Posted by: Joolz2u | May 7, 2009

David Souter and the Supremes!

Sorry, I just cracked myself up at the thought of Justice David Souter dressed as Diana Ross caressing the microphone and cooing, “Baby, baby, where did our love go?” But no, not those Supremes, the Supreme Court justices who will be bidding a sad (or fond, depending on political proclivities) farewell to their colleague, Justice Souter.

Of course, now we’ve all got this “Yearnin’, burnin’, yearnin’ ” question to ponder: Who will take his place? I can’t possibly guess at specific names, so I’ll go out on a (very short) limb: Obama will pick a minority woman who will also be socially conservative and pro-business. I don’t hold any illusions that Obama will pick a liberal. He’s not a liberal himself, why would he choose one? Nope. He will choose a socially conservative, pro-business minority woman because the media will shout from his pocket at how progressive he is to choose a woman and a minority, conveniently overlooking the rest of it.

It’s my prediction, and not much that I’ve believed about Obama has been wrong up to this point so… there it is. I hope I’m wrong this time. But I don’t think I am.

Posted by: Joolz2u | February 9, 2009

Cosmic Justice?

This is my horoscope today:

Virgo Horoscope
Go to: Yesterday | Tomorrow

A friend is likely to show up with some rather sheepish apologies today. Turns out you were right in some political or social discussion that they took a little too seriously. The best thing to do is accept the apology with grace and humility. An “I told you so” could backfire.

I had to save it for posterity, because as much as I wish for it to come to pass, I don’t think any true believers will have come around so quickly. I’ve seen signs of discontent. Small grumblings. Defensive puzzlement. But as far as I know, none of my friends in Obama Nation have taken off the rose-colored glasses as of yet.

The only one I can imagine being contrite on the subject is my husband. He didn’t exactly vote for Obama as much as he voted for “Not-The-Republicans”. As much as I had no problem with Sarah Palin, she was far too conservative for him. The Democratic shrieking about “The Supreme Court!!!!!” deafened him to reason. But yesterday when he read about the Executive Order funneling $20 million into Gaza for “humanitarian relief and migration”, he got very quiet, and very angry.

“He does realize Hamas is a terrorist organization, right?” he asked me.

“One would hope,” was all I could reply.

It was one of those things about which we argued pre-election: my steadfast belief that Obama would hesitate to assist Israel and would ultimately betray our most steadfast ally in the region. I didn’t think it would come this quickly, but I’m not surprised by it in the least.

Everyone assured me post-election, “Hey, he picked Rahm Emmanuel! That’s good for Israel!” People seemed to think that that the Chief of Staff, essentially the Executive Office Manager, would influence Obama’s agenda regarding Israel. So let me ask, then, just where is Israel’s $20 million humanitarian aid package? 8 years of non-stop shelling have certainly taken their toll on southern Israel, not to mention all the innocent people who have died via suicide bombers and border-infiltrating murderers. I guess they don’t matter in Obama’s world.

But I digress. I’m saving this horoscope and pulling it out every time someone finally sees what I saw during the primary season: The Emperor has no clothes.

Posted by: Joolz2u | November 26, 2008

Send In The Clowns

Many moons ago I worked in the advertising department (a.k.a. “Sales Promotion”) at Macy’s Herald Square. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to be in the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and my first year I got to be a clown.

As I waited uptown with my group of clowns (pushing giant wooden TV cameras… yeah, we were the original media circus) for the procession to start , I noticed a little girl on her dad’s shoulders freaking out at all the garishly-clad, brightly-made-up clowns milling about. The parents were getting frustrated, fearing they would have to leave and disappoint their older child. I went over to the family, not too close, and held out one of the balloons  I was holding (mylar, not the big-ass Snoopy kind), and the little girl calmed down and cautiously reached out for it. I gave the other one to the older sibling. The little girl was dazzled by the shiny balloon and started smiling. The parents were so thankful. In true clown fashion, I didn’t say a word, just smiled and waved.

Now, what you may not realize when you watch the parade on TV is that it is one LONG freaking walk from the starting point down to Herald Square! Oh, and those marching bands only play one song. Over and over and over. It’s not one non-stop march, either. Every time there’s a performance in front of the store, the rest of the parade has to stop and wait for it to finish before moving on again, so depending on what your character is, you’ve got something different to do so you’re not just standing around during the pauses. We had a choreographed clown dance to entertain the parade-goers, and it was a lot of fun, but believe me, by the time we hit 34th Street, I was wiped out.

When we reached the end of the line we had to go in a special entrance to the store and go up to the special events floor to return our costumes. I was a little sad to turn in my gold lame clown suit and my semi-bald, orange-haired wig, but it was time to go freshen up and trek out to my in-laws on Long Island.

I headed for the subway to go back uptown to my brother-in-law’s apartment to shower and change, since it was closer and easier than going home. I sat down on the train and waited for it to go. I started to notice people staring at me, some of them (clearly tourists) even smiling at me. Now, this is NYC… people just don’t randomly smile at other people on the subway. But once the train started moving and we entered the tunnel I caught sight of myself in the window and realized why: I had forgotten to take off my clown make-up. :o)

Posted by: Joolz2u | November 11, 2008

The Dream Police

I had the most disturbing dream last night. I woke up feeling unsettled and I couldn’t go back to sleep. I lay there replaying the dream and it really didn’t take much to figure out the symbolism.

In my dream world, I hadn’t registered to vote when I moved south. I had to travel back to New York to cast my vote. When I got there it was dark and the polling place was in a warehouse in a very industrial area (rather than the very nice high school where it was located in reality). There was a long line of people waiting to be checked in. I took my place in line and looked around.

The actual voting machines were on a platform at the top of a long black iron spiral staircase.  When the curtains reopened after the voters had cast their ballots, some were embraced by poll workers and lead to a celebration area with Obama posters, balloons, comfy couches, refreshments and a huge, movie-theater-sized television showing election coverage on MSNBC. Other voters were lead to one or another of a series of doors behind the voting machines. Some came out, went back in the voting booth, and when the curtain re-opened, they were lead over to the celebration area. Others never came out at all.

Finally it was my turn at the check-in table. The woman asked for my name and address. I gave it to her. She found me in the book and smiled. “Democrat, I see.” The question made me uncomfortable. “Yes,” I replied. “I’m still a registered Democrat.” “Good,” she replied and told me to wave my hand under a black light and then press my thumb on an electronic device. I did so, and asked her why that was necessary. She reassuringly explained that the system would retain my thumbprint along with my name as a way of ensuring that I didn’t vote twice. I felt a little more confident until she whispered, “Of course, you’d only have to do that the first time.”

The first time? My confusion must have showed because she nodded over at another table, where a man was checking in. The man at with the registration book found the man’s name, smiled at him, asked him to wave his hand under the black light and then nodded for him to go  ahead to the staircase to join the voting line. “So I can vote again?” I asked quietly. “Well, I didn’t say that officially,” she whispered. “But we have to make sure this turns out the right way.”

She chose from two stamps and placed an invisible mark on the back of my hand, then told me to go join the line.  I slowly made my way up the spiral staircase. As I got to the top I was greeted by a man dressed all in black. He asked for my ID so I handed him my driver’s license. He nodded off to the side and started walking, so I followed him.

“This isn’t a New York driver’s license,” he said.

“I know. I never changed my voter registration after I moved, so I had to come back here to vote.”

He instructed me to wave my hand under the black light, which I did. An Obama symbol glowed on my skin. The man smiled and said “No problem. And make sure you go through the line a few more times tonight so we can be sure this turns out the right way.”

Before I could respond he lead me over to a voting machine and walked away. I grasped the handle and pulled the curtain closed. As I looked up at my choices, I noticed that Barak Obama’s lever was automatically down. I tried to move it back up so I could choose John McCain, but it wouldn’t budge. I tried pushing McCain’s lever, thinking it would force Obama’s back up. I couldn’t choose McCain. It wouldn’t go down. I stuck my head out from between the curtains and motioned for a poll worker to come over.

“There’s something wrong with this machine,” I explained to the black-clad woman. “I can’t move the levers in the Presidential race.”

“Just a moment,” she said calmly. “Let me get someone.”

She walked away and I pulled my head back into the voting booth. I eyed the candidates up for election, and recognized many of the names. I flipped the levers for the ones I knew, and picked women for the ones I didn’t. After a moment an arm reached in between the curtains and pulled me out. It was the man in black. The woman grabbed me and pulled me away as the man went into the booth. I heard the handle being pulled back and saw the curtains open right before the door shut in my face.

We were in a closet-like space with a red light like the ones you might find in a darkroom. She pushed me to the floor and perched on a stool, looking down at me with a blank expression and anger in her eyes. “What do you think you’re doing?” she demanded.

“I was just trying to vote,” I said.

“No, what were you doing trying to vote for McCain? You were cleared as a Democrat.”

“Just because I’m registered as a Democrat doesn’t mean I have to vote for Obama.”

“What are you talking about? It’s your duty to vote for him. You have to help make sure this turns out right.”

“But it’s none of anybody’s business who I vote for. This is still the USA.”

“You need to let go of all that. Electing Obama is the only thing that matters. Now I’ll give you one more chance to do your duty.”

She grabbed my arm roughly and pulled me off the floor, shoving me out the door. I knew I couldn’t vote for Obama and if I tried to vote McCain I’d be one of the people who never came back out of that little room. I took off running and found a door at the end of the celebration area. I had to go down a long iron staircase outside of the building and I could hear the footsteps behind me. I ran down the alley towards the street and then just kept running, ducking down sidestreets and through open alleys. The last alleyway I ran through ended up in the courtyard of an apartment building, and there was no way out but the way I came.

I started knocking on back doors to the ground floor apartments, until one finally opened. It was one of my current co-workers, who also happens to be a native New Yorker. I ran into her apartment and ducked into the closet. She pulled the door open and said, “Julie! What the hell is going on?”

I told her I had gone to vote and that now people were chasing me. She stepped inside the closet, pulled the chain to the lightbulb overhead and closed the door. “You tried to vote for McCain, didn’t you?”

I felt trapped. “Yes,” I admitted.

“Look, I sympathize with you. But you gotta understand what’s going on out there. I wanted McCain, too, but when I realized they had the machines rigged, I knew what was happening. Sometimes it’s just easier to go along. You can stay here, but if they come for you I can’t put my family at risk.”

Just then I heard pounding on the door and my heart started beating so fast that I woke up.

I was completely agitated and it took me a few moments to calm down and understand that I had only been dreaming. I guess what disturbed me so much was the idea that this felt more like a premonition than a dream. “Geez,” I thought. “Talk about the Dream Police.”

I needed to write about it. I needed to get the Dream Police out of my head. 

Posted by: Joolz2u | November 7, 2008

Walking the Plank

A few weeks ago I was watching the movie “A Walk To Remember” with my daughter. In the beginning there is a scene where a bunch of teens coax another teen, Clay,  to a drainage pond for a sort of initiation. If Clay climbs to the top of a high platform and jumps into the water, then he gets to be part of their group of friends. The teen is nervous, so the main male character, Landon, climbs the platform with him and tells him they will jump together. They count to three and, as expected, only Clay makes the jump while Landon and his friends laugh at the teen’s fear and naivete.

During that scene I had a flash of memory. It was a long-forgotten incident that happened when I was around 11 years old. It was summer and very hot. I was at a friend’s house and she had a small, above-ground pool that was around 4 feet deep. My friend, her sisters, cousin, another friend and myself were all playing in the pool. They decided that we should play a game and try to do push-ups under water. We did this a few times and would come up laughing at how hard it was to do.

On the last attempt, my head came slightly out of the water and just before I went under again I heard the other friend say, “Come on, stop it. It’s not funny anymore.” I opened my eyes under the water and realized that I was the only one doing this. And I had been the only one doing it all along. That was the first time I had experienced the feeling of real betrayal. I was hurt and embarrassed, and although I let it go and remained friends with this girl, I never completely trusted her again.

For some reason that incident came back to me in my last moments of dreaming this morning. I woke up and wondered why on earth my subconscious would pull that back up. Then in my sleepy state the word “Republicans” floated through my head. I put the pieces together and realized that a post from another blog had stuck in my head:

In that post were the election day statistics broken down by party. Turns out that the number of voters who turned out in 2008 was only slightly larger than the number who showed up in 2004, in direct contradiction of the mainstream media accounts of historically massive voter turnout. Yes, there were millions of new registered voters, most of them Democrats. But if you look at the breakdown by party, there you will find the surprising news that all those newly registered voters simply replaced the Republicans who didn’t bother to show up this year.

Why should that bother me, an Independent? Because I wasn’t always an Independent. Until June of ’08 I was a Democrat. I left the party over the fraud of the primary and convention, and became a hardened PUMA. I strained friendships with my refusal to support Obama. I fought a constant battle to get my children to look beyond the Obama propaganda spewed by their friends. I found myself at complete odds with the Feminist icons I once respected.  It would have been so much easier to just let it all go and jump on the Kool-Aid wagon and become an Obot. I just couldn’t do it.

I had to be true to myself and to my principles. I couldn’t condone corruption. I couldn’t endorse virulent misogyny. I couldn’t pretend I didn’t see the empty suit with the engaging smile. I could not compromise myself for a party that so easily cast me away. So I contemplated John McCain and Sarah Palin. I didn’t agree with all of their policies, but they were respectable, accomplished, strong people who walked the walk of their convictions. They had resumes I could check, achievements that could be publicly verified and a reputation for taking on their own party. Not my first choice, but I certainly could sleep at night with them at the helm.

So I voted my conscience. I took that leap of faith off the platform and hit the water hard. When I came up for air, Obama was President-elect, and the Republicans were nowhere to be seen. It was that same sense of betrayal I had felt over 30 years ago as I stood in the pool, looking at those kids laughing at me and my silly naivete. I lost friends and fought with family. I stood my ground and defended McCain and Palin, working for the first time in my adult life to elect a Republican to the White House and McCain’s own party stayed home.

In four years we will have another election. If Obama is once again the Democratic nominee, I will not vote for him. But unless the Republicans nominate Sarah Palin in the top spot, I will be hard-pressed to ever again vote for that party. They had the chance to reach out and form an alliance for the betterment of the country, and instead they stood on the shore and laughed.

Posted by: Joolz2u | November 5, 2008

Getting Over It

Don’t tell me to get over it. There is no “getting over it”. Fraud and misogyny and corruption were rewarded last night, and yet people are celebrating. Black Panthers with Billy clubs stood outside a polling place to intimidate voters, and yet people are celebrating. Gay people in California have fewer rights than stray animals, and yet people are celebrating.

This is a hollow “victory” for the Democratic party, but they don’t realize it yet. Everything they accused the Republicans of doing in 2000, they have done this year. In pursuit of a warm, fuzzy, feel-good moment, they have placed our country in the hands of a fraudulent, corrupt opportunist who no more represents the struggle of generations of African Americans than I do.

The Democrats have jettisoned their most loyal base: women. They don’t need us, except to sit down, shut up and support the men. We are too old, not nearly hip and trendy enough to count in the “new coalition”. We are old-school Feminists who believe that women – ALL WOMEN – deserve respect for their achievements. We have the nerve to be offended that two strong, accomplished, intelligent women were treated worse than whores by the Party. The Democrats have stooped to viciousness, lies and election fraud and yet people are celebrating.

Don’t tell me to get over it. There is no “getting over it”.

Posted by: Joolz2u | November 4, 2008

Election Day ’08

This has been the worst political season I can remember. I have witnessed election fraud live on television. I have had to leave my party of over 25 years. I have had a political epiphany which has left me on the opposite side of the voting machine from friends and family for the first time ever. Except for my parents… that’s a given. I have felt the pressure to capitulate and support a corrupt, inferior candidate. I have been called a racist, all the while watching sexism and vicious misogyny run rampant. I have watched as otherwise thoughtful and intelligent friends have donned political blinders and eschewed truth and reason in the quest for a warm, fuzzy, “teachable moment” (h/t to RD); for a chance to show how open-minded and progressive they are by voting for the African American candidate, despite the fact that he has a razor-thin resume and precious little real experience.

I have become a PUMA and it has been the most difficult, yet oddly the most liberating metamorphosis for me. I have stepped back from partisan politics and really looked at the candidates. In John McCain I have found a man of personal honor, honesty and conviction; a man who is not afraid to challenge his party when he knows it is the right thing to do. John McCain looked around and saw a group of voters who had been disenfranchised by their own party: women. He said “I see you and I hear you and I value you.” John McCain had the courage to choose a woman as his running mate, and the strength of character to accept that at times this woman would outshine him.

Some say that it was political pandering. The sheer hypocrisy of this statement is mind-boggling. The Democrats jettisoned the best, most qualified candidate they had, Hillary Clinton, in order to court the African-American community and the Whole Foods crowd who felt that electing a symbol was more important than electing the most capable candidate.

Do I agree with McCain/Palin on all issues. HELL NO! But at least I know what their positions are and they are steady in their convictions. While Obama has flip-flopped like a trout on a pier on major policy positions, McCain has remained resolute. In the end it comes down to a question of trust, and McCain/Palin with their clear-cut positions and Libertarian bent are people I trust. This may come back to bite me in the ass, but I can only vote my convictions.

At the end of the day, it made me sad to register as “Unaffiliated”, because despite the fact that I usually vote by candidate not party anyway, I have always been, at heart, a moderate Democrat. I have never, ever voted for a Republican in the Presidential race, until early voting started this year. I pushed the button next to McCain/Palin and stared at it for a good, long time before I finalized my vote. It was easy, yet bittersweet. It was the moment I finally accepted that my former party really didn’t want me. I am not a lemming. I never have been. But that’s who I was asked to be: a blind follower who asks no questions and takes everything shoveled at me as the truth.

Obama frightens me and his followers frighten me. His desire for a “Civilian National Security Force” sounds a little too close to the Gestapo or the Stasi for me. His attempts to use law enforcement and the court system in Missouri to silence his opponents is chilling. He has so clearly laid out his plans to silence dissent, yet so many people still blindly follow him. Have we really learned nothing from the past?

So, the long and the short of it is that I voted for McCain/Palin, Pat McCrory and the rest were either Democrats or women from either party. We need more women in government. All I can do is hope that if they win, McCain/Palin will not betray the trust that PUMA’s have placed in them. 

Required reading:

Sister Mary Riverdaughter Explains It All For You.


Better than I could have said it!

The Department of Homegirl Security

Hillary Clinton made a major policy speech yesterday.  She’s running for president of the United States.  Every time she opens her mouth – and she has a pretty mouth that says smart things that some people sometimes dislike – somebody has something to say about how she sounds.  Seems it is never “just right.”

This popped up in my newsfeed which pretty concisely packages the issue.

03/23/2016 06:09 pm ET

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Posted by: Joolz2u | February 13, 2015

Revisiting Holocaust Liberation: Paradoxical Propaganda?

Take Five

During an official tour of the newly liberated Ohrdruf concentration camp, an Austrian Jewish survivor describes to General Dwight Eisenhower and the members of his entourage the use of the gallows in the camp. Credit: National Archives and Records Administration, College Park United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of David Wherry During an official tour of the newly liberated Ohrdruf concentration camp, an Austrian Jewish survivor describes to General Dwight Eisenhower and the members of his entourage the use of the gallows in the camp. Credit: National Archives and Records Administration, College Park United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of David Wherry

In the introduction to his article, “The Paradoxes of Propaganda,” John Brown discusses a rather famous Nazi-era film—widely considered to be propaganda—called Triumph of the Will. Propaganda is one of those terms that often get lumped in with public diplomacy, but in fact there are key differences, both in their purpose and practice.

Today, propaganda is nearly used as a pejorative, a one-sided tool to persuade publics through manipulation, symbols and tricky language. Public diplomacy, on the other hand, is a means of explanation (without necessarily feeding conclusions), and can involve not only an output, but a…

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Posted by: Joolz2u | June 8, 2008

The Fairness Doctrine

I spent a semester in England back in 1985. I was a Broadcast Communications major and the opportunity to study British broadcasting was one of the reasons I chose the college I did. At one point, we had to write a research paper comparing some facet of broadcasting between the British and American systems. I chose to write about the Fairness Doctrine.

What is the Fairness Doctrine? The Museum of Broadcast Communications explains:

The policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission that became known as the “Fairness Doctrine” is an attempt to ensure that all coverage of controversial issues by a broadcast station be balanced and fair. The FCC took the view, in 1949, that station licensees were “public trustees,” and as such had an obligation to afford reasonable opportunity for discussion of contrasting points of view on controversial issues of public importance. The Commission later held that stations were also obligated to actively seek out issues of importance to their community and air programming that addressed those issues. With the deregulation sweep of the Reagan Administration during the 1980s, the Commission dissolved the fairness doctrine.

The Brits didn’t have any such thing, and couldn’t really understand why I was so concerned with the FCC’s efforts to do away with it. It was this nagging dread that wouldn’t go away. I was obsessed with Mark Fowler (Reagan-appointed Chariman of the FCC) and his partners in evil who would conspire to rid the United States of government-enforced balance. I just knew in my heart of hearts that, try as they might to hide behind the First Amendment, the truth of the matter was those villainous Reaganites were really hell-bent on world domination. He who controls the airwaves, controls the minds of the masses.

Naturally, I was pretty much alone in my concerns over this seemingly small matter. And why, you may wonder, would I even think of it 23 years later? What would pluck good old Mark Fowler out of the deep recesses of my mind lo these many years hence? The Democratic Primary.

See, back in the olden days, say, when I was a kid, if a tv station sold a 30-second political ad to one politician, they had to sell a 30-second ad spot to his competitor. And if the competitor couldn’t afford the same number of ads as the first guy, then the first guy had to scale back to keep the playing field level. In addition, the Fairness Doctrine included under its umbrella of balance news programs, interviews and documentaries.

In terms of today, that would mean that Obama could not outspend Hillary by 4:1 in blanketing a market with political ads. And if Oprah were to, say, dedicate an entire hour to Obama (delicately skirting the prohibition of corporate donations), she would also have to offer an entire hour to Hillary. And McCain. And whoever the hell else might still be in the race. And if NBC ran an interview with Obama, they’d also have to run one with Hillary. And the interviews would have to be neutral and balanced. No network could blatantly favor one candidate over another. Of course, these regulations did not apply to cable, so Chris Matthews could still spew his misogynist garbage, but that’s another topic for another day.

I’ve wondered a lot lately how things would have turned out had we had the Fairness Doctrine in place during this primary. One thing I do know: the Democratic primary has proven the Republicans right: whoever controls the media controls the masses. 

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