Posts Tagged ‘McCain’

Less politics, more music!

January 4, 2012

New Year’s Resolution: Less politics, more music!

I spend quite a bit of time in the car traveling to the prisons five time per month (an hour and a half each way) and driving to northern Minnesota three times each year (fourteen hours each way). About 16,000 miles per year with all the other driving.

With XM radio, I have the P.O.T.U.S.  channel on quite often, Politics of the United States for the People of the United States. Commercial-free political coverage, the only commercials are for other XM programs and channels.

I have found, even while in my office, that the days when I listen to mostly music find me more content at day’s end than when I am getting all worked up over the philosophies and behaviors of our elected officials.

So what aggravates me now?

To me, shrinking government is code for not being willing to pay any taxes which could be used to help somebody, anybody. All they need to do is work harder or save more or utilize promised tax credits or vouchers. Yeah, right.

States rights would leave any social programs  (my term, an unutterable for one party) to each and every  state … regardless of resources …  showing an indifference to the consequences of “separate and unequal” care for those who struggle in today’s economy. And what kind of care for those who continue to suffer the fallout from centuries of slavery? We are already seeing this in voter ID laws, proposals to opt out of the healthcare law, etc., Draconian laws to purge undocumented residents.

Those who want our country back are those who have enjoyed and benefited from the privilege of their race, of having access to jobs and opportunities with little to no competition from people of color. And now there is “one of them” at the helm of our country?

Taking our country back is also a reaction to having black folks living in the White House. I suppose blacks serving coffee and vacuuming are OK.

By the way, if the reader believes we are in a post-racial society, I suggest getting out of your comfort zone a little more, away from your own crowd, out of the echo chamber, out of the house. If nothing else, note who is riding in your warm car and who is waiting at the bus stops.

Bogus charges of an agenda to take our country down the path to socialism, an agenda from the GOP’s playbook much of the time. I’d love to hear an example of socialism being pursued.

Charges that Obama’s policies have made the economy worse … no evidence. That Obama has been a failure, and McCain would have accomplished what?

Charges that Obama has taken the country off track. And it is off track because …… ?

So less politics, more music!

Let’s not hold our breath.

July 2, 2011

Our flag is up for the 4th of July weekend. Always a beautiful sight: the red, white and blue against the green trees and blue sky. The flag is a symbol of all that our country stands for, hopes for, strives toward.

Even those of us who are called progressives or liberals have a love of country (and a love of God). But it’s a love as one loves a child, filled with expectations that it will grow and mature, that it will be a force for good. That it will care about all people, and especially care for many whenever it is a necessity.

Liberals tend to not have a blind, flag-waving patriotism filled with exclusion and indifference toward any and all who fail to measure up or toward those who fail to march to the tune we hear rather than their own.

Nor do we hold a  patriotism embracing exceptionalism. As I hear exceptionalism, it carelessly and recklessly manifests itself through a global entitlement free of any sense of wrongdoing. An entitlement to deal with others through a heavy-handed and punitive diplomacy. We liberals seem to have a sense of gratitude rather than privilege.

Liberals exhibit compassion toward those who struggle. We recognize the difference between “won’t” and “can’t” when thinking about benefits and assistance for the poor, homeless, physically and developmentally disabled, jobless, sick, and those subjected to abuse and discrimination. I never met a poor person who was in it for the money.

Liberals aren’t afraid of foreigners, gay people, Muslims, immigration. In general we are a pretty understanding and accepting  bunch, comfortable in our own skin … most of the time.

If you can, listen to talk shows on the right and on the left. Which one finds it necessary to yell and scream, as though talking louder makes any more sense? But those who scream outrageous and unfounded comments do have their followers, and their followers do vote. Often against their own self-interest, but they do vote.

Some of the talk show hosts on the extreme right confuse Nazis, fascists, socialists. It’s a shame. Otherwise they would have seen how far we were being driven into becoming a fascist state during the 2000 – 2008 time period. What was going on was  much more intentional and vigorous than the  current administration is (perceived to be) moving toward socialism.

It will be interesting to see whom the Republicans choose to help rid the White House of those black people. So far, there isn’t one I would trust roaming those halls. Anyone who doesn’t think race is behind the obstruction and lack of cooperation in an effort to have President Obama be a one term president, doesn’t get out much. “Take our country back” means what? if not a thinly veiled display of white privilege.

Many think Obama is doing a lousy job, completely forgetting about the alternative. Oh, boy! Wouldn’t we be having fun now with the McCain/Palin leadership team while McConnell and Boehner kneel before the throne.

My congressman, Todd Akin, says liberals have a “hatred for God.” That’s funny. Most of the liberals I know are quite the opposite. One only has to look at which party cares about whom, which party really follows the social justice agenda of most major religions, to draw some conclusion as to where God fits in one’s life. Take any piece of Republican legislation and see if it helps people who need help. Of course I mean current day Republicans, not those who used to be committed to moving the country forward.

Our flag will fly all weekend. Maybe Grover Norquist’s pledge-puppets will work all weekend. Perhaps wisdom won’t take a holiday. But let’s not hold our breath.

There is a lot of loud talking

October 26, 2010

A very interesting day so far. Awakened in the middle of the night as a very sharp and abrupt storm moved through. According to the news, the storm is 800 miles long and gaining strength. Not going to be good for many people as it moves east.

Took some time to get some exercise while listening to the Diane Rehm Show, a discussion of the Wikileaks’ latest document dump. The documents reveal nothing more than many of us suspected. If the war was legitimate, well-planned, and guided by wise and informed people, I’d be shocked at what the documents show. But what has been going on over there is what one gets when arrogant fools decide to spread democracy where it isn’t wanted. If you think the insurgency in Iraq is ugly, picture someone moving in an occupying us with their brand of how to live correctly.

Later in the morning was my preparation of a Cuban dish to be served over rice: picadillo. We’ll see how it goes. First tasting hopes that it ages well by dinner time. While doing the cooking, Sirius Radio’s “Symphony Hall” was proving to be an apt replacement for Classic 99, a radio station owned and operated by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and sold, after many years, to an outfit playing contemporary Christian music. We are now left with no local station playing classical music unless you can receive an HD signal.

Caught a few minutes of Rush Limbaugh … more than enough, actually. I’ve noticed from his program, Glenn Beck’s, and the folks on the Patriot channel on Sirius, that there is a lot of loud talking and sometimes screaming. Let me say that talking louder and louder doesn’t create a credible message.

How may ways can the extreme right twist things around to conceal their complete and paralyzing disgust that there is “one of them” living on the second floor of the White House. But, my God, am I glad Obama won. It’s as though people forgot there wasn’t a viable alternative. Write your own scenario for what this country would look like had the pair of mavericks  won.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve voted for Republicans many, many times and had a subscription to the National Review for years. But that party is gone and the beliefs that went with it. That old party was interesting in governing on behalf of the American people. The current incarnation stands for little that the country needs to be successful in today’s world.)

What else might be going on?

December 31, 2009

2009 draws to a close, on to the next decade!


Does anyone wonder why two bumbling terrorists used the same m.o.? If our attention can be drawn elsewhere so easily, what else might be going on? We always seem to be protecting against the last attack. This most recent guy looks like another decoy, a setup. But body scanners it will be. Liquids, box cutters, shoes, are now joined by a peek into our undies.

I would put my money, instead, on luggage or an external airline attack such as a heat-seeking missile on takeoff  or a radicalized pilot on a private jet causing a mid-air collision.

It is an interesting strategy, however: keep us looking where the  threat won’t be.

Speaking of threats and decoys, isn’t that Sarah Palin something to behold? It still scares me that she and McCain could be sitting in Washington. Sure Obama could be doing a better job, but boy am I glad he’s in the White House when there was no apparent alternative.

One tool in his toolbox

October 30, 2008

Here we are a couple of days from Election Day.

A few months ago, John McCain seemed to be someone I could live with for president even though I couldn’t see myself being included in anything he had to say.  But perhaps things would be OK. That was pre-Palin. Now my main concern about him is in regard to our national security.  I can’t see him as our Commander-in-chief. He demonstrated such a blatant disregard for our country when he chose his running mate. What a foolish display of bad judgment. Anything to win and the country be damned.

Then I read the cover story “Why War is His Answer,” The Atlantic …October, 2008 … and things became a little more clear. My not being at ease with the man appeared to have some merit. Just what we need: another president trying to outdo his father in the theater of war.  Couple that with impetuous behavior, an explosive temper, an apparent disregard for thoughtfulness,  a willingness to throw his principles and honor overboard when the going gets tough, and we would have a president resembling a golf ball hit in a tile shower room. Where will it hit next and who needs to duck? I can’t imagine a president with only one tool in his toolbox during these perilous times.  He says he abhors war. Where is the evidence?

During the last couple of years, I have observed in Senator McCain an inappropriate use of humor, sarcasm, a smile that doesn’t match anything he says. He is obviously uncomfortable in discussions requiring a fleshing out of issues. There is much greater comfort in  deflecting and distracting while trying to skewer and humiliate those with the audacity to bring up more reasoned arguments. He claims to be tested.  I don’t buy it. Wesley Clark had it right.

Then if he were to die after being sworn in? Oh, my!!!

So, who’s going to show up in greater numbers at the polls next Tuesday? The fearful and uninformed as in the last election? Those with a willful and selfish indifference to those in need as in the last two elections? Those who listen to the blizzard of misinformation dished out on some popular talk radio shows and a prominent cable news network? Those who believe lies woven out of threads so small and irrelevant that one wonders how they can be repeated over and over with a straight face?

A few blocks from where I live, an Obama sign has been shredded. Once again, the ones who are angry and fearful don’t understand the damage that has been done to our country. There is nothing to fear … unless we fail to seize the opportunity to change our course.

Putting a stop to such behavior

September 5, 2008

I can’t help but be reminded about who bullies whom. Those who are attractive and used to having their own way? Those who are deficient in key attributes … and are in complete denial of the fact yet feel inferior anyway … such that they seek to raise their own stature by attempting to push others down? That is what I saw and heard in Sarah Palin’s remarks. Here is someone who most likely couldn’t have kept up with Senator Obama on any front, yet she smilingly belittles him and his achievements. This slamming can happen only if one feels he/she is in the company of those of like mind, high school-clique behavior as it were.

But she forgot one thing, others outside the clique were watching. There are those of us who minister to the less fortunate, who value the role of community organizing, and who don’t feel the need to display a smugness and arrogance to overcome some hidden shortcomings. I’m not sure she is entirely at fault. There was a decidedly Rovian slant to her message; a slant which doesn’t seem to know any boundaries when it comes to distorting the truth or hurting others.

Did McCain thoroughly vet her? Only time will tell. My gut tells me no, and no amount of “taking offense” at the press can cover up such a dizzying display of poor judgment in a key decision by one wishing to lead our country.  I suspect she was just the nearest thing to grab to keep his campaign from sinking completely out of sight.  A foolish decision entirely befitting of a Bush third term.

What worries me is that the McCain/Palin team could get elected. Why do I say that? Look at the elections of 2000 and 2004. Competence doesn’t matter. Making poor decisions doesn’t matter. Being indifferent to the needs of our country and its people, America’s standing in the world, what the U.S. Constitution says, and what is moral or lawful, doesn’t seem to matter. In fact, being indifferent to all of that can get one elected … twice!

We shall see. Governor Palin hasn’t been made available to the press or us. The next few weeks will be very interesting. A caution is in order, however: most people don’t like those who bully, and they can be quite energized toward putting a stop to such behavior.