Which is worse?
Or this guy:
Am starting to wonder if it’s redundant to have Politics and Stupid People as separate categories.
Which is worse?
Or this guy:
Am starting to wonder if it’s redundant to have Politics and Stupid People as separate categories.
I used to believe, in my younger, more naive days, that politicians believed that they were actually working FOR us (the people), as they had, in fact, been “hired” by us, for a two- or four-year term, to represent our interests.
I realize now that politicians work for whoever is going to write the next, biggest, campaign check, and if they represent anyone’s interests at all, it’s their own.
All I know for sure is that I am immediately, deeply, and profoundly suspicious of decisions such as these that are made quickly, without discussion, and despite the protests of tens of thousands of people.
And apparently, it’s not just me.
It’s a little like the vacuum salesman short on direct answers but eager with the “Andyouonlygetthisdealifyousignonthedottedlineinthenextthreeandahalfminutes.”
Interesting how the fireman and police are exempt from this legislation. Guess we don’t want to piss off the people with the guns.
Maybe this has something to do with it:
So much for serving the people.
Is there a petition somewhere we can sign that disallows Congress from passing laws that include clauses prohibiting repeal? (One would think this was automatic, but apparently not.)
And isn’t it possible that people in “urban” areas are, perchance, voting with at least a wee bit of regard of the “issues”?
But really, no matter how you parse it, it’s not a good thing to say.
Why won’t the Republicans wake up and smell the hummus?
Besides, I’m a middle-class, highly educated white woman living in a midwestern “city” of around 225,000 people. Hardly “urban.” And trust me, vote for him I did not.
He has, however, earned a place in the “Palinschmerz” category. Lucky boy.
Nope, I don’t miss them because first of all, who would, and second of all, who says it’s stopped? (Ann Coulter, Karl Rove, JUST IGNORE THEM AND THEY’LL GO AWAY)
But I just finally listened to my voice mail from the past two weeks (If you called, Deb, Only Daughter, sorry; I can’t seem to remember to actually check my voice mail. My one personality flaw. Glad you each had my cell phone number).
11 voice mail messages, 2 from actual people, 1 a robo call recorded by Bill Clinton (that’s right, Bill Clinton’s voice on my voicemail) and 8 from some version of the Republican Party.
Is it a result of the if-I’m-really-really-irritatingly-persistent-I-might-just-get-my-way tactic tried by 4-year olds everywhere?
And I must be missing something. . .Patraeus having an affair makes him unfit to head the CIA because. . . ? At first we thought there must have been some kind of security breach, but apparently the problem is that his mistress was jealous of some other woman. (Is THAT ironic?)
Whatever. I just don’t get it. We’re living in what is purported to be the “freest” country on the planet, but actually live in the the most puritanical, provincial one. God bless us, every one.
It has been reported that Fordham University has canceled an event at which Ann Coulter was scheduled to speak. You can read the whole article here.
There is a great deal of debate over whether it is better, (and “more” legal), to allow such voices to be heard so that the rest of us can protest or argue or speak back. Or whether such people should be marginalized and ignored. In this case, I’m with the 2nd — her statements aren’t helpful in raising difficult questions or shaping important debates. She is merely hateful, racist, prejudiced, and extreme.
I’m curious, though, what YOU think? Go.
What he said.
(I do wish we could skip the “God Bless America” part, since the implication always seems to be “and f@#$ everyone else.” Like praying that your football team will win, because they deserve it so much better than that other team over there in different-colored shirts.)
And then there’s this.
In a related story, Only Daughter was being harassed a bit yesterday in school by fellow students whose parents voted differently than I did. She pointed out that they were only parroting what their parents said, and didn’t know enough about anything to have any ideas of their own. (I asked her later what SHE thought, and she said she didn’t really think anything yet, although, from what she could tell our guy was more sympathetic than the other guy. I was very proud.) (This is the girl who worries for hours, and feels guilty eating her dinner, if she even SEES a homeless person or someone begging on the exit ramps.)
Her teacher caught wind of some of these arguments, and started to have a nice talk about how American democracy works and how likely it is that in any given election just <50% of people will be unhappy and just >50% of people will be happy. I was thinking, as O.D. reported this, that this was such a wonderful opportunity to talk about differences of opinion and our responsibility to respect them, about reasonable discourse and discussion, about what a privilege it was to vote for our leaders and to be able to talk freely about that vote before and after. Rather, she went right from her first, reasonable point, to this: We are so lucky to live in the best country on the planet.
Yeah, that should help.
“I wish my moderate Republican friends would simply be honest. They all say they’re voting for Romney because of his economic policies (tenuous and ill-formed as they are), and that they disagree with him on gay rights. Fine. Then look me in the eye, speak with a level clear voice, and say, ‘My taxes and take-home pay mean more than your fundamental civil rights, the sanctity of your marriage, your right to visit an ailing spouse in the hospital, your dignity as a citizen of this country, your healthcare, your right to inherit, the mental welfare and emotional well-being of your youth, and your very personhood.’”
It’s like voting for George Wallace during the Civil Rights movements, and apologizing for his racism. You’re still complicit. You’re still perpetuating anti-gay legislation and cultural homophobia. You don’t get to walk away clean, because you say you “disagree” with your candidate on these issues.”
from Dough Wright, found on “Raising My Rainbow“
Guess I should be glad they at least had it on?
Husband and I were just talking about tonight’s upcoming debate as we made our dinner preparations (cornmeal-coated oven-fried chicken tenders; curried sweet potato pancakes with raita).
He’s been reading up on Mitt’s activities during Mitt’s tenure at Bain capital, and on hostile takeovers, buyouts, “reorganizations,” etc. in general. It’s a dirty, cynical, greedy business. Capitalism at it’s most capitalistic.
Tonight’s topic is foreign policy.
My wishes are, basically, two. (I get two wishes, right? Isn’t there a genie in this bottle of bourbon? Drat.)
1. A moderator who actually makes the candidate answer the questions he was asked, and who disallows a candidate talking beyond his allotted time.
2. Candidates who actually tell us something without resorting to campaign-speak. Many argue that the American people don’t know the issues, and respond from a more “intuitive,” reflexive place (somewhere behind their belly button, I think). I argue that if you talk to people like they are children, they think like children, and if you talk to people as if they have a reasonable ability to, well, reason, they will do so.
Call me optimistic, just don’t call me late for dinner.
I’ll be tweeting, if I’m not in the fetal position, moaning.
Caught a glimpse of this out my back window as the sun rose this morning, so rushed out in bare feet and pj’s (it was a crisp 32˚) to snap a picture.
Reminds me of life — darkness and light, sometimes at the same time. Always trying to keep my eye on the light.
In a not-really-related story, decided to impose my own fairness on the debate tonight by, when the speaker’s time was up but they continued to talk, going “Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah. . ” as loud as I could. It really helped.
Have a happy day!
Paul Ryan, in last night’s vice-presidential debate, framed his anti-abortion argument thusly: “According to my religious beliefs, I believe that. . .”
Well, it doesn’t really matter what he says next.
I was actually thinking the other day about how we all kind of impose our own filters on what we hear and read. It used to be that you subscribed to one or two newspapers or news magazines, and you probably would have read at least a little bit into articles on many topics, including some written by people who had a different opinion or belief system than you did.
Now we unfriend people on facebook if their pages become too political or too personal or if they disagree with us on our walls, and we read numerous blogs written by people who think like us. And I’ve been wondering if any of us really listen to people who have different opinions, and also if any of us can even frame an argument in a way that is convincing, articulate, and not defensive.
My argument against Ryan’s is this: It doesn’t matter what your religious beliefs are. 1. You’re running for office in a country that was presumably founded on a basic principle of religion and government functioning completely independently from each other. 2. Your religious beliefs are not necessarily mine, which means you don’t get to impose the conclusions you come to based on them onto me or anyone else.
I was nauseated by his smirking facial expressions, much as I was by Romney’s last week. A friend of mine commented on facebook that she thought that Joe Biden was condescending. So, at the risk of sounding like Carrie Bradshaw, I can’t help but wonder — do we only see and hear what we want to see and hear?
Okay, so Mitt did better than we expected, which isn’t really all that big a deal since we, well at least I, expected so little.
Obama looked like he’d rather have been just about anywhere. He seemed resigned. Or tired. I was frustrated by how Mitt almost without exception got the last word, and that Jim didn’t do a better job making them a) conform to their time limits and b) alternate more conscientiously between who went first and who went last.
Of course part of that was because Mitt was just frequently rude, and would keep talking and talking. And then there was that idiotic grin at the end of every statement, like “HA! Didn’t think I’d have an answer for that one did ya’? Well I did, so there.”
The arguments Obama should have made:
1. No, Mitt, you must not have the right accountant, since you had enough money left in this country that you had to pay any taxes at all.
2. Money spent on the oil industry is a subsidy paid to companies that don’t need it, and money down the drain; money spent on green energy is an investment in the future of the planet and in our ability to compete down the road with the Chinese, who are spending a lot more on green energy infrastructure right now than we are, and we will rue the day if we don’t do more to keep up with them. Speaking of jobs. We were speaking of jobs, right?
3. Speaking of jobs, Mitt claims he will create 12 million jobs. Of course, like every other one of his promises or “plans,” that’s all we get — the statement, “I will create 12 million jobs.” Out of Play-Doh?
(Speaking of the plans, a friend posted on facebook last night: Obama: “Let me tell you about my plan…” Romney: “Forget that – awesome stuff for everyone!” Obama: “Details?” Romney: “(Details to be announced.) But did I mention how awesome it’s going to be?” and a friend of his commented: “I don’t know numbers, but I know awesome, and let me tell you: it is a plan, and it is awesome. Yes, this plan is a very planned plan…and it is definitely awesome. You might say it’s an awesome plan.”)
Something like that.
4. Mitt lies. Over and over, making up stuff. Obama cut 716 billion from Medicare? Mitt wants to cut taxes for the middle class? (Since when, yesterday morning?) (Another lie: Mitt’s health care plan would cover preexisting conditions. But not really.)
Obama didn’t call him out on any of them. Was he asleep? Wishing he were having dinner with Michele?
5. Mitt will lower tax rates and then eliminate loopholes so that the same amount of money will be coming into the federal government as before. Umm, isn’t this then, like the same thing? Oh, you’re right, it’s not. Because the elimination of the loopholes will operate on a sliding scale, he actually admitted this last night, so that it has less impact on those at the upper levels of the income scale, which means the poor and middle class will pay more in taxes and the rich will pay less.
6. Mitt “reached across the aisle” to pass a government-based health care plan, with 87% of the legislature being Democrats. This is an example of his ability to get things done in Washington and work with everyone. Not much of a reach really, when 87% of the legislature is already with you, plus a lot of the Republicans since government-based health care was originally a Republican idea. Way to go, Mitt!
No mention of the fact that the Republican legislator’s primary stated goal in 2008 was to keep Obama to a single term. Guess that would have sounded petulant and defensive.
7. He likes coal!
Where was my president? Too polite to go too far over his allotted time? Too conscientious to force revelations into barely-related questions?
This is probably going to seem mean-spirited, but I found this clip to be mildly amusing.
Romney’s latest: Democrats should stop taking money from the teacher’s unions, as it presents an inexcusable conflict of interest.
Unlike all those donations from corporations. Guess that’s ‘cuz corporations are people too; but teachers, apparently, are not?
This, also from the article linked to above, is pretty precious as well: “I know something about polls and I know you can ask questions to get any answer you want.”
Like the ones you quote when you say you’re in the lead?
Just keep talkin’ Mitt. Just keep talkin’.
(Clicking on each headline should take you to the article in its entirety.)
(This right after his brilliant suggestion that we “kick [the difficult problems in the Middle East] down the road and hope someone else comes up with a solution.”)
To sum up: Apparently Mitt believes that he is in a dead heat with Obama, ” . . . an outright denial of political reality, but Mr. Romney’s willingness to stray from the truth is at the root of what’s really going on.”
and. . .
an article which includes the line: “And we need to ask whether we now have an electoral process so vacuous, vicious and just plain silly that most people in their right minds wouldn’t go anywhere near it.”
Which reminds me of this. (Click “this” to read it.)
If only we had a Holocaust cloak and a wheelbarrow. (I’m not really sure why the above reminded me of this clip, but it did. Maybe it was just the use of “to sum up.” It’s a good clip, either way.)
“You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize this is going to remain an unsolved problem,” adding, “And we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately somehow, something will happen to resolve it.”
Just as I thought.
Cluelessness, Powerlessness, Idea-less-ness as the latest campaign “strategy.” Who knew?
He has earned his inclusion in “Palinschmerz” — a category that includes all politicians who embody blatant idiocy on and off the political stage. Nice of him to do some of Obama’s campaigning for him.
Watched Michelle two nights ago, Elizabeth Warren (honk if you’d like to elect HER president in 2016) and Clinton last night, Obama tonight.
Reveled in the diversity in the audience.
Cried a little (I’m a big fat baby, but still).
So just one question remains:
I’m so tired of the lies.
And that they don’t even care, to the point where they are quoted as saying ingenious things like they don’t want their campaign to get bogged down in fact-checking.
I’m completely disheartened.
So much so that I spent the week unsubscribing from every political action group I get emails from because there are too many and it’s too hopeless and I don’t even read them any more.
I don’t know if I should send money to People for the American Way or save up to move to Canada.
And I don’t think anyone even listens to what’s actually said — I guess that’s why they all get away with it.
So Clint Eastwood cried years after Obama was elected and millions were out of work.
But what about the millions that were out of work before Obama was in office? Not so much?
And then we get this pearl of wisdom:
Never mind who helped get Motor City fighting again. Why bother with such a trivial detail when we can just say the part of the truth that serves us and omit the rest?
He is an idiot.
You gotta love it when your political opponent does your campaigning for you.
Only Daughter: Someday if I’m rich I’m going to give most of my money away because I would feel really badly about having so much when some people have so little.
Me: (thinking many things, including “does that mean you’ll pay me back for the thousands of dollars I’ll have spent on gymnastics classes and college?“) Wow. That’s really generous of you. Some people would say that that makes you a “Socialist,” and the Republicans won’t like you for it.
Only Daughter: What’s the difference between a Democrat and a Republican?
Me: (thinking that I should be really careful to give a balanced answer, and not only because this might be a conversation I want to blog about later, but because I want her to think for herself not just spout whatever dogma she hears from me) Well, Democrats think that the world is a better place if we all take care of each other, so we should all have as many of the same chances as we can, and even though we should all work hard and do our best, sometimes we need a little extra help; Republicans believe that we should all “pull ourselves up by our own boot straps,” and that even when things are tough things will work out better if we are each responsible for ourselves.
Only Daughter: So how many Republicans are there? Like 5?
One of the best lines I’ve read re: the presumptive nominee:
“. . .any person who tells you he or she truly ‘understands’ Mitt Romney is either lying or a corporation.”
You can read the whole thing here.
Roger Ebert has reviewed the new movie Game Change, starring Woody Harrelson as one of McCain’s advisers, Ed Harris as John McCain, and Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin. The movie itself looks really good, but Sarah Palin makes me so angry just on principle, (kind of like how our cat feels about the dog), that I’m not sure watching it would be a good idea.
It does reveal two interesting things I did not know before:
The incessant repetition of her trademark tag lines was scripted, a way the advisers devised to keep her from revealing how incredibly ignorant she was, and some of the advisers were so disgusted by her that they themselves were unable to vote for McCain.
I don’t find either one of those things very hard to believe.
I’d ask where is she, but I don’t really care. I’m just glad she’s disappeared.
642 hits so far today, wait, now it’s 669, mostly by people apparently looking for a picture of J-Lo’s nipple. In fact, this seems not to be that rare of a sighting; maybe you should just keep paying attention and someday you, too, can claim that you saw it, along with most of the modern Western world. We can all say we knew you when.
I apologize to my faithful readers, if you feel that you are being unfairly scolded. A good opportunity to apply the “if the shoe fits, wear it” adage.
Wouldn’t we all be better off if we spent more time thinking/worrying/doing something about/empathizing over things like politics, religion, parenthood, marriage, life, womanhood; things that matter I imagine, no, hope, to many in the world?
I don’t have a picture of J-Lo’s nipple, and I’m not going to look for one, although nothing’s stopping you from trying here.
I thought, briefly, about putting up a picture of one of mine, but that would just be weird, and wrong, and weirdly wrong, and I imagine there are at least 15 of you out there who just heaved a giant sigh of relief. (The rest of you, please just keep whatever you’re thinking to yourself thankyouverymuch.)
You’ll have to content yourself with this nipple-like picture of the halo effect caused by a lunar eclipse.
Besides, a nipple’s a nipple. What possible difference could it make?
Ew. Just made the mistake of looking to see if I could find a picture of a “generic” nipple to post.
Now I have to go poke my eyes out.
Tomorrow we shall return to serious topics, like Rick Santorum saying that the separation of church and state makes him feel sick to his stomach. Take THAT Tea Partiers.
I know I “promised” at some point to post a soup recipe every Sunday, but we didn’t make soup today.
I did make some kick-ass oatmeal bread recipe yesterday, though. I’ll put the recipe at the end.
Just some observations for now.
1. Veterinarians should seriously reconsider using anesthesia for any surgical procedures involving dogs. I’m thinking peanut butter in a Kong is sufficient.
2. Apparently, the line between political candidates and organizations known as “PACs” is getting blurry, casting doubt on whether it is actually possible that the one hand does not know what the other hand is doing.
3. Many of the leaders in our government seem to think that the U.S. offers some kind of moral compass; an ideal for the rest of the world to strive for.
This, in retaliation for American soldiers openly burning copies of the Koran. (If, as they say, they contained “messages,” couldn’t they have been burned maybe a little more discretely? How would Americans react to Islamists burning Bibles? Sheesh — a little respect wouldn’t hurt anybody.)
This, depicting American soldiers urinating on slain foes.
Or how about this, where our rights of due process etc., etc., seem only to apply to American citizens.
Wouldn’t our arguments about human rights have a little more validity if we applied them to, well, humanity?
4. Mod*el: perfect example: an excellent example that deserves to be imitated
At the risk of repeating myself.
The last thing I want my daughter to be “modeling” herself after. How about, instead,
5. Started using the “Fitness Tracker” app on Friday. Decided that it was appropriate for me to compare how much I’m actually eating to how much I think I’m eating. It’s been very revealing. You do “earn” calories by exercising, so that’s a good motivation, but most of the calorie information comes from prepared foods and we prepare most of our food ourselves, so that’s a bit of a bother.
Have also discovered that higher-than-expected percentage of my daily caloric intake is in the form of alcohol. That sounds bad. Mostly wine with dinner, but I do enjoy a little tippet of cognac (for medicinal purposes) as well, especially on these cold February nights. Am thinking I can balance it out by walking further or doing more vigorous yoga. Not sure what it says about me that I need to think twice about whether I want cheese on my chili or that 2nd glass of wine. . .
Anyway, according to the tracker, if every day is like yesterday I will have lost 8 lbs in 5 weeks. We’ll see.
Oatmeal Bread (Husband claims this is the best bread he has ever eaten. He might just be being nice, but still.)
Prepare 1.5 c. of steel cut oats (dry) for breakfast, following instructions on the can.
Leave 2 c. of prepared oats in a separate bowl. Eat the rest (giving the lion’s share to Husband, who likes porridge a heck of a lot more than you do), sprinkled with dried cranberries and with maple syrup and soymilk.
Soften 1 pkg. of yeast in 1/3 c. warm water.
When the 2 c. of remaining oatmeal has cooled, with the flat paddle on the mixer and the mixer running, add 3 T. canola oil, 1/2 c. brown sugar, 2 tsp. salt, and the yeast/water mixture.
Add 2 c. whole wheat flour; keep beating until the dough begins to get very stringy/stretchy.
Switch to the dough hook; add another 2 c. of unbleached flour.
Allow the dough to knead until completely smooth — 5-7 minutes.
Add another scant 1/2 c. of unbleached flour and let knead just until flour completely incorporated.
Allow to raise in a buttered bowl, punching down twice.
Divide and place in 2 buttered 8″ bread pans.
Allow to raise again (this is a good time to take a nap, or a “nap,” whichever you prefer).
Bake for 35 minutes at 350˚, 325˚ if using a convection oven.
Cool out of pans on a wire rack. If you can’t wait and must slice it while hot, turn it on its side first.
Really, really good.
It’s said that, all told, $6 billion will be spent on the 2012 presidential election.
I can’t help but wonder how many children that would feed, or educate, or pay health care costs for. How many factories or schools could be kept open. How many college scholarships could be provided. How many roads and bridges repaired.
Maybe if we gave money to the thing that we feel most strongly about, or that actually needs our support, rather than to the person we think will help get us that thing we’d all be better off.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Started snowing at 9 a.m. yesterday and was still snowing when I went to bed.
Here is what greeted us when we awoke this morning.
So the heart is hiding the kiss, and the star is hiding. . .? Is it possible that no one in editing noticed that this was a little strange?
Reporting on the primary in Nevada included a photo from a “Pimping for (Ron) Paul” event. Seems like maybe Mr. Paul would ask them to please, maybe, come up with a different name? Or is he being ironic? I guess it’s possible that some politicians recognize that they are, basically, ahem, selling themselves to the highest bidder sotospeak. Maybe we should congratulate him on his honesty.
Speaking of honesty, do you trust this face?
Meh. Me, neither.
Politics: Is it really possible that the Republican party can’t come up with someone more viable than Mitt Romney and his millions and his condescension, or Newt Gingrich and his volatility and personal and professional unreliability?
Religion: Read this post by the Circular Runner. (Another one of those “what he said” moments.)
Home: Dexter the Dancing Dog has seriously backslid on potty training. I hope it’s just a teething phase or something. He was with Only Daughter at Only Daughter’s Dad’s (ODD?) house for the weekend — complete upheaval, probably, and I think he missed me. He won’t get out of my lap this morning. He’s very soft and cuddly, so it’s okay.
Culture: Saw two great movies on DVD over the weekend — Contagion and The Conspirator. The whole time I was watching Contagion I was worrying about picking up my own wine glass in case I was going to catch something. And Marion Cotillard has the most beautiful accent I’ve ever heard. Robin Wright was absolutely amazing in The Conspirator, and the issues addressed: the rights of civilians to civilian trials, the beliefs held by people in power that law can and should be suspended in times of “war,” hit way too close to home and the Bush/Iraq era.
Books: Just finished reading Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending. Loved it. Don’t know what to read next. Any suggestions?
Music: Does anyone know how to use Ping? I want to be able to post music for my piano students to listen to. I thought that was kind of what it’s for but I can’t figure out how to use it.
Music part 2: Just finished putting the whole book of Honk! on CD for an area high school for rehearsals. Nothing like trying to learn and record an entire musical in a week, not to mention the 2-hour long argument I had to mediate last night between my digital recorder and iTunes. (I prevailed, finally.) Does anybody know why iTunes insists on reordering things when importing? I had to manually drag all of the tracks around (3 times, because the first two times didn’t seem to transfer correctly) and then when I burned it to the CDs it removed all of the labels from the tracks. REALLY FRUSTRATING! Although I’m sure it has a lot more to do with me not really knowing what I’m doing than about the limitations of the program itself.
Blogging: Two blogs I’ve recently discovered which I’m really enjoying: Redamancylit, where the blogger posts excerpts from various writings, many of them profoundly beautiful; and musicandstroke, written by a friend of mine, a percussionist, who suffered a stroke about a year ago, and who writes about the recovery process and how different life/the world looks afterwards. Check them out!
Family: First Son is about to turn 22. Why does that sound so much older than 21? And Only Daughter will be 11 on Wednesday. Sheesh.
Some pictures from the last week of facebook postings:
And this, just because you can never have too many boots, or cats:
He might have written this in 1939, but he could just as well have written it today. This makes me very sad. Does nothing change? Do we not learn anything? We’re not evolving, we just, must, keep doing the same thing over and over and over again, hoping it will be different, at least for us.
I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.
Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.
Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.
Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
And the international wrong.
Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.
The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.
From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
‘I will be true to the wife,
I’ll concentrate more on my work,’
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the dead,
Who can speak for the dumb?
All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.
Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.
Maybe they should just go with the one person who actually seems to know anything.
Anybody know who that might be?
He seems not to have read the Constitution, especially the part about the separation of church and state.
And what about freedom of religion? Doesn’t that, if one so chooses, also include freedom from religion? Why should some people’s religious celebrations — i.e. Christmas, be forced on every child in the room?
And what does being gay in the military have to do with anything? As far as I know, working next to someone who is gay not only doesn’t make me gay (last I checked it wasn’t contagious), but it doesn’t make me feel badly (other, separate, different) for not being gay. That is not the experience of children being forced to pray — either directly, or through the peer pressure of being the one of few in the room who are not.
And religion, of any sort, is a personal choice, and has no place in a state-run organization.
Americans are talking about the economy—a lot. They’re talking about Occupy Wall Street and the Super Committee, about an economy that only works for the 1% and about unemployment.
But thanks to Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, lots of talk about the economy means lots of misinformation about the economy.
So if you’re spending this Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family, and want to be ready with the facts to gently correct any myths you hear (they are family and friends, after all), we put together a short guide with five common myths you might hear and easy-to-remember facts to respond to them.
Looking for the picture above, found this:
Some things that made me laugh, or nod my head, or laugh and nod my head, from Stephen Marche’s “Wouldn’t it be Cool if Shakespeare Wasn’t Shakespeare?” riff from the NYTimes.
The article is written in response to the movie “Anonymous,” which claims that Shakespeare’s works were actually written by one Edward de Vere. Of course this is bunk, and I won’t get into that now. But he (Marche) put a couple of things particularly succinctly, and amusingly, which I wanted to share.
You don’t have to be a truther or a birther to enjoy a conspiracy theory. We all, at one point or another, indulge fantasies that make the world seem more dangerous, more glamorous and, simultaneously, much more simple than it actually is. But then most of us grow up. Or put down the bong.
The original Oxfordian, the aptly named J. Thomas Looney, who proposed the theory in 1920, believed that Shakespeare’s true identity remained a secret because, he said, “it has been left mainly in the hands of literary men.” In his rejection of expertise, at least, Looney was far ahead of his time. This same antielitism is haunting every large intellectual question today. We hear politicians opine on their theories about climate change and evolution as a way of displaying how little they know. When Rick Perry compared climate-change skepticslike himself to Galileo in a Republican debate, I dearly wished that the next question had been “Can you explain Galileo’s theory of falling bodies?” Of all the candidates with their various rejections of the scientific establishment, how many could name the fundamental laws of thermodynamics that students learn in high school? Healthy skepticism about elites has devolved into an absence of basic literacy.
The Shakespeare controversy, which emerged in the 19th century (at that time, theorists proposed that Francis Bacon was Shakespeare), was one of the origins of the willful ignorance and insidious false balance that is now rotting away our capacity to have meaningful discussions. The wider public, which has no reason to be familiar with questions of either Renaissance chronology or climate science, assumes that if there are arguments, there must be reasons for those arguments. Along with a right-wing antielitism, an unthinking left-wing open-mindedness and relativism have also given lunatic ideas soil to grow in. Our politeness has actually led us to believe that everybody deserves a say.
The problem is that not everybody does deserve a say. Just because an opinion exists does not mean that the opinion is worthy of respect. Some people deserve to be marginalized and excluded. There are many questions in this world over which rational people can have sensible confrontations: whether lower taxes stimulate or stagnate growth; whether abortion is immoral; whether the ’60s were an achievement or a disaster; whether the universe is motivated by a force for benevolence; whether the Fonz jumping on water skis over a shark was cool or lame. Whether Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare is not one of these questions.
Sitting on the couch with husband, watching hockey, feeling like a lump.
Say to husband: “I feel like a canker on a boil on the goiter of the neck of life.”
Husband: “What’s a goiter anyway? From the way it sounds, it can’t be good.
Then made the mistake of looking up pictures of each of the above.
Will probably have vividly horrible dreams tonight, and I have only myself to blame.
Speaking of goiters on the neck of life, (and I mean no disrespect for people who actually suffer from such terrible conditions. Yet another reason for me to be grateful), watch this:
Oops is right. On so many levels: 0n him (idiot), on his staff who woefully underprepared him, and on anyone who thought for even 5 seconds that this man was qualified to be a candidate for President.
(sorry about the title; it’s from YouTube, and I can’t seem to change it)
This reveals, as I always suspected, that Michelle Bachman is, truly, an idiot.
Two tidbits from the NPR report regarding the alleged sexual harassment charges against the Republic party’s newest “golden boy.” (I tried to write that without irony; what is the typing-on-a-laptop equivalent of snorting coffee out your nose?)
1. He claims not to remember the woman who has come forward with allegations regarding him groping her in a car as she was talking with him about getting a job. But then he claims that she is a disturbed person, and one who is apparently in some kind of financial difficulties. Interesting how much he knows about someone he doesn’t “know.”
2. He also claims that the Democratic “machine” is at work trying to undermine his legitimacy. There is no Democratic machine. That’s probably the biggest single thing that prevents them from competing with Republicans in political machination-type activities. Sheesh. He might want to make the argument that a Presidential candidate for one of the world’s most powerful and influential countries doesn’t need to know the name of Uzbeki-beki-beki-stan, but he should at least know that.
Maybe he’s just not paying attention.
Art Pope, who inherited from his father of a chain of discount shops known as Variety Wholesalers (basically a smaller but still incredibly profitable version of WalMart), is systematically purchasing legislative seats in North Carolina. (Click on the picture for a link to the whole article.)
He claims this is all done out of completely altruistic motives — rampant capitalism and the creation of wealth as the system that will save the world. His explanation of the existence of poverty and low incomes is that these are merely a factor of youth and poor education, but “usually, as people get older. . .they [will] save and retain wealth, and [eventually] work their way up.” He also claims that most poverty exists as a result of “self-destructive behavior.” Tell that to the nearly 33% of the minority children living in his state who are living in poverty. What were their self-destructive acts, one might ask? Being born to the wrong parents?
Meanwhile, he funds battles (even more easily than he did before, thanks to helpful decisions like Citizens United) that put people who think like him into state government and on school boards and as trustees of major universities where budgets are cut and one of the best integration systems in the country is decimated, seeming completely to miss the point that he has made earlier — that a lack of education is one of the things that keep people from prospering.
And never mind the fact that he was born into wealth, status, and privilege, and that the “work ethic” that produced most of his wealth comes from the parents he was born to, the writing of the will that passed it on to him, and the people who work for his company at minimum wage.
He claims to be both a “traditional conservative” and a “classical liberal” (whatever that means), and that his philosophy is based in his belief in the “marketplace of ideas.” Meanwhile, he machinates the drastic cutting of university budgets, followed by a benevolent offer to donate millions of dollars to fund programs that would turn liberal-arts educations into “personal creation of wealth” trade schools.
So many voters have been beguiled by the (family foundation-run) Civitas-sponsored robo-calls and misleading-to-the-point-of-racist-sexist-and/or-libelous postcards deposited into their mailboxes that Republicans have gained a majority in the North Carolina legislature for the first time in a hundred years.
Pope reassures us, though, that there’s plenty we can do about it. If his opponents disagree, they’re welcome to “fund their own side.”
Because all those people working minimum-wage jobs and/or struggling to put their children through colleges that are getting more and more difficult to afford have the resources to do so.
We’re selling our country, and the running of it, to the highest bidder. When will we stop being sheep? When will we stop believing every ridiculous lie told to us by the people with money we all secretly wish we had? When will we hang up on the robo-calls and throw the postcards into the trash where they belong and actually bother to research the people for whom we are being asked to vote? And where are the true liberals — those who believe in both economic opportunity and social responsibility, those who recognize both the benefits of a free market and its perils, those who can frame our arguments in compelling and actionable terms, those who not only believe that we have a moral responsibility to make this world the best we possibly can for everyone but who can help us recognize that what is best for each of us is what is good for everyone?
I thought it would be Obama. I’m not sure anymore, especially because he seems to be so busy being conciliatory and careful he never really seems to stand up for what I’m sure he still believes in. But I am sure that it isn’t any of the current Republican candidates either, and I am constantly perplexed by the centrists who voted for Obama, are disappointed in what has or hasn’t happened since his election, and think that Rick Perry or Mitt Romney might be a viable alternative.
Meanwhile I’m too busy trying to scrape together a living from my three part-time jobs to participate in marches on any street, and am tiring of the flooding of my inbox by petitions that need to be signed and worthwhile causes that need donations. Where is all that wealth I’ve been educated for (doctoral degree) and work for and still can’t seem to accumulate while I pay down my $120,000 mortgage and try to put three kids through college?
Or maybe having three children without a multi-millionaire father and business to inherit qualifies as “self-destructive.”
“Representative Michele Bachmann’s law education sought to combine traditional teaching with charismatic Christian belief.“
. . .where she got this “law” degree from?
Crap. Curiosity got the better of me, and I’ve now discovered that her study of law was pursued at the venerable institution of, you probably guessed it, Oral Roberts University.
Here’s a quote from the school’s dean at the time of her matriculation:
The aim. . .was to train the next generation of legal minds to “integrate their Christian faith into their chosen profession,” and to “restore law to its historic roots in the Bible.”
Hmmm. Is it just me, or does that sound an awful lot like the goals of Islam.
Apparently, at a forum last month in South Carolina, she criticized President Obama’s policies on health care, immigration and education as unconstitutional, saying the 2012 election would turn on how candidates interpret “’that sacred document.’”
The constitution? “Sacred”?
So much for the separation of church and state.
Even if I think I know what I think she thinks she means, the use of the word in this context makes me cringe. Oh, let’s face it, she just makes me cringe. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d like ANY candidates for presidency who are supported by more than 5 people in this country not to be stark-raving idiots.
We can all be comforted by the fact that the school ran out of money and closed in 1986.
At least there’s that, then.
Finally: “Oral Roberts University was chartered in 1963 as an educational home for charismatic Christians, and placed a particular emphasis on the Spirit-given ability to speak in tongues.”
Oh! That’s what she’s doing!!! Why didn’t somebody tell me? At least that makes sense.
1. Senator Brown posed nude for Cosmopolitan to help pay tuition for law school?
2. Senator Brown, when questioned about Elizabeth Warren’s statement that she kept her clothes on, and took out student loans to pay her bills, responded with “Thank God”?
3. Cosmopolitan carries pictures of naked men? Since when?
But seriously, Credoaction.com circulated a petition this morning asking Senator Brown to apologize. It went on for two pages.
I have just a couple of questions.
First: Are we so short on attention span or lacking in commitment to an idea we must have a link to click on every three column inches or we won’t be bothered? Is it too much work to scroll up in an email? The problem is, if you’re like me and don’t really like to be told what to do or what to think, by the third iteration you’re probably just feeling irritated and/or rebellious. (No. I don’t wanna. You can’t make me.)
And, while his comment on her supposed level of attractiveness may be what is making some people angry, isn’t what we really should be getting angry about the fact that he could pose nude and dismiss it with an offhand comment while any woman doing the same thing wouldn’t be elected township clerk?
It seems to me like this is all just a bunch of noise to distract us from some of the real issues at hand.
Why don’t we talk, instead, about what Ms. Warren said so eloquently, and which, as far as I can tell, remains unanswered?
My feelings about this, this pathological avoidance of actually talking about things that actually matter, are being fanned by the latest statistic:
So, while police posts are closed, and our roads and bridges crumble, and unemployed benefits are cut, and disadvantaged college students limp to class because they can’t afford health care for their chronic neurological problems, and art and music programs are removed from schools, and teacher’s pay is cut, CEOs who make four hundred and seventy five TIMES what the average worker makes shouldn’t be asked to pay more in taxes.
And this opinion is popular among the masses because ???
I DON’T GET IT!
Sorry, I’ve gone way off on a tangent.
Or maybe not. Tangents seem to be the method of choice by most politicos to deflect actual conversation, actual decisions, actual acts. Better just to talk about stuff, and say a lot of things that don’t matter, or don’t mean anything.
Mitt Romney, today: “If you want a president who wants the United States to be the most powerful nation in the world, I’m your man. If not, well, you have that President already.”
The questions of a) what makes a country “powerful,” and b) why does the United States have to always be the MOST powerful (isn’t that what kind of pisses off everybody else about us?) remain to be answered.
Did she hear me?
And is it redundant to put this in both the Palinschmerz and the Stupid People categories?
And active at what?
Let’s hope it limits itself to:
At least then only the wildlife gets hurt.
I can’t help but think what a tremendous waste of resources this is. You might as well just flush it down the toilet. It’s money spent on “public service” ads: ads that don’t really say anything about people who change what they think or mean or say they’ll do depending on which way the wind is blowing.
Meanwhile, 12,000 Michigan families will lose their jobless benefits in 2 weeks, more than half of our state police posts are closing, and Europe’s about to implode under the combined weight of Greece, Italy, and Ireland.
Wonder how many people $114 million would feed.
This system makes me sick. Nobody’s listening to the voices of the people, nobody’s looking out for the country or the world or any of us. They’re spending money so they can win, so they can protect the interests of the people who helped them get elected.
I jut heard that Steve Jobs died today.
Now I’m too sad to think.
“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”
If you actually vote for this guy.
I don’t know which is scarier: that someone actually thought this ad might be convincing of Rick Perry’s suitability for president, or the fact that I’m quite sure there are many MFA’s watching this, nodding their heads, saying things like “Yeah, son” or “Right on.”
Subtle it’s not — the horses! The waving flags!
I think I’m going to be sick.
1. What’s up with needing an invitation to Pinterest? Do they actually do some kind of research or something to make sure you’re not some kind of a rabble rouser or derelict? And how can they tell from my email address? I can just hear the conversation: “She uses comcast; probably a Communist.” Or are they going to evaluate my time-management skills to determine if I can enjoy the site without it destroying my ability to meet the obligations of my employment?
You’ll be relieved to know I’ve been accepted, although it calls to mind Mark Twain’s comment about being reluctant to be a member of a club which would have him as a member.
And this must be done on purpose, right? They aren’t actually that stupid?
Oh, just found out that I can’t join Pinterest without linking it to my facebook account. The Plot Thickens.
And no, thanks. Big Brother watches me enough, thank you. (And just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean the world ISN’T out to get you.)
2. Drove an hour to pick up my mom at a meeting place after her last radiation treatment for a brain tumor. Was an hour early because Flaky Me transposed the hour of departure into the hour of arrival. Killed time at a book store that had more gifts than books, but I guess we all do what we have to to survive.
I did seriously consider buying a book of “Good Karma/Bad Karma” checks, but decided that, as entertaining as they were, I probably would never have the nerve to actually use one, although I would have liked to have had something to use on the the gum-chewing, rap-listening teeny-bopper ditz-brain who cut me off (from behind, which is difficult to do) at my last exit. A club might have come in hand. Apparently HER right blinker means she is going into the right lane, but MY right blinker doesn’t. Maybe I should award her a good karma check for her brazen tenacity in getting to that red light one car before me.
Anyway, I bought two promising novels off the remaindered table, for $5.99 apiece. It’s the end of the world as we know it; the fall of the Roman Empire. Combine that with the prospect of Rick Perry as president and I need to either kill myself or move to Canada.
He needs one of those Tshirts
Mom reports that doctor is encouraging re: her desire to donate her body to science, as her prognosis has exceeded the usual prognosis for this type of cancer by about 4 years. Her response is that prayer has made all the difference. Does that mean that the people who died within the first year of their diagnosis weren’t prayed for? Or God didn’t love them? Or the people didn’t pray hard enough? Or God had “some other message,” which, in His infinite wisdom Has Not Yet Been Revealed?
I was a good daughter, and only mentioned the possibility that other people may have been prayed for, too, and then changed the subject to, well, something, I don’t remember. Now I know that her faith gives her a lot of comfort and hope etc., etc., but I just can’t reconcile the whole idea of God healing some people because of prayer and not others. It just doesn’t seem fair to me, and if there is a God, it seems like he ought to be, at the very least, fair.
I then drove 2 hours to meet a friend of hers, who was picking her up to deliver her home. I felt like it was a relay, and she was the baton.
All went well, and only a little behind schedule, and then
3. Waiting for Only Daughter’s choir to finish rehearsing, and this huge storm blows in. Hail, and gale-force winds, and heavy rain and all of the kids are Ooooohing and Aaaaahing and the director is pointing out that there’s no lightning (flash, boom) and no tornado sirens (Weather.com: Severe Thunderstorm Warning) etc. etc. to try to calm everyone down. Six minutes later it’s over.
I get home, and the power’s off.
4. Ate antelope stew from the slow cooker (I know, right?) and then washed the dishes with water from the dehumidifier. Prairie women got nothin’ on me.
5. Listening to NPR on the way home from O.D.’s choir. How cynical are we, that we report, with great aplomb, that the United States Government has seen fit to fund its activities for the next four days.
The power’s off until just now — 10 p.m.; 3 hours later.
This is typical for our neighborhood.
Only Daughter wonders if maybe we should move.
Now I need to go down and see if I can light the pilot on the water heater without setting my hair on fire. Like I did last time. And no, I wasn’t drunk at the time. They’re long, wussy, matches.
Maybe she’d do better if she kept it shut.
Not that I mind if she reveals herself to be the idiot that she is.
“Maybe she’s a little passionate, but she’s not scripted,” said Kent Sorenson, an Iowa state senator who is chairman of her campaign there. “She’s real. I think people are fed up with these politicians who are so scripted that you don’t know who they are.”
Yeah, she’s real, alright. Real stupid, and we know it.
Why has it become more important in this country that people who want to be PRESIDENT be “real” rather than “smart” or “educated” or “informed” or “articulate”? Is this part of OUR national insecurity (not to be confused with that of Canada), this knee-jerk reaction to someone being smarter then you possibly being better than you? If what you are comparing is apples to apples, in the category of intellect, if they’re smarter, they’re “better”! And you’re probably smarter than someone else, and you’re probably also smart enough to know that you’re not smart enough to be President.
And yet we feel perfectly comfortable electing people no smarter than we are to be president.
“When you speak six times a day, slip-ups can occur. . .”
And yet she thinks she’s ready to be president. I wonder how many times a day a President needs to speak, coherently and accurately. Without doing a statistical analysis, I’m guessing it’s more than 6.
I already quoted Mitt Romney, with the “Corporations are People Too,” but there’s also “I’m also unemployed.”
Except his net worth is estimated to be between $190 and $250 million. I have a feeling that this is not the case for the majority of the people he was addressing at the time.
Then there’s Mike Huckabee and “Americans should be indoctrinated at gunpoint.”
I might be wrong, but it seems like that might violate several of our civil rights.
Ron Paul would have voted against the civil rights act, and Rick Perry “sleeps well at night” despite the fact that at least one of the more than 240 people executed on death row under his watch was probably innocent.
Bachman has too many to list here, so click here for a list and the explanations.
And then we have Sarah. Ah, Sarah. Where have you been? I must admit I’m a little less angry at the world all the time now that I’m not hearing your whiny, nasally voice on the radio on a daily basis. But you have also failed to provide me, or Tina Fey, with any material for, is it possible?, months now!
We’ll just use this then: “Lipstick.”
It’s good for all of us feministas out there to know we have two women vying, each in their own way, for the position of the presidency. Although if Hilary Clinton wasn’t “good” (smart, savvy, experienced, educated, coherentforcryingoutloud) enough to be president, I can’t imagine either of these (Michele Bachman, Sarah Palin) could qualify. Unless, of course, we’re not really concerned about any of the above, nor of our potential president’s grasp of facts, or reality; a possibility that looms large while continuing to boggle the mind.
Today’s quiz: see if you can identify the (mis)speaker in the following quotes. To make it fair, I will cross out speakerisms which might make it too obvious.
1. “John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa,” Ms. _________________ told Carl Cameron of Fox News in an interview. “That’s the kind of spirit that I have, too.”
The actor was actually born in Winterset, Iowa, which is about 150 miles southwest of Waterloo. It was John Wayne Gacy, known as the killer clown who raped and murdered 33 teenage boys in the 1970s, who lived in Waterloo.
John Wayne, beloved actor; John Wayne Gacy, pedophile rapist clown; what’s the difference?
2. “He who warned
uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh by ringing those bells, and um, makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.”
Besides the blinding obliteration of the facts, one can’t help but ponder. As we try to teach students to write, we ask them first if they can speak. If they can’t, they should run for president?
But look how pretty they are.
I love that the source from which I got the Michele Bachman photo was an article with the headline “I am Dangerous.” No shit, sherlock.
Anthony Weiner is seeking counseling. Anthony Weiner is probably going to take a leave of absence. Anthony Weiner’s wife is standing behind him, (or isn’t she?). Anthony Weiner is losing weight, overemotional when talking to friends on the phone, distraught. (NYTimes, “Pelosi Calls on Weiner to Resign”)
This all makes perfect sense to me.
This, however, does not:
“His scandal erupted at a particularly bad time for the party, as Democrats had briefly regained momentum after a surprise victory in an upstate New York election, and put Republicans on the defensive over a proposal to revamp Medicare.”
I apologize if this is a stupid question, but what do Anthony Weiner’s sexual proclivities have to do with the Democratic party and their momentum towards revamping Medicare?
Maybe if the media didn’t act like we were complete idiots unable to differentiate between these two vastly different topics we wouldn’t all act like complete idiots unable to differentiate between these two vastly different topics.
Maybe it’s just me.
Why is it that so many male politicians seem to be lascivious little boys who think that their various and sundry salacious acts will remain private?
Perhaps we should start by asking why so many
people men in power seem to have such a hard time (no pun intended) behaving themselves.
A recent New Yorker article points out that women politicians have their share of sex scandals, too, and lists nine examples. Particularly telling is the fact that four of them date from previous centuries, one of them involved a videotape of the female politician in question, (Chu Mei-Feng, councilwoman for Taipei), having sex with her husband, and another is a woman whose husband had purchased pornographic films using her parliamentary account. Hardly seems to fit in the same category. Plus, is it really such a slow news week that the editorial staff at the New Yorker decided this was worth reporting? Maybe that’s an even more important topic. Discuss?
I wonder if it would “work” if he let them close the government down — stop paying Medicare, soldiers, interest on the debt — allowing the country to come to a shrieking halt, hopefully, briefly — just long enough for people to realize that the radical Republicans they believe in so firmly aren’t actually looking out for anyone but themselves and big business.