margoeve: (Evil Political Crap)
Every time the following is mentioned, take a sip:
Hope
Change
Sacrifice
Grandmother
Chicago
Community Organizer
$250,000

Every time the following is mentioned, take a gulp:
Harvard
(Harvard) Law Review
Bipartisanship
Iraq
Kenya
Kansas
Preconditions
Some statement or reaching out to those he disagrees with

Every time the following is mentioned, do a shot:
Israel
Palestine
Iran
9/11
Korea
Ayers

Feel free to add and adjust as needed.

Edit: I'll give Obama this much at the least - this was a LOT less boring than the Ross Perot infomercials. I dare say it was a piece of rhetorical brilliance.

I might not believe everything he say, but I think HE believes what he says.
margoeve: (Angry)
An article about all the Pork being attached to the NEW bailout bill.

PLEASE email or call your local representative and tell the NO on this one. This is absolute bullshit.
margoeve: (Academic Masochism)
I love how my conservative friends jump up and down about how left bias the media is. Meanwhile my liberal minded friends jump up and down about how right bias the media is.

Let me settle this once and for all.

The media bias is:
What is NEW.
What is Novel.
What Sells.

Why is the media going bat-nuts over Sarah Palin's inexperience but not Obama's? Because Obama is old news.

Why are people up in arms over the indiscretions of Palin's Daughter, but not Biden's? First because the thing with Biden's daughter is not NEW. Second, because having a "no sex before marriage" candidate with a pregnant unwed teen daughter is NOVEL.

Why does any of this matter? Because it sells ad space as we ghoulishly tune in. And we are not going to tune in to old shit, we want the new novel shit.

Biden is not new. We saw him during the primaries. He's been in the Senate a while. We know he's a cantankerous old fart with Foreign Policy experience.

Palin is so new we who live outside Alaska are only just finding out ANYTHING about her. And I think the RNC did this on purpose in order to beat Obama to all news cycles. It's not like their convention could beat the spectacle of Mile High Stadium. They needed to grab the news cycles with a vengeance, and they did.

Aside: Why aren't more conservatives pissed about Palin? )

I have to wonder at people who think criticism of Palin's wardrobe has anything to do with the media being left wing and not EVERYTHING to do with women being held to a different standard of looks than men. How easily people forget the same criticism that Hillary got as first Lady. Such criticism isn't brought to you by People For the American Way or The NRA. It's brought to you by Prada and Baby Phat and Estee Lauder.

So yeah, every time I see some nonsense on my friends list about alleged left or right wing bias, I want to beat them with some political media studies text books. (And I don't mean the mass market crap you can get at B&N. I mean well researched texts.)

I can't believe my intelligent friends still think it has anything to do with anything more than money. Come on folks, follow the ad buys.
margoeve: (Evil Political Crap)
[livejournal.com profile] chadu posted an article by someone who *gasp* took the time to look at both Senator Obama and Senator Clinton's records of bills they authored on the Library of Congress Website.
Whether you agree with him or not, it's clear from this that those who keep saying "Obama hasn't done anything" haven't really looked into the matter.

Here is his record, and Clinton's, for them, on all but a silver platter: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/2/20/201332/807/36/458633

Take the writer's comments for what they are, but the record on it's own is fairly impressive - if for nothing else than the comparative lengths on successes at the end of the article. Whether you think he's done good or done bad, the idea that he's done NOTHING is a red herring.
margoeve: (Sad)
I think I did better when I didn't check LJ or my email regularly.

A dose of perspective about the whole VT shooting thing came via The Daily Show the other night. The interview was with an Iraqi official who just wrote a book. I didn't catch the name.

Jon Stewart mentioned the mourning process we are going through here because of the shooting. He asked his interviewee how the Iraqi people deal with the daily loss of life that is equal, if not greater, per incident to the VT shooting.

The gist of the answer was that they don't.

There's a lot of anger in LJ land right now. People picking fights. Debates of should have, could have, would have.
I'm just as guilty for getting caught up in it.

The reality is that 32 people are a blip on the world population radar. It's humbling to know that had this been 32 people someplace else, few would have blinked. Had it been 32 American troops in Iraq it would barely have been a blip on the American Psyche radar.

And sure, you can debate that the troops signed up for this and the students didn't. Fine.

I say a life is still a life.

And life is too short for wasting time on LJ getting into arguments with people who have absolutely NO influence over policy making decisions of anywhere.

It's a beautiful day today.
I don't have time for this. I could be killed tomorrow.
margoeve: (Evil Political Crap)
After reviewing some work on Metaphorical Criticism and listing to endless pundits postulate on who will "win" this election season as I was on my way to vote, it occurred to me exactly WHY we have the problems that we do with voting.

It's the metaphors we use to speak about the process.

We use sports and war metaphors to describe the entire campaign and voting process. One candidate wins , the other loses. They are opponents. It is a congressional race. In debates they demolish the other side, and shoot down each other's arguments. With a two party system we have opposing sides, and if one member of a party leaves they have helped the other team. Like fair weather fans of most sports, people don't vote for a 3rd party candidate because they have no chance at winning. People love routing for the underdog candidate. Each side uses tactics to demoralize the other. Some play dirty in their campaign.

Such metaphors are more than just linguistic decoration, they explain how we conceptualize our world.

If we want to change the process, TRULY change it, we need to change the language by which we refer to it.

What if we changed it from a race to a job interview in which candidates were vying for a position within the employ of the US citizenry?
Would people think of their vote more if they thought of it as the power to hire and fire people who didn't perform?
Instead of debates, we'd have interview panels of citizenry. Rather than evasive non-answers they'd have to give answers about hypothetical situations pertaining to the job, where they see themselves in 5 years, what they can bring to the organization that is the US Government, and what their greatest weakness is?
What if those who held office were subject to public performance reviews?

It's just a thought, really. I'm sure there might be other metaphors that would fit, though it will be difficult to find them because the Sports and War metaphors for elections are so ingrained in our language that most of you probably never even thought about it.

I know I didn't until today and I study this stuff.

One thing I am certain of, as long as we speak about elections in terms of things that have only TWO sides to them, we'll never break free of this two party folly we have now.
margoeve: (Evil Political Crap)
I am in a long term heterosexual relationship. We have been discriminated against in various little and legal ways because we are not married. There is also a bit of a social stigma that comes with being an unmarried woman in a long term relationship that I deal with more than I care to share. Yes, even in our post-feminist world I am still not an "honest woman" unless I am married.

I say this, not for sympathy, but so you understand my standpoint on this issue.

There's an up coming election in which my adopted home's government is writing discrimination of unmarried couples into the state constitution. The State board of elections and the amendments proponents claim such an amendment won't really affect unmarried people in ways that people think matter. But language stating exactlythe rights and laws it does NOT effect is NOTwritten into the amendment. Further those few laws they says this amendment won't change doesn't cover the entire picture.

Bottom line, no matter what you think about same-sex marriage, Virginia's Ballot Measure #1 discriminates against unmarried heterosexual couples.

If the government really gave a shit about marriages, they'd pressure Health Insurance to cover marriage counseling and would teach relationship skills and matrimony/divorce law in public schools, right next to their abstinence until marriage agenda.

But as government pushes the state of matrimony blindly, without ANY realistic government support for existing marriages, they become more like those regions of the world that enforce religious mores through law. (You know, the ones we keep saying are "extremists.")

This happens because the CHOICE of following such mores is deteriorated through legislation that it must (or should) be done in 'X' way. When governments do this, such rites and customs become stripped of spiritual significance because there is no personal (or coupled) decision to be different than others who lack faith or beliefs.

When it is legally sanctioned to make conducting regular business so difficult for unmarried couples that it is easier to be single or married than stay together it becomes coercion to marry. Higher finance charges or ridiculous surcharges for unmarried couples in various aspects of business is very probably when a capitalist state declares only one legitimate way for a couple to exist on paper - as this bill does.

Imagine rent being higher for unmarried opposite sex pairs than married ones. Think it inconceivable? They already do this in subtler ways in some areas of VA by requiring that ALL members of a household over 18 make 3x the rent in order to get a lease.

How many unmarried couples have high debt or work paycheck to paycheck as it is? How many have high medical bills because one person is limited in their ability to work and doesn't qualify for insurance? Will this bill do anything more but create new ways for businesses to make money of a select population?

I don't think it will.

If those in power want people to choose marriage, they need to make it a absolute personal choice and NOT one made out of legal and financial desperation. Marriage needs to be entered with eyes wide open and faith that the couple will work things out and not fall back on prenuptials and divorce when things get rough. It shouldn't be entered like a business merger if there is to be anything sacred about it. It shouldn't be rushed into just because it would save money.

Such an amendment takes away choices to live outside of matrimony and, therefor, erodes the sanctity of the choice to be married. Testing a couples love by penalizing them for existing outside an arbitrary legal standard is not the way to lasting marriages (Though Divorce lawyers must LOVE this bill).

If people really believe in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a women, they will vote NO on VA Ballot Measure #1, and other amendments like it. When you take away choices until there is only 2, nothing is sacred.

Not even marriage.
margoeve: (Evil Political Crap)
Some really amazing pictures of a rally to "Vote No on #1."

My favorite is the Republican one.

If you live in VA, please spread the awareness about this ballot initiative. People tend not to vote in non presidential elections and that is what the writers of this stupid amendment are counting on.

More info:
Blogging the Marshall/Newman Amendment
margoeve: (Evil Political Crap)
Question #1 on the VA ballot in November:

"That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.

This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage."


Why you should vote NO:

This steps way over the line and discriminates against ANYONE who is not married. The wording is so vague that it goes far beyond prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying and intrudes upon the rights of opposite-sex unmarried couples, housemates, or platonic friends.

As someone who has been in a long term, unmarried, opposite sex relationship, the wording of this terrifies me. Our Wills could be nullified by this. Property agreements voided. Any legal agreement we have that would give anything that the state would grant through marriage could be considered null and void in Virginia.

More information: here.
margoeve: (Evil Political Crap)
The President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Cecilia Fire Thunder, was incensed. A former nurse and healthcare giver she was very angry that a state body made up mostly of white males, would make such a stupid law against women.

"To me, it is now a question of sovereignty," she said to me last week. "I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction."


More info at:

http://pendamuse.livejournal.com/158920.html

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