Overloaded at work, so here goes a few half-poached thoughts for you to mull over:
1. We awoke to a CRANE (the bird kind, not the machine kind) in our backyard the other day playing around in the pond.
Quite the interesting sight for the middle of suburbia. I don't think cranes and fish are a good mix. Black Labs and cranes, though, that's another story....
2. It seems that in general sports programs in our high schools are going the same way as the music programs (in general). Schools are so strapped for funding that anything that doesn't fall within the "no child left behind" required curriculum just gets left by the side of the road.
3. 41% of Americans making up to $40,000 per year don't have health care coverage. Health care costs in this country are QUICKLY reaching epidemic proportions, to borrow a health term. The middle class is carrying the country's economy, and the health care companies are riding on their (our) backs like an old sway-back mule, extracting everything possible til the last breath leaves our tired old bones.
4. A post over at Reach Upward HERE notes a change in political motion between the two major parties and more notably some of the sub categories of each. He notes that fiscal conservatives within the Republican party are not diggin the "spend and then spend more" attitude of our nation's own prezz. I noted this because I do consider myself a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. Some say those two things are kind of mutually exclusive, but I seem to have a pretty strong (and I think generally defensible) position on most things - which you know if you spend any time reading around my blog.
Anyway, it's interesting how fluid the political landscape really is. I often think how interesting things would be if there were more parties for people to affiliate with. The two parties we are forced to choose from seem to move, in varying degrees, closer to the middle with each passing day, depending on the issue. It's like a glacier, measurable motion, just not always visible to the observer who sits and watches all day every day.
In a side conversation I had with Reach the other day, he noted that the Christian Right movement has grown strong in the last while, having learned how to ply their brand of religious intimidation and money-pandering to an expert level. He notes though that their influence could be more noise than actual substance. They represent up to 14% of the republican party, which was more than the margin "W" needed to win his last trip around the White House lawn. I guess that's all the power you need, when it gets you the man you want. They came out in droves to support the state-level Marriage amendment traffic, and now I wonder if they still feel the same way about him now that he has apparently become TOTALLY senile, and has run out of real potential staffers to the point that he is now pulling new Press Secretaries right off the floor of the white house briefing room... it's like a nasty game of hot potato lottery.
Reach notes that an amendment such as the one proposed would have a hard time passing 34 state legislatures in order to become valid. And while that's probably true, it still pisses me off that something this hurtful and discriminatory, so obviously phobic could even reach the point of going to the states for ratification. I believe this would be the first Constitutional amendment to actually formalize the EXCLUSION of some CITIZENS from rights the rest of us enjoy.