Sunday, October 25, 2009

George Will Tells Cheney He Should Have Dithered

I don't normally have much use for what George Will has to say, although his breaking ranks and saying that it was time to leave Afghanistan was much appreciated, but this morning on ABC's "This Week" he said: [emphasis added]

A bit of dithering might have been in order before we went into Iraq in pursuit of non-existent weapons of mass destruction," Will said on ABC's "This Week. "For a representative of the Bush administration to accuse someone of taking too much time is missing the point. We have much more to fear in this town from hasty than from slow government action."

Unfortunately, regardless of the esteem in which he is normally held by the right-wing, George Will I am sure will now come under attack by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and the others in the right-wing hate machine.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.

How to Prevent Rape

One of the hats that I sometimes wear, is that of certified victim's advocate. I have occasionally gotten into debates with others about domestic violence and rape and the role of the victim. Our society has a long history of blaming the victim, particularly in cases of domestic violence. Why does she stay? How can any woman allow a man to treat her like that? When rape is called date rape, it is typically written with quote marks and although not often spoken out loud for fear the speaker might be accused of political incorrectness, many believe that date and rape are mutually exclusive. After all, she must have led him on. Right? I've seen articles suggesting that Rhianna was partially responsible for Chris Brown's attack - after all, they were together, they were both arguing, so she was partially at fault. Right? Wrong.

Have you noticed that the word rape has been appearing in the national headlines recently? In the political headlines?

Recently, 30 Republican lawmakers voted against a bill that would have denied government contracts to companies that refused their employees the ability to sue them for sexual assaults committed by other employees. Senator Sessions said the bill was a "political attack against Halliburton." He (Sessions) claimed that arbitration was a fair substitute for a court case and that the government should not be in the business of re-writing contracts. Excuse me? A significant portion of what government does is write (and re-write) contracts. Law is a contract. A social contract that in exchange for certain behavior, we will be safe, and those who engage in other behaviors will be separated from the rest of us by government. Goverment also engages in contracts with companies to provide services all over the world, so Session's remarks are as usual, self-serving.

A google search using the key words rape and politcs time limited to the past week returned a result of 956 hits. Results included, but are not limited to, the above mentioned amendment, Fox News attempt to smear Kevin Jennings, and the problems rape victims are having finding health insurance, especially if they received prophylactic AIDS treatment after being raped.

So, we have not only our elected leaders, but health insurance companies seeing profit and corporate convenience as more important than the health and welfare of women who have experienced a sexual assault. Even Rhianna, well known as a strong, independent woman, is seen as being at least partially deserving of being beaten by her boyfriend.

In light of this prevailing attitude of women as victim, women as deserving of rape, women as somehow at least partially at fault for what happens to them, here is a guide on how to prevent rape.

How to Prevent Rape

A lot has been said about how to prevent rape. Women should learn self-defense. Women should lock themselves in their houses after dark. Women shouldn’t wear short skirts. Women shouldn’t leave drinks unattended. Perhaps they shouldn’t dare to get drunk at all.

Instead of further curtailing women’s freedom, how about:

  • If a woman is drunk, don’t rape her.
  • If a woman is walking alone at night, don’t rape her.
  • If a women is drugged and unconscious, don’t rape her.
  • If a woman is wearing a short skirt, don’t rape her.
  • If a woman is jogging in a park at 5 am, don’t rape her.
  • If a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you’re still hung up on, don’t rape her.
  • If a woman is asleep in her bed, don’t rape her.
  • If a woman is asleep in your bed, don’t rape her.
  • If a woman is doing her laundry, don’t rape her.
  • If a woman is in a coma, don’t rape her.
  • If a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don’t rape her.
  • If a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don’t rape her.
  • If a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don’t rape her.
  • If your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don’t rape her.
  • If your step-daughter is watching tv, don’t rape her.
  • If you break into a house and find a woman there, don’t rape her.
  • If your friend thinks it’s okay to rape someone, tell him it’s not, and that he’s not your friend.
  • If your “friend” tells you he raped someone, report him to the police.
  • If your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there’s an unconscious woman upstairs and It’s your turn, don’t rape her, call the police and tell the guy he’s a rapist.
  • Tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, sons of friends it’s not okay to rape someone.
  • Don’t tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape.
  • Don’t imply that she could have avoided it if she’d only done/not done x.
  • Don’t imply that it’s in any way her fault.
  • Don’t let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he “got some” with the drunk girl.
  • Don’t perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions. You can, too, help yourself.
If you agree, repost it. It’s that important.   -Author unknown

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.

Ps. If you're interested in a post on why women (and men) stay in abusive relationships, leave a comment.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Do You NaNoWriMo?

November is National Novel Writing Month and if you have never heard of Nanowrimo and have always had the urge to write a novel, this is a great opportunity (excuse?) to give it a try with all kinds of kindred spirits to cheer you on.

As of now (3:38pm Pacific Time, Friday, October 23, 2009), 70,186 authors world-wide (including yours truly) have signed up for the 10th year of "30 days and nights of literary abandon."

It's simple, fun, and the prize is the joy of accomplishment. And, it's free. It begins at midnight on Nov. 1 and ends at midnight on Nov. 30. To win, you simply write 50,000 words (175 pages) in that period. The goal, is to write without worrying about plot development, grammar, spelling, continuity, or whether you really know anything about the technical aspects relating to some plot feature.

Each day, you simply cut and paste your days product to nanowrimo and a bot counts your words and deletes it (nobody reads it, evaluates it, critiques it, or keeps it - in fact, if you're concerned about your "baby" they even give you instruction about scrambling your novel before posting to ensure your security. Your total word count is then tracked and if you reach the 50,000 word goal within the allotted time, then you win! Your prize? The satisfaction of achieving a goal. And yes, if you want to cut and paste Wikipedia, you can. But what's the point? Why cheat? There's no "winner." If everyone that joins completes the goal, then everyone wins. 

As far as the quality of your novel? You can always go back later and fix those problems, but how often have you started a project and stopped because it was too daunting? Or shuffled it aside never actually quitting, just meaning to get to it "later" when you had more time? Or maybe you've done all the research, have tons of notes (have you ever heard the story about how J.K. Rowlings wrote the Harry Potter books?) but never had the nerve to actually start. Writing a novel is an overwhelming prospect to many of us. Just the thought of writing a short story is enough to make us decide that writing is too hard.

But wait! Look at how many of us are bloggers? What are we doing? What are we? We're writers. To take it further, to write a novel or other kind of book or even to just write for a living, as a professional writer once said, you have to write. Forget writer's block. Forget procrastination. Forget what you feel like doing, or not doing. You have to sit down at your computer and go. Put the fingers on the keys, have a general idea of what you want to say, and start.

And that is what nanowrimo is all about. To make it easier, there are forums, writing buddies to buddy up with, mentors, and write-ins if you're so inclined. The website has lots of helpful hints, ideas, and many cheerleaders.

Full disclosure, this is my first year. My sister who is a writer has been a long time participant and as I am (still) unemployed but now writing almost full-time (blogging, etc.), she has talked me into nano'ing this year. So, if interested, pop on over and sign up. My user name at nanowrimo is Kyra, so if you decide to join and want a writing buddy, let me know and let me know you're one of my blog readers.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Matthew Shephard & James Byrd Jr. Act Passes

Eleven years later, the Matthew Shephard and James Byrd, Jr. Act has passed and is on its way to President Obama's desk.

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Grayson vs. Broun on Bill of Attainder

Grayson and Broun in discussion during a markup session. Not only does Broun not understand what a bill of attainder is, he does not appear to understand the rules of order. Lovely.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sick Puppies

Thank you to d_klein3 for this photo posted on Twitpic.

More photos by this photographer can be found here

And if you watch Rachel Maddow's show, you will appreciate this one,

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Faux News GOPhers

Interesting brouhaha in the media. The White House—in response to another attack, this time against Anita Dunn—has come out and said quite plainly that Fox News is not news. They have said that Fox airs a point of view, not news.

Anyone who has been paying attention, and by that, I mean paying attention to more than one or two media sources, knows that the people that Fox puts on the air tend to manipulate the “news.” Quotes truncated. Video clips edited. Speeches cherry-picked. Backgrounds mined for missteps. Those appearing on air are masters of the raised eyebrow, the shrug, the wink, and the earnest gaze into the camera, all designed to imply a meaning to the stated message that we are then to use to infer some nefarious intent, some sliminess of character belonging to the subject of the “news” we have just received.

You will note that I say “the people that Fox puts on the air.” I hesitate to call them reporters, or journalists. I suppose I could call them hosts, although only a few of them actually “host” a show. A commentator, to me, is someone who provides commentary on the issues of the day, and, again in my opinion, should base that commentary on some knowledge of the issues. Knowledge of the historical context of that issue should be a requirement for providing commentary, as well as the significance of the issue to our current and future situation. I hesitate as well to call these on-air individuals personalities, as that calls to mind the Hollywood genre of celebrity—people who are simply famous for being famous. Villagers as a title is already in use as a name to include all the mainstream media sheep following their corporate masters’ direction, usually seen on ABC, NBC, and CBS and read at the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. Monikers that come to mind for those on Fox News, however, include Foxes, Faux (Foes?), Foxers, or GOPhers.

Names aside, the outrage, much of it from the “mainstream” non-cable media appears directed toward the White House. Apparently, by choosing to engage, the White House has somehow weakened itself and appears petty, unable to “take the heat” according to Ruth Marcus at the Washington Post. Comparing Fox to MSNBC, cable show to cable show, is apparently sufficient, or as Keith Olbermann likes to say, a false equivalency.

I know many people who receive all their “news” from Fox. They say that they prefer Fox because every other source is “too liberal.” They don’t like the positive stories about Obama, or the negative stories about Bush. They prefer watching a media source that tells them the news they want to hear in the way that they want to hear it. If asked to question something—anything—they get angry. I asked someone the other day if MSNBC is so liberal, why they had Morning Joe and Pat Buchanan? Why their straight news had negative stories about Democrats as well as Republicans? I asked them who on Fox News represented progressives? When they had seen a news story on Fox that said positive things about Obama? Or Democrats? Or negative things about the GOP? I asked if they had every actually watched Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann? Or read a progressive blog? Or read about the same news story in more than one newspaper? Or watched the same news story on more than one station (not Fox)? Not only could they not answer, they got angry.

When did everything from the left become a personal attack? When did everything from the right become righteous? I used to be tolerant and believe that we were all entitled to our opinions, but when allowing everyone their opinion meant tolerating racism, classism, sexism, and every other kind of ism that I abhor, I find I’ve lost my tolerance.

It’s okay to have an opinion. In fact, we should have an opinion. In a representative democracy, it’s necessary. If you’re unhappy about something, it is incumbent upon you to inform yourself about the issue, weigh the information, form an opinion—based on facts—and make your voice heard to those who will make the decisions about that issue. It is absolutely okay for the GOPhers on Fox News to have an opinion and to voice that opinion. It is absolutely okay for Rupert Murdoch who owns Fox News to pay those people to voice his opinion. When that opinion refuses to acknowledge fact, and science, and history, and humanity, then I don’t have to tolerate it and I do have to do everything in my power to work against it and work to ensure that that opinion does not become a part of the social fabric.

What is NOT okay, is to call that opinion news. What is not okay is to provide the GOP 24/7 access to free TV advertising. What is not okay is to have a “news” outlet have a show to “debate” an issue before Congress and have the “opposing” opinion be simply someone slightly less conservative than the first opinion. I’m glad the White House has stepped up and called Fox News on its behavior. I hope that they stand firm on this and hope other media realize that we are not idiots and that we do understand the difference between news and opinion and not only that, we understand the difference between opinion based on fact, and opinion based on crap.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Interracial Couple Denied Marriage License in Louisiana

I am stunned. I had thought we were long past this. Keith Bardwell, a Justice of the Peace in Hammond, Louisiana, denied a marriage license to Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay because,

"I don't do interracial marriages because I don't want to put children in a situation they didn't bring on themselves," Bardwell said. "In my heart, I feel the children will later suffer."

Where has he been? He does realize that this is illegal? The ACLU, of course, is on the job.

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Source: AP News

Jon Stewart Exposes the Serial Stupidity of Jeffery Beauregard Sessions III, Again

I've remarked a number of times on the serial stupidity of the GOP and of Senator Sessions. It would be an amusing sideshow watching Congressional Republicans as a group, and Mr. Sessions in particular, if it weren't such a serious matter.

Freshman Senator Al Franken has introduced an amendment that would deny government contracts to companies that deny their employees the right to sue. The bill came about as the result of an incident involving a young woman employed in Iraq by KBR. Gang-raped by her fellow employees, she was then locked into a shipping container overnight to ensure that she could not report the crime. Although injured, because the rape occurred outside the United States, it was not subject to United States criminal codes. When she attempted to sue KBR, she was informed that "such incidents" were resolved through arbitration by the terms of her employment contract. Arbitration. How comforting.

Remember Acorn? How a video clip of pretend prostitutes talking to Acorn staff about an imaginary business plan (however illegal) caused an immediate public outcry? And an immediate bill on the floor of the House calling for a stop to all federal funding of Acorn? You might not be aware of it, but several governors, including Louisiana Republican governor Jindal and Minnesota Republican governor Pawlenty issued executive orders that no more state funds could be used by Acorn. Sounded good, except that Acorn has never received state funding in Louisiana or Minnesota.

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How many other such clips are there showing the serial stupidity of the GOP? Will they learn? Of course not. They do not have the self-awareness to recognize the disconnect between their words and their actions. If they do, they are not reflective enough to acknowledge.The mind cannot continue in a state of such cognitive dissonance. When our behavior is dissonant with our beliefs, then we must change our beliefs to return to congruence. The Senator Sessions of the world have convinced themselves that Senator Franken's amendment is a political attack on Halliburton, therefore bad, while their bill about Acorn is a political attack on President Obama, therefore good. It is not goverment's role when it suits them, but it is when it does.

The serial stupidity of the GOP and Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions, III.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Call to Action

Join Keith Olbermann's Call to Action. He is trying to raise funds to hold 5 free health care clinics in the state capitals of the 5 senators most resistant to a public health care option. As of last night, enough funds have been raised to hold one free clinic. The 2 top venues are New Orleans (Sen. Landrieu) and Baton Rouge (Sens. Lincoln and Pryor), with the remaining 3 to be Butte (Sen. Baucus), Lincoln, Nebraska (Sen. Ben Nelson), and Las Vegas (Sen. Reid). In addition to actual funds, his goal is to achieve donors, so small donations are necessary to show the senators how many people support the public option. It is far better to have 100 people donate $10 each than 10 people donate $100.

The clinics will be conducted by the National Association of Free Clinics", the same organization that held the free clinic recently in Houston.

Their Mission: To provide research, education and resources to promote, strengthen and advocate for member organizations and the communities they serve.

Their Vision: To be a national voice and essential partner for building a healthy America.

Who They Are: The National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC) is the only nonprofit 501c(3) organization whose mission is solely focused on the issues and needs of the more than 1,200 free clinics and the people they serve in the United States . 

Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Washington , D.C. , the NAFC is an effective advocate for the issues and concerns of free clinics, their volunteer workforce of doctors, dentists, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, technicians and other health care professionals, and the patients served by free clinics in communities throughout the nation.

If you'd like to read the transcript of Keith's special comment, or watch the video segment, go here. To make a donation, go here.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.

Maureen Dowd, Why Gandhi Never Won the Nobel Peace Prize

Many people comment on the fact that President Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize, yet Gandhi never did.

Gandhi was nominated five times for a Nobel Peace prize, but politics prevented its award the first four times he was considered, and his assassination prevented it the last.

So, Maureen Dowd, who on Sunday, October 10, 2009, said that because Gandhi had not won a Nobel Peace Prize, it "ain't worth a can of Alpo."

It's easy when you have a nice, cushy gig at the New York Times to forget that those of us who don't, have to make sure our facts are golden. Having graduate degrees means I know how to research, how to fact check, and how to site my sources. I write commentary, but I write commentary based on fact, and if I say someone said something, I give you the link, or provide the source. Maybe Maureen needs to go back to school and relearn basic research.

Actually, with the inter-tubes, it's not that hard. There's these things called search engines and most organizations have websites. Using Google, I found the website of the Nobel Prize Committee and read all about their decision about Gandhi. You can also read about the other prizes, all the prize winners and reasons why the committees have made the decisions that they have made. It's fascinating reading.

Maureen, you should check it out.

According to The Nobel Prize Committee, the only reason that Gandhi did not receive a Nobel Peace Prize is that he was assassinated 2 days before the nomination deadline for 1948. He had received 6 letters of nomination. The committee does not award prizes to the deceased. They actually considered it in Gandhi's case, but because he left no estate to which they could award the cash prize, had left no will, and belonged to no organizations who could have benefited from the funds, the decision was made to award no prize that year. Does this mean that the prize would have gone to Gandhi had he lived? Most likely. They won't say - obviously (if they did, that in effect would be making an award) - but they did say that there was no one living suitable to make the award.

A lawyer living in South  Africa, Gandhi returned to India in 1915 and spent the next years an active nationalist working to end British rule and attempting to unite the Hindus, Muslims, and Christians. He also tried, unsuccessfully, to integrate the untouchables into society. Attempts that were unsuccessful.

Between 1937 and 1947, India experienced 3 conflicts. The first, against British rule in which they succeeded. The second, was between Hindu and Muslim - a conflict that exists to this date, and the third, India's participation in WWII.

In 1947 came the Great Partition. British rule was ended, WWII was over, but attempts to unite the Hindus and Muslims was futile. With partition came the creation of Pakistan and India as two separate states. Along with violence and bloodshed, everyone had to move. Muslims to the west and Pakistan, Hindus to the east. Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence, his teachings, and his followers was credited with reducing the amount of bloodshed during the partition conflicts.

It appeared that war was inevitable between Hindus Muslims in Pakistan and some say he was wavering in his non-violent stance. In fact, his statements on justice for Pakistani Hindus were repeated without his concluding statement that "he had no place in a new order where they wanted an army, a navy, an air force and what not."

On January 30, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated.

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No, Maureen Dowd, It's Not Alpo

I expected the extreme right to attack President Obama for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The National Republican Committee in the form of Michael Steele - not known for thinking before speaking - didn't surprise me when he said

"...the real question Americans are asking is, “What has President Obama actually accomplished?” It is unfortunate that the president’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights. One thing is certain — President Obama won’t be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility, or backing up rhetoric with concrete action."

On Sunday, Bob Schieffer of Meet the Press said the award would change the way we look at the prize. In her column, Maureen Dowd of the New York Times said that because Gandhi never won the prize and because Kissinger did, "it ain't worth a can of Alpo" writing her column as a conversation between W and Clinton - suggesting that they are now BFF's because Obama's winning the prize had erased every reason for strain between the two of them.

Thomas Friedman, also of the times, demands that the prize should instead be given to the American military as they are the ones who have actually brought peace. WTF? Isn't the military made up of soldiers who are sent by their commanders to invade a country that did not attack us? Isn't that called waging war? How does he get waging peace out of that?

Bill Kristol, late of the Times, states that President Obama's receipt of the Peace Prize is anti-American. Excuse me? I find myself insulted by that. I'm an American. I'm not always pleased with the decisions made by the President, but he was elected by a majority of Americans. He has already accomplished a lot. The American people elected an overwhelming majority in both houses of Congress - a clear message that we reject the ideology of the Republican Party and of the previous administration.

The day of the award, the Taliban stated that President Obama did not deserve the award. On his show, Rush Limbaugh said that, amazingly enough, he agreed with the Taliban. And laughed.

And I could go on, and on, and on.

Regardless of what a few people with a very loud platform say, the majority of Americans approve of President Obama, approve of how he is doing his job, approve of his winning the Nobel Peace Prize, and are proud that the prize was awarded to an American. Most people understand that whenever something good happens to an American, we can all be proud.

He won the prize because he campaigned on a platform of ending the two wars the George Bush got us into. He campaigned on a platform of closing Guantanamo and ending torture. He campaigned on a platform of restoring America's place in the world community. He convinced the American people to elect him to change the direction of this country. Archbishop Desmond Tutu was awarded the Peace Prize for his work towards ending apartheid despite the fact that apartheid did not end for another 10 years. Martin Luther King, Jr., was awarded the prize although the issue of race is far from over in this country, Jimmy Carter won the prize for his work towards Middle East peace, although it is obvious peace is still a distant dream. Al Gore won for his work on global warming, yet the earth gets warmer every year.

Clearly, the committee rewards vision and possibility. Clearly, the committee respects work that begins healing. Clearly the committee sees the healing that has begun as President Obama travels the world and repairs the damage done by George Bush and his administration.

So yes, President Obama most definitely, according to the precedents set by the Nobel Committee does deserve the Peace Prize. Because it is, however, based as much on possibilities as actions, we can all look forward to watching him realize the change that he promised us.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Why President Obama Deserves the Nobel Peace Prize

An unusual and extremely perceptive take on President Obama's Nobel Prize. Many people don't know Rachel Maddow, and many who do, don't realize that she has a PhD in political science and is not the usual cable talking head.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Way To Go Grayson!

Who the hell cares what Olympia Snowe wants? I have not been able to comprehend the Democrats kowtowing to her. Even if they get her to vote for the health care bill, she will bring no GOP votes along with her, and they don't need her. Time and energy would have been better spent working on the Blue Dogs.

I have not always been a fan of Alan Grayson, but his actions in the recent weeks have been amazing when it comes to standing up to the Republicans. Today, was breathtaking.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ms. Toons is at it Again

I'm torn. She is such a loony tune I hate to give her attention, but she is so bizarre, it's like watching a train wreck. You think you should look away, but you just can't.

And, much as I hate giving space to Mr. Falafel himself, this clip is just breathtaking in its creepiness. Even Ms. Toons is clearly a little creeped out when he focuses on her (and Sarah Palin's) attractiveness rather than perhaps, their other accomplishments which, even though they are GOP women, I'm sure even they would prefer to be recognized for.

Like Sarah Palin, Ms. Bachmann seems unable to understand the 1st Amendment. She proclaims herself a (previous) federal tax attorney. Not being an attorney myself, I do, however, understand that like most professions, one first learns the basics before specializing. That being the case, she surely must understand that public figures are the subjects of the news, particularly politicians, and as such, fair game. In fact, she is--in the above clip--appearing on the O'Reilly Factor, and had this past weekend participated in a 4-part debate on the Larry King Show.

Politician + TV appearances = public figure. Works for me.

But no. Ms. Toons is claiming that a certain person on a certain cable network is stalking her. When Bill O asks her about how she feels about these people from NBC's cable arm making her job difficult she says she's not concerned--"I'm just here doing my job, working on behalf of the people of Minnesota."

Ever had a stalker? I realize that many public figures consider reporters and photographers to be intrusive and I am grateful that I am not a public figure. In fact, one of the reasons I have never pursued a career in a field that might result in becoming famous, is because I value my privacy. Politicians by definition, court publicity. They need it. They couldn't get elected without it.

Some consider what Bill O'Reilly does a form of stalking. He is famous for sending out producers to ambush people to get video to make them look bad. Often, those producers have to follow their subjects for days or weeks before finding the perfect time to capture the most embarrassing moments on film. Is that stalking? Maybe by some definitions.

Ms. Toons, however, considers that when she is called out for her actions, she is being stalked. She is a public figure. She is a legitimate source of news and has one of the largest media staffs in Congress. She works hard to ensure that she is front and center in every controversial issue of the day. If there is no issue, she makes one up. When a news show reports on her actions, she calls it stalking. When a journalist calls her out on her lies, she calls it an attack. She appears on Fox News several times a week. She states that Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly are her favorites, that Rush Limbaugh and
Glenn Beck are the voices of the GOP.

Ms. Toons somehow believes that she gets to not only issue press releases, give interviews to carefully selected media venues, and appear at carefully screened events, but that she gets to shape the opinions of everyone that listens to her message. When other media read her press releases, listen to her interviews, and watch her events, then take away a completely different message. When other media listen to her on the floor of the House and realize what a hypocrite she truly is, and how looney tunes she is, and then report on their interpretation of the message they have taken away, then they are stalkers.

I've had a stalker. One stalker, for over three years. I feared for my safety, for my life. It took me 25 years before I felt comfortable being in my own home alone at night, never mind over night. There are still things I cannot do because of those 3 years, fears I cannot shake. If Ms. Toons had ever experienced a real stalker, she would definitely be concerned. She would be terrified.

Stalking is psychological and is an illness. Stalkers are dangerous and obsessed. Over time, the obsession grows and if the stalker believes the one being stalked has disappointed them, they will frequently kill them. When I was stalked, law enforcement did not understand stalkers and would not and could not do anything about it. There is still misunderstanding, but not often within the law enforcement community.

Politicians write law. It is unfortunate that a politician--and a woman--has so little understanding of what stalking is and what it isn't that she accuses journalists who are doing their job of stalking her.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Stupidity & Hypocrisy Bedevil our Politics

Buzz Flash's Ann Davidow had, last week, an excellent post discussing the breathtaking level of delusion that passes for politics on the right in this country. Called Finding a Voice, she talks about how easily our GOP leaders stand before us making outrageous claims, vicious attacks, and presenting themselves as holier than thou and thus much abler leaders. Her point, however, is that,

"At some point during the trickle-down years portions of the electorate, preoccupied with abortion and gay marriage, seemingly failed to grasp the fact of stagnant wages and the huge transfer of wealth and control of capital that had become concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. People who often benefit least under a corporate umbrella that provides enormous advantages to some at their expense are the loudest proponents of a system that often shuts them out. Duped into believing that "Socialism" is the devil’s work, they are oblivious to the devil on their doorstep."

She goes on to discuss the fact that not only are the electorate deluded by the politicians,

"There is a level of delusion that is hard to fathom and a shamelessness on the part of the politicians who represent the deluded that is even harder to understand. Who can forget George Bush declaring, at the beginning of his second term, that he had garnered political capital and intended to spend it. Perhaps just not losing the popular vote was, for him, a sign of electoral significance, his political capital a myth in the making."

But even when caught out, again, and again, and again,

They continue to stand before us and preach the most rank hypocrisy. David Vitter apologizes for his involvement with prostitutes - after voting to impeach President Clinton for sexual misconduct (that, by the way, was not illegal). Senator Ensign behaves as if it's business as usual and campaigns for re-election dollars despite the fact that his family paid off his mistress's family to the tune of almost $100,000 and he got her husband (both of whom, by the way, were both his staffers) a job as a lobbyist.

The Senate Finance Committee and others think we don't understand their connections to big pharma and other health care lobbys, or Senator Kyl's demands to continue being heard in committee despite he fact that he is repeating, again, what he said the day before, and the day before that, and so on... a minority party delaying tactic.

The difference, she says, between those leaders and progressives? It's not that progressives are without fault, or that they never cheat on their wives or husbands, or don't accept contributions from the health care lobby. It's just that they don't make their morality the centerpiece of their campaigns. They don't pretend to be more pure or more Christian than the other guy. They actually campaign on policy, not on having a prettier family.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.