Thursday, 29 October 2009

Commander and Chief

I cannot presume to know what it must be like to balance our great nation's security against the losses of our blood and treasure.

If my son or daughter were inside this casket, I believe I would take a small measure of comfort that the person whose ultimate decision to send my child to war was willing to witness my child's sacrifice to our country.

I have examined this video very closely. I see no dithering.

Further, I believe anyone with the audacity to suggest that anything less than a thoughtful, intelligent examination of further troop commitments to a place as perilous and politically complicated as Afganistan demonstrates a chilling moral bankruptcy, the likes of which I pray never holds power in our country again.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

I don't know what the future holds for my little santa elf that enjoys being on stage as much as her Aunt Audrey...

But, if it is anything as fun as this moment, it's going to be a good life.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Political MMQ

Honestly? I think the White House has taken on Fox "News" because they want to drive up their ratings. I think the White House wants to make sure that reasonable people see what Fox is doing. And despite all the recent evidence I've seen to the contrary, I still believe the American people will not stay on a crazy train that Glenn Beck is conducting. Call me naive. Call me hopeful. Go ahead, tell me I still have faith in intelligence, logic, and reason. I can take it. Obama is my President. He speaks my language and, more importantly, the world's language. Rule of law is being returned. Our standing in the world order has been restored. It is a new day and it is now okay to call Fox News out for what it is.


Sunday, 25 October 2009

A Banner Week on Stepford Stories

I started Stepford Stories six months ago. When I started, the blog had exactly seven readers. Six of these readers I brought with me from DivineCaroline and the other is a personal friend from Stepford.

Things have changed. This week we met Ash, a reader who lives in Lahore, Punjab Pakistan. I'll always remember this moment. Without Stepford Stories, there would be a kindred spirit all the way around the world of which I would have never been aware. This was good day.

On Friday, Stepford Stories was nominated for four Blogger's Choice Awards. I'm very proud of the four little nomination badges at the top of the blog.

Yesterday, we met Emmy, a conservative from the Northwest. And for the first time in six months, someone challenged my liberalism on Stepford Stories. And the comment section actually got a little heated.

I think it's a real blog now.

Whenever I'm writing a serious piece about a serious issue, I take my time. If I'm commenting on public policy, I care deeply that the writing is thoughtful and a clear reflection of my ideals. Emmy has challenged just about every hot button issue I posses.

And I'll be responding.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

A Little Too Much Magnesium: A Special Comment on Gun Control

Editor's note: You'll need to click the iPod in the sidebar to turn the music off prior to playing the video. The sound is very important to the total effect.

The attached video is the best argument I can come up with for gun control.

(Yes, I realize there are no guns in the video. However, I also think dangerous chemicals should be tightly controlled and I'm betting this dude has a few guns of his own.)

My feelings about gun control stem from my fear of weapons. Or, more accurately stated, my belief that weapons are most often wielded by people who are either stupid or crazy or both. And I am very, very afraid of stupid, crazy people.

(You can imagine my need for anxiety meds during the eight years that W. had his finger on the trigger of the nation's nukes.)

Now, my gun control argument aside, this video also begs many questions which I need you to help me answer after you watch this one minute and seventeen second piece of social research:

1. Does anyone know the creative genius who added the Deliverance banjo as the sound track to the video? If so, please thank him or her for me. It really made it so much better than it otherwise would be.

2. Was turning out the light prior to ignition really necessary? I think that kind of took away from the suspense the banjo was providing.

3. Since when is experimenting with fireworks a hobby? And for Halloween?

4. If you had almost blown your freaking head off, would "Holy Smokes" be the first thing that came out of your mouth? 'Cause I'm thinking it wouldn't be what I'd go with.

5. Why is he apologizing? And does saying "I won't do that again" seem a wee bit rhetorical to you?

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

If I can guide these two tender and joyful souls into adulthood...

while maintaining the exuberance pictured here, my life will have been a success.

(photo courtesy of Lori Tegtmeyer)

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

To My Loyal Reader in Lahore, Punjab Pakistan

Dear Reader who visits Stepford Stories from Pakistan,

My Feedjit Traffic Feed says you visit from "Lahore, Punjab". Feedjit is not always 100% accurate, but I assume this is at least your general vicinity. I first became aware of your presence one evening when my husband took a rare glance at my blog. He said, "Who is reading from that little dot?" I looked at the Feedit Geo Map, scrolled the cursor over the dot and said, "Oh, yeah. I'm really big in Punjab."

I thought that was funnier than he did.

I've wondered about you often. Are you male or female? Are you an American in military? Are you an American studying abroad? Are you Pakistani? However, more than wondering about all of that, I have often wondered about your safety. Back in May, I was relieved to see your visit. And especially today as I listened on NPR about the most recent bombings in Lahore, I breathed a sigh of relief to see you were still with me.

I just wanted you to know that I appreciate your visits, your reading of my writing, and that I hope you continue to stay safe in an increasingly dangerous part of the world.

Much love,

Monday, 19 October 2009

Political MMQ

This week I have a clip from The Rachel Maddow Show. I don't have a lot to say about it, which should tell you a great deal about how deeply this kind of big-money, right-wing, rabble-rousing disturbs me. These people take advantage of people based upon their fears. They appeal to the lowest common denominator in us all.


Wednesday, 14 October 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

These pictures of The Polyphonic Spree's recent concert took my breath away. They capture the essence of this band better than any I have seen.

My sister, flautist, and rocker - Audrey Easley.

The pied-piper, and creative force - Tim DeLaughter

Seriously, this is exactly how I feel when I get the privilege to be in the audience.

(All photos courtesy of Pitchfork.)

Monday, 12 October 2009

Political MMQ

Sunday morning didn't make the cut for this week's Political MMQ. (Although, if you didn't see Ana Marie Cox on CNN, it is well worth a watch.)

This week I have two clips, both from Morning Joe. Clip one has Max Blumenthal discussing his new book Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered The Party. I've not had an opportunity to read this book, but it is on my reading list for this fall. I love this clip because, well, Joe Scarborough goes temporarily insane - by the end of the interview he won't even face Max Blumenthal directly or look him in the eye. Not a very nice way to treat a guest, but when your party gets called out for being what they are, it doesn't leave Joe with much to work with other than rudeness. It happens.

Clip two shows Mike Barnacle taking Liz-"I Channel My Dad, Satan"-Cheney to task. Mica should really take a cue from Mike, but sadly she apparently sits too close to Joe. I appreciate Mike Barnacle's visible anger at the lie Liz Cheney is trying to peddle. Too bad more people on television don't have the balls to take on the right wing when it is appropriate.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Over the weekend, we held my daughter's birthday party at the local gym where she takes gymnastics.

My son pretending to grab the rope in the background. He is always aware of what the shot might look like.

My daughter powering through a front flip. Believe it or not she landed this on her feet. Yes, she was going fast and it freaks me out - e v e r y t i m e.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Political MMQ

Okay, I'm trying to get some sort of method to my blogging madness so that my posts are not so few and far between. Beginning today, I'm starting Political Monday Morning Quarterback. My favorite television time is by far Sunday mornings. I try to catch as many Sunday morning talk shows as I can (Fox News excluded). Here is my favorite clip from yesterday. I've always been a huge James Carville fan and just love it when he goes all Cajun on someone. And how sweet it is, that in this case, that someone is Glenn the Rabid Hedgehog Beck.