Thursday, January 25, 2007

Patriotism IS Dissent


"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else.

But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

"Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star", 149May 7, 1918

> Source

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Two Posts in One

1. On Convergence

Me, to Little One: "Can you tell Mommy what a computer is?"

Little One: "A computer is what we watch things on."

2. On Princesses and the Relentless Use of Male Pronouns

Although I was initially appalled by and resistant to the Princess Industrial Complex, I now think it's something of a good thing, in that the Princess world is one place -- and, to my knowledge, the only place -- where Lttle Girls totally Rule.

Why does that matter?

Well, because Lttle Girls don't rule in most other places; in fact they barely exist.

We were reading a pile of Winnie the Pooh books after a long hard day of playing Princess, when it dawned on me that while the books are sweet and harmless on the outside, they are filled with the relentless and unending use of male pronouns on the inside.

Every last character, from the bear and the kangaroo to the donkey and the owl -- plus, in this sequel, the frog -- was male, male, male, male, male.

He said this.

He did that.

He, this.

He, that.

So I decided that Princesses are at least an alternative to that.

At least until Her Majesty threw a fit because I opened her cheesestick at variance with her instructions.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now

Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence
By Rev. Martin Luther King 4 April 1967
Speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City

Somehow this madness must cease.

We must stop now.

I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam.

I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted.

I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in Vietnam.

I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken.

I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation.

The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours.

This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. Recently one of them wrote these words:

"Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the heart of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism."