Monday, March 31, 2008

Aging Barbies Take On Capitalism

Beauty is to certain women what money is to certain men. One can never have enough. You know who you are. If you’ve spent more on cosmetic surgeries and Botox injections over the last five years than you did for your college education, I’m talking about you.

I have a problem with the fact that not one single woman I know is really secure that she looks all right. And I plan to make the case that it’s because of gluttonously rich men, and the culture created by their wild, unchecked, gluttonous greed and their need to objectify women and turn them into commodities, that keeps my friends, and women everywhere, insecure in their very skins--not good enough on a cellular level. I think it’s time for us to make those really big bucks, capitalizing on the potbellies, saggy man-boobs, lap flaps, wattles and jowls, baldness, crotch rot, stinky feet, pee stains, flaky, dry, itching skin, actinic keratosis, weak chins, beady eyes, bad teeth, bad breath, terrible wardrobe and all the other plagues of carbuncles and adult on-set acne that men are prone to after a certain age, after the testosterone levels start to drop off, and the prostate starts to swell and those pesky seminal vesicles start plugging up. After they’ve reached that famous sexual peak--right around twenty or so, when mommy stops buying their clothes, they should be just the right age to start to capitalize on their most secret fears and insecurities. I’m sure we can come up with a few they haven’t even imagined yet.

I’ve spent my entire working life, some forty years, in the fashion/beauty/entertainment industry. In the late-sixties I suffered a brief crisis of conscience and got a job in an inner-city community center as an organizer of programs for disadvantaged (a euphemism for minority) girls and women. Before I organized any programs, I thought I ought to get to know the women who used the center, and find out what programs they wanted organized. After a month of meetings and polling, the vote was in. They wanted beauty pageants and fashion shows. They wanted modeling classes and lessons on how to apply cosmetics. They wanted classes and seminars on how to make the most of the way they looked. Their whole lives were focused on how they looked. It was what I was running from, and all they wanted. It woke me up to the real power of advertising. I had to think long and hard about that one. And even I had to admit, that for most of them, the only way they were going to escape the poverty that surrounded and invaded their lives, was to look acceptable, or better yet, good, to (mostly male) white folks who shared the white, male values and appalling lack of taste of the predominant culture that did the hiring. It meant the difference between getting out and up or getting left behind.

I’ve heard the most beautiful women agonize about some imagined imperfection in their appearance that will make them forever second rate, a virtual failure, not good enough. I can feel you assuming that I’m talking about some air-head bimbette. But, I assure you, that I am not. In my group of fashion-model friends who, for the most part, represent the advertised ideal; there are, out of eight women, two Ph.Ds., one MBA, one Masters in Social Work, a successful advertising executive, and the other three are all college graduates successfully working in creative fields. We appeared in the very ads that made the rest of you realize you were too fat, and you had no taste. Despite the fact that we had been given enormous power because we were perceived as beautiful, we didn't really believe we were. And beauty is a double edged sword, much like great wealth. You never know whether someone who professes to adore you, can see past your obvious assets.

Beauty is like money, and then again it isn’t. It can come and it can go. But you can’t horde it like Midas. There is not enough collagen or Botox in the world to hold back the social and professional black hole that reaching the age of fifty, for a woman, sends you to forever. Who knows how much you’ll need as you get older, and what happens to the Botox when it’s been injected between your eyebrows every six months for twenty years? Apparently for certain men, say, someone like The Donald, there isn’t enough money. For Ivana and Marla I’d bet the money is only a means to an end. Enough trips to their favorite Paris couturiers and cosmetic surgeons to keep them desirable long enough to marry the next tub-of-lard in a bad toupee with more money than The Donald. I long for the day when Ivana and Marla don’t give a rat’s ass how they look, and are famous and recognized for their brilliant and visionary investing strategy in new male potency products. I want to hear that they have endowed a new department of research at Johns Hopkins devoted to elongating the bones of men who have been born with the unfortunate affliction of diminished height, or DH.

I know far too many professionally successful women who fall in love with seemingly appropriate men, and within the space of a year they are still working a full time job, still juggling a shared custody arrangement with their ex-husbands, still keeping their own homes livable and attractive, while also playing pretend corporate wife to the new boyfriend. Pretty soon he starts complaining because she forgot to pick-up his cleaning on her way from day-care to work. Nine out of ten of these women require antidepressants, psycho-therapy and/or other medication.

Viagra, and it’s many siblings, gives me hope that equality of capitalist opportunity is about to arrive. We have located the very mother lode, the throbbing, needy heart of male insecurities, and it is just the beginning. Any new product, drug, or procedure that will give a man a bigger, harder dick will sell at any price. Start investing, girlfriends. The future’s looking bright.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

War Stories

Like John McCain, Hillary is remembering her War. And just as her war is turning into a senior moment or worse, we have the first McCain for President ad. So there’s McCain, looking youthful and handsome, like a matinee idol an old black and white movie—it could be World War II, the romantic hero in the film has a raged smoke dangling from his lips, reclined, smudged and dirty faced, his is the face of the young warrior hero, handsome, captured, tragic, tortured, and still giving rank and serial number. He looks nothing like the old walnut jowled, pal of the lobbyist, foe of the lobbyist, Maverick, courting the worst of the Christian right wing, hugging George Bush, Washington insider with nothing much going for him except longevity and that same fierce desire to survive we see in the eyes of the handsome young soldier.

And to our mortification, we have Hillary Clinton, on several occasions and over a significant period of time, retelling a war story, scripted, and yet off the cuff. The details so eerily similar, it is as if we are watching an actress rehearse her role. Getting the gestures and cadence down, changing the rhythm to find just the perfect timing, to make us feel the danger, see her bravery, realize she really does have the right stuff to be our War Time President. Thing is, we don’t want a war time president. We want a leader with good judgement who can get us out of this mess, not keep us in it forever. That’s John McCain’s essential problem, too. That and the fact that he is wooden before the camera and will not do terribly well in debate with either Hillary or Barack. That either one would make him seem feeble and befuddled by comparison. But on this one issue, in this particular point in our history we can't afford to loose this election. It’s too important. too important for anyone’s personal political ambition to override the will of the people. It is time to let our votes count. It's time to engage our real opponent and Hillary has her priorities wrong. It is time for her to rise above her own desire to make history. It's my sincere belief that unless she withdraws from the primary contest and wholeheartedly supports Barack Obama, we can kiss our children’s future good bye. She cannot run against McCain after the news footage that gives the lie to her “memory” of an actual event in the not that distant past. Is it early onset Alzheimer‘s? Tired once, maybe……. But this story was told at least three different times and covered by the press. So was the arrival in Bosnia. It was a lie. And now she is sending in the big money muscle to strong arm Nancy Pelosi, making veiled threats. It sickens me, because I, who have no talent or experience and certainly have no desire to do so, have just written John McCain’s first ad of the General Election. If Hillary steals the nomination, a monkey could write it.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bordello In A Gold Rush

I just heard David Brooks say on NPR that the democrats are starting to look like they can’t manage a bordello in a gold-rush. This sound bite came minutes after I got another letter from Howard Dean telling me how desperate the DNC is for money to help us run against John McCain. The gall!

Sometimes It’s hard to be a democrat.

Yet Again, A Letter to Howard Dean

Dear Howard Dean
Perhaps you have not received my last several letters to you. Allow me to reiterate my position on making contributions to the DNC. I am not pleased that you are allowing the Clinton’s to strong-arm super-delegates along with the Speaker of the House. I know that the Clintons are powerful and have some powerful people— those all important big donors—backing then. But we, the little people, are giving what little money we have available to us to the candidate of our choice. Until you , the Chairman of the DNC, do something to end this nasty primary season, we will continue to give to the candidate of our choice, and the DNC can go to hell. It is this absence of leadership that has soured my support for the organization of which you are Chairman. Please act like a leader. In the meantime, stop asking me for money.

Tort Reform (sic)

Well it passed, quickly and quietly. Now juries are prohibited from awarding punitive damages if the local chemical company poisons your little town and gives everyone cancer. This legislation was pushed by the Bush administration and sponsored by my senator Orin Hatch. Senator Hatch you’ll be hearing from me. So will every democrat who voted for this vile legislation. Sadly this includes Senator Obama, and Senator Feinstein. Oh god, won’t someone say it isn’t so? Clinton was not listed. Perhaps this is another vote she choose to avoid. If only Obama had skipped this vote. Usually I’m in favor of everyone showing up to vote, but this one breaks my heart. What are they thinking? The only ones helped by this legislation are corporations—the insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the tobacco industry, the chemical industry, and on and on and on. Once again the fat cats screw the working class.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hillary's Hit List

Hillary is mighty Nixonian these days. She lies about her “experience” and say’s she’s sleep deprived. On three or four occasions??? Scripted and over many months? Then Bill comes out today and says, “Come on, y’all. This isn’t tough, you haven’t been in a presidential race before. This is just a little dust up. If you can’t take a lil’ ol’ skirmish like this……” Charming Billy. God, I did fall hard for that man when I didn’t know him. Than sadly, I got to know him too well. Yes, the early Clinton years, those were the most prosperous time in my odd career as an aging barbie. I even had a stock portfolio. Those were the days, before Hillary messed it up with her opaque approach to single payer health care for all Americans. She is stubborn about letting us know what she’s really up to. She could have had help, it was offered, but no, Hillary knows best. Then when the vast right wing conspiracy was investigating every aspect of her life, she stonewalled releasing papers. It kept the fire raging to know what she was hiding and why. I got real tired of it. And after Monica, et al, things just seemed to trail off into pardons for Bill’s criminal friends, and packing.

I do not want any family to become a political dynasty. If your daddy was president, become a great governor and retire to write a book about your daddy. No more sons, or wives of former presidents. Instead, if you are so ambitious and inclined, become the Speaker of the House, and make sane laws, but do not run for president. We have an excellent example of the reason dynastic presidencies are a very bad idea currently occupying the White House.

Hillary is just the kind of stubborn fighter, the kind who holds a grudge and never forgets anything, (except her memories) who would keep a hit list. She has surrounded herself with questionable advisors, people I don’t ever want to have to see interviewed on the evening news again . I am so sick of Mark Penn, Howard Wolfson and Terry McAliffe.
Talk about Rovian. This trio is Rove tripled.

Now the big monied insiders, the real muscle within the Clinton machine is trying to strong-arm Nancy Pelosi. In a letter these Clinton insiders sent to the Speaker of the House, they issued a thinly veiled threat. Back Obama and lose our support. You will regret it, seems to be the real message of the letter. You will really really regret it. Is Pelosi about to be added to the Hillary hit list?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Reckless Abandon

I am in favor of legalizing prostitution. I think sex workers deserve respect and admiration. No, I am not being arch, ironic or sarcastic. I mean it. I believe women and men should have complete control of the commodity that is their bodies. I have been reminded, in a recent comment to a piece I wrote, that the political candidates are “marketed like perfume.” And lest we forget, it is usually women’s bodies that sell all the products, and it is men who make the big bucks off the product, legal or otherwise. So I’m looking forward to the day when women really do claim the power that is theirs to take.

In the meantime, we live in a country governed by laws and rules. We have agreed to live by these laws until we get to vote again to make the laws conform more to what we believe to be in the nation’s best interest. Until then, men who make the laws, vow to uphold the laws, enforce the laws, and then break those laws, should be held to the same standard that we hold the least lawbreaker among us. I break the law. You break the law. We all break the law now and then. But if you are ambitious enough to become an attorney who becomes a prosecutor and then an attorney general, and then a governor, or even a mayor, and you break the laws you punished in each of those positions after having vowed to uphold the laws, you should lose your office, and go to jail. If you purger yourself in front of a Grand Jury, it isn’t your hypocrisy, it’s your getting caught. It’s your recklessness. It’s a little like have a sibling who is a meth user. As long as she doesn’t steal from you to support her habit, obviously endanger her kids or yours, or get caught and go to jail, you can maintain the illusion that everything is fine in the family. But once her damaged kids are loosed upon you and your husband, and her trial has become a media circus that makes the carefully crafted fiction that is your life unravel before your eyes, well then, maybe you’ll decide it’s time to get real.

I have never known a man who was faithful. I do not claim to be representative of all women. I know my experience with men is not everywoman’s. But I think testosterone drives them to it. Odd that it is men who make the laws that are so intolerant of the very behavior that they are driven to engage in. There is much science to back up the claim that men are literally led around by their gonads. Helpless to the wants of their little-brain’s desires. It certainly was my experience with men. My observation of the husbands of friends and coworkers.

And it is mostly men who control the industries that continue to market women in the advertising and entertainment industries as objects. So completely has internet porn taken over the zeitgeist, that almost every image depicted of “woman,” is of a woman so far removed from the reality of the normal range possible for women, that she is almost a separate species, one we cannot join. And we, the consumers of this icon, are willing to carve ourselves up with the help of our plastic surgeons, so we can bear to even glimpse ourselves in the mirror for more than a second or two without a shudder. Too fat, too old, too ugly to keep your mate. And he is ever driven, and always will be, to mate wherever and whenever he can, even in the anonymous stalls of men’s rooms in airports. Which is fine, I guess, if you don’t take your six year old son into the airport stall with you when Larry Craig, or Pastor Haggard is trolling. So let’s free the men’s rooms and legalize prostitution for both men and women. But, if it wasn’t a crime would it still be as exciting?

So, once again, I come down on the side of having some expectation that if you hold any position that calls for you to take an oath to uphold the law, don’t get caught breaking it. If no one gets injured as you break the law, and you don’t get caught, I say it’s nobody's business but your own. In the meantime I’ll keep voting to change the laws to reflect our realities. And sex workers of both sexes should work in legal, safe, taxed and represented industries that they control. Sex Workers of the World, Unite!

Another Letter to Howard Dean

Dear Howard Dean,

You have sent me an email asking for money for the general election. Until you put a stop to the bloodletting that’s going on in this artificially prolonged primary season, I will continue to give the ten dollars a month I can squeeze out of my disability check to Senator Obama. It is in the interest of the democratic party that this trumped-up horse race—a great boon for the news pundits and the republicans—be brought to an end. Barack Obama has won twice as many states, has the lead in both pledged delegates and the popular vote, and he is gaining on Senator Clinton in the super- delegate support.

You are the party chairman. You are behaving like the democrats we are all so angry with in the Senate—unwilling to take a strong stand and work it like you mean it. I understand that the Clinton brand has cachet. I understand that it won’t make you popular with the Clintons to twist her arm to step aside. But it must be done. Otherwise you risk going into a general election with nothing in the coffers. Granted, I am a small donor, but there are millions like me, giving ten dollars at a time to Senator Obama. It is the reason he has raised so much money online. He has a very strong, grassroots, bottom-up organization. I know—I’m one of the many volunteers who helped him win Utah.

Please do your job, so we might have a chance of uniting the country to win the general election.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

So..? I Made a Mistake.

It’s not the only one. I’m not going to list them here, I don’t have that much time. But this one is in the McCain category. Remember when he and probably Lindsey Graham among others went strolling through a market in Baghdad claiming it was perfectly safe, bla, bla, bla. While they were body armored up and covered by a battalion or so, on the ground and in the air. It was all BS, manufactured to sell the “Surge,” or escalation as I prefer, and believe to be more accurate. Hillary Clinton has said several times in scripted speeches that she had a dangerous, “under sniper fire” moment in Bosnia. “A trip too dangerous for the President.” She said it quite awhile ago and again recently on more than one setting and covered by the press. It has been You Tubed to death, I am sure. It will be used in ads against her if she gets nomination. It was not a misstatement, it was a lie. The kind of lie that makes me cringe. She is conflating all kinds of “experience.” And even though it has been proven to be a lie, unlike Bill, at least, she just shrugs and says, “So..? I misspoke, I’m human.” Does this response remind you of anyone?

Cheney Wants To Nuke Someone, Guess Who

As Cheney, McCain, Graham, and Lieberman leave the Middle East, the Saudi’s start trying to figure out how to protect themselves from nuclear fallout. Sounds to me like we’re getting ready to Nuke Iran and the pesky Al-Qaeda they are training and sending into Iraq. (See earlier post—-Yes, Iran Has No Al- Qaeda). Never men to be deterred by mere facts, it’s just a matter of repeating the lie over and over until enough of us believe it. Then it’s bombs away, and we’re off to the End of Days.

Lieberman is functioning as McCain’s handler—do I see a McCain/Lieberman ticket on the horizon? And if we continue spreading our excellent democracy (on the tip of a missile) in the Middle East, we’re going to need a Draft. This odd quartette is bent on spreading Wester Religious Freedom in the heart of the Muslim World. Stirring the hornets nest of “Radical Islamic Terrorism” to justify bombing the whole damn place back to the stone age. It will also reinforce the lie at the heart of the Iraq War, in part, because it’s going to make all Muslims hate us forever. “See, they do hate us, we were right all along!”

It will also give Reverend Wright and me something else to add to our long list of atrocities committed in the name of America.

“And it’s five, six, seven
Open up the pearly gates
Well, there ain’t no time to wonder why
WHOOPIE! We’re all gonna die….”

Special thanks to Stella for the lyrics to that excellent song of protest from the Vietnam War days, by Country Joe and the Fish.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Should Philandering Matter In Politics?

I vote yes on this one. It is an indication of character. I know people, mostly men I have to admit, who have convinced their mates to engage in “open” marriages. I have always wondered why these people decided to get married in the first place. If you want to screw around, why not stay single? What’s in it for the women? I suppose if your husband is stinking rich, and you enter into a marriage with an iron-clad prenuptial agreement that he will pay you for giving him the illusion of respectability that marriage confers in certain types of professions, then that’s your business—business being the operative word. But if you are a politician, get your wild oats days firmly in your past before you ask us to trust you.

If you will lie to your wife, you will certainly lie to me. If you cheat your family, squander the kids college fund to pay for high priced hookers, you will lie to me and foolishly spend my tax dollars. It goes to character. It goes to accountability. If you believe the rules don’t apply to you because you’re so damn special, become a hedge-fund manager.

Hillary Clinton, Friend of the Little Guy??!!!??

There is this myth, reinforced each day in the news world, that Hillary Clinton is a friend of the working class, the blue-collar, Joe six-pack kind of guy. Since when? The only way she can keep this myth going is to dodge the tax return issue.

What Hillary learned during her bungled attempt to give us single payer universal health care for all Americans, was not to mess with the insurance lobby. So now her health care plan is not a single payer plan, but, like the new prescription plan, medicare part D, is run by the insurance companies to the detriment of the taxpayers and the people getting the help. I am one of the people benefiting from the plan, but that is because my income is below the poverty limit and puts me in a special category. Most retirees don’t get that good a deal. Hillary Clinton is so well plugged into the big business loop she will never find her way out. She is connected up the wazzoo.
So where did this reputation for feeling the pain of the little guy get started? It is one of the many faces of the new and improved brand that is the Clinton myth, created for this particular time and just for Pennsylvania’s poor under-educated working class. It is being patched together out of thin air for the most cynical of reasons.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

John's Excellent Adventure

Oh never mind that his trip around the world spreading misinformation and lies is being paid for by us, the impoverished taxpayers. It’s the photo opps, stupid. John is looking Presnitential. Isn’t that all we need in a Presnit? The fake war hero status, the ignorance on the economy, the total lack of knowledge of the Middle East, the nasty temper, the decrepitude, the fact that he just might keel-over at any moment, dead of old age, that makes him so exciting? How badly can we ruin this country before the slumbering populous wakes from the dream that it’s all just peachy?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

One, Two, Three, Four...

I’m old enough to remember the rallying cries of the sixties, and they are making a comeback. I heard today on CNN, demonstrators in Washington chanting “One, two, three, four. We don’t want your oil war! “ Lacks something of the passion I remember as the original was “One, two, three, four. We don’t want your fucking war!” But to quote another inspirational line, “It doesn’t take a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” Ah yes, “The times they are a changin’.”

Yes, Iran Has No Al-Qaeda

Probably no bananas either. And the women are forced to wear traditional Islamic dress, not the burka, but the head scarf and a long dark coat or robe thingy. No makeup, no nail polish. Not encouraged to do much of anything but make her family’s life a “paradise.” But the lights are on, the water’s running, bombs are not going off in the cafes or markets. It is not impossible for a woman to get an education and they are not prohibited form working, just strongly discouraged. Is Iran training Al-Qaeda or even supporting Al-Qaeda elsewhere? It’s highly improbably, most unlikely, and not in Iran’s self interest.

John McCain’s “misstatement” or as I’d call it, “oft told lie”, shows one of two problems. He is either senile, stupid and arrogant like Bush the Younger, or he is a propagandist like Bush the Younger, et al. It is a Rovian tactic to repeat the lie over and over in various settings with much press coverage, until it has been heard so often by the populous that it is perceived as truth.

A good read on the shifts in the culture of Iran is the wonderful book “Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir.” This excellent book was written by Azar Nafisi, and published in 2003. It give us a very good look at the hostilities between Iran and Iraq, told by a female academic teaching at one of the universities in Tehran. Set in the 1980’s, after the revolution that put the Islamists in control in Iran, with the strongman, thuggish Saddam Hussein, a nasty Sunni neighbor, looking for trouble and getting it. Iran is pretty much the only Shia country in the neighborhood.

John, old boy, take a history class, read a book, get an advisor, someone who knows his ass from a hole in the ground.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I Used To Love Her, But It's All Over Now

Bobby Womack wrote “It’s All Over Now” in 1975. I’ll bet Bill Clinton knows the lyrics and can play it on the Sax without charts. And it’s, in part because of Bill, that I feel that way about Hillary. Though honestly, I hate to admit it, I still kind of have the hots for Bill. But he is beginning to be pretty embarrassing again. And that makes me want to ask her, “Why can’t you control you husband?” He’s off the reservation again. No, not poaching interns, but running his mouth and putting Hillary and McCain on the same ticket. Do they aim to arm wrestle for the top spot, I wonder?

Boomer Nation, Move Over

I’m a leading edge Boomer. Born before World War II was over by a few months. I came of age in the early 1960’s. And was passionately involved in the movement to end the War in Vietnam. I joined the rallies and demonstrations to end the war. We marched to the Utah State Capital and demonstrated. We marched to the University of Utah and briefly took over the Administration Building. We joined forces with anyone against the war, including the Black Panthers. We raised money to bail-out anyone picked up and jailed during any demonstration. We were glued to the news coverage of the mounting casualty numbers. And we knew that there would be a tipping point at some point when middle America, that famous Silent Majority, would become so sickened by the carnage that they too, would join us. It only made them angrier at us. We thought there would be a revolution. We rooted for the Students for a Democratic Society, the Free Speech Movement, Youth International Party, The Chicago Seven, the Weather Underground. In the end they shot a bunch of kids at Kent State, they jailed and prosecuted just about everybody in a leadership role in any of those organizations. They called us communists. And it all fell apart in disgust and alienation.

During the decade of the sixties I moved from Salt Lake to San Francisco, and a year later I sailed on the Michael Angelo to Italy for a year. During a demonstration against the war, in Milan in 1965, I was with the chairman of the Communist Youth Organization (a kid whose father was a wealthy shipping magnate) when someone in the crowd behind me, grabbed me and pulled me into a cafe, whispering in my ear, “Don’t speak English, they’ll kill you if they know you’re an American. If anyone asks you where you’re from, say you are Canadian.” I looked around to see who said this, and he was gone. I never planned to return to the United States. I was working as a model and making plenty of money. My friends were famous artists and writers. Life was good. And by the way, communists are allowed to vote in Italy. Pretty much all artists and intellectuals in Italy were communists in those days. It was about as radical as voting democrat in Utah. But at the end of my first year, my mother sent me a telegram telling me she needed me to come home. She and my father had divorced. She had moved back to the family home, and wanted me to come back to the States for awhile, to keep her company.

Returning to Utah was one of the worst decisions I ever made. The real reason my mother wanted me to come home was her “friendship” with a man who worked as a covert agent for the FBI. Due to their relationship, he told her to get me back here, to keep me from my “dangerous” associations. This is how I found out there was a file on me at the FBI. Those were the good old days of J. Edgar Hoover. That cross-dressing hypocrite bastard! Sorry, not meant to insult cross-dressers anywhere. Really, I’m all for it. It’s the hypocrite bastard part I find objectional. That’s when the spying on all of us began. You guys remember Nixon, Watergate and that Great Senate Hearing? Ah, those were the days.

Now we all know the government is spying on all of us all the damn time. We’re getting used to it. Common place. We have let them take our civil right’s away without a peep. They can come into your house and do a sneak-n-peek with impunity. Fancy that. Move over boomers, we’ve fucked it up. It’s time to retire from the leadership roles we’re hanging onto, and leave the podium after we’ve handed over the keys to the crumbling, about to collapse kingdom. Good luck, Generation Obama.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Reverend Wright Was Right

Maybe we need to take a trip down memory lane and reexamine our history. There is now a new series on HBO called John Adams. It is a stirring look at the beginnings of our “Democracy.” I watched the first installment and there was not one mention of the “Native Problem” or slavery. That first episode showcases the lovely relationship between Adams and his wife, Abigail. It’s a nice devise, and is documented in years of letters between Adams and his wife over the long course of their marriage. And frankly she seems the more thoughtful and intelligent of the two. It’s interesting for me to imagine how different our history might be if Abigail had led the revolution and helped to write the Declaration of Independence. Might it have read instead, “…..conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal.”

So for me, descended from the Choctaw, our history of “Live Free or Die America,” begins with invasion and slaughter, removal from our lands to concentration camps, and the deliberate destruction of our culture and language. For the descendants of slaves, it begins in invasion of their native lands, capture, kidnapping, a perilous and mostly deadly journey to a place where they were auctioned off and made to labor often under the lash and for no stake in anything except survival. That any of us survived your damed “democracy” is a bloody miracle. So for starters, I’m not sure Reverend Wright’s list of atrocities you have committed in the name of “Democracy and America,” is half long enough. But just so we’re clear on this, let me innumerate for you a few.

Manifest Destiny is the term that was to justify the expansion of the United States from the original thirteen colonies westward across the continent, gobbling up other people’s land all the way to the Pacific and then south into Mexico. It is the religious zealot’s justification for taking what does not belong to him. God wants me to have “it,”—land and everything on or under it, or in the case of certain classes of people, “you,” especially if you are not the same color or speak the same language, as I, because He favors me. I am chosen and you are not. Sounds pretty stupid, doesn’t it? What is it that makes you immigrant descendants of Europeans think you are so very special that God favors you above all other’s? Even your Christianity is a child among the world’s religions. Now again Manifest Destiny is a term Bush used recently to justify our occupation of Iraq and our permanent presence in the heart of an ancient culture we know almost nothing about—such is our arrogance. God wants us there!

And in between, we have so much carnage, the fire-bombing of Dresden, the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the My Lai massacre, the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. I think the Reverend might have touched upon a few, but I could go on and on. The real reason we want Cuba back is to turn it back into the whore house it was before Castro’s revolution. Our little brown Las Vegas in the soft, warm waters just ninety miles from Miami. Did I mention our guy Pinochet? Our little CIA operations to topple democratically elected socialist governments throughout our hemisphere and replace them with military dictatorships—so common, so uniformly disastrous to the ordinary people in those countries. Remember the Disappeared? Remember Haiti?

And here at home we are using religion to justify denying full civil rights to certain classes of citizens because God doesn’t approve of them for some reason. Here the Reverend and I part company. I cannot believe in such a god.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ancestry And The American Dream

I just got off the phone with a young man from one of the small North Dakota Reservations. The People are out of wood for wood-stoves, utilities cut off for non- payment. It’s a long hard winter and the People are freezing. The People are a tribe of Sioux and they are living the life of people in every part of the world where the local government views a tribe or class of human beings as unwanted, disposable, and so they are rounded up and put in concentration camps. This is happening in Africa, it’s happening in the Middle East, it’s happening here, in the United States of America, only here the camps are called “Reservations,” and we have turned our backs on all such people everywhere because it shames us to know, and so we do nothing.

My mother’s family is descended from the Choctaw who lived in Mississippi, prior to their forced march to Oklahoma where they were given a small parcel of uninhabitable land. Oklahoma territory was nothing like Mississippi with it’s rich delta, green and lush with plentiful game and soil that anything would grow in. No, Oklahoma is dust. The Oklahoma concentration camp was…… I can think of no other word than inhospitable. We were a proud nation, part of the Muskogean linguistic group, called the Five Civilized Tribes. A people with a rich language and culture, a people who were cooperative and generous toward the new immigrants who came to our lands. And we were nearly slaughtered into extinction. Under Andrew Jackson’s administration we were made a model of his “Indian removal plan.” We were the first tribe to be marched to Oklahoma. This mass forced march is know as The Trail of Tears. Do you remember this from your history books?

In the beginning it was call the Office of Indian Affairs and was formed in 1824, created by the Second Continental Congress . The esteemed Ben Franklin and Patrick Henry were early commissioners of the OIA charged with negotiating treaties. Treaties which were broken over and over until we get to the Oklahoma part of my family’s history with the newly changed OIA to the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) run entirely by white immigrants whose job it was to indoctrinate a proud and ancient people in the ways of Christianity, in the ways of white culture. My mother’s people were forced to send their children away to schools run by the BIA, where they were made to be ashamed of their own language and culture. And that shame grew into such self loathing that four generations back from me the women in the family married white men who then owned their lands. Three generations back those women moved off the Reservation and started passing as white. They lived in various parts of Texas, married to ignorant cracker men who treated them like shit. So now we have my mother who could not get far enough away from her families past. Smart, good looking, determined to live a better life, she married an Army man with three boys of his own. She got pregnant with me and he went off to fight in the Second World War. While he was fighting in France, I was born on the Army Base in Paris Texas. When he came home we packed up and roamed the country in a new Ford, pulling a new Airstream trailer, which we lived in for over a year. When my mother could stand the nomadic life no more, we happened to be in Salt Lake City, camped on the outskirts of the city in a trailer park. She took my father’s remaining cash and found a big stone house on the upper avenues and bought it. He never got over being furious at her, and their marriage ended in loud, violent fights. She took me and fled in the early morning dark of a cold Utah Spring. And I was sent to live with my mother’s brother and his wife in Sherman, Texas. They tried awfully hard to give me a good life for the year I was their child. But the one thing that I could not get, could not ever understand, was their hatred of indians and black people. I could not learn bigotry. I don’t know why. Everyone else in my mother’s family got it. What was wrong with me that this very important lesson didn’t sink in? In truth I think it’s a Jungian thing. The collective unconscious. I identify with the oppressed. I personally have never experienced oppression unless being female and married counts. But I will not listen to anyone spout that kind of race or identity hated. It enrages me.

I am too far removed from my heritage to go back, go native. Everyone sees me as white. But deep in the bone I am not. I am not white. I am Choctaw. I will not give up my small, inherited plot of land. Like the Native people in North Dakota, I have a hard time paying my utility bills. I keep it cold to save money. I have moved out of the main house to live in the little house—a renovated garage at the back of the property so I can rent the main house. I try to stay out of sight. I am an old recluse living in my garage to save money so I can keep my land. But hearing about the plight of those native people in North Dakota this morning made me sob. And I can’t stop. I told the young man that I thought it was very important to make sure that all native people are registered to vote in the Presidential Election. If we make the effort to vote, we just might have a President for the first time in our nation’s history who can understand our complicated history and listen to our story. A man who looks more like us than the old white men who have ruled us since the early 1800’s. A man who just might be sympathetic to our plight.

Barack Obama gave the most important speech in American political life since the Gettysburg Address. And like Michelle Obama, for the first time in my lifetime, I am proud of my country.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I'm Here Because of AshleyPlease go to Swiftspeech! Stella’s marvelous site. There you will find the text for Barack Obama’s beautiful speech today.

Please go to Swiftspeech! Stella’s marvelous site. There you will find the text for Barack Obama’s beautiful speech today. If you can’t find Swiftspeech on your own, go the comments section on any of my posts, find Stella’s intelligent and insightful comments and click on her name—that will lead you to her.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Rare Kudos to MSNBC

For the most part I have liked David Gregory. And only for a second or so did I ever like Tucker Carlson. What the hell good is a liberal media if the only liberal on the air is Keith Olbermann, with the occasional brief appearance of Eugene Robinson and Rachel Maddow? Otherwise it seems to me that Pat Buchannon is the voice of MSNBC. But I digress. It was David Gregory we’re talking about here. Today was the debut of his new show, with a panel of my two favorites, Rachel Maddow and Eugene Robinson. I’m glad both Rachel and Eugene will also stay where they are, Air America and The Washington Post, respectively. They have a token Republican, Morning Joe Scarborough, but it could be worse, it could be, well, Tucker Carlson for instance, or worse yet, Petrified Pat Buchannon.

It was a very fast hour. Unlike Hardball which is the slowest hour of my day. Gregory’s taking email comments and questions. Bloggers, start your engines.

PS Loved the new SNL clip

PPs Also looked like MSNBC dialed down the bells and whistles and all the fancy flashing graphics. Classy move guys. If you can do it for David why don't you do it for everybody--then they might not look so stupid.

PPPS Waiting for Barack's speech tomorrow.

It's Not Because You're White, Geraldine.......

It’s because you’re irrelevant. I was going to say stupid, but thought it was unkind. When you were on the Democratic ticket to be our first female Vice President it had little to do with your qualifications, Ms. Ferraro. It was because you were a woman. I refuse to research this, my memory serves me pretty well. Part of the reason you and Mondale had such a rough time was the shenanigans involving the promised but delayed release of your husband’s tax returns. And once released they were hinky enough to cause serious damage. You were a token, and not a very helpful token, at that. Once the race was over and Reagan reelected, you tried a couple of times to win a Senate seat and never made it. And your problem in the tax return area ought to be instructive to Senator Clinton. The days of secretive politicians who want to gain the public trust are over. But for you, an old, irrelevant white woman, to claim reverse racism because your comments about Barack are offensive to everyone, except maybe Hillary and the Republicans, is absurd. Your timid feminism after the heavy lifting was mostly done, made you an almost daring but, in the end disappointing choice for a running mate for Mondale. Barbara Jordan would have been a far better choice. At least she would have won the VP debate with Pappy Bush.

Better Late Than Never

Ferraro Leaves Clinton Campaign. Good news, but a little late. Hillary has a mighty strange rule book. If an Obama surrogate says something remotely disparaging about Hillary, it’s an outrage. The unfortunate surrogate must be fired, immediately. Remember the “monster” comment? Off with her head. And she is gone the moment the words are out of her mouth. The Clintons have a double standard, and they make the rules. Now they keep changing the rules and moving the goal posts.

If Hillary had not married Bill Clinton she would not be an elected official with any record at all. The Ferraro comments could have been made about Hillary. And while we are all engrossed with the spectacle of another long suffering political wife standing by her lying, philandering husband, isn’t that the reason we now have Hillary running for President? We would not know who you are, babe, if your husband had not been President. But now that we are talking about philandering husbands again! Let’s talk about yours. I do not want Bill back in the White House. I can’t imagine any mother allowing her daughter to go work as an intern in the White House while Charming Billy is around. Would you let your daughter work with Bill Clinton? Will it be a girl-free zone?

I have heard women say with a straight face that the Spitzer case is a good reason for electing a woman to be our next President. Maybe, but not Hillary. If she had divorced Bill and married someone else, maybe. But sadly, she’s the wrong woman. Of course I’d like a female President. But it would have to be a woman I respected and admired in order for me to enthusiastically support her. I’d go for Barbara Boxer.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Creating The War On Terror

First there is a real threat. 9/11 was a real event. We know who the actors were, and where they came from. It was mostly Saudi Arabia, whose princes are close friends of the Bush family. The terrorists in training had been taking flying lessons, getting ready, soaking up the delights of our culture, like strip clubs, for instance. We knew who they were at the time, we were watching. You, President Bush, and all your advisors knew, and were briefed. Condoleeza Rice wasn’t worried, neither was Cheney. It was your administration’s decision that 9/11 was just the thing you needed to revive your plan to take us to war with Iraq. You manufactured intelligence, cherry picked what worked for you, and then tried to scare us to death with images of mushroom clouds. While backing off the wealthy and well connected son of a Saudi mogul, Osama Bin Ladan. Why do you in Congress go along with this tactic destined for such tragedy for the people of Iraq, for our sons and daughters sent from their National Guard assignments here at home where we need them, to Iraq over and over?

Mr. President, and you, all of you, Republicans and Democrats alike, who voted for the Iraq War Resolution, owe us—We The People—an apology. It is you, all of you, who started “The War On Terror” that now, since you took the terror to the “terrorists” in Iraq, (who, by the way, weren’t there prior to our arrival in Iraq) have created the best and biggest advertisement and recruiting scheme in history for every young discontented and alienated misfit in the world to join the jihadists, because now they do really believe that we are The Great Satan. Thanks a lot.

And this war on terror has given you the excuse you were looking for to change the rules and strip us of our constitutional rights one by one. Stack the Supreme court to take choice away from women (the better to control them), and to prevent the carriage of justice for anyone detained illegally, transported to a foreign country for torture and then disappeared to Guantanimo, without representation or a hearing. Where did Habeas Corpus go? Has it moved to Canada to join the hordes now fleeing your ruinous governance. We are losing everything, our houses, our civil rights, our sons and daughters, our bridges are falling down and you tap dance on the porch waiting for your successor to bring us more of these good old days. Thanks a lot Congress. Thanks a lot Mr. President. Isn’t it Romantic?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Isn't It Romantic?

Anyone remember the lyrics to that song but me? Well, no George, it isn’t. Vote Vets isn’t going to think so either. Not unless you think it’s romantic to see little kids starve or die in car-bomb attacks at their local market is romantic. How romantic is a traumatic brain injury? PTSD? How about an amputation by roadside bomb? See your buddy blown to bits? We would be only so happy to facilitate your early retirement so you can go—Air National Guard, Right? Still got that romantic flyboy outfit you wore the day you gave your Mission Accomplished speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln? Why don’t you do your duty and take somebody’s son’s place since it sounds like so much fun to you. As a former Commander In Chief, I’m sure they’d extend the age limit. I hear the Armed Forces are stretched pretty thin, and have relaxed a lot of standards, maybe even I.Q. Take the girls with you too. Aren’t they longing for a little adventure and romance?

World War Three?

Word is, Admiral Fallen was retired early because he isn’t in favor of a war with Iran. Remember all the times Bush said he listens to the Generals? Well, if anyone thought that was the truth then, they know it’s bullshit now. Bush seems determined to make the Rapture inevitable before he leaves office. And since we don’t have the numbers of cannon fodder soldiers at the ready, there will have to be a Draft to carry out this scheme.

When we had a Draft, during the Vietnam war years, the only refuge for the children of the rich and powerful was the National Guard—you all remember the pictures of young George in his uniform, proudly grinning at the camera as he thumbed his nose at guys like John Kerry, Max Cleland and John McCain. Well, under Bush, Chenney, the National Guard is no longer the refuge of anyone, and is no longer available to do the very real work the National Guard was designed to do—protect us here at home. Now it’s a ticket to Iraq. Soon to be a ticket to Iran. With the removal of Admiral Fallon no one stands in the way.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Rich Are Richer and I Can Barely Afford To Eat

Do you think rich Republicans know that lemons are seventy nine cents apiece? Do you think it matters? And why does writing this make me cry? I live on roughly $1,000.00 a month. I could only pay half my property tax on time this year. Now the interest and penalties are mounting and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. My twenty two year old Jetta has finally given up the ghost, each past repair has cost at least $500.00. I can no longer afford to keep it running. I’m disabled and have high medical costs. My teeth are crumbling and I have no dental insurance. I need to see my primary care physician, but keep putting it off because I can’t afford the twenty percent medicare doesn’t pay. And I’m lucky. At least I qualify for medicare. I was dropped by my insurance carrier years ago because I actually needed insurance. Get a diagnosis that might cost them something and they’ll drop you in a New York minute. My premiums went from $500.00 a month for a single self-employed person, to $1,000.00 in the space of two months.

An old friend came to visit me one day last fall to tell me that I couldn’t afford to live in my house anymore. It made me so angry that I told him to go take a flying f***k, and haven’t spoken to him since. How is it that an old woman living in a home that is completely free and clear of debt cannot afford to live in her house? And because my income is so low, I don’t qualify for a loan on the property even though the property is worth nearly half a million. I grew up in this house and know everyone in my neighborhood. They are my only contact with people. I love them and don’t want to sell the house and move into a condo. Winters are harsh in Utah and this year, especially long. I keep my house at 60 degrees trying to save money on utilities, and still the price goes up and up on gas every month.

Writing about the political race has been a way for me to think about something other than the grim realities of my life, but this election is about the huge disparity between the haves and the have nots. And I am just one of the millions of have nots. At least I have a roof over my head. I should be very grateful for that. But to think I have to budget for a lemon? This makes me sob. It is such a small symbol for the gulf that divides us.

Snatching Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory

Here we go again. If anything could make it possible for John McCain to win the Presidential election it just might be the kind of campaign the Clintons are engaged in. I’m still pissed off about the ringing phone ad. Even if I were still a supporter of Hillary, that ad would have change my mind. It’s a play worthy of Carl Rove. I wonder if Rove is working for the Clintons now that he’s a free man. You must be scared, very very scared! My God, how cynical and stupid do they think we are? How stupid and cynical are they to run such an ad? At this point there’s nowhere to go but up for Hillary. Gerry Ferraro’s comments were stupid beyond belief. What the hell were they thinking? Why not just hire a hit-man to knee-cap the guy. My God, what have we become as Democrats that we would destroy our chances to take back the White House by running so nasty a primary campaign? Both Obama and Clinton are qualified, otherwise neither one would have gotten this far. Please Senator Clinton, stop the snide and nasty comments about Obama. It should be beneath you. That you seem to be willing to win at any cost to the Party is a dangerous game to play. Lets raise the level of discourse. Let’s focus on the right opponent. Unless it’s really John McCain you want to share the ticket with. Is that your dream team? Clinton and McCain on the same side? Stop it now, before we’ve lost any hope of winning anything but a reputation for complete self-destruction.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spitzer's Fall From Grace

I thought her name was Kristen. Grace, Spitzer? I don’t think so. Not unless Grace is a hooker from his past that we don’t know about yet. I don’t think even Democrats in New York would call the high ledge Spitzer has been teetering on, graceful. The worst thing for me, as a woman, is to see another woman having to “stand by her man” while he tries to back away from the edge. I want, just once, to see the wife, standing beside the philandering, lying bastard she’s married to, haul off and deck him, in full view of cameras, and call him the names he deserves.

Why do political wives agree to make the perp walk with their lying, hypocritical, stupidly arrogant, just plain dumb husbands? Does Mrs. Spitzer have secret ambitions to run for President? What’s up with that? How can you love someone who has lied to you for ten years or so? Doesn’t love require some trust? Isn’t complete betrayal a good reason to dump the bum? Isn’t having teenaged daughters a good reason to say, “No, girls, you never have to sacrifice your own ambitions for a career to keep a man. And no man is worth losing your own integrity. No man is worth this kind of humiliation. Not even your daddy.”

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Risky Business

The reason Eliot Spitzer’s sexcapade is news is not that the man had sex with a high priced prostitute but that he was, in New York law and order circles, Mr. Moral Rectitude. He was a tough Prosecutor who went after cases just like the one he is embroiled in, with the zeal of the righteous. Then he was Attorney General and according to the news papers and broadcast news stories on this scandal, he was brutal and thorough in prosecuting just this kind of case. He could face several felony charges, the most serious of which is the Mann Act, unless he cuts a deal, and resigning his position as Governor might be just the deal to keep him out of jail. I had a friend in Junior High School whose father was prosecuted under the Mann Act. He supplied “girls” to a pimp in another state, and when he got caught, he served a long prison sentence. Eliot Spitzer arranged to have his “girl” Kristen transported across state lines to service him at the Mayflower Hotel in DC. And it was some unusual aspect of the money trail that seems to have alerted the Feds and ensnared Spitzer.

It isn’t that a man has sex with someone other than his wife that makes this a story—that’s as common as dirt, it happens a million times a day and often with prostitutes. No, it’s the tough prosecutor who has busted up prostitution rings in his long career—jailing the girls (and mostly ignoring the Johns) to go after the mobsters who make their money preying on the girls-- that makes this a big story. As long as prostitution stays illegal, the men who profit from the labor of the prostitutes on either side of the transaction—pimp or John— don’t usually get hurt much when the ring gets busted up. But the prostitutes get jail time. And men get to go on calling it a victimless crime. And that’s the whole point of this entire episode. Eliot Spitzer is only a victim of his own bad judgement and hypocrisy. His wife and daughters are victims. If the prostitutes go to jail, they are victims of a legal system that makes the girl the criminal and the John just a poor innocent man whose little brain has talked him into a little risky business. What a sad and sleazy mess.

If prostitution were legal, none of this would be an issue. We need to allow prostitutes to unionize, run their own Empress Club, hire their own security, tax their earnings, so they get workers compensation, insurance, and retirement packages. Until then, the Johns and the racketeers are the only ones who should be prosecuted under existing law.

Monday, March 10, 2008

What's In A Name, Client 9?

Consider this. Eliot Spitzer is now, and forever will be Client 9. He is finished as Governor of New York. I hope for his daughters’ sake his wife is already talking to her attorney. And I hope he doesn’t cost as much as the call girl Spitzer took to D.C. On Valentine’s day!!!??? But I do hope her divorce attorney is a shark.

Clinton is a name that comes to mind in just a case like the Spitzer one. Sleazy sex scandal. Not Hillary, of course, but charming Billy. Not that Bill ever had a taste for the kind of babes who work for The Emperor’s Club, or that he ever paid for it except, after the fact, in lawyers fees fighting law suits. Maybe a settlement or two, but the sleazy sex part, the bad judgement regarding the wants of his little brain, the betrayal of his wife and daughter (in Bill’s case one and in Spitzer’s case, three), the lies, and finally the public apology. That’s classic Clinton. Spitzer called it a “Private Matter,” today in his press conference. Do you get the cognitive dissonance of that construct? Does Mann Act mean anything to you Governor? Your name is soon to be added to the list of famous men prosecuted under the Mann Act. You and Charlie Manson. Nice company you’re keeping these days. And not to leave Republicans out, let's not forget Larry Wide-Stance Craig.

The Emperor Has No Clothes

The Emperors Club (tee hee, snicker snicker) is the name given to the high priced prostitution ring that the FBI has been investigating and has now filed a case on, with an indictment and loads and loads of evidence gathered. Eliot Spitzer, Governor of New York, friend of Hillary’s, and probably Bill’s, is the first big name client to fall. This just might get real interesting as leaks dribble out. The rates these women were getting for their services is staggering. As Chris Matthews just said on Hardball, “More than Washington lawyers!” But just like lawyers these women are doing a dirty and difficult job. And apparently the old boys club of political pundits still think it’s a “victimless crime.” In the words of the late great Molly Ivans, “That’s chicken shit!” I’d posit that Spitzer’s wife and daughters don’t exactly feel that there aren’t victims in all of this.

Does Your Vote Count?

I’ve always wanted us to be a country where every vote counts. Sadly this is not the system we have. Maybe now, with all these first-time voters involved in our Byzantine electoral process, we can get a little electoral reform going. I sure hope so, since as long as I’ve lived in Utah, my vote has not counted in Presidential Elections. This gives a lot of lazy Democrats a reason to stay home on election day. Their rational is, “My vote doesn’t count. Why bother?”

Now the Clinton campaign is saying that the Mountain-West doesn’t count, the South doesn’t count, small States don’t count, New England doesn’t count, the Canadian border States don’t count, because they are either thought to be Red States or have such small populations as to be meaningless in a General Election. Well, I got news for you Senator Clinton, it pisses me off royally to hear you say that the only time my vote really does count—in a primary—is meaningless. I live in Utah, one of the reddest States in the Nation, and Barack won Utah in the Democratic Primary. Turnout was huge and for the first time in my voting life, I thought Utah just might vote Democratic in the General Election, if Obama gets the nomination. Call me naive, but if young people really do stay engaged, we might have a whole new map to call red or blue.

Texas has been a Red State for a long time. Why is Senator Clinton calling her slim lead in the actual vote tally (but not the delegate count) in the Lone Star State more important than his win in Wyoming? More than likely neither state is going to vote Democratic in the General Election, but with Obama’s bottom-up, grassroots organization, he’s got a hell of a better chance to win both those states than Hillary.

Strange Nookie and the Little Brain

Elliot Spitzer, Governor of New York, has just given a news conference admitting his involvement in a high priced prostitution ring. Spitzer used to be Attorney General of New York, and one would assume, prosecuted his fair share of prostitution cases. He is married to a lovely woman and has three daughters. What in God’s name would make such a man behave in such a way?

I’ve been told by male friends of mine that the penis has a mind of its own. A little brain if you will. But a little brain with a mighty influence on the big brain, and a genetic imperative to spread it’s seed. Anthropologists and sociologists have validated this theory—it is a male (little brain) drive to populate the earth with its offspring and so, it is driven to copulate with as many women as possible. I would buy this “imperative” theory if we weren’t already in danger of running out of livable space and resources. And at some point in evolutionary history this seed-spreading behavior becomes dangerous to the survival of the species. So why does the behavior persist? And to get back to the particular, rather than the universal, I don’t personally know any man wanting offspring with any of his strange nookie. So where does this leave us? Back at the cocktail party with someone else’s husband hitting on me, or some other unlucky woman, for no good reason other than his little brain’s doing all the talking. And just so you men know, your little brain isn’t a great conversationalist.

The most famous case of the little brain running the show and strange nookie being the thing it wants most, is the case of one of my favorite past Presidents, William Jefferson Clinton. His behavior is just so damn typical of what can happen when a man lets his little brain do the big brain’s thinking. Maybe the only men who don’t behave this way with strange women are the men who behave this way with strange men. I’m not talking about men who identify themselves as gay or bisexual. I’m talking about the men who identify themselves as straight. They have wives and children to prove their straightness, but they like to have sex with men. Idaho Senator Larry Craig is the best known, currently, of this type of little brain behavior. These are men who risk everything for a little hot man-sex in the public toilets of airports and parks all over America. I live in Utah, and believe me, there are plenty of men who identify with, and feel Larry Craig’s pain, while living in their large Mormon families, their wives cranking out kids year after year, believing themselves straight as the day is long. Do the straight men they cruse feel like strange nookie? I wonder.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Never Having To Say You're Sorry

There should be a learning curve for politicians. And Hillary seems to want to skip the part of the learning curve that requires you acknowledge mistakes and apologizes for them. It’s odd to me that of all the politicians, the Clinton’s should know the value of apology best. It is, after all, the only thing that kept him in office once the lie about Monica had been revealed. Maybe it’s only Bill that learned that one.

Never having to say your sorry is a trait I know. It's the hallmark of a narcissist. I was raised by one. Certified, diagnosed. She was a powerful and brilliant woman. She was a feminist and she was never wrong. Never. If charm didn’t work, she shifted to intellect and the force of her argument. If that didn’t work, she moved it up a notch and bullied you. If all else failed she cried, stomped off and slammed the door. But she was never wrong. The rules where hers, and they shifted all the time. She was moody and mean. I see her behavior in Hillary. Who is this woman? She’s beginning to seem like a blend of John McCain and Dick Chenney—really secretive, stubborn and a hot- head.

Last night I watched Bill Maher. Joe Scarborough was on as a panelist, and said the television news shows are being threatened by the Clinton machine if Hillary thinks they are being unfair to her—that means if they don’t back-off reporting the crap she’s pulling, her surrogates threaten advertisers who threaten producers and news directors. Because she’s refusing to release her tax returns, Barack is being compared to Ken Starr by all her surrogates. Terry McCuliffe was on Maher’s show as a guest, and when Bill asked him a question Terry didn’t like, Terry cut the feed. Stomped off and slammed the door.

Senator Obama, you are going to have to take off that well- tailored jacket, roll up you sleeves, and get a little dirty. Let’s get real blue collar. It’s time to go back to your roots.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

It's Time To Take The Kid Gloves Off

Senator Obama, sir. It’s time to let it all hang out. We have sixteen years of well-documented psychodrama from the two “adult” Clinton’s to draw from. Let’s get on with it. You have been restrained and gentlemanly. But now is not the time. Didn’t that creep Wolfeson just compare you to Ken Starr for suggesting that it was time for her to release her tax returns? Well, let’s go real down-and-dirty-Ken Starr. She says she’s been vetted? Not for the past almost eight years. But I’ll bet the babes are going to be coming out of the woodwork with their trophy samples of Bill’s DNA once the press stops cowering at the prospect of taking on the Clinton Machine. Who made the gentlemen’s agreement not to look too carefully at the wanderings of Bill? And why?

I always kind of held it against her that she stood by her man. Oh, I could see it during the time in the White House, but once that was over, off with his head. My god, how much humiliation must we all endure? What kind of example is this to give a daughter? Is accepting his philandering the price you pay to get to use his political capital? That’s some kind of deal with the devil.

But if she’s going to use her experience as First Lady, say somehow that it’s relevant, then her one and only real and valid experience is her attempt to give us universal health care. It was a colossal failure. It set us back. And her penchant for secrecy and her stubbornness played a huge part in the failure. It earned her a reputation as a…….what’s the word I’m searching for????? She was not collegial. I would guess she didn’t play well with other’s as a child.

None of this past experience qualifies her in any way to be President and only exposes her greatest weakness. It is her judgement. Again and again, it is her judgement. She is so cynical that she is counting on chivalry from you, since you are so naive as to offer “hope” and “idealism” to a bunch of “kids." She is willing to get down in the mud. Her image of herself as the first female President is too real, and she has made too many nasty compromises to get there, to give it up, no matter the cost, even if it means John Mc Cain wins this one, even if it means the destruction of the Democratic Party, and then she runs again in four years. So get ready to play dirty.

Eating Your Young

I was a big supporter of the Clintons when Bill was making his bid for the Presidency. They were little known, they were my generation, and both were smart and funny. I loved their wonkishness. She was the first First Lady to occupy the White House who wasn’t just a smiling accessary. I admired Jackie Kennedy, but was there ever a more lovely accessary? Sure, she could speak French and ride well, hunter/jumper style. But she spoke baby- voiced just like Marilyn Monroe, breathy, soft. She did nothing to challenge our notions of what a First Lady should be—maybe she set the bar a little higher, but not much. She did the wifely things, she redecorated, she was a lovely hostess, she took us on a tour of the White House. But she was an old fashioned girl, not a modern woman. Her career was wife, First Lady.

But Hillary and Bill were not that kind of couple. She is the first really modern First Lady. She had a career throughout her adult life. She got the great education just so she could have that career, not so she could marry a politician. Bill claims to have fallen in love with Hillary because she was so damn smart and competent. He has all but admitted that she has the brains in the family. And I believe him. Bill has the charm, Hillary has the brains. And though I loved the Clinton years while I was living them, it is thanks to Charming Billy that we all now have Monica. She’s a little like the elephant in the room. (Forgive me Monica, I did not call you an elephant—it’s just a figure of speech) I can’t imagine a free and easy charming Billy in the White House again without the image of a plump girl in a nice conservative navy blue dress and Big Daddy’s DNA on it somewhere. It might not be Hillary’s fault that we’ll all be wondering what Bill’s doing, but it can’t be anything but red meat to the Republican slime machine. Bill, you kind of ruined it for all of us. No, really, I didn’t care what you did with your, um, you know what I mean, but did you have to do it in the White House and with an intern? And then you stood there and lied to us all. “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” If I’d been married to you I have left you then. So you are Hillary’s albatross. But she chooses to wear you round her neck like a lovely silk scarf. Which reminds me of a pig’s ear.

I think Hillary should have been the President way back then. But now there is too damn much water under the bridge. You don’t make me feel safer with your war mongering ringing phone ad. You just piss me off. And though I think your smart, you just might not be competent enough. I can’t get over your vote in the Iraq War Resolution. I can’t get over your stubbornness in rationalizing and justifying it. You failed on health care the first time. Why should I believe you’ll do it right this time? You just seem to make either rookie mistakes or Rovian mistakes, like the ringing phone ad, like the interview in which you equivocated in your answer about Obama’s religious background just enough to leave it hanging. But here’s the real clincher in the deal for me. Your supporters will vote for Obama. I’m not so sure his could vote for you. It is cross-over men, guys who consider themselves conservative, who can vote for Obama but not for you, that we will lose. And if this comes down to Super Delegates at the Convention who toss it to you, a generation of young people will not be able to vote for you because they see you as the old way of doing things. You stand for Washington Insider just like John McCain. You stand for political machine that is top down. You’re too tough, too hawkish. Too close to lobbyists and corporations. Too secretive about your own finances, to intrust with the taxpayer’s money. So that’s why I’m putting my money where my mouth is and contributing to Barack’s campaign. It isn’t much, but it’s millions like me who can finally have our voices heard.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Ringing Phone Ad

Are we so naive that we actually believe that Hillary Clinton will be awake and sitting in the Oval Office, waiting for a situation-room type phone call at three in the morning? My guess is, that if she is waiting by the phone at three in the morning, it will be because she doesn’t know where Bill is. Now that’s a situation she has experience with.

The Day After

For me, this is like a bad hangover. I’m a Texan, and once again, my native state has let me down. I would have gone home to campaign for Barack if all my family wasn’t homophobic and racist to it’s core, and now, finally, all dead. I’m one of those old dinosaurs who doesn’t have a cell phone, so I can’t call Texans from here in Utah. My car is twenty two years old and not running at the moment, and my bank account is always just about empty. I owe back taxes on my house. I don’t even have credit cards to put a plane ticket on, charge a room for a few days of walking door to door somewhere in the Lone Star State. And I’ve held a grudge against Texas for the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Then the state voted Ann Richards out and George W. Bush in as Governor, so it’s probably just as well I didn’t go.

Once again, Hillary did not have the grace to congratulate Barack for his win in Vermont. She continues to claim Barack Obama is not qualified to be President. Truth is he has more legislative experience than she does. He is better qualified than Bill Clinton was, than George W. Bush was, than Jimmy Carter was, and certainly he is better qualified than Hillary Clinton. Her experience as First Lady is meaningless. Is Laura Bush qualified based on her experiences as First Lady? Traveling the world at taxpayer expense on Air Force One is not the kind of experience that qualifies you to be President. If she had read the classified intelligence reports that were available to members of Congress before she cast that disastrous vote to take us to war in Iraq, I might believe that she should be taken seriously as a candidate. But sadly she did not.

But the thing that keeps me saving my change and counting it up until I have an extra ten dollars to donate to the Obama campaign is his message of change and hope. I support Senator Obama because he inspires and energizes young people, who have been alienated from politics since the 1960’s. His message is inclusive and units us in a way no one has in my adult life.

Hillary has begun to run ads that attempt to scare us—this is fear mongering and puts her firmly on the side of George Bush and John McCain. I want nothing to do with a candidate who pushes the fear button. It is contemptible.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Primary Day In Texas, et al

I was awakened by a phone call from a credit card company this morning. I’m something of an insomniac, and do not start my days early. If a friend calls I know it’s important, but if it’s some kind of solicitation, I go nuts. I’m on the “Do Not Call” list. So the unfortunate woman making that call this morning had to listen to me chew her out. I told her, if her company ever calls me again, I will prosecute. Then I ran to the bathroom and threw up.

I’ve been on-edge for over a week. My focus is the Democratic Primary races, and the longer the Primary goes on, and the nastier it gets, the worse I feel. Since Obama has the lead, Hillary has begun to run against him as if she and McCain were on the same ticket and Obama was their opponent. This will not do.

Hillary is having a hard time not being the presumptive nominee. She started the race thinking the prize was in her pocket. Well, it might have been, but it is not now, and she is having a hissy-fit. I’m mad enough at her that I hope she gets trounced. Her campaign manager Terry something or other, is not doing her any favors attacking Obama for not holding hearings in his sub-committee on Afghanistan. But what really mattered to me was Hillary missing the vote on domestic spying and giving the telecom companies retro and pro active immunity from prosecution. All three candidates were in the area campaigning. McCain Voted, Obama voted, Hillary did not. That really mattered to me. And the press said nothing. So the idea that the press is pro-Obama and anti-Hillary is B.S. If any other candidate had lost eleven states in a row they would be completely ignored by the press. She gets a pass because she is Hillary Clinton, wife of a former President. Her resume is no more impressive than Obama’s. Being First Lady is not relevant experience. Sure she traveled, but so has Laura Bush. Does that make Mrs. Bush qualified to be President? God, I hope not.

But the most insulting thing Hillary’s campaign has done, is run that stupid and fear-mongering ad with the annoying phone ringing in the background. Obama’s genius is his bottom-up, grassroots organization that came out with an answering ad within hours, that reminded us just how close McCain and Clinton are on the response they each might have to a middle of the night crisis. They’d both take us to war. Again. No thanks.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Goodbye William F. Buckley, Jr.

I was a kid when I first started watching Firing Line on Sundays after dinner at my grandparent’s house. We would all gather in front of the TV in their sumptuous living room in the big house on Third Avenue. I remember having to ask often what a word meant and so began to accumulate a serious vocabulary. I watched him interview his guest and when my attention wandered from the wonderful words, I watched his scalp. Even when he had hair, you could see it shift back and forward on his skull as if the very act of thinking moved his scalp absent his volition or knowledge. Over many years of this ritual I learned to think. I could actually follow the argument. I knew most of the words. I cut my political teeth on the ideas of William F. Buckley, Jr.. I almost always disagreed with him, but I watched him until the show went off the air. Thanks Mr. Buckley. You were quite a guy

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Bring Them Home Alive

John McCain keeps talking about continuing the Iraq war indefinitely. He says if we leave Iraq we won’t be bringing our boys “home with honor.” “Bring them home with honor,” is like a tic of speech for McCain. Perhaps an old war injury, the part of his PTSD he can’t control. Senator McCain, we want to bring them home alive. I’d call their service honorable. If it means my friend’s grandson gets to live, I’d call it more than honorable.

I don’t know what makes you a war hero. If it is survival for over five years, tortured and driven crazy, you’ve got the title. But it is my understanding that you were shot down on your first mission. What in that service was heroic beyond survival? It is sad for you, Senator McCain, that the two wars that will have defined for you, who you are, were both fought in the wrong place and for the wrong reason. You are a victim of them both.

There was a time, before this war, when I, a Democrat, had respect for you. You were a maverick and that made many of us think you had good sense, not always following the party line, if the party line was clearly wrong. I did not closely follow your votes in the early part of the war, but I recall that you were critical of the way the war was being fought, you warned Rumsfeld about troop levels, little things like that. But if you were a war hero, you would have spoken out loudly against the war right from the start. Wrong war, wrong place. No plan to get out. Speak out. That takes courage. It takes courage to vote against the party line when you know the line is wrong and everyone wants you to go along. Too much money’s riding on it. Now there are too many reputations riding on it, yours included. The only thing you still had credibility on was the torture thing. You know what I mean. You were a stand-up guy on that one. This is where you know your stuff. You know what torture is. That’s what makes you a hero isn’t it? You survived torture. When you said, “Water-boarding is torture and we should not torture. It is not what we, as a Nation, stand for”, I thought you still had some integrity. And then you voted to fudge that line. You voted for the “We don’t torture, so if we do it, it isn’t torture,” resolution. It depends on what the meaning of “it” is. If we do “it” and don’t call “it” water-boarding is “it” torture? You got lost in the tortured logic, Senator McCain. That’s when you lost a lot of us.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Does Experience Matter

It depends on the experience. If it were just a matter of experience per se, then you’d have to be really old to be relevant. Sadly for us old farts, this is not the case. But given the type of experience, given the proven success of one’s experience, it certainly should matter. In Senator Clinton’s case it is not an issue that works in her favor. Just being a survivor is not enough. Just having been there and voted is not enough. Her record is relevant and it’s a problem for her. I think her self-confidence, intelligence and ambition have taken her far. She is driven. I’ll give her that. She lived through hell and is here to tell us about the trip. That should make her a much better campaigner than Obama, but it hasn’t. She should have learned that we are a forgiving people, who don’t like stubborn for stubborn’ sake especially when stubborn is wrong. We’ve been living with that for nearly eight years. For us, the American people, if you made a mistake, call it a mistake and say you’re sorry. Then it is in the past. As long as a mistake hangs there in the present reminding us of your long past, it’s a problem and your experience is more a problem than an asset. If you cling to what didn’t work, rationalize, shake your finger in our faces, try to scare us (we who have lived through eight years with The Boy Who Cried Wolf) then we might not be so inclined to give you credit for anything more than longevity. It is this very issue that just might be John McCain’s undoing. Four more years of a failed regime? Mmmm, I think not.