Saturday, July 17, 2004

Terror in the Skies...Again?
Here's the link. Right now, I can't begin to write about it. I can't decide whether I'm terrified or or just mad at our government and it's policies against profiling.
Yet Another Whiner
I'm sorry this is a bit long, but I think it represents the feelings of the Hollywood elitists.
Elton John has said stars are scared to speak out against war in Iraq because of "bullying tactics" used by the US government to hinder free speech.
In my humble opinion, if the US government wanted to hinder free speech, they're doing a lousy job of it, Michael Moore being a prime example.
"There's an atmosphere of fear in America right now that is deadly. Everyone is too career-conscious," he told New York magazine, Interview.
Since when is being "career-conscious" a bad thing? I can't say mean, nasty, things about public figures without my job being in jeopardy. I have bills to pay, so I keep my opinions to myself.

Sir Elton said performers could be "frightened by the current administration's bullying tactics", The singer likened the current "fear factor" to McCarthyism in the 1950s.
What "bullying tactics"? McCarthyism? Who's been blacklisted? Is there censorship going on that I don't know about? I haven't heard about anyone not producing CD's or movies or books that are against the current administration. Indeed, it seems that the flavor of the day are those who are supposedly telling the truth about the Bush Administration. Sir Elton "said performers could be frightened...." Are they or aren't they? Is he expressing his opinion of what has happened or what might happen?

"There was a moment about a year ago when you couldn't say a word about anything in this country for fear of your career being shot down by people saying you are un-American," he told the magazine.
Sure, by Americans who refused to pay for the products of people and companies they thought were expressing opinions they didn't share.

The singer said things were different in the 1960s.

"People like Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, The Beatles and Pete Seeger were constantly writing and talking about what was going on.


"That's not happening now. As of this spring, there have been virtually no anti-war concerts - or anti-war songs that catch on, for that matter," he said.
Maybe because these people understand the concept of free speech and realize that other people may not agree and choose not to speak out at this time. Anti-war is not popular in the mainstream right now. And mainstream sells.

He voiced concern that it appeared acceptable to speak out if you were pro-Bush, using the example of country singer Toby Keith, but not if you were critical of the President, as in the case of country rock band, the Dixie Chicks.
The Dixie Chicks, or as they are know in my circle, The Dixie Twits, also didn't understand the concept of free speech. They whined about the backlash too. They forgot about free speech being a two way street.

"On the one hand, you have someone like Toby Keith, who has come out and been very supportive of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq - which is OK because America is a democracy and Toby Keith is entitled to say what he thinks and feels.
Here is someone, Sir Elton in this case, who doesn't understand that American is not a democracy, it's a republic. A democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.

"But, on the other hand, the Dixie Chicks got shot down in flames last year for criticising the president. They were treated like they were being un-American, when in fact they have every right to say whatever they want about him because he's freely elected, and therefore accountable."
Finally..the word accountable. The Twits are also accountable for what they say. They are not just three girls who get together once in a while to warble a few tunes. They are public figures every bit as much as the President and are also accountable for their own words.
Harry Truman once said, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. I, myself, have been known to say, don't dish it out if you can't take it. It's especially true if you are thin skinned or a public figure.

Sir Elton is currently in New York playing a series of concerts.

Story from BBC
Published: 2004/07/17 11:08:15 GMT© BBC MMIV
Freedom of Speech
I decided to check the Constitution to see exactly what it said about Freedom of Speech. In the last year so many people have been whining about their rights being infringed upon when they expressed their opinion about something or someone. Here's the quote from the Constitution: 
Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
People, that is it in its entirety. It says nothing about freedom of speech without retaliation. Simply that Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech...
So, to all you Hollywood whiners, I shall say it again: you have the right to say anything to care to say, and to express any opinion you have. But I also have the right to call you on it, companies whose products you endorse have the right to fire you, consumers have the right to not buy your CD's, pay to see your movies, buy the videos or DVD's, buy tickets to your concerts or in any other way enrich you. It's an American right set forth in the Constitution. The same right you are whining about, that applies to you also applies to the other person.
We, the people of the United States of America, have the right to boycott your products because we don't like your opinion. We have the right to complain to the companies whose products you endorse if we don't like your opinion. That company has the right to fire you. If I say it often enough, maybe it will sink in to some of you.
It's guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States of America. Amendment 1. Look it up if you don't believe me.
A Class Act
I found this via The Patriette.  The class being the passengers who gave up their seats for returning servicemen. I don't plan on flying anytime soon, but I hope I would do this.
A challenge for you. No, I'm not going to ask you to give up your first class seat (but it would be nice if you did). All I'm going to ask is for you to say "Thank you" to any serviceman you see. We tend to forget the ones who haven't served in Iraq or Afghanistan. So, let's just thank them all.
To all the veterans out there: Thank you!

And He Plays the Race Card
Diversity promoter Asa Khalif, who has made headlines for accusing celebrities of insensitivity, cried foul in the Goldberg firing. "I smell racism from beginning to end," said Khalif, head of Racial Unity USA in Pennsylvania. "SlimFast must realize that black women have every right to voice their views."
What has being a black woman have to do with this? I would be saying exactly the same thing no matter who the spokesman was. Mr. Khalif does not mention that Whoopi has a  Jewish last name. Why isn't he crying foul about black, Jewish women voicing their views? (I have no idea whether Whoopi is Jewish or not, nor do I care whether or not she's Jewish, and that's not my point in any case.) The color of their skin, gender, sexual preference, age, none of these make a difference when it comes to what was said.
Apparently, because Whoopi is a black woman, she can say whatever she wants without consequence. That's what I read from Mr. Khalif's statement. Again, someone is failing to get it: Life has consequences.
Life Has Consequences - Like it or Not

I knew Whoopi would start complaining about losing her SlimFast gig. I just wondered when it would start.
Whoopi Goldberg lashed out at Republicans again yesterday, branding them hypocrites for trying to "punish" her for joking about the President.
Maybe Bush and Cheney own SlimFast (I thought it was a subsidiary of Unilever) and somehow managed to keep the press from finding out. And now they've fired Whoopi to punish her.
"America's heart and soul is freedom of expression without fear of reprisal," she said in a statement.
I don't understand where anyone gets the idea that they are free from reprisal. If that were true, Whoopi herself would not have made the comments about President Bush that she did. He faces reprisal everyday for his actions, as proved by Whoopi's own remarks. And those of Kerry and Company, the Hollywood crowd, the crowd, the Democratic Underground, the Democratic Party and anyone else who disagrees with Mr. Bush.  Maybe their slogan should be "Practice what I preach, not what I do."
Whoopi decided to make remarks in an open forum. She represents a product sold on the open market which depends on customers to buy the product in order to stay in business. The company decided that her comments detracted from the company image and released (fired/terminated) her from her contract. But it's those mean, nasty Republicans who are to blame! Once again, a Hollywood elitist thought that she could say something offensive and not receive consequences for it. When will they get it? Life has consequences. You do or say something that other people don't like and the other person or people retaliate in some way. Just as the first person has the right to say or do something, the other person has the right to react.
Whoopi had the absolute right to say what she did. SlimFast customers had the right to complain to SlimFast. SlimFast had the right to fire her.
It's called Life.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Hillary Reduced to Walk On Role

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton will appear at the Democratic convention, but will not speak according to this AP article.

Judith Hope, former chairwoman of the NY State Democratic Party called it "a total outrage" and "very stupid" that Sen.. Hillary Rodham Clinton has not been offered a prominent speaking role at the Democratic National Convention. "It's a slap in the face, not personally for Hillary Clinton, but for every woman in the Democratic Party and every woman in America," said Ms. Hope, a major party fund-raiser.

Now, let me set one thing straight: Senator Clinton does not represent me in any way, shape, or form and I resent that Ms. Hope implies that she does when she says "and every woman in America." I am an American and see it as a ray of hope that Kerry and Company will not allow her to speak. I personally don't want to hear her screeching diatribe. Can you imagine listening to a trio of Hillary, Howard Dean, and Al Gore? ::shudder::

I do however, think that Kerry and Company has made a mistake. I've written before about my opinions regarding Hillary's ambitions to the Oval Office. I don't see it happening, but that doesn't mean she won't try. But in order for it to happen, Kerry cannot win this election. The strategy is that Bush wins another term. He'll be a lame duck in 2008 and unable to run for a third term. Cheney will not run (health reasons, I'm sure), so she'll have a halfway decent chance. If the John-John's win this year, they'll be able to run again in 2008 and she'll have to wait until 2012. That's too late. She'll be well into her 60's and you know how people feel about older women. I think that Bill Clinton's book was published at a time to take away from the Kerry campaign. Between the publication itself, and Bill actually speaking in support of Mr. Bush, it could be the opening volleys of the end of the Kerry campaign.

This will be a very interesting election season.
Whoopi's a Big Loser

She claims in the Slim Fast ads that she's a big loser. Now, she really is. Slim Fast let her go as spokesperson for their company today. Here's the link for the rest of the story.

We'll probably be hearing about how Republicans and conservatives are responsible for her losing this gig. It's an old story: blame everyone but yourself. Take no responsibility for your own actions. Whoopi ran her mouth or at least let her mouth get away from her at the Democratic fundraiser last week. Apparently, Slim Fast customers complained and Slim Fast decided they needed their customers more than they needed her.

Is it censorship that Slim Fast let her go? Think of it this way: if you have an employee who exhibits behavior that is detrimental to the company, the company has three options. One is to allow the employee to continue their behavior thinking that any publicity is good. The second is to tell the employee to tone it down and disciplinary action may or may not be taken. The third is to let the employee go. It's the company's right to fire employees who are harmful to their company image.

I am a employee of my agency 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Even when I am in my own home, or out in public doing something that has absolutely nothing to do with my job or employer. If I behave in a manner that puts my agency in a bad light, I am subject to disciplinary behavior. I might be "counseled," written up, suspended with or without pay, or fired depending on the seriousness of the situation and prior behavior on my part.

Whoopi Goldberg expressed opinions of President Bush in a vulgar, sophomoric manner that does not befit a mature, adult, intelligent person. I am of the opinion that anyone who has to express their opinions in such a manner is either ignorant (does not know any better), uneducated, uncaring of their surroundings, or has such a high opinion of themselves that they feel they can say or do anything and it will be accepted. The only other reason is that she was drunk, high on a controlled substance, or was mentally handicapped in some manner. I can forgive almost anything of someone who is ignorant or uneducated. They just lack an understanding of the facts of the situation. Someone who is mentally handicapped may also lack a full understanding or even the capacity to understand. I cannot forgive people who feel they are superior to others, drunk, or high on illegal drugs. Whoopi is said to have been swinging a wine bottle around. That might be the "cause" of her diatribe.

Does Whoopi have the right to her opinion of Bush? Of course. And she has the right to express that opinion. I will argue that with anyone, anytime. But, along with that right comes acceptance of consequences. If she is willing to accept the consequences, then she absolutely has the right to express her opinion. I hope that Whoopi is adult and mature enough to realize that losing this job is something that she, and she alone, is responsible for.

But, I haven't seen a Hollywood liberal yet who understands that responsibility.
Wictory Wednesday!

It's Wednesday and you know what that's Wictory Wednesday! The day we have a chance to make a donation of time or money to the Bush/Cheney campaign. If you think that we need four more years of Republican leadership, please take a moment to show your support.

Volunteer here or donate here.

Think, really think hard about how your life could change if the John-John's take the White House. I don't think Bush/Cheney are the be-all, end all but, in my humble opinion, we could be a lot worse off. Please, show your support. Visit the links above and at least, look around.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

To The Kidnappers in Iraq

I found this at Blackfive and couldn't have said it better myself. Yeehaw!

This Letter to the Editor (Via Curt M.) is from the 7/10/04 Tampa Tribune, Editorial section:

To the kidnappers in Iraq:

If you truly believe in the righteousness of Allah, take off your masks. If you truly believe that Allah is all powerful, take off your masks. If you truly believe that your death will lead you to paradise, take off your masks. If you truly believe that we are the great Satan, take off your masks. If you have the ``courage'' to stand behind your victims with guns and knives, take off your masks. If any of the above is true for you, take off your masks. Show us your faces and your beliefs or know yourselves for the cowards and hypocrites that you are.

Bernard Lax
Zephyrhills, FL
Rachel Lucas, We'll Miss You

Rachel has decided to quit blogging for good. I'm honoring her request to remove links to her site, but it hurts to do so.

I only discovered her a few months before she quit the first time and was so happy when she came back. Rachel says that she doesn't say anything we don't already know, and while that might be true, she said it in a way that was passionate, entertaining and educating. She made me think and was one of the reasons I started blogging in the first place. I know I'll never write as well as she, but I can dream.

Rachel, even if you're not blogging anymore, don't be a stranger. Your friends will miss you.
Just Not Enough Time

Poor John Kerry. Between campaigning and making appearances at fundraisers, there's just not enough time in the day. Some things just have to go by the wayside. Little voting in the Senate and National Security briefings.

Let's see. He's a sitting US Senator. It's his job to represent the people of Massachusetts in the US Senate. But this darn campaign just keeps getting in the way. And then there's those nasty Republicans. They didn't want him to vote so they deliberately switched the order of the voting. And he made a special trip back to Washington just to make that vote. Those mean Republicans! They won't let him vote! They don't like him! They're jealous (pick one: his Vietnam service, his hair, his athletic ability, the SUV's and homes that his family has, his gazillionaire wife)! They don't play fair! Wahhhh! Somebody give him a cookie and his blankie! This is just one vote he missed. What about the other votes he missed? Somewhere in the vicinity of 85%-89%. For those of you educated in public schools, that means out of 100 voting opportunities, he voted just 11-15 times. Sad, very sad.

At least, by his own admission, he was offered a chance to be briefed on National Security issues, but, gee whiz, he just couldn't fit it in. Was it because he had to listen to Whoopi Goldberg (a former favorite of mine) spout four-letter words (maybe he learned a few more)? Or were he and John E too wrapped up in their mutual admiration society (read: love-fest) to fit a NS briefing in?

He's interviewing with America for the top job, the Presidency of the United States of America. He might have to court the Hollywood types in order to get funding and votes, but he has to remember that Hollywood doesn't have enough votes to elect him. I personally don't care if he's Hollywood's golden boy or not. I look at how he's doing his job now and how he's done it since he's been in the Senate. Right now, I'm not impressed.

And the fact that he can't go ten minutes without mentioning that he served in Vietnam bugs me too. Do I care that he served in Vietnam? So did my brother and a lot of other men and women I know. Does it make him any more special than they? If I knew him personally, maybe it would make him as special, but since I have never laid eyes on him outside of the print and broadcast media, I really don't care if he did or didn't. It was thirty something years ago, for Pete's sake! Sure, I respect the fact that he served, but the service itself is somewhat questionable in my mind.

I'm even less impressed by the fact that he hasn't found a side of an issue he doesn't like. By his own admission, he's voted for it before he voted against it. I understand that people change their minds about things. One of the rules of this blog is that I have the right to change my opinion at any time if I receive new information. As a woman, I reserve the right to change my mind just because I can. I seldom do that, I usually find information that makes me realize that this is a something that should be considered in a different light. Kerry, however, lives in a prism, where the light is constantly changing.

My point is, if this man wants to be President, he should be responsible enough to resign from the Senate so that someone can properly represent the people of Massachusetts in Washington. Right now, as far as I'm concerned he's playing both sides against the middle. If he loses the White House, he'll still be Senator. He'll still have the prestige of his Senate seat. And it's the people of Massachusetts who are the losers. They are paying someone to do a job they are not doing. They are his employers. He's stealing from them and they're letting him do it!

As a candidate he should make time to be briefed on National Security matters. I don't want someone in the White House who plays at it. I want someone in the Oval Office who knows what's going on and has his eye on the issues. And in my opinion, National Security is a big issue. If Kerry is elected, it'll be four more years of the Clinton administration, but without the charisma.

UPDATE: I found this and thought it fit rather nicely:

"Don't get suckered into the how many years you've been in one job or this job" debate, Kerry said. "You've got people in [Washington] who have been in one job [for] 30 years of what you call experience, and they have done nothing, they don't stand for anything and they don't know how to fight." - John Kerry

Here's the link via Drudge.

Sort of underlines what I said in an earlier post, doesn't it?