Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rally to Restore Sanity

It's great to see democracy in action. Yesterday the Rally to Restore Sanity showed just that. Yes it was hosted by two comedians (but how does one actually classify Glenn Beck). But I think it proved a point that there are many people who want the hyper-rhetoric toned down.

Here's part of what Jon Stewart said in closing out the rally from USA Today:

So what exactly was this? I can't control what people think this was, I can only tell you my intentions. This was not a rally to ridicule people of faith or people of activism, or to look down our noses at the heartland or passionate argument, or to suggest that times are not difficult and we have nothing to fear. They are and we do.

But we live now in hard times, not end times. And we can have animus and not be enemies. But unfortunately, one of our main tools in delineating the two broke. The country's 24-hour politico-pundit- perpetual-panic conflictinator did not cause our problems, but its existence makes solving them that much harder.

The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems, bring them into focus, illuminating issues -- or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire, and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden unexpected dangerous flaming ant epidemic. If we amplify everything, we hear nothing. …

Not being able to distinguish between real racists and tea partiers, or real bigots and Juan Williams or Rick Sanchez, is an insult not only to those people, but to the racists themselves who have put in the exhausting effort it takes to hate. Just as the inability to distinguish terrorists from Muslims makes us less safe, not more. ...

That being said, I feel strangely, calmly good, because the image of Americans that is reflected back to us by our political and media process is false. It is us through a funhouse mirror, and not the good kind that makes you look slim and maybe taller, but the kind that gives you a giant forehead and maybe an ass shaped like a month-old pumpkin. We hear every damn day about how fragile our country is, on the brink of disaster, torn by polarizing hate. …

The truth is, we work together to get things done every damn day. The only place we don't is here, or on cable TV -- but Americans don't live here or on cable TV. ... We know that as a people if we're going to get through the darkness and back into the light, we have to work together. ...

And sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land, it's just New Jersey, but we do it anyway.

Here are a couple of videos from the Rally to Restore Sanity

This last one is all of Jon Stewart's final statement:

A Taste of Rally to Restore Sanity

Hands down for me the funniest thing at the rally (and making a great point too) was this guy and the sign he was carrying.

More from Rally to Restore Sanity

These first two pictures are some of the funniest at the rally. The first one poked fun at some of over the top rhetoric from the right. The second one is just damn funny.

Everywhere a Sign

A whole host of very clever signs and in some cases costumes. The humor should not be lost on making a serious point. It's time to tone things down a little. Just because we disagree with each other doesn't mean that we are enemies. The opposing viewpoint isn't necessarily trying to destroy the country.

It was interesting to watch the coverage on the local Fox station. They did show one of the signs making fun of Fox. Then the reporter said how it was a "lefty crowd" and he said it more than once.

The last picture is the steps of the National Archives; it gives a sense of the number of people on and near the Mall for the rally.

Humor at the Rally

Christine O'Donnell certainly took her share of hits at the rally. These are just two of the signs I saw and in my opinion the two funniest.

Final Picutres from the Rally

This is the largest crowd I've seen in DC since the inauguration. It was a great deal of fun. But it also had an important point one that I've made over and over again. We've let the people who yell the loudest on the right and left dictate the agenda. Reasonable discourse seems to have completely disappeared and that's no way to run a country.

Hopefully people not at the rally will get that from the news coverage and maybe they'll stop and think. One can hope.

Happy Birthday to Sam

I mark Halloween as Sam's unofficial birthday.

He was born sometime in October. He is 15 years old.

Even with his recent health problems, he is still a very active cat. He acts just as crazy as always making loud murumphs and then dashing up the stairs or walking on top of the pipes in the basement. And purrs just as loudly. And is demanding as ever. I'm very glad I have been his human for all these many years.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rally to Restore Sanity

I went down to the rally today. Lots and lots of people. Couldn't get close enough to hear what was going on. But I have to say it was great to see another perspective presented for a change.

Here are a few pictures. I'll post more tomorrow.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

2Political Episode 42

2PP042 - 28 October 2010

2Political Podcast Episode 42 is now available. You can listen to it on the widget on the right side of my blog, or you can go the podcast site, You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode.

After our Special Day, when Arthur displays his arithmetic prowess, we begin with a columnist's reaction to Jon Stewart's rally before moving on to a few of the Teapublican candidates and then on to races were voter turnout by Democrats will really matter. That leads to talk about voters whose apathy may deliver Congress to the Republicans. Arthur is still filled with optimism because a small shift of voters could retain Congress for Democrats—he even sticks up for Blue Dog Democrats! Jason is less optimistic.

Next week we’ll take a look at the election results, especially some key races.

Please leave a comment (anyone's welcome—agree or disagree!), or you can ring the 2Political Comment line on 206-350-3982.

Links for this episode:
Ohi Day – Today’s Special Day
"Jon Stewart's march is no laughing matter" – Anne Applebaum
This is the world that Fox News has created” – Steve Benen of Washington Monthly comments (with video)
Voters: Use your head, not your heart —No one will hear or heed ballots cast in protest” – Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune
Vote As If Your Life Depends On It Because It Does...” – David Mixner
Yes, I voted” – Arthur’s blog post
Arthur’s blog, podcasts and videos can be accessed here.

Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes

Peanuts Halloween

It's almost time for the Great Pumpkin to appear or not appear as the case may be. A few great strips from one of the classic themes of Peanuts.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween around the Neighborhood

As Halloween because a more and more important holiday, there are more people putting out decorations for it. Here's a sampling of what's been put up around my house. I have to say there is some really cool and original decorations out there.

More Halloween around the Neighborhood

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Taking in a DC United Game

I got some free tickets to a DC United game as a thank you from my gym, Results. It was for Saturday's game. It just so happened it was the last game of Jaime Moreno who is the face of DC United:

To appreciate Jaime Moreno's work the past 15 years, ride the creaky elevator to the fourth floor of RFK Stadium. Step into the 1960s-era lobby and amble toward the three glass-doored cabinets. The 39 items on display - trophies, cups, plaques, flags, soccer balls - mark D.C. United's passage of time, and in essence, celebrate Moreno. You won't see his name or photo attached to anything, for these are team prizes. But when you take into account that United has existed for 15 seasons and Moreno, 36, has worn the club's colors for all but one of them, you come to understand the depth of his contribution to MLS's most decorated outfit.

I even got to see him score a goal. It was a great game.

More From the Soccer Game

The last two pictures show Jaime Moreno scoring his final goal as a member of DC United.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Moose and Squirrel

A sad passing:

Alex Anderson, 90, the artist who created the cartoon characters Rocky and Bullwinkle, the flying squirrel and hapless moose who were TV fixtures in the early 1960s, died Oct. 22 at a nursing facility in Carmel, Calif. His wife said he had Alzheimer's disease.

I remember working in a video store in the early 90s when the Rocky and Bullwinkle shows came out on video. There were six episodes released. We started playing the episode in the store. People stopped and watched. People looked for videos and laughed along. In the course of the evening we played all of the tapes. But we never got to see an entire one because people rented them out from under us. They were very popular renters for the next six months or so.

2Political Episode 41

2PP041 - 21 October 2010

2Political Podcast Episode 41 is now available. You can listen to it on the widget on the right side of my blog, or you can go the podcast site, You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode.

It’s a plethora of Special Days with light-hearted banter. That leads to talk of a couple teabagger candidates, and talk of polls and what some say or don’t say. This is the first of weekly podcasts leading up to and past the upcoming elections. Arthur couldn’t remember it at the time, but the Senior Senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin, is up for re-election in 2014. Doh! We even talk about the newsmedia’s failures.

Arthur also had some delays in editing and posting this episode. It probably won’t be the last time.

Please leave a comment (anyone's welcome—agree or disagree!), or you can ring the 2Political Comment line on 206-350-3982.

Links for this episode:
The Misunderstanding of Momentum – Nate Silver
Arthur’s blog, podcasts and videos can be accessed here.

Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes