Monthly Archives: January 2011

It’s Not about Us

I found this picture while watching a Yahoo! Slideshow. This illustrates how long Mubarak has been in power using US Presidents – from Reagan to Obama. The fact that there is even a sign like this irritates the non-interventionist in me.

Our reaction to this revolution will be the true test of our passion for democracy and freedom. It’s easy to support the democratic aspirations of a country like Tunisia, where we have no vested interest. Egypt is a different story.

The response so far shows this difference. VP Biden does not believe that Mubarak is a dictator and should not step down. Secretary of State Clinton believes there should be a transition to democracy but warns that whoever takes over should represent the majority, unlike what happened in Iran 30 years ago.

Can’t we support Mubarak and the people? I would argue no. Egyptians are making it clear that they want Mubarak out. They don’t want the possible successor he chose. Changing the cabinet did not appease them either. It looks like the Egyptians want a complete government do-over where they get to choose who their leader in a real, fair election.

If they’re successful, this may affect the stability of the region and the peace treaty with Israel. So be it. Those of us who truly value democracy and freedom will support the Egyptian people in the quest for theirs. The struggle for democracy and freedom is messy and not without consequence. We just have to look at our own history.

This picture shows who this is really about. Hopefully, when she grows up, this little girl won’t be holding a sign showing a leader she despises next to one of our future presidents.

Semi-Presidential Republic

Is that what they call dictatorships nowadays? Is Egypt’s president, Hosni Mubarak, really a dictator?

1. Face plastered all over the country…………….
2. Rigged elections……………………………………..
3. Water cannons for “troublemakers”…………..
4. Cutting off outside communication…………..

Looks like Mubarak has all of the qualifications. And like most dictators, he just doesn’t get it. In response to the riots, he fires his cabinet. Sorry, Mr. Dictator, they don’t care about the rest of your government. It’s you they want gone. These are your average citizens: young and old, rich and poor, Coptic and Muslim – united in their hate for you.

The Obama administration is being extra careful with this one. Per VP Biden:

“Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things. And he’s been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interest in the region, the Middle East peace efforts; the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing relationship with — with Israel. … I would not refer to him as a dictator.”

Of course he isn’t, silly. We wouldn’t send $1.5B in aid every year to a dictator, right? Money we desperately need here, but I digress.

Mubarak isn’t giving up. Flipping the internet “kill switch,” arresting leaders of The Muslim Brotherhood, imposing curfews. I think the people will have to take that power from his cold, dead hands.

Looks like our meddling is blowing up in our face again. We have threatened to cut off the aid if he escalates the violence against the protesters. But, if he is overthrown, who are we going to aid pay off to play nice with Israel? The Muslim Brotherhood?

The United States government is pulling for Mubarak. We are also asking him to go easy on the protesters and start listening to what the people want. After all, we love democracy and freedom. Maybe not as much as we love Israel, but pretty dang close.

Crayola Called…

They want green, blue, yellow, orange and red back. According to Yahoo! News and AP, Color-coded Terror Warnings to be Gone by April 27.
It will be replaced by something called The National Terrorism Advisory System. They intend to get specific about the threats and who receives the information. Wow. An actual description of the threat instead of saying Red? Genius.

“The old Bush color-coded system taught Americans to be scared, not prepared,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee. “Each and every time the threat level was raised, very rarely did the public know the reason, how to proceed, or for how long to be on alert.”

Thank you. Since the system began, I don’t think I’ve traveled at a terror level threat below Yellow. On my trip abroad in September, it was at Orange. What did that mean? Hell if I know. I just heard something along the lines of, “The terror threat has been elevated to orange” over the PA. These are just for US airports. They have different ways of announcing the threat all over the world. I should know. I’ve prety much ignored them all.

In the US, specifically, nothing changes but the color. We still have to take off our shoes, get our hands swabbed, and we can’t carry on more than three 3 oz. bottles of liquid. My foundation is a matter of national security, you know.

Sidebar. Now we have to go through those x-ray machines? Um, cop a feel, do what you need to do. It’s not like I haven’t had the pat down before in airports all over the world. I am not going through that radiation refrigerator.

Anyway, thank God this lame system is going away with something more useful. Comedians did get a lot of material out of this color-coded system. One of my favorite comedians, Lewis Black, had this to say:

“Homeland security is a problem. It’s a good idea, but it’s a problem because the man who runs it is Tom Ridge, and he is someone who has the leadership qualities of a gerbil. He was a part of coming up with is known as the color coded system of security. You know, orange, and yellow, and what ever the f*ck the others are. And what’s stupid about it is they have the color coding. LIKE WE’RE IN F*CKIN’ ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!! There’s no need for that. Because every time they tell us what the color is, then they have to f*ckin’ explain it, so get rid of the f*ckin’ color! Simplify it. There should be three levels of security: ‘Jesus Christ,’ ‘God Damn It!,’ ‘F*CK ME!'”

Be gone old, useless system. Orange will return to being beautiful. No longer will it be associated with High Risk.

State of the Shellacking

I was embarrassingly late for my dental appointment. “I’m so sorry. I know it’s probably too late to see me, but can I reschedule?” “Sure,” the receptionist said with the half smile/half disappointed school marm look. We were about to set up the appointment when his hygienist came out. They started talking, while I watched the TV in their reception area. The State of the Union address was about to begin. “Dr. Martinez said he can see you – if you’re willing to wait.” “Great! Thank you!” Wow. Sending him and his office those Hickory Farms gift baskets every year always saves my sorry ass. I sit down and get totally engrossed in the address.

The musical chairs of bipartisanship was weird. Well-intentioned, but weird. The strength of the applause shows which statements were supported or rejected. What am I going to do now? Never fear, Speaker of the House Boehner is here. Seated conveniently behind the POTUS, his applause (or lack thereof), can be our gauge.

  • Cleaner, greener energy: No applause
  • Reviewing Government Regulation: Applause
  • Working on the Health Care Law: No applause

Well, quelle surprise. Looks like we didn’t really need a gauge after all.

I really liked his comments on education. One of my favorite lines: “We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair.” Shout out to all of us former high school nerds.

The sound of the ultrasonic cleaner drowned out the talk of the wars. Thank God. Experiencing the occasional pain of the cleaning tool hitting a sensitive spot and the nausea from hearing the “strides” were making? No thanks. There are limits to my masochism. I did catch that in July, we’ll begin to bring the troops back home from Afghanistan. I wasn’t on the laughing gas, and the text of the speech confirmed this statement. Hmmm. We’ll see…

I loved that he didn’t back down on the healthcare law. It was refreshing that he will fight their attempt at repeal. I don’t know if people understand just how important the changes with the pre-existing condition clauses are. A few years ago, I was in between jobs, temping, and was about to lose COBRA. Try getting insurance with asthma. It didn’t matter that I was able to afford it. I could not get it. Thank God I got a full-time job shortly after that had health benefits kick in on day one. Countless others weren’t so lucky. I hope the GOP listened to this: So instead of re-fighting the battles of the last two years, let’s fix what needs fixing and move forward.

I left the office with my teeth cleaned and the goodie bag of a toothbrush and dental floss samples and a Greater Smiles in 2011 calendar. I was able to reflect on the address. Despite the midterms, he didn’t gravitate as far to the center as I thought he would. He still mentioned ending the tax breaks to the wealthiest and stood his ground on healthcare. Good. The next two years will be very interesting. I am only armed with a 2011 calendar, though. I’ll be checking it around July. Maybe there will be cause for Greater Smiles.

Chechen Autonomy: Will it Help?

The suicide bombing at DME in Moscow made me start thinking about Chechen Autonomy. I’ve been reading about Chechnya’s history. I wonder if all of these attacks since 1994 could have been avoided had Russia granted secession after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Of course, since Chechnya has that oil pipeline, Russia was completely opposed to their autonomy. Money and oil. Same song, different language.

I would have given the autonomous nod as a “So sorry about the whole deportation to Siberia thing in WWII” parting gift. In reality, economic impact trumps trying to right some wrongs in history. So, the consequences become Russia’s reality – almost 20 years of violence in the form of 2 wars and countless attacks.

Now, I wonder if granting autonomy would even help this situation at all? When I read today’s AP’s article A Timeline of Major Terror Attacks in Russia, today’s attack is different than the previous ones. Before, the targets were Russian – commuter trains, government buildings, etc.

Today, the attack happened at an international airport. I heard an expert on Russia on the radio that this is for attention. They want people to remember their “cause” and get money from terror groups to fight for it. But is that cause autonomy at this point? Maybe it still is. Yet, in order to get financial support, maybe they have to disguise it as an anti-West act of terror by having someone blow themselves up in the international arrival gate of a major airport.

Or, is it more sinister? Have extremist Islam terror groups taken hold of them and turned their cause into pure anti-West hatred? Is this more like the bombings in Madrid and London and no longer a domestic issue? That thought frightens me.

Honestly, I don’t think autonomy would help at this point. The Taliban has been their financiers. If Chechnya became a sovereign nation, it could become Taliban-ruled a la Afghanistan? That would be disastrous.

Usually, I don’t think too much about the politics of other nations. U.S. politics make my head spinny enough. This one gave me pause, though, especially when I heard where this happened. Has the struggle in the Northern Caucuses become one with global terrorists of extremist Islam? Where will they strike next? Selfishly, I ask, do we have to get involved?

Birthers are So 2008

I open up my Yahoo! Mailbox, and there, under Top Stories, is House Leader Cantor Believes Obama is a U.S. Citizen It made me think, why is this news? Seriously, haven’t we turned that page?

There are still a lot of people who believe Obama was born in Kenya. I’ve only seen them in captivity -The Comment Sections of Yahoo! News, of course. I read the same stuff, like his grandmother saying she was present at his birth in Kenya.

I bring up the two newspapers that show his birth announcement. People still refute that. I guess The Honolulu Advertiser and The Star Bulletin both knew that he would be POTUS. They had to make sure there was a paper trail.

Most of us know he was born and grew up in Hawaii as evidenced by his desire to leave. 🙂 A lot of natives really want to leave “The Rock,” like my cousin Vickie. She ended up getting married and moving to a very snowy part of Washington State. Couldn’t be happier. It’s a familiar tale and one of the many reasons why I know he was born there.

Just when I think the Birthers have gone away, some lame talking head will bring it up (see above story of Meet the Press asking Cantor). Or someone unhinged spectator will yell about it in a gallery of the House of Representatives when they are reading the Constitution. I guess they’ll never go away, like the Truthers. Everyone loves a good conspiracy.

Anyway, I have channeled the ghost of a dead horse. He has a very important message to the Birthers. If you know one, listen up, and pass it on. “Please stop beating me.”

38th Anniversary of Legalized Abortion

Will we make it to 40? San Francisco is one of the most, if not the most, liberal cities in the United States. Today, 30,000 anti-choice protesters marched along the Embarcadero. Of course, there was a small group of counter protesters.

One of the counter protesters had a large banner that was ripped by one of the anti-choice protesters. A local news anchor tried to interview him, pointing out that he was infringing on the other side’s freedom of speech. He refused to show his face or comment. That’s so irritating to me. If he was so full of conviction and passion – enough to try to silence the other side – own it! Shouldn’t he be proud of what he did? Or maybe he knew he was wrong. None of the pro-choice protesters did anything like that to their signs. Both sides had every right to be there.

This was the largest anti-choice rally San Francisco has ever seen. It was surprising and disturbing. While I don’t think Roe vs. Wade will be overturned, I do believe state laws will continue to be enacted to interfere with abortion. In Texas, Governor Perry just announced support for a bill that would require a sonogram before an abortion is performed.

So the fight to keep our Reproductive Rights continues. Every Child Wanted, Every Mother Willing.

Fired? Really?

I don’t understand MSNBC. Countdown with Keith Olbermann was one of MSNBC’s most popular shows. He was the liberal counterpart to the likes of Rush and Hannity.

I watched him from time to time, but not regularly. He just wasn’t that entertaining to me. Politics and entertainment value really shouldn’t go together, but sadly it does.

Olbermann has done some pretty offensive things over the years. Giving the Nazi salute while wearing a Bill O’Reilly mask was particularly charming. I believe it’s this kind of thing makes for good TV. Being provocative and passionate will get viewers. It also adds to the vitriol that people have been condemning in light of the shooting of Representative Giffords.

When it comes down to it, TV is about ratings, right? I believe MSNBC made a mistake here, in a purely financial sense. They will lose viewers. Sure, people will probably still watch Rachel Maddow, but she is pretty level-headed. In TV Land, that means boring.

Unless they can find someone equally or more liberal and loud, MSNBC will feel the loss. Though I am glad I don’t have to hear the number of days it’s been since Bush’s declaration of “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq. That is so last administration.

Keep it Classy, Rush

Mocking President Hu Jintao in fake Chinese was just lame. Apparently, he was irritated that no translation was provided in his speech. I never would have heard this had it not been for my local news radio station covering it while I was driving to work. The only reason why they did was because Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco asked for an apology of Rush. He reacted in his usual classy way, saying what he did was a “service.”

Freedom of speech protects even those whose idea of humor hasn’t progressed past the 3rd grade. I can see why a Chinese person would be offended, but they shouldn’t be. Think of it this way, Chinese people: The more he does crap like this, the more he proves what a 窩囊廢 (wōnang fèi) he is. Translation: Loser.

If President Hu Jintao hears this, all the translator has to say is, “Sorry. He was dropped on his head as an infant.” I don’t know how that’s written or said in Mandarin.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, Abortion Monster Style

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, a “doctor” who started but never finished an OB/GYN residency, delivered viable fetuses and killed them with scissors. At least two women have died under “care.” His Philadelphia “clinic” was filthy, with the stench of cat urine because animals were able to wander the building. Sterilization of instruments was unheard of, and he reused disposable tools over and over. He did not have a trained medical staff, and his wife, a cosmetologist, also performed abortions. He even kept bags and bottles of aborted fetuses around the “clinic” for no apparent reason.

Abortions past 24 weeks are illegal in Pennsylvania. Most REAL doctors wouldn’t perform abortions past 20 weeks because of the risk. Late term abortions brought in the most money for him. He charged $1600 – $3000 for them. This guy raked in $10K -$15K a day.

I really didn’t want to touch this subject for a while. Of course, I just had to read the comments on this story. One said that no “pro-abortion” (grrr) person should have any issues with what he was doing.

EXCUSE ME? This is exactly what we are against. Unsafe abortions (see picture). He put the lives of women at risk (2 died) and delivered these viable fetuses alive and killed them. This butcher saw money, throwing aside the safety of his patients. And keeping bodies and body parts of the aborted in bottles?

Dr. Gosnell was a monster, pure and simple. He was an opportunistic, sadistic killer who kept trophies of his work. He just happened to have a license to practice “medicine” too.