And now for something completely different: My mother, Vice President of the U.S. (and so can you)

September 8, 2008 at 5:26 pm (Politics) (, , , , , , )

OK, Dajieblack is royally pissed off.

I sent a letter to the New York Times, in regards to their 158th article regarding Sarah Palin.

I was extremely polite and non-abusive. I did not call her Charlton Heston in a skirt. I did not say that it’s kinda hypocritical to shoot, kill, skin & eat a live being, then call youself pro-life. I certainly didn’t say that religion has been an excuse for war & oppression since man invented the Gods, and therefore should be quarantined (preferably, in Alaska) until wars cease to exist.

Nor did I crow over the striking similarities of Jamie Lynn Spears – who was literally skewered and served with oregano – and Bristol Palin. (I was confident that all the rabid “morality” voters would disavow the lying, hypocritical, holier-than-thou Ma Palin without my 2 cents.)

They didn’t print it!!! Please, please, somebody explain to me where it is off-topic and abusive. Where??? I must be blind. They have 800 comments per article on Palin, and this is offensive?? How? Where? I didn’t even say the word abortion, dammit!

Please advise. Thanks. Here it is:

Dear Sirs:

My mom is a great person, extremely clever & personable, with a sterling & steely character. (My dad and I tease her that if she had lived in Nazi Germany she would have been a Hitler Youth leader.)

But I don’t think she should be vice president. I know we’re taught from kindergarten that the greatness of this country is that anyone can be president, but come on.

I also know America is going through an extremely anti-intellectual period where university degrees are anathema, and all politicians have to do are smile their fluorescent Colgate smile and drink beers and bowl.

But that is the fast track to permanent decadence, and the decline of this country into poverty and ridicule. It would be nice to identify with my president, but I would much rather he/she were smarter than me; I want to say, “Wow, you know so much, your conversation rocks!” And, “Wow, how do you handle yourself so well with all sorts of people? Your communication skills are magical!”

I want to proudly proclaim: How logical and practical my president is! My president doesn’t get all excited and sidetracked by morality issues, or tell us how to live.

Our president should inspire us to be better people, to achieve more, and to love our neighbor, whether he is Charlon Heston or Priscilla, queen of the desert.

So, I will not ever vote for someone like Sarah Palin for anything beyond Mayor. It is a vote for – I quote from “Amadeus” – “Mediocrity! I salute you!” She is not even an example of affirmative action; she is being used as a puppet of the worst kind.

She may be clever, personable, a fighter, and have many more admirable qualities. But, like it or not, our President, Vice President, and the Cabinet need to have a semblence of qualifications that Sarah Palin does not have. People in high-ranking positions are not supposed to be like your mom, or hapless Uncle Harry.

And, because important people become role models – well, Juno was a cute movie, but what kind of example would our Vice President be to girls? Get knocked up before you finish high school, and destroy the best years of your life? (at least Juno gave it up to continue her carefree existence) Or just have unprotected sex, and don’t worry, mommy will take care of it? Or, worse, mommy is a social conservative in politics, so will force you to get married to your babe-in-arms, or else?

I’m getting 12th century goosebumps all over.

Dajie Black

Athens, Greece

I also posted it on the Economist’s website – and they took it off! Which is even more insane, because the Economist (with its libertarian live-and-let-live philosophy) lets everybody abuse each other, no matter how gaily off-topic they are. In their March article All At Sea regarding Greece, Macedonia and their name troubles, the comments were about whether Methodius and Cyril were Greek, or spoke Greek, and “Tremble, snooty Greeks we’re a-coming!!” and so on. The Greeks, naturally gave as good as they got, turning the forum into – for the most part – an ugly, uninformed, macho brawl with awful spelling.

Where, pray tell, is the abuse in my letter? I specifically tried not to sound like a college-loving liberal – ok, maybe I failed at that. But I truly believe that the more knowledge you have about anything – first-hand, second-hand, accredited or not – the better you become as a person. Open-minded. Able to converse. To think in diverse ways.  To have empathy.

Even if Sarah Palin was Governor of Alaska for the last 20 years, she lacks everything needed in a diplomat. And that is what everyone who works at the White House is. They are go-betweens, smoothers-over, hand-shakers, and problem-solvers. The president serves as uber-diplomat #1, and sets the tone for the rest.

This is a woman who, having university qualifications for an internship at best, wanted to deny her fellow-Wasillans access to certain books that she deemed bad! I didn’t call her Hitler, either, but with that action alone, she is more like him than any other inexperienced politician I can think of.

I am just a human being who believes that any and all extremists (left or right) should never have more power than a toll booth on a highway. They are annoying, they slow you down, but you drive on and forget about them – until the next one comes along and asks for your money – no pennies, please.

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The Eastern Question: Letter to the Economist

April 18, 2008 at 3:28 pm (Politics) (, , , )

Dear Sirs:

As usual, whenever an article about Greece is printed in the Economist, I am led to wonder what your sources are. Whatever the topic, your articles are uniformly one-sided and show a stunning lack of knowledge of the reality of any given situation.

Nobody knows better than Greek businessmen what “great strides” have been made in Macedonia in the last few years.  They are the chief investors in the country’s burgeoning economy.

And it is laughable to fault “Greek nationalists” for Greece’s veto; I do not recall any other time in which Greece’s polarizing political parties have been so unified on a single issue.  From the far-left to the far-right everyone has been supportive of the largely unpopular government’s actions.

Certainly, this unity should give some food for thought to any journalist covering the situation.  I know that regional politics are small fry compared to US elections, wars, food shortages, and the general “big picture”, but if you insist on covering and offering opinions on them, you should be a bit more well-read and less trigger-happy with your analysis.

Nothing is ever so simple as it seems.  Your article (All at sea, April 10th 2008) is saying, in effect, look at this nice little country which is trying its best to become like us civilized types, and stingy, nasty Greece won’t let it.

I was vaguely of that opinion; more specifically, I felt it logical for a province that has known itself by a certain name to keep that name upon asserting its statehood. Usually, countries change their name only if they had been oppressed by the previous regime.

However, I cannot help but find it disturbing, when symbols of another day and age (and historically ascribed to the heritage of Greece) adopted by this country as their own. Why the flag of Vergina? (Vergina is a city situated in Greece; the tombs of Philip and the revamped Macedonian museum are there.) Why should the current prime minister lay a wreath in front of a map showing Macedonia’s border reaching to the Aegean? Why do their history books state that Pella is not the Pella of Greece (Philip II’s birthplace) but a valley located inside the modern-day Macedonian Republic?

These actions do not point to a squeaky-clean little country trying to create a bright future for itself.  Rather, it seems like their discovery of American support (who are, in turn, scrabbling madly to find new yes-men in the area) has led them to become cocksure, arrogant, and disrespectful of their neighbors and investors.

I understand the need for a national identity, and I am sure that Alexander had close ties to the region;  but he went all the way to India, and had a particular regard for Persia. He belongs to everybody that he conquered; including the Egyptians, who are very proud of their own city of Alexandria.

There cannot have a dearth of history between the 3rd century BC and 1992; true, the region was occupied by many and never existed as an independent country. Still, there must be something else (especially for the ethnic Albanian population) to use as a national symbol, to bring this new country the internal harmony it so obviously needs.

As to the events of 1948, Greece was undergoing a brutal civil war at the time, and any one suspected or found to be a communist was either killed or deported or jailed by the government forces. Thousands of families of every ethnic origin have tragic tales of woe to tell regarding this black period of Greek history. (As do those families who were destroyed in 1922, 1913, and so on.)

I can only assume that because the Greek communists were acting upon their dreams of the USSR as an ally (they had no idea that Stalin had agreed -under the 1944 Percentages Agreement- to give Greece to the UK’s sphere of influence) that Greek Slavs were more attracted to the Communist way of thinking than the Nationalist-Royalist; thus, more of them were hurt by the eventual Nationalist triumph and backlash.

But this is the Balkans. We who live here know how quickly one can turn from aggressor to victim and back again; and we know the Ancient Greek, Latin, Turkish, Pontic, and Slavic names of any city you care to ask us about. Our history is intertwined, and continues to be so; to ignore that fact is hypocritical to the extreme. This is the reality of the sad, confusing, and exciting past of the Balkans.

And that is why Macedonia’s posturing and self-righteousness strikes me as a completely cynical attempt to take advantage of the current American favor they enjoy. They must at all costs keep the country together and not show the cracks to NATO and the EU; what better way to than to shift attention to the masquerade of who can claim Alexander the Great as their own?

I take my hat off to them, for they are proving extremely adept at playing politics. Certainly better than Greece ever has. So, by all means, let them try to win Alexander; just don’t condemn Greece for playing the game with equal intensity.

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dajieblack’s two cents on the question of Macedonia has been sent to the desk of my favorite-magazine-in-the-world’s editor…. she also posted it on the online version as a comment to the original article….I await nationalist attacks (of either country) with glee!

April 30, 2008: dajieblack is sad.  nobody at the economist’s forum wanted to play with her.  they preferred debating cyril’s, methodius’s and bucephalus’s origins. with horrid grammar. sniff.

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