Seen, Heard, Read

News from the Road, If I Were On The Road

What’s Snoo?

  • Unemployment figures for the month of October: 240,000, which means that Americans have lost approximately 1,000,000 jobs so far this year
  • Claims from aides in McCain camp: Sarah Palin thinks that Africa is a country (no . . . this is is a joke, right?)
  • Claims from Sarah Palin: The most that she ever asked for was an occasional diet Dr. Pepper (okay, governor)
  • Republicans want Joe Lieberman to caucus with them; Dems don’t want to lose a Senate vote since we are so close to the all-powerful 60. I say we should buy him a new wardrobe and let Joe the Plumber decide.
  • Joe the Plumber who hates Socialism has benefitted from that entitlement program called “Welfare” on two occasions. Hmmmm
  • W. has given permission for uranium drilling within three miles of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River, which provides drinking water for three states. Way to go George! Just when I thought that you couldn’t do anything more asinine, you go and prove me wrong. Who needs a natural monument that is eons old? Who needs fresh drinking water? What a bunch of sissies. You show ’em. After all, you’re going to be far, far away in a land called Oz.
  • Michele Bachmann, who just weeks ago was calling for McCarthy like hearings into anti-American liberals in the Senate had this to say about Barack Obama’s presidential win: She was“extremely grateful that we have an African-American who has won this year.”
  • Gay marriage was defeated in California, but the defeat is not sitting well with the Gay/Lesbian community, as it shouldn’t. Expect to hear a lot more about this issue.
  • Since President-elect Obama’s election, the Iraqis have been more willing to sign the security agreement that they had been stalling. The Iraqis were worried that the agreement for withdrawal of forces by December 30, 2011 would not be honored by a Republican White House. However, they are more willing to negotiate an agreement with the upcoming change in the White House. The new agreement also prevents the launching of attacks of other countries from Iraqi soil (such as Syria).

    eugene-allen
    Eugene Allen (Clark/Washington Post)
  • And finally, if you want to know who really makes the White House run, please read this incredible story about Eugene Allen. If this doesn’t touch your heart, then you are made of stone. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2008361980_webbutler07.html

And Now a Word From Our Sponsor

This time last week we were getting ready to watch the returns from what would become one of the most historic elections in our country. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this process. I only wish that I could take it a step further and apply for a job with the new administration. That would be like something out of a dream, to participate in an administration that is going to make sweeping changes. I mean, I know that it’s going to be a really hard row to hoe.

The problems that this country faces are enormous: Unemployment is creeping up every month, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it hit double digits. Our three major car companies are going under and need major help. This is probably going to be one of the worst holiday seasons for retail in a dozen years. I know that I won’t be out there spending my usual amount. That’s for sure. One of the only companies to turn a profit last quarter was Wal Mart; even Target recorded a loss. And we all know how I feel about Wal Mart. Everyone is hurting.

So I don’t delude myself that President-elect Obama is going to take office and miracles are going to happen. His first year is going to be hell, and there are going to be a lot of people pointing fingers and saying “I told you so,” because there is so much blame, and he is the easiest target. But I also have no doubts that given enough time, his plans can work.

The best laid plans of mice and men, and all of that. Everything worth having is worth waiting for, at least that’s what the cereal boxes and fortune cookies say. I just hope that when the finger pointing starts, and the naysayers begin with their doom and gloom, they remember how this country has felt for the past eight years, how as a nation, we have collectively lost hope, lost faith, lost our status as a global leader,

And so, like the Eugene Allen’s of the world, we must remember to put our coats on one sleeve at a time, and go to work, and do our jobs, and carry on, and give this man who we believed in enough to put into office a chance to do his job.

Here endeth the lesson. More later. Peace.

Here We Go Again

What Makes Liberals Anti-American?

Virginia Is Just Plain Screwed

I’m confused. Which part of Virginia is communist, and which part is anti-American, and which part is the real Virginia? Do I live in the communist part or the anti-American part or the real part? Remember when Senator John McCain’s brother Joe said that Northern Virginia was “communist country”? And then recently, Nancy Totempole said that outside of Virginia, in the real part, we would be willing to accept John McCain’s message. But then Sarah Palin implied that if we weren’t from small towns, then we were somehow anti or un-American.

I’m so confused. Someone needs to tell me so that I can immediately begin to act in the proper way. Or maybe I’ll just act like an anti-American communist so that I’ll have the whole thing covered. I guess, in light of all of the slanderous accusations that are being tossed around, I probably fall into all of the negative categories anyway since I’m a feminist (ooh, bad word), liberal, left-wing Democrat, which means that I’m obviously an unpatriotic, un-American, anti-American, socialist, communist, wrong-thinking baaaaaad person.

Maybe it’s because I watched “Aladdin,” which as Michele Bachmann pointed out, is full of heresy and all of that good stuff.

News From North Carolina

The Associated Press reports that 63-year-old Republican Representative Robin Hayes of North Carolina told a crowd at a Republican rally,  “Liberals hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God.” Hayes later claimed not to recall making the statement and said that “it came out the wrong way.”

Is he related to Jesse Helms?

And What’s Up With Florida?

When Senator Mel Martinez (R-Florida) was asked before what his thoughts were on Obama, Martinez described him personally as “a great guy,” but politically too far left for his tastes. Martinez, who is half-Cuban, has also said that  he believes that “we should be in a post-racial environment” and has openly disagreed with McCain campaign manager Rick Davis for saying that Senator Obama has “played the race card, and that he (Obama) played it from the bottom of the deck. It’s divisive, negative, shameful and wrong” (see this link for article http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/08/mel_martinez_race_card_not_pla.php ).

What a difference a little prodding from the right can make. On Saturday, October 18 at a gathering of Florida’s top Republican leaders, Martinez compared Obama’s economic tax plans to those in Castro’s Cuba: “It didn’t work so good down there. That’s socialism, that’s communism, that’s not what Americanism is about” (OrlandoSentinel.com). Martinez is echoing the latest battle cry from McCain’s camp: At her rally in New Mexico on Sunday, the governator responded to questions as to whether or not Obama’s tax plan is socialist by saying,

“There are socialist principles to that, yes. Taking more from a small business or small business owners or from a hard working family and then redistributing that money according to a politician’s priorities . . . There are hints of socialism in there and that’s why I don’t fault or discredit Joe the Plumber for bringing that up asking if that is socialism.”

Well if the knowledgeable Joe the Plumber says so, then it must be so.

Speaking of That Dead Horse You Won’t Let Go of Governor Palin . . .

I will if you will, otherwise I might have to begin to delve into Senator McCain’s six degrees of separation from real live domestic terrorists in the anti-Castro front, the Omega 7, who were responsible for a number of bombings and killings in the 1970s (whisper . . . and Joe Lieberman, that guy who is always standing behind McCain, has promised to get them pardons) . . .

And then there is G. Gordon Liddy, my favorite psycho. Please, I could write a page on him alone. Let’s make a deal. The first mention of Jeremiah Wright, and I’ll go there. Okay?

And Just When You Thought He Was Done

By Kent Roberts

Let’s give props where props are due: A big hand to W. for staying in character right until the end. I knew that he had it in him. Gitmo Bay? Doing the right thing? Pshaw. Why on earth would he want to go and do something like that and spoil his record, especially when President Buchanan is pulling so hard for him right now. If W. just continues on this path, surely his legacy as the country’s worst president in history is a fait accompli, and Buchanan can breathe a sigh of relief. Doing something positive about the cesspool that is Guantanamo Bay would only show a spark of humanity and the end of eight long years that have proven that even a walking, talking imbecile of a human being can graduate from Yale if his daddy knows enough people.

But graduating from Yale doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be worthy to hold the office of president, any more than being governor of an oil rich state qualifies you to be vice president, no matter how much you want to pretend that the Constitution gives you capabilities exceeding those which the Founding Fathers saw fit to bestow upon that position. But hey, you can take your Todders, and your newly-outfitted and styled kids home (thank you taxpayers; that’s called sharing the wealth), to Alaska with your flute and live in your illegally-built home once all of this is over and see just how fondly your citizenry embraces you.

But enough of that Sturm and Drang. It’s late, and I grow weary.

More later. Peace.

Today’s Category: Gallimaufry for $1,000, Alex

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” (Rudyard Kipling)

“Words, Words, Words” (Hamlet)

I love words, and I love people who use words well. Obviously, the converse is true. I shudder when I hear people mangle the English language. Oh, not speakers of English as a second language. It really pisses me off when I get one of those sanctimonious e-mails that rails on people about how this is America, so everyone should speak English. Didn’t these people learn history in school? You know, the parts about how we were all immigrants at one time? Believe it or not, when America was founded, everyone did not speak English. Hello out there.

My father, a first generation Filipino spoke fluent English with an accent. His grammar was impeccable, but as he got older, it was harder to understand him sometimes, and it infuriated me when people at fast food places used to act as if he were speaking in a foreign language when they were speaking as if they had just finished the third grade. (I never learned Tagalog, his native dialect. I don’t know why. I wish that I had; I wish that mine had been a house that was bilingual when I was growing up, but it wasn’t.) I envy people who speak two or three languages with ease.

But what about the people who have lived in this country their whole lives and cannot speak English properly? Is it the fault of public schools? Do I just have to get over things like “me and Joe are goin down to the 7/11 to gets some beer. Hows bout you?”

I know that there are regional dialects and that there are phrases that go in and out of style, but what about basic English, like using the word an before words beginning with a vowel? Is that too much to ask? I don’t think that an expectation of basic grammar is being a snob, or that it’s “my English teacher showing” as I’ve been told. My family is used to being corrected, and I try not to do it in front of other people, but I don’t want my children going out into the world to start their careers, sounding as if they have no idea how to communicated beyond a sixth-grade level.

“Those words freedom and opportunity do not mean a license to climb upwards by pushing other people down.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

I have managed to put Rush Limbaugh out of my life for a number of years now. Several years ago, Limbaugh used to rile me so terribly that I just wanted to tear my hair out every time that I heard about something he had said. So I made a conscious decision to stop reading anything about Limbaugh or his show. I found that it was better for my blood pressure, and eventually, he faded from my consciousness, that is, until today.

I mentioned the interview between Limbaugh and the governator in a previous post in which I cited her quote about having “nothing to lose,” but as I was concentrating on Palin, Limbaugh did not settle into my memory cells. However, earlier today I watched a clip from MSNBC in which Andrea Mitchell references the toad croaking about how General Colin Powell’s endorsement is “totally about race.” Once again, toady boy is showing the depth of his ability to reason. If Powell were going to endorse Obama purely on race, why didn’t he do it months ago? Why did he wait until two weeks before the election? Perhaps, methinks, the man who many thought would be the first black man in the White House, was waiting to see how the two candidates reacted to the Wall Street catastrophe, how well they did in the debates, how they were doing on the campaign trail, who they chose as their running mates—all points that Powell mentioned in his “Meet the Press” appearance in a very cogent statement (as opposed to Limbaugh’s limited un-intellectual rant into the microphone). But of course, this is the same Limbaugh who told an African American caller to his talk show to “take that bone out of your nose and call me back.”

Ah Rush, I haven’t missed you at all . . .

“We are dancing on a volcano.” (Comte de Salvandy)

Last Friday, I watched one of the most frightening examples of ignorance in action on “Hardball with Chris Matthews.” Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota claimed that Barack Obama and his wife Michelle  held anti-American views and couldn’t be trusted in the White House. But she did not stop there. She called for the media to investigate other members of Congress: “I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out if they are pro-America or anti-America,” she said. I don’t think this country has heard statements like this since the McCarthy era.

Senator Joseph McCarthy lent his name to that era by making a speech in 1950 in West Virginia in which he produced a piece of paper that he claimed contained the names of over 200 people who were communists who were working for the U.S. State Department. McCarthy’s strongest supporters were far right radicals. One of his most vocal opponents was the famous journalist Edward R. Murrow, who wrote in 1953,

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men.

Please, do tell Representative Bachmann in all of your infinite wisdom, exactly how does one determine if someone is pro-America or anti-America?

“One can prove or refute anything at all with words.” (Anton Chekhov)

Just for grins, I thought that I’d list some of my favorite words, words that I love to roll around on my tongue but don’t often get to use in regular conversation, except perhaps in these blogs:

impinge, hoi polloi, salmagundi, impugn, verity, ignoble, alchemy, vox populi, gendarme, chasm, zeitgeist, xenophobia, pugnacious, putrid, curmudgeon, gravitas, spurious, obstreperous, fawning, kowtow, poesy, albeit, sublime, spate, predilection, soupçon, ubiquitous, reprobate, vichyssoise, apostate, propitious, precipice, burgeoning, fodder, fulcrum, obsequious, and finally apoplexy.

This is just the short list. My family is continually accusing me of using words just to confuse them. I’m just trying to broaden their horizons. After all, I think that everyone should be able to insert obstreperous and obsequious into a conversation at least once in his or her life. Don’t you?

I just wish that I could find a way to work platypus into the conversation more often . . .

More later. Peace.