During the Republican National Convention this week, we’ve heard the same old themes: smaller government and slashing regulations.
The Republican Party, the party of the wealthy, has been waging a war for decades to convince the American public that government is bad. With smaller government and weak regulations, capitalists can make even more money.
President Ronald Reagan taught us “govament,” which is how he pronounced it, is the problem. In his first inaugural address in 1981, Reagan said, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
When I traveled to Australia in 1966, I was very aware that the “ugly American” had become to be known as a "loud and obnoxious" type of visitor from America to another country.
The term came from a novel, published in 1958, about the failure of members of the U.S. diplomatic corps, who were insensitivity to local language, culture, and customs and refused to integrate into the community.
I tried not to be loud and obnoxious when I traveled and when I lived in Australia for two years, and the Australians I met told me I wasn’t like some of the irritating Americans they’d met in their country and their travels in Europe and other places.
So, now we have Donald Trump running for president.
As a photojournalist, I’ve wanted for years to get a photo of the president for a book of my photos I’m preparing.
When I heard President Obama was coming to Seattle, I jumped at the chance to go to a fundraiser for Washington Governor Jay Inslee at the Washington State Convention Center at which the president would speak.
When I saw I was seated at Table 253, in the back and at the side of the ballroom, my heart sank.
However, we were allowed to get up from our chairs when the president was on the stage. I was able to get about 20 good photos of him.
In March, when Hillary Clinton visited Seattle, I was able to get about a dozen good photos of her, so I'll have one for my book.
Other bloggers in our group also are interested in the presidential election.
Tom Sightings at Sightings Over Sixty offers a new, tongue-in-cheek method for choosing the president in “Let’s Pick a President.” Sightings suggests following in the reality show footsteps of "Survivor," "Dancing with the Stars," or Trump's own "The Apprentice," with contests, a focus on physical attributes, a makeup challenge, and a dance contest. The audience would text in their votes over a TV show season of eight to 10 weeks.
Nearly one-third of Americans polled by Consumer Reports said they had experienced a drug price hike in the past year, with some reporting not taking medications as prescribed, postponing medical tests and doctor’s visits, and spending less on groceries.
In an investigation into prescription drug costs, Consumer Reports identifies five key reasons behind the rampant rise in costs:
As the pharmaceutical industry and insurance company battle over profits, consumers are reeling from the uncontrolled rise in drug prices.
Nearly one-third of Americans polled by Consumer Reports said they had experienced a drug price hike in the past year, paying a total of $2 billion more for a drug they routinely take.
“Americans are being bled dry by corporate profiteering that is completely legal,” said Lisa Gill, deputy editor, Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs. “And their pocketbook pain is reverberating through virtually every facet of their lives from retirement plans to family time to the essentials of daily living, such as buying groceries.”
As America’s largest coal producers were driving their coal companies into the ground through bad investments and overproduction, their CEOs pocketed huge bonuses while laying off hundreds of workers, according to a Public Citizen report.
Bonuses and money spent on bankruptcy lawyers by the four companies – Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal, Cloud Peak Energy, and – is nearly a quarter of a billion dollars, the report, released Wednesday, shows.
“It is unfortunate that the political discourse has been framed by this fictitious ‘war on coal’ narrative, when the truth reveals an industry hampered largely by market forces and poor financial decisions,” said Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program. “We need an honest dialogue about the future of our energy system and how to prioritize investing in coal mining communities that have been hurt by the transition.”
This week Meryl Baer of Six Decades and Counting rants about the presidential campaign. The 24/7 pervasive news atmosphere makes it difficult to ignore the hype. Baer tries to block it out but is thinking about finding a place without cell reception, TV, or any other electronic connection with the outside world for the next few months. Meanwhile read about her comments on “The Ubiquitous 24/7 News and the Presidential Campaign.”
Tom Sightings of Sightings From Sixty took a trip to his favorite store last week, got to the checkout counter, and... well, he couldn't help but offer up a sight gag in “How Could I Be Hungry?”
On Equal Pay Day, President Barack Obama designated the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, a site that has been central to the fight for women's equality for over a century, as America's newest national monument.
In a proclamation, Obama describes the history of the house:
The house, located at 144 Constitution Ave. N.E., in Washington, D.C., has been home to the National Woman's Party since 1929. From this House, the NWP's founder Alice Paul wrote new language in 1943 for the Equal Rights Amendment, which became known as the "Alice Paul Amendment," and led the fight for its passage in the Congress.
From here, throughout the 20th century, Paul and the NWP drafted more than 600 pieces of legislation in support of equal rights and advocated for women's political, social, and economic equality not just in the United States but also internationally.
Today is International Women’s Day. It’s a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for improving gender parity.
IWD has been observed since in the early 1900's – a time of expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.
"The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights," said feminist, journalist, and social and political activist Gloria Steinem.
The IWD theme for 2916 is #PledgeForParity.
You can go to the IWD website and take a pledge to accelerate gender parity.
On the website, you can also find a list of resources on gender parity and events marking IWD.
Copyright 2016, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist