current affairs

Published on December 30 2006

Watching President Ford's arrival at the Capitol over the internet tonight--thank god for CSpan, since I don't get to watch much tv.... so strange to see all of those people from the 70's again. Kissinger, and all the rest. All of those people who were were around when I first began to notice politics and the news. My eyes kept going to Betty Ford throughout all the reverent ceremonies. So tiny. So strong. Such a beautiful woman. Watching tonight only increased my years-long admiration for this woman. Tears coming to my eyes as I watch her. Of course, hearing "America" ( and that one hymn which I've never known the name of ) does it to me almost every time, too. And "Amazing Grace" always finishes me off. I'm such a wuss. The commentators describe him as being "her best friend". I wonder what it's like to be married to your best friend for almost 60 years...

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Published on December 30 2006

The video of the hanging is all over the internet, and was all over CNN this morning. All of the TV stations were of course careful to end the video before the actual hanging, thankfully. It's not exactly an image I want to have anyway. But it did make me wonder....how is it that Hussein's hanging is deemed too graphic for our delicate tastes, yet CNN and some of the other news channels had absolutely no problem airing the video a few weeks back of an Iraqi sniper killing an American soldier? Just sayin'.

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Published on December 28 2006

I have just read an "essay" that leaves my mouth hanging open. And my stomach trying not to heave. How the H-E-double-hockey-sticks does this woman keep getting another minute or two of fame? Banana Republics: In Search of Peace with Cindy Sheehan
First of all, I would like to extend my condolences to Mr. Ford's family. Even though he was an ex-President, he was also a husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He was a human being who had private relationships in a very public life and I am sure his loved ones will miss him deeply. However, Mr. Ford was 93 years old. He lived a full and long life. He spent a very lengthy retirement from public life: golfing and doing whatever else former presidents do. Usually, burying a 93 year old loved one is sorrowful but, I believe his pardon of Richard Nixon is one of the factors that have led to the untimely deaths of over 3000 American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in the Middle East. Just this month alone, 91 of our young people have met early, avoidable, unnecessary and tragic deaths in Bloody George's horrific war. In a month when most people picked out Christmas trees and had joy-filled celebrations in the season of lights, 91 of our nation's families went shopping for burial plots or urns and their holidays will never be the same again.
And then we have this little gem in the comments section (not written by Cindy, but....geez....):
I believe that Gerald Ford replaced fellow Maryander Spiro Agnew because Ford had helped cover up the JFK Assassination.
What was Karl Rove doing back in 1974, I wonder?

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Published on December 28 2006

and as usual, he's hilarious. I loved his take on the next Pres election. Bolding mine. James Lileks
American politics were in that blessed period between elections, but jockeying continued for the presidential spot in both parties. Hillary Clinton made a masterful move to the center by coming out against gay marriage for stem cells; Barack Obama continued to run on a platform of being Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney continued to remind people of his impressive chin. Rudy Guiliani rolled out a new campaign slogan: "Why? Because I'll Nuke Them Old-School Style if I Have To, and You Know It," while John McCain's team came up with a GOP base-tested slogan, "Suck It Up, Haters! It's Him or the Witch."
Only bad part about it is that it's probably exactly what's going to happen.

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Published on December 24 2006

 

Kidbrudder forwarded a letter from daughter-in-law Brooke (Hi Brooke and Mark!!); who included a couple of pictures from her recent musical evening with Darryl Worley and Mark Wills (although both of these pics are of Worley, I think--not being a country fan myself, I had to go googling!)

 

 

Here are some pics from the other night. They had a concert and Mark Wills and Darryl Worely were here. I got autographs and got to meet them. Mark Wills made me come behind the table (where I wan't supposed to be) and gave me the biggest hug and kissed me on my cheek! I'm so special! :) Anyways... I had a great time and just wanted to share a couple of the pictures with ya'll! I love ya'll! Merry Christmas....
Well, almost!

All my Love,
Brooke

Merry Christmas, Brooke--we'll be thinking of you and of all the others so far away from home this holiday.

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Published on December 13 2006

Staff: Senator hospitalized with stroke-like symptoms - CNN.com
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Tim Johnson, D-South Dakota, was hospitalized Wednesday after he suffered stroke-like symptoms in his Washington office, his staff said. Johnson, who turns 60 on December 28, was taken to George Washington University Hospital by ambulance about 11:30 a.m., sources in his office said..... .....Should Johnson not be able to complete his term, which ends in 2008, South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds, a Republican, could appoint his replacement, which could shift the balance of power in the Senate.
And yes, I know I have been absent lately....it's just been a busy week here in the freezing/raining/snowy/sunny/warm north. (Take your pick on the weather; we've had at least one day of each this week)

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Published on November 26 2006

Just all over the place tonight, lol. I finished my final paper for class and turned it in this afternoon. (A, btw.) Dispersed kids to all their various home ports and sat down this evening to read. I started out with a Washington Post article on the Iraq Study Group, which featured this little gem:
"Unfortunately, our deliberations have been degenerating lately into petty squabbling over picayune issues of tactics, and I'm afraid I show that I have lost my patience a little bit here," wrote former CIA analyst Ray Close in an e-mail about the experts' deliberations. "Some of our most obstinate neocon diehards are still trying to fashion a strategy that is no more than an ersatz version of 'stay the course until victory.' They have been wasting our time, in my view."
Hmmmmm, sounds like our non-partisan group might be just a weeeee bit catty? Wandered around some more links to the London Review of Books where I found another article, somewhat more long-winded, of a review of Francis Fukuyama's book "After the Neocons: America at the Crossroads". LRB | Stephen Holmes : Neo-Con Futurology
An even more fundamental argument against fighting terrorism by promoting democracy, however, is that no one in the US government has any idea how to promote democracy. Fukuyama accuses the neo-cons of chatting offhandedly about democratisation while failing to study or even leaf through the ‘huge academic and practitioner-based literature on democratic transitions’. Their lack of serious attention to the subject had an astonishing justification: ‘There was a tendency among promoters of the war to believe that democracy was a default condition to which societies would revert once liberated from dictators.’ Democracy obviously has many social, economic, cultural and psychological preconditions, but those who thought America had a mission to democratise Iraq gave no thought to them, much less to helping create them. For their delicate task of social engineering, the only instrument they thought to bring along was a wrecking ball.
Ouch. More of the "bash the neocons" meme that is so prevalent in the last month or so. So.....after bookmarking a couple more reviews I want to read later, I wandered over to the classifieds on the LRB site. And found the absolute BEST personals page I have ever read!!! Where else might you find an ad like this one:
Young, charming, thoughtful, attractive, sporty, zesty, intelligent. None of these are me, but if you’d like to spend an afternoon or more considering alternative adjectives to be applied to 53-year old cantankerous dipshit, write now to box no 2202
or this one, from a laundry-challenged male:
A friend once bought me a pair of novelty underpants that had a caption on the front reading ‘In case of fire break glass’. I didn’t understand what it meant until they did actually catch fire in the tumble dryer because they were acrylic and I had the setting on too high. The door melted shut and sure enough I had to break the glass to put the fire out. Replacement dryers are very expensive. As such I would like to meet a nice woman who won’t set fire to my underpants. Stupid, stupid man, 51. Box no. 2206
Hmmmmm, I think I need to write to this guy. We definitely share at least one interest:
Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Maltester! Be the sweetie worth ploughing my way through love’s harshest Revel’s bag for. Man, 36. Box no. 2201
This ad, on the other hand, left me completely mystified, although I can completely sympathize with her possible mental problems...Any guesses as to the translation? Or is she just bashing the neocons, too?
I trew there's charm in a wee pickle gear, /And wha wadna strive at the gaining o't? It mak's a puir body baith canty and fier, /If honesty's had the obtaining o't.. You know what I’m saying. Woman, 43. Possibly mad. Livingstone. Box no. 2204
Of course, watching Charlie Rangel do his best John Kerry imitation is always good for a little entertainment!!!

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Published on November 20 2006

wcbstv.com - Anti-War Activists Plan 'Global Orgasm For Peace'
(CBS/AP) SAN FRANCISCO Two peace activists have planned a massive anti-war demonstration for the first day of winter. But they don't want you marching in the streets. They'd much rather you just stay home. The Global Orgasm for Peace was conceived by Donna Sheehan, 76, and Paul Reffell, 55, whose immodest goal is for everyone in the world to have an orgasm Dec. 22 while focusing on world peace. "The orgasm gives out an incredible feeling of peace during it and after it," Reffell said Sunday. "Your mind is like a blank. It's like a meditative state. And mass meditations have been shown to make a change." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The couple have studied evolutionary psychology and believe that war is mainly an outgrowth of men trying to impress potential mates, a case of "my missile is bigger than your missile," as Reffell put it. By promoting what they hope to be a synchronized global orgasm, they hope to get people to channel their sexual energy into something more positive.

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Published on November 13 2006

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Mark Steyn :: U.S. must prove it's a staying power
Still, we are all Spaniards now. The incoming speaker says Iraq is not a war to be won but a problem to be solved. The incoming defense secretary belongs to a commission charged with doing just that. A nostalgic boomer columnist in the Boston Globe argues that honor requires the United States to "accept defeat," as it did in Vietnam. Didn't work out so swell for the natives, but to hell with them. What does it mean when the world's hyperpower, responsible for 40 percent of the planet's military spending, decides that it cannot withstand a guerrilla war with historically low casualties against a ragbag of local insurgents and imported terrorists? You can call it "redeployment" or "exit strategy" or "peace with honor" but, by the time it's announced on al-Jazeera, you can pretty much bet that whatever official euphemism was agreed on back in Washington will have been lost in translation. Likewise, when it's announced on "Good Morning Pyongyang" and the Khartoum Network and, come to that, the BBC.

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Published on November 11 2006

 

.....I am thankful for those who do.

Honoring those who Serve

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