Archive for November, 2006|Monthly archive page

Thanksgiving 2006, Richard Dreyfuss, and 10 years of love

Well, Thanksgiving is officially over for another year. We had 10 people, two turkeys (one fried with remarkably no injuries or property damage!), and no visits from my interminably difficult grandmother, who decided to have her holiday with family in warmer climes.

As an adult, holding Thanksgiving dinner with a mix of friends and family is always risky. This year, my mother trotted out all the old stories of me getting into trouble as a kid, ending of course with the grand finale of me finger painting my crib with a shitty diaper when I was 18 months old. Naturally, she thought that was hysterical, yet at the same time felt obliged to blame me for her troubles then, now decades later.

Do we ever escape this? I know, most of you would say I should be glad to still have my mother around to share such embarrassment, right? Whatever…

So, we finally got caught up watching our taped TV stuff. Bill Maher has Richard Dreyfuss on his season closer, and it was a very interesting lesson. Apparently, Mr. Dreyfuss has been studying at Oxford for the past two years on the subject to civics education. He talked at great oratory length about how America has forgotten to teach its children the basics of living in a democratized society, including the need for respectful debate, serious discourse, logic and rational decision-making. It was truly the most important things I’ve heard spoken of on the idiot box in years. Granted, it wasn’t the usual “funny man” bit that Maher usually relies on (an seemed a bit peeved Sir Richard stole the show), but it seems he did grasp the importance of what was being said and did not attempt to debase or deny the content.

The need for such a re-education process was made clear to me, when my 12 year old daughter, a burgeoning political consultant herself, asked me when Dan Rather came on what “side” he was on since he was a news anchor and reporter. I was stunned by her question, understanding the fact that she does not know a world in which the “news” is not twisted to fit someone else’s editorial views. She does not know that the news should be reporting the facts, rather than interpreting them through a partisan filter. Having been a once aspiring journalist myself, this is truly a great tragedy.

How hard is it to turn the ship at this late stage? Are we too far gone to correct?

Then, once the show was over, I remembered the discussion my daughter and I had on the way to the orthodontist last Tuesday. She told me they had a guest speaker in her 7th grade Health class for the past two days, and proceeded to relate a full-on abstinence-only curriculum that they were taught, without the accompanying piece on effective methods of birth control and disease prevention. I was floored that this guest speaker when as far as to say that individuals who have relationships with others are less worthy of love and have less to bring to a relationship than those who wait until marriage. I’m waiting to see if the rest of the program this week will include the birth control part of the discussion, because if it doesn’t, the school can expect to be hearing from me pronto.

In more pleasant news, today is the day that 10 years ago, I met my DH for the first time in person, having talked online and on the phone for 2-3 weeks prior. On that fateful day, we went out to a Mexican food place during my lunch break, and it was magic from Day One. It’s at once easy and hard to believe it’s been 10 years, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I am still truly the luckiest woman in the world.

Have a lovely holiday weekend!

Office of POTUS

In making his announcement of Rumsfeld’s resignation/firing, Bush said plenty of things that upset the press and the public. The primary focus was on how Bush admitted lying to the press in the prior week about Rummy’s accomplishments, and how solid his position is on Bush’s team.

One thing keeps getting missed, and I don’t hear this discussed in other forums. The President said he served as the “head of the party”. That reason was what prompted him to lie to the press.

Am I wrong in expecting the office of the President to be about more than party politics and maneuvering? Should the office of the President continue to exist solely for the purpose of furthering the goals of his/her party, rather than what is in the best interest of the country or the world?

The office of the President exists to serve ALL of America, not just the current 31% who approve of him at this time. Why is the President allowed to govern to serve the needs of so few? How can we get the office of POTUS to provide real leadership to our country, rather than the divisiveness and influence peddling we see today? There is no real leadership coming from POTUS right now, nor has there been since 2000 when he was elected to serve the Republicans. POTUS should be serving us all.

The Day After- If I smoked, I’d need a cigarette

It’s almost too good to be true. We, the people of America, have spoken loudly. We have taken back the US House and Senate, we have taken back countless state legislative seats, not to mention governorships all across this great land of ours.

It’s nothing short of miraculous. But calling the results a miracle doesn’t give props to all the people who worked tirelessly behind the scenes in these races, ensuring that the message was out, and got out the vote in record numbers.

Here in Oregon, we have taken back the House, which will finally allow our government to get some work done for a change. What a relief. At the time of this writing, the race I was most interested in, Minnis v. Brading is still uncalled. The vote divide is less than 250 votes. It’s a real nail-biter for these candidates, and while we’d love to see Brading win, there’s also a special justice in seeing Minnis have to return to the Oregon House stripped of her power to obstruct and partisan play every issue that comes down the pike. Karma’s a bitch, baby, get used to it.

I’m also especially pleased to see that Karl Rove, Bush’s Turd Blossom, has been handed his hat. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, Karl! Let’s see if the CIA leak investigation gains new life after January.

Interesting to note Rumsfeld’s resignation/firing. A former Nixon-era staffer, as are many of Bush’s team, Rummy was praised in a big public way just a week ago. Today, the President himself told the press he didn’t want to “drop this bomb” in the middle of the election cycle. He’s known all this time Rummy was going to go, he just lied because Karl told him to. They thought it would help the Dems otherwise. Turns out they were wrong- we didn’t need any help at all.

We did this all on our own. Americans should be proud today that they have decided to be the Deciders. Not the Neo-Cons, not the Evangelicals, not the power-hungry coattail riders who glommed on to what was once the winning team. Americans have their balls back. Let’s hope we remember how to use them.

The fun part about this year’s elections was watching my youngest get so involved in the process. She was so excited by what was happening, calling her friends, talking about the election at school, I found it surprising for a 12-year-old girl. Politics is a tough business, but if she’s got this much passion about the process at this age, I wonder if this is a sign of her life’s work?

I must say, it’s a good day to be a Democrat.

1 more day to go…

So, one more day to go, and I’m actually looking forward to the election being over. Of course, it won’t really be over. It’s not over until all the votes are counted, even those pesky absentee ballots used by the truly committed voter.

If only the nation would go to the Vote-by-Mail system used here in Oregon. We have record turnouts, minimal voter fraud, and less expensive elections. Plus, once you turn in your ballot, the calls from various political parties and special interests just stop cold.

What a relief.

Anyway, it rained a thousand pineapples today, making a mess out of the roads and causing all sorts of havoc. But for all the whining I’ve heard from my fellow Oregonians, I believe they’re all secretly happy to have the rain back. After our unseasonably long dry spell, it’s nice to get back to the wet stuff.

Here I am, writing in my new blog about the weather- how much more boring can you get than that?

So my grandmother calls me at work today- yeah, I know, no boundaries- to announce that she had a “little accident” in a parking lot. She complained about the “smart-aleck” witness who wouldn’t let her walk away from the scene. Seems it’s going to cost her insurance about $900 to get the other guy’s paint job spruced up, and they’re surely be raising her rates as soon as you can say “82 year old women shouldn’t be driving in the first place”.

She swears she “didn’t even feel it”, and if that smart-aleck hadn’t parked that giant truck of his they way he did, she would have been able to fit in that parking space just fine! HMPH!

Other than that, my day at work was fairly decent for a change. With the exception of waking up with a really yucky nauseous stomach. Thankfully, the other denizens of my household seem to be getting over their collective crap. Maybe I’ll go to bed early so I can be ready for a long night tomorrow night watching the returns come in. If my DH didn’t have school stuff to do, and wasn’t getting over his cold, I’d be encouraging him to join me for a little natural Nytol action… Ah, for the days with no more school obligations.

2 days left

The Republican’ts have come out today in force- the 72 Hour Plan is in full swing. Be prepared to hear the following spin to motivate their base to get out and vote on Tuesday:

  • R: Saddam’s conviction and sentencing means we’re winning the hearts and minds of Iraqis, not to mention the Global War on Terror. D: Saddam isn’t the perpetrator of 9/11, never was never will be. Bush’s war on Iraq has made the world more dangerous, not to mention the Middle East highly unstable. This is why the leaders of Iran, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are meeting regularly to discuss strategies to stabilize the region and get the US out on their terms, not ours.
  • R: The tide of generals against Rumsfeld is just smoke and mirrors from media giant Gannett. Pay no mind to the nearly unprecedented editorial appearing in all four military newspapers tomorrow. Everyone really thinks Rummy and Cheney are doing a great job, and those who say they aren’t are unpatriotic. D: Rumsfeld has been on the ropes since late 2002, and when the D’s take back the House (at least) on Tuesday, both Cheney and Rumsfeld will be held accountable for the billions of taxpayer dollars they personally wasted in huge non-competitive contracts to the likes of Halliburton and KBR. Cheney has said more than once he could care less what the public thinks of him and the administration- let’s see how much he cares from behind the walls of a federal prison.
  • R: The D’s are counting on voter fraud to win this election- we’re already lawyered-up in every key district, and will drown them in recounts and endless debate about “the real winner”. D: The R’s are counting on voter fraud to win this election- we’re already lawyered-up in every key district, and will drown them in recounts. We won’t go down without a fight again.

Of course, this is just a small sample of the spin machine we’ll see in action over the next 72 hours. Don’t expect this election cycle to be truly settled until after Thanksgiving in some areas. There will be lots of finger-pointing and sour grapes to be had until the New Year.

On another note, my dear Husband has a wretched cold, and is suffering through another weekend of college coursework. He hates it, I hate it, but we both know it’s a necessity to get ahead these days. He should be finished with his degree in about a year, and he’s really a hero for sticking with it, despite all our whining to the contrary.

My youngest daughter, age 12, is getting over said cold, and has finally cleaned her room this weekend, after much drama, procrastination and avoidance. I really just wanted to be able to see the floor and get that weird smell out of there. Now she wants to go to Borders to buy a couple of books as her reward.

My oldest daughter, age 14, actually came home on time this AM from a sleepover at a friend’s house. She’s doing her laundry and plans to clean her room as well- oddly cooperative today. I’ll take what I can get… maybe I can get her to come with me to Target later, since DH can’t come along to help.

It hasn’t been a great weekend- went too fast, didn’t sleep well. I kept waking up last night thinking about the election- mainly about the MT Senate race between Burns and Tester. I hope the good people of MT kick Burns out on his creepy, corrupt behind. The fact that Bush is up there today is proof the GOP is scared about that race, and well they should be.

I’m less concerned about our own Governor’s race here in OR- Ted has a good lead on Saxton, but that’s no reason to rest on our laurels. I want the Ds to take back the statehouse, and especially evict Karen Minnis from the Speakership. She’s been in the pocket of the GOP and polluters for so long now, I bet the voters of East Multnomah County can’t even remember why they elected her in the first place. What has she done for us lately? Not a damn thing…

I’m thinking about staying home on Tuesday to watch the returns come in, if I can swing it… anyone else doing the same?

Hello world!

Welcome to MamaBigDog Speaks!  I’ll be blogging periodically about life here in the Pacific Northwest, politics, food, family, and whatever else strikes my fancy.  Feel free to comment, with respect to others.