Child Caught in Political Crosshairs

9 01 2011

The 9-year-old was identified as Christina Taylor Greene. CNN affiliate KVOA said family members described her as “excited” about the political process, and that the desire to learn more about it had motivated her to go to the Gifford event for constituents.

Christina was born on September 11, 2001, the affiliate reported.

From CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/01/08/arizona.shooting.other.victims/index.html?hpt=T1)

This hits close to home.

During the Healthcare debate and subsequent election, my son attended a number of events for our Congressman– who is also on Sarah Palin’s “crosshairs” list.

At best Palin (Angle, Limbaugh, O’Riley, Jesse Kelly (http://www.blogforarizona.com/blog/2010/06/jesse-kelly-event-is-this-wording-intentional.html) and so many others) were childish and irresponsible… at worst, they should be prosecuted under the Fighting Words Doctrine.

The fighting words doctrine, in United States constitutional law, is a limitation to freedom of speech as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. In its 9-0 decision, Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (1942), the U.S. Supreme Court established the doctrine and held that “insulting or ‘fighting words,’ those that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace” are among the “well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech [that] the prevention and punishment of…have never been thought to raise any constitutional problem.” From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_words)

While we don’t know the shooter’s motives  for certain or the influence of those who use reckless language on him, we do know that hate-filled, violence evoking language does result in harm… real harm… irreversible harm. It’s past time to tone it down!

I’ve always encouraged my son to have an opinion– to fight (politely!) for what he needs… to be involved. I can’t ask him to do that anymore.

When my son and I left one of the debates our Congressman held with his opponent, I felt well…  uncomfortable and decided that my son was done with politics until he can make an intelligent, informed choice for himself. While there were no threats, there was animosity towards him. (See 10/18/10 post)

Christina’s murder is too close to home… my heart aches for the Greene family and I know that there, but for the grace of God, goes my son… and my Congressman.

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Olbermann

5 11 2010

Keith Olbermann was suspended today for making a donation to a Democratic candidate. In 2006, Joe Scarborough was forgiven for the same “infraction” because he isn’t a newscaster… he’s a commentator– or so said MSNBC’s spokesperson.

I miss the days when journalism had integrity and you actually had to treat news as appointment television. Those days are long gone– unless you’re my mother and McNeill Lehrer is on… We are inundated by opinion that is portrayed as fact. We are lied to regularly by the media– who cite each other as the source of their information.  (By the way… the President’s trip to India isn’t costing more than the Afghanistan war… )

MSNBC needs to be consistent. If they had suspended Scarborough for donating to a Republican it would be fair to suspend Olbermann for donating to a Democrat– since they didn’t– they shouldn’t have. This action against Keith reeks of partisanship.

Please sign this petition to get Olbermann back on the air… I don’t think I can take Anderson Cooper’s perfect hair for very long… http://act.boldprogressives.org/sign/petition_olbermann/?source=typ-fb&referring_akid=2630.279311.HsNjil





Tuesday Debate–Please Help Me Ask About Autism

14 01 2008

I’ve been trying to get a question onto the MSNBC form and keep getting an error message… Could you help me ask the following question– or something like it:

I am an undecided voter. The issues that matter the most to me are the economy and Autism.

What will you do for the middle class insured who can not afford the “extra” services (therapy, equipment) our autistic children need to succeed, can not qualify for assistance because we fall above the income cut-off, and who’s insurance does not cover these needed “extras”?

Here is the link to the MSNBC form http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22574335/

From the MSNBC Website: “Watch the Jan. 15th 2008 Democratic Presidential Candidates’ Debate — the first debate since the New Hampshire primaries — on MSNBC TV and MSNBC.com to see if your question is asked.

Brian Williams will be the moderator and he will be joined by Tim Russert.   Natalie Morales will ask the candidates your questions.

NBC News, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 100 Black Men of America, IMPACTO, the African American Democratic Leadership Council and the College of Southern Nevada will co-sponsor the debate among the Democratic candidates. The debate will take place at the Cashman Center in Las Vegas, Nev., from 6-8 p.m. PST.”

Thanks so much! Please let me know if you were able to get through…. thanks!





The Economic Effects Of Richardson Dropping Out Of The Race

13 01 2008

Think about the t-shirts, yard signs, buttons and mugs with “Richardson 08” emblazoned on them… think about the shop owners and street vendors who bought them to sell. Think about the printers who have stock made up. I realize that no small country will fall as a result but these are real people who made a financial investment and are now stuck with stock that will be sold basically for scrap…

We spent a lot of time getting artwork together for our web-store. Call me selfish but, we have some really cool designs with Bill Richardson (www.cafepress.com/bullfeathers/) and now… they’re wasted. Don’t get me wrong– there are some other really great things, great art (I know, I’m biased) and fun lines. Not everything on our site is political– there is a section on Autism, fun designs, some suggestive stuff and plenty of non-Richardson political stuff.

We’re fortunate– our only investment is time. (Cafe Press does print on demand)… but, I certainly feel for the folks who have money invested for which they will not see any return.





86 Year-Old Lashes Out at Her Bank

13 01 2008

Shown below, is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by an 86 year old woman. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the New York Times.


Dear Sir:
 I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to  honor it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight  years. You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for  the inconvenience caused to your bank. My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has  caused me to rethink my errant financial ways.I noticed that whereas I personally answer your telephone calls and letters, — when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a  flesh-and-blood person. My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no  longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must  nominate.   Be aware that it is an offense under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope. Please find attached an Application Contact which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much  about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be  accompanied by documented proof. In due course, at MY convenience, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button presses required of me to access  my account balance on your phone bank service.. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Let me level the playing field even further. When you call me, press buttons as follows: 
IMMEDIATELY AFTER DIALING, PRESS THE STAR (*) BUTTON FOR ENGLISH
#1. To make an appointment to see me
#2. To query a missing payment.
#3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
#4. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping
#5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature. 
#6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home
#7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required. Password will be communicated to you at a later date to that Authorized Contact mentioned earlier.
#8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.
#9. To make a general complaint or inquiry.
The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.
 #10. This is a second reminder to press* for English. While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for  the duration of the call.Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

May I  wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year?
Your Humble Client

 

This is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by an 86 year old woman. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the New York Times. This was written by an  86 year old woman. 
 





Why Would Any Self-Respecting Person Agree to Appear on O’Reilly?

12 01 2008

O’Reilly is certainly the most obnoxious person on television. I rank him higher than Bart and Jessica Simpson. This isn’t a newsflash– O’Reilly has become more and more aggressive towards his guests and yet these otherwise rational people still agree to enter the ring.

I can’t imagine that these people would have any interest in attracting the votes of O’Reilly’s audience. They are the radical fringe. They are the brain-washed masses.

It came as a great surprise to me that Ron Paul went on that show last September  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7JPvbVsDdY. Certainly Paul didn’t think that the “Worst Person in The World” would listen to him or even treat him with basic human decency.

Again, points to Obama for blowing him off!





YouTube is a better source of News than 24 Hour News Networks

12 01 2008

I have learned more about the candidates’ views in one hour on YouTube than in months of switching between CNN and MSNBC. I don’t watch Fox Noise and don’t watch enough PBS.

In only one hour I learned the basics of what Ron Paul believes. It’s pretty simple: He believes in the Constitution. He believes in Law. He believes in giving the people the power to define their own destiny.  Not bad.

I don’t really understand yet how this country would continue to improve (repair) roads, fund education and social security without taxes but, I’m willing to bet that another hour on YouTube would give me the answers I seek.

My criticism of the mainstream media comes from both the perspective of a former Newsie, and that of a consumer with education, experience and opinion.

I’m tired of television. Not to the point my brother has reached– he hasn’t even had a TV for the last couple of years– but I think it’s time to reduce my viewing of news channels to debates and breaking news– give me only news, no opinions– that’s for the OP-Ed page and blogs. Funny how between YouTube and The/A Daily Show I can get all the National and International news I need.