Thursday, August 25, 2005

This takes me back

The Deseret News has a story about how SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson got tons of email for his anti-war stunt. Its seems like only yesterday my MA State Rep. boss was getting spammed from all over the nation and all over the world. Of course, most of the negative stuff were from Red States and most of email overall was not in her district. And at the end of the day, all she really cared about were the out of state supportive ones and the in district ones.

Anyway here is fun graphic, which has the same trends as gay marriage.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The media's tunnel vision

Funny I didn't see this picture in the Salt Lake Tribune

Similiarly, I was sitting at the TRAX station across the street from the KUTV station (CBS affiliate) when a camera man and reporter came up to me. "Are you a student at the U?" The KUTV reporter asked. I told him I was. He asked why I took TRAX, was it high gas prices, parking, or the HIGH COST OF GAS? I knew that if I said it was the high cost of gas, I would be filmed and might get two seconds on local TV. But instead I chose to tell the truth, that we have one car and my wife needs it for work and choir practice. As a result, not filmed. The reporter wants to do a story on how much the high gas prices are effecting students and others, but screening this way gives you preordained quotes and story line. As a result, people will think it is a bigger problem than it really is.

Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed

The Third Avenue's book of the day:

No, this isn't a joke. It is a scary children's book that conservatives are supposed to read to their children so that they will forever be in fear of government regulation of business, business taxation, separation of church and state, etc. First they go for Enron and Bob Jones, next thing you know, they after Timmy's lemonade stand.

I wonder when "Help! Mom! James Dobson Is Under My Bed" will come out. Here is my plot summary: Two consenting adults are about to engage in pre-marital sex, and Dobson pops up to stop them. When the couple is gay, Dobson gets out his gun. When the couple's brain dead daughter is on life support, he blocks the daughter's husband from pulling the plug, even though the daughter asked him to do so.

I guess living in Utah has made me a libertarian that occasionally sees the value of government to prevent our fellow citizens from screwing us over: (insurance companies, big oil, big pharma, televangelists/megachurches, the hyper-rich, etc.). The government's regulation should stop at my bedroom, however, unless I am raping, robbing, murdering, or molesting someone.

hat tip to Political Wire

Monday, August 22, 2005

VFW attendees want the troops to come home soon

"I'd like to see him get it over with and get our veterans back home," Korean War Air Force veteran Cartatl Parrott said. "I don't want to see it drag out like Vietnam or Korea." "They ought to not leave there until the new government is in place," Parrott said. "But it seems like it's dragging on a little slow."

Desert Storm veteran James Stewart, of Ohio, said he supports the troops serving in Iraq now, but "I don't necessarily support the war."

Other Veterans parroted Dubya's talking points. "If George Bush had done nothing after 9/11 we'd be fighting the war here right now," Vietnam veteran and Utah VFW member Michael Parks said. Lyn Dimery, a Vietnam War Air Force veteran from Murrells Inlet, S.C., said he supports the president and feels the world is a safer place now that Saddam Hussein has been removed from power.
"It's better for us being there and getting one," he said referring to the ongoing hunt for Osama Bin Laden. It's the classic trait of many war supporters, getting Ossama bin Ladin and Saddam Hussein confused and conflated. Gee, I wonder why so many do that. It's not like the Bush Administration tried to mix the two.

"Update" Bush spews the same old lines on Iraq for the 10 billionth time. When does he get his free groceries?

UPDATE-- Channel 4, the ABC affilate (and not the NBC affilate that is owned by the LDS Church that finds Saturday Night Live offensive enough to not broadcast it) is refusing to air an ad by Cindy Sheehan's group. Paul Dayton has the story.

Bush photo caption contest

Rove carries Bush's baggage, this time to SLC.

The only non-veteran in the room begins his lecture on war.

Your turn.

Kos et al v. DLC

I for one am so tired of the same old left wing vs. DLC fight that happens about every summer. In the old days, it would be a "The Nation" Op-Ed or a DLC "Memo" that started the food fight. Now a days, it is a post or article online by Kos or MyDD or the DLC.

Each side spins the other's arguments into completely unpopular views that would be political losers. I don't think the party should oppose Bush just because it is a position that Bush took, and I know running to the Chomsky left will not win us national elections. However, I think the stunning display or timidity displayed by folks like Biden and Kerry is frustrating. The pro-war Democrats, particularly the Senators, are having a hard time doing anything besides critiquing the administering of the war, which is too wonkish for Americans to really get.

We shouldn't be discussing the lack of post-war planning, the inadequate number of troops, the looting and disappearance of small arms and munitions that are now being used to kill and maim our soldiers. Those issues where important in 2003. But two years later, Iraq is a disaster. The Iraqis in charge right now don't want us to leave, because they won't be in power in the real Iraq that immerges. Talibani (the Kurdish leader who is PM/President of Iraq, not the Afghan Muslim extremists) has been sabotaging efforts to train and equip the Iraqi army, because Bush and others have said once the Iraqi army can do it alone, the US will get the hell out of Dodge (or Baghdad). The rest of Iraqis can't wait to see us go. The Iranians have been loving every minute of this war, now that a weakened US military won't bother to challenge their virtual takeover of Iraq whom they bitterly fought in the 1980s. This is the Shah’s Revenge.

Democrats need to talk about change, and incompetence in the sense that the GOP has made us less safe by going to and bungling Iraq. We can't just pull out completely immediately, but we can't hang around until January 20, 2009, when a more reality attached president takes charge.

Specific Dates aren't a good idea, but specific events are good times to reduce troops. Like after the constitution is ratified and after elections take place. I don't think we will want to be the Islamic Republic of Iran...I mean Iraq anytime after that anyway.

The DLC and its leadership are obsessed with not repeating the debacle of Vietnam, when Democrats were right, but lost horrifically for years to come. Vietnam was a mistake or many reasons, one of which was that we didn't understand that we were involving ourselves in a battle for independence from Colonialism, and we got on the wrong side. Iraq is war more like Yugoslavia, and one which we created by destroying Saddam's pitiful military and administration. There are three major ethnic groups that were thrown together for the sake of an oil pipeline, and had no history of getting along prior, unlike Yugoslavia. Because it is the desert, these ethnic groups were not as exposed to each other and not used to living and governing together prior to the British drawing all the lines in the sand and appointing despots left and right.

In college I studied the Kurds, and I thought at the time that the best hope for Iraq would be like creating a confederation of 3 semi-autonomous states with relations to the national government like Candada to Quebec, except with insted of upset French Candians obsessed with their culture dissipearing, you have murderously power-hungry religious and ethnic factions who believe they have they exclusive view on the proper way to practice Islam (oh and don't forget the 3rd largest proven oil reserves). So, Iraq of the early 21st century is more like Europe during or before the 30 Year's War...except worse.

In sum, I think both sides are wrong to some extent. But there is no easy way out or solution to any of this. Nevertheless, declaring war on your fellow party members is silly and really won't do much besides elevate the level of attacks. Nobody's mind will change.