Taking a Break to Make Decisions

I’ve just gotten off the phone with a friend who was asking if I’d be using or be interested in selling a science text book we have. She wanted to know if we’d be using it for Sugar Bug when she gets old enough.  I told I was still thinking about sending Sweet Pea to the co-op class that’s starting in a couple of weeks, which would use the book.  Problem: no money to sign her up, or pay the class fees.  She’s a good friend, and would probably let me make installments over the semester, all I’d have to do is prob’ly ask.

There’s a history/Lit/Bible class also offered.  It would be worth 3 high school credits, which Sweet Pea needs to have.  She wants to go to MSU and go through their Veterinary Medicine program and, well.. be a vet.  She loves animals, but thinks she wants to take care of large ones– horses, hippos, elephants, giraffe.  I think she’d cry just as much as any family to have to put a sick or injured animal down.

Sonny Boy has been tolerant of his parents of late.  He’s convinced we’ve screwed up his life, which isn’t entirely true.  We (read: I, me) have made some mistrakes with parenting and schooling decisions, and they can’t be undone.  I need to sit with him, have a long talk and ask for his forgiveness.

I was trying to work hard at getting caught up on a lot of housework that’s been pushed aside for a very long time when I got that call. I decided to take a break, grab some lunch and write. Only I haven’t eaten yet.  I think I’m actually making progress– with the housework, but I’m not nearly done.  I’ve decided to save laundry folding for later tonight, after sunset, so I can do it and listen/watch some TV. I’ve got stacks of books that need to be sorted and re-organized into subjects.  That may be a good job for tomorrow, after my walk.

Tomorrow is my next long (group) training day.  We have 14 miles on the agenda, but I may do 16.  Last week was supposed to be 16, but I didn’t see that until after I was home, showered and ready to devour a side of beef.  I wasn’t going to go back out to finish those last 2 miles.  I’ve realized the marathon is just 7 weeks away now! I have fundraising to do still– almost $1500. Any takers!?!  No? well, how about $30 or $50? As much as I’d love for an anonymous stranger to just 15 Benjamin’s into my lap, I know that’s not realistic– well, as realistic as winning tonight’s Mega Millions $134 Million jackpot.

So, to recap, I’ve decided: A) Sweet Pea should take the co-op classes.  I’ll have to find the money from somewhere. B) I need to talk to my son, really talk to him and apologize for not being the parent he needed. C)  Fold laundry during Numb3rs tonight D) Go eat some lunch, then scrub the kitchen floor.  E) Resist the urge to spend $1 on the voluntary tax that is the Michigan lottery.

Must dash off now, hunger beckons, and the cookies are screaming Eat me! so I better find something healthier than that.

Politics and Pipe Dreams

I have been reading “The Case against Barack Obama” and find it to be very compelling and revealing. I know hardcore devotees will think it as lopsided propaganda, but I do suggest you read it, even if you are one. If there were one on John McCain I’d read it too, just so you’d know.

Up until the book, I was somewhat neutral on the man and his campaign. I’m beginning to dislike Mr. Obama and his legislative track record the farther into the book I get. Many of the people who could complain the loudest are Democrats, and they won’t rat out one of their own. The Republican’s who are speaking out are being accused of running a smear campaign. The author is letting Mr. Obama’s record speak for itself. And for the record, the “record” isn’t just how he voted on legislative issues; it includes his campaigning tactics, his candidate endorsement record, among other things.

The farther into the campaign season we travel, the more I dislike both sides of the aisle. Michigan ends up being kind of “purple”— Red in the West and U.P and Blue on the more populated East side. There has been a growing trend of voting Blue on the West side as of late, but I still think we’re more Purple.

I wish there was a viable party that fits what I believe in. One that supports and values all life; holds corporations to good stewardship of the environment without radicalism; believes the gov’t is meant to lead and assist but not be primary source of income for individual citizens. I want equity in education spending, and pay based on performance of teachers. There are districts paying some of its tenured teachers $75,000+, and still the students are failing. Would it violate the rights of citizens to require teachers to send children to the schools in which they teach? How much would change then? Don’t police officers have to live where they serve? Judges too? It will never happen because the teachers’ unions are too powerful and politicians know where the money comes from.

There are days I wish PAC’s could be disbanded too. It seems the lavishly funded ones are the ones telling the Senator’s how to vote, because of the campaign contributions made and therefore expect the favor of a vote in return. That’s not “of the people, by the people, for the people”.

I also think the system of 2 Senators, and 435 members in the House in DC do not adequately represent the population as a whole. The Senators are overworked and hold too much power when partnered with their like-minded representatives in the House. I don’t like that Representatives serve two-year terms. It seems they are always stuck in campaigning mode and can’t devote enough time to the work at hand. Of course the requirement of 2 Senators and the two-year terms are written into the Constitution (Article 1, Section III and Section II, respectively). Just imagine what fun both Houses could have with 150 Senators and one Representative for every 250,000 citizens. With a population nearing 305 million, our Rep’s are representing just over 701,000 people—EACH! If the ratio were brought to 1:250,000 we’d need to elect 785 more to the U.S. House of Representatives. The Constitution provides that there may not exceed one per 30,000! I’ll do the math for you real quick: that comes to over 10,166 Representatives in Washington DC. Even if the ratio were moderate at 1:500,000 there would still be over 600 elected officials in Washington. If there were that many working for the people, do you think the Political Action Committees would carry as much clout? I don’t think so; they’d still exist, but with less strength.

Currently Michigan has 15 officers elected to the H of R in DC, ranking 8th in population according to the 2000 U.S. Census. These places have only one, (estimated populations in parenthes.)

Alaska (670,000)
American Samoa (60,000)
District of Columbia (580,000)
Delaware (854,000)
Guam (174,000)
Montana (945,000)
North Dakota (635,000)
Puerto Rico (3,960,000) [Rhode Island has 2 Reps in DC, with a population of about 1.1 million]
South Dakota (782,000)
U.S. Virgin Islands (109,000)
Vermont (624,000)
Wyoming (515,000)

That’s 9,908,000 people, nearly the same as Michigan in 2000. All things being equal, Puerto Rico should have 6 Reps in DC, yet they have just the one.

If we reconfigured for the 1:250,000 ratio, Puerto Rico would have 15, Michigan would jump to 39 and California to 153. I suggest the district lines be redrawn to make them larger with multiple Reps per district, so the work load can be shared, with staffing and office needs reduced. *Thinking to self: Perhaps even limiting the total number of districts per state*

If people aren’t voting because they feel they aren’t being heard, would changing the number of Representatives in Washington DC make a difference. We won’t know unless someone successfully runs for office, implements the changes and makes it happen. Pie in the sky dreams, aren’t they.

All that said, because I started reading a book about one candidate…