Tuesday, September 26, 2006

... and back down the drain: Now Rep. Rangel and other Democrats are promising to cut funding to the war in Iraq if Democrats gain control of the House. I know Rangel isn't the Democratic House leader, and I know this would never actually come to pass if the Dems got control. But it's still sad to see reasoned debate plop back into the toilet.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wow! The Drudge Report has clips of Rep. Charles Rangel and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi lambasting Hugo Chavez. Two of the most shrill and outspoken critics of Bush have recognized that a foreign leader, or "thug" as Pelosi calls him, has crossed way over the line.

That is fantastic. That isn't even so much a defense of President Bush as just a call for common decency. Pelosi and Rangel are telling Chavez that if he wants to be taken seriously, he has to act like an adult.

Personally, I don't care that Socialist sociopaths like Hugo Chavez don't like Bush. That just makes me like Bush more. So Chavez's comments didn't bother me. He was an embarrassment to himself and his country -- sounding more like a freshman protester than the chief executive of a South American nation. Bush is Satan and he smells bad? I know junior-high school kids who are more clever.

We still have hateful hacks like Cindy Sheehan and, apparently, much of the United Nations who align themselves with Chavez. Those people have lost all credibility with me long ago. But kudos to Pelosi and Rangel for remembering to be an American first and a politician second.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Bubblin' Crude: Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi praised the Bush administration for using the power of the presidency to quickly bring down gas prices after they temporarily spiked over the summer. She realized that Bush and Cheney's connections and experience with the oil industry gave them an insider's perspective on how to cut the cost of crude.

We have two oilmen in the White House. ... There is no accident. It is a cause and effect ... A cause and effect.
Oh, wait. My bad. That's an old quote from Nancy at a press conference in April complaining about the high gas prices. Strange she's being so quiet lately. Maybe she took a course on supply and demand and realized that the president cannot control oil prices. Or maybe she read a newspaper and found out that the people who do set those prices for the most part are Middle Eastern despots.

Okay, back to work.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Fighting Back: Pope notes the violent history of Islam. Muslims respond by killing a humanitarian nun and burning things.

One thing we generally agree about the Islamic terrorists is that they are usually PR savvy. They use global media to their advantage. If a Muslim child gets killed or a milk factory gets destroyed during the course of Western military activity, they exploit it -- even as the terrorists target children and civilian infrastructure. They exaggerate and tell lies about mistreatment and violence to generate sympathetic news coverage.

So why would Muslims respond to the Pope's condemnation of Islamic violence with more Islamic violence? Why murder and incite riots when this underscores exactly what the Pope is talking about?

Because they want people to believe it. They know that their only real weapon is fear. If they moderated their approach and appeared reasonable, they would be ignored by the world. But because any verbal or written criticism -- even one as innocuous as a cartoon -- will incite a violent reaction, they propagate that reputation in order to extend their influence.

While there are also some angry reactions from moderate Muslims, much of the violent protests are instigated by terrorist groups, and Islamic despots are fanning the flames of hatred. They can viciously criticize other groups, such as Jews and Christians, and never expect such a reprisal. But by overreacting to every criticism, Islamofascists actually increase their power as we react in fear.

This strategy seems to have obvious short-term gain but long-term failure. As such, we shouldn't be afraid to say what we think, lampoon what we want, and criticize those who deserve to be criticized.

This is a major front in the War on Terrorism. We haven't been asked to sacrifice much for this war, simply because of its complexity of the operations. That's too bad, because in this war, the terrorists are targeting ordinary American civilians in a clash of civilizations.

But we can fight back by defending freedom of speech at all costs. We should make movies, draw cartoons, and express ourselves without fear of violence. Then the terrorists lose their power and effectiveness.

Friday, September 15, 2006

I Will Survive: There's been a lot of talk about the new season of the Survivor reality show. This time the teams will be segregated racially. Of course, people have different reactions to the controversy. After all, it is just a TV show.

I'd assume, though, that many African Americans will root for the African American team, many Latinos will root for the Latino team, and many Asians will root for the Asian team. Nothing wrong with that, it only seems natural.

Any white people out there going to announce that they are openly rooting for the white team? Seems like the type of thing that could get you in trouble. That's kind of understandable, considering the history of white racism in this country. But it's also a double standard.

As for me, yeah, I'm white, but I never watch the show, so I really don't give a damn.

If you really want to get my attention, do religious Survivor. Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Atheists.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

oops: Murder suspect accidently released from jail. Five days ago.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Base Five: Everybody is commemorating and remembering the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The media is showing a rerun. The president is giving a prime-time address to the nation. And the terrorists even released a video.

It still perplexes me what makes five a more anniverserial number than four or six, especially since we've been commemorating the attacks on September 11 every year since they happened. This version of instant nostalgia seems to be a new thing in an age of omnipresent media and ubiquitous communications.

The 9/11 attacks made me more angry than sad. What really depresses me now is the national split regarding the War on Terrorism. There is as much hate between the Right and Left as there is towards our enemy. The Left accuses the Right of exploiting the tragedy for unnecessary actions. The Right accuses the Left of appeasing the terrorists. Neither of which is true.

We were united in the moments after the 9/11 attacks. I still remember members of both parties of Congress on the steps of the Capitol singing an off-key rendition of "God Bless America" as a sign of unity. There was America in a nutshell -- imperfect but strong and proud.

In no way should the War on Terrorism mean that we put all debate aside and follow political leaders blindly. Republicans and Democrats have both generated controversy, and that should be addressed and discussed.

But the absolute hatred between Democrats and Republicans is completely counterproductive. When the next terrorist attack occurs in our country -- and it will happen, regardless of who is in charge -- I would like to believe that this country would unite once again to fight our enemy. Hopefully it doesn't take a repeat of 9/11 to do that.

Update: Along the same lines, our political "leaders" have seemed to accomplish little else except turning Americans against each other. After the attacks, few people blamed our government for failing to stop the terrorist attacks. Now almost half the country blames the Bush administration. About the same percentage blames the Clinton administration. This isn't even about crackpot conspiracy theories of a controlled demolition of the World Trade Center by our government or a ridiculous "docudrama" fictionalizing the events leading to 9/11. People on the Left are blaming Bush for 9/11, people on the Right are blaming Clinton. We should put the blame where it belongs, on Al Qaeda.

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