14 August 2010


BACKBONE. At a dinner celebrating Ramadan (a White House tradition that dates as far back as President Thomas Jefferson President Obama has strongly defended a proposed mosque and Muslim community center near Ground Zero in Manhattan. Obama made reference to the freedom of religion upon which our nation was based, and noted further that "Al-Qaeda's cause is not Islam -- it is a gross distortion of Islam. In fact, Al Qaeda has killed more Muslims than people of any other religion, and that list includes innocent Muslims who were killed on 9/11." To his credit, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has also forcefully supported the project.

Note: Forty religious leaders of all faiths have denounced Sarah Palin, Fox News and Newt Gingrich for their bigoted hate speeches against the mosque. I don't understand why anyone with functioning brain cells would pay attention to Palin, Fox or Gingrich. Calling them "airheads" is an insult to airheads.

I am among those who supported Obama's election, and also among those who think that he has been misguided in (a) prolonging and expanding the war in Afghanistan, and (b) being far too accomodating toward conservative obstructionists on controversial issues. Obama is known for being a mediator and bridge-builder, which is an admirable trait. But when the opposition rigidly and repeatedly opposes humane economic and social reforms, it's time to take a stand and let the voters see just who is responsible for our entry into quicksand. (Hint -- take note of who has opposed comprehensive health care reform, financial reform, environmental reform, et al.)

Mr. President, you may be on the right track, but if you proceed too slowly, someone may run over you from behind.

GOOD GUYS. One of my absolute favorite bloggers, The Angry Black Woman, relates with her usual clarity and take-no-prisoners prose how an encounter with a particularly loathsome, unreconstructed male chauvinist pig reminded her to notice and appreciate the good men who are among her circle of friends. As one of those men who has been a self-changer all his life, and who may at times appear clueless but still has good intentions, my heart was warmed by her thoughts. Too seldom we (I) pay attention to that which needs fixing, and forget to notice and enjoy that which is already fine. So to all my friends out there, male and especially female, who have put up with my missteps as I lurch toward being an evolved human being, my thanks and my love.

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