Keepin’ It Real

September 28, 2007

John Edwards: “[P]retty soon we’re not going to have a young African-American male population in America. They’re all going to be in prison or dead. One of the two.”

Filed under: John Edwards — mary @ 1:56 pm

At the MTV/MySpace Presidential Dialogue, John Edwards was asked the following question by a member of the audience:

“What would you do to eliminate inner city kids partake in violence?” (sic)

His answer began as follows:

“ The President must say to America: We cannot build enough prisons to solve this problem. And the idea that we can keep incarcerating and keep incarcerating — pretty soon we’re not going to have a young African-American male population in America. They’re all going to be in prison or dead. One of the two,” John Edwards

Here’s the video clip:

Pretty racist if you ask me.

Jesse and Al, are you out there?

Edited to add:

Is there a subtle racism in John Edwards? One does wonder. Take this comment he made during an interview in Iowa in June”

“It’s not just a question of who you like,” Edwards said. “It’s not just a question of whose vision you are impressed with. It’s also a question of who is most likely to win the general election. It’s a pretty simple thing. Who will be a stronger candidate in the general election here in the State of Iowa? Who can go to other parts of the country when we have swing candidates running for the Congress and the Senate? Is the candidate going to have to say, ‘Don’t come here. Don’t come here and campaign with me. I can’t win if you campaign with me.'”

He added later, “I think it’s just a reality that I can campaign anyplace in America.”

To me this implies that John Edwards believes that he, as a white male, is the only one who can campaign anywhere in the country.

I think as John Edwards speaks more and more one is going to see subtle racists hints. Of course, in a way, his brand of socialized everything does have racist tendencies. He states to minorities that they aren’t able to take care of themselves and government must take care of them from cradle to grave. In my opinion he just sounds like he has taken on the “white man’s burden”, which is so very condescending to a segment of the American population, and is dismissive of their talents and abilities.


September 22, 2007

I’m baaack!

Filed under: Uncategorized — mary @ 5:36 pm

After a long break to take care of family obligations, I’m back to give irreverent and serious comments on the issues of the day. I’m sure John and Elizabeth Edwards will give me plenty to talk about! Maybe John Edwards can have a “Spa Day with John” fundraiser!

July 25, 2007

Harry Reid: “They’re jealous of what happened last November”

Filed under: Harry Reid,Politics — mary @ 1:01 pm

Oh my.

When I was little and had trouble with other little kids on the playground, my best friend would assure me not to worry that the other little kids were “just jealous”.

When faced with criticism by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that the Senate democrats have wasted time in the undue partisanship, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid replied:

“They resent what happened last November, they’re jealous of what happened last November, and they’re mad as hell at what happened last November,” Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, said Tuesday. “What they don’t want to acknowledge is what we’ve been able to accomplish.”

What does one say about this juvenile response? Glad to know that the kids are running the country.

July 20, 2007

Sen. Ken Salazar (CO) votes against John Doe protection in reporting potential terrorist activities

Filed under: Ken Salazar,War on Terror — mary @ 5:22 pm

Colorado Senator Ken Salazar today voted along with his democratic colleagues to block a provision which would have provided protection from lawsuit for those who report potential terrorists. See how they voted here.

Salazar voted to block the King amendment to the 9/11 security bill. The King amendment would have limited immunity to citizens who report to law enforcement what they believe to be terrorist activities from being sued by those who they report. It was proposed in response to an incident last November when six imams of Middle Eastern origin were removed from a US Airways flight after passengers reported suspicious activities by these men. The imams, in turn, have filed suit against the passengers who reported their activities to the flight crew:

Their lawsuit charges that the imams were victims of an “intentional” and “malicious” . . . “conspiracy to discriminate” and seeks compensatory and punitive damages from the airline and “John Doe” passengers – including an elderly couple who, according to legal papers, “purposely turned around to watch them” in the boarding area and then “made a cellular phone call.”

Without this legislation, ordinary citizens who report suspcious activities (this means you and me) will continue to be subject to lawsuits for doing what we have all been told to do in the wake of the 9-11 terrorist attacks – don’t sit passively by, but report what seems to us not right. We have been told that citizen tips are the first line of defense in the war against terrorism. Senator Salazar and his democratic colleagues obviously don’t believe that, since they don’t feel the need to protect us from lawsuits like that instituted by the “flying imams”, which intimidate ordinary citizens from making reports.

This is really an unacceptable position for our junior Senator to take, but he is now just part of the democratic voting block, not the maverick moderate he portayed himself as in the 2004 election.

July 6, 2007

Adieu, Mme. Crespin

Filed under: Culture — mary @ 7:46 pm

Another great soprano passed away this week. Yesterday, French soprano, Regine Crespin, died of cancer in Paris. She was 80.

Just as Beverly Sills could be classified as an all-American singer. Crespin could be classified as the quintessential French singer, blending perfectly text and music into a beautiful synthesis.

Here is a perfect example of the French style as displayed by Regine Crespin, a 1964 performance of Gabriel Faure’s beautiful song Soir (Evening). If you follow the subtitles, you can see how she gently shades the poetry of this beautiful song.

Here is a tribute to Mme. Crespin by Opera News, which is well worth the read:

This has certainly been a sad week for the opera world.

July 3, 2007

Adieu, Mlle. Sills

Filed under: Culture — mary @ 12:12 pm

Yesterday, coloratura soprano Beverly Sills passed away from cancer. She was one of the most beautiful people in the opera world. For many, she made the staid world of opera fun with her joyful spirit and beautiful smile.

It is hard to imagine the world without this beautiful lady in it.

Here is a small tribute to her work:

In 1966, Sills became a superstar after her portrayal of Cleopatra in Handel’s Giulio Cesare at the New York City Opera. Here she is singing “Da tempeste”, one of the arias from the opera:

Another signature role for Sills was Rosina in Rossini’s “Il Barbieri di Siviglia” when coloratura sopranos performed the role. Here’s Sills singing ‘Una voce poco fa” from the opera:

Her joyful expression in singing this area has always made me smile!

Beverly Sills was also well-known for her portrayal of Manon in the opera of the same name by French composer Jules Massenet. Here she performs the beautiful aria “Adieu notre petite table”. Her emotional portrayal is stunning:

And this is why she was one of the great ambassadors of opera, because she was just real (and just plain fun!) An opera parody with the great Danny Kaye:

Rest in peace, Ms. Sills. You will be sorely missed. You have inspired me for years, and I will always be grateful.

June 26, 2007

The “Clay Pigeon” Amendments to the Immigration Bill

Filed under: Immigration — mary @ 10:31 pm

378 pages of amendments. (Just in case you are interested in reading it, here it is.) Have the Imperial Senators who are supposed to vote on this monster even read this? Will they ever read it? I did. But without sitting down for hours comparing the original bill with the amendments I cannot gain a totally accurate picture of the entire bill. Will the “lawmakers” do this, or are they so hell-bent on a deal that they really don’t care?

Here’s a few comments on the amendments:

1. The promise that the 24 hour approval process would be done away with was a lie. Here it is in the amendments:

(2) TIMING OF PROBATIONARY STATUS. – No alien may be granted probationary status until the alien has passed all appropriate background checks or the end of the next business day, whichever is sooner. (p. 21, line 12).

So, the immigrant will be treated as legal one business day after applying, even if the background check is not completed.

2. What I find interesting is that an applicant for a Z visa does not have to pass any medical examination until such time as he or she decides to adjust his or her status to that of permanent resident visa holder:

(g) MEDICAL EXAMINATION. – An applicant for earned adjustment shall undergo an appropriate medical examination (including a determination of immunization status) that conforms with generally accepted professional standards of medical practice. (p 47)

So, Z visa holders can have any medical condition which may threaten the public health (including no immunizations)? Does the public health not matter at all to our Imperial Senate?

3. Agricultural worker visas (Z-A visas) will be granted to 1,500,000 people. This figure does not include said agricultural workers’ spouses or children. (1) Z-A VISA. – The Secretary may not issue more than 1,500,000 Z-A Visas.
(2) Z-A DEPENDENT VISA. – The Secretary may not county any Z-A dependent visa issued against the numerical limitation described in paragraph (1)
(p. 92).

1,500,000 ag workers, plus spouses and children (even at 2 children per household that’s 3 million anchor babies).

4. New employment rights, not available to other workers, have been established by this amendment:



(A) PROHIBITION. – No alien issued a Z-A visa may be terminated from employment by any employer during the period of a Z-A visa except for just cause. (pp. 93-94)

Z-A visa holders can only be fired “for just cause”. This goes against the employment law of “employment at will” where an employer can fire an employee for any reason, except as prohibited by employment discrimination laws. So, can citizens working in agriculture be fired for any reason, while their Z-A visa holding fellow workers can only be fired for “just cause”? Will this be deemed as unequal treatment under the law? Will the result be to expand “just cause” termination requirements to all employer-employee relationships, destroying the doctrine of employment at will? I think a California court will do just that.

5. The 24 hour rule applies to military service too! Glad to know that any person can serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, even if they would not pass a background check, as long as 24 hours has passed since submission to that background check, and nothing has come back yet. National Security at its most secure.


An alien who files for application for Z nonimmigrant status shall under the first section 601 (included in title IV relating to nonimmigrants in the United States previously in unlawful status), upon submission of any evidence required under paragraphs (f) and (g) of such section 601 and after the Secretary of Homeland Security has conducted appropriate background checks, to include name and fingerprint checks, that have not by the end of the next business day produced information rendering the applicant ineligible shall be eligible to serve as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States. (pp. 344-345)

Terrorists, cross your fingers that your background check takes longer than 24 hours and you can be given government issued weapons and a uniform!

6. And for those of you longing for potential pork. Your government, as a result of this amendment, will be investigating the treatment of Latin Americans of Japanese descent during WWII.

Subtitle B – Commission on War-time Relocation and Internment of Latin Americans of Japanese Descent


This subtitle may be cited as the “Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Latin Americans of Japanese Descent Act”.


The purpose of this subtitle is to establish a fact-finding Commission to extend the study of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians to investigate and determine facts and circumstances surrounding the relocation, internment, and deportation to Axis countries of Latin Americans of Japanese descent from December 1941 through February 1948, and the impact those actions by the United States, and to recommend appropriate remedies, if any, based on preliminary findings by the original Commission and new discoveries. (p. 354)

Reparations anyone??

This is just a bit of the mess that is the clay pigeon amendment document. There’s more, of course, and I urge you to read it.

This is an outrage to those who want serious work on the immigration problem. It endangers our national security, our national public health and has many unintended consequences that our legislators should really consider thoughtfully, not just in a quick move to pass the bill and go on vacation. It’s time for the Imperial Senators to do their jobs, or risk losing them.

ETA Ed Morrissey at Captain’s Quarters is spending time analyzing the bill. Check it out.

June 22, 2007

Doing the Jobs Americans Aren’t Qualified to Do?

Filed under: Immigration — mary @ 5:14 pm

As business continues to push for open borders, see what they and their lawyers have come up with to deprive Americans from high-paying jobs. They make sure that, despite receiving resumes, no American who would demand a middle-class salary “fully qualifies” for advertised positions. Since there are no “qualified applicants” from the American pool of workers to fill these jobs, businesses may legally offer the jobs to lower-paid foreign workers and obtain visas for them to come here to work.

Here’s how it is done to comply with the law:

Big business doesn’t care about this country or about American workers. It only cares about lining its own pockets. When business says that there are no Americans to fill positions, it’s time to be very skeptical. Truth is there are no Americans who will do it at the wage business is willing to pay, or, as in this case, they scam the system so as to make it appear there are no qualified workers.

These are the people Congress listens to: the businesses which bribe them with funds for campaigns, private jet rides, plum jobs for relatives and other such goodies. The rest of us are just the suckers who pull the lever. Maybe it’s time to shut the dishonest group of folks on both ends of this corrupt transaction down.

June 21, 2007

I got tagged!

Filed under: Uncategorized — mary @ 11:30 pm

Okay Lew, I’m playing along! Lew over at Right in a Left World tagged me, so rather than discuss my disgust at Jimmy Carter’s comments regarding the US’s failure to fund Hamas while funding Fatah, I’ll play along instead.

Here are the questions and answers:

1) Name your favorite band and singer. (The singer can’t be from the band)

Favorite band – I can’t decide, so here are my favorites: Earth Wind and Fire, The Doobie Brothers, the Monkees (I know fake band, but they remind me of being a little kid), and The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields (chamber orchestra)

Favorite singer – Another one with multiple answers. I am a singer and have far too many singers whom I love to leave anyone out. Rita Streich (German coloratura soprano), Mady Mesple (French coloratura soprano), Arleen Auger (American soprano), Beverly Sills (American coloratura soprano, who knew how to have fun), Paul Simon (not a coloratura soprano), and young Elton John. I could name many more, but have already sooo broken the rules.

2) Favorite historical politician (domestic)? (Historical = Dead)

James Madison and Abraham Lincoln

3) Favorite historical politician (International)?

Winston Churchill

4) You’re giving a Hollywood pitch (25 words or less) about your Blog — GO

Don’t try to pull the wool over my eyes, I’ll keep calling you on it. If I could blog about classical singers I would, but no one would come.

5) Other then where you live now, what city do you like?

Florence and Venice, Italy. Amelia Island, Florida, Boston.

6) Favorite modern politician? (In office now)

John Howard of Australia

7) Are you a Wilsonian Idealist or Nixonian Realist in foreign policy?

Nixonian Realist

8) Favorite obscure movie?

Big Night (1996) and Now Voyager (1942)

9) What is your favorite restaurant?

I wish I could remember the name of it. It was a tiny family restaurant in Florence, where the owner and I had a lovely chat and he served us wine from hims familiy’s vinyard. It was perfect in every way.

10) Choose a music video on YouTube. Why that one?

Okay, I choose 3 (as usual), because they are all wonderful. The first is The Benedictus from Mozart’s Requiem with a sublime performance by soprano Arleen Auger, who was a master performer of Mozart, along with the mezzo, Cecilia Bartoli, tenor Vinson Cole and bass Rene Pape. Sir George Solti is conducting. Mozart is my absolute favorite composer and his Requiem is truly a work of art. In my opinion, the purity of Arleen Auger’s voice and her sensitive musical interpretation make this just a wonderful performance.

Next, the final trio from Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier. It is just one of my favorite pieces which musically contrasts the sadness of the aging Countess losing her lover to a younger rival with the anticipation of love of the new young couple. This clip is from a Metropolitian Opera Gala and features soprano Elisabeth Soderstrom as the Countess, mezzo Frederica Von Stade as Octavian, and soprano Kathleen Battle as Sophie. James Levine conducts. The climax of this piece just is incredible.

And, finally, “You Can Call Me Al” from Paul Simon’s Graceland album. It makes me smile every time I see it.


Another video, because I couldn’t leave it out: Paul Simon’s Father and Daughter, because there is nothing better for a little girl (or a grown woman) than her dad:

There, I’m sure I bored everyone to tears.

There you go Lew!

Here’s Lew’s Post:

June 19, 2007

The Battle Has Begun

Filed under: War in Iraq — mary @ 1:45 pm

Today, Michael Yon relased a dispatch from his embedded position in Iraq. The battle has begun and our brave men will fight Al Qaeda. Here is a short excerpt of his dispatch:

Be Not Afraid

You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst. You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way. You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand. You shall see the face of God and live.

Be not afraid.
I go before you always;
Come follow me, and I will give you rest.

[From a prayer card I found on a base in Anbar Province, Iraq.]

Thoughts flow on the eve of a great battle. By the time these words are released, we will be in combat.

This is a must-read. Read the remaining dispatch here.

Keep our brave soldiers in your prayers as the battle rages. Al Qaeda is a brutal enemy, and our men need God’s strength as they meet them in battle. Our troops will prevail in this hard fight.

And, I close with one of my favorite quotes from Shakespeare’s Henry V:

This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say, ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say, ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words,
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England, now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Godspeed, brave soldiers.

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