Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

The Road Not Taken


For eight years I have managed not to post on 9/11.  That’s not to say I don’t read everything that is posted by others. I feel that anything I could say about that day would be inadequate at best. How many words can we use to describe the desecration and horror Americans lived through? So many words have already been used. And I am word poor on the subject.

Today in class Teachers chose to show a documentary about Firefighters who were trapped in one of the collapsing buildings but somehow managed to live through the ordeal. I was trapped in the class. I was not at liberty to leave.  I tried very hard not to watch the video and covered up my aversion by getting students to pay attention. I was a hypocrite. I couldn’t help it. Unlike the students, I was fully aware during that day and the days after it. It is still a moment in history I cannot confront without pain. To have watched people choosing to throw themselves off the buildings rather than burn to death is something I cannot put out of my mind when the footage is shown. The horror of listening to people scream when the buildings came down  haunted me for a very long time.  The silence of the skies afterward is something that I hope to never live through again. I still cheer when a plane flies overhead with a great rumbling sound. I marvel at the trails they leave against the blue sky and am grateful.

Why am I writing today?  Because I have been avoiding not just the pain, but the anger that came with that day. And the anger is not entirely directed at those who engineered that horror and then danced afterward. It is directed at our government and how they took advantage of the fear and sorrow of a nation. The lies they told to ensure that we remained in a state of panic so that they could persue other objectives that had nothing to do with what happened. And how we are still locked in the trap they set for us. A nation at war with ourselves.

Instead of following a course of action that would yield positive results from a terrible situation,  our government chose to go to war against countries that had little or nothing to do with the actual act perpetrated. Wars we are still fighting. Instead of burying the dead, we added to the body count. And it’s still rising. Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Wolfowitz and Powell are walking around free and men and women are still dying. And the reason we were given for these wars no longer holds. They WMD farce, which had nothing to do with the destruction of two buildings in New York City, has already been exposed.

To this day I don’t believe that we are actively pursuing an enemy so much as an agenda. A monetary agenda. Because let’s face it, three thousand Americans lost their lives and a great many unscrupulous companies made money. A lot of money. Halliburton, Blackwater, Lockheed Martin, Boeing… to name a few. The government awarded lucrative contracts to private prisons to lock up undesirables. The banks and private investors took advantage of a nation whose attention was riveted  elsewhere. In eight years, we became not  the beacon of freedom and tolerance we should have been  but a byword for greed and stupidity. We became the international icon for lies and a haven for charlatans.  Where we could have emerged from 9/11 stronger, wiser and unbeaten, we allowed the pundits to convince us that everyone is out to get us. We began to fight amongst ourselves. Instead of banding together, we fractured. This is the legacy we have given ourselves. And we built it on the graves of firefighters and emergency personnel who died trying to help in a moment of hopelessness.

To this day I am ashamed of where we allowed ourselves to be led. It is my undying belief that those thousands of innocent people deserved better than what we have now become. A nation of backbiters and bickering fools who care more about what an uneducated pundit screams  than confronting a terrible truth. That, in our fear,  we helped our lawmakers create this mess.   The 9/11 victims deserve to be remembered not once a year, but every time a law is made, a deal is brokered or a lobbyist starts talking.

And the only ones who have the true power to ensure that this happens is you and I. When are we going to use it?



The Times, Are They A’ Really Changin’?


Now that classes have started I don’t have a leisurely 60 minutes to write a post. Often, I am trying to get it in under 40 minutes. So it really has to be something that completely chaps my ass to motivate me to write. Today’s topic is the word “racist”.

As you my fine reader know, I am bogged in world of English. Though I may spell like crap, I still believe we as a Nation can rise above our situations and learn to use language properly.

Racist, racism.Interesting word. It implies, when you sling it at people, that the person you are referring to has a problem with the cultural origins of you the speaker.

The Dictionary definition: a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.

I would like to state that at this time in history, though there have been many studies attempting to prove superiority, no particular race has come out on top. This means that no skin color or culture has won the race for best in show. Which prompts me to believe that we are all essentially the same, i.e. equal.

Republicans are sending e-mails of a highly racist nature about our President. When they get caught, they try to deny what a thinking person can clearly see. They are idiots. They are the gun-toting, beer swilling, redneck cousins of rational thinking. Oh, I am sorry, was that racist? No, because I am a white girl and I can say whatever I want about these crackers. Right?

According to Republicans Barak Obama is : racist, communist, fascist, socialist, and centrist. Christ, how does the man get through his day without collapsing under the weight of all these different ideologies? Especially considering that the last one is the only one that might be correct.

Ask yourself this, When was the last time a sitting President was called a racist by the media or sitting Senators? Never. And why is that? Yeah, exactly.

Republicans having had their time in the Big Chair are mad that their rule has ended. And like tired, whiny children the best they can do is throw a giant fit and say mean things. And perpetuate bogus rumors that hamper actual progress. Calling the PRESIDENT a liar in open session is just too much. He is not a liar. Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh  Bill O’Reilly and Republicans of their ilk, are liars. They treat the truth like a chessboard. They just move it wherever they think it will give them the most advantage. And that includes leveling charges of racism against Obama. Because it will get them more crazy Birther devotees, not because it’s true.

I am sick of hearing that word bandied about as though it were proof of something. It’s only proof that those who are using it have nothing else to sling. Barak Obama, unlike the e-mail sending Republicans, hasn’t done one thing I would consider racist. He hasn’t leveled charges of racism against anyone, he hasn’t sent revolting whitey hating e-mails, nothing.

He is trying to get health care for every American. He is making all students responsible for their education. He is trying desparately to undo the complete FUBAR mess he was left.

Do I like everything our President is doing? No, not really. I, as a SOCIALIST DEMOCRAT (that right, socialist, socialist, I said it out loud, nahnahnahnahnah), don’t agree with all of his policies. But I agree less with those who are using the thin cover of  the word ‘racist’ to cover up the reality of what they are doing. And what they are doing is trying to halt progress. By doing so, they can point at the President and say its all his fault. It’s is in fact Republicans who won’t come to the table. Republicans who are pushing a hate filled agenda. Republicans who are stalling this country and pointing fingers at everyone but themselves. It’s their only response when they can’t get what they want.

In the immortal words of Bob Dylan ” Get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand”


Hey You, Out There On Your Own…


If you go to a town hall meeting to shout and scream, listen up.

Your rights are not being violated when you are called out on your behaviour. In point of fact, when your unruly actions shut down an otherwise calm discussion, you are violating the rights of those around you. You, Mr. Town Hall Screaming and Spitting Guy, are essentially in the wrong.

The Town Hall meetings are supposed to be informational. And Senators are not required to have them. They are a courtesy to constituents. Something we saw none of during King Bush’s Reign of Ignorance. That we are, as taxpayers, being offered the chance to hear facts about the proposed bill and decide for ourselves how we feel about it is actually kind of nice.

Not being able to engage in a discussion because some random is pushing an agenda, not so nice.

Are the disruptions being organized and funded by third parties? It wouldn’t surprise me one bit. It’s the oldest tactic in the book(cough TammanyHallcough). Disinformation through disruption is a very old and effective political trick. But that’s all it is , a trick.

The use of these disruptive practices; false information, misleading statements of fact, is killing the necessary overhaul of the American health care system. Palin’s ridiculous and damning assertion that the proposed bill would put her Downs baby to death is nearing the criminal. Particularly since she probably has the means to afford proper life long care for her child. What if she didn’t ? What if she was working a minimum wage job and trying to pay for medical care out of pocket because her employer was getting around the health care benefit requirement by only giving her 38 hours a week instead of forty? Or she was denied access to necessary care because the child was born with a pre-existing condition? I’ll bet she would be singing a whole other tune.

These are the people who are being hurt by the current system. The ones who need the reform.

Not Palin. Not Republican middle class screamers. Not insurance companies.

Let’s face it, the health care industry makes an assload of  profit. It’s only right that they would throw a temper tantrum when someone tries to rein them in a little. That doesn’t mean they are in the right. It doesn’t mean they are free to disrupt and derail the democratic process.

Whether or not we agree with the proposed bill, people at least have the right to hear about it.

No one has the right to shout insults or scream until they silence the understandable curiosity of another person.

No one has the right to bring guns to what should be a rational disscussion, regardless of their right to carry concealed. This is an implied threat.

And  why aren’t those who are using Twitter  to issue these threats of retaliation and violence at Town Hall meetings (and they are legion) being arrested?



Education First


Why is it when right-wing conservative types post virulent comments they spell everything wrong?

I’m not pointing fingers. God knows, I have made my share of spelling gaffes. However, there are two types of spelling errors.

1) The kind of spelling error that results from a faulty phonics logic. This usually will bring one within a short distance of the correct spelling. These are the kind I generally make.

2) The kind of spelling error that screams “Fonics really Phukked me up!” Generally made by ignoring all of the phonics rules within the English language. These are the ones I refer to in the opening sentence of this post.

If you are going to insult, demean and degrade strangers, do it with panache. Do it with style.

Do it with spell check.

An unfounded accusation really loses something when the person that is being insulted has to guess at what you are talking about by deciphering your tedious spelling.

Right is not spelled r-i-t-e.

Traitor is not spelled t-r-a-i-t-e-r.

Shite is not spelled s-h-i-i-t-e. That is some thing else entirely: pronounced Shee-ite. A form of Islam. Which might change the content of your ballsy message just a little bit.

If right wingers in small Southern states want to be taken seriously, they should really make an effort to upgrade their spelling. Use that dictionary for more than something to keep your trailer level. It seems like a nit picky thing but, an incorrectly spelled insult can really set the opposition to laughing.

So as you, a self righteous indignant right winger go out into the cruel Obama world, try to spell your Nazi protest signs, scathing blog posts,  troll comments and general words of  anger at losing the Presidential election to an articulate and charming black guy, correctly. Not Kerectly.



I Won’t Do It and Rupert Murdoch Can’t Make Me


Let’s just jump in, shall we?

Rupert Murdoch wants to begin charging people for online content across all of his newspapers.

I say have at it. I will miss The Sun, but hey, there still a whole slew of mud-slinging sites out there that won’t make me pay to read about Katie Price. I don’t read The Wall Street Journal, why bother when I have Bloomberg, Reuters and The Smoking Gun? Those sites provide links to News  all over the world. I can get content specific information all day by clicking through them. Readers don’t need Murdoch’s papers, online or print.

Murdoch has an overblown sense of importance. And, like many others in the dying Print Journalism sector, he has completely ignored the group that spreads news the fastest.

No, not Iranian twitter junkies.


If it’s even slightly news worthy or gossipy , the Bloggers will have it up and running in minutes. Twenty minutes later The Huffington Post will have the full article. With pictures and eyewitness accounts. New memes are being created constantly and they cycle through the Internet very quickly. Sure one could shut blogsites down but…  Attempting to silence bloggers has never worked out well for mainstream media. Why should they want to when they can steal content from bloggers who rarely complain? Oh yes, they do. They’ve done it to me. I’ve read my own words, without credit,  several times on mainstream news sites. I have heard from other bloggers who have the same problem.  We mostly ignore it, as it’s kind of flattering in a left handed way.

The issue here is whether the average joe will pay to read the news online?

I think for highly specialize content, maybe.  But then those papers would be reduced to industry specific information causing their readership to dwindle.

Yet, for general News? No. I don’t think people will pay.  Other online papers can follow the lead of the man whose papers are under investigation for criminal phone hacking, (coughworldnewscorpcough), but there are to0 many sites that will let us in to wander about for free. Also, there are many back doors into different papers. News aggregators would be the bane of the paying sites existence. Let’s not forget about the group that drives the Internet. The online advertisers. Online advertisers flock to the sites that have the most readers. If one is required to pay for content, the readership will shrink, causing advertisers to look elsewhere.

Murdoch can force people to pay, but he can’t force them to read his sites.

The News industry is discovering what the Music industry has been dealing with for years, people now have choices.  We are not bound to accept content based on what the Industry wants to give us. News, like music, will now be fully driven by demand.  If we like what you have to offer, we might pay for it. But probably not. Mostly we will wait for our aggregator to pick it up from another site or have it e-mailed to us by relatives.  Consumers no longer have to wait to be told what they like or which news groups they get their content from. They can choose for themselves. And very few people will choose to pay for something they can get for free elsewhere.

And for greedy, unscrupulous executives like Murdoch, that is a scary proposition.



No More Jobs?


Of all things the news spews I think the most underrated are the stories about Steve Jobs health.

Though I consider him just one step away from being the Anti-Christ, he is still human. However, he is a human who has lied through his teeth to shareholders. First it was ” No, no, I’m fine.”  Then it was “Oh well. I am on a special diet.”  Then, of course, “Oh I might have had a touch of the Cancer but I’m good now.”

Now he’s had his liver transplant which is probably an extension of the pancreatic cancer he never told anyone about.

Well bully for you, Stevie.

Why shareholders aren’t more ticked is beyond me. The entire company rests on the charisma of the grand poohbah of technology and he hasn’t the cajones to just tell the frickin’ truth. Sure he’ll mass market a ‘business plan’  that smacks of profiteering but he won’t tell the truth to the people who probably should know he’s going to drop any minute.

And he could. Pancreatic cancer is  one of  the most devastating and aggressive cancers. I watched a friend go from diagnosis to death in three weeks. It doesn’t just go “Oh you’re Steve Jobs? Sorry man, I’ll go now” It’s a hanger arounder. A, slip into your other organs and have a party, kind of cancer. It likes to travel. A lot. So give it a few months I’m sure we’ll hear about a new ‘special diet’ Jobs is on. Right before they take him in for another transplant.




Palin’s Power Of Protest Pales


So many things changed in the five months I was gone. Neil Gaiman got himself a girlfriend, Dick Cheney finally decided to open his mouth, and has there been even more celebrity up-skirting or am I just seeing things?

Oh and why is Sarah Palin still talking? I thought the Republican Party made themselves clear at the end of the election. She’s become a sort of diva politician. Irritating. Even her exceptions to Dave Letterman’s remarks are uncouth and confusing. She cannot make her self understood. Palin should take a  road trip with Tom Petty and Bob Dylan, she’s so succinct. I read her comments and I can’t decide if she’s upset about the cheap shot taken at her daughter or just milking the whole thing for more media time.  If it were anyone with an ounce of grace ,they would protest clearly and concisely and then drop it in order to keep their child’s name from circulating through the press. But Palin actually seems to enjoy parading her daughter through the media as some sort of Saint of the Unwed Teenage Mothers.  Looking at the skyrocketing statistics from the past ten years, this is  not something that should be encouraged. Most teen mothers are poor and lose choices for a better life. They are not the spoiled self -involved child of a politician who talks like a Dr. Suess character.

Maybe it’s just that Palin can’t  keep a clear thought in her head. Maybe her  Hubble telescope glasses are interfering with her neruons. Perhaps if she opted for a smaller style when she spoke the rest of us Earthlings could understand her tirades . Until that happens, maybe she should just shhh.