Thursday, January 19, 2006

Bush-Tough Guy Myth Relies on Pop Fiction

Bush-Tough Guy Myth Relies on Pop Fiction

Blogger Sarah Devon of Athens, Georgia has made a comment about Maureen Dowd's latest column, Looking for a Democratic Tough Guy, or Girl.

If the Republican party is Jack Bauer, maybe Edwards is a stronger breed of Democrat, one that doesn't really have a place in today's pop culture. Maybe he's a Robin Hood of sorts. Maybe that's what Dowd wants to see. I know it's what I want to see.
The GOP has a guy doing his darndest to play a Jack Bauer role. Of course, we all know that Bauer is a fictional character played by a (very good) actor who is a tough-guy beholden, with respect, to the power of those who command him. Kind of like Bush, pulled by the strings of those who read the newspapers for him - that is, if you take away the courage to face war and gunfire; if you take away Bauer's extremely uncanny sense of intuition; and if you remove Bauer's ability to tell the truth to those he serves; and if you rely on pop fiction.

If the show "24" featured a Jack Bauer that hung around the office hiding under a desk while his comrades were being shot at, Maureen Dowd's simile might come closer to reality.

In recent polls, we see that the public clearly understands that the Jack Bauer they've been seeing on their TV screens gets different results than the bumbling Bauer wanna-bes in the Bush administration. The real Jack Bauers are the ones they irresponsibly stuck on the battlefield. You know their faces. They are the ones who are sitting ducks today in Iraq because of the idiotic missteps of the leader who would not listen to the voices that mattered.

I agree with Sarah - I want the real deal - and not an actor. We don't need a scripted brave man/cave man. John Edwards isn't a "Johny-get-angry." He's a passionate fellow with principles who, like most honorable characters and great leaders in literature, will not hide behind a mask of false bravado; will not lie or mislead; will call a duck a duck when everyone can see it's a duck - (maybe even before others can even spot the duck); is respectable; trustworthy; standing strong in his convictions. Cheery, reverent, thrifty - maybe John Edwards is more like a Boy Scout leader than a 'blam-blam' Bauer. What's wrong with that?


More Mr. Smith Goes to Washington than Ernest in the Army.

More Mr. Darcy than Mr. Ed.

More Viggo Mortenson from Lord of the Rings and less Sonny from "I, Robot"

More Jesus in the temple than Satan in the torture chamber.

Pssst, Hey, Osama -

Another bin Laden tape.....

Pssst, Hey, Osama-

Screw you.
Wait - I'm sorry. That wasn't a very Christian thing to say, was it?
Let me try again.
Go to hell.

You kill innocent people.
You torture people.
You employ fear to destroy peace.
You manipulate stupid men and women into doing the same things, thinking they can defeat your ideas when they are only acting in accord with them.

Only fear gives you the power you do not deserve.

I'd just as soon you kept your murder plots to yourself.

The extreme stupidity of some world leaders, including America's President, has exalted you to achieving a very much undeserved 'hero status' among some of your own misled people.
That's a shame - a damned shame.

I know all too well about misled people. You're a good manipulator, and you surely know how to keep the world a frightening and violent place for the poor sheep that actually believe that their political leaders will be their all-protective Daddy.

I'm not afraid of you or any of your minions.
Shove your tape and your truce.

It's faith, hope, intelligence, and the strength that only people of peace and principle can bring that will reduce your murdering little ass to meaningless dust, Osama - and put an end to the morally pointless wars that you've egged on.


The best thing America could do is to end the charade in Iraq and concentrate on true justice, of which we lost sight when George W. Bush and Dick Cheney decided to forget that the rule of law ever existed. Bush and Cheney should both be impeached for their weakness in leadership and their unlawful, democracy-destroying behavior.

They should have never played by the rule of Osama.

**It's a travesty of all that is righteous and just! Why is this jerk Osama bin Laden still a free man - while over 2100 of our men and women who wear the uniform of the US armed forces - almost as many who died in the World Trade Centers - lie dead in their graves...going on five years from the time New York was attacked?

*** Bouldin knows what I'm talkin' 'bout.

Poverty in the News

Poverty in the News

Pauline Hovey writes about a recent conference called "Politics and Spirituality: Seeking a Public Integrity," held Jan. 14-16 on Capitol Hill:
Today countless people are enslaved by poverty, across the globe as well as in our country, and God is calling us to help. "Poverty is the new slavery," said Jim Wallis, who has traveled across the country promoting his recent book God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It and listening to people of faith who want to change the direction of public policy. As he explained in the second session, Action to Contemplation, "The two great hungers today are spiritual integrity and social justice." He views this as what he calls a "kairos moment," a time when things are "opening up" for change. "The country," he said, "is hungry for a politics of solution and hope." It appeared from the reaction of the participants that the hunger is growing....But rather than seek to align ourselves with a particular political party or label, Wallis suggested, "Don’t go left; don’t go right. Go deeper."

A painting contractor from New Hampshire talks about his recent Habitat for Humanity experience in Jonesboro, Mississippi.
I have seen urban poverty before, but uniform rural poverty like this was a new condition for me, and more disturbing. At times it was hard to believe we were in America and not some Third World country. [Union Leader]

Spiritual leader Deepak Chopra has a new idea about "rebranding peace," including the poverty alleviation issue:
[One]strategy to rebrand peace is to identify, connect, and expand the constituency of individuals and organizations that will spread the message of peace as a pragmatic reality. To do so, we are enlisting Internet leaders, such as Michael Karlin, the cofounder of the world's first Internet bank, to help create a Web-based community. A website, under the banner name "Constellation," should be launched later this year. This community will be engineered to connect individuals working on similar projects across many cultures and communities.

For example, in a model similar to - where when one purchases a book and five other related titles emerge - our Web community will provide lists of people and organizations building peace under a variety of categories - such as poverty reduction activities, education, or conflict resolution efforts. These individuals will then be able to communicate with each other, consolidate efforts, and reinforce the message that thousands are aligned to build peaceful futures for their families and their communities.

When we consider how individuals can make an impact on world affairs, we often only think of terrorists as having that impact through violence. Isn't it time to demonstrate the power of individuals through the actions of peace?

Jamie Anson at the Daily Evergreen [Washington State University] writes:
Any sociologist can speak of the links between crime and poverty, and the country that harbors no social responsibility for poor and repressed neighborhoods is doomed to suffer the consequences. Forty-five million Americans have no health insurance, and 37 million live in poverty, according to the article [What King Really Dreamed]. Dr. King would hold these numbers in contempt. Until the basic needs of these people are realized, their struggles will manifest themselves in some form of social unrest.

King colleague urges fight on poverty, racism, war
On what would have been the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 77th birthday, a fellow civil rights pioneer called Sunday in Minneapolis for Americans to rededicate themselves to the principles for which King lived and died.
"Martin called us to fight the three-headed monster: poverty, racism and war," the Rev. Joseph Lowery told about 900 people gathered in the Basilica of St. Mary for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration...."We're still judging people by the color of their skins and not by the content of their character," said Lowery, echoing one of King's most famous speeches. He said overt, legal segregation has been defeated

Washington State march:
"...about 250 parents, students and activists marched to the Capitol [in Washington state] on Monday in a rally organized by several anti-poverty groups on Martin Luther King Jr. Day....
...Poverty Voice, a publication sponsored by the action network and other groups, reports that 612,000 Washington residents live below the federal poverty line, but that number is low because the federal level is well below what a family needs to survive..The federal line is $16,090 a year for a family of three, the equivalent of one person making $7.74 an hour full time, according to the state..The poverty groups contend 1.7 million state residents make 80 percent or less of the state median wage, which is $44,158 a year.
- [Activists take poverty agenda to the streets]

John Edwards a Guest on NPR

John Edwards a Guest on NPR

Former senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards was a recent guest on NPR's Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan.
Listen here. [app. 17 mins]

The Silk Road Leads to Queens

The Silk Road Leads to Queens

The Silk Road leads to Elmhurst?
Who knew?
Western Queens Gazette

This delicious NYT article by Julia Moskin made me hungry. I can't wait to get back to Queens and try some of these places.