Former columnist for the Los Angeles Post Examiner, the Baltimore Post Examiner, and Gatehouse News Service

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Contact for CBS...send a thank you email

Hi all,

Happy week-end! I have four loads of laundry waiting, and I suppose I should continue to take down Christmas (okay, and Thanksgiving, and maybe even Halloween) decorations, but first have to let you know that if you want to thank CBS for their recent Superbowl advertising decisions*, you can send an email to:

Chris Ender
Senior VP, Communications, CBS Television
cender@cbs.com

People who are against these decisions will certainly be contacting him, so let's let him know that CBS has support for these recent decisions.

* CBS is airing a pro-life ad during the Superbowl featuring Tim Tebow, a college QB with a great story about his mom choosing against abortion when pregnant with him. CBS then turned down an ad request from a gay dating service, who wanted to run a Superbowl ad as well.

Let CBS know you appreciate them with a nice email!

Got to go; I see a wreath I forgot to take down. Maybe I'll just make some paper hearts and slap them on it, and it will be a "Valentine's wreath"!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Changed My Mind

I agree with the Supremes after reading more about their recent decision on campaign funding by corporations and unions (see below); I now agree with the decision. Had to read a little more; that's all!

Thursday Afternoon Analysis - Being Late is What Makes It Special!

So everywhere you look, there is an analysis of the State of the Union address. How do I, your Average Joe correspondant, think he did?

Some things stood out for me - namely, criticizing the Supremes (Supreme Court justices, that is), bringing up healthcare at all except in a "what I've learned" context, and President Obama's tone - HE IS STILL CAMPaiGNING!!! I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!! WHAT THE HECK???

Okay, whew, that's over with. Let's talk respect, when we talk about the first item. In the same way that I was horrified (although not as horrified as Nancy Pelosi; her neck was on a spring for that one!) when Republican Joe Wilson yelled out "Liar!" during the President's last big speech in that great room, I was horrified that the President took the Supremes to task, with them right in front of him. I agreed with one Supreme, Justice Alito, who shook his head and looked disgusted; he clearly disagreed with the President, and I was wondering if that was in part because he was disrespecting them on the national stage. However, I do agree with the President on this one; I think that corporate and union money should stay out of elections. But to diss the Supremes - not cool.

Next, the President seemed defiant on healthcare, vowing to push forward on items even if they are unpopular. Massachusetts had the honor of speaking for the nation with a resounding referendum on healthcare when we voted Republican Scott Brown in. The President needs to hear his people - not now on healthcare, Or, slowly. Very slowly.

The last item on my correspondant's list: the President's soaring rhetoric is wearing thin, and not just with me. Look at the poll numbers. I am actually getting nervous that he cannot lead us; that he just doesn't have the stuff. That is a terrible thought. Hopefully, this talented young man will listen to "we, the People," take a humble pill, and call us in the morning with a changed agenda and a changed focus...or we are in BIG trouble.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cruisin' to the shores of...Haiti?

Good morning,

One thing on the ol' noggin this morning, as I worked out at the gym and tried to stay in a positive frame of mind, considering what the blogging would be about today. I think it's important to think about the blog when I'm also doing something else - that way, you don't go dry in your topic choice, but write about what hoepfully the bulk of people might be thinking about. So, what's on my mind:

Haiti. Cruise ships are pulling up to the shores of Haiti, about 200 miles from Port-au-Prince, where more than 150,000 people (maybe more) have lost their lives; many still crushed under buildings. People from these ships are sun-bathing and relaxing, having a break from their normal lives. They have paid good money for their vacation. Many Haitians say "Let them come; without them, we don't eat tonight." What is right? It seems appalling to sunbathe near such tragedy. So, I think what I would do is: get off the ship and decide to get to Port-au-Prince and help out. Hold a baby, move some rubble, whatever. A working vacation - maybe the most meaningful "break" I've ever had. But would I judge someone who didn't choose this? No. Perhaps many of those sunbathers have suffered a hard year themselves - divorce, death, marginalization in it's many hurtful shapes - who knows. Life is strange and tragedy takes many forms - some brutal, like an earthquake, and some very subtle, like heartbreak. Who is to judge. What would you do? And would you judge someone who was relaxing that close to horrific tragedy?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Getting the Bloggity Going... We Want You!

Getting a blog started, with reliable visitors who 1)bookmark your blog and 2)frequently comment, is a challenge. But after seeking out all different types of bloggers who cover many different types of things, it seems that the consensus is...once you get going, a blog just keeps going; the familiarity is established, and the blog has a life.

So, I promise to offer posts that have been carefully thought through, or links that I think will edify, enlighten, entertain, or amuse. I am going to keep the format and the blog itself simple, so that hopefully it will be a relaxing place to visit. What can you do, and what else could you get in return?

Here's the deal:
Leave five comments on five seperate posts of mine here at the Blend, wthin two weeks time. If you do (and you don't have to agee with me, either, in your comments!) I will send you a free autographed copy of my first book, Exhausted Rapunzel - Tales of Modern Castle Life, a collection of funny family essays on raising a family - perfect for a new baby gift, or any gift at all.

So, go to it! Bookmark the site, and start commenting!

Deirdre

Senators Call for Terrorist to be Handed Over to Military

Two U.S. senators are urging the Justice Departent to transfer custody of the "Underpants Bomber" to the military court system immediately, removing him from our civilian courts where he is provided full protection under the law. This is the terrorist that tried to bring a Detroit-bound jetliner down (or up; he was going to blow it, himself, an everyone else to smithereens)and was apparently talking and giving information prior to being given his Miranda rights, at which time he did his best clam imitation and said no more of use to our intelligence officials.

Initially talking about the attack, his terrorism training, and the involvement of Al Queda in the failed attack, this terrorist realized that it was "his right" not to give anything away, and after being read his rights, said no more. He had just been given proper medical treatment for his wounds, and now, as you read this, has three squares a day in jail and a bed to sleep in. His victims, should he have been successful, would not have as much right now, as they would be...dead. How in the heck are we going to stay safe in this dangerous world treating those that would harm us in this way?

Senator Lieberman (Connecticut - Independent) and Senator Collins (Maine - Repubublican) have called on the administration, which, incidentally, now admits that we are at war, to act as if we are at war and transfer this enemy combatant to the military courts for his trial. There is enough eyewitness testimony to convict him, and the administration can certainly make this transfer freely and with just cause, and send the signal that this is what will happen to you should you try to harm one hair on an American citizen's head.

The Obama administration should set this in motion immediately, so that President Obama can report that he has done so at tomorrow evening's "State of the Union" address. At this address if he were to 1)acknowledge the Massachusetts victory of Scott Brown in the U.S. Senate race and what it has taught him (signalling that he is open to being taught), 2)report that terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmultallab is being transferred to military custody and 3) show a real outline for a plan to stimulate job growth, then we might all feel empowered enough to believe that real change can come about in this Adminstration. The rhetoric has go to go; we need jobs and security, and we need them now. We're looking to you, Mr. President!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Nite Inspiration Bite

Hi,
Read this. Inspiring; we all matter. Veterans must go to a special section of Heaven, I think.

When in Doubt, Campaign It Out


The President has problems.  Low approval numbers, an unfocused to-do list, and a ringing win by Republican Scott Brown here in Massachusetts.  Still he presses on with healthcare: he vowed to continue the fight, and asked the American people to "stay with him,"

The President has every right to hit the streets and try to pump up his agenda - and his image.  But if you really believe in something, do you just keep at it, pushing forward and working quietly, or do you...keep talking?  The President had his open-collared, jocular persona on display as he visited hard-hit Elyria, Ohio yesterday, and he was doing what  he does best: campaigning.  He is a born speaker.  Why the Democratic Party did not simmer down and groom Barack Obama - give him more time in the senate, and let him be a sort of spokesperson for every Democratic bill, plan, idea, etc., is beyond me.  We all jump too fast when we feel hope or feel that spark, and the President as a speaker  that can make you feel that and more  It's his gift.

I'm sure that the President is convinced to his core that every American needs healthcare.  And you have to admire the spirit with which he pursues this thing.  But he is our leader, and we have expressed that we have bigger things on our plate - we need jobs, we need to be able to get on a plane without worrying that we will have to dive on another passenger to put his pants out, and we need elected officials and leaders in Washington that we can trust. (Related note: Ben Bernanke is going to have a harder time than we thought getting confirmed for another term as Chairman of the Fed.  He may be too cozy with Wall Street.  Stay tuned.)

The President should listen to Massachusetts, and step away from sweeping reform on healthcare right now.  We could actively chip away at Healthcare - attack those "pre-existing conditions" that are the essence of unfair practices - while you keep us secure from terrorism, and fling - yes fling - yourself into getting Americans jobs

I'm going to go have some coffee.  I dont think that fling was the right word; it's too flimsy.  Have a great week-end!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I Went to A Fight and a Hockey Game Broke Out...

Last night my husband and I went to a Boston Bruins game, taking my ten year old son and his best friend Brendan with us.  I am starting to love hockey (my 10 year old plays), but am baffled by some of the game - particularly the fighting.  Well, you ain't seen nothin' until you go to an NHL game.  "Awesome!" every single man in the stands said, as seemingly right in the middle of some decent play the gloves came out and two players went at it, banging their fists into each others' faces.  I was horrified; why were the refs allowing this?  "It's part of the game!" my husband said gleefully, unable to tear his eyes away from the ice-battle of the ages below us.  (I was beginning to think that he was thinking twice about bringing me - during a power play I was trying to explain to him why my book club was cancelled.)  Soon, one player went down (non-Bruin, thank goodness; I have my loyalty) and blood spurted out all over the ice; I could see it from way up in the stands where we were.  "Yeah!" the men roared, high-fiving and back-slapping and grinning like crazy.  I looked at my husband, my son, and Brendan, who shrugged and turned back to the action.  Who were these people that I thought I knew?  Anyway...the blood was soon mopped up cheerfully by a couple of guys on skates, and play resumed.  Do you see this in basketball?  No.  Baseball?  No.  "That's why hockey is so great," my husband Fred says.  Sigh.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Scott Brown press conf Jan20,2010.MPG

This awareness of being given the honor to serve, and the realization that from humble beginnings this has grown, is heartening to see. This was, to me, the best part of the press conference, and we wish the Senator well here in Massachusetts as he begins to process all the change in his life. He is going to D.C. today - the back ehre for his daughter's basketball game. Nice.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

WE WON!!!
Hi everyone,
Here is a picture of me speaking with John King from CNN as we share some press space at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston at Senator (U.S.!!) Scott Brown's victory party.  The mood was electric as the results came in, and victory was in the air; people laughing, chatting, hoping.
The Senator was gracious in his remarks and I lovd that he called Vicki Kennedy before anyone else.  Oh, and if it looks like Im talking into the wrong part of my cell phone; I am interviewing the interviewer.  Thanks, John!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Adsense, what in the heck...

Just saw that Google AdSense added an anti-Brown ad on my new blog here...do not click!!  Should be called Google NoSense...

Doug Flutie Endorses Scott Brown

I worked at the Danvers office and earned my "200 calls made" Scott Brown for Senate tee shirt - they are not kidding, the energy is amazing here in Massachusetts. I talked to about 3 people out of 200 who were going to vote 4 Coakley. On to victory...
Deirdre

Historic Massachusetts Election 1/19/10

Just voted here in my hometown, got my ballot from old Precinct 7, and it feels great to be a part of the process.  The interest is off the charts for this senate race - on the corner at our polling place there were about 20-30 Brown sign-holders, and honestly only 1 Coakley signer that I saw.  (There may have been more around the corner, though. If there were more then they were nowhere near where you turn in to park.)

It is beyond ironic that all of this is happening here in Massachusetts, the most liberal of states.  We may block Obama's healthcare, and we may fill the late senator Kennedy's seat with a Republican!  Maybe it's not irony at all but the truest barometer of how this country feels about all the change Obama is trying to bring about. 

The parallels between Obama and our own Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick are amazing.  They are both wonderful orators, able to take you to idealized heights with both their words and their affect - their gaze, mainly, focused on a spot none of us can see - when speaking.  They both had too little experience for their current position.  They are both African-Americans that many were dying to get behind partially as an affirmation of how far we've come as a nation when it comes to equality.  I would have loved to get behind each of them, if they made any sense at all to me.  And both have plummeting poll numbers as they try to turn that golden rhetoric into action. 

I respect each one of them for their elected position as they are the expression of the will of the people.  I wonder how it is for each of them as they try to govern in this polarized, complex society where people look for you to fail.  And I respectfully disagree with them on most things.

Massachusetts, the spotlight is on you today, the 19th of January in the year 2010. 
Turn it into a light of hope and change (ever heard that before?)

More tomorrow.

Monday, January 18, 2010

What Happened to the Feminists?

It is election eve here in Massachusetts, and my ten year old just stole my heart, as he is wont to do, by pulling my Scott Brown sign from under a mountain of snow and putting it back up again in a large snowbank, cockeyed but ready should anyone drive by. He turned and with a wave, he was back to fort-building.

I stared at the sign and thought of the costs of this election. Last week I took a stand over a column I wrote supporting Brown and lost my syndication venue, and here in MA it looks like we may be losing a fine state Senator to the national stage, where he belongs.  Across the aisle in my state this election could cost the Democrats the Kennedy seat, and cost an already- low-polling Obama the healthcare bill.  Last week I went to Scott Brown's fundraiser in Salem, Massachusetts after a day working the phones on his behalf, and could feel not just energy, but relief.  It was about sudden gains, not losses. and I cherish the memory of that happy time in a downtown restaurant.  At the Scott Brown fundraiser you could happily raise your voice while talking about our Republican candidate, or about being a Republican, or just talking about America, for that matter, as quaint as that may sound in the age of the flip-camera. (I want one of those!)  We forget it's our country we're talking about - the people whose homes sit exposed on the brown plains, the families who live snug and sheltered up in the purple mountains, the folks who seperate the wheat from the chaff within our borders out west.  The geography that we realized was so dear on 9/11; you know; the country.  The U S of A.  And I am wondering, as I think about the election - where are the feminists?

Martha Coakley - a female candidate that should have had them coming in droves.  Not somebody's widow running for the seat, not a female Governor with good hair and a grasp of both the issues and the party line, but a former prosecutor and Attorney General in a liberal state that probably supports a feminist platform to begin with.  (As you'll see, I think there in only one plank in the platform these days.)  A woman whose margin was so wide that your support could be ticked off the list over drinks with a few texts and a promise to hold a sign down at the high school come election day.  A woman to stand up for women and their various and sundry rights everywhere, all day long, and twice on Sunday.  What happened here, ladies?

They were scared away by the Coakley campaign's now-infamous and ugly blast that Scott Brown wants females turned away at emergency rooms after being raped.  If they did want to stick up for choice vocally in this race, they would be tied to the Coakley campaign's radicalized, should-be-libelous position of twisting Brown's state senate vote (he did not want Catholic and faith-based hospitals to have to perform abortions) into an evil cold shoulder to women in pain as a result of a violent act.  He is also against partial-birth abortions, as every woman - and human - should be.  The crime of Coakley's ads is not as much against Scott Brown, but against rape victims - anyone with a law degree and a pulse - or, forget the law degree; just a pulse will do - knows that you need to tread lightly because of real victims who will always, in a sense, suffer(a violent crime prosecutor would well know this), and suffer more each time this ad is played.  Many of us just could not do this to rape victims, no matter what the pay-off.  As my Uncle Bud used to say: what the Sam Hill is going on?

Feminism used to be about wages and opportunities, and about women being equal in all aspects that the law and society was interested in.  We had Billie Jean King, man!  It was real, and needed, and a giant step for womankind.  Now, the issue is abortion, or "reproductive freedom," mainly, when we're talking feminism, abortion being an umbrella which also covers emergency contraception or "morning-after contraception" when you are talking social issues. And the Coakley campaign has twisted Scott Brown's votes in the state senate to make "emergency contraception" a graphic central theme: an ad playing now features a young girl alone and cowering on a stairstep, all alone with her rape and possibly a pregnancy.  Her head is in her hands, her thin body curving in on itself in fear and uncertainty and shame. Rape is a crime, and as a crime is an issue for all of us.  And the Coakley campaign has turned that real crime - and the pain that comes with it for both men and women - into a caricature by an actress for campaign purposes. Feminists, stay away from this one if you are smart!

My mom used to be fascinated with Gloria Steinem, although I don't think she agreed with her (I should  call and ask) except on pay and opportunity issues. We commented on her glasses, her streaked hair, her often-bra-less physique.  We took her seriously, too; why everyone had a copy of Ms. magazine.  Feminists then were like suffragettes; their work meant something, and they left a trail of interest and questions and change in their wake.  Now, feminists seem to be fighting so hard against babies being born and fetuses developing that they have invalidated the message with their bitter and rote rhetoric.  Would they have liked to come out in force for Coakley?  Yes!  Could they ever, now, after the rape ads?  Never. 

As my Uncle Bud also used to say, Mash that light button over yonder, and let's call it a night.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Challenge = Opportunity...I Hope

Hi!

First post here on my blog, and I named it "Blend of the Day" because I don't quite know how to define it. I write both humor and politics, but don't write humorously about politics (and conversely, I don't write politically about humor); they're seperate.  I manage to blend them time-wise if not content-wise; I have been spending more and more time writing about politics, even though my comfort zone is humor.

So...I am socially conservative, but still pretty cool, I think.  It seems that the image that comes to mind of a conservative woman is someone in polyester and/or pearls - someone nice, but just a little out of touch.  (Poor thing.)  I believe in a dynamic and thoughtful conservatism where you think before you speak, and speak before you strike.  An open-minded, open-hearted conservatism where you can blend your values with your society and still have a sense of humor.

So, I used to write a column (like, earlier this week), but pulled it from the company that syndicates it because the company published it and then mysteriously removed it several hours later from all the internet newspaper sites where it all too briefly lived.  It was an opinion piece over the candidacy of Scott Brown for U.S. Senate here in Massachusetts in which I endorsed him personally - not on behalf of any paper or syndicate (as Opinion columnists do.)  Bias?  A suspicious mind might think so, but I think that it's more of a case of an over-abundance of caution when it comes to conservative viewpoint.  Okay, maybe it was bias.

So, trying to have some character here, with my laptop and my coffee and all the possibilities that stretch out before me.  Exciting!  And really lonely, too.