Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It has rained all day long and we really didn't do anything except sit out on the covered patio and watch the rain. The dog is sad that he didn't get his walk so all he has done is lay on the chaise and sleep. I finally tempted him to eat his food by giving him a piece of cinnamon toast...which he loves.

Bob slept off and on all day too, as did Missy Kitty the cat. I worked on John and Leslie's new home scrapbook after she sent me five new pictures of week nine. Then about four thirty we went out to their house for the fifth birthday party for Sage, our great grand daughter. I bought her a new purse. She loved it. Our daughter bought her a new educational game and she loved that too.

Leslie, our daughter, fixed lasagna and garlic toast. We took a large salad. Two extra guests showed up with their child so we quickly put another leaf in the table and another three plates on the table. Thank goodness that lasagna was a large dish and we had made a big salad. Jeromy, our grandson, brought an ice cream cake and Leslie had made cupcakes.

All in all, we all had a good time.

But I'll be delighted when the rain has ended.

Tomorrow, we will take Leslie and John to Garfield's in Bartlesville after church to celebrate John's 54th birthday. Today, he saw the scrapbook I'm making for them for the first time. He seemed impressed.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Transcript of Charlie's interview with Palin

Charlie Gibson: Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?

Sarah Palin: In what respect, Charlie?

Charlie: What do you interpret it to be?

Palin: His worldview.

Charlie: No, No, the Bush Doctrine. He enunciated it in September 2002, before the Iraq War.

Palin: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is to rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hellbent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made. And with new leadership--and that's the beauty of American elections and democracy--with new leadership comes the opportunity to do things better.

Charlie: The Bush Doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory defense. We have the right to preemptively strike any other country that we believe is going to attack us.

The "Bush Doctrine" is the basis for our invasion of Iraq. It's kind of a big deal. Now, maybe a McCain-Palin administration would instead have the "McCain Doctrine", which would essentially be the Bush Doctrine but with even more aggressive rhetoric, or the "Palin Doctrine", which would be that... um... spreading democracy via offshore oil drilling is good, and stuff. Or something -- it's not clear. But this "justification for war" stuff is, you know, the sort of thing that's just a wee bit important for our purported future leaders to pay a little attention to.

What's goofy is that Charlie Gibson tried so valiantly to assist, and she still faceplanted. This does not bode well for policy-based discourse on the campaign trail. After this, they're probably going to put her back in her no-press box for a while.

What's really scary is that Palin obviously did not even know what the Bush Doctrine is. Can you imagine this woman as President of our country? There is a one in six chance, you know, that McCain would die in office at his age.

Busy Day

This has been a busy day so far. We cleaned house this morning. I wasn't up to it on Monday, my regular house cleaning day so it was five days late today. Then Bob cleaned the garage sale stuff out of the garage, boxed up most of it...we had taken all the clothing to the Presbyterian Church Thursday when we learned the weather was forecast for rain again. I didn't want to waste an entire Saturday sitting in the garage waiting for a few brave souls to come buy the stuff that was left.

So the church got the good stuff. The church will put it to good use and the rest of the stuff left over will have to go to the dump, I guess. .

We took Bob's truck up to have a battery cable replaced on it. It had been acting strange every time he tried to start it so today he lifted the hood and began to tighten the battery cable. That's when he noticed the ring was broken. They replaced that while he waited and only charged us $15.

I'm kind of bushed today so we will just take it easy. I guess I've had too much on my plate lately.

Tomorrow we are celebrating our great grand daughter's fifth birthday. Our daughter is having a party for her tomorrow evening and we will go to their house for that. Then our son-in-law's birthday is Sunday and we will go down to Bartlesville after church and take them to Garfield's for lunch. He loves that entire "Happy Birthday" thing they do there. I have taken them there every year for three years. Usually Bob is deployed at this time so he will get to go too this time.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Funeral Planned

Well we met with my friend, Juanita and her grand daughter to plan the funeral next Friday for Juanita's daughter. It was very hard for my friend. Her grand daughter wasn't nearly as broken up. At least she isn't right now.

It will be partly a religious service and partly a secular service because Juanita's daughter was not religious. In fact she was very much the opposite.

So the Methodist minister was very glad I was going to assist. I did know Kristi and will do the eulogy. He will do the funeral sermon itself. The only religious music will be "Just A Closer Walk With Thee". The grand daughter, Kristi's daughter, will burn a CD with the secular music Kristi liked and they will play that as we all enter the sanctuary.

The funeral will be held September 19th at 1:00.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Preparing for a Funeral

Yesterday I went to Independence to visit with an old friend who lost her daughter to cancer last Tuesday. She is heartbroken. This is the second daughter she has lost. It must be terrible to outlive your children.

I will help with the funeral. Her minister, Jack, will do the funeral sermon and I will read the obit and eulogize her daughter.

We will all meet tomorrow at 2:00 and firm up the service. It is so sad.

Today we went to ministerial association in Independence and I saw him and made sure of the time for our meeting.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

An Interesting Article

I just read an interesting newspaper article. It was about an astute political consultant, Raymond Strother. Strother says one of the most un-talked about issues of this campaign is the one that may win the election for McCain. He says southern people especially will not admit to their racial bias' but that they do vote them. He has worked on several campaigns in the south where the polls say the black candidate is far ahead but then is badly defeated in the election.

When asked by pollsters how they will vote, those people answer that "they have not yet made up their mind" or "they need to know more about Barack Obama". What they really mean is they won't vote for a black candidate but they won't admit their prejudice. They know that is politically incorrect.

He says the only way Obama can win is if all those young voters who have registered actually get out and vote in the election. Many of them, according to him, have no land lines and cannot be polled.

And then there's the David Brooks New York Times opinion to be found here.

It's anyone's election, folks. I think the deciding factor is whether those young voters actually vote this time.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Lies About Palin exposed by

False Internet claims and rumors fly about McCain's running mate.

We’ve been flooded for the past few days with queries about dubious Internet postings and mass e-mail messages making claims about McCain’s running mate, Gov. Palin. We find that many are completely false, or misleading.
  • Palin did not cut funding for special needs education in Alaska by 62 percent. She didn’t cut it at all. In fact, she tripled per-pupil funding over just three years.
  • She did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library. Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time. The librarian has said Palin asked a "What if?" question, but the librarian continued in her job through most of Palin's first term.
  • She was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a group that wants Alaskans to vote on whether they wish to secede from the United States. She’s been registered as a Republican since May 1982.

  • Palin never endorsed or supported Pat Buchanan for president. She once wore a Buchanan button as a "courtesty" when he visited Wasilla, but shortly afterward she was appointed to co-chair of the campaign of Steve Forbes in the state.

  • Palin has not pushed for teaching creationism in Alaska's schools. She has said that students should be allowed to "debate both sides" of the evolution question, but she also said creationism "doesn't have to be part of the curriculum."
A few of these claims were included in a chain e-mail by a woman named Anne Kilkenny. We'll be looking into other charges in that e-mail for a future story. For more explanation of the bullet points above, please read the Analysis.

The Latest Polls and the Value of Framing

I checked the polls again today and John McCain is ahead three points...which is the margin of error. How could anyone find the polls believable? I don't. Yet they scare me. If they are correct, John McCain could win this election. It's only a little over six weeks from now.

If McCain wins, I will blame the racist element in America. Although I like Joe Biden, I believe he should have chosen Hillary for his running mate. I believe together they would have had a winning ticket.

There's a very good possibility that the polls cannot be correct any more with so many people relying on cell phones and having no land live. At least, I certainly hope that is true.

What many people don't realize is that the Republicans have stayed in power as long as they have because they are experts at "framing". They use words that sound good to describe policies that are horrible. For example:

"The White House has masked its attacks with euphemisms that would have embarrassed George Orwell. George W. Bush's "Healthy Forests" initiative promotes destructive logging of old-growth forests. His "Clear Skies" program, which repealed key provisions of the Clean Air Act, allows more emissions. The administration uses misleading code words such as streamlining or reforming instead of weakening, and thinning instead of logging. "

In George Lakoff's best selling book published in 2004, "Don't Think of an Elephant", he explains that concept. Frames are mental structures that shape the way we see the world. Note in the above quote the framed words "Healthy Forest Initiative" and "Clear Skies Act" that accomplish the exact opposite. Another term framed by the Republicans is "The Death Tax" to describe the inheritance tax, which already has a two million dollar ceiling. So the only ones who would not benefit from that tax law are the very rich. They would have to pay an inheritance tax.

By calling tax cuts "Tax Relief" , they managed to demonize those who were against it because who on earth would be against tax relief? They would be seen as bad people.

The phrase "Tax Relief" began coming out of the White House starting on the very day of Bush's inauguration. It got picked up by the newspapers as if it were a neutral term, which it is not. First, you have the frame for "relief." For there to be relief, there has to be an affliction, an afflicted party, somebody who administers the relief, and an act in which you are relieved of the affliction. The reliever is the hero, and anybody who tries to stop them is the bad guy intent on keeping the affliction going. So, add "tax" to "relief" and you get a metaphor that taxation is an affliction, and anybody against relieving this affliction is a villain. Of course the tax relief was mainly for those earning $200,000 or more.

"Tax Relief" has even been picked up by the Democrats. I was asked by the Democratic Caucus in their tax meetings to talk to them, and I told them about the problems of using tax relief. The candidates were already on the road using the term "Tax Relief" in their speeches. You see the Democrats shooting themselves in the foot.

Following the 2004 defeat of Kerry, many progressives realized that simply targeting voters with anti-Bush messages was not enough. But have they changed their tactics?

Read what George Lakoff thinks of the Palin choice here:

Lakoff has another book out now. It is "The Political Mind: Why You Can't Understand 20th Century Politics With an 18th Century Brain." The democrats had better buy it and read it quickly!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Scary Prospect!

I just checked out the latest polls and I find the two candidates are neck in neck. That is truly scary. I cannot imagine another four/eight years of Republican Administration.

My dream ticket would reinstate the regulations on big business. I know it sounds restrictive and in a perfect world, big business would restrict itself. Unfortunately this is not a perfect world. Big business and the very wealthy take every advantage they can to make big money, regardless of whether it's good for the environment or good for humans. Simply said, they just don't care. Just a few years ago, for example, the tobacco companies were adding nicotine to cigarettes to make them even more addictive and this was AFTER it was proven that tobacco is the leading cause of lung cancer. Now, you know what they do since sales of tobacco are so restricted in the US? They export them to third world companies. Now how "Christian" is that for a country that advertises itself as a Christian nation?

And I could go on and on. Last year I went to a conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the keynote speaker was Robert Kennedy Jr. He is in a position to know all about the abuses of power and he said some very straight talking things about abuses by big business.

Check out some of Kennedy's concerns here.

My dream ticket would raise taxes on the very rich. They can't take their money with them and they would never miss the additional money they would be paying out in taxes. For example, McCain would pay $400,000 more each year in taxes. And he is not one of the super rich. He would never even miss that money and it could help provide health care for the poor. No wonder he has fought to make those tax cuts for the very rich a permanent thing.