Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: 5/29/05 - 6/5/05

Saturday, June 04, 2005

With one voice?

Progressives united? Posted by Hello

My buddy Fribur sent me an observation that tied in with some opinions of my own:

Tonight, I just watched Jim Wallis, Jesse Jackson, and Kim Gandy all speak at a progressive political conference of some kind on C-Span, and I was a little dissappointed that even with three well known progressive leaders, each directly
disagreed with each other within their speeches.

Jim Wallis (editor of Sojourners magazine, national speaker, pastor) spoke charismatically of the need to take the stranglehold on moral values and religion away from the Right, and show America that it is ok to be a Christian and a Progressive.

Kim Gandy (president of NOW) spoke next, naming Jim Wallis specifically and among others as a part of the problem of trying to look too much like "Republican-lite," with the bulk of her discussion about bringing the democrats back to being democrats and not just watered down Republicans. She specifically mentioned the popular campaign term "widening the tent," denouncing it as a watering down of essential doctrines of progressive thought.

Finally, Jesse Jackson spoke, introduced by the organizer of the conference as one who is a great progressive precisely because of his ability to "widen the tent." Yes, they both used the same words. It was like the organizer never heard the speech just given a few minutes before.

As much as I dislike the Republican party and everything it stands for, their ability to present a unified message to the American public is something I envy, and which I sometimes wish progressives could better emulate. That said, even among Republicans we are starting to see cracks in the facade; Republicans are clearly breaking rank on some issues in Congress right now; from Social Security to stem cell research. Part of me is warmed by the existance of clear differences between self-proclaimed progressives. Perhaps this is indicitive of the tolerance inherant in the Left. One can only hope.

My thoughts mirror those presented quite eloquently and forcefully in a video of Arianna Huffington giving a bring-down-the-house kind of speech at the very same "Take Back America Conference." I think that every Progressive in this country should print and tape it to their refrigerator. Here is an excerpt from the printed version on Arianna's website (emphasis mine):
This is the time now for a vigorous debate among progressives… no more tongue biting, no more holding back. It's time that progressives took on the hard work of solving the greatest unsolved mystery left in Washington now that Deep Throat has been unmasked: what does the Democratic Party stand for? It's up to the progressive movement to offer an absolutely unambiguous answer to that question, both on the domestic front and on the foreign policy front.

Read or watch the entire speech - it's a barn-burner! I wish I had been there, stomping and screaming my agreement. Progressives and Democrats MUST stop trying to define themselves based on what the Republicans are saying...doing so is giving the Repub's observations even more weight.

However, I don't think that the "Republican-lite" accusation can be accurately directed at Jim Wallis. He is bringing up is a very important and sensitive issue to those spiritual-minded progressives. We cannot allow the Republicans to establish the definition of what religion/Christianity is or stands for. (I have many more comments and thoughts on that particular topic that I will save for my next post.)

By the way, thanks for the comments, Fribur!

Friday, June 03, 2005

23 days and counting...

...until we spend the night here...

A view of the Homer, Alaska Spit (in the water in front of the mountains) Posted by Hello

We are spending our wedding night (i.e. collapsing on a bed in a fit of exhaustion) in a B&B in Anchorage. After brunch with all of the relatives on Sunday, we will be heading out to spend the night in Homer, then launch the boat the next day for our week-long trip to Seldovia.


Thursday, June 02, 2005

I'm becoming Frankenstein's Bride...

So, my wonderful husband-to-be, my daughter and I were standing in the middle of the wave pool at H2Oasis water park when Josh turned to me and said, "If I knew last year what I know now, a pot-luck wedding reception in the park would have been a better choice."

Yeah...that's what I want to hear thousands of dollars, thousands of hours and many bottles of antacid later!!!!!!!!!! He's lucky I didn't drown him right there! (I hear that homicide before the wedding is bad luck, though...)

You see, the "potluck in the park" idea was the way I wanted to go, since he insisted on a summer wedding. Otherwise, I wanted an autumn or Christmas season ceremony.

But nooooooooooooooooooo...it HAD to be in the most expensive, busiest wedding month (June) on the most popular wedding day of the year (25th) and it HAD to be catered because a "pot luck" would be gauche!

And then he kicked back and played video games while I planned the whole damn thing! (OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I'm playing the sympathy card.)

Anyway, it's a little more than 3-weeks out and I'm discovering all of those little "loose ends" that need to be tied up. You know, like actually having a wedding dress in time for the wedding! (Thank goodness for my future mother-in-law who rode to the rescue!) Of course there are 2 dozen other unfinished issues that I'm working on, but I figure by the time the day gets here, those things just don't matter.

At least I hope they won't...I pity him if my mood isn't any better than it is right now!

*insert Bride-of-Frankenstein hiss*

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

An lesson on ethics...from G. Gordon Liddy?

I know, I know...you just can't make this stuff up. Liddy's take on "Deep Throat," former FBI agent Mark Felt:


G. Gordon Liddy, a Nixon operative who engineered the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Campaign headquarters in the Watergate building in Washington, and served four and a half years in jail for it, said Wednesday that Felt "violated the ethics of the law enforcement profession."

"If he possessed evidence of wrongdoing, he was honor-bound to take that to a grand jury and secure an indictment, not to selectively leak it to a single news source," Liddy, now a popular conservative radio talk show host, told CNN television.

Yes, because the complete lack of whistleblower protections wouldn't put his career in danger at all. Notice, I said "career." Felt was in the FBI for the long haul. He wasn't just some appointee.

Oh, and let me repeat what I find to be the most important sentence in that quote:
G. Gordon Liddy, a Nixon operative who engineered the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Campaign headquarters in the Watergate building in Washington, and served four and a half years in jail for it...

Yup, now THERE is an unbiased opinion!

As I remember from back then, folks were downright scared of Liddy and what he was capable of.


Later that year Liddy presented Nixon's attorney general, John N. Mitchell, with an action plan called Operation Gemstone. Liddy wanted a $1 million budget to carry out a series of black ops activities against Nixon's political enemies.

Mr. Felt had nothing to worry about!

If you read the rest of the article, "All of the President's Men" are still attempting to rewrite history. I guess the Bush Administration has proven that it can be done successfully, even while the events are still occurring.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I will be here in 26 days and counting...*glee*

Orca, Orca...I love Orca! Posted by Hello

Some people go to Vegas for their honeymoon...real Alaskans fish for halibut for a week! Of course, we're not roughing it. We are staying on the beautiful island of Seldovia in a really nice B&B!

My first post is on "Deep Throat"...go figure

I always think that a first post that actually SOUNDS like a first post usually sucks. I mean, if folks want to learn about me, they can read my bio! (when I get around to writing it)

So, let's just dive in deep end, shall we?

For those of you who were born after 1970, finding the verified identity of Watergate informant Deep Throat on the front page in 2005 may seem passe. However, many of us who grew up with the 30-year mystery are still fascinated by the events artfully woven together by journalists Woodward and Bernstein and deftly portrayed on-screen by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman.

I know that the news made me dig back a bit to remember who the other potential "culprits" were, which led me to a 2002 article in the Washington Post.


In it they discuss the various theories, including the one involving the FBI:

In his article, Mann said three FBI officials confronted Gray and protested what they saw as the White House's interference with the bureau's Watergate probe. They were W. Mark Felt, FBI deputy associate director (and known by reporters as someone willing to take their calls); Charles W. Bates, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's general investigative division; and Robert Kunkel, the special agent in charge of the Washington, D.C., field office. Mann identified all three as Deep Throat suspects.

The differences between then and now are fascinating.

Thirty-years ago, we the public didn't know the identity of the informant yet his information brought down an entire Administration.

Thirty-years-later, our "informants" are previously high-ranking Administration figures like former Counterterrorism Chief Richard Clarke, former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill, former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Christie Whitman and former high-ranking CIA agent Mike Scheuer. Today, our "informants" don't meet journalists in parks and parking garages, they write their own books, testify in front of Congress and are interviewed all over the Beltway. Today, we have confirmation of many of their accusations, sometimes from the mouths and pens of the accused. Yet, the misinformation and misdirection campaigns of Karl Rove and the rest of the Bush Administration has seemed to (so far) keep them secure in their jobs and turned the mainstream media into White House lap dogs.

Yup, it's a whole different world, isn't it?