We should all take ‘voice lessons’ from Dixie Chicks | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

This was in the newsfeed from the Houston Chronicle today. 

In the new spirit of media disclosure, I should tell you that I own several Dixie Chicks CDs. But I’m not writing this as an adoring bluegrass fan. I’m writing this as a shame and empathy researcher.

That was how Brene’ Brown started her piece. Brown is on the research faculty of the UofH Graduate  College of Social Work. This is what she said about the “Chicks”…

Three women stood up, spoke out and got slapped down by a culture that doesn’t take kindly to women folk who break the rules. And don’t make the mistake of thinking that only men are to blame. There are many wonderful, strong men who support authenticity in women, and there are plenty of women who pledge allegiance to silence. Often, when women live under the weight of silence and fear speaking out, they have the least tolerance for other women who break the rules — they use them as targets to discharge their pain and rage.

I was thrilled to hear about the Dixie Chicks’ big win at the Grammy Awards. I only wish that all women who have endured the pain of speaking out could be publicly acknowledged and have something on their mantel to remind them that it’s time to trade in the old “voice lessons” for some freedom.

In the spirit of disclosure, I’ll be honest in saying I own all of the Dixie Chicks CD’s and DVD’s. I like their music, I like their politics, and I like the fact that they are from my home state of Texas. A few days ago I commented on their win and how I felt the reaction to the comments about the President were exacerbated by the consolidation of media ownership. My comments were not liked by the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters). I stand by my belief as stated. The arguments against my assertions were unconvincing (to me at least).

Source: We should all take ‘voice lessons’ from Dixie Chicks | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

This I Believe…

The take away paragraph tells the story of this President’s term in office. 

Bush has always supported a faith-based initiative, but his recitation of beliefs in the East Room yesterday — he listed no fewer than 18 principles he holds to be true — sounded less like a question-and-answer session than a reading of the Nicene Creed. The only thing the president did not believe in was answering the questions he was asked.

Well Mr. President, I believe you live in a bubble. And your answer to Martha Raddatz’s question is the first time you have been honest about it.

“Do you believe it’s a civil war, sir?” Raddatz pressed.

“It’s hard for me, you know, living in this beautiful White House, to give you a firsthand assessment,” he punted.

That should be your answer to every one of the beliefs you professed to yesterday. Your position as a informed spokesperson on almost every issue has so far been shown to be less than informed…So why should your beliefs matter when the evidence placed before American is contrary to those beliefs? Once upon a time in America it was assumed that the President of the United States had access to better sources of information than the rest of us. That may well still be true. But the past few years have shown that if you do you are not listening to them. Therefore, it will take some really potent evidence and not just your “This I Believe” statements.

My advice Mr. President is leave your beliefs in church and us the facts to govern. I am sorry Sir, but beliefs are not morals, and you Sir need to lead by example not belief.

Source: Dana Milbank – A Man of Many Beliefs Gives a News Conference With Few Answers – washingtonpost.com

T.R.? He’s No T.R. – New York Times

Tony Snow had this to say about his boss and his environmental policies…

Mr. Bush had in fact been “keenly committed both to environmentalism and conservationism from the start.”

 Must be something in the Kool-Aide up there in the White House. As the NY Times points out in an editorial…

Mr. Bush made three big promises in this area in the 2000 campaign. One was to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide, the main global warming gas. He reneged on that one almost immediately. The second was to finance the federal government’s core open space program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, at its annual authorized level of $900 million. He has shortchanged it badly every year and this year he is asking for $85 million.

The third promise was to put more money into the national parks. Here history may give Mr. Bush higher marks, thanks largely to the entreaties of Mr. Kempthorne, who pressed for and received a commitment of $258 million in new spending this year and a guarantee of $1 billion over 10 years. The parks have been starved for years (and not just by this administration), and people who care about them have every reason to be pleased by the prospect of a substantial increase in the budget.

The only hope that Bush has of turning around his record is laid out right there in the editorial. The proof will be in the way in which the promise is fulfilled…or not. That is the record that Bush has to run away from, his ability to actually fulfill a promise. Let’s hope that this will be the start of something new for this White House, but let’s not bet the bank on it…Not that they’ve left any money in the bank for us to bet on.

Source: T.R.? He’s No T.R. – New York Times

David Ignatius – Expect The Worst In Iraq – washingtonpost.com

Somehow, after four years, the debate on Iraq is still animated by wishful thinking. The White House talks as if a surge of 20,000 troops is going to stop a civil war. Democrats argue that when America withdraws its troops, Iraqis will finally take responsibility for their own security. But we all need to face the likelihood that this story isn’t going to have a happy ending.

What we all need to face is the real possibility (aw, hell, it’s damn near a foregone conclusion) that the American “solution” to Sadam is going to be worse than not having gotten involved at all. George W “decided” and his decision is going to end up getting more people killed than Sadam himself was responsible for. By W’s rules of world relations, we probably should face the real likelihood that someday soon Crawford, TX will be under global interdiction with a “Coalition” of forces waiting to take the “war criminal” (oops, “war President”) off to account for his unleashing “Bush style democracy” on the rest of the world.

Source: David Ignatius – Expect The Worst In Iraq – washingtonpost.com

the ramblings of my brain over that first cup… and other meanders