November 16, 2012

Four More Years of Squirrels

Filed under: The City's Pulse — mary @ 11:27 am

Mary Souza’s Newsletter

The election last week gave us some great positives and some seriously depressing negatives.  I’ve been brooding and celebrating and brooding some more.  But let’s talk about it, and we’ll start with the good stuff:

Locally we were fairly successful in moving closer to responsive, accountable government.  Two new people were elected to the NIC Board of Trustees:  Todd Banducci and Ron Nilson.  I wish Paul Matthews had won also, for two reasons:  First, because he is a very smart and honest person but, secondly, because having three voices on the panel of five would have been better for voting.  But Paul was up against the toughest incumbent, Judy Meyer, who has ruled that roost forever and had very big money and power behind her.  So Paul made a good showing and we thank him.  Now we have two new trustees, which is a good start, and in two more years the remaining two trustee spots will be up for election.  Inch by inch.

We voters also defeated the proposal to change the structure of County government.  The results showed we turned it down by a margin of 2:1, which should send a clear message to all three Commissioners that we don’t want our voting rights taken away.  (Note that I said all 3 Commissioners—Jai Nelson was on record as supporting the changes overall, but I’m told she didn’t like the way they were presented on the ballot.)

And now the sad part.  Apparently $4 million dollars of outside money does work. That’s what the NEA spent in Idaho to convince voters that all three of the Education Reform laws passed last year by the legislature, and signed by the Governor, should be overturned.  Not smart.  And not good for kids or teachers.  Those voting to repeal these laws (No, No, No)  seem to think the current system, with less than 25% of Idaho high school graduates going on to receive a college degree—one of the lowest percentages in the nation—is good enough.  As they say, money talks, and this money was saying “Unions come first, not kids.” I can’t believe Idahoans fell for it.

The national election was the most unsettling of all. Now we have to endure 4 more years of arrogant, divisive, classist, ageist, sexist, racist, religionist, dishonest, nontransparent, fiscally absurd, job crushing, business bashing, intellectually insulting, and totally inept leadership in the White House.  And that’s my polite version.

Newsweek magazine has a new cover that yells to Republicans, “You’re Old, You’re White, You’re History!” This came just days after a close election.  There’s no respect.  There’s no acknowledgement that almost half the voting public chose Romney and now, in his second term, Obama will still have to govern the whole country. No, they grind salt in the wound and laugh in our faces.  Not classy.

Old white men? That’s both racist and ageist. And ridiculous. Obama would never have won without Bill Clinton and Joe Biden, two of the whitest, white haired old men around, even though Bill is one of the biggest mis-users of women, and has been repeatedly disloyal to his wife.  Remember the long list of women who testified that he used them to satisfy his personal urges? Even in the Oval Office. And then he lied about it. As President of the United States. Under oath.  And he was impeached for it but not removed from his position. Yet he stood in front of crowds recently, campaigning for Obama, calling Mitt Romney a liar and claiming the Republicans are waging a war on women.  How dumb are people to believe such a womanizer and convicted, impeached, liar as Bill Clinton?

Of course, all of that was cleverly designed to take attention off the real issues of importance in our world today.  I won’t name them all for you, I’m sure you know them as well or better than I do.  But it reminds me of that animated movie “Up”, where the dogs could be easily distracted and thrown off the hunt by someone yelling, “squirrel”.  The Obama camp has yelled “squirrel” time and time again to turn attention away from their record and get their win. They’re using the same trick now, even after the election.  Bengazi?…oh no, it’s not a massive administrative mistake, murder or worse, plus a cover-up, it’s just a salacious sex scandal at the Pentagon—look over there, not at the White House.

Four more years of squirrels?…I may go nuts.

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I know we will.  All of our kids will be home. We’re calling it “Thanksmas” because it’s the only time this year we’ll be together, so we’re rolling the holidays into one.  I pray for blessings on each of you, and on our country.



  1. Lets look closer at this statement,

    “The national election was the most unsettling of all. Now we have to endure 4 more years of arrogant,(would have been that way if the other side won, was that way under the monkey) divisive,( again would have been that way if the other side won) classist,(true if making one class pay the same as all the other classes however if the other had one it would have looked out for one class) ageist,( not sure where to go on this one, do you even know what the word means?) sexist (how do you figure that one), racist ( ?), religionist (again do you even know what the word means, if so you may have used it incorrectly), dishonest (oh yeah this one is true across all sides, unfortunately), nontransparent (debatable but not unlike anyone before), fiscally absurd (Agreed), job crushing (debatable), business bashing (hints of truth), intellectually insulting (ok whatever), and totally inept leadership (no more or less inept that the last president) in the White House. And that’s my polite version.”

    Comment by Eric — November 16, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

  2. 1. Who’s the “monkey” you refer to?
    2. One class does not pay the same as all the other classes. Please explain why you think so.
    3. Newsweek’s cover calling Republicans “old”.
    4. Yes, sexist. Obama’s team ginned up a fake “war on women”, falsely claiming R’s want to take away access to birth control. Obama’s minions came to campaign rallies dressed as vaginas. As a woman, that whole thing was very insulting and sexist because they were trying to distract women from the real issues, like JOBS, the economy and the stability of the Middle East.
    5. Forcing churches to go against their beliefs about funding contraception (that is already free at clinics all over the place) as part of a health care insurance plan.
    6. Oh, so now “the most transparent administration ever” promise a lie, but that’s ok because the “other guys” were just as bad? What happened to CSPAN covering the discussions and putting proposed legislation on the internet 5 days ahead of the vote so people could have input?…never happened…what a joke on you and everyone else who voted for him.
    7. Divisive: you bet! Pitting different levels of income earners against others; pitting different races against each other (oh, the “post racial president” promise?–that never happened. Quite the opposite, he’s the “most racial president”. Also pitting secularists against church goers, urban dwellers against rural folks, Occupy people against Tea Partiers, and the list goes on and on.

    This has been the worst administration in my lifetime, and I hope we survive another 4 years with our country and Constitution intact.

    Comment by mary — November 16, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

  3. First lets start with what we agree on, 5. Not only am I opposed to forcing churches to fund contraception I’m opposed to it being “free” at clinics because it’s not free as we all pay for that in some form.
    I’m all for helping people with essentials for a healthy life that leads to a productive life. The key word is essentials like food, clothing, and not sinking deeper because of an illness or accident. We all have to have food and place to live and health because without it, well, you will die. However I never heard of anyone dying as a result of not having intercourse and I for one do not want to subsidize someones jollies. That is a choice not an essential and I’m not inclined to finance that. We seem to complicate the most simplest choice, don’t want to get pregnant, well, don’t doink.

    6. I didn’t vote for him, so there.
    4. Stability of the Mideast? Yikes, weapons of mass destruction? Billions looking and Americans dead bases on that rouse. GW said trust me I know things you don’t and I did I said get them weapons but that deranged dictator bluffed GW or GW bluffed us. Combination of both I suppose.

    Take heart Mary, we will survive because we survived the worst administration in my life time (GW Bush) and made through eight years albeit we’re still struggling to recover from that but we will survive.

    Mary, before we continue, I’m looking for some gator board, 4’X8′ sheet size. Back in my set design days we used it extensively for sets and three D signage. Do you guys use it at all? I’ve got some cool projects in mind for covering large walls with design features.

    Comment by Eric — November 17, 2012 @ 9:11 am

  4. Eric,

    Try Laird Plastics in Spokane (N 1521 Thierman, Spokane, WA 99212, Phone 800-365-1456 or 509-535-2006)if Mary doesn’t know of a Gator Board vendor locally. I don’t know if Laird-Spokane has 4 x 8 sheets, but they can probably order it if they don’t.

    Comment by Bill — November 17, 2012 @ 9:51 am

  5. Eric, let’s not fall into the trap of comparing Obama’s problems to Bush. That has been really worn out. Isn’t it time to judge the quality of this administration on their own and see if they have lived up to their promises? The “most transparent administration ever” is having lots of problems, one of which seems to be some alias email accounts their EPA Chief used to avoid public disclosure laws. Thankfully, she is on her way out the door.

    And who was the “monkey” you wrote about Eric?

    (On your other note, we don’t use gator board much because there are other alternatives now. Check with Sun Supply in Spokane.)

    Comment by mary — November 17, 2012 @ 10:00 am

  6. To me this election was about entitlements. Almost 52 years ago, JFK exhorted:”Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country”. Now, it’s what your country can do for you. Just like FDR’s time; when the country was in a depression over half of the populace wants to be taken care by the Federal Gov’t etc. Obamas supporters want universal healthcare, but they don’t want to help pay for it. Walmart says its healthcare costs will rise 36% next year when Obamacare takes effect.

    The bottom line is this: ‘When half of the country is on some kind of entitlement, I don’t see how we can ever balance any budget to eventually get our deficit under control, especially with universal healthcare taking effect next year’.It may bankrupt this country. It may be a noble thing to have everyone insured, but is it sustainable?

    Comment by kageman — November 18, 2012 @ 11:47 am

  7. No, of course it’s not sustainable, Kageman. First, there are not enough doctors. There’s already a shortage and adding millions of people to the schedule will not work. Secondly, a huge number of people are unhealthy and make no effort to change. So, when you put an obese, smoker who is diabetic with high blood pressure on government-run insurance, guess where a bunch of money is going to go? Will they change their ways? Probably not. Why should they, they have guaranteed care…for free. So we will all pay more. And more. And more. There are no incentives or reason for these people to change. Private insurance, if unchained from state regulation, could offer discounts and motivations for those folks to change their food habits, by making it cheaper for them to purchase their policies if they take on healthier methods. Oh, but they don’t have to purchase, the government will provide.

    Comment by mary — November 19, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

  8. Two things, yes there is indeed incentive to change first, death as a result of of those habits or lifestyle. How long might an obese smoking diabetic live? So, second, let them go on they’ll be dead soon, in fact promote it by lowering the price of smokes and offer free saturated fat packets with salt.

    Your example is extreme so I’ll give you a real example. My friend had his appendix burst while working as a mechanic for a local power company. He was out of town at the time. His job is pretty good as far as pay but insurance was lacking and they have no sick leave so he of course had to use his vacation time. He’s a good man, good husband and father. Their budget is tight and they do without sometimes but are happy and productive.
    So, emergency surgery, out of state, and minimal insurance. If not for two anonymous donors that payed his medical bills this red blooded American man and his family would have been destitute and not just them but their next generation, their children, would have had to suffer.

    So will we “sweep away the innocent” this good man with the “guilty” those that abuse the system?
    Suppose there are fifty innocent people, or five less fifty, or only forty, or only thirty, or no more than twenty, and what if there are at least ten?
    Far be it for me to do such a thing, make the innocent suffer with the guilty so that the innocent and the guilty should be treated alike. Shouldn’t all the good people of our country act with justice and compassion? If there are but only ten deserving people in our country should we not do what we can to insure them, should we not spare the whole place for their sake no matter what?

    Comment by Eric — November 20, 2012 @ 9:50 am

  9. My example was not extreme in the least, Eric. I was a nurse for many years and saw this kind of behavior time and again. I once had a critical cardiac patient, who we all knew by name because she had been in so often, who was on a salt-free diet due to severe congestive heart failure. She went to Arby’s and had a french dip sandwich with fries and ended up in our unit fighting for every breath. I asked her if she knew those foods were loaded with salt, and she said yes, but she wanted them.Oh, and then there was the man who had terrible respiratory problems from being a chain smoker all his life. He was on portable oxygen at home. He ended up in our cardiac unit and wanted to take his oxygen mask off so he could have a cigarette! Or the man who was also a chain smoker but had serious problems with the circulation to his legs. He wouldn’t stop smoking, even after the surgeon amputated one leg below the knee. Then there were three more amputations, separately, because he refused to stop smoking. I took care of him every time until he finally died. All paid for by the government.

    Our daughter is a nurse now and tells me stories just like the ones I described. She says some people come back to the hospital as “regulars”–all on medicaid–because they do not follow the directions for medicine or behaviors. One guy told her he gets lonely at home so he stops taking his meds so he will go into a reaction and the ambulance will bring him back to the hospital.

    You cannot force people to be responsible for themselves if you give them everything. It’s human nature.

    As to your friend, I would bet that he could have made a deal with the hospital and his insurance to reduce his bill and put it on a payment schedule. If not, he could have gone through bankruptcy so as to keep his home and probably his car. And certainly he would have been in a much better situation overall if, instead of having an employer-owned insurance plan, your friend had been allowed to buy his own high-deductible catastrophic insurance plan and set up a tax-exempt Health Savings Account for medical expenses. These are the kinds of changes we need, not a nanny state government run, one size fits all, mediocre at best system.

    The system we have now is not good. We all know we need to improve it. But free market solutions will motivate individuals to take more responsibility for their own health. If it’s going to cost them more money out of their own pocket, they’ll think twice before eating that whole box of Twinkies!

    Comment by mary — November 20, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

  10. Wow, thank you Florence Nightingale.

    My wife is a nurse and I know the stories you tell, yes, sad but true this does happen and you completely missed the point. Your advice for my friend who doesn’t ask for anything, works hard and plays by the rules is to make a deal with the hospital and with an insurance company and better yet, go through bankruptcy? You’ve got to be kidding me.

    This is exactly who we all should be helping because it’s the right thing to do. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, pray for us.

    A twenty five year old, fresh from college, has a lead on a decent job has minimal or no insurance yet while finding his way in the world and a place to live gets an aneurysm and is in the hospital for a month, half of which is ICU. He now lost his job opportunity and is straddled with a six figure medical bill along with tuition. Your advice, make a deal with the hospital, go bankrupt? Unbelievable.

    I didn’t figure my parable would soar so far over your head. My wife has seen and lived the examples you gave yet still has compassion for them, still loves them and yet every once in a while, in that mix, she helps the truly needy the truly unfortunate and that wisp, that moment of grace makes it all worth while every-time without a doubt.

    Just because the number of people who abuse the system seemingly outnumber those who could genuinely use help am I to believe you are willing to let the few fall? Abraham had the stones to question God six times and each time God said he would spare the city. In our country of 300 million if there are 100,000 that could be helped I’m in, 50,000 I’m in, 30,000 I’m in, 20,000 I’m in, 10,000 in, even if there is 1 and it happens to be you, I’m all in.

    You reference twinkies and personal habits as if everyone who is disenfranchised, poor, or less fortunate has no motivation to improve and that is indeed true in some cases but without a doubt not near enough complete to damn them all.

    Comment by Eric — November 20, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

  11. Eric, you are obviously undervaluing private charitable efforts to help those in need. You seem to think that only the government can save the day. What I suggested as a help to your friend was a free market solution to his health insurance problem. Bankruptcy is better than the “destitution” you forecast if private help did not arrive for him. And I’m glad he did have private benefactors; that’s as it should be–not a government bail out. While bankruptcy is not what you or I might love to go through, it is a reasonable legal mechanism for those in a bind, not only the poor, but income earners and businesses at all levels.

    I also offered a free market solution for all of us–that being affordable private catastrophic insurance with private Health Savings Accounts that we each control.

    But you don’t want to discuss those issues, do you? No, you want to try to paint me as an uncaring person. You’re wrong, Eric. And you are insulting.

    I believe in personal responsibility and private charity. I believe in neighbors helping neighbors. I think communities will step up and help when their citizens are in need.(note the Staten Island fiasco when the government was lost in unending red tape)

    But, most of all, I believe that people feel better about themselves when they are part of their own solution. Sometimes it’s a little part, if they are unable to do more, and sometimes it’s a big part. But they know we know they can do it. And we have their backs.

    And my reference to Twinkies? That was certainly not aimed at the poor! There are multitudes of people in every income bracket that refuse to take responsibility for their own health. Sadly, you are trying to prop up a straw man argument that has no veracity.

    Comment by mary — November 20, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

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