They met just once. Then he vetted her. (Damn, that sounds nine kinds of wrong!) They met again, then he offered her the position. (Again, that sounds most distasteful.) Will somebody please tell me WTF he's thinking? He truly is just a dirty old man who likes empty-headed female arm candy. I mean, c'mon, this chick he picked has maybe 3 hours of experience and no documented views on the Iraq war? Oh yeah, she's what this country needs. Talk about a nightmare ticket: the oldest contender to seek the office chooses one of the nation's youngest, least experienced female elected officials? Only in America...
Republicans. Nearly four decades on this planet, and I still can neither predict nor understand their logic - or, in this case, their lack thereof - or damn near anything else about them.
Alas, a third item that can be added to the "Certainties in Life" column, right after Death and Taxes: political pandering by candidates. No, wait, let me clarify: Republican stupidity exemplified through blatant acts of political pandering. Yeah, that's more like it...
I was thrilled to see and hear one of my favorite people* give the Closing Benediction at the first night of the Democratic Convention tonight in Denver. Don Miller, the bestselling author of books such as Blue Like Jazz and Searching for God Knows What, delivered a powerful plea with the conviction of a passionate liberal's heart and stated eloquently all the reasons why I am a card-carrying Democrat. (*This is the same guy who hugged me and autographed my books when me met 3 years ago; I'm still amazed and pleased that his celebrity has not diminished his dedication to his beliefs, as is often - and tragically - the case when idealists achieve notoriety.)
He spoke not cliche' and buzzwords, but convictions that reach across party lines. He touched on the elements that unite us as a party and must unite us as a nation if we are to conquer our societal afflictions.
Most importantly, he addressed the primary concern of all mankind: that we are equally responsible for caring for "the least of these." Thank you, Don, for your honest and moving words. If only more people who dare to call themselves Christians would share your views, echo your words, and follow in your footsteps by choosing action over apathy.
Here is the transcript of his prayer, as posted on his Website:
This week, as the world looks on, help the leaders in this room create a civil dialogue about our future.
We need you, God, as individuals and also as a nation.
We need you to protect us from our enemies, but also from ourselves, because we are easily tempted toward apathy.
Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left.
Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them.
Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.
Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.
Hep us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education.
Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony.
We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there. We need your help.
Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world.
A lot of people don’t like us but that’s because they don’t know the heart of the average American.
Will you give us favor and forgiveness, along with our allies around the world.
Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.
Lastly, father, unify us.
Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common.
And unify us not just in our ideas and in our sentiments—but in our actions, as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater than the one we have come to cherish.
God we know that you are good.
Thank you for blessing us in so many ways as Americans.
I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.
Let Him be our example.
I am fed up with all of it. The 24/7 network coverage. Incessant blogging. Photos and commentaries galore. Insignificant facts and background stories meant to endear me to those on the screen. And don't even get me started on the commercials...
The hype before and the analysis after have turned these two events into a media frenzy the likes of which leave me numb from overexposure.
Let's face it: life needs TiVo. If only I could fast-forward through all this televised craziness and get back into a "normal" routine of life, love, and the pursuit of alcoholic consumption. Er, I mean happiness. Yeah, that's it.
Wake me when the insanity subsides...
It figures: the men I love always wreak havoc, in some form or fashion.
This time, it was my laptop's hard drive. More specifically, it was the error message I received about 3 weeks ago warning me (and I exaggerate not one iota) "Critical error: you have 15MB of free space available on your C:/ drive." Not gigabytes, mind you...megabytes. I knew things had been running rather slow lately, but damn...I was NOT prepared for that harsh reality.
Naturally, being the techno-savvy uber geek that I am, I proceeded to clean the drive and compress old files. I removed unused programs and even purged some that I like and wanted to keep but wouldn't be able to reinstall due to loaning or losing the installation disc. The latter was painful (oh, Photoshop, I love you so) but it seemed necessary at the time.
But it wasn't enough. I had not made the slightest dent. I merely freed up less than a gig, which, for a chronic podcast addict, would last maybe three days.
Drastic times call for drastic measures: I began purging my iTunes library.
There are few things more precious to me than my tunes. I will easily sacrifice fairweather friends before I will part with my beloved collection of mp3s. This either speaks volumes about my electic musical taste or explains my rapidly shrinking coterie. Whatever the verdict, je suis un belle dame sans regret. I am nothing if not loyal to the things I love.
So after making backup CDs, I dumped and deleted and purged.
Then I pouted. It hadn't worked. My current savings would not afford me a new MacBook Pro in time. A crash was surely imminent. I was not devastated, but I certainly was not pleased.
I finally bit the bullet and dumped my podcast library. Gone was the inaugural Countdown with Keith Olbermann podcast from May - the first one to be podcasted in its entirety instead of just the top story. Gone, too, was the particularly enjoyable episode where Keith chats with my ultimate Hollywood heartthrob, John Cusack.
Click. Delete. Gone.
I didn't even bother making backups of those.
Fast-forward to last night, when I mentioned to a dear friend that I wanted to email him a podcasted video. It got me wondering how I could attach said item in an email, so I sleuthed around in my saved files.
In my damn iTunes folder.
Where I found a folder labeled Podcasts.
Which was full.
We're talkin' THIRTY FUCKING GIGS WORTH OF FULL! The prime culprits? Cooper and Olbermann. And a hefty dose of CNN Headline News. And multiple gigs of NPR's All Songs Considered live concerts. And every damn animated New Yorker Cartoon that's ever been created. Holy hard drives, Batman!
Apparently, every time I've watched or heard a podcast then deleted it, my laptop has simply become an electronic extension of myself and in true packrat fashion, kept 'em all. Every last one of 'em.
Damn. I should have looked there first. So now what am I going to do with all this money I've been saving for a new Mac?
Can we say "iTunes shopping spree?" I thought so.
But first, I reeeeally need a drink...
"Laptop-gate" segment begins at 0:58
Keith Olbermann's remarks on the new border security policy coincide nicely with yesterday's White House press release regarding the revision of Executive Order 12333, originally enacted in Reagan-era 1981. In the updated document, the Dark Forces of the Executive Branch commit yet another egregious act of political duplicity. Consider the revised security policy - which permits the search, investigation, copying, or seizing of any laptop belonging to any person entering or leaving the United States at any border, without warrant or probable cause - in light of this choicely-worded paragraph from said Executive Order:
The Executive Order retains and reinforces the provisions in place in the original Executive Order 12333 to ensure that all intelligence activities are conducted in a manner that protects the civil liberties and privacy rights of Americans. All collection, retention, and dissemination of information regarding United States persons must be conducted in accordance with procedures approved by the Attorney General.
Oh, I get it. It's public relations! The American people are supposed to believe that their government supports their individual privacy rights and their civil liberties. (Wink, wink; nudge, nudge!) Just like we are told as kids to believe there is a Santa Claus. And an Easter Bunny. And a Tooth Fairy. And a Fourth Amendment...