June 27th, 2005


what is the problem we all live with?

my mom used to braid my hair just like ruby bridges' & put me in sweet little dresses, just like ruby's. every easter we got a new set of sunday best with new shoes, new bows & bowties. and every year my mom arranged us in front of the piano with our new outfits & easter baskets & took a picture of us. i think it was a white person who first told me i sounded white. my mom: an english teacher with a french cookbook & a bottle of chanel N°5.

robert byrd has been part of the political landscape longer than i (or even ruby) have been around. he isn't the problem we all live with. he's not something i tolerate or accept — he is the fabric of american life & politics.

in 2001 it was difficult reading the response to barbara lee's dissenting vote. recently i've revisted this & started thinking of counting the cost: For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

only one elected christian official counted the cost & nobody liked the number she came up with. Issues Facing Our Troops | Susan Sontag, The New Yorker, September 24, 2001.

i was born in nashville tennessee about 270 miles from atlanta. there are three morehouse men in my family. the first president i voted for was jimmy carter. christopher hitchens' recent article in vanity fair sums things up nicely:

"He tore down the throne of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1979 and humiliated the United States. His supporters seized the American Embassy and kept 52 members of its staff prisoner for 444 days. The seismic repercussions of this event led to the fall of Carter, the rise of Reagan, the invasion of Iran by Saddam Hussein, and quite possibly the occupation of Afghanistan by the Red Army. It moved us from the age of the Red Menace to the epoch of Holy War. It was, at one and the same time, a genuine revolution and an authentic counterrevolution."

ok. maybe i can work up some forgiveness over reagan, but what about Atefeh Rajabi? what strange fruit. (Why the Mullahs Murdered Atefeh Rajabi, Number one). i must admit hitchens' article helped me discover my inner warmonger & it's taken me a couple of weeks to deal with the idea of an American Embassy in Iran. what importunity. america isn't easy ... we have our share of splodey-dopers, but most of us have learned to deal with things in less violent ways. wherein, hopefully, byrd's former K3 activity can be filed & forgotten with lee's former communist activity.

Alone on the Hill | Taking a stand against Iraq war | Barbara Lee | Barbara Lee (D-CA): Statement in Opposition to H.J. Res. 64 (alternatively S.J. Res. 23) Authorizing Military Force to Those Responsible for the Terrorist Acts | H.J.RES.64 | American Rhetoric | Barbara Lee: Public Enemy Number One? | Pacifism as the Pragmatic End-in-View of Just War Theory | National Day of Prayer and Rememberance | Remembering | Congress approves resolution authorizing force | Experts: Bush could act without Congress | A Lone Voice of Dissent | Dissent, Anyone? | The Threat from Within | A Disgrace to the House | Barbara Lee and Limbaugh … eye to eye at last | Barbara Lee and Limbaugh … eye to eye at last (barf) | Horowitz's Notepad: An Enemy Within | Lone House dissenter's extremist history | "Progressive" America-Haters | Barbara Lee is All Wet | Totally Radical! | Claudia Bermudez: A Fighter Takes on Barbara Lee | 3,000 Supporters Thank Congressperson Barbara Lee at rally | News and Articles on Barbara Lee | Dumping Barbara Lee

i saw my first norman rockwell painting when i was young & love his paintings: the gossips, the runaway, the four freedoms & everything else. he painted us & i was part of this us & i'm grateful that he saw me. occasionally, i get out my big norman rockwell book (this painting is on the cover), flip the pages slowly & see the america he saw & painted. his "vivid and affectionate portraits of our country".

i was living in nashville during desert storm & knew the wife of commander so-and-so. that's when i learned about the screaming eagles — the 101st Airborne Division — where every man is the indispensable means for obtaining the goal of victory. the same division that held Bastogne in WWII. whose commander said "fuck you" to the germans. the same division deployed to Little Rock, Arkansas. this is the casuality list for the 101st Airborne Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

why are we still in iraq? still don't see any wmds in saddam's bvds. how did the search for weapons of mass destruction change to a fight for democracy? what kind of democracy? whose democracy?

the response to terrorism cannot be just a retaliatory response. it cannot only be offensive. i'm getting a huge disconnect between ensuring someone else's democracy with american lives & resources that could be deployed elsewhere.

Keeping Cargo Safe: Container Security Initiative | Container Security Initiative (CSI) US Customs' Container Security Initiative — Jawaharlal Nehru port to be boxed in first | Port Security Still Flawed | Congressional investigators find flaws in port security | National Maritime Security | Inspector General Says Homeland Security Struggling With Port Security

gee whiz. this post just rambles don't it? :)

[6:31 PM 8/20/2011] :: Ruby Bridges visits with the President and her portrait on July 15, 2011. Bridges is the girl portrayed in the painting. » "The Problem We All Live With" - The Truth About Rockwell's Painting