Friday, April 15

The Tillman Story

I first heard about this movie/documentary when Pat Tillman's little brother, Richard Tillman, appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher. Listening to Pat's little brother speak gave the sense that the quality of Pat was not unique to him. It was a family thing. Bill showed a clip of Richard at Pat's memorial service. John McCain and others spoke before Richard, assuring all present that Pat was with God in heaven and isn't that wonderful. Beer in hand, Richard Tillman took his turn at the mic. He was grief. I saw it in how he stood. On his cheeks. In his voice. Every eye was trained on him and every voice strained to catch his words. He thanked all who spoke about Heaven and God for their words and thoughts and, fearing nothing, told them all that Pat was not in heaven, was not religious, did not believe in God. "He's fuckin dead."

Richard Tillman gave the interview on Bill Maher's show in order to promote, "The Tillman Story." A documentary, I thought, about Pat and the circumstances surrounding his death by friendly fire in Afghanistan, April 22 2004. It was about far more. Not to be accurately summarized.

I can't watch it for you and I wouldn't if I could. You must see it for yourself. It just might make the world a little better. Maybe not. Hell I don't know but it's got a shit ton of things everyone should know and process.

I just finished watching it and wrote down what I thought at various times during the documentary. I'm examining my initial motivations in desiring to see it. I knew I wanted the truth. I knew I wanted, "The Tillman Story". I knew I wanted to learn more. Having seen it now I wonder if I wanted to be entertained. If I was looking for this documentary to feed my need to know about other peoples tragedy and if that might have been because my appetite for such has been hitherto unexamined. Was I a piece of shit and didn't know it? Are we all?

In order not to be so grandiose I'll get on with it. Fifteen minutes into the documentary I knew I was compelled to write about it. I knew it would hold things I had to comment on. The shitstorm inside me needed to be shared. So I paused the doc, grabbed a pen and paper, and decided to pause the doc every time I wanted to say something. At this point I had the thought that I might ruin the flow of the doc and it occurred to me that I might be watching it as though it was any other form of entertainment and rejected the notion of sitting back and chillin while feasting on facts and emotion. I felt fat with entertainment. And decided to do what I've done:

PAUSE: I'm fifteen minutes in. I'm angry. I'm sad. I'm frustrated. And I'm sick at heart. The writing is already on the wall. I Know where the story is going. But the lies, the betrayals are not here told by dispassionate news anchors and talking heads in monotone voices that treat this story as any other. No. This tale is told by Pat's family. It's not just a story. It's their lives. Their experience. Their child. What could be more sacred than that? And oh yeah, it's also about how the military and the government shit on and set fire to all the above. PLAY.

PAUSE: nineteen minutes in: Killed not by soldiers who were afraid. Not blind in darkness. But with dicks so hard to kill it hurts. They fire and fire some more.

PAUSE: 22:33 in. They call bullshit. nineteen year-olds are not Socrates. They do not all fight wars for all the right reasons. Common knowledge i.e. the propaganda says, "Young men fight because they are selflessly defending their country and fellow man. Not so. They call bullshit. PLAY.

PAUSE: 31:30 in. The military lies so despicably. My anger at them grows. I am awash in incredulity. All I can say, considering what I've just seen is, "What the fuck?" PLAY.

PAUSE: 34:10 in. The memorial service is held. Richard comments on what he said there. It's as obvious at this point as it was on Real Time with Bill Maher that this family is all heart and steel. PLAY.

PAUSE: 45:54 in. We the public shame ourselves. We are the violators of privacy. The media play their own disgusting role but it is our appetite they feed. We starve and demand to be fed with the broken hearts of others. We clamor for hidden camera's. For the close up on other people's minds that excludes and violates the integrity of the whole. We are indeed shamed. Pat may be a hero of a human being. I think he is. Maybe he belongs to no one maybe he belongs to his family but he sure as hell doesn't belong to us. He's only ours to the extent he shared himself with us and his family does likewise. He is not property. Neither his memory. Yet we take him for our own and lay claim to his memory without permission or restraint. We drink it up. I never before thought how presumptuous I was. I never knew I was in error til now. Kind of sad and pathetic, really. Pat and others similar have their own terms. And when they, "fucking die," the rest is up to those who knew and loved him. I fucked up. I'm sorry ya'll. It probably makes no difference at all but there is one less appetite for thoughtless shit around. For the next Tillman's. And those that follow. Fucking Play.

PAUSE: 49:15 in. Military. Propaganda. Military. Propaganda. Military. Propaganda. Military. Propaganda. Military. Propaganda. Military. Propaganda...

PAUSE: 1:07:40 in. How can we any longer deny that the military has a prime directive concerning the soldiers in combat? The directive is to lionize those who die in combat and when they do not die this way to lie and say they did. Either way, they're getting their recruiting poster. And they'll make sure their war has plenty of fallen hero's killed by evil enemies. PLAY.

PAUSE: 1:22:53 in. The highest echelons of power...well you just have to see it. PLAY.

PAUSE: 1:25:15 in. Bastards all. PLAY.

STOP: Doc Ends.

LAST THOUGHTS. One: See this movie.

Two: We don't know Pat. We know what we've been shown and what we've been told. We know what we think and imagine. We have ideas of him. One thing is certain. He was who he was. No more. No less. He was remarkable in many ways but he was still a human fucking being. If we're going to celebrate something, why not that. BOOM.


Thursday, April 14

Planned Parenthood Debate Between Friends

Friend 1: It's time to say NO to tax funding a radical pro-abortion agenda and the cover up of sexual abuse and trafficking of young girls: It's time to defund Planned Parenthood. Call your Senator today!

Friend 2: I appreciate your passion for this issue, however I respectfully disagree. Because of the hyde amendment, NO federal funding can go towards abortions. Abortions total only %3 of the women's health services offered by planned parenthood. 97% of their services include cervical cancer screenings, pap smears, treatment of STDs and birth control, That is what this money is paying for. Defunding these services would increase the spread of STDs and unwanted pregnancies which would in turn cause even more abortions.

Friend 3: THANK YOU FRIEND 2!!!!!!

Silmarill: Friend 2 beat me to the punch on the facts. However, I don't think it's accurate to say that planned parenthood has a radical pro-abortion agenda. They support women's reproductive rights. That's hardly radical. So does a majority of the American people. And as women's rights are the law of the land, PP's support for them is actually the status quo. It's difficult to comment on the accusation that planned parenthood approves the "cover up of sexual abuse and trafficking of young girls." Let's just go with, "I call bullshit". Love ya! B)

Friend 2: Silmarill, actually she' right about the abuse allegations. There is video evidence of PP staff assisting undercover journalists acting as pimps and prostitutes in bringing in under age girls for abortions. It's terrible. However, this was the action of a single employee and there is no evidence that this type of behavior is tolerated or encouraged on an administrative level. They did this at several locations and the vast majority turned them away.

Silmarill: I thought it was portrayed as being what you refuted but didn't make the point at the time cuz I was lazy and knew I'd still have to call BS because of the inaccurate portrayal. It was like having a cousin that uses drugs and someone saying that your FAMILY promotes a radical agenda of hard drug use and selling crack and heroin to high school kids. There's one thing wrong with this type of characterization: everything. Also your family would have to have thousands of members, all of whose behavior you are answerable for and convicted because of. It's funny. They have laws against guilt by association.

Friend 1: One out of every four abortions in the U.S. is performed in a Planned Parenthood facility. Data shows that since 1970, Planned Parenthood has performed at least 5.3 million abortions. In 2009 alone, Planned Parenthood performed a record 332,278 abortions. Former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson has written that she was given an “abortion quota” and was even told by her superiors to double the number of abortions in order to bring in more revenue. Despite claims made by Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards and members of the media, Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms. They are also not a significant primary care provider in general. In recent reports, Planned Parenthood acknowledges that it provided primary care only to about 19,700 of its 3 million unduplicated clients. These services have been trending downward for years, from 21,247 in 2007 to 20,235 in 2008, to today’s 19,796. Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger once said that "colored people are human weeds and are to be exterminated, birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race...also eugenic sterilization is an urgent need, we must prevent this multiplication of this bad stock". She also started the negro project which has one sole purpose- to elimate the african american from our coulture to create quote better health and planning and Planned Parenthood continues carrying on her legacy today. Do we really want our money going to this kind of organization? As far as Planned Parenthood willing to aid and abet in human sex trafficking of girls as young as 14, well I heard it first hand. Trust me, you would be astonished at some of the things I have seen and heard going into these don't want your money anywhere near them.

Silmarill: Perhaps they do perform one in four. I don't know. What's your source hun? It's possible that a clinic director, who is extremely low on the totem pole and affects only one clinic, said what you said she did. She used to work for them so one might think she'd know. And she must be telling the truth. No one has ever bad mouthed a former employer.;)
I think you are right about the mammograms. Didn't know the CEO had made that claim but maybe they have given a few and she felt justified in making it seem like they do a lot more than they do since they are under attack for providing services that millions of Americans, especially women, cannot afford and/or obtain elsewhere.

I don't think they are a huge primary care provider or that they are organized to be as such. They concentrate their efforts and resources in key areas as David noted: 97% "cervical cancer screenings, pap smears, treatment of STD's and birth control" Birth control is 3% of their budget. Contraception is 35% If 3% of funding is to 332,000 abortions than 35% of funding is to over 3,652,000 abortions prevented. Planned parenthood prevents more abortions than all similar efforts combined. Ta dow =)
They already aren't allowed to use federal money to pay for the abortions they do provide. I think they should have MORE funding so they can PREVENT MORE abortions.
Margaret Sanger is dead. Her opinions don't matter.
Planned parenthood doesn't carry on any legacy except doing what they believe is right with regards to women. You can see their priorities in the services provided above. I think most people think these are moral and invaluable services. I know it's difficult to sanction an organization that provides abortions when you feel so strongly about how wrong they are. If I agreed with you I'd feel similarly. But the fact is we live in a compromised grey world where the same people who provide abortions also prevent the most abortions. If you get rid of them the net result is may times more abortions than they provide. That's worse than where you started. And, if you believe these are all human beings, it means you are going to owe the many more that are aborted one helluva afterlife apology.
Or maybe not. Just the way I see it.
No organization is perfect. Not one. Not even the Catholic church. But you don't hear anyone trying to de-fund them for their mistakes.

Wednesday, March 30

A Banking Thought

My brother in law is upset because he now has to pay for his checking account. For many years banks have avoided this by charging exorbitant overdraft fees. Now that they are unable to do so they are charging for a service they provided for free in times past. His bent on the situation was that he was being screwed because the era of overdraft usury had expired. "I was responsible," he said, "Why should I have to pay for my checking account now just because irresponsible people couldn't keep track of their account balances?" What he didn't realize or didn't care about was the fact that he had been getting a free ride his entire life. He had received a service for nothing. Now, thanks to new legislation, he had to pay for that service. Oh the humanity! And he blamed people that had been taken advantage of by this system for so long. Fact is, bro, that you are the one who has been taking advantage of other people's "irresponsibility," as you call it. They have been paying for you for years. You have had the privilege
of a wellfare checking account for as long as you've had one. And now you're upset because someone else isn't paying YOUR WAY? Doesn't sound like a conservative value to me. Let's face it. You're upset because you have to pay for something you didn't have to pay for before. There is no other reason. So forget all the arguments you've concocted about the "unfair regulation of banks." You just don't want to pay more. And you don't give a damn who it hurts in order to keep more money in your wallet. That, unfortunately, IS a conservative value.

Tuesday, October 6

Standard of Living vs Standard of Life Part 1

We just don't get it. Some play the fool for the benefit of others but most of us are the fools. Jesters in the courts of evil kings.

Standard of living is measured by more than how much you are paid for your work, what goods and services you can purchase, and how little you pay for those goods and services. When did the standard of living cease to coincide with a standard of life? When did economics eclipse way of life? Why isn't this an argument being made? What difference does money make when you detest so much of the way you live?

A standard of living makes no sense without a standard of life. In fact, one can have a high standard of life with a low standard of living and yet live a blessed and joyful existence, but few men can have a high standard of living with a low standard of life and yet be content and happy.

Machiavelli says, "I say then that such a principality is obtained either by the favour of the people or by the favour of the nobles. Because in all cities these two distinct parties are found, and from this it arises that the people do not wish to be ruled nor oppressed by the nobles, and the nobles wish to rule and oppress the people; and from these two opposite desires there arises in cities one of three results, either a principality, self- government, or anarchy." and then remarks, "A principality is created either by the people or by the nobles, accordingly as one or other of them has the opportunity; for the nobles, seeing they cannot withstand the people, begin to cry up the reputation of one of themselves, and they make him a prince, so that under his shadow they can give vent to their ambitions. The people, finding they cannot resist the nobles, also cry up the reputation of one of themselves, and make him a prince so as to be defended by his authority."He further states, "Besides this, one cannot by fair dealing, and without injury to others, satisfy the nobles, but you can satisfy the people, for their object is more righteous than that of the nobles, the latter wishing to oppress, while the former only desire not to be oppressed."

If the goal of the "nobles"(simply put, men of power) is to "oppress the people" And the, "only desire(of the people is) not to be oppressed." Then obviously the question of how to control and manipulate "the people" has been an age-long pre-occupation of thought and action among the ,"nobles." or "men of power." One imagines they have been perfecting it since prehistory. That they have turned history itself to their ends. How does one(or a group of individuals) accomplish this?

A politician cannot lead a man away from a way of life that makes him happy. This man wants no change. With a family provided for, with access to clothing, food, shelter, community, and relative peace, what need has he for a higher, "standard of living?" Unless a man be tempted, fooled away, or frightened from his standard of life, perhaps with promises of a higher, "standard of living," or by the fear of another tribe, or "people", what need has he for government? What need has he for politicians? What need has he for an abundance of possessions? What need has he to live a modern life? Unless one has a low "standard of life" there is no need for a high, "standard of living." Unless one has wandered, or was forced, or led into an unknown land to lead an unfulfilling life how can he be herded as cattle? When a man is satisfied with what he has how can he be controlled? How can he be oppressed? On the other hand when a man has lost his way he will ask anyone for directions. When a man is unsatisfied he will follow any and all prevailing wisdom and advice in order to fill the hole in his soul. In order to recapture that which makes him whole. Then all one must do is control the prevailing wisdom and advice. To control the information. To make "the people" believe what makes them oppressable and unsatisfied is what will make them free and fulfilled.

Pretty smart. You can almost hear them planning, "We'll also confuse them with pleasure, history, religion, economics, nationalism, disease, war, and a multitude of fears." They don't stand a chance." One helluva shell game. And simple in it's complexity. I would not be much surprised if the data and knowledge of the science of power, control, oppression, manipulation, and the plan to achieve it all could fill the library at Alexandria.

In this variation on the over-all theme that "Although the un-ending march to a better standard of living is in many ways painful and we must sacrifice for it, there is no other way to improve the lives of humans and the fortunes of humanity but to continue on the course that made possible World Wars, nation-wide poverty in the third-world, genocide, climate crisis, oppression for all, and it is now as simple as someone making a mistake to destroy our entire species with weaponized disease, chemical, or nuclear weapons. Maybe a rational person would reject some of our "versatile solutions for modern living" if it meant the return to a standard of life that was actually worth living along with the ability to live life without the tools of mankind's assured destruction staring him in the face when he wakes up and the knowledge that it could all end at any time eating away at his well being throughout the day. And clawing at his subconscious throughout the night.

Sunday, October 4

On Civil Discourse in an Uncivil Time

I believe in driving myself to be a better person. I believe in challenging myself to be a better human being, but I do not believe in driving others to grow at the point of the argumentative blade. Will this accomplish much more than resentment or encourage much more than the thought that I am trespassing on an individuals will to learn at their own speed and to perfect themselves at the pace which they have set forth as right in their own minds? In questioning the ways of influence I can see no better course than inspiration. Does this not cause a person to turn inward and confront what may be holding them back? Does confrontation not defeat this purpose? Who moves forward when badgered and told that their ways are wrong? I have not met them. But who, that is not wholly lost, can refrain from questioning why they feel or do a certain thing when the better angels of their nature cry out to them across the great fields of their malformed convictions? Let us then address our fellow men not through arguments that enflame passions long polluted by feelings of discontent and hopelessness, but inspire our neighbors by appealing to that which is common throughout the body politic: Humanity. There is no one among us, not beyond the grasp of decency, who can withstand the call to uphold the right. If we do not arouse the passions of a lifetime of neglect, oppression, or powerlessness we cannot fail to touch those who disagree with us. We are all one. One man, One neighborhood, One city, One state, One nation, One world, One humanity. One life, One love, One God. Let us treat each other so and we will not be so easily divided or dismissed. Amen.


Wednesday, August 26

The Great Liar talks with Jon Stewart, Who Creams Her

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Betsy McCaughey Pt. 1
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Betsy McCaughey Pt. 2
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

Health Care Debate Based on Total Lack of Logic

Heated partisan debate over President Obama's health care plan, erupting at town hall meetings and in the blogosphere, has more to do with our illogical thought processes than reality, sociologists are finding.

The problem: People on both sides of the political aisle often work backward from a firm conclusion to find supporting facts, rather than letting evidence inform their views.

The result: A survey out this week finds voters split strongly along party lines regarding their beliefs about key parts of the plan. Example: About 91 percent of Republicans think the proposal would increase wait times for surgeries and other health services, while only 37 percent of Democrats think so.

Irrational thinking

A totally rational person would lay out - and evaluate objectively - the pros and cons of a health care overhaul before choosing to support or oppose a plan. But we humans are not so rational, according to Steve Hoffman, a visiting professor of sociology at the University of Buffalo.

"People get deeply attached to their beliefs," Hoffman said. "We form emotional attachments that get wrapped up in our personal identity and sense of morality, irrespective of the facts of the matter."

And to keep our sense of personal and social identity, Hoffman said, we tend to use a backward type of reasoning in order to justify such beliefs.

Similarly, past research by Dolores Albarracin, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has shown in particular that people who are less confident in their beliefs are more reluctant than others to seek out opposing perspectives. So these people avoid counter evidence all together. The same could apply to the health care debate, Albarracin said.

"Even if you have free press, freedom of speech, it doesn't make people listen to all points of view," she said.

Just about everybody is vulnerable to the phenomenon of holding onto our beliefs even in the face of iron-clad evidence to the contrary, Hoffman said. Why? Because it's hard to do otherwise. "It's an amazing challenge to constantly break out the Nietzschean hammer and destroy your world view and belief system and evaluate others," Hoffman said.

Just the facts you need

Hoffman's idea is based on a study he and colleagues did of nearly 50 participants, who were all Republican and reported believing in the link between the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and Saddam Hussein. Participants were given the mounting evidence that no link existed and then asked to justify their belief.

(The findings should apply to any political bent. "We're not making the claim that Democratic or liberal partisans don't do the same thing. They do," Hoffman said.)

More Coverage of Senator Kennedy's Passing

And now they are all gone. And the stones wept.

Here is as much information as one could need: (Just click the picture)

Mass. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy dies at age 77

By GLEN JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer Glen Johnson, Associated Press Writer –

BOSTON – Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the last surviving brother in a political dynasty and one of the most influential senators in history, died Tuesday night at his home on Cape Cod after a year-long struggle with brain cancer. He was 77.

In nearly 50 years in the Senate, Kennedy served alongside 10 presidents — his brother John Fitzgerald Kennedy among them — compiling an impressive list of legislative achievements on health care, civil rights, education, immigration and more.

His only run for the White House ended in defeat in 1980. More than a quarter-century later, he handed then-Sen. Barack Obama an endorsement at a critical point in the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, explicitly likening the young contender to President Kennedy.

To the American public, Kennedy was best known as the last surviving son of America's most glamorous political family, father figure and, memorably, eulogist of an Irish-American clan plagued again and again by tragedy.

Kennedy's death triggered an outpouring of superlatives, from Democrats and Republicans as well as foreign leaders.

"An important chapter in our history has come to an end. Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States senator of our time," Obama said in a written statement.

"For five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts," said Obama, vacationing at Martha's Vineyard off the Massachusetts coast.

Kennedy's family announced his death in a brief statement released early Wednesday.

"We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever," the statement said. "We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada issued a statement that said, "It was the thrill of my lifetime to work with Ted Kennedy.....The liberal lion's mighty roar may now fall silent, but his dream shall never die." READ MORE

Tuesday, August 25

The Truth About Record-Setting U.S. Life Expectancy

The following from

By Robert Roy Britt, Editorial Director
posted: 19 August 2009 03:16 pm ET

Life expectancy in the United States rose to an all-time high, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today. But that's only half the story.

The country is behind about 30 others on this measure.

Though the United States has by far the highest level of health care spending per capita in the world, we have one of the lowest life expectancies among developed nations — lower than Italy, Spain and Cuba and just a smidgeon ahead of Chile, Costa Rica and Slovenia, according to the United Nations. China does almost as well as we do. Japan tops the list at 83 years. READ MORE

Stand Up For Your Neighbor!

If you want to know who among Democrats, obviously no Republicans are to be found supporting the 47 plus million American citizens without healthcare, is standing up for the public option and who isn't please visit the following website:
(You can just click the picture)

Good on the Democrats that have already agreed that they support the public option bar none but we had better let those other, "Democrats" who have failed to stand up for what is right know that they are being counted and we will remember them well. They will have no chance for national office if they do not stand with the better women and men among their colleagues and say without reservation, "I care about the health of the uninsured. I support the widows, the orphans, and the poor! I will not fail them in the greatest and most righteous struggle facing this nation since the struggle for Civil Rights! I believe that without the inalienable right to life, the inalienable rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness become irrelevant. Thus are over 47 million Americans stripped of their citizenship and become aliens in their own land. Thus is the Declaration of Independence burned. Thus falls our country from it's place on high into a depth from whence it will only be resurrected after the failure is universally recognized by the mass of men to be a blight on our proud history and an ugly reminder that though we believed we were past the great and shameful struggles, such as the prolonged delay of Civil Rights, and could once again hold our heads high- That in the year 2009 we failed of the promise again- to make this a country of the people, by the people, and for ALL of the people."

I urge you all to write to those who have not declared their support for this measure and tell them what you think. You are called to act. Do not fail. Tell them to say YES!

ps: all you need do is do a google search with the name of the "Democrat" and the word: email and you can tell them all your heartfelt thoughts. Do as many as you are willing and then do ten more. Again, You have been called. Stand with me. Stand with your neighbors. Do your best.

Wednesday, August 19

Barney Frank and the crazy chick "talk" Healthcare

Monday, August 17

Open Letter to Congressman Weiner on Healthcare

Dear Sir,

I am writing to you from Dallas, Texas. I saw your recent interview where you stood up for Americans, like myself, who have no health insurance and, in my case as in many others, have not had it for many years. I wanted to thank you for fighting for me. For fighting for all of us. I am nobody. I have no power. Obviously I have no money or I would be insured. There is no real reason to care about my health that will do you any good whatsoever. I vote democratic and am registered as such but, as you well know based on my location, that is of no help to you either, unless you should some day run for national office. The only real reason to aid me and others like me in this cause is that there is something within you that compels you to do the right thing without hope of reward. That you are a good man. Thank you sir. A thousand times thank you. I have written the President as well as my republican representatives in the House and Senate so that at the very least they would know I am here and I am real. And perhaps, if there ever is a reckoning, they will find that when they were called to action in the defense of the defenseless, that they, unlike you, have no excuse and will deserve and receive whatever consequences they have so regrettably called down upon themselves. Again, you have my thanks, my goodwill, and my unfailing support. You do us proud Sir.

Wednesday, September 3


I can hardly believe what I'm seeing.

There are more women speaking at the Republican National Convention (excluding wives of politicians) than at the Democratic convention.

Just saying ...

Monday, September 1


What scary-smart Anglachel said.

UPDATE: The ever-alert Charles Lemos spots a provocative post by Edwards' campaign manager Joe Trippi, who says that Dems should take the McCain/Palin ticket seriously.

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Near the end of this film, the question is posed: If women constitute more than 50% of the electorate, why aren't there more women in public office?

It's a good question. Women can be sexist too. I've observed it in the workplace, where a female executive enjoys her privileged place so much that rather than mentoring or encouraging other women, she denies them access to the inner circle. I've experienced it with a female obstetrician who told me outright that since she had to endure female pain, she had no sympathy with mine. I've seen it, time after time, on the airwaves, when female reporters seemed so anxious for solidarity with their male counterparts or superiors, that they expressed some of the same sexist remarks or laughed nervously rather than calling them out for it.

When racism was a more accepted, pervasive phenomenon in our culture, we were told that to accede to or stand silently by, when racist remarks were made in our presence, made us complicit in that racist expression. That principle is no less true regarding sexism.

I remember when, some dozen years ago, my well-meaning and otherwise sensitive CEO (of a $10 billion Fortune 500 company) appointed four men to be facilitators for his pet project, and four women to be their co-facilitators (which basically meant we were to take notes on the flipcharts). The co-facilitators were Director of Sales, the VP-Corporate Communications, one of our corporate attorneys, and myself, Director of Communications, i.e., all executives, not administrative assistants. When we met for our first planning meeting, the CEO asked if any of us had any opening thoughts. I looked around the group and asked, "Has anyone else noticed that the facilitators are all male, and the co-facilitators all female?" The Director of Sales exclaimed, "I was wondering if anyone would point that out!" The CEO was astonished and then said, "I didn't even realize it." I believed it. Though the husband of a strong woman and the father of a CBS news producer, the habit of sexism was ingrained in even this fine man.

My point is, if we don't speak out against sexism when it rears its head, the HABIT will not be changed. The first step in eradicating any prejudice is to point it out, repeatedly, until consciousness is raised, and the habit is no longer culturally acceptable.

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Tuesday, August 26


For those who don't follow this blog enough to know, The Sage and I are fiftyish lifelong activist Democrats. The Sage, my hubby, is often quoted here but doesn't participate in posting, but I often reference his wisdom. But here and now, as Big Tent Democrat often says, I speak for myself only.

I now declare that I'm ready to fall in line (reference: Bill Clinton has said, "Democrats fall in love; Republicans fall in line.").

We have five grown free-thinking children, two sons and three daughters. My youngest son (27) has been an avid Obama partisan who has been totally disillusioned by his actions since securing the nomination. My oldest son (32) remains an Obama supporter. Two of our daughters are partisan Republicans, the third (the oldest) is apolitical but leans towards our (her dad's and mine) judgments.

I have been telling my acquaintance for the past several weeks/months, and on this blog, that I haven't "fallen in love" with Obama. I have serious problems with his character, his experience, his electoral tactics. I am a serious Hillary supporter who, surprisingly, started as an Edwards advocate until the debates, at which point I switched my loyalties. Hillary, I began to perceive, was clearly, the most knowledgeable, the most passionate, the most viable candidate to confront the Republican juggernaut.

I was incredibly moved by her speech last night. She pointed out so vividly the choices with which we are confronted. And as I've so often said, I cannot vote for the reactionary John McCain. Tonight Bill sealed the deal for me.

I have no illusions that Barack Obama is going to champion the issues most dear to my heart. I am seriously disillusioned by the DNC and its machinations during this election cycle. I am, indeed, furious at the DNC, its obvious efforts to distance itself from the most successful Democratic political and governmental legacy in the past half-century (the Clinton years),and have seriously contemplated changing my voter registration to Independent. I have been seriously insulted -- but that is not a personal thing, that is a challenge to the DNC -- by the meme that the Clintons are passe. Excuse me? The only successful POLITICALLY and actually successful GOVERNING regime in recent Democratic history?

Why, I wonder, are so many influential and powerful Democrats so eager to erase the Clinton legacy?

I feel completely empathetic with the old Gandhi meme that he would have embraced Christianity were it not for Christians. Similarly, Obama's supporters and the DNC have given me a disgust for their leaders and my party. But we cannot afford four more years of Republican rule. So I will cast my vote for Obama, but it will, in reality, be a vote more AGAINST the Republicans than in favor of BO.


Oh, that Marie Cocco. Read it all.

It is not lost on them that in selecting Joe Biden to be the vice presidential nominee, Obama has chosen a Washington insider who voted in favor of the Iraq War -- two of the sustained attacks on Clinton that Obama used to devastating effect during the primaries.

The television cameras will linger on angry and tearful Clinton delegates in the convention crowd. The commentators will no doubt take this as a demonstration of disunity -- and not a few will, of course, blame Clinton.

But it is usually the job of the party nominee to build unity once a vanquished rival has conceded and made the right gestures. Unless the loser happens to be a woman. Then it's just like high school, and she must do the work.

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Monday, August 25


In light of my previous post, I say this to my friends and fellow travelers who have urged me to vote for John McCain:

I understand what you're saying, and I'm very tempted to agree, but I can't. The situation reminds me very much of my youth in the sixties. I was passionately opposed to the Vietnam War and fervently in favor of the civil rights movement, but I took the road of working within the system and trying to amend it rather than the Bill Ayers path of trying to blow it up. I demonstrated, I sat in (even slept in, which is where The Sage proposed to me), I was even arrested at a protest, but I would not participate in violence.

To me, to vote for John McCain is a kind of violence in itself. It's a vote for more senseless war, it's a vote to continue the disastrous Bush policies the world has had to suffer for eight years. It's a violence against women itself. So I'll be protesting once again by not voting for either candidate. That's the only path I can see for myself at this point.

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Saturday, August 23


I've been totally consumed over the past month with A REGULAR JOB. But at the same time, I've been monitoring the machinations of the Obama and McCain campaigns and trying to make, in my own mind, some kind of sense of the presidential electorate.

Tonight I'm experiencing a totally visceral reaction to the announcement that Joe Biden is Obama's chosen running mate, and the news that Hillary was never even considered. For me, that's the end of the matter. I WILL NOT vote for Barack Obama, this phony, ego-centric, empty suit who has no record whatsoever of battling for the progressive issues that positively impact ordinary Americans.

No, I will not vote for John McCain. But neither will I vote for Obama. I'm tired of hearing how "brilliant" Obama is. Tonight when I was coordinating a major event for my company, I listened to an excellent, contemporaneous address by our youngish CFO. By contrast, Obama, absent a scripted, telepromptered-assisted speech, renders halting, incomprehensible speech. He has given evidence of a serious lack of understanding and/or principled stand on the issues. We are not voting for a pastor-in-chief nor a philosopher-in-chief. Obama has yet to publicly carve a concrete policy philosophy, and his record is so obscure, yet troubling, that it is incredible to me that this naif has ascended to the leadership of our party.

This is it for me. The "hope-y change-y" candidate has chosen as his running mate Mister MBNA, a rather cool guy in some ways but a man who has served in the Senate for over 30 years -- so what's with BO's anti-Washington shtick? Joe Biden has argued against Obama's judgment and his readiness to be president. He's wholly owned by a corporate lobby, which renders Obama's attacks against McCain's lobby connections vain, toothless.

By the way, though I had signed up on Obama's website to get the hyped email about his vice presidential running mate choice, I did not get any notification.

Did anyone get the vaunted text alert?

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