Blizzard Blog 2009

Snow! We have snow!

As usual, you can’t see it in any picture I’ve taken, so no pictures will be posted here. It just looks like the picture is pixilated. And also as usual, the snow melts long before it hits the ground. So I guess I should call it “flurries” instead of  “snow.”

Still, it’s snowing!

LATER: What is it about snow that makes me feel like a 10 year old?

LITTLE LATER: No wonder Wal-Mart was crowded this afternoon.

LITTLE MORE LATER: I expect all the local grocery stores to be sold out of water, milk, bread, toilet paper and beer soon. I await school closing information.

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Don’t Worry Your Pretty Little Head About It

Argggh!

If there’s one thing I cannot stand during a debate, it’s condescension. And when it’s from a man using tired old sexist rhetoric to undermine a female’s opinion, my burner goes from low to nuclear in a hurry.

Now, I am not a feminist. Further, I’ll rip the head off of anyone who dares to call me one. This hearty hatred of paternal condescension comes not from a liberal feminist background, but from a lifetime of arguing politics with men and then having my opinions trivialized because of my femininity.

Men do it all the time without realizing it. The reason why I wrote this post is in one of the articles to which I linked yesterday, the one dismissing any claims regarding similarities between W and Lincoln. The sentence that set me off is on page 2, first paragraph (emphasis mine).

Some Bush supporters, while agreeing that things have not been exactly peachy these last eight years, nevertheless try and compare Bush to Lincoln — at least as it relates to the idea that both men faced serious challenges and remained steadfast to their beliefs in the face of virulent opposition. (My PJM colleague, the lovely Kyle-Ann Shiver, makes that point in her piece opposite this one.)

The lovely Kyle-Ann Shiver?

Would Rick Moran write such a thing while debating a male? I doubt it. You’re not going to find Mr. Moran writing “the handsome Glenn Reynolds” or “the studmuffin Glenn Reynolds” while debating an idea from El Instapundito anytime soon. No, Mr. Moran was putting the lovely Ms. Shiver in her place, reminding her that she, a mere pretty little female, shouldn’t worry her sweet little self about such things. It’s condescending.

Even worse, assuming he wasn’t trying to put her in her place, calling her the “lovely  Kyle-Ann Shiver” could have been used as a way to soften his disagreement with her. “I disagree with your analysis and think you’re as stupid as a pile of little green apples. But aren’t you lovely? You are. Don’t feel too bad, sweetie.”  This pisses me off as much as the condescension because it assumes that women can’t handle opposition without being coddled or soothed.

I doubt it was a conscious decision on his part. I don’t think he did it deliberately to undermine her position or sooth her into compliance. I haven’t read Mr. Moran’s work enough tothink otherwise. I think it’s just a knee-jerk response some men have when seriously debating women. Some do it (either consciously or subconsciously) for the condescension or to soften the blow of disagreement. Either way, it pisses me off mightily.

NOTICE: I have no idea if Ms. Shiver is lovely. I’m sure she is in at least one way or other. Let’s assume she is completely lovely. It doesn’t change what I wrote above.

LATER: Of course, if Mr. Moran could be flirting with Ms. Shiver. If that’s the case, he could have picked a better time to do so.

UPON FURTHER CONSIDERATION: Feel free to call me lovely. Just don’t do it during a debate.

W’s Legacy

I don’t know how history will grade W’s presidency. Maybe he’ll be compared to Lincoln. Maybe he won’t. Maybe he’ll be seen, as Letterman joked, in 50 years as a visionary who brought democracy to the Middle East. Maybe his name will be eternally jeered like Carter. Who knows? I certainly don’t.

At this stage, I don’t think anyone knows. How he’ll be viewed by future generations largely depends on what happens in our future, long after he leaves office. Only then can anyone objectively judge his success or failure. If I were to guess, I’d say that he’ll have plenty of both.

But that’s conjecture. I don’t know what the future will say.

What I know is for the past seven years we haven’t had a terrorist attack on American soil. I remember after September 11, 2001 that we all expected another imminent attack. It didn’t happen. Say what you will about the Patriot Act and Guantanamo Bay (and I’d probably agree with a lot of what you’d say), but they were part of a system that kept us safe.

What I know is that in the wake of W’s Afghan and Iraqi Wars, Moammar Gadhafi stopped Libya’s advanced, ambitious nuclear program.

What I know is that no one ever had to question White House interns about abusive relations with the president.

What I know is that the US’s relationship with India (the largest democracy in their region) is stronger than ever.

What I know is that W kept us sane during the anthrax scare post-9/11.

What I know is that W rebuilt the military after Clinton gutted it.

What I know is that W is trying to keep offshore and arctic drilling on the table, even after his presidency is over.

What I know is that seven years ago when we all wondered what would happen to the US financial markets in the wake of September 11, W rebuilt the economy with shoe string, duct tape, spit and twine. In the six years between September 11 and the meltdown last year, the economy rebounded. (And then the housing crisis killed it, but that’s another story.)

What I know is that W destroyed a dictator.

What I know is that W has helped the plight of the AIDS-stricken in Africa more than any other US president.

What I know is that American productivity under W topped productivity under any other president, ever.

What I know is that Bush tried to reign in Fannie and Freddie before the housing crisis.

W isn’t the ogre the media would have you believe. And the W presidency hasn’t been the colossal failure they present, either. I’m not denying his failures. He has them aplenty. But he has accomplished good works too.

For those good works, we should all be thankful. I know that I am.

January Sunshine

My Honeybell Oranges are here again.

Honeybell Oranges

Yum. I’ll be busy eating oranges if anyone needs me…

P.S. If you want them, you can get them at QVC. I ordered item # M16483, but there are other Honeybell packages if you don’t want the 12 pounds of large and small oranges I bought.

P.P.S.  And you will need the bib that comes with the oranges. (Either that, or you’ll have to stand over the sink like I did just now.) They’re that juicy.