An opinion piece by Marianne Means highlights the precise difficulty I've been having with the Republican party for some time now. Thier choice of leader does not lead them. The party is a mess. They can't agree on civil rights (not even gun control), they can't agree on Roe vs Wade, they can't agree on same-sex marraiges, global warming, or the growing deficit. Its no mystery that many Republicans are very unhappy with the borrow-and-spend nature of our current administration, and there is certainly no agreement concerning what should be kept secret regarding the admin's business practices. Means calls it a "philosophical muddle", I call it a sewer of misbegotton pandering from the White House. And yet the Republicans will not take action against the very man who causes this discord; the President who promises much, delivers little, and stands opposed to many of the core values of the party.
As a moderate, I find this amazing, but not at all surprising. I've indicated several times that I believe the Bush agenda to have only two planks: Get Saddam (Mission Accomplished!) and to get Bush reelected. But what then? Anybody? Beuller? More give-aways to Halliburton? Bigger debt? More extensions and misapplication of the PATRIOT (stomp the liberal traitors and others we don't like) Act? Extensions to the meaningless and idiotic so-called "Assault Weapons" ban? I would seriously like to know, from moderate Republicans, what does this man do to trip your trigger?
I would like to say that the one thing that the Republicans are unified on is the War On Terror (duhn dun DAHHH!! the blond girl screams while holding her hands aloft and the old woman with the hat faints dead away... But I'm just not convinced anymore. It doesn't appear that the Republicans agree with Bush on how to fight such a war. Do we support the Saudi's? Do we take action against North Korea? Do we quadrupal the effort to find the man who was responsable for the Sept. 11th attack, who has remained free and roaming for just shy of three years? What's to do?
President Bush seems perfectly happy to have taken Iraq, though there are rumbles in the administration that Iran will be next. And to those who know the first thing about military deployment and strategy, I ask you HOW? How do we take Iran? How many troops do we deploy and where does the money come from? Bush himself has said that the post-invasion planning for Iraq was misguided and unclear ... and this Commander in Chief is worthy of support ... WHY?
No, I think what unifies the supporters of President Bush, and the Republican party as a whole, is the terror they feel at losing control; that one of their straw men might become real, that the dreaded liberals might have been right about anything. Jen offers us the Muslims for Bush and their stand against a Kerry presidential victory. On their website, they post this:
Senator Kerry claims to have a "bold and new effort" to enhance security in the Middle East. However, his plans does little to promote a fair and balanced policy, rather it vilifies Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, and Palestine. (emphasis mine, ed.) His approach to the Israeli-Palestinian is one sided, serves to polarize already disparate parties, and does little to promote a just and lasting peace.
With the exception of his buddies in the royal house of Saud, this is precisely the platform and stance of the Bush administration. And the very same Muslims for Bush website hosts this article which claims:
Across the Middle East, the United States and Israel are facing a range of crucial security challenges. We are not secure while Saudi donors fund terror, while Iran pursues a nuclear weapons programs and while Syria sponsors terrorist operations.(Again, emphasis mine, ed.) We are not secure while Iraq is at risk of becoming a haven for terrorists. And we are not secure while Israel, the one true democracy in the region, remains the victim of an unrelenting campaign of terror.
as well as this:
For too long, America has not led, (uhhm, Bush?) and Iran's program has advanced. Let me say it plainly: a nuclear-armed Iran is unacceptable. I believe we must work with our allies to end Iran's nuclear weapons program and be ready to work with them to implement a range of tougher measures, if needed. Developing an international coalition enhances our influence(you know the drill) by ensuring that all nations are united in the effort, leaving no room for Iran to play allies against one another.
That is precisely what John Kerry is proposing. So it would appear that the very nature of Kerry's plans for diplomacy are, at the root, what some Bush supporters want and yet will willfully vilify in support of the man who doesn't support what they want! Muddled Philosophy indeed!
I will watch the Republican National Convention with a little smile on my face, knowing that the Presidents support is support of a phantom, support of an ideal that doesn't hold up to scrutiny. And I will know that Republicans, for all their enormous outcry that Democrats should have picked a better candidate, will get the candidate that they deserve. They will recieve and cheer the very man that betrays most of what they believe in. They will get George Bush. I sincerly hope that the country won't, come November.
Excuse me, Mr. Bush, not that I'd thnk you clueless or anything, but
Two years ago, when his Administration last published a document claiming that global warming over the last few decades had been prompted by human behaviour, Mr Bush dismissed it as something "put out by the bureaucracy".
So Mr. Preznit, are you waffling or clueless? Please explain. I know that your press secretary says that you haven't altered stance, and we're waiting for the better science, but you seemed more concerned with other things.
David Mason used a cigarette lighter to ignite torn-out pages from the magazine, which he had bought himself(emphasis mine, ed.), saying later he had been "offended" by them,
I'm thinking "mental illness" here. Look, if thine eyes offend thee, by all means pluck them out ... but don't incinerate my plane while doing it, M'Kay?
In other news, something that may not sit well with Autumn, nor does it sit well with me. It seems that there's someone out there who finds the Vagina Monologues to be like Farrakhan's "crusade of hatred", "dangerous" and "viciously anti-male". It's an interesting rant to read, but not having seen the play, I can't rightly critique the critique. What I can do is tell Christina Hoff Sommers that my ego isn't that fragile. I don't need or appreciate her defense, and I'm amazed at the irony of a woman standing firmly in defense of all men as if we need it. I don't, thank you. In fact, her tirade puts me in mind of this.
In some what more mundane news, the dorms opened today. I'd say "Yay" but the Internet is a poor medium for sarcasm. Like it or not, my summer is officially over.
Across the Marine Corps, the unanticipated and unbudgeted requirements of rotating fresh, well-trained troops through Iraq have forced dramatic and sometimes painful adjustments and compromises.
(emphasis mine, ed)
On the up side, it will hopefully give many of these non-combat personel a better chance to survive. On the down side, this hardly seems like an efficient use of resources or proper planning on the part of those eager for a victory in Iraq, (or the awful stalemate in Afganistan). Nor does it give comfort that these men will be adequately prepared to defend those around them. Leaving people exhausted and crammed full of knowledge to be quickly forgotten isn't the way to train professional defense forces, is it? Call me naive, but I really thought our country capable of better than this.
On a different tangent, can we please hear no more about how the Bush campaign isn't supporting the Swift Boat Veterans for Misguided Sophistry? I mean, really, how much in denial can you be?
BUSH: I'm denouncing all the stuff being on TV, all the 527s. That's what I've said.
I said this kind of unregulated soft money is wrong for the process. And I asked Senator Kerry to join me in getting rid of all that kind of soft money, not only on TV, but to use for other purposes as well.
I, frankly, thought we'd gotten rid of that when I signed the McCain-Feingold bill. I thought we were going to once and for all get rid of a system where people could just pour tons of money in and not be held to account for the advertising. . .
I don't think we ought to have 527s. I can't be more plain about it. And I wish -- I hope my opponent joins me in saying, condemning these activities of the 527s. It's the -- I think they're bad for the system. That's why I signed the bill, McCain-Feingold.
Should the appropriate response be:
A) George Bush is showing strong and decisive leadership! *
B) The President doesn't understand the bills he signs into law? He is incompetant. **
C) Bush is covering his ass for his own administration's involvement in soft money campaigning. ***
D) All of the above, (A being a charade of bravado against his weak frustrations that a lot of people aren't buying his good-ol'-boy tough-talkin' schtick, and are *gasp* actively working against him).
* This stance would silence American's from supporting many causes specific to their individual needs, thereby removing one more tool that Americans have for participating in their own democracy. A quick look at a list of the top 50 527's should show anyone who believes in freedom that this blanket stance is misguided and anti-American. Strong leadership, indeed!
** How obviously clueless can you be? McCain Feingold is the bill, signed by G.W. Bush that gives the 527s the power they have today ... and he thought he was doing away with them? This is either classic incompetence, a collosal flip-flop or both. Take your pick.
that the campaign finance law the president signed just a few years ago deliberately avoided closing the 527 loophole; that Bush beat Sen. John McCain (R-Ari.) during the 2000 primary in part with the help of a 527 run by his supporter Sam Wylie; that Bush's own campaign manager, campaign counsel, and political guru (Ken Melhman, Ben Ginsburg, and Karl Rove, respectively) have attended fundraising and organizational events for Progress for America, a 527 founded by Bush's political director from the 2000 campaign, Tony Feather; that GOP chairman Ed Gillespie and Bush campaign chairman Mark Racicot recently issued a statement designating PFA and yet another GOP 527, the Leadership Forum, as a good place for Republicans to give money to; and that the second-biggest 527 in the U.S. is the Republican Governors Association, a group spun off by the Republican National Committee two years ago specifically to collect and harness soft money for state and local GOP candidates.
If President Bush is opposed to 527s, somebody better tell his senior campaign staff, and quick.
Source. George's own re-election campaign and administration is actively involved in promoting and establishing 527s for his benefit. Either he's clueless about his staff and support, (great leader, indeed!), or he's covering his own appeasement of what he pretends to revile. Again ... take your pick.
Update:Ezra chooses the logically correct answer E) Wrong and Stupid.
I just got off the phone with my older brother. I had sent him an email concerning Mom on Saturday night, and he hadn't received it until this late morning (what is up with that exchange server???). Getting to the point, I don't remember having sent that email. In fact, I barely remember Saturday evening at all.
I remember talking to Mom, and (like a total idiot) telling her that I would try and contact Ken (my older brother) for her. After that, things start to get hazy. I tried several ways to get Ken's phone number, but struck out. I finally decided to call my younger brother, and then my father, in the hopes that they would have some contact information for Ken. I haven't spoken to either of them in approximately 6 and a half years, so I could feel the stress buildup. After that, its kind of a bizaare blackout. I remember snippits of the conversation and what I was looking at while on the phone. I can't remember what I was feeling though, and when I try it kind of goes black, with a strange intense mental strobe effect, like attempting to solve some desperately important math problem while someone keeps turning out the lights at random. Looking back on it, its terribly frustrating.
So, after crapping out on getting a phone number for Ken, I sent him a very frustrated email, to the only account I have for him, with no knowledge whatsoever that it was even an active or valid account. I'd love to be able to say that I only forgot about sending it after there was no timely response, but that would be a lie. I simply don't remember it all, a total waking blackout.
This has happened to me at least twice in the last two weeks, and I'm certainly not lamenting that its happened. I don't find it frightening ... more like fascinating. I'm very intrigued that my brain would react this way to stress. I don't remember this happening to me before in my life, but its not a mystery that things will change over time. I guess what's most interesting to me right now is that I can look back on these episodes, and they appear as large balls of loose black cloth. I can see them, know them and recognize them, but I can't see into them.
I talked with Mom last night, and the doctor thinks he removed all of the tumor. Being the git I am, I asked her to define "All". It means as it sounds. All. That's a lovely word, right about now. He is not prescribing any chemo or radiation therapy, at least for now. She'll see him in several weeks time, and he'll make a more firm prognostication then. But it appears that the surgery was a complete success, and my mom is (knock on wood) cancer free.
I said she was a tough lady, and it appears that I was right. She will be going home today or tomorrow, well ahead of schedule. Her recovery will be long, and probably painful and difficult. But recover she will. She's probably done working for good (and considering that she works with the truly damaged of society, that's probably for the best). Of course, everything has changed, and I will do whatever I have to to help her onward. That's plenty okay, right about now. When I hung up the phone after talking with her last night, I bounced around the house, cryin' and yelling like a monkey on coke. I couldn't believe it. I think my mom will be okay.
I want to thank you all again. The part of me that leans heavily towards the religious (not necessarily Christian) knows that your prayers and hopes have helped with this outcome. The other part of me recognizes that your concern is the best of humanity, and I value you all. More importantly right now, Mom knows of your love and she thanks you as well. You're all good people, and she needed that.
I'll be back to normal (if somewhat mundane) posting very soon. Thanks for your patience while I tried poorly to cope with this thingy. And batgrl, I'll take a raincheck on whatever casserole Jon want's to whip up. The boy can cook, yes?
I just wanted to say a huge "Thank You" to all of you who have expressed concern and support for my mother and myself. I'm still in the dark about what the future will bring, but I'll let folks know as soon as I know more.
She came down to Bozeman several weeks ago for our Luau party (Kim's pictures are here). As Mom was preparing to leave the next day, she told me that along with the other illnesses that she may be suffering from, her doctor had found some nodes on her lung. It was too early at that point to tell really what it was, but I think I knew then anyway. When I spoke with my mother a couple of weeks ago she had seen her specialist/surgeon, and he was fairly certain that it was either cancer or tuberculosis. They agreed together to treat this rather agressively, and so surgery was scheduled for yesterday.
I had a good talk with Mom on Sunday night, and tried to choke back whatever fears I have. She had everything pretty well arranged; a co-worker would take her to the hospital in Missoula on Monday night, and Tuesday they would operate. Mostly, I think we just chatted, but I don't remember it all that clearly. It's very strange how the brain can just shut out what you don't want to pay attention to, because Monday and yesterday, I hardly thought about Mom at all, at least not consciously. Both days, however, I had the overwhelming feeling that it was already midweek, and a complete inability to focus my head on anything other than what I was in front of me at the time. I'm sure Mom would call that disassociative and she'd probably be right. I think its only dawning on me now that I've been like this for weeks. How's that for denial?
Mom's surgery was yesterday. It went okay, as far as I know. I was able to talk to her (with the help of a terrific ICU nurse). Not surprising, Mom was already awake and feeling crotchety. I don't blame her; I'd be none too amused with having my chest opened up and my ribs cracked. But my mom's a tough lady, and she was coherant, and not feeling any pain, at least none that she'd tell me about. More importantly, she was breathing okay.
They removed half of a lung, and sent it to pathology for biopsy. I don't know any more at this time, as Mom hadn't talked with her doctor yet. We assume he removed as much as he did in an agressive effort to remove all of the growth. God, I hope he did. The future is the question. I don't know if there is more surgery in store for Mom, or what kind of chemo or radiation therapy they'll put her on. The big thing, is that, for right now, she's okay.
update: Holy crap, the second I post thsi and the tears start welling. Posting therapy maybe. Maybe I shouldn't have done this at work? I guess denial's over, huh?