• My quick take on the news

    After putting up 4 fairly long posts in less than 24 hours yesterday, I need to take some time to attend to the kiddies and my gardens. But I’d hate the leave my minions without their Upside Down World fix (that’s a joke, btw :) ). So I thought I’d pass on my take on a couple of recent news events which have been bugging me.

    1. Oil. Obviously oil costs too much. Obviously we need to find ways to cut back. Obviously what we are doing isn’t sustainable in the long term. However, the reality is that our best case scenario right now is to cut back and go through a transition period away from heavy dependence on oil. Which means that for the foreseeable future we will still need the stuff. So, it drives me nuts that we refuse to allow drilling and oil exploration either on or off shore in the USA. Now, I’m not saying we can become self-sufficient by drilling in the USA. However, the main protest against drilling seems to be environmental. Normally, I’m very sympathetic to environmental causes. However, do other oil producing countries not have environments? Are we to believe that Russia and Nigeria and Argentina are taking their oil from lifeless wastelands? Is the USA the only place on the planet where there is an environment worth preserving? Come on people! At least in the USA we can be assured that best practices will be used to protect the environment. Can we really have have any confidence that Gabon will do the same? It seems to me that from a global level, those who really want us to do the least amount of environmental damage possible would be trying to get oil production moved into the places like the USA. IMO, our current approach is silly and selfish.

    2. Scott McClellan, as you have surely heard, has written a tell-all book which repeats the same things every other book about the Bush administration has said (ie he’s an incurious baboon). What I have found amusing about this is the press reaction to the book. Now, I know that the press, having dealt with McClellan as press secretary don’t care for the man. However, they keep saying, “why didn’t he say anything when he was in office?” Yeah, I can see how that would have worked: “Thank you for coming today, ladies and gentlemen of the press. The president has asked me to tell you that things are going well in Iraq and we’re making adjustments on the ground as needed. However, I would personally like to add that the president is delusional and he was picking lint from between his toes during the morning briefing, so I doubt he has any real idea what’s going on. I’ll open the floor for questions now.”

    3. Kathleen Parker, the (I hate to say it) conservative columnist has apparently taken up the use of psychotropic drugs and is now acting as a propagandist for various white-power groups. If you were fortunate enough to miss it, Ms. Parker wrote a column about voters looking for a “full blooded American” to vote for. Continue reading

  • Can I just say . . .

    that of all the crap which has come out of people’s mouths regarding the Wright-Obama connection, there is one which takes the cake for stupid dishonesty.  That is the claim that Obama’s relationship with Wright is particularly relevant to the conversation because we just don’t know much about Obama and we need to look for information where we can get it.  I’m surprised the people peddling this crap can still reach the end of their sniveling noses with a hankie.

    If someone wanted to know more about Obama, wouldn’t they , you know, do some research into his positions (hint: they’re liberal), look at his voting record (hint: liberal, democrat), read his books (hint: smart, thoughtful, liberal), talk to people who went to school with and worked with him (hint: universally liked)?  I mean the idea that we just have NO IDEA what Obama’s really like so it’s only natural that we would look at who he’s friends with to discern what has been so artfully hidden from our eyes is nothing but a dishonest, disingenuous lie.

  • Conservative Delusions About Race, Part II

    Last week I wrote a post titled “Transcending Race and Delusional Conservatives” outlining several ways that mainstream conservative thinking about race is wrong. (And I am coming at this as a conservative myself, mind you.) Today, in the Washington Post, Gary MacDougal wrote a column titled “Jeremiah Wright’s Wider Toll” which is one of the worst examples another conservative misconception about race that I have seen: the “if they would just get over it, they would be successful” meme. The premise of the column is that Jeremiah Wright’s worst offense is preaching a message of racial grievance which leads to a lack of personal responsibility and effort by those stuck in inner city communities.

    Now, there is a grain of truth behind the idea that an emphasis on racial barriers can create the perception that it is not worth trying because failure is inevitable. It can also contribute to an inability to overcome normal setbacks and obstacles, since their presence may well be seen as evidence of the futility of trying to attain success as an African American. However, in the hands of many conservatives this relatively small factor in the disparity of outcomes between whites and blacks becomes the entire explanation for problems in black America. The thinking is that if African Americans would just let go of their anger and resentment, stop seeing themselves as victims and take responsibility for their own actions, African Americans would experience as much success as any other group in America.

    There are many problems, fallacies and illogical assumptions with this line of thinking. I’ll start with the most obvious one as demonstrated by Mr. MacDougal’s column:

    Imagine getting up each morning to go to work in a society that doesn’t want you, doesn’t respect you and seeks to hold you back. Your spiritual leader has told you this, after all. . . If this is the message you got from your mentor, would you expect that you could succeed? Would you try very hard, if at all?” [emphasis mine] Continue reading

  • God Bless Peggy Noonan

    I mean that really. I hope that God has and continues to bless Peggy Noonan greatly. Because she has stood in the face of the ridiculous demagoguery which has surrounded the whole Obama-Wright debacle and spoken sense where sense has not been welcomed. Writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan talks about her indifference to Pastor Wright’s ranting and puts it into some perspective:

    I also think that if Hillary Clinton wins because of the Wright scandal, it will leave a sad taste in the mouths of many. Mr. Obama reveals many things in his books, speeches and interviews but polarity and a tropism toward the extreme are not among them. What happened with Mr. Wright should not determine the race. Mr. Obama’s stands, his ability to convince us he can make good change, his ability to be “one of us,” that great challenge for a national politician in a varied nation, should determine the race. . .

    I do not feel a sense of honest anger or violation at his [Jeremiah Wrights's] remarks, in part because I don’t think his views carry deep implications for our country. I have been watching America up close for many years – if you count a bright childhood, for half a century. I have seen, heard and respected the pain of a people who were forced to come here when they did not want to and made to live in a way that no one would want to. Who could deny them their grief or anger? I have seen radicalism and extremism, too. I have seen Stokely Carmichael, the Black Panthers, the Black National Anthem, Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Louis Farrakhan. I came to see their radicalism as, putting the morality of policy based on rage aside, essentially unhelpful and impractical. It wouldn’t work as an American movement, not long-term. Hatred plays itself out, has power in the short-term but is nonsustaining in the long. America, and this is one of its glories, has a conscience to which an appeal can be made. It may take a long time, it may take centuries, but in the end we try hard to do the right thing, and everyone knows it. Hatred is a form of energy that does not fuel this machine and cannot make it run.” Continue reading

  • I am sorry to announce . . .

    that my dear sister Maggie will never be able to run for public office. You see a few years ago while attending UIC, she took a class taught by unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers. She even consumed a meal at his home. And laughed at his jokes! Obviously, there is something wrong with poor Maggie’s judgement and she just wouldn’t be fit for public office due to her “close association” with Mr. Ayers. A real patriot would have stormed out of the class in disgust and taken a bad grade for the country.

    That’s at least 2 down for my siblings: Maggie has ties with an unrepentant terrorist and I have a long standing, personal relationship with a man who has been know to say that the government deliberately assasinated all the strong black leaders to protect itself and has uttered the words, “I hate white people” more than once. (That would be my husband.) Who knows what sort of evil malcontents my other siblings have associated with. Heck, my father once said that Jimmy Carter was the last good man in the white house. Surely the fact that his children still maintain relationships with him (and occassionally ask for money) is proof positive that none of us are fit for so much as a city council seat.

    I can only hope that others have been wiser in their associations than my family or soon we’ll completely run out of people fit to serve in public office! What ever is this world coming to?

    For the slow on the get-go folks out there, yes I am making fun of the brohaha over Barack Obama and his various unsavory associates.

    Actually, I read the only in-contact-with-the-real-world explanation for Obama’s ongoing relationships which I have seen a couple of days ago. Dean Barnett over at the Weekly Standard writes that a couple of months ago he called dozens of Obama’s former Harvard Law classmates: Continue reading

  • Transcending Race and Delusional Conservatives

    The candidacy of Barak Obama has inspired a great deal of talk, some of it self-inflicted by Sen. Obama, about the idea of transcending race. However, as the campaign as worn on, it has become apparent that “transcend race” is one of those phrases which means different things to different people. It seems to be a Rorschach test of wishful thinking in which people see it as meaning what they want it to mean.

    I want to address how this issue plays out on the conservative side. The conservative perspective is the one which is closer to what I identify with and I think we have suffered as a nation because of conservatives’ refusal to look at and think reasonably about issues of race.

    In regards to transcending race, on the conservative side, I have heard a fair amount of talk which indicates a wish for “transcending race” to mean eliminating race as an issue to which we need to pay attention to or offer consideration for. Because of this, conservatives have often reacted to things like the fact that Obama attends an Afrocentric church as a betrayal of his claim to be someone who can help us move past race. However, this perspective is based on a host of completely erroneous ideas.

    The first problem with this perspective is that it presumes that in order to “get past race”, we must embrace a sort of “color-blind” nirvana and assiduously pretend that we have already reached such a place. In large part, this seems to mean that we ought to reject anything which conflicts with the idea that we are and should be completely unaware of race. Continue reading

  • The Anti-Christ, Revealed

    Yesterday my husband was watching a History Channel show on the anti-Christ. Part way through the show, they were saying that people thought that the anti-Christ would be a powerful, charismatic orator who would experience a rapid rise to power while appearing to offer peace, unity and freedom to his fervent followers. At which point my husband turned to me and said, “Oh my gosh! Barack Obama is the anti-Christ!”

    Hmmmm . . . ;)

  • Perfect election scenario

    We are very conflicted over this year’s election.  On one hand, we’d really like Obama to win the nomination and the election, because we think it would be good for the nation.  It would go a long way towards healing some of the distrust and anger between black and white America if we can demonstrate that we are willing to elect a black man as president.  Given the depth of the divide and distrust between black and white America, this would be no small thing.  However, this would mean having a liberal president over the next four years, which I am not thrilled with.  Particularly since we are one Justice away from a Supreme Court who sees it’s responsibility as to interpret what the constitution says rather than to help it grow into a document more to liberals’ liking.  With so many justices being so old, this seems like a bad time to risk having a liberal president.

    If Obama got the nomination and lost, this would be a negative thing for the country as well.  It would be very hard for an Obama loss to be seen as anything other than America’s refusal to elect a black man, at least in the eyes of many African Americans.  Because I think that the rift between black America and white America is very important, I think this would have a disastrous long term impact.

    However, I think I have figured out how all of this can work out for the good from the perspective of someone who is both conservative and very concerned with race relations in America.  What I would love to see happen is for the Democrats to nominate Hillary Clinton, who would inevitably lose in a land-slide to John McCain.  This has the added advantage of placing the blame for not electing a black man on the democrats who vote in the primaries rather than on America as a whole.  Once John McCain has served a term, and hopefully nominated a decent Supreme Court Justice or two to the bench, he will be too old to be viable for another 4 years.  At that point, Obama can go for the Democratic nomination again, run and win.

    See- if someone would just put me in charge of everything we’d come out just fine.  :)  IJS!