Archive for the 'war' Category

The difference between Obama and McCain

You’ve probably seen Obama’s “Yes We Can” video by now…

…Whit at Honea Express has found something entirely different.


Also, I thought I’d share a little crudeness from my husband, who likes to say that John McCain has a “murder boner”.  I’ve been laughing about that one for a couple of weeks now…


War: a 4-year-old’s perspective

Connor: Why are the people fighting on the other side of the world?

Me: It’s really complicated, but people fight wars for all kinds of silly reasons. Like who is bigger or better, or what God is like.

Connor: What do you mean people fight about what God is like?

Me: Well, it’s kind of like one group of people thinks God is pink and one group thinks God is purple. That’s not it exactly, but it is that silly really.

Connor: I think God wears red pants with a blue shirt!

Me: You can think God is like whatever you want to, sweetie. I kind of think of God as all of the love of everything in the world all at one place. That means that God lives inside you, too, where your love is.

Connor: Mommy, why do people fight about God? God wouldn’t want us to hurt each other.

Good question, kid. I wish I had an answer.

Virginia Tech: the bigger issues

At Virginia Tech, a horrible tragedy has taken place today. And the question is once again being asked all over the net – why is it that there is so much seemingly senseless violence in America?

Before I checked the news, I had a lot of posts swirling about in my head. I was hoping to write about something lighthearted. But this morning while I was enjoying my green tea latte and a few stolen moments with my husband then going to lunch with friends, I was oblivious that so many children – and that’s what they were in so many ways – had taken their last breaths.

The question of “why so much in America” has been asked so many times, causing reactions by Congress, parents, and even Michael Moore. We know it is a problem, yet we cannot agree on an answer. Is it the gun laws? Is it our fear-based society? Our tendency toward solving international problems with war? I don’t think any of these by themselves addresses the bigger social issue. But what that bigger social issue is exactly is hard to pin down. We all keep yelling for a bigger bucket, but no one is bothering to mention the giant hole in the roof.

Sidenote: at the time I’m writing this, not much is known about the gunman who also died in the shootings. We don’t know if he was a student or what his motive might have been. An eyewitness says he was of Asian decent. Was he even an American? An international student?

Here in America we value our individual rights above all else, and certainly it’s one of the reasons I love my country. Our bill of rights is the heart of each and every one of us. It is what makes the ACLU possible, for goodness sake. How could I not love it? But for all that yin love, there is a yang that follows. Individualism has a violent side when the rights of the other individuals are lost in too much hate, anger and misunderstanding.

I feel that the same forces that are allowing our capitalist/individualist selves to get out of control and ignore the warning signs of global warming are the same that drive an individual, in extreme cases, to let themselves slip down that dark tunnel into violence. In America, a big SUV like a Hummer is a status symbol. In England, to waste so much gasoline and emit all that nasty pollution is seen as incredibly selfish.

To achieve balance, the yin and yang should be equal. Why is it we as a collective American society cannot manage to find a dichotomy between individualism and community? Why cannot they both exist together? We are unbalanced. We need a cause to pull us together again and out of our collective selfishness. Can I suggest one?

My thoughts, prayers and heart goes out today to the unfinished lives of our nation’s best and the friends and families who mourn them.

From Al Jazeera to Borat

I’ve mentioned before that we do not have Cable or Satellite television. This is both a blessing and a boon – I love not being slave to my television, but I’m often in the dark when it comes to many aspects of pop culture. But one of the biggest perks is that we watch a lot of public television that we would probably miss. Last night, for instance, we watched Frontline’s brilliant report on the rise of Arabic news media.

I’m enraged that the US government has effectively banned Al Jazeera and other Arabic news sources although Britain and most of the world is benefitting from their new English channel. Bush et al. claims that it is not a legitimate news source and is only mouthpiece for propoganda from terrorist organizations.

And how is that different than Fox News? But I digress.

To my surprise, although Al Jazeera has an obvious political adgenda, at least it is journalism with heart, and money for that matter. I always pictured Al-J filmed by Burka-wearing folk running from terrorist rabbit hole to rabbit hole with home video machines from the 80’s on their shoulders. Yet their studio is sleek gorgeous, and the men and women working as anchors are dressed like the western world.

Anyway, I’m debating whether or not I want to stick Al Jazeera English into my feed reader and risk the wrath of the Patriot Act. Not because I believe in Muslim extremism or want to see America burn – quite the opposite – but because I believe in my ability to weed out any propoganda and listen to the other side. It’s why I occasionally tune in to Fox News and Rush Limbaugh even though it risks me to lose my stomach and why I have the right to chide folks who view only conservative news sources. The more information we have about the mindsets of the other side, the more we can come together on a solution that works for everyone.

Fittingly enough, our “DVD date movie” last night was Borat. Yes, yes, I’m late to the game. Remember that I have preschool-age children and live in a one-income household. And that we live in a smallish town that has no art-house theater and many independent films never make it here. (I’m a film buff, so it KILLS me to wait but I have little choice.) As a result, we generally wait until films are available on DVD to watch them.

Borat was both hilariously funny and painfully heartbreaking. It was pure genius and exposed some of the darker sides of our Americanism yet had plenty of humor for humor’s sake as well. How can I not endorse a film that exposes both homophobia and sexism but also features ugly naked men wrestling over a Baywatch magazine? That being said if I were from Eastern Bloc Europe, I’d be horrified and deeply offended.

But Goddess help me if I can’t stop singing the Kazakhstan National Anthem and a presidential political debate

I’m a member of, a progressive grassroots political action group 3.3 million Americans strong which backs such diverse agendas as getting out of the Iraq war as soon as possible, sustaining funding for public television, ending global warming and many other causes.  (I wish they would pick a side on GLBT issues, but I’m covered there by my membership in another grassroots group – the Human Rights Campaign.)  If you are like-minded politically, I urge you to join this group and help make a real difference in politics.

Currently  MoveOn is putting together a series of town hall meetings in which they will invite presidential political candidates to answer questions posed by MoveOn members.  Members will also be choosing which candidates to invite.  The first town hall meeting will be about the war in Iraq.  Don’t miss your chance to pick which candidates to invite and ask your candidate a question!

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