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This Day in My History

2000:  Guns and Condoms
2001:  The Problem with Visibility
2002:  Hope Springs Eternal
2003:  Product Endorsement
2004:  Nun-Sense
2005:  The Land of the Free
Wow--Has It Been Two Years?

"Death of a Salesman"

Books Read in 2007

Updated 4/9:
"Paula Deen"


"Aunt Betsy"

Aunt Betsy
click here to download

YouTube Video

Mefeedia Video Archive

My Favorite Video Blogs

Desert Nut

(for others, see Links page)

Look at these videos!
John Lennon's Piano
The History of Late Night TV
7 Minute Sopranos
Bette Davis...uh...Sings
The Zimmers
Wizard of Oz--Alternate Ending

Family Stories Vlog
(updated 5/25/07)

New on My flickr_logo.gif (801 bytes)


That's My Answer

Have you answered
the Question of the Day?


25 May 2007

The ostrich has the right idea.

It's no secret that the television is on for company all day here, keeping me entertained while I work (or distracted while I don't work).

It's also no secret that I watch a lot of crap.  I smile when I remember Paul's monologue where he talks about having seen every episode of Family Matters so that he knew them by heart and found himself crying at Urkel.

For me it's Little House on the Prairie, which is shown four times a day on the Hallmark channel.  I didn't usually watch it all four times, but switched over to something like Ellen or Oprah in the afternoon. 

However, several months ago, after a lifetime of keeping my head firmly buried in the sand, I started being concerned about knowing what was going on in the world.  I could no longer sit back and ignore the destruction of our country's freedoms and watch the Bush administration act like spoiled children who stomp their feet and get everything they want, no matter whom it hurts.

I discovered MSNBC.  It started out simply.  I watched Keith Olbermann at night because I first saw one of his commentaries on YouTube.  I was impressed with what I saw and continued to watch (though Walt says that it's like watching a Rush Limbaugh for the left).  With half an hour to kill between Olbermann and Jeopardy, I stuck with MSNBC's Joe Scarborough rather than watching local news.

Then Hallmark changed its programming schedule so that whatever used to follow Little House, which I can't remember now but remember liking, was replaced by Matlock, which I don't really like, so I started drifting over to MSNBC earlier in the afternoon.  Tucker Carlson, Hardball.  Not once, but twice, the early edition and the later edition.

When I was living with my mother, I went back to reading the newspaper each morning, and the two of us would moan and groan or rant and rave about the condition of the world.

All this, combined with the "hot topics" on The View each morning, would get my blood boiling so that I'd explode at Walt, who reads everything and watches everything and seems to disagree with many of my most strongly held opinions because I don't quite express things properly.

One of my big problems is that I am a real wuss.  I'm easily intimidated because I never am certain that I have my facts straight...and even when I'm certain I have my facts straight, someone can snow me with other facts and make me unsure of myself.  I'm the perfect voter.  Convince me, even if you're lying, and I'll campaign for you!

In the past several months, I have been increasingly infuriated, watching Rosie O'Donnell's comments taken out of context and dissected by talking heads, usually Carlson or Scarborough, neither of whom I usually agree with, and lately by Chris Matthews, whose opinion I generally respect.

Rosie is fodder for headlines.  She's big.  She's lesbian.  She is a woman who has strong opinions and is not afraid to speak them. 

The actual transcript of the original show, which caused the blow up between her and Elisabeth Hasselbeck reads:

O’DONNELL: …… I just want to say something. 655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?
HASSELBECK: Who are the terrorists?
O’DONNELL: 655,000 Iraqis — I’m saying you have to look, we invaded –
HASSELBECK: Wait, who are you calling terrorists now? Americans?
O’DONNELL: I’m saying if you were in Iraq, and the other country, the United States, the richest in the world, invaded your country and killed 655,000 of your citizens, what would you call us?
HASSELBECK: Are we killing their citizens or are their people also killing their citizens?
O’DONNELL: We’re invading a sovereign nation, occupying a country against the U.N.

The media began a feeding frenzy:  "Rosie calls US Soldiers terrorists."  Do you see that in the transcript?  She was clearly pointing out how our government and its policies must look to the Iraqi people and said nothing putting down our soldiers as terrorists.

But when Rosie asked Elisabeth "do you think I think American soldiers are terrorists?" Elisabeth refused to answer.  Once again the media picked up on "Rosie calls US soldiers terrorists" and patted Elisabeth on the head for standing up to bully Rosie.

[check the fuller explanation of this on Rosie's blog, written by someone, not Rosie]

I honestly don't know how she does it.  I don't know how she faces the distortion, the lies, the innuendo and the backstabbing day after day after day.  Today she cracked and it was understandable and I have been furious watching all of the talking heads feed on the argument over and over again.

I admire Rosie O'Donnell.  She has very strong feelings about what is "right" and what is "wrong."  Her dedication to causes she believes in is exemplary.  And her passion for pointing out the flaws in the current administration "strategy" (or lack of same), her anger for the lies that got us where we are at present, her concern for the health and safety of the troops will not be silenced.

A Joan Chittister column today talks about the situation for women in Iraq since the United States "brought democracy" to the country. 

Yanar Mohammed, president of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), in an interview with Women's Human Rights Net highlighted the effects of this war on women.

The list is a long one: They are homeless, alone, destitute, raped, beaten and inmates of refugee camps as dangerous as the streets.

Most of all, they are prey

Mohammed, in a CNN interview, May 19, 2007, made two points no U.S. citizen wants to hear. 

First, she said, the number of honor killings in Iraq have increased by the hundreds since the invasion.

Second, she went on, 10 years ago, long before the country was "freed," honor killings did not exist.

Pressed by the CNN reporter to explain the difference, Mohammed was short and to the point: "Someone came in from the outside and gave us "democracy," she said. The problem, she went on, is that the new democracy became Islamic -- not secular.

Now, she reports, men come to a house, bang on the door, say "This is a whorehouse" and murder all the women there. … It is sectarianism hiding behind religion."

The situation is even worse than that, however. With the change in the Iraqi Constitution, articles that protected the rights of women were eliminated. Now discrimination against women is, indeed, "honorable," is "religious," is legal.

With Rosie, I ask "who are the terrorists?"

But maybe not caring, not knowing, living an imaginary life in 1870 Walnut Grove isn't so bad after all, where the only problems revolve around what gossip Mrs. Olsen has decided to spread and what mischief Nelly is up to today.

The ostrich is right.  It's much less stressful with your head in the sand.




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