Tuesday, October 31, 2006

One week left ...

"... on the cover of the Rolling Stone ..."
Sometimes, a political cartoon - or any cartoon for that matter - really hits the nail right on the head. Here is the cover of the next edition of Rolling Stone - the week before Election Day in one of the nastiest mid-term elections that I've ever seen. As it has been for six years now, the nation is essentially split in two. And once again, the moneyed interests don't give a damn about the regular folks. To them, this isn't about making the nation better, it is about raw, unadulterated power. Pure and simple. A pox on both their houses. Go out and vote for the lesser of two evils and hope for the best.

Either way, Kerry's kinda right
Sen. John Kerry ... soulless yuppie ... a hapless Democratic nominee and a worthless three term senator. I've written all about it before so I don't really have to write about it again. But yesterday, Kerry finally told a truth ... or did he?
At a rally about education, Kerry stated that, "Education, you know, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."
Conservatives went after Kerry for essentially telling the truth about war. They went after him for telling the truth about what happens to kids who don't have any other options other than to sign up for the military. What most of us know is that po' folk have been fighting the wars that these chickenhawks put together, wars which the chickenhawks and their kids will never fight in because they get into the best schools and have the best connections. Many of these wars are useless wars. As Ralph Nader states so eloquently, If Iraq's main export was carrots instead of oil, we wouldn't be there. Let's be honest: It has been a tradition in this country to send the the lower class kids out to die in wars so that the upper class kids and their trust funds can grow.
But Kerry later corrected himself and said he was mangling a joke and was actually speaking about the president not getting a proper education and now being stuck in Iraq.
However, unlike before, Kerry didn't just sit there and take the criticism from the chickenhawks. He came out swinging:
"If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they're crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I'm sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did. I'm not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq. It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.
The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it. These Republicans are afraid to debate veterans who live and breathe the concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that sent our brave troops to war without body armor.
Bottom line, these Republicans want to debate straw men because they're afraid to debate real men. And this time it won't work because we're going to stay in their face with the truth and deny them even a sliver of light for their distortions. No Democrat will be bullied by an administration that has a cut and run policy in Afghanistan and a stand still and lose strategy in Iraq ."
Wow. Who is this person? Where has this person been? Now don't get me wrong: I'm no fan of Kerry's and he probably should have known better than to spout off a joke like that which some might take offense to. I wouldn't have said something like this or I would have gotten the punch line down.
But at the same time, everyone knows that is a hard decision to put your life on the line for the country even if the country's government is making bad decisions with your life. Many of us who've matured since the end of the draft and the lousy economy of the 1970s, have had recruiters at our doors, paper and pen in hand. At the same time, we also looked away realizing that we were staring at no real future. Whether you have economic choices or not shouldn't have any influence on the decision to serve. If you want to serve, you should serve; if you don't want to serve, you should have other economic options and other options than just years of school to flip burgers.
Whatever Kerry's purpose for the comments, as a veteran, unlike Limboob, Dick Cheney, Tony Snow, Karl Rove, and a whole slew of others, he has earned the right to be critical. He led and bled in one of our government's stupid wars. He served with others and knows this to be true unlike those other blowhards. I also know as a lower middle class kid that there weren't many options for folks like us. Many of us joined - or thought about joining - because we didn't have options which others in America had, running the risk of being sent into some stupid war zone which we had no business being in. With recuiters and TV and radio commercials pimping money for college and other benies to sign up, only a liar would say that some of Kerry's comments weren't dead on correct. If you're a poor kid who didn't do well in school and didn't have any other options, yeah, you probably considered signing up for military service and now you're stuck in Iraq. And, if you are a pinhead president listening to the worst of the worst in your administration, some of the most evil people on the planet, who advise you to kill innocent women and children, who advise you to ignore your "political hero" Jesus Christ who clearly stated in the Book of Matthew what the rules to live by were, then you get stuck in Iraq.
I don't see the problem in these comments. They may insult some people but those people shouldn't be insulted by the truth. They should face it, fix the problem, and move on. But again, that isn't what absolute power is about, now is it?

Let's Active
I've been thinking about the mid-1980s jangle pop band Let's Active for about two months now. They came into my mind as I was searching for music to download on emusic.com. At the end of the month, I have to use all my downloads or lose them. So, I'm always trying to find stuff I would like, like replacing my vinyl with mp3s or obscure stuff I've always wanted to get.
Let's Active was one of those bands which isn't listed on emusic.com but I began to think about how happy listening to them always made me feel at the time. Since I only have them on LP and my record player isn't hooked up, I haven't been able to listen to them. And since I've been under a bit of stress lately, and needed some really upbeat jangle pop music, I decided to start looking for some of the band's music online. I thought about hooking my record player back up to record them to CD but then remembered that I was out of blank CDs which work with my burning deck. Plus, when would I have the time to burn them anyway? So, I went to a couple of music stores and not so surprisingly, I couldn't find anything by the band.
Thankfully, I had a gift certificate for BN.com lying around here and decided to look and see if they had the CDs, which they did! And the past two days I've been listening to Mitch Easter's Rickenbackers clang and chime away with prickly, reverb drenched chords. Their hummable tunes sung with the baby soft, cutesy vocals of Easter and Faye Hunter, and almost heavenly harmonies. Pure joy. "It's Saturday ... the day you waste a week for ..." Oh, how I miss those days.

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