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Showing posts from August, 2011

Bar Tales of Costa Rica

I need a break from upset.  Maybe my readers do, too.

Once when I was in Costa Rica, working on another unpublished book, Deep Calling -- that's my depressing book about being depressed, as opposed to Prozac Monologues, my funny book about depressed --I needed a break from being depressed.  I took my breaks at the bar at the Pato Loco in Playas del Coco, Costa Rica.

My sister, the Voodoo Princess and proprietor of the Pato Loco also needed a break from my being depressed.  So she was delighted to learn that the Pato Loco inspired and regularly supplied material for my third book that is not published, Bar Tales of Costa RicaBar Tales is not about depression.

This week we all take a break together, with the first of the Bar Tales of Costa Rica.

Shut Up, Lenny!
How are you today, Rosie?

Oh, I could use some de-stressing.  You can’t tell by looking at this big black beautiful woman in shorts, sleeveless and flip flops, but she’s running a several employee travel agency back in the State…

Uptown Bill's - One Candle

Okay, let me be very clear.  And let you not perversely misunderstand.  Justice beats charity any day.  The current tax structure of the United States is unjust.  At least, that is what Jesus and the Prophets would say.  Charitable people can't make up for the size of this injustice, and shouldn't have to try.  The fixed notion that we can is diagnosable.

Fair Taxes

Warren Buffett was curious and did some research.  Last year Buffett's taxable income was roughly $40,800,000.  That's after deductions.  His taxes were 17.4% of that amount.  Every other person in his office paid somewhere between 33% and 41% of their taxable income, an average of 36%.  He doesn't think that's fair.

Nobody thinks that is fair.  In fact, a lot of rich people and the Republican Congress think he paid too much.  Nevertheless, there are indeed other rich people who agree with Buffett, that they get more than most out of government services, the type of services that help them accumulate …

1000 Points of Light Revisited

                              OR

Gosh, We Could Use A Candle Down Here
I wonder if the US has passed the tipping point.  For decades, a thriving middle class fueled the economy and supported our democracy.  In the Bush years we decided to pay for those two wars, um... later, so the super rich could get richer.  During the Obama administration we decided the tax cuts will stay; so the poor, the sick and the elderly will pay for those wars and the tax cuts.  Meanwhile, the middle has shifted.

From Vernellia R. Randall, Professor of Law, The University of Dayton:  [In the last two decades] the gap between the rich and poor in the United States grew at the same pace as the economic growth.  Statistics show that the richest 1 percent of the US citizens own 40 percent of the total property of the country, while 80 percent of US citizens own just 16 percent.

Since the 1990s, 40 percent of the increased wealth went into the pockets of the rich minority, whi…

NAMI Convention and the Persistence of DNA

The second of my NAMI Convention posts is about opening my heart to the other side.

History Of NAMI

Even if its origins were to be forgotten, a system does not escape the DNA of its founding.

But it is not forgotten.  NAMI began in 1979 when a mother in Wisconsin published a notice of a meeting at her house for the parents of children with difficulties.  She discovered she was not alone.  Her living room filled to overflowing by parents, desperately concerned for their children with schizophrenia.  Together they pushed back against the medical establishment that said it was their fault.  Together, they pressured for the research that revolutionized basic scientific paradigms of mental illness.  No, schizophrenia is not caused by schizophregenic families.  It is a disease of the brain.

Then real treatment began.  Better understanding about the disease led to better medications.  People were able to leave those lost locked wards.  Yes, some live in the streets today.  But some live in she…