On Palin

I try not to get too political here, but since the actual media can’t seem to shut up about her, I guess I’ll chime in too.

I just read this article from CNN.com about Sarah Palin’s resignation. You’re going to have to read it now if the rest of this is to make any sense at all. The quotes below, unless otherwise linked, are from this article.

Go ahead, read it. I’ll wait…..

There are so many problems with this situation that it frustrates me to no end, so I’ll just list them out here in no particular order.

She resigned because of the tremendous pressure, time and financial burden of a litany of ethics complaints in the past several months, she said.

If one quits a task before finishing it, by definition, one is a quitter. So she probably needs to stop complaining that she’s not a quitter when she just quit her job. Sorry if you don’t like the word, but according to, well, the English Language, one who quits is a quitter. I don’t necessarily hold quitting against the quitter, though – it’s often for the best for all parties.

Sometimes there is honor in not completing something if you are not being as effective as you wanted to or are unable to put the time and effort into it that you intended and by quitting, the job will be better performed by someone else. For whatever reason. And on the face of it, legal troubles, overwhelming pressure from the political realm and media, and family responsibility are perfectly legitimate reasons. Sometimes you need to take time to pull back and regroup personally and professionally and there’s nothing wrong with that if you come out of it a better person.

Sometimes it is also better to “quit” than to force significant hardship on innocent bystanders, like one’s minor children, if quitting would benefit them by allowing you to be a better parent in general. Some family situations and some children require more of a time investment than others by virtue of their individual needs. It’s not so much quitting as admitting that your other “job” is actually more important. Maybe that’s not the issue here, but it would be a perfectly legitimate reason, even so.

But why? And why now? Do we care? Is it really any of our business? Maybe not. Maybe.

Speculation has run rampant that Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate in 2008, will seek the presidency in 2012. When pressed about her future, Palin would say only that she would work in public service. She did not rule out a run for the White House or any other political office.

The thought of Palin as president of this country horrifies and dumbfounds me. Luckily, I’m not alone and not just among liberals. Most conservatives I know (in general, smart, young-ish professionals and parents) are similarly frightened by the idea and would prefer someone with not just more experience (as of this month she’s unemployed, technically), but more knowledge, more composure, more intelligence, more common sense, more reliability, more diplomacy, more….just more.

I can name so many other intelligent Republicans that would fit the bill better. Even if I don’t agree with their political platforms, I can respect their intellect and decision making process. Much of Palin’s “campaigning” seems to revolve around divisiveness, distrust, and negativity, to put it lightly, and I have a hard time respecting someone who won’t even try to pull the country together for the greater good and attack issues that face us ALL. A good politician can do that no matter his or her political platform.

While my political views fall to the left on most issues, I have faith that the thinking conservatives will feel similarly and choose a candidate based on more than polarizing rhetoric; one who truly understands the issues we are facing rather than one who seems to understand very little of the complexity of problems we are facing, but appeals greatly to the far right, the oft-referred to “Base.” That is to say, one who can make rational decisions, is clear headed, and can identify and verbalize the precise reasoning that led them to the choices they made.

The feedback I have heard from my (many – this is Texas, after all) conservative friends, most of whom would tell you outright that Palin does not represent them or their ideals, reinforces this. I have heard the word, “moron” bandied about more than once by my Republican friends. I don’t think she is a moron, but I think she would serve this nation as a whole very poorly. And after her recent resignation, I also think the office of President would serve her very poorly.

The days since her resignation had been exhilarating and she loved being in Dillingham, a town of only a few thousand people and no cell phone service, Palin said.

From Wikipedia (and the U.S. Census):

Downtown Juneau is nestled at the base of Mount Juneau. As of the 2000 Census, the City and Borough had a population of 30,711. The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 population estimate for the City and Borough was 30,690.

We all need an occasional break from the digital age, but even urban Alaska is a far cry from the lights, noise, and sheer number of people in Washington D.C. To put it another way, Juneau is to Dillingham as Washington is to Juneau. To be fair, Wasilla, Palin’s home base is actually quite close to Anchorage, a city with, as of the 2000 census, 260,283 people residing in the municipality. Large, but hardly overwhelming when compared to D.C. with over 5.3 million people in the greater metro area. Can she adapt? Probably. I guess. Fish out of water? Maybe.

….off-color jokes by talk-show host David Letterman contributed to her decision to step down, Thomas Van Flein said….The governor needed a break after being “on duty now for two and a half years solid,” he said.

A presidential term lasts 4 years (plus the year or more of full-on campaigning beforehand). It’s no 4 year pleasure cruise, even during the boom times. A common estimate is that a President ages two years for every year in office. You can see for yourself here. My point is this – it’s not an easy task for anyone who takes it on. And that’s without the constant media critique and ribbing one will encounter. It’s part of the job and part of our culture to analyze and to demand more and frankly, to poke fun where there is fun to be poked. Being president can’t be easy, even if you do a stupendous job of it all and I’d venture to suggest that it’s vastly more difficult than being the Governor of the the least densely populated state in the union.

I’m not saying one cannot be President as a mother with children, don’t get me wrong. Not at all. I want to put that out there right now. Will it take significant time away from your children? Will aspects of it be trying? Sure, but like any mother who works full time, there are huge benefits to be had and those benefits may be more right for your family than staying at home or even working a “normal” job in cases such as this. After all, Barrack Obama has children – perhaps not the same as having an infant, but still, they are young and impressionable girls. And given the right caregiver, children will thrive – I would presume that a First Dude’s efforts combined with a loving nanny (Presidential spouses have significant duties as well) could, if done right, certainly make up for the very significant time away a mommy POTUS would entail.

Friday was “deliberately chosen” for the announcement because of its proximity to the July Fourth holiday, Van Flein said: “She declared her independence from politics as usual.”

That’s an interesting way of putting it. Maybe she wants to get away from all of it for a while. And honestly, if that’s the best thing for her family and her children, then good for her for putting her foot down.

Does it please me to think of her permanently out of national politics? Of course it does.

On the other hand, I think Palin’s run in 2012 would all but guarantee Obama a second term and as things stand right now, that would be perfectly OK too.

Added Some Links

I just added a few over there to the right to spice up the place. See over there, to the right and then down. No…further, yeah, there. Check them out while your kids are working on the printables I posted below.

I literally just snorted my drink while catching up on my photo bomb posts. Fantastic site.

Feel free to suggest more.

Summer Survival: Activities for the Wee Beasts

Summer heat got you housebound and crabby? Try these:

Make your own sidewalk chalk. We’ll have to try that – we go through the stuff like water.

National Geographic-sponsored Geography site for kids: My Wonderful World.

Make your own Word Search. I made one with all the kids’ names and pets names and such – you could make one with all of your child’s interests or local place names, too.

Simple Recipes for Kids including special diets (gluten free, vegetarian, etc.)

DLTK’s Chore Chart Generator. Ok, this one is fun for moms, maybe not so much for kids. I told the Beastlings that I would give them a penny per check mark at the end of the week and that was enough to motivate them…for at least the first week. That site has a ton of other activities as well – definitely worth checking out.

Summer activities from Activity Village.

Mazes from All Kids Network.

First School: Preschool activities and crafts. A wealth of ideas for the parent and homeschooler.

Kids-R-Crafty: This site offers activity sheets, coloring pages, dot-to-dots, mazes, vocabulary and worksheets in both English and French.

Making Learning Fun: Preschool and early childhood activities and printables to make learning enjoyable for parents and child.

The Crafty Crow, for you advanced as well as beginner crafters.

Enchanted Learning for complete early learning curriculum – absolutely brilliant and HUGE site – if you have small children, you must check it out.

That’s my offering for the day – hope it helps. I know with the incredible heat and drought conditions we are currently experiencing, outside play just isn’t an option for most of the day and it makes me rather testy and the kids antsy. If only we could install a giant……..


THIS is exactly what I need! Who knew someone else had thought of it first?

Garbage Service

I’m pretty big into recycling – it’s important to me and it should be important to all of us since we all get to share this big blue and green ball we live on. I take it pretty seriously. I rinse and sort everything that can possibly be recycled and then either put it out for pick up (which we pay for) or find someone to take it by driving it to a recycling facility.

Our neighborhood pick-up takes plastic, non-cardboard paper, and aluminum. So I sort, rinse, and put it out in due course. It does take more effort than simply tossing it, but no big deal – it’s all worth it. Hazardous waste, glass, batteries, weird types of plastic, cardboard – all that goes to other facilities.

We had missed the last two weekly pick-ups, so we were really backed up this morning. We have two blue bins, plus we have three extra blue “garbage” bins that we use for recycling that the recycle guys never fail to pick up with the recycling. We also fill up paper grocery bags with our newspaper and other paper, so that is sorted and put neatly behind the official recycling bins. All in all, you’d have to be a moron to think our recycling pile was intended to be garbage. And today, Mr. Lawyer spent a good long time getting it all put out on time before he left for work. I was excited to get it all out at once because it was starting to encroach on the rest of the garage.

Except the recycling guys didn’t take it. The regular garbage truck did. And not only that, but they picked up everyone else’s recycling (Yes, I followed them down the street, shocked and horrified, barefoot, and carrying a half-naked child) and chucked it in with the garbage. And that was that….into the landfill it went.

I tried to call the customer service number, but they weren’t open, it being July 3. Strangely, this has happened a few times before, usually on a holiday. It didn’t dawn on me, but my buddy Bill pointed out today that no doubt they had to pay the workers time and a half holiday pay today. And they just didn’t want to bother. So they were screwing the customer who pays for this service, screwing the workers out of their holiday pay, and worst of all, screwing the environment. Nice.

I’ve called to complain before. Previously, the woman who I spoke with told me that they sort out the garbage and pull the recycling when they are done with the route. Apparently I sound like I was born yesterday, because obviously that was a blatant falsehood. They also told me that they would “let the route supervisors know.” It’s my opinion that if a truck isn’t running its route on any given day, it’s because the supervisors told them not to. Again – just a hunch here.

I’ll call on Monday and report back with whatever response they have to offer. I’ll be interested to see what they have to say. In the interim, I will remain incredibly pissed off.

UPDATE: I called today (Monday July 7) about 10:00a.m. The customer care woman told me that they did not pick up recycling on Friday since it was prior to a holiday. I told her yes, they did and they threw it out(!!!). She wasn’t sure what to say and offered to have a supervisor call me back. I have not gotten a call yet.

ETA – Hey, I already used that graphic. Oops!

Protected: What a difference a year makes.

Up and At ‘Em

You guys may have noticed that The Blog was down for the count over the last month. Well, so was I – taking some time to be not on the computer and getting some stuff (The Decrapping Project is well underway) taken care of. We’re back.

I reorganized a lot of my photos that were hosted on Photobucket and haven’t fixed them all, so if you notice any aren’t showing up, that’s why – I haven’t finished fixing that mess. My PB account had eleventy billion images in it in no particular order, and it had to be done – hopefully it won’t need to be revamped for a while.

Welcome back – please drop me a note if you like. I hope to do a little redecorating shortly – change it up a bit.

Oh, and I just submitted a fond family memory to Awkwardfamilyphotos.com, which is a fantastic site if you haven’t already checked it out. I’ll let you know if it shows up. It’s a good one.

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