Friday, September 22, 2006

driving for a cause

in an attempt to feel like i am making a change in the world, even in a small way, the neo-conservative roommate and i have begun volunteering for a local german shepherd rescue. on our first run we transported a pregnant dalmation going to a separate rescue and a three month old german shepherd puppy. of course we both fell in love with him and are now attempting to adopt him.

while this puppy will find a "forever" home, hundreds of thousands of animals are sent off to pounds and shelters every year. over 450,000 breed dogs are either surrendered or removed from owners. unfortunately, only about one in four of all the dogs that end up in shelters make it out alive. the odds for a cat are about one in ten.

most of the dogs and puppies that end up there are from puppy mills. the breeding dogs either outlive their usefulness or the puppies become too old to sell off at a profit. in the downstate new york area in the past three months over 50 german shepherds were seized from two such puppy mills, most of the animals either starved, neglected or both.

if you are considering getting a dog or a cat, please visit your local pound or humane society shelter. oftentimes if they do not have what you are looking for, they can put you on a waiting list or direct you to another shelter or rescue group.

and please, please, please consider a pound puppy before buying from a breeder. unless you plan on showing an animal professionally, there is absolutely no good reason to have an animal with "papers".

this concludes my rant for the day. carry on.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

trying to get the feeling again

i have been avoiding the blogs and usual hangouts of progressives the past few weeks. the prospect of another stolen election, the mudslinging, the idea of another two years of bush's mandate have left me with fear and paranoia over what is to become of our country.

politics is one of those things that can either make you absolutely indifferent or totally absorbed. and unfortunately, every election cycle can determine the mood depending on the results. i have run the gamut of non-stop politics, twenty-four hours a day to zero tolerance for all things political. since there is a perception that the common man (or woman) has no bearing or influence on the government, it becomes easy to see why the majority of americans don’t even bother to vote in off-year elections, much less become involved in political campaigns.

in light of new legislation being pushed through the house of representatives, even fewer americans who want to vote will be given the opportunity. under the guise of the “help america vote act”, the house has determined that all americans must have what amounts to as a national id card – a photo identification card saying they are who they claim to be. besides the obvious burden on the elderly, the poor and the disenfranchised, it is a joke. anyone who has ever had their identity stolen knows the ease with which criminals can manufacture an identification card. likewise, anyone cannot produce a birth certificate, such as people who have been adopted, will find themselves unable to cast a vote.

individual red states have already done their part in removing the one true inalienable right of american citizens: florida, missouri, arizona, indiana, ohio… all have managed to corrupt the system under the guise of preventing voter fraud. yet in the past two presidential elections, the only allegations of fraud was aimed directly at the majority party.

it’s enough to make anyone apathetic. unfortunately, the surest way of guaranteeing that your vote won’t be counted is to not vote.

Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves – and the only way they could do this by not voting. ~ Franklin Roosevelt

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

what if someone gave a party and no one came…..

i have been contemplating the vast array of blogs on the internet and the insignificance of my little piece of immortality. it occurred to me, without advertising and pumping all my friends and acquaintances to check out my blog, it might very well die a very sad, lonely fate, much like the old man without friends who is found in his home weeks after his death.

it begs the question, “if you have an opinion but no one hears it, does it have any value?”

seriously, what is the point of the common blog? is it to gain the attention, both famous and notorious, of dozens (hopefully hundreds) of anonymous strangers? is it to put forth your values and ideals when you have no other means of expression, no hope of being published on a grander scale? or is it to push an agenda that is found no where else in hopes of drawing more anonymous strangers to your site and more disciples to your cause?

today i read an announcement that air america radio (aar) will fill for bankruptcy reorganization on friday. this is something i am quite certain all the neo conservatives will be peeing their pants over while causing the liberals and progressives to hang their heads in defeat once more. while it is a disappointment, it is not the end of the road.

unlike the anonymous faceless blog (like this one), there is an audience for air america – a growing one, in fact. progressive talk shows are gaining audiences, and new stations, every week. two such stations turned progressive in my little corner of the world just this year. ed schultz, stephanie miller and bill press are three examples of shows that have no ties to aar and yet are doing quite nicely. and the ratings growth of countdown with keith olbermann has shown that americans have had more than enough of the o'reilly factor.

the idea of progressive radio (like progressive thought and liberal ideals), is not dead - not by a long shot - no matter how much the likes of limbaugh and o’reilly proclaim. we forget that while limbaugh has been on the air since 1988, he began with only one station. aar has, unfortunately, had several problems with management and securing capital but may yet find their footing.

the democratic party has been napping for the past forty years, secure in the assumption that they were the party of choice and were invincible. they got caught with their guard down and have been paying for it ever since. the nightmare that we call the bush administration has been in the planning stages for the past forty years. this is not something that has happened overnight, and it is not something the democrats can hope to smash in just eight years. the neocon movement is a well-oiled machine; savvy in their talking points and smooth in their delivery. as the saying goes: a lie told often enough becomes the truth.

this is not the time to moan over what might have been - al gore as president; a working congress that has the people in mind instead of corporations; universal health care; a strong economy; a surplus in the national budget; young men and women coming home from their tour of duty on two strong legs instead of in a body bag. this is the time to speak out for what you believe in, shouting it from the mountaintops if need be. this is the time for courage and solidarity. there will be plenty of time for fighting among the ranks once the majority rule is regained.

what if someone gave a party and no one came? the democrats, liberals and progressives need to ask themselves:

"what if someone had an idea to make things better but were too afraid to say it aloud – does it still have value?"

Until the party speaks up and takes a stand we may never know.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

just another day in paradise

given the recent vitriol of the past two days, it is difficult to image a united states that is truly united. it would seem the days of bipartisanship are truly lost to us forever. no longer is it fashionable or reasonable for senators and congressmen to reach across the aisle in an attempt to help their constituents and the nation. instead it is every man for himself. or every lobbyist and cause for themself.

there are a lot of phrases being bandied about this election year. "cut and run." "islamic fascism." "appeasement."

how about this one: "peace without honor."

democracy cannot be achieved or maintained with catch phrases and platitudes. just because george w. bush said it does not make it noble or honorable. and if we are winning the war on terror (or so we are told), it does not mean we are spreading democracy. it does not mean that people will respect us.

and it does not mean that the world, or the united states, is safe because of our actions a half a world away.

thirty years ago there was another war going on a half a world away. in it we did not achieve peace with honor. in the end we abandoned the people of vietnam to the khmer rouge. and the country, where we tried to instill democracy, somehow overcame our bad impersonation of the british empire, but at what cost? in the end 58,209 americans perished, 153,303 were wounded. an estimated 2 to 4 million vietnamese died during the war.

perhaps iraq can somehow find its way after we leave, create some stability out of chaos. it would seem right now there can be no peace with honor.

Monday, September 11, 2006

another day, another blog

everyone is looking for fifteen minutes of fame

since fame and fortune has managed to allude me these past (unintelligble) years, i need to shoot for the smaller screen

the following are my thoughts and observations comments are welcome although maybe not always appreciated as with most blogs i reserve the right to delete any entries that are derogatory defamatory or just plain ignorant

as with all things in life take this in moderation and with a grain of salt