Housing Crisis

Note: This was a pre-prepared blog post. For all you know I could be lying trapped beneath a downed pine tree in the neighbor’s yard, having been tossed there by Hurricane Hermine. Carry on.

On Saturday I purchased a special house at the Farmers’ Market in downtown Tallahassee.


Notice anything unusual? No door! But that’s ok, because it’s a house for bats.


And the entryway is in the bottom of the house. Cool, eh?

I figured with our do-nothing GOP controlled congress and our equally lame GOP governor ignoring the Zika crisis I should do my part to cut down on the mosquito population. What better way than by inviting bats to live in the neighborhood?

Of course in order to attract bats the house probably needs to be hung. Preferably outside.

Studly Doright isn’t in the mood to hang my new purchase (we are in the middle of a huge storm right now, so I suppose I’ll forgive him). It could be awhile before we’re ready to invite bats to Doright Manor.

In the meantime, I’ve been researching bat houses and ways to attract the flying mammals at https://batconservation.org/.

Apparently Florida is host to at least 14 different kinds of bats. Hopefully at least one kind will like our house well enough to move in. I’ve been told that none of the commercial attractants are effective, so one has to mount the house on a sufficiently tall pole, in an area of the yard that receives ample sunlight, and wait for occupancy. 

Locating the bat house near a lake is supposed to increase the likelihood of the house being occupied, so we’ve got that going for us, but the literature indicates it could be months, maybe even years before we have bats living in the house. 

Considering their inability to take decisive action, these bats might be Republicans.


Peace, people!

Hillary for President

  
A couple of days ago I posted the following essay on my Facebook page. As essays go, I’ve written better, but several friends asked me to share my thoughts with a wider audience. So, here you go. 

I’m a Liberal. I haven’t always been. In fact, I once was a staunch Republican. I voted for both Bushes, Poppa and W. 

I did not support Bill Clinton, but, I was always impressed by Hillary. Her fight for health care reform sparked something in me. You see, I’d always been fortunate to have access to good insurance through my husband’s job–until his job was “excessed” during the deregulation of the natural gas industry and we found ourselves at the mercy of a health care system that doesn’t value those on the fringes. 

Now, I wasn’t ready to leave the GOP then, but I was beginning to notice the blatant inequities between the “haves” and the “have nots.” While my family had never been wealthy, until those bleak days when we didn’t have access to good insurance, I’d never had to worry about falling ill and losing everything we’d worked for. Still, I believed I could work within the party to fight for women’s rights, for equal pay, for health care reform.

Sadly, it took Sarah Palin for me to see what a backwards institution the GOP had become. Not all Republicans believed the stupid things she spouted, but enough that I became certain that I could find a better party in which to place my trust. 

I voted for President Obama in 2008 and I’ll never regret that decision, even though I suffered heart palpitations while doing so. I voted for him proudly in 2012, convinced that he was the best man for the job, and he has never let me down.

Now, on the verge of the Democratic Party nominating the first female candidate for the highest office in the land, I’m so very proud to say I’m a Hillary supporter. I cannot believe that the party I once supported has devolved into one that embraces racism and hate, but the GOP’s nomination of Donald Trump has proven that to be true. Trump will not make America great. He only knows how to make Americans hate.

This is me, and I approve this message.

Peace, people.

A Paranoid Congress and Guns

  
I am a gun owner who once again weeps in horror and disbelief at our Republican legislators’ most recent unconscionable actions.
From the New York Daily News, 12/04/15:

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans voted against barring suspected terrorists, felons and the mentally ill from getting guns on Thursday afternoon, parroting National Rifle Association arguments that doing so would strip some innocent people of their constitutional rights to gun access just a day after yet another massacre on U.S. soil.

A pair of Democratic measures – one to close background check loopholes to make it harder for felons and the mentally ill from buying guns, another to ban those on the terror watch list from buying guns – both went down in flames against near-unanimous GOP opposition.

Most of these same legislators offered up their fervent prayers for the victims of the tragic domestic terrorist attack in San Bernadino the day before they voted against measures that might help avoid similar tragedies. 

I couldn’t conceive the thinking behind their votes. After all, the GOP and its puppet masters the NRA assert again and again that,

 “Guns Don’t Kill People. People Kill People!”

Wouldn’t any sane and decent person then logically deny certain people, say those on the terrorist watch list, those with a history of mental illness, and those who have served time for felony convictions, the right to purchase and own guns?

Gosh, it seemed like a no-brainer to a little old country girl like me. So, why did our supposedly learned legislators vote in such a decidedly unlearned way?  

Carly Fiorina provided a clue in a recent televised appearance saying that a friend’s husband had been placed on the terror watch list in error and that she did not believe the list was accurate. I deemed that a small picture reaction to a big picture problem, until I looked at the Republican Party’s behavior over the past seven years.

Since the first term of President Barak Obama, the Republican Party has operated as an extreme oppositional force. On the night of President Obama’s first inauguration a group of powerful Republican Party members assembled in a not-so-secret meeting, led by Paul Ryan (who has just recently been elevated to Speaker of the House), and agreed to block the President in any way possible. Often this agreement has worked to the detriment of the nation as a whole. Common sense and the best interests of the country were tromped on in favor of making certain that the Obama presidency  failed. Treason, anyone? 

Instead of failing, President Obama was elected to a second term. Could Republicans and their NRA backers be concerned that depending on the outcome of future elections that some of them might end up on a no-fly, no-buy watch list? Has their paranoia gone to that extreme?

That could certainly help put their decidedly unlearned votes in a new light. Unless of course their favorite slogan is meaningless. Maybe it is the guns that kill people. Pick a side GOP. You can’t have it both ways.

Peace, and common sense, people.

Check out the Twitter feed of Igor Volsky @igorvolsky for information on the amount of money provided to congressmen by the NRA. Each time a congressman tweets out his or her thoughts and prayers Mr. Volsky supplies donation details. It’s a sick, slick business.

Paranoia is an unfounded or exaggerated distrust of others, sometimes reaching delusional proportions.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV), the diagnostic standard for mental health professionals in the United States, lists the following symptoms for paranoid personality disorder:

suspicious; unfounded suspicions; believes others are plotting against him/her

preoccupied with unsupported doubts about friends or associates

reluctant to confide in others due to a fear that information may be used against him/her

reads negative meanings into innocuous remarks

bears grudges

perceives attacks on his/her reputation that are not clear to others, and is quick to counterattack

Sources: 

Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

National Institute of Mental Health. Mental Health Public Inquiries, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 15C-05, Rockville, MD 20857. (888) 826-9438. http://www.nimh.nih.gov.


Debate

For the first time in my adult life I’m watching a debate in the company of people who have similar political views. I’m pretty vocal, so it’s gratifying to be around folks who are just as vocal, and perhaps more so, than I am.

Bernie Sanders seems to be a big favorite in this crowd, with Hillary Clinton a close second. Thunderous applause breaks out at their every word. I feel sorry for the remainder of the pack, for hardly any applause at all comes their way.

I have a strong sense of fairness, and it seems as though moderator Anderson Cooper hurries the other debaters along, barely noticing their contributions to the debate; although, to be fair, I’ve had several glasses of wine.

  
Who will emerge as the debate’s winner? I love Bernie, but I’ll confess, any of these guys would be preferable to anything the Republicans have to offer.

Peace, people!

The Donald

One of the biggest blowhards imaginable has tossed his hat into the ever-growing ring of Republican presidential candidates. Currently, in spite of rhetoric that indicates he is clueless about key social issues, he’s trending second in the polls. Sheesh. 

If he wins the nomination

 
Couldn’t resist this meme. 

Peace, people!