Posts Tagged ‘Current events

04
Oct
11

Frail Honor, the Most Dangerous Kind

Well THIS is not what I wanted to write about. But there it is, Freshly Pressed, all about the protest on Wall Street and the virtue of the down trodden. Our future is in a lot of trouble. Seeing all these young Americans out in the cold to support their cause reminds me of an accidental moment of clarity I experienced in high school. It was Veteran’s Day, and instead of enjoying our new snow, I was sitting in English Lit. I’m pretty patriotic, so I had the thought that reading Lawrence Furlenghetti may not be the best way to honor our precious vets. I stood up and mentioned to the class how our time spent studying poetry was indeed undermining the sacrifices made by generations of veterans. Within minutes the tempera paint and posterboard were pilfered from the art room and we had some respectable signs. We paraded through the halls and quickly gathered a following that represented the ENTIRE school. Every student left class to support the Veteran’s Day cause. There we were, in the falling snow, on the side of the highway drinking hot chocolate and shouting something about freedom and sacrifice. The media was there within the hour and we clambered for their attention as they expounded on our devout patriotism.

Obviously, we were all lying. But the question is, were we lying to the media and our teachers? Or were we lying to ourselves? In that moment, every one of us was convinced that it was our teenage duty to honor the veterans. I was a little proud of my act of rebellion. As a teen, I was NOT rebellious and this would go a long way toward redeeming my straight-laced reputation. However, the pride was tinged with a nameless fear. I knew very well that the only reason the entire school walked out behind me was because they wanted to. I had successfully appealed to their inner-most wishes for a day off and I made it look honorable. At that moment, human nature stripped a layer and I discovered the simplicity of manipulation. Turn a person’s frailty into that which makes him honorable and he will stand for much less than he could be. It is easy to recline in one’s excuses, but so difficult to live up to an expectation.

Now, I see these protesters on Wall Street and all over the country, youth who were traded honor for mediocrity, and I am sad for our future. I would like a youth that is prepared to rise up and embrace the challenges ahead, enjoy the freedom of our new found globalism, and spread a better way of life to the truly downtrodden masses (not the ones being fed organic veggies and pasta in the street). Unfortunately, what sleeps on Wall Street right now is only bringing this nation further into despair. With it goes the hope that would bring prosperity to those who need it most.

Advertisements
25
May
09

Waterboarding Paperdolls

Words are tricky. We live in a sound bite culture, only 22 seconds to make a difference, so every utterance must be full of impactful drama and intrigue. Our knowledge is unprecedented and anything we don’t know is just a search engine away. I love this. It is fantastic to be caught up in the midst of every crisis, educated in every debate, and a trivia whiz. But as we take in all this knowledge like a Dyson on steroids, it is easy to trade education for thinking. We casually throw buzzwords and useful statistics around without real thought for the implications of such statements.

I got an up close look at such implications today when my niece and my daughter were waterboarding their paper dolls. They wanted to get the dolls soaking wet to destroy them slowly and watch them fall apart. It was very harmless; they were just looking at the effect water had on the paper, but it opened my eyes to something. Well, it further illustrated the point I began to argue in my last post about my Barbie bags. As a society, we have become so entrenched in a right vs. left argument that right vs. wrong is no longer the fight.

We right-wingers have been in the unfortunate position of defending waterboarding. I stand by the fact that waterboarding is an effective method of getting information without inflicting long-term damage, but this isn’t a fight I want to have. This is why we have a military and a CIA and the FBI. They understand the threat, they understand the options, and they understand the stakes. I want to know that these officials are people I can trust and then I want to refrain from defending any interrogation methods within earshot of my children. I want those trained to keep me safe to be able to do their jobs. War is not for the faint-hearted, which is why the average civilian should not dictate how it is conducted.

This is why our words are important. We call waterboarding torture, but it is not. It pales in comparison. But because the label is out there, we are unwittingly involved in a debate over torture. I never want to be the person who says yes to treating a human being that way. Because of this mislabeling, though, that is exactly what I am.

Against the automatic weaponry of the media’s exaggerated vocabulary, I have defended torture, turned my back on genocide, and scoffed at fascism. If we are to have any unity as a nation, we need to define horror as it really is. There are horrible things happening, things we should see as a universal threat. George Bush was many things, but fascist is not one of them. It undermines true fascism to label a conservative war-time president as such. The Iraq war was controversial, but it was not genocide. Sudan suffered from genocide. That is evil. In this modern day of information, the soundbite has distracted our humanity.

16
May
09

All Barbie’s Wisdom

I got reusable shopping bags that have Barbie on them and are complimented by a zebra pattern and hot pink trim. They are SO cute. AND they have pushed me into green territory, a side of the map I have carefully avoided along with all the blue states. Surprisingly, the Barbie bags (that bravely sport the message “When you look this good, who cares if you’re plastic”) have changed my life. I feel really great about walking out of the ultra capitalist and exploitive mega-mart knowing that my bags are not impacting the world around me, aside from the zebra print which seems to stop people in their tracks. These bags save the store money so they can use it more efficiently. They will never end up embedded in my back fence, and they aren’t going to choke any bunnies or trap any fish. This is change I can feel good about.

So I wondered why I resisted for so long. Why did it take Barbie to make me do the right thing? Because we’re stuck. The entire nation has picked sides and pledged such allegiance to our teams that common sense has ceased being a priority. I realize that some people are enlightened enough to avoid this trap and I applaud them. However, I would be willing to bet that it is a smaller group than we want to admit. In my efforts to avoid government-mandated green living, I have missed out. The Prius, reusable shopping bags, organic foods, and comfortable footwear have become symbolic of a movement that solicits our government for very intrusive policy. I want nothing to do with that so I have opted for a gas-guzzler, plastic bags, pesticide-ridden produce, and, most sadly, VERY uncomfortable shoes. All to ensure that nobody mistakes me for one of THEM.

But one of my core values is responsibility. I firmly believe that if we cannot be responsible for ourselves, rules have to be made and enforced. Then the government grows. Being good stewards of the earth is a God-given mandate. It is a shame that it has been politicized to the extent that “will you recycle this?” has become a loaded question. It is part of the battle we are in. It has become increasingly easy to lose sight of what is good and right to feed our agendas. As it gets easier, it gets harder to detect, too. That’s what makes it dangerous.

Do we have to fight? I think we do. I think the stakes are high. But the fight shouldn’t be over what is common sense. If we could get past the bags, we could dialog about the issues that matter, the ones that we can’t fix on our own. We just may find that if we stop fighting over bags, the big issues are not so big.Barbie

16
Feb
09

Bliss in a Ponytail

Has the cliche “ignorance is bliss” caused us as a culture to discount the intelligence of many a bubbly cheerleader?  Not just pom pom-toting-ponytailed high-school cheerleaders, but the ones we meet as adults, too.  The ones who remind us to keep moving forward when we can seem to move our feet on our own.  Personally, I have been very guilty of it.  Anytime I see a ponytail bounce by, trailing a cheerful “hello,” I assume that ponytail is attatched to a sweet but empty head.  I have always held to the conventional wisdom that those who know the most are going to finish first and best.  We need to know what is happening if we are to be protected against it or to benefit from it.  I refuse to fault myself; this makes perfect sense. 

HOWEVER, I have recently found myself nearly unable to cope.  I didn’t even notice how bad it had become (make not mistake, my children had) until I turned off talk radio and chose instead some vapid music to sing with until my throat bled.  It was great.  I had no idea until I was nursing my very sore and scarred throat that I had been unhappy.  Lately the world has become nearly unbearable.  I have steeped myself in statistics.  The size of the stimulus package.  The dollar amounts actually going toward infrastructure.  The dollar amounts that may not result in economic gain.  Previous GDP’s and the stimuli pressed through at those times.  The resultant tax burdens.  Child pornography.  Human trafficking.  Teen drug abuse.  The last time I had an oil change.  The unemployment rate…You get the very large picture.  I determined that I would unplug for a while.  No more talk radio in the car and no more internet research and NO evening news.  No newspapers, except the Target ad on Sunday. 

First, I began my experiment with a certain amount of fear.  I felt so isolated and I felt that I would be ill-equipped to protect myself and my family in the event that – I don’t know – there was a literal fan and the world became covered in, well, you know…Then I had an epiphany.  Thank GOD.  I realized that yes, it is ridiculous to live a life of complete ignorance.  But just as ridiculous is to climb under the covers over what amounts to little more than a lack of control.  I can learn all I want about every issue facing us as Americans, but this does not change the fact that I have no control over these issues.  Right now, I am not part of a majority.  I can write my congressmen and petition all I want, but I am unlikely to change the outcome. 

Now, I would never condone squandering one’s life in complete ignorance Paris Hilton style.  BUT, to determine one’s moral compass and live in such accordance, permits a life of ignorance.  My daughter argued with me the case of Oedipus (not Paris Hilton), making the case that a life of ignorant bliss would surely lead to complete destruction.  Oedipus seemingly had no moral compass.  He was living an ignorant and self-destructive life of incest, addiction, and all the other trappings. 

However, to determine a standard of living and adhere to this would fully allow one to exist in complete ignorant bliss.  For instance, were I to save 20% of my income, avoid debt, and donate 10% to the less fortunate, I would easily avoid increased taxes and now that the economy has turned, I would be unconcerned.  I would have savings to rely on and no debt to worry me.  This isn’t just a financial matter.  To live as outlined above, I would have to avoid envy and covetous behavior.  That is probably the very root of many financial ills. 

If I had lived a life based on a strong moral code, the concerns of our nation would not be mine.  As our situation worsens, I could use my strength to truly combat suffering.  I would not be beholden to debt, or even a job.  Is it possible that keeping my mind centered on the events happening each day in this culture is where true ignorance was born?  It seems that my extensive knowledge of these many problems has done more damage to me and my psyche than complete ignorance would.  Perhaps, had I ignored that which I could not control and instead worked just on myself, I would not be overwhelmed at this moment.  I would then be a worthy adversary. 

Whoever thought that the cheerleaders are the true heroes?

08
Oct
08

Do You Love It?

I have been considering why this election means so much.  I watch the debates with my stomach in knots, just wanting to jump in and help as though McCain is my child competing.  Soccer moms surely recognize this feeling.  My goal is to send out something documented, factual, and honest (read indisputable) every day.  There is a lot of information; I will not be short on material, but right now this is emotional and I can’t focus on that. 

My country is in danger.  There is no question about it, regardless of party.  The fix is in the fight.  Right now, we have to fight against greed.  We have to fight against terror.  We have to fight against apathy.  We have to fight against a media that is working for ratings, not for public protection.  It’s exhausting to carry this, especially when I feel powerless to fix it.  

 
Consider the Obama presidency.  I have been reading about post-Revolutionary Russia, Lenin in charge.  Now, I am not an alarmist expecting us to descent into abject and wide-spread poverty and starvation, BUT the similarities are impossible to ignore.  The United States is ripe for change, change is necessary right now.  We are on the brink of class warfare, racial warfare, and, if Iran has its way, nuclear warfare.  We know nothing for certain except that any day we could wake to a completely different life.  People are afraid…People are angry.  The right leader is crucial at a time like this, the wrong leader could be revolutionary.  
 
Here’s the crux:  Obama has worked very subtly to ensure that anyone who speaks out against him is deemed racist.  He is igniting racial tension.  He is running on a platform that is devisive by definition as he extols unity.  Obama’s foreign policy undermines US sovereignty at every turn.  That is where the problem comes in.  There is a possibility that Obama is on to something in the interest of world peace.  It’s difficult to know, but what if we did consider the UN’s input on our economic policy?  What if we refused to protect our interests without international approval?  What if we began to negotiate with the rogue nations and a little bit of our out-dated values erodes?  Would it be so terrible to compromise a little bit in the name of world peace?  It’s time to really consider this.  We have no choice.
 
Compromising, regardless of the motivation, is a detriment to our great nation.  It may be fine for a while and people will laugh that I ever considered this, but later there will be mourning for all that was lost.  This is all we will mourn:
 
Forums like this, speaking out against proposed change. We will still have free speech in the Constitution, but this speaks to religion, which will be restricted
Economic freedom 
Competition – eroding quality in education, healthcare, and roads
Variety in production
Religious freedom – we will loose the freedom to worship as religion and world peace are completely incompatible
Private ownership of companies and real estate
 
Our government will become so large and cumbersome, any freedoms not inherently restricted will still be challenging as there will be no flexibility.  Further, poverty will be a major problem as taxation skyrockets.  Because of this taxation, the well-being of the State will be a higher priority than that of the individual.
 
This nation grew by the grace of God.  The United States of America is a gift God gave to the world, specifically to Israel, to ensure goodness prevails.  This was not a gift of compromise; we are to liberate the compromised throughout history.  Right now, we are hovering on the verge of being the compromised.  If we do not save ourselves, there is no one to come to the rescue of the American people.  We owe is to ourselves.  We owe it to the world.  We owe it to God.  We have got to elect a leader who strives for the individual.  He must love this country.  A willingness to compromise everything this country has built, to ignore the warnings and recede into history with the rest of the world, is not love of country.  It isn’t even an appreciation for all we have.  As difficult as times have become, we still have a life to be greatful here.  Simply look down the street – it is clean.  There is clea r, fresh air to breathe.  We have tap water on demand that is reliably potable.  New cars are abundant and plentiful.  Homes are plenty large.  Our children are educated.  Yes, we have to work for all of these, but true dignity comes from earning one’s way.  The more socialized a society becomes, the more disincentivized is work, again causing social decline.
 
It’s worth the fight and the knotted stomachs.  We have got to vote against Obama for president.  This man is dangerous.  He has been lying to the American public and we are so complacent nobody minds.  Lying is expected.  The man consorts consistently with individuals and organizations that are anti-American.  Even in the face of economic failure, he offers a plan that will cause further decline in our financial system.  He has no quarrel with the death of an infant at the hands of a doctor.  Regardless, his intent does not seem to be malicious.  His intent is not the problem.  The problem is that he does not LOVE this nation.  Therefore, his priorities will never be our well-being.  
18
Sep
08

Lohan vs. Palin

I never thought Lindsay Lohan would get to me, but she certainly has.  Yesterday I copped out an quickly pasted her anti-Palin rant onto my blog.  It should not matter one iota that a young, misguided nouveau riche panned a presidential candidate.  But it does.  LiLo (oh cute!) as they are calling her now, is a cultural icon and what she posted on My Space carried enough weight to be a loud story among the media.  Thanks to this very internet, we all had a chance to see it.  It hardly deserves a comment, but I believe that her sentiment is shared among many voters, especially mothers. 

Lindsay contends that Sara Palin will “negate” all the progress women have made as far as having a “choice over what to do with our bodies.”  The left is continually attacking Palin for not aborting her special needs child.  There have been questions raised as to whose baby he is.  There have been hysterical rants about her inability to hold the position of vice president and tend to this child, people questioning her commitment to parenting.  She has been called hypocritical because Alaska doesn’t have anti-abortion laws on the books.  Sara Palin exhibits all that is right and perfect about womanhood.  She has raised a loving family, no question about it, including a special needs infant.  Apparently, this infant has brought nothing but joy to the family; I don’t think this supports the argument that the world is better off without these babies.  She is showing the greatest commitment to her family, allowing her husband to take the reigns as she is called to minister to a nation.  If a person is in a position to fight for our future, the bigger picture is crucial.  Sara is seizing this opportunity to do her part to assure a bright and prosperous future for her family.  It is highly sacrificial, but her children are not going to be abandoned or neglected during the next four years.  Any mother will do everything in her power to protect her family; Sara has just hit the motherlode.  Further, it is nonsensical to call a pro-life woman who knowingly births and raises a Down-Syndrome baby hypocritical for doing just that.  As yet, Alaska still has rather liberal abortion laws on the books, but Ms. Palin hasn’t been governor for a full two years.  She may still have changes she looks to make.  OR, it is evident that she believes in smaller government.  Therefore, she may not feel a need to impose her beliefs on the entire state.  No candidate is going to reverse Roe vs. Wade and it is doubtful that the candidate will be able to appoint Supreme Cout justices who will succeed.

Now, since she brought it, let’s take a look at what Lindsay has done to further the cause of feminism.  Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure clubbing and posting poorly-spelled diatribes on a social networking site where we appear scantilly clad is what our great-grandmothers had in mind when they hoped for our futures.  If Lindsay were not fortunate enough to have a Disney-endorsed beginning, she would enjoy no success.  If the girls who strive to emulate her acheive their goals, sans Disney, they are destined to suffer lives of eating disorders, alcoholism, and desperate pleas for attention.  Lindsay needs to stick with what she’s good at.  She’s adorable and maybe a little talented.  She is not a crusader.  Best to completely avoid what one does not understand.

17
Sep
08

Lindsay, Lindsay

O-kay, I have wanted to foster open political thought rather than destructive arguments, but if this is not a reason to vote for the other team (the one with Sara Palin on it), I don’t know what is.  I am most curious as to why the vapid Lindsay thinks she could be influential in this role.  Enjoy!

 

Lindsay Lohan‘s online missives have come a long way from the days when she offered to “release a politically/morally correct, fully adequite [sic] letter to the press … simply to state my oppinions [sic] on how our society should be educated on for the better of our country.”

Now, with a little help from inamorata Samantha Ronson, she’s penned a surprisingly coherent diatribe on Sen. John McCain’s vice presidential running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, which she says was sparked by her “fear, anxiety, concern, disappointment and stress” and her inability to “bite my tongue any more.”

“Is it a sin to be gay? Should it be a sin to be straight? Or to use birth control? Or to have sex before marriage? Or even to have a child out of wedlock?” the Barack Obama-supporting actress, 22, rails on her MySpace page. “Is our country so divided that the Republicans’ best hope is a narrow-minded, media-obsessed homophobe?”

She goes on to cite an Associated Press story about how Palin’s longtime church in Wasilla, Alaska, promoted a conference “that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through prayer.”

And while Lohan says, “I am not against Sarah Palin as a mother or woman,” she points out that “women have come a long way in the fight to have the choice over what we do with our bodies. … And it’s frightening to see that a woman in 2008 would negate all of that.”

She adds that she “would have liked to have remained impartial; however, I am afraid that the ‘lipstick on a pig’ comments will overshadow the issues. … I have faith that this country will be all that it can be with the proper guidance. I really hope that all of you make your decisions based on the facts and what feels right to you in your heart — vote for Obama!”

Alas, LiLo then undoes much of her earlier eloquence by concluding, “Oh, and … hint hint Pali-pal — don’t pose for anymore tabloid covers, you’re not a celebrity, you’re running for office to represent our, your, my COUNTRY! And in the words of Pamela Anderson, ‘She can suck it.'”




What’s here

SuzyJ’s Tweets

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Advertisements