Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The world is going crazy ... Part 2
If you take away almost a month of blogging from yourself, the saved links start to pile up in your "favorites" file. So, here are some that I have been collecting over the past few weeks, and a few comments to go along with them.
First, from a few hours ago, the otherwise unreadable [and unhinged] Ann Coulter posts a halfway decent piece here, noting some pretty significant bias by Newsweek, which did hold stories about charges against former President Bill Clinton, especially the very credible rape charge: ["'NEWSWEEK DISSEMBLED, MUSLIMS DISMEMBERED!'"]. But what she doesn't realize - because she is completely blinded by her own ideology - is that the reports of Quran desecration were widespread throughout the foreign press. It is safe to assume - especially since the Pentagon refuses to release any information to the contrary - that the reports are accurate.
Although I was stupidly banned from DailyKos for calling John Kerry a flip-flopper [it was a troll rate attack by a bunch in the ABB crowd after the hilarious post first debate skit on SNL], I still like to keep up with some of the diaries that are posted on the site. Here is an interesting post from a speaker at a recent commencement: ["My Bitch Slap to the Class of 2005"]. I especially like this quote, after the speaker asked how many of the Bush supporters were signing up to serve in the military to back the president's cause and found out there was only one single student serving:

"Thank you, sir. The rest of you then lack the conviction that is needed for America to succeed. If you are not willing to back the leader of this country in his ambitions to defeat terrorism and promote democracy with your bodies, then how can we expect you to defend it from anything else. So I am going to stop wasting my breath about talking about the Chinese and Indian students who believe [in] what they preach. Because they have already won. Until American youth and their parents are willing to actually practice what they preach [vis a vie] their bumper stickers, then talking about real threats is pointless. I guess we will continue to graduate hypocrites. That appears to be the new America Way."
Such a brilliant piece and so well put.
Recently, I interviewed a woman involved with a group encouraging civic engagement in young people. They seem to be doing good work. The woman noted that while there was a lot of public service being done by the students there wasn't a lot of voting or interaction between young people and elected officials. Of course, while she was encouraged by the public service young people were performing, she and others ignore the biggest problem: Most of this public service is forced in school, as a part of graduation, meaning that it isn't about "serving" as much as it as about a student doing what he has to do in order to get the high school diploma. This is something that has always annoyed me ever since I started following these public service credits more than five years ago. What it all means is that while some of these kids might learn a little about helping out others, it is really only a task to be accomplished and not really about learning how another person lives ... how another person suffers ... how another person is harmed by the holes in society ... Is it really just enough to go feed the hungry for a day and get credit for it or is it more important to actually know what it is like to be hungry and figure out ways of fixing the problem? This is why the diarist from Kos is so relevant - the kids of today aren't solving problems, they are just learning about them. And when the assuming affluent kids and their parents are asked to serve a higher cause other than their own, they balk. Send someone else's kid off to die for my cause, is essentially what they are saying by their actions.
Moving on. I really dig Coldplay. They are one of the better new bands although I think many of the other music snobs of the world don't like them because so many dorks do like them. Anyhow, the new album will be out in a couple of weeks and I can't wait to hear it. One of the other cool things about Coldplay - beyond being a great band - is that they love Echo & the Bunnymen. Singer Chris Martin is also a fair trader and as we can see from this rant: ["Coldplay attack 'evil' of profits"] is still a pretty funny guy. I especially like these lines: "I think shareholders are the great evil of this modern world ..." and criticizing "the slavery that we are all under to shareholders." So Chris, the new Coldplay CD is like, free, right?
Speaking of the Bunnymen, they came to the states to play a handful of shows - none of them in my neck of the woods, so I missed them - but here is a post from a guy in Philly who had a post-Bunnymen party, was arrested for promoting it, but the band actually showed up!: ["Busted And Blitzed With The Bunnymen: A Short Story By Joey Sweeney"]. Isn't Mac looking a lot like Mick Jagger these days? Damn, we are all getting so old.
There is a new film, "The Power of Nightmares," making its way around the film fests. This one looks as interesting as "F9/11": ["UK film at Cannes says terror fears exaggerated"] and this: ["The Power of Nightmares: Baby It's Cold Outside"]. And then there is this: ["U.S. House Votes to Replace Color-Coded Terror Threat Warnings"]. What? No more FoxNews alerts?! What, pray tell, will we all do?!?
Dartmouth gets a blog: ["The Little Green Blog"].
So does Greek goddess Arianna Huffington: ["The Huffington Post"].
Comic Ted Rall can sometimes be very hurtful. His comments are like salt in the wound of an infection that just won't heal, like his comment making fun of the death of the football player who went to Afghanistan and was killed by friendly fire, Pat Tillman. But at the same time, his comments can sometimes be dead on. Here, in this column, he makes some really great points: ["Black and White and full of crap"].
It's been a week ... some of us are still waiting for answers: ["Bush asked to explain UK war memo"]. Oh, that's right, we're distracted. I'm still concerned about Newsweek ...
With "Star Wars" about to open at movie screens across America in about 45 minutes, this link seems rather appropriate: ["How Lightsabers Work"].
John Edwards is right: "Don't listen to Mary Beth Cahill ..." ["Edwards Looks Back - And Ahead to 2008"]. Rumors have it that he'll be in New Hampshire sometime next month and some insiders are already thinking seriously about an Edwards campaign. Other names being circ'ed? Sen. Evan Bayh and Gov. Mark Warner. The name that is bringing the most indigestion to insiders? Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. And John Kerry is D.O.A. Thank heavens.

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