Archive for December, 2009

30
Dec
09

Terror

Five days have passed and I am still grappling with the thwarted terrorist plane bomber. I’m proud of the people on the plane and it gives me a since of security to know we still are Chuck Norris nation. We are still a people that will take care of business, especially if it involves someone needing their ass kicked. On the other hand, it is scary that the guy got on the plane. In this regard, we totally ignore taking care of what needs to be done. Maybe I should be scared, but I’m really just pissed. Eight years later we take off our shoes and discard our beverages, but it really means nothing. It is all a show. We could full-body scan people, but someone might see a ghostly-naked image of you. There are options and all kinds of things that we could do, but we end up only reacting to what has happened most recently. Are we all going to have to take our underwear off now?

Then there was the response. I am the biggest supporter and firmest apologist of Obama, but his slow response has disappointed me. While I understand wanting to remain to calm to allay fears, waiting to make any significant statement until a couple days later just… well, it was too Katrina-like. Obama, you have to avoid any appearance of being like W. If you are on vacation and something happens and you don’t give a quick, decisive, full-throated response people are simply going to think you’re like George. It doesn’t matter if you are in Crawford or Hawaii. It doesn’t matter if it is a natural disaster or adverted attack, we need you to be out front. I can explain healthcare issues and the timetable in Afghanistan but it will make this foot soldiers job much more difficult if I have to explain that you are not just like W.

Advertisements
26
Dec
09

Kith and Kin

This was a quiet Christmas. Different. Wonderful. The family homestead stood empty, with siblings and extended family snowed in. There were phone calls instead of hugs. Yet, it was a beautiful Christmas. We looked out the windows at our scant dusting of snow that we called a “white Christmas”. The boy attempted to make a few snowballs. My mom and stepdad came over for breakfast and gifts. Just to think last Christmas we were so happy my step-dad had made it to Christmas and we were certain it was his last. He has made such an incredible come back. Watching the boy open his presents was wonderful. We actually surprised him on one thing and the look on his face made the whole day. We all went to our family friend’s house for dinner. It was quiet and relaxed – I didn’t even have to cook! We spent the evening at home, just the three of us. We laughed at each other playing new games on the Wii and cuddled up in our new pj’s and robes to watch Christmas movies late into the night. That’s Christmas. Everything stops. Everything’s closed and it comes down to what is really important. Love and time with kith and kin.

16
Dec
09

Psst! The Republicans are Hypocrites!

I just read this article in Newsweek  by Jacob Weisberg.  The fact that the GOP has been playing pure politics since Obama’s election is a surprise to no one, but Weisberg nicely details their hypocrisy regarding healthcare. 

http://www.newsweek.com/id/226481

It makes me laugh when I hear someone take the administration to task for not being more bipartisan.  How can you be bipartisan when there is no one to work with?

15
Dec
09

Yeah for naivete’!

I love this.  Towards the end of the clip Franken says that maybe he is naive but when you get up on the floor and say something it should be right.  Sad that he needed to point that out.

15
Dec
09

How do you solve a problem like Lieberman

Where is the outrage?!  I am so mad at the Lieberman situation!  The Dems pander to him to get his vote.  That’s bad enough, but we need him.  He says he wants to vote for healthcare – he just doesn’t want anything to really be accomplished by the bill.  How can anyone take this guy seriously?  (Besides the fact that every time I hear him speak I think of the dad on “Alf”.)  He says one thing to get attention – then flip flops to get some more.  The bill was tailored to what he wanted and now he doesn’t want to vote for it.  He knows he has the Dems over a barrel and is just loving being in the spotlight.  The guy is a loser.  If only we really had 60 Dem votes!  Or if only a few Republicans would have the courage enough to do something that might require them thinking outside the steal box that is the party line!

10
Dec
09

You may say I’m a dreamer…

But, I’m not the only one. I’ve often been called an idealist and it was usually said to imply my naiveté – it always sounded more like a pat on the head and “Isn’t that cute.” It always drives me crazy because I still don’t understand what’s wrong with being an idealist. Striving for an ideal is not saying that you think things are ideal. It is simply a goal. To understand that a perfect peace is not in reality obtainable does not mean that we should not strive for peace even if it is imperfect. So, I was thrilled at President Obama’s speech as he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize. (The full text is here.) Obama Nobel Peace Prize Speech His closing is exactly what I have tried to explain to those who disparage me as an idealist.

“We can acknowledge that oppression will always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the intractability of deprivation, and still strive for dignity. We can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace. We can do that – for that is the story of human progress; that is the hope of all the world; and at this moment of challenge, that must be our work here on Earth.”

At the risk of getting too touchy-feely, idealism is simply believing that we can and should strive for the highest ideals. It is a positive outlook. Idealism is what drove Obama’s campaign – the hope and the belief that we could change. Currently, we have lost that hope. It is hard not to be depressed listening to the news. Everything is negative. The zeitgeist has shifted from “Yes, we can!” to “Ain’t never gonna happen.” It is what we seem to do – we build up to tear down. It is endemic of our culture. The negative mood is not helpful. It is self-prophesying. We can’t, so we don’t. We always talk about the “can do” spirit of America, but it seems the only thing we can do is naysay anyone trying to do anything. It is so easy to say no and so hard to get off your ass. Call me an idealist, but I really think it’s time to do so.

02
Dec
09

The Trouble with (most) Christians

The thing that bugs me most about Christians is their tendency to see things in black and white terms.  It’s always good versus evil or right versus wrong or us versus them.  There is no intermediate ground.  For instance, there are only evil people or good people even though half a second of thought makes it clear to most anyone that we all do good and we all do evil.

I am an agnostic.  I feel no need to defend my position (or to try to convert anyone) but as soon as a hardcore Bible thumper finds out, they want to debate the issue.  More importantly, they always feel I am “against them” or their god.  I am not.   I arrived at my own belief system with much “fear and trembling” just like, I hope, they did.  The fact that I am agnostic does not mean I am anti-Christian.  Why is that so hard to see?  It’s hard to see because Christians see everything as good versus evil…and naturally, they’re the good.

Having those endless, unwanted debates has made me see other irrational or illogical things they do too.  First and foremost, they ignore facts.  If I throw out a fact like “most of the scientists of the world believe in evolution” then the response is usually “that’s not true”, although it is a verifiable fact.  (As an aside I want to say that evolution does not disprove god or vice versa.  Often a Christian will try to make the debate about evolution).

The other thing they do in a debate is decide what conclusion they want to reach then twist and turn facts so as to arrive at the conclusions they seek.  I have had debates where the existence of dinosaur bones was explained as a false history set in place by god just as Jesus turned water to wine – the wine having a history (aging, etc.) even though it was newly made.  Never mind that using one mythical story to support another is illogical.  The point is, that is not following facts to their logical conclusion.  That is twisting facts in any way possible in order to arrive at the conclusions one wants.

I don’t want to remove religion from the world.  The Catholic Church feeds more people than any other organization in the world.  I don’t even care if they go on having a belief system based on myths and legends.  I just want them to leave me alone or bring something to the table when they don’t.