Sunday, August 24, 2014

I believe that corporations are NOT people, my friend.

The Fake American is back and she's pissed.  Sometimes life just gets in the way and little projects like this get put on the back burner.  This weekend, though, I've had a lot of time to catch up on things.  Why?  Because I'm trapped at home waiting for the cable technician for the fourth time.  So forgive my rant--even though it is pertinent to the point I want to make.

"Corporations are people, my friend," said Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign.  I guess they are people if the people you know are irresponsible, unreliable, back-stabbing crooks.  They certainly are not like any people I hang around with.

What prompted this feeling?  Well--Three days ago, a delivery truck backed into our driveway and snagged the cable line running to our house, pulling it off the pole down by the street.  This really isn't an unusual thing for us as it happens at least once a year.  Usually when the line comes down though, it's because of a storm.  That same day, we were able to get Comcast to come and put the line up.  Yay! We were not home and they did not test the signal.  We lost all of our services (phone, internet, tv). After a long customer service call, I was able to schedule another appointment the next day from 3 - 5 even though I told the rep that I could not get home until 4.  They came at 3:30 and left.  After another long phone call, I scheduled an appointment the next day (Saturday) from 1- 5 and I stayed home watching for them.  They never showed.  When I called, they told me that the appointment was for Sunday which was incorrect.  They scheduled one from 5 - 7 that same night and never showed.  Called again, got one for Sunday morning 8 - 10.  Called in the morning to confirm and they had no record of the appointment.  We were finally able to get connected to someone in the same state who scheduled us for a 1 -5 slot Sunday afternoon.  Logged into my account which is showing a 3 - 5 window.  We have to leave at 2 for a function.  So goes the ordeal.

One of the phone reps said "Wow, I see that you have one of our most expensive plans."  One wonders how they treat those who only have basic cable!  I've started reminding them that we've been with them since 1982 before they were Comcast.  They always thank me for being such a loyal customer. Shouldn't loyalty go both ways?

Comcast seemed offended when people opposed their merger with Time Warner. They only strive to provide the best service. Really?  If this is their best service, is is any wonder why people do not want to see monopolies which would mean fewer choices?  If we have no other choice, then they can treat us however they want.  I made a point to tell the service reps that I would be spending my time waiting checking up on the competition.  My loyalty is getting pretty exhausted at this point.

The problem, as I see it, is that they have moved their call centers and dispatch centers overseas to different places.  The first person we got was in the Philippines.  They had to put us on hold while they checked with the dispatchers who were God knows where.  We went through a bunch of layers before we finally got someone in our state.  Don't get me wrong--the people we spoke to were lovely--very polite and they stayed on the script.  They just cannot help you when the script doesn't match the problem so you have to get transferred to another country/continent.  This illustrates a bunch of problems--not only does it affect the quality of service, but it takes a lot of jobs out of the United States. Comcast will say that they would have to raise rates if they had to pay American salaries.  They raise rates anyway and they enjoy record profits.  How about this.  Stop being so greedy.  People aren't even asking for Fake American salaries, which would be a livable wage with benefits.  They're just asking for Real American salaries, which is basically minimum wage.  What about a little patriotism?

This shouldn't be a big deal and in the scope of life, it's not.  It does illustrate the problems with allowing corporations so much access to politicians who make the laws regarding the behavior of those same corporations.

Corporations are NOT people, my friend.  They exist to make money by fulfilling certain needs, wants or desires that people have and lately, they're not keeping their end of the bargain. If they were people, I would've severed my friendship with some of them years ago. Sadly there aren't many other choices and the choices are becoming fewer and fewer.

Sorry for the rant.  You may now return to your regular programming--provided you have cable service.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

because I study American History.

One would think that Americans--both real and fake--would take the time to know about the history of our nation.  It's really not that daunting a task given that our nation is quite young.  Just think!  We have 235 years of history compared to those pesky European nations with hundreds and hundreds more!  We have it pretty easy!  I realize that some of us are just too busy or perhaps we just take it for granted.  However, learning our history can be done in a number of ways that might make it more palatable.  One can find books and movies that are historical fiction to get the gist of historical events.  One can visit the sites where important historical events took place and learn a lot.

One thing that is certain, however is that those running for elected office in the United States should certainly have an in depth knowledge and understanding of our history.  Apparently, however, this isn't the case.  Fairly recently, the new MOARA (Mother Of All Real Americans) made some rather embarrassing gaffs regarding what some consider to be basic historical facts:

Umm--not quite! Many of the Founders owned slaves. John Quincy Adams died in 1848.  The Emancipation Proclamation  was issued in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln.

Next up--I'll take the American Revolution for 200 Alex!

Um--wrong again. Perhaps Ms. Bachmann is getting her history in sound bites like this:

After all--no state is even mentioned! One would think that her handlers would have picked that up. As a public educator, I'm saddened to think what wasn't taught in someone's history class! But then I remembered that it is the Real Americans who are rewriting American History anyway!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I am a public employee.

Shhh. . . Please don't let that get out.  The news is that we public employees with our huge salaries, lavish benefits and gold-plated pension plans are bankrupting America.  Who knew?  Apparently the Real Americans didn't know--most likely because corporate America was doing well and kept us off the radar.  Now that we are looking at a record federal deficit and local budget shortfalls, we learn that we Fake American public servants are entirely the cause of the problem!  When comparing our salaries, particularly those of government accountants, lawyers, researchers, etc. with private sector workers, particularly those who work at Walmart and such, we make more than they do!  How convenient is that when looking at ways to pay us less!

As a result, President Obama has declared a 2 year salary freeze for federal employees.  Needless to say, they aren't happy about this.  Meanwhile many Real Americans seem to think that the salary freeze along with reductions in the federal workforce don't go far enough.  All one has to do is read the comments on the Washington Post or New York Times articles about this.  Real Americans routinely refer to those in the federal workforce as "leeches," "parasites," "slugs," "lazy" . . .  Well, you get the general gist of it.  The Real Americans--you know, those who really LOVE America--would like nothing more than to see the government dismantled.  Just don't touch their medicare!

In some ways, I may fare a bit better than the federal employees because I am a local employee. We have been hit worse economically--having had our salaries frozen for 3 years now and expecting them to be reduced while also paying a larger percentage of our benefits and having our pension benefits slashed.  However, being on the local level gives us faces.  We are your kids' teachers, the police officers who come when you are in an accident or the firefighter who gets your cat out of the tree.  We are your friends and neighbors.  On paper, though, we are the enemy.  It's TAXPAYERS (Real Americans) against PUBLIC EMPLOYEES (Fake Americans).  Somewhere along the line, someone has forgotten that public employees are also taxpayers!

Perhaps it's time to embark on a grand social experiment.  Perhaps it's time to divide into two countries:  Real America and Fake America.  After all, all those who talk about secession are the Real Americans!

Fake America will have a government and they will willingly pay their taxes.  They will have regulations protecting their food and water supplies.  They will have regulations regarding the air they breathe.  They will have regulations on their financial institutions and they will expect those and other corporations to pay taxes. They will maintain their infrastructure, including public transportation, and make improvements when needed.  They will enact legislation encouraging the development of alternative forms of renewable energy.  They will adequately fund public education and they will even have universal healthcare.  They will find a way for all citizens to have access to higher education and to not struggle in their golden years. Yes, they will pay higher taxes for these things and they will understand that they will need highly qualified public servants to manage the administration of these programs.  Oh, wait!  Such places already exist!  However, they are on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean!

Real America will have no government and the citizens won't pay taxes.  Period.  They will have to individually pay for any services they use which will be provided by for profit businesses or corporations.

It would be interesting to watch Real America from afar!  One can only imagine that there would be no middle class--just a handful of obscenely wealthy people and a crapload of really poor people--And a lot of really sick and uneducated people!

But, hey!  In Real America, uneducated is in these days!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ice hockey is my sport of choice.

They say that baseball is America's pastime.  As a Fake American, I've never liked baseball.  I was never into sports as a kid, attending my first professional sport event in high school when I went to a Washington Senators' game vs. the Kansas City Royals.  I thought it was the most boring thing I had ever seen.  In fact I think I fell asleep.  But Real Americans love baseball and I was the child of Real Americans though I began to suspect that they both possessed the recessive Fake American gene.

Other than the occasional Superbowl party,  it wasn't until the birth Fake American Child #2 (who shall be referred to as FAC#2), that I began to pay a little more attention to the world of professional sports.  You see FAC#2 was a colicky baby and one night the hubster was desperately trying to find something to quiet the incessant crying. While flipping through the cable channels, he discovered that the crying stopped when he came across a hockey game on ESPN.  This remedy was proven successful on a number of occasions.  It sort of became a family joke.  I mean hockey?  That isn't even an American sport! 

Fast forward a few years when FAC#2 had his first pair of Fisher-Price roller skates.  We'd hear him in the basement skating back and forth for literally hours!  We knew that this behavior required an intervention so we signed him up for baseball with the local boys and girls club which was a learning experience to be sure.  Yet FAC#2 clearly wasn't satisfied with being in the outfield and wanted to try ice skating so we had his next birthday party at a local ice rink which also happened to be the practice facility for the Washington Capitals.  That was it.  He'd found his niche.  Clearly the Fake American gene was being passed to another generation.  As luck would have it,  Fake American Child #1 also caught the hockey bug and she was added to the list of skaters in the family.

Like any devoted parent, I decided to see what this hockey fever was all about.  I, too, got hooked and our family became die hard Caps fans.  There was good and bad in this.  First of all, it was good as it provided something that we could share as a family.  It was bad because we were in DC which is a city full of Real Americans and our local team was the Wasington Capitals.  Perhaps being in a city that has been dominated by Real Americans for most of the teams' existence is why the Caps had struggled every year, except the one year they were able to make it to the league finals.  I mean, why would Real Americans want to watch a bunch of guys that weren't even from America play a game that originated in Canada?

At any rate, both of our Fake American children continued to play hockey on high school teams and travel teams where we enjoyed the company of other Fake American families.  As the new millennium took hold this hockey insanity continued which became a real challenge in DC because we now had a Real American occupying the White House.  As a result, the Caps didn't make the playoffs for a couple of years.

Then as luck would have it, the midterm election of 2006 put a lot of Fake Americans in the House and the Senate.  The next year the Caps were in first place in their division where they have remained ever since.  Lo and behold in October 2008, we learned from a Real American that Fake Americans were trying to take over the country.

It turns out that the Caps started selling out their games and hockey fever took over the city.  Surely it must be all the Fake Americans!  With the election of 2008, things got better.  In fact the Caps topped the league in points in the 2009-10 season, however the Stanley Cup remained elusive to them.

Now I'm worried.  The recent midterm election will be bringing more Real Americans back to DC.  How will this affect my beloved Capitals? Will this blow their chances of winning the Stanley Cup? How will the presence of these new power brokers affect my team?  I mean we're talking about a team whose first line is comprised of two Russians, a Swede, a Canadian and a guy from Massachusetts.  Most of those places have some form of socialized medicine for Pete's sake. How American can that be?   Surely the Real Americans will have them banished or at least require some sort of test to determine the degree of "American-ness" before allowing them to compete in the Nation's Capital.   It appears that the team owner is on top of the situation and is trying to present a more positive front to the Real Americans with the new slogan:

Do you think the Real Americans will fall for it?  Who knows!  It appears that they are infiltrating the sport as expansion teams have been added to Real American cities like Nashville, Atlanta and Columbus.  But the most telling sign is the some of the new goalie helmet artwork featuring two of the most Real Americans currently in the public eye. 

My Fake American Children are now grown and no longer play hockey.  FAC#1, however, is engaging in a new sport which is revealing that she has inherited a bit of the Real American gene.  Roller Derby!  I mean what can be more Real American than women with tattoos acting like this:

I don't wear an American flag.

Real Americans are easy to spot in a crowd which is a good thing given all the photo ops in recent times. Wearing flag apparel is not limited to one political party. However wearing a flag is considered a requirement in some circles of Real Americans--particularly in situations where they will be in a large crowd that may also contain Fake Americans. They need to have a way to distinguish themselves from the "other," also known as, Fake Americans. I mean nothing says "Real American" more than having Old Glory draped across one's naughty parts! This is why Real Americans are expected to own attire like this:

Of course the actual Real American is more likely to look like this:

But flag attire isn't limited to street wear. Some Real Americans take the flag to the beach and the boudoir:

And let's not forget the Real American Halloween costume:

The less flamboyant Real Americans or those who must dress for a more professional environment prefer to show their Real American status by wearing a simple flag lapel pin.

Any Real American who fails to display the Stars and Stripes somewhere on his/her person is immediately suspected of being a secret Muslim. Some, like this man however, have managed to disavow wearing the flag while still apparently maintaining Real American status. Perhaps being an old white guy helps identify him as one of the chosen.

The hubster and I attend many patriotic events as secret Fake Americans. Sometimes we are instructed to wear something like a patriotic tie or scarf to show our status. Needless to say, ths presents a bit of a conundrum as we are put in a position of revealing our true identities. So far I've managed to put red, white and blue beads on my Trollbeads bracelet.

What's interesting to me, as an educated Fake American, is that the Real Americans seem to be unaware of how the American flag should actually be treated. The United States Code Title 4, Chapter 1--The Flag, Article 8 d. (the section entitled Respect for the Flag) states the following:

"The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker's desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general."

It also appears that the Mother of all Real Americans should obtain a pocket-sized copy of the US Code to keep in her purse with her pocket Constitution.

I'm not sure what we Fake Americans can do to educate the Real Americans. Perhaps they will just have to learn the hard way like this guy did!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I have a dictionary and I know how to use it!

One of the "joys" of living in the DC suburbs is that I get to witness political rallies up close. I know that I can certainly turn on FOX News or MSNBC to get commentary, but I typically see these rallies on the local news channels which appear to be pretty neutral in their reporting of such events. Basically they just put the info out there so us locals know why it's taking twice as long to get to the Caps game on the metro or why Aunt Susie can't find a hotel room for Cousin Tom's wedding. But I digress.

I attended my very first rally last week when I went to the Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear. It was great seeing such a huge gathering of fairly like-minded people. However one thing stood out immediately. All the signs I saw were very clever and none of them contained misspelled words! Wow! Jon Stewart's rally was attended by a lot of Fake Americans! This was immediately apparent because the signs I saw didn't look like these signs which were displayed by Real Americans at other rallies:

But dictionaries aren't only useful to help us with spelling. They come in handy for actually teaching us the meanings of different words. Consider the following words as defined by my dictionary:

Socialism: A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. Policy or practice based on this theory.

Fascism: An authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization; (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.

Nazi: A member of the National Socialist German Workers' Party; a member of an organization with similar ideology; (derogatory) a person who holds or acts brutally in accordance with extreme racist or authoritarian views.

While I can see a similarity between Nazi and fascism, I fail to see the similarity between socialism and Nazi--two words that are often seen (and misspelled!) on rally signs to describe this man and his policies:

I just don't get it.

Introduction--What this blog is about

"We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C. ... We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation." --Sarah Palin, speaking at a fundraiser in Greensoboro, N.C., Oct. 16, 2008

This is my new project. I need an outlet for my frustration with the current political discourse. The title of this blog comes from a thread in one of the discussion forums on Ravelry that I participate in. You see, those of us in the discussion group were rather depressed after the recent midterm election--particularly whenever one of the newly elected GOP leaders said, "The American people have spoken!" Wait a minute! I'm one of the American people and I didn't say what you said I did! Actually over the last two years, I've learned that I'm not a "real" American at all. I'm most certain that my Mayflower passenger, Revolutionary War fighting ancestors are rolling in their graves knowing that they have begotten generations of descendants that are Fake Americans.

It seems that one must possess certain characteristics or follow a certain set of beliefs to qualify as a Real American--at least according to the Real Americans. So someone on Ravelry started a thread where everyone listed the things that made them a Fake American. I figure that the words "Fake American" are better than being "Un American!"

So on this blog I will explore those things that make some of us Fake Americans in the eyes of the Real Americans.

Some thoughts about comments: I am currently not moderating comments. Please feel free to share your thoughts in a civil manner. Do understand that I am sharing opinions and while I welcome opinions different than my own, I don't welcome rude or obscene comments that denigrate my opinions. Suggestions for future posts are always welcome!