Archive for the 'Politics' Category

16
May
17

rofl

You won’t see it coming.

Pooh Piglet Trump

01
May
17

fill-in-the-blank

The Trajectory of the Republican Party

In the comments below, please insert the image of what you think the GOP will present next  by which to screw us over I mean to serve the American people.

My best guess:

A mad pile of poo

31
Jan
17

Me, on facebook, yesterday.

https://www.facebook.com/wtfwatchofficial/videos/344218495963608/

11
Jan
17

Inquiring minds want to know

So, as many of you can probably imagine, especially if you’ve been “here” for a while, I consider myself a pretty-far-to-the-left liberal. Certainly not a communist, and definitely a proponent of working really hard to do as much as you can for your self, your income, your family, and your society. I feel a great deal of responsibility given that I have, by comparison to the rest of the world, been given an awful lot of advantages. Never rich by the 1% standards, or even the 10% standards, but always with a roof over my head and three meals a day and sufficient clothing and access to doctors and dentists and access to a decent education–an education that extended to a doctorate degree, and which I worked very hard to pay for, and to benefit from.

I also realize that we aren’t all born on third base; some of us not even on first. That the land of every ‘man’ being created equal refers to opportunity (or at least it should) and not to advantage or privilege; and that “equal opportunity” is still just a pipe dream. And that society does better when we all do well.

As a teacher, I have witnessed some disturbing trends. Most notable is one that cropped up actually several years ago: the idea that everybody has to respect everybody else’s opinion. It doesn’t even have to be based in fact, and we’re all supposed to respect it. 

No.

I’m not even sure I agree with the right of everyone to have an opinion. If I know nothing about something, I’m doing myself and the rest of the world a favor by keeping my mouth shut about it.

If only this standard could be applied to voting. You have to pass a series of tests to get a driver’s license; why not to vote? Maybe we should have to pass a basic civics test and demonstrate our ability to recognize fact from opinion, and truth from fantasy. I recently saw a post on facebook where someone was expressing gratitude that the Republicans were on the verge of repealing Obamacare, which was, according to this person, an “absolute disaster,” and boy was he relieved that he had his insurance through the Affordable Care Act instead!!!

And while we’re at it, how about we remove the gratuitous blessing of America, and the platitudes that don’t mean anything.

Make America Great Again

Wha?

Was there something wrong with 20 million people having health care, 4.+ a little unemployment, and the fact that people could commit legally to each other no matter what their gender? Or maybe it’s the debacle of having women in control of their own bodies and reproductive choices.

Let’s all go back to the 50s? The Dark Ages? When men were men and women were women and racial minorities knew their place.

Ugh.

So here’s the thing. I’m actually curious if someone who voted for Trump could explain, in a rational and objective way, why. If you comment and say something like “He’ll make America great again.” Or “Cuz Hillary’s a liar” I’m just going to delete it. I need to understand IF there is anyone out there who thought about this rationally WHY they would choose to vote for this person.

Discuss.

11
Nov
16

Now what?

Many of us are horrified by the news of the racist attacks and brutality being visited now on people of color, gays, immigrants. What has the election of this man unleashed? We saw the videos of his rallies, and were appalled and frightened by the no-longer-latent racism, cruelty, hatred, that we heard coming out of the mouths of our fellow Americans. Donald Trump’s petulance, xenophobia, misogyny, racism, has given people permission to say things we have spent the last 50? 100? Years telling them they can’t say. And people who haven’t learned the lessons of civility, history — that there are, in fact, things that should never be said in civilized society, that there is no actual difference between you and any other person based on the color of their skin, that the world is actually safer when we work together (Alliances, people! Every good board game knows this, why don’t we?) — want to drag us back to some good old day where men were strong and women were good looking (and if not were dismissed as being unworthy of sexual harassment, #nowthereisagift #IhopeIama7) and knew their place and kept their mouths shut, and everybody they knew looked like everybody else. 

Hatreds and bigotries and horrible acts are being perpetrated, now, many like we haven’t seen in a long time. It is my hope that these are the death throes of a dying culture. We’ve spent the last eight years building — gay rights, protesting brutality against unarmed blacks, providing insurance for people who need it — and we can still fight against tearing it down. We must. People may feel they have permission to behave like animals, but they don’t. We can’t allow it. We must stand together, make sure our fellow Americans and the people in the world who are watching very closely right now, many with great fear and trepidation, that this does not represent all of us. We’re better than this. We must show it. And if we do, maybe we can actually make something good, and lasting, out of this debacle.

What to do if you see someone being harassed.

Part 2

#Warren2020



Shame on us


09
Nov
16

Random thoughts regarding the 2016 election

1. The results of this election do not reflect the feelings and opinions of everyone in this country. The majority of the people who voted, voted not for Trump. Many of those would have voted for Bernie, and I believe some who voted for Trump would have voted for Bernie given the chance. The fact remains that the majority of eligible voters in this country did not vote, and for that they should be deeply ashamed. The government can only speak for you if you speak first.

2. Hillary let us down. She failed to tap into the anger, worry, and frustration of many, and she failed to counter adequately Donald’s messages of fear, hate, and prejudice. We can blame some of that on an unwillingness or inability of some to listen, discern, parse an argument, or investigate the basis for the things they were being told or for what they believe to be true. But the fact remains that there were things she could have, should have, said, and she didn’t. I imagine Bill, Huma, might be contemplating with great regret how their own personal circumstances and mistakes might have contributed to this. I feel great sadness for them, too.

3. Both parties let us down. Everybody underestimated Trump, and none of the people who could have done more to listen and react did enough of either; or if they tried, they tried too late. People say we get the government we deserve. While I might feel this is a government I personally don’t deserve, nor anyone who voted otherwise, the fact remains that not enough people voted, too many people voted against their own interests, and the DNC made a call that we will all live to regret. Hopefully everyone learns from their mistakes and we do better next time. If only millennials had voted, we would be facing a different result today. Let’s support them in their belief in unity, fairness, decency, human rights, and religious and gender equality.

4. It’s not over until it’s over. And by this I don’t hold to some delusion that they will finally finish counting Michigan and she will win. But that Roe v. Wade is law, gay marriage is law, millions of people have had health insurance who didn’t have it before and will hopefully demand that they don’t lose it now, and there are still things that can be done to help preserve the important steps this country has taken over the past few years. Many claim that it was time for a “change” vote, even people who are interviewed and claim that things are actually going fine for them, but they think it’s time to shake things up. While this might not make a lot of sense, the tendency for “change” votes is well documented, and again, she could have made an argument about what she WOULD change — truly addressing people’s fear of economic or political disenfranchisement, for example. People want passion, conviction, something to believe in; she relied on rational arguments, and some people just don’t work that way. We might not like it, but it’s true. But we can do community service, donate to Planned Parenthood and climate science, strive for clean energy and efficient use of our own resources, and become voices for the voiceless. Of course, all of this assumes that Trump doesn’t abandon NATO and Europe to the Russians or launch us into WW3.

5. Finally, we are still, always, stronger together. Let’s find ways to embrace those who feel left out, or afraid. Let’s make sure everyone knows that this does not necessarily represent us. And let’s find ways to make it better.

09
Aug
16

Random Thoughts

Yes, I’m still here.

Waiting till I have something to say I guess.

And now just these:

This world is not a meritocracy. It sucks, but it’s true. Discuss.

There might be something to be said about an unforeseen problem brought on by showing your children unconditional love, as in no one feels compelled to clean the house before your return after a long absence. Creating the psychological need to “earn” love might be underrated after all.

One can definitely gauge one’s fed-up-ness with the world, that is, the state of politics and the American citizenry’s unwillingnessifnotinability to actually Face the Truth, by one’s propensity to take “Cook’s Illustrated” to bed rather than the New Yorker.

Alas.

 

 

 

08
Mar
16

while we were “sleeping”

These things are happening:

First, we preach the moral high ground, but only apply our civil rights to ourselves. Isn’t part of the argument that civil rights are human rights, and should be applied to everyone?

And then we have a lot of people making a lot of money running our military “business” — and actually contributing to the people who are trying (and often succeeding) to kill our members of the military.

Meanwhile, politicians candidates the children representing the Republican party debate the relative sizes of their peni (?) while the world melts.

I could go on, but it’s too depressing.

Wake up!

01
Mar
16

somebody save us from ourselves

Will this help?

06
Nov
15

More better feminism

Give us a twirl.

Duh.

Clearly you have issues.

 

22
Jan
15

Bill Moyers and the need for campaign finance reform.

Here.

Where do I sign?

And of course, it’s no surprise that there isn’t a SINGLE REPUBLICAN sponsor to any of these bills. That should speak volumes.

05
Oct
14

We Should Be Protesting, Too | BillMoyers.com

Can this “In 2012, 132 Americans gave 60 percent of the super PAC money spent”. . .

be true?

Sheesh.

We Should Be Protesting, Too | BillMoyers.com.

 

20
Apr
13

Idiots

Which is worse?

This guy.

Or this guy:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-april-18-2013/gun-control-whoop-de-doo

 

Am starting to wonder if it’s redundant to have Politics and Stupid People as separate categories.

 

13
Dec
12

Michigan “Right to Work” Measure Passes, Thousands Protest

Michigan “Right to Work” Measure Passes, Thousands Protest.

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.

protesters

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:

righttowork

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.)

14
Nov
12

oh, THAT’s why


Paul Ryan claims that he (?) didn’t lose the vote because of the “issues” but because of the “urban vote.”

The first question might be something along the lines of what does he mean by that, exactly?

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.

13
Nov
12

post-election woes

No, I don’t miss the constant bickering (as if!) or persistent phone calls; I don’t miss the extremist messages or political infighting.

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.

12
Nov
12

free speech violation? or finally marginalizing those who should be marginalized

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.

08
Nov
12

he’s a good man, charlie brown; UPDATED

President Obama’s Victory Speech

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.

05
Nov
12

But it’s not just that one thing

“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

23
Oct
12

Paying attention to the issues

Just the kind of attention to policy that makes this country great, and our voters so well informed.

Guess I should be glad they at least had it on?

22
Oct
12

wouldn’t it be nice if. . .

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.

Didn’t their Mamas teach them it’s not polite to point?

16
Oct
12

this morning’s sunrise

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!

🙂

 

12
Oct
12

do you hear what I hear?

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?

 

 

11
Oct
12

Maybe it’s just me

20121011-225335.jpg

20121011-225343.jpg

04
Oct
12

the debate that wasn’t, quite: Updated

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.”

Heh-heh-heh

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!

Ugh.

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.

watch?v=bxch-yi14BE

27
Sep
12

oh, *that* conflict of interest

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’.

 

25
Sep
12

looks about right

(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.)

Alas.

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.)

21
Sep
12

now that’s true leadership

“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.”

Idiot.
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.

06
Sep
12

Well?

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:

05
Sep
12

what price disingenuousness?

I’m so tired of the lies.

The lies and the fact that they all get away with it. Even Fox News admits it — go figure.

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?

Ugh.

 

 

20
Apr
12

I was right!

He is an idiot.

You gotta love it when your political opponent does your campaigning for you.

12
Apr
12

Heard in the bathroom, yesterday

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?

(I wish.)

(Good girl.)

04
Apr
12

David Javerbaum’s “A Quantum Theory of Mitt Romney”

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.

 

15
Mar
12

Not a war?

Sez who? (Lots of people; mostly male Republicans, but whatever.)

Sigh.

Just when you think it can’t get more ridiculous.

Maybe this can be a sign of hope?

06
Mar
12

Game Change

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.

 

27
Feb
12

531 posts, 1,397 comments, 212 followers, but NOT J-Lo’s nipple

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.

26
Feb
12

A not-so-soupy Sunday

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.

Um, duh?

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.

Um, no.

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.

Finally:

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.

Beat well.

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.

 

18
Feb
12

a better use for our money?

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.

 

 

11
Feb
12

February 11, 2012

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.

**************

30
Jan
12

Something worthy of the 501st post. . .or maybe not

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:

 

09
Jan
12

September 1, 1939; W. H. Auden

20120109-120742.jpgHe 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
About Democracy,
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
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism’s face
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
About Diaghilev
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.

10
Dec
11

more idiocy from the Republican Party

Maybe they should just go with the one person who actually seems to know anything.
Anybody know who that might be?

09
Dec
11

Rick’s latest idiocy

Ugh.

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.

(Nice coat)

23
Nov
11

Yeah, that sounds like fun

Dear MoveOn member,

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:

That’s funny.

12
Nov
11

what he said

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.

This:

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.

and this:

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.

and this:

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.

Yeah.

11
Nov
11

skin diseases and other myriad health problems, and Rick Perry

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:

(thanks, guardo)

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.

 

10
Nov
11

finally, a moment of truth in American politics

(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.

09
Nov
11

Herman Cain; really?

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.

 

 

 

 

23
Oct
11

a sign of what we all should fear

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.”

14
Oct
11

do I even want to know. . .?

“Representative Michele Bachmann’s law education sought to combine traditional teaching with charismatic Christian belief.

. . .where she got this “law” degree from?

Ummm, no.

Sheesh.

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.

Our Father, Who Art in Heaven, Deliver us from Michele Bachman

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.




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