Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Having Taken a Moment to Think About it...

It occurs to me that what might actually be going away here is…AOL.

Of course, they don’t want anyone to know that yet.

AOL is no longer hip. AOL is no longer at the top of the techno pile.

Evidence the fact that AOL has continued to provide a place like AOL journals, where old farts like us can write, and attempt to hold on to the shredded remains of a once vital community.

And, let’s face it, fellow old farts, we are not the demographic that anyone cares about anymore.

I wonder…does AARP offer a journal space?? J

I suppose AOL has done us a favor. They could have—and it would have been quite in character—just presented us with a fait accompli and turned us off with no warning. But they have deigned to give us a month’s notice, and offered to help us move our blogs to other blogging sites.

(But, just by the by, I wouldn’t trust AOL techs to move a vase of flowers from one side of the desk to the other…)

So, if that’s the case, if AOL really is preparing to trudge into the ethereal tar pit…

I apologize for my "You SUCK!!!" comment.

And I’m sorry for the many of you (mostly in Asia these days, I’m afraid) who will be pounding the pavement soon looking for new gigs.

And, to be gracious, I guess I need to say—

Thanks for the memories.

Good luck, all!



AOL is turning us loose.

It's been nice blogging with you.  And maybe we can figure out how to do one at blogspot.





Well, at least I'll no longer have a reason NOT to uninstall "the virus known as aol" from all my computers...

Monday, September 29, 2008

On Our Tanking Economy

Much as, at this point, I would not vote for a Republican for dog catcher, they do seem to be learning from past mistakes…the Democrats’ past mistakes, that is…


Democratic house members are ready to jump right on the “gloom & doom” bandwagon, same as they did in 2003 when Bush fabricated the emergency that called us to war in Iraq.   Unfortunately, the Dems have been increasingly called on the carpet for voting to launch a war that has become expensive, unpopular, and obviously unwinnable.  All they can do is stammer and back-pedal when confronted about their “roll over and give up” act on the vote to go to war. 


Now, Bush and Co. are huffing and puffing about “the whole thing coming down,” referring to the economy that his unfettered wealthy and powerful friends have created with smoke and mirrors over the past seven years.  And the House Democrats are obediently falling into line behind Bush once again. While “Main Street America” riots in the streets about having to bail out the rich and mighty, the Dems have their heads shoved solidly…where the sun doesn’t shine, evidently.  What don’t they get about the fact that they are all up for reelection in a little more than a month?


Certainly this is the card that the House Republicans aim to play now:  They know Election Day is nearly upon us.  They know that they can rack up all kinds of political capital if they appear to stand with the outraged majority for the next 35 days or so.  Then, after the election is safely behind them and they have saved their asses, I mean, their seats, they can go back to screwing the middle class and shoveling money into the pockets of the rich—back to business as usual for the GOP.


I have a theory on our economic crisis…and with as complicated and inscrutable as economics seem to be, I think my theory is as valid as the next guy’s.  My theory is that Bush’s tenure in office has been all about making the rich and powerful richer and more powerful.  As they’ve been stuffing their pockets and building up invisible and untouchable assets, they’ve been blowing smoke at the American people in the form of tax breaks and “economic stimulus” checks.  Keeping the little guys appeased by shoving a few hundred bucks their way now and then…  It’s appalling, and it’s insulting, and it was always only a matter of time before “the whole thing [came] down.”  I’ve predicted several times in the past few months that we hadn’t yet seen the worst of what was going to happen as the Bush Watch drew to a close.  There was bound to be a last-minute money grab of historical proportions as Bush and his cohorts slunk out the door.  And so there has. 


I like to think that they thought they had it timed so that the whole house of cards would blow down on the next guy’s watch.  But, like everything else associated with the Bush Administration, it’s obvious that they…slightly miscalculated.  Surprise.


And now they will all go off and retire with their billions, while we try to find a way to dig our way out of this monumental pile of dung they intend to leave us buried in. 


Happy voting, folks. 

Thursday, September 25, 2008


The Sons of Liberty were "community organizers" too. Or disorganizers, depending on your point of view.


Sis forwarded an e-mail with information about John McCain’s time as a POW. I admire the man’s courage under fire. The man was a great fighter pilot. It doesn’t mean he’d make a great president. Actually, I’m not sure that what makes a great fighter pilot, necessarily makes a great president. The e-mail compared McCain to George Washington. I replied that we would have to agree to disagree on this one.

We’ve had three generals that made the transition to political greatness, or near greatness, George Washington, Andrew Jackson, (I do definitely question some of his policies) and Dwight Eisenhower.

Washington was what I’d have to call an Independent, in fact he warned against dividing into parties, Jackson was a Democrat and Eisenhower finally came to office as a Republican. Broad spectrum, that.

George Washington was also the losinginest successful general in the history of the army that he literally created from nothing. Granted he had a little (lot of) help from generals and troops from Prussia, Poland and most importantly, France. You can call ‘em Freedom Fries if you want, but without support from France we might still be carrying British passports. And, France’s support for our revolution probably helped bring on the revolution in France and another twenty years of war in Europe.

There’s an uneasy parallel here. The French economy was already shaky when they took on a war they didn’t have to fight, by supporting the American Revolution. Sigh. Start heading in one direction with an entry and just see where you end up.

Andrew Jackson is most famous for a battle that was fought after the peace treaty was signed. He’s also defied the Supreme Court ruling in support of the Cherokee and is infamous for their expulsion from their lands in the south and the Trail of Tears that led to the Indian Territory in the west. He was the first president who was neither a Virginian or a New England lawyer. He had a famous temper, fought more than one duel, helped to create what became the Democratic Party and threatened to hang “nullifiers.” (link) Given the opportunity I think he would have made good on that threat.

Dwight Eisenhower was a Kansas farm boy. His parents were pacifists, but he went to West Point. He came up with a better way to solve a calculus problem and took the reprimand for not paying attention in class. Not paying attention was what led to the original solution to the problem in the first place. In fact it seems he was about as obedient as he needed to be at as cadet and still graduate. Since class standing included demerits his class standing doesn’t reflect how he did academically.

 He trained tank troops but WWI was over before he could be sent overseas. His commander in the Canal Zone was a military history junkie who put his exec through what amounted to graduate studies in history and tactics. He worked with George Patton to create  tactics for the new cavalry and Patton predicted that one day he’d be taking orders from Eisenhower. He was right.

Eisenhower commanded the American invasions of North Africa and Italy. He sacked generals who couldn’t get the job done even if they were friends or old class mates. He spearheaded the invasion of Normandy but of more importance he also successfully navigated the prickly personalities of the likes of McArthur, Montgomery, Churchill, Patton and “Uncle Joe” (Truman’s label) Stalin.

He and Harry Truman also pretty much took an instant dislike to each other. Eisenhower didn’t much care for career politicians and Truman couldn’t stand career military officers. It was a match made a little lower than heaven.

During his two terms we saw, among other things, Social Security expanded, the beginnings of the interstate highway system, the beginnings of desegregation and the intensification of the cold war. The 101st Airborne was deployed twice by his orders. The first time they went to France. The second time they went to Little Rock.

Trouble is, I can also name at least one general that was a stand out on the battle field and a total disaster as a president. Ulysses S. Grant was the bulldog that led the Union to a final battlefield victory over the Confederacy. Yes, I said battlefield. We’re still working on the actual social victory. The fact that anyone gives a damn about the skin color of the Democratic candidate speaks to that. Unfortunately Grant’s abilities on the battlefield didn’t transfer to the White House. His two terms as president were a byword for corruption and cronyism that was unmatched until the Harding administration. And Harding was the bench mark for how low you could go until………..enter the “current occupant.”

I don’t think John McCain is quite the equal of the first three and I don’t want to find out if he belongs with the last group.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This IS Good...

Go read this:

This is Your Nation On White Privilege

It might give you some idea of why John McCain isn't totally eating Barack Obama's dust in the polls.

I'm begging that enough "swing voters" out there are quietly waking up and smelling the coffee...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Swinging Votes

Unfortunately, I have recently come to the conclusion that despite all the bitter name-calling, accusations, ugly rhetoric and outright lies clogging our nation’s airwaves and atmosphere, nobody is really going to change anyone else’s mind about the coming election.  And I said as much to someone with whom I was discussing politics the other day.  Whereupon she insisted that there were tons of “swing voters” out there who are still undecided and need to be convinced one way or the other.


All I can say is, if they haven’t figured it out yet, they must be literally waiting for a bomb to drop—say, a hydrogen bomb somewhere in the continental United States.


Yes, I suppose there are swing voters who will refuse to tip their hand before election day.  I can respect that, actually.  It was the essence of my Dad’s political philosophy.  He never once told us who he planned to vote for before an election, or who he had voted for once the election was over.  He firmly believed that his vote was nobody else’s business.  How I wish, in today’s uber-hyped political climate, my Dad’s wisdom still prevailed. 


The swing voters will keep their own counsel and do what they will do come election day.  However, there is another segment of the electorate which, to me, is a complete enigma.  That would be those otherwise intelligent folks out there who are simply die-hard Republicans (though I can’t for the life of me figure out why…) These are not the types who have been drinking the current administration’s kool-aid.  They are not the ones who are circulating emails claiming Barack Obama is a secret Muslim, or that if one of Mr. Obama’s daughters was pregnant, he would have her kill the baby before it was born. 


No…these are folks who simply adhere (like super-glue) to the pure essence of what the Republican message used to be.  Conservatism, smaller government, lower taxes…   They know that the current occupant has royally f’d up.  And they aren’t blind…they know the country is in a mess.  They realize that Bush and Co. have screwed up everything from A to Z, domestic and international, political and economic.    


What bothers me about these folks is that still they refuse to even consider the possibility that a vote for the other candidate might be a vote for what’s right for the country.  If the answers don’t lie with the Republicans, then there aren’t any answers, apparently.  I’ve seen statements like, “Sure, things suck right now, but things have always sucked.”  Or “We’ve survived Bush, and we’ll survive whoever wins this time around.”


Okay folks.  Sure, things have always sucked—to some degree.  But it is not the American Way to just sit back and let things suck.  That is why we have a vote.  That is why we have a say.  That is why we have the ability, theoretically, to oust the leaders who suck and bring in ones who don’t suck, or at least show some promise of not sucking.  It is not just our privilege, it is our responsibility to choose fine leaders.  We owe it to ourselves, to our children, and to the world.  The United States of America cannot afford to be allowed to suck just because the voters are too pig-headed to choose the best candidate for the job, regardless of political affiliation.  


And let’s face it:  The GOP doesn’t know who or what it is anymore.  It surely bears no resemblance to the sainted GOP of the Ronald Reagan era.  McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate proved this beyond all doubt.   It is rumored that McCain was leaning toward naming a politically moderate running mate, possibly even Joe Lieberman.  Warned and threatened by the Christian right, he threw over his original choices in favor of fundamentalist gun-toting nursing mother Sarah Palin, choosing to appease the radical fringe rather than appeal to more centrist swing voters.  Doesn’t this prove to any thinking person that McCain has no intention of breaking with the formulae that have kept the disastrous Bush team straddling the nation?  Is this the direction in which thoughtful, forward-thinking Republicans want our country to go?  Want their party to go? If I were a Republican, I'd be, at the very least, monumentally embarrassed by the performance of the GOP over the past eight years.  I would do everything in my power to expunge the current crop of disastrous clowns from the party, and start all over again, if need be.


Hell, I'm a registered Independent.  Even though I've known for over twenty years that the Democratic party more closely mirrors my personal values and convictions than the GOP does, I haven't wanted to rule out the possibility that the better person for a position might just be a member of some other party.  I have a really hard time swallowing the idea that I would have to vote for an asshole just because that asshole happens to be a Democrat. 


In the case of this fall's presidential election, I don’t know that the Democrats and Barack Obama are the be all and end all.  What I DO know is that they are a 180 degree change from the status quo.  And given the mess we’re in, that’s all I really need to know.   


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Shabby Chic

Driving back from a day-trip to Astoria...  Notice anything unusual about this barn?

Let's take a closer look...

Definitely lovin' the lighting...  :D

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What's Wrong With This Country...

Like many Americans, I listened to the news this week about the economy with a growing sense of dread and then, hearing the bailout plan, disgust. How could we have gotten into such a mess? How could this happen in America in the twenty-first century? I know that we can thank Phil Gramm and deregulation for a lot of it, but on Friday I got a really good glimpse, up close and personal, of another reason we end up in such messes.

My department at work is chronically under staffed. It was that way a little over two years ago, when I was hired as a contractor, and although I’m now a permanent employee and we’ve hired one additional person, the volume of work has increased, so the overall situation hasn’t changed.

Earlier this summer, my boss posted two permanent positions for which we’ve been interviewing candidates. Shortly after the posts went up, we interviewed a candidate whom all of us liked and who seemed well qualified for the position (i.e., she was personable, genuinely interested in the job, and had a master’s degree in a medical field as well as extensive clinical experience). A verbal offer was extended via voicemail on her phone, but before she could accept it, it was retracted by HR because new Company Policy is to hire only MD’s and nurses for these positions (I’m not kidding about this), and this candidate was neither. For what it’s worth, no one currently or historically handling cases in our group is a nurse or doctor.

And then, in true Office Space fashion…shortly after being told she could not hire that candidate because she wasn’t a nurse or MD, my boss was told there was someone she had to hire who is not only neither a nurse nor a doctor, but who has absolutely no clinical experience. Of course, this person has something much more important than the newly posted requisite requirements for the job…this person has An Important Daddy. But that’s not all this person has. Since this person has started working with us, it’s become obvious to everyone that in addition to An Important Daddy, this person has…ahem…how shall I put this delicately? a substance abuse problem…ensuring that this person will never get within a hundred feet of actually doing the job that the rest of us are doing, which requires some public contact. On the plus side, this hire doesn’t count against our two positions posted (ain’t corporate America grand?).

The candidate we had lunch with on Friday will, though (count against those positions). We didn’t actually get to interview this guy formally “because he doesn’t need to be asked any tough questions”. Uh-huh. This guy is an FMG (foreign medical graduate). He doesn’t have An Important Daddy, but he has a comparable card to play: he is A Friend of Someone With Power, which is why he gets onto the playing field with some of the thinnest credentials I’ve ever seen.

For starters, there are typos on his resume, which is badly written and filled with fluff phrases like: “Track actions. Reply to regulatory requests. Give expert advice.” Reviewing it, I decided to track a few actions myself, and in doing so, I couldn’t help but notice that his time line doesn’t work. Either there are 5 years unaccounted for or he’s not only a bad speller, but also bad at math, or it’s an old resume that he didn’t bother updating. He has a generic name and didn’t provide a middle initial, making it difficult to check his credentials, but I’m a fairly good internet sleuth, and with only a little work, I found his middle initial and his birth date (he’s 62), enabling me to check to see if he is, as he claims, a licensed MD. From what I can find, he’s not.

As I said, we didn’t get to formally interview him, but we had lunch with him. Talk about a tarantula on a wedding cake…this guy looked like a skid row bum who’d been given a shower and a suit. I don’t know what his story is, but having worked both inpatient and outpatient adult psychiatry, I know a squirrel when I see one, and this guy is a total squirrel. My boss asked why the guy has to come to our group; under the New Regime, there’s a plan for a whole division of doctor consultants, why not place him there? The answer was that he’s not qualified for those positions(probably the only honest statement that we’ve received regarding this guy). In short, he’s an MD (maybe) who’ll theoretically be doing exactly what I do, except of course he won’t, and his salary requirement, which will probably be met, is so high that he’ll have to be a higher grade than my boss…and the guy has typos on his resume.

Welcome to America! Land of Opportunity!


Friday, September 19, 2008

Photo Friday

No fainting...but I was actually out taking pictures yesterday so I have something new to post ON TIME!

It was an incredibly gorgeous day...and the reflections....!!

It was a Monet Day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Photo Day? OK...

Since we're all doing photos, I wanted to share one I took this past weekend.  Aaron and I went into Manhattan overnight to celebrate our 26th anniversary.  We were on the 39th floor of a downtown hotel, and our room overlooked Ground Zero.

I've seen it on tv so many times...and I've been to the visitor's area once.  But it was overwhelming to be able to really look down and see the void that once was the World Trade Center.  I couldn't stop thinking that those planes flew just a few hundred yards from where I was standing.  It's incomprehensible...what it must have been like that day.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Photo Day, Anyone?

As long as we've declared this "Photo Day..."

August's full moon~~from my driveway...


This should have happened Friday, what can I say?

This is a new dahlia we got this spring. Not the best shot. I still have some issues dealing with light reflecting off some flowers.

And the close up. Doesn't look quite real, does it? You can see this planter from the kitchen window. We did peaches last weekend and I realized as I was sorting, blanching and peeling that this flower looks a lot like a nice ripe Improved Elberta.

And the peaches were wonderful this year. We had a couple of days of really hot weather to get the fruit ripening and a few cool damp days to ramp up the juice. But, they were so ready to go that just putting them in boxes was bruising them. Didn't lose a one though. And they're safe in their jars just waiting for winter to give back some of that sunshine.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

time in a bottle...

This little mini-break I took for my birthday, taking Thursday and Friday off, which gave me a 4 day weekend, has been TERRIFIC. I’m going to make it an annual event, maybe even when my birthday falls on a weekend. It’s true that I didn’t get all the things done I’d like to have gotten done, but that’s OK. To have time to putter around doing whatever one wants is truly luxurious, and the more so when it’s the exception rather than the rule. Tomorrow I’ll get up early and face the dreaded commute, but today I slept in, and ate a leisurely breakfast, enjoying my freshly squeezed orange juice and ripe cantaloupe.

I did manage to go to Home Depot and order the counter top for the guest bath. Now I have to hustle and tile the walls. I also went to Lowe's and picked up one tread and riser for the stairs. They're 48" wide so I'll have to cut them down to see how they look, but I'm thinking it would be hard to prefer carpet.

This evening I went with the ex and saw an excellent film, Elegy. It's about a love affair between a successful, aging professor, played by Ben Kingsley, and a beautiful, young student, played by Penelope Cruz. She's certainly very beautiful, but I've never been a fan of Penelope Cruz before, however, she was very good in this film. In addition to Cruz & Kingsley, Dennis Hopper, Patricia Clarkson and Debbie Harry have roles as Kingsley's best friend, his long time lover, and his best friend's wife (just a cameo for Debbie Harry). And Peter Sarsgaard has sort of a throw-away role as Kingsley's estranged son. I don't know that everyone would enjoy this film, but if you're middle aged it's well worth seeing, especially if you're a woman. Sad to say, the world is filled with men like the characters portrayed by Kingsley and Hopper: accomplished, outwardly successful men who have somehow managed to grow old without making much of an emotional connection to anyone. Even sadder to say, I've dated my share, although I'm now older and wiser.  But the characters do manage to grow, and so the film is worth seeing.

After the movie, we had dinner at a new restaurant, Rise No. 1, a souffle and wine bistro with outdoor seating and good food and wine. It was a beautiful, clear night and it was a pleasure to eat there. When I was a bride, I mastered the art of souffles, both main course and dessert, and tonight I was reminded that it's been way too long since I've made my own Grand Marnier souffle. Mmmmmmmmmm....

Friday, September 12, 2008


If I had waited one day and read the Republican VP nominees answers to Charles Gibson's interview questions the first part of the previous entry would never have been written. Never, ever in a million years.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


This is a lunch hour quickie

I’m going to make a couple suggestions. First up I don’t equate political parties with the Sabbath. But, both were made for man, not the other way around.

So first up. If you don’t support the official candidate of either party, cast a write in ballot for the person you believe can do the job. I don’t care if it’s Ron Paul, Ralph Nader, Mitt Romney or Hillary Clinton. Follow your beliefs about who would be the best leader for the country. The candidate you believe in may not get elected but your vote still earns you right to holler about the outcome. Collect enough votes for the unofficial candidates and the parties will have to take notice. Where there is one, there is a majority of one. We all have a right to have our choice on record whether it matches the other majorities of one or not.

Second, contact your local legislator and your representatives in congress. It’s way past time to amend the constitution to allow electoral votes to be allotted by proportional vote instead of the all or nothing system we have now.

I’m not sure how I feel about abolishing the Electoral College. The Founders weren’t too big on allowing the “mob” to have too large a voice in the government. Women and many men didn’t have the vote back in 1787 and it took the seventeenth amendment to the Constitution to allow the direct election of Senator. The first election took place in 1914 folks.

Any thoughts about allotting votes by proportion of popular votes vs. outright abolition of the Electoral College?


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Last Word (?)

So tell me what's wrong with what I have said. Yes, I am a woman. Does that make me wrong? Since this is a liberal blog I guess I should leave you alone. You would never think anything I have to say is worth hearing.

Myrdog, hon, I didn't say your views were not worth hearing or reading. If I had thought that, I could have deleted every one of your comments and blocked you from ever posting another comment on this blog.

We disagree. That's the heart and soul of the matter. My point in the previous post is to echo the statement we've made in many of our last several posts: We aren't going to change anyone's minds, so there's not a whole lot of point in arguing about it.

You think I'm going to hell. I think you...well, never mind what I think. It's not important. The important thing is that we ALL go out and VOTE our personal preferences. And the result is in the hands of...Providence.

Lisa :-]

In Her Own Words

By now, you have all noticed that we have a reader/commenter who does not share our liberal views.  I’ve visited this person’s journal, and unless “he” has a husband, it is indeed a woman.  From the “heart of Dixie.”  That’s all the information I could glean from the blog; it has been very sporadically updated since it was started in 2003.


I want to be open-minded and accepting of opposite viewpoints.  Really.  I know there are women out there who do not believe as I do, and I want to honor the places they come from.  If I knew this woman in real life, perhaps we could be friends, or pleasant acquaintances.  Because we would never, under any circumstances, discuss politics. 


But, seeing as how we DO discuss politics here, and she has taken it upon herself to chide us for our beliefs, and proselytize her own religious right values, I wouldn’t feel too bad about shooting her down. 


However, I think her own words do a pretty good job of displaying the merits of her views.  So, here they are:


Comment on On Poor Choices And Sarah Palin:


If it was one of Obama's daughters he would have had her kill it before it was born.”


Comment on a pit bull with lipstick:


“I must be a christian right winged nut. she sounds pretty good to me. Do you reckon she'll have young men sneaked in to her office?”


Comment on I Keep Trying:


“that's funny. I am Republican and I pay attention to the candidates and the issues. I must be strange!”


Comments on Our Worst Nightmare:


#1—“You girls are really ugly, you know that ?”


#2—“Well, I have listened to both candidates and their vice presidental choices and I will be voting for John Mccain and Sandra Palin. I am against gay marriage and abortion. I don't pretend to know everything but I do know what I believe and they are more in line with my beliefs. My first concern is safety for our country because if it is not kept safe nothing else matters. Not global warming (I believe the only one who  can destroy this planet is God. He made it. It belongs to him and is in his hands.) The economy won't matter if our buildings are blown up and our people killed. Who was worrying about that when 9/11 happened? Much of what has been said on here has been just ugly, demeaning things that have nothing to do with the issues. Besides, Michelle Obama's butt is too big. See what I mean.”


#3--"OH yes, I like Cindy because she always wears her church going to meeting clothes."


Comments on Wheel of Fortune:


#1—Do I smell jealousy?”

#2—What's wrong with breast feeding Trig. She's not using plastic bottles and rubber nipples. She's not using gas or electricity to heat the milk and she's giving him the best food ever made for babies. She's not worried about sagging breasts, she's doing what's best for her baby.  Also, better killing Moose than unborn babies. Her daughter could have had an abortion you know and kept it secret. You people have your priorities all wrong. I really feel sorry for you.”


Comment on Give Me a Break:


“… You girls need to read the bible and no I am not a bible thumper I just believe what it says. If you believe in God you should believe what it says.”


I have no doubt that Ms “myrdog” believes every word she has written here with her whole heart and soul.  Even as we cling to the beliefs about which we have written.


The thing we need to remember is that the “myrdogs” of the world VOTE.  (And this particular one is going to be voting for “John Mccain and Sandra (sic) Palin…”)


The only real weapons we have against people like her are our own precious votes.  We need to energize EVERYONE we know that might cancel out the votes of myrdog and the legions like her.


Get out there and VOTE. 


It’s our only hope. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Attention Sarah Palin:

I love this button!  I suspect there are some who won't, though.

Also, if you're so inclined (and I am) there's an amazing website called Women Against Sarah Palin, started by a couple of women on Blogspot who object to Palin.  This is from their masthead: "On Wednesday, September 3, we sent out an email to 40 friends and colleagues asking them to respond to Sarah Palin’s candidacy as Vice President of the United States. They forwarded the letter to their friends across America. By Tuesday, we had received more than 40,000 responses from women of all ages and backgrounds."  Check out the site.  I've sent my objections.



We’ve taken two newspapers for as long as I can remember. The Eugene Register-Guard and the Portland Oregonian. The Oregonian has been in business since 1850. Darn, that’s a long time to be ruffling feathers. I have a lot of memories of dad going through the papers after he got home from work or after he was disabled.

We get the mid valley edition and save the sports pages for the Portland branch of the family. My nephew is playing his last year at the U of O. And the mid valley sports news is weighted towards coverage of this end of the valley. In other words, if they want to know what their son is doing they need our copy of the sports pages. Unless the U of O really falls on its face or does really, really well. Yeah, we creamed Utah last week (team only has the worst offence in the country). This week it’s the Boilermakers, in Indiana, on national TV. Fingers crossed and is it ok to pray for the success of a football team?

The Oregonian seems to be a pretty decent paper. It’s owned by Advance Publications so ownership isn’t local anymore, but the editorial board seems to have a decent amount of freedom to work with. The paper has won a few Pulitzers over the last few years and seems to pull an equal number of complaints from both sides that it’s biased in the other’s favor so I guess they’re doing something right. The paper has either done investigative work or reprinted significant investigative work from, say the LA Times or the NY Times. And if I need more information there’s always the internet.

The Oregonian is big enough to have its own staff editorial cartoonist. I’ve loved Jack Ohman for years. He’s also a fishing nut and his two books on fly fishing are wonderful.

The Register-Guard is a rarity. It’s a mid size paper that’s still owned by the family that founded it. I believe they’re into the third or fourth generation. One nice feature is a weekly insert for their Springfield customers that helps take the place of the Springfield News. That very local paper was bought out and closed down a couple of years ago.

The paper has won some state and regional awards for coverage in science and the arts and was a Pulitzer runner up in 1999 for coverage of the Thurston High School shootings. God that was a very bad day.

Again their coverage seems fairly balanced. There is a bit of a bias towards the pro development side of the fence. But, hey, more people more subscribers. You just take it into account when you’re reading the stories. There seems to be about as many people from both fringes complaining that the paper is biased in the other sides’ favor, so again they seem to be doing a pretty good job. The Guard doesn’t have its own cartoonist but they print a pretty good mix from the various syndicates.

Actually taking the two papers is interesting. A lot of times they both cover the same major stories and it’s fun to compare how the story was edited. Usually one will have a longer version than the other. But, it breaks both ways so it may be a matter of space available or how much local interest the editors think the story will generate. Again, if coverage seems a little thin, there’s always the net or the local library.

Oh, I spring for the Oregonian and mom springs for the Guard.


For the record, I believe that politicians should be allowed to change their minds. New information comes in, people mature and what seemed like good policy five years ago isn't anymore.

But, I couldn't pass up this cartoon from Jack Ohman. I think Jack must have studied at the Mike Royko school of editorial comment.

If you can get your hands on any of his books about fly fishing, they are a hoot.

And if you'll go the Go Comics website and scroll back a bit for earlier entries, you'll find he's pretty much an equal opportunity skewerer.

Monday, September 8, 2008


I do wonder.

Give Me a Break...

It appears that one of the battle cries out there among the far-right wingnuts is that Sarah Palin—a fundamentalist Christian—is a poor, defenseless victim of religious discrimination.

Oh. Of course, we shouldn’t take a candidate’s religion into consideration when deciding where to cast our vote. That would be wrong. That would be unfair. That would be religious discrimination! Isn’t discrimination illegal here in the good ole U S of A????

I am dead certain that the same idiots crying this tune now, are the ones who have been circulating the emails claiming that Barack Obama is a Muslim.

Which , of course, is codswallop.

But what if he was? Wouldn’t it be religious discrimination to take that into consideration when casting your vote?

And while we’re on the subject of discrimination…Mr. Obama’s racial background doesn’t enter into anyone’s mind when weighing the candidate’s merits, does it? Surely not…because that would be discrimination!

Note to right wing: You’re not fooling anyone when you pretend to cherish high ideals—when it suits you. It’s kind of like trying to put lipstick on a pig. Or a pit-bull.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Wheel of Fortune

Vanna Palin....errrr....Sarah White....errr...SARAH PALIN is ready to step into the White House but NOT ready for prime time, according to the McCain camp. In case you've missed it, the schedule for the Sunday morning talk shows tomorrow is:
Barack Obama will be on
This Week;
Joe Biden will be on
Meet the Press;
John McCain will be on
Face the Nation;
and Sarah Palin, Girl Wonder, Ms. Alaska runner-up, VP hopeful,
Governor Extraordinaire will be...out aerial shooting polar bears? breast
feeding Trig? dressing a moose? putting on her lipstick? Inquiring minds
would like to know...for what it's worth, t
he official line is "she needs to
spend more time with the voters."


Friday, September 5, 2008

Our Worst Nightmare

Sarah Palin is our worst nightmare.


She’s not, as she claims, a pit bull with lipstick.


She’s George W. Bush with lipstick.


She’s everything we’ve loathed, everything that has gone wrong with this country for the past eight years.  She’s an uncurious, uninspired, unflinching Fundamentalist.  She has deep, deep ties to the oil industry.  She’s uneducated to a laughable degree…at least Bush’s rich family made sure he was availed of an undistinguished tenure at Yale.  You want to talk inexperience?  She’s lorded it over the less than 700,000 souls that inhabit America’s largest and most remote state for just short of two years.  Before that, she spent ten years in the city government of Wasilla, Alaska—with a population of not even10,000.  Foreign affairs?  Here is a woman who freely admits that she has not spent much time thinking about the War in Iraq.  Though she seems to have guessed enough about it to call it “God’s work.”


Put a dick on her and she could BE George W. Bush. 


Do we want, need or under any circumstances hanker to be saddled with four moreyears of this sort of character in high office in Washington, D.C.? 


Not on your life.


She’s an insult to women, an insult to democracy, and an insult to government in general.


And when I think of all the worthy women who have toiled and fought and cajoled and struggled in American government for the past 100 years—women like Bella Abzug and Madeleine Albright, Elizabeth Dole and Hillary Clinton, and, yes, even Condoleeza Rice—I swear that if this, this person becomes the first woman to be elected to high office in this country, I will have to seriously consider renouncing my citizenship and moving to Canada.  Or Europe. Or any nation that couldn’t so disregard the good work of so many and award the prize to a hand-picked charlatan from the Evil Empire.


If  Sarah Palin is elected Vice President of the United States, it will be the death blow for my faith in or respect for the American people. 


Jackie is right.  We may not be able to change the minds of those who have allowed their pastor or their bible or their red-neck neighbors to dictate their vote.  But we can and we must energize any and all voters likely to sympathize with the Obama ticket to VOTE.  Don’t take for granted that the other guy is going to make sure thecountry is put in safe, sane hands.  Without every possible opposing vote, there could be just enough nut-jobs to give the nod to a McCain/Palin victory.


We’ve weathered so many Bush-generated disasters that perhaps we are desensitized to them.  But, mark my words, we haven’t begun to witness the kind of destruction a Sarah Palin administration—should Mr. McCain die in office—would visit upon this country and the world. 


Stand up.  Vote.  Throw these ignorant good ole boys--and gals--out of Washington to the back of beyond, where they belong…     


I’ve done a tiny bit of asking around at work about the presidential campaign and……I’m not quite sure what to think. Several of my female co-workers think the ‘Pubs are just great. Obama’s education, legal work, organizational work, state legislature service and teaching are dismissed out of hand. Granted these gals are about my age, maybe a little younger. They’re at least high school graduates or maybe a little college. But, my cats are more curious about what’s going on in the world. And would probably have better taste in candidates

A remark that the changes they’re promising could have been done already is also dismissed out of hand. It’s depressing to say the least. I suspect that the family that owns the company is of a more liberal bent and I have seen a few Obama bumper stickers in the employee lot. Fingers permanently crossed, at least in my mind. With luck, Libertarian Ron Paul may just bleed off enough Republicans who can’t bring themselves to vote for Obama, but can’t stomach the “pit bull with lipstick” either. A girl can hope can’t she?

Speaking of the “pit bull,” there was a letter in the Oregonian this morning from a gal who is a real life community organizer in the Portland metro area. She was not amused at Palin’s crack at Obama’s experience. She help folks with everything from keeping the power on to finding money to make the rent. And, as she put it, “I have to find real money to cover these things, I can’t just print more.” We’ve got a long road ahead of us folks.

I know who I’m voting for in the November but I don’t think I’ll have much luck changing any minds around here. Hell my eighty two year old mother is more up on political issues than this bunch. Lisa, I have to keep reminding myself that the situation at that little bakery in the mall was far more unique thanI realized at the time.

In other election news here in Oregon, the ‘Pubs are so bankrupt they couldn’t even field a candidate to oppose Peter DeFazio in the fourth district. He isn’t totally unopposed; there are candidates from the Constitution and Green parties running. And that’s really sad. The system, such as it is only works when there are candidates running from all parties. Granted, if Saint Peter was running as a Republican I’d still think twice about voting for him; just because of the party label.

I think that’s what’s happened in Oregon. A lot of new voters are registering as Independents and I suspect that more than a few Republicans are simply leaving the party and doing the same thing.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

a pit bull with lipstick...

Note: the photo above is a photo provided by Sarah's mother to the Republican party of Sarah with Bristol on a hunting trip; the photo at the bottom is of Sarah in her Alaskan office with a bearskin in the background.

See, for all the Republicans highly touted spiel, "Sarah Palin is just an American gal everyone can relate to", I can't relate to her. For starters, I have to admit I'd have trouble relating to anyone who named their kids Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig (and call me mean spirited, but it leaves me wondering what the grandbaby will be named...Tundra? Calc?)

But I digress. I don't want to underestimate her. That would be a very bad mistake. I've spent a fair amount of time the past few days reading about her on the web, and watching YouTube videos of speeches she's made. She doesn't speak as well when someone else isn't supplying the words, by the way. I wouldn't call her intellectually nimble; not by a long shot. Nevertheless, she's nothing if not formidable. Here's a smattering of what I've found: She's anti sex ed; anti abortion, even in cases of rape and incest; anti stem cell research; anti same-sex marriage; anti spousal benefits for same sex couples (of course); anti-drug...mmmmmmmm, let me clarify that: she opposes legalizing marijuana, because of the message it might send to her kids, (there's that family values thing again) BUT she admits she smoked it: "I can't claim a Bill Clinton and say that I never inhaled" while it was legal in Alaska, but not in the US (I guess that's that separation of Alaska f
rom the lower 48 thing); pro-life....well, pro human life...well,  pro human life if you aren't yet born...she supports the death penalty and supports aerial hunting of bears and wolves and she's in the process of suing the United States to remove polar bears from the endangered species list (see Governor's Office press release, "Polar Bear", dated August 4, 2008); she's in favor of teaching creationism in schools; was initially in favor of The Bridge to Nowhere but is now against it; is in favor of teacher led prayers in public schools; in favor of absolute right to gun ownership..

Sarah Palin scares the hell out of me.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I haven’t had a lot to say on the candidates so far this season. Mostly because while the names have changed I feel like I’m repeating myself. And to be honest I’ve had my nose stuck in a half dozen different books, none of them political.

Wikipedia entries can hardly be called unbiased, but they do try and entries that sound too much like canned spiels get labeled as such.

These are links for the entries on Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. Ok, so Obama has spent two years in the Senate. He served in the state legislature longer than Palin has been governor. He not only has a doctorate in the law but he’s practiced the law and he’s taught the law.

Palin has a barely used journalism degree and a minor in political science. She tried to get her former brother in law fired from his state trooper position after the couple went through a divorce and when that didn’t work she fired the man who wouldn’t fire him. They’re trying to get an investigation started on that. It’s small potatoes but that’s how corruption gets started boys and girls. We’ve all seen how the current administration has misused, ignored and tried to corrupt our federal legal system. We can’t afford four more years of an administration that openly obeys the few laws it agrees with and treats the rest as optional.

After the crew of one or two term Republican (female) wonders we had in Oregon in the last decade, Palin would be hard put to be elected dog catcher let alone to the state legislature in this part of the Lower Forty Eight. And she sure as hell wouldn’t be elected to a state wide position; much less governor.

It’s past time for the Democratic candidates to take the gloves off and point out that while Barack Obama’s resume at the federal level may be a little thin, the rest of his experience is not.

I guess just good enough has finally made the big time. McCain and Palin are just good enough to run. I don’t buy just good enough at the store, I’m not buying it at the ballot box either.

Monday, September 1, 2008

On Poor Choices and Sarah Palin

I’m sure Sarah Palin is a very nice woman.  And she is probably even a competent governor.  Of a very large state.   With very few people.  And a budget fat with oil and gas revenues. 

I have to wonder what exactly John McCain was thinking with this pick.  Palin has no national credentials.  No one has ever heard of her or the dinky Alaskan town in which she cut her political teeth.  Her main claim to fame seems to be a strong tie to that mystical, magical, black substance that currently rules the fate of the free world.  Isn’t that just exactly what we need?  Four more years of someone intrinsically connected to the Big O plunging fingers into pies in Washington D.C.?

And now…we find out she has a seventeen-year-old unmarried daughter who is five months pregnant.  Okaaayyyy…exactly what was that little factoid supposed to bring to the national political table?  Oh, yeah….that’s another thing for which our nation has been crying out:  More validation for teen-agers to have careless, unprotected sex, get knocked up, and give birth to the next  generation of young people with dysfunctional moral compasses.  That “one man, one woman” sanctity of marriage thing that the right-wingers claim is the basic building block of our society seems to be getting a bit of a bashing from its own side of the aisle.  Looks like they can't even get their kids to swallow it.   

The moral values people would have a field day with this, if it was a Democratic candidate’s daughter sporting a “baby bump.”  I’m dying to see how they spin this for a (recently) prominent player in the good ole GOP.

I’ll be the first to admit that American voters have made really dumb-ass choices in the voting booth over the past eight years.  In fact, we are pretty much a laughing stock on the world political scene.  McCain must be counting on some truly overwhelming idiocy out here in the electorate…  Apparently, he believes we don’t require experience, competency, or charisma of our female political hopefuls.  Any person sporting a nice set of tits will rope in the gals’ vote.  Oh. My. God. 

Up until now, I had leaned toward conceding that McCain, who probably has the upper hand in the coming election due to his general whiteness, might not make an utterly objectionable chief executive.  No one, I thought, could possibly be as stone stupid as the Current Occupant.

Recent events have caused me to reconsider that opinion…        

family values and all that jazz...

I almost never write about politics, but I'm going to make an exception. I'll admit that initially I couldn't decide whether I thought McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate was a gift to Obama or a joke...but then today, Palin announced that her 17-year-old daughter Bristol (the one you see holding 3 month old baby Trig) is herself 5 months pregnant and has "decided" to keep the baby and get married...

Uh-huh. McCain supposedly knew about this before asking Palin to join him on the ticket. If that's true, he's even more of an idiot than I thought. And Palin supposedly knew that Bristol was pregnant before accepting the number two spot on the ticket. If that's true, what was she thinking? Didn't she know the media would have a field day with this, at her daughter's expense? Or didn't she care? She says she's supportive. In fact, in case, somehow, you managed to miss it, here's the statement she issued regarding Bristol's pregnancy:

"We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us. Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support. Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi's privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates."

When's the last time the media respected anyone's privacy? That sentiment is right up there with "size doesn't matter" and "the check is in the mail". But conservatives are not, overall, known for their compassion or ability to empathize. So if Palin did indeed know about Bristol's pregnancy before she accepted McCain's invitation, did she do so thinking Bristol had made her own bed and now could lie in it (no pun intended)? Or is Palin so incredibly ambitious, politically, that she didn't care about throwing her own teen-age daughter under the bus?

This whole mess raises a slew of questions that McCain and Palin willhave to field in the days ahead. And Palin, a big proponent of abstinence only education, might want to re-think her views on that topic, since she now has irrefutable evidence that even her own daughter clearly doesn't believe in it...

Tags: , Sarah Palin