Sunday, March 28, 2010

America Without Unions...the Result of Republican Thinking

I have visited many debates regarding the current economic downfall and have been shocked by the amount of people who blame UAW workers for it. They mistakenly believe that the economic spiral happened because union workers demanded to keep their high wages causing big companies (like the Big 3 Auto companies)to collapse. They blame poor, impulsive and/or flagrant financial decisions on the middle class (who were primarily union workers) for buying homes, cars etc. that they truly couldn't afford ignoring the fact that banks and big business readily and greedily took advantage. While it's true that many unhealthy financial decisions were made on the part of middle class individuals and that their involvement with their own crumbling unions was lacking at best, the true cause of these issues STILL remains largely unnoticed or unmentioned by those who continue to call themselves Republicans.

What we all have to decide is what's worse for our country....Big Business ruling our lives or Government. Sadly, it will always be one entity or the other until we rehaul the whole economic system. After seeing and experiencing the elitism, total abandonement of safety procedures and downright cruelity placed on the American worker by White Collared Managers Supervisors and CEOs, I can say with 100% surety that when Big Business is left to it's own devices, greed and power will ALWAYS FAR outweigh any benefit from having a free market. We are WAY better off with a government that will oversee things like outsourcing, hiring illegal aliens and the obvious corporate greed. I'm alarmed that it's still necessary to point out that a Republican administration is NOT that government.

The Republican reaction to Health Care Reform is a perfect example of their ignorance or unwilligness to place blame where it belongs...on big business i.e health insurance companies who, much like the banks, have owned us for generations! They would rather attack the symptoms of the problem like protecting doctors from lawsuits and focusing on fraudulant welfare claims than doing something about an actual cure...which can only come by regulating health care and insurance companies so, at least, we can begin to bring an end to inflated healthcare costs and corporate greed!

Republicans don't see the fact that without the unions the middle class wouldn't exist and most big companies wouldn't be....well...big.

Is it too much to ask for a wage that allows one to be financially secure based on the cost of living in THIS country while CEOs cry about a 1 million dollar shortage in their bonuses?!?....NOT their wages their BONUSES!?!??? Why do Republicans refuse to consider that big business, under a Republican administration, has all the power it needs to hire illegal aliens, outsource jobs and destroy the middle class completely and, more importantly, why don't they see that THAT HAS happened already? I guess it's all about perspective. From their point of view, everyone in this country has the same opportunity to go to college and be successful and anyone who doesn't do that is just lazy or making excuses.

And if you're not a judgmental elitist Republican....then you're probably a religious fanatic Republican. A Republican friend of mine told me that she will always vote Republican for the sole purpose of keeping a government in place that is against abortion. And I wouldn't even say that she's a religious fanatic nor even practicing her religion so imagine the leanings of those who ARE fanatics! My response to that is to ask how abortion could even make the list of issues that our country urgently needs to get solved? And I ask the same to those against gay marriage and gays in the military. The whole country is teetering on economic collapse and there are people...Republicans....placing their religious views over real problems!?!?! Could this be why there's SUPPOSED TO BE a seperation between church and state??? Is it possible that religious views are also the reason that Republicans continue to unfairly harp on Obabma's nationality and publicly disrespect his Presidency in ways FAR MORE severe than the Bush bashing they themselves objected to especially for a President during wartime?

Sure, we can look back and a Democrat may say Reagan did some good things and a Republican may point out that it was Clinton who started NAFTA but that's the past. We can see the successes and failures of our past administrations whether Democratic or Republican...especially the very last one....can't we?

It seems to me that Republicans have a very judgmental view of their own fellow countrymen whether for religious differences or due to an elitist hatred towards the poor. It's very easy to fall into this mindset when you're working your ass off and paying tons of taxes into governmental assistance for, who seems to you, as just the lazy and/or criminal. The criminal being, for example, maybe the one who is fraudulantly collecting welfare. The lazy being, very possibly, the guy working next to you everyday on the shop floor who gets away with hardly working at all! Or maybe you see all the young girls on the tawdry morning shows who are 12 years old and pregnant or the couples who have 10 kids and are on welfare. All of that surely is enough to make one think more along Republican lines especially if they have strong religious views too because then it's not only the poor and the criminal who are bothersome but ALL the heathens who don't believe as they do. The unifying factor of this type of thinking is that it's based on prejudism...aka false judgment, hate and worse....fear! None of those factors can ever produce logical decision making. In the words of JFK, "The only thing to fear is fear itself!"

Sure, there ARE lazy and criminal people whose actions SHOULD BE addressed but do THEY really cause the problem and does their actions or inactions outweigh that of the mammoth power and greed of banks, big business and even the government?

It's time to stop pointing at each other and start looking at the entities that are dividing us. I don't want people to go to work everyday only to be exposed to unsafe working conditions, intimidation to keep work related injuries secret, getting overworked and underpaid and outsourcing. As I write this, there are people being overlooked for jobs based solely on the fact that they are an ex Union member. There IS, in fact, a stigma against ex union workers and it is a serious act of discrimination that I think needs to be exposed. People are being told, myself included, not to even mention unions or their job could be threatened!

So, you decide. Do you approve of the illegal retaliation by Republicans that we've seen on the news against Democrates since losing their Health Reform battle? Do you think that behavior along with voting for religious views and nothing else is fanatical? And do you think people, including your own children, will have a safe and fair work environment as a means to earn a decent living? Can that truly happen with Big Business left unchecked? Or will you continue to assume that YOUR children and the children of your fellow Republicans have no worries because THEY'LL be college educated and, therefore, the slave drivers as opposed to the slaves. Keep thinking and acting on the every-man-for-himself-assumptions and this country will never be able to stand up again. United we stand, divided we fall!

Friday, March 5, 2010

My Dragon is Finished!!!

Well, he is finally finished after about 3 lengthy leg surgeries! He had to have to splints put in so that his legs could support his weight. He also had some hair implants put in cuz the baldness was getting to him! So, I'll let u watch the video and then afterward I'll tell you what I learned!

What I've learned....

I won't decide mid project to make movable legs become stand alone legs and IF I ever do, I will use splints (wire) to re-enforce instead of layers of skin (paper towels)! And any project I deem to be stand alone will have a MUCH BETTER skeletal structure. The weight of the wings and arms plays into the ability to stand quite a bit more than I anticipated.

If I use Sculpey again (and I'm sure I will) I will bake the pieces WITH the wire already inserted to make it easier to attach to the body.

I will get a better glue gun...cuz it's important!

I will make the body smaller so that the brake line is easier to control (if I do another brake line project)...OR I'll just get a longer brake line! My first idea was for him to be more Woodbaby size and sit on one's shoulder as Woodbabies do, thus allowing the brake line to be inconspicuous and easier to control. As you can see, Dimi is way bigger than a Woodbaby. Sigh, live and learn!

I won't make a custom paint for the main color cuz then you have to KEEP making it as you run out...and you WILL run out!

I will make the folds in the wings more arched at the bottom.

I will cut the head in half and add gums -n- teeth like Dan Reeder does...;)

I will make the tail LESS straight....Dimi actually has a hose in his tail and the idea...initially...was to use the hose as the actual tail cuz it's flexible but the point became mute when I layered it...;)

I will paint and clearcote spray PRIOR to doing an antique wash because, otherwise, the paper towel skin just absorbs the color as opposed to the color going into the cracks. And when you wipe or dab off the excess, I think it will come off better leaving more contrast.

The flat-on-one-side but natural-on-the-other, magnified glass beads that you find at any craft store make GREAT eyes! One need only paint a pupil! The pupil will actually follow you like the eyes in some freaky paintings do!!!

If you spread some Gel Medium or glue on the surface of the body and stick some loosely formed styrofoam to it and let it dry...when you pull it off the next day it leaves a texture that looks like warts or toad skin. I will definitely use that this ,which I learned by accident, in future projects...especially when lizard typed skin is needed!!!

When doing the paper towel skin, it's best to use paper towel pieces that have no straight edges. If you rip all your edges the skin lays down better and doesn't leave any hard lines. Two ply paper towel works best.

Gel Medium works better than Elmer's Glue and is harder to get off of your hands! For me, Dawn dishsoap was the best thing to use to get it off.

Keep fur trim FAR from cats!

I have, naturally, started collecting anything I can find that can be used in a papier mache projects like; newspaper, used Creamora cans and paper towel/toilet paper rolls. I am stunned at how many of these I can QUICKLY collect! So, what I learned with that is that my family ALONE is causing a huge land fill somwhere!!!! Recycle, recycle, recycle!!!

The most important thing I learned is that this medium is PERFECT for me and allows for so much versatility. There's an engineering process, a very artistic textural process and, of course, everyone's fave the painting and embellishment of it all! I really enjoyed this and hope everyone will give it a whirl! I can't wait to do another!!!

Thought I'd add some still shots too...;)

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Almost Done Dragon Pics

I was going to just wait until he was completely done to post but I am having an engineering problem with one of the wings so he will have to dry for another 24 hours. So, since I said I would post these today, I figured I would keep my promise. I made a pedastel for him also which is actually done and possibly a wand with a globe but we shall see. Hopefully, tommorrow evening I can post the final shots...;)