Well, I know I said I felt a political rant coming on, but I think it is still ripening. I'll just say for now that the Democratic convention was wonderfully inspiring -- not just Obama, but so many of the speeches, including John Kerry's, which the networks didn't even broadcast, and Bill Clinton's-- and Hillary's, of course -- and Teddy Kennedy's, and many more. I was moved to see Obama's uncle, a WWII vet who was one of the soldiers who liberated Buchenwald; I loved seeing the two adorable Obama girls sitting beside their lovely, intelligent mother; the crowd was awesome, the viewership was astounding (more viewers than an American Idol finale -- Halleluja! There's hope for America!) HOPE. The message was hope. I will watch as much of the Republican convention as I can stand, and I'll bet you this: if the Democratic convention was about hope, the Republican convention will be about fear. And mockery. I wonder what they'll make fun of this year. Do you remember how in 2004 they wore cutesy "purple heart band-aids" to mock John Kerry's military service? That still blows my mind. The way they turned Kerry's service to his country into a joke -- and not just his, but that of every other American soldier ever wounded in combat. How did they get away with that?
Here's one gleeful conventioneer four years ago, sporting the cute accessory. Nice. If Democrats mocked the purple heart, Republicans would savage them. They still get riled up about Jane Fonda, for god's sake, and yet they think it's fine and dandy to mock a Vietnam vet's service as long as he's a Dem? And how about this: if it was Democrats who'd outed Valerie Plame, Republicans would have crucified them. Can you even imagine how that would have gone? And yet. . . where was the outrage? What would a Republican have to do to outrage the rank & file?
[Hey look! I found my rant!]
I just got my new Sierra Club Magazine** in the mail today, and there's an article in it called "Profiles in Courage" about the hundreds of dedicated career employees of agencies such as the EPA, NOAA, BLM, National Forest Service, Toxic Substance & Disease Registry and more, who were forced out of their jobs by the Bush Administration because they were, well, doing their jobs. You've heard stories about petroleum lobbyists hired by the Bush Administration to change the language in scientists' reports on climate change? Well, there's been so, so much of that going on, and so much more. So much. The cases listed in the article are just a fraction. Why don't people care more?
And why aren't people talking about the "suicide epidemic" among returning Iraq War vets? Did you know that the VA's head of mental health has revealed statistics that some THOUSAND vets are attempting suicide every MONTH? And did you know that John McCain voted against increasing health care funding for soldiers in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007? You can see a detailed listing of his votes on veterans' healthcare funding HERE. (Note: voted against funding counseling for veterans with mental disorders.)
Did you know that "Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America" give John McCain a "D" rating (and that does not stand for "dynamite") -- Obama gets a "B." Other organizations: "Vietnam Veterans of America" and "Disabled American Veterans" also give Obama their support by an overwhelming margin.
Any American who is considering voting for McCain because "he supports the troops" -- it is a lie, plain and simple. Few senators support them less than he does. This year he even voted against giving adequate rest time between 15-month deployments!
Back to the Republican convention: there has been speculation that Bush and Cheney will not speak at it -- and perhaps not even McCain -- because they are so busy defending Louisiana from hurricanes. Alexandra has asked me to remind you what President Bush and John McCain were doing on August 29, 2005, the day Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans:
They were celebrating McCain's birthday. Of course. What else would the president be doing on a day like that? Reading "The Pet Goat"?
Here, just for fun, is Bush the next day, August 30, 2005, when it was abundantly clear to the nation and the world that the United States was in the midst of the worst natural disaster in its history, that a major American city was drowning:
And here, in this video, witness McCain's glibness about Bush's absurd appointment of Michael Brown -- the commisioner of the International Arabian Horse Association -- as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and how that all panned out for the residents of New Orleans:
Soooo funny, John! No Arabian horses, maybe, but 1,836 people died, not including the 705 missing. Hyuck hyuck.
[By the way, one of the whistle-blowers mentioned in the Sierra Club article was Christopher de Rosa, toxicology director for the Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, who was removed from his position after filing a report on formaldehyde contamination in the FEMA trailers in which Katrina evacuees were housed.]
Let me just segue from there to a few of my favorite things about Sarah Palin.
1) She is not merely pro-life. She is opposed to abortion in any situation, including rape or incest. Which means that if it were up to her, women would be forced to carry their rapists' babies to term. Nice. You know, even Romanian courts recently decided to let a 11-year-old victim of incest/rape get an abortion.
2) Governor Palin instigated an illegal "wolf bounty" program, whereby hunters would be paid $150 per wolf slaughtered (much of the slaugher done from helicopters); they tried to get around the illegality of bounties by claiming the cash was to offset the cost of fuel for the copters! Oh, and hunters were paid for bringing in the wolves' left forelegs.
Who wouldn't want to kill these:
Those are just a few of my favorite things about her. And did I mention she's a global warming disbeliever? just what the world needs right now.
It's late. I have much more rant in me, but for some reason my computer is getting all slow, so I'll suspend rant for now. It's just so hard once you get started. One terrible abuse of power leads to another instance of gross negligence or corportate cronyism, leads to another, to another. One's head could explode.
If you didn't get a chance to watch Obama's speech, here it is. It's 45 minutes long, but it ought to be seen by all Americans. Really!
**[I highly recommend Sierra Club membership; the magazine is a great way to stay informed about current issues, plus your membership will go towards things like saving Sequoia National Monument from logging -- a recent victory.]]