Barbara's Blog


June 01, 2010 by barbara

barbara writes

Had an interesting experience on Memorial Day. We visited Fort Snelling National Cemetery. W wanted to “plant” a flag on his uncle’s grave (the uncle who died in Belgium during WWII). Brother G and I wanted to re-find our parents’ grave in that vast sea of identical, precisely placed white headstones. Something like 180,000 of them, I read somewhere. Our father served in the Navy in Guam and Okinawa during WWII.

There was so much traffic approaching the cemetery that multiple police officers were at every intersection from I-494 north, all along 34th Avenue and up Post Road.

We discovered as we neared the uncle’s grave that a major speaking event was in progress. Heard the loud-speaker intro for MN’s senior Senator, Amy Klobuchar (who said that her previous introduction at an event was as Minnesota’s senior citizen, but I digress). Listened to her speak. Joined in the applause.

Next up was Tim (MIA) Pawlenty, who pretty much only shows up when there’s media attention. Heard his opening comment. W, G and I exchanged wordless looks, and walked away, in search of the parent grave.

Rude? Maybe. But for us, there was something akin to 60-cycle hum about the voice of the man who has utterly betrayed living Minnesotans at every opportunity to do so.

Some would say it is not nice to disrespect the governor. I would say that respect must be earned. It was perversely pleasing to turn my back on the man who has turned his back on Minnesota.

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Short term memory loss

May 31, 2010 by barbara

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Join the conversation

May 12, 2010 by barbara

barbara writes

I'm moving up a couple of comments from an earlier post. It's a conversation that needs to happen. Are you in?

barbara wrote: Four years ago, we had a chance to unseat Minnesota’s execrable Unallotment Governor, but our hack-backed, hot-headed DFL candidate shot himself (and therefore all of us) in the foot/feet.

anon commented: You are correct.

It is about to happen again. Big Marg has about as much chance to be Gov as I do, which would be zilch. Doe-eyed Dayton is on the same level and the Worthington flash is likely to have "issues" prior to November. Good job DFL !

A huge wave is about to come ashore in November. You can then write a lot of posts trying to explain it. But I think you already know that.

barbara responded: You've burrowed to a core issue, I think. Explaining failure after the fact. It's become a hallmark of Dem strategery. Read on.

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And so it begins . . .

May 06, 2010 by barbara

barbara writes

UPDATED May 08; click to read whole post.

This is just the beginning, of course. Now the strong-arm tactics of Maricopa County's legendary bully, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, have been legalized by the State of Arizona. Concerning this arrest, Arpaio essentially said, "Oh, well, this stuff happens." Yeah, well, This. Stuff. Is. Just. Wrong.

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2006 revisited because...oh, just because I can

May 01, 2010 by barbara

barbara writes

Four years ago this very day, barbara hung her first post on the Clothesline. Four years. Pretty amazing. Would probably be more amazing if I’d written regularly over the intervening years. Some people do, you know. Have you noticed that ours is a relentlessly random site?

My first post was an awkward piece, but prescient in its way. It described the courtship of John McCain and Tim “Lord of the Veto” Pawlenty. And we all know how that turned out.

Four years ago, we had a chance to unseat Minnesota’s execrable Unallotment Governor, but our hack-backed, hot-headed DFL candidate shot himself (and therefore all of us) in the foot/feet.

Four years ago, Molly Ivins was alive. And, for what it’s worth, so was Anna Nicole Smith.

Four years ago, the Oscar for best movie went to “Crash.” How obscure is that?

Four years ago, the Twins claimed the American League Central in a breathless finish, edging out Detroit.

Four years ago, the Vikings did not win the Super Bowl. Read on.

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Duking it out with forgiveness

April 03, 2010 by barbara

barbara writes

Passover. Easter. Spring.

A season for reflection and no small measure of gratitude. Kind of like Thanksgiving with jelly beans.

There’s a photo-essay making the rounds again on the web right now. The one with glorious full-color pix of cacti, complete with superimposed inspirational messages and peaceful music. Have you seen it? One of those life lessons thingies. This one snagged my attention because there are some essential truths in it, along with predictable clichés. But where is it written that clichés cannot double as truths sometimes? For instance, there's stuff in this clip about forgiveness.

The big question dogging my heels lately is how one discerns and then proceeds from the pivot point where consequences and forgiveness come together. Kind of the big, red X, “you are here” markers in our personal, professional and political lives. So what happens when those sometimes diametrically opposite things glide together or collide, depending on the particulars?

There’s a school of thought that holds we need not concern ourselves with figuring this out. That we are called to be vessels of redemptive love – folks who go with the flow and don’t keep score. Maybe so. It’s a lovely concept, really. Personally, I find it quite challenging sometimes. But I do keep plugging away at it.

The flip side is the philosophy that seems rooted in perpetual omni-targeted rage. The place where vengeance is the default setting. Read on, please.

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Obama mocks those who say sooth

April 02, 2010 by barbara

barbara writes, albeit briefly

Even I am sick of looking at the photo of Bart Stupak (below), and I'm the one who put it there!

Excuse du jour: Read a little bit more.

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Stupak speaks

March 27, 2010 by barbara

barbara writes

A friend who's a constituent of the on-again, off-again Bart Stupak, received this letter from him re his health care reform vote. He was the Dems' insider pain in the patoot and also rallied his little cadre of troops to press through passage of the bill.

Devil or angel? You decide:

March 25, 2010

Dear :

Thank you for your communication on health care reform legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590), which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on March 21, 2010. I was honored to witness the signing of this historic legislation by President Obama at the White House on March 23, 2010.

My vote on health care reform was the most difficult vote I have cast during my 20 years as a state representative and a member of Congress. Read on.

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A look at irrational hatred

March 20, 2010 by barbara

barbara writes

The above film clip and the following print excerpt come to us from Talking Points Memo under the headline Man With Parkinson's Who Was Berated By Tea Partiers: 'I Embody The Controversy'

She who does not watch television nor many videos (apart from the past 24 hours) beseeches you to take time to watch the video and read the TPM text.. The clip is part of a longer video filmed earlier in the week by the Columbus, Ohio Dispatch.

Be forewarned that it is intensely disturbing. Not because of physical violence and bloodshed, but rather because it illustrates the depth, breadth and intensity of the great American divide.

I watched the clip several times in horrified silence. I continue to be totally gobsmacked that this is who we are becoming, have become. That there are those among us who think and behave this way.

And my challenge to you, dear reader, is to offer up a viable, legal solution. Because my tiny mind just went tilt and I’m fresh out of ideas.

Now the TPM text:

Please read the excerpt that follows.

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