Friday, September 29, 2006

Ubuntu? And do you want fries with that?

Here's yet another reason why I continue to love Bill Clinton, despite his Clintonesque-sized faults and foibles. Ubuntu. He's promoting Ubuntu. And I don't mean Linux-based software Ubuntu, which is what you'll find out about if you google Ubuntu. I mean the African concept of ubuntu. Bill said, "Society is important because of Ubuntu." In the BBC article in which I read about this, ubuntu was defined several different times, each capturing a different flavor of the concept.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu defined it best (at least in this article): "Ubuntu is very difficult to render into a Western language . . . . It is to say 'My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in what is yours."

This is what Bill thinks. This is how he ran government. Taking care of people. Not losing sight of others in the face of yourself. I'm not saying he was a saint or anything. Obviously, he was far from it. But he tried to take care of people. (Just like he tried to get rid of bin Laden!)

Compare that to someone else's current President. How does he take care of people? He attempts to legislates and legalizes torture, abandoning any pretense at our moral leadership of the world. He lies about vital issues (I'm not going to put a link here--too many possiblities from which to choose!. He remakes the American economy to benefit the uber-wealthy. He runs a bloody war, initiated on a lie, that has turned a country upon itself, resulting in civil war.

Did you know that the current cost of the war in Iraq is $2 billion a week? $2 billion a week. If you've read Greg Mortenson's book "Three Cups of Tea", you'll be aware of a much better use for that money. Can you imagine the end of terrorism? I can imagine it, if we spent $2 billion a week on education and infrastructure in countries like Iraq and Pakistan and Afghanistan.

I bet Bill Clinton can imagine it, too.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Clinton Goes Postal or Yee Haw, Someone's Finally Gone To Town on Those Right-Wing Media Types

So, did you see Bill Clinton's interview cum harangue with Chris Wallace this weekend? If not, check it out here . It's well worth the time. And it's about time--perhaps well past time.

The sleezebags that run our country have been actively seeking to place blame for their disastrous war in Iraq, 9/11, Afghanistan, bin Laden, and possibly incontinence in women over the age of 50 on the Clinton Administration. It is truly a wonder that

a. in this age of instant access to all sorts of info, past and present, that the Bushies think they can get away with remaking history and

b. that they ARE getting away with remaking history with faint protest from the Democrats or pointed questioning by the media.

The recent ABC movie on 9/11 got away with making claims that Clinton was at least partly responsible for 9/11 due to his administration's lack of effort by simply lying about what the 9/11 Commission report actually said. Sure, there was talk about it. But it wasn't yanked off the network like that Ronald Reagan bio pic was a few years back. Hmm. Wonder who's in charge here?

It was refreshing, even if self-serving, to see Bill Clinton's righteous anger at yet another right-wing attempt to pin the tail on the Donkey. It was quite satisfying to see a Fox reporter stammer and stutter and be bested by said Donkey. And it's about time that Clinton stopped the lovefest with the Bush family and started dancing with the ones that brung him.

Is Bill Clinton the only Democratic leader we have that can summon some articulate anger about the past 5 years? Is he the only one who can at least ACT unafraid of the consequences of mouthing off to Bush's media minions? And is he the only one who is willing to challenge the Bush administration and it's constant manipulation of facts (otherwise known as lies) to expose the truth of 9/11, Afghanistan, and the Iraq war?

Hoping not,

Thursday, September 21, 2006

This, That, and The Other Thing

So what's the deal with this bill in the House that requires a photo ID to vote? Since Republicans support it, I'm inclined to view it as a disenfranchising technique. Wait, you ask. Doesn't everyone have a photo ID? Um, not. Not exactly.

Drivers have photo IDs. Millions of people don't drive, primarily poor urban dwellers. Who are either minorities or elderly. Who vote Democrat. Hmm. Yes, one can obtain a state ID. Did you know it costs money? I know because I took my son to get one this summer. He's a non-driver due to his autism/Asperger's Syndrome. We were tired of being hassled while traveling because he had no, yes, photo ID.

Can't remember what it cost. $20? $25? And I had to drive to the Secretary of State's Office. And spend lots of time midday (when most people are working) standing in lines to get it. So how's an city dwelling elderly woman on a fixed income who doesn't drive manage that?

Thus, we put a price tag and a convenience tag on the right to vote. Nice. Leave it to the Republicans to figure out how to manage that.

Speaking of my kids, my daughter is upstairs sleeping right now. She's been struggling all week with a high homework load and an asthma flare. So imagine my dismay to hear that it's possible the EPA could rule to keep soot (particulate) levels at their current levels (or even raise the allowable levels), despite mucho evidence that soot levels cause and exacerbate all sorts of respiratory aliments.

We've had a exponential increase in the number of asthma cases in the past 30 years. We've got research that shows asthma is AT LEAST related to pollution. Guess we care more about polluting businesses that bring in big bucks than our own children's lungs.

Appropo yesterday's query about the stupidity of people approving Bush. Did you see the graph
in USA Today showing clearly the relationship between gas prices and opinions of Bush? Yep. Paying more for gas is way more important than killing thousands of Iraqis and Americans in Iraq or attempting to legitimize torture or lying to the American people about, well, everything.

I'm disgusted and late with dinner.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Surprise, surprise, surprise!

See? Told you I was coming back. The exigencies of two teenagers darting in and out of sight and mind all day long made blogging an impossibility in the summertime (and who wants to sit in front of a computer on a sunny July afternoon?). But they went back to school--including the homeschooled teenager, who's now in college--and I've come back to blogging.

I guess my coming back is the only surprise. Nothing much has changed during my news and views hiatus. Less focus on bird flu than there was a few months ago. But George Bush is still someone's president, which means very little else has changed.

What do I mean? Let's see. The rich keep getting richer. In the first six months of 2006, wages and salary accounted for the smallest amount of our national income since 1929. Yet corporate profit was at its largest share of the national income since 1950. Here's a nice number byte from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities "Wages and salaries have grown at a 2.0 percent average annual rate, after adjusting for inflation . . . (while) Corporate profits have grown at a 14.1 percent average annual rate, after adjustment for inflation."

This allows Bush to continue to tout our economic recovery while most of lower and middle class America continues to reach for their empty wallet. Nice. And what's with the Bush number rebound? Are we really so stupid as to actually believe that because gas prices are going down, invading Iraq was a good idea? Actually, Reuters suggests it's just Republicans who are that dumb.

On a related note, there was an interesting article in the Washington Post yesterday on making decisions with your head versus your heart. It cites a 1935 study in which an emotional approach to voters was shown to be a vastly superior method of persuasion compared to rationality. The author quotes a political psychologist (a political psychologist??) as saying that modern research confirms the importance of political ads tugging at heart strings to be effective.

So I'm ready. Market to me, baby. Come on, George. Make yourself look compassionate: champion Darfur and actually make the world accomplish something of substance there. Make yourself look caring: follow up on your promises post-Katrina and rehouse, reshore, and restore the dead zones. Make yourself look like you love the environment: do that rumored about-face , embrace the reality of global warming, and act to slow it down.

I don't care who does the right thing. I don't care how it's packaged or who sells it. I just want it done. Maybe the ends justify the means. Maybe God can use a Republican to save the world.

Maybe hell will freeze over soon.

Until then,