Wednesday, November 01, 2006
  Kerry's Gaffe?
Poor John Kerry. Everyone is blaming him for a joke gone awry. Admittedly it was a joke that could be seen as being in poor taste -- get a good education or you'll end up stuck in Iraq -- implying that only dumb kids end up in the Army. No doubt, there are some kids who end up in the Army because they can't get a job anywhere else. But there are also a lot who end up there because that's the only way to pay for a college education. Or because their family has a history of military service. Or they went to the USMA.

Still, it isn't the first (nor I suspect the last time) that I've heard the comment that you'd better get good grades because the only thing you can do with a high school diploma these days is work at McDonalds or Walmart or join the Army.

The original joke which, according to Kerry, went something along the lines of "get a good education or you'll end up like Bush, sending kids to Iraq," was even worse. If anything we should be crediting Kerry for some quick thinking that turned a nasty and somewhat nonsensical jab at Bush into a humorous poke at Republicans who've sent pretty much anyone they can to war, including reservists who were sorely needed at home.

Honestly, the Republicans deserve some needling on this point.

As for the original joke... Bush's lackluster academic career has a lot less to do with him getting us into a war with Iraq than his spoiled little rich boy, oil tycoon, evangelical materialist ethics. The failure in his education seems to be not an academic failure, but a moral one.

Whether the whole thing is being blown out of proportion or not, it is certainly the case that John Kerry is getting a bum wrap. He most surely didn't write the joke himself -- some speech writer did. He probably didn't even vet the speech prior to reading it outloud, his staff members would have been responsible for that. I suspect that is one speech writer who is looking for a job right about now. Either way, it's sad to see Kerry having to take the fall.

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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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