Sunday, February 12, 2012

Yertle the Turtle wanted to be king of the pond. So he began crawling up on the backs of his fellow turtles. One by one he stacked up his subjects under him until he could look far and wide across the pond and into the neighboring forest. Then just when he was feeling very high and mighty and quite secure in his exalted position, the turtle at the very bottom of the pile sneezed. Suddenly the pile crashed and Yertle ended with his face digging a hole in the mud at the bottom of the pond.

Yertle Romney is so high on the pile he’s still able to “pretend” he hasn’t heard that sneeze, and by carefully balancing himself, he’s putting off the dirt-facial—but it’s coming, and he will have earned it…In the mini super Tuesday primary this past week, although rick santorem ran away with all three primaries—minnesota, Colorado and Missouri,  the number of people that showed up at the polls to vote was so small, truthfully, no one need brag about the outcome.  I might be able to get 5 or 10 people to vote for me, if I promised to bring dunkin’ donuts to the polls…

But that aside,  when will our candidates get the message most of us are trying to send to them?  We are NOT looking for men who are so small they have to hoist themselves up and into view by tromping their opponents under foot. We don't care what awful things the other guy is guilty of.  We care what you are offering that makes you worthy of our support.

We are sick of superficiality and self-aggrandizement; tired of ugly smears and lies. Give us some truth and genuine concern for our needs and dreams and you will have us lined up out the doorways and up and down the streets. Prove yourselves to be public servants, not public leeches. Just that--nothing more and nothing less…

Oh, would that it were just that easy! unfortunately, there’s a proportion of the electorate,  actually, that salivates over the smears and sleazy stuff—the more the better. And if that weren’t true,  a guy who was determined to be a crook and thrown out of the congress only several years ago would not able to be a candidate—for the presidency of the united states, no less, this year…and be considered a viable prospect.

This year’s primary season, most agree,has been the strangest on record…what we’re  wondering is what it portends….does the candidacy belong to Romney? Do you hope for or SEE a dark horse somewhere out there, or under a bushel, maybe--who may be able to swoop in and save, not just the day, but our forseeable future…? Jump in…

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

rrpenn state forever--molder of men..!! q b
 that phrase, and the tune of the fight song to which it belongs have skittered around in my brain  for the past many days, as its irony alternately causes me to shake my head and smile a sad kind of smile—and then, to sit and stare at the wall and wonder at how life turns on a dime. I graduated from PSU in 1966 and joe paterno, “jo pa” graduated to head coach  the very next season, in 1967. penn state football has barely had any losses since then: 46 years of winning…no surprise, then, that at penn state, joe pa’s status is that of a god!

Last year, age 83, and some would say, considerably slowed down as coach, on his and his team’s reputatation, he still managed to turn a $50.4 million profit on $70.2 in revenue—3rd only to texas and Georgia…nobody else came close!!

this is all background noise, because anyone who thinks what happened at penn state last week was about pedophilia is, I believe, mistaken….

a pedophile was a player in the drama…but in this case, only as a catalyst. this tragedy happened at penn state, but given any trigger to set it off, it might have happened at any of the large schools—it apparently happened this week in some way or another at Syracuse!-- that depend on huge revenues from crowded 100,000+ seat stadiums each week, and pots of gold that come from the tv exposure that goes along with being a winner, and alumnae donations and endowments… all literally life’s blood to any college as it grows and grows and becomes a university, with the capacity to attract even more….

if there is, god forbid, a scandal, the money begins to dry up, and it is possible to destroy an entity by “whispering down the lane.” in this case the trouble is very real, but so far, we still only know the basic outline—contained in the grand jury testimony. it will be quite some time before all the facts are known or made public. but the little we know is pretty awful. and the sad OVERRIDING truth is that on many “big football” campuses, football players and sometimes other athletes are coddled and enabled in ways that allow them to get away with almost anything short of murder—

Consider: Allegations against…[the] University…cast a dark shadow over a generation that has lost its way. [Other major schools] facing problems caused by misbehaving athletes include: Colorado, Ohio State, Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.

The problem starts and ends with the university’s policy on certain matters and enforcement of those policies. College athletics bring the big name schools millions of dollars every year. Therefore, it is easy to see why some administrators are lenient on certain matters involving their star student athletes. That is no excuse for errant players getting away with a slap on the wrist when they should be expelled from the school for detriment to the team, school and themselves.

[Student athletes have] learned they can bend the rules when they know they offer something of value…

what makes the foregoing interesting to me is that it’s not about penn state…it was an opinion piece written in the collegian online newspaper at duke in 2006, after the lacrosse team was accused (and later exonerated) of an evening of gang rape. And it was properly concluded then, as now, that all over the country colleges may be, in turn, both victim and victimizer…

Again, consider:  EAST LANSING — 9/29/10  THE MICHIGAN MESSENGER. “Documents obtained by Michigan Messenger show two high-profile Michigan State University basketball players have been accused of committing sexual assault on campus in August. Despite the allegations, prosecutors have declined to take up the case, and the victim disputes the reasons offered for not bringing charges.
The heavily redacted police report released by Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III alleges the two team members took turns assaulting an unidentified woman for nearly an hour in their Wonders Hall dormitory room late on Aug. 29 and into Aug. 30.” 
no school, no year…NO ONE is exempt from the penn state mess. only the details are different. at duke, it was the lacrosse team and supposed gang rape, at Michigan basketball players allegedly doing the same…if you want to spend the time looking it up you can find examples from all parts of the country…and the issue is not sex, though the output, often, is; the issue, at heart, is MONEY—so so much money…if the star of your moneyball team, which is responsible for bringing in multiple millions and millions of dollars every year, is also a date rapist, but you NEED him for the team…do  you throw him off the team and out of school and into jail?  how about the pedophile coach who’s responsible for making champions—can you throw him to the wolves? can you/do you take that chance?

I’m shaking my head as I write this because I can hardly believe this goes on, for real…but it does! maybe even, you know stories from your own experience that you’d want to share with us… please jump in here and tell us what you think.

I have to add one more thing because ethel feels so strongly about it. so many of our blog pieces take on a religious focus. I guess that’s because it’s what she and I talk about, often enough, when we get to seriously talking. But once in a while, usually I’ll find a story that has nothing to do with religion—no religious coloring at all—but which has importance to me for some other reason, in this case rah rah rah, I graduated from penn state. but now ethel wants it pointed out strongly that there is no religious nut ball involved here doing nefarious things in the name of god…just an unfortunate guy who apparently had a very serious problem for at least 30 years, it would appear, from evidence gathered so far…and in doing nothing to stop him, his so called friends may have consigned him to prison for the rest of his life…
           cool friends…

Friday, October 07, 2011

you know, maybe I’m old fashioned, but it seems to me that the level of political discourse in this country is becoming more and more ugly and rude. it has always been a process meant to leave only the strongest upright…but the definition of strength has changed dramatically, and now seems to have something more to do with accumulated wealth and religious belief, the latter being something our forefathers worked diligently to keep on a separate track from government.
that in mind, something happened last week that made me realize I had to say SOMETHING, FINALLY…president obama was speaking at the house of blues in los angeles, and this nut ball, who apparently is a local legend for outragery—and he paid dearly, mind you--somewhere between $250-1000 for the privilege, positioned himself near center front, screaming loudly over obama’s beginning remarks, that “jesus is lord” and that “you are the antichrist” and kept it up for ten or 15 seconds until security reached him and took him in hand.
obama’s response was impressive. he grinned, and agreed that jesus was, in fact, lord, and since he could see things were tense, he asked whether a coat on a nearby chair belonged to the fellow…he didn’t want him to lose it.  a lady close by  said no, it was hers and  he laughed and said “oooh, well, make sure she doesn’t lose her keys! and make sure the guy gets across the street safely!”  I felt like he brought down the temperature, just right—gently funny…
but that’s not the story…
I actually saw all this on martin bashir’s program on msnbc. he showed the event and then had a guest  explain why what had happened was a real belief for some Christians. and what the rapture is and why those christians think obama may be the antichrist, etc…in other words, he was providing the religious backstory for some of this far-right tea party stuff that seems to be behind a lot of the "religiously political" or "politically religious" talk we’re trying to sort out currently.
 it was very interesting, particularly to someone a little short on end-of-times knowledge,  and when he was done ( the guy who was explaining) either he or another man, I can’t remember which, sat and talked to bashir.
martin was asking why, in his opinion, this was happening…and the fellow said, it was “because these were Christian evangelicals”… martin’s eyes opened pretty much as wide as mine did, and he said, “YOU CAN’T POSSIBLY BE SAYING THAT ALL CHRISTIAN EVANGELICALS ARE OF THAT SORT, ARE YOU?” at which point the fellow sort of backtracked,  but I think he did that because he was on national tv and he was about to be challenged by a man who sounded VERY smart—(and IS.)
the main thing, though, is that I think, even if the guy probably didn’t want to get taken apart in front of several thousand viewers, he, and lots of people, are thinking those very thoughts, and Christians in the churches who are not satisfied to have themselves represented by the likes of michelle bachman, and sarah palin and rick perry, etc…all of whom, bathe in their christianity, better get on the stick and tell these folks to “stop speaking as if you’re speaking for ME!!”
when you don’t speak up; when you don’t defend the faith as YOU know it to be, outsiders know it only from what they see and hear—and at BEST, it makes a laughing stock of you and and saddens me in ways I can’t articulate…I CAN’T stand up for you, because it must come from YOU! to say nothing is to say: “well, it’s all true; it’s just that  we don’t like it!” and you keep turning the other cheek till you’re so dizzy, you fall down!!
This is nothing new.  There are always kooky people out there spouting off in rude and inappropriate ways that make evangelical Christianity look really bad. You seem particularly disturbed by this phenomenon. Well, and so am I. How many times have you told us right here on this blog that we need to speak up?  Now, here is one more example, but unfortunately I fear we are about to see a lot more of these in the year ahead as the presidential campaign gets fully under way. SO many evangelicals see every political battle as spiritual warfare. The problem is that when they turn it in this direction, it is remarkably simple to stir up the troops. Many folks who would never see it this way otherwise now find themselves fearful of disagreeing with the doomsayers who shout so loudly and protest their Christian faith so boldly.
There is one Christian voice out there that stirs up a lot of controversy among us. Nothing shy or retiring about him—nor hesitant to speak his mind. I may not buy everything Frank Schaeffer says, but he has at least made me sit up and take some notice.
He says that basically, today's radical Christians want to change the way things are done in this country, and are not so much interested in restoring Democracy as they are in establishing a 21st century Theocracy.  He speaks of “Religion masquerading as Politics.” I heard him speaking once of the far-right agenda working toward a sort of Christian Shariah law. The idea made me shudder! Whew!
yeah, well, I mentioned some of this to bruce (husband) and he just truly believes I should have my head examined. he says, “it can’t happen!” I say to him…down through history there have been so many things that couldn’t happen—until they DID…I think he’s right that it will be very hard for the fundamentalists to win, but not impossible; nothing is impossible.
In one of his interviews with Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, Franky said the following, and I think we all need to at least give him a listen and ask God what we should think and do about it.
...Can Christianity be rescued from Christians? And that’s an open question. And when you see a bunch of people going around thinking that our President is the anti-Christ you have to draw one of two conclusions…either these are racists looking for any excuse to level the next accusation or they’re beyond crazy. And I think beyond crazy is a better explanation and that evangelical subculture has rotted the brain of the United States of America. We have a big slice of our population waiting for Jesus to come back. They look forward to Armageddon. Good news is bad news to them. ...
These people are standing on a hill top waiting for the end and this is a dangerous group of people to have as neighbors.  …they’re our national neighbors, and this is the source of all these insanities that we see leveled at the President.  ***

I read our piece here to Walt (husband) and his comment, not unlike what we’ve heard often before, "They're kooks, and I tend to just ignore them.  They think they need to defend God, and He needs no defense."  l honestly believe that is the opinion of probably 99.9% of level-headed, thinking evangelicals.
and I think that’s maybe the reason many Christians don’t speak up, somehow they assume that god needs no defense…and maybe he doesn’t NEED it, exactly…but, history is chock full of moments when he might have benefitted…you know…fill in the blanks…
***   (for the whole video interview)

Monday, September 12, 2011

This morning I received one of those “patriotic” e-mails of the kind we are so accustomed to deleting from our boxes so we can get on with the day’s work.  This one said:
I am forwarding this to all of you, because it scares me to see the leaders of our country and our TV stations banning the use of American flags, whether on a lapel or from a home, or wherever.  This is America, and it is the land that God gave to us...let's continue to pray for our land and that we might have a revival in our hearts towards HIM!

The e-mail that came to me was launching a campaign to display flags on the occasion of our 10 year celebration of 9/11. No problem with such a display. But the introductory words supported a fearful campaign far more sinister.  With carefully chosen inflammatory words, the writer here planted visions in my head of presidential proclamations, congressional bills, TV news spots and newspaper headlines, all banning flag displays, and perhaps hinting at escalating anti American…”something BAD…”

yeah,  I get those, too, and every day I seem to learn the “sky is falling!!” (thank  god for chicken little!!) and we’ve talked in these blogs about the goofy preacher in florida who burned all those Korans and caused the retaliatory deaths of a lot of people, and the CA preacher who—well, I think he’s still has a date marked off in October for when the world will end…you have no end of nut balls who would love to wear neon signs on their foreheads advertising their Christianity, and very nearly NONE who want to advertise the true other side. I’ve said and I’ve said, often, I guess that it’s not up to me to understand that most of you are good and solid, kind people and/or pretty much like everyone else…BUT not everyone prefaces what they do with WHO THEY ARE…and not everyone passes judgment on others in the process of whatever they do…”judge not that ye be not judged…”

but now, this morning when we were talking, you got a little exercised about the flag email—okay, crazy!! and I have to say, I agree 100% most of them are nonsense, and incendiary, and could be turned off at the source  by the use of one simple, teeny tiny device that would take less than a teeny tiny minute…

I went to Snopes to check it out.

I was not surprised. Once again, someone  trying  to stir up panic and fear and wanting us to take a fighting stand for patriotism, as if we needed to be talked into patriotism! And, as if that were an essential element of godliness. In order to do this they have taken a few isolated incidents, and  revised the script to fit  in with their little playlet. And they well know that there are many people who will read, but not analyze, or possibly even think through what is said. They will, with shaking fingers, pass it along to their whole address book, via email,  and thereby help to widen the panic, or smear, or whatever craziness is being pedaled today—in this case--what they interpret as a massive move to ban the display of the American flag.

What I found at Snopes (WWW.SNOPES.COM) were these 3 stories:
1.     ABC had long had a policy against wearing any national identity symbols while doing a televised news report.   At the moment when the whole country erupted into a flag-flying mania after 9/11, ABC insisted on keeping that policy, even though many of their employees wanted to change things at least for the moment..
2.    A company that tried to ban flag displays on its premises, actually confiscated these at the time of 9/11. Subsequently, they investigated it and changed this policy.
3.    A group of high schoolers in California decided to wear T-shirts with American flags on them on the Mexican holiday, Cinco de Mayo. This offended some Mexican students who claimed it was their holiday. School officials told students to turn their T-shirts inside out. Instead, the students called their parents who took them home to change clothes. This stirred up Fox news to start a poll to see how many folks disagree with flag-banning in the schools.

No proclamations or bills, TV images or newspaper headlines. Just stories of American citizens interacting with a world that doesn’t always understand or appreciate our brand of patriotism.  In a time when tensions are high and feelings are raw about issues like immigration and homeland security, little relational volcanoes are sure to erupt.  What we do not need in the middle of all this, is a group of folks who live either so far to the right or to the left that they cease to search for a middle-of-the-road stance where we can experience peaceful coexistence. they don’t want to hear about it, and they don’t want to know about it…

We  need to look for truth—basic truth, whole truth—when we read  things that seem to want to incite us to fury, and to do so before we even consider passing them on..  And to my Christian brothers and sisters, I would say that of all folks on the face of the earth, we should be the very first ones to do so—we claim that our God is Truth, and so we must be most zealous in learning and protecting the Truth. But instead, we seem so eager to gather evidence of the deterioration of our culture that we grab onto every sensational report and never ask whether it is true or false or uncertain.
In dealing with the deluge of fear mongering that often stuffs  my inbox, I have learned to:
1.     Search Snopes and other dependable resources to determine whether the purported “facts” presented are actual facts, or somebody's distortion of the facts for whatever purpose.
2.     Search the incidents that gave rise to the report I am reading to see what really happened and why. There is almost always a “rest of the story…” . And that reason often alters the whole story.
3.    And, finally, I always pray before passing anything on! And, if necessary, I  wait until my anger has subsided and I can honestly say I care more about being the peacemaker God has put me on earth to be than about helping somebody else’s “righteous” cause.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, this nation lost a great man.  Mark Hatfield served in the US Senate for 6 terms.  While he was committed to fulfilling his office, he didn't always vote the way much of his constituency wanted him to.   He voted according to  his conscience which put him more often than not in the middle between political extremes, and sometimes at variance with as many as 90+% of his supporters. Yet, they loved him and kept re-electing him.  I read in an article* about him the other day  that while re-election was never his goal when he considered how to vote on any issue, he never lost an election. *  

If only we had a congress full of Mark Hatfields today. We surely could use a man of his moderate, sensible, responsible stature in every office in our government. 
or how ‘bout in just one of them!!? Assuredly! I think we all felt that way recently when we watched the debt-ceiling circus performance of our re-election-focused politicians. It looked to me, at least, as if each congressman strove to fit in with his/her colleagues and stand firmly against all opponents across the aisle.  How much sooner might the crisis have been resolved if we had a dozen more Hatfields committed to finding a solution somewhere in the middle of the road where truth so often lies? 

You and I recently had a discussion about this middle of the road thing in contrast to our increasingly polarized atmosphere in Washington DC.  We began to ask whether it is wise, safe, or even possible to stay in the middle and hope to have any influence-- or even to survive.

your question is a really good one, and probably deserves a better answer than I know to give! if I’d been in charge of the sandbox down in Washington the other week, I’d’ve sent them all to bed without dessert!! I’d have sent them without DINNER! and I’d defer, gladly! it seems to me that it’s because of the chasm left by the desertion of good sense, that hideous forms of extremism are able to survive and thrive. By the time a guy like john bohner comes to his senses and sees what his political stumping, instead of leading, is doing to both sides, and begins to actually lead…it’s way too late…the game’s been thrown and the inmates have taken the asylum!

unfortunately, and, to me, sadly, the one guy we’d counted on NOT to be in the middle of the road, in so many important issues, has been the worst one of all…and understand this, he’s been MY GUY!! obama has tried so very hard to walk the middle ground he’s almost run over HIMSELF!!

several weeks ago, bebe netenyahu was here, and for the first time in many, many years was allowed to leave with a bad taste in his mouth…obama wants to be israel’s friend, but he wants to be a friend of Palestine as well, it seems, and for whatever reason—I don’t know the reason, maybe someone could tell me—he doesn’t  understand that you cannot be friends with muslim terrorists…they don’t wish your friendship, or even your existence…get over it…yes, yes, yes, there are wonderful muslims, I’m sure, all over the world—and until they are willing to stand up and deal with their terrorist brethren, themselves, they must deal with the stigma of being identified among them…this is not MY problem, it is THEIR problem…

so, now, the “wondering” we extend to those on this train with us—is it even possible, today—in today’s more contentious environment—to stay in the middle of the road, or anywhere nearby it? or has “middle of the road” just, in fact, become a dirty phrase, and we who try to go there, “wusses” or “weenies!”

ethel and I took, finally, a few minutes to define our terms…we define middle of the road thusly:

  • it must include the notion of THINKING; using one’s head
  • politically, there must be no democrats, republicans, libertarians, or any other side-taking; only individuals.
  • all extremes on any or every side must be erased or ignored.
  • it must acknowledge that the goal is truth (and justice, and maybe even the American Way!)  whatever that or they may be
  • it must acknowledge all who come to speak…and there must be listening to all comers, and a consideration of all ideas.
“Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.”
 Margaret Thatcher

  So what do you think? Is it worth it? Or not? Come talk!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

well, I’ve been here, stressing over a word I—along with most of my countrymen, I’ll wager—have taken for granted for the past, forever…”freedom.” what is “freedom?” try it, it’s not as easy as first it seems, I’m telling you! I asked bruce (the husband) to define it, and he said, “well, if I had REAL FREEDOM, then I wouldn’t have to stop for stop signs or lights (we were in the car driving, at that moment) so there’s no such thing as total freedom.” One thing I realized, listening to him, was that most people seem to identify it by its negatives…no, you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theatre!
So then we still need a definition—what is it, and where does it end? I’ve been told that my freedom ends at the tip of your nose. What do you think? I think that saying came from the days when many people smoked, but it’s true today as well…as long as you don’t hurt me, you’re pretty well free to do as you please—in this country…which means we're not free to choose whether or not to stop at lights and stop signs. sorry, bruce!
Walt and I saw a story on TV about a town in the  south called Liberty, run by the KKK well that should’ve been a clue—liberty? who do you think the country is run by? the people?  usually, places with pretty names like “the people’s republic” and the “democratic people’s whatever…”  are mighty poetic on the outside, and potentially rotting at the center.…Well, I was wondering, liberty for whom? It made me think about how often we define certain words of this kind according to our viewpoints, while we turn around and take away the freedom of those who disagree with us.  oh, well! that’s only human…part of believing what WE think is, de facto, right—otherwise, why would we believe it? where we get messed up is in having no patience for anyone else’s beliefs…which goes back to how we’re raised. I don’t think jesus ever taught that…I’m thinking about the Christians who want—even expect—the freedom to put the Bible in school libraries, and they talk as if prohibiting it would be evidence of the moral death of our country…But meanwhile, they’ll fight tooth and nail to keep out the Book of Mormon!
this topic has so many little rivers and lakes to explore...…the only freedom I personally could come up with that everyone, anyone, anywhere may have is the freedom to “THINK.” even in prison, you may lie in a meadow of heather by a beautiful mountain stream, and dream and dream...nobody can stop you…that’s POWER!
but I’ve left until the end, a powerful song from the 70s musical SHENANDOAH—which gives us a few things to think about before writing our own thoughts…please read and then join the polylogue:
“Freedom”  from the musical Shenandoah 1975
Music by Gary Geld
Lyrics by Peter Udell

Freedom ain't a state like Maine or Virginia
Freedom ain't across some county line
Freedom is a flame that burns within ya
Freedom's in the state of mind

(Chorus) Freedom, freedom,  Freedom, freedom
Freedom is a flame that burns within ya
Freedom's in the state of mind

Freedom ain't a boat that's leaving without ya
Freedom ain't a place ya float to find
Freedom's in the how ya think about ya
Freedom's in the state of mind

(Chorus) You can't get to freedom by riding on a train
The only way to freedom is right on through your brain

Freedom is a notion sweeping the nation
Freedom is the right of all mankind
Freedom is a body's imagination
Freedom is a state of mind
Freedom, freedom   Freedom, freedom
Freedom is a notion sweeping the nation
Freedom is a body's imagination
Freedom is a full-time occupation
Freedom's in the state of mind

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I imagine that last week, our United States must have been in awfully good shape, because our congress and the media, seemed to have nothing better to talk about than Anthony Weiner’s problems. I had no idea who Weiner was and no particular interest, but Ellen seemed outraged by the attacks—on HIM!,   it was SO UNFAIR!! almost all the media was in total frenzy, and I guess I wouldn’t shut up about it, actually-- and so it caught my (cough, cough) attention and interest, like she had a choice!!!

My difficulty with this whole weiner thing is that when I try to think about it, I get so mad, I’m not sure I think very clearly. I will say clearly, and up front: anthony weiner did wrong—he spent time online with several women, not his wife, talking in “inappropriate” ways—as we’ve come to call it in the polite world of political correctness…he also sent pictures, some of which were very compromising…though most of those were more smoke than fire (I saw a few of them.)
but did what he do rise to the level of a loss of career, and sending him home to Brooklyn in disgrace? sorry, I just don’t think so…unless we’re to discover that it’s a pattern of behavior, and another shoe is yet to drop.
i’m thinking, too, there’s a fairness issue…
 Alright, well, consider that I saw a headline this morning that said he has a long past history of being a playboy. That sounds like a pattern of behavior to me. I’ve not heard that accusation before; anywhere…I’m a little wary of that one… I seem to recall that Clinton made it to the end of his second term with Monica Lewinsky under his desk, not on his computer monitor. Ted Kennedy survived for how many years in congress while he went on not just being flirtatious, but being truly and openly adulterous!  Yikes! 
Yeah, I remember back in “the day,” one never knew when ted kennedy's name would pop up again—the affairs with women he barely tried to hide—to the extent that joan lost herself in a bottle; and then he capped it all off with the killing of mary jo kopechne…only a short time after that he decided he'd run for president, and finally-- because of mary jo, I think, the public  called a halt to his upward mobility, but NOT TO HIS SENATE AMBITIONS…and from then, 1973 until 2010 when kennedy died he made himself into a great senator, and, unbelievably, a well-loved figure. this is what I mean by “fairness.” Weiner is being skewered…kennedy killed a girl and became an elder statesmen. nobody had the guts to tell him to go home!
So what is it that Weiner has done to put him beyond the arms of grace? These other guys make Weiner’s “whatever it was” seem almost childish..
Go to the internet and get inundated—both sides of the aisle—going back years and years; congressmen in both houses, enjoying the wages of their power, it would appear…a short list: Dems-- Former Rep. Mel Reynolds, convicted of 12 counts of sexual assault with a 16-year-old. Bill Clinton pardoned him before leaving office; Former Rep. Gerry Studds, censured for sexual relationship with underage male page in 1983. voters returned him to office for six more terms.  Current Rep. Barney Frank hired a male prostitute who ran a prostitution service from Frank’s residence in the 1980s. Only two Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to censure him in 1990. Republicans--Sen. David Vitter, caught up in a Washington escort service scandal, acknowledged his misbehavior and went on to win reelection in 2010;  even larry craig, trolling for sex in public bathrooms—was simply admonished by the senate ethics committee, but finished his term… public bathrooms!!  
on top of these sits the john ensign affair—that started out as an office fling, and grew into an wide ranging ethics scandal, involving several senators, which  threatened to cut short many congressional careers…and spanned several years!
 anthony weiner has been fighting his war for just over a week, and hasn’t met even one of the ladies he’s accused of perverting!! anonymous stupid talk on the net, mostly! it’s nuts! to me, anyway…even the pictures are basically fruit of the loom ads! for pity sakes!!
  Methinks if we could unearth the records, we'd find it was a rare congressman or even president, way back to Washington, who could present himself with pure hands. I think often of my husband’s uncle who held some sort of state office, way back when. His family claims he used to say that if you’re not crooked when you go into politics, you will be when you come out.  But, I have to agree with what you say, here. This much makes no sense-- as common as sexual misbehavior is among these men, I don’t see how Weiner managed to get into so much trouble.
we’re told the unforgiveable problem with weiner is not what he did, but that he lied—so let’s talk about Donald rumsfield and bush the younger, and their “weapons of mass destruction.” what IS the body count currently…and do you really want to put Anthony weiner’s stupid whatever it is/was up against it, or any of the above. further more, I heard someone say in the last day or so, “well, he (weiner) himself, said his actions were inappropriate. therefore he should resign” and you know what I heard, when this person spoke? what I heard was, if Anthony had just continued to lie, he’d have been way better off!! he skewered himself by telling the truth…ain’t that a kick in the head!!?
at the same time, I’m told weiner is not the most popular guy in the house. he’s ambitious, and a firebrand…but, I’ve watched this guy for a few years now, and here’s something you can’t say about a lot of politicians—he’s honest!  yes, he lied about this…he got his hand caught in the cookie jar, and tried to avoid the consequences…there’s something very normal about that, too. anyway, he’s smart, he’s young enough to be idealistic, and he gets the job done, apparently…a poll was conducted in his district. the results: STAY %56   RESIGN:  %32  UNDECIDED: %12. almost 2/3rds of HIS people…support him, and want him to stay and fight it out! being disliked, can be a badge of honor, depending on whose wearing it and why
Oh boy!  Show me a man or woman anywhere in the public eye who does wrong and then doesn't lie to cover it up.  I think about Nixon and Agnew, Clinton and Kenneth Lay and even Ted Haggard, along with a few closer to home in churches where I've been.  Church leaders are every bit as prone as politicians when it comes to lying.
 I think this does make my point for me—christian or non—first they lie. our most primitive instinct is to try to survive…and that’s one way we do it…it doesn’t make us bad…it makes us normal. and weiner actually caved in much earlier than most…as I said, it seems to be part of the reason he’s being attacked. Charlie rangel has managed to lie and cheat his own constituents for years and years and years, and absolutely refused to quit, even after being censured…
Okay, so in the end,  What do we do about it?  For years I've heard it asked in evangelical circles, even asked it myself on occasion, that if a man is immoral in his gut, how can we trust him to do right and act wisely in official office?  Especially if he is dishonest enough to lie about it.  And what would happen to the size of our congress if we deleted all the men who have cheated on their wives and lied about it? My husband and I saw a bumper sticker the other night that poses one answer: 
Impeach Everybody
at the same time, Weiner along with a few others in congress,  is apparently still young enough to put idealism ahead of compromise, and so some of his colleagues might wish him gone. He will think nothing of making wave after wave after wave, and letting the chips fall where they fall!
So, what do you think? How do you feel about Weiner’s lie? And should he have just left it his little secret? Knowing that his peccadilloes were carried on anonymously and that he never actually met any of the women he spoke to, does that make a difference to you? Should he resign? And what about that 56% of his constituents that support him? Do they count for anything? Finally, when you go to vote for a public servant, how important is his moral character in helping you to make your decision? We would love to hear anything you want to share, pro or con…  E&e