Thursday, September 16, 2004

Off with her head!
If things couldn't already get worse for John Kerry, he can always depend on someone to make them that way. Especially his wife.

Now, Ter-AHH-Zuh Heinz-Kerry is just the kind of woman you would expect a lilly-livered-Francophile-metrosexual-New England-liberal (who incidentally served in Vietnam) to marry: she's a shrew. A rich shrew. And not to insult all shrews, but she has better PR than most.

Exhibiting that haughty, European attitude that gets most females of democratic bent all lathered up with wet dreams of having the opportunity to vicariously direct Presidential power via sexual organs and the power of the purse, Ter-AHH-Zuh is this season's Hilary. Think of her as one would the latest line of the same-old-been-there-done-that-retro clothing from Chanel or De La Renta. She's the new plunging neckline for this political season.

In fact, most people would, I think, agree, that if Ter-AHH-Zuh had slightly bigger balls, most of us would consider her a man and take her into an alley to settle things in the time-honored tradition. But I digress.

You can see that this is a woman used to getting her way, and she doesn't care how she does it. And following in the hallowed footsteps of the Hildebeest, Ter-AHH-Zuh just HAD to have a forum during her husband/cabana-boy's Presidential Campaign. Probably had something to do with that mysterious mortgage on the family compound in Georgetown or something. But anyway, what John-boy should have realized is that if you gave that sort of woman an open microphone, she would eventually speak her mind --- in place of what you wanted her to say. And force you to fervently pray every time she did so.

The woman leaves the reservation everytime she opens her mouth. Remember when Ter-AHH-Zuh railed about the coarseness of American politics and then told a reporter who asked a pointed question to "stuff it"? Well, in the great tradition of casting pearls before swine, Mrs. Heinz-Kerry (and notice how she kept her first husband's name?) emitted yet another gem today. In regards to the victims of the repeated hurricanes in the Carribean and the need to deliver aid to those in need, Ter-AHH-Zuh managed this pointed, observation:

(Full text lifted from

Teresa Heinz Kerry, encouraging volunteers as they busily packed supplies Wednesday for hurricane relief efforts in the Caribbean, said she was concerned the effort was too focused on sending clothes instead of essentials like water and electric generators.
"Clothing is wonderful, but let them go naked for a while, at least the kids," said Heinz Kerry, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

Ah yes, that haughty old Marie-Antionette thing.

And since John is so enamored of the French, I'll bet he's looking for a guillotine right now.

Open mouth, insert foot, Mrs. Heinz-Kerry. Or, at least have a servant lift your royal leg before inserting the regal tootsie in the imperial gob. Hmmm, children running around naked in places that are a) flooded and b) tropical. Sounds good to me. After we dry the little bastards out (the ones that don't die from exposure, mosquitos, leeches, etc., that is), we can make sure their tender skin burns in the Carribean sun for lack of a shirt or a hat. God forbid we send sunscreen or perhaps medicine to them before power is restored. Yes, let's make sure all the little tykes have PC's, a government-sponsored health insurance plan and a college education before we do something as mundane, and ultimately useless, as clothe them.

Would Ter-AHH-Zuh go naked? I doubt it, and I might kill myself if she did. Would any of her children go naked? Get serious. A Kerry care-package would probably consist of two bottles of Chateaux du Rothchilds, a wheel of Brie, table-water crackers and perhaps a small tub of beluga. Need a blanket? Forget it. Need clothing? Forget it. Priority dictates that we make sure you have cell phones, television and tanning beds before you have clothing.

John Kerry should sit down with his wife and takes his testicles back. Then he should lock the old battleaxe away to keep her away from the microphones. The man is already dying, he doesn't need anymore help.

Short Reading List...
Got a few more www's for y'all to check out. - An incredible range of columnists from the whole galaxy of opinion. You will definitely find something you like at Townhall! - The GOOD paper in New York. I still stop in to see what's happening on my home turf. - Ben a fan of Kate's for a very long time. She's sassy, she's smart, and she's an awesome read!

Monday, September 13, 2004

Dan Rather's Oops...
By now only a hermit hasn't heard of the sturm und drang caused by a recent episode of 60 Minutes II in which documents were presented which implied that:

1) G.W. Bush did not fufill his obligations as a member fo the Texas Air National Guard, and
2) G.W. Bush managed to finagle Guard duty (and subsequent preferential treatment) because of his political connections.

It took all of about 45 minutes for the documents to be debunked by what one pundit has called "a guy sitting at home in his pajamas", i.e., the blogosphere. The documents, it appears, are a forgery, and very bad one at that.

Why would CBS do such a thing? Was this a deliberate attempt to smear GWB (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)? Was this sloppy reporting at it's worst? What the hell went on here?

I'm not going to analyze the chain of events vis-a-vis on how the story got aired. It's obvious that CBS (and particularly Dan Rather) has an axe to grind with the Bushes and, let's face it, a major corporation that DIDN'T have a political agenda would be as rare as a rooster that laid crocodile eggs. CBS has been carrying water for John Kerry (or most democrats, for that matter) for decades, so let's not even go there. It's a given that CBS, or at least the people that run it or have power within it, lean democratic in their politics. Their actions and their slant proves it everytime you turn the evening news on.

What gets me about this entire thing is the arrogance. Not the arrogance that comes from brazenly defending a story you know isn't any good -- you'd only expect CBS to do that unless it was threatened by a lawsuit it couldn't win. No, the arrogance I'm talking about is the belief that no one would check up on them.

If I had to guess, CBS knew what it had, and knew that it was bad juju before they aired it. They were prepared to defend a rotten story to the bitter end because of where they expected the attack to come from --- Bush and Republicans. That defense would have been easy, with CBS simply saying that the other side was, of course, partisan, and they would be expected to have their panties in a bunch. The next logical step would have been to have Bush release all of his military records (something John Kerry won't do at all), and even if the original story was proven wrong by that, there might be something else in those records to make hay out of.

However, the attack did not come from Team Bush. It came from the Blogosphere. This is a segment of the population that most major news organizations routinely dismiss as a lunatic fringe. As far as the media is concerned, if you never went to J- school you're not a journalist, and so, not worth listening to. However, people DO listen to the blogosphere. The same people who no longer watch CBS. Or ABC. Or CNN, for that matter. They no longer watch because they know, instinctively, that the major media outlets never report "news", just their version of what constitutes news, complete with the reporter's biases and prejudices.

That the forgeries were revealed so quickly and so thoroughly threw CBS into a tizzy. They never expected to be checked up on, nor did they expect that within minutes, and before the next "news cycle" started, that they would be a laughing stock.

So now CBS is doing what Bill Clinton used to do when he got caught red-handed: brazen it out.
However, there are thousands of people, right now, pecking away at the story, one little piece at a time, and at the rate things are going CBS will be lucky if people still tune in to watch The Price is Right.

The new press (the blogosphere) has many advantages over the established media. Unlike a newspaper, items can be updated on the fly, minute by minute. Retractions in the event of mistakes do not have to wait for the next day's editions to hit the stands --- they are instantaneous. Unlike TV news, people are not presented with merely one side of a story: the side the news team decides to show. Every side of an issue can be immediately aired out, in real time. Information travels in the blogosphere, literally, at the speed of light.

CBS, if they had any decency or shame, would apologize to the public, and GWB, for making such a critical error. If CBS had any courage, they would come out and stop the pretense that they are an objective news outlet. If CBS weren't such a powerful organization, with a gazillion lawyers in it, they would have been dragged into court the day after the report aired.

But CBS doesn't have any shame or decency or courage. They definitely don't have journalists, either. Real journalists would have been damn sure of their facts and sources before they presented such a lousy story. Don't they teach that in Journalism 101 at Columbia J-school?

Sunday, September 12, 2004

To The Fallen...
For nearly 3,000 of my fellow New Yorkers who died on this day, I raise my glass and drink a toast to your memories.

To the FDNY -- you showed us what courage is all about.
To the NYPD -- you showed us what strength is all about.
To The EMT'S -- you showed us what bravery really is.
To the Port Authority Police -- you showed us what sacrifice is all about.
To the National Guard -- you showed us all what America stands for.
To the Rescue Workers -- you showed us how to care again.
To the Volunteers from All Over America -- you made us proud of our country.

To the men and women who never put on a uniform, but who did their part to make NYC such a great place -- your passing reminds us all of what we have lost.

To the Passengers of Flight 93 --- you showed us the meaning of resolve.

To your memories. Requiesat in pacem....

Three Years Later --- Part III

The rest of the planet hates us with a passion! There’s a worldwide movement afoot to kill very American on the planet because we haven’t catered to other people’s feelings. Americans don’t understand the rest of the world, and therefore, they hate us for it. Repent! The end is neigh!

Gibberish, and depending on where you hear stuff like that, its often hysterical gibberish, too.

People who fling stuff like this around ought to be a) locked up for the good of society and b) forcibly sterilized with a farm implement before they breed. Anyone that tells you that a monumental problem such as the disparity in civilization here and what passes for it in Afghanistan can be brushed away, magically eliminated, if we all just made an effort to educate ourselves and be sensitive, is usually the same person that wants you to pay taxes so that Medicare will cover breast enlargements for senior citizens. These people are so caught up in their mantra that education=understanding=peace that they’ve lost their grip on reality. Education and understanding have rarely led to peace in the history of the world. If you don’t think so, just remember that Robert Oppenheimer was an educated,peaceful man who understood the principles of physics and created the most destructive weapon ever fielded. These folks also have a martyr complex, believing that it is America that should make the concessions: Americans have to educate themselves, Americans have to be culturally sensitive, and Americans should pay for it all.

I have a novel idea, one that would literally turn such a person as mentioned above into an even bigger mass of over-emotional, quivering jelly than they are now. Get ready for it, because once the cork is out of the bottle, the head of the person sitting next to you might just explode.

I believe that it isn’t Americans that should make the sacrifice of understanding another culture, but other cultures that should put their effort into understanding us.

America literally confuses and confounds the rest of the world. They do not understand our politics, markets, educational system, business style, sports, culture (what passes for it, anyway), lifestyles, attitudes or idealism. Most of this difficulty in understanding what is, for all intents and purposes, a really simple societal model, is usually a cultural shortsightedness – not ours, but theirs.

Questions about America abound – we’ve been in Afghanistan for three years and Iraq for over a year – why haven’t we begun pillaging the country and raping the women? Well, because that’s not what we’re there for. Other cultures would do those things (like Europeans and anything that crawled out of the U.N.), but we don’t. We said we were going to these countries to eliminate dangerous, murderous regimes and plant the seeds of democracy, and we are. And when we’re done, we’ll leave. The rest of the planet sees conquest as a means of helping themselves to the riches and property of others, while Americans don’t. Conquest to us is a reaction to pissing us off, like when you bomb Pearl Harbor or attack the Pentagon with an airliner. Some societies and cultures see conquest as a way of spreading your religion (since anyone with half a brain wouldn’t normally CHOOSE your religion unless he had a sword at his neck), culture or political system. Americans don’t travel the planet pointing guns at folks who won’t vote Republican, for example. Russians, Iraqis and Chinese do. The fact that we don’t confuses them.

The fact that we live in a dynamic society, where authority is regularly questioned and held to account, baffles the imagination of your average denizen of Someotherplace. You mean you actually question your political leaders without being imprisoned? You can actually dispute the Church’s interpretation of a Biblical passage? You can write nasty things about people in a newspaper, especially when they’re true, without being shot? Science has a purpose other than propping up the illegitimate state? Well, yes, yes, yes and yes. In fact, it is because we do these things, everyday and in the open, that we are such a dynamic society. Challenging authority in a culture based upon family and clan loyalties, the rule of the strong over the weak, or disputing the established order, is often like signing your own death warrant in Someotherplace. The desire for self-preservation, even in a miserable existence, is too strong for many people to buck the system. As a consequence, they can’t see how we not only get away with it, but manage to prosper.

You don’t treat your women like a slab of meat, a baby machine or cattle? You must be crazy! No, we don’t do those things, although if you listen to the women, you wouldn’t know it. I can’t remember the last time I went to the slave market to buy my next wife, and I can’t recall ever getting a dowry for the last seven of them. Here in America, women are expected to be productive, especially since most of them have proved that they can be, and we don’t see a daughter as a useless appendage that needs to be fed to the detriment of our sons, or have her feet bound because shoes for a female is considered a wasteful proposition. I can’t recall the last time I heard of a neighbor leaving his newborn daughter on a hillside to die in order to avoid feeding and clothing her. We believe that every individual has intrinsic worth, and thus, can eventually be a useful member of society.

Anyone can be a success in America? You don’t need weapons and vast amounts of money to bribe the right people in order to get connected? Nope, not at all. Yes, in some ways, it’s best to be connected, but that’s not usually based on bribery, and we don’t take what we want by force. In my lifetime, I’ve never had an AK-47 jammed under my nose by the government. I’ve never been stopped on the street and hauled in for questioning without reason. Here, if you decide to put your nose to the grindstone, you can be anything you want to be, provided you have the talent, rather than the connections, for it. Imagine that --that your life is not being played out as some pre-ordained ordeal of caste, or that your success depends not on who you know, but what you do. Doesn’t that blow your mind? To an American, no. We don’t even think about things like that, we just do them. On the rest of this diseased rock, that concept is utterly alien. It ranks right up there with the female visitors from Venus that come here asking "Kiss? What is Kiss?" in every 1950‘s sci-fi flick ever made. Just consider this: Bill Clinton got elected twice and Arnold Swartzenegger was elected governor of California, Blacks become doctors, lawyers and corporate executives every day, despite being members of a formerly-enslaved race. Women routinely succeed in business and politics, and even become astronauts. The deaf become scientists, the crippled become academics, and the lazy even get paid for being lazy. Anyone can find success in America, it all depends on where you set your sights.

People of various races, religions and politics can live in the same city, maybe even ride the same bus, without killing each other? Most certainly can, and usually do. Technically, Americans don’t see race, religion, sex or place of origin. The government and the advocates of the Nanny state do, but real Americans don’t. We live by a simple creed – All men are created Equal. It is the foundation of our institutions, the cornerstone of our attitudes and the bedrock of our daily lives. We don’t continue to feud over the watering rights to an oasis in the desert, or automatically think of outsiders as barbarians. Religion is not the basis of our politics or our society -- it’s a personal matter. And while we may not always agree with each other on various subjects, we don’t resort to car bombs, torture and forced migrations to get our point across or impose our view. We debate, we engage in give-and-take, and then we go on with life.

These concepts literally scare the hell out of other people because they don’t understand them. Fear of the unknown, of the other, is a basis of their societies. Chinese folks fear a reversion to internal chaos and thus, for thousands of years, have practiced a Confucian system wherein all people have a place in society and automatically owe their allegiance to the top dog, in order to maintain the peace. Arabs cannot abide the questioning of authority because in their eyes, the authority came from God, and how can one dare to question or challenge God or his trusted servants? In sub-Saharan Africa, the ties of family, clan and tribe very often represent the slim difference between life and death, and so the society revolves around keeping those ties strong and not rocking the boat. Japanese folks often subvert their own well being for the good of the company they work for or as a show of national support.

Consequently, that’s why they are stagnant, backwards, bumbling and ultimately, violent societies. Any change in the status quo brings about the potential for disaster and is to be resisted violently. The fate of the tribe/clan/nation/people of God, is too great to allow exploration, to encourage the individual, to set free the mind and the being. Western ways, technology, thinking, and methods ultimately come with these societal poisons inherent in them. The poisons of television, radio, movies, newspapers, automobiles, wire hangers, steam engines, steel girders, trains, tongue depressors, inoculations, cancer research, factories, chemicals, explosives, medicine, printing presses, nylon, genetically-engineered crops, hormone-enhanced beef, airliners, computers, the internet, free markets, democracy. All, at some level, buck tradition, they mess with the natural order of things. They challenge the mighty and maybe even cause Man to believe that he can discern the will of God, and those are the things that scare people the most. If these things cannot be controlled, then they must be eliminated, because no society could survive them, in the view of a citizen of Someotherplace. The fact that ours does astounds people, some of them to the point of believing that we must have made a pact with the Devil in order to survive.

This is why we confuse the world so much – we routinely destroy established orders and remake them to suit our purposes. We manipulate Nature to ensure we’re fed, clothed and housed. We give people the time to do something other than hunt gazelles and gather grubs, and thus, they’re free to do things like think. Thinking is not a luxury the rest of the world can afford, but in this day and age, with people acting compulsively and out of ignorance, and killing while they do it, maybe the rest of the world should make time to think. And possibly, learn.