barbara's blog

September 11, 2001 - September 11, 2010

September 11, 2010 by barbara


barbara writes

September 11, 2001 – September 11, 2010

I suppose the title reads like a tombstone engraving. And in some ways, maybe that's true. Unless...unless....

Historical 09/11 marks the day Americans and much of the world stopped in our tracks. We held our collective breath in disbelief, and wept for our America and those who died that day simply because they lived and worked in New York City. Remember? Of course you do. In the days and weeks that followed, we were a powerfully united country and the whole world embraced us without reservation. That is the last time our country was populated by grown-ups.

From that point forward – for nine agonizing years – we have spiraled ever deeper into a nation divided and subdivided. In the beginning, that was due at least in part to national trauma. There was no precedent, no blueprint for how to proceed. In our collective grief, we were willing to trust and cut slack because we were too gobsmacked to do otherwise. “Let go and let Bush” became the unspoken mantra. Critical analysis was viewed as something subversive. Read more.

Posted in

Reconciliation time

August 11, 2010 by barbara

barbara writes

Minnesota’s Democratic governor candidate buffet was like a Swedish smorgasbord. Bland, white, arguably wholesome stuff. Notable absence of spice. Is that a bad thing? Dunno. We’ll see.

I’ve been largely ambivalent about the Minnesota governor primary. Two wealthy, self-financing white males who were bucking (with a “b”) the arcane DFL system. One kinda, sorta grass-rootsy female, immersed in and blessed by the DFL.

But now that chapter is closed. This morning, Mark Dayton emerged victorious over Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Matt Entenza. We know MD won, because the Associated Press told us so. Presumably Secretary of State Mark Ritchie – the only genuine authority on the results – has by now weighed in, having waited until all the votes are counted. Kinda flies in the face of instant gratification, doesn't it? Read more.

Posted in

Cute as a button: Umm, are buttons cute?

August 09, 2010 by barbara

For your viewing pleasure...perky Sarah Palin being...perky.

Read more.

Posted in

The girl of August

August 07, 2010 by barbara

barbara writes

Something new is going down at my place. I’ve become a baseball kinda gal. But wait! There’s more.

My Facebook Friends (4,937 of those people nearest and dearest to me) already know that over the past year or so, I’ve morphed from a passive read-about-‘em-in-the-paper Twins fan to a raucous game-watching, game attending, Mauer jersey wearing, stats following, trade savvy, armchair coaching baseball babe. And because I rarely ever watched a game before that, and never in hi-def until now, I’m new to up-close and personal glimpses of the Boys of September.

I moseyed into the kitchen tonight to rinse dinner dishes, thinking about the ballgame just concluded. Sadly, my guys lost. To Cleveland. Go figure.

I stepped onto the small rug in front of the sink. Kicked around a petrified pea with the sides of my tennies. Back and forth, back and forth. Settled into my dish rinsing stance. Shrugged my shoulders, easing the tension.

I began scraping congealed pasta and peas down the disposal. And then I turned away and spit on the floor. An odd but strangely satisfying thing. Read on!

Posted in

The truth: Still there, still inconvenient

July 28, 2010 by barbara


On July 7, the last of three independent British commissions exonerated prominent climate scientists at the University of East Anglia of any wrongdoing in the so-called "Climategate," in which mysterious (and still anonymous) hackers trashed their reputations and confused public understanding of important climate science.

Meanwhile, back in America, prominent climatologist Michael Mann, also reviled by critics for his "Climategate" e-mails (and for his solid climate science), was similarly exonerated by a full review panel at Penn State University, where he teaches. Most important, all review panels affirmed the underlying science, and thereby the established scientific consensus that human activity is warming the planet. "The rigor and honesty of the scientists in not in doubt," the British panel concluded.

This should put to rest any remaining public "skepticism" of the scientific facts of climate change. If it doesn't, two new books will.
Read more.

Posted in

The Battle Hymn of the Republicans

July 28, 2010 by barbara

barbara writes

barbara has been out of town again, in places with no signal. That said, this clip, sent to me by LeftyMN, seemed important enough to find a way to share it with you.

What follows is the deeply moving Republican anthem, as sung by Michele Bachmann, John Kline, Tim Pawlenty (our MN radical right contingent), Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, John McCain, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, et al.

I think it may tug at your heart and bring a tear to your eye.

Posted in

World Cup redux: The gift that keeps on giving

July 19, 2010 by barbara

barbara writes

Oh, people, here is a truly amazing world premiere. Do not be giving up after the brief Brahms. Continue through the remarkable Ravel that follows. Hint: “Bolero!”

h/t Dee Bailey

Posted in

Random stuff from week just ending

July 17, 2010 by barbara

barbara writes

Has it really been just five days since I left Minnesota for my uncle’s funeral in Illinois? I was relatively out of touch with folks back home while I was gone, and also with the news.

However, I did catch snippets over motel bagels and watery orange juice each morning. It amazed me that motels in southern Iowa and Illinois (fairly hard-core conservative-land), TVs were tuned to either CNN or MSNBC. Not a Fox to be seen. Yoicks!

Here are some things that emerged over the past five days:

• BP is getting very close to capping the well that caused the catastrophic “spill,” i.e., three-month gusher of monstrous proportions that has killed flora and fauna, jobs, spirits and whatever fragment of trust we might have had in the oil industry.

• Rod Blagojevich has an ego and a mouth at least as big as Michele Bachmann’s. Even so, Minnesota’s loud, hairy one finagled more air time than Rod the Badly Coiffured Wunderkind in his own state. I read this morning that MB wants to start a Tea Party Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. Pay attention, please. I said “in the U.S. House of Representatives,” not D.C. Middle School for Kewl Kids. It seems to me that Bachmann is all about posing and posturing, playing games (remember her hide and seek gig?), forming cliques, flipping hair and flapping gums. Harsh? Mebbe. But second only to Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann is the most narcissistic nymph at the water’s edge.

• Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston. Oh, man. Will we ever be finished with that wretched family? Most interesting news surrounding the impending Read on.

Posted in

Facts are a liberal conspiracy

July 08, 2010 by barbara

cartoon by Barry Deutsch/Ampersand

barbara writes

Minnesota has an interesting dude running for governor under the Republican banner. His name is Tom Emmer (rhymes with, um, nothing). Given his penchant for making up “facts” (which seems to be a litmus test to qualify for the right), Emmer spews the most dazzlingly wacko stuff. I’m guessing he must have studied with Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann at the Glenn Beck Fox Faux Factorium.

Case in point, Emmer recently declared that Minnesota needs to reduce the minimum wage for those who garner tips (mostly those who serve food in restaurants). And you know why? Because according to Emmer, some of those fat cat servers are sucking up $100,000 a year. Yup. The very folks at St. Paul’s Eagle Street Grille who serve your burgers and Bud lite. Read on

Posted in