Friday, April 23, 2010


Turn background music off here, then come back up.

Yesterday was Earth Day.

I tend to like Earth pretty much every day, though I suppose there are those who need a reminder of this planet's awesomeness. :o)

Thank you aSecretAgent for sharing this vid.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

i used to like tea

My blood pressure has a tendency to run a bit high. This after a touch of pre-eclampsia with my last two kiddos. If a "touch" of pre-eclampsia is even possible, it is pretty horrible. So, I try to avoid things that cause tension or anger.

Of course, often I fail. Because, chances are, nastiness in the news will seep through my loosely-crafted shield of ignorance. Nastiness that inevitably causes my ire to go up.

I've kept my mouth shut about such things. Particularly, the political items. It makes no difference what I might think about any hatefulness existing in the world. And writing about is only cathartic to a point. Nothing changes really.

Perhaps it is best to leave the fighting to others. Surely many feel as I do. That our feelings on a matter mean so little. What to do?

But, like stickiness on a shoe, or gum in one's hair, there is one group irking me most, to the point I can scarcely hold my tongue. I'll not honor them by mentioning their names, but only say, I used to like tea. And they are giving my favorite beverage a bad name.

It isn't that I fear what their "movement" stands for. Strike that. Maybe I do. Because I can not understand it. Can not grasp what it is they believe they are fighting for. No matter the explanation their "leaders" give, it all smacks of blatant racism and borderline terrorism.

Maybe, just maybe, there are members of the group who think they are doing a good thing. Fine, I suppose. But what is the "good" of it? I have yet to see it.

During a quick scan of Facebook minutia (I'm not much of a Facebook user), I stumbled on a good friend's posted link titled: Imagine: Protest, Insurgency and the Workings of White Privilege

I must say, there are things in that posting I'd been thinking all along.

So without my further rambling on the subject, I'll just copy and paste the piece, which was written by Tim Wise.

Imagine: Protest, Insurgency and the Workings of White Privilege
By Tim Wise
April 20, 2010

Let’s play a game, shall we? The name of the game is called “Imagine.” The way it’s played is simple: we’ll envision recent happenings in the news, but then change them up a bit. Instead of envisioning white people as the main actors in the scenes we’ll conjure—the ones who are driving the action—we’ll envision black folks or other people of color instead. The object of the game is to imagine the public reaction to the events or incidents, if the main actors were of color, rather than white. Whoever gains the most insight into the workings of race in America, at the end of the game, wins.

So let’s begin.

Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters--the black protesters--spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government. Would these protesters--these black protesters with guns--be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that's what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation's capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country's political leaders if the need arose.

Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired. Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.

Imagine that a rap artist were to say, in reference to a white president: "He's a piece of shit and I told him to suck on my machine gun." Because that’s what rocker Ted Nugent said recently about President Obama.

Imagine that a prominent mainstream black political commentator had long employed an overt bigot as Executive Director of his organization, and that this bigot regularly participated in black separatist conferences, and once assaulted a white person while calling them by a racial slur. When that prominent black commentator and his sister--who also works for the organization--defended the bigot as a good guy who was misunderstood and “going through a tough time in his life” would anyone accept their excuse-making? Would that commentator still have a place on a mainstream network? Because that’s what happened in the real world, when Pat Buchanan employed as Executive Director of his group, America's Cause, a blatant racist who did all these things, or at least their white equivalents: attending white separatist conferences and attacking a black woman while calling her the n-word.

Imagine that a black radio host were to suggest that the only way to get promoted in the administration of a white president is by “hating black people,” or that a prominent white person had only endorsed a white presidential candidate as an act of racial bonding, or blamed a white president for a fight on a school bus in which a black kid was jumped by two white kids, or said that he wouldn’t want to kill all conservatives, but rather, would like to leave just enough--“living fossils” as he called them--“so we will never forget what these people stood for.” After all, these are things that Rush Limbaugh has said, about Barack Obama’s administration, Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama, a fight on a school bus in Belleville, Illinois in which two black kids beat up a white kid, and about liberals, generally.*

Imagine that a black pastor, formerly a member of the U.S. military, were to declare, as part of his opposition to a white president’s policies, that he was ready to “suit up, get my gun, go to Washington, and do what they trained me to do.” This is, after all, what Pastor Stan Craig said recently at a Tea Party rally in Greenville, South Carolina.

Imagine a black radio talk show host gleefully predicting a revolution by people of color if the government continues to be dominated by the rich white men who have been “destroying” the country, or if said radio personality were to call Christians or Jews non-humans, or say that when it came to conservatives, the best solution would be to “hang ‘em high.” And what would happen to any congressional representative who praised that commentator for “speaking common sense” and likened his hate talk to “American values?” After all, those are among the things said by radio host and best-selling author Michael Savage, predicting white revolution in the face of multiculturalism, or said by Savage about Muslims and liberals, respectively. And it was Congressman Culbertson, from Texas, who praised Savage in that way, despite his hateful rhetoric.

Imagine a black political commentator suggesting that the only thing the guy who flew his plane into the Austin, Texas IRS building did wrong was not blowing up Fox News instead. This is, after all, what Anne Coulter said about Tim McVeigh, when she noted that his only mistake was not blowing up the New York Times.

Imagine that a popular black liberal website posted comments about the daughter of a white president, calling her “typical redneck trash,” or a “whore” whose mother entertains her by “making monkey sounds.” After all that’s comparable to what conservatives posted about Malia Obama on last year, when they referred to her as “ghetto trash.”

Imagine that black protesters at a large political rally were walking around with signs calling for the lynching of their congressional enemies. Because that’s what white conservatives did last year, in reference to Democratic party leaders in Congress.

In other words, imagine that even one-third of the anger and vitriol currently being hurled at President Obama, by folks who are almost exclusively white, were being aimed, instead, at a white president, by people of color. How many whites viewing the anger, the hatred, the contempt for that white president would then wax eloquent about free speech, and the glories of democracy? And how many would be calling for further crackdowns on thuggish behavior, and investigations into the radical agendas of those same people of color?

To ask any of these questions is to answer them. Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it. When the dangerous and dark “other” does so, however, it isn’t viewed as normal or natural, let alone patriotic. Which is why Rush Limbaugh could say, this past week, that the Tea Parties are the first time since the Civil War that ordinary, common Americans stood up for their rights: a statement that erases the normalcy and “American-ness” of blacks in the civil rights struggle, not to mention women in the fight for suffrage and equality, working people in the fight for better working conditions, and LGBT folks as they struggle to be treated as full and equal human beings.

And this, my friends, is what white privilege is all about. The ability to threaten others, to engage in violent and incendiary rhetoric without consequence, to be viewed as patriotic and normal no matter what you do, and never to be feared and despised as people of color would be, if they tried to get away with half the shit we do, on a daily basis.

Game Over.

*(Denver Post December 29, 1995)

There are more links in this post. Please read the original Facebook post here.

In fairness, I'm sure there are some conservative groups that do not share the same feelings as those of the media whores such as Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Anne Coulter et al. Even still, to what end will this madness bring us?

I've often felt, this chaos is a good thing. This is how we sort out the good from the bad. Those who choose to divide peoples are showing their true colors. And with a nation as diverse as ours is, I doubt such a concept will fly.

Now, where is my tattered shield of ignorance? There are children here. Their shining innocence need not be tarnished just yet.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

in training

Turn background music off here, then come back up.

So the husband and I have a plan to run a 5K later this year. My idea, mostly. I'm crazy like that. The husband, he's very supportive, luckily, as there is much work to be done from now till then.

In effort to better prepare for the run, we have taken on the P90X program.

P90X in a word . . . WOW! Or maybe just, OW!

We are doing pretty well with the workouts, so far. Each day, rather night (for us), a different challenge to be had. Each morning a new muscle discovered, a very very sore muscle. The difficulty getting out of bed, we can only laugh at. "Ha ha!" we say, "T'was nothing, that P90X. What else have you? Tsk. Tsk." Then on with the day we go.

But this last night was different for me. Our challenge was a bit of yoga. Okay, Yoga X, as it is called. Not your normal let's do a few stretches and breathe a little, yoga. It is extreme, and done as instructed, will create loads of sweat to pour down the brow. And other places, not to mention.

Anyway. I was looking forward to yoga. Particularly after the previous night's workout involving the lifting of weights and the dreaded AbRipper X. Yeah. The AbRipper. Rip those abs! Ouch! And did I mention the X? Yes, it is extreme.

So, the yoga. What a lovely thing. Well over an hour of loveliness.

We were put through several, somewhat difficult, moves. Though I did this routine with the husband, I found myself more focused than expected, not paying attention so much to what he was doing.

Even more interesting, odd, and a little startling, I felt as though I might cry. What is this thing called yoga that causes tears to fall?

Now, normally, I only find myself crying when under extreme stress, or when recalling moments that are particularly sad. Even beautiful pieces of music cause mist in my eye on occasion.

But, exercise?


Of course, the husband had no clue what I was experiencing. I believe he was focusing on his own moves. Even so, my ego got the best of me. I made jokes and acted cool, to cover my welling up emotion. He seemed a touch perturbed by this needless burst of humor.

Ah well.

And so it goes.

Tomorrow we will pump more iron and hit the chinning bar. If anyone cries, it'll only be because it hurts!

Bring it! ;oD