Friday, February 25, 2011

Standing Up to Bullies

It seems to me that, while President Obama's drive for bi-partisanship and moderation is laudable, he has become nothing more than the skinny kid being taunted in the congressional schoolyard as the bullies run him ragged playing keep-away. And without his leadership, the democrats in Congress are rudderless.

Each of his "moderate" responses simply encourages the bullies to ever more extreme demands, and until Obama learns that there are times a leader has to actually lead, to take a position and stand by it, learns to stand up to the bullies, the lurching to rightwing extremism will only accelerate.

The time is long past for President Obama to stand up to extremism. He no longer looks statesman-like or presidential - he looks weak and ineffective.

The "accomplishments" of the first two years? Passage of bills which are gravely compromised or embodiments of Republican policies and goals is not accomplishment, it is surrender.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Beware- Warrior Mommy State

"I was up against a universal truth. That when it comes to her children, a mother is not messing around. And if she thinks you are a threat to her kids, you are in trouble." Rob Bell, Nooma, "She."

Many conservatives like to deride Democratic Party goals and values, saying they are creating a "mommy state."*

At the same time, many conservatives like to proclaim they are the guardians and promoters of "tradition family values."**

It seems to me that there is a bit of a disconnect here.

What values could be more at the core of family values than those of motherhood and "mothering?" (Or, perhaps i today's world, "parenting" unless your model of fatherhood is exercising strict authority and discipline only)

And yet the concept of mothering is used disparagingly? Is used as a "huge insult?"

I just don't get it - the two attitudes seem to clash.

And it seems to me that the insult-mongers are overlooking the fierce protectiveness of mothers and the value we place on that fierceness.

Of course, as the character Ulysses Everett McGill announces in "Oh Brother Where Art Thou:"

BTW: In that Nooma video lesson, Bell describes an encounter with a mother goose protecting her hatchlings, and laughs about being "shut down by 'Mother Goose." Then he realizes:

"I was up against a universal truth. That when it comes to her children, a mother is not messing around. And if she thinks you are a threat to her kids, you are in trouble."

Conservatives, perhaps you should beware the warrior "Mommy" next time you wish to attack "the "mommy state."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Real Reason For Groundhog Day

Is it:
[ ] Groundhog day?
[ ] Christmas?
[ ] Easter?

Why, that reminds of the little back woods church. It'd been closed down for years, but with the religious revival, they decided to reopen it.

The denomination officials assigned a young fellow, right out of seminary to lead the reopening, but they warned him to go slow,as it had been a long time since the people had had any religious instruction.

It just so happened that the first service was taking place on Easter morning, so the minister started his message by reminding the people:

"Folks; today is Easter and it is a very special holiday for Christians. Who here can remind us of the special significance of Easter? You, sir," pointing to a fellow near the front. "Can you remind us all of why we celebrate Easter?"

"Easter..., Easter" he said, rubbing his chin. "Isn't Easter when the high school football team plays their big rival and then we all go and have a big turkey dinner and take a nap on the sofa?"

"Nooooo," replied the minister. "That isn't even a religious holiday. You're thinking of Thanksgiving. You, ma'am," pointing to a woman in a big floppy white bonnet, "can you tell us about Easter?"

"Easter..., Easter" she said, gazing towards the ceiling. "Isn't Easter when we put a pine tree up in the living room with presents under it, have a big dinner, and then take a nap on the sofa?"

"No," the minister said. You're thinking of Christmas. That is a very special day for Christians too, but on Christmas we celebrate the birth of Christ. Who can tell us why we celebrate Easter? You sir." pointing to a guy in the back row who had been waving his hand. "Tell us about the special significance of Easter."

"Well," the man drawled, "Easter, that's when they'd crucified Jesus there, and put him in a cave, and when they came back three days later, Jesus came out and saw his shadow and they knew there'd be six more weeks of winter!