Friday, January 23, 2009

My personal note to Barack...

To Barack:

Congratulations to you and Michelle for making history. Now I will be honest and tell you now that I did not vote for you. I belong to the Green Party. I and many that I know expect you to do the right thing by the American people. I would love to see you keep your promises. This cannot be just a honeymoon moment. I hope that you can lead us with the same amount of integrity, honesty and fortitude that led you to Chicago to study and serve your local community there years ago. I would love to see America respected around the world again. Can you make that happen? I have a firm commitment to make sure that I spread the word to everyone I know, that we as Americans can never, ever again take our liberty for granted. Liberty is free, but we must all do our parts to maintain it. It can disappear quickly with the simple flick of a pen to the bottom of a document. And in bits and pieces. Will you continue to do what the people want or bow to the corporations and lobbyists and powers that be? Will you do the right thing and restore those rights that were viciously taken away from us in a very calculated way, bit by bit during King George's Reign of Terror?

On a personal note, the following is what I would like to see happen over the next four or eight years:
All Political Prisoners released
The prison system make into a true rehabilitation system instead of a subsidized corporation
No more Rendition
Universal healthcare to all citizens
Free education for whomever wants it and this includes college or vocational school
Transparency in government (no more secret handshake deals)
Voting and the Election Process and Media Reform all getting a serious overhaul! (They all have to be revamped before we will ever again have fair elections in this country)
Ease of access and open policies regarding the process of running for office
All political parties recognized and given a fair shot during Elections and Debates
No more censorship in any form and no more spying on the American people--this is UNAMERICAN!
A ban of all weapons and this includes chemical and nuclear weapons and definitely no more exporting of the same
NO MORE WAR! And no more tax dollars funneled to war anywhere at any time.
Establish a Department of Peace
No more weapons manufacturing
Taxes based on percentage of yearly income, no more "loopholes" for the rich
No bailouts for the corporations and not even the "middle class," the poor get taken care of first
Jobs back in the USA and American citizens hired first
Marijuana legalized
The Department of Children and Families in all states investigated for kidnapping and other crimes against children and their families
The Constitution, the Rule of Law and Habeous Corpus restored
FREE legal services provided based on a sliding scale determined by income
Green Industries, jobs and workplaces established and tax breaks for them
Green Energy and no more NUCLEAR REACTORS--the use of wind, solar, etc., instead.
A focus on Arts, Music and creativity in the schools
A woman gets to choose what happens to her and her body
A living wage for all
A home for all
Equal rights for all
Most importantly, NO MORE FEAR!

I understand that this is a long list and it is certainly not complete. I don't expect you to undue the damage done to our civil liberties overnight. It took us this long to sink into this hole, it will take at least this long to crawl back out again. The people spoke and elected you to lead us and many have complete faith in your abilities. For America to remain America there needs to be some drastic changes. But you have given us hope and a vision for the future, Barack. For that I say, thank you! Whatever you need from me, just let me know. Now, let's get it done!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

In the Quiet and Stillness...

No one can say that Florida has an industry or industries that are uniquely "Floridian." Two industries that seem to thrive in this state are Tourism and Medical/Health with Real Estate running a close third. Certainly year round industries, but more prevalent when the "snowbirds" are here visiting. Hospital census is up, doctors are busy, appointments are booked, the roads on the way to clinics and hospitals are tied up during rush hour traffic. White-haired highways with sightings of seniors driving their cars with assorted license plates from up north, Michigan, Ontario, Maine, Massachusetts, Ohio...anywhere up there that has constant reports of freezing temperatures and drifts of snow and cold fronts.

In the years that I have been in Florida, not only the roads, hospitals and doctor's offices have been full to capacity during the winter, but the beaches, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, garage sales, mini-golf, Dollar Stores, parks, rental properties and amusement parks are always crowded during tourist season. Florida's tourist season is usually from right around the holiday weeks and lasts until Easter. It can include everyone from the well heeled yuppies, to couples and families, some foreigners but for the most part, well off seniors that can afford to maintain a home up north and a smaller home down here.

This year there have been some major differences. Houses are for sale, lots of them! Two years ago, a decent rental home was hard to find. Most entrepreneurs that were "flipping" houses were able to sell them quickly and definitely did not want to rent them to anyone. It was a buyer's market and a renter found himself with few choices for places to live.

Now there are many rental properties. The owners that cannot sell their homes cannot afford to let their investments sit empty and be able to pay the mortgage at the same time. The apartment complexes, of which most had "gone condo" a few years back, are now offering move in specials with little or no security deposits or no credit checks. It is great being a renter these days, when one does not own property, one cannot lose their money or the equity on their investment. Definitely a safer place to be! Tampa Bay is number two in the country for foreclosed homes!

Right now, the stores and restaurants are all but empty with sales and special prices galore! Easy to get a table at a popular night spot! Medical personnel are reporting that the census is down in their workplaces. Parks are busy, especially RV campgrounds, but anything that costs a lot of money cannot seem to accumulate a crowd...

There might be a few exceptions! Superbowl and the Gasparilla festivities are coming up...but not too sure how many of our "laid off or in danger of being laid off" locals will be able to afford tickets to either event in addition to paying more than $12 for a beer and a hot dog...


Anita Stewart
The link to this story on OPERATION ITCH:
In the Quiet and Stillness on OPERATION ITCH!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

After a brief hiatus....

...for the holiday season and some physical complications and medical treatment over the past several weeks, I am back in the saddle again and will hit you all up with the latest installment noted here on Wednesday/Thursday of this week. Sorry for the delay...