Thursday, September 27, 2007

Chris Rock about the War on Terror

Joanne Tucker sent me this hilarious video of Chris Rock. Finally, all is explained!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Mr. Ahmadinejad Goes To New York

As I write these words, the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is about to speak at Columbia University in New York. The introduction that is being given before he goes on, by Lee Bollinger, president of Columbia say that it is not very welcoming would be the understatement of the year. It makes me wonder why the right is as bunged up as it is over this visit because basically President A just got bitch slapped all over the mother!

The reaction to this whole visit has been hilarious, in sad and pathetic way. I could write a long essay about the substance of President Ahmadinejad's speech, being delivered as I am composing the remainder of this post, but what's the point? We already know what he is going to say. At this point I am more interested in illustrating how little we understand Iran fully exposed by the silly reaction of conservatives in this country.

President Ahmadinejad is not the leader of Iran. The leader of Iran is the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader. The president of Iran has the power he has because he is granted it by the Ayatollah. The Ayatollah grants him his power as long as he goes out, spews his bile of lies AND gets a reaction from the West. President A currently holds a whopping 20 percent approval rating in his country and is generally loathed by most citizens, largely due to the fact that the economy is in the tank.

By reacting to him the way the conservative fake outrage machine has in the past few days, they have GIVEN, not taken away, power from him. They have demonized him to biblical (pun fully intended) proportions, comparing him to Adolph Hitler (as if!) and launching him onto the world stage and limelight....a stage he is all too willing to occupy for lengthy periods of time. Even more farcical is that fact that it has been President Bush's own policies in Iraq that have led to the hard line factions of Iran further cementing their power in the region, thus making Iran the larger enemy today than it was six years ago when reform seemed to be on the horizon.

Oddly, the outrage has been directed at President A's visit to Columbia but not to his speeches earlier in the day at the National Press Club or the Council on Foreign Relations. I wonder why this is so? (I know the answer...just want to see if y'all do :))

Anyhoo, it has been a truly remarkable day for myself as well as other people in this country that know a thing or two about Iran, to see an already semi-scary guy fully "made" into the enemy that conservatives want him...or actually NEED him to be. Ah, well, just another example of what Army Sargent Ben Busch called a "childish understanding of the region."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

America is Not Fighting WWIV

Steve Chapman, columnist in the Chicago Tribune, had a great column in the Sept 16the Edition. Click here if you'd like to read it.

Some quotes with which I agree completely:

"to equate our current challenges with the Nazis and Soviets is to grossly misunderstand our enemies."

"Osama bin Laden must rejoice to be depicted as endangering our entire culture and way of life."

"The vision of a monolithic Islamic movement hostile to everything we value is equally warped. We usually associate the religion with Arab militants, but the world's biggest Muslim populations are in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Nigeria, not the Middle East. Some Muslim countries, such as Turkey, Indonesia and Senegal, are free and democratic. The others vary greatly in political openness and personal liberty -- sort of like non-Muslim countries."

"Radical Islamic elements pose a danger to our security that will demand vigilance, resources, and in some instances, military action. But let's not make it more than it is."

Yes, let's not make it more than it is because to do so would be costly mistake that will, in fact, make things worse.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Blinding Me With Science! SCIENCE!!!

You know what? When I was in school, I should've had more respect for science. All those years ago, I would thumb my nose at science and math geeks with their fancy schmancy numbers and dorkwad experiments. Little did I know at the time that it would be science that would save the day and answer the question that has confounded me from the very first day I started this blog. In fact, as if by some heavenly intervention, my question from last week regarding the giant chasm between conservatives and liberals has, at last been answered.

Why DO conservatives think the way the do? Why do liberals think the way they think? Well, now I know. Sadly, I also know that my quest to build bridges may be in vain. I have to say, folks, that it's over. It's all over......

Conservatives think the way they do because their brains are different. It's just that simple.

According to a new study from scientists at New York University and UCLA, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, liberals were 4.9 times as likely as conservatives to show activity in the brain circuits that deal with conflicts, and 2.2 times as likely to score in the top half of the distribution for accuracy.

The jounral reports that participants were college students whose politics ranged from "very liberal" to "very conservative." They were instructed to tap a keyboard when an M appeared on a computer monitor and to refrain from tapping when they saw a W.M appeared four times more frequently than W, conditioning participants to press a key in knee-jerk fashion whenever they saw a letter. Each participant was wired to an electroencephalograph that recorded activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, the part of the brain that detects conflicts between a habitual tendency (pressing a key) and a more appropriate response (not pressing the key).

Liberals had more brain activity and made fewer mistakes than conservatives when they saw a W, researchers said. Liberals and conservatives were equally accurate in recognizing M. Researchers got the same results when they repeated the experiment in reverse, asking another set of participants to tap when a W appeared.

Now, does all this mean that conservatives have smaller brains? Not enough synaptic connections? Are liberals actually smarter than conservatives?

No. What it shows that is that conservatives brains are wired to be more resistant to new ideas or change. Liberals, on the other hand, are more open to new ideas and the parts of their brain that deal with conflict are more active. This is not necessarily a good thing for liberals as they could be more open to (dunh dum dah!!) conservative ideas. Speaking for myself, I wish that I had the same synaptic connections that conservatives do so I could filter out bullshit as well. :)

This explains sooooo much, doesn't it? I mean, look at President Bush. I have always wanted to know why he is so stubborn and now I do. His brain is made that way. He can't process information that doesn't conform with his existing brain patterns. His mind is set...quite literally.

Think of all the debates we have had here over the years that have ended in frustration. Well, there is no need to be frustrated anymore. We have the proof! We have the evidence! I don't know about all of you but I take a great amount of comfort now in knowing that there is absolutely nothing I can do. It's impossible to physically change someone's brain.

Well, unless your last name is....Frankenstein. (Cue chilling organ music), (maniacal laughter)...Hah Hah Hah Ah Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Colonel Wilkerson Offers Wonderful Pearls of Wisdom

"My view all along has been that this is a War of Ideas. And not a war of bombs, bullets, and bayonets. And therefore to lead with a military instrument-and I'm 31 years into that instrument-is the wrong way to go. We should be leading first and foremost with our ideas which I think are much more powerful and better than bin Laden or Ayman el Zawahari's ideas. And we should be leading with other instruments of power such as our economics, our financial might, our law enforcement, our intelligence capabilities, and so forth. The military should be the last instrument we're using.

As we use that instrument, we do, in fact, give bin Laden a recruitment mechanism."

Larry Wilkerson, Colonel, US Army (Retired)

Dave and Kevin, I would appreciate your thoughts on this as it responds directly and eloquently to what you wrote in comments.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Profound Divide

It is has been roughly six years since I started this online community of ours and we have, once again, come around to that time of year again that calls for reflection, pause and taking stock in the tapestry that is Notes From The Front. I am speaking of course, of September 11th. Rather than go into to my usual anti-Bush Co tirade, I thought I would turn the magnifying glass on ourselves as a citizens and ask the question:

How did WE end up so far off track? I mean, I already know why Bush Co is so far off track and how they have been able to do it but what about us? You and I?

Six years ago our country stood as one. Every American stood together proud and strong, not weak and bickering like we are now. The world, aside from the usual crazies, was markedly pro-American and they had our backs. People loved us and we loved each other. We held each other and cried at the depths of the tragedy on September 11th and we gave each other support. We had a moment where Carpe Diem should have been our battle cry. Instead, we pissed it all away. Today, we are right back to where we were on September 10th-a collection of assholes..lazy, fat, selfish, ignorant, afraid, partisan, psychotic and narrow minded. At times, I have to admit, I include myself in some of these categories and it is for this reason that, over the course of this year, I have done some serious self actualization.

I have spent some time making a concerted effort to figure out how people of the conservative mindset truly think and feel. I had the hope (and still do) that I could maybe build a bridge or two...even mend some fences. Possibly figure a way out of this mess? I also wanted to take the advice of some conservative posters, who write here on a regular basis, and go to a blog where I am in the minority, as they are here....just to see how it feels.

It just so happened that when I wrote a column about the Jim Zumbo deal a while back (click here if you want to re-read it), a blogger by the name of Kevin Baker came to the defense of the gun lobby. He posted some comments here that made me think and, I must admit, altered my view. I came to the realization that, while I will never get off on guns, they are, in fact, a personal liberty just as anything else is in this country and if I am going to be against things like the Patriot Act, then I have to be against gun control. Besides, it's not guns that are the problem anyway. It's Americans that are the problem. And Americans like Kevin, and the others that post on his site, are very responsible gun owners.

He wrote on here:

I'm going to disagree with you on a lot of things. This is good, because you learn much more arguing your case with someone who disagrees with you than you do preaching to the choir.

I agree completely. You know that I love all of you but the most interesting discussions are when PL, Crab, Dave, Sarge, the rev, and joe Anonymous get in the mix. I believe with all of my heart and soul that raising the level of debate in this country gets people to think. That's why I think it IS polite to talk about politics. Preaching to the choir is a fucking bore and I would have shut down this site long ago if we didn't have the wonderful ragers we have had here.

So, it was with that spirit I began posting on his blog...the only other blog I post on regularly other than this one. I really felt like if we could come together on the gun thing maybe there could be other things on which we could find common ground. I was buoyed by Kevin's (and others that post there) intelligence, unbiased interpretation of facts and law in regards to the gun issue so I really felt there might be some hope.

But each time the issues of September 11th come say I get frustrated would be the understatement of the year. There is, as Kevin himself recently called it, "a profound divide" between the left and the right in this country when it comes to 9-11, Iraq, Islam, terror...the whole deal.

To be honest, it makes me fucking weep.

To truly illustrate what I am talking about, go and read Kevin's post from Sunday, September 02, 2007 entitled Yeah, Hollywood Has Our Back. Click on the comments section and read the ensuing discussion. (Sometimes a click on Refresh is required to get Comments to show up)

A profound divide? It's more like a deep chasm. I am really trying hard to find some merit in what they have said here--and I realize there is some slight variety--but good Lord, their hatred of the left has completely clouded their judgement to the point of insane irrationality. It is THEIR way or....we are all on the side of terrorists. And do you know what the worst part about it is?

They are wasting their time on a phantom enemy (the evil liberals) when the real bad guys are still out there. Let's take an abbreviated look at some of the more salient comments made about yours truly..

...add Markadelphia to the list which includes Rall and DePalma. And I'm quite serious about that. The apologist for a terrorist is but a terrorist. and the apologist's apologist is but a REMF-ing terrorist. Markadelphia is as the mud which clings to a soldier's boots, dangerously slowing him in combat. (Jim from Texas)'re guaranteed to become someone else's tool. Tool, Markadelphia, You oughta think about that. (geekwithA.45)

Now here is an apt punishment for DePalma and his ilk. Click here (Yosemite Sam)

Mark, et al...actively propagandizing on behalf of your country's enemies is most certainly treasonous. DePalma has made it absolutely clear that that is exactly what he is doing. (Stephen Rider)

The elites in this country will finally go too far and they will then be removed from power by military force. It will happen quickly and will be overwhelmingly supported by the public at large.(Yosemite Sam)

So, I am a terrorist who is being manipulated by the evil left wing cabal? I should be tarred and feathered as a traitor, giving aid and comfort to the enemy? Others who think like me will soon perish as well? Remember the conversation I had with the nephew of a friend of mine who had just gotten back from Iraq? Remember he felt that it was his mission to kill Democrats as they are responsible for all the wrongs in this country? Several of you told me his was an isolated view.

All of you were wrong. I offer as proof the people listed above.

Now, I didn't respond to these people at the time because apparently I made Kevin so angry with what I wrote that he wanted me to take a break for awhile. I have since come back and am happily posting there again but, after a week's reflection, I realized that how I'd like to respond is virtually the same as what I wanted to talk about on this year's anniversary of Notes From The Front. The answer to the question "how did we end up so far off track?" is quite evident when you consider this:

This is the picture (above top) that was put up, in Kevin's comments section, of a man being tarred and feathered in a public square as an example of what should happen to liberals in this country They all laughed about it. Take a look at the picture directly below it.

Who are the bad guys again?

Well, apparently it's me, Brian DePalma, and the rest of the elitist liberals in this country that even slightly question this administration. It's the media who, anytime they are critical of anything conservative, are giving aid and comfort to the enemy. But it's never EVER anything that THEY are doing. THEY are always right or RIGHT.

The level of denial these people are at is stunning. And I submit it is THE main reason why we are so far off track. In a nutshell, this is why we are losing.

And by losing, I mean everything. We are so blinded by ideology that we can't see that our country is quite literally being destroyed. It's not because we don't support the troops, or are making films about GIs raping Iraqi girls. It's because a group of ideological lunatics have taken over our country and have quite effectively preyed upon the emotional psyches of at least 30 million people in this country.

Most of you who post here know me well. Two of you that post here went to Iraq and came back. In that time, did you every feel like I was "mud which clings to a soldier's boots?" The very idea that I, and the millions of others that think like me, are traitors because we don't subscribe to a psychotic and fervently false ideology is completely and utterly offensive.

This ideology is terribly deluded by rage. These folks are so far gone that they can't see that they are becoming their enemy. They are advocating a state that hides the truth. They want a population that receives an education whose sole focus is to portray the United States as the eternal saviour of the free world. They want the radio we listen to, the TV we watch, and the films we go and see to be "approved" by the "Patriot Police" before it is distributed. They will actively seek out and re-frame any thought or expression that does not fall line with their ideology and label it as traitorous. They foment anger by erroneously accusing liberals of doing exactly the same things that they, in fact, do.

What do you call a state like that?

They can't see this and continue to accuse people like me of being a traitor. A traitor because I don't fall in line and salute what I know to be a completely fabricated answer to a sham of a question, "Why do they hate us so much that they attacked us on September 11th?" They didn't attack us because we "love freedom" and they didn't attack us because they want to take over the world. Would everyone here like to know why they attacked us? Go read this:


These are bin Laden's words and they seem quite clear to me. We have been fucking around in their land for too long and they got sick of it. So they hit us. It ain't rocket science folks. It's pretty plain to me. You dick around in someone else's Holy Land and, being the psychotics that they are, they are going to fight back.

Ask yourselves this question, wouldn't we do the same if, say, the Islamic Army came into Pittsburgh and started running the steel industry?

Many conservatives are quite fond of telling me to listen to our enemy. Well, I am listening and it's never been more clear to me that in order to defeat these guys, we need to change. I wonder if Kevin, geek, Jim, Yosemite, Stephen et al are listening? Read the link above again and accept the fact that our foreign and economic policies have helped to create these monsters. Take some fucking responsibility for your country's actions for crying out loud instead of thumping your chest and crying "Hulk is always right, traitorous liberals weaken Hulk." Please stop creating an enemy that doesn't exist in this country -an enemy that you have created out of your anger, insecurity, ignorance, and fear.

People fear what they do no understand. And in today's culture, people only want to take the time to understand what's easy and comfortable for them. They don't want to do the hard work i.e. the change that is necessary to eliminate terror as a tactic. They would rather just accuse people like me of being appeasers, continuing to live in their deluded bliss that all "liberals" think the same way. Do all conservatives think the same way? They are so horribly mistaken that it is sad really and quite depressing.

Imagine what would happen if the folks that posted on Kevin's blog lead with their intellect to learn more about the Muslim world and used their words to expose the psychosis that is Islamic extremism. Imagine if like minded conservatives "swift boated" bin Laden and his ilk rather than remaining trapped in tired ideological rhetoric, continually ripping every "liberal" or "progressive" that comes along-damning them to hell for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

Until we can figure out a way to break through this ideological barrier, we are doomed. Doomed to repeat the same mistakes that empire after empire has made throughout time when the only conviction they had was their own vanity in believing that they were always right. God, we are soooo there right now. Now the question becomes how do we get back on track? I've got some ideas but honestly, folks, I don't know if I have any real answers.

Do you?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Smiles All Around

Last week, I was extremely heartened to see this article:

The judge has since stayed his order, thus prohibiting masses of gay people from around the country to get married in Iowa. But this couple, picture courtesy of CBS News, made it and got married.

I think the judge made a smart move though, because, hey, this is Iowa after all! I'm sure the cry of "activitist judges" will be heard long and loud for the next few weeks but to me it comes down to the letter of the law in the state. You can't discriminate against someone based on their race, sex, or creed. Gay people don't have the same rights as straight people. Period. There is no way around this fact.

All I know is that it if it can happened in Iowa, for cripes sake, it can happen anywhere. I guess it's time for me to stop with the Iowa jokes as they are one step ahead Minnesota on this one.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Well, Maybe Not....

Maybe Larry Craig is not going to resign after all. Arlen Specter, senior Republican Senator form Pensylvania, has offered support for Craig. A spokesman for Larry Craig said that they are trying to get the guilty plea reversed.

Based on the audio tape released last week, it's possible that might happen. I think there is a lesson from all of this.....what it is I'm not quite sure yet :)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Just Be Gay

I feel sorry for Larry Craig. I have watched the last week of his life and, quite frankly, feel an intense amount of pity for him.

For those of you who don't know, Senator Larry Craig, Republican senior senator from Idaho, resigned on Saturday because he was caught last June soliciting sex from a male police officer in the men's room at the Minneapolis St. Paul airport. He plead guilty and now is trying to retract (?) it since it become public early last week. Apparently, Senator Craig made several "hand gestures" and "foot taps" in between two stalls in the bathroom-a sign, I guess, that he wanted to have sex.

Rather than feel anger at his hypocrisy, I felt sadness, actually, that is come to this in our culture. Many blame Senator Craig for this illicit behavior but I say that it is a product of our society. A society, that rather than embrace the differences that we all have in regards to sexuality, we force it into hiding-putting layer upon layer of guilt onto generally decent people until they behave in an irresponsible fashion. Why can't he just be gay?

Side Rant- (And why can't we find a new word for gay so when I call someone gay it is
completely NOT derogatory towards homosexuals and is, in fact, a cool term to use to signify that someone is LAME! Let's all try to remember that the original definition of gay was happy and the British definition of fag is a cigarette. Words can mean different things. Can we take the word gay back? Please!!? I could understand if the original definition was homosexual and people were pissed but it wasn't. How about from now on we just call gay guys "dudes" Dudes are cool. )

Anyway, had Larry Craig lived in a culture that was not warped by an outdated, narrow minded, and bigoted belief system-a system that has so perverted the original intent of Jesus Christ-he would've been able to enjoy his feelings with a fellow consenting adult in a more open fashion. He could've been a dude without the bias dudes get in our society. Instead, his mind was at war with what he naturally felt, pummelled incessantly by the rigid structure of what he perceived was the "right" or "moral" way to live.

I mean, what kind of a point do you have to get to....fucking or blowing a dude when, more than likely, less then a foot away someone is taking a smelly, disgusting shit? There are few times when I would NOT desire a woman's ass working on my cock in the from behind position....this would be one of those times!

And, just to play devil's advocate, don't the police at the Minneapolis Airport have better people to monitor than bathroom stall gay sex crowd? Like, um, I don't know....maybe take a look at this picture to the left and GET THEIR FUCKING PRIORITIES STRAIGHT!!!!!

Good grief....

Of course, what's good for the goose isn't necessarily good for the gander. Senator David Vitter (R-LA) was recently outed as being one of the biggest clients of the DC Madam. He broke the law by soliciting a prostitute, which, the last time I checked was a worse offense than what Larry Craig plead guilty to doing. Was David Vitter forced to resign in disgrace? No, because he isn't a disgusting fucking homo! Not only was he not forced to resign but he was given encouragement by the national Republicans and told to go to marriage counseling. What lovely hyperbole!

Beneath the hypocrisy, however, lies an even bigger reason why Craig was booted and Vitter was told to stay. Idaho, the state that Craig represents, has a Republican governor who will more than likely appoint a Republican choice to replace him, thus keeping the tally in the Senate at 51-49, Dems over Repubs. Vitter, however, is in a state with a Democratic governor who definitely would appoint a Democratic replacement, tipping the balance even further in the Dems favor. So, it's bye bye Larry Craig and hello to someone who hopefully can hold their ground in an already bleak 2008 election for the Republicans.

So, the mantra I have been hearing all week that Republicans "quickly take care of those in their party who break the law as opposed to the Democrats" is completely bullshit. Yeah, they take care of them quickly when they don't meet their unrealistic expectations of what they erroneously believe constitutes morality AND when it is politically convenient for them. Sorry, Larry, but I guess we are going to continue to fuck you up even more.

The Republican Party need to have some very serious introspection and return to the values that started us out. And that is individual liberties and a live and let live policy when it comes to people's private lives.

-Michelle Laxalt, Republican strategist, Larry King Live August 28th, 2007

Can't we just let dudes by dudes?

-Markadelphia, Dean of Minneapolis and co-founder of the Association to Replace the Word "Gay" with the word "Dude," thus enabling myself and others to refer to homosexual men as something mega cool and totally awesome like dude as opposed to the word "gay" which is....well...fucking GAY, dude.