Honest to freaking goodness- anyone from the UK reading this? Good- hang your heads in shame...
HANG, I SAID!
When Bush's poodle finally resigned and tottered off to convert to catholicism in hopes of having his sins forgiven, we here in the US hoped and prayed that Gordon Brown would finally show some goddamned backbone (in keeping with his previous contentious statements regarding our Idiot-in-chief,) and perhaps lead western europe in breaking away from this insane administration...
Bush: "Gee- what did you expect him to say- did you expect him to disagree with me? Hehehehhhh..."
Yeah, yeah, I heard the spin: "Brown is just trying to placate a lame-duck US administration in anticipation of a new democratic administration, come '08."
The anti bush majority in this country was hoping your new PM would help in ending this churlish idiocy with but one dissenting statement- one word that would show that the "special relationship" had limits, but instead, we get yet another disgusting spectacle of the chief executive of a proud, sovereign state bending over, and taking one up the nipsy for a team that lost the game, years ago.
And what makes it even more disgusting... Let's say you brits call for another election, tomorrow- who is likely to win? The leading leftist party- led by whom?
GORDON FREAKING BROWN.
Hang your heads in shame.
(I dig your chicken-flavored crisps and your pickled onions, though...)
(Edit- Since writing the above, it's come to my attention that we here in the united states were somewhat deluded about Gordon Brown. True- He's made a few statements that weren't as obsqueiously grotesque as those we've come to expect from his predecessor- but he's been a willing back-seat passenger on the BushCo express, since day one. As Geroge galloway so eloquently put it: Blair and Brown are two cheeks on the same arse...
"JESUS CAMP" TAKEN OFFLINE
It appears that my linkage to the italian-subbed version of "Jesus camp" has led to copyright problems. Too bad- but take heart- while the video is offline, Jesus Camp has been shut down, due to the negative publicity stirred up by the film.
AS YE REAP, SO SHALL YE SOW...
In the eternal paradox that is mid-east/US diplomacy, the Bush administration has announced a record-breaking arms deal for the middle east- because, as we all know, there's no more steady insurer of peace than a huge amount of weaponry.
Just ask the afghanis.
JULY 26, 2007
OH, WHY DIDN'T i MENTION...
Bush's recent "Executive orders?"
"Banning torture" and "freezing assets." indeed. I could wax on and on about how insane these executive orders are, but I trust you have the ability to do a google search...
The sad/joyous factor regarding these "executive orders" is that that in reality, they aren't worth the paper they're printed on.
The first time that someone in this country is deprived of their home and possessions because they are doing something that is deemed to "undermine the reconstruction of Iraq," there will be a thousand and one libertarian lawyers signing up to do pro-bono representation for the accused, and the prosecution will get laughed out of the courtroom before it hits the state supreme court. (Ever heard of the fourth amendment to the constitution?)
Banning torture? Actually, this executive order codifies torture. There as-of-yet undiscovered tribes in the heart of the amazonian rainforest who would recognize this as doublethink.
Ya see, as Bush circles the drain, he's been reduced to signing little play-toy executive orders of increasing irrelevance. We can only look forward to seeing a new executive order declaring that the summer of '69 was the "best ever", and yet another decreeing that HeadOn is best when applied directly to the forehead.
COULD IT BE?
Check this out... What you are looking at is a screengrab of the first, tentative steps of development of a CMS-driven Bushflash.com. Be still my heart- could this actually happen? I hope to "Bob" so- and so should you. Soon, there might come a bright, bright day- a day when I won't have to focus four hours a day on adding new content to this site, and can focus on creating more multimedia work. On that day, you folks will be able to participate, and submit your own images, videos, and rants with a few clicks of a mouse.
I wanna send a shout-out to B.G.- the guy who is generously contributing his time to make this happen. I have no idea how long this will take to reach beta or final status, but it's damned good to know that we're getting there.
ATHEISM CRACKS ME UP...
(Yeah, this is the sorta lame-ass entry you're gonna get from me- I told you you couldn't expect much, post-burnout.)
Religion- to many across the political spectrum, the word brings up some pretty nasty emotions. Indeed, religion has been, for millennia, used for reasons that were innately cruel, inhumane, and downright brutal. One only has to look at the long and bloody history of our species for confirmation of this unfortunate reality. It's wholly fair to say that religion has been a causal factor for 90% of all wars fought. It's been used to persecute people, divide people, and ruin whole societies...
In our rather myopic historical view, we look for common threads, and for good, or for ill, religion is the one common thread in all of humanity's trials and tribulations- be it the Crusades, the rapid growth of the initial Islamic Ummah, or the battle for real estate in Clearwater, Florida.
The first fatal danger in blaming religion, solely, is that we lose sight of the deeper issues behind these tragedies and conflicts. For example:
Many pundits see the conflict in Darfur as a conflict by Muslims against Animists and Christians- the real reason for that ongoing conflict is water. Likewise, many in our modern world constantly trumpet the "Clash of Civilizations" between radical Islam and the west in religious terms, when the reality is infinitely more complex.
By focusing on the religious dynamic, we lose sight of the more important underlying issues behind conflicts- which brings us to the second fatal danger:
Implicit in the "religion is responsible for the ills of mankind" argument, we find a rather disturbing historical blind spot:
The greatest and most horrific wars ever waged by mankind (the two world wars, Vietnam, Korea, etc) had jack-all to do with religion- rather, they were based upon wholly geopolitical/secular reasons. I'm sure that someone might be able to dredge up a few hundred instances in which people on either sides of these conflicts spewed out their respective versions of "God is on OUR side," but outside of being a tired rhetorical cliche, these statements meant nothing, as far as the greater conflict went.
The lesson of this? Humans are going to kill each other for whatever reasons they see fit. For a few millennia, we used religion. Once Darwin and the age of enlightenment cleared that little issue up, humans suddenly discovered new and even more pointless reasons to kill our fellow man. Atheism was able to provide it's own genocides- and the grand winner in the history of such is Joseph Stalin, an atheist who was able to slaughter 60 million human beings, all the while never giving one thought to a higher power other than his own self interest.
But perhaps the aforementioned is a tad too weighty- let me get to what cracks me up about atheists...
I've spoken to a great number of religious fundamentalists in my time- and they are a weird breed. They KNOW there's a god- why? Because of something they read in a book. If you try to appeal to them, and ask that they step outside of their own belief systems to view things analytically, they will rebel, and condemn you for trying to undermine their faith.
I've spoken to a great number of atheists in my time- and similarly, they are a weird breed- They KNOW that there's no god- why? Because of something they read in a book. If you try to appeal to them, and ask that they step outside of their own belief systems to view things analytically, they will rebel, and condemn you for trying to undermine their faith.
And yes- Atheism is a faith, just like any other. It supposes that we, as a bunch of apes- just out of the african savannah who only recently got the bright idea to walk upright and hit one rock against another- have within the capacity of our finite minds to fully comprehend an infinite universe.
That is the very definition of an oxymoron (which sorta pales when compared to the oxymorons and utter bullshit that religion has fed us over the past couple thousand years, but an oxymoron is an oxymoron.)
I can hear the objections from atheists pouring in, already: "Religion is base mythology, whereas atheism is based upon rational science!"
Okay, let's talk about rational science (or the latest incarnation, thereof- much like religions, science is prone to re-defining itself.) The current, most prominent way of viewing the universe is string theory, which postulates that we humans are living in a universe comprised of no less than eleven dimensions.
Leaving aside the fact that we'll eventually be presented with a theory that postulates thirty or more dimensions in a few years, let's look at this prevailing theory of eleven dimensions...
Why can't we great and wise apes perceive these other dimensions? Because we, as a species, are sort of like an ant that's crawling on the surface of a 2-inch wide piece of rope. The ant is only able to move backwards and forwards, left or right, but is unable to perceive the third dimension of depth, and thus, is unable to utilize it. We evolved to perceive the world in three dimensions, so we go with it. Much like the ant, we are innately unable to move beyond that which we are capable of understanding.
The bottom line is that we're living in a universe far more complex than you or I have the ability to quantify in any meaningful way from our very limited viewpoint- and anyone who tries to sell you a "quick fix", be it a religion, or atheism, is just offering a band-aid solution.
As Vonnegut said: "We're here to fart around."
Don't let anyone tell you any differently.
JULY 26, 2007
"NO END IN SIGHT" REVIEW
Much has been said about the war in Iraq, especially how we were so horribly misled into it. Robert Greenwald and Michael Moore, among many others, have done an excellent job in translating this painful episode in our recent history into film.
One would think that after a dozen or so excellent (and a few dozen not-so-excellent) films, the subject had been tapped dry. When I got a review DVD of "No End In Sight," I sighed to myself: "What- ANOTHER one of these?" What else can be said, really?
A hell of a lot, as I soon found out.
This film is the first that I've seen that, rather than focusing on the chicanery during the lead up and immediate aftermath of the invasion, covers the long, sorry history of our occupation of Iraq- and it's a story so stained with blind arrogance and grotesque incompetence that it baffles the mind.
It's important to note that the film's cast of commentators isn't the rogue's gallery of antiwar liberals you'd normally expect in such a film. The damning evidence this film presents is related by the likes of former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, US Ambassador Barbara Bodine, Major General Paul Eaton, General Jay Gardner, Walter Slocombe, and Col. Paul Huges (among many others.) These are, as the film's website boasts, "The ultimate Insiders." These were people who had a front-row seat to the debacle that is our adventure in Iraq.
No- scratch that word: "Debacle." Replace it with "Irreversible shitstorm."
It has become the de-rigeur defense of the remaining 25% who support the war to say "All you lib'ruls can do is second-guess." The antiwar majority is accused of playing "monday morning quarterback." "It's easy to just sit back and criticize," we're told...
Indeed, it is easy to sit back and criticize:
Item: When Baghdad fell, and the city devolved into an orgy of chaotic looting, not only were we unprepared for it, our troops were given express orders not to interfere. Thus, we showed the people of the newly-conquered country of Iraq that we were unwilling or unable to exercise authority.
Item: Instead of immediately turning over power to an interim Iraqi government, we installed a Provisional Authority. In the staff of this imposed government, only a handful could speak arabic, and even fewer had any experience that would prepare them for their new positions. This new government was not only incapable of communicating with the Iraqi people, it was incapable of governing them.
Item: This Provisional authority put 23-year-old white kids who had just graduated from Ivy League universities in charge of entire Iraqi government agencies. It didn't matter that they had zero knowledge of what they were doing- what mattered was the fat check the kid's father had sent to the republican party.
Item: Paul Bremer decided to disband the Iraqi army, which resulted in a half-million heavily armed men roaming the country, looking for their next meal. Keep in mind, until Bremer decreed thusly, the higher echelons of the existing Iraqi army were ready and willing to help secure the country under US supervision.
Item: "De- Ba'athification" fired everyone who had any links with the former ruling party, even though a majority had joined simply out of a sense of self-preservation. This effectively barred 100,000 of Iraq's most educated and influential people from taking any role in Iraq's reconstruction.
Item: These examples are but the tip of the iceberg.
What's especially frustrating, is that these insane decisions were challenged- not by liberal whackos like you and I, but by highly-experienced, knowledgeable military and civilian experts from within the administration. At every turn, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bremer, and the usual suspects were warned that they were screwing the pooch, but they ignored these warnings, and just kept on making horrible decisions- no matter how many times they were proven wrong.
Bush, when he enters the picture, is blissfully and willfully ignorant of what's going on.
After watching this film, I felt drained, and saddened. It paints a picture of a monolithic arrogance that almost strikes one dumb with wonder (and that's sayin' something, considering I've been studying this nest of vipers for well on to a decade.)
If it's showing in your town, I can't think of a better way to spend a few bucks and a few hours. However, If you're a recovering alcoholic, I'd stay away- after viewing this, you'll want to blot out everything you've just seen...
It's more horrible and sad than you could imagine.
JULY 23, 2007
I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY...
Seriously- I have nothing...
If anyone wants to help out with this site, give me a call at: 973-509-1003.
Please leave a message. Please leave a message. Please leave a message. (You get the impression that you should leave a message? Great!)
Well, first off, we have to view this in context: This pentagon apparatchik, by specifically addressing Clinton's comments while ignoring the far more strident and forceful antiwar language of every other democratic hopeful, has issued nothing more than a political broadside against the person that the radical right sees as the eventual nominee of the democratic party.
On that level, it's nothing more than what we've come to expect from the Bush administration: The use of government agencies for political purposes.
However, we must not mistake what's going on here: The sowing of the seeds of a myth- one that is remarkably similar to that sown amongst the american people after the fall of Saigon- remarkably similar to that sown amongst the germans in the wake of their defeat in WW1- the myth of a victory denied, and a fictional "other" that is responsible.
In doing this, the lunatics who are running the show these days are attempting to shift the responsibility for their reckless actions upon others.
Again, as I've stated in days past- the vast majority of sane americans will reject this scapegoating, but unfortunately, enough will swallow it up, and ask for more...
Now, on a more practical note, lemme tell ya something:
It is my studied practice not to slander any candidate running for president on the democratic ticket, but for the duration of the forthcoming campaign, I must make one exception: Hillary Clinton.
If George W. Bush was somehow able to run again for a third term against Hillary Clinton, and even if, at the eve of the election, Bush's approval ratings were still at 28%, you know who would win by a landslide?
George W. Bush- and this time, he wouldn't even need to resort to fraud.
Hillary Clinton is unelectable- period.
I am fortunate to live is a solidly blue part of the country, and just about everyone I know is democratic, green, or left of center. The opinions of my associates are diverse and varied, but I've noticed one element amongst those who profess themselves to be Hillary Clinton supporters:
They are all the very caricature of a patrician, well-to-do, and most arrogant sort. They all work in senior management positions, in which their job is to dictate to others. They, much like the dangerous folks who currently reside in power, feel- nay- KNOW that they are "elite," and anyone who sees things otherwise is but a mere, misguided peon.
While this might not be the attitude of the rank-and-file Clinton supporter, and might not reflect the attitude of the candidate herself (although I doubt that, thoroughly,) I've been involved with politics for 24 years, and know enough to spot the danger signs.
I don't want to trade one group of arrogant bastards for another.
JULY 15, 2007
DID I MISS ANYTHING?
No- actually, during this vacation past I have been paying attention to the news, and have fought off the urge to post some verbose bullcrap here in response to the outrage of the day (but I always was able to resist...)
Everything that can be said about the Libby pardon, the failed benchmarks in Iraq, and the other droplets of toxic birdshit that have been dropped into the collective mouths and psyches of the american people has been said, really.
Recently, an associate and I were chewing over the politics of the day, and he asked, in the tone of incredulous outrage that has become de rigueur in america:
"When will these last 22-28 percent of the public who support these bastards wake up?"
It is, on the surface, a puzzling thing. If you're anything like me, the spectacle of Bush's meteoric fall in the polls have been deeply gratifying. However, while it's been nice to see this whitehouse enter its second year of abysmal ratings, it's damned frustrating to see a consistent 25% or so of the american people continuing to support this nest of vipers.
Frustrating, but completely understandable. You see, just as there are people who are hungry to exercise harsh, callous, and autocratic power over others, there are people who wish to be governed as harshly, callously, and autocratically as possible.
It was predicted by many pundits that Bush's approval rating would actually rise in the wake of the Libby pardon, and wouldn't ya know it- they were right, in several instances. No great surprise, there...
Ya see, these remaining few see Bush's reckless actions as leadership.
Starting a war under false pretenses? Well, all fine and good- it takes a strong man to step up to the plate, and do what he feels is right.
Continuing to prosecute a war by the same failed strategy year after year? Well, all fine and good- Bush knows what he's doing- best not to question a man who obviously knows so much more than we do. After all, he listens to the generals on the ground...
Breaking the law? Well, all fine and good- sometimes, doing the right thing transcends man's laws.
Ignoring the constitution, and suspending habeas corpus? Well, all fine and good- we're at war, and sometimes, we have to surrender quaint notions in the face of a greater threat.
You can see where this is all going...
Nothing should be read too much into the fact that our country is home to so many folks of an authoritarian stripe- they've been around forever, and they've cropped up in every experiment of statecraft since the first tribe gathered. All the same, it sucks that they're still around (sorta like our appendices...)
10 THINGS I (RE)LEARNED ON VACATION
1: I've given up hope of finding help with setting up a CMS for this site. It's not out of a lack of offers of help- I've had about a dozen sign up, but, inevitably, nothing ever gets done. It's just as well- I'm too damned stupid to figure out CMS (I've repeated it here so many times it's grotesquely redundant) and I ain't got the bucks to hire anyone. It's become clear that this site will remain a one-man show until Bush leaves office.
2: Am I going to create more animations? To tell the truth, I've lost my taste for doing flash slideshows. If I am going to produce more multimedia work, I want to move beyond what limited fields I've trod in times past- but nothing's gonna get done, until the spirit moves me.
My computer has more software and power than an early 90's sci-fi production studio, and I really should take advantage of the stuff I have- I just need to figure out "what, and how."
The essence of my previous works: "War is bad," is sorta redundant these days, because...
3: We have won the war for popular opinion. Bush has had a solid 70% of the american people opposed to him, his administration, and his patently suicidal ideology for well over a year. A solid majority of americans want our troops to come home, and a solid majority of the american people now believe that it was a damned stupid idea to go into Iraq in the first place. What remains is to pressure congress, and I doubt that a flash animation will do much to move a congressman's heart. But on a totally non-related subject...
4: There's a point at which you can either get cynical, or go crazy. 'Nuff said...
5: Vitamins are essential. I never believed in quick fixes, until I started taking B6, B12, and folic acid, twice daily. I started this regimen two months ago, and, for me, it's literally the difference between night and day. I've had more energy, and a more positive outlook on life since I started.
While there's still a lot to be desired and addressed, these relatively cheap supplements (30 measly cents a day) have had a more positive effect in a shorter time than any prescription antidepressant I've ever taken.
The only drawback to the vitamins is that I'm sleeping more than I ever have, before- ten hours a night, even when I retire at 9 PM.
6: After working upon both the MAC and PC platforms for the past few years, I've come to hate them both, equally. Both Mac and PC are riddled with so much counterintuitive clunky Orwellian/Gilliamesque idiocy, it's amazing that these two platforms have become de rigueur for the world's computing needs...
That having been said, I'm sure that many of you will remember (or scroll down to read the original post) when I wrote about my battles with depression. After that post, I got three e-mails from people who beseeched me thusly:
"Return to the loving arms of Jesus, and he'll cure your ills."
The only other three e-mails I received that contained suggestions for better living went thus:
"Switch to a MAC, and you'll feel so much better, dude!"
I got no other entreaties, other than those two choices:
Switch to a Mac, or Jesus.
(Actually, I did get one guy who told me that I'd feel better if I found a girl and "F_ _ked the shit out of her," but that doesn't really count- one can only imagine the cleaning bill.)
Anyone who tells someone who is suffering from a life-threatening condition that switching to this or that religion will solve their ills tends to be a lunatic. Anyone who tells someone who is suffering from a life-threatening condition that the solution to their ills is switching to another OS tends to be even worse.
(And, in all fairness, anyone who advocates sexual intercourse for the express purpose of inducing an involuntary release of feces by their partner needs to find their own niche on Craig's List, because everyone deserves a bit of happiness here and there...)
7: I'm still trying to figure this one out... Check back, later...
8: Whomever needs a "Second Life" must really hate their first one. As veterans of this site might remember, I play too many goddamned video games. A few years ago, I first checked out an small, yet consistently growing online community called "Second Life." There was nothing much to report that is in any way interesting. The graphics were crap- it looked like a video game produced about fifteen years ago, the load times were horrific, and the whole experience was as turgid with excitement as a week-old banana peel. After "playing" for a half-hour, I left, and deleted the software.
However, curiosity has inexorably brought me back to this online "Virtual World" a few times (usually when I'm yet again dateless and depressed on a saturday night.) During my vacation, I read a report about spaces being sold in the "second life" world for tens of thousands of real-world dollars. My god- did I miss something?
So I download the client, sign on, and immediately go to the most popular place there- a dance club. The music is crap, I get flashbacks to "Quake 2," but there's tons of folks there getting their virtual groove on (which, in game terms, consists of right-clicking on a silver ball, and selecting "sit here." Then you sit back, and nothing happens, really.) I hang out there for about ten minutes, before I realize that this is horrifically boring- tons of people are there, but they're doing nothing. They very might well be chatting to their friends while their character is "dancing", but they're totally ignoring the environment in which they "reside." Totally schizophrenic- however, the upside was I won about 40 virtual dollars, just by sitting around (more on that, later.)
I protest, typing wildly: "This is goddamned boring!"
Someone peels off from the crowd, and offers me a tour. I accept. They guide me to what is assured to be a "kickin' spot." It turns out to be a virtual stripper bar with architecture roughly reminiscent of that which you'll find in "Quake 2." I venture inside, and find a multitude of virtual low-poly nude women gyrating in crappy, amateurish animated versions of the "bump and grind." To add to the joyful atmosphere, half of the patrons feature equally low-tech virtual strap-on genitalia of grotesque size.
Finding myself remembering my last root canal surgery with thoughts of better times, I quit the area, and head over to the second-most popular spot- a casino. At this casino (again, with architecture resembling "Quake 2,") you could play fixed versions of slots, blackjack, and the normal array of mechanized games, but no one was playing. There were hundreds of people there, but they were all just sitting around.
That's all they did- they sat around on any available surface, because for every ten minutes they sat around, they got a few virtual dollars. No one was talking, chatting, joking, or anything- the people there were doing nothing more exciting than intently monitoring their screens for a few virtual bucks that equated to less than a cent. Hell- american prisoners make more money in less time for more interesting work.
I quit the place (but not after gathering another ten virtual bucks) and then got an IM from someone whom I've known as a long-time proponent of Second Life. He assures me that he'll be able to show me the best that the place has to offer. He guides me to a place built by a WW2 fanatic that had faithfully re-built the entirety of the 1930's luftwaffe. I gaze upon what has been created and I could only type:
"This looks a lot like "Quake 2"- ya know, a monkey could produce 3d like this..."
I'm interrupted- "oh, this isn't the place I wanted to show you, follow me here..."
I follow, and find myself in a wooded glen that looks a lot like it was made out of corrugated steel and designed in "Quake 2". Approaching is a bunch of little anthropomorphic foxes, half of which had strap-on genitalia. Fortunately, before I had entered this particular environ, I did a quick search for "fart". I discovered I could buy an "action pack" for my character with the virtual dollars I had accumulated. This little plugin would cause my alter ego to belch out huge green clouds of noxious vapor, along with wonderfully recorded audio. I decided to try it out...
And was banned from the area within two seconds. I didn't shed any tears over the matter.
I went back to the nightclub, and let one fly- this was the closest thing I'd found to "fun" in another half-hour of being here. Unfortunately, the folks running the place found my actions worthy of banning- tears stubbornley refused to flow. The folks at the casino let me fart away, but then again, no one there was doing anything...
Second Life is a ghost town masquerading as a virtual community. It's truly a pity that Kurt Vonnegut's last interview was conducted via Second Life, as it pretty much epitomizes everything Kurt's luddite views condemned.
Communities require life (with all of its myriad joys and tragedies)- yet Second Life can only offer second-rate existence- one so dull and devoid of life, purpose, and character, that one can only feel sorry for those who are forced to turn to this medium for succor. It is doubtless that their real lives are probably far worse than this poorly-constructed alternate dimension.
9: Very few things in this world are equal to the joy of reading. And when I say "reading", I certainly don't mean skimming a goddamned blog, least of all this one. Do yourself a favor- go out to your local bookstore or library, and spend at least an hour browsing the shelves. You needn't choose something weighty- If you're into science fiction, grab a good space opera. If you're into romance, there are hundreds of excellent books to choose from. Horror, history, philosophy- you name it- it's there.
Above all- don't choose lightly- find something that speaks to you.
Bring that book home- turn off your computer, your TV, and your cell phone. Get a beverage, your favorite comfort food, and just lose yourself in the wonder that is the written word- and it IS a wonder... With these mere 26 characters, ten numerals, and a dozen punctuation marks, we create parallel worlds, and write testimony to all that makes us human.
10: The "Anthropic Principle" is BS... Okay, so you're telling me that an experiment that was observed had different results than one that was conducted, unobserved?
How would you know this? By the mere ACT of analysis, BOTH EXPERIMENTS WERE OBSERVED.
The conclusion of the anthropic principle betrays its own central philisophical tenet.
It's like Little Jeffy from the "Family Circus", who believes that everyone has dissappeared, when he covers his own eyes.
Goodnight- here's some music and imagery for you:
JUNE 17, 2007
It has been four weeks since I last updated, and unfortunately, it will be another four weeks before I return for regular updates. Now, for some folks, this will suck, and for the advertisers, it sucks doubly. However:
To those who will miss the site for the next four weeks: know that I am taking this time off for serious health reasons, and regret the time I must spend away.
To those advertisers who have bought blogads- fear not. I shall give you two months of free advertising, once I return.
I wish you all well, but I leave you with a few thoughts...
A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE...
I believe that Olbermann, once again, has succeeded in articulating the unfathomable disgust that we all felt in the wake of the democratic party's surrender. After an election which was primarilly about ending the war in Iraq, we saw the triumphant opposition muster only fourteen votes- fourteen, out of 51- against giving Idiot Boy another blank check for three more months of war.
If you're hoping that september will bring a sudden change- that republicans will finally see the writing on the wall, and muster the intestinal fortitude to oppose their patently insane icon, you're delusional. If you think the democrats are going to break the 20-vote threshhold by then, you're equally delusional.
This war will continue. It will continue while thousands of more americans will die, along with hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. It will continue while greater and greater ammounts of cash are flushed down the toilet. It will continue while the congress and this inept "president" find their approval ratings plunging to new depths. It will continue while the antiwar majority grows, but that majority will never find their dissent being heard, in the corridors of power.
It will continue, and continue, and continue, and there's nothing that you and I can do about it.
Now, as I typed that last statement, I could sense the oncoming diatribes from the 60's crowd that are sure to find their way into my mailbox, in coming days:
"What do you mean, dude? Me and the other flower children STOPPED THAT WAR in 'NAM, Maaaaannnn..."
Let me smash that little bit of cultural mythology to bits, right now. The peace movement in the 60's accomplished nothing- N.O.T.H.I.N.G.- in regards to stopping the war. Long after the country had turned against the war in Vietnam, Nixon kept it going- hell- he even expanded it, when he bombed Cambodia back into the stone age. The bastards who kept that war going did so, by whatever means they could, until the last helicopter took off from the roof of the embassy in Saigon.
I guarantee there were folks back then who considered the fall of Saigon a "minor setback", and were perfectly willing to continue the war, and damn the illogic of it all.
The folks who were running that war didn't give a damn what the peons thought- they only gave up on their little war game when they were beaten- not by crowds of hippies, but by the Viet Cong.
But hey- generations come and go- at the end of that war, there was a core 20 or so percent who believed fervently that Vietnam could have been won, had we bombed more, killed more, spent more, and thrown a few more young americans into the gunsights of the enemy. These folks spent the next thirty years selling the lie of a victory denied to a new generation, and wouldn't ya know it- they even found a BlueBlood shitkicker politician from Texas (by way of Maine) who bought into that load of crap. After a bit of fraud, he was installed as a president, and it was time to re-ignite the country's on-again, off-again romance with war.
And so it goes...
You and I see the war for what it is- a colossal failure- but Bush and company don't. This isn't because they don't see the same newscasts that we do, it's just that they have a completely different outlook on the matter. You and I see the utterly futile carnage and death that this war has brought, but that's just trivial, when you consider that the defense contractors have made untold billions in the past four years. Oil prices, after all, are at all-time highs, as are the profits of the energy companies. The world is pretty much united against this country, which is certain to engender paranoia and fear amongst the sheeple.
Hell- from their perspective, the war has been a resounding success...
And thus, they will not stop the war- not until they are forced to. Again, they will not be swayed by the voice of the american people- rather, they will cease their idiocy, when they've created a mess so totally and undeniably horrific, that they have no other option than to quit.
But hey- when we finally leave Iraq, there will be about 20% of americans who will believe that "we could have won that war."
If only we had tortured more, bombed more, spent more, and put more young americans into the gunsights of the "enemy," we could have emerged triumphant. This minority will vent their misery upon a new generation, and in thirty years, they'll find another ignorant shitkicker, install him in government, and the whole cycle will begin again.
And so it goes...
THANK YOU, CINDY...
I cannot say that I blame Cindy Sheehan, in her decision to leave the antiwar movement. Many of the points that she puts forward in her last official statement echo the reasons why I have gone on sabbatical.
But damn it, Cindy- thank you so much for what you've done. You've given so much of yourself to all of us, and it breaks my heart to know that I'll never be able to repay you. You were and remain a true warrior- you frightened the pants off of the most powerful man in the world, and inspired so many who felt themselves lost and alone.
When I met you at the Antiwar march in in DC a few years back, I was so overwhelmed, that I could only summon up: "Thank you Cindy."
You looked right back at me, and said- "No- Thank YOU." It might sound corny, but you don't know how much those few words meant to me.
Mayhaps, in the end, folks like me became akin to a horde of mosquitos, feeding from your seemingly limitless energy. If such was the case, I hope you can forgive us. The slander you endured from the right-wing echo chamber was so vile, it turns my stomach, to this day. The recent attacks upon you by the liberal blogosphere are even worse.
Many of us are with you in your dissapointment and anguish in light of recent events, and hope that you can find some peace in coming days.
I wish that you will look back upon your time as a public activist, and not think that those days and efforts were wasted. You changed this country- you reminded America of its conscience, and you gave courage to so many who were afraid to step forward and speak out.