We went down to the Kalani Oceanside Retreat in Puna for a 24 hour mini-vacation. Talk about relaxing! Well, you have got to pamper yourself now and then! I love it there because it is the best of everything but not fancy.
As they say in German, "Ordnung muss sein."* For most, I think this kind of intimidation should suffice to keep people off the streets. I know it would work on me!
Glenn Greenwald is a constitutional lawyer whose main concern is always with civil rights violations such as the ones he reports on here. In protest against the renewal of the FISA bill, he and Jane Hamsher have formed a "strange bedfellows" coalition with Bob Barr, Ron Paul and others to protest the loss of our civil liberties, especially our Fourth Amendment rights.
A little refresher:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Since grandmotherhood has meant watching "The Lion King" three times, and Obama's a shoe-in for the presidency, I think I can just go ahead and enjoy this. I especially loved the giraffe visitation in Africa. (Correction: it's a goat.)
More: our friend the Old Lefty was reduced to tears by Obama's speech. Now tell me again: which is the emotional sex? Sure, he's a way way better presidential candidate than I have seen in my lifetime. But the people around him are not always my cup of tea. I keep thinking about the issues, which is something we women are said not to do.
There is always a feeling component to one's beliefs and political positions. For instance, I'm pro-choice because women need to control their bodies, and having the number of children you want is a basic human right, as far as I'm concerned. So Obama's wishy-washy attitude on choice bothers me. Likewise, I oppose the death penalty, because I do not believe the state has the right to deprive anyone of life. So when Obama calls for the death penalty and the death penalty for child rapists, I am on the other side of the fence from him.
He's far more conservative than I on a host of issues. But the big tent means that he has to win, because McCain is so much worse. Call me nuanced.
Laura Flanders and guests provide some windows into alternative views of the Democratic Convention. These are the people who have things to say beyond the hype. They are the ones who make me believe that the Democratic Party is the big tent in a good sense.
These are people who know what the stakes are. They understand that the attacks on Obama will be race-based and that he will have a very hard time dealing with them. They are quite worried. Nothing will be fair. When have the Republicans played fair?
I'm also slowly beginning to understand why Obama supporters were so sensitive to what they construed as racist remarks coming from the Hillary Clinton camp. Those remarks did not seem that way to me, but I am not Black. If they felt racist to Blacks, then they were racist. What I did not like is the way some Obama supporters started attacking Hillary Clinton as a racist. That is as if to say well, being who she is, she is obviously a racist.
The Black activists in this program are quite worried about the way Obama has treated race so far. I'm worried too. They are the ones who ought to know what to do, and yet they're as flummoxed as anyone about the situation.
I'm not in favor of school vouchers. I don't like the idea of charter schools very much. I think home schooling is a dubious way to educate kids, in most cases.
But these things are not half as bad as pumping for public ed while sending one's own kids to private schools. Now this is what Clinton did. If his daughter had been in public school this would have provided a window into the workings of the D.C. public schools and could have led to well-publicized improvements in the system.
When Barack Obama collected the endorsement of the American Federation of Teachers, he told the teachers that support for alternatives to the education monopoly amounted to "tired rhetoric about vouchers and school choice."
He recently told an interviewer that he opposes school choice because "although it might benefit some kids at the top, what you're going to do is leave a lot of kids at the bottom."
Not being left behind are Obama's daughters, who attend the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. There, tuition ranges from $15,528 for kindergarten to $20,445 for high school. When asked about it during last year's YouTube debate, Sen. Obama responded that it was "the best option" for his children. They had a choice Obama would deny others.
This is hypocrisy, the thing liberals are blamed for over and over. Don't think, since he has exploited his children in his campaign, that this will not become an issue with voters.
The sheer diversity, the many voices at this convention are starting to generate a lot of excitement. Some of these voices can be heard on Grit TV.
If Obama can make it, Washington will open up. I thought initially that it would be possible to silence dissenters, but that is not happening. For instance, a group of 500 delegates is challenging the Health Care provisions of the platform, as one of Laura Flanders' guests reports.
I also notice that the delegates are a real cross-section of America. In fact, if you get away from all the set pieces, this is turning out to be one hell of a convention. I'm glad to be able to change my mind about this and for once feel happy about what's going on in the political arena.
The shutdown of protests in the streets seems total but may backfire. Most of us Americans are not tough and street smart any more, so it isn't just that security is there with all their weapons but that we've gotten softer. We could see a new radicalization if too many heads get busted. I'd certainly get out of the way at the first sign of trouble. I'm no Cindy Sheehan.
The young man from The Nation seems to believe that shouting in the streets is passe because after all, don't we all oppose the war? We shall see. I've heard too often in my life that times have changed,and then it's deja vu all over again, as they say.
One thing I know for sure. Smugness and self-congratulation could bring the party down. Those McCain people are formidable. We also must avoid our awful American liberal tendencies to optimism and sentimentality. They are our biggest flaws. We always like the Disney version.
But the pluralism, the excitement of ordinary folks from everywhere in the country, a real reward for all that hard scut work of organization, the meetings, the pounding the pavement, all of it: well, it's inspiring. Good, hardworking, not glamorous, not rich. That's the real heart of America, which still can give people a chance, as Michelle Obama rightly points out.
Note: I took out a video file from Huff Post because it uploaded automatically. Not too cool. You can see it on the Flanders program.The contrast between the goons and the demonstrators is clear. To sit in the convention hall and conference areas and ignore the implications of having full on security throughout Denver is a pretty bad disconnect.
More: I watched this whole program, which ended with an interview with Medea Benjamin from the anti-war group, Code Pink. For me to get coverage like this and to see all these amazing activists is almost as good as being there. It is really exciting.
Anglachel seems pretty rational to me. The mainstream press is trying to paint Hillary diehards as psychos. Anglachel points out that working class whites are rightly terrified at the future they see as the economy continues to slide. Rather than addressing this reality, the Democrats put on a big, showy event full of simplistic displays designed to pander to middle Americans as they imagine them to be. They miss the reality of American lives altogether.
I was particulary offended by the muzzling of Michelle Obama who has to suffer the humiliation of being upstaged by her daughter who is obviously quite the brat. Give little kids an inch... and to have these family dynamics taking place with maximum mass media coverage! How awful. She's got my sympathy.
Well, we women knew we'd get the bomb dropped on us when Obama won.