Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today would have been my mother's 77th birthday.

My mom passed away this past April 15th. (Yeah, it was tax day. My parents both chose memorable days to go: my dad passed on New Year's Day 1986.) She was simply the most selfless person I've ever known. Her kindness, caring, and charity knew no bounds. After my father's passing, she simply lived to help others, often to her own detriment. As much as I encouraged her to go out and socialize in order to find new friends, she instead chose to remain home, constantly reinforcing her faith and helping as many charities as she possibly could.

It's been a tough year when I revisit the memories of the last moments we spent together. She was strong and dignified until the very end of her life, though. Her charities of choice were wide and varied: from Native American children to Special Olympics to the Humane Society, my mom supported them all. This is not even to mention her tithing to her favorite ministries of choice, including Frederick Price and Robert Schueller. I know we'll be getting mail addressed to her from these charities and more for years to come. It will make future visits to the mailbox filled with fond memories of her boundless mercy and faith.

Although I most closely relate to the Unitarian Universalists these days, I always admired and respected my mother's faith. It provided her with the basic rules of life that she followed. Those rules ultimately influenced me a great deal through my occupations that require empathy and diplomacy. She was simply the greatest woman I've ever known.

I miss you, Mom. I hope you're enjoying all of the benefits you did without while you walked on this Earth. Happy Birthday.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A PSA you'd never see on the air in the US

Due to our really uptight nature, this is a humorous, yet, many would argue, risque PSA about STDs that would never be seen on American television. Belgium's got us beat!

The end is just priceless. He's going straight to hell, though. ;-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tina Fey nails Sarah Palin impersonation...finally!

Okay, so I was going through my DVR program guide the weekend before last and saw that Tina Fey was going to be the guest host on Saturday Night Live. I anxiously pressed record only to later find that it was a repeat of a show from last season, as evidenced by my frustration on Twitter. Well, the new season actually kicked off LAST Saturday when Palin did a cameo at the beginning of SNL:

Hope you enjoyed it!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Palin appeals to the base, isolates all others

After staying up last night to watch all of Sarah Palin's speech at the RNC, I have to say she did a more than adequate job. If, of course, you define adequate as throwing red meat to the Republican base. The incessant name-calling continued in St. Paul, with Mitt Romney throwing the word "liberal" around like he was calling out pariahs. Liberal, in general, means "free" or "of liberty." The Republican Party has used it as their homemade curse word to hang around the necks of unsuspecting victims anywhere to the left of Attila the Hun.

Then came Rudy Giuliani, who apparently thinks that being mayor is still the best prerequisite to being president. If that's true, I guess Gainesville mayor Pegeen Hanrahan will be running in 2012. I look forward to it, quite frankly.

Especially rich were other comments from Mike Huckabee. Despite uttering outright lies from the podium (eg, that Sarah Palin received more votes in her mayoral election than Joe Biden got in this run for president), the crowd still roared their approval. This was all irrelevant, though, because Sarah Palin was yet to speak.

Thanks to Giuliani going way over in his speech, Palin's introductory video wasn't even shown. She immediately came out and introduced her family (along with the guy who knocked up her eldest daughter) like they were all worthy of Nobel Prizes or something. She then said that she would be an "advocate in the White House" for all families with developmentally-challenged children (did someone tell her that the vice president doesn't live in the White House?). This was the pandering I was waiting for! The scary thing is that many families like my own will now vote McCain simply because of that statement. Being a one-issue voter is a scary thing. Voting one-issue as the result of an empty promise without researching her other related stances is downright DANGEROUS!

Then it was back to the glorified name-calling, saying that there is no difference between a mayor and community organizer - except that the mayor actually has responsibilities. I think even our own Mayor Hanrahan would agree that community organizing involves such duties as helping others get jobs, stay off drugs, and get proper advocacy for government assistance. Apparently, the new, improved Republican Party doesn't see such humanitarian actions as responsibilities.

We'll see how McCain does at the podium tonight. His speeches are few and far between, so I'm looking forward to him doing more than reading a prewritten, five-minute radio address. Overall, though, Palin delivered an effective bit of oratory last night with nary a stumble.

Even a broke-dick dog has its moment in the sun now and again.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sarah Palin, meet Harriet Miers

This is getting more and more unbelievable - almost by the minute. Is there any scandal that this woman doesn't love?

I'm going to take heed of Barack Obama's advice, though. I'm leaving her family out of this, as difficult as that may be. Here's a quote from one of her supporters that really got me:

"The media doesn't understand life
membership in the NRA; they don't
understand getting up at 3 a.m. to
hunt a moose; they don't understand
eating a mooseburger; they don't under-
stand being married to a guy who likes
to snowmobile for fun," explained Rep.
Adam Putnam, a Florida Republican, in
a Politico interview Tuesday. "I am not
surprised that they don't get it. But
Americans get it. A mooseburger means
she is like one of us."

A mooseburger. One of us. Absolutely. Mooseburger is probably not a bad thing, but I don't know how it makes her one of us. I'm not sure who Rep. Putnam is referring to as "us," but I seriously doubt I'm included in that group. She does support the hunting of wolves from helicopters, too. Hell, I do that to whittle away some spare hours in the evenings all the time. Ms. Palin was apparently also a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, which favors Alaska's secession from the United States. Quite the "maverick," right there. Extremist is the more appropriate term.

That's why McCain and Palin make the perfect match. Their consistent extremist (RNC key word: maverick) agenda will only drive more and more wedges between the American people. I think we've had enough of this in the last 8 years. We need health care for all, responsible budgetmaking, building solid relationships with other nations of the world, and other things that the Republican platform is so vehemently against.

McCain now has only a few hours left to make a unilateral change to his ticket. I doubt that will happen, though. It would only make this election more competitive, but whomever is playing the Karl Rove role this time around surely doesn't see it that way. She could always Harriet-Miers her way off the ticket as well, but she's too determined of a person -- damn the consequences. Why else would you name one of your children after the headquarter city of the sports network you aspired to work for? This is McCain's first test at decision-making. How do you think he did in picking Sarah Palin as his running mate? Either way, I'd be lying if I didn't say I am so looking forward to Palin debating Joe Biden. Her speech before the GOP delegates this evening should be a real corker as well.

Last night, President Bush referred to the "angry left" at the RNC Convention. This is a man who should be tried for war crimes once he leaves office. Fred Thompson called Obama "the most liberal, most inexperienced" person to ever run for president. This is a man who had to give himself a round of applause at a rally during the primaries when he ran for president. I hope the American people are smart enough to see through this empty namecalling and see who is really fighting for them when it comes to the issues I mentioned above. They will, eventually; let's just hope it's not too late when they do.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Amy Goodman arrested at RNC

So, the host of our flagship program here at WGOT was arrested this afternoon in St. Paul:

We'll see if we have a host for our program by tomorrow. At least we know what the top story will be.


Amy Goodman and Two Democracy Now! Producers Unlawfully Arrested At
the RNC


September 1, 2008

Dennis Moynihan
Mike Burke

ST. PAUL, MN—Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was unlawfully arrested
in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota at approximately 5 p.m. local time.
Police violently manhandled Goodman, yanking her arm, as they arrested
her. Video of her arrest can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYjyvkR0bGQ

Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now!
producers who were being unlawfuly detained. They are Sharif Abdel
Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Kouddous and Salazar were arrested while
they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street
demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman’s crime
appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the

Ramsey County Sherrif Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous
and Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They are
currently being held at the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul.

Democracy Now! is calling on all journalists and concerned citizens to
call the office of Mayor Chris Coleman and the Ramsey County Jail and
demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar. These
calls can be directed to: Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman’s office at
651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press
extension 0).

Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns
this action by Twin Cities law enforcement as a clear violation of the
freedom of the press and the First Amenmdent rights of these

During the demonstration in which they were arrested law enforcement
officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and
excessive force. Several dozen others were also arrested during this

Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected
journalists in the United States. She has received journalism’s top
honors for her reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery
and courage. The arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar is a
transparent attempt to intimidate journalists from the nation’s
leading independent news outlet.

Democracy Now! is a nationally-syndicated public TV and radio program
that airs on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the

McCain's entry in the race for change: he wants it to Palin comparison!

So, news has just been released that McCain VP choice Sarah Palin has a pregnant 17-year-old daughter. I sure hope she's ready for all of the things that motherhood will bring. I find it hard to believe that some of her hardcore conservative supporters will smile on such things, with her having had sex out of wedlock.

A applaud the Obama campaign's response to this:

"I have said before and I will repeat again: People's families are off limits. And people's children are especially off-limits. This shouldn't be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin's performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president. So I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories. You know my mother had me when she was 18, and how a family deals with issues and teenage children, that shouldn't be a topic of our politics."

I guess I'm brought further into this debate since Gov. Palin and I do at least have one thing in common after all: we are both parents of a child with Down syndrome. More than one person has suggested that I should support Palin for this reason alone, even if I don't plan on voting from her and McCain. I have to cry foul on this.

Great strides have been made in research on Down syndrome, which is a genetic disorder. By giving power to McCain, Palin, and their ilk, stem cell research will continue to be opposed, which will continue to inhibit (dare I use the word "retard" in its proper form - with emphasis on the second syllable?) medical advances in this area. That's a future that I don't care to offer to my son, thankyouverymuch.

Overall, yes, I think McCain's choice of Palin as a running mate is a piss poor one at best. At 44, she just got her passport last year. Plus, to add to the intrigue, I figured I'd post the following about her response to a Q&A forum from when she was running for governor:

11. Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?

SP: "Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance."

Founding fathers? The "under God" portion of the pledge was not added until the 1950s. I'm sorry, but someone who is this much of a neophyte to American civics is not just a poor choice to make for vice president; it's downright DANGEROUS!

I'll have more to opine on this later, for sure. Stay tuned...