Archive for September, 2008

Deepok Chopra on Sarah Palin

Posted in Politics on September 15, 2008 by americanexile

Obama and the Palin Effect. Sometimes politics has the uncanny effect of mirroring the national psyche even when nobody intended to do that. This is perfectly illustrated by the rousing effect that Gov. Sarah Palin had on the Republican convention in Minneapolis this week. On the surface, she outdoes former Vice President Dan Quayle as an unlikely choice, given her negligent parochial expertise in the complex affairs of governing. Her state of Alaska has less than 700,000 residents, which reduces the job of governor to the scale of running one-tenth of New York City. By comparison, Rudy Giuliani is a towering international figure. Palin’s pluck has been admired, and her forthrightness, but her real appeal goes deeper.
She is the reverse of Barack Obama, in essence his shadow, deriding his idealism and exhorting people to obey their worst impulses. In psychological terms the shadow is that part of the psyche that hides out of sight, countering our aspirations, virtue, and vision with qualities we are ashamed to face: anger, fear, revenge, violence, selfishness, and suspicion of “the other.” For millions of Americans, Obama triggers those feelings, but they don’t want to express them. He is calling for us to reach for our higher selves, and frankly, that stirs up hidden reactions of an unsavory kind. (Just to be perfectly clear, I am not making a verbal play out of the fact that Sen. Obama is black. The
shadow is a metaphor widely in use before his arrival on the scene.) I recognize that psychological analysis of politics is usually not welcome by the public, but I believe such a perspective can be helpful here to understand Palin’s message. In her acceptance speech Gov. Palin sent a rousing call to those who want to celebrate their resistance to change and a higher vision.
Look at what she stands for:

–Small town values — a denial of America’s global role, a return to petty, small-minded parochialism.

–Ignorance of world affairs — a repudiation of the need to repair America’s image abroad.

–Family values — a code for walling out anybody who makes a claim for social justice. Such strangers, being outside the family, don’t need to be heeded.

–Rigid stands on guns and abortion — a scornful repudiation that these issues can be negotiated with those who disagree.

–Patriotism — the usual fallback in a failed war.

–“Reform” — an italicized term, since in addition to cleaning out corruption and excessive spending, one also throws out anyone who doesn’t fit your ideology.

Palin reinforces the overall message of the reactionary right, which has been in play since 1980, that social justice is liberal-radical, that minorities and immigrants, being different from “us” pure American types, can be ignored, that progressivism takes too much effort and globalism is a foreign threat. The radical right marches under the banners of “I’m all right, Jack,” and “Why change? Everything’s OK as it is.” The irony, of course, is that Gov. Palin is a woman and a reactionary at the same time. She can add mom to apple pie on her resume, while blithely reversing forty years of feminist progress. The irony is superficial; there are millions of women who stand on the side of conservatism,
however obviously they are voting against their own good. The Republicans have won multiple national elections by raising shadow issues based on fear, rejection, hostility to change, and narrow-mindedness.
Obama’s call for higher ideals in politics can’t be seen in a vacuum. The shadow is real; it was bound to respond. Not just conservatives possess a shadow
— we all do. So what comes next is a contest between the two forces of progress and inertia. Will the shadow win again, or has its furtive appeal become exhausted? No one can predict. The best thing about Gov. Palin is that she brought this conflict to light, which makes the upcoming debate honest. It would be a shame to elect another Reagan, whose smiling persona was a stalking horse for the reactionary forces that have brought us to the demoralized state we are in. We deserve to see what we are getting, without disguise.

A Thought About Defeat!!

Posted in Quotes on September 11, 2008 by americanexile

“Being defeated is often only a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.”
Marilyn Vos Savant – who is listed in the Guiness World Records Hall of Fame for highest recorded IQ.

9/11 Remembered- or Black Dawn, Bright Day!!

Posted in Personal Commentary on September 11, 2008 by americanexile

This morning before the glint of dawn rose above the treetops in my back yard I sat in peaceful silence gazing into the black night soon to dissolve away just as the towers, flight 93 and a portion of the US Pentagon did seven years ago. I am reminded these many years later of how those events galvinized our nation in a union that only Americans can form. We gatherd as a united front in solidarity to defend our nation with every ounce of fortitude and strength we could munster, and provided our leaders an opportunity to spearhead that march to triumph ..and in the days, weeks and months to come we’d use the great talents and gifts of intellect, strength and technology to balance the karmic forces with the creators of this tragedy. I looked to our new president and believed deeply he’d rise to the challenge, that he’d provide the leadership to go forth, heading directly into the wind and tack fluidly to overcome and make our nation even stronger and yes, mightier, not in the style of “the show off, look at me” but rather as a quiet and yet shining example of integrity! Alas, my trust has been greviously misplaced. And today I ponder in the darkness the folly of my feelings and hopes I was so sure of 7 years back.
This morning the blackness of night is like a black hole in the universe. The little man that I looked up to in those dark days after 9/11 has since been led by tyrannical authoritarian religious forces that have thrown our nation into unprecedented turmoil, divisiveness and global vilification. I could rail against the plethora of injustices, headed by the greed, falsehoods and ignorance not only initiated by this man but supported by his administration and about half of all Americans. Instead of a nation more firmly united and tolerant of our differences I find bullies in the pulpit, on national podiums, on nightly television and running for political office. They represent to me the very lowest level of political character to the extent of openly committing crimes against humanity. It is all about winning. Winning, even if in the process we give up our souls for profit. I wish I could believe and say those who so defile our nation’s integrity are evil or even bad people. But they are not! They are my neighbors, many members my client base, some of my longest and dearest friends, and nationally, John McCain, Sarah Palin, Laura Bush, Bill O’Reilly, (a man who I personally detest)!!
I fantasize about the myriad of “politically incorrect” bombs I, the media and Democratic candidates could lob at the Republican side of our leaders, pseudo champions and supporters citing it is okay since they dismiss out of hand any hint of “politcal correctness” as a sham political tactic and infringement on freedom of speech. It should not hurt their feelings!
So as I sit here feeling defeated, already I shift my thoughts to more personal issues and the day ahead. Why did the cat shit on the carpet in our music room? Why is our oldest child in such a crappy mood? Why has our youngest child been so sad lately? What’s in the house to make dinner with tonight? Who is on my schedule today? How is baby Aiden doing? But these thoughts do not linger. Within minutes I am back to the blind stare into the gray light of dawn. Dare I have the audacity to hope we all can be rejoined again? Can we rise above this overpowering adversity of spirit we have inflicted on ourselves? Can we once more have joy in the morning?
The sun rises and the light reveals the trees more distinctly, the deep and verdant hue of robust life fades in. The old Native Indian prophecy comes to mind….. “The second millieum, just before the return of the Quetsal, will arrive as a black dawn followed by a bright day”. Yes! I have the audacity to hope! AmericanExile Sept 11, 2008.

Sarah Palin – More..and it is not pretty!!!

Posted in News and politics, Politics on September 6, 2008 by americanexile

Did you watch Sarah Palin’s speech last night? The speech told us a lot about her.

It told us that she can distort the facts and deliver mean-spirited zingers with the best of them. It told us that if Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter ever need a stand-in, she’d be a great pick.

It told us that she can be condescending and dismissive of the real work Barack Obama did helping real people on the South Side of Chicago. It told us that she can uphold the long Republican tradition of lying about Democratic tax cuts—even though Obama’s plan would give Americans a bigger break than McCain’s.

But the speech—written by one of President Bush’s speechwriters—didn’t tell us the truth about Sarah Palin’s extremist positions. And the more that people know her far-right views, the less they support her. (There’s a partial list below.)

One of the best ways to get the word out about Palin is to write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Today’s a great day to write because this is very relevant—it just happened last night. Plus, our online tool makes it easy and has great tips. Please take a few minutes to write a quick letter to the editor now:

http://pol.moveon.org/lte?campaign_id=95&id=13709-7873991-aXfN7jx&t=3
Palin’s speech and the reaction to it also made clear why McCain picked her. It wasn’t a decision about who’s most qualified to serve a heart-beat away from the presidency—it was a political decision about pleasing the far-right base of the Republican party.

Writing a letter to your local paper is a great way to make sure voters understand that. The opinion pages are the most widely-read pages of the newspaper. Write today, and your letter’s a lot more likely to get published because it’s so topical. It’ll help sway the editorial board too.

Here are a bunch of points you might want to include in your letter:

Palin recently said that the war in Iraq is “God’s task.” She’s even admitted she hasn’t thought about the war much—just last year she was quoted saying, “I’ve been so focused on state government, I haven’t really focused much on the war in Iraq.” 1, 2
Palin has actively sought the support of the fringe Alaska Independence Party. Six months ago, Palin told members of the group—who advocate for a vote on secession from the union—to “keep up the good work” and “wished the party luck on what she called its ‘inspiring convention.'” 3
Palin wants to teach creationism in public schools. She hasn’t made clear whether she thinks evolution is a fact.4
Palin doesn’t believe that humans contribute to global warming. Speaking about climate change, she said, “I’m not one though who would attribute it to being manmade.” 5
Palin has close ties to Big Oil. Her inauguration was even sponsored by BP. 6
Palin is extremely anti-choice. She doesn’t even support abortion in the case of rape or incest. 7
Palin opposes comprehensive sex-ed in public schools. She’s said she will only support abstinence-only approaches. 8
As mayor, Palin tried to ban books from the library. Palin asked the library how she might go about banning books because some had inappropriate language in them—shocking the librarian, Mary Ellen Baker. According to Time, “news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving “full support” to the mayor.” 9
She DID support the Bridge to Nowhere (before she opposed it). Palin claimed that she said “thanks, but no thanks” to the infamous Bridge to Nowhere. But in 2006, Palin supported the project repeatedly, saying that Alaska should take advantage of earmarks “while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.” 10
The plain fact of the matter is that Sarah Palin did a bang-up job delivering a Karl Rove-style political attack speech last night. That makes her a skilled politician but it doesn’t make her views any more palatable for voters. Americans don’t really want another far-right, anti-science ideologue in the White House.

Please help get the word out about where Sarah Palin really stands on the issues.

http://pol.moveon.org/lte?campaign_id=95&id=13709-7873991-aXfN7jx&t=4
Thanks for all you do.

–Nita, Ilyse, Wes, Karin and the rest of the team

P.S. If you haven’t seen it, check out the Daily Show clip on Palin. It’s worth a watch
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=24753&id=13709-7873991-aXfN7jx&t=5

Sources
1. “Palin: Iraq war ‘a task that is from God’,” Associated Press, September 3, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=24701&id=13709-7873991-aXfN7jx&t=6

2. “Palin wasn’t ‘really focused much’ on the Iraq war,” ThinkProgress, August 30, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=24702&id=13709-7873991-aXfN7jx&t=7

3. “The Sarah Palin Digest,” ThinkProgress, September 4, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/palin-digest/

4. “McCain and Palin differ on issues,” Associated Press, September 3, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=24703&id=13709-7873991-aXfN7jx&t=8

5. Ibid

6. The Sarah Palin Digest,” ThinkProgress, September 4, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/palin-digest/

7. Ibid

8. Ibid.

9. “Mayor Palin: A Rough Record,” Time, September 2, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=24704&id=13709-7873991-aXfN7jx&t=9

10. The Sarah Palin Digest,” ThinkProgress, September 4, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/palin-digest/

Want to support our work? We’re entirely funded by our 3.5 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

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Sarah Palin –

Posted in Uncategorized on September 3, 2008 by americanexile

Sarah Palin – John!!! What were you thinking??? Or better, were you thinking at all? Certainly Sarah Palin is a very impressive woman, quite a looker, has the resources to welcome a Down’s child without hesitation to her family. But as for possibly becoming second in command of our country..well she clearly is not qualified!! I suppose if your only interests are abortion and gay marriage well then she can do the Republican party’s bidding on that. But gee! in the larger scheme of things these issues are not even on the radar of those of us who are even minimally capable of critical thinking! Lets take the family values issue. She actively, as governor of Alaska, opposed sex education in the public schools of Alaska. She espoused abstinence as a practice or as an answer for the out of control teen sex/VD epidemic our country is experiencing. And how I hate to rail about her daughter’s out of wedlock
teen pregnancy, but gee Sarah you got your tit caught in a wringer on that one!! This entire issue is so-o-o-o disturbing to freedom loving Americans because Ms. Palin probably will not stop her authoritarian agenda of expanding this belief into laws that affects all Americans!! So where are the hallmarks of freedom in that? Where is the dimunition of big government/big brother the Republican/ social conservative/evangelicals preach on and on about?? Sounds as controling and misoginist as the Talibans drive to dehumanize muslim women. I know I have been shipped to another planet. And abortion. Again it is fortunate Ms. Palin has the resources to support a Downs child. Good for her..but she is clearly the exception and not the rule. Many women find , indeed many families find they are incapable for reasons ranging from poverty to mental and physical illness to support at any level a Down’s syndrome child … the immediately after birth care is manageable … for a while..but in time the burdon becomes far too great. Many times the child looses through benign neglect and the family looses through dispropotionate allocation of resources or parental abandonment.. at least one parent, usually the dad.
Not to be ignored.. when this offspring is an adult and if an unfortunate reversal of fortune occurs what then happens to this person?? A nursing home? An institution for the retarded, where risk is high he will be abused, mistreated, neglected..harmed in a way no person should be? So this leads to the so called “life” issue. It is a freakish twist of logic to oppose abortion for all, find sport in slaughtering moose and bears (all active killing), cheering her son off to war when he will be paid a wage to kill other humans, a form of sanctioned murder and in the same breath call yourself a pro life political candidate. Wha-a-a-a? AND this does not address the issue of the biblical conflict of Christian values stated in the commandment from God of “Thou shalt not kill!!”.. Period! God states no exceptions. (This 800 pound gorilla has been sitting on my shoulders for a life time!!!).
Ms. Palin is also the babe who rejects the clear science of global warming. Does she have a thought disorder??? Anyway she strongly supports drilling for oil in Alaskan wildlife preserves along w/ off shore drilling well within the currently enviornmentally restricted shorelines of the US. She sued the Bush administration for declaring the polar bear and endangered species caused by the loss of the animals habitat, the rapidly melting polar icecaps. She felt this act was an endorsement that the polar caps were actually melting which may just back into the reality of global warming which may then back into excessive carbon emmissions being belched from oil burning industrial plants and the millions of cars on the roads today.
And speaking of science, she rejects evolution and wants creationism ( her Christian type) to be taught in the public schools of Alaska and as governor she has strongly pushed that agenda.
This moves us to her stand on gay marriage. She opposes it of course. And why??? Well she must assume it is unchristian. Clearly she chooses to ignore the constitutional issue of equal protection..as do many of her ilk.
Now there is the issue of her using her office as governor to force the firing of a state officials for his mishandling of her sisters soon to be ex-husband. From facts garnered from a lengthy article in the Washington Post I am very aligned with her rage over her sister’s ex-husband behavior, the frustration she experienced with the commssioner who grossly mishandled the case (the one she later fired) and in my heart I am sorry this stroy is being showcased against her. BUT she should have been less bullish about it…. but I can relate on this one. Also the pregnant daughter… wow!! too bad!!! Such a nice appearing kid….but what about sex education here…… Sarah, not Bristol need to be hammered on this one. The Dems should not let this one go!!! Sex education is far reaching interms of prevention of 1. pregnancy 2. teen sexual exploitation 3. veneral diseases such as chlamydia, syphillus, gonnorhae, HIV, herpes, Hep B and C, all dreadful diseases. 4. Also not to be forgotton are the links between sex (prostitution) and drug addiction. This list can certainly be added to.
It is worth stating again Sarah Palin is no slouch. I do admire her guts. BUT the 800 lb gorilla remains firmly ensconced in the room. On the national political scene she is a scant featherweight. More later after I hear her speech tonight.!!!