Saturday, August 30, 2008
Because I blog now, and have for a year and a half, I no longer (or very rarely) journal. So last night I did what I should have been doing all along, and even did for about two months: I printed out all of these blogs, since mid-November of last year. (I already had the earlier ones printed and put into binders.) IT TOOK FOUR HOURS! Gadzooks, I hope I NEVER, EVER let it go this long again. Last time I took on the task, it took an hour and I pledged then not to get behind. This time I truly believe I've learned my lesson, the hard way!
But what can I say? More important things have been on my mind... I wish there were some way to save the blog to a disk, because then paper wouldn't be necessary. But I don't know of any way to do that... and if I did know how (if there is a way), they would be in reverse chronological order (newest first), and I don't want that. So... it is what it is and it's done for now and I feel very much "accomplished"! Once a week I'll give myself a reminder to back up the blogs on paper, so this doesn't happen again.
I finished an e-book for a lovely Christian lady yesterday. Or, finished the first draft. I'm waiting to hear if she wants any changes. She has two more she wants me to do right away, beginning this weekend, but the talking points/blueprint haven't come in yet, so I'm waiting. It's so great working on a Christian project with a sister in Christ. I've done it several times with other folks and it feels great to be using my skills to build the Kingdom. In this particular instance, I'm helping a social worker tout her non-traditional, Christian mental health therapy services.
And speaking of Christian writing... Yvonne Olson and I will be embarking on a writing ministry at our church, to encourage published and non-published writers who attend either campus to write to the glory of Christ and carry the gospel (via different venues and genres) around the globe. We'll be teaching grammar, spelling, hypnotic writing, playwriting for churches, blogging for Christ, how to find an agent, how to publicize a book "on the cheap" (free or low cost), and other topics. We're really excited about it! The first "introductory" gathering is scheduled for September 20th for an hour and a half. Please keep us in your prayers for great things to happen and for the talents of the attendees to be uncovered, shined up, and sent out into the world to make a splash for all the right reasons!
And on September 10th and 16th, four hours each day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. I'll be at the Puyallup Fair at the Democratic booth extolling the virtues of Barack Obama, Chris Gregoire, Adam Smith, and other local/regional candidates. I may also be there from 6-10 pm at night some nights, yet to be determined. I'm "on call" for the gang, in case someone has to cancel at the last moment or in case there aren't enough people at the booth to make a go of it.
Jackie is at the world-famous LeMay Car Museum show helping out today. She was there yesterday, too. She works with Dorothy LeMay (founder's widow) and other dedicated ladies in Altrusa, which does wonderful altruistic work in the region. She'll be there part of the day tomorrow, too, I think. This is how she spends part of her precious vacation. That's my sister! She's a keeper, for sure, for sure!
Dorothy LeMay just sold her company to a company in California (Hey, thank God! I suppose she could have outsourced it to another country!) so she's footloose and fancy free for the first time in many years. LeMay Transportation is very well-known in this region . They collect trash and do recycling, and many other things relating to transportation needs... have for decades upon decades. Dorothy has earned her retirement and I wish her all the best!
Guess that's about it for this time. (Print it out, Kris. Print it out!)
Have a great day and a wonderful three-day weekend. Watch the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon and pray that the hurricanes off Florida die down and spare the Gulf coast additional trial and torment. Pray for the safety of all the candidates who are running for office, and for the Secret Service agents who are protecting them... and all bystanders. We're getting down to the wire and passions and fears are high. Now is no time to allow the "hedge" we've asked God to build around these people to become breached or lowered. KEEP IT HIGH, KEEP IT IMPENETRABLE... KEEP EVERYONE SAFE. In America we strive for peaceful transitions of power, and by the grace of God, we usually get them. Let's "make it so" this year with continuing prayer...
Friday, August 29, 2008
Now I really wonder if McCain is losing his mind. NOW he's pandering shamelessly.
He looked so nervous and unstrung, standing beside his running mate this morning... and the crossed arms in the McCain-friendly audience probably didn't do a whole lot to inspire his confidence.
And he has been talking non-stop about Obama not being ready to lead! How can he justify selecting this lady as his running mate? Because she's female?!
He won't steal many women voters this way, I don't think.
I was expecting a tight race. Not anymore.
Gosh, maybe he wants to lose?
No offense intended against Sarah Palin. I'm sure she's a dedicated, lovely lady with a heart for service. My judgment is against McCain. On the one hand, he castigates Obama for inexperience and then chooses an even less-experienced person as his running mate. And at his age, we may actually end up with her as President! She looked too amateurish and cowed in front of cameras and a small crowd to look confident addressing the concerns of our nation and the world. Her voice trembles, she's not a great communicator, so she comes across as even younger and less experienced than she probably is.
Too, too scary.
I'll learn more about her as time goes on, but my first reaction is, "This will be a rout in November. Obama will win by a landslide."
Good news for Obama supporters; not so good for Republicans...
How can a man like McCain shoot himself in the foot like this?
I feel very good about Obama's chances now. It never was about choosing a woman (or a black) -- it was about choosing the RIGHT woman (or African-American) to lead our nation forward.
Bad, bad choice. Too, too sad.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Obama Biography Video:
Obama's Acceptance Speech:
This is HISTORY, folks!
For those of you who may have missed any part of the Democratic Convention, or who may miss any part of the upcoming Republican convention, here's a link to afford you the opportunity to catch what you missed, free of "talking heads..."
Please use it, if you plan to vote in November. It's really important that you hear both sides without "talking head" interpretations and misinformation.
I hope this convention will be viewable from some URL for the rest of the campaign season. Does anyone know? If so, please let me know so I can publish the URL here. I hope C-SPAN has a place on-line where people can logon and watch the conventions, free of talking heads...
Carl Rylander from the UK seemed to think I was referring to Jon Stewart and other comics when I mentioned "talking heads." Nope. You can read my reply to him under an earlier blog titled, "Talking Heads Are a Scourge to the Democratic Process." Jon Stewart, David Letterman and others are entertainers; their horse in the race is to make us laugh. Sometimes we end up THINKING as well. Mark Twain was great at that, too. But they don't tell us what we "should" think. They just tickle our funny bones. That's THEIR job.
Even talking heads without a horse in the race are so busy analyzing all the ramifications of a statement or an event that they don't allow us time to process it on our own. This can leave us feeling out of control (which we aren't -- we control the destinies of our representatives and their policies in this land we love with our votes) and/or so confused that we decide to leave voting to other folks, who can wade through the morass and decide who should be our next President. The problem with that is, many of them are operating out of fear or misinformation (because of what the other party has said) and so they are not operating under full faith. These are the "lesser of two evils," "better the devil you know than the one you don't" voters.
There are no devils in this race. There are two Christian public servants who disagree profoundly on America's way forward.
There are no "lesser of two evils" this year. None of the candidates are evil. I believe, to the core of my being, that one candidate for President is misguided and happy to chart a course very similar to Bush's because of his lifelong privileged status (except for the five and a half years he spent as a POW in Vietnam) and his military background. He thinks he could "do" Iraq better than Bush has "done" Iraq, when what Iraq needs now is to get on its own two feet so we can focus on the battle we should have taken on following 9/11 -- Afghanistan and bin Laden. We've lost valuable allies because Bush decided to invade Iraq. We've utterly lost the trust of other nations. As a dangerous result, our butt is now hanging out in a way it never has before.
But John McCain is a good man. I don't think he's the fellow who should lead us beyond 2008, but he's a good man. He's just in bed with a lot of lobbyists and oil barons who do not resonate to the middle class and poor among us, all of whom are struggling in a way they haven't since FDR's time.
Obama is "inexperienced"? That's the only handle Republicans can legitimately put on him this election year. The others (our taxes will skyrocket, he's not a true American, he doesn't have enough foreign policy experience) are as phony as a three dollar bill. How come he has made so many great choices, then, domestically and abroad, to a point where what he proposed is actually now under consideration by the Bush administration? (Or is that simply a ploy by Bush to try to dissuade us from voting in our best interests? Sorry... I don't mean to be a talking head, here, but I don't trust Bush any farther than I could throw him. Not anymore. Haven't for years.)
Bill Clinton was called inexperienced when he was running for President and during his Presidency, America prospered and experienced great forward movement. And with the great team Obama will assemble, I have every confidence that he'll be viewed by history as one of America's greatest Presidents. If he doesn't live up to his promises (without very good explanation and a change in world circumstances), I'll be first in line to campaign against him. I haven't been made this hopeful for the first time in forty years to see "more of the same" from him!
Anyway, I'm enjoying the convention on C-Span. I'll enjoy next week's GOP convention, too. If they remain as above-board as the DEMS have during theirs, and stick to facts and promises, I'm sure I'll be as impressed by theirs. If not, well... you'll be hearing about it! But it is my hope-against-hope that I don't find too much to complain about, since I WON'T be listening to very many talking heads!
I urge you -- this election is as important as any other in your lifetime. Don't be a head-in-the-sand REP or DEM. Be a citizen and take your vote seriously. It will affect history.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
C-Span has the best uninterrupted, non-talking head coverage of the political conventions. Go there for gavel to gavel coverage and you'll feel like you're there and no one will be telling you what you should think about what you hear!
It's just great!
I did a really stupid thing last night.
Out of a sense of fairness to the "loyal opposition" (GOP talking heads), I started listening to Larry King Live -- after a wonderful virtual evening at the Democratic National Convention -- to hear what they had to say about what went on. The immediate verbal battering made me sick to my stomach.
Ben Stein was an absolute ass all by himself. What he said even took Larry King aback.
I couldn't even watch the hour all the way through. Here were a bunch of Grumpy Old Men, all rich, saying that Michelle Obama's speech was "predictable, vapid..." They wanted to know what she was trying to prove by showing that she loved her husband and had two adorable kids. Haven't they been hearing all the false, negative propaganda that others in their line of work (bad-mouthing the opposition) have been spouting about the "angry" Michelle Obama? I certainly have. Where have they been?
They didn't offer a single "talking point" that matters to the American electorate. Michael Reagan was an inarticulate airhead. (I like his brother Ron even when I disagree with him, and I liked their dad well enough, except for his policies. I even have a couple of letters I exchanged with President Reagan after he was shot. Yes, he wrote back, a four paragraph letter that, point-for-point, was in response to what I had written to him. Not a cookie-cutter response in any way. I cherish it.)
They also said the Democratic speakers weren't tough enough on Bush or McCain. Do we have to be constantly battering the other party to have a gathering? Apparently so -- or they think the evening has been "a lost opportunity." (Their term, not mine!) Just because they relish bitching and griping about a difference of political opinion doesn't mean that everyone is a mean-spirited jackass. (Sorry, now I'm doing it... but I'm really mad at wasting fifteen minutes of MY time trying to find someone expressing a logical rationale behind fearing, or disregarding, Obama's candidacy in favor of McCain's.)
They didn't have a single decent thing to say about the evening, not one. Even Ted Kennedy's valiant attendance, at great risk to himself following chemotherapy (his resistance to infection and germs is way down), was panned.
And they said, more than once in the fifteen minutes I watched, that they wanted to hear about Obama's stand on the issues! Lord God Almighty! I thought, "Haven't you 'experts' even been to the candidate's website to find out Obama's stand on the issues?!" No wonder they didn't have any substantial talking points: they obviously haven't even been to his website to see where he stands on the issues!
Really, the last thing I wanted to hear last night was Obama's stand on the issues; I already know his stand on the issues -- that's why I'm supporting him! I wanted to be energized, motivated, and inspired! If these people (political talking heads, of all people!) are still waiting to hear his stand on the issues, we have a problem, Houston!
It's small wonder the race is so close. People are so freakin' assured of their position as a DEM or a REP, that they don't need to do any research -- they just take what's fed to them on cable television in whatever flavor they prefer -- MSNBC or FOX, CNN or ABC! I'm going back to PBS, where the convention is actually COVERED; where it's seen as the "point" of the broadcast, not as an interruption of their own voices and brilliant commentary!
The people on LARRY KING LIVE depressed and angered me.. something that's very hard to do! I'm now voting for Obama for yet another reason: The opposition talking heads are appalling, redundant, arrogant individuals with hearts of stone and heads full of (to use Ben Stein's own words against Michelle Obama) "predictable, vapid" propaganda unworthy of a nation that brought hope to the world -- and can do it again if we fire talking heads who are dedicated to sustaining the wedge that exists between parties and people.
These folks want to squash hope like a bug. They want the status quo. They don't want Michelle and Barack and their kids to have the same chance they did to become President, because they just made it far enough to be talking heads, even with all their advantages, and Obama is showing them up!
God, I sound like Joe Biden on one of his tears. But dagnab it, I was just disgusted by what I heard on Larry King Live last night.
If America continues to be run by the party these folks represent, we're all doomed. They can't see the forest for the trees. They don't believe in the America I believe in -- where it's okay to disagree without being disagreeable.
Loyal OppositionTalking Heads, your stone-cold hearts are dead and your "opinions" are just that: calcified, fear-based ideas that America does well to walk away from, so that every voice can be heard and every person can be free to dream, and to do, according to his or her giftings, talents and persistence!
Shame on you for being unkind, churlish, and utterly, utterly infantile. (Sorry for the "slam" against infants. Infants can't help it. Grown-ups can...)
America is an idea whose time has come. Obama and Biden will help us get there. I'm asking you to believe again in your own potential for greatness. Working together, we can make all the blood, sweat and tears offered up for this country worth the price that has been paid...
Monday, August 25, 2008
Didn't see it? You MUST! Here it is:
(Her brother introduced her. Her first comment is in reference to something he said about "vetting" Barack with a basketball game before he "allowed" her to have her first date with him.)
And Ted Kennedy was fabulous, too:
Hey, I can't sit up and place links here all night long. It was all JUST WONDERFUL!!! So watch the rest of it, starting tomorrow, if you missed tonight. You DO NOT want to miss a single moment.
BTW, I think your PBS station probably offers the best coverage -- the talking heads there actually allow the cameras to focus on the convention events rather than on the moderators...
but check around. Maybe someone else does it better. (C Span?) Let me know, if so!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
For months the talk has been that some folks don't believe Obama has sufficient foreign policy experience to be President in a world that's as shaky as it is right now. So, in answer to this (in my opinion, unfounded) perception, he chooses Joe Biden as one means of reassuring folks that he'll have impressive, knowlegeable advisors -- and now all the spin meisters are proclaiming that his choice of Biden is an ADMISSION by Obama that he doesn't have enough experience to be President!
That's Republican spin. And it's disgusting.
I think Obama's choice is exemplary. I think his choice of Biden does reassure many undecided voters who have been fretting about how Obama would handle an international crisis. So instead of spinning the news, it would seem to me that a more even-handed observer would admit and agree that Biden as VP does douse a lot of the "fear factor" in deciding to vote for Obama. But instead of this kind of admission, they trot out old sound bites of Biden saying Barack wasn't ready (a year and a half ago), despite what Biden is saying NOW about Obama as a visionary and game-changer for working class folks... and his ability to inspire the world and redeem America across the globe.
Watch for this kind of thing -- from both parties. You almost have to listen to the candidates and then turn off the TV -- because spinners on both sides have "talking points" they broadcast relentlessly, knowing that if something is repeated often enough, it begins to be perceived as true, when it's actually just one person's opinion or "take" on a candidate or issue. You can see their heart isn't even in it half the time -- they're just parroting a party line. Half the time they look and sound ridiculous and even know they do! Watch their faces and see which ones look almost apologetic as they utter the tripe they spout.
And repeating endlessly that DEMS are the "taxing" party doesn't make it so. Under Clinton, the U.S. had trillions of dollars in surplus; under G.W. Bush, we have the largest deficit in history. And we had a huge deficit when Clinton took office from the Senior Bush; Clinton got us out of it. The GOP loves to scare us with the prospect of "more taxes if you vote DEM," when the fact is that Obama/Biden want to give taxpayers a tax BREAK three times larger than McCain proposes to give.
Your vote is important. Don't let spin meisters sway you. Watch the conventions, hear the candidates, and decide for yourself who you want to see leading the country for the next four to eight years.
If you want more of the same, vote for the fellow who voted with George Bush 95% of the time, John McCain.
If you want something else, give the DEMS a chance -- then vote them out of office if they don't follow through and make you proud.
Accountability works wonders.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Top o' the morning!
Like the rest of the country and world, I'm waiting to learn who Obama has chosen to be his running mate. I would love to see him pick Hillary -- but that would make the Democratic convention look like "Back to the Future" -- so much Clinton stuff happening that Obama would perhaps seem overshadowed by comparison. Biden is a good choice, too, as are the other most-frequently-named gentlemen (Bayh, Kaine, Chet Edwards) and lady (Kathleen Sebelius). And a great, wonderful surprise would be Al Gore. But alas, only Senator Obama (and his running mate) know for sure at this moment. I'm signed up to be among his first supporters to know, but so are many news reporters, so I reckon we'll all know at the same moment, anyhow.
McCain's gaffe over not knowing how many homes he and his wife own makes him look even more absent-minded and out of touch than he has in the past. It's becoming a real concern of mine, now. I really do wonder if he's beginning to "lose it," and if he is... since he's been called a hothead when he gets mad... it's a known fact in mental health/dementia circles that hotheads often get even hotter as they begin to realize they're losing their faculties. That's not the kind of person we need leading our nation.
So I'm concerned about that. I don't think he's going to win the Presidency, so I'm not all THAT concerned (except for him and his family), but if he wins, I'll be concerned for all the rest of us. While some people can serve well into their 80's when their minds are unaffected by their ages, it's the rare male individual who can do so. (In fact, it's the rare individual male who makes it very far past 75 or 77, so McCain's VP pick better be exemplary if he wins, because he or she will probably be brought into the mix as President at some point, either due to McCain's passing or for another reason, perhaps mental.)
One of Obama chief assets, in my opinion, is his ability to control his temper (or, to "govern his passions," as Mr. Spock would say), so obviously I find McCain's inability to control his of some concern. (Military-minded hotheads don't inspire my confidence.) Obama seems so even-tempered that, even when he's upset, he doesn't lash out or look unhinged or out of control. That's very De-like (as opposed to "McCoy-like," for those of you unaware of the compassionate, level-headedness of the REAL DeForest Kelley.) I resonate to people who can "respond" (as opposed to "react.)" Responders seem patient, unhurried, able to engage their brain and their humanity and heart before they speak. Reactors are -- well, nuclear! I used to be a reactor; now I'm a responder... and I know the difference and how different the results are between the two.
I didn't expect to get off on politics first thing this morning. Sorry.
I'm a contender for the spot as a copywriter in the Christian humanitarian organization where I interviewed two days ago (and twice in the past in other positions). It's a six month gig that can segue into a permanent position somewhere in the organization, so I'm very hopeful. I won't know anything more for at least a couple of weeks, though, because the position won't be filled until mid-September. So I'm continuing to look at other options, bid on projects at Elance, and accept unemployment.
My unemployment has been extended for an additional 13 weeks. Thank you, Jesus and Congress! Unemployment allows for occasional income, self-employed or otherwise, as long as all of it is reported. That's a true godsend. I'd be in some form of financial and emotional distress right now if it weren't for unemployment. I'm looking forward to finding out which will happen first -- full-time employment as a self-employed copywriter via Elance, or full-time employment as someone else's employee, with weekends and evenings remaining available to be a service provider at Elance. God has a plan; I'm just feeding both avenues and waiting to see what He has decided my future should be!
Jackie and Wendy are taking the kids to Wild Waves today. It's supposed to be close to 80 degrees later on. They'll have a blast.
I mowed the lawn yesterday... by push mower. We have a riding lawnmower, but after I walked an hour carrying two, three-pound hand weights, I was all pumped up to keep moving, so I elected to use the push mower. It was quite the workout! If I could keep up yesterday's brand of "exercise" every day, I'd lose this tummy ring real fast.
Maybe I ought to hire myself out as a lawn ranger...
Yeah, I'm sure. How many people would hire a 57 year old lawn maintenance lady with a low-end Sears push mower?
That's what I thought...
Have a great day!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Let's be sure and pray for the safety of all the candidates during the upcoming political conventions and the duration of the campaign season -- and for the victors after that. It's a crazy world and the Secret Service has had its hands full with their detail to the Olympics and then, immediately, to both conventions.
Here's an article on what the Secret Service is up against:
It's pretty sobering.
Four of your servants (two Presidential candidates and two Vice Presidential candidates) are under a cloud of protection by the Secret Service. Grant the agents clarity of thought, sight, action, and Holy Spirit-led intuition so that they don't miss a thing. Keep them safe as they work in a very dangerous profession. And grant the candidates, their families, and the attendees at the upcoming conventions safety, security and the joy that comes with their undertakings.
We pray similar protection for all political candidates who are being considered for leadership roles across the country during this election cycle. You know the threats, you know how to be sure the threats are thwarted. Our nation wants a "clean" election cycle, one without violence.
To this end, may Your will be done. And as your will for us is love for one another, please also keep each of us humble and compassionate should our candidate win, and be with those whose candidates do not prevail this time around. Amen."
My prayer for America and the world is that, whoever wins, we will begin to recover from the selfish deeds of our past political mistakes and will pull out of the tailspin we've been in for quite some time.
In the words of that old song,
"What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some, but for everyone."
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
I hope everyone who plans to vote for a President this November will tune in to both the Democratic and Republican conventions in the upcoming weeks. The Democratic convention begins August 25th; the Republican, September 1st.
And I'd like you to do your best to put aside all the rumor, gossip, innuendo and pundit spinning you've been hearing for months and try to view these two candidates and their families and running mates with a fresh pair of eyes, ears, hearts and senses. So much of what's out there has muddied the realities of who these two people are. In the next two weeks we'll be able to see and hear what the candidates themselves envision for the next four to eight years under their leadership.
Watch for what feels right, and for what feels wrong. Trust your gut. Don't watch the spin-meisters afterward. It's your country. Do what you honestly feel is in its best interests.
Watch as though the future of the world depended on YOUR vote alone this coming November. In a close race, it may come down to single digits -- don't think for a single moment that YOUR vote doesn't count.
I have faith in you, and faith in America. Find the candidate you can have faith in, and work hard for his election until November. Then and only then can you say you did all you could as an American to put it on the right track for the next decade and beyond.
This is the most important thing you can do for your country this year. Please don't take it lightly.
God bless you -- and God bless America and the world...
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Tonight while scanning channels, I landed on a Bill Moyers special on PBS called "Buying the War." I highly recommend that you look for it to air again -- and see it when it does.
It's a scathing indictment against beltway journalism as practiced by today's journalists and cable and network folks. It seems that only Knight-Ridder journalists did the digging necessary after 9/11 to find out that the war in Iraq was touted on trumped-up charges that the people in the White House knew were false. The problem was that Knight-Ridder is a mostly midwestern newspaper chain and, as such, is not considered of major "syndication" importance -- so the digging their reporters did usually ended up on page 18 of the larger, more well-known newspapers -- newspapers that were listening to and reporting the "official line" from Washington DC, and going with the flow that the White House and Pentagon were espousing.
It pains me to learn that even Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice were in on the scam; that they knowingly appeared before the American people and Congress to "prove" that WMD were part and parcel of Saddam Hussein's intent to join with Al Qaeda and "take us out."
During the program, each layer of the stinking onion is peeled back, to show how the Administration carefully orchestrated the means to "convince" (with evidence they knew was false and misleading) Congress and the American people to buy into the idea of war with Iraq, even though the masterminds of 9/11 were in Afghanistan. Hussein would no more share power with al Qaeda (or anyone else) than he would fly to the moon. Nor would he "hide" biological weapons underneath his palace, as was reported. The man was a tyrant; he wasn't stupid!
It's just an appalling indictment, because we rely on news reporters not to simply parrot what they hear, but to check out the facts to the extent they can and to be skeptical unless they have at least two sources to corroborate what they learn. (It turns out that the "two witnesses" idea was well understood by the Administration, so they fed the same mis-information to disparate folks -- at the Pentagon, and elsewhere -- so that when reporters inquired, sure enough, it looked as though they were receiving independent stories from more than one source.)
I know it will disgust you to learn the truth, but we can't remain free if we don't learn the lessons from this past Administration's cold, calculated aim to misrepresent what were in our actual best interests. And those who call themselves "reporters" need to wake up and realize that we rely on them to be skeptical of the stuff that any Administration or public official tells them. They need to look for the holes in the logic, the lack of evidence, and realize the agendas of those in power. If they don't, we can't know the truth until it's much too late to do anything about it.
"Buying the War" is just about the most disappointing thing I have ever learned about America (after slavery, lynching, and the way we treated Native Americans and Japanese-Americans). And to think it happened during my lifetime and that the people responsible are most likely going to get away with it scott-free just sickens me. In fact, I hope they won't get away with it. I think Bush and his people should pay for the way they have treated us, the Iraqi people, and the world. (And they're still at it, working feverishly before Bush's term runs out to parcel out favors to the timber and oil industries, to convince us that offshore drilling is a "mandatory" idea, etc. I don't believe anything Bush says anymore and if he wants to do something, my inclination is to support the opposite of what he wants to do. I do not trust the man, his people, or his so-called "Christian" heart. I think it's all been a sham and that he has taken us all for a ride down a long, dark road which will be deemed one of the worst spans of time in American history, when all the facts are known.)
After seeing "Buying the War," you'll feel what I feel. But avoid it only at America's risk. Everyone should see "Buying the War" and realize what happens when the beltway journalists hop lazily into bed with a corrupt administration and don't do the jobs we think we're paying them to do by buying newspapers, magazines, radios, and television sets.
If we don't wake up and demand better, we're going to lose America.
We went into Iraq under false, misleading pretenses. The entire world knows that. The sooner we get out of there, the better. You don't continue a fight that never should have been ours in the first place. The Iraq government wants us out. Bush, Cheney and McCain want us in.
It's Afghanistan that could use a good house-cleaning. Obama gets that. He always has. He voted against going into Iraq (one of very few who did), citing not enough certifiable evidence. (As a Chicagoan, perhaps he had access to Knight-Ridder investigative journalists, something most of the rest of us didn't.)
Facts vs spin. I'm sick of spin. Spin can lose us our freedom and our standing in the world.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
If you're an American and didn't watch Rick Warren's interviews of Barack Obama and John McCain, I would say "Shame on you," but that wouldn't be friendly and would come across in black and white as really judgmental (you wouldn't be able to hear my comic inflection) -- and besides, you may have been addicted to the final event of the Olympics swimmer who is out to beat Mark Spitz's 1972 record. So I forgive you -- as long as you set two hours aside right now (or real soon!) and watch the interview at the following link: (See, now you don't have any excuse. If you plan to vote this year, you need to see this. If you don't plan to vote, you have no right to gripe about who gets in. Simple as that!) So, here's the link:
Warren's questions were terrific, and Obama's and McCain's answers were terrific, showing exactly where they stand on many of the toughest issues of the day. Both are honorable men. You'll probably come down on one side or the other because they are not in alignment regarding the ways in which they'd address some of the issues...
I'm not going to do an "analysis" on either's appearance or responses. I think sometimes other people's analyses are detrimental to, and dismissive of, another person's own sense of "gut feeling" and native instincts... and I think our instincts are often the best way to consider matters, when they are informed by our reasoning, reading and absorption of daily reports.
I "get" both candidates and where they're coming from. I understand each one's rationale and how he came to the conclusions and the stands he has. (That's a civilized step in the right direction -- to read, hear and understand another's viewpoint, even when we don't agree with it.)
I align much more closely with Obama than I do with McCain, which is why I'll be voting for him; you may feel just the opposite. (Everyone I know has a strong opinion -- and it's by no means a unanimous opinion. I don't pick my friends based on their politics, their religion, or their color.) All I hope is that you feel a "peaceful" sense of decision -- and will not be voting from a sense of fear or of a "lesser of two evils" mentality (as I did for years and years leading up to this election).
I think we have a race this year that is vitally important -- perhaps the most important in my lifetime. We have a handful of major problems to tackle and gain victory of, before they get so far out of our control that they become a scourge to grandchildren and great-grandchildren. So I'm serious as a heart attack this time around.
These are two honorable men. One's a military man -- a peacekeeper (McCain) -- the other is a more conciliatory man (and, in my opinion, a visionary) -- a peacemaker. The difference between the two, and the choice, seems abundantly clear to me.
I think a sense of foreboding or fear drives many (although certainly not all) to choose the peacekeeper: we feel that if he's President he'll be the best man to respond if there is another attack on our mainland. This theory gives us a sense of protection and security, false though it is. (I know for certain that Obama wouldn't just sit on his hands as President if we were attacked again -- he'd go after the perpetrators, something Bush failed to do except in a cursory way in Afghanistan before diverting to Iraq on bogus grounds, it turns out -- and make no mistake -- he knew they were bogus grounds, it has been shown; he just wasn't honest with Congress or the American people.)
Those who choose the peacemaker have the hope that by doing a lot less saber-rattling -- and by leaving Iraq for Afghanistan -- the American government and people will be viewed by the rest of the world as finally addressing our grievances appropriately against the enemies of freedom who masterminded and carried out the attacks on 9/11 and the attacks before and since then in other parts of the world.
As freedom-loving people, it's time for us to hear -- and to honor -- the Iraqi government's request for us to leave within 20 months and allow them to carry their new republic forward on their own terms. It's time to give our American troops an opportunity to rest up and make themselves ready for any other engagement in which we may find ourselves over the course of the next several years. They've done a marvelous job, and have families waiting at home who have sacrificed greatly for a very long time... They can be proud of what they've accomplished under horrendous circumstances.
McCain seems eager to stay and let Petraeus continue the war in Iraq. With all my heart, I believe that's a wrong-headed decision. For that reason alone, I would vote for Obama.
But I'm voting for Obama for a lot of reasons, not just that one.
Even in the very few areas where I disagree with Obama, his stand is reasonable, ethical, well-considered, and based on intense study and scrutiny. I respect his stand, even where I don't agree with it.
I would feel fantastic having him leading our nation next year...
Have you watched the interviews yet? Please don't leave this blog (or give yourself a reminder and a date to watch it) until you do, if you're planning to vote.
It'll be well worth your time! I can promise you that!
Friday, August 15, 2008
Don't miss a great opportunity to hear Barack Obama speak about his faith and values.
This Saturday, August 16th, at 7:00 pm Central Daylight Time, Barack Obama will be speaking at the Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency, hosted by Pastor Rick Warren.
This will be the first event attended by both Barack Obama and John McCain since winning their respective primaries, and the nation will be watching to learn more about both candidates.
Here are the details:
Saddleback Civil Forum
with Barack Obama and John McCain
Saturday, August 16th at 7:00 p.m. CDT
Live on CNN (Please check your local listings as well)
This is a great opportunity for people interested in faith to learn more about Barack, his values, and this campaign for change, so spread the word.
Reaching out to people of faith is an important component to growing this movement for change, and it will require people of all faiths and backgrounds to get involved.
Your participation and input is crucial to our success.
I've been hearing and reading the bogus, rehashed lies and innuendos, and the so-called "research"made by scoundrel Corsi for a few days now. Anyone at all familiar with the tactics of division and fear can see the slanders against Barack Obama for what they are. Corsi's stated aim is to keep Obama out of the White House. I pray that this type of tactic is not going to work this time. Last time it worked, we got George Bush for President. If it works this time, we'll get John McCain -- an honorable man, but the wrong man to lead our nation out of the quagmire that eight years of Bush's reign has created and nurtured.
It is beyond me to understand why Corsi is being given free rein by the media to spread his garbage as though it were true. What has happened to watchdog journalism? The media has become so controversy-driven that even a trumped up book about Obama gets the same kind of coverage as does John Edwards' affair or the Russia-Georgia confrontation. Allowing Corsi to spread his poison -- even encouraging him, with requests for interviews -- is very dangerous. His book should not be viewed as legitimate news. It should die like all the other quasi-journalism propaganda spread across time.
Corsi is not a serious scholar. His book deceives anyone trying to gauge the legitimacy of Obama's candidacy to become our next President. Just like his other warped-reality manifestos, these already-debunked attacks come from the same man who's tried to convince us that George Bush (certainly no hero of mine) is working to dissolve national borders with Mexico and Canada, that oil is inexhaustible, and that our government caused the Twin Towers to fall!
Corsi is so bigoted that not even fellow right-wingers can tolerate him. He was kicked off the "Unfit For Command" publicity tour because of his history of public religious intolerance and bigotry. Follow the bread crumbs and find the chief crumb's illegitimacy glowing like the sun, thanks to news coverage of his manifesto against Barack.
C'mon, America! I've got Corsi's number. Have you? It's 1 - 800 -- DINGALING!
If you fall for Corsi, you'll fall for anything. But if you continue to stand up for Obama and for change in America that we can be utterly proud of, not just nationally but globally, maybe Corsi and his ilk will crawl back into their holes and die discredited "deaths" in the media.
Some books deserve to be on the best seller list. Corsi's books do not. Smears against the man who may well be our next President are harmful globally.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
"I now have developed a painful complication called 'dry socket' and I'm unable to eat solid food for 3 days.Now will you put my distress signal on your blog and get people praying for me?? It hurts and I miss food!!!!!! A lot!!!"
So, your assignment now is to (1) pray for Alison and (2) eat something decadent and delicious and then something very healthy on her behalf, then leave a comment here on this blog and let us know what it was.
C'mon, do it!
I'm salivating already with anticipation!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
We're less than two days away from my half of the house being 100% finished. There are only about five boxes left to unpack. I should be able to put those away by tomorrow evening. YAHOO!
As soon as the base cabinets are installed (tomorrow, following the floating of the kitchen-area floor and the placing of the linoleum there), I can spring into action and make everything look fantabulous. I am SOOO looking forward to that. Then our contractor will head into Jackie's side of the house to do a few (much-easier, much-faster) things... things that don't take ripping up the floor more than it already is (in one small spot in her bathroom). We hope Jackie's side will be completed before Ray and his wife and son fly to Hawaii (August 22nd) for a week while their home makeover happens. We've been invited to be there for the home makeover "reveal" upon their return, so I'm looking forward to that...
What else? I'm disappointed by the John Edwards revelation. I guess such things shouldn't surprise or depress me, but they do. I feel so sorry for his wife and children. WHAT ARE MARRIED MEN THINKING, WHEN THEY BEHAVE LIKE THAT?! The fact is, they're not thinking sanely at all. They're just sin-sick and being utterly selfish...
It happens all too often. Not only in politics. It's very disappointing. Not even a covenant of marriage can stop all of it. It's pathetic.
Obama grew up in Hawaii for a lot of years and is visiting his 85-year old grandmother there during his vacation, someone he hasn't seen in two years.
I hope people are watching the Olympics and ignoring the punditry being broadcast by Obama-bashers. It's just because they have nothing else that they can bring against him that they're pitching bitches about his vacation, his trim physique (calling him too skinny to be President!), his celebrity, and the like. They can't find a handhold on him that makes sense, so they're careening off him with everything they can think of, hoping some of it will stick.
Good luck, folks. The guy is like Teflon. It doesn't matter what you hit him with, he'll still be exactly what he is: good to go, ready to be an amazing leader...
GO, BARACK, GO! REST UP IN HAWAII!!! YOU HAVE A LONG EIGHT YEARS AHEAD OF YOU -- and the Democratic National Convention is right around the corner, beginning August 25th.
Wish I could be in Denver for that. ARGHHH!!! It's killing me not to be...
Monday, August 11, 2008
When the McCain campaign rolled out their its vacuous, petty "celebrity" attack against Barack Obama, here's one thing they didn't crow about: John McCain spent decades establishing himself as Washington DC's biggest celebrity. Once a media darling for his self-proclaimed "maverick" approach to politics, McCain has, during the present campaign, completely transformed himself to please special interests and the far right wing of his party. Now he's the biggest and most vocal champion of George W. Bush's most disastrous policies!
It's a real shame.
He's smiling, but is he really happy, the way he has had to bend like a pretzel to look like something he's not (or wasn't)? Will he continue to cater in this way to the special interests should he win the White House?
If he'll do whatever it takes now, what will he do if he wins?
Barack is beholden to US, the American people. We've funded his campaign almost exclusively. He has our back. And I've said all along, if he doesn't honor his commitment to us, I'll be among his most vocal opponents in five years when he's running for re-election.
I have immense hope and belief that Barack can turn this country around with his vision. If he disappoints that hope, I'll be on his case big-time, as will a lot of other Americans who need a champion in the White House.
He knows that. He has a big challenge ahead -- to make good on his vision.
It'll take concerted effort, but I believe we can still do it in this nation despite the terrible turn we've taken over the course of the past eight years in Washington D.C.!
It'll take more than the President, too. It'll take Congress and each of us. It's time to get involved in the future of our country and the world again, in a positive, compassionate, helpful way.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
I started this blog in late February last year (Feb 28th, I think), so 500 posts isn't far off from a posting per day, seven days a week. What a blabberfingers I am!
A recruiter from Santa Cruz called me last week about a one month job in Bellevue (37 miles away, east of Seattle) that pays $35-40 an hour. Needless to say, I agreed that he could submit my name and resume for the position! And World Vision is considering me again as a copywriter, last I heard from another recruiter. All good news!
I broke $1K writing for Elance this past week. (I mean $1K total, since I started, not $1K in a week.) So that's another milestone. I bought some business cards, a car sign and some post cards to advertise myself in this area, letting people know I'm local and available via Elance for projects. (All my clients so far have been far flung -- from across the country, or England.)
I completed my fourth project for Talentainer.com (check out the site http://www.talentainer.com/ -- I'm the wordsmith there) last week. I've had repeat business from three of the 10 people I've written for -- and promises from the others that when they need someone again, they'll ask for me. 100% positive reviews. It's been just fantastic -- and lots of fun!
At Elance, I get to pick which projects to bid on and write for, so my enthusiasm for each and every one is unparallelled. It's a sad fact of copywriter life that copywriters often have to manufacture enthusiasm for products or services they have no passion for or experience with so they can pass that "passion to purchase" to a reader (or hearer) of the message. Needless to say, having me write passionately about nuts, screws and bolts does not come naturally to me, where it well might to a contractor dude or dudette. (About the only time I can imagine being passionately creative about the above topic would be as a headline about a psychiatric patient who raped someone and fled: "Nut Screws and Bolts." (Sorry, couldn't resist.) But then, spas and massages aren't a passion of mine (never having been to one) but I can put myself into the mindset of a stressed out, hard-working executive who needs a break with every ounce of his or her soul, and write to that need. I can write to lots of wants and needs, even when I don't have them, since I'm very empathetic and a bit of a chameleon by nature. I can understand why a contractor or building specialties company would be passionate about nails and screws: each one does the job a little bit differently, in a different kind of medium (maple, pine, mahogany, cement, you name it) so knowing the product and what problem it solves is vital. ("The right tool for the right job!") Same with paint brushes.
Speaking of paint brushes... I must've spent thirty hours painting the past few days. I got up two mornings ago and my hands felt arthritic -- my fists seemed "permanently clamped" around an imaginary paint brush or the painting pole that I used to reach higher places (after I ascended and descended a ladder so many times that my knees told me "No more, kiddo."). I'm fine now, but eegads, it was quite an experience to find myself so sore and cramped for several long minutes after I awoke that morning!
Jamie Lee (my grandniece), age four, is out in our back yard starting her soccer lessons right now. Gotta go see! Gotta take some photos. They grow soooo fast!
Ciao for now!
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
My base color is Disney/Behr "Tink Pink" (as in Tinkerbelle Pink). Now don't freak. I know that sounds bizarre, but the overlay colors are pale pink and almost white pink. What resulted reminds me of "Starry Night" by Van Gogh -- but mine is better. (Ahem... Well, it's probably not "better" -- I doubt I could get even fifty bucks for my wall -- but it's brighter, sweeter, and far, far happier.)
My living room has one defect -- it has no windows. So I wanted something bright and inviting to light it up, and yellow wasn't going to get it... Nor was lime green. I like green well enough, and it's really relaxing (hence "green rooms"in TV studios where guests wait before they come before an audience), but my sister hates green -- and she has to go through my living room quite often to get to the garage to do laundry, get frozen foods, and drive away, so I didn't want to put anything in there she'd have to frown through.
What did she think of my three-pink room? She came by while it was still Tink Pink and she was not overly complimentary. She said, "My goodness, that's bright!" and kept walking. It was the "kept walking" that gave her real opinion away. She didn't wait for me to say, "Do you like it?" Not a chance. So "kept walking" was her most diplomatic way of saying, "GOOD GOD!!! Are you insane?!"
But that was before I grabbed the lesser pink and mixed it with glaze and spread it hither and yon over the Tink Pink, using two sea sponges. It began to look quite amazing. After that dried, I mixed some pinkish white with glaze and went after my "canvas" again, using one of the sea sponges but cutting it into the shape of a ball, more or less.
At one point some of the lesser pink and some of the whitish pink began to drip a little -- I had laid it on too heavy in spots -- so I took the sponge and did a little twist of the wrist with it to arrest the drips, which resulted in the Van Gogh-like swirls. Well, I couldn't have only two of those -- that would have made it look like I goofed (which I did), so I just went to about every third sponge print and swirled it, so that every three feet or so instead of a sponge print there's a galactic swirl of sorts.
Our contractor Ray is not a real fan of pink, but he flipped out as he saw it coming together. He said it looks very professional and rather rose-y/universe-y all rolled into one. In fact, he liked it so well he said I should place the same pattern on one of the walls I intended to leave Tink Pink. So now I just have one Tink Pink wall (actually, it looks more dusky rose because I left the wallpaper on that wall and painted over it) that's largely covered by a very large china cabinet my Dad made for my Mom. One of the other walls is covered largely by an oak entertainment center Jackie gave me when we moved here. I'll take a photo at some point soon and publish it here -- as soon as my kitchen/dining area is done so I can clear the living room of all the boxes that are residing in it.
My bathroom is 99.9% finished tonight, so I should be able to take photos of it soon. It looks fabulous. It's a very minimalist bathroom, as the kitchen/dining area will be. The large rooms in my half of the abode are the bedroom, a den, and the living room. I have a little over a thousand square feet, I guess.
As soon as the "orange peel"-y underlay on the walls in the kitchen/dining area are dry, I can paint the primer coat tonight... but I have a feeling it won't be dry until close to midnight, so I'll take a nap and check on it later. Once the primer coat is dry, I have two colors to paint over the primer coat -- light brownish-white (99.9% white) on top and gentle doe brown on the bottom. The cabinets will all be white in the kitchen/dining area but will have a butterscotchy swirly formica on the prep surfaces...
Okay, I know I'm probably boring you to tears with minutae, unless you live and breath the Home and Garden channel, or Extreme Makeoever, or what have you... but this is all very exciting to me, so I'm obsessed right now. Sorry. In another week life should resume it's normal shape and I'll be back on politics, or religion, or cats, or who knows what else?
Best I can suggest is "stay tuned"!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
On September 5th all three major networks are going to have a telethon-of-sorts for one hour, called STAND UP TO CANCER, to let us know what advances have been made in cancer research and how close many researchers are to finding cures. It'll be a truly entertaining hour
-- not a downer at all -- so please tune in and donate what you can, even if it's just a few dollars, to fund additional research to end the scourge of cancer and save lives.
Brian Williams, Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson will all be on hand for the event, as will dozens of stars and other celebrities. In the meantime, go to the event website and launch a star (or add to one) in memory or in honor of a loved one who has battled or is battling cancer. Here's the link:
We all know someone who has been touched by cancer. It's time to stop it in its tracks.
I got this from a news article today...
"In 2007, McCain missed all 11 energy-related Senate votes considered key by the League of Conservation Voters, including votes related to automobile fuel economy, offshore Virginia drilling, refinery construction, renewable electricity mandates, energy efficiency, liquefied coal and support for biofuels. The absences prompted the League to give McCain a "zero" rating for the year."
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Well, I just want to let him know it failed as humor about as badly as his "Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran" (to the tune of Barbara Ann) did.
It's a good thing he isn't running for a stand-up comedy career! He'd have about as much luck succeeding at that as he has, so far, at running for President!
The more I hear out of him, the less I think he's working on all thrusters.
And I used to have such a good opinion of him. It's sad...
Saturday, August 2, 2008
I'm having a very good "problem." I've had three Elance projects awarded to me during the past few days... well, two and probably a third for Monday. Two are finished (the two largest ones), as of a few minutes ago this evening (if there are no rewrites requested, which rarely happens).
On top of that, my half of the home is torn apart across 50% of its footage, and 75% of the rest of it is piled high with boxes (that will go into the kitchen and bathroom when they're finished). Our contractor has been working feverishly to get it finished, and there's so much forward movement that I'm very cheered by it.
The bathroom would have been finished by day's end today except that the walls and the floor didn't dry overnight (GRRRRRR), so Ray had to segue to working on the kitchen area today instead of finishing the bathroom (GRRRRRRR). So I'm without a bathroom for two more days. (GRRRRRRR!) But don't cry for me, Argentina, because my sister lets me use hers...or I'd be using the cats' litter box by now! HA HA HA HA HA
Jackie and I went to Lowe's and Office Depot to pick up the balance of the cabinets I wanted, but the color I used for one cabinet in the bathroom is no longer available (GRRRRR!), so I went to Big Lots (after a fruitless visit to a cabinet maker -- too expensive!) and found an absolutely terrific standing linen closet for $69. Now, THAT was definitely in my price range, so I bought an un-assembled one in a carton and brought it home and swore half the night away putting the flippin' thing together. But it saved me $400, so I'm not complaining (any more).
The cabinets in my kitchen will now be white, since I could get unassembled ones for less than half the price of assembled ones, and the assembled ones weren't in the configuration I needed, even though they were in the color I wanted. But hey, here again, I saved over a thousand dollars by buying unassembled white ones. (Semi-employed people have to watch every few pennies they have everywhere possible.) I'll consider whether they were truly worth the savings when I start putting them together Monday. (Grrrr.... ) I'm just sure they have to go together better than the booger I put together last night. Or I'll commit suicide and all will be well!
Anyway, that's a short story about the past few days.
I underbid (by a bunch) on one of the two large Elance projects I did, and ended up doing $400 worth of work for $95, but the fellow is very happy (I would hope so!) and says he'll use me more, at a higher price to make up for the mistake I made while reading the project description. I was under the impression that I was supposed to come up with a catalog of ten possible emails and ten possible articles based on a specific topic, then write just six of them - three emails and three articles- as a "pilot test" to see if we were a good match as a team going forward. Well! I believe we found out we're a good team, but I was a poor discerner of the scope of the project, so I wrote twenty emails and articles instead of six for only $95.00. Heckuva deal, huh?! (Better luck next time.) It took me two full days... but by golly I honored my contract and did all that was necessary to make the man happy. My integrity remains intact!)
My office den is 80% filled with bathroom cabinets, a new toilet, cork flooring in boxes, and a few items I bought for the new bathroom and bathtub, so I'm very crowded in here. But looking around I know I'm going to be very happy in just a few more days. The bathtub I found at a liquidators warehouse for $49 is one of those really deep ones, (I may need a bridge ladder to climb into it in ten years.) so of course I had to get a path pillow, a bathtub caddy complete with book, glass- and candle-holder, a shower curtain and curtain rod... you know, the whole nine yards so that WHEN I finally get in there, I can climb into the tub, hunker down and soak and read until I'm prune-y and educated and happy as a clam. I'VE WAITED THREE WEEKS FOR THIS, AND BY GOLLY I'M GOING TO ENJOY IT TO THE NTH DEGREE FOR AS LONG AS I CAN POSSIBLY GET AWAY WITH IT! MAYBE UNTIL THE NEXT ELANCE ASSIGNMENT COMES IN... SO IF YOU LOVE ME AND DON'T WANT ME TO DISSOLVE AWAY IN THE BATHTUB, THINK OF A WRITING PROJECT TO PAY ME FOR, and maybe -- just maybe -- I'LL COME OUT.