Sunday, July 31, 2005

"Hanoi Jane" joins anti-Iraq effort... bad news for protesters!

Once upon a time, Jane Fonda was HOT! I won't deny it. We didn't watch "Barbarella" because of the storyline. We watched it because we got to see her writhe around naked during the opening credits and enjoy the pleasures of "old fashioned sex".

Unfortunately, she ruined it by getting involved with politics. She went to Vietnam and publicly supported the communists... where she earned the title "Hanoi Jane".

My father never went to Vietnam, but as I've mentioned on previous occasions, he's seen his share of combat when JFK was in office. He firmly believes that Jane Fonda should have been arrested and charged with treason the minute she came back from Vietnam. And I happen to agree with him on it. It's one thing to oppose and protest the Vietnam War here in America. That's your constitutional right. It's another thing entirely to fly over to the enemy and engage in active propaganda against your own government's activity.

But Fonda managed to skip the treason charge... possibly because of her Hollywood fame, possibly because of her Washington friends, or possibly because Tricky Dick Nixon had to get caught up in his own FUBAR games. For whatever reason, she managed to duck the treason charge, and her wealth allowed her to avoid the wrath of military veterans who have been calling for her head on a pole.

Just this past year, Fonda gave a "non-apology" for her "Hanoi Jane" days. It was her way to supposedly put that controversy aside. Uh, sorry to break it to you, Ms. Fonda, but here's a news flash: it didn't work.

Well now Fonda is announcing that she's siding with the people protesting against the Iraq war. And that's really bad news for the anti-war protesters.

It's one thing to have Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins and that crowd protesting the Iraq War... it's another to be joined in by someone who basically should have been charged with and convicted of treason. That's like getting an endorsement from Bennedict Arnold and being PROUD to accept it. That's not good for your cause.

And to be honest, I really don't know why people are still screaming about the Iraq War being "unjust" when it's basically ending! Look, the issue over whether the war was or wasn't "just" basically ended when Saddam Hussein was captured. It's a MOOT POINT! It happened!

Yes we still have troops there and yes they are still in harms way. And we will still need to have a presence there for quite a while. We broke it, we bought it, and now we have to fix it. And we CANNOT simply pack up and leave. Period. Even if you objected to the Iraq War in the first place, you should agree that justice demands that we do everything possible to get the Iraqi people back on their feet before we leave. If we don't then we run the risk of turning that place into another Iran... or, worse yet, another Taliban-style Afghanistan.

My position on this issue has always been that this war was INEVITABLE. It was going to happen anyway. Saddam Hussein was simply too much of a bastard in that part of the world to NOT let him go unchallenged. If he kept his big mouth SHUT after 9/11 like other world leaders did and didn't publicly gloat about giving huge sums of money to terrorist groups, he wouldn't have caught the attention of the Bush Imperium. We would have focused all of our attention at finding Osama bin PigBastard. But no, Saddam had to be a prick. He had to go looking for a fight, hoping that the Imperium would simply ignore him. He must have thougth that he was still dealing with Bush Senior.

Sure, I wish it would have happened after we found Osama and stuck his head on a pole overlooking the White House rose garden. We made two colossal mistakes in the past. We let Saddam stay in power in 1991, and then Bubba Clinton pulled a "Tricky Dick" trick in 1998 and declared that conflict "over" after dropping a few bombs. Bubba didn't have the stomach to do what needed to be done at the time. The Imperium obviously did.

Oh, and sorry "Hanoi Jane", but it's best if you stuck to doing the only thing that you're good at doing... making movies.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

"This is not a sales call..."

"This is not a sales call..."

So sayeth the pre-recorded message on my answering machine.

OH BS! Don't give me that crap!

Yes, this a telemarketer's bold-faced LIE! They are LYING to you when they claim that it is "not a sales call" because that's what it is! Only they're just telling you to call them so they can give you their sales pitch.

Yes, I'm on the "Do Not Call" list... and it's been over a month so the list IS in effect. So basically what these guys are doing is breaking the law.

You know, maybe I should just go ahead an get one of those "Telezapper" devices. The federal telemarketing law sort of put those devices out of business, but if these bastards are going to weasel their way around that law, then maybe it's time to bring similar counterattack devices back into the market.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

“Average Joke”: One “win” does not solve the problem

For those of you who haven’t checked out this week’s column entitled “Still More Cruel Intentions”, please do so now before reading any further….

So the third “Average Joe” show finished with a “win” of sorts. A “Joe” actually came out the winner.

But before you pull out that snide comment about me being "off base", let’s go over a few things….

First, two pretty boys and two “Joes” went with the beauty to Tahiti for the last phase of the competition. That in and of itself was a change from the other two con games. Then on the way to the airport, the beauty was re-introduced to four of the rejected “Joes” who had makeovers. One of them was selected to go on with the finalists to Tahiti. Again, another change in the con.

After all five of them went out on dates, the two “Joes” who made it this far got cut, and one pretty-boy had to go as well. That left it with one pretty-boy and the remade “Joe”.

In other words, NONE of the "Joes" won the beauty's heart! They ALL got rejected! The only "Joe" who made it through to the final was the one who had to get made-over first!

Second, the beauty had help making her final selection this time around! That’s right, both finalists got to meet Mom! And after Mom met with both finalists, you know that Mom told her daughter whom to pick! Again, this wasn’t the case with the other two con jobs.

Third… guess what wasn’t present this time around? The private jet and the tour bus! Those little subtle reminders of each candidate weren’t there when the beauty made her decision.

And fourth, they gave an extremely hokey ending, jokingly showing what some of the candidates did afterwards. This wasn’t something that they showed in the other two shows, so I’m hoping this is NBC’s way to ending the whole series once and for all!

In short, guys, NBC did A LOT of coaxing to get a different result… and it doesn’t excuse the fact that this was still a con job on the contestants. Hey, even con artists have to let someone win once just to sucker the rest into the game!

So what did we learn?

We learned that the only way an “average guy” can hook up with a beauty is…

… to get a makeover.
… to be removed from all of the subtle trappings of being “average”
… to compete against a pretty boy who was a real dumbass when not around the beauty
… and to get help from the beauty’s mother… and from network producers.

In other words, we’re STILL SCREWED! And the whole series is still just a cruel joke!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Quick thought...

Here's today's quick thought, courtesy of the folks over at the First Amendment Center...

"If some of these televangelists knew that Francis Bellamy, the author of the Pledge of Allegiance, was a committed Socialist and drummed from his Baptist pastorate because he called Jesus a Socialist, they would damn his pledge from the pulpit and try to ban it from school books."

John Seigenthaler
First Amendment Center founder, 2004

Actually... I don't think that the evangelicals would condemn the pledge simply on the basis of Bellamy's socialist beliefs. Quite the contrary! I think that they would continue to push for the pledge and soft-pedal Bellamy's beliefs.

I mean, if you REALLY think about it, what many of these evangelicals want is nothing short of a theocracy, and there's not much that separates socialism from theocracy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

NASA: Welcome back to the game, guys!

Well NASA finally got back into the space game today with the successful launch of the Shuttle Discovery.

NASA officials and the Bush Imperium would LIKE you to think that the delay was simply because of the agency’s commitment to safety… but that’s not really the case!

NASA was prepared to override a safety measure… a faulty fuel gauge that scrapped last week’s planned launch… just to get the shuttle in space within a certain time frame. That gauge warning didn’t go off this time, but they would have launched even if it did. Why would they be willing to do that if they were fanatically committed to safety?

The truth of the matter is that NASA NEEDED to have the shuttle go up! They had to prove that they were still in the game!

First, China is preparing their own space program, because they want to put a man on the moon. Now how would you like to see Neil Armstrong’s US flag being waived about in Beijing? Boy wouldn’t that just suck!

Second, NASA was basically hobbled by a bureaucrat who used the Challenger disaster of 2003 as an easy excuse to scrap putting human beings in space and just stick to using robots. Sure the Hubble Space Telescope brought us some GREAT pictures of space! Absolutely breathtaking stuff! But it needs a few upgrades to keep it in space. After the Challenger disaster, Chief Ostrich Sean O’Keefe basically said that the Hubble can go to hell, because he wasn’t going to risk human lives to go fix it! So all of those astronomers who enjoyed seeing the stars and the origins of the universe were basically screwed.

Third, we were reneging on our own obligation to get the International Space Station up and running! The only vehicle capable of bringing needed parts for the station is the shuttle! We had to go to Russia just to change out the personnel! Is that sinking in yet? WE HAD TO TURN TO RUSSIA FOR HELP!

But there was one more reason why NASA NEEDED to get the shuttle up and running… because now it had competition!

Yeah, you remember SpaceShipOne, right? The first ever private space plane that successfully went into space and came down safely not once, but THREE TIMES in a couple of months! A civilian actually took the stick and flew the first private spacecraft into space!

Now think of the implications of that! In the time that it takes for NASA to get a space shuttle ready for launch, SpaceShipOne could...

  • ... go up to the Space Station, bring the crew some takeout food and pick up their laundry
  • ... fly back down
  • ... go BACK up to the Space Station, give them their clean laundry and some pizza
  • ... fly back down
  • ... go BACK up into space, fly up to the Hubble, fix the telescope and slap on a Microsoft logo on the side
  • ... and then come back down before the shuttle crew is even in Florida for launch!

THAT is a HUGE slap in the face for any government administrator.

THAT is why “Ostrich” O’Keefe had to go, and why the shuttle NEEDED to be up in space. We can’t just send robots out there. We gotta get up there and make space our home as well.

That’s not to say that we can’t improve on certain things. Yes the shuttle fleet needs to be replaced, but we can’t abandon our obligations until NASA “gets around” to coming up with a replacement vessel. We need the Hubble repaired and kept in service until we can get a new one sent up. We need the station to be completed and fully manned. We need to construct the first ever space-only vessels so we can return to the moon and send men and women to Mars. We can’t do these things sitting on our butts and wasting money deliberately smashing satellites into comets.

So to the folks at NASA, welcome back to the “final frontier”. You were missed.

And to the Discovery crew, good job!

Now get back to work!

07/28 update - Well I guess there are more ostriches in NASA than just the Sean O'Keefe. Some chunks of foam fell off the fuel tank during launch... from an area that NASA overlooked and thus didn't overhaul.


Well now the fleet is grounded again until NASA can figure out how to fix this problem. The Discovery is fine. They just did something that they should have done with Columbia back in 2003, which was to let the Space Station crew give them a once-over. Discovery made a spectacular flip for the cameras, allowing NASA the means to check out the shuttle to see if there is any damage.

And now the air-fluffed alphabet soup media is harping about just mothballing the entire shuttle program!

Yo, Tele-Puppets! If you have a new shuttle program hidden in your stuffed shirts, now's the time to pull it out and share it with NASA. Otherwise shut the hell up and stick to watching "Apollo 13" on DVD!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

That's why it's called TERRORism

So there were four more bombs and four more blasts in London today. But the blasts were the blasting caps. The explosives themselves didn't go off.

Dud, you say? Maybe. Someone terrorist screwed up? Probably.

But don't say the operation was a failure... because it clearly wasn't.

Look at what happened. Unlike the first bombs that went off, Londoners panicked. There wasn't that calm disposition that commuters gave after the first attack. They didn't calmly walk home. They scurried! They ran!

That's EXACTLY the kind of reaction the terrorists want! They WANT people to panic. They WANT people to run about like headless chickens. They WANT people to live in fear and dread. They WANT people to be TERRIFIED. That's why it's called TERRORism!

I have said this before and I'll say it again... Osama bin PigBastard does not have to do one single thing in order to destroy America. His people do not have to plant a single bomb after 9/11 in order to get what he wants. All he has to do is give the Western world the impression that he's going to do something big and horrible. Raise some "chatter", give out a few carefully-phrased messages to hint that something BIG is about to "happen", and then sit back in whatever hole in the ground he's hiding in and watch as his victims do all of his work for him! He'll see people scurry about like scared mice, frantically doing anything to prevent themselves from being harmed... and then he'll laugh his ass off.

Not all acts of terrorism are physical. Not every bomb has to go off in order for all of them to do their jobs. There's a lot to be said about psychological terrorism.

As I learned in studying Shotokan and reading the works of Master Funakoshi and Sun Tsu, the most dangerous weapon a man can have is the one that they're born with... their brain!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Rehnquist: I’m not leaving

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist has made it official… he’s not leaving. Not now and not anytime soon. Period. So stop asking about it!

Well he may not be planning on leaving, but it’s becoming quite clear that SOMEONE wants him out the door. And that someone is the person continuing to spread rumors to the air-fluffed media of his imminent departure.

Well let’s see… WHO could spread such rumors?

Well who has a history of spreading rumors in the past?

Could it be… Darth Rove???

Hey, I’m not pointing any fingers here… but it certainly sounds like something Rove would do to gently nudge a second Supreme Court justice out the door so the Imperium could secure its hold on government.

Well, whomever it is, I hope that Rehnquist’s not-so-subtle message serves as the end to the rumor-mill. It’s bad enough that the GOP gets to replace ONE Supreme Court Justice with the departing Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. We don’t need to also worry about TWO replacements PLUS figuring out who would become the new Chief Justice!

BTW: this certainly throws one of my previous rants, where I predicted that it would be Rehnquist retiring and O’Connor becoming Chief Justice. Well, my third eye isn’t perfect.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

TV Watch: "Exposed" video

The folks over at TV Watch (of which I am a member) have a new video out that you should take the time to see. It's about 2mb, so if you don't have broadband access you can always download it.

It's a pretty good summary of the battle over free speech, although TV Watch doesn't really name names. And they really need to, because the people who CLAIM to be acting on behalf of families and children are the ones who are ones pushing for censorship! They are the ones who hate freedom and hate letting parents make decisions on their own. They are the ones who think that the GOVERNMENT should be making those decisions for the parents... but only as long as THEY are the ones who control government.

Anyway, check it out, and feel free to vent or sound off here.

Friday, July 08, 2005

London's Attack

I woke up yesterday morning to the breaking news that the terrorists struck in London. It was a coordinated attack, the kind that we've come to expect from groups like Al Qaida.

Now the one thing that I noticed about this attack that I don't know if other people have picked up is how the people in London responded. On 9/11, Americans all across the country panicked. Businesses closed up, people went home... In London yesterday, there was no mass evacuation. Businesses didn't close up. People didn't panic. When it was time to go home, they hit the highway instead of the Underground and walked. Walked, mind you, not run.

There are, of course, a few differences between Brits and Yanks. Most of us Yanks have become long-distance commuters... with myself as no exception until just a few months ago. We think nothing about living thirty or forty miles away. It would take us HOURS to get home if we had to hoof it.

But the biggest difference is that we Americans aren't used to terrorism! We've always thought it's something that happens "over there", not just down the street. Cripes, we even have a hard time recognizing acts of terrorism when they happen! (Here's a hint: women's clinics and adult video stores do not just spontaneously break out in flames.)

On the other hand, the Brits know all about acts of terrorism. They've had to deal with the Irish Republican Army and all of its factions for generations. I'm sure some commuters were even mumbling to themsevles "bloody IRA!"

Plus the British have a much higher concentration of Muslims than here in America. They've had to deal with the fact that not all Muslims are hardcore bomb-making terrorists, or even supporters of terrorists. Most Muslims are hard-working people who are just struggling to get through this horror show called life, just like everyone else. The problem, then, are the extremists who see nothing but blood and glory... no different than the Christian terrorists. (You remember Eric Robert Rudolph, right?)

Most Americans only have one kind of experience with Muslims... and that's what they see on TV... "over there". They have a hard enough time trying to accept the fact that there COULD be people who aren't Christians! Then they go to their Christian churches and have their Christian priest or reverend talk about how "God's grace" somehow "protects them" from the evils of the world and that somehow makes us "better" than the rest of the world. And it's precisely that kind of delusion that caught us unprepared for 9/11.

Prime Minister Tony Blair earned points for leaving Scotland and the G8 Summit to go to London to see what was going on, and then he went back to the G8 after promising that the terrorists will not win. Well it's a little hard for the terrorists to win when they can't rile the people up like they can in America. I suppose they can blame the IRA for that.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Fourth of July!

Well it's been an overcast day for the most part here in the ATL area with the occasional thunderstorms and downpours, but that didn't stop people from trying to enjoy the Fourth of July. We had the Peachtree Road Race in the morning, and parties all over. Heck, we even had TWO major firework shows at the same time! One at Lennox Square and one at Centennial Olympic Park. Nice shows, by the way. Times like these makes me glad my TV has picture-in-picture.

But for this commentator, this was definitely a time to sit back and chill for a bit. Sorry, but no hot dogs, no burgers, no BBQ this time around. It's celebration by TV for me. Besides after several years of watching the fireworks on Lake Lanier, it's just not the same.

One of the local TV stations interviewed the curator of the "Atlanta Museum of Patriotism", which was filled with patriotic exhibits and symbols. He talked about how patriotism isn't "taught" in schools anymore... and I hate to say it, but he's got it all wrong.

Patriotism is something that has to be FELT. You can't force it on people, nor can you EXPECT people to automatically have it just because you WANT them to. You have to encourage it. You have to give them a REASON to be patriotic... and I don't mean "because I told you to" or "because you're a traitor if you aren't". You have to bring it out of them.

Patriotism is a PASSION... and you just like you can't MAKE someone love you if they don't want to, you can't MAKE someone feel patriotic if they don't want to be. That's why patriotism is defined as the "LOVE of your country", not the "LIKE of your country" or "ACCEPTANCE of your country".

And let me tell you something, it's hard to feel any kind of love of country when you have all of these faux patriots running around saying "our country, love it or leave it", and "with us or against us". It's hard to feel any kind of love of country when you have politicians playing their games and passing laws and regulations that contradict everything you believe in and then wrapping themselves up in Old Glory and claiming to speak on behalf of the whole country. Would you fall in love with someone who did that to you? Probably not.

By the way, for the record, I do love this country. I wouldn't be ranting about the freedoms that we take for granted if I didn't love this country. I wouldn't be a card-carrying Libertarian if I didn't love this country. The difference is that I know when that love of country turns into an abusive relationship.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Some quick thoughts...

Hey guys... just a few quick words about some of the recent events.

Bush Junior's Speech - Come on folks, did you REALLY think that he would say anything other than to stay the course when it comes to Iraq? And we really don't have too much of a choice right now. I'm sorry, but we cannot back out of this matter as much as we would want to. We can't just "declare victory" and get the hell out of there like Nixon did with Vietnam. We can't just say "we won" like Clinton did with Iraq in 1998. There are places that we bombed the hell out of that we can't fix because the terrorists won't let us fix them! We fix them and the terrorists bomb them again.

It's not a matter of them "wanting" us to be there. We broke it, we bought it, and now we have to fix it. And let me tell you something, if we really did pull out right now and call it a war, those same liberals who screamed and shouted at us to pull our troops out would be saying that we "shouldn't have left the poor Iraqis defenseless!" So there's really no way to satisfy those complainers.

If the Iraqi people want us to leave, then they need to vent their anger and frustration at the TERRORISTS and the people who support them. We can't fix what the terrorists keep on breaking!

Iran's Presidential Quandary - Is the man who just got elected Iran's new president one of the terrorists from the 1979 hostage crisis? The Bush Imperium is saying no, but you have to admit the guy does bear a striking resemblance!

Then again, the Imperium has every reason to deny the claims, because if it IS the guy, then we have an obligation to bring him to justice. That means... yes... firing up the war machine again and taking aim at Iran.

By the way, this also makes for a great barometer to gauge if we go to war against Iran. If the Imperium starts to change its mind and claim that this guy IS one of the '79 terrorists, then you know that the war is pretty much on.

Georgia's Smoking Ban - The State of Georgia now has a smoking ban in effect. Restaurants can either ban smoking or they can ban anyone under 18, because this is all about "THE CHILDREEEEEN".

So now the media is making a lot of fuss because some places are banning the kids and keeping the smokers! Please! The restaurant and bar owners have every right to make that decision.

By the way, we really need to differentiate between a non-smoker and an anti-smoker. A non-smoker is someone who doesn't smoke.

An anti-smoker is a moralist who will not stop until tobacco itself vanishes from the face of the earth. They have come to hate tobacco with a passion, and, by extension, anyone associated with the plant.

It's perfectly okay to be a non-smoker. I'm a non-smoker. Most people who don't smoke are non-smokers.

It's NOT okay to be an anti-smoker. Anti-smokers are as much of a threat to society as anti-abortion or anti-sex moralists. Anti-smokers are extremists. The only reason why they haven't resorted to using guns and bombs is because they've been able to get the government to do their dirty work.

Live 8 SUCKS! - Hey, great concept, but having it hosted on MTV and VH1 is a lesson in frustration, because you have thost damned VeeJays cutting in with their crap and pre-recorded social messages instead of showing the performers! These channels are supposed to be about MUSIC! Here's live music, and the producers are trying to force-feed us GARBAGE! And I don't mean the band led by Courtney Love!

The Live 8 people and Viacom should get on over there and bitch-slap those damned producers! You want a cut-away? Here's a nice cut-away of the producers packing up their boxes and heading on out to the Unemployment Office while the Backstreet Boys sing "Bye-Bye-Bye!"

By the way, good luck trying to get the G8 leaders to think about Africa. It's not going to happen. They're more concerned about their own bottom line.

Speaking of which...

The Price of Oil...: ... is still going up! WTF guys?

Well actually there's a REASON why it's going up. Congress is finally mulling over Bush Junior's energy bill. The Senate passed it, so now it's going to the House. And the longer the House debates it, the higher gas prices will go!

And the Energy Secretary is really softpeddling this matter! He's "worried" that the high price of gas MIGHT have an effect on the economy? MIGHT? MIGHT? There is no "MIGHT" here. Gas prices ARE having an effect on the economy! There is no way around it!

By the way, there is a nice full-page ad from Honda that shows the first-ever commerical hydrocell vehicle outside of a test course. The hydrocell engine is NOT science fiction. It's science FACT, and if we can get this developed the way it needs to be, then we can END gasoline dependancy - and numerous government regulations - in a matter of YEARS. Kudos to Honda for taking things to the next level.

Meanwhile, the American automakers are busy debating over how big of an SUV they can create and whether or not the American people will buy it. What's wrong with this picture?