Saturday, September 06, 2008

Guest Blog: Rod Richards on Sarah Palin

This blog entry was written by my husband, Rod Richards. He wrote it after Sarah Palin gave her speech at the RNC.

Enough Already:Palin Comparison

Well, Sarah Palin just finished her speech at the Republican Convention in St. Paul and, in a cliche that will be used endlessly by the news commentators over the next few days, she "hit it out of the park."

She really did.

Much as it pains me to admit it, and much as I disagreed with all of her positions on the issues of the day, she gave an awesome, fierce and fiery presentation. Someone (I wonder who worked on this) crafted a brilliant speech and she performed it almost flawlessly.

Ironically, she followed in the already-well-worn path of the McCain campaign by poking fun at Obama's rhetorical abilities (form without substance), but she's gotta know that it is her own abilities in this area that have saved the McCain campaign to fight another day (and quite possibly even win the freakin' election, he said with a shudder.)

The other irony was that she lambasted Obama for his "bitter" comment (though she never actually quoted it). I give you the quote to which she was referring:

"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not."

"And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

I quote it here to point out the irony because, while Sarah Palin made fun of this quote and elicited a huge roar from the crowd when she did so, the whole of her speech proved Obama one hundred percent correct. She provided a voice for the bitter but, rather than pointing to the real problems, she gave them the solutions that Obama noted above, most especially "antipathy to people who aren't like them."

She talked about McCain working for "you," the people, but it was a little hard to tell who that "you" included, outside of her family and a guy who was in the prison camp with McCain.

I don't have a transcript of the speech yet, but it is safe to say that she was not including any of the big "elites" (Washington, Eastern, media, liberal); she was not including "special interests" (and we can only guess what she would include in that category); she was not including those wussy "community organizers" (who are not "responsible" for anything). The "you" she kept referring to was increasingly defined by who "you" are not.

A few speakers throughout the night made a big deal about never hearing the phrase "Islamic terrorism" at the Democratic Convention. Giuliani, of course, wanted to hear about 9/11, when he actually was hailed as a hero for a few days until everyone came back to their senses and realized he was just the slimeball who happened to be mayor at the time. Palin wondered why "victory" was never mentioned when Obama talked about the war in Iraq. Now I'm no Alaskan governor, and I've never even been on the PTA, but let me suggest to the Republicans that when they use the term "victory," they also may want to actually define what the hell that means.

You see, Palin spoke to the bitterness that Obama named, but she ironically offered only empty-yet-heady rhetoric. She gave them pride in being Americans and for....hmmm, what exactly? She gave them pride in hating those nasty Al Qaeda members, while the Democrats were only concerned with reading these terrorists their rights. She gave them pride in wanting to drill for more oil (and this will change their lives how?...I mean, seriously, not rhetorically). She gave them pride in their bitterness and invited them to turn their venom on those who might actually see it for what it is; those who might want to work on the real and difficult cures for that bitterness, rather than offering the immediately satisfying fix of blind patriotism and/or false religion.

There, I said it. False religion.

There are so many levels of hypocrisy on display that it's hard to know where to begin, but I guess the one that really sticks in my proverbial craw about the Republicans is their cynical and careless use of Christianity, and I find it sad that so many sincere Evangelicals seem to be drinking this hypocrisy down like communion wine. I find it chilling that they can purport to be followers of the Ten Commandments ("Thou shalt have no other Gods before me") and yet engage in frenzied cheers of "Country First!" I find it unforgivable that they can claim the Hebrew Prophets in their Scriptures, and yet not mention "poverty" one single time! I find it, frankly, sacreligious (by their own standards) that those who profess to believe along with Paul that "there is no distinction since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" have no problem finding evil ever and always and only out there or over there (never right here or inside ourselves). They then proclaim that they can, once and for all, defeat evil. Interesting theology, but it ain't Christianity.

Now, believe me, I'm not saying that Obama is some kind of saint, but I feel a distinct difference in the purpose of his rhetoric as opposed to what I heard from Palin. He seems to be inviting people to participate in this almost-destroyed democracy before it's too late, or maybe more accurately that's how I feel that the people who are excited about Obama are interpreting his rhetoric. Palin seems to be calling people to continue hating and fearing all the same old bogey-men so that they can at least feel a little better about the sad situations that they find themselves in within this "greatest nation in all of human history" (as Mitt Romney called it).

So yeah, she hit it out of the park, but after the Bush/Cheney doubleheader I'm just tired of the whole damned game. McCain has been reported as saying that he would rather lose an election than lose the war in Iraq. I believe that once we've gone to war we've already lost...but I call on the American people to help make the first part of McCain's wish come true. He'd rather lose an election...let him hold onto his integrity.

As for Sarah Palin, she said, with all of the bitterness that she could channel from the crowd, that "This world of threats and dangers is not just a community, and it doesn't just need an organizer." But community is not a dirty word to most of us, and, further, this world is a global community, for better or worse. If it is also a world of threats and dangers, it may be because we do not treat it as a human community even across national boundaries, religious differences, and competing interests.

"We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality," said Martin Luther King, "tied in a single garment of destiny."

I know, I know, just a bunch of words. But those are the kind of words that can heal, not harm; that can help, not hinder. These are the kind of words that call one to approach the world with the humility and compassion that real religion requires and inspires. God save us all if we don't heed them.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Oprah, Ted and Hanje Endorse......Obama

I have not hidden my ABBH (AnyBody But Hilary) stance throughout this long campaign. I was probably most closely aligned politically to John Edwards...but it seemed that he was never able to gain any traction...and maybe he had the white male thing working against him.

I have been intrigued by Barak Obama since the begining and I am now firmly on his bandwagon...and plan to vote for him in the primary here in Arizona on Super Duper Tuesday.

If you are having trouble deciding....I ask you to spend 4 and a half mintues watching and listening to this video and then think if there is anything Hilary has said or done that would inspire something as beautiful and brilliant as this. If not, then I really encourage you to join Oprah, Ted Kennedy and myself in supporting Barak Obama!

Click Here To View The Video.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I just watched...

I was sure I had seen this movie before, especially since James Woods and James Garner are two of my favorite actors. However, when I watched it ... I realized that I had either never seen it before, or I had forgotten all of it....

So...having recently started attending AA meetings again after many years of not attending, it was interesting and inspiring to review the story of the beginnings of AA.

Monday, December 10, 2007

I just watched...

What can I say?
These people are seriously confused. (And by that I am refering to the REPUBLICAN part of the equation!)
Almost painful to watch, but certainly interesting.

Friday, December 07, 2007

I just watched...

Sometimes I remember things differently...

I LOVED St.Elsewhere back in 1982...but didn't know how it would stand up to the test of time...

Of course 1982 was a long damn time ago...and there are some things that seem dated...but it is really fun...and although I have not yet watched all 22 episodes from the first season...More like...the pilot and 5 more...I enjoyed it...

This from the Amazon review: Beginning its six-year run in 1982, St. Elsewhere was neither television's first ensemble medical drama nor, heaven knows, its last. Yet this four-disc set of all 22 episodes from the first season is a reminder that this was, and still is, one of the very best. Even now, when "reality" programming blights the landscape like some biblical plague, doc, cop, and lawyer shows remain staples of the medium, and while the likes of C.S.I., E.R., and Grey's Anatomy have it all over St. Elsewhere in the sizzle department--the production values are much flashier, the content sexier, more graphic, and faster-moving, the technology both in front of and behind the camera light years more sophisticated--the older show, despite its somewhat cheesy '70s vibe, is the hands-down winner when it comes to the actual steak. That's because it does it the old-fashioned way: by relying on good writing, vividly-drawn, identifiable characters, and excellent performances by an eye-opening group of actors.

Also worth checking out: Howie Mandel, Ed Begley, Jr. and (I had totally forgotten) Denzel Washington...way back when...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hair Cut Results

No one voted for Suze Orman. I realized that I never announced a prize. So, there won't be a prize. But I thank everyone who participated in this "just for fun" vote on my new do. My current selections, in spite of the votes are Suze Orman, and the woman with really short hair who was known as #1 left, who appears just below this paragraph.

MR said: If you are feeling really adventurous go with #1 left because it is so radical and fun, but my more realistic choice is 3 left. You go girl. I hope you will send a picture after your tranformation.
ML said: I love short hair (on almost anyone) and generally speaking the shorter the better…”1 left” is fabulous! However…coloring is an issue with short hair. It is an issue I personally have chosen to take a no-participant stance on. So of course I would like to see more of my own kind…short, naturally graying, but hip, sexy, and self assured by damn!

PR said: I vote for 2 right!

BM said: I vote for 1 left or 2 right. But, I will miss the bob!

KM said: row one right

CMS said: My vote is for the top row, 2nd one over.

JS said: Since you asked, I think 1 left and 4 right would be a bit too severe on you, but I believe all the others could fly beautifully.
KB said: That last one looks like it IS you, just a little while back... Maybe the Suzie Orman cut would attract money... I often think that dread locks are reallythe perfect solution (to everything, world peace, for example).
KB wins a special award for figuring out that 4 right is actually a picture of me, taken 25 or so years ago.

My husband also left the comment: 4 right...who is that beautiful woman? I think she's right 4 me (but he had the distinct advantage of already knowing that it was a picture of me.)


KR said: 3 Right

MN said: 3 Right

I wonder if PY, MN and KR think I am a cartoon character or if they really think this is a good look for me.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Pilgrimage Proposal

I am making a pilgrimage proposal to my husband and to others who will listen. (I looked up "pilgrimage" in the dictionary to make sure the trip I am proposing actually qualifies...I think it does, but you can decide for yourself.)

I would like to make a pilgrimage (1. a journey, esp. a long one, made to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion: a pilgrimage to Lourdes. 2. any long journey, esp. one undertaken as a quest or for a votive purpose, as to pay homage: a pilgrimage to the grave of Shakespeare. 3.
a journey to a sacred place or shrine. 4. a long journey or search, especially one of exalted purpose or moral significance) to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

This certainly qualifies on the long journey front, according to mapquest, it is exactly 1926.52 miles from my front door to the front door of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. And, according to mapquest, this will take me approximately 28 hours, 35 minutes. This time extimate allows for no bathroom breaks, food stops, sleep or stretching the I am guessing it would take a little bit longer...

Anyway...very cool sure to check out the washrooms and the exhibits and collections. Awesome!

Here is the mission and history from the web site:

Mission and History

The John Michael Kohler Arts Center is a not-for-profit organization established in 1967 for aesthetic and educational purposes. Its mission is to encourage and support innovative explorations in the arts and to foster an exchange between a national community of artists and a broad public that will help realize the power of the arts to inspire and transform our world. The Arts Center serves as laboratory for the creation of new works, nurturer of interdisciplinary initiatives, originator of exhibitions, presenter and producer of performing arts, educator, publisher of critical writings, community builder, and advocate for issues affecting the arts. In essence, JMKAC functions as a catalyst for and explorer of new art forms and new ideas that will impact the lives of both artists and public.

A major focus of the program shall be exhibitions devoted to a wide range of concepts and directions in contemporary art, with particular consideration of craft-related forms, installation works, photography, new genres, ongoing cultural traditions, and the work of self-taught artists. The exhibitions shall encourage the creation of new work and shall involve substantive critical explorations.

The performing arts shall emphasize new directions as well as continuing and evolving cultural traditions in dance, theatre, music, and interdisciplinary forms through programming that brings together artists from around the world with diverse regional audiences.
The Connecting Communities program shall collaborate with community partners to involve outstanding artists with area cultural communities and a wide range of constituencies with special needs in the creation of powerful original works of art and, in the process, to aid in uniting and strengthening the community and the region.

In cooperation with American business, Arts/Industry shall provide support for artists in the creation of new work and in the investigation of new ways of thinking and making art, through long-term residencies and other programming at manufacturing sites. At the same time, Arts/Industry shall involve the industrial community and other audiences with the artists and their work.

The collections shall be of significance to the Arts Center's program and constituencies, concentrating primarily on the work of self-taught artists, ongoing cultural traditions, and works created in Arts/Industry. They shall be used in on-site and touring exhibitions as well as in research and education.

Education shall be a fundamental tenet of all programming. Educational and interpretive services shall relate directly to the exhibitions, collections, performing arts programming, Connecting Communities, and Arts/Industry, as well as to the Arts Center‘s architecture and gardens. They shall employ the integration of the arts as a primary educational tool. Such services may take the form of artists‘ residencies; an arts-based preschool, classes, and camps; festivals and other special events; scholarly publications; guided tours, lectures, and demonstrations; resource center; retail shops; programming for constituencies with special needs such as schools, universities, daycare centers, English-language-learner programs, shelters, and children and adults with disabilities; and/or any other means that encourage a continuing dialogue between artists and public and heighten their understanding of and sensitivity to all the arts.

At the very heart of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center are its local, regional, and national constituencies and the unique, very real relationship between artists and public. The Arts Center shall nurture the involvement of children of all ages, through the schools, families, and community organizations. Likewise, it shall engage the broadest possible adult audiences. The Arts Center shall continue its leadership roles of nourishing diversity and building community through the arts. In all programming, the Arts Center shall cultivate connections: between artists and audiences, between artists and communities, between emerging and established artists, between local and visiting artists, between the Arts Center and other organizations, between art forms, and between past and present.

So I am thinking, perhaps I should make the pilgrimage next time I am in Minnesota...It would still be a pilgrimage, but it would be a lot closer...334.28 miles (5 hours and 31 minutes) according to mapquest. Maybe I can convince some of you to join me!


Thanks to all who responded to the hair do query. There is still time to weigh in before I do the actual hair cut, so feel free to email me or leave a comment.

I will be posting the voting results on Monday. So, if you have already responded, and are can check that out Monday...and if you feel that a terrible error has been can weigh in for a final time before I go under the shears.