July 24, 2010

After Shirley Sherrod

Thankfully, things are working out well for Shirley Sherrod. There is still justice of some kind in the Universe. But there is no justice in a political atmosphere dominated by lies and hated, countered only by the weakest of push back.

Some of us are trying to fight back with what we have--words--hoping to raise awareness and motivate us to action. David Michael Green posted this yesterday on OpEd News (excerpted here):
This week saw the ignominy of the Shirley Sherrod case, in which regressive hitman Andrew Breitbart blasted across the media a doctored up video of a speech the black former director of the Agriculture Department's Georgia state office gave, decades ago, talking about how she transcended her own impulses to discriminate on the basis of race. Transcended, I say again. But that was the part that got edited out. It was as if you lost your job because you said publicly that "I am not a terrorist", but some right-wing freak (whose parents evidently neglected him as an infant and we're all paying for it still to this day) took out the third word of the sentence and gave the rest to your boss and wife and kids and everyone else, and now you've lost your marriage and family and home and job and no one will talk to you anymore.

What this illustrates for the umpteenth time . . . is that the scum that is today the American right will absolutely say and do anything in order to score political points, while so-called progressives say and do nothing even to stop their crimes, let alone to advance a positive agenda. They do nothing, that is, unless crumpling up like frightened kittens in a thunderstorm counts as doing something. . . .

(W)e're like a two-bit drunken banana republic, thrashing about in the gutter of history as we implode from the toxic combination of greed, stupidity, indolence and hubris.

We once used to conduct a war on poverty. Now we just incarcerate the impoverished. In privately-owned, for-profit, jails . . . .

It's been nearly half a century since JFK so aptly reminded us, "Those who do nothing are inviting shame as well as violence. Those who act boldly are recognizing right as well as reality."

And yet we remain well ensconced in the first category.
The problem is that we have yet to define exactly what actions we need to take, beyond speaking up and challenging right-wing lies. But speaking up is a start, a way to begin to act on our convictions and challenge the political tide that is carrying us deeper and deeper into a very ugly place.

July 20, 2010

The Shirley Sherrod & The Right-Wing Hate Campaign

I am so angry about what happened to Shirley Sherrod that finding words is very, very hard. Why the fuck are Fox "News" and the right-wing hate mongers running this country?

Shirley Sherrod is the victim of their racism and the impotence of the Obama Administration. Thank God CNN didn't swallow Andrew Breitbart's bullshit whole. This morning, CNN took them on, giving Ms. Sherrod a chance to state her case. Before the interview was over, it was very clear that Ms. Sherrod had been horribly smeared by Andrew Breitbart. No one should ever believe anything that comes from a man who is nothing more than a liar with an agenda. No one should ever believe anything that comes from Fox news or their psycho talking heads. Enough!

Shirley Sherrod MUST be reinstated. She is a good woman who is just about the last person to deserve what has happened to her. If she is not reinstated, the Obama Administration will suffer HUGE losses in terms of voter support. Furthermore, EVERYONE who is a not part of the Fox/right-wing hate campaign MUST start calling them out at every turn. We cannot continue to let them jerk us all around like a bunch of sock puppets.

It's time to get a backbone.

One blogger said it well: Stop running the country on bullshit!

Here is the full video that not only vindicates Ms. Sherrod but proves that she is a good-hearted, moral woman: NCAA Sherrod video.

July 14, 2010

Don't Buy Crap

We have only one large indoor corporate mall in my town, and that's probably one too many. Thankfully, Vitamin World is the closest store to the entrance by the food court. My infrequent forays into the mall usually involve nothing more than a quick trip to Vitamin World for the 7-Keto DHEA that I need to function on a daily basis. I'm in and blissfully out in mere minutes.

Tonight, however, I had to venture deep into the mall on a special mission: to find a relatively cheap shirt for tomorrow's "Hawaiian Shirt Day" at my husband's office. ("You're kidding, right?" I said.) After some negotiation, I agreed to scope things out while he ran other errands.

Would you believe that Sears, JCPenny, and Macy's were completely out of Hawaiian shirts in size XXL? I dragged myself to the Bergner's wing and up the Bergner's escalator to menswear. Bingo! One Hawaiian shirt in XXL marked down from $68 to $19.95. Thank You, Universe. Then it was back to the food court to collapse on a bench and wait for hubby to rescue me.

I learned a lot from this evening's excursion. I learned that:
  • When American women dress for the mall, nothing is too short or too tight.
  • There are a lot more conservative Muslim woman in this community than I knew. When the heat index is 100 and you're draped from head to toe in heavy fabric, an indoor mall is probably you're best shopping destination.
  • I need a lot of tissues when walking the mall because of my allergic reaction to the multitude of stores devoted to smelliness: candle stores, perfume stores, bath stores. Ack!
  • Eddie Bauer and Starbuck's aren't there anymore but Asian guys soliciting people for seated massages are. What??
  • Some stores now have fat manikins in the fat ladies clothing section . . . but the clothes still suck.
  • Despite losing 20 pounds, seeing my reflection in full-length windows does not make me feel good.
  • Seeing a lot of tiny Asian women in cute tiny clothes does not make me feel good.
  • Incessant calliope music is more annoying than you'd think.
One thing I did not learn (since I already knew it) is that the mall is full of crap: jewely crap, clothing crap, housewares crap, amazingly useless crap . . . . And I was reminded of something very important that I learned way too late in life: don't buy crap. (Hawaiian shirts notwithstanding.) You can waste a whole lot of money buying a whole lot of crap. Instead, spend that money on a few top-quality items. How much nicer it is to have less stuff that works better, looks better, and lasts longer than all that crap. And it doesn't clutter your house.

Of course, if we didn't buy all that crap, what would we do with all the Wal-Marts, mega-malls, and sweatshops?