Saturday, September 16, 2006

Unleashing the Madman

I must have been having a bad day. I'm still using a public computer to go on line, courtesy of Bill Gates, so I write everything at home and store it on flash memory. I got to the library, where the public computer resides, plugged in the "removeable storage device", and realize that I had not saved anything I had written. That's okay, though, because I had some stuff that had been written earlier, so there was, at least, something to post.
But the day didn't get any better. Walking to the grocery store, which is only three blocks away, I encountered copious amounts of oncoming vehicular traffic, while trying to cross the street. The problem is this: the right turn lane is closed for construction, so all these cars, trucks and SUVs are making their turn from the main traffic lane, which has caused a traffic jam. I can't cross at the crosswalk, because the crosswalk is blocked by traffic. The thing is, just four blocks east, which is the direction the cars are headed, there is another right turn that leads to the same major thoroughfare that these clowns are trying to get to. "Hey, dumasses!" I think loudly, though not loud enough for the drivers to hear, "if the turn lane is closed, then you don't turn there!"
Sometimes I feel like I should carry around a stack of Colorado State Drivers' Manuals to hand out to those who have forgotten the answers they gave on their driver's test. But mostly, I'm thinking that people have become mean and selfish, even in Old Colorado City, which has kept a small town attitude alive on the west side of a big city. People need to show more respect for each other, because all I want to do is cross the street while the "Walk" signal is lit.
So, half an hour later, when I finally got to the Safeway--remember, this is only three blocks away--I was already pretty unsatisfied with the situation. All I wanted was some cat food, a dozen eggs, and a loaf of bread. I got what I needed and realized that I had left my wallet at home. Luckily, there was enough change in my pocket to almost pay for what I needed--the cashier cheerfully made up the difference out of the lost change jar--and I began the long walk home--three blocks and forty-five minutes away.
Waiting for a chance to cross the street gives me a lot of time to think, and I think about what I should write for my next blog entry. I think about all the politicians and pundits I listened to on the cable news channels and on NPR, and how they must all think we are all stupid. Can't blame 'em for thinking that--we haven't given them any reason to think otherwise. I can't think like the politicians do. All I know is that what my current favorite bumper says is true--"Republicans and Democrats: Same Shit, Different Piles."
It is really a one party system--the only difference between them is that the Republicans are mad at the Democrats for writing the Constitution, and the Democrats are mad at the Republicans for freeing the slaves.
So, after having all these thoughts, I finally got across the street, and I carefully stepped over a beetle that was trying to cross the sidewalk so I wouldn't crush it. Then, I began thinking about how easy it would be to be a bug. Bugs don't have the capacity to even know how easy they have it.
If that beetle had reacted to my flipping it the Finger, I swear I would have kicked its ass.

It Does Tie In

"Those who would sacrifice liberty for temporary security deserve neither."--Benjamin Franklin.
This is probably one of the most cited, and one of the most abused, quotes on the Web today. Franklin was addressing those who would rather maintain the security of British rule than sever ties with England in order to have a voice in government. The attitude of the Colony in Georgia was that independence would ruin the economy of the colonies, that the protection of the English Army would be absent, and that other nations could invade the colonies. Rather than having representation in government, having the freedom to assemble, and other freedoms, the assembly of Georgia, and others within the colonies, balked at the idea of independence in favor of the temporary security afforded by English rule.
Over the past sixty years, temporary security has been maintained in the practice of complacancy in dealing with tyrannical governments. Regimes which rule by fear create the circumstances from which such movements as al Qaeda and the Wahadi Islamist philosophy rise and gain strength. If the United States is friendly to an oppressive regime, the people persecuted under that regime see the United States as an enemy.
This is not just some new idea invented by the current administration--I am using as the basis for this argument the writings and ideas of Natan Sharansky, who experienced oppression first-hand under the Soviet regime. In his book, The Case for Democracy, Sharansky cites the tendency of a "fear society" regime to create an external enemy in order to justify its atrocities against its own citizens. This is the method used by many regimes in the Middle East, where Israel is demonized, even though that country has not demonstrated aggression against other nations except in self-defiensive reaction to invasions by those countries.
In 1997, then Secretary of State Madeline Albright made a much touted trip to North Korea in an attempt to normalize relations with that regime. The trip resulted in acheiving the temporary security of North Korea halting its nuclear arms program, and signing on to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The security was temporary, because, in 1998, North Korea denounced that treaty and resumed its nuclear weapons program, using funds recieved from the government of the United States. The people of North Korea continue living in poverty, and even starving, while the regime of Kim Jong Il strengthens its military might and its level of destabilization of Eastern Asia, attempting to use fear and aggression to extort concessions from Japan, China, Russia, South Korea, and even the United States.
It frusterates me that people do not understand the importance of establishing democracies in the Middle East in the prosecution of the war against terrorist organizations. It is not the religion of Islam which is the enemy; it is the governments which have brainwashed their people into believing that the United States and its allies are against Islam. A free society would not have these problems, as the government would be dependent on the people to maintain power, rather than the people being dependent on the government to survive. To ensure the survival of the democracies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Isreal, and Lebanon is important in halting the cause of terrorism. Once the people experience freedom, they will not have to revert to dependence on a tyrannical regime for their own security. The terrorist leaders who want to suppress democracy and freedom in order to establish their own wealth and power, will no longer hold sway over those who have a voice in their government. Democracy can only weaken the terrorists, and thus the spread of freedom will suppress the ideology of terrorism. It is important that, for the lasting security of our country, and of the entire world, the new democracies must be supported.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Establishing a Nation

Before everybody gets their panties in a bunch over over Iraqian Prime Minister al Maliki's visit with Iran's President Ahmadinejad, let's look at the circumstances.
Al Maliki is trying to make the fledgling democracy work, he is trying to protect it, and. since so many of the "insurgents" are foreigners, and since they are being supported from Iran, it only makes sense that the Iraqi government to take action to protect its borders. In the long run, a real agreement between the two countries may be essential in the ability of the US to withdraw forces from Iraq.
There is more to it than that. The fact that Iraq is establishing diplomatic relations with Iran is only one step in legitimizing the government of Iraq. It should help in quelling the violence initiated by Shi'ite militants in that country, who believe that al Maliki's government is only a puppet of the United States. Iran is not considered friendly to the United States
This should not be, however, a case of "The friend of my enemy is my enemy." Diplomatic relations between the two nations does not mean an alliance. It means, however, that Iraq's legitimacy as a nation will lead to stability in the region.
It should be noted that Ahmadinejad represents the Iranian government as a spokesperson--he does not make policy in Iran. Iran's official policy maker is the Islamic Supreme Council, the group of religious leaders who make up the government of that country. So, important as it may be as a public relations event, the meeting between al Maliki and Ahmadinejad may not mean anything more than that.
For anyone to say that this points to the failure of the democracization policy would be a leap to the wrong conclusion. Al Maliki is doing what it takes to make that policy a success. If Iran does end it's support of the insurgancy, then it is a giant step toward that end.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bear With Me

I am experiencing writer's block Not that I can't find anything to write about, because there are plenty of things I want to right about. It is just that being held to the time constraints associated with using a public computer, I just haven't been able to gather my thoughts to present a readable or logical item.
So, to fill the void, I present one of my favorite jokes.

So, this bear is in the woods, doing what bears do in the woods, when he spots a cute little fluffy bunny rabbit. “Don’t you hate it,” the bear asks the bunny, ”when you get shit all over your fur?”

“I’ve never had that problem,” replies the bunny.

“Gee, thanks!” says the bear, as he picks the bunny up and wipes his ass with it.

The World According To Rupert Treacle: The Wierdo Family Tree Part 4

This is wrong, in my opinion, but it is so damn funny, it would be even more wrong not to share it. Yellowdog Grannie, you're going to love this. It is in four parts, so make sure you read all four.
The World According To Rupert Treacle: The Wierdo Family Tree Part 1

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Blogging Angry (With Plenty of Sarcasm)

I watched some 9-11 conspiracy theorists get their two cents in on cable news channels Sunday and Monday. For lack of something better to post, I must say:
You guys are right, and "they" are on to you! "They" know who you are, and the black vans full of Swat teams are headed toward where you live even as you read this. If you don't get out now, you will be dissappeared to Gitmo, where they will shock your balls! Run, while you still can, RUN-N-N-N-N!!!
(Wiping hands) That should take care of them for a while.

Monday, September 11, 2006

9-11 Tribute: Kevin P. Connors

Kevin P. Connors, of Greenwich, Connecticut once bought a boat in which he planned to sail solo around the world. The boat sank off the coast of South America, and he survived that He survived because he was a winner who would not accept defeat. He loved challenges, and when the challenge of selecting a good investment for his clients at Euro Brokers wasn't enough, he went mountain climbing.
On September 11, 2001, Mr. Connors, a vice president at Euro Brokers in the World Trade Center, didn't even get a chance to face a challenge, when people whom he had never met decided he must die.
It is an honor to pay tribute to this shipwreck survivor, and, on the fifth anniversary of the tragedy, to honor him and the rest of the fallen. Kevin P. Connors, who was 55 years old, was a winner and a hero to his four brothers and his sister, and to those who knew and worked with him. May we all find peace in his memory.

When We Are All Americans

On this day, five years ago, our lives changed abruptly. At first it seemed like a freak accident, that an aircraft had crashed into a tower of the World Trade Center. Then, the second plane hit the South Tower, and we realized that it was an attack against innocent people on American soil.
As we recovered from the shock, as we faced the horror that had befallen us, we gathered our resolve, and carried on with our lives, honoring those who had fallen with a resilience that could not have been expected by those who had attacked us.
Our flag still waved, the Statue of Liberty still stood, and it is with pride we remember that, no matter who we were, and no matter where we lived, no matter if we were Republicans, Democrats, or Libertarians, we were all Americans that day.
Today, we should forget politics, if just for a moment, and come together as a nation to remember and honor those who lost their lives on the darkest day of contemporary American history.