September 15, 2008

Sarah Palin

Adding Palin to the ticket was probably an ingenious move by McCain. Not because of her politics, or her experience, or McCains trust in her ... but simply because it's an easy way to get votes. Right there should tell you a little something about McCain. He wants to win at any cost. He'll chose someone who will get him easy votes over someone much better suited to lead this country. What a coward!

McCain VS Obama - while it may have been a somewhat close race, I'm pretty confident Obama would have pulled out a definite win against McCain on Nov 4th. With Palin on the ticket, I believe that margin will be all the narrower. You see, our country still isn't past that "vote for the guy (or girl as the case may be) that you'd feel comfortable having a beer with". Palin, minus her extreme fanatical positions, is "one of us". A mother. A wife. A "friend". You see her standing there... young, witty (in a demeaning, sarcastic, over the top obnoxious sort of way), holding her baby, talking about everyday life, and trying to become "friends" with the American people ... and to an extent, it's working. People WOULD enjoy having a beer with her, and therefore, no doubt, she WILL receive votes based SOLELY on that fact. McCain knew that. McCain took advantage of that. McCain is banking on your stupidity (yes, electing a president simply because they pass the "beer test" is stupid!!) to get him elected.

Lets get real ... Face it, McCain is old. If the McCain/Palin ticket wins, Palin very well COULD hold the position of President. Move PAST the beer issue, America, and dig deeper!

It's pretty pathetic, really. Let's just hope that those of us who actually care to scratch past the surface, and want to base this election on leadership, on values, on morals, on political positions and views ... lets hope that WE come out in droves this Nov 4th!!

I could write on and on about reasons not to vote for this woman, but a very solid list has already been started by Eve Ensler, so I'll just copy & paste her words here, and link a credit over to her article...

Eve Ensler writes for the Huffinton Post:

I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.

I don't like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.??

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story -- connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.

I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.

Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God's plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin's view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, "It was a task from God."??

Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist's baby or not.??

She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.??

Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States. She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.??

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.??

Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God's name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.??

I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don't move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, "Drill Drill Drill." I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.??

Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?

September 9, 2008

Brett Favre

It's September 7th. A Sunday. The time is 12:45pm ET. I have a knot in my stomach, and I feel tears welling up. Today is the Jets first regular game of the '08 season. The day Brett Favre will walk out onto the field donning a jersey that may look a bit similar to the Packers (it's still green), but is certainly not that beautiful Green and Gold we are accustomed to seeing him in. A picture we all took for granted. A picture we all assumed would last forever.

I don't know if I can watch. The thought of watching is making my stomach turn. I purposefully avoided all of the Jets preseason games. I just wasn't ready to let go of the Packer that I grew up loving.

Could I really watch him in another team's jersey? Could I really watch him take that first snap for another team? Could I really watch him running around the field, picking guys up, smacking their butts, their helmets, their shoulder pads, firing up the officials like only Brett can do... could I really watch all of that happening with another team?

I am a Packers fan. I was born in Racine WI, and I lived in the area until I was 14. I was only 12 when Favre became our starting QB. I don't remember another QB occuping the position before him. Of course there were others, exceptionally great ones as I learned about years later, but they weren't on my young radar at the time. Favre awakened my love for the game. My love for my team. A fan was born. A Green and Gold Groupie. A Packers girl, through and through. Good times, bad times, wins, loses - the Packers are and always will be my team!

But, I am also a Brett Favre fan. Most say he is arguably the best player to ever play the game. I say, "what's to argue"? He has a certain charisma about him, the "it" factor, a Favre-ness if you will, that makes it almost impossible not to fall in the love with the guy. He's admirable, he's respectable, many call him a hero ... and he is one helluva football player. He has a way of inspiring the players around him to push past their limits, to stretch their boundaries, and to make near impossible plays happen. He has a way of inspiring the fans around him to shoot for the stars and never give up. He just has a way!

It's time! 1:00pm ET. I hit the pause button on my DVR remote. I'm not ready yet! I want to support Favre, but I don't know if I can. I take a deep breath and try to choke down the tears. Ok, it's now or never. I hit the play button. There he is. That familiar #4. The tears start rolling. I try hard to reign them in, but it's not working. An overwhelming feeling of immense sadness falls over me. Seeing my beloved Packer surrounded by another team; wearing another green. I embrace the feeling. I let myself feel sad, mad, hurt, disappointed, let down. I let myself wallow. And then, I see his face ...

He's happy!

Brett Favre is a football player. He has a love for the game that is like no other, it's invigorating. He wasn't yet done with his game when the Packers moved on. The New York Jets gave him a home, stocked with a brand new family, and a chance to continue to play. He grabbed that chance, rightfully so!

As hard as it was to watch Brett play for the Jets for the first time, as much as I tried to wish it away, I am happy for Favre. He's able to continue his game, and that's all that matters. I support that. I support the man who gave his team and his fans one heck of a ride for 16 seasons as a Packer. He left his blood, his sweat, his tears, his laughs, and his heart out there on Lambeau field, and gosh darn it, that wont EVER be forgotten. He may not play for my team any longer, but Brett Favre will always be a Packer.

No matter where Brett Favre's football journey takes him, he WILL have the support of this loyal cheesehead!