Tag Archives: politics

Peace out

I was awake pretty early this morning, unable to sleep. Jim has been out of town for a few days, so I let George sleep in my bed, and let me tell you, a tiny little 3-year-old boy can overtake a king size bed in a matter of seconds. So when the kicking would not subside, I relented, allowed being awake to take over, and snapped on the television set. I was thinking, hey, maybe I’ll get to see that moon bombing thing everyone has been talking about.

But instead, one miss Savannah Gutherie of MSNBC told me that SURPRISE! President Obama was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

nobel-prize

So what is the Nobel prize anyway?

Well, in 1896, one Mr. Alfred Nobel dropped dead (don’t worry, he was old). In life, Mr. Nobel was a chemist and engineer, and an extremely successful manufacturer of armory equipment. He even invented dynamite, something that J.J. Walker was always happy about.

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Mr. Nobel was basically a bizillionaire who made his fortune manufacturing ways to kill people. Eight years prior to his death, a newspaper had incorrectly gotten wind that he had died, and printed an obituary for the still kicking Mr. Nobel, belittling him for his life’s work and referring to him as “the merchant of death.” This apparently struck a nerve with Alfred. So when he finally did go to that big dynamite factory in the sky, he left the bulk of his fortune — $250 million — to the creation of the Nobel Prizes. Those prizes are awarded by the Nobel Foundation, based out of Mr. Nobel’s homeland of Sweden. Each year for the past 108 years, prizes have been awarded for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology/medicine, literature and, of course, for peace. There’s also a prize for economics, which is apparently not specifically a Nobel Prize but a prize in honor of Alfred Nobel, and when it was established, I guess it caused some grief. But I digress.

According to the Nobel Foundation, “the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded for work in a wide range of fields including advocacy of human rights, mediation of international conflicts, and arms control.” President Obama was awarded this prestigious prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

Of course, that leaves one big old question — does he really deserve it? I mean, when it comes to Barack Obama, I am definitely a fan. I get his e-mails, I donated to his campaign, and I seriously have his photo hanging on my fridge. But the cutoff date for submitting nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize was just two weeks after the President was sworn in to office. As the fine folks at Saturday Night Live told us last week, Mr. Obama hasn’t really gotten a lot done in his first nine months in office. So what could he possibly have done in his first two weeks to even be considered a nominee? Really? I mean, he sure made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but that’s not exactly the criteria for a prize that gives you world-wide acclaim, a fancy diploma, a pretty medal and, of course, a cash prize of roughly a half-million U.S. dollars.

It seems, however, that for the President, this award was granted not for what he has done, but for what he can hopefully do. Essentially, he was given a Nobel Peace Prize because of his campaign promises. That doesn’t sound good. In fact, after the prize was announced, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who won the prize himself in 1984, said this:

“It’s an award coming near the beginning of the first term of office of a relatively young president that anticipates an even greater contribution towards making our world a safer place for all. It is an award that speaks to the promise of President Obama’s message of hope.”

Holy crap. No pressure, dude.

Of course, plenty of people disagree with the award, starting with the lovelies at the Fox Nation, and continuing, frankly, world wide. It’s not a Republican vs. Democrat thing. Many people of many backgrounds feel that the award was based on an idea of what Obama can do, as opposed to what he has done, which seems to be the purpose of the award. I mean, lots of people “promote” peace. Accomplishing it is a whole different issue.

I worry that this will put an enormous amount of pressure on this President. That in the future, the likes of GleN Beck and Rush Limbaugh and the squinty-eyed Sean Hannity (have I mentioned how much I want to have his Irish heritage revoked — he so does not deserve it) will use it non-stop. Every time something is NOT done, we will hear, “hey, where’s the PEACE PRIZE winner now?” Every time Israel and Palestine toss bombs at each other, Obama will be scrutinized for not “promoting peace” as his prize suggested he could. Afghanistan. Iraq. Iran. The Taliban. Osama bin Laden. Obama’s rivals have a brand new, built-in way to analyze and audit his performance — the man has a Nobel Peace Prize. He should be doing better, they’ll say.

Obama himself was surprised and felt undeserving of the award.

“I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century,” Obama said.

Nice try buddy, passing it on as a “world wide” award. But it’s yours. You have to carry it. You can’t pass it along.

I hope he does well. I want him to do well. I have faith that he will do well, yet still, I am worried. I cannot stand the nonstop ill-will wished upon this man, and I hate that this is just an invitation for more.

One thing’s for sure — it sure did eclipse the news that NASA shot the moon this morning.

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Why I support the Chicago Olympic bid

My brother Tommy posted recently on his blog why he hopes that the city of Chicago is awarded the 2016 Olympic Games. Among his reasons for supporting the games, he talked about benefits to the city’s infrastructure, the increase of revenue, a boost to the local job market, and of course, the “cool factor” of saying, “Check it out, the OLYMPICS are here! Woooooooooo hooooo!” I agree with my salt and pepper haired sibling. I like the idea.

But, I have one real reason, one reason much stronger than any my brother lists, for why I support the Olympics in Chicago. I want it for one simple reason : GleN Beck hates the idea.

GleN Beck was on his usual hateful tirade today, and he won’t shut up about Chicago. I mean really, Republicans have been torching Chicago worse than Mrs. O’Leary’s cow did ever since Obama became a viable candidate for the presidency. Chicago politics and the Chicago machine and that big bad corrupt CHICAGO. As a gal who never lived IN the city, but grew up here in Chicagoland, I am sick to death of it. Why do we sit back and take it when GleN Beck, a repugnant radio DJ who once ridiculed the wife of a friend ON THE AIR because she had a miscarriage, the man who baselessly insists that President Obama is a racist who has a “deep seated hatred for white people” (a quip that left his advertisers running for cover as they yanked their wares off his show), the man who boasted about his awesome 9-12 project and how thousands of people need to come to Washington, DC to participate, but didn’t actually show up himself,  looks down his ugly little nose at us, the people of greater Chicagoland? WHY?

Today, GleN spent an ungodly amount of time whining about the President making an appearance in Denmark to push for the Olympics to take place in Chicago. See, GleN apparently hates the Olympics. And for some reason, when describing the dumb old Olympic games, he felt it was necessary to use his Kermit the Frog voice, which was disturbing at best. So he goes on about all the bad stuff about Chicago and poverty and crime. I don’t know that I see this as a valid argument, when we are talking about a city of 3 million people. Of course there is poverty and crime. But then GleN said, “They’re also called Second City. Residents there experience mental anguish over constantly being told that they are second best.”

Dude. F-YOU.

Then he went through some non-sensical nonsense about how all the potential host cities have some sort of problem, something… I don’t know, he totally lost me. There was laughing and weird-ness and more Kermit the Frog impersonations. Then he abruptly tossed to a commercial, only to come back and say, “Why is this a priority?” Because when Bush spent 4 days just watching the Olympics in 2008, or went golfing or hunting or fishing at any time, there were no other “priorities.”

“Yesterday we told you about how bringing the Olympics to Chicago is potentially a corrupt political move, hmmm, you think,” GleN said, without explaining why or how the Olympic bid was potentially corrupt. To support his claim, he brought in Michelle Malkin, the pundit who claimed that ABC reported 1.5 to 2 million people at the 9-12 party in Washington DC, a false claim that ABC had to correct multiple times, the woman who printed the names, e-mails and phone numbers of student protestors, prompting people to deliver death threats to those students, and the woman who, in my opinion, is kinda butt ugly, to support his claims that somehow, some way, President Obama will have his pockets personally lined with the hard earned dollars of Chicago tax-payers should the Olympics be played in Chicago in 2016. She referred to Chicago as a “basket case,” her snaggle tooth catching over her impossibly large and faux inflated bottom lip. She also forgot to put the proper amount of makeup on her ugly face, and sheesh… no one should have to look at that, not even Republicans. Yitch.

GleN then went on about how there was sooooooo much corruption on the Olympics in Salt Lake City, and how Mitt Romney fixed it all. Um, idiot? Is GleN suggesting that Daley or Obama or someone has paid off members of the International Olympic Committee, because that is quite a claim. All Mitt Romney had to do in Salt Lake City was NOT try and bribe anyone. He didn’t fix a problem, he cleaned up a mess. He was a venture capitalist. Cleaning up messes was his job. He’s not a hero. It’s not like he didn’t get handsomely paid.

Then GleN and the ugly one and some guy in a pink shirt were going on about how EVERYONE IS CONNECTED! All these Chicago people are CONNECTED TO OBAMA! Hey shit-for-brains — they are all from Chicago, why the hell would they NOT know each other? WTF? Seriously, WTF?

Then GleN was nice enough to play the video of Derrion Albert being beaten to death on the streets of Chicago. Wasn’t that nice of GleN to play that video on the air… AGAIN? I’m sure Derrion’s mother really appreciates GleN using the murder of her son for his political propaganda purposes. Nice. His point? Apparently, if you bring you children to Chicago, they will be murdered on the street. Heck, Obama will probably be holding the 2X4 that your kid gets struck with. ROLL THE TAPE AGAIN!

GleN, get the hell away from my city. I’m tired to death of “journalists” who *puffy heart* New York and DC and Los Angles and Boston, then wag their fingers at Chicago when they don’t know the first thing about this place. Shut up. If you hate Chicago so much, then stay away. We can take care of ourselves just fine and dandy, and we certainly don’t need YOU to point out what WE may be doing wrong. If the President wants to say to the IOC, hey, my hometown is a good place, then he should. I would expect no less out of any other president, past or future.

GleN, there are all sorts of tea-bagging townhallers that have no ability to compose their own original thought, and they need you to tell them what to think. Please. Pretty please. Go the hell away.

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GleN Beck has lost his diddy mind

I’d like to start by saying that I don’t like the way Glenn Beck spells his name. I realize he did not choose the name. But for reasons I cannot fully understand myself, I am opposed to the second, unnecessary consonant. It’s probably only because I don’t like him, and not an actual aversion to the double-N. But I refuse to use it.

So, moving on. GleN Beck has lost his diddy mind.

You know what, forget the actual politics of the country at this moment. Forget the right and the left, forget liberals and conservatives, Michael Moore and Michelle Malkin, Keith Olbermann and Bill O’Reilly, Rachel Maddow and Ann Coulter, Chris Matthews and GleN Beck. Put that all aside for a minute, we can all agree that we disagree.

But here is what GleN said today, Sept. 16:

“Wow… Can I tell you something? (head shake) Is there a single American, a single American (using hand gesture) that wants to see harm come to any member of Congress or the President of the United States, at any time? A single American? (head shake) This is outrageous to say.”

He was complaining about a report on MSNBC, where my girlfriend Contessa Brewer spoke about white people bringing guns to a rally where the President was. GleN points out that the video showed one of the men with a gun strapped to his chest, and that man happened to be black. He keeps talking about how MSNBC “doctored” the video by not showing the man was black. Of course, I distinctly remember seeing that particular video, and noting that my sweetheart was in fact talking about whites with guns when the picture was a black man with a gun. I don’t think the fabulous Miss Contessa was suggesting that ONLY white people were showing up with guns, just pointing out that it was happening. If nothing else, it would have been worth her pointing out that some of those carrying guns were of many different backgrounds and cultures, not just white dudes. And she didn’t, and that’s too bad.

But GleN has a bigger woody for this one than he does for ACORN. And he’s just appalled that my raven haired gal pal would SUGGEST that someone would even THINK to harm the President.

Dude. Whatever GleN is drinking, I want some. Make it a double.

The Secret Service had to investigate more than 500 death threats against Obama last November. GleN apparently has forgotten the cheers of “kill him” screamed out at rallies where Sarah Palin denounced the then-candidate as someone who “pals around with terrorists.” Recent reports indicate that death threats against the president have increased by 400 percent.

And of course, there’s the lovlies over at the Fox Nation, the site put up and allegedly “moderated” by Fox, and some of their unsettling quotes:

  • God I would love to use him as target practice – posted by “Bluesteel”
  • Hope it’s your last – posted by “be,” on Obama’s birthday
  • I hope he gets an exploding cake!! – also posted by “be”
  • And the Koran ain’t thick enough to stop a .308 round…be careful what you hide behind – posted by “Texas Hippy”

Obama’s not alone. Bush faced numerous threats as well. People called him a terrorist, suggested HE be bombed, HIS home be destroyed with him in it.

Same goes for every President down the line. Whoever is in office, someone, somewhere, wants them dead. Not to mention what GleN has clearly forgotten — JFK was assassinated. RFK was assassinated. Ford was shot at. Reagan was shot.

Of course there are Americans who want to see members of Congress and The President of the United States dead. What a terribly ignorant thing to say. And to do so with such fervor, with the dramatic sighs and shrugs and crazy “can you even believe it” eyes.

What the hell is wrong with GleN Beck? And someone, find his diddy mind and return it.

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Truth and consequences

So there we are, sitting in church. No seriously. We belong to a church. Me. And Jim. We go to church. No really. This is new for me, newer for Jim, and unfortunately and much to my own surprise, he is far more open to it than I am.

So there we are, sitting in church, and much as I did back in my grade school days at St. James, I found myself sitting in church and being as judgy as possible. If you could peek inside my mind, my thought process was something like this:

Why is that woman wearing that SHIRT? Lady, that haircut is doing you no favors. Maybe next time they could get less tone deaf people in the choir. That kid needs to be smacked… oh man, his Dad shouldn’t hit him so hard in church! Man, I want a taco. You don’t have to be rich, to be my girl, you don’t have to be coooool, to rule my world….

Yeah, that weekly time of reflection… I generally use it to daydream and give random strangers the stink eye. Godly? Not so much, I guess. But I do tend to pay attention from time to time. My loss of ability to pay attention usually happens when the choir is on the fifth verse of a song that was too long at verse number two — and you just KNOW they’re going to hit the chorus again, twice. For some reason, I revert to the attention span of a first grader when this happens.

But yesterday, we got to the second reading, and it came from James. It compared the tongue to the rudder of a ship, that a ship needs huge sails and strong winds to move, but the tiny little rudder is what actually guides it. Much the same way as you have this body and this life… but how you speak determines where you go. “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing,” the passage read.

Naturally, I found the reading very political. It immediately made me think of Mr. Joe Wilson and his shout-out at the President the other day.

“YOU LIE!”

It made me think of the moral superiority that people in this country believe they have versus the rest of the world. It made me think of Keith Olbermann referring to Mr. Wilson as “stupid,” and of Glen Beck referring to the President as a “racist.” It made me think of a little girl committing suicide because a grown woman, disguising herself as a teen boy, was cruel to her on Facebook. It made me think of the kid we harassed mercilessly at St. James. It made me think of Rush Limbaugh’s nastiness toward the President, and Al Franken’s nastiness at Rush Limbaugh.

Naturally, there are some people who rip apart others, and I think, “right on.” And at other times, I think, “well, how dare them!” But while I found myself agreeing with the passage, that it “ought not be so” that we curse some and bless others with the same tongue, I also thought, it’s impossible NOT to. It’s impossible not to curse those who hurt you, and praise those who help you. It’s impossible at least for me.

I considered that maybe I was taking the passage too seriously, too literally. That it wasn’t about forcing us to NOT speak badly, to NOT be judgy, but instead, to think about it before we speak, because our words have consequences. Like, say, if you utter out nastiness at the President before thinking about it, suddenly your opponent has an additional $1 million in his campaign fund. Or when you call the President a racist, your advertisers don’t like you so much.

But then again, when you spout hate against the President every day, sometimes you are rewarded with a huge audience and an eight-figure checking account. And when you write books calling someone a “big fat idiot” in the title, you are sometimes rewarded with a seat in the United States Senate.

So what gives? This is the kind of thing I struggle with as we return to church these days, is understanding the lessons brought forward. I hate to be so cynical, but sometimes I think, get real already. It’s naive to think we can all just be nice to each other. It’s just not going to happen.

But I’ll continue to sit in church on Sunday. Not because I am looking for absolution. But hopefully, I’ll start taking the lessons to heart, and hear them as a way to live rather than as a political commentary. I’ll try to listen to the whole thing, rather than get lost in Prince songs and dreams of Taco Bell swirling around my head. I’ll try to ignore the fashion choices of the woman sitting in front of me.

I guess we’ll just see where this goes.

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Open the door and in rolls the hate

My husband and I often like to visit the website “Fox Nation.” It’s the site put up by Fox, apparently some sort of response to sites like News Hounds, where they basically put up blogs and opinion pieces as if they were actual news coverage and invite the public to comment on them. We like to visit the site the same way we like to watch auto racing — we’re only doing it to see a massive wreck.

So today there was no mention of Joe Wilson calling the President a liar during last night’s speech (which, by the way, I was listening to the speech on the radio, so I assumed there had been a visitor in the chamber who yelled it out. When I got home and saw it was a congressman, I just thought, Sweet Conspiracy Theory, what the hell is WRONG with these people). But there IS a post about how the President called Sarah Palin a liar!

Of course, he didn’t actually say, “Sarah Palin is a liar” but I mean, we all knew what he was getting at.

Still, the lovelies at Fox Nation were out in full crazy force about this one. But my very favorite response was this one:

A lying theiving negro thug from chicago calling a white beauty pagent contestant from Alaska ANYTHING is unbeleiveable. His presence in the white house has diminished the dignity and honor of the office to lows even lower than that white trash rat Bill Clinton. What a whiney uppity negro.

Jim was pretty upset by this nonsense. I mean, I don’t know why it surprised him. The pretty people at Fox Nation have refered to the President of the United States as a terrorist, an ape, a monkey and even a spade, and when they do, someone usually responds with an LOL. Then they insist there’s no issue with race. Ok then.

However, my real beef with the above post at the Fox Nation is not the disparaging remarks about the President. I think at this point, I am immune to their temper tantrums and racist name calling. What really caught my eye was the disrespect aimed at former Governor Palin. You see, while this poster was attempting to attack the president, he was actually attacking Mrs. Palin.

A white beauty pageant contestant from Alaska — that is how he described her (although I spelled it correctly). After Sarah Palin’s political career, this is what this poster got out of it. She is a white beauty pageant contestant.

Sarah Palin was the mayor of Wasilla, as we all know. Her experience as a small town mayor was mocked a little during the election, but as someone who covers a small town for the local newspaper, let me tell you, it’s not an easy job. She then went on to chair the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, an agency that oversees digging for oil in Alaska. Then she became not only the youngest but the first female governor of Alaska — and she did it by beating the INCUMBENT governor in the primary.

While in office as both a mayor and a governor, Palin took a pay cut, and she drastically reduced spending. She passed a bi-partisan ethics reform bill. And lest we not forget, Sarah Palin was the first female Republican nominated for the Vice Presidency of the United States, and the first Alaskan on a major party ticket.

Yet this guy calls her a “white beauty pageant contestant from Alaska.”

Sure, Palin has controversy and mis-steps up the yin yang. The Bridge to Nowhere (I was for it before I was against it). Getting her sister’s husband fired. DEATH PANELS! blah blah blah. I’m not a fan of the woman. But to reduce her accomplishments to “beauty pageant contestant” flies in the face of plain old ignorance. This Fox Nation-ite’s post is equal parts disparaging to both the President and to Mrs. Palin — it’s racist AND sexist.

I’m not sure how well this county can progress when so many people literally cannot see past what people look like, no matter who those people are.

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It’s over, and my God, it was worse than we thought!

Actual quote from Barack Obama to the children of America: “I expect great things from you.”

See? He is demanding things of our children. The President of the United States just told my children that they must take responsibility for their own education. Indoctrination complete. I am going to take my children to get fitted for their foil hats now. It’s our only hope.

Honestly, Joe Watkins on MSNBC just said that sure, the speech was good and had a good message and all that, but I mean, what is this going to lead to? I mean, now, the President is going to use this as a platform to schedule MORE speeches to today’s kindergartener, where he will talk about gay marriage and health care and the stimulus and the death panels. Today it’s stay in school, tomorrow it’s support the public option! He’s unstoppable now! He called it a “slippery slope,” which frankly, is a term far more stupid and far more overused than “it is what it is” and “my bad” combined.

Joe added that the president was a gifted and charismatic speaker who speaks with authority and persuasion. So…… only presidents who are BAD speakers should speak to children. Because your children should never be impressed or persuaded… by the President.

In Joe’s defense, how exactly are the angry anti-school-speechers of the nation going to defend their stance after a speech that expressed the necessity of today’s youth to advance their education and take control of their futures.

But no — we’ll just stick to losing our diddy minds. Again.

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Stay in school? How dare you, Mr. President. How dare you.

I received an e-mail from the Superintendent of my son’s school district over the holiday weekend, which read in part:

I am [writing]  today to share how we are planning to handle the upcoming address to students that is scheduled to be delivered by President Obama on September 8. I have asked that staff follow our typical process for selecting any instructional resource. We first preview instructional materials and make a professional determination regarding whether the content is appropriate and aligned with our instructional goals. With this, we will not be showing the President’s address as a live feed but will review the video and make a determination after the live presentation.

The e-mail goes on to say that teachers will contact parents and tell them if the video is to be used.

Has everyone lost their diddy minds?

The Superintendent of my son’s school district actually sent out an e-mail that contained the phrase, “how we are planning to handle the upcoming address to students that is scheduled to be delivered by President Obama.” To HANDLE it? The district needed to examine how to HANDLE it when the President of the United States wanted to send a message to kids? The SUPERINTENDENT said that the district will need to “make a professional determination regarding whether the content is appropriate and aligned with our instructional goals.” What the hell? This is not the change I wanted. Where the hell did my country go?

Let’s start with the obvious. The president’s speech was always going to be available as a televised feed. It was never mandatory that any school district play it live, or play it at all for that matter. The president was going to speak to schools kids. The end. If, for example, a district was starting today with a shortened day, they certainly weren’t being told they must keep kids in school for extended hours just to watch it, and it better air live. They were told, the president has a message for school kids.

Then came the crazies. Indoctrination! Not my child! Hey, here’s a great idea. Let’s go ahead and break it down. We’ll go with dictionary.com for easy reference, and we’ll use the first definition offered for each:

indoctrinate – to instruct in a doctrine, principle, ideology, etc., esp. to imbue with a specific partisan or biased belief or point of view.

doctrine – a particular principle, position, or policy taught or advocated, as of a religion or government.

principle – an accepted or professed rule of action or conduct.

ideology – the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group.

imbue – to impregnate or inspire, as with feelings, opinions, etc.

partisan – biased

biased – partisan

Okay, I did those last two without looking it up, I confess. But taking these, let’s REPHRASE the term, indoctrinate, and then use it in a sentence so I can understand clearly the need to protest the President’s speech.

So Mr. Beck and Mr. Hannity say, “I don’t want Obama to indoctrinate the youth of America.” The translation then, is, “I don’t want Obama to instruct the youth of America with any accepted policies or codes of conduct or beliefs that guide the country and I ESPECIALLY don’t want him to impregnate the children.” Woah…. no WONDER everyone is so up in arms. The President wants to impregnate our kids. Damn.

This truly exemplifies my frustration, but not just my frustration with the wackadoodles who insist that the President was somehow going to brainwash our kids with his partisan message of STAY IN SCHOOL! I think my real frustration is starting to steer AWAY from the Becks and the Hannitys of the world (I mean really, how can I be frustrated with people who make me laugh so much?), and is slowly being put squarely on the shoulders of this administration. Enough with the Gumby act already. You won. There is simply no need to be so damn bendy.

For all the nonsense I hear about how President Obama somehow lacks integrity, he sure is sticking to his word. His door has remained open to all voices of dissention. His door has remained open to the naysayers and the angry and the fist pounding and the whiners. His door has remained open to the angry right who DEMAND he listen to them blubber away. His door has remained open to the ideals of people who insist he is a Kenyan-born terrorist who wants to “indoctrinate” the youth. Mr. President… close the damn door.

Say what you will about Bush. We all pointed our fingers and laughed when he uttered the words, “I’m the decider.” But you know what? He was right. He was elected (well, at least ONCE anyway) to the office, and he took the reigns. Sure, he made his decisions based on not just his own experiences and observations but on those of the people he surrounded himself with, and there is obviously a whole different can of worms there. However, he made unpopular decisions in the face of dissent because HE WAS THE DECIDER. So, Mr. President, I hate to say it but, follow his damn lead. Just do it better.

Decide already. Decide that you aren’t going to hem and haw over health care because town hallers like the sounds of their voices screeching about. Decide that you are going to push another stimulus if it will truly help the economy even if Republicans flail their arms about like morons. Decide you are going to appoint the political advisers you want and need even when Glen Beck screams the word “CZAR” at you — but seriously, look a little closer at their resumes, already, because you are killing me with some of this stuff. DECIDE already. It’s your job. Because truly, the only voice of dissention out there isn’t that of reasonable debate. It’s that of those who challenge your motives when you suggest that working hard in school is a good thing. How dare you, sir. I won’t let your message of hope infect MY child!

As the broadcast from Wakefield High School begins, I plan now to sit and watch. And record it. It’s too important to let some teachers and superintendents decide if my child will watch. I’ll make sure he sees it here at home.

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What Ted Kennedy’s passing means to me

I’m struck by how very sad I am at the passing of Ted Kennedy. Surely we all saw this coming. Brain cancer at the age of 77 is not exactly something that you bounce back from. It’s cancer. In your brain. It’s just not a smiley prognosis.

Yet I am overwhelmingly sad watching the wall to wall coverage on television.

I looked up the definition of “legacy,” the word that the talking heads on my TV box keep throwing around. Legacy – Something handed down from an ancestor or a predecessor or from the past. I think it is this very word, “legacy,” that makes me so very sad. I fear that I’m not ready to inherit it yet.

To me, the passing of Ted Kennedy means the passing of my parents’ time. Theirs is a world I cannot even begin to understand. My parents watched the Vietnam war on televison, and my mother would quiver with sadness remembering the time she saw a live report in which a young American GI, cradled in the arms of one of his fellow soldiers, cried out, “Mom!” and died. My mother herself was holding a newborn baby girl, my sister Carrie, when President Kennedy was killed. Five years later, my mother cradled another new born, Laura, just two days old, when she was given the news that Robert F. Kennedy had also been assassinated. The Kennedy family could have been classmates of my parents. If Ted Kennedy experienced it, my parents experienced it. The death of his brothers, the war in Vietnam, civil rights, Nixon, Ford, Carter, hostages, arms, Reaganomics, AIDS, the 70’s, the 80’s, the cold war, the Berlin Wall. Their lives and experiences eventualy overlapped with mine, but my parents saw it from a different perspective. My parents, though removed by miles and social status and money and political ambition, KNEW what Ted Kennedy knew. It was their time.

Now, it’s my time.

I am 35 years old. Those of us at this age who have been paying any attention (and by that I mean, the non-Katy Abrams of the world) first got a fire in our belly in 1992. Love him or hate him, Bill Clinton made us think. But it wasn’t until this year, this president, this new administration, when we started to really inherit the country. It is NOW that we identify with the president, because he’s our age. He’s our type. He’s what we know as America. He’s familiar to us on a personal level. For better or worse (and to me, I beleive, for better), Barack Obama is our first glimpse at what it was like for our parents to identify with the Kennedys. And I’m excited. But I’m also sad. Because I don’t want my parents time to be done yet.

Yes, I’m 35. I am married and I own a home and have two children and have been on my own for quite some time. But still, I crave my parents’ counsel. I crave their approval. I hesitate to make big decisions without first thinking, “I wonder what Mom and Dad would think?” And now it’s time for their generation to hand the reigns to mine, and I am afraid to take them. They had ups and downs and made huge mistakes, but I think they did a good job overall. My generation seems capable of pushing forward, yet, I don’t want to mess up all their hard work. They did exactly what they were supposed to do — they prepped the world for us. Now it’s our turn. And I don’t know about anyone else, but that scares the bejeebies out of me.

My parents are happy and healthy, and I don’t necessarily expect them to leave this world any time soon. But with the passing of Ted Kennedy, it’s clear that it’s time for Mom and Dad to enjoy themselves, while me and my fellow Generation X’ers take on their legacy.

I hope we do right by you, Mom and Dad. And thanks for getting us there, Senator Kennedy.

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