Category Archives: Jimmy Carter

Today and Tomorrow

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto.  There are some who want to stir up shit on this day, but truth be told, it’s nonsense.  I’ve only ever run into one person from Mexico who was pissy about demographics.  And I work with more people from Mexico than the average person.  So that means I KNOW.  Take that.

I was off today.  While listening to lies all day, I cleaned the backyard and “dressed” my hanging tomato plants.  I also found spots for my remaining cucumber and sunflower plants.

I thought about what it means to be a Texan.  I was born here and have lived here all but a year and a half of my life.  When I was a little girl, my family went to the San Jacinto Monument for picnics and to remember.  While the rest of my family is totally wing nutty, I’m not.  I love my city and my state.  While I was overseas, I always said I was from Texas.  It just where you are from.  It’s what pissed (and still does) off so many people from here to have George W. Bush claim to be a native son.  He wasn’t.  It still pisses me off that Barbara Bush lives here and can say nasty things that reflect poorly on us.  It pisses me off the Perry is still the governor.

(Let’s just see if Michael Berry really reads this:  Michael, how does it feel to say the N word on the air?)

Tomorrow is Earth Day.  As I said earlier, I will plant some seedlings.  I hope to also get the peppers and carrots into new planters — not sure if that will happen.  I need to plant the oregano and parsley. . .in other words, every day is Earth Day around here.

And while I’m at it, no one has ever died working on a solar panel – nor have any birds or other animals.  What was that CRAZY Carter guy onto when he put solar panels on the White House.  Have you ever wondered why you can’t afford to get solar panels on your house?  Especially ones that send energy back to the company you pay a ridiculous amount of money to for energy?  Could Chris Baker or Michael Berry address that for once?

The answer is no.  It wouldn’t make for good radio.  Good radio is sound effects, fart noises, silly parody songs and banging on BLACK PEOPLE especially the President.  That’s what makes good radio.

Oh, and how many times a white guy can say nigger on the radio.  That’s the most important part of good radio.

I think it’s coming

Disinvestment from Israel.  It’s the only way.  With SouthAfrica (which Israel propped up until the end) and apartheid, it wasn’t until disinvestment that change came to the country.  The government through the ’80′s supported the South African government.  Disinvestment lead to Nelson Mandela’s election.

Our government has backed the Israelis for far too long.  This latest long bombing is just about Israeli elections. 

Having listened to Michael Medved’s “History of the Israeli and Arab Conflict,” I take from it what I did from his Reagan history: skip the bad parts and spin spin spin.

He made a point that the Palestinians are not a people, that the Jewish settlers bought their land from absentee landlords and have never confiscated anything and that the Palestinians are not really from there.  That’s huge spin.

Disinvestment is a tool that has been used with success before.  It should be used now against Israel.  Perhaps then the government will reflect the desire of Israelis.

Jimmy Carter

Way back in the day, had we recycled, had  we pushed for alternative energy, had we done the responsible thing, we wouldn’t be here now.

There’s a handful of us who look at what is being pushed now and think, what took so long?  We all know the answer to that question.

Smart Car Sighting

This evening at Spec’s, I saw a Smart car for the first time.  It is TINY.  I’m glad that I opted for the Yaris.  The Smart car is not as wide as the Yaris and the back hatch is not there.

It is a really cute car, but I have to haul around stuff every once in a while, so the Yaris works better for me.  Oh, and it was half the price.  Also, the first tank got 29 mpg and the second got 31, so I’m happy.

Meanwhile Chevy (a part of GM) is talking up its electric carwhich was already on the road a number of years ago — we could have avoided much of the pain at the pump had GM decided that the country and the planet were more important than profits.

I remember in my youth, when Carter was president, he advocated the very things that now, all this time later, are imperative.  McCain thinks Obama is the next Carter.  Once again, I think the McCain camp is screwing up.  For most my age or younger, Carter represents a plan for alternative energy that was ignored, an obligation for service, and a pledge for democracy across the planet.  McCain seems to underestimate the number of people who are still in that frame of mind and those who only know Carter for his post-presidency.  You know, that building houses and bridges and peace person.

I don’t want to do one of those question mark titles, so

it looks like Jimmy Carteris more or less endorsing Obama.  He doesn’t have to say so. I think it’s another reason for me to feel that I made the right choice.  Had Edwards been able to stay in the race, I feel sure that Carter would have endorsed him.

Carter has always been a touchstone for me.  I trust him.  He tried to do the right thing, despite the interference from Reagan and his people at the end of 1980 and early ’81.  Carter has tried, and succeeded in large part to spread democracy not through force like George W, but through the simple tools of elections, in most of the world.  People disagree with the outcomes of the elections that Carter has monitored, but they have never shown that Carter influenced the results.  Ever.

That Carter — unofficially — chose Obama today makes me quite ecstatic and relieved.

What Do I Know?

I downloaded the original report from Fred Kagen about the surge in January.  According to that report, which Bush used as his model, the surge shouldn’t have been completed until December of this year.  (p.38)  It includes the extensions of duty that have already occured.  Kagen presented the second phase of said plan in April.

Still there are deaths.  I make a point of reading –acknowleding them every night on the News Hour and then again on This Week with George S.  John Kerry has asked, and I think it is a quality question — who will be the last death in Iraq? 

 Speaking of which, Biden pointed out something that has been neglected.  And on this first father’s day since the man I most admired died, I will follow up with a point about Palestinians, as well as other conflicts.  While it is easy to judge from the outside, it is much more difficult to understand the problems that plague both Palestine and Africa — Darfur, Somalia and Kenya — by listening to the U.S. news.  At least today Biden laid out how stupid the Bush administration haw been wrt Palestine.  The Bush admin pushed for elections.  Hamas got elected.  Funds — including taxes collected by the Israelis from the Palestinians — was withheld.  From a line in one of my favorite movies — “You don’t like the results you change the rules?”  Yep, that’s what they did.  So the world cuts the Palestinians off and the Israelis don’t return their tax dollars — wow — how would people like this react to something like that?  With guns ablazing, I’m sure.

The U.S. is conducting military actions in Somalia and near if not in Kenya.  (I’m not at work, so I can’t get to Lexis/Nexis — and anyway — they sent me a letter stating that they let law enforcement access my personal data — so I am not so happy with them — but that’s another matter.)  One of my former students and current readers (I hope she still reads :) knows that things are not good in that part of the world, but the U.S. military’s intervention is not helping. 

Then there is the lame Darfur thing that Bush did.  Lame, limp, ineffectual, — how else to describe it?

 In honor of my father — who I hope would have come around and in honor of the man, who I admired perhaps more than my own dad — given that we came so far in such a short amount of time — from him dismissing me completely to the two of us agreeing on the important things in the end.  I will always remember that the last book he read — The Road by Cormac McCarthy, was one of the last books I read while he was reading it too, while he was alive, and that last Christmas, I sent him my copy of Jimmy Carter’s Palestine Peace not Apartheid, just when he wanted to send me his copy.  This from a man who retired from the foreign service when Carter became president. 

Perhaps my dad, had he lived to see George W. Bush become the governor of Texas, much less president, would have been more like the man I greatly admire.  Perhaps he would have finally seen my side of things, unlike my mother.

 I avoided any father’s day activities today.  It should be for my nieces and their father — not another holiday fought over with the in-laws.  Today was for those whose fathers are still alive.  The two men who held that place in my heart are dead.  I am stronger and more sure of myself because of both of them.

but what do I know . . . .

Houston’s Chris Baker Moves away from WND*

“Sunday 02-04-2007 10:48am”

You may want to read this. “

“There is more than “light bright” signs in our future.”
“This is a great intelligence website.”

Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

Top headlines from the site Baker links to:

“Academic Separation and Jimmy Carter”

The article’s writer, Matt May, makes his *best* argument for why you shouldn’t listen to Jimmy Carter and why the people at SMU should just shut up.  No wonder Baker thinks this is a great *intelligence* site.

It’s really no different from WND, FreeRepublic, or any other site Baker decides to align himself with.

I still find it enlightening that Baker hasn’t addressed the one issue that got him angry enough to walk off a television set.

*I’m wrong.  Baker still links to a site that links to WND.  Nice curve ball there Baker, but you are still sourcing from WND.

Points Post Because I’m Really Bad at Titles

First, from the National Review — any surprise? — another flimsy slur against Jimmy Carter.  Click throught the links and you will find it is to my *favorite* net paper of record:  World Net Daily.  Like all gossip rags, it relies on the he said something was written by someone and good Jonah takes it as fact.  I bet Bill Bennett wishes he hadn’t been on vacation when that one hit.

Bush finally gave an interview to Public Radio, albeit the interviewer was Juan Williams — a fixture on Chris Wallace’s Fox News Sunday.  Clearly W can’t give up the Fox connection even now.  Here’s one part I found infuriating:

MR. WILLIAMS: By the way, in the speech, you spoke about the Democrats. You said, you congratulated the Democrat majority. And I notice your prepared text said Democratic majority. I surely think that you know that for the Democrats, they think when you say Democrat, it’s like fingernails on the blackboard. They don’t like it. They like you to say Democratic.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah. Well, that was an oversight then. I mean, I’m not trying to needle. Look, I went into the hall saying we can work together and I was very sincere about it. I didn’t even know I did it.

MR. WILLIAMS: OK.

PRESIDENT BUSH: And that I did, I didn’t mean to be putting fingernails on the board, I meant to be saying why don’t we show the American people we can actually work together? There is a lot of politics in Washington – in my judgment, needless politics. And it’s almost like, if George Bush is for it, we’re against it, and I – and if he’s against it, we’re for it. And the American people don’t like that.

And I’m going to tell you some big issues we need to work on. One is entitlements. Your grandchildren are going to grow up with a Social Security system that is broke unless we do something about it. Now, I understand how hard that is. I mean, it’s—But the solution can be done. But it requires a lot of political, you know, capital to be spent. And there is distrust in Washington. I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town. And I’m sorry it’s the case, and I’ll work hard to try to elevate it. So the idea that somehow I was trying to needle the Democrats, it’s just – gosh, it’s probably Texas. Who knows what it is. But I’m not that good at pronouncing words anyway, Juan.

No, W, it’s Rush Limbaugh and every other partisan hack.  It’s not Texas.

Lastly, tonight the News Hour explained about the whole “Clinton campaign is out to get Obama” Fox News commentators’ nonsense.  Having heard the man who ran the story on Hannity the other day, in this instance, the News Hour didn’t go far enough in exposing the idiocy of that flap.  One of the guests did say that Fox had apologized.  I’m too lazy to go look it up, but am certain it was more of a cya.

There are a couple of videos that I want to share — each at either end of a spectrum.  The first is, sad but infuriating — watch about midway — it shows the essential W, along with crazy Pam.

The second is much more disturbing.

Carter’s Hope for a Debate Works

I bought Palestine: Peace not Apartheid last December, and that was a month after its initial release.  It is still at #9 on Amazon, and   on the NYT Bestseller list.  In the first interview I heard about the book (on the News Hour) Carter said that he wanted to spark a debate and, hopefully, the peace process, too, that had been largely ignored in the six years of the Bush administration.  Rice’s latest feeble attempts notwithstanding, Carter hasn’t succeeded in pushing the Bush administration (but that’s a tall order even for the majority of the American people to do, much less one man — no matter how pragmatically correct are his assertions).

Nevertheless, Carter has gotten people talking about and reading about the situation in Palestine.  He has also taken pot-shots from all sides and still been able to stay on his main point.  I’ve read several articles since I heard the interview Carter gave on NPR last week, and I’d like to share three of them.

The first two are from Tom DeLay.  Remember, he has the ideas, but someone else writes his *blog* and with that disclaimer, I offer these two posts of *his*.  First is the “Carter gets all his money from Arabs” post.  Tom wants Carter to come clean about the finances and asks if the money the Cater Center receives influenced Carter’s views.  I think the commenters on that post pretty much make the point I would — pot/kettle — but I would go one further.  Carter would have written this book with or without there being a Carter Center.  I’m actually not even sure Tom came up with the *idea* part of this post.

The second of the two remarks the fact that some of the people on the board of directors of the Carter Center left in protest.  As part of an article I will link to a little later, Tom’s writer fails to note that it was 14 of 200 and so I would think Carter probably expected that.  Compare the two “Tom” posts together — criticize Carter for accepting money from Arabs and then writing a book that makes the Israeli supporters on his board angry enough to quit.  To Tom’s writer’s point of view, that seals it — Carter is biased, and therefore he must be torn down.  (Nevermind that Tom and co. haven’t been right about Carter for over 30 years . . .  don’t even get me started on global warming . . .)

The third one is more comprehensive and evenhanded than Tom’s trifles and reminded me of a time when I was politically active in a different way than I am now, but to the same purpose.  It’s a piece from the Guardian by Ian Williams.  There’s a lot of there there, so I’d suggest reading it, but what touched me was the point — current because of the movie and one of my students has it as her research paper topic — about the diamond trade.  In the article, Williams (having pointed out that Carter only writes the word apartheid three times in the text) states:

His third use of the A-word is the most interesting. Rabin had just returned from the apartheid state, and described to Carter “the close relationship Israel had with South Africa in the diamond trade … but commented that the South African system of apartheid could not long survive.”

Israel’s sanctions-busting trade with the racist state helped it to survive longer than it would otherwise have done. And Israeli collaboration on arms programs may have gone beyond missiles and planes as far a joint nuclear test, with a pariah regime whose antecedents were Nazi sympathizers. If apartheid is such dreadful concept that we can’t use it about Israeli polices, where were Carter’s critics when Israel was the mainstay of the apartheid regime in South Africa?

Here’s my hope:  When I was in my teens and twenties, I reminded everyone I encountered that Nelson Mandela had been in prison for longer than I had been alive.  At the time, I had little hope Mandela would ever be released.   We now live in a world where Mandela was not only released, not only became the leader of his country, but where, thinking back I could hadly hope, he is considered a world statesman.  Carter is on his way there — to that place in world history.

Every time I write about Carter, I think of someone and hope for the best for him.  He fought for our country, worked for our security and influenced and refined my thoughts on the Israeli/Palestinian peace process.  Always, my best wishes and my willingness to help is there, along with my gratitude and appreciation.

Mostly Lazy

My mom used to gauge the quality of people by what they accomplished each day.  She’s mellowed a bit these last couple of years, or perhaps she’s stopped bringing it up with me.  Were she still judging me in those terms, I definitely qualify as useless today.

One cool thing I did do today was find the very last copy of Palestine Peace not Apartheidat the bookstore.  The best seller space for it was empty.  Did that deter me? Nope.  Having worked at a large bookstore, I knew that one copy of a best seller is always shelved in the section and the rest are displayed.  I went to the Political Science section, and there it was — perfectly shelved in alphabetical order.  When I went to check out, the cashier remarked that she had thought they were sold out.  I told her she’d be correct after completing the sale :)  I started reading it while having lunch.  Hopefully I’ll be able to finish it tomorrow.  There is a paragraph that is just one long complex sentence.  I love long, complex dense sentences.  Also, while I had seen a tiny pic of the cover image on the internets, I hadn’t realized exactly what the right side photo was of  — it’s a picture of the wall in the West Bank.  Oh, and :)President Carter has an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle today.

I watched Now and Connections on PBS tonight.  Both were very interesting.  Now was about a meat packing plant in North Carolina trying to unionize and Connections was about the UN.  I’ll write about them tomorrow since today is still today and I am being mostly lazy.

Jeff Bagwell retired today.  Reportedly, he will stay on with the Astros — helping in the front office, making appearances and wait –  doing some batting coaching?  Andy Pettitte went back to King George.  (No, Steinbrenner)  Still no word on where Clemens might go.

Crap.  While looking around for something up to date on Clemens, I came across this.  It is worth reading even if you are not a baseball fan, not acquainted with Japanese or not a fan of the Velvet Underground.  The end of the article is funny.  Trust me.  Click it.

I finished my HOLIDAY shopping today — mostly.  I got my niece — the one that can tell the rabbit story now –Kipling’s Just So Stories.  I wanted to get Aesop’s Fables, but the only copy at the book store was crazy expensive.  My Japanese student who just graduated gave me a small book of children’s stories from Africa.  I’ll probably give that to her, too.  The most useless gift I bought is for my mom.  For the woman who has more crap than any living human, I got a chocolate fountain.  Oh, and some super special chocolate fountain melting chocolate.  At least I’ll have something to get her for her birthday next month.  I’ll get her a set of those sticks to put marshmallows or strawberries on in order to poke them into the luciousness of the melted streaming chocolate.

Crap again.  That reminded me.  When I was in Riga the first time, they had NO marshmallows.  No one there knew what I was talking about.  Imagine it — they wasted good campfires by getting drunk and jumping over them.  It was some weird tradition the Latvians kept alive, even while it was illegal during Soviet times.

That’s it.  If I keep writing, I will go into why Ronnie didn’t end the Cold War (a very long bit of writing that I am too lazy to do today).