Saturday, April 21, 2007

MoDo Thinks We're Too Shallow to Care?

Good Lord. Zell Miller's red-haired highbrow hussy from New York City is at Satan's work again.

Excerpts from Running With Scissors, Maureen Dowd, NY Times April 21:

We haven’t reached the point where we can handle a green-tea-soy-latte-drinking, self-tanning-sea-salt-mango-body-wrapping, Norah-Jones-listening, yoga-toning chief executive.

[..]Americans have revered such homely leaders as Abe Lincoln. They seem open to balding pates like Rudy’s and flattops like Jon Tester’s. They don’t want self-confidence to look like self-love.

John Edwards has reminded us that even — or especially — in the age of appearances, you must not appear to care too much about appearances.

When you spend more on a couple of haircuts than Burundi’s per capita G.D.P. , it looks so vain it makes Paul Wolfowitz’s ablutions spitting on his comb look like rugged individualism.

Hmmmmm...let's see..

Do I prefer the (supposedly) low maintenance "he-man" who gives in to every greedy lobbyist and neocon comb-spitter like Wolfowitz (who got his honey-pie a sweet, fat raise when he got to the World Bank), seeks to drown America's social safety net in the bathtub, secures tax breaks and contracts for his rich friends, applies the English language like a third grader, destroys international trust, ignores the neediest in society, blows the New Orleans Katrina rescue and recovery, starts an unnecessary war by lying, and then perpetuates it with gross incompetence, harbors those who are closest to him - such as his Attorney General - who are as incapable as the day is long of doing what would be considered even CLOSE to an apolitical, fair, and independent job?

Or the higher-maintenance man who acknowledges that immigrants want to come to our wonderful country because people like him can come from nowhere … and now be running for president of the United States and paying $400 for a haircut [and looking pretty darn good if I must say so myself]?

I'd love to tell MoDo and the Drudge machine that it's no news bulletin that John Edwards earned every cent he ever made honestly. It's no news bulletin, as Elizabeth Edwards has said, that children in Robbins read in a nice children's library room, that high school students in Raleigh and Goldsboro do their research in nice computer labs, that Raleigh Parks and Rec centers have computer labs for residents, that the homeless in the Triangle [NC] have assistance with their shelters and Habitat for Humanity has assistance in building them homes -- among other things -- because John Edwards did not just spend what he earned on himself.

MoDo thinks we're too shallow to care about what really matters. After the past six years, I'd have to say I'm not buying it.

All I can say is that she must be joking. (And, let's face it - she can be awfully funny, although I am slightly disturbed to know that she is promoting mistrust of a candidate on a gender basis - not exactly your progressive comic! Does she still think we watch "Leave It To Beaver")?

Maybe Dowd will cut John Edwards some slack when he bows to her pressure and does THIS:

I won't hold my breath that either will happen - MoDo's claws will not be retracted just as sure as John Edwards will not pull out the Flowbee.

How much does it matter if someone like the badly-coifed John MCain shunned facials or that he only had 50 cent haircuts when he so strongly supports the Surge that is dragging our troops down further and further into the civil war between Iraqis?

How much does it matter, as a personal choice, that John Edwards gets an expensive haircut when you put his character up against the badly-coifed Rudy Giuliani, who left his wife and family for a new love while the Edwardses have stood by one another through thick and thin - sickness and health?

Let's talk about the choices that matter.

** This message has been brought to you by a blogger who may well be the Queen of the Cheap Haircuts. I can't help but wonder what the 'highbrow hussy' pays for the red tresses of hers [that Zell Miller loved so much] while she takes us for retro hicks who hate good haircuts more than we detest incompetency, greed, corruption, disloyalty, and lies.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Guns: What on God's Earth is McCain Thinking?

"I hope that we can find better ways of identifying people such as this sick young man so that we can prevent them from not only taking action with guns but with knives or with anything else that will harm their fellow citizens. [..] I strongly support the Second Amendment and I believe the Second Amendment ought to be preserved — which means no gun control."

- Sen. John McCain

John McCain has decided to pander to a South Carolina crowd and flaunt America's grief in its face by attempting to politically isolate the cause of the recent massacre as a mental health issue, pretending that weapons had nothing to do with what occurred. I'd wager most people would sense his stunning lack of empathy to such a level that they will remember it long after he said it.

To have John McCain sticking the gun issue so bluntly and directly in our faces after the worst massacre on a college campus in American history is as ugly as the photos of Cho with his guns in our faces - played endlessly and sickeningly by NBC and other television media.

This isn't Walker, Texas Ranger. This is America with real families with real children who expect that their top leaders will preside over a just and safe society.

Even President Bush President has had the decency and respect to say (in his own way), "Now is not the time to do the debate until we're actually certain about what happened and after we help people get over their grieving."

McCain's showing his ugly side - proudly.

In my view, what he has done and said at a time like this is far more offensive than anything Don Imus ever could have said.

This is the time for our candidates to not only take McCain's challenge on gun control, but to loudly shame him for his behavior at this terribly sensitive time. Al Gore's call for gun registration cost him votes in rural America in 2000. McCain thinks that our candidates will be afraid to speak out on this issue - and if they are afraid, they will not have an ounce of my respect or support.

In light of what just happened on one of America's college campuses, our Dem candidates' silence or "fuzziness" on the issue wouldn't settle well with my set of values - nor do I suspect it would sit well with most citizens.

I think this is the time for Democrats to come out and shun the politics of old where candidates once were too afraid of being a loser by keeping their intentions silent and failing to speak with strong moral conviction about an issue that most people can be made, with reason, to be convinced to change.

This is another disturbing clip from the South Carolina appearance showing that McCain has too much Walker Texas Ranger attitude, too little concern for the kind of REAL that America so desperately needs to GET! McCain's song is Pander Heaven....:

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Va Tech Family - I'm So Sorry

I cannot imagine being a member of any family touched by this tragedy. My heart is broken for them and my soul is burdened knowing that our culture, both pop culture and political culture, is conducive to an event like this materializing on one of our college campuses where we expect and hope that our beautiful and much loved children will be safe.

I consider each of the young people on our college campuses across this nation to be MY child. I share in each family's sorrow today.

Violence, a significant problem in the United States, is a preventable public health and safety issue that is tracked as a disease by the Centers for Disease Control. *see the valuable information below*

I work in a program in which the curriculum teaches nonviolent conflict resolution skills to our children in grades 2-8. If this type of program cound be implemented in all schools, I'm not saying that a tragedy such as this one could have been prevented, but it can only help our society to give all of its children the tools they need to be self-aware and to make sound and healthy decisions towards others.

It would take a tiny percentage of the federal discretionary budget to move our culture away from the violence that pervades it today. Perhaps, in the days to come, we can have a healthy national discussion about making a new commitment to reduce violence in our diseased culture. The discussion should not only be about music and video games, but the very institutions that we look to for our information - vital to a healthy democracy - such as our television media.

In the shocking case of Virginia Tech, we need to hear more news about what is BEST in all of us rather than seeing the disturbing images of bodies being dragged around and videos of gun shots - repeated again and again. It's sick - and it's making us sick.

In showing the worst of the tragedy again and again and again - 24 hours a day - as the television media did with images of the 911 towers crumbling - MSM contributes to a mental illness that seems to be enveloping our society more and more by the day. I can tell you that I hear, firsthand, how many troubled people out here are affected by seeing these images and hearing about them over and over again. Not just in the case of the recent student killings, but every day.

Let's make a commitment to love one another as we would personally wish to be loved. Let's make a commitment to demanding a media that reflects who we are and not the constant and repeated reflection of shattering defeat surrounding that of which we've tried so hard to fight within our culture.

When we fail, as a society, to see a reflection of the angels of our better nature, the angels have a way of disappearing in the drowning drone of the media's reflection of our worst failures.

There's too much anger and hatred. The greatest gift we could give to the victims of yesterday's senseless killing spree and their grieving families is our cooperation in making sure this does not have to happen again to any more of our precious and valued citizens - old or young.

Elizabeth Edwards realizes that we'll likely never understand why this happened, but if we care and if we possess the will, together we will find a way to change this tragic course:
We don't know the stories yet, but surely we will. And we don't know why, and likely we will never really know and certainly we will never truly understand. But for each of them, we have to try, we have to learn why this tragedy repeats itself here, in this country of the greatest possibilities, a country built on the right to pursue happiness. Why here? We have to figure this out. And then we have to get about the business of fixing it.
For them, and for us all.

Courage and peace and mercy

The CDC began studying patterns of violence in 1980. These early activities grew into a national program to reduce the death and disability associated with injuries outside the workplace. In 1992, CDC established the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) as the lead federal agency for violence prevention. The Division of Violence Prevention (DVP) is one of three divisions within NCIPC.

DVP is committed to stopping violence before it begins (i.e., primary prevention). The division’s work involves:

- Monitoring violence-related injuries

- Conducting research on the factors that put people at risk or protect them from violence

- Creating and evaluating the effectiveness of violence prevention programs

DVP Mission Statement

-Prevent injuries and deaths caused by violence

- Helping state and local partners plan, implement, and evaluate prevention programs

- Conducting research on the effective adoption and dissemination of prevention strategies


Violence Takes its Toll Homicide and suicide are among the leading causes of death in the United States. Learn more

Youth Violence - from CDC
Fact Sheet

The Faces in the photos:

From Top:

Ryan "Stack" Clark, a well-loved Va Tech student who was killed while trying to save a fellow student's life.

Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor and an Israeli engineering and math lecturer who was said to have protected his students' lives by blocking the doorway of his classroom from the approaching gunman. He was killed on the same day that Israel was marking Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Thank You, Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman has reassured my faith in sanity today by admitting that he sees something I've also been seeing for quite some time.
..a funny thing has happened on the Democratic side: the party’s base seems to be more in touch with the mood of the country than many of the party’s leaders.
Let me ask you, why should it be, as Mr. Krugman puts it, that "reluctant Democratic politicians are being dragged by their base into taking highly popular positions?"

It seems as if we're living in a society (and a political atmosphere) where the flow of public information made most easily available over the airwaves (by leaders and media)and the information that we get from the carefully-edited newspapers is set up to be off-base and misleading first - and the challenge is left to the least powerful (least corporate-sponsored) voices to fight the misleadings with what most of us have naturally (and long ago) come to a consensus as seeing as "true."

That is so twisted.

It's hard to believe that "Beltway insiders .. still don’t seem to realize how overwhelmingly the public has turned against President Bush." Yet, Mr. Krugman gives solid examples of those who are still lost in the alabaster castle-world of Washington D.C.

Mr. Krugman is correct. We were (and should have been) infuriated when Barack Obama (the "rock star") seemed to say that he would support an Iraq war funding bill without a timeline while only the few Freeper-type supporters of the Bush war say they believe Congress should allow war funding without a time limit. For someone who's bragging that he didn't support the Iraq war, I'm not bowled over by Senator Obama's hesitancy to put an end to the farce now that he has great power in his hands.

Mr. Krugman is coreect in saying that John Edwards is the only Democratic candidate who's offered a real-world, solid plan and path for universal healthcare. Where are the others? (nyceve asked the question today at Daily Kos).

Krugman ends his column is advising against the odd (anti-center) caution being displayed by Democrats in the halls of Congress.
Republicans will, for a while at least, be trapped in unpopular positions by a base that’s living in the past. Rudy Giuliani’s surge into front-runner status for the Republican nomination says more about the party than about the candidate. As The Onion put it with deadly accuracy, Mr. Giuliani is running for “President of 9/11.”

Democrats don’t have the same problem. There’s no conflict between catering to the Democratic base and staking out positions that can win in the 2008 election, because the things the base wants — an end to the Iraq war, a guarantee of health insurance for all — are also things that the country as a whole supports. The only risk the party now faces is excessive caution on the part of its politicians. Or, to coin a phrase, the only thing Democrats have to fear is fear itself.
I want to thank Mr. Krugman for causing me to feel - what is the word - Justified? Vindicated? Correct? ... for simply stating on a daily basis what my conscience has told me is the right thing to do and say.

Nation: Globalization Hasn't Been in U.S. National Interest

A Wake-Up Call:

Rubinomics may have looked great during the Bill Clinton era, but the cracks are showing and it will take a big business type with Wall street "cred" to convince the mainstream that globalization has taken us to a place where we did not imagine we would be when we began the experiment. Corporations that are born to eat anything that gets in their way have no patriotic streak that could overcome their chartered promise to survive.

William Greider writes in the Nation about Ralph Gomory, author of Global Trade and Conflicting National Interests. Mr. Gomory is emerging as an unlikely dissident who is proposing a new way to understand, and reform the world economy.

CEOs of American corporations won't be particularly happy with the plan, but then again, was our government meant to pledge allegiance to the kind of business that runs strictly against the overall national interest?

Related Update:

Globalization Gets a Martin Luther Figure

Free Trade Carries A Huge Price