ACORN

The whole ACORN stuff of the last week was just ridiculous.  Of course it is deplorable that ACORN employees were advising the Republican actors on how to run a brothel, etc., but the truth is it is amazing what people will say to avoid conflict and try and be helpful.  I'm sure that if you systematically undertake a similar hidden-camera campaign against virtually any organization in the country, you could get all kids of horrible stuff on video.  I'm sure you could get Chik-Fil-A employees giving advice on what to do with chicken that fell on the floor, etc., but that doesn't mean I'm never going to eat there again.  I guarantee you you could hit Republican offices or NRA offices and tape people agreeing with horribly offensive racist comments.  It's not like the leaders of ACORN were caught out there running brothels or trying to start them up in various communities.  We're talking about an organization with thousands of employees.  It would be like holding NC State responsible for some of the absurd things I say in class (or on this blog, for that matter).  Anyway, anonymous liberal has the best take on it:

The current conservative-generated hysteria over ACORN is a perfect
example of everything that is wrong with both of our major political
parties and the general state of our political discourse…

First, let's take a step back and consider just what ACORN is.  It is a
non-profit organization whose mission is to empower and improve the
lives of poor people…

But even if you take these film-makers at face value and assume the
worst, the reality is that ACORN has thousands of employees and the
vast majority of them spend their days trying to help poor people
through perfectly legal means…

That the GOP and its conservative supporters would single out this
particular organization for such intense demonization is telling. In
September of last year, the entire world came perilously close to
complete financial catastrophe. We're still not out of the woods and
we're deep within one of the worst recessions in U.S. history. This
situation was brought about by the recklessness and greed of our banks
and financial institutions, most of which had to be bailed out at
enormous cost to the American taxpayer (exponentially more than all of
the tax dollars given to ACORN over the years). The people who brought
about this near catastrophe, for the most, profited immensely from it.
These very same institutions, propped up by the American taxpayer, are
once again raking in large profits.

But rather than focus
their anger on these folks, conservatives choose to go after an
organization composed almost entirely of low-paid community organizers,
an organization that could never hope to have even a small fraction of
the clout or the ability to affect the overall direction of the country
that Wall Street bankers have.

The whole thing is definitely worth a read.  Glenn Greenwald and Joe Conason also have good takes over at Salon. 

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Lira

After more than 11 years together, we made the decision to euthanize our beloved canine companion yesterday.  Lira was an absolutely terrific dog.  Incredibly sweet, absolutely loved people (almost never barked at anyone), and just a great all-around dog.  We rescued her when she was about 2, from the Columbus Ohio Labrador Retriever Rescue.  She was Kim’s first-ever dog (I grew up with dogs) and she couldn’t have asked for a better one.  She always put up with the craziness from our boys (which is a lot!) without a complaint.  Sadly, the sweet, fun-loving dog we knew so well had become old, sick, and a mere shell of her former self in the past year or so.  The decision to euthanize was really hard because there was never some really obvious moment, e.g., I kept waiting for he back legs to give out completely, her to lose her appetite completely, etc., but instead she was just slowly deteriorating.  I know we did the right thing, but taking her into the vet for that, and the actual experience is probably the most emotionally difficult thing I’ve ever done.  Anyway, the least I could do is give her her due on my blog.  She really was a great dog.  I’ll also mention that I’m so glad we got Sasha before she died because I think it would be extra sad to all of a sudden just not be a dog-owner any more.

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