Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tears for Teddy

I woke up crying this morning, real early. I took Cyrus out, I think I fed him. Gave him his pills, got my coffee, and felt awful for no good reason. I looked at the clock and it was 7:30. I tried to calculate what time I had gone to sleep, and like always it was late, but I shouldn't feel this bad.

I tried to go back to sleep, couldn't, gave up, got up and turned on TV. Then I went to the computer. I get email alerts from Salon, Slate, and The Washington Post. I always get at least these three red numbers on my mail icon in my dock, but often ignore them. I drank my coffee, read a couple of comments on last nights post, god I was uninspired yesterday. Actually the meme was a relief from my boring post. Checked tracksy, low traffic yesterday, not much today, but it is early. And then the sound of the news starts to penetrate my hearing. Ted Kennedy has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. I open my mailbox and see that it is indeed true. Teddy Kennedy, the last Kennedy brother has a fast growing malignant brain tumor. It will of course be treated as aggressively as possible, but... These tumors are very aggressive and deadly. That's my undoing. I start to sob. It's been going on, off and on, all day.

The end of an era. I hope he lives long enough to see the first African American President of the United States inaugurated.

Hold Your Breath, The Results From Kentucky Are Almost In

Only eighteen minutes to go.... Here it comes...

A moment to consider the demographics. Kentucky is the most conservative state in the Union. This Surprises me, I thought it was Utah. But what do I know, I only live here. I have voted in every Presidential election and never had my vote count, so what's up with that? We're not the most conservative? No shit! I feel better already. Ok, what nasty epithet can I call Kentuckians? They make good whiskey. All those years of back woods whisky making during prohibition has really paid off. I'm thinkin' hillbillies. Want to take me on with this one? I could be wrong. Maybe redneck, maybe crackers, maybe a melange of all three. Madmike you do not need to step in to inform me that not all Kentuckians are neanderthals--no insult to neanderthals intended. I know that they are hard working, uh, hard working white, uh, nice hard working white voters, who will probable vote for John McCain in the general election, but what the hell, give it to her anyway, 'caus it's so not going to make a fucking bit of difference. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kentucky#Demographics


In this year of political choices let's have a little discussion of the meaning of the word. A lot of words are going to be thrown about this year on both sides of the political fence. "Freedom" is the one I like to focus on. The Bill of Rights is one of my favorite documents. I occasionally read it just to remind myself of what I have lost under the almost eight years of the George W.Bush Presidency. The first to go seems to be our right to privacy--now we have the telecom companies wanting immunity from future prosecution for past law breaking--they cooperated with the Bush administration for warrentless eavesdropping on all of us. Amazing how quickly we can be convinced to surrender our constitutionally given legal rights, and not fight like hell to get them back.

"Sacred" will be thrown around by those on the right of the political spectrum to justify preventing other citizens of our country from the equal rights all of us are guaranteed under the Constitution. This word "sacred" has alway been used to justify oppression and is one of my least favorite words. It is used in church and that is where I think it should stay. According to a lot of “good Christian people” anyone whose sexual preference is for someone of the same gender should not be allowed to marry, adopt and raise a child, since marriage is a "sacred cow" of the Right. Tell me, what is “Christian” about that? These same people are likely to call themselves “Pro-life.” But when asked if this pro-life stance applies to the issue of the death penalty, they say, “well…No.” They are usually quite sanguine about killing in the name of law and order, but they would prevent you from making the “choice” to have a legal abortion in the first trimester of a pregnancy that you did not plan, do not want, can’t afford, and which would, in your mind, in your heart, ruin your life. The decision to have an abortion is never easy for a woman. Any medical procedure is difficult, but this one is, in every way, emotionally wrenching for most women. There are almost always aftershocks made all the more difficult by this climate of hatred and vitriol aimed at women in a very vulnerable emotional condition. Does this seem “Christian” to you? I have a friend, long past child baring days, who lived with her aged Mormon mother in her mother's last year. This old woman, my friends mother, said to me once that she could forgive her daughter or grand-daughter anything accept an abortion. Daughter and grand-daughter have both had abortions. This grandmother, this aged mother went to her grave never really knowing her daughter or her grand-daughter because she has made it clear that her “Christianity” would prevent her from forgiving them if she knew. Odd to me that “Christianity” is lived nowadays minus the real practice of forgiveness. It deprives us of the comfort we need in times of terrible trouble and in the end leaves isolated with our unforgivin "sin."

There is a great deal of misinformation about the cozy relationship between government and religion during these depressing Bush years. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist preacher and Governor from Arkansas, claims that it would be easier to make the Constitution over, to have it reflect his (and he seems to imply all of our) religious convictions, and he says "God’s laws", than to make over the Biblical teachings his religion is based on, to reflect the freedoms guaranteed in our constitution. I don’t care what his religious belief is, but it’s pretty presumptuous of him to think it is also mine. Why is my religious belief, or lack of it, less valid or important in the eyes of the laws of our land than his? He needs to take a few graduate level courses at a good State University in Constitutional Law. He and I are equal in the eyes of the law. That’s the really great thing about our Constitution. Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney were two of the men in the first or second Republican Debate who, when asked, "If you don't believe in evolution raise your hands", raised their hands. My mouth fell open as I watched. I was astounded. Did these guys miss biology class completely, or does religious belief rule out rational, logical, thought. Should we throw science out the window with our brains? Evolution is not a theory. If you believe it is, please do some reading, take a few brush-up courses in biology. Your ignorance should embarrass you.

John McCain has said that he has no problem with keeping the United States engaged in the war in Iraq for a hundred years. And he keeps saying, "I will follow Osamma Bin Laden to the gates of hell!" If he wins the election and gets his way, get ready for the return of the draft. Everyone who comes of age (that would be every eighteen year old, male and female)will have to register for selective service. If you have children under the age of eighteen or children under the age of thirty get ready to wave goodbye as they board the bus for basic training. If you plan to have children, and John McCain gets his way, when they reach the age of eighteen, they too will be shipped off to Iraq. Is this the future you want for your children?

On the left the word I hear most often is "change." I could not agree more. We do need change. Big change. We need to find a different way of doing the Nation’s business. And in looking at the two candidates still in the Democratic race for the nomination it is apparent we will have change--they are not old white men, and that in itself is big change. But before you cast your vote, think about what it means to say you’re for change when most of your candidates campaign contributions are from big corporate donors and lobbyists for big corporate interests. Follow the money and you will be able to tell who is really talking about change. Who benefits, who loses? If the rich benefit again and the poor lose again, we will have lost our decency. We will, as a nation, have no sense of shame. Greed will rule the day. And choice won’t really matter anymore.