James Lileks, Master Of His Domain
In the two months since I started blogging I've noticed that although I dont have deadlines, I do have competition. I dont mean to say that I'm anywhere as good as James Lileks or Stephen Green, its just that if I get an idea on which to blog, I know I have to finish it fast, or those guys will clock me in the head like Cassius Clay, and they are two full hours ahead of me in timezone and light years in writing ability. I stand in awe sometimes by what they write and how they write it.
The money quote:
"If the rightness of a cause is measured by the number of one’s allies, would Britain have been right if the US had stayed neutral in World War Two?".
Damn. Maybe I should take up whittling?
Boy, Is This Gonna Be Great!
Dontcha just dig this? I mean, here we are, in the worlds greatest Democracy, the worlds only Nuclear Superpower, and here it is, willingly putting its entire executive branch of government in the hands of people, who are sitting in living rooms all across America, watching two guys beat each other to death for the chance to get a job that will leave the winner weak and infirmed for the rest of his short post-presidency life. You ever look at a President when they start the job and after they are done with their time in office? They all come in like Steve Mcqueen but they all leave like freshly hammered dog crap. Anyone who is or was the President deserves our respect, just for surviving the experience. Imagine what its like to go to bed every night knowing there are billions of people who want to kill you and your country. Imagine what its like to read the intelligence reports that the President gets every day. Imagine what its like having to trust the commanders of every nuclear submarine, every carrier, every bomber pilot, all the while knowing that they are both commanded and flown by men, and all men have flaws.
Tonight, Kerry did fine and Bush did fine but "We, The People", did great. Thank God Kerry put up a good fight. Thank God Bush did as well, but the real winners were the American people. What did I like the most about tonight? It was a fair fight well played. No snot nosed cheap shots, no fascists street theater in the audience. Just two guys on opposite ends of the political argument banging on each other to determine the truth. We are all well served by the contest displayed tonight. At the end, they shook hands and their wives joked about wearing the same dress. It was a great scene.
All I want for Christmas is for those who lose on Election day to accept the loss and remember that you are all Americans and we are all on the same team. No one is served by undermining this contest by saying its illegitimate. Try to remember that our contribution to mankind as Americans isnt the strength of our armies but that we willingly and regularly put that military under the command of a civilian, who is chosen by average folks.
That, is a miracle, and we live in it every day.
I just love democracy. I just love election season but I think I really need to get a hobby.
UPDATE: later tonight, The old man weighed in:
"I don't understand a damn thing that Bush says, but I sure as hell know what He's doing and why, where with Kerry, what He says sounds good enough but what He does don't make no damn sense at all".
I couldn't agree more. I wonder if the simple eloquence of that statement can be translated into French?
Miami Ham Festival
I know the papers are full of talk about how there is going to be a debate tonight. As I've said before, this is not a debate, its a jointly paid campaign advertisement. That being said, we can still have fun. Following the great college tradtion of the Bob Newhart game, let's try this:
Varifrank announces The First 'Miami Ham Festival' Contest:
Commentors who leave their guesses in the comments section of this post who come closest to predicting the most correct answers with the earliest post will win the contents of my desktop "penny jar". My "panel of experts" will help me determine the correct answers.
You must post a real email address, and your answers must be in prior to the beginning of the "debates"
1. Total number of times Vietnam is mentioned :
- By Kerry
- By Bush
2. The number of minutes into the debate that Kerry mentions "This Administration" in a condescending fashion.
3. The total number of times Kerry uses "This administration".
4. The number of minutes into the debate Bush issues the first "Presidential Malaprop".
5. The number of minutes before " changing positions" is mentioned by Bush.
6. The total number of times "the Economy" will be mentioned.
- By Bush
- By Kerry
7. The number of times Israel will be mentioned.
- By Kerry
- By Bush
8. Will Jim Lehrer make his bias obvious?
9. Will there be a Bernie Shaw "kitty dukakis " question?
10. The total Number of times "evil" is mentioned
- By Bush
- By Kerry
11. Which candidate gets the first laugh?
12. Which candidate gets the best takeaway line of the evening?
13. Which candidate makes the first " Poland is not communist" type gaffe.
14. Who mentions Osama first?
15. Who mentions Saddam First?
16. Who mentions France first?
17. Who says "compassion" or "failure" first?
18. Who sucks up to:
- Florida hurricaine survivors
- Elderly voters
- African American voters
- Hispanic voters
- The "kids today"
- soccer moms
19. Which candidate first uses his wife and kids to score points with the audience?
20. Who makes the biggest surprise statement of the evening, and on what subject.
The winner will be announced tommorow as I will be at a soccer game this evening with my daughter. Interesting parallel, 3 years ago I was at a soccer game with my son listening to the Gore/Bush debates. It's been a very busy 3 years, I look back on that time like it was a billion years ago,
Once upon a time, there used to be a clique of crazed self-loathing people called "Holocaust deniers". These people were from all walks of life, some were your average trailer park trash but there were even some who were accredited academics. The Historian David Irving serves as the poster boy for the "I'm so smart I'm stupid" movement.
Their like has died out somewhat, I'm not sure why, whether its a generational thing with the passing of the WWII generation the experience of the Jewish holocaust is somewhat lower on the bigots playlists of something that needs to be perverted, since fewer people remember what the holocaust was and what it meant to the world.
Anyone in the world today who stands up and says "The holocaust didn't happen" or "Hitler wasnt a threat to the United States" is considered, and rightfully so, a self centered bigot.
Now, just to be clear, We didnt declare war on Nazi Germany to save the Jews of Europe and we didnt even declare war on Nazi Germany until after Hitler, in one of the true turning points of history, declared war on the United States. . Frankly we did very little to save the Jews. It is to our eternal shame that we stood by and did nothing. You could argue in the 1940's that no one would believe that such things were possible, but not after the 1940's. We know, We all know how far men can go in the search for power.
It was towards the end of the war that we confronted the horror of what happened in Europe, not the beginning. General Eisenhower took explicit and exacting steps to ensure that a record was kept of the holocaust. The world took steps to make sure that everyone understood what happened in places like Dachau and Treblinka, if we didn't, its entirely likely that no one would believe it. How could anyone believe that such evil exists unless confronted by the filmed evidence. The bodies stacked like cordwood, the boxes of teeth, extracted for their gold, nevermind the innocent mouths they were ripped from.
After the war was over, after the world began to put itself back together, the UN, in one of its few moments of decency, helped create the modern state of Israel out of recognition that the Jewish people of the world could not be expected to live on the "kindness of strangers" any longer. They would have one state on earth where they would not be victims by being an automatic racial and religious minority.
The collective world opinion has been and should always be that the Jewish Holocaust happened, that it was bad, and that the world should feel ashamed for not doing more to stop it. Everyone in the intelligencia looked at the holocaust and gasped at the horror, and we all learned to say "Never Again". Well, atleast we learned to use the words.
Now, Here's what I'm grappling with.
It occurs to me that today's academic intelligencia, today's media and today's Democrat party are operating in regards to Iraq almost exactly the way that the holocaust deniers did in regards to the Jewish Holocaust.
First, They deny that evil actually exists.
Today, Kerry said this to Dianne Sawyer:
"We should not have gone to war knowing the information that we know today."
Now, I'm not going to get into the time-twisting illogical connection that this statement is attempting to make, but when Kerry says something like this, he is saying it with full knowledge of the situation in Iraq before we arrived. Kerry is a Senator, he sits on the Intelligence Committee. Kerry has seen things we will never see about Iraq and lots of other places.. Frankly, He knows better. We know Michael Moore would like everyone to believe that Iraq was the world's kite flying capital before we screwed it up, but we know better. Death came easy in Iraq long before we arrived. It came in large numbers, entire towns were gassed in the Kurdistan areas, and the Shia civil war that occured after the first Gulf war was particularly bloody. Saddams security forces kept order by killing entire families at a time. I've always said that the entire run up for the Iraq Invasion, the WMD search, or any other justification went away when on the 4th day of the invasion we liberated the first of many "Childrens Prisons".
Once I heard about "Childrens Prisons", the whole reason for being there changed for me, it no longer mattered about sovereignty, or any other justifications, theres just some things that are not right and should not be allowed.
But to many in the Democrat party, the existence of such horrors is simply said to be "none of our business". It's as if to say that because it's not in the United States we have no right to say that its wrong and should be stopped. What's worse, to many more people in the Democrat party, the only evil involved is our cultural imperialism for wanting to stop the Iraqis from practing their institutions ( like Childrens Prisions ) in what ever way they see fit.
Second, Excuse the crime as misinterpretation of data.
I actually had someone argue with me that the "Childrens Prisons" were actually the Iraqi governments way of ensuring the welfare of children while their parents were incarcerated. They went on to argue that it was we here in the west that didnt understand the ways of life in the middle east and that if we in America would only try to understand the Islamic world, we wouldnt get into so much trouble misunderstanding things like the "Childrens Prision".
I was reminded of when Senator Patty Murray of Washington said that Osama Bin Laden was a hero to the Islamic world because he was building "day care centers" in the middle east. Now, for just a second, think about that and remember that in the middle east, women are routinely stoned to death for disobeying their husbands commands and ritualistic "honor killings" dont even make the news because they are such common occurances. Women are not "fast talkin career gals" in the middle east, they are farm animals that get to eat at the kids table.
Third, Misdirect the crime to other crimes that fit their agenda.
You can tell you are making headway with your argument when you get someone who says "well it was America who gave them weapons of mass distruction in the first place."
Now by way of analogy I usually have to offer this up:
OK, Let's say Dr. Frankenstein has created his monster. Suddenly, Igor gets careless and the monster gets loose and begins to ravage the the town below the castle.
Should Dr. Frankenstein:
A) Take a seat and enjoy an Martini while the townsfolk deal with the monster?
B) Grab a pitchfork and help put the monster out of his misery, side by side with the townsfolk?
Dr. Frankenstein created the monster. That means that Dr. Frankenstein has a responsibility to get rid of the monster! Doing nothing is not an option! Doing nothing would be W-R-O-N-G.
The townfolk arent going to look at Dr. Frankenstien and say "well I guess since he created the monster, hes too politically impure to help us get rid of it, I guess he has to remain neutral". Hardly. The townsfolk are going to make their decision on whether Dr. Frankenstien gets fitted for a rope afterwards based solely on whether or not he gets his ass up and helps get rid of the monster.
Fourth, Blame it on the Jews.
Today, when you hear the word "neocon", try to remind yourself, that this is the left media polite way of saying "Jew". When the first name you hear in a complaint about the Administration is "Wolfowitz", guess what? You're talking to a Bigot! A real life, sheet wearing, knuckle dragging bigot, and it doesnt matter if the person saying it has a latte in one hand and this weeks "New Yorker" in the other. The home of Bigotry can be found in every zip code.
Ask yourself this. In this election year, has anyone in the Democrat party made a clear unequivocal statement in support of Israel? Why would this be controversial? Senator Lieberman is practically a pariah in his own party for his stance on the war, and for his stance on Israel. When did this happen? If Republicans were not necessarily supporting israel, it would follow a historical norm, but Democrats?
This - is something new.
I find it hard to understand why one of our political parties is talking about the war in Iraq, as if it hasn't happened yet. There was a war, its over, we won, the Iraqis won and there are no more "Childrens Prisons", and we should all be happy. Iraq was once a net exporter of terror, and its now become a net importer. The Imported terrorists are not to coming to restablish an Islamic cultural Capitol, but to return Iraq and its resources back to the people who would use those resources to re-enslave the region. Where once was a tribe of madmen who used profits from oil to spread terror and disease throught the world, now is a burgeoning Democracy. Where once the countries surrounding Iraq lived in fear and blackmail from the head of the tribe in Tikrit, The people of Kuwait, Turkey, Jordan and yes, Syria and Iran have nothing to fear from Iraq because the head of the tribe is now an inmate awaiting trial for his crimes against humanity and his two evil sons are dead.
I find it impossible to understand why one political party is not excited at the fact that Afghanistan is less than 30 days from engaging in a free election, one in which women are given equal rights, as if it can't possibly happen. Afghanistan will soon have more rights than Russians are afforded in their country. Imagine that! Afghanistan is soon to be arguably more free than Pakistan. Imagine that! Now try to imagine the level of hate you have to have in your heart to go out that far out of your way to ignore the good news of freedom in a place thats never seen it before by a people who have known nothing but war.
I find it impossible to believe how one political party with a major constituency of Jewish people hasn't made one-single-statement about Israel. Not even to bring the awful phrase "Peace process" into the game. Israel has made a fence to keep the peace with its neighbors, but you would think that Israelis were putting Palestinians up on pikes like Vlad Dracula. Support from Democrat party for Israel? Only Crushing Silence comes from the Democrats about Israel and when Republicans give unequivocal support, Democrats only sneer in response.
So, it appears to me that there is a new generation of Holocaust Revisionists. Only its not the Jews of Europe being exterminated thats being denied, but the Shia, The Kurds, The North Koreans, and now Darfur. Apparently to the left and the current Democrat party, the color of the skin of the victim determines the level of indignity one should shed towards the crime. But even if it were the Jews of Europe being exterminated, would the left of today call Treblinka and Dachau a crime, or just an unfortunate cultural misunderstanding with "Middle Europe"?
I've Got A Bad Feeling About This...
If you live east of the Washington or Oregon, Its time to get your plastic sheeting out and get your cars in the garage. Mt. St Helens looks like she's going to give us another example of how the earth is not as solid as it looks.
Add this to the 6.0 quake in Parkfield Ca and the recent uptick in volcanic activity in Mammoth Lakes Ca, and I'd say we are probably going to get some ash out of this.
UPDATE: Thar she blows!
Real Work has interfered to keep me out of Mojave this morning. Im hoping to make the next launch in the next two weeks.
( I'm not happy about it, but I am employed, so its a good news, good news thing)
The New Model Office
So, here I am, in the middle of the busiest month in a very long time at the paying job, and I take this week to tear down my office and re-invent the whole home office concept. I am one of those people in the rapidly expanding ranks of the "Remote Worker" revolution and with that has come quite a bit of stuff. Once upon a time I wouldve been happy just to get a separate phone line, now its gone well beyond that.
One of my ongoing complaints has been monitor size. Those who work a few hours a day at a PC, a 17 inch monitor is sufficient, but those of us who work at a PC for upwards of 18 hours a day, you just can't get enough real estate on which to work. Now, of course if youre usinga traditional monitor, you will soon discover that large monitor also means large amounts of heat. Since I already live on the edge of a geographic area we call "God's Catbox", heat is the last thing I want to generate.
So, obviously, that leads us towards the LCD monitor. Now, They are nice, but let's get serious, for a 21 inch LCD monitor, you are talking about 700 to 800 bucks. For something that only serves as a monitor, it's a bit hard to justfy that for the home budget.
I also have a major beef with my office chair. Again, a few hours a day, its fine, but modern computer science is hard on the fanny. Im not saying it compares to "black lung" disease or being shot at by criminals, but there are some things about this industry that are just tough on the body.
It all started this summer when I had a chance to work in Seattle. I had to take my office essentials with me to work at the other location, it was a working vacation sort of thing, one of the real perks of being a "remote worker", your work is where you are, not the other way around. In Seattle, I was given access to an small room with a sofa, and a desk at a wonderful house on Puget Sound. After some basic work and imagination, I found myself working comfortably but without my traditional office desk setup.
That started me thinking, and I then realized that the only function that the desk served was holding up my monitor. I rarely write by hand, and when I do, its on a clipboard. Everything else is done on the keyboard. After the number of times I've broken my arms, my hardwriting is simply indecipherable,so I dont use it. If I didn't need to mount my monitor on a desk, I could work from a recliner or a sofa/recliner or any of a dozen other more comfortable locations.
That was when I read about Projectors. Of course, as your basic Demo-whore I was all too familiar with Projectors, but what I wasnt familiar with is how much the technology has changed in the last two years and both lowered the cost and increased the quality of the device.
It turns out for not much more than a big LCD monitor, I could have a good serviceable Data Projector, that could also serve as an HDTV Monitor, which would make my media PC into a very useful device.
What does this do? By having a projector as my monitor, I can have a monitor that is 72 inches wide. Since its a projector, I dont need a desk for the monitor, that allows me to replace the desk with recliner.
So, I picked up an Infocus projector and screen at Sams Club. The biggest criteria was "return policy", since there is no real way to tell how this is going to work until you actually get it into the real life work environment. The result of this little experiment? It works terrific, much better than expected or hoped it would.
So thats what I'm doing now, I'm replacing my traditional office desk and PC monitor with a Sofa/Recliner and Wall Projector. Right now, My office and the Linux LAN and all the telecomm has all been pulled out and I am sitting on boxes while I decide what goes and what stays in the "New Model Office".
Another Saturday Night
It is 38 days till election day. To Western Civilization, election day is the day we order our government to meet the challenges of the current day. We, the citizens of a democracy have our say in who shall lead us and to what the nations agenda should be. We hold our leaders accountable, we hold our public treasure under the accounting of the average common folk who decide en masse what is and what is not the right use of our public commons.
It is a miracle in history that we choose to do this. We have decided to collectively abide by the ruling of common everyday people who is best to provide the executive leadership of this Democracy. We do not serve our leaders, Our leaders serve us.
For far too much of the world, this is an upside down idea. The idea that the lowest caste of society can command those at the top is simply not done in the polite societies abroad. There are far too many in the world who believe that order is more important than enfranchisement of its subjects. There are many in this country that believe that leaving Saddam Hussien in power was a more righteous position than fighting to return the Kurds and the Shia to the brotherhood of civilization.
One person who feels this way is running for President in this country, He has the relative support of 50% of his countrymen. The other Candidate disagrees, he has the support of the other 50% of this country. Ours is a nation at war with the world and at war with itself. What is different about our country over others is that we will argure complain and throw a fit, but on election day, all the bull stops. We vote, we have our say and life goes on.
On Election day, we will choose and we will abide by the better judgement of the majority of voters in this country. They will be answering the question of should a man who cannot make up his mind about the rights and freedom of others, should be fit to sit at the desk of an office that has freed billions of people from tyranny. The man elected to the office of President during this election will be taking office to sit at a desk that once held the likes of men like Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.
Each man, faced with the horrors of war, chose to support the rights and liberty of mankind. Each man was not seen as a great and loved man in his time, but was seen by later generations to be the great men that they surely were.
What our Democracy has shown us over its history is that citizens of a Democracy are also good stewards of their Democracy. During times of strife and times of diffculty, Americans are willing to forgo the narcotic of comfort for the sacrifice and hard work that is required of maintaining our Democracy. America is not like the rest of the world. In America, we are citizens of, not subject of the government. On both sides of the political aisle We believe the words of another great President who said "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country".
Tonight is the 38th night until the night we engage in our duty for our country by the simple act of voting. We will tuck our children in, we will sit in our living rooms and talk the quiet talk of adults. We will instinctively look out at the horizon, like our ancestors did, watching for signs of an oncoming enemy.
But our enemies arent coming. Our enemies are already here.
Tonight throught this country sit the agents of anti-democracy. Men and women planted into our open society well in advance of their being used. They are not obvious, they do not wear costumes like henchmen in "batman'. More precisely, they have been chosen specifically because of their ability to blend in with average folk.
These agents sit quietly in non descript cars at the end of airport runways and calculate the distance and speed of aircraft in landing. They watch to see if the areas around the edges of airports are being watched. They work for custodial supply companies working after hours in our cities biggest buildings and our airports. They sit outside of schools and watch to see how secure they may be, they work for school bus companies. They watch and take notes and pictures and report back to their handlers. Their work goes on for years. They are patient, cool and reserved, they are not amatures, they believe that God is on their side and will reward them for helping kill the infidels, the people who until recently were their neighbors.
These agents sit at kitchen tables, creating bombs with chemicals purchased at any hardware store, wrapped in nails and rat poison, for the exact purpose of killing civilians, perferably women and children civilians. They go into the countryside to practice firing weapons, guns bought at any wal-mart with ammunition from any hardware store. They communicate on computer sytems made in Texas, on software created in Washington, on phone connections supported by satellites launched into space by rockets from Florida.
Their targets are not Airports, Airliners, Navy Ships, Air Force Bombers or Army Tanks. Their target is us.
We are free people. We are citizens of our country, not subjects of a king or caliphate. We live the way we want, believe what we want and we allow all the rights afforded to men to also be afforded equally to women and we dont even blink an eye at the blasphemy that this represents to the Jihadis.
The problem for the Jihadis isn't just that we are are free, but that our freedom is spreading. On October 9th, The people of Afghanistan, men AND women will vote. A country once known as the "meatgrinder of europe" is becoming a moderate Islamic state where women are given the enfranchisement to vote. In January 2005, Iraq, home to the cradle of civilization, recently ruled by the clan of a madman, will also vote. For those of us born and raised in the west, the simple act of voting doesnt seem like much, but to those who are not enfranchised with the liberating power of Democracy it is unlike anything we can imagine. It is like a prisoners first day outside the prison gates after a life sentence that has been commuted. Those of us living in freedom do not understand what it means to those about to be liberated to know the day is coming when they will live free. Those that control these places, the Jihadi tyrants are fully aware of what is coming and they will do anything the need to do to stop it. They will kill as many of us as it takes to break our will and if need be kill themselves in the process.
In Madrid, The Jihadis and their socialist allies succeeded in subverting an election. "One down- three to go" they said. 300 people were killed, but a Democracy was crushed with not much more than a few backpacks full of explosives. Spain gave up, and now the rest of us will pay the price.
"One down- three to go" they said. We are next. Between now and election day, this country is effectively under attack. In the last war against tyranny, Citizens of this Democracy took action to help in any way they could to hold off the enemy. Some served in the Military, Some served in factories, but all did something.
Citizens - It is now time to do something.
If you are a former seaman or crewmember or if you are on a coastal area, you should join the Coast Guard Auxillary
If you are a pilot, you should join the Civil Air Patrol
If you are anyone, anywhere you should join and work with the American Red Cross
If you are a former police officer or a fireman, check with your local police department. many of these organizations have been hit hard by deployments overseas, since many police officers are also in the national guard. Many police and fire departments have civilian auxillaries that are created to help in a time of emergency.
If you are a Medical Professional or you have had training in the medical field, Join the Medical Reserve Corps
It is virtually certain that this country will be attacked in the next 38 days. If you knew before 9/11 what was coming what would you have done differently from what you did? Then get up and do it now. The next attack is being planned tonight. Are you prepared to respond?
Update: My thanks to Leelu for the CERT Tip. Keep em coming guys.
Apparently, The "F" Stands For "Fredo"
Today was a low point in American politics and a low point in the prestige of the country. Today, an American Senator skipped a joint session of Congress that was being addressed by a visiting head of state, a Guest of the American people. If that was all that had happened you could say it was a scheduling problem or that an illness had occured, forgiveable and understandable at some human level. Unfortunately, it didn't and it wasn't. 30 minutes after our guest spoke, the Senator, a petty little man, who seems to be getting smaller by the minute, broke with protocol and tradition and chose to dress down the man while he was visiting our country. Our guest is a man who 2 years ago lived under a death sentence, a man who who's life is at risk every day for simply standing in oppositon to those who want to turn his country into a charnel house. He is a man who has put everything at risk for just the hope of a better future.
The Senator did not offer praise for the personal bravery our guest has exhibited. He did not offer to meet with the man, to offer suggestions or even offer any support for his struggle. He just snarled in his little smarmy way and talked the big talk about "needing allies",while showing the Iraqi people that he didn't mean them. To people like the Senator, all Arabs are terrorists, and how foolish we are for thinking otherwise. How foolish we are for thinking that the little brown people of the middle east would want to be free. How foolish we are for trusting the "little wogs".
While the Senator and the Democrats talk the big talk about wanting rights for women and minorities, our guest is doing it, he's doing it while being shot at, while being reviled by many in his own country by many in his religion, and most certainly, he's doing it while being reviled by the leftists around the world and in this country. Leftists, who always scream about their own rights and how they are being violated seem very quiet when the rights of others are in jeopardy. While Democrats talk about "government helping people", our guest is doing it. While the Democrats and the Senator talk about America being an example to the world, our guest is being an example to all of us of grace under pressure, of selflessness, not selfishness, of putting the needs of the many ahead of the pride and desires for power of the one. Our guest could declare himself dictatior tommorow and no one would be surprised. Instead, our guest works against the advice and counsel of the world to bring his country, in the cradle of western civilization into the modern age and civility with the cooling salve of democracy.
When I watched our guest speak to our countries government, I felt a sense of pride, in my country, in our civilization, and I felt a certain pride for our guest. 30 minutes later, I felt a sense of shame that our country could treat this man and his culture so shabbily. When the Senator talked afterwards I was just watching a small man get smaller by using every life event as a chance to bloviate about his great ideas on what he would do for the world 'if only we would let him'. It was as if all that matters to the 'Incredibly Shrinking Senator' is that his craving for attention, his fixation on "the self" is satisfied.
His words, which could be used to elevate, educate and inspire are instead used as indictment against his country and his culture. His words have given strength to those who kill captives by beheading, who deny children the use of bathrooms while they hold them hostage, only to shoot them in the back later. At every opportunity where the Senator has had a chance to be clear about the resolve of this country in the defense of liberty, the Senator has chosen instead to spread confusion, fear, uncertainty and doubt. By doing so, he's put the world at risk. He's given hope to the monsters that our will can be broken and their goals can be met.
Once upon a time, another Democratic Senator from Massachusetts ran his campaign in West Virginia Appalachian country and was inspired to help the people he found there. Todays Democratic Senator from Massachusetts sneers down his nose at the little people who foolishly hold on to their small town values. Once, a Democratic Senator from Massachusetts would say words like " pay any price, bear any burden in the defense of freedom", todays Democratic Senator from Massachusets says "The wrong war, wrong time, wrong way". He offers no plan, no solution, no direction, only critique. Much like the weak screenwriter or incompetent actor who finds great pleasure and validation in becoming a theater critic, the Senator seems incapable of leadership, but finds great pleasure at providing critique for those who show it. What is that phrase we say behind their backs? "Those who can - do - those who cant..."
It would appear that the quality of Democratic Senators from Massachusetts is not a constant in the universe. It would appear that we will not find that the current crop of Democratic Senators from Massachusets being men who will go on to inspire the world. There will be no "let them come to Berlin" moment, no "Ask not what your country can do for you" inspiration leading a generation to take up the cause of freedom around the world.
What I saw happen today was the Senator do something I never expected. The Senator has decided he will not run from the firm liberal traditions of the Democratic party, a party whos theme song was once "happy days are here again", and ran from a solid pro-american positive future platform. The Senator has decided that he will run against the United States of America.
In the movie "the Godfather" is a moment when Michael Corleone tells his brother Fredo to "never take sides against the family". Today, The Senator took sides against the family.
Today, John F. Kerry became John "Fredo" Kerry, and our world is poorer for it. At at time when our world is struggling to survive, the Senator put his own interests ahead of the interests of the country and the world. By saying what he said and the way he said it he's become a smaller man as every day goes by. Every interview, every chance to be a bigger man he's instead shown us all what a small petty creature he is. This could've been an election that showed the world the best in our country , two political parties in open debate both with positive visions of the world to be. Instead, one party openly hopes for failure of the economy, failure of armed services, failure and defeat at every turn. The people who belong to that party are so deep in hate that to show any signs of happiness or joy is seen as potentially being "good for Bush" and thus must be stopped. Shhhh, dont talk about that, It would be good for Bush...
The Senator could stop all of it, he could inspire all of us, but instead he bathes in it. Worse still, he thrives on it. He could do so much, but instead has chosen to do so little. But worse of all, he's chosen to go against the family.
In my opinion, There are a great number of people in the world who dont like Mr. Bush, but I believe there are a great number of people who do respect him. Some out of fear, some out of admiration, some even out of inspiration. I also think there are a great number of people who do like Senator Kerry, but don't actually respect him. They certainly don't fear him, I doubt that even people in his own State admire him and I have yet to find anyone who has been inspired by him.
"Fredo" does not get to lead the family. Despite his best hopes, The Don knew this would be the case.
My Guess is Hale-Bopp Is Coming Back Early.
So, first I hear that Joe Lockhart is joining the Kerry team as a communication director.
Then Kerry says this, and I think " Hey wait a minute, I think I've smelled that kind of bizarre, pointless, circular logic "coast-to-coast AM" driven claptrap from an aged and neutered cult leader once before".
and then I remembered this guy:
and it all came together. I guess this means I have to wheel the telescope out again.