What a Crazy Country We Live in

Seriously.  Did you know that most Republicans think that Obama wasn’t born in the US?  I honestly don’t know what to do with that little factoid – it seems so beyond the pale.  Less than half of our GOP brethren are on board with reality.  It makes me feel a little paranoid, truth be told.  I am sure that I have co-workers (and not just one or two) who believe that he is not a citizen.  Has it always been this way, or are we, as a nation, sailing further and further away from the solid shores of sanity?

Underscoring the ongoing, key role of race/racism in America – and the shrill and bizarre ways that the right is attempting to exploit white fears, I read a great op ed piece this morning by Frank Rich about the beer summit and the illusion that America is post-anything when it comes to race/racism.  Love what he says about Obama’s “stupid” comment:

I’ll return to the larger picture, but before the battle of Cambridge fades entirely, let’s note that the only crime Obama committed at his news conference was honesty (always impolitic in Washington). He conceded he did not know “all the facts” and so wisely resisted passing judgment on “what role race played” in the incident. He said, accurately, that “separate and apart from this incident” there is “a long history” of “African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcing disproportionately.” And, yes, the police did act “stupidly in arresting” — not to mention shackling — “somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home.” If Obama had really wanted to go for the jugular, he might have added that the police may have overstepped the law as well.

We just can’t tolerate that sort of honesty, it seems.  Any serious discussion of complexities of racism (or of class, for that matter) quickly devolves into name calling and questions about Obama’s birthplace.  It is too weird for words.  Indeed, thank god Obama didn’t pick some micro brew for the “summit” or we’d all be talking about that!  We latch onto small details and buzzwords, and hang all manner of assumptions and opinions on those things.  (I guess I do the same … but not without some measure of angst … but it’s just so hard for me to resist the low-hanging fruit …)

Rachel Maddow visited the Tonight Show recently (here’s Boltgirl’s post about it) and briefly discussed the intricacies of the healthcare debate.  Turns out Obama is trying to kill old people.  Thanks, GOP – one of the key issues of our lifetimes and you are discussing it like a bunch of taunting four-year olds.

Speaking of four-year-olds, I see that Sarah Palin is back in the news despite the fact that she has “gone dark” in the days since her odd farewell address.  While she’s silent, her surrogates are slamming the press for reporting rumors of a Todd/Sarah split.  Hmmmm, ya gotta wonder.  I’ve signed up for Sarah’s Twitter feed so I can keep up with the latest developments … assuming this is the real Sarah P.  Sure does sound like her, ya gotta admit (and Twitter seems like the perfect venue for her … 140 characters about covers it).

On the sporting front … sigh.  Big sigh.  The Phillies were shut out by the Giants – but the Red Sox won!  Worse news – the Breakers were shut out by Hope Solo and the Athletica (1-0) … BUT FC Gold Pride beat the Freedom 3-2!  What that means is that the Athletica have clinched 2nd place … while 3rd and 4th place remain in play – with the Breakers, the Freedom, and Sky Blue FC all still in the hunt.

One of the glaring, ongoing questions for the Breakers is, what is happening with A-Rod?  I don’t even see her name in the box score anymore.  Found one post that shares some possible ideas about what’s up … and I do have to say that Tony’s decision-making has led me to question his judgment this season.  Maybe A-Rod hasn’t had the best attitude (I have no idea) but for goodness sake … she’s young and talented.  Can’t you be more creative, Tony?  Pia seems able to deal with her.  (And where’s Colleen Hacker when we need her?!)

SissiOn a happier note – and I need to head out to do the shopping, so I’m nearly done – here’s an inspiring piece from The Mercury News about Sissi and her life playing soccer, coaching, and parenting  in the US.

At 42 she is still going strong … and I’m especially happy with her this morning as her Gold Pride have come back to their early season form and handed a key (from the Breakers’ perspective) loss to the Freedom!

Sissi, known to soccer fans from Brazil to the Bay Area as one of the greatest female players ever, used to lounge at home after a grueling day of coaching and playing.

Those days are long gone.

Since 2006, she and partner Jennifer O’Neal have welcomed a stream of foster children into their split-level tract home in Concord, becoming one of the 456 families volunteering with the Contra Costa County adoptions department.

“Soccer gave me everything,” said Sissi, a midfielder with the FC Gold Pride who at 42 is the oldest player in the Women’s Professional Soccer league. “I have a chance to help these kids. They changed my life.”

As Sissi returned home recently from practice, some of those changes presented themselves as soon as she opened the door. Two-year-old Baby M marched forward with outstretched arms and an impish smile on her face. A little later her half-brother Michael, 3½, emerged with plastic blocks just as bedtime approached — ensuring a standoff would ensue.

Once the children went down, Sissi seemed momentarily at peace, reflecting on her life.

Her social consciousness spawned from a hardscrabble childhood in northeastern Brazil, in a house without running water. It was there in the town of Esplanada that Sisleide do Amor Lima would have to overcome deeply entrenched machismo stereotypes to play the sport she loved in the land of Pele.

When discouraged even by her own family, the child cutoff the heads of dolls and booted them around like soccer balls.

“I became independent at 11,” Sissi said.

Read on … it’s great …

… and have an awesome Sunday, okay?

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