Member since: Fri Mar 12, 2004, 10:06 PM
Number of posts: 22,135
Number of posts: 22,135
This "holiday" is supposed to be a remembrance of the Americans who died in combat. Most, in our history, had no choice.
They were 19, 20, 21 ... Consider what we expect of people that age now. (Not much.)
Many who returned became our fathers and grandfathers, and it's worth remembering what they suffered, too -- watching people they'd become extraordinarily close to die in an instant; killing people themselves...
So who are we now, as a nation? What did they fight and die for -- the United Multinational Corporations of America? The Global Shareholders of the Worldwide Reserve? A Wholly Owned Subsidiary of MONEY?
You might be with me so far, but here's where I get all socialist nationalist radical.
I believe America needs:
1. So-called "indoctrination rituals" like the Pledge of Allegiance and patriotic songs in every school, every day; plus a big deal pageant on "Flag Day" to remember what that symbol stands for. (Does that strike a dissonant chord?)
In any country, the flag and national anthem are symbols of unity. The more the GOP/multinational interests are intent on dividing us, the more it matters that we stand as ONE people, ONE country, with ONE flag, representing liberty and justice for all. (They hate that.)
2. Serious, comprehensive, respectful recognition of the labor that built America. Invoking "Our Founding Fathers" has become a catch-all cliché for the infallible, perfect design of America -- skipping over the people native to the continent who were doing just fine, thank you very much; and worse, ignoring the blood, sweat and tears of captured, enslaved Africans. There is a reason their communities are impoverished, and it's not because they're "lazy." Hate food stamps? Join the fight to make 40 hours a week = a living wage.
3. Conscription. Yes, it means a requirement to make some sacrifice for your country, serving a duty bigger than any one individual. It means having some skin in the game, no matter what your socioeconomic circumstances thanks to Mom and Dad. It means serving in the military or serving seniors or veterans or children or cancer patients or just picking up trash alongside people you'd never have met otherwise. It means having a small sense of the "entitlement" being American means -- a little perspective. A little gratitude. A little acknowledgement that there are no Fairies granting our luxuries.
For all those who went into battle, willing and not, from sheer sense of "duty"... these are small sacrifices.
Posted by Sparkly | Tue May 28, 2013, 12:39 AM (0 replies)
After this week's fun, I'm sure the networks are looking for ways to make rightwing Republicans even MORE entertaining, and profitable. I'd watch!
A few game show ideas that come to mind:
- "Are Republicans Smarter than a 3rd Grader?"
- "Hilarity" - Republicans try to outsmart Hillary Clinton!
- "Please Proceed, Governor" - Republicans try to outsmart President Obama!
- "Wheel of Desperation" - GOP Contestants have 30 seconds to invent the next new 'scandal!'
- "BZZZZt -- You Lose!" - Watch Faux-Newzers come up with new excuses for the last election!
Post your own suggestions for exploiting Republican idiocy for entertainment value!
Posted by Sparkly | Fri Jan 25, 2013, 07:18 PM (41 replies)
Monday - President Obama gave a great "liberal" inauguration speech, freaking out the punditry.
Wednesday - Secretary of State Clinton took the Republicans in Congress to school, embarrassing them.
Thursday - John Kerry spoke at his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, smacking down as necessary.
(Friday - A snow day in Maryland, finally!)
Yeah, I know there've been some downers too -- filibuster brick wall, new ways for GOP to steal elections, decision making Congressional "In/Out" gestures block appointments. But it's also worth enjoying moments like those we had this week, and remembering them.
Posted by Sparkly | Fri Jan 25, 2013, 06:58 PM (1 replies)
How do Republicans, when in power, manage to destroy the economy and send the debt soaring, and most voters barely even notice?
Then a Democrat takes office, and suddenly people discover those problems and get outraged?
It's never been as stark as the presidential sequence of Bush-> Clinton -> Bush -> Obama. All the things they blame on Obama were set in motion under Bush (and Bush I and Reagan), and it's hard to stop a moving freight train, let alone reverse it. But it's recent history. Did so-called "conservatives" not NOTICE what was happening as recently as 2001-2008?
Apparently not. That's because they were busy being scared of terrorists, and indulging in the great Patriotic Stupor. If you said "economy," they said, "We can't think about that now! There won't be an economy at all if we're all destroyed!" That's why the Iraq invasion was ready to go even before 9/11. (It was the Cold War before that.)
There is only one way Romney could take office with an economic plan that doesn't add up -- the same way his Republican predecessors did: Scare the Bejeezus out of people, start a war, put the survival of the country itself on the line (or make it seem so), and distract. It won't take long before they'll be back to "Deficits don't matter."
The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, the defense contractors get happy, multinational corporations get fatter, the debt gets bigger, people become get so freaked out they'll give up freedoms for security... and we all get a few steps closer to the REAL threats to America.
Posted by Sparkly | Thu Oct 25, 2012, 07:54 PM (2 replies)
1. Having a job matters. The debate showed the difference between being a full-time campaigner and a president. What else does Romney have to do? The man has no work. He had plenty of time to memorize a smooth pack of lies, vague defenses, and feigned empathy for the plight of the 47%. President Obama has been working at his job rather than the "retail" stuff, but he's got to take the time to hone his chops as a campaigner. Now that he's an incumbent under attack, he needs to fight back the way he did in the 2008 primaries.
2. The "liberal" feedback can help. If the more liberal side of the media (MSNBC) seems critical of Obama tonight, maybe it can be constructive in reining things in before they spill out of control. The campaign should listen carefully.
3. The jury is still out. Many of us want the president to be more aggressive in the next debate. On the other hand, although Kerry and Gore won all three of their debates handily in every way (as I saw it), the Chimperor got the bounce as "more likeable." The CNN tracking showed that Rmoney's favorability went down when he quoted percentages and technicalities about benefits for the wealthy. He was smirky and smarmy. So who knows -- wait for the poll results.
4. A change can do one good. Maybe David Plouffe (or whoever is Obama's main advisor now) is as great as, well, David Boies, Jeanne Shaheen, and other disappointments. There's time for corrections.
5. History is a great teacher. It's not enough to be right, to be honest, to be smarter, to have better policies. We learned that from Al Gore's campaign in 2000; we learned it again from John Kerry's campaign in 2004. We know Obama has long been a uniter, a bipartisan, a reacher-across-the-aisle. That worked in a race without an incumbent, but now that he is the incumbent, he must take on the rhetoric -- the LIES -- point by point. He can do that while staying dignified and laid back, and without falling into the trap of being "angry" (we know what they're after there).
The lesson: Never overestimate the intelligence of the American populous. Yes, many ARE stupid enough to believe anything. There's no other choice, Mr. President. Take the gloves off.
Posted by Sparkly | Thu Oct 4, 2012, 12:18 AM (3 replies)
Why is the media suddenly responding to outrageous remarks from the GOP, and why are people in that party distancing themselves?
I've seen them call a war hero a traitor, a 4-star general anti-American, the President of the United States a terrorist infiltrator, just to name a few.
I've seen them exploit the tragedies of 9/11 as if it were their greatest accomplishment, equate Democrats with Al Qaeda, and use the deaths of American soldiers as political fodder.
I've seen a president make jokes about sending Americans to die in a war based on lies, or at best, sheer stupidity.
What Romney said was bad, no question -- but why are such egregious remarks noticed now, at long last?
What we've known for years about BushCo backing off Clinton/Gore's counter-terrorist efforts and ignoring warnings about 9/11 is now news in 2012?
The fact that the GOP will exploit ANYthing, accuse their opponents of ANYthing, and even risk national security, the American and world economy, and bloodshed here and abroad for power -- this is just getting noticed?
What Romney said is outrageous, but it's typical. (And no doubt the knuckle-draggers will add it to their litany of absurdities -- "Obama apologized to terrorists" -- just like "John Kerry lied about his injuries" and "Al Gore said he invented the internet" and "Bill Clinton was offered bin Laden's head on a silver platter and backed down," blah blah freakin' blah...)
Seriously -- why is this one actually resonating, when so many others didn't?
Posted by Sparkly | Wed Sep 12, 2012, 10:53 PM (6 replies)
Ford has been in the news for having lost sales in Europe.
I helped Ford a little bit here at home. At the risk of sounding like a commercial, here's the story.
I like little cars that sip gas, and have always been partial to Hondas. I have a 50-mile commute 2-3 times a week, and have owned a 1996 Honda for 12 years. Cars like that give you no excuse for buying a new one, but I wanted to give it to my daughter, so...
A Fit seemed perfect, or a used Prius or Civic; but Fits are virtually sold out, and prices at the used car lots equal -- and some cases at least, exceed -- new cars of the same model! (And the Prius interior didn't feel right; didn't like the Honda Insight, either.) I've always gone by the old adage that a new car depreciates by $3,000 as soon as you drive it out of the lot, but the equation is different right now.
I was thinking of waiting for the Chevy Spark (coming here in August)....
But I decided on a brand new Ford Fiesta. The European version has been very successful, and the Focus and Fusion have shown themselves to be reliable. It's great on gas; it's smoother and quieter than most other small cars; and it has this bluetooth "sync" feature I wasn't even expecting. I was hoping for a basic port or something for my iPod/iPhone, and this is a lot more.
Fits are flying off the lots here, so it seems Ford is working harder for business. Free car washes forever. Free oil changes forever. Engine warrantied forever.
Given my penchant for Hondas, people who know me are surprised I got a Ford. (Yes, I'll let everybody know if the transmission goes bad in a few years.) But I kind of like getting off the bandwagon. I know six people who have a Fit; I don't know anyone else with a Fiesta, and now I like being a cheerleader for Ford (even got a "Built Tough" Ford t-shirt!).
Yeah, I know all cars are somewhat "international" these days. But there is an "American car industry." There is a Detroit, Michigan. And there is something a bit priceless about driving my little Ford right now.
Posted by Sparkly | Sun Jul 29, 2012, 07:47 PM (92 replies)
1. Some people believe homosexuality is against God's will according to the Bible. Other people have a different belief. The first group should have the right to impose their belief on the second group. This preserves religious liberty.
2. Some people believe (despite facts) that America was founded as a "Christian nation" and therefore Christianity should be part of public laws and policies. Others, of various religious persuasions, believe in a founding principle to worship or not as one chooses. The first group should have the right to impose their belief on the second group. This preserves religious freedom.
3. Some people believe abortion is murder. Others believe abortion is not murder. Since this is a matter of faith and belief rather than science, the first group should be able to make their belief the law of the land. This is religious tolerance. It's so important to preserve our individual rights and keep the government out of our lives.
From these examples, you can extrapolate the meaning of "religious liberty," "religious tolerance," and "religious freedom" as they apply to Christian prayer in public institutions, Biblical monuments in public places, and the importance of Christian beliefs among political leaders.
Some people, such as a huge majority of women, use or have used contraceptives; this is okay with their religious beliefs, so they think a healthcare law to make sure insurance companies cover it is fine.
OH MY GOD!! What if some people in some institutions don't believe the insurance company should cover it because they believe God said so, somewhere?!? I mean, a bishop has every right to make sure the church secretary is not having sex with contraception that she didn't pay for out of pocket!! This insurance company policy thing is a terrible, intolerant reach into religious freedom and liberty!!
You're welcome. I'm glad we've cleared this up.
Posted by Sparkly | Thu Feb 9, 2012, 12:08 PM (14 replies)
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