Category Archives: Politics

“Freedom’s Just Another Word…”

freedomI’m guessing that those of you who’ve listened to the Grateful Dead (actively or passively) can finish the above phrase. For those of you who haven’t, it ends,”for nothing left to lose.”

Right now hundreds of us are feeling we have very little left to lose. Let go from our jobs; told we aren’t getting a raise/bonus this year; asked to take on work so far outside our job description that we think we should have a new title (but, by the way, we’re not getting that either) it can be very tempting to lash out, or hide out, or simply be strung out.

Under the circumstances, who can blame us?

But here’s the tricky bit: even when the world doesn’t blame us, we tend to blame ourselves. I know very few people who blow their stack, duck the question, or procrastinate, who don’t end up berating themselves for their choice shortly afterward.

With this in mind, let’s consider the second half of the definition of freedom.

Part one says, “An absence of undue restrictions;” Part Two says, “AND (capital letters mine) an opportunity to exercise one’s rights and powers.”

Because here’s the thing: while it may seem like we have no choice, we do have one. We are free to choose how we respond to our situation.

And while it can seem facile, or simple-minded, or just plain stupid, for me to write this when so many of us have negative bank balances, I would have us consider the following quote from Thich Nhat Hanh: “A man is rich not in what he possesses, but in what he can do without, with dignity.”

(Dignity is a word you don’t see a lot these days, but I’m thinking it’s time for it to make a comeback.)

No, these aren’t easy times. They require a degree of self-knowledge, self-discipline, and self-correction few of us have had to exercise before.

But if we can– when we can– we’ll be both stronger and happier.

And we’ll experience lasting freedom.

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Who decided "I’m sorry," wasn’t adequate?

Although I sat through the sixteen minutes and thirty four seconds of John Edwards’ “apology,” I regret to say that at no time during that interview did I hear him utter the words, “I’m sorry.” Curious ommission, deliberate choice, or subliminal refusal to be accountable– despite multiple repetitions of ‘having made a mistake he’s responsible for’?

Here at didtheywow, we’re going with subliminal refusal. Why? Because if you read his AP Newswire “apology,” although you see the words, “I’m sorry” appear, they appear as follows, “It is inadequate to say to the people who believed in me that I am sorry, and it is inadequate to say to the people I love that I am sorry.”

Really? I don’t remember being polled as to what I feel is adequate or not. Anybody else get a call?

Mr. Edwards goes on to claim that the choices he made were due to a belief that “I was special” and that he “became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic.” Perhaps. The larger question, however, is does he continue to feel ‘special’? From where I sit, the answer is, yes. His decision regarding what is adequate for others to hear in terms of an apology–to me– contains a distinct stink of egotism and narcissism.

Your thoughts?

P.S. and b/t/w: didtheywow wants to go on the record as saying Mr. Edwards’ assertion that his marriage will survive this is likely to be a falsehood. Watch his eyes when he says it– their downward shift tells another story.

Should we listen to Bill and chill?

Mr. Clinton’s consummate storytelling skills were evident during his “Chill Out” speech yesterday in Missoula. He chose the forum to educate Democrats regarding the current “vigorous debate” over whether Senator Clinton’s refusal to withdraw from the race is hurting the Democratic primary.

As children, we were imprinted with the “Once upon a time” formula, and Mr. Clinton worked that formula to perfection yesterday. In this case, his “Once upon a time,” was, “On June 2, 1992, when I won the Democratic primary, I had been so chewed up…” etc.

At this point we are told how the big bad wolf, — in this instance Ross Perot– entered the forest.

Thankfully, however, the situation was saved. But not, he notes– and this is really where you see his gift– not by Candidate Clinton, the hero, but by YOU: “Six weeks later when the Democratic Convention opened– thanks to you, and many people like you– Al Gore and I were in first place.”

That pause before “thanks to you” is what’s known in my business as ‘the reveal’– our hearts swell as he lets us in, and makes us one, with his victory.

Did Bill C. unveil the right idea, in the right way, at the right moment– or was it too little, too late? I look forward to your thoughts.