Friday, November 28, 2008

From the Mouths of Babes

I have often heard that you can tell a lot about people, by observing their children. Seeing how someone's children approach the world tells us a lot about the person, not just their parenting, but that parent's worldview.

At the end of this Barbara Walters interview, a story is told about Malia Obama.

To paraphrase:
Malia, when touring the Whitehouse, saw the Lincoln bedroom and the desk that holds a copy of the Gettysburg Address. Malia told her father, 'daddy, when I have a paper that is hard for me to write, a big paper due at school, I am going to go into that bedroom and sit at that desk where President Lincoln wrote that speech and signed that paper because I think that will inspire big thoughts.' Obama responded to her, 'well, you have really thought this through, haven't you.'

What a nice story, this morning. So much nicer than the other crap on the teevee and in the news.

I believe that the example that the Obama's set as parents and as spouses will be good for this country to see.

ABC won't give me the code, but you can watch the interview section here.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Part 1

Part 2

"If ya wanna end war and stuff, ya gotta sing loud." - Arlo Guthrie

Every Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember, at 12 noon, KZOK (our local classic rock station) has played "Alice's Restaurant." No matter what we are doing everything stops so that we can listen; for 18 minutes and 20 seconds.

Having had the ability and honor of seeing Arlo live a couple of years ago, and hearing him sing it live, has increased my appreciation for the genius of Arlo Guthrie, Woody Guthrie and the entire Guthrie family.

The prior Arlo quote - "If ya wanna end war and stuff, ya gotta sing loud," is one of my all-time favorite sayings. I believe it, in all of its incarnations. It is true no matter how I look at it...if we want to change the world we cannot be meek. Silent bitching in the privacy of my own home makes no difference. It is only in putting myself out there and participating in ways that I am not always comfortable - it is only in taking that risk that I can make a difference - that we can make a difference.

I tried to find some of the best versions of "Alice's Restaurant" - but they are all good. For those interested, here are the links to the scenes from the movie:

Dump Closed

Draft scene 1

Draft scene 2

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!! I hope that today is filled with much love and happiness for all of you.

We were to have a small party tomorrow, with the turkey and all of that, but, I am too sick to do it. We have postponed until Sunday. I am on an antibiotic, so hopefully my immune system will not be as screwey as it has been and the antibiotic will fix me fast. I hope so. I am really pissed that my [way too expensive, free range, organic] turkey is waiting. I would like to eat it now.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

What Does this Say?

Yesterday kiddo and I were working out in the yard (believe it or not our grass is still growing – I even have a very confused Easter Lily that is ready to bloom. I have covered her at night for the last month so that she does not freeze, but we did not have our first actual frost until Saturday.) Anyhow, kiddo and I were working out in the yard and he said to me:

“My friend Anthony’s mom is a big-time Democrat too. She stays in her pajamas and blogs all day when she isn’t working too…[this was not the purpose of his story – his story was actually about Anthony's shirt] …He has a t-shirt that says ‘THINK – it’s still allowed – for now’.”

What does this say? I am still not sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing or if it is just a terribly funny reality.

I did not ask him if Anthony’s mom was sick as well, I just said that he should “hook us up because we would probably get along great,” (as long as we could do it via IM and not actually have to talk to each other, or anything as radical as that.)

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Color Me Surprised

Amazon's reported Top Sellers this morning when I added something else to my Christmas list:

Here's the link to Team of Rivals. To my knowledge, a 2 year-old paperback rarely makes the Top Sellers list. I thought it was a static database query, but unless everyone online is buying this thing, Top Sellers must also be influenced by purchase and gift history.

What are you thankful for, and reflecting that dissatisfaction (*grin*), what are you asking for this Christmas?

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Madness of the Young Republicans

The Great Orange Satan has a fascinating little article, Faculty Advisor Resigns "Ashamed" of Young Conservatives of Texas Blacklist.
Before the Presidential election, the YCT chapter at Texas A & M University hosted an "Anti-Obama Carnival". The fun included throwing eggs at a photograph of now President-Elect Barack Obama on the TAMU campus. Even at a campus well known for its conservative views, this "egg toss" at the then Democratic nominee caused remarkable push back by other students who observed the spectacle.

. . However, the TAMU chapter of the YCT’s remained true to their wing nut role models and turned their focus to blacklisting. In short, the YCT decided to plaster and pass out flyers with pictures and names of TAMU faculty members who had signed a petition opposing the "demonization" of Bill Ayers.
This reminds me of 1993 - I was living in the dorms at my conservative land grant University and the Young Republicans club had grown from a dozen to several dozen since the election of "Slick Willy" Clinton. Their favored method of advertising for meetings and fundraisers was to make 8.5x11 posters with graffiti-ed pictures of the Clintons and other Democrats and then annotate some of the most hateful invective I'd ever read into the Democrats' public statements.

It's deja vu all over again.

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The Big Three - PPS

Two other things I've read over the last day concerning the Automotive Bailout

* Maryscott :
Just ask yourself... why are all these Republicans so eager for the Big 3 to fail?

One word: Unions.

Sure, there's more to it than that. There's ALWAYS more to it than that. But, BOY, won't it be GREAT to kill off the UAW?

. . They're going to let the Big 3 go into bankruptcy to let the "Right to Work" states take over auto production.
(edited for clarity)
As one commenter notes, those speaking the loudest in resistance to an auto bailout have the most to gain in their states: Alabama -- Sen. Richard Shelby, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Daimler-Mercedes), South Carolina - Sen. Jim DeMint, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-BMW), Tennessee - Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Nissan).

Also, Toyota has plants in Kentucky (Jim Bunning-R & Mitch McConnell-R), Texas (John Cornyn-R & Kay Bailey Hutchison-R), West Virginia (Byrd & Rockefeller, both D's), Alabama, Indiana (Richard Lugar-R, Evan Bayh-D) and is building another in Mississippi (Wicker-R, Cochran-R). My family drives Toyotas, BTW.

* Stirling Newberry:
China wants a car company. The right wing, blinded by a hatred of unions, wants to give it to them. China is already looking at what that would mean: gaining a decade on having a car culture, and the ability to produce it's own automobiles.

Up until now, it has acted as an assembly point, and source for parts, for some time, in the hopes of learning the secrets of what is one of the crown jewels of the industrial system. Its attempts to penetrate the core automotive markets have been fraught with problems. For China, automobiles provide the key to opening their own interior, expanding their compact cities, turning vast stretches of marginal economic land into developments, and at the end, an export engine with a high value add.
It's the equivalent of a science-fiction trope: having a time traveler from the future appear & use his his far superior knowledge to dramatically alter the world political landscape 10 or 20 years later.
China is serious about automotive technology. It is also considering using its currency reserves to bail out its own troubled automotive sector, which has over built low quality production in an era of 25% market growth, and is facing an era of significantly slower growth, with higher bar to market. That's why They've propose buying key assets from Chrysler and GM. That's what the right wing noise machine, and Senator Shelby, are pushing in essence: selling Detroit to Shanghai. Such a move would not vault China into the top ranks over night, but it would create a vacuum in the US, and mean that the US auto industry would be on circling the drain. Even the hard right realizes that nationalization would be the only other solution.

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