Hey Joe & Palin, my dog has written a book too – but then, she’s cute and knows English!


Here’s Palin’s response, after Matt Lauer asked her when she knew the election was lost:

“I had great faith that, you know, perhaps when that voter entered that voting booth and closed that curtain that what would kick in for them was, perhaps, a bold step that would have to be taken in casting a vote for us, but having to put a lot of faith in that commitment we tried to articulate that we were the true change agent that would progress this nation.”

I missed that one. Discovered it in this wonderful update by Timothy Egan – Typing Without a Clue – in the NYT today on Joe the non-plumber and Sarah the PalinDrone and their publishing venture. It begins:

The unlicensed pipe fitter known as Joe the Plumber is out with a book this month, just as the last seconds on his 15 minutes are slipping away. I have a question for Joe: Do you want me to fix your leaky toilet?

I didn’t think so. And I don’t want you writing books. Not when too many good novelists remain unpublished. Not when too many extraordinary histories remain unread. Not when too many riveting memoirs are kicked back at authors after 10 years of toil. Not when voices in Iran, North Korea or China struggle to get past a censor’s gate.

Bravo! Well put! And there’s more, much more.

i like this, but . . .

Most of the writers I know work every day, in obscurity and close to poverty, trying to say one thing well and true. Day in, day out, they labor to find their voice, to learn their trade, to understand nuance and pace. And then, facing a sea of rejections, they hear about something like Barbara Bush’s dog getting a book deal.

Writing is hard, even for the best wordsmiths. Ernest Hemingway said the most frightening thing he ever encountered was “a blank sheet of paper.” And Winston Churchill called the act of writing a book “a horrible, exhaustive struggle, like a long bout of painful illness.”

. . . well, it’s not that hard! I found writing a novel great fun. (Yeah, I know, I didn’t publish it and it probably isn’t publishable, but I did write it and I did have fun and some of my family seemed to like it. 😉 Oh yes, and for 10 years I did write every day for a living and after that I published many articles in high-circulation magazines, so I think I can call myself a writer. But I do share Egan’s frustration with how notoriety seems to be the main credential for too many non-writing “authors” today. One big exception is Obama, as he notes, and one of my other heroes, Teddy Roosevelt. (BTW – I voted for Obama because he can think – not because he is black and not because he is a liberal.)

The idea that someone who stumbled into a sound bite can be published, and charge $24.95 for said words, makes so many real writers think the world is unfair.

Our next president is a writer, which may do something to elevate standards in the book industry. The last time a true writer occupied the White House was a hundred years ago, with Teddy Roosevelt, who wrote 13 books before his 40th birthday.

Oh yes – about the headline – Eliza has written a book on her experiences as a pet therapy dog and she writes very well – though she gets some help from Bren – and a few people actually asked for – and bought – copies of it. But she hasn’t gotten a big advance from a publisher yet, though Bren is still trying to give her some help on that task as well. Anyway, I get the feeling she contributes more to our society than Joe or that Alaskan mangler of the English language.


Bill Ayers speaks – and very effectively

I’m glad we won – but just reading what Bill Ayers has to say in today’s New York Times reminds me of how hate-filled, how totally anti-life, the forces were that we defeated. And yes, I know they are still out there today – ignorance isn’t going to vanish with just one election. And yes, I know there is an intelligent and legitimate opposition to my point of view, but it’s difficult to hear with the pervasive demagogery still spewing out of Alaska.

First – the essence of what Ayers has to say:

Now that the election is over, I want to say as plainly as I can that the character invented to serve this drama wasn’t me, not even close. Here are the facts:

I never killed or injured anyone. I did join the civil rights movement in the mid-1960s, and later resisted the draft and was arrested in nonviolent demonstrations. I became a full-time antiwar organizer for Students for a Democratic Society. In 1970, I co-founded the Weather Underground, an organization that was created after an accidental explosion that claimed the lives of three of our comrades in Greenwich Village. The Weather Underground went on to take responsibility for placing several small bombs in empty offices — the ones at the Pentagon and the United States Capitol were the most notorious — as an illegal and unpopular war consumed the nation.

The Weather Underground crossed lines of legality, of propriety and perhaps even of common sense. Our effectiveness can be — and still is being — debated. We did carry out symbolic acts of extreme vandalism directed at monuments to war and racism, and the attacks on property, never on people, were meant to respect human life and convey outrage and determination to end the Vietnam war.

Peaceful protests had failed to stop the war. So we issued a screaming response. But it was not terrorism; we were not engaged in a campaign to kill and injure people indiscriminately, spreading fear and suffering for political ends.

I was an editorial writer in those days, and I wrote editorials opposing both the War in Vietnam and the extreme actions of people such as Ayers who also opposed that war. I felt they confused the issue and appealed largely to emotion in much the same way that Sarah Palin – a symbol of all that’s sick with the conservative movement today – does. In those days it drove me crazy when radicals would shout down the opposition on college campuses. It was contrary then to the sort of respect different viewpoints deserve and it’s contrary now. The Vietnam War, like the Iraq War, was a horrible mistake. But our soldiers weren’t to blame for either of those mistakes. In both cases it was our political leaders. And I don’t believe for a minute that in either case these leaders did what they did for “evil” motives.

As with Ayers, they were doing what they thought was right for the country and the world. I believe they were wrong in what they did – and Ayers was wrong in how he expressed his opposition. But I don’t question their motives. I may ave doubts in some cases, but that is almost always a dead end street. No one can prove to me what is in another person’s heart. We need to oppose what people do, we need to oppose what they say – but we can do both without insulting their essential humanity – without villifying them. Life is not a comic book and politicians have to stop treating the American people as if all they understand is comic books.

Bill Ayers makes a very rational, calm case for a man who was dismissed over and over again as a “terrorist.” In fact, his approach is the best argument against his critics who I doubt had any real knowledge of who he was before they branded him and used him to promote themselves. It’s interesting. There were several points during the campaign where I think John McCain could have won if he had stuck to the rational arguments he occasionally mustered. But he didn’t. H e made sense one day, then dragged out Joe-the-plumber the next two. And I never saw any evidence that Sarah Palin had any plans to present to the American people. She was defined by how she opposed everything. And in the end her actions and words brought her down – a simple fact that gives me some confidence that ultimately we live in a rational and just world – that people sowing hate reap the same.

This is too good! Robin Williams on politicians ;-)

Don F. sent this to me with the brief notation:

Robin Williams, always good

Wow! You got that right, Don. (Interesting though. I found the beginning Obama material so-so. Is it just me? Or are even the best comedians going to struggle for the next four – let’s hope 8 – years? They must really be hoping Sarah Palin stays in the spotlight!)

Blog this, grandma!

OK – first for all you “old folks” who think blogging is for some younger generation – please, please read this blog and note that it is written by one Helen Philpot who is 82 years old and lives in Texas – yeah a red state and yes, she’s older than me and yes her grandson taught her how to blog.

She is, quite simply, one of the brightest, funniest, political bloggers I have ever read. No kidding. I say that, only having read this one piece, but it had me laughing out loud. So here we go again on Sarah Palin, plus all the idiots out there who are still displaying their ignorance and hate.

Check it out here.

Oh – and when you’re finished, read some of the comments – and read her “about” which is linked in the photo at the top and some of her other posts. And what a great photo. Anyway – treat yourself, ASAP – this grandma knows how to tell it as it is 😉