Monday, December 27, 2004
During the Christmas shopping hubbub, I conducted a simple experiment - I went into department and specialty stores in our local mall, and examined a cross section of consumer goods that people were certain to buy. Things like household stuff, consumer electronics, clothes, and "cool stuff" gadgets at places
like the Brookstone store. I then looked at the manufacturing label on them. The result of my highly unstructured and uncontrolled experiment: the United States apparently doesn't manufacture any consumer goods any more. The are very few exceptions, such a some brands of washers, refrigerators, etc. But they are the very obvious exceptions to the rule.
So exactly what is it that we supply to the domestic and world markets that generates the enormous wealth to maintain our standard of living and benefits?
The automobile industry is in a shambles, where domestic vehicle manufacturers have steadily lost market share to worldwide makers, and American parts suppliers are in really deep Kim Chee. We don't make steel or other basic unfinished products. IT development and services are now moving overseas, and in any case most middle-class folks cannot be employed in these types of industries. So exactly how do we generate our wealth in a way that allows participation by the majority of the working population of the country?
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
I can't add anything to the news reports and the riveting account from Chaplain Lewis.
Please pray for our guys, that God will extend a loving hand to protect them. And that the media harpies just shut up for an hour or two as we mourn our dead in reverent silence. God, give us strength to sustain us in our ordeal. Give people around the world the courage to stand up for what is right, a chance for an oppressed people to seek their own destiny. In the time where we celebrate your glorious Son's birth, bring peace and hope to a part of the world where evil, fear, and death have ruled for far too long.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
God is wising me up. I have this year developed a profound distaste for the dreck that is America's current expression of Christmas. The incessant droning of "holiday music" on radio and in stores numbs one of any emotion that it was supposed to encourage, and will of course, stop precisely at 12 midnight the day after Christmas. The computer-driven tape loop will then be switched to the generic drivel, and not another tune proclaiming the glorious birth of Christ will be slid into the loop for another 365 days. Because, you see, Christmas - as defined as the time to buy things, travel, party, buy things, take time from work, and buy things - is over on December 26. Then it's time to think about New Year's, and the things to buy for that and whose going to be crowned first in the BCS. And then...white sales! Hum.....bug...!
Well, not me. I going to raise my voice in song in the bloody streets of Saline on December 26, and everyday afterward:
For unto us a child is born...and his name shall be called wonderful,
counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
Monday, December 13, 2004
There's some serious partying goin' down in Lookout, Buenos Aires (as reported in the Grey Old Lady):
...delegates from more than 190 countries have gathered here both to celebrate the enactment of the Kyoto Protocol...
..Many delegates and experts concede that the pact, negotiated in 1997, is deeply flawed and that years of delays in finishing its rulebook mean that many adherents may have trouble meeting their targets for emissions cuts...
Oh really? So just the ridiculous bureaucracy spawned by the treaty has made it impossible to enforce? We also learn that:
...Its impact will also be limited because it exempts developing countries, including fast-industrializing giants like China and India, from emissions restrictions, and lacks the support of the United States, the world's dominant source of the heat-trapping gases...
Well, we've all heard about the fact that the US didn't sign Kyoto. That doesn't mean that we won't restrict our greenhouse gas (GG) production; in fact US GG production has stayed relatively flat for the last few years. But I wonder how many are aware that India and China can go and burn hydrocarbons as if it were ...going out of style. We know that the West could go and work wonders in GG production, and it won't amount to a whit if China and India grow their emissions to nightmare quantities.
Saturday, December 11, 2004
Hummer-Armor, Part II:
Michelle Malkin (insert tiger growl here!) doesn't get hung up on where the question regarding Hummer armor originated - it's still a valid question. She provides a good summary of things so far. The WSJ has an excellent editorial that hits the nail on the head.
Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh is an administration apologist/shill about this.
The issue is not the origin of the question, it is that this a problem that's been killing guys in the field for over a year, and this is just too damn long to wait for a solution through the military acquisition & procural process. FIX IT, NOW.
Start your day off with inspiration from the Founders...
The Federalist Patriot provides a daily quote from the Founding Fathers, such as
"They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin
Realistic Prognostication about the NID:
The WSJ carefully sets all the emotions aside and tells us what is likely to happen with the National Intelligence Directorate.
Terror's Secret Weapon: Illegal "Nannigrants"
Jeesh. With the stealth and efficiency that would make a sniper green with envy, another illegal alien takes out a promising public servant. Jeers to the White House for not fighting for a good man. When will we focus on a nominee's qualities to get the job done?
A Real Plan to Save Social Security...
As a former civil servant, I participated in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), where the Federal Government, inmy name... are you ready... INVESTED IN THE STOCK, MORTGAGE, AND BOND MARKETS! (cue "Psycho" theme here).
I'm happy they did. I did quite well during the Roaring Nineties, and yes, I took a hit when the Clinton Bubble burst. Yet my TSP account still does much, much better than if the money, say, was snatched up and replaced by worthless IOUs to pay for increased wealth-sapping federal spending.
David Brooks makes the arguement that we can pay for Social Security by putting the contributions to work to generate wealth in our capitalist economy.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Let's hear it for democracy!
Spc. Thomas Wilson exercised a basic right of democracy - holding elected leaders accountable, in this case Don Rumsfeld as proxy to the President:
..Spc. Thomas Wilson had asked the defense secretary, "Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?" Shouts of approval and applause arose from the estimated 2,300 soldiers who had assembled to see Rumsfeld...Rumsfeld's reply was...weak. And he doesn't get much sympathy from me. IEDs have been blowing our guys up for well over a year now, and there's no
real excuse for failing to get highly armored Humvees into the field.
Where were these concerns a few weeks ago?
Now that the 911 Intelligence Bill is a "slam dunk", now we hear questions about whether it will help at all (NBC news and WaPost):
...The compromise legislation approved by the House yesterday in response to the Sept. 11 commission's findings represents a historic reordering of the $40 billion intelligence community.
But some experts say it is not at all evident how, or even if, the changes would help America's spies obtain secrets and aid analysts in determining the intentions of terrorists bent on striking again or worrisome nations developing weapons of mass destruction...
..This new player is confounding to intelligence experts trying to see how all the new pieces would fit together with the existing system and whether the changes would make anyone safer...
Perhaps we should ask those experts in intelligence, the Jersey Girls?
Home Run Kings...
Hank Arron 755
Barry Bonds 703*
Babe Ruth 714
* undetermined number hit while using performance-enhancing drugs.
Friday, December 03, 2004
Bernard Moon has written a nice essay on Christianity and Christians for easy comprehension by those that are unfamiliar with the faith.
A Holiday card from Jimmy Carter...
My mail was graced with a very handsome envelope with a faux-presidential seal, with return address of Atlanta, GA. Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter sent me a card for the season, complete with genuine simulated signature inside. And a letter asking for a $35 (recommended mininum) contribution to the Carter Center, so he can help bring peace to the Korean Peninsula...I kid you not. In fairness to the Carter Center, they have (according to the letter) assisted in nearly eradicating Guniea worm disease from the globe, and good for them. Just please, Jimmy, leave the dealing with dangerous rogue nations to the duly elected leaders of your country.
The best Messiah...
is that recorded by the Gabrieli Consort and Players, with Paul McCreesh. Ev'ry valley shall be exhalted!
Oil for Bribes Update:
Joy Gordon of the Nation, in a classic co-dependent moment, argues that UN/French/German/Russian corruption is our fault.
on a wonderful CD produced by Bill Bennett's radio program. Great stocking stuffer for that neo-Kirkian!
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Investor's Business Daily recently reported Brian Williams' recent quip regarding bloggers:
...When a fellow panelist mentioned that bloggers had had a big impact on the reporting on Election Day, Williams waved that point away by quipping that the self-styled journalists are "on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem."
Like their video and written counterparts, bloggers are found in all degrees of qualities: wise, witty, prescient, juvenile, bombastic, superficial, and dull. A man who lives in a glass house is wise not to throw stones: how much did that hair cut set you back, Bri?
Monday, November 29, 2004
I guess Jimmy Carter decided to skip monitoring the contentious Ukranian election. Does Jimmy think that Ukranian democracy wasn't worth the plane fare, or that there wasn't a slam-dunk side he could take to look good? Don't take a pass on the tough ones, Jimmy.
Saturday, November 27, 2004
We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression--everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way-- everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want . . . everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear . . . anywhere in the world.
Perhaps the quest for human dignity and freedom is a not a neo-con pipedream.
Thursday, November 25, 2004
Thursday, November 18, 2004
The Boston Globe reports:
WASHINGTON -- Saddam Hussein's regime made more than $21.3 billion in illegal revenue by subverting the UN oil-for-food program and other sanctions -- more than double previous estimates, according to congressional investigators...
The findings also reflect a growing understanding by investigators of the intricate schemes Hussein used to buy support abroad for a move to lift UN sanctions...
"That humanitarian program was corrupted and exploited . . . for the most horrible and aggressive purpose" of raising money for Hussein's military, said Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut.
But the committee's ranking Democrat, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, said "for the most part the UN sanctions achieved their intended objective of preventing Saddam from rearming and developing weapons of mass destruction."
Sure, Carl, like the dam before it burst, it was working perfectly!
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Clue-starved Chris Matthews in a "if I had some ham, I'd have ham & eggs, if I had some eggs" moment in his questioning to Ken Allard:
MATTHEWS: Well, let me ask you about this. If this were the other side and we were watching an enemy soldier, a rival -- I mean they're not bad guys, especially, just people that disagree with us. They are, in fact, the insurgents fighting us in their country. If we saw one of them do what we saw our guy do to that guy, would we consider that worthy of a war crimes charge?
Let's review the conversation before the shooting. I've attempted to identify one of the voices (not the Marine who shot, I believe), and I've added an emphasis at an important comment:
Marine 1: Any Marines in there?
Marine 2: Yeah, they're on the floor, far right, far right.
Marine 1: Coming around the back, hey, who's in here?
Marine 1: Coming around.
VOICE: What are you doing in here? (BLEEP).
Marine 1: That guy shot at my tank!(BLEEP).
Marine 1: Shot up my tank.
VOICE: Come in here.
Marine 1: Did you shoot them?
Marine 1: Did they have any weapons on them?
VOICE: All right. These are the ones from yesterday.
VOICE: These are the ones they never picked up. Bleep.
OK - so this unit had just come under fire from the mosque. So perhaps it's a little more complicated than your cartoon, Chris.
Now, take a deep breath Chris, and we'll all just wait for the results of the inquiry. In the meantime, you may want to contemplate your assinine comment that the Sunni "insurgents" - by this we mean the group who enjoyed having their boot on the neck of eighty percent of the population of Hussein's Iraq, and really don't want to give that up for democracy - just "disagree" with us.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
Our man Jimmy Carter, The Smartest Man to be President, summons all of his rhetorical powers in his Jellospeak on Arafat:
"Yasser Arafat's death marks the end of an era and will no doubt be painfully felt by Palestinians throughout the Middle East and elsewhere in the world.He was the father of the modern Palestinian nationalist movement. A powerful human symbol and forceful advocate, Palestinians united behind him in their pursuit of a homeland. While he provided indispensable leadership to a revolutionary movement and was instrumental in forging a peace agreement with Israel in 1993, he was excluded from the negotiating role in more recent years..."
The Jerusalem Post reports a different point of view, stated with the utmost clarity:
Drop a line to Jimmy at the Carter Center and remind him of some of the facts his statement ignored.
"He (Arafat) had more Jewish blood on his hands than anybody since Hitler. He was a strategist of the murder of women, children and the aged. No normal nation would have dedicated this amount of endless broadcasts to a person responsible for the deaths of so many of their kin," aides close to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said in what appeared to be a rebuke to the media for its exhaustive coverage of the burial of the Palestinian leader on Friday...
PS - I actually worked for this guy's campaign in '76...I can only shake my head and wonder what on Earth I was thinking...
Monday, November 08, 2004
David Brooks has an interesting take on this:
NYT Column, 06 Nov 2004: "The Values-Vote Myth"
Every election year, we in the commentariat come up with a story line to explain the result, and the story line has to have two features. First, it has to be completely wrong. Second, it has to reassure liberals that they are morally superior to the people who just defeated them...
...In the first place, there is an immense diversity of opinion within regions, towns and families. Second, the values divide is a complex layering of conflicting views about faith, leadership, individualism, American exceptionalism, suburbia, Wal-Mart, decorum, economic opportunity, natural law, manliness, bourgeois virtues and a zillion other issues.
But the same insularity that caused many liberals to lose touch with the rest of the country now causes them to simplify, misunderstand and condescend to the people who voted for Bush. If you want to understand why Democrats keep losing elections, just listen to some coastal and university town liberals talk about how conformist and intolerant people in Red America are. It makes you wonder: why is it that people who are completely closed-minded talk endlessly about how open-minded they are?...
Brooks' entire column is here.
Sunday, November 07, 2004
The "reasonable" Democrats (the "Bush May Not Be a Fascist" caucus) have formulated a response to November 2nd's Right Hook, namely, that morality and values also include health care for those in need, growing quality jobs, and better public education. Ahem - they really don't get it, do they? Everyone understands that these issues need to be resolved, but it's demagogic to define the Democratic solution to these problems as the moral position. That is, in part, what Redland is revolting against. Reasonable, equally moral people can differ as to the solutions here. Equating universal "free" prescription drug coverage and radical redefinition of a marriage as a taproot societal value is - shall we say - foolish.
Saturday, November 06, 2004
The Mike Malloy Show
I can handle being called a fascist, racist-bigot, imperialist, and Bible-thumping sexist plutocrat that stole the Ohio electoral vote. Indeed, I blush at even the suggestion. But please, don't tell me that our guys outside of Fallujah are itching to kill people because they look different than them. Don't proclaim the jackass Islamofascists holding Fallujah hostage are merely defending their country. Yet this is what Mr. Malloy said on his show on the evening of 05 Nov. By the way, some of the ads I heard sponsoring the broadcast of this show in the Ann Arbor area (WLBY) were from "Smart Balance" margarine, and Junior Acheivement, if you're interested sending off a message expressing your concern.
Friday, November 05, 2004
I watched a gaggle of Dem pontifs and poobahs offer up their expert scienterrific analyses as to what their party's problems are. The answers fell into the following catagories:
1. What problems?
2. Hillary will save us!
3. Market the same message, just do it better.
4. The Guardian says Ohio was stolen.
5. All that damn territory that separates NYC, Chicago, and LA
I think the Dems should replace the donkey as their emblem with Howland Owl, the pompous, clueless, know-it-all in Walt Kelly's comic strip "Pogo". It seems so fitting.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
The New York Times' Mo Dowd with her eyes still closed, hands over over ears, rocking back and forth, lets forth another scream:
...The president got re-elected by dividing the country along fault lines of fear, intolerance, ignorance and religious rule. He doesn't want to heal rifts; he wants to bring any riffraff who disagree to heel.
W. ran a jihad in America so he can fight one in Iraq - drawing a devoted flock of evangelicals, or "values voters," as they call themselves, to the polls by opposing abortion, suffocating stem cell research and supporting a constitutional amendment against gay marriage...
Sigh. Is there ANYTHING that can get through to this chick?
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
The Dems lost bigtime. W won a three million plus majority and an overwhelming number of the individual states. The Republicans now hold 55 Senate seats and increased their majority in the House of Representatives. Moreover, state initiatives stopped radical social agendas pushed by renegade judges and local officials.
The Democrats now have an important choice to make: are they a political party, attempting to find a consensus from many points of view, and adapting to the will of the electorate? Or are they an ideological party, where they supress internal dissent and insist on intrepreting the actions of the electorate from a philosophical dogma?
I listened to the post-election cry-in on Air America. As a way to understand the crippling loss of the Dems, Al Franken claimed that Bush won by insessant lying, and repeatedly quoted some survey that "proved" Bush supporters - in other words, the majority of the American electorate - to be imbeciles. Randi Rhodes ranted about some bizarre conspiracy involving Ohio and Florida election officials (only the Republicans, of course) tampering with electronic voting machines. Robert Reich declared that the election proved that the Democrats needed become even more "progressive".
If the Dems would like the trust of the American people to provide national leadership, they must show the Hard Left the door. The Hard Left are those elements in the party that view the American government and Western society as immoral and corrupt institutions, which must be radically changed. The hardest of the Hard Left is committed to achieving this by any means necessary, including anarchy, violence, and deliberating subverting American interests. Some of the poster children of the Hard Left are Congressman-for-Life John Conyers, Noam Chomsky, and the assorted disciples of Ron Dellums. Their "useful idiots" include the usual gang of entertainers, college academics, radical social theorists, "anti-Zionists", anti-capitalists, and the barons of the Rights Industry. The Hard Left also views the American people as an ignorant proletariat that is to be led by the nose to Nirvana.
The Hard Left has bullied the rest of the Democratic Party for decades, starting in the aftermath of the '68 election. Under the pretense of diversity, the Hard Left has ruthlessly narrowed the philosophical scope of the party. It's hard to imagine Harry Truman, John Kennedy, or Henry "Scoop" Jackson (cofather with Reagan of the fall of the Soviet Empire) being allowed in the modern Democratic Party. Joe Lieberman was humiliated by the party activists in the primaries and convention for straying off the antiwar reservation. Lifelong Democrat Zell Miller tried to warn of this cancer growing on the Democratic Party, and he was treated by the Hard Left to a personal smear campaign.
The modern American conservative movement faced a similar crisis in the late fifties, weighed down by the John Birchers, anti-Semites, and like political flat-earthers. To their credit, men like Bill Buckley and Ronald Reagan threw them overboard, and modern conservatism flourished. If the Democratic Party wants to be a viable party of national leadership is must likewise rid itself of the Hard Left.
Unhappy Democrats Need to Wait to Get Into Canada
Wed Nov 3, 1:16 PM ET
By David Ljunggren
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Disgruntled Democrats seeking a safe Canadian haven after President Bush won Tuesday's election should not pack their bags just yet.
Canadian officials made clear on Wednesday that any U.S. citizens so fed up with Bush that they want to make a fresh start up north would have to stand in line like any other would-be immigrants -- a wait that can take up to a year.
"You just can't come into Canada and say 'I'm going to stay here'. In other words, there has to be an application. There has to be a reason why the person is coming to Canada," said immigration ministry spokeswoman Maria Iadinardi.
Saturday, October 23, 2004
In his new book, "Unholy Alliance", David Horowitz names the intellectual disorder which the Elites have dared not speak: the guilt and self-loathing that paralyzes the "Soft Left" in the War on Terror, and the outright collusion by the "Hard Left" with Islamofascism:
It's not surprising that the Hard Left takes this stand: in their warped and dark psyche, America, or rather, AmeriKKKa, is a rapacious plutocracy, a scourge sweeping the Earth killing all in its path, and surpressing its own people. To the Hard Left, the United States must fall so that a vanguard elite can create from its ashes a Utopia for the masses. You know, Das Tausend Jahren Reich, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, Socialism with a Human Face, that kind of Utopia. Where the great thinkers and revolutionaries build a fair society. And they get first dibs on the goodies, because their work of enlightenment requires it.
Can the Soft Left grow some spine and repudiate them? Remember the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks?
Saturday, September 18, 2004
Parallels Drawn Between CBS Memos, Texan's Postings (washingtonpost.com):
"In an Aug. 21 posting, Burkett referred to a conversation with former senator Max Cleland (D-Ga.) about the need to counteract Republican tactics: 'I asked if they wanted to counterattack or ride this to ground and outlast it, not spending any money. He said counterattack. So I gave them the information to do it with. But none of them have called me back.'
Cleland confirmed that he had a two- or three-minute conversation by cell phone with a Texan named Burkett in mid-August while he was on a car ride. He remembers Burkett saying that he had 'valuable' information about Bush, and asking what he should with it. 'I told him to contact the [Kerry] campaign,' Cleland said. 'You get this information tens of times a day, and you don't know if it is legit or not.' "
Thursday, September 16, 2004
The documents are fake, now traced to a fax machine in an Abeliene, Texas Kinko's. The elderly secretary, who is certain that that W was given the rich-boy ride in the Guard, has also said that W was "selected not elected" in 2000.
"It's a slam-dunk!", shouts Rather at the morning editor's meeting high atop Black Rock, "trust me on this one."
Saturday, July 31, 2004
You knew this would be modern Hollywood's twist to the Frankenheimer classic.
Megan Lehmann's review of Demme's remake of the Manchurian Candidate:
"In order to retain the brand recognition of the title, yet get around the lack of communist bad guys, the filmmakers turn to today's popular stand-by villain - big business. In this case, it's a faceless but awesomely powerful private equity fund called Manchurian Global which, in a clear allusion to Halliburton and the Carlyle Group, is accused of war profiteering."
Let's check Demme for a chip in the shoulder, implanted by the 3XL conglomerate MooreOn.org...
Friday, July 30, 2004
Dispelling any illusions that The War on Terror is mostly about diplomacy and criminal justice, or reforming our evil ways towards the Islamic world, Joe Lieberman said during his small slot at the Dem's convention -
"...we were brutally attacked by Islamist terrorists who hate us more than they love their own lives; fanatics who are as great a threat to our security and freedom as the Nazis and Communists we defeated in the last century (emphasis added). Make no mistake: This war, like those earlier conflicts, is a war of values. Our enemies reject values, our founding faith that every child on earth is endowed by our creator with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Joe Lieberman is the last leaf on the once-mighty oak of Liberal Hawks: Truman, JFK, and Henry "Scoop" Jackson.
Monday, July 26, 2004
Like a binary nerve agent, Hil & Bill's blabber made one's vision blur, teeth clench, mouth salvivate uncontrolably, and bladder and bowels promptly void.
A typical Slick speech: a deluge of wonknuggets and factoids to damn W and the GOP - and not one statement you're sure you can believe. One can suffer the bombast on domestic issues, the pothole stuff. But the attack on foreign policy - irreconcilable hostility (and by inference hostility toward our allies Britain, Australia, Italy) - it's just wrong, Slick. Did I hear you right - that W used post-911 unity to pass the tax cuts??
Sunday, July 25, 2004
C-SPAN televised the Umteenth Preconvention Gathering of the TV News Anchorcritters at the JFK School for Gummint (a tip of the hat to Walt Kelly!). In attendance were Dan, Tom, Peter, Jim (People's Broadcasting System), and Judy (CNN). But wait - where was Fox's Brit Hume? OK, I guess it was restricted to over-the-air broadcasters...uh no, wait... Judy's there. Well, Brit wouldn't have attended anyway, right? Too busy plotting with the Vast Right Wing Cabal to whip up war fever against Iran...And what about our favorite skunk under the picnic table, Bernie Goldberg? No where in sight. I guess Dan Rather laid down the law.
Given the event is across the river from Beantown, the room was overrun by Dems. No familiar personel from the Psychotic Right, like Mort Kondracke. Hard hitting questions such as: 1. Peter, do you think the media is biased? ("Why no, of course not! Were fair and balanced!"), 2. Why weren't you tougher on the Administration on the follow-up to the Iraq War? 3. Don't you think Right-Wing Conglomerates are taking over the media? 4. Why aren't the networks providing continuous coverage of our week-long infomercial?
Al Franken was in attendance, collecting autographs. Why is it he could just recite the current barometric pressure and this crowd would howl with laughter?
Monday, July 19, 2004
So I went to see F911. I went to the art film house near the Michigan campus, since I didn't want to encourage a real capitalist theatre franchise to continue to show it. I figured the State Street Theatre will gobble up this kind of stuff anyway and besides they need the money to replace the seating which I swear was made for the hindquarters of the jockey Eddie Shoemaker.
Richard Cohen, columnist for the Post and no friend o' W, began his recent column about F911, "Baloney, Moore or Less":
"I brought a notebook with me when I went to see Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 9/11' and in the dark made notes before I gave up, defeated by the utter stupidity of the movie..."
It really is that bad. It reminded me of the infamous Vince Foster murder video that was put out by the lunatic fringe of the right during the Clintonschena (age of Clinton). I am totally flabbergasted at how such a piece of conspiracy dreck can can get such attention from otherwise serious people.
I felt sorry for the woman featured in the "film" who lost her son in Iraq - you certainly could sympathize with her. She was angry for losing her son, and she reacted how many mothers would in this circumstance. But I also felt that Mikey was exploiting her. There is a curious scene where she travels to the White House to find some venue for her anger and frustration. It's clearly arranged with Moore to be filmed - fine - that is between Moore and his subject. But there also appears in the clip a girl filming the filmmaker - had Moore brought his camp followers of publicists? Wait, I better stop before I start seeing visions of Freemasons and Bilderbergs dancing in my sleep...
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
If you find yourself with some distemper after watching the Crossfire-Hannity&Combes-Hardball flak screamcasts, recall that not so long ago there was a program on television that provided true sustenance for mind and soul:
Hoover Institution Library and Archives: Firing Line broadcast archives
Could a program like Firing Line be sustained these days?
My entry for the Michael Moore's Final Hour contest:
Mikey will travel to Fallujah, to film his crockumentary, "The Minutemen of the Sunni Triangle". He will win another "Palm d'Whore", whereupon he will journey back to Fallujah to celebrate with his lionized colleagues. Then, in tribute and appreciation to Mr. Moore, his proteges will behead him.
Saturday, July 10, 2004
BostonHerald: Vets fume over Quincy smoke ban plan
Impressive strategery here: first get it banned in public spaces, such as bars and restaurants, then use the defeated as soldiers to attack private clubs. It reminds me of schoolyard bullies using their newly-vanquished toadies to torment the remaining victims.
Smoking bans, in both public and private places, are a bad idea. They're based on dubious statistics, and threaten basic liberties like freedom of association and control of private property. And when you scratch away the patina of the public health arguement, the real force behind the anti-smoking crusade is "aesthetic bigotry" - that fashionable, sophisticated people are entitled to a live in a world that caters exclusively to their tastes and prejudices.
Michigan's state senate is now considering a bill (S-186) to ban smoking in bars and restaurants. May it die a swift death.
Friday, July 09, 2004
During the Gipper's funeral at the National Cathedral, there
was a moment - punctuated by this music by Nick Glennie-Smith - at which I really broke down and wept:
NPR : Reagan Services's 'Mansions of the Lord'
With the lyrics by Randall Wallace:
To fallen soldiers let us sing
Where no rockets fly nor bullets wing
Our broken brothers let us bring
To the Mansions of the Lord
No more bleeding, no more fight
No prayers pleading through the night
Just divine embrace, eternal light
To the Mansions of the Lord.
Where no mothers cry and no children weep
We will stand and guard though the angels sleep
Through the ages safely keep
The Mansions of the Lord.
I miss Ronald Reagan very, very much.
Thursday, July 08, 2004
Desecrated Flag slated to be burned; vandals strike again
We'll keep an eye on this over the next few weeks...
Yahoo! News - San Francisco Gives Clintons Warm Welcome
This is the Left's view of wealth: that the rich just hoard it, counting and recounting it like Scrooge McDuck. To paraphrase scripture, if we could show that just one righteous man used his tax cut to expand his business and give someone a job, would they spare all from their fire and brimstone?
I've got a better idea: how about a program where people could volunteer to increase their tax bracket to seventy or ninety percent? So, Hil, if you feel that passionate about it...
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
WSJ OpinionJournal - Sudan: The alternative to U.S. "unilateralism" and "hegemony" is catastrophe
To say nothing of the European neglect of Rwanda and Yugoslavia. What level of cataclysm does it take for the world to appreciate the cyncism of the old continental powers?
The New York Times > Intelligence backs claim Iraq tried to buy uranium
Combined with the little-publicized conclusion of the Kay report, namely that WMD programs were in place and active, the case against Iraq on WMD is stronger than the common folklore suggests.
Saturday, July 03, 2004
send troops to Iraq
(Washington Post article).
This is a big deal, but seems to be nearly invisible in the news. This is Jordan and Yemen saying that they (i) acknowledge the legitimacy of Iraq's interim government, and that (ii) its security and stability is their interest (and in the interest of the Arab world). They are now unambiguously telling the rest the Arabs as much. So much for the claim of puppetry in Baghdad.
Friday, July 02, 2004
Taking Sides, By Christopher Hitchens
Enter Michael Moore and his crockumentary, F911 (I will not call it by its stolen name out of respect to Ray Bradbury). Here's Hitchens' take, probably the most-linked excoriation of this dreck spewer:
Unfairenheit 9/11 - The lies of Michael Moore, By Christopher Hitchens
Chris, we still disagree about the Gipper, KIssinger and Mother Theresa, but I count you as an ally in good standing in World War III.
CNN.com - Bill Cosby has more harsh words for black community - Jul 1, 2004
So let's make this real clear: Cos has identified an extemely important obstacle to true equal
rights. This behavior is the fuel-of-choice for racist fear mongering. A related issue is the "slobification" of all popular culture, but a conversation in the black community about its particular manifestation of this may have tremendous leverage for society-wide discussion.
By the way CNN, the term "tirade" indicates a protracted speech marked by intemperate, vituperative, or harshly censorious language...really? How about "frank comments"? A little less pejorative. Perhaps a little more fair and balanced (gasp!)?
Saturday, June 26, 2004
Ashcroft. Well, Cheney decided not to play kissy face with him in the Senate:
Cheney Dismisses Critic With Obscenity
Sometimes the best retort to hypocrisy is a well-timed &%$# @*&!
Sunday, June 20, 2004
The New York Times > Books > Books of The Times: The Pastiche of a Presidency, Imitating a Life, in 957 Pages
I think that in twenty years we will finally have that perspective to see how
truly troubled this man was.
Saturday, June 19, 2004
The New York Times > Washington > In a Sprawling Memoir, Clinton Cites Storms and Settles Scores
You've gotta love this: hundreds of pages of being fat, sexaholism, and the minutiae of
his personal life, only sentences left for policy decisions as president. I didn't think the
editors would tolerate something this pathetic.
Friday, June 04, 2004
A Letter to "The Greatest Generation"
Dear Moms & Dads,
Sorry we haven't written in a long time, but you know we Boomers have
an enormous amount of focus on ourselves, and we have been so busy leading fulfilling lives, or on meaninful journeys seeking fulfilling lives. We wanted to pass on some exciting news about us that we know you'll be thrilled about. But first, with "D-Day" celebrations going on (seems like ancient history!), it seems only polite that we say "thanks" for defending us from the Nazis. So be sure to see all of the TV specials and movies that we've made depicting your lives. We're sorry we haven't had a chance to talk to you about your own personal story of those times, but we've just been so busy.
We know that most of you probably enlisted only because you didn't want to be ostricized from mid-twentieth century society, and the Army was the only way you could make your life better (clearly American capitalism had failed in providing jobs and it took a war to revive the economy). It just seems ironic that the Bush Administration is now plotting to turn America into such a fascist state, what with John Ashcroft, the Patriot Act, and a right-wing Supreme Court. We also forgive you for some of the terrible atrocities that you committed during WWII, like incarcaration of Japanese-Americans and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, but we hadn't enlightened you about civil rights yet. You'll be happy to know that we have reconciled with our deluded contemporaries who actually went to Vietnam and did all similar sorts things like My Lai. By the way, about Vietnam, remember that was different than WWII: it was OUR lives and futures that were going to be risked, not yours. Too bad you could have signed up again for that one, eh? But then if you had been killed who would have paid for our tuition? (ha ha!). We haven't seen any TV specials on the Korean War yet but we promise we will when we have time. But we did watch MASH every week!
It's still puzzling to us as to why after saving civilization from facism, you then came home and created the 1950s! What a socially, sexually, culturally, and intellectually repressive time! All your cookie cutter jobs and cookie cutter suburban homes, and empty lives. The only thing of any worth that came out of the '50s was
Allen Ginsberg, Jack Keroack, Hugh Hefner, the Kinsey Report, and folk music. It seemed that you were compensating for your lack of food, clothing and shelter during the Depression by indulging yourself with things like ranch houses and TV dinners. But thanks for the toys, the Davy Crockett coonskin cap, the bicycles, the hula-hoops, the '45s, the car, and the tuition. If Bush and his cronies would spend more on education maybe we could send our kids to Harvard, too.
But remember, we were soldiers, too, in a way: fighting an unjust war, (we did organize a bake sale last week for the "Peace and Justice in Iraq Committee" last week, and if there is one more Abu Graib only our enlightened committment to nonviolent resistance will keep us from spitting on the next soldier we see!) and rebelling against a repressive society ('68 was hell, but thanks for wiring that money after those jerks that ran the ashram took all our stuff, as part of our "spriritual awakening"). Here were some of victories: guilt-free sexual expression and more open relationships (by the way, we'll tell the grandkids that we actually wrote you a letter during our next visitation weekend), conciousness expansion (thanks for being at Tom's funeral for us back in '72. We just got so busy. We knew he would buy some bad junk one day; he should have used our dealer), a more economically just society (those food stamps really came in handy...we had to really BS that social worker to get them. That damn Newt Gingrich and the Republicans tricked Clinton into taking away assistance from people whose only crime was they didn't win life's lottery. We are so committed to social justice that we became life members of Oxfam after we took profits on the junk bonds in '84), repressive social and religious institutions (oh, yeah the grandkids really like the private academy, but man is the tuition steep, and we tell the kids to ignore the God crap that the nuns spew during class), and did we mention guilt-free sexual expression?
Well, enough about our past, let us tell you about our future! Here's the great news, and we know you are so happy for us: we are about to retire! Sadly, you'll not be able spend more time with us; we won't be able to get the nursing home much since we're going to move closer to our spiritual mentor in Sedona. But we know you're thrilled for us, what with all of the miracles of modern medicine - Viagra, botox, plastic surgery, hip replacements, fetal stem cell research, and maybe even organ harvesting - we'll live forever and be able to achieve complete fulfillment! Those grandkids better starting working harder so that we can take out several times more than we ever put into Social Security and Medicare!
Later, Mom and Dad - our reading group starts the Noam Chomsky '9/11' book in a few minutes.
- your kids, The Worst Generation
Saturday, May 29, 2004
This is astounding, compared to the coverage that is being neglected, such as the investigation of mass murder in Hussein's Iraq, the repressive atmosphere of the militant Islamic mini-state of Fallujah, or anything positive that is being accomplished in Iraq.
There is some heavy-duty manipulation of news going on here. Gosh, it couldn't be because there is an election coming up, could it?