Thoughts on this election day

I have already expressed my opinion of people that don’t vote.  (I think that it is stupid, and you have no right to complain about your country or the politics if you don’t vote.)  However here are two things regarding the candidates/campaign that cracked me up today:

Paula Poundstone, on the NPR Quiz Show Wait, Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me! on the topic of the  $150,000 clothing expenditures by John McCain’s campaign for Sarah Palin (I’m paraphrasing here): From the day that she was announced as the candidate to the day that elections are held, November 4, 2008, is less than 150 days.  Anyone that needs more than $1000/day as a clothing budget obviously has some very expensive clothing tastes!

From the Waiter over at Waiterrant, and my apologies as I am copying word for word here because he expresses this so very very well:

Vote. I don’t care who you vote for. Just vote.

Americans have suffered lynching and torture so we can vote.  Americans have faced down fire hoses and dogs, been bombed, murdered, and maimed so we can vote. Americans have labored in unpaid obscurity and have been ridiculed and ostracized so we can vote. Americans have gone to prison so we could vote. Americans have had their reputations ruined so we could vote. American servicemen and women have returned home with grievous wounds and psychological scars so we can vote. Americans have fought and died so we can vote.

It doesn’t matter if the lines at the voting booth are long or we think we don’t have enough time to cast a ballot. We have time. Countless unsung heroes made the time for us.

Vote.

Further Clarification

So the junta in Burma has decided to keep all UN aid to itself.  Therefore, the UN is not going to deliver goods to these suffering people.  No, wait, yes they will, but the junta gets to decide where it is distributed.  And Burma/Myanmar has decided that it will allow the US to send products into the country to help with the relief effort, but not US aid workers.

I so don’t get the nuances of politics.  All I see is a nation the size of Texas that has lost half its villages and had 100,000 people killed in the cyclone.  Thousands more are set to die as the sanitation level has plummeted, with bodies in the water that is flowing through the destroyed villages and homes.  Orphans abound, families are ripped apart, and the military is picking the ones that it wants to provide aid for.  It just makes me sad.

Look, I’m no expert on international diplomacy.  I’m not even an expert on familial diplomacy for that matter.  I am a single woman in my mid thirties who was thrilled with the idea of coming home after work, changing out of my work clothing, and curling up with a book and/or the remote for the night.  Not exactly a glamorous life, but knowing the rest of my weekend was going to be crazy, I was craving a night at home.  And instead, all I keep thinking about are the people that I have seen in the background on the news reports.  Starving, filthy, no water, no food, no home, no family, no nothing.  And my heart weeps for them.

This is my last diatribe on the victims of the cyclone in Burma/Myanmar, I swear.  (That is, of course, unless I learn which name the country should really be called!)  Have a great weekend!

Please clarify for me

I have a question. Is it Burma, or is it Myanmar?

If I am listening to NPR, it’s Myanmar. Granted, in college we were told that the name had changed and we were to pronounce it MY-an-mar, and when Carl Cassell reads the news he pronounces it ME-in-mar. But still, it’s the second of the two–you never see Burma or Rangoon, it’s always the alternative versions.

Yet when I read the paper, it’s Burma. USAToday, the Washington Post, even my local paper has Burma. And to further confuse the issue, when I look at online papers that also have television news like CNN.com or MSNBC.com, they use Myanmar.

Is it a printing issue? Is it because Burma only has five letters as opposed to the alternative seven and takes up less space on the printed page? Continue reading

News of the Absurd

Every now and again I am absolutely amazed at things that people do, our government does, and/or the news reports on. Today is no different. Looking at the information in the news today it just flabbergasts me that these things are issues. From today’s headlines:

1. Nelson Mandela has the same status as Osama bin Laden when it comes to the US government. That’s right, Mandela is considered a terrorist. Granted, it is a holdover from the Apartheid era, but it is appalling that this condition still exists given the relationship the USA currently holds with South Africa, the fact that Apartheid has been crushed, and the fact that it is NELSON MANDELA for the sake of Pete! It’s like making Condoleeza Rice persona non grata in Canada. (Then again, that might not be a bad idea!)

2. I am a Christian woman. I believe that there are certain rules that should be followed as a requirement of membership within my faith. As a result, the news of the FLDS compound raid has made me sick to my stomach, as I see much of the actions (if not all of the actions) as a direct violation of what God intends. The news of abuse of the women and girls is horrific, and then today there is proof that boys were abused as well. I just don’t understand. Continue reading

Confessions of a TV on DVD addict

I really do have things to do in my life, truly I do. Yet I find myself sitting down each night, watching TV. And not just TV, but three or four commercial-free episodes that are on TV DVDs. Ever since I was a kid, books, music, movies, stories, TV–these are the things that allow me to escape from my own reality and live elsewhere.

Starting in October, I did a rewatch of the full Buffy the Vampire Slayer run followed by all five seasons of Angel. I’d play an episode as I went to bed at night (not the greatest bedtime story, natch). When that finished in February I was a bit lost, and needed something else to watch. Up came Sports Night. One of the greatest, yet under appreciated shows ever. Then I found the loaner copy of Battlestar Galatica: Season Two. I watched it in a weekend. Borrowed season 2.5, that’s done, and now I’m working my way through season 3 while making sure season 4 is recorded on TiVo. Yep, I’m a junkie. And I’m not even a SciFi fan. I heard an interview with Katie Sackoff today (Kara “Starbuck” Thrace) and she said that she thinks one of the reason it appeals so much is that it is a SciFi show where the SciFi aspect of it takes a back seat. That might be why I enjoy it so much. Continue reading

The Olympic Games

Today is Friday. All week long we’ve been watching, reading, hearing about the protests along the Olympic torch relay. And I’m all for protesting, it’s a way to bring attention to a cause. Shoot, in high school I was one of the founding members of our school’s Amnesty International branch. (Bet my mom never realized that!) There is a way to bring attention to a cause that can make people change their mind, that can affect change.

People, standing in front of a long distance runner who is carrying a flame of fire is not the way to do it. Continue reading