Sunday, April 22, 2012

Political Discourse

I try not to engage with the more ... vitrolic political commenters online, because I do think in no small part it's what's killing ACTUAL political discourse in this country.  I was one of those people, more than willing to spew a fair amount of it myself, but I went to vote in 2010, and realized I couldn't vote for the Democratic candidate for the US House.  He was not what I wanted in someone representing me, even though his politics, in general, were much my own.  But the manner in which he had campaigned left me wanting more.  Of course, to be fair, he was fighting a uphill battle in a red district versus a popular GOP Congressman (John Shimkus), so I'm sure he was trying to get traction.  

But that lead me to thinking, if I'm willing to vote for someone I disagree with on the issues because I think he's a better person, am I upholding that same principle?  Would I want to vote for me based on the manner in which I tweet/facebook?  And really, the answer then would be no.  Today I think I'm much better at trying to not be that person, and to act on the idea that we can disagree without being disagreeable.  

And the more I've tweeted at Cong. Shimkus, the more I'm glad I did vote for him, because while we still disagree on a lot, I've found things we do agree on, and that in general, he's been a good Representative to the district.  But more importantly, I think my own comments online have improved, and I try to keep that going.

Which brings me to this:

Which got this response:

Which I retweeted at first, but went back and un-RT'd, because as much as I agree with the sentiment, there's a better way to respond than just calling them a nut job.  And really, he's not going to listen to word either of us (or, Ms. Maddow either, I suppose).  

So how about we stop shouting at each other, and try to find ways to discuss things, factually.  I mean, hell, the reason Congress can sit around doing nothing and blaming each other is because that's what most of the people who elected them do. Ok, so now I'll just put this Self Important Soap Box away...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hahahaha... my 4500th tweet had timely inspiration.

Simply Haunting

Pulitzer Prize Winner for Breaking News Photography, taken by Massoud Hossaini: 

Tarana Akbari, 12, screams in fear moments after a suicide bomber detonated a bomb in a crowd at the Abul Fazel Shrine in Kabul on December 06, 2011. 'When I could stand up, I saw that everybody was around me on the ground, really bloody. I was really, really scared,' said the Tarana, whose name means 'melody' in English. Out of 17 women and children from her family who went to a riverside shrine in Kabul that day to mark the Shiite holy day of Ashura, seven died including her seven-year-old brother Shoaib. More than 70 people lost their lives in all, and at least nine other members of Tarana's family were wounded. The blasts has prompted fears that Afghanistan could see the sort of sectarian violence that has pitched Shiite against Sunni Muslims in Iraq and Pakistan. The attack was the deadliest strike on the capital in three years. President Hamid Karzai said this was the first time insurgents had struck on such an important religious day. The Taliban condemned the attack, which some official viewed as sectarian. On the same day, a second bomber attacked in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. Karzai said on December 11 that a total of 80 people were killed in both attacks. Published December 7, 2011
[Pulitzer Web Site]
Long read, worth it. Reminder of while we may have the best Health Care in the world, we have the worst Health Care System in the developed world.

Bartlet is the President - 2012 Edition

Toby knows all.
How can you not love this man?
[Via Storify, via @Pres_Bartlet]