Archive for August 30, 2009

Death of respected friend(s)…

DeeTee From DeeTee: Can I call someone I don’t know, and never even met, a ‘friend’?  Well, it’s my blog, so I can if I want to… 😉

When I went online Wednesday (8/26/09) and read that Senator Edward Kennedy had died, I was greatly saddened.  Yes, he was a flawed man; let the (wo)man among us who is NOT somehow flawed speak now or forever hold his/her peace.  But in his favor:  he fought for causes he believed in; he worked to pass legislation that benefitted Americans from all parties; he worked in bi-partisan fashion in order to do this; he was not a mud-slinging, name-calling modern politician intolerant of all ideas not his own (see “Dear Fellow Republican” post).

From everything I’ve read over the years, Sen. Kennedy battled his inner demons, sometimes winning and sometimes not.  But how fortunate for all of us that he endured despite his imperfections and continued to fight for just causes.  I hope that it’s for this he will be remembered the most.

Can I call a newspaper a respected friend?  Well, why not…

The Chicago Tribune is the paper I’ve considered my respected friend for many, many years.  As a child, it was the Chicago Sun Times; once Rupert Murdoch took over that paper and Mike Royko (my all-time hero) jumped ship to the Trib, I followed suit.

And while I’ve often disagreed with what I’ve perceived as the Trib’s Republican-slanted editorials over the years, I’ve never questioned their integrity as a paper… until last September (2008), but that part will be in a separate post so I don’t overwhelm the reader.

For now, let’s just say that when I returned from a week out-of-town last September, I felt like Rip Van Winkle when, at the airport, I picked up a free copy of the “NEW FORMAT!!” Trib:  screaming headlines, melodramatic photos, large ads — but very little NEWS — how had this happened in the one week I’d been away?

Again, more on this in an upcoming post.  Suffice to say that in one year’s time, the Tribune changed from a well-respected newspaper to an ad-filled, news-empty, sensationalist tabloid.  There are still many columnists and reporters at the Trib whose work I respect, but I have to slug through all the garbage to get to them… and what was once an activity I truly enjoyed — buying and reading the paper — has become something I do reluctantly, out of habit — out of respect for what once was; in my grieving process, I’m stuck in the Anger, Denial, and Bargaining stages — I just don’t want to admit the truth, to call it a day, to pay my respects at the gravesite.

Case in point:  When Michael Jackson died (6/25/09, I believe), I picked up the Trib  the next day and WOW!  It was like the “Michael Jackson Newspaper”!  — as if nothing else newsworthy had happened in the world!  Page after page of MJ coverage.  Page after page that said nothing new, just re-hashed the old so the MJ junkies could maintain their MJ-high.  Yes, it was on all the TV stations, Internet sites, etc. — but I guess I still expected my Trib to report NEWS as well.

Now, back to Senator Kennedy.  I bought the Trib on the day of his death, and there was a large picture on the front page — that’s what they do now, have one picture cover the entire front page, it must save on ink somehow — of Sen. Kennedy’s face, and when I peeled off the “Save big” coupon, underneath it read “‘Liberal lion’ of American politics dies”– with a reference to page 32.

So… I slogged through thirty-odd pages of adds, news “blurbs” — it’s a rare story that’s printed these days — and there it was, on page 32, in the thin “Nation & World” section:  a one-page story on Kennedy’s death.

WOW.  So as not to judge too quickly, I also bought the Thursday (8/27) paper to see if more articles on Kennedy would surface.  Yes:  p. 2, John Kass’s requisite “end of Camelot” take; p. 3, some Twitter quotes;  and in “Nation & World,” four whole pages  containing large pictures and small articles about Sen. Kennedy’s death, impact on policies today, etc. 

Since then, to be fair, there have been other articles and editorials.  Nothing like the MJ coverage, but then again… who’s the greater celebrity?  (Please note the subtle sarcasm:  “celebrity,” not “newsworthy person.”)

And so I mourn a number of deaths this week, and somehow hope the world not only survives, but gets back on track…

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August 30, 2009 at 4:39 pm 1 comment

‘Dear fellow Republican’…

DeeTee From DeeTee:  Although I’m a life-long Democrat, the above heading was what began the letter I received from Congressman John Boehner (R-Ohio), along with a hate-mongering survey — “This official Census of America’s Republican Leadership was prepared specifically for you by the NRCC [National Republican Congressional Committee] in conjunction with the House Republican Conference in Washington, DC” — for me to fill out and return.

Initially I planned simply to shred it… but upon further contemplation, I decided to fill it out and return, since the Republicans obviously value my opinion.  Below you will see some of the questions, quoted word for word, that I was asked to complete, along with some of my ‘answers’:

General Question #1: “Do you believe the Obama Administration and Nancy Pelosi’s soft-on-defense, reckless spending, higher taxes, and expansive Big Government policies are the right leadership for America?”  [I believe that’s what them lawyer-types call a LEADING question.]

Choices for reply were Yes, No, or Undecided.  I crossed out the leading words so that the question now read:  Do you believe the Obama Administration and Nancy Pelosi’s policies are the right leadership for America?” and answered Yes.

Another favorite, #3, asked me to check issues “Republicans should fight hardest for.”  Choices included border security; traditional marriage; balanced budget; right to life; etc.  Under “Other” I added:  “Giving Obama a fair chance”; “Cooperating w/Dems, using common sense for the good of our country”; “getting rid of right-wing extremists”; etc.  (I’m so glad they asked!)

Under “Domestic Issues,” #16 read:  “Is it important for the GOP to support marriage as a sacred union between one man and one woman?”  That one I checked Undecided and wrote:  “By this do you mean that high-profile Republican politicians should stop visiting prostitutes and seeking ‘soul mates’ outside of marriage?”

#17, which asked if we should “resist the Democrats’ plans for government rationed health care…” I queried:  “What are you talking about?  Have you not read the proposals?”

I answered a definite No to #19, “Do you believe it is important to remove Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House?” and asked, “How do  you plan to do this, throw a government coup???”

I think you get the gist.  The survey also asked me to contribute financially “to help expand this Census Project to an additional 10,000,000 Republican voters nationwide.”  Unfortunately I’m not able to help financially at this time. 😉

It saddens me to think that this misleading piece-of-caca survey is actually being sent to unsuspecting Americans, and that a real congressman — that’s Mr. John Boehner, folks — would attach his name to a letter that, in part, reads:  “Their [Obama admin & Ms. Pelosi] ideas range from bad to disgraceful, and collectively their leadership represents a left-wing lurch towards socialism and ‘Big Brother’ federal control over nearly every facet of American life.”

My next post will deal somewhat with the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy, and to what I see as the impending death of civility, fairness, and a willingness to work together for the common good.  I cry for those who would undermine our nation with mean-spirited lies, merely so they can ‘take control’ of the political arena once more.  I’d think people would be ashamed to associate their names with such viscious exaggerations and lies.

Time to mail in my survey in the included “no postage necessary” envelope…

August 30, 2009 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment


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