Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Who Won The CNN Tea Party Debate September 12, 2011?

Democrats were the clear winners of last night’s debate. Prime time now offers “adult entertainment” with these GOP-TP debates. It’s an opportunity to watch eight adults prostitute themselves for the Tea Party.
A prominent theme of the night was who had the better states’ rights record. Perry definitely was the winner for a more circular pattern of governing. Texas Big Hat Perry, who his attempting to be top states’ rights man, whined about not getting federal support for securing his border as he chastised the President for not interfering in the running of his states borders by not providing troops and money from the federal government that he is Fed Up with. Perry was ineffective at turning his education policy of state supported education for those illegal Mexicans he couldn’t keep out of Texas into the anti-discrimination of “we love your vote no matter what your last name is”.

Perry was against the ropes with the "pile on" by Bachmann, protector of little girls, and Santorum, chief breeder, for Perry’s “executive order” forcing the vaccination of 12 year old girls against the HPV virus. His song and dance about “protecting young girls” against the dreaded cancer was ineffective as Santorum correctly, but ineffectively, pointed out that cancer is not communicable and therefore there was no state interest for mandating the vaccination. Bachmann clarified Perry’s interest as she called him out for his association with Merck who makes and markets the vaccine for which he mandated the vaccination of millions of little girls and the $5,000 contribution he received. Bachmann’s fear of Perry's power was evident as she failed to even look in his direction much less into those creepy eyes. His defense of self-righteous indignation that he could be bought for a measly $5,000 fell flat, to no applause. Apparently even the TP’ers know there is more to the matter than the $5,000 contribution you can see. In a rare GOP-TP moment of “protectionism of those with less understanding of the situation”, Santorum, protecting his brood pounced on Perry with his parental insight that there should have been an “opt in” not an “opt out” because not everyone understood that they could “opt out”.

Catering to the TP outrage over the idea that people should be required to carry health insurance, just like we are required to carry auto insurance, all eight prostitutes bowed to the TP catechism to rid us of Obamacare and return us to a more self-sufficient method of letting people just die who can’t take care of themselves. Ron Paul , a physician, won the moment when he informed us that it was alright for an uninsured 30 year old to be left to die for not carrying any insurance although he could afford it. The remaining seven worshipers of TP failed to state unequivocally that they would let said 30 year-old just die however, they didn’t provide any healthcare for him.

Ron Paul was applauded for his insight that we were wasting billions of dollars building extravagant buildings in Iraq. However, he later feared for his safety as the crowd booed him to silence when he attempted to enlighten them as to the real reason behind the 9/11 attacks.
In this debate, the GOP-TP’ers soften their rhetoric a bit in the retiree state of Florida as they said they didn’t really mean we should destroy Social Security that provides a safety net for millions of retirees now, but later as they move towards trusting the unborn to save for their retirement as their “fix for Social Security”. Perry moved from his "Ponzi scheme" and a "miserable failure" characterization of Social Security to “Slam dunk, guaranteed, that program is going to be there in place for people currently on Social Security. Those individuals that are moving towards being on Social Security, that program's going to be there for them when they arrive there." Apparently all who are born as of September 12, 2011 are moving towards Social Security and it will “slam dunk” be there for them if Rick is elected.

Huntsman’s state won the prize for issuing non-driver’s license to illegal immigrants who can drive but cannot use that document for identification, unless they are driving.
Romney had difficulty distancing himself from his very effective and well received healthcare program in MA that closely resembles the current health care program, insisting that Obamacare that is a lot like his, is not really like his.

At the end of the night the GOP-TP had to evaluate which state they most want look like because if any of these folks are elected we will all be moved away from a state of grace.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No Magic Solution

It’s time to stop whining about who is responsible for creating jobs for Americans. The press and the GOP-TP’ers are waiting to pounce on the “jobs proposal” by the President as if that is supposed to cure the pervasive and increasingly embarrassing malaise in this country due to a shift in the economy. We seem to be standing like helpless children, wanting a solution to appear effortlessly and spontaneously like magic and give us back our toys, while our lives seem to get worse.

Blame seems to be the balm that temporarily heals the nasty wounds created by the loss of our “things”. The pain is real as thousands are without employment; thousands have lost their homes and many of those are homeless; thousands are hungry; and still we wait for an answer to magically materialize and save us from ourselves.

Our elected leaders seemed determined to do nothing but debate about who is to blame for this thing, this loss of our stuff. Any attempt to really solve the problem is shouted down, not out of a measure of real value but rather out of a political necessity to win at all costs. The rhetoric has escalated to the promise of a magical return to yesterday when all was well. These messengers revel in their self-proclaimed close association with a deity, as if they then transcend all others, knowing where to find the magic that cures this “boo boo”.

The media have found job security in a twenty-four hour churning of meaningless banter that feeds this malaise. Yet we, like a junkie, can’t or won’t unplug because we might miss something, something really important like that magical moment when all is well again. We’ve become dependent on the media to tell us what is happening and who is dumb or dumber. There is no good news just bad news.

The reality is that there is no magic solution; No, Michelle, the economy can’t be turned around in one quarter; No, Rick, what you say worked in Texas, didn’t and won’t again; No, Mitt, you do have to stand for something; No, Mr. President, you do have to stand up for something. In reality we have to take responsibility for being duped by the banks, the politicians, wall-street and the media. We drank the kool-aid and took the magical ride. Now we all are back in a real world.

The answer isn’t what “they have or haven’t done or can or can’t do”. We simply have to make lemonade out of the lemons we have. Americans have a rich history of leadership in innovation and creativity. Many of our successes have been the result of the necessity of our survival. The reality is that thousands of Americans are doing well; thousands are eating so much they are obese; thousands are still shopping and incurring debt; thousands are figuring out how to change their lives so that they can pick up the pieces and go on with their lives; thousands are helping others pick up the pieces of their lives; and, yes, there is a lot to do and many are suffering real pain.

How is it that we now view ourselves as poor beggars, requiring someone to hand us the magic potent that cures our malaise, lifts us up and back to yesterday when we had all of our stuff? That’s not going to happen. No matter the circumstance we have to keep moving. No one will come to your rescue, except you. Life for many could be so much better if “we” could ignore “them” and do what “we” need to do for ourselves and others and if “they” would do what “they” should be doing. There is wisdom in the old hippy bumper sticker “If the people will lead, the leaders will follow.”

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Eighteen Million say “I told you so!”

Each day there are more articles being circulated entitled “Hillary would have made a better president” and “I should have voted for Hillary”. These high powered pen poised makers of a paper mache president are capitulating with rapidity as the test of the presidency of Barack Obama intensifies and he continues to disappoint his followers. Some commentators are now capable of admitting that they were so taken with his oratory that they failed to sufficiently consider his lack of accomplishments prior to his run for president.

When Hillary was defeated in the primary, the disbelief of the reality of this world was painful to endure. Hillary supporters met in groups, venting anger and pain in private safe places as we collectively worked through what had happened. Like many generations of women before us, we healed the gapping wounds of disappointment, collected ourselves and marched out to support the “winner” for the greater good of all. Hillary supporters rallied behind Obama, because Hillary not only said that was the right thing to do but she was working hard for the success of the Democrats. Her campaign magnified the hope, the pain and the disappointment, of generations of women. Many saw her grace, resilience and power, even in defeat, as a model for the next generation of women.

Now as Secretary of State, she has distanced herself from Barack Obama and yet found a useful and powerful place in which she can work productively for a country that disappointed her and a generation of feminist. She continues to be focused on her job with precision as this inexperienced orator, once so praised by all as their savior, flounders as many of us predicted.

It’s too late to elect Hillary. That bus left the station two and a half years ago. Now, the powerful commentators are bailing on Obama, just as they bailed on Hillary. They run away, not from Obama, but from their own failures. They too were weak, too weak to support a woman who was powerful and who had been tested by the political system. As the realization that Obama is weak and ineffective solidifies, as the savior’s image fades, the anger of being wrong turns outward as they look for a scapegoat for their wrong call.

So, we are doomed? I don’t think so. I wasn’t doomed before Obama and his failures certainly won’t define me. Now is not the time to throw Obama under the bus, it’s the time to understand that not only do we drive the bus, we are the bus.

For decades, I have decried the obvious, “Democrats have no backbone!” Now the staunch Obama followers are crying out “Lead us to the promise land!” He can’t. Congress can’t. It’s up to us to step up. Do we have the backbone to lead?
It takes more than, voting, contributing money and opining about the obvious flaws in our leaders to create change. We must change from the followers to the leaders. Remember the old sixties old bumper sticker “If the people will lead, the leaders will follow.” It’s time to change our focus from the lack of leadership, to creating the change we need in this country.

Abdicating our responsibility to participate in the change we want to create leaves a void for those who do have courage and a backbone to step to the front and take control. Thus, we are faced with talking heads that spew thoughtless mean spirited diatribes appealing to our base senses of fear and greed which are used as a wedge to further divide and decimate our civilization.

“They” can’t be silenced because their disruption is news; their stupidity is news; what they are not is news; and as we are beginning to realize, “the news” is the new porn industry and it sells. The news makers threw Hillary under the bus as their misogynist torrents filled the air waves, creating wave after wave of “news”. The media created Barack Obama and elevated him to his majestic throne and now they are feasting on his failures, just as some of us predicted two and half years ago. It’s not Barack Obama or the Democrats who need a backbone, we need a backbone. We are not powerless. We are powerful. We must not abdicate our leadership to those who have the backbone to stand up and speak to the fear that emboldens the speaker and seems to empower the fearful. There is no silver bullet. There is no magic pill that cures all our ills, and alas, no savior to lead us in creating the change we hoped was possible.

Each of us has the power to create what we need to live comfortably, not just for ourselves but for the rest of the world. The question is “Do we have the backbone to stand up and take responsibility for making our lives and the world a better place in which we can all live?” Can we follow the example of Hillary Clinton and go about our jobs with focus and persistence, creating the change we need? I continue to have hope.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hillary and Maya Angelouin Winston-Salem, NC April, 2008

Yesterday two friends and I traveled to Wake Forest University to see and hear Maya Angelou and Hillary Clinton. We arrived at WFU around 2:30 p.m. and easliy found the Wait Chapel. We then sat down on the grass in line to wait and wait and wait.

While we waited I noticed the other people waiting. The crowd which in fact was a mix had the overriding appearance of mostly white older women. The sea of grey hair was a clue. Women often came in groups with other women friends, young and older. Mothers were there with their young daughters who were running around and some women were there with older daughters, sitting and talking. There were daughters who brought their aging mothers, helping them find a place to sit and wait. There were older men and women who came together and then, there were a lot of single women who would sit and chat with people they met while waiting on line.

This was a woman's event. People sat in line chatting, laughing or reading a book and sharing information and food as the day wore on. There wasn't loud music or a lot of rah, rahs! A few college boys threw a frisbee in the middle of the lawn; they were well behaved. On both sides of our group were women who were undecided and one in our group was undecided. We had conversations about what their reservations about Hillary were: The Bosnia thing; the attacks on Obama; just not sure etc. Women volunteers came around and updated us on what was happening and when and what we could expect. It was during one of these update sessions that I began to see what the problem was with a least some of the women who weren't voting for Hillary.

We had several visits with volunteers who would tell us about what would or would not be allowed to be taken into the building. Most of the outlawed items were pretty clear issues, no chairs, no food, no water bottles etc. and everyone nodded in acquiescence. Then there was the "type of bag allowed in". This was not a "yes" or "no" issue and not a "multiple choice issue". This was an "interpretative issue" and each messenger delivered a slightly different message and each time we had to determine whether our "bag" fit their description of what was allowed. Some of the messages were "Nothing larger than an 8x10”; "Nothing larger than a piece of paper.” and there were others. Each message brought a barrage of discussion along the line as to whether certain bags would be allowed and each discussion left each of us with a lingering doubt about the "legality" of our bag. There was fear that after spending so much time in agonizing positions on the lawn, enduring the heat and discomforts we imagined and real, we just couldn't "risk" losing the prize of getting into the event. Gradually, bags disappeared or got smaller and still there was uncertainty. Would we be allowed in with our bag and what could happen if we were challenged? Could we pass through? Would someone challenge us and thus, we would have to "explain" or "justify" according to rules that we were uncertan about in regard to our bag?

Interestingly, our place in line was right across from the campus book store. On one of my breaks from the line to stretch my aging back, I noticed that they had set up a table and there was a stack of Hillary's books, "Living History". I had borrowed a copy from a friend of mine and had later tried to buy a copy of it locally. I had noticed them before at a store on display for $5.98. After I read part of the book, I knew I wanted my own copy but when I returned to the store, there were none. Now, here was my chance. I went to the woman at the table and asked "How much"? She replied, "$16.00". I thought for a bit about the bargain I had missed and then, I realized that I had this chance to buy it so "Why not?" I bought the book and went back to the long line to wait and chat.

Finally, we and our bags got in after passing through security similar to airport security and we got a great seats and we waited. Around 6:45 the pre-game warm up started and we had some fun yelling H I L L A R Y! There was a short game that got folks revved up by texting to the campaign headquarters 442008NC. The lead guy, Mike, later come back out and called the number of someone who had texted in. Everyone waited for their phones to ring hoping that they would win the prize of going back stage and meeting Hillary. The game was great fun for those who knew how to text message. For some of us, we learned to text message that day, in those fleeting moments, just for the chance of winning the prize; meeting Hillary personally. I had hoped to win, but no phone call from Mike. Three people did win the prize and they were ushered back stage to meet Hillary.

Finally, Maya Angelou and Hillary came out and the crowd erupted. This event was a conversation with Hillary and Maya and we got to listen in. It was fabulous and worth the wait to hear these two remarkable women chat. Hillary then took some questions from the crowd and Maya read a prose she had written about Hillary. I didn't know if Hillary would be meeting and working the crowd afterward, but I had already prepared my friends to either, wait for me, or put my stuff from their car in a place where I could find it after I got her to sign my book, 'cause I was staying.

The prospect of getting the book signed was faint because Hillary was well protected by serious secret service, who were by now not so secret and a ton of handlers, and of course a crush of mostly aggressive women who were now pressing forward much like the mad rush during a sale in a major women's store. (If we ever want to get past this energy crisis just harness the energy of these women attempting to get to Hillary.)

I hesitated for a nanosecond and then there I was camcorder in one hand and book in the other charging ahead into the sea of people mostly taller than me. I'm sure there are some women who thought a bit unkindly of me yesterday, but more women actually gave me a helping hand. Two well-dressed women stopped me in the crush to read my t-shirt. "Women who behave rarely make history". They loved it and left with a big smile.

As we "pressed forward" I struck up a conversation with a large African American women who had become my best friend as we then defined the term "embedded" in the sea of people moving in some way like shuffling or glacial ice migrating. We chatted as we were pushing and being pushed though a wall of people. I was trying to get video of Hillary and complaining and laughing that either I or Hillary was too short. (It turned out that we both are short.) At one point, my new friend got behind me, wrapped her arms around my waist and lifted me up so that I could get a better shot. Now, of course, we are very best friends, laughing at our attempts. In the next few minuets I would learn that the young woman with her was her daughter and they were both avid Hillary fans. She was pushing us/me forward. I heard this voice behind me say, "I'm going to get you through". Then there was the push behind me that sent me through the wall of people, closer to my target, Hillary.

Finally, I could see Hillary talking to people, still laughing, answering questions and signing stuff. I finally, thrust my book up high above my head and forward where it was suddenly lifted from my hand by a taller woman behind the ropes. She folded the cover back and handed it to Hillary, who in a flash signed it. Hillary handed it back to me with a big smile and I stammered something like "We love you in North Carolina! Thank you for being here!" I turned back to escape and give others a chance, when I saw my new friend waving and shouting "There's my daughter. Take her picture!"

I noticed the daughter had angled around and was coming up to the line close to Hillary. I stopped and turned and shot as much video as I could of them together and at least part of the hug she received from Hillary. We extracted ourselves from the still crushing mass of people who were attempting to get close to "Hillary". We stood together, chatting and laughing for a few minuets about our adventure, this young woman and her mother who had pushed us both forward through the crowds to get the prize, the things we each wanted; my autographed book; a daughters few words and a picture with the next president embracing her and a proud mother determined to see that her daughter got what she wanted. We exchanged names and e-mails. I learned that the young woman had recently returned from Iraq, where she had served with the Marines.

We didn't know much about each other at the beginning of our adventure. We really didn't need to dissect the similarities or the differences of who we/they were or why we were doing what we were doing. We didn't discuss the rules of how to get to Hillary or whether we ahould even try. We were just three strangers, three women who knew without discussion or analysis, that if we worked together we could each get what we most desired. We knew without discussion who would push from behind, who would take the pictures and who needed to speak to this woman who could be the next President of the United States. We simply kept our eyes on the prize. We worked together maximizing each others strengths and compensating for each others weaknesses, as we pushed through all obstacles. Each woman got what we set out to get and then we stood together laughing about our victory.

It required very little talking or planning; no evaluation of the others decisions or perceived past acts or transgressions. It was just the determined action of women pressing forward together, for as long as it took, to get what we each individually had decided to get. We didn’t quit or give up. We just trusted each other to do what we each could do to get done what we all needed to do. It was easier to do, than to describe what we did.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Can Hillary Play Hardball or Should She Play Nice?

Hillary’ new "3:00 A.M ad" has certainly stirred the Democrats. Oh, my, she may be providing material for McCain to attack Obama if Obama is the nominee as most male commentators seem to think. So, the question is can Hillary play hardball or should she play nice? Is winning everything? Should we do what “is best for the party”?

I’m for winning and playing and campaigning to win. Is this an unfair “attack ad”? I think it raises a good question that most are unwilling to even discuss because it appear that the Obama train has left the station and its’ all over, so, Hillary should fold, endorse and go back to wherever.

Obama's response to the ad is much of the same ... nothing substantive. He looks back at a vote he didn't make, because he wasn't there and says he would have made decisions, he didn't make because he wasn't there. Monday morning quarter backing is easy to do, because you aren’t there and everyone has 20/20 hindsight. This is like getting the “first question”.

The more telling response was his analysis of Pakistan in a previous debate when he quipped in his manly fashion that he would go after them regardless… That response became more refined after his handlers edited the version. Pakistan wasn’t amused.. “Tariq terms Obama statement as “Sheer ignorance”; Pakistan’s Ambassador in the United States Mehmood Ali Durrani has termed the White House hopeful Barack Obama’ statement as speculative and irresponsible. “… such an action along Pak-Afghan border tribal areas would lead to dire consequences.”

Also, think about his response to his endorsement of Farrakhan. Hillary was ridiculed for calling him on it, but it demonstrates his lack of depth of thought about a process. He initially stated that “He couldn’t help it if someone thought he was a good guy.” Chuckle, chuckle. It was Hillary who refined the point, insisting that, well you could do more, as I did in a similar circumstance. The boys thought her insistence that there be a more careful response was funny, “a tedious political trap”. He finally submitted and said well, ok, I’ll reject and denounce. Everyone chuckled and dismissed the woman as too picky. He and they still don’t see the difference.

So, it’s 3:00 am and the phone rings in the White House and there is a crisis because that does happen and we mostly don’t know about these times. Do you want the person making the decision to see fine differences and complexities in thinking about a problem? Do you want someone who will choose wise words and a wise course of action, or do you want a Monday morning quarterback who can tell you what he “might have done”? Do you want someone who blames an entire war on one woman’s vote while he embraces others as his endorsers like, Chris Dodd, who also voted for the use of force resolution and who, also, ridiculed Obama as naive on foreign policy after his Pakistan comments? It’s the details, tiny details that matter… to me.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Free Political Ads!

Free ads for Obama! Take a look at the misogynist remarks on any of the “discussion” boards. What a great way for insecure, frustrated women and men to vent their frustrations that a strong woman isn’t backing down, submitting to the Democrat machine of “play nice” for the party and giving in to the pressure from the media bias. What great free advertising for Obama!

ABC and the rest of the nasty boys really are perplexed that Hillary is still there working to win the nomination. Fluff pieces are much easier to run because these angry nasty men on the discussion boards do their job for them and the other “nasty boys club”. These so-called journalist keep the gender question stirred and raise the questions that bring out the vitriolic hatred toward women, i.e. misogyny, and lay it out for the entire world to see. I think it’s great. It’s done more to motivate Hillary’s base than any tactic she can come up with. I hope they keep it coming. It reminds all of us how much more there is to do and that every contribution to her campaign, no matter how small, will help to extinguish this hatred.

Hillary just released two new videos “One In A Million” that demonstrates that women from all races and walks of life in Texas are in fact pitching in to work for her campaign and “This One Is for Ann”, remembers Ann Richards. The male dominated press says little about Hillary that is positive. These videos tell a different story from a different perspective.

These nasty guys are the whiners and the losers and their hatred of women is soooo evident. These pieces do a lot to embolden these men to take that hatred out on women. If they write these nasty remarks, we should wonder what they are doing in their homes, dorms and on the streets. This “locker room” that the media provides allows these men to gather and “get it on” as they rant hateful remarks about women. The so-called press sits back in amusement and calls this journalism. For the women who demean Hillary, I hope they will stop and think about their lives and the lives of other women and how they are being co-opted into this hatred cycle. If they don’t like Hillary and don’t agree with her stands, then don’t vote for her, work against her, but for the sake of a younger generation of women, don’t get sucked into the game of misogyny that the boys are gaming.

If comparable pieces were run on Obama and similar remarks were made about him, these guys in the "press" would be shut down and they would be, with a lot of other Americans, on the unemployment line. Now there’s a thought.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Will We Be Good Girls and Fall In Line?

This race for the Presidency in 2008 isn’t about race or gender. It’s about blatant disgusting misogyny in high definition for the entire world to witness. Women across the world can see that women here in this country, touted to be the model of a democracy and land of the free, are as free as the white men allow and that it is white men who control the government and they will decide who will be President.

There is little difference in white men in this country and the Taliban in Iraq and Afghanistan. Women have soundly been put in their place in this country again. The white male media controls the politics and the slant of every story that runs over and over and over again. The media is saturated with their contempt of women evidenced by the tone and their inability to even begin to glean understanding of their blatant misogyny.

Will Obama win? Hillary can’t possibly continue to fight on so many fronts effectively. Her every action, taken or not taken is slanted to demean and belittle her as a politician. The crescendo from the white male press adds to the feeding frenzy around Obama and contributes to the mystic. He is a good speaker, but in reality no better than a lot of the Sunday morning pulpit lecturers. As the white boys sit and listen mesmerized by his accomplishments, i.e. being able to speak well, they see no deficits, only high praise for little substance. Meanwhile the public laps up the warm media milk like calves in the darkness.

Many women will abandon Hillary because the media says it’s over and the threat of four more years of the Republicans will in fact destroy this country, so let’s “heal the party” and moveon. We women are after all looked upon as compliant and healers of the “family”. We are expected to do what is right and best for all. We are expected to submit to the higher good, for all, except us!

Women have fought to regain our rights since we lost them thousands of years ago, when civilizations were matriarchal. The ancient memory of a different more peaceful way of life lies dormant in many our minds. Every now and then there is a bright ray of hope that manages to shine through the misogyny, warm us up a bit and even give us a glimpse of hope. Admittedly, it is difficult for many in my generation of wanting it all and thinking that anything is possible, to accept defeat, accept repression again and accept that little has changed in the minds of many over such a long period of time. These two concepts; Acceptance of Defeat Again and Understanding this Misogyny, are difficult for me to reconcile these days.

The assumption that all of the women supporters of Hillary will bow to Obama is grossly over estimated. Many may finally be able to see that neither party in fact stands for their values in a so called democracy. Many may be too busy to vote in the general election. Many may write in a name in protest in the general election. And, many may fall in line and be “good girls” because they believe they have acted independently reciting the media reasoning mantras for allowing them to vote for Obama: “We don’t have to vote for a woman just because she is a woman. We can vote for the “best candidate”; The candidate that is “best for the job” “The candidate that can unify the country”.

We can in fact vote for Obama in the general election, if he is the nominee. There is nothing to stop us and the milk is about the right temperature for human consumption. Slurp!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Is It Over, Before It's Over?

I don’t hear the fat lady singing but I see the old men herding protectively around their boy Obama. There is much talk of Hillary "pitching it in" and "giving up". Many of the guys are saying, “It’s over”, although neither Obama nor Hillary have the votes to win the nomination. I’ve thought through why I’m voting for Hillary. It’s simple and yet it’s not. So, I put together a little video and put it on YouTube to remind me later on why I fought this fight, regardless of the outcome.

The party line is “It’s for the good of the party” that she should quit. That reminds many of us of the old days when we weren’t really expected to perform. I have to say, I’m more than a little tweaked at the old men of the party. This election has shown us that this isn’t the grand old party but it is much the same old politics. Oh, I know Obama is running on “change”. Well, I would like a change from the boys deciding who will run as a Democrat. I’d like to see the process work like it is “supposed” to work. Maybe, just maybe it’s never worked that way. Maybe, just maybe this is all a hoax to keep us in line, you know hopeful. Will Obama win? Will Hillary pitch it in for the good of the party? I hope not.

I do believe that Will Rogers had the best assessment of the party when he was asked, “Are you a member of any organized political party?”
“No, I’m a Democrat”. Ditto.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hillary - Powerful Visionary

Who will bring the change we need?

Obama paints Hillary with the “status quo” brush and everyone is happy to be on board his train fueled not by his powerful original rhetoric but the words that inspired a generation before him to take action that made it possible for him to run for President. Hillary has already been where Obama is. She has already been inspired to action and she has already taken brave decisive action and faced the consequences of those actions. Obama has yet to stand on new ground, to leave his footprints on any new battle ground, to suffer any wounds and recover and fight again. That's the insult so many feel when we hear those words spoken by a “wanna be warrior”.

Hillary has always been proud of her country and has taken on issues when they were not popular. It was Hillary, not Obama that as a lone woman Washington outsider marched into the halls of Congress and began the talks with both sides of the aisle about health care. She made a difference for all Americans. She made it possible for Obama to talk about universal health care as a result of her action that many paint as a failure. It's easy for Obama to be the Monday morning quarterback, he wasn’t there. Obama has done those “usual inspiring things” that many citizens of my generation see ordinary citizens doing everyday. It was Hillary who went to China, as First Lady and spoke out for the rights of ALL women and demanded in China that our rights are human rights.

Hillary is powerful and will take us to new frontiers that Obama has yet to glimpse, because she has already been where he is now. In fact he is the “status quo”. Hillary is the visionary, the fearless powerful leader and who will lead this country and the world to a better place.

It’s easy to stand tall and speak out when many surround you and chant your chant. It takes a powerful leader to take us to into the new frontiers, to break new ground, in new territories and to not be fearful but fearless. It takes a powerful leader to heal not just the wounds inflicted in the fabric of this country but to see and feel the pain suffered by citizens in many countries. It takes a powerful leader to stand alone and fight the fight and even in failure to rise again, to fight again. We’ve watched Hillary Clinton be fearless, fight and lose and continue the fight. We’ve watched Hillary Clinton, stand on the Senate floor, not at a peace rally, and vote and state her reasons for her vote. She, more that the other 76 Senators, has stood against repeated personal attacks for that vote, despite the fact that it was George Bush and not Hillary Clinton and the other 76 unnamed Senators who deceived the citizens of this country and lead us to where we are now. If there was a mistake, it lays at the feet of those who voted for George Bush.

Obama chants the Kennedy theme without understanding that negotiating out of fear, isn’t the issue, but rather negotiating from power is the winning position. He chants lines from Martin L. King that led a generation before him to take action. Obama fails to understand that it takes a powerful leader to not just inspire, with the words of others but to speak from your heart with clarity, with your words to inspire and call to action your fellow citizens to face a fierce battle with you to right wrongs. Obama is naive to think that we all just talk and reach an agreement. He is naive to think that talk with anyone without a plan will protect America. Can this powerful woman be stopped? Certainly the forces in this country are putting forth their best efforts. Multitudes of women share the hope that the next generation of women will be allowed to be even more powerful than this "girl".

Friday, February 22, 2008

This Is What Leadership Looks Like!

The last few moments in the debate were important for Democrats and for Americans when Hillary captivated the audience in Texas and nationwide with her courage and her strength. It takes a statesperson to stop the madness of the press and the interest groups that are gleeful when we argue about minor differences in policy or lifting parts of speeches for use. It takes a leader to not attack an opponent but to leave the question for the voter. It takes a leader to reach not just across to her opponent and shake hands but to understand that the goal of unifying the party is paramount to her personal goal.

It’s interesting that both candidates propose almost identical agendas for the future. The male press, with their misogynist filters, attempt to throw Hillary under the bus, driven by the Obamacans, not because she is a horrible candidate but because they just don’t get it that a woman, yes, this woman, could be president. The press feed our fears about who is “electable”. That “code” leads the public, as press intends, to the inevitable “Bill Clinton” phobia. The male press feed the fears of re-living those years, when the Republicans, not Bill Clinton, made life for all of us miserable. It was the Republicans, not Bill Clinton who led the very public hunt for wrong doing that resulted not in deposing the president, but as I recall, the departure of several Republican elected officials when it was discovered that they couldn’t muster the high moral bar they had set for Bill Clinton.

Both of these candidates stand for change. Both are good people. Both are strong candidates. The questions are: Who can in fact bring the change we need and want? How can we, not the press decide that issue? If the press were fair, or even appeared to be fair and balanced, in their treatment of the candidates and the issues, the choice would be ours to make on facts not hype or a misogynist slant. But then, if frogs had wings, they wouldn’t bump their behinds when they jumped.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Was Hillary Torched?

The political theater we witnessed yesterday was an interesting piece of televised misogyny. “The Kennedys anoint Barack Obama”. “The Kennedys pass the torch to Barack Obama”. The male media swarmed the event and leveraged it to the hilt to show everyone that Hillary was going to lose for sure now that Barack Obama had the “grandfather of all endorsements”. The unbiased media could only see the cup running over for Obama. Actually, Obama may want to check that cup before he sips in the Camelot court. Look at their last best friends Hillary and Bill Clinton. The Kennedys had no trouble throwing the Clintons under the bus when they didn’t heed big Ted’s mandate to campaign in a particular way.

Obama crowned by Camelot is a fairy tale. Kennedy supported Kerry-he lost. Kennedy supported Gore-he lost. Caroline Kennedy endorses a person based on her children's recommendation and a resemblance to her father’s ability to motivate through moving speeches, now that’s a good way to decide who runs the most powerful country in the world.

The fact that the Kennedys' didn't remain neutral and made such a public faux Camelot spectacle by attempting to ridicule and demean Hillary Clinton indicates that they truly believe that they can simply wave a magic wand and people will follow along. The entire scene smacks of misogyny, when Ted takes such a vicious swipe at a woman who he called friend, when it was good for him.

The message from this scene is “remember who is in charge”. This episode paints a clear picture of how the male so-called power structure in Washington in concert with the male media works. The good old boys just can’t quite understand that a woman is better qualified to run the country that they have run into a ditch. When Obama began to run into some trouble on the campaign trail, it appeared that Ted rescued him. Ted rescued Ted, not Obama. There is a higher price for that support than Obama may realize at this point. Obamas’ mantra of “change from the old Washington politics” pales with his newest old boy buddy as his sidekick. He might find a few thorns in that sparkly Camelot crown

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Portrait of a Leader

The choice between presidential candidates was clear to many women on Tuesday night as Hillary Clinton continued to paint a portrait of leadership. Senator Clinton reached across the racial divide the press created and in a dramatic power play offered to bring the junior senator into her battle to take control of the government from George Bush. That gesture demonstrated the intelligence, the compassion and the ability to heal a major rift in a national political party.

Obama confirmed what many already believed when he was questioned about his comments to a Nevada newspaper regarding how he would lead. His admission that he was not good at handling the details brought into focus a fact of life that many women experience on a daily basis. Women assistants have made the phone calls to correct mistakes and cover for the boss, who looks good, talks a good game but depends on his secretary to "make it work".

Those statements are striking to many women who have spent years finding the piece of paper the boss needs and running the office or household while the male boss or husband plays golf and makes the deals that she will have to turn to reality. Obama’s responses confirm what many suspected: good speeches, great ideas but not great hands-on control over the moving parts. We’ve experienced that method of governance for eight painful years. We’ve seen the results of turning the details of running the country over to those selected by those who were not elected. Enough. We need someone in the White House who can find the paper and make the government run – not just talk about how it should run.

The responses to the debate questions clearly demonstrate the difference in ability and readiness to lead. Never has there been a clearer picture of what the past has been and what the future could look like. The dramatic difference between Hillary and Obama reflects the reality that many women experience on a daily basis. Men who look like society expects them to look and talk the talk are in the positions of power, reaping the benefits of their power, while women do the work.

Work Horse vs. Show Horse.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Is it a Race War or a Press War?

MSNBC gets one right!

Dan Abrams has finally gotten one right as he stepped outside the box of his colleagues’ rhetoric and screamed that the Clintons were not being racist in their comments regarding Dr. King. When the press reported that certain African American leaders hinted they were not happy with comments by Bill and Hillary Clinton, that led the "got to get ahead of the news press" to create news by escalating the "made up news" to headline the follwoing day on Cup of Joe - more on the "race war in the Democratic party".

If you are a straight white male on the sidelines watching this national race when your boy Edwards is a distant third, you want to stir this mix and create some headline news by raising questions about the only differences you can see, the first African American male and the first white woman, running for an office that is usually about only straight white men, therefore, the story is about race or gender, because you’re left out. That makes for great conflict if you can stir that story enough, by raising the right questions that lead either contingency to "react". When they don’t react, the press can react for them.

Do we really think many of those caught in the Obama "hope for all sermon" won’t react to the attack on Hillary and Bill Clinton and back away from Obama, offended that the Obama campaign benefits from the "creation of the race war". The press can leverage any comment about Obama to raise scrutiny about racism and force the Clintons to react. All Obama has to do is stand and smile (vote "present") and let the Clintons explain that they are not racist while the press does the dirty work for Obama. That’s great for their ratings and for Obama, but is that same press scrutiny levied about misogynist comments about Hillary Clinton. The press could never get away with attacks on Obama the way the they attack Hillary. So far, it’s softball and fluff for Obama and hardball and body blows for Hillary.

In this presidential contest - "race comments" are off limits (as they should be) but anything said about Obama by anyone can be interpreted by the "press" as a possible "race" comment by the Clintons - misogynist comments are the same old, same old, anything goes and few seem to care, or do we? We won't vote "present".

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Poll Tool:Reporting or Making the News?

I love watching the pollsters, journalists and pundits twist as they struggle to explain an unprecedented failure of their tool of persuasion, their polls. They don’t understand that the glass ceiling many older women have been bumping into for centuries is really a glass floor that all white men have been dancing on. Men have abused, suppressed and ignored women and have shaped public opinion by shouting down and dismissing women who disagree with them. (Watch Chris Matthews with women guests who disagree with his position.). Dan Abrams chuckled last night “The weather was warm and there were all of these old uh older women were coming to the polls”. Yep. Those old broads voted because it was warm enough for them to come out, otherwise the frail old women would have stayed at home.

I see this unprecedented poll failure as a great opportunity to reclaim the electoral process and force the media to report not make the news. Polling is the life blood of the pundits that gives them to power to speak for us and therefore, shape the outcome of elections. If we refuse to participate in the polls, they will have an opportunity to report not make the news. To begin to stop the spectacle of fabricating the news, hang up when a pollster calls; if pressed by a pollster lie, after all you’re not under oath; after you vote keep it private.

We shouldn't’t have been surprised by the results not being what we “expected” because we shouldn't’t have been expecting a result. Tom Brokaw was right when he said the press was trying to get in front of the news. We can insist that the press wait with the rest of us and do what they are supposed to do, report the news, not make the news.

Susan Herbst, the public policy professor from Georgia Tech., quoted in an ABC News article gave sage advice to the journalists, candidates and pundits; "I hope this is a wake up call for the journalists, candidates and pundits." I see the failure of the polls as a wake up call and an opportunity to take back the process of the voters electing our leadership; don’t participate in polls. Let’s see what the candidates, not the pundits really have to say about real issues.

We can vote for candidates based on what we see and hear from the candidates, not what the press thinks they see or hear about a candidate that they think we might want to see or hear. We don’t need more analogies and opinions from experts to explain what we see and hear. We know that “Father does not know best.”

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Misogyny vs. Racism

Misogyny is alive and well. Hillary wins in the New Hampshire primary and the discussion is about how the "polls got it wrong". Does that sound right? Why isn't the press talking about Hillary - her remarkable win, how she got it right - America is finally ready for a woman President -what was her message that worked. She's on the road to victory, Obama is toast etc. When Obama won Iowa the next morning headlines were glowing with the projection that - America is finally ready to elect a black man - The next great MLK would lead all of us to the promise land, that being away from George Bush and the Republicans.

The press had buried Hillary and rejoiced that the "bitch" was dead or dying. Why is the news today about "how the polls were wrong and not about how Obama is toast"? The white male press continues it's mission to destroy Hillary the "woman candidate". These white guys are furious that "the polls were wrong."

Why all the fury about the polls being wrong? These guys were so sure that Hillary was politically dead, based on their polls that they went far out on that well known limb, only to find that they were WRONG! They are furious that Hillary won, when the "polls" said she would get trounced and finally be finished because they relied on those polls to make them be right.

The leader of Obama's press band, MSNBC, Chris Matthews, is actually blaming "the people for lying to the pollsters." He is cites the problem as voting in a booth instead of like Iowa, where people stand up in front of the community and vote their convictions, where they "can't hide and squirm in a booth". That's a great way for men to control their wives and children, vote this way or else! I prefer the privacy of the booth, away from a community that might force me to vote a particular way to "fit in" or "live there".

Chris Matthew's and the MSNBC Gang resolve this "poll problem" by playing the "race card" saying that "political correctness" is to blame and that the real reason Obama lost was that the people in New Hampshire are really racists. They lied to the pollsters,(as if that is a crime), to be politically correct. Therefore, in the MSNBC bubble, the voters when asked about their vote answered for Obama because they were cowed by political correctness. Hellooooo.

Think about what Matthews and MSNBC is saying, really saying. That because the polls were wrong, Hillary won, there must be a fundamental problem with "voters". First, they are a bunch of liars and second, they they are a bunch of racists. So, a vote for Hillary labels you a racist in the MSNBC world. The Gang attempts to box in Hillary by planting the seeds that will spark a great divide and make great news, that any challenge of Obama by Hillary is her playing the race card. That's simply not reality.

Matthews chants the misogynist creed, "Any man, but not a woman". Even with the Hillary's win he talks about Obama against McCain. Matthews chants about Obama "his good looking wife; he brings back the 60's; ever seen that guy walk on a stage; lanky and winning the way he walks". Is that reporting? These guys are trying to "make the news, not report the news". The only saving grace for MSNBC was Tom Brokaw, a real newsperson, who pulled Matthews in line to remind him that their job was not to "get in front of the news".

Don't let the press make this election about race, it's not. Just because we choose a white woman over a black man, doesn't mean we are racist. Just because someone answers a pollsters question and changes their mind, doesn't mean they are racist.

The results of this primary election actually mean that the voters in New Hampshire voted for a woman candidate who they believed to be better qualified for the job of President. That's a stretch for the entire MSNBC Gang but not for the rest of us.

Don't let the white male press or their pollsters elect the next president! New Hampshire showed the world that "women of all colors" have power, not the white male commentators or their pollsters.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Assassination of Benazir Bhutto

The assassination of a Benazir Bhutto, the first woman to lead an Islamic country; a woman, expected to assume leadership in a nation noted to be the most dangerous nation in the world, shocks the conscious but is not unexpected. Her promotion of a secular government threatened the male dominated religious extremist and fed the terrorists line of fear.

The religious and terrorist turmoil surfacing in Pakistan will have ramifications around the globe. Already the fear mongers are emerging reminding us that we need a "strong leader" in the white house.

We're seeing the riots and the disruption spilling into the streets. The potential of Islamic extremist taking over the government is real. Where are the Pakistani women in all of this? It's time to come out, be strong, hit the streets, take your lives back ... now. Follow this brave woman's example!

Politicians will spin and spin and the governments will spin and spin but the women must not hide. Out now! Support the woman who paid the ultimate price. Let her death spur women in Pakistan and the middle east to take this opportunity to spawn new women leaders. If women will lead, people will follow.

Take back the power. Don't obey! Women who behave rarely make history! Bhutto didn't behave! She stood for something and she stood up for what she believed. She paid the ultimate price; she made history.

It's important that the ultimate sacrifice of this brave woman not fall into the manipulative hands of men. Women commentators call upon women to make the comments! Support women in Pakistan and all who support a secular govenment!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Stop Abusing the Environment!

On a recent visit to one of my favorite beaches I was surprised to see such an enormous amount of trash on the beach and in the surf. I watched beautiful birds walking in the surf and pecking away, looking for food. I put together a short video of the trash. I guess this is a trashy video.

Who leaves this trash? It's not the birds. I watched them all day. Not one of them drank a beer and threw the can or bottle down on the sand. Not one smoked a cigarette, threw away a piece of paper, or used a condom. It's not the birds, it's for the birds!

What's so hard about picking up your trash and taking it home? While walking on the beach I met a woman who was sitting and fishing. She was sitting on a bucket she found on the beach. She and another woman regularly picked up trash on the beach as they walked. Why should they have to pick up this stuff?

Pick up your trash and take it home! Stop abusing the environment!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Anti-War Demonstration September 15, 2007

The skies were sunny on Saturday September 15, 2007 as thousands gathered in the nation’s capitol to peacefully protest the war in Iraq. Peace, or anti-war demonstrations, are by nature peaceful; satire the weapon of choice and words the bullets to pierce ideology and reinforce our beliefs.

I’ve attended a number of these rallies since this war began. At my age, I am weary of “having to do this again”. My partner and I and friends dutifully arise at 5:00 am, drive 5 hours to Washington, endure endless hours of standing and cheering, walking in the sun, rain or cold, taking pictures, driving 5 more hours home, where we fall into a comfortable bed and await the news that our actions have somehow worked a miracle. I know by now that miracles are fiction and that it takes more that just showing up at a demonstration. I put together a short video of my photos that express how I felt about the day and posted with a number of other folks on YouTube. It’s great to watch the videos that captured the moments of the day from a variety of perspectives. You won’t get this kind of news reporting on your regular TV channels.

Saturday’s gathering had the tension of a rising level of frustration that I hadn’t noticed in previous rallies. Outrage, anger and frustration at our government lack of action to stop this war were apparent by the 197 arrests. I watched tense police stand eyeing the crowd as they endured the crowd’s increasing chants and taunts. The police called for reinforcements and issued shields as they sensed the anger and frustration of the crowd escalating. People began to cross the barricades to be arrested. They were cheered by the crowds and then quickly tossed to the ground, cuffed and removed to jail by the police. I watched the faces of a younger generation contorted in anger and frustration as they shook their fists and screamed at the police who are a symbol of their government. “Who do you protect!” they chanted.

As I watched older women and men standing and being arrested with today’s youth, I realized that this nation was going down that same familiar road we paved in the sixties. Many more of us will needlessly suffer at the hands of our government. More destruction of the fabric of our society will follow. More division will eventually splinter the country and we will roll dangerously close to losing that thing that every citizen cherishes, democracy. One t-shirt slogan captured the idea precisely. “Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam”.

Everyday we hear the same thing from the Democrats in Congress; “We don’t have the 'votes' to override a veto”. The information is apparently quietly acquired by private polling as opposed to a public vote.

The women and men, who climbed over the barricades knowing they would be arrested, didn’t stop to count votes and they knew that their actions wouldn’t result in the miracle of stopping this war and the killing. They didn’t meet behind a “closed door” and take an action based on a calculation that they would achieve their objective. They knew that they stood for something, and finally, they stood up for that something by committing an act of defiance against the government. They refused to “obey the government” and committed an act of civil disobedience that resulted in arrest, jail and a criminal record, not a miracle.

Are those individuals we elected to govern us, capable of being as brave or as patriotic as those enraged desperate women and men who crossed the line and rebuked the government in the only way left to them? If our elected officials do just the minimum amount of work entailed in their jobs, they will put the bill to end funding the war to a vote on the record. They will allow a transparency in the government that lets the public see the voting. That really doesn’t require courage; it’s really about doing their jobs and doing what’s right. Our country has evolved into a “Shadow Government” composed of our own elected officials who are afraid to govern. They are afraid to stand up and represent the will of the people who want the killing in our name to end.

It’s time for our Congress to show us what democracy looks like!