Wednesday, September 29, 2010

injaynesworld we are "Hot and Sticky..."

Get your minds out of the gutter.

It’s been up to 109 degrees here this week and just because he’s a sick mother, God decided to toss in a blanket of humidity yesterday, as well.

I don’t like being hot and sticky.   It wreaks havoc with my otherwise lovely disposition.   

This week it was 113 degrees in Los Angeles.  The highest recorded temperature for a September there in forever.

But global warming is a hoax.   Yeah.   Right.

Here’s a fun fact:   If the earth warms just six lousy degrees we’re all toast.   I’ll be the whole grain kind with crunchy goodness.

Oh, wait.  Did I say “if?”   According to the Nobel Prize winning folks at the UN Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, the earth’s temperature is predicted to rise from two to ten – TEN!!! – degrees by the end of this century. 

Okay, we’ll all be dead  by then anyway, so why should we give a big hot damn.   Hey, I’ve got no kids, so you guys with heirs are pretty much on your own with this one.   Still, the earth’s been good to me and if reincarnation is real, I’d like to have a place to come back to.

According to the book, “Six Degrees:  Our Future On A Hotter Planet,” by big deal science writer, Mark Lynas, there’s a lot we can do right now to avert the crisis.   Since our leaders can’t seem to agree about jack these days, it’s probably up to us to save our own asses of every size, shape and color, so I’m going to give it a read. 

Have you experienced any extreme weather this year?   Tell me about it.   Meanwhile, it’s only 10:00 a.m. and I’m off to take my first of many cold showers of the day. 

No one paid me any money to write about this book -- but they damn well should have.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

injaynesworld it's the "Sunday Recap..."

What’s a week without another celebrity cheating scandal?

Seriously.  Who’s hotter than Demi Moore?   While it’s never a good idea to marry children, when you look at the gorgeous women that Jesse and Tiger cheated on you’ve got to wonder if these men aren't all children who’ve just never been taught to be satisfied with what they have.   

Chime in guys.   Would you cheat on Demi Moore?   Demi-freakin'-Moore?!


Meanwhile, the Republicans could not suck back that tea fast enough...

 ... while still making sure that if the rich are going to be deprived of their tax breaks, by God the rest of us are, too.


And in South Bend, Indiana...

An attempt by school officials to tout their fine school system took on a whole new meaning when a crucial letter was left off their billboard.

We can only hope that the person responsible wasn’t a graduate of the local schools.    Or maybe they just have a helluva sex education department.


If you were around in the 70's, these folks should look familiar...

What young girl -- or boy -- didn't have a David Cassidy poster over their bed?   Okay, I admit it.  I was more of a Grateful Dead fan, which probably doesn't surprise you. 

The Partridge Family premiered 40 years ago this week.  A show about a single mother traveling around the country in a psychedelic bus with her brood of rock 'n' roll playing kids was kind of an advanced concept for that time.  Today, of course, it would be a reality show and Palin would be inviting them to go along on the camping trip with Kate and her eight. 


Now here's something parents will sure to be flocking for this Christmas...

It's the Michaele Salahi action figure complete with the famous sari she wore when crashing the White House dinner party -- because showing up where you're not invited is right up there on the list of social graces you want  teach your kid.  

Word from the company is if it doesn't sell well, they'll create other outfits for her.  Let's see...  She's posing for "Playboy."   That outfit should be pretty affordable.


And since we're on the subject of what we want to teach our kids...

Was Katy Perry’s cleavage too hot for Elmo?

I’ve known women who breast-feed their kids till they're three years old – some probably while sitting in front of the TV watching “Sesame Street” together – but this week the boobs running the iconic children's show decided that breasts should be sucked but not seen, cutting Katy Perry’s fast-paced, fun number with Elmo from the show. 

Sesame Street touts itself as an educational show.  Too hot for toddlers or  an opportunity for parents to teach their children that a woman’s body is nothing to be ashamed of?   You decide.

Thanks for coming back.   I was afraid I’d scared you off on Wednesday…

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

injaynesworld "The Invasion Is Real..."

How I used to love those silly old  movies about spaceships from Mars – aliens invading and taking over the earth.   People were genuinely scared of things like that back then.   “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” gave me nightmares for weeks and caused me to closely examine my neighbors for signs of peculiarity.    People were pretty normal in those days, so oddballs really stood out.

Now I feel like I’m the oddball as I look around at a world I recognize less and less.    

Ours is a country that was built on dissent.   Questioning our government goes back to our very founding, but the kind of vitriol and madness that passes for debate today is something I find truly frightening. 

I remember the race riots and the Vietnam protests of the sixties.  I lived through the shame that was Watergate and with it the resignation of a president, but through it all people still worked together to try to find compromise and move the nation forward.   We believed in “One nation under God…”  We knew that was our strength.    
These days there are powerful entities working hard to assure that compromise is obstructed and that we, as a nation, are kept as divided as possible.   Divide and conquer.   You’d think we’d recognize the tactic by now.   You’d think we’d look at who is profiting by the strife and realize how we’ve been duped.  

After 9/11, we were controlled by fear.   There was even a little color meter on our TV screens to tell us just how afraid we were supposed to be.    We were so easily distracted by worries of attacks from outsiders that we failed to see the attacks coming from those within our own nation who had been slowly chipping away at a middle class that had been the backbone of our country. 

We didn’t pay attention when regulations on financial markets long in place to protect consumers were systematically dismantled.  Wall Street was allowed to become nothing less than a casino right around the same time that people were being most encouraged to invest their life savings in its coffers.  In 1983, fifty corporations owned most of our media.  Twenty years later that number was reduced to only ten – ten international conglomerates who use their ownership of the air waves to try to make sure we only hear what they want us to hear and what they most want us to hear right now is how any form of government regulation is bad.  

Make people fearful for their very livelihoods and you control their hearts and minds.   People who are scared will believe that up is down and black is white, especially if they’re told so over and over again by the same corporate interests who caused them to be stripped of their livelihoods to begin with. 

We’re tricked into voting against our own best interests over and over again, because who has time to search out the truth when we’re struggling to just keep a roof over the our heads and that of our families. 

And we’re angry.   We’re so angry.    And so we respond to angry voices – voices from people who claim to be just plain folks – just like us.   But they’re not.   They rake in millions from books and appearances and TV and radio shows, and the more they succeed in whipping up the masses against any possibility of civil discourse and reason, the stronger their corporate masters become. 

And none of this – none of it – has been by accident.  

In the movie “Invaders From Mars,” a young boy learns that space aliens are taking over the minds of earthlings and tries to warn the world of what’s happening.   

But, of course, that's just a silly movie...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

injaynesworld it's the "Sunday Recap..."

The last word on Terry Jones and it is sweet indeed…

The city of Gainesville, Florida is sending its most famous pyromaniac a bill estimated at $180,000 for security costs surrounding his threat to burn the Koran.   Due to the controversy and planned demonstrations, all 286 police and sheriff’s officers were called to duty to secure areas around the church in the days leading up to the planned event.   Jones had also told authorities that he’d received numerous death threats.

Apparently, Jones thought taxpayers would happily pick up the costs for his 15 minutes of fame.  "The church was not aware that we would be billed for security.  If we’d known this in advance, we would have refused it."  

Right.  Because what could possibly go wrong when people crowd together to protest the burning of a holy book?    See that’s the thing about hate-fests, dude.  They have a way of getting out of hand, and I don’t think your personal security was foremost in anyone’s minds.

Pay up.  


Separated at birth or product of demonic design…?

By now you’d have to live under a rock to not have heard of Christine O’Donnell, the Tea Party’s newest darling.  The Sarah Palin wannabe knocked off moderate Republican (now there’s an oxymoron) Mike Castle to win the Republican senatorial primary in Delaware this week.    I’ve long suspected those most vocally protesting the possibilities of human cloning had their own dark agenda.  

Apparently, this conservative cutie was quite the wild one in her younger days, admitting on the Bill Maher show to dabbling in witchcraft and once going on a date where they picnicked on a Satanic altar.   Then, of course, she had the requisite “calling," became a born-again Christian, and set out to rid the world of the one last pleasure even the poorest among us can afford -- masturbation. 

I wonder if “Abstinence Barbie” realizes how much her mentor, Sarah, values a good hand job. 


Just as the Tea Party is splitting the Republican party, so is the Tea Party itself being split – between those who want to interject issues like abortion, gay rights, prayer in schools etc, into the mix and those who insist that the Tea Party remain pure to its platform of economic issues, calling for a "truce on social issues in order to unite around fiscal ones."    

With far-right ideologues like Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum  flocking to the effectively leaderless Tea Party to push their Christian fundamentalist agenda this battle is going to get very interesting.


Because our appetite for the bizarre knows no bounds…

Behold “Bridalplasty,” a new reality series planned by E!   Each episode features a group of giddy brides-to-be who will compete in wedding-themed challenges like writing vows and be awarded different cosmetic surgeries for their efforts. 

As usual, one-by-one the women vote each other off the show and the last bride standing receives a “dream wedding” where… wait for it… “Viewers will witness the groom’s emotional and possibly shocked (possibly?!) reaction as he lifts her veil to see her for the very first time following her extreme plastic surgery.”   

Will you watch this show?   Personally, I can’t wait.   Because yes,  I am just that sick. 

The middle-class got a big gift this week when President Obama appointed Elizabeth Warren, a strong advocate for consumer rights and financial regulation, to take the reins of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau…

This plain-spoken, take-no-prisoners mother of two and former Sunday school teacher from Oklahoma has Wall Street peeing in their pants and Republicans popping Pepcid-AC like M&M’s.   

Listed in Time Magazine’s “World’s 100 Most Influential People” in both 2009 and 2101, Warren is also frequent guest on the Jon Stewart show as shown here. 

(Update:  Apparently this video has been removed for viewing.  Sorry.   But you can find clips of Warren on the Daily Show at Comedy

Comments -- almost as good as cash...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

injaynesworld we're "One-Upping The Pre-Nup..."

Planning a wedding can be chaotic – or so I’ve heard.  

Make out the guest list.
Book the church.
Order the cake.
Find a band.
Buy divorce insurance -- WTF?! 

And you thought the pre-nup conversation was awkward. 

At, whose motto is “There’s no time like the present to think about your future,” just pay the premiums for a minimum of three years, get divorced and cash in!   Benefits rang from $1,250 to $1.25 mil with premiums as low as $16/month.   The website even has a free “divorce probability calculator.”  

Now before all you romantics out there get your panties in a twist, consider this:   It’s a fact that half of all marriages end in divorce and, unless you’re one of those wealthy 2% who the Republicans are trying to protect from paying their fair share of taxes, divorce is probably going to bankrupt you or at least put a serious crimp in your lifestyle.   I have a family member who is going through it right now and, with her ex-husband currently unemployed, she’s having a helluva time just keeping a roof over their child’s head.  

Commitment isn’t what it used to be.   “Till death do us part” has become “Till I Can’t Stand The Sight of You,” so really, isn’t it prudent to protect ones self?  

Chime in…

Sunday, September 12, 2010

injaynesworld it's the "Sunday Recap..."

It’s not called the “City of Brotherly Love” for nothing…

I know it seems like I’ve been pretty hard on the wealthy lately, so fair is fair.  Meet Gene Epstein, 71, who made his fortune as a car dealer and real estate investor.  Epstein is donating $1,000 to a charity every time a small business in Philadelphia hires an unemployed person and is ready to give out $250,000.  

A $1,000 donation has already gone to the local SPCA from the hiring of a new employee at a small commercial real estate appraisal company whose owner said they’d been thinking about hiring someone and this sealed the deal for them.  

Epstein is fielding several inquiries and says he hopes his charitable gifts will inject the economy with a little optimism.

Stamp that man’s ticket to heaven.


And then there’s this asshole…

In this age of train wreck television, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see him in a hot tub with Snookie on next season’s “Jersey Shore” 


What do witches and fortune tellers in Romania have in common with Corporate America?   

Senators are afraid to tax them.   Fearing reprisals from witches, presumably to turn them all into toads, Romanian senators voted down a proposed law,which would have required witches and fortunes tellers to “open their books” so to speak by providing receipts for income.  They would have also been held liable for wrong predictions.  Ya  hear that, Wall Street?  

A spokesperson for the witches said it would be difficult to tax the nation's thousands of fortune tellers and witches because of the erratic sums of money they receive, or in the case of Corporate America, the huge sums that they have parked in off-shore banks, but that still manage to find their way into the pockets of Congress.   Now that's magic.


“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ruled unconstitutional…

Aside from violating the 1st Amendment rights of lesbians and gay men, U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips said military’s policy banning gays did not preserve military readiness, as argued by supporters of the ban, but rather evidence shows the policy in fact had a “direct and injurious effect” on the military. 

My thanks to Rochelle at Inconsequential Logic for this image.   Rochelle has a son serving in the military, so this is a very personal issue for her.   Visit her and read what she has to say about it.


And finally, in remembrance of 9-11…

And now you get to have your say…

Thursday, September 9, 2010

injaynesworld we ask "What's In Your Wallet...?"

Today I filled my car up with gas.  It was $3.05 a gallon -- and I thought that was a deal.  I remember when gasoline was just 25 cents a gallon – 29 if you had some fancy ass car that took premium.   We had no idea at the time that the Saudi’s already had us by the short hairs.   We thought all the oil came from Texas, and Alaska was still a foreign country.  

Back then this is what “green stamps” looked like.   You got some every time you went to the grocery store.   Then you went home and glued them into little paper books just for that purpose.   When you had enough saved you could take them to the “green stamps store” in town and get a waffle iron, or a toaster, or some cool toys.   I don’t remember exactly when they stopped giving out green stamps, but it was a long time ago and I’m still bummed. 

Nowadays, these are the only kind of “green stamps” you see changing hands. 

There were food stamps when I was growing up, too, but nobody ever actually knew anyone who used them, or we didn’t know it if we did.   Not like today where 38.2 million Americans are signed up for the program and it’s highly unlikely that you don’t know someone who uses them or even have them discreetly tucked away in your own wallet.  

Up until now, every generation has had their stories about the “good ol’ days.”   Even those who went through the Great Depression could tell you tales about how some things were better “back when.”   I would not want to be at the dinner table 40 years from now and hear what the middle-class youth of today has to say about the world where they came of age.  Oh, wait.  There is no more middle-class.  

In the 60’s, the top tax bracket was 90% on incomes over $400,000.   Of course, back then there weren’t a whole lot of folks with incomes that high.   But by the 90s, with the explosion and a stock market that seemed to know only one direction – up – you couldn’t hardly step outside without seeing your reflection in the window of someone’s Mercedes, and the top tax bracket under Clinton was 39.9%.   Good times.   

Then came the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 and, despite two unfunded wars and a recession, the rich were doing better than ever.   In 2008, renown billionaire, Warren Buffet, said he was actually in a lower tax bracket than his secretary.   To his credit, he found that appalling.

Fast forward to today where the top 2% of all earners in this country are going bat-crap crazy at the notion of having the Bush tax cuts expire and having to go back to what they were paying in the Clinton years – a whopping 4% more.   The Republicans are doing their best to spin this as a tax increase, but under the Democrats’ plan you’ll see that everyone still gets a tax break – just not the obscene amount that the Republicans believe the millionaires among us are entitled to.

Take it from here, Rachel…

Bottom line.   If you make over a million a year and you’re not too concerned about the rest of us, then the GOP is the party for you.   But if you’re working your whatever-size ass off just to feed your kids and make it from day to day, you might want those who can afford it to pay their fair share.  

My thanks to mommapolitico for the video.   Check out her latest post for more on this subject.  

Comments let me know you  didn’t fall asleep after the first paragraph…

Sunday, September 5, 2010

injaynesworld it's the "Sunday Recap..."

Happy Labor Day!

All those in favor of rescinding tax breaks given to companies who send American jobs overseas raise your hands.


Some images need no further explanation…

… but since when has that ever stopped me?  Allowing tax breaks for earners in only the top tax bracket to expire at the end of this year would push the top individual tax rate to 39.6% up from 35%.   Four lousy percentage points.  In other words, things would be the same for them as it was in the Clinton years.


Yes, the rich are different…

I got so many interesting responses to my “Dream Of Riches” post and I would still argue that there are rich people out there who use their fortunes to do a lot of good in the world and they deserve to have their tickets punched at the Pearly Gates.   But then the nuns would probably point to people like the Koch brothers, oil billionaires who are using their riches to fight anti-polluting and other regulations on industry and bankroll the Tea Party.  Oh, you thought that was a “grassroots” group?   Oops.  Spoiler alert.

I really have no problems with them funding whatever they want, but what I do find ever so hypocritical is that Koch Industries, which spent millions to kill health care reform, has now been one of the first companies to sign up to suck at its tit.

This week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced the “first round of applicants accepted into the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program,” a $5 billion program established by the new health care law to help employers “maintain coverage for early retirees age 55 and older who are not yet eligible for Medicare.” According to the agency, nearly 2,000 employers have been accepted into the program and “will begin to receive reimbursements for employee claims this fall” – including the Tea Party-supporting, keep-government-out-of-health-care Koch brothers. 

Just proving the point that if you’re rich enough, you can have it both ways. 


And now a few words about “traditional marriage..”

Comments are the lime with my tequila...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

injaynesworld we "Dream Of Riches..."

Reading about Elin Woods 100-million-dollar divorce settlement this week just reminded me of how I’ve always wanted to be stinkin’ rich.   As a child, the nuns told me that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven.   My young mind could not grasp the finality of that statement, but no matter how I argued that there must be some good rich people who deserved to go to heaven, my words failed to dissuade them.

However, at a time when 2% of our population controls 98% of the wealth and seems hell-bent on keeping it that way, I’m kind of inclined to agree with the good Sisters of the Perpetual Frown.  CEO salaries have reached an astronomical 300 times that paid to your average entry-level worker -- money then used in lobbying efforts to make sure we continue this “free market” downward spiral that’s worked out so well for them.

But I digress…

This is about the kind of rich person I’d want to be.   Being a card-carrying “bleeding heart liberal,” I think I would be a pretty soft touch.  I’m not happy when I know others are suffering.   I don’t subscribe to the right-wing’s doctrine that “people end up in poverty because they’re lazy, so screw ‘em.”  I believe that some people had the good fortune to have been born under a pretty lucky star, while others were born under a moon that just happened to be in feces at the time.

Not that I disregard personal responsibility.  There have always been deadbeats.  Still, by and large, I think we all arrive on planet Earth filled with a shining light of human potential that some people, for whatever reason, have snuffed out earlier than others. 

Long, long ago and far, far away in a land known as my youth, there was a TV series called “The Millionaire.”   Each week, the kindly Michael Anthony would show up on the doorstep of some unsuspecting soul with a check for a million dollars from a mysterious benefactor.  The stories explored ways in which unexpected wealth changed lives for the better or for the worse and, even though I knew the nuns would disapprove, I never missed a show and never stopped wishing for my very own mysterious benefactor. 

It would also be great fun to be someone else's mysterious benefactor. Who hasn’t seen hard luck stories on the news and fantasized about how good it would feel to just cut a check to the person?    Sure I’d go crazy initially and blow a bundle on a stable of fine horses and a few other toys I’ve had my eye on, but after that and taking care of family and friends, I can’t imagine what the hell I’d do with all that dough if I didn’t give it away.  

You read about people winning the lottery and how it turns their whole life to crap.   I wonder if that would happen to me, or if I’d end up corrupt like those who use their money as power chips to control the rest of us.   I’d like to think that Sister Mary Margaret’s stern warning would resonate somewhere in the recesses of my mind and keep me on a straight enough path so that my ass could still squeeze through the eye of that needle.

Meanwhile, I guess a girl can dream…

Comments make my life richer…

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