"I was bold in the Pursuit of Knowledge, never fearing to follow Truth and Reason to whatever results they led and bearding every authority which stood in their way" ~ Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Grab your Merriam-Websters and some red pens. According to Obama and crew, it’s time to update our dictionaries!

March 24, 2009

Man-Caused Disasters and other irritating issues (Part II):

The Obama administration is playing fast and loose with our language again. Are you ready for this? The “global war on terror” is just an icky name, according to Mr. Obama’s regime. We’re now going to call it, and, no, I’m not making this up, the “Overseas Contingency Operation.” I know the new phrase will make the Iranians, Al Qaeda, the Taliban and every malcontent willing to strap a few sticks of TNT to his or her chest feel all warm and fuzzy about America.

In the spirit of reciprocity, I fully expect that Muslim extremists will cease to call us the “Great Satan” and use a less incendiary substitute, such as “kinda big demonically-inclined” or “super-sized malevolent one.” Perhaps we could start a contest for best alternative language for “Great Satan?” (“Big Bad” is already taken by “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” While the show is out of production, the term is closely associated with Buffy and the Scooby Gang.)

The announcement regarding the Overseas Contingency Operation comes on the heels of a language modification by our Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano. I was taken aback when I learned that Napolitano decided to tinker with the term “terrorism,” declaring that it was now just “man-caused disasters.”

I simply cannot find the words … however, I’m certain that Obama et al will find an appropriate way for me to express my feelings.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I just can’t wait for the publication of the new, revised American Dictionary according to Obama.

Link to the Washington Post article:


Man-Caused Disasters (Part I)

March 17, 2009

This isn’t a blog; this is just me, taking a moment to absorb what I just heard on “Hannity” this evening:

I turned off my laptop less than an hour ago, planning on spending some quiet time with my pet, watching the news and relaxing after a long day.

During a FoxNews commercial break, I surfed over to “Larry King Live” a few minutes, just in time to hear Larry’s guest, Donald Trump, stroking his ego over claims that he warned us two years ago about the imminent economic disaster. Thanks, Donald.

Mr. Bush, Trump whined, ‘left us with an awful mess.’ Someone should inform Mr. Trump, tycoon-extraordinaire, that this “awful mess” is grounded in legislation and tactics put in place by former presidents Carter and Clinton. Trump went on to predict that Mr. Obama would eventually do okay… well, that’s comforting, isn’t it?

Turning back to Fox, Sean Hannity was recapping the news of the day; one story mentioned that Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, is taking on the august task of changing American English to reflect her disagreement with the “policy of fear” of the previous administration. Terrorism, she proclaims, should be renamed as a “man-caused disaster.”

Are … You … Kidding … Me? (Expletives, sighs, gasps, groans and sounds of human suffering deleted.)

I’m not sure if the tears I feel on my cheeks are from repressed hysterical laughter or from a deeply-felt fear of what the future holds for Americans under this administration.

For example, Obama closed Gitmo, but doesn’t know what to do with its prisoners – he isn’t even sure where to send them or what to call them. Mr. Obama decided that the term “enemy combatant” is too impolite for the um, guys we arrested on the battlefield in Afghanistan (GWABAs?).

I used to be a press agent, so I understand how subtle manipulations of words and sentences can change and affect the intent of a message. Secretary Napolitano’s use of a “nuance” to camouflage a serious and on-going threat to the safety and security of every American is frightening – and she is the head of Homeland Security.

While we’re here, shall we open the floor to other politically-correct concerns and demand that Secretary Napolitano explain why terrorism is a “man-caused disaster” and not a “female-caused disaster?” I’m waiting for Gloria Steinem to chime in on this one.

I’m not known for snarky diatribe, but I was, initially, speechless after learning of Napolitano’s terminology tampering. I had to grab my laptop and express my incredulity … I don’t have high expectations for the Obama administration, but it pains me to see so much effort expended to undermine the well-being of our nation.

Here’s the link to the original report on FoxNews:

If you want a good laugh or cry, try reading the Detroit Examiner’s story about Obama’s soft-hearted and weak-minded terminology adjustment regarding GWABAs, formerly known as enemy combatants. If you have time to post a comment to this article (the feature is heavy on insults to President Bush – can you imagine what would have happened without George Bush at the helm during the 9/11 attacks? Could Gore, Kerry or Obama have coped with the pressure of that vicious man-caused disaster?), feel free to flame. Here’s the link:


Good News! There are anti-Sarah hate groups on Facebook…

January 27, 2009

Did that subject line get your attention? If so, please don’t start to hyperventilate, froth at the mouth or begin writing an angry retort. Please allow me to explain why this is a good thing for the Governor.

A couple of days ago, I decided to join the burgeoning crowd of Facebookers and start my own page. While searching for groups and friends, I typed in the keywords “Sarah Palin.” The search rendered three pages of results: “Women Against Palin,” “Why We Hate Sarah Palin,” “People with no idea why, but Hate Sarah Palin” (okay, I made up the last one).

My search also yielded links to pro-Palin groups, as well as the Governor’s official Facebook page, too. Some of the groups favoring Sarah had a few members, some had a few thousand, some had tens of thousands and the Governor’s page had hundreds of thousands of members.

What struck me as important is the polarity of public opinion about Governor Palin. You love her or hate her (hate is such useless and spiritually/intellectually destructive trait, wouldn’t you agree?), but few people are indifferent. Indifference doesn’t get votes.

Sarah Palin creates controversy and attracts supporters who admire her “Mainstreeter” style, devoted to her because of her values, achievements and promise for a reinvigorated GOP. She is a positive portent for change in the coming years.

Some newscasters have noted that months have passed since the election and we’re still talking about Sarah Palin. She continues to be newsworthy and has a growing, significant support base. The McCain/Palin ticket failed to win, so why didn’t she quietly fade into obscurity like other vice presidential candidates?

While some of the established good old boys of the GOP would like to downplay the Governor’s importance and impact on America, it would be foolish to ignore or dismiss Sarah Palin as a flash-in-the-pan phenomenon. Celebrity fads fade fast and this rising star has just begun her ascent.

BTW, my background is in entertainment, not politics. This is the just the POV of a former celebrity publicist: she has star power. Yes, she has many strengths and a sharp mind, but she also has that elusive quality that separates the ordinary from the extraordinary.

Do you remember watching her acceptance speech at the RNC convention? I felt the exuberance of the crowd through my television and got chills. The previous evening, Mr. Obama gave his acceptance speech to a teary and cheering crowd. He was on his game and even I felt moved by his words. However, the next evening, Sarah Palin made America (and even the media) forget the Styrofoam Greek columns of the Altar of Obama and we embraced this sharp, self-assured and savvy politician from Alaska. Yep, a star was born that night.

What is star quality or star power? Let me give you one example, one I’d personally not like to use, but you can’t deny he has “it”: Barack Obama. Few people outside of Illinois were familiar with Mr. Obama (aside from William Ayers, et al.) before the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Obama’s skill as an orator wowed the crowd and, while people stumbled over his exotic name, the liberal left noticed and anointed a new star, making him their very own political construct and hope for the White House in 2008.

We must be fair to Mr. Obama; when he gives a speech, he really delivers. There is no doubt that he is talented in delivering the rhetoric. Regardless of our powerful, intense and, apparently, accurate measures of the man, he also has “star power.” I think that’s why many opined that Obama was running against Sarah Palin – not John McCain.

Personally, I feel it’s too early for the Governor to announce her intention to run for office, but she’s right on track with creating a PAC, getting a book deal and taking steps to create a positive pubic image. If Governor Palin gets a strong team behind her, creates a solid plan for her political future and raises the funds she needs for a successful campaign, there is good reason for the liberal left to tremble.

Do I believe Sarah Palin, a controversial, conservative and charismatic politician can achieve our nation’s highest office? You betcha.


Feminism and Palin Panic

October 13, 2008

I first declared myself a feminist at the age of 14. In reality, I knew very little about feminism, but the ideal resonated with my strong sentiments about personal freedom. My activist English teacher discovered my interest in feminism and guided me to books by all of the popular feminist authors of the day. It was a lot for a young girl to absorb and understand. My teacher urged me to join the Student Senate, so that I could endorse her class on activism in our high school. At that time, I didn’t understand her motivation; I was just barely in my teens and still quite naive.

Today, my personal definition of feminism is very similar to what I believed in my youth; it simply means that a woman should be able to choose her own life path, work in a profession of her choosing and receive fair and equal compensation. A woman shouldn’t encounter or accept discrimination because of her gender.

So, why are feminists and others (still) alarmed by the popularity and respect so many have for Governor Palin? I find it baffling because I view Governor Palin as an example of my definition of a true feminist: she’s smart, savvy, ambitious, courageous and patriotic. She sought the highest office in her state and won. She is a mother, a Christian, a governor, a reformer and the first Republican woman nominated for the Vice Presidency.

My point is that she chose her own life path; she’s a mother and has a career. I thought that’s what feminism was all about – to be free, without discrimination, to choose our lifestyles, professions and interests. I believe Sarah Palin is one of the best feminist role models we have in public life.

While reading various blogs and message board posts, I am surprised by the comments and slurs by some posters. You don’t have to like her, agree with her or vote for her. You certainly don’t have to accept or even understand my endorsement of Governor Palin on the basis of feminism, politics or qualifications (and, yes, I thought she was very qualified) for the vice presidency. However, a little cool-headed discussion and/or disagreement would be more appropriate in your forums.

Let’s be honest – very few people are swayed by radical, epithet-ridden pointless diatribes. Just reading these puerile posts is depressing: are these messages representative of the collective American political mindset? Aren’t we capable of exchanging thoughts and disagreeing in principle without resorting to schoolyard bullying and name-calling?

If you're one of the hatemongers, please feel free to disagree with me, but tell me why – what is your position on my message? If you’re not bright enough to come up with some intelligent dialogue, well, I guess the only appropriate response, one that you’ll understand is: sticks and stones may …


I Get It

February, 19, 2009

The day before the Inauguration, I was in my car driving home from the gym. As I turned down one street, I noticed a little house on my left; it was festooned with US flags, garlands, and twinkle lights. An African-American woman was on the porch excitedly chatting on her cellphone while continuing to adorn her home. Her countenance radiated enthusiasm, pride, patriotism and joy.

I realized that this lady’s happiness was in sharp contrast to my own disappointment and bewilderment over the man who won the vote for President.

As I watched this woman for a moment while waiting for the light to change, I remembered an email I received from a former client a few months earlier; he and his family were endorsing Obama and encouraging all of their friends to vote for him.

I met my former client during my first professional career as an entertainment publicist in Los Angeles. He is an African-American comedian/radio personality who retained my services for almost 10 years. During the decade that we worked together, I became well acquainted with him and his family.

Before I was retained by this client, my knowledge and association with African-Americans was limited. I was raised in a predominantly white neighborhood and had few friends of different ethnicities. There were racial tensions in the early days of high school, but those difficult days eventually subsided during the early – mid 1970s. Still, there was tension within the student body that occasionally created a divisive feeling between whites and blacks. It wasn’t until I started working my former client that I became a little more enlightened about the ethnic and cultural lives of African-Americans.

During the years of our association, I became good friends with my client’s wife. When I was diagnosed with a serious illness, Joan was by my side throughout the entire ordeal. I will never forget and will always be grateful for her calm, spiritual presence when I was frightened and ill.

Joan gave me a little window into her life, the racial climate in which she was raised (Atlanta, Georgia) and challenges she faced growing up in that area. Joan is a dignified individual – there is no anger, sense of entitlement or resentment. However, as she told me about her life and experiences, she revealed a world that was a bit different from mine. I knew, of course, that there is a chasm between races, perhaps less now than in the past, but Joan helped me see it from her perspective – a valuable gift to me.

I’m not pleased with the outcome of the election – that is my most polite statement on the subject. However, as I watched that woman preparing her home for a celebration, a day of symbolism and significance, I got it. A man was elected who represented many things to people of color: acceptance, success and recognition of not only their heritage, but of their dreams, too. I get that and I can respect those feelings.

One of my greatest regrets is that I would have loved to join in her jubilation and celebrate with her the fulfillment of the American promise of equality and fairness to all. Our nation witnessed an historic event and I am saddened that I couldn’t share the joy that millions felt on January 20th.

Prior to the election, I came to have very grave reservations about the qualifications, integrity and preparedness of Mr. Obama. I disagreed with his proposed agendas and policies before the election and I’m alarmed at the precipitous and ill-prepared actions of the new administration’s first days and weeks; it doesn’t portend well for the next four years.

As a former publicist, I know that he is a political construct of the far left. Behind the smoke, mirrors, flags, pseudo-presidential seals and Styrofoam Greek columns, I could see the image-makers and the media manipulation that influenced the opinions and votes of a hopeful country.

The president of the United States is often referred to as the most powerful man in the world (perhaps, someday soon, woman?). This nation needs a strong and learned leader to shepherd us through a complex and dangerous time in our history; the Oval Office is not the place for affirmative action or social experiments.

It’s wonderful to know that Americans can look beyond race and gender and consider a variety of candidates for high office. It speaks well of our tolerance and maturity. Nevertheless, we need, now more than ever, the best and most qualified individual to lead our nation. I don’t think the new inhabitant of the White House is ready or competent for the job, certainly his actions, words and deeds are proving my sentiments to be on target.

I have goodwill toward the lady with the patriotically-decorated porch. I’m happy for her happiness. Still, I will pray for our country and the man whose victory she proudly celebrated.