Ramblings of a Radical Leftist Agoraphobe
From the warped mind of Neil Priddy…

Feb
11

The idea that English is ever going to fade away because we have many peoples who speak many languages is just absurd.  English is not going to become any less popular.  And I see no point in people being required to learn English to stay here…

I live in the only majority, minority city in Oregon.  Most of our population are Hispanic, or Russian.  I find it interesting that ambulances have the “Ambulance” in English, Spanish, And Cyrillic.  Stores have signs in all 3.  It’s really cool!

And that makes me feel very much at home.  These people came her because they wanted to be in the US – why did you come to the US?  Born here?  You had it easy.  Let’s just welcome them, and be glad they are here.

I honestly feel bad that I do not know enough Spanish to get by.  I knew where I was moving.  It was never even a consideration.  I like the diversity – it is a celebration of being human.

Feb
09

I think I like the Winter Olympics better than the Summer.  Though I feel bad about it being in Russia.  Autocratic nations should not hold the Olympics. 

Of course, I think there should be a permanent site for the Olympics.  Not all events would have to be in the same place… just at the same time.  All of the skating events could be almost anywhere – they are all indoor.

$51 Billion is too much to spend – it does appear as though most of that money went into Putin’s friend’s pockets.  No-one will ever figure out where most of it went…

Russian is a failed democracy.

Putin is a dictator no matter what elections have occurred.  The human rights situation there is a disgrace.  If we want to impose sanctions on countries… here would be a good place to start.

Feb
07

I have one of those fancy Logitech myHarmony remotes.  Sometimes it just does not work.  By that, I mean it does not broadcast a signal – I have a detector, so I know.  It only lasts a few minutes, and only seems to happen a couple of times a day (most days).

In September, I contacted Logitech.  They had me try all sorts of things to test it.  Each time it took about 2 weeks because communication was so slow.  Finally, they sent my a new one.

Same problem.  And they started me thru the same list of things to try.  Eventually, they wanted me to create a new account, and reprogram everything that I already had.  Sure…

That is when I said to forget it.  There is a flaw somewhere, and they don’t seem at all interested in finding it.  They sent me a nice email saying they were glad the case was resolved, and it would be closed.

Nice.

I think for me: Once I am spending way more time trying things, than tech support is in looking into it, then it’s time to walk away. Don’t let the Bastards grind you down. vjs

It still does the same thing.

Feb
06

Vaccination is good.  It increases the strength of our immune system.  PERIOD.  This has been proved over and over for more than a hundred years.

One Faked study done in England started the bandwagon.  Even though the study has been totally discredited, people still believe it.  Other researchers tracked down many of the “participants” in that “study”, and found they did not have autism at all.  The study was fake.

The number of whooping cough cases has risen to more than 30 times as many, since just 1981.  <— awkward grammar.  This is because so many people have bought into the lie, and are not getting their children vaccinated.

Our nation is very ignorant about science.  Parents tell their kids it does not matter – just like math.  “I took algebra in school and have never used it.”  Right.  How do you think your brain determines if you have time to make that yellow light???  Math.

Get over it!

2 Blogs in a row with the same color!!!  Crap!!!

Feb
04

I saw the Coke commercial where they sing “America” in many different languages – I thought is was absolutely beautiful.  It made me proud to BE American!

This morning I was shocked to hear on CNN about the vitriol coming out against it.  There were death treats… and horribly bigoted comments all over the Internet.  That kind of Hatred has no place in America.

The people who went OFF on this commercial should leave our country as soon as possible.  They are the WORST element of our beautiful country, and I have very little tolerance for such horrid thoughts.

CNN Article.

Feb
04

Come on… We are all guilty of this sometimes.

I might be wrong (but I don’t think I am), but this happens a lot in society.  Just look at Social Media.   People seem to think it matters what the world thinks of them.

I was just a bit too honest, and open on Facebook myself.  I tend to get too easily connected with people, and they… fade away.  It’s not their fault.

Social media pushes us to be shallow.  We are ignored if we are not cheery in the right ways.  That is of course an exaggeration – many people do try.

Just don’t be too honest if you want to communicate with your friends.

Feb
01

The United States of America.

I see in the Washington Post today an article saying 47 states have more conservatives than liberals.  Bull.

Since the War on Liberals began with the Reagan administration, people have had a tendency to rate themselves as more conservative than they are.  Many, if not most liberals call themselves moderates.  There is a fear of being labeled a Liberal.

That’s why the term “progressive” had become more common – must avoid the hated “L” word.

You can’t judge by just asking people what they are.  Too many people hedge.  So how do you tell?  Look at where people stand on the issues.

Most Americans now support Gay-Marriage.  Now a majority even support legalized recreational marijuana.  The list goes on and on.  People are buying “green” products more… so even with our pocketbooks, we are becoming more liberal.  Not to mention that most Americans support higher taxes to pay down the debt.

Polls are very useful things – I have one that holds up my weather station.  But they can not tell use how people feel inside… only what they are willing to say about how they feel.

Jan
31

There are many who abuse those opportunities to get ahead, but that is not the topic of this Blog…

There are many people who follow the rules, and find a way to get ahead.  Some of them become quite wealthy in the process.  What a country!

But… their success comes at least partly because of the opportunities our country presents them.  Living in the USA has helped them to become successful, and wealthy.

Fine.

To me that means they owe our country more than most people do.  Opportunities they gain from being here, have contributed to their success.  Now they need to repay some of that opportunity to our country.

Higher taxes are the best, and easiest way for them to give back.  Federal spending helps others gain opportunities as well.  They help pay back the American people for what they have gained.

Raise taxes on the wealthy.  Any income above $10mil a year should be taxed at 40% – no deductions.  They can give to charities if they wish to avoid the $10mil limit.  That gives back too.

The wealthy should pay back to our society for what they have been able to gain by being a part of it.

Jan
30

Nobody is going to buy more because they get twice as many “points” for each purchase on a credit card.

The commercials that depict people so happy about their “twice the points” that they want to spend more.

They are trying to encourage people to spend foolishly.  In this case, I think they have gone even too, too far.  Do they really think anyone will do that???  NO!  Of course they don’t!

So what do they want?

I think they want people to feel good about using this product… `We just want what’s best for you…’  Sure. 

I wish I could teach a Propaganda class… like the one I had as part of 9th grade English!!  Look for statements that mean nothing… More than what?  Faster than what?

Jan
30

This is really a simple issue.  If you want to “grow” the economy, there needs to be more money being spent on goods and services.  The rich are not going to spend more… but people barely getting by on minimum wage, are likely to spend pretty much all of any raise they get.  They can’t afford to save.

Raising the minimum wage will create more spending.  And this is spending that is not going to go away.  It is not a temporary solution – the wages these people get will continue to flow into the economy.

nuff said

Jan
29

We have had some cold weather across the US this winter.  And the good old boys at Fox “news” have pointed out that Global “Warming” (Climate Change) must not be real.  Please.

There are several points to make here – probably hundreds if I but tried.

1)  It is Winter!  Some people seem to forget that in the Winter, it gets cold.  Sometimes very cold.

2)  The US does not make up the entire World – contrary to what some people think.  In Australia, they are having record heat, and drought.

I do not want to spend too much time on this, because it has been settle.  There are Science Deniers who only care about there own little world.  So they watch “news” that confirms their beliefs while ignoring the Facts.

They can go on with their lies as long as they wish – they know if you say the same lies over and over, some people will believe it.

Turn of Fox, and turn on your brain.

Sep
18

I believe all hospitals should be either non-profit, or run by a public-private corporation.  I would not include private medical offices of course.

I have a fundamental problem with the concept of maximizing profit on the injuries, and illnesses of people.  Decisions should be based on the best care of individuals, not based on what is best for the stockholders.

Doctors and other health care providers would negotiate their contracts as they do now.

But health care needs to be about health care, not about profits.  Hospitals should be places that give back to the local community, not places that take from it.

Short and to the point.

Sep
17

So here we are… There is a group of radically right-wing Republicans who have decided they do not care about America, they only care about knocking down President Obama.  All they want to do is destroy what has already been accomplished.

They can just not stand for a Democrat to have the Presidency, and to actually do something to help Americans.  How dare the President try to help the average American working people.

I know there were Democrats who did much the same thing in the 60’s… they were way off the Liberal end.  I am too, but I understand that I am way out there – I’m a Socialist.  I know we have to compromise to get anywhere!

Wake up GOP!!  Get back to your real roots, and work with Democrats in Congress.

Sep
16

“The Affordable Care Act has been the law for three and a half years now,” President Obama said Monday. “It passed both houses of Congress. The Supreme Court ruled it constitutional. It was an issue in last year’s election, and the candidate who called for repeal lost. The Republicans in the House have tried to repeal or sabotage it about 40 times. They failed every time. Meanwhile the law has already helped millions of Americans.”

All the republicans want to do is drag down everything the President has done.  They just was to destroy.

Crush… Kill… Destroy…

Jun
25

We all know the meanings of “pro” vs. “con”.  Like Progress, and Congress… opposites.

The republican party had long ago decided that since they have no new ideas of their own, their goal is to stop anything coming from the other side.  And they have enough power in Congress to do just that.

Right along with Fox “News”, all they care about is stopping President Obama from getting anything done.

The fight over ACC (Anthropomorphic Climate Change) is about to pick up again, and the GOP will once again display their disdain for the facts.  They want what they want, and to Hell with the country if that’s what it takes.

This pure obstructionism will continue until the voters throw out the Tea Baggers.  They want to take the country back to the 19th century.  If you want to know their plan, read a Dickens novel.

Jun
25

Originally posted on The Polar Zone:

(One of our favorite Hungarian meals…)

Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage “Toltott Kaposzta”

  • 1 lb. Chopped (I prefer ground), not chopped, beef and pork mixed
  • 1 Cup rice (washed)
  • 1 medium onion minced and sautéed in 1 Tablespoon lard, salt, pepper, paprika to taste
  • 1 small can sauerkraut
  • 1 medium can tomatoes or tomato purée (fresh tomatoes can be used)
  • 1 medium size head of cabbage

(serves a hearty portion for 4, can be doubled+ for more guests)

Core the head of cabbage and parboil it.  Mix pork/beef , rice and minced onions ingredients in bowl.  Take one cabbage leaf at a time, cut off heavy vein.  Fill leaf with about 2 tablespoons mixed ingredients (depends on size of rolls you want) and roll loosely.  Fold in one side of leaf as you roll and tuck in other with finger.

Put cabbage rolls in deep pot lined with sauerkraut.  Place in pot folded side down.  Pour on…

View original 68 more words

May
23

Some business owners say their religious beliefs should take priority over the Health Care Law.  Ridiculous.

The main problem with this argument is that the US Constitution says they are wrong – the law can not allow special exceptions for particular religions.

If one business owner has the right to ignore Federal Law because of religious beliefs, then ANYONE can.  Any religious beliefs would earn you an exception.

Business could refuse to serve certain people – that has already happened in a case in Tri-Cities, Washington.  There a bakery refused to sell a wedding cake for a gay couple – even thought they had long been customers at the bakery.  So religion allows them to discriminate against whom ever they want?

“Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but just as religious objections to desegregation were not an excuse for racial discrimination, private businesses cannot use religion as an excuse to deny basic health care to the women who work for them,” said Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

A business owned by Scientologists could refuse to cover mental health care involving psychiatrists, or drugs.  Christian Scientists could ignore almost all health care requirements.  Some businesses could serve only white people.

Businesses have used this same argument to allow them to continue to discriminate against African Americans and many others.  Where do we draw the line?

If you are a business in our society, there are rules.  The rules do not say “Unless you don’t like it”.  There is no religious exemption.

Now… with our activist right wing Supreme Court, it is hard to tell how they will rule.  They have found ways to ignore precedence, and the actual words written in the Constitution… so it’s hard to say how this court would rule.

But it is clear that a ruling allowing this kind of discrimination would open the flood-gates to all sorts of crazy religious exception.  It would be unworkable.

May
22

Wednesday’s Cat

Cat-072

May
18

Wednesday’s Cat

Cat-071

May
08

Wednesday’s Cat

Cat-070

May
05

I opened up CNN’s on-line news today to see “When Christian become a ‘hated minority’”.  Imagine my surprise at the idea that Christians are in the minority.

This has been a Christian theme for many years… the “attack” on Christmas and all.  But let’s get one thing straight, most Americans are Christian (including most minorities).  Every President, the vast majority of Congressmen, and Supreme Court Justices have been Christian – not an Atheist in the bunch (maybe a couple).

What Christians see as an attack on Christianity is in reality just the non-Christians wanting what the US Constitution guarantees – equality.  It’s right there in the 1st Amendment!

In God we trust, was not adopted officially till 1956, and “Under God” was not added to the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954.  For decades the US Congress met on Christmas day every year to show they were not beholding to any God or religion.  The word “God” was discouraged or banned in Congress for the same reason.

Many if not most of the founding Fathers were not Christians – they were Deists.

But when a majority is used to running the show, they react with all sorts of illogical behaviors when their power is challenged.  The talk of anti-Christian attacks in this country, is really just the powerful, trying to shut down any opposition (sort of like being called a traitor if you oppose a war.)

The US Constitution is clear.  No religion should have ANY preference in the public sector of our Nation.  Fortunately, there are many Christians who agree.

And the article was quite good actually.

Apr
29

Rod Serling could not get the TV studios to produce his tele-plays because they had actual human social issues in them.  So he decided to write a Sci-Fi (not what they called it at the time) tele-play – The Twilight Zone was born.  I say it is the most important Sci-Fi TV show of all time.  And certainly in the top 10 most influential series ever.  All in the Family was just one show to pick up the same cause of reality.

AND I believe there are a multitude of plays within that series.  They are there for the picking.  If you like plays, and you like intelligent looks at many human issues… the The Twilight Zone is for you!

“The Monsters Are Due on Mable Street” was one of the pinnacle moments in that effort.  It dealt with the Red scare, social paranoia, and mod behavior… this episode marked a point when The Twilight Zone became a force in and of itself.  It was able to deal with issues no other TV show could even approach.

And every one of those issues is still with us today.  These are the primordial issues that come from the most essence of what it means to be human.

It holds up today, as well as Shakespeare.  It is about everlasting issues in the human world.  And there are many writers in history that have written beautify and profound additions to the world.  They should all be enjoyed for what they did, on its own merits.

Include more.  Bring some of the early TV shows into the modern world.  There are many gems there.  And that was a time when they wrote tele-plays as if they were short stage plays.  And so it remains…



There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.

—Rod Serling


Apr
09

I read an interesting article in the Oregonian today about a woman who is being subjected to extortion by a Salem lawyer hiding behind the an Unconstitutional anti-piracy law.

This law gives music and movie rights-owners the ability to access your personal on-line records looking for signs you have made an illegal download.  They then send you a letter saying if you do not pay up, they will sue you in Federal court.

They do NOT have to prove you actually did anything wrong, nor do they have to get a warrant from a judge, to access you personal records.  And the records they get are NOT reliable anyway!  These kinds of records commonly link to the wrong IPs, and are full of false information.

The lawyer in the case – Carl Crowell of Salem, Oregon – says if someone does not pay $7500 within 2 weeks, he will file sue in Federal court.  That could cost many thousands of dollars even for those who have done nothing wrong.  This lawyer is currently pursuing several cases in Federal court.

To be fair, I am sure many of these suits are legitimate, and do involve illegal downloading.  But going after people without a warrant, with dubious information at best, is one of the reasons Americans hate lawyers so much.  What is that line from King Henry VI part 2?

Eventually this law will be thrown out by the courts because it violates the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution.

Oregonian Article

 

Mar
31

My previous Blog might indicate to some, I think people who entertain should not be paid!  Nothing could be further from the truth.  What I am saying here is that I think the problem is that the money our society spends on entertainment is NOT being properly distributed.

It seems a good capitalistic system would support all forms of art, theater, sports and any form of entertainment.  BUT that assumes it is a fair capitalist system.  Our current system encourages the most wealthy people to manipulate it all for their own profit.

The main problem with economic models is that they do not properly take into account the influences of some people trying to make the most money.  No one can know what our society would be like if not for the Barons of the late 19th Century.  Maybe there is just not as much potential profit in theater.

And profit is the motive.

 

Mar
31

There are many professions people in our world can pursue.  Most of them require some college – some require a lot of college.  But there are still some professions that can be learned thru apprenticeships, and other kinds of training.

Many people become very specialized, and expert at what they do… a few, not so much so.  But the great majority move thru their carriers making needed contributions to society.

The vast majority of professions would be sorely missed if they had never been invented.  Can we imagine society without doctors, or engineers, or teachers?  And what about auto mechanics, and computer programmers.  If any of those professions had never come along, our society would be noticeable different.

But there is one profession that stands out because there would be virtually no difference in the world if it had never come along.  I am referring to professional athletes… and professional sports.

Sure there is an entertainment value to it… but amateur sports filled that void for hundreds if not thousands of years.  We would still be entertained by sports if there were no professionals.

And don’t get me started on the outrageous salaries these “professionals” make.  It is totally out of proportion with what they contribute to society.  All they do is entertain… much like some of the very good street musicians I have heard.

There will be a follow-up on this.

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