January 31, 2008

Mom's been sending e-mail....

Tonight Pete and I tuned into CNN to watch the Democratic Debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on TV. Concurrently, I also linked to the debates online and noticed that there was a little box below the picture where viewers could ask the candidates questions and comment on the broadcast in real time. Cool! ☺

It is doubtful that you (or any of my four other loyal readers) will be surprised to learn that I was delighted by this discovery! As you must know by now, this blogger is an enthusiastic political junkie with strong opinions, which I never hesitate to share.

During the broadcast, I sent in two questions as well as a comment to tell Wolf Blitzer to be quiet and stop interrupting. I don’t like Wolf Blitzer (or his Network) very much. I'm sick and tired of all these so called 'newscasters' who make a habit of dwelling on the trivial to distract us from the truth. And, I'm tired of the spin.

When the broadcast was over, CNN invited its viewers to comment on the broadcast and write to them about any concern. So I did. First, I thanked them for broadcasting the event. Then I sent in my complaint and questioned if anyone actually reads the e-mail that are sent to them. A few minutes later, I received the following message from CNN.

Subject: RE: Anderson Cooper 360
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 22:32:35 -0500

Thanks for your email. Here’s our problem. We want you to know that we really do read every single email you viewers send us. No, honestly. But reading your email is one thing, and composing individual answers to each one is another. That would be a full-time enterprise. In which case, there’d be no AC 360. In which case, there’d be no emails. You see where we’re headed.

Anyway, the best we can do is to acknowledge that we have indeed received and will read your message, and this little note is to let you know that. It’s automatic, yes; fails to take into account whether you’ve patted us on the back or slapped us across the face; does not differentiate between praise, correction, fury, proposals of marriage, or invitations to get lost. But rest assured we’ll know that part when we read it!

I don't expect that anything that people like me write will influence this powerful network. It is unlikely that anything other than money could influence CNN to change their policies very soon. But we can refuse to tune in. And, we can work to take back our airwaves.

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January 30, 2008

A note about Huckabee & Paul

Pete and I are watching the Republican (so called) debates.
For some reason, the CNN establishment is allowing Romney to speak much longer than any other candidate. Is he a part owner of the station?

The only two who are being consistent and are making sense are Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul. I may disagree with them both on most issues, but at least I think they're both genuine.

Posted by Judi at 7:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 29, 2008

I think I've decided.

If the election were tomorrow I would vote for Hillary on Super Tuesday.

Posted by Judi at 11:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 28, 2008


Could it be that C-SPAN is adding canned applause to tonight's State Of the Union Address? It certainly sounds like it is!

Posted by Judi at 6:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Test Failure

Just tested the mail section and it is definitely broken, so I guess this will continue to be a one way conversation. :-/

Posted by Judi at 1:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Testing Entry Section...

Comment section and mail seem to be broken.
Is entry section still working??

Posted by Judi at 1:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 25, 2008

Comment Section

Yes, the comment section of this blog is broken again. Either that or I have inadvertently blocked almost everyone including myself.

Posted by Judi at 11:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 24, 2008


I just spent the last 45 minutes contacting the offices of our Congressional Representative, our two Senators and trying to contact the three leading Democratic Candidates to let them know my feelings on the proposed Economic Stimulus Package.

I was able to reach Hillary Clinton's California Campaign office but had no luck reaching the Edwards or Obama Campaigns by Phone. (They should fix their websites.)

The Economic Stimulus Package is a joke. It didn't work last time and it won't work now. If those who are for this ill thought out scheme get their way, all that will happen is that the US will sink deeper into debt.

Most people who receive this "free money" will not go out and buy a new TV or stereo. What they will do is use it to pay off a bill or put it into the bank. It didn't work last time and it won't work now.

This would not be good for our country, nor would it do anything but make some people feel better. Make no mistake, it will only feel better for an instant and then it will hurt like hell!

Americans do not need our leaders to keep pandering to the people with more feel-good legislation. Americans need leaders who will let us know the truth.

Americans need to feel our pain. ...The pain that has resulted by us not paying attention, by us not getting involved as citizens, and by us not stopping our leaders when they lead us astray.

Our country is deeply in debt! We Americans have to accept that and make the corrections needed to become more fiscally prudent.

We are at war! War hurts and War is not free.

Our citizens and thousands upon thousands of Iraqi and Afghani citizens have been killed or seriously and grievously wounded. We can't have our butter and our guns too.

It is time for us to wake up and pay attention!
It is time for us to face our problems as responsible adults.

Pain was created for a reason.
It is time for us to Wake Up.
It is time to feel the pain.

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This morning, I've been listening to KPCC, an NPR radio station here in LA. It sounds as though they are trying out a new host, Tom Fudge, but maybe the guy speaking is just a one time guest.

The topic of the discussion is 'Primary Concerns'. Listeners are calling into the talk show to state who they plan to vote for in the upcoming primary election and why.

One caller stated the name of candidate he was backing then he stated the reason why he's not going to vote for Hillary Clinton. Anyone out there able to top this?

This fellow's reasoning goes like this.... If Hillary would have divorced her husband, he would have been impeached and removed from office. If this had happened we would have been left with Al Gore as our President, and the US would have moved into a completely different direction.

If Al Gore had been President, we would not be in a war, and we would already be making great strides in the process to save and protect our environment.

Where is that time machine when we need it?

Posted by Judi at 10:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 22, 2008


The torrent of bigotry directed at the Democratic Candidates has begun in earnest, and this mom is finding it difficult to sit by and stay silent. I am generally appalled when people I have admired unthinkingly pass this hate mail on to all their contacts.

I am surprised and saddened when I receive this kind of mail from people who should know better. And, I am offended when people choose to pass on this kind of bigoted material on to me. My sentiments on these subjects are pretty apparent.

On Saturday night, I asked my son Mike for advice about the best way to handle it when someone inserts a bigoted comment in the context of a conversation about another topic. When this happens to me, I am usually taken by surprise by the person who passes off this little piece of evil as part of an acceptable conversation.

More than once, when this has happened, the shock of the incident simply stuck me dumb. By the time I recovered, the conversation had moved on to another subject, or that person had left … and no one but me seemed to notice the little break in civility.

Mike said to simply say; “I don’t agree with you about that.”, and leave it at that. That would be great if it wasn’t so guilelessly inserted into a sentence about something completely innocent and different.

And then Mike asked; “Why do you want to say anything at all other than that? Do you want to say something just so that you will feel better?”

Well, yes, I do want to feel better. I do not want to stand by and not object when hate speech is commonly accepted. And yes, I don’t want to experience that icky feeling that comes after I fail to stand up against things that I feel are clearly wrong. I don’t want to feel the guilt. And, I don’t want the feel the shame that I generally feel when I fail to stand forth in my truth.

I found it hard to explain just what I was feeling, and why it felt so necessary to me not to let these kind of incidents to pass without saying something. I found it hard to explain that I feared that if I did not speak out in the moment, my silence implied tacit agreement.

Since Saturday night, I started to catch up on unread e-mail. Considering the times, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised at what I read. But still, I was saddened and surprised by what some people unthinkingly forwarded on to me. And I was saddened each time I read a letter which contained a large scoop of hate.

In these charged times, I guess this is to be expected, but still I find myself disappointed as I always expect better from people I like. And certainly by now, and after a lifetime of experiences, in social situations, I should have learned how to react more quickly and perfected a way to handle these experiences with ease. Yet, it still is easier for me to respond after I have a moment to think about it and can work, and rework, my reply So in the last couple of days, I have replied to two letters. One was sent to a friend, and the other was sent by an old classmate. Both people seemed not to have thought twice before forwarding on something that anyone should have known was clearly Anti-Muslim propaganda.

Before I did that, I remembered another conversation I once had with one of my boys. At the time, I was considering the propriety of objecting to similar nasty e-mail. Either Matt, or maybe it was Mike, had said at the time something I've never forgotten; “The person who sent you the offensive e-mail was clearly not thinking how you might feel when you received their letter, so why should you consider their feelings if you write that you disagree and didn’t like what they wrote?”

Well, the truth is that I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. But even though that last statement may be true, I know that I am human, and I have done many things that have hurt others. I know that each of us humans have had prejudiced thoughts, and each of us have said and done things we are not proud of.

But, I also know that for our species to evolve, we must all strive to become better than we are. To grow in understanding and awareness, we must all be willing to do the fearless self-examination required to root out and to expose our unconscious ingrained bigotries to the light.

Well, both of my sons have grown to become men I admire. And both of them are more conscious than their mother. And because, like their father, they are good, decent and honorable men, I have learned from them. Even though it may not always be apparent, I do listen to all three of these intelligent men, and consider well what they say.

Below is the text of the letters I recently sent. Names and identifying information have been deleted.

Letter # 1

Dear Friend

Regarding this email that you forwarded regarding Barack Obama. Did you mean to forward this particular one? I am thinking that it must have been a mistake as it didn't seem like the kind of e-mail you usually forward on. I was surprised to read the content as it seems rather bigoted ... and did not sound like you.

I would guess that anyone who is paying attention would realize that Barack Obama's name was of an African Muslim origin. We know that his Dad was from Kenya and most likely was a Muslim. We also know that his Mom was very young when he was born and was a rather free spirit who traveled and sampled life to the fullest.

His Dad left when he was about two, and I don't think he ever saw his Dad again. I believe that after learning about his father's death, he traveled to Kenya, and after that trip wrote the book; Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance a book, which talks about his not-so-happy childhood, and his travels to Kenya after hearing of his father's death.

Since 9-11 there has been so much hatred of Muslims circulated around the internet. I am always saddened and appalled when I see the thinly veiled hate. It is too bad that after we have accomplished in our country, so many people are still susceptible to such race based bigotry.

Sorry this is so long, my dear friend, and it took me so long to answer, but I have not been on my computer for a very long time. I love you and am always grateful for your friendship. Take good care. Love, Judi

Letter # 2

Dear Classmate.




Classmate, I am sorry to have to be so brutally frank in responding to your e-mail, but it is obvious that you are completely unaware that something like this might not be welcomed by those who do not share your views.

I wish you would consider just how all the lies and half truths were spread about Jews leading up to, and during, the Holocaust. How do you think otherwise good German people justified and put up with the terrible atrocities of their government?

It didn't start with the concentration camps!

It started when people gave into their fear and did not stand up. It started when otherwise intelligent people began to accept the lies and fabrications as if they were truth. It continued and grew when people became complacent about bigotry and race-based hatred when it was directed at others. ... And when they passed around “nice stories” like the one you sent me without thinking.

Have we learned nothing from those terrible events? Have we learned nothing from our own people's suffering? Why would we want to add to the hatred and bigotry that already exists in the world? If we keep this up, none of us will ever be safe. I believe hatred and bigotry only breed more hatred and bigotry. And I for one, do not want to be a part of it. Nor am I willing to be complicit, and remain silent when I am so offended.

By the way, if any elected representative chooses not to put his or her hand on the Bible when they take their oath of office at the time they pledge to "protect and defend" The Constitution of The United States, that is their right. They are not pledging to protect and defend the Bible, the flag, or a Judeo-Christian way of life. The pledge is taken to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States!

The Constitution of the United States guarantees freedom of religion, and that also allows for freedom from religion as well.

I will close with these two quotes:

They came first for the Communists,
and I did not speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I did not speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I did not speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I did not speak up because I wasn't a Catholic.
Then they came for me, and by that time,
there was no one left to stand up for me.

(This poem is attributed to Martin Niemoller and is displayed at the United States Holocaust Museum.)

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to stand by and do nothing" -Edmund Burke

I hope this finds you well. Take care. Judi

Posted by Judi at 6:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 21, 2008


I can't help but wonder just how many other voters are still undecided about who they will vote for in California's upcoming Primary Election in two weeks.

I've been closely watching all the Presidential Debates, as well as as many speeches by candidates of every party that I can find.

All of the original Democratic Candidates remain on our California ballot even though some have already dropped out of the race.

Many of our choices have already been made for us. These choices are not really made by the voter, but instead by those who control our media. Even though, by law, they do not own our airways.

We hear about Clinton, Edwards and Obama, but little is said on the air about the others. Two other Democratic Candidates are still in the race, but they get little mention. Mike Gravel and Dennis Kusinich are still campaining even though both and are generally excluded from any of the national forums and receive little coverage.

On Saturday, someone at the parade asked me who I thought i would vote for in the upcoming primary. I replied that I was leaning toward Clinton. Tonight, l CNN broadcast their Democratic debate completely excluding the two other contenders. Of the three that were there, I am leaning toward Edwards.

Joe Biden and Chris Dodd dropped out after the Iowa Caucuses held on January 3rd. Bill Richardson dropped out on January 10th after the New Hampshire Primary held on February 5th. .

I have already begun to receive the bigoted hate e-mail directed at one or the other of the Democratic Candidates.

As usual, I have been both shocked and appalled by the judgment of those who will actually forward on this awful stuff. And, as usual, I find it too hard to let such bigotry pass without comment even though I know that by doing this, I can risk a friendship when I actually tell the person what I think about the hate they are complicit in spreading.

I've been closely watching all the Presidential Debates, as well as as many speeches by candidates of every party that I can find. I am not sure who I will vote for in the election. But I do know that I will vote against all the hatred ...and of course will I will vote Democratic.

So I guess you might call me an undecided voter. And, if at this late date, I am still undecided, there must be many others.


Posted by Judi at 11:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 20, 2008

Today was a Doo Dah day!

The Wacky and Wonderful Occasional Parade took place today in Old Pasadena and we were there!

When we arrived, a nice man named Tim agreed to share his table at a sidewalk cafe along the parade route. This fellow appeared to be live blogging or maybe it was podcasting on his iphone throughout the whole thing.

Actually, he showed me what he was doing, and I'd even heard of some of the podcasters he was talking with. I learned that Tim was a writer, director and producer, but since that is not an unusual occupation here in the entertainment capital of the world, I wasn't too impressed. There are a lot of writers, directors, producers, and of course, actors trying to make it in this town.

At some point, Tim told me that he had been one of the speakers at the Apple Macworld show last week. Now that information left a bit more of an impression. Enough so, that it rated a quick lookup when we got home. As it turns out, the nice man who shared his table with us is famous enough to rate his own wikipedia entry.

Sun, blue skies, friendly people, and silly parades in January. Isn't LA grand? :-)

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January 1, 2008


We just came home from the best new year's party ever! I don't remember ever laughing so hard ... for so long. What a great way to usher in a new year.

Maybe 2008 will be the beginning of something wonderful.
Maybe we will see the dawn of a new age....
Maybe peace will break out.

Maybe this is the year we will all join hands
to save our planet,
heal our hearts
and mend old wounds.

Maybe we will all simply wake up,
emerge from our slumber
remember who we are
and what we can recreate

Maybe something marvelous is about to emerge.
It is a new year.
Everything is fresh.
We have a blank page.
The story has not been written.
This Mom is hopeful.

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