Archive for February, 2008

Feb 29 2008

Cult of Personality

Published by under Politics

    Watching the debates, it is obvious who the media darlings are, whom they hate and which way they swing, as they sway the public opinion to their way of thinking in this, their Cult of Personality. They demolish and slander the ones they dislike, turning the tiniest remarks against their targeted candidate, twisting the truth into the ugliest of lies, from which the truth will never see the light of day. And forget the policies of the candidates, because the media is making damn sure the nation is playing into their popularity contest instead of seeing which candidate is best prepared for running the country!

    Still, I have to wonder how it is that Americans fall so easily into the traps the media lay. I have seen a pattern in their interrupting answers being given by Senator Clinton, that when she is detailing a policy of hers she has been interrupted by the mediator in a debate who then asks Obama to rebut something she said earlier in her comments ~ drawing attention away from something so essential for the public to know! We don’t hear what is really important, such as a detailed accounting of each candidate’s work history ~ which informs their abilities as a President ~ and the candidates detailed explanations of their policies, both foreign and domestic, and their reasoning behind these policies. As Madeleine Albright pointed out, the fact that Senator Clinton made mistakes while acting as First Lady in the White House has benefited her, because she learned from it and knows now how best to proceed and won’t waste time on a learning curve.

    Thanks to the Media slant, many don’t know and few will remember that the race card was first played by the Obama camp. Never mind that Senator Clinton’s quote from a black minority leader was a fair call, after all she is a minority ~ more than Obama in this particular race ~ a woman in an arena that has been dominated by men. As President of the United States, a black man would be a first, but still we would have a man as President! But a woman as President ~ the prejudices that come with that are far more reaching than this country wants to admit. The only thing that might make it harder for her would be if she were a black woman, talk about your minority! So the media should just shut up already about the race card, because frankly she has a stronger minority argument!

    There needs to be some honest writing about what is going on in the press. Frankly they are slaughtering the Clintons ~ no surprise, they have been after them since President Clinton was in the White House, but is Hillary paying for the sins of her husband at the expense of the country? Has anybody ever considered what these two people went through since he first took office? The witch-hunt that never ended, and yet they have never stopped serving the public good. President Clinton continues to serve this country even as he continues to be unfairly attacked by the media and the Republican slander machine. How many of us could accomplish all that they have under such hellish circumstances? How many of us would even consider it, much less have the temperament to go through it?

    Senator Clinton is the only candidate that has presented any real substantive policies, she isn’t talking around the issues, it isn’t all catch phrases and speech making, she has details, facts and data, and if you ask her about her background she can tell you the when, where, the names of groups and companies she has worked with. All of Barack Obama’s rhetoric is just a sound loop, it conveys no information about his policies but gives everyone the “vibe” that he is going to do what they want once he is in office. It makes them believe he is going to change everything for the better, and all they really want is to get away from how things have been these last 7 years, right? But the fact is, we need someone tough enough and with the knowledge of how to get in there and get dirty and get it done right the first time and not make a first timers mistakes – we cannot afford on the job training and the mistakes that come with that this time around, because this country is in real trouble! We do not need a “feel good” President, we need a real good President!

    Obama is all talk about his work history, but there isn’t anything that is researchable in what he reveals in his speeches ~ he is virtually unknown. Now with that name, in this era, that is hard to imagine, don’t you think? He is a cartoonists and stand-up comics dream, he would not have slipped by them unnoticed if he had been as actively “working for the people” as he says he’s been in the political arena. No, Obama has been working in the shadows, waiting for this opportunity.

    A bit of perspective regarding Iraq: It is easy to be against the war in Iraq when you weren’t in a position to have to vote on the issue, to be held accountable to the people that you are representing in your district. Lest everyone forget, Senator Clinton represents the people of New York who had been attacked by a Weapon of Mass Destruction and at the time that her vote was cast there was a strong belief that our enemies in Iraq had WMD and were prepared to use them against us, albeit engendered by a president and administration we had not yet learned the truth about. With the fears of her constituents as fresh as the blood and ash on the streets of New York where the World Trade Center once stood, she had very strong and compelling reasons to cast her vote as she did. As far removed as the rest of the country was, watching from our living rooms as the tragedy unfolded, never having breathed the rancid air or known the terror the sound of an airplane must bring to the people that survived that day, it must be an easy thing for Obama to say he was against the war in Iraq from day one. To have never been under attack, it is easy to take a position like his. He didn’t have to answer to the people that had known the terror of having been the target of Weapons of Mass Destruction. He wasn’t in a position of having to tell them “I did nothing when the President came to me and told me that the enemy had weapons and were going to attack the US.” And now Obama sits there with the commentators, mediators, and the rest of us who have always been against the war, with the luxury of twenty-twenty hindsight, saying “I told you so”, without a hint of understanding or knowledge of what it was to be in her position. I have always been against the war, but when I considered this perspective, I understood Senator Clinton’s vote better, because I could not imagine what it must have been like for New Yorkers to be told that our enemy, an insane man such as Saddam Hussein, had amassed weapons to be used against us, or the fear that this must have engendered in them.

    I have a friend that is gung-ho for Obama, because she felt that Senator Clinton was against pulling out of Iraq. She did not understand Clinton’s response to the question about ending the war. We had a rather heated discussion about it, as you might imagine. I was for helping the Iraqi people, mainly the women and children there (though I felt the war was an extreme move and not in their best interest). A friend of mine was training the Iraqi women to operate their own businesses. She sent me newsletters about her work and experiences there, so I had a genuine view of the good that was being done there to balance the media picture. But knowing about all these people working with the Americans, I was distressed about how we would go about pulling out while keeping them safe, until I heard Senator Clinton speak at the January 31st debate. She gave the most responsible answer:

I’ve been very clear in saying that I will begin to withdraw troops in 60 days. I believe that it will take me one to two brigades a month, depending on how many troops we have there, and that nearly all of them should be out within a year. It is imperative, though, that we actually plan and execute this right. And you may remember last spring, I got into quite a back-and-forth with the Pentagon, because I was concerned they were not planning for withdrawal, because that was contrary to their strategy, or their stated position.And I began to press them to let us know, and they were very resistant, and gave only cursory information to us. So I’ve said that I will ask the Joint Chiefs and the secretary of defense and my security advisers the very first day I’m president, to begin to draw up such a plan so that we can withdraw.

But I just want to be very clear with people, that it’s not only bringing our young men and women and our equipment out, which is dangerous. They have got to go down those same roads where they have been subjected to bombing and so much loss of life and injury. We have to think about what we’re going to do with the more than 100,000 Americans civilians who are there, working for the embassy, working for businesses, working for charities.And I also believe we’ve got to figure out what to do with the Iraqis who sided with us. You know, a lot of the drivers and translators saved so many of your young men and women’s lives, and I don’t think we can walk out on them without having some plan as to how to take care of those who are targeted.At the same time, we have got to tell the Iraqi government there is no more time. They are out of time. They have got to make the tough decisions they have avoided making. They have got to take responsibility for their own country.

And in the February 21st Debate, she reiterated her plan and also talked about a military wife she had encountered:

“Last night in Brownsville, you know, a woman grabbed my hand and said, “Please, my husband’s there for the third time. Bring him home.” And I told her privately what I have said publicly many times – I will bring him home because I do not think it is in the interest of America or of the Iraqis that we continue to be there. It is up to the Iraqis to decide the kind of future they will have.”

She has been the ONLY Candidate showing enough respect to the people to spell this out instead of just telling us what we want to hear. Obama had to, once again, back pedal and follow in her footsteps when she explained it. Situations like this are the reason why she commented on always getting the first question, because they enable Obama to avoid having any real substantive answers of his own, he simply adds his own tagline to her ideas. Rick and I caught on during the first debate between Clinton and Obama, so the Mediators and Commentators are playing dumb, the question is why? How can we have a truly democratic system when the media freely manipulates the facts?

    When did the reporters become part of the story? How do we get them to stop their slanderous comments and get them to dig into what’s important, to leave their personal bias out of our news, to state the facts and let us be our own Judge and Jury? Let’s stop being so narrowly focused on one thing and expand the arena, stop the health care issue from being the ONLY issue covered in debates and stop the war in Iraq from being the bludgeoning tool that it has become. What are the candidates’ policies and plans for resolving our foreign diplomatic issues with countries other than Iraq? What about the economy, the mortgage crisis, the green energy issues, and women’s rights? What about the Republicans and the damage they have done? What are the candidates’ credentials? Lets put those up for a comparison and see how they stand up to the light of day. Instead of hearing his sound bite over and over again; let’s see Obama’s history of “serving the people”, then let’s see how it measures up to Senator Clinton’s record ~ and put it to a Vote!

No responses yet

Feb 28 2008

Complicit Media?

Published by under Politics

    We were not surprised when Senator Clinton commented last night on the fact that she always gets the first questions ~ which of course then gives Obama the opportunity to ride on her coat/skirt tails when he responds to the same question. That the moderators appear to be complicit is what offends us. Tim Russert, when discussing this fact after the debates played dumb, stating that he had given each the opportunity to answer questions first. However, his examples of questions were specific to each candidate and not the dual candidate questions which Senator Clinton had been referring too. The Media is playing into the Obama Mania, but is it just because they dislike the Clintons so much or are they really that ignorant?

    Time after time we have watched these debates and been impressed with the facts and details Senator Clinton has laid out regarding her policies and experience, and then watched as Obama has had to backpedal, saying “I agree with Senator Clinton” and then launch into his boilerplate rhetoric. She has presented us with her long and impressive, and researchable work history (i.e. you can easily find out exactly what she has accomplished in public domain records), while Obama has given only generic reference to what he has done “all his life” but provided no tangible evidence of his “work product”, to use a lawyer term. He did not exist prior to throwing his hat into the Presidential Ring, to most of the citizens of the United States ~ and I wonder how many of his statesman knew of his existence prior to that as well.

    Frankly I hated the way the moderators backed down from their question, and then let Senator Clinton take it in the chops for taking Obama to the mat for not outright rejecting the support of Louis Farrakhan, when any child with a dictionary can easily discern the difference between denunciation and rejection.

No responses yet

Feb 16 2008

Significance of My Picture

Published by under General

I wasn’t too thrilled at first, when I saw that Rick had chosen my photo to replace the header for our family Blog. I won’t even go into his comment that he needed a wide photo, too many puns! I immediately began searching out a photo of Cory or at least one of me with make-up on! But none were as good as this one, and I could not understand why until I examined this photo more closely, and it was not until I stopped being so self-critical and really looked at the picture that I knew exactly when this picture was taken (without even looking at the photo log). When I told Rick, he was certain it was from our first trip years earlier, but when he checked he learned that I had been dead on. Here is the wonderful story behind the photo:


You may recall the original header was of San Francisco, our favorite city, where Rick and I took our first vacation together in September 2000, when he proposed. So when we returned there in January 2003 for MacExpo we were excited, even bought a new Mac iBook for the event, and drove there in my Acura, much to the detriment of my back. We arrived at our small room, which reeked of smoke, and immediately ventured to the corner liquor store, where we bought enough alcohol to get us through the week and a room deodorizer spray that, thankfully, worked amazingly well, and I sank into the ancient but rather deep bathtub. We were not deterred as we settled in for a week of walking, information gathering and purchasing. We walked the expo by day and the city by night. The world was our oyster and we were intoxicated! By the end of the Expo we were ready to head home and get to work. We had Big Plans for Gardner Graphics!


This photo was taken on our last day. We had checked out of our room and headed to the wharf, and were riding on some of the oldest trolley cars on tracks in San Francisco, which I was standing in and you can see the wooden window frames on either side of me. But what makes this photo special is the twinkle in my eyes… Cory had been conceived just a couple of nights earlier, unbeknownst to either Rick or myself. Though we sensed something momentous had occurred! So that smile has a whole new meaning for me now. And the photo? It is the first picture I have seen of myself in years that I now truly Love! Why? Because of Cory, yes, but also because it reminds me how much my husband has always loved me for who I am on the inside, that every time he looks at me he sees beauty, and it shows just how much fun we have together!


Thank you Rick for giving me so much with such a simple gesture.
This was the best Valentine’s Day present ever, I Love You!

5 responses so far

Feb 13 2008

Happy Valentines Day

Published by under General

This is a special Valentines day wish from our special Valentine.

Daddy please put this on the Gardner Family Website and wish everyone a happy Valentines day.

Butterfly Heart

His name is Cory pictured here:

Cory New Years

2 responses so far

Feb 12 2008

Healthy Choices

Published by under Health

     Life is a series of choices, but we don’t always see the choices we have, and so we give away our choices all the while thinking they were taken from us. What we choose today may well determine the range of choices we will have tomorrow, and so it makes sense to take better care of ourselves today, no? Too bad we don’t have that common sense when we are younger!


     If we take better care of ourselves because it feels right and is a life plan and not a temporary goal or something someone else expects of us, we can find a path that suits us and works best for our lifestyle, instead of an unbearable daily torture, a temporary solution and a difficult to keep promise that will be broken once the goal has been met, from which we will slip back where we started from, wondering what happened. If we give everything up like a martyr and have that sense that life will no longer have any joie de vivre…well, then it won’t, because we will rob it of every joyous moment with our attitude and negative perspective! We will spend every moment thinking of the things we are missing out on, what we do not have, snapping at everyone around us instead of realizing that we have it pretty good and we haven’t really given up so much after all, and what we are gaining is pretty spectacular. If you are a negative person you will only see the negative and miss all the great things in your day, but if you step outside of your black cloud you can see some pretty amazing things, you just have to be willing to let go of all that is holding you in that bad head space first. If you are used to being there it can be pretty hard to get out, and even harder to stay out. Baby steps, but once you start stepping out each day it gets easier, the brain just needs to be retrained. The “ego” doesn’t like change, it wants everyone around you to change instead. But change is good, it shakes things up a bit.


     When you are truly healthy you will find that the unhealthy foods you once craved no longer hold the same appeal. So often people get angry about having their diets changed by their doctors, they feel denied of favorite foods, but do not realize that they crave those favorite foods because their systems are out of balance and if they would just follow guidelines set to help balance out their systems those cravings would pass. They would still enjoy some of those foods, but their “needs and cravings” for them would pass, so long as they did not allow themselves to binge on them and knock their systems out of balance again.


     Some people set difficult goals because they enjoy the thrill of the obstacle course, or they put things off until the final hour and then have to push themselves like they are in a race to get it all done in an impossibly short amount of time. Make choices for yourself, be selfish in this, and find what works for you, ask questions, do the research, do what needs to be done to be the best you, to live the best life. If you must live your life like you are in a race, then recognize that the race is not meant to make you miserable in reaching a goal that you can only fall away from in the end. After all, the joy of life isn’t in arriving at the destination, it’s the journey…and the characters we meet along the way!

One response so far

%d bloggers like this: