Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Death Of A Playwright.

As many of you know, reading Vanity Fair is one of my guilty pleasures. They have fascinating human interest stories. In every issue they focus on great artists, moguls, rich murder victims, or long ago celebrities. Those are the pieces I like.

I can hardly bear to read their political articles. The editor is inflicted with BDS so severe, I'm suprised he isn't in a hospice for it. But no one investigates on a personal level better than they do.

When I was a Theatre major in college, one my favorite playwrights was Arthur Miller, considered to be one of the best playwrights of the 20th century. Best known for "Death of a Salesman" and "The Crucible." He was also married once to Marilyn Monroe, you might recall.

His work was all about the moral issues we face and how we cope with them. Human fragility. So it came as quite a surprise to the author of the article that Miller had 4 children, not the three that had always been reported. The child that wasn't even mentioned in his 1997 biography, was Daniel Miller, born in 1966 with his wife Inge Morath. The child was never mentioned because it had down syndrome and was placed in an institution and almost completely ignored by Arthur Miller his whole life.

Daniel is now 41 and according to everyone interviewed that knows him, he is a lovely happy human being that touches everyone he meets in a positive way. Toward the end of Miller's life, he visited his son, who is living an independent life. Before Miller died, (in Feb. 2005) he changed his will to include this long forgotten child.

It's interesting to note, as the article does, that none of the work Miller did after this child was born rose to the genius of his previous work. A coincidence? I don't know. Sometimes the things we wish to forget and even manage to forget, changes us nonetheless. We may put it away in our of our minds, but the landscape of life shifts a bit and we end up walking down a slightly different road.

I worked on "Death of a Salesman" my freshman year as stage manager. I know the theme is focused on how obtaining wealth and "the American Dream" of success is the wrong dream for a man. But I found a deeper meaning. I thought, that like so many men, Willy (the main character), couldn't see the blessings right in front of him. His wife and his sons. He was so focused on how people liked him and how he was defined by his job, that he failed to see the things that really did matter.

I think it's ironic, isn't it? That Miller seemed to have that same problem. (although the play was written well before Daniel's birth) He thought of Daniel as a burden that he didn't want to acknowledge. When he finally does get to know Daniel, he seems to realize that this child was as deserving as the rest of his children. Maybe he realized too, that Daniel could have been the source of so many blessings for him.

Sometimes maybe the things we see as so hard and unbearable, should be embraced. Maybe there is so much more than the difficulties we see in front of us.

Why be Mexican when you can be Indian for $50?

Good grief.

via LST

For prices starting at $50, two nonfederally recognized Indian tribes are offering membership to thousands of illegal immigrants, claiming they can achieve legal status by joining the groups.

In Nebraska, some people reported paying up to $1,200 to join the Kaweah Indian Nation, which became the target of a federal investigation after complaints about the tribe arose in at least five states.

Manuel Urbina, the tribe’s high chief, acknowleged his group has sold at least 10,000 tribal memberships to illegal immigrants for about $50 each. “We are not going against the law, we’re with the law,” he said, claiming membership papers can help illegal immigrants avoid being detained by authorities if they are asked for documents.

The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs denied the Kaweah group recognition in 1985.
because it was not a real tribe.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Michael Yon brings us this:

"While we sleep, enemies define us.
Please read:"

This is a NY Times article regarding the infamous photograph of "the hooded man" at Abu Ghraib. You may know or not know that the man who originally claimed to be that prisoner, was not. The article is about that, but also about photography and perceptions.

"One human rights worker suggested that it made no difference whether Clawman was really the Hooded Man – that his testimony was no less valid.
I do not agree. Now we are talking about reality – not about photographs."

Beyond this article, there is something I always wanted to say about the photographs from Abu Ghraib. There wasn't a person I knew of that wasn't disgusted with the whole thing. The left seemed to want to paint the whole military and war with this isolated incident and the right were angry that they were doing so.

But the photograph of the hooded man, just like the photograph on my sidebar of the soldier cradling the Iraqi child, does define this war. We all live with two sides, don't we? I think most of you are like me. You live your life trying to be as good of a person as you can. But we are still sinful creatures. We still make mistakes. Some of us make awful life changing mistakes that cause such grief, not only for ourselves, but for those we love. But for most of us, most of the time, we manage to be good, do good.

The war has been like that. Our military is not perfect, they are flesh and blood. They are a part of both photographs. One being a dark insidious side and one being a compassionate heart filled caring side. And like most of us, the dark side is not a big part of who we are. It is the part we resist. But it is there.

To the NY Times I would say that it is as important to show the "reality" of the good, as it is to show the bad. Then maybe we can judge this war with more fairness. As the saying goes, a picture says a thousand words. What thousands of words have focused on the dark side? And what thousands have focused on the compassionate side? I think the former could fill a library.

Crazy Protestors.

We're not the only ones who have them:

"Demonstrators from the Heathrow Camp for Climate Action today glued themselves to the Department of Transport in the latest action to highlight their protest against the airport.
Around 11 protesters arrived at the building in Horseferry Road, central London, at around 8.15am.
Six superglued their hands to its rotating doors, police said, while another two climbed on top of them with a banner protesting against airport expansion. A further three chained themselves to the doors."

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hey Candidates! Google it! has this:

"Much has been made this year of the presidential candidates' increasingly sophisticated online "conversations" with voters. But when it comes to Americans' favorite tool for navigating the web, it turns out most White House contenders are still pretty clueless, a recent round of experiments on Google's AdWords program suggests.

The experiments conclude that most of the presidential candidates are sitting on the sidelines as American voters search for timely information about political issues or campaign events.

The exceptions include Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who use Google's AdWords keyword bidding program around searches for issues and news events. On the Democratic side, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama appears to be the only one using AdWords in the same fashion, though Edwards has purchased keywords in the past."

Read the rest. I didn't even know they could buy keywords. Interesting.

You won't hear about this fight in the msm.

Hip Hop singer David Banner (aka Levell Crump) recently had this to say in an interview:

Al Sharpton: You run around towns and cities speaking words of wanting to better our community by cleaning up the airwaves. You hold rallies in front of radio stations saying turn off the music and clean the airwaves. You want to shut down local stations that are playing urban music when most of these local stations house and employ the same people in your community – the black community. When you visit any station in any city (big or small) playing urban/rap music, the staff is generally black. Now if those stations were to ever shut down – where do those employees go? Al, if you are for the people, where was your rally when the 3 college students were executed in New Jersey by black men. Where is the rally atfor those families and that neighborhood??? I don’t see you out there asking for justice yet that incident happened in a black community. If someone was to rap about “how f**** up black on black crime is and how even if you go to college you aren’t safe on the streets and nigga’s aint’ s—” – that kind of tone is offensive to you and you want to stop that! If that’s the truth, then why are you censoring it? No, you need to stop the crime before it happens so that there is no gangster song about a gangster situation.

He goes to say: (and I am completely editing this out)

“The next time you see Al Sharpton, tell him I said **** him and he can *** my ***”

The three college students were murdered by an Hispanic though. But, anyway, Al Sharpton's spokesman responds:

"From time to time we do encounter people that have sexual fantasies about Reverend Al Sharpton, but they are always women and Crump’s proposition is a first. (Oh, Really??)

However, in keeping with the National Action Network’s Decency Initiative, I am sure Rev. Sharpton would not call Crump the “N” “B” or “H” word.

And, despite Crump’s personal request, I am sure Reverend Sharpton would not call him a f*ggot. He would just pray for him."

Sly way of calling him a F*ggot without actually doing so, huh?

Via (yes, I read all kinds of blogs, so you don't have to)

I just have to throw this out there too from Queerty's site under the title "More 'Mos Endorse Edwards."

"John Edwards‘ presidential campaign just got another gay boost this week. Six more gay leaders pledged support to the Senator. National Stonewall Democrats’ alliteratively blessed board members Kenda Kirby and Greg Gallo join the likes of uber-producer Darren Star and former PlanetOut president Jeff Soukup in backing Edwards.

The new additions bring Edwards’ confirmed queer total to 38. Hillary Clinton’s queer committee holds 63 homos. Barack Obama, however, clobbers both Clinton and Edwards: his gay-centric MySpace page boasts 737 friends. Boy’s popular… "

Hey, I'm just reporting here.....

War news.

Instapundit has this:


Those dead and maimed Yazidis were just props: The intended audience was Congress. Al Qaeda has been badly battered. It's lost top leaders and thousands of cadres. Even more painful for the Islamists, they've lost ground among the people of Iraq, including former allies. Iraqis got a good taste of al Qaeda. Now they're spitting it out.

The foreign terrorists slaughtering the innocent recognize that their only remaining hope of pulling off a come-from-way-behind win is to convince your senator and your congressman or -woman that it's politically expedient to hand a default victory to a defeated al Qaeda."


“Smuggling mobs from Alrumailah area have been arrested after they were spotted by these surveillance plans.” Khalaf added, “Alqaida elements have lost their offensive capabilities and have become defensive. This is because Alqaida in Iraq has lost over 75% of its civilian leadership due to daily attacks and ambushes carried out by interior ministry forces backed by the Iraqi Army.”

"A sacred and magical place"

John Podhoretz at the Corner has this amusing tidbit:

"You may have heard about how the newsroom at the Seattle Times burst into applause when the news came that Karl Rove was resigning. You may also have heard that the paper's editor, David Boardman, came down harshly on his staffers, telling them to keep their politics to themselves especially with an election year coming up (because, you know, if you don't clap, then maybe readers won't be able to gather from the newspaper's own columns that it is wildly biased to the left).

Boardman has now expanded on his original memo in words likely to cause all of us who work at newspapers to burst into hysterical guffaws: "I ask you all to leave your personal politics at the front door for one simple reason: A good newsroom is a sacred and magical place in which we can and should test every assumption, challenge each other's thinking, ask the fundamental questions those in power hope we will overlook."

John hit the point perfectly. A newsroom is about as magical and sacred as an athletic locker room.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rudy and Obama....

We just like them. In general. Those who lean to the right, like Rudy. Those who lean to the left like Obama. The masses in between like both of them.

I meet young people all the time who just gush about Obama. It' easy to like him. He is graceful and well spoken. He has a bright ready smile. I admit that the part of me that remembers what it was like when blacks couldn't even vote, and when they could, they were intimidated not to, wants Obama to do well. Although he is wrong on every issue, it's nice to have a serious black candidate instead race baiters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. And this candidate actually has a chance. Although I am of the mind that the Hillary Machine will soon crush him. I would love to be wrong about that. But I digress.

People in general like Obama for purely emotional reasons. It would be "cool" to have a black President. He comes across as genuine and sincere. He never attacks personally. In fact, he seems to have a gift for a phrasing criticism in such a way that your not even sure he did criticize. But let's face it, he's green and not ready to be President.

And then we have Rudy. Strong and manly. Rudy oozed leadership during the 9-11 tragedy. He is the kind of guy who just doesn't take crap from anyone. We just love that. He is like the stern father we all yearned for. He cleaned up NYC of crime. So what if he is wrong on most issues Republicans care about? He is a leader. And we want one.

I expect this kind of emotionalism from most people. Digging into politics and issues is boring. But what I see now is people who do dig into politics and issues still liking Obama and Rudy for purely emotional reasons. I read right leaning blogs all the time now excusing Rudy for his views on immigration, gun control, and campaign finance reform. They buy his justifications even though they disagree. Why? Because they like him.

I expect that from the left side. They have always been about "feelings" and emotions. But when the heck did we get there?

Rock and Roll News

Sometimes you just have to laugh.

Have you heard of the band "Against Me!" out of Gainesville Florida? Rolling Stone says they have "one of the year’s best rock records, the Butch Vig-produced New Wave." Here is their anti-war anthem “White People for Peace.”

Rolling Stone says this is what you need to know about the lead singer:

"Not long before forming Against Me! as a solo acoustic project in 1997, singer Tom Gabel began a career as a teenage activist, joining lefty causes like Food Not Bombs and running a leftist zine called Misanthrope, for which he interviewed ex-Black Panther Bobby Seale."

It's the usual, let's make love not war. But then I notice the update at the bottom of the article:

"In Today’s News: Gabel was arrested last night in Tennessee on battery charges after allegedly slamming a fellow patron at All Saints Cafe’s head into a countertop. Witnesses say the frontman tore a story about his band that had been defaced with obscenities off of a wall, and then assaulted Jared Smith when he asked why."

Peace, dude, peace.

Now, why would I be reading Rolling Stone? Because not only am I gangsta, I rock....;-)

New Hillary Ad for Iowa.

Here's a newsflash for Hillary. You aren't running against "this President."

Dear John, I want to see other people.

I know many of you are wondering about my crush on McCain and how that's going. Well, it's not going well. He never calls and he cheats on me.

I'm looking around.

John McCain really is like that hot boyfriend you had in highschool who treated you badly, but you just couldn't let go.

I'm letting go.

Don't get me wrong, I have so much admiration for the man, I can't tell you. I also think he would be an incredible leader as President. But he just keeps making the base so angry. I still want him to be the nominee, I just don't think he will be now.

There were many times he had the opportunity to get right with the base. He could have scored big with the right illegal immigration and border control positions. And he could have stated it in such a way where he still held on to what he truly believes. But he didn't.

His speeches on Iraq have been profound and moving. He is as right on national security and the war as he can be, but he failed to see how the issues that he disagreed with the base about, would affect his poll numbers.

Maybe he should have listened to what Hillary Clinton said about speaking one's mind:

"When you're running for President you can't always say what you really think."

God knows that's the truth with Hillary. If we knew what she really wanted for this country, we would drag every friend, relative, and neighbor out personally on election day to vote against her.

McCain just needed to frame the debate better. It's one thing to say " You have an ugly sister." And quite another to say,"Your sister would look refreshed and glowing in pink." Why even mention the ugly? Focus on the positive. Good grief. It's what politicans do all the time.

McCain's biggest detraction is his greatest virtue to me...brutal honesty. Before I stopped blogging before, I e-mailed everyone I could find working for McCain with some advice on how to relate better to the right side of the blogosphere, and I even got a call from one McCain's recently let go media relation staffers, Tucker Bounds. We had a great conversation, but I really got the feeling that the bloggers weren't being taken seriously. I don't think they even read the blogs. So I don't think they ever get a feel about how the people, who are most passionate about politics, feel.

Bloggers are like swimmers in a small lake. We don't really change the water in the lake, but we can splash around enough to get some attention and cause some ripples.

I really am looking at all the candidates now. I don't have a favorite. I can be wooed.

But just like the hot boyfriend in high school, I'll still yearn for one more kiss. Heck, I just sent McCain a donation the other day.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The persecution of hip hop.

This is Chamillionare's "Evening News." The news guy is "Bob O'Wildly" and it's pretty funny although it's a real rap song. You have to read the news scroll at the bottom of the video. He covers Iraq, global warming, Bush/Oil, Katrina ect. as he whines, "Let's blame hip hop and pretend it's the problem." Stick with it to right after the middle of the video where Bob O'Wildly asks Chamillionare why he can say "nappy headed ho" and Bob can't.

Chamillionare also has a video "Hip Hop Police" where rap is declared illegal (don't I wish) and swat teams swoop in to arrest the rappers.

Now, how would I know about a rapper like Chamillionare? Well, because I'm so gangsta.

I'm Back!

What can I say? I missed blogging. Especially with Presidential election approaching. As you can see, I've changed some things. I changed the blog name to what my blog name was at the Houston Chronicle because I want to mix it up more. Not just politics. (at least I'll try) I will not be tolerating trolls of any kind or degree this time. I lost all my comments in the transition. I hate that. Also, if I don't have your blog on my sidebar, let me know. I lost some links too.

I have alot going on, but I'm going to do my best to keep up here at least through the election.
My first post will make many of you mad, I know. So scroll down and take deep breaths.
I promise I won't always be so serious as I continue blogging.

Thanks for stopping by!

The Rudy Dilemma. To Vote or Not To Vote.

I voted for President for the first time in 1980. Carter vs. Reagan. I was driving back to college from Florida and my Dad called me before I left to make sure I stopped to vote in my district. I wasn't too thrilled on having to do that, but my Dad reminded me what a privilege it was to vote, a privilege I better appreciate and participate in. So I did. Being a good Democrat at the time, I voted for Carter.

Over the years voting became as important to me as it was to my Dad. So I think I surprised myself when discussing on the blogs what I would do if Rudy Giuliani was the Republican nominee. My first reaction was to say that I would never ever vote for someone who was pro-choice, especially one who was against the partial birth abortion ban. But as I thought about it, I realized that would mean I wouldn't vote at all. How could I not vote????

Some would say I'm a "one issue" voter. I think everyone can be a one issue voter if that issue is important enough to them. To me, without the right to life, all other rights don't matter. How we take care of our most vulnerable and innocent in our society really defines us as a society. We have become numb to this issue because the victims can never speak out themselves and other victims (the mothers) who do speak out about their pain, grief, and how they were manipulated, are completely ignored by the media.

I grew up in the wake of Roe v Wade, a decision based on lie after lie. I saw what abortion did to my friends. The two people at the heart of Roe, Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe) and Dr. Bernard Nathanson (the abortion Doctor who spear headed NARAL and spoke before Congress at the time and lied about the women dying in illegal abortion.) have admitted their lies and are now pro-life Catholics.

But this isn't about convincing you how wrong abortion is. This is to briefly explain why this is so important to me and to millions of other voters. This issue goes far beyond politics. It is a horror of such enormity that we cannot in good conscience vote for anyone who thinks this is a "right" or that it is a "choice."

When I speak to people who think abortion is wrong, but don't base their votes on it, I always ask them if they could vote for someone, who may be right on many issues, but advocates euthanizing the homeless? Or euthanizing anyone over 80 yrs old? Aren't these people mostly "unwanted?" Aren't they a burden? I think those who answer this question honestly say they would never vote for anyone who advocated that. Well, that is how pro-lifers feel about the abortion issue.
Now, one could argue that it would be better to vote for someone who promises to put judges on the court that would protect the homeless and the elderly rather than the candidate who would appoint judges that would never protect the homeless or the elderly, but in fact would favor euthanizing them. But can we trust a candidate to do this when he really doesn't believe in their protection to begin with?

But in the end, voting is a very personal and spiritual decision. You don't really make this decision based on the "lesser of the two evils." You know in your heart that your vote reflects your standards and your morals. 200 years from now, whoever is elected President in 2008 will be a paragraph in a history book, but our decisions follow us into eternity.

So, when I think about if I could vote for Rudy against the Democrat nominee, my brain tells me that I could and should. But my heart and soul ask me how I could possibly vote for someone who thinks that destroying the most precious gift we are given, our children, is somehow ok.

And if I feel that way, someone who sees the right to vote as such a privilege, how many others feel that way? Enough to give a win to the Democrats? I think so.

It's something the primary voters need to think about. Because the truth is that when the religious right stay home, Republicans lose. And it won't be just the religious right. Many who just consider the moral behavior of a man as defining him, will be turned off by his affairs, his estrangment from his children, and being hypocritical in his faith.

Most religious conservatives, like most people, don't really care about politics. Most people don't think there is much difference between candidates. It is really easy to give them an excuse not to vote. Nominating a pro-choice Republican will give them that excuse. It may make you angry, and I understand that, but this isn't about arguing whether it is fair, or right, or even smart. It's about reality. You may convince me to vote for Rudy, but you cannot convince the millions who truly see abortion as the moral horror of this century.

Most of you feel that national security is the number one issue. So why should we Republicans choose someone who could lose, when we have so many choices who are just as strong on national security? Choices that are all pro-life? And the kicker is Rudy isn't even right on immigration, gun control, gay marriage, or even campaign finance reform. It's ridiculous that this support comes from his cocky confidence and his behavior on one horrible tragic day.

On a side note, if Vanity Fair's hit piece on Rudy's wife Judith, is only even slightly true, the left will have more fun with her than we ever dreamed of having with Teresa Heinz Kerry.

So, what will I do? Will I vote for Rudy if he is the nominee? I can only honestly say....I don't know. I'll struggle with it and then I will do what I think is right.

*The pic is from Catholics Against Rudy.

Monday, August 13, 2007

From the mouths of babes (warriors actually)

This is just the dang truth:

Those who know me well, know that I am very concerned about the level of civic discourse in the United States about the war. Our leaders in Congress, and the commentators and talking heads that appear in the media, too often present choices that are at one extreme or the other, failing to realize that most Americans know that the reality is somewhere in between. Yet, our leaders continue to offer us nothing more than all in or all out as the options, and fail to appreciate that as Americans we can not only understand that the situation here in Iraq is far more complicated than those choices allow, but also that so many want a serious assessment of what is really happening here.--Assad Baghdad

This warrior's blog is one of those hidden gems I find sometimes surfing. Read through it. It's great.

via Mudville (the absolute best military source of news on the net)

Note: I know, I know. I keep saying I'm coming back soon and then I post something like I am really back now. But I really want to get to the point where I can give this blog some attention before I "spread the word" to everyone. I have a really good controversial post in my head for the first post back for good. Stay tuned.