Friday, December 28, 2007

Benazir Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto
Died 12/27/2007

This isn't something that I usually spout off about. It has been my experience that it is better to keep your political and sometimes, religious ideas/beliefs to yourself. It is such a charged subject that I find it rare that people are genuinely curious about what you think. More often than not, people just want to convert your views to match their own. I'm not interested in fighting with people over their personal beliefs. If they're willing to engage in a thoughtful, intelligent conversation, without resorting to mudslinging and name calling, I'm more than willing to share what I think. So for those reasons, I don't usually get up on my soapbox about politics and elections etc. But this irritated and upset me enough that I couldn't stay silent.

On Thursday, December 27, 2007, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in Rawalpindi, near the capital, Islamabad. She was a woman who had already served two terms as Pakistan's Prime Minister and after returning to Pakistan after an 8 year, self imposed exile for her own protection, she was shot and killed in the streets by a suicide bomber. This was a woman that fought for democracy, defended human rights and fought against militant religious fundamentalists. She was a woman of power and authority in a country that is home to a strong militant Islamist/Al Quada power base. Her death is a great loss, not only to our country but to the world and freedom loving people everywhere.

Her death, tragic as it is, is not the reason for this entry. I am saddened and slightly appalled by the way in which her death has been used by some of the Republican Presidential candidates. Newsweek asked each candidate, as well as other world leaders, their reaction to the assassination and the reactions of some of the Presidential candidates were disappointing, to say the least. Many used her death as a chance to further their own political agenda. I felt their reactions were overly political and inappropriate. Yes, I understand that they are political figures and we are entering an election year. Of course, they can't open their mouths with out making some sort of political point or plug for themselves. Really, I get it. I simply found that some responses were more sympathetic than others and some were more condescending than others.

For example, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee said, "This is devastating news for the people of Pakistan, and my prayers go out to them as we follow developments regarding this dire situation..." Okay, fine. If he had left it at that, it would have been fine, a tad formulaic but what do you expect? But he doesn't stop there. He continues, by saying "The terrible violence surrounding Pakistan's upcoming election stands in Stark Contrast to the peaceful transition of power that we embrace in our country through the Constitution." I find it condescending and inappropriate when expressing "sympathy" over the loss of someone such as Bhutto. It sounds slightly arrogant, as if the United States is better at Democracy than the rest of the world. Of course we are. We've been working at it longer! That doesn't mean that we're better than others, just that we've had a bit more practice.

I think my favorite response came from Senator John McCain. He didn't even bother with expressing sympathy or regret at Bhutto's death. He said that Bhutto's death "underscores yet again the grave dangers we face in the world today and particularly in countries like Pakistan, where the forces of moderation are arrayed in a fierce battle against those who embrace violent Islamic extremism. Given Pakistan's strategic location, the international terrorist groups that operate from its soil, and its nuclear arsenal, the future of the country has deep implications for the security of the United States and its allies. America must stand on the right side of this ongoing struggle." I would think that Sen. McCain would be a little more upset about the death of a woman, who if elected, would be one of our country's greatest allies in the war against terrorism.

I think the candidate with the best response, the response that was most balanced was, Hilary Clinton. Now, I'm generally not a Hilary supporter and I'm not going to vote for her, but what she said had a great balance between the political and the personal/emotional. She said, "I have known Benazir Bhutto for a dozen years, and I knew her as a leader. I knew her as someone willing to take risks. I hope that if there is any opportunity to the government and people of Pakistan to respond to this tragedy
appropriately, it would be to move more steadfastly and determinately toward democracy. She has given her life for that hope, and I know that the people of our country stand in solidarity with those who believe as we do in the rights of people to be heard at the ballot box." (my emphasis added)

Yes, her death is a reminder of the threat that is out there. The threat to our way of life. The threat to democracy and freedom everywhere, I'm not arguing that point.But I don't think it's appropriate to use her death as a way of creating fear and anxiety in our country as a means to gain points in the polls. I think it's inappropriate and disrespectful.

To read the full article and others about Bhutto, click here.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

And I considered going to law school...

I got this in an email and these are actual transcripts from a courtroom. I was cracking up at my desk. (My apologies to any lawyers, future lawyers or those who are related to a lawyer)

ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?


ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: Uh, he's twenty-one.
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Uh...I was gettin' laid!
ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Are you kidding me? Your Honour, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?


And we save the best for last....

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

I am

I am...

I am a sister, daughter, aunt and friend.

I am a confidant of many; I share my troubles with few.

I am a dancer, singer, and pianist -even if my talent isn't world famous.

I am independent.

I am a bibliophile.

I am healthy...finally.

I am a good friend to many.

I am intellectual.

I am an academic at heart.

I am an amateur historian.

I am grateful to many and resentful towards some.

I am not a morning person.

I enjoy cooking for others but don't do it for myself.

I am a hopeless romantic.

I am a liberal in a conservative state.

I am a conservative in a liberal state.

I am a feminist.

I am a woman of faith.

I am hopeful.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? wrapping
2. Real or Artificial tree? REAL....I think my dad would have a heart attack if I had a fake tree.
3. When do you put up the tree? This was my first Christmas with my own tree. We got it last week.
4. When do you take the tree down? um....when it's dry?
5. Do you like Eggnog? No
6. Favorite Gift you received as a child? My sister and I got to go to San Fransisco for New Year's.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? no
8. Hardest person to buy for? Dad
9. Easiest person to buy for? Sara
10. Worst Christmas gift ever received? A sweater that my dad was really excited about but I didn't really like
11. Christmas Cards...Snail mail or E-mail? I have a stack on my living room coffee table that I need to mail.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Miracle on 34th Street (old school) or White Christmas.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? After Thanksgiving
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? not that I can remember
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? chocolate orange sticks...My grandma always had them at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? I did white lights on my own tree but I grew up with colored lights.
17. Favorite Christmas Song? I don't really care for the Pop-y Christmas songs and the remixes...I love the straight carols.
18. Travel at Christmas or Stay Home? Go to the Parent's...but we all live within an hour's drive.
19. Can you name Santa's Reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blixen
20. Do you have an Angel or a Star on top of your tree? Star
21. Open the Presents Christmas Eve or Morning? We get to open on gift on Christmas Eve and it's always PJs. My mom used to make them but now it's Old Navy.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? How rude people can be when you're out shopping...kind of defeats the spirit of Christmas.
23. Shopping...Mall or online? I don't go to Malls...I'll avoid it at all costs.
24. Do you decorate outside for Christmas or just inside (or at all?) A wreath on our apartment door and them decorations inside.
25. Favorite Christmas cookie? Frosted sugar cookies
26. Do you own Christmassy clothing or jewelry? Not really. I do have a lot of red but that's more because I like the like the color.
27. Do you believe in Santa? sure.

28. Are there Christmas trains or a Christmas garden at your house? No

Monday, December 17, 2007

Not the brightest crayon in the box

If you haven't noticed already, I'm a fan of the YouTube. I know, I know. Most of the time it is a complete waste of my time but it can be so wonderfully entertaining but sometimes you come across something and you just wonder....huh? In this situation I wonder, who on earth thought this was a good idea? And who is Steve Harley, anyway?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Post 100!

I'm on Post 100 and this is what I'm posting about. This guy is wonderful and it helps that I absolutely love this song.