Cracked Bells and Washed Out Horns
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
He stood so straight and tall, in his uniform and all
So last night was the president's speech commemorating the handover of power in Iraq to the interim government. As an army of leftist keyboardists have already pointed out, it’s nothing we haven't heard before.
Support our troops.
Buy a ribbon.
I could go on, but if you really want to read the thing, Daily Kos has a transcript. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/6/28/195710/973Now the boilerplate speech really isn't that deserving of comment. As I said before, we've heard it before...But W did make it clear, once and for all, in his eye, its most important that we support our troops by supporting the ribbon and magnet industry:
In this time of testing, our troops can know: The American people are behind you. Next week, our Nation has an opportunity to make sure that support is felt by every soldier, sailor, airman, coast guardsman, and Marine at every outpost across the world. This Fourth of July, I ask you to find a way to thank the men and women defending our freedom - by flying the flag ... sending letters to our troops in the field ... or helping the military family down the street. The Department of Defense has set up a website - AmericaSupportsYou.mil. You can go there to learn about private efforts in your own community. At this time when we celebrate our freedom, let us stand with the men and women who defend us all.
That's right, the way to support our troops is by buying ribbons and flying flags. It’s not supporting them by doing things like supporting veteran's hospitals, donating money for body armor, or heck, even making sure the yellow ribbon you buy is from the one that donates its proceeds to a veteran's group instead of the ones that are made in China.
The President inadvertantly highlighted for me the main problem we are having in the War on Terror. For those people that don't know someone actually fighting in Iraq, this war is one devoid of sacrifice for the citizenry. Instead of war bonds, we sell our debt to the Chinese (and buy their ribbons). Instead of raising monies for body armor and vehicle armor, we get a tax cut and we aren't even asked to have a bake sale. And heaven's forbid we actually ask people to conserve energy or do anything besides consume consume consume.
Scratch that, make that "consume and put a ribbon on the SUV." No wonder the poll numbers are so fluid when people are asked about the war in Iraq...as a country, most of us aren't in involved in a real way in the way this country is run or what we’re doing abroad.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Man, how come you don't move
So I'm sure you heard about the Supreme Court's terrible decision to allow a city in CT to take away people's land to build a strip mall. Appalling. Shocking. Read here:http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=domesticNews&storyID=8872948
Its one thing to need to build a highway, train station, police station, firehouse or some public project that serves the public good. But all we're seeing here is people wanting to build a mall. Redevelopment and tax revenue now trump personal rights? Not in the America I know.I know that this is going to become a Red vs. Blue issue, I've already seen some posts on the Internet to that effect, and with the Big Three conservatives on the court (Rehnquist, Scalie and Thomas) all voting for property rights and against developer rights, its not a surprise. Again I find myself agreeing with the conservatives. Thats twice already? Damm.
What use is owning property if the government can take it away for such a frivolous reason?My heart goes out to those who have lost not just a case, but their home today. I hope that everyone else involved finds a way to sleep with themselves at night....but they shouldn't have a problem. After all, they still have a roof over their heads.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Someone's got it in for me...
Dedicated to Hillary Clinton, who's learning that the answer to the question, "Have you no shame?" is increasingly becoming "Shame? What's that?"
Now Hillary is no saint, but nobody deserves a book full of anonymous sources that distorts your personal life the way Ed Klein's new book Why Nobody Should Take Ed Klein Seriously Ever Again, does. I don't care how bad Hillary has or hasn't been, we've gone completely out of bounds on what should and shouldn't be part of the discourse.
Included in the book are claims that:
1) Bill raped Hillary when Chelsea was conceived
2) Hillary is a lesbian
3) Bill cheats on Hillary constantly and publicly...and she knows
The thing is, I can buy the last two arguments; but you know what? ITS NONE OF MY BUSINESS. Even if she were to run for and win the presidency, its still NONE OF MY BUSINESS.
Klein is taking the cowards way out, claiming that he doesn't claim any of these things, it is his anonymous sources that do. Far Right Mouthpiece Matt Drudge offers some ideas here: http://www.drudgereport.com/flash3ek1.htm, but my friend's at Salon dissect Klein, his book, and his motives here: http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2005/06/21/klein/index.html
Lets be clear about this. I'm not a Hillary fan or anything; but I do hate this level of mud slinging. Any R that jumps on this train has made it clear, they can join Klein and Drudge: they indeed have no shame.
Friday, June 17, 2005
Tangled up in blue
Ahhhh, the great American past time of interleague play has come to New York as the Chicago Cubs visit the House That Ruth Built for the first time since the allegedly called shot.
I'm not a big fan of interleague baseball, it sort of saps the fun out of the bonus games that nobody cares about after the Red Sox and Yankees are done playing each other. I mean if the Cubs make the playoffs and advance to play the Red Sox, Yankees or White Sox, part of the fun of having two teams that never faced each other isn't there.
That being said, I'm much looking forward to this series. I'm going to the games, sans Mom, but with other friends, and its also neat that I'm suddenly friends with all the Mets fans in the city. A group of Mets fans I chat baseball with every morning on the NJ Transit train was all wearing Cubs hats this morning, and our conductor, a Yankees fan didn't say good morning to me...he just looked at me and my Ryne Sandberg jersey with a hint of suspicion.
But for two days we'll have a good time at The Stadium, and hopefully Big Z and El Ruschbo can get the job done. Too bad we'll have to sit through a round of "Nineteen O Eight" chants. Who do these people think they are? Red Sox fans?
Thursday, June 16, 2005
If you gotta go, go now...
It finally seems as though the Democrats on Capital Hill are getting it together. No longer led by the feckless duo of Daschle and Gephardt; they seem to have gotten their act together. They've stopped "Social Security Reform" dead in its tracks. They won the first skirmish over the Patriot Act. They gained the high ground on the Supreme Court battle to come. They're emboldened. And with the War in Iraq, the issue thats beaten them in two elections suddenly turning in their favor, they're pushing for a timeline for withdrawal and scoring some major political points.
Read about Feingold's and Pelosi's efforts to get such a timeline right below:
That's right! They're strong! They're in control! They're scoring points with the public! And they're dead wrong.
I don't know how to say this. This is only my third post, and I'm nervous. But. But... but........
agree with the president.
Its a mistake to leave now. Its a mistake to make a timeline to leave.
Look. The USA invaded another country under false pretenses. We did a good thing in getting rid of Saddam. A good thing in helping the Iraqis have elections. But at this point, there are two goals for Iraq:
1) That it evolve into a functioning Democracy. As "long time readers" of this blog will know. A Democracy is more then a place where people vote. Its a place where people can and do participate in their government. Iraq, isn't there yet. Unfortunately, they need our strength, both militarily, finnancially, and yes, as a role model; to get there. We've done about a quarter of the job.
2) This invasion a long time ago was about something to do with terrorism. We need to do what we can there to help win something called the War on Terrorism. Leave a fledgling country without a real military and police force in that sort of the world, and we'll be big losers.
So in short, I think John Kerry was correct. This was in Iraq wasn't the best use of resources in our War on Terrorism, but now that we're there, we need to finish the job.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
The Neighborhood Bully...he's just one man...
A shout out to one of America's most recognizeable journalists, Bill O'Reilly at Fox News. Hoo Boy.
Why do more Americans think O'Reilly then Bob Woodward? Because most Americans have no clue who Bob Woodward is.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
And the all white jury agreed
So two favorite punching bags of the far right get together in one story. The US Supreme Court (Activist Judges) rule on the need to have diverse juries in trials (special rights). You can read about it in the link below.
Justice David H. Souter, writing the 6-3 decision, said there was strong evidence of prejudice during jury selection. He noted that black jurors were questioned more aggressively about the death penalty, and the pool was "shuffled" at least twice by prosecutors, apparently to increase the chances that whites would be selected.
I'm sure this will lead to howls of ourtage across talk radio, and the blogospere. Cries ranging from "the abuse of power of activist judges" to "judges being more concerned about criminals then victims," will be repeated lines heard often today.
However, protecting the rights of the accused is crucial to protecting our Democracy. The Court isn't setting either of the accused free, its sending them back home to give them the trial they deserve. If the case was as open and shut as the prosecuters argued in front of the Supreme Court, the accused are scum. And they'll go to jail, or, since they're in a state with capital punnishment, they'll be put to death. No harm, no foul.
The disturbing thing about the hysteria I assume is coming is that the arguments from the right, are really arguments against Democracy.
Despite media coverage of the election in Iraq as a sign that the country is now a Democracy, and the dumb asses in Congress that put the purple ink stains on their thumbs in a ludicrous parody at the State of the Union; Democracy is about a hell of a lot more then elections.
Democracy is about freedom, fairness, and justice for all as well as electoral politics. The issue about jury selection isn't one about special rights. Its about equal rights. Its about justice. Its about Democracy.
And in the end, thats what all this hullaballoo around the world is about. Democracy. Kudos to the Supreme Court for showing the world how its done.
Monday, June 13, 2005
So I've decided
To pick this damm thing up and try and do something with it. I'm going to try and make every post from here on out have every post be titled after a Dylan lyric. To keep myself on my toes.