Sunday, January 28, 2007
But really, there isn’t that much to say, because there wasn’t anything that different. A lot of it is more of the same things he said before that sounded pretty good, but what ever became of his last promise to, for example, invest in alternative energy sources? The only thing different here is just in the implied extra amount to invest. Again, it sounded good, but will anything really come of, for example, his remarkable goal to cut gasoline consumption by twenty per cent over a twenty year period?
And does anybody believe for a minute that Bush believes in global warming? Hell, I’m not sure I really believe in it, I know he doesn’t, or if he does he either doesn't really care that much, doesn't really think it has anything to do with the use of fossil fuels (despite the fact that, yes, he said this), or doesn't really think it's possible to do anything about it.
This is a president that seems to think he can say what people want to hear and bask in the applause, and after the show is over and the curtain has closed on the latest performance, they will all go home to their lives and forget all about it, if only for a while, or until another issue commands their attention.
To Bush, Presidential politics and even government is one big Mardi Gras.
By the same token, I want to give Bush credit for one thing. He has increased by a significant degree the amount of money spent on research to cure AIDS, and especially the amount spent to combat the scourge of that hideous disease in Africa. Therefore, when he speaks of the need to further increase funding for such programs as this, it is easy to take him seriously, because he has a track record here to speak of.
Unfortunately, some things that Bush can be taken seriously on are not necessarily anything to feel cheerful about. When he says that we must come up with a comprehensive strategy to secure the border and that this must include temporary worker permits, I visibly cringed, because I fear he is all too serious. Both parties are wrong on this issue, and the majority of the American people know it. Most of us want the border secured first. Then, and only then, can we possibly willingly consider temporary workers visas. But Bush’s business supporters want that cheap labor, and the Democrats want those Hispanic votes, so the rest of us can go to hell, and if we don’t like it they think they can play the racist card on us and we’ll shut up about it.
No more. Not this time. Not on this issue. This is too serious and the long term consequences too potentially devastating and more than likely irreversible.
Now we come to the war, and Bush's determination to increase the level of troops in Iraq. Despite his obvious setbacks, he sounds confident, and he makes a good case for what he portrays as a necessary change in policy. But if enacted, will it amount to any more than a surface change? Congress is skeptical. Not only the Democrats, but a good many of Bush's party. Even a lot of Bush's voting base are anquished over this issue, as in a good many others where they feel that Bush has let them down.
Here is the major problem with the Iraqi War that few people if any ever really touch on. We’ve heard over and over about the expense in terms of our national treasure and blood, about the mountain of debt incurred and the selling of debt to foreign countries, especially to China, due to Bush and the Republicans reluctance to raise taxes to fund the war. We’ve heard about the damage to our international reputation. We’ve heard about the incompetence and corruption that has been on display for all the world to see. We’ve been told over and over about how this war is a vital front in the war on terror, and how if we don’t succeed in Iraq it will result in grave consequences for the region, for the world, and for America.
All of these concerns are valid ones, but here is the one you almost never hear mentioned, if you ever hear it.
What if they throw a war and nobody comes? I don’t mean that facetiously, I am asking in all seriousness, how likely is it that the American people are going to support another war effort, regardless of how necessary it is deemed to be. What will it take to get the American people on board? Will it take an attack on our so-called “vital interests” overseas? How do you define those interests? A military base? An embassy?
Surely such an assault would warrant a major military response that the American people would be solidly behind, right?
Well, don’t bet on it. Remember Ronald Reagan's response to the bombing by Hezbollah of the marine barracks in Lebannon? This was a decade after the end of the Vietnam War, which the American people were still in a state of anquish over. Because of the reluctance of the American people to become involved in another major (or even minor) military operation, Reagan reacted by withdrawing from Lebannon, even though he would have been well within his rights and responsibilities as Commander-In-Chief to have engaged Hezbollah militarily.
Clinton as well would have been more than justified in going all out to smash Al-Queda after the first WTC bombing, the bombing of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania,and the bombing of the USS Cole, etc.
Because of the incompetence, corruption, expense, and loss of lives resulting in our ill-advised invasion of Iraq, we might be seeing a return to the days of those kinds of responses to terrorist attacks and even to outright military threats. The American people are angry, they are afraid, and they are saddened. In fact, we are collectively in the beginning stages of the same kind of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome that affected us after Vietnam.
It might take another 9/11 to shake us out of it. And I’m not really sure even that would do it if this goes on much longer. That is why it is incumbent on, not just Bush, but the leaders of both political parties, to work together in earnest to work out a comprehensive solution to this problem, assuming it is not already too late.
Friday, January 26, 2007
I have no idea if a certain rumor pertaining to Tom Cruise is true or not, I know I have as of yet been unable to obtain any real verification of it, even though I have even looked on the Scientology Website. No luck there. On the other hand, even if it is true that one school of thought among Scientologists is that Tom Cruise is a Messiah figure, it would be logical to assume they would not be so eager to publicize such a belief. Even if they do wholeheartedly believe that one day in the not too distant future, Tom Cruise will be worshiped pretty much in the same way Jesus Christ is. Yet, this is apparently the view of no less a figure in the Scientology movement than leader David Miscavige.
Unfortunately, I have as yet received no true certification of this rumor, but it stands to reason, and there have been intimations that it is all but true to a good many of the religions adherents, such as can be found here.
Therefore, what we might well have here is the future trinity of Scientology of L. Ron Hubbard, Tom Cruise-and Katie Holmes.
I guess I should really be concerned about my own spiritual well being. After all, if Tom Cruise is the next Jesus Christ, would that not make Katie Holmes at least the next Mary Magdalene?
Does that not make my secret fantasies about her tantamount to heresy?
As I type this, I can feel the heat burning from somewhere deep down inside.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
So far, William Donahue has been, not the lone, but the major voice of outrage against the involvement of a certain
The preliminary evidence is said to be overwhelming and, in fact, was caught on film, and yet, oddly enough, seems to not offer any solid, hard evidence that a rape actually occurred. It is shadowy and dark, with just enough visual evidence to infer a rape. A zipper is unzipped, a girl is pinned to the ground, is heard to plead in vain for her assailant to stop. Yet, despite what seems to be an obvious sexual assault caught on film, it offers no conclusive proof that a rape actually occurred. There is no actual or obvious visual nudity revealed on the film, according to the latest accounts.
Still, as the old saying goes, a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich, so if this were to ever make it that far, there can be no doubt that the preliminary evidence that a rape did indeed occur seems to be overwhelming. As such, both the victim and perpetrator has come under much scrutiny over the last few days, and in fact, I now present what might well be aptly described as a mug shot.
Of course, the accusations of inappropriate use of a child in a violent sexual performance are aimed not intentionally at her, but at the film, the filmmakers, and the overall culture of
Dakota has defended her mother and her role in the film, and has even gone so far as to express feelings that it was a positive experience for her, and that she hopes the movie will have a positive impact, that people will learn something from it.
Hey, Bill Donohue, did you hear her? She enjoyed it. Ain’t that sad? On the other hand, we should have seen this coming, huh? The first warning sign was when she appeared in a movie starring Tom Cruise. That was perhaps the earliest indication that she may be in dire need of help.
All these detractors obviously have her best interests at heart. They quite understandably would prefer that she follow the tried and true formula for successful child stardom of the past, as followed by such former child stars as Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, Dana Plato, Danny Bonaduce, and the legions of other child stars of the many family oriented sitcoms of the fifties and sixties, for example, who went on to lead productive, successful lives and made so many positive contributions to society.
After all, how many of these former stars do you know of who went on to become despondent, suicidal, drug addicted, alcoholic, abusive, sexually obsessed personal wrecks? Not many, I would wager. That is because they were involved in heartwarming, positive, family oriented and morally appropriate shows such as Father Knows Best.
They would never allow themselves to be lured into such a degrading position as being portrayed as the victim of such a horrendously appalling crime as this. After all, what kind of message does this kind of film send? Why, your average movie goer might be left with the impression that such terrible acts as this happen every day in
As for the danger Miss Fanning herself might be put in from potential stalkers, who is to say that upon seeing this move, they would be able and willing to wait until she reaches an appropriate age before they make their perverted moves on her?
Somebody needs to pursue some kind of intervention on the behalf of Dakota Fanning, and the other child actors and actresses who are raped every day by
Of course, that is what people like Bill Donahue are valiantly trying to do now, but they need our help. Such government intervention would put an official stamp of approval on it. Of course, there will be cries of censorship. And it goes without saying that young stars like Miss Fanning will find this very objectionable in the short term. In fact, I have little doubt as to what her initial reaction to such an intervention might well turn out to be.
"HELP!! I’M BEING RAPED"!!!!
But, well, we can’t let that stop us from doing what is best not just for her, not even just for child stars in general, but for children everywhere. In the long run, I’m sure they will all be grateful. I’m sure deep down, Miss Fanning will be grateful as well. Deep down, I think she really needs it.
In fact, somewhere deep down inside, I bet she’s secretly begging for it.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
The followers of the Hellenic group are adamant that they have the right to use the ancient temples in the way they were originally conceived, as places of worship, not as "mere monuments".
This is like bringing a dagger to a tank fight. The Greek Orthodox Church has had a stranglehold on Greek cultural and religious life now for going on seventeen centuries, and these relative handful of upstarts certainly are not going to change things. The fact that they have achieved a degree of official recognition and tolerance should be cause for celebration, but instead, they seem determined to start a war they can't hope to win. This could actually be a public relations debaucle for them.
They have even made such inappropriate statements to the effect that they have been oppressed for sixteen and one half centuries. Well, this of course is ridiculous. For one thing,there have been no Hellenic pagans to speak of for more than a few decades at most, so there have been none to oppress. Or if they did exist in secret, no one was aware of them to offer any form of discrimination.
A minority religious group has a right to exist and to practice their religions within the confines of applicable secular law. This has evidently been held to be true in Greece as in the US and most other western democracies. But they also have certain responsibilities to adhere to accepted norms and standards of conduct.
Acceptance isn't going to happen overnight, nor can it be dictated by law. Tolerance has to be earned. And I sense the ominous first beginnings of a cultural conflict here where none should be necessary, and which could turn back the clock before it ever starts ticking.
So far, the religion has not gained the right to perform marriages, yet they insist they should, in addition to the right to hold public festivals at ancient religious shrines. I agree with them, but they still must work within the law, not because that is the right and proper thing to do, but because quite simply it is to their benefit to do so. They should try to think of the long term good.
Some in their defense have made statements to the effect that these ancient temples should be recognized as places of worship, and to a point I agree with that as well, but allowances must be made for the Greek tourist trade, which amounts to in the billions of dollars annually. A significant portion of that revolves around such ancient shrines as the Parthenon and Acropolis, The Temple of Olympian Zeus, The Shrine of the Delphic Oracle of Apollo, and even the original site of the Olympian games.
I understand the yearning of the pagans to see a return to use of these sites, but certainly they can understand how important these sites are. The money they bring in through tourism adds significantly to the economic vitality of the surrounding cities and townships, translating into jobs and taxes which funds needed social services. This in turn filters throughout the entire Greek economy. The people benefit, as much as the government and the Orthodox Church.
If allowances are made for tourism needs, on the other hand, while allowing some intervals for conducting the ancient festivals, this would actually add a boost to the tourist trade, a significant boost at that. It could possibly double, or more, if handled correctly. What traveller to Greece, regardless of their religion, would pass up the opportunity to attend an honest to the gods and goddesses actual religious festival in honor of Olympian Zeus? Such festivals in ancient times were after all public, and so open to anyone from whatever land they might have happened to be from. They didn't stop visitors at the gates and insist that, for example, Persians were not allowed, so far as I know. True, tourism was not a large part of any nations economies at that time, in fact it was relatively non-existent, but there were travellers from distant lands who conducted trade, and they certainly would have been allowed to participate. Why should this time be any different?
By adopting this approach, the Hellenic religious groups in Greece would go far in promoting acceptance of their beliefs and rights to practice them in a way the Greek Orthodox Church would find it difficult to prevent, more and more so as time went on. Sure, they would make a lot of noise about it, would threaten their adherents with warnings of excommunication if they attended such events or showed any form of tolerance or acceptance, and would even try to strong arm lawmakers. But in time the will of the people must prevail in any kind of democracy where the rule of law is paramount, and this case should be no different in the long run. But as I said, the Hellenic Pagans of modern Greece must work to gain that acceptance within the law. It will be a long journey with many challenges and doubtless some setbacks along the way. But it is still a journey that must be taken. There are seldom any real shortcuts in life.
One rule of thumb the Hellenic Pagans should recognize first and foremost is: the ancient temples and religious shrines of Greece belong to ALL the people of Greece, who are themselves every bit as much the legitimate descendants of the ancient Greeks as are they themselves. Therefore, the temples and other places should be used for the benefit of all the people, not just a few. All the people have a stake in their future, therefore all the people have a say in the matter.
For the Hellenic Pagans of modern Greece to think otherwise, if they do, would be a matter of pure hubris on their part. And to the ancient Greeks, hubris was among the worse of all possible sins.
The Wild Hunt Blog: A modern Pagan perspective
Saturday, January 20, 2007
THE FOUNDING OF
One Day, after a long time secretly lusting after Athene, the lame ugly smith god Hephaestos decided he could no longer contain himself, literally, and so made his move on the beautiful goddess of wisdom. He lunged at her and grabbed her, pinning her down as he forced his way on top of her. His hard penis soon found itself moving up her long, sexy smooth legs as it sought out her female delights, so making it’s way up her inner thighs as he desperately tried to pry her legs apart.
It was too much for him, as he suddenly ejaculated prematurely on her inner thigh, after which Athena managed to free herself from the lecherous clutches of Hephaestos, who, due to his affliction of being crippled in both legs, could not catch the goddess. After she had removed herself a safe distance from her lecherous half-brother, Athena wiped the semen from her thighs and, in a state of disgust and humiliation, flung it upon the ground.
Some months later, the earth goddess Gaea thus gave birth to the god Erechthonius, who in due time became the founder of and the first king of Athens, a city that was founded by settlers from a distant land who traveled in place of a new home and were lead to the exact spot where Athene wanted her city built.
Athene, it turns out, was presented with the child Erechthonius by Gaea, the mother who had actually received him into her womb and gave him birth, then nursed him through infancy. The goddess of wisdom would have been well within her rights to have rejected the child as much so as she had rejected the unwarranted and unwelcome advances of Hephaestos, and the sperm which had invaded her dignity.
Still, Athene felt some degree of not only compassion for the child, but responsibility as well, and so accepted him as a kind of surrogate mother.
As for the shadowy Erechthonius, look closely at his name, and you can begin to work out a possible meaning as, quite simply,”Great King of Athens”, “Priest King Of Athene” or some similar such meaning.
Was there ever really such an individual whose birth and life was so mythologized, while still remaining relatively obscure? Possibly.
Bear in mind, Athene may not have always been so virginal, until the arrival of the Argives after the fall of the Mychaenaean civilization, after which Zeus became ever more predominant. It got to the point where his priesthood actually displaced the original Priesthood of Athene in
Prior to this, Erechthonius might have been considered to be a semi-divine being like the Pharoah. I can almost detect the traces of a mythology in which Athene gives birth to a child she must hide from enemies who wish to destroy him, and so hands him over to the care of Gaea the earth mother, after which Erechthonius grows to adulthood and establishes the sacred city. From that point on, it is believed
In other words, the mythology might have eventually ended up turned on it’s head. Still, there is meaning to be found in either version.
As a god of the earth, Erecthonius represents our material existence, while at the same time representing our yearnings to grow and ascend to the heavens.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
The newest season of 24 promises so far to be a doozy, and it also might well be the most controversial to date.
The previous seasons have witnessed a variety of horrors and attempted atrocities.
Season One featured a plot to assassinate a presidential candidate, headed by a Serbian terrorist leader
Season Two featured a plot by Islamic militants to unleash a nuclear holocaust on
Season Three revolved around a plan by a turncoat former British intelligence agent, out for revenge for having been earlier abandoned to his fate by his superiors, to unleash a catastrophic biological agent inside the country.
Season Four reintroduced the Islamic militant plot in a series of assaults involving the takeover of various nuclear facilities by means of computer sabotage and releasing radioactive materials into the atmosphere, among many other horrors.
Season Five involved the most surprising element thus far, when a plot that involved the assassination of a former President and an attack on Russian soil by presumably Chechen terrorists (though they were never called this by name) went awry when the terrorists felt betrayed by their enablers and turned their attack on the US. The major conspirator and villain in all this turned out to be none other than the President of The United States himself.
Season Five also ended with an even bigger surprise. Jack Bauer was lured off and taken into custody by agents of The People’s Republic of China, who had a bone to pick with him due to a mishap involving their embassy in season four.
Now we are at Season Six, which takes up twenty months later. Current President Wayne Palmer (brother of former President David Palmer, assassinated at the beginning of Season Five in another shocker) has negotiated for Jack’s release from a Chinese gulag, for which he has paid the Chinese an unspecified “high price”.
Jack has had it rough, having undergone endless months of constant torture and interrogation, though revealing nothing, in fact, refusing even to speak. So this would seem to be a lucky break. But no, actually, the President has agreed to hand Jack over to an Islamic militant (yeah, them again) in return for information pertaining to the whereabouts of what is presumed to be the mastermind behind a recent spate of terrorist attacks on US soil.
Jack is happy to die for something worthwhile, as he is made to understand that this guy wants him in order to kill him for the death of his brother, who died in Jacks custody while undergoing interrogation.
Oh, the guy also wants twenty million dollars.
Well, come to find out, the guy is himself the terrorist mastermind, the guy the government is after is actually innocent, more importantly, is actually wanting to negotiate a peace deal. The real terrorist leader wants him dead, as he considers him a traitor to the cause.
Okay, the first of some big plot holes are revealed here. One being, if the terrorist leader wanted this guy dead that bad, why waste time on Jack Bauer, who is being slowly tortured to death anyway in a Chinese gulag? Why not just be satisfied with the twenty million dollars? For that matter, why not just tell the government where he is and sit back and wait for him to be killed?
Well, obviously because this gives Jack an opportunity to not only escape the Chinese, but from the grips of the terrorists he has been handed over to, which he does by biting into the throat of one of his captors, grabbing the keys to his chains, then spitting out the gore and taking off after freeing himself.
When neither CTU nor the President calls off the coming air strike against Assad, the villainous former terrorist leader turned anti-hero, Jack takes it upon himself to rescue the guy, arriving in the nick of time to save him and to help uncover the identity of the traitor in Assad's midst.
Jack starts doing what Jack does best, he tortures the guy for information. Only Jack ain’t so good at it anymore, in fact, he has lost his taste for the unofficially sanctioned interrogation methods that served him so well in the past. He gives up way too easily, whereupon a bemused Assad takes up the slack, and quickly leans what he needs to know by jamming a long thin blade between the folds of the traitors thighs and his groin, and twisting it.
In the meantime, the real villain has another demand. He wants all enemy combatants released from a military detainment facility. In reality, there is only one of these men that he is concerned with, and he manages to secure his release with the aid of a traitorous American soldier, even after President Palmer has called off the deal at the urgings of Jack, whom Palmer finally ascertains knows what he is talking about more often than not.
Which brings me to what is undoubtedly the second, and in fact, the biggest plot hole of the entire series thus far. And that is, why the hell didn’t the terrorist mastermind demand the release of the detainees from the very beginning in return for giving away Assad's location? Of course, by the time he made this demand the President was well aware that he was the true terrorist leader, granted, and granted that if he demanded their release earlier he might have tipped his hand in this regard. But remember, he was only truly interested in one of the prisoners. He could have simply insisted this one man was innocent, and that he was a relative, or even if he wasn’t innocent, he deserved a second chance in life, and Assad's whereabouts would certainly have been worth the release of this one man in any event.
Of course, I will concede that the specific reason for his incarceration was never revealed, but the reason for the interest in his release became all to clear. He was an expert in Soviet nuclear technology, in the form of suitcase nukes, one of which went off at the end of the last episode, just outside of Los Angeles, resulting in an ominous mushroom cloud rising up over the distant horizon, where Jack had just insisted he just didn’t have what it takes any longer.
In fact, he has just had to kill a colleaque, a CTU agent by the name of Curtis Manning, who has been a series regular now for the past two seasons, a man of impeccable qualifications, steely resolve, and integrity. A man who has been instrumental in protecting the nation from various dastardly plots over the last few seasons. A man to whom Jack Bauer owes his life a number of times over, and vice versa. A man who has dedicated almost the entirety of his life to the service of his country, from his stint in the Marine Corps, when he was gravely wounded when his squad was attacked, many of them taken hostage, only to later be tortured, made to beg for their lives, and then beheaded.
The man responsible for these atrocities? Assad, the man Jack has now sworn to protect, the man to whom Jack had just brokered a deal for pardon of all crimes previously committed, which were many and considerable, in return for his part in helping to put an end to the current on-going terrorist attacks, and with the further agreement to continue working to formulate a peace treaty amongst all the various terrorist factions.
Jack found out from another colleaque, Cloy O’Brien, just what the history of Curtis was in regards to Assad, just when Curtis was ready to put a bullet in the man, whom he by now held at gunpoint. The only way Jack could save Assad from Curtis, who refused to back down, was with a bullet directly to the neck.
As Curtis breathed his last, Jack sunk to the ground, sobbing in anguish, intent that he was through, he just didn’t have it in him. He just can’t do this anymore. Then, he saw the mushroom cloud in the horizon. And he knew he had to pull himself together, one more time.
Like I said, this promises to be the most controversial season of the entire series thus far, for a variety of reasons.
For one thing, not only is there four more suitcase nukes out there somewhere, but there is an ongoing series of terrorist attacks in this country that involve suicide bombers on buses and trains. These attacks have happened in various different cities in the country, and they are all the work of Islamic militant fanatics. That in itself will raise the ire of many here, who might decry the season as contributing unduly to fear mongering on the part of the Fox broadcast network. After all, these kinds of attacks occurring on
It might particularly raise the ire of such Islamic groups such as CAIR (Council for American Islamic Relations) a group which is presented in this season in the form of a fictional counterpart under a different though similar name, and whose legal representative is none other than the sister of President Palmer.
Some might also find objectionable the implied belief that terrorist groups such as formerly lead by Assad could be reasoned or negotiated with.
It might also raise the ire of the right, when Ms. Palmer, among others on the show, utter some of the more obvious platitudes warning about the need to insure the protection of civil liberties, while others insist that while freedom has it’s price, in such desperate times it is best to err on the side of security.
Interestingly, the leader of the Islamic group is arrested, and while engaged in a brief consoling episode with another incarcerated man, inadverdantly learns some vaque phrase that is code for a bomb, to the effect that there are “five visitors”. The President's sister, with whom he has an ongoing romantic relationship, is adverse to relaying this utterance on the grounds of repeating private conversations, at which the loyal Muslim American leader becomes incensed and shouts, “stop being a lawyer for once”. She reluctantly relays the message, whereupon the President realized that there are four more suitcase nukes in the country, similar to the one that has just exploded prematurely in a warehouse just outside
Palmer all but begs for Jacks help, but does Jack have it in him anymore? It seems that twenty months of torture in a Chinese gulag has given him a different perspective on torture, and as I have pointed out, he just doesn’t seem to have the heart for it any longer. I guess some might say that he is feeling the effects of karma.
Well, it worked for Earl Hickey, who is no longer a low life and thief, but has devoted his life, alongside sidekick and brother Randy, to making up for all his past misdeeds, with nothing but a list to guide him as he does so.
In real life, of course, this wouldn’t last very long, in the majority of such cases, it might go on for a month or two, maybe in some extreme cases six months to a year, but after all, a person is who and what they are. In real life, Earl Hickey would go back to stealing and would end up eventually in prison. Poor Randy would probably end up in a psychiatric facility. That of course is the best case scenario, the worse case being that one of their past victims would miscontrue their well meaning approaches and fill them full of lead.
That’s why I think there is no true cause for concern as to Jacks recent reluctance to get the job done. Yeah, karma is a bitch. But once it works it’s way out, it seldom really changes anything. If it did, it would actually be so seldom used in any given persons life, it would be an all but unknown commodity.
No, Jack will get the job done, after all, there are at least two more seasons of twenty four that are planned out to follow this one, providing the ratings hold, and providing that Kiefer Sutherland keeps to his contractual obligations. Hopefully, we will move past the Islamic terrorist angle by then. Though they have proven good villains, and this season promises to be no exception, it is going to get old.
How about some far right militia types who are outraged over the continually growing threat of Chinese expansion. That would give Jack a chance to undergo some degree of conflict. Should he vengefully allow them to have it handed to them, or should he protect them for the greater good? And would it even be for the greater good?
How about some nice far leftist eco-terrorists? They could create some dastardly new biological agent which would eliminate the worlds excess population in a misguided effort to bring the eco-system back in balance, while they hold the worlds only known antidote for use as a bargaining chip.
And when the hell is Kim, Jacks daughter, coming back into the picture? What if the last season were to turn out to include an ongoing plot to kill past CTU agents, and in the process of trying to protect her, Jack discovers that she herself is in on the plot.
Not that I have any inside knowledge, mind you. Hell, I don’t even know that much about karma.
So, for the time being, I will just say that, insofar as I know, former President Logan, who was taken into custody at the end of last season, will almost definitely make an appearance this season, as will wife Martha, though I am not sure in precisely what context. Also, one of
As for surprises, without a doubt there will turn out to be a mole in CTU (there almost always is one every season) and I am almost positive this will not turn out to be the Arab woman, who is a new character, nor will it be Chloe O’Brien's ex, who has now resumed his career after a brief stint as a shoe salesman at an upscale LA department store (and who is an arrogant dick). And it almost certainly will not be Chloe (although I wouldn’t entirely rule that out either). Bill Buchanan is also unlikely.
That leaves Milo Pressman, a nerdy though shadowy character who has had a recurring though relatively minor role in past seasons. He seems to be a dedicated computer geek and patriot, but appearances are deceiving, especially on 24. I vote for him.
It might also conceivably turn out that Assad is a villain after all. Wouldn’t that be a bitch? Jack kills Curtis to save Assad, who turns out to be the main villain after all, unbeknownst to the other terrorist leader, who may have been unaware of Assad's double role, or who just might have been a rival jockeying for authority in the organization.
It could be anybody, though, really, except for Jack Bauer. And who knows, maybe that betrayal will come in the last season. After all, he was in a Chinese gulag for twenty months, undergoing who knows what kind of brainwashing techniques. Maybe the Chinese were all too happy to release Jack. And what is this “high price”? Will that be revealed in a future season? In this one?
The "Manchurian Agent"? Who knows, on 24, after all, nothing is sacred. Not even karma.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
I am going on record, for now, as an advocate for the nomination for President on the Democratic Party, in 2008, Illinois Junior Senator Barak Obama.
Why? Is it because he is such a charismatic speaker?
Is it because he is black? Is it perhaps because he is, more accurately, of mixed race, his mother white and his father a black man of African origins?
Is it because he is left-of-center to liberal? Is it because he is a relatively fresh face in politics, his experience- prior to his election in 2004 to his current and first US Senatorial term- being limited to three terms as a mere Illinois state Senator?
Is it because he might be an attractive alternative to all the other career politicians, and especially over the presumed front-runner Hillary Clinton?
Is it due to the fact that I imagine somehow that he will manage to heal all the nations wounds, bridge the racial and ideological divides, and inspire a new generation to faith in the American Dream by way of his example?
Nope, it's none of these reasons, valid though most of them are. My reason is far more compelling. My reason has far more gravitas.
My reason is musical. Yes, I have decided the Democratic party needs a new theme song. "Happy Days Are Here Again" is old and tired, and "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" is really kind of sappy.
So, in addition to Mr. Obama as standard bearer for the dear old Jackass Party, I hereby recommend and heartily encourage a song to which the sound and lilt of Mr. Obamas name is especially suited. I am speaking here, of course, about the old nineteen sixties novelty song "The Name Game".
Once Barak rises to accept the party's nomination, what could be more appropriate? The whole country would be singing along throughout the ordinarily tedious campaign process of the following months.
Try it out, if you don't believe me. Hit up Napster, they should have it, if not, surely you can find this old nugget somewhere, even if you have to request it by way of your local oldies station. Once you listen to it for the first time, or re-familiarize yourself with it, give it a try yourself. Then lead your friends and family in a rousing version. You just shout out each name, then lead the crowd along, just like a-huh, what do you know, like a politician.
"Barak-Rak-Oh-Bak-Banana Bana Bo Bok, Be-Bi Bo Bok Cok-BaaaaRak"
"Hussein-Sane-No-Sane, Banana Bana Bo-Sane, Be-Bi Bo So-Ho-HuuuuuSein
(Okay let me hear you now)
"Obama-Boma-Bo-Bom, Banana Bana Bo Ba-Ma, Be-Bi Bo Ho-Ra, OBaaaaaaaama
Such a catchy tune I bet even the pundits and news anchors covering the next Democratic convention in Denver would feel compelled to sing along. And the fun and excitement can even continue when the VP is finally announced. For example, what if it happens to actually turn out to be-
"Hill'ry- Bill'ryl- Po-Pill'ry, Banana Bana No Dill'ry, Be-Bi-Ho-No-Bill, Hiiiiiiillary
Well, it seems to me to be a logical progression for the political party that seems to such a great extent to still be mired in sixties faux liberalism, flower power, protest, and appeasement-er, excuse me, I mean "peace".
This just puts a more fun face on it, and you can add your own funny dance steps to it. "The Limbo" might be appropriate. Or maybe even "The Funky Chicken"
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
What I've got is a second blog, actually, on MySpace, that I call I Got Some Snake (And You Know You want Some). It is listed under the MySpace account PatrickTheBigSnake. Unfortunately, when I added a SiteMeter to it, for some reason it knocked out the title, which is a bitch. Still, judging by the amount of traffic I get, so far mainly me and just a couple of other one time viewers, the lack of a title that can be seen is actually irrelevant. Of course, as it is a new blog, I am a little hopeful that it will pick up some, but not too hopeful. So far, the majority of people that have viewed my profile page seems to be limited to spammers, one of whom has sent me the same idiotic worded invitation at least four different times under four different accounts.
Anyway, this MySpace blog isn't like this one, it's just a place for me to vent and raise hell and just generally be a dick. So if you read it, while you might be offended, don't take it seriously. Still, do visit it, for no other reason than to help me get my stats up, after which it might actually get noticed and gain an audience. It's going to be fun, I think, it sure is wild, though honestly I probably ain't going to update it more than once at week at the most.
I won't go into any more detail than that, and really I don't know where the hell this actually came from. I'm generally not into most science fiction, though I have read some that I have enjoyed, for example, The Sirens Of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Anyway, I'll have to give it some more thought, though I still don't know where I dredged this up from. In the meantime, of course, if I do it, any advice or constructive criticism is welcome. If you think it's shitty, tell me, I won't delete any comments, even the more absurdly denigrating ones. Why should I?
Bear in mind, I am not talking about changing the blog, just adding this to it. Of course, every update will include a list of links to all previous chapters. The only thing I'm really worried about is not whether the story will be good, it's whether or not I will be able to keep up with it once I start it.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Evidently, Holy Joe Liebermann doesn't exactly see it that way. I am still amazed almost beyond comprehension at what I heard come out of Liebermann's mouth this morning on Tim Russert's Meet The Press.
It was a round table discussion involving two Senators that oppose Bush's decision-Chuck Hagle (r) Nebraska, and Chris Dodd (d) Connecticutt. In support of Bush's decision to deploy more troops were John Kyle (r) Arizona and, Liebermann, now an independent Senator of Connecticutt.
The question Russert directed to Liebermann first, involved a recent statement by Edward M. Kennedy (d) Massachusetts, to the effect that Congress should continue to fund the troops that are already in Iraq, but they should absolutely refuse to fund any further expansion of forces there.
Russert asked Liebermann whether Bush should send them anyway, which to me was an incredible enough question to even ponder, but Liebermann's response, while I can't say that I am surprised, is a solid indication of just what a fucking dick he is.
He actually said he would encourage Bush to send the troops anyway. Now, please think about that for a minute. The ramifications of such a statement are staggering. How would you feel if you were a parent or spouse or child of a military man or woman that had just received their orders for this new deployment, and you knew that Congress would not fund it. But the President sent them anyway.
Liebermann has actually encouraged the President of the United States to hold tens of thousands of American troops hostage to a failed foreign policy, not only pawns but sacrificial lambs to the altars of the Triune Gods of a flawed exported democracy, the promise of a free market capitalism financed by debt, and a foreign policy that is on the verge of worldwide collapse.
The troops there now have it hard enough as it is. What would their lot in life be if Bush followed Liebermann's advice? Of course, the net result would not be a total lack of funding for the new troops, but a decrease in the funding for all of them. In other words, the ones already there will have it even worse, and tens of thousands more will join them. What could they possibly hope to accomplish?
Of course, Liebermann is assuming that Congress would relent and provide the funding. But what if they don't? What if this turns into a standoff between Bush and Congress while the numbers of US troops killed and injured are doubled, tripled, or more?
It's one thing for the government to shut down over things like welfare reform. It's something else again for American troops to be deprived of funding due to such political wrangling. Joe Liebermann don't seem to appreciate the difference.
I am very much afraid that he is not alone. But I can only for the moment assume the worse about no one but Liebermann, as for one brief instant he opened his mouth and showed exactly what he is made of. What a pathetic fucking figure.
I used to be divided about Liebermann. He has in the past been a good and able proponent of a good many of the policies that I as a Democrat have supported over the years, while doing so in a manner that was not radical or extremist. He seems to understand the need for compromise in a way all too many people do not appreciate nor can they accept. Also, I appreciate his understanding of the need for a strong defense and to maintain our military strength in the world.
I have not always agreed with him, but I do not always agree with any party or politician, or for that matter any ideology, be it 'liberal" or "conservative".
I was divided over his decision to run as an independent when the Democratic voters of Connecticutt decided to show him the door in favor of primary challenger Ned Lamont. In a way I considered that he should respect the wishes of the parties voters, but by the same token I thought he was being unfairly targeted and maligned by a fringe element of one issue voters in his state.
Well, the little prick has finally showed his true colors, and they aren't pretty. They are actually frightening. This is the kind of policy proposal I might expect to hear from some third world thug in the Sudan.
He is also an ingrate. When Russert asked him if he would support fellow Connecticutt Senator Dodd in his run for the Presidency, while Dodd, who was present, objected mildly to the question and to putting "Joe on the spot like that", the little prick just said he wished Dodd luck but he was staying out of Presidential politics for awhile.
You would think the least he could do would be to promise his support if Dodd won the nomination, after all, how fucking likely is that anyway? Still, this little piece of work couldn't even go this far, despite the fact that Dodd had himself worked as a chairman on behalf of Liebermann's failed Presidential bid in 2004.
I think the little shit is positioning himself for a position in a McCain Administration if the Arizona Republican Senator wins the GOP nomination, and then the election. As an independent, of course, he would be well within his rights to do so, but still-
The little weasel got his comuppance once today, from Senator Hagel, who told Russert that he resented Liebermann's assertion that his opposition to the President's proposed troop surge was tantamount to supporting defeat in the region. All the little whiny voiced, mealy mouthed pussy could do was try to visibly hide his resentment of Nagles admonitions.
It was, however, clearly visible, almost as much as his professed so-called "love" of and "respect" for, the American military.
Friday, January 12, 2007
I played soccer a few times, and it is a fun game to play.
I watched soccer once-during last years World Cup-for about the longest five minutes of my life. It was boring as hell.
That's why I can't imagine anybody paying any soccer player, even one of the talent and popularity of David Beckham, such an amount as he was recently awarded by the Los Angeles Galaxy-250,000,000 dollars for a five year contract. That is a sum of money that is beyond my comprehension for any one person. No person is worth that. Certainly, no soccer player is worth that, with the possible exception of Pele' The Zombie.
Soccer is popular in the rest of the world for a reason. What else do the rest of those schmucks have? Falconry? Fox hunting? Kite flying? Trying to beat a big fucking wheel of cheese rolling down a hill?
Even at that, this fucking sport is so obviously frustrating to the average soccer fans, who are looking for some kind of excitement in their lives, and the sense of community that comes with rooting for the "home team", or national team, that this frustration boils over and more often than not erupts into serious violence and rioting due to lack of a proper outlet. How can you get any real satisfaction out of a bunch of grown men in shorts jogging up and down a grass field maneuvering a ball with their feet and legs? The average point score after all of this mind-numbing boredom is 2.8 points per game.
Soccer is unpopular in the US for a reason. We have football-real, American football, with quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers, and bone crushing, fast paced action and intense, agonizing suspense, drama, and strategy.
We also have basketball, and hockey. Even baseball is still more popular than soccer will ever be here. Shit, a good game of bowling, or tennis, or golf, is more fun to watch on television than soccer.
So why are people constantly trying to promote it here? It has never caught on. The only reason it does as minimally good as it has is due to the steady influx of immigrants, for which soccer is the only team sport that is well known.
Read a history of this sorry ass sport as played here in America and you will see what I mean. If you can stand it, this is as good a place as any. No one even seems to know who the hell this thing is for. In one era, it will be considered a sport for the lowlifes and low brows. In another era, you will see it described as a sport for the upper classes, the privileged elites.
But no soccer leaque ever seems to last very long, or attain any degree of success, most of them more often than not simply drowning in a sea of red ink. Still, they keep pushing it.
Look how long now soccer has been promoted in schools. We are always being told about the concerns of what is described as the "soccer moms", usually in a political context, as though this is Mrs. Susie Average American Bitch. Still, after more than a decade now, at least, of soccer being promoted in high schools, the World Cup had one of the lowest ratings of any major televised sports broadcast.
Still, they promote it in part for several reasons. Some are good reasons. As I said, it is a fun sport to play. And it is good exercise. It teaches a degree of self-discipline and control, and all-around skill. Believe me, it does take a degree of adaptability and control to maneuver that fucking soccer ball with nothing but your feet and legs, and in some cases, your head. Especially in the context of a team competition. It is actually a rush when you have the ball come your way and you are struggling against an opposing player to gain control of the ball without kicking the opponent, or getting kicked yourself. A careless player, or an overexcited one, can give and receive quite a few bruised shins. Still, serious injuries are highly unlikely.
Another reason is probably to provide an acceptable sports outlet for children of immigrants in which they will feel comfortable participating. This says more about the kind of people that run our schools than it does about the average American. Believe me, I know what I'm talking about when I say, I have been an American citizen all my life, and Americans are just not that nice and tolerant, regardless of claims to the contrary about our supposed generosity. In reality, we are no more or less generous and kind hearted and tolerant than any other group of people. We just like to think we are, and more importantly, we just like other people to think we are. No one else really gives a shit, nor do they care to pretend. The average person is just not that accommodating, here or anywhere else.
Move to Italy and send your kid to school there and see how your average Italian will go out of their way to make your kid feel comfortable and accepted. An Italian teacher will slap your kid on top of the head and say, "Here, kid, eat your salami and shut up."
Our educational system is enlightened though. In many cases, they are so enlightened they deny kids the right to play any sport that involves the possibility of loosing, as they don't want the poor loosing kids to feel bad about themselves. The soccer proponents are at least a couple of notches above them. Directly in between the two are pedophile teachers.
That is because the promotion of soccer in schools is in part just another attempt to encourage so-called international brotherhood and cooperation, by encouraging our kids to become a part of the international community by way of it's most popular sport. Even the politicians aren't buying it. I have yet to hear of an American politician attending or participating in a soccer game. You know a sport is pretty low down on the totem pole when you don't see John "Windsurfer" Kerry in attendance.
It is also being promoted of course by people who want to put America on the map as a consistently winning soccer nation. Their reasons for this are more financial and business related than anything. Naturally, they hope to put soccer on a par, in terms of finances and popularity, with the NFL and professional basketball.
The David Beckham contract is an act of desperation that seems to be similar to what is referred to in the NFL as a "Hail Mary" pass. If it works, it would be spectacular, but if it crashes and burns, soccer as a professional sport will have suffered a setback that it will take years to overcome, if it ever does. It will doubtless destroy the Los Angeles Galaxy, even given the caveat that a good deal of this unheard of amount will come from advertising promotions and endorsements.
250,000,000 dollars is one hell of a hole to dig. But these fools have already dug themselves into it, if they can't pull themselves out of it, they have no one to blame but themselves.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
I’ll give Bush credit for one thing, he never gives up. Even when he should. The Bush speech last night was certainly a reflection of that.
Here is the way life is. The following is true American history. It is called reality.
- American War of Independence-1776 to 1782. The American public might have been every bit as divided as the British. But we were fighting a defensive war, and it was being fought and lead by a bunch of people who were of such towering genius, we couldn’t have lost it. If George W. Bush had been alive at this time, and was in
’s camp, he would have been doing what George W. Bush does best-chopping wood and clearing brush. Washington
BarbaryPirates-The first time we put it to a bunch of Muslims they were pirates from North African Muslim states, who thought they had every right in the world to take our ships and their cargo and sell our “infidel” crew into slavery. This had been going on for quite sometime, since presidency, in fact. Thomas Jefferson finally put an end to it. Too damn bad we didn’t have nukes back then, we probably wouldn’t be putting up with the shit we are contending with now. (Hint, Hint) Washington's
- War of 1812-1812 to 1814. Some people say this was an unnecessary war, and that it ended in a draw. BULLSHIT! Our crews were being impressed into the British navy, and it took this war to stop it, which it did. It also netted us territory which extended for the first time to the Pacific coast, in the Northwest. A war well fought by President Madison, one of our most underrated Presidents as well as one of our most brilliant founding fathers.
- Mexican American War-1847 to 1849. A war we will hopefully revisit, the sooner the better. I have very special ideas in regards the fate that needs to be visited on the roughly one percent of the people that rule that sorry excuse for a country.
- American Civil War-1861 to 1865. The right side won that one. They would have won it without the war, it just might have take thirty or forty years longer.
- Spanish American War-1897 to 1899. A big misunderstanding about an explosion on the battleship
caused this one, which was the war that set the stage for the extension of our political, economic, and military influence around the world. We never should have fought it, other than running the Spanish out of our hemisphere, but one was probably impossible without all the other. Whatever, we won it. I’m still expecting some nutty Spanish judge to charge us with war crimes any minute now just because of it. Maine
- World War I-1917 to 1918. Yeah, believe it or not it really was over that quick, once we got involved, though it had actually been ongoing without us since 1914.
- World War II-1941 to 1945. What can you say? Germany declared war on us after we declared war on Japan because of Pearl Harbor. We were right to provide aid to
, otherwise we should have just ignored the Germans until we annihilated Britain . By that time, both Japan and the Germany Soviet Unionwould have been wrecked and we could have blown them over with little effort. The world would be our oyster. Sure it would have taken Europelonger to rebuild. Who’s fault would that be? Really?
- The Korean War-1948 to 1953. Here, a lot of people might question my assertion that we won this war. Well, we did. That is because we achieved ALL of our stated objectives. These never included the overthrow of the North Korean government, it was simply to prevent an armed takeover by the North of The South, and to reach a political settlement which provided for recognition of South Korean sovereignty and legitimate security concerns, and in lieu of peace, an agreement for the cessation of hostilities. True, we would have preferred a peace treaty, but you don’t always get what you want-even in victory. Again, we achieved our objectives. As a result,
is one of the few Asian countries that are not only democratic (for more than fifty years now), but have a decent standard of living to boot. South Korea
- Grenada-1985.A strategic victory that has been unfairly minimized due to the relative insignificance of the island insofar as size, population, or any kind of meaningful economic importance. Still, in one of his few good moves, Reagan realized the potential strategic importance of the island if it fell into communist control, and so quickly secured the island.
- Panama-1989.George Herbert Walker Bush’s war, and one of significant strategic importance. The fact that he and his cronies allowed Noriega such a degree of influence and potential risk is another matter. The point is, it’s another one in the win column.
War-1991.A masterfully conducted war by George Herbert Walker Bush, who for some time played Saddam Hussein like an old violin, for all he was worth. Then, he tuned his strings, but good. True, it was all orchestrated from beginning to end. As brilliantly conceived and executed as it all was, even the best of shows must sometime close the curtain for good. If you don’t believe me, ask any good Broadway artist. First Gulf
- Indian Wars-A whole shit load of them that ran from the French and Indian Wars, while we were still a colony of Britain, on through the War of 1812, the wars of settlement of Kentucky in the 1770’s, a whole bunch of other conflicts and skirmishes, on down through the late eighteen hundreds. By the time the 1890’s arrived, it was finally all pretty much over. It never would have happened if the Indians hadn’t sided with the French in the French and Indian War, and especially if they hadn’t sided with the British in the War of 1812, but once they did that, they pretty much sealed their fate. Consider that the next time somebody moans about the “Trail of Tears”. Whatever your legitimate feelings about broken treaties and smallpox infested blankets from President Harrison, and other heavy handed tactics and outright cruelties, they all can be traced to those historical events, which Indian apologists generally ignore. I do not. And, again, we won.
THE WARS WE LOST
1. Vietnam-1965 to 1975. Yep, we were lied and manipulated into that one, from the moment of its escalation in 1965 under President Johnson (we were actually there in limited numbers, ten thousand soldiers at most, under Kennedy, in more of an advisory and training capacity), until the moment of our departure ten years later. We never should have gone there. It was a civil war, unlike
After we left, it is interesting to note, the newly unified nation of
I repeat, in case you weren’t paying attention,
2. Somalia-The first George Bush got us into that one, with the tacit approval of incoming President Clinton, ostensibly for the purpose of imposing peace in the area which was war torn by various conflicting warlords, augmented by the presence of Soviet weapons from the cold war era which was just recently ended. Note I said ostensibly. I have always believed the real reason was Bush’s desire to manipulate Clinton into a quagmire from which he would never be able to honorably extricate himself, therefore setting up a chance for him to be defeated for re-election in ‘96 on grounds of incompetence in military matters and foreign affairs. Unfortunately for his plans in this regard,
So, let’s rehash, shall we?
- American Revolutionary War-Proves that George Washington can kick George W. Bush’s ass any day of the week.
- The Barbary Pirates-Proves Muslims need their asses kicked at least once every two hundred years.
- War of 1812-Proves Madison had a knock-out, hot ass First Lady for a reason.
- Mexican American War-Proves you don’t need a wall, just a will.
- American Civil War-Proves the Constitution isn’t perfect, but it can aways be made better with time, just like a fine wine-or cheese. The best thing about it is, this is the best thing about it, aside from the Bill of Rights.
- Spanish American War-Proves that some idiot Spanish Judge is probably going to charge me with a hate crime some day.
- World War I-Proves that if you wait long enough, you can arrive at a satisfactory conclusion, with relatively minimal losses incurred for your effort.
- World War II-Proves that most of
Europeis made up mainly of ingrates, most of whom are in advanced stages of dementia. If we weren’t still over there propping them up, most of the inmates of that continental old folks home would have bedsores by now. It also proves number seven. Another thing it proves-if you want to have a really good friend and trustworthy ally in the world-nuke them.
- Korean War-Proves if you set your sights too low, even if you succeed, you will eventually have to worry about a nutty guy with weird hair finger fucking Madeline Albright under the table.
- Grenada-Proves that even if Reagan ran like a scared little girl from Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, you were well advised to not threaten
’s supply of grenadine syrup. Some cocktails just aren't the same without them, and Goddammit, she was enough of a shrew as it was. Nancy
- Panama-Proves that George H. W. Bush was not a wimp. By God, he was a man-a REAL man.
- The First Gulf War-Proves that George H. W. Bush was not a wimp. By God, he was a man-a REAL man.
- The Indian Wars-Proves that American Indians will never stop trying to scalp you. If you don’t believe that just go to any Indian casino. Also proves that when a Republican President who is descended from a former President offers you something he’s probably really trying to give you something, like smallpox.
More important than all of the above, however, might well be the lessons we might learn from our defeats.
- Vietnam-Proves that John Kennedy probably had a thing for oriental pussy. Also proves that Lyndon Baines Johnson should have sold the Daisy Ad to the Goldwater campaign. And that he had a thing for Oriental pussy. Proves that Richard Nixon liked Chinese pussy, but that was about it. Proves that Gerald Ford probably thought it really did go east to west, and would have probably bit it if he tried to eat it. Proves that Jane Fonda really likes straddling big anti-aircraft guns and little Oriental dicks. Proves John Kerry was a little dick trying to get some Ho. Proves the Democratic Congress were a bunch of pricks. Oh yeah, and it probably proves I’m really hung up on Oriental pussy. Earth to heaven-it’s shaped like all the others, though, just maybe a little better
- Somalia-Proves that George H. W. Bush was not a wimp. By God, he was a man-a REAL man. it doesn’t prove that Bill Clinton was a man. (That took a pizza delivery by a girl in a thong). It does, however, prove that he wasn’t a fool(except when he's delivered pizzas by girls in thongs).
Which brings us to the subject of
Who knows what new facts might come to light about, for example, World War II? Maybe it will be proven Roosevelt really did know the attack was coming after all, and allowed it, in order to have an excuse to enter the war.
Vietnam? Maybe I’ve fucked a whole lot of Vietnamese chicks and just can’t stop thinking about it.
Whatever the case, I hope that when Bush makes his announcement concerning the promised “surge” of new troops in
I also hope this just doesn't turn out to be nothing more than a madcap Madison Avenue based marketing scheme for Coca-Cola investors to cash in when the company reintroduces the high caffeine energy soda called-well, "Surge". I mean, really, why such an emphasis on that one term? Why not simply just say, "send more troops"? Is this possibly just an attempt to draw attention from the fact that this will amount to nothing more than thousands of more American troops with targets on their backs, by substituting a term meant to be a subliminal message that sounds potent, maybe even sexy? A "surge" of power?
By the way, in case you haven’t noticed, I have not yet placed
Please don’t misunderstand me. I do want us to win both of these wars. I just think it’s too late in the case of
Somewhere on a ranch in
Sunday, January 07, 2007
You haven't eaten in four days. You know you will soon starve to death, but you only have one option to prevent this from happening. You have to eat fruit, vegetables, and grain products, and you have quite a wide variety to choose from. There is also a vast selection of meat, prepared in a variety of ways. The one caveat to all this?
The meat is from cloned animals. They were fed from genetically modified grains. By the way, all the other food that you have been offered has also been genetically modified.
Your choice? Yeah, mine too.
I look at it like this. If I were a member of some savage tribe that lived in some remote primeval area, one that practiced cannibalism on a regular basis, and one day I found myself, as usual, partaking of human flesh, I seriously doubt I would have any qualms about eating my victims twin brother/sister.
For that reason, I would have no immediate qualms about eating a cloned animal. Nor would I feel any discomfort at the thought of eating genetically modified food.
To be sure, there are good reasons for concern about both of these issues. There also bad ones. The good reasons can probably be summed up as follows:
The health of the animals. And, true enough, in the early days of cloning, some animals suffered unduly, from arthritis, from heart and lung ailments, and other abnormalities that generally caused their deaths before birth, or a few days after. This was generally thought due in part to the clones being derived from adult animals, and also seems to have been a problem with the animals mothers placenta.
This problem has evidently been brought under control. There are of course other problems. Ethical ones. But these problems are to some degree evidenced among those who in a great many cases are against eating meat under any circumstances, or have some other kind of religious sensibilities to cloning or with tampering with the natural way in which foods are produced.
Genetically modified foods especially are feared to contain potential health risks to the consumer, as well as environmental consequences.
As I said, these are all valid reasons, on at least an individual level. There are other reasons that are valid to a point, such as the concerns among farmers that the growth, production, distribution, and sale of food might one day be controlled by a cartel made up of a relative few big business entities who might corner the market and drive smaller farms and businesses into bankruptcy. They would then control the market, and prices, which they could easily do by underselling smaller farmers who are not in a position to compete.
Then, of course, they would have carte blanc to sell for as low or high a price as they wished.
However, market forces demand adjustment and adaptation. Some degree of government intervention might prove to be vital and necessary, which of course would be a libertarians nightmare. So you are presented with yet another concern.
Then, of course, there are those who would use food distribution as a means of controlling populations.
By and large, though, if this is managed correctly, there should really be no need for starvation in the world. Once this technology is perfected, as it eventually will be, there can be a limitless supply of agricultural products and livestock to feed a continually growing population on fruits, grains, and vegetables that, while their taste may for now not be the best, can at least ward off starvation and malnutrition, with it's associated diseases, in lieu of the simple fact that most genetically modified foods can be grown in any kind of climate or terrain, at least theoretically.
In vast enough amounts, to be sure, to feed the increased livestock population as well as the humans who, in great parts of the world, such as Africa, Asia, and parts of South and Central America-and, sad to say, in parts of the West as well-would not be moved by any objections to the process that would prevent the starvation and misery of themselves and their families.
Of course, starvation and poverty would be one less tool for leverage to be exercised by not only third world dictators, but by charitable organizations who depend on human misery as a vital aspect of their appeal for donations on humanitarian grounds.
This might include in many cases some organizations based out of the United Nations, as well as government agencies from the US and other countries, in addition to foundations that receive a great lot of money by way of grants from these same government and/or UN agencies. And then there are charitable organizations and foundations that are all but dependent on donations from private citizens. When you think about the very considerable amount of money all these entities are engaged in competition for, you have to wonder, in the cases where they are on record as being in opposition to these scientific advances, just how self-serving their concerns really are.
And, for that matter, this would not be limited merely to private charities, or government funded foundations, or UN chartered or other such groups, but, unfortunately, religious organizations as well. They, too, are just as much a part as all the rest, of the mad scramble for position, influence, and money that has become the mega-big business of the Aquarian Age-the Era of the Non-Profit Charitable Organizations.
Unfortunately for all of them, the steady advances of science may in at least this regard threaten to render them obsolete. And that might be just as true of the religious based charities as the private, government, or UN sanctioned ones. In their cases, they might have to find some other way to win savage souls to Christ, or Allah, if the organizations head honchos wanted to keep drawing those big salaries and bonus checks in return for their "non-profit" endeavors. Maybe if they concentrated their efforts to the fields of education.
Whoops! Maybe not.
You, however, should take the time to educate yourself thoroughly on this issue. Like I said, there are concerns, and everyone should watch closely, but with an open mind, to insure that science proceeds in an ethical way, in a humane manner, and with common sense-but not shackled by superstition.
The following links would be two good places to start.
The USDA Cloned Risk Assessment
Genetically Modified Foods
If that is all a little much to digest, might I suggest you do it in a fun way. Read Ira Levin's 1975 novel, The Boys From Brazil.
It contains as good a description of what cloning actually is as any you will read anywhere. It's also a great read, one of my favorite novels of all time. Of course, the more fantastical and horrific parts might give you pause, but on the other hand, that is exactly why this science should be regulated, and monitored. And the only way that can be done is to let science, and progress-and nature-take it's course.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around