Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Fairy Tales of Laura Bush, "Spoken from the Heart"

I'm not a fan of Laura Bush so I haven't been following her since she left the White House with George in tow and mercifully landed in Dallas and off the national stage. I wasn't too surprised to read that the lovely Miss Laura has written a book of her memoirs " Spoken from the Heart".  Nor was I surprised at the contents.  This memoir covers Laura's early years growing up in Midland, TX, her tragic automobile accident at age 17, caused by her, that resulted in the death of one of her classmates, life as the First Lady of Texas and then onto the White House.  I'm not so interested in the early years. although I empathize with the accident that clearly shaped her life.  No money of mine will go to support the Bush family, so I will make my comments from book reviewers who get paid to read fairy tales and lies for a living.  

Amazon doesn't present much in the way of  Laura Bush's biography, "Laura Bush was First Lady of the United States from 2001 to 2009. She founded both the National Book Festival and the Texas Book Festival." Those don't sound like bragging rights for anyone, let alone an 8 year First Lady. The reviewer for Amazon seems to be quite a fan of the former first Lady using words like "heart wrenching", "beautifully rendered" and "her uncommon willingness to bare her heart".

The Texas and White House years finds Laura Bush standing by her man, admonishing his critics and even  suggestions of a suspected case of poisoning on the way to the G8 conference in 2007. The book echoes the theme of the wonderful Bush years as other books from former members of the administration. Once again, if we were expecting any apologies or acknowledgment of mistakes from the Bush 43 administration, this is not the book to find them.

Lauren Frayer at writes that the book reveals details of the 1963 car accident that have been kept from the public.
The accident occurred when 17-year-old Laura Welch (Bush's maiden name) was behind the wheel of her father's Chevy Impala, driving with her girlfriend, Judy Dykes, to the movies. As the girls were chit-chatting, the future Mrs. Bush blew a stop sign at an intersection and hit Welch's car at 50 miles per hour.

"In those awful seconds, the car door must have been flung open by the impact and my body rose in the air until gravity took over and I was pulled, hard and fast, back to earth," she writes. "The whole time ... I was praying that the person in the other car was alive. In my mind, I was calling 'Please, God. Please, God. Please, God,' over and over and over again."

Bush writes that afterward, she lost her faith in God for "many, many years."

"It was the first time that I had prayed to God for something, begged him for something, not the simple childhood wishing on a star but humbly begging for another human life. And it was as if no one heard," she writes. "My begging, to my 17-year-old mind, had made no difference. The only answer was the sound of Mrs. Douglas' sobs on the other side of that thin emergency room curtain."
While Laura Bush writes of her visits with U.S. troops and their loved ones, and of her empathy for and immense gratitude to military families, it's too bad that with few exceptions, the visits didn't include families with differing political opinions. Laura Bush's insistence of standing by her man did not allow the embrace of families of the fallen who did not support her husband's policies. Apparently she never heard the sobs from our families; it's as if no one in Washington ever heard us at all. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tiger Woods Comes Back

Last Friday, all the news reports breathlessly reported Tiger Woods' performance on the golf course the day before as if his comeback was from tragic circumstances.  Tiger Woods is back! OMG!

As charismatic as he may be, I don't care about Tiger Woods' comeback performance and I didn't care about his dalliance's that have been well documented 24x7 since late November.  A lot of us learned more about sexual details that might never have occurred to us had we not been privy to Tiger's serial philandering via twitter, text or voicemail.

I don't care that he had an affair or many affairs, but I'm pretty sure his wife does. It's between them and it's none of our business.   I don't care how this behavior and the ensuing fallout affected his golf game, but I'm sure his sponsors do. His contracts are between them and it's really none of our business who drops him and who keeps him. 

I found the Nike ad uncomfortable on a few levels- I don't need or want to see a grown man being lectured by his dead father to sell overpriced shoes & clothing.  But I guess it's all about money in the end; money for the sponsors and money for the media coverage and of course, money for Tiger.

What I do care about is the hypocrisy of Tiger Woods' perfect son/husband/golfer persona that he presented to the world.  If he had been a "bad boy", the coverage of the sex scandal may have only lasted a news cycle or two.

I have little sympathy for the self inflicted predicament Tiger found himself in, when there are real people who have to overcome real physical and mental difficulties, whose victories we should be celebrating- think wounded soldiers, for instance.  Golf is a just a game, entertainment.

Tiger Woods has to get out of bed in the monring and look at himself in the mirror and ask if he is the man he wants to be.  If he is, that's okay with me, but I don't appreciate presenting someone who isn't really who he is.  The media needs to get over themselves and move onto something more important than Tiger Woods winning his next golf game....or not.

Vote NO on the $30 billion Supplemental War Appropriations

My letter to members of Congress requesting a NO vote on the $30 billion supplemental appropriations request.

I am writing to urge you, to beg you to vote NO to a $30 billion war supplemental requested by President Obama.

I KNOW that candidate Obama said that Afghanistan was the “right” war so I am not surprised, although I am terribly distressed with the increase in troop levels.  I KNOW that candidate Obama said he would end emergency supplemental appropriations for war. I gave President Obama a pass when he submitted his first supplemental appropriations in April 2009 because I KNOW that a president finds out more information once he takes office.

However, on April 9, 2009, in the early years of his presidency, President Obama wrote a letter to the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi requesting Congressional approval for a supplemental appropriations request totaling $83.4 billion.

As he made that request, he also wrote- As I noted when first I introduced my budget in February, this is the last planned war supplemental. Since September 2001, the Congress has passed 17 separate emergency funding bills totaling $822.1 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After 7 years of war, the American people deserve an honest accounting of the cost of our involvement in our ongoing military operations.

We must break that recent tradition and include future military costs in the regular budget so that we have an honest, more accurate, and fiscally responsible estimate of Federal spending. And we should not label military costs as emergency funds so as to avoid our responsibility to abide by the spending limitations set forth by the Congress.

When will the requests for supplemental appropriations for death and killing end?  When will Congress and our President be honest with the American people and the parents of those who send their son’s and daughter’s to war?

With all the uproar surrounding the passage of the Healthcare bill, and with thousands of hours spent discussing the costs of Healthcare, I am begging you to spend the same time considering the financial costs of these 2 quagmires, these “long wars” as the former administration described them.

But finally, I urge you from the bottom of my mother’s heart to please consider the human cost of these wars. My son, 1Lt Ken Ballard was the 818th US casualty in Iraq.  When Ken was killed in 2004 I could not imagine that we would still be fighting  these wars 6 years later.  I couldn’t imagine that our country would suffer 4000 more casualties and that Iraqis would suffer countless more.  If you vote yes, I cannot imagine how many more families will hear the words “On behalf of the President of the United States, I regret to inform you…”

PLEASE VOTE NO! Please fund the swift and safe withdrawal of all of our troops, and de-fund the continuation and escalation of these wars!

Karen Meredith
Gold Star Mother