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October 10, 2008
Wanted: Sanity In Society

I've been reading and listening to stories of the increasing levels of racial violence in this country and I'm more than concerned.

There is racism in the USofA. There are a few people who are not only unable to get past the lizard-brain reaction of "Different! Dangerous!" but who are entirely unwilling to even try.

Bigotry is so easy. No having to think about complex policies or accept any responsibility. And, look! Important People are saying it's true! Brown people are evil! (Don't tell me that the rightwing political speeches against "illegal immigrants" were anything other than thinly disguised racism.*)

Today, the racist voices are all over the country and the racist voices are getting louder. Not, I think, because there are more racists these days, but because people are scared. They don't understand why the "American Dream" failed. They're looking for scapegoats and it's easier to blame the brown face next to them on the bus than it is to understand the failure of the neocon policies.* *

And, more than that, those voices are getting louder because an opportunistic political campaign, devoid of strategy or solutions, is courting them.

A day or two ago, I didn't think McCain and most of his inner circle (not including Palin) were actually on board with running as the party of unfettered racism. I just think thought they started something without knowing where it would lead, and now they don't know what to do about it.

Now I have my doubts. There's been more than enough time for McCain to come out strongly against the hatemongering, but with his wife, his campaign advisors, and his VP pick all contributing to the problem, I'm starting to accept that he's not going to speak out against it--not really. Not until he sees if it's going to work, anyhow.

(I'm a bit worried. Every time I think a Republican campaign has scraped the bottom of the nastiest barrel in the pile, they come back out a couple of years later with an even skankier barrel they can dip from.)


* Most illegal immigrants working in this country are working at jobs that "Americans" are too good to do. The illegal immigrants are the faceless people picking our vegetables, cleaning our houses, and washing dishes in our restaurants. They're the maids who clean that budget-rate hotel room, the busboys who pile up the wreckage of your fine steak dinner, and those annoying lawn-care guys out mowing the neighbor's grass at 5:00 am. These are not people taking "our" jobs unless you're saying that you dreamed of your son or daughter growing up to be a migrant farm worker.

I lost my job, not because of corporate greed and fiscal mismanagement, but because those terrorist immigrants keep coming up here and washing our dishes and picking our fruit! They're destroying our way of life!


* * These are the soundbite citizens. They take in most of their opinions from the thirty-second news coverage on the 6:00 evening news (and god help us all if they are FOX viewers) or the headlines and first paragraphs of the daily paper (they always mean to read the articles more closely later, but there's never time) and they build these snippets into a world view.

Posted by AnneZook at 03:37 PM | Comments (9)
Why Can't People Think?

"I'm mad. I'm really mad. And what's going to surprise you, it's not the economy. It's the socialists taking over our country," another man said.

That's not a rational political position. That's ignorance, inflated with fear. Socialism is just the label he was given by a desperate, and losing, candidate.

#1 - What's happening in this country, and around the world, isn't ideological, except as it's a political response to the failure of "small government conservative" deregulation and the markets' lust for profits. Obama is less of a socialist than I am. (And I am not a socialist, by any means. Current market problems aside, capitalism has worked just fine for me.)

#2 - How does that ignoramus think the problem is going to be fixed, short of another major Depression? I'll tell you--he doesn't know. He hasn't thought about it or, if he has, he doesn't understand what's happening. He wants a slogan - a buzzword for his poster and one key phrase to scream at rallies. He has no interest in any understanding that goes deeper than that.

The Capitalist American Dream has ended, and the more proof these frightened, little people see of that, they louder they scream and the harder they hate. Because it's easier to shout than it is to think. And it's a lot easier to hate than it is to roll up your sleeves and start cleaning up the mess. And creating something better.

Posted by AnneZook at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)
Delusional Much?

It's almost a cry for help, with the GOP party faithful amazed McCain could possibly be losing.

Seriously? With their Party in shambles, the current Administration less popular than Richard "I Am Not A Crook" Nixon, and a candidate that hasn't managed to stand for anything except getting elected, they don't know how they lost?

Posted by AnneZook at 02:17 PM | Comments (0)
Who Are These People?

"[McCain's campaign has gone] into the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia."

Desperation has never looked so ugly.

[A] woman, who teaches her own child, that the next president of the United States is so vile that "you need gloves to touch him"

Someone save the children from the legacy of blind hate!

Cindy McCain: Obama Has 'Waged the Dirtiest Campaign in American History'

Do they seriously not own a mirror? Do they not hear themselves? Do they not understand what they're inciting?

The McCain campaign has deliberately been whipping the angry, far-right Republican base into a frenzy.

Do they really think they can ride the whirlwind they're creating?

Posted by AnneZook at 01:05 PM | Comments (0)
October 09, 2008
270 To Win

From the site 270towin, an Electoral Vote Tracker, the likely results of November 4th's vote:

Who still needs how many electoral votes, to win?


What chance does McCain have?


Of course, sites like this fail to take many things into account, not the least of which is the potential for another Ohio or Florida. Still, barring unforseen and catastropic events? McCain's goose is very cooked.

To be honest, I find myself very much afraid of what the McCain campaign might do between now and November 4.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:54 PM | Comments (6)
Gap Culture

We're living in a world where the gap between Real People and the wealthy is becoming--almost inconceivable to me.

Ingrid Zaharris moved to a smaller home, her daughter had to give up after-school gymnastics, and Ingrid is trying to decide whether or not she can live without a car.

Richard Garriott, who made a mega-fortune designing computer games, is spending thirty million dollars on his next vacation. He'll take off from a Russian spaceport, orbit the planet, then dock with the space station.

Same planet. Different world.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)
October 08, 2008
Is He Enough?

I think I wrote something like this a while back, but I'm sure that Chernus says it better. No, Barack Obama is not the progressive candidate of my dreams, but I have faith that he understands the real problems and that, if we keep an eye on him, he'll work to help us solve them.

It's not liberalism, it's not even progressivism, but it could be a kind of participatory democracy.

Once we elect him, we have only to hope that we're smart enough to lead him.

Posted by AnneZook at 04:21 PM | Comments (2)
Did You See This?

Crawford, Texas, usually only mentioned in conjunction with the current President--wossname. Today the press is speaking for Texans who think that a President Obama is just what we need.

Equal time for the Right! Rolling Stone gives us The Real McCain. He is--not impressive.

And, from what I read, he essentially slipped and said, "good-bye" to his chances of winning the race last night?

Posted by AnneZook at 12:20 PM | Comments (0)
October 07, 2008
Stop The Hate

Wandering around the world o'blog, I find one theme repeated many times. Leftish bloggers are staring across the aisle at McCain's campaign tactics--I can't call anything so ineffectual a "strategy"--and muttering, "Have they completely lost their minds?" For example, it's insane enough that the McCain campaign is going to try to turn the dialogue from the economy to personal attacks on Barack Obama; but telling the press that that was their plan? What is wrong with them?

And? For the record? I am willing to believe that neither that Palin nor McCain heard the racist remarks or the death threats at their recent speaking events, should their campaign care to say so.

However. I do hold them 100% responsible for inciting the racism and hatred we've all been reading about.

Republicans should not be ashamed of being Conservatives, but they should be ashamed of being narrow-minded, hatemongering bigots.

And those on the Right who are not narrow-minded, hatemongering bigots?* Should be ashamed of the way their Party panders to and services the intolerances of people who are. And ashamed of themselves for letting it happen.

(I just caught the taile-end of a fascinating NPR segment, comparing Reconstruction in the USofA after the Civil War, with our (few) plans for reconstructing Iraq. I learned much about how long our own Civil War went on--about continued guerilla fighting by white Southerners that kept hostilities, if not the technical "war" going for decades. The story goes far beyond the infamous KKK.)


* I choose to believe there are a significant number of these people. Because the alternative is that about 1/3 of this country consists of people who are narrow-minded, hatemongering bigots. And I just can't accept that.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:02 PM | Comments (2)
That's What I'm Sayin'

Right after I posted this update, I found this article.

I'll spare you my usual rant on how poorly we teach our own history to our kids. And the corollary rant about we keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)
October 06, 2008

I remember when I thought Dennis Kucinich would change the face of Washington politics. When it looked like he was the one who would move into the White House and teach the "Washington Insiders" how to tell the truth and do the right thing.

Like many former candidates for high office, he's decided he has nothing left to lose by saying that should be said. Like this Billions For Banks Bailout. Dennis says, We Had Alternatives.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:59 PM | Comments (0)
Compulsive Mapping

On June 11, I started checking CNN's ever-changing Electoral Map.

At that time, with not only the election, but both conventions still on the far horizon, McCain had 125 "safe" electoral votes and 69 "leaning." Obama was 153 and 37, respectively.

Today, the map shows McCain with 125 "safe" votes and 64 "leaning." He's lost a little ground in the "leaning" competition and doesn't seem to have picked up any really strong, "safe" votes.

Obama has 160 "safe" votes and 90 "leaning." He's gained a lot of strength.

(popup graphic.)

Update: In the 24 hours since I posted this, Obama's total jumped to 177 "safe" votes and 87 'leaning." McCain dropped to 125 "safe" and 49 "leaning." (I'd imagine that him bailing on Michigan has a lot to do with that.)*

Shrug. The Republicans have zero chance of winning this one. It's the Democratic Party's race to lose. That's been true since day one. The question is, can Obama win it by a large enough margin?


* I have a lot of polling sites other than CNN bookmarked, but not here at the office.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:07 PM | Comments (0)