Wednesday, February 28, 2007

John Edwards to fight povery from new, 29,000 square foot home

If there are two Americas, John Edwards is living in the high-rent district of the first. Edwards and family have recently moved into a 29,000 square foot home, the largest in the county. The house sits on a 102 acre estate.

The main house is all on one level except for a 600-square-foot bedroom and bath area above the guest garage. The recreation building contains a basketball court, a squash court, two stages, a bedroom, kitchen, bathrooms, swimming pool, a four-story tower, and a room designated “John’s Lounge.”

“The Edwardses’ residential property will likely have the highest tax value in the county,” Orange County Tax Assessor John Smith told Carolina Journal. He estimated that the tax value will exceed $6 million when the facility is completed.

I can't even concieve of 29,000 square feet or 102 acres. All I know is his 600 sq foot bedroom is the size of the apartment I was living in two years ago. That said, I am not above such opulence. Hell, for me to be happy all I need is my health, and my millions of dollars, and my gold house, and my rocket car. But if I were running for President on a platform which consists of preaching about the evils of the system, the systemic problem of poverty, and how so many are being left behind, I don't think I'd be building a $6 million dollar house.

You say you want a revolution? Well, you know, we all want to change the world.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

In Defense of 'Hateful' Bloggers (and the Rest of the World)

Dick Cheney emerged and, before hopping a plane to Australia, gave an interview with ABC news saying that a Democratic plan to stop the troop surge would "validate al-Qaeda."

"The al-Qaeda strategy is to break the will of the American people, knowing they can't win in a stand-up fight, try to convince us to throw in the towel and come home and then they win because we quit," he said. "I think that is exactly the wrong course to go on. I think that is the course of action that Speaker Pelosi and Jack Murtha support. I think it would be a mistake for the country."

This remarkable statement came on February 21, the day after White House Press Secretary Tony Snow lamented about "hateful" politicizing bloggers.

So, I'll ask you: which is worse? Bloggers being "hateful" or the Vice President? Seriously. The message disseminated from the White House and received by its followers is that if you don't agree with what they're doing you are an unpatriotic, al-Qaeda loving coward. The latest shot has just been fired by the Dick Cheney himself. It's hard not to sound a little hateful when that is what the Vice President thinks of your efforts.

Cheney may have been referring to Pelosi and Murtha but he is talking about the majority of Americans who no longer have faith in the administration's judgment, and do not believe a surge will work. If Pelosi and Murtha are simply doing their job and representing the majority opinion, what type of contempt does Cheney hold the rest of the country in?

And it's not just Pelosi, Murtha, or the majority of Americans who have lost faith in the administration and the troop surge, almost no one anywhere agrees with it.

I think we can accept as certain fact that almost every country now has a vested interest in Iraq, which has gone from being a regional pest to a world-wide crisis.The war in Iraq has ignited turned a small jihadi fire into a conflagration which now produces terrorism world-wide. Therefore every country is carefully considering what to do about Iraq. And what no one is doing is adding more troops. Oh, except us, because, well, we don't want to "quit" or be called "cowards." That is the level we're operating on
with so much at stake

I find it interesting that Cheney has flown to Australia where he was greeted by a large protest which led to 10 arrests. Why do the Australians care so much about Dick Cheney? Because his "fever" for Iraq has made their world less safe too. Also interesting is that the Prime Minister of Australia recently blasted Barak Obama's Iraq plan as being helpful to al-Qaeda. Obama responded by saying that if Australia sees war in Iraq, and a strong troop presence in Iraq, as so detrimental to al-Qaeda, why don't they commit 20,000 troops?

The truth is no one sees it that way. Even Britain, our closest ally in this endeavor, is preparing to withdraw its 7,000 troops from the project. If a surge is indeed the right move, how come everyone else has reached the opposite conclusion? Does their decision validate al-Qaeda?
Or has the entire world invalidated the hateful and foolish thinking of a man like Dick Cheney? Perhaps, considering he has been wrong on everything, we should be a little annoyed when he continually calls our judgment and patriotism into question. He is an insult not only to us but to the world.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Difference Between a Dubya and a Washington

Once upon a time an American president stood up to dedicate a battlefield cemetery, noting with great humility that nothing he said would add any substantial value compared to what the soldiers who struggled there had already done. That was then, this is now.

Once, Abraham Liconoln struggled to find the words to convey his respect for what the 46,000 fallen soldiers had done at the three-day Battle of Gettysburg. Their sacrifice, the same as any asked to give their life for their country, was breathtaking, and Lincoln understood how meager his words would sound in comparison. Today our war is compared willingly, politically, with wars of the past. Today our President compared the war on terror to George Washington's long struggle that gave birth to our nation.

"Today, we're fighting a new war to defend our liberty and our people and our way of life," said Bush, standing in front of Washington's home and above a mostly frozen Potomac River.
"And as we work to advance the cause of freedom around the world, we remember that the father of our country believed that the freedoms we secured in our revolution were not meant for Americans alone."

Such words cheapen the struggle of war. If the sacrifice of the soldier can not stand on its own, if it has to be packaged and sold by the President as one of historical importance, it sounds alarming. Bush is the type of person who, after a child sincerely gives a gift, feels the need to explain the gift, when it is obvious to everyone, and thus cheapens the entire event. This is probably because he himself doesn't really understand the nature of such things.

Abraham Lincoln seemed to understand it perfectly. He did not care if his words were remembered in 1863. In-fact, Lincoln did not want what he said to stand in the way of the sacrifice Americans had made. In less than 300 words, delivered in two minutes, Lincoln summarized the sacrifice of American soldiers by saying almost nothing, by hesitating to make any comparisons or clarifications, by pointing-out that the real message was what the fallen soldiers had done, and what they felt they were dying for.

George W. Bush is our Edward Everett, who, before Lincoln, spoke for two-hours, and almost 14,000 words. His bombastic speech is little remembered, and in comparison to the humble speech that followed, is viewed with contempt; Everret, the main orator for the ceremony, used the dedication of Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg as a chance to be heard.

Bush does not hesitate to make comparisons before their time.

"I feel right at home here. After all, this is the home of the first George W. I thank President Washington for welcoming us today. He doesn't look a day over 275 years old," Bush said to laughter. "In the end, General Washington understood that the Revolutionary War was a test of wills, and his will was unbreakable," said Bush.

Of course there is almost no comparison between the first George W. and the second. In-fact, I can hardly think of a greater contrast. The first George W. was, above all else, capable, thoughtful, and his integrity was never questioned. His farewell address was a primer for America and a warning on involvement in foreign wars, political factionalism, and debt. He said things like, "The
nation which indulges toward another an habitual hatred or an habitual fondness is in some degree a slave." I don't even need to mention the obvious juxtaposition to our current President George W.

Washington knew he could not defeat the British, and that wasn't his goal. Instead he had to win enough to get the French involved in the war. In the process he lost many battles but won just enough, at key moments, to allow Benjamin Franklin to gain French support. Had he tried to crush the British head-on, unwaivering, with no retreats, no compromise, the Revolutionary War would have ended almost as quickly as it began. But the British were un-coordinated, and over-confident, a mind-set that mirrors closer to our own arrogance. Perhaps we are the bloated Empire facing a determined enemy that wants rid of foreign intervention. Perhaps these are things our President should have though of, before wondering how he'd compare in history.

The Civil War deeply saddened Lincoln. His words reflect a president with a heavy heart, enduring a war forced upon him. I see no such reflection from President Bush who seems almost pleased to be a "war president" or "Commander n' Chief." He constantly reminds us what a good job he's doing, and how his dedication makes this whole thing worthwhile. Lincoln viewed the sacrifice of American soldiers and, when the time came, compared to what they had already done, could barely bring forward any words. He noted simply that their death, their "last full measure of devotion," dedicates us all, not the other way around.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Goode and Stupid

I almost feel bad for him. Almost.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Fox News unveils new form of torture

It's The 1/2 Hour News Hour, Fox News's answer to The Daily Show except without a trace of humor or intelligence. Fox's more conservative version comes with a laugh track and stinks like shit. Watching it has is like having distemper and very soon Mr. Murdoch will take it out behind the shed and blow its brains out while the film canisters are be shipped to Gitmo, secret CIA prisons, and John Gibson's den to break those who have been arrested without cause.

Track-posted to: Orlando Sentinel: Fox News Channel bombs with comedy show.

Bush 'certain' Iran suppling weapons in Iraq, and by 'certain' he means 'there's no proof'

Consider the opening paragraph of a new AP article form White House correspondent Terence Hunt:
President Bush said Wednesday he's certain the Iranian government is supplying deadly weapons used by fighters in Iraq against U.S. troops, even if he can't prove that the orders came from top Iranian leaders.
That, really, is all you need to know. That should be enough to terrify every American who considers sound judgment a virtue. Because, as we have all painfully discovered, all it takes
for this President to do something horrifying is a hunch, a sneaky suspicion, a gut feeling. No proof is necessary for the man who has spent so much time ignoring facts about global warming, stem cell research, evolution, and foreign affairs..

And so you get this:
"I'm going to do something about it," Bush pledged, displaying apparent irritation at being repeatedly asked about mixed administration signals on who was behind the weaponry. "To say it is provoking Iran is just a wrong way to characterize the commander in chief's decision to do what is necessary to protect our soldiers in harm's way," Bush said.
Uh, oh. Bush is getting irritated again. Nothing gets the President more worked up than a request for some evidence. You might as well ask him how he knows Jesus Christ is the son of God.
Bush spoke a day after Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, cast doubts on the claims that higher-ups in the Iranian government had authorized the arming of Iraqi Shiite militias. Pace told reporters that materials used in some of the munitions could be traced to Iran, "but that does not translate that the Iranian government per se, for sure, is directly involved in doing this.
Peter Pace? What does he know? The only fact that matters is that many people around the White House are clamoring for a war to start. This is exactly how you do it: up the rhetoric against your target to bolster support, then, regretfully, take action. This type of thing happens all the time.

The usual suspects are already getting on-board, rattling their cold, limp sabers.
Richard Perle has already said, "I have very little doubt that Bush would order “necessary military action” against Iran. The American Enterprise Institute has chimed in as well with Joshua Muravchik saying, “Make no mistake, President Bush will need to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities before leaving office."

Don't you see? The world through the eyes of a shadowy think-tank member sees less than two years to start another war. The clock is ticking. Some people are saying war in Iran may begin this spring.

Meanwhile White House Press Secretary Tony Snow has been instructing journalists to " calm down" after being asked a few hard questions. Calm down, indeed. Is there any reason why we should trust this administration with any judgment call? Give me one thing they have been right about? Even the recent North Korean agreement is essentially the 1994 framework established under the Clinton administration which Bush demolished after taking office.

It's not even a matter of trust. Why should we believe this administration is even telling the truth? Or even capable of it? After all the scandals and lies, half-truths, half-cocked assumptions, half-assed leadership; after what we have seen in the ongoing trial of I Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff of Vice President Dick Cheney, why should we believe this administration on anything?

There is just precious little time left for Bush, Cheney, and the neoconservatives to make up for those eight years of peace and love under the Clinton administration. They only have two years left to piss on the rest of the world. There's no time for facts. There's only time for the agenda.

The Official Eddie Murphy Crappy Movie Intervention

You think Eddie Murphy has any regrets about making "Norbit"? It's not just a stupid movie, but a re-fried affair; a supposed talented actor dressing up as an obese woman and acting like a total asshole. It's time for an intervention.

Come on, dude. You're better than this. You're Eddie Murphy, man! You were..the guy during the 80s. Axel Foley! Cutting edge comic. SNL star. WTF happened? You treat your career and talent like Bobby Brown treats Whitney Houston. It's painful to watch.

Flashes of your brilliance came back in "Dreamgirls" and you were handed a Golden Globe. It was nice to see you get recognized. Everyone loved it and you deserved it. But I feel almost foolish thinking so with a movie like "Norbit" in front of us. Forget about the Academy Award. There's just no way. Academy Award winner Eddie Murhpy *is* Norbit? Are you kidding me?

And being #1 at the box office is little solace during this Jan-March dumping period for movies. It's like winning the NFC North. Who cares? Enough of this. Movies like "Norbit" and "Big Mamma's House" and "Big Mamma's House 2" and "White Chicks" are not just lame and offensive they're fucking creepy. OK? The obsession with putting on prosthetics, layer after layer of makeup, wigs, and crashing your way through a movie all reeks of some kind of dysfunction. Enough. It's been done. Move on. Get a better agent.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Thoughts About Service, and Lt. Watada

I'm not into First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, or his refusal to serve in Iraq. Many on the left view him as a hero, even Sean Penn has appeared in his corner, reminding us all on "This Week" that Thomas Jefferson once said "dissent is the highest form of patriotism." I have a hard time believing George Washington felt that way as men deserted him at Valley Forge.

The story of Ehren Watada goes like this: He was a young man who signed up for the Army after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Maybe he was like me, and other officers I knew, in that he just didn't have much else going on and wanted to help out in the military and gain a little life focus. He graduated from Officer Candidate School, a competitive military commissioning school which many career enlisted officers dream to be accepted to. Watada then served one year in South Korea and then re-assigned to Fort Lewis, Washington. There, he learned his unit would deploy to Iraq and Watada began to have second thoughts about his commitment. He refused to go to Iraq and now faces a court martial.

Here's what his civilian attorney had to say:
Well, we expected him to be charged with missing movement or violating an order to get on a bus to accompany his unit to Iraq. We did not really anticipate that they would charge him with additional offenses based upon the comments and the remarks that he's made. And that opens up a whole new chapter in this proceeding, because what the Army has clearly tried to do by the nature of these charges is send out a message to people in the military, that if you criticize the war and if you criticize the decisions that were made to bring the United States into this war, that you, too, could be charged with disloyalty, contemptuous remarks and disrespect for higher officers, and in this case, specifically in this charge, the President.

Honesty, I'm amazed his attorney sounds so surprised. No, you can't openly criticize a war when you're in the military and the reasons for this are so obvious I wont even waste space to mention them. The military sends out that message from day one.
That's how it goes. You volunteer to serve, you sign the agreement saying you'll give your time and freedom and the government will pay you, train you, and give you tax breaks, you take the government's money, time, training; you get to be lauded, but you may have to die for your country. What you don't get to do is have the good without the loss of freedom or the increase in risk. Such is life.

Lt. Watada started reading about Iraq once he learned his unit might get deployed. What can I make of this? He's such a bright, thoughtful person he wanted to learn all about the area he was going to deploy to? If that's so you'd think someone like this would have been much more concerned about Iraq before he signed his life away in the army. Maybe he was like many I knew who thought "Oh, I'll never get sent to Iraq"
but had he read a few articles before signing up maybe he would have realized how shady the whole thing was.

It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out, even back in 2003, that Iraq was a misguided, illegal war. I was in the Air Force at the time, I signed up before Iraq, and as our country went to war there I wondered whether or not I would be deployed. But, obviously, I had considered deployment into a combat zone before I signed up. Who wouldn't think about that? I can't believe anyone signs up for the army and hasn't considered deployment to a combat zone or being asked to do something disagreeable.

Had I been asked to go to Iraq I would have gone, even if I disagreed with the war, because, simply, that was what I agreed to. The Air Force gave me free training, decent pay, tax exemptions, tuition assistance, free housing, a rate reduction on my debts, and career assistance. And that's just the beginning. Their end of the deal was upheld, the least I could do was uphold mine. Honestly, I'm a better person for having known what I wanted out of the military, giving them my time, and giving them what they wanted out of me.

To his credit Lt. Watada tried to resign his commission before going to Iraq. The Army obviously refused. They want to get a return on their expensive investment. They want their end of the deal. Can everyone just resign from the military once they get an unpopular assignment? It is, after all, one of the few jobs where you may be called to give up your life for a cause. Something like that requires not only foresight, but honor to uphold.

I have little patience for people who suddenly become enlightened and objective the moment they find out they will be deployed. The time for such philosophical thinking, perhaps, was before taking the oath, and someone else's place at OCS, and before parading around as a hero. Anyone who puts their lives in the government's hands, and says they are willing to sacrifice themselves for what is deemed the greater good, should be held in reverence. But to have that honor you must submit and serve.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Police Open Grammys (Video)

Hopefully you got to see Stewart Copeland kicking some ass again. Here it is in-case you had better things to do:

Friday, February 09, 2007

Anna Nicole Was Our Freak Show

News of Anna Nicole Smith's death is barely 24 hours and I am already weary of the articles about how much we cared for her. Such dribble is both a lie and a shameless attempt to make us feel better about the way we treated her life. She was a metaphorical blow up doll for our sick pleasures.

Let's be honest, Anna Nichole was our own freak show. She probably thought we were giving her the one thing she wanted most in the world, love, when we were really just ogling her body or giggling about her life as a train wreck. It's sad that self-respect is in such short supply that most people can't even tell the difference between attention and compassion. If we had cared about her we would have stopped rewarding such superficial and damaging behavior. Her death is our own.

Honestly, I never paid her much attention, and I generally am unsympathetic about bad decisions. I don't know anything about her mom but I it must be hard watching your child's self-destruction get fueled by society. And now, we eulogize her with trite, the ultimate disrespect. Her premature death has given us a chance at self-reflection, which is being used the way we always used her.

My prior post was a commentary on how ridiculous and confused her life was. It stands as an alarming symptom.
I hope her next life treats her better. I hope she finds a little peace. But for the living, the only question now is: who is next?

Bernie Taupin seemed to get it right when he wrote "Candle in the Wind."

Hollywood created a superstar
And pain was the price you paid
Even when you died the press still hounded you
All the papers had to say
Was that Marylin was found in the nude
Goodbye, Norma Jean

She was nothing more than sexual, and then an oddity to all of us. Nothing more than our Anna Nichole.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Female Astronaut Pushes Envelope of Equality

Lisa Maria Nowak drove 900 miles in a diaper, which, alone, would be worthy of a story. But Captain Nowak is not just any woman, she's an astronaut, a woman who has passed an exhaustive series of psychological exams and mental tests, which would make her, according to experts, the most normal woman NASA could find.

She drove from Texas to Orlando in a diaper to avoid taking bathroom breaks, sort of like a trip to the moon or something. She drove 900 miles in a diaper, skipping bathroom breaks, to confront a woman who was involved with a male astronaut she had some kind of crush on. And, oh yeah, Captain Nowak is married.

When she was arrested early this morning she was wearing a trench coat, a wig, and police found a BB gun, a mallet, a buck knife and latex gloves in her car.

This afternoon, the police filed the new charges against her, saying they had evidence that Captain Nowak intended ”to do serious bodily injury or death” to Colleen Shipman, a captain in the Air Force, because she considered Captain Shipman to be a rival in her romance with a fellow NASA astronaut, Cmdr. Bill Oefelein.

Obviously the whole story will make a wonderful television movie and book deal. Just as interest in the Runaway Bride was waning another deranged woman rises to take her place. It could be looked at as a step backwards for women, but I submit these women are liberators, kicking down the doors of behavior once reserved only for men.

Guys do crazy things like this every single day of the week. We do it at work and at sporting events; consider the "trucker bomb" or the "Stadium Pal." We'd drive all night with a loaded gun in the car just to shoot down a woodland creature or hang at a night club. At least what Nowak did she did for love, damnit! The world of excrements and weaponry might still belong to men but she has taken one small step for women, one giant leap for woman-kind.

Ted Haggard Cured

Ted Haggard, the Christian minister who had an ongoing affair with a male prostitute is, um, not gay, I guess. Haggard has emerged from intense counseling to announce that he is "completely heterosexual" and that his prior affair was limited to only one person.

Haggard revealed his finding in an e-mail to The Rev. Tim Ralph.
"He is completely heterosexual," Ralph said. "That is something he discovered. It was the acting- out situations where things took place. It wasn't a constant thing."

Um, "acting out"? I could see, perhaps, towel snapping a dude's ass in the locker room after a church basketball game, but, you know, you're not "completely heterosexual" to sleep with a guy, and then do it over and over again. That sounds pretty gay to me, or, at least, bisexual. But what do I know? I don't even care, I just wish he could admit it. I would think honesty with yourself would be a prerequisite for a relationship with God.

Haggard has no immediate plans to return to the ministry. The church has advised him to pursue another career path due to his sexual behavior and have given their blessing to his new endeavor, which is, of course, a master's degree in counseling.

Cultural Relativism Embraced by the Right

Mark Levin, the man who "nominated" Rush Limbaugh for the Nobel Peace Prize, was named the worst person in the world by Keith Olbermann. Levin struck back, saying Keith "Overbite" is "hung like a thumbtack." He goes on to speculate for about 15 minutes on Olbermann's junk, and the quality of his love life, and then repeatedly refers to him a "pervert mental patient." Then he takes calls.

He also addressed the now famous Limbaugh nomination, briefly, which he acknowledges will not be accepted. "That's not the point," he says.

No one expects Limbaugh's nomination will be accepted. The nomination was made as an obvious conservative retort to Al Gore's nomination. And, along those lines, it has been extremely effective. It's an attempt to make a joke out of the whole process, which Levin refers to as "The Nobel Democrat Prize." That's all.

Tucker Carlson had this to say:

GUEST: (music) Rush Limbaugh may not be the first person who comes to mind when you think of the Nobel Peace Prize. But to the people at the conservative public interest law firm Landmark Legal Foundation, Rush is a regular Nelson Mandela. Landmark was -- has nominated Limbaugh for the 2007 Nobel Prize, saying, quote, "Rush Limbaugh is the foremost advocate for freedom and democracy in the world today," wow. End quote. This news, of course, sets up a Nobel smackdown for the ages, between Limbaugh and Al Gore, whose nomination by a pair of Norwegian parliamentarians was announced yesterday. Wow! Look at that. Nose to nose. Tucker, Rush has the weight advantage; Al has the reach. Who do you think takes that smackdown?

TUCKER: Actually, I think Gore has the weight advantage these days.

GUEST: So, you would take Gore over Limbaugh, or are you just still deciding?

TUCKER: That would make Gore even more pompous and ubiquitous.

GUEST: (Laughing.)

TUCKER: So no, probably not. I think I'd go Limbaugh.

A lot of people have dismissed the "nomination" because it was unsolicited. And, of course, that's true, but as Levin himself said "that's not the point." It's been picked up as "legit" by the news and that is the intended consequence. The point is Al Gore, after all his work pushing for awareness of global warming, has to be paired with Limbaugh where he can be chided. It's like working your ass off only to find out some slacker is up for the same job. It doesn't matter if he has no shot, it's still an insult.

There is no reverence for truth. Evangelicals decry cultural relativism, but it is already all around us, from the far left to the far right. This is how we treat people who, inconveniently, are correct, and whose efforts at awareness infringe on our own right to be ignorant. How many listeners does someone like Mr. Levin have? He isn't concerned with discerning what is true, but defaming those who don't say what he wants to hear.

Even George Will, someone I would consider an intellectual conservative, someone usually governed more by reason than principle, just can't bring himself to accept the world-wide scientific consensus on global warming. Instead, he chooses to get hung up on the word "very-likely" which means 90%. He cares less about truth than feeling good about himself.

People who claim to fight for truth but selectively discard facts are not worth your attention. We all owe people who were behind global warming awareness on a debt of gratitude, but, instead, we allow them to be defamed. It turns out they were right all along, and no amount of cognitive dissonance is going to change our culpability. Far too many see Al Gore and global warming as an a joke. To those people a 10% chance to go on living without any personal responsibility is a well-spring.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Rush Limbaugh nominated for Nobel Peace Prize, Al Gore heats up, explodes

I honestly thought this was a joke the first time I read it but no, it's true: Rush Limbaugh has been nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Landmark Legal Foundation, the leading conservative public interest law firm in the country, put him up for the honor. I'm not sure what is involved in the nomination process but this affirms my theory that adult life is just one, long, insulting extension of high school. In this case merit and substance being shit on by a beying jackass.

In his letter to the Nobel Committee, Levin writes, "Rush Limbaugh is the foremost advocate for freedom and democracy in the world today. Everyday he gives voice to the values of democratic governance, individual opportunity and the just, equal application of the rule of law - and it is fitting that the Nobel Committee recognize the power of these ideals to build a truly peaceful world for future generations."

How's Al Gore taking this one? First, a soul crushing presidential defeat to an impared failure who became the worst president in our history and, just for good measure, losing after first WINNING the popular vote. And now a miscreant hypocrite is nominated for the same Peace Prize? This completely negates whatever honor nomination might have been and even if Gore wins the whole thing is tainted.

Touche. Once again, conservatives played it perfectly.

I mean, sure, Al Gore helped bring awareness about global warming to the forefront of the dim American consciousness. This is an issue he has stressed for years and years and now, in a consensus report from top scientists, it turns out he was right all along. All of it...validated. The most destructive force humans have ever unleashed, and Al Gore was right about it before most of us knew what the hell a "greenhouse gas" was. And he's in the same category as Rush Limbaugh?

Limbaugh, the guy who had his housekeeper illegally supply him with drugs, meanwhile raling against drugs on the radio. The guy who mocks Parkinsons Disease sufferers. The guy who, on top of every other breach, admitted he had been simply "carrying water" for conservatives, essentially depraving his listeners of the very truth he claims to dispense. THAT GUY?? Really?

What will Al Gore do? Will he throw himself down an oil refinery tower? Will he perch himself on the edge of Antartica and erode into the ocean? Will the added concentration of humiliation cause him to slowly heat up and explode? We'll never hear the end of it. I have to throw my TV out and cancel my internet now. I have to move to some island in the middle of Polynesia. I...the's....I can't....for the love of.....thank God it's Friday.

Trackposted to: PoliBlog, Sister Toldja, Riehl World View

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Microcosm of the Iraq "Debate"

Writer William Arkin is taking a lot of heat about an article he wrote questioning soldiers' frustration to the growing opposition to the Iraq war. The article, which appeared in the Washington Post, has generated an impressive outcry, most of which borders on the fanatical and it's not hard to see why. Calling soldiers "mercenaries" and insinuating selfish motives probably isn't the way to have this debate. And so, unfortunately, it has become microcosm of the debate itself and how often reasoned arguments receive little attention.

But the overall point of his article is that we should press on with the Iraq war debate, regardless of how it affects the soldiers. This is, obviously, a hard position, but one that I agree with. Further, I think it is in everyone's best interest, including the soldiers, that we have this debate.

After 9/11 I quit my job and joined the Air Force. I viewed the terrorist attacks as nothing less than a modern day Pearl Harbor and I wanted to do what ever my government needed me to do. I did not sign up to be a hero. I did not sign up to win any popularity contests. Even today I rarely openly talk about my service because I didn't do it for recognition, I did it to help. It was the least I could do for everything my country has done for me.

Military personnel are entitled to their opinion, but only to a point. You can't actively protest or become involved with one particular movement or another, because you are essentially a public servant. You are paid by the taxpayers to do what you signed up to do--defend the Constitution. And so, along those lines, I believe Mr. Arkin makes a valid point in that men and women of the military are in service. That comes before being served.

I fully understand the frustrations they express. Being in the military is a special honor. It is an organization I am extremely proud to have served in. Everyone I served with I regard as a brother or a sister. There is a certain bond that is formed from surviving boot camp, to being part of the military machine. And, honestly, it seems a little insulting when someone wants to question your service.

But very few people are questioning the military. If I had to guess I would say opinion of the military is probably higher than ever. It is the leadership, the Bush administration, many people are taking exception with. And they should take exception with it. Their conduct in this war has been dismal, unlike anything we have ever seen before. It is tyranical to suggest that Americans keep their mouths shut simply because we have soldiers in the field. Wouldn't that then become an automatic trump card for any President? Or, perhaps, has it not already?

If there was more vocal opposition to the use of troops, maybe we wouldn't use them so indiscriminately. But that is how great their service is: they just want to serve. They don't ask how or why, theirs is to do or die, literally. Such sacrifice is both breathtaking and sobering. It demands proper oversight and proper debate.

Tracposted to: Blog-o-Fascists, Riehl World View, Captain's Quarters, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson's Website, Is It Just Me?, Adam's Blog, basil's blog, Shadowscope, Cao's Blog, The Bullwinkle Blog, The Amboy Times,, Conservative Cat, Sujet- Celebrities, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Right Celebrity, The HILL Chronicles, Woman Honor Thyself, stikNstein... has no mercy, Pirate's Cove, and The Pink Flamingo, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

A Hard Day's Night With Barak Obama?

What if Barak Obama met the Beatles? I just happened to stumble upon this over at Basil's blog. It's "A Hard Day's Night" with Obama in place of Paul's "clean" grandfather.

"A Hard Day's Night" is one of the greatest movies ever (more on that in a second) and this manages to capture everyone's curiosity about Obama: who is he? Where did he come from? And Joe Biden's own: how did he get so clean?

A Hard Days Night With Barak Obama.


This takes its rightful place among great Beatles mashups like A Hard Days Night of the Living Dead.

If you want a reference point here is the actual clip where The Beatles first meet Paul's grandfather (about 5 minutes in).

When I ask (beg?) people to watch this movie their looks range from surprise to utter bewilderment, not unlike had I just asked them to play a nice game of tag. I have a hard time explaining this movie's subtle brilliance but nothing showcases it better than the scene where George Harrison wanders into a marketing executive's office. It manages to sum up, in about three minutes, all of the stupid, inane crap we have long since surrendered to.