Monthly Archives: January 2009

The Republicans Electing Micheal Steele is the same as Obama winning the general election

A Variety Post

I don’t think I have any one topic that I want to write about and my internets are very slow (next step in the technological solutions here at the bear cave), so I will just put it all here, smattered.

First off, I think this Obama guy has it going on.  While there are problems here and there and people like Ann Althouse think any explanation is in fact and excuse, I can understand — as most can — I’ve come into nice cleanly transitioned positions and I have come into messes.

Which brings up Gitmo.  I’m waiting for the time that the Obama Administration (how cool is it to type that!) explains that not all of the people at Gitmo are terrorists and that the Bush Administration made mistakes with the vast majority of those who are there.  There’s no reason to resort to the fact that both Bush and McCain expressed a desire to close Gitmo — that doesn’t matter.  It’s on Obama now, and his interview with Arab television will go a long way in solving that problem . . . that Bush left.

Then there is this strategy of Obama’s.  I love that he is calling out Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.  It’s the same as saying Sean Hannity’s name during the campaign.  Shining a light and then pre-empting what they might say, as well as basically forcing errors is all good.  While Rush decided to present a stimulus plan that is a farce right after Obama called him out, he’s done the same thing with Fox News Sunday.  Will they ever get it?  Oh wait, Obama has only been in office for a week.

Mike Gallagher tried to paint the King family as greedy and for this past week Kathleen has been arguing with a commenter about why African Americans won’t join the Republican party.   That’s an interesting read — here.  I feel sorry for the commenter since he is doing the equivalent of punching a plastic clown.

Lastly (I think), The News Hour has changed it format and it is even better than before.  It is a tight broadcast and every little bit of it is news.  If I hadn’t already made a $630 contribution (by donating my truck), I’d give them more money.  Compared to the profit national news, the News Hour is way ahead.  The discussion tonight about the economic problems of the states was snappy and all of the contributers were well informed.  The segment about the effect of Obama going to Capitol Hill today was great.  The portion about John Updike made me cry.  It was great television.  And Jimmy Carter will be on tomorrow night.

Those Who Oppose the Closing of Gitmo on the Same side as Al-Qaeda

From WaPo:

With Obama, al-Qaeda faces an entirely new challenge, experts say: a U.S. president who campaigned to end the Iraq war and to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and who polls show is well liked throughout the Muslim world.

It looks like Al-Qaeda and the right wing have decided that attacking Obama is a good thing.

No Surprise

Local tv news (KHOU) is reporting that a high school in San Antonio broadcast a video (closed circuit) that stated the White House is now the “Black” House and that they should give a “ghetto” kid a hug and showed a student from NOLA getting a hug.

Moments afterwards, the principle issued a statement and there is an investigation.

Circuit City Today

When I first heard about their closing, I didn’t want to go.  It’s been my store, much like Sears and Target.  I bought both of my tv’s there, two of my laptops, a DVD/VCR for my mom, and just after New Year’s, my converter box.  It has always been my shop of choice for everything electronic.  I’m a loyal shopper.

After I got my converter box and realized that I wouldn’t be able to record broadcast tv after the HD change over, I decided that I should get a DVR.  At first I thought to look online.  It was frustrating because none of the DVR’s stated clearly that I wouldn’t have to get another converter to make it work.

Today I decided to go get one — at Circuit City — and then that’s the last electronic purchase I will make for a while (unless I got back at the bitter end to see if I can get another computer).

I went with Roberto and we found a DVR that fit the bill and then got some DVD-RW’s and then decided to pour through the movie section.  Taking our time, we wer able to find a couple of double dics that we really wanted. 

While we were waiting in line, the security guy at the door confronted a teenager who wanted to leave.  the security guy told him to go back over to a place by the other cash register.  The teen was reluctant, but the security guy relented.  The teen join two other teenagers waiting — embarrassingly.   We watched them as we stood in line.  When we got to the cashier, I joked about them, and the cashier expressed sympathy for them.

When we were leaving,  the same security guard said, “Ya’ll alright,” when we showed our receipts.  There was a police car at the front of the store as we drove away.

At home, the DVR didn’t have everything included, but it’s ok.  I’ve got enough cables and it’s more than I could have hoped for.  It has it’s own tuner and can record anything and then shows what has been recorded in little previews, so you can choose.   No more scanning VCR tape!  One giant leap for me into the new century ( even though I maintain my no cable no satellite stance).

It’s really fun.

The Last Dose

Before I go to bed tonight, I will give Tammy her last chemo.  It’s a long shot, since the first two, as well as the previous chemo didn’t work on her original tumor.  If it works, she will be with us for a while longer.  If it doesn’t, she won’t last.

Through all of it she has been the same, except for a couple of times like when she snapped at someone at the vet early in her intravenous chemo and how she growls more now.  Back in the day, when she was just in the backyard by herself, she would at times run manically in figure eights, growling.  Now she growls when I come home and more so when she doesn’t want Murphy to take her toy.  Her growls are a warning.  She is still a very strong girl even though she is very sick.

Earlier tonight, Murphy got the one Nylon bone all three of them focus on.  She sat in front of him for a bit and then started cleaning him.  He got distracted and she took the bone away.  When Murph realized the ploy, he got mad and started yelping at her.  A few growls from Tam convinced him (for the moment) to lie down next to her. 

Tammy has never asked much of us.  She was meant to live here;  I just thought it would be for a while long than it has been.

My Favorite Musician Played for Obama Today

I had almost forgotten to write about it.  Last week during a piece on Yo-Yo Ma on CBS, I found out that Gabriela Montero was part of the quartet to play earlier today at the moment Obama became president.

Last year, I gave one of her CD’s to a co-worker.  He reminded me today that I had and said that it’s his favorite now.  She is incredible.  She improvises all of the classics and in her live performances, takes requests from the audience (and on her web site, too!)

Even though I missed her performance, I’ll get to see it later, I’m sure.

What a Day!

Unlike others whom I have read about on the web, I spent the really weepy time (election night) by myself and witnessed today as part of a crowd.

The day started off ok but quickly went downhill for the first class.  I had made arrangements for a large room — big enough for three groups — and for a television that could get cable inside the building.  The television wasn’t there on time, and when it finally arrived, it wasn’t cable ready.  I went back downstairs and got the laptop/projector cart, but the network was slow and CNN wouldn’t run.  I got some noise from one of my co-workers, while another just wanted to coast on what I had already planned.

During my off-hour, I tried to watch CNN or ABC in my office, but both of them stalled out.  When I got up to go to my third hour class the whole floor was empty.  It seems that I didn’t get the memo that the Director had decided that everyone could go to one of the areas where the inauguration was being broadcast at the university.

When I got to the auditorium, it was already packed, so I sat on an aisle step just as Obama and CJ Roberts were doing the oath of office.    At the end, the entire room erupted in cheers, whistles and applause.  I didn’t cry like I thought I would.  It was a moment of great pride.

While listening to Obama’s address — having heard Reagan’s twice on right wing radio already that morning — I especially appreciated the part when he stated that it’s not about the size of government, but rather whether or not it works.  (Remember Reagan claimed that government was the problem.  This has been an argument that many of us have had with the “drown the baby” crowd.  Just because there is fraud in the system doesn’t mean that a program is bad — it might, but it might also just need more oversight or fine tuning.

The speech was just right — not too much nor too little.  I’ve heard parts of in since I got home, and I will certainly look back on it in the days and weeks to come.

I stayed for the poem and the benediction — which I loved — especially the shot  of Al Gore with his eyes closed in prayer but with a happy grin on his face.  I know where not happy about the last part of the prayer, but it’s because they just don’t get it.  As I left the auditorium, I felt relieved.  He’s at work and the people around him are competent and we can turn this around.

For those who studiously ignored the events of this day, I pity your pettiness.  For me and a whole lot of people across the country today, it was with pride and hope and a look forward that I see this day.

Writer’s Block

I don’t really think I am cut out for everyday blogging — not even every other day blogging.  I’m not a journalist or tenured professor or a housewife/husband or disabled as defined by the SSA.

I’m just a regular person with a full-time job.  I have a pup (Tammy) who is dying, but unfailingly happy.  I have another pup (Dora) who is unfailingly crazy.  I spent a huge amount of money on an eight year old male Buddha cat in a matter of a few weeks and during that same time spent a ridiculous amount of money on glasses that don’t do the one thing I asked the optometrist for them to do.  Cisco is fine because he’s covering every little bit of wet food I try to feed him as if it were something in the litter box.  My neighbor owes me money that I don’t think I will ever get back.  And the dryer died, which set me back a pretty penny.

However, watching Tammy play with Murphy makes me very happy.  Tammy is such a good role model for the little guy.  Sometimes he gets frustrated with her ability to out-wrestle him that he just sits on her head.  It doesn’t help.  One very good thing she has taught him is the simple joy of playing with toys. 

Tomorrow is a day off from work for me, but this year, I will remember all of the things that make up my time here on this planet.  At the very least, I am a pacifist.  It is the most difficult thing to be, but the most rewarding.  In the most recent issue of Newsweek, there is an essay in the My Turn section.  It’s by Chris Bruice, the minister of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist church in Knoxville.  It’s all about the way the people effected by the gunman who hated them for their views reacted to what happened.  It reminded me of the way the Amish responded to the family of the man who killed their children.  That there are people like this in my country heartens me.  Remember, Obama, first and foremost, ran on the idea that the Iraq war was wrong.  A continuity is there.

Think about it:  not responding in anger and with words like ” And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon” but rather saying this, “The man who attacked our church is in prison, but we do not have to remain prisoners of our own anger.  Without denying the reality of our feelings in the present, we can be open to the possibility  that one day we will be able to lay down our burden and say, in the words of the old African=American spirituals ‘We are free at last’” is quite a bit more difficult, especially in a country that prides itself on might.

It’s even more difficult in a place like Texas.    It’s such a novel idea.  I haven’t always been true to it.  In my younger days, I was known to fight in streets and parking lots — but that’s a long way away now.  Being a pacifist doesn’t mean being weak — quite the contrary — it means that you solve you problems in peaceful ways.  People in Texas don’t always understand that, so you have to be able to go to plan b.

Tomorrow is a special day, especially this year.  While some may think it is a good time to turn into turtles, I think it is just the right time to start paying attention.

Game Show in My Head (UPDATED!!!!11!!!111!)

Oh, wait.

Here.

Of course, local Fox news affiliate played it seirous ;)