Monday, September 29, 2008

Some Awesome Politics

Hi Guys,

I know I've been super political lately, so I wanted to add more fun politics. I like this video...

Whooo!!! This is perfect. Me at age 5. Ha!! Love you, miss you!!

Sarah's gone political

Yes, the message can be both me and Gov. Palin. But I have a couple of things that I want to show you all. One is serious, the other.... not so much.

First, I wanted to post Deepak Chopra's message that I received in my e-mail.

"Obama and The Palin Effect

From: Deepak Chopra

Posted: September 4th, 2008

Sometimes politics has the uncanny effect of mirroring the National psyche even when nobody intended to do that. This is perfectly illustrated by the rousing effect that Gov. Sarah Palin had on the Republican convention in Minneapolis this week.

On the surface, she outdoes former Vice President Dan Quayle as an unlikely choice, given her negligent parochial expertise in the complex affairs of governing. Her state of Alaska has less than 700,000 residents, which reduces the job of governor to the scale of running one-tenth of New York City. By comparison, Rudy Giuliani is a towering international figure.

Palin's pluck has been admired, and her forthrightness, but her real appeal goes deeper. She is the reverse of Barack Obama, in essence his shadow, deriding his idealism and exhorting people to obey their worst impulses. In psychological terms the shadow is that part of the psyche that hides out of sight, countering our aspirations, virtue, and vision with qualities we are ashamed to face: anger, fear, revenge, violence, selfishness, and suspicion of "the other."

For millions of Americans, Obama triggers those feelings, but they don't want to express them. He is calling for us to reach for our higher selves, and frankly, that stirs up hidden reactions of an unsavory kind. (Just to be perfectly clear, I am not making a verbal play out of the fact that Sen. Obama is black. The shadow is a metaphor widely in use before his arrival on the scene.)

I recognize that psychological analysis of politics is usually not welcome by the public, but I believe such a perspective can be helpful here to understand Palin's message. In her acceptance speech Gov. Palin sent a rousing call to those who want to celebrate their resistance to change and a higher vision.

Look at what she stands for:

--Small town values -- a denial of America's global role, a return to petty, small-minded parochialism.

--Ignorance of world affairs -- a repudiation of the need to repair America's image abroad.

--Family values -- a code for walling out anybody who makes a claim for social justice. Such strangers, being outside the family, don't need to be heeded.

--Rigid stands on guns and abortion -- a scornful repudiation that these issues can be negotiated with those who disagree.

--Patriotism -- the usual fallback in a failed war.

--"Reform" -- an italicized term, since in addition to cleaning out corruption and excessive spending, one also throws out anyone who doesn't fit your ideology.

--Palin reinforces the overall message of the reactionary right, which has been in play since 1980, that social justice is liberal-radical, that minorities and immigrants, being different from "us" pure American types, can be ignored, that progressivism takes too much effort and globalism is a foreign threat. The radical right marches under the banners of "I'm all right, Jack," and "Why change? Everything's OK as it is."

The irony, of course, is that Gov. Palin is a woman and a reactionary at the same time. She can add mom to apple pie on her resume, while blithely reversing forty years of feminist progress. The irony is superficial; there are millions of women who stand on the side of conservatism, however obviously they are voting against their own good.

The Republicans have won multiple national elections by raising shadow issues based on fear, rejection, hostility to change, and narrow-mindedness.

Obama's call for higher ideals in politics can't be seen in a vacuum. The shadow is real; it was bound to respond. Not just conservatives possess a shadow -- we all do. So what comes next is a contest between the two forces of progress and inertia. Will the shadow win again, or has its furtive appeal become exhausted? No one can predict. The best thing about Gov. Palin is that she brought this conflict to light, which makes the upcoming debate honest. It would be a shame to elect another Reagan, whose smiling persona was a stalking horse for the reactionary forces that have brought us to the demoralized state we are in. We deserve to see what we are getting, without disguise."

I would now like to post something a little more fun, if not less telling about Gov. Palin.... I'm hoping it embeds, but if not, please go to this website:

I know, very little of me went into this message, but I feel like these two messages say it better than I can.....

Here's one of me....

There's no real point to that video, but I love how I get completely derailed by the chocolate sauce. All other concerns flew out the window in comparison to the chocolate sauce. It was a very desperate time in Peru, for me..... Later days!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Women Against Sarah Palin

Hey Everyone!

I know it's been ages, but the good news is that I am back in Columbus and ready to go back to school (well, not so much ready as having to go back anyways...). I was supposed to be working on my data more than I have, but I'm hoping some of my frustrations about how bad the transcribing is would die down. Never go through the friend of a friend for something that important to you... especially in Peru!! Then you can't complain about how they've screwed up or how they charged 3 times what a professional would have.... :-p

Moving on, I have no power. I am currently typing this up at Starbucks, one of the 4 places with power in our neighborhood. Super fun!! (This is another excuse for not working very much... this environment is not conducive to re-transcribing.) The rest of Hurricane Ike took out 280,000+ residents' power. I don't know if that number is for households or people, but I do know that the earliest prediction of when we'll get power is Wednesday. I have also heard Friday, and for those of us who are not emergency locations (electricity is a luxury! which it really is.... except we've lost our ability to do anything without it. NO FOOD!!!!), we may not have power until Sunday. However, they have said everyone will have power by Sunday at the latest. Hooray! It's like camping, but less fun. The icy showers in the pitch black bathroom are the worst.

Anyways, the whole point of this blog, beyond venting my frustration about the two biggest problems in my life (well, OK, I'll admit, I probably have bigger problems, in the grand scheme of things... but these are the two forefront in my mind), is to discuss an e-mail I received yesterday. It discusses a blog that is forming called "Women Against Sarah Palin." They are asking for a paragraph or so from every woman that wants her voice heard on this issue. Then they put them on the blog, with the name, age and location, and they are trying to publicize as much as possible. After reading the e-mail, which I would be happy to send to anyone who would like it, I was really excited to add my two cents. I have been really frustrated at the response of a number of voters who simply want to vote for her because she is a woman. Some people think that feminism will be advanced by making her vice-president. Perhaps it will, but we will also take 12 steps backwards in so many other areas, such as the right to choose, freedom of speech, etc. If we want a female vice-president, can we please have a COMPETENT woman in there????

Anyways, I wanted to share my paragraph with all of you, just for fun. I am so anti-Sarah Palin, it isn't even funny.

"While I support the idea of a female vice-president, or president for that matter, Sarah Palin is not the candidate I had in mind. As an active supporter of women's rights, I do not want to be taken in by the pandering attitudes of the Republican Party. I will not vote for her and McCain because she is a woman, just as I would not vote for Barack Obama because he is a man. I want to vote for a candidate that supports the ideals that I believe in. I want a cadidate who supports my right to choose, a person who realizes that absitence-only sex education does not work, a person who not only allows, but supports the variety of religions we have in the United States, a person who protects the rich natural heritage we have been blessed with, and a candidate who may not agree with what I am saying, but defends my right to say it (adapted quotation of Voltaire). Sarah Palin is none of those things. Not only that, but she is also inexperienced and only on the Republican ticket because she is a woman. The world is laughing at the United States for our recent mistakes in foreign policy and the economy. We would be continuing our path back in time if we allow someone whose policies seem so backwards be one heartbeat away from the presidency. Yes, I am a woman. But thanks to my mother, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers work towards gender equality, I can think for myself and will not vote for Sarah Palin."

I know, it isn't perfect. It does not even express all of the frustration I feel, but it is what I could do while hanging out at Starbucks. Also, I completely respect that families should be left out of the politics, but seriously.... her seventeen year old daughter is having a baby, but Palin still says abstinence only education works... However, if her daughter was one of the many young girls that did not have a lot of options or a rich family to support her, she would be completely out of luck. Those fabulous Republican policies that cut out funding for young, single mothers (although she and her boyfriend are being forced to get married soon....), so she would have to drop out of school, get a full-time job, and take care of her baby. It just seems so backwards to cut out options on all sides. You have to have the baby (especially since Gov. Palin is anti-birth control), but you will be given no options for taking care of her/him. Seriously?!?!?

Plus, I don't understand how the Republicans can have this argument of inexperience for Obama, but they can support Sarah Palin... Plus, she made fun of Biden having too much experience in Washington and needing an outsider to come in, guns blazing (literally!!), to clean up the corruption. What?!?! They can't have it both ways here. However, Americans are lapping it up like fat, lazy kitty-cats without giving it any thought. We are a nation of apathetic idiots. (I'm including myself, so you can't get mad!) I spoke with a number of foreigners about American politics, and they knew so much more than I did. However, one thing they kept asking is how Americans could let things happen as much as we do. I had no answers for them. The general opinion of Americans, as I gathered it from Peruvians and Europeans, is that we are all fat, lazy, stupid, uneducated, anti-environment, racist jerks. I'm serious, sadly. I'm sure I'm missing a few unpleasant adjectives, but that is just off the top of my head. Wouldn't it be so great if we proved them wrong and made huge, positive changes? Well, that will never happen if Sarah Palin has anything to say about it.... Oh, she makes me so MAD!

OK, also, she is Ms. Anti-Corruption because she stopped using her corporate jet and sold it or something else. However, she also lied and charged the government over $60,000 in expenses for herself, daughters, and husband when taking "business trips," some of which were while she was documented staying home. Also, it is illegal to charge the government for family members unless they are also employees of the government... The story was first reported by the Washington Post, but here is the most recent news article I found, It is all very fishy.

The thing about taxes is that we all wish we could have that much more in our pockets, but honestly, I am a proud tax-payer in the United States. I drive on roads all the time, I went to a public-school, and I love state and national parks. None of those things would be possible without taxes. I don't understand how the anti-tax Republicans think this system works. We have this massive deficit. We owe big, powerful countries billions of dollars that we will have to pay back some day. We spend on the military like there is no tomorrow (do you know how much a tank costs???), but we don't want to pay soldiers' benefits because we don't want to pay high taxes. I know everything is more complicated than that, but still. Taxes are necessary. Deal with it! Hurray for taxes! Well, I might not go that far. However, I do want to point out that if they want to lower taxes, they should not declare war on another country. All right, I am just babbling on with my frustration at this point. However, down with Sarah Palin and her anti-feminist ideals! I am a woman against Sarah Palin!! Hear me roar!