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Archive for May, 2009

Well hey there — I’m getting over my down time because, really, how boring. It’s incredibly uninteresting to feel sorry for oneself. I forget that sometimes. My goal is to surround myself with people who remind me of that fact and not the alternative, those who attempt to keep you mired. I continue the quest. Also, I found out today that my brother Drew has a sick dog — his buddy. his friend. — and the prognosis isn’t incredibly encouraging and that’s real. I just immediately juxtaposed that with my ridiculous struggle negotiating people’s tendencies toward bad behavior and it kind of threw things into perspective for me. Drew, I’m here for you and I love you.

Anyway, I recently engaged in a conversation with Steph — who definitely falls on the left side of the fence but we somehow agree to disagree — about how some conservatives are seen by liberals as very off-putting and rude. Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Levin, Coulter, and to a lesser degree, Malkin and Ingraham. The strongly opinionated who could really care less if a liberal has his/her feelings hurt. I have to admit — I bristle at political invective myself, whichever side it comes from. I generally agree with the opinions of these thinkers but I definitely see how the mode of delivery could rankle people, especially — and I don’t think this is a surprise to anyone — a group of people (liberals) who define themselves as compassionate and empathetic (the truth of this claim is another post altogether). Juje and I were discussing last night the irrational hatred of Cheney and how she thinks it’s borne of of the fact that, as she said, “they don’t like him and he just doesn’t care.” And I think there’s some truth to that. Which I think speaks to the need for ego stroking more than anything else but again, another post altogether.

This is not to say that I don’t appreciate the bulldogs willing to snarl and take a bite if necessary. I like having them on my side. But I’m more of a Krauthammer/Sowell conservative. The deeply intellectual and quietly — and logically — brilliant just appeals to me. And here’s why:

“Since the 2008 election, people have been asking what conservatism stands for. Well, if nothing else, it stands unequivocally against justice as empathy — and unequivocally for the principle of blind justice.

Empathy is a vital virtue to be exercised in private life — through charity, respect and lovingkindness — and in the legislative life of a society where the consequences of any law matter greatly, which is why income taxes are progressive and safety nets built for the poor and disadvantaged.

But all that stops at the courthouse door. Figuratively and literally, justice wears a blindfold. It cannot be a respecter of persons. Everyone must stand equally before the law, black or white, rich or poor, advantaged or not.”

It’s just a solid argument, delivered without venom or even really — as much as this is possible — a personal conviction. I use the word frequently but it just logically flows — if A, then B. It makes sense. So, call me a simple truth conservative. If it makes sense, I agree.

And, just because I saw this video (oh for roughly the 978th time) this morning, but never really paid attention to how hilarious (and cute) the lead singer is — and because it went a long way toward bringing me out of the aforementioned funk — here it is for you. It cracks me up.

Give ’em hell this weekend.

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Right, first off — to my sister-in-law, who called me earlier from the pool. Dude. Are you trying to make me cry?

I found a quote I like on this blog, which I just stumbled across and am going to read for a while to see what I think. The quote is from the head of research for GM for almost 30 years, Charles Kettering, and it goes like this:

“Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get.”

I’m gonna chew on that for a little while. I also found the Dilbert on Gordian Knots, a copy of which has been hanging in the break room at work for several weeks now. And, you know, I see signs everywhere. They keep the dark side at bay. And — if I haven’t made this clear — my dark side is a powerful thing. Beating it back is like climbing the walls of a well. It’s the writer thing. Kinda sucks.

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UPDATE: Can’t believe I forgot to mention the whole reason I wanted to write this post…Brother Christian, you are the best brother a girl could have. Thank you for taking care of Stella. I think she fell head over heels for you. And the yardwork — i’ll never be able to repay you. I love you.

Hello my loves — It’s been a while and I’ve been neglectful but for very good reasons! Promise. The trip to DC was a success. I met some people that I believe I will see again — and that’s about as expository as I can be without bringing down the curse of the jinx by talking about things too much. Also, I finally felt like I fit. I haven’t felt that way in a very, very, very long time. And, while anything can happen, that feeling has made me hungry for more. Ravenous actually. My brain is still waking up from Amtrak and subway cars and cab rides and kickball and 12-inning baseball games and being informed that I apparently have a niche skill that I had never considered before. Like I said — successful trip. But before I post the few pictures I took — not too many this time. I was a busy girl — there is one thing that I wanted to throw out at you in my silly stream-of-consciousness way because I haven’t worked it out yet for myself and this writing business helps me to clarify…

While talking to one organization about the differences in American political ideologies, it occurred to me that I snidely accused the left-leaning side of the isle of absolutism. “It’s either black or white; this or this; or this or not this,” I said with flip derision to the gentleman I was chatting with. Here’s the thing: the right-side does this proudly. My father, for example, a staunch conservative, believes absolutes are the cornerstone of good principle and character. I happen to agree — most of the time. So I’m confused by my quick, offhand assessment that lefties are quick to dismiss the gray areas. I found a quote toward the end of my trip in Levin’s book, “Liberty and Tyranny” (um, Happy Father’s Day Pops…Surprise!) that I think might be related and I have a sneaking suspicion that the answer to my conundrum is somewhere in between his quote and one I found today on the SCOTUS blog. Here they are respectively:

“As such, the individual in the civil society strives, albeit imperfectly, to be virtuous — that is, restrained, ethical, and honorable. He rejects the relativism that blurs the lines between good and bad, right and wrong, just and unjust, and means and ends.”

and then SCOTUS:

“Put to the side the emptiness of the labels – i.e., that one person’s principle … is another’s ‘activism.'”

I haven’t worked it out but I have this idea that the answer to my confusion lies somewhere in there. I’ll let you know when I work it out.

Aaaaanyway, my last day in DC I had many hours to kill before my train home so I went to church — Catholic churches in DC are the best — and then found a little pub. It turned out that my pub adventure was where I had some of my most interesting encounters. I met Mona and Maurice from Texas, who helped alert the bartender to my presence; then I met Meghan and Mike from NY City. Mike was an actor so I talked to him about plays and literature while Meghan and I discussed the “hardness” of DC in relation to NY. I told her about the disabled man that sneaked into the movie theater while Jr. and I were watching Star Trek and how, in the South, they would have let him finish watching the movie and yelled at him on the way out the door not to come back. It’s a politeness thing we do down South. Disturbing the other patrons would not have been in order. The effort to remove him was distracting. I didn’t really get that. They also told me about a restaurant and pub they were going to later that evening with friends that I won’t reveal here — I’m going to wait till I go back and then I’ll write about them.

And then I met Geraint and Sue, bikers — did I mention the Rolling Thunder thing? You can look it up — from England. Geraint was actually Welsh by heritage so he pronounced the longest town name for me (and I hope he was impressed that I knew about it at all) and schooled me on the continuum of bike enthusiasts, from the Hell’s Angels to the weekend warriors who tow their bikes behind state of the art motor homes. Good times. Oh yeah, and Doris, who got my bags on the train an hour early and who talked about finding God. It could have been a bad day since I was leaving and all. But ya know, these people made it great.

And, some reading for you because it’s along the lines of what I discussed with one of the organizations I met with and also a really good song that sums things up nicely. Glad to be back. Now for photos…

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Yo. My laptop has decided to cooperate with me on this trip so happy day. It’s a good thing, too because there’s been some last minute negotiating that would have been a bit difficult with just the phone. It’s times like this that I understand the cult of iPhone. But only times like this.

Anyway, quickly, just wanted to introduce you to the blog of a young man I met at my little seminar. He doesn’t know it — primarily because I didn’t tell him — but I’m quite the fan of the strange and unusual as well, particularly the UFO thing. Huge fan of this show. I watch it every week. So Mr. Loki, welcome to Copacabana where it’s always a party. We might look button-down but we can hold our liquor and still speak rationally — if not always coherently. And I would’ve told that dude in our class exactly what I think of the CAFE standards but he was just baiting me and wouldn’t have heard what I had to say. He pegged me the outsider the minute he saw me. Fortunately, I’ve learned to peg the instigators pretty quickly, too. But what I think is pretty much here. I will say the estimated increased automobile-related deaths presented in this article sounds a bit histrionic because, while deaths may increase initially while people acclimate to driving crappier cars, they will probably level off eventually when we collectively realize it’s more dangerous on the road. Still, we’re left with crappier cars. And that’s no fun.

And for you Baby D — a shot of the city from the WWII memorial (UPDATE: actually Iwo Jima memorial. I forgot there’s a WWII on the mall…sigh.) where I went for a run because of its proximity to my lodgings. And, of course, my hot foot. (Also, what would a stimulus from Omaha Steaks look like? Cause I might be interested…I mean, free steak.)


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Right, so I don’t know if I’ll be posting much next week because I’ll be in DC and my laptop is on its last leg and is doing strange things like scrolling to the end of a page when the pointer is nowhere near the scroll bar. Good news though — the Dell 10″ mini is a scant $300 so that’s an upcoming purchase and the thing will fit in my purse ya’ll. Awesome. As sad as it is, I still have to budget for it. Sigh.

So, till the next time we talk, here’s some new music the dude at the liquor store told me about (God I sound like a lush…) when he saw on my MP3 player I was listening to The Hold Steady. He said I would like it and I do. They’re touring with these guys and the names of some of their songs are just pure greatness. Also, they are the same name as one of my family’s all-time fave movies — because we are the type of family who collectively have favorite movies. (“To me you look like number 2, know what I mean?”)

Also, because the real news is getting me down — although I’m glad to see Madam Speaker’s slip is finally showing in the mainstream — I offer you some fake news. When I was a reporter, someone gave me the Our Dumb Century tear-off desk calendar and there were a few that I just tacked up to the wall because they never failed to make me laugh. Here are two of them. I’m laughing right now.

Make it up this weekend.

UPDATE: Oh please listen to Newt tell it like it is. I can’t tell you how excited it makes me to hear someone finally forcefully — and with not a small bit of justifiable seething — talk about what the game of politics divorced from grander ideas about the greater good really accomplishes. Speak it Preacher Gingrich!

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Schnookered

I’m trying to prepare for my trip north next week so I’m slightly brain dead and somewhat busy so I’ve got very little. But I do think that if the Dems continue to block this initiative they are shooting themselves in the foot because I have a feeling violations exist and when that’s discovered and the record shows repeated attempts to block investigation into the violations, voters may not be kind. But then, Republicans could be well aware of this fact, hence the repeated attempts to push it when they know damn well they’ll be blocked again. Yes, I’m giving away the playbook but that’s the great thing about ego — it has a really hard time admitting when it’s been had. Just a thought.

Also, I want to believe the real housewives of NY are horrible, vapid, shallow women but I can’t decide if I hate everything they stand for or want very badly to go to one of their dinner parties. I mean Jill and Bethenny crack me up and Ramona would just be fun to mess with. “aggressive adjustment of tight sheath dresses” may be one of the finest and funniest grouping of words I’ve read in a long time. And it’s accurate. I know. Cause I watched.

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A chance to learn some truth from one of your own. It’s a rarity. Please, make use of it. The world thanks you. There’s also this because Pops and I talked about it this weekend and he’s pretty sure by the end of the summer conservative talk radio will be dead. Notice the June date when the newly appointed chairman takes office. I’ve already got folks looking at me like I’m crazy for suggesting it. I guess we’ll just see. I hope they’re right. I’d like to be crazy on this one…

Listening to this and feelin’ proud of my roots.

and ya know, this just made me laugh. So here.

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