Archive for the ‘politics schmolitics’ Category

Trust me to think for myself

August 12, 2009

A former co-worker forwarded me an email today, criticizing the proposed health care plan. I  exchange Christmas cards with this woman but I haven’ t talked to her in a few years so I was kind of surprised that she didn’t even bother to ask about me or my family. Or my cats.

I believe her message here is “I don’t give a shit about you or what’s going on in your life, but won’t you join me in spreading lies and hatred?”

Here’s an excerpt from the email:

Some other things that Rep. Broun brought up last night in addition to the awful things we’ve already heard–funded abortion, “end of life counseling”, etc.–is that ObamaCare will end services by the Veteran’s Administration (VA) and also will end Medicare…
…continue talking, voicing your opinions, and spreading the word to other family/friends in other  states/districts–initially igniting a “grass fire” against the politicians who are in favor of socializing medicine, and our country.

Also, be much in prayer for Rep. Broun who is, along with co-sponsors,
drafting a bill for healthcare reform also…

I was offended by this email for 2 reasons:

1) she didn’t ask about me

2) she obviously thinks I am an idiot who would believe blatant lies

Normally I would just delete an email like this and then eat another cookie.  I really hate  confrontation. But today I grew a spine and decided that if a person is going to send me a ridiculous, opinionated email they’re going to get a ridiculous, opinionated response.

I hope you and your family are well.
It’s disappointing that you chose to forward me a malicious and erroneous email about Obama’s proposed health care plan. You can read the facts about the plan at www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/.

I’m sorry to be disagreeable but I find the Christian Right’s reliance on hate mongering and deceit hypocritical. If you believe in God then you must believe he has given us a brain and the power to reason, analyze and make thoughtful decisions. Just because an idea comes from a religious leader or a member of your congregation doesn’t mean it’s true or valid.

It’s better to have no religion at all  than to use it as a weapon.

Score!

Feeling much better about myself and my new spine I went back to work. Later I checked my email  for a response.

Click-click.

Thank you for the mail. We do not open any forwarded mail, and rarely do we open attachments…….

Seriously? She forwarded me a ridiculous, opinionated email and I responded with a ridiculous, opinionated response – only to be auto-rejected.  Can you get any ruder than that?

I painstakingly typed in her email address, copied and pasted my ridiculous, opinionated response and sent it again. And promptly got auto-rejected again. Same exact message.

I have an opening on my Christmas card list. All applicants welcome. I do not discriminate based on faith, gender or ethnic background.

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How green is my valley

March 5, 2009

Tom Friedman,  the Pulitzer prize winning New York Times columnist, spoke at a charitable foundation luncheon I attended this week.

I like nonprofit events involving valet parking,  nicely dressed people, fancy carpeting, a  chandelier bedecked banquet room and colorful food. It’s incongruous, which is a fun word to use and spell.

In a lovely display of synchronicity the lights went out for a few moments, just as Friedman started talking about energy supply and demand. Everyone chuckled appreciatively while I thought about how different it would be to attend a picnic style fundraiser/lecture in a state park. Everyone could bring their own lunch and recycle their own trash and the audience could enjoy being cradled by the very Mother Nature they’re clamoring to save.

I filed my Great Thought away under G for Great, while Friedman continued with his “the earth is Hot, Flat and Crowded presentation,” which is also the title of his most recent book. The earth is hot because of climate change and it’s flat because smaller, poorer countries are getting the same technologies as the U.S. so the playing field is being leveled and it’s crowded because it’s crowded.

Friedman says there is a huge opportunity for the US to lead the way in establishing innovative energy technologies and we can gain respect and make money doing it.  Viva the e-volution!

But wait. Friedman pointed out people get hurt in revolutions. So it’s not going to be easy or painless. As in a bunch of people might need to trade in their big SUV’s, jet skis and ATV’s  for a pony and convince China to do the same. It’s do or die time. And we need to stop using the word green because green needs to be the norm not the exception. Blah, blah. Change your leaders not your lightbulbs. Blah, blah, blah. And we have enough time starting now, which is a quote he borrowed from some upbeat, optimistic but dead university professor.

Another engaging, sobering, repetitive, not entirely helpful argument by someone who lives in a house the size of a small town and has probably never carried a recycling bin to the curb or composted his coffee grounds.

Love the message – just not convinced that the messenger isn’t just trying to be one of the relevant, cool kids.

Rejoicing

November 5, 2008

Yes we can!

Yes we will!

Yes we did!

Dick Meyer says “worship the off button”

November 4, 2008

I’m afraid to watch the election coverage tonight. Afraid that lying, cheating, fear-mongering Republicans might win again and I will wake up in a dark alley somewhere lying in a pool of my own vomit because my tonic for four more years of Republican Rule would be alcoholism.

And that’s not something I really want to contemplate. I’m not Bukowski or Fitzgerald or Hemingway. I don’t really function well under the influence of alcohol. I just get sleepy and headachey and stupid.

I’d much rather spend the next four years drinking coffee, going to work, baking pies and reading things like “Why We Hate Us” by Dick Meyer.

Why do we hate us? Because there too many of us think someone like Sarah Palin represents a smart, working woman with good old-fashioned family values.

Meyer thinks it’s because we lack community, we have too many choices and live fast paced lives. This leads to selfishness and what he dubs “the hedonistic treadmill” of focusing on getting things you think will really make you happy and then when they don’t, craving something else.

Meyer found that much of what we hate in our every day lives are things which make us feel invisible or dismissed, like people swearing in front of children or cutting in line or blabbing away on their cell phones about their sex lives. This in turn makes us want to withdraw and tune out even more.

He suggests in a very non-preachy and sincere way, that to make us like us more we need to find and nurture real commitments in community and private life. We must try to make more thoughtful and unselfish choices. (note: buy this book for Cosmo for Christmas and highlight this part) We should turn the TV and phone and computers off more and actually interact with people. And we should also cultivate a moral temperament that will guide our treatment of others.

Sounds pretty simple but apparently Mr. Ford 4X 150 hasn’t read this book because he parked beside my Yaris yesterday and left his loud, smelly, bullshit gas guzzling engine running while I was trying to eat, read and watch the ducks paddling around  the pond. I had to move to another parking space to get away from his dipshittiness. 

Hey Mr. Ford 4X 150, listen to Dick Meyer and try making decisions with character and consideration and stop being selfish. Then maybe we won’t hate you so much.

Oh right, the book. It was really good. I felt better after I read it, knowing that a bunch of other people hate everyone too. Wait, that sounds selfish. Shit. This is going to take some work.

Obama in Sarasota

November 1, 2008

Barack Obama in Sarasota, Florida, October 30, 2008.

 

I don’t really know how to go about describing what it was like to be there, about 30 feet from the podium. 

Sunshine, joy and happiness?

Hearing your name called at the Oscars?

The test was negative, you’re fine?

An anonymous person has paid off your mortgage?

Order anything you want, it’s on me?

Seriously, I want this feeling all the time – without the use artificial stimulants.

I want hope instead of fear.

I want intelligent solutions instead of intelligent design.

I want a leader I respect instead of one I’m ashamed of.

I want peace instead of war.

I want jobs, health care, choices, thoughtfulness, passion & compassion, civility, equality, commitment to children & polar bears & future generations & the planet. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

And neither does Barack Obama.

Potential brush with greatness

October 29, 2008

I’m giddy. 

I’m hoping for a brush with greatness tomorrow when Obama appears at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota.

I hope we get in. There are no tickets. We’ll camp out in line for a few hours, concert style. No signs or bags allowed. Cheering voices and cameras welcome.

I voted and I got a sticker

October 25, 2008

I voted yesterday.

Other people were voting too.

We were all voting.

I was careful about filling in the bubbles with the black Sharpie.

When I was done I placed my ballot in the privacy sleeve. It looked a lot like a piece of cardboard.  I fed the top of my ballot into a machine that looked a lot like a big paper shredder.

The poll worker took the privacy folder back so someone else could use it. I did not get to keep the privacy folder but they gave me a sticker.

I like voting. Voting is good.

Parsing

September 27, 2008

Last night’s Debate was totally fun and much better than watching a “What Not to Wear” rerun, which is my normal Friday night activity.

It started with me running to the store for beer and chips, which I buy maybe once every 10 months. I so wanted to lend an air of barroom credibility to my viewing without actually going to a bar but I’m not sure it worked because Lily sat on my lap and that’s not very barroomish.

Obama’s witty banter:

  • orgy of spending
  • kind of hard to swallow
  • I have a bracelet too
  • you’re using a hatchet where you need a scalpel
  • John wants to pretend the war started in 2007 but it started in 2003
  • It doesn’t mean that you invite them over for tea one day.
  •  I am not parsing words.

McCain’s not so witty banter:

  • As president of the United States, I want to assure you, I’ve got a pen
  • festooned with Christmas tree ornaments
  • He’s parsing words, my friends.

Obama wins 7-3.

On a random note, on the way to the store I saw Santa. He was walking 2 dogs near Music Lane. It must be hard to be Santa and have all these other guys out there cultivating that Santa look just to get women.