Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Porcine Pastor Plays Politics

John Hagee, the porcine pastor, has given John McCain his endorsement. This roughly translates to mean that Hagee believes that McCain is the candidate most likely to bring about Armageddon. Hagee is one of that crew that is slavering to bring about the “end times.” It’s funny (and I don’t mean funny ha-ha) that Hagee has amassed wealth and that he’s bursting his J.C. Penney suit at the seams, because it’s supposedly just as hard for a wealthy man to get into heaven as it is for a camel to get through the eye of the needle. Poor ole John fails on both counts. As for John McCain: during the 2000 election when he was running against the “reborn” George Jr. (who had incidentally put to death more human beings in Texas than any previous governor) he was brave enough to call Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell “agents of intolerance.” Now he is embracing these same agents of intolerance to further his political career. Flip-flopper? I prefer the term “whore.” What else can you call someone who has compromised their principles in order to gain power and fame? McCain initially spoke against the tax cuts for the richest citizens in this country (you know, the ones that do their banking overseas) and now he scoffs at the term “rich” and who we apply it to in this country. This man, who had been a prisoner of war in Vietnam and was tortured during his stay at the Hanoi Hilton, was adamantly against any adjustment in our laws that would allow torture. Guess what? He caved in to Bush and his demonic cronies and jumped on board when they redefined torture. Now it’s only torture if the practice results in organ failure or death. Will any of the aforementioned above cause the pale white right to make a sensible vote for once in their lives? Hell no. They’re ready to declare zygotes a life form. They ready to start stoning adulterers and gays in the street. They’re ready to nuke Iran if it will bring Jesus and his flighty crew down to pluck the saved from the soon-to-be scorched earth a little sooner. We are mere steps away from living under fascist theocratic rule. The fact that my parents have always voted for the puppets that are just there to serve the corporate interests is finally starting to create this well of sadness within me. My 86-year-old father is just like every other ignorant old white man in this country: afraid of change, afraid of anyone who looks different, or may hold different beliefs (or no beliefs.) You can rail against change with all your might, but change is inevitable. Positive change in this country will come when people finally turn off the reality shows and the forensic dramas and start to question the few in power that determine the direction of our society. Positive change will come when we stand up to the con men like John Hagee, Pat Robertson and James Dobson. Positive change will come when we collectively plaster some duct tape over the gaping holes of Bill O’Reilly, Jonah Goldberg, Coultergeist, David Horowitz, Rush Limbaugh and the other paid puppets of the corporate interests. Of course, if you already drank the Kool-Aid and are just waiting for Rev. Jim to take you to heaven then you better go vote for Walnuts and pray for Armageddon. But just remember - nothing fails like prayer.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Friday Night Rant

I read Frank Rich's column tonight - as I always do - and even I will admit that his Hillary bashing is getting a little old. But what also is getting a little old is the Clinton's impression that this nomination was a shoo-in. That somehow it was to be destiny that yet another Clinton would follow yet another Bush. Please!! I always thought variety was the spice of life. And that change is good. The Clinton machine doesn't want us to get our hopes up. They want us to believe that Hillary is ready to be POTUS on "day one." They also wanted us to believe that when she ran for senator of New York that is wasn't a step on the power ladder meant to ascend to the presidency. Anyway, I digress. I was talking about Frank Rich's column. Yes, he does bash Hillary too much, but he did point me in the direction of this great clip from Slate.com.

Sure, it's probably a little unfair to compare Hillary Clinton to Tracy Flick, but no more than comparing Barack Obama to a dumb jock. At this point the campaigns have gotten quite contentious, mainly from the Clinton machine in my opinion. Remember Bill Clinton writing off Obama's win in South Carolina, because Jesse Jackson had also won that state in the past? And the Clintonistas accusing Obama of plagiarism. The only boo during the last debate was when Hillary made the "change you can Xerox" comment. From all I have witnessed - and I've watched and read more about this campaign in the last year than I'd like to admit - Barack Obama has truly run a different campaign. He has inspired millions of people to believe that they can actually be part of the process again. This is quite an accomplishment, particularly after the U.S. Supreme Court awarded the presidency to G.W. back in 2000 to avoid any unrest in the country. What we needed was unrest and the party hacks in the black robes knew exactly that. That's why they gave us the former co-owner of the Texas Rangers and the governor who had put more people to death in Texas than any other governor in history. But all of his rich corporate buddies are richer than they were before he was in office. He claimed in a recent interview that the cost of the war - $275 million dollars per day - is not harming the U.S. economy. He believes it's actually helping the economy. This soulless piece of steaming fecal matter is our president. Compassionate conservative? I think by now we all know a contradiction in terms when we see one, like "military intelligence." The "conservative known as G.W. Bush has amassed a higher national debt than all of the previous U.S. presidents put together. He attacked a country that didn't (and couldn't) attack us. I still remember the photos from the first gulf war of the Iraqi troops who had been immolated in their trucks as they were retreating. I thought to myself at the time, do we attack our enemy when they retreat? Is that allowed in the code of conduct in the manual of war? And trust me. There is a code of conduct. I'm a veteran and know just a little bit about the military industrial complex. It didn't take me long before I realized that, as a country and a government, yes we do attack enemy troops that are retreating from the field of battle. Our armies have also killed women and children, in all of the previous wars including the clusterfuck we're currently involved in. There is always a certain amount of lawlessness in war. It's war. Rules only last so long. I think it was in Tim O'Brien's memoir If I Die in a Combat Zone, where he relates the story of the Christmas ceasefire when one of the troops was killed by a mine. So much for a ceasefire. These right wing veterans that get all up in arms when someone portrays some of the uglier aspects of war (ala Rendition, Redaction, In the Valley of Elah, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, Taxi to the Dark Side) probably still believe in the Easter Bunny. They also happen to believe in the adage "my country, right or wrong," which frankly causes me to doubt their sanity. If you don't even have the common sense to question authority and not take everything at face value then you are not being a very profitable member of society. You're living off the fat of the land, while others do the hard work. Which of our citizens are eating dust and dying over in Iraq and Afghanistan? The struggling poor and middle class kids, who have been priced out of the higher education system. They have been duped into believing that military service is a viable option. Take my word for it: when you are in the military service you are actually the property of the U.S. government. If you fall asleep under a sun lamp and get sun burnt you could be charged with damage to government property. They put you wherever the fuck they choose upon this big earth of ours and they'll keep sending you back again and again, even if that wasn't the original agreement. This is the United States - treaties are made to be broken.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Yes We Can . . . Bomb Bomb Iran

Below are a couple of videos relating to the politcal campaigns currently going on. If you follow the campaign of Barack Obama you may have already seen these videos. Otherwise, watch the top video first. That's the orginal video created by supporters of Barack Obama. Celebrity supporters, but supporters nontheless. Then watch the bottom video, which pertains to John McCain's saber rattling.

Above is the video created for the Obama campaign by his supporters. When I watched this video this evening it had been viewed 4,253,995 times! It incorporates phrases from some of Barack Obama's speeches with musical accompaniment by Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas and others.

Above is the video created using the elements of the Obama "Yes We Can" video to spoof the tired old warhorse John McCain. It's funny and yet...

The Peter Frampton Issue

You know how sometimes you can get a song stuck in your head for weeks at a time? Often it’s not even the whole song, but just a riff that keeps repeating itself over and over. Lately for me this riff has been the drum intro to Peter Frampton’s (I’ll Give You) Money. I believe that the reason it has gone into a continuous loop in my mind is that I loaded the classic 70’s album Frampton Comes Alive! into my iTunes recently. Why that particular song off of the double live album got stuck in my head I don’t know. It must have something to do with that drum intro. I had first taped the album onto 8-track, using my brother’s Capehart when a local radio station broadcast the entire album uninterrupted. That used to be a big thing back then. It unabashedly encouraged home taping. It wasn’t long before I had to have the actual double album in my hands. I can still vividly remember going to a record store in East Providence back to buy the album. It was 1976 and I was fifteen. When I entered the record store I was greeted by a stack of Frampton Come Alive! albums nearly as tall as myself. The album was a huge seller and became the biggest selling live album of all time. It was kind of a fluke since not many people had heard of Peter Frampton before Frampton Comes Alive! Before releasing solo albums Frampton had been in the band Humble Pie. He had also played on George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass and Harry Nilsson’s Son of Schmilsson. But the effect of Frampton Comes Alive! was huge. It was also a success that Peter Frampton was never able to recapture. A couple years later he was starring as Billy Shears along with the Bee Gees in the horrid movie Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. In June of 1978 he was in a near fatal car accident in the Bahamas. In 1995, nearly twenty years after his original success, he released Frampton Comes Alive II. In Cameron Crowe’s film Almost Famous Peter Frampton plays a roadie for the band Humble Pie (of which, in reality, he had been a founding member.) Crowe had written the original liner notes for Frampton Comes Alive! These days, along with Joan Rivers and Little Richard, he’s doing commercials for Geico Insurance. He’s standing in someone’s kitchen, playing his guitar using his signature piece of equipment: the TalkBox. I’m not sure if it’s a sad moment in his tumultuous career, or if we’re supposed to be laughing along with him at his obvious status as a washed up rock star. In Joan Rivers’ commercial she makes fun of her successions of plastic surgeries. Maybe the point of the commercials is self-denigration for washed up celebs. They are forced to accompany a “regular person” as that person relates their insurance story. What’s next for Peter: Dancing With the Stars?

Well, I’m hoping that I’ve now purged my system of Peter Frampton ephemera for a while and I can get on to more important things. Like Hillary vs. Obama, and McCain vs. Limbaugh. Fuck that noise! I’d rather shove a ten penny nail up my left nostril. I’m speaking metaphorically, of course.

Where for Art Thou?

I haven't written a word on my blog since the first night of my three night respite in Edmonds. Since then I've been immersed in the world of diapers, oatmeal, choosing bath toys, missing naps, sifting cat boxes, not crying over spilt milk and other mundane details of the domestic life. I finished reading Life Itself and now sometimes I keep myself up at night feeling my cells cranking out proteins and undertaking important decisions. Phrases like The Poetry of Science come drifting into my mind and settle in for a stay. Identifying myself as a "freethinker" and pursuing a vague notion of intellectualism has given me something to be excited about. It's time to start dashing off letters to the editor again. It's also time to start thinking bigger than just letters to the editor.

So a short entry just to reaffirm my commitment to maintaining the inanity of blogging.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

2 Queens and a Mini Fridge

Day one of my R&R in Edmonds. This is the second time I have stayed at the Harbor Inn here in the port town of Edmonds. I got to the hotel right around five-thirty this evening. I was initially disappointed to find out that there is not a view of the water from the hotel. In fact, the hotel is sitting amidst a group of office buildings. There is a gym back there somewhere. I’ve seen ashy blondes coming to and from their body toning sessions. I’ve seen these body conscious women as I crossed the parking lot to the Mexican Restaurant situated in the little strip mall there. I ate there tonight and it was mediocre, but I knew that going in. I am a few blocks from the pier and it’s collection of pleasure boats with cutesy names. Even closer than the pier are the railroad tracks and it’s nice to be able to hear the train go by late at night.

Jen worked last night, so she slept until three this afternoon after getting home. She performed five euthanasias last night and a necropsy on a dog, whose owner believed that her son was responsible for its death. Jen was hoping to watch Apocalypto after everything slowed down, but she had had enough blood and gore for the night. After she awoke she took Justin over to over to visit with his friend Daniel. I guess they did quite a bit of wrestling. This is the next phase is Justin’s physical development: wrestling.

After checking in and eating at Las Brisas Mexican restaurant I came back to my room. I have to admit that while sitting in my red vinyl booth at the restaurant I had to strong urge to find a local pub that was comfortable and quiet. Of course, there was a certain championship football game on today, so I’m sure that most watering holes had their TVs glued to the big media event. The restaurant did. So instead of being bombarded by noise and commercialism I opted to come back to my room and sit in a hot bath and work on a recent NY Times crossword puzzle. Tomorrow my plan is to head south to the U-district and have lunch at my favorite falafel joint and then catch a matinee of Michael Clayton. Thankfully, Michael Clayton got nominated for a few Oscars, so it’s back in the theatres.

Justin and I took a trip to Bailey-Coy on Capitol Hill this morning. I had heard from a friend that they had a few books I desired in stock. I walked out with four: The Delivery Man by Joe McGinnis, Jr., Living Shadows: Stories: New and Pre-owned by John Shirley, Irreligion by John Allen Paulos, and I found a used copy of Janet & Me: an Illustrated Story of Love and Loss by the cartoonist Stan Mack. I’ve already put a copy of Beautiful Children by Charles Bock on hold at the Edmonds Bookshop. I’m sure I’ll walk out of there with more than that one book. I must support the independent bookstores though. They’re the ones that put so much time and effort into their selection, because they don’t have the space to carry a lot of crap. All this talk of books reminds me that I haven’t read any of Life Itself today. I’m just starting the chapter on how cells divide. I think I’ll direct my 70 trillion cells to finish up this post.