Thursday, June 21, 2007
We have a determined president–a president who is determined to go against the majority of the citizens in our country, once again. Wednesday, for the second time he vetoed the Stem Cell Research Bill. Scientific research which could save hundreds of millions of Americans from devastating diseases–hundred of millions of people who could greatly benefit from the research and use of stem cells, now and in the future. Whatever the majority of Americans want, we can be assured we will not get it from this Administration. Obviously, it is more important to George W. Bush to follow his own personal agenda. Again, I cringed when I saw his comments with his usual grin/sneer when he pats himself on the back for achieving his personal goal.
How does the man look himself in the mirror every morning? Maybe Laura shaves his face so he doesn’t have to look. He pretends he cares about life?–And moral issues? Sure, he does. He’s shown us how he does by allowing this war to go on, daily military deaths, Iraqi civilian deaths, lack of response to Katrina, ignoring other terrible atrocities taking place in the world, and holding us in fear (if we allow it) of the invasion of Iran or another "enemy" at any time. Seems to me we have an egotistical nut for a president who cares not for human life.
I’m not happy with Congress, either. It is time they stood up for what their constituents want instead of playing the political game. A few Republicans are in favor of the Stem Cell Research, but only in favor if they feel it may gain votes for them? Obviously not enough of Congress is willing to go along with what the majority of the American people are in favor of and override the veto.
Senator John Edwards released the following statement June 20th criticizing President Bush's veto of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act:
"President Bush had a simple choice today: direct the full force of American scientific ingenuity towards responsible, life-saving medical research or pander to a narrow segment of his political base. With his veto, he made the wrong choice, pushing medical breakthroughs that could help millions of Americans further away. We need a president who will embrace science-driven policy, rather than politically-biased science."
And Senator Obama stated:
"By vetoing funding for stem cell research once again, the President is deferring the hopes of millions of Americans who do not have the time to keep waiting for the cure that may save or extend their lives. The promise that stem cells hold does not come from any particular ideology, it is the judgment of science, and we deserve a President who will put that judgment first and make this promise real for the American people."
And Hillary Clinton said something along the same lines. Why does it take a Democratic name tag, for the most part, to attempt to stand up for what the majority of Americans want? Our voices are lost in the political, special interest, and corrupt roar that comes out of Washington.
As a child in school, when time came to give a quarter or so for mice to be used in scientific research at a place such as the City of Hope in Southern CA, I decided that research was important and that God intended science to do research, or we would be ignorant to the fact that scientific research could find cures for diseases. And I was only eight years old when I came to that conclusion. Maybe some of these politicians need to go back to elementary school to learn that science and God can blend perfectly well.
Note: I was about ready to post this blog when I turned on The View on TV. The topic was Bush’s veto of the Stem Cell Bill. Joy Baher’s comment brought me laughter (she often makes me laugh) when she said we should ask if George Bush is "Smarter Than a Fifth Grader." We all should be asking that!
Sunday, June 10, 2007
It appears "distraction" has become a skillfully planned endeavor, not only by the Bush Administration but by our news media. I’m beginning to wonder why we put up with it. I had considered last night adding comments about that to my blog and then this morning I read an article by an Associated Press reporter concerning the lack of coverage of the Iraq war by Cable News, with the so-called "fair and balanced" Fox News Channel devoting the least amount of time to it.
Not any surprise that Fox News does not give the war its proper coverage, and the other news outlets are not far behind. They don’t have time to fit it into the ridiculous coverage of something like Paris Hilton’s in, out, and in jail, with Fox News covering that all day and night.
According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, during the first three months of this year, Fox spent half as much time covering the Iraq war than MSNBC, and considerably less than CNN. During day time news hours, the Iraq war occupied 20 percent of CNN’s daytime news and 18 percent of MSNBC’s. And Fox, only about 6 percent of the time.
Why are we not demanding decent and honest coverage of the war, of poverty in our country, the unresolved Katrina victims’ issues, the poor education of our children, the medical insurance and pharmaceutical disaster, the too-often recall of the food we eat, the government corruption, unsafe borders and ports, the many other inefficiencies of our government, and atrocities and starvation taking place in other parts of the world?
Why do we settle for sound bites, news repeated every few minutes, less and less live coverage of news events, slanted news, confrontational interviews, and other failings of good investigative reporting? CNN’s Anderson Copper 360 seems to be about the only reporter who attempts to give us good and reasonable on- the-spot news coverage.
Why is the media ignoring the horrors of the war: 3508 of our military Dead, 104 of those in April, 126 in May, and of June 7, 29 so far, 25,830 wounded, 111 suicides? One of ten soldiers from the war have been hospitalized in Europe for mental conditions. Suicide bombings, car bombs, and roadside bombs have doubled in the last year (712 to 1476). Today a bridge bombing injured our military with unconfirmed degree of injury and number. And 65,000 plus Iraq deaths since the beginning of our invasion, with numbers climbing daily.
Do we welcome these distractions so we don’t have to think about reality? Is it easier to watch Paris Hilton’s hysteria than to take a hard look at the reality of war? Do we get a kick out of watching the reporters mob the Sheriff’s car to get a photograph of the crying Paris? Does that keep us from thinking about a car bomb at a check point in Bagdad? Does her apparent need for treatment for a nervous breakdown keep us from thinking about a soldier’s breakdown from fighting a war?
Do we enjoy seeing our smiling president telling the Pope how the U.S. is stepping up humanitarian aid to improvised countries? Or enjoy his "leader of the free world" status to the Albanians, while at the same time he threatens Iran, may be on the verge of making the cold war hot again, is unwilling to listen to the majority of Americans who believe the Iraq war was wrong and it is time get out now, and is even defiant in his steadfast stand?
I do not consider any actions of Bush and Cheney to be humanitarian. Their actions are not making this a better world. Their motives are about power, greed, and oil, and they do their best to convince us otherwise with distortions, lies, fear, and distraction. It is people like Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Oprah, Bono, Sting, Angelina Jolie, Jimmy Carter, and many others who are making the world a better place with their humanitarian actions. And thank goodness for them.
"The measure of a man is what he does with power." ~ Pittacus (650?-569? B.C.)
Saturday, June 9, 2007
I have added a Bookstore to my official Don Pendleton Website, featuring copies of books, Comics, and bookmarks, by Don Pendleton and Linda Pendleton. I have included several of Don Pendleton’s Joe Copp, Private Eye mysteries in hardcover and paperback, Executioner: Mack Bolan Comics (some autographed), and additional fiction and nonfiction books by Don and/or Linda Pendleton.
I have designed bookmarks featuring Don Pendleton’s well-known quote, "Live Large," the theme of his Executioner: Mack Bolan original series of novels. Don Pendleton is acknowledged as the "father of the modern Action/Adventure novel." In 1997, the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume II (H-O) was published and gives derivation credit for "live large" to Don Pendleton and his Executioner Series of novels. The phrase has become common usage in recent times.
I also have bookmarks with Dr. James Martin Peebles’ quotations. All items are available for purchase through Paypal.
Visit the Pendleton Bookstore at: http://www.donpendleton.com/bookstore.htm
Saturday, June 2, 2007
One thing I miss is not having a vegetable garden. I’ve often had one. During the 1970s in Southern CA, my family and several of the neighbors each had gardens. We all grew tomatoes and zucchini, and other vegetables. I love zucchini cooked in several ways: steamed with light Italian seasoning, fried, boiled, and in omelets. If you’ve ever grown zucchini, you know it grows fast. One day you see the small yellow blossom, and before you know it, it’s ready to pick. I think you can hear them growing in the dark of night! A couple of summers in that neighborhood, we all had such big crops of zucchini and tomatoes we should have opened a farmers market on the street corner. LOL. Instead, we made loaves of zucchini bread, canned many jars of pickled zucchini, and all swore that we would take turns each summer planting crops. But by the time the next spring came, we were all planting our own gardens again.
"One is nearer God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth."
Dorothy Gurney (1858-1932).
I believe Nancy and I had an appreciation for flower and vegetable gardens from an early age. Loved working the rich soil with hands, and loved the results of our planting. This early picture of us shows how we loved getting dirty and eating our fresh grown carrots. :-)
How’s this for a zucchini? This was from Don’s and my garden in Southern CA. Normally we picked zucchini when much smaller, but you know how it is: they can hide under the big leaves!
Two additional quotes I like are:
"I found that when I talk to the little flower or to the little peanut they will give up their secrets...." ~George Washington Carver (1864-1943).
and as our distant cousin Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) said:
"Die when I may, I want it said by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow."
So maybe Nancy and I have an appreciation for gardens in our genes....
P.S. Update: Apparently Delta and Dawn swam under the Golden Gate Bridge out into the Pacific, during the night hours Tuesday.