Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday's Random Thoughts

Easily Confused Englishmen

Some English archaeologist named Dr. Parker Pearson has now concluded that Stonehenge is an ancient burial ground for old English VIP's some 2,500 years ago. What a load of nonsense. Everybody knows that Merlin magically transported Stonehenge from Mount Killaraus in Ireland in the mid 5th century. Duh. "Parker Pearson." Isn't that Spiderman's real name or something?


Movies!

Paramont's new Indiana Jones movie is a gigantic hit, which gave me pause. Am I the last person to know that Paramount bought Dreamworks? Also, it's a "tentpole season" movie. What is a tentpole season? Well, it means the action/adventure movies that are released in the summertime. And how old is that guy who plays Indiana Jones, anyway? Oh, and word is that the movie totally sucks, but will still make a ton of money. Just like Jurassic Park. I'll pass.

On the other hand, we rented a good Adam Sandler flick called Reign Over Me, with Don Cheadle and Jada Pinkett Smith (who looks fantastic), plus Liv Tyler. It's not a tentpole flick. Two thumbs up.


My wife and all of the neighborhood women are going to see Sex and the City. While I think the show was pretty funny, overall I found the Carry Bradshaw character to be kind of a pathetic loser. This perspective just makes my wife mad at me.

More Thoughts on Hillary and RFK

Hillary referred to RFK's murder on June 5, 1968 as an historical reference point for some nominating contests "going well into the summer." But looking at the calendar, I noticed that summer is from June 22nd to September 22nd. Something about a solstice and an equinox.



Summer's Almost Here!

Guess what color is "in" this season?

Inspiring Woman of the Week

This is bodybuilder Marjorie Newlin. Marjorie has been bodybuilding for 12 years. Since she was 70. Marjorie is 82 years old.

Least Inspiring Woman of the Week

White House Press Secretary and confirmed stupid blond Dana Perino. Dana, among other nonsensical responses to questions and shamelessly illogical rationalizations for insane White House policies, didn't know what the Cuban Missile Crisis was when asked about it by a reporter.

One!

Out and In
  • Bottled water is out. Tap water is in.
  • Unilateralism is out. Multilateralism is in.
  • Invading Iraq is out. Invading Venezuela is in.
  • John McCain is out. Ron Paul is in.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Greetings From Sunny Florida

It's Vacation Week! So, I've been out of the loop on the news until last night when I checked in. I was disappointed to see mostly the same old, same old going on. But I'll endeavor to blog on.


Dateline Orlando - Boy is it hot! And tacky. I think that really the town that we are in is called Kissimmee, but it's part of the whole Orlando area. And here we have travelled to take the kids on the rides at Universal Studios, and then to the Kennedy Space Center. So far we are very happy with the resort we are staying at, as well as Universal. For my money, Universal is an easier and more pleasant day than Disneyworld, which I've been to several dozen times. So, a thumbs up for Universal!

Orlando seems like a sad and horribly fake, plastic replica of life, but once we are settled into our little corner of it, we have a good time. Our little corner this week is a timeshare resort called Summer Bay, which is quite pleasant. The timeshare crowd tends to be an ethnically diverse group, aged from young families to seniors. What they (we?) have in common is that they are middle-middle class and well fed. Very well fed. I'm feeling downright thin down at the pool, which is nice for me.

Our gals at poolside.

Slow News Week

Apparently the big news this week was made by that little fella who used to do President W's press briefings. Not the tall, obnoxious guy from Fox who got cancer. The one before him. Scott McLellan, the George Costanza of the Bush administration, and he is now a #1 Best Selling Author! Well, hooray for him! I mainly remember McLellan for his embarrassingly sycophantic "goodbye" press conference, where he practically wagged his tail for W's approval, after having just been fired. McLellan also had a unique talent for looking like a little fat bald man, when in fact he was not bald. Apparently, now that he's been out of Darth W's circle of influence for a while, he's realized just how cheaply he sold his chubby little soul, and is trying to make amends with this confessional book. Too late! You're doomed, my fat little mouthpiece.

Scott's little book


McLellan's fall from Grace is significant in that it illustrates a very serious problem that is rampant among our government servants. A fundamental misunderstanding of loyalty. Mr. McLellan still does not understand that he did not work for Mr. Bush. Rather, he worked for the American people. His duty was not to Mr. Bush, but to the United States of America. He still, to this day, misstates that his duty during his six year tenure as White House Press Secretary was to "advocate the President's position." That is exactly wrong. His duty was to be a truthful intermediary between the President and the American people. That mindset is similar to the type of misconception of duty that we hung German and Japanese soldiers for after World War II. So, despite this late and somewhat lame effort at redemption, Mr. McLellan is morally guilty guilty guilty. What spiritual penalty he might pay, I am not qualified to say.


Separated at Birth?


Unemployable warmonger attorney Paul Wolfowitz

English Prime Minister Gordon Brown


The Neverending Story

Imagine my surprise and disappointment to find that Hillary Clinton is still running for President. Especially surprising, the press appears to be still covering the story, although with a decidedly funereal air. Is anyone really still interested? Frankly, Ron Paul is far more interesting at this point.


So what's keeping this stale, old, tired story alive? A bunch of "super" delegates who haven't announced their votes yet. Keep in mind that even though these folks are really super, they are still supposed to represent Democrats, possibly even you. So, if any of them are from your state or congressional district, or somehow are connected to you, call them up and tell them to get off of their seats and announce their vote. This primary election campaign has been going on for a year. If they can't make a decision by now, then they can't handle the responsibility that's been given to them. For a list of uncommitted super-delegates, you can click here: http://www.politico.com/superdelegates/ .

One interesting tidbit is that the hot brunette who is always at Hillary's side, Huma Abedin, is reportedly dating Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York. That's nice.





And the Libertarians have nominated Georgia's Bob Barr as it's Presidential Nominee. He should actually provide some interesting tidbits before this is over. As a funny sidenote, Democrat and former US Senator Mike Gravel switched to the Libertarians at the last minute to try to grab the nomination. He failed. Probably because he is reportedly older than John McCain, though written birth certificates were not used in those days so nobody can be certain.


Libertarian Candidate Bob Barr
That's it for today.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

P.S. for Hillary

Hillary has the power to fix her RFK fiasco. She can make it better with a full and sincere apology, given formally (not in a supermarket aisle.)

Nobody wants this thing to go unresolved. So she should step up, do the right thing, and most folks will accept it and move on.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Monica & Stefi & Hillary & Barack - Assassination Chat

Mr. Rogers Taught Me To Say, "I'm Angry. I'm Very Angry."

Remember when Monica Seles was the number 1 ranked woman tennis player in the world? It was 1990 to 1992. She had displaced Stefi Graf, the German woman who had revolutionized the game with a much higher, faster, and more muscular level of play. Then, at a match in Hamburg, Germany, a fan of Graf's ran onto the court during a match and stabbed Monica in the back, right between the shoulder blades. Gunter Parche said he did it so that Graf, his fellow German, could become the number 1 player in the world again. Stefi Graf, indeed, became the number 1 player in the world again, just as the hit man planned. He was not sentenced to any time in prison, and was released.

Monica Seles was never the same. The damage was done.

So, today we have Hillary Clinton, hero of the uneducated white folks of Appalachia, who has been "hanging in there" in the Democratic nomination process, because "anything can happen" between now and the Democratic Convention. I've always been more than a little sceptical of exactly what this "anything" meant. In the business world, we'll flatly tell a key person that we need to know everything that they know and are doing "in case they get run over by a bus." It's both repugnant in it's frankness and frank in it's practicality. Of course, what we really want to do is decrease any individual's leverage in becoming a unique and invaluable commodity in the business. Was Hillary in fact simply maintaining her place as second in line in case Barack got run over by a bus? Or the equivalent?

Well, that's not what she would say. She would say that she's trying to convince the remaining delegates that she is the stronger candidate. Of course, her being decisively beaten in the primary process makes this a curious assertion to those of us who are fond of logic and reason. Nevertheless, one could reasonably view the primary season as not over til it's over, and so everyone is entitled to run all the way to the finish line. Personally, I occasionally run a 5K or 10K road race. But the idea of actually winning never enters my mind. I consider it a moral victory if I can finish while running the entire distance. So, in my mind, I'm happy to let candidates run the entire race, even if it seems obvious that they don't have any real chance. And so it was with Hillary, for many of us I think.

But . . . there were moments when something seemed wrong. Now, those moments seem ominous.

Perhaps looking at Hillary's exact words on why she's hanging in there will enlighten us.

"My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. You know I just, I don’t understand it. "

Well, now we know that it would indeed be a bad idea for Hillary to be negotiating directly with our nation's antagonists. She is unable to control, and won't take reponsibility for, the words that come out of her mouth.

So, what exactly is Hillary thinking "can happen?" A James Earl Ray moment? Maybe she's feeling lucky?


Political Assassin of MLK

Of course, Hillary immediately clarified that she didn't mean to suggest any harm upon Obama. And she issued a statement that, "I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation and in particular the Kennedy family was in any way offensive."

That's not an apology. That's a load of crap that says, "I'm sorry is you are so over-sensitive that you get upset by my plain speaking of the truth." That's insulting to the people that you just offended, it is offensive by any completely objective standard, and it blames her verbal victims for being so mentally weak as to be offended.

"If" it was offensive? Is she so obtuse that she doesn't even realize what she's talking about when she talks about the Kennedy assassinations? It's not some theoretical occurrence that happened somewhere far away. And she should be smart enough to realize that what it can lead to, in this election, is one of her nutty white supremacist supporters figuring out that he just got the signal to proceed. It has happened before and it can happen again.

There is no "if" about this. It is real. I was 3 years old when this happened. As an Irish-Catholic kid growing up in Massachusetts, Jack and Bobby Kennedy were like Gods to me. And it still makes me want to cry to think about them now, forty years after Bobby was murdered.

This is the last straw for me. She must not be on the ticket. She must not be a part of the Obama Presidency.

If anything like this happens this time, Hillary will have blood on her hands.

Friday's Random Thoughts


Funny Pictures

Is it just me, or does McCain's nose look like a penis in this photo?



Dickface?


Told You So

SAN ANGELO, Texas - In a ruling that could torpedo the case against the West Texas polygamist sect, a state appeals court Thursday said authorities had no right to seize more than 440 children in a raid on the splinter group's compound last month. The Third Court of Appeals in Austin said the state failed to show the youngsters were in any immediate danger, the only grounds in Texas law for taking children from their parents without court action.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, issued a statement defending the raid, saying it removed the children "after finding a pervasive pattern of sexual abuse that puts every child at the ranch at risk." Of course, they have not actually charged anybody with abusing a child yet.

US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit


Screw the Veterans - and Obama too!

No new GI Bill for you, GWOT vets! Suckers! You guys didn't really buy all that "support the troops" bullshit, did you! You are sooo punked. And what about Obama and Jim Webb trying to boost the GI education benefits so they would actually cover tuition at a state university? Hah! Did you see how silly old John McCain made Obama look for taking it all so seriously? Old McNasty basically called Barry a pussy-ass for never enlisting himself. What an old hoot he is!


Veterans with Bush

So, really, do you know why the Pentagon doesn't want to give vets more education benefits? It's because they think that if the soldiers really can afford to get out of the Army and go to college, they will! And then where would we get fresh meat for cannon fodder in Iraq? Kids these days are getting too smart to enlist. Better to keep the ones we have poor and dependent, and on the rotation until they're worn out. The fact that John McCain is opposing better veteran's benefits is shameful.

Of course, John McCain had his entire college education paid for by the US Navy, before he had ever served a day. And he didn't get in on merit. He got in because his Dad was an admiral. This hypocrisy reeks.

McCain's Alma Mater - Courtesy of You and Me



Gas Price Updates

Filled my car tank up for $91.91. Filled my boat tank up for $185.00. Something more than supply and demand is occurring here. I don't know what, but I definitely smell something fishy about the whole thing. Yes, I know the world's demand for oil is increasing. But not this rapidly.




Movie Update

Oliver Stone has cast Richard Dreyfus as Cheney in the upcoming movie, W. Interesting choice. I'm a little doubtful that Dreyfus can convey the level of evil that Cheney exudes. We'll see. Frankly I think he's looking more like John McCain these days. But with a less phallic nose.

The guy from Jaws.



Offbeat Election News

Apparently there is a contentious political convention going on in Denver right now! The Libertarians have as many as 15 Presidential contenders, including Georgia's own Bob Barr and, possibly, former tv personality Tucker Carlson. I'm not sure whether the Tucker Carlson thing is just a big practical joke, but it's a rumor with legs so far. Bob Barr is a former Clinton impeacher who has become a big privacy rights advocate. (My wife and I always thought he might be black.) For a good story on Barr's candidacy, check out Bloomberg for Lorraine Woellert's story.

Tucker with signature bow tie.

White Man Bob Barr


Vacation

The worldview family will be in Orlando, every parent's dream, next week. Just doing our patriotic duty to keep the economy moving.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Raiding the Treasury & Other Wrong Things

Most Boring Sounding Crime Ever - The Farm Bill

Oh boy! A post about the Farm Bill! When Gail Collins wrote that she was following it, I assumed she was joking.

If you're like me, hearing the words "farm bill" results in
  1. Dozing off
  2. Changing the channel
  3. Turning the page
  4. Squashing any secret, vague political ambitions
  5. All of the above.
But apparently it's really important! Really! Who knew? Not me. One reason why it's so important is that they only do one every five years. So it affects policy for a fairly long stretch.



The U.S. Treasury - Where the money used to be.

Word that I'm hearing is that The Farm Bill (of 2007 - it's a year late, natch) is a $307,000,000,000 (that's billions) vote buying scam. Most of it goes to farming companies in the form of subsidies. But a significant piece also funds food stamps and does some good things, too. But this Farm Bill is almost universally being called a shameful example of pork barrel vote buying in an election year. But hey, it's a farm bill. That means it must be about growing food! Doesn't that just sound like the government is doing something to make us all healthier? Apparently that's not the case.


What galls me is that the sugar industry get subsidies, tariff protection, and price supports. Why? To benefit "farmers" like the Fanjul Family, Palm Beach billionaires who not so vaguely remind a lot of people of The Godfather. Sugar? Didn't we all pretty much decide that sugar was bad for us? Why are we subsidizing sugar?


Sorry kid, no prom date for you.




Subsidizing sugar reminds me of the tobacco growers who were looking for government handouts when all of the "no smoking" rules were being passed. They tried calling themselves "family farmers" being forced out of business by oppressive government regulation. I don't know how that story ended, but everyone I knew pretty much equated tobacco farmers with crack dealers. Except that today we know that they would all vote for Hillary over Obama, cause she's white, even though Barry is the one who smokes.


Mr. Cool

But I digress . . .

Weirdly, at least for me, George Bush and John McCain are this bill's 2 most vocal opponents. So, good on them. Credit where credit is due, and all that. Still, I suspect that they have an angle here somehow.

$307 Billion is a good chunk of change. For that kind of money, we stay at war in Iraq for a whole nother year. Of course, we'll do that, too, whether we can afford it or not. You know, because it's patriotic and supports the troops, etc.

Obama basically said that the changes that the bill did accomplish were the best that we could hope for this time around. "This bill is far from perfect. I believe in tighter payment limits and a ban on packer ownership of livestock. As president, I will continue to fight for the interests of America's family farmers and ranchers and ensure that assistance is geared towards those producers who truly need them, instead of large agribusinesses. But with so much at stake, we cannot make the perfect the enemy of the good."

Eeeeew! He's so articulate! Having vented, that's probably the last I'll think about the Farm Bill for another 4 or 5 years.


War Crimes - Gitmo

Sorry about that!

This hairy German is Murat Kurnaz, and he spent nearly 5 years in the American prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He didn't look like this when he was "arrested" or "captured" or "kidnapped" or whatever it is that they call it these days.

He looked like this:

Taliban?

5 years can be a long time. Mr. Kurnaz was arrested by Pakistani police during a security stop of a bus, and turned over to the American Army for a $3,000 bounty in October 2001. Then he was sent to a prison in Afghanistan for 3 months, then to Gitmo in February 2002. But the real hoot here is that by late 2002, the Americans had already determined that Mr. Kurnaz was NOT a terrorist, and offered to return him to Germany, but Germany declined to take him. At this point in the timeline, officials have successfully fuzzed up the facts so that responsibility will probably be impossible to assign, which of course is the goal. But Mr. Kurnaz was finally released on August 24, 2006. When he got home to Germany, his own government did not want to admit it's own guilt, and so investigated him again. The press there dubbed him the "Taliban of Bremen." But he was ultimately cleared officially. Now he has been busy testifying to government committees in the US and Germany. So it's a happy ending. Except that his wife divorced him while he was in prison.

Internet Notes

So I'm looking at Craig's List and I notice that under the "For Sale" section there's a category called "Baby & Kids." Sounds like a cheap and lazy man's way to start a family.

My kids now like to download pictures of cartoon characters and play games on the Nickelodeon site. So I'm starting to worry about what else they might run into on the web. Is there a "safe" (meaning porn-free) internet service out there that anyone knows about?

Related quote (possible folklore alert) - "If you want to stop people from becoming like me, don't burn Catcher in the Rye . . . burn Hustler." - Ted Bundy, sadistic serial killer of women.

I'm currently the high bidder on e-bay for something I didn't tell my wife about. Talk about anxiety.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Worldview Mid-Week Update

Newsies Still Getting It Wrong - Both CNN and Politico continue to report that Hillary "won" Texas, despite Obama getting 99 delegates to her 94. What's up with that? Maybe the Atlanta Braves "won" last night because they got more hits.

Best Comment on Hillary's "White Strategy" - If she had any character at all, she would reject the votes of bigots and say as John Edwards said, “If you’re planning to vote against Senator Obama because of his race, I don’t want your vote either”.
— Posted by sparky, in the NYT, 5/21/08, commenting on Timothy Egan's blog

Clinton Campaign Strategy Manual

GOP Election Expectations this Week - The Republicans head man in the House of Representatives, John Boner of Ohio, predicted last month that Republicans would gain Congressional seats this November. This week he has backed off that bold prediction, but said he still "hopes" that Republicans will win more seats. Boner is the House Minority Leader, but is best known for bursting into tears whenever a bill to fund the Iraq War comes up for debate. He is also a staunch suck-up to President Bush. Under his leadership, the Republicans have lost three interim elections in a row, so he'll probably be shit-canned from his leadership position fairly soon.


Rep. John Boner, R-Ohio


Privacy Rights Lost this Week - Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, famous for his verbal temper tantrums, whining about his paycheck, acting like a pompous jackass, and his pro-privacy jurisprudence, has a scaredy-cat son, Christopher, who's teaching creative writing at the University of Virginia these days. Well one of Christopher's students, doing his assigned homework, wrote a very scary story about murder and suicide. It was so scary that Christopher ran and told the Principal. Then they had that scary student expelled, and sent to an insane asylum for the weekend. I suppose it didn't occur to them to actually teach the student about what was apparently so wrong with his writing. He must be one hell of a good writer to scare people that much. Or Christopher must be one hell of a pathetic little pussy. Or perhaps both. There's a lesson in here somewhere about privacy rights, or censorship, or the state's misuse of mental health labels as punishment, or something, and I think the news is bad. Maybe Christopher should check out the crazy scary books by Stephen King, or James Patterson, or Thomas Harris, or Bret Easton Ellis, or . . . well, you get the idea. You can check out the WSJ story here.




News That Might Be True - Speaking of the WSJ, this clip of Rupert Murdoch was making the rounds a couple of weeks ago. I can't tell if it's real or not, but I hope it is. I can't imagine Michael Bloomberg using this kind of language. In case this upload doesn't work, CLICK HERE to link directly to it on Youtube.

video

Madman Murdoch

Odd Political Dream of the Week - Speaking of bored newsmen, imagine this: Hillary convinces the Super Delegates to give her the nomination. Obama says "Adios" and teams up with Michael Bloomberg for an independent third party run. That would be cool. Plus, Bloomie's white, and pro-business, and may even be Jewish! All groups that Obama could use some help with.



The New Dream Ticket


Odd Political Moment of the Week - A meeting of Russia's opposition party, The Other Russia, headed by Gary Kasparov, was briefly interrupted by this flying dildo. To my practiced eye, it appears to be a western dildo, as Russians tend not to go in for circumcision. However the copter is a Russian contra-rotating rotor design, not generally used in the US or Europe. So we may have here a unique marriage of the best of Eastern and Western technologies.



Flying Dildo - No known relation to Rep. Boner


Separated at Birth? -



Wally

Tommy

Oldie of the Week - Spill the Wine - by Eric Burden & War, 1970. I used to listed to this in a "fort" with my friends when I was 10 or 11 years old on a transistor radio I got for Christmas. It was our favorite song. We had no idea why we liked it so much. I still love it and I'm still not sure why. The rumor was that it's about taking heroin. Though now I think I detect a vaguely Christian theme that hadn't noticed before.

Lyrics

I was once out strolling one very hot summer's day
When I thought I'd lay myself down to rest in a big field of tall grass.
I lay there in the sun and felt it caressing my face.
As I fell asleep and dreamed,
I dreamed I was in a Hollywood movie,
And that I was the star of the movie.
This really blew my mind,
The fact that me, an overfed, long-haired, leaping gnome,
Should be the star of a Hollywood movie...

But there I was....
I was taken to a place, the hall of the mountain kings.
I stood high upon a mountain top, naked to the world,
In front of every kind of girl...
There was long ones, tall ones, short ones,
Brown ones, black ones, round ones, big ones, crazy ones...
Out of the middle, came a lady,
She whispered in my ear something crazy,
She said...

"Spill the wine and take that pearl,
Spill the wine and take that pearl,
Spill the wine and take that pearl,
Spill the wine and take that pearl,

"I thought to myself what could that mean?
Am I going crazy or is this just a dream?
Now, wait a minute,I know I'm lying in a field of grass somewhere,
So it's all in my head,
And then...
I heard her say one more time...

"Spill the wine and take that pearl,
Spill the wine and take that pearl,
Spill the wine and take that pearl,
Spill the wine and take that pearl,"

I could feel hot flames of fire roaring at my back,
As she disappeared, but soon she returned.
In her hand was a bottle of wine, in the other, a glass.
She poured some of the wine from the bottle into the glass,
And raised it to her lips,
And just before she drank it, she said...

"Spill the wine and take that pearl,
Spill the wine and take that pearl,
Spill the wine and take that pearl,
Spill the wine and take that pearl."

The Liberal Lion in Winter

Senator Edward Moore Kennedy has been Massachusett's Senator for over 45 years.

He has been a consistent bastion of liberal ideology and strength for all of those years, especially importantly during those years when it was very difficult to be a liberal in this country.

As a College Democrat, I was a very low level volunteer for his 1980 Presidential Campaign against Jimmy Carter, as well as his 1982 Senate re-election campaign. I first met him in person in 1982 when he did a train whistle stop speech at the antique Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts train station, where I had arranged for the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Band to play. He thanked me in his brief speech, which was thrilling for me, and then we all boarded the antique passenger train and met him personally while riding the rails to Hyannis. He was a very affable fellow, radiating a joyful affection for everyone there, with what appeared to be a tinge of nervousness at trying to speak with us individually without ignoring anyone. I liked him.

He's called Ted by most people, Teddy by his family, but his close supporters refer to him as "The Senator." He's been The Senator for as long as most of us have been alive, since 1962.

We'll pray for him here and wish him well in his fight with this terrible illness.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The New York Times Does It Again

The Pride of the Gray Lady

NYT Op-Ed Columnist Bill Kristol

I really can't even stand it anymore. Was The New York Times ever really the "paper of record" as people like to say? Or is that just a line of marketing bullshit? Whatever it was, it's really just another fishwrap rag now. For the latest on this unbelievably bad political hackiness, click here to read Glen Greenwald's scathe. No sense in my repeating it all here, but I'll summarize. Kristol tries to belittle Obama's campaign fortitude after the West Virginia primary, by saying that he cannot recall a "single recent instance" where a candidate lost a primary by 41% and then became his party's nominee. Apparently neither Kristol nor any of his editor friends at the Times could remember as far back as 3 months ago when John McCain lost the Utah primary to Mitt Romney by 85%. These are newspeople? Or reporters? Or something?

This is so demoralizing. We need to know that somebody out there is upholding standards. Who are our pillars? Where are you?

This would never happen at Bloomberg.

Anyone know how this guy managed to get a Harvard Ph.D.?

Robert Byrd Endorses Obama - More Primaries

The most senior Senator in the United States, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, has endorsed Barack Obama for President. Well, so what? Good question.



Senator Robert Byrd, West Virginia

Byrd is a legend and hero among all of the ignorant, uneducated, "working class" white people that don't seem to want to vote for Obama no matter what. These are the George Wallace Democrats, now known as the Reagan Democrats, who consistently vote for whichever party promises to cut their unemployment benefits, medicaid, and public school funding, while sending their kids off as cannon fodder to protect oil company assets throughout the world.

But Byrd may be able to help turn that around. He's a big deal to Appalachian dwellers. He's also a smart and savvy politician, as well as a pretty wise man.

Why did he endorse Obama? Probably because he sees it as the sensible thing to do. But the stated reason, and the best reason, is that Obama had the good sense and foresight to see just what a mistake the Iraq War II would turn out to be. And so did Robert Byrd.

Today the Kentucky and Oregon primary elections will be held. Byrd can have some influence in the Kentucky primary, which Hillary is expected to win by a large margin. We'll see how much influence Byrd has in his neighbor state. Back in colonial times, Kentucky was considered the most beautiful and bountiful part of the New World. It has a lot going for it, but it also suffers a lot of poverty and backwardness. Obama will have to penetrate this to be the leader he wants to be.

University of Kentucky Spokesperson and Kentucky Jewel Ashley Judd

Here is Byrd's speech on the eve of America's war in Iraq.

Sunday March 23 2003

I believe in this beautiful country. I have studied its roots and gloried in the wisdom of its magnificent Constitution. I have marvelled at the wisdom of its founders and framers. Generation after generation of Americans has understood the lofty ideals that underlie our great republic. I have been inspired by the story of their sacrifice and their strength.
But, today, I weep for my country. I have watched the events of recent months with a heavy, heavy heart. No more is the image of America one of strong yet benevolent peacekeeper. The image of America has changed. Around the globe, our friends mistrust us, our word is disputed, our intentions are questioned.
Instead of reasoning with those with whom we disagree, we demand obedience or threaten recrimination. Instead of isolating Saddam Hussein, we seem to have isolated ourselves. We proclaim a new doctrine of pre-emption which is understood by few and feared by many. We say that the United States has the right to turn its firepower on any corner of the globe which might be suspect in the war on terrorism.
We assert that right without the sanction of any international body. As a result, the world has become a much more dangerous place.
We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance. We treat UN Security Council members like ingrates who offend our princely dignity by lifting their heads from the carpet. Valuable alliances are split.
After war has ended, the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq. We will have to rebuild America's image around the globe.
The case this administration tries to make to justify its fixation with war is tainted by charges of falsified documents and circumstantial evidence. We cannot convince the world of the necessity of this war for one simple reason. This is a war of choice.
There is no credible information to connect Saddam Hussein to 9/11. The Twin Towers fell because a worldwide terrorist group, al-Qaeda, with cells in over 60 nations, struck at our wealth and our influence by turning our own planes into missiles, one of which would likely have slammed into the dome of this beautiful Capitol except for the brave sacrifice of the passengers on board.
The brutality seen on 11 September and in other terrorist attacks we have witnessed around the globe are the violent and desperate efforts by extremists to stop the daily encroachment of Western values upon their cultures. That is what we fight. It is a force not confined to borders. It is a shadowy entity with many faces, many names and many addresses.
But this administration has directed all of the anger, fear and grief which emerged from the ashes of the Twin Towers and the twisted metal of the Pentagon towards a tangible villain, one we can see and hate and attack. And villain he is. But he is the wrong villain. And this is the wrong war. We will probably drive Saddam Hussein from power. But the zeal of our friends to assist our global war on terrorism may have already taken flight.
The general unease surrounding this war is not just due to 'orange alert'. There is a pervasive sense of rush and risk and too many questions unanswered. How long will we be in Iraq? What will be the cost? What is the ultimate mission? How great is the danger at home?
What is happening to this country? When did we become a nation which ignores and berates our friends? When did we decide to risk undermining international order by adopting a radical and doctrinaire approach to using our awesome military might? How can we abandon diplomatic efforts when the turmoil in the world cries out for diplomacy?
Why can this President not seem to see that America's true power lies not in its will to intimidate, but in its ability to inspire?
I along with millions of Americans will pray for the safety of our troops, for the innocent civilians in Iraq, and for the security of our homeland. May God continue to bless the United States of America in the troubled days ahead, and may we somehow recapture the vision which for the present eludes us.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday Morning Movie Reviews

  1. Speed Racer - Ignore what you have heard. This movie totally rocks! It helps, a lot, if you watched the old cartoon series as a kid, because the movie is fast paced with lots of flashbacks, so figuring out character relationships can be difficult. It also does this cool "ghost car" thing where Speed imagines that he is racing the ghost of his dead brother, Rex Racer. My two boys, aged 8 and 5, completely loved it. Partly because it has a monkey "Chim Chim" (who's really a chimpanzee) as a pet of the Speed's little brother Spritle. Susan Sarandon looks fab as Speed's Mom, and John Goodman does a good "Pops." Christina Ricci is nearly unrecognizable as the cute and tough Trixie. And that guy from Lost, Matthew Fox, is great as Racer X. Speed is played by Emile Hirsch, whom I've never heard of, but kind of has an Elvis thing going for him. We saw it at IMAX, which made it even better. My kids asked questions about it and laughed about the funny parts all the way home. The race scenes are like watching fireworks.


  2. The Mist - This was a "what's on par-per-view tonight?" selection at the Worldview household, the grown-up half of the family appreciating a good, scary flick. Unfortunately, good, scary flicks are hard to come by these days. This movie is sooooooo baaaaaad that it should not be allowed to call itself a movie. It has absolutely no redeeming quality whatsoever. SUCKS SUCKS SUCKS SUCKS. An actress named Marcia Gay Harden is in it, and I've heard of her before but I can't remember why. And after this piece of crap wasted 90 minutes of my life, I'm not inclined to spend 2 more minutes finding out.


  3. Untraceable - A Diane Lane flick that my wife picked up at blockbuster due to slim pickings there. Ms. Lane has been in some really bad movies lately. Not as bad as The Mist, but overall a real stinker. It's an "internet thriller," which means lots of tense typing scenes, unsavvy characters who are bewildered by high tech terms like "IP address" and "host server." while we viewers are generally presumed to be idiots without web access. Oh, also lots of unnecessary gore that does nothing to further the plot. Sadly, this film had plot elements that could have made it a good "who done it?" or "cat and mouse" flick. But close-ups of key boards, over-acting, and a bad script sink it.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday's Song - Ball of Confusion

Listen to The Temptations sing Ball of Confusion for free by clicking here.

Go ahead. It really rocks!

The Temps

This 1970 Temptations Hit shows that nearly 40 years later we are still struggling with many of the same issues our parents or grandparents were struggling with back then.

Maybe the lesson here is that the struggle is constant, and each generation has to take the baton and run with it for their leg of the Race to Grace. So, no more whining that our parents left us a messy world. Let's get moving.

Lyrics

1, 2... 1, 2, 3, 4, Ow!

People moving out, people moving in.
Why, because of the color of their skin.
Run, run, run but you sure can't hide.
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
Vote for me and I'll set you free.
Rap on, brother, rap on.

Well, the only person talking about love thy brother is the...(preacher.)
And it seems nobody's interested in learning but the...(teacher.)
Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration,
Aggravation, humiliation, obligation to our nation.

Ball of confusion.
Oh yeah, that's what the world is today.
Woo, hey, hey.

The sale of pills are at an all time high.
Young folks walking round with their heads in the sky.
The cities ablaze in the summer time.
And oh, the beat goes on.
Evolution, revolution, gun control, sound of soul.
Shooting rockets to the moon, kids growing up too soon.
Politicians say more taxes will solve everything.
And the band played on.

So, round and around and around we go.
Where the world's headed, nobody knows.
Oh, great GoogaMooga, can't you hear me talking to you.

Just a ball of confusion.
Oh yeah, that's what the world is today.
Woo, hey, hey.

Fear in the air, tension everywhere.
Unemployment rising fast, the Beatles new record's a gas.
And the only safe place to live is on an Indian reservation.
And the band played on.

Eve of destruction, tax deduction, city inspectors, bill collectors,
Mod clothes in demand, population out of hand, suicide, too many bills,
Hippies moving to the hills.
People all over the world are shouting, 'End the war.'
And the band played on.



Great GoogaMooga, can't you hear me talking to you.

Sayin'... ball of confusion.
That's what the world is today, hey, hey.
Let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya.Sayin'... ball of confusion.
That's what the world is today, hey, hey.
Let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya.
Sayin'... ball of confusion.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Worldview Weekend Update

Word of the Day - Palimpsest - this word popped up in Wonkette, describing Barack Obama as a young man, ironically of course, because everything Wonkette is ironic. It's technical meaning is a document, usually parchment, that has been erased so that it can be re-used for new writing. It also appears to have a rare colloquial meaning to describe something having layers of complexity. So there you have it.

Word of the Week - Bullshit - Senator Joe Biden's response to President Bush's speech in Israel, where he (Bush) indirectly called Barack Obama an "appeaser." This just makes me really like Joe Biden.

Disappointment of the Week - Senator Arlen Specter, calling for a congressional investigation of the New England Patriots trying to read the signal calling of the New York Jets. WTF?

Politically Promising Development of the Week - Making Nice - Hillary seemed to talk nice about Obama in her West Virginia victory speech. And Obama talked nice about Hillary in his Michigan speech. Has the lovefest begun?

If you're an Imus fan in ATL, you can listen to his show on the internet here: http://www.imusonair.com/

Coincidental Headline of the Week - Why Women Gladly Date Ugly Men (And Probably Even Prefer Them) - I saw this headline on an internet article the same day I saw this picture of Christina Aguilera and her husband Jordan. I'm just sayin'.

What a girl wants.

War News of the Week - Washington Post - COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Sen. John McCain predicted today that the Iraq war would be won and most American troops would come home by 2013 if he is elected president, joining his Democratic rivals for the first time in offering a timeline for a large-scale military withdrawal.

Environmental News of the Week - CO2 - CO2, also known as air pollution, is at it's highest level in the history of history, at 387 ppm. Apparently that's really high. And really bad.


Sports News of the Week - The Creekside Church Green Lightning soccer team finishes up it's season with back to back games Friday night and Saturday. They are undefeated for the season! Of course, they don't actually keep score because they are only 5 years old.

And in baseball, the 7 & 8 year old First Redeemer Tigers (who do keep score) finished the regular season undefeated with a blowout of the Wildcats on Tuesday night, and start their 3 day Championship Series on Saturday afternoon!

Summer is here. Don't forget the sunscreen!