Friday, November 30, 2012

fall reading list

-A very short list this quarter. I've been far too busy to read and my down time, what little I've had of it, has been spent mindlessly playing Spider solitaire.-

Goodbye For Now by Laurie Frankel – a love story of sorts. Sam, an exceptionally smart software engineer working for an online dating service develops an algorithm that actually matches you up with your soul mate. He tests it on himself and finds and falls in love with the one who happened to also be employed by the same company. In fact, it works so well, he gets fired because the company doesn't really want people to meet their soul mate on the first try because if they do then the company doesn't make money. When Sam's soul mate Meredith's grandmother dies suddenly, she is inconsolable and talks Sam into developing an algorithm that will let her email and chat with her dead grandmother. Eventually, with the help of Meredith's cousin, they develop it into a company to help people with their grief. As you might guess, the inevitable happens and Sam is left bereft. It's a sweet story about love, loss, mourning, and finally, living.

Black List by Brad Thor – what does it say about the reader (or about the heros) when the guys you are rooting for, the ones you want to win in the end, are basically cold blooded killers? Perspective is everything, right? The main character, Scot Harvath, a highly trained and skilled counterterrorism operative, kills, like, 21 people before the book is over. Granted, they were all bad guys who were trying to kill him first and his usual victims were government identified enemies of the state. Still... The story unfolds as a female hacker, Carolyn, is trying to send off terribly incriminating evidence of a plot to overthrow the government by releasing a virus to bring down the internet before she is caught and killed. There follows an attempt to kill Harvath, his boss, and all the other operatives that work for that organization, and it is mostly successful, in an attempt to set up a frame for the coming 'digital Pearl Harbor'. The story continues as Harvath meets up with an internationally known hacker, the recipient of the flash drive, as they try to unravel the attacks on Caroline and Harvath and the Carlton Group. It's a good story, well written, and there is a lot of scary information about surveillance techniques, the role of the internet, and just how often the government spies on us thanks to the abrogation of our civil rights in the aftermath of 9/11.

Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith – I was a little disappointed in this novel which was fairly entertaining and enjoyable enough. It was very reminiscent of Maeve Binchy with a central location, in this case the old home turned into three flats, and separate story lines for all the characters that occasionally intersect but not as well done. I didn't feel like he tidied everything up in the end, there were a lot of loose ends. It's like the story just stopped without any resolution. But beside that it was a decent, but not great, read.

Earth Unaware by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston – this is a prequel to Ender's Game and it centers on the first contact between humans and formics. Out in the Kuiper Belt, the free miner families excavate metals from the asteroids and send them by unmanned quickship to one of the Weigh Stations that buys the metals. The families live their whole lives on their spaceship homes in the outer reaches of the solar system. On El Cavador, Edimar, whose job it is to scan space and interpret the data from the Sky Eye, finds an object moving much faster than any human ship is capable of and decelerating on a path that will take it to the solar System. Unable to contact the Italians family with whom they have just had a trade meeting, they hurry to intercept them when they notice another small craft coming from the direction of, what they now believe to be, an alien spacecraft. They are too late however and find the four ships of the Italians to be just a debris field. While they search for survivors, the probe returns and they have an encounter with the aliens. On board El Cavador, Victor volunteers to modify a quickship and take the 6 month journey to Earth to warn the home planet at great risk to his life. After Victor's departure, El Cavador contacts two other ships in the vicinity to come up with a plan to try and stop the now obviously hostile aliens. It's a good book, but then I'm a big fan of Orson Scott Card. Ender's Game is the story of how humans finally triumph over the formics, the hero of which is a young boy.

Old Twentieth by Joe Haldeman – another sci-fi tale. I had a hard time getting into this one which is why it took me so long to read. I finally finished it this morning and my end reaction was WTF!? I thought I knew what the story was about but now I'm not so sure. A vaccine of sorts is developed that basically causes the body to repair itself ad infinitum making people, for all intents and purposes, immortal. Because, as we all know, when pharmaceuticals first come out they are exorbitantly expensive so that at first only the wealthy and powerful can avail themselves of it. Eventually it would have become available to everyone but panic took hold of the population and a war between the immortals and the nots broke out. The immortals won by developing a toxin that killed everyone that had not had the treatment. They soon discovered how much they had depended on the segment of society that hadn't been wealthy enough to have had access to the treatment. This is all narrated and filled in as background by a guy who was 16 or so when the war happened. He's over two hundred now and on a starship with 800 other volunteers headed for an earth-like planet 20 light years away. His job on this multi-ship expedition is to run the 'time-machine' for the residents, a sort of virtual reality travel agent/technician to the past (the total sensory illusions are built up out of people's memories and histories so only the past is available). At least half the story takes place in the time machine on the ship where Jake begins to notice 'anomolies' and one day on one of his 'observational trips' he meets himself and himself says 'we have to talk'. Anyway, people start dying, the first two while they were in the machine and then they hear from earth that people are dying there too, mostly first generation immortals, about half in their own time machines and true to form, a third person dies on the ship but not in the machine. There are discussions about going into suspended animation and Jake, as a 1st generation immortal makes plans to submit until brighter minds can find out what is happening and fix it but before he does he wants to go back in one more time and talk to the program that has recently revealed itself as an AI. He has begun to realize that things are not what he thought. Life is an illusion and it's on a loop while the 600+ surviving in stasis immortals hurtle to their future 18 light years away in a dead ship. Or was that also illusion?

How It All Began by Penelope Lively – An older woman is mugged from behind, falls, and breaks her hip. The story starts as she hits the ground. Writing in a narrative style, the author tells the stories of the people affected by this happenstance and how their lives are changed because of it. The actions of a complete stranger cause a chain of events that affect far more than anyone would suppose. Took me a while to get into it but that probably has more to do with my state of mind than the quality of the book.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Z is for...

This is my last entry for the Alphabet Game. I am finally at 'Z'. Unlike my friend Jane of the messy hair, from whom I got this idea, who finished her series in a timely fashion, it has taken me 1 year, 9 months, 15 days to get through mine. Once again, if you haven't been following along all this time and would like to see the other entries, there is a link on my side bar under the heading 'stuff about me'. If you are from the link, keep clicking on 'older posts' at the bottom until you finally get to A.

Z is for...zany, zebra, zone, zipper

Z is for zipper.

I have a pet peeve. It's one shared by many people, I think, only my peeve is in direct opposition to theirs.

The peeve in question is how drivers act when approaching a lane ending sign on a highway.

Quite a few people believe that as soon as they see that sign they should, must, move over to the lane that continues even if it doesn't end for another 500 or 1000 yards. They dutifully move over as the traffic gets slower and slower as it approaches the merge point.

And they get angrier and angrier as they sit there 'doing the right thing' in their minds while other drivers speed on by to the merge point. A lot of road rage is generated this way with some people in the continuing lane edging over to try to prevent drivers from passing them in the lane that is ending further up.

I don't get that. What is the purpose of abandoning a perfectly good lane long before it ends just to get slowed down to a near stop as you creep toward the merge point? Perhaps they see it as good manners on their part and bad manners on the other driver's part.

Me? I'm one of those drivers that speed along to the merge point and then move over.

There are also overpasses where highways intersect that take you from one freeway to another, and these ramps often start out as two lanes and merge down to one. No one is moving over long before they get on the ramp even knowing it will merge down to one lane. No one gets upset, no road rage, no one trying to prevent other drivers from passing them before the merge point. The two lanes simply merge at the merge point and people continue on.

It's like a zipper. You take turns. One car from this lane, one car from that lane, one car from this lane, one car from that lane. Easy.

So why is it different when a freeway or highway or even a surface road loses a lane and traffic must merge? Because there is a sign that alerts you to the loss of a lane?

It's a zipper, people! Just keep going til you merge at the merge point. Be polite, take turns, don't be a jackass if you choose to move over early and get slowed down by the drivers passing you and merging before you.

Now, those people who use the shoulders to pass a long line of slow traffic and then barge in in front of drivers in an actual lane is totally different.

I'm all for paint balling them as they pass.

If I had a paint ball gun that is.

Friday, November 23, 2012

fun day

Yesterday the family came out to the country house for Thanksgiving, children and spouses and a friend and grandchildren. Even my sister stopped by on her way home from spending the day with her daughter and grandkids. The kids all came loaded down with food and all we had to do was cook the turkey which Marc did early in the day.

We pulled an assortment of chairs (an antique wheel chair, 2 beach loungers, plastic patio chair, metal patio chair, and a 5 gallon bucket) out into the Big Back Yard, put up the hammock, and sat around enjoying the beautiful afternoon, drinking beer and messing with the kids.

Mikey and his dad were throwing the football around when it went into one of the pecan trees and pecans rained down. The game with the ball quickly changed to knocking pecans out of the trees. The grandkids dragged out one of the ladders and climbed into the trees with a baseball bat. The ball was no longer thrown to another person but kicked into the canopies.

Warming up all the food in a timely fashion was a challenge in our one oven but no one seemed to mind that everything was less than hot. We crowded around the dining room table and stuffed ourselves.

When evening came, Mikey pulled one of the burn barrels up by the lawn chairs and started a fire, not that it was cold, and Mikey's friends from down the street showed up with fire crackers so the boys all had a grand time.

Eventually everyone headed home except for the four grandkids who are staying with us til Sunday.

It was a good day.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Y is for...

sun salutation

This is the second to last entry in my alphabet game. If you want to read them all, there is a link on my side bar under the Stuff About Me heading but you'll have to scroll down all the way to the bottom to get them in the proper sequence. Not that it really matters.

Y is for...yellow, yarrow, youth, yoga

Y is for yoga

I was introduced to yoga when I was 20 years old...I think. It could have been a year or so earlier when I was initiated into TM (that's transcendental meditation) when I was 19 but I don't really remember any instruction in yoga, just sitting in the group sessions or alone at home with legs crossed trying to ignore how uncomfortable I was becoming. The meditation thing didn't last long with me. I was only successful with it a time or two. Mostly I just fell asleep or was fidgety trying to focus on my mantra til the time was up.

But the following year, the year I lived in Chicago, some friends and I hitch-hiked to D.C. for the anti-war rally and we met some folk who were involved in Ananda Marga, a meditation group with a different spiritual leader than TM. I had become disenchanted with TM early on because they were very much about the money. They charged you to be initiated into their organization.

In D.C., my boyfriend and I had become separated from our friends and we were waiting, had been waiting for a while, at the designated 'meet up again' spot when we were approached by a couple of guys offering us respite and an eye out for our friends.

They offered us food and water and a bathroom and rest, united us with the rest of our group and found us a ride back. They asked for nothing in return. Neither did they try to convert us or entice us in any way but they were so serene and selfless and kind and you name it and so we learned some stuff about who they were. Which I am not going into now because this isn't really about them.

It happened that there were only three teachers in this country at the time who were qualified to initiate anyone into their 'meditative' life and one of them lived in Chicago. So one evening found some of us at the home of an Indian man and his family while he talked to us about his spiritual leader and meditation and yoga and then he led us in some simple yoga to relax our bodies and he initiated us one by one into meditation with a mantra. I don't remember if it was all on the same night or if it was the second time we went but what I do remember is that while he softly spoke to us, his aura expanded with a bright white light until it filled the room. Seriously. It was awesome.

My friend and I continued to go once a week for a while but we had to take the train out to a suburb and it was in the evenings because the man had a regular job and then a few months later I moved back to Texas. I did not become an adherent to the Indian guru but I did retain the yoga and the mantra.

Even though I've never been able to develop a daily or even weekly home practice I find yoga to be very beneficial and it's one of the things or habits that I attribute my fairly good health to. It keeps you limber and agile and strengthens your muscles. It massages your organs and helps them function, it rids you of toxins through measured breathing and teaches you to pay attention to your body.

I have used meditation and yoga sporadically as needed or as opportunity presented itself in my life. For the past 20 years or so I have been involved in one or another weekly gatherings with a teacher, though not always every week or even every year.

My most recent weekly get together was in the home of a wonderful amazing woman who would lead a small group of friends in yoga and meditation. Alas, she moved to New Orleans to be near her daughter and her family.

It's been over two years now since I have done any yoga on a regular basis and I can feel the difference. Out here though my options are limited so I best find a way to set aside a little time one day a week at home if I want to continue being able to get up off the floor.

Not that I'm on the floor a lot unless I'm doing yoga.

Friday, November 16, 2012

wherein I'm reminded how much work it is to have work

first mountain wall panel, with black cloth behind and stencil still covering the clear portion, uncertain over whether or not it's finished

Three days in the shop is about all we can take. This week was not as productive as we have been. It was cold for one thing and I don't work well when I'm cold. Then we realized we had left the stencil material for the last panel at the other shop so there was a delay while we went back and got that. Then we dithered for most of the day over whether or not the first panel was finished. We touched it up about four times (it has to be incremental because there is no erasing, if a tone gets too dense, it stays that way). Finally we just took it out and removed the dusty protective film on the back and still dithered about it so I barely got started on the last stencil. That was day 1.

Day 2 in the shop, getting adjusted to the cold, we draped black velvet behind the first panel and could see very clearly then, finally, that it still needed some touching up but the next panel was already in the sandblast booth so we recovered the clear side with the protective plastic film and Marc got started on the carving for panel 2 while I worked on the stencil for panel 4. Ah, but then another delay. The regulator on the sandblaster, which hadn't been working well from the get go finally just quit altogether and had to be replaced.

Day 3 wasn't much better. The people from Invesco are very excited about this project and decided that they wanted to document its making so at times a guy comes out to the shop and takes pictures and short stretches of video while we work. That's kind of fun and we will have a great promotional tool at the end, but it does slow things down while he is there. And then I had to leave to go pick up our cast stuff that was left at our home town gallery as they are retiring at the end of the year so by the time I got back, I didn't have enough time to finish the last stencil. We wanted to get all the carving done on the second panel this week, but didn't accomplish that either.

We're trying to get done by the middle of December. It seemed doable last week. Now, Thanksgiving is next week and we will only work for two days in the shop but we should be able to get caught up and finish the first two panels. That will give us 3 weeks to do the sandblasting on the last two panels. Still seems doable.


Making a living as an artist is hard work. Not just the brain part where you are thinking of what to do and how to do it or the promo part where you are calling people and making presentations to get work but the actual physical part of fabricating the project. I'm always amazed at how many people don't actually comprehend that.

I have a proposal out and it has been accepted though no money has changed hands so far. This is for a project that is for 4 panels 30” x 40” with very specific imagery, photographs of people that they didn't send until the end of October, that to tell the truth I'm not really sure how I'm going to manipulate the images in a way that I can actually do the work, and the client is moving into the space mid-December. I explained to them that we were quite busy on another project and we would not be able to start until after the first of the year at the earliest.

Yesterday I got an email asking me if I thought I could have them installed by the end of the second week of January. Seriously? They think I can manipulate the images, do the full size art work, get the materials, do the fabrication, and have them installed in two weeks? It'll take me longer than that just to get the art work ready.

This is the part of having work and being busy that I don't like. Unreal expectations on the part of the clients. Parties scheduled before the work is commissioned. Attitudes that art is not really work and we ought to be able to just knock this stuff out. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, that they truly don't know what's involved in producing a one of a kind piece of art.

But two weeks? Really?

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I stopped shelling pecans about two weeks ago. My hands just couldn't take it, cutting stencils for 3 days and shelling pecans for 4 days, and since I already have 10 pounds worth of shelled pecans, I figured I would wait til I finish all the stencils for the mountain wall.

I'm still picking them up though, almost three boxes worth and still when you look up in the trees you can see pecans.

One day, several weeks after the pecans began to fall, when I leaned down to pick up a nut, I felt a twinge in my back. I'm right handed and I carry the bucket in my left hand leaning down and slightly sideways to pick up the nuts with my right hand.

After doing this over and over for several weeks, my body was telling me that it was getting out of balance. So I decided to switch the bucket to my right hand and pick up pecans with my left hand. Voila! No pain. Only my right handedness is so entrenched that I would notice after a while that I had, unconsciously, switched the bucket back to my left hand.

That first week, I had to make a conscious effort to be aware of what hand I was using. After a couple of weeks, it didn't matter which hand I carried the bucket in as things had balanced themselves out so long as I periodically switched from one side to the other.

It reminded me how important balance is not only in the human body but in life.

One of the guiding principles for my life has always been 'all things in moderation' and I seemed able to apply it towards all things except my work. When I am working on a project, I tend to become totally absorbed and work for hours on end with no breaks.

As long as I was young with a resilient body, I never suffered any ill effects from this tendency. About 12 years ago though, we were working on a job that consisted of 10 panels approx. 5' x 6' each that made up two 25' long walls. It was a beautiful job and we were elated to be done and have it installed. After months of working intently, intensely, and non-stop, I was finally able to relax. And a week later my back clenched up so badly that I was all but immobilized. I had, for months, been stressing muscles, holding positions in one direction, without ever engaging the opposing muscles and now I was paying the price.

I'd like to say that after a week or so all was well but it was not and I feared it was perhaps a permanent injury. Sitting, standing, bending, lifting anything was extremely painful. Working in the yard was impossible for more than 5 minutes. It did, over about a year, get incrementally better but it did not heal until I joined a gym and worked on strengthening my core muscles, front and back.


I was out there a couple of weeks ago, feeling pressed for time, a little stressed. There is so much I needed (and still need) to get accomplished by the end of this month, and by the middle of December as well. That's our target date for finishing up the mountain wall.

I was feeling guilty and thinking, as I wandered around enjoying the temperate weather and idly picking up the fallen nuts, that I should quit wasting my time and get in there and get to work on the waxes or filling the molds or whatever particular task awaited me.

Fortunately, my previous thoughts about balance reminded me that this activity was just as important as the intensely focused activity of work in regard to my personal and physical well being.

I have tried to keep, in the conscious part of my brain, the warning of Spider Woman when she was teaching Wandering Girl how to weave:

"But there is one danger that you must always be aware of. The Navajo People must walk the Middle Way, which means that they must respect boundaries and try to keep their lives in balance. They should not do too much of anything. You must promise not to weave for too long, or a terrible thing will happen to you." from The Magic Of Spider Woman by Lois Duncan

For Weaving Woman nee Wandering Girl, that was becoming trapped in her most perfect blanket. For me it was a grave injury to my body.

I was led to this story, I believe, by Spider Woman after she made herself known to me on a vacation through the Navaho Nation several years after we finished the job that got me so out of balance.

It was one of those light bulb moments.

Friday, November 9, 2012

moving forward

We've been nose to the grindstone around here for the last month, in the city during the week, so this is the first opportunity for me to express myself about the election.

The election is over and Obama won his second term. I admit I was nervous and concerned, fearful even at times, but after I voted early, I tried to put it out of my mind. After all, I had done everything I could by voting.

We are happy and relieved that Obama was reelected. In fact, this is 'no whine' week around here in celebration. We flipped back and forth between the election results and Escape From New York with long time heart throb Kurt Russell, staying up late enough to know that Obama had in fact beat the pants off Romney/Ryan.

I have been reading with interest Republican reactions to their defeat. Stunned disbelief pretty much sums it up. Lots of trying to understand what went wrong and the things they are coming up with are so far off the mark it's no wonder they lost.

No matter. I'll help them out.

It could have been the over 600 outright lies the R/R team told about Obama.

It could have been Romney's refusal to show that he was in fact a tax paying citizen.

It could have been Romney's refusal to discuss his past as governor or his stint as Olympic Committee chairman in Utah or his business dealings at Bain, his lack of any kind of plan or details to back up the things he said he would and could do, and most especially his repeated refrain of 'trust me'.

It could have been their desire to defund public education.

It could have been their intention to get rid of the Great Society's safety net at a time when so many people are still out of work or the jobs they have won't pay a living wage much less provide benefits.

It could have been their complete lack of understanding that older Americans deserve the benefits that they paid for all of their working lives.

It could have been their refusal to return the tax rate to pre-Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest among us, a hike that would not affect the wealthy's lifestyles one little bit.

It could have been the fact that they sold themselves and the country to corporations and the ultra-wealthy whose only goal is greater profits at any cost.

It could have been their intention to give more tax cuts to the wealthy and return to the economic policies that got us in this mess in the first place.

It could have been their intention to immediately repeal the Affordable Care Act.

It could have been their desire to force government control over the reproductive rights of women.

It could have been their attitude that women were second class citizens and didn't deserve equal pay.

It could have been their desire for Latinos to engage in 'self-deportation'.

It could have been their belief that the LGBT segment of society didn't deserve equal civil rights.

It could have been their arrogance and obvious and utter contempt for anyone who wasn't a rich, white, hetero, christian male.

It could have been that they think half the population of this country are lazy shiftless moochers.

It could have been their complete lack of understanding what the working poor and the struggling middle class have to endure on a daily basis.

It could have been their flagrant attempts to restrict the voting rights of the segment of the population that generally votes against them.

It could have been their desire to take this country back to a time of social repression where the white christian hetero male reigned supreme.

It could have been their desire and attempts to turn this country into a right wing christian theocracy.

It could have been their complete and total extremism to the point of marginalizing the moderates in their own party.

It could have been and was all that and more.

Republicans are beating their chests and wailing the loss of 'traditional' America, they are losing their country, America is done for.

What?! Like their opinions on marriage and the family and patriotism, they think that they and only they know what that is.

This may come as a shock to them then when I say that far right wing republicanism does not get to define America, it does not get to define patriotism, it does not get to define what women will be allowed to do, it does not get to define marriage, the family, or even 'christian' values.

America is moving into the future with a true diversity of population and inclusiveness and continued stonewalling and obstructionism by the Republican party will only make them obsolete.

Monday, November 5, 2012

money...keep your hands off my stash

One of the contentions in this election is the 'redistribution' of wealth in this country. According to the conventional wisdom the wealthy take that to mean that the poor want to gather the town folk with torches and pitchforks and storm the bank accounts of the rich, although the rich didn't seem to mind so much the redistribution of wealth from the hands of the middle class to theirs.

Personally, I don't know anybody in the working poor, the working class, or the struggling middle class that feels that way. We don't really resent the rich for having money but we don't like the well being of the rest of the population being held down by the unrestrained greed for profit at any cost because that cost is born by the lower classes.

So, yeah, everyone wants to be rich, to not have to worry or struggle but regardless of whatever myth you grew up with, there is no such thing as a level playing field in this country. The kid who is born in the barrio or slum to a mother addicted to drugs with an absent father, who very likely is a gang member, has so much more to overcome than the kid born into a wealthy family that never knows what it means to go to bed hungry night after night and while they both have access to public education, the poor neighborhoods have poor schools while the rich neighborhoods have rich schools. It doesn't really matter how brilliant the poor kid is if he or she is hungry and abused, if the schools he or she has access to aren't well funded. There is no escape when these children have to drop out of school to take care of their younger siblings.

But, back to being rich. How much is enough? At what point does wealth stop being sought after or acquired for ease of living and start being greed? If, as conservatives say, the government can't just manufacture money, then there must be a finite amount of money in the economy.

If there is a finite amount of money in the economy, what purpose does it serve to hoard millions and billions of dollars? Obviously, if you are making 10 or 20 million dollars a year you left need behind long ago. You've bought your mansions around the globe, you've got a private jet and a yacht or two and still you are making more money every year than you can possibly spend.

So the hoarding begins. It's money for money's sake and it seems the more a person has, the more fearful they are that someone wants to take it away from them so they hide it in off-shore accounts. How is that being patriotic?

If there is a finite amount of money in the economy, how does the hoarding of great wealth, the removal of that money from circulation, benefit the country as a whole? If the people who have the money aren't spending it, then there is less in circulation and less that is available to the rest of the population.

This country saw a massive movement of money in the last decade from the hands of the people in the population that spend it into the hands of the 1 or 2 percent of the population that don't spend it. This hoarding of money by the very few has impoverished the nation.

I think there does need to be a redistribution of wealth in this country but not by robbing the rich. The rich need to put that money back into circulation instead of continuing to accumulate it for no other reason than that.

A billionaire who thinks nothing of donating millions to some charity balks at donating the same money to the government, money that could go to funding our schools or to rebuilding our infrastructure. Instead they see it as a virtue to avoid paying the taxes they legally owe, taxes that would not impact their standard of living one bit if they actually paid them.

I read an article today that talked about how all those billions sitting unused is preventing entrepreneurs and small businesses that want to expand from getting financing. The capitalists seem uninterested in capitalism. The people who have the money to invest in the country and the economy aren't doing it, perhaps because they are personally unaffected by the recession.

I read another article recently about a study on compassion. The conclusion was that the more you have the less compassionate you seem to be. People with little will willingly share whatever they have with other people who have less but the ones with more than they can possibly use, hoard it and live in fear that someone is trying to take it away from them.

What the working poor want, what the struggling middle class wants are not free handouts but jobs and decent wages for the work they do and some sense of security that the investments they make in their retirement funds won't be lost by Wall Street, sucked into the hoard of money some billionaire already has. What the country needs is some investment in its infrastructure which is crumbling.

I don't think that's too much to ask for from the people who gained so much from this country.