Saturday, September 30, 2006

For and Against; Cynical me and Anti-Intellectualism

My cynical theory is that many people vote Republican
FOR low taxes, even during war (not noticing that they pay more for healthcare, gas, groceries, school, services, etc.) and sometimes
FOR bigotry (against gays, women, blacks, immigrants, and whoever is the media's whipping post that season), and
FOR a perception that Republicans are "tough"

I think that many Republican voters vote AGAINST Democrats to vote
AGAINST intellectuals
AGAINST people who are different from them

Greed and bigotry are constant sins, but why don't we value intelligence? Why this anti-intellectualism?


While concluding that President Bush "has proved to be lawless and reckless" and "started a war he cannot finish, drove the government into debt and repeatedly defied the Constitution," David Broder explains why Bush was preferable to Al Gore and John Kerry: Their "know-it-all arrogance rankled Midwesterners such as myself." Cable News Confidential author Jeff Cohen: another who gives a damn [Gore is from the Midwest, and why is it that rightwingers keep implying that Midwesterners and Southerners aren't smart?]

The Apocalypse on the Left

There are many people on the right who are looking forward to an apocalypse coming here, but some prominent voices on the right, quoted below, are suggesting that electing Democrats will bring on the apocalypse in various forms...does the radical right and their media representatives have their wires crossed? Do the talking heads realize that they risk pulling members of their radical base away from voting for Republicans if the left can deliver the apocalypse? (-;

The freaked out people on the right are so worried about losing power that they are desperately trying to terrorize the populace against voting for Democrats, and to justify voting fraud (the good news is that this may mean that all the voting machines aren't rigged).

I'm going to keep track of what the attack dogs are saying here, but I'm not going to say who said what because they are shameless, partisan publicity whores and I refuse to promote them on my blog (anymore). I'll identify elected or appointed (anointed) politicians, however.


9/29/2006 Fox News, Your World
"The fact that anyone would vote for Democrats because gas prices were going up -- oh, OK, that's worth risking ,another terrorist attack...Way too many people vote. We should have fewer people voting. There ought to be a poll tax to take the literacy test before voting."

9/26/2006 MSNBC, Tucker
"people have made up their minds ... that if we vote Democrat, that just hastens the day we disappear in a nuclear holocaust," and that "re-arguing and re-arguing and re-arguing about how [U.S. soldiers] got [to Iraq] is not only pointless but is going to get them killed."

David Gregory speaks for everyone, ignores obvious conclusions of NIE...

Dear NBC News and David Gregory,

Gregory said " one questions whether this president is tough on terror." The NIE does!! Can we please stress that it is not the Democrats that have produced the NIE report, there are over a dozen intelligence agencies that have concluded that Bush's Iraq policy has created more terrorists and left us less safe. Not everything has to be framed in partisan terms, can you please just stick to the facts and not opinion and "he said she said!!!" In addition, if you insist on relaying partisan bickering when you say, "The Democrats" or "The Republicans" would you at least take the time to quote someone directly? That would be a great step in the direction of responsible journalism, and we rarely get quotes from Democrats via your news sources as it is.

Could it be more obvious that computing and voting should not be combined?

Whistleblowers reveal that voting machines were given a "secret" patch in Atlanta, Georgia

Friday, September 29, 2006

Life and Politics

It’s hard for me to ignore national politics because I don’t see them as separate from the needs and experiences of my family. We all have to live together as a community and I have to shut down a part of myself to keep politics "out” of my relationships with others. Politics stem from how we treat people as a society and that’s important to me. It’s never been separate from my family or my personal life.

I think that now is a time where Americans are turning against each other more than against the terrorists, and maybe its because of a fundamental disagreement about how we fight the terrorists, but that debate hardly makes the news...and in the mean time I’m feeling less safe in my own country as a liberal woman of a hated religion.

None of that means that our different opinions on how we see the world have to interfere in our friendships. It may cause discomfort between us, but conflict happens, even in the most loving relationships. I really don’t want to argue with people, I’m just trying to find out what their point of view is. How far off the edge is this country?

A lot of people and the media act like everyone has to think the same way or there will be “consequences.” I bet if honest people put their heads together we could come up with some great, moderate political solutions. The problem is that we’re not putting our heads together in our government or our press or our culture.

Last weekend we had a big debate over a lot of the issues in front of this country with our family at a ceremonial dinner. The table was half conservative, half liberal, and it became quite apparent that even though our goals were similar (peace in America) the means of achieving it were very different. Often, the liberals were given an “either/or” argument, like, “Either we do what we’re doing, or we sit around and do nothing,” “Either we go to war for oil, or we stop driving our cars,” “If we hadn’t taken out Saddam, we would have done nothing,” “Either we bomb the hell out of Iran, or we do nothing.” The conservatives demanded short, easy answers, yes or no, and there was little room or patience for alternatives, other ideas, approaches, solutions, success! The good news is that by the end of the evening, we had tried to come closer in our views and left on good terms, one individual had actually flipped on her view of Iraq.

I have a lot of faith in our country and our ability to stop terrorism and to come up with alternative fuels, so we don’t have to go to war for oil, but most people are stuck in this fear of everything. Fear that we don’t have enough oil, fear that we can’t survive without oil, fear that liberals want to ignore the terrorists, fear that we can’t stop Iran...

I want leaders that can rule our country with hope, vision, unity and a responsive, smart military. When I see policies that divide our people, that target our people, that intimidate and isolate our people, I see the kind of governing that has led to serious atrocities in the past.

Corruption is not always the same, and does not always have the same affect on people.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

HR 6166 Arrested? 100% Guilty - Our Government is Perfect

You're presumed guilty if you are arrested and suspected to have "purposely and materially supported hostilities against the United States."

[The L.A. Times failed to mention today that this bill affects foreigners AND AMERICAN CITIZENS.]

How vague. "Materially." I know that word is intended to include giving money, but the whole phrase is mighty chilling considering the rhetoric of the right and Republicans who accuse anyone who challenges their ideas for fighting terrorism as a person who coddles, encourages, or supports terrorists. Maybe "materially supporting hostilities against the U.S." means being a liberal who wants to pay for our wars with tax money now instead of leveraging our children's future.

The truth is, no one has made a case for the NEED for this law, which undermines the Bill of Rights.

When the President signs this law, it means any American citizen can be held in a military prison forever without a right to a hearing. It overules the constitutional Bill of Rights--and the Supreme Court has yet to care, they would't hear the appeal of the American who was arrested below.

G-d help you if you are innocent but arrested as an enemy combatant because you're automatically presumed to be guilty, folks.

Our Congress just passed this law for our President, although he was already breaking the law and acting on it:

"We are not dealing with hypothetical abuses. The president has already subjected a citizen to military confinement. Consider the case of Jose Padilla. A few months after 9/11, he was seized by the Bush administration as an "enemy combatant" upon his arrival at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. He was wearing civilian clothes and had no weapons. Despite his American citizenship, he was held for more than three years in a military brig, without any chance to challenge his detention before a military or civilian tribunal. After a federal appellate court upheld the president's extraordinary action, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, handing the administration's lawyers a terrible precedent."
L.A. Times

So this is what it was like to live during WWII when it became legal for our government to round up anyone of Japanese decent and put them in ghettos.

Far too many Republicans and Democrats have voted to crap on what it means to be American, then and now.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

"Ethics" man Bennet lies on the Today show.

Dear Today show and Matt Lauer,

Maybe he just misunderstood rather than intentionally lying, but either way, Clinton was not the first to bring up his anti-terrorism efforts in the Fox interview. It was Chris Wallace who first broached the topic, and then seem surprised by the complete response Clinton needed to give, the substance of which has mostly been ignored by the mainstream press, and actively campaigned against by Fox News. Will you commit the sin of omission yet again?

This is the third time I've written to the Today show and as of yet I've received no attempt to directly address my legitimate complaints.

[I just have to admit how much I relish when Bennett was on Meet the Press recently and Andrea Mitchell was hosting the show. I don't have respect for Mitchell's journalism anyway and I watched her totally cross the line and put words in Bennett's mouth (something she usually does for Democrats) while Bennett was sitting right beside her! She said something like, "Well I'm sure that Bill Bennett would say..." He was obviously insulted and flabbergasted and ticked off for the entire roundtable. I enjoyed the whole scene a lot more than a person should.]

Income redistribution or anarchy?

I took Bill O'Reilly's bogus "Cultural Warrior" test and failed it by one, leaving him to label me as leaning heavily "to be an S-P" or Secular Progressive. It's amazing to me already that conservatives go around attacking and labeling people "liberals" because that's considered a bad thing by them, but now this narcissist has to start making up new labels to tear down. Wow--I'm so much more about what people do than who people are.

I am progressive (I can't imagine why a person wouldn't be progressive--any type of growth is progressive, but I digress), but I am religious, so that blows a hole in his ridiculous theory right there.

But question number one is framed so at odds with reality that I had to talk about it here.

1. Do you believe in "income redistribution"--that is, the government taxing affluent Americans at a higher proportional rate in order to fund entitlements to the less well off?

We all believe in income redistribution. If we didn't, we wouldn't pay taxes at all. If we didn't, we wouldn't have local governments, state governments or a federal government.

If we didn't have income redistribution we'd live in an anarchy.

If we didn't have income redistribution we'd all take our big paychecks (G-d knows what the little paycheck people would do) and settle our little plot and dig for water and hire our own mercenaries to keep the other anarchists off our "property." We'd have schools for the affluent, too.

So taxing affluent Americans at a higher proportional rate does not DEFINE income redistribution, it is called a PROGRESSIVE tax system. I'm not necessarily in favor of taxing us this anyway (although I could probably be convinced), let's just take away all the loopholes and pay taxes straight up, corporations, too. O'Reilly, that would still be "income redistribution" you misleading ditto-head.

Framing the debate

The intelligence report says that Iraq has fueled terrorists and made America less safe. Bush's response is that we must be offensive in order to make us more safe. Who's arguing that we do not need to defend ourselves? It's just becoming glaringly obvious that playing offense in Iraq (wait, I thought we were nation building there) isn't working.

Here's my logic: We don't know anything that we didn't know before, the point is that Bush has been saying all along that Iraq and his approach makes us more safe, and that this intelligence report direcctly contradicts their constant BS.

I really don't care that we're more or less safe because of Iraq (I already knew we were less safe, I guess), I just want someone to f**ing get us out of Iraq ASAP and catch the terrorists that really are a threat to us, you know, the "global reach" terrorists that Bush outlined after 9-11 [thanks Vigilante], and let's take aim at the guy who actually planned 9-11 and who is currently flaunting his connections with Afghanistan's Teliban. One day Bush says we're doing everything to catch bin Laden, the next day he's telling Fred Barnes that bin Laden is really not a priority.

We're in this war with an incompetent, bancrupting president who presents one story to the public, and another to his friends.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I know, 1984

I know it's been 1984 for awhile; war is peace, lies are the truth, the truth is ignorance, etc., but I guess I was sleeping when Secretary Rice was doing the lying last time.

She recently directly contradicted Bill Clinton's historical analysis and the 9-11 report and totally mischaracterized her administration's approach to terrorism prior to 9-11. Here are the details from Media Matters, the 9-11 report and Richard Clark's book:

Links to 9-11 report

Monday, September 25, 2006

A fighter and quick thinker

Sherrod Brown took on a room of disgruntled liberals tonight at pricey fundraiser that I attended as a guest of an organizer. He is a bright, capable, energetic leader and detailed the ways that Democrats are going to reverse the results of 2004 in Ohio this year. He's honest and a fighter, he's progressive and realizes that so are most people if you frame the argument in simple terms. My husband asked him how he responds to "cut and run" criticism and he said something like, "Republicans are asking us for a plan when all their mistaken 'plans' have led us to this, and they cut and run in Afghanistan!" I told him that I wish I could hear Democrats saying something like this to voters in regard to Iraq, "If you vote for a Democrat, any Democrat, any Democratic plan, we'll start moving in the right direction to get us out of Iraq; if you vote Republican we'll be staying the chaos." I asked him how he was going to take on the ever-present tool of Republicans, "We won't raise your taxes," B.S. He said that he won't raise taxes on the middle class (I know, it's such a crappy situation). As my dinner pal said to me, "How do people expect to cover $2 billion a week in spending without taxes? It's just a bill we keep building."

Good question. Bush and Dewine are walking around saying, "This expensive war will be continued indefinitely, and we'll make those wealthy tax cuts permanent!" Huh? Bombs and butter, bombs and butter, bombs and butter....

A lot of people were talking about Clinton on Meet the Press and on Fox Morning. Most were happy with what Clinton said, he's brilliant of course, and my husband and I were saying how Fox News' chattering ditto-heads [thanks, Vigilante] are trying to pull a "Howard Dean" on Clinton, trying to make him look like a lunatic because he got mad. If someone suggested I didn't do all I could when I did, I'd get mad, too--and heck, Bush looks like a raving mad man most of the time lately, any conservatives noticing that? Fox isn't showing any of the footage of Clinton's substantive responses to Wallace's question--they don't show how Clinton won the debate, of course. They certainly aren't questioning Bush or Cheney (the guys that still haven't caught bin Laden and who are in the position to do so) with the same question! Heck, I'd follow Clinton's people into Pakistan to catch bin Laden, I know my way around an AK-47, give us clearance King George (okay, maybe I wouldn't now, but I would have before I got married/kids, etc.).

Oh, I just have to add that a relative of mine the other day said, "Bush isn't a friend of the Saudi's!" What planet do these people live on? I didn't even try to argue with that, and I'd been arguing all night--it was just like a switch clicked on in my mind that said, "Don't bother." I hate that thought.


A vision for a better future

Tonight my husband and I went to a fundraiser for Joe Sestak of PA. He was phenomenal!! He is the kind of leadership we are looking for as a nation. He is a compassionate Navy guy who is absolutely on the ball with Middle East challenges. He delivered a passionate, articulate, moving, and strong speech about who he was and why he cares about our country and its people. He started running for election because his then toddler daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer--she had terrific healthcare, but he witnessed other children with cancer in this country who didn't have adequate health insurance. 6 million people more have become uninsured since Bush/Cheney. So much for our abundance...

My question for Sestak was how he envisioned our military presence in the Middle East in the future. He was well versed in the intracacies of Iraq's cultural problems and basically said that we'd have a small presence there, in a couple small countries possibly (he didn't list Iraq), to secure those countries and lend stability to our allies, but we shouldn't leave a big footprint. We need leaders like him in Congress.

John Murtha was there also. It is stunning to me that this conservative, ethical Marine has been treated so poorly by the adminstration (Cheney called Murtha dishonest among other nasty implications).

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Webb in Virginia starts winning and the press starts spinning

Dear AP,

Just because Allen wasn't pulled aside and offered the explanation that body armor is included in the description "protection equipment" and "tactical equipment" doesn't mean he didn't vote against protecting the National Guard with updated protective equipment, including "body armor." Why are you helping him spin his poor judgement by making excuses for him?

[In "analyzing" an ad that Webb ran against Allen criticizing Allen for voting down body armor, the AP offered the lame excuse that no one specifically mentioned "body armor" when describing the bill on the House floor. I guess our representatives aren't expected to draw thoughtful conclusions from broad concepts. is on this "spell it out for Allen" bandwagon, also.]

Distasteful Hypocrisy

Dear MSNBC and Tucker Carlson,

On the children's book _Mommy is a Democrat_

TUCKER CARLSON: "It is, of course, propaganda, and it's always and everywhere wrong and creepy and should be obviously a bad thing to do to impose your politics on children. Doesn't matter what your politics happen to be. Kids ought to be immune from politics. Be quiet, don't push it on them."

On the children's book _Help! Mom! There are Liberals Under My Bed!_

TUCKER CARLSON: "'s a clever book, I have to say. Thanks a lot for coming on. I hope it sells."

The first book simply stresses liberal values, the second book attacks liberals but the first book is the propaganda? HUH?

You didn't call a book ostensibly about conservative "values," that apparently includes making liberals scary "propaganda." Tucker Carlson, are you saying that being a Democrat and having and promoting Democratic values is WRONG and attacking liberals is RIGHT?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Who is the fraudulent voter?

The "people's" House just voted to suppress the vote nation wide,

"The actual reason for this bill is the political calculus that certain kinds of people — the poor, minorities, disabled people and the elderly — are less likely to have valid ID. They are less likely to have cars, and therefore to have drivers’ licenses. There are ways for nondrivers to get special ID cards, but the bill’s supporters know that many people will not go to the effort if they don’t need them to drive.

If this bill passed the Senate and became law, the electorate would likely become more middle-aged, whiter and richer — and, its sponsors are anticipating, more Republican."

Why are American's so comfortable with this? I suspect vile, inhuman, indefensible reasons that are spoken only to those who are like-minded [okay, my husband pointed out that showing IDs might just make good sense to some people].

There is no fraud problem with voters going to vote.

The fraud problems are with those administering the voting.

The Nazi's in Germany (before WWII) began changing laws to slowly push certain groups of people out of the German definition of a citizen--eventually Jews and others were not German citizens. Goebbels is still proved right that the biggest lies are believed, and a strong minority in this country seems comfortable with fascism. What does this mean for those of us who aren't comfortable with fascism? I'm really trying not to obsess about this, to believe that people will come around, wake up, and change the direction of this country. But I thought that would happen in 2004.


Update: My husband points out that this voter ID bill is a very smart, logical tactic that the Republicans are using because it seems like it's harmless and will make practical sense to people. And we have to say specifically that this is not the type of fraud that is happening; that people now have to verify their current address either with their ballot or their ID and also be registered on the voting rolls at their precinct in order to vote. That's enough bureaucracy, isn't it you "smaller government" Republicans? Why do we need to make grandma in the nursing home got get her picture taken on a state ID when she's been voting in the same place for 15 years? Where's the voter fraud? It's not voter fraud, it's voting machine tampering and political operative/governmental fraud that's happening. Rove is smart, very fraud is not our problem, it's the VOTER's problem. Ugh.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thinking about abundance

I met Steven Covey in New York when I accompanied a friend to one of his talks. I had very little idea of who he was, other than a Mormon who wrote a book about success. I figured that he was a conservative person, a Republican probably, and gave it very little thought. Then his talk stuck with me, and I had an intense conversation with my friend about the idea of approaching life with an attitude of scarcity or abundance. At the time, I thought that thinking in terms of abundance was absolutely irresponsible considering population explosions and global warming. But now I realize that this attitude is more about how an individual relates to other people, rather than how we use and abuse our world.

In an abundant world, we give easily.

In an abundant world, we fear less from our fellow man.

In an abundant world, we don't supress the vote.

Today, Americans live in material abundance and fear others. It's an odd paradigm. I'm not sure how it plays out.

We fear that we don't have enough protection from the terrorists, we fear that our government is too indebted to be overcome, we fear that we do not have enough military to fight bigger wars, we fear that there won't be enough jobs for our children, we fear that our retirements are not going to be easy, we fear the poor and homeless (and that we might become either).

The powers that be encourage all of these fears.

There are leaders that believe we have enough, but in our culture their voices are hard to hear. Enough to protect us from terrorists, enough to fight those that have hurt us or those who still might, enough to restore a balanced budget, enough to restore military readiness, enough to provide education to every child, enough for workers to retire in comfort, enough to share with the poor and house or care for the homeless. Enough for all of us.

Many people believe that if we have enough for "us," there isn't enough for ME.

I get very sad when I think about how people fear the poor or less fortunate and how people vote for personal interests over community interests. I couldn't put my finger on it and then my husband prompted me, "Your dad showed you how people can be helped, and you grew up poor." No one knows me better than my husband.

An accountability drop in the ocean

Dear Fox News,

Morton Kondracke recently claimed that insurgents in Iraq want to help defeat those who oppose Bush's policies in the fall election. On what factual basis does he make that assumption? Did you ever report that al qaeda is suspected to have written a letter celebrating the idea of a Bush presidential re-election? The terrorists believed that Kerry's people would defeat bin Laden (see below). Kondracke said exactly the opposite back then--without facts, without merit. Why can't Kondracke and Fox lobby for your Republican agenda without outright lies? I wonder how you guys justify this to yourselves. In this era of "news" and politics I have to teach my child that adults they see on television who claim that they know what they're talking about just can't be trusted.

According to Reuters, an apparent Al Qaeda letter that surfaced in March stated that the group supports Bush's reelection: "The statement said it supported President Bush in his reelection campaign, and would prefer him to win in November rather than the Democratic candidate John Kerry, as it was not possible to find a leader 'more foolish than you (Bush), who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom.' ... [The letter added,] 'Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilization. ... Because of this we desire you (Bush) to be elected.'" [Reuters, 3/17/04]

More on moral relativism

So my conservative friend got me thinking about corruption in politics and I was fuming because I just don't see how Democrats equal Republicans in the latter's quest to suppress the vote in this country. Ken Blackwell, who is now running for Governor in Ohio, double-take, is exhibit #1 in the number of ways Republicans have blocked, obscured, complicated, and interfered with (often illegally) democracy. Ohio and Florida are easy examples. The only tampering I can recall hearing about with Democrats was Kennedy's people paying people to go vote. So, here's this moral equivalence thing...Republicans and the press will say that both parties are equally bad even though Republicans STOP people from voting, and Democrats have alegedly PAID people to vote (I'm not even sure about that).


At worst you can call what Democrats may have done in the distant past a bribe, but in the real world of voting mechanics it's a GAMBLE. No dollar can guarantee that someone punches the card for your guy or girl.

On the other hand, what Republicans do is STOP Americans' right to vote (whether a person does it voluntarily or involuntarily). Doing everything they can to retain power, Republicans have now resorted to controlling voting machines and software so that there isn't even the slightest chance that an opposing party can win. That's no gamble, that's macro DISENFRANCHISEMENT.

I'm amazed that there isn't more outrage about this--it's so basic to our right to govern ourselves.

Update: My husband pointed out that while voting tampering may be the lesser of two evils for Democrats on the individual level (in terms of a person being or not being in the voting booth), the effect of vote tampering by either party is equally damaging to our democratic process. Mea culpa!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Speaking for Midwesterners on women

Dear Mr. [Chris] Matthews,

I don't know what your experience is with Midwestern hunters, but I grew up with them. Since you feel free speaking for them I'll share my own assumptions with you. Some of them have mothers that would run this country like a tight ship. Give that some thought when you slam them for not thinking a woman, or Hillary, could be president.

By the way, there are any number of Democratic leaders who have good ideas on fighting terrorism and getting us out of Iraq--you could start with John Murtha, Harry Reid, or the up and coming Joe Sestak and Jim Webb. I don't know what you guys read, but C-Span and CQ are very helpful sources. Just because Democrats don't all line up and "group think" doesn't mean we lack ideas or are poor leaders--we're a party full of leaders. Republicans apparently enjoy bowing down to the "anointed," (wow, he actually was anointed by our court) whether he deserves our faith or not.

Moral Relativism, or IS vs TORTURE

I'm sure I've discussed this issue before. Conservatives often accuse Liberals of using, "moral relativism," and how sinful that behavior is. It's a ridiculous charge because everybody does it and we couldn't function as a society without it. It's a heck of a lot better than moral equivalence, which Conservatives do when they're not using moral relativism, for instance when they compare Bush to Clinton. Their flawed logic is since Clinton lied about sex, any of Bush's myriad lies about the law, war, oil, torture, elections, freedom, just shouldn't matter to Americans. Yes, if Democrats were in charge, Bush would probably be successfully impeached by now.

So tag me a moral relativist because I believe that murder is morally worse than lying! I'm sure you're with me on that.

I keep wondering if the mainstream press is going to report that Bush lied when he said that "America does not torture." I think most people knew he was lying, or technically fudging it, but I wonder if the press will actually say he lied, or actually more the truth, explain how he has redefined the word "torture" for himself. You know, like Clinton questioned the definition of what "is" is. Darn it, I'm such a moral relativist...

Darn it, see, Rove keeps distracting me from the mess in Iraq and the fact that our government is owned by China and big oil!


Begging for real journalism, or truth seeking

Dear Mara Liasson and Morning Edition,

When broadcasting Republican talking points and commercials, would you please check them for accuracy? They often lie openly, as they did in the ad you broadcast by Rep. Nancy Johnson on Sept. 19. Connecticut State Senator Chris Murphy actually supports the current law which allows for government interception of calls before an actual FISA court document is filed 72 hours later. I know that it's more work to research claims about issues, especially legal ones, but I think that's real journalism, don't you? Also, these issues appear to be an absolute distraction from Iraq and the real war on terror (which Bush appears to be fighting exclusively with his bully pulpit debates on torture and wire tapping). Can we ask when and how we are catching and fighting terrorists, outside of Iraq, soon? Thank you.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Voters think political parties are the same

When people are just skimming the news for information, it is a shame that our media constantly tries to equalize our political parties in order to appear non-partisan. I find that the goals of Democrats are generally far healthier for our country than Republicans 9 times out of 10 or I wouldn’t support them (by the way, I’m supporting pro-life candidates even though I disagree with that position). Although we’ll find corruption everywhere, it’s just not as overwhelming among those who care less about stuff/money/status (and believe me I do care about stuff/money/status).

In a nut shell, Clinton's moral problems included an intern while running a healthy government but “Jesus is my philosopher” Bush has broken federal law (1), lied to get us into a morally problematic war (2), has given up on fighting terrorism (3) and has sold us to China. I think the bottom line of the folks in power right now is personal and corporate greed. There are greedy Democrats, but I wouldn’t call the party greedy—I would say that a few of the Democrats in office right now are part of the problem and not the solution (like getting money out of politics and creating a more efficient government), but I think many of the Democrats running, especially the military veterans, are full of good ideas that the press ignores. On Meet the Press on Sunday, Jim Webb was a great example of Democratic analysis and solutions for getting us out of Iraq and ahead of the real terrorists.

The press ignores Harry Reid and all the other Democratic leaders and say, “Where are the Democrats? The Republicans say this about Democrats” it’s maddeningly unfair for me to see our press do that all the time. It’s as if Republicans own everybody with a microphone—1984. Lies are stated all the time on TV and on the radio.

(1) I've heard that the Republican congress is trying to pardon him right for breaking FISA laws by making it legal for the President to spy without court approval, but I find no news sources other than the ACLU and for this information.

(2) I find it morally objectionable that we are willing to use Iraqi people and their land as a backdrop for our "fly-paper" "fight it over there, not over here" logic, even though that argument makes no sense. Our civilian government is using our loyal military to create a fight against terrorists that did not exist until we got there; and mostly they are not "terrorists" they are fighting one another in a civil war. Saddam hated Al Qaeda and had no working relationship with them--when we invaded Iraq, we did Al Qaeda, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas a favor. Terrorists are happy right now--I'd like to see that reversed.

(3) Bush's "war on terrorism" consists of his passion (or Cheney's) for torture. Torture doesn't work (please, find me one case where it dramatically worked), the military opposes it, and the way we had it already allowed the fantasy emergency situation where a suspect has information that will help in that minute, humans can break the law. The military doesn't want to get back torture that we dish out! This is such an abstract, civilian argument and I can hardly believe it's a Christian one. I thought Jesus moved past the Old Testament "eye for an eye" argument. Why should we be like the terrorists? If we had a draft like Israel we'd all be fighting for the Geneva Convention. I just heard that this fight in Congress about torture is really to protect our torturer's from what the Red Cross is going to find out.

Bush's second tool to catch terrorists appears to be spying on terrorists without Congressional checks and balances. We're supposed to be in this fight together, Washington should work together, or is the fight against us, Mr. President?

Democrats, it's like this, maybe people think Clinton let bin Laden go, but it was Bush who let bin Laden go AFTER 9-11 at Tora Bora.

And as for Cheney's SUGGESTION the other day that we've stopped terroist attacks from happening here, there's no substantive EVIDENCE of that, and there were how many years of planning before/between the World Trade Center bombing and 9-11? EIGHT years. Plus, London's attack felt very close, to me.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Who would vote for Bill Frist?

I just saw Bill Frist cementing his support for President Bush on the News Hour.

Hey Rhode Island, if you vote for Chafee (R) you're sealing a victory for Bill Frist and the GOP "don't catch Bin Laden, sink billions in Iraq, and ask questions later," road show.

Simple things

Tonight I begin my quest to put Democratic ideas into accessible language.

So Karl Rove is waging wars all over this country to keep Democrats from winning seats in Congress--he historically uses lies and disortions to label people as simply weak, bad, or crazy. He does this, it seems, because Republicans can't win on their own merits.

I'm a Democrat. Democrats generally don't hire people to dig into their opponents records for negative information. I think it's because we actually have values like:

I teach my children that playing fairly benefits everyone.

I teach my children that you can win without someone else losing (win/win).

I teach my children that if you have to cheat to win, you're not winning.

I teach my children to show respect for other people.

I teach my children that people are not all bad or all good, we are all good and bad and let's hope the good outweighs the bad, greatly.

I teach my children that people matter more than things, or even ideas.

I teach my children that if you have to win by making someone else look all bad, you look all bad.


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Democrats are unheard and disrepected

I've been recieving Media Matter's updates every day. Yes, they do occassionally make more than a little something about a little thing, but most of the time their facts are absolutely correct--and equally depressing.

Over a week it has become apparent that Democratic leaders are regularly ignored and disrespected. When people say, "Democrats don't have a plan," or "Where are the Democratic leaders?" just say, "You can find them on the internet or C-Span--but the press ignores them."

Sen. Harry Reid's written and spoken response to Bush's 9/11 speech was not reported by ABC or CBS. Chris Matthews insulted Al Gore's leadership compared to "bad manager but charming" Rudy Giuliani with some nebulous judgement. MSNBC lied about a 9/11 poll that measures how Americans blame Bush and Clinton for 9/11 (they lied so that Clinton looked worse.) Republicans get away with lies to the media, Democrats get challenged on truths!! It really is a skewed game--and involves very shallow cults of personality.

I used to think that the media's motivation for promoting Republicans was to follow the ball of the team that's winning (well, they're in power, I wouldn't call them "winning") but I think there's more to the press' motivation than that. I sense that there's a really fundamental core of anti-intellectualism going on. Facts don't matter, truth isn't important, journalism doesn't exist, we're getting, "he said, she said," or rather, "he said this about him," and ego, "This is what I think."

In the press there seems to be little sense of the common good or, gasp, God's will.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Democrats would benefit by pointing out, over and over, that Republicans get our arguments wrong--and by stating Democratic arguments simply and clearly.

Republicans have a self-interest to keep in power so they define our arguments as the opposite of what they want. The left takes it for granted that Americans understand that Democrats want to disable the terrorists, that we have more intelligent ways of doing it, and that's why we're like, "Gees, Bush is so incompetent, what the hell is he doing torturing prisoners in addition to not catching the terrorists?" Yes, we are the peace party--which means we are willing to fight for American peace--yet Bush's goal now is not PEACE. On this point, why are we so afraid to invoke Clinton's successful, brief war? There sits Bosnia, Croatia, et. al, peacefully co-existing. Iraq could use such a "let's break up and you live over there and rule yourselves, and we'll live over here. Peace."

In nature, behavior that goes in, comes out, patterns occur as above, so below. We do not benefit ourselves or our soldiers by adopting terrorist tactics. Guess what? The terrorists enjoy having Bush as their warmonger (the terrorists, like American hawks, thrive on having a constant state of war). Chris Mathews has it all wrong when he implies terrorists want Democrats to win...the terrorists helped Bush get re-elected by scaring us with Bin Laden just before the 2004 election (I still think Bush cheated to win the electoral college in Ohio and Florida, at least). The terrorists KNOW that fear works for the Republicans. But who cares about applying logic to big problems these days?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Cultural Proportion

I just called a preschool that charges $1260 per month for tution for a 14-month old child.

That is $15,120 per year, before miscellanous fees--that's for 8am - 2pm, three times a week!!

Paying that for three or four years adds up to a private college education!

Now, I agree that quality childcare providers should be handsomely paid, so maybe it's not out of proportion to spend a lot on the very young. Maybe that investment leads to scholarships for those children in the future...but I don't think the stats of infant daycare (maybe preschool) hold up to that. So what are parents paying for?

Luckily, I can hire a quality daycare provider for a few hours a week so that I can continue my career at home. It took me over a YEAR to discover this and it just took calling childcare places and asking questions. I found a very helpful person at the Children's Creative Center. Through her, I found Connections for Children (.org). After several visits to home daycare providers, I found one I'm very comfortable with, hooray!!! If you work at home, a daycare is the best bet for you if your baby is under 3! I hired a babysitter and it would only work for me if she took my son to the park...sometimes it was too hot, too hard to walk, too far...etc.