Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Honor thy enemies

And spit in the face of thy base.

A right-wing megachurch preacher who's huckstered his way into the political system as a supposed "new, moderate" evangelical will deliver the invocation at Obama's inauguration.

I was going to watch, but think I'll keep the sound off until Aretha steps to the mike. Rev. Joseph Lowery, representing actual religious progressives, will deliver the benediction. Bringing up the rear as so often.

Speaking of that, still no nominee for Secretary of Labor. Update: 2:15 pm, 18 Dec - New rumors on candidates: Harley Shaiken, Rosa DeLauro. With a brawl on the Employee Free Choice Act certain, corporate point man Rick Berman's track record of personal smears probably makes Mary Beth Maxwell less appealing to union presidents, not to mention Obama political advisers. But the Rick Warren choice, the role of the Obama campaign and voters in the Prop. H8 vote in California, and passing over Maxwell all reinforce the message that lesbian and gay Americans are an inconvenience that can safely be ignored.
Update 2: 12:45 pm, 19 Dec - Now it's said to be Hilda Solis, whose name hadn't even come up before. No questions about her sympathies, but I wonder what she has over other candidates in experience, grasp of the NLRB overhaul needed, auto industry expertise...? If she's got the trust of the internationals and the fire to back EFCA effectively, good enough for me; she can appoint the expertise.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tea Viburnum redux

The something-less-than-triumphant return of gardenblogging. Ta-da.

Two years ago I posted about Viburnum setigerum, a shrub whose best qualities are evident from Thanksgiving onward.

This season, adequate rainfall has loaded it down with more berries than ever. It was showy even during our colorful fall, but now it positively lights up the back of the garden -- a treat for the color-starved eye. (Photo taken today.)


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Human Rights Day

It's the 60th anniversary of the UN General Assembly's adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

[R]ecognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world...

A lovely promise.

. . .

December 10 is a day on which to reflect and recommit to the defense of those inalienable rights. As with so much else in life, the soundest approach is to begin by cleaning one's own house.

Meteor Blades has for a long time been the only front-page poster at Daily Kos for whom my respect and appreciation is unconditional. His post today, which puts in perspective former president Jimmy Carter's public advice to Obama on human rights, is typically worthwhile.