Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday and last week

Because I am left of the middle on a lot of issues, when I hear of something happening in politics, I naturally have a left leaning view that will impact how I see it (at least I admit it). Here's my take on the various 'scandals' which are supposed to bring down the Obama administration IF you listen to the Limbaugh ilk.

IRS-- If they had said in the beginning that they held off on approving tea party and patriot group statuses because there were so many instantly applying and those words clearly sound political, which means they needed to evaluate if there was also a charitable function, not just a political one. It just makes sense that way and there is no targeting. It's based on the name pure and simple.

The tea party and patriot groups did get approved eventually (so much for 'targeting in a meaningful way' but if they called themselves also a charity based on being willing to go around giving schools books to teach from and teaching the Constitution with their own slant-- that's not charitable. That's political and partisan. The IRS should treat left wing groups the same-- and maybe they are but they went into panic mode and lost control of the conversation.

I can tell you a dozen ways that teaching the Constitution from a right wing view is not how a leftie would see the same words but just take guns. Righties claim that saying there should be a 'well-regulated militia' means you can own an assault rifle and any sort of machine gun with no background check as you might be required to overthrow the military someday.

Lefties look at that same amendment to the Constitution and remember that at that time the government had a small military and what they wanted was a 'trained' group by them (i.e. the 'well regulated part) who would fight under government orders. How many tea partiers like that idea?

AP-- here's where the right and left are both down on Obama. My gosh, he did a horrible thing. Information that was deemed classified regarding two nations who openly espouse our destruction was revealed by reporters who in one case (North Korea) evidently went after those who had classified information and then revealed it. Where it was Iran, the information revealed was something Republicans said needed to be investigated because it told about a secret operation that could have endangered someone undercover. They suspected Obama had wanted it revealed to make himself look better as a terrorist fighter.

This is now being pushed in a partisan way by the politicians and media. Excuse me but information that is deemed part of our national security is classified for a reason. And I've seen too many times this year where reporters rushed to tell what happened in some situation when they got it wrong-- Boston Marathon being one example.

There is a difference between freedom of the press and letting the press ruin everything we are trying to do for our own security-- isn't there? Not to the press and Republicans. At least it's one issue that brought together right and left in condemning Obama.

Yes, I am disgusted by our government bureaucracy for how they can't seem to chew gum and walk; but none of what is above directly connects to Obama in my view. We expect him literally to be looking into everything that is done in the government? They call that micromanaging. I think he had good reason to expect that bureaucrats wisely do their jobs. Lotsa luck with that.

Benghazi-- this is one I have written about too many times. It's just ridiculous that the right, who never met a war they don't like, with thousands of deaths, would get all upset over four. There is a lot we don't yet know about what happened that night and if the real interest was in discovering it, I'd have a more tolerant view. Who outed the CIA annex?  The real issue though for the right seems to be somehow connecting this tragedy directly to Obama.

Oklahoma tornado: Then there is trying to figure out where to donate to Oklahoma beyond the Red Cross, but getting a little frustrated when I heard the Oklahoma politicians saying they don't need money as it's already there waiting for them to take and some writing they don't need shelters for children in their schools because it's only a few deaths. It makes me wonder if that state has something mentally wrong with who they choose as their leaders and spokespeople because it seems to me this is where there should be government help and we should all be working for safe rooms in these schools that are most likely to be hit by tornadoes. I cannot hear anything like this without thinking of my own grandchildren. I want small children protected when in their public schools and frankly if that guy who doesn't think it matters, doesn't care for himself, fine but for me every child should know they are as safe as we can make it when they go to school and if that takes federal money, my tax dollars, good enough!

Drones, Code Pink and how to get your point across: Obama gave [a speech this week] dealing with defense, Gitmo (tried to close it right away but was blocked either by his own mistakes or the right), drones, and the forever war we are locked into. He said what a lot of us wanted to hear. Some find fault because he didn't say it all sooner-- guess they wanted Romney in 2012 as Obama had to get re-elected to get a chance to do it; and if the naysayers thought at all, they'd know it. Elections are won by the middle and you can lose it so many ways it's not funny.

In the speech, he was interrupted by screeching and over the radio that's all I heard until later MSNBC refined her words and let us hear the whole thing (like I so wanted that). There are many who find fault with Obama because he didn't usher in a Kumbaya time for the world and this country. They wanted the world to be other than it is and often ignore the basis behind his decisions.

The lady, who yelled her way into at least 15 moments of national news time, got what she wanted-- more attention.  He wasn't as critical of her heckling as I am. I don't like those who are rude and haven't since the Vietnam war era where protestors attacked the soldiers for fighting a war of which they disapproved. Hey, I didn't like it either but I made my point by voting and speaking out in a polite, hopefully intelligent way-- it's how I was raised.

In the end, polling makes more difference that screaming for what happens politically.  I see value in large groups gathering to have speeches and make their points. It's like polling for showing the numbers on 'your' side. Screaming down someone else, disrupting a speech, might be more emotionally satisfying but I think it can turn off as many as it arouses to action.

Oh I know, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. I think it's a form of violence to interrupt others and refuse to listen. It doesn't help with freedom of speech and as Obama said-- freedom of speech means listening and talking. She didn't want to listen. She wanted attention and she got it.

On the farm: We watched Django Unchained,  and I'm still evaluating how I saw it other than what is it with some humans for how they treat others if they can get away with it? I can't relate to how that kind of cruelty grows and yet we saw it this week in London with the two men who hacked a soldier to death with machete and knives supposedly for ethnic or religious reasons. How do humans reach a spot they can do that to another human-- and don't tell me it only comes from those from 'other' religions as it's ignoring reality.

It was a busy week as we had the shearer come in on Monday. Forty-five were shorn which is more than we thought we had. Getting them altogether for a portrait is all but impossible but here are a few in the field that Farm Boss put a lot of work into reseeding last fall. It's doing well as you can see. The color for the day is green.

Then Tuesday the mobile slaughter unit came, and Farm Boss shot a steer for sale to some families in Corvallis.The population has to go down in our livestock. We don't like to sell to auction but prefer to sell direct to consumers which gives the animals the best life and the consumers the best deal for healthy meat.

The guy below had a very physical week and deserves some downtime which he still hasn't had as he's trying to repair one of our tillers...

We found the perfect picnic table at a place in Eugene which makes redwood outdoor furniture at a reasonable price. I am delighted as we start changing what was sheep pasture into a garden-- it'll take time. It turns out that it's a warmer spot to sit (if the rain ever stops) which is great for reading and drinking a glass of wine. The backyard with the deck gets the breeze off the creek. Nice to have two choices for being outdoors. This has been fenced to keep the cats in, avoiding them heading to the road and getting hit by someone's car. And now avoiding the danger from the fox population.

Currently we are losing the battle of keeping out the foxes. One got into our deck garden by going over the fence again!!!! We were having a hard time understanding why they want in. It came in with a goldfinch it had killed in the magnolia-- was that about a nice place to eat it?

And then I went out one afternoon after Pepper (the black and white cat) came racing into the house banging the cat door. There was the fox right outside that front garden fence looking at Blackie, who was staring at it with equal curiosity. I yelled and the fox stood there just looking at me.

So, I got the cats in and tried throwing some rocks at the fox... Guess what it did? It ran over to them to see if I'd given it food. I'd pretty well say that is why it's not afraid. Some foolish human has been feeding them. It only ran off when I turned on the hose and sprayed it. Even then, it went no farther than the apple orchard and sat to watch what would happen next. Spray didn't reach that far.

We are thinking it's going to take a big noise the next time we see it-- but will that work? Ack!

Finally, as another way to reach readers, I spent the week trying to learn how to do a video that would speak to what I see romance novels being about-- most especially mine. It is so hard to do this for a person (me) who dislikes seeing themselves talking and hates their voice on audio. It's a challenge to remember the points, make it look like fun and not goof up by some dumb expression-- like licking my lips. What was that about? Anyway, here is one attempt-- another less than perfect with the eyes closed to start but hey it's a learning curve. Memo to self: blink next time before the camera starts!


Kay Dennison said...

Came by to catch up -- and you did exactly what I needed!! Love the photos, commentary & video!!!

Tabor said...

Apologies but only time to read the post and not watch the video today. I will be back. Every time your write about your stock I wish I lived nearby and could come and purchase a lamb or two for the year. I am sure they are not cheap, but I do love fresh lamb.

Rain Trueax said...

Thank you. I am keeping these videos to under four minutes. When I began with it, I hated doing it but saw it as something I needed to do (writing more about that in Rain Trueax starting Sunday); then I got into it and thought this could be a good way to discuss many things beyond writing.

Diane has been doing some on her art process which eventually she might allow me to put there. People could put up discussions on environment or an issue they are passionate about.

I am going to put any I do into My Links alongside here and calling it-- Videos and Discussions. Nobody apt to be there will be an expert but it could be kind of fun if more people send me theirs. I already had photo slideshows there.

Farm Boss bought a software program to do these things more professional looking (with his week he hasn't had time so might not happen til winter that he does.) I hope he gets into it as I'd love seeing things like that but don't want to be involved in the techie end beyond providing photos and some video footage as he wants it, maybe suggesting music. Going into it beyond that is not for me, but I can see how producing such videos could have value as another method of communicating.

Lynn said...

Wow, Rain. I loved your video. As you talked of strong heroes I could not help but think you model your characters after yourself. You hold and live all the same values. Happy weekend, Rain. I hope you both find a romantic picnic at your new sittin’ spot.

robin andrea said...

I loved reading your political commentary, Rain. Thank you for writing it down. I feel pretty much the same way you do. I have a question though, how do you stay so sane in the face of this insanity? I am practically sputtering and muttering to myself 24/7. The whole political machinery has me riled up.

Wonderful photos too!

Diane Widler Wenzel said...

The Videos and Discussion blog sounds very exciting to me.
The political commentary summaries this blog very well. I agree with it mostly and am happy to read these ideas so well stated.
I am going to share this post on my Facebook wall.

Hattie said...

Lots to chew on here. I like the redwood table, have one like it that is years and years old. It was in our lanai when we bought our house. It was painted a kind of ugly tan color, so we painted it a lively green.
Now I'm going to watch the vid.
You are working pretty hard, I think.

Rain Trueax said...

we solved the mystery of the foxes which doesn't mean to problem is solved but at least we now know why it is as it is. Now we have to deal with it... I'll be writing about that for next Saturday hopefully with the solution.

Rain Trueax said...

And Robin, I try not to constantly watch the news-- that helps. I have a viewpoint that I don't feel is challenged by what happens; so even though bad things happen, I am not blown by the wind to changing my own mind for what my path needs to be. Writing certainly helps although recently I've been more into marketing-- and that doesn't help. Ack! When I start the sixth historical, I'll be living with those characters and that time and it rather divorces me from what's going on.

Farm Boss and I can moan and grouch over this at night where we both agree on what's happening; but we try to watch a movie every single night and that takes us somewhere else. Looking out my window does the same thing or going for a walk.

It is though a very worrisome time. On the other hand, I was at a track meet to watch our granddaughter run the 1500m yesterday and I had three times that different men, who didn't know me, offered something helpful in various ways. People are mostly nice and it is what we need to remember-- even those who don't see the world as we do because when they come to us as humans, they are nice.

I think also of the three women in London who confronted those killers and calmly talked to them, trying to prevent more deaths, one sitting by the fallen man feeling he should not die alone. That was courageous and almost hard to believe and yet encouraging to the goodness of humanity at the same time we saw the worst of us.

robin andrea said...

Thank you for this explanation, Rain. I should probably start watching movies again. Haven't for a long while. We don't ever watch news on TV, but do read quite a bit online. It's a fine balance to learn how to be informed and engaged, but not overwhelmed. You and Farm Boss do an excellent job of it!

Ingineer66 said...

Nice to read about your adventures on the farm and with the family. As you probably know Eugene is huge in the track and field arena so I am sure there are plenty of people that can offer advice to a young miler.
On the political front I will offer a few opposing viewpoints:

IRS, the beef is that approval was delayed until it was too late to raise money for the election. And I do not know if it is true or not but there are reports that some groups have still not been approved. And other groups have been targeted by other federal agencies not just the IRS. The main issue is about equal treatment. Liberal groups have been given preferential treatment by the government and that is not what the Constitution says.

AP, I really do not have a problem with the government trying to track down a leak. But remember all the fuss the libs made when the Bush administration wanted track phone calls of terrorists between the US and Pakistan and Afghanistan? Now the libs are tracking US reporters and we are just supposed to take it like it is nothing?

Benghazi, I don't think Obama will ever be taken down on this issue. He checked out from it and knows nothing except what he sees in the news just like all he says with the other scandals. But I think Hillary has blood on her hands. The ambassador asked for extra security several times and she not only denied it but reduced security.

OK tornado, if they really have plenty of money then they should take the millions that the country music and sports stars are donating and build safe rooms in every school in that area. It is a shame that does not already happen. In California we closed hundreds of schools in the 1970's because they were not earthquake resistant. Yes it was expensive but better than having to dig kids out of rubble.

Django, I have not seen it, but this week was a rerun of Jamie Fox hosting SNL where he says that he gets to "kill all the white people in the movie, how cool is that." I like him as an actor, he does good work, but I wonder what the reaction would be if a white person said something similar about blacks?

Rain Trueax said...

Interesting, ingineer and on the AP, lefties are giving up on Obama; so it's not that they accept him doing that. They see him as a failed presidency for not closing Gitmo etc. This was my take as a moderate and I'd give the same 'break' to Bush when it came to something like that.

On the IRS, what I've heard is the groups applying have to have at least some charitable function, have more than an 'educating everybody to think like they do' to qualify. When so many hit at once with requests, you think that was instantly easy to figure out? Frankly you know the groups were not formed to be charities and I've said multiple times that no political operatives like Rove's bunch should qualify. League of Women Voters does not qualify by the way and whether lefties get a better deal than righties depend on who you listen to.

On Benghazi, we are talking about a very few people who died. Why isn't there right wing outrage that we were lied into a war in Iraq where thousands died? As to how much Clinton had to do with the security, just keep in mind, this was not an embassy. Stevens was evidently there to have an important meeting but he was in a consulate, his death was almost accidental as he was in a 'safe room' when smoke killed him from the fire; and the second attack was supposed to be a secret Annex which was basically paid mercenaries as security forces, ex CIA etc. The right just wants to take down left wing leaders and that's all they care about in this. Blood on whose hands? AND McCain just visited in Syria trying to get us into a new war with no idea who we are helping-- Afghanistan and bin Laden anybody?

Our granddaughter didn't know she was going to be in this meet. Track season had ended. She had only run it three times in races; but her times got her in and she had had three weeks without training; so for that, she did really well. She also does hurdles. My gosh... Our daughter was also in track, cross country and spring events. I had zero ability for such things; so admire it in those who do. :)

Rain Trueax said...

On Django, actually the movie is hard on blacks for either weakness or joining up with the owners to treat others badly. I don't watch SNL but it sounds like it was supposed to be a joke.....

Annie said...

Hi Rain, thanks for your comments on my blog, and especially the one about my dog. I felt almost instantly relieved and my gut feeling is that you are quite right. So far so good, no recurrences. I try to reassure her as much as possible.

Rain Trueax said...

Annie, I have a cat who was sent back to a cat rescue program from where she had originally been adopted. I've had her now two years and i think she's still insecure that she will again be sent away. Animals have such depths that many don't have a clue about. Your dog is beautiful

Janette said...

Consulates and Embassies are considered US soil- That is the difference.
We defend all consulates- even foreign missions- of other countries in our own country. It is a spoken agreement.
It is different.
I have lived overseas and always knew if there was a major problem- get to the consulate or embassy. It was safe haven.
Leaving people unprotected in that situation gives shivers to all State Department people. They are our Ambassidors. They are not soldiers. Most are humanitarians (spoken from the wife of a soldier).
All other issues- I guess they are partisan. If they had happened to liberals under conservatives the screaming. Would be from the other side. I don't care either way.
Bengazhi matters.

Rain Trueax said...

Did it matter under Bush? does anybody on the right understand that Libya was in civil war. It wasn't a situation like a supposedly stable country but even then there have been attacks. The following under Bush:

25) On January 22, 2002, Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami gunmen attacked the US consulate at Kolkata, killing five people.
26) On June 14, 2002, an Al-Qaeda truck bomb detonated outside the US consulate at Karachi, killing 12.
27) On October 12, 2002, the US consular office at Denpasar (Indonesia) was bombed by Jemaah Islamiyah as part of the Bali bombings.
28) In 2002 again, nine people were killed by bomb blast near US embassy in Lima (Peru). It was seen as attempt to disrupt forthcoming visit by President George W. Bush.
29) On February 28, 2003, unknown gunmen attacked US embassy at Islamabad, killing two people.
30) On June 30, 2004, a suicide bomber hailing from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan attacked US embassy at Tashkent, killing two people.
31) On December 6, 2004, Al-Qaeda gunmen raided the diplomatic compound at Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), killing nine Americans.
32) On March 2, 2006, two people were killed when a car bomb exploded outside the US consulate in Karachi.
33) On September 12, 2006, gunmen raided the US embassy at Damascus (Syria), killing four people.
34) On January 12, 2007, a Greek revolutionary group fired an RPG at the US embassy at Greece. No damage done.
35) On March 18, 2008, a mortar attack at the US Embassy at Sana’a (Yemen) killed two people.
36) On July 9, 2008, an armed attack at the US consulate at Istanbul killed six people.
37) On September 17, 2008, 16 people were killed when the US embassy at Sana’a (Yemen) was attacked.

No matter what you 'felt' overseas, Janette, reality is anything can be attacked including our Pentagon.

This is about nailing either Hillary or Obama and now the big push seems to blame Hillary. Reality doesn't matter. It's something that stirs people's emotions and that's what is most important on any partisan issue and this is one.

Thanks for commenting btw. I don't write on politics much, tomorrow is on foxes and I try to stick to issues that I think help us make better choices, enjoy nature, protect what we can, but once in awhile it comes out and it tends to be left leaning when it does :) Except involving science and civil rights where I follow the science and believe strongly in civil rights for all of us. I enjoy though having those who dissent comment when they do so with thought as you seem to have done.