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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Yosemite Accommodations - Accommodation in Yosemite : Yosemite Park
Yosemite Accommodations - Accommodation in Yosemite : Yosemite Park
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Black Americans
After watching President-elect Obama's acceptance speech last night, I wrote to some friends, "I imagine that blacks across the country feel more like Americans today than they ever have."

One friend responded that he saw racism in blacks voting for and being overwhelmingly extatic at a black man's rise to the presidency. I responded with the below:

I don't know if it's racISM. It's certainly racIAL. I don't have a problem with it. For most of the country's history, blacks have NOT been part of the game. Blacks were brought to this country against their will, in most cases, and forced to serve their white owners. While that ended in 1865, they continued to be systematically excluded from mainstream Americain in both official and unofficial ways. Until very recently, blacks were still being forced to sit in the backs of buses, drink from different fountains, attend different schools, and use different bathrooms. Institutionalized and ad-hoc racism continued well after the 60s at golf and tennis clubs, in taxi cabs, and at traffic stops across the country.

I'm fully appreciative of the fact that we've come a long way, but blacks of our generation were raised by parents who grew up during segregation (in the
South) or who often experienced similarly hideous treatment in cities across "the North" like Buffalo, NYC and Boston. If your parents grew up with that, your beliefs in the state of your country are going to be forever influenced by their treatment. That's just reality. The fact that subtle (and often not-so-subtle) forms of anti-black racism continue today serves to further solidify the belief among many of our generation that they aren't getting a fair stake in their country; that this is a white man's country, and they're just residents. For their parents' generation and their parents', that feeling is backed up by years of direct experience.

It is also true that men like Jesse Jackson have fought to insure that this attitude persists, even in light of dramatic changes. That's dispicable. But the truth remains that, for many blacks of all generations there has been a feeling of not having a stake. Sometimes this feeling is based on legitimate experience (first and second hand). Sometimes it's based on perception. But it's real.

I believe that the dynamic changed irrevocably last night. A black man will become the leader of this entire country in January. Blacks across the country can now legitimately feel that they have a stake. Maybe that leads to blacks taking a greater interest in their own success and taking greater responsibility for their lives (and that's broadly generalizing/stereotyping the nature of black America in the interests of brevity). That is not a bad thing.
Friday, September 05, 2008
Pacifists can't stop war
The link read, "Radio Host says pacifists couldn't stop Auschwitz." I knew it had to be Dennis Prager. At a gathering for Jewish Republicans at the convention, he spoke about what seems to me to be utterly uncontroversial: if the pacifists urging the US to stay our of WWII had been heeded, Auschwitz would not have been liberated. How is this a provactive statement?

Here's what one unnamed critic, quoted in the article, had to say:

“The Holocaust is a unique episode in world history and is an issue that should not be used for contrast and comparison with other political or nonpolitical events,” he said. “I think it lessens the memory of those who were murdered in the Holocaust.”

If that's true, then we'd better stop invoking the Holocaust when advocating for end to genocide in, say, Darfur.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
"As I've said on numerous occasions"
Whenever Obama begins a sentence with "as I've said on numerous occasions" or something similar, prepare to hear something he's never said before that thoroughly contradicts the things he has said before.
Home Run
Palin needed to hit it big last night, and she delivered. Her speech started slowly, and built up steam. By the end, I was simply wowed. Her ability to communicate reminded me of Ronald Reagan's. Great pick.

Now, getting back to the subliminal aspects of these speeches, was that Old Faithful erupting on the big screen behind her at right about the climax of her speech?
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Nanny mail
Honestly, I don't print a lot of email. No need too, of course. Maybe a travel itinerary so I can take it along.

But I think I'm going to start printing every message I receive that includes a boilerplate note telling me to consider my "environmental responsibility before printing this message."
Monday, September 01, 2008
Um, is it too late to nominate Harriet Myers?
Friday, August 29, 2008
Pouncing on Palin
Man - the democrats have wasted no time in jumping all over Palin. Yesterday no one knew anything about her. Today everyone's facebook status proclaims her an inexperienced fire-breathing radical. Hopefully this is a sign that they're spooked.

At least no one ever complained about W's VP choice.

In any case, I loved her on Monty Python. No, wait, I'm thinking of John Cleese. Nevermind.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Author's Mistake (More Subliminal Music: Hendrix "Are You Experienced" lyrics in Hillary's Intro)

I'm watching a replay of the Hillary introductory video, and shortly before "American Girl" plays, there's a musical montage that includes what I am sure is Jimmi Hendrix. The clip goes: "What I really want to know is" and then cuts out to other music. Everyone who knows the song knows the next phrase:


This CAN'T be by accident. Obama's number one vulnerability is his lack of experience, and in Hillary's introduction, someone has placed the question.

What I must know is who put this together? I've got this on my DVR. I'll see if I can find it online. Absent that, I'll try to post it.

Update (forward to 1:33):

I Love You
And you really have to hand it to Bill for the "I love you, I love you, I love you" when the camera panned to him. I love him for his shamelessness. He even managed partial tearing.
"American Girl?"
Given Michelle Obama's clear purpose to identify herself as "one of you," during last night's Democratic festivities, the choice of "American Girl" (Tom Petty) as Hillary's introductory music seems like a really poor choice. Just reeks of the subtext, "here's the white, fair-haired, REAL American girl. Sure, Michelle's like us too, but..."

Yeah, it's nitpicking, but this convention so far just seems riddled with mistakes.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Observation: Susan Estrich...
...is getting better looking with age.
Obamas: We're Just Like You - Mistake
I think this approach is a big mistake for the Obamas. Obama's success to date has been predicated on how special he is. He's supposed to transcend politics as usual, and deliver change that mere mortals can't or won't. McCain successfully punctured this balloon with the celeb adds, aided by Obama overplaying his celebrity with his world tour. But McCain's successful attack is, in my opinion, paying extra dividends, in that it forced Obama to take the "we're just like you" tack.

It's like the Wizard of Oz opening his own curtain without the help of Dorothy's dog Toto. "Hey everyone! I'm just an ordinary guy with an ordinary family, complete with kids that sound annoying when someone hands them a microphone in front of adult company." Strips him of his grandeur, and I'm not sure what's left as a selling point once that's gone.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Blankley on Obama's Arrogance

Here is a man who talked almost contemptuously of Gen. Petraeus. Explaining His differences with the general, He said that His "job is to think about the national security interest as a whole; (the generals') job is just to get their job done (in Iraq)." Of course, right at the moment, the junior senator from Illinois doesn't yet have "His" job, while Gen. Petraeus, as confirmed Centcom commander, has direct responsibility for both Afghanistan and Iraq and everything in between and around them. But in the mind of Sen. I Am, He already is, while He thinks the man who is perhaps our greatest general in two generations is just another flunky carrying out routine orders. It is repulsive to see such a mentality in a man who would be president.

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