January 2012

Dear Diary: I'm getting in touch with my Tweeples!


7 p.m.

Dear Diary,

This week I corrected a long-running American problem. I ended my absence on Twitter.  While George Dubyah Bush could barely understand "the internets," Barack and I are much more digitally astute, with our Blackberries, viral YouTube videos, and emails to supporters. I'm embarrassed that I've been so busy kissing up to Hollywood elite and stars of the music industry that I'm just now sending out my first tweet.

After 3 days, I've amassed nearly 300,000 followers. Right now, however, Barack's keepers only let me follow six people (Joe Biden, Hubby,  campaign staff and government offices). Plus, all my tweets have to be approved. I feel like Ashton Kutcher! It's so frustrating that my communications have to be monitored and "managed" by campaign staff, but I confess I did almost ruin the 2008 campaign uttering such political gaffes as "For the first time in my adult life I'm proud of my country."

Can't an anti-American icon get a break? Geesh.

Republicans Looking To "Steal" Passage Of Keystone XL Pipeline

Congressional Republicans are looking at legislation that may undermine Obama's ability to veto the Keystone XL pipeline.

Since President Obama’s decision to delay construction of the $7 billion Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, congressional Republicans have been looking for a way to both attack him as dithering on a potential job creator, and simultaneously wanting to wrestle away the President’s authority to approve the pipeline, and do it themselves. Most recently, John Hoeven (R-ND) is attempting to write new legislation that uses congress’ powers to regulate international commerce to bypass President Obama’s power to veto the pipeline’s construction.

This most recent move by congressional Republicans is made more urgent by language included in December’s payroll tax holiday bill that forced Obama to come to a decision on the pipeline within 60 days. That deadline is fast approaching and some republicans fear that in forcing Obama’s hand, he may veto the pipeline’s construction. Obama is caught in a political tug-of-war between his party’s two large constituencies, environmentalists who want the pipeline eliminated and labor unions who want the pipeline’s construction jobs. Hoeven and House Senate Republicans claim that the pipeline will increase oil security in the western hemisphere by making the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil (even though Canada is, technically, a foreign country), and will create as many as 20,000 jobs in the U.S. Environmentalists, on the other hand, believe that it will make no significant different to oil prices within the U.S. and will only create about 5,000 jobs at the expense of putting thousands of miles of ecosystem and agricultural farmland in danger.

Obama Announces Ambitious New Tax Plan To Bring Jobs Home

By using tax incentives to create jobs at home, and tax penalties to discourage offshoring jobs, Obama hopes to kickstart job growth.

President Obama has unveiled his most ambitious plan yet to equalize the tax code and increase employment in the U.S. In a press conference the day after the New Hampshire primary he made a counter-punch to Republican claims that he’s weak on job creation by announcing his plan to create tax incentives for companies, corporations, and small business that success in returning jobs to the U.S. from overseas, and implementing a system of tax penalties to companies that end up shipping jobs overseas. This will no doubt come out, sooner rather than later, in the media because Mitt Romney’s, likely Republican presidential nominee, company Bain Capitol has gained notoriety in recent weeks for having shipped several thousands jobs overseas during “reorganizations”.

Buffet Challenges Republicans: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Warren Buffet promises to match every $1 that congressional Republicans give back to the government. ($3 to $1 for McConnell)

Warren Buffet, venture capitalist turned major philanthropist and middle-class champion, wrote an open letter in The New York Times in August challenged a “billionaire-friendly congress” to raise taxes on the mega-rich (those, in his terms, making over $1 million a year). Buffet received praise from Democrats and Independents all over the country for his stand against the soon-to-be 1%, but the conservative reaction was much more mixed. Some didn’t understand how someone that saw how free market capitalism “worked” wasn’t falling in line with republican talking points. Others dismissed it as an eccentricity. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell scoffed, “if he feels guilty, let him send a check”. That was immediately followed by a Congressional move to create an option for individuals to make voluntary donations to the U.S. Treasury.

Now, however, Warren has issued another statement to congressional Republicans, this time challenging them to put their money where their mouth is. Buffet, in the most recent edition of TIME, issued a challenge to congressional Republicans that for ever $1 they voluntary donated to the U.S. government, he would match it. That offer stood for every congressional republican save McConnell, who he offered to go $3 to $1 with. This is a further move in the ongoing PR war on Capitol Hill, with Republicans attempting to characterize the President as trying to hike taxes on the rich to pay for his extravagant spending, while Democrats attempt to paint the Republicans as protecting the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

Little Acorn Learning

An Affordable Waldorf Curriculum for Early Childhood Education

As against mandatory curricula as I am, I am all in favor of an agreed upon set of lessons or programs that both children and their parents enjoy. One such program is the Little Acorn Learning program. It’s much more affordable than many other curriculums that homeschoolers insist upon buying, and it’s filled with natural daily rhythms to follow, crafts, recipes, and so many other delightful things to do.

We don’t use the guides that we have purchased in their entirety. As unschoolers, we typically piece together whatever we like and discard the rest. But what I have found out about Little Acorn Learning is that most of the activities offered are quite fun. In our September guide, for example, we learned all about squirrels and nuts—including how to make our own homemade nut butter. We did songs, fingerplays, field trips, drawings, and other adventures. These are not only the kinds of things that I want my child to learn, but also the kinds of things that she wants to learn in the first place—making it a win for all of us around.

Select Cities across the Nation Provide a Sanctuary by Protecting their Community from Harsh Immigration Laws

Finally proof that the entire United States hasn't resorted to unethical treatment

Immigration laws are commonly known, however today I came across an interesting page that has details on Sanctuary laws. Sanctuary laws are individual city laws that help to protect immigrants. Some cities have actual written sanctuary laws whereas others unofficially follow a set of guidelines that protect immigrants.

Is Convenience Packaging contaminating us with Toxins?

Toxin byproducts of our convenient lifestyles


In today’s world of convenience we are commonly introduced to various toxins, some in higher degrees than others.  It’s literally our need for convenience that places us in a direct path of toxins. The very packaging that we use to receive our store bought goods is the cause of our toxin exposure.

Produce More Media for Multiracial Kids

kids need to develop a strong sense of identity

Average people do not like to feel "different."  This is especially true for youngsters who are in the process of forming their own personal sense of "Self."  However, when it comes to the media, multiracial people are not represented enough to help youngsters with this process.  From in-print magazines to television shows, change is in order.  People in general, and especially kids, need to see more individuals who are "like themselves."

Public School Devils & Private School Saviors?

The private school atmosphere is being tainted by the savior burden thrust upon it by failing public schools.

Society no longer esteems private education as a sacrifice parents make to afford their children the opportunity for high-caliber training. Instead, it’s viewed as a dumping ground and rescue mission for students escaping failing school districts.

This is not good for two reasons.

Obama Administration Announces Details in Proposed Change in Immigration Policy

Is this a real effort at reform, or is this just a ploy to gain Latino voters?

In an Obama backed proposed change to the immigration policy, illegal immigrants who are closely related to U.S. citizens would no longer be forced to leave the country in order to attempt to obtain legal status. This latest change was announced last Friday.

Does it matter to Latino Voters that Mitt Romney’s dad was born in Mexico?

Nothing to see here, folks ... just political manipulation.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made a bold and sketchy play for Latino voters this week, reminding the public of the already public but rarely emphasized detail that Mitt Romney’s  father was born south of the border.  Yep, Daddy was not born on U.S. soil, but in Mexico after Romney’s grandfather, a Mormon polygamist, sought refuge there during his flight from Utah to avoid polygamy charges.

Romney reminded folk of this family history this week to widen his appeal to Latino voters. Having no shame, he actually told the Hispanic television network Univision that he was trying to get more Latinos to vote Republican.

Indiana Bracing For A Wisconsin-Style Union Law Fight

Democrats are boycotting the state legislature until Republicans agree to have statewide hearings on their proposed anti-union law.

Indiana looks to be heading for a legislative showdown over union collective bargaining rights in the vein of Wisconsin’s historic battle last year. Wednesday, Democratic state lawmakers refused to come to the floor and remained in special meetings in protest over a Republican sponsored bill that would remove collective bargaining rights for any employees that are forced to pay a fee for union representation. The bill, which Republicans have lauded as a job creator, is unconstitutional and unfair to employees according to Democratic lawmakers. Democrats will refuse to allow the bill to be voted upon, they say, until Republicans agree to have public hearings on the issue around the state.

2010 Tea Party Poll

Negative Tea Party Poll

A joint CBS and New York Times poll taken in 2010 apparently was intended to portray the Tea Party in a negative light. The opening sentences set the tone for the purported survey. They’re white. They’re older. They’re angry.

While a negative portrayal of a conservative group of citizens is expected of these two organizations – which have certainly aired their own full loads of smelly laundry in the past – there is no shame in being white, older and angry: Certainly not when the anger is directed at this liberal administration.

Republicans select Protestants, Catholics, and Mormons

A Different Perspective


       CNNreleased a headline and opinion article indicating the lack of religious diversity in the selection of Republican candidates. This is perhaps one of the more revealing articles on politics in years.  I stopped there and I laughed for nearly five minutes. I could not help but laugh at the cross-section of the candidates selected and at the religious variety of this country that had been selected and the many neglected. Two Protestants, two Catholics, and two Mormons--no women this year, but there is representation for more diverse religious creeds chosen as if meant for Noah's Ark and limited to a triune power.

Tim Tebow's Hipocrisy

How showing off his faith leads to exclusion and elitism against other beliefs.

"He's an egotistical showboater whose faith is shallow."  

Those are the words that came from not one, but two people I know in regards to Tim Tebow and his oh-so-evident Christian faith. I agree, not because I don't believe. I do. I agree because this is the kind of side-show candy-coated Christianity that is easy to do and easy to sell. Pose strategically, say a few words about how much you believe, and make sure to capitalize on it as much as you possibly can. 

Animal Activists Fires Cause Damage on Three Levels

This criminal behavior should be treated as an act of extremists.

The mere ideal that animal activist may possibly be behind a fire to 14 cattle trucks on Harris Ranch in Coalinga California is disturbing to say the least. Reading over the reports will leave you stunned. It’s as if time has been reversed and we have all somehow woke up back in the 1960’s when it was common place to play with fire and in some cases bombs just to get across a point.