Archive for October, 2010

HAPPY HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

October 31, 2010

“I’m You”

One Last Push for Perriello

October 31, 2010

The political race that is nearest and dearest to me is Tom Perriello’s fight to maintain his seat in Virginia’s 5th Congressional district.  He is running against Republican Robert Hurt, who maintains a slim lead.  However, a miss is as good as a mile, and Perriello needs our support.  He is a man of honor and a public servant of sanity, independence and honesty.  His district is overwhelmingly conservative which, given his last victory and this campaign’s neck-and-neck status, is a testament to his appeal.  Perriello is the only House candidate in these midterm elections who received a visit from President Obama on the campaign trail.  The President stumped, in person, for Perriello last week.  This was the picture of “guts supporting guts.”

Please consider a donation to his campaign.  Perriello is the epitome of reason, responsibility and dedication to the needs of his electorate.  He most likely will hold the office of Virginia’s governorship at some time in the future, and after that, who knows where his talents may take him.  However, this is a crucial race for him.  Democrats, Progressives and liberals alike need new blood and Perriello is our guy for the present and more importantly, our future.  Please give what you can.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/29/AR2010102905677.html

To all of the University of Virginia students in Charlottesville, which is in Perriello’s district, I urge you to go vote on Tuesday.  Don’t use the excuse of one UVA coed, in an interview on television last week, who spoke of her apathy to these elections because the races “just weren’t as exciting as the last Presidential contest.”  Did this seeker of only the immediate high think that Barack Obama was born President of the United States?  Perhaps she was unaware of all the grassroots contests he had to slog through before reaching the pinnacle of his political career.  Voting is not about one’s desire for excitement; rather, it is every citizen’s civic duty.  UVA is one of the best schools in the country and this voter needs to show her appreciation to her district, her state and her country for making such a fine state-supported and subsidized university available to her.  Batter, batter!  Come on, voter, voter: get thee beer buns to the polls and assume your responsibility of citizenship.

To close, I will be doing a LIVE BLOG on this site on election night.  Please tune in.

Fall Collage

October 30, 2010

These photos were inspired by one of my muses, Lilleyhope.  Most times, beauty is right in front of you.  You just have to open your eyes.

 

 

 

Knew It

October 29, 2010

Contrary to common thought, I always knew that my children made me a lot smarter than I made them!

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/mothers-brains-are-bigger/?hp

Obama’s Vision:More Than American Theatrics

October 28, 2010

Sorry for the lack of attention to this site this week.  I blew my wad last week with numerous, serious and soul-searching posts.  Now I am sufficiently re-charged, fired up and ready to go.

I offer to you today the chance to view American theater.  A certain degree of elan and showmanship is required for any public endeavor, politics definitely included.  However, when that need for entertainment, for that 15 minutes of fame, overtakes the need for real substance or requires an attention span longer than an article in People magazine (which is perfectly correlated to the amount of time it takes to move one’s bowels), we are doomed.  Life, liberty and them pursuit of happiness demands a much larger investment.

Remember in high school English class, we were taught to hone our writing skills by learning how to effectively compare and contrast?  In today’s electronic netherworld of instant gratification, I will not require you to think or write.  Rather, I present to you a few videos to satisfy and glorify the sound bite, the craving for that 30 second visual blitz and then, finally, the opportunity to move on past anything “serious” as we hunt for more microsecond highs.

I have included a video of Christine O’Donnell, appearing on a local conservative radio show, staying true to her canned information with an inability to go beyond that.   When asked to use her head and really answer the questions, she declines, but not before she snaps her finger at an a nearby aide to extricate herself from a bad situation:

Avoidance is her method because stupidity is her dominant trait.  If she were to be elected Delaware’s next Senator, can you imagine her, in that venerable chamber of government, calling in the goon squad to extricate herself from those situations that require answers, knowledge and preparation?  This attempt to garner and keep the public limelight without any underlying substance would make the current filibuster rule look like it is essential and effective in enacting legislation.

Also true to American theater, the next three videos are of Jon Stewart’s interview with President Obama.  However, to inquiring minds, this visit is filled with real answers to the questions.  The information is substantive and specifically addresses each question.  That is what can happen when you are dealing with an educated person who gives a damn for those he represents.  President Obama makes no bones about it: he is more interested in helping the next generation rather than reaping the rewards of an immediate media benefit.  What more do his opponents and especially, his supporters want?  The GOP cannot stomach his dark complexion, and pair that fact with his smarts, willingness to work harder than anyone else and his cool demeanor, and you have an entire party that would rather obstruct everything about their President rather than better themselves to help the people they were elected to represent.  This “help” takes time, especially when the exiting structural procedures for governing are obstructionist in and of themselves.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/27/obama-daily-show-jon-stewart-interview_n_775102.html

Two specific mentions of  President Obama in these video’s hit home with me.  First, his intentional, albeit gentle mention of Tom Perriello being a caring man of substance, who is running to hold his House seat in Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District, was a truth-or-dare moment in which the President  challenged us to quit bitching and get out and vote to make a difference.  Likewise his comment on the 10% of health care reform that did not get past as taking on more importance with whining  Americans than the 90% that did get past was gutsy.  True audacity is not subject to an arbitrary 18-month time schedule.  There is nothing “timid” about vision, legacy and progress, which take time and patience.

President Obama IS all that he campaigned on.  The electorate is the culprit here, having no vision or appreciation for the process of change.  For those who criticize President Obama’s long haul in passing health care reform at the expense of a looming, high unemployment rate (an unfair and untrue trade-off), allow me my comments.  First of all, economic cycles are a reality.  Earnings, GNP, and unemployment figures vacillate on a regular schedule.  This is not to take away our recent abuse of the system over the last 20 years which intensified the effects of this recession.  Additionally and not proposed as any form of an excuse for today’s mess, previous administrations have bungled any long term outlook, starting with Ronald Reagan.  His trickle-down economics set the stage for an even greater enrichment of the wealthy at the expense of the struggling middle class.  Make no mistake about it: there was NO trickle-down effect.  The new wealth went straight to the already wealthy.  His encouragement of crippling debt, first in the government arena to supposedly bring down the USSR and then, in the private sector to take the onus of spending off of the government’s back,  was catastrophic for our country.  Nonetheless, this policy set the tone for the next 30 years.  Also, the social safety net fell by the wayside as well.  The strong survived and the needy fell to even lower depths.  Remember when Reagan cut out funding for mental hospitals?  That was the beginning of our downtrodden and homeless sleeping on the streets in droves.  Reagan’s definition of democracy drew on the mantra of personal responsibility and independence and for those with no such options, they were on their own.  Such a view of democracy makes me vomit.

Nevertheless, imagine if the President directed all of his energy to only the issue of unemployment.  Pretend that we would have 100% of American people employed.  What then, if health care had never been passed, and some of these employed people got a devastating illness, had no medical insurance, and were brought down to poverty and bankruptcy anyway, despite their existing jobs?  Quality of life and government must include vision for the future, not just a knee-jerk response to today’s problems.  Governing is not a 30 second sound bite, but a long-term process that includes not only reactions to current situations but also an attention to future problems.  Unfortunately, the election cycle (which is pretty much 24/7 now) of our country coupled with the overwhelming desire for personal gain of our officials and immediate gratification of the electorate has taken over any semblance of sanity in running this country.

In his interview with Stewart, President Obama stands strong and true to all that he promised.  In those famous Hollywood words (again, a nod to our culture of instantaneous wisdom) of Jack Nicholson to Tom Cruise in “A few Good Men”, the twisting and bastardization of the word “honor” becomes clear:

What you see is what you get.  No amount of jealousy or personal inadequacy can block the truth from surfacing.  Barack Obama is a dedicated, honest leader.  We will never have a smarter man holding that office.  Plus, he is in it for the sakes of our children, their future, not for an uptick in the media.  His leadership encompasses vision, which cannot be sacrificed for the sole purpose of the present.   His agenda, while responsive to our immediate needs,  is also invested in delayed gratification, for without a concern for the future, our past and present become irrelevant.  Life is so much more than entertainment and governing must be much more than theatrics.  Can the American people handle the truth?  So far, not so well.

The GOP: A Day Late and a Dollar Short

October 25, 2010

Remember that classic scene from the movie “When Harry Met Sally” in the deli where Meg Ryan does her realistic simulation of having an orgasm?  Then the waitress goes up to the next table and asks the woman what she would like.  The customer, nodding to the Meg Ryan character,  replies, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

That line, my friends, sums up the GOP to a tee.  Not only did Barack Obama win the last presidential election, but he won it big.  How did the Republicans interpret this landslide?  Only in the most superficial way they could.  They thought if an African-American can take the Presidency so decisively, perhaps they too ought to have a black face in the upper echelons of their party, as if Obama’s dark complexion was the real substance behind his success.  Despite their open hostility towards Obama, they wanted what the Democrats had.  Thus, they appointed Michael Steele as head of the RNC.  With an empty platform and a loathing for developing a relevant agenda, the GOP went strictly for the cosmetic approach.  In return, they got a chief whose head is as empty and corrupt as is their organization.  Steele’s recurring gaffes were embarrassing, yet the GOP allowed him to keep his job.  Stupidity, laziness or perhaps a desire, a day late and a dollar short, to emulate President Obama (in skin color only)?  While an obvious racism drives the Republicans in their incessant, across-the-boards attack of our President (it is the only interpretation that explains their total obstructionism), they nonetheless want the same thing, even if it just translates into getting back the power of office.  Go ahead: try to convince me that the GOP has aligned themselves with the Tea Party for any reason other than to hone in on their traction at the polls.

To date, the GOP still has not put forth any innovative answers to the challenges that our country faces.  Cutting taxes and lowering spending just won’t fly anymore.  Nor will their inability to reconcile the slicing of social programs while supposedly protecting social security and Medicare, because that premise is a lie.  Those two sides of the formula are incompatible with each other, both philosophically and fiscally.  The GOP has historically been loyal to the wealthy and apathetic to the rest of us.  Thus, which side of the formula, the lowering of taxes/spending or implementing the necessary social, economic and environmental standards, do you think they will throw to the wayside?

There is an idea that I have discussed before which has to do with getting an opponent, a party, or even a nation, to do the honorable thing.  Force is not the answer.  What IS the answer is that those that take the right, just and compassionate action must make those activities attractive enough so that the other side wants what we have, a la Sally and Harry.  It is a moral issue, but too often it is fueled by personal and national gain instead of concern for the greater good.  We have to make honor respectable again.  The act of doing a good deed, to me, loses a lot of its intent if it is done in REACTION to an event, rather than in ANTICIPATION of that event.  A day late and a dollar short is the phoniest approach there is.  Need I remind you of the weak response the Republican administration offered to the Katrina victims, or their sheer ignoring of global climate warnings, or their disgust with our immigrants who want deserved documentation for doing our dirty work or their condemnation and denial of equal rights for gay soldiers yet, at the same time, their acceptance of the sacrifice of their lives for this country?

Just like the best teachers are those that expect excellence, so too the best leaders are those that want the best possible outcome for their constituents, not for themselves.  One other issue that gets my goat is the GOP’s attempts to undermine our new health care reform.  The attorneys general in over twenty states have filed suit to repeal the new legislation that requires every single American to purchase medical insurance.  If the Republicans think this new law is such an infringement on state’s rights (Have you ever seen state’s rights invoked for cases other than restricting individual constitutional rights?), I wonder what their opinion is on hospitals and physicians providing care, which is the humanitarian thing to do, without being reimbursed by the uninsured?  With provider facilities shutting their doors all across this country due to an inability to meet their overhead, thanks to rising costs in the face of declining revenues, the GOP must realize that this is surely the way to a total government takeover of our health system, which I believe is one of their favorite anathemas.   Perhaps their next step will be to disallow medical treatment for those with no insurance.  It hasn’t been suggested yet, but what other alternative do the Republicans have if millions of people continue to be uninsured?  Over and over again, a day late and a dollar short.

Another example of the GOP being shortsighted is their midterm campaign strategy.  The are totally focused on the fear and anger of the American people, mostly caused by our high unemployment rate.  Here is the real news: the fear of total economic collapse, of a busted housing market, of the lack of a social safety net and of the lop-sided distribution of wealth is old news.  That fear took hold over two years ago, although the anger is currently being mined to the max by the GOP and Tea party.  Now is the time for solutions, but the GOP is once again a day late and a dollar short by dwelling on the fear instead of the fix.

So my friends, if the Democrats should lose the House and even the Senate, life will still go on.  As Rachel Maddow said, things just aren’t that different from the way they were two years ago to expect a total reversal of political fortunes.  There undoubtedly will be some changes, but I, for one, believe those realignments might be beneficial.  For example, at least if we lose one chamber, President Obama can justify putting on his nasty, partisan face, without trying to accomplish a bi-partisanship that has been totally rejected by the GOP.  No more false pretenses.  Peter Baker of the New York Times has summed up that scenario perfectly: “in losing the midterms, there may be winning”:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/24/weekinreview/24baker.html?_r=1&hp

Yes, Nancy Pelosi may just lose her leadership role.  She will land on her feet, not to worry.  She has been the most competent and loyal legislator of the last two years.  Thus, the right-wing hatred of her.  For a party that is systemically a day late and a dollar short, Pelosi is the exact antithesis of that model.  Yet, in true Republican fashion, they still want what we have.  Unfortunately, John Boehner is NOT what we have.  He is too busy working on his tan, showing again that he is just like his party, i.e. a day late and a dollar short.  Hasn’t he heard about skin cancer?

To conclude, I would bet the House, both literally and figuratively, that there is a great deal more risk in governing than campaigning.  However, the potential rewards are likewise greater.  The GOP can no longer ignore that, on the honorable path to national and international peace, prosperity and progress, their reliance on their perennial principle of a day late and a dollar short is just another barrier, a facade, a ruse and a lie.  No pain, no gain.  No guts, no glory.

Follow-Ups: Fellowship and Folly

October 24, 2010

I hate loose ends, so allow me to update a few topics of current interest that I have been following.  But first, I offer my son Chuck a lot of thanks for keeping me informed by sending me many pertinent links.  He can channel my political persona perfectly and is totally in tune with my brand of humor, however sick it may be.

On the serious side, I will begin by turning again to the campaign of Tom Perriello, running for re-election to Virginia’s Fifth House District.  With regard to the grander scope of things,  David Paul is in agreement with me on who really is going to be the victim of the Tea Party, that being the GOP:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-paul/first-amendment-be-damned_b_772816.html

Furthermore, Perriello’s race IS the race to watch as the barometer of tough, close races across the nation:

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/10/getting_the_2010_picture_in_focus.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Talking-Points-Memo+%28Talking+Points+Memo%3A+by+Joshua+Micah+Marshall%29

Finally, Perriello should be getting more support from his party and assuming he wants it, more attention from his President:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/georgepacker/2010/10/tom-perriello-midterms.html

At any rate, his campaign is the one  to emulate, his values are the ones to admire and his honesty is what we should vote for.  Perriello’s race is the gold standard because his character, intellect and judgment are unassailable.  His campaign reflects the man:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/10/22/912829/-Tom-Perriello-shows-how-it-should-be-done?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dailykos%2Findex+%28Daily+Kos%29

Also, another weighty issue is the repeal of DADT.  I finally found a concise explanation of why President Obama is taking the seemingly more difficult path to justice.  His actions are now quite clear to me and I want to share this reasonable, straight-forward interpretation with you:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/21/dadt-conflict-explained-w_n_771035.html

Finally, in the trite and ridiculous department I have three items that need revisiting.  First, I find the actions of Virginia Thomas, wife of the Supreme Court Justice, to be unfathomable.  I just do not get her request for an apology from Anita Hill.  Even given the fact that Mrs. Thomas may not be the brightest bulb in the room, her intentions escape me.  During the last week, Lillian McEwen, a former romantic partner of Mr. Thomas, has surfaced more or less corroborating his behaviors that he demonstrated to Ms. Hill so long ago.  Frankly, I think that McEwen’s too-late-to-the-party confessions are just as inappropriate as Mrs. Thomas’ request for an apology.  Mrs. Thomas must either be having brain spasms in the appropriateness center or perhaps she is mad as hell at her husband and so opened up this new attack on an old story to bring him down.  Certainly her supposed aim of an apology backfired on her.  In the case of McEwen, it is interesting and funny that now since she is retired and probably needs a bit more income, she has sealed a book deal dredging up dirt from twenty years ago.  Her honesty was needed twenty years ago, but of course there was no money in it for her at that time plus she contends that her testimony would have hurt her legal career.  Aah …. talk about character.  Mrs. Thomas and McEwen deserve each other.

Secondly, another idiot has resurfaced: Levi Johnston.  In his recent interview with Bill Maher, Levi (looking a little chunky) does the best he can with the mind he was given and not developed.  If you think Maher is unmerciful towards Levi, Rob Reiner’s reactions are even more heartless.  Yet, perhaps Levi has courted this treatment in his pursuit now of the mayorship of Wasilla, Alaska.  Shoot: he hasn’t even declared if he will run as a Democrat or Republican.  A lesson to Levi: if you want to play with the big boys, you better come prepared, or else you will be laughed off the stage —- or maybe just elected.

Thirdly in the realm of the sublimely preposterous, we have another Bill Maher clip where he comments on the recent texts, tweets, or whatever, of Brett Favre.  Favre aside (and Maher is wrong about women not being interested in Favre’s photos —- there are just as many women as men who will do anything for their fifteen minutes of notoriety), I included this video because I especially like Maher’s comments on Palin, O’Donnell and Bachman.  You might ask why bother to focus on the crass and crude comments of Maher.  The answer is because these fear mongers, although tapping into a real anger expressed by the people, are stupid, selfish and above all, must be prevented from holding public office using any means possible.  The original Mama Grizzly, our Sarah, set forth this strain of  “dare ’em and scare ’em” politics and despite her incompetence, desire for personal gain and penchant for shirking her responsibilities, has a fairly strong public following.  Maher is absolutely correct when he says that if Palin ran against President Obama for the Presidency today, the white male sector would vote her into office in a heart beat.  I disagree with Maher on his comments that women in general wouldn’t vote for her; I believe they would vote her through in droves.

As long as the chance exists for one of these extremist demagogues to hold office, I will fight fire with fire, which includes the crass and crude.  Palin, O’Donnell and Bachman have jumped on the bandwagon of our current populist movement, all the while embracing the restrictive nature of its philosophy.  A true leader would never fall victim to discriminatory elements, despite that it emanates from the electorate.  Rather, an educated leader would place fair and just principles above their winner-take-all battle to get elected.  These three women offer nothing for the unification and thus, problem solving, of our nation.  What they do offer is a divisiveness so deep and destructive that the only winners will be their egos and pocketbooks.  Frank Rich also tackles this “fake populism” of the GOP and Tea Party.

That’s it for my update.  Thanks again to Chuck.

OTHER PERTINENT LINKS:

MoDo in the New York Times today on the right-wing judicial activism of the Supreme Court:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/24/opinion/24dowd.html?_r=1&src=ISMR_HP_LO_MST_FB

Justice Thomas has “The Worst Week in Washington”:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/22/AR2010102202792.html

FACTOID OF THE DAY:

My son has just corrected me.  Re: Brett Favre’s “tweets” are actually called “sexts”.  Who knew?

It’s “Johns”, Not “John” and It’s in Bawlmer, Hon!

October 23, 2010

My husband and I visited our old stomping grounds yesterday.  We went back to our original meeting place, where our almost forty-year-old dance began, the college founded by Johnny Hopkins, in the wonderful city of Baltimore.

The University indeed has an edifice complex like so many other institutions.  In the almost 40 years since we were there, it has grown by leaps and bounds.  Now they have a gorgeous entranceway to the campus, an eye-catching, Georgian-style Welcome Center, as if to announce “look at us now.”   I guess when one is in the business of recruiting and enrolling students who will pay $50,000 or $60,000 a year for the privilege to learn at Hopkins, one should damn well have as an inviting and showy gateway as possible.  At any rate, the school’s many other building projects over the last 40 years have all likewise been true to the founder’s vision of Georgian architecture.  I hope this loyalty to its original visual statement also holds true within their classrooms and laboratories to deliver a classic education.

On the grounds of Hopkins sits the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA).  I love this museum: its manageable size, its quiet yet magnificently wood-crafted galleries and its wonderful collections make the visitor’s experience very calming and conducive to art appreciation.  My favorite piece in the BMA is Vincent Van Gogh’s “Shoes.” Beside the fact that I have always been a shoe whore, there is something very down-to-earth and universal about this image.  During times of stress as a student at Hopkins, often I would walk over to the museum and just stare at this picture until I had things in perspective again.  It always worked.

A major collection in the BMA is the Cone Collection, represented by literally rooms full of gorgeous painting amassed and eventually donated by the sisters Claribel and Etta Cone.  Yes, they had the luxury of financial independence, but they also had great eyes for great art coupled with a deep civic and cultural purpose.  Good on ya’, girls!

Time marches forward and progress has its pros and cons.  I was a bit saddened to see that the BMA no longer uses its gorgeous, staired entrance any longer.  It is sort of like a mini Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY) template.  Instead, they now have a quieter Visitor’s Entrance to the side of the old one.  Of course, upon entering the museum, you are directly funnelled into the gift shop.  However, on the pro side of progress, the BMA now has a fantastic eatery called “Gertrude’s” and the food is to die for.

Here are some photos of my beautiful day in Bawlmer, Hon, with a nod to the past, an appreciation of the present and an anticipation of the future.

Gilman Hall, old but freshly renovated.

True to original plan.

Great place at which to learn and still good eye candy.

Aah ... were it only so that the tenets of academia also apply to our real lives!

Bettering the Da Vinci robot.

Ancient materials, modern design.

Progress: the Hop's welcoming fountain with the BMA newer wing in the background.

All in all, it was a good day to reminisce about what came before, but an even better chance to be thankful for the educational, cultural and romantic opportunities offered to me by my Bawlmer, Hon.

Folksong For Freedom: Vote!

October 22, 2010

My baby girl Maribel is good and pissed.  She is not a political animal, just a concerned, observant and invested human being.  What more could a mother ask for?  A work always and forever in progress, but nonetheless, a mission accomplished so far.  Glory be, she does this mama proud.  Here is her latest song titled “American Soil (Get Out there And Vote)”:

I wish the words were clearer in this song, but Maribel’s determined sentiment is obvious.  From New Mexico to Washington, D.C. to the great northwest, Maribel’s lament for what is, as opposed to what should be, is invigorating and inspirational.  I will try to get a copy of the lyrics and post them.

If you do not want to face the wrath of Maribel, I suggest you get out there and vote this election day.  Far be it for me that I would cross her; I already have voted.

POSTSCRIPT:

Here are the lyrics that I promised you.

American Soil (Get Out There And Vote)

I’m a born and bred American
I love this land I’m living in
And just like all the rest of you
I’m wondering what the hell to do
About climate change and carbon offsetting
Don’t know about you, but I’m betting
On solar and wind and green invention
If only there wasn’t this Great Recession

The way I see it, we bring some people in
Give ‘em a job, and hire up a again
It’ll cost us a great big bucket of money
But it’s such a no-brainer, it’s not even funny
America will set the very best example
We can hang our pride back on the mantle
It’s not about preaching how to live
It’s just times like these, we take initiative

This is where we say goodbye to the patriots of a falsified liberty
Goodbye to the abuse of humanity
Goodbye to the fear and the ugliness of power
How did we allow this on our American soil?

I was born in New Mexico
Where they’re fighting for the right to go
Across the border, it’s a great big fight
But to send ‘em back, well it just ain’t right
‘Cause if the government back in 1910
Had decided not to let some of those folks in
Where exactly would I be today?
And where you be, by the way?

So I was raised in the nation’s capital
Where it goes from scandal to scandal
From protest to protest to rally the crowds
But the marble and limestone will keep it out
It’s been a decade dedicated to war after war
But whoever knew what we were fighting for?
There is no New Deal government
But I still love that Washington Monument

This is where we say goodbye to the patriots of a falsified liberty
Goodbye to the abuse of humanity
Goodbye to the fear and the ugliness of power
How did we allow this on our American soil?

Now I live in the Great Northwest
Once upon a time it was the logger’s best
But someone fought on Mother Nature’s side
And now we got a heaven a coupl’a states wide
So you who mine in the Appalachians
You, with the offshore rigging stations
You, with all that nuclear waste
You’re giving me a bad taste

‘Cause I’m a born and bred American
I love this land we’re living in
And just like all the rest of you
I’m wondering what the hell to do
So even if you’ve got nothing to say
Get out there and vote on Election Day
We all have a right to America’s name
We’re born and we’ll die here, just the same

And oh, the truth, it starts its sinkin’ in
And oh, this mess we’re living in
It’s a grand parade of sinners
Let’s all join hands and take no prisoners

This is where we say goodbye to the patriots of a falsified liberty
Goodbye to the abuse of humanity
Goodbye to the fear and the ugliness of power
How did we allow this on our American soil?
 
music and lyrics by Ali Marcus 2010

Gender Equality in the Silly Season

October 21, 2010

I have said it before and now I will say it again: women can be just as idiotic as men.  Disappointment for those people, especially females, who assumed that women in high places, whether, corporate, political or whatever, would answer to a higher professional and ethical standard, is the real order of the day.  Women are human beings, just like their male counterparts and thus, are subject to the same ambitions and temptations.  During this silly season of the midterm elections,  gender equality vis-a-vis stupidity and questionable practices is all too apparent.

These two articles summarize this observation, the first by Ruth Marcus and the second by Kathleen Parker.  Both appeared in the Washington Post on October 20, 2010.  Marcus writes about female candidates challenging their male opponents to “man up.”  Can you imagine a male politician demanding that of his female opponent?  All hell would break loose.   Tea Party candidates Sarah Palin and Sharron Angle have used that phrase as well.  Why, oh why, would they tout their opponents to “man up” when so many male politicians are duplicitous and dirty?  Not exactly an admirable aspiration.  I especially like Parker’s piece on “mean” girls.  Read them and then never make predictions and generalizations about the sexes.  They usually will not hold up to reality.  Gender is a non sequitur in the determination of character.

Additionally, here are some facts, unbelievable as they may be, that have come to my attention that prove that some women nabobs are just as stupid and mean-spirited as males.  Sarah Palin has announced the schedule of her Tea Party Express Tour, a cross-country pre-election blitz of fifteen stops.  Would you believe, and I kid you not, her stop in Delaware to stump for Christine O’Donnell is on Halloween?  How witchy supernatural.

Can you believe the stupidity of Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court justice Clarence, in requesting an apology from Anita Hill for her accusations against Thomas so many years ago when he went through the vetting process for a seat on that highest bench?  The dubious intention of this request notwithstanding, is this woman out of her mind?  Is it possible that this spouse of the most reticent Justice is so out of tune with reality that she does not see the inappropriateness of her actions, not to mention sticking her nose in where it has no place to be.  Is there something organic wrong with her brain?  Is her ultra-conservatism, her devotion to an extreme religious ethic, overtaking her capacity for reason, not to mention consideration for her husband’s privacy?

The degradation of superlative educational credentials by the GOP and Tea Party speaks more to their own sense of inadequacy.  The women of these parties are no different from the unenlightened men.  While putting down the “elitist” education of President Obama, Sarah Palin isn’t exactly bragging about the five colleges she attended in order to get her degree.  Also, Christine O’Donnell, while saying in one breath how out of touch  well-educated public servants (read “Democrats” and our current Chief of State) are, she downright lies about her own school record in order to provide herself with elitist educational bona fides.  In a recent interview,  she ever-so-proudly touted her graduate “fellowship” from Claremont Institute in constitutional government.  As Anderson Cooper points out, (the pertinent comment appears at 2:50 in the video, though I daresay the entire video is a riot) Claremont Institute is not a university, but rather a conservative think tank and the “fellowship” to which O’Donnell proudly lays claim took a mere seven days to earn.  Chrissie is just as deceitful and hypocritical as the worst male politico.  No gender differences there.

Overall, a person is a person is a person, regardless of his/her gender, and will sink or swim as a human being based on their convictions,  compassion and character.  Just by virtue of being a female does not automatically guarantee a person a higher standard of being.  I am a true believer that women should have equal opportunity and equal rewards.   I readily admit that, a couple of decades ago, I was one of those naive believers that held that women, given an equal chance at life, would be heads and tails way above men in their pursuit of  sense and sensibility.  What a kick in the tush that theory turned out to be.  Unfortunately, the “kinder, gentler” sex can be just as silly as their macho counterpart.

On the flip side, remember that there are decent men holding sway in the public arena and, as a corollary of that, there are competent, caring women as well.  We just need to find them.