Thursday, June 28, 2007

And It's . . . Coulter vs. Edwards

Wednesday, Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Presidential candidate John Edwards, telephoned Ann Coulter to ask her to stop her rhetoric of anger and hate—to “raise the level of political discourse in America above personal attacks.” Of course, Coulter refused and responded with more personal attacks.

Coulter is part of an alarmingly large segment of America today, a group that includes people like Rosie O'Donnell, as well as Rush Limbaugh and other “hate radio” talk show hosts. A large number of listeners pay attention; I'm sure many agree with these speakers, but probably just as many are merely entertained by watching a good fight. Apparently audiences loved seeing Rosie O'Donnell go head-to-head with Donald Trump and others. It's like a pseudo-intellectual version of a wrestling match; instead of clever twists and arm-holds, it uses loud, mean-spirited, personally injurious dialogue.

No, “dialogue” is not the correct word. By Merriam-Webster’s definition, a dialogue is “an exchange of ideas and opinions,” a discussion aimed at resolution of a problem. In the Coulter-type dialogue, the objective is to out-shout the other, to outwit him or her with the most hurtful barb, to defeat. Heightened adrenalin gives a satisfying rush. Nothing constructive or positive comes from this kind of “dialogue.” It is a down-and-dirty way of bashing ideas around, and as such, it lowers the level of political discourse, as Elizabeth Edwards said.

If we are really concerned about the direction America should go, I believe we must engage in true, rational discussion. We must try to solve problems instead of shooting each other with flaming arrows. Some people are busily trying to rid the airways of hate radio, as I found on this linked web site. Maybe it’s a good idea, but we have to be careful not to become hate-mongers ourselves in the effort!

Elizabeth Edwards should not have let herself be drawn into a harangue with Ann Coulter; that’s just the thing Coulter would most like, to fuel her fires. Why did she do it? This linked article gives Edwards’s explanation:

On Wednesday, the Edwards campaign sent out a letter to supporters written by Elizabeth which explained "why I called Ann Coulter."

"Last night I had an important talk with Ann Coulter and I want to tell you what happened," Elizabeth Edwards wrote. "On Monday, Ann announced that instead of using more homophobic slurs to attack John, she will just wish that John had been ‘killed in a terrorist assassination plot.’”

The letter continues, "Where I am from, when someone does something that displeases you, you politely ask them to stop. So when I heard Ann was going to be on 'Hardball' last night, I decided to call in and ask her to engage on the issues and stop the personal attacks. I told her these kinds of personal attacks lower our political dialogue at precisely the time when we need to raise it, and set a bad example for our children."

"How did she respond?" Edwards writes. "Sadly, perhaps predictably, with more personal attacks. John's campaign is about the issues—but pundits like Ann Coulter are trying to shout him down. If they will not stop, it is up to us cut through the noise."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Deaths of Soldiers in Iraq

This linked web site has all kinds of statistical information about deaths in Iraq; it is entitled "The Iraq Coalition Casualty Count." I want to bring attention to the number of young adults killed every day in this war.

June 26 Derek C. Dixon, Marines, age 20
Riverside, Ohio

June 25 Trista L. Moretti, Army, age 27
South Plainfield, New Jersey

June 23 Eric C. Palmer, Army, age 21
Maize, Kansas

June 23 Joel A. Dahl, Army, age 21
Los Lunas, New Mexico

June 23 Jason D. Nathan, Air Force, age 22
Macon, Georgia

June 23 Daniel P. Riordan, Army, age 24
St. Louis, Missouri

June 23 Joel A. House, Army, age 22
Lee, Maine

June 23 Jimy M. Malone, Army, age 23
Wills Point, Texas

June 23 Derek A. Calhoun, Army, age 23
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

June 23 Michael D. Moody, Jr., Army, age 31
Richmond, Virginia

June 23 Chris Davis, Army, age 35
Lubbock, Texas

June 23 Shane M. Stinson, Army, age 23
Fullerton, California

June 22 Michael J. Monpetit, Army, age 31
Honolulu, Hawaii

Monday, June 25, 2007

You Never Know....

You never know which pacifier you might need at any given moment, so you have to be prepared at all times.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Cheerleader Crab

This is a “pom-pom crab”—a newly discovered little critter that lives only near the Hawaiian Islands. It was found recently during a census round-up of the ocean there, according to National Geographic.

The article says the pom-poms are not actually part of the crab; they are anemones it uses as tools to rake up unfortunate little organisms on coral reefs for its dinner.

So it isn’t a cheerleader, although it looks like one. God has a good sense of humor.

Friday, June 22, 2007

A Facelift for "Connections"

After a little vacation, this blog is now officially back in service. Or operation. Or whatever you might want to call it.

It has a new title, in case you didn’t notice. A woman’s prerogative is to change her mind at any given moment.

I decided that I should stop being so helter-skelter about the contents of the blog, even though that condition actually fits with my nature. We shall now follow a monthly schedule of sorts.

Here is a list of the subject or theme for each month, by weeks. For example, the first week of each month, I will write about God, his creation, his love—anything having to do with God, in other words.

First week of each month:
God Stuff

Second week of each month:
Literature, Music, Art

Third week of each month:
Pictures of People and Things

Fourth week of each month:
News and Views, Rants and Wheedles

Fifth week of each month (if there is one):
Examination of Intriguing Words

Monday, June 04, 2007

On Vacation

This blog will be on vacation until after June 15, at which time it will get a facelift!