepest decline in the value of work since the great depression.

I count myself as lucky to be holding down a job with benefits in this economy. Without a job we would have no health insurance. The events of this week made me all the more aware of the precariousness of our situation. My wife had surgery this week and was diagnosed with cancer. Currently we await the results of the biopsies to know what we will do next. It feels like swimming in a sea of uncertainty.

My hope is that the stage and type of cancer will allow quick and successful treatment. In this coming battle we face I know that attitude is everything, so I am doing my best to stay positive and supportive. I am also focusing on enjoying every minute, no every second, with my wife from this moment forward.

I remain extremely hopeful for our personal situation, but remain less than optimistic about the future of labor and labor unions in our nation. The toxic politics of the Republican party have managed to demonize everything beneficial for the working class by masking the war on the middle class in issues like gay marriage, abortion, immigration, regulatory reform and taxes. I fear for our country that the so-called conservatives will take control of congress and move forward on useless foreign wars, massive defense spending, tax cuts for the rich and loose to nonexistent oversight of the financial powers that brought this country so close to economic collapse just 3 years ago.

So while I will be enjoying the time off to spend with my sweety, I will not be celebrating Labor Day so much as grieving the demise of its namesake. Somehow it feels more like a wake than a Holiday to me.