civility…lost?

“Peace and kindness…but aggressive in what I believe in.”

Something I heard during an interview on NCRP news today. The man who spoke these words is an Oregon art gallery owner who, because of his own experience as a gay  man, helped to promote female artists overlooked in their day, because of their gender. 

I too subscribe to peace and kindness…and agression in what I believe. 

I believe in Obama’s efforts as a public servant and leader for all classes, just as some of you are convinced that Romney will give the middle class and poor  a new direction on the road to prosperity.

That we can be passionate about our political and moral views without repercussion is what makes America great.

Times have changed, however, with 24/7 news, the Internet, social media, and the birth of the Tea Party.

History shows we cannot return to Pandora’s Box…what we’ve already let out.

I’m hopeful the same isn’t true about our treatment of one another…one civilized human being…to another.

News pundits with their redundant questions that sensationalize and fan the fires of hostility, act as catalysts to incite the current incivility so apparent in our country’s political arena.

Like sharks in a feeding frenzy.

…don’t get caught up… in the bloodbath…

………hugmamma.   😦  😦  😦

 

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helping the poor…or not…

According to http://money.cnn.com/2012/08/13/news/economy/ryan-medicaid/?source=cnn_bin …

An Urban Institute analysis of Ryan’s budget proposal from last year found block grants would lead states to drop between 14 million and 27 million people from Medicaid by 2021 and cut reimbursements to health care providers by 31%.

Up to 10 million people could lose nutrition assistance since $134 billion would be cut from the program over 10 years, according to the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

And at least 62% of Ryan’s $5.3 trillion in nondefense budget cuts over 10 years come from programs that serve the poor, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

“This budget is Robin Hood in reverse — on steroids,” said Robert Greenstein, the center’s president, when the Ryan plan was announced. “It would likely produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history and likely increase poverty and inequality more than any other budget in recent times.” To top of page

 
First Published: August 13, 2012: 5:16 AM ET
 
…again…your vote…
 
………hugmamma.

cast your vote…

Look at the facts…and decide for yourself. No strong-arming on my part.

Comparing Budget Plans
Here’s how budget proposals or campaign promises from President Barack Obama, former Governor Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan compare…

Individual income taxes
   OBAMA…Raise top marginal income tax rate (now 35%) to 39.6%, limit other deductions for upper-income taxpayers. Raise revenue.

   ROMNEY…Reduce top marginal income tax rate to 28% and reduce other tax rates by 20%. Offset cost by limiting or ending deductions and credit.

   RYAN…Create two new tax brackets, 10% and 25%.

Corporate taxes
  
OBAMA…Lower top rate (now 35%) to 28%, eliminate tax breaks, provide incentives for manufacturers. Revenue neutral.

   ROMNEY…Lower top rate to 25%, shift to make it easier for U.S. firms to limit or avoid federal taxes on profits earned overseas. Revenue neutral.

   RYAN…similar to Romney plan, would lower top rate to 25%, shift to make it easier for U.S. firms to limit or avoid federal taxes on overseas profits.

Medicare
   OBAMA…Keep 2010 tax health law. Change the way the government pays hospitals and other health providers. Raise premiums or copays for some beneficiaries, particularly upper income. Total savings of $248 billion over 10 years.

   ROMNEY…Repeal the 2010 health-care law. Raise enrollment age to 67 (from 65 today). Offer choice of existing Medicare or new program that would provide vouchers to pay part or all of private-insurance premiums.

   RYAN…Slowly raise eligibility age to 67 and give those younger than 55 the option of a privately run plan paid in part by the government or keeping a Medicare-type plan. No change for those 55 or older. Would cost $205 billion less than White-House’s budget over 10 years.

Medicaid
   OBAMA…Proceed with 2010 law expanding Medicaid, rework the formula on how much federal government gives states the program. Save roughly $72 billion, combined with other changes.

   ROMNEY…Turn Medicaid into a federal block grant program, giving control and flexibility to states. Unspecified savings.

   RYAN…Turn Medicaid into a federal block grant program, giving control and flexibility to states. Saves $770 billion over 10 years, compared with White House plan, according to Ryan estimate.

Defense spending
   OBAMA…About $487 billion in cuts over 10 years from Pentagon’s current plan. Appropriate $525 billion for it in fiscal 2013.

   ROMNEY…Reverse planned Obama cuts, commit at least 4% of GDP toward defense, equivalent to $545 billion in 2013.

   RYAN…Reverse the planned Obama cut, appropriate $554 billion for defense in fiscal 2013.

Deficit
   OBAMA…Reduce deficit (now 7.8% of gross domestic product) to 3.9% of GDP by 2014 and 3% of GDP by 2017.

   ROMNEY…Balance the budget by 2010.

   RYAN…Reduce deficit to 4% of GDP by 2014 and 0.9% of GDP in 2017.

(As reported in The Wall Street Journal, 8/13/12.)

she served…

…my mother-in-law, that is.And now she is at rest in God’s loving embrace…where my father-in-law has patiently awaited their reunion for nearly a decade-and-a-half.

My sister-in-law Lil “hit the nail on the head,” according to her husband James, when she spoke of her mom’s life of service. Bearing and raising 12 children, 7 girls and 5 boys, was no easy feat to be sure. With the help of their dad and his mom, life with a big family was manageable.

It’s true that my mother-in-law served her family well. It’s also true that she did so with “joie de vivre.” While she may have verbally disciplined and even nagged like any mother of 12 would, it was never abusive. There was never any guilt trip. No “whoa is me.”

Once I dinstinctly remember my mother-in-law striding through the house in search of an errant son, who quietly snuck out the back door. “Gunfunnit that kid!” (Hawaiian-pigeon-english for “Confound it that kid!”) is something I occasionally heard as I sat waiting on the living room couch for my husband, then boyfriend. That was some 45 years ago.

My mother-in-law, in her 40s when we first met, was spry and quick on her feet. She stood several inches taller than me, was warm and welcoming. I could only imagine what she thought of me, the first girl her eldest son ever dated, and just a week after he’d returned home from 4 1/2 years in the seminary. But neither she, nor his father, ever took us to task over our blossoming relationship.

When I wasn’t attending college classes, I was at my future inlaw’s house hanging out with more family members than I’d ever experienced in my own home growing up. The youngest of 9, most of my brothers and sisters had flown the nest to earn their own living, before I was even out of elementary school.

Since my husband was the eldest, I became like an older sister to his younger siblings. It was a position I relished for they seemed in awe of everything I did. I’d never experienced such unmitigated admiration and love before. It was heartwarming and humbling.

Through the years my inlaws have never waned in their affection for me. In fact it has only deepened with time.

We were best buds, my mother-in-law and me. She and I spent hours together during visits to Hawaii to see the family. We shopped, we lunched, we teased, we laughed and we had serious talks too. Since I was an “out-law” and lived away, she felt comfortable conversing with me as though we were best friends sharing small secrets. Nothing major. Just coffee shop talk.

What will I miss most about mom?

I’ll miss the twinkle in her eyes as she laughed and laughed…without reservation.

How we’d sometimes lean into one another when she asked me to repeat something I’d said.

The trust she’d place in me to help her find just the right outfit to wear to a special occasion.

Quickly agreeing to join me for a bowl of saimin at our favorite restaurant.

The look of love in her eyes as she gazed up at my husband…her son…priceless.

Her unassailable, maternal love for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

The camaraderie and affectionate love she shared with us “out-laws.”

How she treated friends, acquaintances, even strangers like “ohana”…family. 

Sitting around her small dining table where she served us all the foods my husband, daughter and I couldn’t acquire stateside.

Joy in her everyday routine…church visits…outings with friends…piano and ukulele lessons…lunching with daughters…or granddaughters.

 James, my brother-in-law, joined me in shedding a few tears about our mother-in-law’s passing. We agreed that she made each and everyone of us feel special. She cared how we felt…she asked after our welfare.

Mom always credited dad with their children having evolved into the warm, loving people that they are. And I always insisted that she had a hand in the matter as well. She liked to think she lacked the smarts to have made such a contribution. I assured her she was no dumb bunny.

I shared commonalities with mom. Our nationality…Chinese/Hawaiian. Our less than ideal childhood years. Our superstitious natures. Our iffy self-esteem. Our adulation of our spouses. Our untethered love for our offspring.

Mom was a role model. By example, she showed me how to love my daughter. By example, she showed me it was best not to utter words that I would later regret having said. In this I am still striving, for when I am blindsided by someone’s misplaced remark it is difficult to remember mom’s advice. By example, she showed me that service can be a loving venture…if one truly loves those she serves.

I will never again hear mom’s query…”How are you doing?…Are you taking good care of yourself?” Or her followup remarks…”If you don’t care for yourself, you won’t be able to care for your family. They need you to take care of yourself.”

She might have considered herself a simple, ordinary woman with nothing of note to recommend her.

Having known my mother-in-law for 45 years, I can say she was undeniably…the most extraordinary woman I have ever known…bar none!

I love you mom, and dad, for having always made me feel…

…more than deserving of your eldest

………hugmamma.   😆

not for everyone…

Hugmamma’s Mind, Body, and Soul is where I share opinions, thoughts, feelings, helpful hints, recipes, life experiences…all meant to uplift, to give hope, to empathize, and above all, to entertain.

 Mine is not a political blog. Although I am oft-times moved by current affairs to write what I feel about something of particular concern to me. I don’t propose that others should subscribe to my way of thinking. We are, after all, a society of free thinkers with free will, are we not?

I respect that others can voice their own opinions. And I invite them to establish their own means of doing so.

 Hugmamma’s Mind, Body, and Soul is not the appropriate platform for others’ rants and raves, political or otherwise. So this is to advise that any such comments will not be read or published.

I appreciate your readership, but do not welcome conversations of a harsh nature. I will not engage in them for they only serve to stress and demoralize.

Argument for the sake of argument is definitely not my “cup of tea.” Life is too short…and too full of hope to dwell on negativity.

The internet overflows with sites that thrive upon doing verbal battle, until someone cries “uncle.” I heartily encourage those desirous of locking horns to search out others of the same ilk.

…in fact…i insist…

………hugmamma.

cod liver oil?…or amputation?

Interesting choice, Paul Ryan for Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential running mate.

(Photo credit goes to http://www.salon.com/2012/08/11/paul_ryan_and_the_rights_long_game/ )

Ryan…an attractive, charismatic, 42 year-old man. A self-professed geek, fitness fanatic, pro-life Catholic, embodiment of the values later made popular by the Tea Party, and ardently supported by the National Rifle Association.

While Ryan did not mince words about his opinion of the President, I applaud the candidate for heartily approving a black man occupying the White House. Paraphrasing Ryan’s words…he thinks it’s “cool.” It’s just that Obama’s not the right one. An opinion to which Ryan is totally entitled.

Also of notable interest were the different effects the loss of a parent had upon Obama and Ryan. The former enacted healthcare for all, including coverage for pre-existing conditions, while the latter wants to…obliterate ensured healthcare for all.  

The President and Ryan have already “tangoed” over their visions of America’s future. Their debates would probably be more Olympian than those scheduled between Obama and Romney. Will the candidate speak for himself…or for Ryan?

According to http://www.biography.com/people/paul-ryan-20828085,

Paul Davis Ryan was born on January 29, 1970 in Janesville, Wisconsin. Father Paul Ryan Sr. worked as an attorney, and mother Betty Ryan was a stay-at-home mom. Ryan has one sister, Janet, and two brothers, Tobin and Stan.

After graduating from Miami University in Ohio with a degree in economics and political science in 1992, Paul Ryan began working as a marketing consultant for a family run branch of a Wisconsin construction company. He entered politics a few years later, working as a legislative aide for U.S. Senator Bob Kasten, and later for Senator Sam Brownback and New York Republican Representative Jack Kemp. Ryan became interested in government after reading the literature of Ayn Rand, with whom he disagrees philosophically; Ryan has said that he rejects Rand’s emphasis on an individualist philosophy because his personal beliefs center on collectivism, a group-based philosophy.

And according to  http://objectivism101.com/Lectures/Lecture39.shtml,

There are two basic ways of understanding the relationship between individuals in a group. The first way is individualism, which states that each individual is acting on his or her own, making their own choices, and to the extent they interact with the rest of the group, it’s as individuals. Collectivism is the second way, and it views the group as the primary entity, with the individuals lost along the way.

Of primary concern to some of my generation and those that precede mine, Ryan’s economic proposal as set forth for the RepublicanParty some time ago, proposes to privatize Medicare and do away with Social Security as we know it. While these might be ideal solutions theoretically, those who have paid into the system, but have not yet reaped any benefits…will have to fend for themselves. Who in their late 60’s is adept at wending their way through the minefield that is a health insurance carrier’s bureaucracy?

And those senior citizens who are already borderline impoverished, will most likely sacrifice their health in choosing to put food in their bellies. Vouchers for $5,000, as supported by Ryan, will never cover the escalating costs to cure the aging sick in our society.

 The middle class will join the ranks of the homeless, skyrocketing their numbers into orbit in no time.

 The wealthy need not be overly concerned.

(Photo credit goes to http://www.nationalmemo.com/do-romney-hood-and-friar-ryan-steal-from-the-poor/ )

A youthful 42, the epitome of health, with a lovely wife and 2 young children, Ryan represents the future. His father and grandfather died of heart disease. With their passing, perhaps his personal ties to the older generations are easily severed.

Throwing off the shackles of the past is Ryan’s choice. Start over again. Amputate the body parts to keep the life intact, such as it is. No matter that the “parts” represent millions of people who will likely die in the process for lack of health care, rooves over their heads, food in their stomachs. They should be sacrificed for the good of society. Survival of the fittest, after all.

Ryan will have health coverage for himself and his family. His paycheck will continue…on the backs of those who go without. Some may even sacrifice their lives for this, their fellow man. No matter. The past and present should make way for the future. The aged and downtrodden are already on their way out anyway…aren’t they? Let’s hurry them along.

Better the wealthy spare a few dollars for the less fortunate…than all men, women, and children fending for themselves. Pockets of people collecting to form societies unto themselves.

If Obama is perceived as attempting to drive a wedge between the wealthy and everyonelse, Ryan and his running mate will cement that division as did the Berlin Wall which separated East and West Germany.

Ryan said in an interview when his economic plan was first proposed that it’s better to suffer the consequences now, for they would be much worse if such action was delayed. I wonder if he is prepared for the fallout should it be seismic?

More thefts, more killings, more greed, more disdain for the law.

If those with, have no regard for those without…then why shouldn’t it be just as acceptable…the other way around? Consider this when next you hear of some random killing in the news.

Ryan’s own constituents dispute his premise about economic recovery as exhibited on this youtube video.


Ryan claims to have “given up fear for Lent.” And so he has no fear of the consequences his proposal would effect. Seems to me he needs a little more roughening around the edges…like living outside the box…than what he’s experienced in the last 7 years securely ensconced in Washington politics…with health insurance…and a steady paycheck…and power to write and rewrite our governing laws.

I like to think we’re in the midst of downing cod liver oil…and we’re half-way through the dose. And for rampant inflammation, like what our country is now experiencing economically…swallowing healthful medicine is more productive…and humane…than severing limbs.

“Name your poison,” as is sometimes said. 

…the choice is yours…

………hugmamma.  😦  

BTW…where is Romney in all of this? Backing up Ryan, I suppose.  😦

(Photo credit goes to http://skydancingblog.com/2012/08/10/its-the-granny-starver-breaking-news-on-romney-vp-pick/ )

guilty…as charged

We all tend to put our best foot forward…especially when describing ourselves to those who aren’t privvy to what goes on behind closed doors.

My fellow bloggers will concur, I’m sure, that somewhere along the line we throw caution to the wind and unveil our foibles to the masses. Whether to garner a chuckle, align ourselves with the majority, or demonstrate to others that, in fact, we aren’t as perfect as we wish we were, or others think we are.

Regular readers of hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul know that I’m not without my devilish moments. Take for instance my irreverent invitation to leave a comment.

Laughter is life’s best medicine. Poking fun at oneself keeps us in check. In the grand scheme of things, God’s or Mother Nature’s, we humans are but one species striving to survive. We have a hand in our own self-destruction, but we don’t control the what, when, why or how.

So let loose…once-in-awhile. Admit to the unthinkable, within reason of course. Remember, a balanced life is a much happier, more satisfying environment than tipping the scales too far in either direction.

My latest sin, for which I’m now paying dearly? Downing an entire box of See’s candies in the space of 1 week. Swearing never to repeat such a transgression, then doing it again when my biological clock struck 63!Nuts and Chews

(Photo credit:  http://www.sees.com/Cat.cfm/Nuts_And_Chews )

And what reward have I reaped as a result of what I’ve sown? Heightened inflammation run amok!!! My arthritic joints remind me of the dietetic sin I have committed. Sugar equals pain…pain…and more pain.

So until I see the orthopedic specialist to determine whether or not the pain in my wrist is temporary or permanent, I will refrain from popping sugary delicacies as though they were placebos.

Just because life ends with the Grim Reaper ferrying us to the other side, doesn’t mean we have to take the “express.”

…sugar…in any form…hastens the end…

………hugmamma.  😦

classy…whatever the label

I happened upon The Ellen Show as I surfed the channels for a backdrop to my housekeeping chores. Always conservatively dressed with a touch of whimsy, like bright blue socks peeking from beneath soft, grey, silky-looking slacks, Ellen de Generes spoke at length of favorite pieces of clothing that went missing one day.

As is commonplace in marriages, Portia offered up the fact that perhaps Ellen had forgotten her jacket and wool cap at one of the stops they’d made throughout the day. Adamant that she’d hung the jacket on its hanger, favorite cap nestled in its pocket, Ellen had to “eat crow” after she realized she had indeed forgotten her misplaced items in a rug store.

On live TV, Ellen apologized to Portia, admitting that she was right and Ellen was wrrr…wrrr…wrrr…Ready to dance!!!

Unlike her famous guest, Robin Williams, who shortly after being introduced, launched into a tirade of pornographic jokes, Ellen’s comedy is of a more wholesome variety.

As with other prejudices, homophobics usually rely on general stereotypes, instead of getting to know gays and lesbians like any other group of people…that is…one person at a time.

I don’t know Ellen personally, but she strikes me as compassionate, empathetic and hopeful.

…a very, nice lady…no other labels needed…

………hugmamma.  😉

(Photo credit goes to http://debmademe.blogspot.com/2010/04/and-winner-isellen-degeneres-sorry-dr.html )

growing older…together

Just celebrated my 63rd birthday…

Having my daughter with me to mark the passing of another year was by far the best present she and my husband could’ve given me. She for wanting to spend it with me; he for making her trip home possible.

Though 37 years her senior, my daughter and I relate to one another as if we were contemporaries. We chat, we gossip, we giggle, we laugh, we tease and joke, we toast and advise one another, we discuss men and relationships and friendships, we talk politics of which we’re in agreement.

Shopping together is like hunting for treasure. Finding clothes for my daughter is a breeze since youth and a dance career keep her marvelously fit. Past my prime, with my body in constant need of a tune-up, repairs or a major overhaul, clothes that fit is a hit-or-miss venture for me. Mostly it’s a dead-end street. Nonetheless, we have a blast whether or not we return home with anything to show for our to-ing and fro-ing.

My daughter keeps me young. While in Pittsburgh with her a few weeks ago where she danced with a friend’s contemporary company, I kept her theater hours. Finding somewhere to dine at 11 p.m. every night was a challenge, as was rising early the next morning to breakfast before she headed off to do run-throughs for that night’s performance.

We kept up the pace the following couple of weeks while she was home visiting.

Most nights my daughter and I would watch old movies together, while nearby my husband caught 40 winks, head back, jaw relaxed, snores streaming from his open mouth.

Sleeping in very long was never an option for my daughter and me. There was so much we wanted to do…8:15 a.m. exercise classes, chiropractic and doctor appointments, visits to favorite haunts as well as discovering new ones, errands, shopping, playing with our pets, family walks in the evening.

When did my child become my best friend?

It’s been less than a decade since I was parent and disciplinarian. Unlike some who preferred to be friends with their children, rather than mothers, I relished being guardian and teacher to my only child. I wanted to make the most of what seemed a miracle birth after 16 years of marriage.

I was no Blessed Mother, but I gave the job my all. Love and communication were my tools of choice. Still are. Something I took away from the oft times difficult relationship between my mom and me.

Today I reap the rewards of a foundation well laid.

Growing older and wiser…and more in love with one another as the years pass…

…my daughter and me…

………hugmamma.