Things That Fail to Surprise Me

How often do you hear someone start a sentence with the words, “I can’t believe ….”  I can’t believe it’s raining.  I can’t believe Obama got elected.  I can’t believe another Chicago politician is corrupt.

But really, all these things are well within the realm of believability.  I prefer to think of them as remarkable – not shocking, not even really surprising, but definitely worth a remark or two.  In that spirit, here are some remarkable items I wish I could find surprising:

Arizona ranks among the worst states in the nation when it comes to emergency preparedness.  Since Arizona governor Janet Napolitano has done such a stand up job addressing her state’s disaster response capabilities, it’s only natural that she will oversee Homeland Security for the Obama administration. (via The Weekly Standard)

The increasing number of Orthodox Jews in the Riverdale section of the Bronx doesn’t sit well with at least one resident.  Michael O’Brien is calling for a boycott of local shops that have adapted their business practices to respond to shifting neighborhood demographics.  He is offended by the lack of Christmas decorations at the Jewish deli and outraged that the Dunkin Donuts across the street from an orthodox yeshiva doesn’t serve sausage and egg sandwiches.

Some liberal feminists consider the Twilight YA series to be dangerously misogynistic Mormon apologia.  I prefer not to link to them, but here’s a Google search to point you in the right direction if you’re so inclined.

Mounting evidence suggests that teenage girls seeking spiritual mentoring and camaraderie on pagan social networking sites are being lured into inappropriate relationships with adult men.

South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson played the black friend card this week in a revoltingly calculated (and easily anticipated) attempt to assure the public that his 12 year membership in a segregated country club is irrelevant to his candidacy for national RNC chairman.

And finally, the Detroit bailout bill passed in the House of Representatives with a vote of 237-170 on Wednesday.  32 “Republicans” were among those who voted in favor of the “rescue package.”

Like I said, no surprises.

Katon Dawson and Saul Anuzis To Be Vetted for RNC Chairman Post by … Katon Dawson and Saul Anuzis

You know what the race for Republican National Committee national chairman could use this year? A couple of candidates who embrace conflicts of interest with relish. Done and done:

In a highly unusual move, 37 self-identified conservatives on the 168-member Republican National Committee have formed a group to vet candidates for the $200,300-a-year, elected post of Republican national chairman, The Washington Times has learned.

An e-mail in which the group dubbed itself the RNC Conservative Steering Committee defines its goal as to ensure the election of a reliably conservative national leader. The group of vetters, however, itself includes several of the candidates for national chairman.

Michigan Republican Party chairman Saul Anuzis and South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson have both declared candidacy for the position of RNC national chairman and are reportedly members of this new Conservative Steering Committee. If Dawson and Anuzis need to have the obvious conflict of interest spelled out for them, they’re clearly not qualified to provide leadership for a party that already suffers from a tarnished public image. But of course, we already knew that about Katon Dawson.

All The Cool Kids Are Doing It

It’s the weekend. What’s the lazy blogger to do? Meme time!

Things I’ve done are in bold with parenthetical explanations.

1. Started your own blog. (Now that one’s just silly.)
2. Slept under the stars. (The first time was on a Bronx stoop.)
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower. (Also from a Bronx stoop.)
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland.
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo. (Ugh, Annie in sixth grade.)
11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea. (The storm was at sea, I was safely on land.)
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning. (Salmonella Saintpaul put me out of commission for 3 weeks this year.)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables. (Just tomatoes so far – more to come this spring.)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight. (Duh, I was a kid once.)
22. Hitch hiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill. (Once, and I made myself sick with guilt.)
24. Built a snow fort. (Yep, snow castles too.)
25. Held a lamb. (Only on my fork.)
26. Gone skinny dipping. (Does an unintentional wardrobe malfunction count?)
27. Run a marathon. (Just a 5k mini marathon in fifth grade.)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset. (Too many to count.)
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise. (Does the three hour Circle Line count?)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David.
41. Sung karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight. (It was fun until I noticed the sand crabs. Ick.)
46. Been transported in an ambulance. (Twice, but I wasn’t the patient.)
47. Had your portrait painted. (I got my caricature done at a bat mitzvah.)
48. Gone deep sea fishing. (I caught nothing.)
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business. (I’m working on it – keep your fingers crossed.)
58. Taken a martial arts class. (I met my husband in karate class when I was 14.)
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies. (I was a Brownie.)
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Got flowers for no reason.

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
67. Bounced a check.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy. (One or two. Fine, maybe ten or twenty.)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten Caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square. (Too many times to count.)
74. Toured the Everglades. (Ah, family vacations.)
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car. (Twice.)
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper. (Probably around a dozen times.)
85. Read the entire Bible. (But only a children’s version.)
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox. (THREE TIMES! Bet you thought that wasn’t possible!)
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one. (It doesn’t get any easier.)
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Owned a cell phone. (I haven’t had a land line since 2001.)
99. Been stung by a bee. (Right between the shoulder blades.)
100. Read an entire book in one day. (I wish I had time for this one more often.)

So, there you have it. I’ve done 41 out of 100 things that memesters deem meme-worthy. I’m tagging Rob Taylor to waste part of his Sunday on this list.

Klan Spawn Denied Palm Beach County GOP Position

Derek Black won election to the Palm Beach County Republican Executive Committee in August, but the local GOP made it clear Wednesday that Black is not welcome to take a seat as Committeeman.

Turns out Derek Black is the 19-year-old son of white supremacist Don Black, a man whose neo-Nazi credentials include founding hate site Stormfront and serving as Grand Wizard of the KKK. Derek Black’s mother, Chloe Black, also held a leadership position in the Klan, and was previously married to Klansman David Duke.

Derek Black has spent innumerable hours immersed in the family business of stirring up racial hatred. He works closely with his father on the Stormfront Web site, and has participated in White supremacist conferences sponsored by the likes of EURO – the European American Unity and Rights Organization. He also co-hosts a white supremacist Internet radio show with David Duke.

But Derek Black’s history of racial bigotry isn’t the only thing that disqualifies him from a GOP leadership position.

Sorry, says county GOP Chairman Sid Dinerstein. In the qualifying period in June, Black didn’t sign a loyalty oath pledging he would not do anything injurious to the party. And that’s not the only problem.

“He participates in white supremacist activities,” Dinerstein said. “We’re the party of Lincoln. We’re the party that says we don’t judge anybody by the color of their skin.”

Derek Black’s response: “I’ve told (Dinerstein) I’m not a white supremacist; that’s an insult. I would describe myself as a white person who is concerned about discrimination against white people.”

Like South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson, Derek Black is a blight on the Republican Party. He is welcome to believe whatever he likes and exercise his First Amendment rights, but there’s no room in the Party for bigots who want to use GOP leadership roles as platforms for spreading hate. It’s just a shame Derek Black didn’t sign that loyalty oath on time so we could see him ousted from the Party for his racial hatred instead of disqualified on a technicality.

Mikheil “Big Ones” Saakashvili

True story:

Vladimir Putin: “I am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls.”

Mikheil “Aweome” Saakashvili: “They wouldn’t have enough rope.”

Move over AC/DC.

Prop 8 Protests Still Ineffective When Set to Music

Shocking, I know, but as it turns out, song and dance doesn’t make shallow caricatures of religious people any more palatable. I really wanted to like Prop 8: The Musical, but even Neil Patrick Harris couldn’t redeem this video from Funny or Die.

While a musical protest of the Prop 8 outcome is certainly preferable to death threats, vandalism, and violence, I’m disappointed that the most vocal supporters of gay marriage still don’t understand that crapping all over Christians isn’t the way to change minds.

Prop 8: The Musical portrays Christians as thugs and hypocrites who will happily lie to themselves and others if it will prevent same-sex marriage. “If it works then we don’t care,” they sing. Is it really so difficult to understand that demonizing people for their religious beliefs is divisive and counterproductive? The cause would be better served by shelving the impulsive lashing out so that energies can be focused on analyzing why the “No on 8” campaign failed. Clearly it’s time for a new strategy, and here’s a hint: attacking Mormons? Not so persuasive.

← Previous PageNext Page →