Monday, October 27, 2008

Holding My Breath

In just over a week, I will be sitting in the comfort of my living room surrounded by friends -- and watching as this country hopefully turns the page and starts the next chapter in its sometimes turbulent history. The events of the last few days sadden me -- from the pitiful race-baiting attempt of Ashley Todd to today's announcement that ATF had foiled a planned Obama assassination attempt to the acceptance of racist epithets being tossed about at Palin campaign rallies. On the eve of this country potentially electing the first non-Caucasian president in its more than two-century history, racism has reared its ugly head in a last minute attempt to instill fear into the undecided.

In tonight's comment on Countdown, Keith Olberman made a special plea to the McCain campaign to repudiate this fear-mongering as unacceptable.



But I have little faith in this plea being answered. And for that reason, every time I refresh CNN, I hold my breath -- scared that the headline will announce my personal nightmare where fear triumphs over hope.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Seething

I've been seething all afternoon, since I found out that a friend of mine had lost her job effective immediately because her employer -- Moonstruck Chocolate -- had decided to close all cafes outside of the Portland area. Now I realize that companies need to make decisions based on the bottom line, and that these decisions often negatively impact the people who work for them. But this could not have been an overnight decision on the part of the company. Why didn't they give their employees more notice? Don't they owe that to their employees in return for the employees' dedication and loyalty?

I am only hoping that the Moonstruck employees who remain in their jobs (in the Portland area) realize what a callous, evil company they are working for and walk out the door at their earliest opportunity. I for one, will never consume another Moonstruck product again. I hope that anyone who reads this will join me in making the company pay for their transgressions.

I'm one that believes in a lot of middle ground when it comes to right and wrong, but this is just plain wrong.

How Has Your Job Prepared You for the Vice Presidency?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Practical Powell

I wish more of our leaders could look at things as practically as Colin Powell.



Palin as Counterpoint

Today, in talking about Sarah Palin, Senator McCain said "She is a direct counterpoint to the liberal feminist agenda for America."

My curiosity got the best of me, and I asked myself: What exactly is the liberal feminist agenda in this country?

So I headed on over to the National Organization for Women -- considered by many on the right to be a leftist organization comprised of radical feminists. According to their website, here are the top six issues on the NOW agenda:
  • Abortion rights/reproductive issues
  • Violence against women
  • Constitutional equality
  • Promoting diversity/ending racism
  • Lesbian rights
  • Economic justice
Now, I can't believe that Senator McCain meant to imply that Governor Palin was for violence against women, against constitutional equality, anti-diversity, pro-racism, and anti-justice. That would just be silly. I think what he meant to say was that Governor Palin was chosen to secure the votes of those on the right that would like to see the reversal of Roe v. Wade and want to see lesbians repent or roast in the toasty fires of hell.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Unexpected Endorsements

While I doubt that major newspaper endorsements have a huge impact on the voting decisions of ordinary people (likely because most people don't read newspapers), Obama has picked up two unexpected and significant endorsements this week:

"We may one day look back on this presidential campaign in wonder. We may marvel that Obama's critics called him an elitist, as if an Ivy League education were a source of embarrassment, and belittled his eloquence, as if a gift with words were suddenly a defect. In fact, Obama is educated and eloquent, sober and exciting, steady and mature. He represents the nation as it is, and as it aspires to be." - L. A. Times (read full text)

"Obama is deeply grounded in the best aspirations of this country, and we need to return to those aspirations." -- Chicago Tribune (read full text)

Both of these major newspapers have a history of conservative leanings. In reading the full text of the endorsements, three reasons for picking Obama emerge: 1) Obama is a consensus builder who thinks and consults before he acts; 2) John McCain has abandoned his integrity in the quest for validation from the far right; and 3) the irresponsibility and obvious political pandering involved in the choice of Sarah Palin as running mate.

I'm highly skeptical of polling numbers, but all signs point to an Obama victory two weeks from now. I have a feeling that had McCain remained strong in the face the far right, we might be predicting a McCain victory on November 4. But as both the Times and Tribune comment, this is not the same John McCain that used to garner the respect of citizens and organizations across the political spectrum.

Anti-American?

Here's a video of a congresswoman from Minnesota talking about what constitutes "anti-American" views.





Ideas and issues are gone. We are now in the home stretch of fear and distortion. The GOP has evidently decided they can't win issue arguments, and so have resorted to attacks that are essentially indefensible. How do you even defend against the accusation that you are anti-American? What is the definition of pro-American. Don't we all -- with the exception of an isolated few on both extreme ends of the political spectrum -- want what is good for this country? We may disagree on how we get to the "good of the country" -- but that doesn't mean we are anti-American,

I just hope the GOP fear-mongering doesn't work this time. The past eight years (or at least since 9/11) are a direct result of the people of this country caving into fear politics and giving the government the power to destroy their constitutional rights. We can't afford to go further down that road.

Contemplating the Ignorance

There have been several shining examples of the ignorance that has crept into this campaign, but the accusation that Obama had created his own flag has to be up there at the top.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Feeling Sorry for McCain

In the past week, I've seen some glimpses of the John McCain of old -- a decent human being and American. He's obviously regretting the mob riot his campaign has dissolved into, and seemingly the choice of Sarah Palin as his VP. When he defended Obama's character this week in the face of obvious lies (albiet in a way that was offensive to Arabs), it was as if he realized the campaign had gone too far with its negativity. I think McCain would really like to address real issues -- and knows presenting real solutions for the economy is the only way he can win this election. But he is now consumed in another Republican campaign that relies on smear tactics and baseless character attacks -- and he chose a running mate whose political skills are honed for sound-byte attacks instead of substance. The old McCain is a figment of our past imagination -- and I feel slightly sorry for him.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Deep Craving for Discourse

As I sit here in a campustown coffee shop -- slowly savoring Wednesday's $2 latte special (turned into a poor man's mocha with a little cocoa powder), I've decided to reawaken Skim Mocha No Whip after a months long slumber.

Lately I've been craving discourse -- mostly of the political variety. But mostly I miss intelligent conversation about real topics, conversation that avoids the inane and asks tough, challenging questions. Conversation that makes you dig deep in the defense of your beliefs. Frankly I'm tired of living in a society where our politicians are afraid of appearing "too intelligent" as if having deep, well-developed ideas was a disease worthy of innoculation.

So, here's my invitation. Join me for a conversation.
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